A cautionary tale about the dire consequences of playing in time caves.
We open on Castle Plundarr. Inside, Slythe and Monkian are complaining about the food (amusingly, Jackalman doesn’t seem to have a problem with it and is chowing down quite happily).
Monkian’s conclusion? Insufficient slavery. He thinks they need more cooks and servants to take care of the place. Slythe orders Monkian to go find some, and has a more specific order, he thinks they need some slaves with a woman’s touch. Monkian finds this to be somewhat sexist, but promises to get some female slaves by sundown.
We cut to a woman fishing in a river, using the “reach in and grab ’em” technique. Monkian hops into frame and identifies her as a warrior woman. Monkian grabs her from behind, but she manages to call for help to someone named Willa.
Monkian carries the woman off under one arm, using the other to swing from vine to vine through the forest. Another woman, presumably Willa, chases them and manages to lasso Monkian’s foot, and suspends him by his foot over a tree branch.
She then uses her bow to fire one of her arrows through her own rope to cut Monkian down. Seems a tad… wasteful to me. Or maybe she’s just showing off. After Monkian runs off, we learn that the two women are sisters, that they refer to their group as the Warrior Maidens, and their territory is called the Treetop Kingdom. Furthermore, they are suspicious of the aliens that have recently arrived on their planet (i.e. the Mutants and the Thundercats).
We cut to Cat’s Lair, where Lion-O is admiring the Thundertank, but lamenting the fact that Panthro never lets him drive it. Snarf arrives, and tries to disuade Lion-O from trying to drive the Thundertank until he’s had his first driving lesson. Wait, wasn’t Lion-O already an experienced Thundertank driver back in episode 5? Maybe this is the “trouble with time” that the title refers to… Or maybe the episodes were just aired out of sequence. No, I was probably right the first time with the time anomaly theory. Lion-O hops in and starts the tank up. He quickly loses control of the tank. Panthro hears the commotion and heads outside to deal with the “tanknapper”. He leaps into the tank’s passenger seat.
Panthro notes that Lion-O could easily have killed himself (which the overhead shot helps reinforce by showing us that he has nearly backed the tank into the deep canyon in front of the fortress). Lion-O weasels his way out of any punishment, and persuades Panthro not to tell Tygra or Cheetara about the incident. I guess Panthro understands that covering up the Lord of the Thundercats’ indiscretions is a big part of his job. Panthro explains that his biggest problem with joyriding is that it uses up Thundrilium, and they’re starting to run short, since they didn’t bring very much from Thundera. Good planning, dudes. Maybe you should have developed a local supply before building a tank and fortress that were entirely dependent on a scarce resource? From incredibly far away, Monkian (who is just randomly lurking around) manages to overhear this conversation. Maybe Panthro should learn to talk a little more quietly.
Later, Panthro explains that they’ll need to prospect for some Thundrilium, and hands out Thundrilium detectors to Lion-O, Cheetara, and Tygra. Cheetara disses Panthro for not being able to invent a substitute for Thundrilium, although he claims to be working on one. I’m sure, Panthro. We all know you’re in the pocket of the Big Thundrilium lobby.
Back at Castle Plundarr, Monkian explains the Thundrilium situation to Slythe and Jackalman, who figure that preventing the Thundercats from finding more Thundrilium would be advantageous for the Mutants.
Meanwhile, Lion-O is looking for Thundrilium in the woods. He has the feeling he’s being watched, but can’t spot anything wrong. Until Willa falls out of a tree nearby, that is. Lion-O demands to know who she is, but their conversation is cut short by a tentacle-faced dinosaur.
Willa hits it in the chest with a few of her arrows, which have gas-emitting devices on the end. They don’t seem to slow the dinosair down any, but Lion-O holds the claw shield up in the air, and it reflects (?) a bright light, which scares the dinosaur away. Lion-O asks whether Willa is OK, but she is angrily dismissive of him, although she does inform him that the beast was a “Lizathon”. She also adds a contemptuous pause between the “Lion” and “O” in Lion-O’s name, which is hilarious. Lion-O isn’t happy about being spied on, but Willa explains that the jungle is her home, and Lion-O is the intruder (she also hops a step backward when she finishes saying this, like she’s just gotten to the “take your whole self out” part of the hokey-pokey). She concedes that she may have been too hasty in judging the Thundercats, but runs off. She meets up with her sister and discusses Lion-O, and they decide that the best course of action is to continue their Lion-O surveillance.
We cut to a weird cave, from which Tygra is getting a strong Thundrilium reading.
He walks into the cave, and we see that there are lots of animal skeletons in there. As he walks, he reveals that he feels tired, and strange. As we watch from behind the hair on his head grows longer, and he hunches his shoulders. He feels his strength leaving him. Eventually, he sees himself in a puddle and realizes that he’s aging rapidly. He tries to make it back out of the cave, but is too tired.
Back in the woods, the Eye of Thundera alerts Lion-O to a Thundercat in danger. Woo-hoo, it’s sight-beyond-sight time! He sees the highlights of the Tygra-in-the-cave scene I just described, so reading this review is probably a good substitute for those of you out there that don’t have Swords of Omens. However, before he can rush off to the rescue, the mutants ambush him! Monkian gets in a good shot with his projectile shield, and manages to knock the Sword of Omens out of Lion-O’s hand.
From off-screen, another one of those gas arrows hits the tree next to Monkian and emits a sleep gas which knocks him out. Seeing this turn of events, Slythe opts to employ Mutant Plan A, “retreat”. Willa swings in on a vine and gives Lion-O the antidote to clear his head from the small amount of sleep gas he inhaled. Lion-O says that they’re even, and endeavors to head off after Tygra. Willa, however, warns him not to go in the direction he’s headed, as the Cave of Time lies in that direction. Lion-O makes the connection between the Cave of Time and Tygra’s rapid aging, and we notice that Slythe has actually been eavesdropping on the conversation.
Lion-O tries to run off again, only to be stopped by Jaga this time. Jaga tells him that Willa clearly knows the area better than he does, so he should listen to her advice. “Sometimes you can save time by waiting and finding out all there is to learn about a situation.” I think Jaga just invented Analysis Paralysis. Willa wants to know who Lion-O was talking to, but Lion-O tells her he’ll explain later. Right now, he needs to know everything there is to know about the Cave of Time. She warns him not to go after Tygra, or he’ll age too. “No one can run fast enough to escape aging.” This gives Lion-O the idea to call on Cheetara, who he guesses can do exactly that. “Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!”
From out in the desert (near Mumm-Ra’s pyramid, perhaps?) Cheetara sees the signal, and feels that it’s especially urgent. Panthro, having just discovered a plentiful supply of Thundrilium, also sees the signal. Willa leads Lion-O, Panthro, and Cheetara to the Cave of Time. Willa’s being a real negative-Nancy about their chances, but Cheetara runs into the cave anyway.
Meanwhile, Slythe wakes up Monkian from the effects of the sleep gas. Jackalman suggests ambushing Lion-O at the Cave of Time.
That pointless scene over, we cut back to Cheetara in the cave, who is searching for Tygra. She finds him, grabs him, and starts racing back out, carrying him with one arm. It’s not entirely clear if her super-speed power is helping her out with the Tygra-carrying, or if she’s just really strong.
She gets him out, but he’s still really old. Willa suggests a possible solution, but it will be difficult and dangerous. Lion-O scoffs at danger. It turns out there’s a Geyser of Life a few miles away, which could potentially restore Tygra. They hike to the Geyser, carrying Tygra on a makeshift stretcher. Willa explains that the Geyser is protected by The Winged Water-Snakes. Lion-O and Cheetara are ready to fight, but Panthro is worried that Tygra doesn’t have enough time for that, and tells them to focus on just distracting the Winged Water-Snakes instead.
Panthro tries to walk Tygra into the Geyser, but Willa warns him that doing so will cause the Geyser to affect Panthro, too, which wouldn’t be good. Tygra says he can do it on his own, and hobbles into the water.
The Geyser’s youthifying works perfectly, and Tygra confesses that he was tempted to stay in a little longer, to become as young as Lion-O, which somehow gets a laugh even though it wasn’t very funny. While they were distracted watching Tygra walk out of the Geyser, Willa ran off.
We cut to the mutants, who are still apparently working on their whole “ambush” plan. Unfortunately for them, the Warrior Maidens take them out with more sleep arrows.
The mutants all fall asleep just as the Thundercats are strolling by, thus spoiling the ambush.