Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 17: All That Glitters

Lion-O breaks the Sword of Omens and has to pull a reverse-Frodo and get it fixed in a volcano

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We open at Cat’s Lair, down in the metal refining section. Panthro and Tygra are working on melting down the Thundrilium meteor that they picked up back in episode 13. It turns out that the Thundrilium meteor picked up some impurities when it crashed into Hook Mountain, so they have to pour off the bad stuff before they can get to the heavier Thundrilium.

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It turns out that the impurity is a “strange Third Earth metal” called “gold”. Panthro claims they have nothing like it on Thundera. He picks up some of the runoff gold that has cooled slightly, and lists all of its deficiencies as a useful metal for Tygra while he pulls and twists it into a horseshoe shape. In Panthro’s opinion it’s just junk.

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Cheetara happens by, and claims that she likes the gold because it’s beautiful and glittery. “I love it! All of it!” She takes the gold that Panthro was manipulating and decides to use it as a necklace.

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We cut outside, where Panthro still seems to be sold on the “junk” theory of gold, since he’s dumping it into the chasm outside Cat’s Lair.

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Panthro and Tygra talk about Lion-O, mostly to lay in the exposition that he’s off on another “exploring trip”. He and Snarf are at a rocky area with lots of caves, some large and some small. From what Lion-O heard from the berbils, this is the home of the trolls and giants (not to be confused with the trollogs and giantors that plagued the berbils in episode 3). As you would expect, the giants live in the big caves and the trolls live in the little ones.

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Snarf doesn’t see any giants around, but it’s one of those forest-for-the-trees kinds of situations, because the “tree” he tries to lean on turns out to be one of the giants. The giant gets up and walks away as Snarf runs in terror, eventually falling into one of the giant’s footprints.

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Lion-O concludes that the giant was either friendly or didn’t notice them at all. Presumably since the giant would have squashed them if he was one of those mean giants. As they go back to investigate the caves, a little man flies in on a large grasshopper.

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He lands, and explains that he’s one of the trolls, and his name is Gregory Greggian. Snarf takes an instant dislike to him, but Lion-O finds him funny. Lion-O asks Gregory Greggian where he’s going on the grasshopper, and Gregory supplies this highly plausible story: “I must ride through the Midnight Woods, where the Shadow Robber lives, carrying valuable goods. He will surely rob me, even harm me, unless…” Lion-O takes the bait, and agrees to protect Gregory Greggian on his trip. Furthermore, Lion-O claims that “we Thundercats are the sworn protectors of all good beings on Third Earth”. When did they swear to that, exactly? Anyway, Lion-O, Snarf, and Gregory Greggian all head into the Midnight Woods, which are very dark.

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A shadowy figure that looks exactly like Tygra is stalking them through the woods.

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The shadowy figure jumps Lion-O, who throws him off and then pulls out his sword. The shadowy figure pulls out a bolo whip exactly like Tygra’s and attacks. The whip hits the Sword of Omens and breaks it in half!

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Now, are you ready to have your mind blown? That shadowy figure that looks exactly like Tygra and uses a bolo whip like Tygra’s? It’s Tygra!!!!! Gregory Greggian spurs his grasshopper into the air and starts laughing.

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He goes through a pretty cool transformation effect and it turns out that Gregory Greggian was actually Mumm-Ra! Mumm-Ra flies back to his pyramid, but we cut back to Lion-O and Tygra. Tygra explains that Gregory Greggian told him to wait in the woods and attack the two robbers that would be following him. But he didn’t tell him it would be Lion-O and Snarf! Mumm-Ra engineered the whole thing. Snarf reminds everyone that he didn’t trust Gregory Greggian. Good instincts, Snarf!

Back at Mumm-Ra’s pyramid, Mumm-Ra and Slythe discuss the plan. Mumm-Ra explains that has brought upon them the curse of Balthaz.

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We cut back to Lion-O and Tygra. Lion-O is a little upset that the sword is broken, and Snarf suggests that he test out the powers of the sword. “Sword of Omens, give me sight-beyond-sight!” Nothing.

Lion-O: The cross-bars do not curl.
Snarf: The eye of Thundera, it does not open.
Tygra: The Thundercat growl is gone.
Lion-O: No! It cannot be! Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!
Tygra: It does not grow.

Apparently one of the side-effects of the curse of Balthaz is to eliminate their ability to use contractions.

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Jaga shows up, and claims that the sword’s powers are gone forever. He blames Lion-O, but I think I was pretty clear from what we saw earlier that it was totally Tygra’s fault. Jaga explains that Lion-O has brought down the curse of Balthaz by doing the one thing that robs the sacred blade of its powers: using it to attack a fellow Thundercat. Hey, Curse of Balthaz? Maybe this is just a technicality, but if you check the replay I’m pretty sure you’ll see that Tygra was the one attacking… Anyway, Lion-O admits to using the sword out of anger before he knew who he was attacking, and apparently that’s good enough for Jaga and the Curse of Balthaz to lay the blame completely on Lion-O.

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Lion-O asks if the broken blade can be reforged. Jaga says yes, but there’s only one way. The great volcano near where they are had a dwarf star fall into its heart long ago. Only in the heat of starfire can the sword be reforged. But there’s a catch! No living being can withstand such heat, so the sword’s power will be forever lost. I don’t know, Jaga. Try some lateral thinking. Maybe Panthro can whip up a sword-reforging robot that can withstand the heat, or something.

Lion-O isn’t too keen on thinking through solutions either, and runs off through the woods. Tygra concludes that Lion-O has lost his senses. Lion-O runs to the volcano (I guess Jaga wasn’t kidding when he said it was nearby), and Tygra tries to talk him down, since he’ll be burned alive inside. Lion-O insists that it’s his responisiblity to try to reforge the sword, and names Tygra as his successor as Lord of the Thundercats if he doesn’t make it back. Tygra and Snarf try to follow Lion-O into the caves that lead into the volcano, but are deterred by hot volcanic gasses. They decide to return to the Cat’s Lair to try to get some help.

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Inside the volcano caves, Lion-O is accosted by some fire-bats. He tries to shoo them away with his broken sword, but it is completely ineffective.

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Lion-O ducks behind a waterfall (Inside the volcano? Where’s the source of the water?). The fire-bats run into it, temporarily extinguishing their flames, which convinces them to fly away. Lion-O discovers that the waterfall is scalding hot, but decides to charge through it anyway.

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We cut outside, where Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara, Snarf, and Roberbil are racing toward the volcano in the Thundertank.

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Cheetara is worried that Lion-O will sacrifice himself, but Roberbil tells her not to lose hope, since the Enflamer will help them. The Enflamer lives near the volcano, and is the only one that can endure its terrible heat and reforge the sword. Wow, Roberbil is really making Jaga look like a chump here, since he took all of five seconds to come up with a plan to accomplish something that Jaga said was impossible. We also get a lingering close-up shot of Cheetara’s gold necklace, but I’m sure it was entirely superfluous and will have no impact on the story.

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We cut inside to Lion-O for a second, and see that he’s getting closer to the core. Back outside, Rberbil leads the Thundercats to the Enflamer’s cave, and recites a little chant that’s supposed to bring him out.

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The Enflamer doesn’t answer, so they head inside the cave to see what’s wrong. Inside they find a grey, smoky guy who claims that he’s what’s left of the Enflamer. It turns out that Mutants attacked him and he had to use all his fire to drive them off.

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The Enflamer notices Cheetara’s necklace, and starts saying “gold, gold”. This reminds Roberbil that if the Enflamer can bathe in pure gold his powers will be renewed. Where do you suppose Roberbil picks up little factoids like that? Panthro is chagrined to learn that the gold he dumped into the bottomless chasm could have been useful, and he shrugs hilariously. Cheetara, however, saved some of the gold before Panthro dumped it, and is keeping it in a storage room at Cat’s Lair. Panthro and Cheetara run off to the Thundertank to go retrieve the gold.

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We cut to Lion-O, who has found the dwarf star. However, he is beginning to succumb to the heat.

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Outside, Panthro and Cheetara arrive with the gold, which they dump in a hole. They melt it down to a liquid, and the Enflamer crawls into it.

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The Enflamer is taking his sweet time bathing in the molten gold (and who wouldn’t? It’s probably really relaxing for sore muscles). The Thundercats start to worry about Lion-O, and Panthro remembers that he gave Lion-O a locator disk to wear. Panthro picks Lion-O’s locator disk signal up on a scope, and deploys some drills from the front of the Thundertank’s paws. He and Cheetara tunnel into the volcano in the tank, following the signal.

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As they tunnel, Panthro loses the signal, so he is forced to just drive towards Lion-O’s last known location. Lion-O, who had jammed the two pieces of the Sword of Omens into the wall of the volcano to hold himself up, loses his grip.

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Just in time, the Thundertank bursts through the wall of the volcano, and Panthro extends one of the Thundertank’s paws out to catch Lion-O.

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They start driving out the way they came in. We cut back outside, and Tygra suspects that the Enflamer must have died in the gold. Roberbil doesn’t think so, because he sees the Enflamer beginning to rise out of the gold. He looks a bit more evil and insane than you would expect for a friend of Roberbil’s.

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The Enflamer flies into the cave. The Thundertank tunnels back out of the volcano, and Panthro lays the barely conscious Lion-O on the ground. Lion-O tells them that he left the sword in the volcano. The ground starts shaking, and Snarf alerts everyone to the fact that the Enflamer just popped up out of the top of the volcano. The Enflamer says, “I have reforged your puny blade. Come and get it, heh ha ha ha ha!”

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The Enflamer starts chucking fireballs at Lion-O. Tygra is upset that the Enflamer turned against them, but Roberbil explains that the Enflamer is a mercenary. So who’s paying him to attack the Thundercats? Mumm-Ra? Didn’t he arrange to have the Enflamer attacked earlier? And if the Enflamer is working for Mumm-Ra, why did he reforge the sword at all? He isn’t acting like a mercenary, he’s acting like a psycho. Anyway, Lion-O charges up the side of the volcano to get close, and then commands the sword to come to him.

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The sword somehow burns the Enflamers hand, and flies down to Lion-O, who grabs the blade in the Claw Shield. The Enflamer doesn’t like this turn of events, so he flies down into the volcano to trigger an eruption. They all pile into the tank, and Lion-O does his whole “thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!” thing, and it works this time. With the sword extended to full length, he begins swinging it in a circle to create a forcefield, to block the flying rocks that are coming out of the volcano. Protected by the forcefield, the Thundertank drives away.

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In the coda, we’re back at Cat’s Lair. Panthro has finished refining the Thundrilium, and claims they should have enough to power the lair for years.

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Tygra points out that it was the “gold junk” that saved Lion-O and the sword. Lion-O says it was really Cheetara, who saved the gold, who saved him, with the gold. Cheetara claims that Lion-O is the true hero, since he risked his life to lift the awful curse. That’s not really how I remember it, Cheetara. I remember when Lion-O ran off like an idiot and almost got himself killed instead of waiting for Roberbil to put together the whole “let’s get the Enflamer to fix the sword” plan. Anyway, the assembled Thundercats give a hearty “hail Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats!” Lion-O then picks up Cheetara, and the other Thundercats say “hail Cheetara, worth her weight in gold!” And since the Thundercats generally consider gold to be worthless junk, only useful for ornamentation, that’s kind of a sly put-down.

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I think you really need to give Mumm-Ra props for this one. His plan was pretty solid, and nearly worked.

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4 Responses to Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 17: All That Glitters

  1. Drake Pope says:

    Ha, I remember this one. The Enflamer bit confused the crap out of me. It seems like he only turned evil just so that they could close with a fight scene.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh, sweet irony.

  3. Marcel says:

    It was considerably contrived but i think that by “mercenary” they meant to imply that the Enflamer always looks out for himself first, read, he reforged the Sword of Omens for himself, gratitude be damned!

  4. […] [I was thinking of Episode 17 of Season 1 of “Thundercats”, where they see gold as worthless junk and dump …when I used this visual […]

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