Episode Review: Star vs The Forces of Evil (Season 1, Episode 12) – Interdimensional Field Trip / Marco Grows A Beard
So, everyone present and accounted for?
Oh, good! I thought another month-long hiatus between episodes would have sent some of you running off over the hills.
Though if you read my episode 11 review of Star vs The Forces of Evil, you also were informed that the show’s first season is only comprised of 13 episodes…which makes this the 2nd-to-last one…before the crippling agony of waiting for word on when Season 2 will begin, sets in.
…but enough rainbows and puppies, we got a review to get onto!
Star is overjoyed to be on a field trip, but the rest of her class loudly complains about being bored, as Ms Skullnick tells that life isn’t always about fun. Always eager to make sure everyone is having a good time, Star volunteers to take over the field trip duties.
Star then takes the class to the Dimension of Wonders and Amazements, and gives one rule to follow: there are no rules!
While Star soon finds that maybe her one rule is a little too freeing, Skullnick manages to find out a little bit more about her recently-transformed troll-self…and that maybe things aren’t as bad as she first thought.
To me, this episode has the kind of character development/display that I had hoped to see in the episode 2 segment, Match Maker. It doesn’t open all the doors, but we get to see what I’ve hoped for for some time: more interaction between Star, Marco, and their classmates. As well, more names are given regarding some of the minor characters, and a few new faces are added into the mix as well.
Of course, the ‘no rules’ credo pretty quickly turns most of the characters into brainless nincompoops. It’s a little like Marco’s parents in Diaz Family Vacation, but Star’s situation almost seems more akin to trying to keep a group of pre-schoolers in line.
Notable about the episode, is that it actually gives a little more time and character growth for Ms Skullnick, as well as fan-favorite background character, Janna. I must say their little areas of the story were some of the highlights, with Janna’s moments being some of the funniest in the segment.
We also get a tiny little bit of character interaction between Marco, and Jackie Lynn Thomas. It’s not a lot, but it feels like another step beyond the one Marco took in episode 9’s segment, Freeze Day.
Of course, this episode’s structure you’ve probably seen in other series’ shows. I recall the same ‘no rules’ plotlines from cartoons like Alvin and the Chipmunks, and The Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
However, what’s notable about Field Trip, and what kept it from getting a lower grade in my book, is that there are some items at the beginning that it sets up, and then pays off at the end. These kinds of shows can be a little more fun when you analyze their structure afterwards. My favorite film is Back to the Future, and its storyline also sets up payoffs as its story progresses.
The segment, though not as solid as I would have liked, gives a little more character growth for Star, as well as gives us a chance to see some more of the side-characters given a chance to come to the forefront.
Final segment grade: B
Though Marco is concerned that Star is using her magic a little too often, he also is a little peeved that Jackie Lynn Thomas notices that a classmate named Blake, has grown a noticeable beard.
Star offers to help Marco with his own facial hair growth, but he tells her that he doesn’t want her (magical) help. Of course, it doesn’t take Star long to sneakily perform some magic, causing Marco to grow a beard that soon overtakes the Diaz’s house! As well, Star ends up losing her wand amid the sea of hair.
Star then begins a journey to get back her wand and rescue Marco…but doesn’t realize that Ludo, his minions, and Toffee, are nearby, and also attempting to get the wand as well.
This episode almost harkens back to the real-world comparisons of episode 4’s segment, Quest Buy. However, instead of freaking out about a wand’s charger, there’s that concept of trying to rely less on something as a crutch. As someone who constantly has his iPhone in hand for a very large portion of the day, I could relate to Star’s dependency problems.
Her journey to get back her wand and save Marco, is a little odd at times, but it never quite reaches the levels of ‘whuh’ like The Banagic Incident in episode 11 did. Though in one of the lower moments of Star’s journey, I think the segment brought about one of the cutest bits we’ve seen in awhile.
Marco is given little to do in this episode, other than largely be the focus of Star’s rescue. Though at least he feels moreso like he serves a purpose to the story, though a minor one.
In recent episodes, Ludo and Toffee’s interactions have become more intriguing to me and several others. Though many of us had grown a little non-plussed by Ludo’s ‘smash-and-grab’ tactics, Toffee’s ‘chess game’ attitude has been the one thing that has made the last couple of episodes a little more tolerable when Ludo and his gang appear. Toffee made a strategic move in the segment Mewnipendence Day, and in this segment, he makes a really big move that will surely influence the next episode.
Final segment grade: B
Though this week’s episode was ok, I will admit it gave us some pretty decent segments.
Interdimensional Field Trip took us on a journey that showcased a number of Echo Creek Academy’s student body, while also giving a little more development to Star Butterfly, as well as Ms Skullnick.
Marco Grows a Beard had a ‘magic-gone-wrong’ storyline that was a little similar to the segment Monster Arm, but ended up sidelining Marco, in favor of teaching Star about depending moreso on herself than her wand. As well, though the use of Ludo and his minions is a little blase, the overall payoff for their involvement in the episode, helps elevate it over some of the bumpier portions, and makes us eager to see what will happen to them in the next episode.
*And so, another episode review has come to a close. Next week, I hope you’ll join me as I review the Season 1 Finale “Storm The Castle,” which will be the same length as the “St Olga’s Reform School” episode: over 20+ minutes long! There’s been a lot of stuff happening behind-the-scenes in the last 5 episodes, and I’m sure it’ll pay off in some ways…and most likely, give us some new questions to sift through, during our waiting for Season 2. Now, let’s go to the morgue!*