Star vs. The Forces of Evil Review: Raid the Cave & Baby

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The first two weeks of the Starbomb have been incredible. We’ve never received this many high-quality episodes of Star vs. The Forces of Evil in such a short period of time.

Just so you’re all up to speed, Dinsey XD is airing new episodes of the series every Monday-Thursday for the entire month of February. Its final air date is on Monday, February 27th, which will consist of two half-hour episodes- the final one being the season 2 finale.

 

So far, the first two weeks have given us the episodes:

 

 

Raid the Cave

Trickstar

Baby

Running with Scissors

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Mathmagic

The Bounce Lounge

Crystal Clear

The Hard Way

 

 

These episodes are amazing! We’ve been spoiled with huge doses of insight, growth, and plot development- arguably more than any grouping of episodes we’ve been given so far. I especially want to highlight Raid the Cave and Baby. These episodes were phenomenal in terms of revelations, so each deserve a moment in the spotlight (the episode Running with Scissors will also be reviewed in a future post).

 

Raid the Cave

Raid the Cave was an exceptionally strong start to the post-hiatus mid-season two kickoff. It begins with Star over-packing for her perceived face off with Ludo after he steals the Book of Spells along with Glossaryck in Bon Bon the Birthday Clown.

 

Star and Marco visit Buff Frog to get his insight over Ludo’s location and he guides the two protagonists to a cave in Mewnie. As they storm in, they attack every monster in sight, but stop as soon as they realize that Ludo abandoned the cave and the new monsters of residence are actually “alternative monsters” who are opposed to violence (Earth’s equivalence to hippies). In order to track down Ludo, Star uses her All-Seeing Eye spell, once again toying with dark magic. But despite the spell only being able to allow its user to view a certain scenario from a distance, as a silent observer, Star was able to partially break through the barrier as if almost teleporting to Glossaryck’s location.

 

Glossaryck of course is astonished at Star’s level of power- even her guardian who has trained her and is aware of her level of potential, is surprised at how much power she truly holds. When Star reaches out to Glossaryck through the spell’s visibility barrier, he turns her away. He tells her that he belongs to the book and the book now belongs to Ludo.

 

Their next exchange was the most emotionally-heavy of the series so far:

 

But, I thought we were friends . . .

Friends is such a simple concept.

I need you.

Maybe this is what you need.

 

Based on this exchange, I doubt that Glossaryck is actually the neutral player he has been portraying himself as lately. I believe that in forcing Star to face her emotions, he is training her in a round-about way. When the barrier closes on her and she is knocked onto the ground, Marco (who watches the entire exchange from the sidelines) runs to her side and asks if she’s alright. She replies with “Yeah, my arm’s fine”, to which he responds with “That’s not what I meant . . .”

 


Star avoids dealing with her emotions
. And based on her hiccups with dark magic, her bottled-up feelings manifest in dangerous ways. Maybe Glossaryck is trying to get her to face her raw self, so that she doesn’t end up like Queen Eclipsa. Or, maybe by pushing her to the edge the opposite will happen and she will end up just like her many-great grandmother.

 

For an 11-minute episode, it gives us worlds of insight.

 

Baby

 

Baby was definitely an interesting episode. Queen Butterfly sends a magic being to evaluate Star’s progression in her training. Without the guidance of Glossaryck and the Book of Spells, Star’s mother is concerned over her advancement in magic.

As the evaluator, Baby, makes her way to the Diaz household, Star and Marco nervously prepare for her arrival as Star reveals that if she fails the evaluation she has to go back to Mewnie (which neither of them are fond of). Star does not start off strong. Her first mistake is revealing that she has a “secrets closet” containing everything that she doesn’t want anyone to see (including her journal and Toffee’s severed finger). Additionally, Baby is exposed to Star’s cleaved wand and the spell book that she created- in other words, Baby becomes aware that Star “broke” her wand and no longer has the Book of Spells or Glossaryck.

 

The final portion of the evaluation is based on Star’s ability to bring Baby an apple from across the room using only her magic.

This is where the fun begins. She strikes the apple with her trademark narwhal blast, sending it to Baby but damaging it in the process. Next she sends the apple over by using an ice blast, followed by her mystic suck portal that leads to a smashed apple, and  a water spell that floods her room. She even calls upon a centaur-like creature to deliver the apple to Baby, who hilariously fails. Finally, Star gets irritated and begins striking the apple with dark magic and warping its form.

 

What we as the audience comes to realize in this episode is that Star struggles with basic magical tasks. She is a fighter who doesn’t deal with the mundane. This point was never really drawn upon in the way that it is in this episode.

 

When Star asks Baby what the results were for her assessment, she replies with:

“Tells me you have a closet full of secrets. While under your care, your wand, the single most important hierloom of the Butterfly dynasty, was broken. You lost the sacred Book of Spells and replaced it with a college-ruled notebook. And lastly, your spellcasting is so undisciplined and unstructured that you’re incapable of performing basic magic. You can’t even bring me an apple . . . Your highness, you failed. Goodbye Princess.”

 

Baby is blunt. Completely and brutally honest.

But rather than accepting defeat, Star responds by channeling her magic to strike the apple one final time. The apple splits in half and a stem sprouts from the apple seed. It grows to a full-size tree with one branch reaching out to Baby and dropping a shiny red apple in front of her.

It’s perfect. And Baby gives Star her first genuine smile before leaving.

 

Star passes the test. But more importantly, we witness her harnessing all of her power to create something that Baby (who has presumably been around for millennia) hasn’t seen since evaluating Queen Eclipsa. Once again, we are shown how truly powerful Star is. Her potential is astonishing, but also highly comparable to the evil ex-Queen, which raises even more concerns over what her future may hold.

 

Overall, the Starbomb is proving to be a huge treat. As the season finale creeps closer, more and more analysis and theory videos are being released dissecting the show and all of the bits and pieces that we have been given so far. When a series can bring fans together in such a way, it really shows how deep its storytelling is. The season 2 two-part finale will definitely only add to this- by both tying plots together and opening worlds of new questions and theories.

 

 

 

 

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