Episode Review of W.I.T.C.H. Season 1 Episode 04: Happy Birthday, WillRating: Summary
In Meridian, the tyrannical Prince Phobos realized that he can no longer absorbed the life force of his world anymore and will need to find a new source to sink his teeth into. Because the Veil separated Meridian from the other worlds, he can't just go there, nor does he have enough ammunition to do it. The only way is for him to find his missing sister and drain her of her energy instead. But finding one girl in one city is no easy task so Cedric volunteered to go there and check out their birth certificate records at City Hall. This really doesn't make any sense, but I'll get to that part later.
Meanwhile, Susan Vandom is dropping her daughter off to school. She asked Will if she was certain on NOT inviting 30 of her closest friends to her birthday party. Will assured her mother that she doesn't want a birthday party this weekend. Lady, you and your daughter just moved to Heatherfield and you already expected Will to already made 30 friends?! But no matter how old Will gets, she'll always be Susan's "Pink, poopy, perky pumpkin!" Unfortunately, Irma heard their conversation, but Will made Irma promised to not throw her a surprise birthday party. Instead, Irma tells the other Guardians about it and left the lunch table to warn Will about the cafeteria's fish. There is a funny scene here where Irma called Will's name from across the entire room by shouting "Hello, Will! Pink, poopy, perky pumpkin!!!", thus, embarrassing Will. No need to fear, Will, as I'm sure people aren't going to start thinking that you're Irma's lesbian lover. Once Irma left, Cornelia tells Taranee and Hay Lin that they are going to throw Will a surprise party. Loop hole time: Irma may have promised Will that she wouldn't throw her one, but the others didn't!
The three girls recruited Caleb into their plan as they tour the mall. They ran into the school's bullies and tells Uriah and this two friend that they're not invited. Pissed off, Uriah tells his friends that they are going to crash the party by scaring the girls with scary Halloween mask. What are they? A bunch of ten-year-olds? Then again, they're are failing their classes and are as immature as children would come.
The girls split up with Cornelia and Hay Lin handling the decoration, Taranee is in charge of baking cupcakes and convincing Will and Irma to come dressed up without making them suspicious, and Caleb went off to ponder what birthday present to give. Meanwhile, Yan Lin gave Hay Lin a piece of a map that will review them the locations of the portals. Since Cornelia's parents won't let her use their penthouse as their venue, they decided to hold the party at Irma's house instead. Note, this would be really embarrassing had Mr. Lair kicked them out of his house. Once they arrived at the party, Will blamed Irma who insisted that she's innocent and was kept out of the loop by the others. Despite not wanting a surprise party, Will did come to enjoy herself along with the others.
Meanwhile, Cedric passed through a portal and snuck into City Hall, but his silhouette is spotted by a passing pedestrian who alerted the police of a break-in. Irma and Hay Lin overheard the police call on Mr. Lair's police communicator and knew at once that it was Cedric. The girls snuck out of the party, claiming that they went off to get some pizzas and Irma hesitantly asked her parents to take over as the party's entertainers. They're followed by Uriah and his goons who plans on scaring them to death with a prank. Those boys are followed by Caleb and Blunk who decided to sabotaged their pathetic little prank. Blunk failed to scare Uriah and his friends, but the punks ran off when they saw Cedric in his giant snake-man form, leaving Caleb and Blunk to fight the Meridianite. The Guardians used Hay Lin's map and investigate the portal at City Hall. They're confused why a snake-man would want birth records of girls from about 13-14 years ago. They soon joined Caleb in a battle against Cedric. Their battle caused a loud commotion and the policemen soon arrived. Before they do, Cedric grabbed the document he came for and left. The only thing the police found were Uriah and his two friends in a locket scarred to death. We can only assumed that they're being blamed for a break-in prank and that their parents will be alerted by the police.
With the portal closed, the girls returned to the party, feeling a little bit dejected as they carried some stacks of pizza. They're confused why Cedric would take some birth records documents of girls their age. Irma thinks that by leaving her parents in charge of the party, the other guests will leave her house. Hay Lin pointed that that this is true enough as they watched Irma's parents leading a congo line out of the house before Hay Lin joined in on the fun. Will asked Irma to never call her "pink, poopy, perky pumpkin" ever again as her present and spotted a boy named Matt. Will blushed as Matt took her hand and lead her back into her birthday party.Overall Thoughts
Well, all I can say about this episode is that it was better than the last one as it was more entertaining. Caleb is still suffering from culture shock in this episode as he's trying to compare the differences between Earth parties and Meridian feast. To him, humans have a very strange customs of putting flies on their cakes, unaware that the flies are actually raisins on lily-pad cupcakes as a part of the party's theme: frogs! (Yeah, Will loves frogs both in the original comics and the animated show.) For Caleb, a great party should be like Clunderfeast and it involves cooking and eating an ox. He does stressed out on what to get for Will and decided to give her a woodcarving of her in her Guardian form. We found out that there are dragons on his world...granted, we never saw them, but he mentioned them as well as slaying it in front of Elyon and her friend Alchemy, forcing Will to pretend that he's just joking. But despite his culture shock, it looks like he's becoming more and more comfortable with Earth customs because he's clearing enjoying the attentions from Elyon and Alchemy. Note this when we get to season two...
The battle against Cedric in City Hall that also involves Uriah and his friends trying to scare the girls is probably based on a comic issue where they're breaking into a museum because of a magical painting. While there is no painting here, there will be one in a future episode. In the original comic issue, Uriah and his friends snuck into the museum because they heard a rumor about a monster lurking around it. Once they bumped into Cedric and his monsters, they panicked and ran and were caught by Irma's father who's a policeman. In this episode, the only similarity is that these bullies did see Cedric while sneaking into a government building, were scared out of their wits, and were apprehended by the police. The rest that involves birth records is entirely made up for this episode. Which reminds me...Cedric's plan here doesn't really make any sense. He tells Phobos that he's going to look up records of girls who were born in the city of Heatherfield about thirteen years ago. That way, they can narrow down their search to those who were not born there, and thus find the missing princess. Okay, nice plan in theory, but don't forget that there are some people who were born outside of this city, but they and their family moved to Heatherfield! For example, I was born in the city of Fountain Valley, but lived in Santa Ana (located next to Fountain Valley) the first four years of my life before moving to Westminster. Just because my name isn't registered in Westminster City Hall records doesn't mean that I'm a likely candidate as Phobos's missing princess, right? Then there's Will Vandom who wasn't born in Heatherfield, either and neither was Taranee! In the comic, they already knew who the missing princess was and while I do appreciate them changing it here to make her more mysterious and adding flavor to the season's plot, you might want to make sure that it makes sense.
And speaking of making sense, this episode still suffers from quality control. For example, the color of Irma's top and skirt were switched during the battle, and Elyon's voice is coming out of Will's mouth when Will's complimenting Caleb for his gift. There were other voice over errors throughout this episode as well. Despite some errors, I did enjoy the plot of this episode. The action was more exciting and there was some balance between it and Will's party. We do get to see some characters such as Irma's father, Tom Lair (voiced by Byrne Offut), her step-mother Anna (also voiced by Irma's voice actress Candi Milo); Martin Tubbs, the nerdy boy who has a crush on Irma (also voiced by Dee Bradley Baker); Elyon is voiced by Serena Berman; Alchemy and Susan Vandom are voiced by Lauren Tom, and Alyson Stoner voiced Cornelia's little sister, Lilian Hale.Stray Observation
Yes, the scene where Phobos sucks Meridian's life force by bathing himself in a pool filled by vines really did come from the original comics. Phobos: "If we know who were born there [Heatherfield], we can narrow our search down to those who were not!"
You do realize that this would include those who moved into this city like Will or Taranee, right? Susan Vandom: "Honey, are you sure you don't want to invite just 25 or 30 of your closest friends over?"
Lady, you and Will just moved into town! How can you already expect her to make that many friends?!
If this show is constantly inferring to how disgusting the school cafeteria's food is, why hasn't there been any improvement to make it better for the students' health? Picking food right out of the garbage and feeding it to kids? Seriously?! Irma: "Hey, Will! PINK, POOPY, PERKY PUMPKIN!!!"
No Will, I'm sure that the school will think that you and Irma are homosexual.
Dressing up as guys in Halloween mask to terrify girls? Lamest prank ever.
I don't get why Cornelia would decorate her room just to show Taranee the frog theme for the party when she was going to do it later. That's just a waste of time to put it up, take it down, and then later put it up again.
Rare fear of high toilets? Taranee, I can come up with better excuses than that!
Irma only changed her top! The jacket and the pants are practically the same! Is this an animation error on her party outfit or just laziness?
Hmm...apparently, Elyon doesn't enjoy donuts...then why bite into it? Caleb: "Where are Will and Irma going?"
Caleb: "Where's that?"
Why, Pisa is a city in Italy, of course. I'm sorry, I just had to make that joke.
Caleb is taking a page out of Cornelia's loop hole book by having Blunk scare Uriah and his friends instead of him.
Caleb is still not as impressive in this episode as he's still getting his butt whooped by Cedric. Cedric: "I have the Earth paper that will help us locate your sister."
No, Cedric. It's not going to help you. Taranee: "Is Phobos looking for us?"
Taranee, Yan Lin clearly stated that he's not looking for you in episode 2, but the true heir to Meridian Throne.