Galavant Review: “Giant Vs. Dwarves”/“About Last Knight”

(Episodes 2.05 & 2.06)

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<i>Galavant</i> Review: &#8220;Giant Vs. Dwarves&#8221;/&#8220;About Last Knight&#8221;

If mid-season shows are to seasons as Wednesdays are to weekdays, then this was a mid-season hump episode. Much of the plot backtracked on storylines that were covered just last episode. Last week, Richard had smuggled out the gem of Valencia. This week, he sold the jewel in exchange for a “dragon,” which, for the moment, is merely a lizard. I’ll admit, the fairy tale nerd in me did love the Jack and the Beanstock storyline developing. Like Daenerys’ eggs, this bean of a lizard is sure to morph into a fire-breathing dragon, and Richard did have a really cute, old-school Disney song about him and his “dragon pal.” Richard is blessed among medieval creatures. First a unicorn, now a dragon. Perhaps a mermaid is next.

Other people were also annoyed with this turning plot point—one person being Galavant. He can’t believe what Richard has done. They argue, then join different gangs: Richard joins the dwarves (which are actually average-sized men), Galavant joins the giants (which are also average-sized men), and the two gangs battle it out over their “differences.”

It’s a bit of Dr. Seuss’ nonsensical philosophy from The Bread Battle Book, with a heavy hand of West Side Story musicality. Of course, the giants+dwarves do not join forces to become Galavant’s army, making them another stop on Galavant’s meandering Odyssey. Galavant, Richard, and Roberta (who was very underused in this episode) reunite and move on in their hopeless search for an army…and a single plot.

Back at Hortencia, Wormwood continues to both plan Isabella’s wedding AND plot her demise. He will do both to perfection, as he can compartmentalize throwing a coup d’état and throwing a baller party. He turns Isabella into a bit of a Bridezilla, even making her lock up her parents when they (finally) start to notice she is behaving nothing like herself. The perfectionist that he is, he orders Isabella to figure out whether their one non-RSVP’d guest, Princess Jubilee (Sheridan Smith), will attend the wedding. He needs to know at all costs, otherwise it would risk ruining his detailed wedding plans.

She’s off to visit Princess Jubilee, and there she meets what is the opposite of a Disney princess. With unshaven armpits and a penchant for leather, Princess Jubilee talks loud and plays rough, describing herself, in song, as a, “Different kind of princess. Got no class/If you don’t like it, kiss my ass… Make noise/ Swap spit with both girls and boys.” Her serenade ends with a burp in Isabella’s face, knocking off her tiara, thus ending her enchantment.

Princess Isabella leaves the castle, looking regal on horseback and stating, “I believe I have a wedding planner to see. Best believe it, his ass belongs to me.” As she unsheathes her sword while on horseback, she looks less like subjugated princess Isabella, and more like the warrior queen, Isabella of Castile.

In “About Last Knight,” Sid has treacherously trash-talked Queen Madalena, and consequently is a wanted man. The villagers recognize him from the bounty posters, and as the reward is high, they seek to turn him in. He gets out their grasps by inciting revolutionary ideals and leading them in a revolutionary song. (Listening to Luke Youngblood’s heavenly voice could inspire anyone.) It’s similar in sound to the Les Mis war march, “Let them hear the people sing,” with more realistic lyrics. The marching song conjures up bravery, while the discouraging images…not so much. “We had truth on our side/But we still died in vain/And the brave lucky few/who will somehow make it through/scarred for life/and missing limbs/and needing help to pee and poo.” As he sings, flailing a red flag à la Enjorlas from Les Mis, he un-inspires every single upriser.

Sid runs away for the second time, proving that Madalena needs new guards, or at least she needs to stop killing her good ones. In his escape, he ends up in the forest of coincidence. There, he coincidentally runs into Wormwood, who Isabella banished from Hortencia. Sid coincidentally finds out where Galavant is, coincidentally retrieves Galavant’s lost sword, coincidentally gets a horse. Before he trots off, he tells Wormwood to stay away from Valencia, as “the rulers are crazy, war minded monsters.” Of course, this is the worst possible advice he could give a snake like Wormwood. The Wedding Planner heads straight to Valencia, and offers his evil services to evil Queen Madalena.

Galavant and his two buddies have taken refuge at Galavant’s father’s house, where Galavant is working through some childhood resentment of a neglectful father. Being a tangential plot point, Galavant’s daddy issues get resolved pretty fast. Sid finds Galavant, and the two are overjoyed to see each other. Sid tosses him his sword when Galavant isn’t looking, and it goes straight through Galavant’s heart. It ends on a big cliffhanger, adding angst and excitement to the show. While he hopefully gets saved, hopefully it will happen over more than one scene and not with unicorn tears.

Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author and regular contributor toPaste. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.