07 - Legacy
I am so dead... But at least I have a girlfriend.
-Lion-O, keeping perspective.
Our episode resumes with the cats still at the tower of Omens. Cheetara is either training the kids, or trying to kill them. Tygra checks his gun out, Panthro sleeps. Lion-O is with Snarf, looking over the book. He posits that the book might not be magical, as they believed, but technology. He fiddles with book and it shocks him, emitting light and then glowing tentacles. Thankfully this doesn't end up in a Tentacle rape, and instead they merely rip the soul out of his body... Ouch...
Now, if you'll allow me a digression, but this is clearly some time after last episode's end, judging by Panthro's sound sleep (less he's secretly narcoleptic). Why is the book just triggering now? He doesn't seem to be doing anything special with it (he's poking the book's lock when it shocks him, and since he opened it last episode, it's clearly not the first time he touches the lock). There's no reason for the book NOT to have done this the moment Lion-O touched it. It just means that the whole plot about the book being empty was just there to give us a shock at the end of the last episode. And why in hell the writers felt Lion-O having his soul ripped out wasn't a good enough "To be continued" is beyond me.
Lion-O's soul is ripped into the world of the Windows stock screen saver "Dancing Lines", where Jaga's familiar voice greets him. Jaga explains that the book is neither magic nor technology, and that he's there because the rules of life, death and reality are different inside the book. I'd have explained it as the fact we very obviously saw what was left of his essence fly into the book, rather than have him give a non explanation (So what are those other rules? Do they allow for Jaga's potential resurrection?)
Jaga explains that the book can show how to defeat Mumm-Ra, and what he is after. Jaga says it can, but to understand it, he needs to live through the events that started all this. So Jaga tosses Lion-O into a flashback. There we see what resembles a Ha'tak mothership
. Lion-O's soul enters Mumm-Ra's Lion aide from last time, and Jaga explains that Lion-O must face the challenges his Identical Ancestor
Leo faced. If he fails, the book will be closed to him. We see he's on the bridge of Mumm-Ra's ship. And the book is part of a console on the bridge.
Lion-O begins using the technology almost naturally, turning the screen to an image of the Warstone, which he notes resembles the Eye of Thundera. Mumm-ra arrives (in his "ever-living form"), sporting his own version of the Claw-Shield and sword of Omen - The sword of Plun-darr, with a nice big hole where the Eye should be. He explains that when he has the Warstone, he can use it to make the sword the most powerful weapon in existence. Also worth noting that his claw-shield has three gems embedded in it.
Ever wondered what Panthro and Cheetara's daughter would look like?
Mumm-Ra order Leo to use the book to find the stone, and he does, using the computer interfaces quite naturally, despite not appearing to know what he's doing. Remember this point, it will be relevant later. Mumm-Ra orders Tygus to get ready to move in when the stone is located. "The animals" we be used for the initial invasion, which he orders Leo to get ready. So off Leo goes, finding large cells containing various animal prisoners, many of them modeled after the various mutants of Plun-Darr from the original series. A Cheetara-sounding voice calls to him, and we find a black Cheetara with tail. She's not given a name, but since she looks like a fusion of Panthro and Cheetara, Pantara she will be called henceforth. Pantara says she was waiting for him, and they begin preparing the animals, outfitting them with explosive collars. We see the cats are Mumm-ra's mooks, enforcing his will over the other animals, which causes some resentment.
A riot breaks out, and after a quick fight scene, it is put down. The leaders of the Jackals and the lizards are apprehended by Pantara, and she leads them to "isolation" with Leo. Turns out this was just a trick to get to talk in private. Leo and Pantara are part of a secret rebellion, and trying to convince the other animals to join them (why the monkeys, vultures and tigersharks were not brought to discuss this anyone's guess. I suppose they each got their turns). While the non-cats have little to look forward, they are hesitant to commit to helping Leo. They do not trust the cats, and with reason, since they are not only their jailers, but evidently, some are loyal to Mumm-Ra too, as Leo and Pantara take effort to hide their plotting from them. They also doubt that Leo can defeat Mumm-Ra even if he has the warstone. Of course, Lion-O has no idea of this rebellion, so he's just going along, uncovering his involvement and the role he's supposed to be playing. Gotta say, he's quite good at rolling with the punches. The matter is settle with the animals saying they will consider helping, if Leo gets the stone. As the leaders leave, Pantara proclaims her faith in Leo and kisses him on the cheek (coz god forbid two french kiss), prompting Lion-O/Leo to say the page quote.
Cut to shots of the animals fighting. Lots of Thundertanks, animals leading charges. Etc... Some general reports to Mumm-Ra on how the stone has been found. Mumm-Ra tells Leo why he likes the cats, and that, in a rebellion, the cats would probably be the first to be killed by the other animals, for being Mumm-Ra accomplices. Leo bluffes that no one would try to rebel. Tygrus reports he's got the stone, and Mumm-ra tells Leo to go get it.
Pantara and Leo sneak into the bowels of the ship, where what I suppose are cats or elves are forging a familiar sword. The Sword of Omens, and claw-shield, are given to Leo. Pantara explains they are made from the same enchanted metal as Mumm-ra's own sword and gauntlet. They they intercept Tygus as his ship docks with Mumm-Ra, and at gunpoint take the stone from him. Tygus it seems is more of a Mumm-Ra supporter.
Tygus: You'll never be able to unite the animals, commander.
Lion-O: A tiger underestimating me. I'm not surprised.
Leo merges the stone with the sword, causing it to release red light and glow all majestically. Pantara then tells him all he needs to do is use the book to shut down security, free the slaves and defeat Mumm-Ra. Easy right? Leo walks to go face Mumm-Ra. Leo goes to face Mumm-Ra. They banther, but Mumm-ra reveals that the three stones on his gauntlets are (at least in theory) each a match to the warstone. Of course, the real Leo would've known this, but Lion-O didn't. Still, he attacks Mumm-ra. As a nice touch, Mumm-ra's sword, when extending, turns into a two bladed sword, like the original Sword of Plun-Darr was. Leo manages to dislodge and capture one of Mumm-Ra's stone. Mumm-ra uses the two other stones in his gauntlet to turn into an even MORE powered-up form, covered in metal armor. This does jack shit as Leo and the Warstone are too much, and Mumm-ra is tossed into a chasm. Never to be seen again.
After all, it's not like he's got wings.
Leo uses the free time to disable security and open the cells, allowing the animals to escape. Now, you might expect me to say that Mumm-Ra has lost all credibility here, since Lion-O's just managed to beat his super duper form with just the sword and the eye of Thundera. But remember earlier when I mentioned Lion-O seeming to know how to use the controls despite himself? He seems to have clearly inherited, during this flashback, his ancestor's technical skills. Why he has not the knowledge he does, he seems to, instinctively, possess the technical abilities of the real Leo. This is why to his surprise he can use the consoles. And it can explain why Lion-O's defeating Mumm-Ra now, it's not Lion-O's combat skills; they are Leo's.
Lion-O makes an inspiring speech to rally the animals, who proceed to overwhelm Mumm-Ra's cat stormtroopers. Mumm-Ra returns, and proceeds to shoot the crap out of Lion-O.
Lion-O realizes that his claw-shield was made like Mumm-Ra's, and can thus channel the stone he just got. Putting it on his shield, he too turns into a metallic, lion-themed robot. Him and Mumm-ra begin a brutal fight, busting through the ship's hull (never causing any decompression), fighting around the ship in space, inflicting damage on the ship as they do, before Leo blasts Mumm-Ra back from outside the ship straight into the bridge. Compared to the last episodes' rather anti-climactic battles, this is welcomed change. Anyway, as they return to the bridge, Leo removes Mumm-ra's last two stones, and this causes his power to evaporate, leaving him the withered, decayed form we know now. He then merges them with his gauntlet. As everyone celebrates, a Negative Space Wedgie
causes the damaged ship to begin falling, crashing towards Third Earth. Mumm-ra, making use of the distraction, runs to his sarcophacus, and seals himself inside. Lion-O tries to force it open, but he can't (I am guessing Grune was just stronger). Pantara smashes the sarcophacus' console, to prevent Mumm-Ra from unsealing himself.
As their ship hurls itself towards Earth, Leo and Pantara share a kiss (and a proper one). Lion-O is sent back to his screen saver. There, Jaga explains the survivors of the crash started civilization on Third Earth, while the three stones were lost. Lion-O realizes Mumm-Ra wants the stones, and he needs to find them first. And he will also need to unite the animals against Mumm-ra. Before he can ask more question, he's returned to his body, waking up in the middle of the other cats.
Lion-O: I know what we have to do.
Legacy is a pretty sweet episode. Answering some of the questions about the background the fans have been having (while squashing the theory that the original show served as a prequel to this one). I think however it is somewhat too quick for its own good. We never really see what motivated Leo and Pantara to start their resistance. After all, THEY had it easy. Was it just compassion for the other animals' plight? The fact that Lion-O's mind replaced Leo's means we never learn anything about Leo, or why he was doing this in the first place. Instead we get Lion-O following a scenario he's told to fulfill.
It also leaves many unanswered questions while raising a whole bunch of new questions:
- What happened to the cats loyal to Mumm-Ra?
- Why did the cats abandon technology, since they had pretty much grown in it and mastered it?
- How were the three stones removed from the claw-shield?
- How were they lost?
- Why is the planet called Third Earth?
- Where is the sword of Plun-Darr and the gauntlet? Does Mumm-Ra still have them?
- Where do the animals come from?
- How did the cats become Mumm-Ra's favorite servants?
- Where is Mumm-Ra from? How did he acquire this mastery of magic and technology?
Still, it's a very good episode, setting the stakes for the series, and a new set of objectives, which hopefully they will not fully accomplish in a mere 5 episodes from now. It also sets up the "cats are abusing the other animals" theme the Pilot had, which we've not revisited till now.