Here’s a dose of brutal honesty, Galavanters. It’ll be quite a feat if this recap is written without a weeping hot mess of a reviewer typing through blurry eyes. The day we have been paradoxically wishing for and dreading has finally arrived. “Galavant’s” glorious Season 2 finale has come and gone. Indeed, “Battle of the Three Armies” and “The One True King (To Unite Them All)” was everything we could have ever hoped for and more. Oh great, it’s only the opening paragraph and this weakling is already misty-eyed. Deep breathes. Big girls don’t cry. Okay. Before diving in and cherishing every sweet scene and song, let’s take a moment to thank Team “Galavant.”
We offer our whole-hearted gratitude to Dan Fogelman, Kat Likkel, John Hoberg, Alan Menken, Glen Slater, Timothy Omundson, Karen David, Joshua Sasse, Mallory Jansen, Vinnie Jones, Luke Youngblood and the rest of the extraordinary cast, all of the phenomenal guest stars, brilliant writers, and tremendously hardworking crew (from costumes designers to grips, etc.) This show would not be the lovable sensation it is today without all of your efforts. “Galavant” is so obviously made with love and joy. Your passion and affection for the show only makes us love it even more. Despite all of the great and flattering comparisons, this show truly is one of kind. In an era of TV shows eager to capture gritty realism, despairing drama, and so-called “reality” (cough “The Bachelor” cough), “Galavant” stands out and shines brightly like a beacon of light. For one hour, we escape into the extraordinarily beautiful, colorful, feel-good and fun-filled world you have carefully and cleverly created and we set our worries aside. We humbly thank you for the gift of “Galavant” and for the genuine kindness you all show us fans. The entire crew is a blast to tweet with! Your candid and hilarious fan interaction is always appreciated. We will certainly miss our live-tweeting bashes during the off-season…yes, we are saying off season because cancellation is not an option. Alright, with that mushy bit said, let’s get to gushing over these amazing episodes, shall we?!
The finale takes us back to “Galavant’s” roots and opens with Jester (velvety voiced Ben Presley) recapping the second season to the beat of the original theme song. “A New Season” is a fantastic song, but we really missed this catchy tune, so it’s great they brought it back for the big “Galavant Recap.” As the season opener foretold, everything has been leading up to this epic battle. Madalena and Gareth are backed by a badass army and the D’DEW. It is an ominous sight to behold. The Jester only sees the reality of this hopelessly dire situation. Valencia’s army is bigger and better, so the people of Hortensia will most likely die in vain. He suggests they all just jump to the end and commit suicide instead of prolonging their suffering. Ouch! That is beyond grim. Luckily, Isabella rallies her citizens-turned-troops with a rousing speech. Kudos to the “Galavant” writers for cramming every classic motivational battle speech (from “Braveheart” to “Lord of the Rings”) into one sweeping monologue that was excellently delivered by the always stunning and sweet Karen David. Let’s face it, we are all following Isabella into battle, except ours is taking place in the Twittersphere (#FightForLoveS3.) Hortencia’s chances look dim, but they have a secret weapon coming their way.
King Richard, Galavant and their zombie army are marching towards the battlefield. As Richard’s confidence wavers (thanks to Roberta’s lack of faith), his Gal pal offers a much-needed ego boost. These two have come a long way this season and they’ve truly become loyal friends. In earnest, Galavant is impressed with how much King Richard has evolved. He’s gone from a boob (hehe “You said boob.”), to a real man and now he’ll be a warrior. Indeed, King’s Beard has been on an epic hero’s journey all along and this is his moment of truth.
All three armies start charging towards each other, singing their battle-cry: “A Good Day to Die.” Menken and Slater’s fight songs have been so uplifting this season. All that talk of death and destruction would motivate anyone to fight until the bitter end. As they move in closer, we realize that poor Chef and Gwen’s (hooray Darren Evans and Sophie McShera made it for the finale!) home is right smack dab in the center of this epic showdown. Yikes! Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thankfully, they duck for cover in their medieval underground bunker, while chaos ensues above. The good thing about a family show like this is that you get entertaining, gripping and bloodless battle sequences. Yay! We don’t have to see anything gross happen, we just get to hear about all the nasty bits in song. Take that, “Game of Thrones!” Speaking of thrones…King Gareth and Queen Madalena end up having a different outlook on this battle.
Gareth is gung-ho to fight, but Maddy has a change of heart, thanks to Wormwood. She’d rather chill in the skybox, sipping on red wine Olivia Pope-style while the soldiers do all the work. Gareth has noticed that crimson flicker in Madalena’s eyes and he doesn’t like it. He thought they’d continue bonding over their mutual love of bloodshed and aggression. What happened to her? D’DEW, that’s what! But we’ll get to that in a second, first, we’re in for a couple of highly anticipated reunions!
Galabella is back together and it feels so good! Well, maybe it doesn’t feel so great at first, at least for Gal. Izzy slaps the crap out of him before hearing what he has to say. Once the knight explains the miscommunication, Isabella happily falls into his arms. “You had me at brown fart,” she swoons. Huzzah! The love-birds smooch and continuing fighting this battle side-by-side. Simultaneously, we see Richard and Gareth’s bromance rekindled. Richard gives his old buddy some swift punches before they patch things up. They both missed each other and are happy to be fighting on the same side again. Awww! Season 2 has been spectacular, but we really missed these pairings. GareBear and Richard are always so fun to watch and nothing compares to a fairytale romance like Galabella. Now the lines have been clearly drawn. Gareth remains loyal to his friend and finds himself fighting against his lady love, who is eager to get her D’DEW on with Wormwood’s help. This leads us to another song that is guaranteed to make you giggle every time you hear it.
Thank you Menken and Slater for all the gleeful silliness packed into “Do the D’DEW.” As @TheMatthewPaul puts it, “It’s like an evil version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!” Madalena finds her magical groove and happily waves her wand, anxious to say too-da-loo to everyone in her way…except for Gareth. The big guy retreats behind palace walls with Richard, Gal, Izzy and their army. Madalena struts her magical self over to the danger zone and confronts her beau. She still wants him to rule by her side. But Gareth has a deal-breaker. He can understand being evil or cruel, but messing with dark magic takes nastiness to a whole other level. Gareth impressively stands firm in his conviction and still stings from the bitter taste of Maddy’s betrayal. Although he loves Madalena, he insists, “I’d rather die that join the dark forces.” Bravo, GareBear!
Once Maddy walks away, the others brace themselves for battle. Gareth tells Richard to stand back, but the formerly spineless king refuses to do so. Richard sweetly says, “I will stand beside you.” Goosebumps!!! This is such a perfect moment that really captures the heart of this wonderful show. Everyone reprises “A Good Day to Die” and prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice for love, honor and glory. This finale is as heavy as it is hilarious. Just when you think they can’t top that, Richard sucker punches us right in the feels. Hope you have your tissues handy!
The second half opens with one of “Galavant’s” most moving songs, “Will My Day Ever Come.” Richard shares an introspective duet with his inner child (delightfully portrayed by Alfie Simmons, we’re so happy to him again!). As a boy, Richard wonders if he will ever be more than “a poor fat loser.” Will he be a hero, marry the woman he loves, and rule as an honorable king? Adult Richard begrudgingly admits that none of his high hopes have been reached. Even now, in the face of battle, he fears he is destined to be “lame.” (Can they just give Timothy Omundson all the awards already?! He can make us laugh and cry in a heartbeat. He sings like an angel and can slapstick with the best of them. What more do the Emmy’s, Golden Globes, SAGs, Critic’s Choice, etc. want? Come on, man! Thank you for turning us all into a sobbing pile of mush.) As the song ends, Richard sees his friends gathered around him, perplexed by his behavior. They assure him that this is his moment and it is time to fight. If they all die, they will at least die to become legends. Yeah, all the peppy battle talk (and Gal’s ridiculous helmet ponytail) harken back to the Greek classics. The energy and sentimentality was very “300”-esque. Except, unlike Leonidas, King Richard & Co. receive some unexpected back-up.
Sid pulls through and finds redemption by bringing his own hodge-podge army to the battle. He rallied all the different and interesting groups of people we’ve met throughout the course of this season, except for the big guest stars because they couldn’t afford it. Yeah, Richard, we were hoping to see the Pirate King again too. Way to keep it real, “Galavant”! Gal and Sid patch things up, so now it really is time to fight.
Before engaging in battle, Madalena gives Wormwood a stern order: Gareth is off dibs. Everyone else is fair game. As if! Gareth is the only person potentially standing in Maddy’s way on the road to ultimate evilness. Of course, he’s the first person Wormwood wants dead. But Richard isn’t going to let nasty Wormy hurt his best mate. Jansen and David have had some spectacular scenes together this season and this throw-down is another brilliant interaction. While Isabella and Madalena gracefully go at each other on the battlefield (high praise to David on her kickass fighting skills, her battle sequences are so badass…WOW!), Richard confronts Wormwood.
Their first encounter is off to an embarrassingly shaky start, so they have a do-over. Richard makes his entrance with a fan-favorite. In a menacing baritone, the King announces his arrival and preparedness to open up a can of whoop-ass: “Well, well, well.” (Yes!) Then things take an instantly dark and depressing turn. When Richard calls upon his pal Tad Cooper to dragon it up (we super believe in Tad too!), Wormwood flings the poor thing to his death. Nooooo!!!! Not Tad Cooper! Wormwood is in deep doo-doo now (pun totally and unashamedly intended). Hell hath no fury…
In a series of excellent, squee-worthy lines, Richard makes his intentions known. “You may have killed one dragon, but you’ve woken another,” he grimaces. Oh it is on! Time for Richard to raise Hell! He resumes his verbal thrashing with an adored nod to “The Princess Bride”. He declares, “My name is Richard of Valencia. You killed my dragon. Prepare to die.” Bless you, “Galavant” writers, for making our geeky dreams come true! (Now, can ABC, Hot Topic and Café Press start producing some much needed “Galavant” merchandise?! Season 2 has doubled the amount of perfect lines and moments to plaster all over T-Shirts and fun accessories that fans are dying to buy. Seriously, somebody get on that ASAP. Please and thank you!) With that, Richard puts an end to Wormwood’s wicked intervention. Hooray! Even Galavant is impressed.
As the prophecy foretold, Richard really is the One True King to Unite Them All. Plus, it’s “pretty freakin’ cool” how he can pull that sword from the stone. (What?!) King Richard has accomplished everything he hoped for and has secured his status as a hero, so it’s time for him to go get his girl. Woohoo! While Richard is in pursuit of his happily ever after, Galabella begins theirs.
Gary (really?!) Galavant finally puts a ring(ish) on it and wants to make an honest woman out of Isabella. They celebrate their love and envision their future with another beautiful, romantic, cheeky ballad: “A Real Life, Happily Ever After.” Gal is ready to retire his death-defying life as a knight and Izzy is more than happy to settle down and start a family with her True Love. As always, Sasse and David are beyond enchanting in these sweet, tender and endearingly silly songs. One Happily Ever After is set, let’s hope for one more!
Richard catches Roberta in the nick of time (probably because he was speeding and got pulled over). The usually uncool King says the perfect words every woman longs to hear. He takes Roberta in his arms and gushes, “I may have accomplished everything I ever dreamed of, but without you it means absolutely nothing.” Swoon! Let the smooching begins. Of course, the bitter spinsters start boo-ing and riot would ensue if they carried on any longer (Who knew they actually give you a cat when you ship off to the Island of Spinsters? Guess you’re screwed if you have allergies!). So Richerta heads home in each other’s arms. Awww! Warm fuzzies all around!
We rejoice in Galabella’s spectacular wedding and the newlyweds finally share the world’s best kiss. Weird Al Yankovic returns as the singing monk, presiding over their wedding and wrapping up the season in song. All of their friends and family are there to rejoice in the happiest day of their lives. The King and Queen of Valencia (Stanley Townsend and Genevieve Allenbury are always a hoot!) reside over their rightful thrones and everything is as it should be. Well, almost…
While everyone else is celebrating their love, Gareth is trying to keep his heart from breaking. Madalena blatantly told GareBear that she loves him, but she chooses the dark arts over their love. Oh, that is cold! She can’t help it. This is just who she is. Madalena ventures out to study under the Dark Evil Lord’s (DEL) tutelage. Gareth vows to save Maddy from herself and enlists his friend Sid’s help. Phew! We have the stage set for a Season 3 adventure!
All the happy endings were starting to make us worry a little. Not that we wanted a heap of cliffhangers like last season. It is always better to have a Happily Ever After with room for growth. Now for the yummy cherry on top! Richerta is building a joyful life together and it is adorable. Roberta pops in and tells Richard that he’s the only one who can feed Tad Cooper. Richard walks outside with a sheep…wait for iiit! Yup! We all super believed and it actually happened. Tad Cooper is a real fire-breathing dragon (How hilariously awesome would it be if Benedict Cumberbatch voiced the dragon next season?!) Squee! And so this splendiferous season ends on a remarkably happy, feel-good, heart-hugging, smile-brightening, and enthusiastically hopeful note.
What did you think, Galavanters? Was the finale everything you hoped for and more? Were you surprised by all the Happily Ever Afters? Are you thrilled “Galavant” went there? Are you worried that it felt too much like a series finale? What were your favorite moments/songs? What was the most surprising scene? What would you love to see in Season 3? Who would you like to see as the Dark Evil Lord? Do you think Tad Cooper can speak? Should he be given a voice? Share your thoughts below and on twitter (@TalkTVwTiffany)!
Please renew “Galavant,” ABC! Pretty, pretty please! The world needs this show. It reflects all that is good. It brings people together. It is a positive force of wonderment that is so desperately needed today. We could all use more happiness, magic and love in our lives. “Galavant” gives us all of that and so much more. Galavanters, be sure your voices get heard. Tweet @ABCNetwork and @bensherwood, tell them how much you love “Galavant” and can’t wait for more. In the meantime, let’s try giving them a delayed ratings boost. Turn your friends onto the show and re-watch episodes on DVR, On Demand, and on Hulu. We super believe in “Galavant.” If Tad Cooper became a full-grown dragon, then we can at least get our Season 3. #FightForLoveS3