Do you remember when 80’s cartoons would have five parters? Yeah, they’d open a series with a bang. With serialization rare in those days it was a chance to see a story play out over more than one episode.
If it wasn’t a series premiere they might open a season with a big change of status quo or send the characters into a whole new place. That’s what this season of She-Ra feels like. Okay, it’s actually six episodes instead of five but the feeling is still there. Mid way through marathoning the season I really felt like I was back watching old VHS edits of those five parters.
The whole season is closely connected with episodes weaving directly into one another more than ever before. Nothing is stand-alone or makes it up its own easily digestible episode. The crew’s adventures in the Crimson Waste is just the start of an even bigger adventure that makes great use of the shorter season’s run time.
The Crimson Waste is a fantastic location for the series and primarily introduces a new side character for the series, Huntara. Continuing the series not having strictly all bad or all good characters, Huntara has excellent reasons for what she does. The same can be said for Hordak, who we get to learn more about as the season goes on. He’s not just a bad guy lurking in the dark or the ire of Catra’s life. He’s someone with a backstory and a compelling force that drives him on.
Characters may not stay on the side you think they will. Adora isn’t the only one questioning their allegiances and that just helps the series drive home its biggest lesson. That people can change. As long as you’re willing to own up to your choices you don’t have to stay where you are.
Season 3 also sets the groundwork for a bigger universe of adventures for the series. While the references to the wider MOTU mythology aren’t quite as plentiful this season they could be coming. Plus at least we get Tung Lashor and he’s kind of amazing. His name is Tung Lashor, how can you not love it?
The season is rock solid but perhaps should have been a true five parter. Remember how in those five parters back in the day there may have been an episode that felt like it kinda stopped the story dead for awhile and only added a few small things? This season had one but if it had been streamlined we could have had a near perfect season.
As it stands, season 3 of She-Ra is still a great watch if you’re a fan. Your favorite character(s) may not get much spotlight but those that two get a lot of great little moments fans will be pouring over until season four.
Now DreamWorks, let’s talk about a VHS edit for this season. Give it to us in the clamshell packaging!