Here’s what you missed on The Shannara Chronicles: Bandon breaks bad! There are people named Eretria and Al-Anon! Wil got a hair cut and is self-harming with the elfstones! Amberle is still a tree! Everything looks unbelievably elf-apocalypse gorgeous, and the costumes are just in the sweet spot where Xena: Warrior Princess meets The Hunger Games and it only gets better this week with the introduction of the ROYAL COURT OF HUMANS. Like, prepare yourselves, and then prepare a lil bit more, because Queen Tamlin and her daughter are not holding back in the fashion dept. Let’s do this!

So, following last episode’s magical-and-parental-reveals, Wil and Malese are on the run from The Crimson, which I think is the anti-magic squad run by One Blue Eye One Brown Eye from last week. Malese proves her magnificence yet again by 100% keeping up with Wil despite wearing short-shorts, over-the-knee boots, and a massive knitted poncho. Wil’s changed out of his shapeless yurt monk doctor robes and into this show’s typically rad jacket o’many straps.

Where are they going? “My uncle has a house nearby!” Wil says, and Malese is DUBIOUS, for good reasons, since when one is on the run, hiding out at ones relatives homes is never the best first choice.

Because this is a gorgeous show shot on location in gorgeous New Zealand, and because “young adults on the run” stories always find themselves trapped at waterfalls, this pair does the whole windmill arms, dramatic fall into the water below.

Malese’s poncho now weighing 10,000 lbs when drenched in water, she continues to be doubtful about Wil’s leadership potential. But Al-Anon is her Dad (or so she thinks) and Wil is the only person who can find him, so she’s basically stuck.

 

Meanwhile! Eretria and her GF, whose name is Lyria, are still captured by the Grounders 2.0: Mo’ Grounding Mo’ Problems. They’re tied up and going to be tortured, etc., but Eretria’s not too concerned and advises Lyria not to worry, either. Because? This gal is a straight-up superhero.

Before Eretria can execute her surely badass escape plan, their captors start flying off, being impaled by axes.

Why? How? Who? Oh, it’s just our new friend GARET JAX, local bounty hunter. He’s got the confident grin of Han Solo in the beginning of the first Star Wars film, combined with the charisma of Han Solo in every Star Wars film, combined with the wardrobe of… Eretria, basically. He is hot as hell and our new fav character.

Oh, also he’s mega-deadly with the seventeen hidden blades he keeps attached to his body via his version of vest o’many straps.

And more than that!! The bounty he’s after is not Eretria, but Lyria! Who is important in some manner but we don’t know how just yet.

Garet Jax knocks Eretria out and absconds with Lyria, who’s pissed and pouty but knows she doesn’t have the knife skills to evade him. YET.

 

This week brings together a bunch of the people who were all off in their own plotlines last time, for instance as King Whatshisface is now travelling with Al-Anon, and their plan is to try and make a deal with the Queen Of The Humans to fight together against The White Walkers The Crimson.

Also along for the ride are the usual palace-adjacent squad, and a new soldier who the show pretends like we know who he is? But we’ve literally never seen him before. It’s a full-on Dawn Summers situation, so let’s just go with it, whatever, there are bigger fish to fry here.

 

Team Royals wind up at Human Palace, where they meet Queen Tamlin who is NEXT LEVEL. She’s like the TV version of Cate Blanchett in Thor:Ragnarok mixed with J-Lo in The Cell mixed with Solange in her everyday life mixed with perfection. Just like, try and take this all in.

We’ve got a tiny nosering, shoulder-sweeping earrings, statement necklace, tiara/headband, and a dress that’s just like six structured fabrics each compounding each other to look more and more regal and flamazing. The neckline of this dress is working like a picture frame, everything making us look at her gorgeous face and hair and jewels, like a portable spotlight.

Oh and I’m sure this isn’t important, but she and Dawn Summers exchange a SHIFTY EYED LOOK.

And then who comes strutting in, further braiding together all the plotlines? GARET JAX MOTHERLOVERS!

Dude is wearing TWO AXES ON HIS BELT, totes casual, like, “What, these things? They’re just a fashion accessory that also helps me MURDER PEOPLE-slash-cut down trees.” So he was bounty hunting on belalf of the Queen because PLOT TWIST…

Lyria is her daughter aka THE PRINCESS.

Like, just look at her dress. Did you think it was green before? SURPRISE NOW IT’S PURPLE. Fabric itself looks at her amazingness and is just like, “I, fabric, will change color to best reflect your current mood and lighting because even cloth itself WORSHIPS YOU IN EVERY WAY.”

 

So! Meanwhile, Wil and Malese got to the uncle’s house which has been burned totally down, leading to a kind of Luke Skywalker thing where he’s like, “Oh no my family and life!” But luckily Wil has magic elfstones healing powers, so his uncle is quickly on the mend. And? Is ready to offer some fireside EXPOSITION vis-a-vis the elftstones, Wil’s dead dad, lots of stuff.

I’m sure what Uncle had to say here was v  important but WHAT IS QUEEN TAMLIN WEARING TO THE BALL????

If you guessed the same dress but now with a crown/globe situation and bonus GOLDEN SPIKES ON HER NAILS then congrats, you’re correct.

So Lyria’s unhappily back home, and she has to dress like her mother wants her to because she’s the Princess. And the way Tamlin wants her to dress is… with jbf hair and leather studded eyeshadow.

And in a dress that is like… a semi-sheer bodysuit with chaps? And exaggerated hips a lace train and also shoulder Slinkies.

Oh, and so Tamlin’s scheme is currently to marry Lyria off to King Whatshisname, so join the elves and humans together, which is kind of what King W had wanted in the first place? So… not such a bad deal for him, the worst of all deals for Lyria.

 

MEANWHILE IN THE ROYAL BORDELLO. Yes, friends, welcome to a sequence that’s baby steps close to matching the EDM hipster barn rave for sheer bonkers wonderfulness. We see a woman in a lace bodystocking doing ceiling acrobatics, then follow the strappy back of this crimped-hair waitress as she strolls through the joint.

We have casual absinthe use by a group of women with a dude, which is like: ugh, is this yet another TV brothel where it’s just dudes gazing at boobs? I thought this show was better than… oh, wait.

BORDELLO DUDE ON DUDE ACTION! Sorry, show, I should have give you more credit. So, our mystery waitress delivers them a giant bottle of cologne.

And then we find Mr. Garet Jax, relaxing here in a way so that we can clearly see all of his individual seventeen abdominal muscles.

And then OH SNAP! The  mysterious waitress is in face Eretria, in DISGUISE AS A GENIE!!!! She pulls a knife on Garet Jax, demanding to know where Lyria is. Because these two are both sexy and dangerous AF, of course GJ pulls out another knife on HER, so it’s a mutual knife-on-knife thing.  

Ughhhh Eretria is beyond gorgeous here. Love that she went so all-in with her disguise, false lashes and teased hair and everything. Oh, and she totally didn’t know that Lyria is the Princess so, surprise!

She tracks down her GF, who’s busy in her personal boudoir, pluching beads off of her eyebrow situation. She’s so happy to see Eretria! Until she notices the look on her face.

Eretria’s like, “You played me, girl,” and Lyria is like, “I’m only myself when I’m with you but also I have to marry this guy now,” and the convo is cut off when Eretria is arrested!!! For breaking into the palace.

Queen T offers her a back of “diamonds” to never see Lyria again.

And Eretria’s not down for that, until Tamlin mentions how this isn’t the first time Lyria’s run off with a brunette, and how Lyria always tells her lovers she’s only herself with them. Hmmm… that sounds familiar.

Also? Apparently these two are a thing. Also: more abs. This show’s male cast clearly spent their whole hiatus doing crunches and I don’t mind.

They are coitus interruptus though, when Lyria bursts in and is like, “Hey, neither of us want to get married so I don’t mind you’ve got a thing going with this handmaiden, but also ERETRIA WAS JUST ARRESTED HELPPPP”

And so the King sorts things out where Eretria is now accepted as a war hero from last season, and now she’s also on his squad to go off and hunt down The Crimson or whatever they’re up to. Before heading off on this campaign, Eretria has time to take out her heartbreak on a woman who really only had the best of intentions and is totally powerless right now.

The team pauses to get horses, at which point Al-Anon is faced down by Blue Eye Brown Eye.

Who is IMMUNE TO MAGIC??

Which means that Al-Anon, like Eretria before him, winds up this episode passed out from a wack to the head. Like, dude I know you’ve got magic and all, but you are also physically quite a bit larger than Blue Eye Brown Eye so maybe balance your magic training with combat training?

No worries, though, Eretria saw all this and sense Whatshername, the King’s girlfriend, back to let the palace know what’s up.

And so the show’s only female blonde does so, but she tells the wrong person: Dawn Summers! Who is like, “The Lannisters send their regards” and guts her and that is that now.

 

Back at Wil’s uncle’s house, the flying fire demons are back on the attack, but Malese Jow is still Malese Jow and she can handle this single-handed, no prob.

 

Well, at least she could delay them a bit so Wil’s ready to fight in his usual way of holding elfstones in one hand towards another person.

But in this instance, that other person is EVIL HOT ELF GUY!! Who is so emotional around Wil, who was kind to him last season during the trapped-in-a-barn times. He’s like, “Look, you hate Al-Anon, I hate Al-Anon, let’s work together.”

And that’s basically where things end. I mean, also the Hot Evil Elf kidnaps Wil’s uncle, and says he will kill him if Wil doesn’t find Al-Anon for him, so I guess that’s what next will entail. So long as Queen T makes and appearance, I’m OK with anything from any other storyline.