‘Critical Role’ 3×42 “The City of Flowing Light” recap

Critical Role 3×42 recap: “The City of Flowing Light” Aired December 15, 2022 


The Bells Hells have wrapped up their time in the Gloomed Jungle and are ready to head for Yios. While they wait for the airship to pick them up, Orym grabs a minute to take his newly improved sword for a spin. One of the new abilities allows him to magically shoot a vine from his shield-arm to grasp and pull at things. Its very cool to see Orym gain a few more magical abilities– I just hope it will help him move past some of his imposter syndrome about his place in the Bells Hells. 

Speaking of magic practice, Laudna asks Fearne to help teach her how to cast the Fireball spell. It’s… effective. So effective Fearne ends up burned from head to toe and so pleased with her teaching prowess she calls herself ‘Professor’ Calloway for the rest of the episode. Despite the third degree burns covering half her body, Fearne has made quite the impression on one of the Gorgynei. The very dashing Manad says that he’d love to see her again… if she’d ever in the area. (Awwww, heart-eyes!)

The light of Yios

Toward dusk the next day, the Bells Hells arrive in Yios and learn exactly why it’s called The City of Flowing Light. Dungeon Master, Matt Mercer, always has some beautiful world building, but he really outdid himself this time around. The three tiered city is built in the center of Lake Koron and is dotted with canals. The water glows with bioluminescent light and bridges that twinkle with lantern light. If there’s one location in Critical Role I’d most like to vacation at, I think it’s this one.

Rolling dice

While the Bells Hells are good at many things, laying low and blending in the with the crowd are not high on that list. Combine that with being in a beautiful new city and yeah… Is anyone surprised that this basically becomes a sight seeing episode? Although most of the sightseeing happens inside the casino connected to the sky port. (Basically they never left the airport terminal, lolol) 

While Imogen does pick up on some telepathic thoughts about monsters in Yios’ water and Stratos Throne spies infiltrating the city, most of the episode takes place at the gambling tables. And for the most part, they don’t even cheat! Normally this kind of interlude can be the downfall of live-play episodes because it tends to be the kind of thing that’s only interesting to the people actually playing the games. But in typical Critical Role fashion, the cast is having so much fun they draw the audience into the craziness. 


The Bells Hells ends their first night in Yios in the penthouse suite. Chetney very kindly draws Imogen a bath (knowing how overwhelmed she can get in crowds). Its a touching thought, but Imogen isn’t interested in relaxing. Not when she has evidence that her mother was once in Yios. And maybe is still there. Sneaking out of the room, she flies through the night and sends her mother a message.

Despite her best efforts, Liliana still won’t tell Imogen where she is or what she’s doing. While she insinuates that she’s no longer in Yios, Liliana simply tells Imogen that she needs to stay away. That if she get too close to this she’ll be swept away in the storm. Imogen is disappointed, and I get it. So am I. Liliana obviously gave up a lot to keep Imogen safe, but… C’mon. Let’s do this already.

On the move

The next morning, the Bells Hells pick up their guide, Landon (a somewhat slippery individual they met in the casino) and set out into the city of Yios. There’s a whole laundry list of things they hope to accomplish: finding Lord Preston Drodelon, visiting the Aydinaln Seminary to find the Grim Verity (who have been researching Ruidus too) as well as Professor Sumal (who once completed a study with Imogen’s mother and other Ruidusborn people). And potentially find out more about FCG.

Next Thursday’s episode should be a doozy!

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

  • Fearne also apologizes to Laudna for the coin flip decision about who to bring back, Laudna or Orym (Critical Role 3×34). Fearne admits that it was a cop out of an impossible decision, but Laudna isn’t one to hold grudges. 
  • I love that Yios is also a city mostly populated by very erudite orcish city. Orcs aren’t usually prorated as big thinkers, and I really like this departure from the norm.
  • Oh man, the Hallmark movie commercial that Travis and Laura spoofed during the break was amazing!! 

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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