January 18th, 2015, 8PM, ABC
Taking place directly after last week’s episode, our intrepid trio is still aboard the pirate’s ship, and Gal and company are pretty sure the course ahead is smooth – or at least Gal is, as he’s certain Madalena will welcome him with open arms. Isabella is chewed up with guilt over her part in Gal’s eventual deception, and tries to delay the inevitable. As our intrepid threesome nears Valencia, they realize they should take a break to wash up and eat. And so they take shelter at the Order of Our Father of the Perpetual Refrain, with a group of monks who’ve taken a vow…of singing! (and one of them is Weird Al!). A quick confession from Isabella and a heart-to-heart chat with Brother Weird Al makes Isabella realize it’s time to do the right thing and turn herself in, but Richard’s still not willing to accept her surrender. Meanwhile, Madalena decides to overthrow Richard via clever manipulation of her chef and her handmaiden Gwen, who are in love with each other. If he spies for Richard for her she’ll help him court Gwen. Ultimately, Galavant’s attempt at rescuing the whole kingdom just gets the entire crew thrown in the dungeon with the jester - but it also finally brings him in contact with his beloved, Madalena.
In “Dungeons and Dragon Lady,” Madalena offers Gal life as her “Boy toy”, an appellation that Gal rejects, though he doesn’t entirely reject the notion of true love sprouting between them. Madalena then seizes as much control as she can, sending Isabella, Isabella’s parents, the jester and Sid to be tortured while preparing Gal’s execution, circumstances that bring up not-so-hidden feelings for Gal and Isabella. Meanwhile, struggling with the fact that his Queen has become so take-charge and fooled him so easily – and his constant lack of assertiveness, Richard goes on a drug-aided spiritual pilgrimage via the Wizard Xanex that takes him all the way down to his youth – and the realization he’s forever played second fiddle to his older brother Kinglsey. Meanwhile, Isabella tries to clue Gal in to the fact that she loves him but the knight’s too busy coming to grips with the fact that Madalena may not be in love with him, and Gareth tries to psych himself up to torture Our Heroes on the order of somebody who’s not Richard.
Utterly charming, Galavant still has the ability to surprise this viewer. You may have seen the romance between Gal and Isabella coming (and when it does it’s handled with sweetness and deference), but Gwen and the chef’s relationship is one of tenderness and bright feeling that surprises you with its sudden tenderness. And it results in the cutest number about life lived in poverty and misery under the heel of serfdom ever, making a counterpoint to the lovely Isabella/Galavant duet that comes later.
The entire ensemble gives excellent performances; with Madalena finally getting a huge solo number built entirely around her sense of self-adulation. It manages to be fun while shedding the stereotypes used last week. Also, Ricky Gervais sings. If that’s your bag. Weird Al is a surprising treasure, pulling off a moment of comedic subtlety that appeals winningly to the audience.
My biggest quibble is that the show needed more Sid. But it’s not a very big one, and I’m sure he’ll shine in the series’ later episodes. In short, this is the best two episode series of Galavant’s short season run; and it’s everything the show should have – and should continue – to be.
- Madalena’s opening number is the most Disney thing ever.
- So. Like nine o’clock?
- The population in Valencia has dropped to 81 since Richard’s massacres have begun.
- Sid nearly invented the zipper fly, guys.
- ”My child, if you argue I’ll never be able to make it back in time for the big finish!”
- Those robes – so many Princess Bride references this week.
- Ricky Gervais, of course, plays Xanex.
- Next Week: Isabella yearns for Gal to impress her parents; Richard deals with the emergence of his older brother by trying to find a champion to fight a duel for him, and we head up to our season (?) finale in “My Cousin Izzy” and “It’s All in the Executions.”
Touching, silly, well-acted, with catchy songs and excellent writing – and a few labored, groanworthy puns. All in a day’s work for Galavant.