ThunderCats (2011) – “Old Friends” Recap
Following the Thundercats’ rescue by Panthro Lion-O tries to befriend him, but Panthro has no interest in having any respect for him in terms of friendship or leadership. Panthro then suggests that they get Thundrillium to recharge the Thundertank from a nearby mine, which is controlled by the Lizard army and Grune with the aid of a driller. Lion-O gives orders on how they should approach the situation, but Panthro ignores him and orders everybody to do things his way. While on the search for Thundrillium, Panthro has flashbacks of when he first met Grune, their days as friends and officers, and how they became enemies after Mumm-Ra tempted Grune with power in exchange for reviving him. Lion-O and company end up finding Grune, who escapes after they are attacked by the driller. During the battle with the driller, Lion-O uses the power of the Sword of Omens to not only protect Panthro but also destroy the fierce robot. The mine begins to collapse, so Cheetara quickly grabs some pieces of Thundrillium to accomplish their mission. After escaping the mine, Panthro tells Lion-O that he has earned his undying loyalty. Lion-O then asks Panthro if he can drive the Thundertank once it’s fixed, and without any thought Panthro refuses – but also calls Lion-O his king.
I always did love a good flashback episode and I’m happy to say this one proved to be great. It had plenty of awesome character development for Panthro; most of the episode outside of the whole “Get the Thundrillium” plot has to do with Panthro and Grune’s past. One of my major complaints back in my recap of “The Sword of Omens Part 2” was that Mumm-Ra randomly showed up out of nowhere, with no explanation at all of how he was revived. Thankfully, the writers already had this whole episode idea planned out and was just purposely giving us time to speculate and think. Of course Mumm-Ra’s revival still doesn’t explain everything on how exactly he was sealed, but it’s still something at least.
What I enjoyed the most out of this episode was just seeing Panthro and Grune’s different perspectives on why they joined the Thundera army in the first place. Panthro has these ideals of loyalty for the king and doing his best to protect Thundera. Meanwhile you have Grune, who is more power hungry and even openly admits that he wants to be the King of Thundera more than anything else. The history of these two characters and their own personal values could lead to some great story conflict later on, if the writers play their cards right.