We open on Prince Adam and pals enjoying one of Prince Adam’s favorite past times – picnicking in the woods. Orko naps while Prince Adam, Cringer, and Teela are sitting on a blanket when a butterfly goes by. Cringer takes off after it, which seems like one of those really uncharacteristic things that bad shows have a character do to force a plot point. Cringer cruises right by a young couple, also out for a picnic. We linger on them a moment, the girl telling a story about a He-Man adventure. The boy bitches that his chick never shuts the fuck up about that hunk, He-Man.
She keeps going on and on, wondering what he’s doing, what he’s like, where he’s from, why he’s only around when there’s an emergency, and in fact, could be disguised among them at any time. If her boy toy only knew that He-Man was really sitting only yards away, “disguised” as Prince Adam, his dick would suck up inside him! The girl, Ommy, drapes her head over his shoulder, still prattling. Bitter, Farin, the boy, says, “Would you like me better if I was He-Man”, as if it’s an option he’s been considering.
Nearby, Cringer is still chasing the butterfly when he falls in a cave, encounters a pterodactyl-like creature, only to pop back out of the cave as he’s being chased by it. On the Royal Picnic Blanket, Teela is suggesting that it’s time to get packed up and go. Just as she asks where Cringer is, he comes barreling haphazardly into their picnic site. The prehistoric bird, a Shrieker (which has been claimed to be extinct in past episodes), decides to focus on the horny teen girl, Ommy, who is cowering under her picnic blanket. Her scorned lover, Farin, is nowhere to be seen. Teela has a sense of urgency, “That girl, quick, go get help,” Teela says rapidly. Prince Adam looks pretty nonplussed. Apparently only after nubile young women today, the Shrieker again diverts its attention, this time to Teela, who dips and dives and rolls like she does.
Since Teela had directed Prince Adam to go get help, he dips behind a tree and recycles some animation. Holy shit, Ommy is going to leave a snail trail on He-Man’s thigh a mile long after he saves her. Then he’s going to have to run behind a tree and vomit. He-Man catapults himself up into the air and lands on the creature’s neck. Everyone below is impressed: Okro, who is now hiding under the blanket with Ommy, Teela, and also the Farin, who maybe just went to take a piss – all of them. As He-Man chokes out the Shrieker attempting to control and direct it, he says, “I know you were just protecting your nest, but, lets be reasonable, huh?”
The fact that He-Man successfully navigates the Skrieker to safety is irrelevant. What it leads to is Farin, still hiding behind his pissing tree, listening to Ommy go on about He-Man, remembers what Ommy said about how He-Man could be anybody. Farin decides to tell her that he’s really He-Man. You see, he wasn’t around when He-Man showed up, and if nobody can figure out that Prince Adam looks just like He-Man with less clothes, I guess it’s also plausible that this guy could transform into a guy he looks nothing like. And there we have the groundwork for the plot that goes along with the episode title, “Mistaken Identity”. Farin thinks it’s a “great idea”, never once considering that she might expect him to prove it.
Back at the Royal palace, a Seasoned Royal Guardsman is showing a Newbie the ropes in the Royal Dungeon. This is where they (allegedly) have the “most dangerous” criminals in Eternia locked away. The Seasoned Guard shows the Newbie around, introducing him to each of these terrifying villains, and, wouldn’t you know it, we’ve never heard of any of them. None of them are the repeat offender “super” villains that you know and love. There’s Mangor the Horrible, Trix the Shape Changer, and even Galen Mycroft, a used-to-be scientist that was caught, tried, and convicted of trying to use a mind control device to take over Eternia.
Though he appears to be “seasoned”, the Seasoned Guard claims that Galen is not dangerous, as long as he’s away from his test tubes, which seems pretty ignorant. The guards move on to meet the rest of the “guests”, and as soon as they leave, Galen blows a contraband whistle, which brings a little demon carrying the last part for a machine that Galen was using magic to hide, er, I dunno, maybe not magic because he’s a scientist, but he definitely produces a big machine from nowhere. As he turns it on, both Galen and his little demon cackle about how this machine will make him the most powerful force for evil in all of Eternia, even above Skeletor, who is showing all signs of not showing this episode.
Back at the picnic spot, Ommy is calling for her I’ll-settle-for-him-till-He-Man-fucks-me boy toy, who dutifully, and purposefully, struts out from behind a tree ready to claim that he’s He-Man. Ommy bats her baby blues at Farin and talks about all the excitement of He-Man being around. Before her good-enough-for-now guy can give her his news, a friend, Stan, runs up and warns them that there’s a dragasaur in the Crystal Caves! He hasn’t seen it, but it can be heard from a mile away, and they have to get out of there. Farin specifically, and conspicuously, excuses him self without much explanation. Ommy gets suspicious and decides she better follow him. So, let me get this right, the first time Farin acts kind of suspiciously, Ommy assumes he’s He-Man and follows him? How come nobody has ever gotten suspicious of Prince Adam like this? Is he really that unassuming?
At the Royal Palace, Cringer is on a quest for dinner, or maybe early breakfast (we know this as Brinner) when a random dude runs up and tells Prince Adam to warn the King that there’s a dragasaur in the Crystal Caves. Apparently, this is such a dire situation that Prince Adam can’t spare the time to hunt down Cringer, so he recycles some animation for the second time, all by his lonesome. Except we have to watch the whole recycled bore, with the exception of the part where Cringer gets changed against his will. He-Man goes running for a sky sled and takes off in a hurry. Really, what the fuck could a “dragasaur” do in the Crystal Caves? Do they shit an acid that melts a precious material, or what?
In his prison cell, Galen opens the door of his contraband machine and steps inside, confidently. It rumbles for a while, then explodes in a flash of sparks. In the smoke appears a familiar looking villain that I can’t quite put my finger on. That’s right, it’s Modulok. I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t recall that right away, but it’s such a bullshit, unannounced origin story, that, who could blame me? He not only rips the bars out of the window, but also a chunk of the wall large enough that he can walk right the fuck out.
At the Crystal Caves, a sound is coming out of it, but it doesn’t sound like any dragasaur He-Man has ever heard. He-Man goes in anyway, but he can’t see anything. Naturally, he decides to keep exploring anyway. What is really going on is that Farin’s little pet is blowing a horn inside the cave, which is tricking He-Man into thinking there’s a dragasaur. Ommy is snooping around and sees Farin enter the cave. What she doesn’t know is that Farin was waiting for Ommy to not see He-Man enter only moments before him, so Farin could slip in very noticibly. So, what Ommy also doesn’t see is when Farin picks up his pet and uses a cave tunnel to literally slide right the fuck out of the back of the cave, so that when He-Man exits empty handed, she will think that Farin turned into him. It totally works, and Ommy is wet as rain.
Elsewhere, Modulok gets Skeletor on his monitor and wants to join his team of villains. Skeletor isn’t so keen on just letting him join up without showing what he can do to prove that he’s not a “wimp villain”. Modulok walks outside and happens right into the perfect scenario of which to take advantage. He cups his hand behind his big, pointy ear and overhears Ommy trying to get Farin to admit that he’s He-Man. He plays coy, but it doesn’t take much prodding for Farin to admit his “secret”. Modulok decides that a secret identity for He-Man is plausible. He walks over to Farin and takes him prisoner, right then and there. This ruse isn’t going to last long when He-Man shows up to rescue Farin, which will prove that he’s not actually He-Man.
Ommy runs off to get help and Modulok just lets her go, figuring that with “He-Man” captured there’s nothing that she – or anyone – will be able to do to stop him. Ommy makes it to the Royal Palace and a Royal Guardsman gets Prince Adam and Cringer for her. She tells them that He-Man is in trouble. Prince Adam smirks, “Well, what makes you say that?” Ommy tells them she knows He-Man’s secret identity. “Uh-oh”, Cringer says. She claims that He-Man told her who he really is. Prince Adam seems confused and concerned that she knows his secret, which is fucking stupid since obviously, he knows that He-Man is NOT in trouble, and that he didn’t tell her his secret.
Ommy goes on to say that He-Man is her boyfriend, Farin, and that a terrible villain with many arms and legs took him hostage. Surprisingly, He-Man knows that the villain is Galen Mycroft is now known as Modulok. I have no idea how he came by this intel. Ommy asks Prince Adam if he can help. Prince Adam tells her that he can’t personally help her, but he knows someone that can. He walks away and Cringer asks what they are going to do. Prince Adam figures if Modulok wants He-Man, that’s what they’re going to give him. He promptly recycles some animation and comes right back. They even cut it short with a screen wipe. “He-Man! And Farin. You escaped!” Ommy says, relieved. He-Man explains that he’s not Farin and that her boy toy has gotten himself into a lot of trouble.
In Modulok’s cave, the villain is getting pretty pissed that Farin isn’t cooperating and turning into He-Man. Farin tries to explain, but Modulok keeps interrupting him, saying that he’s going to force Farin to turn into He-Man – which won’t be pleasant – so he can prove himself as a successful villain to Skeletor. He won’t be, but image if Modulok was successful? I would think that would just piss Skeletor off, since Skeletor himself has never been able to defeat He-Man before. Farin sends his little pet to go find the real He-Man, and right after his pet leaves, the cell door opens. It never occurs to Farin that this is too easy, and he goes running right out like a fucking fool.
Farin runs right into an arena where Modulok is seated. Modulok raises a containment cell from the floor and releases a giant monster to go after Farin so that he’ll have no choice but to turn into He-Man. Farin tries to convince Modulok that he’s not He-Man, but Modulok won’t have it – he heard Farin admit that he is He-Man, plus, Modulok doesn’t make mistakes. We cut to Ommy showing He-Man the last place she saw Farin when the little pet shows up and indicates the need to crawl into a tiny little crack in the wall. Obviously, they won’t fit in there, so Battle Cat digs out the hole out to make it bigger.
In the cave, Farin is dodging laser blasts from the monster’s eyes like nobody’s business. Modulok continous to shout at Farin, trying to get him to turn into He-Man. “I want He-Man!” he yells. Suddenly, He-Man comes busting in through the wall. “You want He-Man, you got him,” He-Man says. Modulok is confused for a moment, then he sics his monster on He-Man. He-Man does some aerial somersaults and runs around between the monsters legs and ends up tricking the monster into the cell, which shuts it behind the creature and lowers back into the ground. Modulak is furious at the injustice of it all, because the monster was bigger and stronger than He-Man and should have won. “Brains and skill will always overcome brute strength, every time. When you were a scientist, you used to know that,” He-Man chides.
Modulok claims that he does still know this and activates a switch that raises some tracks and turns his chair into a rail car, of sorts. As the chair charges forward to take Modulok on his escape, Farin shouts out to his pet to throw the switch. The pet knocks Modulok’s little demon guy out of the way and throws the track switch, diverting it. For no logical reason, the track diverts right into a jail cell, which Modulok dutifully winds up trapped in, and everyone has a good laugh at Modulok’s expense. Outside, He-man says he’ll send the Royal Guard to pick up Modulok later. Farin tries to take some credit for helping He-Man, but they all shut him down pretty fast. He-Man looks pretty awkward when Farin says that it doesn’t matter who He-Man really is, as long as he’s around when they need him.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how the Royal Guard and their prison system are truly the worst. Nobody in custody was anyone you’ve ever heard of! It’s very troubling that they don’t have any of their most dangerous, repeat offenders in there. Part of the reason seems to be that He-Man undermines them by letting the villains go all the time; not that he did in this particular episode. But mostly, it’s because they’re incompetent. Instead, Prince Adam comes on screen, petting Cringer. He tells us about the difference between pretending and lying. The camera cuts in close, and we can still see Prince Adam’s arm flexing, which has a very unsettling effect as he stares with half-lidded eyes. Anyway, as I’ve always said, the difference is that a kidder tells you he’s lying. Prince Adam says, “Be yourself, and tell the truth.”
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 4
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 24
(He made the bare minimum – just a moment on a monitor)
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Cringer, Battle Cat
Linda Gary: Teela, Karil
Lou Scheimer: Orko, Galen Mycroft, Modulok, Farin, Karil, Palace Guards, Peasant
Erika Scheimer: Ommy
(Damn, Lou Scheimer always does the heavy lifting, doesn’t he?)