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Jacob and the Widgets is the 91st episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, written by Harvey Brenner and directed by Ed Friedman. When an old hermit loses his fishing boat in a wreck, the Widgets insist upon helping him, even as Mer-Man plots to raid their fortress.
Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms observe as Teela tests the new rocket boosters on the Wind Raider. Since coridite was used to enhance the boosters, the heroes have invited the Widgets, who supplied the mineral, to see the results of their work. The test is a success, as Teela exceeds altitudes of over 6,000 feet. After she lands, Man-At-Arms decides to examine the Wind Raider, while Teela and Adam take the Widgets to the beach.
At the beach, the heroes do not suspect that Mer-Man and Trap Jaw are nearby in a submarine, searching for targets for Mer-Man's mechanical sea monsters. They catch sight of Jacob in a small fishing boat, and send the robotic creatures to devour the craft. When Squinch notices the disaster, he and the others rush to the edge of the shore...except for Adam, who runs off to become He-Man. Once he identifies the creatures as machines, He-Man holds nothing back as he destroys them each with a single punch. Although Jacob's boat is a lost cause, He-Man rescues the old fisherman, to the delight of the Widgets and the annoyance of Mer-Man. The villain begins planning to improve his robots, and Trap-Jaw suggests that the inner workings would be stronger if they had some of the Widgets' coridite.
Once he's somewhat recovered from the attack, Jacob is surprisingly ungrateful for having his life saved, and overly concerned with the loss of his boat and equipment. He has little interest in letting the others help him or making friends. Teela insists that Jacob needs someone to take care of him, and the Widgets immediately volunteer to take him to their home and nurse him back to health. As the Widgets set about fashioning a chair to carry Jacob home with them, Mer-Man snatches Biro and gets him to reveal the location of their secret coridite deposits. Mer-Man threatens to let everyone know Biro told him the hiding place, if Biro warns anyone about his plans.
Later, at the Widgets' fort, Jacob is frustrated that, after years of practice at becoming a successful hermit, his new caretakers are ruining it for him. The Widgets are perplexed by his antisocial behavior. Before long, Jacob is eager to leave and return to taking care of himself, but he is touched by Squinch's parting gift of a new fishing pole. Just then, Kando warns of rising floodwater in the coridite mine, little realizing that it is an scheme by Mer-Man to tunnel from the sea into the mine. Once he's inside the fort, Mer-Man threatens to flood the whole fort if the Widgets do not give him the coridite. Refusing to back down, the Widgets offer Jacob a chance to save himself. Just then, Teela arrives, having meant to visit Jacob, and she helps her friends handle the villain. Jacob, inspired by their camaraderie, goes up to the fort walls and uses his new fishing rod to snag Mer-Man, giving Teela a chance to subdue the amphibian.
Once Mer-Man is under control, Teela tries to get to the bottom of things, and the Widgets realize Biro must still be down in the mines. Teela goes to find him, while Jacob explains that he couldn't walk away from the fight after the Widgets had been so nice to him. Tied up and helpless, Mer-Man still issues demands, noting that the tide will rise and flood the mine unless he is given the coridite. Jacob figures the sensible thing is for the Widgets to do what they must to save their home, but the Widgets can't allow the coridite to fall into the wrong hands. However, once Teela has come back with Biro, who reports the coridite is safe, Mer-Man frees himself now that he knows where it must be.
Meanwhile, Adam and Cringer are watching the sun set from the Royal Palace when they spot the Widgets' signal flare, designed to alert He-man that they are in danger. Adam and Cringer quickly become He-Man and Battle Cat. Together they head out to the Widgets' fort. With the mine flooded and Mer-Man searching for the coridite, only He-Man has a chance of stopping the villain underwater. In seconds, the hero has saved the coridite and sent his foe back out to sea, but the tide is still rising and flooding the fort. He-Man devises a plan, and contacts Man-At-Arms to prepare the Wind Raider for a daring mission to pilot the ship into space and push one of Eternia's moons (either the Dark Moon Phantos or the Bright Moon) until the tides recede. With the mine drained, He-Man flies back to the coast to plug Mer-Man's tunnel, and then goes back into orbit to put the moon back where it belongs.
Once He-Man returns to the Widgets' fort, Jacob finally has a chance to thank him for saving his life, and starts to return to his hermit lifestyle. When He-Man asks why he is a hermit to begin with, Jacob explains that he was disappointed by other people's foolishness, but the Widgets have shown him that he was foolish to reject friendship. The Widgets decide that they need Jacob and care for him, and—after a quick community meeting—they elect him the mayor of their village.
Teela explains that it's important to let others know that we need them, and asks if the viewers have hugged their parents.
- Mer-Man does not appear again for another 37 episodes.
- John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam, Jacob, and Squinch
- Alan Oppenheimer as Man-At-Arms and Mer-Man
- Linda Gary as Teela and Lara
- Lou Scheimer (credited as Erik Gunden) as Trap-Jaw, Kando, and Biro
Orko's Fun Facts
As featured in BCI's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season Two, Vol. 1 DVD boxset (Disc 4)
- "After He-Man defeats Mer-Man's monsters we see the Widgets cheering, and Squinch suddenly has his spear at hand!"
- "In Mer-Man's underwater base, Trap Jaw's arm somehow manages to switch sides even though the stock animation used appears to be consistently the same."
- "In the moral segment, there is a nice additional shot of Jacob and the Widgets."
- "When Prince Adam transforms into He-Man, look out for the beautifully painted background showing the sunset sky."
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