We’re so excited to finally get into our reviews of Season 4! Our team has been itching to share these with you, so without much ado, let’s get into it. In case you needed a bit of a refresher, we last left our heroes in the immediate aftermath of the Portal. We face the loss of two beloved characters, with Queen Angella having made the ultimate sacrifice to save Etheria, and Catra banishing Entrapta to Beast Island for attempting to stop the portal. So where does that leave us for the new season? With a lot of changes. But the question is, how many of them will be good?
Glimmer starts off the season with a new outfit and a new hairstyle, meant to reflect her growing maturity and her new position as Queen of Brightmoon. Before we can even fully process this new look, Castaspella bursts into the room with a dire situation: what cake does Glimmer want for her coronation? The whole cake decision scene is hilarious, not only because of the fact that they got cake-toppers (and I really wish we had gotten to see the other cakes, just to see if they also had the same toppers), but because they’re acting so serious. Despite the lightheartedness of the moment, one thing is clear: Glimmer is not okay.
Before we continue, let’s talk about the theme song for a quick second. The music remains the same (just as amazing), but the visuals are a bit different. The most notable changes are in the establishing shot from the Horde’s players. Double Trouble is now there, and they’re looking fabulous, but Shadow Weaver is gone. In her place, is a mysterious three-eyed figure. Of course, we can’t forget the rest of the ensemble. Scorpia does not look happy there, almost like she’s repentant, and Kyle’s group don’t seem so certain either. Seems like dissent may be on the Horizon. Catra also bears a new costume, evident in both the Horde shot and her fight with She-Ra. After this moment, Glimmer appears in her new costume. The final shot of the show’s title also features some new people. Everyone will recognize Mara’s hologram on the left, and there’s a new character in the right corner.
Back to the episode, Bow and Adora try their hardest to be Good FriendsTM and make this a perfect coronation for Glimmer, but Glimmer isn’t really having it. Through all of the planning and chaos, Glimmer’s feelings seem to be largely misinterpreted and pushed to the wayside. Nevertheless, the planning continues. Before the coronation, Glimmer must go on the Queen’s Quest, make a speech, and then host a ball. The information of the quest is given via scroll to Bow, in addition to a Very Important lantern.
Castaspella goes on for a while about her excellent party-planning skills before bidding Glimmer take them to the terrace. However, here we find a new development— Glimmer isn’t using her powers. We don’t know why just yet, but she seems content to walk to the next part of the planning. Mmaybe walking is for the best, because the courtyard is a bit chaotic. Frosta has made a giant, buff ice-sculpture of herself and Glimmer and while it’s amazing for us to see, we’re sure it’s not what Glimmer originally had in mind. To distract her, Glimmer bids Frosta to greet the guests, which she immediately misinterprets to read as being a Bouncer. Gotta love Frosta! Meanwhile, as Castaspella had previously fired the florist, Glimmer appoints Mermista to the task, much to Perfuma’s anguish.
Adora attempts to lift Glimmer’s spirits, guiding her over to Bow who is trying to make heads and tails of the scroll detailing the quest. He mentions that Glimmer will need a ceremonial robe, and though Glimmer suggests they all try to find it, Adora quickly cuts her off and says that she and Bow will do it. Before Glimmer can argue the matter further, Castaspella reappears with more questions about napkins, and Mermista takes her flower arranging duties a bit too far. Poor Glimmer.
In our first glimpse of the Fright Zone this season, we see the Horde in complete disarray after the effects of the Portal. Clearly, no one has ever heard of a clean-up effort in the Horde. Catra enters Hordak’s sanctum, wondering why the delay in sending out their troops. Hordak isn’t here for any of her demands, and calls out her actions in setting off the portal. For once, Catra isn’t affected by the criticism and instead wants to look forward to the future, but again, Hordak puts her in her place. The moment she mentions Entrapta, he goes absolutely ballistic and attacks her, barking at her to double their defenses so that the Princesses won’t be able to get into the Fright Zone again. It’s during this speech that Catra notices the First One’s crystal in his armor, piquing her interest. Hordak continues his little rant, insisting that the only reason she’s still around and not facing punishment is because his signal to Horde Prime went through. He orders her out and closes the door, but not before she gives a little smirk. She’s got something planned!
Back in Bright Moon, Glimmer stares at her hands as a few sparkles come out. There seems to be an emotional disconnect between her and her powers, likely set off from the loss of her mother. Before we’re reduced to any tears, the Coronation Robe is found. However, it’s far too large for Glimmer, who probably wishes that at least one thing will go to plan. Castaspella promises to fix the robe, and reminds Glimmer that it’s almost time for her quest. Everything seems to be ready, but Bow pulls Adora to the side for a little chat. He has somehow lost the lantern, and is thus panicking. Like full voice-breaking breakdown. Not that Adora isn’t panicking herself— her attempts to make this the perfect coronation for Glimmer are not going well at all. So, they decide to split up to go look for the lantern.
Because nothing seems to be going right this day, Adora bumps right into Shadow Weaver. The former sorceress has been upgraded to ‘Guest’ status, free to roam around with a small armada of guards. She bids good wishes to Glimmer while simultaneously warning Adora that she hopes they’ll remain close, given that power changes people. Adora has enough on her plate to deal with, however, and brushes her comments off, insisting that Glimmer will remain a good friend and a good queen.
She proceeds to the courtyard, where mild chaos has escalated into absolute chaos. Frosta has frozen anyone trying to sneak in (poor Seahawk), Mermista and Perfuma are arguing about flower arrangements, and Swift Wind has the lantern and insists on singing a coronation song for Glimmer. Speaking of Glimmer, she arrives to the courtyard with Castaspella, and the rising pressure and commotion is too much for her to handle, so she finally snaps at everyone to just stop. Castaspella assures her that they’ll fix everything, but Glimmer is a little beyond ‘fixing’ at the moment. She takes the lantern from Bow, and with all excitement gone, insists that she just wants to get the coronation over with.
We return to the Fright Zone, where Scorpia is cleaning out Entrapta’s things. Catra arrives and asks what’s taking so long, but Scorpia tries to reason with her. In a totally logical move, she appeals to Catra’s humane side, reassuring her that she understands her rash decision to send Entrapta to Beast Island, but they should go rescue her. Catra’s humane side appears to be on vacation, and she completely rejects the idea, insisting that Entrapta betrayed them. Scorpia reminds her that she didn’t betray them, but the moment she brings up Adora’s name, Catra jumps into attack mode, cornering Scorpia and reminding her that Entrapta betrayed Hordak. A frightened Scorpia agrees, waiting until Catra leaves before bringing Emily-bot out of hiding.
The coronation is in full swing in Bright Moon, with everyone dressed in their finest and Glimmer wearing her newly adjusted robe. Castaspella begins the proceedings and sends Glimmer, Adora and Bow on the Queen’s Quest. Adora and Bow attempt to bring up the energy, but Glimmer is finished with the charades and asks them to stop acting so odd. Whirling in her frustration, she tosses the lantern to the side, unintentionally illuminating the path they were meant to follow to the Chamber of Queens. The artists this season keep delivering incredible backgrounds, and the Chamber is no exception. It’s a very pretty place, and we highly advise pausing the show and making sure to take in all the little details.
The group notices where they’re supposed to deposit the lantern, but because nothing is ever easy, a giant crystal monster drops down and attacks them. Given that the Best Friends Squad was not prepared for an attack, they retreat into an alcove where the monster du jour cannot get in— for now. While he’s trying his hand at interior design via headbutting, the squad is letting their issues air. How could Bow not have seen this coming? He read the scroll! In his defense, the scroll was very official sounding. And why can’t Glimmer just teleport them out of there?
Finally, Glimmer gets to talking. She hasn’t recharged her powers since her mother’s absence, unwilling to accept the full power of the Bright Moon runestone as it would make her absence all the more real. This apprehension carried over to the coronation, given that everyone was treating it so lightly, like a party, thereby diminishing the fact that Angella is gone. This made Glimmer feel like everyone was quick to forget about Angella, about mourning her, and she wouldn’t be in this position if Angella was alive. This confession sobers Bow and Adora, who explain that they were only trying to be more positive because they thought that talking about Angella’s death would make things more painful for Glimmer. Adora takes Glimmer into her arms, telling her that she promised Angella she would take care of her. They all agree to be there for each other no matter what, in true Best Friends Squad style.
With the emotional stuff out of the way, for the meantime, it’s time to defeat the Bright Moon Guardian. Adora and Bow are on attack duty, while Glimmer rushes to put the lantern in its place. Their attacks are not enough to deter the monster, who rushes towards Glimmer. Adora and Bow try to tell Glimmer to move out of the way, but Glimmer instead takes a stance. She puts the lantern, and orders the monster to stop. Apparently a perk of being the Queen of Bright Moon also includes being able to command this giant toothy crystal monster, because he actually stops and listens.
With the lantern now in place, Glimmer rises in a show of light. She floats above the ground, glowing in every angle, temporarily donning a pair of beautiful light wings. By the time she lands again, Glimmer’s clearly gotten an upgrade in her powers. Then, a hologram appears— Angella. If you had misty eyes before, now’s the time to grab some more tissues. Angella’s message is poignant and heartbreaking, but it gives some beautiful closure for Glimmer and was probably just what she needed. The trio teleport back to the world above, and things look entirely different. The floral arrangements are tasteful and gorgeous, and the ice statue now resembles Glimmer and Angella. Frosta, Mermista and Perfuma admit that, thanks to Mermista, they decided to put their differences aside and worked together to make this arrangement. Eventually, it’s time for Glimmer to take the throne, and she does, delivering a speech on uniting to defeat Hordak and liberating all of Etheria.
We return to one last scene in the Fright Zone, where Hordak approaches his throne. However, it’s already occupied. Catra, fully clad in a new outfit, bids him hello before yanking some cables and turning off the lights. She attacks Hordak, grasping at his crystal and removing it from his armor. Hordak’s armos malfunctions without the crystal, and he’s finally vulnerable enough to hear Catra’s demands. She wants to conquer all of Etheria— after all, Horde Prime won’t be content if he arrives and sees the Princess Alliance and the Rebellion alive and healthy. Therefore, she wants them to set out to make sure that their enemies kneel before them, and that Horde Prime sees victory, rather than failure. She drops the crystal at his feet and he desperately crawls towards it as Catra relishes in her victory.
‘The Coronation’ perfectly sets up the tone this season, hinting at more serious plotlines while still giving comedic moments and heartfelt tributes. Glimmer’s dilemma was more than understandable, and her reasoning felt completely just. There’s a few hints about her potential leadership style once she’s queen, but we’ll talk about those in later episodes. Meanwhile, Catra also rises to power within the Horde. Tired of Hordak’s games, she seizes power for herself, convinced to take down Etheria. Is it a possible defense against her numerous failures? Maybe. But it’s fascinating to see both her and Glimmer’s stories compliment each other this episode.