Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Musings: The Guild S4E10 Festival of the Sea

I'm really getting a kick out of The Guild, which has all the best of entertainment plus a me-and-my-friends-got-together-and-made-this-thing-hope-you-like-it kind of vibe.  To watch from the beginning, (which I recommend-an ep is 5-8 minutes, a season about 45) look here.  Alternatively, Netflix has the seasons all together as one long ep each.

It seems that local purveyors of the bizarre Archie McPhee provided the pirate gear from the episode, so I'm glad to see some Seattle love.  I've been known to patronize their shop, mostly for gifts like the bacon wallet for my twerpy brothers.

Now that you're up to speed, one of the things I like about it is that the stories hold together well.  Clara's obsession with the Festival of the Sea proves to spark her big idea from E9. Codex is running around half a step behind, as usual, and this ep is the one to set up the major conflict and resolution for the season.  (This is number 10 of 12.)  It's amazing how many storylines get attention during such a brief run time-in fact, I've noticed that the actors speak really fast just to get it all in.

Except for Fawkes.  He takes his sweet time, because he lives by the rules, and it just so happens he makes the rules.  He finds himself asking Codex out again because she becomes interesting to him. (He even uses her own brownie quote on her-nice.)  Janette happens by, and the big reveal is that Fawkes has sampled from that buffet item as well.  His mistake is condescending to her, leading up to one of the funniest sound effects I've heard in a while-the huwhuh! he gives as she chucks him over the railing.  (BTW, the editor, Matthew Smith, said to me on Twitter that he thought there were more sound effects in this episode than in the whole rest of the season!) So Fawkes is brought low by hubris.  Or hybris, in the ancient Greek sense of the term, because that definition implies mortal-to-mortal violence.  And the sound effects clearly indicate that he gets pwned.  "Mixed Martial Arts!"

The other character struggling with hubris is Vork.  He has become the Godfather of the game, receiving penitents and refusing to show any leniency in his commodities market/loansharking scheme.  He's done it only with Avinashi/Mrs. Zaboo's help, but she repulses him.  Yet another sound FX used to great effect is the eeky-eeky as she cleans his face for him.  He decides to make her run away with the most extravagant gesture he can think of, but she agrees to marry him.  Pride goeth before a fall, and there's no way even the idea of that union can end in anything but disaster.

What about the fair ladies?  Tink and Clara certainly have overreached their expertise with the Pregamer idea, but they haven't really harmed anyone.  Well, except for Clara's kids who now have no college fund, but hey, they're young.  Plus, the t-shirt order was an honest mistake.  A hilariously dim one, but a bona fide mistake nonetheless.  Cosmically, I think they're safe.

Just as Icarus flew too close to the sun, Achilles desecrated Hector's defeated corpse, and Dr. Frankenstein played creator, our Fawkes and Vork are in trouble with a capital T.

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