Critical Role Review: Episode 56 Hope
Summary: After defeating Umbrasyl, Vox Machina take a much needed break from the action and recover from their battle wounds. Grog says farewell to Zanror and the surviving goliaths. They meet a new companion, Kerrek of Westruun, a human paladin who has been keeping watch over Westruun. He and Vox Machina gather the townspeople and make a plan to rebuild the city and make it safe from more dragon attacks.
Why to Watch:
Guest Star Patrick Rothfuss, as Kerrek, a human paladin and blacksmith. Rothfuss is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author of The Kingkiller Chronicle series.
If you’re interested in watching the cast members interact and joke around with each other in character and like a more dialogue driven story line this episode is for you. Not much action, some popular NPC’s make appearances and some humorous hi-jinx make for a decent episode.
Grog discovers mayonnaise (26:27)
Vax and Vex fight over shoes (37:04)
Cannonball Competition (54:43)
Meeting Kerrek (1:27:05)
Farmer Reggie’s Last Wish (2:07:45)
Scanlan’s gift (03:15:43 and 3:19:34)
We’re all kinds of fucked up (3:46:04)
Story Progression: After the crazy action of the last two episodes there was bound to be a few slower episodes. Not a lot happens in this episode at all. We do get to meet a new friendly face, Kerrek, who will make more appearances later in the show. The first hour is mostly filled with everyone messing around and having fun relaxing and holding a cannonball diving competition that features a bear, a thunderwave, and an explosive chemistry experiment. The middle of the episode is talking to townspeople and helping refugees. The last hour is a slow crawl to decide where the group should go next. This episode has its moments but isn’t a terribly important episode to watch from start to finish.
Role Playing: Keyleth is a bit…eccentric this episode. She goes through some kind of ‘hero identity crisis’ that gets old pretty quickly.
Episode 57: Duskmeadow
Summary: Vox Machina make their way back to Vasselheim. Percy visits his old friend Victor and gives him a hand. Vax meets the Raven Queen. Grog shops for hats. The companions journey to Percy’s home in Whitestone and learn more about the dark magic trapped in the Ziggurat underneath the castle.
Why to watch:
Vax makes his way through the Raven Queen’s temple of death and finally meets the deity to whom he has offered his soul. It’s a pretty dark adventure for Vax, who has become more and more solemn with every episode. Viktor the gunpowder salesman makes an appearance again! Viktor is a fan favorite NPC and this encounter doesn’t disappoint.
Viktor the black powder merchant (32:10)
Vax and the Raven Queen (59:00)
The Hat Shoppe (1:27:35)
Whitestone and Gilmore (2:40:00)
The Ziggurat (2:52: 00)
Keyleth and Sun Tree (3:25:08)
A Secret Visit in the Night (3:38:20)
Story Progression: Percy takes an hour long side quest halfway through the episode, which feels a bit dragged out and unnecessary. Vax did visit the same location earlier in the day but he took several members of his party with him, and it was influential to his character development. Percy’s little venture is just…boring.
Technical Difficulties: Around the 2 and ½ hour mark the cast has to pause for a couple minutes while the online live stream works through a bug and picks the video back up.
While these two episodes are nowhere near as exciting as battling an ancient dragon, they do have their classic DnD moments. Episode 56 felt a bit slow, but the introduction of Kerrek was its saving grace. Episode 57 had some great moments, a hat shopping side quest, a fancy dinner party in a castle, and an incredibly tense cliffhanger that left me itching to watch the next episode. How will Vax fare against an old enemy come back to haunt him? Will Vox Machina’s journey into the Fey Wilds be successful?