The Whispers of Nockmaar
Episode 4 of Willow starts with our motley group arriving at Nockmaar. Willow warns that thy need to keep their wits about them, given it plays host to the most brutal tyrant of her age, Bavmorda. Apparently this is Kit’s grandmother, which could go some way to explain why she’s so evil and despicable in this series.
The group hide out at this cursed castle, with Graydon becoming weaker by the minute. Willow warns that in the small hours of the night he’s going to lose control, while Kit suggests they do “what must be done.” In her words, killing him. Elora pleads with Willow to do something to prevent this. Well, he may have just the solution – the Malatrium. This happens to be a special book and as they look over it, they just so happen to uncover a spell that’s dangerous and could be just the alchemic solution needed. However, they need to be careful not to touch Graydon or get infected. Oh, and to stay out of the High Tower too.
Kit complains the whole time – about fetching the ingredients, about doing something for others, and potentially killing Graydon. When Kit eventually walks back down, with a jar in hand, she ends up distracted by The Crone’s voice, which echoes through her head. She ends up burning a banner up on the wall but eventually makes it back into the main chamber with what’s needed.
Jade’s also complaining too this episode, standing with Boorman up on the castle rafters. She bemoans how difficult it is being a knight and how her dream isn’t exactly how she expected it to be. Boorman gives some solid advice, and in fact it prompts Jade to hug him.
After, all our characters end up separated inside the castle, with Jade seeing frightening visions of her own, along with a skull-faced knight – General Kael – coming at her. Elora also sees visions, seeing ghostly apparitions depicting her mother being killed by a knight.
When she heads back into the main chamber, he finds a sickly Graydon up and about, claiming that he’s never been stronger but he’s still possessed. Willow shows and berates her for heading into the High Tower. However, a possessed Graydon points out that Willow didn’t defeat him alone, and as Kit and the others burst into the room, Boorman begins hitting Graydon after Willow blasts him with magic.
Instead of killing him though, Elora decides to suck the evil out of Graydon, lying above the Prince and taking the evil energy out of him. It passes through Elora and seems to float away. However, she also sees a vision of Graydon becoming possessed and pushing his brother out of a tree.
With the gang surviving the night and Graydon back on the mend, the group head off and continue on their journey to the Immemorial City. Kit wonders whether they’ll even make it… but it turns out they’re not alone. The Crone’s minions happen to be watching from the cliff face and are given instructions to hunt them down.
As the episode closes out, we cut across to Airk, who’s very much alive. He heads out into a courtyard, with flakes of ash floating lazily in the wind, looking out at the desolate world before him.
The Episode Review
A sub quest in the middle of the season sees our group in a haunted castle, with ghosts of the past swirling around the different players. While interesting in theory, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Kit and Jade just complain almost the entire time and in fact, Kit’s go-to solution is to just outright kill Graydon rather than trying to help him.
The show also struggles from a mish-mash of linguistic issues too. There’s a desire to try and throw modern language and colloquialisms in this, which completely contrasts some of the other characters, who are at least trying to adopt a more authentic fantasy idea closer to the first movie. As a result, we get a real hodgepodge of influences that lean closer to something more akin to a CW production.
Willow really isn’t improving as the weeks go on and this is yet another unfortunate fail on Disney+. Hopefully the weeks ahead can improve this one.