A double review this week after missing a week because of VCON, so buckle up for a mega-serving of Guildie Goodness.
Now…where are we up to? Well, Episode 10 ended with a flash as Bladezz inadvertently, and quite literally, torched Cheesybeards and before that Vork misguidedly proposed to Zaboo’s mum. How to top that?
All episodes of Season 4 are available on Bing and are easily accessible on the MSN Parallel Universe site. There are CompanionCasts for each episode, too, on the Official Fan Podcast of The Guild, The Knights of The Guild. These feature interviews with cast and crew, snippets and insights direct from the set while the episodes were being filmed.
Here’s Episode 11:
Codex is a little…on edge. She has been sacked, she still hasn’t got a computer and to cap it all Bladezz is now even more ‘Internet famous’ and annoying because someone filmed the whole ‘setting fire to Cheesybeards’ debacle and posted it on YouTube. Oh, and Vork is marrying Zaboo’s mum.
Zaboo is also a wreck, though in a different way. His horror of being related to Vork is utter, prompting Codex to plead with Vork using Zaboo’s laptop. Vork is as a man condemned. When Zaboo’s mum pops around to tell him that all his birds have been removed by the SPCA, he remains impassive. And once she’s gone he reveals the depth of his despair: “Mentally, I’m in hospice, waiting to die. Numb, so numb.”
His fate is sealed, though, because his word is his bond. A bond that cannot be broken.
Clara is super excited about the upcoming nuptials and has been planning like mad: “I am sooo deep into wedding planning now! Horses ovaries for everyone! Nomnomnom!” Tink: “Don’t you mean Hors d’oeuvres?”
Wiggly is ordained so guess what? The wedding is scheduled for the next day. This news sends Zaboo into the dry heaves and Codex’ bedspread is only saved by the doorbell. He returns with a parcel…
Vork muses whether a pre-nuptial agreement might help his case but Tink has more pressing matters on her mind. Having to work with Clara has had a deep effect on Tink and thousands of unsold Pregamer tee shirts are weighing on her mind.
When she asks Clara what they are going to do with them, Clara is vague because she’s already moved on. The game, her pregnancy and, to a lesser extent, her current kids, all require time so she’s done with the whole business thing. Tink is livid and storms off.
Back at Codex’ house – YAY! – it’s not a subpoena from Ollie but a brand new computer for Codex. Zaboo strikes again but this time it’s okay, because he used the money he raised from selling the Team Cawkes picture on eBay. So it’s really hers and not a creepy gift from him. When Zaboo spies her litmus test list and starts to read it she hastily grabs it. She is genuinely happy about the computer and…the other stuff about them being friends and whatever.
So when she hugs him briefly, Zaboo is all strictly friendly. And yet…
As she logs on Vork has a solemn announcement to make. He has reached the half million gold mark and so: “…Behold! The glory that is the Knights of Good Deluxe Guild Hall!”
As their new Hall is revealed the Guild is a little underwhelmed. Codex voices what they all feel: “It kind of looks like a prison.” Vork is satisfied: “You’re welcome.” When Zaboo asks the obvious question about what they do with shiny new prison-like hall Vork replies that they gather in it. He then adds “Son.”
Uh-oh! Zaboo is now officially over the edge and collapses on the bed. It’s a pity that Codex is too rapt by the keyboard to notice.
At Chez Clara, Tink returns after flouncing out. Clara is surprised, mainly because she hadn’t noticed that Tink had left. But there is more. Tink is…asking Clara to work with her again – and this time she is using the ‘P’ word! It is a touching moment.
Zaboo has gone from freaked out to spaced out, and his attempt at meditation is jittering-up Codex. Her pleas are met with counter-pleas. Zaboo, through some mystic (or possibly ventriloquistic) force, tell her she has to stop the wedding. Codex mans up. She can do this: “Nothing can get in the way of true friendship if you’re determined, and truth is on your side!”
Cut to everyone gathering for the wedding. Ah yes. Once again Codex learns that talk, however determined, is no match for the raw forces of nature. Clara’s kids Gabby and Blake are chucking petals at each other. Zaboo is on the verge of a conniption fit and Vork is already imagining a time when he will be dutifully enduring excruciating father-son bonding.
Into this sorry tableau walks Bladezz, who appears to be auditioning for a starring place on paleisthenewtan.com. Oh yes, his life is a heady one alright – vlogging, live chats – he’s an internet superstar. Baby.
No time to process that, though, because there’s a wedding to be had. As everyone shuffles towards their shared doom we glimpse the wedding room, decked with festive bells, decorations and… but no time to wonder because Codex is already playing the wedding march on her violin and here’s Zaboo’s mum, wonderfully attired in a blue and gold sari…
Zaboo’s mum is a little confused as everyone is seated and dons head sets but Clara reassures her that she made her character look just like her. But taller. And so it starts, with Wiggly pronouncing:
“We are gathered here today to join these two…video game characters in cyber matrimony…” And we are now IN THE GAME, with everyone gathered around expectantly.
Zaboo’s mum is whelmed (it’s hard to say whether it’s over- or under-): “This is very…confusing…”
YOU SAID IT, SISTER!
With only one episode left in Season 4, how can it all be resolved? Will Vork marry a woman he doesn’t even like and be a father he is not equipped to be? Will Zaboo lose a widow and gain an overlord? Can Codex be the friend to Zaboo she wants to be? Can Clara take anything – kids, babies, business – seriously? Is it possible for Bladezz to be any more of an ass? Will Tink do the unthinkable and actually start to like her fellow Guildies? Will we see more of The Game…?
Let’s find out! Here’s Episode 12: Guild Hall
Codex sets the scene for us, describing the gathering of The Guild in Game as tragic geek reality shows: “…Amazing Geeks.. or Nerdy Shore.. or The Biggest Losers…” And she totally is not trying to help Zaboo just because he bought her a new computer. Nuh-uh. He’s actually been a really good friend and…er, did Codex just describe Zaboo in terms of good marks on her ‘litmus test’. Yes. Yes, she did. Hmm….
Back in virtual reality Wiggly is trying his best to conduct the ceremony as well as he can under the circumstances, but no one is making it easy for him. When he asks if anyone has any objections Bladezz, Zaboo and Codex all chime in. Tink and Clara are none too happy either and everyone ignores the fact Wiggly says it’s just a formality.
Tink can’t stand the idea of Vork with a woman – any woman – and says Zaboo’s mum must be “..bat-BLEEP crazy.” Clara doesn’t like the décor in Vork’s very dreary Guild Hall and Codex makes a stand, explaining that she thinks honesty is the best policy after all the learning she’s be doing recently. And something about furries that’s best forgotten.
Codex asks Zaboo’s mum if she really wants to marry Vork. Avinashi then transforms herself from a meddling, grasping harridan into a poor, defenseless widow in one heartbreaking speech. She is lonely and abandoned. And although Vork is repulsive in many ways he would at least be….someone. She is…desperate.
Vork mildly asks if it his in game or real life character she is talking about and Tink puts him straight – Vork the person is the guy no one wants to marry. Zaboo’s mum then says that at least she will be able to spend time with her son in game if nowhere else.
Codex sums it up by agreeing with Tink. It is bat-BLEEP crazy to marry a guy you don’t love in order to spend time with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. This…displeases Zaboo’s mum, who starts to transform herself into the dreaded Boss from the end of Season 1.
Zaboo then steps up. It’s time for him to share. Yes, he’s being trying to get away from her but he doesn’t want her to settle for the awfulness that is Vork. She can do better. He shouldn’t have tried to block her out completely. She can still hang with him. Under closely guarded parameters.
Zaboo’s mum is relieved and tells him he is just like his dad: kind, intelligent, loyal…wait, is Zaboo passing Codex’ litmus test for real this time? Zaboo’s mum is so relieved – now she won’t have to drown herself to get away from her sham of a second marriage.
And now, is it time to feel sorry for Vork? Has everyone said their piece about how dreadful he is? Does he really deserve that? I’ll let his response speak for itself: “Then we should call it off. Another crime scene is the last thing I need in that house. You should know, however, that widows have a statistically higher suicide rate and are more vulnerable to extortion schemes and home invasions.”
Zaboo and his mum then hug in game – a glorious moment that is shattered by an interloper. A Games Master has arrived – in person! Clara never did have a good grasp of reality.
Sporting the heaviest, death-lionest of armour and the attitude of a jackass, Kevinator has come to deal swift justice in the shape of a new…posterior for someone. Vork’s free-marketeering has become a massive issue on the Forums but luckily Tink was there to point the finger.
Kevinator weilds his power with an iron…something, and threatens Vork with the ultimate censure – a permaban! Vork doesn’t take that lying down and counters with the fact that he has hidden his ill-gotten gains in physical structures. After The Kevinator smirks at the thought of Vork’s hideous Guild Hall costing half a million, Codex sidles over. She…has a proposition. And she is totally a hot girl who looks exactly like her avatar.
Kevinator is helpless in the face of the possibility that he might actually be talking to a real-life girl and listens breathlessly to Codex’ whispered plan. Yes, he can and will do it because, you know, he is like He-Man and HAS THE POWER!
One swift knock of his staff and the Guild Hall is transformed from a gray and dismal “..sodomy palace..” into a…well…pinky, sugar-coated princess castle complete with ‘Lil’ Guildies’ wall hangings and a ‘Hello Kitty’-type statue. It. Is. Awesome. If you like that kind of thing. Which Tink and Clara really do since it’s their design! Ah, the irony…
Clara and Tink are ecstatic. Vork has had a really bad day and Bladezz? He sums it up: “I want to vomit, but it will match the décor!” Kevinator suddenly becomes less interested in Codex’ orb and more interested in Bladezz. Bladezz’ character is so familiar – just like that “…cheesy pirate dude!” A quick rendition of “Taste my Pirate Patty!” and Kevin wants to walk and talk like a pirate.
Codex compliments Zaboo on facing his mum and he is so happy with the result. And – is Codex holding his hand in-game? It seems she is just trying it on for size. But before that can sink in Bladezz is telling them huge, enormous, MASSIVE news.
The Kevinator was so impressed with Bladezz’ notoriety online that he’s invited him to a Gaming Convention. As a guest. And Bladezz has hooked them all up with tickets! THEY’RE ALL GOING TO A GAMING CONVENTION!! And we’ll skip over what Wiggly says….IT’S A HAPPY ENDING!!!!
Season 4 ends on a totally high note with a whole new vista of opportunity ahead!
SO…what did we think?
The Guild Chat was full in the run up to the release of Episode 12, with 56+ waiting impatiently for 12:00 PST to strike and Sean Becker (Director/Editor) on hand to answer questions afterwards. And there were many questions and thoughts about the finale that you can find here.
This finale hit all the right buttons for me and was satisfying on so many levels. Yes, the technical wizardry was superb. Apparently it took 6 weeks of post-production to get the effects all done, with about an hour to render 1 second of graphics (thanks to @KeithAllGamer (http://twitter.com/KeithAllGamer) for relaying that information from @SeanBecker in the post-release Guild Chat). But much more than that, the story came to a logical and uplifting end – and still managed to leave several unanswered and dangling ends too.
Throughout this season we have been treated with writing and acting that raises the bar time and again. Each member of the cast has delivered performance after performance of the highest quality. There is a real difference between ‘acting’ and ‘playing the part’. If you aren’t sure what it is then watch any of these episodes and then contrast to pulp TV shows.
I truly believe that Clara is a ditzy, loveable yet reprehensible mum. Vork IS repressed to the point that anal doesn’t cover it and cloaca seems more appropriate. Zaboo is a creepy stalker but really has a heart of gold. Tink said the “P” word and has bonded with Clara. Bladezz has garnered infamy on the Internet yet wangled tickets for his friends. Codex IS confused, contrary and ultimately wants to be loved.
The Guild is redefining what a webseries can be, and that can only be a good thing for all those that are online now and in the pipeline for the future. And it’s not just the writing and acting, but the directing, editing and everything else. Quality is an admirable goal to strive for and they deliver in spades.
Favourite bits? That’s tricky. The reality show names are hilarious but when would Codex have the time to watch them? As someone who cannot bear the thought of Jersey Shore I laughed like a drain at “..Nerdy Shore..”
Zaboo’s mum speech is delivered so well, with the right amount of heart-wrenching tinged with self pity and loathing. And Vork’s response is similarly pitched right. His question about whether it is his in game or real life character that is so unattractive is braced with acceptance of whatever the answer might be.
The in-game action is really well done. The sparring between Tink and Bladezz when they get bored with the talking bits are a great touch and all the action with The Kevinator is brilliant. His use and abuse of his powers are very realistic and also slightly inept, which really adds to the authenticity (as anyone who has dealt with the Powers That Be can attest to).
Vork’s stoicness in the face of overwhelming character assassinations was brutal yet fitting. Oh – and did I mention that The Kevinator was played by Simon Helberg, star of The Big Bang Theory and Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog?? That was another excellent (and well-kept!) surprise. He played the part of The Kevinator with just the right amount of pomposity, bravado and base lust.
The Codex/Zaboo tension is so intriguing! After nearly 4 Seasons of Codex being completely off-limits to Zaboo, we are left with the dangled possibility of them finally hooking up. Now I don’t believe for one minute that it will ever be more than a friendship – but boy! How that carrot is tempting! (TWSS!) It would be such a great way to end The Guild. And that’s why it will never be. Some things are so perfect they will never happen. And who wants to contemplate the end of The Guild, anyway? Not I!
What were your favourite bits of the Finale and Season 4? How do you think Season 5 will start? Why did Wiggly interrupt Clara when she was talking about the Gaming Convention? Will Codex and Zaboo ever…be together?
WorldofHiglet is the online persona of writer Mary R. Higgins, a born-again geek reclaiming her heritage bit by bit. A youth filled with sci-fi, horror and adventure in TV, films, computer games and books was crushed by years of office grind. Buffy brought her back into the fold after years of denial. Discovering Firefly sealed the deal. Now she geeks fulltime on her blog ‘the last geek bus home’ . Her first novel ‘Turning left at Albuquerque” is complete and she has just launched HigletFilms.com, a new webvideo entertainment site serving new, original videos every Monday.