As it turns out, episode eight of the whole series is actually episode two of season two. So I get to try and figure out an entire season while watching! What could possibly be tricky about that? The show did try to give me a ‘previously on’ but that felt like cheating so I skipped it.
Alright. Let’s go.
Based on the title alone I’m guessing it’s about someone who goes around offering tutoring services to magicians.
We’re five seconds in and I already win. A lovely old witch is teaching a spell to her young WOC pupil. The girl has a purple striped tie on and I will be referring to her as Discount-Ravenclaw until I get a name. Conjuring up what looks like a rabbit patronus, the Discount-Ravenclaw promises to practice the spell quite a bit. Apparently it’s more fun than her other spells.
To which I say: YOU ARE LITERALLY LEARNING MAGIC. How is it not all fun?
They cut off my ability to go into this rant by telling me that Discount-Ravenclaw’s name is Emma. Then they quickly throw more names at my head when the spell tutor remarks that ‘Parissa’ usually picks Emma up by now.
It’s almost like you’re not supposed to just watch random episodes?
But tut tut, Parissa and Emma are fighting. Spell Tutor Witch is quick to say that ‘the girls fight all the time’ and that Parissa has probably forgiven her.
I snort. Please. I was in high school once. Girl grudges are unfortunately real... although it would be easier if I knew why they were fighting. Someone let out a giant frog? Broke their wand? Boys? Even better, girls? Who can say? Not me.
Emma agrees with my snort by saying that if Parissa had forgiven her, then Parissa would be there right now. So the tutor consoles her by…
Giving her more homework!
Wow. How kind.
It’s called ‘The Impossible Task’ and it comes with a story told through a series of fun images. There was this powerful wizard who took over a bunch of kingdoms in order to steal all of their magic secrets. Preemptively, one kingdom told him that they’d give him a secret that would allow the wizard to increase his magic by a thousandfold. To increase it, he had to beat the challenge. The wizard agreed.
Probably just thought ‘I’ll agree to peace. Beat the challenge. Increase my strength. And THEN take the kingdom. Perfect’. That’s how evil wizards think. Trust me. I’m an expert.
So he gets the challenge. He has to release a beacon sprite from a gem without using his magic. So the evil wizard sends all of his evil minions away and thinks about it for days and days.
He can’t solve it.
This inability to beat the challenge reveals his ‘weakness’. So all the kingdoms rally together and defeat him. The end.
The spell tutor wants Emma to solve this challenge.
Not to doubt her teaching methods or anything but it seems a little much to ask a highschool girl to beat something a wizard conqueror couldn’t. But okay.
I bet the answer is love or something.
After all, this is the fantasy genre. I love it with all my heart but we’re not big on the subtle metaphors. We, in the fantasy genre, prefer to slam the metaphors straight into your face. I should know. I write the stuff.
So Emma takes her extra homework and leaves before she can be assigned even more homework to distract her from her fight with her friend. Too bad even homework can’t save her. She runs into Parissa in the hallway.
Emma tries to apologize and Parissa calls her on doing a crappy job of it. Honestly, all I’m trying to do is figure out why they’re fighting. I know Emma ‘shot her mouth off’ but that’s it.
They awkwardly argue a little more and BOOM. There it is.
Emma says ‘it’s not like he’s my real father’. I don’t know who ‘he’ is or what the situation is but I’m guessing this is important enough to be fight material.
The awkwardness level only increases when we find out that Parissa’s father is actually her stepfather and not her ‘real’ father. All the airquotes on real.
How close were these girls that Emma was unaware of this?
Then we get a great speech on what it means to be a real father. Again, I’m sure this all makes so much more sense in context. Although apparently Emma’s fake father is keeping a secret from her. Fantasy does love its secrets.
Then the show 180s and Emma starts talking about her homework. That’s okay Emma. I too have awkwardly dodged discussions by talking about my homework.
Cut to dramatic black after Emma explains the problem.
We return to the spell tutor and Emma is triumphant as she confronts her. Emma has figured out the puzzle! The evil wizard’s weakness was that he didn’t trust anyone. When Emma opens her hand, the beacon sprite is free. She got Parissia to use her magic to free the sprite for her. They beat the challenge by working together.
That feels a little like cheating. Just saying. Can I get my friends to do ALL of my homework or just this one?
Happy feelings and smiles. Basically, I nailed this one spot on from premise to conclusion. It plays a little like an afterschool special but those shows work for a reason. It’s the web series equivalent of the Disney channel. When I was a kid I loved the Disney channel.
Someone find a ten-year-old and give them this real life Harry Potter.
Written by Aria Bauer