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The Shannara Chronicles - Fury - Review: "Last Chosen Standing"

The Shannara Chronicles Season 1 Episode Guide
1.01. Chosen - Part One - Review
1.02. Chosen - Part Two - Review
1.03. Fury - Review
1.04. Changeling - Review Coming Soon

The Shannara Chronicles returns after the two part premiere in an action packed episode that although covers some familiar ground that isn't exactly a fresh new addition to the fantasy genre, is still at the same time, entertaining and fun to watch as episode three picks up where we left off, with Amberle and Wil standing down a Fury sent to kill them by the renegade Druid who we met in both parts of Chosen. It was an exciting way to end the episode and the potential of seeing all these different fantasy creatures being brought to life on the small screen continues to be amazing as most of the special effects are actually okay. It's really surprising, and you wouldn't expect this thing to come from MTV, of all places.

Naturally, you don't expect Wil to be ready to face the Fury head on in his first attempt, so he and Amberle start to run, but then Allanon shows up and easily decapitates the creature in a fairly one-sided combative display. However, the Druid knows that it's not going to be as easy as this especially as he's heavily wounded, and needs to head back to the cave where he awoke from in order to heal. Meanwhile, Amberle is distraught, as anyone in her situation would be, upon learning of the deaths of the rest of the Chosen and Lorin in particular. Naturally, she freaks out about this and tells Wil to leave, however he can't, because he's under orders from Allanon. Wil says that he knows what Amberle is going through right now because he lost his mother despite trying everything to save her, also apologising to Amberle for not telling her sooner. Amberle however, is still afraid because she believes she is responsible.

Back at the Ellcrys, everything appears to be falling to pieces in the Eleven Community. Ander is drinking, believing that it is his fault for what has happened as he was responsible for training Amberle. He also says that he wishes that he should have died in an incident in the past, and not his brother, who died instead, and that is something that he believes a view that Eventine, his father, shares.

Wil and Amberle however have run into trouble. Wil has decided to search for a cure for Allanon himself with Amberle and in doing so has wound up not only telling Amberle that he belongs to the Shannara Bloodline, but also captured by Erietra and her band of Rovers who are still looking for them as Erietra's father, Cephalo - wants Wil to show him how to use the Elfstones that he now has in his possession, as he believes they are powerful tools in the right hands. However, none of the Rovers heed Wil and Amberle's warnings about the Demons, with Cephalo formulating a plan to get Wil on his side, doing his best to convince him that he's too elven for the humans and too human for the elves, attempting to convince him to work with the Rovers willingly. But they have underestimated Amberle, who manages to surprise Erietra who decides to set her free when she learns that Cephalo plans to execute Amberle in order to make Wil use the Elfstones, effectively killing her for sport. Amberle instead decides to use Erietra as a bargaining chip in exchange for Wil, however that doesn't quite work out as Cephalo cares little for Erietra, and Amberle is only spared when things go from bad to worse, with the arrival of the second Fury.

This naturally, causes all hell to break loose at the camp where the Rovers are hosting their celebrations. Wil is able to eventually tap into the power of the Elfstones and use them to stop the Fury, and Amberle saves Erietra's life in the process, however they are easily recaptured by Cephalo when the use of the Elfstones renders Wil unconscious. Luckily though, Allanon is able to show up again and defeat Cephalo, saving the day, and Amberle agrees to head back with Wil to Arborlon where her mission can begin as the last of the Chosen. On the way back though, they find and free an Elf named Bandon (Marcus Bando) who was kept locked up with a mask on his face and helpless to watch his parents die. Allanon knows nothing about Bandon and Wil objects to taking him with them, but Amberle insists even though Bandon later appears to have a vision of her dying at some point in the future.

With Bandon now part of their group, Allanon, Amberle and Wil head back to Aborlon where they are greeted with whispers about the Princess' return. Despite Ander's objections, Allanon, Amberle and Wil are able to convince the Council that Amberle is ready to carry the seed of the dying Ellcrys so it can be reborn, but in doing so, she has to enter the heart of the tree itself and face a trial that will kill her if she fails. It's an interesting ending to the episode, and should be fun to see it resolved next week as the journey continues.

I mostly enjoyed this episode even if it wasn't perfect. The passing of time seems to be a confusing thing about the series, yes, the broad, sweeping shots of horses riding across the world look good, but they also raise a question as to how the characters can get from one place to another as quickly as The Shannara Chronicles seems to suggest they do, as normally the distance that they cover should be possible in that short period not on horseback, but on a car. That's only a minor gripe about the episode which actually, this week, had some pretty good character development that fleshed out the secondary cast a bit more, allowing for some strong interactions between Wil and Amberle that were often amusing in places, with their bickering when they were dragged along on horseback being a highlight of the episode.

There seems to be one major problem from the first three episodes of The Shannara Chronicles though and it should be clear that there's a heck of a lot of exposition. The series appears to be falling into the same problems that the Star Wars and Hobbit prequel movies suffered from, with so many scenes that saw people just standing around and talking. Remember how boring the Tax Debates were in The Phantom Menance? In order to get the audience to pay attention you need to make things feel interesting, or else it'll be quickly offputting. It wasn't a good sign that I was bored in the Council scenes during this episode, but hopefully, it looks as though it won't be long before we see the back of them, with the more interesting action so far at least, seemingly taking place outside of Arbolon.

What did you think of this week's episode? Did you enjoy Fury or has The Shannara Chronicles not quite won you over yet? Will you be checking out next week's episode, Changeling? Apologies for the slightly delayed review this week as I had a couple of coursework assignments to hand in on top of an exam to revise for next Wednesday, but I'll try to get the reviews up as close to the episode airdate as possible in the future. Be sure to let me know what you thought of Fury though, in the comments below.

Overall Episode Verdict: B-
+Greater character development.
+Exploring of the world.
+Manu Bennett continues to be an awesome addition to the show.
-Could be clearer in regards to how time passes.
-Still fairly wooden acting and some of the actors feel out of place.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Hell on Wheels, The Knick, Manhattan, Murder in the First, Narcos, The Shannara Chronicles and Veep for Spoiler TV as well as books, films and games for his own blog The Fictional Hangout and contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic.
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