Dropout never ceases to amaze me. When Fantasy High came out, it was such a fun show to watch that took me to fantastic places, much better than real life. Can you believe that The Seven is season 11?! It's only been three years!
In any case, I want to let you know that this review and all the reviews in the future are obviously going to include spoilers! You've been warned!
With that out of the way, let's dive into Episode 1.
The Perfect Introduction
If there's something I appreciate about Brennan's storytelling, it's the authenticity. These seven maidens are advertised as a group Forged In Fire during the crisis at the end of Fantasy High's season 1. So, of course, we need to see what went down.
The group rolled to see who would wake up first and started a hilarious introductory conversation. Then two servants of the emperor of the red waste came out to see how the spell went down.
Large pillars of glowing light marked that Calvaxus was released and the story of The Seven, now fulfilled its duty to the original storyline, was free to continue however it needed from that point on.
I love how easy Brennan made this flashback look. A small event happens that triggers a story in a different place, and now we're free to pursue this story.
So, while in this cavern, Brennan grabs the attention of Sam with a crying voice, and she grabs Penny to come with her and check it out.
She didn't have to do it - but she did. And from then, through conversation and a little bit of help from Sam's mirror, we are introduced to "The Ending Of Things."
I still don't know if this is a nickname or just a title. It is most definitely not the actual name of this being in the ancient mirror. Sam and Penny played it safe by giving this creature false names.
Eventually, this mirror shatters, and this being escapes. Of course, this was Brennan's plan all along, and they fell right for it.
This being in the mirror will probably be the villain of this season, but we don't know yet, and that's exciting! What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
From there, the flashback ends, and we begin to get in touch with the characters in the current day.
Also, just a reminder, the current day in terms of this season is after any season or one-shot you know of in the world of Spyre.
Introducing Antiope Jones
The legendary Aabria Iyengar plays Antiope Jones. That character is so fun to watch!
We get to see her wake up for the first day of school and face both of her parents in the kitchen. Her dad is totally immersed in running on a "fantasy treadmill," and her tactician mom tells her she has been accepted for a special internship.
Antiope is torn between her party and the internship, and a fight ensues with her mom, which she handles very badly.
I loved to see that bit unfold, and Brennan is amazingly annoying as Antiope's mom. Kudos for making me want to throw something at ya! :)
When the fight ends and Antiope's sister takes her to school, all her siblings join a group call to tell her that their parents always win. And that's really what life as a teen is all about, right?
Getting to survive and develop your own voice as adults in your life tells you who you should be. Aabria has done a wonderful job at highlighting this struggle for Antiope.
Introducing Sam Nightingale
Sephy Valentine plays Sam. And Sam Nightingale is a powerful spellcaster. We see it as she is introduced in the beginning by casting a freaking tidal wave and washing away the guards.
Later on, we are introduced to Sam as a member of the Everpetal household and how much Penelope Everpetal - the prom queen who tried to take over the world - meant to her.
A glimpse of Sam's relationship with her abusive mother is also a part of that scene. All I can is Sam is a powerful human being with deep emotions. Sometimes I identify with the intensity of emotion she evokes because I feel emotions on a deeper level, too.
As of writing this review, I have already watched the next episode, too, and the third came out, but I haven't watched it yet (so no spoilers!)
As a teaser for the next post, I can say Sam is doing some dangerous, incredible, and incredibly dangerous things next time.
I also love How Sephy made the character her own and made it canonically Trans, which is cool and up to par with Dimension 20's inclusivity standards.
I'm hyped for more Sam and Penny (Luckstone) interactions, too! Those were hilarious!
Introducing Penny Luckstone
Penny. Penny, Penny Penny. Becca Scott plays her, and it's just amazing to see what she does with the character! So creative and hilarious!
Penny is so adorable! But, what I get as a viewer is that there is a resilient soul who worked very hard to be where she is under all of this cuteness.
Penny might be the smallest in the group but let's not forget she is one of the students that should graduate. And in stark contrast to the bad kids and even the rest of the seven - she actually went to classes and got straight A's.
When we shine some light on Penny's home, we get to know she has 19 other siblings. That's insanely funny! I loved how Brennan described it at the moment when he said there is chaos, but there must be some measure of order for a family to reach this size.
And that leads to introducing Penny's parents as people who time any minute. Imagine having a heart-to-heart with your parent in under two minutes. That's what Penny gets when she asks to talk to her mother about an interesting shadowy apprenticeship invitation she got.
More on that in the next episode review.
Introducing Katja Cleaver
The insanely funny Rekha Shankar plays Katja Cleaver. She's a half-orc and very shy. She loves her magic horse, Cinnamon. Which I believe is canonically her steed and not a familiar (right? Correct me if I'm wrong)
After the whole red waste flashback, we get to know Katja's home. It's a mansion, but that is not Katja's part in it - the backyard is. Rekha describes that the family owns 101 horses, and that's where Katja spends most of her time - with her best friend Cinnamon, of course.
Rekha did an amazing job portraying an aspect of Katja that many people from Asian families can relate to - family pride. When her father - who is a 20th level adventurer - communicates with her from another plane and tells her he can't come to her graduation, and she rolls deception to make sure he can't know that she is sad he can't come.
And I love how a simple choice to conceal her sadness made it possible for millions of people to identify with Katja immediately. Good job, Rekha!
I'm rooting for Katja because I believe that we haven't seen what she can do yet for all her shyness.
Introducing Ostentatia Wallace
Isabella Rolland (a.k.a Izzy) is playing Ostentatia Wallace. I love the direction Izzy took for the character as "jersey trash" So much yelling and her compelling dynamic with Brennan, too.
Ostentatia is the fun one. Every party has a leader, an intelligent wizard, a rogue, and a cleric. She is that Cleric, but she also carries around a big hammer. Meaning she could probably tank if the situation called for it.
We find Ostentatia in her home, waking up and getting ready for the day with Music. Then we get introduced to her mom as they "talk" in high volume while Nona - the grandmother - is present.
I want to iterate a lesson: 'When you fight in the kitchen, it poisons whatever is cooking."
You know, it was probably a joke, but do you remember the rice test? So, every joke has a grain of truth🙂
Ostentatia is the one most likely to make big swings, and I'm waiting to see that unfold.
Introducing Danielle Barkstock
Erika Ishii is playing Danielle Barkstock. I think the moment we realize how Chaotic she is going to be is when she shares, in the first 10 minutes of the episode, that she was in on the plan with Penelope Everpetal before it became what it was. That's HILARIOUS!
Erika took Danielle in the direction of Anarchism, and we get to see more of that when we see her conversation with her moms and when Bud Cubby, the anarchist mailman, comes over to bring the mail.
Danielle plays a very high-wisdom character. And I think it's very reflective of Erika as a person, too. Her performance on Misfits and Magic blew me the freak away.
I can't wait to see what's in store for Danielle or, as she would say - Ielle (Yell? Yelle?)
At the end of the episode, after all of the characters were introduced in their own homes and natural surroundings, The Seven all get to school to meet with principal Aguefort who notifies them that their party is broken up by the end of the year.
The group is in shock, and as always, that's where wonderful Brennan ends the episode.
I've already seen what happens next, but I'd love to hear what you think in the comments if you didn't see the next episode yet. Let me know!
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the next review!