The Shannara Chronicles season finale ends with an action packed two parter. Drama, death and emotional upheaval fill the last two episodes of the second season. Here are my thoughts on episode 9 and 10 named Wilderun and Blood.
Season 2 of the Shannara Chronicles has not been shy with the action and violence, and sometimes it seemed rushed and too violent. These last two episodes, though, I felt were well paced and well done. There were a few things I really liked and a few things that I think could be done a little better, but mostly I really enjoyed the last two episodes.
For episode 9, I really liked the tense buildup in the first half of the episode. Allanon and Mareth are saved from the Crimson by gnomes and everyone heads to the human settlement in the Wilderun where Lyria is in hiding with Cogline. Even though they feel as if they are safe, Eretria is with Wil and Lyria, and, as we know from the last episode, Eretria has gone to the dark side. I liked this use of dramatic irony, and how it helped build the tension in the episode like the calm before a particularly violent storm. And the end of the episode was definitely violent.
I also liked the dark aspect of the last two episodes. It doesn’t look at all as things are going well for the “good guys” as people die and things start to go downhill for the side of light. I like it when protagonists have a very steep hill to climb. And episode 9 had two very big deaths in it.
The first death I want to talk about is Bandon. Throughout the season, Bandon has progressively gotten darker and darker. His slide into darkness was fully solidified when Catania was brought back and then he killed her again. He, then, very stupidly decides he is strong enough to take on the Warlock Lord. He is, unfortunately, not strong enough to take on the Warlock Lord. The Warlock Lord stabs him right through the gut and kills him. Now Bandon’s death was very sudden and I felt rushed. There wasn’t really a build up for it and I really felt like it should have been more. I do think that we may get more Bandon, but more on that later.
The second death that really hit me hard in episode 9 is the death of Allanon. Throughout the season, Allanon’s death had quite a bit of foreshadowing. His runes were beginning to disappear, he was losing strength and he had passed on his role as lead Druid to Mareth. He even had a moment when he and Mareth were able to find an understanding between the two of them. So I knew that Allanon’s fate was not looking good. In this episode, he certainly did meet his fate at the hands of the Warlock Lord while protecting Mareth. This scene really was sad, but what I found very interesting is what the Warlock Lord said just before he killed Allanon. He said that he was going to banish him to the third level of the forbidding. Does this mean that we may see our favorite Druid once more and that he is not truly gone yet? I truly hope so.
Episode 9 ended with Eretria going dark side and leading the Mord Wraiths and the Warlock Lord to Lyria and Wil. And episode 10 picked up as everyone converges on heaven’s well to stop the Warlock Lord from tainting it with his blood. I liked the race to the well and the fight for it, but I do wish that it was not all jammed into one episode. That would be my biggest issue with this season is just how rushed and compressed everything seemed. I did think the pacing in the last two episode was better though I do think that it could have been spread out more.
The two stand out moments was with Wil and one was with Eretria. The first I want to talk about is Eretria. Dark side Eretria is really fascinating. I liked how much tension it added to the show with the fans knowing she is bad. I loved the battle for the floodgate and how her act led to the near destruction of everything. I think this really added a conflicting element in Eretria that I hope we will get to see more of in a season 3.
The battle for the well was exciting though I wish it were less compressed. I will have to say that I was really impressed with Austin Butler’s acting this season and this episode was also well done. I liked the defeat of the Warlock Lord, but I do wish the Warlock Lord’s time was longer. There was so much build up for how terrifying he was said to be, but his end was a little rushed, and I wished he had more screen time.
I also like the sacrifice that Wil realizes he must do after he is stabbed through the gut with the Warlock blade. His blood lands in the well, and he sees it start to purify the tainted heaven’s well. Fans think that they have lost another main character through sacrifice as it happened in season 1. I liked the symmetry in this, but I would have disappointed if it had ended with only this.
Luckily, it did not. Season 2 ends with Wil alive in the forbidding. This was shocking and super exciting. This also opens up so many questions, but the main question is how did he end up in the forbidding?
There are two theories that I have. The first is that Wil was stabbed with the Warlock blade just like Allanon and just like Bandon. If you are stabbed with such a powerful, dark magic weapon, like the Warlock Blade, do you immediately get sent to the Forbidding? If that is true are we going to see Bandon there as well? Now that would an interesting dynamic to see next season.
The second theory is that everyone, except Allanon who was already banished to the forbidding, who fell into Heaven’s well or its rivers (Wil, Queen Tamlin, Ander and the Crimson guard) all end up in the forbidding. That would mean that there is a possibility that a fan favorite (Ander) may be coming back.
I guess fans will have to wait until season 3 to find out what happens next. And I truly hope that we will get a season 3 because I see a lot of potential for this show to really grow. I can see a lot of interesting character arcs and I can see some new character interactions. Fans will have just have to wait and see.