Last time on Princess Gwenevere / Starla and the Jewel Riders, the Jewel Riders recovered the Jewel of the Dreamfields and dealt with some serious dreams-versus-reality shit. Will they find the last Crown Jewel before the season ends? Find out after the cut.
What Do We Remember About This Episode?
JW: MORGANA’S FREAKING BAD-ASS LAIR. That is all.
Ry: Kale takes over the Crystal Palace (with a terrible disguise!) And Morgana’s Lair, obviously.
A Quick and Dirty Summary:
There’s two major plots going on in this episode, so I’m going to cover them separately.
Let’s start with Kale. She does a horrible job disguising herself as Queen Anya, yet still manages to get past two very stupid guards and enter the Jewel Keep. There, she tinkers around with some sort of jewel reactor and figures out how to petrify people. Of course, she learns this right before Anya, Jared, and the Pack storm into the Jewel Keep. Kale freezes them with her new spell, zaps Merlin’s jewel box, and then proceeds to petrify everyone in Avalon.
While all of this is going on, the Jewel Riders are finally getting around to cleaning up Merlin’s house. While cleaning up, they find a hidden bookshelf filled with scrolls labeled with different jewels, one of which is the Dark Stone. The scroll contains a map that, when viewed through a projector, reveals the location of an ancient wizard lair belonging to Morgana. The lair is in the jungle, and the Jewel Riders still need to find the Crown Jewel of the Jungle, so they decide to ride out there.
So the Jewel Riders reach the supposed location of Morgana’s lair, and use their Enchanted Jewels to reveal the entrance. Once inside, they find an ancient illusion of Morgana detailing plans for a coup against Merlin. It turns out that Morgana specifically created the Dark Stone to eff up Merlin’s plan to bind the ancient Great Wizards to the “good of Avalon”. Morgana obviously wasn’t into forced alignment, but her planned coup failed.
Anyway, the Jewel Riders find the Crown Jewel in a treasure room, but things don’t exactly go as they should. For one, the jewel and Merlin’s key vanish when Gwen attempts to summon the jewel box, and THE ENTIRE FREAKING PLACE STARTS TO COLLAPSE. Everyone falls into the Wild Magic, possibly to die of starvation.
Haha, I kid, I kid. The Jewel Riders find a Travel Tree tunnel (they run through the Wild Magic), blast their way inside, and return to the Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, by this time, Kale has petrified everyone and done some serious redecorating. Oh, and she discovered that Crown Jewels + Darkstone = Anti-Magic. Anti-Magic has the not-so-awesome ability of negating magic. So of course when the Jewel Riders try blasting that weird jewel reactor that Kale somehow brought down from the Jewel Keep, their Enchanted Jewels are completely drained of magic.
So Kale wins! She gets the Jewel Box, she drained the protagonists’ powers, and she controls the Crystal Palace. Um, yay?
* The funny thing about this episode is that I love all the stuff with the Jewel Riders, but none of the Kale stuff. Even the Kale sequences aren’t as well animated as the scenes of the Jewel Riders exploring Morgana’s lair.
* Oh, by the way, I absolutely love Morgana’s lair. The part where the Jewel Riders explore it was the one I remember most from this series. I loved it so much, I even inserted the location in that story I keep shamelessly plugging.
* More proof that I really liked this episode as a kid: I attempted to recreate the episode in Windows Movie Maker. I think I only got as far as Kale entering the keep. Also, I had no idea how to spell “Anya” at the time — I kept spelling it as “Onya” in my stage directions.
* OMG those guards at the Crystal Palace are stupid. How do they not notice the dweasel tails sticking out of Kale’s disguise? How do they not notice that Kale’s voice is different from Anya’s?
* Maybe it’s more proof that a) my hearing is shit, or b) I have sports on the brain, but I thought the dweasels hummed the ESPN SportsCenter theme when they sneaked into the palace elevator. If they did, THEY TOTALLY DESERVED TO.
* LOL at the Babies. It’s a shiny magical thing, SO OF COURSE WE’RE GOING TO TOUCH IT.
* Pay close attention to those jewel designs on those hidden scrolls. They will show up next season.
* That secret language on the projector images? It’s Greek. More accurately, it’s English typed in the Symbol font. Did I bother to transcribe it? No.
* How the Jewel Riders find the entrance to Morgana’s lair: “By the magic of the Heart Stone, with the heart we send out this call! By the magic of the Moon Stone, let the moon reveal what lies behind the wall! By the magic of the Sun Stone, I have the sun to shine the magic bright!” And then Archie says something to make it all rhyme. (Ry: “Get ready to run when it comes in sight!”)
* I love how the entrance to Morgana’s lair is a giant Dark Stone. DAMN I LOVE THAT PLACE.
* Awesome quote: “TIME HAS LITTLE MEANING IN THE WILD MAGIC!” So if you stay in the Wild Magic, you don’t age? Does time flow differently?
* Fun fact: the Friendship Ring is the most magical place in Avalon. This will be Very Important.
* Apparently, if Kale can tune enough jewel power to the Dark Stone, she can control all of Avalon.
* HOW THE HELL DO RADIO STATIONS EXIST IN THIS SETTING? Also, Kale uses a US west coast station identification — KALE. (East coast radio station identifications always start with “W”.)
* Hey, remember the Crown Jewel found in “Wizard’s Peak”? It’s named in this episode! It’s called the Jewel of Burning Ice.
* Oh, no wonder why I like this episode: the badass music makes a comeback!
* How the Jewel Riders call on the Travel Trees after blasting through the tunnel: “Trees of Merlin, hear our call: help us, great trees — catch our fall! Great trees of magic, trees of wood, we need your help, please, trees of good! Wherever we journey, wherever we roam, oh, great trees of Merlin, bring us home!”
* So how did Kale manage to carry that jewel reactor all the way down into the throne room?
* Oh yeah, Kale wins all because she finds an ancient wizard’s jewel that was specifically designed to mess Merlin’s shit up. It’s not through any sort of awesome planning or badassery. Nope. She just gets lucky finding the right jewel for the job. And it helps that the Crystal Palace guards are utterly incompetent.
* Part One of this episode really is amazing – some of the best plot reveals of the show! It also sets up some important stuff for S2, including Morgana, Wizard Jewels/Wizard Lairs, and traveling through the Wild Magic sans Travel Tree Tunnels.
* I always laugh that they left Merlin’s house a mess until they only had one last Crown Jewel to find.
* Looking at both shots of the Wizard Jewels on the maps…the only one I can actually make out is the Time Stone. Can anyone else see some of the other jewels?
* Plot hole: Kale blasts the guard outside the Jewel Keep, but he apparently just keeps guarding it whenever he comes to, because we later here the real Anya talking to him outside. “How can I be in there when I’m here?” Not the brightest guards, Anya.
* Crystal Palace has elevators! I wonder if only the royalty can afford them.
* Morgana’s Lair is so, so awesome. Plus, she’s got that cool dark elf design! (Though she looks so much like Pirotess from Record of Lodoss War!)
* I would be totally down with an episode that just told the story of the Wizard’s Big Battle.
* Gah, I’ve always loved that Lightning Crystal and Fire Stone – untapped story potential! It would have been cool to see Jewel Riders wielding those jewels. Brings up the question whether every generation of Jewel Riders uses the same three stones.
* No joke, the part where the Jewel Riders fall out of Morgana’s collapsing Lair and continue falling through the Wild Magic has always been one of my favorite sequences of the entire series.
* So wait, the dweasels just pick up random jewel armor lying around the Jewel Keep? I thought it was made by the jewels.
* Interesting that a lot of the ways magic is described in this episode are very scientific: polarity, experimentation, mixing two different things and seeing what results. Kale actually thinks things through about the Jewel Box, mentioning that she knows it appears when Merlin’s Key touches a Crown Jewel.
* Oh look! The CG jewels from the end title sequence show up inside the Anti Magic bubble!
* Hey, remember in Dark Mage when the party totally lost? Yeah, that’s probably taken from this episode.
* The Jewel Riders telling Archie that he helped them learn about the Enchanted Jewels shows up again (almost verbatim) in the books, except it’s the girls saying it to Ozzie.
* Merlin has secrets, just like Henry Gardener. Except I think that Gardener’s were a little darker than Merlin’s.
* The Jewel Keep shows up at the end of “Legend of the LAOA”, except it’s called the Crystal Keep.
* The party aligns themselves in the same way as the Jewel Riders when they find the hidden room behind the waterfall in Heart of Avalon.
All GIFs are from frequent commenter Robert.
The jungle makes it onto the map, but not Morgana’s lair.
Next time: “Full Circle”, which is totally not the end of the series.