One of my favorite things by far about ThunderCats is that it picks up the new episodes pretty much right where the old one left off. The cats are still in the Forest of Magi Oar from last week, but now are driving toward the Elephant Village from two weeks ago. Wilykit is excited to see Aburn, and says that the village feels like home. Wilykat whips out a picture of the city from the pilot, and declares that they’ll be home when they reach Eldara again.
Meanwhile, Panthro is amazed that the spirit stone’s been in the Elephant Village this entire time. Lion-O then explains that the stone isn’t really in the village, it’s in the Astral Plane — the hut is merely a gateway there. So Panthro asks the question that people might be wondering: “Where on Third Earth is the Astral Plane?” This leads Cheetara to explain that the Astral Planes aren’t actually on Third Earth; they exist outside the real world. Panthro then demands to know if the stone is or isn’t in the village, and Tygra finally ends the discussion by saying it both is and isn’t.
Lion-O and Cheetara talk above them now; Lion-O says he finally got the hang of Sight Beyond Sight, and Cheetara says she knew he would. The sword chose him for a reason after all; then she drops down into the main tank cabin, and Lion-O says to Tygra that Cheetara will probably choose him for the same reason the sword did. And then Tygra growls to himself that Cheetara will be one more thing Lion-O doesn’t deserve. Tygra’s lack of good feeling toward Lion-O is rearing its ugly head more and more lately.
Then there’s a flashback to the first time Tygra and Cheetara met when they were young cats. Tygra was guarding part of the city, and Cheetara showed up to ask for directions to where Jaga’s clerics lived. Turns out she wants to join the clerics; Tygra messes it up by telling her not to get her hopes up. Cheetara is put through a test inside, but naturally fails because she lacks patience. So instead she decides to sit outside the clericy building and not move until they take her. Hmm … anyone else already predicting how this turns out?
The cats reach the Elephant Village, but discover that Grune and the lizards are already there keeping the peaceful Elephants captive. Grune’s gone into the hut and comes out with a broom, the only thing inside. The Elephants declare “oh we were looking for that broom.” Grune doesn’t find the “fabled Elephant memory” nearly as endearing, and declares that if they don’t remember where the stone is by the time the third moon rises he will “cull the herd.” To prove he’s serious, he destroys one of the trees around the village and whips around and declares “now what do you have to say?”
In a truly funny bit of dialogue, the Elephants say thank you because Grune’s destruction really opened up their view from the village. This of course angers Grune, since the normal reaction to him being a jerk is people falling over themselves to appease him. Awww, poor wittle Grune not getting what he wants.
Our heroes are on the ridge above, deciding what to do. Lion-O suggests stealth at nightfall so they can manage things delicately, but Tygra favors blasting in there with the ThunderTank instead. Lion-O and his brother argue … apparently because Tygra studied tactics with their father instead of “goofing off” like Lion-O, he believes none of Lion-O’s ideas are worth listening to. Cheetara bashes down the tank idea too, and tells Tygra she always considered stealth his greatest strength. To Tygra responds with “no wonder I’ve always been invisible to you.”
Flashback again! This time Cheetara sits outside the cleric building in good weather, in a rainstorm, and even to the point where she’s falling over from weakness. Finally Jaga says that this shows she can indeed learn patience, and he brings her inside the clericy.
Back in the present, the cats are huddled in the grass waiting. Lion-O complains to Cheetara about Tygra challenging him all the time, and Cheetara says it might have something to do with being in Lion-O’s shadow all the time. Besides that, tigers are known for being prideful. A bell rings, and Lion-O declares that it’s time.
The cats attack and make short work of the lizards guarding the base of the steps. Wilykat and Wilykit race up the stairs to the Elephant Village where they see Grune facing down the Elephants. The third moon has risen and it’s time to talk, to which Aburn replies “I love a good discussion, any topic in particular?” The lizards advance on him, and Wilykit does the stupid thing and leaps up on a rock to declare that no one harms the Elephants.
This of course enables Grune to capture the rest of the cats.. Grune grabs the dropped Sword of Omens and points it at Lion-O to ask where the stone is. Lion-O, smirking, asks if he checked the hut. Ruh-roh … Grune not happy now. He realizes Lion-O knows something, despite our hero’s protestations to the contrary, because there’s no other reason he’d come back to the village. So in true bad-guy fashion, Grune orders the entire herd destroyed. Meanwhile, Tygra slips away presumably to get the tank and save the day.
Lion-O breaks down and reveals the stone is located through the hut in the Astral Plane. Grune stops the machines that look like astromechs from destroying the Elephants, and goes with Lion-O to open the hut. Big magic later, and there’s a shimmery yellow door in the back wall of the hut around the Sword of Omens — the “key” needed to open the doorway.
Grune shoves Lion-O aside and orders the Elephants murdered. The astromechs power up, and then suddenly a dozen rockets land and destroy a whole mess. The Tank roars, and Tygra bursts in to destroy the lizard army and save the day. Then the rest of the cats leap into action, and Panthro goes after Grune, who ends up running because the odds aren’t in his favor.
The day won, the Cats and the Elephants stand at the doorway to the Astral Plane. Arnet warns Lion-O that the Astral Plane is like nowhere they’ve ever been before. There thought is formed into reality. Lion-O tries to calm himself, and then Cheetara kisses him on the cheek and says she believes in him. Tygra nearly freaks out at this, and declares that he’s going along because the mission’s too important. Lion-O says he doesn’t need his help, but Tygra throws his success of the day back in his younger brother’s face. Lion-O acquiesces and Tygra enters the Astral Plane first.
Arnet grabs Lion-O and gives one further warning before the Lord of the ThunderCats enters the plane — by evening bell tomorrow, Tygra will betray Lion-O in a terrible, terrible way. Lion-O doesn’t believe it, but another Elephant confirms that Arnet’s visions are never wrong. Great … so now Tygra’s going to betray his brother. Well, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. Next week’s episode, by the way, is titled “Between Brothers.” Hmmm … I wonder what that’s going to be about?
Then we get a treat, because the scene shifts to Mumm-Ra as a crow who declares “March toward your death, ThunderCats, because in the Astral Plane Mumm-Ra is ALL POWERFUL!” Ooo I got me some chills now. Shiz just got real.