This week, Galavant reminded viewers that it really is a limited series run (the final episodes air next week), because the top of this week’s hour found Galavant and Co. finally reaching the end of their journey, and by the end of the hour, all the pieces were in place for a climatic finale. In between, there were quite a few plot problems that revealed the limitations of the show’s premise, but the entertaining guest stars and ever clever song lyrics kept things moving along, so let’s get into it.
This week marked Galavant’s arrival in Valencia, and while he is eager to save the kingdom and his lady love, Isabella is racked with guilt over the imminent reveal of her betrayal. To stall for time, she convinces Galavant to head to a local monastery to wash up in preparation for the battle ahead; a monastery inhabited by singing monks led by none other than Weird Al, in the first of two completely awesome guest spots this week. While Galavant is being prepped, Isabella confesses her guilt to Weird Al Monk, and the next time we see her, she’s clearly had a change of heart, because she confronts King Richard to offer up her kingdom’s jewel in return for the lives of her parents and Galavant. Of course, Richard refuses, as he is determined to prove himself worthy of his wife’s affections by killing Galavant, and so with her parent’s lives still at risk, Isabella heads back to Galavant to put the trap in motion. Needless to say, when the knight is ultimately captured and Isabella’s role in it is revealed, Galavant is crushed, Richard is ecstatic, and Isabella finds herself thrown into the dungeons for her troubles.
The wildcard in all of this is Madalena, as she has grown tired of waiting for Richard to be an effective King, and she has decided that once again it’s time for a change in leadership in Valencia. This week, Madalena’s character really comes into her own when the true extent of her ambition and her flair for manipulation is finally put front and centre. Not only does she use the castle’s cook’s affection for her handmaiden as a weapon to get what she wants, but once she discovers that Galavant is on his way to rescue her, she puts her own plan into action; one that saves Galavant from the gallows, places the hapless cook there instead, and summons to the kingdom a mysterious figure whom she claims will execute her evil plan. Also, somewhere in there the cook and the handmaiden sing a hilarious song about what it means to be in love in the Middle Ages, which is easily the best song of the night.
The second act begins right where we left off, with Madalena explaining her intentions to a confused Galavant. While he is still hopelessly clinging to the idea that she loves him, she basically informs him that he’s no more than a pretty face to her, and until her co-conspirator shows up, it’s back to the dungeon for Galavant. Madalena also orders Isabella to be killed and the rest of the group tortured, and all of this is done with such a gleeful flourish and wicked sneer, you wonder why it took the writers this long to give Mallory Jansen something of substance for her character. Clearly she’s having a ball with it.
The other plot line of this episode is far less successful. It follows Richard’s journey to see the magician Xanax (Merlin’s replacement), who is wonderfully and ridiculously played by Ricky Gervais. While I’m always happy to see Gervais in pretty much anything, his guest spot here amounts to nothing more than a wasted opportunity, as he plays a medieval drug dealer who gets Richard high in order to help him understand why no one takes him seriously. This whole section of the episode just feels off and it is deeply unfunny, but it does give Richard some backstory as a second son who unwittingly became King when his bully of an older brother set off to rape, conquer, and kill throughout the land. Still high on his newfound confidence, Richard hightails it back to Valencia to break up with Madalena, but he’s halted in his tracks when it’s revealed that the person Madalena is working with is none other than Richard’s big brother, Kingsley, who’s back and wants Richard’s kingdom for himself. “Oh this is going to be fun,” cackles Madalena. Once again, somewhere in there, Galavant and Isabella finally come to terms with their feelings for each other (through song of course), and when it’s discovered that none of the doors in the dungeon are actually locked, they set off to save the day.
So that’s where things stand heading into next week’s finale. While I confess that these two episodes didn’t leave me as giddy with laughter as previous weeks, I still really enjoy this show, and given its recent slide in the ratings, I have a feeling that next week will be Galavant’s last episodes. I, for one, plan on making the most of them. Check back next week to find out how it all wraps up.
Line of the week: “I know you’re not a hugger, but if you were, I would wrap myself around you like a leather jacket made of love.”
Lyric of the week: “We could wile away each hopeless day comparing open sores.”