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Recap / Star vs. the Forces of Evil S4 E15 "Ghost of Butterfly Castle"

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Moon travels to the ruins of Butterfly Castle to get her old day planner and ends up crossing paths with a "ghostly" resident.


Tropes:

  • Animal Assassin: Mina trains crows to slip Yada Yada Berries into Eclipsa's food to petrify her. Most of them, however, squeezed too hard and were petrified themselves.
  • Animal Motifs: Crows. Mina has started giving herself a crow motif by training them as part of her new army. A crow also becomes a mark of Mina's presence.
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  • The Beastmaster: Mina tamed crows for her uprising. Too bad all but one have petrified themselves by eating Yada Yada berries.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Moon has retrieved the schedule book for her people so they can organize themselves and finally learns to relax and think about herself for once. But it's treated somberly, given she's resigned herself to being a bystander who no longer has Mewni's well-being at heart. What's more, it ends with crows flying overhead, hinting that Mina may be a bigger threat than Moon is giving credit.
  • Book-Ends: The episode begins with Moon sitting in a hammock, gazing at a sky full of birds. The ending has her return to her hammock and gaze at the sky. Only this time, crows fly overhead.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Butterfly castle is cursed. Or haunted. Or cursed with a haunting. Or haunted by a curse. Or maybe the ghost just curses at people. It's none of those things.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Mina Loveberry returns after her last major appearance in "Monster Bash" and minor appearance in "Divide."
  • Bystander Syndrome: Moon decides that Eclipsa can deal with Mina herself instead of getting involved, because she put fighting behind her.
  • Clever Crows: Played with; Mina was able to train a crow to transport Yada Yada Berries, but many of them were petrified in the process of showing how to move them without biting into them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Moon's intent on starting a community back in "Down by the River" has continued on, but much like with the Maizleys, the other Mewman's can't do much without Moon guiding them.
    • A broken statue of Skywynne, Queen of Hours, is found by Moon as she first enters the ruins of Butterfly Castle.
    • The Tapestry's in the "Grandma Room", destroyed by Meteora back in "Conquer", have all been stitched up by Mina.
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    • Several background details in The Magic Book of Spells are shown: Mina mentions her backstory as part of Queen Solaria's Super Soldier program. Among the tapestry's are alternate images of the Queens, and Jushtin, including Estrella, Crescenta, Festivia, Celena, Skywynne, Solaria, and Comet.
    • Mina has been growing Yada Yada Berries and was the original assassin attempting to Yada Yada Eclipsa, even mentioning her frustration that Manfred was the one to get hit instead, though believing that Eclipsa tricked Manfred into doing it.
  • Creepy Crows: Mina's crows and her pet "Sebastian".
  • Disaster Scavengers: Ever since the Butterfly Kingdom has been ruined by Meteora's ramgage, the people who remained behind have resorted to becoming shameless scavengers and selling people's personal belongings. Of course Mina has been hiding in the Butterfly Castle to prevent people from looting it.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Mina is 'The Ghost of Butterfly Castle' in multiple ways. In a literal sense, she disguised herself as a ghost to scare away potential looters and keep Butterfly Castle safe. In a figurative sense, Mina represents the past of the Butterfly regime by embodying their Blood Knight creed and unwavering racism towards monsters.
  • Forgot About Her Powers: Even Mina asks Moon why she didn't use her magic to defend herself. Moon justifies this by saying that she quit fighting and using magic altogether.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: While discussing whether the Butterfly castle is haunted or cursed with Moon, River suggests that it's actually a ghost who curses at people.
  • Ghost Town: The village beneath the ruined Butterfly Castle is very much abandoned, with only a few people remaining to scavenge.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Downplayed. River wanted Moon to be a little more "selfish" for a change instead of wearing herself ragged trying to care for her incompetent "neighbors". It's not Played for Drama when it does go "horribly right", but it's sobering to see Moon decide she's done caring about serving Mewni, even to the point that she doesn't try to warn Eclipsa about Mina.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen:
    • Its further enforced just how far the Mewmans have fallen after Meteora's rampage and Eclipsa taking the throne. In addition to the many Mewman refugees being Too Dumb to Live without Moon to guide them, the Mewmans that have remained by the ruins of Butterfly Castle have descended into total lawlessness without Moon, Eclipsa being too focused on restoring Monster rights and mending relationships with other kingdoms to do anything about it.
    • More specifically, Mina is shown to have fallen to her lowest. Who was once the strongest of the Solarian's and Mewni's greatest champion has become an extreme nationalist attempting regicide, intent on stopping at nothing to get rid of Eclipsa and restore the Mewmans to power.
  • I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: Mina accidentally petrified Manfred when he spitefully ate Eclipsa's porridge. Rather than accept blame, Mina believes that Manfred was forced to eat it.
  • Last of His Kind: Mina is the last of Solaria's Super Soldiers, the rest either dying from battle or the process that empowered them. She is quite glib about the situation, just taking her survival as proof that she's the best. Mina even repeats the scenario with a bunch of crows, being proud that she trained Sebastian but not caring about all the other crows she petrified.
  • Reality Ensues: Even though Mina was able to tame the crows, the berries still turned them to stone because they weren't gentle enough while holding them. Their beaks accidentally punctured the berries and the berry juice turned them to stone. Fortunately, according to Eclipsa, the petrification wears off over time so the crows will be fine. As long as they don't get smashed to bits.
  • The Reveal: Mina was the one who tried to turn Eclipsa to stone in "Yada Yada Berries".
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Mina had been scaring people away from Butterfly Castle as a Bedsheet Ghost, leading to rumors that it’s haunted (or cursed; no one is quite sure which). The people not scared by the rumors, she just drives off by force.
  • Series Continuity Error: Eclipsa's tapestry is shown with patched tears like the rest, even though Meteora had specifically left it undamaged (as it was showing her parents). And if Mina tore it up herself to spite Eclipsa, why would she bother repairing it?
  • Species Loyalty: Mina only lives to serve mewmans and only mewmans.
  • Stopped Caring: Between the changes brought by Eclipsa's ascension, Mina's attempts to assassinate her, and the Mewmans' general inability to take care of themselves, Moon has stopped caring about the fate of the kingdom.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Mewmans further reinforce that without someone they like to guide them, they are effectively helpless on their own. A recurring theme throughout the episode is their overreliance on Moon for guidance when she just wants to be left alone, and while the refugees have managed some form of civilization thanks to Moon living in the area, the ones remaining near the ruins of Butterfly Castle have descended into total anarchy without her, content with stealing from wreckage and bartering for relatively useless objects.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Moon is finally fed up with having to take care of others, and in contrast to her offering to teach the Maizleys in "Down by the River", she simply wants to be left alone now, giving the other refugees her planner so they'll be able to handle things themselves. In addition, she shows little concern for Mina's efforts to assassinate Eclipsa once she returns to the yurt, content to let Eclipsa handle it herself and just relax.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In their last encounter, River was rather hostile towards Eclipsa and always kept his guard up. But after he learns from Moon that Mina is plotting to assassinate her, the ex-king shows worry and concern for her well being.
  • Truth in Television:
    • While crows are primarily known as meat eaters, they do eat berries. Not all crows have the same level of intellect, as Mina shows several petrified crows after they accidentally ate "Yada Yada Berries" with only one crow surviving because it learned to gently hold the berries without breaking them.
    • Crows are also social birds who observe and learn from each other (such as mimicking skills other crows have mastered just by watching them). "Sebastian" likely learned not to eat the berries after seeing what happened to those who did.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Once Mina has abandoned Butterfly Castle's ruins and Moon decides to let Eclipsa handle it on her own, a flock of crows can be seen flying overhead ominously. As Mina has attempted amass an army of crows already, the visual cue is meant to hint that whatever Mina is plotting for Eclipsa, it's coming soon, but what it is remains unknown.
  • Visual Pun: Mina plans to assassinate Eclipsa by using a murder of crows.
  • Wham Episode: Mina is now a potential threat, and she seeks to overthrow Eclipsa herself if Moon won't do it.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Moon tries to give this speech to Mina by declaring that the Solarian Program was a dark era for the Butterfly regime and that she doesn't have to define herself solely as a bloodthirsty soldier. Unfortunately, Mina has none of it and flies off to continue her agenda.
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