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10 - Sight Beyond Sight
"What just happened?"An episode named after a classic line of the original series. Could this mean the Myth Arc is rearing its nose again? Our episode opens with the Thundertank driving. Suddenly the Book of Omens begins beeping, having just detected the plot - I mean one of the three stones. Tygra and Lion-O decide to race there, using the Thundertanks claws who, beside turning into Rocket Fists also can deploy Tron-esque motorcycle. Is there something this tank can't do? This is nice, especially since the Tygra/Lion-O sibling rivalry had all but died since the pilot. Also we get another Samoflange joke. Panthro refuses to partake on the race, until Cheetara questions the size of his dick. She then decides to emasculate everyone by racing on foot, taking the lead for a while. Wilykat, having seen Men in Black, decides to press the red button to go faster. Sadly said button instead launches a dozen missiles, bombing the racers, allowing Tygra to snatch a win (Lion-O complains of cheating despite the fact that HE left at the count of 2). And Tygra announces "Winner and still champion", despite Cheetara arriving less than a second after him. On foot. Yeah Tygra and Lion-O, you guys just both got totally trounced. And somewhere some poor village gets bombed to the stone age because of Wilykat. This is, believe it or not, the best part of the episode. Simply because it is so rare we see the cats interact, let alone interact on non-plot related stuff. It is such a welcomed and nice change, one can only pity we did not get scenes like this in any of the previous episodes. The race leads them to a big stone village with oversized steps, doors, walls and everything. The reason? The village's occupants are big elephants. We get a bit of humor indicating to us that the elephants are either deaf, retarded, or suffer from terrible memory. Turns out it is the later, but sometimes during the episode the writers seem to think that poor memory makes one deaf since Lion-O has to scream his lungs out and constantly repeats himself to be understood. And yes, I do realize the "humor" in having elephants, known for their memory, be borderline amnesiacs. The boss of the Elephants, who seems to have a better memory, hearing, and brain than the others finally recognizes the stone the cats are asking about. He says they once had the stone, and they still might. Or not. What with being near-totally useless like the rest of his people. Head Elephant guy (called Anet), senses the power of the Sword of Omens and suggests Lion-O uses it to find the stone they are looking for, what with the "Sight Beyond Sight" thing. Lion-O explains each time he tries, he only sees the stone, not its location. But Anet pressures him to try. Meanwhile the elephants store their food away for safekeeping (Though they do not remember safekeeping from what. Someone needs to give these guys a copy of Memento, I am amazed they know their own names.) Giant Bees (called Wraiths) arrive, their sound interrupting Lion-O's training. Despite the cat's best efforts, they make off with most of the dumb elephants' hsrvest. The Elephants spend the whole time meditating. Of course, they could've just closed the massive stone door to their food warehouse too, but I guess they've yet to meditate on that point. Anet is rather unaffected about the stolen food, using the opportunity to feed Lion-O some lines about new age crap about one's place in the universe, weathering the stones, the heart of the cards etc... He tells Lion-O to work in harmony with his sword to see the "bigger picture" and to keep practicing. Lion-O decides to do something about the Wraiths, and one has to respect the dude's willingness to help. Meanwhile Snarf, using his amazing ability to find the plot (which he displayed when he found the Tower of Omens) sees three Elephants enter a stone shed too small to accomodate them without trouble. Insert the expected TARDIS jokes here. He also makes the cutest puzzled face ever. Next scene we see the Elephants meditate, ya know, for a change. To mix things up. We hear Wilykit playing a tune she's played a few times before on her ring-flute thing. She's done that in quite a few previous episode (most recently the last one, Berbils), but those instances were so short to be barely worth noting. Each time Wilykat is listening to her. Now one elephant approaches and she explains to him it is a lullaby their dear departed mother used to sing them. The elephant begins to accompany her, using his trunk as a saxophone, and soon more and more elephants join, along with Wilykat, and we have a whole little musical number. Puzzling, but not unpleasant. And Wilykit having some character development is really nice, especially since she usually plays second fiddle to her brother. The song culminates when it makes some boulders explode. Wilykit says the page quote, and I am as confused as she is. Oh, one of the elephants says something about perfect harmony, but really, that explains nothing. Unless harmony is highly explosive. Meanwhile Lion-O is scaling a mountain to solve the Wraith problem. Alone. Don't know why he didn't bring the other cats with him. He has a bit of a fight with some, almost falling to his death, but catching himself thanks to each finger of the clawshield acting as a grapple gun. What? You didn't know it could do that? it was quite apparent really. Come on. It's not like it could've been handy that time back at the Tower of Omen when almost everyone fell into a series of spikes and they had to grab hold of Panthro. Anyway he finds the cave where the wraiths live, and uses the Sword of Omen's laser beams to collapse the entrance, taking care of the problem. But as he does so, the Rockbiter awaken! And somehow Lion-O does not see, hear, or notice the 50 foot tall giant made out of stone standing up next to him! And no, this doesn't happen much later after he left, we can clearly see during the scene that the dust around the collapsed cave mouth has yet to settle! Forget the Elephants being deaf. Everyone in this show is deaf. Lion-O comes back to the village, telling one of the Elephants he took care of the Wraiths. He panics, telling him he shouldn't, but of course doesn't remember why. Man, these guys deserve to get their fruits stolen. Anet comes back, giving us more new age crap about harmony and how Lion-O broke the harmony of the universe. He explains that the sound of the wraith's buzzing kept the Rockbiter hidden. Coz he's afraid of them. Now that they are gone, he's free to rampage. Man, Lion-O, how DID YOU not see that one coming! It seems so obvious. How could one not realize the bees kept a giant 50 feet monster made out of solid rock at bay? I mean, that's the kind of thing you learn in elementary school! Bees help with pollination and keep the Rockbiters away! Of course, they never explain why, if the Rockbiter was so afraid of the bees, why he did not simply MOVE AWAY FROM THEM rather than stay next to their nest. Of course, Anet gives Lion-O a sermon for being unable to predict some consequence to his action no one would've seen coming due to being completely ludicrous. Of course the Rockbiter made a beeline (Pun intended) for the elephant village. See, he eats stones, and where else is he supposed to find stones in a desolate rocky landscape than in a village? The cats go to fight the Rockbiter while the elephants decide to try a whole new tactic they've never done before... sit in a circle and meditate! Oh yeah, that'll stop him good! The thunderkittens join them, one of the elephants telling them they will meditate till the answer comes to them. Or they die. Whichever comes first. Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro and Lion-O hand the Rockbiter such a swift ass kicking the protagonist of Shadow of the Colossus must be feeling incredibly inadequate. Heck, Panthro's not even using the tank! Sadly, the creature reforms from the broken rocks, and locks the 4 adult cats in a stone box it creates, before moving to eat the village. Wilykit remember how their music exploded 3 boulders the size of pumpkins and she figures why not try it on the Rockbiter? She tries it, and surprisingly the elephants remember to accompany her. Part of me was kind of wishing they'd have forgotten as usual and would all get crushed by the Rockbiter. It works and he explodes in a shower of boulders, this time being unable to reform for some reasons. The rest of the cats are freed. Cut to the Elephants cleaning their village (why, you guys not gonna meditate till the rocks leave by themselves?) while Anet teaches Lion-O about looking at the bigger picture. Lion-O takes his lack of this skill as why he was struggling with Sight-Beyond-Sight. He tries it again, and sees the stone is located in the shed where Snarf saw the elephants enter. He goes there only to find... a single broom. The elephants tell him of some forest where harmony is even more groovy and Lion-O's ability to use the sword's farseeing would be improved. And they don't remember where it is, as per their idiom of being useless. Of course, the viewer figured out that there's some sort of transdimensional alternate plane mumbo jumbo at work here, but the cats don't know that because Snarf can't talk... Wait. He can. Lion-O held conversations with him in the pilot... So why doesn't Snarf tell him what he saw so they can connect the dots? Oh well. Episode over.
-Wilykit. I got no clue either.
Despite how harsh I might've sounded, I didn't dislike this episode. I liked it more than I liked the Duelist and the Drifter. The elephants, while more useless than even the original series' Berbils, are kind of fun, and I loved that Wilykit got not only some spotlight, but actually saved the day. And the racing bit at the start was just so nice after so long with Lion-O stealing the show. Where the episode faceplants spectacularly is in its aesop. Now, back in the pilot, Jaga had mentioned how Sight beyond Sight was not just fortune telling, but seeing the big picture. So kudos for consistency. Also, Lion-O DID show big tendencies to never look before he leaps in the show so far, so this is a lesson he did need to learn. So again, kuddos. But the way the aesop is handled here is so bad. First of all, let's say Lion-O had been more careful, how the flying heck was he supposed to guess the giant Rockbiter thing as a consequence? As I said in the recap, this doesn't even begin making an inkling of sense. And heck, some of the elephants didn't even REMEMBER the Rockbiter, so it's kind of hard to look at the big picture when your sources of intel are too stupid to give you anything other than vague "badness will happen!". Now, you might say "Oh, but he should've used the sword!" well one of "The Duelist and the Drifter"'s aesop (not the retarded willow one, or the "just grow superpowers" one) was that Lion-O should learn to depend on HIS SKILLS, not the sword's power. So on one hand we have an episode telling him to trust in himself. Believe in his skill. Don't rely on magic. And another saying "Never do anything without consulting your magic sword". Furthermore, the Elephants' constant inaction as they spout this aesop in a kid's show insults me. "Remember kids. Don't try to solve problems you might encounter. Coz if you mess the way things are and always have been (the harmony of the world), there can be some very bad, logic-defying consequences that will happen! Better to never stick your neck out and never risk anything!" Seriously, am I the only one seeing this as what the Elephants in the episode are telling kids watching the show? Well screw you. Yeah, bad stuff can happen, but you can deal with it, like the cats did with Rockbiter, and in the end you CAN come up the winner, like the whiny elephants who now get to keep all their goddamn fruits because Lion-O stuck his neck out for them. After all, he who risks nothing gains nothing. But noooo, Lion-O's in the wrong here. Overall an average episode. Some great character bits rescue this one from its own stupid aesop.
I think Lion-O could have least asked the elephants if getting rid of the bees would be a good idea. They could have told him no, but not remember why, so I guess Lion-O would have done it anyway. As for the difference between the use of the sword in this episode and the Duelist and the Drifter, you have to remember that in one case it's for combat and the other it's for utility. It's a matter of finding a balance between the two; don't become too dependent on the sword, but try to get the most out of it. One doesn't necessarily contradict the other. I think Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro were looking for the stone on their own while Lion-O was practicing, but that's just my guess.
I don't agree for the combat vs utility thing. For one, the lesson should apply both ways. "Learn to not depend on the sword to defend your butt" and "Learn to depend on your own wisdom and not just on your magic rock to make decisions as a king." As I said in the review: Learning to think before acting is indeed a lesson Lion-O needed. I just dislike the way the lesson is handled. For one thing, the elephants show themselves to be beyond useless. I'd not have asked them many questions either, because I'd have figured the answer to be "I don't remember". The episode could've gone so many different ways: Maybe the bees pollinate the plants that give the elephant fruits? Maybe Lion-O, by going in alone like a total idiot gets cornered by the swarm and needs saving? There's so many ways you could've done this that would make more sense than "didn't you know the bees kept the 50 ft rock monster at bay?"
Seemed to me the bees just knocked it out with sound....which,while kind of..ok REALLY stupid is.... marginally doable to Humans and Animals....how the hell it works on a 50-ton rock monster is beyond me......anyone else notice how Wilykit's song changed as it went? starting kinds sad,then the Elephants join in and Im reminded of Seseme Street....ok J/k it was still good but its amazing what a few extra Instruments can done to a song
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