Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dragons: Race to the Edge Review: 4x01 "Defenders of the Wing: Part 2"

Back when I first watched season one of Race to the Edge, I filmed a review. Then, I didn't do the same for seasons two and three. I basically explained why that was when I filmed a recent review for Parks and Recreation. Essentially, reviewing an entire season felt like trying to pack too much into one review and I didn't want to do it anymore, but at the same time, I felt like reviewing each episode might be too much.

Season four of Race to the Edge was recently released though, and I'm dying to talk about it. I still don't want to do one review for the whole season, so I'm going to review one episode at a time, though I am sure that I'll have more to say about certain episodes than others.

I'll also go ahead and say that these reviews will be different, in a way, than other reviews because I've already watched the entire season. (I mean, I had to. Spoilers were all over Tumblr, and I needed to see it for myself.) Because of that, I know everything that happens later in the season and am re-watching each episode to review it. I'm going to keep spoilers for following episodes out of my reviews (hopefully not screwing up by not realizing that I'm referencing something that happens later), but I may mention things every now and then that I don't think are major spoilers.

Now, on to actually discussing the first episode of season four.

One of the first thoughts I had while watching this episode was something along the lines of, "Wait. Queen Mala's voice is familiar... Is that Adelaide Kane? It is. It definitely is." I then paused the episode to Google it to see that I was, in fact, correct.

I hadn't realized it was her while watching the end of season three, but I have a good idea why I realized it now: For anyone who doesn't know, Adelaide Kane plays Mary on the TV show Reign. I watch Reign, but it had been on hiatus for nearly a year, during which time I watched the previous seasons of Race to the Edge. Reign came back on air a week or two before season four of Race to the Edge was released, so her voice was more immediately recognizable to me.

I have to admit that it became a bit distracting to me each time Queen Mala appeared this season because I kept thinking about how it was the exact same voice as Mary. It doesn't help that both characters are queens and therefore speak in a very similar formal and authoritative way. (Despite Adelaide being Australian, both characters also have English accents.)

That probably seems like a pointless thing to get caught up on, and it really is. It wasn't something that should have bothered me that much, and while re-watching this episode, I was less distracted by it than before. It was something that kept coming up during the season for me though, so I thought I would mention it.

As far as the rest of the episode goes, I enjoyed it.

One of my favorite aspects of the episode was that the Gronkles were the dragons to save the day. I feel like Gronkles are often treated as one of the least impressive species of dragon, so it was nice to see them have some time in the spotlight.

This episode also establishes Mala and her people as allies of the Dragon Riders, which isn't unexpected. However, it opens the door for seeing them more throughout the season, which wasn't exactly something I was expecting. I thought Mala and the others would be one-shot (or two-shot, considering) characters.

I liked getting to see Mala realize that the Dragon Riders weren't enemies to dragons, since her refusal to listen to them at the end of season three was so frustrating. Plus, they have a common enemy in Viggo, and it's not like either group needs to become enemies with anyone else.

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