With the cliffhanger after the first spread of episodes, I was concerned; I was asking myself “How can that just be it?” But with the help of Wikipedia, my worries were eased, and I got myself prepared for the next few episodes.
Following an encounter with Lord and Lady Briarwood (voiced by Matthew Mercer and Grey Griffin), Vox Machina are set under house arrest after the events of the last episode. While separated and growing closer, they’re attacked by shadowy creatures sent from the Briarwoods. The next day, the gang decides to travel to Whitestone to take out the Briarwoods; except for Pike, who left to get in touch with her goddess, the Everlight.
One of the things that’s strong about this collection of episodes is how the relationships within Vox Machina are strengthened. Whether it’s separated or all together, we get to see specific dynamics within the party. We see Vax and Keyleth’s budding relationship, as Vex is reluctant of her. We see Grog comfort Pike in a crisis with her faith, where he doesn’t know how to help her, but hates seeing his little friend sad. And then there’s Percy; Percy is every loner in a D&D party. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing. I’ve played loners before, and seeing Percy brooding and keep secrets has me watching to see how he gets cozier with Vox Machina. Plus, he and Vex have a cute and snarky banter.
The Briarwoods have made their merciless introduction by the second episode. And every episode they appeared in since has shown that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Both are voiced with a chilling performance from Matt Mercer and Grey Griffin. There’s a scene where the Briarwoods welcome “winners” that are ultimately hung as a warning to Vox Machina, and Delilah gives a little girl a medallion before they’re killed. Griffin’s delivery harkens back to her performance as Azula in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” The Briarwoods give a clear message: We’re creepy, we’re ruthless, and that will make it so much more satisfying when Vox Machina kicks our ass.
If the last three episodes felt like watching a D&D campaign with combat and solving puzzles, these capture the group dynamics that can make or break a game. And the villain performances really draw you in, and get you invested in what will happen in the coming episodes. This show never ceases to entertain me, while immersing me into the world Matt Mercer created.