Mysticons Episode 10: “A Walk in the Park” Review
This episode opens getting right down to business: a fight for the last Codex! While Em is successful, she hesitates in saving Zarya, causing her to be corrupted by Tazma. I love the way the episode opened with a great action scene and serious stakes. Since Dreadbane has one Codex already, we really did not know who would win in acquiring this one. However, I would have liked a little more subtlety with Tazma corrupting Zarya. Having the camera zoom in on Tazma pinching her and then showing the veins on her arm afterward would have been enough, but they instead have Tazma say out loud “now the Codex pieces will come right to me!” While it is a minor gripe, I worry that audience pandering like this will be frequent in the series, since it is a kids show. While I understand that I am not the age demographic, I do think that children should be given a little more credit, and be allowed to piece together elements of a show for themselves, making them feel all the more accomplished by doing so.
I was immediately both impressed and disappointed with this episode when I realized Tazma’s spell did not make Zarya evil. I was impressed they didn’t go the cliché route, but disappointed because I would have loved to see an evil Zarya! One might say that having Zarya slowly digress as they race to get the cure is cliché as well, but I found their way of using this plot to be very good. The girls, as well as Malvaron, find themselves walking through a forest to find Malvaron’s cake-loving aunt, who is the only person that could cure Zarya, besides Tazma herself. The trees of the forest start to move, however, and the team becomes separated! Now, Em and Zarya need to find their way to the cure while Piper, Arkayna, and Malvaron are stuck in their own mess.
This, in my opinion, was one the best episodes yet! The forest setting was so great, with so many fun and creative elements to it.
Firstly, the centaurs were hilarious. I love how the camera shot makes them look normal size, then pulls out to reveal how small they actually are. They also mentioned a “Northern Kingdom,” which leads me to believe there is a Centaur society of sorts beyond the forest.
Probably the notable element of the forest was the garden that Piper, Arkayna, and Malvaron find themselves in. Piper notices a field of flowers with a pollen that causes humans to fall in love, which begins to affect Malvaron and Arkayna. I thought it was a great idea to have Piper, an elf, be immune to the pollen. The whole romance thing did kind of drag on too long, and become less funny overtime, but Piper’s reactions to them was always hilarious. I would also like to note that the garden itself was beautiful and very well animated.
Our new character, Malvaron’s Aunt Yaga, was so great. Following the show’s setting of fantasy mixed with modern, Yaga is a modern day wizard. She has the qualities of a fantasy wizard or shaman, while also living in a Volkswagen Beetle that can cross dimensions. I also really loved the twist with her, which I will mention in my brief spoiler discussion after the final score.
Overall, this was a great episode. It opened extremely strong and continued to be an episode with an engaging plot and plenty of laughs. My pleas to get more Tazma was answered and she was perfect! I would have liked Zarya’s situation to be a little more suspenseful, but I can forgive this since it was the cause of such a fun plot. I loved this episode and I’m eagerly looking forward to where the story goes from here.
Not too much to note here, but I did want to discuss the twist of Yaga assisting Tazma. I personally would have loved for her to actually be in favor of Tazma, not just ignorant of the situation, but I get that a twist like that would make saving Zarya very difficult.
Continuing with Yaga, she leaves saying she is going to Arizona… does that confirm that this world is just an alternate dimension to our world? For now, I’m going to file that as a throwaway joke, and not read too much into it, but I thought it was worth noting.
Finally, I would have loved if the final scene was not a joke. Since Dreadbane is in love with Necrafa, I would have liked if the pollen did not work on him, and he denied Tazma’s pursuit. That being said, it was just a harmless joke at the end of the episode.