‘Critical Role’ 3×41 “Call of the Wild” recap

Chetney faces down the spirit of the Wildmother in 'Critical Role' episode 41, "Call of the Wild"

Critical Role 3×41 recap: “The Call of the Wild” Aired December 8, 2022 

Fearne in the woods 

Five of the Gorgynei escort the Bells Hells into the jungle where Chetney hopes to face the spirit of the Wildmother. Deep in the forest, there is an ancient structure called the Temple of the Savage Heart. The spirit there testes those blessed (or cursed?) with lycanthropy, granting survivors gifts from the goddess. For Chetney, the gift would be to gain control of his werewolf form, and become less susceptible to the influence of the red moon Ruidus. 

While on the trek, after joking lightheartedly about which were-form they’d like best, Fearne decides it would be a good idea to try to eat one of the wild mushrooms…. which went about as well as you’d expect. She spends the rest of the day and night having mild hallucinations while outrageously flirting with one of the Gorgynei. And, yes, I know that Fearne tripping on mushrooms isn’t really the point of the episode, but it was still my favorite part, lol.

The Savage Heart

The next morning, after receiving a crash course in hemocraft magic, Chetney and the Bells Hells finally reach the temple. Used as an outpost during the Apex War, the temple is a bone-filled ruin. Apparently, the sprit that rules there didn’t take kindly to the army and expelled them. Violently. Since then the Gorgynei have used the temple as a place of worship, beseeching the spirit to help them control the bloodlust that comes with the gift.

Sometimes the spirit will answer, but the help doesn’t come for free.

Chetney kneels before the statue, meditating quietly. Chetney (being Chetney) levels with the spirit. He will use the extra gift for personal gain… but only a little bit. After centuries of wandering aimlessly, the old gnome is finally ready to make difference. It’s cute in a rough way that only Chetney can manage.

The spirit apparently agrees. It arrives to test not only Chetney, but all the Bells Hells. 

Chetney’s test

The spirit seems to come from the fountain in the center of the temple, rising from the water in a fine mist that possesses the watching Gorgynei with a spectral blue light. It toys with Chetney, calling him a fool before daring him to accept the test. It’s catnip for Chetney. He accepts, and the moment he does, he is overcome with the pull of Ruidus calling him to violence. Once again he is forced to transform, but not into a normal werewolf. He takes on a massive wolven form that fills the temple. And not just for kicks. 

He attack the Bells Hells. Chetney’s friends are unsure of how to react, but have no choice but to fight back. Or be killed. As they fight, they each beseech Chetney, begging him to fight back, to come back to himself. To them. Their words hit home, but they aren’t enough to pull him out of the fog. Laudna, thinking quick, casts magical darkness across the oculus in the temple’s roof it’s enough to take Chetney out of his giant wolf form and bring him back to his normal werewolf body. But he’s still locked in the test.

Ashton, showing a surprising amount of emotional intelligence, calls out to Chetney. They tell him that this blind rage is beneath Chetney. That if he wan’t to fight, then Ashton’s the only worthy opponent. Something about this call to single combat lands true for Chetney and he’s finally able to shake off the spirit. (Though Ashton still gives him a good smack for the road)


Chetney is jubilant. He faced the spirit and came out victorious. And though we don’t have any explicit ideas about how this will effect Chetney in the long run, the Gorgynei hope that at the very least Chetney will be less susceptible to Ruidus. More than a little slap-happy, Chetney leads the Bells Hells on a naked fun-run through the jungle. (Because… reasons? lol, you can tell these players are just having way too much fun. It’s totally infectious.)

Orym is about to join his friends when he sees something from the corner of his eye. The statue of the Wildmother is holding something. A… scabbard? One covered in tiny vines that look so like the vines Orym is able to grow. Following his instinct, Orym goes to the statue and puts his sword in the sheath. Light flashes and the sword is transformed.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, Orym bows the the statue and runs into the night after his friends.  

Watch Critical Role Thursdays at 7pm PST on Twitch or YouTube! Check out last week’s Critical Role recap here, or watch me talk about all the highlights and theories here!

Critical Role 3×41 Highlights

  • Yes, I do want Fearne and Laudna to do a D&D remake of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
  • Fearne and Chetney have had something of a will-they won’t-they kind of thing going on, so naturally she turns herself into a “sexy wolf” to try and get Chetney to calm down. Man, she was on fire!
  • It was oddly touching to see Orym rewarded by the Wildmother. It seemed like he was having a bit of imposter syndrome– being surrounded by his magical friends. Hopefully this boon from an actual freaking goddess will convince him that he belongs there.

Greta Kelly

Greta Kelly is (probably) not a witch, death or otherwise, but she can still be summoned with the Horn of Gondor or the promise of a ride in the Tardis. She loves all things fantasy and is the author of THE FROZEN CROWN and THE SEVENTH QUEEN, and her third book, THE QUEEN OF DAYS will be out in 2023. Find her on Instagram or Twitter at @gretakkelly to geek out about literally anything.

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