Following a rather short and entertaining second season, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is now back with its third entry of cosmic princess action. And although this new season may be even shorter than the second (with only six episodes) it is saved by having an engaging story arc, as well as more action and character development than any other season thus far.
Following the events of season two, Adora awakes to discover that her old mentor and mother figure, the witch Shadow Weaver, has infiltrated Brightmoon in the hopes of now joining the rebellion. What follows is a whirlwind narrative that sees our gang of plucky heroes trying to stop Hordak from opening a portal to another world. In the process we also learn some other ground-breaking truths. For example, we learn that Adora herself was found by Hordak after his first attempt at opening a portal, meaning that she herself is from another world. Obviously this will come as a shock to no one, seeing as Adora was most likely born on a little planet called Eternia, but as of yet that element of her past has yet to be revealed. Sadly Adora learns very little about her life and parentship, with such secrets being pushed aside in favour of the season’s overall story. But this is a good thing, because the story we get is enough to make you binge the whole season in a single night.
Although this season deals with the alteration of reality, I found that the most hard-hitting theme it addresses is the theme of friendship. Arguably every season of this show has held friendship at its core, be it the friendship between our main trio, or the bonds established between the super-powered princesses. But this season we also see Hordak develop a friendship with everyones’ favourite mad scientist Entrapta, something that adds an interesting layer to the main antagonist. I’m unsure what this pairing means for the show, but I’m sure it will have its pay off, especially when considering what happened to Entrapta by the end of the season.
Another friendship which is delved into is the one between Catra and Scorpia, which might just replace Catra and Adora’s relationship as being the one with the heaviest romantic undertones. This season we see Catra and Scorpia being sent to a wasteland, a place where they soon find themselves the leaders of a criminal gang. The freedom they experience allows them to grow closer, with Catra finally giving into her adoration for the adorable, exoskeleton princess. Although it eventually begins to fall apart again, due to Catra’s own insecurities, it still manages to leave a lasting impression upon the viewer.
And while we’re on the subject, the relationship between Catra and Adora also proves to be one of the more intriguing once again. But in this instance it comes from how their relationship is completely torn apart by the end of the seasonal arc. After Catra activates the portal, she creates a perfect world where Adora is still a member of the Horde, where Glimmer’s father is still alive and where reality is slowly unravelling to the point of apocalypse. In the final moments before all is reversed. Adora and Catra get into another fight, one that ends not only with Catra’s defeat but also with Adora seemingly washing her hands of the feline forever. This season I did find myself questioning where Catra’s character could go next, seeing as her mental breakdown this season leaves her a broken character, but knowing now that Adora will fight to kill makes me crave season four all the more.
This season also proves to one of the most emotional, with a certain sacrifice in the final episode making evident that this show is moving into darker and more mature territory. The final sting at the end also proves that another, more dangerous villain is on the move and that our heroes had better be ready. Overall, this third season has proven again the strength of this show, with Noelle Stevenson’s reimagining of the world and mythos still proving to be both engaging and refreshing. There has still been very little mention of a He-Man cameo, but I’m sure one is on the way. Afterall, if the sword is the key to Etheria, why does Adora have to bestow her honour upon Greyskull? Think about that.