When Disenchantment part 2 ended, Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), Luci (Eric Andre), and Elfo (Nat Faxton) were almost burned at the stake by the superstitious and easily manipulated populace of Dreamland. Just as the fire surrounded the trio, they fell through the ground and found themselves in the catacombs beneath the city, where they’re reunited with Bean’s duplicitous mother, Queen Dagmar. Part 3 picks up immediately in the aftermath of their reunion, with Dagmar trying to manipulate Bean to fulfill her mysterious destiny and Bean torn between suspicions of her mother and her own desperate need for parental love and approval.
Meanwhile, Odval (Maurice LaMarche) and the Druidess (Tress MacNeille) continue to work their influence over poor, impressionable Prince Derek, who’s in way over his head after taking over the kingdom and would rather play with wooden action figures in his room. The scheming duo uses Derek as the conduit to enact their complete domination of Dreamland while they wait for King Zog (John DiMaggio) to die from his gunshot wound. When Zog discovers their plan, he attempts to escape Dreamland with Sir Pendergast, but Odval and the Druidess bury the King alive and execute Pendergast (poor guy, I doubt he’ll stay dead for long because no one in this show does).
The Season 2 premiere “Subterranean Homesick Blues” jumps right into the action and plot, and I think the serialized format works well for the show. There’s several stand-alone episodes this season, but they each contribute in some way to the overall story involving the various threats faced by Dreamland and the three protagonists more concisely than in previous seasons. Disenchantment is at it’s best when it’s barreling through the plot and throwing curveballs at the audience, and this season offers plenty of explanations for previous mysteries while still keeping many questions unanswered. What kind of curse hangs over the royal family? What’s the Secret Society’s next steps in their bid for power? Who is the mysterious man from Hell? Are the Elves going to try and take over Dreamland?
We still don’t know much about Bean’s destiny, but her and Dagmar’s back and forth and the cliffhanger ending in which Bean ends up in her mother’s clutches once again promises that part 4 will at least offer some hints in Dagmar’s true plans for her daughter. Making Queen Dagmar the series primary antagonist was a brilliant move, but I’d like to see some of her schemes come to fruition. It seems that she’s orchestrated a wedding between Bean and a mysterious man from the depths of Hell and is eager for her daughter to embrace her dark side. I’m sure Bean will toy with the idea considering how much she years for her mother’s love and approval, but she accepted her role as Queen of Dreamland, and even though she still loves partying and drinking, her goal to be a strong and fair leader for her people is clear.
Much of this season follows Bean coming to terms with her identity. She finally knows who she is and what she wants; she’s just waiting for everyone else to catch on, and when their plans fail, she patiently asks if they’re ready to trust her. Bean isn’t perfect, though—far from it. She’s definitely a mess, but she’s a beautiful and relatable one that fans can relate to. She fails and fumbles on several occasions, but she also steps up when her father falls into madness and Dreamland is attacked first by mysterious green smoke followed by an army of angry ogres. It’s a lot for her to handle, but Bean is no stranger to making plans on the fly and jumping from one quest to the other. She also has a sense of justice and morality, even if she doesn’t always follow the righteous path, and she’s determined to stick up the outcasts. I’m looking forward to seeing Bean in a Queen’s role for part 4—that is, if there’s a kingdom for her to rule once the dust settles.
One of the highlights from the season is Bean experimenting with her sexuality with the mermaid Mora. I’ve always felt that Bean is queer (I mean, look how queer the show is! Everyone in Dreamland loves their pansexual, bisexual, gay, queer selves, and it’s beautiful), and it’s something that feels natural for the character and the story. Every character gets some time to shine this season, especially Oona, who returns from the high seas to briefly team up with Bean to investigate the Secret Society. Prince Derek, a character I typically loathe, has a hilarious and inappropriate shotgun wedding to the old fairy from the Enchanted Forest (although they break things off before tying the knot) and Elfo is becoming less and less irritating as the series progresses and Disenchantment moves away from his one sided crush on Bean. The little guy grew on me, especially this season when he spends some time in an explorer’s club before he’s locked up at a carnival. His relationship with the fortune teller was adorable and moving, and I’m pretty sure the fortune teller was a version of the one from Futurama.
There were a couple of misfires this season—the crazy King Zog gets real old real fast, Luci is sidelined for several episodes, and too many questions were left unanswered. Still, overall, Disenchantment continues to be one of my favorite new shows. The animation is gorgeous (especially the shots from Bean and Elfo’s second trip to Steamland), the voice acting top-notch, the cameos from supporting and minor characters were fantastic (I continue to be a massive fan of the laughing horse), and the references to Futurama leave me craving the eventual crossover between Matt Groening’s two shows. With all the talk of prophecies and ancient magics, I believe part 4 will see a large war break out between the various factions and kingdoms, so Bean will have to find a way to escape Hell and reunite with her friends quickly.
There’s no word on when Part 4 releases to Netflix, but I’m actually sad that I finished all the current episodes, so it looks like it’s time to rewatch the series once again.
Are you a fan of Disenchantment? Let me what your predications are for Part 4 in the comments and check out my website for all things pop culture. Stay nerdy!