Episode #25 of the Netflix series Disenchantment begins with Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson) receiving romantic messages from Steamland’s prominent member, Alva Gunderson (Richard Ayoade), owner of Gunderson Steamworks. Meanwhile, Elfo (Nat Faxon) is still captured and on display at the “Freak Show & Gawkatorium,” courtesy of a new villain named P.T. (Maurice LaMarche). In “Freak Out!” we are introduced to two new characters, Mora the Mermaid (Meredith Hagner) and Edith (Tress MacNeille), the fortune-telling head. Being emboldened from his many adventures, Elfo is rebellious, not wishing to do tricks for P.T.
Meanwhile, as somewhat minor story elements, King Zøg (John DiMaggio), ruler of Dreamland, is still awkwardly honking due to the trauma of nearly being buried alive. Luci (Eric André), the cat-like demon, receives a bath from Turbish (Richard Fulcher), then gets taken for a walk, whereupon he beats up an actual talking cat named Scruffles (Billy West). In surprising contrast, Scruffles the Cat actually gets treated fairly well by King Zøg, and Scruffles also reveals that, like Merkimer the Pig (Matt Berry), he used to be a Prince. However, the big story is with Elfo, Gunderson’s oppressive measures to get Bean back in his company, and also how Mora wanted to be a star in Steamland.
Disenchantment takes on abusive talent ‘owners’
Though this episode of Disenchantment offers some distractions, a major theme develops after Elfo punches P.T. in the face. Rather than try to understand Elfo’s anger, P.T. plans to have Elfo hunted. Meanwhile, in a moment of dark humor, Elfo actually escapes his chains due to malnutrition making him thinner. It seems P.T. could be a valid entertainment provider and brags about making his “freaks” show biz people, but he clearly exploits them for disproportionate gain, keeps them caged, and feeds them cold hot dogs.
Elfo could understandably escape after freeing himself, but, quite characteristically, Elfo gets stalled by talking to Edith about their prospective relationship, and he gets caught by P.T. again. Desiring to rescue Elfo, Bean teams up with Lady Bowmore (MacNeille) and attends The League of Gallivanting Scrutinators — from which P.T. originally kidnapped Elfo. Bean overhears P.T.’s plan to hunt Elfo down. At the Freak Show & Gawkatorium, Elfo feeds quarters to Edith to get positive fortunes, revealing either his hopefulness or his naïveté.
Disenchantment offers up another savvy rescue, with Bean freeing Elfo shortly after hitching a ride on a blimp. Elfo acts as a liberator for many of the others, too, and the freed freaks flee. Edith frees herself to defend Elfo from P.T. but sadly proclaims that anyone who falls in love with her meets a terrible fate. It seems there is nothing but negative cards in the deck regarding their relationship.
The episode has a few additional twists and turns: Alva’s weird robots almost capture Bean, but it actually seems she has some magic powers. The robots are destroyed, and Steamland’s electricity gets drained as well. For another twist, we also look back and Luci and King Zøg back in Dreamland, where Luci sings these words as a lullaby for the King: “When the king breaks, the kingdom will fall, then finally Luci’s the ruler of all.” Is Luci just playing evil here, or does he have grander plans in store?
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