Author Topic: W.I.T.C.H: The Magical Girl Show which Greg Weisman wrote the second season for.  (Read 12689 times)

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Offline pokepal148

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Greg Weisman for those who don't know, was a producer for shows like Young Justice and Spectacular Spider Man, pretty much anything the guy touches is really good and well worth watching. Unfortunately he was only a producer for the second season but the first season is pretty decent as well, although I'll be honest, the roller-coaster ride that the last 17 episodes take you on once the second season's storyline gets going is the main reason this show is worth watching, not because the show before that is bad or anything but the experience that those last 17 episodes take you on is just absolutely incredible. The show also has an amazing European theme song that we didn't get in America.

Earworm for BNM

I feel like going through this series on an episode by episode basis and jotting down some thoughts so let's do this.

- Hay Lin asking her grandmother, Yan Lin if her sneeze heard around the world is one of those “becoming a woman things” is a brilliant case of injecting a bit of adult-ish humor into children's media. Even if you are too young to understand the full context of the joke most people in the show's audience will understand what she's referring to.

- Irma giving Cornelia a hard time so often is a really nice touch. Irma is honestly a comic relief character for this type of show done right. It's strongly implied, although I don't think they ever outright say, that she uses her humor to an extent as a coping mechanism to deal with whatever stress she is dealing with.

- Yan Lin revealing right away that she was once a Guardian as well is interesting considering that's kind of a big deal in season 2. The comic does this as well during it's version of the scene where the girls are told about the whole Guardian thing.

- The initial reaction to the news varies wildly, with Irma excitedly asking “when do we start” while Cornelia doesn't believe any of this and Taranee is seemingly willing to accept this as an explanation for her sudden pyrokinesis, despite the fact that she is actually afraid of fire, and Will is struggling to accept her role in all of this.

- Throughout the episode they awkwardly cut to Meridian where Caleb and his rebel friend are trying to steal some powder from Phobos's castle and than escape from Phobos's army when the plan goes horribly wrong. It's a really awkward way to introduce the conflict on Meridian and it feels incredibly forced. We are also introduced to Phobos and Cedric during all of this. Phobos is a kind of generic evil overlord type villain and Cedric is his second in command who shapeshifts into a giant snake man with 18 different clashing colors. They're at least extremely genre savvy but overall Phobos is kind of a bland villain.

- Caleb mentions to his partner during all this that his informant learned that Phobos has learned that the true heir to Meridian's throne is alive on earth. That's like two different Season 1 plot threads being stealthily brought into play before they’re properly introduced. A lesser show would have basically ignored them completely so it's nice the writers were smart enough not to just pretend these things aren't happening until they come up in the show. He splits up with his partner but ends up being cornered by Cedric.

- Eventually while the girls are getting finished testing out their powers a portal to Meridian conveniently opens for Caleb to cross through, only for Cedric to follow suit and drag him back. The girls try to save Caleb but unlike say… a Power Rangers show, they don't conveniently become extremely good at using their powers the first time they use them and they're only able to drive Cedric back to Meridian with Caleb in tow.

- The scene afterwards where they're sitting around the table talking about what just happened is brilliant. There's a very real sense of dread here and Yan Lin essentially telling them that they could very well get themselves killed if they can't learn to work together is a good touch.

Overall it's a solid introduction to the series. The Meridian subplot's lack of context for anything is a bit of an issue although I do like how it briefly intersects with the main plot. It feels a bit convenient but overall I thought it tied together quite nicely.

 I feel like generally each of the girls from the start get a fair share of individuality. A lot of shows where a team of people come together make the team that inevitably gets formed feel like some kind of collective instead of a group of individuals coming together towards a common goal. The original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is a really good example of that. W.I.T.C.H avoids that problem beautifully, each of the girls feel very distinct from eachother and by the end of the series all five of them become strong, well developed characters in their own right. It's easily the show's greatest strength and it's something the show gets right from the start.

Overall, it's a solid enough start. Probably a 6.5 or a 7 out of 10 from me.

Offline Spak-Spang

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I do like Greg Weisman, but I don't know if I want to get into this series.  Is season 1 skippable if you want to just try season 2, since you suggest that practically the entire season 2 is good.

Offline pokepal148

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Yeah you could probably skip season 1 if you really wanted to.

Actually hold that thought, I'm going to go through season 1 and figure out which episodes are worth skipping.

Offline pokepal148

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Episodes 1-3 are all worth watching. 1-2 kind of works as a two-parter, showing how the girls become guardians and it shows them starting to come together. It also has the debut of Gargoyle.

Episode 3 is worth watching because the events within get referenced a fair bit in season 2. It also marks the first (and only) appearance of Raythor in the first season who becomes a major character in season 2.

If you haven't been convinced to go through the whole season than Episode 6 features the debut of Trill and the Tracker, who both play bigger roles in season 2 than they do in this one. It also has some amazing world building for Meridian.

Episode 8 has the four dragons Origin story for the girl's powers and features the bit of quicksand that is eventually brought to life as sandpit in season 2.

Episode 10 is just a cool episode that also has the debut of Frost the Hunter. Even without that it's still one of the best episodes in the season.

14 Shows how Elyon was finally brought to Meridian and introduces us to her adoptive parents..

19 features the debut of Caleb's father and Jeek.

24 introduces Tynar. It also introduces the whole Mr. Huggles ownership plotline that continues into season 2.

26 is the season finale and is worth watching for that reason alone. It's also pretty solid although it does feel a bit rushed.

Maybe if you need more season 1:

Episode 18 features the Horn of Hypnos and is kind of fun. It also features the Mage although she debuts in a different episode and is kind of just the "mysterious oracle type" character.

Episode 23 has a really cool battle going for it.

Episode 25 is when Matt finds out about Meridian and his girlfriend's double life.

Episode 5 introduces the Mage, and the Heart of Kandrakar's ability to unmask people using mystical disguises.

Episode 20 is a good one that explains who Ms. Rudolph is. There's a specific scene that might confuse you a bit in season 2 but otherwise you can probably skip it.

Honestly all of Season 1 is worth watching. Season 1 suffers from having a fairly limited season-wide story arc stretched to it's limit that builds up to a poorly paced finale but it's certainly worth watching. There's a ton of really good character development and great moments. Even in season 1 it's hard not to get invested in these characters and the world they inhabit. They're also really good at making each episode feel like something happened in it that brings things closer to the finale. The only real filler episode I can think of is the Horn of Hypnos episode.

It's only really bad when you compare it to season 2, which has a much better villain and an incredible story arc layered on top of what made season 1 great, all of which builds to the last few episodes which tie both seasons together for the finale, which, although I don't feel like it was meant to be the series finale, serves as a brilliant conclusion for the animated series.

Offline broodwars

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I've thought about checking out W.I.T.C.H. before, but I'm wary about getting into any series Greg Weisman writes. He's kind of the harbinger of death for pretty much any series he's on since he takes so goddamn long to pay off on any of his plot threads that many of his most promising series are usually cancelled before they do.

See: Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, Beware the Batman.
There was a Signature here. It's gone now.

Offline pokepal148

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W.I.T.C.H ties itself up really nicely. They snuck in a subtle reference to a plotline that would have been in season 3 but they basically just tipped their toes in it, and there's one of the characters stating that each of the girls has a specific reason for why they were chosen to be guardians that will be revealed at some point but we only learn the reasons for two of them before the end of the series.

Season 2's general plotline was pretty obviously being somewhat planned out from early on. Like the Trill being Nerissa plotline was blatantly being planned out from the start because there is literally a thing in the comics called Nerissa's trill that Trill is named after and Trill shows up in episode 6. Greg was probably just working on top of those plans.

Offline pokepal148

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So let's talk about the second episode of the show.

The scenes with Phobos and Cedric in the throne room are pretty weak. They had a pretty solid showing during the first episode but they seem pretty generic so far during this episode. Phobos acting surprised that there is a new set of guardians is a bit odd considering that during the last episode there was a brief scene of him seeing a vision of Will taking the heart of Kandrakar. At least Phobos is taking the time to show off his cool Rose motif.

The girls back at the are a bit better. The dialogue between them feels a bit awkward but given the circumstances they’re going through that kind of makes sense. I do appreciate that they remembered that Will is supposed to be the new girl and thus may not be familiar with how picture day works in their school. The sort of uneasiness over the whole magic powers and snake monsters thing from last episode continues in this one which is nice.

Caleb meets Blunk, who is honestly a pretty superfluous character for this show. He's a comic relief character like Irma but while Irma's comedy comes from her incredibly well written one liners, Blunk is more into pratfalls and a more juvenile style of humor. I just don't feel like Blunk adds that much to the show. He's a greedy smuggler goblin thing with an annoying voice and who gets way too much screentime. Most of the humor for Blunk that actually works for me comes from his expressions. He is by far the most expressive character in the show and the animators make great use of it.

Back on earth there's a scene where the girls are debating whether or not to try to rescue Caleb, with Hay Lin and Irma fully on board with the idea and Cornelia and Taranee wanting to at least wait until after picture day. While you can question their priorities it would be legitimately out of character for Cornelia and Taranee to have the same amount of bravado about this whole thing as Irma and Hay Lin do. There is still a fair bit of the uneasiness about this whole thing from them. Will looks really sad when it’s revealed that Taranee won’t be continuing to accompany her on the walk home (apparently they live close to eachother) since she’s going to Irma’s place to avoid her dad’s cooking.

This episode gives a fair bit of focus to Cornelia so I feel like I should talk about her character a bit. You know how in a lot of shows with a female lead in a school setting there's that alpha bitch super popular self centered cheerleader type who mostly exists to make the main character's life miserable? That's who Cornelia is. What makes Cornelia so interesting as a character is that they've taken this character archetype that normally serves in some kind of antagonistic role and made her into one of the show's protagonists and they did so without sacrificing the more unlikable parts of that kind of character. Cornelia is also the most stereotypically girly of the group by a wide margin with her obsession with clothing and shopping, which fits with her whole alpha bitch/Valley girl personality, but at the end of the day, she is a very kind person.

Despite the harsh language I've used to describe her with, I adore Cornelia as a character. The writers did a great job making her pretty much completely unlikable early on while at the same time showing brief glimpses of who she'll become later in the series. The Cornelia we see at the end of season 2 is a very different person from the Cornelia we see in episode 2 and her growth as a person throughout the series as she begins to overcome her own narcissism and selfishness is what makes her one of the most endearing characters in the show. She's also drastically different from the Cornelia in the comics, who is more of a refined but gentle big sister type character.

Anyways, later in the episode Will gets kidnapped but she leaves her bag behind and the Heart of Kandrakar is in her bag. Taranee finds it on her way back to school the next day and quickly realises what’s going on. I really like the attention to detail here. A few scenes ago it was established that Will and Taranee usually walk through the same dark alleyway (apparently school buses don’t exist in Heatherfield) to get home so it makes sense that Taranee is the one who finds the bag. We briefly cut to Phobos being a bit unhappy about Will not having the Heart with her. Apparently the girls are able to see this as it happens through the heart and with Will likely being in danger Taranee feels obligated to go to Meridian to save her, Considering how out of character this is for Taranee (she’s very shy and really easily scared in the animated series so it’s really weird to see her being so passionate about going to Meridian this early on) it kind of implies that she feels guilty about not accompanying Will home earlier in the episode, especially since doing so could have made it more difficult for Will to be kidnapped, although the show never goes out of it's way to say it. This is something I really like about this show, it manages to have little subtle character moments like this that just happen, like they don't feel the need to put a spotlight on it or anything like that,

Cornelia decides at some point during the episode after they get to Meridian that now is a good time for her to subvert the blonde stereotype and devises a way for them to get across the castle moat. I like how even though Taranee is supposed to be the smart one and Will is supposed to be the leader  the other girls are still given plenty of opportunities to show that they can also be the ones to come up with ideas or lead the charge on something.

Phobos is able to detect that the Heart of Kandrakar is now in his castle. I don't have much to say about this right now, I just feel like it's worth pointing out for some reason. It's really convenient that he has the ability to detect the presence of our heroes' super-powered macguffin in this episode. It would be a shame if this was just a one time thing the writers threw in as an excuse to get Phobos to send his minions after the girls.

After fetching Caleb and Will the girls face off against a creature known as Gargoyle and manage to escape through a portal. Gargoyle reaches through the portal to grab them but Will just closes the portal, which is a cool scene. Gargoyle has an interesting design, kind of this stone golem thing with a giant eye like a cyclops, and a mushroom like head, and seaweed like hair but he has tragically little screentime for this episode. While the girls were in the castle the show built up Cedric as the Villain the girls would end up facing but than they fight Gargoyle instead. It feels like it would have been better if Gargoyle was saved for another episode and they just fought Cedric instead since he gets a fair amount of buildup.

Overall it's a pretty solidish episode but I feel like the first episode was stronger. I feel like this episode nicely shows some of the show's strengths but it also begins to really show some of season 1's weaknesses. The pacing in this episode is a bit of a mess and that's the main thing dragging it down.

A 6.8/10 probably.

It's weird because I feel like I'm holding this show to exorbitantly high standards that it can't possibly meet but than the thing is in season 2 it does meet those standards. Heck even within Season 1 there is a bit of improvement as the season progresses but we'll talk about that when it comes. The show feels like it has a lot of potential and as it goes on I feel it manages to straighten itself out and become something special, anyways, here's the third episode, the key:

The episode picks off after the last one, I’d say maybe a day after it at most. Cedric and another character named Raythor inform Phobos that they believe Caleb had help from someone in the castle with his escape, since they found his shackles in his cell and the key for them is missing. I didn’t mention this last episode but a big blue guard guy named Vathek was pretty blatently helping Caleb out, which included sneaking him the key in question. It’s never stated how they know Vathek was the one who gave Caleb the key but I really like that this episode is sort of expanding on something from the last episode.

On earth Hay Lin is dressing up Caleb to help him blend in, much to his protest. Hay Lin is the artistic one of the group and she seems to have all kinds of outfits designed for her unwilling fashion model. This seems like a good time to go in depth a bit with Hay Lin so I will. As I mentioned she’s very much into art and she can be seen dabbling in all sorts of artistic endeavors throughout the series, such as how right now she’s dabbling in fashion design. She’s an extremely very bright and cheerful character who does alot but later on we’ll learn that she actually has a crippling issue with self doubt and she can be quite paranoid..

She’s probably my least favorite of the five but she’s still a really good character. She gets a ton of really good character moments and her wide eyed optimism makes her an excellent addition to the group.

After an amusing scene of Blunk trying to sell some junk he collected on earth Blunk learns that Vathek is in danger and heads to earth to try to sell that information to Caleb. I really like how they handle this, apparently Caleb stashed the key somewhere after he escaped so Vathek could retrieve it and be covered for his escape. Caleb quickly deduces that Blunk is responsible for the key’s disappearance and after finding out that Blunk had the key with him vows to return to Meridian to return it.

There’s a scene of the girls practicing their powers in a remote beach area which is a neat touch. They seem to be starting to get the hang of things but it’s still pretty much a trainwreck.

They learn that Caleb went back to Meridian and go after Blunk for answers. Hay Lin’s reaction to Blunk having the clothes she made for Caleb is amazing. The girls learn that Blunk has the ability to sniff up portals which is neat and follow him to Meridian,

At one point Caleb runs into Aldarn from the first episode and I love the scene of Aldarn asking Caleb about how he crossed the veil and asking what it’s like on the other side. Caleb talks about how the teenagers there he saw earlier in the episode “stand on boards with wheels and do 360-fakey ollies” and say “like” in the middle of sentences for no reason. Aldarn says all of this “sounds good” and honestly it’s really a really endearing scene.

I like how Aldarn continues to be the sort of counterpart to Caleb’s unflinching bravery. There’s a consistent trend with him basically trying to reel in Caleb’s more crazy and ambitious ideas. Anyways, Caleb, Aldarn, and the girls run into eachother. I like how we see Aldarn trying to use the earth lingo he heard from Caleb to flirt with Cornelia (for the record, he doesn’t know the girls are from earth). It’s a brilliant little humanising touch for Aldarn, who is otherwise a fairly minor supporting character.

I really like how at this point the girls seem to largely treat this whole guardian thing like some kind of game at this point, it makes the impact when they start to realize how bad things are on Meridian in a few episodes hit a bit harder. It’s a good touch.

The girls manage to frame Raythor for the whole missing key thing and he gets dragged off to Phobos. I don’t remember if this is mentioned later in the season or something but eventually we learn that he got dropped in the abyss of shadows which is apparently Phobos’s preferred means of execution that was built up throughout the episode. Basically the only thing Raythor has going for him is that he has one of Wolverine’s voice actors doing a great job with him. He largely feels like a one note villain and it’s a shame because I like his design. It kind of feels like it isn’t so much that Cedric thinks Vathek is innocent after all of this so much as that Cedric is just happy to have a chance to get rid of Raythor. Maybe there’s some kind of rivalry there, who knows.

Anyways, the episode ends with Hay Lin dressing Blunk up in ridiculous clothes. Blunk seems to be pretty into it and it’s just a cute way to end the episode.

Honestly this is the strongest episode out of the entire show so far. The pacing is excellent. Theres some great humor, we’re starting to see the build up Meridian, it’s pretty solid. It’s easily an 8/10. There's a really bad production snafu where Irma's voice comes out of Will's mouth during one of the scenes that holds it back. This show may be made on the cheap but even than that's kind of ridiculous.

Offline pokepal148

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I'm just going to leave this here because it's a solid read.

What a read.

Offline Spak-Spang

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The problem is that consultant groups are those that control the money and power.  It is the reason Warner Bros can't make a decent DC comics movies.  They are controlled by people that don't know anything about storytelling, telling the writers what to do. 


Offline pokepal148

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I think the thing that really screwed W.I.T.C.H over is the absolute insistence on trying to market it to boys instead of marketing it to everyone. This is a show about five girls who transform into little pixie things with magical powers. You can certainly try to scale back some of the more girly elements to give it some more broad appeal and that's generally a good move but trying to market it almost exclusively to boys in your action block next to shows like Power Rangers is just incredibly boneheaded.

Offline Spak-Spang

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Most Cartoons at that time and still today are marketed for boys.  Boys buy more action figures and play with toys in a way to break them or lose them.  So then they buy more.  Or at least that is what marketers believe.

Offline pokepal148

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The idea that this show was held to any kind of content standards is kind of surprising considering how fucked up some of the stuff in Season 2 gets.

Offline pokepal148

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Episode 4: Happy Birthday Will.

The whole idea of Will telling Irma she doesn't want a birthday party and than Cornelia deciding to throw a surprise party for her anyways and hold it at Irma's house feels like a deliciously underhanded way for Cornelia to **** with Irma. You all probably thought I was exaggerating when I said Cornelia was a bitch, I really wasn't.

This is the first episode where Ulriah's little gang makes any real appearance so I feel like talking about them. They're basically Bulk and Skull except there are three of them, they are less likely to smash their faces in some kind of cake during every scene they're in, and they don't have Bulk and Skull's theme music. They have their role in this show, and they do a pretty good job with it. They are actually down a member though, in the comics Nigel, who is Taranee's love interest, was a part of their group as well but I guess the writers didn't want to have one of the main characters be in love with a delinquent or something.

Caleb is the leader of the Rebellion. While in the comics he was a pretty minor supporting character the show elevated him to main character status and I think it's one of the best decisions the show made. He just adds a lot to the show. By having actual combat experience and knowing his way around Meridian he is of great help to the girls, especially during the first season. Outside of combat however he tends to be incredibly socially inept during his scenes which leads to some amusing hijinks, especially when he's on Earth. He lacks magical powers to take advantage of during fight scenes but he is more than enough of a skilled fighter to get by without them.

During the episode we're also introduced to a few girls from the school, being Elyon and Alchemy. Since they don't turn into magical pixies they aren't really that important. They seem to be pretty into Caleb though and their reactions to his shenanigans throughout the episode are kind of adorable. I've always intuited that since Cornelia and Elyon are supposed to be BFFs or something that they are primarily Cornelia's friends but they seem to get along with the other girls just fine.

While something like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers likes to pretend that parents don't exist this show digs pretty deeply into the relationship it's main characters have with their families. In this episode alone we see Irma's parents and her little brother, Chris along with Will's mother, and Cornelia's little sister, Lilian. Irma’s family gets a lot of focus this episode, mainly in that once Irma finds out about the party one of her top priorities is to get them out of the picture so they don't embarrass her only to have to have them hold the fort while the girls go and fight a giant snake man in city hall get pizza.

Yan Lin gives Hay Lin a map. What's interesting about this scene is that in the comics Yan Lin dies almost immediately after this leaving the girls to figure everything out on their own while in the show she's alive and able to give them sparodic advice about the whole Guardian thing. People like to attribute her hands off attitude with the girls to her comic counterpart's death but I think there's another reason that relates more to her own career as guardians, although I won't be able to get too much into that until season 2 for spoiler reasons. Anyways, the reason I wanted to bring this up is because I want to give a shout out to how the comic handled Hay Lin learning about her death. Take a look:

The comic has a ton of issues that make it difficult to recommend seeking out but the way it handles these more serious moments is absolutely sublime. Overall though, I feel that the show does more than enough with Yan Lin as a character to warrant keeping her around. Her quirky and aloof attitude about everything is kind of fun in general and I feel she adds a lot to the show.

Now let's talk about the villains in this episode. I like that it's established that Phobos basically just feeds off of Meridian's life force to get his magical powers. It's also established that that well is starting to run dry and the reason he wants to find his younger sister on earth is so he can steal her own powers because unlike him she apparently doesn't need to freeload off of the land's life force.

Cedric proposes that he could venture to earth to steal the earth city's birth records for girls her age so they can narrow the search to girls who weren't born in the city. Let me see how many problems I can find with this plan:

Whoever brought her to earth could have easily stolen the identity of someone who was born in Heatherfield for the princess to assume. It wouldn't be easy but the true heir to the throne seems important enough to take such lengths.

2. We are given no reason to assume that she is still in Heatherfield and that she isn't just hiding out in Faddon Hills or something. You can infer from stuff we learn later in the season that the fact that the portals between Earth and Meridian are opening in Heatherfield specifically means that the princess is hidden in Heatherfield because her power is what's opening all the portals but since they never say that at this point it just looks like they're jumping the gun a bit here.

3. Because practically everyone and their goldfish who has any kind of magic powers has the ability to use some kind of illusionary magic in this multiverse which includes changing the appearance of themselves or someone around them. There is no reason to even assume that the princess isn't disguised as someone with a different age or even gender to make her more difficult to locate.

4. Breaking into city hall risks drawing attention from earth's authorities which would potentially complicate any future attempts to locate her and bring her to Meridian when everyone is on high alert for snake man and his goon squad. This universe also has a government agency of some sort that focuses specifically on mystical and supernatural stuff, at least based on the comics.

5. Cedric doesn't know where such records are kept so there's a good chance he'll just end up drawing a bunch of attention to himself and end up leaving empty handed.

Overall, this is a really good plan.

I do like how this means today's fight with Phobos and his Crazy Friends will take place on earth for a change. I just wish it was for something meaningful and not just some filler arc. There isn't much else to say about this though, they fight in city hall and Cedric manages to leave with the birth records he came for. There is a weird continuity thing where Taranee asks why they don't go to the police for this stuff even though the main reason they got involved with this is that Irma's father is a police officer so if he ends up getting called in to investigate the calls about a lizard man in City Hall he'll probably get himself killed.

When Will returns to the party she didn't want in the first place she meets a boy named Matt. Matt is Will's love interest and the relationship between Will and Matt is one of the two main love sideplots we get for this show (The other one being Caleb and Cornelia which will start to gain some steam later on).

The Caleb and Cornelia relationship is generally pretty well done, it feels like it grows organically, and while I don't want to get into details, in my opinion both Caleb and Cornelia benefit as characters from being in that relationship, both in terms of personal growth, and as far as how we see them as the audience. At the same time that relationship is never allowed to define either of them as characters.

Matt on the other hand is explicitly introduced as Will's love interest and while he does begin to become his own character later on I feel like the fact that he is introduced explicitly as a love interest hurt him a lot as a character. Caleb is introduced as a badass rebel leader who wrestles with a giant snake man every other week, Matt is introduced as some kid at Will's party with an incredibly stupid looking hat who shows up so they can make goo goo eyes at eachother and hold hands at the end of the episode even though they literally don't even introduce themselves to eachother.

The problem with Season one is that even though W.I.T.C.H generally tries to tell it's story as a serial, where events in one episode will effect the very next episode, it's overarching plot for the season is incredibly thin which makes it difficult for episodes like this one not to feel like they're just filler even though stuff does happen that ends up progressing the season's plot (specifically Will meeting Matt and team Phobos beginning to actively search for the princess on Earth). I suppose they're trying to keep things simple but they kind of went too far with that. When you throw in stuff like Matt's introduction we just have a poor episode. The setup of Cornelia basically trying to screw Irma over could have probably salvaged things a bit but I just don't feel like it really went anywhere.


Offline pokepal148

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I've had this sitting on my phone completely finished for two weeks. Here you go.


We open with Phobos and Cedric trying to pretend that the birth records Cedric stole last episode are going to lead to something. Phobos claims pretty matter of factly that the Princess doesn't know her true identity. He doesn't even acknowledge the possibility that her adoptive parents may have told her of her heritage at some point, likely to explain her magical abilities. He claims that while her ignorance was once her greatest protection it now presents him an opportunity. Personally I'd say that taking her to another dimension when traveling between Earth and Meridian is as much of a pain in the ass as it is in this show probably qualifies as her greatest protection. Phobos than claims that he has a mission for Cedric that will require him to pass as a human. That may seem like a simple task for the guy who can literally transform from a giant snake man into a human but considering how long it takes him to transform from snake to human, which is conveniently long enough for the show to burn through a few seconds of recycled footage from his transformation sequence to pad out the runtime, I could see this plan going south if Cedric were to somehow get cornered in snake form or something. Then again, Cedric has proven himself to be a much more competent villain than Phobos is so that probably isn't a problem. Either way, my point is this scene makes Phobos look like an incompetent idiot.

Thankfully things pick up a bit when we reach the school. I like the community service day setup. It's the kind of thing that probably actually happens in some form in some communities but at the same time they exaggerate it in an amusing way with how most of the community service jobs on offer present massive safety hazards and you're putting a bunch of middle schoolers through this stuff. At the same time it doesn't take up the entire episode which is nice. The whole thing mostly exists as far as the episode is concerned to introduce Mr. Collins and get the ball rolling on today's Meridian plotline.

The revelation that Will's mother is dating Mr. Collins is handled in an interesting way I quite like. The whole Mr. Collins subplot kind of gets put on the backburner after this for the rest of the season which is a real shame because this episode is one of the few bits of character focus she gets during season 1, at least that I remember. Will's lack of character development throughout season 1 is really glaring when literally every other main character on the heroes side, including Blunk, gets a character arc.

This wouldn't be such a big deal (especially given how much focus Will gets in the second season) if Will had a strong, likable personality like the other girls do but there just isn't much that's worth talking about in that department. She also doesn't get any powers of her own during the first season so she can't really contribute to fight scenes. Instead she's the one who activates the other girls' powers.

A lot of Will's personality from the comics, particularly her shyness and social awkwardness, were heavily downplayed in the TV show (with Tarannee essentially inheriting Will's shyness.- which results in Will feeling more like a collection of character traits than like a cohesive character.

Will is very conscious about how other people feel about her. She also struggles to accept the idea of either of her parents (who are divorced) seeing other people. She can be very paranoid which certainly isn't helped by the fact that she has an extremely dubious moral code, which we'll see the first big example of later in the episode. I'll probably have to talk about Will again about halfway through Season 2 but for now she kind of just isn't a very good character.

While Will and Hay Lin are painting what appears to be an abandoned train station completely unsupervised they find some strange writing. Caleb takes them to someone known as the Ancient One who can decipher the writing and she makes some interesting revelations. Firstly, she reveals to the girls that Phobos has sent one of his minions to earth and that the writing was a message to that person. She than claims that the Heart of Kandracar can reveal the true form of a beast who has taken human form by touching a beast with the heart. She warns the girls that the beast will attempt to get close to them.

Will calls a club meeting to propose her current theory: Phobos's minion is disguised as Mr. Collins. Her reasoning for believing this is because he has the hots for her mother and clearly that's a massive red flag. Caleb is less than enthusiastic about this theory, and is quick to make some points that would make most rational human beings reconsider this theory like asking how a monster from Meridian would be able to attain enough knowledge of Earth's history to become a history teacher, but the girls are already so wrapped up in this whole theory that nobody is going to talk them out of it.

The rest of the episode features the girls finding flimsy evidence of Mr. Collins being a monster from Meridian and then beating him up with magic powers. When they touch him with the Heart they realize he's just a history teacher after all. Also apparently Cedric holed himself up in some bookstore downtown that he'll be using to search for the princess from here on out.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

I kind of really like how they had Elyon be the one storming out of the school assembly ranting about community service day. Elyon has been established as a supporting character who, from the one or two scenes we've gotten from her, has been portrayed as generally being in pretty good spirits. She's has had just enough screentime at this point to make her being this upset about something have a decent amount of impact.

The sort of subplot that explores Cornelia and her little sister's interactions was pretty well done as well.

I appreciate having an episode that doesn't really feature a Meridian plotline. It honestly feels more like a slice of life type thing than anything. Season 1 suffers from having a lot of fillery episodes that don't really contribute to the overall plot and while I certainly feel this episode falls into that trap it also gives us a bunch of really good characterization for the girls and honestly doesn't really pretend to have any real meaning for the plot.

Overall, it's a fun, but kind of unremarkable episode. 7/10.

Offline pokepal148

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What makes W.I.T.C.H's 1st season interesting watch is how it seems to be basically on the verge of greatness but fails to reach it. Generally each episode has one or two moments where you get a glimpse of what this show can become.

This episode is an example of what Season 1 can be. You have some incredible characterization from the girls, great world building on Meridian, and probably the most significant progression in the overall season's plot we've seen so far.

This is the first time we see Cedric's bookstore owner persona that was established last episode in action. The way he's portrayed as a friendly bookstore owner is really interesting. Instead of having an overt "look at how evil I am" routine like a lot of villains who try to pass of as human in kid's shows do, "Rick" basically behaves like a regular old boring book shop owner. The way the show informs the viewer that he's evil is through the show's music and through camera angles and stuff like that that none of the characters in the actual show would get to see. I honestly wonder why they actually revealed that Cedric was the bookstore owner if he's going to be so subtle. It feels like they should've just let "Rick" having the same voice as Cedric and the creepy atmosphere they gave the bookstore speak for itself and given the viewer some time to figure it out for themselves instead of spoiling the whole thing before "Rick" even got any screen time at the end of the last episode and again at the beginning of this one. However I still greatly appreciate that, from the character's perspective, there's nothing really giving him away. Also apparently Cornelia's friend, Elyon thinks he's cute so I guess he's popular with the ladies.

While in the bookstore Irma, Cornelia, Taranee, and Hay-Lin find a weird looking book and are somehow warped into a labyrinth of bookshelves on Meridian. Taranee being the smart one manages to eventually lead them out of the labyrinth by leaving a trail of string she got by slowly undoing the stitching of Cornelia's sweater. They reach the end of the maze and start basically wandering around until a middle aged woman spots. The woman named Trill tells them they aren't supposed to be there and guides them out of the castle.

Since this episode focuses a lot on Taranee I feel like we should focus on her a bit. Tarannee is the smart bookwormy one of the group. She controls fire which is ironic because she's kind of afraid of fire. She's also afraid of bugs, skiing, and her own shadow but that's it's own thing. Taranee is basically the group's second in command. That role kind of fluctuates depending on the episode or situation but she's the one who's most likely to take charge if she needs to. Both the comics and the show depict her as the most independent one out of the group. Like Irma, Tarannee has issues dealing with her anger. Unlike Irma however who will lash out at anything that's bothering her Tarannee tends to internalize her anger and frustration. The animators actually found a great way to show this by having this effect of fire being reflected by her glasses to the viewer. Taranee also inherited some of Will's shyness and timidness from the comics which pairs well with everything else about her character.

Blunk saw the girls disappear and runs off to find Will, who than meets up with Caleb and Yan Lin to figure out what's going on. Yan Lin calls it an insta-portal or something and sends Will and Caleb to go through the insta-portal to find the others. They follow the string out of the castle only to find rather unwelcome company.

a wild Phobos appears

This is where Will's lack of magical abilities for combat really hurts the show. This is essentially Phobos's first fight scene. Phobos is the first season's main villain so this should have been a chance for him to show that his fairly substantial mystical powers are at the very least enough to let him overpower Will's powers and send them running for the hills. Instead Will doesn't have powers so he gets to throw Caleb around a bit with Telekinesis until Will pushes a bookshelf on him. Bravo good buddy.

The episode manages to pull itself together after this with the scene of the other girls in the forest. The village lady, Trill, provides a bunch of exposition about how it's a hard knock life in Meridian. This scene is absolutely dripping with atmosphere. The sounds of the campfire in the background and the guy playing flute thing in the background really add so much to this scene. It's absolutely incredible.

edit: The youtube vid I found of this scene got deleted so I made a clip of it using youtube's clip feature. I can't embed it but you wouldn't be able to see the embed because lol forum software.


Trill informs the girls of rumors she has heard that Meridian's princess and the true heir is somewhere on Earth. The girls resolve to find her and bring her to Meridian. I'm pretty sure Yan Lin mentioned all of this during the opening exposition during episode one but I'm also pretty sure that the first two episodes went through some rewrites since there is a lot of weird contradictory stuff with those two episodes that I can think of. Either way it's been a while. Since that plot point is going to be relevant in a couple episodes it's worth mentioning it again.

The ambience of this scene is ended by the entrance of the Tracker. The Tracker is actually an original character to the show. We have already seen a large number of characters introduced for the show like Alchemy, Blunk, Aldarn, Gargoyle (the giant golem thing from episode 2) Raythor (that guard guy from episode 3), The great mage from last episode, and now Trill. The show is really good at integrating it's original characters into the show and making them feel like they were always part of this universe.

A good example of this is this scene with the Tracker. The show did not set aside screen time for the Tracker to be built up as a threat like a lot of shows would do. Instead they weave him into Trill's exposition scene. He seems to have become rather infamous around town before this. His presence alone is enough to send the gathered townsfolk into a mass panic, which both reinforces Trill's whole speech about everyone living in fear under Phobos and establishes the Tracker as a threat to the viewer in a really elegant way. I really dig it.

The girls run around a bit while the Tracker chases them. season 1 is really inconsistent about whether the girls have any kind of limited access to their powers when they're in human form and unfortunately in this episode they do not so they're kind of in a bit of a pickle. Will finds them, and they transform and whoop the Tracker around a bit. The episode sadly doesn't have enough time left to give the Tracker a full fight scene and honestly pretty much everything after the scene with Trill feels a bit rushed but the Tracker will get plenty of action in a few episodes so don't worry about that.

And outside of a B plot about Tarannee's essay that's this episode in a nutshell. I'm starting to see what a slog this first season can be but episodes like this one show the potential this show has. Sadly the next one is one I am absolutely dreading because if this episode is some of the best this season has to offer than from what I remember the next one is some of the worst.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 08:36:00 PM by pokepal148 »

Offline pokepal148

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Local school ski trip gets interrupted by giant snake man.
Lazy, unfunny, synopsis writer finally finishes an episode.

When I said I was dreading this episode I didn't expect that it would take me this long to get back to this. But whatever. We're here. We're doing this.

We open with Phobos giving Cedric two tasks. The first task is that he try to gather information from the townspeople in Meridian for information about what happened to his sister, which seems like something that they should have figured out ages ago. He's had 13 years since she disappeared, plus the 3 years since I wrote the last update, and he already knows that she's on Earth. She was basically a newborn when she was brought to Earth. I don't think it takes much to figure this one out.

Regardless, Detective Cedric is on the case I guess which brings us to his other task: Defeat the guardians by separating them from Will so they can't transform. Some of the more astute viewers out there will note that Phobos kind of accidentally tried that last episode with the Tracker, to which some rushed writer who probably had to deal with a billion rewrites for this episode will tell you to stop asking questions.

We cut to the school where Matt and Will are making googoo eyes at eachother. Will turns to Cornelia and we get the following exchange:

Will: "I think Matt likes me."

Cornelia: "Well what makes you say that?"

Will: "He's not looking at me."

Both Cornelia and the audience sigh in unison.

Later in the cafeteria the girls and Elyon are talking about an upcoming ski trip the school is taking. Another topic of discussion is that there's a new student from Switzerland in the school. This mysterious new student waltzes in and basically every male side character, even Irma's creepy stalker, swoons all over her. It's discovered that Sandra is planning to attend the ski trip and since Sandra and Matt made goo goo eyes at each other Will decides the girls are going on the Ski trip too.

After Cornelia and Elyon stop at Cedric's bookstore, partially to swoon over that hot, totally not secretly an evil snake man book store owner, and partially because the writers needed a way for Cedric to know where they are.

I for one find all of this gratuitous exposition most interessssting.

Caleb is in this show too so we get set up for a subplot about the girls thinking he doesn't know how to have fun or something as well as more of him being the straight man for the Girl's antics. Blunk stows away on the bus because he's in the show too and it's off to the hills.

This whole Will being jealous of Sandra plotline feels pretty out of place for a show that despite being based on a comic series from an italian magazine based on girls was adapted to primarily appeal to a primarily male demographic. I suppose when your main cast consists of five girls, a socially inept rebel leader from another world, some weird gremlin garbage goblin thing, and the incompetent tyrant and his snake friend it makes sense that this is the well they'd come to but still. You would think that considering the writers are already essentially trying to appease Disney's demands to put a circle shaped block in a square hole in terms of demographics for this show they would try to find plotlines for the show that are more easily relatable for their primary intended audience but that's not what we're going with.

And with all the snowboarding and skiing in this episode taking up this show's already meager animation budget, there isn't much room for the cool fight scene with Cedric to make up for it. The whole show has had something of an identity crisis so far. It just doesn't have the animation budget to sustain the kinds of action scenes that it needs to appeal to its primary demographic, which is a problem that absolutely plagues the show's first season.

Caleb somehow managed to convince Yan Lin to drive him to the Ski resort so I guess she's in this episode now. Maybe we will finally learn more about her. We can learn all about her days as a guardian, or how she adjusted afterwards, and… she is literally only in this episode because they needed Caleb to get to the ski resort so they could resolve his subplot that doesn't really add much to the episode isn't she.

Will challenges Sandra to a ski race to decide who will get to sit next to Matt on the bus ride back. It's been established throughout the episode that Will doesn't know how to ski so the natural question is how does she intend to win the race?

The answer of course is by cheating. She attempts to convince Cornelia and Taranee to go along with this but they refuse. She then turns to Hay Lin who reluctantly agrees to use her powers to help Will win.

Just a lovely chat with the friendly neighborhood snake man.

Cedric manages to capture Blunk after the girls find out he tagged along. He attempts to interrogate Blunk for information but then sees Hay Lin and Will flying along and decides to follow them instead. Cedric causes an avalanche in an attempt to keep the other girls distracted while he goes after Hay Lin and Will. All of the side characters are conveniently able to get inside so only main characters get buried under the snow… or just conveniently trapped in weird air pockets. That's how Avalanches work right?

There is no escaping a determined Jehovah's Witness.

Honestly I don't have much more to say about this episode. It's just so bland. The only really interesting thing to say about it is that Will never really gets any kind of comeuppance on her attempts to cheat within the episode which is surprising for a kids show. Sandra is never seen again which is kind of a bummer. A better episode could have probably made decent use out of having a more antagonistic character in the school who isn't completely incompetent like Ulriah and his goons.

I could joke about how Caleb conjures up a helmet out of nowhere when he goes snowboarding or joke about the scenes where the skis Yan Lin gave him disintegrated but I'm just not feeling it. The world building on Meridian is probably the strongest part about the first season and while it is nice to have a break form that now and then to keep Earth relevant, the Earth stuff has to actually be interesting and it just isn't.

The episode ends with something interesting however which leads me to a theory I have about it. The girls and Caleb discuss the fact that according to the portal map, no new portals have formed recently. They take this to mean that Cedric hasn't returned to Meridian.

However we know this is false. Cedric was on Meridian at the start of the episode which communicates to the viewer indirectly that he has some way of traveling between Earth and Meridian without using a regular portal. Either the writers fucked up or we have a mystery on our hands. Or it could be both. That's always possible.

Offline pokepal148

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It's a good day to be a rebel on Meridian. Several of the supply convoys that Phobos's forces have been running got raided by rebel forces and they've made off with all sorts of food and supplies. It's really interesting to see the rebels in action. The show does a really good job depicting them.

It’s also dress like a pirate day for the rebellion.

The rebels return to their base in the Infinite City. I don't believe I talked about the Infinite City when it first appeared a few episodes back. It's this cool underground temple thing under Meridian that stretches out such a large distance that nobody actually knows how large it is, hence the name. Its entrances are also hidden and between that, the sheer size of the place and the fact that it has a bunch of hidden passages it's the perfect place for the rebels to hide out in. One of those passages was where the girls met the Ancient One. I didn't see the need to mention it then because in that episode it was just how the girls got to the ancient one and it only appeared for long enough that Caleb could give some exposition on it.

Either way it is where we find Caleb and the rest of the rebels sharing a bunch of food with his rebel friends. Caleb gives a motivational speech about how they will need many more victories like this one if they want to topple Phobos. Aldarn, who was Caleb's rebel friend from the first episode, asks if Caleb can return to Earth to collect more of that "chocolate" stuff for the little ones, and Caleb pledges to do so tomorrow as they continue their happy celebration.

Someone who isn't happy about all of this however is Phobos. With Cedric, his main source of competent help, spending a good portion of his time on Earth, the rebels have been free to pillage and plunder his convoys as much as they want. In addition, He and Cedric, despite having just dumped poor Raythor into the Abyss of Shadows a few episodes back, still suspect there may be a spy within the castle who is feeding the rebels information. While more than likely the spy is Vathek from a few episodes back, I'm still holding out hope that the spy turns out to be Donald Gleeson and we get to hear him randomly shout out "I'M THE SPY!" again with absolutely no build up or foreshadowing whatsoever.

I don't know why I even bothered embedding that. Nobody with a remotely modern browser can see it.

Because Phobos is seemingly incapable of coming up with his own ideas around here, Cedric proposes his own idea. Since the spy probably won't end up revealing himself as easily as General Hux did in the bad Star Wars movie, they should attempt to confirm the presence of a spy by spreading a false rumor that something of some kind of significance has been found. When a Rebel comes looking for it, they will have both a captured rebel and confirmation of the spy's existence. Phobos agrees to this plan and claims that he knows of just the item to spread a rumor abou- hold on a second?

Phobos is actually contributing to this week's evil plan? What madness is this? Could this be the beginning of Phobos beginning to come to his own as a villain instead of relying on the plans of poor Cedric, who is seemingly singlehandedly carrying the weight of Phobos's whole evil empire on his big muscular snake shoulders?

Cedric is in focus here because he is the real power behind Phobos’s throne.

We finally cut to Earth where the girls have reached the top of an apartment building where a portal formed. We get some character banter that mentions Taranee's fear of heights and Cornelia being annoyed they couldn't just fly to the top of the apartment and have to climb the metal fire exit thing on the side because of her decision to wear heels today. Caleb and Blunk come through the portal as they arrive. Caleb, whose mother didn't teach him that he should always look both ways before spouting exposition, lets slip that he's paying Blunk to find him portals right in front of the girls. Will is not happy about this and closes the portal despite Caleb's protests, trapping him on Earth.

I don't really have time to get into the Earth b-plot for this episode because, in something that is unusual for this show (at least in the first season) there is actually alot of important stuff going on or being set up in this episode. Long story short, Hay Lin signed the girls up to put on a play for the school's drama week or whatever. The theme for the play is supposed to be mythology so the girls have to choose a myth to make a play based on. Like I said, there's alot of stuff going on here. I already expect this whole thing to become even more of a wall of text that nobody is going to read than usual so I kind of wanna keep things moving.

We cut back to Meridian where Cedric has summoned the Captain of the Guard to deliver some good news: The Seal of Phobos has been found. We don't know what the Seal of Phobos is but based on the reactions of the captain and the men with him it seems to be super important. Cedric claims the Seal was found in a place called Torus Filney and gives very specific instructions that within 3 days a detachment of soldiers are to be sent to retrieve it. He also states specifically that this information is not to be allowed to become public knowledge.

So naturally everyone who is anyone is going to find out about this. We have Trill from a few episodes back gossiping about it with the other castle workers and, in a neat little bit of worldbuilding, we even get a cameo from Frost, a character who won't get properly introduced for another two episodes. One of the guards is sitting at a table with Vathek and feels particularly expositionary today. He claims that the Seal can open anything, including portals through the Veil. Vathek immediately leaves the castle to bring this information to the rebellion.

You would think the guy who clearly goes to the same tailor as Caleb does, doesn't bother to follow the castle's dress code, AND was a prime suspect the last time you all thought there was a spy would be your number one suspect this time

Back on Earth, the girls turn to Yan Lin, the show's resident Chinese stereotype, to see if she knows of any good myths. I'll be honest, I was expecting to come in here and take the opportunity to spit a bit of fire about Yan Lin and especially how her voice sounds like a super stereotypical impression of a Chinese woman but a quick google search reveals that her voice actress is actually Chinese American so that kind of puts a damper on that.

Either way, she lives up to her stereotype and pulls out this show's adapted version of the real world Chinese myth of the four dragons. TLDR: There were once four dragons who decided to use their power over the elements to save a bunch of people from a drought. Someone named the Jade Emperor got pissed about this and locked them in four mountains.

This version adds a Nymph named Xin Jing who joins her power with the power of the four dragons to create the jewel talisman that would eventually become the Heart of Kandrakar. In the comics this is only part of the origin of the girls' power but in the wild west anything goes world of Season 1 this seems to be the whole story for now, largely because of Kandrakar's reduced role in Season 1.

Like Will, The nymph Xin Jing is also pretty useless compared to her dragon powered friends.

As the girls set up the play, Blunk and Caleb meet in an alleyway. Blunk apparently learned offscreen that the Seal of Phobos was found. Caleb resolves to find the seal first and sets out to Meridian, but not before giving Blunk more exposition.

As was mentioned two episodes back, Phobos is searching for his younger sister. As a flashback starts playing, Caleb reveals that the person who took her from the castle in order to protect her was a woman who also stole the Seal of Phobos and used it to breach the veil and escape to Earth.

I'm sure we will never find out anything more about this character who is presumably still on Earth.

Strangely the woman is shown dropping the seal which ends up in a sewer grate. I'm sure that isn't something that will come up later in the season. After finishing the lore dump, Caleb departs leaving Blunk behind.

After a scene where the girls are rehearsing, we cut to Caleb climbing up a hill with a hooded figure. The figure of course is Cedric, who instead leads Caleb into a pit of quicksand before setting out to find the spy who is now confirmed to exist.

Cedric seen here in his Organization XIII cosplay.

Fortunately Caleb was smart enough to leave a note for Yan Lin explaining where she was. Given that Yan Lin has two functioning brain cells, she immediately deduces that this is a trap and informs the guardians. I actually really like her reasoning for assuming it is a trap. She knows that Phobos would not wait before retrieving the seal if there was any kind of indication that it was actually found.

However the girls are due onstage for the play so Yan Lin teaches Will how to create mystical doppelgangers of themselves called Astral Drops to fill in for them. The Astral Drops were used heavily in the early parts of the comics so the writers could handwave the girls being absent for long periods of time. It got to the point where the writers eventually wrote them out of the series which I suspect is in part because of how much they were overused. The TV show on the other hand goes out of its way to basically nerf them by making Astral Drops dumb as bricks. They also do not retain the memories of their creators and so are extremely limited in what they can do.

So basically the play is going to be a complete trainwreck and the girls should be thankful that the side plots on Earth have little to no continuity this season.

They set out to find Caleb and after reaching Meridian and flying over a run down looking village, they arrive at the sandpit. It attempts to grab Will's leg. The other guardians, aka the ones who are actually useful in a fight, manage to pull her out and a pair of children explain to deliver some exposition in this otherwise story-light episode.

Apparently the sandpit has been swallowing people from the village up. When Cornelia asks the obvious question of why they don't just rope it off or something the boy replies that it moves. The girls are able to get inside of the pit where they reach a cavern underneath it. There they find Caleb, along with one of the sand pit's less fortunate victims, which bear a striking resemblance to the redeads from Ocarina of Time.

Depicted: The one person who ever reads this thread patiently awaiting the next update.

The whole sand pit thing may seem kind of like a kind of eh thing to pad out the episode's runtime when you read about it but the whole thing is actually really well executed, especially considering the limited amount of time this part of the episode has left. It was legitimately one of the most memorable parts of the first season for me as a kid.

There's alot of stuff that isn't really explained about it which is refreshing given how otherwise exposition heavy this episode is. The sand pit has clearly been around for a while in this world but at the same time, while Phobos and Cedric make use of it in this episode, it doesn't seem to be something that they have any real control over. It is possible they created it given that Cedric knew of its existence and where to find it but it is just as likely that this is just something like the Abyss of Shadows that exists in Meridian and that they are aware of and willing to take advantage of.

What you do see of the sand pit is kind of dark, especially for a kids show. It appears to swallow its victims, trap them in the walls in the caverns beneath it, and let the victims slowly starve to death. It is possible that the sandpit is alive somehow and this is how it consumes its prey.

Taranee realizes that Disney's S&P office doesn't care if she fucks up a possibly sentient sandpit so after the girls free the people imprisoned inside of the cavern who are still alive, she lets loose with blasts of fire, absolutely trashing the interior of the cavern. Once the girls reach the surface she turns the surface level quicksand pit into glass.

With Caleb saved, the girls return to Earth to wrap up the earth subplot. Principal Knickerbocker gives a comical detention sentence that will never be talked about in the show again and all is well on Earth. All is not so well on Meridian however where Cedric has returned and summoned the captain of the guard to ask for the identities of everyone who left the castle in the past day. This scene takes place in the same alleyway where the woman who took the princess used the seal.

This is so the camera can pan down through the sewer grate to reveal that the Seal of Phobos is still down there, waiting to become relevant in a future episode.

After all these years, Phobos never thought to shine a light around the Seal’s last known location.

Wrap up / TLDR

I like that we got some degree of tension between the girls and Caleb. Caleb's desire to use the portals to help the rebels on Meridian has come into conflict with girls trying to keep the portals shut. It's an interesting dynamic and I wish the show would spend this half of the season before things pick up exploring that more.

Meanwhile Blunk's ability to sniff out portals makes him useful to Caleb so Caleb is willing to keep him around.

I really like this episode. I know I harped on it alot for having alot of exposition but the show is really good at making its exposition and worldbuilding interesting. It's just bad at evenly distributing it so we get alot of episodes like last week's year's where there's little to no world building and lore because it all got dumped here instead.

Offline pokepal148

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I feel like mentioning something that doesn't really fit in the episode proper.

The show has dropped some hints already that Yan Lin has dealt with Phobos before but it has been really coy about giving any kind of details. Yan Lin clearly knows a lot about Phobos for someone who is from Earth while Phobos's dialogue during the first two episodes implied that Will's team is not the first set of guardians he's had rise against them.

This however raises the interesting question of where the other four guardians from Yan Lin's generation are. It's a mystery that the show subtly brings up by consistently hinting at Yan Lin's history with Phobos or hell, just by keeping her around despite the fact that her comic counterpart was written out of the main cast at literally the first opportunity once she gave them the portal map they got in the show a feel maps. The fact that Yan Lin continues to be a part of the show should theoretically give the girls a connection to her generation of guardians that their comic counterparts did not have. Which thus raises the question of why Yan Lin won’t contact them.

This is actually something that will eventually be addressed during the second season. One of the advantages that the TV show has over the comic is that the comic is multiple arcs ahead of the TV show. According to an archived forum thread I found here which features people that were involved with the show, when they started writing the second season they had access to everything up to the 27th issue of the comic which was midway through the third arc. I can infer that they at least had access to everything up to the 19th issue of the comic during the writing of the first season due to what I’ll call a very specific reference to something in that issue that was in one of the earlier episodes. I’ll explain what that reference is in about 30 years when we get to the episode where the significance of that reference is revealed.

In a nutshell: The writers know what's coming and they are absolutely setting up some stuff that won’t get paid off until Season 2 right under your nose. The fact that they are doing it as subtly as they are is absolutely incredible.

Offline pokepal148

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This is another filler episode but it is one I feel like I can talk about more quickly.  Especially since I don’t have to make my own screenshots anymore because I found a way to get them from the Wiki instead. For anyone who hasn’t tried to embed images directly from a wiki to the forums, it’s a fucking pain in the ass.

We start in Phobos’s throne room where Phobos and Cedric are chatting again. Cedric apparently sent a recon team through the veil to find out where Caleb is hiding on Earth. Phobos, not knowing the difference between past and present tense, tells Cedric to remind them to be careful.

Buddy, Cedric said “sent”. That means they’re already on Earth. Also, as we’ll later learn, the recon team is just a pair of lurdens. They’ll be lucky if the government doesn’t assume they’re aliens, capture them, and send them to Area 51 or something.  I don’t think I mentioned what lurdens are. These are Lurdens.

Talk about Incognito,

Phobos orders Cedric to eat because that’s apparently his fetish or something and we cut to the next scene. Will is getting yelled at by her mother about her grades. She is forbidden from going to a movie on the weekend. Cut to the next day when she’s with her friends and they are all getting hyped up for said movie. The movie stars Vance Micheal Justin who is a celebrity the girls all like. Will says she’s totally coming despite her mother’s wishes. The group mentions they’ll have to wait in a line for 6 hours.

We cut to Caleb who apparently got separated from Blunk while looking for a portal. He is unknowingly being followed by the recon squad that was mentioned earlier. He runs into Cornelia who is fawning over a poster of Vance. We get an amusing scene with them together where Caleb has no idea how to deal with the girl he likes being in love with a poster of a guy dressed like an elf. Cornelia says he’s part of “a tribe of incredibly good looking pixies.” who fight evil or something. She leaves and we find out what Blunk got up to.

Man, they’ll let anyone be an uber driver.

Caleb decides to try and take the taxi back to where Blunk got it only to find that he doesn’t know how to drive it. Despite this he is able to inadvertently use it to escape the recon squad. They return to Meridian and Phobos commands Cedric to send The Tracker through the portal. We get a scene where Hay Lin is trying to convince her parents to let her go to the premiere and we cut to Caleb just dumping the taxi in a convenient alleyway. A portal opens in front of them and the Tracker and his dog thing, the Sniffer emerge from the portal.

sometimes this show gets some pretty cool shots

Caleb and Blunk manage to elude the Tracker and tries to hide out at Irma’s place, where Irma got stuck babysitting her little brother and gleefully takes the opportunity to leave Caleb and Blunk in charge instead.

Hay Lin convinces her parents to let her go to the premiere and the girls set out to wait in line. The Heart of Plot Convenience Kandrakar lights up to notify them of the tracker’s presence and Will gives the cheesy line “It’s evil calling.” We cut to the tracker and sniffer picking up the scent of Blunk. We know this because the tracker apparently talks in this episode, which is something I will never speak of again.

Let’s talk about the Tracker for a second. He’s got a sick ass design as you can see above, he has a little dog called The Sniffer who helps him out, he has this green glowy ball and chain, some bats he can unleash from his cloak and most importantly he doesn’t fucking talk in 99% of the episodes he’s in. IMO it is a core part of what makes him a memorable part of Phobos’s little rogues gallery as opposed to someone like The Captain of the Guard from last episode who will never be seen again iirc or Raythor, who I’ve made a point to mention as much as possible as a bit of a meme despite the fact that his only accomplishment is getting dropped in a hole. And also because he comes back next season.

In the arms of an angel...

We’ve basically reached the action point of the episode and it is a neat setup. Basically one of the girls has to stay behind to hold their spot in line while the rest go to deal with the tracker. Sadly they need to bring Will along to transform so they can’t just leave the dead weight behind of they leave cornelia behind instead. However they later have to have someone swap with Cornelia so they can use her powers and it goes on like this for the whole sequence. It’s kind of fun. It almost makes you ignore the part where Irma’s voice comes out of Will’s mouth again at one point.

It also helps that this episode actually has a decent animation budget.

Yan Lin shows up at Irma’s place to warn Caleb, having been informed of the situation by Hay Lin. It’s a good thing too as the girls are ultimately unable to stop the tracker so Caleb is forced to take darastic measures and use a skateboard to get past the tracker and head back  downhill to the theater, which is where Blunk claims the portal is. You know things  We’re going to ignore the fact that they previously saw the Tracker come out of a different portal because I really like where they put this portal.

You know, I’ve seen dead pixels on IMAX screens before but this is ridiculous.

With Caleb able to lure the tracker down to the theater we get a big showdown between Caleb the Tracker in the theater itself, which everyone assumes is just some pre-show entertainment, although we got a cool cameo from Uriah and his gang. Caleb is able to get The Tracker through the portal and get back out before the girls seal it. They then un-transform to take their seats in the theater, only for everyone but Hay Lin to sleep through the movie, no doubt tuckered out from all the action scenes this episode had.

It’s especially amusing since Irma and Will’s mothers have found out that their children have gone against their wishes and attended the premiere. Fortunately for Irma, her relationship with her mother isn’t that much of a recurring plotline in this show. Will is not so lucky.

Wrap up / TLDR

This is another fun episode, even if it doesn’t really add much to the world of the show outside of introducing Irma’s comically bratty little brother and Hay Lin’s parents. It is nice to see the Tracker again though even with #speechgate. He gets much more time to shine than he did with the Labyrinth and despite a certain… mishap he makes good use of that time to establish himself more firmly as a memorable part of the show. It feels weird to say it but this is actually his last appearance for the season which IMO is a waste but we’ll get plenty more of him in season 2 when I get around to it in 2053.

I could harp on Caleb suddenly knowing how to use a skateboard but it actually kind of makes sense. That skiing episode showed that he is skilled at snowboarding and way back in episode 3 when he was talking to Aldarn about what he saw on Earth one of the first things he mentioned is that he saw a group of teens skateboarding. It’s a shame that the writers clearly don’t know that there’s a difference between snowboarding and skateboarding because I feel like there’s a fun episode they could have done with Caleb learning how to skateboard for himself.

Overall, this is the kind of filler that the season needs more of. Just some good old fashioned fun. We have one more fillery episode before things pick up again as I recall but after that the main plot for season 1 will finally start picking up.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 11:48:05 PM by pokepal148 »