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'The Legend of Vox Machina’ Season 1, Episode 3 makes the saving throw

Episode 3 of The Legend of Vox Machina takes the lead given by the previous episodes and further dives into the world of Tal’Dorei. This episode, featuring new settings, deeper character lore, and a new villain, follow episodes 1 and 2 in quick stride. 

Dark Pasts and Grim Futures

The Legend of Vox Machina focuses episode three on Percival de Rolo, the upper crust gunman of Vox Machina, and his somewhat mysterious past. Beginning with nightmares foreshadowing turmoil, this episode finds Vox Machina in their new home in Emon. Invited by the council to a high-end dinner party of Tal’Dorei’s most influential, the party sees it as an opportunity to get drunk and a chance to impress those with deeper pockets than their own. Specifically, Percy yearns to return to the more civilized culture of his youth. Unfortunately for him, the guest list hides a creeping danger upon him and his friends. Arriving at the party and flexing their best social muscles for the occasion, Vox Machina is greeted by the council as the “Protectors of Emon” for their efforts against the dragon. Shortly after their arrival, Percy notices the arrival of Lady Delilah and Lord Sylas from Percy’s own hometown. The count and countess are the culprits behind the murder of Percy’s entire noble family, with Percy barely escaping with his life so many years ago. Stunned by this, the party sends Vax to search the Briarwood’s room while dinner is served. Despite the Briarwoods efforts to stand guard, they come across Vax in their room and reveal themselves as powerful vampires. Barely escaping with his life, Vax and the party battle Sylas and Delilah in the courtyard while Scanlan distracts the party-goers. Barely managing to survive the encounter, they merely repel the Briarwoods allowing them to escape before being caught by the council. Percy, full of rage and revealing a darker mystery of himself, brutalizes the Briarwood’s driver and gets the party arrested.

A Success without a Persuasion Check

This episode wastes little time, delivering swift biting action with incredible and endearing characters to match. Episode 3 continues to focus tightly on the party, trading lengthy worldbuilding for character at every turn. The action is palpable, showing the oftentimes hard-to-picture combat mechanics of D&D with ease and grace. The episode is able to communicate each character’s powers and abilities while maintaining a natural fighting style. The animation continues to astound with nuance and style in every frame. 

Episode 3 is full of tension, slowly and carefully feeding in drama and stakes. From Vax barely escaping his encounter with vampires after being (almost) bitten to death, to Percy showing a dark and terrifying magical essence after attacking a helpless man out of rage, to the line of heroism shifts, to putting Vox Machina in a place of ambiguity. The fate of the party reminds me of playing D&D myself, wanting nothing more than to play a few more hours. Making me wait for the next episode to release would have to be Episode 3’s only flaw.

Featured image: IMDb