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The Shannara Chronicles - Paranor / Crimson - Advanced Review

With the first action-filled double episode, The Shannara Chronicles packs in almost every fantasy trope around. Secret destinies, epic quests, fairytale weddings, shifting alliances, noble and ultimate sacrifices, the battle for good, even time travel are all overstuffed into 2 hours of “You’re gonna do what?” facepalming. And it all climaxes into the best cliffhanger yet...or the worst, depending on your point-of-view. Prepare to yell at your TV for this one. Sometimes it will be in frustration when it feels like all the characters are sharing one brain and they never have it during crucial decision-making moments. Sometimes it will be in excitement as swords fly and the good guys get a win...until they don’t. Almost surely, it will be when the screen abruptly fades to black and the fate of a beloved character hangs in the balance. Next week cannot come soon enough!

The Breakdown:

Ander, Lyria, and Tamlin - As the newest power couple, Ander and Lyria take Tamlin by storm with their demands. It’s fun to see her nonplussed. Of course she recovers quickly to play even more politics but this time, she might be over her head. Her past though is what drives the overall storyline because she has something the Warlock Lord needs.

Eretria - These episodes are rough on Eretria. First, she finally learns about her history, including the meaning of the tattoo and her mother’s secret. However, it’s what that secret implies that really packs a punch. Expect some major changes in Eretria that should make the last 4 episodes quite the ride.

Mareth - She gets some family news that informs her direction in the episode as well, which makes her even more effective at kicking butt. It helps that she’s already an accomplished liar and quick thinking too. However, she also gets stuck in the most eye-rollingly bad subplot. It’s frustrating to watch her awesomeness drain more and more as the night continues.

Wil - Wil’s a man on a mission and nothing, not even common sense, is going to get in his way. (Neither are those pesky time travel dictates that usually demand that the character lie low and not disturb things too much.) Still, he gets to show his leadership and sword fighting skills as well as cheerlead a character that really needs it. Wil has a real future as a motivational speaker because in these episodes he always knows exactly what to say, especially when he’s thanking someone important to him. Non-snarky awwww.

Allanon and Bandon - Bandon is really upping his villain snark these days, which makes him even more fun. Poor Allanon though has it even rougher than Eretria. He hides it by being a complete douche to Flick. Urgh!

Episode Awards:

Character Most in Need of Dying - Riga, who adds nothing to the story anymore
Character Most in Peril by the End of the Episode - too many
Best Scene - Wil vs. Bandon
Best Character Interaction - Allanon and Bandon
Best Backstory - tie - Eretria and Tamlin
Best Quote - “Scarecrow competition? You really need to rethink your seduction techniques.”
Best Reaction - Tamlin to Ander calling her mom
Best Plan - Allanon’s plan to NOT tell Wil the plan
Worst Plan - pick a plan, any plan, even Allanon’s plan
Worst Fashion Statement - changing eyes / blue face
Worst Subplot - Mareth
Most Inexplicable Subplot - Jax’s solo adventure
Most Over-the-Top Subplot - time travel
Most Needed - a better communication system among the good guys
Most Surprising Return - Cogline, who is actually important to the plot
Most Overused Word - trust
Most Disgusting - Jax fights are so graphic
Biggest Hero Moment - Ander
Number of Times I Resorted to Using All Caps in My Notes - 11, possibly a new record

“And lose my soul in the process like you? I think I’ll pass.”
“And what exactly was his usefulness?”
“Bandon isn’t a creature of darkness? Could have fooled me?”
“Clandestine trysts with fanatical elves. You’ve really lowered your standards.”
“Death is too good for you.”
“Don’t put me in the middle of this.”
“I guess you forgot to mention that to the men who just tried to kill me.” “An oversight.”
“You know if I’m being honest, you’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a father. How tragic is that?”

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