It’s with a heavy heart that I write this review for the season finale of Galavant. This show has made me laugh and feel warm and fuzzy inside, something akin to how Disney movies used to make me feel before I grew up. Every Sunday with this show was like returning to Neverland. The season ended with many cliffhangers, the biggest one, unfortunately, being whether or not Galavant will have a Season Two.
“My Cousin Izzy” opens with a flashback to Galavant as a child chatting with his father, which—to the delight of Merlin fans—is played by Anthony Head. His dear old dad gives him some terrible advice about hiding his feelings and narcissistically basking in a “hero’s” moment. Throughout, the entire episode Galavant annoys all his friends by trying to have his moment, and avoids having a much needed “feelings” conversation with Isabella.
Kingsley wants to be king, and challenges King Dicky to a duel for the kingship. In true GoT style, they each choose a champion to fight for them. Quicker on his feet, Kingsley instantly calls upon Gareth. Gareth is a dutiful henchman, and must accept the request. Surprise, surprise, no one else wants to be King Dicky’s champion, but Galavant steps up, on the condition that King Dicky will free him and all his friends. Just as the duel is about to begin, Isabella’s child cousin Harry shows up to save her. Because, like a true medieval royal, Isabella is engaged to her child cousin. King Dicky is desperate at the thought of either losing his crown or losing Gareth in the duel, and uses the arrival of this young royal to postpone the duel. He announces a celebratory feast to welcome the prince.
Chef romances Gwen, but she fears that the toppling of their king will lead to their death. She suggests to Chef (who we learn is named ‘Vincenzo’) that they poison all the royals. Similar to the chef in The Little Mermaid, Chef has a “Le poisson song” about cooking, but this one is a little more “le poison.” However, Chef is a good man and can’t go through with it, but he does prepare food the royals are allergic to, so he and Gwen can at least enjoy laughing as the group gets all itchy. Best of all, Madalena gets irritable bowls. At the dinner, Galavant saves Isabella from eating crabs, which she is allergic to, and professes his love to her. Now that he has saved her, he is able to sing his “moment” song, which turns out to be a very short, anti-climactic song. Gareth tells King Dicky to “man up,” so King Dicky announces that he will fight the duel for himself. To his disappointment, King Kingsley doesn’t have such high honor. He’ll still have Gareth fight for him.
The season finale, “It’s All in the Executions,” ended with quite the surprise. In the dungeon, Isabella tries to kiss Galavant, but he shies away from it. Sid almost breaks out into “kiss the girl,” which, naturally, blew up Twitter with #kissthegirl tweets. Alas, his feelings for her are too overwhelming. Galavant hatches a new plan, and it starts with his befriending the king. It turns out, these two really get along. (Then again, King Dicky was always absurdly adorable.) They go out drinking and bond over trash-talking Madalena. King Dicky confesses that he is a virgin because he wanted to wait for true love. Galavant promises to keep the king’s secret, then they drunkenly decide to kill Kingsley in his sleep. But given their drunken stupor, their plan turns into a fiasco. King Dicky’s crown gets taken by King Kingsley, and Galavant and Richard get thrown in the dungeon. Gareth is assigned to execute Richard, and Gareth, always the dutiful henchmen, knows he must, even though it’s tearing him up inside. The bromances on tonight’s episode was incredible.
In the dungeon, King Richard sings a sweet lullaby, “Goodnight, my friend,” that he and Gareth’s nanny used to sing to them. The song can be heard throughout the entire castle. Gareth realizes he can’t kill his best friend. The next morning, he frees Galavant and King Richard. Before Galavant gets taken out of the dungeon, he passionately (finally!) kisses Isabella. Gareth sends them off by boat with the pirates to King Richard’s own castle. Galavant only agrees to go, so long as Gareth promises to keep Isabella and the rest of his friends safe. Gareth agrees, only so long as Galavant promises to keep Richard safe. Gareth watches Richard and Galavant depart, and when no one can hear or see him, he sings a verse of, “Goodnight, my friend.”
Gareth returns to the castle, frees Isabella and friends, but keeps Sid as hostage. He goes to the throne room, where Queen Madalena has tired of her new beau. She stabs Kingsley, killing him, and then invites Gareth to take the seat next to her on the throne. As he likes either extremely thin or extremely fat women, he tells her, “You’re either going to have to lose or gain A LOT of weight.”
Isabella takes refuge at Cousin Harry’s castle (he still wants to marry her, by the way). The young prince takes her to a room he had built just for her. Similar to a jewelry box, the room is eerily enchanting. When Isabella walks into it, she passively gets locked in, like Rapunzel in a creepy dollhouse.
To be honest, I did not expect such a dark twist at the end of the season. I naively underestimated the brilliant writers and assumed we’d have a neatly wrapped, “happily ever after ending.” But this finale was a pleasant, enticing surprise. The show always did have fairy tale overtones to it, but this eerie child prince with an entrancing room implies the (hopefully) next season will have a magic turn to it. The series ended with the jester singing, to the leitmotif of the show, “Will all the singing kill our Nielsen Ratings? Sid, the peasants the entire crew/Will they be back for Season Two? Who knows! But if there are more shows/ Then off our hero goes/ And so the legend grows, the legend known as Galavant!”
This season left us with many questions. Will Galavant make it back to save Sid? What is up with that creepy dollhouse room? And, most importantly, is Madalena going to get really fat?
Queen Madalena, to Galavant about the duel: “Call this off. Take the offer to be my shaghag. Kingsley’s down with it.”
Isabella’s mother, discussing her engagement: “Straight up Isabella. Our family tree goes straight up. No branches.”
King Richard: “I mean, sure I’ll kidnap a woman and force her to marry me. But after that, I’m all about a woman’s rights. I’m a modern 13th century man.”
Galavant, complimenting Isabella: “You’re so pretty. But not just your face, your brain. It’s like your beautiful brain exploded all over your face.”
Gareth, on the type of woman he likes: “Either really fat, or really skinny. Nothing in between.”
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter.