While Galavant‘s premiere episodes hit the ground running, this week’s left a little to be desired. Maybe it’s all the ball jokes… Spoilers ahead!
Episode 3— “Two Balls” or “Put the Sir in Circumcise”
We are thrown immediately into a recap song to get everyone up to speed; while this started off as cute, it began to fall into a gimmicky sinkhole from which the remainder of the episode could not escape.
On the Road
Our heroic trio arrives at Sid’s hometown, where it turns out that he has a pretty big reputation. So big, in fact, that he tells everyone that Gal is his squire. Sid begs Gal and Isabella to play along for the sake of his parents, whom he can’t bear to disappoint. Isabella ad libs that she and Sid are engaged, and the town decides to throw a party for the couple. Meanwhile, Gal has to do some hard labour and spend time with the other squires in the town. He learns how they really feel about the knights they serve and, unsurprisingly, begins to wonder about how he himself treats Sid. *cough* heavyhanded *cough*
It has been 48 days since the city/kingdom of Valencia was conquered by King Richard. Now bored to tears, he wants to know what the court used to do for fun. In search of cheap laughs, Richard has everyone line up to kick the eunuch in the crotch. Cause he has no balls. Get it? Get it?
When he realizes that the Valencians are, in fact, miserable, he decides to put a feast on for them. This presents a challenge, since he burnt all their crops (keeping only a small portion of vegetables for himself) and executed all their musicians. In a show of solidarity, he brings in the remaining food and sets a torch to it (because if they can’t eat, neither will he!), and gives the executioners instructions to play instruments. The excuse for a feast turns into a roast of King Richard, which he is enjoying immensely…until the eunuch lets it spill that Queen Madalena is sleeping with the jester.
Episode 4— “Comedy Gold” or “The One with the Pirate Shanty”
Luckily episode 4 was able to make up for a lot of episode 3’s mistakes…mostly because it had pirates.
On the Road
Gal wants to take the Rocky River route to Valencia, although Isabella advises against it. She warns that the road is beset by bandits. Gal insists on the route anyway, and naturally, they are ambushed by…land pirates!
That’s right, Hugh Bonneville guest stars as Peter Pillager the Pirate King. He and his crew (who all suck at being pirates) are resigned to living on land as their ship is stuck on a hill. But who needs a boat to be a pirate, when all you need is “a dark heart and a wicked disregard for other people’s lives. And swords.” Their situation is best explained with a pirate shanty—easily the best song in the show thus far.
Peter Pillager proposes that Gal join his crew, and in return he will let Isabella and Sid go free. But the trio break free of their bonds and encourage the pirate crew to learn how to work together as a team. They help them get their ship off the hill in exchange for a ride to the other side of the bay. While on board, Isabella admits to Gal that she has been feeling guilty because she deceived him. Unfortunately, Gal wasn’t listening as she spoke, and Isabella can’t bring herself to repeat her confession.
Still upset about the queen’s affair, King Richard is searching for a way to end it. Instead of having the jester killed, he begs him to teach him how to be funny. Though terrified at the concept of giving the crazy king comedy lessons, the jester complies. Richard puts on a comedy show for the queen, who is not impressed in the least. The only bit to get a laugh out of her is when the king throws a pie in Gareth’s face.
In a turn of events, the jester goes to the queen and says that he doesn’t want to continue their affair. In a fit, Madalena has him thrown in the dungeon. The scary one with the mice.
What We’ve Learned So Far
Not much. As I mentioned last week, there isn’t a terribly strong plot. While three fourths of the episodes so far have been carried by insouciant jokes and fun music, we’ve now seen first hand how horribly wrong it can go when both the songs and the comedy fall flat. Sure, we’ve obtained small bits of information, like the fact that Isabella snores like a bear and that the jester has a modicum of sympathy for his inane king. But there has been no real development of plot or character, and that is worrisome. Not every episode can be saved by a pirate shanty. Here’s to hoping the next two episodes prove my gut feeling wrong.
Til we meet again,
The Collected Mutineer