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Recap / Disenchantment - S1 E3: "The Princess of Darkness"

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"Oh, my sweet biba, remember when you used to sit me on your lap and tell me stories? Well, I'm in a gang now."

"The sheer defiance of reasoning and decorum leads me to believe that Tiabeanie is now what they call a teenager."
Odval
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Bean, Elfo and Luci are on a night out, when they find an unattended carriage. Luci dares Bean to steal it, and she does, taking the others on a joyride, but the police (riding donkeys) begin to persecute them. To avert a blockade, Bean leads the carriage towards a broken bridge and attempt to jump over the river: the horses make it, but the carriage doesn't, leaving the trio stranded - and the woman in the carriage to drown.

Arriving to the castle, they find the drawbridge risen, but Bean easily swims across the river, while Luci just perches on Bean and Elfo gets swept up towards the waterfall, falling into the sea. Bean rescues him, and while they celebrate their night out, Elfo sees a lemon Bean's father got during a crusade. Bean needs little prompting from Luci before breaking the box it is in and eating it - much to King Zøg's dismay, who complains that his daughter has been out of control ever since her mother's death.

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Bean sleeps too little before the sun wakes her up, and she decides to perk herself up with something - such as her stepmother's snakeroot, which she steals while Oona's distracted.

Cloyd and the Enchantress comment on how Luci's corrupting Bean, when their servant Jerry interrupts.

The trio eats the snakeroot, and they begin to act out while under the influence: when the effects drop, Bean is caught by a bunch of thieves that want her to join in their potato heist, but Bean tells them she knows of far more valuable treasures - such as those under Queen Dagmar's statue, which hides the royal tombs. Bean takes all of her dead relatives' jewels, but when it's time to leave, the thieves betray her, taking the jewels and leaving her in the tomb.

The next morning, Bean is brought before her father, who has to confront the fact that her daughter has committed several crimes, and he sends her to her room - where she tells Luci to stop harassing her - while the King and his council consider what to do. Sorcerio suggests that Bean may be possessed by a demon - incidentally shocking Cloyd and the Enchantress - so they need to perform an exorcism. However, Sorcerio's attempts to deal with it "scientifically" (with smoke, a lodestone and jiggling) fail - mostly because the demon is outside - so he suggests religious magic: Prime Minister Odval brings in the world's foremost exorcist, Big Jo.

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Big Jo comes, and the Enchantress has Luci possess Bean to protect himself, but Big Jo sets Bean's bed on fire, forcing Luci to get out to put it out, and Big Jo captures Luci. While Bean and Elfo enjoy it at first, but soon they realize they will miss him, and they set out after Big Jo, who is taking Lucy and all the other demons he has captured to a volcano. After a short interlude with the thieves - who have become highwaypeople - Bean and Elfo reach the volcano and save Luci in the nick of time. Big Jo captures Elfo and offers a hostage exchange, but Bean cuts off Big Jo's arm and Elfo pushes him into the volcano, killing him. While Bean and Elfo free Luci, Big Jo's cart falls down a cliff, freeing all the demons he had captured.


Tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The local police ride in donkey-driven carriages that act like modern police cars; they even have flashing blue-and-red lights (lit by a candle flame in a lantern), and siren noises (provided by the donkeys' braying).
    • One of the targets of Bean's theft is the "VII-XI" (7-Eleven) store.
    • Potatoes weren't introduced to Europe until the late 16th century, though it was reserved for royalty (as part of a Forbidden Fruit gambit to encourage malnourished peasants to eat them).
  • Angrish: Zog is too angry to do this, and therefore has The Herald do it for him.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Bean says that she's not allowed to have curtains in her bedroom because she once used them to escape.
  • Brick Joke: During their drug-fuelled escapades, Bean bets on Elfo fighting a chicken. Later on, the chicken is a character witness when Bean's caught by the cops, still sporting a black eye.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Played with. Sorcerio (randomly) guesses that Bean's criminal misbehavior is the result of demonic influence. While Luci really is telling Bean to do bad things, he's not directly controlling her, nor forcing her to do anything against her will. But when Zog and Odval decide to hire an exorcist to purge the demon from Bean, the Enchantress casts a spell that forces Luci to hide inside Bean's body as a last-ditch effort to prevent Luci from being discovered and exorcised. But this doesn't fool the exorcist (Big Jo), who performs rituals to remove Luci from Bean's body.
    • Another demon named Stacianne LeBlatt mentions a time when she possessed a Duchess... who just suddenly dropped dead, leaving her without a host body to live in.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Zog is horrified that Bean ransacked the royal tomb (even stealing from his deceased mother, Bean's own grandmother).
    • Luci willingly leaves Bean's body to save her life when Big Jo tries to burn her alive to capture Luci. Luci even complains about how he's being forced to be the good guy in this situation.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: After Big Jo traps Luci in a bottle, Luci demands to see his lawyer. Then it turns out that Luci's lawyer, a fellow demon, has already been captured by Big Jo as well. The demonic lawyer simply advises him to not say anything.
  • Exorcist Head: Luci twists around Bean's head by 360° several times while possessing her, because it's something that he always wanted to do.
    Luci: So cool! I didn't even know the human body could do this!
    Bean: (groaning) It can't...
  • Fantastic Drug: Queen Oona consumes a drug called "snakeroot", which causes her to, well, act crazy and scream like a maniac for several minutes. Bean, Elfo, and Luci steal some of the snakeroot for their own use; while they're high, Bean describes a long daydream where the three of them form a music band.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Zog mutteringly calls Oona "Reptilicus", while he was unfavorably comparing her to his previous wife Dagmar, whom he actually loved and cared about. Oona overhears him and needless to say, she's offended by being called a "reptile".
    • The exorcist Big Jo really hates demons, and destroys every one of them that he captures. Though it's very understandable, considering that they're an entire race of Always Chaotic Evil bastards after all.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Great Lemon Crusades, where entire countries were "decimated", history rewritten and maps redrawn. Dreamland's only significant gain was a single lemon, which Zog occasionally stares at.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: After Bean cuts off the arm Big Jo was holding Elfo with, Elfo uses it to smack Big Jo into the volcano.
  • The Highwayman: The trio of criminals Bean helped with ransacking the royal tomb later show up again, having turned to this kind of crime. However, they insist on calling themselves highway-people since their leader is a woman and they want to remain gender-neutral.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: Zog and Odval hire an exorcist named Big Jo to get rid of the mysterious demon that's corrupting Bean. Things get more complicated when Luci actually possesses Bean for real.
  • Hot Pursuit: The episode begins with Bean, Elfo, and Luci stealing a horse-drawn carriage belonging to Lady Lingonberry and taking it for a joyride, causing them to be chased by local police officers across the city streets and into the forest. It ends with them jumping the carriage over a river, with the trio landing on the ground while Lingonberry (who was inside the carriage the whole time) sinks into the water and seemingly drowns (but don't worry about her, she somehow survived offscreen).
  • Kill It with Fire: Oddly zig-zagged, as Big Jo is fond of using high temperatures as a weapon against demons;
    • First when he's exorcising Luci from Bean, Jo sets Bean's bed on fire. Luci points out that fire can't hurt demons, but Jo tells him that he's intentionally risking having Bean burn to death just so that Luci will be deprived of his human vessel. This forces Luci to exit her body and willingly surrender himself just to save his friend.
    • Later, Big Jo is shown traveling to a volcano to finally destroy Luci and every other demon he's captured. He throws a few unlucky demons into the lava, which actually seems to kill them (or at least send them back to Hell, assuming that it's a gateway to a literal underworld).
  • Mexican Standoff: Briefly, between Big Jo (holding Elfo hostage over the volcano), and Bean (holding Luci and a big sword); Big Jo is threatening to drop Elfo if Bean doesn't return Luci to him. It gets resolved when Bean throws the sword at Jo, cutting off his arm and allowing Elfo to kick him into the volcano.
  • Motor Mouth: While Big Jo is traveling to the volcano, one of the demons he captured, Stacianne LeBlatt (who's also Luci's ex-girlfriend), talks and whines about her personal life to the other demons, much to their annoyance.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Earlier on, the royal tomb theft. Bean at least makes up for her crime by beating up the thieves and taking back her grandmother's necklace.
    • Bean and Elfo accidentally destroy Big Jo's wagon, thus releasing all the other surviving demons that he captured. Not all of whom are as contained to one area of trouble as Luci.
  • Orphaned Etymology: When Luci mispronounced the name of a female demon (his ex-lover Stacianne LeBlatt), she corrects him and points out that it's French. Even though this show is set in a fantasy world where France (or any other real country) isn't even confirmed to exist.
  • Poke the Poodle: The gang of thieves are gearing up for the crime of the century - stealing a bunch of potatoes. Fiendish.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: One of the thieves tries "correcting" Bean when she sees he's wearing her grandmother's necklace.
    Thief: Or grandfather.
    Bean: This isn't about gender!
  • Politically Correct Villain: The gang of thieves whom Bean joins up with take great pride in their gender equality. After trapping Bean in the crypt, their female leader assures her that she'd have done the same thing to a man — and then proves as much by pushing Luci and Elfo into the crypt as well.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Sorcerio is technically correct that a demon is making Bean act the way she does, but he thinks the demon is inside her, controlling her actions, and fails to realize the demon is actually Bean's "cat".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Big Jo captures Luci and numerous other demons by trapping them inside bottles, which he then throws into a volcano just to get rid of them permanently. Big Jo succeeds in killing Stacianne LeBlatt and Luci's lawyer, however he's stopped by Bean and Elfo before he could kill Luci himself. In the end, Bean and Elfo accidentally release all the other demons that were held in Big Jo's carriage, thus unleashing evil upon the world.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: To get out of the Mexican Standoff, Bean throws her sword, neatly chopping off the arm Big Jo is holding Elfo with and dropping Elfo safely onto the catwalk.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Despite knowing full well that he's a bad influence on her, Bean and Elfo miss Luci after Big Jo captures him, and don't want to see him destroyed. Hence why they rescue him from Big Jo.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Even with this show's tighter continuity than usual for Groening, the mass demon escape is completely forgotten for the rest of the season.
  • Your Mom: When Big Jo is dropping demons into the volcano, Stacianne LeBlatt tells him "I possessed your mother, and she liked it!" as her Famous Last Words.

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