Any Episode You Wished The Bad Guys Would Have Won In?

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (1985)' started by mumm_ra_n_rana, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. mumm_ra_n_rana

    mumm_ra_n_rana Thunderian Legend

    I'm curious. I know I can't be the only one. I got a few that I mentioned I wished Mumm-Ra had won in but you all probably know which ones they are and why I am annoyed he hadn't since doing so would have caused more interesting plotlines. Of course that can't happen due to "the status quo is god" so... yeah. Any of you guys got any particular episodes where you got annoyed about the heroes winning due to some silly a** pull? Feel free to rant as much as you like in here.
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  2. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I had an alternative idea for the season-one episode "Dream Master." Instead of taking the ThunderCats' dream selves, Mumm-Ra would've cast a spell on them that they seemingly wouldn't wake up from. The "dreams" he would give them would terminate them -- physically, mentally, and emotionally. Jaga would appear in the minds of all the ThunderCats through Lion-O's connection to him, and tell them that they have the power to control their "dreams," without the help of the Sword of Omens. This forces Mumm-Ra to withdraw to destroy the ThunderCats another day.
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  3. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    Well, pretty much every single second season episode annoyed me because of teh formula SoO = Deux Ex machina lol

    I don't know if an episode where the bad guys won would have been possible back in the 80s, but I definitely would have liked to see an ep where they beat only Lion-O so the others rescued him and saved the day for a change. "Mandora the Evil Chaser", "Demolisher", "Queen of 8 Legs", or "Fond Memories" would have been good chances (maybe "Demolisher" not as it was definitely a Lion-O alone centered episode).

    Also, I'd have liked to see the TCs solve the situation on their own in "Mycrits" instead of Lion-O coming at the end to save the day ("Mumm-Ra Berbil" and "Dream Master" could have worked for this as well, but I think in "Mycrits" they had a bigger chance to do it).
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  4. thezaxfactor

    thezaxfactor Staff Writer and Moderator Staff

    Great idea for a thread, mumm_ra_n_rana. I feel like bad guys "winning" doesn't have to mean the end of the ThunderCats altogether. I would have appreciated small bad guy successes that would have set the ThunderCats back and forced them to recover. One of the reasons the stakes never felt very high is that there were never any ramifications—characters were rarely even injured! Times when characters did suffer injuries were quite effective in the moment; but they never lasted beyond the bounds of their respective episodes. Remember how shocked we all were when Panthro lost his arms in the 2011 series?! That was incredible, and he didn't recover overnight. Here are a few moments that spring to minds as missed opportunities for real consequences:

    • Lion-O hurts his hand in "Lord of the Snows", but five minutes later it isn't even bothering him. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if he'd had to rescue Snowman (and fend off the Mutants) with an injury, and then spend a few episodes training/healing? And thereafter Snowman could periodically joke, "How's your hand?"
    • Panthro gets pinned against a wall by a large piece of machinery in "The Ghost Warrior." He could have at least had trouble breathing for a few minutes, or, even better, had to stoically recover from a few broken ribs.
    • The Four Winds in "The Fireballs of Plun-Darr" didn't have to rip Tygra to pieces to do him harm. Imagine instead if just one his arms or legs was badly hurt. Likewise, the weight loss he suffers in "Crystal Canyon" could have taken him months to recover from, but it doesn't—the Eye just bulks him up again, no harm done.
    • The Warrior Maidens in "The Fireballs of Plun-Darr" and the Wollos in "Spitting Image" suffer terrible damage to their villages because of the ThunderCats. Those relationships could have been far more strained, and trust could have been earned back over time.
    • The Warbot in "Return to Thundera" practically destroys Cats' Lair. I wish we'd seen the ThunderCats struggle to recover from the damage and rebuild the Lair, maybe even while under continuous attack. Good luck fending off SkyCutters with a big hole in your roof!
    • In "Dimension Doom", Cheetara gets Wiz-Ra back to the mirror doorway just in time, lest he "die in this dimension." He should have died in this dimension. Cheetara's indecision and fear of ridicule could have actually cost someone something, and taught her a real lesson pre-"Telepathy Beam".
    • Speaking of "Telepathy Beam", Panthro could have remained the Lunatak's slave for a while, and succeeded in upgrading SkyTomb for them.
    • Rataro nearly destroys the ThunderTank in "ThunderCats Ho!". Imagine if he had actually destroyed it, and if Panthro had barely escaped with his life.
    • All the ThunderCats get captured in "Snarf Takes Up the Challenge", and it's up to Snarf to rescue them. If the rescue mission had seen Snarf hurt or killed, the ThunderCats would have had to live with his blood on their hands.
    • The ThunderKittens eat deadly brackenberries in "Runaways". Lion-O drinks deadly swamp water in "Totem of Dera". Snarf eats a whole pow-pow pepper in "Mumm-Ra Lives". There should be long-term gastrointestinal consequences, not convenient panaceas!

    Of course, this sort of inter-episode continuity simply wasn't possible in the original series. Episodes were designed to air out of order, written by multiple freelance writers who were far from the organized writing teams of today's television. Long arcs plotted out in a writers' room ThunderCats most certainly did not have.
  5. mumm_ra_n_rana

    mumm_ra_n_rana Thunderian Legend

    I guess you're right but there is a bit of a VERY Loose plotline running. sometimes in later episodes they DO sometimes reference events from older episodes. It wasn't a huge big thing but it was there.
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  6. mumm_ra_n_rana

    mumm_ra_n_rana Thunderian Legend

    But you know my feelings on The Last Day. The episode could have ended with Mumm-Ra winning and started all of season 4 as a bit more darker than the rest of the series but better plotlines that could have led up to the thundercats freeing themselves from the dimension Mumm-Ra had sent them to. It also could have completely redeemed a somewhat dying series by then. I mean judging from opinions on season 4, mine included, season 4 was terrible.
    But you know in the end the good guys ALWAYS have to win even if doing so just comes off as a huge deus ex machina. Oh Mumm-Ra if only you'd sent Lion-O to the other dimension instead of simply trapping him.
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  7. adssse

    adssse Thunderian Legend

    Ya, it would have been refreshing for the Thundercats to be put in a situation where they are in serious peril beyond the confines of a single episode. Having Mumm-ra as the dominate force for a series (if only a five parter even) would have certainly strayed from the status qua and the Thundercats could have still made an epic victory in the end.
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  8. mumm_ra_n_rana

    mumm_ra_n_rana Thunderian Legend

    and we wouldn't have had to deal with the utterly silly and boring episodes of season 4 on new thundera. Plus for some reason I get the suspicious feeling that kids might have started rooting for mumm-ra by the end of season 4. XD
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  9. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    That's why we're trying to hammer out a definitive "continuity order" for the episodes, season 1 especially.
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  10. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I wondered that one myself, why did he only bury Lion-O! Still, that aside, that episode was pretty darned epic all the same, and would have been a better series finale. There's maybe oneepisode worth watching in season 4, The Shadowmaster, and that could have taken place on Third Earth no problem.

    As for episodes that should have worked out differently, the big one for me is "Jackalman's Rebellion" - that should have had Lion-O and Slithe forming an uneasy alliance to thwart Jackalman's ambition - which lasted just as long as it took to get Jackalman back into line . . . or maybe even have it all as a ruse to get the sword or something.

    There's plenty of cliched ones with the Lion-O-centric format, other cats getting overpowered one at a time then the catchphrase saving the day. Ugh. "Mechanical Plague" and "Dream Master" being obvious examples. So too is "The Mumm-Ra Berbil", but I've always been able to let that one slide. Maybe because of the goggles, and the really creepy atmosphere in the episode. "Safari Joe" and "Mongor" I exempt from this because the catchphrase doesn't let the others free themselves. The dodgiest examples (in season 1 at any rate) have to be:

    "Tight Squeeze" - Panthro and Cheetara have been struggling against their bonds for ages with no luck, they see the cat sign and suddenly pow! They have the strength!
    "The Superpower Potion" - suddenly freeing Tygra and Panthro from being frozen. Even worse is . . .
    "Return To Thundera" - the other cats had all been turned to stone, and suddenly come back to life again! WTF?!?
  11. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist Staff

    I think there was a storyline in the comics (I believe it was called "Mumm-Ra Times Three") in which the ThunderCats and Mutants form a temporary alliance to take down Mumm-Ra. I too have always wished there was at least one episode in which the good guys and the bad guys are forced to work together to defeat a greater evil. Something like "The Mountain", but the so-called "collaboration" was rather short-lived and the Mutants didn't really do anything. :)

    Agreed! I think the Sword of Omens deus ex machina was used a lot more in the later seasons. Like in "The Crystal Canyon" its ability to cure Tygra's weeks of malnourishment in just a matter of minutes! Also in "Malcar", one zap from the sword turns a pile of Thundrillium rocks into a purified Thundrillium cube and then also flies Lion-O to any location he wants. This raises many obvious questions like, if the sword can do all that, then why did Panthro bother with creating a whole extraction plant in Cats Lair to extract pure Thundrillium? ("All That Glitters") and also why does Lion-O even bother flying any vehicle when the sword can just fly him anywhere? :confused:

    Such lazy writing in the later seasons really sticks out like a sore thumb because we've already seen really good writing in the first season. It's a good thing that they didn't use the sword to fix the problems in episodes like "Trouble with Time" or "Ghost Warrior" or "Astral Prison".
  12. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    The Last Day was such a brilliant episode. It really should have been the final episode of the series.
    It is the main one out of only a handful of episodes after Thundercats Ho I can remember being any good.
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  13. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    And maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't have got rid of Tygra and Pumyra.
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  14. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    I think the other TCs weren't completely overpowered in "Mechanical Plague"; I think they were giving a battle in that one. Might re-watch it though.

    But besides that I agree 100% in what you said. Love your idea for "Jackalman's Rebellion"!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
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  15. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    There were some interesting variations on the "team-up" theme in my other favourites growing up, Defenders Of The Earth (Deal With The Devil, and the five parters "The Necklace Of Oros" and "Prince Kro-Tan" spring to mind here), and Visionaries (Horn Of Unicorn, Claw Of Dragon, where the two sides team up in the best ever take on the "is it right to take one life to save another?" plot, and Sorcery Squared in which they team up to stop a GOOD GUY who's gone rogue! And technically Dawn Of The Sun Imps comes into the team-up category too, and is the most sincere team-up of the lot, albeit a slightly silly episode.)
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  16. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    I think there's also a comics series in which Lion-O was captured and it was for the other TCs to rescue him; can't remember the series' title though. That would have been nice for an episode: have Lion-O captured and weakened somehow (maybe with Thundranium) and the other TCs rescuing him for a change. I mean, he was the day's savior since day 1, even before adjusting to his "child's mind - grown up's body" condition. Those first episodes would have been good chances for him getting in trouble and the others saving him, as a learning process.

    Don't forget the SoO and the Eye fixing the Chain of Loyalty, pressing buttons, bringing rock to life ("Mossland Monster"... imagine that, the TCs could have had an entire army of rock soldiers anytime!) and, even worse, creating an eclipse in "Day of the Eclipse"! How does a beam of light (because that's what the Eye finally is) create an eclipse? You need a solid objecto to do that!
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  17. mumm_ra_n_rana

    mumm_ra_n_rana Thunderian Legend

    When i saw this episode I thought jackalman was going to join up with the thundercats. That would have been interesting in my opinion and if really wouldn't have been out of place at that time because other cartoons had villains and good guys briefly teaming up in episodes. The mountain doesn't count. LOL to be honest I'm surprised Mumm-Ra didn't go through with his promise to destroy castle Plun-darr for them failing to get the sword. I guess he went to bed and forgot all about it.
    The only thing i found rather enjoyable in shadowmaster was the fact Mumm-Ra didn't like the shadowmaster and purposely sabotaged his plans. I know he did it because he didn't want the ancient spirits replacing him and taking away his power but it was still amusing. XD I guess in that episode the bad guy did technically win... at least Mumm-Ra did anyway. :mummra
  18. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Agreed that The Mountain doesn't count as a teaming up episode. It's the closest they ever got to it, and it's still pretty tenuous. Even when they've agreed to work together to get out of the cave, there's no real co-operation as the Mutants just sit on their backsides the whole time.
  19. mumm_ra_n_rana

    mumm_ra_n_rana Thunderian Legend

    It would have been nice to see them work together. Lion-O and Jackalman, though they were fighting most of the time during their encounter actually did step back long enough to get the others out. I mean jackalman could have attacked Lion-O as the second the cave was no longer blocked but instead he basically went to make sure his buddies were fine. It wasn't anything big but it was something...
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  20. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    It's possible he figured he didn't really have any chance against the sword . . .

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