Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Galavant 2.09: "Battle of the Three Armies"

“It’s one thing being a horrible human being. It’s another thing to be evil. And I would rather die than join the dark forces.”

This episode of “Galavant” was very much setting things up for the season (hopefully not series) finale. All of the armies are in place, and there were a bunch of reunions between characters. Sid’s still missing, though, off on his mission to redeem himself for temporarily killing Galavant. His presence is definitely missed in this episode. I’m not sure how much I really have to say about this episode on its own, because it really was pretty much the first part of a two-parter, but I was glad that most of the characters were reunited. I was pleased with how quickly Galavant and Isabella reconciled, because they really are well matched (both badass warriors, and Isabella’s good for taking Galavant down a peg). I was also pleased that Gareth finally saw Madalena for who she was and chose Richard over her, although I am a bit sad that things didn’t work between Gareth and Madalena. I had hoped they might be a good influence on each other, because neither is used to experiencing love. It wasn’t meant to be, though, or at least not right now.

The episode opens with the Jester bringing it back to the original show theme song to recap what has happened this season thus far. It was nice to go back to the original theme. I like “A New Season” just fine, but the original theme is such an earworm and was such a part of the show’s identity that I was very glad to hear it again. As the Jester wraps up his singing, we see that the Hortensian and Valencian armies are poised to fight. The Hortensian army in particular is as ragtag as ever, armed mostly with kitchen implements. Wormwood tries to usher Madalena and Gareth away to the royal skybox to view the battle from a safe distance. Madalena is good with it, but Gareth isn’t happy, because he thought this was his birthday present – an opportunity to kick ass and take names. Eventually, he reluctantly agrees to retreat to the skybox. Once there, Madalena also contemplates postponing the vacation she and Gareth were planning to take after the battle. I think at this point, Gareth starts to suspect Madalena has gotten involved in D’DEW, but the thought hasn’t fully formed in his head yet. Disgusted, Gareth goes to fight in the battle by himself.

Down on the battlefield, Isabella gives an awesome, kickass speech to her Hortensian army, where she does her best to turn their predicament into encouragement. For instance, she says that because their army is so small, there will be even more glory for each of them when they win. She ends with a full-on “Lord of the Rings”-style call to arms, calling it a “red day” and hitting her sword against the various kitchen implements her army will be using as weapons. In actuality, though, Isabella thinks they’re screwed. Galavant, Richard, and their zombie army are also approaching the battlefield. Galavant takes the opportunity to give Richard a pretty great pep talk, reminding Richard of how much he (Richard) has grown as a man since they first met.

The battle starts, set to a song called “A Good Day to Die” (somebody on the creative team is a “Star Trek” fan, I think), and all three armies converge on one particular spot. Unfortunately, that spot is the shack Chef and Gwynne have built as their new home. They join in the song as they hide under the floor of their shack (they’ve got a trap door just for this sort of situation) and hope for the best. In the middle of the battle, Galavant and Isabella find each other. So do Gareth and Richard. There are no sweet reunions between either pair, though. Galavant apologizes for what Isabella thought he said and he professes his love. Isabella slaps him in the face a few times before kissing him. Their second kiss wasn’t spectacular, but it was better than the first, so they’re good with it. Richard also gives Gareth a few good slaps in the face, but unlike Galavant and Isabella, the two men do not leave the encounter fully reconciled. They’re in a better place, for sure, but Gareth still has choices he needs to make.

Up at the skybox, Wormwood starts trying to encourage Madalena to use the D’DEW. At first, Madalena briefly hesitates, because she knows Gareth doesn’t like the idea of her using dark magic. Then, however, Wormwood uses D’DEW to control and strengthen the zombie army. The zombies start attacking everyone, both Hortensian and Valencian. They’re just angry in general. Madalena’s impressed, and she and Wormwood have a musical number where he starts teaching her how to use D’DEW. Gareth can see the puffs of purple magic up in the skybox, and he feels betrayed. Then Wormwood continues encouraging Madalena to use D’DEW. He controls and strengthens the zombies, so they start fighting everybody. Madalena intrigued and starts using magic too. Gareth sees and feels betrayed. He is surprised that Madelena would use dark magic knowing how he feels about it.

Both the Valencians and Hortensians retreat inside the castle to try and escape the zombies. They shore up the main gate as the zombies attack. Madalena calls off the attack briefly and asks to be let inside to talk. Galavant and company reluctantly let her in. She comments on how nice it is for everybody to be reunited again. She definitely intends to kill Galavant, Richard, and Isabella, but she offers Gareth a chance to go with her instead. Gareth, however, says no. He’s going to stick by his best friend, Richard. Madalena leaves the castle and says because they all have history, she’ll give them ten seconds to shore up the gate again before the zombies attack. As the episode closes, those inside the castle prepare for the fight of their life.

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