'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' Episode 5 sees Al and Prince Chauncley struggle with family time on Harvest Day
King Cragnor kills off his siblings in a fit of pique, laughing maniacally as he says, "Family is nothing! Happy Harvest Day!" Al and her uncle Bert argue about everything from her bookworm habits to Cragnor's rule
Somethings never change. And one of those things is how irritating relatives can be when they drop in during the holidays. It is "Happy Harvest Day" in Lower Murkford, which resembles Thanksgiving a little too closely. On the "first Harvest Day", King Cragnor had gone exploring the land outside Murkford and encountered the native "Leaf People". After mingling "peacefully" with the natives, King Cragnor took their land and they just "went away".
Al, ever the stickler for truth, heckles the play about Harvest Day being staged in the town square by school children. "We murdered them!" she cries, protesting the revisionist history. When her friend soothes her, telling her history always gets "whitewashed", Al looks at her befuddled as she says, "But it was only three years ago!"
As families get together on the holiday, both Al (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Prince Chauncley (Daniel Radcliffe) have to deal with their families. Chauncley, ever the sweet one, wants his father and him to bond with his uncle and aunt. Since they are a "family of warlords", the chill in the air is noticeable and they are very formal with each other, sticking to safe topics like the terrible traffic.
But Chauncley, not to be defeated, introduces them to a bunch of games like charades and Pictionary to help them bond. As Lord Vexler (Karan Soni) predicts, it all goes south, pretty quickly. The game rivalry turns violent and King Cragnor kills off all his siblings in a fit of pique, laughing maniacally as he says, "Family is nothing! Happy Harvest Day!" Lord Vexler makes himself scarce right before the corpses start flying and Prince Chauncley, dejectedly, decides to roam the streets of his kingdom just to avoid the gruesome scene of carnage around the dinner table.
Al has it only slightly better. She only has to deal with her annoying "Uncle Bert" (Kevin Dunn), her father's brother, who punctuates all his passive-aggressive insults with "Bert Alert!" His two ruffian sons are no better, taking pleasure in pummeling the stuffing out of poor Mikey for, you know, funsies.
So even as Eddie Shitshoveler (Steve Buscemi) tries to keep the mood light talking about his "bone stew", Al and Bert argue about everything from her bookworm habits to King Cragnor's rule that Bert supports while Al does not. When Al comes at him with "factoids" about how the King doesn't buy domestic sludge for his moat, Bert dismisses it as "fake news".
In the end, Al is so incensed that she brings up the one thing that her father told her not to speak of -- how Aunt Rhonda left him and the children for the town baker. Bert goes into distressing detail about how sexually incompetent he is for not being able to satisfy Rhonda and for lying to the boys when he told them their mother was on a "business trip".
He leaves, shoulders slumped, while Eddie slumps onto the bed, dejected. A remorseful Al quickly catches up to her uncle who is weeping in the mud when she finds him. She quickly mollifies him into returning. Soon, the Shitshoveler clan is back to merry-making and gravitating to the tried-and-tested story about how the wolf got into the kitchen -- a tale obviously told at every family gathering.
When Al makes a wine run, she runs into Prince Chauncley and invites him home. He accepts happily after she tells him they might play some games. And so as Harvest Day draws to a close, the prince's wish of a peaceful and friendly holiday comes true -- even if it isn't with his own family.
'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages' airs on Tuesdays on TBS at 10:30 pm ET.