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The Shannara Chronicles - Pykon - Review: "Stabbed In The Back"



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
1.05. Reaper - Review
1.06. Pykon - Review
1.07. Breakline - Review Coming Soon
1.08. Utopia - Review Coming Soon
1.09. Safehold - Review Coming Soon

The Shannara Chronicles 1.06. "Pykon"
Directed by Brad Turner & Teleplay by Zander Lehman

So, Pykon happened. We had our most typically MTV-moment of the series so far as the Wil/Amberle/Eretria love triangle slowly developed in a fairly predictable way with even Eretria trying to get involved with Amberle. However whilst that storyline wasn't quite as developed as it could have been, not bringing anything new to the table, there was some more twists and turns to kick up the pace back in Arborlon. It was a pretty tense hour filled with some good action and some romance, that allowed for a mostly interesting watch as the show entered the latter stages of the season, even if a few problems arose throughout. Apologies for the delay in getting this review up, by the way, I'll try not to leave it quite so late for the future episodes but my internet's been a bit hit/miss over the last couple of days thanks to stormy weather.

The show opens with Amberle dreaming about Wil and a future with him. Wil shows her the ruin of a playground from the old world and it's clear that in her dream, they're both very much in love. However things don't go too well for them when they wake up because they are forced to take a shortcut through the mountains to avoid detection from the demons believing that the old Elf fortress known as Pykon will be abandonded, however, to their surprise it is not and that's where the "Amberle/Will gets captured" storyline of the week comes in which seems to be happening to these people a lot so far, no matter where they go. An elderly Elf guard and his daughter waited there to greet anyone who came through but it turned out that the guard's intentions are a whole lot sinster as the rest of the group are knocked unconscious whilst Amberle is captured. He used to be the lead torturer for the King during the war but now wants to get revenge for being ignored and cast aside by Amberle's grandfather. He does this by stringing her up and threatening to torture her but just before he can do so, Amberle is rescued by Wil and she ends up kissing him, which naturally, doesn't please Eretria who has seduced Wil twice before and tried to seduce Amberle earlier in the episode whilst the two shared a bath. However they weren't out of danger when they tried to leave the castle as Mag ends up saving Wil from being shot by an arrow from the Elf, who is then killed in anger by Amberle in the process. Things escalate from there as the demon chasing them showed up, killing Crispin and leaving the group alone without any remaining Elf Guards. Cephalo naturally, upon learning that even the Elfstones couldn't save them, used them as bait to lure the three along with the demon off the edge and into the swirling abyss below, putting the characters naturally, in an even worse situation than before as now they not only don't have any experienced Elf soldiers, but also, they've got to worry with what comes next, because things pretty much everywhere were just as bad for everyone involved. Nobody was getting off cleanly this episode.

Slanter, the gnome responsible for killing Ander's brother 10 years ago, manages to escape Ander and leave him behind after stumbling across a group of deceased gnomes that were killed by demons, because let's be honest, there wasn't really any point where Slanter wasn't going to betray him. However, Slanter ends up coming back for Ander needing to see the demon army for himself. This leads them to the henge where the Dagda Mor is gathering his demon army, but things don't look that great when Ander sees the army that the fallen warlock has amassed. It's huge, and things don't look too promising for the Elves especially as their own leader is essentially a changeling and working for the enemy.

Of course, the Changeling uses that to his advantage this episode, convincing Arion to unearth an ancient sword that he claims will possess the power to stop the Dagda Mor and that Allanon has been hiding a powerful weapon from them. Arion is furious at this and goes to get the sword, and works with his father to take care of Allanon, who is perhaps their strongest ally, taking him out of the game presumably for good. That said though, I wouldn't be surprised if they brought Allanon back in the future because as it stands, if that is his death, it was fairly anti-climatic. Allanon himself meanwhile, was on top of that, also struggling with Bandon, whose body was being used as a conduit by the Dagda Mor to slowly take control.

So it's safe to say that things are heading into pretty dark territory with The Shannara Chronicles especially as given the size of the demon army, it doesn't look too great. They can't be killed by normal weapons and the good guys are slowly losing their allies - Arion is influenced by a Changeling who has taken control of his father, and now Allanon's fate remains unknown and Wil can't even stop demons with the Elfstones yet. Somehow I don't see this threat being resolved by the end of Season 1, of which there are only four episodes remaining. I could be wrong, though, we'll just have to wait and see.

On the whole this was a decent episode even if it fell into the trap of focusing a bit on the love triangle that is probably the weakest part of the show so far, almost feeling forced. And we also have to wait and see whether there will be a storyline that doesn't involve either Amberle, Wil or Eretria getting kidnapped, but regardless, there's plenty to get excited about in the direction of where this show is headed. However, what I want to know is what did you think of Python? How are you enjoying the series so far? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out the next episode of The Shannara Chronicles tomorrow at 10pm on MTV.

Also, for those wanting to know when my review of Black Sails 3.03 review will go up, it'll probably be up either tomorrow or later in the week, so stay tuned for that if you follow the series.

Overall Episode Verdict:: B
Positives:
+The threat of Dagda Mor's army.
+Threats from inside Arborlon as well as from the outside.
Negatives:
-Allanon's dead already?
-Love triangle needs work.

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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