Episode Review: Star vs The Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 2) – Mr Candle Cares / Red Belt
The first episode of Star vs The Forces of Evil’s second season, re-introduced us to Star Butterfly, Marco Diaz, and few other characters within the show’s universe. Each of them dealt with some new revelations, as well as provided some new tidbits for what would possibly be coming down the line.
With the second episode, it looks like some additional revelations are to be had, along with the return of a character from Star’s past.
It’s Career Day at Echo Creek Academy, and all the students are visiting guidance counselor, Mr Candle.
However, he quickly quashes Star’s dreams, by reminding her that she is an inter-dimensional Princess, who will one day be a Queen.
As for Marco…well, let’s say that in this day-and-age, all those ‘honors’ classes may not be enough to help him out after all.
The episode definitely hits on that age-old question: “what do you want to do after high school?”
However, that section of the plot ‘almost’ takes a backseat, once Marco encounters Tom, Star’s ex-boyfriend.
This was one of the most interesting parts of the episode, as we’ve never seen both of these guys face off properly. Plus, we get some nice bits of conversation, that opens up some more information about Tom. And, for those who recall the Blood Moon Ball episode, a few other monster cameos from that segment are here as well.
After being reminded what her future holds, much of Star’s time in the episode is one of dejectedness, and quiet contemplation. It goes by pretty quickly, but it was nice to be reminded that Star’s future is one of those doors in her brain that she tries to keep closed, but still creeps open at times. I often find Star to be more interesting, when she slows down a little, and has to consider certain things about her life.
The episode manages to walk a fine tight-rope between Star and Marco’s storylines. It also reminded me a bit of the back-and-forth story structure of Season 1’s segment, School Spirit. It’s entertaining, and it opens up a bit more about our main characters, as well as a supporting player or two.
Oh yeah, and one of the words mentioned among fan-pairings for the show, has now become canon on the show. Now excuse me while I plug my ears, while I try to drown out the joyous screams of the fan-pairing crowd.
There is also a ‘questionable line’ that Tom gives Marco, that made me stop and think for a moment. If you watch the show, see if you can find it.
Final Segment Grade: B+
After being a Green Belt for over five years at his karate dojo, Marco finally has some words with his Sensei, about what he needs to do to make it to the next level.
Star meanwhile, intends to do some non-magic activities involving tools. Just where she intends to find them…well, that’s part of the journey!
We’ve often seen Marco and his dojo’s Sensei in small chunks, but here, the door is thrown open to some more information about the master of the strip mall dojo.
And…it’s a bit under-whelming.
Marco’s story is the bigger of the two interconnecting plot threads. Star’s attempts to search out tools around the Diaz household takes up the secondary story, but even here, it feels a bit weak. It quickly put me in mind of her crazily wandering around, ala The Banagic Incident from Season 1.
Also like Banagic, is how we have Star going cuckoo on her own quest, while Marco is off with his Sensei. The story attempts to mine some emotion out of Marco’s part of the segment, but it never comes close to feeling as solid as what we experienced in Mr Candle Cares.
Even so, it has been awhile since we had a more Marco-centric episode, and it does open additional doors to knowing more about some of the supporting cast members.
Plus, we get the return of Mr and Mrs Diaz in a small cameo, probably being the most concerned we’ve ever seen them (yet).
Final Segment Grade: B-
I will say, that the second episode of Star vs The Forces of Evil, managed to get me a little more excited about Season 2.
Mr Candle Cares manages to mixes life anxieties about growing up, along with bringing some more development to Star’s ex-boyfriend. Plus, it balances nicely in its separate stories for both Star and Marco.
Red Belt gives Marco a little more time for character development, as well as understanding a bit more about the karate portion of his life. The sub-story about Star however, falls a bit flat in its humor, as if it’s struggling to make you laugh.
*With episode 2, it looks like we’re ready to shift into gear for some even wackier stories. Next week, we have “Star on Wheels,” which supposedly will involve her learning to ride a bicycle. We also have “Fetch,” which so far, no information has been provided for (could it involve the laser puppies?). See you guys back here in 7 days.*