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Galavant - Battle of the Three Armies + The One True King (To Unite Them All) - Review

Well here we are my friends, at the end of another magical, musical season of Galavant. In a way I’m satisfied and on the other hand I’m not. The story wraps itself up in a neat little bow, almost too neat for the madcap wackiness we’ve come to expect from this show. And there is still one storyline regarding Madalena left to be resolved, one I’m surprised they left dangling since renewal is not guaranteed considering how meaty it is. They could have included Gareth inviting Sid on his quest with our dangling the idea of Madalena delving further into the D’DEW, but that’s really the only reason I would want a third season since I think the happy ends earned in this episode are satisfactory. I think this finale is a treat for viewers that have been watching since season one but I wonder if folks who just started watching Galavant this year won’t be left a bit hungry for more.

Before any action can occur in this finale, we are treated to a season recap by the Jester. I truly did enjoy the recap set to the trademark Galavant tune, though the season wasn’t that long so it was a bit odd seeing ever moment being replayed for us. However, for a show that has less than twenty episodes, this musical number somehow succeeded in making be look back fondly on the past episodes and I was also somehow nostalgic as soon as that tune started playing. The writers and actors created an emotional connection and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

The finale revolves around this gigantic battle with the three armies converging on each other, ready to fight. There’s Galavant’s love zombies, the people of Hortensia armed with pots and pans, and the Valencian army lead by a shady wedding planner. I have written stranger things than that last sentence, though not by much. And who is in the middle of this convergence, but Chef and Gwynne. Chef’s reappearance is rather brief in this finale and that is a shame. I understand work schedules for actors can be hectic and conflicting, but the Chef has become, for me, the cherry on the Galavant sundae. He’s the special little something that makes the whole concoction sweeter. If there is a season three, I truly think there should be more focus on Chef.

I am so glad I was right that all the allies Galavant and his gang had come across over the course of the season returned and appreciated the, well I wouldn’t even call it a nod, the flat out acknowledgement that the various guest stars were a bit too expensive to come back. I would have liked to actually have seen these groups and allies jump in the fray and fight in their own unique styles, I feel a bit more screen time for that would have felt less rushed. And speaking of battles, the song that stands out for me the most in this finale, aside from the recap by the Jester, was the rousting call to battle where each character proclaimed it was a good day to die. I know I always say it but when more of the cast gets in on the musical number, the better it is.

Isabella as the warrior princess was one of my favorite elements of this finale, especially after she was out of commission for a good portion of the season. She took the utmost charge and even only armed with cookware she was victorious in the end. While that did serve to make the audience appreciate Warrior Isabella more, I would like to see a whole season of her ruling a kingdom. Isabella and Madalena’s showdown didn’t top the epic rap throwdown from last week, but it was still satisfactory to see them go head to head. Those two deserve more screen time together. And finally, Galavant and Isabella are united, their misunderstanding resolved quickly. While I am ecstatic for their union, it feels a bit too neat for me. A happily ever after is within perfect fairy tale form, but the glimpse we got of Galavant and Isabella’s is just a bit too vanilla. While Galavant giving up adventuring does twist the idea of a heroic knight a little, it’s a twist we’ve seen before. The hero settles down more often than not nowadays. There just seemed like something was missing in their epilogue. I’m hoping for third season so we can see these two shaken up out of their routine and off on another adventure or at least have Richard as a neighbor because that’s sure to shake up Galavant.

By the end of this episode I was rooting for Madalena and Gareth to a ridiculous extent. While Madalena remains to be the worst and betrayed Gareth’s confidence, it really struck me at how long she hung around after making her demands. She truly wanted Gareth to go with her. More often in these situations, the betrayer will turn to anger and leave in a huff, only to reconcile after the battle. I thoroughly appreciated the fact that Madalena honestly did not want to hurt Gareth, told the audience as much through her hesitations as opposed to her words, and didn’t turn spiteful when he wouldn’t leave with her. Also, the fact that these two actually didn’t get their happy ending, that there is still a chapter or two left to be told, if rather interesting. Clearly it’s a way to justify a third season, but what I really am interested in is that Gareth wants to quest after Madalena, with Sid by his side. There is potential here to throw Gareth in to some similar situations Galavant experienced, only to have Gareth use his signature brutish manner to get out of them.

The resolution to Richard’s story was satisfying and appropriately heroic, though I would have liked to have seen a bit more pizazz and maybe a twist on him being the One True King. It all seemed very straightforward. I did very much enjoy the “airport” scene where Richard stops Roberta from going to Spinster Island, particularly when their admissions of true love rile up all the spinsters. I can’t in good conscience say that I’m disappointed Tad Cooper was a real dragon. My critical side sees that almost being too indulgent of the happy ending, especially when the audience was having so much fun with Tad Cooper not being a dragon, however as a fan, ending the season with Richard feeding a goat to this massive fire breather while breaking the fourth wall to state the obvious: he has a dragon; you can’t beat that.

While the Galavant finale dipped more than just its toe into the screwball world it created over the course of two seasons, I can’t help but feel that will all the resolutions and declarations of love these two episodes didn’t feel a bit serious if not straightforward, even with addition of Weird Al and the monks. It may be the case that it just felt very finale, that it was THE end. I enjoyed this finale mostly because I have been interested in Galavant since that earworm of a theme song started taking over our televisions and the resolutions the long watching audience got were well earned by the characters. It just feels to me that the hook they left for season three is a bit too large. I’m excited at the potential for Madalena and Gareth’s quest to reunite with her, but if we don’t get a third season I will be truly bothered by that cliffhanger. Then again, that cliffhanger with all to potential it promises may ensure a third season more than a more gentler story tease might And in contrast, the spot where our story ended for both Richard, Galavant, and their respective lady loves was a perfect and gratifying happy ending. Galavant could truly pull off a third season, but I think it would really have to go back to its roots, the reason we felt nostalgic when hearing that recap song, and lay off the Games of Thrones references.

We’ll just have to wait and see if a third season is on the horizon and warm up our vocal chords to sing with joy if it is!

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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