REVIEW: ‘Disenchantment’ Part 4 Buckles Under Its Dense Story

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Disenchantment Season 4 - But Why Tho

Disenchantment has been a staple of Netflix adult animation line-up for some time and over four parts the series’ story has gotten thicker. The series features the voice talents of Abbi Jacobson, Eric André, and Nat Faxon, along with John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Matt Berry, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding, Richard Ayoade, and Luci Montgomery. For Disenchantment Part 4, the plot gets even more dense as we get to see the mystery behind Dreamland’s origins.

Picking up where Part 3 left off, Luci, Bean, and Elfo are separated. Bean is being forced to marry the devil by her evil mom, Luci is well, dead. And of course, Elfo is held captive by ogres. Once reunited through events that shine a light on their pasts and futures, they tackle managing Dreamland’s fate. Over 10 episodes, our trio goes to Hell, Heaven, Ogreland, Steamland, underwater, insane asylums, the Dreamscape, the Enchanted Forest, and somehow a bunch more.

To be frank, there is a lot going on in Disenchantment Part 4. Elfo is a quadruple crossing spy, Bean is having recurring nightmares of her horrible mom and doesn’t know what to do, Luci is being Luci, and even King Zog gets some storytime this season. All of that said, Disenchantment Part 4 suffers from the same thing Part 3 did: buckling under the weight of a sprawling narrative confined to too few episodes. When you pack each episode full of plot and reveals, there is no breathing room for the signature humor to shine.

Bouncing from joke to dense plot point to throwback reference to a past season back to a joke, all of it gets jumbled. Just because you have a great ensemble of characters and fantasy elements doesn’t mean that all of them have to have a plot running concurrently. But this isn’t to say that the story elements aren’t interesting. In fact, Elfo gets some pretty hilarious and great development and history. Not to mention what he uncovers about Elfs and Trogs. Bean is also dealing with some intricate and honestly nuanced mommy issues that bring humor and heart to her character. All of these elements are great when explored but with all of it happening at once, it’s frustrating for none of it to get its own spotlight.

While a shorter episode format works for live-action dramatic series, Disenchantment seasons would benefit from at least double the count. Like Futurama before it, Disenchantment has a lot to say about family, history, and how it all changes based on who’s retelling it. Dreamland and the world it inhabits is large and vast with lore that is genuinely interesting, but we only ever get to see a fast-paced surface that quickly jumps to something new.

For the most part, Disenchantment Part 4 is entertaining and interesting in equal parts, even if there needed to be more time to spread it all out. If you’ve been a fan of the series since the beginning, there is a lot of payoff this season. I just wish the series was trusted with a higher episode count to tell us the full story that it begins to uncover.

Disenchantment Part 4 is streaming now exclusively on Netflix.


Disenchantment Part 4
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

For the most part, Disenchantment Part 4 is entertaining and interesting in equal parts, even if there just needed to be more time to spread it all out. If you’ve been a fan of the series since the beginning, there is a lot of payoff this season. I just wish the series was trusted with a higher episode count to tell us the full story that it begins to uncover.