Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Galavant 2.06: "About Last Knight"

“How would you like an unprovoked war with the Kingdom of Hortensia?”
“Best birthday present ever!”
-Madalena and Gareth

This week’s episode relied quite a bit on coincidences. It was hepful, therefore, that several of the characters found themselves in the Forest of Coincidence. It was a lovely bit of wordplay in the vein of one of my favorite books growing up, “The Phantom Tollbooth.” I also liked that through the aforementioned series of coincidences, the three big plots that have been going on during the first half of the season seem poised to coalesce. I was also quite pleased about Isabella’s fate. She saved herself, just as I hoped she would, although Wormwood is still a threat. She’s going to have lots of help in defending against him, though, I think. We also got to learn a bit more about Galavant’s childhood in this episode. Short version: it wasn’t an especially good one, because his father was pretty narcissistic. Galavant comes to terms with his father in the middle of all the other craziness that’s happening. I liked that, even if I thought it was odd that they cast a different actor as Galavant’s father without hanging a lantern on it (the show isn’t afraid to do meta, after all).

Let’s start with Isabella saving herself, because that’s what I’ve been rooting for since the beginning of the season. Isabella returns to Hortensia and demands to see Wormwood. Isabella kicks Wormwood out of Hortencia, and he alternates between giving her parting wedding advice and threatening her demise. He also briefly mentions that the sword of the one true king is the only thing that can ultimately defeat him. I guess it’s Richard, then, who will be delivering the final blow. Isabella then has to confront her parents, who were just freed from the dungeon. Thankfully, now, her parents are supportive of her taking control of her own life. She’s not going to have to marry Prince Harry. Unfortunately, in a rather humiliating scene, Prince Harry demands one of Isabella’s bras in exchange for waiving the death penalty for breaking the engagement. I wasn’t thrilled that the creative team went there with the humor, but I’m glad Isabella is finally free of the ridiculous engagement. And I’m positive she’s glad about that, too!

Galavant, Richard, and Roberta have been traveling for a while, and they’re quite hungry. Unfortunately, the only place nearby is the estate of Galavant’s father, Sir Arnold Galavant, who is now played by Greg Wise instead of Anthony Head. I can only presume Anthony Head’s schedule was too full to film another episode, although I would have loved to have seen him continue with the role. Galavant does not have a good relationship with his father, so he’d rather go anywhere else. His father was a philanderer, and he left Galavant’s mother. The nearest places to get food, however, are 30 and 50 miles away, so Arnold’s hospitality it is. When the group arrives at the estate, they see a bunch of kids playing. Arnold, who seems happy to see his son, says the kids aren’t his. Since he retired from being a hero, he started a swordfighting school for underprivileged boys. Galavant is not impressed.

After they are kicked out of Hortensia, Wormwood and his assistant Barry find themselves in the Forrest of Coincidence. Like I mentioned, it really reminded me of something out of “The Phantom Tollbooth.” They just happen to run into none other than Sid. Sid says he needs to reunite with Galavant so he can help with the rescue of Isabella, which confuses Wormwood because he thought Galavant insulted Isabella. A peasant helpfully wanders by, gives Sid Galavant’s sword, and says that Galavant is at his father’s place. Sid needs a horse to get there, and a horse salesman helpfully appears. He’ll sell the horse for a pair of shoes, and Sid just happens to have an extra pair. As he departs, Sid warns Wormwood that Gareth and Madalena are crazy warmongerers, and Wormwood thinks he knows exactly where he needs to go next.

In Valencia, it’s Gareth’s birthday, and Madalena really wants to make it a special day for him. She starts by trying to throw a surprise birthday party, but Gareth really isn’t a palace party kind of guy. He says he usually looks forward to an opportunity to collect another scar (aka a bar fight) on his birthday. So Madalena takes him to the dive-yist pub she can find in hopes that she can give Gareth the fight he wants. Unfortunately, though, everyone at said dive-y pub is super intimidated that the King and Queen are there, and they won’t take the bait to fight Gareth. They even all stand up and say their mothers are whores rather than fight him. Later, a disappointed Gareth is cleaning his helmet when Madalena tells him she has one more birthday surprise. Gareth is just happy she thought of him. Wormwood enters the room, and Madalena asks if Gareth would like an unprovoked war with Hortensia for his birthday. Of course he would!

Richard is having fun playing at swordfighting with the kids, but Galavant is sulking. Galavant and the kids do a big musical numbers where the kids talk about all the wonderful things Arnold has done for them and how wonderful he is, and Galavant counters with how horrible a father he was. Galavant is clearly bitter that his father is giving these kids love that he could never give to his own son. Arnold sees this and realizes what he’s done. He shows Galavant a tapestry he made depicting all the big events from Galavant’s life, and he explains that sometimes people can only show love through tapestry (heh). Most importantly, he’s always been there with Galavant, even if Galavant didn’t realize it. He tells Galavant to go rescue Isabella and be the good husband and father that he never was.

In the final scene of an episode, Galavant and Arnold play “Toss the Cabbage” as a show of reconciliation. Arnold goes to get a fresh cabbage, and Galavant is greeted by Sid. They have a touching reunion, and Sid warns Galavant that Isabella is being forced to marry Prince Harry. Galavant reiterates his promise to rescues Isabella, and Sid tries to toss Galavant his sword. Galavant is distracted by Richard continuing to act foolishly with the kids, and he misses the catch. It’s a bad miss, too. The sword goes right into his chest.

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