Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 8: The Tower of Traps

Wilykat, Wilykit, and Lion-O explore a deadly tower. Of traps!

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I think it’s pretty bold for the Thundercats writers to step into the “of traps” genre. Can they come close to matching the greatness of the literary classic Khare – Cityport of Traps? Let’s find out.

We open in a forest. Wilykit and Wilykat are examining a map when Wilykit notices a tower that she’s never noticed before.

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Wilykat doesn’t want to hear any nonsense about towers, since he’s still concentrating on the map. Apparently they are out there making sure that the maps are “precise” for Tygra. You would think that the tower would be the kind of landmark they’d want to include on the map, but that doesn’t seem to occur to Wilykat. The discussion is interrupted, however, by calls for help. A group of shrieking, purple, winged, lizardy-looking creatures is stealing a pouch from a Wolo. Wilykat swings in on his lariat rope and kicks the bag out of one of the creatures hands.

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However, another creature snatches the bag out of the air and tries to run away with it. Wilykit swings in, rolls up into a ball like a Trade Federation Destroyer Droid, and rolls along the ground into the creature’s back.

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The creature doesn’t seem to mind too much, but Wilykit bounces away and claims to have nearly thrown her back out, because “those guys must have been made of stone.” The creatures get away. Wilykit and Kat wonder who the creatures were, and the Wolo explains the situation.

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It turns out that the creatures come from the Black Tower of Robber Baron Karnor. The Wolo thanks them for their help, and regrets taking a shortcut that led him so close to Karnor’s tower. He took the shortcut because he was late for his daughter’s wedding. As luck would have it, the Wolo had his daughter’s wedding gift in the purse that was stolen, a gold bracelet with two hearts intertwined.

Wilykit and Kat decide to get a closer look at the tower. Wilykat tries to force the rusty lock, but the creaking and squeaking he’s causing is too much noise for Wilykit, so she heads off to try to find an alternate entrance.

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After walking a few yards away she decides that her search is a failure, and runs back to where Wilykat was, but now he’s gone!

We cut to Lion-O, doing some cliff-diving near a waterfall.

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He calls to Snarf, who’s sitting on a nearby rock, to join him in the water. Snarf tells Lion-O that he doesn’t like water. Lion-O then decides to fake getting a cramp in order to lure Snarf in. Snarf promptly jumps in to save Lion-O, but when he gets close enough Lion-O jumps up and dunks him.

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Being a jerk, Lion-O expects Snarf to find this amusing. Snarf, however, is not amused. “I did my best to raise you right, Lion-O, but let’s face it, you’ve got a mean streak in you.” Lion-O regrets making Snarf the victim of his cruel, cruel joke. If only the universe could arrange for Lion-O to be the victim of some tricks, perhaps the karmic scales could be balanced. But how likely is that?

Suddenly, the Eye of Thundera alerts Lion-O to a Thundercat in danger! Following standard operating procedure, Lion-O calls upon the Sword of Omens’ power of sight-beyond-sight. He sees Wilykit calling for Wilykat.

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Uh, nice choice of images there, sword. Maybe you could show him, I don’t know, the one who’s actually in danger? What’s with the second-order danger vision? Does the sword not want to spoil the surprise of where Wilykat is, or what? Oh…

Lion-O runs to the tower, and gets the low-down on the Wilykat disappearance. He asks for precise details of what Wilykat was doing the last time Kit saw him, and she explains that he was trying to force the lock. “Like this?” Lion-O asks, jamming the Sword of Omens into the lock.

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Well, since Wilykat doesn’t have a sword, I’m guessing the answer is “no.” Regardless, there’s some sort of electrical discharge, and a pit opens up under their feet. They figure that the same thing must have happened to Wilykat, so they call for him. He hears them, and tells them he’s at the top of the tower. Unfortunately he’s stuck in some sort of cage up there. Lion-O and Wilykit will just have to go up to him. Wilykit spots some stairs leading upwards. Unfortunately, the step Lion-O tries is rubbery, and the one Wilykit leaps onto is sticky.

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Lion-O leaps past, but the step he lands on is slippery. He falls, and ends up lying on his stomach, having gotten a firm grip on one of the steps with his hands. Wilykit grabs onto his legs, and they pull her off of the sticky step that she was stuck to. Lion-O, still lying on the stairs, pulls them up to the top, but just as they get to the landing, all of the steps pivot and the stairs turn into a ramp which slides them all the way back to the bottom.

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Wilykit wonders if they’ll have to do the whole thing again, but Lion-O is plenty pissed, and has a different plan. He has Wilykit climb onto his back, and pulls out the Sword of Omens. “HO!” He extends the sword to its longest length, and then shoots some sort of beam out of the end. He somehow uses this as a pole to vault up over the steps!

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My question is, when and how did he figure out the sword could do that? Wilykit explains that the tower belongs to Robber Baron Karnor, and Lion-O deduces that the traps must be there to prevent other robbers from getting his loot. They discover two paths leading upward, but before they can decide which route to take, giant spikes fall from the ceiling, separating them.

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With the spikes there, they both have to take different paths to the top. We follow Lion-O first. He enters a room and comments, “looks like a ceremonial chamber of some kind.” It must be for the wrapping-people-up-in-rugs-and-hoisting-them-to-the-ceiling ceremony, because that’s what happens to Lion-O.

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He cuts his way free with the sword, but the floor that the rug was covering slides open, and inside there’s a Cycloptic Pincer-Squid.

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They fight for a while, and the squid gets Lion-O in one of his tentacles. Lion-O, wearing the Claw Shield on his left hand, decides he needs another shield, and picks up a big metal one that’s just lying near the pit. He jams the shield into the squid’s open beak, and that’s apparently enough to defeat it.

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As he hops out of its grasp, he gratuitously calls it “gruesome.” I’m sure he doesn’t find you all that attractive, either, Lion-O. For all you know, he could be like a supermodel among other one-eyed pincer-squids.

Cut to Wilykit! She needs to cross a narrow bridge, which she calls a ramp for some reason. As she crosses, a giant fire rises up and starts destroying the bridge behind her.

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This causes her to emit a lot of somewhat humorous catlike vocalizations, but she manages to hop to safety without too much trouble.

We switch back to Lion-O, who’s in a hallway with a bunch of suits of armor lining the walls. At first he suspects that the tricks have stopped, but then a big pit opens, and one of the suits of armor falls to the bottom and is disintegrated, leading him to conclude that there’s acid at the bottom of the pit.

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Lion-O scoffs at the trap, figuring he can easily jump over the pit. However, while he’s in the air the far side of the pit slides away from him, and he can’t even manage to grab onto the edge with his fingers. Fortunately, he is able to dig into the wall of the pit as he slides down (with the help of the claw shield), but then the other side of the pit starts closing in on him. He just manages to climb up the side before he is crushed.

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Just when Lion-O claims that he won’t underestimate the baron again, a giant sword blade stabs downward from the ceiling. That’s only the first, as more and more stab downward, Lion-O trying to run ahead of them. Not only that, but the ceiling itself starts to lower down onto him!

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The Sword of Omens somehow wedges the ceiling away from the floor at the last second, preventing Lion-O from getting crushed. Let’s take a moment to reflect on how elaborate the traps in that room were. It had an expanding acid pit that crushes you once you’re inside, and a crushing ceiling that stabs you. It’s like the baron wants to kill you extra dead.

Back to Wilykit! She walks into a room and figures it looks innocent… too innocent. She tests things out and discovers that some ugly heads mounted to the wall shoot some sort of zapping beams out of their mouths. She decides that the optimal maneuver in this situation is rolling, like she did earlier in the episode. Unfortunately, the rug on the ground somehow kicks her up in the air and she is singed by the beams.

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Next, she moves onto that old standby, giant swinging blades.

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She misses the timing on the penultimate blade, and is knocked to the ground. Things look grim as the final blade gets close, but Lion-O chops it away at the last second with his sword!

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They figure they must be close to the top, so they call for Wilykat again. He tells them they’re close, so they run up the final set of stairs. They find him in a cage suspended from the ceiling.

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Lion-O cuts the rope suspending the cage, and Wilykat jumps free when the cage hits the floor. Wilykat wants to split, but Lion-O wants to kick some Robber Baron ass for all the trouble he’s been through with the traps. They figure they must be at the baron’s treasure chamber, and the doors open and a voice calls out “enter.” The chamber does prove to be rather treasure-intensive.

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However, talking to the baron elicits no response. Because he’s dead! If he liked money, though, I’m guessing he died happy.

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They’re puzzled, though, about why the Wolo was robbed if the baron was dead, and who told them to enter. The door to the chamber slams shut, and the recorded voice saying “enter” plays over and over again, growing more distorted each time. It’s the baron’s final trap! Good one, baron, they fell right into it. Just as Wilykat is wondering how they’ll get out, a section of the domed ceiling slides open, and the Wolo’s wedding bracelet gets dropped in. Or at least it’s very similar, since those hearts don’t look exactly intertwined to me.

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Lion-O has them tie some cloaks and robes together to make a rope, and ties that to the Sword of Omens. He chucks that at the ceiling and it sinks in, giving them a way to climb out. He sends Wilykit and Kat ahead, since they’re lighter.

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When they get out they are surprised to find nothing but a bunch of gargoyles. I’m surprised to find they don’t recognize the gargoyles as the creatures they fought earlier.

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The gargoyles come to life and attack! The Thundercats use a variety of techniques to slam the gargoyles into the stone walls of the tower, which causes them to shatter and disintegrate, but there are too many! “Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!” Panthro, Cheetara, and Tygra, who happen to be out driving around in the Thundertank nearby, answer the call. Tygra shoots the grapple guns up to the top of the tower, and he and the two others climb up to the rescue.

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Tygra, Panthro, and Cheetara get in on the gargoyle smashing action. Panthro hefts one over his head and comments that it’s very heavy (and remember, this dude is capable of picking up and throwing the Thundertank).

Finally, Wilykat unleashes some glowing butterflies, and Lion-O wiggles his sword, and this somehow finishes off the gargoyles. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

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In the coda, they determine that Baron Karnor brought the gargoyles to life to do his robbing for him, and they kept stealing even after he was gone. This leads Cheetara to conclude that the baron was a magician as well as a bandit. Panthro finds this to be a particularly unpleasant combination. I guess he prefers fighter/mages and thief/clerics.

They happen to drive past the wolo wedding, and head over to give the wolo bride the stolen bracelet.

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Finally, Snarf runs up, happy to see that Lion-O is safe. Lion-O apologizes for the trick he played on Snarf earlier. Snarf explains that he knows it sucks for Lion-O when his elders worry about him all the time, but it’s only because they care so much. Lion-O explains that he worries about Snarf, too, because he also cares. Awww! I think Lion-O’s heart grew three sizes that day.

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One Response to Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 8: The Tower of Traps

  1. […] Driller agrees that he’s willing to enter a business arrangement with Mumm-Ra: Driller’s services in exchange for Mumm-Ra’s diamonds. Mumm-Ra escorts Driller to the treasure room. And Mumm-Ra is loaded. Seriously, he’s up there with Robber Baron Karnor. […]

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