Less mystery, more answers. The second (or third) episode of The Shannara Chronicles is packed full of learning why our characters are doing what they’re doing. Characters I thought I liked in the first episode, I’m suddenly less sure about and those that I thought were assholes I’m starting to feel sympathy for. This means good writing is happening underneath all the pretty pictures and sexy humans.
I got super excited when the Elf King’s son showed us a new game drinking game: take a drink whenever a leaf falls. Depending on the episode this could turn into a real problem. Also got a better look at the Elven dwellings. Structurally, they’re like the elves of LOTR which almost made it seem like these elves didn’t belong in their own castle. We get the ethereal vibe, but it’s not the same with these rougher, more steampunk style elves. I also didn’t like that the Elf King totally has a European accent but all of the other elves sound American. I noticed it with a few other characters – accent consistency is a must.
In the last episode, we learned that the Shannara is a magical line of warriors. Half Elf is descended from them but has zero clue about anything involving his Shannara side. When the princess finds out, she’s like “hey boy hey,” and looks like she wants to get all up in his magic blood. This is when The Shannara Chronicles feels the most like an MTV production. Anything involving a hint of romance is way over the top and almost to the point of eye rolling, but it’s over quickly enough that I can still hang.
I was really surprised to know more about Eretria. She’s the daughter of the human tribe, and in this episode we learn a lot more about her backstory. They also pitted her against Amberle and introduced what I like to call “Lady Hate.” It’s pretty typical for female interactions on screen, “you’re a chick, I’m a chick, so obviously, we hate each other.” Which I hate.
Allanon is by far my favorite. I was excited that we got a small explanation for the scars that cover his body. They form an intricate, tribal tattoo-like pattern in certain areas, and seem like wounds in others, that I’m guessing has something to do with his magic. The mystery surrounding Allanon is thick, and I find it interesting that everyone in the show automatically trusts this man when he doesn’t really say much. I’m guessing this has a lot to do with his domineering presence. So much winky face is going on right now.
One of my favorite plot accelerants are perfectly-timed demons – they’re the absolute best. One in particular unlocked so many story points that I almost climaxed when Allanon showed up… I mean, the story totally almost climaxed. See? I can’t help it, Allanon just totally does it for me. Ladies, if you liked muscle men who don’t talk much and yield magic, he’s your guy.
This episode we also met a new character named Ben. Can’t tell you how Ben is brought into the fold, but he’s definitely going to be supporting role. He brought back the mystery and I’m really curious to see what part he’ll play in this grand adventure that is shaping up.
Overall, the second (or third, technically) episode of The Shannara Chronicles is solid, despite the cheesiness that comes with it being an MTV production. The cheese is present in the boy/girl interactions but considering who this show is geared toward, I won’t hold it against them. Visually, everything still looks amazing. It’s a very high quality production, and I’m glad MTV shelled out the cash. Can’t wait to see the fourth episode.
Demons, Elves and Magic! Oh My!
Tons of magic and a mysterious new character named Ben. Amberle's trust is growing for Allanon and Will, with each discovering what roles they'll play in the saving of the Ellcrys Tree.