We gave it a B+
Thanks for reading the Shannara Chronicles premiere react last week, everyone! Because of your eyeballs and enthusiasm, we’ll be recapping season 2, so let’s dive right into the second episode.
When we left them, Eretria and Lyria-of-the-mysterious-past had been captured by Rovers. In short order, they’re rescued by a mystery man who leaps into the fray and slaughters everyone with a double-tipped spear. It’s gross when he cuts off all of one Rover’s fingers, and it’s grosser still when he doesn’t clean off his spear blades before retracting them into his staff.
His name is Garet Jax (Gentry White), and Lyria recognizes him as a bounty hunter who’s after her for being, in his words, “a very bad girl.” He knocks out Eretria and agrees not to kill her if Lyria comes without a fight.
To avoid Crimson spies in the palace, Ander and Allanon meet in a seaside cave where Allanon tells the elf prince what went down with Bandon at Skull Mountain (and yes, that’s its official name). Now that Bandon has the Warlock Lord’s heart and sword, all he needs is the dark Druid’s head to resurrect him. Magic kept Allanon from destroying the skull after he defeated the Warlock Lord, but he assures Ander it’s carefully hidden.
Then Allanon, Ander, Catania, Slanter, and a rando elf guard set off for the human Kingdom of Leah, where Queen Tamlin has proposed an alliance to unite the Four Lands. Unfortunately, Gen. Riga has spies in the castle and learns of their destination. He sets off to intercept Allanon and also dispatches a group of Crimson soldiers to Wil’s last known location.
This is bad news for the head of gnomish surgery, who endures a beating for protecting Wil’s location. He’s rescued, sort of, when Bandon arrives and compels the Crimson soldier to stab his buddy and then himself. Bandon psychically extracts Wil’s location and lets Dr. Gnome live with a warning to prepare for the war to come.
In Leah, the exquisite Queen Tamlin welcomes the elf party to her equally exquisite kingdom by reminding Ander that the last time she saw him, he was passed out drunk at his 17th birthday party. Well, that’s one way to start negotiating an alliance, I guess.
The elves are sent to rest up for the celebratory banquet, and bounty hunter Jax arrives to tell the queen that he’s returned with her daughter Lyria. Gaspity gasp! Jax declines the offer of a permanent position and takes his reward to the royal bordello. I’ve…got some questions. In this bordello, are the royals the customers or the courtesans? Does the crown take all the profits? What other royally sanctioned vice shops are there in Leah: a royal mead store? A royal vape shop?
At the banquet, Lyria’s dressed in full princess regalia, which involves a dress with a huge butt bow and no fabric covering the crotch, and the only thing the queen and the princess seem to agree on is the importance of sparkly rhinestone eye makeup. The Shannara Chronicles, continuing to serve us glorious eye candy!
Tamlin takes Ander aside to thank the elves for saving the Four Lands from the demons and to suggest that they can unite all the races against The Crimson through a royal wedding that puts her daughter on the Arborlon throne. Ander doesn’t look pleased, and the fraught glances he’s been exchanging with Catania might explain why.
At the brothel, Jax has located two companions for the night when a bordello-serving wench draws a knife on him. It’s Eretria, of course, and she and Jax grapple. When he realizes she’s in love with Lyria, he agrees to help, explaining, “I have a soft spot for hopeless romantics.”
When Eretria finds Lyria in her finery, she angrily asks if anything about their relationship was real. Lyria says she was finally, fully herself when she was with Eretria. Also, she says her mother hates the elves and is clearly up to something with this royal marriage suggestion. Before she can elaborate, the castle guards show up. As they drag Eretria away, she begs Lyria to tell King Ander where she is.
Eretria is brought before the queen, who says her daughter has a history of running off with feisty brunettes, including a scullery maid and an innkeeper’s son. Further, Lyria has a history of telling her paramours that she only feels like herself when she’s with them, then dropping them afterward. This tidbit hits Eretria right in the gut.
Tamlin offers the Rover an impressive handful of diamonds if she’ll leave the kingdom, or death by execution if she doesn’t. You know, offering to pay or kill someone sort of undermines your claim that your flighty daughter will dump her newest squeeze at any moment, Tamlin.
Those looks didn’t lie, friends; Ander and Catania have struck up a relationship. Ander vows not to spend his life in a loveless marriage, but Catania says they owe it to everyone who died in the demon war to build a better world through a smart alliance. Then Lyria bursts in on them kissing to alert him to Eretria’s presence.
Ander puts on his kingliest mien and tells that guards that Eretria is a hero in the War of the Forbidding (yessss, respect the Rover!) and should be unhanded. Eretria says she has a message from Amberle, and Ander breathes, “You don’t know.” He tells her about Amberle’s sacrifice, then refers to Eretria as family and pledges to give her anything she needs. And what she needs is to tell Allanon about Tree-berle’s warning that Wil’s in danger.
Allanon realizes this means Bandon’s likely looking for Wil, so he, Catania, and Eretria make plans to find Wil first.
Before she leaves, Eretria is detained by Lyria, who swears that what the two of them have is special. Eretria demands that she prove it by leaving with them. Lyria says the queen would just kill everyone if she did, so Eretria leaves the castle, crushed. (Next page: Wil learns some family history)