I hope this is about zombie machines or something. I have a friend with a wicked zombie robot tattooed on his side. More likely, this is going to be something like a rip off of Maximum Overdrive. We open on the longest, slowest pan over to the Royal Palace, which I also think is a new animation of it. Twice in one season, wow. Man-At-Arms is testing out this new radio controlled rocket he developed. He does some back flips with it then Orko asks if he can have a turn. Surprisingly, Man-At-Arms hands over the controls without a second thought.
At first, Orko does a competent job of flying the rocket, which allows time for Prince Adam to lather Man-At-Arms with compliments for a little while. Then the rocket takes a low pass, right over everyone’s head. Prince Adam blames Orko, but Orko insists that he isn’t doing it. Man-At-Arms takes the controls from him, and finds that they are, indeed, not working. The rocket gets more and more out of control, until it crashes into a very, very phallic tower, which is apparently the royal chamber. A royal chamber which a mere hour from how would have housed the king and queen.
Orko apologizes for nearly killing the King and Queen, but Man-At-Arms claims responsibility. He shits all over himself, admitting dozens upon dozens of failures on “the remote control project”. Since he can’t even invent things that already exist and get them to work, he decides he might as well quit. Teela gives him a pep talk, but he’s pretty down on himself and resists. It takes Prince Adam’s hand on his shoulder and some more encouraging words about not quitting to get him to come around. He decides to give it one more try, but if this time isn’t successful, he is going to commit seppuku.
Skeletor, in his favorite trick of Season 2 so far, has been watching the whole thing on his magical, omniscient table monitor. Skeletor tells Trap Jaw that they should help Man-At-Arms out with his invention, but Trap Jaw doesn’t get it. Skeletor insults him, then goes down to his dungeon to get the most fearsome beast in “all his menagerie”, which looks pretty much like a bear, but a little bit more fearsome.
Skeletor puts the beast in a tube, and Trap Jaw still doesn’t understand the plan. Skeletor uses the machine to make an exact copy of the beast, only made out of pure electricity. For the finishing touches, Trap Jaw shrinks it with his miniaturization ray. Skeletor opens his palm and the thing jumps right in. The plan, Skeletor explains, is to get the little electrical beast into Man-At-Arms’ machine, which will then infiltrate all the machines and Skeletor will then be able to control all of them, because this beast can totally follow directions and has a high functioning understanding of electronics.
Unaware of Skeletor’s plan to put gremlins in the system, Man-At-Arms carries on with his experiments. He finishes checking out the radio control master computer and declares everything is in working order, then exposits that this computer is really important because it can control everything in the place, the defense system, the bidets, everything. Man-At-Arms goes off to conduct another test of his remote control rocket.
Meanwhile, Skeletor projects an energy beam at the palace, which carries the shrunken electric beast to perform his tasks and infect the palace computer systems. Skeletor watches on his monitor, coaching, as the little energy bear, whom he has named “Bite”, surfs and leaps his way through the palace computer’s innards. Once Bite finds the main circuit, he pulls a cable and uses it to swing into the main processor, knocking it off. Then, upon Skeletor’s direction, he connects himself to the inputs and Skeletor’s plan is off and running. As his first order of business, Bite takes over the tentacled chair that Man-At-Arms was using earlier, and arms it with guns.
In another part of the palace, Man-At-Arms, Teela, and Prince Adam prepare for continued testing of the remote control rocket. Suddenly, a bunch of the sky sleds start flying around the room of their own accord. Prince Adam finds some cover while Man-At-Arms and Teela are evading the wayward flying craft and turns into He-Man. He-Man takes out the sky sleds, then points out to Man-At-Arms that there must be something wrong with the control computer. I kind of expected Man-At-Arms to resign on the spot, but he doesn’t. Instead, they head off to see what is the matter, and encounter issues with all the electronics on the way, like automatic doors that are locked.
They get through the doors, only to be attacked by the tentacle chair. Rather than fight it, He-Man retreats, leaving the room on fire. He-Man, Teela, and Man-At-Arms regroup. He-Man comments that the control computer seems to have a mind of its own. Man-At-Arms starts shitting on himself again, just about to quit when Teela gives him the idea of shutting down the central power supply. Man-At-Arms runs from the room to try it, and before he starts crying. Teela and He-Man decide that Skeletor must be behind all of this.
He-Man is torn because he can’t leave the palace with all the nightmarish computer shenanigans going on. Teela decides that she can go check out Snake Mountain and see if Skeletor is behind all this. He-Man does immediately reject the idea, but tries to get her to come to the realization on her own by asking how she’s going to get there, what with all the crazy machines and everything. Teela decides that she’ll just take Battle Cat, and He-Man actually goes along with it! My head just exploded. How do you like that, she just commandeered He-Man’s pussy. Go, Teela!
Downstairs, Man-At-Arms takes Orko into a shield chamber where he tests new rays that aren’t hooked up to the main computer yet. He happens to have a shrinking ray that is completely separated from the main computer system in there, and so he tells Orko to use it on it. Man-At-Arms has lost his mind. Even Orko is a little skeptical. Man-At-Arms assures him its necessary so that he can go into the computer system and see what the problem is. This kind of reminds me of Inner Space and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Man, those movies were fun when I was a kid.
At Snake Mountain, Teela scales the outside to try and sneak in. In the lab, Man-At-Arms darts around in the computer like a crazy person. Downstairs, He-Man is shoving vehicles around, trying to keep them under control. Attak Trak rams He-Man mercilessly into a wall, then shoots lasers at him while he jumps around and Attak Trak apologizes to him because he can’t control his actions. He-Man makes it into the cockpit where he rips a bunch of wires from the console. Attak Trak says, “thank you” in a slow, droning voice as he dies. Back at Snake Mountain, Teela sneaks around and overhears Trap Jaw needlessly reciting the plan as they all stare at the table monitor.
Teela runs off to warn everybody, but it’s too late because Man-At-Arms has just stumbled on to Bite, the energy bear, inside the computer. What happens next might be one of the weirdest, most stupid things I’ve ever seen. Man-At-Arms is seeking refuge from the energy bear, and comes upon the memory units. He says something about how they hold the computer’s memory, so they could probably hold him. I can’t tell if this is his plan for evasion, or if he is terrified of this possibility. He runs some more, and then gets sucked into a memory chip.
Teela returns from Snake Mountain and reports what happened to He-Man. Teela conveniently remembers the shrink ray her father was making, but He-Man says he can’t find Man-At-Arms. Unable to find out how to use the shrink ray, they go to Castle Grayskull where the Sorceress uses magic to shrink He-Man. She then turns into her falcon form, Zoar, and He-Man jumps on her leg for a return trip to the palace.
Zoar comes under heavy attack as she flies around the lab. She manages to drop He-Man off on top of the main control computer and bids him farewell as she flies out the window. He-Man runs off into the computer, and just as he is wishing for a road map, he passes by the memory units. Somehow, he hears Man-At-Arms calling out to him from within one of the crystalline cubes, and drops down into the chamber. He-Man punches and breaks the crystal, which releases Man-At-Arms. Really, I would think he’d have been digitized or something when he was transmuted into the memory unit, and that destroying the unit would destroy Man-At-Arms too, but whatever.
Man-At-Arms takes He-Man right to Bite, and believes that he created it. He-Man tells him that Skeletor created it, and that Teela went all the way to Snake Mountain, found this out and came all the way back, then they went to Castle Grayskull and back, even though probably 10 minutes have elapsed during all of these events. With no regard for the technology, He-Man rips the processor contact Bite is occupying out of the board, making it very difficult to reinstall the main processor later, I’m sure. He-Man gets knocked on his ass by Bite and Man-At-Arms tends to him as the beast escapes.
They are unable to pursue Bite because he is traveling at the speed of light through the system’s wires right now. However, Man-At-Arms realizes they are in the main energy chamber, where he can polarize a capacitor to lead them to the beast. He-Man bends some electrodes together, and they jump on the energy beam the capacitor fired and ride it right to Bite. Right. The beam hits Bite on the chest, and then He-Man lassos him with some wire he pulled from the computer equipment.
Apparently, tying up Bite with some wire is enough to stop him. They very nearly leave him in the computer, tied up, and go un-shrink themselves, but He-Man suggests they send Bite back to Skeletor. They use an energy beam to transmit it back to Skeletor’s computers where it causes Snake Mountain to crackle with electricity as we hear Skeletor shouting, “Hey stop that, get out of there”. Oh, what a prank. Just in case he’s still suicidal, He-Man tells Duncan that none of this was his fault. Except that failure at the episode’s start that could have killed the King and Queen, and the few dozen before that, which Man-At-Arms had even pointed out himself. They all recite He-Man’s favorite slogan in unison, “When you do your best, you’re never a failure”, then Teela gives daddy Duncan a big ol’ hug.
Time for this week’s (second) moral! I think it should be about how you can most certainly do your best and still be a failure. Or maybe worse, be really good a something really horrific, like genocide, or domestic violence. But either way, if you’re not good at something, it’s probably some one else’s fault anyway, so you should just keep being bad at things. Teela comes on and tells us that her daddy accepted responsibility for something that wasn’t his fault, and stepped up and tried to fix it, then was vindicated when it was proven that it wasn’t his fault. But, she says, everybody makes mistakes, so just keep making them, as long as you own up to it.
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 0
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 0
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Cringer
Linda Gary: Teela, The Sorceress
Lou Scheimer: Orko, Trap Jaw, Attak Trak