Wednesday, November 13

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 4 Review (SPOILERS)

SEASON 4
SPOILERS AHEAD
If you're not watching She-Ra now, you should! It is so much better! They FINALLY got the handle at character development by focusing on one or two characters per episode and using their vast cast to highlight character moments. Also it has an overall arc!
"The Coronation"
Summary: Picking up from last season, Glimmer will now be queen as Angela has passed on. Adora, Bow, and the other princesses gather for the coronation. Glimmer is still grieving for her mother Angella. She's upset at the festive atmosphere and the attention being lavished on her. A key coronation ritual involves traveling into a magical cave below Bright Moon and facing a phallic worm-dragon. However, Glimmer is able to calm the dragon down by coming to terms with her mother's loss and embracing her powers. Meanwhile, Hordak blames Catra for the recent debacle involving the moonstones. Scorpia wants to retrieve Entrapta from Beast Island, but Catra perpetuates the lie that Entrapta sabotaged the portal. Catra forces Hordak to agree to her plans to end the Rebellion by removing his armor's crystal.
Review: Catra shows she is more ambitious than Hordak but doesn't care about her friends. Everyone showers Glimmer with attention which supports my friends' theory that this She-Ra is more SJW (Social Justice Warrior) inspired than story orientated. But the pureness of Glimmer's emotions is worthy of attention. 
4/5

"Valley of the Lost"
Summary: Adora, Bow, Huntara, and Perfuma go to the Crimson Waste to get Mara's ship. Huntara was introduced in season 3. Perfuma hasn't had focus since the first season. During their attempts to reclaim from the Horde, Huntara discovers how her home has been taken over and perverted by the Horde. Perfuma struggles to adapt to the desert's plant life since she's no good at controlling cacti. Catra meets Double Trouble, a shapeshifting mercenary offering them their services for a price. As a test of their abilities, Double Trouble masquerades as Catra and engages Adora when she and the others attack for Mara's ship. The ruse is convincing, and Adora is none the wiser, convincing Catra to hire Double Trouble. Huntara decides to remain in the Crimson Waste to reclaim her home.
Review: A great episode and clear sign things have changed and Season 4 is stronger. Also, Huntara and Perfuma are so far apart in personality, they work great together. I hope to see them together again. As in the other blogger, I said I loved how they used Double Trouble as they were not used in the original series but was a toy.
5/5

"Flutterina"
Summary: Catra struggles with her guilt in betraying Adora and framing Entrapta. Following a series of Horde setbacks, Carta introduces Double Trouble to Hordak. After saving the village of Elberon, Adora, Bow and Swift Wind stay to enjoy a celebration in their honor. Glimmer laments that she is unable to join and fight alongside them like she used to, now that she is Queen. When Adora has been lured away, the Horde attack and take the village captive. With help from a young Elberon girl named Flutterina, Adora is able to save Bow and the villagers. Afterward, they welcome Flutterina into the Rebellion, unaware that she is actually Double Trouble.
Review: It is actually refreshing for them to use a 80's character in this way. She's not an official character but a facade. Let's be honest, not all the original characters are all that useful. I was surprised when they used Perfuma, they made her useful as a plant-influenced. 
3/5

"Pulse"
Summary:
The Rebellion struggles to beat the Horde, due to every transport they attack being empty and the Horde anticipating their attacks. When a new robot capable of emitting a powerful destructive pulse injures Bow, Adora vows to destroy it to avenge her friend, with the help of Netossa and Spinnerella--with cute banter. Glimmer, meanwhile, turns to Shadow Weaver for advice on how to stop the Horde and manages to use a locator spell to reveal a secret outpost in the Whispering Woods. Glimmer travels there alone and battles Catra, destroying their additional robots. However, Adora is not happy about Glimmer learning magic from Shadow Weaver, causing some friction in their friendship.
Review: I love the bond between Shadow Weaver and Glimmer and I love how against it Adora is it. But these arguments continue throughout the season without anything new to add. Adora could've told Glimmer a story on how Shadow Weaver messed with her mind as a kid. Also, I loved the Netossa and Spinerella moments but wish we learned more about them. We still don't know if they are princesses or what--and how they have those powers. 
4/5

"Protocol"
Summary: While training, Adora tries to get further answers from Light Hope, who remains vague and dodges her questions. When she tries to leave, Light Hope stops her due to a dangerous acid spore storm enveloping the Woods. The storm causes Light Hope to shut down and attempt a reboot. As she loads, Light Hope acts far more cheerful and friendly. Though she isn't able to get the answers to her questions, Adora does witness a memory of Mara from Light Hope before she is successfully rebooted. At the same time, Kyle, Lonnie, and Rogelio are stuck in the Whispering Wood, and one of them must brave the spores to repair their transport. Kyle, fed up and feeling that there is no loyalty or friendship between them, goes to repair their transport. He collapses, and Lonnie and Rogelio rescue him before returning to the Fright Zone. Afterward, Light Hope reviews her memory of Mara and coldly deletes it. She also mentions the Heart of Etheria project.
Review: A great focus episode on minor characters like Kyle, Lonnie, and Rogelio. There definitely is more Lonnie in this season. Fans love Kyle. Some fans even theorized Kyle was Adora's brother and would become He-Man. It was great to balance the boring Adora/Light Hope stuff with Kyle, Lonnie, and not Latino Rogelio. You have to admit that stuff can get boring and bogged down most of season 1 and 2. 
4/5

"Princess Scorpia"
Summary: In order to complete his project, Hordak requires Entrapta's notes. Catra orders Scorpia to find. Scorpia has been taking care of Entrapta's robot Emily during her absence. When Scorpia finds out the recordings are inside Entrapta's robot Emily, she is torn between her friendship and care for Emily. Also, her desire to be a good friend to Catra. If they removed, Emily would be destroyed. Later, she gives a damaged recording chip to Catra. She claimed that she destroyed Emily to retrieve it, but Catra erupts in anger at Scorpia's failure. Scorpia tells Catra she is a bad friend, finally giving up on Catra before leaving with Emily to rescue Entrapta from Beast Island. Meanwhile, Flutterina manipulates the members of the Rebellion and drives a wedge between Adora and Glimmer.
Review: While not a perfect episode, Scorpia's final actions really make the episode. Scorpia has never had a real friend and how she cares for Emily is really great. 
5/5

"Mer-Mysteries"
Summary: After a failed attempt to retake Dryl, the Rebellion concludes there is a spy in their midst giving information to the Horde. After interviewing several suspects and sorting out everyone's accounts of the events, the Princesses begin arguing with each other. However, this was only an elaborate ruse to trap the spy, and they succeed in taking Double Trouble prisoner. Double Trouble reveals that the whole ordeal was to distract the Princesses from Hordak's attack on Mermista's kingdom, which he has successfully taken over.
Review: Great Episode! Mermista finally has another side to her other than being sardonic and annoying. She is a book geek and enjoyable.
5/5

"Boy's Night Out"
Summary:
Mermista wallows in the loss of her kingdom (in a bathtub in her mermaid form), while Catra discovers that Scorpia has left her (she didn't even notice for two episodes) and the Horde behind. Sea Hawk takes Bow and Swift Wind on a Boys' Night Out, but ends up getting them captured by the Horde in a foolish attempt to cheer the Princesses up with a rescue mission. Mermista discovers this and is able to rescue them.
Review: Cute but by season 4, you would expect more boys. I mean, the original had Kowl, broom, the twigets, Lookie, Rokkon, He-Man and Snout Sprout. Kowl and the twigets are now plushies. Broom doesn't speak. Lookie is Madame Razz's invisible friend. And we can't have He-Man because he will be on a new Netflix series. At least we get to see Octavia!
3/5

"Hero"
Summary: Adora visits Razz for some answers about Mara, but Razz confuses the present with the past and Mara with Adora. During her time there, Mara learned to harness magic herself, but also discovered the true nature of the Heart of Etheria Project and sacrificed her life to stop it. Razz leads Adora to Mara's recovered ship, where Mara had recorded a message for Adora at Razz's suggestion in the past. Mara explains that the Heart of Etheria is a weapon that has been siphoning magic from Etheria and storing it in the core. Lastly, she implores Adora not to trust Light Hope, who had been reprogrammed by the First Ones to activate the Heart at any cost.
Review: Great episode and some understanding of Razz. But I don't like the whole reveal that the First Ones and Light Hope were not all good and that She-Ra was just a tool. It is also confusing as to if She-Ra was created by Razz or the First Ones. At first, it looked like the First Ones had nothing to do with She-Ra. But then later it is a tool used by them. This confusion clouds, even more, the intention of the First Ones making it more convoluted. 
4/5

"Fractures"
Summary: The revelation about the Heart of Etheria divides the Rebellion. Adora and Bow are against using it, knowing that doing so will destroy the planet just as Mara warned. Glimmer, wants to use and harness the magic in order to finally defeat the Horde. Scorpia arrives and asks the Princesses for help in rescuing Entrapta from Beast Island, but Glimmer refuses, not wanting to waste time on a rescue mission. Adora and Bow disobey her orders and sneak out to rescue Entrapta, while Scorpia ends up bonding with and feeling welcomed by the Princesses for the first time in her life.
Review: It hurts to see the Best Friends Forever (Glimmer, Adora and Bow) at odds with each other. Also Glimmer wanting to use the Heart as a weapon makes sense as she wants to destroy the Horde but her not wanting to save Entrapta is a bit suspect. If they worked a little longer on Glimmer's character and her friendship with Shadow Weaver, maybe could explain her actions better.
5/5

"Beast Island"
Summary: Using Mara's ship, Adora, Bow and Swift Wind arrive on Beast Island. While searching for Entrapta, they discover that Glimmer's father, King Micah, is alive and well on the island, exiled there by the Horde. After encountering savage creatures, Entrapta appears and rescues them. Glimmer, angered by Adora and Bow's disobeying of her decree, travels to the Crystal Castle to speak with Light Hope about the Heart of Etheria. Light Hope explains that it can only be activated once the planet is balanced, and the only thing left is to reconnect the Black Garnet with its intended princess: Scorpia.
Review: Beast Island is from the original show, but this Beast Island is less island and more garbage truck insides. It is stunningly beautiful and gives the idea of where Hordak throws his trash. But seeing King Micah's club on his back always makes me think he has some sort of disease. It is also interesting that King Micah was not crazy before entering the island but now is a bit off his nut, not completely. Entrapta was already nuts. 
5/5

Destiny Part One and Two
Summary: Entrapa reveals to Adora what the Heart of Etheria is. When it is activated, the magical energy in the core will forcibly go into She-Ra, before being fired through the Sword of Protection. They escape Beast Island and return to Bright Moon before Adora races to the Crystal Castle to stop the weapon. Double Trouble, having switched sides to the Rebellion for their own survival, assists Glimmer in getting into the Fright Zone with Scorpia. They reveal to Hordak that Catra had lied to him and sent Entrapta to Beast Island. Hordak attacks Catra for deceiving him, but Catra is able to get the upper hand and subdue him. Scorpia is able to connect with the Black Garnet, receiving electric powers. Light Hope activates the Heart of Etheria while Adora arrives at the Crystal Castle. Despite Adora's efforts to refuse, Light Hope forces her to proceed and opens a portal to return Etheria to its original dimension. Adora tries to break through to Light Hope, who glitches between her original and reprogrammed self, lamenting that Mara wouldn't want this. Adora manages to use the gathered magic within her to shatter the Sword of Protection, thus stopping the weapon. Light Hope thanks Adora and fades away. Horde Prime's fleet arrives on Etheria and Hordak, Glimmer, and Catra are taken to his ship. Horde Prime has Hordak taken away to be "reconditioned" as punishment for trying to start an empire of his own, while Catra convinces him to spare Etheria by informing him of the superweapon within it.
Review: Lots of twists and some we already figured out, like Double Trouble siding with Glimmer to take down Catra. And She-Ra and the Princesses being abused by the use of the Heart. But enjoyable. The unpredictable came with Horde Prime taking down Hordak and Catra having to save Glimmer's butt. Like I said before, I don't like this concept of the "Heart of Ehteria" and First Ones being shady and using She-Ra angle. Also Horde Prime seems an even more formidable villain and Hordak was just the dragon. I foresee Double Trouble teaming up with him. 
4/5

Sunday, November 10

She-Ra: Princesses of Power Comparisons 2

Spoiler-Free!
From Season 3 and 4:
 Double Trouble
I was hoping Double Trouble would appear. Double Trouble was a toy and had a mini-comic and appeared in merchandise like coloring books and games in the original franchise but never appeared in the show. 
Gender: Originally female, in the new series they are nonbinary, the voice actor is also nonbinary.
Body: The original was like any of the other female characters. In the new one, they are taller than Catra, lizard-like, eyelids go sideways, blond hair and have retained the green. 
Story: According to the comics, Double Trouble was a double agent, from the rebel but pretending to be part of the Horde. In the new series, they are part of the horde and pretends to be part of the Rebels. The new one is a shapeshifter while the original was just a spy.


Huntara
The new one is voiced by Geena Davis.
Body: The original Huntara was muscley but the new one is a bit bigger. She seems to be a pinker shade of purple now.
Story: The original was an alien warrior tricked to think the Rebels were evil. She appeared in one or two episodes. In the new one, she is a rough and tough warrior that befriends the Rebellion. 

Octavia
Octavia was a minor villain in the original series, she appeared once or twice.
Body: They are both green but the new one is bluer. Also, she has an eyepatch now because she was scratched by Catra as a child.
Costume: She had yellow armor, her new costume has scarlet, olive-gold and red. 

Flutterina
Both were part of the Rebellion and not a Princess.
Body: Had butterfly wings in the original and her new version has her wings down. Her hair was purple but now dark pink.
Costume: Her outfit is all pink with some purple and yellow. Her old costume was orange with blue and gold. 

We are yet to see Peek-A-Boo, Sweet Bee, and the Star Sisters--who were mentioned in one episode of the new series. 

Related: https://spanengrish.blogspot.com/2018/11/she-ra-and-princesses-of-powershe-ra.html

Sunday, October 20

What is known so-far about Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover

 A lot of the Arrowverse show fans are anticipating this crossover. Arrow is ending after 8 seasons and for the past seven years, ir had had its annual crossovers. Each one had been special and different. Some have not had the greatest reception like "Crisis on Earth-X." The last one "Elseworlds" introduced Batwoman. This is the most ambitious one. 


The series, written by Marv Wolfman and pencilled by George PĂ©rez, was first serialized as a 12-issue limited series from April 1985 to March 1986. At the start of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Anti-Monitor (the Monitor's evil counterpart) is unleashed on the DC Multiverse and begins to destroy the various Earths that it comprises. Crisis on Infinite Earths is noted for its high death count; hundreds of characters died, including DC icons Kara Zor-El (the original Supergirl) and Barry Allen (the Flash of the Silver Age). The story's events resulted in the entire DCU being rebooted.

It will air on the following nights:
Supergirl: Sunday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. 
Batwoman: Monday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. 
The Flash: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. 

Arrow: Tuesday, Jan 14 at 8 p.m. 
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Tuesday, Jan 14. at 9 p.m.

Not only will the story unfold in five series, but another CW Superhero Black Lightning will also guest star even though it won't be on his show. His show is shot in Atlanta, not Canada as the other series. So far, Flash and Arrow both have storylines involved with the Crisis while Supergirl and Batwoman so far have not. 

Guest List of other CW series or past Arrowverse actors:
Black Lightning
Cress Williams (Black Lightning) will be joining the crossover.

Tom Cavangh will play Pariah in the CW’s take on the story.

Also joining the cast is former castmate Audrey Marie Anderson as Harbinger

LaMonica Garrett as the Anti-Monitor

Johnathon Schaech will return as Jonah Hex.

Stephen Lobo (Supernatural) has been cast as the Spectre.

Jon Cryer will also return as Lex.


The Guest List not only includes characters from Arrowverse but various actors from past DC Comic series: 
Smallville
Smallville's (WB, October 16, 2001 – May 13, 2011) Tom Welling (Clark Kent) and Erica Durance (Lois Lane) will be guest starring. Also returning at Supergirl's Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent) and Bitsie Tulloch (Lois Lane).
https://ew.com/tv/2019/09/26/smallville-tom-welling-erica-durance-photo-arrowverse-crisis-crossover/

Superman Returns
Brandon Routh played Clark Kent in the movie Superman Returns (2006). He will be portraying a Superman inspired by the Elseworlds comic run of “Kingdom Come". He will also return as The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow as Ray Palmer (The Atom). 

Birds of Prey
Ashley Scott played Helena Kyle/The Huntress in the short-lived Birds of Prey (The WB, October 9, 2002 –February 19, 2003). She will be guest starring, unknown as in what capacity. She is reportedly reprising her role.

Batman (1966)
Burt Ward has a cameo.

Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
Kevin Conroy voiced Batman in Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond and Justice League. He has been cast as an elderly Bruce Wayne from the future.


RUMORS
Lucifer
Tom Ellis was spotted on set in Canada in his Lucifer costume but he claims he will not be in the crossover. 

Titans
Rumor is the Titans from the DC series that will also cameo.


Tuesday, September 3

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Review



Since the 1982 film helmed by puppetmasters Jim Henson and Frank Oz, I was fantastically transported to another world. I was born in 1982 and saw the movie seven or eight years later on VHS. It came to my attention when watching a Jim Henson special on PBS and saw clips of the Dark Crystal. I went to a VHS rental store (which does not exist anymore) and asked for the movie 'with Jim Henson puppets with large scary bird-like creatures and elf-like people.' I have since bought the DVD and my friends have the collector editions and DVDs. Once we even mixed up our discs since we had the same version. Anyway, fast-forward 37 years later to Netflix greenlighting the TV series Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. 

Some critics have said 'it is just for fans' which is a loaded statement. I think it can allure new fans. But if you were born before 1982 or were never into high fantasy, then perhaps this is not for you. I am sure than people that are into high fantasy but born before 1982 would enjoy this. People have called this "the new Game of Thrones," I only seen bits and pieces of Game of Thrones so I can't effectively stand behind that statement. The new series is a wonderful hybrid, not quite a TV series and not a movie but feels like a film. Some people say this surpasses the original in quality. It definitely a love letter to fans of the movie and the creators of the movie. This is a labor of love, they have to create every prop and creature from scratch, some from photos and props of the originals. With the latest technology, they can 3D print lots of things. CGI appends characters and backgrounds instead of replacing. The major characters are all puppets. 

What's the plot?
It's a prequel. I don't think you have to see the movie to understand the series. It takes place in a foreign planet Thra, populated by plant-animal hybrids, Geflings, small humanoid elves, and the even smaller Potato-like Podlings. Thousands of years ago, the UrSkesis arrived and split into two versions, the peaceful Mystics and the evil Skesis. But the Geflings didn't know they were evil, they served the 'Lords of the Crystal.' Aughra (Donna Kimball) entrusted the Crystal of Truth, the lifeline of the whole planet to the Skesis while she entered the Astral Plane and explored the cosmos which called her attention. So the Skesis have been abusing the crystal and it is now purple and it is causing 'the darkening.' Instead of giving power, the Scientist (Mark Hamill hamming it up) made it so it sucks out the souls of things--the essence. 

So we are introduced to three main Geflings, of three different clans. There are 7 clans of Geflings and they all hate each other. It is racism and when Geflings are told the truth of Skesis, they don't believe it. The series really does reflect modern times with politics, racism, and conspiracies. Rian (Taron Egerton) is a guard at the castle and his girlfriend is killed for her essence so he goes on the run as he becomes public enemy #1 and the Skesis run lies about him that scare the other Geflings. Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel) leaves her two fathers (above) and little brother to go on a mission to inform the All-Maudra (the queen of queens) of the Geflings about the darkening. Deet comes from an underground clan known as the Grottan Clan and they have dark eyes that have to adjust to the light. Brea (Anya Taylor-Joy) is a studious Vapra clan princess who receives a vision against the Skesis and challenges her mother and sisters about rules and traditions concerning the Skesis. So the trio doesn't meet until the fifth of ten episodes and the ultimate goal of the tenth episode is to wage war against the Skesis.

Review: 
The series is stunningly beautiful. Everything is crafted with care and the series pulls you in and you forget you're watching puppets. Now the biggest criticism are the Gefling. There is a bit of the Uncanny Valley going on with them. CGI helps with the blinking of eyes and such but there isn't a lot of range of emotion to their faces. It works sometimes and other times it falls flat, especially when it has to be overally dramatic. Don't get me wrong, the puppeteers do an awesome job but there is a jarring disconnect between the acting of the puppeteers and the famous actors voicing them. It is basically dubbing. Sometimes it does not translate. Jason Issacs does an acceptable job with Emperor Skesis. The best has to be Simon Pegg as the Chamberlain who does the best Frank Oz impression I've ever heard. 

There are new Skesis such as the General (which one critic mistook for the Garthim-Master), the Collector (Aquafina), the Hunter, and the Heretic. There are Skesis from the film that are absent here and probably will appear for season two. It took 6 years for them to do this so I suspecting Season 2 won't come until 2021. French director Louis Leterrier is the real stunner here, he comes from his action background of the Transporter and the Incredible Hulk but Dark Crystal inspired him as a child. He brought in motion control cameras which gives the world of Thra a more visceral feel. The action is beyond what you would expect and gives the puppets an extra kick. My favorite character by far is Hup the Podling (Victor Yerrid).

Steven Universe The Movie - Review

 Summary:
If you haven't seen the complete series of Steven Universe, the movie is simple enough to understand and summarize the series. Steven is the son of Pink Diamond, one of the four monarchs of Homeworld, a planet of living gemstones. Pink Diamond gave up royalty as the guise of Rose Quartz to escape the abuse and royalty to save the Earth from destruction. Rose Quartz later gave her form for Steven to live. Steven has three gemstones that helped raised him: Amethyst, the free-wielding one, Pearl who was made to serve and now learning to care for herself, and Garnet, who is the marriage of Sapphire and Ruby, which is frowned upon by Homeworld. 

Two years have passed since the last episode "Change your Mind" and Steven is now 16. Litte Homeworld is being built alongside Beach City for the uncorrupted Gems and the off-colors Gems. Lars is working at the Big Donut again and Sadie is continuing the rock band. The four protagonists are happy and don't want a thing to change and that's tempting faith when Spinel (Spin-el) arrives for revenge. She has the rejunivator which 'resets' Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst. It hits Steven, physically as a human it doesn't affect him but does affect his gem powers. Steven hits Spinel and she reverts to her 'factory settings' of being a clingy best friend.

\Spinel also injected poison into the Earth to kill it off so that's the ticking clock. And four to five characters have lost their memory. Steven, his dad Greg, Lapis, Peridot, and Bismuth try to jog the memory of the gems. In the process, Steven also brings Spinel's memory back and we find out her sad backstory that has to do with Pink Diamond. Steven has had to deal with the mistakes of his mother and Gems trying to kill him. The point of the story is that it will never end. Even though he wanted his happily ever after, he found out his story will continue. 

Review:
This is not what I expected. The whole movie was shrouded in mystery, even down to Spinel's name. I was expecting something direr than Steven just talking down another Gem to a redemption arc. Some fans thought Spinel would be a failed Pink Diamond or Steven had to shatter her.  It was what was expected that Steven would talk and calm down the villain. This one was harder than any other and had more fight in it. I like the conclusion with Spinel staying with the Diamonds. The songs are addictive and stick with you. I loved the fusion of Steven and Greg---Steg. It is sad that we didn't see the most anticipated fusion of all... Peridot and Lapis. You would think if the main 3 gems would be out of the picture, we would get more focus from Bismuth, Lapis, and Peridot. 

Also, I noticed that the treasure box in Lion's mane was open, along with other eagle-eyed fans. There are plenty storylines to still wrap up for a Season six like Jasper, the treasure box, Peridot/Lapis fusion, why Bismuth's look changed and so much more. So Season 6 hasn't officially be announced. Rebecca Sugar is tight-lipped. If the show was over, I guess she would say the show was over. And they would have a 'series finale' like Adventure Time had. Fans are suspecting that season 6 will be the last season. If the movie was the end, it would be a proper sendoff. I would definitely love seeing 'slice of life' episodes of "Little Homeworld" and other new interactions between humans and Gems. So for fans and non-fans, it's good. I was expecting something more Earth-shattering and emotional upheaval and maybe something controversial.  Since Steven Universe is mostly inspired by Anime, this reminds me of Anime movies that are one shots but this continues the story and is a stand alone. 

Sunday, August 4

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 2-3 Review (SPOILERS)

SPOILERS
Fans of the old series and not so much of the new one, the new one does have a direction and is using other characters they hadn't used before in interesting ways. Does Season 2 shows the vast cast and not focus on the main 3? No, sorry, it's mainly the main 3. The new series suffers from what the first series did, hard to juggle so many characters that it focuses on a few. Plus, the villains are way more interesting. Season 2 does concentrate more on stand-alone adventures. Season 3 sort of has an arc. It is more continuous like season 1.

SEASON TWO
"The Frozen Forest"
Summary: The Princess Alliance members face internal dispute owing to diverging attitudes while Catra deploying robots deter the group's attempt to restore the Whispering Woods. Bow suggests capturing an intact Horde-Bot to install a kill-switch program which could take all the Bots out, while Entrapta develops an advanced type of Horde-Bot utilizing First Ones' technology. The gang encounters the four prototypes, who thrash them before retreating to salvage more technology from the Beacon. Adora re-encourages her companions; they succeed in working together in destroying the Horde-Bots, and their inspiration triggers a magical force in them which revives the damaged woods. But while taking the remaining Bot apart, Bow discovers that Entrapta is still alive and working for the enemy.
Review: Not what I was expecting of a season 2 premiere. It could have taken anywhere. It is a stand-alone episode that pretty much fills time.
2 out of 5

"Ties that Bind"
Summary: The Horde has taken Dryl, Entrapta's home. Light Hope informs Adora that she and Swift Wind must form a special connection with each other, and asks Adora to seek out the ruins of the Watchtower, a First Ones' relay station destroyed by the first She-Ra, whose restoration would improve her technical functions. Adora and Swift Wind discover the ruins, but Swift Wind's excited prattling makes it hard for Adora to ask for his assistance until they find a common understanding and thus establish their bond. Upon learning that Entrapta is still alive, Glimmer decides to mount a solo rescue mission with Bow, but they end up capturing Catra instead.Catra exhausts Glimmer's powers with her antics before activating her tracking beacon for Scorpia to find her. Catra then bluffs Glimmer and Bow into releasing her and reveals that Entrapta is helping the Horde willingly, Glimmer and Bow able to escape capture.
Review: Swift Wind is an interesting character, his personality is all over the place. Him talking was like an after-thought last season. It depends on the writer I guess because he isn't consistent. The stuff between Catra, Bow and Glimmer is pretty good. 
3 out of 5

"Signals"
Summary:
Catra faces Hordak's growing displeasure about her performance, driving her to seek the imprisoned Shadow Weaver's aid. In her search for a tool she needs, Entrapta sneaks into Hordak's laboratory and witnesses him conducting a failing experiment to create a multidimensional portal, impulsively deciding to perfect the process before being discovered. To Hordak's surprise, the next activation succeeds and he accepts Entrapta's offer to assist him. In the meantime, Adora, Glimmer, Bow and Swift Wind investigate the loss of communication with Alwyn, a farming outpost for the Rebellion. There, they meet several ghostly apparitions which Bow eventually identifies as holographic recordings of the First Ones, which are produced by an ancient communication device which has self-activated.
Review: This episode builds the relationship between Entrapta and Hordak which is vital to season 3. The episode makes good use of its 'ghost' motif but yet again it's a trio episode and seems pretty standalone.
3 out of 5

"Roll With It"
Summary: The Rebels prepare to retake a Horde-controlled fortress controlling an important passage, but the operation gets stuck in its planning stage when Adora, Glimmer, Bow and the other Princesses begin arguing about the procedure. While Adora assumed Catra was overseeing the fortress, it was actually entrusted to Scorpia—who is alerted to the group's presence by Glimmer activating her teleportation power and spies on them. Adora, frustrated over the others not taking the planning seriously, is encouraged to trust her friends in watching her back as proceed to take the fortress despite Scorpia's precautions.
Review: A fun episode with different animation styles, includes the 80's version. 
3 out of 5

"White Out"
Summary: Catra, Entrapta and Scorpia are sent to Etharia's north pole region to excavate First Ones' technology, pursued by Adora, Glimmer, Bow and Sea Hawk. Having learned of the First Ones' virus disc which Entrapta restored, she uses it to infect Adora with the intent of making her a tool for the Horde. But giant worm robots that the First Ones created to guard the site were also infected and attack the excavation camp, forcing the two groups to work together despite Catra's refusal to allow the disc to be destroyed. Scorpia ultimately destroys the disc, restoring Adora and the worms to normal. In the course of the fracas, Entrapta revealed to have acquired First One tech prior to the Rebels' attack, Catra first recognizes Scorpia's affection towards her.
Review: Fun stuff with Seahawk and Scorpia and drunk Adora.
4/5

"Light Spinner"
Summary: Hordak decides to send Shadow Weaver to Beast Island to prevent her knowledge from becoming of use to the Rebels, much to Catra's dismay because she still feels for Shadow Weaver despite her mistreatment in childhood. In her cell, Shadow Weaver reminisces about her past as Light Spinner in mentoring a young apprentice Micah until her pursuit of dark magic to end the war corrupted her and led to her joining the Horde where she became the infant Adora's guardian. In the present, Shadow Weaver tricks Catra into aiding her escape. In the meantime, Bow is able to decipher the message Adora activated in "Signals", which concerns Mara (the previous She-Ra), the name Serinia, and a portal.
Review: A great episode, the best of the season.
5/5

"Reunion"
Summary: Trying to find out what the mysterious message means, Bow leaves Bright Moon and seeks out the library of his fathers George and Lance. When Adora and Glimmer track him down, they find out that Bow was supposed to follow in his fathers' academic footsteps, but since they abhor the war against the Horde, he decided instead to become a freedom fighter without telling them. Following the accidental activation of a First Ones' monster robot, Adora transforms into She-Ra, which blows Bow's cover story. Bow pacifies the robot, and after witnessing this, his fathers give him their approval. George and Lance subsequently decode the message as a star constellation bearing the name Serinia which will soon appear above the Crimson Waste. In the Fright Zone, Catra desperately tries to track down the fugitive Shadow Weaver, but Hordak finds out about the escape and punishes Catra after giving her a chance to admit her failure. The same night, Shadow Weaver appears in Bright Moon at Adora's bedside.
Review: Everyone was aghast about this episode, it is pretty much a stand-alone episode within an arc. With the arc ending just tacked on. A good episode but pretty unbelievable that bow could leave his dads in the dark.
3/5

Season 2 Review: Like I said, it is all stand-alone and guideless. It doesn't have the overall arc. I am sure this is done on purpose in order to have a break. But unfortunately, since the first season didn't have a break established, it seems ingenious. You can't just go running to all of the sudden stop to smell the roses and then go running full throttle again. It would've made more sense to have season 2 and season 3 be one long season.

SEASON THREE
"The Price of Power"
Summary: Near-death, Shadow Weaver collapses and is captured before she can approach Adora. Adora sneaks into Shadow Weaver's cell, and after using her powers to heal her, Shadow Weaver tells them about Hordak's plan to open an interdimensional portal to bring the rest of the Horde armies to Etheria for total conquest. She also reveals that Adora has actually come from another world through an experimental portal. Confused, Adora seeks out Light Hope, who confirms Shadow Weaver's tale and reveals her as a First One. To find answers, Adora decides to follow Mara's message to the Crimson Waste, and Glimmer and Bow volunteer to come along. Catra faces public punishment by Hordak, but with Entrapta having located a vital component for the portal and spoken on Catra's behalf, Hordak instead assigns her to retrieve the part from the Crimson Waste - or die trying.
Review: So we finally hear the name of Eternia, Adora's home but hear very little else about it. Fans of the 80's series know that Adora came from Etheria and was twin sisters to Prince Adam/He-Man. Unknown if he will appear in this series. A good opener to season 3, now this is a premiere!
4/5

"Huntara"
Summary: Entrapta learns that Hordak is a defective clone of Horde Prime who was accidentally teleported to Etheria and conquered it to show Horde Prime his worth. Entrapta improves Hordak's life-sustaining armor, thus gaining his respect. In the Crimson Waste, Adora, Glimmer and Bow stumble upon an outlaw abode and are saved from them by Huntara, whereupon Adora hires her as a guide. However, Huntara leads them into a trap and steals Adora's sword. The three friends track Huntara down and recover the sword; when she learns that Adora is She-Ra, Huntara reveals that she is a rogue Horde Soldier, disillusioned by Hordak's evil. She joins Adora's group and leads them to their destination: The wreckage of Mara's ship.
Review: A so-so episode that makes it better with Geena Davis guest-starring as HUntara, gives it gravitas. Huntara was a little known character from the 80's She-Ra series that wasn't a toy and smart the new series uses her here.
3/5

"Once Upon A Time in the Waste"
Summary: Arriving in the Crimson Desert, Catra and Scorpia learn of Adora's presence and take up pursuit, but are ambushed by Tung Lashor's horde; Catra defeats him, however, and takes control of his gang. While exploring the ship, Adora's group finds a holographic recording of Mara's last moments. The message reveals that Mara used the sword's power to draw Etheria into another dimension to hide it from the Horde, and warns Adora not to use it herself. Just as the message ends, Catra and her army arrive and capture Adora, although Huntara escapes with Bow and Glimmer. Questioning Adora, Catra learns that Shadow Weaver is still alive in Bright Moon, which evokes her decision to go along with Hordak's plan.
Review: I'm not sure how I feel about the use of Tung Lashor as he was originally meant to be a He-Man character and was used in the 2002 revival of He-Man. He was one of the Lizard Men in the Masters of the Universe toyline but since He-Man was canceled, he was used in She-Ra in order to promote his toy. So He was part of the horde. Anyway, in this new series he is not part of the horde but a nomad. Still a great episode dealing with Adora finding more about Mara and She-ra and Scorpia's relaitonship with Catra. 
4/5

"Moment of Truth"
Summary: Catra returns with Adora to the Fright Zone and presents the sword as the key needed to open Hordak's portal. Glimmer, Bow and Huntara return to Bright Moon, but cannot persuade her mother to help, so she frees Shadow Weaver. Shadow Weaver helps teleport Glimmer, Bow and the other princesses right into Hordak's base, but they are soon discovered and forced to fight their way through. In the meantime, Entrapta discovers that opening the portal would annihilate reality, but Catra, obsessed with vengeance, hides this fact from Hordak, and the portal is activated.
Review: Interesting to see Entrapta and Hordak's relationship blossom. With some hinted romantic love and then when Catra lies to him about Entrapta, he seems hurt. Shadow Weaver's use of Glimmer is kind of iffy but interesting. Good to see the other Princesses involved but wished they were used more before.
4/5

"Remember"
Summary:
Adora awakens in the Fright Zone, again as a member of the Horde in a "perfect world"; but as she goes on with her life, several peculiar happenings and strange memory flashes quickly begin to tell her that something is seriously amiss. As her realization grows, the false reality begins to disintegrate. Adora flees with Catra to the Whispering Woods, but Catra willingly lets go of their friendship instead of trying to rectify the catastrophe. Adora is then met by Madame Razz, who tells her that Mara had triggered such a cataclysm before when she displaced Etheria, and gives Adora the advice to "go back to the beginning". As she leaves to seek out Glimmer and Bow, she is followed by Catra, half mutated by the reality warp.
Review: A good episode going back to the beginning and using an altered reality. Some good character moments but doesn't do anything to expand the mythology or character arc. Only to Adora's.
4/5


"The Portal"
Summary: Arriving in Bright Moon, Adora is promptly taken, prisoner. Her curiosity piqued by the new arrival, Glimmer drags Bow into questioning Adora, who manages to revive their memories. The three manage to get in touch with Entrapta, who has determined that the portal's debilitating effects are centered on Adora, and that she must remove the sword to fix it. As reality collapses further and her friends disappear before her, Adora is confronted by Catra but manages to overcome her former friend and her doubts. But instead of Adora, Queen Angela, with her memory returned, removes the sword, forever trapping herself between realities. With true reality thus restored, Adora's group returns to Bright Moon; but the interdimensional disruption has enabled one of Hordak's clone brothers to track him down.
Review: A good episode. Great ending! Interesting finale but wish we got more answers out of this season. Apparently, we are getting a fourth season or even longer because of this slow pace. Or a fast pace? Why so little episodes in each season? At this pace, we will get 12 seasons in 5 years. 
5/5