Remember that episode of your favorite show that just had nothing to do with the main plot? You know how restaurants put bread crumbs in ground meat to get more product? You know that stuff that the dentist puts in your teeth after he finishes drilling a hole? What the hell am I talking about? Filler, plain and simple. This new ThunderCats show is really enjoyable and has a potentially great storyline. However, we have not seen an episode that truly deals with the plot in months (thanks to the break). Three straight episodes have now aired since “Legacy” that have basically nothing to do with the quest to free Third Earth from Mumm-Ra’s tyranny. Let me dial back the rage for a bit so I can give this episode a fair review.
ELEPHANTS THAT NEVER REMEMBER? It seems that Tygra finally finished the work he started in “The Duelist and the Drifter” since the same map Mumm-Ra used to have in his pyramid is now functioning in the ThunderTank. It looked like the ThunderCats were on the verge of finding what is now being called the spirit stone. The map leads them to a village of elephant people. They seem to have some mystical connection with their surroundings and they know a lot about harmonic balance and not much else. After a rather annoying introductory conversation, the ‘Cats learn that these people have no short term memory whatsoever and their long term is not much better. The village elder tries to teach Lion-O how to better connect with the sword so that he will be able to properly use the sword’s sight beyond sight. This is interrupted by an attack of giant wasps the elephants call wraiths. Lion-O decides to help the elephants, which leads to more trouble for everyone.
WHO ASKED YOU? The original Lion-O was technically the same age as the ThunderKittens. This Lion-O is an actual teenager, but sometimes he acts like more of a child than his younger counterparts. To his credit, Lion-O is a very grateful individual and he will return a favor in a second. The problem is that he does not wait for people to ask him for help. As the wraiths steal from the harvest, the elephants literally do nothing. They simply sat down quietly and began to meditate. now these were the village elders so you’d figure that something like this has probably happened to them before; if they aren’t trying to stop the wraiths, there must be a reason. Instead of asking, Lion-O takes it upon himself to engage the ThunderCats in a fight they really had no business in. As a result, Lion-O gets in over his head and the people he tried to help almost have their home destroyed. Fortunately for him, they probably forgot about it shortly after it happened.
PERFECT HARMONY By now, viewers will have noticed that whenever they have a moment of peace, the ThunderKittens will sit together and WilyKit will play the same tune on her flute/ocarina thing. Aburn notes that it sounds very sad and Kit explains that it was a lullaby their mother would sing to them. Aburn tells them that their mother will live on through their song. This cheers up the young orphans, as does Aburn’s trunk which he uses to play along with them. Suddenly a somber tune becomes a happier one. The musical scene is seemingly pointless until the end where the combined harmony of Wilykit and all of the elephants together hits a resonance that can shatter stone. After seeing the end of the episode, I could see how this might be important in the fight against Mumm-Ra, but only if other factors come into play. I have a bad feeling that this “power” will be swept under the rug and forgotten.
I really feel like something substantial needs to happen in the next episode. At least the Berbils episode had some cool cameos and a decent action sequence. Same with the Duelist episode. The big gripe I had about this story is that while the last two were filler, they at least had entertaining stories. This episode felt like filler and was almost as bad as “Ramlak Rising.” Don’t get me wrong, this episode has its place; the elephants were one of the races Mumm-Ra had enslaved so seeing them interact positively with the ThunderCats will be of value later in the story. Also, wit hLion-O almost finding the spirit stone, that gives us hope that something important will happen in the next episode. If, on the other hand, we have yet a fourth filler episode, the show could be in big trouble. A solid month’s worth of filler will make people shy away from what can really be a wonderful story. I have my fingers crossed that the writers will get it together in “The Forest of Magi Oar.”