Welcome to another cartoon rewatch! We’ve been buzzing right along through Season 1 of this series and it’s good to feel like we’re actually accomplishing something. Everybody should be this successful.
Thanks for all the email and feedback being sent in. I’m glad you’re enjoying these recaps as much as I enjoy doing them. I mean, it’d be pretty pointless to keep writing these if nobody gave a shit so thanks for taking the time to track them down.
Today’s episode is called “The Monster Within” which could go in a bunch of different directions. I assume it refers to one of our heroic warriors dealing with something deep so maybe it’s a Man-E-Faces episode since he can become the Monster with one of his grills. Actually, that’s probably a really good guess and now I’m thinking I just cracked the case before even hitting play.
No sense in putting it off any longer after that. Let’s get into this and watch a cartoon.
S01E16: The Monster Within
Original Air Date: December 27, 2002
Holy shit. Right off the bat, we’re in a battle and fucking Man-E-Faces is right in the middle of shit. Turns out that when Man-E turns to Monster Face, he can fall pray to Beast Man’s mind’s control since the monster is a beast. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken Beast Man all this time to think of that.
I mean, not just Beast Man, but everybody. None of the other bad guys have even thought to suggest this before? None of the good guys have ever considered this possibly being an issue down the road at some point? Look, yeah, OK, maybe I didn’t think of it either, but I’m not the one in the middle of a constant war over the power to control all of Eternia, alright?
Skeletor is tired of his goon squad consistently shitting the bed so he’s going to go out and recruit some bounty hunters. I swear…if we finally get that Star Wars crossover and Bossk walks into Snake Mountain…
Whiplash knows a couple of guys and brings them to interview for Skeletor. Tuvar and Baddrah are their names and similar to the scene in Step Brothers, I believe they will be interviewing together. This is not much of an interview, just a sparring session against Beast Man and Trap-Jaw and then Evil-Lyn and Tri-Klops. The new guys roll through the old ones and Skelly hires them both because he needs He-Man taken out.
Tuvar and Baddrah do not get along. They’re always fighting and refuse to work together, but Skeletor forces the issue because he figures at least one of them will be successful against He-Man. This is going to get really awkward really soon since I’m willing to be they get attached before the end of this episode and become the classic villain Two-Bad.
The Masters took possession of a special emerald from the fight that we opened with and King Randor has ordered it to be taken to the desert and destroyed. All the Masters are to go on this mission except for Man-E-Faces. Everybody saw that he was put into a trance during the battle, but none – including him – acknowledge the reason why. They take little potshots at him, but he doesn’t like it because nobody likes being made fun of. He especially doesn’t like being left off a mission as it makes him think that the rest of the team doesn’t trust him. Lucky for him, He-Man taps him on the shoulder and tells him that he’ll be going with He-Man to investigate a monster sighting that had been reported. Now Man-E is happy because everybody wants to be He-Man’s double main man.
He-Man and Man-E traipse into the jungle and split up to try to find the source of these reports. They are immediately met by Baddrah who is quickly run off. Tuvar comes next and he gets over on the heroes for a bit before also being run off. He-Man tries to get Man-E to go with the Monster face as it would be of more help right now, but Man-E refuses saying he doesn’t play that role anymore after what happened with Beast Man.
A couple of well-placed booby traps seem to have gotten the best of both He-Man and Man-E, but Baddrah and Tuvar immediately begin fighting over which will be the one collecting the bounty. Skeletor’s normal henches look at this as the perfect opportunity to win back his good graces figuring they can deliver He-Man while taking out Tuvar and Baddrah in fell swoop.
Man-E breaks free from his trap using his Monster strength and comes to rescue He-Man. Unfortunately for him, Beast Man is waiting and taking control of his mind instantly. He-Man gives Man-E an inspirational pep talk about fighting it and the rest of the Masters start dropping their jerseys on the Coach Devine’s desk saying, “This is for Man-E.”
OK, fine, the Masters don’t even have jerseys. Whatever.
Man-E steps to He-Man and begins swinging his claws, but only to free He-Man from the torturous vines holding him. The two then team up to stomp a mudhole in the heels before heading back to the kingdom.
As for the villains, our regulars throw Tuvar and Baddrah under the bus saying they had all the ducks in a row until they began fighting each other after Skeletor implicitly told them to work together. He gets so pissed off that he joins them like siamese twins with the power of his Havoc Staff and Two-Bad is born.
PSA: Everybody gets angry sometimes. Shit happens.
I didn’t like this episode as much as I did yesterday’s, but I absolutely did like it. Once again, we got to focus on a supplemental character in a way that moved along the plot in a nice, enjoyable way.
In addition to the depth of Man-E, we also got the introduction of Two-Bad to the villains stable. Two-Bad is another character I don’t remember much of from the original outside of the appearance in the Christmas special. In that, both sides are buffoons, but that played into the overall tone of the show.
In this one, Baddrah has great strength, but is dumb as a rock and Tuvar is more cunning and serious. There’s a dynamic there which is basic, but different and it did serve well for this episode. Now, I don’t know how big a role Two-Bad is going to have in this show going forward, but I’d assume he/they add more manpower to the battle sequences from now on.
Pretty solid if not spectacular episode today. I was with it. We’ll come back tomorrow and finish the week strong.