Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 21) – Face the Music
The dual-segment episodes are over…now, nothing ahead (for the rest of the season), except full-length episodes!
With Season 2 of Star vs the Forces of Evil winding down, many of us are eager to see if a number of loose ends that we’ve been privy to, will be neatly tied up by the end of episode 22.
But, that episode’s review is for another day. For now, let’s dive into episode 21, the second-to-last Season 2 episode!
At the behest of her Mother, Moon Butterfly, Star allows Mewni’s official songstrel to compose a song about her, for the upcoming Song Day celebration on Mewni. However, upon meeting him, Star has a few opinions about this royal tradition.
Meanwhile, Moon undertakes a small quest of her own, to find and retrieve the Butterfly Family’s spellbook, and Glossaryck of Terms. Her journey leads her to Lord and Lady Avarius (aka Ludo’s parents!), and some additional information about Ludo himself.
The structure of both Star and Moon’s stories, almost feels like they could have been two separate story segments. However, within the episode, director Giancarlo Volpe chooses to intercut between the stories of Mother and Daughter, while giving them time together at the beginning, and the end of the episode.
For Star’s portion of the story, we find her trying to get out of her Song Day obligations, by giving the run-around to a new songstrel, named Ruberiot (voiced by Patrick Stump).
Like most things that hint at her destiny as the future Queen of Mewni, Star tries to buck her obligations to work with Ruberiot on the song. Fortunately, the shirking of her duties, manages to not overstay it’s welcome in the overall structure of the story.
Ruberiot, for the small amount of screentime he has, manages to not be as much of a throwaway character as I had originally thought. Though he seems to be another in a long line of songstrels from Mewni, he soon shows that his views are of a newer generation, yearning to do things a little differently…leading to some interesting choices later on in the episode.
Marco does figure into the story, but unfortunately, he seems like set-dressing for most of it. I had hoped there would be a bit more for him to do, but I guess the writers may have been constrained by time.
To me, the highlight of the episode, is Moon’s journey into The Forest of Certain Death on Mewni, where she meets with Lord and Lady Avarius. We’ve seen evidence that Moon has been less-than-regal in her past, and to see her throw off her regal accoutrements and let her hair down (literally), is something that I and many others have longed to see for awhile now.
There were a few scenes in Season 1, that had me wondering about Ludo’s real age. He often seemed like a petulant child, given how he would whine and yell out loud, in his mad quest to get the royal magic wand.
Of course, given what transpired at the end of the first season, my first question is why Moon and River didn’t try to assist the Avariuses previously. However, in considering the affairs of Mewnians and Monsters, my guess is there is still a social divide between their factions, and Mewmans don’t meddle in the affairs of Monsters on Mewni.
The makeup of the Avarius family, reminded me a bit of the Gaunt household, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Though luckily, Lord Bludo seemed less likely to lay a wing on most who come to call at his door (though as some have pointed out, there may be an abuse issue that Lady Avarius may be trying to ignore, as seen by her right eye in the picture below).
One of the more intriguing characters we are introduced to, is Ludo’s younger brother, Dennis. Of all the siblings that Lady Avarius names, Dennis feels like an important figure, that I am hoping to see more of once Season 3 comes around.
The overall theme of Face the Music, seems to be about telling the truth, and getting past the sugar-coating of certain elements.
The writing of the Princess Song, is a minor item in the story, that follows this train of thought. The songs for Mewni’s Princesses, are not meant to be anything more but ‘happy fluff,’ filling people’s heads with good vibes, but tiptoeing around more important things that the people of Mewni should know about their ruler.
Composer Brian H Kim, fresh off his music work on the segment Just Friends, brings forth a musical piece that attempts to be traditional, yet energizing for the younger citizens of the kingdom. However, given some of the content that Ruberiot sings about, I think I found myself cringing just as much as some of the characters in the show. This is not a knock on Kim’s music skills, but moreso the content of what is contained within Star’s Princess Song.
By the end of the episode, a lot has come tumbling out, and there is a tumult of emotions swirling around both Star, and Moon! It seems both Mother and Daughter, have dealt with secrets they felt they could handle, but unfortunately, the final minutes show turmoil engulfing both of the Butterfly women.
Final Grade: B+
Face the Music is the first full-length episode we’ve had since Bon Bon the Birthday Clown.
Moon Butterfly’s quest into The Forest of Certain Death, along with additional information about Ludo’s family, proved to be the highlight of the episode. I hope we’ll be able to get more information about them in future episodes.
Star’s Song Day storyline, feels a bit trite when compared to the more important stuff Moon is doing. However, it does show that she is willing to compromise, if she can find common ground with some people.
By the end of the episode, don’t be surprised if you feel a little uneasy for both Star and Moon (as well as Marco).
Even though episodes 21 and 22 appeared back-to-back recently, I felt, much like with Bon Bon the Birthday Clown, it would be better to give each full-length episode, it’s own review.
However, you won’t have long to wait for my review of episode 22, Starcrushed. See you in a few days, when I give my opinions, on the final episode that Season 2 of Star vs the Forces of Evil, went out on.