What They Say:
Birth of the Blades – Mumm-Ra wants to reclaim the sword of Plun-Darr
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the whole rat related episode done and over with, we got a good bit of history to things and the introduction of the Sword of Plun-Darr, something that has finally drawn Mumm-Ra himself out into the world to acquire it. With it being something that he has considered a must-have in order to really take full control of the world. The team has made some good progress in the last few episodes, but they’re now quickly up against a wall simply because of the wide array of forces aligned against them. And now they have to do some risky things in order to save the cat slaves that have been found and to try and keep the sword out of Mumm-Ra’s hands.
One of the things this episode does best is something that the series has done sparingly and that’s to look at the past. With Mumm-Ra calling out to the sword, it goes to a flashback involving Mumm-ra at the height of his power and when Leo was his tactician. Playing out this story of the ancient past, with Mumm-Ra and his crew searching for the War Stone he needs and dealing with the star system of Plun-Darr itself, the scale is pretty welcome since it shows just how far and wide Mumm-Ra’s influence was and how many systems he infected. And it works well in that this story is mixed in with pieces from the present, mostly with Lion-o and Pumara trying to draw away Mumm-Ra and his forces while the slaves escape.
The forging of the gauntlet and the sword is a very engaging part of the episode, especially since it really does highlight just how much death went into its manufacture. And how it impacted those on board Mumm-Ra’s ship as well as they saw what the true cost was and even tried to stop it in some way. For Mumm-Ra though, we get a greater understanding of what’s driving him with the ancient ones that are pulling his strings and that tweaks the whole mission he’s on a bit. Seeing the power of the sword is well done here as well, though it’s just the start of things when you get down to it as he uses it against Lion-O. The relationship of the two swords is well explored here and it’s given plenty of context in the present as well, showing the cyclical nature of this fight for Mumm-Ra and the cats themselves.
With Mumm-Ra being used sparingly as a villain, a very positive aspect of the series, having him show up at this point is very appropriate now that the weapon that has a huge price attached to is has been found. There are choices made here that don’t go well and the same can be said of the past, but both of them helps to flesh out the overall storyline really well. While Pumara gets to be a bit annoying with her one-not anger over Lion-O and what he’s done since being king, Lion-O does largely hold firm here even if he does screw up a bit. There’s a lot to like here, especially if you’re like me and enjoy the flashbacks to the distant past, but the present storyline is done well here too since it’s concise and not spread out too far.