Episode 68: Reflections
Just when I thought Critical Role couldn’t get any better Episode 68 comes along and smashes us in the face. It’s been a long time since the stakes have been this high and the action has been this intense.
Some ‘dungeon crawl’ episodes can get a little drawn out and distracted, but this episode full of horrors and nightmares was a thrill from start to finish. Every room was a new armpit drenching, spine chilling escape room fun house. At only 3 hours 49 minutes, this was the shortest episode in weeks! I wanted the session to keep going, but the suspense will have to wait just one more week.
Next week should be quite a session. It’s the final session for beloved angel Ashley Johnson before she leaves for New York (for the last time). It is also the session before Critical Role goes dark for a week while the cast take a much needed break. This means there will be a huge story push coming up, and who knows what in store for Yasha while Ashley is on break.
Enough speculating about next week. Let’s talk about all the insanity of this week’s episode. First off, Laura Bailey had to miss this session due to illness, but that didn’t stop her from playing! She was able to text (and call) her way through the session and manage to snag MVP of the week! Jester had some clutch moves that saved the Nein more than one during the episode. She was so gutsy with her gameplay that even Travis I-Touch-Everything Willingham was hesitant to follow her directions. This moment literally made me hold my breath. Matt’s patience is practically endless, but the tone in his voice when he asked Travis if he was really going to ignore Laura’s instructions turned my blood colder than when Yasha’s reflection pulled her into the Upside Down. Thankfully, Travis relented and Jester was able to pull off one of the most memorable moments of the night.
The way that the Nein tackled the bridge of whispers and death was actually pretty interesting. While tying the entire party together with rope is a pretty solid instinct, it ended up costing them some precious seconds during the Roper battle. While it saved almost all of the Nein from a toothy death, Nott showed some interesting behavior when she cut and ran from the rest of the group back toward the start of the bridge. This is the action that spurred Nott’s swandive off the bridge and Jester’s subsequent awesome rescue, but man that was a tense moment between some cast members. Sam has often talked about Nott’s self preservation tendencies but we do so rarely get to see them in action.
After making over 50 wisdom saving throws to cross the bridge, the Nein finally make it to the next chamber. The relief is short lived though once they realize the mirror filled dungeon is actually a room full of portals to a nightmare realm of drooling, feral doppelgangers. Panic splits the party and they spend the next hour trying to think their way out of the mirror realm and back to their friends. Caduceus gets an MVP moment using his spirit guardians to finish off the bitey doppelgangers and giving the group time to discover the way back.
Nott and Jester unlock the final puzzle clues into the next room, leading to (hopefully) the final confrontation with Oban. There are still so many unanswered questions and story to uncover. I don’t know how it’s all going to get crammed into one episode. Being patient is not my strongest trait. I cannot wait for next week’s session!!
Don’t Miss It!
The first Kickstarter One-Shot dropped this week! If you haven’t already watched the Search for Bob…what are you doing? Seriously, go watch it right now. It is hilarious, heartwarming, action packed, and surprisingly (or not) full of poop. It’s so good to watch Vox Machina stumble through saving the day once again.
The Critical Role Panel at Denver Pop Culture Con is also popping around on YouTube. It’s the casts first time all together at a Con and Ashley’s first con experience.
Even though Critical Role will be dark for the 4th of July, they have left us with lots of amazing content to enjoy. Don’t worry though, it’s almost Thursday.