Daily Cartoon: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe S01E26: “The Council of Evil Part 2”

We made it. After a month of hitting play and pause and play again we got here. We’ve watched and rewatched and commented and discussed to get to this moment. This is the season finale. Folks, right here, right now…

THIS IS THE DANCE!

It’s the Season 1 finale and we’re coming off an absolutely awesome set-up from yesterday. When we left off, Skeletor sacrificed his entire allotment of evil warriors in order to lull our heroes into a false sense of security while he formed an alliance with other baddies we’ve been introduced to throughout the season in order to divide and conquer.

All of the Masters have been captured in some form with the only exceptions being Teela (who is still at the palace guarding the prison holding all of Skelly’s henches) and He-Man who, when we left off, was heading for Snake Mountain for what will surely be an epic confrontation.

The newly formed Council of Evil (Count Marzo, the Giants, Evil Seed and Webstor led by Skeletor) are fully expecting He-Man’s arrival and have incorporated it into their grand scheme.

We’ve made it here so there’s no sense in waiting anymore. Hook it to my veins!

S01E26: The Council of Evil Part 2

Original Air Date: October 11, 2003

Screen Cap Analysis: Prince Adam: Always caught hanging around.

He-Man is hot on the way to Snake Mountain aboard Battle Cat. We cut to the dungeon where all of the Masters are being held captive and are beginning to come to. They notice all are there except for Adam, Teela and Mekaneck. Ram Man thinks Mek must have been able to escape and is probably working on a plan to free them, but Man-At-Arms tempers that excitement by wondering if he tried to get away and suffered an even more dire consequence.

As He-Man approaches, he hears grunting and sees Mekaneck bound by thick vines to a nearby slab of rock. Mek’s mouth is covered, but he’s obviously trying to let He-Man know that it’s a trap which is quickly discovered when He-Man is suddenly attacked by the three Giants. He-Man is able to use his quickness and agility and strength to take our this first round of adversaries, but when returning to free Mek, he’s grabbed by a strong and seemingly never-ending collection of vines. Evil Seed has arrived.

He-Man struggles and gets close to freeing himself, but Count Marzo comes to the aid and hits the vines with a blast of his magic that turn the vines to cement. Man-At-Arms tries rewiring Roboto to contact Teela, but she’s conducting a guard check of the prison so only Orko answers and he’s so fucking stupid that he doesn’t recognize the sound of Duncan’s voice or the gravity of his message before it’s cut out as Skeletor hits Roboto with an energy blast frying his wiring. Orko, at least, is smart enough to relay the message to Teela. Skeletor tells our captured heroes that the only reason they’re still alive is so they can see his greatest triumph as he takes Castle Grayskull.

Count Marzo returns to Skeletor’s throne room to find Skelly miffed that things have taken so long. Marzo comes bearing the Ram Stone which he was able to wrest away from The Faceless One (who we also met earlier this season and can be read about here). As the villains begin to get ready to storm Grayskull, we see a face peeking around a corner watching the entire scene: Rattlor!!

Rattlor – along with Kobra Khan – is one of the last remaining Snake Men that weren’t locked away when He-Man and Zodak closed the void (for a refresher, click here). They seemed to escape to the bowels of Snake Mountain where we’ve been waiting to see how they would again factor into the plot. Well, here we fucking go!

The Sorceress contacts He-Man to let him know he’s gotta get free. He’s locked in cement vines and all, “no fucking shit, you worthless fuck!” She then mentions that maybe Prince Adam would be a help and he returns the power so tiny, teenage Adam can easily slip through his shackles. But just as he’s about to again transform into He-Man, Teela comes flying in and is all happy to see him, cockblocking him from transforming.

Brief tangent: do you mean to tell me that Skeletor, with all his security cameras and drones and Doomseekers didn’t have some type of surveillance completely focused on He-Man being trapped? Like, wouldn’t he want to know if he was able to break free? Because he would have clearly seen He-Man shrivel into lowly Prince Adam and the secret would have been out! This strategy may be worse than when Roddy Piper got to name the stipulations for his match against Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 96 and neglected to make sure it was a title match. To make matters worse (!) as soon as Teela and Adam take off to breach Snake Mountain, one of those Doomseeker drones is flying by following them as Orko looks at Cringer and says, “…but Adam is He-Man!”

SOMEONE HAD TO SEE AND OR HEAR THIS! THE BEANS HAVE BEEN SPILLED!

The Doomseeker reports to Skeletor and shows him video of Teela and Adam making their way, but absolutely nothing about He-Man turning into Adam or even the audio of Orko giving away the state secret of He-Man’s true identity. Skeletor doesn’t even worry a bit about two teenagers trying to crash his party, calling them “insects”. Webstor feels like this is a job for him. Because he’s a humanoid spider. And spiders feast on insects. Gotcha.

The two manage to get to one of the entrances of Snake Mountain, but quickly realize they have no plan. Teela says that He-Man will show up, she knows it. Adam doesn’t know how to tell her that He-Man ain’t coming unless she goes around the corner first, so he settles on just telling her his secret. Before he can get it out, though, his sword is snatched by the webbing of Webstor. He then grabs Teela and Adam isn’t strong enough to hold her back as she is dragged up and away by the spider’s web.

Adam’s Power Sword is stuck in webbing, but reachable as he’s able to knock it loose using a nearby stick. He hits it so hard, however, that it is bumped into a crack of the cavern’s floor and falls into an abyss before Adam can grab it. Now alone and without his sword, Adam will have to rely on guile and wits to save the day.

He’s immediately captured by Webstor who wonders why he’s even bothering and cuts the web, sending Adam hurtling toward a lava river. He’s a goner.

…Until a very non-Battle Cat Cringer comes leaping in to save his master at the last second! Adam is knocked out against a stone wall, but he’s alive and the Masters still have some semblance of hope.

Back at the now unguarded prison, Beast Man is trying to summon some…well…beasts to come free him and his fellow villains. Instead, they get an iguana looking thing coming through a vent. The same iguana looking thing that freed Kobra Khan earlier this season. The iguana walks over the control panel which opens the front door for…Rattlor and Kobra Khan to come scaling in.

Once again, the Sorceress contacts Adam through telepathy and is all, “Adam, there’s danger, Grayskull needs you!” Thankfully, for his sake, Adam seems to have a concussion and can’t process the nerve of this bitch giving him orders after all he’s already been through while she’s just been domming him from the safety of her green brick walls. Cringer, Adam’s “fearless friend” completely understand the gravity of the situation, though, and tosses Adam onto his back to try to hunt down the Power Sword.

As the Council of Evil makes their way toward Grayskull, Count Marzo and Skeletor begin arguing over who gets what once the Castle is taken. Marzo has had enough and hits Skeletor with a massive burst of his magic. Once the dust clears, Skeletor is…still standing completely unharmed by the powerful Count Marzo. He slowly walks up to Marzo without a word and grabs the Ram Stone as well as Marzo’s own medallion. It is badass. He then sends a powerful spell upon Grayskull that surprises the Sorceress who is completely unprepared for the attack she knew was coming. She is tattooed by Skeletor’s magic and is sent falling through catacombs unable to protect the Castle.

Cringer – with Adam still on his back – wasn’t looking for the sword after all, but was running across Eternia to take Adam to Grayskull. OK, well that’s bold strategy, Cotton, we’ll have to see how it works out for them. Adam, unaware of what’s become the Sorceress keeps waiting on help that’s not coming as the Council of Evil arrive at Grayskull’s door.

Adam, now peeing his pants so much that he’s cool like Miles Davis, gets one last reprieve: he sees a fleet of Masters’ vehicles arriving on the scene! Unfortunately, for him, though, they are being piloted by the evil warriors now freed by the Snake Men. Skeletor finds this absolutely hysterical as we get one of the best, longest evil cackles of the season.

And….credits.

Wait…what?!

Yupppppppppppppppppp.

That’s it. That’s how it ends: Prince Adam about to die at the hands of pretty much every bad guy we’ve ever met with no help in sight while Skeletor laughs it the fuck up.

Final Thoughts:

Well, I can’t say I expected that ending. Leaving a two-parter on a cliffhanger is pretty ballsy. Honestly don’t know how I’m feeling about this. On one hand, which is in hindsight, I know there’s another season so I’m glad they didn’t feel the need to rush through things and give less meaning to the going-ons.

On the other, a more in-the-moment reaction, I can’t believe they didn’t wrap this up. Wow, this probably would have infuriated me if I actually knew when this was airing in 2003 and had been waiting anxiously for this.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this episode – I most certainly did – I am just really surprised that they went this route. A quick peek tells me that the season premiere actually aired the very next week so maybe this wasn’t meant to be a “finale” so much as this two-parter was meant to open the next season? That’s just me spit-balling because I really don’t know, but the idea that this story arc would flow seamlessly into the next season along with the six month break before Part 1 would hit air waves is just really strange to me.

Maybe it doesn’t matter and I’m just overthinking things in a way too traditional sense of “seasons” and storytelling, but it just feels like an odd place to drop this kind of cliffhanger.

But here is where we are and Prince Adam has no Sorceress, no Masters on the way and no sword. He’s grossly outmanned and outpowered, but the one ace he may have in his pocket is that these freshly-arriving villains know Skeletor sold them up the creek and they are now indebted to the Snake Men for their freedom. The power struggle would  theoretically begin almost immediately.

Speaking of the Snakes, I was really pleasantly surprised to see Rattlor’s appearance eavesdropping on Skelly’s conference. I’ve been waiting for the Snakes to reappear and while it makes perfect sense for it to happen here, I just wasn’t expecting it with everything else going on.

At the end of the day, I give this season a rousing thumbs-up. Not every episode was a home run, but the overwhelming majority were very entertaining and I was able to have a good deal of fun with them. With the way this wrapped up, I’m very much looking forward starting in on Season 2 and I’ll be back with that coming on Monday so you have a three-day weekend to let this all process. Thanks for sticking with me through the first 26 episodes and I hope you’ll stay for the final 13.

Joe

Twitter: @MaxSexPow

Email: ShoesOnSports@gmail.com

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