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Galavant – My Cousin Izzy + It’s All in the Executions – Review

How is it that Galavant is over so soon? There’s so much more we need to see and I am politely furious with this season for leaving us with so many cliffhangers. My original thoughts were that Galavant would do well as a standalone mini-series, but as we approached the end of the season, I began to wonder how the writers would wrap everything up. Turns out they didn’t, making me actually pine for more Galavant. There’s so much potential in the things they left off with, especially Galavant and King Richard being stuck together. That being said, this has to be the tightest pairing of episodes we’ve had so far. “My Cousin Izzy” and “It’s All in the Executions” flowed together well and really hit me in the funny bone when it came to the songs. The humor was on point the whole way through and all in all, these two episodes of Galavant were a great way to end the season on a high note.

“My Cousin Izzy” begins with a flashback to a young Galavant, confiding in his father that getting picked on hurt his feelings. Galavant’s father advises Galavant to repress those feelings or else he’ll miss his Big Moment. Dad launches into a song about finding your “moment in the sun”, but is cut off by his wife. This will be a running gag for the rest of the episode, much to Galavant’s annoyance, for we see in the present day that the hero believes his plan to get everyone out of the dungeon is that moment of heroism.

Meanwhile, Princess Isabella is eager to discuss what last week’s musical number mean for her relationship with Galavant, but finds out that her cousin Harry is on the way to rescue everyone. Cousin Harry, who is also Isabella’s fiancé. I wish that they would have hinted at this sooner instead of dropping this fiancé in our laps, it might have made the payoff regarding his and Isabella’s age gap more fun, though I did find the reveal to be funny myself. Also, the King and Queen of Valencia get some great lines and bits throughout this episode. I would have liked to see more of this from their characters earlier on.

So, Galavant is about to launch into a full blown musical number, when he is interrupted by guards and all the captives are brought to the throne room so Madalena can introduce everyone to her “brother-in-law slash future husband” Kingsley, played by Rutger Hauer. This will be our final guest spot of the season and definitely the one with the most impact on the plot. Annoyed by King Richard, Kingsley suggests they duel. While King Richard thinks he is being sly and suggesting they use champions, his brother is even slyer and claims Gareth as his own. That leaves Galavant to be the champion for his enemy, on the condition that everyone is set free should he win. There’s a fun bit where Galavant steals Gareth’s sword and looks as if he will jailbreak everyone, but our hero is stuck in hero mode and only took the sword and beat the guards to get everyone’s attention.

Soon, Galavant is taken to the dueling arena to face Gareth, who is indifferent to King Richard’s indignation at his life-long friend fighting on behalf of his brother. Before Galavant can get two verses out in his “moment in the sun” song, he is interrupted for a third time as Cousin Harry’s army approaches. Cousin Harry, who is actually ten. I liked this twist on the age gap that was mentioned earlier and especially enjoyed Isabella’s revelation that a ten year age gap wouldn’t be that big of a deal when her cousin comes of age. And the child actor playing Cousin Harry is great. I normally don’t care for child actors because it feel like they are, well, acting, but Harry is played to perfection. It comes out that Isabella is engaged to Cousin Harry, much to Galavant’s dismay, as Isabella explains how she tried to tell him. Isabella really has a problem breaking news to people, she can never seem to find the right moment before its too late.

King Richard seizes the opportunity and announces that a feast is only appropriate for the arrival of a visiting royal, and everyone agrees, though the promise of free food may be a factor, getting both Galavant and Gareth off the hook for now. This also keeps King Richard in power for the moment.

Down in the dungeon, Sid incorrectly deduces from the ruckus above them that Galavant has lost the duel. He suppresses his grief as Galavant had taught him good heroes do, and plots with the Jester to break out of prison. While this is going on, the Chef is frantically trying to fix up the feast. Gwynne comes in and has a more colorful suggestion as to how to handle their masters’ dinner. What follows is a disgusting and yet amusing song about the pair plotting to poison the whole lot of the royal folk. It’s an incredibly catch song, just not something you’d want to get caught singing. Also, I feel like there’s a Downton Abbey joke about Daisy here.

With the feast underway, many revelations occur. Galavant realizes that his crunches his feelings way down inside when he should express them, King Richard realizes that he should have confronted his brother instead of hiding from him, and the audience realizes that Madalena might be lactose intolerant because instead of poisoning the royals, the Chef just served them everything they are allergic to. Galavant, amidst the chaos, takes a moment to apologize to Isabella for not listening to her. Again with the road blocks for this couple. I feel they take two steps forward and one back sometimes. King Richard also takes some initiative when Kingsley threatens the life of Chef and takes Galavant’s place in the duel. Too bad the king’s brother isn’t a chivalrous, still hiding behind Gareth as his champion.

“It’s All in the Executions” picks up right where the previous episode left off with Galavant and the gang down in the dungeons. Galavant acknowledges that his previous, uber heroic plan was a dud and ops for a more sneaky approach. He’s going to somehow befriend King Richard and get the monarch to stealthily kill his own brother. In order to do so, Galavant tricks his way into an audience with King Richard with promises of gossip regarding Madalena. The king is eager to hear this and laughs as Galavant dishes about the evil queen’s horrendous feet. Galavant then prompts the king to have a few pints and bond so more. Gareth is not a fan of this idea, as King Richard still must duel his lifelong friend in the morning, but the henchman is turned off by King Richard’s request to sing a lullaby from their childhood for old time’s sake and leaves the room in a hurry.

Jump to Galavant and King Richard bonding over beers at a pub. King Richard reveals many personal details about himself, including the fact that despite being a tyrannical ruler, he’s still a virgin and is disgusted by the idea of forcing himself on a woman. King Richard is turning out to be not so bad a guy after all. Galavant poses the scenario that he and the king sneak into Kingsley’s room that night and kill him, freeing everyone and ending all their problems, and King Richard agrees. The pair promptly get loaded and what follows next is a song that has bumped “Togetherness” from episode four down to number two on my “favorite Galavant song” list. King Richard and Galavant drunkenly prance around the castle singing about how they are off on a secret mission to kill Kingsley, and it’s just a fun, romping song. The best part is seeing our hero and his former enemy becoming friends through their common goals and horsing about as they plan murder. Unfortunately, their intoxicated singing has alerted Kingsley and Gareth to the plot, resulting in King Richard losing his crown (though this means we really get to see Timothy Omundson’s fabulous hair) and he and Galavant thrown back into the dungeon. Galavant passes out from inebriation and King Richard tries once more to get Gareth to sing their childhood lullaby together. Gareth angrily chides the former king, telling him that he’s spent all his life telling King Richard to grow up and now that his fate is sealed, it’s all Richard’s fault.

As everyone in both the castle and the dungeon settles in for the night, King Richard begins to sing the lullaby from his childhood. This is a beautiful song that lays over scenes of the various couples in on the show, and is even shown to affect the stoic Gareth. The next morning, Galavant wakes up with a rip roaring hangover. However, he does remember at least part of the night before, when he and King Richard in their prancing about, made a pit stop to the dungeon and he less than eloquently expressed his feelings for Isabella. Gareth arrives to free his king, but only wants Galavant to go with him; the rest of the gang must stay captured. Galavant momentarily overpowers Gareth and goes to Princess Isabella to launch into a heroic speech about their love, only to be cut off as the pair finally kiss. Too bad this moment is cut short by Gareth coming to and knocking Galavant out, dragging him away with King Richard.

Cut to a nearby beach where Gareth instructs Galavant to take King Richard back to the kingdom of his birth. Richard insists Gareth cares about him, but the henchman shrugs off this notion. However, we do see that Gareth isn’t made of stone as he gives Galavant a laundry list of the king’s particularities, tell our hero that the gang will remain safe as long as King Richard does. As Galavant and King Richard set off in a dingy to the ship that will take them away, Gareth watches from a cliff and softly reprises a verse from that childhood lullaby.

Meanwhile, at the palace, Madalena is frustrated that both her former boy toys have escaped and orders Gareth to execute everyone else remaining in the dungeon. But Gareth has other plans. After a few feeble attempts to knock him out and make an escape look like an accident, Gareth simply lets our heroes go. All except for Sid that is, who he keeps as collateral. I look forward, if Galavant gets another season, to scenes between Sid and Gareth. They are such strikingly different characters that it will be fun to see them interact and play off each other.

Gareth returns to the throne room and admits that he did not execute any of the prisoners. Kingsley has had enough with the inaction of both the queen and her henchman and makes to go off and take matters into his own hands, only to be stabbed in the back, literally and figuratively by Madalena. This woman is dangerous; she is willing to throw any ally under the bus to get what she wants. I’ve said it before, but I really enjoy how Galavant evolved the damsel in distress into the evil queen, sneaking in the real villain on to the show. Madalena extends a partnership to Gareth, who takes it and joins the queen at her side. I wonder how this will play out for Gareth and whose side he really is on.

While this is happening, Isabella and the remaining members of the gang arrive at Cousin Harry’s castle, seeking shelter as they have nowhere else to go. Harry takes this as a sign that Isabella is once more his betrothed and locks her away in a creepy doll-like room built just for her. And here is where our season ends, with Gareth and Madalena as allies, Isabella locked away, and Galavant and King Richard on a buddy road trip.

And that's it for Galavant! What did you think, readers? Leave a comment below!

Like I said before, this pair of episodes as to be the tightest in terms of story-telling, flowing together remarkably well. I truly thought Galavant would only be a mini-series and didn't want a second season for the show, but now I want more. I want resolution for these characters. Galavant has begun fleshing out the supporting cast, I’m especially enjoying the King and Queen of Valencia more and more as the stoic sass masters, shooting off quips in the background. One of my favorite characters is also the Chef, and I’m eager to see more of his character develop as well. The story Galavant has spun is in an entirely different place than where it started. Friends are enemies, damsels are villains, and it makes me question what could happen next. I appreciate this off the wall, left of center take on fairy tales. Galavant is truly a story all of its own.

With so much left dangling, it would be impossible to think that Galavant won’t be returning to wrap up the story, though as the final tune lampshades, “will all the singing kill the Nielsen ratings?" It's humor like that that makes me love Galavant. This show is self-aware enough to appreciate how silly is it, goofy enough to casually watch, and has the most remarkable music numbers that make it truly memorable.

Well, that’s all for now,
Though I don’t know how,
Or if Galavant will be re-turn-ing.

My hope is this will be,
And we will see,
The answers to our questions burning.

For now,
It's time to say 'good-bye'!
Please readers, don't you cry!
Just wait for season two of Gaaaaaalaaaaavaaaaant!

About the Author – Ashley B
Ashley is as serious as a sleeping curse when she says television is her life. Professional event planner, avid movie viewer, convention enthusiast, and resident sass master, Ashley writes reviews for ABC's Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Galavant, as well as Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. She looks forward each week to the weird and wonderful world her favorite television programs provide.
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