Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 10) – Friend-enemies / Is Mystery
Well, after last week’s wonderful one-two punch of entertaining and revelatory intrigue, I wondered if this week’s episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil could come close to what we experienced previously.
When it came to the preview images for this week’s episode, the first segment’s poster art both enraptured AND enraged a number of fans I saw online (but then, this is the internet, where people often can’t keep their emotions in check).
But, enough about the state of fandoms that spend more time speculating about fan-problems than open story threads…let’s get to the review!
While attempting to get tickets to a karate movie marathon, Marco is surprised when Star’s ex-boyfriend Tom stops over. Surprisingly, he just wants to hang out with Marco, AND go to the same movie marathon!
Reluctantly, Marco goes along with the demon, and pretty soon, finds himself in for a wild night on the town.
Ever since Mr Candle Cares, I and many had high hopes that we’d see Tom again, though maybe not so soon (I almost expected him to start showing up once a season for the show).
While many seemed to feel that a budding friendship would result from that one-sided ping-pong game we saw a little while ago (or “something more” from the looks of the promo image for this segment), it looks like Marco has a somewhat ‘abrasive’ view on his connections to Tom (similar to his feelings for Flying Princess Pony Head). Probably not what many expected, but let’s face it: Star seems to know a lot of characters that aren’t as ‘neutral’ as her, leading us to assume that maybe most of her associations were made during her more ‘rebellious’ phase in life?
The showrunners get some fun out of showing us more of Tom’s carriage, along with playing around with showing us both common, and uncommon ground that both of the boys have.
Composer Brian H Kim gets a chance to really shine here, with a few musical numbers from a fictional band called Love Sentence. The first song we hear is so catchy, that I want to hear all of it! The second one…well, let’s just say that voice actor Adam McArthur is probably going to be getting plenty of “requests” on social media, if you know what I mean.
Friend-enemies is a good segment, in that much like Sleepover, we get some more time with a supporting/side character. However, it feels like it struggles to be an overall enjoyable romp, as it seeks to reach its conclusion. It’s revelations and character development aren’t quite as smoothly flowing as Sleepover, but even with what seems a ‘weird-and-wild’ finale, it still ends up being one of the more entertaining segments of the season.
Final Grade: B
After finding a hole in the forcefield surrounding the Kingdom of Mewni’s corn supply, Buff Frog decides to investigate what is going on…and finds some shocking revelations!
Ever since the segment Ludo in the Wild earlier this season, the series has found itself giving over time to a sub-story involving Ludo, and the remnants of the other half of Star Butterfly’s family wand.
Like a few episodes earlier in Season 2, Star doesn’t figure at all into this one. Is Mystery largely belongs to Buff Frog, and continues to show us more about his life post-Ludo, beyond the rather trite On the Job segment.
This segment’s ability to give us more puzzle pieces to Ludo’s plan, is definitely commendable. Plus, a little more insight into that plan, has me now even more interested to see just what is going on (and wonder what may happen!). One has to wonder if this is going to lead to a revelation by the final episode, or something a little sooner.
Speaking of Ludo, I think this segment really makes him out to be a more serious threat than before. Most of what he does in this segment, makes me fairly certain that ‘something’ or ‘someone’ in the wand, has a very powerful grasp over what he is doing.
Ludo’s powerful control is shown in how he has also corralled monsters to toil away as part of his scheme, with many of them terrified of him! Plus, while Ludo had plans for domination over the Kingdom of Mewni in Season 1, the overall scheme he seems to be overseeing in this Season, feels a bit too large-scale for him to have concocted on his own!
The most shocking revelations for this segment, come in the last few minutes. Most notable is an emotional scene regarding Buff Frog, who makes a very daring decision, that feels like it could have some major effects on the future.
Final Grade: B
Though not quite as exciting as last week’s segments, the one-two punch of this week’s segments, made this a pretty enjoyable episode!
Friend-enemies gives us some more time with Marco Diaz and Tom, and manages to be entertaining and fun, though a bit uneven in trying to get to its conclusion. Even so, it ranks up there with Sleepover, in giving us more information on a supporting character.
Is Mystery continues the series’ sub-story involving Ludo and his wand, while bringing Buff Frog face-to-face with his former leader, and leads to him making a very serious decision, that may have repercussions on his (and his children’s) future.
(Next week’s segments, don’t look quite as dramatic as this week’s, but with this series, you never can tell what we might get. “Hungry Larry” looks to be a Halloween-themed episode, given the way Star, Marco, and Mr Diaz are dressed…though what that large shadow could be, is the big mystery! “Spider in a Top Hat,” looks almost like it is tying into the myriad creatures Star conjures with her wand. We saw a spider in a top hat being conjured in last season’s segment, “The Other Exchange Student,” though what could be the reason for his dour expression? Does he feel like one of Star Butterfly’s less-appreciated magical creations? See you guys back here in 7 days, when we dive in to see how it all went down!)