She-Ra and the Princesses of Power continues to be one of Netflix’s and Dreamworks’ best offerings. Last season, in my opinion, remains its best installment, with the six-episode structure allowing for concise writing of its powerful story. While Season 4 also tells a powerful and compelling story, its 13-episode structure allows more meandering that slightly lessens the quality, though not the enjoyment. One way, however, season 4 may have actually improved over its predecessor is in its richer use of the show’s character dynamics.
A good show has the characters driving the plot. A great show has the audience consistently empathize with the characters through their actions and words that drive the plot. Season 4 achieves both of these and involves virtually all the characters in the main plot. The storytelling is intricate and clever, and, mostly, really lets you feel like these are realistic decisions from these characters we’ve grown to know and love.
Everyone in the main cast and the supporting characters have something to do. It’s rare that you see a character that isn’t actively contributing to the storyline, making for an exciting, compelling, and dramatic watch. The heart of the story this season is actually internal, on both sides of the war. Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara)and Adora (Aimee Carrero), feeling the pressures of their obligations, have a protracted argument that impedes on their friendship. Bow (Marcus Scribner) is heavily involved in their conflict as well, almost acting as a stand-in for the audience.
The show makes points on both sides and it’s up to audience members to decide with whom they stand. I’ll admit, I was overall more partial to Adora, but I understood where Glimmer was coming from. Fukuhara does great work to convey Glimmer’s anguish, determination, and spark.
Catra (AJ Michalka), on the other side with the Horde, finds herself growing further apart from her Horde colleagues. Still racked with guilt from her actions the previous seasons, Catra visibly retreads inward, secretly desperate to free herself from her remorse. But, as she always does, she hurtfully refuses to accept outside help. Michalka continues to shine in this role. The main focus of her ire, unfortunately per usual, is Scorpia (Lauren Ash).
The ever-loyal friend to Catra, Scorpia finally begins to question her place in the Horde and finally determines what she really wants. It’s immensely gratifying to see this wonderful and unabashedly kind character fully stand up for herself and have Catra deal with the consequences of how she treats Scorpia. It’s a testament to the show’s writing in how it both lets us stay sympathetic to Catra and cheer on Scorpia when she stands up to the former.
Our main protagonist, Adora, has tremendous growth this season. She must wrestle further with the She-Ra legacy and decide what path she wants to set for herself. As she increasingly uncovers truths about her past and the role that the First Ones intended for those with the She-Ra title, she grapples with the notions of destiny and personal choice, leading her to make groundbreaking choices that may change the show dramatically. It’s a thrilling arc to watch and Carrero continues to convey Adora’s wealth of emotional struggle with ease.
Double Trouble (voiced by non-binary activist Jacob Tobia) is a superb addition to this season. The first non-binary character in the series, Double Trouble is a joyful and complex character who swiftly creates a space for themselves in the show and the characters’ lives. While we don’t get much on their backstory, the show smartly gets us to know Double Trouble through their actions and words. Again, this is great storytelling where the actions of the characters are relatable and propel the plot forward. Besides that, the importance of having more non-binary characters in children’s programming cannot be overstated.
The series also continues building the backstory of Mara (Zehra Fazal), showcasing how pivotal she is to the main story and Adora’s decisions this season. Somewhat surprisingly, Light Hope (Morla Gorrondona), whom until this point was just assumed to be a static AI, has an arc tied to Mara and Adora’s storylines. Even the computer is a dynamic character in her own right on this excellent show. As we follow along with their and Adora’s story, we get explosive revelations that will change the show going forward. It’s truly exciting.
There’s so much that happens in this season that I don’t want to spoil. If you’ve been watching, watch Season 4 as soon as you can. If you haven’t watched She-Ra and the Princesses of Power yet, I highly recommend starting it as soon as possible. Noelle Stevenson and her team continue to create a fluidly dynamic powerhouse of animation that’s not to be missed. Again, while Season 4 doesn’t quite reach the heights of Season 3 due to its somewhat looser structure, it’s a worthy addition to the series that leaves you eager for more.
You can find She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 4 streaming exclusively on Netflix.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 4
- - 9/109/10
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power continues to be one of Netflix’s and Dreamworks’ best offerings.