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Recap / Wander Over Yonder S 2 E 10 The Black Cube The Eye On The Skullship

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The Black Cube

Wander convinces a down-on-his-luck villain to spend a day looking on the bright side of things instead of collecting the souls of others.

Tropes appearing in The Black Cube

  • Absentee Actor: Lord Hater and Commander Peepers do not appear in this episode.
  • An Aesop: Everybody has their bad days and their issues. But it's no excuse to bully or target someone less fortunate. Instead, it should be a reason to treat others with empathy and compassion. Maybe a reason to find common ground with others.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Wander nearly gets his soul sucked out, Sylvia forlornly says "How you could do that?! He was just trying to help!" Then it turns out she was addressing the angry mob going after THE BLACK CUBE.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A soul-sucking shape of pure evil is a perfect target for a gang of hoodlums, right?
  • Call-Back:
    • The episode begins with a flashback to "The Battle Royale", where THE BLACK CUBE tries (and fails) to get the ring.
    • Sylvia lampshades how Wander's Chronic Hero Syndrome always gets them into trouble. Still, she assists Wander when seeing the Black Cube's Humiliation Conga.
  • Cerebus Retcon: THE BLACK CUBE failing to pick up the Ring of Invincibility in "The Battle Royale" due to his lack of fingers was Played for Laughs. According to this episode, that moment ruined his life.
  • Character Title: THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS has A Day in the Limelight.
  • Chronic Villainy: Fortunately subverted. THE BLACK CUBE has officially given up villainy, but everyone still sees him as evil. Although THE BLACK CUBE very nearly went into Then Let Me Be Evil mode, hurting Wander in the process, Sylvia snaps him back with compassion.
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  • Continuity Nod: THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS is shown having trouble with his car, just as he does in The Stinger of "The Fancy Party".
  • Crowd Song: At the end when the townspeople sing THE BLACK CUBE's theme.
  • Darker and Edgier: Arguably the most depressing episode yet. Up until the end, there is hardly anything in the way of jokes or heartwarming moments.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Up until near the end of the episode (and the Flashback at the beginning), everything is depicted in black-and-white to add to the dreary atmosphere.
  • Disney Death: Wander willingly sacrifices his soul to protect the mob from losing theirs. Minutes after Sylvia's motivational speech, he immediately regains it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After an entire day of being rejected and mistreated by the locals, THE BLACK CUBE is accepted by society after Sylvia shames the mobsters.
  • Freak Out!: The Black Cube has one when facing the mob following his rescue of the thug, which Wander and Sylvia recognize. Sylvia manages to calm him down by Shaming the Mob.
  • Freudian Excuse: The entire mob reveals that the reason they were being especially mean-spirited to THE BLACK CUBE is because they were all having their "bad day". THE BLACK CUBE'S Land Lord and THE BLACK CUBE'S Employer (twin brothers) were cranky because they were upset from thinking the other had forgotten their birthday. And the Lead Hooligan who picked on THE BLACK CUBE reveals it was because he didn't make the soccer team at his school.
  • Heel–Face Turn: THE BLACK CUBE tries to do this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Wander manages to protect the angry mob from having their souls stolen, only to get his stolen in the process.
  • Humiliation Conga: Oh good lord. THE BLACK CUBE is threatened to be evicted by his landlord, his girlfriend breaks up with him, his car gets towed, he's picked on by street thugs, an old woman who he helped throws stuff at him, he's picked on by street thugs, he gets fired from his job, he gets picked on by street thugs, the thug whose life he saved is an Ungrateful Bastard, and then an angry mob shows up to top it all off!
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: THE BLACK CUBE's landlord and boss appear to be this. Subverted when it turns out they actually are twin brothers.
  • Interrupted Suicide: THE BLACK CUBE was about to jump off the bridge; ironically, the thugs teasing it end up distracting it from the task.
  • Logical Weakness: When the thug who falls in the river bats away BLACK CUBE's willing assistance, THE BLACK CUBE thinks to incapacitate him with its soul-sucking power, since the thug can't fight back while unconscious.
  • Mundane Utility: THE BLACK CUBE's soul-sucking power can be used to incapacitate a drowning victim, in the case that they need help.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The scene where Wander's soul is stolen. The trailer shows it as the black cube sucking it away as part of its duty, but in the episode, Wander merely rushes to the front of the angry mob and tries to prevent them, only to get his own soul sucked away as part of a Heroic Sacrifice. Also, trailers show Wander in a lot of them, when it's THE BLACK CUBE who's the main star and Wander has only a supporting role.
  • Not So Different: After Sylvia shames them, the angry mob (including the street thugs) find themselves admitting they were having a bad day too, no different than THE BLACK CUBE. This helps them open up to THE BLACK CUBE with a reprise "I guess we're all little black cubes of darkness".
  • The Pollyanna:
    • Wander, as always.
    • THE BLACK CUBE tries to be this after Wander gets him to go through the day with a positive attitude...It doesn't work.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS attempts to be good, but no one except Wander gives him a chance until Sylvia calls them all out.
  • Single Tear: The face Wander makes on THE BLACK CUBE's wet spot sheds one following its Heel–Face Turn.
  • Shaming the Mob: Sylvia stands up for THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS in front of an angry mob.
  • Taking the Bullet: Wander stands in front of the crowd and takes THE BLACK CUBE's soul-sucking blast. This motivates Sylvia to speak on her buddy's behalf.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: BLACK CUBE comes very close to it when the mob confronts it, having a Freak Out! and then accidentally sucking out Wander's soul. Then Sylvia says she doesn't blame THE BLACK CUBE for the Freak Out!, calms him down, and goes into Shaming the Mob.
  • Too Dumb to Live: One of the bullies refuses BLACK CUBE's help even as he's drowning.
  • Triumphant Reprise: "I'm just a little black cube of sunshine."
    • And later: "I guess we're all just little black cubes of darkness."
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The street thug whose life he saved goes right back to bullying him, even blaming him for falling off the bridge!
  • Your Soul Is Mine: THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS, apparently.
The Eye on the Skullship

Andy the Watchdog interviews Lord Hater for his video blog.

Tropes appearing in The Eye on the Skullship

  • A Day in the Limelight: For the Watchdogs, particularly Andy.
  • Absentee Actor: Wander and Sylvia do not appear in this episode.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Peepers' demand that Andy stop making his "stupid show" and tend to his duty.
  • Call-Back: Lord Hater is still in love with Lord Dominator, which comes as a complete surprise to Andy.
  • Cameo: Lord Hater's pet, Captain Tim, appears.
  • Character Witness: All of the Watchdogs that Andy listens to speak on his behalf when Hater forcibly cancels the show, since he makes them feel special by featuring them.
  • Continuity Nod: Among the tricks the drill sergeant mentions that Wander uses to make the Watchdogs his friends is taking them to the carnival (as he does in "The Greatest"), knowing each of their names (as shown in "The Gift" and "The Gift 2: The Giftening"), and remembering their birthdays (as shown in "The Rider").
  • Epic Fail: The Watchdogs are just as helpless against the inflatable training dummy of Sylvia as they are against the real Sylvia.
  • Flipping the Table: Hater does this to Andy when he learns the only people watching his show are the Watchdogs.
  • Funny Background Event: When Andy interviews the cook, several Watchdogs from outside the kitchen try to get into the camera's view.
  • Heroic BSoD: Andy after Hater cancels his show, and he's sadly doing security monitor duty.
  • Hero of Another Story: The drill sergeant and Giuseppe the tailor. The drill sergeant is well aware of Wander and Sylvia's techniques, and Giuseppe has to make practical yet stylist outfits for all of the Watchdogs.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Andy, and most of the Watchdogs, it turns out.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Andy doesn't know about Dominator's Gender Reveal and is confused when Hater starts expressing his love for her.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Enchiladas!" courtesy of the Watchdog chef.
  • No Fourth Wall: Andy is always talking to the camera. Justified in that he's hosting a TV show.
  • Not So Above It All: The Drill Sergeant Nasty training the Watchdogs to resist Wander's friendliness ends up hugging the dummy Wander.
  • Not So Different: All the Watchdogs want to be special, which is why they love Andy's show featuring them. This is how Andy bonds with them.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Peepers, reluctantly so. He may chide Andy for abandoning security monitor duty, but he knows that one has to keep the Watchdogs happy.
  • Stylistic Suck: Andy's transition and intro sequences for his show are various stock images crudely photoshopped with pictures of Hater, the Watchdogs, and actual dogs with Watchdog beanies photoshopped on them.
  • The Heart: Andy and his "weird little show about [the Watchdogs]" makes the Watchdogs feel special, much to the confusion of Hater and Peepers.
  • The Un-Reveal: Peepers interrupts before the drill sergeant can tell stories about Lord Hater.
  • Villain Episode: Hater gets another one, though this one focuses more on the Watchdogs, particularly Andy.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Inverted by Hater and Peepers, and subverted by the Watchdogs who love to watch themselves; C-Peeps and Hater don't get why the Watchdogs would want to watch a show featuring them.


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