Friday, September 9, 2011

Thundercats Thunder-recaps Episode 8: The Duelist and the Drifter!

Today my epic, dickish, man-cat adventure continues and I venture further into the world of the 2011 Thundercats reboot. So far the cats' aimless forest wanderings have been relatively cool, even though I am constantly stressed by the fact that supposed "main characters" Cheetara and Tigra still have absolutely nothing to do! Maybe they'll grow so bored in this episode that they'll start sloppily making out in the background. We live in hope!

Last week's episode saw meathead Lion-O being sucked into a musty old book where he took on the persona of his ancestor Ye Olde Mr. Muttonchops, so I'm really hoping that this episode actually moves forward and advances the present day story. Let's check out our preview pic:

Who the hell is that jackanape!? I bet he gets ten times the screen time of Tigra. I guess we'll all find out... after the jump! (SPOILERS!)

Hey! Tigra is actually doing something!! The episode begins with him inexplicably trying to install the Book of Omens into the dashboard of the Thundertank (which is understandably pissing off Panthro). Naturally he fails miserably and is quickly cast aside as the dead-weight he is.

So let's ignore him and switch to our hero, the brash, uncivilised Lion-O who has gone adventuring with lil' fatty Snarf to find supplies. Soon enough they come across an incredible fortified city whose entire walls are made from swords. It's an epic image, like a fortress made out of the Game of Thrones throne! And remember that long-eared jackanape from the picture? Well, he's the drifter, and he needs Lion-O's lion muscles to pull his stupid Brer Rabbit ass from out of the swords. Smells like a trap to me.

This Jackanape is a lazy fuck. As soon as his down he just lies on a fence, chewing on a hay seed, and acting like it's too much of an effort to even talk to Lion-O (which it probably is, to be fair). He's narcoleptic. And rude. I love him. And then he literally "drifts" away on the wind.

Lion-O continues into the misfit filled city (Bebop was there from Ninja Turtles) and excitedly realises that he'll have to enter a sword competition in order to win the ducats he needs to buy a... bundle of blankets? Sadly, the swordsmen are not yet cutting into each other, but into a giant stone monolith which Lion-O easily cracks in half with his gigantic ego.

Smash that stupid stone, Lion-O! Smash it!
Yeeah! You taught that stupid stone a lesson!!
 Lion-O's show-ponying soon grants him the unwanted attention from the Duelist, a legendary swordsman who is nearly toppling over from the amount of swords that are strapped to his back. This sinisterly moustached menace wants to challenge Lion-O in an attempt to abscond with the Sword of Omens, and Lion-O, like a dipshit, accepts when the Duelist pulls the old call-Marty-McFly-a-chicken trick!

"What's the matter, McFly? You... chicken? BRRAK-BOK-BOK-BOK!"
Lion-O trains, and then the Jackanape drifts in and, despite being asleep on his feet, proves that Lion-O has no idea what to do with a blade. (Or a woman, probably). That sleepy jackanape tells the episode's obligatory flashback, revealing that he, himself, was once a great sword-maker who was defeated by the Duelist, although it takes the sluggish Lion-O an awful long time to figure it out.

I'll refrain from spoiling how the duel itself, and its aftermath, go down, but needless to say that it contains the frenetic, well-plotted action that we've come to expect from the series. The story threads weave together in a satisfying way, and Lion-O's eventual triumph is pretty great. And oh my god, Snarf is such a little fatty!

I had a lot of fun with the episode. I love the concept, and most of all I love the design: of  the sword-strewn city, and the two new titular characters. This was quite possibly one of my favourites so far, even though it fell into the episodic "problem/character of the week" category. Good job Thundercats! I'm a rub yo' belly!

Note: Cheetara appeared in this episode for about six seconds. She was only in a long shot, and had no dialogue. I'm beginning to think I'm imaging her.

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