EPISODE REVIEW: Thundercats: "Journey to the Tower of Omens"

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The Cats are watching as Lion-o repeatedly tries using sigh beyond sight to discover clues to the whereabouts of the Book of Omens. Unfortunately he is unsuccessful and his frustration is evident as the rest of the group questions how to proceed as their search has hit a standstill.

After Cheetara gives Lion-o a pep talk Snarf accidently reveals they’ve all been right next to the temple the whole time. After entering the team is faced with a multitude a Indiana Jone’s style traps and challenges before reaching a dead end. Lion-o successfully uses sight beyond sight and the group is able to proceed.

Meeting them at the last stage of the temple is Mumm-ra who’s taken it upon himself to track down the book. He transforms into a more powerful version and battles the Cats as they race to the Book. Jaga sacrifices himself to protect the Cats and Mumm-ra flees. Lion-o claims the book only to reveal that its pages are empty.

OBSERVATIONS:

Straightforward adventure, this episode is the best since the premier. We know have the main characters established and together with a common goal. The focus on action and adventure alleviates some of the pacing problems from earlier episodes and also returns us to the goal of finding the book, which hasn’t had much mention since the actual premier.

The interaction of all the characters was the best part. This is truly the first story where it felt like an ensemble cast. Of course Lion-o will always be the focus, but it’s refreshing to feel that the other characters can be interesting and contribute to the narrative. I don’t just mean the Cats either. Mumm-ra benefitted too. We all know that a show is only as good as your villain. Mumm-ra being the adversary made this an immediate improvement over last week’s Grune focused, flashback heavy episode. Here flashbacks were used properly: quick and intriguing without spelling everything out for us. The juiciest tidbit in the show so far was showing that at one time, the Cats not only possessed and fought with technology, but also seemed to work for Mumm-ra. In particular a tiger named Tygus (bearing an incredible resemblance to Tygra) and a young lion (perhaps and younger Claudus). It’s impossible to tell how far back the flashback was intended to show, but this is the first plot twist of the show so far.

For the first time I feel like viewers have something to speculate on for the future. How long did the Cats work for Mumm-ra? Who were to two cats shown? Is it possible that the Cats used Mumm-ra for his access to technology and the Eye of Thundera, then double crossed him and portrayed all tech as a myth to prevent other species from gaining it? In a separate flashbook during Cheetara’s story about the hiding origin of the book, we get a quick glimpse of another king, similar to Claudus but with a goatee and generally cooler looking. I’m enjoying the growth of Thundercat’s history and looking forward to answers being revealed quickly.

My only complaints with this episode had to do with the temple. It was found a bit too conveniently. It being right in front of them was more groan inducing than a funny “a-ha” moment. However it did get the story moving along after a great intro. I honestly could have used another epsisode showing the whole team looking for the temple and getting to that point. After all, we haven’t actually seen the whole crew moving and searching for their goal together yet until now. The 3rd episode was Lion-o wanting to get revenge on the lizards, the 4th seemed to show the Cats running from the lizards rather than actually searching, and the 5th was basically Panthro backstory. I honestly felt a bit robbed when the temple suddenly appeared, like I missed out on the actual journey. You can clearly tell that they aren’t in the same location they left off in the episode 5 and I wish they’d shown how they got there and what inspired Lion-o’s learning to use the sight technique.

The actual temple design was great and was super fun. The team worked together well and even though you knew the death traps weren’t going to off anyone it was still fun to see them work their way through. Initially they appear to be a bit generic; theres a spike trap, a swinging blade trap and a room filling with water, but it seemed more like an homage to great tomb raider stories. In fact, it was so much fun I didn’t want it to end. My biggest disappointment was actually they fact that they not only found the temple, but moved all the way through it in half the episode. I easily could’ve spent the whole episode watching them navigate the twist and traps of the tunnel.

The ending fight was great. With half the team slowing down Mumm-ra as Lion-o raced to the book. My disappointment seemed destined to continue when the Cats actually got the book by the end of the episode but…surprise: the book was blank. Is it a decoy? Is something truly there that they just can’t read? Is seems like the opening arc of this show won’t actually be the search for the book but possibly something else entirely and for the first time since the premier I’m actually anticipating what we find out next week.

Cool Moments

• Mumm-ra’s tank was badass! Can’t wait to see the showdown between his and the Thundertank.
• I loved seeing the clerics again and honestly feel that they are the most formidable characters shown so far. With magic, superspeed, wisdom and physical ability I’m hoping beyond hope that Mumm-ra didn’t wipe all those guys out.
• Cheetara was extra hot in this episode. No offense to anyone else, but she seems to be the only one who knows what she’s doing, and the little knee slide she did after running through the blades was a cool movie style moment. Not to mention the fact that she uh…RAN UP THE WALLS!
• Panthro not being able to swim was great (especially considering panthers like the water). It’s always good to see a character vulnerable and the humor was handled well; cheeky but not over the top.
• Poor Lion-o got blocked again! Thanks to Kit and Kat
• This was Tyrgra’s best episode as he finally got to do something. His first sign of attraction to Cheetara since the premier came here too.
Other Comments
• Why didn’t Lion-o try sight beyond sight way sooner?
• Mumm-ra’s transformation was cool, but the fact that he nailed every character with that beam and did no major damage seems weak.
• Does Cheetara actually like Lion-o? or is it merely for motivational purposes?
• Jaga as head cleric surely knew were the temple was soo….why didn’t he just tell Lion-o exactly where it was? -_-
• The Cat’s fell for the key trap way to easily. They honestly couldn’t see that coming? The writers need to work harder to keep things fresh.
o Speaking of. Am I to believe the clerics made a lock that could be picked that easily?
• It was kinda messed up how easily Lion-o gave up on Panthro during the water trap. He didn’t have enough air to swim after him, but Panthro had enough to sink the bottom, notice the opening and then climb out? Looks like Liono-o may still be a little upset and that threat to command lol.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

If you hate Indiana Jones, which is just un-American, then you won’t like this.

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