Willow: The Battle of the Slaughtered Lamb
December 7, 2022 5:50 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Everyone looks for the missing girl, while the missing girl finds some Western lesbians living chill in the woods.
posted by jenfullmoon (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
AV Club review.

Hubert...just Hubert...OMG HUBERT. I was so excited and then so disappointed.

Then Elora trying to explain to them the ENTIRE situation. THEIR FACES.

"I'm...not really sure that that's necessary?!"


"What are wererats?" "Exactly what they sound like?"
"Is that a wererat?" "I'm going to go ahead and say yes?"

"I WILL SUMMON THE FORCES OF GOOD TO MY AID!".... "Stay away from her, you silly ninnies!"

"Now that you can do magic, you wanna fly us outta here? No?"

Sad body count in this episode.

Did enjoy the end credit song.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 PM on December 7, 2022 [6 favorites]

I feel like The Slaughtered Lamb is iconic enough in nerd circles for the production team to know that people would recognize it so I’m not really sure what they were trying to convey by referencing it. Maybe because there were wererats?
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:31 PM on December 7, 2022

This is the one where I tap out. I'm really trying to give new things more than one episode to grow on me; in this case, I regret it. The tone is all over the place, and not in a fun way: LOL, lesbian lumberjacks! Oh, wait, no; they're senselessly dead and it's very sad. The dialogue is just awful. I think the end credits are actually the worst part: thanks for watching our fantasy show, here's a hard rockin cover of a contemporary song while we run the cast of characters through a "I'll draw your portrait" mall kiosk. I hate it. I hate everything about it. I'm done with it.
posted by jordemort at 10:37 PM on December 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

"Humble woodswomen" twist was squee.Was expecting a repeating rifle, given the denim.

Hannah Waddingham has great patter.

Finding the Willow/ magic/ destiny stuff a drag.

Digging this depiction of a 'Feral Saviour,' so far.

How convenient that most every fight so far has been in the dark.
posted by porpoise at 11:45 PM on December 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Why did the best new characters get eliminated a few minutes after we meet them?

Please give us six seasons and a movie of the "Humble Woodsmen" Hubert & Ann show that has occasional cross-over episodes with Gentleman Jack. Perhaps Miss Lister needs to borrow Roargoth to clear some brambles on her property or wants to teach Anne Walker how to throw an axe. Or maybe she just wants some of that special mushroom soup. Jade and Princess Kit are also welcome to hang out to spar with the team or discuss sword sharpening techniques or how to make tight-woven denim with the looms of their fantasy world.
posted by autopilot at 4:25 AM on December 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

Agreed, autopilot.

I think it tells you a lot about a show as to how they handle deaths. This one's killed off popular people pretty quickly (bye, Silas), even 5 minutes after introduction, and even if we technically can't 100% confirm this was a Kill Your Gays situation because we don't know exactly for sure what Hubert and Anne's relationship was(?), it does kinda smack of that, unfortunately.

(okay, so I'm 99% sure they're girlfriends, but it did occur to me while writing this that technically I don't know if they're platonic or relatives.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Why did the best new characters get eliminated a few minutes after we meet them?

As far as I can tell, they existed just to show how people would die for her. The dialog even says as much.

Now why the show would want to say or do this, IDK. But I do know the show isn't up to the challenge of defending monarchy or heroic destiny. Like best case scenario Jade ends up saving the day after Elora -- the chosen one -- fails.

How convenient that most every fight so far has been in the dark.

I've actually had to change the settings away from Cinema to Vibrant on my fancy LG C1, because the dark was too damn dark to see anything.
posted by pwnguin at 1:59 PM on December 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I imagine that it's to save production costs. This feels budget conscious on the tech/ physical side but I feel that it's doing very well on the artistic side for compensation.

How does it look in Vibrant compared to Cinema? Still washed out/ blurry details/ etc.?
posted by porpoise at 7:20 PM on December 8, 2022

I imagine that it's to save production costs.

I was thinking the show wasn't designed with HDR in mind. Or perhaps the Disney+ app didn't quite set Dolby Vision correctly. Or perhaps I just need to fix the default settings. Or void the warranty.

How does it look in Vibrant compared to Cinema? Still washed out/ blurry details/ etc.?

Wasn't really 'washed out' just very very black. Vibrant made the scenes just brighter and more blue. The C1 is notoriously dark, so its not surprising.
posted by pwnguin at 11:30 PM on December 8, 2022

It was such a tonal (and lighting) shift when the Hubert sequence started, it reminded me of the time in the movie when Willow got Elora back from the brownies after they stole her from Madmartigan. I thought maybe she'd entered some pocket magic dimension, and Hubert was going to be revealed as some eccentric old forest spirit who would give her something (an object, or prophecy, or small magical creature) to further the quest. Ah well.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:08 AM on December 9, 2022 [5 favorites]

I was thinking the same thing -- the contrast between the dark, gloomy forest and the sun-dappled clearing was so great that I was convinced the lumberjanes were fae or otherwise magical. I was greatly disappointed by their exit, and it did sour the episode for me. "Are your expectations not subverted?"
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 7:33 AM on December 9, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm in the same boat that the homesite was something more, there definitely was a feeling of magical pushback to the doom and gloom of the rest of the forest. Very much a Tom Bombadil, were he a lesbian lumberjack, and perhaps, we haven't seen the end of Hubert and Anne (which would be nice). My only other best guess is that their sacrifice will become part of a weight that Elora carries into the finale based on the sacrifices others have made for her (glances at surviving party members).

I'm continuing to enjoy the show, but not nearly as much as I had hoped or wanted to. There's enough good to counteract the not so good, but it's like eating something great that has a slight wang to the aftertaste. It's not enough to make you stop eating, but it dampens one's enthusiasm for every bite. The show still remains a bit unbalanced as the actors are still developing their characters and chemistry. I dunno, it could be something as simple as some of the editing, making interactions less smooth or something. or perhaps there was more taken out and that silent absence is louder than one might expect.

Watching on my phone in the dark, I didn't have any trouble following the battle, but the battle itself was a little disjointed from how it was edited to how it was shot. It's weird how Jade is presented as a pretty kickass swordswoman but in the last two fights, has pretty much been pushed around by the evil infected whats his name. She hasn't been given a real chance to shine, regardless of the weather and time of day.

I'm also curious about the rules of magic for Willow. Apparently he has a limited supply? He referenced suffering basically side effects of using magic, but in the original film, I don't think there's really a reference to magic users paying a price for their magic. Granted, there's the scene, when Willow is still learning to be a magician and he's trying to change Raziel back to human form he kind of slumps over - but I figured that was because he was an apprentice.

Anyhoo....I'm still on board, but waiting for the show to shake off these issues.
posted by Atreides at 10:35 AM on December 9, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm confused as to what kind of show it's trying to be. Is it comedy? Boorman is funny, as was (😞) Silas, but a lot of the jokes fail. Is it a coming of age story? Kit and Jade occasionally do some young-person angst, but it's barely there. Is it adventure? It might be, if it wasn't so dark and rainy, so we could actually see what's going on. Is it magic? In theory, but apparently magic is rationed now (no hint of that in the film), and there's been no world-building to make us understand the internal logic of the series.

I'm undecided if Warwick Davis is a bad actor or if he's just got bad scriptwriting and direction. He's great with the physical acting (looking world-weary and exhausted) but he always sounds like he's reading an autocue. Especially with the awful "joke" about "Get to the wagon!" *wagon explodes* "Never mind, carry on fighting."

The lumberjanes bit was really confusing. By the time we realised that they're not magical elf people (suspiciously bright clearing in a dark and disorientating forest) and/or evil, they're dead.

Still, I'll keep watching, if only for Boorman, who's great, and to find out what Graydon turns out to be. At this point, can we really give a shit about Elora?
posted by milkb0at at 3:35 AM on December 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

...Yeah, I just don't love adult Elora so far, albeit I was kind of amused in the lumberjanes scene by her. Still wish she was played by Jade. Perhaps we can body swap them?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:51 AM on December 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

I think I've decided that more than anything else, this is being let down by the director or maybe the production staff in general? Like, a director with a better sense of timing could make some of the banter land better, and some of the cuts are just weird, and the fighting is just sort of ... there? Like kind of unfortunately weightless? That's probably a little bit on the editor, I guess, but if the director isn't giving them usable shots, there's not a whole lot they can do. I still enjoy the banter, and I'm kind of vaguely approaching it as a tween-friendly light action swords & sorcery, but I'm not sure that audience haa the emotional connection to the original film to even bother?

And yeah, the visual shift from Elora stumbling through the dark and scary forest to the bright and shiny glade of the lumberjanes made me expect fae or witchy influence and ... nope, just friendly lumberjanes aaaaaand oh well they're dead now let's not ponder it too closely.

And Kit is still just about the worst? And I swear only Willow is managing to consistently pronounce it like Airk without just saying Eric.
posted by Kyol at 7:30 PM on December 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

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