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The second episode is called “Chapter 1”. The reason why is because it contains all the remaining webisodes from the first season (chapter 1). Most of these are much shorter than the three part story from the first episode, so there’s probably gonna be a lot of shenanigans without much plot development.
Anyways, our first short is called “Stark Raven Mad” and begins in the most magical of classes, band! One of the students, Kitty Cheshire who’s the daughter of the Cheshire Cat (does that make her a furry?) asks the teacher (his name is Professor Piper, though I’m gonna call him Sargent Pepper) to redo the solo he must have done just before the scene started. He does it, but for some reason a shit ton of rats crash on his head. Okay, I get that it’s part of his story, but why are there that many god damn rats nearby, and why does he perform the solo (twice no less!) that swarms them to him? Also, how is he not prepared for them when they do swarm on them? You’d think that he’s done it enough times that he would step out of the way or have a bag handy.
Seriously, I need to stop over thinking this. Things actually improve once Raven is called to the principal’s office where the headmaster and one of the teachers have organized an intervention for her. They brought along four students which include Apple, Briar, Madeline and a new one called Lizzie Hearts who’s the daughter of Helena Bonham Carter. Wait didn’t do that joke last time? She’s the daughter of the Queen of Hearts. The intervention goes about as well as you’d expect. Apple is the one most bent out of shape about Raven’s turn to the good side, while Briar continues to be all about partying (oh yeah. She’s all about partying because she wants to get the most out of life before sleeping for a hundred years). Madeline has always been on Raven’s side so it baffles me that the headmaster even invited her here, and Lizzie just spouts a catch phrase so that we ALL know who the hell she is (“OFF WITH HER HEAD!”).
The short ends with Raven snapping, turning the Headmaster into a chicken man, and feeling like shit because she fell right into the dude’s trap. Once again, she’s proving that she has the capacity to be the villain that most people want her to be. Weak start, but I really liked the idea of this one. It goes along with the themes that I thought were interesting in the first episode.
The next short is called “True Reflections”, and it starts with Apple singing in front of a mirror which annoys the hell out of Raven (they’re still roomies). Apparently this is a magic mirror which reinforces Apples self-esteem by telling her that she looks good. While Apple goes out to get some jewelry from Briar, Raven accidentally puts a spell in the mirror that makes it act most rude. Apple comes back with the new jewelry and asks the mirror what it thinks, which ends about as well as you’d expect.
Without explaining what happens, Raven takes Apple to find a new mirror. They visit a few members of the supporting cast including Briar who only has a pocket mirror, Blondie Lockes (take a guess) who has a bunch of mirrors but can’t decide on one to give, and Price jackass (sorry, Daring Charming) who won’t give up his mirror because it will deprive him of his own reflection. A CRIME TOO CRUEL TO INFLICT ON ANYONE!
After their fruitless journey comes to an end, Raven finally admits that she was the one to break Apple’s mirror. It turns out that Apple knew the whole time because Raven’s evil and would obviously be the one to break her mirror and lie about it. Huh. Seriously, every time they bring of the ‘predestined to be evil’ stuff, it really brings the show up a notch. The short ends with Raven doing the mirror’s job until Apple can get a replacement, though I don’t know why she has to stand behind the damn thing and hold it instead of just reassuring Apple that she looks good.
It’s not bad. I think the fact that these only last for two minutes help them from wearing out their welcome, but I’m glad that they still at least pay lip service to Raven’s destiny to be evil.
The next short is called “Here Comes Cupid” which starts by introducing us to C.A. Cupid, the adopted daughter of Eros. This is actually a really fascinating character because she’s actually from Monster High and goes through a mirror to end up at Ever After High. I didn’t even know that both licenses were owned by the same company (Mattel), but now that I do know, I can only hope that this could lead to a crossover on the level of “The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones!” They change her design which kind of messes with the whole “same character in two different universes thing” but I get that they want to sell two toys instead of just one.
This episode doesn’t have much substance, with the first half just being an introduction to who she is and what she does (she’s a matchmaker). Towards the end, she ends up helping the frog prince who can’t land a date because he can speak eloquently when in frog form, but his human counterpart is on the intellectual level of Ted Theodore Logan. Cupid comes up with a nifty idea which involves recording pick up lines from the frog on her magic ipad which she’ll play while the humanized frog prince (Hopper Croakington the Second) talks to his crush who happens to be Briar. Things go pretty well at first, but Dexter walks by who Cupid seems to have a thing for, and she ends up losing her concentration.
She falls right into Dexter’s arms (smooth) and leaves Hopper high and dry. Hopper tries, but can only get as far as “Your Hot” before the anxiety turns him back into a frog. The weakest short so far, but I’m interested if the Cupid character will acknowledge Monster High at some point which could be a pretty interesting development. That being said, where exactly does she fit in with the whole “Destined Story” deal? Wait… WHEN THE HELL DID I GET WRAPPED UP INTO THIS SHIT!? God damn it…
The next short is titled “Maddie-in-Chief” and it starts with the announcement of student elections. Apparently Apple is running unopposed again for President (I THOUGHT THIS WAS THEIR FIRST YEAR THERE!) until take a guess who decides to run against her?
After a scene of Dexter failing once again to get Raven’s attention (I swear this guy is based off of Milhouse), the story jumps right to the debate. Now might be as good a time as any to talk about the Rebels and the Royals. So apparently Raven’s decision to reject her destiny has split the school down the middle with those who support her (Rebels) and those against her (Royals). See, the Royals are the ones who have the most stake in getting their destinies fulfilled which include Apple, Daring, Briar, Ashlynn, etc. The Rebels either don’t have as much to look forward to (Raven being the most obvious) or just seem to be in it for the kicks (Madeline and Kitty). This means the election boils down to Royals vs Rebels, and things start to get heated at the debate (a Royal is moderating, so you can guess how that goes).
A politically charged riot is about to take place when Madeline calls for everyone’s attention and comes up with a compromise. Apple and Madeline will be co-presidents so that everyone will be represented. Yay! The short was alright. Madeline continues to be one of the better parts of the show, and while she’s not her best here, she gets the job done. It also does as good a job as any to introduce the Rebel/Royal concept, even if no one comes out and says that’s what the two sides are.
The next short is called “Catching Raven” and it starts with Dexter making moon eyes at Raven while ignoring Cupid who is practically throwing herself at him. Cupid (clearly trying to backdoor her way into Dexter’s heart) gives him some advice on asking out Raven which basically means to ask other people as practice. Wait, didn’t they do this in 40 Year Old Virgin?
Yeah, it’s about as cringe worthy as you’d expect. The best one is when he pulls the “fall from heaven” line on Madeline, and she thinks he speaks riddlish too. He eventually gives up, but luckily Raven approaches him and asks him to go to the party with her as a friend. Dexter agrees, apparently not realizing what friend means, and does a stupid little dance that ends with him falling off the side of a terrace. Luckily, his spine is saved by a giant bush and he just so happens to land next to Cupid who he proceeds to kiss on the cheek out of gratitude for her supposed help.
The short is fine, but I’m always wary about these kinds of stories. Raven clearly doesn’t want to go out with him, but the short plays off her request like he succeeded in his goal. Stuff like that isn’t healthy to put into kids heads and I hope the show deals with this at some point.
The next short is called “Briar’s Study Party” which starts with professor Rumpelstiltskin announcing a bullshit test for the next day. Apparently his M.O. is to give a test that no one can pass so that everyone needs to do extra credit which involves spinning straw into gold for him. Briar schedules a study party because she seems to have studied ahead of time, but she falls asleep because that’s what the daughter of Sleeping Beauty does apparently.
They try all sorts of things to wake her up, but the only thing that works is to play some club music. Once they get her awake, the throw a “study party” which involves repeating definitions while dancing to the beat. Everyone in the class ends up passing, and the Professor is left without any slaves to spin gold for him.
This one was pretty insubstantial and might be the weakest one yet. There’s just too many people in this to have any individual stand out, and it’s not like we learned anything about Briar other than confirming that she has narcolepsy.
The next short is called “The Shoe Must Go On” (ugh… Queen songs are too good to deserve puns that bad). It starts with Hunter Huntsman (take a guess) who’s bringing his girlfriend Ashlynn a shipment of shoes. It seems odd that an employee of a shoe store has to get her boyfriend to deliver the merchandise, but whatever. As soon as he drops them off, he’s rushed out the door because her friends Briar and Blondie are coming over to help her set up the store, and the couple can’t be seen together. It’s not explicitly said, but I’m guessing it has to do with Hunter being a Rebel and Ashlyn being a Royal.
After giving her boy toy the boot, her friends come over and (poorly) help set up the shop. While this is happening, Hunter amuses himself.
By chasing after a squirrel. Okay…
He doesn’t appear to want to KILL him, despite that being what a huntsman does, and just does some stale Looney Toons shtick with him. The store is about to open and the girls are nowhere near finished stocking the shelves when Hunter bursts in the door and jumps on the pile of shoe boxes in pursuit of his furry pray. In a manner that only happens in poorly written cartoons, the shoes explode out of their boxes and land perfectly on the shelves just in time for the screaming mass of teenage girls to get in the store and buy them. Ashlynn is so impressed with Hunter’s slap stick skills that she offers to give him a “hug” from behind a curtain.
Of course, he gets hug-blocked by the squirrel and the short ends with him continuing to chase after it. This one was pretty weak as well. So far, Ashlynn proves to be a pretty unlikable character. See, some of the Royal characters like Apple and Briar see themselves as better than everyone else, but try to still be nice about it. Apple agreed to be co-president, and Briar helped everyone study. Ashlynn on the other hand treats her boyfriend pretty shoddily and (for some reason) still buys into the “lower class and upper class shouldn’t be seen together” bullshit that seems antithetical to what her parents would have taught her (being the daughter of Cinderella). Hunter isn’t much of a prize either considering his one joke is to get pissed off at wildlife. Oh well, let’s hope the next one is better.
The next short is called “Cedar Wood Would Love to Lie” which is a bit on the nose, but at least it’s not a pun. Cedar Wood is the daughter of Pinocchio, and I can’t help but imagine that she’s like the kid in those “no wires” DirecTV commercials. It starts with a class being taught by Jack (the candlestick one) who gives a creative writing prompt as homework that they have to present to the class. Cedar can’t lie (which I guess includes writing fiction) and is told to find a real life story and present that instead. Cedar begins to search the school for an interesting story when she comes across Ashlynn and Hunter NOT making out in the woods.
After shoving it in their faces for a good thirty seconds, she eventually realizes that she HAS to tell the class about this because she can’t lie. After watching Hunter chow down on some peanuts, she gets an idea, and tells the story in front of the class while stuffing her face with food so that no one can hear what she’s saying.
Yeah, so this one was pretty stupid. The whole “can’t lie thing” doesn’t necessarily mean she has to blurt out everything she hears. Shouldn’t she have free will and choose not to share the story? How about finding something else to talk about, or declining to reveal personal information about others? The ultimate solution was also pretty stupid considering that no one who’s watching this would believe that someone could get away with that. Maybe if they’re really young and haven’t gone to school yet, but other than that it’s a really implausible solution. These are starting to go downhill fast. Let’s hope the next one can pull us out of this nosedive.
The next short is called “The Cat Who Cried Wolf” and starts with Cerise Hood racing a wolf in the woods. For some reason, the backgrounds remind me of Odin Sphere, which brings me immense amounts of joy. It’s clear that she’s part wolf (she wears the hood to cover her ears) and heads back to school, but Kitty Cheshire saw what she’s been hiding. Kitty (revealing herself to be a chaotic evil) taunts Cerise before disappearing, and then Cerise is approached by Raven. Cerise confides in Raven her secret (Daddy was the big bad wolf) and expresses her concerns about Kitty. Now THIS is an interesting character. We can tell that being half wolf gives her superhuman athletic skills, yet the embarrassing back story keeps her from truly being herself. It’s a character that is easily identifiable. A lot of kids have reasons to try and not stand out, and having a character to reflect that anxiety is a definite plus for this show. Plus, I think her design is pretty cool.
After the heart to heart, we cut to gym class (where everyone wears their street clothes) and they’re about to start a race.
Kitty has somehow captured a deer, put it in a cage, placed it just outside the track, and releases it as Cerise approaches. Her animal instincts kick in and she starts outrunning everyone else. Thankfully, Kitty gets the deer back in the cage before Cerise has a chance to feast on its internal organs, but the damage has been done (somewhat). Despite not actually revealing anything besides superior running skills (her hood didn’t even fly off), Kitty feels she has Cerise trapped into revealing her secret. Raven jumps in however and says she put a speed spell on Cerise’s shoes, and then proceeds to do put it on Kitty who ends up running off into the sunset just as the short ends. This is probably my favorite considering how much I ended up liking Cerise and the above average art design in this episode. Getting away from the usual school environments gave this show a chance to really get in touch with its fantasy roots and gave us some stunning visuals. I like that the story didn’t end with Cerise having to share her secret with the world (it’s none of their fucking business), but I really would like this to be explored later. Maybe she can reveal it when she feels comfortable doing so. That way, you can send the message that you shouldn’t be pressured into telling everyone what’s bothering you, but that doing so can be very helpful. Hopefully the rest of this episode can keep up with this standard of excellence.
For some reason, the next short is a repeat of the third part of the last episode “Legacy Day”. The reason is probably because the short AFTER that takes place the day after that event, so let’s just skip ahead to that one. It’s called “The Day Ever After” and starts in the cafeteria where the Rebels and the Royals are talking shit about each other.
The distinction between Royals and Rebels seems to line up with each families level of income, so it basically boils down to class warfare. Question: Who would ever root for the rich kids? Just asking. Anyway, both sides end the argument with a frosty agreement to ignore each other, but Discord (I mean Kitty) can’t let this be, and instigates a war between the two factions in the form of a food fight. Apple and Raven come in just as the fight begins, and try to stop it. Raven (using her dark demonic powers) does a… thing where she gets everyone to stop fighting by sending out a pulse of magic or something.
Raven gives a speech about friends not having to see eye to eye, but Apple ends up ruining it, which gets Raven to restart the food fight, thus ending the short with people wasting food that could have saved countless starving children. There’s not a lot here considering it’s just an addendum to the big finale of the Legacy Day story arc. We don’t really learn anything new, but it’s a nice enough two minute distraction.
The final Short is called “Replacing Raven” and it starts with the titular character wondering how she can make it up to Apple for not being the villain of her story. She gets the idea to find someone to replace her, which is overheard by one of the Three Little Pigs. Apparently he wants to be evil, but he does about as good a job of it as Butters does when he’s Professor Chaos. The pig however, is infinitely more annoying that Butters is, so all his jokes fall flat. Raven isn’t even involved with what the pig does, and just patiently listens whenever the pig reports his latest evil deed (replacing yellow mustard with brown mustard) until he reveals his masterstroke which is filling balloons with toxic gas. The gas in question is helium. Get it? The pig’s an idiot! THAT’S THE JOKE!! HA HA HA… no. The short ends with Raven and Apple fighting, and the pig (who for some reason tied the balloons to himself) floating away. Hopefully we’ll never hear from him again. Most of the weaker shorts in this have been okay because they didn’t have a chance to suck. This one does it right off the bat with an INCREDIBLY annoying character and it wouldn’t stop for its measly two minute run time. Easily the worst of the entire episode, which is a shame because it’s the one they decided to end on.
So that was Episode 2 of Ever After High. Overall, it was quite enjoyable. There was some decent world building (though not nearly enough for my money) and pretty much all the characters got a chance at the spotlight. There were some that were funny, and others that were interesting in concept, characterization, or in its artwork. Perhaps I’ve just spent too much time watching this stuff, but I’m starting to get into it. I’m still hoping that the show can stick to its good points and won’t feel the need to pander to the lowest common denominator, but it ends up waffling between the two sides that I can’t tell which direction the rest of the show will ultimately go in. I can see the potential that this show has and I hope that Netflix will give it a chance to explore that potential with the longer episodes that will give characters a chance to be further explored and grown. Then again, we’ve only seen them in short bursts, so extending the running time might end up being too much for the creators of this show to handle. We’ll find out once they actually finish the season. Until then, I can say that this episode is pretty decent and is definitely worth checking out if you enjoyed the first one on any level. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna see how much a Cerise doll costs. DON’T JUDGE ME!!!
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