Writer: Kelly Hannon | Director: Stephen Sandoval
The style of this show still amazes me, look at all the beautiful color in this opening shot of the castle:
Sure, you could say it’s just sunset but the music cues that we’re about to enter something serious…
and shocking – the king belligerently declares war to a mysterious being and sends Rapunzel to the dungeon!
Then with a beautiful “24 Hours Earlier” timecard, this is going to be a classic “How We Got Here” scenario.
With a dignitary from a neighboring kingdom coming to discuss a trading contract, everyone has to be on their best behavior. Rapunzel is preparing a speech, Cassandra is on security detail and Eugene has a flashy performance to set up.
As such, with the added pressure in preparation for this important appointment, the tangled trio has been getting on each other’s nerves a little more than usual and Max and Pascal are right in the middle of it.
In an attempt to help, Xavier gives Max and Pascal a mood-altering tonic to help defuse the hostility between their friends. – On my first watch, I misheard Xavier and thought the tonic was supposed to just make them be nicer to each other so when Rapunzel drank it, I thought “Oh gosh, blondie is already nice so this is gonna be overload for her” I freaked out when I saw she was throwing out so much shade at everyone, it was hilarious!
Seriously, look at these expressions they gave her!!
Punzie is pissed.Yes Eugene, she is pretty scary.
Cass is definitely my second favorite considering she normally hates overly cute stuff whereas Rapunzel does have a mean strike when she feels she needs to.
My favorite bit of the whole episode:
Just everything: Cassandra’s little peppy shoulder dance, Eugene’s hilarious self-pity party, (with Zach’s great comedic delivery) Max and Pascal slowing backing away behind them trying to get out of dodge, and Emo-Punzie startingly yelling at the both of them to shut up with the musical emphasis in the BGM.
Such perfectly out-of-character characters.
And you went there, Kelly Hannon…
Best reference ever.
Desktop wallpaper worthy artwork right there.
I had to make a gif.
As predicted, more shenanigans ensue as the potion turns Rapunzel, Eugene, and Cass back to normal but reserves everyone else’s personalities, including the most important guest, Griffin of Pittsford. Queen Ariana is a slob, Stan and Pete are fighting, as well as the King and Griffin. Which escalates to a challenge of a duel and we’ve come back around to the opening scene of Rapunzel being thrown in prison by the power-crazed king.
Where Rapunzel, being such the Hufflepuff that she is, gives another “schmaltzy” speech and basically states the moral of the episode: That no one is perfect and recognizing some of the negative quirks in our personalities we could look to change for the better and sometimes that can cause a clash with those of our friends and while friends may not always agree, they all care about each other too much to let those pet peeves get in the way.
Back upstairs, the three of them split up to handle the banquet hall full of fights. Eugene charms the banquet guests, Cass handles the guards and her regressed father,
(I was very surprised they got away with animating that butt slap!!)
Did you see that jiggle?
while Rapunzel challenges her father and it is one of her best moments.
Which breaks the potion’s spell on him and all returns to normal…
Oh and Varian is back.
While overall a pretty standard plot for an episode, with this type of genre “trope” the shining moments are definitely in the antonymous comedic ones, Rapunzel having the courage to stand up to her father’s ideals and they do tap the glass a bit with the trio realizing “Hey, we are acting differently, what’s going on?” when usually the focus on the episode would be on the characters that caused the mess fixing it and the ones they affected suddenly change back to their normal behavior like nothing happened as an oversight. So more of a breather episode after calming down from the intensity of Queen for a Day, and with the Varian tease at the end, at least the next few episodes to end the first season on will be epic.
~As always, stay positive and visit your local library~