Released April 26, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power returned for its second season, continuing off the colorful and fun adventures Adora and her uncanny group of friends have, all while low-key saving their planet Etheria from collapsing from magical imbalance and destruction.
Remind me what happened? (Spoilers for Season 1!)
A quick refresher
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a reboot of the 80’s series, from executive producer Noelle Stevenson. Season 1 premiered on Netflix on Nov. 13 last year. The show features heroine Adora, who begins her journey as a talented and promising cadet in the Horde, the conquering power in the planet Etheria.
While exploring outside territory, Adora comes across a sword. Upon her picking it up, transforms into She-Ra, a legendary Princess that mysteriously disappeared years ago. Confused by this power, she comes across Glimmer, a Princess, and her friend Bow — part of the Rebellion, fighting against the Horde. After resolving misunderstandings, Adora realizes that the Horde, with whom she was raised, may not actually be as good as she had always believed and that she may have actually been fighting on the wrong side of the war.
With this revelation, Adora is forced to adopt the role of She-Ra for the Rebellion in their fight against the Horde. Glimmer, Bow, and Adora call for the reformation of the Princess Alliance, recruiting and building a ragtag team of new generation princess that each have their own unique abilities. As Adora meets new friends, she is constantly reminded of and runs into her best friend, Catra, who she parted ways with when leaving the Horde — adding another complexity to her new position fighting for the Rebellion.
How did Season 1 conclude?
Season 1 concluded with the Horde directly attacking Bright Moon, the Princess’s de facto base, as they occupy more of Etheria than ever previously done before. Fortunately, the Princess Alliance is able to fend the forces off for a while. Season 2 opens with a standstill for both the Horde and the Rebellion, however the Princess Alliance is slowly tiring out from defending free areas of the world from Horde robots and meanwhile their technology is evolving at a faster pace than ever before.
And the journey continues…
Season 2 continues to follow Adora and her friends, but also shares a window into Catra’s side of the battle with the Horde. The second season is half the length of the first — just seven compared to the previous season debuting with 13 — taking after a general trend in Netflix animated series which seems to value more frequent release dates over the number of episodes available per season in order to hold onto audience engagement and attention. Despite its brevity, the season extends the same vibe and themes about the power of teamwork and friendship.
In this season of She-Ra, we focus more on character development rather than storyline and get to know some of the secondary characters better. After the flood of people, places, and powers the first season introduced to us, season 2 gives us a refreshing pause to explore more of the backstory. We tap more into Bow, Scorpia, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and even a bit into Hordak. Throughout this season, the show pairs unlikely friends and enemies together during opportune plot points to ignite character development. Characters like Scorpio and Sea Hawk bond over their insecurities, Adora and Swift Wind work on synergy, and Glimmer and Frosta strengthens their comradery after clearing misunderstandings.
Particularly interesting to this season is following up on Entrapta, our tech-savvy and for-science princess. Although the audience very well knows Entrapta is still alive, the princess team is not aware at all, and in fact still feels incredibly guilty and mournful towards her. How does the team react when they find out Entrapta is now with the Horde? And how does the team react when they eventually find out Entrapta is willingly helping the Horde?
Entrapta also provides the audience a case of a character that can’t be categorized as either good or evil, rather just going with wherever her research takes her. Ultimately that is what Season 2 of She-Ra emphasizes — that there really is no definitive line between who are our protagonists and antagonists. We learn Catra is misunderstood and struggling to work through her own self-realization, and that even characters like Scorpia can share very similar feelings of inadequacy. The traditional good vs. evil is challenged by the power of mutual understanding, a gentle reminder we need every now and then.
If you’re action-oriented, season 2 may seem like a big letdown compared to its predecessor — lacking major battles and formative plot points — but I have full confidence the action is being held for season 3, especially given the Entrapa-is-alive reveal to our show’s protagonists and the slow and steady progress of Entrapta’s tech innovations toward the Horde’s goals.
Season 2 has provided a lot of the background setup necessary for the next season’s action, just before dropping us right in front of a cliffhanger — which I won’t mention in lieu of revealing spoilers!
If you haven’t already caught up with She-Ra yet, definitely go and do that before August — Netflix has already announced season 3 release date for then! Comment below or tweet us what you predict what’s to come!
You can also check out more TV reviews from Catherine’s writer page.
Featured image credit: Netflix, DreamWorks