We open on a peaceful village where a pleasant woman with a pink bonnet is singing to herself on her way to the well to draw from “the sweetest water in the forest”. Something, perhaps the “Monster on the Mountain”, is watching her as she goes about her merry chores. Before she can finish gathering water, a shadow looms over her. She turns slowly, fearfully, to face whomever is there. Upon seeing “The Tingler”, she shrieks and runs for her life. Another villager stands there, his mouth agape, his donkey chewing its hay disinterestedly. That is until the lanky woman runs smack into him. She tells him that The Tingler is after her and they both run screaming. We’ve only seen glimpses of his silhouette so far, but he sure looks like that giant from way back. In fact, it was the final episode of Season 1, entitled: “Heart of a Giant”.
At the Royal Palace, King Randor, Prince Adam, Teela, and Orko are discussing the monster sighting that have been reported in Ruxtown, a small colony in the North country with no near-neighbors. King Randor says “The people of Ruxtown are good, hardworking people. But they’re a little naïve and believe in superstitions, and such.” That’s really funny coming from He-Man’s father. He goes on to say that one of their superstitions is very real – The Tingler. Ring Randor asks if they’ve ever heard of The Tingler, and of course Prince Adam has. You better believe Prince Adam is familiar with The Tingler. He’s rumored to live on Fear Mountain, but that’s just a rumor, it’s never been proven. King Randor reasons that there must be some reports of The Tingler, or some kind of proof. Boy, for someone who was just looking down his nose at his superstitious constituents, he sure is interested in believing this superstition all of the sudden.
Wasting no time, Prince Adam, Cringer, Teela, and Orko fly out to Fear Mountain. It’s a giant, treacherous, icy crag that looks as if it would be uninhabitable. As they cruise by it, Prince Adam asks if Orko can see The Tingler in any of the caves. They catch a glimpse of something down where the snow transitions into the forest, but it’s gone just as quickly as they glimpsed it. After they’ve landed and searched some of the caves unsuccessfully, they decide to head into Ruxtown to investigate further. As they head back to the Wind Raider, the silhouette of The Tingler appears up above them. They don’t notice, and suddenly, there’s an avalanche. Obviously, there’s only one thing to do, so Prince Adam spends some time recycling animation. While he’s doing that, Orko guides Teela into a cave for safety and just before they duck in, they catch a glimpse of The Tingler running across the snowscape.
Before Teela and Orko get sealed in the cave by the avalanche, He-Man shows up on Battle Cat’s back. He-Man presumes there must be 20,000 pounds of snow in the avalanche, and figures he’s got to find a way to divert the snow away from the cave that Teela and Orko have holed up in, as well as Ruxtown. He-Man tells Battle Cat to follow his lead and starts throwing boulders to create a chute. I don’t know how Battle Cat is able to lob boulders like He-Man does, and we don’t see him do it. Either way, it works, and the avalanche is diverted safely into a dried up lake bed. Teela comes out and thanks He-Man, then asks where Prince Adam and Cringer are. “Oh, I think you’ll find them back in the wind raider,” He-Man says, before quickly saying he has to go.
We cut to Ruxtown where Prince Adam and Teela are up on soapboxes while the villagers are making accusations that The Tingler caused the avalanche on purpose. They want a bounty on his head. Prince Adam is trying to be the voice of reason saying at this point The Tingler is just a myth. The man with the donkey insists that he and a lot of the villagers have seen The Tingler a lot of times. Yet no one can say what he looks like because no one has “actually” seen The Tingler. The mother-fucking Tingler. The woman from the well chimes in and, between the three of them, they wildly contradict each other in their descriptions. The villagers get pissed that Prince Adam and Teela are “defending” The Tingler, when there have been such rumors about this misfit for so long. Prince Adam says that’s the problem exactly – the rumors. Prince Adam is here to find the truth.
Just then, a villager that looks like a 30-something, long-haired Amish man, but with a voice like a stereotypical old man cartoon character, says that The Tingler is trapped in the old mill. The villagers get riled up and start forming a lynch mob to go after The Tingler. The villagers quickly form up outside the windmill and shake their fists while Prince Adam are Teela trail after them. Orko points up at a window, and we see a shadow pass across it – The mother fucking Tingler. The woman from the well and the mule man bang on the door and demand that The Tingler open it so they can hang him. Prince Adam walks up and demands that everyone calm down. A regular guy – though with a stupid-ass hat – comes out and wants to know what all the fuss is. Miller Perkins assures them he’s not The Tingler.
The villagers slog off back to the village, but Orko stays behind, wanting to try and see The Tingler. He decides to go to its last known sighting – the watering hole. Orko tries to trick Orko into going to the well, telling him the safest place to be is where The Tingler last was, because he wouldn’t dare show up at the same place again. At the watering hole, Cringer and Orko are hiding in the reeds and Cringer wants to know why, if this is the safest place to be, they have to hide. They hear a noise and Orko says it was The Tingler, so Cringer takes off running, right over a cliff. Orko calls down to him, but he can’t climb up because he’s hurt his leg. Suddenly, there’s a rustle in the reeds near Orko and the terrifying “The Tingler” steps forward.
Except that he’s not terrifying at all, and like I predicted, he looks just like that giant from Season 1 Episode 65 where the same fucking thing was happening to him – he was a persecuted, misunderstood nomad. Orko literally passes out, and when he comes to, The mother-fucking Tingler is walking away with Cringer draped over his shoulder. In the village, the mule man is up on the soapbox and is motivating his lynch mob to go up into the mountains, find The Tingler, and drag him back by the hair so they can lynch him. Prince Adam is having less success convincing them that the rumors are getting worse and making the situation worse, and that they don’t have anything to fear, but the villagers are thirsty for blood!
Elsewhere, Orko follows The Tingler into his cave and finds The Tingler with his back turned, as he warms his hands at the hearth. Cringer is laying belly-up on the stone table, like one of Dexter’s victims. “Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me, I’m junk food!” Cringer pleads. Orko warns The Tingler that he had better not hurt Cringer. The Tingler turns around and dumbly says, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I’m not going go hurt him. I would never hurt any living thing.” He lists all the things that he wouldn’t hurt, which is like, everything. Orko says he thought the guy was The Tingler, and he’d brought Cringer there to hurt him. The giant says that he brought Cringer there to fix his leg, and that he is, in fact, The Tingler. Orko’s head spins.
In the village, the people are getting worked into a froth. Nearby in the woods, the young man with the old man’s voice is clutching onto Miller Perkins as they walk. The young old man spots one of The Tingler’s footprints, and clutches even tighter in fear of how big it is. As it turns out, it’s just a dried mud pond, not a footprint. Finally, the villagers have had enough and head out into the woods to hunt down and murder The Tingler, once and for all! Teela witnesses this and runs off to get Prince Adam so they can stop this murderous madness.
In his cave, as he bandages Cringer’s leg, The Tingler explains that he’s a hermit and that people have always made fun of him because he’s so big, so he lives among the birds because they’re pretty and they don’t make fun of him. Orko wants to know why, if he’s not a monster, he goes around scaring everyone. The Tinger says he doesn’t try to scare people on purpose. He usually lives up in the mountains, but with all the snow, he’s had to come down to “the lowlands” for food and water. This explains why he was at the water well, and then The Tingler explains that earlier he was trying to warn Orko and his friends about the avalanche.
Orko says he’s going to go explain things to Teela and Prince Adam, but Cringer is afraid to be left alone, so The Tingler suggests that he’ll go get Orko’s friends so Orko can stay here with Cringer. Orko is so happy that he literally kisses The Tingler. The Tingler leaves, then marches right into the woods and into view of the lynch mob. They spot him immediately and The Tingler runs off in fear. Teela and Prince Adam jump in a wind raider and take off to stop the mob from tearing The Tingler apart. The Tinger manages to get up some rocks that the villagers can’t scale, so they run off to find another way up.
Prince Adam and Teela fly overhead in time to see all the villagers running across an old, rickety rope bridge, which is starting to fall apart under all the vigorous traffic. Prince Adam lands the wind raider as the bridge starts to really give way, planks falling left and right, the ropes stretching and snapping. They all manage to make it across, but now they’re stuck on a narrow ledge, which is beginning to crumble. What is the point of a bridge that only leads to a narrow ledge? Prince Adam says He-Man told him he’d he hanging around, so Teela goes off to find him. As Teela wanders around slowly, looking for He-Man, Prince Adam draws his power sword and recycles some animation, even though I’m pretty sure he’s directly across the ledge from the villagers.
By the time he’s done, the ledge has started to deteriorate quickly, and the woman from the well says, it’s all The Tingler’s fault! He-Man whips out his power sword and starts carving up a rock. The goat man says, “He’s building a bridge!”, which means that the villagers totally would have seen Prince Adam change into He-Man, because they can see him now, and he hasn’t moved from where he was. He uses the stone plank he’s carved to bridge the gap. All of the villagers make it across, except for the woman from the well, because the platform between her and the plank crumbles before she can get to it. Then the platform on the other side of her breaks, leaving her just as stranded as before, only with less space to be stranded on. He-Man does not think he has time to make another bridge before she plummets to her death.
Suddenly, The Tingler leaps down, landing on an outcropping just above her. He extends his hand to her, palm up, in aid. She shrieks in fear, calling him a monster, willing her own doom by telling The Tingler to fuck right the fuck off. He just smiles sweetly at her and says, gently, “Do I really look like a monster? I only want to help.” Still she resists. The Tingler coos, “Come on. Take my hand. Come o-on, that ledge is going to colla-apse.” She finally takes his hand, The Tingler doing an arm curl to raise her up to safety, just as the platform crumbles. He stares down into her face, and as the crowd cheers, The Tingler blushes deeply.
Back in the village, the woman from the well expounds on the depths of her gratitude to The Tingler. She apologizes for all the nasty, lascivious rumors she spread about him. He-Man says very loudly, “Well, I guess you all found out that gossip can be pretty dangerous.” Now the woman from the well is just gushing all over The Tingler. “Don’t you get lonely up in that cold cave of yours?” She says. “You know what you need, a warm bed, er, meal,” she says. The Tingler literally swoops her off her feet, and she loves it. Damn! His first day out of his hermitage, and he’s going to show some chick why he’s really called “The Tingler”. Goat man tries to invite himself along, but the woman from the well shuts him down real quick. As the The Tingler walks away with her on his shoulder she tells him her name is Emma, and asks what his name is, aside from “The Tingler”, that is. Herman. Herman the Hermit.
Time for this week’s moral! As if you couldn’t guess what it is. It’s pretty fucking obviously going to be about how spreading rumors is evil, and wrong, and hurtful. Unless you spread good rumors, like Asians are good at math, or that black guys have big dicks, or so-and-so is good in bed. These are the kind of rumors that help lift society up. Teela comes on screen to tell us that it’s natural for people to exaggerate, then we do a hazy fade into two villagers claiming the stone bridge He-Man laid down was 400 feet long. We fade back to Teela, and she says that it’s hard sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s a fucking lying liar that lies, but pretty much everybody fucking lies, and there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it. That’s why, Orko, says, you can’t trust nobody.
He-Man murder count:
Season 1: 19
Season 2: 3
Episodes missing Skeletor:
Season 1: 28
Season 2: 23
IMDB cast list:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, The Tingler, Farmer Elias
Alan Oppenheimer: Cringer, Squire Wilkins
Linda Gary: Teela, Emma
Lou Scheimer: Orko, Jed Hansen, Miller Perkins