This week saw the second installment of Galavant, Episodes 3 and 4. Much like the week before I found myself really loving both episodes but leaning more towards the latter episode. However, unlike last week, my preferred episode wasn’t based on how much I laughed or which had the more memorable songs. Rather, it was the episodes willingness to go into new and unexplored directions for some of it’s characters.
Episode 3, “Awe Hell the King” begins right where episode 2 left off; with Galavant and King Richard returning the place the castle once stood only to find nothing there. I’ll admit, when I first saw that image of the castle’s outline left in the grass, my mind immediately went to the scene from Robin Hood: Men in Tights, when Robin Hood returns to his childhood home only to watch it be wheeled away. Although, I feel that what happens to King Richard is a bit more soul crushing. They learn from the townspeople that after King Richard and Madalena left, the people came to realize that they don’t need a King. As they put it, “A King is only a King if the people say he is.” So, instead, they tore down the castle to build things for their town and established a democracy. As a result, Galavant must appeal to the townspeople in a special election to vote to send their citizens army into battle to rescue Isabella. Meanwhile, King Richard struggles with an identity crises. With no castle to rule over and no skills, he is unsure of who he is and what his purpose is. Meanwhile, in Hortensia, the heartbroken Isabella is forced to start planning her wedding to her 11 year old cousin. Although she is completely uninterested, she begins singing a different tune (literally) when her wedding planner outfits her with a mind controlling tiara, with intentions of ruling the kingdom through her once she’s married. Back in Valencia, King Garret is having nightmares about King Richard. Having never felt guilt before, he doesn’t understand why he’s having them or what they mean and it’s up to Sid to help him through it. By the end of the episode, Galavant has unsuccessfully attempted to gather an army through the towns new democratic election process and King Richard’s encouraging speech only manages to get them one volunteer; a red haired woman named Roberta.
The episode “Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled” takes time to develop a character that has, until this point, been largely ignored, Madalena. She is on edge after receiving an invitation to attend a midday roast hosted by a pair of Queens from a neighboring land. She remembers them from her childhood, where they singled her out to pick on her for their amusement. It is that moment that Madalena credits for pushing her to want to become rich and powerful. Back on the road, Galavant tries to find a way to ditch King Richard and set out to rescue Isabella on his own, but King Richard is desperate for a purpose in life and believes that his place is with Galavant. In an attempt to give King Richard’s life new meaning (and as a result, get rid of him), Galavant sets up a romantic dinner to hook up Richard and Roberta. In Hortensia, Isabella is still under the wedding planners control and while everyone notices the abrupt change in her personality, no one thinks to question it too hard. Madalena arrives at the midday roast, the guest of honor, but realizes that this “roast” is actually a comedy roast, and she is the one being roasted. The Queens mock her common lineage, her unpopular status among her subjects, how she came to power, and just about anything else they can come up with. Her confidence shattered and thoroughly embarrassed, Madalena can only sit and accept the onslaught graciously, then is made to walk back to her kingdom when the Queens pull the same carriage prank they did when she was a little girl. When she returns to her Kingdom she sings a lament filled song questioning why her heart chose now to actually feel an emotion. When Garrett sees her distress he leaves, angrily and by the time the song is over, he has returned with the two Queens earrings… still attached to their ears. Madalena is genuinely touched by the horrific gesture and gives him a grateful kiss on the cheek.
It was refreshing to see two characters who, at the beginning of the series, were the villains of this story get some much needed development. Although their songs were filled with Galavants typical mix of mean wit and sharp humor, King Richard’s song “If I Were A Jolly Blacksmith” and Queen Madalena’s “What Am I Feeling” revealed the insecurities that these two characters face. King Richard does not know who he is if he no longer has a castle to rule. Madalena has achieved her dreams but she still cannot shake her past.
Another interesting turn these episodes took was the introduction of Isabella’s evil wedding planner and his scheme to rule Hortensia through mind control. I was pleased to see that Isabella had some other issue to deal with other than simply being a damsel awaiting rescue. Funny enough, the least memorable characters this season are Galavant and Sid, who were the main focus of last season. Galavant simply wants to build an army to go rescue Isabella because… well he’s Galalvant and that’s what heroes do. Sid, just wants to stay alive and is building a relationship with Garrett for his own well being.
Speaking of relationship building; King Richard and Queen Madalena both appear to have budding romances. Half of episode 4 was dedicated to Galalvant trying to get him together with their new companion Roberta, whom it turns out was a childhood friend of his. Although ‘Bobbi’ seems smitten by Richard, Richard himself is completely oblivious both to her feelings and the ‘sword of the king’ he’s carrying around that keeps shining when he holds it. Madalena and Garret also seem to be growing together. I wondered if it would be a possibility once they officially named Garret the new King. They also appeared to bond in episode 2, throwing people out of windows and this week, the gesture Garett made of fetching the earrings of those two Queens that humiliated her shows a growing, natural bond building between the two. They’re actually perfect for each other when you think about it. They are both brutal horrible people – although Garret is a bit more lovable but maybe if this trend of humanizing Madalena continues… who knows?
All in all, another successful two episodes from a show you don’t expect much from but is always good for a few laughs. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to Madalena’s “What Am I Feeling” a few more times.