In hopes of mastering her magic, Bloom begins her studies at Alfea — and crosses paths with her curious classmates. Meanwhile, a secret comes to light.
Somewhere in the forest, an old man is unable to sleep and comes outside to check on his sheep. He counts them and eventually finds one separated from the rest of the herd. He asks the sheeps what’s wrong with it, and where their mate is. A twig snaps in the distance, and the old man makes his way outside the Barrier and into the unprotected forest. He walks for a bit, and eventually stops when he feels some unknown liquid dripping on him from above. When he looks up, he realizes that much to his horror it’s one of his sheep that has had its inside ripped wide open and the blood is dripping down from the carcass. He looks around frantically and tries to run as something begins to chase him. He is almost to the barrier, when he trips and is pulled further back in by the mysterious creature that was chasing him. A few seconds later, blood splatters all over one of the old man’s sheep.
Bloom arrives for her first day at Alfea in the Otherworld, but looks unsure of herself as she looks around the campus, taking in her environment and adjusting her senses. Eventually a blonde guy approaches her and tells her how he’s impressed with Bloom’s confidence in the face of complete ignorance. He continues by saying that her issue is that she is overcommitted and is essentially running. Bloom laughs and says she doesn’t need his help, but thanks him nonetheless. He quips by saying he doesn’t remember offering to help her and calls her presumptuous. He deduces that she must be a fairy. Bloom confirms his suspicions, but admits that she still finds it weird to be calling herself a fairy. The blonde guy laughs and is a bit confused by what she said. He asks her if it is truly such an odd thing, considering she is standing in a courtyard of a college for fairies. Bloom states that they don’t have a lot of those when she’s from. He asks what realm she is from, and Bloom answers that she is from California. It is then he realizes Bloom is not from the Otherworld. She then tells the blonde guy that three months ago, she didn’t even know that the Otherworld existed. After hearing that, he genuinely offers his help, and points out that the building they are nearby is Specialist Hall. But that Fairy Hall is on the other side. Bloom laughs and tries to play off like she knew she was near the aforementioned Specialist Hall, and that she totally knows what a Specialist is. In the distance, Stella watches Bloom and Sky laughing and talking.
Riven eventually breaks up the conversation, telling his best friend to quit perving in the first years. The two guys hug after Bloom walks off and Sky doesn’t chase after her. Bloom goes on to meet up with 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. Thus, the curriculum is designed with that thought in mind. She asks Bloom to trust the process, and explains that Alfea’s graduates have gone on to rule realms and led armies. Others have forged powerful relics and rediscovered long lost magic. Thus, she tells Bloom that they shape the Otherworld, and if Bloom manages to succeed here, she will too. Later, Bloom jokes with the headmistress that she was a bit disappointed to not have seen a single pair of fairy wings. Dowling explains that fairies had wings in the past, but that as they evolved, that kind of transformation magic has been lost.
Bloom’s parents believe that Alfea is located somewhere 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 then 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.
Elsewhere on campus, Sky practices fighting, and the teacher tells the group that Sky’s father is a legend. As Specialists, there is an expectation for them to be the first line of defense of the Otherworld. One of the first year 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, creatures possessing inhuman speed and strength, and if they cut a person, the infection that follows is swift and severe.
Meanwhile, Riven goes for a smoke outside the barrier, and a rasping sound is heard in the distance. He exhales slowly but hears a twig snap nearby. He looks around and gasps in shock after seeing the remains of a charred person in the wood.
Afterward, a few of the teachers look at the body, and Dowling suggests it could have been a wolf. Silva suggests it could have alternatively been a bear, who could have gone out to protect his herd and got surprised, which led to the attack. Ben tells the other two teachers that he found char residue on the body. Silva then asks how long it had been since the last sighting of a Burned one. Ben explains that it has been about two decades, with Dowling emphasizing it was sixteen years because Rosalind was relentless. Silva suggests it could have been hiding, but Dowling interrupts him by saying that Rosalind killed all the Burned Ones. Ben throws out that they all thought she did, but it’s now apparent she didn’t.
At the orientation party, Bloom talks to Sky. She wonders if there’s anywhere else they can go except this party. 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.
Bloom eventually heads out into the woods alone and practices using her fire abilities. She looks at memories on her phone, traumatic ones it seems since there are photos of a charred bedroom that looks to be from a fire. Bloom exhales sharply, and a fire burns from her hand. Seeing her efforts pay off, she smiles at her achievement.
When Aisha sees her, Bloom panics as 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 math 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. At some point in the past, Bloom’s father had taken down her bedroom door at her mother’s request. Later that night, Bloom was so enraged, that she set the house on fire and explains to Aisha that it felt like the fire had a life of its own. Her mother ended up with third-degree burns due to her powers getting out of control. After that, Bloom was too scared to sleep in the same house as her parents for fear that she’d lose control again. So instead, she’d sneak out at night and hide away at an abandoned warehouse in her neighborhood. Eventually she was discovered by Dowling who told her that she was a fairy, and that she could come to Alfea to learn how to control her magic.
Aisha believes it’s strange how she’s not from an active bloodline given how strong her powers are and wonders if Bloom might in fact be adopted. Bloom denies that is the case and calls herself a miracle baby. Aisha then suggests that Bloom might be a “Changeling”, which is a fairy baby switched with a human one at birth. She calls it barbaric and that it rarely 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.
Back at the party, Dane is sipping on his drink and eventually locks eyes with Riven, who smirks at the younger guy. He quickly looks away pretending to not have been checking out Riven, but the older guy has made his way to him. He pulls out a flash from inside his jacket and asks Dane if he wants some. Dane tries to refuse, but Riven does not budge; explaining how there are two types of first years. Those being pussies and aspiring former pussies. Dane tells Riven that it sorta feels like it’s less a binary choice and more of a spectrum, as the older Specialist pours some alcohol into Dane’s glass. He makes Dane drink all of the alcohol, and eventually Terra steps in to help. She tells Riven to quit bullying the first years, and to Dane, she goes on to say he should just ignore Riven. Terra continues by saying how during his first year, Riven was a tragic nerd in disguise. In return, Riven lashes out by saying that Terra is just three people in disguise. Angry, Terra goes on to say how people always think they can treat the big girl like shit because they are sweet and harmless, and they should be happy that they are being talked to. But sometimes, Terra explains, the big girl has had a really, really bad day, and some scrawny little arsehole says the wrong thing at the wrong time, and suddenly they’re not happy that they are being talked to. Nor are they sweet, and most of all, they are not harmless. Terra’s eyes glow a fluo green, and the nearby vines begin to slither around Riven’s neck. He starts to lose air until Terra breaks the vine and lets Riven finally take in some oxygen. Riven calls her a freak, but walks away.
In the Winx Suite, Bloom researches changelings, after Aisha mentioned it to her earlier. She looks at a photo of her family and the doubt of her true origins begins to fester. Stella walks in and goes to talk to Bloom, telling the redheaded girl that if it was her, she’d rather have a normal life and be home and that there is no shame in that. Later on, Aisha looks for Bloom and Terra also asks where Bloom is. Stella reveals that Bloom was homesick, so she gave her the Gateway Ring, so that 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 and it could result in Bloom ending up in grave danger.
Bloom successfully makes it back to the First World and calls her parents while standing outside their house. She asks if she made a mistake, but her parents do not feel that’s the case. While it seems like Bloom would rather be at home, her mother soothes her by saying that she believes Bloom is capable and gives words of confidence. Bloom then ends the call and sobs while watching her parents through the window.
Back at the abandoned warehouse, Bloom looks through the diary she used to jot down when her powers began to manifest. However, she starts hearing a voice speak to her and eventually sees a monster figure in the distance, and she drops Stella’s ring in the process. . She finds herself in the ventilation system as the monster tries to attack her. Fortunately, Headmistress Dowling comes to her rescue. Aisha, Musa, and Terra are also there as Dowling takes the monster down and 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 like everybody at the Winx Suite hates her and asks if she can stay the night in his dorm. Sky tells her that she’s better than she thinks and gives in easily to her wishes.
Elsewhere on campus, Riven is smoking as he sees Beatrix walking by holding a lot of books. He asks her if she is burning the midnight oil. But she jokes back by saying it is more like she is snorting the midnight Adderall. She then says she will need sleep eventually, and Riven offers her his cigarette. Beatrix raises her hands and points out that her hands are kind of full at the moment. The two smile at each other, before Riven takes a whiff of the smoke and shares the exhaled smoke with Beatrix. Beatrix then walks away as she smirks.
At the Winx Suite, Terra and Musa finally make up after the latter explains that she is an empath fairy, which means it’s nothing personal when she puts on her headphones. Her type of fairy abilities make it so that she can feel everyone’s emotions, sometimes even stronger than what the person that is feeling them is unintentionally projecting onto her.
Dowling confirms to Saul that she left the Burned One that attacked Bloom chained up in a barn outside the Barrier. Silva tells her that she should have killed it. But Dowling counters that train of thought by saying she couldn’t just leave it in the human world. Silva then asks if the Burned one broke her skin, but Dowling replies that she is not infected. But she did get Ben to make up some oil from the Zanbaq flowers in the greenhouse. She has dozed it and won’t be unconscious for hours. Silva is about to chastise Dowling, but she argues that she needs to keep it alive in order to get inside its head. She needs to know if this was an isolated incident or something more. When pressed for more information, she acquiesces and tells Silva that she found a changeling in the First World and thinks it’s all connected. Silva mentions how she hadn’t heard of a changeling occurence in centuries, but Dowling explains how it doesn’t feel like it’s coincidence that one appears sixteen years after the last Burned One was spotted. She admits to struggling and feeling stressed because of just how much knowledge Rosalind kept from them. She’s worried about the students because the Alfea they know is very different from the one she and Silva attended. That these kids have so much life to experience but that even if this world were safe, what they’re going through can feel impossible. She admits that she doesn’t know how long they will be able to protect them from it. There’s been a shift, and Dowling states that the kids have had order for so long, they don’t know what chaos feels like. Silva states that might feel it soon enough.
In their respective dorms, Dane texts Terra and thanks her for coming to his rescue. They joke around with each other via text for a while. Until Dane accidently hits like on one of Riven’s posts on Instagram that has him nursing a beer and his shirt unbuttoned. Riven gets the alert that Dane liked his photo and chuckles
Back in the forest, Beatrix uses her powers on a Burned One outside The Barrier.
Cast and Characters
- The episode title is a line from the poem The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats. The poem is about a child being lured away by fairies. A famous refrain of the poem goes:
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
- The scene where Aisha uses water to extinguish the fire created by Bloom in the forest was the first scene shot in the show. According to Abigail Cowen, they reshot it towards the end of production, so the version of the scene they originally filmed was cut.