This sounds right up my alley. I love horror movies. Sadly, I doubt that a He-Man episode, even one called “The Island of Fear”, will satisfy the horror lover in me. We open on King Randor christening a new dam that will be a boon to their crops, and it’s all thanks to Man-At-Arms. A white dove flies overhead and the people of Eternia that have gathered cheer. Orko and Cringer decide to fuck off as Man-At-Arms is about to give a speech and go running in search of the water to swim in. This results in Cringer nearly falling off the edge of the damn, saved only by Orko grabbing him by the tail and hauling Cringer back from the edge.
All this serves for Orko and Cringer to come bitch to Prince Adam because apparently now “there is no place for kids to play”, and according to Teela, they also shut down the wildlife preserve. I’m having a really hard time understanding how either of these outcomes are possible by building a new dam, and also why Man-At-Arms would design a dam, much less get it approved, if these were the trade-offs. Prince Adam kind of scolds them for talking over his dad as he wraps up his speech, listens to them, then makes a dumb excuse of having something important and non-specific he has to do and takes off.
This show has the weirdest segues sometimes. We cut to Prince Adam, a bee-man (I had this toy) and King Randor sitting at table with a nautical map, and they’re discussing the mysterious disappearance of several ships. The bee-man goes on about a volcanic island, which King Randor tries to dismiss quickly. Prince Adam points out on the map that there is no island there. The bee-man decides this is a good time to mention that the strange volcanic island appeared out of nowhere. It happens to be near the dam, which makes me think the child and animal-hating structure isn’t long for this world. King Randor gives the order for Prince Adam to fly over and check it out. By the way, since when is Prince Adam running military affairs for his father, who has only ever commented on the boy’s laziness and incompetence.
Prince Adam, Man-At-Arms and Cringer are cruising in a wind raider over the ocean, following the same path that Buzz-Off, the bee-man, if you hadn’t guessed, followed and saw the island. It’s not there now, so Prince Adam does a bunch of corkscrews in the wind raider and cruises the dam like he’s Maverick in Top Gun. Man-At-Arms is not very cool with it. Somehow, Prince Adam flies straight toward a waterfall, narrowly avoiding crashing, but clipping the wind raider on a pillar. It was enough to damage the engines, and they go down, realizing that it was the strange volcanic island they clipped.
They all jump out over the dam, but Man-At-Arms and Cringer get swept into the water intake. Holding on for life, with only moments before they get pulled in, Cringer and Man-At-Arms wait for Prince Adam to recycle some animation and turn into He-Man. Except that he does it in the water, and they cheap out and just do a screen-wipe with the power sword and cut to He-Man swimming toward them. They get sucked in and He-Man dives after them. Under the water, Cringer and Man-At-Arms are stuck helplessly to a grate. He-Man grabs them and pushes off with his muscular thighs. He puts enough force into it that they launch up out of the water and sail through the air on an upward trajectory until Buzz-Off happens to fly over them and catch them. Boy, that sure was lucky.
Even though it seems highly unlikely that his thin insect wings could support one other person, much less, He-Man, Battle Cat and Man-At-Arms, he flies with them for quite a long time over the ocean. Buzz-Off lands them on the mysterious floating island, because that seems like the best place to rescue them to. Buzz-Off goes to fetch Teela, whom he has taken the liberty of bringing with him, and when he returns with her, He-Man has turned back into Prince Adam, and he’s lounging as lazily as ever. I know he’s going to have to turn into He-Man again in this episode, so wouldn’t it have just made more sense for him to have remained as He-Man? Now he has to bother to explain why he disappeared when He-Man inevitably shows up again.
Teela is not happy that Prince Adam is “sunbathing”, as she puts it, even though he’s fully clothed. She further disparages him in comparison to He-Man’s awesomeness and wishes aloud that He-Man were here. Prince Adam assures her that He-Man will show up if he’s needed, which just proves my whole point. Teela orders Prince Adam, Cringer and Orko and Man-At-Arms to go explore together while she goes with Buzz-Off in the wind raider to get an aerial view. I can’t believe they can call him “Buzz-Off” without laughing. Watch out for his stinger, Teela!
Pretty immediately, Prince Adam, Man-At-Arms, Cringer and Orko come upon a waterfall that seems to be hiding a cave. Every one is pretty stoked to enter it but Cringer. Since Cringer is scared, Prince Adam makes Orko stay with him. Man-At-Arms gets a bad feeling as the approach the waterfall. Prince Adam observes some kind of sign, but they can’t read it yet. I can, it says, “Hello Chumps”. The sign brightens up so Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms can read it and they are thoroughly puzzled. As they discuss what the very obvious message could possibly mean, a hatch opens down in the water sucking them in with a whirlpool. Prince Adam tries to do his second aquatic transformation of the episode, but he takes too long, and the power sword flies out of his hand, landing in front of Cringer and Orko.
Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms come up inside of a huge underground lake. It has a harbor, which happens to have all the missing ships docked in it. Suddenly, the water starts bubbling and Skeletor’s ship comes rising up from beneath. Skeletor stands in the window with his aquatic cronies Mer-Man and Whiplash. Because he’s the most successful villain ever, Skeletor reveals his whole plan right here. He’s going to “capture” Eternia’s food supply by crashing his island into their dam, which will flood the crops. Skeletor, you can’t “capture” a food supply you destroy. Anyway, once he has “captured” all the food, the people of Eternia will have to acknowledge them as their leader. I guess he has a few food ships captured there for leverage. Everyone agrees that it’s a good plan.
Back on the surface, Buzz-Off and Teela have returned. She finds Orko and Cringer with “Adam’s sword”, and Orko explains they got sucked into the pond. Teela doesn’t once stop to consider that the sword she identifies as Prince Adam’s, which clearly means she’s familiar with it, is the exact same sword that He-Man carries. As they try to find a way in, Skeletor orders his goons to go capture them. Teela wanders around muttering about how “it’s too quiet”, and “something doesn’t feel right”.
Teela picks up a stick and pokes a bush out of suspicion, and cringer comes popping out. Buzz-Off catches him mid-air and they wander off to look for their missing friends. They head down into a cave and are followed by Mer-Man and Whiplash. Mer-Man keeps stepping on Whiplash’s tail. Teela, Buzz-Off, Orko and Cringer come into the island’s engine room, which is what allows the island to move. Rather than sabotage it, they decide they have to look for Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms. It’s all scary and dark, so Cringer is afraid. Sorry for himself, he gazes down into the water and sees a pod holding Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms down below the surface.
Teela dives in and uses a device on her gauntlet to cut the chain loose. The pod bursts to the surface and Man-At-Arms and Prince Adam climb out because it’s not locked or anything. Orko gives Prince Adam his sword back and they go off to go free the ships and bring reinforcements. Before they get out of the room, Skeletor shows up and triggers the main engine that will plow the island through the dam. Prince Adam pleads with him not to flood Eternia because it will ruin everything, but Skeletor considers turning Eternia into a wasteland a victory. Skeletor’s goons chase them all around with freeze rays until Prince Adam finds a moment to duck behind something and turn into He-Man. And no one will be suspicious that Prince Adam disappears and He-Man shows up, all within a locked room.
He-Man goes after Skeletor to get the key for the main engine. He-Man isn’t fucking around and leaps right up behind Skeletor and swats his staff down with this sword. He demands the key, which Skeletor promptly crumbles in his hands, screwing them all. He-Man sees a giant spinning drive shaft that is obviously an integral part of the engine mechanism. He pushes it over which seizes the engine, and apparently will cause the whole thing to blow up. So, they run.
I guess they don’t have to get all the way off the island, because they all flop down at the base of the mountain they were in while the top of it blows up. Where did Skeletor get an engine-powered island, anyway? Teela notices Prince Adam is missing, and He-Man makes some cheeky comment about how he knows Adam is all right. Out in the ocean, Skeletor emerges, riding Mer-Man and Whiplash like dolphins or something. He insults them and yells, “mush, mush”!
Later, back at the palace, King Randor and every one sit around the strategy table. King Randor is talking about how it just won’t do to have a paradise island just floating around Eternia. Teela says that the dam covered up all the land needed for the wildlife preserve, so the island can serve as a kid’s camp and wild life preserve, which seems like a recipe for Jurassic Park, if you ask me. Also, the dam blocks the ocean, if I understood correctly, which uncovered new land with which they are using to grow crops. How exactly did the dam take up wildlife preserve land if it is occupying space where the ocean used to be? Anyway, every one likes the Jurassic Park idea, so stay tuned for next week’s episode when a bunch of kids get eaten by crazy Eternian dinosaurs.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how, if you are a villain, and you are fortunate enough to capture your adversary, it is in your best interest NOT to tell them your plan. Especially not right away and voluntarily. Or it should at least be about an Island of Fear, because there was literally nothing in this episode that dealt with fear, other than Cringer’s typical bullshit. Instead, Prince Adam and Teela run across the screen. They exposit about how fun it is to run in their new national park, and sometimes you have to build buildings, and when you do that, you have to have parks. It’s okay to have parks, kids. Just don’t go in Central Park at night, or alone.
He-man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 1
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 4
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Whiplash
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Cringer, Mer-Man, Buzz-Off
Linda Gary: Teela
Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor
Erika Scheimer: Wind Raider Computer
Oh, big job Erika had this week!