Elena of Avalor

King of the Carnaval – Elena of Avalor

It’s happened!  It has finally happened.  Despite my best efforts to not like Esteban as a character, Team Avalor has finally won my vote for this incredibly interesting, deeply conflicted character.  From the start, I’ve always criticized Esteban as being too unlikable to care about as a character.  I’ve also criticized the way that the status quo never changes for him.  he often goes from ‘Learning his lesson’ right back into being the worst to everyone as soon as the next episode rolls around.  While King of the Carnaval didn’t redeem his character by any means, it did provide him with a lot of great moments and a surprising amount of depth.  If I haven’t said this before, I’ll say it now.  Esteban is easily the most complicated character on this show, and in my opinion, that makes him the most interesting.

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This plot to steal our jewels sounds quite suspicious birdman.  Tell me more while I listen intently.

When relatives of Esteban’s come to town during Carnaval, Esteban gets suspicious.  I understand this.  My relatives are sketchy as well.  Victor and Carla, voiced by Lou Diamond Phillips and Myrna Velasco respectively, provide an interesting dynamic as villains for this show.  They aren’t magical or powerful in any way.  In fact, they’re sort of just your average Joe’s, but they’ve got a need for revenge and the fact that they are tied so closely to Esteban provides a lot of insight into his past.  The truth of the matter is that Esteban didn’t use to be a very good guy.  We were quickly reminded of his partnership with Shuriki and how that has affected him now.  One of the major things I like about Esteban is that he has this need and want to be a better person for his family, even if he isn’t quite there yet.

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Come on Esteban.  You know you want to relive the good ol’ days and go around making shifty eyes at everyone.  Go on.  Give me your shift eyes.  Aw, don’t be modest.  Just one shifty eye then.

The whole set up leads to some interesting developments, one of which was Esteban’s first ever song.  While Esteban’s song was not a beautiful ballad or a catchy pop tune, the entire scene was brilliantly put together.  Watching Esteban poor his heart out while dodging booby traps left and right was absolutely hilarious and heart breaking at the same time.  I honestly feel that when I think about this show, this scene will now stand out as one of the highlights.  It’s just such a perfect blend of humor, drama and story telling.

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GAH!  A crown from LAST SEASON’S fashion line.  Such poor taste.  Must. Avert. Eyes.  

The action built to a fun chase through town in a giant chicken which was once again tense yet hilarious.  Watching Elena move the Chicken by trying to escape was awesome and seeing this out of control parade float racing through town was funny, despite the fact that it was something of a high speed chase to get back the crown’s possessions.  Once again, that nice balance was struck between humor, action and story-telling.

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When you’re stuck at the red light but all you want to do is hit the gas.

I really loved how this episode ended.  While things wrapped up, there was actually a lot left up in the air.  I LOVE that Esteban still didn’t quite confess to his past sins.  The longer this lie keeps up, the juicier the drama will be when everyone finds out and secrets waiting to burst gives the show a nice sense of serialization.  I also loved that Victor and Carla left with the promise of return.  There are a lot of villains I want to see come back, but it was good to see that these two actually have plans in the works.  The open endedness of the conclusion provides a great reason to tune in next week, not that I needed a reason, but it’s still nice.  Children’s shows rarely get a large amount of serialization, playing out more often as several stand alone episodes, but I think shows like Gravity Falls and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic prove that kids are capable of following complex storylines from week to week and I’m excited that Elena of Avalor is taking even more of that plunge than before.

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Good idea Elena!  Wearing that dress will give us reason to release a WHOLE NEW DOLL LINE!!!  I can practically hear the money pouring in!

My first reaction to this being an Esteban episode was not great, but in the end it actually turned out to be one of my favorites of the season.  Esteban continues to surprise me with his many layers.  He’s a character who doesn’t always solve problems the correct way and he makes mistakes, but that makes him relatable and realistic.  It also makes him wildly unpredictable and incredibly interesting.  I can’t wait to see where this episode leads us as the show delves deeper into a persistent, ongoing story.  Perhaps as we ramp up to a season finale, Avalor is in for some big reveals!

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When you’re allergic to the material your relatives make their clothes out of but still want to be polite.

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2 replies »

  1. Hola Jason! I hope you’re doing well! I, like you, was interested in King of the Carnaval, but not too enthusiastic about it at first. I was more excited for My Fair Naomi, airing on May 6th! I’m still excited for that episode! But I digress. I was proven wrong when after watching KOC initially, I liked it so much, I’ve seen it almost seven times now! While Esteban is NOT a favorite character of mine by any means, I’m beginning to slowly gain a better appreciation for his complexity. I like that Esteban was able to tease Isabel in good fun and even Elena! I also love how we got to learn more about Lucia! Elena must have been sooooo adorable at eight! I also felt fuzzy when Esteban sincerely told Elena she looked just like her mother after the tiara was placed on her head. Victor legitimately scared me bc he was one of those villains who would do anything to get what he wanted. I was half expecting him to jump inside the phoenix and threaten Elena’s life if she didn’t give up her Mami’s crown. I also love that Isa was in the episode! I teared up when Elena revealed to her hermana that their Mami wore that ring on Isa’s tenth birthday. We also get a confirmation of Isabel’s’ age! Yes! Finally! I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling someone is going to find Higgins dead one day due to him saying the wrong thing to Esteban and the chancellor having enough of him.

    Elena: “Someone has the Carnaval spirit.”

    Higgins: Thank you! And Esteban’s in a good mood too.

    LOL! My only pet peeve with this episode is that the villains were the only ones to speak Spanish! They used more Spanish in this episode than ever before. It’s just a shame our crew didn’t get a chance to speak their own language! Maybe after My Fair Naomi airs. I liked the conversation between Esteban and Elena while they were trapped in the Phoenix. Although it makes the big reveal of his betrayal of her and the rest of their Familia all that much harder to watch at season’s end. I give the episode an 8/10!

  2. I know you are busy with so much going on and love to read everything, but I am really interested in your response to Esteban in the latest episode My Fair Naomi! His roller coaster season continues. Keep up the great work.

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