It’s finally time to talk about one of the most-anticipated moments of Season 3: Huntara. Months before the season was released, we were teased with a tense image of She-Ra and Huntara (pictured below). Though we knew nothing about this soon to be iconic character (other than her voice being Geena Davis), excitement was high. As anticipated, ‘Huntara’ delivers on all accounts, both Huntara related and otherwise. As promised in the previous episode, Adora and Co. set off on their mission to seek out the source of the cryptic message left in the Crimson Waste. However, they soon discover that this abandoned wasteland is anything but, with a few extra surprises lying ahead on their journey.
Adora, Bow and Glimmer attempt to navigate their way around the Crimson Waste, pausing to take in some of the exotic plant and animal life. Given that none of it has proven safe, both Bow and Glimmer are justifiably creeped out. Always the leader, Adora calms her friends by assuring that their mission is bigger than their fears. The trio proceed, but their route is made more difficult by the fact that Bow’s trackpad has stopped working. No big deal, as ‘expert’ Adora fashions a makeshift compass and uses it to lead the way past the creepy corpses and deeper into the waste.
Back in the Horde, Entrapta and Hordak attempt a first test of their portal, only for it to end in failure. If at first you don’t succeed… Entrapta tries to make sense of the failure, theorizing that there must be a missing key needed for the portal to work. She concludes that perhaps Catra will find the missing piece when she returns from the waste, but Hordak’s grim laughter confirms that he doesn’t expect Catra to return. Frustrated with the failure of the test, Hordak demands that Entrapta leave and that they’re finished with the experiment
Following an attack by a three-headed-snake, Adora, Bow and Glimmer take a moment to recount that the Crimson Waste is indeed terrible. Between the various environmental hazards and wildlife trying to kill them, Bow isn’t sure if they should proceed. Adora insists that they just need a break, prompting Glimmer to point out what appears to be a cluster of tents. In a truly wise and thought out decision, the three head inside what turns out to be a local watering hole, densely populated with outlaws. Though dear, naive Adora attempts to get help, no one seems interested in assisting the trio. Never one to take no for an answer, Adora firmly declares her presence and seeks out assistance, only to be accosted by two outlaws. No worries though, as the two are quickly taken care of by, drumroll please, Huntara.
Huntara makes her grand entrance by declaring the two rules of the crimson waste: the strong make the rules, and not to bother her while she’s eating. She then turns to the trio, asking why they’re asking these people for help, given that they shouldn’t trust anyone. Which, you know, I have to agree with. Stranger danger, y’all. Adora is obviously smitten by the large, buff woman and quickly enlists her help in their mission. Though Huntara questions their sanity, she accepts the position as their guide and agrees to take the three to the center of the Crimson Waste.
Entrapta returns to Hordak’s sanctum with a few more ideas for their portal machine, only to discover something much more out of the ordinary. She tries to leave before she is detected, only to stumble and cause a bit of a disturbance, Entrapta-style. Sans-armor, Hordak barks at her to leave, only to fall and begin to black out. We’re treated to a quick shot of Entrapta rushing to his aide, which I’m trying to stop myself from liking but utterly failing. I’m weak.
As Huntara leads the Best Friends Squad through the Crimson Waste, Adora tries to strike up a conversation over the residents. Huntara explains that all sorts of people end up in the Crimson Waste, all running from something. She immediately goes on the defensive when Adora asks what she’s running rom, insisting that Huntara runs from nothing. Sure, Jan. After a day’s worth of traveling, Bow notices that the group is heading nowhere near the center of the waste. Adora doesn’t believe him, not until she’s struck by a tranquilizer dart. To no one’s surprise, Huntara was not to be trusted; she’s led the trio right into a trap. Their weapons are taken, and they’re pretty much left to fend for themselves.
In surprisingly brighter news, Hordak finally comes to. Entrapta has prepared soup in several tiny bowls to aide his recovery, but Hordak wants none of her attempts and insists she leave him be. As a scientist, Entrapta refuses until he tell her the reason behind his armor keeping him together and the creatures that he keeps in his closet, er, sanctum. Hordak relents and admits that he is a clone of a bigger entity, Horde Prime. He is one of many, as Horde Prime cloned himself several times to create an army to conquer the world. You know, the usual villain schtick. However, due to an unknown error in the cloning process, Hordak remains defective. He was sent to die on the front lines, but a portal opened up and sent him to Etheria. All this time, Hordak has been building an empire to crush the rebellion and prove to Horde Prime that he is worth something; but he’s unable to contact Horde Prime without a working portal. The creatures he keeps in his lab are failed attempts at cloning a new body for Hordak, leaving him broken. Entrapta has no time for a pity party, though, and already has a plan up her sleeve to fix him.
After several painful attempts, Glimmer manages to teleport herself, Adora and Bow out of their trap. Adora understandably sufferse a lapse in confidence, considering everything she put her friends through on this one quest to demystify her past. Being the amazing friends they are, Bow and Glimmer assure her that none of this is her fault, and that they are always there for her. Does anyone know where they sell Bow and Glimmer friend packs? I’ll take one of each, please. Using Huntara’s footprints as a clue, and the three seek out their assailants to retrieve their weapons.
Though Hordak claims he doesn’t need Entrapta’s help, she ignores him and proceeds to build him new armor with the help of some leftover First Ones’ tech. As she’s building, she rightfully calls him out on his obsession with failure and explains that imperfection is beautiful. Who knew Entrapta was such a motivational speaker? Once fused with his tech, Hordak acknowledges her work and thanks her in his own way, by not thanking her at all. It’s all a moot point with Entrapta, she can read through the lines.
Huntara and her crew inspect their loot, though the buff woman seems to be feeling a semblance of regret over abandoning Adora, Bow and Glimmer. The Horned Goon makes fun of Huntara’s sympathies, noting that she only abandoned the teenagers to keep herself safe from whatever she’s running from. Before Huntara can respond, The Best Friends Squad launches their attack to regain their weapons. It’s an entertaining fight, and despite Adora’s momentary lapse in knowledge over how to use Huntara’s spear, she quickly recovers and lives up to her former Horde glory. She-Ra isn’t the only one with fighting skill, y’all!
With her sword back in hand, and much to Huntara’s surprise, Adora transforms into She-Ra and questions Huntara about her knowledge. Huntara finally comes clean, admitting that she was a Horde soldier but abandoned the cause after seeing the true atrocities they were committing. Adora sympathizes with her similar story and bids her to join the Rebellion, but Huntara is unsure, not believing that one girl can stop the war. In a powerful speech, Adora corrects that she’s not alone, and she won’t run away from the task at hand. Her speech is enough to convince Huntara, who agrees to do what she can to help and scares away her followers. With confidence restored, Huntara leads the trio to the center of the Crimson Waste, where a ship awaits them. It isn’t just any ship, though; it’s Mara’s.
‘Huntara’ excellently sets up the setting of the Crimson Waste; between the ruffians, hazardous quicksand and various beasts, the setting quickly lives up to its dangerous reputation. The episode’s title character is an intriguing addition to the cast and could serve as both a hilarious foil and valuable asset to the Princess Alliance. ‘Huntara’ is one of the lighter episodes this season, yet it packs a powerful punch in terms of what’s to come. With the reveal of Mara’s ship and our knowledge of Catra’s imminent arrival, Adora, Bow and Glimmer have a whole lot in store for the next episode.