Road Trip Shenangians on Amphibia
Amphibia Season 2, Episode 3A/3B Review
One of the downsides to shows that focus on serialized elements is that episodes is that there’s less room for events that don’t seem to move the plot forward. However, I’ve come to realize that even these filler episodes serve a purpose. When a show’s finished its run, we’ll look back on these fun little episodes in a much better light. Case in point, this week’s episode of Amphibia did little to advance the plot forward. However, it did give us two fun short stories.
Truck Stop Polly
The Plantar’s are only halfway to Newtopia right now, and Polly’s already feeling the heat from being so far from home. She does what many young kids do when they’re in strange and unfamiliar settings: seek comfort from family members. However, her attempts to play with Anne, Sprig, and Hop Pop cause problems for them, and they vent about it behind her back at a truck stop. Angered by the fact that no one seems to want her around, Polly swaps herself out for a stone. Except it’s not a stone, it’s a Roc’s egg. So now Polly has to save her family.
I’ve seen my share of these kinds of stories on TV before. A character feels out of their depth and tries to compensate for it, only to get everyone mad. Said characters then try to isolate themselves, which makes the others worry themselves sick. Finally, this leads to the group reconciling and admitting their faults. It’s the fact that it’s happening to the self-assured and tough as nails Polly that makes this a good story. Plus, we get a return of Swampy Joe but see Polly’s fears get picked apart by a group of truckers. Stereotypes would leave people thinking they’re the last people who would come up with that stuff.
A Caravan Named Desire
While traveling through a desert one day, the Plantar’s come across a caravan of traveling actors putting on Hop Pop’s favorite play, Fear the Desert Swamp. Having dreamed of being a successful actor in his youth, Hop Pop leaps to play the lead role in the troupe’s production. For a while, it’s a dream come true for him. But when he discovers the troupe has some unsavory plans afoot, he has to question if his goal’s worth it. Meanwhile, Sprig tries to get in with a group of method actor kids, and Anne sits the whole thing out.
I liked this segment, less for the story itself, and more for the impressive people they got to guest star. The leader, Renee Frodgers, is voiced by Susan Egan. I know her as the voice of Meg from Disney’s Hercules. These days, though, people will remember her as the voice of ROSE QUARTZ from Steven Universe! This Disney veteran gives off a lot of energy and sass in her performances, and I like her.
The funniest thing about the episode is seeing Max Mittleman play child method actor Francis D’arncool. Anime fans will know Max as Saitama from One Punch Man, and that guy doesn’t care about anything since he’s crazy powerful. I don’t know why, but the contrast between that “I don’t give two cents” attitude and the serious and always in character Francis is funny.
Good Filler Episode
So I won’t lie, I was a little dissappointed that we didn’t get to see more serialized elements in this episode. However, we can’t expect every episode to advance the plot of the story. That said, these small stories do serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things. They help develop our characters and make them more well-rounded. In the long run, that’s far more valuable.
Also, given the fact that next week, we’re getting our first glimpse at Sasha and Grime in Season Two, I think I can handle this stuff.
I Give “Truck Stop Polly” a 3.8/5 and “A Caravan Named Desire” a 3.5/5
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“Truck Stop Polly” reminded me of this episode of Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” where Tori and Beck went out on their “Opposite Date” and ended up in the Vet’s office where everyone there was talking about how it’s fine if they dated. It was a pretty funny episode of an otherwise “Just Okay” show. But I think I like this one more because it was even MORE random than that!
I agree that filler episodes can get…….”tedious” to say the least. But this was a fine little side story. Especially since the VOICE CAST was something else! Rose AND Saitama?!