'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' Season 5 Review: An emotional masterclass in ending a series
The final season gives every character their moment to shine, and a perfect resolution to the series' many plotlines
Spoilers for 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' Season 5
Not every show gets the opportunity to go out on its own terms, but 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' has the chance to do just that - and the show makes the most of it. Bringing together plotlines that were raised right from the start, the series neatly wraps up its lose ends while also having a season filled with rewarding moments that were absolutely worth the wait.
Horde Prime (Keston John) has finally found Etheria, and quickly sets about subjugating it to his will. The Rebellion is very much on the ropes, especially with their champion, Adora (Aimee Carrero) having lost access to her powers as She-Ra. It's not long before she finds the power within herself, with a whole new upgraded look, but even that is barely enough to see Etheria saved and Horde Prime and his armies stopped, once and for all.
Having only seen him at the end of Season 4, Horde Prime makes up for lost time by becoming a villian worthy of a series finale. It's not just the armies at his command, or the centuries worth of conquest he's had through the galaxy - Horde Prime brings all the assurance of a villain who already believes he's won. Every action he takes is not one meant to secure victory, but to crush the spirits of those he believes he's already conquered. His unshakeable belief in himself - mixed with his charismatic and sinister formality - makes him a classic villain of the highest order.
One of the most compelling arcs, however, is the redemption of Catra (AJ Michalka), whose journey has been at least as interesting as Adora's through the series - if not more so. Her finally coming around to the side of good is a huge payoff for everyone who has been invested in the character. It's not a smooth transition, but when it clicks, Catra is a wonderful addition to the Best Friend Squad, fitting in with a playful, teasing chemistry that in no way discounts the journey she's been through, but exemplifies the spirit of friendship and forgiveness that is at the heart of the show.
Not that Catra steals all the spotlight. 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' boasts a large cast, and every surviving character is given a powerful, rewarding moment that is right at home with a third act climactic battle. Every one of Season 5's best scenes - and there are many - are the type that would be reserved for a season finale on any other show. That they take place over 13 episodes is a testament to how important every character is. Every fan's favorite get their moment to shine - even Hordak (Keston John).
Though the stakes have never been higher, the season doesn't go all in on doom and gloom. There is room for humor, laughter, fun, adorability and even a musical number. The costume designs for this season are especially worth noting - She-Ra's new form is the best version of the costume yet seen. Also notable is an underwater sea adventure that sees some of the Rebellion wear some incredibly stylish disguises.
There are a lot of emotional moments, culminations of several seasons worth of story. Both Catra and Adora have been people who push those they love away - Adora, for their protection, and Catra, for hers. In the end, they learned to accept each other, and the moment they both given in and confess their love for each other is an iconic moment for queer visibility.
The series has been incredibly well planned, and Season 5 is a culmination of every plotline weaved through the previous four seasons. It's a remarkable end to a well crafted series, and though it's sad to see it come to an end, it could not have found a better way to say goodbye.
All episodes of 'She-Ra and the Princesses of Power' are now available to stream on Netflix.