Amazon’s Prime Video announced earlier this month that Critical Role signed a multiyear exclusive deal with them, encompassing both television and films. The streaming service also announced another animated series titled Mighty Nein, focusing on the second campaign from Critical Role. All of this fantastic news came out while season 2 of The Legend of Vox Machina was airing, which was a pleasant surprise for fans. Now that the Vox Machina season 2 finale has been released, it’s time to look back at the season, and the final three episodes.
So much has happened to our band of mercenaries in the past nine episodes of this season, and the final episodes definitely didn’t disappoint. Death and destruction have been knocking on Vox Machina’s door since the beginning of season 2, with the introduction of the Chroma Conclave. But the final episodes take a much more personal turn for some of the characters.
[Warning: Spoilers from The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 finale are below]
Grog finds the source of his strength
Something I loved about this season is the greater exploration into the lives of each of these characters prior to when we met them at the beginning of season one. Some of this is through flashbacks, however, for others, it came through direct confrontation with their past while on their hunt for Vestiges of Divergence. Grog (Travis Willingham) falls squarely in the second group and is where the last collection of episodes begins.
Previously in this season, Grog has had some personal highs and lows. He spent the majority of the earlier episodes being corrupted by Craven’s Edge, an evil blade that craved blood. Grog complies for a while, but when the blade begins taking Pike’s (Ashley Johnson) blood, he breaks the blade. Which in return breaks him. Craven’s Edge zaps all the strength from him, leaving him a shell of his former self.
In this weakened state, Grog, Scanlan (Sam Riegel), and Pike travel to Westruun. The objective is to find another Vestige of Divergence that will grant Grog his strength back, however, there’s a huge problem. The vestige is currently worn by Grog’s uncle, the hero’s abuser from his past.
Episode 10, “The Killbox” plays out as an extended fight sequence, which begins as a one-on-one between Grog and Kevdak, but eventually encompasses the rest of the Vox Machina crew. The fight sequence was one of the best from this season, with my jaw on the floor for most of it.
What elevated this sequence between Grog and Kevdak was how layered it was. It wasn’t just about gaining his physical strength and another vestige. It was also about regaining the power that was taken by his uncle long before this showdown. Having Pike as the motivator to regain his strength, while he was impaled on a spike dying.
The love that Pike and Grog have for each other is incredibly heart-warming. These two are basically siblings, bonded together forever. It also showed viewers that Grog’s strength (and the strength of the rest of Vox Machina for that matter) comes from their friendship.
Grog eventually defeats his uncle, cleaving him in two. He gains himself not onto the Titanstone Knuckles, but the respect and following of his people.
Scanlan learns that family comes in many forms
After the dust has settled from the battle between uncle and nephew, Vox Machina and Grog’s new troops are celebrating in a tavern together. Scanlan and Kaylie (Aisling Franciosi), a new “friend,” decide to have some personal fun together in a bedroom. At least, that’s what Scanlan initially thinks, before his world flips upside down. Tied to the bed, Scanlan learns that Kaylie is actually his daughter, a daughter he didn’t know existed.
Kaylie is angry towards Scanlan for abandoning her mother and therefore her. Regardless of her anger though, she is unable to stab him and instead leaves Scanlan with some life-changing thoughts. This entire situation appears to hit Scanlan hard, causing a dynamic shift in his demeanor. This change becomes so much more important later.
Vax’s side mission
While Scanlan is being held at knifepoint by his daughter, Vax (Liam O’Brien) is haunted by the pact he made with the Matron of Ravens. Sitting in the tavern, Vax notices one of the glowing life strings associated with the Matron and decides to follow it. Doing so brings Vax to a collection of dead bodies, watched over by ravens with glowing eyes. Vax receives visions of the spirits of the dead but becomes confused as to what to do.
Vax decides to get some answers and travels to a temple, coming face to face with the Matron of Ravens. The scene was as impressive as it was shocking, with Vax diving into a pool of blood and being unable to surface. If you’re afraid of drowning, this scene will definitely be difficult. However, he eventually awakens in a chamber surrounded by tons of golden life thread.
She informs Vax that he is “fate-touched” meaning that he can see the threads and bend them. The Matron of Ravens asks him to help her guide those who recently passed, transitioning them to their next life. Vax initially is resigned to his new role but appears more at ease after he returns to his friends.
A final poison-breathing boss
As Vax is off on his side mission away from the rest of his group, Percy is explaining to Grog’s new followers how to catch a dragon. The trap seems simple enough to Percy, even though the rest are lost. Eventually, they lay the trap, but the plan doesn’t go anywhere near as close as what they want.
Umbrasyl lays waste to Grog’s people and pretty much destroys Vox Machina as well. The team is split up with Grog stuck to Umbrasyl’s back and Vax and Scanlan inside its stomach (due to a very Scanlon-like suggestion about how to get inside the acid-mouthed beast).
The dragon flies off to its mountain, with the rest of Vox Machina flying after it. During the pursuit, Scanlan and Vax manage to tear themselves out of the dragon’s stomach, but that means they face a long drop to their deaths.
As they’re falling, Vax calls out for The Matron of Ravens, who hears him and grants him large, impressive wings. Vax’s journey this season with The Matron of Ravens has been one of my favorites, with this scene of him gaining his wings being high on my list.
Similar to episode ten, the final episode, titled “The Hope Devourer” is an extended battle scene between Vox Machina and Umbrasyl. Umbrasyl’s goal is to steal as many vestiges as possible, though instead of using them to release Thordak the dragon, he wants to use them to gain power himself. The vicious dragon keeps Vox Machina on their toes, many times appearing to beat them. However, when all appears lost, Kaylie’s words to Scanlan about stepping up come to his mind.
Scanlan jumps into action, seizing Mythcarver, a vestige Umbrasyl stole from the group earlier in the season, and stabs the beast in the eye! This brave act kills Umbrasyl, saving his friends and turning the tide for our heroes.
A hint of more battles to come with the Chroma Conclave
Returning to Whitestone, the group is looking to celebrate this win, before they have to continue on their mission. At the celebration, Raishan, a shape-shifting green dragon reveals herself to the group.
Turns out, she isn’t there to hurt them but instead has a proposal. She wishes to work together to stop Thordak. However, the Chroma Conclave aren’t ones to give in easily, with viewers seeing glowing eggs, that Thordak indicates are his new army.
Final thoughts on The Legend of Vox Machina season 2
As much as I loved season 1 of The Legend of Vox Machina, season 2 was better in almost every way. The impressive animation continues throughout the season, mixing traditional styles with CGI. It works flawlessly together, building a deeper design for our characters and their reality.
As I stated earlier, I thought the deeper exploration of our heroes and their backgrounds was an amazing addition to this season. By the time this season ended, you feel like you know each character on a whole different level, adding depth to the characters. It is not something that is always seen in animated shows, but The Legend of Vox Machina does it so well.
Also, the voice acting is stellar. These actors, who also played these characters in the actual D&D campaign, truly know their characters.
All I can say is that if you’ve been sleeping on this series up until this point, you should hurry up and binge it. It ticks a lot of boxes for me and I know I’m not the only one. The Cosmic Circus’ Editor-In-Chief Lizzie Hill suggested the series to me to watch in the first place, and that with high praise from her.
It’s hilarious, heartbreaking, tragic, heartwarming, and so many more words that I could use to describe how fantastic it is. The animation is beautifully done as well. Add in a group of characters that are easy to become attached to and root for, and you have a winning, highly entertaining, combination. If you’re a fan of high fantasy stories, with a lot of below-the-belt humor, this show was made for you.
The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 is streaming on Prime Video. Have you watched it yet? What are your thoughts on the series so far? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus discord. And if you need a refresher on where this season began, check out our review of the season 2 opener!