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The Shannara Chronicles - Wilderun - Advanced Review

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Note: While Wednesday is another double header, this preview is specifically for the penultimate episode since no screener was released for the finale.  Watch both episodes this Wednesday on Spike at 9/8 Central.

And the bodies keep piling up. Perhaps the writers of The Shannara Chronicles have spent too much time watching Game of Thrones because yet another character from season 1 bites the dust halfway through the episode. This season is brutal! If they keep this up, there won’t be anyone left even if they do get a miraculous season 3 pick up. The theme of the night is destiny - fighting it, embracing it, railing at it. Some, like Wil, have finally found acceptance of their calling but for Lyria and Eretria, it’s a much harder road. At least Eretria has learned from season one though. She avoids secrets and openly shares with Wil what is going on with her. It’s a great plan...right until they put her in charge of guarding Lyria, the one the Warlock Lord needs most. Eretria’s struggle to remain true to herself is one of the biggest highlights of the episode. Ivana Baquero does a good job of selling the conflict within her character and the intermix of Eretria the hero and Eretria the possible Warlock Lord's puppet adds intensity to her scenes. The cliffhanger is another plus. Like it or love it, The Shannara Chronicles has mastered the fade to black this season. It’s a good thing this is a double header because everyone’s screwed at the halfway mark.

Other highlights:

1. Allanon - Generally the Fortune Cookie King comes off a bit too cheesy for me, but he’s doing his best Gandalf impression here. From protecting Mareth to encouraging Wil to espousing the virtues of love, Allanon is quite the surprise when he thinks he’s going to die. Even Wil is taken aback by this new side of him. Who is this guy?

2. It’s Full Steam Ahead - While the deaths have been excessive this season, it has trimmed the fat of the story. By eliminating the subplots, all the heavy hitters are in the same place and ready for the battle of their lives. That allows for better character interaction and a streamlined plot, which probably needed to happen a few episodes ago to be frank.

3. Cogline - While he started off with a bad guy vibe, he has turned into an intriguing character. His mixture of science and magic is fun to behold and the reveal about his past was one of the few unexpected events for me.

4. Riga is finally dead!!!! - Yes, this technically happened last episode but I felt a vicarious thrill at how shabbily they treat his corpse. Serves him right for plunking Ander off the dam. Karma!


1. Lyria - I was all for the runaway princess but she’s turned pretty useless these days. She brats to Cogline and is stuck in a damsel-in-distress role that doesn’t look good on anyone. It’s a waste of the character.

2. Planning / Plotting - Let’s face it. No character on this show is going to win any strategy awards. It’s like they refuse to consider the consequences of their choices and just go with whatever idea is most likely to fail. Worse though is that the audience knows exactly where every aspect of this plot is going from the start. While it is entertaining, there are no major surprises in this episode, which is a shame for the second to last time we will probably be with these characters,

3. Exposition - Everyone gets a monologue or pep talk tonight. While some like Jax’s are rallying, the sheer number of them drags down the momentum.

Episode Awards:

Best Scene - Eretria comes clean to Wil about what’s bothering her
Best Action - Al vs. Al sword fight
Best Speech - Jax’s “Unite or Die” speech
Best Character Interaction - Wil and Allanon
Best Aim - Jax when rescuing…..
Best Accessory - Lyria’s necklace
Best Line - “I’m okay.” “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not what okay looks like.”
Biggest Awww Moment - Allanon and Wil hug
Biggest Creeper - the Warlock Lord who keeps invading Eretria’s mind
Biggest Surprise - wedding proposal
Biggest Idiot - Bandon, like usual
Biggest Genius - Cogline
Biggest Eye Roll - every time someone rails against their destiny or storms off
Biggest About Face - Allanon playing father
Biggest Laugh - the Star Wars-ish music playing in the background when the Warlock Lord monologues about the darkness

Best Quotes:

“Alliances are for those who are too weak to empower themselves.”
“I asked you how to fight this, not how to accept it.”
“I don’t care who you look like. Nobody messes with my family.”
“In my experience, runaway princesses don’t usually like too many questions.”
“Magic and science, reunited again.”
“Sometimes our fate chooses us instead.”
“You are the strongest person I’ve ever met. You can beat this.”

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