Episode 13: The Man who Would Not be King
Right off-the-bat this is not my favorite episode even though the Frollo shenanigans are high. The episode starts with showing how great Quasimodo is, this time he is master cartographer/artist. He is tasked with accompanying the King on an annual tour. Also I think Quasimodo and Esmeralda think the expansion of France’s boarders further west is a good thing but they may just not know about colonialism plus it’s a kids’ show, just weird bit of dialogue.
While that is happening Frollo lucks into a shapeshifting potion thanks to Azarof. It can change the person who drink it into whomever they are looking at though the effects are short. So using very dumb henchmen, Frollo takes the King’s place and shenanigans ensue. PLUS Paris is under threat from the Duke of Burgundy since the King is away (which seems often in this show.) Frollo is willing to bow down to the Duke thus ruining Louis’s reputation but not before he gets Esmeralda to dance for him. This is the first time Frollo has taken any interest in Esmeralda which is in keeping with the character in other versions but out of character for this version of Frollo.
Then there is the climax of the episode where it’s known to everyone that Frollo is impersonating the King, which Quasimodo learns from the very dumb henchmen and Esmeralda sees first hand. The action is cut back and through between Quasimodo fighting Frollo, who has taken Quasimodo’s form and François’ incompetences at riding a horse to save the King. It’s is very jarring tonal since François’ incompetences is played for laughs and the sword fight is not. This type of humor of might be better suited to kids but that might be selling kids short.
Anyway Frollo gets away again and the Duke is handle off screen.
This episode felt disjointed, like it couldn’t decided what it wanted to do so did all the ideas. Also I’m just getting a little tried of show constant usage of François as the butt of jokes. Can he just be good at one thing maybe? I don’t think the show will do that though but Quasimodo is good at all things so I guess it evens out.
Episode 14: Hope Springs Eternal
So I was wrong! Turns out François is actually good at something. More on that further down.
The episode starts with Quasimodo mistaking his family crest at the market which prompts him to want to visit his family’s home, the one that is ruins. To get there they get a boat from François and Esmeralda’s uncle and it’s a dank rinky row-boat but it doesn’t sink so it’s get the job done. On route they pass some bullies who work for a wicked baron.
The gang of pals make to the chateau and find Quasimodo’s parent’s lab which is teeming with their awesome work. They also learn more about how awesome they were and that Frollo was their former assistant who they dismissed a week before the place burn down, dun dun dun! I wonder if that will come up again later…???
The gang of pals then gets caught in some farmers’ drama. They spring dried up so they have stealing water from mean-old baron who the Kings’ advisor don’t trust. One of the farmer need’s Quasimodo’s parents help to find a new spring because they helped her parents when she was baby and now she needs their divining device again and also her brother is locked up by the baron. Esmeralda and Quasimodo find the device so while Esmeralda uses it, Quasimodo and François break out the brother.
Now here, my good people is where François does something successfully. He can pick locks and he does so without hitting his head or falling down. Guy can’t even hold melon without incident but a prison break no problem.
In end the Baron turns out to be very reasonable. He didn’t know the his underlings had locked the farmer in granary but the two were stealing water from his estate. He does lets it go and the Esmeralda finds water for the poor young farmer siblings. Quasimodo then decides to continue on his awesome parents’ awesome work and also to form his own opinions without being swayed by other’s, that is a good lesson, a bit tacked on but it sort fit in the theme of the episode.
This episode is more or less alright. It was less annoying than the previous episode though Frollo acting immature as the King was mildly entertaining. There was some dumb stuff with François on a run-away horse machine and screaming around the lab for help and Quasimodo and Esmeralda ignoring him then chastising him for not asking for help. That is their go-to humor approach, I’m just glad François got to be useful without the humor getting in the way. A low bar to be sure but I will take it.