“Petals to the Metal” has so many amazing moments throughout the ridiculous number of episodes that cover its story – seriously, up until that point, almost half of the episodes they’d done were for this arc) that it’s hard to pinpoint a single one as my absolute favorite. You’ve got Merle talking dirty to some vines (and disgusting his sons), Klaarg returns in the most epic way possible, Hurley is the most kickass monk that ever existed, Trent the Tree-Ant loses his ass to Magnus’ Rail Splitter … like seriously, so many awesome moments.
That being said, however, I am going to have to pick the introduction of Garyl, the luminescent bi-nicorn I mentioned earlier this month. Because it is epic.
To sum up, Merle had just rolled a critical failure to jump from a battle wagon and was plummeting, bullet-time style, to the ground, when Taako cast the spell “Phantom Steed,” which saves Merle from … well, he had his safety harness on, so he would have just bounced around in a bubble on the racetrack, but for drama’s sake, let’s just say this saves the dwarf’s life.
Like I said back on Day 4, Taako summoning Garyl was perfect timing. Justin was like, “Look, sure, I could have brought Garyl into existence before now, but it would not even come close to having the same impact,” and I cannot agree with him more. Everyone’s reactions were hilariously incredulous – even DM Griffin’s – and his description? Well, here’s how Justin put it:
I focus all my energy and wait for the fucking spell that I’ve been wanting to cast and have not had the opportunity to until just this moment: a bolt of light erupts from the Umbra Staff and underneath of Merle appears … a phantom steed. That’s right: a large, quasi-real horse-like creature … appears on the ground … I decide the creature’s appearance, so it looks like a beautiful unicorn*. It’s got, uh, big unicorn horn and rainbow colors … His name is Garyl – it’s like ‘Gary’ and ‘Daryl’ mixed together … I’ve done more character work on Garyl than I did on Taako … And Garyl … like, you can hear Erasure, like, just … floating through the wind, and … Garyl appears underneath Merle, and with a whinny – a perfectly tonal whinny that graces through the octaves – Garyl appears below Merle, catching him effortlessly.“Petals to the Metal” Chapter 8
How perfect is that? Seriously. Find me a more perfect way to introduce such an awesome spell and I’ll … well, I can’t pay you anything because I am a millennial, but I’ll definitely give you a big virtual thumbs up.
Art Credit: Maximum Fun
* Justin later amends this to say he has two horns.