REVIEW: The Legend of Vox Machina – Season 2, Episodes 7, 8 and 9, “The Fey Realm,” “Echo Tree,” and “A Test of Pride”


“The Fey Realm” finds Keyleth, Vex, Vax, and Percy in the Fey Realm, worried about their friends. In “Into Rimecleft,” a dragon interrupted Keyleth’s transport spell, splitting the party. Percy assures the others he knows how to traverse their strange new surroundings. However, his “expertise” proves unhelpful. Grog disposes of the sword to save Pyke but loses all his muscles as a result. In the Fey Realm, a fawn named Garmelie appears and offers help, but Percy insists on his own methods. Scanlan becomes Grog’s nurse, helping him walk, eat, and drink. The dragons fight about the pros and cons of finding the vestiges. Vex, Vax, and the others find the town where the twins grew up. 

Vox Machina Echo Tree

“Echo Tree” begins in the twins’ hometown. When the guards confront the party, they request an audience with their father, an influential noble. Meanwhile, Pyke brings Scanlan and Grog to her great-grandfather, who can heal him. Vex and Vax’s father shoos them away. Vex is lured in by a dark fairy who promises the love her father never gave her. She realizes what’s at stake and rejects the proposal. She defeats him and takes the bow. Garmelie creates a portal to send them back to Tal Dorei. He turns into something more powerful and mysterious. Grog tells Scanlan and Pyke that the gauntlet they seek belongs to his uncle. 

Vox Machina Echo Tree

“A Test of Pride” opens with a flashback to Grog’s youth training with his uncle. Scanlan goes on recon to learn about Grog’s people and get the gauntlets. Grog tells Pyke how he met her grandfather, which led to his falling out with his uncle. A group of rebels demands Scanlan help them escape the Herd. Pyke poses as Grog’s prisoner so he can get into the city, and they run into Scanlan. Grog sees that the people are afraid of him and decides to challenge his uncle. 

Vox Machina Echo Tree

One of the first things I noticed about season 2 was more focus on the ensemble cast, and that’s at the forefront of these episodes. We return to exploring Vex and Vax’s past with their father as Grog grapples with who the Herd is and his divergence from their way of life. I meant to say this last time, but his uncle looks like Thanos, particularly with the gauntlets. I’m not familiar with a Fey Realm in Dungeons and Dragons, so I have no frame of reference regarding its appearance in the show. However, I have to say that visually, it’s the spitting image of the Spirit World in Legend of Korra. I’m sure this is more of a trope, but the way the plants behave here is very similar to that as well. A strange world proving hostile to outsiders isn’t anything new, but between that and some of the animation, I can’t help wondering if some of the creators of Vox Machina are fans. 

Vox Machina Echo Tree

They’re really leaning into the romance this season as well. There’s too much of it, honestly. Keyleth rejected Vax’s advances last season, but now they constantly compliment each other and blush while stealing glances. What’s going on? She said they can’t be together because of their dissimilar paths in life, but now she seems to feel differently even though his path has changed even more. He works for the goddess of death, so I feel like being his girlfriend, wife, or whatever would be a little complicated. My favorite apparent pairing is Percy and Vex. They clearly hold each other in high regard, and there’s less weird tension and awkward flirting. I hate that stuff. It makes sense for an awkward druid and a standoffish rogue to act like that, but I find it cringey. Percy and Vex are more mature and don’t play silly games. I especially liked it when he stood up to her father for her, something she says only her brother ever did before. If I have one gripe in this area, I wish this season didn’t make Percy such a joke. I liked him the best in season 1 because we learned so much about him. I like his design and voice a lot, superficial though that may be. I also like Keyleth’s design; long red hair is just awesome looking to me. I don’t like how he’s the butt of so many jokes. In “The Fey Realm,” they really emphasize how out of his depths he is. And Vax has had it out for him since Vex (temporarily) died. I can appreciate a lack of understanding in a brand-new environment; I don’t expect any characters to be omniscient beasts. It’s just the way he’s been used for laughs lately. It’s not as bad as Scanlan’s brand of humor, but I find it frustrating. Characters who were taken seriously in season 1 are becoming jokes while that season’s comic relief is being treated with respect. I’m interested in the latter but not the former. 

Vox Machina Echo Tree

They seem to be pushing Pyke and Scanlan together as well. They even get a song together, which isn’t great, but I liked it more than Scanlan’s other tunes. There was one hint to this in the season 1 premiere I had all but forgotten about: Pyke falls, and Scanlan catches her, blushing as she dusts herself off. This is the pairing I understand the least. Sure, they’re both gnomes, so their heights match up nicely. But she’s a cleric with strong ethics and morals. Scanlan is a womanizing (and whatever the same-sex equivalent would be) bard who doesn’t seem to believe in much of anything outside of ale and sex. When they say opposites attract, I’m not sure this is what they mean. You need to have something in common, and physical stature isn’t going to cut it. It also seems convenient for all the attractive, humanoid members to pair up. The humans, elves, and gnomes all get together, leaving only Grog single. What are the chances? Do you know any groups of seven where six people got together, or some similar ratio? I don’t. 

Vox Machina Echo Tree

It was cool to hear Billy Boyd as Garmelie, and I’m curious about his true form. Will this be important down the road? I have an issue with Vex’s encounter with the fairy. It was too easy for her to overcome his hold, and none of her friends helped her. What’s the point of such temptation if you can say “nah” that easily? She’s spent the whole season pining after her father’s approval and love but tosses away such worries like they were nothing. I assume her remark that her heart already belongs to someone was another reference to her feelings for Percy, but we’ll see. 

Overall, this week provided another solid batch of episodes. I don’t love how characters like Percy and Vex we’re handled, and there’s too much romance, but the action is good. And not all characterization here is bad; I like the stuff with the twins’ dad and Grog. Next week is the end of this season, and I’m excited to see how it plays out. 

The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2, Episodes 7, 8 and 9, "The Fey Realm," "Echo Tree," and "A Test of Pride"

Plot - 8
Acting - 10
Progression - 7
Production Design - 6
Character development - 8



Overall, this week provided another solid batch of episodes.

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