She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is, really, about growing up, finding yourself, and coming into your own. Most animated shows geared toward a younger audience focus on these themes. It’s honestly just as important to see no matter your age. While She-Ra had some growing pains in its first two seasons, the show hits its stride in season three.
Honestly? I can’t wait to see where the show goes from how season three ends. As this review holds some light spoilers, then I won’t get in too deep about where we leave things off for the Best Friend Gang, their allies, and the Horde.
Here’s the main thing about why the third season works the best out of all of them: It has six episodes. Within these six episodes, Noelle Stevenson and her writing staff are able to make a tight, quickly paced narrative that answers a lot of questions from the first two seasons while leaving new ones open for future seasons. It’s satisfying in some aspects; arcs have been fully realized, and new paths remain tantalizing open. There’s a ticking clock and the final three episodes are just shock after shock but in a really good and heartbreaking way.
The character development made in the two seasons previous to it did wonders in getting the third to where it goes. Catra (AJ Michalka) is, once again, at the bottom after Shadow Weaver (Lorraine Toussaint) escapes from the Horde to Bright Moon as a final betrayal to Hordak (Keston John), who wants to open a portal to bring the massive army of the Horde through. Adora (Aimee Carerro) gets some answers as to her origins and why Mara hid Eternia away from the universe.
In order to get answers and figure out how to stop Hordak from opening a portal, Adora, Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara), and Bow (Marcus Scribner) head to the Crimson Wastes where Mara’s signal was last found. Catra, as always, joined by Scorpia (Lauren Ash) also heads to the Wastes as part of a “go off and die” mission from Hordak.
As for the story itself? It’s heartbreaking and frustrating and amazing, showcasing people at their lowest lows, but also at their highest highs. Sometimes, they may make bad choices, but, for most, they try to fix them. Adora and company make the attempt to learn and make things right. They just need to be trusted.
The voice cast for the series remains on a tier of their own. By the third season, they know their characters well and have fun with them. Scribner, Fukuhara, and Carerro have some amazing chemistry as the Best Friend Squad, playing off each other well. The only thing that matches is where Carerro and Michalka share scenes together, the tension between Catra and Adora hits the limit during season three. Catra keeps making bad decisions and Adora can’t reach out to someone who doesn’t want to listen.
A surprising pairing that I wish to see more of is Hordak and Entrapta (Christine Woods), who have some of my favorite scenes together. It continues Stevenson’s approach to characters by showing all of them as multi-faceted, even if they are really horrible people (looking at you, Shadow Weaver). It just allows a layer of understanding more than anything.
There was only one major addition to the cast this season, which was Geena Davis (yes, Geena Davis) as Huntara. In the episodes they had her in, she was great. I hope she continues appearing on the show. Once things kicked into gear in the back-half of season three, she kind of disappeared. (Also Adora gets a little crush on Huntara and it’s adorable.)
She-Ra season three continues its strong drive toward character development and pathos while also kicking the plot into gear. Now that it feels significantly strengthened, there’s really no height that the show cannot reach. I can’t wait until we get season four.
Season Grade: A