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Enter the Toads

Amphibia Episode 10 Review/Recap

This At ten episodes in, Amphibia’s first season is at its mid-way point. It’s done an excellent job of building up its cast and the basic premise of its world, but a show like Amphibia can’t stay small forever; it has to grow. In what’s likely the most crucial episode yet, Anne’s world gets a little bigger when she meets the Toads.

Toad Tax

A month’s passed since Anne appeared in Wartwood, and the townsfolk still don’t give her any respect. Then while she’s out shopping with the Plantars, she runs into Toad Soldiers from Toad Tower. They rule over the valley and collect taxes from the villages every year. After seeing how good of a fighter Anne is, they offer to take her with them on tax collecting. Seeing it as a chance to get respect finally, she joins them, much to Sprig’s concern.

It turns out the Toads are a bunch of thugs, though: when the townsfolk can’t pay taxes, they take all their stuff. Despite how they treated her before, Anne discreetly returns some of the townsfolks belongings.

When they get to the Plantar’s, though, Anne draws the line; she saw Hop Pop pay their taxes and refuses to hurt them.

Enraged, the Toads try to kill Anne, only to be stopped when Sprig rallies the townsfolk to protect her. Furthermore, Sprig reveals that Mayor Toadstool had hoarded their tax money for himself, leaving everyone to run him out of town. Anne’s hailed as the town’s protector and hero, but the Toads vow to return with more men.

Prison Break

Meanwhile, far from Wartwood, we see Toad Tower, HQ for the toads and ruled by the ruthless Captain Grime (played by Troy Baker), Sasha’s captor. Despite his best efforts, Sasha manages to sabotage every attempt to press her for information; she’s talked several of her guards into leaving. Just as the fifth one goes to become a one-person band, the tower gets attacked by two giant herons.

Toad Tower’s defenders are overwhelmed by the titanic birds, leaving everyone to take shelter in a vault. Sasha pulls Captain Grime aside and makes a deal: she’ll help get rid of the herons in exchange for supplies and her freedom. Grime accepts her offer, and when he uses her advice about complimenting his troops, their will to fight gets reinvigorated. Working together, everyone drives off the herons and saves the tower, and Grime genuinely congratulates the toads.

He then tells Sasha that while he can’t stop her from leaving, she won’t survive long on her own. So she offers her a deal: become her second-in-command, help her get the valley in line, and he’ll help find her friends and get home. Sasha accepts his offer and decides to have some fun while she looks for Anne and Marcie. Uh-oh.

Review

I said it once, and I’ll repeat it: this is the most important episode to the show thus far, with the show taking on a darker and more serious tone. While danger’s been a part of previous events, I thought it seemed more light-hearted in comparison. Like they followed a “monster of the day” formula, where I knew Anne, and the heroes would be all right.

In Toad Tax, though, Anne almost got killed by the toads. We saw them break her arm and prepare to smash her head in with a hammer. That’s serious stuff. They would have killed her if the townsfolk hadn’t intervened.

Speaking of the townsfolk, Toad Tax marks a shift in Wartwood’s treatment of Anne and shows how far she’s come since coming to Amphibia. Even after they treated her bad, Anne stood up for the townsfolk and tried to get their stuff back. By the end of the episode, she’s gone from village outcast to its protector and hero.

A Look at Sasha

In contrast to this, Prison Break gives us a look at Anne’s “friend” and potential opposite, Sasha, and what I saw of her confirmed my earlier suspicions. Sasha’s good at persuading and manipulating others to get what she wants. She even tells Grime that “if others think you love them, they’ll do anything for you.” That one sentence summarizes her relationship with Anne: she compliments and flatters Anne to get her to do things she wouldn’t want to. Worse, it seems like her experiences on Amphibia have only reinforced her beliefs.

Captain Grime’s voiced by the famous voice actor, Troy Baker, by the way.

Despite this, we learn that Sasha does seem to care for Anne and Marcie genuinely. As things stand now, though, it feels like Anne and Sasha are on two sides of a fight they don’t even know yet. The toad soldiers vowed to come back to get revenge on Anne, and Captain Grime said villages all over the valley are standing up to them. There could be a full-scale war coming, and Sasha and Anne will have to choose what side they’re on.

Best One Yet

Overall, this was a great episode; my favorite one yet, in fact. The plot developments were on point and we saw some character development. The cherry on top to all this, though, was Troy Baker’s role as Captain Grime. I can’t wait to see where this leads us.

I give “Toad Tax” and “Prison Break” a 5/5

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

Click here to see the first episode on YouTube

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