"Mistaken Identity"
Synopsis and Review
Cartoon Series: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - 1983-85
Producer: Filmation
Season: 2
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Year: 1985
Director: Bill Reed
Production No: MU123


Original Airdate: ?/?/1985

Adam, Cringer, Teela, and Orko enjoy a picnic in the forest while Tharan and his girlfriend have a date. Kareel's doting on the heroics of He-Man prove prophetic when He-Man saves them all from a Shrieker accidentally aggravated by Cringer. In the royal prison, a scientist Galen Nycroft uses a machine to transform into Modulok. Tharan concocts a plot to make Kareel think he is the secret identity of He-Man. He uses his pet Armi to create Dragosaur sounds in the Crystal Cave. News of the Dragosaur reaches He-Man, who finds nothing in the cave. Kareel sees Tharan enter the cave and He-Man exit the cavern.

Overhearing Tharan admit to Kareel he is He-Man's secret identity, Modulok captures him. Kareel alerts Adam of Tharan's capture, and He-Man investigates. Modulok tries to force Tharan into changing into He-Man by unleashing his Grabber monster on him. Armi leads He-Man and Kareel to Tharan, where He-Man defeats the Grabber and imprisons Modulok.

Synopsis by Zadok Angell

 Interesting Episode Facts

- Originally this episode aired between MU122 ("Search for a Son") and MU124 (The Toy Maker").  For the BCI DVD release of the series however, episodes were moved around for continuity's sake and this episode was moved a bit earlier showing between MU112 ("The Eternia Flower") and MU114 ("Battle of the Dragons").  It was essentially switched with episode MU113 which now shows in its place later in the series.

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User Reviews


The episode revolves around a young Eternian couple, Tharan and Kareel, who are both a bit annoying. Kareel bangs on about how amazing He-Man is and how Tharan shouldn’t even try to measure up to him, which rather understandably makes the lad feel a bit hurt. He tries to win back some masculine pride by tricking her into thinking he actually *is* He-Man. Sound misguided? Well, it’s instant karma because within just a few seconds of telling the lie he’s captured by the villain of the day… Modulok!

This is a great origins story for Modulok, showing him quite calmly and deliberately turning himself from human scientist into tripedal monster in order to escape his imprisonment in the Royal Palace. Now, to me that shows some amazing commitment to the cause of villainy but when he sends his CV to Skeletor he gets a drubbing down like a candidate on the Apprentice. Although the perennial incompetence of Skeletor’s henchmen may lead you to believe otherwise, it turns out he doesn’t just open up his gang to anyone. “You were a wimp scientist and you could be a wimp villain,” the bony one cautiously remarks.

Modulok thus determines to prove he’s suitably evil and cunning by capturing Tharan, believing him to be He-Man. Pretty evil and cunning that. But he also magnanimously decides to let Kareel go, enabling her to warn the real He-Man, and perhaps proving Skeletor had a point? Anyhow, He-Man rocks up and, with the help of Tharan’s pet Armi, foils Modulok’s plan. He-Man says Modulok will be reimprisoned in the Royal Palace but with tighter security, although by the time of Happy Birthday Roboto – broadcast before but coming afterwards in continuity terms – he’s been able to escape again and seems well on his way to fulfilling his full villain potential.

The end of the episode feels a little bit anti-climactic, as it doesn’t seem that either Tharan or Kareel have really learned their lesson. Shockingly, we never get to discover what happened to them in future stories but I’m guessing they went their separate ways pretty soon after this…

(If you’ve got any comments or thoughts about the review then please do e-mail me on misterclawful@umpire.com).

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