"Tangled: The Series" Talkback (Spoilers)

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Radiant97

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Flynnpostor wasn't as fillery as I thought it would be. Eugene's character arc finally comes full half circle with the Captain choosing him as his successor (what the hell do we call the Captain now?), and thus having him face someone who was practically the same exact person as he was in the beginning of the Tangled series was a nice contrast, albeit a bit contrived. I wonder if we'll see him again next week. All in all, it was an alright way to have a calm before next week's storm. I really hope it won't disappoint.
 
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zoombie

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Flynnposter

Good episode, the Captain made the rational decision to step down, if he can't give it 100%, it is just going to cause trouble. And the rest of the guards, ZT doesn't need any help taking down Carona, if they are the only line of defense.

I wonder is the Baron going to do anything in the finale. It came off as very sympathic in this episode, and if his story just ends with him in prison, what was the point of how he was presented in this episode? I do expect the invasion to cause the prison to break down and the prisoner will be freed, and this will be Baron's chance for glory. I do hope he and Stalyan reconcile. Speaking of, just me or could we see something happen between Stalyan and Rock Thunderstrike. I do find Rock's redemption moment similar to Stalyan's redemption in "The Eye Of Pincosta".
 

ShadowBeast

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Flynnpostor: Eeh, this was alright. Wasn't expecting the captain to retire, and it's surprising that he chose Eugene to take his place. But considering the other guards, it wasn't completely surprising. It was nice to see the Baron make a return, but I wasn't expecting him to have fallen so low. With the way he looked, It feels like Stalyan should be mad at what Rapunzel and Eugene(and Shorty as well) for what happened to him. I wish they had given us more details on how he lost his criminal empire. I like how the Baron quipped on how fragile Eugene's ego was.
With the way the Baron was left with, it feels like another episode could be made about it, but like Lady Caine, I doubt we'll get anymore out of the Baron, unless Stalyan shows up in the finale and offers to help and goes to talk to her father.

Lance got what he deserved in the end. Sadly, his deafness will only be temporary. Eugene would've been better off letting the girls or one of the incompetent guards take over.
Brock
I agree with Eugene, I don't like Brock. And what kind of last name is Thunderstrike? It sounds completely fake.
The references to the film were a little entertaining.

I wonder is the Baron going to do anything in the finale. It came off as very sympathic in this episode, and if his story just ends with him in prison, what was the point of how he was presented in this episode?
Yeah, I'm hoping for him and Lady Caine to make one more appearance before the series ends. I was already hoping those two would make a final appearance in season 3 and wasn't expecting it, so the Baron's appearance was a nice surprise, but the way he was handled here practically screams for another appearance.
 

RainbowCupcake

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"Flynnposter:" Cute episode. Eugene becoming the new captain was an interesting choice, especially considering we are so close to the series finale. I almost wish there was more time to explore this concept. I guarantee that this isn't the last time we'll be seeing the Captain (Cassandra's dad) based on that dream scene at the beginning. I'm curious to see how he will be involved in the finale and what it will take to mend his and Cass' relationship.

I kind of liked the side plot with Varian and Lance. It was just some silly fun. Once again, it felt like the girls didn't do too much. That kind of annoys me despite it being a minor detail.

The Baron returning was unexpected. I honestly thought the episode might feature the Stabbington Brothers but nope. The Baron was...okay. He was your stereotypical villain seeking revenge, I suppose.

Brock Thunderstrike was an alright character. I'm happy that we probably won't see him again, unless he gets a small cameo in the finale. He was a little too cocky and arrogant to be enjoyable. I know that Eugene/Flynn has those traits somewhat but they're comical and much more toned down. I did like the references to the original movie, plus Eugene's line about Rapunzel "doing most of the saving."

Overall, this was a nice breather episode, but I'm ready to hop back into the action!
 
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zoombie

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I kind of liked the side plot with Varian and Lance. It was just some silly fun. Once again, it felt like the girls didn't do too much. That kind of annoys me despite it being a minor detail.
I have expected for a while, in the finale Lance will adopt those girls. We have seen a lot of Lance and the girls together whenever they are on screen. I expect that to happen. It would also be a good comparison to the Captain and Casandra. Maybe Lance can have a heart to heart with the Captain about that.
 
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ShadowBeast

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I have expected for a while, in the finale Lance will adopt those girls. We have seen a lot of Lance and the girls together whenever they are on screen. I expect that to happen. It would also be a good comparison to the Captain and Casandra. Maybe Lance can have a heart to heart with the Captain about that.
I can't see Lance adopting them. Lance is practically an overgrown child and the girls don't exactly take him seriously. Today's episode even showed that they are trouble together.
 

Fone Bone

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Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure "Flynnpostor"

I love Brock realizing it's Rapunzel who is the one who always rescues Flynn. Which is how it should be.

Brock Thunderstrike is an amazing name. I like his new crab sidekick.

Are Max and Pascal pets? I never got that bit either.

I feel bad the Captain resigned but like the King and Queen I understand why he did.

"You came back!" Somehow me being impressed by Brock conking the Baron on the head is lessened by the fact that he left Eugene to drown and would have been too late to save him even though he DID come back. Just sayin'.

Good episode. Been awhile since we had one. ****.
 

Light Lucario

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I thought that this episode was really good. The opening sequence caught me by surprise. I didn't realize that it was a nightmare until the moonstone shattered. Even with being cracked, I don't think it would break that easily and its destruction would be a much bigger deal. While the Captain does choose to retire from his position as a result of this dream, it does make me wonder what role he'll play in confronting Cassandra and how their relationship can eventually be mended.

Choosing Eugene as his replacement was certainly a surprise, especially when they haven't had the best relationship, but the other guards haven't been shown to be particularly competent either. Plus, it showed that his courage throughout the series didn't go unnoticed and that the Captain grew to respect him more over time. Eugene did look pretty great in that captain uniform.

The whole premise of another Flynn Rider was interesting and I loved all of the parallels to the movie. It was especially great seeing how Eugene was in the role of the captain chasing down a criminal. Although, I kind of wish that they explained why Brock was practically Eugene's long lost twin brother. I understand that the main purpose was for another character to pretty much embody where Eugene was at the start of the movie to highlight how much he had changed since then, but no one besides Eugene commented on how identical they were. It was weird and distracting, but not a huge problem.

Eugene wanting to hold onto the Flyn Rider legacy made sense. While he already recognized that he's Eugene Fitzherbert by the time the series began, he'd still be kind of emotionally attached to at least some of his memories as Flynn Rider. It gave him a sense of purpose and identity when he didn't have one for most of his life. Not to mention he wouldn't have found Rapunzel if he wasn't pretending to be Flynn Rider. With his new position as Captain being thrown upon him, I think he would be more sensitive about it. He wouldn't go back to the Flynn Rider persona obviously, but he would feel defensive about someone copying him and taking something that he did identify with for so long away from him.

Although, it was also rather telling that Eugene thought that he was just the princess's boyfriend or a freeloader. Eugene can look at his past criminal acts with some fondness, but there are also clear moments where his low sense of self-worth comes to the surface. I still remember how he believes that Rapunzel fixed him before when they were trying to help Red and Angry. This was another moment where Eugene's insecurity and self-esteem issues flare up. It doesn't come up too often not because it isn't explored, but because it wouldn't really fit Eugene to dwell on his past. He is much more focused on his present and future. Being Eugene Fitzherbert has given him much more happiness and purpose than being Flynn Rider ever did. It's usually only when external factors like Lance's return, attempting to reform two young criminals and meeting his father that these kind of issues come up to the surface. It does make a lot of sense that Eugene would have these kind of problems. Growing up in an orphanage, believing that no one could love him and adopting another identity would not help with his sense of self-worth and identity.

The return of the Barron was a surprise, but it was fitting that Brock's actions would get his attention. Eugene's reaction to learning Brock's name was pretty funny. The climax of the episode was pretty intense. Leaving Eugene to drown was pretty harsh, although I assume that he was planning to come back to save him before he knocked out the Barron. While Brock had more of the traits that Eugene used to have as Flynn Rider, he didn't have as much of the charm. I think that a lot of it came down to his voice. He just came off too cocky and being ashamed of Brock Thunderstrike doesn't really make much sense either. Plus, he didn't have some of the more emotional vulnerable moments that Eugene had to make him endearing and likable, but that might not be a fair comparison considering that Eugene had a lot more screentime in the movie and Brock had one episode. I imagine that they'll do something more with the Barron. They didn't explain what happened to his empire, so leaving him in jail after that setup would be kind of strange.

As weird and contrived as the setup was, I do like how Eugene was able to get Brock to change his ways. Eugene confronted the embodiment of the person he used to be and showed how much he has changed. Going through the experience also gave him the confidence to accept the position. I do wish we heard the whole conversation between Eugene and Lance. Lance's side plot as the temporary captain in charge was funny, but I also like emotionally vulnerable Eugene, so hearing the whole conversation would have been nice. I think we got the basics of it at least. Everyone supporting and believing in him made Eugene decide to believe in himself and then he accepted the position as captain, which is a pretty nice message. Having more support combined with his experience with Brock helped Eugene believe that he could handle this responsibility. It also gives his arc a nice full circle kind of feeling. He went from being a criminal to Captain of the Guards. It also shows how much he has changed from the start of the series. Eugene couldn't handle being a regular Royal Guard back in season one. He wasn't quite ready for a huge responsible task back then, but after going through so much to help Rapunzel and protect the kingdom, Eugene has become a better and more responsible leader. It would have been nice if this happened a bit earlier so that we could see more of Captain Eugene, but I think that the purpose behind it was just for Eugene to feel like he could handle the position more so than anything else.

Overall, it was a really good episode and offered some really solid focus and development for Eugene.
 
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Radiant97

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Once a Handmaiden...

Okay this is getting frustrating. How the hell did Cassandra not expect to be seen as the bad guy after everything she's done? Just a couple episodes ago, she decided to attack Rapunzel for no reason whatsoever, and in the episode before that, she strongly hinted at preparing an attack on Corona, and now that Corona has taken extreme preventive measures that happened to be authorized by Rapunzel, she still somehow felt betrayed? Yeah I don't buy it. She already saw the freaking Wanted posters and acknowledged her fear of not being forgiven by Raps, so she should be more self-aware than this. It felt like the writers forced this to happen so they had a reason for Cass to occupy Corona, because this is the second time they used this bait-and-switch tactic and it got tiring real fast.

All in all, it was a pretty frustrating development, and I'm not sure if the finale can deliver a well-paced satisfying conclusion, even with its longer runtime.
 
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SweetShop209

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I said this before:

Zhan Tiri warped Cassandra's mind so much that she'll probably think Rapunzel fabricated that shard just to spite her. I would not be surprised if that happens.
She does see the shard that shows the whole truth, but I was right about her mind being so warped that she legitimately thinks she's not in the wrong.

On another note, my TV schedule says this episode will also be shown again next week before the series finale.
 
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Korra_Fan

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Yeah, I can't see this being a popular episode with anyone who hasn't enjoyed Cass' turn to the dark side, since it does just make it worse and even I, who enjoy literally everything else about the show, have to admit that they have screwed things up with Cass. There is no way for a satisfying conclusion to her character now: if she goes down without redemption then there will be an outcry among fans and sense of pointlessness, but if she is redeemed then it will come way too little too late, a literal last minute turn-around that doesn't have the appropriate breathing room to allow viewers to forgive Cass for squandering all the other chances she was given. In theory, I am fine with the story arc they gave Cass, it makes sense and was in the works since her conception after all. But the execution of it has been awful.

I continue to appreciate Varian's turn-around, though. Since he was once a dangerous villain, he of all people understands that trying to talk such a person down or get through to them emotionally won't cut it, not when they are so blinded by anger and hatred. He had to serve a prison sentence before seeing the error of his ways, and realistically Cass also needs to be taken down and locked up before she can redeem herself.
 
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zoombie

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Once A Handmaiden

Cassandra seems to have a drawn the idiot straw this season. I am going to attack and conquer a whole kingdom, and than I just realize I might be the bad guy. What is going on? This episode is pushing Cassandra into that dangerous, only redemption equals sacrificial death. Maybe not for Rapunzel, but for the rest of the kingdom, she is going to something really noble to ever be forgiving.

To be fair, Cassandra freaked out because she is scared of this weapon that would kill her, doesn't want to die. That is reasonable, "i accept my punishment, just no death peanilty please" which is reasonable when compared to other people, it is not that she freaked out because she found out she is going to punished and thrown in jail perhaps and face consequences, unlike a certain other character on another show on this channel who doesn't realize you have to accept punishments for your mis deeds. Though Cass hasn't killed anybody yet, no one dear to Rapunzel died because of her actions like that other guy from the other show.

I thought the final act of this episode would have been better for the first act of the next episode. This third act is separate from the main plot of this episode.

I think this episode would have been better, if Cassandra motivation this episode was to set up an attack. Maybe she has second thoughts along the way, than Zhan Taun did what she did.

But now, even if the main characters might when this is over learn to forgive, but realistic the populists are going to want blood. Is Rapunzel are just going to order them to forgive, that is not right either.

So the reason Cassandra was not in the second movie, is she either dead or in jail. Than again Sasuke never served any jail time, sometimes these shows just mess up. We will see.
 
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ShadowBeast

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This episode is pushing Cassandra into that dangerous, only redemption equals sacrificial death.
I think she's just gonna end up self-banishing herself in the finale, in order to punish herself and find her "destiny".

I think this episode would have been better, if Cassandra motivation this episode was to set up an attack. Maybe she has second thoughts along the way, than Zhan Taun did what she did.
I think this episode would've been better if Cassandra did officially return to Corona and Zhan Tiri had done something to either force control onto Cassandra or taken the moonstone's power for itself and attacked with The Brotherhood and taken Corona then.

But now, even if the main characters might when this is over learn to forgive, but realistic the populists are going to want blood. Is Rapunzel are just going to order them to forgive, that is not right either.
The populists would need to see Cassandra help and fight for Corona herself in order for Corona's citizens to forgive her so quick and easily.

So the reason Cassandra was not in the second movie, is she either dead or in jail. Than again Sasuke never served any jail time, sometimes these shows just mess up. We will see.
I take it you were referring to Sasuke on "accepting punishment for his crimes" in your second paragraph. Narauto really jumped the shark when it tried to be like DBZ and introduce aliens into the franchise. Sasuke being forgiven despite the damages he's caused was an obvious route.


Was anyone else expecting Shorty to have been Zhan Tiri when he talked about where to find gophers?

I can understand Cassandra being a little scared, but her hesitating on revealing herself was just unbearable to watch. And even more so when Cassandra should know how forgiving Rapunzel is.
 

zoombie

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I take it you were referring to Sasuke on "accepting punishment for his crimes" in your second paragraph. Narauto really jumped the shark when it tried to be like DBZ and introduce aliens into the franchise. Sasuke being forgiven despite the damages he's caused was an obvious route.
No I was not talking about Sasuke. I was talking about Esteban from Elena of Avalor. That guy literally expected a free pass because "we are family" and when he didn't get it, went off the deep end.
 
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Light Lucario

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I thought that this episode was pretty good. I didn't blame Eugene and Varian for developing a weapon against Cassandra. Eugene is the new Captain of the Guard, Cassandra has attacked Corona once already and she hinted at getting an army for another attack. They needed to be prepared, although it would have been nice if he was more torn about it before revealing it to Rapunzel. Rapunzel signing it was also understandable. She knew that Cassandra was dangerous, but also didn't want to leave the people unprotected and just believed that they wouldn't need to go that far.

I was surprised that Cassandra actually found that missing mirror piece, but that was the quickest way for her to see the truth. I actually didn't find it frustrating for her to question if she really is the bad guy. I understand why people would feel that way when she has endangered people, including her friends, but I honestly found it kind of tragic. Cassandra was so consumed by her self-centered desire for glory that she abandoned everyone who ever cared about her and lashed out in anger that she didn't even realize that she had become the villain. It does seem rather obvious to us, but she was rather shocked when Varian called her the villain and was set on finding her destiny regardless of the consequences. She firmly believed that she was justified in her actions, but finding out that she was working with Zhan Tiri and that she has been manipulated this whole time would finally clear her mind enough to realize that she has gone too far. Plus, the way Cassandra sounded when she asked if she was the bad guy just seemed much more sad than frustrating to me.

I can understand why people would be upset at the whole setup with Cassandra returning to Corona under that cloak. I saw where it was leading to miles away and it all could have been avoided if Cassandra just talked to Rapunzel, but I kind of don't blame Cassandra for having doubts about whether or not Rapunzel would forgive. She is a kind and forgiving person and has spent the bulk of the season hoping for Cassandra to come back, but Cassandra has done some pretty terrible things. She left Rapunzel trapped in a cave full of poison gas just a couple of episodes ago. After that on top of everything else she's done, Cassandra just pretending to be someone else to talk to Rapunzel again is kind of understandable.

The idea that there would be a play about Cassandra turning on Rapunzel was kind of weird, especially when I can't really see Rapunzel being okay with that. But the basic point of it was how Rapunzel and Cassandra were able to talk more about their feelings in a really weird round about kind of manner. I do think it was kind of sweet how they were able to be more open with each other despite acting and wearing a mask in Cassandra's case.

It was incredibly obvious that Zhan Tiri would manipulate the situation to make Cassandra turn against everyone again. Although I didn't see them firing Varian's weapon, but that makes sense when I don't think he would have been willing to jump into using it. Maybe it's because of how the setup from the earlier portions of the episode felt like, but despite being predictable, Cassandra being manipulated into fighting her friends again felt sad to me. If she had been more emotionally honest with Rapunzel and not waited so long to reveal herself, Cassandra could have fixed her relationship with Rapunzel. I don't think that she would have been instantly forgiven. Like I said, she still did a lot of terrible things, but it would have been a good first step in the right direction to make amends. The callback to Gothel's bad guy line was pretty neat though.

It was really sweet how Eugene made sure that Rapunzel was taken somewhere safe after she was knocked out. I really loved that Eugene was trying to talk to Cassandra and did say that she was like a sister to him. I've wanted them to focus more on their connection since they were friends too. Despite testing the weapon alongside Varian, the brief scene really showed how much it hurt Eugene to fight Cassandra as his enemy. I wish it went on a bit longer at least, but I can understand why it didn't. Cassandra was extremely enraged and their friendship was always more confrontational than what she and Rapunzel had, so Eugene would have a much harder time with reaching out to her than Rapunzel would. I'd still be disappointed if that was the only moment of Eugene trying to reason with Cassandra, but I could understand why if that does turn out to be the case.

The attack on Corona was pretty intense and I almost forgot about the Brotherhood members being possessed. I liked how Eugene's father reminded him that they couldn't protect a kingdom while being trapped. He couldn't have the Dark Kingdom that way. Although, I still get the impression that they could only afford Bruce Campbell for a short amount of time considering how little his character has shown up in this season despite being in the opening theme. They were overwhelmed by Cassandra's powers, so they had to fall back. It was sweet how Eugene was so relieved to see Rapunzel waking up and then they held their hands after seeing Corona covered in the black rocks.

While I do understand the frustration for this development, I don't think it bothers me that much due to feeling more sad than anything else to me. That being said, I do think it might have been better if Zhan Tiri took full control of Cassandra instead. Having her realize that she's gone too far, feel like she's being pushed to be the villain and then double down on it with taking over Corona right before the finale introduces a potential problem with her redemption. If she's forgiven, then fans might think that it's too quick or easy, especially if there isn't a time skip to at least imply that Cassandra dealt with consequences of her actions. But if she isn't forgiven, then her fans will be upset over the decision. It's hard to tell right now when the finale does have a longer run time, so they might be able to handle it better than expected, but it does make it seem like that there could be backlash regardless. Waiting until the finale for Cassandra to realize the truth might have been better in a way, but it's hard to say for sure without seeing it.

Even though I might be in the minority at this point, I still don't think that the betrayal ruined the show or Cassandra's character. I don't think that the execution has been terrible either. It still makes sense with Cassandra's character and I don't think that the season could have worked without the twist unless they reworked a good chuck of the series from the ground up. Right now, I just have a hard time seeing where they're going with her inevitable redemption and whether or not it can work. I seriously doubt that she'll be killed off. That wouldn't be impossible, especially when they do have to destroy the moon stone, but I don't think that the show would be that dark or kill a main character like Cassandra. Right now, I am leading more towards the notion that she'll banish herself from the kingdom to atone for her actions and find her own destiny. After everything she has done, I don't think that Cassandra could easily go back to Corona, even if she does end up helping to save the day.

I didn't realize that we were so close to the finale. A part of me kind of wishes that the last three episodes were split apart instead of being a big movie, but then having so many cliffhanger endings might be tough to deal with. Plus, I'm sure that it is paced and written to be a long special/movie like the other season premieres and finales. I'm really going to miss this show. It's still easily the best animated series on Disney Channel in my book. I've looked forward to each episode pretty much since the start and it will be sad to see it end. Hopefully the finale will provide a good and satisfying note for the series to end on.
 

Fone Bone

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I am about to give that a very negative review, but before I do I feel the compulsion to compliment the show for a scene that was wonderful in both its ingenuity and what it revealed about the characters. It was Rapunzel and Cass playing each other in the play and saying what they believed the other felt deep down. That is the kind of psychological stuff the show used to excel at and it was good to see it again. But once the line "So who is the bad guy?" is spoken, the episode falls apart nearly immediately.

Cass is the bad guy. Cass is the one who tried to kill Rapunzel a couple of episodes ago. I don't want the show offering me nuance about the character after that happened. Which is something that bothers me about superhero shows with supposedly sympathetic villains too: It's how easily manipulated the on the fence villains are, and how willing they are to ascribe the worst motivations to the hero trying to reason with them. It doesn't strike me as a character development so much as mere bad luck, piling onto itself. In saying nobody is the bad guy, and in washing Cass's hands of blame or responsibility, the show has had to do unbelievably hackneyed backflips to explain why Cass has done all this. Occam's Razor states she destroyed Corona because she is a bad person. But the show is doing everything in its power to refuse to have her own full responsibility for it with the lame and coincidental justifications done by Zhan Tiri with minimal effort. It's all so phony and cliched, and why most shows trying to get the audience to sympathize with a bad guy don't actually work. They sometimes do. But not always. And add the notion of the betrayal which I've always blathered would never work, and the episode and premise of the season were already on life support.

This doesn't help things. The show has been far worse this season than it has ever been, and that is down solely to the shark jump of the last scene of last year's finale. I would have loved to have done a mea culpa about being wrong in my harsh prediction that the series was now ruined, but I was 99% sure I would never have to offer it when I made it. Here is an unbelievably sad fact to me. I have said the betrayal trope never works and never ends well. Let's say I AM wrong, just this once, and this series will be the first fictional project in modern history to pull this off. Even if things end well, I won't be that impressed. Why? Because THIS episode sucked for it, and the majority of episodes with Cass sucked for it, so even if they somehow created a phenomenal series finale out of this mess, it's still been a net negative for the season and the series. For all of the pleas I've heard to give the series a chance to tell their story and the benefit of the doubt, and how unfair and harsh I have been on the show without knowing how it ends, I can say the season is almost over, and I already dislike it greatly, as it's been going on. It's no fun to watch anymore, and whether or not the series has an outstanding finale will not change that impression I have been having week after week. There really is no point in being offended for me not being willing to see how it ends up when I HAVE seen and hated most of how it's played out already. I don't like the season and an amazing last episode won't change that.

But I will give it up for the clever scene at the play. *.
 

Korra_Fan

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^ While I feel you on a lot of what you said, I still maintain that the betrayal itself was not the problem, since unlike you I have encountered the betrayal trope before and enjoyed it. For me, how the show decided to handle the fall-out of the betrayal is the real problem.

Over on The Owl House thread, I recently mentioned how when push comes to shove I don't care if a character is "nice" or "mean", I only want them to be interesting. And Cassandra post-betrayal should have been interesting, either as a kind of anti-hero / anti-villain who thinks she's doing the right thing and is just being misled OR as an unrepentant villain who wants to escape the emotional hole she's in but instead just keeps digging herself in deeper out of her anger and lust for some higher destiny. Whichever path they took, I'd be down with it.

But post-betrayal Cass isn't interesting, because they insist on playing her both ways despite those ways being fundamentally incompatible. It leaves her character incoherent: if all she wanted to do was kill Rapunzel then I'd be totally OK with her being considered misguided and then redeemed in the end: after all, if Rapunzel was the only one she committed crimes against and Rapunzel herself forgives her for that, then who am I to hold a grudge? If she wanted to be a full-on, self-aware villain who desires to conquer Corona, I'd be OK with that too. But the show is honestly saying she did all these other evil things unrelated to Rapunzel and had full plans to conquer Corona with the mind-controlled Brotherhood, and yet is shocked at the possibility that she might be the bad guy!? Cass, who was raised by the morally upright Captain of the Guards, cannot recognize her own obviously evil behavior as evil? Why the heck did she consider the prospect of conquering Corona to not be bad guy behavior, and yet suddenly considers conquering Corona when her partner in crime turns out to be Zhan Tiri to be beyond the pale? Corona is conquered either way, you moron!

Worse is Rapunzel's reactions to her. This constant whinging from her about "saving" Cass is based entirely around who Cass was, but it has no basis in who she is now. Nothing that Cass has said or done in the present day indicates that she's the sad, lost, conflicted soul Rapunzel seems to think she is: she has been unrestrained, unhesitating, and even downright gleeful at her acts of villainy. So why continue to prioritize "saving" Cass over saving herself and everyone she loves from Cass? Why not accept Cass as an enemy that she must defeat even while pitying her and hoping she sees the light someday, like she did with Varian? If Rapunzel had taken that attitude, I could still enjoy Cass as a villain and be able to enjoy all of her character's nuance regardless of how unjustified her behavior was, since the show itself wouldn't have been pretending it was justified.

Zoombie brought up Esteban to make a comparison, but not only is that comparison mistaken since the weapon in question would NOT have killed Cass, only encased her in amber the same way that Quirin was (which we know is a reversible process), but Esteban is handled WAY better than Cass because there isn't any wishy-washiness around his situation. He's allowed to be complex and sympathetic as a bad guy, but there's also no question at this point that he IS a bad guy, and all the show's heroes which include his literal family are not wasting time fretting about how they are going to "save" him. They see him as the threat that he has chosen to become and react accordingly, being on guard and ready to stop him if he and his other dark magic buddies go on the attack. The show doesn't ask if Elena is just as much a villain as he is for wanting to banish him and not forgiving him for his betrayal; it understands that there is no moral equivalency there. And though I suspect she will forgive him in the end, it'll be for her sake and not for his, for her to be the person and Queen that she wants to be and not because he deserves it.

If they had just been firm about what they were doing with Cass, if they had just made her either a misguided victim or a willful antagonist rather than try to force this unholy union between the two, then I would not be complaining right now. As it stands, I feel that Cass in Season 3 is definitely going to be biggest blemish on this show's otherwise fantastic legacy.
 
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LordYam

New Member
Feb 23, 2020
9
0
1
26
San Diego
Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure "Once A Handmaiden"

I am about to give that a very negative review, but before I do I feel the compulsion to compliment the show for a scene that was wonderful in both its ingenuity and what it revealed about the characters. It was Rapunzel and Cass playing each other in the play and saying what they believed the other felt deep down. That is the kind of psychological stuff the show used to excel at and it was good to see it again. But once the line "So who is the bad guy?" is spoken, the episode falls apart nearly immediately.

Cass is the bad guy. Cass is the one who tried to kill Rapunzel a couple of episodes ago. I don't want the show offering me nuance about the character after that happened. Which is something that bothers me about superhero shows with supposedly sympathetic villains too: It's how easily manipulated the on the fence villains are, and how willing they are to ascribe the worst motivations to the hero trying to reason with them. It doesn't strike me as a character development so much as mere bad luck, piling onto itself. In saying nobody is the bad guy, and in washing Cass's hands of blame or responsibility, the show has had to do unbelievably hackneyed backflips to explain why Cass has done all this. Occam's Razor states she destroyed Corona because she is a bad person. But the show is doing everything in its power to refuse to have her own full responsibility for it with the lame and coincidental justifications done by Zhan Tiri with minimal effort. It's all so phony and cliched, and why most shows trying to get the audience to sympathize with a bad guy don't actually work. They sometimes do. But not always. And add the notion of the betrayal which I've always blathered would never work, and the episode and premise of the season were already on life support.

This doesn't help things. The show has been far worse this season than it has ever been, and that is down solely to the shark jump of the last scene of last year's finale. I would have loved to have done a mea culpa about being wrong in my harsh prediction that the series was now ruined, but I was 99% sure I would never have to offer it when I made it. Here is an unbelievably sad fact to me. I have said the betrayal trope never works and never ends well. Let's say I AM wrong, just this once, and this series will be the first fictional project in modern history to pull this off. Even if things end well, I won't be that impressed. Why? Because THIS episode sucked for it, and the majority of episodes with Cass sucked for it, so even if they somehow created a phenomenal series finale out of this mess, it's still been a net negative for the season and the series. For all of the pleas I've heard to give the series a chance to tell their story and the benefit of the doubt, and how unfair and harsh I have been on the show without knowing how it ends, I can say the season is almost over, and I already dislike it greatly, as it's been going on. It's no fun to watch anymore, and whether or not the series has an outstanding finale will not change that impression I have been having week after week. There really is no point in being offended for me not being willing to see how it ends up when I HAVE seen and hated most of how it's played out already. I don't like the season and an amazing last episode won't change that.

But I will give it up for the clever scene at the play. *.
Couldn't disagree more. Cassandra's fall was entirely sympathetic, since she's still suffered from lingering trauma from being abandoned, was frustrated by not being able to achieve greatness and felt Rapunzel was unwittingly condescending. She also DOES display internal conflict at time (even when she's leaving Rapunzel behind in the cave she looks conflicted.)

It also helps that Zhan Tiri is a MASTER manipulator who knows what buttons to push.

So no. Saying it "jumped the shark" is....well idiotic. If Zhan hadn't screwed things up she would have redeemed herself
 
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RainbowCupcake

Put that thing back where it came from!
Dec 3, 2017
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"Once Upon A Handmaiden:" So that was...a quick turnaround. Cassandra goes from evil conqueror who is going to destroy Corona in order to live out her "destiny" to "Oh wait, maybe what I'm doing is wrong. Am I...THE BAD GUY?!" *cue Billie Eilish* Also, the way she found the mirror piece just randomly lying on the ground felt contrived. It's implied that Zhan Tiri put it there, but the discovery of it just led Cassandra to turn on her so...I guess I'm not fully understanding her motives for that? The whole scene and the one following it felt very rushed with Cassandra suddenly having a change of heart. I wish we got more than one episode to flesh this out.

Still, the episode was not all bad. The play scene was excellently written and a clever way for the characters to admit their feelings to one another (plus I laughed at the girls in their black rock costumes). It was also nice to see "Faith," as she is a minor character that doesn't get too much love on the show. By the way, where exactly did the real Faith go? Did she just run off into the woods, never to be seen again? Unless she's in the finale, I guess we'll never know.

I have to say that I also enjoyed the ending fight. The fight scenes in this show are always laid out well, but I thought this one in particular was especially good. Poor Varian, he did nothing wrong...well, unless you count bringing the weapon in the first place as being wrong. I thought it was weird that Eugene told Cass that she was "like a sister." I would have called shenanigans on that claim, too. Loved the throwback to Mother Gothel's line, "You want me to be the bad guy? Now I'm the bad guy."

So now that Cassandra has Corona, what exactly is she planning to do again? I'm sure it was mentioned in the show somewhere, but her goal doesn't seem obvious from just the episode alone. She goes inside the castle, sits on the throne and...that's that. Is world domination next?

Cassandra seems to have a drawn the idiot straw this season. I am going to attack and conquer a whole kingdom, and than I just realize I might be the bad guy. What is going on?
Retweet.

I continue to appreciate Varian's turn-around, though. Since he was once a dangerous villain, he of all people understands that trying to talk such a person down or get through to them emotionally won't cut it, not when they are so blinded by anger and hatred. He had to serve a prison sentence before seeing the error of his ways, and realistically Cass also needs to be taken down and locked up before she can redeem herself.
This episode has started to make me aware of some of the flaws of Cassandra's "bad guy" arc. At first, I didn't mind its appearance and it seemed like it would make for an interesting development to her character as well as the season. But now that we're an episode away from the series ending...it seems like there was a lot of wasted time that could have been spent having her fight through her emotions a little bit more. Instead, we get ONE episode where she suddenly decides that she's in the wrong. Yes, she kind of softened in "A Tale of Two Sisters," but then again, she also left Rapunzel to die in the cavern!!

What I like about Varian's arc is that it took time. Varian has had development across the entire series while Cassandra's villain shtick only took one season. Plus, I feel like Varian's motives are a little more justified since the reason he turned bad was to save his dad. Cassandra blindly trusts a creepy blue girl who says that obtaining the moonstone is her destiny...that has less meaning for me personally. I get Cassandra had family issues, but knowing how Gothel is, I'm kind of glad Cassandra ended up with The Captain instead! On top of this, Varian also had a few episodes where he got to deal with the demons in his past (I'm thinking of "Be Very Afraid!" in particular). Cassandra will have no time for this if she is redeemed (which I'm assuming will happen but might not. This is a more "mature" kid's show and it can take you by surprise at times).

To conclude all this, I'm not upset that Cassandra went through her villain arc, but I feel like the odd pacing prevented it from being something truly meaningful.
 

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