Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 22) – Starcrushed
And here it is. The big one. The final episode, of a season that changed the rules of the game, for the series known as Star vs the Forces of Evil.
Well, enough with the cute quips. Onto the review!
After the events at the end of Face the Music, in which Mewnian songstrel Ruberiot publicly declared that Star Butterfly likes Marco Diaz, things have been a little odd between the two friends.
It also doesn’t help that Marco’s parents are throwing an end-of-school-year party, and Jackie Lynn Thomas is cozying up to Marco, every chance she gets.
Star’s girl friends decide to take her out, as a way to get her mind off her problems. At another end-of-the-school-year party across town, Star bumps into Oskar Greason (whom she claimed to have a crush on), and the two quickly strike up a conversation.
Meanwhile, Moon Butterfly, and the rest of the Magic High Commission (composed of Hekapoo, Omnitraxus Prime, Rhombulus, and Lekmet), break into Ludo’s castle and confront him…only to have a familiar presence, materialize before their very eyes!
When it comes to final episodes in a season, I think many of us have certain expectations.
In the case of Starcrushed however, much like most of the storytelling this season, the writers of the show weren’t willing to just bow down, and spill all their secrets.
In a perfect world, this episode would have tied up a number of loose ends that we’ve seen so far this season (and carried over from Season 1). As it is, much like Storm the Castle last season, Starcrushed leaves even more loose threads open for us to wonder about!
This could be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, you have those people that are frothing at the mouth for closure, while there are those, in our current ‘mystery box’ era of visual storytelling, who welcome the chance to keep speculating as we go forward.
Star’s storyline here, is a bit stronger than in Face the Music. Storylines about her emotional state have been a part of several stories this season (including one of my favorites, Mr Candle Cares), but here, it meanders a bit too often, as we try to bring to light her uneasiness, being around Marco and Jackie, as well as trying to socialize at the other party across town.
Returning for probably his biggest role since the story Star on Wheels, Oskar Greason (voiced once again by Napoleon Dynamite’s John Heder), acts as a counterpoint to Marco, in Star’s portion of the story.
While the writers do try to give him a bigger presence, his appearance feels more forced than natural. While Marco pursued Jackie Lynn Thomas over the course of these two seasons, Star’s liking of Oskar seemed a bit more of a visual infatuation (I guess it has to do with his eyes?). Of course, Oskar did figure into Star’s Mewberty storyline back in Season 1, but it was never made clear just ‘how.’
We also get a number of cameos from several of Star’s inter-dimensional girl friends, and it was neat to see how she has friends across multiple dimensions, who are there for her when she needs them.
Marco Diaz also has a slightly more significant role in Star’s story as well. Also reeling a bit from what happened last episode, he is also feeling a little uneasy, ping-ponging throughout the episode between Star and Jackie, whom we see several times, trying to get him to unwind.
I can imagine some people wondering why the characters are reacting as they do, but I think these reactions were written by those on the writing team, who may have had real-world experience. I have heard of some people feeling a bit uneasy, when they find out someone they called a friend, may want to be more than that…and as illustrated in Starcrushed, it can be a situation that is not easily remedied.
Much like the structure of Face the Music, this episode focuses on parallel storylines, and just like in that episode, Moon Butterfly’s storyline proved to be the more intriguing of the two.
Most notable, is the chance to see the Magic High Commission in action, though it doesn’t last nearly as long as I wish it could have (plus, Hekapoo’s use of dimensional scissors here, is probably going to earn her even more fan-followers online!).
To me, the highlight of the episode comes when Moon and the High Commission find themselves in a fierce battle, that is probably one of the most intense so far in this series!
Let’s just say that stuff happens, that had me wide-eyed for a number of minutes…and wondering what the ramifications will be, going beyond this episode.
We also get some additional character development for Ludo in this piece. It feels very brief, but the information we’ve gleaned from this episode and the previous one about him, feels like it could lead to something important later on.
Much like the previous episode, this one has a rather somber/serious tone throughout. Even when the show staff attempt to inject comedy into Starcrushed, I rarely found myself laughing. There’s a lot being thrown at us emotionally, and I found myself really trying to process the more serious stuff, rather than the funny stuff.
As the episode comes to an end, it’s final moments seem to pass by in a blur, as events force a number of things to happen in seconds, leading to an even bigger cliffhanger than the previous Season!
Let’s just say, I wasn’t quite prepared for what happened, and found myself rewatching the final scenes, multiple times.
Given where it ends, Starcrushed feels like we’re now caught in the middle of a much larger story. That fast-paced, 8-bit sounding intro that originally brought many of us into the series, feels like a far cry from where we are now. Have we truly moved beyond simply talking about rainbows, and puppies?
Final Grade: B+
Starcrushed ends a 22-episode season, that took Star vs the Forces of Evil, down a much different path than it’s 1st season offered us. It played with story structure, secrets, and challenging our perceptions when it came to characters and their personalities. While it wasn’t perfect, the experimentation that went on following the exploits of Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz, still kept me intrigued over the past 7 months.
While reading this review, you may have seen my constant references to the previous episode, Face the Music. It feels like both that episode and Starcrushed, are linked in a way, where one cannot function without the other.
This episode also has a theme running underneath the main action. It seems to be how some of us wish for things to go back to what they once were…but sometimes, we find that life can’t be so simple.
The attempts to deal with Star’s emotions, let alone the growing threat to the universe, has built the show’s story arc up in a big way. This does make me wonder if going into Season 3 (when it finally does come out), if it can appease or satisfy many of us, who surely know that serious ramifications and consequences, may be on the horizon for Star, her parents, and the Kingdom of Mewni.
And, that’s it!…for now, anyways.
It was recently announced that Star vs the Force of Evil has been renewed for a fourth season, and that Season 3 will start up sometime this year (either in the summer, or fall).
In the meantime, I hope to do some more Animated Dissection articles on Season 2, some of the show’s characters, and much more. There’s plenty to discuss regarding this season, plus, I’ve been sitting on an analysis piece for the character Toffee, for over a year now.
Speaking of much more, the Star vs the Forces of Evil comic book series is still in production, and I intend to review issues 5-8, once they are released.
Plus, next week sees the release of Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension. At over 160 pages long, I am already making plans to pick it up, and let you fine readers out there know what it has to say.
I just hope the book can shed a little more light on the world of Mewni, as well as some dimensions, we’ve only had a fleeting glance of.
Farewell for now, for we shall meet again soon.