In last week’s episode of “Willow,” director Debs Paterson and writer Julia Cooperman gave us what’s popularly known as the “bottle episode.” To make matters even more awesome, it was a horror mansion-themed bottle episode as Graydon got infected by The Lich’s curse and had to be cured before he was completely consumed by it. Willow and Elora tended to him while Kit went out to look for the necessary ingredients, and Jade and Boorman were tasked with protecting them from The Gales. But since they were in the legendary Nockmaar castle, it began to play tricks on the heroes’ minds, thereby making them susceptible to deception. And it worked because the possessed Graydon managed to take Elora to the High Tower in order to banish her soul and then trap it for all eternity so that she couldn’t come back to fight the Crone. Thankfully, Willow, Boorman, Kit, and Jade reached out to her at the nick of time, and Elora lifted Graydon’s curse. As they left the castle, we saw the Gales were closely following them and that Airk was alive and well in Immemorial City.
Major Spoilers Ahead
The Bone Reavers Imprison The Heroes
Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe and written by Hannah Friedman, Episode 5 of “Willow” continues the format of limiting each episode to one location. This time, that location is the Wildwood, which the heroes are forced to enter to hide from the Gales. Thinking that they’ve given the villains the slip, the heroes take a breather, and Willow immediately starts giving Elora magic lessons. When Willow talks about divination (the ability to look into the future), Elora brings up the dicey topic of whether he has seen her in his future. Willow quickly starts to ramble about the chapter on concentration. Boorman observes that Graydon is falling in love with Elora, or at the very least, he’s attracted to her. Graydon obviously rubbishes this claim but asks him anyway about the secrets to igniting passion in a potential relationship. Before Boorman can answer, they are attacked by Bone Reavers and then taken to their village, den, or hideout.
We are introduced to the Bone Reavers’ head, Scorpia, who used to be an acquaintance of Boorman. But Boorman apparently betrayed her by faking his death in the Dread Mines of Skellin, which is run by trolls. So, she orders her minions to tie him up in her tent. When Toth proposes the idea of firing up the old skull boiling cauldron to eat the heroes (?) Kit tells her about their mission to save Airk. Scorpia obviously doesn’t listen to her and imprisons every single one of them. Scorpia then proceeds to interrogate Boorman regarding what he has been doing all this time. Boorman claims that he fought his way out of there, but we see him escaping by hiding in a barrel that has collected some kind of waste material (which can be troll poop). He talks about fighting off death dealers and then getting captured by Sorsha (which is the only piece of truth in his tall tale). He lies about the Cuirass, says that someone named Allagash is dead, and goes silent when Madmartigan is brought up.
Scorpia Reveals Jade’s True Identity
Elora reveals to Kit that she has Willow’s wand, and she can use it to get out of their cage. Willow discovers that there are Brownies in his holding cell, and one of them happens to be Rool (from the original 1988 film). He now has a daughter called Ganush. As for Franjean, Rool’s friend, he has apparently headed south, either for the weather or because his wife has left him. Willow asks Rool to help him and Graydon escape and get away from the Bone Reavers. Rool reveals a bag of potions from back in the day, and Willow isn’t all that impressed by it. Scorpia prepares to kiss Boorman because things have been pretty dry in the Wildwood, I guess. But all that is interrupted by Elora, who mistakenly executes the correct spell to explode the prison gate. Yes, the force of the explosion does send her and Kit flying backward. However, at least they are free to run away now. Sadly, they don’t get very far because they are recaptured by the Bone Reavers.
Jade frees herself from her bonds and tries to hold Scorpia hostage. That doesn’t go well either because Scorpia puts Jade in her place and finds a red emblem on the back of her neck. She suddenly stops fighting and tells her minions to take Jade to her tent. Rool gives Willow some (useless) directions on how to escape Wildwood, but he refuses to go along with him on the adventure because he has evidently chosen a simpler life now. That said, he does wish Willow the best and assures him that he has nothing to worry about because he has Graydon with him (who is a metaphorical combination of Franjean and Rool). Scorpia informs Jade that she has the mark of the Kael, i.e., General Kael. She says that he was the first Bone Reaver and had 15 children. Therefore, Scorpia and Jade must be from his bloodline. She says that Jade’s father was killed by Madmartigan at the battle of Nockmaar, and her mother was killed by the rangers who kidnapped Jade and took her to Tir Asleen. Jade can’t digest this because Kael used to serve Bavmorda, who served the Crone. Scorpia says that Bavmorda made a pact with the slaves of Galladoorn (currently under King Hastur’s rule) where she would help them escape if they swore fealty to her. After the fall of Nockmaar, the Bone Reavers were pursued by the armies of Tir Asleen and Galladoorn. Those who survived are now waiting to rise again.
‘Willow’ Episode 5: Ending Explained – Who Attacks The Bone Reavers And Kidnaps Kit?
So, after this realm-shattering revelation, Jade asks a good question: if Tir Asleen and Galladoorn hated the Reavers so much, and if Jade is a Reaver, why did they take her in? And Scorpia’s answer is spine-chilling and allows us to see the gracious Tir Asleen in a completely different light. She says that by kidnapping Jade and raising her as one of their own, Sorsha essentially stole a piece of the Reavers’ future. And since Jade was taught to see the Reavers as her enemy, she loved Tir Asleen for saving her from a deadly fate. So, yes, for Scorpia, Tir Asleen is the enemy for turning one of their own against them. But for Sorsha, Madmartigan, or even Ballantine, they were giving a Reaver a chance to become something better than her predecessors. It’s a matter of perspective. Anyway, for the moment, Scorpia throws a massive party to celebrate Jade’s return to her own people. Everyone starts to sing and dance and consume drugs and, well, kiss each other.
Kit admits that she had a hunch that Jade was a reaper, but she chose not to say anything because it would’ve sounded preposterous. But that angers Jade because this is the umpteenth time that Kit has disappointed her. Graydon clears the air between him and Elora by basically explaining that his brother’s death and his efforts to banish her soul at Nockmaar weren’t his doing. He was simply possessed. Elora accepts this explanation so that they can move on. She then goes to Kit to advise her on how to win Jade back and tells her to apologize to her. Kit doesn’t understand why she should be the one to apologize, and what Elora basically insinuates is that in this situation, Kit is the oppressor, and Jade is the oppressed. Kit’s family literally picked her up randomly and turned her against her own people. So, Jade needs the only person there who represents Tir Asleen to be sorry about it. Thankfully, Kit understands this and wins Jade over. The lovelorn duo gets this close to being intimate with each other, but the whole party is ruined by trolls. The episode ends with a shot of Boorman, which means that this time, he has to go into the Dread Mines of Skellin (along with the rest of the team) and get out of there alive without cheating. Will he be able to? Only “Willow” Episode 6 can answer that.
See More: ‘Willow’ Episode 6: Recap & Ending, Explained – What Is Keeping Airk In Immemorial City?