Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014. I’ve been here, waiting for you to join me. That’s right, I’ve already been existing in the year 2014 before you got here. That’s because 2014 is the year that will end He-Man Reviewed, and, mentally at least, I’ve been living in it for quite some time now. In all seriousness, it’s as simple as that I’ll run out of episodes to review before 2014 is out. Let’s see, including this episode, I have 37 episodes left, in this, the final season. There’s a special that will be a 2-part entry, and the live-action movie, which will be done in four parts. That makes 43 posts left to go, and since there are 52 weeks in a year, well, shit. I still have most of the year to go. Anyway, happy New Year! On we go. I think “Journey to Stone City” sounds like a bad D.A.R.E. video you’d show to kids. Like, they could have He-Man cruise around seedy 1980s New York and warn kids about the dangers of the pot, and heroin, crack prostitution. Oh, wait. That would be Journey to Stoned City. Never mind.
We open on Orko, Prince Adam (and Cringer), and Man-At-Arms out on an expedition in the jungle. They’re standing outside of Attak Trak trying to read this convoluted, busted up stone map to find the Stone City. Man-At-Arms and Orko have different interpretations on how to read the map and can’t agree on which way to go, so Prince Adam asks Attak Trak what his “computer brain” thinks. Orko complains that it’s not fair to ask Attak Trak, because Attak Trak always says that Orko is wrong. What happens next gave me a migraine. Attak Trak says that statistically, Orko is probably right because nobody can be wrong all the time. So, I guess he’s technically due to be right, even though statistics don’t work that way. Anyway, this leads Orko to go on a rant about how he’s only right because he’s wrong, and he uses the word wrong like 25 times, then he darts off to show them he’s right because he’s right, not right because he’s wrong, and now I have a migraine. Please turn the lights down and hand me my sunglasses.
After Orko takes off, Prince Adam chuckles and turns to Man-At-Arms, suggesting that maybe Orko has been out in the jungle too long. Man-At-Arms thinks Prince Adam may be right, and reveals that they’ve been out there for three days looking for the Stone City. THREE DAYS. They’re all still wearing the same clothes they always do, too. Ick. Man-At-Arms suggests they pack it in and give it another try some other time. Orko goes racing down a path, and as he passes a large bush, Evil-Lyn, Webstor and Kobra Khan all stand up and watch him go by. Now it’s their turn at highly epository exposition; they’ve been following the group for three days and are getting frustrated. They want to give up and go home too. Evil-Lyn explains why they can’t; according to legend, the Stone city hides a great treasure, and Evil-Lyn wants it. Apparently, this is easy for her goons to forget, and they smell too. Kobra Kahn specifically tells Webstor how much he smells, which is coming from a guy who emits poisonous gasses.
Orko comes upon a tree that clearly has a face in the side. He pauses there to talk some sense into himself, but he becomes conflicted on whether he should give up or keep looking. The tree, predictably, opens its eyes and its mouth and tells Orko to work out his bullshit somewhere else, because he’s just interrupted the tree’s first good sleep in 500 years. Rather than apologize, Orko is rather flippant about it, and challenges the tree to put up or shut up; “What are you going to do about it, you’re rooted,” Orko taunts. The tree agrees and explains that his deep roots are wrapped around all kinds of things. Suddenly, roots grasping large pieces of pottery and a suspiciously map-like stone tablet emerge from the ground. Of course, all of these objects get hurled at Orko while the tree laughs and insults Orko some more.
Orko flees as the hurled objects go sailing past his head. Orko notices the suspiciously map-like tablet as well and plucks it out of the air as it passes him. As he’s looking at it, he runs into a tree branch, unfortunately avoiding decapitation. The tablet drops from Orko’s hands, conveniently, right into Man-At-Arms’ … um, arms. Duncan proclaims that it’s a complete copy of the broken, shitty map to Stone City they were trying to use earlier. What a coincidence! This tree that’s been asleep for 100 years gets woken up, throws a bunch of buried crap, and one of the things happens to be a complete copy of the ancient map they were trying to use? No shit.
Of course, Evil-Lyn, Webstor and Kobra Khan, over hear that they have a good copy of the map to Stone City and step forward to claim it for their own, rather than continue to tail this bunch of ninnies. She uses her magic to lift the tablet right out of Prince Adam’s hand and at the same time she steps forth and makes their presence known. She literally announces her plans to go take the treasure of Stone City for herself, and then she takes measures to ensure that she successfully realizes her intentions. I don’t know what it is with all the boxes lately, but Evil-Lyn uses her magic to lift 5 perfectly chiseled rectangular slabs that are stacked up in the jungle for no reason to box in Prince Adam and friends. Prince Adam did have his sword drawn, but as the first slab came down, Man-At-Arms pulled him back, causing him to drop it. Of course, that first panel lands on top of the sword, trapping it. Good fucking going, Duncan.
Man-At-Arms says, fretting, “The sword, Prince Adam – is it broken??” Prince Adam doesn’t think so, but it’s lodged really well, and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to pull it out. Orko suggests they have Attak Trak bust them out of there, but Man-At-Arms thinks it’s too dangerous – any one of the slabs could come down on them. Prince Adam has an idea and radios Attak Trak, who has already arrived outside of the box. Prince Adam suggests that Attak Trak use his sand shovel to push the sword under the wall to him. Again, Man-At-Arms is worried about it snapping. Really, dude? After all of the stupid-ass things you’ve seen He-Man do with that sword, and you think this is what’s going to break it? Attack Trak gets it pushed in a bit, but can’t push it all the way under without causing danger to them, so Prince Adam pulls on it some more.
After he struggles a little, but before he gets a hernia, the sword comes free and Prince Adam is able to recycle his animation by holding it aloft. I would like to point out that it’s unnecessary for him to hold it aloft, as, in a recent episode, Prince Adam was on the ground, only semi-conscious and barely muttered the magic words and it worked. I’m of the opinion that he could have done the same thing here, and it would have worked. Anyway, it’s the full recycled animation sequence, and then they show the box from the outside, and it just explodes and motherfucking He-Man is standing right there with his hands on his hips and exploded rock everywhere. He-Man asks if Attak Trak can track their enemies, and he confirms that he can – but it will be slow-going. Naturally, and without a mite of irony, He-Man says, “Then we’ll have to move fast!”
Having arrived at Stone City, Evil-Lyn remarks that she sees why it is called “Stone City” – not because it resembles seedy 1980s New York, but because everyone has been turned to stone. Kind of like that creepy ass movie Return to Oz. Evil-Lyn spots a strange machine high atop a pillar with a winding staircase leading up to it. She levels her magic wand at it and magically teleports it back to her lab for further study. They continue exploring to see what else they can find. Evil-Lyn spots a boulder on top of a temple and notes that it’s blocking a skylight. On her orders, Webstor moves it. They enter the temple and find sunlight now beaming down on one of the statues of the villagers. Expectedly, he reverts from stone, back into his flesh and blood existence. He flexes his arms, stretching. “Free at last!” he says.
Webstor and Evil-Lyn actually look a little worried. Webstor wants to know what they should do. “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!” Evil-Lyn says. Then she simply bolts out of the temple with Kobra Kahn and Webstor in tow. Hey, wait! Come back! The mysterious Stone city man chases after them. Outside the temple they pause to hear him out, regarding him suspiciously. “You freed me! I am Vokan, greatest of all warriors. King of the people of stone city!” He wears some stone on his chest, which he claims is telling him that they have been asleep for a long time, and it is now time to revive the others. These people are the greatest warriors – Stone City’s greatest treasure! “Wait a minute. You mean that is the treasure the legend spoke of? People!? Not jewels or gold, or… anything?” Evil-Lyn asks, pissed.
Vokan is pretty ramped up, but who could blame him. He and his people have been frozen in stone for who knows how long? Vokan explains that once the world didn’t need them as warriors any more, they willingly underwent “the great sleep” until the world needed them to fight evil again. Vokan assumes that this day has now come. However, Vokan makes a face like Webstor nut-punched him and then Kobra Khan poo-gassed in his face when he looks up and sees that the machine that will restore his people to flesh – the Life Bringer – is missing.
He quickly realizes that Evil-Lyn and her gang stole the machine and turns on them. Kobra Khan steps forth and opens his cranial foreskin to show Vokan what getting your face poo-gassed really feels like, but Vokan has game and blows the noxious fumes back at him. Kobra Khan is blown back by his own foul stench, which kind of surprises me. Webstor steps up to take a crack, but is just as easily bested. Vokan gives Evil-Lyn the chance to surrender, but she refuses and blasts at him with her magic wand. Vokan blasts back with the stone in his chest, quickly knocking her down to the ground.
He demands to know where the Life Bringer is, but Evil-Lyn denies their possession of it, though she claims to know who has it. Muhahahahahaaa. His name is He-Man, and she promises to show Vokan where he lives. He-Man and Man-At-Arms have arrived at Stone City and apparently searched everywhere already. Man-At-Arms explains that they have not found a trace of Evil-Lyn or anybody. He-Man thinks something is up (duh) and orders Man-At-Arms to look for anything that looks out of place. He-Man unloads a sled from the back of Attak Trak to do his own reconnaissance.
At Castle Grayskull, Evil-Lyn has arrived with Vokan. She points at the castle and says that he’s hidden the Life Bringer in there. She warns him that Castle Grayskull is well defended, but it matters not. On her word that this “He-Man” has stolen the Life Bringer and is keeping it in there, he resolves to break into the place no matter what. Shit, they’ll even help him break in. “Then help ourselves to the secrets of Grayskull!” Evil-Lyn whisper-cackles. Kobra Khan is concerned with Vokan discovering that the Life Bringer is not there, but, obviously it doesn’t matter. By then, they’ll be inside and Castle Grayskull and will take her secrets. Webstor goes off to tell Skeletor, but Evil-Lyn stops him and threatens him. Skeletor has been trying to break in for ages, and if she accomplishes it, she’ll be damned if she’s going to let Skeletor usurp that victory. Besides, he’s probably not even in this episode!
Vokan walks up to the castle and demands that the drawbridge be let down and that he be allowed entry. The Sorceress appears to him and says no, go away. So, Vokan attacks by blasting the drawbridge with the stone he wears in his chest, leaving the Sorceress with an expression like, “I can’t believe he just did that”. She concentrates on the situation and determines that he may actually be able to break in, because the castle’s defenses were designed to keep out evil, but she cannot sense any evil in the attacker. However, he must be stopped outside the castle, rather than inside, and so the Sorceress summons He-Man. He-Man is still zipping around on a sky sled when he gets the call and he makes a b-line for Castle Grayskull.
At Castle Grayskull, Vokan says, “And now, vile drawbridge, you will lower!” which made me laugh out loud. What a way to talk to an inanimate object. He gives another blast from his chest stone, and the drawbridge comes down. Just before he enters, He-Man jumps down from his sky sled and blocks his path. Vokan has some idea of who He-Man is, and demands to be let in. He-Man refuses and suggests they talk. Vokan doesn’t have time to talk so he shoots at He-Man. He man is still being polite and says “I’m sorry” about 3 times during their whole exchange on account of being unable to grant Vokan access to the castle. Vokan thinks he’s stronger than He-Man so he doubles the power of the beam, which He-Man warns him not to. He does anyway, and it ricochets off of He-Man’s sword and knocks Vokan on his ass.
Evil-Lyn approaches him; “Get up! Get him, you fool!” Webstor chimes in, “Yeah! Or we’ll never bring the Life Bringer back!” Whoops. Now the cat is really out of the bag. Obviously, Vokan figures out that Evil-Lyn is the one that stole the Life Bringer, and he rolls his “R” when he says “bringer”. Vokan demands that she bring it back. Evil-Lyn says she will, but only if He-Man reveals the secrets of Castle Grayskull, which he won’t. In that case, Evil-Lyn promises the people of Stone City will remain stone forever and she disappears with her lackeys. Vokan apologizes to He-Man for being such a dick, but He-Man says, “Forget about it. I like your bushy eyebrows,” and then they share a meaningful gaze. He-Man agrees to help Vokan get the Life Bringer back.
At Snake Mountain, Evil-Lyn, Webstor, and Kobra Khan stand around while Evil-Lyn theorizes that He-Man will realize that his actions are preventing all of the stone people from being liberated and give in to them. The best part, she says, is that they won’t have to share the secrets of Grayskull with Skeletor. If he has ears, they must have been burning, because just then, Skeletor comes walking in, and I’m actually surprised he made an appearance in this episode. “You’ve been awfully quiet today, Evil-Lyn. I thought I would see what you were up to.” He quickly notices the large machine they are trying to stand in front of and obscure and wants to know what it is. Evil-Lyn plays dumb, but before Skeletor can get too pissed off at her obvious attempt to evade him, Skake Mountain begins to shake. Skeletor pokes his head out the window and sees He-Man outside, which does not please him.
He-Man apologizes if he woke Skeletor (why the fuck is he so polite to people that are causing him trouble?), but they have come for the Life Bringer. Skeletor turns to Evil-Lyn and says, “Is that what that is?” She confirms this, and Skeletor turns back to He-Man and says, “Nope, haven’t seen it.” He-Man punches the castle and Skeletor falls down. Webstor asks why they don’t just give it to him. “Because,” Skeletor says, “he wants it! There is nothing he can say to me that will make me give him that… that… whatever it is!” He-Man promises to smash out each floor of Snake Mountain until it becomes, “Snake Valley”. Skeletor says, “As I was saying, there is nothing that he can say to convince me, except that.” Skeletor blasts the Life Bringer with his staff and levitates it out the window to drop it on He-Man’s head. He-Man catches it easily.
Back at the Stone City, Man-At-Arms has just finished hooking up the last connection, and the Life Bringer is ready to go. However, Vokan informs them that it’s too late – the crystal above the machine runs through to the other side of the mountain. In order for it to work, the moon must be in the exact right position to shine on it from the other side, and they’ve missed it. I have a feeling that He-Man is going to alter the orbit of Eternia’s moon again. He-Man tells Vokan to calm his tits, “If you can’t bring the moon to the mountain, bring the mountain to the moon,” he says. Then he literally pushes the mountain over so that it is now properly aligned with the moon. Or they could have waited until tomorrow. As soon as the crystal gets lined up, Man-at-Arms throws the lever and the machine is activated. The machine acts upon the moonbeam, then it’s regurgitated and sprayed all over the stone people, which restores them to their carnal existence.
The first one that wakes up yawns and says, “What year is it?” Vokan is getting excited, “They’re coming back to life, thanks to you!” he exclaims. Then he goes into one of those pre-moral morals and says that sometimes soldiers get a little antsy and jump right into violence. He should have asked for the Life Bringer first and talked it out instead of trying to fight He-Man. He-Man again tells him that it ain’t no thang, and he likes Vokan’s eyebrows. He-Man asks what they are going to do, now that they’re all awake again. Vokan says they will keep to themselves for a while – they’ve been asleep for so long, that have a lot to talk about. Really? Like what?? How stiff everyone’s neck is? What their dreams were like? Anyway, he offers up the services of the stone people, should they ever be needed, and Man-At-Arms and He-Man do the same.
I can’t believe this episode isn’t freaking over yet, but we cut back to Snake Mountain. Skeletor is sitting in an ornate chair staring up at a rock wall. “So, tell me, Evil-Lyn, if you had gotten all the secrets of Castle Grayskull for yourself, what would you have done with them?” She responds from off-screen that she doesn’t know. Rock chips are falling from somewhere above. The camera pans up to reveal that Webstor and Evil-Lyn are sitting on a swing stage carving a Mount Rushmore-like visage of Skeletor. “Do we have to do this?” she asks. “Yes, you ‘have to do this’! I thought you liked my face.” comes Skeletor’s reply. He figured since they liked stone statues so much, they’d like to carve this one. It should only take them a month (that’s surprising, because they look like they’re almost done already). Then the statue’s mouth opens and yells, “Get to work!” which delights Skeletor.
NOW it’s time for this week’s moral! I think it’s going to be about this episode would have been a hell of a lot more entertaining if it had been about He-Man taking Orko to seedy 1980s New York where Orko winds up addicted to crack and homeless. Instead, Orko is on screen telling us about the importance of listening. Man-At-Arms walks up and wants Orko’s attention, but Orko “shushes” him and keeps talking; Vokan’s big mistake was listening to Evil-Lyn without asking He-Man for his side of the story. Before you make a judgment make sure you have both sides of the story. All the while, Man-At-Arms has been saying Orko’s name over and over, but Orko keeps ignoring him while he babbles about how you should listen to what other people have to say. Orko finally turns to Man-At-Arms and is like, “Fuck, man, what is it??” It turns out dinner is ready.
“Orko. Hey, Orko. Orko. Orko. Orko. Orko. Orko. Orko. Hey, Orko. Orko. Orko. Orko…”
“What?! Fucking what, Duncan, I’m fucking delivering this week’s moral right now, and you’re being rude. What the fuck is so important?”
“Dinner is ready.”
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 2
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 12
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Webstor
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Vokan, Sleeping Tree
Linda Gary: Evil-Lyn, The Sorceress
Lou Scheimer: Orko, Kobra Khan, Attak Trak, Stone City Villager