Fate: The Winx Saga season 1, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained There's a shift.

January 22, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
2.5

Summary

“To the Waters and the Wild” struggles to balance character introductions while giving the audience a background on Bloom. However, there is hope that the story can unravel firmly from here with plenty more world-building to be done.

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2.5

Summary

“To the Waters and the Wild” struggles to balance character introductions while giving the audience a background on Bloom. However, there is hope that the story can unravel firmly from here with plenty more world-building to be done.

This recap of Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga season 1, episode 1, “To the Waters and the Wild” contains significant spoilers.

Here we are folks, a live-action reimagining of Nickelodeon’s Winx Club so it will be interesting to see what they have done to divulge fantasy with a modern-day YA series. “To the Waters and the Wild” opens with a farmer checking on his sheep late at night. A strange magical occurrence happens as he enters the forest. The farmer sees one of his sheep dead and ravaged on a tree branch, and then there are monster-like sounds; a beast consumes the farmer. We find out later in the episode what this beast could be.

Bloom’s first day of school

And then the series lightens up in the opening chapter as lead character Bloom starts her first day at Alfea school in the Otherworld — she’s a fire fairy. Bloom looks unsure of herself as she looks around the yard, taking in her environment and adjusting her senses. A teenage boy named Sky approaches her and tells Bloom she is lost — there’s some bantering between them which leads to Bloom jokingly suggesting that he could be mansplaining. Bloom tells him she’s a fairy and that she’s not from the Otherworld; she didn’t even know about this world until recently. Riven breaks up the conversation, so Bloom meets Stella, who gives her a tour as her official mentor; Stella explains how there are seven realms in the Otherworld. Later on, Headmistress Dowling tells Bloom to take things slowly as magic can be dangerous. Here we have the first hint that Bloom has untapped magic.

Bloom gets settled in

“To the Waters and the Wild” attempts to balance the story by giving background to Bloom while also introducing other characters who we can presume will be equally important to her quest. Bloom’s parents believe she is in the Alps — Aisha, her roommate, wonders why, and Bloom explains her parents are human, not fairies. The pair discuss Harry Potter and their knowledge on it; Bloom seems to have made friends rather quickly. Bloom notices Stella getting ready for the orientation party and that what she is wearing is not casual. She then sees Stella use magic and is curious, but her mentor tells her that she will learn in due course. Bloom seems to be an impatient character early on, and as the episode progresses, we see this goes against her, rather than for her.

A teacher explains the Burned Ones

Episode 1 gives context to what evil will be lurking in Fate: The Winx Saga season 1, and what we see in the opening scene with the unlucky farmer.

Sky practices fighting, and the teacher tells the group that Sky’s father is a legend. There is an expectation for the men to be the first line of defense of the Otherworld. One of the students named Dane laughs at the teacher as they are only young, and they are expected to defend a world. The teacher talks about The Barrier that protects them from the Burned Ones. We can assume that’s the evil we witnessed in the opening scene. The teacher explains that if a Burned One hurts you, the infection is swift and severe. Afterward, a few of the teachers find a charred person in the woods, and they fear they are a victim of a Burned One.

An awkward start to the orientation party

At the orientation party, Bloom talks to Sky. She wonders if there’s anywhere else they can go except this party — she’s clearly not a socialite. Sky offers to escort her outside, but then Stella intervenes and asks for Sky’s attention; she seems bothered that Sky is talking to Bloom. These two have a clear history — there’s bitterness.

Bloom plays with fire

Bloom heads out into the woods alone and practices her powers. She looks at memories on her phone, and there are photos of a charred bedroom that looks to be from fires — these are traumatic memories. Bloom exhales sharply, and fires burn from her hand — she smiles at her achievement. She must feel happy that she’s in a place where her magic is safer.

Aisha has to save Bloom from her own powers.

But then we see Bloom’s ultimate problem in “To the Waters and the Wild” as it’s evident she has no control over her own powers.

When Aisha sees her, Bloom panics and she struggles to get rid of the flames; she’s losing control, and suddenly, Bloom causes a small forest fire. Aisha uses her powers to lift water from the ground, and the fire is extinguished. Afterward, Bloom argues with Aisha for confronting her in the woods. Aisha explains she flooded her secondary school when she failed her maths test and that being a fairy means dealing with terrible things.

Bloom opens up and confesses that she does not get along with her mother. Flashbacks show Bloom’s father taking her bedroom door off, so she doesn’t have privacy; her mother instigated this. At night, Bloom was enraged, and she set the house on fire — “The fire had a life of its own”. Her mother ended up with third-degree burns due to her powers. Bloom explains to Aisha that she hid away at a warehouse until Dowling found her, so we now know how Bloom ended up in the Otherworld and attending this school.

Aisha explains what a Changeling is

Aisha believes it’s strange how she’s not from a bloodline and wonders if she’s adopted — Bloom denies that is the case and calls herself a miracle baby. Her new friend Aisha is animated and calls Bloom a “Changeling”, which is a fairy baby switched with a human one at birth. She calls it barbaric and that it barely happens anymore. Aisha is adamant that Bloom is pure-blooded. Bloom is offended and walks off. Aisha tells Musa that someone has been lying to Bloom, and then the camera conveniently flits to Dowling, who is in deep thought. Audiences at this stage will be questioning — did Dowling switch Bloom with a human baby?

Stella gives Bloom a ring to help her homesickness

In her dorm, Bloom researches Changelings, disturbed by Aisha’s theory. She looks at a photo of her family; she’s starting to doubt her origin. Stella walks in and explains she’d rather have a normal life and be home and that there is no shame in that. Later on, Aisha looks for Bloom; Terra asks where Bloom is; Stella reveals that Bloom was homesick, so she gave her a ring so she can briefly return to the First World. The only way Bloom can do that is beyond The Barrier, near an old cemetery where there is a gateway. Terra is concerned as it’s deep in the forest. Bloom’s impatience and failure to adapt is putting her in danger. We can only assume at this stage that she will adapt eventually.

Bloom calls her parents

Bloom has made it back to the First World and rings her parents while stood outside their house. She asks if she made a mistake, but her parents do not feel that’s the case. You can tell Bloom is dying to go home, but her mother believes she’s capable and gives words of confidence. Bloom ends the call and sobs while watching her parents through the window. This brings plenty of weight to the character; she’s sacrificed her old life for an entirely new world. There’s a sense of no return.

Attacked by a Burned One

As Bloom looks at her diary on the way back to the Otherworld, she sees a monster figure in the distance, and she drops the ring Stella gave her. She finds herself in the ventilation system as the monster tries to attack her. Dowling comes to her rescue. Aisha, Musa, and Terra are also there as Dowling takes the monster down — they confirm it’s a Burned One. Bloom tells them she’s lost Stella’s ring. Meanwhile, Stella is trying to seduce Sky. He’s annoyed because she broke up with him and he didn’t hear from her all summer. Stella tells him she got jealous and she feels stupid; she feels everybody hates her and asks if she can stay the night. Sky tells her that she’s better than she thinks and gives in easily.

The ending

As the episode nears closure, Dowling confirms to Saul that she left the Burned One imprisoned in the forest, which sounds like a terrible idea. She also tells him that she knows a Changeling from the First World and thinks it’s all connected. She’s worried about the students as the world is not safe — there’s been a shift. The last scene shows Beatrix using her powers on a Burned One outside The Barrier.

Fate: The Winx Saga season 1, episode 1 struggles to balance character introductions while giving the audience a background on Bloom. However, there is hope that the story can unravel firmly from here with plenty more world-building to be done.

Additional points
  • Beatrix meets Headmistress Dowling and calls her a big fan and that she’s obsessed with the place. Dowling isn’t interested in small talk and shuts the door on her.
  • Flashbacks show Bloom having arguments with her mother, who calls her a loner and tells her to go out and socialize. Her mother was worried about her. In the present day, this memory makes Bloom’s eyes light up.
  • Riv starts bullying one of the first years by forcing them to drink. Terra intervenes and uses her magic to slowly strangle Riven against the wall with tree branches.
  • Aisha tells Bloom that her parents will be safe and the headmistress will ensure that the Burned One will not be in the First World.
  • Terra is irked that Musa does not want to listen or talk to her. She seems to struggle to make friends. She tries again with Musa late in the night. Musa tells Terra that she’s an empath and can feel everything. She knows Terra is anxious; she claims she puts headphones on to block all the emotions out she feels constantly.
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