“Double Trouble” should have been last week’s episode title, considering Orko’s lying friend came to visit. Actually, it apparently should be next week’s title. The source I am currently using to watch He-Man had the real episode 45 mislabeled as episode 65, and this one labeled as 45. I caught it before publishing, but not in time to watch and write another episode before this post was due. Oh, well. I’ll watch and post episode 45 for next week, and then we’ll pick back up with episode 47. I made sure the rest is correctly labeled so that this WON’T happen again.
Anyway, I have a sinking feeling that this episode will also heavily involve Orko, like last week’s episode. We open on Snake Mountain for a change. Outside, a thunderstorm is raging. Beast Man cowers in fear, which of course illicits significant mocking from Skeletor. Evil-Lyn tells Skeletor not to laugh because this storm could bring Snake Mountain crashing down. Skeletor scoffs and rejects the idea, “Snake Mountain can never be destroyed,” he says. The lightning crashes again, causing Skeletor to run off saying he’ll watch the storm from somewhere else.
Outside and well away from Snake Mountain, Skeletor looks up at its towering structure. The storm blows over, Snake Mountain still standing strong. “There, I told you it was safe,” Skeletor says. Skeletor suddenly notes a secret passage behind him, obviously opened up by the convenient storm that just blew over. He follows it and finds a large, boxy object under a large cloth with an ancient riddle on it. “Beware the mirror of Morovad, where bad is good and good is bad. Where one may come, two depart, but only one may have the heart,” Skeletor says, reciting the ancient words. Evil-Lyn has heard of the mirror – it can make an evil double of anyone. Skeletor proclaims it to be the key to the secrets of Grayskull, but they need someone that He-Man trusts in order to use this doppelganger maker to their advantage…
Cut to… A guy we’ve never seen before? Seriously, I don’t think this character has been introduced. He has red fuzzy underwear like He-Man, an armored chest plate, a black beard and a battle helmet with Viking horns on it. To top it all off, he rides atop a mechanical winged horse. At the Royal Palace, Prince Adam is lounging lazily as Teela asks him if he’s coming to the reception for Kol Darr. “Who?” Prince Adam says with a smirk. My thoughts exactly. “Kol Darr, he’s an ally of He-Man’s,” Teela says condescendingly. Oh, I see how we’re going to play this. He-Man and Koldar have a long deep history because Teela says so, even though we’ve never heard of him before. “Oh, that’s nice, wake me when it’s over,” Prince Adam says, yawning disinterestedly.
Teela seems kind of happy that Prince Adam isn’t coming, like maybe she’ll get some alone time with Kol Darr. As soon as she leaves, Prince Adam sprints down the hall to recycle some animation because he has to go to the reception as He-Man. It takes so long that He-Man barely gets to the courtyard before Kol Darr lands. He-Man greets him warmly as Skeletor watches on his table monitor. Obviously, Skeletor has found his candidate for someone “He-Man trusts”, but he needs a diversion in order to abduct the new old friend. “You know what to do!” Skeletor shouts to Beast Man. I’m really not so sure about that. I can’t imagine Beast Man ever knowing what to do.
In the Royal Palace courtyard, Kol Darr is explaining that he calls his flying horse Shadow Master because it can disappear into any shadow, no matter how small. Obligingly, Shadow Master demonstrates. However, I don’t see any shadow at all that Shadow Master could disappear into, and yet he winds up looking like the shadow of a column on the wall, except with eyes. Orko isn’t impressed and is, in fact, insulting toward Shadow Beast. Just as he disappears to get his gear to out-perform Shadow Master with a new trick he’s devised, a messenger runs up and announces that a nearby village is under attack by sand crawlers and they need He-Man’s help. Kol Darr invites himself along for the adventure. Just after they all leave, Orko blips back in with his magic gear.
At the village, Man-At-Arms and Teela cruise overhead shooting at sand crawlers, which are like giant dragon worms with forked tongues for arms. Kol Darr shows up, blasting some shots from Shadow Master’s eyes, then a rope from his chest, which ties up one of the sand crawlers. In another wind raider, He-Man flies circles around one of the sand crawlers until it becomes dizzy and falls down. Kol Darr carries off two of the tied up sand crawlers to ditch them out in the wilderness. After he dumps them, he hears cries for help coming form a cavern. Feminine cries for help. He can’t resist and goes to investigate.
At the entrance of the cave, he bids Shadow Master to stay put, so it hides in the shadows with its special ability. Kol Darr enters and finds a cloaked Evil-Lyn. As soon as he steps into the room, a door slams behind them. She throws off her cloak lifts the edges of her cape. I guess it’s kind of like those animals that artificially inflate their size to intimidate predators. She uses her magic to restrain Kol Darr and promises that he’ll meet Skeletor soon. Sure enough, Skeletor, who must have just been waiting in another room for his cue, shows up and says that Kol Darr is going to help him obtain the secrets of Castle Grayskull. Kol Darr refuses, but Skeletor clarifies, “Well, not you, perhaps…” Beast Man pulls the cloth off the mirror exposing Kol Darr to it, and another Kol Darr walks out.
“It’s me!” Kol Darr says in surprise. Skeletor explains that it’s not Kol Darr, of course, but rather the mirror makes an opposite copy of what ever it sees. Therefore, this is evil doppelganger Kol Darr. “Go ahead,” Skeletor says to the doppelganger, “tell him what you’ll do for me.” Evil doppelganger Kol Darr says that he’ll convince He-Man to let him into Castle Grayskull, and then he’ll steal all the secrets! I’m really not sure what the point of Shadow Master hiding in the shadows was, because outside of the cave, Shadow Master is now just standing there in it’s mechanical flying horse form, while Skeletor shows it some magic crystals that will allow he and the evil doppelganger Kol Darr to control it. Skeletor gives Kol Darr a device to use at the Royal Palace that will put every one into status until Skeletor revives them.
Evil doppelganger Kol Darr flies back to where He-Man and crew are, and says, “Yeah, I’m fine. Lets get back to the Palace”. He-Man is already suspicious, “I’ve never seen Kol Darr so impatient before!” Yeah, cuz it’s not like he even got to take his bags up to his room before Kol Darr had to run off on some adventure! Shit, man, the guy is on vacation – he’s here for his own fucking reception, which I believe they are currently missing, but sure, it’s suspicious that the Kol Darr wants to get back to the Royal Palace. It’s almost as if He-Man senses that the writers have replaced his friend Kol Darr with an evil doppelganger. At the Royal Palace, He-Man says thanks to Kol Darr, which the evil doppelganger flips around, conning He-Man into promising him “anything” he wants. The “anything” evil doppelganger Kol Darr wants is to see the inside of Castle Grayskull, because he’s “heard so much about it”. What? From whom? That is the most idiotic lie… Kol Darr says thanks and discreetly activates the device that will put everyone in stasis.
Having kept his ambiguous and taken-advantage-of promise, He-Man and evil doppelganger Kol Darr are inside Castle Grayskull. He-Man asks Kol Darr what he “wants to see first”. “The question,” Kol Darr says, “is what are you going to see?” He-Man is totally baffled. “You’re going to see me disappear”, evil doppelganger Kol Darr says, then he throws down a smoke pellet and disappears into it while He-Man stands there with a surprised, dumbfounded look on his face. “Kol Darr! Kol Darr! Where are you? What are you doing?” He-Man shouts in a panic. Kol Darr taunts He-Man from somewhere off camera, his wicked voice, which sounds almost exactly like one of the other villains (but one I can’t quite put my finger on), bounces and echoes off the inner walls of Castle Grayskull, “You’ll find out He-Man, but when you do, it’ll be too late!”
In another part of the castle, He-Man is getting scolded by the Sorceress, “He-Man, you let a stranger into Castle Grayskull!” He-Man admits it, saying that Kol Darr “is a friend, or at least he used to be.” The Sorceress explains some bullshit reason why she can’t use her magic to stop the guy. Actually she doesn’t really explain the reason why at all, but rather, simply states that her magic won’t stop the guy, offering no explanation. He-Man swears, then, to search the castle from end to end trying to find Kol Darr, until the “end of time”, if he has to!
Back in the secret cave, the real Kol Darr is trapped in an energy cage opposite the mirror, which has been covered again. He gets the idea to blast at the cover with his energy gauntlet, which seems to me as though it will just cause another evil doppelganger of himself to be created. He successfully blasts the cover off, but Skeletor walks in just after he does. It ends up working out for Kol Darr pretty well, because he blasts at Skeletor too, which causes him to jump out of the way, just in front of the mirror. “You think your puny weapons are a match for me?” Skeletor mocks. “No, I guess not,” Kol Darr laughs, as a (presumably) good Skeletor forms in the mirror the real Skeletor doesn’t notice and leaves the room. Oh, dis gon’ be good.
The doppelganger Skeletor steps forth and answers Kol Darr’s questions, confirming that he’s a good version of Skeletor. He even offers to try and free Kol Darr. Kol Darr says there’s no time and bids good doppelganger Skeletor go back to the Palace and warn He-Man. “Alright, I will,” good doppelganger Skeletor says. Kol Darr just hopes that He-Man believes him. At Castle Grayskull, He-Man is darting around like a maniac. He comes upon evil doppelganger Kol Darr in “The Hall of He-Man”, which is lined with weapons that date back to the early centuries of Eternia. Kol Darr picks one up and uses it. It’s kind of like a Roman candle, except it fires “positroids”, which look like veiny, pulsating testicles and fire lasers at He-Man. Logically, He-man goes for the freeze ray. He shoots them and, naturally, they shrink to nothing. Pretty realistic, if you ask me.
Back at the Royal Palace, Man-At-Arm is engrossed in a machine he’s working on. A guy comes in and says, “Um, Man-At-Arms? There’s some one here to see you.” Without looking up, Man-At-Arms says, “Well, send him in.” The guy abruptly leaves to get the visitor and in walks Skeletor. Really? This guy, whoever he is, doesn’t even try to mention that it’s Skeletor that has come to see Man-At-Arms? How did Skeletor even get into the Royal Palace without being arrested on the spot? Teela shouts and Man-At-Arms looks up, “Skeletor!” he says with surprise. “No, not Skeletor, but his double. Please, let me explain, I’ve come to help.”
Good doppelganger Skeletor takes Man-At-Arms outside, right to the device that the evil Kol Darr left behind. I don’t understand how good Skeletor knew where it was, unless he knows everything the evil Kol Darr knows. You know, since they came from the same magic mirror, and all. But then, it seems like the reverse would be true as well, and evil Kol Darr would know what’s going on. “A freeze field!” Man-At-Arms shouts. Skeletor tries to stop it, and just as Man-At-Arms is warning him not to, it goes off and freezes good Skeletor. If you’ll recall, he can’t be unfrozen until the evil Skeletor unfreezes him. I’m pretty sure that good Skeletor hasn’t even told them that the real Kol Darr was captured by evil Skeletor, and that evil Kol Darr is loose inside Castle Grayskull. Well, I guess he’s frozen until evil Skeletor unfreezes him or until Man-At-Arms does, because Man-At-Arms uses his wrist blaster to unfreeze good Skeletor and they go to hear the rest of his story.
Inside Castle Grayskull, evil doppelganger Kol Darr comes upon a frightening, spiked, stone face. The eyes begin to glow and it announces that it is “The Guardian of the Secrets of Castle Grayskull”. What a fucking mouthful. The Guardian asks if Kol Darr has come for the power, which he has, then tells Kol Darr that behind one of the two doors lay the Secrets of Grayskull. Behind the other door lays, not the power, but only “what you deserve”. 50/50 shot? I’ll take it. Kol Darr tries to be clever and asks which is the right door. The Guardian asks in return why Kol Darr wants the power. “Well, duh, so I can rule Eternia, nay, the universe!” Kol Darr replies. The Guardian’s eyes go gray and he says the test is complete and tells Kol Darr to go through the door on the left.
Derp, with an answer like that, what do you think is behind the door on the left? Seems pretty obvious that he should go through the door on the right. It almost was clever of Kol Darr to ask which was the right door because he could have deduced which was the correct door. But then, like an idiot, he goes to the door on the left. Just as Kol Darr is about to go through the door, He-Man shows up and warns him to stop. He doesn’t, and when he opens the door, he gets blasted in the face with a light “that reveals his true self, for that is the wrong door.” Derp. Evil doppelganger turns into a person-shaped mirror and crumbles. “That was just a double!” He-Man says, “But, where is the real Kol Darr?”
Back at the Royal Palace, He-Man is stalking through the halls with purpose when Orko gets in his face. “He-Man! There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you! I wanted to show you that new trick.” He disappears to go get his things and He-Man wisely walks off before Orko can return. He-Man comes upon Man-At-Arms, Teela, and good doppelganger Skeletor. Before He-Man can punch good Skeletor’s lights out, Teela quickly explains the whole thing. “I believe you. Tell me, do you know where they’re keeping the real Kol Darr?” It just so happens that good Skeletor does, and would be more than happy to take him there. They all leave, then Orko reappears with the junk he needs to do his trick. Riding in a wind raider together, He-Man tells Skeletor to go on ahead to make sure the real Kol Darr is safe. Poof, good Skeletor vanishes.
In the ancient cavern that houses the mirror, for no clear reason, Skeletor has decided to put Kol Darr into a freeze chamber to “cool him off”. Skeletor exits to the right, Beast Man turns to the left, and when he opens the door, Skeletor is standing there. Beast Man is confused. Skeletor confuses him more when he asks what Beast Man is doing, and then tells him not to do it. The door closes and Beast Man goes to the right side of the room. Skeletor is standing there and tells Beast Man to go and freeze Kol Darr already. Again, Beast Man goes to the left side of the room and gets stopped by Skeletor. “But you said…” Beast Man says, about to break into a drunken, blubbering sob factory of confusion. “Never mind what I said, do what I said,” the good doppelganger Skeletor replies. Man, wouldn’t that be awesome if this was actually the real Skeletor the whole time, just fucking with Beast Man because he’s bored and it’s so easy?
The real Skeletor comes in and discovers the shenanigans being pulled by the good doppelganger Skeletor, and he and the good doppelganger simultaneously yell, “An imposter! Get him!” As Beast Man is trying to decide which is the real Skeletor, He-Man uses a recycled animation punch to break through the wall. Beast Man takes off. He-Man squints, unsure which is the real Skeletor. He says, repeat after me, “He-Man, I am your friend”. The real Skeletor is too dumb to catch on, and the good doppelganger Skeletor repeats the phrase, immediately, and exactly as asked. The real Skeletor tries, but he’s too late, and he can’t utter the whole phrase anyway. “I can’t do it!” Skeletor says to He-Man, “and I do not look like you!” he says to his doppelganger before disappearing. Denial, much?
He-Man frees Kol Darr, who of course wants to know how he can thank He-Man. “No thanks needed. That’s what friends are for,” He-Man replies. See, He-Man is a true friend, because he didn’t flip the offer of thanks around to achieve some exploitative selfish end, unlike the evil doppelganger Kol Darr. Abruptly, the doppelganger Skeletor says, “Well, my job is done. Glad I could help, He-Man. Now I’ve got to return to the mirror.” Without any sentimentality what-so-ever, the doppelganger Skeletor walks through the mirror. On the other side of it, he reaches his back out and punches it, breaking it. So, what, these doppelgangers expire and self destruct?
Back at the Royal Palace, Orko is pestering everyone to let him finally do his trick in order to show up Shadow Master. It doesn’t even look like anyone has gotten to sit down since they got home, yet Orko makes them promise that they’re not going to leave before he gets back with his stuff. Orko encounters a mirror on his way and gets spooked, thinking there’s a double of himself. Queen Marlena steps out and says, in an extremely husky and different sounding voice – maybe even a different voice actor, “Really, Orko, we’re just redecorating. If you don’t like the mirror, just say so.” Mercifully, we don’t have to see Orko’s trick, because everyone’s laughter at Orko’s expense runs out the clock.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how the most recent Robot Chicken episode had a bit about Snake Mountain being named the tallest point in Enternia, which attracted all kinds of tourists. Skeletor was pissed at all the “bros” that showed up to climb the peak, as well as at the obnoxiously hilarious song that Stratos sings about himself from it, and decides to blow the thing up. Skeletor and Beast Man get their arms trapped, getting “Franco’d”, as Beast Man puts it. Or, it could be about how I shouldn’t keep getting the episodes out of order. Instead, Man-At-Arms and Orko come onscreen to tell us that nobody is “all good,” or “all bad”. Well, hardly anyone is “all bad”. Hardly anyone, but, obviously, some people are. Orko chimes in and tells us that we also shouldn’t judge someone on the way they look, either.
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, Kol Darr Beast Man, Kol Darr’s Double
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor’s double
Linda Gary: Teela, Evil-Lyn, The Sorceress
Lou Scheimer: Oko, Messengers, Guardian of the Secrets of Castle Grayskull
Erika Scheimer: Background Villagers
Wait, so who did Marlena’s voice? I’m guessing it really was some random stand-in and they didn’t credit her.