In the eighth and final episode of the first season of Galavant, the final battle between Gareth and Richard approaches, and Galavant is certain he knows exactly how to exploit it and save everyone. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Galavant.
Well… that was odd. I liked parts of this finale, and “It’s All in the Executions” is incredibly clever in the way it subverts a ton of tropes and expectations. At the same time, this finale was remarkably uneven. At times, it felt like it was drifting in directions solely because they were funny, and thus, the story suffers as a result of it.
I’m intrigued by the ending, as I tend to like finales/cliffhangers where characters are dramatically torn apart and flung to distant locales. Indeed, there’s something particularly disturbing in how Isabella’s storyline ends this season, but what comes before this is a little odd. Given how short episodes of Galavant are, there’s not much room to explore subplots, so I felt confused by the devotion of nearly half of this episode to Galavant’s drunken bonding with Richard. I blame that partly on expectations. Galavant announces to everyone that he has a bold plan to exploit Richard through wit and guile, and then… he just gets drunk with him? Why did he need to get Richard drunk to convince him to murder his brother? I imagine that part of this is so that we get the humor of the two of them parading through the castle, singing quite loudly about their plans to murder Kingsley, but it doesn’t make sense in any other context. Did Galavant know Richard well enough to assume he would go for assassination unless Richard was drunk? If so, why did he get drunk himself? Honestly, I thought Galavant was faking it the entire time! If he got the king drunk but stayed sober himself, he could have gotten Richard to take him directly to Kinglsey.
Honestly, the only way this truly works for me—and I’ll go with this interpretation as the intent of the writers—is if this was meant to show us that in the end, Galavant’s ego always gets the best of him. Instead of utilizing any of his friends or Isabella’s parents to his benefit, Galavant believes that he can save everyone all by himself. It’s in direct contradiction to what he learned in “Comedy Gold,” where he realized that he worked best with Sid and Isabella at his side. So, in that sense, this is a character arc that ends in failure and disappointment. He didn’t learn the important lesson of the season, and it gets him banished to Richard’s kingdom WITH RICHARD. And I have predictions for that, but I’ll save them for Monday’s post. But I know this is one of the reasons that this episode felt so uneven to me. After everything, Galavant didn’t learn that he is a better hero when his friends are at his side. And because of that, look what happened! Two characters were banished, another group fled their home to shack up with a SERIOUSLY creepy child king, and then… lord.
I was initially surprised by Madalena’s betrayal of Kingsley, but once I gave it one second of thought, it was obvious that she was going to dispense of Kingsley as soon as he no longer served her interests. He was a means to an end. With Richard gone, she can finally seize the power she always wanted. She probably has the most fascinating arc in the show because I didn’t expect that she’d go so far to be the villain. And she’s unapologetic about it, too! It felt refreshing because it’s not what I expected, and now that she’s in power, I’m interested to see what she’ll do next. She has everything she wants, right?
Of course, that leads me to wonder what’s going on with Gareth. He frees everyone in this episode as a way to secretly spite Madalena (sort of?), but he doesn’t seem discouraged by being Madalena’s right-hand-man. And it’s clear that he does’t feel a great deal of affection for Richard, which is why he sends him back to his kingdom. Does he also believe Richard can change? Does he want Richard to change? Or does he have his own plans now that he’s got a lot more power?
The opposite can be said of Isabella, who returns to her cousin’s palace, and lord, I AM FRIGHTENED? This is absolutely not where I expected this show to go, but holy shit, her ending is terrifying. It’s bad enough that her marriage to her own cousin was arranged long before, but what the fuck does he have planned? She’s supposed to stay in that room the whole time? With a TERRIFYING doll representation of herself??? I DON’T LIKE DOLLS, CANCEL ALL OF THIS PLEASE. What the fuck???
So, a totally interesting cliffhanger with a weird path that leads to it. Galavant is an odd show, but I feel like there’s a lot of potential for new storylines in season two. I’ll talk about that more in my predictions, so until then… what the HELL.
The video for “It’s All in the Executions” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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