Welcome back to another cartoon rewatch! It’s Friday which is – as this old guy I used to work with named Cesar used to say – “the best day in the week!” Hopefully, the rest of you are enjoying the spoils of a four-day weekend brought on by yesterday’s holiday, but, if you’re like me and do not get to enjoy said holiday, we can put that energy toward enjoying another episode of He-Man.
Today’s episode is titled “Mekaneck’s Lament” which, I assume will address Mekaneck’s issues with depression and having a lame power. It happens to the best of us. Or maybe not since not all of us have a silly power like making your neck extend unreasonably far. Either way, I can see why he would be depressed over it.
So since most of you are still so full of meat products that it would take a crane to lift you off your couch today, let’s stop messing around and just get on with the show.
S01E12: Mekaneck’s Lament
Original Air Date: November 15, 2002
We open in the heat of battle. The forces of good and evil fighting for control of a bridge that leads directly to Castle Grayskull when Man-At-Arms, the crafty, experienced warrior calls for the heroes to retreat.
Teela questions his decision to give up the bridge, but he actually had a bigger purpose. Blast a high mountain to destroy the bridge while the villains are crossing it and they will all be killed. Not even kidding…his plan is to kill all the bad guys while they’re crossing a bridge.
Teela gives the orders to all the Masters…all except Mekaneck, that is, who is put on reconnaissance by Duncan. Mek hates reconnaissance because that’s pretty much all he’s good for with his stupid, extending neck. In addition, his neck was actually damaged somewhat during this battle as the circuitry took an energy blast from Tri-Klops and is a tad fried.
But whatevs. Skeletor and his forces begin crossing the bridge and the Masters lull them into a false sense of security until the time is right and they all start blasting the mountain. An avalanche of boulders begins to rain down, destroying the bridge and hurtling the group of bad guys hundred of feet below into the icy, unforgiving river that runs through and now becomes their eternal tomb. The Masters celebrate by spraying each other with champagne, smoking cigars and handing out hats that say “2002 Fight For Eternia Champs” as we take a snapshot and fade out.
Or not. I mean, it definitely should have been the end, but apparently bad guys don’t just die when being slammed with boulders and falling hundreds of feet into a watery grave. What do I know? The Masters have simply won just another battle and the forces of evil will live to fight another day once they dry off.
The Masters return to the kingdom in good spirits after their big win, but Mekaneck is having a tough time enjoying it. Holy shit, he really IS depressed about having a lame power. He lists off all the cool shit everybody else does and is acutely aware that his long neck to look at stuff is wack. Now I feel really bad. I didn’t feel bad before. Now I do. Don’t be a bully, folks, be a star.
Mekaneck has Man-At-Arms take a look at fixing his fried neck circuitry and, while in the workshop, Duncan shows him a new invention that will help with reconnaissance. Now Mekaneck really feels like shit. He takes off to go skip stones at the lake and be alone with his thoughts for a while.
He’s met at the lake, by a frail, old man on a raft. Marzo is his name and he offers Mekaneck a wish for all the powers he desires if he helps him retrieve an amulet that has sentimental value. Now listen, I’m not the smartest peanut in the turd, but I know damn well that the term “amulet” is never used for sentimental value. That shit has powers and is gonna be used to fuck shit up. Bet.
Of course, Mekaneck doesn’t fucking think so he takes off to find the amulet for Marzo. The Sorceress summons Adam to Grayskull. She feels the emergence of Marzo, known to her as Count Marzo, a great evil wizard who was captured and imprisoned by Adam’s grandfather and the Elders. The amulet he now seeks is where all is power is drawn from. He must never get it. Meanwhile, fucking Mekaneck is already bringing it back to Marzo.
Now armed with the amulet, Marzo’s broken, decrepit frame is transformed back into his younger, powerful Count Marzo and he’s looking to exact revenge on the new rule of Eternia for the imprisonment he suffered. The Sorceress senses him immediately and calls to Adam that He-Man is needed ASAP.
He-Man cuts off Marzo and the two engage in a brief battle with Count Marzo getting the best of He-Man and leaving him for dead. With He-Man incapacitated, the rest of the defenders stand no match and Marzo marches into the palace with little resistance. He is also accompanied by two dog beasts (think Demon Dogs from Ghostbusters) who spew a knockout gas from their mouths that overtakes everybody inside the palace.
Mekaneck is just returning to the palace and is met with the carnage Marzo has left in his stead. Orko sets off in a panic to find He-Man while Mekaneck charges into the palace. He’s able to avoid the knockout gas using his extended neck and staying above it to not have to breathe it in while Orko does find He-Man and is able to help wake him up to join the fight. Mek is able to distract Count Marzo long enough for He-Man to join the fight. While Marzo gives an evil soliloquy, Mek steals the amulet back and tosses it to He-Man who flings it halfway across the world and into so deep water where it explodes, sapping Marzo of his power again. Turns out, Mekaneck’s power can come in handy every now and then.
PSA: Don’t be depressed about having a long neck.
Not going to go down as one of the better episodes of this series, but it does have some elements. As always, I like when we get a day to spend with a lesser-used character like Mekaneck and get the focus off the others to give us a break. Sure, I clown on Mekaneck and he is kinda wack, but there’s nothing egregious about giving him some screen time for one day and keeping the regular story fresh.
Same goes for our villains. After what appeared to be the murder of Skeletor and his goons, we are introduced to Count Marzo who gets a little bit of rub through backstory and battle before being captured.
Truth be told, Marzo isn’t all that different from Skeletor – another magical wizard who gets his power from an amulet as opposed to the sword and havoc staff wielded by Skelly – but just having another face in the spot for a day serves the same purpose as focusing on Mekaneck.
So we’re now through two weeks and twelve episode of this show and honestly, there hasn’t been anything that I’ve out-and-out hated. Some stuff has been better than others, but, for the most part, this show has been perfectly fine. Not everything needs to be the best thing you’ve ever seen in your life. I very much like that it’s easy, makes sense (for a cartoon) and does a good job with characters I have loved for over 30 years now.
We’ll take a break for the weekend, but come back on Monday with more from those characters as we keep plowing through this series.