Season 2 Episode 44 “Orko’s New Friend”
If I have to sit through a whole Orko episode because he’s made a new friend, he very well better have fucking lost all his old ones, finally. We open with a long pan to a landing platform at the Royal Palace where Prince Adam, Teela, and Orko are anticipating the arrival of an old friend of Orko’s. Orko warns that his “friend” is a straight up liar, and they pretty much can’t trust him. Yeah, Orko, your lyin’ ass friend can come visit, thanks for asking first. They all stare up in the sky as a metallic pyramid ship lands on the platform. The hatch opens and Orko’s friend comes out to embrace him. He pretty much looks exactly like Orko, except even more ridiculous in a backwards, long-brimmed ball cap with a pair of goggles strapped around the top. His name is Squonge, which sounds like a hip-hop euphemism for semen, if I’ve ever heard one.
Actually, I spoke too quickly, it’s not a ball cap, it’s more like a pilots hat with the lobe on each side. It still looks f-ing idiotic. Squonge starts telling a story about how he had to fight of a space hydra weasel or something, and it was terrifying. “That’s nice,” Teela says. “I mean, that you escaped”. Prince Adam and Teela clearly aren’t impressed, nor do they believe Squonge, and are clearly just placating him. Suddenly, another ship lands. It’s the international space police, and guess why they’re here? That’s right, they’ve trailed a very dangerous criminal to Eternia. Skeletor, right? Somebody is actually here to finally arrest Skeletor, it’s got to be! The space cops show Prince Adam pictures, but it’s not Skeletor. No, it’s actually a cowboy-looking robot guy named Slavemaster, and a robot named Jawbreaker.
Apparently, they’re not just clever names, and Slavemaster literally traverses the galaxy, overpowering his victims, then making them his slaves, using them to mine precious minerals. Plus, I assume Jawbreaker literally breaks jaws. Jawbreaker serves as the enforcer, overseeing the slave operations, which I’m pretty sure is what a slave master actually does – keep the slaves in line as they work. Prince Adam promises to warn King Randor on behalf of the space police, so they take off, leaving Squonge to tell a story about how he was once enslaved. “Huh. That’s amazing, Squonge,” Prince Adam says dismissively before he reminds Teela they have important “paperwork” to do immediately.
As soon as Prince Adam and Teela leave, Orko rips into Squonge for making up stories in front of Prince Adam and Teela. Squonge gets very defensive and butt-hurt that Orko doesn’t believe him and insists that he’s not making anything up. Squonge leaves angrily to have a “walk”, even though he also doesn’t have legs. Out in the woods, Squonge is feeling guilty and contemplating apologizing to Orko. Then he comes upon the Slavemaster’s ship. He rushes off to find orko and tell him. He comes upon Orko sitting in the courtyard at the Royal Palace, also feeling guilty and contemplating apologizing to Squonge. Squonge arrives and Orko starts to do just that when Squonge interrupts and launches into a story about finding Slavemaster’s ship.
Orko gets pissed and doesn’t believe Squonge. Orko is like, I was going to say sorry to you, but fuck that, you lying liar that lies. Squonge begs Orko to believe him and the make a deal. Orko will go with Squonge to see the ship, and if it’s there, they will go tell Prince Adam and Teela. If it’s not there, Squonge has to swear to give up telling stories forever. Knowing he’s telling the truth, Squonge agrees. Even if he wasn’t, he’d still never give up telling stories, duh. They arrive and to my surprise, the ship is still there. Squonge suggests that they capture Slavemaster themselves. Orko objects, but mostly because they don’t have a plan than because it’s a really terrible idea. Not a problem. We’ll just go in through the air vents on top of the ship, and the guards will never see us, Squonge says.
They get into the air ducts and come out inside of the ship’s cellblock where all the slaves are in cages. Orko and Squonge hide when they hear voices approaching. It’s Slavemaster and he’s complaining to Jawbreaker that they need new slaves because these ones suck, and they’re lazy. Rather than get a new slave master to properly motivate the slaves, Slavemaster decides he needs a better caliber of slave, one that can do the work of ten slaves. Well, I guess Orko is safe. At least, he’s safe from being a slave, but not from being captured, because he sneezes and gets captured easily. Squonge, however, escapes. But, without Orko to validate his story, nobody will believe Squonge because Orko has already biased everyone against him. Oh, and also because Slavemaster is going to move his ship so the cavalry won’t be able to find him.
Back at the Royal Palace, Squonge finds Prince Adam and Teela with Man-At-Arms in one of the hangers. He’s waiving his arms around and shouting about finding Slavemaster. “Look, Squonge, we really don’t have time for games,” Prince Adam says. Squonge can’t believe it. Teela uses a half-lidded, doubtful expression to augment Prince Adam’s impatiently raised eyebrows and explains that what Prince Adam is trying to say is that they know that Squonge is a lying liar that lies, and they don’t believe him. Squonge begs them to take a chance because Orko is in danger. They are all convinced very quickly, and rather enthusiastically head off to investigate.
At the former site of Slavemaster’s ship, it has of course moved on in order to evade detection. “You’ve got to believe me!” Squonge shouts. “There’s nothing here now,” Prince Adam says, stating the obvious. Surely a ship of the size that Slavemaster is traveling in would leave some reasonably apparent signs that it had been there, but instead seems to have left no trace. I mean, it doesn’t have to be crop circles, but I would think that there would be SOME kind of marks, right? Teela and Prince Adam use the same animation cells of her half-lidded, doubtful expression and Prince Adam’s impatiently raised eyebrows to communicate their lack of amusement, only now with a forest background.
As it turns out, the ship didn’t leave any trace, but Man-At-Arms happens to find the magic ring he gave Orko during some past gift-giving occasion. Prince Adam declares that this is a job for He-Man and goes off to recycle even more animation. Man-At-Arms asks Squonge for any other pertinent details and learns of Slavemaster’s plan to capture the most powerful man on the planet. This gives Man-At-Arms a plan. Though he hasn’t stated it yet, it’s obviously going to involve using He-Man as bait for Slavemaster.
Elsewhere, Slavemaster’s slaves are down in some caverns mining those coveted minerals. Slavemaster is cruising around in a power chair, shouting, “Faster, you fools!” Jawbreaker just repeats “Faster, you fools!” to motivate the slaves, though with less enthusiasm. Slavemaster is nervous that he’s been discovered and wants to rape all the valuable minerals out of this vein and get the fuck off the planet. As it turns out, he is employing Orko as a slave. He’s going to regret having done that, because Orko accidentally flings the pickaxe he’s handling and knocks a stalactite onto Jawbreaker’s had. Right on target, Slavemaster summons Jawbreaker and says, “I don’t think this new slave of ours is going to work out.” Slavemaster tasks him with finding the strongest man on Eternia and bringing back to be a slave. Jawbreaker nods his head, a simple smile on his face, and dopily says, “Uh-huh. Okay, boss.”
In a small mountain village somewhere, all the citizens are gathered in the village square. Man-At-Arms has a megaphone and is announcing that He-Man is showing off feats of strength. He-Man picks up a barbell that is weighted with giant concrete blocks, on top of which Teela and Orko are seated. He-Man lifts the thing with one arm. For his next trick, Man-At-Arms announces, he will juggle three giant millstones, weighing over a ton each. As He-Man moves to pick them up, he explains for the sake of the unsophisticated children viewers that this should be sufficient to lure Slavemaster and get him to come to them. “It’s kind of like fishing with He-Man as the bait,” Man-At-Arms says in cliché. Wouldn’t you know it, Jawbreaker is already in the crowd, shrouded in a purple cloak.
Before He-Man can perform his next trick, much less for Man-At-Arms to even announce it, Jawbreaker throws off his cloak, revealing, to the horror of the villagers, his gun-tipped arms. One of them ejects a gas that knocks out all the villagers and seemingly weakens He-Man. The other gun shoots a net that ensnares He-Man. Jawbreaker stands over He-Man and giggles stupidly, “You’ll make a good prize for Slave Master, huh-huh, huh.” Outside the ship, Jawbreaker leads He-Man into an elevator and takes him deep into the mines they’ve tapped. He-Man cracks wise the whole way, knowing that he’s only biding his time until he breaks free.
Down in the mines, Jawbreaker hauls He-Man out before Slavemaster. Slavemaster asks if the slave that’s been brought before him is stronger than the last one. Jawbreaker assures him that He-Man is very strong. “You don’t know the half of it,” He-Man mutters. Slavemaster orders him put He-Man with the Trollan slave. “Perhaps between the two of them, we can get a little work done.” You’d think that Slavemaster would be at least a little impressed by all of He-Man’s muscles, but they don’t seem to mean much to him, judging by his reaction. Down in the mines, Orko recognizes He-Man, who waves and smiles smugly and says, “Hi, Orko”. Before Jawbreaker can put He-Man to work, He-Man breaks his bonds. Jawbreaker is slow to react, and when he does, he just fires a net on He-Man.
He-Man easily tears out of the net. Next, Jawbreaker tries fire, shooting a long stream of flames. Orko uses his magic to dump a bucket of water on Jawbreaker, putting the flames out. “The fire’s out in me arm, but Jawbreaker doesn’t need fire to stop strong man.” This Jawbreaker guy really is a dunce! He lunges for He-Man and is made to look the fool for having done so. Jawbreaker uses his “power bolt” to stun He-Man and says, “You’re not so funny now, are you flesh-face,” then goes after him with a saw, probably to remove He-Man’s “flesh-face”. Jawbreaker charges at He-Man, but he-Man easily throws him aside and binds his hands with a steel pole. All the slaves cheer for He-Man and he sets to work freeing them. He even reaches right for a teddy bear’s junk, only faking out at the last second.
Slavemaster must be in a completely different room and totally oblivious, because he’s talking to himself (some low-level goon robots are there, but they’re clearly not listening) about how the mining operation is done and they’ll be able to leave soon and move on to another planet. He clearly has not been paying attention to his mining operation. He-Man enters, followed by all of the freed slaves. “My new muscle man slave is leading a rebellion,” Slavemaster says. He sets his goon-level robot guards on He-Man, but he easily takes them out, complete with roundhouse kicks and shaking the stone floor out like a rug.
Slavemaster makes a move on He-Man, speeding toward him, blasting lasers out of his motorized chair. He-Man just throws the power sword really hard and smashes it to bits. Slavemaster recovers and is about to blast He-Man with a futuristically styled hand cannon, but Orko does a spell and turns into a bang gun. Slavemaster tries to run but He-Man catches him by the collar and holds him up for all the freed slaves to see. “Your slave driving days are over!” He-Man says.
Later, at Castle Grayskull, the last of the slaves are walking through a portal, returning to their home planets. Before Slavemaster and Jawbreaker, both cuffed, pass through the portal, the Soreress tells us that they’re going back to their home planet to stand trial for their crimes. He-Man looks right at the camera and says, “Well, that’s the end of that problem.” Then the Sorceress looks right at the camera and says, “I think justice has been done.”
At the Royal Palace, the episode still isn’t over because we have to see Squonge off to go back to Trolla to finish his studies at the Academy. He says his good-byes to each of them individually, but Prince Adam isn’t there because He-Man is. Nobody seems to notice – or care – that Prince Adam isn’t there. Before he goes, Squonge rubs his vindication in just a little bit, saying to Orko that if he’d only believed what he said, this whole thing never would have happened. Teela says, “Fuck that, you’re a lying liar that lies, Orko was right not to believe you. Squonge finally admits that he’s a liar, but that he just wanted people to like him. He-Man puts his hands on Squonge and says they do like him. Geez, He-Man sure is handsy today.
Squonge tells a story about how dangerous the trip back is going to be. See, I told you he wouldn’t stop! Squonge says he’s just kidding and finally leaves, and then it’s time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how, though more truthful, Orko is way worse than Squonge. All Squonge really did is tell some tall tales, and aid in the capture and prosecution of an intergalactic slave master. By comparison, how many times has Orko single-handedly put the whole fucking planet in jeopardy? Plus, he’s always getting so down on himself and making every one beg him to still be their friend, the little fuck. Instead, Orko comes on to tell us that Squonge is a lying liar that lies, and that you shouldn’t lie because no one will believe you.
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 2
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 18
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Jawbreaker
Alan Oppenheimer: Man-At-Arms, Slavemaster
Linda Gary: Teela, The Sorceress
Lou Scheimer: Orko, Intergalactic Police Agent #1, Intergalactic Police Agent #2
Erika Scheimer: Squonge