"It's good to be back..."
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Before Ever After
- King Frederic at one point remembers the night Rapunzel was taken: a baby Rapunzel was crying and Frederic let out anguished cries for the guards to come and help. Then he closes the window in a suspiciously abrupt manner. Adult Fear, anyone?
- Remember the spot the healing flower was found that saved Arianna and Rapunzel? Well now that very same place is filled with indestructible spikes and no one knows why they came to be.
- And when Rapunzel touches one of the spikes a powerful blast is unleashed...followed by the newer spikes rising from the ground and nearly killing Rapunzel and Cassandra.
- Lady Caine nearly separates Frederic and his daughter once more.
- Lady Caine telling of Frederic's harsh penalties for criminals, especially when considering how Eugene was nearly hanged, makes one wonder if any innocent people were executed in Frederic's eighteen years without Rapunzel.
What The Hair?!
- Near the beginning of the episode, Rapunzel has a nightmare where Mother Gothel suddenly appears in Rapunzel's bedroom, threatening in that condescendingly-sweet voice of hers to take Rapunzel back to her old tower... whether she likes it or not.
- Rapunzel and Eugene are nearly killed when Varian's experimental boiler system brings the lab down on top of them. They're only saved by The Power of Love somehow causing Rapunzel's hair to form a protective shell around the pair of them.
- The episode ends with Rapunzel confiding to Eugene how she got her hair back, when it cuts to just outside the walls of Corona and one of the sinister magical spikes emerges from a flower bed.
Cassandra V. Eugene
- Seeing as how Rapunzel was raised by Gothel, it's a bit worrying how quickly she comes up with a plan to confine her friends and engage in Evil Laughter.
- Rapunzel invents a guillotine. She personally made it to cut food, but Eugene starts rubbing his neck, implying that it is used for execution... somewhere. This is even worse if you consider that Eugene barely avoided getting executed at the end of Tangled. The thing probably reminded him of that, too.
- Fridge Horror: Beheading machines existed in Europe for centuries before the French Revolution, which means that Eugene may have encountered one during his travels...
- Cassandra almost gets chopped alive by the guy she has a crush on and who takes her on a date, when he's revealed to be evil.
Queen for a Day
- The art teacher "Mrs. Sugarby" is pretty creepy. One look at her mysterious horn-shaped hairdo tells you something is definitely wrong about this lady. Sugarby manipulates her students including Rapunzel, Lance, Ulf, Feldspar and Frieda into painting a dull, leafless tree, which places them under her hypnotic spell as the irises of their eyes turn blank white. Why is she doing this? She's actually an evil spirit named Sugracha the Eternel and she's actually rallying these unfortunate citizens to free her master Zhan Tiri imprisoned in the actual leafless tree that they painted.
The Quest For Varian
- Rapunzel's nightmare, full stop. Her father is murdered in front of her, and Varian comes up behind her, screaming at her and blaming her for the death of his own father. Then, the black rocks pop up all around them both, until Rapunzel is nearly torn in half... and she wakes up dangling off the balcony by her hair. Holy shit.
Secret of the Sundrop
Beyond the Corona Walls
- We finally meet the Baron and he is just as terrifying as Eugene and Lance have implied in the past, a mountain of a man who hates Eugene for leaving his daughter at the alter years and years ago.
- Stalyan, said daughter, is also a real piece of work who goes along with her dad's plan to force Eugene to marry her by poisoning Lance. She even makes him publicly break up with Rapunzel to do it, and refuses to call him by his name, referring to him as "Rider" no matter his correcting her.
- How does the Baron poison people? With a rare spider he keeps in a large ring that has slow-acting venom. Lance is feverish and ill all day, slowly losing more and more touch with reality and is only saved at the last minute by Pascal swiping the antidote. Also, soon after being bitten Lance gets green boils all over his body, which is horrifying to see.
- If the viewer happens to be as arachnophobic as Lance is, seeing that spider crawl into his shirt and bite him can send a shiver down the spine.
- The sadistic way the Baron forces Eugene to marry Stalyan: by poisoning his best friend Lance. And the Baron could easily just have threatened to poison Lance, but no, he actually lets Lance be bitten and only promises to deliver the antidote when Eugene goes through with the marriage. Eugene has to watch his friend get sicker and sicker.
- The Baron gets poisoned by his own ring-spider, and Stalyan has to drag him off at the end. While he's likely to have more antidote around given it's his weapon of choice, imagine how much worse Stalyan might be if he doesn't recover from it.
- Mother and Father introduce themselves as pretty jovial folk, but then something eerie about them is revealed. They soon reveal themselves to be kidnappers who turned human beings into their pet birds - one of them a kid - and are not only obsessed but also insanely devoid of empathy. Although far from being Disney's only experiment with this type of character, the consistently bright, dissonant tone sets them up as superbly disturbing, not helped by the fact that their real nature is never disclosed.
- The negative effects the Idol of Happiness has on everyone. Almost like the One Ring itself, after only a few hours of use all of the heroes - even sweet, virtuous Rapunzel - are consumed with obsessive need for it, scheming and attacking one another just for a few more minutes in its presence. Even after they let it go, they remain twitchy and unstable and easily fall back under its power, as if going through withdrawal.
- Worse still is that it appears to be sentient and in order to protect itself from being destroyed, it conjures up a hallucination of Varian in front of Rapunzel, who has a Psychotic Smirk on his face and is holding a hallucination of her father captive, saying he needs him for "a little experiment" as he pours a potion down his throat. Clearly, Varian's actions and mental state in the Season 1 finale left a scar on Rapunzel's psyche.
Rapunzel and the Great Tree
- Rapunzel learns the special power of her hair. Because of the moonstone, she can drain the life from everything her hair touches. When she first uses it, she can't turn it off and nearly kills her friends. The second time, in order to save her friends, she loses control again and only manages to stop herself when Cassandra desiccates her hand trying to get Rapunzel to stop.
- The manifestation of that power is downright chilling: just as using the power of the Sundrop causes Rapunzel's hair to glow, the first instances of the "Hurt Incantation" drain the color from both her hair and her eyes.
- Look closely at Cass's desiccated hand: you can see muscle and sinew exposed in places!
Lost and Found
- After Eugene learns that someone in Rapunzel's group will betray her when they reach the Dark Kingdom, Cassandra's genuine smile changes into a Psychotic Smirk when he turns around, which he immediately notices. Whatever she's planning, whatever is motivating her, whenever it happens, Rapunzel could lose another friend to the dark side, and Cassandra is already closer to her than Varian was...
- This is ultimately proven true in the season finale, when Cassandra takes the Moonstone for herself and bonds with its power.
- Cassandra's realization that, not only is she the daughter of Mother Gothel, but that she was abandoned by her in favor of Rapunzel. It has been a common trait of Cassandra's personality that she has felt overshadowed by Rapunzel, but the realization that Rapunzel was the reason for her abandonment as a child, and has overshadowed her for not just her time back in Corona, but her entire life must be horrifying to take in all at once.
- During the climax of "Crossing The Line", Cassandra symbolically severs the bond between herself and Rapunzel, cutting her loose, by literally destroying the bridge Rapunzel is standing on - preventing the blonde from following her by literally putting her life in grave danger. It's the first of many signs in Season 3 that, as much as Rapunzel hates to admit it, Cassandra is legitimately dangerous now and is willing to do terrible things to her former friends.
- Rapunzel's parents not only lost their memories, but they think Varian is their most trusted advisor.
- For a guy who is mostly Laughably Evil, Andrew's plan here is shockingly dark: using Varian's failed amnesia potion as an explosive, he intends to bomb Corona, taking countless lives in the process. Worse still is that he instructs one of his henchman to take the amnesiac King and Queen to watch their beloved kingdom burn...and then kill them.
Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
- Angry's Nightmare Sequence where everyone in Corona, including Red, turns into werewolves before her very eyes.
- While she later becomes a lot more cuddly and heartwarming when Red gains control of her rage, the first time the heroes meet the werewolf is very tense. Under a grim fog, it's laying waste to Old Corona - likely expressing Red's rage at being forced to live there - destroying everything in sight. When Rapunzel follows her, the werewolf instead hunts her down in the woods like a predator - whether or not she was going to attack, Red only stops herself at the last second.
- The true nature of the wolf curse. It's less an affliction and more like a living thing, like some kind of magical spirit. When searching for a new host, it specifically targets emotionally vulnerable people who harbor deep-seated anger. What's worse, it's implied that even if the host is killed, the curse will simply migrate to another.
- The revelation that Rapunzel possesses a fraction of the Moonstone's power after she touched the Black Rocks for the first time (as seen in Before Ever After). Before she was told this information, Cassandra seemed to be holding on to a sliver of a possibility of reconciling with Rapunzel, until the Enchanted Girl told her that Rapunzel had already stolen part of Cassandra's power before she even got to it. She grows furious and tears in half a painting of her and Rapunzel. It was calming for us to know that, despite her betrayal, Cassandra had no real reason to go after Rapunzel, preferring to stay away from her to avoid living in her shadow. However, with this new information, Cassandra now has a legitimate reason to both pursue and physically harm Rapunzel.
Be very afraid
- Rapunzel having to deal with at least a couple hundred evil Cassandras, all of whom resulted from the Captains wish to have the young Cassandra with him again.
- The Enchanted Girl. In this episode alone, she easily proves to be one of the darkest and most vile antagonists in the Tangled franchise, surpassing the likes of Varian, Cassandra, Hector, Lady Caine, and others.
- While she's already spent most of the season manipulating Cassandra and trying to get her to destroy Rapunzel, this episode is where she shows what a monster she truly is. She only gets more and more sinister as the special progresses, right down to invading Varians dreams. There, she proceeds to introduce herself to him as a giant blue disembodied head. Even when she displays her true form to the understandably unsettled teenage boy, she proceeds to, quite literally, split herself in half for a moment before reassembling her body and twisting her head 180°. As a ghost she embodied the Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon trope, but her physical form turns out to be even more disturbing; a being of black, white and grey that spells death.
- The fact that she displays gleeful sadism as she attempts to have Cassandra murder Rapunzel's loved ones and break her spirit, complete with a horryfing Slasher Smile, doesn't help one bit. It's a notable contrast to how calm and borderline stoic she was earlier in the episode and in previous episodes.
- When Rapunzel and Cassandra are battling, we get a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the Enchanted Girl looking like Zhan Tiri, signifying she is him...
- In a testament to how far gone in her madness Cassandra is at this point, she tries to brutally murder all her friends half a dozen times in the span of one two-parter. First, she nearly crushes Eugene, Lance and Maxmius to death with a giant golden globe. Then, she nearly makes the trio fall to their deaths down a giant chasm to distract Rapunzel. Then, she tries to crush her to a pulp with one of her giant pillars of rock. Then she tries to make Rapunzel drop hundreds of feet to her death out of her tower, before trying to impale her on jagged spikes. Finally, she tries to squeeze the life out of Eugene in a rock prison to provoke Rapunzel.
- Cassandra kidnapped a minor, tied him up, drugged him, and then kept him prisoner. It really is terrifying to see how far she has fallen.
Race to the Spire
- In case there was any doubt left over from the previous episode, the Enchanted Girl finally gives us her name: Zhan Tiri.
A Tale Of Two Sisters
- Cassandra tries to murder Rapunzel a few more times in Gothel's lair, before sealing her inside a tunnel that's filling up with poison gas and leaving her to die at the episode's end. Yet another disturbing sign of what Cassandra is capable of from her jealousy and resentment.
Once A Handmaiden...
- When Cassandra confronts Zhan Tiri in her rock tower, she grabs the demon, causing her to see visions of the sun melting to reveal her silhouetted form and Zhan Tiri's demonic form shrieking before smiling evilly and closing in on the screen.
- The entire final battle can be seen as this. Cassandra had spent the entire episode trying to honestly make amends with Rapunzel (through a disguise) after realizing Zhan Tiri's manipulation. However, thanks to the demon's meddling, Cassandra realizes that Project Obsidian, a weapon meant to destroy her, is real and she finally gives in to her darkest intentions (quite literally saying that she is the bad guy now, in the exact same way Gothel did in the film) and conquers Corona, covering it in black rocks, just like in Rapunzel's vision in "Be Very Afraid".
Plus Est En Vous
- When Rapunzel runs into Zhan Tiri as the eclipse starts, and the light from the Sundrop emerging forces the demon to flee, she hisses, revealing a long tongue, and skitters away on her back, looking very creepy as she does so.
- When they're accidentally sucked into the portal to where Zhan Tiri was trapped for thousands of years, they start transforming in various unsettling ways that could be permanent if they stayed too long, like Lance becoming covered in Extra Eyes, Varian's Skunk Stripe becomes a live snake, etc. Kiera, whose head has become a balloon and detached from her body, risking floating away, even notes that she'd be pretty mad if, like Zhan Tiri, she had been stuck in it for thousands of years.
- Zhan Tiri stealing the powers of both the Sun Drop and the Moonstone and transforming into a huge Eldritch Abomination, complete with her signature horns and a lower torso made of tentacles, her voice even transforming into a terrifying deep tenor, forcing all the Coronans to flee.
: Finally! They're mine! I'd like both of you for giving what rightfully belongs to me! (ZT clutches the Sundrop and Moonstone, cackling evilly
) At long last, THEY! ARE! MINE!
(slowly transforms into her giant black demonic true self, her voice becoming deeper
- Zhan Tiri bursting out of the window as the Coronans look on in horror.
Zhan Tiri: LET THE AGE OF ZHAN TIRI BEGIN!
- Zhan Tiri mocking Rapunzel and Cassandra after de powering both of them before leaving them in a prison of yellow rock shards.
Zhan Tiri: At last, the power's mine! I've dreamt of wielding the Sundrop and the Moonstone FOR CENTURIES! (cackles maniacally...then Rapunzel lassoes her wrist)
Rapunzel: I'm all about people living out their dreams, but today, not so much!
Zhan Tiri: You may have been a worthy adversary once, Princess. But now, you are NOTHING! (flings Rapunzel's hair off her wrist, knocking her to the ground) And you. (scoops up Cassandra with her diabolical hand. Cass struggles in ZT's iron grip) You lost before you even began, girl! Just like your mother—failed by your own ego!
Rapunzel: Leave her alone!
Zhan Tiri: I'm sorry if I gave the impression we were having a conversation! (tosses Cass to the floor)
Zhan Tiri: Now watch as I finally deliver on a promise I made LONG AGO! (golden pointy rocks burst out of the floor, forming a prison around Raps and Cass) Time to destroy Corona!
- As a testament to Zhan Tiri's sociopathy, the demon recites the Decay Incantation, and just straight up weakens hundreds of innocent people, which includes Eugene, Rapunzel's parents, and her other close friends, leaving all of them to slowly get weaker and weaker to the point of pain and exhaustion, with the intention of murdering them all. They were almost done for by the time Rapunzel restored them with the Healing Incantation.