*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episode eight of Willow*
After a rather tumultuous first season, Willow ends on a massive high. Firstly, none of what I laid out in the previous recap happened, which is incredible. After following the most clichéd plot structure for the entirety of the series, the finale subverted all of my expectations. It delivered a visually staggering, satisfying epic that sometimes made me cheer for the good guys to defeat the Crone, who took the body of Lili (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) to convince Airk (Dempsey Bryk) that all of his desires would come true.
That aspect of the episode was clichéd. Elora (Ellie Bamber) and Kit (Ruby Cruz) are on the verge of being convinced by a projection of Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and Airk, who are telling them to drink that gross concoction that made Airk, the typical possessed bad guy he is now. Of course, they don’t do it (even if they are tempted!) and are saved (at the very last minute, after most of the protagonists have turned to stone! Ah! Legitimate stakes!) by Willow (Warwick Davis), who arrives most heroically. It’s a shame that the show’s main character doesn’t get to do much in this climax. It’s all about “the next generation,” which felt cheap considering that most audiences wanted to see Warwick Davis return as Willow Ufgood.
But that doesn’t mean that the “next generation” is boring as hell because the climactic fight scene is the show at its best. Visually exciting, some fans may needlessly compare it to Harry Potter’s fight scenes, but it didn’t have Kit put on the Lux Arcana to finally showcase the Kymerian Cuirass’ proper form. This is what the show has been building towards from when Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel) mentioned its existence, and holy cow, it doesn’t disappoint. The Cuirass finally revealing itself is as exciting as the Scarlet Scarab’s first reveal in Moon Knight. The blade coming out of the suit to aid Kit in the fight is the cherry on top.
It may be a tad overwhelming from a purely visual standpoint, but the action isn’t cheaply edited, and the stakes feel high. You believe some characters may not make it out alive, and, surprisingly, one sacrifices himself for Elora. In a bout of high courage, Graydon (Tony Revolori) casts a spell from Cherlindrea’s wand, effectively neutralizing the Crone for one brief second until she shreds him to bits, and he dies. It’s a graphic moment I never expected to happen, but it locked me in and made me realize that, wow, the stakes in this climax are real, and nothing is going as Willow envisioned it or as I laid it out last week.
And that’s great! I want to be surprised. The show hasn’t surprised me since it started, blowing all my preconceived expectations out of the water. I was invested in the fight and may have shed a tear when Graydon died…or so I thought. Because what Willow envisioned came true but hasn’t happened yet. This was the best way to turn the show to its head and give the audience a form of anticipation for what was to come next. Graydon isn’t dead but was transported into the Wyrm’s realm (who seems to be royally pissed at our heroes) and sees an evil version of Elora (likely the Wyrm), asking him to help lead her army beyond the Immemorial City and her realm.
That sets the stage quite brilliantly for season 2 (and 3, from the likes of what the post-credit scene reveals), which will hopefully see the Wyrm show herself to the world, and our heroes having to fight an even more corrupted version of Graydon than he was in episode four. Though a second season hasn’t been greenlit, it won’t surprise me that it will in the coming days or weeks, and we will see Willow return to the screen sooner than later.
All episodes of Willow are now available to stream on Disney+.