Season 2 Episode 21 “A Trip to Morainia”
Oh my god. I’ve come so far, yet still have so far to go. 44 episodes left, one 2 part special and the live action movie in 3 – 4 parts. I’ve been sailing through Season 2 pretty smoothly so far, but when I was writing episode 20 last week, that nice round number suddenly became a jagged edge, serrating my soul. We open on Man-At-Arms performing a trick at the Royal Palace that involved him wearing a blindfold. I hope that this blindfold is part of a William Tell act and Man-At-Arms gets shot through the head with arrow by Orko, just to add a little levity and lighten my mood. Which then makes me wonder if the word “Morainia” from the title is a derived from the word “moron” and the episode will be about a trip inside Orko’s mind. That would be my kind of luck.
This actually has nothing to do with Orko; he’s nowhere to be seen. Rather, Man-At-Arms is testing a new device he made that beeps when he points it at people, which he is selling as some kind of third sight, I guess. Seems about as effective as playing Marco Polo to locate someone. So, then they pretty much play Marco Polo until King Randor punks Man-At-Arms by summoning every one into the room silently. They all stand around, and King Randor says, “Polo!”, but Man-At-Arms gets confused and thinks his device is malfunctioning because it says there are so many people in the room. Then Man-At-Arms has an “awe-shucks” moment when he is let on to the ruse.
An important video call comes in and a monitor lowers from the ceiling to display it. It’s King Jesus, and he’s called to tell them that they’ve just developed a new energy crystal that’s ten times more powerful than any that have come before. Actually, his name is Boreas, and he wants King Randor’s kingdom to be the first to use these innovative new power crystals. How much do they trust this guy? This seems kind of suspicious to me. And he looks more like a sleazy used car salesman than a trust worthy king. Well, apparently, they do trust him that much. He’s King Randor’s good friend, King Boreas. He rules an ice kingdom called Morainia. King Randor is on board with the plan and immediately asks for volunteers to go bring this new crystal back.
Prince Adam volunteers to go, and surprisingly King Randor is into it and says, “Yes, Adam would be a good choice for this assignment”, while he strokes his beard. There is no approval like beard-stroking approval. Prince Adam asks who wants to go with him, which unfortunately results in a lot of bad puns, excuses from Cringer, and the threat of Orko doing some kind of magic. Later, as they cruise through the snow in Attak Trak, Skeletor spies on them with his table monitor. Suddenly, an arctic chill causes Attak Trak’s navigation to freeze, which in turn causes Prince Adam and company to drive right into a giant chasm, bouncing off the walls as they fall and everything. They land at the bottom, where Prince Adam crawls out, unphased, and undazed, even though he was NOT wearing a seatbelt. How’s that for a lesson, kids? Don’t bother wearing your seat belt, it’ll be fine.
As they try to find their way out, Cringer spots some snowmobile tracks they decide to follow. As soon as they start into the cave that the tracks lead into, a giant spider jumps out to block their path. If such a thing is possible, Prince Adam makes a leisurely transformation into He-Man, almost like he’s as bored with this rote routine as I am. The way He-Man resolves the situation is to punch through the mountain, tunneling around behind the spider. Then he does that recycled animation where its like he’s trying to decide which way to go. He cuts a big slab of ice out of the mountain, beckons to Orko and Battle Cat to join him via the tunnel, then uses the giant slab of ice to block the narrow pass between them and the spider. Effectively, he used the equivalent energy of the sun to get around the spider rather than squash it. I don’t get this guy sometimes.
Skeletor is already on the way as He-Man and crew set off on the way to Morainia. For some reason, Skeletor took an open topped aircraft, so Beast Man and Trap Jaw are freezing. I’m sure Trap Jaw’s mouth chattering in the cold is the most annoying sound ever. Skeletor probably isn’t cold since he’s a Skeleton, but Clawful is flying, which seems like an awful idea because I’m pretty sure he’s a cold blooded reptile and so, could pass out at any time. Beast Man asks if Skeletor can turn the heat up, which seems like a pretty good idea to me, but Skeletor tells them to shut the fuck up so he can think.
He-Man has turned back into Prince Adam as they come upon the beautiful vista of Morainia, though, as usual, we don’t get to see how he does it. Inside, King Jesus, er, Boreas makes quick introductions then takes them off to see where they grow the crystals. On the way, Prince Adam encounters a girl – the girl who left the snowmobile tracks. Prince Adam scolds her for going through there when there’s an ice monster about. She claims she “zips through so fast” that he doesn’t bother her. Then she says, “I liked the way you boxed him in”, which means she saw him as He-Man and recognizes he and Prince Adam are the same person, though she says it without any undertone, like it doesn’t occur to her that there’s anything odd about it. Nonetheless, damn. If nobody else can see it, this girl must be a genius or something!
Boreas shows off some crystals that could “light the castle” for a whole year. Nearby, the girl, Princess Jasmine, and her brother, Eska, bicker as her brother makes sexist remarks. Prince Adam looks on disapprovingly, then looks expectantly to Boreas, waiting for him to scold the boy. Instead he ignores it and says Attak Trak will be fixed tomorrow. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, sheesh! As Boreas and his son leave the chamber, they fail to notice Trap Jaw and Beast Man, barely disguised in Royal Guard tunic shirts, lingering on either side of the of the archway. They follow Boreas and his son as they walk by. Just when I think he’s oblivious, Boreas stops, turns, and asks who they are. In response, Beast Man and Trap Jaw tear off their shirts, as if they weren’t just as readily identifiable with them on. Now that he recognizes them with their shirts off, Boreas orders his son, Eska, to run for help.
Then Jesus does something amazing. I mean Boreas. He uses hypo-eyes, which convinces Beast Man and Trap Jaw to just go home. I feel like a lot of things just clicked into place. As soon as Beast Man and Trap Jaw leave, Skeletor appears. Boreas tries to use his hypno-eyes on Skeletor as well, but he deflects it’s beams, which makes them circle Boreas’ head, eventually hypnotizing him. Skeletor orders him to do what ever he tells him to do. Until he needs him later, Skeletor traps Boreas in a clear box suspended in the freezing air, high above an icy chasm in the ice caverns where the energy crystal is mined.
Elsewhere, Eska sits at a long table, trying and failing to think of some instructions or direction for his counsel. Skeletor appears, cackling. He rolls a crystal ball onto the table that shows Eska and his sister that their father has been captured and is in jeopardy. Skeletor suggests that he will release Boreas as soon as they turn the energy crystals over to him. The counsel resists, so Skeletor says they have a half an hour to reconsider and disappears. Princess Janice tries to tell her brother Eska that she has an idea, but he won’t let her speak. He insists he’s still busy thinking, an activity that is thwarted by her babbling. Princess Janice storms off in a huff.
She takes one of the snowmobiles and leaves in a hurry. Tearing off over the snow, away from the castle, Clawful catches sight of her and gives chase. For some reason, Prince Adam and Cringer, and Orko are outside making a snow-likeness of Cringer, and see the two of them go whizzing by. It’s a great excuse to recycle some animation, so Prince Adam does and turns into He-Man. He catches up with Clawful, who lets the princess go so he can have a crack at He-Man. He-Man trounces him easily, which winds up with Clawful stuck in a snowball. He-Man asks what Janice is doing, and she explains that Skeletor has captured her father, and she had recognized where he is being held, but nobody would listen to her. He-Man assures her that she has good ideas and that he’s listening. He wants to hear her plan. Kiss ass. So, she draws a map, and they devise a plan to send Orko in through the smallest entrance to the mining chambers. She would come up with a plan centered around Orko, wouldn’t she.
Orko enters the inner chambers where the energy crystals are mined via the pre-planned tiny vent shaft. He-Man goes in the large main entrance, noting the decrepit conditions of the place, which could fall at any minute. Jasmine goes in the medium sized entrance, looking around cautiously. All three of said entrances she outlined in the map she had drawn. Skeletor is monitoring He-Man and Jasmine and triggers a trap door, which sends them into a series of ice chutes. He-Man, Cringer and Jasmine wind up in a trap-pit, which Skeletor begins filling with water. Damn, that’s some fatal intent, right there. He-Man just punches the wall open and they get out easily.
They immediately find Janice’s father up in his box and engage in discourse with him. Boreas demands they leave for their own safety, claiming he cannot be rescued. Orko happens upon the scene, and Janice starts telling everyone what to do. Since Orko can fly, she tells him to carry a rope they happen to have up to the ladder across the chasm. He-Man is instructed to tie one end of the rope around Battle Cat, who anchors the ice with his claws by standing backwards, also at the direction of Jasmine. He-Man climbs across and gets Boreas. I assume he gets him back across the chasm safely, because we cut away after He-Man unties him.
Back at the ice castle, Skeletor, Beast Man and Trap Jaw appear in front of the council table again, ready to receive his energy crystals. The counsel holds out and refuses him, so he turns around and blasts the casing to their energy converter, which just happens to be located in the counsel chambers. Just as Skeletor seizes the crystals from inside, He-Man steps into the room. Skeletor cuts his losses, pitches the crystals wildly aside and makes a run for it. Jesus saves the day with a Hail Mary play and catches the crystals. He-Man chases after Skeletor, but stops short when he and his goons escape through a magic portal. Boreas thanks He-Man for saving the day, but He-Man puts all the credit on Princess Janice. Boreas admires this and has a positive reaction, which is not terribly surprising. That her ultra-competitive, dim-witted, hardheaded brother has a similarly positive reaction is surprising. Everyone smiles at each other pleasantly as the episode fades out.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how it shouldn’t take a gay man to pay attention to what women have to say. They are very smart and capable, especially at both figuratively and literally castrating any one of us that steps out of line. And for fuck’s sake, put the God damned seat down! What are you, a barbarian? Oh, also I’d like to point out that Man-At-Arms’ Marco Polo device had nothing to do with any thing, and neither did Skeletor’s have hypnotized Boreas. Teela delivers this week’s moral, though I’m not quite sure why because she was barely in the episode (I don’t think I even mentioned her – she didn’t have any lines). Then I begin to understand why when she presents the exact same moral I envisioned, but tells it from the perspective of Eska – today he learned a valuable lesson – good ideas can come from anyone, even women. So, shut the fuck up and listen to them.
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 2
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 8
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Beast Man, King Boreas
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Cringer, Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms
Linda Gary: Teela, Queen Marlena, Princess Janice
Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor, Trap Jaw, Clawful, Chancellor
Erika Scheimer: Prince Eska