This has been an interesting season on Galavant, uneven in places with detours that overall weren’t necessary, strong in others as characters grew and became more well rounded. Breaking it down by character let’s look at what soared and what sank this year.
In the unexpected treat area we got expanded roles for Darren Evans, Sophie McShera and Ben Presley aka Cook, Gwen and Jester. Each of them brought their A-game stepping up and truly having a ball with their characters as they dealt with the new circumstance of being somewhere they were actually appreciated when most of the cast ended up in the kingdom of Hortensia.
Speaking of Hortensia we got more insight into the bizarre royal families of Hortensia and Valencia when Isabella, princess of Valencia, agreed to marry her eleven year old cousin, Prince Harry of Hortensia, in exchange for the safety of most of the main cast. Karen David is a champ and pulls off Isabella’s many transitions, including brain washing, with aplomb. The problem is the set-up, though it does a great job of breaking up the cast and thrusting together characters who would never interact it does it at the expense of Isabella’s agency, making her a damsel in distress. The writers do address the issue, with Isabella’s many escape attempts but even that is undercut when she loses her sense of self due to a perceived rejection by Galavant, making her susceptible to the above mentioned brain washing. It’s a poor choice and takes our kick ass, extremely capable heroine completely off the rails in a way that is really unfortunate.
Another character who suffers this year is Sid. This was the year that Luke Youngblood got the shaft after a great set up: Sid taken hostage by Gareth as a guarantee that Galavant would keep his word and keep Richard safe. Yes, the foundation was laid for Sid and Gareth’s epic bromance but it kept stuttering out before it could get going and wasted the massive amounts of chemistry Vinnie Jones and Youngblood have together. Going into next year I hope to see more of these two characters interacting as Youngblood, much like Omundson, brings out a softness in Jones that balances out his more terrifying aspects.
Madalena and Gareth on the other hand became fully rounded people this season. Mallory Jansen infused Madalena with several layers as she experiences something she never truly has before: love. The romance between Gareth and Madalena is hilarious, touching and disturbing by turns as they both flounder with having actual feelings beyond scheming and deep seated anger issues. Vinnie Jones was on fire all season as well, dealing with his guilt for betraying Richard, his love for Madalena and adorable friendship with Sid. I’m genuinely looking forward to how his road trip with Sid goes and seeing how their friendship grows next year.
The real star of this year was, hands down, Timothy Omundson’s Richard. After being handed off for his own safety to Galavant by Gareth, Richard becomes the man he was always meant to be. Out of his comfort zone, in the real world and being forced to deal with his subjects he learns what it really means to be a king. Having, probably for the first time, actual friends in Galavant and warrior beauty Bobby, he gains confidence, trust, a one true love and a dragon. In allowing Richard to take the forefront and having Joshua Sasse’s Galavant be his backup the show pulls off the neat trick off growing both characters while expanding the mythology and the world of the show.
Here’s hoping for a season three and with it a better balance of both.
I give this season 3 out of 5 D’Dews