Galavant season finale recap: 'It's All in the Executions'
Season one—and the series?—ends not with a bang, but a whole bunch of cliffhangers.
EW loves Galavant—so much so that multiple writers wanted to take a stab at recapping it. Here, Hillary Busis and Danielle Nussbaum have a tag-team discussion of the comedy’s eighth—and hopefully not final—episode.
DANIELLE: So…. that was a let down.
The final episode of Galavant leaves us with 1.5 songs, a so-so make-out, and about a billion questions. Gal and King Richard sail off into the sunset, Madalena kills Kingsley and takes the throne with Gareth (which was probably the best thing that could have happened), and Izzy gets locked away by her tiny, princely cousin/fiance. Team Galavant must feel pretty damn confident about getting a second season.
HILLARY: Right? I’m torn between admiring the brazen ballsiness of refusing to wrap up a single storyline and being totally frustrated at the lack of resolution. On one hand, good on Dan Fogelman and company for being proud enough of their product to assume that the network will want to see more of it next year. On the other hand… damn, guys, why’d you gotta play us like that? Because of the finale, season 1 feels more like a first act than a complete musical in and of itself—which will certainly sting if “It’s All in the Executions” turns out to be Galavant‘s true swan song.
That said, you’ve got to be pleased about at least one thing: Gal and Izzy finally locked lips! Did their big first kiss live up to your wildest fantasies?
DANIELLE: More mine than Galavant’s, probably, since all he could talk about was this “forever kiss” that they were going to have.
HILLARY: Honestly, the best part of that whole thread was when Sid asked Gal if he ever planned to “kiss de girl,” and the score wove in a tiny snippet of The Little Mermaid‘s most romantic song.
DANIELLE: When you’re Alan Menken and you wrote “Kiss the Girl,” you sure as hell can put it into any other musical you write. (Note: He does not “kiss de girl” at that point.)
HILLARY: And speaking of music: On second thought, I might be more into this finale than you were, simply because I thought “We’re Off on a Secret Mission”—a rousing drinking song slurred by Galavant and Richard as they team up to take out Kingsley, getting increasingly soused along the way—was downright delightful.
DANIELLE: I did love the pairing of Gal and King Richard. They play off of each other so well, it’s a bummer that we didn’t get to see them interact much earlier. Their “..but first, another drink” song felt very Frozen to me. They totally finish each other’s sandwiches.
HILLARY: Yeah, Gal and Richard as unlikely pals is a lot more fun than Gal and Richard as sworn enemies. (Particularly because Madalena’s firmly established herself as someone wholly unworthy of fighting about.) If Galavant does come back in 2016, I suspect it’ll be at its best when it flashes to scenes of the knight and the deposed king sailing along with the Not-So-Landlocked Pirates. I only wish these two could’ve found a way to bring Gareth along, because that way, everyone on this show I actually care about would’ve been on the same boat. Wait. Did I just say that out loud?
DANIELLE: I just audibly groaned. Imagine me saying, “No, Hillary, not another song.” It’d be just like Galavant!
HILLARY: Seriously, though: Madalena’s fun when she’s fully embracing her inner villainess, and Tiny Chef certainly has his moments, and Sid’s still coasting on my love for Magnitude (pop pop!). On the whole, though, I can’t muster up a great amount of concern about the fates of anyone who isn’t on that pirate ship. Especially Izzy, who’s still never really gelled as a character for me.
DANIELLE: I really came to like Izzy and her sarcastic asides in the past few episodes, although the direction they’ve sent her in now is a bit confusing. I’d love to have seen a bit of a girl fight with Izzy and Madalena matching musical wits. This episode had lots of opportunities for interesting pairings and it did well with Gal/Richard and Madalena/Gareth, but everyone else was sort of left out in the dust. Even Tiny Chef and Gwynne were tossed aside as part of Izzy’s posse.
It’s sort of like Game of Thrones now, no?
HILLARY: How do you mean?
DANIELLE: Well, everyone is off on different quests, in different castles, in different lands. Instead of bringing people together, the show drove them all apart. That’s a lot of chutzpah without a season 2 renewal!
HILLARY: Oh man, you’re totally right! What hath George R. R. Martin wrought?
Come to think of it, Madalena’s cold-blooded murder of Kingsley—she literally stabs her would-be husband in the back—also seems like the sort of thing that’d happen in Martin’s books and HBO’s TV series. It’s also an act so cruel that it seems sort of out of step with the Galavant we’ve come to know over the past few weeks, though true to its Disney bona fides, Kingsley’s death is curiously bloodless for a stabbing.
Do you think all of this means a second season of Galavant would be darker and less silly than season 1? And if so, would that be a good direction for the show to take—or would it weigh down the frothiness that charmed us this year?
DANIELLE: The only darkness would be if we didn’t get a second season of Galavant at all. Every Disney movie has its Ursula moments, the stuff that makes little kids hide under the blankets—but there’ve been no Disney Red Weddings to date. I think Kingsley will lie on the floor, all dead and whatnot, just like in Pippin’s intermission—until everything reconvenes in Act/Season 2. We’re used to seeing endings in TV finales, but this is just an intermission.
HILLARY: Exactly. So before we go, maybe we should give an assessment of Galavant as a whole—keeping in mind that its creators intend it to have another act. Final thoughts on this show?
DANIELLE: Introducing this kind of serialized musical comedy to the masses (who aren’t British) is not easy, but at its best, Galavant was charming, silly, fun, and had some great, earworm-worthy songs. Would it have been a little cooler on a network where Gal could drop the occasional F bomb? Maybe. Did the show find its footing by balancing music and lyrics? Absolutely. I look forward to a season 2 announcement and will surely be mentally writing Game of Thrones: The Musical until it returns. You?
HILLARY: Agreed. Galavant, you’re really pretty—and not just your face, your brain! Its goofy, winky sensibility means that this show can get away with things that other serialized musicals can’t. (Ahem, Smash—and you too, Glee, even if you essentially became a live-action cartoon after season 1.) I wouldn’t call this series one of the best things on television, but for someone who loves clever lyrics and Mel Brooks-inspired shenanigans, it’s frequently been the most enjoyable thing I watch in a given week—and I’ll be as sad as Gareth when he and Richard are separated if “It’s All in the Executions” doubles as Galavant‘s “Taps.”