“Who Will Be The Family Wizard”
|Season 4, Episode 28-29|
January 6, 2012
Ben Montanio, Vince Cheung & Todd J. Greenwald
"Who Will Be The Family Wizard" (also known as Wizards vs Wizards or Wizards vs Each Other) is the 27th episode of season four of Wizards of Waverly Place, and the 109 and 110th of the overall series. It aired on January 6, 2012, and it's the series finale.
The Russo siblings — Alex, Justin, and Max — face a sudden and ultimate test to determine which one of them will be entitled to keep their wizardly powers. Meanwhile, Jerry decides to close down the family business.
During a dinner that Alex made for the family (without magic), Headmaster Crumbs visits to reveal that with this selfless act, the Russo children can finally have their Family Wizard Competition. Round one of the competition is a trivia round, in which questions related to magic are asked. Justin answers the first two questions to jump ahead 300 points, and Max answers a triple-answer and gains 250 points.
During the second round, Harper and Zeke appear. Zeke has accidentally smelled a purple substance in the lair that caused him to turn purple. This causes a griffin to kidnap him and Harper. Alex, Justin, and Max use their three time-outs to go and rescue their friends. They make it back, only to discover that they have been gone too long and have been disqualified from the competition.
They all return home, where the lair disappears and they all lose their magic, thus becoming mortals. Justin and Max are furious with Alex because of her insistence on saving Zeke and Harper resulting in them losing. Convinced that the loss of their powers has ruined the family, Jerry decides to sell the Sub Shop. The kids go for a few weeks without magic, during which, deciding that it is now all they have, they reopen the shop and slowly learn to work together as a family.
Suddenly, they are returned to the area of the Wizard Competition, where Rootie Tootietootie reveals that the griffin attack (which was actually meant for Professor Crumbs) and the weeks they went without magic were a test see if their family bond remains stable because of past experiences with the Russos.
The third round is where the kids are shown scenes from their life where the magic went away. Alex gives the correct spell to fix every problem all three times, pulling even with Justin at 300 points.
They enter the final round of the Competition, a massive labrynth. The first out of the maze will win. Justin makes it out first and is declared the Family Wizard. However, he decides he cannot accept this because Alex was about to get out first: Justin had gotten stuck on a tree root and Alex, near the exit, came back to help.
Therefore Justin gives Alex the position of the Family Wizard. Professor Crumbs, proud of Justin's decision and his high intelligence, declares that he is going to retire as Headmaster of Wiz-Tech and declares Justin the new Headmaster, granting him full wizard powers. Jerry thus decides to one day pass down the Sub Shop to Max, which he happily accepts. Alex points out that the family is finally all happy at the same time and the series ends.
- This is the third episode where Mason and Juliet are shown together, as the first one was "Wizards vs Werewolves", and the second one was "Wizards vs Everything".
- This episode was rumored to be aired under the title, Magic On the Edge.
- Alex, Justin, and Max's final shirts were the three primary colors. Alex wore yellow, Justin wore blue, and Max wore red.
- Promotional advertisements began airing on Disney Channel on November 11, 2011.
- Chancellor Tootietootie's line's closing out the competition and the series, "That's our show ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for watching!" may be a stealthy feeling of gratitude to the fans of the show, possibly acknowledging the series' end.
- Max is the only one who doesn't have any wizard powers anymore, however, he is still happy.
- In "Make It Happen" Max's original plan was to work at the Sub Station. This goal comes true after Jerry grants the Sub Station to Max. Also in the episode, Max says, "This Sub Shop is all I have left" which later on comes true.
- Justin giving up his powers upon winning mirrors Jerry's in these ways:
- Their reasons for doing so fully or partially involved love: Jerry gave up his powers solely because he wouldn't have been allowed to marry Teresa, a mortal. Justin, instead of sacrificing his powers to be with the person he loves, gives up his powers partially because he was sad that Alex loves Mason, yet she would not have been allowed to date Mason as a mortal.
- Both gave up their powers because each felt it would otherwise be unfair to the younger sibling who needed/deserved magic in the long run: Jerry gave up his powers to Kelbo, who is his youngest sibling. Even though Kelbo was terrible at magic, Jerry felt it was unfair for Kelbo to lose his powers especially when Kelbo needed it to survive life in general. For Justin, it was the opposite--instead of giving his powers to Max, the youngest, gives his powers to Alex, the middle child, because he felt it was unfair for Alex to lose after having to give up her chance to win in order to save him from a tree root. In addition, although being with Mason meant more to Alex than winning the competition alone, Alex needed magic in order to be with Mason forever, as explained above.
- The challenges the siblings had to face were quite similar to the ones of the Triwizard Tournament in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire':
- First Alex, Max, and Justin had to defeat a dragon, like in The First Task.
- Then their friends were taken away in a sort of intentional way like The Second Task.
- Both members of the respective shows went into a maze for the Third and Final Task.
- Finally, someone was about to win but stayed back to save someone else.
- Ian Abercrombie, Professor Crumbs' actor, passed away not long after this episode aired.
- This episode got 9.8 million views on the premiere night, making it the most-watched series finale for Disney Channel, and the season.
- The wizard competition in this episode and the one held in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie are considerably different. This is most likely because the competition in the film was held in an emergency.
- Justin and Alex's jumpsuits worn in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie during the wizard competition are worn again in this episode.
- On the show, MAD, a segment called Potions 11, featuring Alex, mentions that this finale stole the plot of the fourth movie of Harry Potter.
- This was the final appearance of Justin Russo.
- When Mason sits next to Juliet, they both mentioned their fight in Wizards vs. Werewolves as the last time seeing each other. However, they both were in Gorog's basement together in Wizards vs. Everything. However, they were both under the influence of Gorog and may not have remembered.
- In this episode, Alex got her powers right then and there, but in The Good, The Bad and the Alex they had to go to the Hall of Transfers to be a full wizard. However, the Wizarding World may have decided to improve how full powers are given.
- In The Good, The Bad and the Alex, when Warren Nichols got his powers, he had a visor saying "Full Wizard", but Alex did not. Perhaps because of the incident, they changed the rules.
- Professor Crumbs states that he has been Headmaster of WizTech for 3,000 years, though in Wizard School Part 1 or 2, Professor Crumbs says he is at most 803 years old. An explanation might have been that he was lying about his age to be seemingly younger.
- When the Wizard Competition is about to begin, and Jerry is talking to the kids about family, Theresa has a handbag over her right shoulder. Although, when she leaves and is talking to Mason, the handbag disappears.
- When Alex received her full powers, Professor Crumbs didn't say her full name like he did for Justin, though this could be because he liked Justin more.
Mason: And I'm the last werewolf standing.
Jerry: Son, since Alex and Justin are keeping their family wizard powers, I'm passing on to you the family business. The sub station is going to be yours someday.Max: So Alex and Justin get to be wizards and I get the family sub station? That's awesome! Hey guys, guess what? I get the sub station!
Tootie: ...That smells worse than the butt of Newt!
Max: I was just doing my laundry.I'll get to the potion in a minute
Alex: I thought we would make it back in time.
Max: Is that me up there? Cause' It kinda looks like me.
Behind the scenes
- Selena Gomez as Alex Russo
- David Henrie as Justin Russo (final appearence)
- Jake T. Austin as Max Russo
- Jennifer Stone as Harper Finkle
- David DeLuise as Jerry Russo
- Maria Canals Barrera as Theresa Russo
Special Guest Stars
- Dan Benson as Zeke Beakerman (final appearence)
- Andy Kindler as Chancellor Rudy Tootietootie (final appearence)
- Ian Abercrombie as Professor Crumbs (final appearence)