‘Galavant’ S1 Eps 5 & 6 recap: Storming the castle

King Richard is in for a big surprise when Madalena and Kingsley team-up to take over his kingdom. (Photo credit: ABC/Daniel Liam via Disney Press Site)

“Galavant” just keeps getting better! Sunday night’s Madalena-centric double dose, “Mad…Alena” and “Dungeons and Dragon Lady,” delivered some big twists and confirmed our hunch that Maddie really is worse than we feared. At least we had some fantastically fun guest stars and phenomenal musical numbers to keep us from screaming at the TV for too long. Are you ready to continue with our hero’s journey? Great! Let’s review how things turn out for Gal and the gang when they try storming the castle.

Picking up from where we left off, Galavant, Isabella and Sid are still on the Pirates’ ship and they are “Almost There.” Isabella’s guilt is eating away at her and she desperately tries stalling. Meanwhile, King Richard anxiously anticipates Galavant’s arrival and subsequent killing at 9 p.m. (That’s another hilarious on-going gag throughout the episode! Seriously, how many are ways are there to say that it’s a certain hour in medieval times?) Once Gal & Co. hit land, he’s gung-ho and ready to barge into the castle and rescue his beloved Madalena. Isabella tries finding a way to delay him.

The princess says should come up with a plan or at the very least, he should take a bath. Eventually Galavant agrees that he can’t greet his lady with such horrendous B.O. Isabella takes the boys to a nearby monastery where all of the monks have taken a vow to only sing. How convenient! They are greeted by a doo-wopping group of monks, led by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. You have to love the straightforwardness of their bouncy tune, “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monks.” Of course, this is total agony for Galavant.

The monks take them in and Gal quickly devises a plan to sneak into the castle with the musical monks that night. While he’s solidifying that plan, Isabella confides in Confessional Monk Yankovic. She orders him to cease singing and help her out. Poor Isabella is still torn up about lying to Gal. She wants to tell him the truth, but fears King Richard will kill her parents if she does. But the guilt is too much to bear and she decides to come clean.

In a very sweet Galabella moment, Isabella is about to pour her heart out to Galavant when he cuts her off. Ugh, again. He showers her with compliments and appreciates all of her help. He doesn’t swallow his pride often, so this is a big deal. This may be as mushy and selfless as he gets. Dammit, Gal! This is super sweet, but his timing is the worst. Just let the girl speak. Now the moment has passed yet again and Isabella is forced to bite her tongue. All she can do is hope there’s a way Galavant can save himself from Richard’s deadly wrath.

Meanwhile at the castle, King Richard is having a rough time. He feels so clever after devising this secret plan to kill Galavant and get the jewel of Valencia for Madalena. Unfortunately, Maddie is in the dark and she’s had enough of her “inept” husband. If she wants something done right, she has to do it herself. As it turns out, there is no one good enough for Madalena, except for, well, Madalena. Mallory Jansen stuns in the cabaret-esque saucy number, “No One Like You,” where Madalena praises herself to her numerous reflections. It is quite the advantageous undertaking and the result is fabulous.

Madalena wants to know what Richard is up to, so she bribes the Chef. The sweet little guy has been crushing on Madalena’s maid, Gwynne (“Downton Abby’s” endearing Sophie McShera), so Maddie uses her as leverage. She will hook the Chef up with Gwynne if he helps her out. He informs her about the King’s private meeting, so she eavesdrops and learns of his plans regarding Galavant. Madalena sends the castle’s fastest carrier pigeon away with a note (addressed to whom and where?!) and then instructs Chef to prepare a fancy feast in her chambers, so he can have a romantic dinner with Gwynne.

Although it seems like Gwynne needed to be nudged into the date, we soon realize that it is only because she feels that love is a luxury the poor cannot afford to have. But Chef disagrees. Cue the morbidly realistic love song! In “If I Could Share My Life with You,” Chef and Gwynne imagine what their short, disease-riddled, tiring lives would be like if they should get married and raise a family in which one child would statistically die. Despite the dreary outlook on peasant life, Darren Evans and McShera are adorable together. Who would sabotage such a delightful pairing? You can probably guess, but we’ll get to that later.

Just when King Richard is growing tired of Galavant’s tardiness, (“It’s very rude of Galavant to be late to his own killing.” Perfectly delivered by Timothy Omundson.) Gal’s plan works and the gang sneaks in with the monks. Unfortunately, King Richard and Gareth are there to greet them, thanks to the heads-up gave them earlier. Richard tries to think of something cool to say, but his baritone “Well, well, well…” loses its momentum. Gareth grabs Isabella and Richard exposes her deceit to Gal. The knight has a pitiful soft-spot for unfaithful woman. As they rub Gal’s impending death in his face, Gareth uses up all of the cool lines and takes them to the dungeon.

Richard stands at the gallows, eagerly anticipating Galavant’s hanging. He lifts the hood and is shocked to find the young Chef in Gal’s place. Wherever could Galavant be?! When Madalena learned of the King’s evil plot, she set her own plan in motion. She used Chef to set up a romantic dinner, but it was for her and Galavant, not Gwynne. Yup, we knew she would screw the poor guy over.

Maddie has a proposition for Gal. She wants him to stay on board at the castle as her boy toy. The proud knight is offended, rightfully so. Does she even love him? Madalena takes charge of Galavant with a heated tango. In the intense and erotic, “I Love You…” Madalena professes her love for Gal by saying she loves him as much as she is capable of loving anyone. Yeah, like that’s romantic.

She frankly prefers a comfortable life in the castle where she can satisfy her lustful longings. Madalena has no desire for an epic romance and humble family life. You have to admit, it’s pretty sweet to see a tough guy knight as the old-fashioned lovelorn one in a medieval relationship. Maddie is a player and she has no qualms about it. Unfortunately, Gal wants more. He wants the kind of True Love that inspires songs and poems. Awww. How sweet!

Madalena has no use for a sappy, resistant lover, so she has Gal locked up in the dungeon with the other man who rejected her, the Jester. Galavant gets dragged into the same cell as Isabella and Sid who are both elated to see him still alive. As Madalena drops Gal off, she instructs Gareth to do some dirty work for her. Wait a second, is Gareth really betraying his allegiance to Richard? The tough guy admits that he finds Madalena’s take charge attitude hard to resist, so he agrees to torture the lot for her. While Madalena is commandeering the castle, King Richard has ventured off to do some soul searching.

He doesn’t understand why he’s so easily manipulated by everyone in his life. Where did he go wrong? Chef suggests a visit to Xanax (hilariously played by Ricky Gervais), a skilled wizard who may be able to help Richard find the answers he seeks. What happens next is ridiculously funny and sadly heartbreaking.

Xanax lives in his mother’s attic, err laboratory, and he’s kind of fallen on hard times after being fired as Merlin’s replacement. Nonetheless, Xanax still knows his stuff. He whips up a potion and belts out a Queen-style song, “Close Your Eyes, Open Your Mind,” that sends King Richard (accompanied by Chef) on a psychedelic acid trip down memory lane. One glimpse into King Richard’s past and it all begins to make sense.

Little Dickie (played by the precious Alfie Simmons) was ridiculed by his family. When his father died, his much older brother, Kingsley, was supposed to become King. His name even eludes to as much. But young Kingsley rejected the crown and wanted to spread his seeds cross the lands instead. Dickie was dubbed king by default and mini Gareth (seriously, too cute!) vowed to be his loyal servant. Of course, the second Dickie is set to be king, Kingsley changes his mind and wants the crown. What a jerk! Little Richard is laughed at and devastated. He has always been a pushover who was never given any credit. Awww. Richard returns from his trip and knows that it is time to be his own man. But he waits for his high to subside a bit before going back to the castle.

Meanwhile in the dungeon, Galavant still has some trouble seeing Madalena as the horrible person she is. As Isabella babbles away, she gradually helps him realize what real love is all about. In one of the shows best Galabella moments, Karen David and Joshua Sasse brilliantly perform a very honest and moving love song. The beautiful ballad, “Love Is Strange,” accounts for all of Galavant and Isabella’s flaws. You know it is True Love when two people can be that brutally honest to each other and still feel the love. It is definitely an episode highlight and fan favorite moment. This will surely become a modern Disney classic. Sigh! Once their lovely song has finished, Galavant promises (in Oprah-like fashion) that no one will die.

Moments later, Madalena barges back in and barks orders at Gareth. She insultingly insists on becoming his new master. We worry for a moment that Gareth may let us down, but he proves exactly why we love him so much. Gareth says he may be a dog, but he is a loyal dog and he refuses to betray Richard. Now that’s a bromance! Vinnie Jones is awesome as the assertive straight-man throwing out occasional quips that always leave us in stitches. Go Gareth! Madalena just lost her inside man, but sadly she has been thinking two steps ahead.

King Richard storms into the castle and declares that he is dumping Madalena. He is done trying to win her over and acknowledges that she is a wretched person. Unfortunately, Madalena’s evil plan has already been set into motion. Richard is flabbergasted to find his nasty older brother (played by the iconic Rutger Hauer) sitting on his throne. Kingsley has come back to take Richard’s life…as a King, that is. Gulp!

Well this is very upsetting, Galavanters! What will happen to King Richard? Will he enlist Galavant’s help to defeat his villainous wife and evil brother? Will Galabella be able to have their happy ending? Will Chef ever get his first date with Gwynne? Will Gareth continue to remain loyal to Richard or will he be forced to serve the King, whomever he may be? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The penultimate episode has left us on edge! It is so bittersweet to know that we will already be watching the season finale next Sunday. We can’t get enough of “Galavant” and desperately hope more episodes will be ordered in the near future.

“Galavant’s” season finale airs Sunday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Be sure to tune in and show your support.

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