Did you guys know I love horror movies? It’s my favorite genre. Although, I do have about equal parts comedy in my collection. Anyway, I’m rather excited about this episode’s title, given its allusion to monsters and, well, things that go bump in the night. However, I’m sure what ever this episode is about will be disappointing. During the episode’s title card sequence, we get a pretty cool distance shot of Castle Grayskull. I’m pretty sure this isn’t what it looks like in the episodes most of the time when they show the outside from closer up.
As usual, we open on the Palace. It’s King Randor’s birthday, and Orko is, inexplicably, levitating some kind of magical artifact over King Randor’s birthday cake. King Randor is to make a wish, but he gets all mixed up and ends up saying, “No, wait!” Orko hears “weight” and so he uses the artifact he is levitating to grant the “wish”. It turns into a one-ton weight, which falls, smashing the cake. Man-At-Arms kind of says Orko’s name a little sternly, so Orko immediately flies off, pouting. Nobody really seems very upset about it at all, not even King Randor. Instead of moving on with King Randor’s birthday celebration, they go to find Orko to make him feel better about being a piece of shit. They are better people than me, I’ll admit. Or maybe it’s just to get him to make a new cake with his magic, like Prince Adam suggests.
Out in the courtyard where Orko has fled, he comes upon a brand new Stratoblaster, a spacecraft that is to be a present for King Randor. It even has a giant bow tied around it. Do you know what the son of a bitch does? Even though Orko knows it’s a present for King Randor, he pulls the mother fucking bow right off the thing and gets in the pilot seat. He gets in the pilot seat and, under the guise of “trying to put the top up”, pushes a large yellow button on the console. The button does indeed put the top back up, but only because it’s the launch button, so it automatically closes the craft during take off. I’m speechless, really. This guy is worse than Urkel! At least Carl never got a nice, expensive spacecraft for a present that Urkel could ruin. I didn’t really think I could hate Orko more, but I really do.
Prince Adam and crew run up just in time to see Orko take off in the Stratoblaster. Man-At-Arms and Teela jump into a wind raider to try and go save him, and hopefully, the new ship. Prince Adam starts to get in, but then stalls and says, “You go ahead, I’ll catch up with you later”. This won’t be at all suspicious to anyone later when He-Man shows up. They take off and Prince Adam recycles some animation to turn into He-Man. They catch up with Orko just in time to see him crash on a steaming pile of hot garbage, right outside Snake Mountain, where the brand new ship is completely destroyed. I hope they already got the insurance policy on it. Teela rushes right into the hot garbage, caring none about the lingering stink she is sure to bring home, and hugs Orko, expressing her delight at his continued existence among the living. I shed a tear. Not because I was moved, but because Orko is still alive.
Skeletor, of course, observes the activity going on out in his garbage strewn front lawn and directs his goons to go out and kill them all. Suspiciously, he has a young boy chained inside his war room, and I shudder to think what they’ve been doing with him. Does anybody know he’s even gone? Some poor family is missing their son, who has probably been raped repeatedly by a skeleton, a fifty-something lesbian witch, and snake-crab man, and King Randor was just merrily celebrating his birthday? I guess they don’t have amber alerts in Eternia. Skeletor orders his goons to take the kid with and whack him too. Skeletor is done with him now. The abused boy says, “But, Skeletor, you promised I could go when ever I want!” Oh, man. That’s funny. He fell for the oldest trick in the book! If you recall, King Randor said the same thing to Queen Marlena when she first landed on Eternia. What a coincidence!
Outside, even Man-At-Arms is grateful that Orko is alive, saying “Orko, a machine can be repaired, you can’t!” Yeah, I don’t think so. They’re not fixing that ship. Even if they could, they didn’t buy King Randor a fucking totaled space-shit that’s been cobbled back together with even more shit for his birthday. No, they bought him a brand-fucking-new hot rod ship. It’s his midlife crisis vehicle. If a king can’t have that, what can he have?? Unbelievably, Man-At-Arms almost has the ship in what appears to be restored condition, which is total bullshit. There isn’t a single dent in the body, or anything. We don’t get to find out if it works or not, because Evil-Lyn, Clawful, and a bunch of Skeletor’s robots show up to murder them all.
Teela makes a snide remark about Clawful being subordinate to Skeletor, so Clawful brazenly suggests that he will one day overthrow Skeletor. Apparently Skeletor had second thoughts about letting his lackeys take care of the situation and shows up in person, in time to hear Clawful’s treasonous statement and give him a mouthful. A scuffle ensues which ends up with He-Man arriving on the scene. Some robot destruction ensues, then Skeletor beats a retreat from his own front lawn. He-Man orders Man-At-Arms to finish repairing the ship because, guess who’s calling the shots now? That’s right, bitch. He-Man is on the scene.
In his war room, Skeletor gives his crew a tongue lashing on account of their incompetence. As punishment/asset assessment, he decides to run them through a villain boot camp of sorts. The first task is to walk a laser beam tightrope. Evil-Lyn goes first, because, as Clawful suggests, “ladies first”. She completes the task easily because women rock. Clawful makes a go at it, nearly falls in, then leaps to safety on the other side, spared from peril only because he grabbed onto the bitter lesbian witch called Evil-Lyn. Did I mention it’s really fucking awkward? It’s not quite awkward enough to get Skeletor’s dick hard, so he makes the poor boy walk the laser beam instead. However, the boy’s battered psyche can take no more and he breaks down sobbing. Obligingly, Skeletor steps forward to beat the shit out of him for being such a Vagina McGinerstein. At the last second, Skeletor stays his hand and orders the boy to be taken out to the enchanted forest, of which he is terrified, so that he can be ripped apart by mutant wildlife.
Outside Snake Mountain, Man-At-Arms is putting the finishing touches on his factory refurbiration of an impossibly destroyed space-rod, er, I mean unexpected field repair of an impossibly destroyed space-rod, and modestly claims he’ll finish fixing it when they get it back to his workshop. Clawful shows up and needlessly pushes the boy slave over a precipice, leaving his unconscious, abused body for Teela to scoop up and coddle with all the sadness of a ASPCA ad paired with a Sarah McLauchlan song. Then the kid comes to and opens his yap and my sympathy leaves me, just like the end of that ASPCA commercial. I told you they’re better people than me.
The boy goes on a rant, claims he is a prince, and that his father is the king of Sedonia, or something like that, and about how he can’t take it and he’s going to fucking snap. He tells He-Man and crew that if they leave him, God help him, he will cut off all of their heads with jagged rock shards and do salacious things with their newly opened bodily pathways. They agree not to leave him, and instead have Orko fly him home to Eternia in the surprisingly functional Stratoblaster, probably in the hopes that he’ll crash the ship again and kill them both. Unfortunately, they set the autopilot so it’s unlikely for any tragedy to unfold upon them. Since he can’t crash the ship, Orko makes the trip really awkward when he strokes the boy’s hair.
Back at the Royal Palace, they try to undo the trauma of all the abuse that befell Glitch at Snake Mountain by having Queen Marlena wag her luscious mammaries in front of him. As she does so, she says in a shockingly deep and seductive voice (in reality, I think a different voice actress is doing this part?), “Don’t worry. You can stay here as long as you desire”. I’m pretty sure she says this lasciviously, and understandably, the boy takes it this way because he goes into a PTSD rage and dismisses himself before he murders everyone. Orko comments on what an asshole the kid is. Prince Adam humanely suggests that they reserve judgment of his disposition on account of all he’s been through.
Later, Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms are testing out the newly restored Statroblaster, which I still maintain is a crock of shit that King Randor’s present is going to be a space-rod that has been in a total loss and is being passed off as a new item. I hope he dies in a fiery crash just so he can haunt all of them for their deceptive “error” of omission, having passed off this death trap as a new, precision item. Prince Adam is not concerned at all with the suyafety of the space-rod they are riding in, which is what Man-At-Arms wants to talk about. Prince Adam, instead, says that he can’t stop wondering about the boy. “It might take all the wisdom of Castle Grayskull to figure out what’s wrong with him”. Man-At-Arms turns seriously to Prince Adam and says, “In a way, he reminds me of a boy I once knew”. Prince Adam looks up and to the right, searching his deepest memory banks…
Prince Adam, acquiesces to the fact that Man-At-Arms knows all his secrets and asks if he was as “obvious” when he was a kid. Man-At-Arms implies that he was. You guys, seriously. Is this really happening? Obviously, I’m injecting a little hyperbole into this episode, except that I’m not. I have a microscope, not a kaleidoscope. The allegory that is woven into this episode cannot be denied. I know I already used the word “seriously” in this paragraph, but seriously, I seriously can’t believe what happens next. I’m not making this up in the slightest. I don’t mean to sound horrified, because I’m not – it’s really sweet how Prince Adam takes this boy under his wing – I’m just so shocked at the subtext of this episode. This is some heavy, heavy shit.
Prince Adam has the boy, Glitch, out in the woods, teaching him how to shoot a crossbow. Glitch is pretty bad at shooting the crossbow, which is animated effeminately, and he remarks, “I can’t seem to hit anything!” Prince Adam says, and I quote – verbatim – “Oh, I don’t know. We seemed to hit it off pretty well.” Glitch agrees with him. Then he walks off and sulks. Prince Adam walks up tenderly behind him. Glitch begins to spill his guts about Snake Mountain. It’s harrowing. You see, he had run away from home because he was afraid of being himself. He went to Snake Mountain because he figured they could help him learn to do “exciting and daring things”. It didn’t work. He jumped in over his head, like a newly minted 18-year-old Amish girl going into hardcore porn. Now Glitch isafraid he’s damaged goods. Prince Adam assures him that he’s used to damaged goods and can help restore Glitch’s confidence.
Skeletor is, of course, watching this on his table monitor. Why doesn’t Skeletor ever happen to be watching at the moment that Prince Adam turns into He-Man? Skeletor causes a couple of plants out in the Enchanted forest to attack Prince Adam and Glitch. They run away, which makes Skeletor laugh hysterically. So hysterically, that he slams his fist up and down on the table, breaking his table monitor. Then Skeletor blames the busted table monitor on Clawful. As Prince Adam runs, he mutters to himself about how he can’t draw the power sword and reveal that he’s He-Man. One of the crazy plants catches up with Prince Adam, tripping him. He smacks his head on a rock and gets knocked unconscious.
Glitch fails to rouse him, so he tells Cringer to stay with Prince Adam. Glitch braves the enchanted forest by himself and makes it all the way back to the palace to report that Prince Adam is hurt out in the woods. Back in the woods, Prince Adam lays unconscious as Cringer whispers to him. Then he says, “I never thought I’d say this – by the power of Grayskull, Adam!” Prince Adam comes to just enough to mutter his power phrase while his sword is still hidden in his shirt back, and while he is still laying prone on the ground. Somehow this still works even though he didn’t draw his sword, much less hold it aloft. Sparks fly out of Prince Adam’s head, triggering the recycled animation sequence. Cringer regrets his decision instantly, saying, “What was I thinking?” just before he gets transformed.
He-Man takes out the enchanted plants then they head back to the Palace. When he arrives, he has already changed back into Prince Adam. He shows up just as the search party is starting out and coyly says, “Somebody looking for me?” Back at Snake Mountain, Skeletor already has the glass replaced on his table monitor. Suddenly, stone spikes start crashing through the ceiling, threatening to pierce everything in their path. Outside, floating above Snake Mountain is some kind of flying ship, shaped like a flat disk with a city on top and stone spikes on the bottom, which are being rained down on Snake Mountain.
A man appears in Skeletor’s war room and demands his son back. Skeletor plays dumb. The man reveals that he is the King Sallas, and their sensors have tracked his son to this planet. Skeletor sees and opportunity and spins a tale about the evil King Randor that rules the land. Surely if someone has taken King Sallas’ son, it must have been this evil, evil ruler, Skeletor lies. Glitch’s father buys it and demands to be taken to confront this evil King Randor. Skeletor looks like such a trustworthy guy, his words must be true, right?
At the Royal Palace, Prince Adam is sitting out in the courtyard with Glitch. Suddenly, everything is covered in shadow as the spike-laden ship moves overhead. Sounding more excited than scared, Prince Adam says, “What is that?” Glitch immediately identifies it as his father’s ship. Without asking any questions, King Sallas immediately begins raining down a “stalactite bombardment” upon the Royal Palace. Glitch can’t understand why his father is doing this, especially because he is now in immediate peril of death as a direct consequence of his father’s actions. Pretty quickly, the entire plateau on which the Royal Palace sits has been encircled by stalactites, which are conspicuously longer than the ship is thick.
Prince Adam immediately verbalizes his suspicion that Skeletor is behind this and then doesn’t even bother to make an excuse before he runs off to become He-Man, saying only, “Excuse me while I, uh…” Then he runs off into a tunnel to recycle some animation again. This time he does it properly, at least, and hoists his sword high above his head. A little control room descends out of the bottom of the ship revealing Glitch’s dad standing in consort with Skeletor. King Sallas demands his son’s release, but Glitch simply yells back, “Father, call off the attack, these are my friends!” and the ruse is up. Glitch’s daddy tries to save face, claiming he had suspicions about Skeletor, but Skeletor just uses his magic staff to freeze him.
He-Man uses his trusty grappling hook to get onto the ship, which has now come to rest on the top of the stalactites that are encircling the Royal Palace plateau, which have somehow merged together and become solid. He-Man gives himself a hernia lifting the ship off the top while he mutters “by the power of Grayskull.” Ouch, that’s gotta be some hernia!! Apparently muttering “by the power of Grayskull” when he’s already He-Man gives him more muscles, and he finally tips the ship over the side, crashing it into the countryside below the plateau.
He-Man hauls Glitch up to the top of the stalactite wall and they have a nice little tender moment when He-Man lifts Glitch up the rest of the way. Even though He-Man threw the ship completely off of the plateau and down onto the plains below, it is now back up at their level so that He-Man can conveniently have a conversation with Skeletor, who is still standing in the control room. Skeletor calls Glitch a “sniveling coward”, which really tweaks He-Man. He-Man suggest that Skeletor pick on He-Man instead. Skeletor responds by bringing back his laser walking challenge, demanding that Glitch walk across it, proving he is not a coward. It’s probably just a trick as the laser leads right to Skeletor, or Skeletor could just turn off the laser and drop the kid to his death.
Glitch decides to be brave and face his fear of heights in order to save his father. He-Man understands his sense of responsibility and allows him to accept Skeletor’s challenge and cross the tightrope laser. Glitch makes it all the way across and demands the release of his father. Skeletor balks at the notion of keeping his promise and points out that he’s got the upper hand, now that he has Glitch and his father in his captivity. However, Skeletor left his magic staff unattended on a console. Glitch grabs it and swings it at Skeletor’s head. Skeletor catches it and they struggle as He-Man races across the laser beam as fast as he can. He barely makes it across and then haughtily makes us look up his nose as he approaches Skeletor.
Skeletor has finally wrestled his staff away from Glitch, who gets knocked unconscious when he falls to the ground. He-Man calmly steps up to Skeletor and gently takes the staff away from him. Having had enough, He-Man raises the staff above his head, snapping it like Bane did with Batman’s back. The staff now broken, Skeletor’s spells wear off, which frees Glitch’s father. He pushes a button, which lowers a capsule over Skeletor, capturing him. He-Man tells Skeletor its time for him to leave and pushes an eject button. The capsule containing Skeletor is launched out of the top of the ship and flies away into the vanishing point as Skeletor’s fading voice yells, “Someday, He-Man!” Seriously, why don’t they ever try to arrest Skeletor and put him in jail? They ALWAYS let him go, or at least don’t try to stop him from escaping.
Later, at the palace, King Randor is telling Glitch that his act of bravery will always be remembered in Eternia. I don’t really get why that’s the case, because he didn’t really stop his father from raining deadly stalactites down upon the city. All he really did was face his fear of heights to save his own father. I guess maybe he’s being credited with stopping Skeletor, but really, it was He-Man that did that. Glitch’s dad says it’s time to go because their ship is running out of power. Glitch is like, oh, man I wish Prince Adam and He-Man were here so I can thank them for helping overcome the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of Skeletor. Right after they take off, Prince Adam shows up. Teela mocks him, saying the only thing he’s never late for is lunch. Then they all decide to go make some lunch. Really? All of this took place before lunch?
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how an episode called “Things That Go Bump in the Night” shouldn’t be about a boy that is, I assume, raped repeatedly by a few monsters and an aging lesbian witch. At the least it should be about things that might be mildly scary to children, like monsters in the closet, since that’s what the expression that was used as the title refers to in the first place. Prince Adam comes on screen to tell us that he was afraid of the dark when he was little. Then he says that fear is good because it keeps you from getting hurt. So, kids, be a quivering pile of fear and anxiety at all times so you never get hurt. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time he’s delivered this message as the episode’s moral. “Only a fool fears nothing,” Prince Adam says. “Now, I’m afraid it’s time to go!” he says.
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 2
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2 8
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, King Sallas
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Cringer
Linda Gary: Teela, Evil-Lyn
Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor, Clawful
Erika Scheimer: Glitch
Linda Gary must have had a sore throat this day or somebody filled in for her and wasn’t credited, because Queen Marlena sounded completely different.