AHHHHHHHHHHHH NOT ENOUGH H’S OR A’S IN THE WORLD
Seriously, you guys: Hannibal is my new crack. I can’t even. Seriously, I can’t even. I mean, tonight’s episode wasn’t even that gory and I still screamed out loud at least twice! And I just want someone to take Will to a real doctor! Don’t normal people seek out second opinions if they’re having periods of blackouts and that normal person knows he’s not an alcoholic? I mean — let’s say I was an alcoholic and I start losing time and waking up on planes without remembering how I got onto them, let alone buying the ticket. Knowing I had alcoholic tendencies, I might shrug and go, “Eh, whatever. Flight Attendress? How about finding some more Hurricanes for me?” But if I weren’t an alcoholic, but instead was an empathetic psychiatrist-type person who made a living investigating super-violent crimes for the FBI, and all of a sudden I started having blackouts and high fevers and the aforementioned waking up on strange planes, and I went to my psychiatrist named Dr. Hannibal Lecter, even if I didn’t know Hannibal was Dr. Hannibal Lecter and that my chicken soup was actually full of people, I’d STILL go see a second doctor, because NO ONE should take a diagnosis of “not fever, you crazy” without getting a second opinion.
IT’S ENCEPHALITIS, WILL. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, GO SEE A REAL DOCTOR WHO DOESN’T HAVE THE HANNIBAL LECTER SEAL OF APPROVAL.
So now that that’s nowhere near out of my system, let’s see what The Court Jester‘s been up to in the past week.
When we last left our intrepid heroes, Hawkins had snuck into the King’s Court by being Giacomo (or Jackamole; I haven’t quite decided whether I want to kill that joke yet), the King of Jesters and Jester of Kings. He is looking for the key to the secret passage that will allow the Black Fox and his team of Merry Men to sneak into the castle and overthrow the King. Captain Jean has been proscribed wow, I kept using that word and it did not mean what I thought it meant. Captain Jean has been pretty much kidnapped and thrown into a new career, rife with endless possibilities: wenchdom. Finally, Princess Gwendolyn has fallen in immediate love with GiHawkimo, no thanks to Witch Griselda’s manipulations.
All caught up?
Captain Jean has not yet been given her first task as Wench, but here she is, sneaking into the King’s chamber. But he’s out doing, I don’t know; kingly things, and she’s just after the Magic Key. The King apparently needs to work on his hiding spaces, because Jean is able to find the key in a box on a table that is probably marked “SECRET PASSAGEWAY KEY INSIDE BOX.”
She sneaks back out and runs into GiHawkimo, who — did I mention that Griselda hypnotized him? Shit, I’m a bad narrator. Anyway, he’s hypnotized to find Gwendolyn and doesn’t recognize Jean. She gives him the key anyway, and just as she’s trying to tell him about the change in plan, the King shows up, and praises GiHawkimo on his prompt pimping. GiHawkimo pimps away and Jean is carted off to be gowned and jeweled so she can sit next to the King at the banquet. Honey, don’t struggle — I’m at the point in my life where if a guy wants to give me pretty dresses and jewelry just so I can literally sit pretty next to him while he eats? Job well done. Wenchin’ can be a good gig.
GiHawkimo finds a Tarzan vine and swings right into Princess Gwendolyn’s chamber. What is she, Rapunzel? Doesn’t she have a door?
There’s a lot of wordplay and kissing and wooing and wittiness and *yawn* NO DON’T YAWN ALAINA KEEP WATCHING OR SARAH WILL MAKE YOU WATCH HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN AGAIN Anyway, in the midst of all this wooing and whatnot, Gwendolyn finds out that GiHawkimo has the Magic Key. They agree to run away together at midnight, because remember, GiHawkimo is hypnotized and doesn’t know what he’s doing. INFORMED CONSENT, GIHAWKIMO!
And then the King shows up. GiHawkimo wants to fight, and Gwen’s trying to hide him, and when she says that if King-Dad finds them their lives won’t be worth *that,* she snaps, and GiHawkimo is once again Hawkins in a Jackamole costume. So he’s cowering behind the curtain while Gwen lies to her father. (Happy Father’s Day, everyone!)
And then there’s a lot of snapping while Dad and Daughter fight. GiHawkimo snaps between the persona and his real self in one of the oldest bits since vaudeville, but it’s done well and I’m really not complaining, honest. While Daddy is shaking his daughter out of love, the Magic Key falls from where she had hidden it in her bosom, and while it’s not exactly like finding a twenty in your bra the day after a rager (and then you think to yourself, ‘Yay I can buy hangover food!’), the King snatches it up as if it were really made of gold. He parts with a final snap (alluding to snapping his daughter’s lovely neck — Happy Father’s Day, everyone), ensuring that GiHawkimo is back to his hypnotized self.
Gwen and GiHawkimo agree to run off together after the banquet. She warns him, “Do be cautious, sweet Giacomo!” He replies, “Caution is for Poppinjays and Cockatoos!” AND THEN this MOTHERFUCKING BIRD CAWS, from a perch near the window. WAS THAT BIRD IN HERE THE WHOLE TIME?!
He Tarzan-Vines out of Gwen’s room and into … oh shit. (*goes back to previous entry because my mind is made of gin and tonic right now I’M NOT REALLY AN ALCOHOLIC SHUT UP IT WAS A POORLY-FORMED METAPHOR) Ravenhurst is telling his associate that if Jackamole says he’ll be here within the hour, he’ll be here [GiHawkimo Tarzan-Vines in through the window] … within the hour.
Anyway, Ravenhurst tells GiHawkimo to kill three attendees of the King or whatever. If he can’t do that, then he’s to kidnap Gwen and get her out of the castle before midnight. GiHawkimo asks if the attendees are married. “Yes.” “Send flowers to the widows. Got it?” Whoa. I, uh … that’s a good line.
Griselda releases GiHawkimo from his hypnotized trance, and when he awakes, he will remember nothing. But we’ll all have some fantastic shenanigans, I’m sure!
Cap’n Jean is being beautified, and when she hears the Magic Whistle she throws her ladies-in-waiting away from her so she can go talk to the Ostler. She tells the Ostler to take the baby to the Jester, and he’s trying to tell Jean that GiHawkimo was hypnotized, but she’s too busy and important to talk to a mere ostler. She runs back into the chamber to finish her toilette.
Cut to just before the banquet. GiHawkimo wakes up and he’s dazed and confused. He knows he was supposed to meet up with Ravenhurst but obviously can’t remember that he already did. When Cap’n Jean comes out with her ladies-in-waiting to meet the King, Hawkins is stunned by her beauty. He doesn’t catch the frantic eye-catching she tries to do with him when she sees that the King has somehow taken control of the Magic Key again. And he’s still stunned when the Ostler hands him the basket with the baby. Still stunned when Ravenhurst reminds him of the three he’s supposed to kill. And he barely recognizes Princess Gwen when she tells him to meet her at the North Gate at midnight.
They all go into the banquet hall, although Hawkins has to be pushed because he really just wants to run and hide at this moment. He’s still carrying the basket, and when the King asks what’s in it, he tries to cover it up with a song, but Hawkins, he’s not that great at improv-ing music, and finally he just has to put the baby down and commit to the act.
He sings an excellent song about being a jester, and just as Jean is able to hide the baby, GiHawkimo proposes a toast to the King. Griselda poisoned the three dudes Ravenhurst wanted dead, and unbeknownst to GiHawkimo, the toast causes the three dudes to keel over dead. As the King half-heartedly investigates, Griswold drives up in his Family Truckster and the King announces that he and Gwen will be married. Gwen, like the loud-mouthed result of suffrage that she is, announces that no, she loves GiHawkimo and will marry him instead. The King sends GiHawkimo to the stocks and Gwen to her room. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!
Ravenhurst’s lackey comes in and Ravenhurst is super proud of GiHawkimo. The Lackey bursts everyone’s bubble by telling him that that ain’t Giacomo, that guy’s some imposter. Ravenhurst wonders why a nobody would want to help him, and then he puts two and two together and totally gets about negative one, because he thinks that Hawkins is the Black Fox. Then he comes up with an equally master plan: get King Roderick to knight him so that Hawkins can fight Griswold in a tournament for Gwen’s hand in marriage. King Roderick thinks this is a splendid idea, except that it takes 3 years to knight someone. Not if they do it Lightning Round-style!
The guards all help him ace the tests. It’s like they’re physical manifestations of Cliff’s Notes. Like, the candidate must capture a wild boar with his bare hands. Enter: a teacup pig. The candidate passes!
Meanwhile, Cap’n Jean waltzes into the King’s Chamber. She manages to insinuate she’s looking for a little Afternoon Delight, and the King sends the pages away. While she’s brushing his hair (weird kink he has), she manages to swoop down and steal the Magic Key without him noticing. When she tries to escape, he tries to put the moves on her. She creates this amazing story of Breckenridge’s Scourge, a disease that killed her father, uncles, cousins, brothers and aunts. When asked who Breckenridge is, she replies: “My father.” Brilliant. The King runs away and she follows without touching. No touching!
Jean gives the Magic Key to the Ostler, who takes it to his carrier pigeon to give to the Black Fox. Meanwhile, the knights bring forth another knight who’s going through the ritual, and the King wants to speed things up a bit. Jean goes to find Hawkins and get him to run away to save his life. Valuing his life, he does run away — right into his own entourage, who bring him back to the banquet hall and speed-march him through the knighting ritual. Congrats, Sir GiHawkimo – ya done good.
True to form, Griswold challenges GiHawkimo to a tournament for Gwen’s hand. Jean helps Hawkins up because Griswold is a fucking brute, and tells him that she’ll get the Black Fox to come and fight in his stead. The Black Fox and his minions are trying to take care of the Secret Passage, but the whole thing’s caved in. There’s only a space big enough for a child to crawl through. Or maybe … maybe something small like a child … like … like a very athletic child? I’m not sure where the Fox is going with this …
Back at the lists, Cap’n Jean is comforting Hawkins, who is most certainly facing death. But Griselda swoops up like most witches do and reassures him that he’s not going to die, because she’s up to her ol’ poisoning tricks again. And this scene is apparently the one with the other tongue twister, about how the pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle, but the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true. In other words, don’t drink the poison, Hawkins!
As Hawkins is trying to remember the tongue twister that even I just got (and I’m drunk), a rogue bolt of lightning hits Hawkins’s armor. I was kidding about the Lightning Round!
Meanwhile, Griselda comes up to Hawkins to let him know that some asshat dropped the chalice from the palace, and now they’re using a flagon with a dragon on it. Except that she really changed the game, and now the pellet with the poison is in the flagon with the dragon, and the vessel with the pestle now has the brew that is true. Seriously? Why does the good cup breaking mean you have to switch vessels? Griselda, I don’t think you’re that great a witch.
Having an even worse time is our friend Hawkins, who in studying this new tongue twister, is kind of letting the secret spill all over the lists. Yeah, duh — Hawkins, don’t keep saying ‘poison’ out in public. People will catch on and listen and before you know it, you’re on the No Fly List. Or so I presume. Anyway, Griswold’s lackey lets him know about the plot, and while Griswold may appear to be a meathead, he can at least memorize tongue twisters quicker than our intrepid hero.
Oh PS, Hawkins’s suit of armor is now magnetized. This will end well, I’m sure.
And after ALL OF THAT, there is NO FUCKING TOAST.
(Hahaha as I re-read that sentence, it sounds like I’m pissed because they were not served grilled bread. And now I have to take a moment and watch a very important piece of my college years: Foamy’s List of Do’s and Don’ts. [Aw man, I was making toast. It’s all ruined now!]
Hawkins is lifted onto his horse, only to have the horse run out from under him. Once they finally get him mounted and the tournament begins, it almost appears that Hawkins gets beheaded by Griswold, but actually he turtles himself into the suit of armor. When Griswold’s mace sticks to Hawkins’s suit, Griswold gets pulled off his horse and to the ground, and everyone knows (?) that that means Hawkins wins. Instead of running Griswold through with his sword, Hawkins spares Griswold his life. Because he’s just a simple jester, after all; he ain’t never killed nobody.
As King Roderick is choking on his announcement of Hawkins’s and Gwen’s impending marriage, Ravenhurst slinks up and announces that Hawkins is actually the Black Fox. So off the entire party of royals goes to the banquet hall, only now it’s turning into The People’s Court, and I don’t think it’s going to end well.
HOLY SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THE MIDGETS! Black Fox, knowing the space constraints, has enlisted Hawkins’s band of midgets and is sneaking them through the Secret Passageway. Excellent! I can’t believe I forgot about Hermine’s Midgets!
Hawkins and Cap’n Jean are literally standing at trial. Ravenhurst brings out the baby in the basket (flagon in the dragon?), but as he’s proselytizing, Hawkins notices his loyal band of midgets has infiltrated the castle. A melee ensues, and — holy shit, that’s a lot of midgets. Like, were there always that many?
(PS, I know that ‘midgets’ isn’t the most politically correct term. However, since they’re billed as such in the credits, that’s what I’m calling them. Okay? Okay.)
(I would also like to take a moment and point out that Danny Kaye is all of a sudden hot, what with his white shirt that has no buttons. Like, remember John Smith in Disney’s Pocahontas after he’s captured by the Native Americans (YES I’LL BE PC ABOUT THAT SHUT UP) but before we all realized how batshit crazy Mel Gibson was in real life that it totally colors your perception of that movie for the rest of eternity? Or Daniel Craig after Le Chiffre almost kills him that time [AND I’LL NEVER WATCH THAT MOVIE THE SAME WAY AGAIN, THANKS, HANNIBAL]? Or Ian Somerhalder in any unbuttoned shirt? I think I have a thing for that. HEY MOM DON’T BOTHER READING THAT LAST PARAGRAPH OKAY?)
Griselda hypnotizes Hawkins into being the best swordsman so that he can kill Ravenhurst. Okay, I’ll go with it. Hey, Griselda, can you hypnotize me so I’m, I don’t know, less of a bitch around people so I’ll be liked? Thanks.
Meanwhile, I think Griselda needs to find a new trigger for the in-and-outs of hypnosis; a snap of the fingers appears to be too easy for that shit.
Wait, the midgets were just sitting around, waiting for something to happen? Guys, go fight people! Seriously?
Ravenhurst gets catapulted off the castle walls, Griswold is almost going to kill all of the Black Fox’s team, but then Cap’n Jean is flyed down with two midgets, holding the Royal Baby. Hawkins shows everyone the baby’s butt to see the Purple Pimpernel, and you guys, who did that baby turn into when he grew up? Does he know that his ass was shown to a lot of people? How much therapy do you think he got?
King Roderick rescinds his title, they put the baby on the throne, they reprise “Life Could Not Better Be,” but HOW THE FUCK DOES A BABY RULE ENGLAND?! Shouldn’t they have a regent or something until he can, y’know, fucking talk!?
All in all, I enjoyed the movie. I don’t really grade movies anymore, because they’re arbitrary and I’m arbitrary and no grade I give it would be good enough for some people. But let me leave you with this:
If The Court Jester is on TV, I’ll watch it. I may even sing along, once I know more of the words. I may switch channels a couple of times, but not out of spite. And given the choice of this or Hobo With a Shotgun … well, that’s a stupid choice, because I’d watch Pocahontas over Hobo With a Shotgun, and you guys, I had a sad crush on John Smith as a ten-year-old, and thirty-year-old Alaina can’t quite deal with the voice of her crush being a crazy-go-nuts asshole now.
Maybe I should start seeing a psychiatrist … hey Hannibal, are you accepting new patients?