Archive | November 2017

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 13) Monster Bash

And so, we’ve finally come to the episode, that is classified as the halfway-mark for season 3 of Star vs the Forces of Evil.

The last 12 episodes for Star vs the Forces of Evil, have definitely felt like the most thorough line of continuity we’ve had during a season so far. So much has happened, that when one sits back and thinks of what we’ve seen, it’s really quite startling!

So, let’s delve into Monster Bash, and see what we got.

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Thanks to the generosity of Rich Pigeon, Star is able to throw a party for the young monsters and mewmans in her kingdom! Also in attendance, are Marco (helping set up the party), and Tom (trying to get Star to just calm down and enjoy the festivities).

Things seem to be going well once the guests start talking, but some unexpected visitors may possibly derail Star’s perfect little party.

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One of the themes that has come to the forefront of season 3, is the treatment of monsters in the kingdom of Mewni. We’ve seen Star take small strides to try and understand more, and here, she attempts to try and fix things in her own way.

The party setup feels pretty simple, and it is nice to see some monsters we haven’t seen since season 2 (such as the more peaceful ‘alternative monsters’), but the writing for their attitudes feels a little ‘pedestrian’ at times.

We also see some mild interactions between Star and Tom. Even though they are unofficially ‘together,’ we’ve seen relatively little to support that rekindling of a relationship so far this season, (with only a few scenes in recent episodes, to back this up). It’s notable that Tom claimed a few episodes ago that he wanted to ‘better’ himself, but rather than help Star with her current project, he chooses to just ‘mope’ around at times.

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Marco on the other hand, once again shows his skills with trying to keep things ‘neat and orderly,’ as he tries to take care of some behind-the-scenes work at the party. Of course, nothing can stay perfect for very long, and we see both him and Star, having to deal with a few ‘problems.’

Things (surprisingly) begin to get interesting, when we encounter Ms Heinous again! I was afraid this was going to turn into another of her quick in-and-out appearances, but if there is anything that saves this episode from being average, it is the revelations regarding her character (revelations many of us have been waiting for since season 1!). Some questions have been answered, but now, new ones regarding Heinous, have been unleashed!

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We also have the return of Mina Loveberry, whom some may fondly recall from her season 2 segment, titled Starstruck. Sadly, it doesn’t really feel like her character is good for much of anything, except expounding a few lines of exposition, and just showing how totally off-her-rocker she is. It felt like there might have been some hope for the former warrior at the end of Starstruck, but it seems the writers just want to keep her as ‘the loose cannon,’ wandering around the kingdom at random.

These full-length episodes are often looked forward to by myself and many fans of the series, as they have the chance to give over more time, and tell a larger story. Monster Bash I feel, could have been a much stronger story with it’s many layers, but it feels a little too ‘loosey-goosey’ in some places to truly become a great episode.

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The revelations regarding Heinous are indeed serious, but one has to wonder if Star will take the initiative and reveal this to her mother (or maybe, Eclipsa?). Last season, she tried to hide the fact that she had lost her family’s spellbook and Glossaryck of Terms, before tearfully confessing her shortcomings. Seeing as this season she’s trying to become ‘a better princess,’ I would assume being truthful in matters like this, might be a wise (if shocking) decision, but we’ll have to wait and see what comes next.

Star’s efforts to also bridge the disconnect across multiple species in her kingdom felt like a good way to go, but could have been stronger. The final scene definitely raises some questions regarding her efforts, and how far she still has to go towards unity and acceptance, after generations of animosity towards monsters.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from episode (said by Star Butterfly): “Oh my dear sweet angel-lady, I thought I’d lost you!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Rich Pigeon): “Legs heal Marco, but grudges last…forever!”

In the end, Monster Bash feels a bit like the halfway-mark episode from Season 2, titled Bon Bon the Birthday Clown. Fortunately, this episode’s title makes a little more sense regarding it’s storyline, but struggles a little more to keep itself together.

There are definitely some good ideas to be had here, but it feels like it wasn’t given as strong of a focus as it could have had.

The revelations regarding Ms Heinous are still strong in my mind, though the use of Mina Loveberry in the story, felt like a ‘distracting letdown’ to really making the story much more memorable overall. There could have also been a stronger plotline regarding Star’s trying to bring mewmans and monsters together. The potential is there in a few scenes, but it never seems to rise above little more than ‘set decoration’ in some areas.

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And with that, two weeks worth of Star episodes came to an end. But, there are a few more coming before the end of the year, and they happen to be full-length episodes.

Next up is the episode called Stump Day, which seems to be about Mewni’s version of Christmas. While the previews have shown plenty of ‘festive fun,’ I’m curious if some of the revelations from Monster Bash will make an appearance in the storyline. See you back here soon, to talk about where the next half of season 3 will (or may) take us!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 12) – Night Life / Deep Dive

 

In the last episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil, a few more doors were opened to the neighboring kingdoms in the world of Mewni.

This episode returns to focus on our main characters, and and a few issues that are affecting their lives.

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– Night Life –

Wanting to do something else with his time on Mewni, Marco begins secretly hanging out with Hekapoo. With dimensional portals popping up unexpectedly, she needs all the help she can get to close them, and Marco feels like he’s well-suited for the job.

Last season, I found Hekapoo to be one of the more interesting new characters we were introduced to. The forger of all dimensional scissors, she has a rather abrasive wit about her, that plays much better than that of Pony Head. Plus, most of her humorous moments just hit better!

We also get some great references back to the segment Running with Scissors from season 2, and find out a little more information about the dimension she lives in.

Marco seems to be trying to branch out and do things that don’t concern Star (seeing as how she seems to trying to deal with some of her own problems), making it feel like this story ties into a few revelations at the end of the segment, Lava Lake Beach.

We do get some friction between both Star and Marco, notably in how Marco claims he wants to help Star, but isn’t there for her a few times. Plus, it feels like there may be a some straining on their friendship, and…a tiny hint of jealousy, perhaps?

The storytelling on display here, is the kind that I really enjoy. We get a sense that something is going on, and while we don’t get all the answers, we get enough information to feel like the time and effort put forth was adequately used to not only entertain us, but push the overall story forward!

There is a subplot about secrets and lies, and it manages to weave it’s way through the segment in a very enjoyable way. One revelation proved to be a bit ‘heartbreaking,’ but still, this is definitely a segment I’ll come back to in the future for repeat viewings!

Final Grade: B+

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Best line from episode (said by Hekapoo): “Ugh, you know I can’t resist your ‘adult voice!’”

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– Deep Dive –

At night, Star is still finding herself transforming into her 6-armed, ‘golden butterfly’ form, once she falls asleep. However, it seems that there is a pattern to her nightly activities.

Wanting to figure out more about what is going on, she enlists Marco’s help, and brings her friend Janna from Earth, to monitor her.

It was quite a surprise to see this segment tie into the previous one in several ways. Rarely do we have that ‘one-two punch’ of storytelling happen in this series. Plus, the information from that last segment is still fresh in our minds, as this one takes off.

I kept wondering if Janna would come to Mewni (given her appearance in the new season 3 opening animation), and it looks like this segment finally allowed it to happen. One could see this story focusing moreso on Star and Marco, but it feels like Janna was brought in as a ‘buffer’ regarding where their paths go during the story. Plus, Star probably feels that since Janna is used to the ‘strange and unusual,’ she might be able to help figure out what is happening to her.

This turns out to be another story whose roots seem planted in the events of The Battle for Mewni. We’re introduced to some new characters, places, and concepts, that have sprung up since that event. This also raises a few new questions regarding what Star went through at the end of the ‘battle,’ as well as leaving us to wonder if there may be more to ponder about what we glimpse here.

We also get some brief, but startling revelations regarding Marco, who does something that I don’t think any of us could have foreseen…and consequences that are now making us ask, ‘what just happened there?’

The mood and mystery of this story really sticks in my head, but even with it being entertaining, it feels a few steps shy of reaching the levels of enjoyment that permeated through the previous segment. It’s not without it’s charm, but just needed a little extra ‘oomph’ to have reached the levels of enjoyment I had with Night Life.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from episode (said by Star Butterfly): “Oh Marco…that was incredibly stupid of you.”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Janna, in Deep Dive): “Chicken butt.”

And that, is how you do an enjoyable 1-2-punch of a 2-segment episode!

Night Life shows us Marco trying to do things on his own away from Star, but finding out that that might not be so easy to do. This story was also a welcome return to see Hekapoo in action, as well as learn a bit more about her character, and the way the dimensions in this universe seem to function.

Deep Dive provides a nice complimentary segment, as Marco and Janna are tasked with figuring out what is going on with Star when she falls asleep. There’s a bit more mystery here, but we are introduced to some new, and intriguing questions. Plus, there’s some new information about Marco that will surely have many fans eager for answers in future storylines!

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And that concludes the dual-segment episodes for now. Next up for review, is a full-episode, titled Monster Ball. Star decides to go forward with holding a party for all young monsters and creatures she knows. Of course, no party can just go off without a hitch. What happens? Well, we’ll see you next time to find out more!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 11) – Death Peck / Ponymonium

Over the last few episodes, we’ve been given more information about some of the different kingdoms and species that populate Mewni.

In this episode, we get a little more information about one we were introduced to in the first season, and a new one that recently came to light.

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– Death Peck –

Wanting to bring unity among the different creatures and kingdoms on Mewni, Star, Marco, and Pony Head, journey to the Pigeon Kingdom. It is here, they hope to get Rich Pigeon, to join their cause.

This is another precarious situation for our trio, though it quickly turns into one of the most action-packed segments we’ve seen yet. Sugarcube studios definitely shows they have the skills to do action scenes right, though the segment feels like it’s a bit too full on filler, and less on the reason for Star’s being there.

We do get some more information about the Pigeon Kingdom, let alone learn more about the recently-introduced Rich Pigeon, and his family’s legacy. When he was first introduced during the Silver Bell Ball, I just figured he was going to be a one-off character, but given what we are shown here, he might have more to offer coming up this season.

While Death Peck accomplishes some stuff in the course of it’s storytelling, it just mostly feels like ‘action-movie filler’ for most of it’s run-time, with only a few well-placed gags here or there.

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from episode (said by Pony Head): “Yeah, Marco’s right. Whoa, did I just say that out loud?”

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– Ponymonium –

Pony Head invites Star to her family’s castle for dinner. However, Star finds that her best friend’s family, may be a bit more dysfunctional than she imagined.

Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension actually had a section about Pony Head’s sisters, and we finally get to see some of them in action. However, with so many different sisters, there are only a select-few that we focus on, and the others are just treated as background fodder. Plus, it feels like when it comes to the birth-order of the sisters, one has to have the Guide to figure this out (sorry, newcomers).

Most surprising about the storyline, is how Star almost acts as our ‘innocent’ avatar to what is going on. She enters this dinner knowing very little about her best friend’s homelife, and we’re along for the ride with her, trying to figure out just what is going on.

It felt like out of all the recent storylines that have dealt with Pony Head so far this season, this seemed to shuffle her all the way back to her first season’s appearance, where she’s downright ‘abrasive’ for the entire length of the segment. I guess we can hope that when we see her again outside of her home, she’ll be a bit more palatable.

We also get a minor cameo from King Pony Head, who also gets in one of the funniest lines of the segment. Of course, it may lead some to wonder just where Queen Pony Head is (maybe she just had enough of the girls, and left?).

This episode is kind of like digging through dirt to find some gold. There are some moments that manage to save the storyline, but it feels like the storytellers missed the chance to really give us a memorable first impression of the Pony Head Kingdom.

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from episode (said by King Pony Head): “Take me with you.”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Star Butterfly, in Ponymonium): “Okay, thanks for having me…because I definitely, feel like I’ve been ‘had.'”

This episode managed to open up the world of Mewni a little more, but felt like we were only allowed a taste, before being thrown into a crazy set of events, before we get some closure at the end.

Death Peck takes us to the Pigeon Kingdom, and manages to show us that there’s more to Rich Pigeon than it seems. However, much of the segment is taken over by an action sequences, which keeps it from feeling like a more fully-formed story.

Star attempts to guide us through the craziness that is Ponymonium, but it seems to be a way to distract from the rather blase story going down regarding Pony Head and her sisters. This was a segment that had potential, but felt like it just…happened.

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Next episode, it looks like the return of our favorite fiery redhead, when Marco and Hekapoo team up in the segment, Night Life. Then, we get a little more introspection into Star’s late-night journeys, with Deep Dive. See you soon!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 10) – Sweet Dreams / Lava Lake Beach

Well, it’s two days in a row where we seem to have a segment for Star, and one for Marco!

Last episode dealt with Marco having to deal with telling ‘the truth,’ and Star trying to heal a rift between the inhabitants of her kingdom.

Today, their stories become a bit more…difficult.

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– Sweet Dreams –

Star is surprised to learn that after falling asleep, she ends up flying off to other dimensions (without using dimensional scissors to travel!), but doesn’t know the meaning behind it.

Not wishing to worry her parents, Star asks Marco to help her figure out what is going on, which leads to some rather unexpected surprises.

Sweet Dreams feels like one of those ‘first step’ storylines, where what we see, could possibly lead to further information down the line. It strings along a number of gags, though some of them end up feeling a little ridiculous.

There isn’t a whole lot explained in this story, and it feels like it just coasts by on it’s visuals for much of the storyline, leaving me wishing we could have gotten some stronger story moments in certain places. Even so, the story does give us some rather ‘freaky’ imagery, that almost feels on par with what was seen in the segment, Rest in Pudding.

Probably the one place where the segment seemed to get really intriguing, was with the brief appearance of Eclipsa. We also get some surprising information about part of Star’s room, that has had some people asking questions since season 1.

Final Grade: C+

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Best line from episode (said by Eclipsa): “Oh, are you afraid I’ll get my ‘evil cooties’ on you?”

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– Lava Lake Beach –

Star, Marco, their friend Kelly, and Tom decide to go down to the beach in the Lucitor kingdom (where Tom lives), to watch the ‘soul rise.’ However, as the group tries to enjoy the rather abrasive atmosphere, Marco notes that something seems to be on Kelly’s mind.

We were given a little bit of information about the kingdom Tom lives in, in the book Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension. However, we are only shown what seems to be a small portion of the ‘underworld’ dimension here (and Tom seems perfectly fine just being a regular demon on the beach).

This segment is notable, as we get a little more information on Kelly, and see her having relationship issues with her boyfriend, Tad. However, it seems that she may finally be tiring of the constant cycle of breaking up and getting back together with him.

The story revolving around Kelly, feels like the high-point of the segment, as Marco goes to talk to Tad, and gets probably the biggest emotional slap-to-the-face one could get!

This episode pretty much becomes for Marco, what Just Friends last season was for Star (seriously, I could hear Love Sentence’s song Too Little, Too Late in my head during a moment in this segment!). Sadly, it feels like the story’s attempts to help drive this realization home, get a bit ‘hokey,’ and one scene that probably could have been as emotional as Star seeing Marco kiss Jackie Lynn Thomas in Just Friendsdoesn’t ‘hit hard enough’ in my opinion.

The interactions between Marco and Kelly here, is what keeps the story from just falling flat. Marco is the kind of guy who wants to help others, and we see that on display here in full-force. Plus, we see that while Kelly can be a bit weird at times, she’s just as understanding when it looks like Marco needs someone to perk him up.

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from episode (said by Kelly): “Um, I actually licked all these.”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Dorby, in Lava Lake Beach): “EXISTENTIAL WAR CRY!!”

This episode had some decent information/revelations folded into it’s stories. However, they didn’t hold up so well in the long-run.

Sweet Dreams shows Star going through changes in her life, but decides to keep the vagueness of the new mystery open. It does salvage itself at the end with a revelation courtesy of Eclipsa, but it doesn’t go far enough in my opinion to become a really good story.

Lava Lake Beach is a storyline, that deals with coming to terms with something you maybe didn’t want to consider. It plays well off of both Marco and Kelly dealing with relationship issues, but the filler bits with the beach’s fight-obsessed inhabitants in the Lucitor kingdom, felt a little too ridiculous for my tastes.

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Next episode,  it looks like we’ll look at a few of the other kingdoms on Mewni. Death Peck sends Star to the Pigeon kingdom, while Ponymonium takes us to the Ponyhead kingdom. See you back here soon, to see how these two storylines play out!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 9) – Princess Turdina / Starfari

Another week, another 4 days of Star vs the Forces of Evil!

The last four episodes brought us back to the worlds of Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz, and how the early events of the season have sent their lives off in directions, some of us never fathomed.

But enough chit-chat, let’s get onto the reviews!

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– Princess Turdina –

After he helped liberate St Olga’s Reform School for Wayward Princesses, Marco’s princess persona has become a beacon of hope for dimensional princesses everywhere! The girls who have taken over the old school, wish to honor Princess Marco Turdina for inspiring them, but Star thinks that Marco should tell the truth, and reveal who he truly is.

Ever since Marco donned a dress in the season 1 episode about St Olga’s, there has been numerous fanart (and theories) about him, let alone some very interesting sub-stories (and perks) that have resulted from his time in a dress.

The segment’s storyline is a bit rickety at times, as Marco strives to not let down the princesses that he’s inspired, and also struggles with his own feelings and thoughts about the truth. While he did strive to tell the girls to rebel against the school’s conforming ways, it feels like some may have taken his words a little too far out of context.

Like a few episodes in the last week, I did like how Star strives to act as Marco’s ‘conscience’ in this segment, while Pony Head seems to be perfectly fine with him trying not to tell the truth.

We even get a surprise return from Miss Heinous and her assistant, Gemini. Of course, they happen to drop in at a most inopportune time, and as is customary with authority figures, simply want a return to their old normalcy, with no concessions given to the student body.

The writers actually choose to end the story in a way I didn’t expect. However, it just continues to raise more questions about Heinous, while trying to make her predicament humorous, courtesy of her assistant.

There is a good message in Princess Turdina, but it just feels like the writers chose to focus their attention in a few areas, that could have been scaled back for a stronger story here.

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from episode (said by Marco Diaz): “*gasp* How’d you know about ‘Rodrigo!?'”

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– Starfari –

While out shopping with Tom, Star is taken aback by the way monsters are treated in the kingdom of Mewni. When she finds out that her kingdom has a Royal Monster Expert, she inquires if something can be done about the current situation, and meets Dr Jelly Goodwell (voiced by the very funny Carol Kane!). It turns out that the doctor has been studying monsters for some time, and invites Star to observe them with her.

When first hearing about this segment, I grew excited, hoping that this would be a very introspective and progressive storyline. However, Starfarchooses to dwell a bit too much in comedy, and therein lies my biggest issue with it.

The segment had a real chance to delve deeper into the rift between mewmans and monsters, but instead, chooses to try and milk comedy out of Dr Goodwell’s ideas and studies (I could see the writers trying their best to make her amusing and funny). However, as the story went on, I got a very chilly vibe, like I was seeing a rehash of last season’s story, Starstruck.

Goodwell reminded me so much of Mina Loveberry with her rather twisted view on things, that I felt we had wasted another good character opportunity here. It’s easy to see that her name is derived from famed primatologist Jane Goodall, but maybe this character concept could have been used better elsewhere. Then again, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a Goodall-inspired character depicted as ‘a looney’ in a cartoon.

The highlight of the story, was seeing a brief return of Buff Frog and his family (along with a monster or two from Ludo’s gang, that I had thought to be long gone). Personally, I couldn’t help but wonder why we couldn’t have had a more thorough story about monster/mewman relationships, with more of Buff Frog in it!

When it comes to episodes this season, I’ve been hoping to see Star and her mother invite him and his family to the castle to try and go over some things (though Star’s monster-hating father might prove an interesting foil to those plans).

Final Grade: C+

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Best line from episode (said by Buff Frog): “Oh, you must be ‘crazy dirty lady’ that watches us through trees!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Star Butterfly, in Princess Turdina): “Oooo, I just got her…right in the face!”

Going over the stories, it felt like Star vs the Forces of Evil’s 9th episode this season, got a bit political with it’s storylines. Sadly, they never seemed to rise up to the challenge of taking those stories in exciting directions, and came off a bit muddled and…dare I say it, ‘mediocre.’

Princess Turdina focuses on Marco having to deal with telling the truth, but afraid as to what that will mean to his alter-ego’s fans. The message about ‘truth’ in this storyline could have been stronger, but gets worn down by a number of gags, let alone what seems a very quick cameo and ‘tease’ for the future.

Starfari had a great concept about trying to understand more about monster/mewman relationships, but sadly chose to focus more on comedy, than something that could have been a bit more heartfelt and genuine. Even a minor cameo by Buff Frog and his family, couldn’t save the rather mediocre plotline of this story.

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Next episode,  we deal with Sweet Dreams, in which Star may have some rather questionable night time sleeping habits, that warrant a second opinion. We also have Lava Lake Beach, where Marco hangs out with Star, Tom, and their friend Kelly…who may be having some relationship problems of her own to deal with. See you back here real soon for the next review!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 8) – Lint Catcher / Trial By Squire

Well, after the last episode, it looks like the rest of Star vs the Forces of Evil’s 3rd season is going to be focused away from the Earth dimension.

That seems to be the case with the stories for this episode, that give us more of Marco Diaz and Star Butterfly, dealing with some weird and wild situations.

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– Lint Catcher –

Marco Diaz returns to the Kingdom of Mewni, but is surprised when it turns out King River’s offer of becoming a knight if he ever came back, was little more than some ‘kind praise.’ Star attempts to help out her friend, and decides to make him the squire of Sir Lavabo, who manages the royal wash. Naturally, Marco is not very pleased at this arrangement.

Going into this story, I wasn’t prepared for what it would entail. However, as it goes along, The Lint Catcher becomes like a present, that gets more intriguing as it’s further unwrapped!

Most notable, is seeing Star a little surprised that Marco has decided to stay on Mewni…and, it is also possible that her and her ex-boyfriend Tom’s relationship, may be growing beyond ‘just friends.’ The awkwardness between Star and Marco, is most notable in a scene, where the two catch up on what each has been doing since the Battle of Mewni.

Plus, we also get to see them taking on a creature, making me wonder when the last time it was, that we saw them do this (I think near the end of season 2?)

A fun cameo was to be had, when Eclipsa reappeared, and Star just unloads her feelings about Marco’s surprise reappearance on her. This is another questionable scene, as Eclipsa seems to be somewhat intrigued by Star’s emotional ‘spill,’ making one wonder if she’s storing that information away for a later time (plus, it seems that Eclipsa knows something about Star now, that even her own parents don’t).

This is one of those segments that toes the line between character development, and a bit of a throwaway storyline. Even so, it’s bits with Marco and Star, proves that it may very well be a key story for season 3’s development.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from episode (said by Eclipsa): “So…what’s his name?”

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– Trial By Squire –

Marco and Star find themselves at Quest Buy, for the annual Squire Blowout Sale. There are also a number of other knights and squires from Mewni also taking part in the sale of some limited-quantity items, but it soon becomes apparent that “all is fair, in blowout sales.”

We get to meet a number of other Mewnian knights and their squires, with particular attention paid on a young squire named Higgs (voiced by Lauren Lapkus). At times, her attitude towards Marco reminded me of how Pony Head acted around him, in season 1’s Party with a Pony episode. On one hand, it feels like she could just be giving him guff because he’s a ‘newbie,’ but on the other hand, Marco’s becoming a squire for the royal family, was beyond the normal approach (hence, a feeling that he is getting preferential treatment, may be getting under Higgs’ skin).

While there are some fun moments between Star and Marco here, a highlight is seeing Marco’s ‘laser-guided focus’ getting to be a little too much, and Star having to calm him down at times. I was surprised in one scene, where Marco seems to have gone too far, and Star takes some initiative to say, “ok, this has to stop.” We’ve been hearing of Star in this season, striving to be ‘a better princess,’ and it feels like she is sticking to it at times. Of course, this doesn’t mean she is totally giving up on her playful nature.

Since the segments are only 10 minutes long, it truncates a lot of the blowout sale and going through Quest Buy. Then again, this could be the equivalent of a Black Friday ‘doorbuster’ sale, where the deals they are looking for, only last a few hours.

There isn’t as much character-building going on here as in The Lint Catcher, but this is our first story this season, where we have Marco and Star working together throughout a segment. Plus, I just know that squire Higgs, with her shiny green eyes and freckly face, is probably already being paired up with Marco for numerous fanships out there (but not from me…I’m still in mourning).

It also feels like the segment may have been ‘economized,’ as we only see a select-few knights and squires trying to get in on the specials. I could have imagined this being a larger animated tour-de-force, with Star and Marco trying to get through dozens of other knights from Mewni and other dimensions (might have been fun to see some non-normal knights charging down the aisles).

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from episode (said by Marco Diaz): “MOUNT THE CART!!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Sir Stabby, in Trial by Squire): “Are you calling my squire…a liar!?”

Overall, the stories for this episode, were pretty good.

Lint Catcher brings us back to the Marco and Star as friends dynamic, while also plunging Marco into some new challenges, and Star having to wrestle with her own feelings.  It’s notable that we get some return appearances from some other side-characters, but the highlight for many fans, will be the little moments between our two lead characters (and possibly, the brief scene with Eclipsa!).

Trial by Squire brings our dynamic duo back together, trying to stock up on supplies. While it is a great way to show the characters playing off of each other, in the end, it’s overall concept feels somewhat futile, when some information is revealed near the end of the story.

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Next episode, we start with the story of Princess Turdina, which was Pony Head’s nickname for Marco when he was in a princess dress…meaning a possible return of Princess Marco (and maybe, Miss Heinous)? Then we’ll have Starfari, where Star tries to understand more about the rift between mewmans and monsters in her kingdom. Both sound very interesting, and I hope to see you back here soon for the next review!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 7) – Demoncism / Sophomore Slump

With the last few episodes, Star vs the Forces of Evil have kept us pretty well grounded back in the world of Mewni. I recall during the first few seasons, that I hoped to learn a bit more about the strange dimension Star comes from, and it looks like this is becoming the modus operandi for season 3!

In the latest episode, we continue to see her adjusting to being back on her home world…while Marco Diaz, seems to be having some troubles returning to his old routine in the Earth dimension, following the Battle for Mewni.

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– Demonciscm –

When Star finds out that her ex-boyfriend Tom is going to have a demoncism (a painful procedure to extract the evil from within him!), she tries to find a way to stop it from happening.

The story acts as continuity to the last episode’s Club Snubbed storyline, where it seems Star is working on trying to mend old wounds with Tom (though purely ‘as friends’).

We also get a fun little gag with Pony Head talking about one of her ex-boyfriends, who also had a demoncism previously. This leads to a marginally funny scene, where we see what has become of her ex, and how the procedure changed his life.

Much like the tone of Rest in Pudding, the story goes from funny-to-serious pretty quickly at one point. We also get some new character designs for the demoncism leader and his followers.

Throughout the story, I liked the small banter between Star and Tom. We’ve been seeing Star take on a slightly more serious tone since the Battle of Mewni, and it seems that that may have inspired Tom to ‘grow up’ a little as well.

The lead-up to the ending is mildly entertaining, though it’s definitely a revelatory storyline, both regarding character interaction, and story points moving forward.

Overall, a decent episode!

Final Grade: B

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Best line from episode (said by Princess Pony Head): “Tom is getting a demonciscm and he told me you can’t know – *gasp* – oh no, I’m unreliable!”

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– Sophomore Slump –

After spending the majority of his summer on Mewni, Marco finds it difficult to readjust to life on Earth. As he prepares to become a high school sophomore, his attempts to hang out with his friends proves frustrating, let alone his constant need to wear the cape that King River gave him, before he returned to Earth.

While we usually see Marco can be pretty well-adjusted (he was often the voice of reason when Star would do her crazy things), he seems to have developed a bit of a superiority complex from being on Mewni. This is actually touched upon by his Mom, who gets only a few minutes of screen-time, but has one of the funniest bits in the episode.

Most surprising, is we get a minor return of Ferguson and Alfonso, Marco’s friends who were pretty much missing-in-action during season 2. Of course for me, the real interesting moments came once Marco met back up with Jackie Lynn Thomas again.

The writers have done a pretty good job of giving Jackie some character moments, but have never fully moved her beyond much of a supporting role in the series. With this story, she and Marco probably get some of the most intimate alone time, since the Bon Bon the Birthday Clown episode.

During their time together, I  was surprised to see Jackie run through a number of emotions, and a few reactions that reminded me eerily of a few times in my own life. I’m pretty sure that whomever came up with the moments that stood out for me, were writing based on their own experiences with relationships.

Watching the episode, also reminded me of one story from the anime series Urusei Yatsura, titled After You’ve Gone. That episode showed how the character of Lum, after leaving Ataru Moroboshi’s life, really affected him. That story of how something has changed your life in such a big way, is moreso the theme of Sophomore Slump.

Probably not since Running with Scissors, have we had such a ‘deep’ episode regarding Marco. Usually it’s Marco being the logical one, but here, he almost is in ‘Star-mode,’ being a bit more off-the-wall in a few instances. The final minutes and revelations, also were totally out of left-field for me.

Final Grade: B+

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Best line from episode (said by Marco Diaz): “You’re never gonna hear me say ‘cwoissant,’ again!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Janna, in Sophomore Slump): “Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to.”

Since the Battle for Mewni storyline, this is the first episode that feels pretty well-adjusted (if a tad painful to watch at times!). Plus, both of the stories seem to compliment the other.

Demonciscm shows Star and Tom continuing to try and mend old wounds, but also taking into consideration a few things they hadn’t before. There is some minor character development going forward, and we get to learn a little more about Tom.

Sophomore Slump addresses Marco’s emotional rollercoaster, following his return to normalcy on Earth. Though he is a tad annoying in how he reacts at times in this story, it’s definitely a story that shows how his experiences with Star Butterfly and her world, have changed him.

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The next episode, appears to be quite interesting. Lint Catcher finds Marco attempting to try a new profession. And Trial by Squire, sends him and Star back to the store Quest Buy, to take advantage of a big sale. See you real soon, for another review!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 6) – Club Snubbed / Stranger Danger

The last episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil, returned us to the Kingdom (and dimension) of Mewni, where it seemed we were getting a bit deeper into Star Butterfly’s life.

Following the Battle for Mewni, it feels like a number of new challenges await the young princess, and this episode gives us a few more to look into.

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– Club Snubbed –

Star and her family attend the annual Silver Bell Ball, an event to show unity among the neighboring kingdoms. Everything seems to be going well, until it seems that Tom (Star’s ex-boyfriend, and prince of the Lucitor Kingdom), ‘club snubs’ her during the dance!

One item to note in the story, is Star trying to ‘play nice.’ Pony Head hopes that her ‘bestie’ will liven things up, but Star shows surprising maturity (though pouty-faced annoyance at times) as the ball goes on.

Like in the story Scent of a Hoodie, Pony Head seems to be here to add some banter with Star, though the writers seem to be having fun making her the more wild one of the two friends in this situation.

Tom and Star’s backstory has been hinted at in the past, and this story provides a few more details, though keeps it’s main focus on the ‘drama’ at hand. We also get some additional information regarding Tom and his family (we even get to see his parents!). At times, this story almost felt like a variation on the season 1 segment, that took place during the Blood Moon Ball.

There is some character development going on in this story, but it feels like it’s mostly shoved aside until the last few minutes, when it comes to Star and Tom.

I think that’s my main problem with the story: much like Scent of a Hoodie, we get stuff happening, but it’s a bit too ‘dry’ for the bulk of the run-time.

A fun little gag I did enjoy, was seeing the writers poke fun at politics, notably in how everyone in their different kingdoms is meant to be getting along. However, we see some animosity bubbling beneath the surface.

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from episode (said by Princess Pony Head): “The more you ignore somebody, the more they fall deeply in love with you-that’s like science, that’s like, ‘scientific’ or something like that.”

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– Stranger Danger –

After the events of Rest in Pudding, Glossaryck of Terms has returned to the land of the living, albeit on a very primitive level.

While attempting to ‘walk’ her former mentor, Star comes across a woman in the royal rose garden, whom she engages in conversation. When her Mom and the Magic High Commission suddenly show up, Star finds that she has been talking to Eclipsa, the former Queen of Mewni!

Following Star (somewhat) behaving herself in Club Snubbed, we get to see her be a bit more off-the-wall once back in her kingdom.

The highlight of this story for many, is surely going to be seeing Eclipsa out-and-about. It is intriguing to see her being so calm and collected, and rarely without a small smile on her face. Esme Bianco gives Eclipsa a tone that almost makes you want to trust her, but it feels like there’s something going on behind those half-lidded eyes of hers.

The episode milks some humor out of the Magic High Commission testing Star to make sure Eclipsa hasn’t turned her evil, though it does feel like ‘overkill’ after awhile.

It is nice to see Star and Moon have some mother/daughter discussions here too. Though while Moon was willing to accept another side to monsters upon meeting Buff Frog, she is not so easy to move beyond her thoughts of Eclipsa being evil. Star on the other hand, is shown still trying to draw her own conclusions by the end of the story.

Compared to Club Snubbed, this story moves at a pretty fast pace, though has a rather abrupt ending, which may be the writers hinting at more interactions between the two as the season progresses.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from episode (said by Star Butterfly): “Yes! Due pro-cess! Due pro-cess!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Star Butterfly, in Stranger Danger): “How did you do that and teach it to me now.”

Much like the last episode, this one is kind of a mixed bag, but is marginally more entertaining.

Club Snubbed may be a bit over-my-head when it comes to the subject matter. While it is nice to see more of the world of Mewni, I feel the real heft of the piece gets saved too long til’ the end, when it started to really get interesting to me.

Stranger Danger ends up being the stronger of the two stories, with the return of Eclipsa, as well as showing Star’s thought processes, compared to her Mom and the Magic High Commission. A little more fun than Club Snubbed, but may have milked a few too many gags here-or-there.

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The next episode, looks to be quite intriguing. The first segment titled Demoncism, deals with Tom trying to expel the evil from within himself. Then, we have Sophomore Slump, featuring Marco Diaz, as he struggles to readjust to Earth-life, after his time on Mewni. See you real soon!

Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 5) – Scent of a Hoodie / Rest in Pudding

When it rains, it pours.

After The Battle for Mewni storyline this summer (which comprised the first four episodes of Star’s third season), many of us were eager to see what would be coming next, and when we could look forward to a weekly dose of more Star vs the Forces of Evil. 

Well, turns out that much like the ‘Star-bomb’ of episodes that hit this past February, Disney has decided to just dump all of Season 3 on us, in a 2-week window!

This means that you’re also gonna get a heapin’ helpin’ of reviews from me regarding the episodes (guess I should be happy I don’t video-blog these things!).

But enough talk, let’s get on with the show!

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– Scent of a Hoodie –

Following the Battle for Mewni, Marco Diaz packs up his things, and returns to the Earth dimension. However, he can’t seem to find his red hoodie.

It soon turns out that Star has secretly saved it, as intermingled within it’s swirl of smelly odors, is Marco’s scent!

Of course, her best friend Pony Head can’t stand the smell, and has the hoodie sent off to the castle’s laundry room. Naturally, Star does whatever she can to stop the hoodie from being cleaned!

I was surprised to see some continuity from the previous episodes, let alone the realization that even with the previous threats now neutralized, Star is not returning to Earth, but staying in Mewni.

The concept of holding onto something for someone’s scent may seem a strange (and possibly gross) idea, but I’ve seen enough anime to be familiar with the concept. Plus, it’s also a sign that Star may need to work through her feelings for Marco a little more.

The writing for Pony Head, continues to build off of her character growth in the 2nd season, and while she doesn’t have any really big moments, she proves to be a decent story partner for Star (we also find out why she was nowhere to be found during the last few episodes’ storyline).

We get some expanded royal lore with Sir Lavabo, a member of “The Knights of the Wash,” who cleans the royal’s garments. However, while the writers try to make his valiant efforts humorous, he just felt a bit ‘bland’ in his overall execution. Fortunately, there’s nobility in his determination, which seems to parlay against Star’s rather out-of-control actions to get the hoodie back.

In the end, this was a story I felt was a bit low on the scale for overall enjoyment, but I think the added emotional punch of Star trying to deal with being separated from Marco again (let alone trying to come to grips with her crush on him), helped propel it to my final grade. I just wish Sir Lavabo would have been a bit more entertaining.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from episode (said by Star Butterfly): “I AM ‘TO MY SENSES!'”

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– Rest in Pudding –

After a funeral for High Chancellor Lekmet (who perished at the end of Season 2), Star begins to see her former mentor, Glossaryck of Terms, everywhere!

This episode was quite notable, in the uneasy way it played with Star seeing Glossaryck (reminding me of the scary beats from season 2’s story, Hungry Larry). Here, we definitely get some unsettling imagery, and further knowledge that the animation company Sugarcube (which took on animation duties during the 2nd season), seems be doing an admirable job of delivering a consistent style of animation.

We also get a cameo from Janna back on Earth, whom Star consults with for how to rid herself of Glossaryck. Naturally, Janna is more intrigued than worried about Star, and the story artists find ways to keep her calmly doing stuff in our dimension, as we hear Star panicking during their conversation.

Most notable about the story, is a bit near the end where Star has a moment where she just emotionally lets out how she feels/felt about Glossaryck. It doesn’t feel that different from Ludo’s ‘unloading’ in the segment titled, Book be Gone.

It was nice to see further resolution regarding the death of Lekmet, though I felt Star’s mother’s talk about how she used to deal with tense situations, a bit too ‘convenient.’

The resolution at the end of the story, throws in some more questions than I expected, reminding me of how a lot of episodes in the second season were structured. I hope we’ll get more answers soon, as the season continues.

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Best line from episode (said by Hekapoo, and Moon Butterfly): “Oh, uh, hey, Star’s upside-down in the punch bowl.” “Oh, not again!”

Final Grade: B-

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Marco Diaz, in Rest in Pudding): “Why do we even hang out with Janna?”

The first episode after the 4-part intro to season 3, is kind of…basic, as our characters dust themselves off from what happened, and try to move on.

Scent of a Hoodie will surely please a number of Star/Marco fanshippers. The bits with Star getting emotional are the highlight, though the story about the journey getting Marco’s hoodie back feels a bit blase.

Rest in Pudding seems to be about finding closure when someone you know has passed on. It actually has some intriguing moments as we see Star freak out, but the overall resolution just feels a little weak for my tastes.

Overall, both stories just felt okay, with a bit more of the emotional ‘oomph’ given to Scent of a Hoodie. I do like that we are getting callbacks to previous events and episodes, as well as see Star add a new dress to her wardrobe. There also seems to be a greater emphasis on her taking on a more serious role as the Princess of Mewni, which makes me wonder, if we truly have seen the end of her living on Earth.

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Next episode, the segment Club Snubbed sees Star and her family attend a ball, with her ex-boyfriend Tom in attendance. We also get the segment Stranger Danger, in which a long-lost relation of Star’s royal heritage returns to Mewni, for a not-so-warm welcome. See you real soon for my next review!

Retro Recaps: Batman – The Animated Series (Season 1, Episode 32) “Beware The Gray Ghost”

As the first season of Batman: The Animated Series carried on into the fall of 1992, many like myself, quickly became regular viewers. The Tim Burton films had introduced a number of new fans to the mythos, and the animated series was showing us another medium in which the caped crusader could play in.

Of course, this wasn’t the Batman’s first foray into television. One need only think back to the 1960’s, and the first time Batman appeared on TV.  Actors Adam West and Burt Ward became the live-action faces of Batman and Robin for many years, until the film series came along.

In the summer 2017, Adam West died, and many were quick to remember and honor his legacy. Of course, when it came to Batman: The Animated Series during it’s first season, the show’s creators were not just fans of who Adam was, but sought to find a way to give him a small tribute role in their show.

Thus, Mr West found himself in the 32nd episode, Beware the Gray Ghost, which premiered on November 4th, 1992.

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The show starts with the opening to The Gray Ghost television series, and a title card for the episode: The Mad Bomber.

BTAS-BTGG-1We soon see a young Bruce Wayne, watching the show with his father. On the TV screen in their living room, a plastics plant is rocked by an explosion, and the fragments of a ransom note are found.

We then cut to present-day Gotham, where a number of buildings are being leveled by massive explosions (one of them also a plastics plant). Commissioner Gordon finds a ransom note after the last explosion, and shows it to the Batman. It’s message is very similar to a note on the Mad Bomber episode, jogging the caped crusader’s memory. Even with this revelation, Batman is stumped: the current events seem to be tied to the Gray Ghost show, but he isn’t sure exactly how.

Under the guise of Bruce Wayne, he visits a film collector, looking for episodes of the show. Sadly, the collector says that the studio that made the series, burned down some time ago, along with the original negatives stored in their film vault.

BTAS-BTGG-2“So the Gray Ghost doesn’t exist?” asks Bruce.

“Not anymore,” says the collector.

Bruce then goes to the Television Actors Guild, where he manages to find information on the actor who played The Gray Ghost: Simon Trent.

Unfortunately, Trent has fallen on hard times since the days of his show. He is late paying his rent, and his agent is not able to get him any new roles, with those who remember Trent, typecasting him based on his most famous role.

BTAS-BTGG-3Desperate for money, Trent sells off some merchandise and all of his props from the show (including his original costume!) to Ted Dymer, the owner of a vintage toy store called Yestertoys. Trent has done the same in the past, but Ted tells the actor that as the last stuff he sold to him isn’t moving, he can’t pay much for the latest offload.

“I’ll take whatever you can give me,” says Simon.

Returning home, Trent gazes at his empty display shelves, and falls asleep. Awakening some time later, he is shocked to find that all of the items he sold, have been returned! Nearby is his costume, with a note, requesting he meet ‘a friend’ at The Gotham Art School.

BTAS-BTGG-4He does as requested, but is shocked when out of the shadows, emerges the Batman!

Fearing for his life, Trent takes off running, but Batman catches up to him, and gets him to listen. Batman explains that the recent bombings that have plagued Gotham, are similar to what happened on one of the Gray Ghost episodes. Even with this information, Trent just demands to be left alone.

Suddenly, a strange whirring sound is heard, causing Trent to stop. A few moments later, the Gotham Art School explodes! Trent takes the chance to run, and gets back to his apartment…only to find the Batman waiting for him!

Batman noticed how Trent recognized the whirring sound, and reveals that at the Art School scene, he found another note, this one claiming the Gotham Library is next.

“Help me,” he pleads.

BTAS-BTGG-5Trent finally relents, and goes to his closet, which contain his personal copies of the show’s episodes. Pulling out a film canister labeled The Mad Bomber, he hands it to the Batman.

“Here’s your answer,” he says, angrily. “Take it and go! Please!”

Batman does as requested, but before he leaves, he turns back to the old man.

“I used to admire what The Gray Ghost stood for,” he says.

“I’m not The Gray Ghost,” responds Trent.

“I can see that now,” says Batman, a tinge of hurt in his voice, as he vanishes out a nearby window.

BTAS-BTGG-6Returning to Wayne Manor, Alfred runs the film through a projector, and Bruce sits down to watch it.

When Bruce had originally seen the episode as a boy, he fell asleep before it ended. Now, he gets to see the rest of the story. As he does so, the same whirring sound is heard. On-screen, he sees that it is coming from a small, remote-controlled car.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” says Bruce, as the small car drives toward a building, that then explodes in a giant fireball!

Batman then reports his findings to the Commissioner, and the Police set up positions around the library.

BTAS-BTGG-7Suddenly, three cars just like on the show appear, streaking through the barricades and cops milling about!

Batman and a rifleman manage to stop two of the vehicles. The third one takes off, but doesn’t get far, overturning in an alley nearby. Opening it up, Batman finds no explosives inside.

“A decoy?” he ponders, as suddenly, two more cars streak out of the darkness toward him!

Just then, a rope is lowered down from the building behind him, and Batman grabs for it. As he does so, the cars hit the nearby wall and explode, the force of which throws him up onto the building’s rooftop, where he meets his savior: Simon Trent, clad in his Gray Ghost costume!

BTAS-BTGG-8“Hey, I owed you,” say Trent, “you got me my outfit back.”

As Batman looks over the toy car he obtained, he offers Trent the chance to come along with him to check it for fingerprints.

Trent is in awe as he gets into the Batmobile, but is soon assisting the Batman, when several more remote-controlled cars give chase. The two manage to trip them up, and arrive at the Batcave (with Trent having been blindfolded before they entered). Looking around, the TV star is surprised how much it resembles the Gray Ghost’s lair.

Batman even shows him a small shrine to his character (complete with the hat and cape Bruce wore as a young boy, when watching the show!).

BTAS-BTGG-9“As a kid, I used to watch you with my father,” he says, happily. “The Gray Ghost was my hero.”

“So it wasn’t all for nothing,” mutters Trent, amazed that what he thought was just a ridiculous TV show, actually inspired one of the city’s greatest heroes.

Batman then runs a diagnostic on the car, but both he and Trent are shocked when they find the only set of prints on it…match Trent’s!

Trent pleads with Batman that he isn’t behind the bombings, but Batman notes how he (Trent) had the only copy of the show, and the bomber followed the episode’s plot to the ‘T.’

Trent claims it couldn’t have been him, as all of the remote control cars from the show that he owned, were sold to Ted Dymer at his collectibles store some time ago…leading to a sudden conclusion!

BTAS-BTGG-10Batman then goes to Dymer’s store, where he finds the owner in a control room, filled with monitors, knobs, and dials.

Like any delusional villain with an audience, Ted starts monologuing, claiming that he loves toys, but in order to satisfy his collecting habit, he needs money. Remembering the Mad Bomber episode of The Gray Ghost, gave him the idea.

“And then I remembered what else a toy can do,” he claims. “It can carry a bomb. It can hold a city for ransom. Oh, the power of the toy. It can earn millions…millions for the little ol’ toy collector: me!”

BTAS-BTGG-11However, Ted is so caught up in his monologuing, that he is shocked when the Gray Ghost bursts in through a window, knocking him into some shelves, that wreck his control panel that quickly catches fire!

Batman scoops up Ted, and he and Trent rush from the building, before it too explodes, the blast destroying Ted’s store, and his precious collection.

Following the events, Ted Dymer is locked away, and Simon Trent allows for his copies of The Gray Ghost series, to be released as a home video boxset. Trent now has a new source of income, and is also surprised at the massive lines that greet him at a signing event at a local Gotham video store.

BTAS-BTGG-12One of the men in line is Bruce Wayne, who kindly asks Simon to make the signature out, “To Bruce.”

“You know, as a kid I used to watch you with my father,” says Bruce, repeating what he told Trent in the Batcave. “The Gray Ghost was my hero.”

“Really?” says Trent, recognizing the wording, before turning his attention to another fan.

“And he still is,” smiles Bruce, walking away.

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And that was Beware the Gray Ghost.

Up until watching the episode, I had no idea who Adam West really was. While I would watch the old 60’s TV show when it popped up on reruns, it never really electrified my brain the way the 1989 film did.

Over the years, I’d often see Adam West in a number of smaller roles (like a crooked cop in the 1987 film, Zombie Nightmare, which was skewered on the show Mystery Science Theater 3000) but out of all his parts in the last couple decades, his role here as Simon Trent, is still the one that stands out the most to me.

I did wonder what may have gone through West’s mind, when there were scenes of Trent frustrated that he could not escape the shadow of his biggest role. Word is that showrunners Bruce Timm and Paul Dini had the idea to have West voice Trent, but would not have made the episode if he hadn’t agreed to play the character.

The episode really felt like the show writers getting the chance to build up their own mythos for the Animated Series. Also, the emotions that both Trent and Batman go through, are a bit more ‘adult’ in nature. Most kids probably wouldn’t get Trent’s frustration, or the tone of disappointment Batman feels, when Trent seems to want to bury anything to do with his character.

The episode even manages to combine elements of the 30’s serials, notably in how the Gray Ghost seems to be an homage to the radio character, The Shadow

Even Ted Dymer (voiced by the show’s co-creator, Bruce Timm), has a plan almost worthy of the 60’s TV show’s bad guys (though much more explosive than anything those bad guys ever did!).

The story starts out pretty strong, but it seems when it comes to the conclusion with Ted Dymer, it is wrapped up incredibly fast, with the bulk of the storytelling being focused on Batman, and Trent. Dymer just monologues, is knocked out, and his place goes up in smoke in about 2 minutes of screen-time!

Over the years, West was often ripe for parody, but with his role here, he is given a wonderful ‘thank you’ by some great Bat-fans.

BTAS-BTGG-13Most notable looking back on it now, is the ending in which Simon Trent gains a new lease on life as the Gray Ghost. This comes about when he is able to release the series on home video.

The same feeling came about in the last few years, when the 60’s TV series of Batman, was finally able to be released to consumers. It also brought forth a number of merchandising items honoring the show, from Mattel action figures, to a massive LEGO set that combined Wayne Manor and the Batcave from the show!

Speaking of merchandise, I was genuinely surprised in recent years, when the Batman Animated Series got a line of DC Direct action figures. With new molds and following the show designs more accurately, I was disappointed that even with the line making some figures that were never released, we never did get a newer molding of The Gray Ghost (who has had a few different figures released over the years!).