every day i learn noelle stevenson or molly knox ostertag are the authors of things. i saw a twitter screenshot of them about a year ago and was like omg the she ra person and the writer of the witch boy know each other looked it up and it all went downhill from there. just learned noelle stevenson wrote nimona and guess who i discovered coauthored shattered warrior when i was rereading it last night
Going in blind: Watching season 5 for the first time. Random thoughts.
Episode 1: Well...that dinner got dark. From what other fans have told me apparently Glimmer gets a lot of hate for her decisions during the series and I just find that odd. I was more annoyed with her in the early seasons where her actions were more harmless simply because she had no patience and wouldn't listen because of her immaturity. Season 4 and here though? Even her most reckless and risky actions have at least been fueled by the genuine desire to keep people safe during a very hard situation. Even here, yeah, she tells Prime something it's very bad for him to know but he was going to have Adora and everyone else literally murdered before her eyes if she didn't. I can't really be mad at Glimmer for making a bad choice when it flows logically and fueled by the desire to keep the people she cares about from being slaughtered.
I don't think we've ever seen Catra this completely at the mercy of another person before, save maybe for Shadow Weaver when she was a child. She has nothing to offer that Prime doesn't already possess. Nothing he wants that he can't get for himself. Her relationship with everyone these past few seasons have been either "I'm your commander and you have to do what I say" or "You are my commander and here's the reason you have to keep me around". This time she has nothing to protect herself behind and the only reason she's still around is because Prime might think of a use for her later.
I love having Scorpia on the heroes' side.
Episode 2: That ending though.
I think what helps elevate Entrapta for me and keeps her for being annoying or irritating is that the show really sells that she just genuinely has trouble understanding why she should/shouldn't be doing certain things. It's not stupidity or even pure self-absorption, she just struggles with people and social ques while machines and science is a lot more straightforward. Heck, she was probably able to bond so well with Hordak because work together in the lab was them meeting on a common middle ground she could understand and relax in. The way she's trying to overcome the issue to help save Glimmer reminds me a little of Mob from Mob Psycho 100, feeling a little frustrated in not understanding something that she knows she should be.
Episode 3: Anybody else get a Disney's Hercules vibes at the end there?
Catra: "Besides, O Oneness, you can't beat her! She has no weaknesses! She's gonna kick your...!"
Prime, smiling: "I think she does, little sister." [Strokes Catra's hair] "I truly think...she does."
This episode really sold how completely isolated Catra is. With the sole exception of Glimmer, she's in space, no idea where exactly she is, onboard a ship filled with nothing but Prime and hundreds of cultist clones. Throughout the entire series we've seen Catra push everyone away and now that she's in a situation where she is almost well and truly on her own with no power, freedom, or authority, she seeks out the one other person around to find any sense of comfort in. Despite everything, Catra doesn't like being alone.
Little child Catra lashing out because she didn't want Adora to have any friends other than her kind of reminds me of Glimmer and Bow during the Princess Prom episode. I imagine it's the same mentality. Growing up in isolation, even if in different forms, and finding only that one person they feel thay can really lean on, there is that fear that they'll find someone else they like more and start caring about them less, or even outright stop. The difference is Bow set Glimmer straight, assuring her he'll always be her friend no matter what but he's not going to be just solely dedicated to her. Her fear was understandable but she was not respecting him as a friend either. Adora never really had that with Catra, one because she was much younger and less mature than Bow, and Catra was probably all she had too, to an extent. As we saw season 1, she was always trying to look after her, even when Catra needed to take responsibility for herself. Bow is not Glimmer's keeper, while Adora too often was that for Catra, so Bow and Glimmer have a better foundation of mutual respect while Adora and Catra's dynamic has been really screwed up for a long time.
Kind of tying into that, despite all that's happened between them, the minute Adora hears Catra's in distress she starts panicking and tearing up. The last time they saw each other they were very much enemies and Adora was done reaching her hand out to her. I suppose you could make the argument she's really been hoping all this time that Catra would finally do the right thing for once, just probably didn't expect it to be like this.
Prime better not mind wipe Catra like he did Hordak.
Episode 4: See, calling the heroes the rebellion now makes sense since they are rebelling against the established power, which is Prime.
Love that trick with the reflections, where you can sort of see/sort of can't see She-Ra. A nice little tease for what I imagine will be a big reveal later.
I really like that explanation for what Bow's going through. Last season's finale was the last he'd seen Glimmer and was desperately trying to save her, and he's been consistently worried for her since then. Now that she's safe he's starting to let himself process his other emotions towards her, and I totally get it. It's hard to be mad at someone when you're also terrified over what might be happening to them, even if your anger is justified. While I get why Glimmer last season did what she thought she had to, it was still a big risk that Bow warned her about and she didn't listen, putting them all in danger. This situation and Glimmer's words is a very mature way of handle this topic. He's not wrong for being mad and it's not a contradiction to what we've been seeing from him this season. Humans and emotions are complicated.
Episode 5: SHE HAS PAAAAAAAAANTS!!! (I will miss the cape though)
That almost makes up for them cutting Catra hair. Seriously, that mane was beautiful!
But boy, speaking of Hercules, that return of She-Ra definitely felt like Hercules emerging from the pool of souls to save Meg.
With the one clone being disconnected from the hive mind and having a breakdown over it, that does make me wonder if Hordak has been connected to it. Wasn't he deemed a defect because Prime couldn't connect to his mind? I suppose it's possible that flaw was corrected. Clearly Prime can take over minds other than just his clones, like with Catra. But if he could do that I'm wondering why he just didn't when Hordak was first created and he instead cast him out to Etheria.
Was Catra purring at the end? I swear there was a sound that sounded like purring.
Episode 6: Assimilation is easily one of my biggest fears in fiction, be it zombies, Borgs and Cybermen, Get Out, the freaking Sapphire Dragon from Xiaolin Showdown that scared the hell out of me as a kid! Just the concept of having your free will and autonomy completely ripped away from you, potentially with you still being aware but unable to do anything about it, is horrifying! At least with Prime's chips the process is reversible.
Anyway, in lighter plots, I kind of love Wrong Hordak. He's really funny. I feel bad that he's being deliberately misled, but he really shouldn't be following Prime anyway, so...
I do like that Adora is being a little more tough on Catra. She needs kindness, yes, but she also needs honesty and discipline, the kind that has actual love and care behind it, unlike what she got from Shadow Weaver. Adora is genuinely trying to help so Catra needs to stop acting like a brat and LET HER HELP.
Episode 7: Catra was definitely purring.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume people probably ship Scorpia and Perfuma. Not that I have any problem with that. It's like the Midoriya/Todoroki ship; I don't ship it myself but I totally get why others do. It's a relationship based in mutual respect and one of the characters having a significantly positive effect on the life of the other. As long as the shipper themselves is not horrifically toxic, I don't care.
Also, I don't think I've ever been so intimidated by Mermista before than I was with that one shot of her in silhouette, just before the reveal she was chipped.
Episode 8: Okay, I definitely love Wrong Hordak. Just that realization of his. "Horde Prime...lied to us..." There's just something about it that's so full of character. Obviously he's a brainwashed clone but he was truly devoted to Prime and just to find out that he would keep something so big from them, from the hive mind that's supposed to be so open to him and each other, it destroys everything he ever believed in. It's hilarious to watch him prepare to lead his brothers in a revolt against Prime.
I assume magic is Prime's "weakness" in that he himself cannot control it. Obviously he can control magical beings like Spinnerella and have them use magic but magic itself is too free and too powerful for him to contain and fully fight back against. He's all about order and stillness and magic is basically chaos.
Episode 9: I like to believe the mushroom kingdom they saved is a Mario reference.
Something I like in hero stories is "the power of a name" or "the power of a symbol". Something as simple as Superman's S-shield can have so much weight and meaning behind it just because of the person it's tied to. She-Ra isn't just a powerful warrior to the people of Etheria, she's a hero of legend. We saw it touched on even back in season 1 how much Adora returning She-Ra to the world meant to everyone. She-Ra to them is a symbol of hope. If they have her on their side, then they believe they might be able to win and with that ordinary people can find the strength to fight too. It's something I think the Green Lantern put best with how the Blue Rings of hope supercharge the Green Rings of will but lose a lot of their functions when the greens are not around. Hope is useless if you don't have the will to also act, but in turn hope can give people the will to act. The more hope they have that they can win, the more they will fight to win.
That was the nerdiest comparison I've ever made.
Episode 10: I appreciate a good bad dad joke and that's why I can't approve of "punderstand". It's too much of stretch to flow well. "Ruined" was good though.
I'm less surprised that Scorpia's been chipped and more that she's even alive. She was at the bottom of the ocean when the roof broke and she's a scorpion woman. I don't think water is a very friendly element for her. She's even commented on how good the desert was to her.
I wonder her She-Ra mode is not working for her simply because Adora is exhausted; mentally and physically. I don't think she's ever used the form this continuously before, and she's been doing it without the First Ones' sword that she has experience with. Her new sword and its transformations may be made out of her own energy for all we know. And then there's just the emotional toil of having Catra back in her life while it feels like more and more of the world is being turned against her.
Episode 11: Oh, I'm definitely shipping Hordak and Entrapta.
I think Re:Zero has spoiled me on dark magic. While Micah with his dark magic is a threat, in this show and many others dark magic basically just equates to "spooky, evil, bad stuff" magic that isn't that different from most other kinds of magic other than being either harder to control or more geared towards causing harm. In Re:Zero, dark magic was DARK. It felt unnatural, like a perversion of how their world's magic is supposed to be and that it didn't belong in this reality. Micah's dark magic is basically "I'm attacking you with shadows, oOoOoOo so scary!"
Not really surprised Catra left. She just got Adora back and now she's potentially about to let herself die. Perfuma said it best, letting people in and letting herself be vulnerable is hard. Caring about Adora and watching her die would be a huge blow, so Catra would rather curl back up into her shell and block out Adora again than have to risk taking that hit.
Episode 12: I keep saying it but now having them right next to each other, yeah, Mara's She-Ra outfit is better than Adora's. I don't know, there's just something grander about it. Anyway, on topic, I'm a big fan of superheroes and legacy and all that and I really like Mara's words to Adora. All she did and sacrificed was so that others, especially the next She-Ra, wouldn't have to do the same. It doesn't matter how noble and heroic it is, tragedy is tragedy and anyone who knows that kind of pain doesn't want anyone else to have to go through it.
I'm not surprised by the love confession between Glimmer and Bow. I felt it could go either way with them either hooking up or just staying really good friends, but that in itself is a sign of how good and natural their friendship is. I can easily buy how it would evolve into something more between them. The situation they're in probably helps. When Glimmer was taken they both thought they might never see each other again and that fear and worry probably caused them to reevaluate how they feel about the other. They've been clinging to each other since getting back, as every day could be their last. Something like that is naturally going to push two people together.
Episode 13: So...are there any plans for a season 6? Or a comic continuation like Avatar and Korra got? Because this was a good finale...buuuuuuuuut I feel there are definitely some things that needed a bit more exploration.
This is typically why I like stories with epilogue endings, especially those set some number of years in the future. Little glimpses of what everyone's doing now, allowing the audience to fill in for themselves what happened in-between. There's nothing wrong with this episode but it does just kind of...stop. They beat Prime. Everybody's cheering and happy. Adora suggests they bring magic back to the universe. And...that's it. We don't see anything more. No aftermath, no post-war, nothing. We end on the moment of victory, and while it's not a bad moment it leaves the ending feeling a little incomplete.
It kind of feels like the writers either really had to rush to the ending to make the 13 episode deadline or simply didn't want to address whatever happens with Catra and Hordak now. With the bigger threat of Horde Prime it makes sense why everyone puts aside past issues and works together. But now that the crisis is over, naturally everyone would have to address everything the Horde had done to Etheria for years with Hordak and Catra leading it. Don't get me wrong, I believe that Catra loves Adora, I believe Adora loves her, and I believe Catra wants to be a better person. It's not like I'm saying she needs to be locked up or executed. But she did cause a lot of damage and put Adora especially through hell, and just because Shadow Weaver is the one who screwed her up so bad doesn't mean she doesn't have any responsibility for her own actions. So it just would have been nice to get even a little bit of lip service to show that Catra would be trying to right her wrongs from this point forward, instead of just "Prime's gone, everyone's happy, bye!" At least with Entrapta she seemed to genuinely not understand why what she was doing at the time was wrong and Scorpia, like Adora and Huntara, defected from the Horde to do the right thing despite it being even more part of her upbringing than anyone else. I can't even imagine what happens with Hordak now.
Don't get me wrong, this is far from the worst I've ever seen a redemption handled. I haven't read/watched any of Boruto outside of the movie and Gaiden tie-in but I've read all of Naruto and there is no reason that Orochimaru should just be walking around and casually talking with people after all he's done. Kaiba in the Yu-Gi-Oh manga built an entire theme park to try an murder Yugi and his friends and they bring it up like twice after that arc. Kylo Ren turning back to the light was one of the potential paths for his character, so that made sense in TROS, but they essentially did "He died heroically and therefore totally redeemed himself for every terrible thing he's ever done."; basically a cop-out. Catra's alive and can at least potentially still own up to her actions and work to redeem herself. And I love Steven Universe, but kind of like with Catra nearly killing everyone (including herself) via the unstable portal, fans have naturally pointed out that the Diamonds enslaved and committed genocide on multiple planets and really faced no consequences for that other than "Stop it". Catra's not at the gold standard of redemption stories, which for me is probably Zuko and Endeavor, but she's far from the bottom. I think the best way to describe it is that Catra had as good, if not better, reasons for being so bad and screwed up as Zuko did, just as good step-up for turning good as Zuko did, but she didn't have nearly as much payoff afterwards to make it feel like a full journey like Zuko did.
But enough about all that. Love the basically goddess She-Ra Adora became. Given the emphasis on healing powers with She-Ra we've had, I'm guessing that's essentially how she destroyed Prime. She purified Hordak and Prime was basically an infection within him. I like when heroes snatch victory from the jaws of defeat but I also when there's an implication towards the villain that "Wow. I never stood a chance." She-Ra's power just dwarfs his. Full potential realized by Adora and he was just gone.
Also I don't know how I forgot that Prime could jump into the bodies of his clones but his possession of Hordak got me. I genuinely couldn't think of how he'd survive after Hordak shoved him off the edge (set free by the power of love!).
And even if the ending feels a little incomplete, the episode itself still did well with my emotional investment. I was gripped by during Catra's confession and the tension within the heart.
Season 5 and overall series verdict: I'm very glad I saw this series. Even though its ending falls a little short for me, this was still really good. Seasons 3 was probably my favorite overall but this story had a very good flow to it. It steadily built up bigger each season, with Catra and Hordak being really compelling villains driving the whole thing. Not that Prime was bad. He was a genuine threat and his cult of clones is a good creepy concept. He's just not as good as the other two. I'm sure part of what elevates him up is because I'm thinking of the JL director's cut but Hordak really is just better Steppenwolf. Everything that worked about that character, Hordak is that to an 11.
Given how I've talked about her more than any of the others, Catra is probably my favorite character. Just the damage that girl has been through. I always understood why she was doing what she did, even though there was rarely a moment I'd agree with exactly what she was doing. Again, it's one of the reasons it feels like the series just kind of ended. There's a lot to be seen with Catra's character now, a lot that can be done, and it just feels like a shame to really not show any of it. This isn't a fault of SRPOP itself because so many series, especially animated and anime, are guilty of but it always bugs me when a series ends on two characters hooking. Relationships are interesting, I'd argue more so than the build-up to them, but no writer ever wants to actually explore them after the hook-up. I never cared about Korra and Mako being a couple but I still found their relationship as a couple more interesting and character building than any of the will they/won't they build-up to it. And I actually like the idea of Adora and Catra as a couple. It's a big reason why I'm so happy the Harley Quinn animated series got renewed for a third season, as it otherwise would have just ended on a hook-up between two characters who, like Adora and Catra, love each other but have had a complicated dynamic for a while. I believe Adora and Catra love each other, but they've got a lot of stuff to work out and I want to see that! Catra's got abandonment issues and that in turn caused her to be unhealthily possessive over Adora. Just seeing the two of them try to work through that alone would be fascinating.
Like I suspected early on, Scorpia's my favorite supporting character. Entrapta's a decent 2nd. Took a small dip when it seemed like she was joining the Horde over feeling abandoned by the princesses when they thought she was dead but that picked back up once it was made more clear "Oh, okay, you're not being petty or stupid. You genuinely don't understand." It made her a more interesting character, and I love her and Hordak's relationship.
Least favorite characters...probably Sea Hawk and those three former Horde friends of Adora and Catra. I never hated them but I never cared about what was happening when they were on screen. They fill out the world a bit, they drive the plot, they're not wastes of space, they even get some laughs. There are just so many other characters in the series way more interesting than them.
Biggest surprise for me was definitely Glimmer and Bow. I never thought I'd dislike them but the best friends characters in series like this can kind of go one way or another with how relevant or deep they are. Glimmer especially I was surprised how much I was invested. She really grew a lot as a person throughout the series and I thought the dilemma over the Heart of Etheria was a good one.
Honestly there's a lot more I could talk about but I have only so many words and my thoughts are a jumble right now so I'm going to leave it at that. I will say I really appreciate how supportive you all on this Reddit have been. It's something I hate about some other fandoms I'm in where they basically are so toxic that they make no one else actually want to watch/read the thing they're fans of because they can't help but associate it with them.
Original Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/PrincessesOfPower/comments/o2p6wq/going_in_blind_watching_season_5_for_the_first/
Going in blind: Watching season 4 for the first time. Random thoughts.
I never said anything about it before but I love Shadow Weaver's DCAU Batman eyes. They're so expressive.
Episode 1: Okay...I wasn't expecting Catra to do that. I mean, it makes sense. If she has leverage over Hordak then she's basically in charge of the Horde and that's what she's wanted (or at least believes she wants) since episode 1. It's an aspect that made her a good antagonist, that she's not blind to the evil of the Horde, she just doesn't care as long as she herself is secure. Which naturally begs the question, when the rebellion and the princesses are crushed, when the Horde is on top, when Adora is dead, when Catra finally has everything she's ever wanted...will she actually finally be happy? Somehow, I have my doubts.
I definitely feel for Glimmer in this. When you go through as big a loss as she did you need to be able to feel and vent if you're ever going to get through it. It doesn't have to be right away but everyone doing everything in their power to avoid the topic entirely can make you feel like you're going crazy. It'a especially bad for her since it unintentionally makes it feel like everyone is acting like it doesn't matter that Angela is gone when it clearly means everything to Glimmer.
Episode 2: I actually had a potted cactus plant once. Accidentally forgot about it and left it outside for an entire winter. Once the snow was gone the cactus looked like it had melted.
I kind of want to see what an interaction between Double Trouble and Clayface from the Harley Quinn animated series would look like. I'm guess Catra was just testing how good Double Trouble was as a doppelganger because it doesn't seem like she did anything while Adora was being distracted, though I suppose that could be a reveal in a later episode.
Not much to say except that I love how buff Huntara is while still clearly being a woman. Like, women can have a variety of different body types, as this series and Steven Universe show, and Huntara's build isn't just, like, Bow's body with lipstick and ponytail and the animators calling it a day. No, she looks like a freakin' jacked adult woman.
Episode 3: I didn't figure out the Flutterina = Double Trouble twist until a minute before it was revealed, so good job there. Before that I was wondering if Flutterina was some fan's original character where they won some contest where their OC got to be in the show for an episode. She was giving off some weird self-insert vibes. That twist made it all work though. It's honestly not a bad plan. Shapeshifters haven't really been a thing in the series before now so there's no reason to suspect it. Even if they did they'd probably be expecting it by way of magic or technology, while Double Trouble's seems to be a natural ability.
I like that even though Bow is definitely the goofier one of the trio he is still consistently shown as competent. That's never in question. He was very heroic and reassuring to the villagers this episode. I get why those kids idolize him so much.
Catra's having guilt over what she did with the portal and to Entrapta and her response is basically to just double-down. She doesn't know any other way to be. Not going to lie, I am kind of hoping we get another moment in the show where Adora just completely overwhelms Catra with the sheer power of She-Ra. I'm not saying like brutalize her or anything but just something where Catra is made to realize just how powerful Adora is and that she could just destroy Catra if she had a mind to do so.
Episode 4: Well, I was saying I wanted Adora to do it but I guess I don't mind Glimmer being the one to get some good shots in on Catra. Like I predicted, Shadow Weaver's moving in to become her teacher like she was with her father. Honestly I like that that was more Adora's problem than Glimmer using her as bait, which she seemed to get over pretty quick. Yeah, it was kind of a heartless thing to do but it was an understandable tactic and she clearly outright told Adora that she did it and why afterwards, which at least means she's still being honest.
It occurs to me that Glimmer and Catra may be the ones running parallel right now. Both are basically leading their respective sides of the war. They both have lost someone very important to them. And both are trusting someone they probably shouldn't. Both even have outfits that've been updated in the intro. The difference is Glimmer's just trying to deal with a bad situation while Catra's is entirely self-inflicted.
Minor thing but I like Glimmer's new outfit this season. I'm sure this is the intention but it makes her look older and more mature. A little more muscular in some shots too.
Episode 5: Heart of Etheria project. No idea what that is but assumedly whoever's a part of it doesn't like Light Hope and Mara being friends. Sounds like it's very much interested in She-Ra being just a warrior, and perhaps a tool, for the greater good. It does make me wonder though how much Light Hope remember from when she was rebooting. Even if she deleted the Mara memory she could potentially still have the memory of her and Adora watching the Mara memory, as well as Adora asking to be her friend.
Episode 6: Yep. Scorpia; definitely favorite supporting character. There is something kind of funny about her whole "Scorpions are loyal" line when you remember the story about the Frog and the Scorpion, where it stings the frog despite it meaning death for itself as well simply because that is its nature. But finally we're having someone go save Entrapta, and I can only assume at some point Scorpia's going to access the power of the Black Garnet.
The parallels between Catra and Hordak are definitely at their max here with that speech of hers to him. She's basically trying to convince herself that she doesn't need anyone, the timing of which is appropriate since she just drove away Scorpia and now truly doesn't have anyone. Not that I blame Scorpia, obviously. Like Adora before her, however good you believe someone can be and that you can help them, at some point you just have to cut the toxic people out of your life. You have the right to be happy too.
And man, Bow is just the best. He saw something was wrong between Adora and Glimmer and defused the situation like (snap) that, pushing them to talk like any sane person would.
Episode 7: I'm sure it is just because I've seen way too many TV shows and movies (both animated and live action) that don't do it but it is just such a relief to have a show where the characters just TALK and LISTEN to each other. It doesn't solve all their issues but they're at least not being stupid and freakin' petty. It helps the drama feel a lot less forced and contrived.
Episode 8: A little bit of amusement in Bow thinking at first that Glimmer and Adora didn't even notice he was gone despite them coming to his rescue very shortly afterwards, given Catra is only now realizing Scorpia has left and assumedly she did so a while ago. Bow and Sea Hawk hadn't been gone for that long so it's not unreasonable Glimmer and Adora wouldn't be worried about their absence (Bow was literally talking about "me time" when they last saw him), while Catra is only noticing Scorpia's absence now and it was because she wanted something. Like Scorpia said, she's a bad friend.
Kind of ironic given that a lot of Catra's issues are the direct result of Shadow Weaver giving her very little love growing up but it does seem this tough love is probably what'll get through to Catra the best. She might finally stop making bad decisions and lashing out if she's forced to live with the consequences of them, like Adora told her last season.
Glimmer gets a bit of slack from me since she suffered through a huge loss, that being her mother, and then was immediately thrown into being queen right after. It'd be hard for anyone to be 100% on their game and well-adjusted in a situation like that, and I buy that she was on some level resentful of Adora for coming back instead of her mother, even if unintentionally so. What definitely helps is that Glimmer very clearly and immediately regretted what she said to Adora. Like Catra she's lashing out but unlike Catra Glimmer recognizes some of the damage she's doing and knows, at least in this case, that she went too far.
Episode 9: Now that I can see the design in color I definitely prefer Mara's She-Ra with pants to Adora's She-Ra with shorts. Honestly, while the differences are pretty minor, I do think Mara's She-Ra design is overall a lot better than Adora's. Sharper shoulder guards. Bigger cape (especially the cape, I love capes). I don't know, there's just a lot that clicks with it and I wouldn't mind Adora getting a similar outfit later.
Madam Razz definitely had a Yoda feel this episode. I was very much expecting her to start wacking Mara with a stick over the sugar like Yoda did with R2. Though while that was Yoda acting crazy, for Razz it's because she experiences time out of order, and I don't think I've ever seen that concept taken to this extent, or at least done this way before. There are characters like River Song from Doctor Who, Professor Paradox from Ben 10, or even the Reverse-Flash who interact with other characters in time out of order but those characters are still on a linear path from their own perspective, even when travelling through time. Razz is just bouncing around her own timeline, seemingly not even any real reason or cause to it like Subaru from Re:Zero. Clearly she's not just remembering things oddly because her talk about things of the present are heard by people in the past and have an effect. I wonder if maybe the reason why is because Razz was at ground zero of Mara's actions and this is a side-effect of pulling Etheria away from the rest of the universe.
Bringing more Star Wars into this, it basically sounds like the Heart of Etheria project has turned Etheria into a magic Starkiller Base; storing power that'll be unleashed to destroy whole planets. And jeez, I think this was the first time I really felt creeped out by Light Hope when she was talking to Mara.
I'm looking forward to seeing what it means that the First Ones only made the sword and that Etheria made She-Ra. If that's the case, why is only the sword able to bring out the She-Ra form? Is it like MCU Thor's hammer and the weapon was just meant to help him control the power he already had? Or is what we think is She-Ra not actually She-Ra and that form that Adora and Mara take is just a stand-in for the real thing?
Episode 10: It didn't even occur to me until now but Double Trouble's capture is another blow to Catra's circle of "friends" too. They were at least able to make her laugh. One less person for her to talk to and just...really just distract her from her thoughts.
It's a good dilemma this episode presents about what to do with the Heart of Etheria. The safest and probably best option is to just dismantle it, like Adora and Bow want, since it could easily lead to the destruction of the entire planet if it goes off. Not the mention there's so little they know about it and what it was intended for and the one person who can potentially tell them, Light Hope, they were warned not to trust. But it's not hard to understand where Glimmer is coming from in wanting to use that power to fight the Horde. They're already losing the war and now she knows Hordak Prime and his FAR more powerful forces are on the way. Tapping into the Heart is a huge risk but she's not seeing any other paths for the rebels to win. It's a really good dilemma, with good arguments presented from both sides, and I buy this widening the schism between Adora and Glimmer.
Episode 11: I have mixed feelings on King Micah still being alive. On the one hand there's a lot of good potential interactions we can now have with him, primarily between Glimmer and Shadow Weaver, and he is a fun character. But on the other I can't help but wonder if this kind of lessens the impact of what Angela gave up to overcome the false reality. Part of what made it so emotional was that she had to accept the person she loved was dead and not coming back...except now we see that he wasn't dead and now he is coming back. Yeah, their family lost out on years together and that does still carry some emotional weight but I was already also half-expecting Angela to come back later in the series because she's stuck between dimensions, meaning there's a chance she could still be alive. If both Glimmer's parents come back then that really feels like it takes a lot of weight out of her story. But I guess we'll see what happens.
Also, why did the Horde exile him to Beast Island? Why not just kill him?!
Episode 12: So the Horde exiles Micah to Beast Island instead of killing him. The First Ones protect their secrets by sending their bad tech to Beast Island. Does no one know how to just destroy things in this world?
Ohhh, I am so looking forward to next episode. While it's debatable whether Glimmer should be going through with her plan she is at least being smart with how she's going about it. Double Trouble was being paid by Catra to work for the Horde, not out of any sense of loyalty. Glimmer has the resources of Bright Moon at her disposal so it's reasonable she could pay them more to switch sides. Double Trouble was very good at sabotaging even a group as tight-nit as the heroes, so Hordak and Catra are probably easy pickings with all their issues.
Episode 13: ....WELL THAT AIN'T GOOD!
I'll admit, I had a little bit of an unintended laugh. After all we've heard about Horde Prime, like this shadowy all-powerful monster, I wasn't expecting the fabulous flowing dreadlocks and smoothness. Credit where it's due, man has charisma and charm, which goes a long way in helping your big evil world conqueror not be a very flat character, because it's doubtful he's going to have the same kind of sympathetic motivation as Hordak or complexity as Catra to keep him elevated.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Double Trouble kicking at Catra while she's down. Adora and Scorpia were honest but they never wanted to hurt Catra. Not so much with Double Trouble and they just shove reality into her face. Everyone leaves Catra because of Catra. She's the common factor. It's her fault and no one else's. Again, I don't know for certain if Adora and Catra get together at the end (Catra would have a LOT to make amends for regardless) but Double Trouble was definitely implying Catra had feelings for her with the way they put Catra's hand on "Adora's" cheek while talking about how she left her.
I like that we see Glimmer's plan actually working at first. The princesses get a massive power boost and decimate the Horde forces. But the minute it starts going wrong she immediately admits Adora was right and she tries to stop the energy flow. I imagine having her there with Catra was intentional by the writers. Despite some parallels, Glimmer can actually accept her failures and work to try and fix things. Unlike Catra, she didn't blame Adora for things going wrong.
So the sword allows the First Ones to control She-Ra and the energy she'd be absorbing from the planet. Assumedly that means there are at least some parts to She-Ra that have nothing to do with the First Ones and thus maybe Adora can still use some of those powers without the sword.
Season 4 verdict: Yeah, the show keeps getting better, though I will admit last season's finale had me more emotional, but that's a bit of an unfair comparison given everything that happened in that finale vs. this one. This is definitely the series hitting its darkest hour, where it feels like EVERYONE lost. Not just the rebels but the Horde as well. The sword and Light Hope are gone and She-Ra (for now) along with them. Glimmer and Catra are basically prisoners. Hordak's probably going to have his personality stripped away. The Fright Zone is in ruins. The only one who's gained anything is Prime.
Really looking forward to what the final season has in store, especially since there seems to be the implication that Catra just saved Glimmer's life.
Original Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/PrincessesOfPower/comments/o1j5gk/going_in_blind_watching_season_4_for_the_first/
Going in blind: Watching season 3 for the first time. Random thoughts.
Episode 1: I know in the original series She-Ra was the sister of He-Man so I'm curious how much of that will be carried over to this series. Not saying He-Man has to make an appearance, same as how Batman didn't need to show up in Teen Titans. That was Robin's story, not his, and similarly this is Adora's story, not Adam's. Regardless, it makes sense why Hordak was so annoyed with the baby Adora in Shadow Weaver's flashbacks. To SW, there was something different and special about the baby, but to Hordak, whom seems familiar with the world before Mara separated Etheria from the rest of the universe, including Eternia potentially, Adora is just another "First One" child like he's seen many times before. Special in comparison to those who only know Etheria.
Great clap-back from Catra to Hordak, and not entirely unfounded. It's debatable how much he actually cares about conquering Etheria. He has others leading his forces in his war yet all his focus is on his portal creation.
According to Entrapta, productivity of the Horde is up 400% ever since Catra became Hordak's 2nd in command. I wondering how much of that is Catra's direct doing? Is she genuinely just that good of a commander? Is it because she's properly delegating and Scorpia has been handling most of the load? Or is this just because it's in comparison to Shadow Weaver? Entrapta said Catra's focus on First Ones' tech has been greatly aiding them and SW definitely focused more on magic, which was an aid mostly to herself since everyone else in the Horde seems to fight only with weapons and technology. And most of what she saw of SW while she was Hordak's 2nd was her being obsessed with bringing back Adora rather than fighting the war.
Episode 2: Let's see... Hordak's easily an adult and Entrapta is...[checks google] late twenties, early thirties. Oh good, then let's sail this ship!
But yeah, that was a heck of a backstory for Hordak. This reminds me of a video by a Youtuber named Savage Books comparing the villain Steppenwolf in the theatrical and Snyder Cut versions of Justice League and how, while he still wasn't a great villain, just a small addition made him a much better villain, that being a failure in his past and the desire just to go home. And in this case, Hordak is the much better, or at least way more developed, version of that. One of many clones of Hordak Prime but having a defect that labelled him a failure and had him cast out to Etheria, a "backwards world" as he's called it before. If he can conquer Etheria, perhaps by building a portal that'll bring forward Prime's army, he believes that'll prove to Prime that he is not a failure and that he can return home to rejoin his forces. Just this bit of backstory adds SO MUCH to Hordak, including new insights on his past interactions, and keeps him from being a flat character like theatrical version Steppenwolf. His lack of tolerance for failure makes sense when he himself is trying to prove that he's not. It gives him compelling motivation to want to conquer Etheria beyond just power and greed. Not motivation you're meant to agree with but one you can still understand.
I like the story with Huntara too. It's a nice little tie-in to something Adora was talking about with Glimmer and Bow last episode. Adora defected from the horde, not because she was different but rather very much in spite being very much like every other soldier there. She wanted to believe Shadow Weaver may have at least some goodness in her too and now we have Huntara as a fellow defector who realized the evils of the Horde, even if she chose to stay out of the war entirely after.
Episode 3: I legit thought Catra stabbed the goat lady for a second.
After Scorpia asking her why don't they just stay in the wastes I'm seeing a bit of a parallel between Catra and Hordak. They've both found a place where they can be the top dog, where they can do and have basically anything they want; her with the wastes and him with the Horde. They can be happy. ...But there's still this pull they're feeling to somewhere else. Catra back to the Horde and Hordak back to Prime. Because they feel they have to prove something; prove that they're not failures. They could be happy but they can't let go.
And that scene between Adora and Catra at the end. That was such a great line read from Catra's actor. "She left me for you. Everything that's happened is because of you." I got chills.
Minor note: While I'm only judging off the Mara hologram, which didn't have color, I do think the She-Ra outfit looks better with pants than shorts like Adora's She-Ra form. I think it makes it look sleeker, if that makes any sense.
Episode 4: Catra's spiral has turned into a drill and its taking her down as far as she can go. Though something I had to a laugh a little at myself over was that my biggest "Catra, no!" reaction wasn't to her wanting to open the portal but rather when she lied to Hordak and said Entrapta let the princesses in. She was actually a positive influence on Hordak's life and Catra with one move just destroyed that relationship and all progress Hordak had been making.
I'm guessing there's going to be some kind of long-term effect from Shadow Weaver continuously siphoning off Glimmer's magic. The woman is basically a parasite and the magic she uses is very different from the kind Glimmer does. I can't believe it never occurred to me that since Shadow Weaver trained Glimmer's father there might be a connection there between the two of them later in the story. While we don't know about anything that might've happened after she left, SW clearly had enough affection for Micah still to not kill him. I could see her trying to take Glimmer on as a student later like she did him.
Episode 5: There is something kind of hilarious about it being Scorpia's jealousy of Catra and Adora's closeness that causes her to be the first one after Adora to pick up that something is off.
11 is my favorite of the Doctor Who Doctors so naturally I'm comparing all this to the crack in Amy Pond's bedroom wall. Whatever goes in gets forgotten about and basically never existed. Though does that mean Bright Moon isn't going to remember the Horde? Basically that entire place got sucked up in the collapsing reality. There shouldn't be at war anymore because their enemy literally no longer exists.
Adora and Catra had their own little Star Trek 3 moment there.
Adora: "If we don't help each other, we'll die here!"
Catra: "Perfect! Then that's the way it shall be!"
Catra's just so far down her spiral she doesn't even care about getting her own win, just so long as Adora doesn't get one, despite just minutes ago clearly loving having Adora back in her life and on her side, to the point was trying to resist remembering the old reality. Her "perfect" world was them together again but when given the chance (another of many. I love those cuts to their past woven in there) she slapped the hand away.
I'm sure I'm wrong but I'm starting to theorize Madam Razz is actually Mara and just at some point went kind of crazy and started thinking as and Mara were two different people.
"You are everything I ever wanted in a son. This... This is everything I ever wanted in a life. ...But I've got responsibilities, Van. And...I have to...go now."
-Superman, Justice League Unlimited: For the Man Who Has Everything
That was my favorite episode of JLU, where Superman is trapped in this world that isn't real but still perfect in every way, and the only way out was to give up everything he'd ever wanted, including a son he remembers watching grow up, even if it never really happened. With a similar premise, this definitely helped elevate Angela up a bit for me, whom I was kind just meh with before. I didn't dislike her but I didn't really care much for her either. This episode gave her a lot to work with though, with the heavy sacrifice she made. Not just saying behind to pull out the sword but just simply forcing herself to accept her husband is gone and not coming back. I was right that they wouldn't remember the Horde, but I definitely didn't think of the full effects of them never existing. They never exist, Bow never becomes a rebel instead of a scholar like his dads wanted. They don't exist, Micah never dies in battle against them. Glimmer gets to grow up with her father in her life. Everyone, most especially Angela, has to reject everything they would love to be real in favor of what actually is.
I'm guessing we're going to have Shadow Weaver taking advantage of this situation, trying to act like a teacher and mother-figure to Glimmer now that she's basically a orphan.
I talked before about how Catra and Hordak seem to have a parallel between them, especially regarding failure. Catra seems like she has a very hard time accepting her own failures and mistakes and thus why she more or less uses Adora as a mental scapegoat for all of it. Nothing is ever really her fault, it's Adora's, or Shadow Weaver's, or Hordak's. It makes for a great moment when Adora finally punches back, both literally and figuratively. She's not going to accept responsibility for Catra's actions anymore. She gave Catra every chance to make the right choice and she didn't, so now she has to finally live with the consequences. Heck of a glare She-Ra gave Catra at the end. Very much a "If I ever see you again..." and it certainly scared Catra, at least for a moment.
Now, someone go save Entrapta from Beast Island!
Season 3 verdict: Easily the best season thus far. I know this was technically the second half of season 2 but even in comparison to the full season 1 there was just so much that happened in this, so much that got revealed, and so, so many moments of emotion or tension. Weirdly I feel kind of disappointed that Hordak Prime is probably going to come in now and be the new big villain. I really like our Hordak's motivation and Prime seems like he might just be the generic conqueror for power that Hordak seemed like he was going to be at first. Not saying those types can't work. I love All For One from My Hero Academia and Frieza from Dragon Ball. Those guys are pure evil and selfishness, but they also have a captivating presence/charisma to them.
Naturally, since I bring her up the most out of all the characters, I'm very curious to see what happens with Catra now. She's basically nuked every positive relationship she had with anyone. Entrapta's gone, she threatened Scorpia, Hordak's not going to trust anyone including her anymore now that he thinks Entrapta's betrayed him, and Adora firmly sees her as an enemy. She has no one (those under her direct command don't count) and it's entirely her own fault.
Original Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/PrincessesOfPower/comments/o0trfz/going_in_blind_watching_season_3_for_the_first/
#I dont know why I made this #her battle cry is just 'Sheesh' now #She-Ra gets a cool hat and some glasses #some drippin boots too #this took me 5 minutes #can you tell #spop#She-Ra#adora#spopedit#spop memes
Going in blind: Watching season 2 for the first time. Random thoughts.
Huh. Only 7 episodes. Not complaining necessarily. For series with an ongoing plot I've definitely become more in favor with their seasons only having as many episodes as they need rather than them having to stretch themselves out to full up a certain number of episodes, which can lead to padding and just bad character moments.
Episode 1: Jeez. Catra visiting Shadow Weaver's cell just to rub her success in her face and verbally abuse her back for once. It's like a twisted version of Zuko and Ozai from ATLA. Catra's upbringing under her was abusive but this is far from a healthy way for her to deal with it. She's basically deliberately swimming in her resentment.
Episode 2: It's not that I'm rooting for her but by-golly was it fun to watch Catra act like just the absolute worst she could while she was Glimmer and Bow's captive.
I touched on this in season 1 but part of the drama of the heroes feeling guilt over leaving Entrapta behind is kind of lost on me a bit simply because it was her own fault it happened. She deliberately went back into the purge room because of her machine obsession, which then closed on her and erupted in flames. It was more than reasonable to assume she was dead and no one but her was to blame, so I'm not really able to be invested in their guilt over it.
That said, weirdly enough I do like that her "abandonment" doesn't seem to be even a blip on the radar for Entrapta herself. She hasn't joined the horde because she resents the heroes or felt left behind, she simply is so obsessed with machines and experimentation that she'll be on the side of whoever lets her do the most of that. Like, it's selfish and irresponsible but it's very in-character and I'd far rather have a traitor motivation be based in that over something stupid like a misunderstanding.
Episode 3: I love the mental image of Shadow Weaver thinking up princess-themed ghost stories to tell Adora as a child.
So, if the previous She-Ra Mara separated Eternia from the other realms/planets/whatever she did and that's what cut off the She-Ra line for 1000 years, I'm guessing Hordak may be from the time before that happened, thus his drive to create portals and calling Eternia a backwards world. Either he's naturally long-lived or his technology is extending his life.
Episode 4: You know, you could maybe argue it was vague enough that it could be taken other ways but I'm definitely getting some vibes here that Scorpia is crushing on Catra. She literally refers to the two of them as soulmates at one point. I know she says she's trying to be friends but this feels a level beyond that.
Fun little reference to the original She-Ra cartoon thrown in there (and maybe Cowboy Bebop...? James Bond...? What was Glimmer's art style supposed to be?). I like how it is more like just playful ribbing than anything outright dumping on the original. Again, I've never seen original She-Ra but whenever remakes/adaptations go out of their way to trash to the original I always kind of wonder why they bothered doing an adaptation if the original is just that bad? Also, I was having trouble sleeping so it was about 2am when I watched this episode and the very Eartha Kitt Catwoman Catra made it very difficult for me not to lose my **** and stay quiet. With how much of a contrast that version is from the one in this series, that was hilarious. Bonus note, it's a nice touch that Frosta's version of Catra is a pretty crasher in that sweet suit, since that's the only impression of Catra she's ever had.
Adora being a chosen one is definitely elevated up simply by how much the pressure of what she's supposed to be is getting to her. I'm likely going to keep making Avatar The Last Airbender comparisons throughout the series but that's partly because I went into this series figuring it'd be at least structured similar to ATLA (season 1 being more episodic and a little more kid-friendly as it builds up the world before getting more serious later). Adora and Aang are interesting to compare here. Aang's worries early on were less apparent because he was more in-denial/choosing not to think about his problems that much, which fit with his character as a free-spirited Air Nomad. While Adora is much more military-minded. She can't keep herself from thinking about her problems and trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario. And jeez, that idea of who/how Catra is in her mind. Not only beating her but making her watch as she takes everything she cares about away. Not Shadow Weaver, not Lord Hordak, but Catra. That whole Lion King Mufasa/Scar moment between them in episode 11 and their fight in the S1 finale really did a number on her mental image of her old friend. Not reasonably so.
Minor note: I'm sure I'm the only one who got this impression but by the look of it, the way the robot's eye moved, and the music, after getting the soda spilled on it that little spybot gained sentience for half a second and then immediately died. It was so darkly comedic I had to laugh.
Episode 5: So that red disc is basically She-Ra's Red Kryptonite, having an effect on the mind rather than the body. The drunk Adora joke doesn't really do it for me but it did get some nice interactions going between Scorpia and Sea Hawk, two characters I certainly wasn't expecting to bond. I did really like Catra's panic when berserker She-Ra nearly beheads her. The implication is that is Adora really wanted to kill her Catra would already probably be dead. It's a thing I like about powerhouse characters like Superman or Aang, who could just demolish everything around them and don't simply because they're a good person...which in turn makes them the scariest person on the planet when they're well and truly ticked off. I'm not going to lie, I do kind of want to see a She-Ra version of Aang when Appa was stolen or when Superman fought The Elite.
Also, Catra's line of "I have control over Adora. I'm not giving that up for anything.". There's a lot to read into there.
Episode 6: I guess my prediction was sort of right. Shadow Weaver became basically a magic parasite and while it did increase the power she's capable of the implication seems to be that she needs a constant fix of magic to keep herself going, thus her attachment to the Black Garnet.
Have we seen Micah before? Given how long ago the flashback seems set, the fact that Shadow Weaver didn't kill him and thus he probably becomes someone important later in life, I'm guessing he's Glimmer's dad and the queen's late husband, since I think he's the only important male character whose face we haven't seen yet. Also, he's voice by Ezra from Star Wars Rebels and that cracks me up for some reason. It's the exact same voice and a relatively similar character.
I compared Catra and Shadow Weaver with a kind of twisted version of Zuko and Ozai and that definitely still fits here. Both Catra and Zuko confront their parent and call them out for the inexcusable abuse they put them through but while that moment was the start of Zuko's upwards journey this and SW's betrayal seems like it's going to cause Catra to spiral even further. Makes sense why Adora leaving affected her so much. She's probably the only one Catra's ever had that she could consistently trust and rely on, even if she did somewhat resent her.
Not surprised Hordak is getting along with Entrapta. She's not socially aware enough to be scared or intimidated by him, so she'll speak frankly, and since all she wants to talk about is the machines, experiments, and how they could get them to work Hordak probably doesn't take much issue with that. She's producing results, which is what he cares about, thus also why Shadow Weaver and Catra started losing favor with him. I wonder if Catra is going through imposter syndrome? Shadow Weaver had that line that Entrapta earned her place next to Hordak and, if you think about it, Catra hasn't really "earned" anything. We saw that she didn't really take her training or studies that seriously, showing up late to combat practice and even getting partial credit for what Adora beat. She wasn't promoted to Force Captain because of her own abilities but because Adora had defected when she was supposed to get that title. She's come close to a few victories but never really had any except for Glimmer and Bow's kidnapping...whom she then basically let escape when she returned Adora's sword to her. She doesn't have the slightest clue how the horde's bureaucracy works when trying to get things done, like simply getting troops armor. Given how much better than her Adora always was and how little she herself has to her name, I wonder is subconsciously Catra believes she doesn't deserve her current position and thus why she's fretting so much over trying to prove herself.
Episode 7: Am I mistaken or did Bow's parents say that he's the youngest of TWELVE siblings? I was going to ask whether Bow was adopted or if his dad's used a surrogate or if maybe there's even just simply magic in She-Ra's world that allows two people of the same sex to have a child together but now I'm just focused on the 12 kids thing. I get nervous just imagining myself having more than one. You should see me when I'm with two cats. I have to pet both of them because I'd feel like I'd be making one feel left out and like the other is the favorite. I'm a mess with kids.
The dad with dreadlocks (Lance?), his design looked familiar to me and I finally realized it reminded me a of a fanart design for a human Grim from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Very different voices between those two characters though.
I wonder if there's any significance to the robot protecting the crystal having the same design as those in the artic in episode 5? Obviously both have the connection to the First Ones but the robot in the forest who was also protecting First Ones' tech had a more insect-like design over these more worm/Graboid ones.
I'm kind of curious what Hordak would have done if Catra had told the truth. Given his interactions with her and Shadow Weaver he doesn't seem like the time to tolerate failure but I suppose the implication here is that he at least would respect those who own up to their failures. Or I suppose more simply he was just testing to see if she would lie to him and since she did there's little merit in keeping her in a position of authority anymore where she could lie about important things again.
Season 2 verdict: Still enjoying it. Another person on this reddit recommended I view seasons 2 and 3 as one since they are basically just one season split in two. I was going to do that but this ended up longer than I thought I would, so I'll just do 2 and 3 separate to keep them semi-organized and easier to read.
I think overall Catra is my favorite character since she has the most interesting backstory, interactions, and just general path through the story out of everyone. She's like Pearl from Steven Universe or, well, Zuko. There's just so much baggage there that she's trying and kind of failing to deal with. I'm always invested in whatever's happening when she's onscreen. Hordak so far is a good big boss villain for Adora to face but Catra is a good archenemy for her.
Original Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/PrincessesOfPower/comments/o027y3/going_in_blind_watching_season_2_for_the_first/
Going in blind: Watching season 1 for the first time. Random thoughts.
This show is kind of nice because I have no memories of the original She-Ra show, or even any of He-Man, honestly. I'm not sure if I ever watched the original, so I have no frame of reference for how the series is "supposed" to be. I can just take it and judge it as is.
Of the bat, all I know is that supposedly She-Ra and Catra get together as a romantic couple later, but I'm also a huge My Hero Academia fan and the fandom around me ships every character with every other character, so for all I know that might just be shipper wishful thinking I've been seeing and hearing. Given fandoms for Gravity Falls, Thor, and Supernatural ship even siblings together, I've learned not to trust anything except for what I see in the series for myself.
By the way, this isn't a review, just random thoughts and comments I'm having as I'm going through season 1 for the first time.
Episodes 1 and 2: Right off, I really like Catra's "No duh" response to Adora about the truth of the horde. She knows they've been lying to them and have been doing terrible things, she just doesn't care. If she and Adora play their cards right they could end up being the ones in charge and then they'd have all that power. Not necessarily to make things better but enough to where they could do whatever and live however they want. That's a good build for an antagonist. Not ignorant to the fact what they're doing is wrong, just simply so selfish that they don't care.
Episode 3: It really feels like there was no good reason why Glimmer didn't just outright introduce Adora to her mother and every reason she should have known it was a bad idea to try and hide her for a surprise. Being a former horde soldier she'd probably get treated with hostility if Glimmer brought her to the front gate but you'd almost guarantee Adora would get arrested or outright killed if she got caught while no one else knew she was there.
On the other side, we have Hordak being pretty intelligent in promoting Catra. He probably knows Shadow Weaver already doesn't like him, so it's not like he's losing anything making her upset with him, and it's clear she favors Adora way more than Catra, so that little bit of advancement towards Catra probably goes a long way in earning her loyalty to him and a person on the inside with Shadow Weaver.
Also, I'm not the only one who saw Madam Razz and immediately thought Adora had found her Yoda, right?
Episode 4: I don't know how it was in the original She-Ra and He-Man series but I kind of like She-Ra being this title from legend. Adora is not the first She-Ra, given what Razz was talking about with a Mara, so instead of being something new, impressing everyone with abilities they've never seen before, and creating the legend, Adora is placed in a position WAY over her head where she's having to live up to what came before her.
Episode 5: Calling it now, as long as her personality is genuine I think Scorpia is going to be one of my favorite characters in this show. She's...endearing, I think is the best word. She's like a mix of Kronk and a nicer Shego.
For a little bit I thought Mermista was voiced by the same actress who played Poison Ivy in the Harley Quinn animated series. She's not but they do have the same kind of Daria-ish inflections, thus by confusion. Given the prom episode, Sea Hawk feels kind of like her Kite Man.
Episode 6: Okay, now it's between Scorpia and Entrapta who are likely to be my favorites by the end of this. She's fun and quirky.
Episode 7: Quite the lore drop. Shadow Weaver was once a Mystacor sorceress known as Light Spinner. I like to imagine we'll get more on that later. Her haunting Adora reminded me of the Teen Titans' episode where Robin was similarly haunted by Slade. This didn't go as far as that but that's probably for the best, since TT had two and a half seasons to build that dynamic up with Robin and Slade while we're only now halfway through the first season.
Episode 8: Well dang. Again, I don't know for sure if Adora and Catra do end up together but boy do I buy why they're shipped together after that dance. Also, good on Bow for standing up for himself. It's clear that he'll always be Glimmer's friend and this won't change that but that doesn't mean he has to just accommodate her. I understand where her issues stem from but I am still glad he gave her a reality check. It helps him feel a little more like his own character.
Also, another nice little bit of lore and worldbuilding. Scorpia's a princess, the horde landed where her people lived, and they seemed to join them willingly.
Episode 9: Surprisingly don't have a lot to say about this other than I don't buy for a second that Entrapta is dead (EDIT: She's not). This was mostly action.
Episode 10: Not going to lie, this one kind of annoyed me a little, at least the first half. The conversation between Glimmer and her mother saved it a bit. It was a bit of a trifecta. You have the alliance breaking apart, saying that the loss of Entrapta only happened because they were all together...even though Entrapta only "died" because of her own machine obsession that caused her to deliberately walk back into the purging chamber. You have Entrapta who might be turning to the horde's side because she feels abandoned by the other princesses...even though they thought she was dead, and again it was her fault they got separated. And you have Glimmer refusing to tell her mother that Shadow Weaver's dark magic has caused her powers to go on the fritz and is causing her great pain. It just feels like none of this would be an issue if most of these people would stop being self-absorbed for three seconds and talk like any normal person would. It feels very CW drama, like something I'd see in a bad season of Arrow or The Flash. The only person whose issues I buy is Adora, who is basically a soldier who was never properly raised to deal with emotion or loss and is already struggling with the burden of being She-Ra, the legendary savior. I get why she's beating down on herself for not being able to do more even if nothing that happened was her fault.
Episode 11: JEEEEEEEEEZZZZ, that was such a good episode! Focused entirely on Adora and Catra and their past together. Like, just showing someone this episode alone could probably get them to want to watch the series. That was everything you needed to know about their dynamic and history together.
Also, that moment when Catra and her past self are looking at each other, while obviously Catra takes the opposite lesson, it reminded me of this fanart I'd once seen of Jason Todd, the Red Hood, looking at his past self as Robin. The past says to the future "You ruined everything". Catra could be happy but, ironically for someone who hates Shadow Weaver, she's probably going to be a lot like her, sacrificing everything for power and ambition.
Given the way she looked, I'm guessing Shadow Weaver is either addicted to the power of the Black Garnet or she suffered some kind of past injury and its power is the only thing keeping her going. Or both.
Episode 12: I'll be honest, Swiftwind being able to talk kind of gobsmacked and I needed a moment to recover. What a great voice they chose for that character.
So She-Ra is kind of like the legendary heroes from Rising of the Shield Hero, coming from a long line of people chosen to wield the sword. I tend to dislike chosen one types of stories because I think prophecy takes a lot of weight out of the character's actions, so this and Avatar are more what I like. The MC is special but not the only one who's ever been special and they can still easily fail. Their destiny was only to be able to use the weapon, not that they would succeed in any specific purpose.
And dang, Catra's turn against Shadow Weaver happened faster than I thought it would but I'm not complaining. That great "This is what you've really been preparing me for" speech and Hordak, again, being an intelligent villain. "Oh, this experiment could net me a MASSIVE gain and all it could potentially cost me is this rock I already gave away to someone who lately hasn't been producing any results and has been consistently disobeying me. Yeah, I'm going to let this play out."
Episode 13: That was kind of a brutal fight between Adora and Catra. Not the worst I've ever seen even in other shows for this age range (Samurai Jack, for example) but those punches are connecting and those claws are leaving marks.
Also, maybe I'm just misunderstanding the exact situation but shouldn't the good guys' side be called the Resistance instead of the Rebellion? Being a rebellion would imply they are rebelling against an established power or rule over them, but the actual conflict we are shown is the established power and rule that is the kingdoms of Eternia resisting an outside force that wishes to establish a new order over them.
Season 1 verdict: I'm into it. I'm definitely more invested in the villains' side of things but that's not a fault of the series, that stuff is just way more geared towards me than the current princess stuff. I actively am at attention whenever the horde main characters are on screen. For the good guys it's mostly Adora and the She-Ra stuff I'm invested it. That isn't to say I have any real dislikes for that side. Bow especially I'm liking much more than I thought I might. He has kind of this gravitational pull around him. You will be his friend regardless of how much you might want to resist. He's definitely the rock for everyone else to hold onto.
Minor side note, kind of like Korra in Legend of Korra, I love how even when her powers aren't active Adora is shown to still be pretty strong physically with how easily she was lifting people up at the prom.
And I was right, Scorpia is my favorite side character.
On to season 2!
Original Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/PrincessesOfPower/comments/nyll2e/going_in_blind_watching_season_1_for_the_first/