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Recap / Tangled: The Series S1E15 "The Way of the Willow"

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I love Willow. She's fun, she's silly, she's really outgoing. But she can also be loud, inconsiderate and a little... obnoxious.

On Queen Arianna's birthday, her sister Willow drops by for a surprise visit and tags along on Arianna and Rapunzel's mother-daughter excursion to see a meteor shower. Willow and Rapunzel bond, which makes Arianna feel excluded and unappreciated. Meanwhile, Eugene, Lance and King Frederic go on a camping trip.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Cassandra is absent for the third episode in a row (discounting a brief non-speaking appearance during a nightmare in the previous episode).
  • Birthday Episode: Arianna's birthday is in this episode—notably the first one which she can share with her daughter Rapunzel—and her sister Willow shows up for the occasion.
  • Breather Episode: While it has a rather dark moment, the next episode takes a rather strange turn.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Queen Arianna has a bigger role than usual in this episode, since it is about her relationship with both her sister Willow and her daughter Rapunzel, about her birthday and her trip with Rapunzel.
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  • Does Not Like Shoes/Earthy Barefoot Character: Willow and Rapunzel immediately bond over their shared disdain for footwear.
  • Expy: The Umlaut is very much a homage to the Mogwai from Gremlins.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Drawing attention to the fact that she's barefoot (and thus out of place), the first we see of Willow is her tapping her foot in the palace halls.
  • Feud Episode: Interestingly a two-fold one—both Arianna and Eugene end up feuding with someone they personally know who is a bit of a loose cannon (Willow for the Queen, Lance for Eugene), who also ends up making them look bad. Suffice to say, Eugene has it easy compared to the Queen.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Arianna thinks Willow is an irresponsible Attention Whore. Willow thinks Arianna is stuck up. Fortunately, by the end of the episode they're beginning to repair their relationship.
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  • Handy Feet: Willow and Rapunzel somehow use their bare feet to convey a conversation with gestures you would normally see on hands, indicating how they've adapted to shoeless life.
  • Hates Being Alone: It's rather evident Frederic wasn't going to be happy being alone for the night. Lance felt a little bad and let him tag along, much to Eugene's dismay, because it added the extra burden of keeping Lance under control for his future in-law.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the end after Willow leaves, turns out the Umlaut was left behind, much to Rapunzel and Arianna's shock.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Arianna has a point about Willow stealing her daughter's attention away, Willow points out that Arianna wouldn't have missed the meteor shower if she hadn't sulked off by herself.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Umlaut may appear harmless, but if you take away the rattle, it will go feral, multiply by spitting out hair balls, and Zerg Rush an entire place.
  • Rule of Three: In both plots, adding a third person ends up upsetting character dynamics. For Queen Arianna, throwing Willow in their mother-daughter time ignites tensions between her and her sister, with the latter showing her up in front of her daughter. For Eugene, Lance inviting the King on their camping trip causes the duo to get in a fight. This is all because Eugene doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of the king.
  • Schmuck Bait: The Umlaut MUST have its rattle at all times. Breaking that one little rule will unleash havoc.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: For someone as big and tough as Lance, he let out a high-pitched scream when the Umlauts began to terrorize the campsite.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Turns out running around barefoot all the time is not so alien of a concept in Rapunzel's heritage—Aunt Willow does it too! They also both view painting as telling a story.
  • Shout-Out: Everything about the Umlaut—A Ridiculously Cute Critter that turns dangerous if you don't follow specific instructions to the point that it turns into an Explosive Breederscreams Gremlins.


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