Meanwhile, the Winx girls are in their room. Bloom reads from a large book she'd gotten from the library, containing information on the Solaria ring.
Bloom: The ring is so powerful because it was created directly from starlight, the most pure source of magic in the universe. But what's really interesting is that some say the ring is extra special, because it's made of the same light that created this legendary creature called the Great Dragon. Do you know about this, Stella?
Stella: Well, yeah, I know all about the starlight stuff, but the other stuff makes me think I should have it reappraised.
Bloom realizes they need to get Stella's ring back, that the Trix sisters can cause harm with the ring. Stella says she needs it just because she's useless without it. Bloom starts talking about a restricted book she found about the Great Dragon, though was only allowed to read one 4-line paragraph, about a myth of the Great Dragon creating the entire magical dimension. When Bloom starts talking about the Great Dragon, she's in her room, telling it to her friends. But a few seconds later, she's talking about it to herself in the hallway. Bad direction here, folks? Miss Faragonda stops her in the hallway, having overheard Bloom talking about reading a book from the restricted vault, and calls Bloom to her office.
In Miss Faragonda's office, she explains to Bloom two chapters she was once allowed to read. And it's easier if I just let her explain it:
Faragonda: It described the beginning of the magical universe. First, there was a great solar explosion, and from that fiery starlight, an enchanted dragon was born. The dragon then used her fire to create all the different fairy worlds and spread like the magic accross the universe. At the end of her journey, the dragon landed on the world that would become known as Sparx, the center of the magical universe. She made it her home; and eventually became one with the very planet.
Bloom: That's a great story. Where is Sparx? Is it real?
Faragonda: It was, but sadly, Sparx doesn't exist anymore. It's said that a coven of evil witches went there seeking the Great Dragon's power. When they failed to get it, they destroyed the entire planet.
Faragonda's still curious how Bloom got into the restricted vault. Bloom isn't sure herself, telling her the vault just opened and led her in. Faragonda tells her she was then meant to go in.
Back in their room, Stella complains about needing her ring again, and not being able to do anything without it. Tecna and Flora talk about a quiz tomorrow that counts for half their grade, so Stella needs her ring. Half their grade for one little quiz? When I was in high school, even the final exam was only a third of the grade, so half their grade for one measly little quiz? I don't think so! Bloom says they can cast a hypnosis spell on the witches while they're asleep, then make them give Stella the ring. Tecna says she can download a map of the interschool tunnels so they can find their way around. Bloom gives a dippy little "all for one and one for all" pep talk.
COMMERCIAL BREAK #1
The five Winx girls walk through the underground tunnel. Flora asks where Tecna's map is. Tecna says she memorized it. Bloom comments how she memorized the cafeteria menu for the whole school year. Ah, Tecna's strange definition of "fun." Gotta' love her.
Knut sweeps the Trix sisters' room, complaining about not having a vacuum cleaner to use. Icy yells at Knut for complaining, and he mentions he was just commenting on the exercise he's getting sweeping. Icy yells at him to meet them in the forest, as the sisters are going there to consult the dark force about the ring. He starts grumbling about not having a vacuum again, and Darcy threatens him. As the Trix sisters exit, Knut continues grumbling, as he accidentally sweeps the duck into a wall, and sweeps the ring into a large pile of dust. I'm amazed at how careless the Trix sisters are here--of the three of them, none of them thinks to keep the ring on them, or at least in some safe place.
The Winx girls come to the outside of the Cloud Tower building. The girls hurry inside, and immediately enter the Trix sisters' room. Tecna casts a spell to lead them to Stella's ring. Tecna finds a voodoo doll, and wonders who it's meant to be. Tecna feels bad for whoever it is. I wonder too--I can't figure it out myself. Musa finds a baton-looking object, but spikes suddenly shoot out from it, and she drops it. Tecna quickly throws down the voodoo doll nervously. Bloom finds the ring in the dust pile, and Stella is insulted that the witches would keep her ring there.
On their way out, Bloom insists on looking inside the Cloud Tower book chamber, wanting to read more about the Great Dragon. Guess Bloom also memorized the map, since she seemed to know just where the book chamber would be. Tecna is completely against it, but Bloom ignores her. The other girls should've tried harder to get Bloom to listen to Tecna. Bloom finds the book on the Great Dragon, but as she opens it, a bright light shoots from it. Shoulda' been a clue to get out... does Bloom really want to face off against every witch in Cloud Tower? This sets off an alarm in Miss Griffin's office, who decides to punish the pixies for daring to enter Cloud Tower. The girls can't read the book, so Tecna insists that they all hurry and leave. Musa tells Tecna to "chillax." As if Musa weren't foolish enough not to heed Tecna's advice, she has to say "chillax." Blah. Bloom tells Tecna that she doesn't know where she comes from, or anything about herself, and that she has to look herself up. Tecna tells her she needs to hurry up. Bloom finds her book conveniently sitting out on a small desk. Tecna says it's too much of a coincidence, telling the girls that just finding the book there is very odd, and that it's probably a trap. Stella says the witches were probably just looking Bloom up. As intuitive as Stella can be, I don't buy this. At least at this point, the witches don't really give a damn about Bloom. Bloom insists that, even if it might be an obvious trap, that she has to look inside the book anyway, to find out who she is. Bloom proceeds to open the book, and it grabs her. The book says it'll destroy the Winx girls--or actually Miss Griffin, as she's voicing the book. She dares the fairies to try to break out.
It finally dawns on the other four girls that they must escape, but Griffin removes the door leading out. Tecna tries to blast open a door, but it doesn't work. The girls transform to their winx forms, via the usual transformation sequence. The five girls blast open a passage to escape through a passage, but Tecna declares it an illusion tunnel, and that the layout for Cloud Tower changed here, as this area was not on her map, and that someone has screwed around with their perception and reality. Still with me? Good. Little red buggies surround the girls from all directions, and with one bite they'll die. Musa mentions that the bugs infested her friend's castle, and Musa never saw her friend again. I feel bad for Musa and her friend. It'll likely never be explored, but I want to know who Musa's friend was. Then again, I guess first things first... we still need to know about Musa's parents.
COMMERCIAL BREAK #2
Stella says she'd step on the bugs if she weren't wearing her winx boots. I doubt that. Bloom asks the others to help put up a fire shield to keep out the bugs. Stella notes that the bugs seem to be getting fried, but Bloom says they're actually getting stronger. Flora tells the girls to fly up, where the bugs can't reach them. Stella looks cute here. Flora says that when they need to get rid of bugs in her realm, they use the bugs' natural predators. She calls an anteater-mammoth-sloth-looking creature, which proceeds to eat and squash all the bugs.
Stella: That's one of the grossest and coolest things I've ever seen, and it works!
Flora goes on to ramble about how safe, effective, and environmentally friendly a method the creature is to pest control. Sounds too much like Captain Planet for my liking. Stella notes that the remains of the bugs are turning into mud. Musa mentions that it's actually slime, as Stella starts laughing to herself for absolutely no apparent reason, then screams and runs when she finally notices. Watching this episode, it's understandable why some people may not like Stella. The girls all run away, when Tecna--who else, gets the idea that flying away would be smarter than just running away. Go Tecna! She looks bizarre in her "ready to attack" pose, though. When they reach a dead end, Tecna takes charge, telling the girls to prepare for attack. They blast at the slime monster, destroying it. The monster explodes, but Tecna had the girls protected behind her firewall shield.
Stella finds a door, but it's locked; Tecna just charges straight through. Again, go Tecna! Tecna says this was supposed to be the grand ballroom, but it's a dingy little room full of junk instead. A lone puncture beetles enters the room, ready to attack the girls. Musa's cute when she's shivering here. Stella immediately blasts it with a large fireball, setting the entire room ablaze. Flora complains that she could've just conjured up another bug-eating creature, instead of having Stella set the entire room on fire.
Stella: I always say when it comes to bugs, you can never have enough fire. Ehhahahahaha, good one, Stella!
Aside from being one of the world's lamest jokes, it's just plain moronic on Stella's part. Is she completely oblivious to everything that's been going on?! For the life in me, I don't understand why Stella is such an imbecile in this episode. Flora gives a cute little cough. Tecna says the fire is too big for them to be able to put it out with their magic. For Bloom, the entire room goes dark, with her spinning in the spotlight, with a voice speaking to her. The spotlight thing, for those confused what I am actually talking about, is the same as the scene in the theme song that goes "keep on searching far and wide," only slower. And without the theme playing, of course. The voice tells Bloom she can save her, to trust her, that Bloom knows her, that she used to watch over Bloom. The voice leads Bloom straight into the fire, which worries Stella. It's your fault for the fire to begin with, you know, Stella.
COMMERCIAL BREAK #3
The girls try to stop Bloom, but then realize that Bloom actually found a secret portal that leads to the underground tunnel. Even though Musa uses yet more annoying slang here, her "hoppy" expression is adorable. The girls hurry and slide down, with the fire chasing behind them. I'd love to know how the fire is just chasing them through, myself. They all land on each other.
The girls are up and well, walking through the tunnel. Bloom explains how she heard a voice that led her to the portal that led them to the underground tunnel. Stella explains that they at least got the Solaria ring back, and that's what's important.
In the hallways of Alfea, the girls talk about how tired they are, but run into Miss Griselda, none too happy, blocking their dormroom door. She brings them to Miss Faragonda's office. Faragonda yells at the girls how they are not allowed inside Cloud Tower, much less breaking into Cloud Tower at night. Griselda chimes in every now and then to belittle the girls more. She likes making them feel worse. Not sure why she's got that stick up her butt. Miss Faragonda wants the girls to explain themselves, but Griselda complains that it should not matter why they went to Cloud Tower, that they must be punished to the extremes regardless of their reasons. Again, why does Griselda seem to hate the students so much? It's like she's afraid they might actually have a good reason, so she doesn't want to give them the chance to explain themselves, since Faragonda might, heaven forbid, lessen the punishment if she knew what was going on. Griselda suggests punishment 4B, which takes away the girls' powers.
Stella looks at the bright side, that at least they don't have to go to classes for a week. Flora is worried about having to catch up when they get their powers back. Tecna complains about not being able to use the Internet, and Musa complains about not being able to finish her spell to hit the perfect high note for the demo she was working on. Bloom worries that the Trix sisters will come after them when they realize Stella has her ring back, and they won't have their powers to fight against the witches.
...what? That's not enough? Seriously, this episode was bad. B-A-D, bad. Probably the worst episode of the first season. Tecna is the only reason I even gave the episode a 3. And aside from the other bad points, the search for an exit was just fairly dull to sit through.
Tecna was great: smart, level-headed, used common sense, and just all-around good friend here.
Bloom, though... it's her fault the Winx girls got in most of this mess in the first place. Guess she needed the good judgment spell after all. Sure, Bloom wanted to know her past, who she is, and all, but there's a time and place for that, and a time to exercise caution. Cloud Tower is not the best place to make such decisions on a whim. Through her own selfishness and stupidity, Bloom put all her friends in great danger, and essentially created most of the very contrived plot for the episode.
Stella does not get off that easily, either. Stella was unbelievably stupid on a number of occasions here, especially with the setting fire to the room they were trapped in. She's easily redeemed in other episodes, but really, this episode puts Stella in a very poor light, making her look like a stereotypical idiot blonde girl.
As for Musa, she was on and off good and annoying.
...oh, was Flora there? I almost forgot.
Even our lovely Trix sisters... how could they just forget about the ring like that? If nothing else, I'm ashamed that Darcy would forget about it like that. She redeems herself in other episodes, at least.
In "Spelled," Bloom didn't know how to find books in the library. So how come she was able to find her way around in this episode?
3 out of 10 on the old scale.
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