*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episode seven of Willow*
Spoiler alert: the penultimate episode of Willow is also its worst. While it contains the most visually resplendent frames of the series yet, and some pretty exciting action to boot, the exposition-laden script bogs down any attempt at proper character development and seems to go through the motions to get to the Immemorial City instead of legitimately challenging our protagonists as their quest to save Airk (Dempsey Bryk) nears its end.
Speaking of Airk, he shouldn’t have drank the water. The girl he met in the last episode is named Lili (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers), who was shady from the start. The water didn’t help because he now seemed possessed by the Crone’s spirit. He’s also got a new haircut, suit, and sword, à la Raiden (James Remar) in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. When the world is ending, make sure you’ve got time to look good. But it’s also the best signal for the episode to tell us that, hey, he’s bad now because he’s got a new look (cue the Joueur Du Grenier music)!
It seems that a possessed Airk will now be the main antagonists Elora Danan (Ellie Bamber) and Willow (Warwick Davis) will be facing, but did that transformation have to be so sluggish? None of the scenes in which Airk gets to know Lili is interesting enough, and when the “twist” on who Lili is arrives, it falls flat on its face because we all see it coming. She’s not to be trusted, but Airk blindly trusts her because she’s the only other person in the Immemorial City. And even if director Jamie Childs and Sellers desperately try to make her appear friendly, it doesn’t work because it all feels sinister. He drank the water, and then she appeared. She didn’t just come out of “thin air.”
The rest of the episode isn’t great, either. After coming out of the cave of Skellin, Willow and the rest of the team cross the Shattered Sea to get to the Immemorial City. They first meet a man (Julian Glover) who stayed so long in the shattered sea that he forgot his name. That’s about the only exciting bout of exposition that the episode will deliver. The journey to the Immemorial City will be perilous, long, and damn near impossible. Another crew that attempted it killed each other. Yikes.
But when the Gales attack, they must quickly flee into the Shattered Sea. The journey is long but not so perilous since the sea is infinite. In that journey, Kit (Ruby Cruz) and Jade (Erin Kellyman) [finally!] kiss and admit their love for one another. Elora sees a vision of herself breaking Cherlindrea’s wand and dying, precisely the way Willow saw it and warned Queen Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) about it, while our titular character sees her daughter (Annabelle Davis) getting killed. Is the Crone messing with their heads, or is it a reality?
Whatever’s going on, it’s certainly not good news, but it’s also not that interesting. Why? Elora is not going to die entirely during the climax. I mean, sure, she’s probably going to bite the dust, but somehow, she will also come back to life. Why am I so confident? So far, Willow has moved its plot along the way I envisioned it would: bouts of extreme peril which will inevitably lead to the characters at their most vulnerable for Willow’s vision to come true. But wait, he only saw part of the vision, and the rest of it will be filled by the finale, with Elora being the true savior, saving Airk’s life, sacrificing herself, and coming back to life.
I’m not the one to do theories often because I like to see the shows play out independently. But I am so confident that this is what will happen, beat-for-beat, during the finale of Willow. Airk is possessed. That’s terrible news, but somehow, Elora will use a spell she never thought possible to save his life, which will likely end hers, and you know where this is going. This is not the first time a Disney+ show has done this, and it will not be the last. Of course, I can always be wrong, but the show has rarely impressed me so far when it came to originality and stayed in the most conventional plot threads possible that I do not see it magically subverting my expectations next week, but we shall find out together for the hopefully epic finale.
The seventh episode of Willow is now available to stream on Disney+.