**WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST INCLUDES SPOILERS FOR SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER SEASON FIVE.**
And so, we reach the end of a journey. As of today, the fifth and final season of Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is available to stream.
In a moment I am going to work my way through the season, passing comments along the way, similar to how I discussed and viewed Season One, Season Two, Season Three and Season Four. But before I begin, let me just say I have LOVED this show, and I truly believe it is one of the best, most progressive cartoons of the modern era – I sure am going to miss it.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a true Netflix gem and a series that I would have loved to have watched while growing up. The themes of friendship, love, compassion, and acceptance are all perfectly woven into what is, in essence, an action-adventure show.
I’m so pleased She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is here for the current generation of kids. These five seasons have whizzed by, but I honestly believe they will last a lifetime because the kids of today will come back to this show as adults – I’m convinced of it.
OK, time for one last journey.
Initial thoughts: The end is near.
Episode observations: An angry, anxious and agitated Adora. A world without She-Ra. A Catra dethroned.
Conclusion: A strong opening episode, which jumps straight into the action. No need for huge explanations as to what has happened in the previous seasons – everything has gone to Hell, and She-Ra is no more, so just deal with it, OK?
And at the heart of this episode is the truth that even in the face of immense adversity, the fight goes on. The battle to save Etheria will be hard, but it’s not over yet and it is going to take an entire season to win.
Initial thoughts: A brief moment of pause, to formulate a plan.
Episode observations: “Prime sees all, little sister.”
Conclusion: Horde Prime continues to establish himself as a fearsome and potentially unstoppable foe, with a seemingly infinite reach. But teamwork between the Princesses demonstrates new flickers of hope, even though the team is temporarily divided.
Initial thoughts: Catra and Glimmer find common ground.
Episode observations: “Please, Catra, do one good thing in your life.”
Conclusion: It has taken five seasons, but Catra finally understands the importance of doing the right thing. She frees Glimmer to protect Adora and apologises for everything bad she ever did!
Wow. Just wow – I never thought that would happen.
As noted above, this series continues to push forward, never back, and this means we finally get this important character development for Catra. The message of friendship and never giving up on someone has been a significant focus of this show and now it pays off.
Initial thoughts: Glimmer, Bow and Adora reunited.
Episode observations: The Best Friend Squad. The Star Siblings. She-Ra… revived? A new team formed.
Conclusion: This episode is about reigniting old friendships, forging new ones, and ensuring nobody gets left behind. There is also the promise that She-Ra isn’t gone, she just needs to be ‘reawakened’.
Save the Cat
Initial thoughts: A rescue mission to save Catra.
Episode observations: ‘Wrong’ Hordak. A brainwashed Catra. Adora refuses to give up. She-Ra returns!
Conclusion: A thrilling rescue mission which reunites Catra and Adora, PLUS sees the return of She-Ra! And a She-Ra with a tweaked look.
Going into this episode I had a feeling She-Ra would reappear, but I didn’t know how happy I would be to see her back. But know this: I was VERY happy indeed.
There is a sense that she is becoming true version of herself. I love how Adora/She-Ra has grown.
Initial thoughts: A few teething problems.
Episode observations: Both Catra and King Micah are readjusting to their new circumstances.
Conclusion: This whole episode is about change and readjustment, for Catra, Micah and Adora. There are two parts which really made me smile: Catra apologising (it’s so fresh and new) and the new-look She-Ra kicking all kinds of ass. Yes!
I love this show so much.
Perils of Peekablue
Initial thoughts: A comedy episode?
Episode observations: Prince Peekablue appears (sort of). Scorpia sings. Double-Trouble is back!
Conclusion: I’ve reached the halfway point of the series, and the show has shifted gears a little to allow for some fun without She-Ra, Glimmer and Bow as the leads. This gives Scorpia the opportunity to let loose with a James Bond-style musical number (which is fabulous) and creates space for the reappearance Of Double-Trouble – my favourite character from Season Four.
Shot in the Dark
Initial thoughts: There might be a way to defeat Horde Prime.
Episode observations: ‘Wrong’ Hordak’s existential crisis. Catra’s sneeze. Horde Prime’s weakness.
Conclusion: A great little episode that sees Adora and Co. undertake a side quest. Catra is still finding it a little difficult to play nice with everyone, but she is clearly trying.
An Ill Wind
Initial thoughts: The Rebellion is depleted, but not destroyed.
Episode observations: A town that hates Princesses. Bow’s charm. The Horde takes hold. She-Ra inspires.
Conclusion: Adora’s team slowly lift Horde Prime’s grip and in doing so, they make new allies. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that every friend they have made this season (and maybe in this show) will play a role in the season finale.
And on a side note, She-Ra has been noticeably absent from this season. I’m presuming that a large part of She-Ra’s absence is so she can do something monumental in the next few episodes.
Return to the Fright Zone
Initial thoughts: Weaknesses is the key to winning the fight.
Episode observations: Mind-controlled Scorpia. Princesses vs. Princesses. “We don’t throw tanks at our friends.” Bow’s dads. A failsafe.
Conclusion: It feels as if things are really ramping up for a huge finale, but in order to get there the show is throwing a lot of action at the screen to create conflict. The good thing is, this isn’t at the cost of the core emotional values of the series – these are still very much in play.
Return to the Fright Zone balances everything that makes She-Ra such a delight to watch (the characterisation, the love, the humour etc). The result is yet again another strong episode, from a season that is yet to put a foot wrong.
Initial thoughts: Time is running out to save Etheria.
Episode observations: Catra jumping into the fire to protect Adora. The failsafe is activated. Catra walks away.
Conclusion: One of the main story threads throughout She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the relationship between Adora and Catra. The show has made it pretty clear the relationship isn’t just about friendship, there is something deeper at play; whether that’s love, soul mates, or something in else, this is all coming to ahead.
Emotions are high and I do wonder where this will all end?
Heart Part 1
Initial thoughts: The end is here. I’m not sure I’m ready.
Episode observations: “Adora doesn’t want me… not like I want her.”
Conclusion: It is clear that this is it. There’s no Season Six waiting in the wings, this episode is about preparing the audience for the grand finale and I’m not sure everyone is going to make it out in one piece.
You know, there are many good animated shows out there, but few are truly great. This is one of the great ones.
Heart Part 2
Initial thoughts: My only thought is… I’m feeling emotional at the idea of saying goodbye. I don’t want this show to end.
Episode observations: Glimmer vs. Micah. Scorpia has faith. Bow’s speech. Shadow Weaver’s last stand. Old allies return. Hordak comes through. “I love you, I always have, so please just this once, stay.” Love wins!
Conclusion: What a finale.
At every step of the way, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has taught that love, friendship, family, truth, bravery and compassion are the only things that matter in life. This has kept the show on a very strong, very clear path across the course of the series and it has made for refreshing viewing.
Even when characters (i.e. Catra) take the wrong path, there is always the possibility of redemption. Second chances should be offered and taken – it’s the path that Adora started out on.
With this finale, the writing staff has demonstrated that at no point has this changed. At no point has the ball been dropped or fumbled so that people are dismissed or abandoned.
Everything that was established from Day 1, that love and warmth are important, has continued, has evolved, and has paid off. I have never watched an animated show quite like this before.
I don’t think I can express how much I have loved watching this series. And seeing this journey end in such a brilliant way for the Adora/Catra relationship, is everything.
Towards the beginning of this post I noted that I would have loved to have watched this show growing up. Not only because it is so progressive, but because it never once shied away from being an LGBTQ show – something that would have been so important for me as a youngster.
I am not overstating things when I say I feel that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a true gift to this current generation. LGBTQ kids watching this show will feel accepted, and will hopefully grow up to be the role models of the next generation.
I couldn’t ask for anything more from a super hero show.
And with that, my journey with She-Ra is over. Am I bothered that He-Man never showed up? Am I balls.
I love He-Man, but this show was always about She-Ra and I’m glad that He-Man didn’t muscle in (so to speak). This show can now stand as its own thing, with a hero who speaks for many people, and who will inspire many more people to come.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
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