On Friday 26th April, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power heads back to Netflix for a second season. Ahead of the show’s return, I decided to revisit Season One to remind myself what has come before.
It took me four days to work my way back through the season (hey, I’m a busy person). During my re-watch I made a few notes.
The Sword: Part 1
Initial thoughts: When I watched this episode the first time I wasn’t quite sold on the show (it took a couple of episodes for me to get into it). Watching this episode this time around, I’m far more into it.
Observations: Catra. Shadow Weaver. Glimmer. Kyle. The Whispering Woods. Bow. Light Hope. “Your army is called the evil Horde.” “For the honour of Grayskull.” She-Ra. SO MUCH going on in this episode.
Conclusion: Not the strongest opener and easily the weakest episode of the series, but it plays much better on a second viewing. Catra is clearly in love with Adora and the foundations for the series are here.
Right, straight onto episode two…
The Sword: Part 2
Initial thoughts: Things begin to pick up here, but I feel like this opening two-part story would play better with a lot more She-Ra.
Observations: Eternia. Bow. Glimmers’s angry face. “No birthdays? How is your life this sad?” The Horde. “Best friends squad.”
Conclusion: As the episode progresses, the story gets stronger, clicking into place during the final act. There’s some interesting character work here too, especially with Catra. Unlike Adora, Catra has always known that the Horde are evil, but she has been happy to accept it so long as she maintains the life she has… with Adora.
Initial thoughts: With the season opener out of the way, this is where the show truly begins to hit its stride. Plus, this is the first episode with the awesome (and empowering) opening titles. I bloody love the opening titles of this show, they make me want to do something inspirational with my day/week/life.
Observations: Kowl plushie. Swiftwind. Kyle. Madame Razz. Loo-Kee. Grizzlor. Hordak. Force Captain Catra.
Conclusion: A good episode with lots of nods to the original She-Ra show. This is where the series grabs its fan base and refuses to let go, bringing both new and old fans together.
Flowers for She-Ra
Initial thoughts: This is the first episode that doesn’t have to deal with lots of exposition and/or appeal to old school fans.
Observations: Those AWESOME credits again – they make me so happy. “Let’s use aggressive face-to-face sparkles.” Shadow Weaver. “She left us. She left me.” Perfuma.
Conclusion: Re-watching this season I’m starting to notice how often Kyle appears in this series. Who knew he was in this show so much? Oh and yeah, this episode is pretty decent. Inspirational and empowering.
Right that’s enough for today. I’ll pick this back up tomorrow.
The Sea Gate
Initial thoughts: This episode sees the introduction of Sea Hawk – a cross between Han Solo and… er… Ace Rimmer!
Observations: Scorpia. Mermista. “The Horde almost destroyed my home, I want to help fight them. Plus your friend over there can turn into a like eight foot tall lady with a sword and I want her on my side.”
Conclusion: Lots of relationship stuff going on here. It’s understated, but it’s here. Bow is clearly into Sea Hawk; Scorpia is into Catra; and Catra is still bummed that Adora has moved on from their ‘friendship’.
Initial thoughts: A slightly creepy tale, with a quirky Princess and some freaky robots.
Observations: Entrapta. Bow’s trick arrows. She-Ra going a little nuts. “We don’t need She-Ra, we can do this together.” Lots and lots of killer robots.
Conclusion: After a bunch of episodes that rely on She-Ra saving the day, this episode let’s Bow take the lead and it’s a very important step. Bow inspires others to join the Rebellion in the fight against the Horde.
In the Shadows of Mystacor
Initial thoughts: She-Ra is haunted by her past – this won’t end well.
Observations: Light Spinner. Shadow Weaver. Hordak.
Conclusion: A great little episode about self-doubt which demonstrates that no matter how far you come, doubt can always throw things off balance. Self-belief and friendship help to overcome the doubt.
I’m seven episodes in and once again I’m reminded just how good this show is. The series is filled with inspiring, uplifting and empowering messages, which are important for everyone to remember – no matter how old they are.
I’ll pick this back up tomorrow.
Initial thoughts: This is an episode the LGBTQ community can identify with. Bow, Scorpia, Catra, Sea Hawk and Adora are all clearly queer characters – and I love it!
Observations: Frosta. Sea Hawk. Scorpia and Catra’s Prom outfits. This is my FAVOURITE episode of this first season.
Conclusion: Another great story, with lots of character development and so much to unpack here:
- Glimmer’s jealousy over Bow and Perfuma attending the prom is obviously a take on the ‘straight girl and the gay best friend’ trope.
- Scorpia believes Catra likes her and sadly doesn’t see the truth that Catra is only interested in Adora.
- The Adora/Catra relationship is a storyline that will go the distance – waaaaay beyond this season.
This is such a good episode!
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power understands the importance of representation and this becomes very clear in Princess Prom. While it’s never stated that any of the characters are specifically members of the LGBTQ community, speaking (writing) as a gay man I can say, this is exactly what they are.
No Princess Left Behind
Initial thoughts: The Horde has the upper hand.
Observations: Kyle. “I like your shirt.” Sea Hawk pretending to be ‘The Inspector’. Catra helping Adora.
Conclusions: The episode begins with the Horde holding Glimmer and Bow captive, but ends with Glimmer and Bow free… and Entrapta seemingly dead (she’s not). The Horde maintain the upper hand throughout.
Initial thoughts: The Princesses have suffered defeat and they aren’t taking it well. A lesson will be learnt here.
Observations: Glimmer’s abilities are on the blink. Entrapta lives. Emily. “SWORD SAFETY!”
Conclusions: Doubt has crept in once again.
Initial thoughts: A Katra/Adora-centric episode.
- “Hey, I miss you too.”
- “I never wanted to leave you.”
- “It doesn’t matter what they do to us, you know, you look out for me and I look out for you. Nothing really bad can happen as long as we have each other.”
- “Adora, you must let go.”
Conclusions: A bottle episode that focuses on the relationship between Catra and Adora. Catra feels as if Adora has turned her back on their friendship (she hasn’t) and it’s difficult for her to reconcile.
There’s also a big discussion about Catra and Adora’s past and it’s very insightful. Catra and Adora’s childhood was difficult, yet they both found it bearable because of their strong friendship.
Initial thoughts: A lesson in She-Ra history.
Observations: Swiftwind. 13 Princesses of Power. Mara. “I can see now why you are friends with Bow and Glimmer.”
Conclusions: A further insight into the past – this time with a focus on the She-Ras of the past (yep, She-Ras – plural).
The Battle of Bright Moon
Initial thoughts: Straight out of the gate, this feels like a season finale! Lots at stake – an end is coming!
Observations: “For Etheria!”
Conclusions: The first season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power concludes in dramatic style, with an all-out battle between the Horde and the Princesses. The fight between She-Ra and Catra is brutal and feels very real, because of all the character work that has gone on in the season.
Bravo to all involved with She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This is a fantastic show.
Of all the shows on Netflix, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is one of the few that I’ve ever re-watched. With so much content on streaming services these days, I simply don’t have the time or desire to return to shows I’ve previously seen, so going back to this one demonstrates just how much I enjoyed it the first time around.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a highly entertaining series with much to like. The series is packed with action, humour, and optimism, and is very inclusive.
Roll on Season Two!
- Watching She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Season Two
- She-Ra has been nominated for a GLAAD Award
- Happy Pride weekend