Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 3, Episode 20) – Divide
With 19 episodes under season 3’s belt, here we are, at the second-to-last episode, and the first of a two-part story, that seeks to make this season go out with a bang.
At the end of the last episode, Queen Moon was severely injured, and disappeared through a multi-colored portal. With Moon gone, Star has now been made the ‘acting queen’ of Mewni, but finds it frustrating how everyone is looking to her for decisions.
With Meteora still advancing on the kingdom, Marco and Star’s friends try to slow her down, while Star attempts to try and find out what happened to her mom.
At the beginning of the episode, the writers try to balance drama and humor, as Star finds out that much of the Kingdom’s decision-making, was done by her mother…and without Queen Moon, most people are unable to think for themselves (making me wonder what happened with previous ruling parties).
While the stupidity of several of the royal personnel is a bit eye-rolling, it was intriguing to see Star reacting almost identically to her Mom in the earlier Season 3 story, Moon the Undaunted. Just like young Moon, Star is thrust into an awkward position of power, one that she finds herself struggling to work through.
It is also notable how Star is unwilling to take the advice of Eclipsa (who is partially to blame for Moon’s disappearance), or the Magic High Commission (who were found guilty of tampering with Mewni’s past history texts some time ago!). This signals a move that some would probably see as being foolhardy, but it seems that Star doesn’t feel like she can trust ‘the old ways’ of doing things. Much of this season has shown her trying to make changes to a broken ruling system, and this feels like another small step forward.
Most of Star’s time in this episode, is spent outside of the castle in the unnamed, paradise-like place she entered into in the earlier story, called Deep Dive. There is still the danger that Star could be sidetracked in her quest to find her mom, and the writers come up with a neat idea, on trying to keep her mind on her plan.
On the other end of the ‘divide,’ we have Marco staying behind on Mewni, trying to work on slowing down Meteora. This leads to the grouping of a number of characters we’ve seen him interact with over the season, as he attempts to put several plans into action.
While there is plenty that is good about the episode, Divide feels like it focuses a bit too much on gags in some areas, almost like in splitting the final story for the season in two, the writers had to ‘pad it out’ in a number of places.
One highlight is when we see Star and Marco talking over things before everyone splits off into their separate quests. Plus, we get to see how their fighting skills have improved over the last season. It’s probably one of the most productive conversations Star has in the episode.
Final Grade: B
When watching Divide, I couldn’t help but feel that many of it’s events, were largely just to set-up the events of the next episode. However, it does have some memorable moments.
Much like seeing Moon Butterfly in her younger days, we get to see Star trying to deal with being thrust into the spotlight as an ‘active queen.’ Her working through a number of emotions, helped make this story pretty enjoyable, though I was hoping for a little more drama during the second part of the episode for her.
Marco’s attempts to stop Meteora, helped give the episode some action, and prove just how ruthless Eclipsa’s daughter is (using magic-draining powers that may remind some of what Toffee was capable of in season 2).
Overall, if the episode had felt a little more ‘complete,’ I probably would have given it a higher rating. Still, it did prove to be entertaining.
And then…there was one left.
Come back soon, when I review the final episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil’s third season: Conquer.