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'The Legend of Vox Machina' Season 1, Episode 7 succeeds a difficult performance check

Episode 5 continues The Legend of Vox Machina’s unstoppable path as Critical Role delivers another incredible piece of adult animation.

Episode 7 takes a break from the trauma of Percy de Rolo and gives a nice, long, scandalous look at our favorite gnome of depravity, Scanlan Shorthalt. This serves as a much-needed levity during a wave of grim backstory and deepening character relations.

A musical I would die to see

Starting with an enlightening flashback of Percy’s youth, we rejoin our heroes as they make a mad dash back to the resistance hideout. Exchanging sharp words, Percy finally opens up about his dark path of revenge. After explaining his past, Keyleth speaks with the withering Suntree and discovers dark malevolent energy that is seeded throughout all of Whitestone. Keyleth sees this evil rooted in both the city of Whitestone and her dear friend Percival as he descends into the darkness of revenge.  

The party decides to strike back at the Briarwoods, creating a plan to rescue Percy’s younger sister Cassandra, who he just discovered is still alive. Their plan, however, is derailed by a mass of pale guards watching over the building in which she is kept. In a daring flash of bravery, Scanlan decides to do what he does best—be annoying. The target of Scanlan’s devilishly handsome plan is Duke Goran Vedmire, an evil man who has been the face of Whitestone’s torment for some time. With a mischievous wink and three potions of unknown effect, Scanlan sets across town to set the lovely duke’s house on fire to distract the guards. Of course, he immediately regrets his moment of bravery, finding himself face to face with the massive Duke of Whitestone. Be it luck or disarming charm, Scanlan teleports across rooms, polymorphs into a dinosaur, and belches fire into the faces of his enemies, creating a house fire that all of Whitestone can see.

Unfortunately for our short-statured friend, Duke Goran is not so easily dispatched, cornering our favorite bard on the roof of his now kindling abode. Out of potions and out of places to run, Scanlan uses his wit and charisma to survive. With the duke pinning him down, Scanlan finally manages to pull off his lightning spell, sending the duke flying and allowing Shorthalt to escape his ever-approaching karma once again. While Scanlan gives us his 15 minutes of fame, the rest of Vox Machina utilizes the now-raging fire to slip by the guards in their plan to rescue Cassandra. Letting Grog do what he does best, Percy finds Anders holding Cassandra hostage. However, before he can respond, Anders cuts Cassandra’s throat, letting her bleed into Percy’s arms as Anders makes his escape.

And now, Freebird

While Percy’s dark and admittingly terrifying revenge plan is the highlight of Whitestone and its characters, Episode seven is a remarkably enjoyable break from the death and rage of de Rolo. The episode shifting and following Scanlan on an ill-advised plan of heroism creates a multitude of lovable and enjoyable moments that breathe a sigh of relief from the mounting therapist's meeting that Percy and his friends are going through. Scanlan is without a doubt my favorite character, Sam Riegel is nothing but perfect, delivering witty sex jokes even in the face of certain death. The focus on the perverted bard of the party not only creates respect for the self-centered gnome but also some relief from that darkness Vox Machina finds themselves in.

Featured Image: IMDb

Graphic image: IMDb

Contact Elijah Wachs with comments at eawachs@bsu.edu