Tail of Two Crabs

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Zeus arrives in Atlantica.

Sebastian can't even conduct music right.

Ursula pinpoints a weak link.

A magical stone is discovered.

Sebastian tries to do sit-ups.

This is the second appearance of Ursula in the series.

Zeus conducts the royal orchestra into playing the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

Ursula in 'disguise'.

The Crab Challenge begins.

Ursula gets the stone's magic to work.

Sebastian and friends have a revelation of their own.

Even crying becomes a competition for these two.

Sebastian studied music in Trinidad.

First appearance of Sebastian's Crab Scouts.

Zeus is voiced by Mark Hamill.

This is a Sebastian-focused episode, where his self-esteem gets a kicking with the arrival of Zeus, a handsome, intelligent, and charismatic crab who also happens to be Sebastian's childhood "friend" and seems to be better than Sebastian at just about everything.

Jealousy's not a good look for Sebastian, but Zeus's sheer arrogant presence hits a nerve and brings out the worst in Sebastian's desire to prove himself and impress his friends. Even things that everyone knows Sebastian excels at (eg. music, advising the king) are seemingly done better and more efficiently by Zeus. Sebastian decides his last chance is to engage Zeus in the Crab Challenge, a set of competitive activities that include athletics and general knowledge quizzes that... may not solve his problems after all.

In a side plot, Ursula is busy scheming against Triton and wants to find a weak link that she can use against him. Here, she zeroes in on Sebastian and tricks him into giving her a magical stone that she can use against Triton and his guards. But this side plot doesn't really go anywhere or tie in with Sebastian's story, so I mostly feel that it could have been given to some new or smaller villain instead of Ursula.

I'm generally not a fan of stories where a beloved character gets into competition with an overachieving newcomer, and this one has to go and only barely touch the surface of Sebastian's feelings, and Ursula (though always a welcome presence) seems tacked on in a supporting role that ends awkwardly. But it does have some nice moments: everyone's support for Sebastian is great, even when he's losing, and one of the two twists in the final act is genuinely surprising.

Quotable quotes

Ariel:Something's bothering Sebastian.
Flounder:What makes you say that?
Sebastian:( SCREAMS )
Ariel:Oh Sebastian, you don't have to prove yourself to us.
Sebastian:Hah! That's because you don't care that I'm a bumbling, second-rate, no-talent crab.
Ursula:That magic stone is just what I need to turn Triton, and anyone else who forgot my birthday, into sea worms.
Sebastian:I know who you are!
Ursula:Ah! You do?
Sebastian:You're my Fairy Crabmother.
Ursula:Got my glowing stone?
Sebastian:First, the Super Crab spell.
Ursula:Very well. Abra-da-craba, bibbidi-bobiddi-boo. There, now give me the stone.
Ursula:That spell is no good, and neither am I.

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