The fourth episode of Cartoon Network's Thundercats just finished -- which saw the team fully united!
Panthro has answered the call of the Sword of Thundera to come to the aid of a young King Lion-O!
This was a very thoughtful and heartwarming episode as it featured the Thundercats encounter with a peculiar race of creatures called the Petalars, who live out their entire lifetime in 24 hours.
As the Cats are fleeing The Lizard army, they seek refuge within the Brambles, a dome-like confine consisting of thorny plants within the woods. They encounter the Petalars, which are small humanoid-like creatures made of up petals ("Petalars" - get it?). As the Petalars are born and die within the same day, they go through their life cycle very quickly. At the same time, they mange to learn life's lessons just as fast.
Lion-O befriends a Petalar named Emeric, who manages to teach Lion-O a lesson about hope. The Petalars have been lost and trapped within the confines of the Brambles for as long as they can remember (which could literally be days); however, they do have a map with a way back to the promised land. In turn, Lion-O offers the Petalars the Thundercats assistance in finding their way home.
Meanwhile, the Lizard Army led by Slithe is dead set on capturing the Cats. As Slithe and his troops encounter the Brambles, they realize it is too thick to continue and set it on fire. This reminded me of the movie Avatar, unfortunately, as the Lizard men had their machines and were destroying the forest, with the Cats and the plant-like Petalars on the run. However, the creators on Thundercats didn't offer up anymore eco-nazi propaganda -- to their credit.
As Emeric matures from podling to adulthood, and finally to simple petals, he teaches Lion-O not to give up, as the map was thought to be false but eventually proven legitimate. As the fire gets closer an up-draft is revealed, leading the way for the small petal-like creatures to return home. While Slithe's minions manage to attack and capture the Thundercats, their newly found friends come to their aid, distracting the lizards, and giving the Cats just enough time to break free. As the Thundercats finish off the Lizards, the Petalars make way to freedom. A once young Emeric, now an old "man," will not be able to reach the promised land (ala Moses) as he becomes a small pile of leaves. However, Emeric manages to finish the journey as the up-draft scoops up his petals in a swirl of wind and amazement.
Back to the Thundercats. With Emeric and the Petalars gone, Lion-O's resolve is renewed, and they take the fight to Slithe. Before they set out, Lion-O holds the famed Sword Of Thundera high in the air and repeats the Thundercats call, "Thunder! Thunder! Thunder! Thunder Cats! Ho!" As they reach the Lizard Army, Slithe has his Mechs at his side which are no match for the too few Thundercats. Out of the distance a roar is heard - the ThunderTank! The ThunderTank makes short work of the technological beasts of the Reptilians, and Panthro is stood revealed -- nunchucks and all!
This was another quality episode (and from legendary comic book writer J.J. DeMatteis!) that saw the action mimic the theme. Emeric's short life span managed to teach Lion-O a lesson in hope and faith, as it mirrored Lion-O's journey to discover the Book Of Omens. However, Emeric had the benefit of aging, and in turn, revealed his wisdom to the new King, which furthered Lion-O's growth (remember Petalars) from a boy to a man. While Lion-O still has to manage his "Brambles," Emeric the Petalar has managed to break free of the confines the thorns and vines dispensed.
Though Panthro's appearance was brief - to say the least, the creator's on Thundercats have managed to keep you on the edge of your seat with the ending -- just as they have with previous episodes.
As many fans have noted, a major component of the TCats is missing - the intro! With the Thundercats now on the loose -- will next episode see its debut!?