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Exchange Students

...or Lucy's Redemption

Bloom sits at a lake with Lockette on Magix, near Alfea. Miss Faragonda watches from her mirror in her office, worried about the darkness inside Bloom. From out of nowhere, Miss Griffin appears behind Miss Faragonda, figuring this is why Faragonda signed the Winx girls up to take Cloud Tower classes, and is upset that she wasn't asked for permission to have them take classes at Cloud Tower.

Faragonda: If I had come to you, you would've said "no," correct?
Griffin: Of course I would have, but now I have no choice.

Sometime later in Miss Faragonda's office, she has the six Winx girls, as well as Mirta. Yes, Mirta--she's back in full force for this episode, so break out the champagne! The Winx girls are all upset that they're being made to take classes at Cloud Tower. Tecna wants the professors from Cloud Tower to just come over to Alfea. Musa's particularly upset, though--we'll see more about that in a bit, though. Stella, joking about what she feels is an bad situation, puts on a mini fashion show, changing into three witch outfits. They're all really cool, especially Stella's third outfit! Faragonda explains that the girls must immerse themselves in darkness to learn more about it. Mirta says she can be their tour guide at Cloud Tower, and also says they'll learn things by staying there that they wouldn't be able to learn otherwise. And since she's a witch, and went to Cloud Tower last year, she oughta' know! Faragonda reminds the girls of the story of The Gnoll and the Troll, where the gnoll went to live with the trolls to learn more of who he was and who he wasn't. Bloom reminds Faragonda that the gnoll was eaten at the end of that story. Is that a real story, anyway? I've never heard of it.

As the seven girls walk across a scary gorge over a huge chasm of spikes, along with Zing, Lucy watches, not happy to see Mirta returning. Stella complains as they climb up the passageway.

Layla: So why did you come, Zing?
Zing: 'Cause I want to be a witch! Fire burn and cauldron bubble!
Tecna: Real witches don't fly around on brooms, Zing. You've been watching too many of Bloom's Earth DVDs.

Zing changes to a stereotypical big-nosed big-hatted broom-riding witch. Because she's Zing, and she does things like that. I wonder how Zing has gotten to watch DVDs, though, since back in "The Senior Witches Go to Earth" last season, Bloom mentioned Alfea not having any TVs. Hence, nowhere to connect a DVD player. Probably a small oversight, since it's only a minor point in this episode as well as that one, and I'm not meant to look this deeply into it. But anyway, continuing with that conversation:

Mirta: How come the other pixies didn't come?
Layla: They were way too scared.
Zing: I ain't 'fraid of no witch!
Musa: Yeah, well you're a little... what's the word?
Stella: Insane?

That'd be one way of describing Zing! MacBeth and Ghostbusters, Spider-Man and Doc Ock, and all her other Earth cosplaying... Earth culture really seems to fascinate Zing. Considering her fascination of witches, it's too bad she and Mirta didn't bond. Musa is particularly cute with her line, too. Bloom asks Stella not to make fashion comments to the witches. Stella says she'll try, but isn't making any promises. Bloom tells Stella that witches do have some good qualities. Bloom's trying to be open-minded, but the way she said that, you know she's going to have trouble answering what good qualities they have. Course, Bloom should've answered that Mirta's a witch--would've been an easy way to get out of dealing with more specifics to that question! Musa, very angrily, asks if ganging up on someone and humiliating the person is a good quality. Musa's not aware of Mirta either. Mirta's a witch too, in case Musa's forgetting! Cue flashback to "Spelled," the scene with Stormy and Icy confronting Musa outside the Hex Cafe, then being chased by all the senior class witches, plus Lucy, who seems to accidentally have been there at the time. Mirta says pride is very important to witches. The seven girls walk up to the entrance of Cloud Tower, where Professor Ediltrude and Professor Zarathsthra are waiting for them.

Zarathsthra: What do you call a fairy without her wings?
Ediltrude: Dragon food.
Zarathsthra: Exactly right. And what do you call a fairy with her wings?
Ediltrude: Dragon food!
Stella: Cute.

The two teachers warn the Winx girls to be careful. Bloom says they can take care of themselves, but the teachers warn that it's actually Cloud Tower itself that they need to be careful of, that Cloud Tower itself is a living, breathing creature with its own heart, then they head inside to show the girls to their dorm rooms. The Trix sisters watch from above.

In a class Miss Griffin is teaching, she explains that a witch's magic comes from dark energy, coming from mayhem, misery, or one's own dark feelings. Musa is insulted by the teachings. Layla worries that the witches are staring at them; Stella says their just jealous of their fashion sense. Of course, Stella. You just believe that.

Griffin: If you came across a hungry little kitten crying pitifully in an alley, what would you do? Flora?
Flora: Take it home and feed it and give it a really cute name?
Griffin: Oh Flora, that's so sweet, but no! That kitten's misery would give you enough energy to cast at least three skin-rot spells.
Flora: Oh. Right. Skin-rot spells. Wouldn't want to pass up on those.

"Aww, isn't that cute? But it's wrong!" Kinda' like Mirta and her friendship spell in witch trap, Flora probably should've known better than to give such a sickeningly sweet answer to Miss Griffin's question. At the very least, she could've left off the "give it a really cute name" part. I love her sarcasm about the skin-rot spell, though! Tecna does not understand why they're at Cloud Tower. Apparently, she's skeptical of Faragonda's explanation. Griffin says they're going to learn to conjure up their own dark energy, but warns the fairies that bad things can happen if they cannot control it.


Mirta walks down a hallway to her old dormroom. On the door is a picture of Lucy and one of Mirta, with an X drawn over her face. Mirta knocks on the door, but Lucy, inside, yells at her to go away, calling her a traitor. Mirta looks sad.

Back in Miss Griffin's class, all the students are forming dark energy balls, which are purple, by embracing the darkness in themselves, and concentrating on what they despise. A couple of witches lose control of their spheres: one gets zapped by her own sphere, and another is strangled by a tentacle coming from here.

Griffin: Yours is strong. What despicable image are you using?
Musa: Witches.
Griffin: Clever.

At this point, Miss Griffin probably wishes she could've been there when the senior class ambushed Musa last season. Musa's so smug about it too, like her hatred of witches is something to be proud of. Miss Griffin has more trouble with Stella, who's created a sphere of sunlight instead of dark energy: Stella doesn't like witchcraft. Griffin explains to Stella again to try thinking of something she hates. Stella, ever-so-smugly, says that she despises the dark, and embraces the light. Considering Stella and Musa's attitudes at Cloud Tower, is it any wonder Miss Griffin didn't want the fairies to come to Cloud Tower? Griffin is impressed with Bloom, though, who has created a red sphere, something like extreme dark energy. Bloom tries shrugging it off, saying she had a bad week. She doesn't really believe that excuse, though.

Meanwhile, the Trix trio is in one of the classrooms, currently empty. Stormy, in frustration, blasts a couple of random test tubes. Icy yells at Stormy to calm down, that they don't want to be caught.

Stormy: I'm sorry, but being in this room is bringing back potion class nightmares!
Darcy: Well get over it, wiatch.
Stormy: I'll get over it when we're out of here!

Ah, random, angry Stormy! Is it any wonder she's my favorite witch? Shame on Darcy for saying "wiatch," but then, I think all three of them have said it at some point before, so it's forgivable. Darcy and Icy go through mouth-like tunnels they create, in search for the Codex in Cloud Tower, as Stormy stays behind, and spots Mirta.

In the library, Zing flies by, holding a skull. More importantly, though, the Winx girls are arguing with six witches from class, Lucy being one of them. Bloom is trying, however hopelessly, to get the twelve of them to work together for a group presentation on gandrake root. Tecna, oddly chipper, says that her computer says that gandrake root grows in Thorn Valley. The short red-haired witch says a fairy could never survive in Thorn Valley. Lucy is irritated that Bloom is trying to boss everyone around. Poor Bloom... she's just trying to get everyone to get along, and just gets almost zilch cooperation from anyone--aside from the witches not wanting to cooperate, most of Bloom's own friends don't care about getting along with the witches, either!

Musa: Who saved your butts last semester?
Lucy: Wouldn't have had to if Bloom hadn't given up the dragon fire.
Stella: You know, they kind of have a point there.
Tecna: The dragon fire was taken.
Stella: Oh yeah, that's right! The dragon fire was taken, witch!

Aside from being funny, and sad at the same time, it's interesting to look at Bloom while everyone else argues around her: she just has her eyes tightly closed, looking like she wishes everyone would just shut up! Go Bloom! Mirta, going to the library, overhears all the arguing inside. She goes in and asks what's going on. Stella tells her that they're working together on a project. Mirta says it didn't sound like that to her, and says they should see each others' differences as positive things. Bloom agrees, and nicely asks the witches to teach them what they know, and also promises a shopping spree with Stella. Nice gesture on Bloom's part. Not sure if Stella's going to agree to take them shopping, though. But aside from Mirta, Bloom's the only one who's really trying to get along with those outside her group. Stormy and Icy are spying on them all, sick that the fairies and witches are getting along.

Mirta and Lucy are in Lucy's room. Mirta tells Lucy that she was listening to the first Broken Bones CD. And... well, what the heck? It's a really nice conversation between the two!

Mirta: Remember sneaking out to go to that concert and screaming like idiots? Junior High rocked!
Lucy: Better than elementary school, that's for sure.
Mirta: Oh, what are you talking about? You were friends with the most popular girls back then!
Lucy: 'Till they found out I was a witch.
Mirta: That's how we met, sitting alone in the lunchroom.
Lucy: Remember the first lunch day here?
Mirta: You tried to sit with Darcy and she turned you into a dragonfly!
Lucy: You kept me in a jar for three days!

And Mirta tells Lucy that it was a fairy spell that changed her back. I'm curious how a witch-on-witch spell would've been so relatively easy to fix with fairy magic... probably thinking too much, again. Lucy doesn't want to be converted, though; she doesn't want to be a fairy. Mirta tells her not to worry. Lucy says she felt ditched when Mirta went to Alfea, betraying her and her witchdom. Mirta says she's still a witch, just different, and lets Lucy know that she's still the same friend she always had, and goes to give Lucy a tight hug. Lucy smiles warmly.

A little later, while Lucy is walking down a hallway, she runs into the Trix sisters, who surround her, and want Lucy to do something for them, "just like the old days." Nice to see Lucy not wanting to still be friends with these girls, anyway. Course, she'd have to be completely braindead if she still did. Lucy turns a bug passing by huge, which doesn't do anything, really. She also shoots a blast at Icy's Gloomix, which also does nothing, except offend Icy. Stormy shoots a blast at Lucy, knocking her down and putting a purple glow around her. Lucy begs them to stop, and that she will do whatever the Trix ask of her. You really have to feel sorry for Lucy here; she didn't do anything to deserve this. Unless arguing with the fairies earlier counts, but then, most of the Winx girls would be in trouble, too.


The Winx girls, Mirta, and several witches are in Professor Zarathsthra's class, teaching them how to turn their personal demons into actual demons. Bloom says that fairies don't have inner demons, though Zarathsthra says they do. Zarathsthra instructs the students to close their eyes and focus on their friends. She instructs them to think of all the bad things their friends have done to them, but Mirta interrupts, saying that this spell isn't part of the course, that it's a catfight spell intended to have the fairies argue with one another. Zarathsthra confesses, but says she thinks the spell has started to work, at least.

In Miss Griffin's office, Griffin tells Ediltrude that she expects all the teachers to cooperate with the fairies. Ediltrude says she doesn't like the fairies, but Grifin says that after the Trix incident last year, that welcoming the fairies this year looks good to the Magix council. Griffin feels their being eavesdropped on, and removes to door, finding Lucy behind, running off nervously. Ediltrude volunteers to go after her, but Griffin says that Lucy isn't the eavesdropping type, that someone put her up to it.

Meanwhile, Lucy is still running off in the halls, eventually running into Zing, making them both scream; they both head off in another direction. Lucy soon finds Mirta and the Winx girls, then faints. Lucy warns that the Trix sisters are here, and that they forced her to spy for them, and that they're after the Codex. Bloom tells Mirta to warn Miss Griffin, while the Winx girls head off to find the Trix sisters. Specifically, Bloom says "let's bust up some witches" in front of Mirta, but I'm sure Mirta knew she was referring to the Trix sisters, specifically, who none of the other witches like anyway.

Running through the halls, the six girls discuss what to do. Zing flies closely behind.

Bloom: Let's just find them first.
Tecna: Well actually, I find that those witches are adept at not being found.

Tecna may be the first teenager to use the word "adept." Tecna says they could ambush the trio at their destination, and she can figure out where that is with a little time. Stella and the others don't like the plan, with Bloom specifically stating that the Trix could just follow them there.

Musa: Check this plan out: we pretend we know where the Codex is, then go there and set up a trap--
Stella: Oh, great thinking, Musa. Icy's not an idiot, you know!

Stella, frustrated with the others, goes off on her own to look for the Trix. Musa is angry that no one listened to her plan, and goes off, with Layla tagging behind. Bloom decides to go where Lucy last saw the Trix sisters, and Flora follows. And Tecna decides to just go through with her own plan, with Zing following her.

Tecna: My plan is clearly the most logical one of all!

And she's even sure to tell all the nobody around here that fact! Zing appears in her Mission Impossible garb, hanging from strings, as Tecna tries to figure out where the Codex is. She's successful too, making a map locating the Codex! Unfortunately it was terrible timing on Tecna's part, though, as the Trix immediately enter, and Icy ice-coffins Tecna before she can attack. Stormy calls Tecna a mainframe. Appropriate insult for her.

Musa and Layla go to the student lounge. One of the witches says she's not happy to see Musa. Musa tries to make trouble by insulting their hangout. Real smart, Musa.

The Trix sisters find that they cannot directly get to the room with the Codex, but they decide that they can cast a spell through Cloud Tower's veins to get in.

Scenes still shifting at ninety miles an hour, Bloom and Flora find Tecna, encased in ice. Zing tells Bloom that Icy knows where the Codex is. Bloom tells Flora to go find Stella to melt the ice, while she heads for the Codex, spotting it on Tecna's map, still floating there. Zing wants to go with Bloom, but Flora pulls her back, telling her to guard Tecna.

Musa yells at a blonde fairy for jumping her that day back in "Spelled." The witch, in a very valley accent, says she didn't do it, but isn't shy about saying that Musa deserved it anyway. And I have to take the witch's side. For one, the witch Musa is accusing was not at the Hex Cafe that day. For two, after the way Musa's going off on her, I can't blame the witch for thinking Musa deserved it. They're about to fight themselves, but when the Trix sisters break in, they form a temporary truce to beat the Trix, all of them blasting at the Trix sisters.

Meanwhile, in the eighty-third scene change since the last commercial break--actually in the middle of the scene above--Flora finds Stella, and Stella, seemingly not upset with the other girls anyway, hurries off with her.


Back with the big fight in the student lounge, the Trix sisters have the statues fight the witches and Musa and Layla. The witches scream. The Trix leave to get to the Codex.

Back with Tecna, Stella says that her power won't allow her to melt the ice encasing Tecna. Zing tries kicking the ice.

Back with Bloom, she has located the heart of Cloud Tower, and transforms to her winx form, though for a change of pace, the usual transformation sequence isn't shown.

With more caffienated scene changes, we're back with Musa, Layla, and the witches, and we see the statues having been destroyed, though not how they were destroyed. Musa says she and Layla defeated the statues, while the witches insist they did. Considering the witches seemed a lot more scared, I tend to believe that it was, indeed, Musa and Layla who defeated the statues. Layla complains that they let the witches get away. She's not too fond of the witches either, apparently. Musa says that the witches intentionally let the Trix sisters get away. Does Musa honestly believe this?! Seems more likely she just likes trash talking the witches by this point. Right when they're all about to kill each other, Flora, Stella, Tecna--all transformed--come in with Zing, to get Musa, Layla, and the witches together, to lead them all to the heart of Cloud Tower, where the Trix sisters are headed. And the witches don't even ask questions, they just follow agreeably! Doesn't sound to me like they wanted the Trix sisters to get the Codex, nope, nuh-uh!

Already at the heart of Cloud Tower, Bloom's still there, but the Trix sisters come in, all attacking at once. Darcy blinds Bloom, and the sisters are about to attack, as the other Winx girls and witches come in to stop the Trix sisters. They're about to have a big ol' fight with each other, but before they do, the heart of Cloud Tower starts to open, with a shadowy figure inside.

Other Stuff

That was a very fun episode. The caffeine kicked in toward the end... one could get dizzy with the zillions of scene changes there, but really, it was a great show, with a lot of good dialogue!

One of the main themes in the episode seemed to be the hatred between witch and fairy, and somewhat surprisingly, the show didn't put all the blame on the witches! Well, yeah, the witches were witchy, and stubborn, and proud--Mirta warned them about that one--it turns out our fairy heroes could also be like that. It was especially noticeable with Stella and Musa: considering their attitudes, it's a wonder they get along with Mirta, even!

Now Musa's hatred seems to stem from "Spelled," when the witches--aside from just the usual Trix trio--attacked her in front of the Hex Cafe. She seemed almost looking for a fight the whole time. On the other hand, Stella's reasons for hating the witches seems, not surprisingly, more superficial, with witches dressing badly, and using dark powers. She didn't seem to want to get physical like Musa, but she definitely liked swiping at them, anyway.

Tecna, Flora, Layla... Layla seemed to dislike the witches, but she was in much better control of her feelings than Musa or Stella. Flora and Tecna didn't seem to actively hate the witches, but at the same time, they didn't like them much, either.

But Bloom, on the other hand, seemed to genuinely want to get along with the witches, and also wanted her friends to get along with them. Dragon fire or not, Bloom, you just can't work miracles. Bloom really came out looking well, though, trying not to get too upset with anyone, and even coming up with a truce in the library, even if Musa kinda' ruined that truce later on in the student lounge.

Ooh, and Mirta! As usual, she came out darling, as well! Like Bloom, she also just wanted peace between everyone, though she was more reserved about it then Bloom... then again, that's just their different personalities.

Really, though, from Mirta and Lucy's story of their childhood, it seems that witches are outcasts from youth for using dark magic, and as such, the witches hate the fairies. And it all continues from generation to generation, and it's no wonder we've gotten into the whole witch Vs. fairy mess we have today!

Speaking of that, understanding Lucy's hurt from Mirta joining the fairies makes her a more likable character. And after her making up with Mirta, one really cannot dislike Lucy anymore.

Stella's fashion show... even if she was just mocking the witches' fashion taste, I still loved it!

Considering Zing's fascination with witches, it's too bad she didn't bond with Mirta: I'm sure Mirta would like a pixie of her own! Then again, I guess pixies can't bond with witches, probably.

From the pictures during Mirta and Lucy's reminiscing, it seems that Mirta had the blue streak in her hair by junior high, but didn't have it in elementary school. One just has to be curious how she got it!

10 out of 10 on the old scale.