‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World’ 1×03 Review: “Amygdala”

The newest teenage monster hunters returned in this week’s Astrid and Lilly Save the World. This episode’s Monster of the Week was among the most effective yet. Fans didn’t get any closer this week to solving the mystery that is Brutus. However, we got even more character work, with more teenage-centred problems to balance the world-altering stakes.

Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin) are back, with new powers developing by the day. While Astrid’s powers make sense, with enhanced hearing and eyesight, it appeared Lilly would be getting a raw deal. However, Lilly’s power of increased strength in a single leg turned out to put her in a perfect position to fight this week’s monster.

The Monster of the Week was the series’ most effective one to date. A monster that manifests as your worst fears before killing you with it is a horror of the worst kind to imagine. In Lilly’s case, who can imagine a greater horror as a teenager than being subjected to than a game of dodgeball. For those not athletically inclined, nor already in the popular crowd, this game was the perfect venue for bullies to torment their victims in the most obvious yet most socially acceptable way. Lilly’s conquering of her fear was nothing less than inspiring. This monster also led us to a devastating revelation that Astrid’s greatest fear has already come to pass.

Samantha Aucoin, ‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World’. Photo Credit: Crave

As the Vice Principal/Gym Teacher Michelle Knight, Megan Hutchings has become one of this show’s most compelling characters. Her fear manifested as turning 30 years old, something all of us approaching our third decade on Earth can relate to surely. However, hers was for vanity reasons, the unknown that a new decade can strike fear into the calmest hearts. This character is a classic example of an adult who peaked in high school. These people continually try to re-create their glory days of being at the top of the social food chain, and so it makes sense that she chose to train as a teacher so she could re-create what were for her the best days of her life. 

Brutus (Olivier Renaud) remains a questionable guide for our teenage heroes. Fans got a bit more backstory on him and where he’s come from. However, he runs away when Astrid and Lilly can use his help. It compels the two to get themselves out of situations relying on their wits, but Brutus seems pretty poor at his job if he abandons them at the most inopportune time. The fact that he showed up at their high school posing as Astrid’s boyfriend led to a scene that was the definition of cringe. The show either needs to do something better with this character or re-focus on letting Astrid and Lilly be the bosses they can obviously become. 

Megan Hutchings, ‘Astrid and Lilly Save the World’. Photo Credit: Crave

The most heart-touching moments from the episode revolved around the budding romance between Astrid and Sparrow (Spencer MacPherson). This is shaping up to be a quintessentially teenage romance. But the show needs to balance the alien, other-worldly stakes the characters have to face with these quieter, more worldly moments. Their bonding over being trapped in Christine’s (Geri Hall) terrifying youth group in service of some kind of fallen angel was precisely what they needed to bring them together. Hopefully, Sparrow won’t be deterred from Brutus’ creepy appearance at the end of the episode and will team up with Astrid and Lilly in an upcoming adventure.

Astrid and Lilly Save the World continues to charm and find its rhythm. The use of acronyms is still present, but it was far less noticeable this episode. The characters are being developed further, which endears them more and more. If the show can continue to balance the street-level high school drama with monster hunting, we are in for a treat for the rest of this season.

New episodes of Astrid and Lilly Save the World air Wednesdays on Crave.

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