TV Review – Masters of the Universe 200X – Episode 18: “Trust”

Original Air Date: 8th March 2003
Writer: William Forrest Cluverius
Director: Gary Hartle

The latest episode of the 200X series sees Stratos venturing into the Ice Mountains in search of Eternium, the hardest substance on the planet, following an opening where Mer-Man was broken out of an Eternian prison fairly easily by Tri-Klops. Skeletor catches wind of this plan and dispatches Trap-Jaw (who is fairly excited about the prospect of using Eternium as an upgrade to make himself almost indestructible) to the same place on the same mission. Naturally the pair cross paths, and in the skirmish both men are injured and find themselves trapped in a frozen cave system, forced into an uneasy alliance in order to survive.

Obviously there’s a nugget of an interesting idea here with two enemies being forced to coexist, but sadly it never really kicks into full gear.  The dynamic basically boils down to Trap-Jaw repeatedly trying to betray Stratos and failing, which I guess is consistent enough for both characters, but feels a little redundant given what could be a genuinely intriguing situation. The Kulataks – a frozen species who live in the Ice Mountains serving as the de facto protectors of Eternium – are an interesting addition, although again are woefully underdeveloped.

The highlight of the episode for me is the slight confusion when the Kulataks discover the pair of trespassers and Trap-Jaw tries to convince them that he’s the good guy and has been hunting the would-be Eternium theif Stratos in an attempt to stop him.  While the Kulataks ponder which man to believe, Trap-Jaw attempts to steal and consume some Eternium that has been left around, only for it to be revealed to be a ruse by the Kutalaks to determine which man is telling the truth. Trust needs to be earned by actions and not by words, after all.

We also get a nice bit of toy synergy in the form of He-Man’s snazzy new blue “Ice Armor He-Man” duds (availably in all good toy shops now), although the final showdown which sees him duking it out with Skeletor and his goons adds little to the proceedings other than to pull the reader away from the far more interesting things going on elsewhere. That said, the armor does look kinda cool with He-Man’s thick grey cloak and chunky boots, although a lot of the sequences it features in are more than a little bland, what with the washed-out ice mountain backdrop.

Ultimately, this episode feels like another missed opportunity.  It’s not bad by any stretch, and there are definitely some fun moments along the way, but when you introduce such an interesting idea and then shift the bulk of the episode’s climax onto yet another generic He-Man versus the Evil Warriors skirmish, there’s bound to be some disappointment. Good, but not great.

Full Masters of the Universe (2002-2004) Review ArchiveCLICK HERE


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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