We gave it an A-
The elves, humans, gnomes, and trolls of the Four Lands are back! And have no fear: The Shannara Chronicles may have moved from MTV to Spike for season 2, but the cast and the countryside are no less beautiful for it.
At the end of the last season, elf princess Amberle sacrificed herself to become a mystical tree named the Ellcrys, thereby defeating the demon army sweeping the Four Lands. When the action picks up a year later, the characters have scattered. Let’s catch up with them, shall we?
Our reformed Rover learns that her troll captors from season 1 are actually humans in camouflage. And not just any humans; they’re led by Cogline, a Druid who knew Eretria as a child and promised her mother he would always protect her. He invites her to make a home with his people in what remains of San Francisco.
Eretria insists that Wil and Amberle will come for her because, of course, she doesn’t know about Amberle’s arboreal fate. But when they never arrive, she settles in with the humans, rocking a new makeup lewk and scavenging circuit boards from the ruins to bring to Cogline for his experiments in electricity.
Still, trolls remain a problem, and the episode kicks off with a pair of them chasing Eretria through the forest and onto the remains of the Golden Gate Bridge. She weaves through long-dead cars — reminding us that this is our Earth, long after something bad happened to, well, us — and lures ones of her pursuers onto a booby-trapped car placed at the edge of a gaping hole in the bridge. He topples in (or she — can we really determine troll gender?), but as Eretria’s savoring her victory, the second troll barrels into her and knocks them both in the water. This seems like a poor tactical choice, but trolls, ya know?
As Eretria drifts in the water, an ethereal version of Amberle appears in the water, wearing a gauzy white dress and alarmingly purple eyeshadow, to warn Eretria that a new darkness is coming, and the fate of the world depends on her finding Wil.
When Eretria comes to, she’s in her bed with her lovely girlfriend Lyria (Vanessa Morgan) hovering over her. Motivated by her vision of Amberle, Eretria asks Cogline about her old friends. He tells her they never came looking for her and urges her to let go of her old life.
Eretria’s moodily whipping knives into a troll dummy when Lyria catches up with her to ask why her girlfriend’s saying the names Amberle and Wil in her sleep.
Eretria says Amberle was the bravest person she ever met and cops to having been in love with Wil; although he only had eyes for Amberle, he was still the first person to ever see something good inside of her.
This earns Eretria a kiss, and although Lyria’s closed-mouth about her own past, she offers one bit of truth to Eretria: Cogline’s been lying to her. He told his scouts to hide Eretria from anyone searching for her, and a few months after Eretria arrived, Lyria overhead the scouts offering Cogline proof that the Eretria problem was taken care of.
Assuming that the packrat Cogline kept the evidence, Eretria and Lyria break into his study and root through his possessions until they find Wil’s ugly necklace from season 1. Ha! May that hideous thing never grace his neck again.
Cogline catches them snooping and tells Eretria that he was just trying to protect her, then begs her to ignore the Amberle vision because the truth will likely only bring her pain. She ignores his advice, and she and Lyria set out to find her friends.
Unfortunately, they’re swiftly captured by a group of Rovers, but I’m sure those crafty ladies will wiggle their way out of trouble.
Bandon and Allanon
Bandon’s also rocking a new lewk this season, but it’s way less cute than Eretria’s. His hair is long, his skin is greasy, and his eyes are vicious. He leads a group of disciples along a snowy mountain to a stronghold that’s fashioned in the oh-so-subtle shape of a HIDEOUS MENACING SKULL WITH GLOWING EYES. Four Lands Disney, it’s not.
Inside, they find an elaborate casket and, somehow, merrily burning candles. Once there, Bandon starts to speechify about the Warlock Lord’s blade calling them together to resurrect their master. His minions will be reborn as mord wraiths, while Bandon will learn from a Druid with real power.
He designates one of his apostles as the leader and bestows upon him the mark of the snake, which gives the lucky guy slitted pupils. Then Bandon intones, “Let darkness reign once more,” and stabs the sword into a slot near the casket.
A panel on the casket opens to reveal a preserved heart, and he calls for the Warlock Lord’s return to bring war, chaos, death, and torment to nonbelievers. The heart starts beating and dripping blood onto the casket.
Suddenly the doors blow up to reveal everyone’s favorite grumpy Druid. Allanon and Bandon leap into battle, employing both magic and swords (and magical swords, come to think of it). Allanon overpowers the minions, but Bandon’s picked up some slick fighting skills and gloats that Allanon will die forgotten and alone.
Snake eyes orders the rest of the minions to drink the heart blood pooled on the casket, which doesn’t seem hygienic at all, and when they do, they literally go up in smoke, only to reappear as mord wraiths, which are basically screeching nightmare demons. (See? This is what happens when you drink ancient heart blood from a casket in a skull-shaped stronghold with glowing eyes!) Snaky wraith uses his new powers to blow Allanon out a window, which could be dicey since they’re on top of a mountain.
Suddenly Bandon has a vision that tells him Wil Ohmsford will knows where to find the Warlock Lord’s skull. He orders his crew to “find the Shannara.” (Remember, the Ohmsfords are descendants of Jerle Shannara, who defeated the Warlock Lord hundreds of years prior.) The mord wraiths screech into flight as Allanon clings to a narrow ledge, watching helplessly. (Next page: Wil’s on everyone’s most-wanted list)