Galavant Season Finale: “Here All Week Unless I die”

How can one not love the two-part season finale of Galavant, when it starts with such a brilliant recap song by the Jester, “Thank you. Here all week…unless I die.”

KAREN DAVID, JOSHUA SASSE, GENEVIEVE ALLENBURY, STANLEY TOWNSEND, TIMOTHY OMUNDSON, VINNIE JONES

How can one not love the two-part season finale of Galavant, when it starts with such a brilliant recap song by the Jester, “Thank you. Here all week…unless I die.” Followed by a running argument between Gareth and Madalena (with interjections by Wormwood) and a rousing speech by Isabella.

Galavant and Richard lead their army of  “half-dead” soldiers onto the battlefield while Chef and his “bae” realize they are right in the middle of everything.  Chester Wormwood turns into an evil, and male, Mary Poppins for the “Do the D’ew, D’ew D’ew” (which may, or may not be the title but it looks right…) just in time to keep Madalena from changing her mind about using dark magic.

Chester turns the zombie army against everyone. “You make a cake, you break a few eggs,” is his response when  Madalena complains. Later, she goes to save Gareth who is taking shelter from the dead soldiers with Isabella, Galavant, and his old pal Richard.

After the first half of Galavant’s season finale ends, the second half starts with a musical flashback where Richard and Gareth are children. (Keep an eye out for a splendid in-joke.) The entire opening takes a leaf from “The Kid” with Richard playing Bruce Willis’ part.

The zombies surround Gareth and Galavant while the “one true king to rule them all” goes after Wormwood.  In the interim Madalena and “Tiny Tot” do battle and Sid arrives with reinforcements (but no one famous due to budgetary reasons) and viewers with keen hearing will notice a Wilhelm scream at the end of one comic fight.

DARREN EVANS, SOPHIE MCSHERA
Chef and “bae.”

Happily ever after is a low key affair for one couple, or two if one includes a certain former royal staff member and his “bae” while the other two lovers manage to have a happy ending that could be termed a ball of fire.

There is one last surprise guest on the series as Weird Al Yankovic shows up as a marital monk, who sings what just may be the best song of the second season, and also performs a musical marriage ceremony.

Galavant, in its finale,  manages to have some really excellent sequences: The armies all rushing together to do battle. Gareth and Madalena expressing how they really feel.  Wormwood and Richard with their confrontation and the physical followup to the “cat-fight” song by Isabella and Madalena.

It is no secret that this show took some getting used to.  However, repeated viewings and a steady appreciation for what Menken and the writers were striving for (under the guidance of show creator Dan Fogelman) turned this reviewer around. 

VINNIE JONES, JOSHUA SASSE
Gareth (Jones) and Galavant (Sasse).

The season finale, where the players break the fourth wall repeatedly, brings up that Galavant may not be renewed for another run.  If that is the case, then fans can take comfort in a cracking end to a series that entertains and is able, just like the finale itself, to make the viewer laugh and perhaps shed a little tear.

(Although that could have just been me…)

The stars of the show,Timothy OmundsonJoshua Sasse, Vinnie Jones, Karen DavidMallory Jansen and Luke Youngblood all do  brilliantly in their respective roles. (Praise is also to be lavished on the Welsh actor Darren Evans who kills it every time he is on screen.) In terms of guest starring roles, Galavant has proffered the “creme de la creme” of talent from across the pond.

The actors who all appear in cameos, guest roles and recurring ones (Robert Lindsay for example) all went above and beyond the call of Galavant and apart from thrilling at least one certain fan, made the show a lot of fun.

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC
Weird Al and his Monks…

Galavant sails off into the musical sunset tonight after another rapid round of episodes. May the network demigods approve the show for further seasons and make room for even more great guests. After all, at least one character did not get her happy ending and it would be brilliant to see where this storyline could lead.

ABC airs the season finale tonight, tune in and see how many musical homages you can spot.

 

 

Galavant: Episodes 3 & 4 – Matt Lucas and Robert Lindsay (Review)

Ah Galavant. You continue to please with a plethora of guests who impress and enthrall. Firstly, Matt Lucas who goes from the “Only gay in the village” (Little Britain) to the first “Animal Farm” socialist peasant.

MATT LUCAS

Ah Galavant.  You continue to please with a  plethora of guests who impress and enthrall. Firstly, Matt Lucas who goes from the “Only gay in the village” (Little Britain) to the first “Animal Farm” socialist peasant. (Okay the song says D-E-M-C-R-A-C-Y but it sounds like a socialist manifesto, where some are more equal than others…)  Lucas appears in the first of the two episodes that aired on Sunday; Aw Hell the King.

In this third episode (of season two), King Richard discovers his castle has been dismantled and re-issued, stone-by-stone to villagers to build other things.  Isabella (Karen David)  gorges on turkish delight and forces the Jester (Ben Presley) to re-enact Galavant (Joshua Sasse) when he broke up with her, via the magical Simon Callow crystal call. 

Gareth (Vinnie Jones) is having nightmares about “stabbing Richard” in the back and taking his throne while the Queen threatens Sid with certain death if he does not sort the problem out. Seems that missing beauty sleep is deadly in the verse.

While all the singing and dancing is going on, at Richard’s missing castle, over at Hortensia Isabella’s wallowing in misery and Turkish Delight, is interrupted by the King and Queen who introduce another great guest star (who actually appears in several episodes) Robert Lindsay.

Lindsay, a personal favorite, plays wedding planner Chester Wormwood.  This villain actually has much more planned than setting up Isabella’s wedding to her 11 year-old cousin, he  puts her under a spell so he can control Valencia.  (It is all in the tiara…)

ROBERT LINDSAY, KAREN DAVID
Robert Lindsay as Chester Wormwood…”Panto” Villain

Standout Moments in “Aw Hell the King:”

The inclusion of “gingers” as not being allowed to vote Lucas’ song.

Robert Lindsay’s character crossing his fingers whilst pledging his services to Isabella.

Lucas’ character “breaking the fourth wall” with his line about war:

Peasant John: Now, I can’t imagine a free people ever voting to send an army into an open-ended foreign conflict which profits only the few. (Looks pointedly at camera) That would be madness.

Vinnie Jones as Gareth, screaming himself awake…twice.

Timothy Omundson, as Richard, with his Blacksmithery song lines and his own response:

♪I would hit the thing with the other thing ♪ ♪ Till I made a different thing ♪ ♪ If I were a jolly blacksmith ♪

“No, I’m not feeling it. Besides, I’d get filthy. There must be something better.”

Lindsay’s wedding planner song.

Karen David doing her Isabella transformation as part of the wedding planner song…

The idea of “baby fights.”

Back to the episode, after Galavant asks the town committee to join his army to free Isabella, only one person volunteers, Roberta Steingass (Clare Foster). Shortly after, Richard also volunteers to help, much to Galavant’s chagrin. 

Back at Hortensia, Isabella is excited about the wedding, due to her glowing tiara, and only the Jester notices the difference.

Bewitched, Bothered and Belittled starts on a  great comic note, with Richard confessing to swallowing the Jewel of Valencia (with loads of bacon grease) and then exiting the huge jewel from his other end…

After this, Richard realizes that the volunteer is his old childhood pal Roberta.  Back at Hortensia, Gwynne also notices that Isabella is not her usual self:

“your pupils just spun ’round then, and your tiara started to glow…”

Chef and Gwynne sing about how good they have it, after he admonishes her for eating the “throw-away” food.

Queen Madalena is invited to a Sunday Roast by the Von Falconburgh sisters (or as King Gareth says, “a couple of old tarts,” and she obsesses over what earrings to wear.  She protests that the sisters are the most popular Queens in “all the seven realms” and she recounts her first meeting.

The “younger” queens pull a cruel prank on Madalena by offering her a ride on their coach and then haltingly moving the vehicle out of reach.  With this Sunday roast invite, the grown-up Madalena thinks she has “arrived.”

Galavant attempts to extricate himself from Richard by passing the former king off on “Bobby.”  Madalena learns that the Sunday roast in, in reality, a “friars roast” of Valencia’s Queen, in other words, her.  After the two vicious sisters zero in on those earrings, the meal finishes with a repeat of the “coach trick” from Madalena’s childhood.

Standout Moments in “Bewitched, Bothered and Belittled:”

The “Maybe You Won’t Die Alone” song.

Queen Madalena (Mallory Jansen) tearfully singing about “feeling” (which did bring a lump to the old throat) and then King Gareth bringing in the ears of the Von Falconburgh sisters, complete with earrings. 

It has to be mentioned that in terms of guest cameos, it was delightful to see Sally Phillips and Sarah Hadland as the two “evil” sisters. Phillips is another comedy favorite; from television Smack the Pony and film; Bridget Jones 1 & 2 and she has worked with Jones at least once before in Mean Machine.

Verdict:

All right Galavant the white flag has gone up and an unconditional surrender is in force.  Even the songs are becoming “earworms” (helped no doubt by at least two songs in the above episodes feeling decidedly “Little Mermaid Sebastian-ish.”

Even for viewers who do not fall into the category of “Musical Geek/Nerd,” the guest list, the comedic onslaught, the lyrics of the songs and the performances all take this into a higher sphere than initially realized by at least one reviewer.

On a personal note, I realized the battle  was over when I began laughing at the song lyrics…and of course those brilliant guest stars; most, if not all, personal favorites for years…

Well played Galavant.