Mark Watches ‘Over the Garden Wall’: Chapter 8 – Babes in the Wood

In the eighth chapter of Over the Garden Wall, Greg faces his flaws while Wirt gives up. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Over the Garden Wall. 

So… this was all a trick orchestrated by the Beast, right? Right? This show sure doesn’t give me a whole lot to go on, but that’s what happened… right?

I should back up. This is perhaps the most overtly surreal episode of the show, namely because we slip into Greg’s mind during a particularly strange dream. But prior to this happening, something significant is dropped into our laps: Wirt gives up. This is in direct contradiction to what the Woodsman warned the brothers in the previous episode, but to be honest? I didn’t pay heed to that warning, either. Was it that important? Apparently so, y’all, since Wirt’s apathy is what leads Greg to imagine what his plan will be as the new leader of the journey.

In typical Greg fashion, though, the kid… doesn’t really take things all that seriously? I admit to being surprised that this was openly addressed in this episode because I always assumed it was just a weird quirk of his, not some important aspect of a future story. But Greg’s silliness appears to be the very thing that got these two brothers in trouble in the first place. Through his dream, Greg engages in the same infectious silliness we’ve seen in the previous seven episodes. It’s delightful, if awkward and inexplicable at times. The imagery reminded me of Busby Berkeley musical numbers and the silent films of Méliès as well! (I looked that up based on the comment I made in the video that the animation made me think of the music video for “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins.) So it was a lot of fun to watch Greg’s dream get stranger and stranger as he battled the North Wind to save Cloud City.

Except that there were things happening in reality that matched up with the dream. As the North Wind wreaked havoc on these people, the wind chilled Greg and Wirt. The Beast’s edelwood vines creeped their way around Wirt’s body. It’s possible that the Queen of Cloud City was an invention of Greg’s mind, but somehow, Greg is able to give himself up to the Beast. How? That’s why I wonder if this was all a trick. Wirt became hopeless – just as the Woodsman told him not to – and the Beast seems to have taken advantage of Greg’s kindness and loyalty towards his brother. But for what purpose??? I still can’t figure out what the Beast gains by using Greg and Wirt. Or anyone, for that matter. What exactly is this place, y’all? Has the Beast been manipulating all these little scenarios to get one of these brothers to willingly give themselves up? That’s the closest thing I have to a theory, and it at least ties some of this together. I DON’T KNOW, THOUGH. I’m coming into these final two episodes feeling just as confused as I was in the beginning. But hey: I’m having a great time being confused.

The video for “Babes in the Wood” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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