Sight Beyond Sight
Written by Michael Jelenic & Todd Casey
One of the most unique elements of the new ThunderCats animated series is the far-reaching story arc that is present throughout. Whilst story arcs were present in the original series, this new take explores that concept further, with each and every episode adding a small piece to a much larger puzzle.
This is arguably the most meritorious aspect of “Sight Beyond Sight”, as the episode continues two of the series’ main themes – the ThunderCats’ quests for the stones of power, and (more subtly, but no less importantly) Lion-O’s development as a character, learning new life lessons as he grows into the king he needs to be in order to defeat Mumm-Ra.
The lesson that Lion-O learns in this episode is very cleverly presented – by failing to stop and look at the bigger picture, he creates a dangerous situation that only calm reasoning, not brute force, is able to quell. So from this perspective, this episode is a resounding success, providing Lion-O with much-needed character development and wisdom.
There are other factors where this episode scores as well. This episode presents a feast of pulse-pounding action sequences, allowing each of the adult ThunderCats to showcase their powers, weapons and abilities in a number of exciting scenes, showing that ThunderCats is one of the most visually stunning action-adventure shows around.
There are other nice touches to this episode – the first few minutes of the episode are based around a scene of the ThunderCats racing each other, which could be argued as “filler” or out-of-character with the rather desperate situation that the ThunderCats, last survivors of a fallen kingdom, find themselves in. And yet, somehow there is something endearingly human about this scene, showing the ThunderCats interacting and bonding with each other in times of leisure – and, of course the scene is also action-packed and beautifully animated.
If this episode has a failing, it is that, at times, it feels very slow-paced; whilst this might be in-keeping with the somewhat passive and almost lethargic nature of the elephants, nevertheless in places it risks losing the audience. The elephants themselves are also hard to develop an emotional attachment to – whilst they help Lion-O to discover new things about himself, and even provide some gentle development for the Thunderkittens, in contrast to some of the other guest stars of the series they are, at times, difficult to connect to, and as such it weakens the tension when their home is under threat. What could have been done to correct this is difficult to say, but it would be fair to say this this episode is one of the slowest-moving installments of the new ThunderCats series.
In conclusion, this episode works most effectively when viewed as part of a slow-burning story arc, a chapter in a large collection of adventures that the ThunderCats are embarking upon. In the absence of a really powerful villain, or more engaging guest stars, the episode nevertheless remains an important stepping stone in Lion-O’s emotional journey and a solid forerunner to even greater adventures.
Written by Chris (He-Fan)