"Why struggle to run a business that is rigged against you when you can partner up with me and kill the unkillable? Starting with the one that treats you like a plaything. We could be the most dangerous beings in Hell, Blitzo."
―Striker to Blitzo


The Harvest Moon Festival is the fifth episode of the first season of Helluva Boss and is the fifth episode overall. It premiered on April 30, 2021 on Vivziepop's YouTube channel.

Synopsis

Blitzo sees a horse. Things sure do happen!

Plot

The episode opens at Stolas's mansion, with Blitzo sitting up in bed lighting a cigarette, having just had sex with Stolas, who apologizes for having their "rendezvous" early, as he has a engagement on the full moon. Blitzo says that doesn't worry him, but asks if he really needs his Grimoire back for it, telling him I.M.P has fifteen clients waiting for their targets to be assassinated. Stolas reminds him that he isn't meant to have the Grimoire in the first place, and the upcoming Harvest Moon is a special occasion that is his annual duty to showcase for the Wrath Ring. Blitzo mentions he has really never been to the Wrath Ring, but that his employees are from there. Stolas excitedly invites them all to join him at the festival. Blitzo tries to get out of attending, reminding Stolas that I.M.P aren't bodyguards and that last time they guarded him was a one time thing. Stolas says he isn't interested in hiring them, and is offering the company a fun day off, reassuring him that he won't need guards. Blitzo relents and agrees to attend, as his company can't work without the Grimoire.

At Millie and Moxxie's apartment, the pair are fast asleep in bed, when Moxxie's phone rings. Answering the phone, Blitzo asks if the pair want to attend the Harvest Festival. At the mention of the festival, Millie wakes up and is excited at the opportunity. Moxxie tells Blitzo about Millie's reaction before asking where he's calling from. Blitzo then drops from the ceiling onto their bed, which doesn't surprise Moxxie.

The next scene cuts to Rough 'n Tumbleweed Ranch in the Wrath Ring, where Millie's family lives. As I.M.P's van comes to a stop, Millie gets out and rushes to embrace her parents, Joe and Lin. They warmly welcome her back home, and she thanks them for letting I.M.P stay at the ranch for the festival. Millie then asks if they remember her husband Moxxie, shoving him towards her parents, who give him a much colder welcome, made worse after he makes a joke about the Wrath Rings weather, which killed one of the Ranch's farmhands the previous week.

Blitzo then butts into their conversation after Moxxie calls Joe "sir" while apologizing for the joke, claiming that he's the only sir there. Millie then introduces him and Loona as her boss and his hellhound. Blitzo takes offence, and states Loona's not just his hellhound she's his daughter, which she coldly reminds him is only on paper. Blitzo then introduces himself to Millie's parents, who give him a much warmer welcome than Moxxie, complimenting him for his name, which reminds them of war. Moxxie then attempts to impress Joe and Lin by talking about how wars are won by thinkers, and how he's researched the evolution of guns in Hell before realizing no one's interested. Joe says guns are fine, but a real man should be able to tear the head off a Hell beast with his bare hands, something Blitzo agrees with, mocking Moxxie.

Joe then introduces the Ranch's new farmhand, Striker, who rides over to the group on a flaming Hell horse. Striker introduces himself to Millie, asking if freelance work in Imp City had dried up, which she says isn't true, and they got tickets for the festival, jokingly stating it's because the Prince is her boss' lover. Blitzo firmly tells her to change the subject, as he isn't above hitting her in front of her parents. Striker then asks him about I.M.P after having heard about a Imp starting his own business; subsequently he compliments Blitzo for his great achievement, stating that not many Imps are able to do so. Striker asks him about how exactly he's conning Stolas into letting them access the Living World, which flusters Blitzo, who poorly explains the arrangement he has with Stolas.

Joe then suggest to the pair they should enter the Pain Games. Blitzo is immediately interested and asks him what the games are, to which Lin answers it's a competition to prove who's the "roughest, toughest, bastard in Wrath". Millie expresses her disappointment for not being able to compete, and her mother reminds her that she gets carried away, with the last games she competed in ending with fifteen funerals. Millie angrily reminds her that she only caused nine of them, and asks why her sister Sallie May is still allowed to compete. Lin reminds her Sallie doesn't have a body count, which Millie disagrees with, as Sallie says it doesn't count if they don't find the bodies as her and another Imp drag two corpses past, infuriating her.

Lin tells Millie to just accept that she can't compete and go support her siblings, when Moxxie suggests he could compete so she could support him in the games. Joe laughs at him, before realizing Moxxie is serious. Moxxie tells Joe he was born in Wrath too, when Striker challenges him to prove himself by wrangling a hog for that night's dinner. Striker hands him a knife and length of rope, telling him bullets won't pierce a hog's skin, causing Moxxie to realize what he's agreed to. Blitzo then taunts him, reminding him he could be about to make an ass of himself in front of everyone important in his life. Millie tries to dissuade him by telling him he doesn't have to do it, but Moxxie climbs into the corral with the hog anyway. He gets to approach the sleeping hog and successfully lassos it around its neck, but misses with the knife. As Moxxie rides the hog trying to kill it, Blitzo shouts encouragement from the fence while Loona films it on her phone. Striker then intervenes, shoving Moxxie off the hog and killing it with his own knife.

Moxxie lands in the mud of the corral hurting his arm, as Striker walks past him with the hog on his shoulder, telling him he never stood a chance, angering him. Striker asks Blitzo if he wants to help skin the hog, which he agrees to. As everyone walks away, Millie bandages Moxxie's arm and tells him not to worry, her parents will respect him eventually. Sallie May tells them that they never will, which reinforces Moxxie's desire to enter into the Pain Games, causing her to ask Millie if she's fine with her betting on his death.

The next scene shows the festival grounds, where Wally Wackford is on stage welcoming everyone to the event, before introducing Stolas who begins the Pain Games. Stolas delivers a speech, which is poorly received by the attendees, which he also uses as a opportunity to indirectly flirt with Blitzo, bothering him.

A starting gun is then fired, thus commencing the Pain Games. A montage of the games is then shown, with Striker and Blitzo fiercely competing while Moxxie clumsily fails through the events. At the end of the games, Wackford announces that for the first time there has been a tie, with Stolas calling both Striker and Blitzo to the stage. Alone in the stands, Moxxie complains to Millie about Striker, saying he maybe physically better than him, but claims to be better in other ways, like singing. Striker then pulls out a guitar and sings a song he had just come up with, to Moxxie's anger. Midway through the song, Blitzo sits down with Moxxie and Millie, complimenting Striker. To Moxxie's disappointment, Blitzo reveals he asked Striker to take a job with I.M.P, which he accepted. Millie suggests Moxxie to go back to the house and clean himself, as Striker taunts him in his song, making him leave crying and humiliated.

Back at the ranch, as Moxxie climbs the stairs, he notices a glow coming out of Striker's room. Investigating, he finds a open gun case with a Carmine crafted blessing tip rifle, a sniper rifle capable of killing Demon royalty. Striker confronts him, and attempts to kill him for his discovery, when Millie intervenes after hearing a lamp breaking and stabs him in the back, before being overpowered by Striker. He proceeds to throw the pair in the Ranch's cellar, where Millie lands in a bear trap, reasoning that they aren't worth the cleanup and alive they might give him leverage over Blitzo. Moxxie tries to free Millie from the trap, but she tells him to go stop Striker. Moxxie tells her he's just not strong enough, and Millie tells him to use what he's good at. It soon dawns on Moxxie that he is good with guns, and realizes he still has his pistol in his possession, allowing him to shoot a hole in the cellar doors and leaves to stop Striker.

Back at the festival grounds, Stolas is delivering another speech whilst using his Grimoire to open a portal to earth and curse the festival with the light of the true Harvest Moon. In a nearby building, Striker lines up a shot on Stolas with his sniper rifle, when Blitzo confronts him. Striker remarks he thought he was still at the ceremony, and Blitzo responds that he can't stand Wrath's residents and Stolas at the same time. Striker asks Blitzo if he's disappointed in him, which he agrees with, as he's about to kill his ticket to earth behind his back. Striker tells him he's better than what he was limiting himself to do, remarking that he shouldn't be forced to fuck royalty and work for sinners who don't care for him, struggling to run a business rigged against him, when they could partner up and kill Overlords. Striker subsequently corners Blitzo to the wall, suggesting him they could start by killing Stolas.

Blitzo pretends to agree with him, as Moxxie sneaks in and grabs the sniper rifle. Once Moxxie has it, Blitzo elbows Striker after he almost made him shoot Moxxie. After a brief fight, Striker beats down the pair and gets his rifle back. Holding them at gunpoint, Striker mocks them commenting that they lost the upper-hand quickly, when Blitzo tells him he's forgotten something, whistling for Loona. She hears him, but initially ignores it. Striker tells him they could have made a good team, to which Blitzo disagrees and submits him by kicking his shin and chest, pushing him to the other side of the room and making him drop the rifle. Moxxie catches it, and fires a warning shot next to Striker's head. Taunting Striker, Moxxie asks him who's weak now, when Loona arrives, kicking open the door and knocking him over who was next to it. Striker takes the opportunity to flee, jumping out the window and into the crowd gathered for the festival.

Back to the ranch, Lin is shown bandaging Millie's wounds and berating her for letting Striker get the drop on her. Moxxie stands up for her telling the pair that they should be ashamed for hiring Striker in the first place, and Millie has the strength enough for both of them. Joe acknowledges Moxxie's input for the first time with a simple nod, something that she recognizes, and I.M.P leaves the Ranch.

At the Hideaway Motel, Striker is on the phone with Stella, who had hired him to kill Stolas, telling her he failed but reassuring her that it won't happen again. It then zooms out revealing that Stella is having the phone call with Striker, ordering to get the job done next time regardless of who stands in his way. It is soon revealed that she is at the dinner table with Stolas and Octavia, both of whom are oblivious of her call. Back at the motel, Striker says he'll get Stolas next time, spinning a revolver of a similar design to his sniper rifle around his finger as he turns off the lights.

Features

Characters

Locations

Objects

  • Goetia's family phone
  • I.M.P's van

Music

Songs

Instrumentals

  • TBA

Transcript

View the episode's transcript here.

Trivia

  • The Harvest Moon Festivals are usually held sometimes between mid to late September, which hints at how this episode takes place around that time.
  • Millie's full first name is revealed to be Mildred.
  • The scene with Stolas and Blitzo's conversation regarding the Harvest Moon Festival was shown as a preview during the BLM Helluva Charity Stream hosted on Ashley Nichols's YouTube channel on June 10, 2020.[1]
    • Additionally, "C.H.E.R.U.B" was initially supposed to be the third episode of the first season, as revealed in the description of the BLM Charity Stream, with this episode being the fifth and "Spring Broken" presumably being the fourth.
    • An early version of the animatic revealed that the scratch track voice actor Kestin Howard also initially recorded for Blitzo in the early animatic stage, assuming Brandon re-recorded the scratch track for either the purpose of the streams or for when revisions of the animatic took place.[2]
  • The scene where Blitzo pours hot sauce on his "cheese on a stick" snack is an inside reference to the Helluva Signing Stream on Vivziepop's YouTube channel where Brandon Rogers was shown pouring hot sauce on a cheese slice during the stream.[3][4]
  • As hinted in Stolas's greeting to the citizens of the Wrath Ring right before he starts the ceremony, the majority, if not all, the Imps of Hell appear to be native to the Wrath Ring.
    • Additionally, Moxxie and Millie are also both native to the Wrath Ring.
  • According to Striker, not many Imps start businesses on their own.
  • It is stated by Stolas that the Wrath Ring provides the majority of the food supply for the entirety of Hell.
  • Similar to Fat Nuggets, the hogs native to Hell appear to have glowing marks similar to eyes growing across their backside.
  • It is said in a Tweet that Striker's horse is named Bombproof.[5]
  • It is implied that the other Rings have some concept of war and conflict, though what form this takes is left unsaid.
  • This is the first episode to have 3D animation incorporated in it.
  • Just like all the released episodes of 2021, this has scenes shown in the trailer for Season 1, to which some shots were improved.
  • Though not explicitly stated, it is implied in the conversation between Blitzo and Stolas that the latter's mansion is, at the very least, not located in the Wrath Ring.
  • The girl that Striker kicks in the face during the performance of his song is the Impsona of artist Cécilia Goncalves.[6]
  • Moxxie is shown to have a gun with a musical note on it, implying his love of musical theater.

Cultural References

  • Loona jokingly snarks "That's what she said." after hearing Blitzo's accidental innuendo, a phrase that is widely attributed to the popular TV show franchise, The Office, but can be traced back to the test reel of the Alfred Hitchcock film, Blackmail.
  • During "Striker's Song" a large representation can be seen of Striker in the mountains, a reference to the Screaming Cowboy meme derived from the music video for Kirin J. Callinan's song "Big Enough".
  • Moxxie's ringtone on his Hellphone appears to be the organ pipe music from Phantom of the Opera.
  • Blitzo saying "If you're good at something, you should probably capitalize." could be a reference to the Joker saying "If you're good at something, never do it for free." in the Dark Knight. This is probably coincidental, since both characters are major approximations of killer clowns.

Continuity

  • Blitzo is, once again, shown to be stalking Moxxie and Millie in their apartment.
  • Blitzo recalls their failed bodyguarding job back in "Loo Loo Land".
    • Additionally, Millie eliciting an excited reaction to hearing about their trip to The Harvest Moon Festival is similar to how she reacted to the gang’s plan on going to Loo Loo Land in the second episode.

Errors

  • When the Wrath Ring is mentioned by Stolas at the beginning of the episode, Blitzo states that he had "never really been" there, which contradicts his conversation with Verosika Mayday in "Spring Broken", where she stated that he once maxed out her credit cards on horse riding lessons while there.
    • However, a possible explanation for this may be that by Blitzo's wording, "never really been", he was referring to not spending much time actually looking around the Wrath Ring, aside from where he learnt to ride horses in the previously mentioned incident. Another reason might simply be Blitzo didn't want to bring up his past history with Verosika in front of Stolas and decided to act like he had never been there before.
  • The colors of Blitzo’s skin color and white splotches are swapped when he is seen lighting his cigar.
  • Despite Stolas promising the gang "special access" during the festival, this is never shown as Millie, Moxxie and Blitzo were treated just like every other person attending the festival that day.
  • A part of Joe's mouth clips over his mustache when he suggests for Striker and Blitzo to enter the Pain Games.
  • Loona can already be seen filming Moxxie’s attempt at killing the demon boar for dinner, but in the next scene, she is seen to only have started pressing the record button on her phone.
  • Millie bandages up Moxxie’s right arm after he complains that his clavicle was in need of medical attention.
  • Several scenes such as Stolas' announcement speech for the festival were animated at an inconsistent and much more slower speed. This is not only due to the different framerates animated but also because in-between animators were used for this episode.
  • Moxxie’s scream from when he was offscreen carries over to the following scene wherein he has his mouth closed while looking up at Striker overshadowing him.
  • The right horn of the young male Imp goes uncolored during the scene wherein Striker ties Blitzo up in the Pain Games.
  • Striker’s guitar only has four strings attached to it.
  • Despite still having the rights to participate in the Pain Games, Sallie May is nowhere to be seen throughout the event.
    • It could be possible that she voluntarily decided to skip this one.
  • Moxxie’s injuries briefly disappear during the scene wherein Blitzo sits with Moxxie and Millie by the bleachers.
  • The basement door suddenly gets a lock, as shown when Moxxie shoots a hole through it, despite the previous scene showing that it did not have one to begin with.
  • The white markings as well as the black heart tattoo on Millie’s injured arm disappears during the scene where she tells Moxxie "I love you, hon, but, for fuck’s sake!".
  • Stolas can already be seen directly through the crosshairs of Striker’s gun before the scene wherein he starts aiming for the former.
  • Blitzo's black spines are not seen when Blitzo looks down to find Striker's knife behind him.
  • During Blitzo and Moxxie's fight with Striker, the door to the room switches sides when Loona opens it.
  • During the dinner scene between the Goetia Family, Octavia's neck and upper torso are white in colour, when they are usually grey.
    • Additionally, the trim on Stella's shoulderpads are incorrectly colored white while she is on the phone with Striker, though it fixes when the camera pans to the three Goetia family members at the table.

Gallery

Video

References


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