In episode 16 of Netflix series Disenchantment, some overtaxed elves try to steal back some of their coins. However, not all is at it seems…
Previously on Disenchantment, Elfo (Nat Faxon) faced off against some ogres to get a magical berry to save his father, Pops (Billy West). This episode makes Dreamland look more greedy than gross, although King Zøg (John DiMaggio) comes pretty close to redeeming himself by the end. However, it does start with Zøg overtaxing elves. That’s not to say poverty is the only issue. Zøg’s daughter, Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), feels like a second class citizen. After Luci (Eric Andre) wins a bar from its owner by slightly cheating in an arm-wrestling match, the overtaxed elves hear Bean complain about her father and somewhat rile them up.
An apparently prominent Elf named Grifto (likely voiced by Billy West) devises a plan to steal back some of the elves’ taxes. He is joined by his circus pals, who all have a specialty: Pyro (fire), Shelly (strength), Elastico (king of contortion), and Slappo (the “beast whisperer”). They devise a plan to acquire coins from Zøg’s vault, which includes Bean telling her dad to invite the circus into town. This isn’t the first time Bean has rebelled against her father, but this is certainly one of the most flagrant instances (though, of course, Zøg isn’t exactly kind to Bean all the time, either).
Elfo is understandably concerned about going to jail for stealing from Bean’s dad. Interestingly, at this point in the series, it’s harder to call Elfo a coward, as he’s possibly been the biggest hero of Disenchantment (especially when he doesn’t quite have Luci’s superpowers).
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Master Grifto’s flimflam circus
As Grifto’s circus puts on its show, Bean distracts a guard with non-sexual dance moves, allowing elves to blow a tranq dart into his neck. Then Pyro uses the gift of flame to open the vault. For better or worse, though, a bead of sweat from Elastico accidentally triggers the alarm system — constructed from ropes and bells — as he gets the coinage. Equally as dramatic, a bunch of dogs kill Slappo, demonstrating he wasn’t quite the “beast whisperer” after all. On top of all that, Bean darts Odval (Maurice LaMarche) in the neck, which could spell trouble down the line (Disenchantment actually practices conceptual continuity, to a fair degree anyway).
There’s a bit of a twist — and not even a very far-fetched one. The circus impresses Zøg, who remarks that he wants to return every last bit of their taxes! To make things worse, Grifto and the others turn out to not be elves but trolls, and they don’t feel like returning the money either to Zøg or the elves. Grifto and the trolls escape via rope line, saying to Bean: “Don’t let this reflect badly on the performing arts.”
At first, it seems they getaway in a carriage. However, Luci swapped their gold coins for chocolate ones. Luci suspected they weren’t real elves when one troll wanted hard liquor. Another one also had chest hair, which elves can’t grow. There is actually a happy ending: The elves get tax rebates and are told it’s from Zøg. Nice!
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