‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×04 Review: Dweller

The Shannara Chronicles “Dweller” saw the fragile bonds between a lot of our core characters grow in strength and in numbers. It also saw Bandon returning to his former home, powerful and hungry to prove that others aren’t worthy of saving like the Ohmsford’s men believe. We even catch a glance at the man Bandon could have been and the villain growing in him and a display of power that was truly horrifying.

And then there’s my dear Catania. The attack on her was revealed and no other information was given to determine if she had died. But we can read between the lines. She died alone at the hands of a trusted friend. She died one of the worst deaths imaginable.

So without further ado let’s talk about The Shannara Chronicles, “Dweller” and how it sets the stage for the rest of the season!

Things I Love: People Caring for Each Other

Despite the pain and suffering that is on the horizon for our group there’s still so much love and caring present between them. And that’s what gives this show its heart and why we keep coming back for more, the fact that they care for each other.

Wil cares for Eritrea and doesn’t want to lose her again. He asked her not to go with him not because he doesn’t trust her but because going back to the Kingdom of Leah is important and it will keep her away from some of the more dangerous things he believes are his fault. And Eritrea cares for Wil enough to do what he asks of her in an effort to conquer and divide the foe that they face.

Eritrea proves how much she cares for Lyria despite the lying and hiding of her identity. She doesn’t brush off Lyria’s words when she returns to the Kingdom of Leah. She accepts them and keeps going because that’s what they need to do right now. She loves Lyria and now knows that this woman returns her affections. But there are things that must be done and she knows that Lyria is strong enough to conquer them. And Lyria believes the same thing of Eritrea. Their reunion and kiss goodbye is only for this moment. They will reunite and help the other because they care for each other, no matter the distance or time apart.

Even Garet and Mareth care. The former wants to defeat the demons around him and the ones in his nightmares. He doesn’t have to help Eretria to this extent. He already has the money and he can go far enough where they might never find him. But his pride, his honor, and the fact that he doesn’t want them to be slaughtered like his team before, gets him to stay. He doesn’t quite understand that’s why he stays but it’s there in his eyes.

Mareth is the complete opposite of him. She faces her demons everyday and will not back down until she gets answers and the training she needs to not hurt her loved ones again. She doesn’t have to help Wil to this extent either. But she does so because there’s something inside of her that she doesn’t fully understand, but that she listens to, that tells her this is important and that it’s okay to care.

To an outsider or the villain of the story, this love might not seem like anything to him or her. (Women can be villains too.) But this is always at the heart of every great story where the heroes always triumph over the darkness. Love and caring gives them the strength to keep going when everything seems like it’s going to fall apart and gives them the clarity they need to defeat their foe.

This is what will defeat the Warlock Lord.

Thing That Make Me Sad: Bandon Returning Home

Ever since Loki hit our screens in Marvel’s Thor and The Avengers, there’s been a change in the way that we write villains. We’ve started fleshing them out and giving them backstory that explains or maps out their journey to becoming the villains we know and have always cheered against. Because of this we now side with the villain on multiple occasions and feel sympathy for him.

This is what’s happening with Bandon.

What he did when he arrived at his old home was a test for the people that lived there and for himself. He also wanted to prove two wheels uncle that the people he’s trying to protect with throw a magic user under the bus without any remorse. He was proved right and had to sit through a meal where he was peace actually made fun of and reduced to nothing but a filthy magic user who should be killed no matter if he was a child when he first manifested his abilities.

The way they talked about him and how they feel it when it was their child on the line made you feel for him. It made you see how much of a hypocrite all these people were. It made you side with him and question the good sides Mission. Or if they were even the good side at all.

At the end of the day I have to judge Bandon by the choices he makes. There are plenty of us that have not had the best of an upbringing. Some of us are torn apart by it and become like Bandon. But a lot of us fight back and transform into something completely different in spite of what we experienced as children. It is our choices that define us more than the conditions that we grew up in.

That’s what we have to remember and that’s what we hope Bandon remembers at some point. Right now I don’t think he’s too far gone. But if he unleashes the Warlock Lord there’s no turning back and the world will end or start on the path to its destruction…again.

Things I Hate: Characters Who Die Alone

So, it looks like Catania is dead. *sad sigh* She died scared, betrayed by someone she trusted, and alone, the latter being the worst possible way you could die.

We’re so used to deaths being part of a bigger picture with others being present at the character’s death. Seeing the death is a lesson, a warning, a turning moment for those left behind. And the one dying does so surrounded by loved ones, strangers, or in the arms of their family. It’s a comforting idea that doesn’t really happen in our world. Maybe that’s why Catania’s death hurts so much.

Catania, an elf with a storyline about to burst forth and set her apart from all the other elves and women, was cut down and killed by someone she trusted. And I can’t help but thinking about her crumpled form, curled up on the floor, a pool of blood growing around her. Every second that passes by draws her one step closer to death and her only companions are the furniture in the room and the man that cut her open. Her thoughts aren’t even there. They’re with the people she’s lost, the people she’s loved, and the life she’ll never have.

In a world of magic, demons, and warlocks, her death is so painfully human and heartbreaking. *more sad sighs* Here’s hoping I’m wrong and she’s ok, having received help from someone else.

Additional Notes:
  1. I always get really excited when I see relationships between two women where no one acts like its weird. I mean, you shouldn’t care what other people think about your relationship with your loved one of choice, but this speaks to the world that they live in and how it’s changed. Sure there may be demons, magic, and Warlock Lords about to pop up in The Four Lands. But they don’t hold any prejudice if you want to be with a woman and you just happen to be a woman. I’m curious to see how this holds if it were a relationship between two men. Basically, give me all the LGBT relationships where LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE!
  2. Mareth is my awkward yet feisty goober who I want to protect from all those in the world, even Allanon. Of course she wants a relationship with her family, who wouldn’t, but more importantly she doesn’t want to hurt those she loves. That is her #1 goal right now. If along the way she bonds with her pops and saves the world, that’s ok too.
  3. Garet and Eretria are bonding and it’s giving me lifeeeeee. Sure, he almost popped one of her eyes while they were sleeping after a crazy nightmare…but they’re bonding. Shared trauma or revealing of past trauma brings people together. It’s true. That crazy guy from Stranger Things said so.

The Shannara Chronicles airs Wednesdays on Spike at 10/9c.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.