Epic, wild, a real butt-clencher!
So, huzzah and tally-ho! Sit back, and here we go!
Attend the tale of Galavant!”
Episode 5— “Completely Mad…Alena” or “Sid Invents the Zipper”
This week’s set of episodes begins with Gal, Isabella, and Sid arriving on the coast of Valencia. (I would have liked to have seen the pirates again, but alas…) The princess, in another attempt to save Gal’s life without actually admitting her part in the king’s evil scheme, delays him from storming the castle by convincing him he should bathe first. She takes him to the most revered monastery in Valencia, where all the monks have taken a singing vow. While Gal is getting ready, Isabella confesses her betrayal to one of the monks (enter Weird Al Yankovic). But instead of offering some useful advice to the visibly distraught princess, his guest appearance is wasted on him wishing that he could be singing with his brothers in the courtyard instead of, you know, doing his job.
Back at the castle, King Richard is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Galavant. He plans to kill him in front of the queen, earning her love and respect once and for all. But Queen Madalena notices his odd behavior, and bribes the cook to give her information on what Richard is keeping secret. In exchange for a “date” with the queen’s handmaiden Gwynne (Downton Abbey’s Sophie McShera), he divulges that the king is having a secret meeting at a specific time in a specific room. The queen eavesdrops, and learns of her ex-lover’s impending approach. She immediately hatches a plan of her own, and sends a mysterious note by pigeon to someone whom she says can help execute her new plot.
Meanwhile, the trio are dressing as monks to infiltrate the castle more stealthily. But before they can do anything, they are ambushed by the king and his guards in the cellar. Richard wastes no time in telling Gal about Isabella’s trickery before having them all locked up in the dungeon. Isabella apologizes profusely, but Gal is understandably upset. Before she can make him understand, the guards put a bag over his head and take him away to be hanged. At the gallows, the king uncovers not Galavant, but the cook! Gal has been taken to the queen, who states that everything is about to change.
*dun, dun, duuunnnnnnnn*
Episode 6— “Dungeons and Dragon Lady” or “They Totally Referenced Harry Potter”
Gal and Queen Madalena have a little chat over supper, in which he learns that she didn’t want to be rescued at all. Instead, she wants him to be part of her new plan to take over her husband’s kingdom. In reward, Gal can be her “boy toy.” After all, she loves him as much as she can love anyone (aka not much at all because he isn’t something expensive or shiny she can wear). Until the time comes, she puts him back in the dungeon, and orders Gareth to torture Isabella, her parents, and the jester.
King Richard, still in shock at having Galavant slipped away from under his nose, questions the cook. The cook admits that it was the queen who had them swapped, to Richard’s dismay. Confused and frustrated as to why people treat him the way they do, he plans to go visit Xanax the Wizard with the cook, in search of answers. And who could play anyone named Xanax but Ricky Gervais? In a slightly better cameo than Weird Al’s, Gervais’s Xanax prepares a “potion” for the king and cook to drink that causes them to hallucinate. In a Pensieve-like dream, Richard remembers when his older brother became king just to spite him—the young, overweight “Dicky” was humiliated in front of the court and has felt like everyone’s second choice ever since.
Back in the dungeon, Gal and Isabella finally have a heart to heart. He is still hung up on Madalena, but the princess demands to know why he still loves her when he deserves someone better.
During their ensuing duet (“love is strange and sometimes kind of gross…”), they discover that the dungeon doors haven’t been locked. Gal realizes that the queen never loved him, and vows to save the day.
Upon returning to the castle, the king orders that the queen be locked away, but at the last moment, the man that Madalena had written to shows up—the shadows slip away to reveal Richard’s older brother Kingsley, played by everyone’s favorite bad guy Rutger Hauer.
What We’ve Learned So Far
A lot more than before. This is what it feels like to have plot and character development, my friends! Though the basic groundwork is still thin, we as an audience can finally engage with someone. By that, of course, I mean the fantastic evolution of Madalena. As always, there were catchy one liners (“wrap myself around you like a leather jacket made of love”) and cute songs, but the strength of episodes 5 and 6 lay with the one person I expected the least from. The shallow queen is also cunning and shrewd, and let’s face it—she knows exactly what she wants. Call it a cliche, but I like a strong female character who takes charge, be she villain or heroine. I know we’re supposed to root for Gal, but right now I’m all about our resident Evil Queen. Go get ’em, girl.
Til we meet again,
The Collected Mutineer