Curious Case of Entrapta
Even the villains are sympathetic, the heroes create awful choices. And then there is Entrapta, who may well be one of the most Chaotic Neutral characters we have ever seen on contemporary television.
I’ve binged through She-Ra along with the Princesses of Power twice since it debuted on Netflix earlier this month, and I am officially in love. There are loads of things to love about the series: Catra and Adora’s complicated relationship, Glimmer’s passionate need to prove herself, even Sea Hawk’s dependence to arson. But the character I am most interested with is the one who’s most interested with, well, everything. That would be Entrapta.
In the first She-Ra series, Entrapta was your stereotypical Hordak minion. Appearing in four episodes–only two of which really had her talk –Entrapta was a Horde tech that made traps, tanks, and other things that never actually worked in the long term. She had long hair and not a great deal of personality. Later versions of She-Ra enlarged her out a bit, though fairly inconsistently.
She-Ra along with the Princesses of Power’s Entrapta is a huge departure from the original. Voiced by Christine Woods (The Walking Dead), Entrapta is an insane scientist and princess who join Glimmer’s rebellion, only to later defect to the Horde and help them almost destroy Earth.
You might think that it’s a classic”hero-turns-evil” situation, like Anakin Skywalker or even Polaris on The Gifted. However, Entrapta is a event all her own. Not only is it uncertain if she understands she’s defected, she doesn’t really appear to care that side she is on.
Let’s get one thing straight: Entrapta is not a bad person. She’s constantly undergoing dangerous experiments, taking notes, and making hypotheses based on the results. She will do anything to find things out–even though it means offering to cut open Adora’s body to discover how She-Ra got infected with a virus Entrapta helped disperse in the first place.
We are first introduced to the character from the sixth installment of the series,”System Failure.” Adora, Glimmer, and Bow are at the center of their quest to reunite the princesses, and would like to recruit Entrapta because of her technical prowess. They arrive at her castle, a giant maze only Entrapta may navigate, full of deadly traps (I don’t believe she made the traps to protect herself from her enemies. I believe she only wanted to see whether they’d work).
She has a few servants, but mostly associates with her robotic creations. At one stage, I even spotted a portrait of a young version of Entrapta with two robots dressed like people. I wondered if these served as her parents, helping her shape her view of the world. Hard to say at this time–however like Entrapta, I’m curious.
Unfortunately, all isn’t quiet at the mad scientist’s castle. While conducting an experiment with a First One’s tech crystal, Entrapta published a deadly virus which infected her robots.
Much of the episode is the typical”haunted house” scenario, together with our heroes struggling to navigate Entrapta’s maze, conquer the robots, and halt the crystal from doing more harm. That is, with one exception: Entrapta.
She’s unconcerned about the threat she and others have been in, choosing to devote her time documenting notes about what she sees as just another part of her ongoing experiment. By way of example, as they’re being chased down with a cleaning robot, Entrapta cannot help but exclaim how cute it’s because she thinks it’s trying to communicate. And yeah, she completely wanted to dissect a person.
After witnessing Entrapta’s peak moment of ethical ambiguity at the end of the episode, when she chose to attempt her experimentation on the crystal again, we see her eventually flaw to the Horde. Entrapta was unintentionally left behind in the Fright Zone when the princesses thought she was killed. She was promptly caught by Catra and Scorpia–, kinda-sorta captured, as Entrapta makes it apparent she is only staying in her chains from courtesy.
Catra quickly sees Entrapta’s worth and attempts to recruit her. To begin with, Catra allure to her psychological side, suggesting that Entrapta should be sad that the princesses”abandoned” her (a nod to Catra’s own insecurity). But that doesn’t do the job. Since Entrapta does not care.
Truly, all Catra had to do was supply a listening ear, stage Entrapta at some shiny things, and give her free reign to do anything she desired. Together with the restraints off, literally and figuratively, Entrapta immediately figures out how to hack the planet and is like”Fuck, let’s do it!” She ignores all of the signs that Catra wants to use her technologies to kill tens of thousands of people, most likely because she does not care.
I really like everything about this nature. She is adorable, she is frustrating, and she’s so naive it is reckless. I adore the idea of owning a villain who is so disconnected from the world’s issues she does not even know she is a villain. Not only does it make for an authentic morally grey personality, something we don’t see enough in press, but in addition, it opens the door for a great deal of growth.
She might be happy today; a kid in a technological candy shop, but it’s not going to continue. Entrapta’s eventually going to see her experiments for what they really are: Not just hypothetical ideas, but real things that affect real people.