13 - Between Brothers
"The defeat of your enemy is worth any sacrifice."
What we have hear is a roller-coaster of greatness and disappointment. Be ready people.
Our episode opens with Panthro surveying the approaching lizard army. With a new type of mech leading the charge. All spiky and impressive. Don't worry, you will be reassured to know we don't actually see it do anything
this episode. As I said, disappointment. Panthro reports to Cheetara that the entire village is surrounded, by what probably is ALL of Mumm-Ra troops. For some reason the show treats this as dramatic (Panthro even calls it "Hopelessly outnumbered"), even though the Thundertank already took on the entirety of Mumm-Ra's army in "Song of the Petalars" and won easily. And that was when the think was a broken wreck with a temperamental engine. Now it has the improved Berbil engine! Grune is also leading the army.
We get more of the Elephants' short memory humor, because god damnit, we've had this joke going for two episodes already, why not milk it some more? Anet repeats his prophecy from last time, to dramatic music to show us that yes, it's serious!
Actually, he rephrases it slightly
differently from last time, and I want to write it here because it will be important.
By evening bell tomorrow, Lion-O will feel betrayed by his brother.
Remember that, it will be important.
Cut to the Astral Plane, which is flat and boring. Tygra and Lion-O are wandering about. Then bits of Thundera (including a giant statue of Claudus) appear out of the grounds, surprising the brothers. They banter for a bit, apparently having looked everywhere, Tygra reciting the Aesop of "The Forest of Magi Oar". Then Tygra says "If I find it first, I am keeping it." ...Okay, why? You need the claw shield to make it work. And Lion-O's got that. So what do you plan to do with it? Tygra and Lion-O argue, Lion-O saying its his responsibility and acting like a self-entitled idiot (Why not raise the obvious point I just mentioned?) and Tygra acting jealous because the sword chose Lion-O. Neither brother gets out of this scene with their dignity intact. Tygra sounds like a petty, jealous man-child, while Lion-O sounds like an entitled spoiled brat. Mumm-ra appears, saying how he can control them in the Astral plane and intends to use their greed and jealousy to turn them on one another.
Hey, here's an idea Mumm-Ra: Find the stone first, THEN mess with them. Let go of the Villain Ball
, and act intelligently. God knows you can't count on Grune to be smart for you.
Speaking of our favorite incompetent, the kittens are looking at him with the binoculars, how he's just waiting, while Pantro is laying some bombs (the same kind Lion-O used in the pilot. Here we learn they work with a Context-Sensitive Button
because when Panthro uses them, they work as mines). The kids make fun of Grune being a coward, and Panthro explains he isn't, telling them a story of how they were captured by a legendary giant spider called Spidera. Without weapons, Grune ripped out one of his saber tooth and stabbed Spidera in the eye, saving the pair. He then told Panthro "The defeat of your enemy is worth any sacrifice". Cool story Panthro, but I am still going to go for the "He's a coward" explanation. I've seen him run away too many times. Or maybe Grune meant "Any sacrifice, except my own life."
Back in the Astral plane, and Lion-O and Tygra are still at it. That's not getting old. Tygra's pissed because Lion-O never earned anything of what he got (Funny how he does not resent Claudus for this at all though) and Lion-O is annoyed at his brother somewhat justified if badly thought out jealousy. Thankfully the tantrums are interrupted by the Astral Plane changing, conjuring a memory of the Brothers (with miniature versions of themselves). Young Lion-O is chasing Young Tygra, and old Tygra says we know what happened, Lion-O fell into a hole and had to be rescued. We see the scene unfold, and Young Tygra saying things to his brother that don't sound suspicious at all like "If something did happen to you, no one would ever know." As Young Lion-O tries to cross a tree over a pit, Young Tygra shakes the log, and eventually breaks it, causing his brother to fall. Real Lion-O is shocked at this, as he always figured the tree broke on its own.
Back in the real world, Grune is getting tired of waiting and complains to Slythe. Slythe says they can't attack, since Mumm-Ra is in the Astral plane, and if the hut were damage, he might be stuck there forever. Grune, being Grune, asks what's wrong with that? And Slythe agrees, so they get ready to move.
Back in the Astral plane, Young Lion-O calls for help, but Young Tygra looks at him, and leaves. Adult Lion-O takes this as further proof of Tygra's betrayal. And BTW, Crying Young Lion-O is heart-meltingly cute. The weird thing is that the dialogue makes adult Lion-O seem more shocked at Tygra leaving than at Tygra making him fall. Yet he clearly had to remember Tygra leaving...
Adult Tygra makes a few excuses for why he left (but he doesn't try to explain away why he almost killed his brother) and the jealousy vs entitlement argument returns. The Astral plane creates a sword of Omens of Tygra. Lion-O offers to settle this once for all with a duel. Now, I applaud Lion-O for not letting the situation fester, and wanting this to be resolved now. Good attitude. But Lion-O, we've NEVER seen you beat your brother at ANYTHING. And you know the sword doesn't make you unbeatable (It was the aesop of "The Duelist and the Drifter"! I mean, I understand wanting to block that episode from your memory...)
Meanwhile, in the real world, the elephants have another forgetfulness gag, and decide to meditate in what to do about the battle that is beginning right now. Continuing with their uselessness hat. The mines set by Panthro slow the lizards down, and Wilykat finds a gun bigger than he is to fall not far from him... Grune tells Slythe to take the hut, and he will take care of the cats. He then proceeds to use his club gun thing to shoot the mines. Cheetara devastates the troops who try to get close to the hut, while the Thundertank blows up the mechs. Panthro spots Grune, and at Grune's coaxing, comes out of the tank to fight cat to cat. The Elephants and Wilykit and Snarf meditate, while Wilykat uses his giant gun to destroy a mech, and the recoil to knock out three lizards. I like Wilykat. Why can't he be our hero?
THIS! IS! THE ASTRAL PLANE!
On the Astral Plane, the fight start, and to no one's surprise, Tygra wins, kicking Lion-O in the well, 300-style. I'll give the fight between Lion-O and Tygra credits, it is QUITE impressive. Lion-O uses the clawshield to grab hold of the wall. He asks Tygra for help, but Tygra turns away. Hey Lion-O, what happened to those finger grapple guns? Why don't you use THOSE to get out? No? Whatever. Lion-O reminds Tygra that brother or rivals, they are sons of Claudus. Hearing his father's name snaps Tygra back, who reveals that while he was afraid of what Claudus was going to say when young Lion-O fell, he did go find their dad and confess, asking him to save Lion-O. Tygra returns and saves his brother, saying he'd never betray him. The fake sword of Omens vanishes, and the brother realize they are being played by Mumm-ra. Mumm-ra reveals himself, transforms, and we _finally_ get a transformation sequence for him. Why didn't he have this during "Journey to the Tower of Omens"? That would've made for a kick ass entrance. He blows both brothers away, but Lion-O lands near a crevice Mumm-Ra's lightning created, and it is glowing pink.
Cheetara and Wilykat have their back to the hut as mechs and lizards surround them. Again Wilykat proves he's awesome by refusing to run away and abandon Cheetara alone to defend the hut. They are about to be shot when Anet arrives, pushing the mechs aside. Seems the Elephants will fight. That's what their meditation made them decide. So they begin laying waste to the lizard army. And for some reasons, the elephants have like tripled in size. Before, they were about twice the size of Lion-O. Here, Wilykit sits on one of their shoulders, and she's like a Budgerigar. The lizards barely reach the knees of the Elephants.
The lizards are no match for the Elephants and ability to make the animators draw them bigger than they've ever been. Slythe runs away, and I can't blame him, when the animators turn against you, what hope do you have? Panthro convinces Grune to ditch the weapons, and to finish this with their fists. Grune accepts. I'm amazed Grune isn't running away now that the odds are no longer in his favor. I mean, what's he going to do if he wins against Panthro? Defeat the elephants on his own? Good to know that even when he does become brave, he's still an idiot. On the astral plane, Lion-O reveals he found the stone. The astral plane IS the stone. He summons it to his gauntlet, which extends into the shoulder-piece of Leo's armor. He then blows Mumm-ra away, but the brothers have to escape because without the stone, the Astral Plane is collapsing. Panthro and Grune fight by the hut, and begin to get sucked in by the portal. Lion-O and Tygra jumped out (and for some reason, they AREN'T sucked in) Grune grabs on to Panthro, asking him to pull him out, but Panthro tells him the sacrifice line, holding him in the portal. The portal closes, and Panthro's arms are cut (glowing energy covering the wounds coz we can't have blood on a kids show), and Grune is gone. Mumm-Ra escapes in time in bird form.
Evening comes, and the elephants celebrate. Panthro is bandaged, spoonfed by Snarf. Lion-O tells Anet his prophecy has not passed. Tygra didn't betray him. Anet replies the evening bell did not ring yet, but Lion-O brushes him off.
Tygra stands alone, and Cheetara approaches him, telling him she heard what happened on the astral plane, and that she feels she contributed to it by not being cleared with her feelings.
No. Shit. Lady, you've been QUEEN of the mixed signals.
She tells him the flower he gave her has a kid had properties, the petals allowing him her to get the strength to keep waiting while Jaga was being an asshole, and that she's kept the flowers heart. They then share a kiss. Lion-O sees them from afar. And the evening bell rings. The episode ends
Now, remember what Anet said earlier? Let me repeat it. Again, this is quoted verbatim:
By evening bell tomorrow, Lion-O will feel betrayed by his brother.
Now it's clear this is the betrayal the authors were intending... except every bit of this statement is wrong. First of all, it's not tomorow. The battle took place during the day, this is the evening. So unless there's a whole day we lost track of (and the dialogue makes it clear this is the evening following the battle), this is not "tomorow". Second, Tygra's not betrayed anyone. He's always said he was after Cheetara, and both brothers were in agreement it was her
choice to make. They've said so many times. So there's no betrayal by his brother. EVERY BIT OF THAT PROPHECY IS WRONG.
The episode is a mixed bag. On the pro side, I loved the final face off between Grune and Panthro. Grune was a lame villain, but that was one heck of a way to go. Wilykat got to be awesome. And even the Tygra - Lion-O stuff was not half bad. I am glad they did not make Tygra turn traitor, because that would not make sense. Though it was handled akwardly. Tygra comes off as petty, focusing only on the stuff Lion-O has and he doesn't, rather than what he can be. Dude, you are a prince. You are more talented than he is, the world is your oyster. Grow a pair and move on.
I like Lion-O. I really do, even if I know lots of viewers are starting to dislike him. Sure, he's flawed, but he's learning, and that learning gives the show some appeal. I like that he's gotta grow into his role. But the writers seem hellbent on trying to make me hate him. First by making him a petulant, entitled douche who gets everything dropped into his lap and gets pissed if people don't praise him for it (heck, this time he found the stone coz he was lucky to fall next to a specific hole. Not because he was clever or did anything to earn it). But if the writers intend to make the "betrayal" of Cheetara choosing someone else as a reason to make Lion-O lash out at his brother (or worst, make him blame Tygra for Cheetara's choice), they might very well destroy what little there is to like about the character.
Speaking of which, one thing the writers need to address is WHY is Lion-O The Chosen One
. Coz Tygra is stronger and all around better. Lion-O doesn't really show any qualities that explain why the sword picked him. It would be nice for them to tell us, because it'll become harder and harder to not think Tygra should've gotten that sword.
Mumm-Ra here lost all credibility. He got his ass handed over to him, and the only way he will EVER re-gain any threat is if he finds one of the stones for himself. Otherwise, why should we ever fear him when Lion-O blew him away so easily?
Last update, I put guesses down on what would happen this episode. And when we think about it, ALL my guess happened.
Lets play a guessing game! What will happen of Anet's prophecy? Will...
- Lion-O treat his brother suspiciously because of the prophecy, causing the betrayal? Self Fulfilling Prophecy ahoy!
- Will Mumm-ra use his shapeshifting to trick a brother in betraying the other?
- No betrayal occurs. It was only a shapeshifted Mumm-ra all along.
- Will the prophecy prove to be all for nothing as Tygra fights the darkness inside of him?
So No betrayal occurred. Mumm-ra used magic to try and trick them (not shapeshifting though), and Lion-O WAS suspicious of his brother because the prophecy, causing Tygra to be a dick to him in return.
I really didn't like Cheetara's reason for getting with Tygra, and they didn't even interact much. She seemed like a tease to me with how she acted with Lion-o.