The Evil Fan's
Episode Guide!
First Season
(The classic episodes—Part I)

South of Heaven by Slayer


    Introduction by the Evil Fan
  1. Exodus (4-part movie)
    1. Unholy Alliance
    2. Berbils
    3. The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr
  2. Trouble With Time
  3. Pumm-Ra
  4. The Terror of Hammerhand
  5. The Tower of Traps
  6. The Garden of Delights
  7. Mandora - The Evil Chaser
  8. The Ghost Warrior
  1. The Doomgaze
  2. Lord of the Snows
  3. The Spaceship Beneath the Sands
  4. The Time Capsule
  5. The Fireballs of Plun-Darr
  6. All that Glitters
  7. Spitting Image
  8. Mongor
  9. Return to Thundera
  10. Snarf Takes up the Challenge


Introduction:

I am the "Evil Fan," (or perhaps "Erich's Evil Id"?) Let's face it—most humans love an underdog, and the biggest ones in the cartoon world are the villains because they aren't allowed to win. (Also true in the movie world to a certain extent.) I usually root for the bad guys, but only if they impress me.

I am also a rabid admirer of the female form, but more on that later. (Whoops, didn't mean to drool. Heh heh.) Thundercats seems to be a promising series, so let's give it the evil treatment!

Now for the opening sequence of the first movie: "From beyond any known galaxy, bringing with them the laws and ideals of their doomed planet Thundera, come The Thundercats."

Hmm. I immediately feel this is going to be a major smarm-fest.

"Jaga the Wise." Uh oh, grandfather figure alert!

"Tygra the Invisible." Hmm, Tiger guy with a whip in a poofy pastel costume.

"Cheetara the Quick." ~Purrrrrrrrrr~ Evil love interest #1!

"WilyKat and WilyKit, the cunning junior duo." Troublemaking brat alert.

"Panthro the Deadly." Oh yes, Panther dude with spikes and wicked-looking nunchakus. I like him already.

"And, The Snarf." Aaaaaaah! Cute character alert! They just had to throw one of those in.

"The Thundercats, all sworn to serve their young lord, Lion-O." Well, that doesn't sound like too bad a deal for him. I guess it makes up for having such a lame name. Lion-O. *snicker* He's sort of a muscular superhero-looking Lion guy with bright red poofy hair. Can you say, "Eighties?" Heh heh.

"And to instruct him in the secrets of the Eye of Thundera—the eye embedded in the hilt of the mystic Sword of Omens, and the source of the Thundercats' power." I think I'm looking at the object that's going to save their butts on a daily basis.

Hmm, Lion-O's yelling, "Thunder… Thunder… Thunder… Thundercats, ho!" This seems like the beginning of a major cliché, am I right? We'll see. The interesting part is that the sword is growing in length with each "Thunder." If Sigmund Freud were alive, he'd have a field day with this! Anyway, The Eye seems to be a beacon projecting the Thundercat symbol in red laser light (with good animated effects.) It looks like a ripoff of Batman's Bat Signal, but it's coming from a sword. And "Ho!"? I don't want to touch that one. (Well, not yet, anyway. Heh heh.)

"Pursuing the Thundercats to Third Earth, and determined to possess the Eye of Thundera for their own evil purposes, are the hideous Mutants of the planet Plun-Darr." Hmm, "hideous?" Hardly. "The Snarf" is hideous! (Okay, I know he's supposed to be cute or something, but cute is hideous!)

"…led by the Reptilian Slythe." Hmm, maybe Slythe is a little "hideous." If he kicks butt, who am I to complain?

"They form an unholy alliance with the ageless devil-priest of First Earth, Mumm-Ra." Hmm, now what or where is First Earth? Or Third Earth? Or should I ask, "When?" So many questions… hold the phone! Hey, Mumm-Ra looks like a five-foot mummy in a red hood and cape, but he just shredded it and became this giant musclebound Egyptian-looking terror! Okay, now I know I made the right choice here!

Okay, the music just picked up pace, and Lion-ho *ahem* I mean, "-o" repeats his "Thunder… Thunder…" thing, and I'm being treated to a barrage of images. Yes, this is definitely Anime style animation. I'm hooked! "Thundercats are on the move, Thundercats are loose." Hmm, a bit silly, but I can deal with it. Mmmm… Cheetara… (In my best Homer Simpson voice.) Too bad she's the only female (or rather, fully-formed female.) That leotard outfit covers her a bit too much, but once again, I can deal with it. ~Purrrrrrrr~ I wonder how she grooms her fur. Heh heh.

Now, a few flashes of the mummy-dude transforming again and we're ready to roll! I hope they don't overuse him like other cartoons do with their lead villians.

"Thundercats…" The title sequence ends, bringing us to the first movie "Exodus." (Otherwise known as "Exodus, Unholy Alliance, Berbils, and The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr" in its broken-up state as seen on TV.)


Exodus (the movie):   
(Written by Leonard Starr)

Okay, let's see what we have here: A big ship escaping from Thundera, which looks like it's covered in lava and volcanos are shooting high lava-plumes. Not exactly what I'd call paradise!

Whoooooaaaaaa! Hey, the Thundercats are nude! Is this really television, or is someone messing with me here? Nude furries! Hmm, or are they nude? They have leg-lines that hint of fur-colored leotards and Cheetara wears a belt, but I don't see any matching lines around their waists and shoulder areas. It would seem our heroes have these weird lines to get past the censors. It doesn't matter, I'm admiring Cheetara anyway—yum! (I wonder if her normal body temperature is 102º like your average housecat? That would be something to cuddle up to. Heh heh heh.) Um, I totally missed the dialog, folks. Sorry, I was too distracted. I'll just rewind the tape and see that again…

I imagine the evil ladies out there are getting an eyeful of Tygra and Panthro. Hmm, Jaga is the only one that's clothed (not that anyone's complaining,) but I have to wonder why anyway. I guess it's his status as a leader. "The Emperor does wear clothes."

D`oh! Did it again. Hang on… *rewinds the tape again*

Heh heh heh. Um, okay. That time was on purpose. I swear I'll listen to the dialog this time! *snickers and rewinds the tape yet again*

First mission of the Thundercats: wake Lion-O up to see their planet explode. Jaga sends Cheetara to "fetch the boy." Boy? Hmm, Lion-O is a boy here. What's going on? Rrrrrow! Cheetara's still nude and leaning towards the "camera!" Okay, this has to be a joke. Who slipped a Hentai into my VCR? You know those tentacle-things bore me… oh wait, never mind. Geez, if this doesn't give Lion-O wet dreams down the road, nothing will.

Umm, I'm compelled to ask something here: WilyKit and WilyKat are also nude, so, does this make my tape illegal or something? I guess I'll give the show's animators the benefit of the doubt and say the characters have enough fur on them to make it "wholesome" enough for TV. Hmm, sure doesn't look like fur, but the light patches hint of it. Okay, enough analysis! …well, I might analyze Cheetara again. Heh heh.

Uh oh, The Snarf speaks, and with an annoying voice too. "Lion-O needs his sleep!" Aaaaah! My ears! Okay, they're just calling him "Snarf," so I guess that's his name. He seems to be a nanny for Lion-O or someth… Whoa! Choice Cheetara chest closeup! I'm in legal animation heaven! ~da da da da da~ Oh, my kingdom for a video capture card and a poster-size printer!

Oh man, does Snarf whine or what! He also seems to use his name to punctuate his sentences. I wonder if the Pokémon critters were inspired by this? I'm also leery of characters that refer to themselves in the second person: "You're not responsible for Lion-O's welfare, Snarf is." *groan*

Back to the bridge of the ship. Hmm, they're nude but wearing boots. This strikes me as odd for some reason, especially since Lion-O was wearing his boots in bed.

Uh oh, their planet exploded. They're truly homeless now, much like Superman. "Justice, truth, honor, and loyalty." Okay, big speech from Jaga here about Lion-O ruling wisely. Ruling what? The other Thundercats? Maybe they'll just take over another planet.

I see their main weapon now: the "Legendary Eye of Thundera" in the "Sword of Omens" as they're fond of repeating. Lion-O says "There's holes in the hilt, and I see no eye." Somebody smack him please! No holes, just cool-looking crossbars, and I see a "cat's eye" design as plain as day. I see our boy-wonder here is going to be dependent on this sword, and his sickeningly cute whiney (I'll go easy on the adjectives) nursemaid "Snarf" is annoying me again, but Jaga commands him away to fetch the others. Lion-O can't lift the Sword of Omens—it's too heavy for him.

Bwahahahahahahaaa! Oh my, I just heard the mother of all suggestive lines: "…but it will not be long before the sword feels natural in your hand." That was just too funny!

Meeeow! Cheetara's back in full-frontal mode along with everyone else. It's time for another Jaga speech. "You will all have to learn new ways as well. On our own planet, you needed no protective clothing or special weaponry, and the Eye of Thundera rested peacefully in the mystic Sword of Omens, guarded and known only to me." Hmm, so the Eye of Thundera was thought to be "a legend, a myth" as Tygra says. I guess Thundera really was paradise before everything blew up. Any chance for a retrospective like the Tigress Volleyball Team? Just thinking out loud. Heh heh.

Hey! Jaga threw magical clothing on everyone! Oh well, I knew it was too good to last. Excuse me while I hit <Rewind> again for a moment. Heh heh heh heh. ~I wanna pet someone's fur~ *ahem* Sorry.

...

Okay, I'm back. Hmm. The Mutants are attacking! It seems to be a surprise that Jackalmen, Monkians, and Reptilians are fighting together. Interesting. They're blowing up all the escort ships, and after Slythe said they watched those ships being loaded full of Thunderian pilgrims and their possessions! With so much death and nudity so far, I'm amazed this made the airwaves. The Mutants impress me so far: they look tough, and taking on a bunch of cat-people who "never needed protective clothing and special weaponry" would seem to be a breeze. Naturally, that isn't the case. For characters that just picked up weapons for the first time in their lives, they're using them waaaay too well to be believable. Of course, how they received them from Jaga isn't much better—it's one of those "Disney moments." It's pretty clear that Panthro, Cheetara, and the kids outclass the grunt Mutants.

I find it interesting that Jaga and Slythe know each other, and Slythe has seen the Eye of Thundera before. There's a back-story somewhere.

Oooooh, the lead Mutants have Lion-O trapped, and Snarf secured in a net. Nowhere to go! Hmm… I must admit I like this part: the sword comes to life and Lion-O's eyes glow as he lifts it for some fireworks. Too bad the Mutants are total cowards—they're all running back to their ship. Oh well, the movie's only starting.

"Anyone hurt?" "Just a few scratches, Jaga." "Yeah, no real damage." Um, what about the seven other ships that were "packed with pilgrims" and blown away? That's the ruling class for ya.

Now that the Mutants retreated, the cats are looking for a new home. A "dinky galaxy"? A "puny sun"? What, are they spoiled space travelers or something? I wonder what galaxy they were headed to.

Ha! WilyKat puts WilyKit in a suspension capsule and says: "Gosh, you're beautiful when you snarl, you know that, WilyKit?" Um, aren't these two supposed to be brother and sister? I can hear the banjos duelling. Hmm, Jaga says he would die in suspension anyway, so he stays awake to pilot as far as possible. Mathematically, that means to me that he'd only survive maybe one tenth of the flight under the most ideal conditions. After a few flight scenes, Jaga passes away in Obi-Wan Kenobi fashion, turning to glowing dust and disappearing. I would have preferred them to find a skeleton at the controls when they woke up, but so much for wishful thinking.

Okay, here we go. The ship is touching down on a weird new planet. One of the landing beams (for lack of a better term) goes out, causing the ship to crash-land. Lion-O and Snarf are the first ones to awaken, and Lion-O's fully grown now. Well, Jaga did say some aging takes place. It looks like he gained fifteen years which makes me wonder how Cheety is doing. Hmm, or WilyKit. She would be quite delectable around the age of twenty or so. Heh heh. The red hair, red eyes, mini skirt... *ahem* okay, I'll come back to reality now. I did see the opening titles, and they suggest that only Lion-O is grown up. It isn't fair, really, even the Mutants look the same, and they didn't seem to need suspension capsules.

The Mutants start searching the wreckage of the ship for the Eye of Thundera, and a fully-grown Lion-O and Snarf look on. Lion-O's memory is almost gone, and Snarf tries to give him the sword to no avail. "Good grief, Snarf. What's the matter with you? We're in big trouble here and you bring me another stupid toy? Get away!" Heh heh heh.

Now the Mutants are attacking the other suspension capsules, and Lion-O charges in to help. After a little dodging, Snarf jumps on a Monkian and throws the sword to Lion-O, giving him a big shock. He still can't quite remember the sword, then horror of horrors: Jaga appears as a ghost and tells Lion-O to use the sword in a most cryptic way. What an obvious ripoff of Obi-Wan Kenobi. *sigh* I said "grandfather figure alert" a while back, so let me change that. Going along with what could be a disturbing trend in modern culture: The Dead Grandfather Figure. Anyway, Lion-O uses "Sight Beyond Sight" to see the other Thundercats in their capsules, then does the "Thunder… Thunder… Thunder… Thundercats Ho!" routine which brings up the cat signal and wakes up the others.

Yep, the kids are still kids, this sucks! Wait, no, it doesn't exactly suck. Cheetara still looks quite edible! Mmmmm… Cheety… *cough* Okay. After a little softcore violence, the Mutants retreat because they're outclassed again. *groan* I wanted a few injuries!

The Mutants teleport back into their ship and take off, leaving the Thundercats to wonder about surviving on this new planet. Tygra provides us with a very funny moment where he says, "…and a fine figure of a Thundercat you've grown up to be, Lion-O" and has a waver in his voice that makes me wonder about him, not to mention his facial expression. Well, maybe he's just "sensitive," right? Cheetara follows up by saying, "And so handsome, too" in her best seductive voice.

"We will survive, and create a mighty new empire. I, Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats proclaim it!" He produces the cat signal again and gets questioning looks from everyone until he says, "With your help, of course." This first movie section ends up with everyone laughing.

Unholy Alliance: The Thundercats are now unloading gear and starting to salvage their spaceship. Lion-O talks his way out of working with the others, so he's a slacker! Tygra says, "Remember, Lord Lion-O spent ten Galacto-years in a suspension capsule. During that time he grew in size but did not grow up." Hmm, much like some people I worked with. What is a Galacto-year anyway? Hmm, I won't lose sleep over that one.

Alright, the Mutants spot a black pyramid with electricity dancing around the surrounding spires. This looks very promising! Mumm-Ra had better impress me. They fly over the pyramid, and the lightning makes their ship crash. Mumm-Ra invites them in. "Follow the ball of light." Heh heh. I like his style already, and the inside of his pyramid looks nice and cozy to me.

Hmm… Mumm-Ra's sarcophagus is inside a giant skull with glowing eyes and he shoots red lightning. I really like this show now! "As long as evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives." Oh, yes! He knew about the Eye of Thundera for "over a thousand years, from a time when this was still First Earth." Interesting.

Monkian makes the mistake of threatening Mumm-Ra after the others question needing him. Mumm-Ra promptly shows them their ship—sinking into the sand (apparently with all the other Mutants still on board.) So much for Monkian's idea of calling for the other Mutant ships to blast the pyramid. The three lead Mutants are now stuck on this planet just like the Thundercats are.

Mumm-Ra's cauldron shows Lion-O walking alone in the woods. Damn, I want one of those! The things I could see, yesssss? Heh heh heh. Anyway, Mumm-Ra uses his magic and teleports the Mutants to where Lion-O is so they can attack him. What a nice advantage, no? We're left with an interesting thought from the mummy-dude: "They suspect that I cannot leave my tomb. They shall learn otherwise, but they must not know the price I must pay for doing so." Hmm, does that mean he won't get personally involved very often? I'm curious about this "price."

Damn. Lion-O's sword stopped him from hunting some antelope-looking things. On top of that, Jaga pulls another "Obi-Wan" and explains to him that the sword can't be used to destroy. That sucks! Hmm… does this mean that the Mutants and Mumm-Ra couldn't really use the Eye of Thundera after all? It sounds like their efforts are wasted now, except maybe to deprive the Thundercats of their source of power.

Lion-O manages to get the signal going, and Panthro responds with the twins. They quickly defeat the Mutants, only to have them disappear suddenly—back to the pyramid, no doubt. I find it funny that they wonder why Tygra and Cheetara didn't see the cat signal. Figure it out, Lion-O, you're an adult now. Perhaps Panthro will have that "birds and bees talk" with you. They were together in a cave for quite awhile, y'know. Heh heh.

Oooooh… after a little taunting, Mumm-Ra shows us all what he's made of. "Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this decaying form, to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!" Now I'm enjoying this: a villain I can look up to! Kick Lion-O's ass! Ha ha haaa!

Lion-O is scared out of his wits, like anyone who comes in contact with an evil immortal being should be. Heh heh. There is tar on the sword which keeps it from working. Oh, I like this! Umm, hang on here. Lion-O's at his mercy, cowering, and Mumm-Ra's repelled by his own reflection? This just isn't right. I guess it's the only way to guarantee the series continuing. An easy weakness for someone that's so powerful, life just isn't fair for us evil folk!

Mumm-Ra reverse-transforms and silently walks back to his sarcophagus, ignoring the Mutants. "There will be another time." I personally can't wait. Heh heh.

Berbils: Lion-O and Snarf are walking through the woods together. Okay, I must admit that Snarf has guts: he attacks a Rhino-like creature with Elephant-ish tusks for no reason other than to try proving that he isn't scared of anything. He's definitely better than your average cute character. I still hate cute characters as a whole, but Snarf has some measure of respectibility now for his random aggressive behavior.

Lion-O gets stuck in a pit trap and gets pulled out by weird robotic teddy bears that look like R2D2 got it on with the Ewoks. Is this show starting to get a little silly?

Ah, Mumm-Ra to the rescue! He causes a "stone storm" in a quick attempt to destroy the Thundercats, but only manages to make them take cover in their shipwreck. Panthro salvaged enough parts to make a ThunderTank, and it looks like a versatile piece of equipment. After the storm, he pushes the spaceship allowing the others to emerge.

Robear Berbils from the planet Robear? I don't like 'em: they remind me of Smurfs for some reason. A happy little village, houses with rounded tops, and there's only one female, apparently. I have a major problem with them raising "Meat Fruit," "Bread Fruit," "Candy Fruit," et cetera. Now, aren't cats supposed to be meat eaters? This is some whacked vegetarian theme here. Hmm, the Candy Fruit look like candy canes on trees. Genetic engineering or just plain silly writing: you figure it out.

Mumm-Ra sees Lion-O found an endless supply of food from the Berbil village, gets upset, and comes out of his pyramid as a swarm of locusts. Instead of destroying their crops, the locusts merge into a giant one and threaten Lion-O. Lion-O rides the locust, and Mumm-Locust turns himself back into a swarm, dropping Lion-O into a volcano. Unfortunately, Jaga pops up and tells him to call to the sword, which flies him out in the nick of time. Yes, this weapon is too powerful. Oh well, another happy moment to endure.

Here's a weird quote from Mumm-Ra: "You must do better against the Thundercats next time, Mumm-Ra. And you will." Hmm, another character referring to himself in the second person. Oye! "Time means nothing to Mumm-Ra."

Uh oh, the bears greet the Thundercats en masse and offer to help build their new home and give a little speech about "friends helping each other" and this section of the movie ends with giggles and laughs. *sigh*

The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr: The last segment of the movie starts with WilyKit and WilyKat swinging through the trees, when they happen to notice "Brutemen" hauling rocks. It turns out that the Mutants are using them as slaves to build their castle. Kit manages to accidently drop a coconut on a Monkian, and they end up getting chased through the trees. The Monkian nearly smashes them with his mace, but the kids end up making him fall, thanks to a pellet loaded with oil. The kids get back to the lair and explain what happened. It seems the Thundercats and Mutants are in a race to finish building their respective castles.

The cats pay a visit to the new castle and move in to free the Brutemen. Some one-on-one fighting happens, starting with Cheetara making a fool out of Jackalman. Tygra disarms Monkian with little effort, after using his whip to deflect cannonballs shot from his shield. Slythe and Panthro go at it, but Panthro is just too good, so Slythe retreats to the castle after a failed attempt at hand-to-hand combat.

Lion-O tries to free the Brutemen, but they're not intelligent enough to know where the door is. Slythe discovers this and uses a Warp Gas grenade to make the Brutemen vicious. Warp Gas reverses the basic nature of the victim interestingly enough. They overwhelm and run over Lion-O, then Slythe uses them against Panthro. The others come to help, and more action ensues.

Uh oh, here comes the big moral scene! The Slythe throws another Warp Gas grenade because the last one wore off, and the cats have a minor discussion about it:

(Tygra) "So that's it—Warp Gas!"

(Panthro) "I thought the Interstellar Council ruled against Warp Gas."

(Cheetara) "When did the Mutants ever go by the rules?"

Okay, that was the wind-up, and here's the pitch: everything comes to a pause as Tygra looks into the "camera" with a holier-than-thou expression and says, "Rules are only meaningful if people agree to follow them; otherwise, they're just words." This is accompanied by a few notes of "Jaga Music" which lends it a nice puke-inducing effect. Okay, moral delivered… back to the action.

Lion-O waves the sword and forms a forcefield that pushes the gas (and the Brutemen for some strange reason) towards the Mutants, trapping them. The gas turns them into cowards, and they run into their castle and close it up.

Hmm. Here is an interesting scene where Lion-O stands his ground against the crazed Brutemen, refuses to retreat, and Cheetara berates him by saying "Pride taken too far is foolishness." Lion-O scores a point with me by ignoring her and just stands there. The first Bruteman lunges for him, stops, goes blank, and walks away. Now, my question of the day is: what if the Brutemen didn't mellow out at that particular second? Lion-O would have been attacked. That would have been very interesting indeed. Unfortunately, the happy ending comes to the rescue.

More morals are thrown around back home as Lion-O comes to grips with the Brutemen not thanking him for setting them free. Yes, it was the right thing to do, ad nauseum.

All in all, this was a good movie as intros to new cartoon series' go. Mumm-Ra will be my main reason to keep watching!

Want to see my friend Lefty's brilliant MST'ing of the first part of this? Go here!

Trouble With Time:
(Written by Ron Goulart and Julian P. Gardner)

Slaves! We need slaves! Slythe and company are getting tired of the food they're serving at Castle Plun-Darr, and Slythe says, "A woman's touch is what's needed here." You know, I haven't seen any female Mutants so far, come to think of it. No wonder they're stressed out. There's a strange, skinny dinosaur-looking reptilian serving dinner; I wonder where they found him. Monkian mutters something about "Chauvinist Reptile" and goes on the slave-hunt.

Ooooooh… I see a human "warrior" woman, and a good-looking one at that. It would seem that some natives have survived into the far future (I'm assuming this is the far future.)

Monkian grabs the girl like a good ape would do, and tries to swing off with her through the trees. The girl's big sister "Willa" nails Monkian and ends his fun. The two sisters talk about the "Aliens" that came to their kingdom and mention that the other ones look like cats. They talk about ridding themselves of them, so this should be interesting.

~Warrior chicks~ *ahem* heh heh. Okay, back to the story. Lion-O takes the ThunderTank out for a joyride and loses control, upsetting Panthro in no small way. Yep, our Lion Lord is still a kid inside. Panthro mentions that they're running low on thundrillium, and if they don't find any soon, none of their equipment will work. I like this: The Thundercats have to use a non-renewable energy source! Captain Planet this show is not. Heh heh. Anyway, they split up and go prospecting. Snarf whines and warns Lion-O not to fall down mine shafts and traps.

Lion-O is walking along and senses someone watching him. Suddenly, Willa falls out of a tree and lands hard. This meeting is interrupted by a "Lizathon" that looks like a cross between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Carp. Willa shoots a couple of explosive arrows with no effect, then Lion-O steps between them and holds up his claw-shield. The shield glows brightly and scares the Liza-thing away. Willa refuses his help and reluctantly thanks him, then takes off. Lion-O says, "Soft name for such a tough girl." Well, soft name for a girl with such an annoying voice. Heh heh.

Tygra finds a source of thundrillium in a cave, but once inside, he starts aging rapidly. This is a good scene with a creepy atmosphere: it's silent, skeletons all around, and no sound except for the beeping of the thundrillium detector in his hand.

The sword warns Lion-O that Tygra's in danger, and the Mutants start attacking. Willa and sister fire sleep gas arrows around the Mutants and spoil their plans, and tell Lion-O about the Cave of Time where Tygra is trapped. Jaga appears and tells Lion-O to listen to the warrior girls instead of running off to try rescuing Tygra. The ghost-geezer saves Lion-O from doing something stupid. *groan* Training from beyond the grave. Willa says, "Who were you talking to?" Heh heh. Surely they think he's nuts by now.

Lion-O summons the others with the signal, and Cheetara runs in at full speed to retrieve Tygra with no problems. Meanwhile, the Mutants plan another ambush.

Willa is getting a little more friendly now, and tells them about the Geyser of Life which can make Tygra young again. It's guarded by The Winged Watersnakes. Cheetara and Lion-O distract the snakes while Panthro takes Tygra to the water. Sure enough, the water does the trick and Tygra is fixed. Heh heh. Maybe that's a bad choice of words to use on a cat-guy.

Conclusion: Willa took off while Tygra was wading into the water, and she and sis get the Mutants with more sleep gas. The ambush is prevented, and happy ending prevails. I guess the Mutants are back to eating slop for dinner. Not a very outstanding episode, but worth it to see the warrior girls, eh?


Pumm-Ra: 
(Written by Julian P. Gardner)

The Tygra and Panthro are testing out the cameras and sensors in the head of the lair, and they notice an active volcano. By chance, they see Cheetara out for her morning jog (at thirty seconds to the mile. Hmm, that would mean she can run at one hundred twenty miles per hour.) They decide to go after her to check that volcano out.

Hmm, Cheety collapses in the middle of her run, and Monkian and Jackalman are waiting with a stretcher to carry her away. Now, how did they manage that?

Ooooooh, Mumm-Ra! The Mutants delivered Cheety to him. This ought to be good! Mumm-Ra is circling the unconscious Cheetah-babe laid out on an altar. Oh, the possibilities! He transforms himself into "Pumm-Ra" and passes himself off as a Thunderian survivor. Hmm. Certainly he could have come up with a better name than that! Well, the cats don't seem to notice, and they invite him in. Snarf doesn't trust him, but "no one listens to poor ol' Snarf." Heh heh heh. On a curious note, Mumm-Ra doesn't recite his last "Ancient Spirits of Evil" routine this time, but says "Spirits of Evil, transform this ancient body, to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!"

Hmm, Jaga chose Tygra to lead the council. Interesting. After Lion-O votes to let Pumm-Ra stay, Jaga pops up and warns him to not be hasty in such decisions and to listen to the others. Well, at least the ghostly geezer doesn't know what's going on.

In the middle of the night, "Pumm-Ra" is trashing the equipment in the lair and the ThunderTank. He starts looking for the sword, and during his search, finds a room full of weapons. One of the tables has what appears to be a dozen or so different guns ranging from pistols to combat rifles to what looks like a mini grenade launcher. Perhaps this is Panthro's collection? Anyway, Mumm… I mean "Pumm-Ra," heh heh, isn't interested in such things and keeps looking until he finds the sword chamber. "They have used an old Egyptian tomb device unknown for a thousand years, unknown that is, except to one who has lived for a thousand years." I like that. Pumm-Ra steals the sword, and the fun begins! The Thundercats (except for Lion-O and Snarf) leave, and Lion-O discovers that the lair's computer is broken.

Pumm-Ra tries to use the cat signal, but instead gets a lightning storm, making him throw the sword and shield. Jaga appears to Lion-O and says, "The mystic Sword of Omens cannot be used for evil deeds. Attempt it, and know the wrath of Jaga." Ho boy. Lion-O gets the sword and sends the signal, and they make short work of the Mutants.

Now it's a matter of breaking into the lair to get Pumm-Ra. Tygra jumps in the power exhaust, and takes the risk of being fried if Pumm turns the power on. He barely gets by, and Lion-O uses the cat signal to blow out the optics in the cat's head and open the door. It seems to me as if the dangerous trip Tygra took was unnecessary.

Pumm-Ra calls upon the Spirits of Evil to bring forth a giant moth that breathes fire, but Panthro defeats it.

Back in the control room, Pumm gets surrounded and questioned about who he is. Mumm-Ra proceeds to give up his disguise. "Suffice to say that I have lived here for a thousand years. I am not the intruder—it is you who have disturbed my rest, but I have time. A thousand years more, five thousand. You cannot defeat me, for I am Mumm-Ra, and wherever evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives! Mumm-Ra lives! Mumm-Ra lives!" You just can't beat an exit line like that. Mumm-Ra's bandages swirl around and wrap him up as he shrinks to his lesser form, and he disappears—leaving quite an impression on the Thundercats. Heh heh heh.

This episode wraps up with a speech about first impressions often being wrong and trust taking time to develop and so forth. They plan to build new safeguards in the lair, but how do you safeguard against someone that can teleport himself? Heh heh, they hope not to see "that mummy creature" again, but you know they will, and oh, what fun it will be!


The Terror of Hammerhand:
(Written by Ron Goulart and Julian P. Gardner)

This episode starts off at the beach on a nice, overcast day—my kind of weather. A small Nordic-looking schooner appears and starts firing lasers at three well-rendered unicorns on the beach. Hi-tech Vikings? It appears so. I see what must be Hammerhand… make that "Cyborg Vikings." This guy's left arm is made of steel, and the hand is rather oversized. One of his mates reports that they've been beached, and he says, "At high tide we'll have plenty of water to float us off. But for now, there's our supper!" He's talking about a unicorn that got tangled up in some vines while trying to escape; I like these guys already. Heh heh.

Uh oh, Snarf raises his "cute" ugly head. This can't be good! He frees the unicorn just as Hammer and crew reach them. The unicorn manages to get away, but Hammer says, "Get the other one. He looks a bit tough, but he'll do for a snack." Yeah, that's about what I figured. Snarf even says it himself: "I'm too tough for a snack. I'm stringy, you'll hate me. I'm indigestible!" Okay, so he's saying that in a pitiful attempt to save himself, but we know the truth. Here's a look into the future: "Nyahh hah hah… I'm sorry Slythe, but Snarf's been in the crock pot for a week now. There's just no making him tender!"

Eyaaaahahahahahahaaaaa! Oh yes! Hammerhand is definitely in my book of good villains. Snarf is sliding around on the deck of their ship and is proving to be quite unseaworthy. Hammerhand sums him up quite well: "This creature'll make a good beast of burden, looks too unnatural to eat." Heh heh. Ah, so these guys call themselves Berserkers—works for me.

Lion-O is taking a stroll through the woods and finds a Unicorn being attacked by a living tree. You gotta love this dumb line: "This doesn't look like a very fair fight, and nothing to laugh at either." Aww, come on Lion-ho, where's your sense of humor? Why, if it weren't for Jaga and the cursed sword a few episodes ago, you'd probably be turning that unicorn into a leather jacket, glue, and a serious feast for all. Who are you kidding?

Oh well, as all that is predictable in the land of cartoons, Lion-O fights the tree and frees the unicorn. As he's fighting, a giant (and I mean "giant") crow steals his sword. Yep, birds do like shiny things. Heh heh. The unicorn gives Lion-O a ring from it's horn that gives him the power to teleport. He appears on the bird's back and manages to wrestle the sword from it's beak.

The sword lets the lion guy know that Snarf's in trouble, so he goes to find him. Meanwhile, we see a strange looking pair of humanoids that apparently protect the unicorns. Hmm.

Heh heh. I'm enjoying watching Snarf looking rather flattened and walking on all fours with the Berserkers' gear piled on his back. He seems to be quite good at hauling stuff. "Faster, you overgrown hairball!" Bwahahahahahaaa!

Lion-O meets the "Unicorn Guardians" and quickly gains their trust. Hmm, he says, "I seek my companion, The Snarf." Huh. There's a joke in there somewhere.

Ahh, now for the real fun. Hammerhand attacks Lion-O and disarms him. You gotta love that oversized steel hand of his, heh heh. One of his shipmates catches Snarf in a net and threatens to beat him with his mace if Lion-O doesn't back off. Hammer and crew retreat with Snarf and a young unicorn. It's suppertime!

The female "Guardian" for lack of a better term notices the ring on Lion-O's finger and says, "No man has ever worn that ring before" and it cements her trust for him. Well, suppose Lion-O just finished making a meal or ten out of the unicorn and took the ring? Okay, wishful thinking on my part. Heh heh. Stop looking at me like that. >:

Lion-O tries to use a rowboat to reach the ship, but it sinks. So much for the convenient plot device! He starts swimming, but is caught in the undertow. Heh heh. Another cat that isn't seaworthy!

Well, what do you know? Snarf manages to free himself and the unicorn from below and makes it up topside. Unfortunately for them, Hammer greets them in an appropriate manner. Time for convenient plot device number two: the unicorn ring. Lion-O is suddenly able to surface and reach the ship. A decent fight happens between him and Hammer, and Hammer does a good job of wrecking part of his ship trying to get him. Snarf stands on a rail and slips overboard. Heh heh. That's something you never do on a ship. Lion-O goes dives after him and sees the crew waiting on the deck, so he uses the ultimate plot device: with that familiar note of theme music, he sends up the cat signal to call for help. *sigh* It was bound to happen eventually.

I have to say, Panthro and Cheetara make it out to the beach in record time. It turns out that Panthro modified the ThunderTank for underwater travel—how convenient! Needless to say, Lion-O, Snarf, and unicorn get rescued. A nice ship to tank sea battle ensues, and after a good exchange of spears, cannons, and lasers, Panthro finishes the ship by driving the ThunderTank around the ship at high speed—creating a whirlpool that swallows the ship. I don't know why cartoon writers do stuff like this and try to pass it off as believable, but that's just how it goes when you only have a minute to pull off a happy ending. The writers used the "Superman Solution" where he solves a problem by flying around it really fast. *groan* Snarf says they're called, "Berserkers, Berserkers, Berserkers," imitating the way they repeat stuff. Anyway, it shouldn't be long before our Berserker friends swim ashore and raid the unicorns. Heh heh.

In the end, Lion-O finds the unicorn's mother and gives her ring back—end of story. Not a bad episode, really. Hammerhand and his crew are good characters, and I hope to see them again in the future.


The Tower of Traps:
(Written by Leonard Starr)

WilyKit and WilyKat start this episode on a map-making survey. They hear a few roars and someone shouting for help. Now, I don't understand Kat saying that it sounds like "robbers," because it sounds more like someone getting attacked by a tiger or something. The attackers turn out to be good-looking gargoyles, and the victim turns out to be something called a "Wollo." He looks something like a short brown guy with dog in his background somewhere, and talks with a hint of Scooby in his voice. He says the gargoyles come from the Black Tower of Robber Baron Carnor.

The Wollo lost a valuable wedding gift for his daughter, so the kids decide to go after it—time for the fun to begin!

Lion-O is swimming in a waterhole, and proving that he doesn't always wear that outfit of his. Any evil ladies out there enjoying this? Anyway, he fakes a cramp to get Snarf to go into the water, but Snarf whines and says he has a mean streak. Lion-O gives us a little speech (spoken to himself) about practical jokes not being a good thing. Oh, please! Just for that, I hope he gets fleas from Jackalman. On an odd note for the animators: his bare feet look human, unlike the others. Maybe that's why he wears boots?

After a sword warning, Lion-O finds Kit looking around for Kat. They manage to find the same trapdoor that swallowed Kat, and they have to navigate a series of elaborate traps to get to the top where Kat's in a cage. They get separated by a falling gate, and we get treated to a fine series of close calls: Lion-O nearly gets eaten by a giant cyclops/octopus with claws, dissolved in acid, crushed, and impaled; and WilyKit nearly gets burned alive, fried, sliced, and diced. This makes me wonder why WilyKat got off light and ended up in a cage upstairs.

Well, everyone is reunited, and they find Baron Carnor's treasure room. It turns out that he is long-dead, sitting on a throne in the middle of his treasure. Too bad, really. Now Lion-O quotes Jaga: "It's wise to save your money and to spend it carefully, but greed can destroy you." Oye!

Oh goody, the Baron's "final trap" is sprung: the doors close, but they see the Wollo's wedding gift fall from above. Ooooooh… the way out is up! Here's the clincher: after the twins fought with the gargoyles and remarked that they must have been made of stone, WilyKat crawls out the hole in the top of the tower and delivers this brilliant line to us: "There's nothing up here, just a bunch of gargoyles." Huh? Kit follows up with "No sign of the thieves anywhere, Lion-O." Geez, these two must be twins.

Lion-O calls the others, and they arrive in record time (as usual.) Cheety reveals a new ability for her staff weapon: she hits the ground, and six "staffs" sprout from the impact point and lift a gargoyle into the air. That's a hard one to figure out.

Anyway, the Baron Carnor created those gargoyles to steal for him, and they kept working for him after he was dead. Hey, I want some of those! Judging from the size of the treasure, they're very efficient.

In the end, it's (yes) another happy ending. The kids deliver the wedding present to the new Wollo couple, who (along with their village) look very Mexican, in a weird animal sort of way. Lion-O apologizes to Snarf for the practical joke earlier. I ended up gagging on that little exchange. To paraphrase Lion-O, "I worry about you too, Snarf." Ugh! He should get mutant fleas for that! Now the question remains: what to do with that treasure! It looks like they just left it there, but surely at least one of them would have seen the value of it, yes? Anyway, not too bad as episodes go.


The Garden of Delights:  
(Written by Barney Cohen and Julian P. Gardner)

Here it is: not only is it the greatest Thundercats episode ever made, it's also the greatest cartoon ever made with an anti-drug message. Captain Planet and all the others can try, but none can ever touch The Garden of Delights for sheer entertainment value. I have a theory: perhaps the writers were high when they wrote this? I don't know, but this is the Thundercats at their finest!

Earthquakes all around—earthquakes caused by giant worms, and Tygra goes out to investigate. Tygra catches a worm (or rather it catches him by the whip) and pulls him underground into a cavern it made. What follows was surely inspired by Charles Dodgson (otherwise known as Lewis Carrol of Alice in Wonderland fame.) Alice, um, I mean Tygra discovers mole-like men who are upset over the quakes too, so that goes nowhere. Suddenly, Tygra finds himself in "The Garden of Delights" and the real fun begins.

Looking like an acid trip (complete with well-done background music to set up the psychedelic mood,) the garden has weird plants, butterflies, and right in the middle, an animated cornstalk with an elfish female face named "Silky." This is where we start to see Tygra's addictive personality, as Silky talks him into staying and trying out her fruit. "Your mind is weighted down with problems; lose them here with me. Taste…" Heh heh heh. Yes, Tygra can't resist and eats some fruit. He sees flowers and leaves growing from him. It doesn't make him small, it doesn't make him tall, but it makes him fly very high. Bwahahahahahahahaaaa!

Tygra's good trip doesn't last very long, and he finds himself falling. As drugs go, this fruit is a very short-lived one with bad withdrawal effects. Tygra returns to his body (a nice effect at that) and starts pursuing the giant worm again, only to come face-to-face with Silky. He tries to resist, but can't. Our tiger guy becomes an instant junkie, falling to his knees, and asking Silky if she has any more fruit. Silky starts laughing, and lo and behold, Silky turns into Mumm-Ra! "You can have all the fruit you wish. But first, you must bring me something in return: The Eye of Thundera!" YES!

Back on the surface, Tygra ignores the others, tries to approach the sword, and runs away.

In other news, the ThunderTank drops into a crevice that opens in front of them. Lion-O, Panthro, WilyKat, and Cheetara end up underground and start checking the tunnels out. They eventually get the tank back to the surface.

Meanwhile, Tygra has an afternoon nap at home and has nightmares about the earlier fruit trip—possibly after eating the fruit that Mumm-Ra handed to him earlier. He wakes up, steals the sword, and runs away from the lair—straight to the Black Pyramid.

Mumm-Ra has trouble hanging onto the struggling sword, so he transforms while holding it. This is one of those rare occasions where they didn't use the normal repeated transformation sequence, so that only adds to the "delights" of this episode. Heh heh heh heh. He places the sword into the cauldron and tries to corrupt it (with some cool-sounding chanting by the way,) but he can't use the blade on Tygra.

Mumm-Ra tries a new angle: he teleports Willa the Warrior Babe to the pyramid and tries to talk her into becoming a queen. She looks into the sword and sees Tygra bringing it to Mumm-Ra, but says she saw nothing. Ra gets upset and hits her with a little lightning (from the statues?) She isn't harmed, but she goes into a robotic voice and talks about being "Willa, Queen Willa. Queen of Third Earth, of the galaxy, of the universe!" Um, this sounds a little too phony for my ears, but Mumm-Ra is convinced. Call me a skeptic, but I wouldn't trust her. She has to be faking it! If she were to try using the sword for an evil purpose, it wouldn't work anyway. Better to simply bury the sword or smash it while you have it. Naturally, this would end the series, but it's a happy thought. Heh heh.

Now we see Snarf sweeping apple cores and other debris from Tygra's room. Panthro says, "Tygra is so neat, this is not like him at all!" Okay, I've seen lists of "signs that your kid is on drugs," so let's dig one up and compare, shall we?

Drop in gradesUm, not quite applicable.
Rebellious behaviorHe ignored Panthro, but that could just be from being too high.
Change in family relationshipsNot addicted long enough to find out (yet.)
DefensivenessNope, if anything, Tigger's defenseless here.
Lasting fatigueHe does seem a bit listless…
Persistent coughNot unless he starts smoking the fruit.
Repeated health complaintsToo soon to tell.
Change in friendsWell, he's been hanging out with that Mumm-Ra fellow…
Aggressive behaviorTake away his fruit and find out.
Depression, withdrawal, isolationBig time!
Giving up interests or hobbiesNah, he just switched his hobbies to "flying" and "getting ripped."
Red eyesWell, that's his normal color. *looks closely* He looks awfully stoned, though.
Change in eating or sleeping habitsYep: Sleeping during the day, eating weird fruit.
Dizzy spells, shaky hands, jitteryGetting there…
Unexplained items missing around the houseBingo!

I'd say Tygra was on drugs, wouldn't you? Anyway, Panthro finds him sitting around outside and eating fruit. An arrow that flashes hits nearby, and Tygra says, "Oh wow, beautiful!" Hee hee! The Warrior Maidens (that seems to be their official title now) attack and accuse the cats of giving the sword to the Mutants to use against them. I see everyone in a confrontation now, and on one side are Warrior Maidens, Mutants, and Mumm-Ra. Uh, bad logic there.

Lion-O, Panthro, and Cheetara are locked up, and they toss a few morals around about "being prepared." Blue boyscout Panthro built a flying disc in his belt with a camera, so they could see what's going on. Not that it seems to help too much.

Lion-O is brought out to face Willa. Not a logical choice to me, because all he has to do is touch the sword (or call to it?) Anyway, it's obvious now that Tygra somehow fought off his addiction and they're all planning a coup against Mumm-Ra.

Sure enough, Willa cut the ropes binding Lion-O. Instead of handing him the sword there, she goes and makes a show out of it with Tygra, then throws the sword to Lion-O. From there, it's a simple pitched battle favoring the cats by a big margin. Mumm-Ra (in his lesser form, mind you) floats up and fires at Lion-O. The claw shield reflects his energy back and makes him retreat. That was too easy.

Tygra starts to apologize later on, but Panthro and the others forgive him too easily. Lion-O is nice and honest though: "Were you scared?" "I knew the sword couldn't be used against me…" "But were you scared?" "Darn right I was!"

This was the killer episode, and is one of the favorites among my evil friends. There were the Warrior Babes, Tygra being more entertaining than normal, and Mumm-Ra doing some cool things. (Gotta love that chanting!) It seems rather cruel, but they decided to follow this one with the very first Overgard episode. Get the barf bags out, and prepare for the first hint of the silliness that is yet to come… (and I wonder if Tygra saved the seeds for his private little "Garden of Delights.") Heh heh heh heh.


Mandora—The Evil Chaser: 
(Written by William Overgard)

Here it is: the very first episode written by the guy who put the intelligence insulting form of "silly" into the Thundercats. Sure, one can say that he's got a warped sense of humor, and I'm all for that, but I do like consistency in things. He strikes me as someone who doesn't take his art quite seriously. That said, let the madness begin!

Lion-O and Snarf are taking a leisurely stroll through a field of tall grass and find a shipping container of some kind with star logos that say "IPCF," and "DANGER" written all over it. Snarf naturally doesn't want anything to do with it. Lion-O says, "Something's in there." Snarf says, "And it's probably dangerous like the sign says." What does our boy wonder do? "I'll just open it a crack and look in—someone may need help." Someone smack him, please!

Sure enough, three characters rush out and promptly disappear. The third one looks like a grasshopper dressed up as Robin Hood, and he's quite the thief. Snarf yowls about his secret coin purse missing. So much for his Tricentennial Thundera Half-Dollars and his lucky Jaga Penny. Now, Snarf isn't wearing any clothing, so where would he have hidden this purse? Lion-O says, "Maybe you dropped it?" Snarf says, "I had a chain on it!" Um, what would he have hooked a chain to? "That polite beanpole picked my pocket!" Hmm. Perhaps Snarf is a marsupial and has a pouch? This is most curious, but then again, maybe I don't want to know.

Here's a wonderful exchange:

Lion-O: "You can't accuse someone without proof."

Snarf: "You want proof? Then where's your sword?"

Lion-O: "It's… It's gone! The Eye of Thundera is gone! But how?"

One word, folks: DUH!

I think it's quite funny how Lion-O's attitude completely changes at this point: he's out for blood now. Bwahahahahahaaaa! After a quick frustrated run, he and Snarf end up at the holding cell again, and Lion-O says he made of fool of himself. Well, it happens. Heh heh.

We're now introduced to a strange human lady in a black, red, pink, and steel costume flying what looks like a cross between a Wave Runner and a police motorcycle with stars that match the ones on the holding cell. She's all over Lion-O for opening the door and releasing "three of the universe's most wanted evildoers." She sums up the situation quite well: "What could you expect from an inexperienced oaf and a fuzzy shrimp." Oh, I enjoyed that.

She introduces herself and flashes a fancy badge with blinking lights. "Evil Chaser First Class Mandora: Interplanetary Control Force." Ah, so that's what IPCF is. It seems that humans are quite advanced in this series all of a sudden, but they're all in space now (or at least far away from the Warrior Maidens' domain.) "Now, let's recover the perpetrators." Okay, her flat female version of Elliot Ness' voice is seriously starting to irritate me now, but I must admit she's a looker. Heh heh. I've been a bad evil fan… um, never mind.

"We'll start with Plutar, he comes from the dark planet Onyx, and will naturally seek gassy swamps." Hmm, you gotta love the in-your-face names this guy comes up with. Maybe it's "Anex"? Cartoon Network's captioning crew seem to think so. I'm going with Onyx myself, not that it really matters that much. She has Lion-O and Snarf climb aboard her flying Wave Runner to show her where the swamps are.

"Everything Plutar touches eventually dies. Trees, flowers, animals. If he takes root here, The Third Earth is finished." "The Third Earth?" That's an interesting reference. Plutar… derived from "polluter"? More Thundercats naming madness. Why do I get the feeling that Captain Planet's producer saw this before he made his awful show? Just a thought.

Plutar meets the Living Ooze: an almost-formless layer of slime in the swamp that can talk, and sounds suspiciously like Slythe gargling with grease. Plutar himself sounds like Monkian with a six-pack-a-day smoking habit. It seems the supply of voice actors was rather low for this show. Come to think of it, Mandora's voice resembles Cheetara and Willa. Okay, enough voice analysis. How about a little script analysis?

Living Ooze: "Who dares to pollute my streams and kill my trees? That's my job!"

Plutar: "Well, you're not working very hard at it."

"I have my own methods. I don't need help from any living person."

"If this pitiful swamp is your idea of decay, forget it. Where I've been, whole planets die."

"Braggart! Dolt! I don't need your help to turn living matter into decay and rot that's as old as time."

"Entrap me Ooze, and I'll suffocate you with coal tar." Hmm, another clue to his name. "Enough! Together, we can turn this planet into a wasteland. However, we better be quick about it: the Evil Chaser is in close pursuit."

"Evil Chaser? How can she harm me?"

"She has a powerful weapon in her care that can destroy both of us, but not if we're together."

"All right. A curse on all that is green and clear, bright and white!"

"Hear, hear!"

"If they come through this valley to reach us: with my mighty ooze on one side, and your deadly blight on the other…" and they both start laughing together. Okay, after that little exchange, I'm starting to think that Overgard is the brains *snicker* behind Captain Planet.

Back to the action: Lion-O, Snarf, and Mandora land, but the Living Ooze moves under the wheels and makes them crash. Oozy ends up trapping everyone, and Plutar comes out to gloat. Mandora proves to have an attitude that's too much to stand: "I warn you, Plutar. Resisting an officer is a punishable offense. Release us and turn yourself in before you're in serious trouble!" Oh, please. Naturally, Plutar doesn't take her seriously.

Whoa, Mandora comes up with an interesting way to escape: she unzips her uniform and leaves it behind! Photo opportunity time! Okay, she gets the "Enzyme Catalyzer" out (or "End-Time Catalyzer" if you believe the guy writing the closed captions.) It's jammed, so she removes the filter while fighting Oozy, and fires a laser of sorts from her visor to clean the filter. With the gun-like device fixed, she fires and starts destroying Oozy on contact. She poses on her bike with the gun for a minute, then frees up Lion-O and Snarf. That done, she fires at Plutar who was trying to attack her. Plutar is driven back, and he's "sparkling clean."

Lion-O asks, "What is in that gun?" Mandora replies, "An ancient formula, now a closely-guarded secret. It used to be called 'soap.'"

Ummmmm… huh?

Sorry, my brain froze up on me there. Let me get this straight: in the far future, man can travel through space faster than light but doesn't have soap? Sounds like Klingons now that I think about it. Is anyone familiar with personal hygiene in this show? ~purrrrrrrr~ Sorry, I got distracted with a mental image of Cheetara grooming herself like my cat. Heh heh heh.

Snarf says, "Awesome! I hope our side is the only one possessing it." Well, one look at Slythe and company is certainly convincing—it must be hell to fight them. What would happen if Slythe did possess the Enzyme Catalyzer? Lion-O: "Hey, I smell good all of a sudden, like 'groomed beyond groomed!'" Everyone else: "Me too!" The Mutants would net them all as they were sniffing themselves. A sad embellished Overgardian end to the Thundercats.

Mandora takes Plutar back to the Sled-Cell. So that's what that thing is called. Lion-O and Snarf see the next offender: a robot on wheels getting ready to run over a deer on the plain below them. Lion-O figures out that he can do something about it by wedging a boulder that's very conveniently sitting on the edge, like it was placed there specifically to be moved. (Animators: that was way too obvious!) Robot is surprised and knocked over, and deer runs off.

Lion-O and Snarf climb down to face "Burnout." Now that's a weird name. Perhaps it applies more to the writer than the character? Anyway, Burnout tries to run them over, and Lion-O reveals that the Claw Shield can fire a line from the middle knuckle jewel and uses it to dodge the rampaging robot. Okay, I don't like Burnout. Maybe his crime is running over deer on purpose or something, but a robot on wheels doesn't impress me. Lion-O does an alley-oop of sorts with Mandora's boomerang and makes short work of him, and provides Mandora with another prisoner to escort back to the cell.

Next target: Quick Pick the master escape artist and thief. But first, Mandora gives Lion-O a "crash course" in driving her "Electrocharger." (I think "Flying Wave Runner" works better, heh heh.) Why Mandora would do that is beyond me, but it happens. I think it was an opportunity to create a little attempt at comic relief as Lion-O has a hard time driving, which is doublessly complicated by Snarf being on board. Let me say now: I think Snarf is dangerous to drive with. What if they do crash it? Mandora would be stranded like the Thundercats and Mutants, and we'd have to endure her voice on a daily basis. Yipe! Drive well, Lion-O.

Mandora tracks Quick Pick to a barren spot and ends up being captured by warthog people. She once again displays her larger-than-life-to-be-believed attitude towards the warthogs: "I'm warning you: it's a serious offense to interfere with a controller on duty." Please, they don't seem to speak at all, just grunt. The captive Mandora and Quick Pick are taken up stairs and tied down with their heads exposed to the surface through holes—just perfect pickings for a vulture circling aboveground. Heh heh.

Lion-O spots them, lands, and gets captured by the warthogs. Quick Pick is talked into escaping and getting the sword. He gets caught, but manages to throw the sword to Lion-O, who promptly uses it to call for help. The others waste some time by saying, "Tygra ready… Ho!" "Cheetara ready… Ho!" Aaaaah! This is torture! Anyway, they quickly defeat the warthogs by shining the tank's headlights on them.

In the end, Snarf's purse (actually a drawstring bag) is returned, and it seems to be way too big for Snarf to conceal it on his person. I think there was some moral or something being spouted with laughter at the end, but I was too distracted wondering about Snarf's "secret" purse. Okay, I've tortured myself with this episode long enough. William "soap is the universe's greatest secret" Overgard can wear an evil fan down!


The Ghost Warrior: 
(Written by Leonard Starr)

Hmm. Sheep People. There's a storm raging overhead, rain coming down, and two Sheep People looking for shelter. This seems biblical somehow.

Okay, these Sheep People aren't very bright: they take shelter under a large tree in the middle of a lightning storm. That's just begging for trouble, and they get it! Lightning splits the tree in half, and they're not electrocuted by some miracle.

Hmm, okay. These Sheep People are a race known as Balkans, and these guys are named Hoodik and Bundun. The destruction of that old tree reveals steps leading underground, and Hoodik says that it might be a tomb—one that hasn't been looted. Bundun says that Balkans have never been looters, and it's wrong. Oh, come on! Hey, it's "recycling" after all. Heh heh. Hoodik says, "These are hard times Bundun, and who's to know?" Yep, I smell the beginnings of a "moral speech" later on in the show.

The Balkans keep walking and find a door with a pentagram on it. Bundun says it's to ward off evil—proving that Leonard Starr knows his history. Anyway, rather than deprive us of our fun, the sheepy Balkans break through the door and shatter the pentagram in the process. At this point, I think the purpose of that pentagram was to trap something evil inside, rather than keep it from coming in.

They find a nearly empty room with blue torches that are still lit, so this can only mean that something's about to hit the fan. The Balkans shove a slab, hoping to find a treasure chamber, but instead free Grune the Destroyer—a badass sabertooth cat dude with only one sabertooth. The Balkans high-tail it out of there, and Grune breaks through the door. It seems he's a ghost (as the title of this episode would suggest) but he has quite an effect on the real world.

Hmm, Grune spots the Cat's Lair and knows what it is: he says it means thundrillium. This is getting interesting! It would seem we have an evil Thunderian on our hands here. He flies across the chasm that surrounds the front of the lair, and walks right through the front door as any good evil ghost would. I'm starting to enjoy this!

The Thundercats are in the control room, and Grune starts messing with them—poltergeist fashion. Heh heh. "There's a force in here, an alien force!" Grune starts throwing Panthro around and takes energy from the lair's thundrillium supply. He finally appears and says, "So, this is what's become of the Thundercats."

The cats are rather spooked by the fact that he knows what they are. He says, "…and led by a mere cub," and starts laughing. Whoooo hoooo! Grune easily humiliates them, and Lion-O asks who he is. Grune says he'll learn soon enough, grows to giant size, and says "You will see me again" before vanishing.

Mwahahahahahaaa! The next scene has Grune stomping on the Wollo village and flattening houses. This cat dude has quite the appetite for destruction, eh? He says he needs thundranium, or what the locals call "Fire Rocks."

The Wollos, Balkans, and Berbils gather in front of the Cat's Lair and beg Lion-O to protect them. They mention Fire Rocks and Hoodik says mining them has been forbidden for a hundred mega-years or more. Hmm, one-hundred-million years? I think the Balkan doesn't know his metric prefixes. Anyway, the idea is that their power is too difficult to control—too dangerous. Tygra says it sounds like thundranium. Gee!

Grune finds the thundranium pits and reaches in with his bare hands to scoop some out and forge it into a huge mace.

The Thundercats try to figure out who "Grune the Destroyer" is. Lion-O tries the sword, but it doesn't work. It seems the sword has no psychic powers according to Tygra.

Well, now. It seems Cheetata has a psychic gift, but she calls it a curse. She sometimes has to bring herself to the "brink of oblivion" to call a vision and it can take weeks or months for her to recover. This is getting more interesting all the time.

Cheety pulls a "Wonder Woman" and spins around. She stops and stares off in a trance. Cheetara sees that Grune and Jaga are both Thundercats, and are friends. Grune is overcome by a lust for power, and builds an army of marauders: destroying and looting. A classic tale of betrayal, no? Jaga eventually beats Grune and exiles him from Thundera in a crystal which apparently makes its way to Third Earth. What I don't get is the idea that Grune was pillaging on Third Earth "centuries ago" according to the Balkans. I guess Grune did a little backwards time travelling in his trip through space, eh? Anyway, Cheety collapses and is helped to a chair to rest.

Ah, just as the conversation was starting to wind up, Grune starts hammering on the Lair with his mace, forcing the cats outside. He's as tall as the lair here, and Lion-O tries to use the Eye of Thundera on him with no effect. Heh heh.

How do you fight a ghost? Lion-O figures "with another ghost." Oh boy, Jaga's going to get physical? Lion-O sends up the cat signal, which becomes the insignia on Jaga's outfit. It seems that everyone gets to see Jaga now, so maybe they'll stop saying that Lion-O's nuts behind his back. Heh heh heh.

Well, well, well. Grune was after Jaga all along, so they face off in astral form. Grune's new mace has a bad effect on Jaga: thundranium affects Thundercats like kryptonite affects Superman. Hmm, then why doesn't Grune get affected as well? I guess he learned a trick or two after he landed on Third Earth.

Grune beats Jaga, knocking his sword away. It should be over now, but Lion-O butts in and throws the Sword of Omens to him. The sword becomes huge—just the right size for a giant ghost, and the fight continues.

Grune wins round two, thanks to his thundranium mace. Lion-O butts in once again and offers his strength to Jaga. Jaga refuses, so Lion-O orders him to take it. Well, is this cheating or what? Jaga takes advantage of the situation and disarms Grune after a nice, long fight. Grune extends his hand in friendship, then takes the Sword of Omens from Jaga. Just as he's telling Jaga that he's foolish, Jaga's eyes glow and he makes the sword pull Grune higher into the sky and apparently destroys him. A sad ending to the coolest Thundercat of all time.

Jaga naturally returns Lion-O's sword and strength to him, and Lion-O says, "You knew Grune would go for the sword, didn't you? You let him take it!" Jaga says, "Better an honest enemy than a false friend, Lion-O. You must learn to tell which is which." I have to admit that's a good line.

The ending is a bit hokey, but expected. Bundun and Hoodik apologize to the Thundercats, and Lion-O says to Panthro, "Go easy on them. They tried to make it right by coming here and telling us." He says to the Balkans, "You made a mistake, but mistakes can be valuable if you learn from them." Tygra says, "That sounds like Jaga talking." Lion-O sees a ray of sunshine and says, "Maybe that's Jaga giving me permission to quote him." Oye! Despite that, this is a must-see episode.


The Doomgaze: 
(Written by Stephen Perry)

"Nemesis, Force of Darkness, come to the aid of Mumm-Ra. Give me the power to overcome the Thundercats and rule in darkness over the Third Earth." Thus begins this next episode of Mumm-Ra. Heh heh heh. Come on, you know he's the true star of this show.

This "Nemesis" speaks with the voice of Panthro, interestingly. It says to summon the princess Ta-She and free her from the Time Warp Prison, so Mumm-Ra starts communicating with her.

Ooooooh… I'm in love! Ta-She is quite stunning. The Time Warp Prison seems to be an endless sky, and she's on a large boat floating through it. Mumm-Ra wants the power of Doomgaze to control the Thundercats, and Ta-She reminds him that she's trapped and can't get out. "I, Mumm-Ra, everliving source of evil, can free you." Heh heh, I like that title.

Hmm, it seems that Mumm-Ra knows how to free her. He needs what sounds like a witches brew: A tuft of hair from a Cheetah, a Berbil's tear, a Unicorn's shoe, and what else? Oh yes, a hero to take her place in the prison. Anyone up for Lion-O being trapped on a slow boat to forever? Heh heh heh heh. It seems an evil scavenger hunt is about to begin!

Lion-O and Panthro are exercising outdoors, and Lion-O notices a black cloud moving in the opposite direction of the others. A glance through the sword reveals a giant airborne jellyfish. It attacks the Berbil village and abducts Rober-Belle, the "Smurfette" of the village. Cheetara chases after it, and gets caught in a trap that Slythe and Mutants set up for her.

Slythe grabs her by the hair, and instead of decapitating her, he whacks off some of her hair with his axe. Heh heh. Cheetara frees herself and starts to attack, but the jellyfish grabs Slythe and takes him away.

Jackalman snags a Unicorn and pries off its shoe. He runs away just as Lion-O spots him. Lion-O and the others talk about the weird jellyfish and the items the Mutants were collecting, and Lion-O comes to the conclusion that Mumm-Ra is behind it all. He sees them on top of a cool-looking mountain with a Stonehenge-like formation on the top. He sends Cheetara to run across the Phosphorus Desert while he and Snarf climb the mountain from the other side. Now, it would seem to me the Phosphorus Desert would be dangerous if Phosphorus was involved. We wouldn't want Cheety to get necrosis of the bones, would we? I certainly wouldn't. Lion-O should have gone instead. Heh heh. Never mind, because there are some choice Snarf abuse scenes on the way.

Snarf nearly falls off the ledge, only to be caught by Lion-O. The ledge has a long break, so Lion-O uses the sword to create a bridge of light. He sends Snarf across, and just as Snarf reaches the other side, it crumbles away, making Snarf fall. Heh heh heh. Lion-O rescues him by using a line from his claw shield and drags Snarf chin-first across the ground. Now, that's entertainment!

Back to the action: Lion-O and Snarf sneak up on Mumm-Ra and crew to see Ta-She's boat floating overhead. Mumm-Ra is doing more cool-sounding chanting. Ta-She descends, and Snarf asks who that is. Lion-O says, "I don't know, but she's so… beautiful." Snarf is worried now. Lion-O says, "In a kind of evil way, of course." Eyahahahahahahaaaa! Couldn't have said it better myself.

Mumm-Ra says, "Now… let the sorcery begin." Oh yes! Mumm-Ra transforms to full-size out in the open, instead of inside his pyramid for a change. He makes Cheety's tuft glow as well as the Unicorn shoe, then approaches BirBelle for a tear. She refuses to cry, but a light dose of red lightning fixes that. Heh heh heh. How you get a tear out of a robotic teddy bear is beyond me, but then again, robotic teddy bears raising fruit is another mystery too. Maybe they were built to be kitchen utensils, but I digress. Snarf tries to get Lion-O to do something, but his eyes are fixed on Ta-She.

Lion-O snaps out of it long enough to send up the signal, Cheetara ties Monkian up and goes after Slythe, and Ta-She activates her Doomgaze—making Lion-O stop dead in his tracks. The others in the ThunderTank see the signal go out and figure Lion-O's in real trouble, so they try to cross the "Field of Daggers." The rock-daggers spring up and eventually disable the tank… so much for that idea. Heh heh.

Lion-O and Snarf are about to be sent to the Time Warp Prison. Heh heh. Meanwhile, Cheetara gets busy with Jackalman. "Cat against Dog, a foregone conclusion, wouldn't you say?" Oh boy. Once again, she kicks him around and scares him off too easily. Oh well, she was armed and he wasn't. I'll give him that.

Ta-She tries her Doomgaze on Cheetara, but it doesn't work. Cheety says, "Your mystical powers have no effect on me. You may mesmerize men with your evil beauty, but I am a woman… you hold no mystery for me!" Insert your own joke here. Seriously though, you'd think that Ta-She would have figured out she has no effect on other women a long time ago. This is a plothole you can drive a ThunderTank through, and I don't buy it.

The other cats come to the rescue and Ta-She is forced back to her prison. Mumm-Ra says something very interesting: "I've wasted too much power. Only enough to transform." Does this mean he can't transform back to his lesser form if he's too weak? I'd say our hero came rather close to death this time around. He swears revenge and teleports away, and Ta-She's boat vanishes. A sad ending to a fine plot that almost worked.

Snarf is still stuck in the Doomgaze, and WilyKit frees him by dropping the Berbil's tear in his mouth. Yuck! That leads to a group-laugh ending, but what the heck, it wasn't a bad episode despite the huge female immunity plothole.


Lord of the Snows:
(Written by Bob Haney)

This one starts innocently enough: Snarf is chowing down on Candyfruit, and Cheetara takes it away from him. "Candyfruit's for Berbils, not greedy Snarfs." Hmm, I have yet to see how a Berbil eats.

The day suddenly goes from a clear sky to a dark and stormy one. Back at the lair, it turns out the reason is a meteor that's composed of pure thundrillium. How this would create a storm is beyond me. The lair is almost out of power, so Panthro can't bring the meteor in.

The meteor streaks across the sky, and we see a few familiar characters like the Warrior Babes, um, I meant "Warrior Maidens," and the Living Ooze. I see Mandora's soap gun didn't kill Oozy after all. That would have been a bad way to go: killed by soap. That's even worse than getting blown up by a water heater, but I digress.

Lion-O decides to go after the meteor alone, and he has to go into the area of the Snowmen of Hook Mountain. Cheetara gives Lion-O a cape to protect him from the cold. Um, that doesn't look protective at all to me. Hmm, Hook Mountain looks like a large wave that got frozen. As Lion-O is walking along, Jackalman spots him and retreats. I take it the Mutants will be involved soon.

Lion-O senses that something is following him, and it turns out to be Snarf. Snarf freaks out and wails, causing an avalanche. Lion-O says, "Snarf! You shouldn't have followed me. Now look what you've done!" Lion-O and Snarf get rolled up into a giant snowball in a scene that I'd expect to see in Scooby Doo. They survive of course, but that was a bit too silly for my tastes.

Back at Castle Plun-Darr, Jackalman gets attacked by an Octopus-like creature in the moat. Heh heh. "It's me, you fools. I live here!" Anyway, the Mutants decide to go after Lion-O. We see a new character: Vultureman. He has a flying machine and takes the Mutants to Hook Mountain.

Meanwhile, Lion-O and Snarf get caught up in some kind of icy tornado, and the lair completely runs out of power. Tygra says, "We're absolutely defenseless." Instead of waiting around for Lion-O's signal, Cheetara decides they should go after him now, because she has a bad feeling.

"What a ride, good thing I was there to help you, Lion-O." Help? I think Snarf is dangerous to travel with, personally. They scale Hook Mountain and reach the top to find the Castle of the Snowmen, and are met by a very large guy riding on a big white cat. Is it me, or are they ripping off He-Man and Battle Cat here? Anyway, Lion-O says he wants the meteor that landed on his mountain, so Snowman asks him what he would offer in trade for it. Hmm, catnip? A subscription to Playcat? Or how about Snarf? He's good for doing the dishes at least. Nope, Lion-O offers friendship, honor, and alliance with the Thundercats. Snowy says those things must be earned in deadly combat, puts his helmet on, and says, "Snowmeow, attack!" I like this guy, but "Snowmeow"? Surely the writer could have come up with a better name than that. Why, that's almost as lame as "Lion-O." Heh heh.

Snowman's got an interesting trick: he broke off a large icicle and instantly turned it into a club. He and Lion-O go at it, and Snowman clubs him a couple times. Snarf tells him to call the others, but Lion-O talks about honor and won't do it. Jaga appears and suggests that he overreached himself this time. Lion-O says, "I must earn this Snowman's friendship alone." Yeah, unlike the time when Lion-O kept butting in every time Grune was about to defeat Jaga, right?

Jaga gives Lion-O a hint: "Snowmeow." Lion-O gets it and introduces us to a new ability: kitty control. He commands Snowmeow to stop and turns him against his master. Snowmeow ends up running towards the bottomless chasm and dumps Snowman over the edge. Lion-O does the honorable thing again and goes to rescue the Snowman. Snarf doesn't like it—he'd rather let the Snowman die down there, apparently.

Lion-O plants the sword and descends on the line in his claw shield. Now the Mutants appear at the best possible time and start attacking Snarf and Snowmeow. Lion-O makes to back to the top with the Snowman over his back, just in time to see the flying machine bearing down on him. He sends up the cat signal, and by coincidence, the ThunderTank appears and drives the Mutants away.

Lion-O says, "How'd you get here so fast?" Panthro says, "Better ask Cheetara." She answers, "Woman's intuition."

Snowman is impressed by the Code of Thundera and so forth, so the cats get their meteor and Snowy's friendship. I wonder why we haven't seen any other Snowmen?


The Spaceship Beneath the Sands: 
(Written by Leonard Starr)

The Mutants are waiting to ambush a Tabbot, who is collecting rent from the Wollows and Balkans. I guess they don't really own their own villages or something. Hmm, the Tabbot is some kind of Spanish-looking pig guy with a single horn coming out of his forehead. The whole point of robbing him was to get a good cry for help to lure the Thundercats in. I think it's rather funny that Monkian's saying, "Louder! Louder!" Heh heh.

Tygra and Cheetara are caught in a sticky net. Slythe shows some insight here: "There is no need for them to yell, the Thundercats somehow know when others of them are in danger." Sure enough, the sword tells all, and it isn't long before Lion-O and Panthro are there to rescue them. Panthro warns Lion-O against going outside the tank to free the others because the Mutants would outnumber him, and instead uses the tank to pull the net off.

The Mutants attack, but the cats easily beat them. It's a clear case of spears and stones against lasers and machines. Lion-O says, "Why don't those Mutants give up? They can't win." Panthro says, "They sure keep trying." Well, you gotta admire that quality about them.

Back at Castle Plun-Darr, the Mutants are frustrated. They say their technology is just as advanced as the Thundercats', and that they were able to salvage stuff from their spaceship while the Mutants' ship is buried in the Desert of Sinking Sands. This naturally leads to… Mumm-Ra!

After some verbal wrangling with The Great Mummified One, Slythe convinces him to raise their ship so they can get their super-weapons. "But take care, Mutants. Remember that Mumm-Ra is your master." Heh heh. As they are waiting for their ship to come back up, Slythe notes that Mumm-Ra has to replenish his power. I guess his secret is out.

The ship is raised, and the Mutants find that their attack vehicles are in good working order. They now have two Skycutters and a Nosediver, and the equipment from their ship can be transferred to the castle. I wonder if Monkian remembers his earlier threat about calling in the other Mutant ships? The Mutants are flying away in their attack craft, and Slythe says, "Now finally, we Mutants will teach the Thundercats respect!" YES!

The cats are lounging around and making comments like, "if sticky gunk is the worst thing the Mutants can throw at us, I guess we'll survive." Now the Mutants start attacking the lair. Heh heh. Panthro tries to shoot them down with the lair's guns, but they're too maneuverable. He takes on the Nosediver with the ThunderTank, but it's also too fast to catch. Slythe takes his Nosediver over a cliff and the cats' tank goes over the edge as well. The Nosediver is amphibious, and so is the ThunderTank, but the tank lands upside-down and gets stuck. Lion-O and Panthro put on diving equipment and leave, but are promptly attacked by Slythe and his Nosediver.

Panthro and Lion-O try to use a cave for cover, but it's occupied by a giant Moray Eel. They try to use the eel against Slythe, but all they manage to do is surprise him. They manage to escape to the beach, only to be fired upon by Monkian and Jackalman on their Skycutters. Lion-O sends up the signal, and the others come to help. With a little luck, Tygra, Cheetara, and WilyKit manage to defeat the Skycutters.

Lion-O and Panthro are back underwater, and it turns out that a pair of giant seahorses (or "Sea-Quines") are upset because their baby is trapped in a cave that's blocked by the ThunderTank. Panthro eventually gets the parents to help pull the tank, but it doesn't quite work. Luckily enough, Slythe attacks again, and Lion-O manually fires a grappling hook from the tank. It nails the tail end of the Nosediver, so the tank ends up getting pulled to safety by the Nosediver right before the tail end gets ripped off.

The cats all meet on the beach and discuss the change in the situation. They figure Mumm-Ra must have raised their ship, but I don't see how they would have known anything about that. Tygra says, "Evil never sleeps." Snarf says, "Even worse, it doesn't give anyone else any rest either." Well, that is the point.

Instead of the usual giggle-laugh ending, the final part takes place in the Black Pyramid. Mumm-Ra demands that Slythe and the others return the equipment they took from the ship, and Slythe says they won't. "You defy me, Reptilian?" "Never, mighty one. We merely wish to be more useful to you, Mumm-Ra." "Do you? In that case, we shall see." Yeah, you can trust Slythe, right? Heh heh heh. This was a good episode, and we got to see the Mutants getting ahead a bit. It'll be nice to see what "more powerful" weapons they'll develop in the future.


The Time Capsule:
(Written by Peter Lawrence)

Uh oh, the kids have new toys: Panthro built them a pair of flying surfboards. Next thing you know, everyone from Berbils to Wollows are going to be complaining about getting "buzzed" by those pesky cats. It seems that WilyKit is the better "surfer" here, as WilyKat ends up hanging on for dear life. Heh heh.

Meanwhile, Panthro is showing Cheetara some modifications he made to her staff. She now has a communicator built into it, and it's voice activated so she doesn't have to hit any switches. I guess that means everyone can listen in on her at any given moment too. Heh heh.

I can see it now: "Panthro, I want this communicator to be silent if anyone calls me—in case I'm in hostile territory."

"Okay, but I don't see how…"

"Maybe it could use quiet vibrations so our enemies won't know I'm there?"

"Right, Cheetara, right."

Next scene: Lion-O is sitting around on a slab in the middle of the Stonehenge-like mountain where Mumm-Ra and Ta-She recently tried to exile him forever. Talk about a strange place to hang out. He's carving "Thundera" into the sand with the sword, and Jaga shows up to have a little conversation with him about being homesick. Jaga reveals that Lion-O was twelve years old when he left Thundera and was a man when he landed on Third Earth. "You missed a whole part of growing up." Not really, he's still twelve years old upstairs. Heh heh.

"What did I miss, Jaga?"

"Well, going to school, chasing girls around, the Thunder-prom, getting ripped on catnip behind the…"

"Chasing girls? That's… disgusting!"

"It would seem you have more growing up to do, Lion-O."

Jaga now reveals that the Thundercats packed a time capsule on their ship with the history of Thundera and so forth on a "Nuclear Opto-crystal." Hmm, that sounds like a fun toy. Did it record, like, everything?

Ooooooh… yah… NUDE CHEETY ALERT! (Yes, my evil female friends—there is plenty of Tygra and Panthro to go around too.) *ahem* Yes, that was a fine flashback scene. Excuse me while I back the tape up so I can pay attention to what Jaga was saying there.

Now Jaga tells Lion-O to look for the time capsule. Later on, Tygra says they thought the capsule was destroyed. They talk about searching for it, and the kids ask about using the "Spaceboards." Snarf tells them to stay behind, and they're too young. Hello? They can run around freely with the spaceboards wreaking havoc, but when it's to search for something, they're too young? Hmm. Perhaps Snarf is afraid they'll find out something about him if they find the capsule first? Just a random thought.

WilyKit talks WilyKat into leaving the lair anyway, so now we know they'll be involved in the delivery of a moral or two later on.

Lion-O and Snarf reach the River of Despair and try to cross it, only to find a strange cross between a crab and a shark is there to make life more interesting for them. The female Unicorn Keeper says it's the Black Widow Shark, and "she lies in wait for anyone who tries to cross the River of Despair." Okay, they still look like crab legs to me, but I guess they're supposed to be red spider legs growing from that shark. Whatever.

We see the Mole Men, and Tygra is once again underground with them. He asks them if they've seen "a time capsule," but they ignore him. Maybe Silky will help? Whoops, had a flashback there. Heh heh. We're introduced to a new character: Mole Master. Hmm, that sounds like a cosmetic device of some kind. Mole Master is a huge Mole Man with a mask and looks like he walked out of a medieval S&M supply catalog. Yes, he carries a whip, but he's about to take on the resident master of flaming whips. (Or is that "Flaming master of whips"?) Tygra whips Moley into submission without breaking a sweat and burns his whip for good measure. After making Mole Master run away like a girly-girl, Tygra still can't get any information out of the Mole Men. He says, "Never expect a favor for a favor." Tygra apparently doesn't grasp the concept of using his whip to get the Mole Men to talk. Oh well. He's supposed to be a "good guy" after all.

Lion-O and Snarf watch a Unicorn carrying a jewel in its mouth. It puts the jewel down on a spot at the river's edge where it forms a magical bridge of light. The bridge is sort of a rainbow-shaped tube that they can walk through. The Unicorn Keeper tells them to hurry because the power doesn't last for long, so what do they do? They run up to the bridge, pause for a moment, then stroll across it at a leisurely pace. I don't know about you, but I'd be hoofing at high speed all the way across.

Genius-boy and his furball see the shark below and stop moving. They stand there and wait for it to attack, then they start running. I would have been over and off that bridge already, folks. The shark jumps up and hits the bridge, but with no ill effects. Lion-O tells Snarf to run for it, and stands there over the shark again. He now shows his complete lack of intelligence by firing his sword at the shark, but there's one little problem: the bridge is in the way, and the sword does some serious damage to it. He continues to stand there while the bridge starts breaking up, then finally gets it in his head to start running like Snarf did long ago. Snarf shows his own great intellect by leaving the safety of the other side and running back up the bridge towards Lion-O. They manage to get to the other side of the bridge moments before it collapses for good, and Lion-O says he never wants to go through that again. Well, if he hadn't stopped moving and shattered the bridge with his sword, he would have been just fine. Snarf brings up the question about how they're going to get back. I'm glad at least that much thought was put into the situation.

Tygra is talking into his whip to Cheetara through her staff. Um, didn't that sound odd? Heh heh. Cheety is in a swamp and manages to attract a giant Chinese Dragon (or something that looks like a Chinese Dragon.) It attacks mercilessly and persistently, so Cheety puts on some speed (as well as demonstrating that a humanoid can be supported by two water-lilies) and tricks the dragon into biting itself.

Panthro gets crabs in the next scene. No, wait. He finds nothing but crabs. Yeah, that's right.

The kids try to fly across the River of Despair and promptly get attacked by the Black Widow Shark. WilyKit is the first to get scarfed up by the hybrid spider-fish, and we get to hear her last cry for help as she's gulped down like a kitty appetizer. WilyKat freaks out, loses his balance, and hits the water which churns a crimson shade just before he's bitten in half… no, wait a minute, I think I fell asleep there. Sorry folks, I was dreaming. WilyKit's spaceboard gets shattered by the shark's jaws, WilyKat manages to rescue WilyKit, and they both barely manage to escape. Hey, what did you expect?

Lion-O and Snarf are walking among some rocks, and Snarf says, "I don't understand why Jaga didn't tell you where the time capsule is. Would've have saved us alot of trouble." Lion-O answers with: "He has his reasons." Uh, yeah. Jaga's either sadistic or just plain doesn't know. I vote for the former there.

Snarf gets caught by a giant stone hand, and Lion-O starts getting attacked likewise. He uses the sword to no avail, then shouts, "Set him free!" The stone giant lets Snarf go, then it transforms to its normal nondescript rocky state. Was there a point to that? It felt like a time killer to make the episode fit neatly between the commercials.

Panthro is scratching a giant crab, no wait, he's fighting a giant crab-man. Crabby manages to chop half of Panthro's nunchakus in half, releasing crystals that turn into irritating vapor. Panthro uses the distraction to jump in the ThunderTank and mourns the loss of his stash. Crabby charges at the tank, and Panthro simply closes the top, making Crabby bounce off. Was that a necessary scene? For the cheap crab jokes, I say it was. Heh heh.

Finally, Lion-O and Snarf are standing at the top of a hill and see something reflecting from inside a cave. Lion-O then uses the sword's "Sight Beyond Sight®" to see inside. Pardon me for asking, but couldn't he have done that from the lair in the first place? Just wondering. After a quick call to the others using the cat signal (I guess Lion-O didn't get a communicator) he goes into the cave to find a big caveman guarding it.

Lion-O tells the caveman that he's going to take it because it's his or something like that, and the caveman challenges him to an arm-wrestling match for it. Like a fool, Lion-O puts the history of his planet on the line and accepts the challenge. The others arrive just in time for the fun, and Lion-O manages to win the contest. Was there a point to this? I don't know. I just wonder what would have happened if Lion-O had lost. Think about it.

The kids arrive at the scene, and are promptly chastised for leaving the lair when they weren't supposed to. They aren't good liars at all, but it's just as well. The adults would have noticed a missing spaceboard eventually. The kids get morals thrown at them, get grounded for a week, and Cheety rides the surviving board back to the lair.

As for the time capsule, we're not given a clue except that they'll look into it back at the lair, hopefully in a future episode. There should be lots of cat women recorded in there, yes? As for this episode, it dragged on a bit, but it was one that set up the background story a little more.


The Fireballs of Plun-Darr: 
(Written by William Overgard)

Before you brand me "insane" for combining the exclamation mark and Overgard warning icons, understand that this is the Mutants at their best, so enjoy it!

Great balls of fire! The Tree Top Kingdom is burning, and not even Smokey the Bear could have prevented it. Tygra runs into the forest and is mistakenly attacked by Willa—or was it a mistake? She's rather tired of her kingdom being caught in the middle of the battles between the Thundercats and Mutants. "Trees that have lived a million years destroyed in hours!" Hmm, I've heard of some species of trees like the Ginko that can reach thousands of years in age, but millions? I don't think so. Anyway, we all get the point.

Monkian shows up and shows off a nifty option that comes with the latest model of Mutant Skycutter: wingtip sawblades that can go through whole trees during flight. He says, "I'm going to mow you like a blade of grass!" That's the best thing I've heard him say so far. Heh heh. Naturally, it doesn't happen, but hey—it's the threat that counts. Tygra does a pretty cool maneuver by jumping over Monkian and removing him from his Skycutter all in one move. Monkian escapes and the Skycutter flies back under autopilot (or remote control.)

Tygra and Willa talk about what to do next: "Where do we look?" "Straight into the very soul of evil: Castle Plun-Darr." Umm, the soul of evil? No Tygra, that would be the Black Pyramid. Heh heh heh heh.

Back at the lair, Lion-O and Snarf are playing what might be Thunderian Checkers, and Snarf whines, "Not fair! Come on, Lion-O. The game's not over—I'm winning!"

"Sorry, I can't concentrate. Something's wrong—I sense it!"

"Rrreow! You always do this when I'm winning, Lion-O!"

"Where's Tygra?"

"Screw Tygra! You're going down, Lion-O, and not even Mumm-Ra will keep me from beating you now, so sit down, snarf snarf."

Okay, that isn't exactly what transpired. Heh heh. Game forgotten by all (except for Snarf: he's probably writing down the piece positions in case the lair gets attacked and the table's overturned, he'll rub it in Lion-O's face if it's the last thing he does.) The subject switches to the new war machines the Mutants have developed. Lion-O says, "We know they put together two vehicles from their wrecked ship. Are there more?" Uh, yeah. Lion-O seems to have forgotten the fact that they have three vehicles.

Panthro says, "We're not sure. If there are, it could very well upset the balance of power." Lion-O says, "He shouldn't have gone alone." Well Lion-O, maybe you shouldn't have been sitting around playing games with Snarf. Now not only will you be blamed for the forest burning down, but you'll also be humiliated by Snarf when it's all over.

Tygra and Willa are coming out of the woods and see the castle in the distance. The wings on the castle open up, and a fireball is launched into the water of the moat. Tygra decides to take the side route and, hold on. There seems to be another moat around the castle's main one. In one shot it looks like a solid surface, and in another, it's water. I'm not positive on this now. Anyway, Tygra and Willa cross the outer one by using his whip like a bridge. Tygra tells Willa to wait for him while he goes into the castle, in case he doesn't make it. I can see Willa saying, "Then why did you have me come out here to stand exposed on this wall? It's not like I can hide or anything."

Tygra wraps his whip around himself and becomes invisible. One must wonder if he abuses this power. Heh heh. Curiously, whoever wrote the closed captions for this show made a weird error. When the invisible Tygra speaks, they say "Lion-O:" Now that's what I call paying attention.

Tygra starts wading into the moat and says, "There must be an underwater intake pipe that leads into the castle." Well, I'm not too sure about that. I imagine there are sewer pipes coming out, but I'll bet Tygra wouldn't want to take that route. Heh heh. Monkian: "Look, Slythe! A Thundercat is coming up the sewer pipe!" Slythe: "Quick! Everyone to the bathrooms! That Thundercat will regret the fact we had expired deer meat and cabbage stew last evening, yessss?"

Anyway, after Tygra begins his quest for the sewer pipe, Slythe looks around from the castle's control room. "Did you see that? For just a second there was a blue flash."

Monkian says, "Maybe it was a spark from the last fireball?"

"No, it was down near the moat. The water in the moat is infused with 'Phosphor-R'; if something's in there, we'll know it."

"Hoo hoo, I see nothing but that Warrior Maiden standing on the outer wall."

"Oh, then it's nothing. I'm going back to bed."

Seriously though, Monkian and Slythe talk about how to deal with the Thundercat they just spotted in the moat. Slythe decides to chop him up with the Nosediver's "Roto-Grinder." You know, those Mutant machines come with some neat factory options. Personally, I would have gone with Monkian's suggestion of tossing in a depth charge.

Slythe attacks Tygra underwater, and has no trouble seeing him with all the Phosphor-R around. (Hmm, that sounds like something they use to manufacture their picture tubes in the control room, but that's the electronics side of me coming to the surface.) Anyway, Tygra gets lucky by tossing a large rock which clogs up the Roto-Grinder, and we hear a little Flintstone-like mumbled Mutant cursing.

Tygra finds the intake pipe, but he loses his whip and goes visible again. The Mutants are smart: they installed bars to keep big pesky things from going into the castle from below, and the also included another set of bars that drop from behind—trapping intruders. Tygra finds himself in a little section of pipe suspended by a crane inside the castle: much like a humane mousetrap. Heh heh.

Willa, our waiting Warrior Babe, finds Tygra's whip floating in the water and wonders if she should follow. Why not? After all, Lion-O's sword will alert the rest of them anyway. As it is, she ends up camping out on the wall and being generally useless at this point.

Slythe demonstrates a fun Mutant toy to get Tygra to sweat. Heh heh. It's called "The Four Winds," and it's an X-shaped device that you tie a Thundercat to. The fun part are the four spring-loaded catapults that meet in the center, and Slythe shows how it instantly shreds a human-shaped sandbag. Being the typical cartoon villain, Slythe puts a delay device on the Four Winds that's activated by the first rays of sunlight instead of doing something more fun like drunkenly dancing around the bound tiger with the other Mutants and cheering as they and the walls get painted with Tygra parts. Then we'd have some real fun as the other Thundercats throw out their rulebook and go for some serious revenge. Hey, I can dream, right? (And you know it would be cool. Panthro alone would be excellent fun on a revenge spree!)

Lion-O didn't sleep all night, and Snarf says, "Tygra's capable of taking care of himself, don't you think?" Lion-O proceeds to give Snarf a lesson about how friends should worry about the people they care about and so on. What's wrong with this picture? Wasn't Snarf always worrying about Lion-O? Maybe Snarf doesn't care about the others because they seem to ignore him, make him work, and take his candyfruit away? I know there's more to this "cute" furball than meets the eye.

Finally, the sword wakes up and removes all doubt. If Lion-O had looked into the sword earlier when he was pacing around and worrying, he would have seen what was going on. Anyway, he quickly rappels down the side of the Cat's Lair from the window using the Claw Shield, but here's the weird part: instead of using a "knuckle line" like normal, he fastens the shield to the windowsill and uses a chain that's coming out of the body of the shield. I don't understand this, but it seems to be a way to get him to leave the shield behind. What does Overgard have up his sleeve here?

We get a nice shot of Tygra staring out the window at the beginnings of sunrise. I see the point of having a time delay and leaving your enemy to die unattended: while it makes it more likely that they will escape (which always seems to happen) it gives them plenty to think about as they watch their time getting shorter and shorter, and they don't know the exact time the end will come either. Mental cruelty is so much fun. Heh heh.

Lion-O meets Willa by the castle moat, and Willa enlightens him a bit. They get to the base of the castle and Lion-O curses the fact that he left his claw shield back home, and we get a few choice frames of the dumbest expression I've ever seen on his face. Overgard, the plot device, please. Yes, with his keen sense of super-silliness, Overgard brings us his latest unholy creation: a Giant Treetop Spider named "Bushy" that Willa carries around with her. It looks more like a mammal than a spider, but then I guess eight black beady eyes and jaws wouldn't be kosher for a cartoon unless it was an evil spider. Heh heh. Then I'd like it. This "cute" spider also has six legs and antennae, so maybe it's more like an insect than an arachnid.

Bushy gets to the top and scares a Reptilian sentry that was sleeping on the job. Lion-O and Willa grab onto the two weblines it left behind, and lo and behold: the spider does all the work and starts pulling them up. A spider that can retract its line? (And with a rusty winch sound effect to boot!) I think Overgard doesn't know much about real spiders, or he used to write for Looney Tunes. Perhaps he's just simply "loony tunes." Leave it to Opie to come up with a cute furry spider with a mammalian face and a butt strong enough to pull two full-grown humanoids up the side of the Mutants' castle.

On the way to the top, Lion-O and Willa pause to hear Slythe and Monkian discussing their plans to bombard Cat's Lair in the morning, and get a little hint about Tygra's fate. Monkian spots them, so now it's a race to the top of the castle.

Closer, closer, closer comes the ray of sun that a cat would normally love to take a nap in. Tygra's sweating more and more! The sun finally hits the control knob (sort of a red jewel,) and we get a brief scene of what looks like Tygra's poofy pastel costume being shredded. Unfortunately, Overgard played a bad trick on us and what we saw was the pieces of the control knob flying up after being shattered by Lion-O's sword. Oh well, I did enjoy that for a moment there.

There's a little skirmish with some random Mutants, so it seems that there are more Jackalmen that survived too. Tygra leads Lion-O and Willa to the fireball launcher, and they see it was made from the propulsion unit of their spaceship. That's quite handy, eh?

Monkian and Slythe start melting the door down so they can get to the good guys inside. Lion-O sends up the signal to get the others to come, so we're treated to a round of, "Cheetara ready, Ho!" There's a joke there somewhere. Heh heh. They're sure beating this ho-thing into the ground here.

The ThunderTank makes it to the castle in record time, and Panthro fires a spear with a cable and three pulleys so the good guys can slide to freedom. Tygra asks Lion-O to go ahead, because this was his mission, and he no doubt has a score to settle with Slythe.

It turns out to be unnecessary, because Monkian ends up igniting the fuel in the room after he gets through the door. The cats stand at ground level and watch as the innards of the castle are blown up. Lion-O says, "Slythe said he would start a fire that would burn like a beacon… he got his wish." Oh, how smarmy can you get?

In the end, Panthro's curiosity about how they got up the castle walls without the claw shield is rewarded humorously by a face-to-face meeting with Bushy the Spider. Despite the presence of Bushy and William "spiders have winches in their butts" Overgard, this is one of the best episodes.


All that Glitters:  
(Written by Bob Haney)

"Stand by for thundrillium pour…" Panthro starts this episode off by showing his skill at metallurgy. He melted down the meteor that they got from Hook Mountain (in Lord of the Snows) and talks about how it amalgamated with some "strange Third Earth metal." The Berbils call it "gold."

Curiously, they didn't have gold on Thundera, but they had thundrillium, which is a heavier element than gold. That backs up my theory that thundrillium is a radioactive element far up the spectrum.

As far as Panthro is concerned, gold is "junk." It's too soft, so it's unuseable. If he had investigated further, he might have discovered that it's ductile enough to make wire much thinner than a cat's hair. He did notice that it doesn't react with other chemicals, but failed to see the value in that. Maybe chemistry is more in Tygra's department?

Anyway, Cheetara wanders in and points out the other value of gold: chicks dig it! Unfortunately, WilyKat wasn't around to hear that bit of news, so most of the gold ends up in the bottom of a chasm. The curious thing to me is that they didn't seem to notice the mounds of gold coins in Robber Baron Carnor's treasure room. Oh well, the Thundercats don't need to buy things anyway—they just need their non-renewable nuclear fuel. Heh heh.

Meanwhile, Lion-O and Snarf are out exploring. They come across a bunch of caves that house Trolls and Giants. Lion-O goes to get a closer look, and Snarf (in classic form) rests against a "rock." That rock turns out to be the boot of a giant, and we're almost treated to Snarf getting stepped on. In his panic, he falls down one of the giant's footprints. Heh heh.

Next up is a Troll riding on a grasshopper named: are you ready for this? "Hopper." Yes, you just can't beat that lovely Thundercats naming convention. The Troll lands and Snarf makes the following brilliant deduction: "He's short, that means a small cave. A Troll." Wow. Sherlock Holmes, eat your heart out! He introduces himself as "Gregory Gregian," a slightly senile Troll with white hair and a beard that doesn't seem to quite remember where he lives.

Gregory says he has to go through the "Midnight Woods where the Shadow Robber lives." He makes a rather pitiful speech about how he'll probably be robbed, and talks Lion-O and Snarf into escorting him through the forest.

Once in the forest, they're attacked—by Tygra! In the confusion, Lion-O draws his sword which is promptly broken when it hits Tygra's whip. Now this is interesting! It turns out that Gregory the Troll was actually Mumm-Ra in disguise, and he transforms and flies off while laughing. Tygra reveals that "Gregory" told him to wait in the forest and attack the two robbers that were following him. Heh heh. Methinks the mummy-dude is about to have himself a party in the pyramid!

Back at the pyramid, Slythe and Mumm-Ra talk about the sword, and the Curse of Balthaz. Hmm, I wonder who Balthaz is? The guy who made the sword or something? Lion-O tries to make the sword perform, and nothing happens. Jaga pops up and gives Lion-O the third degree. Heh heh. The sword's powers are "gone forever, because of you." "You have brought down the Curse of Balthaz by doing the one thing that robs the sacred blade of its powers: you used it to attack a fellow Thundercat."

Lion-O whines that he didn't know it was Tygra, and Mumm-Ra tricked them. Obi-Jaga-Wan isn't happy, and says, "You acted hastily and struck out of anger before you knew what you were striking at." Lion-O and Jaga discuss reforging the blade, but it can only be done in a nearby volcano where a dwarf star fell into it long ago. "Only in that terrible heat—only in star fire—can the sword be reforged. But no living being can withstand such heat, thus the sword's power is forever lost."

Lion-O freaks out and runs towards the volcano. Tygra tells him it's madness, and Lion-O says it's the only way. He says if he doesn't make it, Tygra will be the new Lord of the Thundercats. He says goodbye to Tygra and Snarf, then continues his climb. Tygra tries to follow, then decides to go back to the lair to get help.

Lion-O is inside the mountain and walks over a bridge with lava below. He's attacked by a couple of "Firebats." Hmm, nice creatures. He takes a chance and runs through a waterfall that's "scalding hot" and gets away.

In the tank, Tygra asks Panthro if he can make it go faster. "I'm givin' 'er all she's got, Captain! If I push 'er any harder, the power unit's gonna blow!" Okay, sue me for doing a Scotty impression—I'm not making any money writing this anyway. Heh heh.

Cheety says, "We must go faster! Lion-O is sacrificing himself to regain the sword's powers—for the sake of us all." Awwww… Hmm… she looks hot wearing that gold bar around her neck. Heh heh. Where was I? Oh yes. Cheety's concerned for Lion-O, and a Berbil that I assume is Rober-Bill (they all look alike, y'know) is saying that The Inflamor will help them. "He lives near the volcano and is the only one who can endure its terrible heat and reforge the sword."

Rober Bill (yep, it's him alright) calls out the Inflamor *snicker* with the following lines: "Let fire become white, let fire become star-bright, let The Inflamor come forth."

Well, no Inflamor to be seen. Inflamor. Hee hee hee! Sorry folks, but that name is just too much for me to endure with my mind in it's twisted form. Ha aha ah haa haa! *ahem* Okay, back to the story. They find him after walking further inside, and he was attacked by the Mutants. Well, leave it to Mumm-Ra to have a backup plan!

The *hee hee* Inflamor drove off the Mutants, but used up all his fire. Oddly, he looks a bit like Mumm-Ra. Well, maybe it's just the bandages. Rober-Bill says, "Without the Inflamor's power to help, the sword will never be reforged." Cheetara adds, "And Lion-O will perish inside this awful volcano." I must say, this show has quite a repetition problem. Do we really need the plot shoved into our faces more than three times? The writers must think we have an even shorter attention span than they do. (This is your brain writing on drugs—any questions?) Meanwhile, all the kids across the world groan in unison and wait for the story to continue.

The Inflamor points to Cheetara's necklace and Rober-Bill somehow knows that if he bathes in pure gold, his powers will be renewed. Then again, maybe he just wants some furry booty. "Well, if it will save Lion-O…" *ahem* Sorry, bad tangent. (The look on her face was too good to pass up!)

Panthro says "that worthless junk we dropped down the Bottomless Chasm?" Rober Bill follows up with, "Too bad. If we had enough gold, we could save Lion-O and the sword." Aaaagh! It's "Short Attention Span Theater" all over again!

Cheetara says there is enough gold: she saved some back at the lair. Two words: good girl! Panthro says, "Come on, Cheetara—it's ThunderTank time!" … Oh man, that's… Bwahahahahahaaaa! Oh my. That's one of the finest suggestive lines I've seen in this show since Jaga told Lion-O about the sword feeling natural in his hand. Hee hee hee hee!

I wonder if the Inflamor's upset at this point because Cheetara ran off without leaving him some gold…

…I also wonder why picking him up and dropping him into the lava wouldn't be an easier solution.

Oh well, no time to wonder. Lion-O's lowering himself towards the dwarf star and baking his brains out—more than they're usually baked, that is. Heh heh.

Snarf says they'll never get back in time, and he's going after Lion-O. Tygra says something interesting: "Not while you're within my reach, little Snarf." Heh heh. At least someone around here can put the hairball in his place. Panthro and Cheety arrive with the gold, dump it into a hole, and melt it with the tank's flamethrower. The Inflamor crawls in and disappears. Panthro figures he drowned.

Cheetara says they better find Lion-O, and Panthro says he gave the lion-guy a locator disc. Curiously, he says he's getting a blip on the scope, before it shows up. Bad animation timing, I guess. Lion-O's disc gets fried, and Panthro stays on course. They break through to the center of the volcano and catch him just as he starts to fall. Pretty convenient timing, no? Now that Lion-O has been rescued from his foolish stunt, everyone meets out by the "gold pool."

The Inflamor flies up from the gold, shouting, "Hot! Hot! It feels so good!" The Inflamor looks much better in his original form. He goes into the mountain, and the ThunderTank comes out a different way. Lion-O says he left the sword in the volcano and must go back to get it. This guy doesn't know when to quit, eh?

The Inflamor comes out the top of the volcano and says, "I have reforged your puny blade. Come and get it, ha ha ha ha ha!" Well now, it seems the hemhorroid-dude decided to become a pain in the backside! He's a mercenary? His powers are for hire? What, there's plenty of gold back in the pit. Maybe it's time for Cheety to pay up? Heh heh.

Lion-O naturally says it's his fault and starts running up the mountain. Bad news: The Inflamor's after Lion-O, and there's not a tube of Preparation-H in sight! After dodging a few fireballs, Lion-O calls the sword to him. Now, couldn't he have done that at the base? I guess he needed to show off his big Balthaz.

Now the Inflamor is inflamed, or something like that. He starts tearing the volcano apart. Lion-O counters with the cat signal (for no apparent reason other than to fire up the theme music) and creates a force-field with the blade to protect the tank (forgetting perhaps that Panthro has a nice sunroof that does the job quite well.) Anyway, the tank jumps a crevice that opens, and narrowly escapes the flow of lava. Everybody shouts, "Thundercats, Ho!" Well, gee.

Back at the lair, Panthro is manipulating ingots of pure thundrillium, and says they have enough to power the lair for years. Tygra says, "But it was that gold junk, Panthro, that saved Lion-O and the sword." Lion-O says it was Cheetara's gold-hoarding, and Cheetara says something about Lion-O being brave and so forth (never mind the fact he had no clue about how to reforge the blade if he could have reached the star.) Everyone ends up in a gag-fest, shouting "Hail Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats." Lion-O picks Cheetara up, and they shout, "Hail Cheetara, worth her weight in gold!" Hmm. I see that line working almost anywhere else, but here, it's like calling her so much "junk," yes? Silly, silly writers.

Curiously, the thundrillium ingots have a gold color…

I had some problems with this episode: a dwarf star inside a volcano? If I remember my astronomy, a dwarf star would be at least the size of Texas, and would have the gravitational field of a star—meaning the whole planet would have been "sucked in" and become part of the star. Dwarf star material in an amount the size they showed in this episode wouldn't have kept its mass because there's not enough of it to have that much gravity. Well, no sense busting an artery trying to work on the science end of things, so how about the more practical stuff?

What were Mumm-Ra and the Mutants doing the whole time the cats were figuring out how to put the sword back together? They missed a perfectly good opportunity to attack. Maybe they were collecting slaves from the Tree Top Kingdom or something? I guess we'll never know.

At least we found a good Thundercat weakness: simply project an illusion or something like that to fool Lion-O into attacking the others, and bingo! You have a broken sword, and the cool-looking but laughably-named fire-guy won't be so quick to put the blade back together next time.



Spitting Image: 
(Written by Howard Post)

This one starts out on an interesting note: Mumm-Ra summons a character called "Driller, Sand Devil of the Deep Earth." This guy looks like an android that has a huge drill instead of legs, and a small diamond bit protruding from the top of his head. Despite the fact that his colors match Tygra's wardrobe, I like him already. He and Mumm-Ra move to the treasure room to discuss business, and I see Mumm-Ra has a treasure that rivals Robber Baron Carnor's in size. Mumm-Ra offers half of the payment up front, but threatens to recover the half-payment if he fails and says his drillpoints will grow dull, and he'll be locked under the Earth forever. Talk about winning friends and influencing people. Heh heh. Driller shows his greedy side by asking for more diamonds when he learns his mission is to penetrate the Cat's Lair and kidnap Panthro, but Mumm-Ra knows better and refuses.

Driller is now coming up through the foundation of the Cat's Lair. He pauses and switches the drill on his head with a smaller bit for a silent approach. He comes up through Panthro's bedroom floor and pours something called "The Sands of Sleep" over panthro (which looks more like a gas than sand.) Panthro awakens and grabs Driller. He throws driller into the wall, but Driller just lands in the wall and throws the bottle against the other wall next to the startled and near-naked Panthro. (A side note: Panthro sleeps with his belt and boots on. How strange is that?) Anyway, Panthro finally succumbs to the Sands of Sleep and Driller drags him through the hole he made in the floor and somehow closes it behind him.

Curiously, Panthro is lying on a slab in Mumm-Ra's pyramid fully clothed. I guess Mumm-Ra sent Driller back for his armor or something. Anyway, Mumm-Ra compliments Driller (or "Dirtling" as he calls him) for a job well done, gives him the rest of his payment, and sends him on his way. See? Mumm-Ra is honest when it comes to contract work. Heh heh heh.

Now it's time for Mumm-Ra to get to work. He makes a mold of Panthro with a huge hydraulic press, floats Panthro off, and closes the mold again without him. An arm goes into a hole in the top of the mold, and some kind of gas is injected which eventually becomes a solid replica of Panthro.

Mumm-Ra does something interesting to bring the clone to life: he calls upon the ghost of Hammerhand, leader of the Berserkers to rise from his watery grave and animate it. Okay, so the Thundercats ended up killing the Berserkers (or at least Hammerhand) when they sunk them a few episodes ago. We have our evidence now.

Hammerhand's ghost goes into the clone of Panthro, and climbs out of the mold. "The creatures of this planet will blame the Thundercats for your evil work." Mumm-Ra transports the clone away to start his fun, and then transforms himself to have his own fun: dumping Panthro in the Bottomless Chasm.

Back at the lair, the others are wondering what happened to Panthro. It seems Driller not only retrieved Panthro's clothes, but repaired the huge hole he made in the wall. Naturally, the sword comes to life and shows Mumm-Ra carrying Panthro by his straps, but then the sword's vision goes dead—something is blocking it. We get to see Mumm-Ra drop the struggling Panthro into the chasm, spelling the end of the bluish one.

Back at the pyramid, Mumm-Ra watches the fun through his cauldron. The Panthro clone is smashing fishing boats (like a proper Berserker would,) setting fields on fire, and terrorizing a Warrior Babe. Heh heh.

Well, well, well. It seems Panthro survived that long fall somehow and is on a ledge in the chasm. Looking at the view just before seeing Panthro, the ledge above has a giant Centipede critter on it that didn't make the final cut apparently. Anyway, there are radiation bursts regularly coming up from the depths of the chasm and Panthro says they're cosmic rays. I'm sorry, but those can't be generated by anything smaller than a star. Well, you can't expect cartoon writers to be up on astronomy.

Panthro shows us a nifty trick: the spikes on his outfit have lines in them, and he can use them to climb. After timing the radiation blasts at thirty seconds, he starts his ascent. Yep, the giant centipede is gone now. Panthro makes it to the top, and Lion-O finds him by coincidence.

Now the cats check out a burned-up Wollo village, and they're scared of Panthro. Sure, this is an old plot idea, but it's entertaining. The cats have no idea what's going on here. Lion-O says, "You told me that Driller drugged you. Maybe you weren't in control?" Well, we've seen it happen with Tygra, right? Heh heh. I wonder how Panthro knew Driller's name. Hmm. Well, Mumm-Ra is rather talkative.

"I'm sorry, Lion-O. None of us will ever trust you again." Heh heh heh. Mumm-Ra notices that the Wollo's homes aren't completely destroyed, so Mumm-Ra sends him back to finish the job. Now Lion-O encounters the clone and calls for help, so they can subdue him without harming him.

Now we have a good fight scene between Lion-O and the clone, and Panthro arrives shortly to make things more complicated. We have the classic doppleganger fight with Lion-O in the role of the guy trying to figure out who to shoot. Snarf says, "Use the sword!" Lion-O says he can't use it against another Thundercat, and Snarf says the sword won't harm the real Panthro. Are you sure, Snarf? I guess we'll find out. Lion-O calls on Jaga to guide his hand, and he shoots.

The clone is driven away, and the view shifts back to Mumm-Ra making a new clone. The old clone (now sporting a somewhat fried look) tells Mumm-Ra that he deceived him. He promised destruction and devastation but didn't give him the power to overcome the Thundercats. Well, now. I don't remember Mumm-Ra promising anything like that. Anyway, the clone (or rather, "Hammerhand") gets upset and trashes the mold, then trashes the clone body and becomes his normal self before vanishing. I guess Mumm-Ra will have to start from scratch now. Maybe he can have Driller abduct Cheetara and make a colony of Cheetah slaves? It would be a nice addition to the treasure room.

Now we see the cats helping to rebuild the Wollo Village. Lion-O says, "I guess I should have realized that clone could never have been the real Panthro. No true Thundercat would have done all that."

Cheetara says, "Imagine what would happen if one of us really did turn bad." Well, there was Grune, and he turned out to be pretty cool. Heh heh. Lion-O says he's glad that Panthro is one of the good guys. I guess they have nothing to worry about, at least until WilyKat grows up, lets his hair get long, and starts wearing a bandana and skulls on his shoulders. Mwahahahahahaaaa!


Mongor: 
(Written by Peter Lawrence)

We see a couple of burning houses, a mysterious figure inside waving a scythe around, and… holy satanic references, Batman! Oh yeah, our mystery villain is a Satyr named Mongor, or rather, "Mah-ah-ah-ah-ahnnngor." Okay, I liked him until they added the goat-stutter to his speech. Oh well, who's to say that Satyrs don't really talk like that? "No creature, no structure, no Third Earthling will escape the wrath of Mongor!" You gotta love the Turner Entertainment Group for their closed captioning: they just said, "No furred Earthling." *shakes head*

Mumm-Ra is watching in his cauldron and enjoying the show. He says that Mongor grows stronger and more powerful wherever he finds fear. That shouldn't be any problem—between the Balkans, Wollos, and Snarf, there's plenty of fear to be harvested. Heh heh heh heh.

Something's blocking the cats' scanners and causing little earthquakes everywhere. The twin brats turn out to be the cause of all the trouble—they were exploring a ruined temple and found a hexagonal cover with Mongor's likeness and some other pictures carved into it. Much like Hoodik and Bundun (you know, the Balkans that freed Grune,) they start to slide the coverstone off. Mongor, sensing his coming freedom, calls out to Mumm-Ra. Everyone's favorite mummy-dude is surprised to hear from his old servant that he's been trying to find for three centuries. It looks like the secret of his location is out now. Mongor pops up like a hooved genie, scares the kids, and grows a little larger thanks to their fear. Okay, I like him again, goat-stutter and all.

Back at the lair, the adults start getting upset at the kids now that they take them seriously. Cheetara tells WilyKit, "You just have to learn not to mess with things you don't understand." Yeah, like the rest of them wouldn't have done it, right? Anyway, the adults start getting on their case more and more until Snarf raises his voice and tells them, "They're only kids! How'd you expect them to learn if you act all angry like this? They'll just be to frightened to come to you when they need help." I find this interesting: a moral aimed at the parents watching the show. Anyway, while the moral was being delivered, the twin terrors take off, and now the adults have to find them. Nice going!

Now Mumm-Ra tells Mongor through his cauldron that they've split up, so it's time to go Thundercat hunting. First victim: Tygra! He senses something following him, so he makes himself invisible. Mongor generates lots of black smoke, then blasts a hand-held radio out of his hand before he can call for help. Curious, his communicator was built into his whip, so what's the deal with the walkie-talkie? Before anyone says "different writer," this is the same guy that wrote The Time Capsule. Oh well, it's only a minor irrtation—Peter Lawrence is one of the best writers on the show. Anyway, we have a nice duel scene of sorts that ends up with Mongor turning Tygra's whip against him. First, it flies out of control and somehow crisscrosses the trees. Tygra starts climbing, and then we see Mongor growing more from his fear. Heh heh. Mongor makes his whip tie him up so there's nothing he can do. Consider Tygra done.

Kit and Kat are flying back to the temple to study the carvings on the coverstone, to find clues about how to defeat the wicked Satyr.

Second victim: Cheety! But first, she catches crabs. Um, I mean she encounters the crab-guy that irritated Panthro a few episodes back. Curiously, this is another tie with Peter's previous episode about the time capsule, so I guess it's safe to say that Crabby is his invention. Cheetara wastes no time and pulls a Superman (or Flash for those who know their comics) and runs around him at high speed to disorient him. That little problem solved, it's time for some fun! Mongor makes her run around by shooting a blue flame from his finger (you know, to build the fear up.) He then generates a fishing net that looks like spider web from his hand and catches her easily. Cheetara is out of the picture.

The brats are back at the temple and try to decipher the carvings. One clue is that the people who defeated Mongor three hundred years ago had their backs turned to him and reflected his power back at him.

Third victim: Panthro! Mongor opens up a chasm, tries to pull the ThunderTank in, and nearly succeeds. Mongor comes up to face Panthro, and Panthro tries to shoot him with a laser cannon that's under the hood of the tank but it has no effect. Mongor gets bored and reflects it back with his scythe. Mongor grows more (he's around the thrity-foot mark now) from feeding off Panthro's fear. He fires beams from his eyes that pick up the tank, turns it upside-down, and lets it fall a good fifty feet or so. Panthro gets out and faces Mongor with his nunchakus, and fires something that looks like it could be sleep gas or teargas. What does Mongor do? He snorts it! Now, why does this remind me of Chevy Chase in Modern Problems? (I… like it!!!) Mongor then blows at Panthro in Superman fashion and Panthro fires all of his spikes (with lines) into the ground to anchor him. Mongor finishes him by making his lines tie him up and anchor him to the ground. Panthro's had it, and Mumm-Ra's enjoying the show (as am I at this point.)

Time to Mongor to go after Lion-O. After a nice, long introduction, Lion-O sends up the signal and calls for help—only there's no help to be had from Cheety, Panthro, and Tygra. Lion-O's pretty much on his own, and a good sword to scythe fight starts to happen. Mongor finally disarms Lion-O and tries to go after his sword, but WilyKat appears, lassoes it, and gives it back to Lion-O. WilyKit tells him not to look at Mongor to fight him, but then how can you properly defend yourself?

WilyKit gets blown off her spaceboard, and Lion-O rescues her with a claw line before Mongor can get her. She ends up riding with Kat on his board, and they both blow soap bubbles towards the giant Satyr. No, wait, it must be something else—soap is a secret formula after all. Heh heh. Oh, heck with it. This story isn't in Overgard's universe. Anyway, the bubbles distract the goat-dude too easily, Lion-O uses the claw shield to aim at Mongor, and nails him with a sword-blast. The other cats' "prisons" are falling apart as Mongor loses power.

WilyKat says, "Don't look at him, Lion-O!" Lion-O says, "No WilyKat, I no longer fear his power, and without fear, he is nothing. Go back to your ruined temple and leave the Third Earth to live without fear." Geez, what a smarmy speech. Just makes you want to hit him, yes?

"The power of the Thundercats is greater than I thought—greater than anything I have overcome before. But I will never give up; and one day, my evil will overcome their strength." Well, it has been said that old age and treachery win out over youth and strength. It's only a matter of time. Heh heh heh. Mongor might not be good for taking on the Thundercats directly again, but surely Mumm-Ra can use him in the future now that he knows where Mongor's prison is.

Panthro welds the coverstone shut and the adults talk about the kids. Lion-O says, "Coming back here must have been the bravest thing you've done." WilyKit says, "Oh, not really Lion-O, it's just…" WilyKat finshes her sentence (isn't that annoying?) "That we were even more scared of your anger than we were of Mongor." Well, I certainly hope everyone learned something from this episode—I learned that Cheety has less trouble with crabs than Panthro. Heh heh.


Return to Thundera: 
(Written by Bob Haney)

This one begins with Monkian shouting (to no one in particular,) "Make way for Lord Slythe and his high-evilness, Mumm-Ra!" Mumm-Ra isn't too happy about being in Castle Plun-Darr. "This had better be important, Slythe. To summon me here in the dead of night." Yes, disturbing the eternal rest of Mumm-Ra is not a good idea. Heh heh.

The whole purpose of this excursion is to show Mumm-Ra the "Warbot": the greatest achievement of Plun-Darrian science (next to the Inflatable Mutant Companion.) Jackalman says, "There was no time to build it back on Plun-Darr, but here on Third Earth, it stands complete—ready to destroy those accursed Thundercats in their very lair."

Mumm-Ra wonders what it can do that his powers cannot, and Slythe gives a little demonstration by freezing their pet "Frogdog" (according to Mumm-Ra.) The mummy isn't too impressed yet, but he watches as Slythe orders it to go to Cat's Lair.

Meanwhile, at the aforementioned lair, Lion-O is pondering the time capsule they got some time ago. Tygra and Panthro activate it, and they see a projection of their home planet. There's not much to see, but Tygra's happy with it. Later, Lion-O is alone with the hologram projector, and that can only mean trouble, right?

One of the lair's monitors shows the outline of the approaching Warbot, and Lion-O says one of those lines that only spells further trouble. "I fought that cave-man for this capsule, don't see why I can't try it out." Well, it seems it's not a good idea to stand in front of a hologram projector: Lion-O gets sucked in!

Lion-O ends up in a desert outside of the city they were looking at earlier, and Jaga pops up to offer some advice. Yes, Lion-O has actually travelled through space and time, and Jaga's spirit form is always near him. Hmm, that's gonna suck on his wedding night. Heh heh. Anyway, Jaga warns him that Thundera might not be all it's cracked up to be.

As if on cue, a giant Scorpion with two stingers attacks. Lion-O fights it with the sword, and it falls into a crevice that opens up. Lion-O asks what's happening to Thundera, and Jaga reveals that this is the day before the planet blew up. Great news, huh? I guess he better find a way out of there! I suppose this means we're not going to get some nice scenes with nude Thunderian women lounging around the beach, huh? Hey, I can dream.

Back in the present, Panthro's "cat sense" woke him up, and he's walking around the lair. He sees the approaching Warbot and wakes the others. WilyKat notices the robot looks like a nightmare version of Slythe. Hmm, I don't see the resemblance, but it's all Panthro needs to fire the lasers. The robot reflects their power, making the eyes of the lair blow out. Panthro then activates the Ballista—sort of a stylized catapult. It shrugs off fire, ice, missile, and chain attacks. Chain? Yeah. Don't ask.

There's an interesting exchange between Lion-O and a couple of lion-looking guards at an entrance to the unnamed city. The guards are wearing Thundercat insignias, and they don't believe Lion-O is who he says he is. Claudus is Lord of Thundera, and his son is but a boy. Ah, such is the trouble with time travel. They try to take him, and he threatens to use his sword. "A sword against ray pistols? This Plun-Darrian is mad!" Hee hee hee! Calling Lion-O a Plun-Darrian? That's good.

One of the guards fires, and Lion-O deflects the shot. They recognize the sword as the one Jaga carries with him, so that's interesting. Claudus is his father—Lord of Thundera, and Jaga has the sword. So, his title is "Lord of the Thundercats" I take it? This is confusing me. Anyway, they let him pass, and warn that he probably won't live. They have orders to leave at the next tremor. So, Lion-O enters the city. Another thing that I find curious: the guard recognized the sword, yet all the nobles didn't know it existed—they thought the eye was a myth. Hmm…

Lion-O continues, and is shadowed by a large blue saber-toothed cat that attacks him. Well, it turns out to be his old pet "Kano." Kano leads him to a hut where Claudus is being confronted by Slythe and Vultureman, and they're demanding plans from him. He says he has no plans, and they get violent. He says, "I lost my sight fighting your evil empire. Do you think I fear two such as you?" Lion-O and Kano attack just as they're suggesting torture.

After driving off the Mutants, Lion-O introduces himself, and Claudus can't believe he's his son. He trusts him, though. He gives him the plans for the Warbot that one of his spies had copied, and says maybe they'll be useful in another world, another time. Now, how's that for a convenient plot contrivance?

Claudus also outlines his plan to stay and help guide Jaga's ship because the gyro-stabilizer is faulty, and escape in a "gravity capsule" if he can. Maybe this means Claudus is still alive somewhere?

Claudus bids Lion-O farewell with a "May my son Lion-O grow up to be as brave and noble as you, and carry on the sacred code of Thundera." They clasp arms and recite "Justice truth honor loyalty" in unison. See? Smarm is a genetic thing.

Back in the present, Snarf whines about the Warbot getting closer. Now, how did he suddenly know it's called a "Warbot?" I'll blame the writers for that one. The 'bot fires a few sawblades into the lair, nearly hitting Cheetara. Tygra disappears with his whip-trick, so what's left to hit? Why Snarf, of course! Those sawblades can change their trajectory and are "cat seeking." Heh heh. We're left with the fun image of Snarf screaming and being chased by a flying sawblade that's going slower for our entertainment. Heh heh heh.

Ahhh… recycled footage of the cats in a glass elevator going into Jaga's ship. Yes, nude Cheety alert time! It's the same footage from The Time Capsule, but I'm not complaining. Curious, though. The guards had laser pistols, and there was that giant scorpion-thing. The Thundercats never needed protective clothing or special weaponry? I guess they leaded sheltered lives in the old country, yah! Anyway, Lion-O is at ground-level watching the ship take off, and the city is breaking apart around him.

The Warbot fires several chains with magnets that can hang onto stone (or "Magnetos" as Panthro calls them.) He tries to pry one loose, and gets electrocuted for his trouble. Showing great intelligence, Tygra and Cheetara follow suit, and also get zapped.

The Warbot pulls the head off the lair, then jumps up and attacks what's left of it. Panthro says, "Never thought I'd live to say this, but Thundercats: stand by to abandon Cat's Lair!" Before they can run, the 'bot rips out a good portion of wall and freezes the three of them, and Snarf too.

Well, now. Lion-O is suddenly ejected from the projector, and he sees what's going on. He sends up the signal, and that unfreezes everyone. Why, oh why is this so easy? Must be because there's not much time left before the next commercial insert. I'm just a bit upset that the tour of Thundera only involved Claudus and a couple of guards. I wanted furry women, dammit! Oh well, I guess that's what the Internet is for.

He fires the sword at the 'bot, but he's warned that it feeds on energy and sends it back. Lion-O says, "Not this time!" He commands the sword to give him "power beyond power." That seems too easy a way out, huh? Well, it drives the Warbot back, so what does our hero do? What any intelligent hero would do! He gets inside the catapult. Yeah, he really does.

Lion-O manages to survive the trip, and stands in front of the 'bot. It tries to step on him, and he hits it on what seems to be a vulnerable point on the bottom of the foot. The Warbot explodes, and Slythe is quite upset. Mumm-Ra says, "Only I, Mumm-Ra, Ever-Living source of evil, will defeat the Thundercats, because only I have real power. Magical, Mystical power! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

Back at the lair, Lion-O talks about the plans he got from Claudus. There was an "absorber disc" under one foot, that received the cosmic rays that Slythe was energizing it with. I don't think that was a good place to put it, eh? their focus shifts to rebuilding the lair, and building better defenses.

Lion-O stays behind and looks through the hole in the ceiling. "Claudus, my father, wherever you are, my thoughts and love go to you. May we meet again, somewhere in time." Man, the smarm that would happen if those two got together again!

To end on a couple notes of curiosity, this is the first time we see Snarf's eyes glow in response to the cat signal like the others. Also, where were the kids all this time? It was after their bedtime, so maybe Snarf drugged them up or something? You gotta wonder…


Snarf Takes up the Challenge: 
(Written by Peter Lawrence)

Ahem… sober isn't the way to review this episode. Excuse me for a moment.

Okay folks, I'm back. Let's rip this puppy (kitten?) up!

Coke or Pepsi? Berbil Beer or Wollo Whiskey? Snarf takes up the challenge! Yes, that's the first thing that went through my big evil mind when I heard this episode's title. Whatever it is, this is clearly a Snarf-oriented episode, so I have the snarf-rags at the ready.

» *snarf!* « The sound I make when I have a bad head-cold.

Am I being rough on Snarf? After being treated to an extended "rear floor-camera view" of Snarf walking along the darkened lair, I think not.

Snarf can't find anyone in the lair and is starting to panic. He goes into the control room and finds one of those hideous robotic teddy-bears. Yup, Rober-Bill is strangely alone in the control room. You never know, Snarf: that might be Mummsies (to quote the great Demonprist) in disguise. It could also be any number of new Third Earth goodies that make life interesting, no? I wonder if the Berbils are susceptible to viruses…

The lair's alarm starts sounding, then Snarf and Billy-Bob bounce off each other. Snarf goes to the control panel and says, "How do you turn these darn things off?" Rober says, "I've watched Panthro," disturbingly hinting that Berbils might be descendants of Furbies. (They're watching you. Heh heh.)

Anyway, there's no reason for alarm: it's only the female Unicorn Keeper. Hopefully Rober-Bill wasn't watching Panthro when he was firing the lair's guns at some Mutants or practicing on the local wildlife. "Snarf, we're having real meat tonight." "Oh boy! I'll drag out the old barbecue, snarf snarf. ~No Meat Fruit for dinner!~" "Good thing Jaga only cursed the sword. Damn thing's useless for hunting. ~Time to stock the freezer~" *goes back to the control panel and tracks a herd of Elk*

The Unicorn Keeper reports that all of the Thundercats were captured, and starts us on a retrospective styled episode. Hmm, so she is the wife of the Unicorn Keeper. I was wondering about that for a while. She starts telling her story.

The Mutants have been naughty again. They herded the unicorns into the Forest of Silence where sound seems to stop dead—much like when Monkian tells jokes.

The Unicorn Keeper begs the Thundercats for help, which is exactly what the Mutants wanted. The Thundercats split up, which doesn't seem quite wise to me. When facing a known band of Mutants, numbers matter. Heh heh. Oh well, they needed to start a one-on-one capture situation. The Keeper's Wife says, "All I can tell you is what we learned from the creatures of the forest. They saw everything."

First victim: "A Feathered Lizard told me they took Lord Lion-O first." YAY! The Mutants got it right. Take out the leader first. What better way to take out Lion-O than to exploit his curiosity: they left the Nosediver in a clearing, and Lion-O tries to steal it. Since this is the Forest of Silence, Lion-O can't hear the sword growling on his leg. (Hmm, that sounded awfully odd.) I guess the Sword doesn't come equipped with "vibrator mode" like the funkier cell phones. Too bad: now Lion-O won't get the message that he's either in danger, or won't hear the lecture from Jaga about stealing before the sword zaps him for being a bad kitty.

Anyway, our red-headed hero gets cuffed by his wrists and ankles and flown off by the Nosediver. Mutants are very good at programming their vehicles, eh? It would be nice to have something similar in my car. Heh heh. Lion-O ends up getting his joyride, but firmly frozen in place. "Say goodbye to your Nosediver, Slythe" indeed.

Second victim: Tygra! He emerges from the forest in a different area (close to the Living Ooze if anyone was curious) and finds a "maze of light." It looks like a maze of mirrors to me. Anyway, this maze is decorated with "Tygra heads," and Tygra's curiosity is used against him. (Cats seem to be predictable that way.)

He walks through the maze (accompanied with psychedelic mood-music) and we see the owl that reports this in startling detail to the Keeper's Wife. Tygra ends up sealed in a cell that repairs itself when hit by his whip.

Third victim: Panthro! He finds what looks like a huge black crystal with a soccer ball-cut and a door on the front. There's a Thundercat logo (that he calls the Eye of Thundera interestingly) on the door and he touches it only to have the doors swing open. The inside is dark, and there's a floating pair of nunchakus in a beam of light. I'm actually a little surprised that Panthro would fall for that, but who can resist a new pair of nunchakus? Panthro naturally gets locked in, humane mousetrap-style.

Fourth and Fifth victims: yep, the kids. Their capture is easy enough: Vultureman is in the control room of Castle Plun-Darr. Apparently, Vultureman is a Mutant after all (or maybe he just moved into the castle?) The Mutants' castle seems to have been cleaned up and fortified with lots of technology. They're putting their ship-parts to good use. (Hmm, they seem to have forgotten their ship's radio—they could call in their fleets whenever they want.)

Vultureman fires a colorful tractor beam which goes straight up, then curves back towards the ground. Thanks to this lovely design, he gingerly catches the kittens, makes their spaceboards go dead, and hauls them upward so it's too far to jump off.

We're not given the details about what forest creature saw Panthro and the kids getting captured, but do we really care? All I care about right now is seeing how Cheetara gets captured. Saving the best for last, eh? Aaaah! Another closeup of Snarf's backside. Sorry folks, but that ain't a pretty sight.

Ah, Cheety. Just in time. Ahhhhh… *ahem* the spotted one is in the control room of the lair and sees the cat signal. She runs after it, and gets caught in a net trap for the third time, I believe. Let's see, this is the twenty-first episode, so her average seems to be exactly one net trap per seven episodes. At least Cheety is nowhere near Daphne from Scooby-Doo for sheer net-trap instance average.

It turns out that the signal she was following was fake: Jackalman holds up a modified camping lantern with a recorded "Thundercats roar" playing. Heh heh. I guess she didn't notice the lack of the crack-like rush that comes with the authentic cat signal that makes her eyes glow. Slythe says, "A full house, yes?"

Back in the present, Snarf asks the Keeper's Wife (I wish she had a name) where the Thundercats are, and she says, "I have told you everything that the creatures of the forest reported to me. But where they are now, I do not know."

Next shot: Mumm-Ra's pyramid with electricity dancing between the apex and the four obelisks at the corners. YES!

Oh yes! It was Mumm-Ra's plan all along. The cats are wrapped up like mummies—frozen with their eyes glowing. "Tailor-made traps, a case of curiosity and the cats." Eyahahahahahahahaaa! After all, if Ancient Egyptian-types know anything, it's cats. "Now Third Earth is truly mine once more, and you are prisoners for all eternity." Oh, happy day! "As for your useless Sword of Omens, it makes a nice ornament for the wall!"

I sure like Mumm-Ra's cauldron: Not only is it an excellent spying tool, it can also produce huge columns of flame when it's party-time! Heh heh heh.

Back at the lair, Snarf is talking with Rober-Bill. "What can I do? snarf snarf." "You're a Thundercat, you must save them!" Snarf, a Thundercat? I guess I can buy that.

"I don't have the cunning of WilyKit and WilyKat, the intelligence and strange powers of Tygra, the speed and the courage of Cheetara, or the technology or the skills of Panthro, the strength and youth of Lion-O. How can I save them? I'm just… Snarf." We see some recycled footage from the opening credits and previous episodes while he's talking about the others.

"You must use what talents you have."

"Like what?"

"I don't know—you must have some. They say you can communicate with the creatures of Third Earth."

I guess if that fails, he can resort to shattering stuff with his voice, eh? We next see the member of the household most tripped on outside the lair whistling in semi-morse-code to a bat. Snarf has a saddle that happens to fit it perfectly, so that gives us a little more insight into his off-camera activities. He flies to Castle Plun-Darr and spies on the Mutants having a regular party.

Slythe says, "We'll bully the Berbils." Monkian says, "We'll terrorize the Tabbots! Whip the Wollos!" Vultureman says, "Smash the Snowmen!" Yeah, you know Vultureman has a score to settle there. Heh heh. Jackalman hears Snarf thump something outside the window and goes to take a look. Snarf winds up hanging upside-down from the windowsill by his tail. He overhears Jackalman saying, "What about the Snarf? We never captured him." Vultureman says, "Snarf—that useless Thundercat nursemaid? He is powerless!"

Snarf takes that as a challenge. Slythe finally says, "We have nothing to fear, now that the Thundercats are incarcerated in Mumm-Ra's pyramid!" Snarf is so shocked by that news that he falls from the ledge. Before he hits ground level, the bat catches him.

Next, he's outside the pyramid. Snarf calls on a spider, and it goes into the pyramid and starts wrapping the mummy-dude's sarcophagus with web. He's not going to like that! It's true that spider web is much stronger than an equivalent thread of steel.

Snarf then calls upon a hmm, what would you call that? A woodpecker with a diamond for a bill. A Stonepecker? Must be, because it has no trouble hammering through the stone of the pyramid. Meanwhile, we see Lion-O is conscious and watching the spider.

Now this is odd: Snarf reaches into the hole the diamond-beaked birdie made and finds the mechanism for opening the door. Hmm. The Door of the pyramid is now mechanical and opens like an airlock? I remember it being solid and opening like sand being blown away. Darn writers!

Snarf runs into the main chamber as Mumm-Ra starts to wake up. He claws the bandages away from Lion-O, apparently removing the paralysis he was under, and sends Snarf to get him the sword—beats the effort of having to call it to his hand himself.

Mumm-Ra's sarcophagus starts glowing and rocking as it tries to open, and Lion-O sends the cat signal—which instantly gives everyone the strength to break their bandage-cocoons. Naturally, we get the expected round of smarm:

Lion-O: "Too late, Mumm-Ra!"
Cheetara: "It was a good plan…"
Tygra: "But you made a fatal error…"
Panthro: "You underestimated the seventh Thundercat."
WilyKit: "The bravest of us all…"
WilyKat: "Thundercat Snarf!"

Oh please!

Mumm-Ra finally fries off the spiderweb and comes out. He's very upset at this point, and starts his transformation chant without looking up. He finally looks up and transforms in one unbroken shot. It's recycled footage from the extended intro that's only seen on the Exodus Movie videotape, but it's a welcome change. What follows is the firing and dodging scene from the other end of the usual Thundercats intro, but with different colors, backgrounds, and sounds. I think it fits rather well here.

Mumm-Ra runs at Lion-O like a hell-bent football player and shouts, "Nothing will stop the vengeful force of Mumm-Ra!"

Lion-O answers with, "Except, evil Mumm-Ra, the horror of your own reflection!" He holds the sword up and Mumm-Ra is blown back into his sarcophagus by what looks like a beam coming from the sword. I call it "artistic embellishment." Anyway, it was too easy a defeat—what a rotten weakness to have!

As they're walking up the steps of the lair, Panthro says, "I still can't believe you did it!" Snarf says, "You should have a little more faith, Panthro. It's like I've always said to Lion-O:" He and Lion-O say in unison, "You never know what you can do until you try."

The bat is circling overhead, and it's not happy. Snarf says he promised to pay it for the ride, but forgot. Well, let's hope this isn't a vampire bat. Heh heh heh.

I was fearing the worst, but this did turn out to be a pretty good episode despite the animators too-frequent use of the "backside of Snarf eye view."

As for "the challenge," *rrrrrrrrraaaaaaarrrrrrrrrp!* Ahh… Berbil Beer indeed. (I wonder if the twins have discovered their Candy Fruit Wine yet? That would be one hell of an episode. Heh heh.)

Just think, all of this could have been prevented if Jackalman had simply returned to the lair and layed a paper bag on the floor. Snarf would have fallen for that.


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