“You’re All Wet”
Last time, on Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Teela and Andrea liberated a fancy chalice-that-was-actually-a-ram-skull from a borgified Snake Mountain for an old-lady-that-wasn’t-an-old-lady. This time, things get way more fishy.
Warning: Beyond This Point There Be Spoilers.
Episode 3: The Most Dangerous Man in Eternia
Episode three opens with another flashback to simpler days when a muscle-bound man could sock an evil skeleton man, throw out a quip, and not make anyone think too hard unless they wanted to. The Aquaticon designs here are fun. I don’t know if they’ve ever been established before, but I liked that they weren’t just a bunch of different colors of Mer-man. Speaking of Mer-man, his redesigned “classic” outfit is very cool. But Mer-man was always one of my favorite characters, both design-wise and the way he was portrayed in the classic series. I do miss his more gurgley intonations. I suppose that was deemed a little too silly for a modern action cartoon. And I do like his new voice. But man, that was charming.
We cut to the present day, where apparently Teela has been regaling Andra with this tale. Now, I like meta commentary when it’s done right. In this episode I think we get examples of how to do it well, and how to do it poorly. But Teela’s comment (after Andra remarks on the cheesiness of He-man’s “You’re all wet” line) that it’s because he had the sense of humor of a teenager who didn’t get out much works so well. For one thing, it shows that Teela has been thinking a lot about the Adam/He-man dynamic since she found out they were one and the same. It “explains” the sometimes cheesy/campy dialogue in the old show, at least in Adam/He-man’s case, and it’s a fun little moment.
Lyn and the Mountaineers
Evil-Lyn gives us a little insight into her relationship with Skeletor. Which, of course, is not a positive one. The dynamic here is more of a Harley Quinn/Joker dynamic. I’m a little divided on this, to be honest. On one hand, it gives Evil-Lyn some interesting stuff character-wise. On the other hand, I preferred to think of her as a schemer who was always waiting for the right time to get rid of Skeletor and take the power for herself. Having her pine for Skeletor sort of sticks in my craw, as they used to say, however one must remind oneself that we’re only halfway through the story even at the end of all five episodes. So, we’ll see how this plays out.
Evil-Lyn coins a phrase (as far as I’m aware) by calling the denizens of Snake Mountain her fellow “Snake Mountaineers.” Which is… I don’t know how to feel about it. It amuses me somewhat, but I also think it’s as good a name as any. This scene also features a meta joke I didn’t care for. Andra says “I don’t know why I thought the lady named Evil-Lyn would be nice.” Drawing attention to the silly fact that “evil” is in her name for a joke just feels grating to me. But it’s a small thing. And it gets brought up again later in the season in a way that I really liked. Humor is hard, and doesn’t hit everyone the same, I guess it goes to show.
Cuddle Time With Roton
The re-introduction of Man-at-Arms is fun. The first time I watched, I thought it was a little silly that his “disguise” was kept up for so long, and that Teela apparently didn’t immediately recognize him. But I feel like the more times I watch, the less time I think they’re trying to fool the audience and more that they are preserving the surprise for the characters like Teela and present M-A-A as “the mysterious man who keeps to himself” in town. Which makes sense when you realize he’s still laying low to escape Randor’s wrath. Speaking of Randor, we get another sign that things are probably not great at the Royal Palace. Eternia still feels like a lawless place, only exacerbated by the dwindling magic. I love the idea that magic was so commonplace in Eternia that even the common people had come to depend on it.
I love that Pope Tri-Klops comes riding in on a Roton. I love that vehicle. When I got it as a kid, I slept with it like it was a stuffed animal and not a pointy plastic thing. The design for the tank is new, and very cool, based on the Screech/Motherboard design. I wonder if they worked with Mattel in designing it, and maybe there are plans to make it later as a toy. You’ll note that one of the Motherboard cultists has a hand that just HAPPENS to look a lot like Man-at-Arm’s classic weapon. It’s silly and fun.
Beauty & The Beastman
Then we get the absolutely fantastic re-introduction of Beastman. Along with Lyn, he’s my favorite new design and character interpretation. It never occurred to me that Beastman was using face paint. I assumed that was part of his actual skin coloring. But it’s fun to change it up here, and his scarred, bare torso look is perfect for the character. His depiction of being devoted to Lyn feels new to me. I can’t remember that ever coming up before, and in fact I think Evil-Lyn was usually pretty cruel to him, but I like the concept and want to know more.
We’re taken back to Man-at-Arm’s little home, and find a sick Orko that Man-at-Arms is helping to nurse back to help. I found this heartbreaking. I’ve always like Orko. I’ll talk more about that in a future journal entry. But I was surprised by how terrible it felt to see the little guy feeling down and ill. His new voice is beautifully done (just like Cringer) and both feels like Orko but also gives him some shades of nuance. We also get an intro to Roboto, another favorite character of mine (his toy was amazing, and the Earl Norem art below dazzled me as a kid) so I’m happy he showed up here. I could have done without the poncho. I wonder if animating a see-through character is a pain? Was it for the dramatic reveal of his inner workings later? I don’t know.
“I like places like this – vast, unforgiving. Elemental.”
This is a great line by Evil-Lyn as they cruise through the Crystal Sea. She seems to be reminiscing about a past adventure with Teela. This is a bit odd, though, as I don’t think we ever got an adventure with them in the classic series with them together at the Crystal Sea. In fact, the sea, in the old series, was actually more of a barren crystal plane than an actual sea. Teela and Evil-Lyn did team up for the classic episode “The Witch and The Warrior,” however. I continue to really enjoy their interactions. Lena Heady’s performance is always fantastic, although sometimes I feel like the sound levels were a bit farther down for her lines and I find them slightly harder to hear.
Mer-man pops up, and I don’t particularly love his new design. It’s basically the same approach as Beastman: bare-chested with scars. But whereas this makes sense to me for Beastman, I feel like Mer-man might lean more into the royal aspects and actually be more elaborately dressed. Although I guess swimming through the ocean might keep it being a little basic. His eye scar is very effective, though, giving him an almost eye-patch/pirate feel.
Put the Magic Thing on the Other Thing
Man-at-Arms gets to be a badass again (for the third time this episode,) Orko and Andra get a nice exchange, and we get a good, hearty hug between M-A-A and Teela that left this fan of MOTU of old very happy. It’s hard to see those two on the outs. It makes me wonder how much time has passed, though. Five, maybe? Or is it far less? It just feels like a lot the way everything has played out because so much has changed.
The entrance to Subternia was intriguing. I don’t understand why the top of Skeletor’s havoc staff opened the gate by putting it on a skeleton. The skeleton almost looked like The Faceless One, a character introduced in the 2002 series. In that, he was the original keeper of the Havoc Staff, and Evil-Lyn’s father. His outfit looked like what we see on screen, but more elaborate. Although it might make the connection to the Havoc Staff make more sense, it also would be weird for Evil-Lyn to see her father’s corpse and not react. So, I’m assuming this is just a bit of magical fun and doesn’t mean anything.
- Trap-Jaw survived! I was a little unsure whether the saw killed him in Snake Mountain. It’s a relief to see him up and around (although with a new scar.)
- Orko being sent away from Eternos and the royal palace is troubling. Even if Randor is still depressed, it makes me wonder what Marlena is up to. Why hasn’t she helped? Why did she go along with sending Orko away?
- Did anyone else think Man-at-Arms was taking the magic water back to Mossman, regrowing him Groot style? I had just hoped it MIGHT be possible. But Orko was better. Seeing M-A-A taking care of him after their sometimes-fraught friendship was very sweet.
Next Time: Episode 4: Land of the Dead. Confusing nursery rhymes and a much-anticipated animated debut await us in the next spooooky episode.