Could this episode’s plot be so lazy that it’s just a King Arthur allegory? I mean, that’s really fucking uninspired to do a story that’s been told a thousand times already and on which the whole main character concept is pretty much already based. Speaking of lazy, quite coincidentally, we open on Prince Adam napping on his lazy ass against a tree while fishing, his two most favorite activities, after cruising for boys in Attak Trak, and eating.

58 1 Prince Adam Napping

Suddenly, Prince Adam overhears a prepubescent boy shouting for help, and like a fly to honey, he recycles some animation and goes to rescue the nubile young lad, who has unfortunately been snagged by a Hunger Lily, which is kind of like a venus fly trap, but with really sensuous, deadly lips.

Mutilated lips give a kiss on the wrist of the worm like tips of tentacles expanding in my mind, I’m fine accepting only fresh brine, you can get another taste of this, yeah, you wish…

Just as the Hunger Lily has the boy up to his neck in its moist, warm lips, He-Man jealously claims him for the men’s team by punching the Hunger Lily, which causes the boy to be ejected to the safety of Battle Cat’s saddle.

58 2 Mutilated Lips

58 2 Moist Warm Lips

He-Man ties up the Hunger Lily with its own tentacles, which will surely leave it to starve. It seems pretty cruel, actually. It’s been a while since He-Man killed, and with the way He-Man talked to the plant, it sure seemed to have some sort of sentience. I’m counting that as a murder. He-Man stares down at the boy he saved, and then says, “Whoa! You’re David! David from Abra”! He-Man seems pretty star struck by the encounter, like the kid is Justin Beiber, or something. Strangely, the boy says he can’t remember who he is, which seems like it could work out really well for He-Man, if he wanted to take advantage of the situation.

58 3 If You Play Your Cards Right

Back in the Royal Throne Room, Prince Adam has his hands unnecessarily all over the boy while he explains the situation to every one. You see, David of Abra was a childhood friend of Prince Adam and Teela’s, so it doesn’t make any sense that he would still be a young boy. It seems to trouble Teela, but Prince Adam doesn’t seem to mind as he continues to squeeze the boy’s shoulder. Teela catches on and starts squeezing the boy’s shoulder too. This is getting creepy, fast.

58 4 Bad Touch

58 4 Et Tu Brute

The boy gets pretty overwhelmed and can barely keep it together. Prince Adam resumes touching David’s shoulder. Just when you think the poor boy can’t take any more, Prince Adam spares David and abruptly excuses himself. He ducks into a dark hallway and looks around, making sure it’s clear. I’m sure he’s about to jerk off, but instead he telepathically calls on The Sorceress. Of course, she knows all about the whole thing and confirms that the boy is indeed David of Abra, and just as he was about to become Duke, his evil uncle cast a spell on him, which reverted him to childhood and left him with no memories.

58 5 Bad Touch Gif

58 5 I Think Im Alone Now Gif

The only way to put the boy back to an adult is to find the magic ring his uncle used. It seems easy enough, from a physical stand point, but mentally, it’s a bear: do nothing and keep the impressionable boy for his own ends, or, expend some effort and have a man that he hasn’t seen or heard from since he was 8. Prince Adam decides helping is the least suspicious thing to do, and so he agrees to endeavor to restore David to a man. Who knows, maybe David will fall in love with Prince Adam anyway. At the very least, it’s legal.

58 6 You Have to Help Him

So, the Ring of Remembrance is made of the element Memorio (oh, Jesus, really? REALLY?!) and Man-At-Arms has programmed an orbiting satellite to locate it. Of course, it’s in a dangerous place with dangerous perils. Meanwhile, as every villain in Eternia seems to be able to do, David’s evil uncle, Count Marzo, is watching all this magically from this throne. You know, considering everyone’s ability to spy like this, it’s a miracle that one of these villains haven’t accidentally seen Prince Adam turn into He-Man, much less just guessed his identity with simple logic and facial recognition.

58 7 I Can Spy With the Best of Them

Anyway, Count Marzo sends a minion to stop Prince Adam and friends, while Marzo heads off to employ the “waters of the Well of Forgetfulness” to make sure they can’t find David, because if they can’t find David, they can’t help him. Not because it makes any sense, the Well of Forgetfulness produces a golden ball of light, which drifts to Count Marzo’s hand, then turns into a smoke gun, which produces a smoke that presumably makes people forget even more than they’ve already forgotten.

58 8 The Well of Forgetfullness

At the Royal Palace, Orko is trying to help David recover his lost memories, which is really just an excuse for a card trick, which Orko fucks up. Man-At-Arms nearly loses his cool and tells them to get the fuck out of his lab. Orko and David play hide and seek as this suspicious golden light floats around. Just as Man-At-Arms suggests David find a better hiding spot, Count Marzo materializes from the golden light and brandishes his memory-wiping smoke gun at Man-At-Arms. Marzo fires, shrouding Man-At-Arms in the forgetful smoke.

58 9 Stick Em Up

Marzo easily finds David as Orko continues to search for David obliviously. Despite telling the hapless David that he is his “loving uncle”, Marzo slaps the lid on the vase that David is hiding in, hoists it up on his shoulder, and makes his escape. Orko spots him after hearing David calling for help and tells Man-At-Arms, but Duncan is all sorts of fucked up. Man-At-Arms doesn’t know his ass from his elbow, and walks off out of boredom while Orko tries to jog his memory with stupid tricks.

58 10 Your Partied Out Again

On the Island of the Lost, where the Ring of Remembrance is located, Count Marzo’s goon appears in front of Prince Adam and Teela. Prince Adam makes a bad excuse to leave so he can turn into He-Man, and for the first time that I’ve ever noticed, his transformation animation sequence is immediately cut off by a screen wipe as we cut back to Teela confronting Marzo’s henchman. Before she and the goon and get into fisticuffs, He-Man shows up. The goon turns out to be a Chimera, which has the ability to teleport, which he does as a defensive tactic. He-Man gets smart and cuts a crystal box from the rocks, trapping the Chimera. Just as I was wondering why the dude can’t just teleport out, He-Man explains crystal is the only thing that stops a Chimera. Convenient.

58 10 Chimera

Marzo has seen the whole exchange, of course, but isn’t worried because he has a weird two-legged gargoyle to help him (it looks like if a Segue and a gargoyle had a butt-baby). That, and he plans to infect the Lake of the Lost with the waters of the Well of Forgetfulness, which will forever wipe the memory of whomever touches it, forever. I guess he better hope that He-Man and Teela feel like going swimming in the middle of their righteous quest. Meanwhile, Orko must have followed them back somehow, because he’s discovered David, still in the vase, and conveniently in a room overlooking the well, so that he overhears the whole scheme.

58 11 Segue Butt Baby

Well, it doesn’t matter if they feel like swimming or not, because they will have to – the ring is in the middle of the Lake of the Lost. The gargoyle discovers Orko and David, but Orko uses his magic to make the thing friendly, which is a small miracle. Newly docile, the gargoyle is easily convinced to carry Orko to stop He-Man and Teela from getting into the lake. He-Man is about to jump in the water when Orko shouts a warning, but He-Man doesn’t quite hear him. Suddenly, Orko’s magic wears off of the gargoyle, and the evil-again creature tosses Orko right into the lake. Now he can’t remember what he was supposed to warn He-Man about, so he just floats around, dazed, pointing at every one saying, “Who are you? Who am I? Who are you?”.

58 12 Who Are You

He-Man figures out not to go in the lake anyway, so Orko’s amnesia really is not much of a loss, in my opinion. He-Man solves the problem by draining the lake, which is accomplished by removing a boulder that plugs up a path that the water can drain down. This seems to be a pretty common design for lakes in Eternia. Making matters more difficult, the bottom of the lake is filled with rings, kind of like when Indiana Jones comes upon the crypt containing the Holy Grail. In perhaps the cheapest resolution this show has had yet, He-Man holds up his power sword, because the element Memorio, of which the ring is made, is attracted to the power sword. Instantly, the real ring flies up off the lakebed and comes right to He-Man, which also inexplicably causes all the fake rings to disappear.

58 13 A Sea of Rings

Almost unbelievably, He-Man feels the need to put the water back in the lake. To do this, he must make the water flow uphill. To do that, he runs widdershins around the lower reservoir it drained to, which turns the water into a water tornado, which then chases He-Man uphill and replenishes the lake, thus saving all the fishies. Aww, wasn’t that nice? Of course, He-Man plugs the channel back up to keep the water in place. After all that effort, the fish don’t even thank He-Man, the fucking ingrates.

58 14 Water Tornado Gif

When He-Man joins everyone back onshore, Orko is still babbling, saying, “Who are you”? Even though Count Marzo clearly claimed that the lake would cause one to lose one’s memory forever, He-Man instructs Teela to hold the Ring of Remembrance up to the sun and Orko to concentrate on “Who I am?”. Predictably, Orko then remembers who he is and tells He-Man that David is being held in the castle, and off they go.

58 15 Who I Am

Count Marzo, again, has seen the whole thing, and still isn’t pissing himself. I’ll give the guy this, he’s got nerves of Steel. Skeletor would have shit his panties by now. Marzo gets up from this throne, heads up to one of the turrets of his castle and casts a cold fog over the place. They all get split up pretty easily and wander around in the fog trying to find the castle. I’m sure He-Man will use his mighty breath to blow the fog away, but not before Orko and Teela fall into a pit.

58 16 A Cold Fog

58 16 Lost in the Fog

He-Man finds Battle Cat in the fog, but before they can accomplish anything more significant, Marzo increases the cold in the fog, which traps He-Man in an ice crystal. Teela and Orko find their way out of the pit and into the castle, where they force their way into David’s cell. David gives Teela a premature thank you hug for freeing them, when Count Marzo shows up and magically seals them all in the cell.

58 17 Premature Hug

Outside, He-Man breaks his arm free, which allows him to raise his power sword above the fog. Then the sun warms the sword, or something, and he brings the warmed sword down on the ice, shattering it. Yep, then He-Man uses his mighty breath to blow the fog away. Boy, didn’t see that one coming, did you? Sheesh. A quick screen wipe later, and He-Man is confronting Count Marzo, who is still babbling in front of David, Orko, and Teela’s cell.

58 18 Didnt See That Coming Gif

Marzo shoots an energy blast at He-Man, which He-Man deflects with his power sword. The ricocheted blast then strikes the magical bars, thus unsealing the cell. Sure, why not. Marzo takes off running and, fatefully, winds up in the small courtyard where the Well of Forgetfulness is. Teela catches up first, and whips out her trusty bolo, twirling it vigorously. She trips up Marzo with it, and he falls into the well, which instantly causes him to become docile.

58 19 Teelas Trusty Bolo

Back at the Palace, Teela is demonstrating how the Ring of Remembrance can be used to restore magically lost memories, though she is not actually using it on David yet. Prince Adam wanders in nonchalantly, and for possibly the first time, Teela is not pissed that he left her alone to confront that Chimera. Not only is she not pissed, but she gives Prince Adam the ring to use on David, even though he shouldn’t know what to do with it, since he wasn’t “around” for any of the instructions. Prince Adam fantasizes about wedding the young David as he slips the too-large ring on his finger, proclaiming him the rightful Duke of Abra. Once the ring is in place, David grows back into an adult with a now-fitting ring. David thanks everyone then Orko ruins the moment with a stupid trick.

58 20 With This Ring I Be Wed

58 19 With This Ring I Be Wed 2

Time for this week’s moral! I think it’s going to be about how everything in life is easy. I mean, in this episode, He-Man encountered one set back after another, and solved each one easier and more predictably than the last. Though a re-hash of the tale of King Arthur it was not, fuckin’ unoriginal, it still was. He-Man comes on screen to tell us that swimming is fun, but dangerous. Among a few water safety tips, he tells us that instead of losing your memory from falling in water, you will just fucking die. See, you can tell when an episode is a piece of shit, convoluted mess because the moral has almost nothing to do with the theme or events of the episode.

58 20 You Will Just Fucking Die

He-Man murder count: 18 and 1 attempted murder

Episodes missing Skeletor: 23

IMDB Cast List:

John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Count Marzo

Alan Oppenheimer: Cringer, Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms, Chimera

Linda Gary: Teela, The Sorceress, Queen Marlena, Young David of Abra

Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor, Adult David of Abra

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3 Responses to Season 1 Episode 58 “The Once and Future Duke”

  1. Rory says:

    The Hunger Lilly, the Tickle Trap (from Starchild’s Ep), the catcher plant, Eternia’s got the most hilariously named yet memorably bizarre carnivorous flora ever! Something like Dr. Seuss meets Goosebumps. I mean the Tickle trap made angry Tribble sounds when tickled, I wondered what noise it would have made if it did swallow Teela?

  2. Packerchu says:

    “In perhaps the cheapest resolution this show has had yet, He-Man holds up his power sword, because the element Memorio, of which the ring is made, is attracted to the power sword.”

    Oh, come ON! That’s the same shit the original Thundercats used to pull! It’s a sword, not a Swiss Army knife!

  3. John thompson says:

    One of the worst he man episodes ever this even gives for me the star child a run for its money!

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