Movie & Television Show Reviews

A Step Forward And A Step Back | “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” Part 2 (2021) Netflix Series Review

“Masters of the Universe: Revelation” Part 1 sparked some backlash among He-Man fans, who were upset that he was killed off early on in the show, and presumably killed off a second time at the end of it (Spoilers: He was wounded, not killed). I quite frankly didn’t understand it, and I think it’s overblown in the same way the early backlash to “The Book of Boba Fett” is overblown. He-Man in particularly has always been a goofy on-the-nose adventure show made literally to sell toys; “Revelation” Part 1 dared to shake up the formula a but by introducing strong themes of loss and moving on in a way that’s very similar to “Transformers: The Movie” (1986), and I think it worked very well.

Part 2 picks up with Skeletor (Mark Hamill) wielding Prince Adam/He-Man’s (Chris Wood) power sword, about to obliterate our heroes, when The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull (Susan Eisenberg) teleports them all to safety at the cost of her life. Adam, still mortally-wounded, is then healed by Teela (Sarah Michelle Gellar), whose magic powers just awakened (it was established before that she’s the Sorceress’ daughter, and her death sparked it). Part 1 deliberately ended in a way that gave the series its “Empire Strikes Back” moment, in which our heroes take a major defeat and we think that all is lost, though a glimmer of hope remains; there was always a zero percent chance that He-Man would remain dead for long.

The group ends up running into Adam’s parents, King Randor (Diedrich Bader) and Queen Marlena (Alicia Silverstone) of Eternos, and the three reconcile, with Adam learning what happened to his parents in the aftermath of his death in Part 1. We also see Randor own up to his brash leadership style, and learn that he was in the process of separating with Marlena because of Adam’s death.

One of the first things Skeletor does is appoint Evil-Lyn (Lena Headley) as the new sorceress of Grayskull, a choice he soon regrets, as Lyn eventually tricks him into powering down and she steals the power for herself. We learn that the Power allows the user to see just about anything they want in the galaxy in terms of knowledge, and Lyn is driven mad at the fact that there is no living god in the show’s universe, and that there is no grand plan. So, she decides that it is best for her to destroy all of existence, because she feels like her pain and suffering must have happened for a reason, that it wasn’t all for nothing.

And it almost makes sense, except when you consider that she literally has all the power she could possibly want, that she literally has the means to craft whatever future and society she wants. But this show needs a villain, and it’s a little disappointing that, after crafting a very solid show with very good characterization, the show’s producers settled on that for motivation for their big bad. Honestly, Skeletor was more compelling — he’s the show’s villain because he’s a narcissist, and he’s stuck in a cycle of losing because, no matter how much power he has, it won’t fix his internal character flaws.

The show of course has a big battle at the end, and you can probably predict who wins. Skeletor and He-Man even forge a brief alliance, which almost works — really, all of these characters’ can get what they need to be happy if they only learned to properly communicate and work together, but that doesn’t necessarily make for action-packed TV.

“Masters of the Universe: Revelation” Part 2 is still a very good season of TV, although its last few episodes are pretty bumpy. Prince Adam/He-Man and Skeletor really shine in this half of the show, and Teela kind of gets developed, but the real crime is how they simplified Evil-Lyn’s character to force her into this part’s villain.

She outgrew that mold in Part 1 when Skeletor’s death made her question everything about herself and grow, and it became apparent that she was not inherently evil. Her motivation to destroy all of existence was lazy, unwelcomed, and just doesn’t work. It really feels like a rushed excuse to have a big fight at the end, which I would’ve been perfectly content without.

Part 2 really is a step forward and a step back from Part 1’s plot and character progression, and as a whole, I think it’s a little less effective than Part 1.

“Masters of the Universe: Revelation” Part 2 gets a 7.5/10

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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