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'The Legend of Vox Machina' Season 1, Episode 11: "Whispers at the Ziggurat" pulls its big bad evil guys into the daylight

Episode 11 of The Legend of Vox Machina features the climactic battle between Vox Machina and the evil, yet hot, Briarwoods. The party has to come together and help Percival De Rolo defeat his childhood demons. All while trying to free Vax'ildan and Cassandra from Sylas’ beguiling influence.

Revenge is Best Served totally Evil and Demonic

Episode 11 begins with the Briarwoods reaching the peak of the underground ziggurat, embracing each other at the top of this ancient structure. With Vox Machina hot on their tails, the Briarwoods begin the final preparations for their dark and evil plan. Vox Machina reaches the foot of the ziggurat, and they plan to sneak up the stairs and catch the Briarwoods by surprise. Using this to her advantage, Ripley escapes from the group knowing Percy won’t shoot her and give away his position. Struggling with the intensifying smoke, Percy speaks in a voice not his own as he charges up the ziggurat’s stairs alone, giving away the element of surprise. 

The Briarwoods descend upon them, flanked by Cassandra and Vax, still caught under Sylas’ spell. An intense battle takes place with Delilah casting Grog off the side of the ziggurat. Vax intercepts Vex and the twins begin a dueling dance, with Vax giving no hesitation against his sister. Cassandra steps between Percy and Sylas, shielding the vampire from Percy’s gunfire and Sylas turns against Keyleth, striking her off the ziggurat, falling unconscious in the process. Pike steps in and takes the vampire head on. The two trade blows before Pike attempts to distract Sylas to help Scanlan against Delilah’s nefarious silence spell. The fight between Cassandra and Percy is relentless, with Percy fighting the smoke trying to add Cass’ name to his list. Despite the smoke’s control over him, Percy resists and is able to help Cassandra fight the spell that holds control over her. Keyleth stirs, asking the Sun Tree for help in the losing battle. The last of the tree’s strength is given to her as she casts light into the cavern, weakening Sylas. Vax breaks the spell after Vex beats him to a pulp and Pike is able to retort against the necromancer Delilah. 

Grog returns to the fray demanding a rematch from the vampire. Despite his determination, Sylas is still too fast and strong for the goliath. Resisting the vampire’s charm spell, Grog is able to confuse Sylas with his reckless attacks before wounding him, allowing Grog to pin the vampire down and hold him into the full might of Keyleth’s daylight spell. As Sylas is destroyed, Cass is dropped from his spell, freed from the Briarwoods' influence. Distraught, Delilah enters the ziggurat to complete her dark plan. After picking the lock, Vox Machina is unable to stop Delilah as the final rites are made in her pact with the Whispered One. To her dismay, however, the dark being seems to abandon her in her time of need, granting an untimely victory to our band of loveable heroes.

Nothing Like a Good Ol’ Charm Spell

Episode 11 is the climax any show would hope for. The build up to the episode’s events feels deserved and powerful, with characters coming to a head in the final moments of the season. The best action of the show is displayed with small climactic battles happening all at once without it feeling disjointed or lost. To the show’s credit, the episode is an impressive display of both physical confrontations as well as the harder to describe magical combat. I commend the ability to create action between spellcasters and swordsmen alike without losing quality here or there. The episode matches the stakes and desperation that have been growing over the entire show and delivers a highlight of adult animation.

Images: IMDb, IMDb

Sources: Amazon, IMDb

Contact Elijah Wachs with comments at eawachs@bsu.edu.