Travel and work forced a mini-break from TV Watch and the weekly recaps, but I’m back at it, and today I’m finishing up Galavant, the crazy musical medieval fantasy hybrid that has been airing on ABC on Sunday nights. Last we checked in there were a lot of loose threads to be tied up, and while the two part season finale didn’t exactly deliver on all of them (well, any of them), it was still a heck of a lot of fun, so let’s get right into it.
First up, Galavant continued its streak of completely amazing guest stars when Anthony Stewart Head dropped in to start the episode off with a quick cameo as Galavant’s father. In a rather succinct two minutes, the show managed to explain a lot about Galavant’s character, outline the many problems inherent in expectations of masculinity, and sum up the issues in modern depictions of male/female relationships. All in song, naturally. It was actually quite impressive. Afterwards, we immediately flash forward to the current timeline, where Galavant is busy planning a way to escape from the dungeons. He’s also trying to finish the song his father started all those years ago about how this is his moment in the sun, but just like dear old dad, he keeps getting interrupted. This time, it’s by the palace guards, who have arrived to bring all of the prisoners up to the throne room so that Kingsley can become better acquainted with the kingdom’s dungeon inhabitants. However, before this gets very far, Richard, who is fed up with his big brother, challenges him to a dual. Of course, this dual is to be fought by champions, and not by the royal brothers themselves. Kingsley swoops in and chooses Garth as his champion, and so Galavant decides to offer up his services as champion to Richard, on the condition that everyone goes free when he wins.
The scene is set for an epic dual, but before the swords can be drawn, Isabella’s cousin, Prince Harry, shows up to rescue his fiancee. Turns out, Isabella’s parents have already promised her to another man, something Galavant is less than pleased to discover, especially considering that her fiancee is merely a child whose voice hasn’t even broken yet. Richard immediately adjourns the dual for a welcome feast for the new royal, and everyone heads back to the castle. Back in the dungeons, Sid and the jester mistake the cheering over the impending feast to mean that Galavant has been killed, and they take it upon themselves to break free. This leads to a showdown during the feast, before which Madalena inadvertently produces an epiphany in Galavant that he doesn’t have to hide his feelings to be a hero. When everyone starts choking on the food the chef has prepared (the food was full of allergens, not the arsenic his lady love had originally suggested), Sid and Co. burst into the room to hand a sword off to Galavant, and he immediately heads for Isabella to confess his feelings. Prince Harry sees the writing on the wall and concedes defeat in the battle for Isabella’s heart and departs, and Richard finally stands up to his brother and declares that he will fight in the dual instead of a champion. Too bad Kingsley doesn’t feel the same way, because now, he’s just excited to watch his brother get killed by his best friend. Also, somewhere in there, Galavant finally manages to finish his song, and as expected, it’s pretty much a big let down.
The second episode begins with the worst kind of fake out, as the show’s amazing theme song begins, only to have the jester cruelly cut off by the other characters before he really gets into it. I actually gasped in disappointment at this. That theme song is just so darn catchy! Anyway, Galavant comes up with yet another plan to save everyone, and this one involves gaining the trust of King Richard. Therefore, with the promise of juicy gossip about Madalena, Galavant and Richard are off on a night of drinking and bonding over the woman that scorned them both. Before long, Galavant has convinced Richard to kill his brother that very night, and after a hilarious drunken trip through the castle, they finally arrive at Kingsley’s bedside, ready to do the evil deed. The problem is, their secret plan didn’t stay quite so secret, and before long, Richard finds himself locked up in the dungeon with the rest of the gang. He pleads to Gareth to let him out, but the muscle man is not to be swayed, pointing out that this whole mess is pretty much all Richard’s fault.
By the morning, however, after Richard’s drunken rendition of a childhood song wafts its way through the castle, Gareth has had a change of heart. He sends Galavant and Richard off with some pirates, lets Isabella and the prisoners go (but keeping Sid as leverage), and heads to the throne room to tell Kingsley and Madalena of his disobedience. Kingsley is outraged, but his tirade is cut short mid-sentence when Madalena stabs him in the back. Literally. It’s hard to keep up with the double-crosses at this point as Madalena and Gareth take their positions on the throne. Meanwhile, Isabella and Co. have arrived at her cousin Harry’s palace in search of sanctuary, and while he takes them in, he reveals that he’s built his future wife a tiny little house for her to live in, inferring that he thinks of her as no more than a little doll. It’s more than a little creepy.
This is where the theme song finally kicks back in for real, as it outlines where all the characters stand at the end of season one, and while I was happy for the song’s return, I was disappointed that it came at the expense of a resolution for nearly every plot point. It’s almost as if the writers were daring ABC to cancel the show, and while on one level I applaud the boldness of it, it also left me feeling annoyed with the whole thing. The creators of Galavant had to know that this show was always going to be a tough sell, and to not acknowledge this fact by not giving the audience at least some semblance of a resolution is more than a little maddening.
So as it stands, Galavant and Richard are rowing off into the distance in the company of some pirates, Isabella is trapped in a dollhouse type hell, Sid is Gareth’s hostage, and Gareth and Madalena are sitting on the throne of Valencia having just murdered Kingsley. All I can say is that there better be a season 2. Are you listening ABC?
Line of the week: “So, that’s the King and Queen of Valencia, their daughter (she annoys me), my ex, my former boy-toy slash jester (he was cuter pre-dungeon), and not sure who the black kid is.” -Madalena introducing everyone to Kingsley
Lyric of the week: “Will all the singing kill our Nielsen ratings?”