Here we are. The thirtieth episode. Thirty weeks. Which means there are only twenty-two weeks left until He-Man Reviewed’s one-year anniversary. It feels both dizzyingly close and also so painfully far away at the same time. Anyway, week thirty’s episode is called “The Taking of Grayskull”. Somehow, I doubt this is going to be as action packed as it sounds. We open on the palace and It’s Orko’s birthday today. He admires himself in the mirror and remarks about how wonderful an occasion it is. Then the “O” falls off of his shirt only, not his reflection. He encounters Teela in the hall where she makes it a point to remark about how particularly not special today is, which hurts Orko’s feelings and reeks of a surprise party set up.
However, after everyone has brushed Orko off, congratulated themselves for making him feel like shit before they give him a stupid cake, Prince Adam, Teela, Cringer and Man-At Arms have to go respond to some trouble in Basilia because Skeletor is probably behind it. So they abandon Orko’s cake on the counter in the kitchen and go off to do more important shit than pretend like they give a fuck about Orko. Prince Adam sneaks off in the bushes to recycle some animation in privacy and then turns into He-Man. Back in the palace courtyard, Okro sits around feeling sorry for himself and crying about how every one is too busy to remember his birthday, which, at this point is pretty much true. It’s good to see Orko getting really crapped on. He’s had it a little to easy these last few episodes.
Teela leads a fleet of royal army goons along with Ram Man on some of their special flying vehicles to this Basilia place in order to stop the peril that is apparently unfolding there. Despite the desert tornado going on, they do not get swept away on account of their flying vehicles, but rather somehow manage to land shockingly close it the funnel with no trouble. He-Man shows up and concludes the best way to handle this is to “unwind” the tornado. Before I can ask how one “unwinds” a tornado, He-Man hoists is power sword into the air and begins to spin in the opposite direction of the tornado which, of course, unwinds it. This causes it to spool around He-Man instead, and so then he just throws it into space. You know, he could have a promising career launching satellites. When he puts his power sword back in it’s harness, it disappears and a shit ton of boulders come rolling down a hill at them.
He-Man says, “I’ll take care of it”, and starts groping for his sword that’s not there. Ram Man is all like, “c’mon, man! What’s wrong with you, use your sword! Hurry up”, and it kind of reminds me of that scene in Boogie Nights when Dirk Digler is all drugged out and he’s trying to beat off for the redneck in the car, but he can’t really get it up. Then he gets his ass kicked. Dirk Digler, that is, not He-Man. Unfortunately, just before the boulder is about to run over He-Man, a mysterious and mighty wind comes and sweeps the boulder back up the mountain, saving his ass. Now that everything is over, rather than stay and investigate, He-Man tells Teela to meet him at Man-At-Arms workshop.
Back at Man-At-Arms’ lab, Orko bursts in ranting and raving about how “it’s gone, it’s gone”! Before he can explain himself and give any details, He-Man shuts him down, telling him they have grown up talk about shit that matters to attend to. Every time Orko tries to tell them that “it’s disappeared”, He-Man talks over him because his shit’s more important then he prattles on about the wind in Basilia and how it messed up his hair and gave him rats and he had to brush it so hard as Orko moves from person to person trying to be heard and continually gets igmored. He-Man finally finishes with the part about how his sword disappeared. Finally, Orko gets a word in, and tells them that Castle Grayskull has disappeared.
They all show up at Castle Grayskull and discover that Orko is right, the castle is gone. In it’s place is a glowing ball of light doing quadruple hula hoops. Man-At-Arms starts hypothesizing that Castle Grayskull has disappeared into another dimension and that he’s betting that the disappearance of He-Man’s sword is related. You think? Doesn’t the power that the sword bestows upon Prince Adam derive from the castle’s magic? Seems pretty obvious to me. Man-At-Arms tosses a rock into the hovering mass where Castle Grayskull used to be and it gets sucked in and disappears. “Aha! Just what I thought, a ‘whitehole’”! A what? Well, it’s like a black hole but not a dense, duh.
They deduce that Skeletor must be behind it. I’m betting he’s not. He has been really fucking lazy lately, and hasn’t tried to execute an evil plan in several, several episodes. You think he’s depressed? He-Man, sitting atop Battle Cat, gazes down into the whitehole contemplating jumping in to get to the other side of it’s portal when the Sorceress appears to him. She doesn’t say anything, but I guess He-Man interprets it as an invitation to jump into the whitehole, because he does. As Teela stares into the thing with shock, the rocks beneath her feet give way and she falls in, unwillingly. Man-At-Arms sheds a single tear. Who cares, she said she wanted to go to just a minute ago. She’ll be fine.
On the other side, they are in an environment that looks like a high-school science books depiction of the endocrine system or something, except that it has mechanical conveyor belts. A red ball of light goes flying by Teela, disrupting her balance and causes her to fall over the side. She barely catches the edge. As she dangles in peril, He-Man shows up just in time to pull her up to safety. The Sorceress appears to He-Man again, guiding his direction. The set off to find her and that conspicuous red ball of light follows them. They traverse various perils like tentacled monsters in a cave and a pitfall full of lightning, until they jump into another portal.
They arrive in a depressing looking place where the trees grow in and waterfalls run up. The Sorceress appears and tells He-Man that Skeletor has transported her and Castle Grayskull to this dimension so that he might learn it’s secrets. Since everything is backwards, he powers work in reverse, what ever that means. He-Man finds Castle Grayskull pretty easily and they storm in to confront Skeletor, all the while being followed by the glowing red ball, which is probably Skeletor. Except that it’s not, because Skeletor is sitting on the Sorceress’ throne with her strung up in a cage. Skeletor takes a cheap shot and blasts He-Man in the stomach with his staff, knocking him to the ground.
Before Skeletor can bash He-Man’s brains in with his staff, the red ball of light hovers over He-Man and then morphs into his power sword and drops into his hand. He-Man stands up and brags about how awesome his sword is as it gleams and glitters, the he calls Skeletor a loser. They get into a fight until He-Man lures Skeletor in front of the magic mirror so that the Sorceress can “use her powers in reverse”. Skeletor admits that he has not unlocked the Castles Secrets, but takes comfort in the fact that the whitehole will soon disappear, trapping them in this twisted dimension. The Sorceress takes action and the mirror generates an energy that reaches out and holds Skeletor captive. I still don’t get how this is representative of her powers working in reverse, but what ever.
He-Man runs off to… well, I’m not sure why he’s running off. He runs outside where the Sorceress tells him to hurry. He climbs down underneath the castle and finds the “fulcrum point” because apparently the whole thing is perched precariously on this one small pillar of rock, which is shorter and fatter than He-Man. He smashes it then begins trying to lift the castle. Seriously? He’s just going to carry it back to his own dimension or what? He struggles to lift it and so he calls out to the Sorceress to give him the strength of the castles secrets. It’s kind of fucked up how that whole thing works. The castle has these dark secrets that give He-Man power? It’s like there’s a hidden river of tears in there somewhere, flowing with the blood of infants or something.
Then the Sorceress says “May the castle bestow all it’s power on you that comes from the power of the secrets of truth and knowledge”. What the fuck does that mean, the secrets of truth and knowledge. Lucifer probably said something similar when he tricked Eve into eating the apple. I knew that castle was filled with baby blood! Satan is behind the whole thing, that old devil! So, anyway, He-Man finds the strength and he hoists the castle up higher. Just as he might drop it, he gives it a good lob, and off it goes, sailing through the purple sky like a toy sailboat on a calm pond. Seriously, it’s like it just takes over its own casual locomotion after He-Man lets it go. He even has time to pull out a grappling hook – casually – twirl it around and snag the back of the castle with it so he can go along for the ride. Off they both go through the portal back to Eternia.
Man-At-Arms and and Orko sit placidly by the crater where Castle Grayskull used to be with their arms folded. Suddenly, the castle reappears in front of them. Inside, the bonds from the mirror that the Sorceress cast release Skeletor, I guess because they were created with “opposite” magic, and the opposite of restraining him is releasing him. So, Skeletor hops on a sky bike and takes off making his escape. But not before he pauses to shake his fist and vow to get He-Man back for stopping him. Orko says hopefully that maybe they won’t hear from Skeletor for a while, which the Sorceress doubts. She reminds everyone that he was on vacation for like 3 weeks, and he’s probably of time off.
Later, at the palace, Orko is already going on again about what a special day it is, just fishing for someone to notice it’s his birthday. Man-At-Arms and Teela have resumed their roles of ignoring him and just keep walking. Orko gets discouraged easily this time and takes off. He goes to his room and sulks with his head in his hands and tries to convince himself he isn’t heartbroken over his birthday having been forgotten. When that doesn’t work he conjures up a feast that would make even a 1,000 pound person blush and tries to fill his empty with food. Let me know how that works out for you. And he actually eats all that food. Man-At-Arms steps into his room to find him in a food (or maybe it’s diabetic) coma. And what does he do? He rouses him to go eat that stupid cake they made for him. Orko even passes out when he sees it. Now look what they did?! They drove him into a diabetic coma because they are so insensitive! Not that I care, I fucking hate Orko.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it’s going to be about how sometimes we get busy, and we forget things that mean something to other people, like birthdays and insulin shots, and sometimes we even get too busy to notice how they are feeling, like sad, or hypoglycemic. But if you do forget you friends birthday, make sure to force feed them a whole cake, or if it was the insulin shot you missed, double or triple them up on it so it will last longer. Then everybody will feel better. Instead, Orko lifts his head from his food coma on the floor and tells us that you shouldn’t get too carried away with eating sweets between meals. It will ruin your dinner, which in his particular case was cake, and it will make you diabetic, and then your ankles will swell, and you’ll die. Or maybe, you’ll just become a double amputee like Orko. I think we finally know what happened to his legs!
He-Man murder count: 9 and 1 attempted murder
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Ram Man, Chef Alan
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Cringer, Battle Cat
Linda Gary: Teela, The Sorceress
Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor, Peasant