I know what you’re thinking. Elena airs on Saturday yet this article is hitting all the way on Thursday. Well, it turns out that a slew of tech issues and very small window of actual time on my hands meant that this one got a bit delayed. First of all I have to apologize for that fact. But secondly I need to mention how much I have been DYING to talk about this episode. Featuring Naomi and her very kooky family, Captain Turner Returns was a tear jerker of an episode that really made me realize how much I’ve fallen for these characters over the past few months. So what made this grown man make excuses like “There must be something in my eye” and “I think my allergies are acting up because my eyes are so watery”? Read on to find out.
The basis for Captain Turner Returns was that Naomi’s mother, Scarlett Turner, returned to port after being away for quite some time. Like many families, Scarlett works away from home, meaning that the family is often apart. What I liked about this idea was that it was the mother who was away for work as so often this is played out the other way around. Upon returning, Captain Turner informs her family that she has acquired a normal, stay at home job in their hometown, so now they can all be together. Unfortunately, this means that Naomi and her father would need to leave Avalor.
Children’s animation is usually pretty predictable. Even Elena falls into this category a good portion of the time, but this episode really had me going. That is to say that by the end, I actually thought Naomi was leaving the show. After all, this episode played out like a season finale of a good TV show when a character leaves and everyone comes out to bid them farewell. It seemed like too much effort for her to actually stay on the show. Before the 20 minute episode was even over, I was googling “Naomi leaving Avalor???” like a maniac, trying to figure out what the community thought of this development. I was asking questions like “Will she still make guest appearances???” Luckily, this outpouring of love from the community makes Scarlett realize how important Naomi is to Avalor and they end up staying. Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing more of Scarlett in the near future.
Something fun to look for in the episode is the fact that so many past characters showed up to bid farewell to Naomi. From Professor Mendoza from Finders Leapers to Julio and Carmen from A Day to Remember and even Mateo’s mom from Navidad. This episode did a great job of reminding us that Avalor is a very tight knit community where everyone cares for everyone and despite differences, this is a place where everyone is trying to make their city the best it can be. It’s also great to know that the creators have such a firm grasp of this world and make sure to constantly remind us of all the amazing characters within it.
Captain Turner Returns is a truly emotional episode for Naomi and Elena. Going back to Naomi’s previous episodes, it was great to see that she was indeed truly special to everyone around her. It’s nice to know that this girl who works by the docks has just as much love and support as the Princess herself. There’s also the underlying reminder that honesty is the best medicine. You can’t expect parents or friends or co-workers to read your mind and if you want something, you have to make those feelings heard. Naomi’s a wonderful person for letting her parents take her away, but in the end, telling them the truth was the right call.
Home is where the heart is, as Scarlett puts it, and pulling Naomi from a place that is as much a part of her as she is to it would be wrong. From excellent writing to a catchy song and one of the best new characters to join the cast all season, Captain Turner Returns hit me in the gut with feelings. The good news for the creative team and for us as viewers is that this whole episode only works because these characters are SO fantastic that we’ve grown to love them in a very short amount of time. I am truly glad Naomi is sticking around. After all, Avalor just wouldn’t be the same without her.
So what did you guys think of Captain Turner Returns? Let me know in the comments!