WARNING: The following contains spoilers for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 3, streaming now on Netflix.
Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a story of empowerment and inclusivity, with its Princess Alliance portrayed as progressive and welcoming. The series took it a step further last season with the introduction of Bow's two fathers, but while that seemed to be the watershed LGBT moment, Season 3 ups the ante with a new, and more fully realized, romance between Catra and Scorpia.
What makes the development more meaningful is that audiences have had two-plus seasons to watch their relationship grow. Scorpia's nervousness is relatable as she works up the courage to confess her love for Catra.
Bow's dads introduced into the series as a married couple, and in one episode, we understood how happy they were together. But they're minor characters. Drawing out the budding relationship between Catra and Scorpia doesn't come across as a stunt or a novelty; we've seen how rushing these situations leads to bad receptions like Shiro's wedding at the end of Voltron: Legendary Defender. In contrast, She-Ra's third season carefully treads the playful line, even if Catra is in denial.
It's a slow burn, with Scorpia talks about "orientation" when they discuss their early days in Hordak's legion. It leans in more the prom episode or other previous sequences in which Scorpia dropped not-so-subtle hints that weren't picked up or were else ignored. This season we discover Catra is indeed acknowledging and internalizing them, but she's too driven by revenge against Adora, which is why Scopria tells her they ought to remain in the Crimson Waste.
Sure, they'll have each other to themselves, but Scorpio isn't coming from a selfish place. She cares for Catra and believes she will have a better life here. Seeing Catra soaking in these moments of empathy and understanding, while acknowledging Scorpia's feelings, is a big move forward, especially as she recognizes these are pseudo-dates disguised as side missions.
Sadly, Catra has a bigger mission than love, but Scorpia still wants to be there for her. That's what makes their love so nuanced: They're best friends, first and foremost, which means anything more that develops will feel natural. That carves out an intriguing and dramatic road for them to inch toward something bigger, or deeper, which Catra seems to understand when she defeats Tung Lashor and gives his jacket to Scorpia.
Streaming now on Netflix, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power stars Aimee Carrero, Karen Fukuhara, AJ Michalka, Marcus Scribner, Reshma Shetty, Lorraine Toussaint, Keston John, Lauren Ash, Christine Woods, Genesis Rodriguez, Jordan Fisher, Vella Lovell, Merit Leighton, Sandra Oh and Krystal Joy Brown.