Episode Review of W.I.T.C.H. Season 1 Episode 02: It ResumesRating: Summary
The episode picks up where we last left off with the snake-shapeshifter, Lord Cedric (Dee Bradley Baker) telling Prince Phobos (Mitchell Whitfield) what he has seen when he grabbed Caleb (Greg Cipes) back into Merdian through a portal: five new Guardians which surprised Phobos. Wait...why is Phobos surprised? He just saw the Heart being passed down to Will through his Seeing Stone in the last episode! Anyway, Phobos and Cedric demanded to know where Caleb's fellow rebels are. Naturally, Caleb refused and is thrown into the bottom of a pit called the oubliette. One of the head guards with blue skin, Vathek (Lloyd Sherr), oversee his imprisonment and (obviously) hid a key to Caleb's shackles into a bread and threw it in. Down in the pit, Caleb meets a Passling smuggler named Blunk (Steve Blum), who resembles a small troll. I really have no idea why Phobos would bother to imprison this little booger since he's pretty much an annoying fly compared to the more vexing existences of the Rebels and the Guardians. Finding the key, Caleb tried to climb out and get away from the odorous Blunk, but failed. Getting no answers, Phobos decided to order his men to kidnap "the girl with the red hair."
Back on Earth, the Guardians pondered what they're being pulled into after what happened with Caleb the day before. During the walk home, their conversation switched to Picture Day, to which the other four playfully dismissed. Will, feeling left out of their conversation and out of their little clique, separated from them to walk home alone. Unfortunately, she was grabbed through a portal, leaving behind her backpack which was then discovered by Taranee the next morning. Frantic, the Guardian of Fire showed it to the others and pulled out the Heart of Kandrakar. The magical pendant showed the four of them where Will is: she's being interrogated by Prince Phobos who's demanding the crystal. Since she didn't have it, he threw her into the same pit that Caleb and Blunk are in. Okay, seriously, Phobos? You're throwing in your two most threatening adversaries into the same prison cell?! Remember my Winx Club episode review for "The Return of Tritannus"? Yeah, this is almost as bad as imprisoning your victim near the vicinity of a cache of weapons!
Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin skipped school to rescue Will, much to Cornelia's annoyance since they're ditching Picture Day. The Heart led them to a portal in the school's damp basement and Hay Lin convinced the others that she should all save her, despite not having their full powers.
Meanwhile, Caleb and Blunk are attempting another escape when Will is dumped into their cell to join them. Neither Caleb and Will are impressed by each other when they realized that said other is just a kid. After going through all the much and dampness of Meridian, the other four Guardians managed to sneak into the castle's dungeon and united Will with the Heart. Wow, they really did came for her and she is a part of their clique! However, they weren't able to sneak in unnoticed as guards are instantly deployed to stop them. Transformed, the five Guardians fought their way through and tried to look for an exit. Blunk tries to show them a secret passage to the outside, but it's been barred up. While Taranee uses her fire power to melt the bars, Caleb "sacrificed" himself as a distraction. Once outside, the Guardians realized that they must go back to save the Rebel leader. Being a better flyer and the Guardian of Air, Hay Lin flew back in and managed to save Caleb in time from the wrath of Cedric.
The seven of them tried to make their way back to the portal in the nearby swamp but the giant monster Gargoyle is in their way. Through teamwork and creativity, they baked him like a clay in a fire kiln. But Gargoyle still managed to grab Irma as they tried to escape home. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, Will pulled out the Heart and closed the portal to save Irma in time, severing the beast's hand. Blunk is let loose the terrorize whatever human roamed this world while Caleb ponders its strangeness.
Thrilled with their victory, the Guardians eagerly celebrated at the Silver Dragon with another after noon snack time. Hay Lin, like her comic book counterpart, realized that the first letters of their initials spelled W.I.T.C.H. as she wrote it out on her hand. Unlike in the comic, the others don't seemed to mind the name, but embraced it as they're relieved in the fact that Phobos didn't get Will. Yan Lin came in and tells them that real person Phobos is after isn't the Keeper of the Heart, but another girl. We know that this girl is his sister, but the Guardians don't know this.
What can I say about this episode? Well, I liked and enjoyed it enough. Because it is part of a two-episode series premiere, we can only based our liking on first impression. Sure, some of the Guardians' personalities are slightly altered from their original comic book counterparts, but it doesn't effect the show too much. Cornelia is portrayed to be more snobbish and has a selfish tendency to worry about her image. Hay Lin is more ditzy in the show, giving us that air of "airheaded-ness". In reality, she's really talented, especially as an artist. In both the comics and the show, Hay Lin has an amazing talent in retaining memories of something she saw and can draw it out. We saw that in the comic when she drew a sketch of the Heart of Kandrkar from a dream and we saw it here when she showed her grandmother a sketch of Cedric after only a few second of glancing at him.
As for Will, Irma, and Taranee, their characteristic portrays are more or less the same: Will is insecured but has the talent in being a leader; Irma is snarky and constantly calls out on Cornelia's crap (and God bless her for it); and Taranee, despite being the shy girl and the fraidy-cat, is also the glue and the logical center of the group, both figuratively and literally when int comes to the "T" in W.I.T.C.H.
Caleb, the rebel leader, gets his ass kicked a lot in these first two episodes. So yes, he's not really impressive at first glance. He's voiced by Greg Cipes whose known to voice Beast Boy from Teen Titans, Kevin Leven from Ben 10: Alien Force, and would later voice Tu, the cousin of Mako and Bolin from The Legend of Korra. Caleb, in many ways, does resembles Keven Leven more, except the fact that Caleb is more noble, fighting for a just cause.
Many other characters are voiced by well known voice actors in this show, too. Lord Cedric is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker who also voiced Aldarn, Caleb's friend. Baker is well known to provide voices and growls to many animalistic creatures and monsters in other cartoons such as Appa and Momo from Avatar: The Last Airbender, several aliens from Ben 10, and his sly human voice that is in Cedric would later go on to survive in Councilman Tarrlok in the first season of The Legend of Korra. Steve Blum voiced Blunk in these first two episodes, a character that only existed in the show. Blunk was never in the comics and frankly, I'm glad. I hate Blunk...I find him to be extremely pointless and annoying. And from this episode, so were Caleb and Will based on their reaction towards this little booger. However, I can't say the same for his voice actor, Steve Blum, as he's one of the most talented voice actors who could change his tone and play several types of characters, from the cunning and intimidating Equalist leader Amon in The Legend of Korra to the sly weasel Decepticon that is Starscream from Transformers: Prime.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode more because of the tension and the build up. Despite some errors in the voice actors' recording and animation, this episode was a lot of fun. Sure some parts didn't make any sense, like throwing Will and Caleb together in the same prison, but honestly, none of it were big and annoying enough like the ones in Winx Club. It's a darker series, and it does feel more like a serious super-hero comic show than a magical girl adventure for younger kids. However, I'll still admit that it's not as dark as the original comic, but on its own, it's a nice and decent set up.Stray Observation
Phobos: "So...the crystal has pass on to a new generation!"
Phobos, why are you eve surprised at this? You saw a vision of Will, a young girl, with the Heart of Kandrakar through your Seeing Stone in the last episode!
Cornelia: "I'm sorry, but I am far too pretty to end up as snake-poo!" Cornelia, you're starting to sound a lot like Stella from Winx Club...
Akino Ame is right...why is Blunk on Phobos's shitless? What did he do? Steal Phobos's socks?
Poor Will...it's obvious that she doesn't feel like a member of their group, let alone think that they're really her friends.
Note: In the comic series, none of the other Guardians ever touched the Heart of Kandrakar as it never leaves Will's palm or her heart (usually).
Cornelia: "We're taking the word of what? Some jewelry to save a person we barely know?" Harsh, Cornelia...that's harsh.
Irma: "Her name is Will an she's in horrible danger!" Go, Irma!
WTF?! You're putting Will in the same pit with the rebel leader?! There are two other pits in the oubliette! Phobos, please tell me you're not as bad a villain as Tritannus is!
Irma: "You're right! I SHOULD push you!"
Urgh...that giant Gargoyle creature is scary...
Can you say, Cornelia the Queen of the Jungle with that move?! [five seconds later] George of the Jungle wall slammed!
Wait...how did Phobos sense the Heart? He doesn't before and won't again ever...so...?
Caleb: "This is a rescue?! I was safer as a prisoner!!!"
Ah, yes...filing it all up with water t level someone up is a classic trick question that you'll see from Cardcaptor Sakura.
Wow...Akino Ame was right...how come Cornelia can't use her earth power to move those bars when she clearly used it a few seconds earlier to close that iron gate? It's not telekinesis since she didn't get this power until season 2, unlike in the comics...and it's not metalbending...is it? I'm confused...
Cornelia: "YOU'RE the Rebel leader?" I can't tell if Cornelia was surprised that the the boy she saw the day before through the portal is infamous rebel leader or if she's unimpressed by it.
Okay, am I the only one who thinks that maybe the animator unintentionally, but accidentally implied that Will has a crush on Caleb as he heroically runs off to distract the bad guys?
Hay Lin: "I fly better than you...well, actually, CHICKENS fly better than you!"
How does Caleb even knows what a purse with a zipper is? Like the gunpowder thing from the last episode, I'm certain that medieval Meridian has never heard of zippers before.
Unlike Blunk, Gargoyle is a more impressive animated series only character, despite being in this episode only for now.
Go, Will! You saved Irma! Yay!
Those poor, poor, people of Heatherfield...forced to suffer the ugliness and the annoyance that is in Blunk...
Yan Lin, you should tell the Guardians that Phobos is searching for his sister now...don't wait until a later date or that bullshit on "until they're ready".