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Recap / Disenchantment - S2 E8: "In Her Own Write"

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While Zøg avoids facing the feelings caused by Dagmar's betrayal, Bean tries to cheer herself up by writing, but she has problems when it comes to sharing her work.


Bean awakens after another nightmare about her mother and leaves the castle for a walk. On the way, she finds a pub called "The Jittery", where she finds people who are into modern music, stand-up comedy and coffee. Bean ends up pouring her feelings to Mia, one of the waitresses (who also works in the castle), and the waitress suggests Bean to start writing to express herself.

Armed with parchment and quill, Bean begins to write. Elfo earns her displeasure by criticizing her work, but Luci manages to stay by becoming her writer's demon, at times needling her and at times trying to tempt her into procrastinating. Bean tries to ask her father about his relationship with Dagmar, but Zøg is unwilling to remember those times after his first wife's betrayal (even destroying the tulip gardens) and ignores her requests. Bean continues writing, but is unable to put down something that she likes, until Luci suggests her to make it into a play about her parents.

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After Bean finishes the play, Bunty suggests her to make it into a show for the theater. However, when Bean goes to Dreamland's theater, she finds out that women are forbidden from working at the theater. When she leaves the script, Prince Merkimer takes it and gets it admitted as his own work so she can at least have it performed, though he also sets himself up as the lead actor.

During the rehearsals, one of the actors dies, while Odval discovers the play and shows the sign to the Arch Druidess, both of them deciding they must act before the play is shown to avoid sullying the King's image. Zøg decides to attend the theater for a function that night.

While people enter the theater, Bean stays in The Jittery, frustrated at her work being screwed by somebody else. Mia decides to give her something else to do by having her participate in Amateur Night: Bean is not keen, but Luci and the customers goad her into doing it. Bean ad-libs a monologue about what she dislikes about Dreamland: among several things is the fact that her work is being played in the theater but she cannot act it.

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Meanwhile, the play begins, and Zøg is not amused to see Merkimer is playing him. Merkimer is received with booing by the public, and he counters it with a loud grunt that makes everyone shut up. Elfo, who has taken up the role of Queen Dagmar, appears on the stage but a mistake ruins the scene, and Zøg leaves furious. However, as he leaves, he hears Bean's monologue, which leads into her mentioning how Oona was much better than she thought, but that in the end the best mothering she got was from her father: Zøg, who has come in to listen, tells Bean that he's glad to have heard her, and orders his men to halt the execution of the play troupe - too late to save the life of the director, but before Elfo and Merkimer die.


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Tropes:

  • Acquitted Too Late: Zøg decides to not have the theatre troupe excecuted- after the director has been beheaded.
    Stan: Oh well, no harm done.
  • Actor Allusion: Like the "bite my shiny metal axe" moment earlier in the season, Zøg gets to quote another one of Bender's favorite phrases when the play starts: "lets gooo already!"
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the actor playing Queen Dagmar dies, one would expect Bean to try and sneak in to take up that role. In the end, it's Elfo who becomes Queen Dagmar.
  • Breather Episode: A relatively low-stakes episode (especially in comparison to the next two episodes) that is mostly about how Bean and Zøg feel currently about their lives.
  • Destination Defenestration: Bean tosses prince Merkimer out the window when she finds out he altered her play. Elfo fears Bean will do the same thing to him when he suggests to be her spy inside the theater, but instead it's Luci who ends up going out the window.
  • Foreshadowing: It was this episode that revealed the notion that the kingdom's secret society, run by Odval and the Druidess, actually control the kingdom's fate instead of Zøg. They're the ones that allow certain ideas and activities to flourish and others suppressed, supposedly for the good of the King but really for their own benefit.
  • Gass Hole: The mime player, who farts every time Bean sees him.
  • The Insomniac: Bean becomes one due to her nightmares. Zøg also claims to suffer from it, to the point that even turkey can't get him to sleep, but this is soon proven false.
  • No Mouth: Bean during her nightmare at the start of the episode.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Merkimer genuinely intended to help Bean get her play performed... but he does so by rewriting it to make Zøg the main character and by taking credit for it himself (since a play produced by a woman would never be aired), which from Bean's perspective defeats the point. He gives her all the money it made, but that was never what she was after to begin with.
  • Off with His Head!: Elfo and Merkimer face this fate when Zøg declares the play an act of treason. He changes his mind in time for them to be spared. The other guy sentenced to death along with them wasn't so lucky though.
  • Pet the Dog: While Merkimer certainly used Bean's play to his own advantage, his main motivation was to have her work performed after the theater rejected her because she's a woman. He even gave her the entire advance (not that it didn't end with him tossed out a window anyway).
  • Pillow Pregnancy: A variant, with a pumpkin, which Elfo-as-Queen-Dagmer carries to represent "her" pregnancy with Bean.
  • Produce Pelting: Discussed by Prince Merkimer, who reveals he got pelted with bricks and tomatoes when he performed theater during his university years. He believes it was a sign of appreciation by his fans.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Since they know Zøg will be enraged when he hears about the play, Odval and the Druidess send a messenger instead of delivering the news themselves. As they expected, Zøg kills the messenger.
  • Take That!: To Executive Meddling. Bean complains she has to be the only writer in the world who has to watch helplessly while idiots destroy all her hard work.
  • Truth in Television: Women really were barred from the theater during Middle Ages and Renaissance Europe the setting is mostly based on, and it wasn't until later that this began to change.note 
  • Unperson: Zøg tries to do this to Dagmar during this episode.
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