Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 12) – Into the Wand / Pizza Thing

Now that we’re halfway through Season 2 of Star vs the Forces of Evil, it’s as good a time as any to think about what the first half of this season gave us.

We’ve seen character development in Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz, the return (and growing threat) of Ludo, along with further development for Season 1 background characters like Janna, and Jackie Lynn Thomas.

Also notable, has been a continual pulling back of the curtains, regarding Star’s dimensional homeworld of Mewni.

For episode 12, the show’s writers walk the tightrope of giving us more information about Mewni, as well as character development in our own dimension.

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-Into the Wand-

When Star finds that her wand’s spells are not casting properly, she consults with Glossaryck of Terms for help. The solution? Star must travel into her wand, and find “the thing that does not belong.”

When it comes to Star’s wand, it feels like the writers keep making it as enigmatic as Felix the Cat’s magic bag. We’ve seen a miniature unicorn powering it, and a small pocket-universe where the numerous spells from the wand reside…though in the case of this segment, Star Butterfly goes on her own little, Inception-style adventure within it (with a bit of Into the Woods symbolism in a few places!).

The writers try to add some mind-bending layers to the story as well, with the wand acting as a repository for the memories of those who have wielded it…or at least, that’s what it feels like given some of the things that Star encounters.

Also of note, is the idea that time within the wand can have a habit of overlapping, or possibly rewriting itself. Not much is really explained when it comes to some of what we see, though. It almost seems to be the segment’s ‘here’s something cool but I won’t explain it’ card we’ve seen played in many other segments this season.

For character focus, the segment is mostly about Star (with Glossaryck getting more character time than Marco Diaz). As explained in some of my other reviews, these singular character-building episodes can usually become quite insightful, showing us how a person reacts and thinks when it’s all up to them in a certain situation, or setting.

The highlight of the episode, is opening the door further regarding the Mewnian line of Queens, let alone revelations and hints about Star’s past relations. The show’s writers give us just enough to keep building up thoughts on the history of what came before Star, but still not enough to let us know everything about these former Queens. Plus, we are treated to a “piece” of historical information, that makes one definitely wonder more about upcoming episodes.

On a more “nitpicky” note, the segment feels like there’s something a bit ‘off’ in it’s pacing. At times, Star’s line readings sound a bit “stilted,” and some transitions don’t seem to hold together quite as well. Into the Wand still provides another piece to Season 2’s overall puzzle, but even with those revelations, the uneven pacing seems to trip up the segment from feeling wholly satisfying to me.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from segment (said by Glossaryck of Terms): “Ok, don’t panic. I got the stain remover, you go start the car!”

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-Pizza Thing-

Star invites Flying Princess Pony Head over for a night of TV watching and pizza-eating with her and Marco. However, Pony Head grows bored just floating around the Diaz’s house, and tags along with Marco, who has been assigned to pick up the pizza.

Much like how Friend-Enemies gave Marco some one-on-one time with Star’s ex-boyfriend Tom, this segment sticks Marco and Pony Head together for the majority of the story. As we’ve seen from previous experiences with Pony Head, Marco is rarely ever happy to see her, and having her tag along with him, she ends up becoming more of a hindrance than a help most of the time.

The segment is almost like The Banagic Incident, wherein we have a main story to get something, that is sidelined by a number of incidental moments. Even so, the writing never gets to the point where one feels the writers have totally lost their minds, and as we’ve seen from some other appearances this season, Pony Head gets to be pretty entertaining at times (especially now that the writers have toned down some of her snarky attitude from season 1).

Every once in awhile, the segment gives the floor to composer Brian H Kim, and he brings to the segment, some of his most peppy and upbeat tunes so far. It’s stuff like this, that sometimes makes me wish we’d get an album of Kim’s background music to purchase.

This is one of those marginally good stories, which is a bit like popcorn: it fills you up, but doesn’t provide you with many lasting memories. The resolving of the pizza portion of the story seems a bit flimsy, almost like the segment is flashing you a thumbs-up, when you really wished for a high-five.

Plus, there’s a fun little ‘easter egg’ tying into an earlier season 2 segment…keeping us wondering further about Marco and his finances.

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from segment (said by Marco Diaz): “We got to get as far away from this as possible, and THEN report it to the Police!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Star Butterfly): “We got burger juice on the wall rug, Chauncey.”

While not as strong as some of the last few episodes in entertainment value, episode 12 still had plenty of interesting places to go.

Into the Wand gives us some great eye-opening bits regarding Mewni’s past line of Queens, along with another view of what goes on inside of the Mewni Royal Wand. However, a stilted pacing and some mind-bending scenarios, may make some wonder what they’ve stumbled onto.

Pizza Time gives over more character development time to Marco, but throws in the rather abrasive Flying Princess Pony Head as a foil. The segment was not as annoying as I had expected, though I had hoped for a stronger end-game, to justify some of the hijinks and antics Pony Head put Marco through.

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(Now that we’re back in business, next week will bring about episode 13. In the first segment titled “Page Turner,” Star finds a forbidden section of her wand’s instruction manual, and is tempted to find out what is inside. This is followed by the segment “Naysaya,” where Marco has an inconvenient “growth,” that quickly starts to interfere with certain aspects of his life. Has the Monster Arm made good on its promise to return? Come back soon, and we’ll find out!)

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About MWH1980

Growing up in the state of Iowa, one would assume I'd be enamored with pigs and corn. Well, I wasn't. Instead, I grew fascinated by many things that were entertainment-related. Things like movies, animation, toys, books, and many more kept my attention. This blog I hope to use to express myself regarding my varied obsessions. (P.S. There's no Photoshop involved in that Gravatar-I really am holding an Oscar)

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