Willow | Episode 4 Review
Our heroes head to the castle where the key events took place in the film in the latest episode of the Disney+ Original Series, “Willow.” As they take refuge in Nockmaar, Graydon has been possessed by a demon that needs to be exorcised. Elora is still doubting her powers. The castle puts Jade, Kit and Boorman through the ringer. The entire crew learn what really happened during the events of the film, as most of them believed Willow had used a superior form of magic to save Elora. And we also learn about Graydon’s questionable past and his previous issues with possession.
This is my favorite episode of the series so far. Despite the fact that almost all of it takes place in one location, a lot happens in a short time to help forge the group together. While there is a large exposition dump at the start of the episode that recounts the events of the film as the characters believe it to be true, it perfectly sets up the rest of the events of the episode. Exposition dumps can sometimes slow down an episode, but this one works to the episode’s strengths. We learn more about the castle and how it can cause major issues for them while they are there. It allows for character growth, revelations and plot development. That may seem basic, but I’ve seen plenty of shows that fail to make it work, so it’s nice to see it succeed here.
I love to see how each character develops here. Elora has to learn to become a sorceress, and, despite Willow’s objections, she finds a way to use her sorcery to save Graydon and also to learn from him. Willow’s magic is clearly failing, and he is trying to save as much as possible. He knows he will need to save some up for the very end of this quest, but he also knows he has to prepare Elora for what’s to come. Kit and Jade continue to grow both closer together and further apart. Plus, we see more about how Boorman can clearly see their growing feelings and unwillingness to act on it. And Graydon finally feels like part of the group. He has been along for the ride to this point, but what we learn from his possession to his seemingly miraculous recovery that was just a ruse to get Elora to the High Tower to his final salvation, makes him incredibly unique. Going into this episode, he was the character played by the same actor who played Flash Thompson in the MCU “Spider-man” films. Now, he’s fully Graydon.
I admit I had my reservations about this series when it was announced. I always thought we should see more from the property, but I thought it had been too long of a time to truly work. I know plenty of shows that have been revisited or rebooted after that long of a time, but most don’t feel right. That’s why I’m so shocked that I’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have through four episodes. Yes, it does have a family friendly version of “Game of Thrones” feel to it, but it feels like the film more than anything and that’s what this series needed.
Rating: 4.5 stars
What did you think of this episode of “Willow?”