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Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?







She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a reboot of the 1985 She-Ra: Princess of Power. The show is set on the planet Etheria and follows the stories of Adora and Catra, orphans who were raised to be soldiers in the Horde. They are part of an evil army led by Hordak, a tyrannical despot who dreams of conquering the planet. One day, after getting lost in the woods, Adora finds a magic sword that transforms her into the legendary Princess of Power, She-Ra. Realizing the Horde is actually evil and has been inflicting suffering on Etheria and its inhabitants, Adora decides to join the Rebellion in the fight against the Horde. She helps rebuild the Princess Alliance, a league of kingdoms ruled by other magical girls that once all opposed Hordak. However, Adora's newfound allegiance to the Rebellion pits her against Catra, her former best friend, whose feelings of betrayal and abandonment twist her personal ambitions and lead her to become Adora's mortal enemy. Much of the show centers around their conflict.
(Summary stolen from Wikipedia)

The show is a treat, and it's completed its run at 52 episodes over 5 seasons (really 4, but Season 2 was cut in half), so I figure it's a prime show for a watch. Each week, I'll post a quick summary of an episode, and we can discuss the latest episode. And before you ask, this is 100% just an excuse for me to watch the show again.

Please don't spoil episodes that have yet to happen. If you have to, use a labelled spoiler tag.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this thread. Feel free to watch along! The show is on Netflix in its entirety!

Senerio fucked around with this message at 07:59 on Jan 27, 2021

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Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Episode Summaries:

Season 1
The Sword, Part 1

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Episode 1: The Sword, Part One



The show opens in the Fright Zone, our protagonist, Adora is participating in a training excercise with her squad, Lonnie, Rogelio, and Kyle. (Catra, the last member of her squadron, is late.) The four are tasked with crossing the treacherous Whispering Woods to reach heart of the rebellion, Bright Moon, where the dastardly queen and her instigator army of princesses await. Using Horde robots to replicate the abilities of the princesses, Adora and her squad manage to make it to the queen (but not before losing Kyle), and Adora manages to shut her down, when suddenly Catra swoops in and shoves the robot emulating the queen down a pit, rescuing Adora when she falls down another pit.

After the simulation is concluded, Catra and Adora are bantering back and forth when Shadow Weaver arrives to compliment Adora on a job well done, dismissing Catra's efforts. She takes Adora aside and lets her know that Lord Hordak has decided to promote her to Force Captain, but her squad will not be joining her.

We cut to Bright Moon, where Queen Angella is chewing out her daughter, Commander Glimmer for taking an unnecessary risk in the fight against the Horde. They argue, and the Queen grounds Glimmer.

Back in the Fright Zone, Catra congratulates Adora on her new position, but runs away when she finds out she won't be coming along. Adora chases her to the roof, her favorite hiding spot, and the two steal a skiff to explore the Whispering Woods.

Due to Catra's recklessness Adora is knocked off the skiff, and lands in a clearing next to a sword that glows and talks to her when she talks to it. It calls out her name, only for Adora to wake up to Catra over her.

Back at Bright Moon, a mysterious figure approaches Commander Glimmer's room, and shoots an arrow, barely missing her head. This is the aptly named Bow, Glimmer's best friend, and he asks her to come out with him, but she's grounded. She teleports him into her room, and he tells her he found a piece of First Ones' tech. After a back and forth with Angella, Glimmer agrees to join Bow on his journey.

Back at the Fright Zone, Adora can't sleep, so she sneaks out (Catra sleeps curled in a ball at the foot of her bed), and, telling Catra to cover for her, goes back to find the sword.

Bow and Glimmer search for the first one's tech, and stumble across the sword at the same time as Adora, leading to a fight between Adora and the Rebellion soldiers. Adora touches the sword...

and is transported to an odd plane, where she sees a mysterious purple-skinned woman named Light Hope, who had been looking for Adora for a long time, but could not contact her until she "forged a connection with the sword." Claiming Etheria needs her, Light Hope asks her to fight For the Honor of Grayskull. Light Hope vanishes...

and Adora regains consciousness, captured by Glimmer and Bow. They interrogate her, and tell her they are taking her back to Bright Moon. The three stumble upon the ruins of a village, Adora discovers that the Evil Horde are, shocker, Evil.

While Adora and Bow argue over the semantics of the Evil Horde's name, Glimmer stumbles upon a large arachid monster, and she and Bow try to fight them off. Adora, seeing her chance to escape with the sword grabs it, but her conscience gets the best of her and she attracts the bug's attention. This was not the best idea because Adora is still not a swordswoman, but when she blocks a blow from the sword, she gets another vision from light hope, asking her to fight For the Honor of Grayskull.

"For the Honor of Grayskull!"

Adora transforms into She-Ra for the first time, and our episode ends...

Senerio fucked around with this message at 07:42 on Jan 27, 2021

sliami
Apr 28, 2018





Hey mate which one's your favorite

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





sliami posted:

Hey mate which one's your favorite

Scorpia

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

How do you feel about the episode you rewatched vs. when you were first watching? I, for one, remember buying into the idea that Glimmer was just Angella's subordinate and laughing when their dynamic shifted to "scolding mom/moody teen." It's one of a few delightful surprises found throughout the series.

e: Entrapta best character

Pththya-lyi fucked around with this message at 22:48 on Jan 29, 2021

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





I really liked it and was honestly surprised at how quickly Adora found the sword. It felt longer when I first watched it. Must've confused the first and second time.

Also knowing what I know now makes me appreciate a few minor pieces of foreshadowing that I won't go into right now.

Watermelon Daiquiri
Jul 10, 2010




Pththya-lyi posted:


e: Entrapta best character

KennyMan666
May 27, 2010

The Saga



Pththya-lyi posted:

e: Entrapta best character
This gal gets it

Actually finished watching the series myself yesterday, having started watching back in October. It was quite good. So with the whole thing in fresh memory I guess I can post along a bit in this thread, when I can think of something to say!

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




They're all best.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Episode 2: The Sword, Part Two



Episode 2 opens with the theme song, a peppy number introducing us to a bunch of characters we've yet to see, Adora and Catra both surrounded by members of the (currently unnamed) Princess Alliance and the Evil Horde respectively, and then the two locked in combat, ending on a shot of the heroic characters posing under a rainbow, because the show is subtle. This does not bode well for the relationship between our protagonist and the closest person to her.

The episode proper begins where the previous episode left off, with the She-Ra facing down the bug monster. Commander Glimmer and Bow are in awe of her new form, and She-Ra... notices that she's become a giant and freaks out, transforming back to Adora. Glimmer teleports in and the two fight over the Sword of She-Ra.

"What did you do to me?!?"
"What do you mean 'what did I do to you?"
"I didn't know being a princess was CONTAGIOUS!"

Bow tries to play peacemaker, but with both Glimmer and Adora on edge from the She-Ra transformation, it doesn't really work out that well, and to top it all off, their argument distracted them long enough that the bug monster remembered that A) they were there, and B) they look delicious. Bow hands Adora the sword, begging her to transform again, but Adora has no idea how she did it, so the three run from the bug monster again.

Falling down a pit, the three discover a mysterious ruin, and, to escape the bug monster, Glimmer teleports the three of them inside it. Adora, it turns out, can read the glyphs on the door. "The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter." Or "Eternia," that works too.

When Adora says the word on the door, it opens for her, to Glimmer's chagrin. The ruin is dark, but Glimmer, in addition to teleporting, can create light, which she uses as a makeshift torch. The two rebellion members interrogate Adora's knowledge of the First Ones writing, a language not spoken for a millenium.

"Princesses are monsters!"
"Monsters? YOU'RE the monster!"

While Glimmer is upset at the Horde Soldier for everything she stands for, Bow thanks her for saving them. He introduces himself to Adora, and comments that her name is unusual for a Horde Soldier.

While this is going on, Glimmer attempts to activate the Sword of She-Ra, to no avail. She speculates that they're in a First Ones ruin. Adora doesn't know who they are, allowing Bow to exposit:

"The First Ones are the original settlers of Etheria. They disappeared a thousand years ago, but they left behind a lot of old ruins and technology. Like this place."
"So, what happened to them?"
"No one knows. They just disappeared. The Horde didn't tell you about them?"
"Seems like there's a lot The Horde didn't tell me."

Bow is worried about Glimmer overexerting her magic, as she is far from Bright Moon, where she has to go to recharge her powers. Glimmer is mortified that Bow is talking about her weakness in front of a Horde Soldier. Adora is amused. Glimmer lights up a large chamber, revealing a stained glass portrait that looks a lot like the She-Ra form that Adora took. There's some more first ones writing in front of it, that says "She-Ra."

When Adora translates this, it activates the console, and the hologram woman from Adora's vision appears.

Greetings, Administrator. What is your query?

Bow attempts to probe information, but the hologram doesn't respond to him. When Glimmer shoves her hand through the hologram, however, she shifts color from blue to red.

Administrator not detected. Lockdown initiated.

The room locks down, and Bow asks Adora to stop it.

"What makes you think I can?"
Query not recognized.

Adora attempts to guess the password, yelling whatever word she can think of, but then looks at the stained glass and realizes that they need the scary lady in the cape. Glimmer refuses, so Adora yells out more First One related terms, until Glimmer decides that teleportation is the easiest way to escape...

Unfortunately for everyone, she teleports the three into the air, and the expulsion of magic knocks her unconscious. Bow quickly fires a net arrow, saving them. Glimmer regains consciousness, but is out of magic. She's asks Adora why she's still there--she and Bow barely fought her to a standstill when the two were fully charged-- and Adora replies that she wants to find out who she is, and is starting to question everything The Horde taught her. Additionally, the Whispering Woods feels familiar to her somehow, and she wants to figure out why. Bow promises Adora that Queen Angella will be able to help her figure out what's going on, as the foremost expert in First Ones Technology. He invites her to stay with her. The three head off to a nearby town...

Cut to the Fright Zone, Shadow Weaver is interrogating Catra about Adora's whereabouts. Catra is covering for her, but Shadow Weaver is suspicious, as the two are close, and Adora would never leave without telling her. Shadow Weaver reveals that she's been tracking Adora, and will be sending her on the recovery mission. Catra is reluctant, but Shadow Weaver is insistent. Violently.

At the town Glimmer tells Adora to lose the jacket, and replaces it with her cape, with Bow adding a flower accessory in her hair.



"What is this?"
"It's a festival. You know, like a big party!"
"..."
"You don't have PARTIES in the Fright Zone?"

Bow will not STAND for this injustice, and, despite Glimmer's insistence that they are "in and out," decides to show Adora the time of her life. Adora takes a bite out of festival food, and discovers the joy of food that isn't rations. She participates in various festival events with the childlike glee that is shared by children half her age, and then...

"(gasp) What... is... that???"


Adora immediately adores this majestic creature, but is scared when Bow literally pushes her to go meet it. He puts her hand on his nose, and

"This is the best day of my life."

Suddenly, a plume of smoke rises in the distance. The Horde has arrived.

"Why are they here? The people of Thaymor aren't a threat to them!"

The name Thaymor rings a bell to Adora, as it was the name of the heavily fortified civilian fortress she was supposed to attack. She witnesses the brutality of the Horde attack firsthand, and then runs in front of a Horde Tank.

"STOP!"
"Adora!"
"Catra?"
"They let me drive a tank! Can you believe it?!?"

Catra is excited to see Adora again, but when Adora tells Catra that they need to stop attacking, she is unphased.

"They've been lying to us, manipulating us, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, all of them!"
"Duh! You just figured that out?"

Catra is fine with that, because regardless of what outside forces are affecting them, they will always have each other. Adora tries to get Catra to join her in her search for the truth, but Catra, having known the true nature of the Fright Zone for years, refuses. Adora turns around and heads off to save the people of Thaymor... only for Catra to tase her unconscious.

Meanwhile, Bow and Glimmer have bought the people of Thaymor time to escape, but Glimmer has gotten a crisis of confidence, blaming herself for every screwup in this escapade. Bow gives her a pep talk, and the two set out on the horse to find Adora.

Catra tells Adora that if she doesn't bring her back, Shadow Weaver will make her regret it, and threatens to tase her again if she doesn't follow her. She doesn't get a chance, though, because she's hit with a magic blast from Glimmer, and trapped in one of Bow's net arrows. While Bow and Catra fight, Glimmer hands Adora the sword of She-Ra, as a sign of trust. A robot comes to attack them.

"For the Honor of Grayskull!"

My favorite part of the transformation sequence is the part where she slams her fist into her palm and the wrist armor appears.

Anyway, at the end of the transformation, the robot has been split in two, and She-Ra stares down at glimmer.

Bow manages to fight Catra to a standstill, but The Horde doesn't fight fair, and a bunch of Robots and Horde Soldiers show up. Bow prepares for the worst, when a shining light appears. She-Ra walks in, and plunges her sword into the ground, sending out shockwaves that disable the Horde machines. A tank takes aim at bow, but She-Ra cuts the tip off the barrel, destroying it. A Horde Soldier swings at her with a shock stick, but she effortlessly blocks it. A robot runs at her, but she swats it away without even paying attention. Glimmer runs up to Bow.

"Bow! Are you okay?"
"Is that... Adora?"
"It's She-Ra."

The Horde Soldiers retreat, and She-Ra transforms back into Adora, in time to see Catra staring at her, betrayed. Catra retreats as well.



Glimmer and Bow are grateful, but Adora has a panic attack. Glimmer reassures Adora that, even if she can't go back to the Fright Zone, she now has a home in Bright Moon. Bow dubs them the Best Friend Squad, and they leave, taking the Horse with them.

----------------

This recap wound up a lot longer than the first one. There's a lot more to say about this episode. What are your thoughts on the opening two-parter? Also what are your thoughts on the longer form recap I did today compared to last week's?

If you are watching blind, then where do you think everything goes from here? The goal of this particular episode was to set up the Best Friend Squad dynamics, as well as focus on where Commander Glimmer's character is going to head.

cant cook creole bream
Aug 15, 2011
I think Fahrenheit is better for weather

I am a fan of your recaps and appreciate your significant efforts. It really helps to highlight the smaller details.

KennyMan666
May 27, 2010

The Saga



At that point of my watch I was still just testing it out, though it wasn't long until I decided I'd check out the whole thing. Even though it wasn't that long ago—recent enough that I can still tell you the exact date I watched each episode (which is mostly due to the way I watch shows), and once I was done, I even did an "encore" where I fast-forwarded through all episodes from the start over the course of a few days to rewatch some specific scenes through the lens of now knowing everything that was about to happen—I don't remember what I specifically thought of the episode at the time, probably because it's obviously still in the phase of setting up the show, and specifically setting up the conflict between Adora and Catra.

I'm pretty sure that was my favourite part of not only the episode, but was the plot thread I got the most invested in the entire show through. Which, well, I'm quite certain was the intention of the showrunners, so.

I think that after episode two, my opinion of the show was that it was alright, nothing I disliked, but it hadn't quite yet fully convinced me that it was gonna be too much more than casual dinner-watching. But I'll certainly get more to say about that as we go on.

(also I just have to note that I'm finding it a bit amusing that you said no spoilers while your avatar is quite a huge one.)

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Yeah one thing I liked about this episode even on my first watch is that Catra's point is... not unreasonable.

Like, every image of the Fright Zone in the show has been framed in such a way that you know from the start that it's bad news.

Adora: Are we the baddies?
Catra: 'Course we are! Let's go.

Also yeah, spoiler rules are mostly to make it a little more newbie friendly.

Unrelated, for the release of Season 5, they released a more somber cover of Warriors, the theme song, sung by AJ Michalka, Catra's VA. It's a good cover and I highly recommend checking it out.

https://youtu.be/1dgubaXHhio

KennyMan666
May 27, 2010

The Saga



Heh, actually listened to that one, and the full version of the regular version, for the first time yesterday. Good song.

Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

This might be of interest: https://twitter.com/kayochins/status/1358113272281649161?s=20

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Episode 3: Razz



The episode opens with Adora, Bow, and Commander Glimmer, and the Horse from the previous episode arriving at Bright Moon. Unenthused with having to deal with Queen Angella, Glimmer suggests taking Adora in the back way, so as not to deal with the whole "brought a Horde Soldier home" thing in addition to the "snuck out while grounded" thing...

The Back Way turns out to be "scale a sheer cliff, via Bow's rope arrow. Bow suggests, for no reason at all, that Adora put on a robe to hide the giant symbol of the enemy army on her back.

Cue theme song. Nothing new to comment on today, but I still really like it. It took me by surprise last episode because I forgot that it played in Episode 2 lmao.

Glimmer, meanwhile, arrives at the front gates, and is immediately scolded by Queen Angella, fainting midway through. Angella flies her up to a large glowing orb, and lays her down on a mirror reflecting its light.

Fully recharged, Glimmer explains to Angella that they found something amazing while searching the Whispering Woods for a piece of First Ones' tech, but she wants to keep the specifics a surprise for now.

Quick aside: I love how quickly this show establishes the relationship between Queen Angella and Commander Glimmer. They really hammer home the lovely teen/exasperated parent dynamic between the two.

"I'm guessing the people of Bright Moon are gonna be a little less welcoming of a Horde soldier than you led me to believe."
"Maybe a little."
"How little?"
"Think pitchforks and torches."

Meanwhile, in Glimmer's room, Adora, playing with a stuffed animal of Kowl from the original series, bemoans the fact that the people of Bright Moon (understandably) won't be terribly welcoming to a Horde Soldier, even an ex-Horde Soldier. Bow is optimistic that Adora will earn their trust, but Glimmer, teleporting in, wants Adora to meet Queen Angella as She-Ra, to make a good first impression. Adora is concerned that she can't just immediately turn on the She-Ra ability, but Glimmer is confident.

"How hard can it be? Sword, magic words, poof! She-Ra!"

Bow and Glimmer go to buy Adora some time to transform.

"Okay, sword it's just you and me now, so, let's do this!"
"FOR THE HONOR OF GRAY--"

Adora attempts to transform but her sword catches on the curtains, and Adora's momentum trips her, knocking down some bottles that she just barely saves from breaking. Spotting the horse outside Glimmer's window, Adora puts on the robe and goes down to say hi.

"Horsey! Oh, this is much better! There's actually rome to move around here! Ready to see something cool?"
"FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL!"

...


(Sidenote: I crop stills I find particularly funny myself and don't do a thorough crop-job so that's why some of these photos are gonna be weird.)

Nothing happens. Cue the "try and fail to transform a bunch" montage. Eventually, the gem in the Sword of She-Ra glows... and fires out a bunch of beams of light, one hitting Horsey, who glows, grows a horn and wings.



Horsey is immediately terrified, as one would be if they suddenly grew a horn and wings. It flies into the nearby refugee camp and starts rampaging around. Adora runs to calm it down, but in its panic it blows the robe off of Adora, revealing her Horde outfit to the terrified onlookers. The Bright Moon guards attack Adora, who barely escapes the camp.

Back at Castle Bright Moon, Queen Angella discovers that a Horde Spy had attacked the Bright Moon troops with a sword and fled with the help of a winged beast. She immediately (correctly) assumes this was the work of Glimmer.

EDIT: The preceding scene was very good, and I didn't do it justice with my writeup, so I'm gonna quote VinylonUndergound's response, pointing that out:


VinylonUnderground posted:

I feel like you didn't really give the "coming out then going back into the closet scene" enough justice. Glimmer gushing about her new friend and Angela deadpanning, "I like Bow" with the whole "I'm hiding a Horde soldier in my bedroom" vs "I'm hiding a same sex romantic partner in my bedroom". It's a good old fashioned comedy of errors where Glimmer keeps taking steps forwards and backwards.

[snip the spoiler]

Anyway, Glimmer's whole bit about, "Mom, I've got a friend you should meet who is amazing and you are going to love because they are special to me but you might not actually like them probably for the same reasons that I do and you might hate them because of the reasons I find them special so I'm just going to backtrack this whole discussion because it was probably a mistake so nevermind," is *extremely* relatable to my teenage experience.



Meanwhile, at the Fright Zone, Lonnie is sharing the story about how a new 12 foot tall Princess took out their recon squad with a sword. Catra is unimpressed with both Lonnie's tale and the Princess. As she leaves, Lonnie shares a warning.

"Adora's not here to protect you anymore."

Back in Bright Moon, Adora is hiding from the Bright Moon troops. Ths sword of SHe-Ra glows, and Adora stumbles onto a hut. A little old lady walks out, wielding a broom talking to someone unseen. Adora introduces herself, but the old woman seems to know her... kind of.

"Oh, Mara, dearie, is that you?"

The old woman introduces herself as Madame Razz, noting that while Adora is similar to her Mara, they aren't quite the same.

"This is the wrong time for my Mara, isn't it? Now you've got the sword instead."

While berry picking with Razz, Adora asks her about herself, and what she knows about the sword. Razz leads Adora to a First Ones ruin, which activates and shows a vision of the sky, lit with stars.

"Oh, we used to come here to look at the stars! Do you remember, Mara? They're all gone now. What happened to the stars?"

This triggers a vision in Adora, who remembers seeing the stars when she was a baby.



Back at the Fright Zone, Catra heads to the bunk she shared with Adora, and sees a crayon drawing of the two of them. In a rage, she slashes across Adora's face, but immediately regrets it. Crying, she destroys the mattress with her claws, as Shadow Weaver walks in, unimpressed with Catra's failure. Catra reveals Adora's defection. Shadow Weaver doesn't believe her, and declares she plans to take her to Lord Hordak.

Back in the Whispering Woods, Adora asks Madame Razz for advice. Madame Razz takes her to a group of Horde tanks, and laments that the Princesses have been holed up in their castles, unwilling to protect the world outside of their lands.

"You're very like my Mara, you know. Brave, loyal, but afraid."
"I'm not afraid."
"Dearie... you ran into the woods and asked the first old lady you could find what you should do. No one is going to make this easy for you, dearie. Stop waiting for someone to tell you what the right thing to do is. You're a smart girl, what do you think?"
"I think... this is wrong."

Hearing a whinny, Adora runs to find Horsey in a Horde Camp, resisting capture.

"For the Honor of Grayskull."

Unfortunately, in the time it took Adora to transform, Horsey was captured. She-Ra jumps down and frees Horsey. Knocking the soldiers out with a single swing of her sword, She-Ra gets to work destroying their tanks. She turns to Grizzlor, who retreats, sending another squadron of soldiers at her. Grizzlor aims a shot at Horsey, but She-Ra cuts off the barrel of the gun. Unfortunately, she takes a shot to the face, knocking her out, but Razz is able to create a smoke bomb out of a few of the berries they had picked, and the three make their escape.

Adora regains consciousness, and Razz tells her that Swift Wind thanked her for coming to his rescue, and also that Horsey is a stupid name. Adora declares that if the princesses won't defend Etheria, then she will.

"Will I see you again?"
"If you need me, then you will always know where to find me... Who was that girl?"

Adora rides Swift Wind back to Bright Moon, where Queen Angella is chastising Glimmer for allowing a Horde Soldier in. She-Ra arrives.

"It can't be."
"I was trying to tell you, Mom, meet--"
"She-Ra."

"Your Majesty, I've come to pledge myself to the Rebellion.But first, there's somethign you should know."

Adora undoes the transformation, and Glimmer formally introduces her to the Queen. Adora repeats her declaration that she intends to fight for the rebellion, handing Angella the Sword of She-Ra.

"I know the legend of the warrior the First Ones called She-Ra. They said she would return to us in the hour of our greatest need to bring balance to Etheria. I never thought she was anything more than a myth. And yet, you're here now, and in the uniform of a Horde Soldier, no less. You would pledge to stand with us against those you once served?"
"Yes."
"Glimmer, you would vouch for her and take responsibility for her?"
"Yes"
"Then rise. The rebellion accepts your allegiance, She-Ra, Princess of Power."

At the Fright Zone, Shadow Weaver drags Catra to Lord Hordak's chambers. A small Imp clambers around his throne, and crawls over to Hordak. Shadow Weaver sums up Catra's failed mission. Hordak wants Shadow Weaver to elect a new Force Captain, but Shadow Weaver is insistent that Adora was the only viable candidate.

"You have Catra. Was she not your ward as well?"
"Catra has been nothing but a disappointment to me--"
"If you have failed to condition her properly, you have no one but yourself to blame."
"But my lord--"
"Enough, I have made my decision. Rise, Force Captain Catra."

----

Cinematic Parallels~

Senerio fucked around with this message at 08:52 on Feb 10, 2021

VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

I feel like you didn't really give the "coming out then going back into the closet scene" enough justice. Glimmer gushing about her new friend and Angela deadpanning, "I like Bow" with the whole "I'm hiding a Horde soldier in my bedroom" vs "I'm hiding a same sex romantic partner in my bedroom". It's a good old fashioned comedy of errors where Glimmer keeps taking steps forwards and backwards.

Less relevant on a rewatch. Glimmer and Adora never go that direction after the first season and the first season is more about establishing an ensemble princess magical girl show that didn't quite happen. Overall for the better, though it is a tragedy that Mermista got sidelined. Perfuma too.

Anyway, Glimmer's whole bit about, "Mom, I've got a friend you should meet who is amazing and you are going to love because they are special to me but you might not actually like them probably for the same reasons that I do and you might hate them because of the reasons I find them special so I'm just going to backtrack this whole discussion because it was probably a mistake so nevermind," is *extremely* relatable to my teenage experience.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





VinylonUnderground posted:

I feel like you didn't really give the "coming out then going back into the closet scene" enough justice. Glimmer gushing about her new friend and Angela deadpanning, "I like Bow" with the whole "I'm hiding a Horde soldier in my bedroom" vs "I'm hiding a same sex romantic partner in my bedroom". It's a good old fashioned comedy of errors where Glimmer keeps taking steps forwards and backwards.

Less relevant on a rewatch. Glimmer and Adora never go that direction after the first season and the first season is more about establishing an ensemble princess magical girl show that didn't quite happen. Overall for the better, though it is a tragedy that Mermista got sidelined. Perfuma too.

Anyway, Glimmer's whole bit about, "Mom, I've got a friend you should meet who is amazing and you are going to love because they are special to me but you might not actually like them probably for the same reasons that I do and you might hate them because of the reasons I find them special so I'm just going to backtrack this whole discussion because it was probably a mistake so nevermind," is *extremely* relatable to my teenage experience.

Yeah, I agree that I didn't do that scene justice. Editing your post into the relevant location.

KennyMan666
May 27, 2010

The Saga



Oh, I definitely missed that way to read the scene when I watched it. Makes perfect sense though.

Kinda standard setting things up season 1 episode, really. Not bad, but hard to have any strong opinions about. Adora attempting to become She-Ra again is pretty great, at any rate. "Honour of Grayskull, blah blah blah."

Since you mentioned Kowl, Razz does bring up some more direct references to the 80's She-Ra too, mentioning a Loo-Kee who's always hiding. He was indeed a character who was hidden somewhere in the background of every episode of the original show and delivered the episode's morale at the end, and his face shows up on Razz's fan.

But, while not many, Catra's scenes are definitely my favourite part of this episode. Being hostile to her squad mates, attacking the bed while crying... really starts driving home that without Adora around to keep her at least somewhat grounded, her standard response to emotional stuff is to violently lash out at whatever's around her, rather than actually dealing with her emotions in any kind of healthy way. And oh boy is that only going to keep escalating.

Shadow Weaver really isn't helping.

KennyMan666 fucked around with this message at 22:20 on Feb 10, 2021

VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

Just looking for gooncensus on the show, which I love, S1 is fine for my three year old. I'm pumped for positive queer representation. But I'm also concerned about certain themes that I find resonant and I find too adult like parental alienation/abuse and psychological breakdown. For a lighthearted but still a little scary ride, which seasons would people broadly recommend? It's a newer show so hardcore breakdowns probably don't exist.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


VinylonUnderground posted:

Just looking for gooncensus on the show, which I love, S1 is fine for my three year old. I'm pumped for positive queer representation. But I'm also concerned about certain themes that I find resonant and I find too adult like parental alienation/abuse and psychological breakdown. For a lighthearted but still a little scary ride, which seasons would people broadly recommend? It's a newer show so hardcore breakdowns probably don't exist.

I'm not sure I quite understand your request, since I'd argue that the first season definitely features some of the elements you're describing.

Have you tried Summer Camp Island? It's pretty good, and -- as far as I remember -- avoids those themes entirely. It's quite child-safe, but develops into something with a fair bit of sophistication.

VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

I think S1 does it in a reasonably child-safe way. Catra's world destroying meltdown and Shadow Weaver's whole arc is . . . less child friendly

Pyrotoad
Oct 24, 2010






Illegal Hen

VinylonUnderground posted:

Just looking for gooncensus on the show, which I love, S1 is fine for my three year old. I'm pumped for positive queer representation. But I'm also concerned about certain themes that I find resonant and I find too adult like parental alienation/abuse and psychological breakdown. For a lighthearted but still a little scary ride, which seasons would people broadly recommend? It's a newer show so hardcore breakdowns probably don't exist.

Two should be fine (although IIRC it ends with a cliffhanger), but three and onwards start climbing up in intensity and I think that'd be a bit much for a three year old - although it's equally possible that the topics you're concerned about will go entirely over their head. Depends entirely on the kid.

You know your kid better than we ever could, so IMO pre-watch S3/4/5 before showing them and use your judgement from there.

Pyrotoad fucked around with this message at 12:25 on Feb 16, 2021

VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

Pyrotoad posted:

Two should be fine (although IIRC it ends with a cliffhanger), but three and onwards start climbing up in intensity and I think that'd be a bit much for a three year old - although it's equally possible that the topics you're concerned about will go entirely over their head. Depends entirely on the kid.

You know your kid better than we ever could, so IMO pre-watch S3/4/5 before showing them and use your judgement from there.

I've seen the show but I watched it when it came out and didn't necessarily pay attention to when the inflection point was. I was mostly too busy to note precisely when it went from "fun, colorful romp with some themes in the background" to "full-on terror". I figured I'd ask for a rough timeline (S1-S2 is very helpful, thank you) because when I search for whether She-Ra is appropriate for children the usual knuckleheads have a *lot* of things to say about how themes I find entirely appropriate for children aren't and they dominate the discussion.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





sorry this is a little late; I've been doing it while I was having troubel sleeping on Tuesday nights but I actually got a good night's sleep so I forgot. I remembered what day it was a few hours ago

Episode 4: Flowers for She-Ra



The episode opens with Commander Glimmer showing Adora around Castle Bright Moon. Adora is wary around the guards, who are shown to be suspicious of the woman wearing a Horde Jacket walking around the castle, but Glimmer doesn't appear to notice. Glimmer shows Adora to her new room.

"Pretty standard. You've got your vanity, bathroom, crystals, bell pull, tea nook, more crystals, bed, desk, and, of course, the waterfall.

Adora, used to the more spartan Horde quarters is overwhelmed by her extravagant room. She sits in the bed and is immediately sucked in.



Cue theme.

We return to Adora still struggling with her bed. She punches it in the hopes of flattening it out, but this causes it to rip, shooting feathers out everywhere. Adora escapes the room and the tidal wave of feathers. She searches for Glimmer to ask for help, but (literally) runs into Queen Angella.

Angella tells Adora about her husband, King Micah, who helped Angella build the rebellion, but unfortunately was one of the first casualties of the Horde. She assures Adora that Glimmer believes in her, and she believes in Glimmer's judgement, but that does not mean that she believes in Adora.

The next morning, Glimmer wakes up and finds Adora at the foot of her bed. She screams, which wakes Adora up, who also screams. Adora couldn't sleep in a room without other people, and was terrified of Queen Angella so she went to Glimmer's room to sleep in her bed. Glimmer assures Adora that her mother is always like that, and it's not specifically her she's upset at, and to buck up because it's time to meet the other rebellion generals.

In the meeting hall, Adora notes that the chairs are empty, and Glimmer explains that, while the other Princesses are members of the rebellion, none of them have been active rebellion member since she was a kid. Bow introduces Adora to Princess Spinnerella and her wife, Princess Netossa. Adora sits in the first empty chair she sees, which draws the ire of Queen Angella, as that chair belonged to King Micah.

Queen Angella announces that she has received a distress call from Princess Perfuma of Plumeria, near the front lines of the war. A Horde camp was set up in her territory, cutting off their main supply route. Queen Angella wants to send humanitarian aid. Glimmer, apparetntly not for the first time, would rather bring the fight to the Horde. Adora volunteers herself, Glimmer, and Bow to send the aid. Queen Angella's orders are clear: under no circumstances are they to engage the Horde.

At the Fright Zone, Lonnie, Rogelio and Kyle are training against a Horde Robot, when Catra walks in announcing her Force Captaincy from the previous episode. Kyle congratulates her, Lonnie is more skeptical. Shadow Weaver materializes behind Catra as she is about to insult her. Shadow Weaver is convinced that Catra had to have done something to force Adora to leave, but Catra is still upset at the fact that Adora left her. Shadow Weaver threatens Catra again, but the gen in her forhead starts to pulse and she reels back in pain.

At Plumeria, Bow and Glimmer are surprised to discover that the plants are dying, noting that Queen Angella probably doesn't know about it. She-Ra shows up, explaining that Queen Angella asked her to remain in that form for the weekend, happy that people aren't staring sidelong at her and bragging about her increased strength.

Princess Perfuma introduces herself to Commander Glimmer and Bow by giving them a bouquet of flowers and a flower crown, respectively. She gasps in awe as she sees She-Ra lifting a wagon, mentally shutting down in the presence of hot, strong girl with big muscle.

She-Ra announces that they've come to help, and Perfuma is brought to tears. She shows everyone around Plumeria, which is very much a commune. Adora notices that without Perfuma's direct influence, greenery starts to decay. Perfuma introduces the Best Frend Squad to the Heart Blossom, Plumeria's runestone embedded in a tree that is the source of her powers, much like the Moonstone in Bright Moon is the source of Glimmer and Angella's powers. Notably, the Heart Blossom tree isn't wilting like the rest of the trees around Plumeria.

The blight appeared right around the time that the Horde arrived. Perfuma has been trying to fix it, but nothing she has done has had any effect on it.

"But we don't dwell on the negative. Look at the positive! The Heart Blossom's still healthy, and the She-Ra is here, and the celebration's about to begin!"

Back at the fright zone, Shadow Weaver presses her hands to a large gemstone, a larger version of the one embedded in her mask. When she touches it, the gemstone in her mask glows, and the large gem pulses a darker color.

"You will not refuse me!"

Lord Hordak appears on a screen in the wall behind Shadow Weaver, accusing her of disobeying his orders, having continued the search for Adora despite his command to make Catra the Force Captain. He reminds her that their mission is to destroy the Whispering Woods, so they can attack Castle Bright Moon, and destroy the Rebellion once and for all. Shadow Weaver's obsession with Adora is distracting her. He tells her to increase the power of the attack on Plumeria.

"And never forget, I gave you your magical power," indicating the gemstone behind her, "and at my slightest whim, I can take it away. Understand?"
"Of course, Lord Hordak."

Hordak signs out, and Shadow Weaver screams in frustration.

I would like to take a moment to shout out how great Keston John (Hordak) and Lorraine Toussaint (Shadow Weaver) are. Keston John is my overall MVP voice actor for the show (for his work in later seasons), and Toussaint is right up there with him. This is something I frequenly think about in scenes with Hordak and/or Shadow Weaver, so I wanted to share this before I continued the episode.

Back at Plumeria, She-Ra is overwhelmed by the love the Plumerians are showering her with. Perfuma is happy that, right when they need her most, the She-Ra has finally returned, just like in the stories!

"What stories?"
"The stories we've been telling for thousands of years! She-Ra, the warrior who tamed the beasts of Beast Island with a single word."
"That's nothing. What about the time She-Ra defeated a squad of Horde soldiers on a flying horde? Or or or the time she saved Thaymor from a legion of Horde soldiers? Or the time she borrowed my toothbrush and used it to defeat an ARMY of Horde soldiers."
"Bow, that's not true."
"You're right. It was TWO armies!!"

Perfuma explains that She-Ra is going to heal their land and bring all the plants back to life. This surprises She-Ra who was unaware she had the power to do this. She says so, and suggests that they should investigate the smoke just outside the commune, but Perfuma is not confident that her power, growing plans, will be helpful in fighting the Horde. She just wants to live peacefully and for She-Ra to save them without having to do anything herself! She-Ra knows what she's doing, and will come save them right after talking to Bow and Glimmer just out of earshot.

She-Ra doesn't actually know what she's doing, and just because the stories say she has healing powers doesn't mean she knows how to access them. Glimmer suggests she concentrate really hard. She-Ra concentrates really hard, and holds her hand out.

"Did I do it?"
"No, you punched a tree. That's kind of the opposite of healing."

She tries again.

"Magic blast. Also not healing."

She tries a third time, and a lizard transforms, the same way Swift Wing did, gaining rainbow wings and a horn. Perfuma runs in and tells them something terrible has happened! The Heart Blossom tree has begun to show the effects of the Horde attack. She-Ra tries to heal it, but nothing happens, and the transformation falls. Adora explains that she's new at this, but the Plumerians are aghast at the deception.

"Then, you can't save us?"

Adora wants the Plumerians to join her in attacking the Horde, but Perfuma is insistent that the universe will protect them. Glimmer has had enough, and snaps.

"The universe won't protect you! You want She-Ra to fix everything, but you won't even try to save yourself? At least Adora's trying."
"If She-Ra can't save us, no one can."

Perfuma announces that the Plumerians are going to leave. Adora is upset that all she's managed to do is to disappoing an entire kingdom. Adora apologizes to Glimmer and Bow for letting them down as She-Ra.

"Adora, She-Ra's not the reason we like you. We like you because you're our friend."

At the Horde Camp, Adora, Bow and Glimmer, dressed like Horde Soldiers. Adora uses her Horde training to find the machine, taking advantage of the Horde's rigid schedule to sneak in to find the machine killing the forest during a shift change. A Horde Soldier corners them, but Adora tries to convince her that they have security clearance. Unfortunately for Adora, the password has changed since she defected.

Back at Plumeria, Perfuma reads the note that Adora left behind.

quote:

We've gone to the horde camp to find the weapon killing your trees.

If we don't make it, I wanted to say I'm sorry.

I couldn't be the hero you wanted.

Adora

Adora's perserverence, combined with Glimmer's words, inspire Perfuma to take up arms against the Horde. They agree to march on the Horde.

Back at the camp, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer are hiding and trying to figure out how many they can take (the answer is less than there are). As the Horde Soldiers surrond them, Perfuma rides in on a wave of vines.

"I've always said the universe will repay the Horde one day. WELL I GUESS THAT DAY IS TODAY."

The Plumerians, Glimmer, Bow, and Adora take out the Horde, and Adora finds a hidden nook to transform.

FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL!

She-Ra barges into the room with the poison machine, and stabs it, emitting a wave of energy that heals the land. With her powers restored, Perfuma causes the whole camp to bloom, as the Horde Soldiers retreat. Glimmer asks Perfuma to join the Princess Alliance, but Perfuma is wary, as it went horribly last time. Glimmer is confident that it will work this time.

"Will I get to hit more people with flowers?"
"Absolutely!"
"Then you have a deal!"

Back at the Fright Zone, Shadow Weaver is upset that Catra didn't divulge that Adora was a Princess now.

"It's just a phase, she's confused. I'll bring her back in, I swear!"

Shadow Weaver sends out magical "shadow spies" to keep an eye on Adora, telling Catra that her mission (over everything else) is to find Adora and bring her home.

Back at Bright Moon, Glimmer has been grounded (for one week, which is three weeks less than normal!) so they take advantage to throw Adora a sleepover. They also got her a new bed, which is much more like her Horde cots than her previous bed. The three have a pillow fight, Bow once again calling them the Best Friend Squad, over the others' objections.

Senerio fucked around with this message at 13:13 on Feb 18, 2021

KennyMan666
May 27, 2010

The Saga



Was Spinnerella ever refered to as "general"? She's a princess too.

I felt this episode was kind of a weak princess introduction episode, just a pretty predictable storyline. You knew from the start that they would attack the Horde despite promising they wouldn't and that the Plumerians would come around and start fighting despite their attitude.

Not that it doesn't have its moments, Adora's such a dork in this episode and I love it. Adora vs. Bed for best fight in the entire show

Also.

quote:

Unfortunately for Adora, the password has changed since she defected.

Not quite! The soldier she tries quoting the password to says they haven't used that one in months—and Adora's defection happened literally yesterday. The timeline so far: Catra and Adora go into the woods in the afternoon/evening of the day Adora got promoted to Force Captain, and Adora sees the sword. Adora heads back later the same night, when she runs into Bow and Glimmer, and transforms for the first time (E01). They do the thing in the ruins, and the morning after, they head to the party in Thaymor. The Horde attacks, and Adora officially defects (E02). They head back to Bright Moon, and still during the same day, Adora goes off and meets Razz, and then comes back and pledges herself to the Rebellion as She-Ra (E03). This episode picks up immediately after that with Adora getting her room for her first night in Bright Moon, the strategy meeting happens the following morning, and they go to Plumeria later that very day. Adora should have known a password that was, at most, two days old. But the latest one she knew was months out of date.

Adora's not the brightest, and that one can't even be explained with being unfamiliar with how life works outside of the Horde.

And completely unrelated to that, for some reason, it didn't hit me until literally yesterday that "Bright Moon" and "Fright Zone" is supposed to be an assonance.

Hordak and Shadow Weaver do have good voice actors—the voice work in this show is pretty great in general—but my absolute favourite in that regard is someone we've yet to see.

KennyMan666 fucked around with this message at 16:34 on Feb 19, 2021

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Good catch-- I rewrote that scene a couple times in my recap and had written that sentence right after Angella talks to her general so the word was in my head. Fixed.

Bony-Eared Assfish
Oct 4, 2018


Senerio posted:


I would like to take a moment to shout out how great Keston John (Hordak) and Lorraine Toussaint (Shadow Weaver) are. Keston John is my overall MVP voice actor for the show (for his work in later seasons), and Toussaint is right up there with him. This is something I frequenly think about in scenes with Hordak and/or Shadow Weaver, so I wanted to share this before I continued the episode.

I agree, while the whole cast is pretty great John and Toussaint are the stand-outs for me.

There's some neat stuff about the recording process too on twitter and interviews in the podcast She-Ra the Progressive of Power (which by the end of it's run has interviewed a huge chunk of cast and crew).

(I'll just spoiler them just in case because they refer to events and characters that haven't been shown yet)

Apparently it's rare for voice actors to be recording at the same time if they're in the same scene, the makers of She-Ra tried to have them in the same room as often as actor's schedules permitted, with two tweaks:

1. Any scene with Hordak and Entrapta has their actors together in the same room, if it caused scheduling problems those were dealt with.

2. When recording Horde Prime's lines Keston John would go alone into a recording booth, put on earbuds and play choral music very loudly to get into the proper mood.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Hey so I've got some personal stuff so I'm not feeling up to watching and recapping She-Ra right now, so this week's episode is gonna be delayed.

I'll try to have it up by Friday, but it depends on a lot of moving parts.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





Update: After some thought, I'm just gonna take this week off, because of real life. I'll have Episode 5 up next week, sorry.

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VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

Take care of business and take care of yourself. You are doing a great job and we will be here for you when you get back.

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