View Poll Results: How do you rate "Into the Abyss" out of 10 (with 10 being the highest)

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Thread: "Into the Abyss" vintage episode review thread

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  1. #1
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "Into the Abyss" vintage episode review thread

    Promise to self... I *shall* make time tomorrow and catch up on the damn review threads that I start but haven't reviewed myself. Family... terrible net connection... DVD player giving up the ghost (luckily I have several)... all have not helped in recent weeks, but dammit, I'm gonna throw my whole life away and dedicate it to MOTU. ...Oh wait, I've pretty much done that already!

    Anyway, this week's vintage thread review (notice how I've changed from "classic" to "vintage"? Vintage I feel describes the era better, as vintage episodes aren't all classics, if you see what I mean)... anyway, this week's is another fan favourite, "INTO THE ABYSS".

    Brief plot overview:
    After He-Man and co. save the Widgets from Beast Man, Adam complains that he is tired of Teela constantly trying to coax him into training. On the suggestion of Duncan, Teela takes Adam into the forest for a picnic combined with a skill-enhancing game of hide-and-seek. Finding a woodland creature that she names "Pookie", Teela heads to Castle Grayskull to find a hiding place. Teela pulls Pookie back from the brink of the bottomless abyss, but the ground gives way, sending the pair off them plummeting down...

    Let's hear what you have to say on this popular episode. And whether you post your comments or not, don't forget to rate the episode in the poll.
    I will get around to reviewing the episode myself... soon... honest!!
    Last edited by Spacedust; February 26, 2007 at 05:20pm.
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior
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    I like this episode a lot and am glad it was included in the 10 best. I especially like ADAM: I'm tired of being HE-Man Cringer: I don't like being BattleCat either,but I'm glad they're around when we need them. He-Man he never gets tired Adam: Well, Prince Adam sure does. Tahat part made me think it must be hard being two totally different people. Adam is expected to learn his role to be the next king but how can he when he's busy bailing everyone out as He-Man?

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior
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    I liked this episode for a number of reasons; I liked how the transformation was shown in front of Grayskull. It was really in your face, but I noticed how He Man's lips were out of sinc when he said 'I Have The Power.' I liked how Prince Adam has to save the world as He Man and how he works really hard but those who don't know the secret think he is lazy and how that got his goat in this episode. I also like how Teela finds that wierd creature pookie. I just want to know, is the music in that scene She ra music. It sounds like She ra music, but the episode was made in 1984. If it is She ra music, wouldn't this have been the first episode produced to have showcased She ra music.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=Battle Cat;1748864]I liked this episode for a number of reasons; I liked how the transformation was shown in front of Grayskull. It was really in your face, but I noticed how He Man's lips were out of sinc when he said 'I Have The Power.' I liked how Prince Adam has to save the world as He Man and how he works really hard but those who don't know the secret think he is lazy and how that got his goat in this episode. I also like how Teela finds that wierd creature pookie. I just want to know, is the music in that scene She ra music. It sounds like She ra music, but the episode was made in 1984. If it is She ra music, wouldn't this have been the first episode produced to have showcased She ra music.

  5. #5
    Hun
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    This episode is really well written and directed and has the best character developmnet in the entire series. Teela and Adam's conversations are one of a kind. This is one of those classic episodes that stands out. Really emotional episode. I love He-Man's transformation near Castle Grayskull, and the sorcoress love for Teela and sadness was moving. One of the best episodes of the entire run. 10 out of 10.

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior mermaidliz's Avatar
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    Okay, I gave a 10...how exactly did that become a 2? Anyway, I give a 10.
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior
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    I like how Teela finds that wierd creature pookie. I just want to know, is the music in that scene She ra music? It sounds like She ra music, but the episode was made in 1984. If it is She ra music, wouldn't this have been the first episode produced to have showcased She ra music?

  8. #8
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "Into The Abyss" review

    "Into the Abyss" is a fan-favourite second season episode, popular for it's character building and it's situation being different in that it doesn't involve a villain (with only Beast Man making a brief cameo at the beginning, and with very little to do with the main story).

    The story starts off with He-Man, Teela and Battle Cat putting an end to Beast Man's terrorising the Widgets. He has with him rock monsters, which seem to be recycled from the first season episode "Quest for the Sword". We never get to find out about Beast Man's plot in any detail (or indeed, if he was working for Skeletor or if it was a solo effort), and He-Man has seen them off. And fellow Widget-loathers fear not; there is no dialogue and they only appear for a few moments, with nothing really to do with the rest of the episode.

    He-Man, Teela and Battle Cat and Orko head to Castle Grayskull to tell the Sorceress what happened. This is a simple plot device to get them to the castle so that, on the way out, they can engage in dialogue to inform and remind the casual viewer about the bottomless abyss in front of the castle.
    We also learn for the first time, that the source of Grayskull's power lies down the abyss.

    I love the shot of Adam asleep, resting against Cringer, who is on his back with his feet in the air.

    The bulk of the first act is character-driven, with the story unusually (but welcomely) developing at a slower than usual pace, with much more time given over to whimsical conversation instead of peril-driven situations.

    This gives time for a fairly uncommon instance of Adam considering his duel life as He-Man. He considers the differences between them, commenting "...He never gets tired", a quite rare example of, despite being effectively the same person, they also have their distinctive personas.

    In the forest, during the hide-and-seek exercise with Adam, Teela finds the strange creature which she names Pookie. It is in many ways the typical "cutesy Filmation creature", but is not overplayed enough to spoil things.

    There is a moment where Adam, chasing after Teela, falls into a shallow chasm. I've always wondered if this was in some ways used as a red herring, with the title obviously giving away that the story was to be about an abyss, and misleading for a moment that it was Adam who would be in peril. Or maybe not.

    When Teela and Pookie fall into the abyss at the end of Act 1, Linda Gary does a terrifying, haunting scream. This scream was also used in "Attack from Below", which production number is the one directly before this episode. The scream is most effective here, though.

    With Teela trapped, badly injured, on a ledge, we get a real sense of desperation, more than nearly every other episode in the series.

    It also became evident that Pookie was included in the story as a device to give Teela someone to talk to, to share what she is thinking, rather than just talk to herself.

    One small niggle is where Teela gets the cloth from to use as a bandage on her injured arm. Presumably she had it concealed somewhere on her costume - we all know how MOTU characters can whip out just about anything from beneath their costumes!

    When the others have tracked down Teela's whereabouts, I like Orko's cry of sadness, again more good voice-work.

    When Adam looks up to Castle Grayskull's window to tell the Sorceress what has happened to Teela, the shot of him is very poor, as he is smiling - very inappropriate!!

    There is one of the series' classic moments when the Sorceress tries to communicate telepathically with Teela, desperately calling... "Teela... Teela". Teela senses it and looks up, saying "mother?".

    As Adam pulls the Sword of Power to transform into He-Man, it is a great shot of him holding it aloft in front of (one of) Eternia's moon(s), a shot that has been used on many fan projects.

    Then comes the second classic moment of the episode, and it's a true corker - as Adam prepares to transform, the theme music starts up as per usual, but we cut down to Teela. We hear "By the Power of Grayskull" echoing down from above, and energy bolting down the abyss. Moments later, we see a huge dazzle of power shooting back up to the top, as He-Man cries "I have the Power!".
    To break this down into my usual over-analysis, it would seem that "By the Power" summons the energy, giving off some of the energy stored within the sword. The power rises from the abyss, into the sword and He-Man, so he can quite literally say "I have the Power!".
    The only small niggle letting this truly wonderful sequence down, is that the lip-sync for "I have the Power!" is noticeably off, one of the most notable (and quite uncommon) cases of out-of-sync dialogue in the entire series.

    The actual rescue of Teela is actually slightly rushed, and not as dramatic as events building up to it might have suggested. It actually seems fairly simple, with Teela not as far down the abyss as previously indicated. But the episode has so much going for it, that it doesn't really matter.

    I consider "Into the Abyss" to be a very, very good episode. That said, it is for some reason not one of my most watched episodes. As excellent as it is, it would probably get nudged out of my personal top 10. On that basis, I would still give it a very high 9. But I think this episode works best when you've seen many other episodes. If you had only seen a handful, I would say that there are better showcases of the series. But "Into the Abyss" works best when you are familiar with the characters and their relationships. It is a nice break from the usual villain-based episodes, with much more time given over to character development. In this respect, I have to give it a 10.
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  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior
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    I like how Teela finds that wierd creature pookie. But I just want to know for the 100th time, is the music in that scene She ra music? It sounds like She ra music, but the episode was made in 1984. If it is She ra music, wouldn't this have been the first episode produced to have showcased She ra music?

  10. #10
    Eternian Jedi Knight He-Fan's Avatar
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    Chris here...

    This episode is, without question, my absolute most favourite He-Man episode...heck, my absolute most favourite He-Man story ever! 10 for me is not a high enough rating, but since it was the highest option available, that's what I voted!

    I love this episode because it is the total encapsulation of everything that was brilliant about Filmation's He-Man series - strong "heart". The storyline is believable and engaging, dealing with Adam's frustrations at being He-Man and the relationship between Adam and Teela - we see Adam, Teela and Man-at-Arms all interact not as separate individuals but as a family, and that is where the heart of the show lies.

    Adam's argument with Teela is something that's been building over the course of the series - Adam's lazy ways (to disguise his identity) are constantly criticised by Teela, who picks on Adam a lot at times during the series, and whilst this is often done in a brother-sister-like fashion, you keep waiting for Adam to go "Enough already!" This is finally tackled in this episode, and that (plus the scenes that follow) are brilliantly handled!

    For my money, Linda Gary's best voice acting takes place in this episode - not just as Teela, but as the Sorceress, when her tear-filled voice reaches out for Teela, it's an amazing scene! Then of course there's the scene that everyone remembers - seeing the power of Grayskull flooding from the abyss towards He-Man, which again is brilliantly done!

    In short, for my money this is the single best episode of He-Man ever. This is the best of the best, the episode that sets the standard, the encapsulation of the pure heart and soul that MYP's He-Man series couldn't quite reach. It is brilliant - watch it!

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  11. #11
    80s cartoon guru manny's Avatar
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    this is one of my faves and a classic defenitly reguarded as one of my all time fave heman eps
    classic for how the charachters fed off of each other. the closeness between the charachters and also the teela and the sorcerees heart felt moment at the end of the epsisode, even though there was no evil in this episode except at the begining it was defenitly extremely well written and showed great charachter development i give it a 10
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