Ok so the thing about this series doing two episodes a week is that So. Much. Happens. Like already there’s more in a single Shannara hour than in one season of other shows. Double that two weeks in a row and we’re into it but also a bit overwhelmed. But in a good way! So previously on this bonkers amazing show, they were like “if anyone has objections to this wedding” General Riga was like “MURDER/STAB!!!?” and here we are. Let’s do this!
So we pick up right where we left off last week, with Elf King Whatshisthing dead and One Brown Eye One Blue Eye stabbing everybody. But just when it looks like he’s about to kill Lyria guess who saves the day? JUST GUESS.
Eretria and Garet Jax, that’s who! But there’s more of One Eye’s forces than of them, and also maybe the soldiers are all now revealed to be traitors too? Or something. Basically, things work out that Lyria’s able to peace out but Queen Tamlin has to stay and be a prisoner. So with that in mind, she gives her daughter this ginormous amber necklace… thing, that was glowing in an episode earlier, and is going to be important later. It is QUITE the statement piece.
Tamlin is like, “I will face death as I lived my life: with my glitter eyeliner on point.”
So Lyria changes out of her ill-fated wedding dress into her trusty sequinned leather jeggings (YES REALLY) and sheer top and leather coat with the interesting sleeves. It is her usual A Lot Of Look, and when you’re on the run, why not wear what makes you feel the most baddest-assest?
For real though, this level of studded and sequinned and artfully torn leather would not be out of place for one of Cher’s backup dancers, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Then!!! Later that night, Eretria is woken from some well-deserved sleep to find a bright glowing light and….
THE GHOST OF AMBERLE!!! Or like, the astral tree-projection of Amberle The Tree or whatevs. As ever, she’s like, “You have to go find Wil and help him!”
And where is Wil? He’s busy with Queen Malese Jow, figuring out how to heal Al-Anon. They’re like, “We’ve tried magic, we’ve tried medicine, nothing will help him!” Except for, apparently, druid magic, which is not like the magic they tried before. I guess?
And sidenote: did we all know that Malese’s arm tattoos extend all the way to both of her hands? Are they magic tattoos do you think, or just normal? Like do you think she woke up one day and they were there, or is she just like a rad lady who wanted some ink?
AND MEANWHILE, Bandon is strutting around like Snape in the My Life as a Background Slytherin comics, just like flapping cloak and stringy hair and dramatic arm movements.
He’s also looking somehow exactly like Aidan Turner this week.
So, what Malese and Wil are able to do using the druid recipe book is to plop her into Al-Anon’s dreamscape, which is like where his consciousness is living while his body is dying. He’s like, “Hey girl hey, I’m just here to visit a person who I can only meet in my dreamscape, not actually dying, no worries.”
And then Queen Tamlin is channeling Cersei Lannister back when she was put in jail pre-hair being shaved and walk of SHAME, just like amazing hair, dungeon robes, being sort of blessed by the light and accepting of her death. Come on Tamlin, you’ve surely got some schemes left, right?
Spoiler: she does not have any schemes left. Because next thing you know, One Eye has got her standing on the wall where she used to push people to their death using a very long sceptre. Only now One Eye has the sceptre, and Tamlin’s on the gangplank-ish platform thing.
And One Eye is going to shove her off but goddammit, Tamlin won’t go out like that.
I’d say #RIP but we never see her body and as we are about to see, no body can mean someone is maybe not dead. So, who knows, really?
MEANWHILE, so Bandon successfully raises the Warlock Lord who for some reason looks just like Al-Anon but is not Al-Anon, just a guy who happens to look a lot like him, but evil, and with pierced cheekbones and very pale skin. He is… Badllanon? No, he is Evil-anon.
MEANWHILE IN THE SUNSHINE, Queen Malese comes back from her dad’s dreamscape and now knows she’s The Next Druid which is a thing, I guess? And Al-Anon has been almost dying all season because she has the magic now which means he can’t be alive anymore? But Malese’s biggest concern right now is how is Wil not in love with her yet when she is this consistently adorable???
And though Wil twinkles back at her with his gorgeous Austin Butler face, he has to go off and visit his ex-GF who he’s still not over, and who is also a tree. That’s right y’all, TIME TO VISIT AMBERLE!!!
J/K we get to see the girl herself, in the form of Special Guest Star Poppy Drayton. Hey girl!! Missed you.
Glad to see living as an immortal… goddess? Inside… a tree? Provides you with this cute outfit.
And so, while Wil is going through the five stages of denial with Amberle, Evil-anon is subjecting his padawan to some fairly heinous hazing. Namely, he takes Katania’s body (which we never saw before, remember?) and like… brings her back to life? Or she was never really dead? Or something. The biggest surprise was in the previously on when we saw how she used to date short-hair non-evil Bandon in season one. Without that reminder, I think I’d have forgotten that entirely.
And Bandon’s like, “Yay! My GF, who I literally haven’t spoken about or mentioned all season, is back! I love her!” And Evil-anon is like, “LOVE IS A WEAKNESS! YOU HAVE TO KILL HER NOW!”
And Bandon, who by now I think must really regret putting all his eggs in the Resurrect Warlock Lord basket, does what he’s told.
AND MEANWHILE, like seriously seventy-five things are happening simultaneously throughout both these episodes, Eretria is helping some peasant-types escape The Crimson. Luckily, she now has magic evil superpowers and can fight off fireballs with just her mind.
Side effect: the fireball sort of joined with her to become one thing? And now she has evil glowing Bad Willow eyes and a whole set-up for either next week’s finale or next season where she’s the villain. Ivana Baquero deserves this juicy plot twist, but I miss how Eretria used to be just a normal surrounded by Chosen Ones.
SPEAKING OF THE CRIMSON, they capture Queen Malese and put her in an anti-magic neck shackle thing, which is like: magic seems to be not that powerful, I mean, right? So then why are they so afraid of it? Get it together, The Crimson.
But that’s just like the Crimson B-team because One Eye is in this other place, facing off with Evil-anon.
And it’s pretty great, because One Eye has been so consistently heinous all season, to see Evil-anon use magic to wrap him up with barbed wire and then rip his head off with his bare hands. Like, “You’re impervious to magic? Too bad EVERY PIECE OF POINTY METAL IN THIS CASTLE IS STILL IN MY CONTROL!”
Bandon, who is five seconds past murdering his maybe-undead ex-GF for an immortal monster who looks like Al-Anon, somehow finds this a step too far.
And then it’s MONTAGE TIME! Wil badass struts his way out of Amberle’s Tree Dreamscape, ready for battle. With someone. Bandon? Not sure. But he’s ready.
He finds his trusty sidekick Eretria outside, covered in blood from people she clearly just killed with her bare hands. But she’s like blinky blink, “I’m totally not evil,” and only when they’re hugging does she go all BLACK EYES and it all makes me think of the Revenge over-the-shoulder-hug trope and now I want to see Eretria take down corrupt millionaires in The Hamptons.
AND the episode ends not on One Eye’s severed head, or on Eretria clearly planning to murder Wil, but on Al-Anon and his daughter, Queen Malese, about to be burned alive. Al-Anon takes this opportunity, the worst possible timing, to be like, “OK I accept you’re my daughter and I love you,” and Malese is like, “Really? Now? This is the moment you choose for this?”
See you all next week for the TWO HOUR FINALE!!! Where did the time go??