Yes! Yes! Yes!
Finally I’m getting what I’ve been waiting for since Episode 21! Go ahead and check out the recap for that episode and you’ll see right away how excited I got when they introduced this story line. When they added Kobra Khan and Rattlor as a tiny wrinkle in the Season 1 finale? Loved it.
I’m here for it. I’m all-in on the Snake Men and – unless the title of this episode is just a bold-faced lie – I’m getting rewarded for my patience today.
I don’t even want to waste any time recapping or anything. I want to get this going right now.
S02E4: Rise of the Snake Men Part 1
Original Air Date: November 8, 2003
Screen Cap Analysis: He’s a cold-hearted snake, look into his eyes! Uh-oh! He’s been telling lies!
We open with a flashback of Zeelahr, brother of Zodak, being tortured by Snake warriors. Zodak arrives to try to save, the day, but is rendered helpless as he’s tied up by Tung Lashor and forced to watch as Zeelahr is fed whole to King Hiss. We don’t actually see the consuming, but we see the shadows and it is still gangsta as fuck to see in a He-Man cartoon. Zodak then awakens in a cold sweat at his lair in the Mystic Mountains…he’s just having that same dream again, but fears that this time it is a glimpse of what shall happen in the future.
Between Zodak and the Sorceress, the Masters ain’t fucking around. It’s all hands on deck and the Sorceress even tells Adam that the Elders will better equip him to deal with this new threat once he transforms.
The Masters set out to Snake Mountain trying to get there before Kobra Khan can reopen the Void (an ancient prison locked by the magic of Zodak holding all of the Snake Men except for Rattlor and Kobra Khan. Need more? Well, check out that handy Ep. 21 recap here!), but they’re noticed by Skeletor on his surveillance units. Skelly is completely unaware of what could possibly be going on with the Snake Men, he just assumes that He-Man and pals are showing up to fuck with him like normal. He tells Evil-Lyn to hit them with a proper welcome, but she’s nowhere to be found.
Seems as if Kobra Khan is finally collecting on his debt from the Season 1 finale where she told him he could name his price once Khan and Rattlor freed all of Skeletor’s goons from the palace prison (which can be read about here). She also reiterates that she wishes to be rewarded by King Hiss which Kobra Khan tells her not to worry about because King Hiss is the best and he always shows his loyalty. Once again, Khan is causally omitting the fact that Hiss’ way of doing this is by FUCKING EATING YOU WHOLE. Yo, fam, like…this ain’t a drill. Money just fucking eats you! Lady all up in the Kool-Aid and don’t even know the flavor.
Regardless, Khan, Rattlor and Evil-Lyn are paying a surprise visit to the Mystic Mountains to see Zodak. They need his staff to unseal the Void and, while Zodak was able to handle the Snakes, Evil-Lyn hits him with a devastating energy blast that knocks him out allowing the villains to claim their prize and be on their way.
The Masters are about to arrive at Snake Mountain, but are greeted by Skeletor’s goon squad. A battle ensues, but what this really does is distract the evildoers and allow Khan and Rattlor undisturbed access to the Void while these jerks battle it out. Man-At-Arms tries telling Skeletor of his real reason for showing up and that there may be a traitor in his ranks, but Evil-Lyn (just arriving back from the Mystic Mountains) uses her magic to silence Duncan and then shows off a belt buckle bearing the Snake Men emblem to show that she already stopped Kobra Khan.
Rattlor and Khan are able to waltz right in. They open the void and the Snakes start coming one by one: Tung Lashor, Sssqueeze, Snake Face and, finally, King Hiss. It’s time for them to take back their home of Snake Mountain and then all of Eternia.
The Masters are still engaged in battle with the minions of Skeletor and they’re all going to be in for a shocker when they find that the Void has already been opened and that they all good and fucked now. To be completely honest, this battle goes on for too long and ends with the Masters forced to retreat and Skeletor feeling proud as a goddamn peacock over his victory. He returns to his throne room wanting to immediately launch an attack since the Masters are weakened, but there’s another king sitting in his throne: King Hiss. Skelly tries cracking wise, but the Snakes overtake him and his crew like immediately. Snake Face – who has Medusa power to turn people to stone – cements up the whole squad while Hiss bounds and imprisons Skeletor leaving only Evil-Lyn still free…for now.
PSA: Actually, there wasn’t a PSA today. That’s how serious shit is right now…He-Man don’t even have a second to teach you a valuable lesson. But I’ll step in and give you some good advice:
Don’t free the fucking snakes. Nothing good can come from it.
I mean, I’ve been dying to get back to this arc since the very first mention of the Snakes so I’m all in. Is that bias? Is that just wanting to see a new focus for He-Man? I don’t think it’s bias, but – admittedly – I don’t think moving Skeletor to the back burner for a bit is a bad idea.
This episode was really good. Yes, the fight outside Snake Mountain did go on for too long, but I suspect they may have just needed to fill a bit of time since this is a two-part episode swing and probably had to extend a scene to time things out appropriately. That’s fine. It didn’t ruin the episode or anything, just made for a “wow…these dudes are gonna be so pissed when they finally finish fighting just to see what happened while they were outside.”
What will be interesting is to see how the Masters come back from this. Their raid on Snake Mountain accomplished literally nothing as the Void was opened and they’re now worse for wear with the injuries and such that they suffered. It’s a dangerous time and the writers have done a terrific job of selling the Snakes as a legitimate threat.
Now that they’ve been freed, Part 2 can focus on fleshing out the Snakes a bit more as we transition into this new feud. The new Snakes all got to show their special powers and I’m sure we’re just scratching the surface with King Hiss who right now feels like the biggest threat He-Man may ever encounter. I’m genuinely excited to pick this up tomorrow and you should be too.
Until next time.