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Our Review of She-Ra Season Four

Our Review of She-Ra Season Four

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Season 4 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power goes hard. It’s shocking that Seasons 1 and 4 both contain thirteen episodes, considering how far the show has come in the time between them. The difference between Seasons 1 and 4 is staggering—while Season 1 introduced She-Ra’s core cast and kicked off the show’s overarching conflicts, Season 4 focuses on the show’s high-stakes plot and its effects on the cast of characters. In other words, we’re not at Princess Prom anymore. This season, the Horde and the Princess Rebellion struggle against each other, their own internal discourses, and the looming threat of Horde Prime’s arrival. Relationships are tested, allegiances change, and breathtaking reveals irreversibly alter the show’s DNA. As passionate She-Ra fans, we have many thoughts about the show’s fourth season—so let’s get into it!  

As a general disclaimer, this review will not discuss key plot points or outright spoilers for Season 4. However, we will mention several topics and events from the new episodes, so if you’re spoiler-wary and would like to go into the season completely blind, this is your warning. 

Our entire team watched Season 4 in one sitting, Hez, our website designer, first, Sam second, and Ariel third. After two short seasons, a five-hour binge sounds like a blessing—but there are some downsides, too. We recommend taking breaks throughout your viewing session, even if they’re short. Season 4 of She-Ra starts and ends intense, with few chill moments in between. If you do binge the season, Sam recommends a slower re-watch so you can pay attention to details.

The first few episodes of previous seasons tend to be lighthearted, gently introducing the season’s overarching plot points and conflict. Season 4 diverges from this pattern, addressing the aftermath of the portal and rising tides of war. Even the theme song changes to match the show’s tone, reflecting the shift we see in the episodes. The amount of deteriorating relationships, downward spirals, and upsetting twists definitely makes this season heavier than the first three. Luckily, Season 4 still maintains the banter and goofs we’ve learned to expect from She-Ra

A big theme this season is friendship, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. However, Season 4 elevates its exploration of friendships and character interactions. Characters start to interact with those outside their usual circle, giving short glances into different aspects of their personalities. In the past three seasons, we’ve watched friendships build and crumble, forming bonds both strong and shaky. Season 4 tests these bonds by putting people into higher-stakes situations, and it’s both fascinating and incredibly realistic how each character handles it. We particularly appreciated the depiction of toxic relationships, both familiar and unexpected, and their repercussions for characters involved.

Season Four of She-Ra rises to action faster than its predecessors—‘filler’ episodes are few and far between, giving the audience little time to rest between intense plot events. The benefit of this advanced pacing is that A Lot of Things Happen this season. If you’re a fan of overarching plot and lore, Season Four will probably be a favorite. We see a lot more details of the war between the Rebellion and the Horde, as well as victories and losses that feel more significant than previous plot events. Although Bright Moon and the Fright Zone remain central locations, we see a lot more variety in returning and brand-new Etherian municipalities. As a result, we’re treated to even more interesting cultures, environments, and character designs. Speaking of environments and character design, they’re particularly stellar this season,  constantly giving the audience something to pause and examine.

This season constantly toys with good and evil, especially as the moral lines between the Horde and Rebellion blur. We see more military logistics than ever before: how the Rebellion and Horde direct their troops, develop their weaponry, and treat their soldiers, for example. It’s really interesting to learn more about these opposing armies, especially within the Horde, which has experienced a ridiculous amount of administrative changes since Season 1. 

One of Season 4’s strengths is its focus on putting characters under pressure. Stress has a major impact on the emotional stability and critical thinking of several key players. Being the Queen of Bright Moon, the Horde Co-Lord, or She-Ra aren’t easy jobs, and the elevated pressure on Glimmer, Catra, and Adora heavily influences their thoughts and actions. She-Ra has always done a remarkable job in its ability to demonstrate real-life mental health experiences in its fantasy setting. In Season 4, we find several examples of positive behavior, including self-love, healthy communication, and setting limits with toxic people. On the other end of the spectrum, we watch characters suffer deeply as their mental health deteriorates. She-Ra’s cast and crew create powerful sequences that many viewers will find painfully relatable. These higher-level details redefine the kinds of stories ‘children’s’ animation can tell, challenging its audience with deeply complicated, painful, and impactful moments. She-Ra excels at representation, not only of LGBT+ characters and themes, but also of neurodivergent characters who aren’t portrayed as jokes or reductive stereotypes. 

If you’ve been longing for a bigger spotlight on smaller characters, look no further than Season 4. She-Ra’s cast is massive by its fourth season, but these episodes give nearly every character their due. It’s highly refreshing, given how two characters in particular (see paragraph below) have taken the narrative lead in previous seasons. The shift in storytelling allows the audience to grow deeper bonds with different characters and their unique stories (one of Sam’s favorite episodes nails this). 

This would be an incomplete review if we didn’t address Catra and Adora. Episodes like ‘Promise’ and ‘Remember’ have established their relationship as the emotional foundation of the show, and generally their interactions drive the plot. In light of events inside the portal, they are more emotionally distanced from each other this season than ever before. Season 4 focuses on Catra and Adora as individuals, issuing challenges that have little to do with their fractured relationship.

We loved Season 4, and as always, a few particular moments stand out. Double Trouble is a welcome addition to the show’s cast, introducing a new level of moral complexity to an already complicated world. It’s also worth mentioning that their pronouns go unquestioned and universally used, which is refreshing and important for all audiences to see. Although Scorpia has always been a gem of a character, her arc this season is particularly endearing. Depictions of loving relationships help to balance the toxic dynamics this season explores. ‘Hero’ is this season’s standout episode, strongly written and striking a major emotional chord.  

Season 4 of She-Ra is just as stellar as the previous three, demonstrating new strengths and elements audiences will love. The tightly-woven story makes use of every minute of the thirteen episodes. The show’s staples—complex relationships and relatable themes in a fantasy setting—are as present as ever. Its darker tone and more mature storylines appeal to a wide array of viewers, hooking them until the season’s conclusion. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power continues to deliver consistent, high-quality entertainment in twenty-minute bundles, and we cannot wait to see what comes next.

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