|Sword in a Hole|
|Original Airdate||November 8, 1985|
|Previous Episode||Queen of 8 Legs|
|Next Episode||The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin|
|All Episodes||Episode Guide|
An S.O.S. from the edge of a Black Hole in deep space sends Lion-O, Snarf and Cheetara out in the Feliner. Captain Shiner, a Prussian space mercenary working for Mumm-Ra, captures Lion-O and Snarf. The Sword of Omens is seized and Mumm-Ra appears. He hurls the Sword into the Black Hole. Cheetara returns to the Lair to get help. She and Panthro eventually seize Captain Shiner's ship and head for the Black Hole, which, it turns out, is no more than a "clean-up space device" devised by Venusians many light centuries ago. They rescue the Sword and Captain Shiner appears to go down with the ship in the aftermath of the adventure. In the closing seconds, however, he is seen sailing his ship into deep space.
Mumm-Ra's complicated attempt to destroy the Sword of Omens is foiled by the extraordinary teamwork displayed by the ThunderCats. Each uses his unique abilities in cooperation with the others for the common good. Panthro, using his courage and knowledge of scientific theory, shows no fear of the unknown in leading their commandeered ship into the Black Hole. And he calls upon his technological knowledge to power them out. Lion-O displays his belief in Jaga and the Sword's powers and uses his will power to summon the Sword. Cheetara shows her determination and perseverance in not giving up on them when they vanish into the Black Hole. And even the mercenary Shiner, who was originally in conflict with the ThunderCats, acts on their behalf and his own with his spacemanship when they encounter the space debris. As a result of the cooperation, the Sword is rescued and the ThunderCats are able to return home.
Cooperation is a basic and necessary requirement for maintaining the welfare and stability of society. A norm of reciprocity governs our interactions and is universally found in all moral codes. People help those who help them and do not injure those who have helped them (Gouldner, 1960). Moreover, when two or more groups in society are in conflict, in the face of compelling goals which are appealing to both groups and need the energies of both groups to be achieved, conflict is reduced and cooperation established (Sherif, 1958). We have much to gain when we seek to work in cooperation with the groups we contact in our daily lives. We should seek to make our interactions cooperative not only when faced by a super ordinate goal or crisis, but in the normal course of events. In doing so, both we as individuals and society as a whole benefit.
In the Main Control Room of Cats Lair, Panthro intercepts a distress signal from a spaceship known as Vertus. The S.O.S. further reveals that the ship is adrift in the Sea of Stars. Without wasting any time, Lion-O, Cheetara, and Snarf rush to the aid of the ship in the Feliner.
When they locate the ship, it appears to be drifting on the very edge of a massive Black Hole. Lion-O and Snarf board the Vertus which appears to be deserted. As they search for the crew, they see a table with fresh hot coffee laid out. The fumes form the beverage cause both Lion-O and Snarf to pass out. Suddenly, Cheetara, who is still waiting in the Feliner gets shot at by the Vertus' cannons. Avoiding the barrage of shots, Cheetara flies off to Cats Lair to get reinforcements.
When Lion and Snarf come to, they find themselves bound and taken captive by the commander of the Vertus, Captain Shiner. Mumm-Ra suddenly appears out of nowhere, revealing that it was his evil scheme to use Captain Shiner to obtain the Sword of Omens. The evil mummy then flings the sword into the Black Hole while Lion-O and Snarf are chained up and made to pull large Boron Rods inside the ship's reactor room.
Cheetara shortly comes back with Panthro, who sneaks into the Vertus unnoticed. He then heads to the reactor room and frees his two comrades. Together the three take over the Vertus and fly it straight into the Black Hole, a move that horrifies Captain Shiner.
Once inside the Black Hole, the ThunderCats and Shiner realize that it is in fact not a Black Hole at all, but a gigantic force field meant to look like a black hole. They then come face to face with the creator of the Black Hole, an artificial intelligence known as NEPTUNE, which reveals that it created the black hole to clear the spaceways of wrecks of old satellites and spacehips. The Cats and Shiner are then imprisoned by NEPTUNE inside Titanium rooms.
After being reminded by Jaga, Lion-O calls the Sword of Omens to him and uses it to break everybody out of their confinement. Panthro heads to the control room of the power station and with a few adjustments, manages to reverse the polarity, causing the Black Hole to spit out everything that it had previously sucked in.
The ThunderCats and Shiner quickly board the Vertus which gets shot out of the Black Hole with incredible velocity. The ship ends up hitting an asteroid and suffering severe damage. Being the captain, Shiner commands the ThunderCats to jump ship while he remains with it. The three Cats are picked up by Cheetara in the Feliner, unaware that Captain Shiner had indeed survived his ship's destruction by secretly escaping in a smaller ship.
- The Mutants are absent from this episode.
- Before flinging the Sword of Omens into the Black Hole, Mumm-Ra recites a chant in which he mentions Apophis, Anqet and Anubis, all of whom are deities from Egyptian mythology.
- As he leaps from the Feliner and into the Vertus, Panthro yells, "Geronimo", a phrase often uttered by people who are jumping from a considerable altitude, like parachuters. The word comes from Geronimo, who was the leader of the Native American tribe known as Apache.
- This episode marks the second time that the ThunderCats are depicted with the ability to breathe and survive in space without any spacesuits or breathing apparatus. The first time was in the episode "Mandora and the Pirates", which was also written by William Overgard. It is made abundantly clear in the pilot episode "Exodus" that the main reason why Panthro picked Third Earth as a refuge for the ThunderCats was because it had a breathable atmosphere, similar to that of Thundera.
- When Shiner opens the door for Mumm-Ra to throw the Sword of Omens into the Black Hole, a strong gust of wind is shown blowing Mumm-Ra's cape as well as Snarf and Lion-O's hair. This is impossible as there is no wind in space since it is a vacuum.
- When Lion-O and Snarf land on the Vertus, Snarf slips and is about to fall off the ship but Lion-O grabs him in time. Since there is no gravity in space, Snarf shouldn't have fallen down.
GOULDNER, A. W. (1960). The Norm of Reciprocity: A Preliminary Statement. American Sociological Review, 25, 161-179.
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