Galavant

‘Galavant’ S1 finale recap: ABC leaves us hanging and wanting more

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As Season 1 concludes, we can’t help but wonder if this could be the beginning of a beautiful bromance. (Photo credit: ABC/Disney via Disney Press Site)

Time flies when you are having fun and the past four weeks breezed right by us. We knew ABC marketed “Galavant” as a special comedy extravaganza (aka a limited television event) with the hope for more. But we didn’t expect them to leave us brutally hanging like this (pun totally intended). As passionate fans tuned in to watch “My Cousin Izzy” and “It’s All in the Executions,” we fervently expressed our love for this magical show and successfully got #RenewGalavant trending on Twitter. Monday morning, fans awoke to the happy news of an increase in ratings. Let’s face it, ABC put their gem up against some tough competition. After the phenomenal finale left us with cliffhangers on all fronts, this is exactly the kind of news Galavanters need to hear. So as we discuss the many awesome moments from last night’s spectacular season-ender, let us relive the good times with hope. The season may have ended, but the show is far from over.

“My Cousin Izzy” opens with a flashback of young Galavant in despair after his feelings have been hurt. His father (“Merlin’s” Anthony Head, way to represent medieval times!) rides home and teaches him two life lessons: 1. Heroes don’t have feelings. 2. Never get married. Now our valiant knight has reached a crossroads. He must save the woman he loves (and secretly wants to marry, re: “Shut up, Dad.”), but he’s also afraid to show her how much he cares. He stoically enters “hero mode” and focuses on coming up with a plan. Meanwhile, Izzy’s parents scoff at Mr. Manscaping’s shortcomings and remind her of her duties as Princess of Valencia. She is set to marry her cousin, Prince Harry. As the Queen quips, “Straight up. Our family tree goes straight up. No branches.” Sigh. What’s a poor love-struck princess to do?

Just as Gal starts to rally the troops by resuming his father’s self-centered song, “This is my moment in the…” Kingsley’s guards barge in and drag everybody upstairs. Madalena hilariously introduces everyone (Poor Sid!), then he states his intentions to have them all killed and take over the kingdom. King Richard won’t stand for it. He challenges Kingsley to a duel. Just as he’s about to name who will fight in his place, Kingsley maliciously snatches Gareth away. Richard waits, wondering who will fight for him. Anyone, anyone…?

Galavant takes up his sword and starts knocking people down. The crowd cheers. We think Gal has finally ceased his moment, but then he abruptly stops. Galavant offers to fight Gareth, if Richard agrees to release them all after he wins (watch the exciting moment again HERE.) Richard agrees and the gang is sent back to the dungeon until the match.

Galavant is confident that he will win, but the situation still results in a loss for King Richard. If Gal is victorious, it means his dear friend, Gareth, will die. Even the big guy is bummed about that. He wishes Richard would finally grow a pair and stand up to his mean much older brother, instead of sulking like a spoiled child. Luckily, Richard gets a second chance. Moments before the duel begins, Isabella’s little cousin Harry arrives with his small caravan. This kid’s adorability makes their glaring age difference even more disturbing and twistedly hysterical. Anyhoo, Richard seizes the opportunity to delay the duel and throws together an impromptu feast, which means our sweet Chef as his work cut out for him.

The Chef is rightfully bleeped. He has been such a trooper and deals with all of Richard’s crazy requests. This time around, Gwynne believes it is time for the uppity royals to get their due. In another morbid song about peasant love and potions, Gwynne urges Chef to poison his meal for the castle in “A Happy Ending for Us.” These two are an infectious hoot! Despite all the despairing circumstances, it is nice to see Gwynne eventually embrace their romance. However, just because Chef loves her, doesn’t mean he’ll do everything she says.

During the royal feast, the dinner guests start gradually gagging one by one. Gwynne is excited to witness their impending deaths, but the Chef confesses that he couldn’t go through with it. He knows each person’s allergies and has made them all sick, but he just could not bring himself to murder anyone. Awww! That’s why Chef is so lovable. Darren Evans has been so fun to watch on this show and you really can’t imagine anybody else in this role. He and Sophie McShera make the perfect onscreen pair. Gwynne totally understands and loves him even more for it. Now they can watch the pompous jerks suffer without feeling guilty about it.

Once more, we are given hope when Galavant steps up as the royals start running off to deal with their individual allergic reactions (Madalena totally got what she deserved in this moment. Poo on you, nasty Queen!). Gal struts over to save Isabella from eating a bit of crab and apologizes for not taking the time to talk with her earlier. All day long he’s been blowing her off like a douche and avoiding their first kiss. Now he admits how much he enjoys chatting with her. He reaches towards her face and we hold our breath. Finally he’s going to kiss her, right?! Nope, he’s just finishing his egotistical song about having his moment in the sun. Yeah, that was an anti-climactic ending to an unfinished song that spanned decades and now it shall be stuck in our heads for days. But hey, at least Gal got it out of his system before they all get thrown into the dungeon…again!

As the first episode ends, King Richard has decided to ultimately man-up and duel for himself. Unfortunately, Kingsley still has Gareth fighting in his stead, so now Richard is forced to face his friend. A friend than can very easily beat him and feels horrible about it. Boo! What about their epic bromance? This sucks. Gareth must find a way to make it all right.

“It’s All in the Executions” begins with Jester’s recaplet getting cut off. Seriously, we will never tire of hearing Ben Presley’s beautiful voice. Galavant takes center stage and announces his new plan. Beforehand, he was doing all that ego-stuff, which is such a turn-off for Isabella. Now he will use his wits to gain Richard’s confidence. Izzy and the gang have faith in him, but her parents still hate his guts. The Princess uses this moment to make her move. She throws her arms around him and leans in for a kiss. Galavant makes the funniest awkward face ever and pulls away. Dammit, man! Just kiss the girl, already. What is his problem? Thankfully, Sid perfectly mimics Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid” when he urges Gal to “kiss the girl.” Thank you for going there, “Galavant,” we were all thinking it and hoping for it. Then he pulls Gal aside to have a bro-to-bro conversation with him.

If Galavant keeps this up, he will get shafted into the friend zone. So Gal overshares and says he knows his kiss with Isabella is going to be something special. Galabella will have one of those forever kisses. Sigh. Very “The Princess Bride”-like. The kiss that will leave all others behind. Come to think of it, kisses like that are worth the wait. It’s all about the anticipation, right? So maybe we can give Gal a pass, for now…

That evening, Gareth drops off a load of rats for dinner (Ewww) and Galavant asks to see King Richard so he can share some dirty gossip on Madalena. Gareth reluctantly obliges. Richard is all tucked into bed when Gal tells him about Maddie’s disgustingly gnarly feet. The King chuckles like a child. Gal suggests they go out for a drink and chat some more. Richard loves the idea of having more guy time, but Gareth thinks it is a bad idea.

Gareth has to fight Richard in the morning and insists that his King should rest up for their duel. Richard is touched by “Gare Bear’s” (love it!) concern. Despite the tough guy exterior and all that barking, the big lug is worried about his mate. Richard takes this moment to reminisce and wants Gareth to join him in singing their nanny Pearl’s lullaby. Gareth abruptly shuts him down and bids them goodnight. So Richard and Galavant go out to bond over the vile woman who scorned them.

In one of “Galavant’s” most hilarious sequences, Richard confides in Gal as they both get absolutely wasted. The King slips his secret: he’s still a virgin! Jokes aside, this reveals a lot about King Richard. He’s a misguided old fashioned gentleman when it comes to matters of the heart. He has been waiting to be with the woman he loves. Awww. His hijacked bride has practically slept with every guy except her husband and he never once “insisted”….woman’s rights and whatnot. Brilliant! At least now we know why he was extra excited to “do it” on their wedding night.

Gal is surprised but carries on with his plan. He tells Richard he should kill his brother and take back his kingdom. What happens next is ridiculously laugh out loud hysterical. Totally hammered, Gal and Richard sneak around the castle drunkenly singing, “We’re Off on a Secret Mission.” They tip-toe past guards, sing, frolic throughout the castle, and tease a line of men auditioning to be Madalena’s next “shag hag” (yeah, she really is the worst). Then the dynamic duo takes a detour through the dungeon.

Richard tickles a prisoner, while Gal pours his heart out to Isabella. So it finally takes some liquid courage for Galavant to admit he’s being a total idiot. He says he should’ve kissed her long ago. (Duh!) But he knows it is going to be one of those forever kisses, so he’s been hesitant. To him, she is “pretty Izzy.” She is beautiful inside and out, and he doesn’t want to screw it up. Then he babbles out one of the best lines: “It’s like your beautiful brain exploded all over your face.” Now that’s love! Weird, but still sweet. Unfortunately, Galavant and Richard have some business to take care of before Galabella can ride off into the sunset. So off they go to Kingsley’s chambers.

Once they’re inside, Gal keeps Richard focused: Does he want to kill Kingsley in the head or the neck? Richard takes the moment to thank Galavant for his night out and for keeping his secret about being a virgin. That’s when Kingsley and his guards come out of the dark and mock Richard for all of his failures. Nice try with “virgin killer,” Little Dickie, but it is no use. Kingsley takes his brother’s favorite crown away and has his guards take Richard to the dungeon. As Gareth walks his friend out, he warns Richard to never let Kingsley see him cry. Awww. Their bromance is the best!

When Gareth drops Richard in his cell, the poor lug lashes out at his friend. He’s been telling Dickie to man-up for decades and he chooses to do so now. Gareth will not be responsible or feel guilty over Richard’s dire fate. Again, Richard wants to sing their song, but Gare Bear refuses. He storms off in a huff, but we all know it is only because he cares. While Gal falls flat on his drunken face and everybody in the castle is dosing, King Richard warms our hearts with a very moving lullaby.

Tears well-up in our eyes as Timothy Omundson sweetly sings, “Goodnight, My Friend.” Goosebumps!!! Thank you Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, “Galavant’s” closing song was the icing on this delicious cake. At this time next year, “Galavant” should be bathing in award nominations. This series has taken television to a whole new level. The high quality of film-making, acting, songwriting, directing and overall tremendous production value cannot be denied. Not only does “Galavant” deserve another season, it merits some big wins. Okay, time to move on from the gush-fest and get on with the show!

The next morning, Gareth awakes and comes to rescue Richard, but there’s a catch. Galavant is going along for the ride. Since he doesn’t know when he will see Isabella again, Gal finally pours his heart out to her in earnest. Mid-sentence, Izzy pops up on her tip-toes and kisses him. Hazzah!!!! The kiss we’ve all been waiting for. It was totally worth the wait. Karen David and Joshua Sasse have such a special chemistry, equally funny and charming as individuals and as a couple. We just love Galabella! As Galavant says he’s falling in love with her, Gareth knocks him out. Ugh! We love you Gareth, but couldn’t you just let them have this moment?! He says it was a good kiss and hopes Gal will remember it, then he drags the knight away.

Gareth takes King Richard and Gal to the beach, where the pirate ship awaits their arrival. Yay! More Lords of Sea! They’ll be safe abroad and far away from Kingsley. Richard is touched by the lengths his friend has gone to in order to save his life. But Gareth remains stoic in front of his buddy. Gal doesn’t want to leave his friends and his beloved Izzy behind. He warns Gareth that there will be hell to pay if a single hair on her head is harmed. Gareth vows to protect them, then he gives Gal some instructions on how to properly care for Richard. Adorable! Then he warns the knight that if any harm befalls his friend, Gal will be gutted, skinned and used as a lap blanket. Well that’s a very vivid threat. The two gentleman agree to the terms.

As Richard and Galavant are rowed out to the pirates, the king tells Gal that this is the start of a promising buddy adventure. (We really have to see how that turns out in Season 2!) Meanwhile, a nearly teary-eyed Gareth briefly reprises “Goodnight, My Friend” from afar. Well, now we are the ones weeping like babies. Sob-fest alert! Vinnie Jones delivers a brilliant, standout performance in both of these episodes. So well done and moving. The finale is hitting us hard on all levels and we are loving every second of it.

Gareth then keeps his promise to Galavant and sets his friends free, all except for Sid, who he keeps around as insurance. (Chef’s skinny arms pummeling into Gareth is a sight that will never be forgotten. Too funny!) Isabella vows to return for her terrified pal. Poor Sid!

When Gareth returns to the throne room, Madalena doesn’t seem too surprised that he bailed his bro out of certain death and let the others escape. Kingsley is ready to make him pay for it, but Madalena steps in with a tamer “Game of Thrones”-esque move and kills the usurper. Madalena stabs another man in the back, no surprise there. She invites Gareth up to the throne. As he tells Maddie that she will either have to gain or lose a lot of weight, we are left wondering what Gareth’s intentions truly are. Will he remain loyal to Richard and stay by Madalena’s side as a double agent? Or will he seize the day and become the next king? Only Season 2 will tell…hint, hint.

As for the rest of the gang, Isabella has no choice but to turn to her cousin Harry. The Little Prince is still eager to marry her. He takes her to a creepy, “I Dream of Genie”-ish plush dollhouse/prison where he will keep his bride under guard. Oh no! Poor Izzy!!! How will she ever escape?! Will her new friends help her out of this awkward arrangement? Guess we will have to wait for…yup, you guessed it, Season 2!

Wow! So many cliffhangers!!!! How will we survive? What did you all think of the finale? What surprised you the most? What were your favorite moments? Did you cry like a baby (there’s no shame in it)? Did you squee with delight? Did you laugh your butts off? Please gush and share your thoughts in the comments below!

It will be so cruel of ABC if they do not renew “Galavant.” There is so much love for this phenomenal show. Hardcore fans will not let it go without a fight. Feel free to spread your love of “Galavant” on Twitter and send tweets to @ABCNetwork and @bensherwood. If we keep the spirit of “Galavant” alive and keep turning new viewers onto this wonderful show, then the odds of a second season may increase.

We also want to express our deepest appreciation to everyone involved in bringing “Galavant” to life. Sending out a whole-hearted thank you to: creator, Dan Fogelman; series stars Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David, Luke Youngblood, Ben Presley, Darren Evans; composers Alan Menken, Christopher Lennertz, Glenn Slater; and all of the brilliant writers and guest stars. “Galavant” would not have been the same sort of magical masterpiece without all of your tireless efforts, moving music, enchanting performances and heartfelt work. As Season One ends, all we have left to say is: Here’s to Season 2!

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