Oh, a Teela-centric episode, I love these! This one is going to be all about how I took her to Prom, and how hard it was when I dumped her, afterward, for the fishy Princess when Teela refused my proposal of a threesome with the two of them. Yeah, right. Like Teela would go to Prom with me… That’s a cream dream. Instead, we find Man-At-Arms, Prince Adam, Teela, and Orko cruising in Attak Trak out in the mountainous wastelands. But, they aren’t out there for a picnic (sorry, Orko), no, they are there to test out a new device, which is too dangerous to test anywhere that is near anything. Must be an atom bomb.
Instead, it is a device that moves any object instantly, which is demonstrated by making a boulder teleport on top of a phallic rock formation. What is it with Man-At-Arms inventing shit that already exists on Eternia? Seriously, he invented a teleporter. They sure seem to have those already. Despite Man-At-Arms’ lack of imagination, everybody is really impressed with it, including Trap Jaw, who watches them from nearby on a video monitor in one of Skeletor’s rides. He gets really excited about how Skeletor could use it to sneak attack King Randor and decides to steal it.
Man-At-Arms punks Orko by using the teleporter to transport him over a chasm, which is actually a pretty awesome thing for him to do. I know what you’re thinking: Orko can float, so he was in no real peril. Au contraire, only moments ago, Man-At-Arms specifically stated that the whole reason they are out here is because this device is so dangerous that it is perilous to use it near any populated area. Therefore, there must have been real peril to Orko in having it used on him. Everyone laughs at Orko too, because he’s an asshole. That was rewarding enough that I don’t even need to see how this episode becomes all about Teela.
What happens next is such a stunning display of stupidity that I wrinkled my face up all unattractive-like in incredulity. At this point, this show should never evoke incredulity from me, and yet… Man-At-Arms further demonstrates his device’s capability by teleporting himself across the chasm, which happens to be where Trap-Jaw is laying in wait. Trap Jaw rushes out and Prince Adam calls out a warning, which allows Man-At-Arms enough time to spin around and confront him. Man-At-Arms uses his advance warning, not to teleport Trap-Jaw away, but to draw his sword, which Trap Jaw simply bites in half. This guy is supposed to be their defensive expert, and military strategist, and instead of using his powerful teleporter to quickly and intelligently remove his assailant, he draws his fucking sword; not even the light saber we’ve seen him with, just a plain old metal sword.
Finally, showing a little sense, Man-At-Arms pitches the teleporter across the chasm to Teela before Trap Jaw can snatch it. Trap Jaw threatens Man-At-Arms’ well being in exchange for the teleporter, but Teela programs the device and sensibly teleports him away. Except, that if I’ve learned anything, it’s that women can’t operate electronics, so I’m sure she’s screwed it up somehow. We will have to wait to find out. Prince Adam sics Attak Trak on Trap Jaw, which involves Attak Trak driving vertically down one side of the chasm, and vertically up the other, only to have Trap Jaw take off before Attak Trak can, I don’t know, apprehend him. I know Attak Trak has those funky oblong tracks on it, but I doubt they would enable it to drive vertically on any surface. Just sayin’.
As it turns out, Teela managed to teleport Man-At-Arms to a large open plain, still out in the wastelands, and directly into the path of the fleeing Trap Jaw. I swear I don’t pre-watch these episodes! Not knowing he’s directly in the path of danger, Man-At-Arms starts inspecting rocks, because he has nothing better to do. Then Trap Jaw flies overhead and blasts him, which ambiguously allows Trap Jaw to capture him.
Apparently, not knowing where Teela sent Man-At-Arms, she and Prince Adam have gone back to the palace to try and raise him on the communications devices. Teela freaks out, shedding tears and everything, because her programming error caused Man-At-Arms to be captured. Worse thing that ever happened to me in this type of situation, was that I missed my shows. I guess I have it pretty good. Teela then marches right up to the King and Queen and announces her folly, and straight up resigns as Captain of the Guard. Kindly, King Randor refuses her resignation, but she just shits all over herself and banishes herself to the wastelands.
At Snake Mountain, Skeletor bothers to make a personal appearance for once, in order to taunt Man-At-Arms, who is captive in a force field, and being made to provide schematics on how to make another teleporter. Skeletor is motivating him by withholding food, and you know how hungry Man-At-Arms gets. As further punishment, Skeletor treats Man-At-Arms to an extended view of his flat, bony ass as he walks away.
After Skeletor leaves, Man-At-Arms quickly modifies some random parts that he was given, which I don’t understand the point of because he is only supposed to make a schematic (so he can’t do something sneaky, like teleport himself out), to make a communicator, which instantly tunes in Prince Adam trying to contact him. Man-At-Arms rats out Skeletor, and instead of instantly turning in to He-Man, Prince Adam decides he needs to find Teela and tell her that her dad has been captured by Skeletor, so that she can redeem herself. By redeem herself, I mean that He-Man will show up and steal the show, and probably have to save her from Skeletor.
Meanwhile, Teela wanders around in the barrens, dodging boulders and terrible sand serpents, trying to resign herself to her new home. Prince Adam turns up, sees she’s in trouble, and immediately recycles some animation and saves her. Whoa. That happened way sooner than I expected! Way to build her confidence and facilitate her redemption, He-Man. We do get a nice shot of Teela’s humiliation combined with a crotch shot as she wrestles that giant sand serpent, though, just in case she doesn’t get demeaned enough in this episode.
Never one to be kept down for long, Teela sucks up her pride and agrees to help He-Man rescue Man-At-Arms from Snake Mountain. While He-Man and Teela fumble around at the bottom of Snake Mountain, they set off an alarm, alerting Skeletor to their presence. He-Man asks Teela what she thinks they should do. After she articulates a plan, he says she’s wrong, and tells her how they are going to do it, which is going to be very noisy. I’m serious, that just happened.
As they proceed, Teela’s mood sours and she shits all over He-Man’s plan. Perhaps vindictively, He-Man sends Teela off on her own to create a diversion. Even more foolishly, she tries to manipulate more technology and almost blasts her pretty little face off in the process. While Teela is trying not to kill herself, He-Man busts into the chamber where Man-At-Arms is being held so he can, as I predicted, steal the show. To be fair, it is his show, but, this episode is Teela’s Trial; must she be denied any shot at redemption, especially considering it was Prince Adam’s idea to facilitate it?
He-Man first tries to punch open the force chamber that imprisons Man-At-Arms, but it just wobbles like jello. Then he tries the teleporter, but it’s out of batteries. Begrudgingly, he decides to go find Teela for assistance. Meanwhile, the diversion Teela created unintentionally involves burning this whole motherfucking place down! Trap Jaw and Beast Man show up, and Teela escapes while they put out the flames. He-Man and Teela intersect and then head back to the chamber where Man-At-Arms is being held.
He-Man hands Teela the teleporter device and tells her to program it. She’s like, “Are you crazy? This place is burning to the ground because of me and technology”! He-Man insists. Man-At-Arms insists. He-man insists again. Man-At-Arms insists again. Sensibly, Teela continues to refuse, until, finally, they wear her down and she agrees to try. As it turns out, the device has an automatic “return to the palace” setting, so all she basically has to do is push one button. Oh, good lord. That’s like handing your toddler a disconnected video game controller and make believing he or she is actually controlling the action.
Teela manages to teleport herself and Man-At-Arms back to the palace, but not He-Man. I’m not sure if that’s her fuck up or Man-At-Arms’. Anyway, He-Man doesn’t seem too troubled by it, and proclaims that it should be pretty easy to escape Snake Mountain. Surprisingly, not satisfied to make a mere flat-assed cameo in this episode, Skeletor shows up in some kind of phallic machinery, but He-Man easily picks it up and chucks it benignly on top of a spiky rock formation. It really is pretty penis-shaped, and it really is pretty anticlimactic. Never thought I would find He-Man handling a giant phallus to be anticlimactic. Damn, I’ve gotten jaded. Or maybe, I already was. It’s a chicken or the egg kind of thing. I’m a little shocked he would toss it away so casually, though, even if Skeletor is riding it.
Back at the royal palace, Orko attempts a magic trick in a bit that’s hardly worth describing, and exists only because Orko hasn’t fucked anything up in this episode, and so Teela can ironically pardon him by saying, “everyone makes mistakes”, and then laugh shamelessly at all the peril her technological ineptitude caused today. Maybe fittingly, it’s not her sexy laugh, but rather a mousy one that’s not worth making a GIF out of. Sorry, I was disappointed too. These couple of screen caps represent it better.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it’s going to be about how you should never task a woman with programming electronics, be it a VCR, DVR, iPod, iPhone, generic tablet, or anything else you can think of that requires programming… turning the lights off…, unless you want her to burn the house down. I keed, I keed. Women are amazing and you should worship at their feet. Call your mom and tell her you love her, you slouch! Even if she can’t program the VCR. Instead, Man-At-Arms comes on screen to tell us how you shouldn’t run away from your mistakes, and you should man or woman up and take care of business, because nobody likes a whiner.
He-Man murder count: 17 and 1 attempted murder
Episodes missing Skeletor: 19
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Beast Man
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms
Linda Gary: Teela, Queen Marlena
Lou Scheimer: Orko, Trap Jaw, Attak Trak, King Randor, Alarm