TV Review – Masters of the Universe 200X – Episode 06: “The Deep End”
Original Air Date: 4th October 2002.
Writer: Brooks Wachtel
Director: Gary Hartle
‘The Deep End’ is another episode that emphasises the ongoing continuity of the series, this time taking us all the way back to the pilot as Mer-Man decides to claim the Coridite Crystal – which Skeletor previously used to help bring down the Mystic Wall back in the pilot and had thought destroyed in the process – for himself. As storylines go, I absolute love the premise here, picking up on discarded plot threads to build into new adventures. Plus, having a bit more of a focus on Mer-Man, a childhood favourite of mine, is an added bonus.
On the subject of Mer-Man, while I absolutely love his 200X design and already had a strong affection for his powers, he does come across as a bit of a bumbling goon here, and his gargling voice – provided here by Scott McNeil – is right up there with Clawful as the most annoying one in this new series. Say what you want about Kevin Conroy’s work in Revelation, but at least his Mer-Man sounded remotely plausible as an fearsome “Ocean Warlord.”
One thing I really liked about this episode the first time I watched it was Man-at-Arms getting the ‘Centurions’ treatment with a fancy new underwater exo-suit. It feels a little hokey this time around, and strangely never made it into the world of toys, making it seem a little more throwaway than it perhaps should.
There’s also a bit of storytelling laziness along the way, with Man-at-Arms being swallowed by the same sea monster who gave him the Jonah treatment back in the pilot. This time however, the beastie is jacked up by the effects of the crystal, gaining the ability to walk on land, shoot out its teeth like daggers, and a weird Tardis-like interior, prompting He-Man, Teela and the rest of the Masters (including Buzz-Off, in a nice callback to the previous episode) to come thundering in to save the day.
However, in a neat wrinkle, the beast finds itself drawn to the power of Grayskull, prompting the Masters and He-Man to risk their lives to ensure its protection. Unfortunately, they end up tipping their hand a little too far in the process, prompting Skeletor to question “what could possibly be in that old pile of stones worth dying for?” and kick-starting his upcoming obsession with gaining control of Grayskull. Lovely stuff.
Another really strong episode. I love the interconnectivity of it all, and having it play heavily on previous events is an inspired choice. Can’t wait to see more of this approach in the episodes to come.
Full Masters of the Universe (2002-2004) Review Archive – CLICK HERE
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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