This Disenchantment review contains spoilers.
Disenchantment Episode 7
Though perhaps going forward the writers should be wary of dipping into the “Elfo loves Bean” plot watering hole too often, this early in Disenchantment’s life it’s a good area to pull stories from, especially for developing Elfo’s character. Elfo is supposed to be naïve and starved of life experience. However, the episodes focused on his Bean crush do a great job of unearthing the selfishness just beneath this façade.
In “Love’s Tender Rampage,” we get the classic sitcom plot of one character lying and then quadrupling down on that lie. Elfo’s lie that he has a giant, one-eyed girlfriend ends up getting an innocent one-eyed, giant woman named Tess roped into his deception, but his lies just keep getting more egregious after that. Naturally, he eventually has to fess up for what he’s done and a valuable lesson is learned (though he does, by way of coincidence, get away with his lie about restoring Tess’ vision).
Luci’s tiny subplot about messing with a crystal ball out of boredom is charming enough. It’s a small distraction that pops up in the episode twice and sells the concept enough for the twist of the crystal ball later being repurposed as Tess’ truth-telling eyeball. Happily, this plot also brings Matt Berry’s Prince Merkimer, now transformed into a pig, back into the Disenchantment proceedings. He, too, gets his own silly little plot as he tries, and fails, to find love as a pig.
Berry, as is standard, provides some of the funniest moments of the episode. His best line is when he tells Luci he thought they were friends, that he’d been calling them “The Adventures of Cat and Pig,” and that “this has been our last adventure.” There are a few other decent comedic moments, like Pendergast asking Elfo “when you two are making love, is she aware?” and also the guy who shouts “this validates my bigotry!” But, as is thus far standard with Disenchantment, there’s little that’s laugh-out-loud funny.
This is one of the best plotted episodes, however. Many episodes have a fudged story turn or two, but “Love’s Tender Rampage” holds up throughout. In fact, I’d almost say the episode goes a little too far in attempting to tie everything up neatly by bringing back the drug from the beginning of the episode to solve the conflict at the end. It’s technically “good writing,” to bring a story full circle like this, but it feels a bit contrived. This is nitpicking, however. Plus, the drug trip ending means Disenchantment gets to pull a major tease with the will they/won’t they Elfo/Bean romance. Did they kiss or was it all a hallucination?! Well played, you writer jerks!
Joe Matar watches a lot of cartoons and a lot of sitcoms. He’s obsessed with story structure so that’s what all his reviews are about. Joe also writes about video games on occasion. He has an MA in English if you can believe it. Read more of his work here. Follow Joe on Twitter for more fun @joespirational!