The Quest Review: The Will Of The Gods

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MARCELLO DE NARDO, PETER WINDHOFER

Her Majesty makes an appearance, a Sunspear is missing, Verlox is coming and one Paladin will Meet The Fate yet again in Episode 1×02 ‘Tournament for the Queen’

The second episode of  The Quest just wrapped, and my mind is still reeling. The plot took a dramatic turn, sure, but the true hero of this episode? The Paladins’collective knack for comedy gold. It’s here, two episodes in, that the true heroes begin to emerge from the rest of the rabble —and it isn’t necessarily a clean break. Thank goodness.

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 ADRIA KYNE

Feminism, Awaken!

The sun is up, and Sir Ansgar is at it again, waking the Paladins from their beauty sleep. This morning is a little different, however —we finally get to meet the mysterious queen of Saenctum! Queen Ralia (who looks suspiciously like an Everealm version of Pippa Middleton) lays down the law and sets the aptly-named Grand Vizier and Sir Ansgard straight, reminding them that the Paladins are to be treated like honored guests, not rudely awakened like common peasants. The Paladins owe you, Queen Ralia. You feminist icon, you. After a quick reminder from a dying messenger that Verlox is indeed coming, and that sleeping arrangements are hardly anyone’s biggest worry, the Paladins march to their next challenge.

PATRICK HIGGINS, JASMINE KYLE, LETICIA REYES, ANDREW FRAZER, LINA CAROLLO, ASHLEY GUERRERO

Daddy Issues

Everyone’s favorite medieval mount —horses! The Paladins learn to ride, and Leticia loses her piece of the Sunspear. As a reminder, this Sunspear is the only weapon capable of defeating Verlox and saving Everealm. Slick move, Leticia.

But breathe easy, because the Sunspear piece is found almost immediately by none other than the sticky-fingered Sir Ansgar, who almost certainly pickpocketed Leticia when she was distracted by the horse. Always looking for a reason to go off, Sir Ansgar. I’m onto you.

As it turns out, this episode’s challenge involves jousting in front of the Queen. As she flutters her paper fan and looks flirtatious, we’re treated to some of the best minutes of television this summer. Shondo does predictably well, and Jasmine surprises everyone by scoring highly and telling Sir Ansgar that she learned to ride a horse and crack skulls via her imagination. Bonnie gets caught on the tamest version of a runaway horse I’ve seen and has a weird daddy moment with Sir Ansgar that leaves me embarrassed to watch. The real humor comes from Leticia, who forgets she’s riding a horse and not a snail, Lina, who insists that her ambidexterity is to blame for her throwing the javelin backwards, and Adria, who cries “for Everealm!” and totally whiffs the skull. She labels it an epic fail, and I’m inclined to disagree. This was a win for the viewers, Adria. Thank you.

Bottom line is that our three lowest-scoring Paladins are Ashley, Christian the Cocky Greaseball (who ends up the butt of a pretty medieval burn from the Grand Vizier), and Jim. Keep your eyes on the Verlox-battling prize, Paladins, because it’s banishment time.

The Quest Meet Your Fate Ashley

Meet Your Fate

Ashley’s at an advantage here, as the Fates reveal a blacksmith-inspired challenge in which the three bottom Paladins have to nail horseshoes to a ring. Her experience in working with horses gets her off on the right foot, but ultimately Jim’s hard work and determination brings him out on top. Ashley and Christian go up for a vote, and the Paladins argue over Ashley’s kindness and Christian’s potential as a hero. I’ve got my fingers crossed for his well-deserved demise, but once again Christian is saved and Ashley becomes the second Paladin banished from Everealm.

Survivor-stereotype Andrew warns Christian that he won’t survive a third meeting with the Fates, and the Paladins return to Saenctum to celebrate Christian’s second chance with a late-night feast.

JASMINE KYLE, LINA CAROLLO, PATRICK HIGGINS

O true apothecary!

The Paladins have a surprise dinner guest —the Queen! She gives a speech about her elder brother’s early death and wonders aloud at whether his rule would have prevented Verlox’s rise to power. The feasting commences, and in a twist many viewers surely predicted from their armchairs —myself included —the Queen is immediately poisoned. Everyone is nice and no one points fingers at the shifty Grand Vizier —but really, when has a Grand Vizier been anything but evil? —but have no doubt that ol’Jafar will get his soon enough. The Queen falls into Sir Ansgar’s arms, and we leave this episode with the unsavory realization that only the hottest die young.

Or do they? We’ll have to tune in to next week’s episode of The Quest to learn the answers to our most burning questions —does the Queen survive? Will Christian finally be eliminated? Will Shondo continue to be the most entertaining person on the show? If last week’s pilot was for building character and plot outlines, this episode was pure dramatic (and comedic) indulgence.

The Quest airs Thursday Knight at 8|7c on ABC