Disenchantment season 1, episode 12 recap: Stairway to Hell


In episode 12 of Netflix series Disenchantment, Bean and Luci lure Elfo out of Heaven and into Hell to bring him back to life.

Previously on Disenchantment, Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson) learned the dark truth about her mother, Queen Dagmar (Sharon Horgan), also defeating her in battle. Now she intends to resurrect Elfo (Nat Faxon), which requires a literal descent into Hell down a mile long staircase. To get there she relies on her pet demon, Luci (Eric Andre). It’s a bit awkward, though, as Elfo is in Heaven. However, when Bean tells Elfo to literally go to hell, he doesn’t debate it much, due to his innocence and loyalty.

The question is, how can he get sent to Hell from his present home? He tries mooning God (Phil LaMarr) himself, but it’s no use. He then draws an unflattering likeness of God, but no dice. He somehow even brandishes a golden calf, telling God it’s “more worship-able than you.” What finally does the trick? Elfo calls the recently deceased Jerry (David Herman) a “dum-dum,” which gets him cast down almost immediately. It’s a rather funny sequence for Disenchantment, and it also shows just how loyal both Bean and Elfo have become to each other.

The processing center and beyond

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In order to avoid suspicion, Bean and Luci convince demon guards that they too are demons (Bean is a clingy, emotionally unstable one and Luci’s an “emotional support demon.” Meanwhile, Elfo is tortured in Hell’s processing center. While it’s easy to feel sad for Elfo, it’s also literally the type of thing he asked for to meet Bean. There are complications, however. Hell’s a big place, so to find their buddy they need to find the book of the dead, found in the infernal stronghold. As they traverse the environment, including constantly shifting staircases, they easily get lost. Along the way they find Hansel und Gretel (David Herman and Tress MacNeille), who are forced to watch their own deaths on repeat — especially awkward as Bean stands near them.

Soon they meet Asmodium, Lord of Darkness, who inquires of their identities. Bean calls herself Juanita Demonheimer. However, Luci seems to double cross her, revealing her as human and offering her as a fresh, living human soul. For this he is given wings while Bean is dragged away. Soon we see Elfo in his personal Hell, where he witnesses Bean save Queen Dagmar instead of him. Bean is brought to the same chamber, as it’s her own Hell, too. She explains that Dagmar was her mother, but she feels she made the worst decision of her life. To their relief, Luci shows up to rescue them, clutching on to Bean as she holds Elfo’s detached soul in a bottle.

It’s a refreshing Disenchantment moment at first, but Luci drops them when confronted about the rescue. For this decision, he is promoted to “Uber demon level 4.” Fortunately, this was a conscious decision to better rescue them (clever little demon, and not quite so demonic after all). He catches them in the nick of time and they escape through the mouth of a volcano. By questionable coincidence (even under cartoon logic), Elfo’s lost body happens to be near the volcano. Bean resurrects him by holding his soul in her mouth and kissing him to life.

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Zøg stuff

This episode doesn’t completely forget about King Zøg (John DiMaggio), who had been a solitary figure in the premiere. He reunites with literal pig Prince, Merkimer (Matt Berry), and Zøg ends up defending Merkimer from the invading Bozaks. Though Zøg fights more valiantly than he expected, Merkimer is ultimately pig-napped.

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