Galavant

‘Galavant’ S2 Eps 5 & 6 recap: Love is a battlefield

LUKE YOUNGBLOOD

Sid takes charge in “Today We Rise” (Photo credit: ABC/Angus Young via Disney Press site)

HOLY BLEEP! Can you believe “Galavant” left us in limbo with that killer cliffhanger?! Luckily, this time around we don’t have to stick it out through a hiatus, but still…that’s messed up. Okay, take a deep breath. Let’s rejoice in all of the happy, hilarious and heavy moments that lead up to that mind-blowing ending. “Giants vs. Dwarves” and “About Last Knight” are two more sensational episodes that this brilliant series can add to its already impressive repertoire. The hour was full of surprises. Annoying obstacles were overcome, partnerships were broken and mended, friends and family were reunited, and new alliances were forged. Although that ending looks dire, we must remember that this is a fairytale. And anything is possible in a good old fashioned fairytale.

Right off the bat, Richard starts cracking us up. He excitedly wakes-up Galavant and says he sold the Jewel of Valencia to buy a dragon. Technically, a dragon would be army enough, but this isn’t your usual mythical dragon. Nope. Richard bought himself a large lizard, whom he named Tad Cooper. Gal is livid and things get downright ugly.

Galavant unleashes all of his pent up rage and frustration on Richard. The knight is fed up with his failures and muck-ups. Gal fumes, “I’m done with you!” In return, Richard pleads his case and believes he and Tad Cooper are destined for great things. Galavant coldly scoffs at Richard and hurls one last insult before storming off to find the Giants. He says Richard and Tad make the perfect pair: “A dragon that isn’t a dragon and a king that isn’t a king.” Whoa! This was a brutal bro-break-up. We know Gal is upset because this sets them back on their quest to save Isabella, but that was still way harsh. While Galavant goes off to raise an army of Giants, Richard expresses his emotions through a song.

Major kudos to Timothy Omundson for pulling off this silly song so seamlessly. The earnestness with which Richard serenades his new pet in “My Dragon Pal and Me” is quite touching. The montage of their playful romp through the woods is simultaneously sweet and ridiculously funny. Then the song takes a dark turn. We get glimpses of why King Richard was painted as a villain in the beginning. The frolicking number talks of the ways in which Richard and Tad will evoke fear, death, destruction, disembowelment and whatnot upon unsuspecting victims who underestimate them. Maybe then, people will believe. Yikes! Before he gets too carried away, a huddle of Dwarves close in on the kingdomless king and his fireless friend.

Once again, “Galavant” puts a hilarious spin on the genre by delivering the unexpected. As Gal and Richard both come to realize, these legendary Giants and Dwarves are neither gargantuan nor miniature. They are all actually just average 5 foot 10 inch sized men, which sends both of our heroes for a loop. This whole concept is ridiculously brilliant. What makes it even funnier is that Galavant and Richard blindly get wrapped up in the Giants and Dwarves’ silly feud. As Andre (charismatically portrayed by a gruff speaking, eye-patch wearing Nick Frost) explains, Dwarves and Giants have been at war over the unevenness of the bridge they had been building together. In a way, the epic Giants vs Dwarves battle just gives Gal and Richard a chance to charge at each other. Speaking of which, this is probably one of the best battle sequences ever.

Galavant vowed to win the Giants’ loyalty by fighting in their battle and Richard finds much needed support from the Dwarves, so they each lead their respective charges towards one another in the best way they know how…through song. Alan Menken and Glen Slater hit another home run with this perfect nod to “West Side Story.” The infectious melody stays with you for days and you find yourself unexpectedly humming it out loud. In the middle of the battle, Roberta acts as the voice of reason and comments on how “ludicrous” this all is.

Once the song is over, both parties converge in the middle of the grassy knoll and swordplay ensues. Since everybody looks the same, Richard and Gal have a hard time recognizing who is on their team. Just as they are about to go “shirts and skins,” Roberta rushes in. She stops the fighting, pulls Richard and Gal aside and sets everything straight. Galavant has been searching for aid in his quest and he’s had help all along. Despite Richard’s initial aloofness, he realizes that he’s been the one standing steadfastly by his buddy’s side. Galavant genuinely appreciates Richards loyalty and support. As for the epic feud, the Dwarves and Giants just need to rebuild the bridge. Roberta kills two birds with one stone and restores peace all around. Now they can carry on with their quest to save Isabella, who is still hypnotized by Wormwood’s enchanted tiara.

Like we said last week, this tiara plot is annoying. However, Robert Lindsay’s turn as a bi-polar wedding planner has been extraordinary. Wormwood and Barry are the world’s worst plotters. They keep discussing their evil plan in front of Isabella and her family. Finally, the Queen of Valencia takes notice. She confronts Wormwood on Izzy’s bizarre behavior, so he has the princess lock her parents up in the dungeon. With her parents out of the way, Wormwood gets back to wedding planning. He’s peeved that Princess Jubilee has not RSVP’d, so he sends Izzy to personally extend an invitation. Geesh, Wormwood is a whole heap of crazy, isn’t he? Ironically, his wedding planning OCD leads to his own downfall.

Isabella is in for a surprise when she visits the rock n’ roll Princess Jubilee (Sheridan Smith). At the end of “Different Kind of Princess,” an 80’s inspired edgy tune expressing her rebellious and taboo lifestyle (Jubilee swings both ways, y’all!), the princess releases a ghastly burp that blows the tiara off of Izzy’s head. Phew! What a relief. Our Isabella is back! We really missed her. She heads back to the palace and is prepared to kick some wedding planner ass. Huzzah! Sadly, not everyone has a reason to be so cheery.

Gareth and Sid have developed a friendship, which is really sweet. For the first time, we see GareBear sharing his feelings. He tells Sid that he’s falling in love with Madalena. What a softy, huh? As true friends do, Sid looks out for Gareth’s best interest. He evokes the Bro Code when speaking candidly about the cold-hearted queen. Sid begs his bud not to profess his love for the wicked queen, cautioning him that she will literally rip his heart out. Given her track record, Sid makes a valid point.

Of course, Gareth breaks the Bro Code and tattles to Maddy. Not only that, but he embellishes, making Sid sound even worse. Come on, Gareth! Madalena reciprocates Gareth’s feelings, but she hates Sid and is out for blood. So Gareth does the best he can and warns Sid to run for his life. Guess it’s better than nothing, right?

The second half opens with Sid on the run. He sees wanted posters plastered all over the place. When villagers are ready to turn him in for reward money, he tries to win them over. He tries to rally an army and leads a charge against the unjust King and Queen. They will no longer live in fear. In a spot-on wink at “Les Miserables,” Luke Youngblood gets his moment to shine in a jarring number. “Today We Rise” graphically depicts the realities of war with stirring images of disfigurement and morbid deaths. With each new despairing detail, Sid’s army shrinks away. Ultimately, he stands alone while waving a red flag. With no one left to have his back, Sid sets out to find his friends.

Galavant, Richard and Roberta have had a rough go of it. They’re all riding one exhausted horse and have been reduced to eating hobbits (hilarious!). As they consider eating Tad Cooper, Richard notices a sign that says they’ve reached the property of Sir Arnold Galavant aka Gal’s dad. He’d rather starve than see his father, so of course, Richard, like us, wants to hear the whole juicy backstory.

Last season we got a glimpse of Gal’s philandering father in a flashback. He basically spit on the notion of True Love and pissed all over Gal’s dreams. So it is easy to understand why Gal holds a grudge, but they are too desperate for principle. As they enter his estate, we see Papa Galavant (Greg Wise) rough-housing with a group of boys. The famed knight has opened a swordsmanship school for at risk youth. This really hits a nerve in Gal because his father was never there for him as a boy. Next thing you know, Gal is facing off with a group of boys, in song, of course!

The kids grow tired of playing with Richard, who is scoring bonus points with Roberta for being so adorable with the little ones, and want to hear about Galavant’s childhood. He doesn’t hold back any resentment he has towards his negligent father who was never there. His harsh criticism inspire the boys to defend their mentor and they praise him in “He Was There.” It seems that Sir Arnold rescued these boys from abuse and destitution. He even gave them Gal’s old belongings, guidance and shelter. Naturally, Gal is livid that his father has shown kindness to these strangers. He recounts all of his dad’s failures as a father and doesn’t believe he could have changed. As expected, Sir Arnold overhears Gal’s complaints.

Father and son share a private moment of reconciliation. Sir Arnold may not have made himself known, but he was always there for the important moments in Gal’s life. Old school knights express themselves through tapestry (of course they do, why wouldn’t they?!). As Gal examines the masterpiece his father has woven over the years, he realizes that Sir Arnold really did care about him. He regrets having missed the greatest adventure of his life: being Gal’s father. He makes amends with a tear-jerking reprise, “I Was There.” Awww! So sweet! Father and son throw the cabbage around, while Richard gets beaten up by the young boys. And Richard isn’t the only one getting a beating.

Madalena wants to throw a birthday party for Gareth. He doesn’t like the fancy stuff (like a nut bowl, hehe) and wants to celebrate like he always does by going to a tavern, picking a fight, and getting a new scar. Maddy takes him to the pub, but the scenario doesn’t play out as Gareth expected. Usually, insulting a bloke’s mother would elicit a violent reaction. Now that he’s king, everyone is far too agreeable. Everybody eagerly admits, “My mother is a hussy.” As we said earlier, this scene was supposed to play out in an uproarious song, “My Mother is a Whore.” Unfortunately, the censors cut it out, so the drunken insults are reduced to a minimum and Vinnie Jones misses out on having a hilarious number. Nonetheless, we still get the point. Madalena realizes that she will need to find another way to please her new beau. Gareth may not have caused the raucous he hoped for, but Isabella is hell-bent on an ass-whooping of her own.

Back to her true self, Izzy storms into the palace and confronts Wormword. He explains the he is a Master of the Dark Arts, so there is only one thing that can kill him: The Sword of the One True Hero, which is currently in Richard’s possession. (See how this is all starting to come together?) Ok, so she can’t kill him, but she can banish him from Hortencia. He vows to return and take-over the kingdom by force. He makes a dramatic exit and then returns with more wedding planning advice. Wormwood goes full-on “Jekyll and Hyde,” entering and exiting with mixed emotions full of gruesome threats and flowery wedding flourishes. It is laugh out loud hilarious. Lindsay and Karen David nail it in this scene.

With Wormwood gone, Izzy sets things right. Her parents are released from the dungeon and apologizes are made all around. Her parents shouldn’t have forced her into this marriage and Izzy is ready to become her own person. She calls off the engagement and gives Harry her bra as a compromise. Finally, Isabella is free and sets out to reclaim her kingdom. Yay! Um…or not. We’re kind of getting ahead ourselves.

Thanks to the world’s most convenient storytelling vehicle: The Forest of Coincidence, plot lines seamlessly sync up. In a totally Mel Brooks-esque move, Sid and Wormwood find themselves being set on the right track. Wormwood and Barry are sent to Valencia, where a war-minded King and Queen are in dire need of his evil expertise in kingdom-stealing. Meanwhile, Sid is provided with a horse, a sword, and Gal & Co.’s location. If only this place really existed, life would be so much easier, no? Anyway, moving on to the grand, upsetting finale!

Gareth is touched that Maddy tried really hard to get somebody to fight with him and give him a birthday scar. But he’s even more excited when she delivers a bigger and better present. Wormwood will help them launch an unprovoked war with Hortencia. Uh-oh! Poor Isabella better watch out…and she’s not the only one.

Sid gallops in and is thrilled to be united with his friends. Thanks to the Forest of Coincidence, Sid tells Gal about the botched iAmulet conversation and Izzy’s misunderstanding. The knight has no time to waste and must hurry to rescue his True Love, with his father’s full support this time. Sid throws his sword in the air for Gal to catch and the unthinkable happens. Galavant gets impaled by his own sword as it darts towards him from the sky. GASP!

They can’t kill the hero! Not in a fairytale. Fear not, there is no way Gal is a goner. He’s probably just “mostly dead.” If “The Princess Bride” taught us anything, it is that True Love is the noblest cause worth fighting for…hell, worth living for, even. The gang just needs to find “Galavant’s” version of Miracle Max…at least, we hope that will do the trick.

Hot damn! This season is taking us on a wild and crazy ride. We sure are loving every second of it. What did you think, Galavanters? Were you stunned by that ending? Are you loving all of the new songs this season? What are your favorite songs and moments? Share your thoughts below or chime in on Twitter!

Be sure to tune in live this Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC to see if Galavant survives his fatal injury. If you DVR the show, watch the episodes by Wednesday night so that it counts for delayed ratings. We all need to work together to get Season 3. If you don’t already, try live-tweeting with cast and crew. They are blast to chat with and the #Galavant tweets show ABC how much we really love this phenomenal series!

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