Friday, June 3, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #36: The Most Evil Sorcerer (Part 2)
Original Airdate: January 7, 2012
Director: Peter DeLuise
Last time on The Haunting Hour! Yen Sid has had it with Mickey's antics and decided to replace him with two children instead. It's okay though! It's the medieval times so child labor is still cool.
When Ned and Sara discover that the sorceress Gresilda (who helped them dethrone the evil sorcerer) was the one who taught him black magic, Ned takes revenge against Gresilda and Sara worries that Ned's obsession to learn magic may drive them apart. Eventually, Gresilda was tricked by Ned into smelling sleeping potion then Ned remembered the spell Gresilda was performing (when his eyes were taken away and were being put in a jar right next to her) and had put Gresilda into a deep sleep. Sara revealed to Ned that a kiss can break the spell.
One of the things I like about this episode is that Ned and Sara actually have some chemistry together! The major thing they have in common throughout the episode is that they are both abused by Margolin and want to find a better place to live. When the opportunity arises, they jump on it and soon come across Gresilda who they presume to be less abusive and are glad when she offers to help them dethrone Margolin. I find it really cool to see Sara and Ned work with one another to solve their evil sorcerer problem. I think it really helps develop their relationship even further as they become more trusting of each other and also become nearly inseparable. Their relationship is tested though when Ned's obsession with learning magic tries to drive them apart. Ned soon declares his love for Sara but because she sees magic as something that corrupts a person, she turns down his offer and goes back to live in the village. In terms of a tragic romance, I think it was well handled and kept very subtle throughout a good chunk of the episode. It would've been very easy just to have these characters meet and fall in love right away without including a lot of character development, especially in a horror anthology show like this one. The fact that they take the high road and avoid falling into this trap however, is something that I think should be admired.
The other thing I enjoyed was the idea that a sorcerer's power could be stronger if it was only used in certain situations such as dethroning an evil sorcerer. In the episode, it's said that Gresilda held resentment for Margolin for quite a long time. However, instead of acting on this resentment right away, she decided to escape and hide in the forest, presumably because he grew too powerful for her and/or didn't have the confidence to dethrone him at the time. Throughout the episode, there are clues dropped that imply Gresilda's efforts to learn from Margolin's mistakes and tries to use the magic spells for good. These clues include acting as a forest guardian and offering to help Ned and Sara dethrone Margolin. Through these good deeds, it is possible that her powers and confidence have strengthened. This adds a few shades of grey to a character who sadly falls off the wagon and ends up repeating Margolin's mistakes of using magic for evil.
The only major issue I have with the episode is the ending. Towards the very end of the episode, there's a time skip card that not only looks like it was made in Windows Movie Maker but it says something along the lines of "One Hundred Years Later". After the title card, we hear and shortly see a hiker dressed in modern day clothing trying revive Gresilda with CPR when he encounters her. When she wakes up, Gresilda ends up scaring off the hiker. So based on the clothing, the presence of magic, and the way the houses are built, I'm thinking that the main setting for the episode would be sometime during the medieval period (476 - 1500 A.D). Even if this episode took place during the end of the medieval period, you wouldn't get to the 2010's by travelling forward one hundred years. This needlessly complicates some of the details of the episode's main setting and comes off as a very confusing plot point. I honestly think the issue could've been easily fixed if the time skip card said "Many Years Later" instead.
Overall, The Most Evil Sorcerer (Part 2) takes what was good about the first part and not only expands upon it, but also throws in some new plot elements that work rather well in the grand scheme of things. It may not be a perfect episode but the stuff that's good is really good.
Overall Grade: A-