If this episode were called “The Magic Fails”, it would clearly be an Orko episode. But, it’s not, it’s called “The Magic Falls”, which sounds enchanting, if not a bit boring. We open, as we often do, at the Royal Palace. The Town Crier is announcing that soon King Randor will come out and will hear the pleas of the people so that he may do what he can to better their lives. A hooded blonde woman turns to another woman – a woman who very well may be Evil-Lyn in disguise – and gushes about what a wonderful king Randor is, going out of his way like this to help his poor subjects. Indeed, when the suspicious woman turns toward the camera and speaks, the voice is clearly that of Evil-Lyn.
We cut to Snake Mountain where Evil-Lyn tells Skeletor that she has some good news. Skeletor is not too happy to be interrupted because he was “feeding his pets”, but he sits down and listens to her anyway. Evil-Lyn explains all about how on Eternia Day, King Randor allows people in need of help in to the palace to beg for his assistance. During all this, King Randor holds the Scepter of Power, a centuries old symbol of power over all of Eternia. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Skeletor is pretty stoked about this idea. So, that settles it, they’re going to steal the Scepter of Power. Only, I find it curious that Evil-Lyn used the specific word “symbol” of power. To me, a symbol is just that, a representation. So, I question as to whether this so-called “Scepter of Power” actually has any powers.
Evil-Lyn will use her magic to disguise one of the minions that have suddenly appeared in the room. Skeletor adds that they’d better pick someone expendable in case of capture. Beast Man shakes as he says it can’t be him because he’s not feeling very well. Trap Jaw stands there, his mouth hanging open in fear, and also claims to be sick. Kobra Khan calls them both cowards and steps forward and tells Skeletor he’ll do it. Evil-Lyn reveals one small problem. Orko. As a magician, there is a chance that he may see through the magic disguise and recognize Kobra Khan for who he is. Since when has Orko ever done that? He’s had his fair share of magic disguises cross his path, and he’s never been any the wiser before. You have to love it when new powers just get made up, as if they’ve always been there. The worst might be Superman 2, when he throws the “S” shield from his costume and it wraps Zod in plastic. Skeletor’s concern for Orko as a threat is so little that he goes ahead and congratulates himself on a flawless plan.
At the Royal Palace, King Randor is holding the Scepter of power in a way that shows it off very conspicuously, while he implies just how long this thing has been passed down, though he only specifically mentions as far back as his own grandfather. Someday, it will be passed down to Prince Adam. “You see, the scepter embodies all that is true and honorable,” King Randor says. No, there’s those tricky semantics again, the word “embodies”. That’s a symbolic word. If he said it’s the “manifestation” of all that is true and honorable, I would believe the thing has power. King Randor prattles on, “But more than that, it is called the Scepter of Power because it serves to remind us the real power belongs to the people, the citizens, whom the King is honored to serve.” You guys, tell me. I’m not crazy, right? That didn’t make any sense to you either, did it? What mind-numbing blather!
King Randor is not finished yet. He goes on, “That is why Eternia Day has always been important to me. That is why it is vital that you are on time, Adam.” Oh! Zing! He just had to throw that in, didn’t he? All that talk of passing down the Scepter of Power, and he has to end it by reminding Prince Adam what a twit he is. Prince Adam assures his daddy that he won’t be late. He announces he’s going to go find Orko, and he specifically states his reason for doing so, which is so dumb that I refuse to describe it. Somewhere near the palace, Orko is forcing some birds that are sitting on their eggs, and therefore a captive audience, to watch him do tricks. He ends up conjuring one of their eggs out from under them, which does not make them happy at all.
Orko hears Prince Adam calling for him, which is a great excuse to take off before he gets pecked to death. Skeletor sees him coming and intercepts Orko. Orko rather innocently asks what Skeletor is here for. Skeletor says they’re here to see Orko. Orko says he doesn’t have time and has to go, then he zips off. As he goes, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn blast him with their staffs, taking his magic away, which makes it so he can’t see their magic anymore, because he’s not magic. Orko doesn’t seem to know what hit him and goes on his hurried way. He finds Prince Adam in the Royal Courtyard and tells him that he saw Skeletor. Prince Adam is a little alerted, but Orko doesn’t seem to think it’s that odd – not as odd as the odd feeling he has, a feeling like he’s lost something. He tries to conjure some flowers, but it doesn’t work, because his magic is gone. Orko is distressed, but I’m pretty happy about it.
Prince Adam takes Orko to see Man-At-Arms, who is scanning him in a machine. Man-At-Arms says he if this were a medical problem he could help, but since it’s magic, there’s nothing he can do. Orko suggests they go find this legendary magic waterfall that restores lost magic. Only, Orko doesn’t know where it is, because it’s just a legend. Very probably, this is all going to cause Prince Adam to miss Eternia Day, which is going to break King Randor’s heart, and very well may ensure that Prince Adam doesn’t get the stupid handed down to him Scepter of Power one day. If he doesn’t miss it entirely, Prince Adam will definitely be late. Orko says there’s supposed to be a secret gateway, far below the surface of the planet. “Then that’s where we’re going!” Prince Adam says. Right. “But what about the Eternia Day celebration? Your father will expect you there,” Man-At-Arms says. Prince Adam shrugs it off, figuring they have a few hours yet, and they have to know why Skeletor wants Orko without his powers.
Prince Adam recycles some animation and turns into He-Man so he can go solve this mystery. Orko and He-Man are cruising out in Attak Trak when they come to a stop. Orko doesn’t see the Magic Falls anywhere, but Attak Trak insists they’ve arrived at the coordinates that he was given. How the fuck did they give him coordinates, when they don’t know where the place is? And anyway, I thought they were playing Journey to the Centerof the Earth to find this gateway to the waterfall. Anyway, they get out of Attak Trak and He-Man decides that there’s something behind a bunch of debris aside and they find an ancient stone door. It zaps Orko when he tries to touch the door. The inscription says they need the magic word, so He-Man just tries to tear open the doors, but he gets zapped too and is flung so hard he gets impressed into some boulders.
The door impatiently says, “Speak the magic word, friend, then enter.” Orko babbles, “What kind of magic word? I mean, what’s the password? What am I supposed to do, say ‘Please let me in’?” As it turns out, that is all he had to do, the door just wanted to be asked nicely. The door opens and Orko heads in, and as He-Man goes to follow him, the door says, “No! You tried to force your way inside. Therefore, you may not come in”. He-Man gets an idea, “Hmm. Maybe He-Man isn’t allowed inside, but he didn’t say anything about Adam.” Wouldn’t that be rich if the door totally sees through a simple clothes change? After a screen wipe, Orko and Prince Adam just drive Attak Trak right the fuck through the door and into the cave.
Orko announces that, now that they are inside, it’s clear sailing to the Magic Falls. Attak Trak tells him that every time Orko says that, something goes wrong. Just as Orko is disputing the truth of Attak Trak’s complaint, they come to a sudden halt. Prince Adam opens up the back to see what’s going on. Some strange tentacles have snagged up on the tracks, and when Prince Adam steps out, the tentacles grab him too. While they fling him around, his power sword falls out and he can’t quite reach it. Orko flies over and tries to retrieve the power sword, but he can’t lift it. Prince Adam has an idea that if they work together, they can get it. They join hands and Prince Adam pulls on Orko and frees the sword.
Prince Adam recycles animation immediately, and I really hope the cave magically ejects him when he emerges as He-Man. Still tangled in the tentacles, He-Man spins around real fast and gets them all wound up, then throws them deep into the dark of the cave. They pile back into Attak Trak, but they don’t make it too far before they encounter a deep crevice. Unfortunately for Orko, the bridge is out. We fade to what would have been a dramatic commercial break, then we fade right back into He-Man saying there’s got to be a way to get across. Orko realizes he can float across, so He-Man has an idea and goes to get some rope. Back at the Royal Palace, Ring Randor is flipping out, “Where is he, Duncan? Where is he? It’s almost time for the ceremony, Adam promised he’d be here!” Man-At-Arms tries to reassure King Randor that there’s still time for Prince Adam to make it.
Outside, Kobra Khan, Evil-Lyn, and Skeletor stand at a distance gazing upon the Royal Palace, practically salivating. They run through the plan one more time. Well, two more times. Kobra Khan breaks it down first: Step One) Sneak into palace; Step Two) Drop sleep pellet; Step Three) Steal Scepter of Power. He’s wrong though. Step one is that Evil-Lyn disguises him with magic, then all of the other stuff happens. Evil-Lyn disguises him as a somewhat normal looking guy. “Niccccce,” Kobra Khan says. Skeletor imitates Kobra Khan mockingly, then turns to Evil-Lyn, pissed. “I can only change the way he looks, not the way he talks,” she says defensively. Skeletor figures if Orko is not around, then nobody will notice that he hisses and slurs his “s” sounds like a snake. It’ll have to do, Skeletor says. Great master plan, bone head.
Back in the caverns, He-Man is swinging a grappling hook around, getting ready to catch the rope bridge hanging down on the other side. I’m kind of surprised to see a grappling hook, because I was pretty sure that Orko was going to take a regular rope and fly over to tie it to the bridge. Instead, he doesn’t do anything and watches as He-Man tosses the rope and hauls the bridge up. He-Man gets the bridge back up and expects Attak Trak to drive over it. Understandably, Attak Trak wants to know if it’s safe for a several ton vehicle to drive over a flimsy, ancient rope bridge that, only moments ago, was broken. He-Man, eyeing Attak Trak shiftily over his shoulder, says, “We won’t know for sure until you’re across… Only joking! Now, move it.” I would have a hard time trusting even He-Man in this circumstance, truly.
Attak Trak makes it across safely, and when Orko asks if He-Man is coming, I realize that He-Man has been holding the bridge up with his own muscles by pulling really hard on the grappling hook rope. He lets the rope go and runs across the bridge, defying physics as it falls behind him, just shy of the other side, He does a summersault through the air, into some barrel rolls when he lands on the other side. This apparently marks the end of their cavernous journey, because a stone framework on the wall lights up and that odd wizard from <a href=” http://www.he-manreviewed.com/season-1-episode-1-the-cosmic-comet/”target=”"”>Season 1 Episode 1</a>, the very first episode, appears in it and asks what they want. He’s not really the same wizard though, it’s one of those times where they recycle a character model and pretend he’s a different person all together.
He-Man tells him that they’ve come to restore Orko’s magic, and asks if he can take them to the Magic Falls. The wizard scoffs. Of course he can take them. He’s the gatekeeper, and he can take them anywhere! Well, as it would happen, the wizard is having trouble remembering how to get there. He can’t even remember how long it’s been since he last took someone anywhere – 300 years? 400 years? He even gets his words all mixed up. I wouldn’t trust this Wizard guy any more than I was inclined to trust He-Man when he told Attak Trak it was safe to cross the bridge. The wizard says he’ll try, but the Magic Falls are in another dimension, and the wizard isn’t sure which one, so they might have to look for a while. Sure, they have that kind of time.
In the first dimension they appear, Orko encounters a pterodactyl like creature hanging upside down in the mouth of a cave and asks if he knows where the Magic Falls are. It just snaps at Orko, literally. They decide it’s not the right place and move on. In another world, a blizzard is blowing, and Orko bitches about being cold while He-Man stands there, practically naked, and not seeming to mind at all. They move on again, and we cut back to the palace for a bit. The disguised Kobra Khan tells a guard he wants to see the king, and so he’s welcomed to get the fuck in line. A long, long line, of poor, desperate people who want a handout from King Randor. Kobra Khan brazenly walks to the front of the line and is immediately called out by an old man. Kobra Khan leans in close and intimidates the old man, which sufficiently shuts him up.
Upstairs, King Randor is still sulking because Prince Adam hasn’t shown up yet. Man-At-Arms enters, and King Randor asks, “Well, Duncan, any sign of Adam?” Not yet, but Man-At-Arms again tries to convince King Randor to wait a few more minutes. Alas, King Randor, in the same animation cell from when he was scowling earlier with Man-At-Arms looking on, resolves that the ceremony must go on. King Randor, bitterly says, “If Adam wishes the people of Eternia to know that he has better things to do than listen to them, then let it be on his own head.” Harsh words from a disappointed dad.
In another dimension, He-Man and Orko shimmer in a blue light, surrounded by blackness. None of them can see, and two large, threatening eyes open near them. Before they get eaten by what ever it is, the wizard teleports them again. As they float through the inter-dimensional plane, Orko is about ready to give up when the wizard thinks he’s found the Magic Falls. Or not. The wizard stalls and claims to know, and see all things, but yet… He asks Orko for one more chance and tries a magic chant to draw them to the falls. It works, and then the wizard takes off to leave them to it. Hopefully, this is the Magic Falls, and not some regular waterfall. Orko approaches the falls and gazes at them reverently, remaking that this is where the first Trollan got his magic. Orko takes the plunge and gets his magic back, then after he spooges joy a bit, teleports himself, He-Man, and Attak Track back to Eternia.
In Eternia, King Randor is starting the ceremony. His first words? “I’m sorry my son, Prince Adam, will not be here. But, in his absence…” But before he can continue trashing his hapless son, Orko yells “Wait!”, and comes walking into the room with Prince Adam. “Sorry we’re late. We went off in the woods and… got a little lost,” Prince Adam explains, sheepishly. “Well, at least you’re here,” King Randor says curtly. King Randor continues, asking for the first citizen to step forth. Still first in line with no one having ratted on him for budging, and the guards not having caught on, Kobra Khan steps forward. Orko’s magic goes nuts, and he says, “No, wait! Something’s wrong here, I can feel it”. He floats over to Kobra Khan and recites a magic chant that exposes Kobra Khan for who he really is. Queen Marlena covers her mouth in horror at the sight of him.
Kobra Khan opens his hood and starts ejecting his sleeping gas, but Orko uses his magic to teleport him away. As it turns out, Orko was supercharged by entering the fountain. As a result, his magic is even more powerful, and especially more accurate than usual. Then it wears off, right after that and he’s back to his normal ineptitude. Annoyed, but apparently not troubled by Kobra Khan’s infiltration, says, “If there are no further interruptions, Let us begin.” Prince Adam whispers to Orko, asking where he sent Kobra Khan. We cut to Kobra Khan standing before the wizard’s gate, asking where he can take Kobra Khan. Kobra Khan is whisked away to that black-as-night dimension, and the malicious eyes open and chase Kobra Khan away, much the wizard’s delight.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how Prince Adam should really just tell King Randor that he’s He-Man. King Randor would go from being fairly disapproving of Prince Adam to being the proudest dad that has ever been. They could even re-title the show as “He-Man and the Proudest Dad in the Universe”. Is Randor not trustworthy enough to know this, really? Orko fucking knows it. I’m floored that after 121 episodes, wait, 123 with the Christmas special, that Orko hasn’t spilled the beans yet. Instead, Man-At-Arms comes on and summarizes Prince Adam’s trip in to the caverns and specifically how He-Man couldn’t reach his sword, but when he worked together with Orko, he was able to reach it. Team work, this week’s moral is about teamwork. Then it ends with egg on Duncan’s face. Literally. I think it’s pretty fitting, since he had such a stupid moral.
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, Beast Man
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Gatekeeper
Linda Gary: Evil-Lyn, Queen Marlena
Lou Scheimer: Orko, King Randor, Kobra Khan, Trap Jaw, Attak Trak, Town Crier, Magic Falls Door, Royal Guard, Old Man
Jesus, could John Erwin or Alan Oppenheimer maybe have picked up a couple extra voices this week?