Amphibia Season 3, Episode 8A/8B Review
It seems like only yesterday that Amphibia kicked off its third and final season, and now we’re close to the halfway point and the inevitable hiatus. While the series continues to have one-off episodes, it’s likely that Matt’s team is saving the juicy stuff for the final half of the season. In addition, those one-off episodes can still give us character development and move the plot forward. Case in point, this week not only sees Hop Pop live out his dream, but it also gives Anne a lead on getting back to Amphibia. In other words, this episode’s both fun and important to the series.
Also, I would like to note that, in light of the events of Olivia & Yunan, the opening credits have changed. Instead of Marcy in a healing tank, we now have Marcy possessed by the Core, AKA Darcy, serving as the main antagonist alongside Andrias. It’s those little details that help the series grow.
Hollywood Hop Pop
When Anne takes the Plantar’s on a day trip to Hollywood, Hop Pop sees firsthand just how appreciated actor’s are on Earth. Or, as Anne accurately puts it, we treat actors “AS GODS!” Seeing yet another chance to fulfill his dream of being an actor, Hop Pop ends up getting into an audition for a commercial. In a neat callback to episode three (I discovered I lost the review), Hop Pop gets the role by uttering “the perfect sitcom catchphrase.”
The next thing anybody knows, Hop Pop becomes a celebrity about to get a part in an upcoming movie. Much like the last time, though, there are consequences, as Mr. X ends up seeing the commercial and is quick to get back on their trail, much to Anne’s concern. Thus, Hop Pop has a dilemma: risk his family’s safety for his dream, or give it up for them? He chooses his family.
I found Hop Pop’s continued aspirations of being an actor to be one of his most recognizable character traits. He’s someone who wanted to make it big but never got the chance, which a lot of older folk can relate to. Fortunately, Hop Pop finds a solution in the form of Humphrey Westwood, a human he looks exactly like who also aspires to be an actor. And someone played by Wallace Shawn, AKA the voice of Rex from Toy Story. Seeing Bill Farmer and Wallace Shawn, both acting legends, work together is a real treat for longtime Disney fans that I immensely enjoyed. Moreover, I liked seeing Hop Pop give Humphrey a chance to live their dream. It shows a lot of character development in and of itself.
Also, I’m hoping that Mr. X doesn’t have a breakdown from being outwitted by the heroes too many times. That could be bad for everyone.
If You Give a Frog a Cookie
While the Plantar’s have adjusted to Earth-life pretty well, their desire to get home is starting to get them by this point. They even cope by making a model of Wartwood, which is both sad and impressive. Against her better judgment, Anne chooses to take them to meet an eccentric scientist that Dr. Jan thinks might have a lead on traveling back to Amphibia. Enter Dr. Frakes, voiced by Cree Summer, a mad scientist if there ever was one. She’s also the one who gives us our first big lead on getting back to Amphibia.
It’s revealed that on the night the Human trio opened the Calamity Box, it created a massive energy backlash that opened up a portal from Earth to Amphibia in Dr. Frakes lab. Thus, her Skipman got sucked over to Newtopia, the same Skipman that Anne found with the Curator. Now, she and her assistant, Terri, managed to replicate the process, albeit it’s very unstable and not locked to Amphibia. However, it’s’ the first real lead the gang’s had to get home.
Too bad that Dr. Frakes proves to have zero ethics, as when the Plantar’s end up losing their disguises, she doesn’t hesitate to try to dissect them. Interdimensional beings or not, I’m pretty sure dissecting a sentient being violates all ethics. Fortunately, Terri, played by Kate Miccuci, is everything that Frakes isn’t and sacrifices her job to help Anne save the Plantar’s. Despite Frakes’ threats of ensuring Terri will find work, it’s clear that Frakes’ word means nothing, with Terri saying she’ll get plenty of grant money to make her portal. Thus, the heroes finally have the means to get back to Amphibia.
Finally, the Means to Get Back to Amphibia
So, the first half of this week’s episode was the show’s team having fun and showing off what makes Hollywood what it is. On top of that, they also included callbacks to in-universe media the show’s covered over its run, including Suspicion Island and Tarantu-lad. I also liked the Water Tower on the studio lot, as clear a reference to Warner Bros as Disney can make. They can get away with it by saying its an Animaniacs reference, as that show airs on Hulu, and Disney owns a large portion of it.
The latter half of the episode gave us the real meat. After weeks of searching, Anne now has the means to get back to Amphibia. Granted, Terri has yet to make the portal, but that’s now a question of when rather than if. The final act of the series will likely see Anne return to Amphibia, and given the state it’s in, that couldn’t come fast enough.
Another thing to note is how heavy this season’s using celebrity guest actors, with Kate Micucci being the latest. I loved her as Webby in the reboot of DuckTales!, so hearing her voice again is a treat. Plus, helping Anne and the Plantar’s seems like something that Webby wouldn’t hesitate to do. Plus, even if something happens to the Calamity Box, this portal could be the means for Anne to return to Amphibia anytime she wants, meaning she won’t have to say goodbye to the Plantar’s!
However, we’re going to have to wait to see a return to Amphibia, as next week’s the Christmas special. Which, I should remind you, will include a song written by Rebecca Sugar. I am looking forward to that.
I Give “Hollywood Hop Pop” and “If You Give a Frog a Cookie” a 4/5 Each
Click here to see my other animation stuff
- Again, we’ve got a reference to The Owl House
- One of the old men looks just like Master Roshi from the DragonBall Franchise
- It’s revealed that Anne carried over her developed taste for bugs back to Earth