01 October 2013

30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #4

On the 5th of September 1983 the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe received its WORLD premiere in the UK! To celebrate 30 YEARS since this historic day I am counting down (on a daily basis) what I believe to be the 30 GREATEST MOMENTS of the Filmation series.

GREATEST MOMENT #4
He-Man carries Teela off into the sunset.
"The Problem With Power"



At Snake Mountain Skeletor explains to General Tataran that he wants to use his physical lack of heart to his advantage. In the village of Zak, He-Man confronts Skeletor, but the villain taunts him, leading him in a chase around a poorly-constructed dimensional gate. Frustrated, He-Man punches the structure to get at Skeletor. When the rocks fall, they land on a villager, who is Tataran in disguise. Hearing no heartbeat, and convinced he has killed a man, He-Man transforms back into Prince Adam, and throws the Sword of Power into the abyss. Skeletor rebuilds the gateway and uses it to bring the Goblin army to Eternia. Without He-Man's presence, Teela volunteers to take a Mesotronic bomb in an attempt to destroy the dimensional gate. Learning of Skeletor's duplicity, Prince Adam finds the Sword of Power in the abyss and once more transforms into He-Man. Meanwhile, Teela confronts Skeletor with the Mesotronic bomb; the Goblins flee, but Skeletor stuns her. As He-Man arrives they realize the Mesotronic bomb's timer has started. Skeletor escapes the explosion, but He-Man and Teela are caught in the rubble. He-Man emerges and finds Teela seemingly lifeless...

He-Man picks up Teela's body, believing that he has been unable to save her. Lowering his head in sadness he quietly utters, "Oh no, Teela..." Teela stirs, commenting that she must've bumped her head, falling into unconsciousness. He-Man questions, "Teela, you're all right?" Teela, still in He-Man's arms playfully replies, "Why, He-Man, I didn't know you cared." He-Man exudes a sigh of relief, "I was worried." Teela chuckles to herself adding, "I'm fine. Let's go home." He-Man begins to carry Teela away from the rubble. Teela attempts to bring something to He-Man's attention, "Um, He-Man." "Yes, Teela", the most powerful man in the universe replies. Teela gently informs He-Man, "You can put me down now." He-Man responds, "If you don't feel up to walking, I could carry you back. It's no trouble." Teela assures, "He-Man, I'm fine. Trust me." As He-Man continues to carry Teela into the sunset he finds humor in her comment and replies, "I trust you, but to be on the safe side, maybe I should carry you part of the way." Teela wryly questions, "What good would carrying me part of the way do?" As He-Man walks towards the beautiful sunset with Teela still in his arms he attempts to answer, "I don't know. I just thought..." And with that, the pair disappear over the rise.

Throughout He-Man and the Masters of the Universe there was always the underlying sub-plot that both He-Man and Teela had feelings for one another. However, only a few episodes would briefly tackle the subject. Aside from Paul Dini explicitly having the characters state that they mean a great deal to one another in "Pawns of the Game Master", it was often simply hinted that a mutual attraction was present. These two characters clearly cared for one another, so as an audience we were all patiently waiting for the payoff. Thankfully, Bob Forward decided to end "The Problem With Power", an episode of incredibly tense drama, with a scene that rewarded us for having previously gone through a whirlwind of emotions. And it is a scene that the audience had all been crying out for since the two characters first appeared on screen together in "Diamond Ray of Disappearance". Bob Forward laces the final scene of the episode with such beautifully natural dialogue that it appears almost effortless for John Erwin as He-Man and Linda Gary as Teela to deliver. The two voice actors are clearly enjoying the exchange between the two characters, with the tone of affection sounding wonderfully real. Visually, the scene is perfect, with lovely expressions on the faces of both He-Man and Teela, and the backgrounds painted with such depth, that they compliment the romantic atmosphere. Very rarely did we ever get to see a sunset on Eternia. But in this scene it could not be more appropriate. There is no doubt that Teela is an incredibly strong-willed female lead character. However, we are happy to see her swept up into the arms of the most powerful man in the universe. The script does not allow her to be the recently-saved damsel in distress, even in this scene, as she continually questions He-Man's reasons for carrying her. Overall this scene is a lovely moment in which the two characters are clearly enjoying one another's company. Yes, the hero carrying the heroine into the sunset is somewhat of a cliché, but it is one that we celebrate!

2 comments:

Kevin Martinell said...

You said it best, Sir! The sunset looks like it should be a famous painting, and I like how the dialog isn't the obvious "I love you"/"I love you too" type of conversation. :) It was also a wise choice to feature this episode as the final episode in the DVD catalog rather than "The Cold Zone," which was the actual final produced episode, just for the sake of this beautiful, heartwarming scene! Thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

Mosquitor said...

I love the way the two of them flirt with one another in this scene. Perfect ending to one of the greatest episodes ever!

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