Relationship drama gets bigger with every season. As you can imagine, this means Season 3 iswhere it gets especially crazy. Puttingso much focus on romance matters makes some potential couples look problematic,but that’s for later episodes. At thesame time, it does bring potential couple that feel healthy. This episode is the first of many this seasonon one of the latter types of couples which had previously broken up before the series even began.
The backdrop featuresan interesting way Mewni keeps peace between kingdoms. There’s an event called the Silver Bell Ballwhere all the princes and princesses dance with each other, the duration timedby the ringing of a silver bell. ForStar, the prince she gives the most attention to is her ex-boyfriend, Tom. Interestingly, one of these Silver Bell Ballsis where they first met. For this one,even though she’s made it clear that they’re no longer together, Star isbothered that Tom seems to be ignoring her.
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When it comes to advice on how to deal with this, she gets it from PonyHead who delights in stirring up the already apparent drama by telling Starthat Tom is club-snubbing her. That isto say, he’s deliberately ignoring her to get her attention. She claims to know this for a fact, butdeliberately ignoring someone for love sounds incredibly flawed andunbelievable. Pony Head insisting thecontrary all smug-like further does not do any good for her character. If that’s not enough, even when Star makesstrong attempts to do her princess thing and not get caught up in drama, sheends up buying into Pony Head’s obviously bad advice. It’s disappointing considering that she knowshow much of a bad influence and jerk Pony Head can be.
Thereare at least a few instances of Tomdeliberately dancing with someone else after walking towards Star before shegives in though. Also, for some timeafterwards, a montage of many dances does bring a sense of tension of all thebitterness towards Star and Tom against something of class and elegance. Its boiling point is when Star dares to dancewith one of the servants when Tom is the only one left, letting it be known howhurt she is at being club snubbed.
Whatcomes from this is very telling of Star and Tom’s relationship. When Tom leaves feeling sad, Star firmlyconfronts him about his ignoring her. Itturns out that Tom was nobly trying to better his temper by giving Star space,understanding she’s not into him. Givenhis development in his few appearances in the previous season, acting in thename of what he thought Star wanted is a solid continuation of it. However, the confrontation becomes tenseanyway when Tom can’t comprehend that ignoring Star isn’t the same as givingher space.
While there is fighting, it’snice that it’s capped off with legit maturity.Star and Tom notice that their club snubbing has led all the kingdomrulers to fight. While they’re still madat each other, Star and Tom decide to stick with the tradition for the sake ofpeace. To show for it, they perform alively dance of fire and butterflies, quelling the tempers, and surprisinglywarming up to each other by the time their dance has concluded. This is a signal that they do start gettingback together after all which feels shallow after Star moving on from Tom forso long. However, given how the romancegoes for the rest of the season, it’s not such a bad thing.
Aside from a few unsettling charactermoments, interesting concepts and solid character development make this a goodepisode about relationship drama.
This is the official introduction to by far my favoritecharacter on this show. She’s verycharming, but has some mystery to her that gets more intriguing andmulti-layered with every appearance. Forher first formal appearance, it’s not flat-out clear what she’s like, but shereally leans more towards being good than bad.
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She is the ever notorious Eclipsa, who’s only been heard of and seen in aflashback of Moon getting a dark spell from her. However, since Toffee is destroyed, Moon’sdeal allows Eclipsa to be free.
Starmeets her in uncharted rose gardens, and Eclipsa appears as charming andlikable as she did in that flashback.She and Star have a pleasant conversation about little things in lifelike roses and candy bars. However, thepeacefulness is compromised when Moon and the Magic High Commission burst in toarrest Eclipsa. When they see Star waswith her, they’re immediately worried, fearing Eclipsa affected her with darkmagic.
The more these things go on, themore ridiculous Eclipsa’s detractors seem.It’s like they’re insistent that she made Star evil somehow when that’sclearly not so. In all honesty, theydon’t have any solid proof for their claim.The known things about her like abandoning her kingdom to elope with amonster and writing dark spells are easily debunkedfrom being truly evil. At the very least, what she was reported tohave doneis disproportionate to the punishment they have in mind, putting herback in a crystal.
Luckily Star sees theflaws in that logic. In a fast-pacedintense scene, she rushes to Eclipsa’s dungeon and stops Moon and the MagicHigh Commission before they can crystalize her again. Star then brings out her most mature momentto date by pointing out the fact of the matter for how recrystallization is afar too extreme move. It was Moon’sdecision to get the spell from Eclipsa, and the deal was that she’d be set freewhen Toffee was destroyed, and that’s only recently happened. Moon does bring some reasoning for believing Eclipsais evil when she reveals that her magic became dark when she performed thatdark magic spell long ago. That said, atleast to me, there isn’t much weight to this being a bad thing at all. As far as what’s shown, the worst thathappened from all this is thatMoon’s veins got dark, which explains why she always wearsgloves. She can still perform her magicjust fine despite thatand she doesn’t act evil in the slightest.Heck, Eclipsa has the same effect on her veins and she still acts nice. Maybe I just don’t get something, but there’sjust clearly more proof of Eclipsa not being evil than the contrary. That’s why it’s nice that Moon agrees to goalong with Star’s idea to put Eclipsa on trial, albeit reluctantly.
Even so, the general idea of the importance ofbeing careful with strangers is appropriately felt. The others might not show it, but Star doesexpress this herself. At the end, sheapproaches Eclipsa saying that she’s sticking up for her so she’s treatedfairly. It doesn’t mean she fully trustsher. Nevertheless, Eclipsa’s charm andfascination with the beauty of life makes the possibility that she’s good feelvery genuine. It’s all capped off with a wholesome scene of her and Starlooking out at the roses. Just so youknow, her good qualities continue to feel genuine from here on. This making any legitimacy of her being evilhard to believe doesn’t make the conflict as strong as it could’ve been. Still, this episode is made great from howmuch of a joy Eclipsa is, true morality notwithstanding, and Star handling themattervery maturely.