Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Life and Times of Panthro

ThunderCats “Old Friends” (S01E04)

By Christopher Scott

Panthro is making some repairs to the Thundertank after its debut at the end of last week’s episode. Lion-O tries to help him, but Panthro shuns him. It seems that Panthro has not yet come to accept Lion-O as his leader, or even his friend. The rest of the Thundercats also seem to have been left out of the project. Panthro explains that he is almost finished, but the vehicle is out of Thundrillium (a source of energy found on the planet). He points to a mine where he is planning to gather some, but the remainder of the team insists that he take them along. Wilykit and Wilykay are left behind for this episode as the adults leave on their mission.

The destination of our heroes seems to already be in use by the lizards. They seem to have a massive mining operation, harvesting tons of Thundrillium. Grune resurfaces in the series here as he is in charge of this task. He has also enlisted the help of some new technology. There is some sort of robot drill named Driller that is responsible for the majority of the stripping of the mine. It seems to take orders, but there is no telling if it is sentient or not.

Panthro begins a flashback montage at this point, which is the premise of the episode. It tells the story of how Panthro and Grune came to be Generals in the war effort. They began as grunts on the frontline who were commended for their valor together. Grune always had a lust for power and Panthro was just along for the ride for the most part. Grune makes it known to his friend that he has every intention of seizing the throne one day, and Panthro really seems okay with that in a “That’s never gonna happen so why bother to argue with him,” sort of way.

The two are eventually sent on their mission to find the Book of Omens after being denied an opportunity to become Generals (which I already thought they were from the first episode, so I’m not sure what that’s all about). They wander all over the world looking for the Book, but without even a clue as to where it might be it is not surprising that they never find it. After a long time Grune starts to hear a voice calling him. He chases the voice for days and Panthro just follows him as if he has nothing better to do. They stumble upon the pyramid lair that houses Mumm-Ra, but they don’t know that at the time. Grune find a way inside and eventually frees his soon-to-be leader. Again, Panthro says very little to stop him. Grune pledges loyalty to Mumm-Ra and fights Panthro until he falls from a ledge inside the lair. The flashback is broken into three separate parts to get this far, but is very anti-climactic in the end.

Back in the present, Panthro has sort of taken the lead of the group of misfits, believing that Lion-O is unfit for the task. (Here, I was a bit torn. Lion-O’s decisions have been pretty terrible thus far, but Panthro’s flashback is not convincing me that he is any better at the job.) Panthro says they will wait for dark to enter the mine, and, out of spite, Lion-O says they should go now and leaves anyway. It isn’t long before he is in over his head and Panthro has to save him. They argue a bit about who is leading and Cheetara steps in to remind everyone that Lion-O is the king and gets to rule them all regardless of how bad he is at it.

Once inside the mine they encounter Grune and the lizard workers. There is almost a short battle, but it is interrupted by Driller as Grune escapes. Lion-O jumps into battle with the machine and conquers it, which wins him some points with Panthro for his skills. The mine begins to collapse because of Driller’s blind fury during the fight, so the team makes a hasty retreat after grabbing a handful of Thundrillium. After making it outside, Panthro pledges allegiance to Lion-O’s rule and together they head back to their campsite.

Not a bad episode, but nothing too deep either. What did you think? Leave a comment below and tell us how this series is stacking up to your expectations!
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1 comment:

Amy K. Bredemeyer said...

I'm glad that we got some background on where Panthro's been and what Grune's motives are. It's still strange to me how different the dynamic is from the old team to this team. What I was really wondering, though, is why we didn't see what sort of trouble WilyKit and WilyKat got into while they were alone, hehe.