Warning: There are spoilers for The Princess Switch: Switched Again ahead.
It’s a happy ending for just about everyone at the end of The Princess Switch: Switched Again. After thwarting a plan to overthrow the throne and give another Vanessa Hudgens doppelgänger the crown, Margaret and Stacy (Hudgens and Hudgens again) stop Fiona (also Hudgens) from doing so. Having thwarted Fiona's thievery, Margaret is finally made queen in a holiday-themed coronation, she finds love with her cute baker ex-boyfriend (Nick Sagar), and Stacy and her own prince charming talk hint at having kids one day. (Sequel potential? Definitely sequel potential.) It’s the perfect fairytale ending, twinkling lights and sparkling gowns included. But there is one teensy sinister twist sandwiched between it all that I just can't let go.
Like all fairy tales, this one has a few villains in the form of Margaret’s cousin Fiona and her chief of staff and long-time friend, Antonio (Lachlan Nieboer). The details of their crimes against the castle don’t entirely matter, but basically they tried to seize power and money — you know, the usual. But it’s what happens to them in the end that made me question everything about this frothy, generally inconsequential holiday flick: While Fiona gets off with basically a slap on the wrist, Antonio is sentenced to an undisclosed fate without anyone batting an eye when Margaret throws in a quick "Take him to the dungeon!" Hold up. What.
Apparently, in present-day Montenaro there is a dungeon in the castle that is A: not just used for storage and/or tours through the castle, B: easily accessible to the palace guards, and C: an actual lawless prison used to hold criminals at the queen's whims. Out of all the outlandish and far-fetched things in the Princess Switch series this honestly might be the wildest one, because it's uttered as a silly, throwaway line before Margaret runs off to marry Kevin at the airport.
Why throw this line in at all, if not to send detail-oriented viewers into a deep spiral, wondering if they've been rooting for the romantic satisfaction of a secret despot this whole time? Keep in mind that The Christmas Prince’s Queen Amber, and neighboring royal in this Netflix Christmas Cinematic Universe, has sent no one to any dungeon so far (that we know of, I guess), and she literally spent her entire third movie, Christmas Prince: A Royal Baby, trying to defend her baby from a curse.
While yes, having a dungeon in the castle certainly fits with the history of European castles of yesteryear, the fact that it is being used is um, distracting. And Margaret declares this fate in front of the Prime Minister. Has Montanaro only pretended to progress to a working democracy wherein criminals are tried in a court of law by a jury of their peers? Does the fact that Margaret simply sends Antonio to the dungeon without any due process or objection mean that she is running a true monarchy, medieval style?
We don’t see Antonio ushered down to the dungeon, so I'm left to assume it’s dark, damp, and cold. It’s the middle of winter; is this relic of the past properly heated? Will Antonio be fed multiple meals and given the opportunity to change clothes and shower? Were Margaret's just, fair, trustworthy ruler speeches an act? Are there not laws about this kind of thing in Montanaro? Am I supposed to just watch these movies, and the hypothetical Princess Switch 3, knowing a man is just wasting away in the basement of a centuries old castle while we hope for one of three Hudgenses to kiss someone?
Look, I know it's a silly Christmas movie and that line wasn't meant to mean much of anything. But that doesn't it won't haunt me until the end of my days.