Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Book of Omens is Found

by Christopher Scott

ThunderCats “Journey to the Tower of Omens” (S01E05)

The Thundercats are in a forest searching for the Tower of Omens, which is the resting place of the Book of Omens. They have hit a small roadblock in their directions and are unsure of which direction to travel next. Lion-O is trying to use the ability of “sight beyond sight,” which uses the Sword of Thundera to guide him toward whatever goal he has in mind (sort of like Jack’s compass in Pirates of the Caribbean). The ability is not working properly, which Cheetara attributes to Lion-O’s lack of confidence. Just as she tries to help him to trust himself, Snarf trips on a branch, revealing an entrance to the temple.

Meanwhile, Mumm-Ra is watching their every move. He imprisoned Jaga in a lantern that was supposed to guide him to the Book of Omens in an earlier episode, but apparently that did not work as well as he had planned. He has a flashback of the first time he grasped the Eye of Thundera, several generations ago. I guess he was the leader of the cat race, and they conquered a plant for its power. The flashback is really short and not very thorough with explanations. Now that he has seen the direction the Thundercats are going, he decides to leave his pyramid fortress and track down the book personally.

The feline team enters the temple to find it is rigged with traps. Each trap seems to be attuned to the skills of a particular team member. The first room is a long bridge over a spiked floor. There are hundred of keys hanging from the ceiling. Cheetara decides to grab keys and try them until one works, however after the first incorrect key the bridge is retracted, leaving them all hanging onto a ledge at the far door. This room is solved by Wilykit and Wilykat. Being an expert thief, Wilykat has become a master at lock-picking and soon opens the door for everyone to climb into.

The next room is full of whirling blades, spinning at such a pace that they would surely kill anyone who might get caught in their path. Cheetara steps up for this trial. Having been trained as a cleric, she can augment her speed like magic and dashes into the hall. She loses a few hairs along the way, but gracefully dismounts the ceiling on the other side and opens the door, stopping the blades so that all may pass.

The third test opens up to a tremendous crevice in the earth. At first it would seem that they all must re-enter the jungle and continue their quest, but Cheetara reminds Lion-O that his sword may offer another path. Lion-O once again practices sight beyond sight, which shows him a switch on the cliffside. Tygra steps up and uses his whip to hit this switch, exposing the true Tower of Omens and a bridge to get them there.

Everyone’s excitement is building as they enter the chamber. There is a large column in the center with a spiraling staircase. Besides being very tall, there seems to be no trick to this room. That is, until Mumm-Ra shows himself. After some cocky banter, Mumm-Ra tosses the lantern with Jaga’s soul to the ground, but Cheetara springs forward and catches it. Lion-O and Tygra run for the staircase while Panthro steps forward to engage Mumm-Ra in battle.

Panthro holds his own for a while until Mumm-Ra finally transforms to his ultimate form, known Mumm-Ra the Ever Living. Using this form he conquers Panthro quickly, as well as Wilykit and Wilykat. He then leaps into the air, and, spreading his massive wings, takes flight up the tower. Tygra breaks off from Lion-O and holds back the enhanced version of Mumm-Ra for a few moments, but is also no match for the villain. Just as Lion-O reaches the top and sees the Book of Omens, Mumm-Ra appears to keep him from his prize. The two face-off as Cheetara awakens and races to the top of the tower to aid her king.

Mumm-Ra dispatches both of them with relative ease. Cheetara could only get in the way and Lion-O is not yet powerful enough to wield the Sword of Omens against such a powerful enemy. When all hope seems lost, Jaga sacrifices himself by destroying the lantern and exposing incredible light. As you may remember from the first episode, Mumm-Ra cannot handle direct light, and is forced to retreat from the tower. A small ball of light then escapes from the broken lantern and floats to the Book of Omens and dissipates. I guess it signifies Jaga’s soul is now encased in the book. As Lion-O opens the book he finds it to be … blank. And so ends the episode.

Were you expecting something different? And what do you think will be their next plan now that they have retrieved the book that has been the focal point of the story so far? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
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