Thundercats Rewatch Episode 15-16: Trials of Lion-O

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (2011)' started by Rizefall, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. Rizefall

    Rizefall Swedish Meatball

    Episode 15-16: The Trials of Lion-O

    The Thundercats are captured by Mumm-ra's soldiers and in an attempt to save them all, Lion-o falls to his death. The spirit stone can save him but only if he can overcome his weaknesses and pass a few trials so he can return to life and save his friends

    A few things to remember:

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    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
  2. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Just seen these. And what can I say? I mean, holy phuck with a ph! Wow! This is brilliant!

    I'll take it as read that we all remember the original Annointment Trials 5-parter, which provided some of the most memorable moments of the entire series. The writers here have managed to cram all of that into a mere two episodes, including a very real threat elsewhere. While Lion-O is fighting for his life in the trials, the others have their biggest difficulties to overcome yet, getting captured by Slithe and co.

    Actually, I'll admit at first that the comic relief scene when they're eating and Lion-O doesn't manage to get a single bite, I first thought was overdone a little - but considering how dark and intense things get, and how quickly, that thought quickly evaporated.

    In a way, the reason for the trials here is better than the reason in the original series. Having it as the immediate precursor and prerequisite to a formal coronation made it feel like some big final exam after months and months of hard study. And while exams can certainly be important, the trials here have much more of a purpose - Lion-O is killed at the start of the episode and must complete the trials to have a second chance at life. Also, a most excellent use of Jaga in the spirit realm. While Jaga's appearances to Lion-O were often a bit random in the originals, his appearances here follow a carefully set code. In the book, or the spirit realm, there he can see him.

    As for the trials themselves . . .

    The kittens' trial is good, about how you have to trust ALL your senses, not just your eyes. If Lynx-O had been part of the team at that point in the original series, his trial would doubtless have been something equivalent to this. The pickpocketing theme of this trial is perfectly suited to the characters of the kittens in this show, and a lot less contrived than the Maze Of Infinity in the original.

    Cheetara's trial of speed is much the same as it was in the original, Lion-O figuring out that there's another way to do things, he knows he can't beat her in a straight race so he takes the shorter route. Although with the birds up above it feels like cheating a bit. Oh well, I'll let it slide. The birds thing is actually an homage to the first trial in the originals, when he used a bird to fly him across acid lake. Nicely done.

    Panthro's trial is THE classic "you have to do it in a different way to the one you think" challenge. Not much to say about this one, but the final lines, "I thought this was a trial of strength." "It was - your greatest strength is as a leader." - are great.

    Of course, in all three of these trials, the opponents are dropping hints so much they could be charged with littering . . .

    And then his trial against, about keeping control of his emotions - and BOOM! He loses! This didn't happen in the original, we're all thinking - how can he get back now? Even though we know in our heart of hearts that of course he will, we're at a loss. And then Jaga appears again and offers him the deal. Which of course he accepts. And then breaks free of his rocky underwater prison with such ease that you wonder why he didn't manage it the first time . . . but that's a minor quibble. He then follows the directions Kit has carved out for him . . .

    Meanwhile of course, the other cats have their hands full. Captured by the Lizards, who also have the sword, they escape, thanks to new King Tygra distracting the enemy generals for long enough for the kittens to pick the locks - a skill they demonstrated earlier in Journey To The Tower Of Omens. They escape, but Slithe retains the sword. They follow them to Mumm-Ra's pyramid, where the action is fairly generic and predictable, but still good.

    Lion-O, when he starts following, well, hops on a bird again, "finally learning the lessons" - and tricks Slithe, Addicus and Kaynar into the cell. Why they didn't just trap him inside right off is another matter . . . but one thing. Kaynar's cackling is very evocative of the original Jackalman (and indeed, I keep having to remember not to call him by that name, ditto Addicus).

    Mumm-Ra's transformation inside his own pyramid is a little more impressive than previous occasions, but Robin Atkin Downes just doesn't have the same gravitas as Earl Hammond when uttering that catchphrase.

    Oh - and one thing I forgot to say last week. The music is starting to get very evocative of James Horner's music for Star Trek II & III. And indeed other James Horner scores and other Star Trek films. Speaking as a fan of both Horner and Trek, I give that my blessing.

    Overall then? Best pair of episodes yet.
    Mark M likes this.
  3. srebak

    srebak Laser Beast

    I like the basic idea of this two-parter story, but the certain things still bother me:

    Part one had enough action and important events happening in it keep me interested, but, the first few minutes of the episode before the Generals attacked was just the entire group (sans Snarf obviously) bad-mouthing Lion-O. Every one on the team seems to think that they are at a position that puts them in the right to give Lion-O orders, much like what happened in "Old Friends" with Panthro. Green or not, Lion-O is still their current monarch and it's one thing to offer their counsel to him from time to time, it's another to just keep criticizing him in an "I could do better" tone of voice. Isn't the basic procedure for Royalty that the monarch gets whatever he/she wants and their word is final, no questions asked and no debates? The way the group speaks to Lion-O, you would assume that he was subordinate to all of them. Just starting out or not, he is still their king! If he had even a few loyalist guards with him, he could have easily had any of them tossed over the ledge. And then, during the trials, Lion-O gets bad-mouthed and mocked by both the Wily Twins and Cheetara (their astral doubles i mean). No matter what this guy does, every keeps mocking him, a lesser person would have just let Tygra take over and left the Thundercats behind, so he could start a new life someplace else.

    Part Two was the better half of the two-parter in my opinion. The Astral Panthro was just playfully teasing Lion-O, i sensed no insult in his words. And it was somehow satisfying to hear that Wilykit believed that Lion-O was alive (it hinted a possible bond developing between them). Also, Lion-O's determination, his willingness to do anything for those who need him and his trick to take out the Generals were very pleasing to watch. As were the charging scene in Mumm-Ra's pyramid and the battle with the villain himself. Still though, two things still bother; 1.) This seemed like a wasted opportunity for Lion-O to actually beat Tygra at something. I know what they were ultimately doing in that trial, but still. And 2.) This also felt like a wasted opportunity to give Tygra some well deserved comeuppance, he got off way too easy in the secondary arc in my opinion.

    All in all, i liked this two parter, really felt like a turning point of sorts for the series, i just wish Lion-O got a few more breaks in it, he deserves them in my opinion.

    P.S. I've actually come to like Mumm-Ra's voice in the reboot, especially when he did his incantation. It just sounded a lot more sinister than his 80's counterpart's voice, at least to me.
    Mark M likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Really enjoyed both episodes. I really don't have much more to add than what has already been said by Liam and Srebak.
    A lot of you know I love the original series but in some ways these two Trial episodes are kind of better than the OS. I say that's as in the NS it is about Lion-O learning not beating the others and showing he is better than them.
    These have probably been the best episodes so far in the series.
    LiamABC likes this.
  5. Rizefall

    Rizefall Swedish Meatball

    Quick update.

    I really need to apologize for not keeping up with the discussions. Lots of stuff IRL for me and with summer coming up it's been hectic. Quite out of nowhere too as i never expected this.

    With that said. This weekend I'm going to marathon and get up to speed ;)
    LiamABC likes this.

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