Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Previously on Trini Superhero Web Series Magonolia (SPOILERS AHEAD, duh!) sword-wielding alien villain Lallane arrived on earth and confronted Magonolia, seeking to kill her for being a half-human, half-Capernaum “abomination”. But before she can strike her coup de grace she is stopped by high-ranking Capernaum warrior Vaser Claw and the aliens leave.
While the second episode focused primarily on Lallane and her back story, Episode 3 swings focus back around to Rachel Quintino, aka teenage telekinetic hero Magonolia, and we see her in the aftermath of her near lethal defeat. The episode is also dedicated to the heroes of St Vincent and the Grenadines following the eruption and devastation caused by the La Soufrière volcano. Here’s my review with some mild SPOILERS:
The episode begins with Rachel at home and recalling the near death experience with Lallane. Actress Aaliyah Ragoonath-Maharaj does well to embody the fear, trauma, and weight of the experience. We see her with her drunk of a father who makes her the runniest egg I have ever seen. Man that is enough to ruin anyone’s appetite and Rachel decides to skip breakfast. Her father also berates her for texting all the time, but I mean, she is a teenager. What else do you expect her to do? And I will say I appreciated how large the words were presented as it is a pet peeve of mine when shows have characters communicating via text and it is so blinking small you cannot even read what the heck they are saying without a magnifying glass. Sheesh!
And speaking of annoying, when Rachel gets to school she is picked on by her classmates. She is a bit of a loner and this makes her an easy target. She also gets a low grade on her test adding to her distress. The school struggles reminded me of Peter Parker/Spider-Man and I always enjoy seeing young heroes dealing with young people issues. One thing about the editing though, this has to be shortest class ever! By the time the teacher (played by Vechenko Noel, whaddup Chenko!) goes up to the board the bell rings. Now that is a Zoom class. Get it? Zoom? Yeah, that was an awful pun. Anywho, I thought they could have done the old “show the clock at one time and then cut to a later time” to show the passage of time here. How it is edited though, it just seems kinda weird.
Rachel goes outside school and decides the best pick-me-up would be to pick herself up and do some flying. Now she probably should have looked around to see if anyone else was there before transforming into her Magonolia costume, but I guess we can chalk it up to youthful exuberance. And I still don’t know how her telekinetic ability allows her to change clothing so quickly (she does this in the previous episode as well). Maybe rapid costume changes is her second ability. (Magonolia creator) Ancil Harris! I need answers.
And now to the flying scene. Magonolia has nowhere near the budget of your average Hollywood superhero blockbuster so one should not expect to see Hollywood-level special effects here. But while not the most realistic-looking scene it serves it’s purpose, and Ragoonath-Maharaj’s exuberance does help to sell it. And I will say I have seen much worse in other shows and films.
And now to my favourite part of the episode, Magonolia versus the Purse Snatcher. I really loved it. Firstly, having a superhero take down a low-level criminal is quite the genre trope, but it’s a trope that works and it definitely works here. Secondly, Ragoonath-Maharaj sold both the power and cheekiness of this character in this one scene. Thirdly, the action and effects look pretty cool and, though brief, it is a punchy and effective scene. And finally, the reaction of the mugging victim is very believable. Of course you gonna film the superhero and post it up on your social media. Otherwise, did it even happen?
And just a little behind the scenes trivia. The purse snatcher is played by Keyon Brown, who plays Trini superhero Batchack Man in the feature film of the same name. The character has joined the Ville Ventures Universe family (which features Magonolia and other heroes Night Rogue and Tarsin) so fans can look forward to possibly seeing Batchack Man team up or even square off against Magonolia in the future. For now, we can just enjoy seeing Brown get his backside handed to him without Mags even breaking a sweat.
I enjoyed the arc of Rachel working through her trauma by getting back to her superhero roots and coming out stronger than ever. Kudos again to Ragoonath-Maharaj on her performance and the writing team as well.
And for fans of Lallane and the Capernaum conflict subplot, we do get a few scenes of that intergalactic intrigue. And can I just say I love Vaser Claw’s new outfit. It is pure fire! The scene sets up a big battle with their enemies the Moors that I am at the edge of my seat for. The team better start looking for some extra extras because I’m gonna need to see the full battle royale this scene promises.
Overall I had a pretty good time with Episode 3 and I think it’s the best one yet. Great character development for Rachel/Magonolia, a cool tease for Lallane and the Capernaum warriors, and a cliffhanger setting up a major threat for Magonolia to face. What more could you ask for?
Well, of course, more episodes. But patience is a virtue, so I will be waiting with bated breath for Episode 4.
Editor Jules’s Score: 7 out of 10
You can view all three Magonolia episodes at GT Caribbean Network by clicking here. For Senior Writer Sommer’s thoughts on the first three episodes you can check out her video review below:
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.