Why is it “Beware of the Wolf?” It would have sounded better without the “of.” I know it’s not proper grammar, but your English teacher isn’t grading you on what you name a cartoon episode.
Oh, well. No big deal. Moving on.
First, let me correct something from my last review. I called Flora’s dad “Rollos” since that’s what Winx Wiki is calling him. (I should have know better, but I trusted them anyway.) But a couple of you mentioned his name might be Rhodos(e), after the rhododendron. Since that makes more sense, that’s what I’ll call him from now on. Maybe Rainbow will confirm it one day.
Now on to the episode. Last time, giant, mutant fungi trapped the Winx beneath their caps. Thankfully, help’s on the way from “a fairy they know.”
1. All the Winx have passed out from the fungi poison — except Flora, who’s fighting to stay conscious. If she could just reach the capsule of orchid seeds outside! As she finally starts to slip away, she suddenly finds herself lying on a bed of flowers. A fairy, holding the seeds, hovers in front of her. It’s Miele!
One by one, she drops the seeds next to the fungi traps. The forest returns to normal, and the Winx wake up and thank her for saving them. But not far away, someone’s watching them.
I loved seeing Flora struggling to stay awake. She’s usually the first one knocked out! Talk about a role reversal!
Something I didn’t say last time is how raw her suffering felt. Sometimes Rainbow or the voice actors oversell moments like this. For example, remember when Tritannus captured Aisha and stole her Sirenix powers? The way she screamed, “My Sirenix!” weakened the impact. (I think it was the delivery more than the line itself.)
This scene — and especially the one from last episode — was quieter and drawn out longer. We were watching Flora slowly give into her fate. There was nothing she could do.
Of course we knew Miele was gonna save the Winx, but it still felt like they were in danger. Like I said last time, it was nice to see them fail for once. Rainbow wants us to think they’re superheroes, but even superheroes lose sometimes.
The only thing that bugged me was how powerful the seeds were. They didn’t even have to sprout. Just placing them near the fungi was enough to restore the whole area. That felt too convenient. At least it didn’t completely fix the problem.
2. Miele still wants to help the Winx with their mission. Flora scolds her for being reckless and risking her life, but she admits she’s proud of her and can finally tell she’s grown up. She gives her permission to come with them.
Finally, Flora! It only took nearly dying to get the message through to you, but better late than never. I just hope it sticks. You know Rainbow loves to recycle plots that we were resolved seasons ago. 😛
3. After racing on giant ladybugs (which doesn’t end well for Stella), the Winx look for the Magiwolves who guided them to the fungi. Meanwhile, the flowers start mutating again. Nature itself tries to fight back, but it needs more power, and Flora’s got as much as it needs.
She leads the group to the source of the mutation: a lake contaminated with Wild Magic. But something feels off. It’s like they’re being watched. And where are the Magiwolves?
I don’t have much to say about this scene. The race felt like a throwback to season three, and the flower scene was just set up for how Flora was gonna save the day. I’m confused about one thing, though: how did the lake get contaminated? Kalshara and Brafilius weren’t in these episodes. Did they curse the lake and leave, or does Wild Magic exist in nature?
I know this gets explained later, but I don’t think my questions get answered. For now, I’ll assume the balance of natural magic and Wild Magic got thrown off somehow. I might be wrong, but so be it.
4. Out of nowhere, a large, brown Magiwolf leaps out and growls at them. The fungi start attacking again. Miele and the Winx transform, but instead of shooting the fungi, they use everything around them — water, rocks, tree limbs, etc. — to destroy them. During the fight, the Magiwolf protects Miele by throwing himself at the fungi. Flora catches him in a magic sphere as he falls. This gains his trust, and he gestures to the fairies to follow him.
Wow! Did that just happen? That was awesome! 😀
I’ve said it before that I like it when the Winx use their magic resourcefully. Sparkly spells look great, but they get predictable (and boring) after a while. (How many types of fireballs can Bloom have?) When they use their spells in a creative or unusual way, it shows magic isn’t just about power. It takes skill and strategy to use it well.
This is what I’ve been waiting for — a battle where the Winx use not just their energy, but their intellect, too. We got to see them use their magic in new ways. For example, Musa usually uses her sound waves to deafen her opponents, cancel other noises, etc. But has she ever used them to create ripples and water fountains? I don’t think so.
That’s another thing: Musa was manipulating water. She didn’t do as well as Aisha could, but this proves the Winx can control more than just their own power sources. They have greater potential Rainbow doesn’t often tap into. We’ve only seen it a few times in the past.
I wonder about one thing, though. Were they only able to do this because of the Butterflix power? I think they could have done it all along. Musa and Aisha were using their own elements, all Stella did was push a rock, and the other spells just levitated things. The Winx have always been able to do this, so why have they been throwing energy beams all the time instead?
I also love it that they didn’t just use magic. They took advantage of their surroundings, too. For example, when one of the fungi chased Miele, she weaved through the trees (or other fungi) and got it tangled up.
Teamwork was also key. Aisha and Stella caused two of the fungi to crash into each other. Bloom worked with Tecna — a duo we don’t see often — to tangle one up and then decapitate it. (I love how they just looked at each other and knew what to do.) Flora and Miele did the same.
This was definitely one of the best action scenes of the season. Bravo, Rainbow. I hope we see more scenes like this in future seasons.
5. It turns out the Magiwolf was just protecting his pack, who have all been captured by the fungi. The Winx destroy as many fungi as they can. At one point, the Magiwolf gets trapped, too! Flora finally pulls out her trump card: her Butterflix special spell, Natural Whisper. It neutralizes the Wild Magic and sets all Magiwolves free.
I liked Flora’s spell. It reminded me of her spring thaw spell in “The Magic Totem” (6X18), but on a smaller scale. Once again, we got to see how powerful she really is — when the writers don’t use her as a punching bag.
My only question is why didn’t she do this earlier? I know we won’t have gotten to see that cool battle scene if she had, but it would have made more sense. She already knew what she needed to do. The best excuse I can think of is Amarok and the fungi distracted or prevented her from using it. (That seems too forgiving, though.)
6. Grateful for her help, the Magiwolf — Amarok — bonds with her. He’s a bigger nuisance than Squonk, though. After he nearly destroys her mom’s greenhouse, he follows her to Alfea, where he runs wild through the halls, licks Squonk (which makes him cry), and disturbs Wizgiz’s class. No one can stop him…not even Flora! 😛
He’s wild, loud, and disobedient — and I love him. Amarok’s my favorite of the Winx’s Fairy Animals. I knew I was gonna love him as soon as I saw the trailer.
I also love his name. It’s one of my favorite character names in the whole series. Of course, to give credit where it’s due, Rainbow didn’t make it up. Amarok (or Amaroq) is a giant lone wolf from Inuit mythology. This one’s a lot nicer than in the myth.
Here’s something I don’t understand. All the Fairy Animals animals were wild, right? Shouldn’t they all have acted like Amarok did at first? Instead, they acted like pets from the start. Even the animals from Alfea’s past seem harder to tame.
Again, you guys were right. This was a great episode. Except to see it on my Top 3 Best Episodes list. Will it be #1? I’m not sure about that yet.
NEXT EPISODE: “BACK IN THE MIDDLE AGES” (7X08)
The Winx go back in time to medieval Italy to find a Fairy Animal called a Quillcat. Catching it turns out to be harder than expected since some royal guards are after it, too. Fortunately, the fairies meet someone who knows the Quillcat well: a minstrel named Orlando.
MuRi fans hated this guy. But I don’t think we should have taken him seriously as a potential love interest — or as a character. I’ll explain why in a separate post.
Stay tuned for the next review!
THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING
- Vegetable traps?
- The fungi forest is bigger than it looked!
- Flora sounded like Kalshara for a second. 😛 (It’s the same voice actress.)
- The Winx are facing one of my biggest fears: being knocked out by toxic gas. I’m not kidding. This is hard to watch. 🙁
- It’s “mee-EL-lay,” not “mee-EL!” 🙁
- Those are some powerful seeds.
- Seriously, Amarok! Why so creepy?
- The ladybugs are Fairy Animals, too?
- Finally! Miele saved your life, Flora. If you had pushed her away again, I would have been mad at you.
- Of course, Miele won. She’s been riding those things forever.
- That little scene was hilarious! Poor Stella!
- Winx vs. Fungi, Part II!
- Aisha’s pumped all of a sudden.
- The fungi origin is pretty and scary at the same time.
- Wild Magic again?
- Amarok? 🙁
- Using objects to fight the fungi? Great idea!
- “Flowering Shell?” Odd name.
- Flora changed him back to normal!
- Getting the fungi to attack itself? Nice, Bloom!
- Did bonding with Amarok strengthen Flora’s spell?
- I guess Flora’s not a dog person. 😛
- Wizgiz, when are you gonna learn? If you ask for silence, you’re not gonna get it. 😛
- It’s a wolf, Flora, not a dog. That’s not gonna work.
- STELLA: “Flora’s establishing her authority.”
MUSA: “It doesn’t seem to be working, though.”
Her friends have so much faith in her. 😛
- Flora, whenever some says, “It can’t get any worse,” it always does! 😛