Galavant: “Completely Mad…Alena”/ “Dungeons and Dragon Lady” – Satire, Songs & Easter Eggs

*Sings* “I can’t believe we’re almost there!”, seriously though. Galavant wasn’t just singing about almost being in Valencia; but the series itself about to reach its conclusion. This week marked Part 3 of Galavant’s 4-week musical extravaganza. Last week’s Part 2 might have been a little slower than the premier; but Part 3 was pure perfection as the jokes, drama and music were kicked up several notches. This time around we even had not one, but TWO guest stars. So let’s get right into a closer look at the Terrific Part Three.

I Feel Like Something’s Missing:

With Galavant being comprised of 4 parts (8 episodes) it’s hard to really tell what is an episode exclusive joke or a recurring staple. As we come into Part 3 this week, we cant help but notice several things present in the past two parts are missing. For starters, this was the first ‘Part’ of Galavant that didn’t contain one solitary censored word. Since its premier, Galavant has been averaging about one censored word per episode – or 4 if you count each censored word in Gareth’s joke from ‘Comedy Gold’.

In addition to no censored words, this is also the first part that didn’t feature a Game Of Thrones reference – unless I missed it. Additionally, there was no opening song that caught everyone up on what had happened previously. Part 1 had a ‘prequel song’ and Part 2 had a ‘last time on Galavant song’; yet there was no musical number to catch everyone up this week.

Galavant Completely Mad…Alena

These are not necessarily bad things however. The show doesn’t need censored words to be funny – as last week’s comedy gold referenced – and a Game of Thrones reference would have been nice; but again its not necessary. As for the ‘previously on’ song, plotwise Part 2 didn’t really have anything hugely important to recap since it was all character development. Though if you do remember last week’s episode, then there were some HILARIOUS moments that would make more sense in the context of the series.

For example, when the King reveals the heads of Isabella’s parents arranged as if they were his next meal, this was building upon what the Jester taught him last week about comedy: surprise. As usual, the King thought this would be hilarious; but instead everyone just reacted in horror rather than with a laugh. Additionally, when Galavant returns to the dungeons and Sid says “Oh trust me sir, I’ve been guilting the hell out of her”, this is a reference to how we learned last week that Sid is Jewish – stereotypically meaning that he is excellent at making someone feel guilty.

Mad…alena, The Dragon Lady:

As you could probably guess, the main focus of these two episodes – at least in title – were about Madalena and how she’s gone “Completely Mad” with power. With no ties to King Richard or anyone else for that matter, she devises a plan that will not only secure her the kingdom; but also keep Galavant around as a little ‘play thing’ – and kill Isabella for even thinking of taking him for herself.

We saw this coming from Part 2’s ending where she throws the Jester – her prior plaything – in the dungeon when he and the King start to become friends. This episode reveals how she has become a spoiled vengeful brat with power and the lengths she’ll go to keep it. Additionally, the musical scene with Madalena this week was brilliant, not only lyrically but also image-wise. It was literally all about how in her mind it’s just her, her her. Also, having this who scene set up with mirrors was even more spectacular considering the fairytale imagery it evokes.

As I mentioned in my analysis of Part 1, Madalena is the classic fairy tale princess in terms of looks. Heck, later in the episode Isabella even calls her out as having ‘perfect hair, perfect skin’ etc – ‘if you go for that sort of thing’ – yet Madalena ISN’T the true princess in this story. She’s the villain, so by pairing her with the mirrors for the sing, it perfectly juxtaposes her with both the protagonist and antagonist of Snow White. Madalena might look like the “fairest in all the land”; but she is the Evil Queen thinking she is all that should appear in her ‘mirror mirror on the wall’.

What Is Love Really? – Breaking The Cliches:

As I pointed out back in Part 1 – and you should know since it’s in the freaking title song – Galavant is at its heart a fairytale cliché. It’s a satire that will use hyperbole and other means in order to bring out points and oversights in an original source material, in this case fairytales. Fairytales encompass more than just ‘true love conquers all’ and ‘prince and princess’; but were also meant to impart wisdom and life lessons. Part 3 of Galavant might have kept pointing out the cliché fairytale love story of ‘the princess falling for the noble knight’; but Part 3 wrecked a lot more clichés than it adhered to – and they all had to do with ‘Love’.

Let’s face it, in the standard Disney fairytales, we’d never care about a romance between a cook and a maid. Yet Galavant makes this a big part of Part 3 as the two wonder – and sing – if love is really meant for people like them. They’re not royalty or even that good-looking for that matter, yet they can’t help but dream of the life they could have together. On the other hand, we see how Madalena only loves Galavant because of how they look together -the fairytale idea of two ridiculously good looking people getting together. Though by presenting it in this manner, Madalena calls attention to the shallowness and ugliness of such an idea. This is later reinforced when she scoffs at the stereotypical idea of romance – just the two of them, a small cottage, poetry – and asks “why would I give all this up to get fat and pregnant and grow my own food?”

Galavant Dungeons and Dragon Lady

Galavant’s relationship with Madalena and Isabella is the perfect satirical formula for not only showing the inaccuracies of the prince/princess fairytales we grew up with (Madalena); but also showing the beauty in what true love ACTUALLY looks like when it’s grown and worked upon (Isabella).

“[Love is ] strange and sometimes kind of gross… [it’s] rude and has a sort of smell … [it] blurts out things that make you want to smack its stupid face… it looks different without makeup… [and is] nothing like the fairytales we grow up dreaming of – and THAT’S what makes it love”

You can’t really fall in love with someone you just met. You might like them; but its not love until its tested and grows. It’s not all flowers and roses; but rather is something that has to be fought for and can still fail if its not mutual. Though it is because of all these difficulties that makes true love so special; and that is exactly what Galavant portrays at its core through its satire and clichés.

So 9 o’clock? – Inventions & Other Recurring Episodic Jokes:

Again, Part 3 was absolutely incredible; but it was Episode 5 – “Completely Mad…Alena” that had so many incredible moments of writing in terms of recurring jokes. The most notable of which was all the times a character gave a beautifully elegant depiction of when something would happen; and another character would respond “So like 9 o’clock?”.

  • As the sun casts its last shadow upon the earth and thecrescent moon has risen above the eastern ridge – King Richard
  • As soon as the croaks of the frogs usher in the ravens last call”- The Cook
  • When the barkings of the hounds wake the fairies of the evenings that they may begin the nocturnal dance – Isabella

As you can see, each character’s description was very different; yet all referred to the same time and event (Galavant’s arrival at 9 o’clock). If only there was some way to standardize time, OH WAIT!

The other recurring joke this episode was how characters kept thinking of modern devices and called crazy for it. Sid was the first who wished there was some sort of device that could be ‘zipped’ up and down when a man had to use the bathroom. Isabella and Galavant merely laughed at him; but at least he wasn’t called a witch. When Gareth suggested that perhaps there should be some standard system of telling time by the rotation of the earth in relation to the sun – how we tell time now – the King said he sounded like a witch.

More Lovely Music – Kill Me:

During Part 2, you could see how the characters in Galavant started to poke fun at and express distaste in how everything turns into a song. That dynamic returned this episode; but no where more prominent than at the Abbey with this week’s first special guest Weird Al Yankovic. With the Monks of Valencia taking a ‘vow of singing’, you know they’ve had time to practice their song and it shows. Part 3 had some of my favorite songs since the premier; but I especially loved how the characters themselves are really started to get annoyed by the songs.

Galavant Completely Mad…Alena Jazz HandsFrom Galavant pleading, “Kill me” to Isabella threatening Weird Al to break his vow or she’ll break his pipe, I love how the musical tension is growing more with each Part. Though the self-referential humor with the music doesn’t end there. When Galavant asks Isabella why she never told him, she said she did in all her songs and asides – which she did. Later at the end of the episode, while talking about Sonnets, Isabella asks why he can’t write it as a song, to which he replies “that’s more cinematic” – which is EXACTLY what this show is.

The King Finally Gets It:

In a series where every character can easily be your favorite character, King Richard deserves special mention. He’s not the evil king or even the completely bumbling king. He’s a nice guy who just doesn’t seem to get it. He can’t even deliver the threatening lines right at first. Should he say “Well well well” menacingly? Not it’s too late he already said ‘up your but’.

Gareth: “It’s your move, cause I haven’t killed anyone all day”

King Richard: *whines* “Gareth, we agreed I’d say the cool things!”

Gareth: “So what’s it gonna be?”

King Richard: “DAMN IT GARETH!!!!”

He eventually did Nail It with “Well, well well. Looks like its time for dinner”; but why is he like this? Why all the anxiety? Why cant he stand up to Madalena or follow through with many things? This looks like a job for Xanax – No, not the medicine – the replacement of the great Wizard Merlyn.

Thanks to Xanax ( Ricky Gervais – the second special guest of Part 3), the king and the Cook are able to travel back into the kings memories and see why he is always like this. What was it that shook his confidence from the start? The answer lies in the day his father died and the crown was to be passed to Richard – then called Dicky – older brother Kingsly. This was the child bred to rule, while Dicky ‘ate his feelings and a lot of bread’ – as we know from his revelations that his parents didn’t love him much in Part 1.

Galavant Dungeons and Dragon Lady Xanax

Though Kingsly didn’t want the crown. He only wanted things he could take, so he went out to take, rape, pillage like a barbarian while Dicky was given the thrown. This is why Richard has always felt like second best – first with the crown, then with his marriage to Madalena. Though these flashbacks also show just how loyal Gareth is to the King since he’s served since he was only 10. With Gareth standing by the king and the King now more confident, they can handle anything Madalena throws at them . . . unless it’s Kingsly who does the throwing.

Easter Eggs, Anachronisms & Other Multi-Media References:

  • The usual anachronism terms: “chill”, “we hang”, “for realizes”, etc
  • When Madalena sends a letter to Kingsly, she says “it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”, which is the famous ad slogan for FedEx.
  • We now know the population of Valencia used to be 1400; but is now 87
  • Isabella compliments Galavant on how his “beard magically stays the same length all the time” – a commentary on how most characters beards remain the same length and style no matter how much time passes – with or without the ability to shave.
  • During the Cook and Maid’s song, they say they’ll have a dozen kids “and maybe one won’t die” – a commentary on the mortality rate during the Dark Ages.
  • Isabella tries to deter Galavant from falling into King Richard’s trap by saying she’ll buy a new kingdom since its “a buyer’s market” – a real estate term used in modern times
  • When the king brings Galavant, Isabella and Sid down to the dungeons, he says “book em”, a reference to Hawaii 5-0 and many other popular crime drama/cop shows
  • The name of the second episode “Dungeons and Dragon Lady” is obviously a reference to the popular Role-Playing game Dungeons and Dragons.
  • The Magician Xanax’s name is of course a play on the Anxiety medicine by the same name. The King could certainly go for some Xanax – both magician and medicine. Both are 8 lettered words starting with ‘M’, and advise you to not drive after use – legal issues could ensue.
  • When Xanax says ‘he switched it’ he literally switched the fairytale story of a prince being turned into a frog, and only being able to turn back with a kiss. Xanax turned a frog into a human-ish thing. Wonder if he’ll turn back into a frog when he’s kissed.

Galavant Dungeons and Dragon Lady Kingsly

There’s only one part left for Galavant; and I can’t help but wish there was more. Though I’ll get into begging for a Season 2 next time. For now let’s get ready for next week where we can properly assume they’ll be an alliance between Galavant and King Richard’s crews in order to stop the TRULY evil combination of Kingsly and Madalena. Will Dicky, the love-struck cook, the loyal dog (Gareth), the man who “sings like a freaking angel” (Sid), the “well groomed ruggedly handsome, yet delicately featured play thing” (Galavant) and the girl who’s “small, cute and ethnically hard to pin down” (Isabella) all be able to stop the evil plans set in motion? Find out in the exciting conclusion, to GALLLLLLLL-AAAAAAAA-VANT!

But seriously, where did Madalena learn to dance?

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