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Recap / Disenchantment - S2 E4: "The Lonely Heart is a Hunter"

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It's a woman and a bear!

"A witch, a lizard and now a bear. Dad, are you building an ark?"
Bean, about Zog's choices of women.
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Heartbroken after his divorce of Oona and Dagmar's betrayal, Zog falls in love with a woman he meets on the Enchanted forest. Bean has dreams of her mother. Luci decides to date Elfo's ex.


Bean begins to have dreams about her mother, who prompts her to look at the music box she has on top of the mantle (and then has to explain what's the mantle and how she got it). Telling her father about it, Zog reveals that, between Dagmer's betrayal and his recent divorce from Oona, he has lost the will to marry again. Odval tries to trick the king into a party to which he has invited all the noble unmarried women in Dreamland, but he decides to go out to hunt.

Elfo takes Bean and Luci out to the new Elf quarter in Dreamland, where all the elves now live. After an encounter with three trickster elves, the group finds Kissy, Elfo's old girlfriend. Hearing that she likes bad boys, Luci chats her up and asks her on a date, much to Elfo's chagrin.

Zog enters the Enchanted Forest, where an attempt to hunt a deer is unsuccessful as he loses his crown. Continuing to go in, he finds a bear fishing in a river, only for the bear to shed its skin and transform into a woman. Zog accidentally hits the fish with a crossbow bolt and the bear-woman finds him: the two begin to fight, but they suddenly fall in love. The bear-woman introduces herself as Ursula, a forest selkie, and Zog invites her to the castle.

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After another dream about her mother, Bean goes to talk with Zog to mention them, but Zog reveals he is in love with Ursula and tosses Dagmer's portrait into the chimney. As Zog leaves, Bean realizes there is something written in Maruvian right where the portrait was, and realizes there is something hidden.

That night, during the banquet, Ursula attracts (negative) attention with her non-existant manners, but the King does not seem to care, being besotted with Ursula. Bean talks with Ursula, who teaches her about scratching her back against a column. Doing it later, she ends up finding a covered up Maruvian sigil (like the one that was hidden behind her mother's portrait) and starts to follow the arrows. Elfo finds Luci and Kissy hanging out, and later cuts in their dance to get Luci away and warn him that Kissy is really not interested in him.

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The following day, after a night of vigorous sex, Zog notices that Ursula is pining for the forest, and she mentions that, without her bear skin, she can't transform back into one: in order to try to keep her in the palace, Zog decides to hide the skin, and Bean catches him on the act. Bean calls her father out on it, but he replies that Ursula's the first woman he actually feels something big for in years, and he's doing it because it's the only way to make sure she stays.

In town, Luci shows Elfo a set of throwing stars he's bought for Kissy, but then she interrupts them and tells both that she's never been into Luci - she actually only loves herself. Luci dejectedly admits Elfo was right, and Elfo hugs him.

Zog checks on Ursula and realizes she is not happy, being unable to adapt to life as a human in a castle, so he decides to give up and return the bear skin to her. Ursula leaves, and Zog decides that at least she can be happy, so there's that.

Bean's continued perusal of the sigils leads her to a small hidden door that goes into a passageway: while she's inside, her torch blows off and she begins to hear the music from her music box, causing her to run away, and break and throw away her music box.

The following morning, the music box is back together and in her room.


Tropes:

  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear if Dagmar is literally haunting Bean's dreams, or Bean's subconscious is projecting Dagmar's likeness as she comes into her own power and/or the symbols (and possible music box?) around the castle mess with her head. Possibly both?
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Ursula is very tall, curvy, and big-boned, as befitting a bear woman.
  • Birds of a Feather: Zog falls for Ursula because, like him, she is brash, simple and enjoys violence, something he could never share with his other wives.
  • The Cat Came Back: The episode ends with Bean breaking the music box and throwing it out the window, only to find it in one piece and back in her room the following morning.
  • Central Theme: Love. That is, selfless love verses selfish possession. Zog is so happy with Ursula that he hides her bear skin to keep her from leaving him, but in the end he lets her go for her own happiness. This in contrast with Dagmar, who continues to haunt Bean so she can use her for her own selfish (and mysterious) reasons.
  • Downer Ending: Arguably. Zog returns Ursula's bear skin so she can return to the forest, leaving him hearbroken and miserable. Bean is still haunted by Dagmar and the creepy music box she gave her as a baby, which keeps returning to play at her bedside no matter how many times Bean throws it away.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: Of the Animal Bride story. Right down to a man hiding a selkie's skin to keep her from leaving. Although Zog does eventually relent and return the skin.
  • Has a Type: As Bean points out, Zog has been with a witch, an amphibian, and a bear woman. Though downplayed as he didn't know Dagmar was a witch, and Oona was a Marriage of Convenience.
  • Hell Is That Noise: A music box - gifted by her mother - that seemingly plays by itself late at night causes Bean to get rid of it since at the time she found out her mother was using the whole kingdom for her own ends. She ends up destroying it. To her horror, soon the music box returns to her room in pristine condition, leaving her utterly confused as to how it came back.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Initially, Zog hid Ursula's bear skin because he wanted to keep her in Dreamland, but when he realizes she is unhappy, he returns the skin and lets her return to the Enchanted Forest as a bear.
  • Love at First Punch: Zog falls for Ursula the moment she beats the crap out of him as a bear. See episode image.
  • Love Triangle: Elfo and Luci fight for Kissy's affection during the episode, untill she ditches them both at the end.
  • Shout Out: When Bean has a dream of Dagmar, she asks her to help, because she is her only hope, mimicking Princess Leia's speech in Star Wars: A New Hope.
  • Sigil Spam: The Maruvian symbol with a big eye turns out to be very much present in almost everything slightly Maruvian, including Bean's music box and behind Dagmar's portrait. Those spread around the castle turn out to guide her somewhere.
  • When She Smiles: A rare male example; the people of Dreamland are so unfamiliar with seeing their king happy, they think something is wrong with Zog's face when he smiles.
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