A bunch of crazy random vignettes thinly strung together by a search for a time capsule from Thundera.
We open outside, near Cat’s Lair. Wilykit and Wilykat are testing the new spaceboards (flying surfboards) that Panthro built for them. Wilykit is really digging it, but Wilykat is having trouble, although he blames the board rather than his own lameness.
We cut to the exterior of Cat’s Lair, where Panthro has been making some upgrades to Cheetara’s extendo-stick. Apparently he’s building some voice-activated communicators into all the Thundercats’ weapons.
And we cut again, this time to the stone circle on top of the skull cliff that Mumm-Ra was using to summon Princess Toshi a few episodes back. There, Lion-O is moping, and thinking about Thundera. You can tell because he has written “Thundera” in the dirt with his sword.
Jaga appears, saying “you seem troubled, my son.” So is Jaga Lion-O’s father? Anyway, Lion-O wants to know about Thundera. Jaga finds Lion-O’s homesickness amusing. Jaga explains to Lion-O that he was only twelve years old when he left Thundera (he doesn’t specify if those are Thunderan years, Third Earth years, galacto-years, or mega-years) and when he landed here on Third Earth he was a man. I think Lion-O probably already knows that, Jaga. Lion-O asks Jaga again to tell him about Thundera, but Jaga says he has a better plan: he can show Lion-O what Thundera was like. How, you may ask? A flashback will give us the answer: When they abandoned Thundera, they brought a time capsule with them, containing a nuclear opto-crystal. The opto-crystal contains the entire history of Thundera, right up to the time of its destruction.
Jaga tells him to find the time capsule. We cut to Cat’s Lair, where Lion-O has told the other Thundercats about the time capsule. Tygra confirms that they had one on the ship, but explains they all thought it was destroyed in the crash. In order to find it, Panthro suggests a systematic search, with each of them taking a different direction. Wilykat wants to use the spaceboards to help in the search, but Snarf shoots him down. He says that Wilykat and Wilykit are too young to be involved in the search, and should stay home where they’ll be safe.
Wait, what? I’ve been assuming that Wilykit and Kat are full adults for their breed (species?) of Thundercat, since they look the same now as they did back on Thundera, before they all took the long trip to Third Earth in the suspension capsules. If they weren’t adults then, why didn’t they grow to maturity in suspension like Lion-O did? Are they implying that Lion-O had a defective suspension capsule? That can’t be right, since Jaga explained that he would age and die in the suspension capsule back in the first episode. And it can’t be that the writer forgot about the suspension capsule stuff, since Lion-O and Jaga were just talking about it. So what the hell?
Anyway, Panthro sides with Snarf, and tells Wilykat and Wilykit to stay at the lair. The rest of the Thundercats head out on their search. Panthro takes the Thundertank and the rest go on foot. After the other Thundercats leave, Wilykit peer-pressures Wilykat into going out on the spaceboards anyway.
We cut to the unicorn forest, where a unicorn is grazing. Lion-O and Snarf run by, Snarf hoping that they can take a break soon. Lion-O wants to get to the River of Despair before they stop. They get to the river, and Snarf wonders how they’re going to cross it. Lion-O suggests swimming, but when he steps into the water, a giant furry shark with arthropod legs jumps out of the water at him.
Lion-O wonders what it was, and the female unicorn keeper that Lion-O met back in episode 6 tells him that it was the Black Widow Shark, which lies in wait for anyone that tries to cross the River of Despair.
The shark leaps up into the air and spins end-over-end two and a half times to prove what a badass she is.
We cut to some underground tunnels, where we see some molemen (who all maintain their own constant self-narration of “burrow, burrow, gotta burrow” or “dig dig dig, burrow burrow burrow”). Tygra becomes visible and asks one of the molemen if he’s seen a time capsule, but the moleman is not very responsive.
Suddenly the ground starts to shake and rocks start falling from the ceiling. Tygra makes himself invisible, which doesn’t seem like it ought to help. A larger mole-person rises up out of the floor and demands gold.
He starts cracking his whip, demanding gold from the molemen, and identifies himself as Mole-Master. Tygra reappears, and Mole-Master isn’t too happy that there’s a trespasser in the mines. Tygra uses his invisibility power, as well as his ability to start fires with his whip, to beat up Mole-Master and chase him off. Tygra hopes that getting rid of Mole-Master will make the molemen more cooperative, but they still only seem interested in burrowing.
We cut back to the unicorn forest, where a unicorn is bringing a ginormous diamond to Lion-O.
It turns out that this diamond powers the Bridge of Light, which can be used to cross the River of Despair. The unicorn puts the diamond into some kind of receptacle between two stone pillars, and a big tubular transparent bridge arcs over the river from the entrance pillars to some exit pillars on the other side. Lion-O and Snarf begin to cross.
While they’re in the bridge, the Black Widow Shark jumps up at them and rams its body into the bridge. Lion-O orders Snarf to get away to avoid another attack, but he pulls out his sword instead of going with him. “HO!” He extends the sword to its full length, and then shoots an electro-beam out the end, presumably at the shark. Lion-O says: “The sword! The Bridge of Light cancels out its power!” If you replace “cancels out” with “is destroyed by”, then that statement would be far more accurate. The bridge begins to crack apart where Lion-O zapped it.
The Black Widow Shark jumps again, slamming its body into the bridge, hastening its collapse. Lion-O finally decides to run, just a step ahead of the cracks that are spreading through the bridge. Snarf tries to run out to him from the far end of the bridge, but Lion-O orders him back. The make it to the other side just in time, as the shark jumps up for the last time and completely destroys the bridge. Do you think Lion-O’s reckless actions permanently destroyed the bridge? That seems like the kind of obnoxious thing that Lion-O would normally do, so I assume the answer is yes.
We cut to Tygra, who’s asking for a status report from Cheetara. She’s at a pond or swamp or something, and she hasn’t found anything of note. As she hangs up on Tygra, a big pond serpent rises up behind her (I would call it a sea serpent, but it’s obviously in an inland body of fresh water).
The pond serpent attacks, but she dodges it with some acrobatics and lands on some lily pads. Which doesn’t make any sense, because there’s no way that a pair of lily pads could support Cheetara’s weight.
She keeps dodging, and eventually tricks the serpent into biting its own tail. Cheetara is very pleased with herself. We cut to Panthro on a beach, observing some baby crabs. Who are carrying bones. Tygra checks in with him on the communicator, but Panthro reports that he hasn’t found anything either.
We cut back to the River of Despair, where Wilykit and Kat have arrived on their spaceboards. The Black Widow Shark leaps up and eats Wilykit’s spaceboard!
Wilykat manages to grab Wilykit and pull her onto his board, and they narrowly avoid another attack from the shark.
We cut to Lion-O and Snarf, walking through a rocky valley. Snarf wonders why Jaga didn’t just tell Lion-O where the time capsule was. Because then we wouldn’t need to see all the goofy adventures in this episode? Lion-O has a more “Jaga works in mysterious ways” philosophy about the issue. Snarf gets caught in a giant stone hand, which muffles his speech. Lion-O keeps walking, oblivious to what’s happening to Snarf, and only turns around when he thinks Snarf is mumbling too much when he talks.
Lion-O pulls out his sword and leaps into action. Another stone hand bursts forth and tries to grab Lion-O, but he dodges, and then punches it with the Claw Shield, which causes the stone hand to shatter into a million pieces. “HO!” Lion-O extends the sword, and zaps the rocks near Snarf with the same electro-beam he used to destroy the Bridge of Light. The rocks morph into a more anthropomorphic form, which Lion-O orders to set Snarf free.
The rock monster complies, and then morphs back into a big pile of rocks.
We cut back to Panthro, who’s fighting a crab-man. The crab-man looks disturbingly like a regular guy who has big claw-shaped gloves on, wearing a full-head mask. Hey, design department? This isn’t a live-action show, you don’t need to worry about whether the prop guys will be able to make the monster costumes…
As they fight, the crab-man chops through one of the shafts of Panthro’s nunchucks, which causes a bunch of crystals to fall out onto the ground. The crystals emit some kind of gas, which the crab-man finds debilitating. Panthro runs to the thundertank, and closes the transparent window over the front compartment just in time to keep the crab-man out.
We cut to Lion-O, who has spotted something shiny in a cave. Suspecting that it’s the time capsule, he calls upon the Sword of Omens’ power of sight-beyond-sight to confirm it. It is indeed the capsule, so he figures it’s time to call the other Thundercats. “Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!”
Lion-O and Snarf enter the cave. They wonder how the time capsule got there, since it’s so far from the crash site. As they ponder, a cave man emerges from the depths of the cave. Lion-O tries to convince the cave man to let them take the capsule, but the cave man isn’t buying it. Instead, he challenges Lion-O to an arm wrestling contest. Lion-O accepts the challenge, although Snarf doesn’t like his chances against the hugely muscular cave man.
As they’re wrestling, Snarf notices that the other Thundercats have arrived. Lion-O, however, insists on fighting his own battles. (I don’t know, dude, are you sure you don’t want to tag out and have Panthro take over? That guy can throw a tank). The other Thundercats watch apprehensively as the arm wrestling match continues. Lion-O wins! Defeated, the cave man concedes the stakes, and lets the Thundercats take the time capsule.
Lion-O wants to crack open the capsule immediately, but Tygra is concerned that there may be some damage. They need to take it back to Cat’s Lair first.
In the coda, the Thundercats who were there for the arm wrestling match are resting after loading the time capsule into the Thundertank’s mouth. Wilykit and Wilykat fly in on Wilykat’s spaceboard (presumably responding to the Thundercats signal that Lion-O sent earlier).
Tygra and Cheetara are pissed that they are there, since they were told to stay home. Panthro is also pissed because he told them to never ride two-on-a-board. Wilykit says that didn’t want to miss anything, and Wilykat says that the other board got “wiped out”. Panthro is upset, because it took him a long time to make the spaceboards. Wilykit apologizes. Cheetara snarks that it was lucky they didn’t run into anything dangerous on their way there. Wilykit and Kat try to play along with that idea, but Tygra figures out that they’re lying. They confess that it was harder than they were letting on, and that it was almost them that got wiped out. Lion-O likes that they’re owning up to it, and Panthro concedes that making another board won’t be too big a deal, but grounds them at Cat’s Lair for a week. Cheetara says, “mind if I ride your board back?” and flies away with it without even waiting for a response.
So, why was this episode so lame and plotless? Were a bunch of unconnected action scene storyboards accidentally piled together in the same stack, and somebody thought it was a full episode, or what? And who decided that the thrilling conlcusion should be arm wrestling? And if they were going to prominently feature arm wrestling, why didn’t any of the characters drink a quart of motor oil?