The second half of this two-part trials episode begins with the remaining Cats on a ridge overlooking Mumm-Ra’s pyramid. They’re planning how to get the Sword of Omens back, and Tygra is more than a little depressed at how he became king. After the adults leave, WilyKat sees Kitt drawing on a rock. When asked, she tells him it’s so Lion-O can find them … because although he might be “dead,” he still has a chance to come back so long as he has his soul. Awww, reincarnation for the win.
Lion-O’s next challenge is a test of strength to take place in the palace throne room. His task? Get Panthro out of a ring before the sand runs free from the hourglass. At first, Lion-O tries to manhandle the big cat from within the circle. And then he figures out that he’s the king–so instead he orders Panthro to leave the circle … which Panthro willingly does. So it wasn’t a test of physical strength, but rather a test of Lion-O’s strength as a leader. These trials are never what they seem, eh?
Outside, Tygra and the others defeat the guards outside the pyramid and easily break in. Once they enter, however, the alarm starts blaring and more lizards respond. Then Kitt plays a song to put the creatures to sleep, allowing the team to sneak off. The lizards come to and, thinking it a false alarm, turn the klaxons off before returning to their posts.
Lion-O next appears in the arena where he lost so many times to Tygra. The cat in question is there as well–this time the test is to ring the bell at the top of the tree first. Lion-O races Tygra to the top, all the while trying to attack his brother and get there first. Lion-O realizes this trial is about controlling his emotions, since Tygra always loved to make him angry. The reason? It was just so darn easy.
Lion-O knows Tygra always had to beat him so he could prove to everyone the crown was going to someone who didn’t deserve it. Tygra says he wasn’t the only one who thought Lion-O didn’t deserve the crown. Lion-O replies with the assumption his father thought that … which isn’t true. No, Tygra says it was Lion-O who thought he shouldn’t be king. And apparently he still does. Tygra rings the bell, and back down on the ground hands a skull-headed key to Lion-O. The younger cat presses the key into the portal … and then walks through.
Outside, Mumm-Ra begins the ritual to destroy the Sword of Omens and take back the Eye of Thundera. Tygra kicks out the grate the cats are watching through and leaps into action. His fellows follow, and first it looks like they might get the sword. Then Mumm-Ra shocks them all to the ground; while lying there, WilyKitt tells WilyKat to buy him some time. Kat asks who they’re waiting for, since no-one’s coming. Sure Kat. No one’s coming. Riiight.
Lion-O appears back at the start, where Jaga stands in judgement over his failure. Lion-O argues that the other cats need him, and Jaga reveals that they’re being held in Mumm-Ra’s pyramid right this moment. Lion-O wonders aloud why he’s being told his, given that he can’t do a thing about it. And then he makes a deal to give up his soul in order to save them. Jaga agrees, with the caveat that he can only give Lion-O until sunrise. After that, his soul will depart his body and go to limbo. Forever. What’s a king to do but sacrifice everything?
Lion-O is sent back to his body, and first uses the power of his gauntlet to shove the rocks off. Then he claws his way to the surface, where he’s confronted by a huge climb up. Until he sees a great bird dive into the water and grabs on. Once at the right level, he sees the first of Kitt’s drawings … and then takes off running, following the drawings all the way. Yay! Kitt was right!
Locked in the cell, Cheetara barely wants to think about what’ll happen when Mumm-Ra destroys the sword. Tygra recognizes that the first time he has to make decisions as king, he ends up getting them captured. Whereas Lion-O’s decisions had a way of working out. Kitt, on the other hand, remains confident that Lion-O will show up and save them all despite Cheetara and Tygra trying to convince her otherwise. I’d listen to that kid, guys.
Lion-O sneaks into the pyramid with ease. He has to hide from Sly, Kaynar, and Addicus, who’re debating whether to eat one of the little cats, but then reveals himself and tricks the three generals into a cell. Snerk. Sneaky thing, that cat. Lion-O races across the bridge and frees the other cats–all of whom can barely believe he’s there. Cheetara asks how it’s possible, but Lion-O doesn’t really have time to explain. So they race down the hall to break into the inner sanctum.
Mumm-Ra is working his wicked magic when the door explodes, sending Lion-O and the others rushing into the chamber. Lion-O tangles with Mumm-Ra, who transforms into his Super!Mumm-Ra form and fires his magic bolts at the ThunderCat king. However, Lion-O still has the spirit stone … which he uses to craft a shield against Mumm-Ra’s magic. Lion-O runs up the wall, dives past Mumm-Ra, grabs the Sword of Omens, and uses that to send a massive blast of energy at the evil creature.
Mumm-Ra flees while the pyramid’s alarms blare. Lizards chase our heroes from the pyramid, and the next scene has our heroes standing out on the dunes. Cheetara asks for an explanation, but Lion-O doesn’t answer. Instead, he says he has to go. And why? Well spirit Jaga appears and says it’s because Lion-O made the ultimate sacrifice to come back and save them.
The sun rises, and Lion-O prepares for his second death. Jaga even confirms that it’s time. Time to use the knowledge gained from the trials to lead his people as the reborn king of the ThunderCats, of course. Raise your hand if you saw that “twist” coming. Totally called it the instant Jaga agreed to send Lion-O back with the caveat about sunrise. And the episode ends with Lion-O agreeing to explain what happened, beginning with when he died.
If you missed the first part be sure to read our ‘ThunderCats: Trials of Lion-O, Part One’ recap to catch up.