And with this episode, we wrap up a legitimately great week for the show. We have had 5 episodes, with 1 of them being good and 4 being great/brilliant. That’s a huge step up from the previous weeks of new season 2 episodes, which had at least one major dud in them. It’s so refreshing to see the show improve its quality and continue to deliver televised content worth watching. Let’s hope they can keep this up.
As far as the episode itself goes, it was yet another really great story. Many people have called it one of their new favourite episodes in the show so far, and while I personally wouldn’t go that far (actually, come to think of it, I ought to update my top 10 episodes list at some point), it was still really high quality content. Let’s start by talking about the Louds and their alter egos. It’s about time we saw their Ace Savvy counterparts appear on the show, as these images of the Loud sisters as Ace Savvy characters have existed for a long time now, without them actually having any canonical significance. But here they are, and it’s pretty awesome. The Loud House has always had an art style somewhat resembling of a comic book, which enabled the Ace Savvy segment of the episode to fit in so well with the rest of the story. The segment itself was very fun to watch, showing off the abilities of Lincoln/Ace Savvy’s sidekicks by translating the talents of the sisters into a combat oriented scenario. For instance, Lana’s plumbing abilities become useful when she screws open a pipe to force down some fleeing goons with a wave of water. The whole sequence is just really fun to watch.
The rest of the episode is also full of laughs, hi-jinks and surprise twists. The main plot consists of the main duo, with help from their sisters, trying to reclaim Lincoln’s comic book from the Principal before 4:00 so they can submit it in an Ace Savvy contest. There are some humorous moments which arise from the conflict between the Principal and the siblings. The sisters utilise their skills quite neatly in an attempt to retrieve Lincoln’s comic book from Principal Huggins’s clutches. For example, Lucy uses bats to create a situation in the gym, causing Huggins to attend the scene and leave his office, and then Lisa uses her intelligence to distract his assistant by going through an assessment of the school’s budget with her. Then with those attempts fail, the following chase sequence continues to provide these moments. Lynn uses her boomerang to get the comic from Huggins’s car, only to catch a racoon instead, while Luan uses the classic ‘slip on a banana peel’ gag to cause the car to spiral out of control, which then enabled the Louds to successfully get the comic back. All of these were funny and entertaining moments throughout the story, which also served to further the direction of the plot, as well as demonstrate instances of the sisters helping Lincoln with his current dilemma.
The sisters helping Lincoln and Clyde was such a refreshing change of pace for the show after so many recent episodes this season have portrayed them at their worst, and made them seem like they dislike or detest Lincoln. Here, they actually all chip in and help him succeed in getting his comic book back. This instance of all the siblings co-operating and working on the same page was so great to see, and served to slightly rebuild the relationship between the sisters and Lincoln. Now we just need to see more instances of the Louds actually getting along and helping one another and less of them outright despising each other, and we’re all good. All this being said, I did take a slight issue with the reason as to why the sisters were helping. Lola and Lana provided great emphasis on how they are only doing so in order to get famous. While a perfectly understandable and believable motive, I would have liked it to be a little less shallow. Maybe instead of, or addition to, that reason, they also just simply wanted to help Lincoln because they know how much that contest meant to him, or because they, like the kids at school, read his comic and liked and so developed appreciation for his talents. I personally would have liked less shallow motives, as that did slightly cheapen the relationship dynamic between the Louds in this episode, but not so much that it completely ruins it. Minor critiques aside, this was still, overall, a really sound portrayal of the relationship between Lincoln and his sisters.
The plot synopsis suggested Lincoln would have a rival in this story, and that rival turned out to be Principal Huggins, who was previously seen in Frog Wild. Huggins undergoes a very similar character arc in this story to Mr Grouse in 11 Louds a Leapin. In fact, this episode has quite a lot in common with that. Huggins takes Lincoln’s comic book away from him, with his justification being Lincoln is wasting his time and should spend his hours in school studying (even though Lincoln was not in class at the time, but on his lunch break). But it was revealed that he only did so because he wanted to place an entry in the contest, but was intimidated by the quality of Lincoln’s entry that he took the comic away. Huggins then receives a backstory, explaining why he was a fan of Ace Savvy because he was a lonely child growing up and turned to comic books as a form of relatability, relief and escapism. Lincoln and Clyde then feel sorry for him, do him a favour, and they become friends. It’s the same as 11 Louds a Leapin. I will say, this did give Huggins some valuable character development. We receive a backstory, some exposed hidden depths to his personality, and he even becomes allies with the protagonists (at least for now, he could go back to being antagonistic in future appearances). He also got some pretty funny lines in this story, and interacted solidly with the main duo. However, if we compare the ending to the one from 11 Louds a Leapin, because this is only 11 minutes long with that story was twice the length, this episode didn’t really have the time to execute its resolution as well as that story did. In this episode, Huggins just takes the comic book away for seemingly no good reason, spends the majority of the episode’s running being chased by the Louds, and then suddenly just reveals a backstory quickly on the spot and then suddenly, BFF’s with Lincoln and Clyde and a happy ending. It was a decent ending, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t quite have the impact that 11 Louds a Leapin’s narrative resolution had. It felt rather rushed, to be honest. It’s still a decent, satisfying ending, but I felt the ’11 Louds’ ending was better executed due to a longer running time. The Christmas celebration at Mr Grouse’s house was far more spectacular a conclusion than this quick one here. Still, I’m comparing this episode to what is arguably the best story in the show so far, so determining it is not necessarily as good as that does not mean it is of poor quality by any means.
In fact, it is a really great story. It has lots of entertaining moments throughout and a lot to like about it. It’s just a lot of fun. The Ace Savvy scenes contain a lot of great action, as does the chase sequence between the Louds and Huggins. There are a number of laughs to be found, and the ending is honestly a pretty solid and satisfying one, if a little rushed and resembling of an even better story. Is it one of the absolute best episodes in the show like so many fans have been saying? Again, I wouldn’t personally go that far, but that’s just my perspective. It’s still worthwhile television and a welcome addition to the series. Who knows, but maybe we could get an episode in the future set entirely within the world of Ace Savvy, starring the Louds as their counterparts. That would be pretty neat, if this episode is any indication.
Final Rating: 8/10.
More thoughts and predictions: The Loud House season 2.
March 13th to March 16th.
Okay, so let’s go through some possibilities for what the next bunch of episodes could bring…
March 13th: No Such Luck.
Synopsis: Lincoln finds himself with unexpected free time after his sisters worry that he is bad luck, and ban him from attending their activities.
Elaboration: Considering recent episodes such as Making the Grade and Brawl in the Family, many people are already calling it that this episode will be another one of those episodes about the sisters being mean to Lincoln and him being shunned out for no good reason. I can’t say it would surprise me if all these predictions were to become true at this point, but I retain the view that all new stories should be given a fair chance before any final judgments are formed. While this plot synopsis does have me a little worried, it still has some potential. Maybe the episode doesn’t take the mean-spirited approach and instead focuses on the aspect of Lincoln having some more free time to himself. Maybe he even likes this new status quo, considering before his sisters were often prone to pressuring him into activities he doesn’t particularly enjoy (I.e. having tea parties with Lola or sparring and playing sports with Lynn). Plus, it could lead to the conclusion from the sisters that they actually need him sometimes, and actually begin to show appreciation for him and all he does for them, which would make a refreshing alternative from the recent stories where they have done nothing but blame him for everything and make him an outcast. Is that an optimistic outlook? Probably. But I don’t wish to be one of those people who goes into things wanting to hate them.
Mini-rant: All I ask (from the show in general, not just this episode) is the creators of The Loud House do their best to overcome their biggest writing flaws, and suppress and eradicate the show’s most significant recurring issues. Issues such as the sisters and other characters exercising unjustified meanness towards Lincoln, inconsistency in the narratives and characterisation, and the repetition in the show due to the fact that 90% of the episodes tend to revolve around Lincoln causing a problem or doing something to upset the sisters and the rest of the episode being about them being mad at him. It’s old and overused as well as annoying at this point. Brawl in the Family was the worst example of this problem. The recent episode, Making the Grade, was a lesser example. The meanness was less severe and arguably more justified, since at the very least, Lincoln did play a role in changing Lisa's personality for his own interests instead of telling his peers off, but even still, many recent stories have been portraying the sisters as somewhat abusive towards Lincoln in a way that isn't funny and it reflects negatively on their characters. I'm not saying cut it out entirely. After all, the show is about Lincoln's life in a house with 10 different, zany sisters. Conflicts and moments of meanness are a given, but it could be argued at this point that it is being taken too far in some of the episodes.
March 14th: Frog Wild.
Synopsis: Lincoln and Clyde's class is going to be dissecting frogs. When Lana hears about it, she convinces Lincoln that it is wrong, and the two embark on a frog rescue mission.
Elaboration: This one is intriguing, to say the least. Given the plot synopsis, this one isn’t so predictable, as there are so many different routes the narrative could take. I am rather looking forward to this one, if mainly because it is another example of Lincoln bonding with one of his sisters in particular. Lana has not been given that much focus in the show thus far (her only focal episode in season 1 being Toads and Tiaras, which while a good episode, involved her acting like her twin Lola for most of the episode’s duration due to plot specific reasons) and as a result, sometimes gets overshadowed by some of the other sisters in terms of popularity, so this could be her chance to really shine. As her and Lincoln join forces to rescue the frogs, we could learn a lot about her character and deeper layers of her personality, as well as expand on the relationship between her and Lincoln. I don’t know what else to make of this episode based on the synopsis alone, but that’s actually a good thing. Sometimes, narratives are too predictable, such as with the recent episode Vantastic Voyage. Who wasn’t watching that episode and thinking to themselves that the resolution would involve Lynn Sr getting rid of his new van and regaining Vanzilla because he loves his family and wants their love back? Here, there are multiple scenarios which could unfold and that’s advantageous.
March 15th: Patching Things Up.
Synopsis: Lana and Lola try out for Bluebell Scouts, but they soon discover that one of them may be more suited for it than the other.
Elaboration: Really? One of these two is more suited for the scouts than the other… who would have thought that? Anyway, this is another episode focusing on one or more of the twins, and much like Frog Wild, is one to look forward to as it could contain some valuable character development for the twins, as well as some further insight into the relationship between Lincoln and the twins as well as the twins with each other. The hi-jinks which our main leads endure during this story may result in some solid humour, and we may even be introduced to some likeable new characters within the scouts group. Considering the plot description, this may even be the first Lincoln-absent episode in the series (though I highly doubt that since he is the main protagonist and his face still appears in the title card; he may take more of a background or supporting role, however) and if so, that will be intriguing in how it will be handled, to say the least. Overall, I would say this is one to look forward to.
March 16th: Cheater By The Dozen.
Synopsis: When Lincoln and Clyde think Bobby is cheating on Lori, they follow him around town gathering evidence.
Elaboration: People have proposed so many potential ideas going into this one. Maybe Lori’s lookalike Carol makes an appearance and is the person Bobby has been seen with. Maybe we finally get to see the Santiago parents. Maybe Ronnie Anne makes an appearance (though sadly, I’m actually banking on that being the least likely scenario out of all the possibilities I just listed). More than likely, however, it will just be a generic story about the protagonist misunderstanding the whole situation, and it will turn out Bobby was innocent all along and Lincoln will learn his lesson to not just simply jump to conclusions. Then he and Clyde (who may just be joining him for the purpose of slandering Bobby in the interest of his hopeless crush with Lori) will apologise and then everything will be cool again. Maybe the writers will take a less predictable route, which I fully encourage them to do more often, provided the end result is still solid television. This may be a bad episode, but it could surprise us as well. We’ll just have to wait and see…