A cautionary tale about the danger of eating fruit.
We open on Quetzalcoatl delivering a flower to its young (!?).
Before they can devour it, however, the ground shakes and their cliffside tree is uprooted and falls into a canyon. We cut to Cat’s Lair, which is also experiencing tremors. Tygra suspects an earthquake is responsible, but Panthro says it’s more like a dozen “little quakes”. For reasons that remain unclear, Tygra is certain it’s not serious, but figures he should go outside to double-check.
Outside, Tygra bids Cat’s Lair an affectionate “lookin’ good, big guy”. But suddenly the ground splits open under his feet!
Luckily he doesn’t fall far, and is able to use his bolo whip as a rope to climb out. He notices a strange mound of dirt nearby, but when he approaches it a giant worm monster surges up from beneath the ground.
He attacks it with his whip, but the worm grabs the end of it in his mouth and pulls Tygra along behind him as he tunnels back underground. Tygra ends up lying on the floor of an underground tunnel. He stands up and notices a trail of glowing slime that he starts to follow. He doesn’t get too far, however, before he runs into, in his words, “mole-like people. Will the wonders of this place called Third Earth never cease?” He is buried under some wonderful dirt that the mole men drop from above, and they jump down to tie him up.
The mole men attempt to interrogate Tygra about the quakes, but he somehow turns it around, and gets the mole men to explain that they aren’t responsible, and are in fact quite upset because their homes are being destroyed. There’s a weird noise and the mole men run away. Tygra breaks through the ropes tying his hands together by rubbing them against the wall and ducks into a side tunnel just in time for the worm to slither past again, leaving a trail of slime.
Tygra notices a light at the end of the tunnel he ducked into, and decides to go check it out. No, Tygra! The cave! Remember your failure at the cave! This guy does not have good luck in underground situations, does he?
“What in the cat’s-eyed cosmos!?” Tygra asks. The side tunnel opens into a large cavern, with lots of funky vegetation. Foremost among the funky vegetation is Silky.
She’s a plant creature that talks in a dreamy voice. She welcomes him to the Garden of Delights and asks him what his delight is, pointedly revealing that she already knows his name. “I’m looking for sparkling slime,” he replies. Silky finds even the notion of slime in the Garden of Delights to be amusing. Tygra clarifies that the slime he’s looking for is worm-related, but he seems to be getting light-headed or something. Silky observes that Tygra’s mind is weighted down by problems, a situation which can easily be resolved with some of her fruit. He offers some token resistance, but then begins chowing down. He immediately starts tripping.
He goes deeper, and experiences a sensation of flying.
He crashes pretty quickly, in the metaphorical sense where he falls out of the sky, and in the chemical sense where he seems to come back to his normal, slime-obsessed thoughts. “Where there’s slime, there’s worm!” (I don’t know why this hasn’t displaced “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time). He goes chasing after the giant worm again, only to run right back into Silky.
“Did the fruit bite you, Tygra?” she asks, cryptically. Tygra tries to resist, but he’s totally hooked on the fruit now, and wants some more. Silky starts laughing, and transforms into Mumm-Ra! (Did you notice how I foreshadowed that by saying she said something cryptically? Because Mumm-Ra lives in a crypt? That’s writing.)
Mumm-Ra promises Tygra that he can have all the fruit he wants, but first he has to bring him the Eye of Thundera. Tygra walks back to Cat’s Lair in a daze, passing Wilykat and Panthro who are using the Thundertank to clean up trees that have fallen over during the quakes. Tygra tries to snag the Sword of Omens from the sword chamber, but the Eye emits some kind of light that hurts Tygra’s head, so he goes running out of the chamber.
Back outside, Panthro and Wilykat have finished their yardwork, and Panthro offers to let Wilykat drive the tank back into the garage. Amazingly, Wilykat proves to be a worse driver than Lion-O, since he actually manages to drive the tank into a crevasse.
Panthro and Wilykat weren’t hurt in the fall, but the tank is overturned. Cheetara and Lion-O offer to throw them a line, but Panthro tells them to do that, but climb down themselves so they can see the network of worm tunnels he’s discovered.
Back at Cat’s Lair, Tygra is in bed, suffering serious fruit withdrawal. He goes back to the sword chamber and actually picks up the sword this time.
The other Thundercats have managed to hoist the Thundertank back to the surface, and Tygra runs out of Cat’s Lair with the sword so he can deliver it to Mumm-Ra.
Cut to Mumm-Ra’s pyramid. He likes to talk to himself. Right now, the topic is that whole “Eye of Thundera can’t be used for evil purposes” thing. Mumm-Ra doesn’t completely buy that theory at first, and picks up the sword. It immediately shoots out a giant Thundercats symbol.
Which is odd, since it didn’t do that the last time he had the sword. The sword flies from his hand and embeds itself in his sarcophagus. Mumm-Ra threatens to destroy the Eye if he’s unable to figure out the secret of how to use its power. He’s having trouble holding onto the sword, but he’s got a solution for that: “Ancient spirits of evil, transform this decayed form to Mumm-Ra the Ever-living!” In his Ever-living form, he has an easier time handling the sword, and drops it into his cauldron.
He begins casting a spell, the eyes of the statues of the ancient spirits of evil light up, the Thundercat symbol flickers out, and the Eye closes. He picks up the sword, and has Tygra step out of his sarcophagus (what was he doing in there?). He tries to stab Tygra with the sword, but it flies out of his hand. He sends Tygra away, and asks the Mutants to swing by the pyramid for a little chat.
When Slythe asks how Mumm-Ra got the sword, Mumm-Ra replies, “let’s just say… I wormed it out of them.” OK, so what exactly was Mumm-Ra’s plan here? He was obviously Silky, but now he seems to be taking responsibility for the worm-monster, too. Was the Garden of Delights a natural phenomenon, and he used the worm to lure Tygra down there? Did he create the garden and the worm? The whole “worm” part of this plan just baffles me.
The Mutants are bummed about the whole “won’t work for evil” aspect of the sword, too. Mumm-Ra has an idea, though. They can get a pure-hearted person to use the sword for them. Mumm-Ra’s first pick is Willa, the Warrior Maiden. Monkian tracks her down, and throws the sword at the ground near her feet. When she picks it up, however, she is teleported to Mumm-Ra’s pyramid.
For some reason, Mumm-Ra has had a spot-light installed for her. Mumm-Ra tells her that she holds the mystic Sword of Omens, and she immediately recognizes that it belongs to Lion-O. Mumm-Ra tries to sell her on the idea of teaming up with him and using the power of the sword to rule Third Earth. She isn’t really all that interested, and doesn’t even see anything particularly special about the sword, but she happens to hold it in the exact right position for the sight-beyond-sight to kick in, and it does.
She sees a vision of Tygra stealing the sword and bringing it to Mumm-Ra. Mumm-Ra asks her what she saw, and she says she didn’t see anything. He presses, and she changes her story to say that she saw the future: Queen Willa! Queen of Third Earth! Of the galaxy! Of the universe! “HO!” she extends the sword to its full length, and Mumm-Ra is pretty psyched.
Cut back to Cat’s Lair, where Snarf is complaining about a big mess that Tygra left, composed of discarded fruit cores. Panthro is puzzled, because usually Tygra is a neat freak.
Panthro tracks Tygra down outside, but Tygra is acting kind of stoned. He’s also almost out of fruit. Suddenly, they’re under attack! Arrows with ropes attached fly in every direction.
Holy crap, it’s the Tholians! No, wait, it’s just the Warrior Maidens. Panthro and Tygra are tied up. Lion-O orders Cheetara to get to the tank while he fetches the Sword of Omens. Outside, Willa accuses the Thundercats of trying to trick her by giving their most powerful weapon to the Mutants. (I guess she’s trying to play along with the bad guys’ plan, and pretending that when Monkian chucked the sword at her it was some sort of dastardly attack). Lion-O runs out of Cat’s Lair, alarmed that the sword has been stolen, but Mumm-Ra informs him that they have Tygra and the sword, and the Thundercats are kind of stymied by the hostage situation.
Mumm-Ra orders the non-fruit-addicted Thundercats locked up inside Cat’s Lair. They are put into an escape-proof room in the lair, but Panthro has a trick up his sleeve. Or on his belt, at least. It turns out that Panthro has turned his Thundercats symbol into a remote-controlled levitating camera, which he flies out the window.
Outside, Mumm-Ra is gloating over the capture of Cat’s Lair (Why? He’s already got a pretty cool pyramid, I really don’t envision him moving in). Tygra asks for more fruit, but he’s clearly coming out of the haze. Mumm-Ra tells Tygra that he has nothing worth trading for more fruit, since Mumm-Ra has it all. Tygra tells him that he’ll never have it all until Lion-O is dead. Mumm-Ra admits that Tygra is right, and tells Willa to prepare herself for battle. He gives Tygra some more fruit, but Tygra only pretends to eat it, and Willa notices.
Panthro managed to capture the whole exchange on his belt-symbol-camera, and they review the tape. We cut to a new scene, and Mumm-Ra has transported everyone to some kind of ruined amphitheatre.
Tygra calls Mumm-Ra out, and lays out the whole “Sword won’t obey an evil command” theory again. Meanwhile, Willa surreptitiously cuts Lion-O’s bonds. Mumm-Ra is confident that Willa is on his team, but her knowing smile reveals that she’s been playing him for a fool all along. She throws the sword to Lion-O. “Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!” Panthro bursts his bonds, and begins untying Tygra, while the Warrior Maiden who isn’t Willa unties Cheetara. Snarf charges in with the Claw Shield, and Wilykit and Kat swing in with the other Thundercats weapons. In a straight up fight, the Mutants are quickly defeated as usual, and they teleport away (which is odd, since there isn’t a Mutant ship overhead, and Mumm-Ra wasn’t doing it with his magic). Mumm-Ra tries to blast Lion-O with lightning, but he catches it on the Claw Shield, which causes Mumm-Ra to be knocked away into the sky.
In the coda, Tygra tries to apologize, but Panthro claims that the person who sold them out for fruit was some other person, not the real Tygra. Way to enable him, Panthro. He needs to take responsibility for his actions. The first step is admitting he has a problem.
So what was the moral of the story? Don’t eat fruit, or you will be enslaved by a mummy. And important lesson for all of us, I think.