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Willow Episode 5 Summary, “Wildwood”, filled with love and truth

Willow Episode 5 Summary, “Wildwood”, filled with love and truth

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The characters admire the forest

What magic will happen in the Wildwood? Image: Lucasfilm

If you’ve seen and enjoyed Willow, this week’s episode was one you’ve been waiting for. Not because there were any big story reveals, although there were some. And it’s not because there were massive action set pieces, although there are quite a few. No, it’s because Willow finally deserved an episode to sit back and give us some massive character payoffs. Because honestly, while the show is good in its own right, it’s the really excellent characters that make it stand out even more.

Image for article titled Everyone is telling the truth in a joyful, pivotal episode of Willow

Those payoffs also came from the music. Up to this point, every episode featured a piece of pop or rock music above the credits. A very conscious, very interesting choice by the filmmakers. One that is actually a first in a Lucasfilm production. Well, now it’s episode five, “Wildwood,” and right off the bat, the music has migrated from the credits to the series’ lyrics – which we can already hear the complaints about, but look, we’re halfway through the season. This is the show. It’s light, weird, and funny, and doesn’t apologize for any of it.

So, listen to the sounds of Arre’s “Time for Some Mayhem”! Arre!, our heroes are being hunted by the Gales, servants of the Crone, who were on their heels at the end of the last episode after leaving Nockmaar. I had imagined this to be a much bigger and more important encounter, so just being thrown in at the beginning was very surprising, especially as it ends up being a nice little action set piece, complete with Willow, the one Type Flamethrower spell used .

Flamethrower Willow

Why not more of this, Willow? Image: Lucasfilm

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To escape the Gales, the group decides to hide out in the Wildwood, a place that appears to be able to seduce and hypnotize them. But that’s better than brutal murder, right? And so they go into the woods, and for some reason the Gales don’t follow. It’s a beautiful place and they all take a break. Jade explains that the people who killed her family came from this forest. Elora and Willow discuss further training. Graydon asks Boorman for advice on women, and Boorman notices something. All along they have been surrounded by hidden Bone Reavers and are about to be captured.

Well, if you remember the pilot episode, before that we had met the Bone Reavers who were chasing the group and were surprised to see Boorman still alive. Now we find out why. We learn that Boorman was in Skellin, a troll fortress in a mountain from which no one has ever come out alive. We also learn that he was very close to Scorpia (Adwoa Aboah), the leader of the Bone Reavers, who separates everyone upon their arrival at the village. Jade is tied up alone. Elora and Kit, who hate each other, are in another cage. Willow is with Graydon, who still pines for Elora, and Boorman is taken to Scorpia’s hut.

Bone Raider!  Creepy.

Bone Raider! Creepy. Image: Lucasfilm

Everyone plans their own escape. Elora has stolen Willow Cherlindrea’s wand and uses it to blast a hole in the bars. She and Kit are immediately swarmed by Bone Reavers. Willow realizes that his old friends the Brownies (including Kevin Pollak’s Rool from the original film) happen to be living in their little compound, so they formulate a plan together. Meanwhile, Boorman lies to Scorpia about how he escaped from Skellin. The way he tells it, it was a thrilling adventure. But his words don’t match what we see on screen, which is that he escaped in a barrel of shit. And while he should have returned to Scorpia, he celebrated instead and was captured by Queen Sorsha, where he is at the start of the show. Why would she want him? Well, he was last seen with her husband, Madmartigan, wasn’t he? Scorpia even asks about Val Kilmer’s character, but is cut off before he can answer.

Before we continue, let’s talk a little bit about brownies. The super tiny characters are such a big part of the original movie and it should be very cool to see them again. And yet this performance felt so forced. The insane coincidence that they live in this one particular spot in the forest. That Rool doesn’t want to go on adventures and instead hands over a tiny card. That his daughter, like a modern teenager, wants to become famous in our world. Aside from the fact that these creatures were in the original film, nothing that happens on the show feels relatable to that story. Maybe they’ll come back in future episodes and it all ties together, but if they do, it was a crappy cameo.

Willow is talking to Brownies

A brownie let down. Image: Lucasfilm

Meanwhile, Kit and Elora escape and immediately set out to rescue Jade. However, Jade manages to save herself, so she slips through the ropes and gets into a brawl with Scorpia. She holds her own, but is ultimately no match for the leader of the Bone Reaver, who victoriously mounted Jade and is poised to kill her… when she notices a mark on her neck. What Jade believed to be true about her past wasn’t… true. Bone Reavers didn’t kill her family. The Bone Reavers are their family and the people of Tir Asleen kidnapped them as insurance against a future war. For years she was raised to believe that her people were her enemy. Also, Scorpia is her sister. They are the last two children of Kael, the leader of the Bone Reavers who was killed by Madmartigan in the original film.

There’s a lot to process, both for the viewer and for Jade, whose entire worldview has just changed. But so is the consequence. Because when Willow and Graydon escape from their small cell, they enter… a party. Jade’s party. And then Willow goes into full party mode. There is music, dancing, drinking. Elora uses Cherlindrea’s wand to cook, Graydon gets a shave, and Kit even participates in a drinking game that’s 100% purposeful homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

More pop music hits the soundtrack, this time a cover of the Pom Pom Squad song “Crimson and Clover” that allows everyone to slow down, dance and really get their shit on, mostly because everyone eats truth plums, they make tell the truth Kit tells Jade that she suspected she might be a Bone Reaver, and Jade is furious. Elora reveals to Graydon that she saw him kill his brother when she saved him and he tries to tell her that he is not that person. Boorman tells Scorpia that while he isn’t actually her prisoner anymore, somehow he will always be her prisoner. And, crucially, Willow even reveals to Graydon that he’s a mediocre wizard at best and lives in fear of being discovered. What Elora hears.

Scorpia + Boormann

Scorpia + BoormanImage: Lucasfilm

Basically everything comes out. Everything that needs to be said is said… with one big exception. We know that Kit and Jade are in love. Everyone on the show knows they are in love. They’ve even kissed before to let them know they’re in love. And yet it has not been fully cemented. When they sneak off into the woods and profess their love for one another despite the revelation that Kit’s father killed Jades, it’s an incredible moment. moving, beautiful. They’re about to end it all with the kiss we’ve been waiting for, the biggest moment of the entire show so far when everything goes to hell.

After 45 minutes of lulling the audience into a pleasant veil of character development, at the absolute peak of our enjoyment, it’s all taken from us immediately. Kit is kidnapped. A mighty fight follows. And Boorman reveals that the culprits are trolls.

With the exception of the brownies’ odd, forced appearance, “Wildwood” was excellent. Seeing these characters that we’ve really cared about over the past few weeks getting some time to let go, be honest with each other, and even fall in love with some of them has been hugely rewarding. Then it was equally satisfying to take it all apart for a cool, exciting cliffhanger ending. I guess next week Willow and the crew have to go to the place Boorman left, the troll home of Skellin.

New episodes of Willow arrive on Disney+ on Wednesdays.

Want more io9 news? Find out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe in film and television, and find out everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water need to know.

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