Welcome back to the Wander Over Yonder episode roundup! Man, can Wander be an exhausting little guy to follow, but oh, is it worth it!
The Little Guy (1×07)
Summary: Westley, the littlest Watchdog in Hater’s army, ends up “capturing” Wander and Sylvia. However, he starts to have a change of heart when he really gets to know the two travelers outside of Hater’s propaganda.
This episode was so freaking cute and one of the best examples I’ve seen of how to do a Christmas episode without mentioning Christmas or a holiday since the Adventure Time episode ‘Thank You.’
In the beginning of the episode, we meet Westley, the littlest Watchdog in Lord Hater’s army (voiced by Aziz Ansari). He’s got big dreams of being recognized as the fearsome Watchdog he thinks he is, but he isn’t taken very seriously by everyone else around him. When Sylvia and Wander are spotted on a nearby planet, Westley thinks it is finally his chance, but gets left behind by Peepers when the rest of the watchdogs fail to catch the travelers.
Taking sympathy on the little guy, the two decide to let Westley “capture” them and keep an eye on him until they can get him back to Hater. Westley is gleeful at capturing “the bad guys,” but he’s not a very effective Watchdog himself. From the moment he tries to set the group down a cave, he’s constantly in trouble. The two are quick to look out for him, but Westley refuses to get friendly with them since he believes that there as bad as Hater says they are. Sylvia would be fine to leave him behind, but Wander refuses to leave him alone due to the “changing weather.”
Still, the two slowly get to the little guy and by the time they make it up the mountain for pick up after fighting a Fire Lion and a Cobra Bear, the three of them are sitting down for a meal and Westley finally puts down his blaster in expectation that the two are going to hurt him. As this happens, it begins to snow outside the cave, and Sylvia remarks that Wander was right about the weather changing. YEAH DOUBLE MEANING.
The three of them share a quiet moment at the mouth of the cave the next morning, enjoying the view of the snow capped mountains. However, their moment is quickly interrupted by Hater’s incoming ship. Wander and Sylvia begin to make their escape, but Wander offers to Westley to come with them instead. He seems to contemplate it, but he goes right back to holding them hostage and turns them into Hater.
Immediately, Westley’s dreams start to come true, but he doesn’t seem very happy about it now that he’s really gotten to know Wander and Sylvia. The next night, Peepers comes into Hater’s room (where Captain Tim from ‘The Pet’ is sleeping peacefully) and tells him that Wander and Sylvia have escaped. They watch the footage from the escape, where Hater cheers on Westley as it seems he’s trying to recapture them, but is immediately crestfallen when he sees that the bomb Wander and Sylvia set off shoots the little soldier out into space. He gets emotional at the memorial for him the next day, lamenting the loss of his new hero.
Down on the planet, Wander and Sylvia wonder if they got away with it. Surprise of surprises, Westley is still alive and assures the two of them that it will look like that he’s dead and that they got away safely without him. Wander then sings a song that is a total title drop about being a wanderer, and Westley gives up the life of being a Watchdog to be a kind-hearted, fun-loving wanderer like Wander and Sylvia.
I really loved this episode. It was beautiful visually and in the story. It gave a good message about getting to know people outside of what people say about them and finding something you love. Ansari did a great job as Westley and it made me hope that we’ll see more of the character sometime in the future. I’m definitely adding it to my “episodes that make me feel goodwill towards men” list.
The Bounty (1x08a)
Summary: Infuriated by Lord Hater’s decision to hire bounty hunters to capture Wander and Sylvia, Commander Peepers decides to take matters into his own hands and sabotage the hunters.
I love episodes that don’t focus on the main characters and this one is a really fun one.
Lord Hater has announced to his army that he has hired three bounty hunters to hunt down Wander and Sylvia since Commander Peepers can’t seem to do his job to capture them himself. This, of course, enrages Peepers since he insists that he can still do it and wants all the glory to himself to say that he helped Hater’s spread across the galaxy. Not some bounty hunter.
He follows the hunters down to Phunulon, the vacation planet/Disney Park stand in where the travelers were last spotted. Peepers begins to follow them and tries to throw the first two hunters off their tracks. For Rongruffle the Huntress, he throws coins in her path to keep her from blow dart-ing the two and leads her into a monster enclosure by using fake Zbornak feet. For Killbot 86, he ends up having him digitize an entire crowd of tourists onto Hater’s ship as well as himself. It’s an impressive show of ingenuity and I was kind of rooting for him in a weird way.
Of course, the second it looks like he’s going to capture the two, he and the others get eaten by the third bounty hunter known as The Potted Plant. Wander is stupidly chipper about the whole thing, but as soon as Peepers begins to imagine a future where Hater’s rule spreads across the galaxy thanks to The Potted Plant and Peepers is left cleaning up the toilets, he goes haywire, cutting up the Plant from the inside and beating him up…
…Which leads to Wander and Sylvia escaping.
And Hater replaying his shame over and over again in front of the whole Watchdog Army. Peepers tries to appeal for himself, saying that this should have taught Hater a lesson about hiring bounty hunters. Hater has, and that lesson is hire MORE bounty hunters. Peepers begins to scream in agony and Hater decides to add it to his torture megamix. Which to Peepers’ credit, he did help with that too.
This episode is a lot of fun. Nothing significant happens. No lessons to be learned. Just a lot of second fiddle villainous insanity. Peepers is such an entertaining failure and it was great to see him get an episode mostly to himself.
The Ball (1x08b)
Summary: When the residents of Balzaria 9 are faced with another impending apocalypse, Wander decides to face their problem head on.
Can you say cutest apocalypse ever?
Wander and Sylvia are taking some much needed relaxation time on the peaceful planet of Balzaria 9. However, ominous bells start to chime and the planet’s leader Beeza (Tara Strong) says that it’s time for them to flee once again. She explains that they’ve had eight previous planets destroyed and that it’s pretty much expected at this point. Soon, they will be out of places to settle and will be floating through space until they run out of fuel or food.
What awful terror would do this to these peaceful people nine times?
Buster, the universe’s biggest golden retriever puppy.
So yeah, you’ve probably put it together at this point that Balzaria 9 looks a lot like a tennis ball and Buster just wants to play. However, his playful actions are seen as apocalyptic to the tiny Balzarians.
Wander refuses to let these people lose their home though! He quickly formulates a plan where the people create a rocket to launch at Buster that upon break down will turn into something else a dog can’t resist: a bone!
The plan seems to work as Buster chases the bone rocket. The Balzarians look relieved, but Buster soon comes back and drops the bone rocket on the planet. Because you can’t throw a dog a bone and expect it not to come back.
As the “signs” continue, Wander formulates a new plan to have the people blow dog whistles. Again, it seems to work, but Buster just ends up barking at them, causing earthquakes. He soon starts to lick the planet, but Wander tries one last ditch effort to throw trash at his tongue. As Sylvia says though, dogs love garbage, so it goes about as well as you’d expect.
The Balzarians, Wander, and Sylvia make it onto the ship in time to flee before Buster totally destroys everything. Wander is in disbelief, but Sylvia tells him that sometimes, problems are so big that sometimes, you just need to flee.
This seems to be when the little guy finally snaps, because he goes running for the helm and overtakes the pilot, driving the ship back towards Buster. Sylvia tries to talk him down, but he just screams about needing to face the problem head on right before they crash…
…Onto Buster’s back. Yep, Wander turned the fleeing ship into a permanent flea for the giant puppy and managed to get the people a home after all. They’re happy, but Sylvia just rolls her eyes at the terrible pun as Wander looks onto a yarn ball shaped planet that seems to be having a similar problem.
I’d give this episode more of a three and a half, but I’m more than willing to round up for a cute puppy. It helps that the character designs in general for this episode are really cute too and I like the absurdity of a giant puppy being the continuing source of world ending for people. Hell, I just like the absurdity and cuteness of this show. It’s why I keep reviewing it.