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The Shannara Chronicles - Dweller - Advanced Review





One thing I love about The Shannara Chronicles is how it gets from point A to point B without too many detours, turnarounds, and stalls. The pace is fairly brisk and fans don’t have to wait for long to see where the show is heading. In many ways, the show itself is like an army marching steadily to battle. One of my biggest issues in the last episode was the lack of King Ander and consequences for Catania’s death. I need not have worried because both come to the forefront in this episode. In fact, it is an episode of epic stands with King Ander, Lyria, Wil, and Bandon all coming into their own. For King Ander, it is a chance to show his authority and determination, while Lyria takes a big step towards confidence. Wil comes face-to-face with his past and embraces his destiny, while Bandon proves his point in a most brutal way. Eretria, Mareth, and Jax take a small step back in this episode but each has at least one power scene as well. Overall, it is well balanced and switching between the happenings in Leah and Wil’s mission make the episode fly by.



Other Highlights:

1. The cinematography is this series is outstanding. The long shots are gorgeous and the shots inside the crevasse are visually interesting and yet increase the claustrophobic effect.
2. Mareth continues to be the most intriguing new character. There is more backstory on her this time and her interactions with Allanon are topnotch. Mostly though, her reactions to what the other characters do and say show how hurt she really is by Allanon’s abandonment. Malese Jow continues to impress.
3. Flick is also developing into a great character. His interactions with Bandon change into a philosophical debate that I found far more interesting than I expected. Bandon is also turning into an accomplished villain. No doubt, he’s completely crazy but he believes in his own crazy with all-encompassing passion. It makes him the most fascinating villain so far.
4. Eretria is the Queen of the Pep Talk this season and her encouragement leads to one of the best scenes of the night.
5. Wil and Allanon may not get along, but they have the best character interaction in this episode. I like how Wil keeps encouraging Allanon to connect with Mareth and how Allanon represents another side to Wil’s dad that Wil never knew. The culminating end scene was cheesy, but fulfilling in its own right.



Toss-Ups:

1. The palace politics at Leah are even more convoluted. It’s getting hard to remember who is betraying whom and for what reason. I don’t see this as a problem right now. Leah is one of my favorite things about this season, but it would be very easy for the whole storyline to overwhelm itself or for there to be too many loose ends to wrap up. The need to start pulling it all together.
2. Will’s biggest personal trauma is….NOT Amberle becoming a tree. I don’t have a problem with this and I actually find it refreshing that they didn’t go there, but some people might be less pleased.



Issues:

1. The more Riga is on screen, the more he feels like a cliche. It’s a shame because I thought he was intriguing in the beginning. Now he just makes one bad guy mistake after another. If he keeps killing off his own men, Ander won’t have to worry about fighting the Crimson. They’ll defeat themselves.
2. Even with backstory, Jax is uninteresting.
3. Seriously Hollywood, you have to start putting warning signs up before you show great, big spider-like creatures. Ugh, with a heaping help of blech on top. Where’s the brain bleach?











 
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