Saturday, January 16, 2016

Galavant 2.03: "Aw, Hell, the King"

“I can’t imagine a free people ever voting to send an army into an open-ended armed conflict which profits only the few. That would be madness.”
-Peasant John

For the third episode of this season of “Galavant,” we got some political humor. As a student/practitioner of government, I always enjoy political humor. I really love the scene early in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where one of the peasants teaches a lesson to Arthur about good governance. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, of course! Richard finds that in his absence, his people have tried to form a democracy, and poltically-based hilarity ensues. The episode also continues the other two plots that are currently ongoing, of course. Gareth and Madalena continue to find it difficult to live with each other, and Isabella wallows in sorrow after her unfortunate phone call with Galavant.

The episode opens where the last one left off. Richard and Galavant are standing where Richard’s castle used to be. Richard positively confirms that this is the site of his castle, and he can point out where all the rooms used to be. They venture into town and speak to a peasant named John. Peasant John says that the villagers didn’t think Richard was coming back, so they set up a democracy and used the stones from his castle to build community buildings. This scene in particular had a lot of good Monty Python-style political jokes. There’s also a big musical number called “Build a Better Tomorrow Here Today,” where Peasant John and the villagers sing about what they have created in Richard’s absence. Richard says Galavant needs to forget about using Richard’s army for now, because he lost his castle.

Meanwhile, Gareth keeps having nightmares about his betrayal of Richard. Each dream ends with a knife in Richard’s back. When that happens, Gareth wakes up screaming. Madalena can hear the screams from her own room down the hall, and it is interfering with her beauty sleep. Madalena tells Sid to make Gareth stop screaming, or she’ll slit his (Sid’s) throat. Sid does what he’s told and tries to talk with Gareth, suggesting Gareth may be feeling guilty about betraying Richard. Gareth doesn’t understand the concept of feeling guilty, though, and Madalena is pissed that Sid is making no progress. Gareth again has a nightmare that leaves him screaming, and Sid comes into his room to try and get him to quiet down. At that point, Gareth finally admits that maybe he is feeling guilty after all. Hopefully this will put an end to the nightmares, for Sid’s sake if nothing else!

Richard, as we’ve learned from his ability to wield the sword from the stone, is meant to be a King, but he’s treated with all sorts of disrespect in his former kingdom. People even have started calling him “buddy.” Galavant decides to ask Peasant John if the new democracy has an army he can use to rescue Isabella. Peasant John suggests Galavant make the request at the next town meeting, and the townspeople will put it to a vote. He can’t imagine they’ll actually go for it, though, as you can see from the Quote of the Episode. Galavant works to set up campaign, making posters and coming up with slogans and such. Richard, meanwhile, sings a big musical numbers about all the jobs he could potentially do instead of being King, but probably wouldn’t be good at for various reasons. He really is just meant to be a king.

Meanwhile, in Hortencia, Isabella has been wallowing in her creepy prison bedroom, just watching the Jester continuously act out her breakup with Galavant using puppets. Isabella’s parents really want her to meet with a wedding planner named Wormwood, who seems hella shady. Isabella’s not feeling it, but she doesn’t really have a choice. Wormwood has an evil plan to control Isabella (and through her, Hortencia), through a mind control tiara he has designed. When Isabella arrives for the wedding planning session, she is very unenthusiastic. There’s a big musical number about how the wedding should be the happiest day of her life. Mid-way through the song, Isabella puts on the mind control tiara, and she is suddenly super enthusiastic about the wedding. She gives a very peppy speech to the people of Hortencia inviting them all to the wedding. The Jester wonders what is sup with this sudden change in personality, but Isabella’s mom doesn’t care as long as her daughter is getting married.

Unfortunately for Galavant, the town hall meeting doesn’t go well. Galavant tries to explain his story and make a case for true love, but people keep getting Madalena missed up with Isabella and Valencia mixed up with Hortencia. I suppose Galavant should have seen this coming. This isn’t the first time he has gone on a big quest to rescue a woman he thinks he loves. I should probably go in for a rant here about how the show treats women in general. I hate that Isabella is wallowing in her pretty princess prison until somebody takes control of her mind. But the show is so charming that I can (usually) look past that rather troubling aspect of it. Richard tries to save the day, anyway, by giving a big (and very king-like) speech about true love, and he does get the attention of one woman named Robert who says she will join the request. Everyone else, however, is less than enthusiastic.

By the end of the episode, Galavant has packed up all his things and is ready to leave Richard’s kingdom. He tells Richard he’ll just figure out how to gather an army on the way to Hortencia. Richard says he would like to join him. I don’t think Galavant is too thrilled at the proposition since Richard tends to be a slow traveler, but he agrees. Roberta is going to join them, too, although I’m not sure how much she’ll be able to help. She’ll probably have some unexpected super crazy fighting skills or something. Anyway, she calls Richard “King,” and he likes that, so she’s joining them.

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