I’m not sure I even want to know what Fisto is, much less his “forest”. We open on a young lad perched precariously in a tree, attempting to grab a fruit that is just beyond his reach. He falls and injures his leg, and then a grizzly bear on steroids comes to rip his face off. Before the bloody dismemberment ensues, Fisto shows up and threatens the bear with his giant, metal fist. I remember this guy from the toys, but I have no recollection of the ridiculous, and in my opinion, inappropriate, name of Fisto.
Fisto has red hair and a beard and speaks in a loud reverb filled voice and sounds a lot like Trap Jaw. He slams his giant, metal fist on the ground, which causes a tree to fall on the bear. Then Fisto picks the “young lad” up and carries him over to a fallen tree to put a bandage on his leg to “help it heal”. The kid is pretty stoked as Fisto’s reputation for having a giant metal fist precedes him. However, usually rescuing vulnerable young lads is He-Man’s bag. He’s not shy to own up to his rep, but he gets a little humble when the kid says, “You’re almost as great a hero as He-Man”. If I were Fisto, I’d have punched the kid’s head off for that.
Instead, Fisto tells the kid that he used to be “down-right evil”, and that he changed. Fisto insists on telling the kid all about it, but I think the boy would rather talk about He-Man, because he looks pretty bummed out about having to listen to Fisto talk about himself. The poor boy tries to get excited as Fisto starts his story, which harkens back to a few years ago in primitive stone village. The peasants are fretting because the river has dried up and their crops will die. Turns out Fisto diverted the river, and one of the villagers is really pissed. He goes off to find Fisto and cut his fucking throat while his daughter runs off to tattle on him to the king and queen.
In the Royal Throne Room, the girl tells King Randor and Queen Marlena about how Skeletor put their Elf Lord under a spell, then put Fisto in charge of the enchanted forest. How He-Man didn’t already know about this and put a stop to it, I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like Skeletor’s plan should have advanced so far before He-Man tried to stop it. King Randor agrees to send Teela, Prince Adam and Cringer to help. The girl refers to them as “mighty warriors”, which causes Orko to instantly appear and tell them they all suck and they don’t stand a chance against Fisto.
The brave peasant man finds the dam Fisto made to divert the river. Fisto shows up immediately to punch the guy’s face into a bloody pulp, and suddenly the peasant man doesn’t look so brave anymore. A big spider, Arachna, shows up and shoots nasty goo out of its face, all over the peasant man. Somehow, Prince Adam and friends have already arrived. They’re walking now so Attak Trak doesn’t ruin the trees. They hear the peasant man calling for help and go to do just that. They split up to try and get the jump on Fisto, but he’s onto them already.
Fisto has Arachna squirt pile of web-goo onto the ground, and Teela and the Girl just run right into it like idiots and get stuck. I usually watch where I’m going and move around strange substances on the ground, but maybe that’s just me. Orko is fine, of course, because he can fly, so he goes off to tell Prince Adam. The first thing he does is turn into He-Man, which seems like it would easily reveal his secret identity when He-Man comes back with Orko instead of Prince Adam. Fisto is busy punching a tree over to squash Teela and the girl. He-Man gets there just in time to catch the tree, then plucks them out of the web-goo. Teela makes her own excuse as to why Prince Adam isn’t there, which includes insulting his ability to handle physical conflict and almost willingly fails to recognize that Prince Adam is He-Man.
Elsewhere, in a cave, the peasant repeats the exposition, poorly, about how Skeletor captured their king and put Fisto in charge of the region. The only explanation for this repetition is that this story is actually being told by Fisto, and he wants to make it clear just how “evil” he was. We see that Fisto has the little Elf Lord trapped in a crystal ball. The peasant and the elf daydream about the elf being returned to power and bringing happiness back to the land, but Fisto says that happiness is for suckers, and power is where it’s at. To prove it, Fisto threatens to put his giant, metal fist into the elf’s tiny, tiny, rectum.
Suddenly, the crystal ball goes fuzzy, then reveals He-Man wandering around the forest still. Fisto casts a spell through the crystal ball, catching on fire as he does it, which will cause the tree He-Man is near to trap them all. Indeed, the trees come to life and push He-Man, Teela, Orko, and Rayna, the girl into a cave, trapping them. Orko tries his magic to get them out, but he makes it a lot worse by causing tree roots to grow inside the cave and come after them all. Cringer quickly digs a tunnel out of the cave, freeing them all easily. Orko yells at the tree for not listening to his magic, but Rayna explains that the trees only listen to Fisto.
Fisto shows up because someone said his name, and confirms that Rayna is right, the trees only listen to him. Then he walks off, because I guess that’s all he wanted to say. Teela realizes Fisto probably wants her to follow him, but throws caution to the wind and goes after Fisto, despite smelling a trap. He-Man tells Battle Cat to go with Teela, Orko, and Rayna to make sure she doesn’t get into trouble. He-Man is going to stick around and scout around “upstairs”, which I have no idea what he means by, because he’s in the woods.
Battle Cat is following Fisto’s scent, which leads them to the reservoir where Fisto is keeping all the stolen water. Fisto has been waiting for them, as he predictably set a trap, and swings over their heads on a hollow log, ramming it into the side of his dam. This acts like a pipe, which releases the water, floods the immediate area, and washes the heroes away. They all hang onto a log and get swept into a cave, which has a locking gate that closes behind them; all according to Fisto’s plan. This is a pretty elaborate plan that requires some very specific events to make it successful. I wonder when he had time, not only to conceive the plan, but to set it all up as well.
For extra security, Fisto puts a log in front of the gate. Teela can’t lift it, and Orko’s magic won’t work (not that it ever does) because it’s all made of the enchanted wood that only listens to Fisto. Fisto is taunting them as the water rises quickly, saying that nobody will know they are there, not even He-Man. Then the log falls on him, trapping him too. Oh, it’s that unfortunate. Teela actually bothers to ask him if he’s okay, and he says he is, but not for long, on account of the rising waters.
Back in the forest, He-Man is jumping around the tree-tops, which must have been what he meant by “upstairs”. He sees a cavern and figures it’s Fisto’s headquarters, so he grabs a rope and swings toward it. Of course, he doesn’t bother to think about why a rope would be in the tree tops. He should have, because it turns out to be a web line from that spider, and now he’s stuck to it. He-Man pulls really hard on the web and tries to yank that pesky spider out of the trees. Before he accomplishes this, he gets a telepathic distress call from Orko. He-Man opens his hands really hard and breaks free of the rope and heads off to go help Orko.
Orko isn’t sure that He-Man heard him, so Rayna decides that she’s small enough to fit through the gate, but she gets stuck. Orko says he’ll help, but Teela begs him not to use magic. He doesn’t; he just elbows her ass really hard, and pushes her through to the other side. Rayna wastes some of her time listening to Fisto bitch about how he’s doomed. He decides to help him and puts the rope in his hand so he can lift the log off himself. This doesn’t make any sense. Unless that rope goes through a series of complex pulleys, it would weigh pretty much the same as with no rope. Therefore, it would probably be harder to pull the rope down with one hand then it would to just do a pushup and free himself. I’m pretty sure that rope was not threaded through a series of complex pulleys.
Fisto gets free and is impressed with Rayna’s selflessness. Rayna finds He-Man and brings him back. Fisto is celebrating his freedom when He-Man shows up and tells him that it’s what he does with that freedom that’s important. Fisto is about to get belligerent, but then he suddenly has a change of heart because Rayna saved him. He-Man and Fisto work together to throw a large boulder into the log-pipe and clog it. He-Man opens the gate and frees his team. Fisto promises they will go rescue Rayna’s father now, but speculates that now that he’s changed, the enchanted trees will mistreat him, but he has a plan.
Fisto’s spider is watching this whole thing go down on the crystal ball in the cave when Skeletor appears to him. Just when I thought he would only be in this episode by mention. Actually, that poses a technical question for me; if Skeletor only shows up for a second on a magical imaging device, does that count as being in the episode? I’m going to have to think about that. He casts a spell on Arachna to make it stronger so that it’ll be ready for when He-Man and Fisto arrive. I’m really betting that Skeletor doesn’t show up in person in this episode, and I’m going to have a tough choice to make if he doesn’t.
Out in the forest, Fisto bends a tree down for He-Man to mount. He-Man is no stranger to straddling wood, and he does so readily. The plan is to fling He-Man over all the evil enchanted trees to safety. Fisto lets go and He-Man goes hurling through the air toward the elevated cave that Fisto has been using as a lair. As soon as he lands on it, Arachna snags him in a web from up above. He-Man escapes and runs into the cave to evade the spider.
The spider enters after him, huge now from Skeletor’s spell. Arachna stands there, I guess, while He-Man casually goes over and cuts the peasant man free. As Prince Adam and the peasant man stand around babbling, Arachna tears the lid off the place. Before she can cause any trouble, He-Man smashes the crystal ball with his power sword, freeing the Elf Lord. As soon as it’s done, Arachna shrinks back to normal size, which is still pretty fucking big for a spider, and scurries off. Suddenly, rays of sunshine beam down all over and dead trees turn into vibrant ones, and all is well again…
… and that’s the story of Fisto. The boy is reasonably impressed by now, until He-Man steps into the screen to steal Fisto’s thunder and finish the very last part of the story, thus blowing the boy’s mind completely. You see, Fisto said he was sorry and unclogged the dam, so he got a royal pardon. Now Fisto and He-Man are like, best friends, because why wouldn’t He-Man be friends with a guy named Fisto. He-Man proves my point when he says, and I quote, “When Fisto offers you his hand, boy, that’s a big offer,” which he says in this kind of drawn out, mildly creepy cadence. Then they all have a hearty laugh.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it’s going to be about fuck Skeletor. I am counting him as missing from this episode. It’s only the fifth episode of season two and he’s literally phoning it in already, so fuck him. I might as well have predicted a middle finger to Skeletor instead of made a guess at the real moral, because you know it’s going to be about how people can change and deserve second chances. Teela comes on screen to tell me I’m wrong because the moral this week is about treating people the way you want to be treated; then she recites the golden rule, verbatim.
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 0
Episodes Missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 2
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Grandfather, Elf Lord
Alan Oppenheimer: Cringer, Battle Cat, Skeletor
Linda Gary: Teela, Rayna
Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor, Fisto, Yarrow
Erika Scheimer: Peasant Boy