‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×07 & 2×08 Review: Warlock & Amberle

The Shannara Chronicles “Warlock” and “Amberle” was a lesson in how love and letting go of the past can strengthen you for what’s to come. In the face of insurmountable evil, each and every single one of our heroes is going to be able to conquer their demons because of the strength, power, and fortitude that loving their friends and their family gives them.

This 2-hour block of The Shannara Chronicles also saw how evil uses love to twist the mind. Catania, whose body was lost for so long, appeared for only a brief moment as a means to show Bandon how love was a lie. And honestly, Catania deserved better than the second death that she got.

Without further ado, let’s talk The Shannara Chronicles “Warlock” and “Amberle”!

Love is a Strength, Not a Weakness

‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×07 & 2×08 Review: Warlock & Amberle

I know this is a review about The Shannara Chronicles. But I want to talk a little bit about Harry Potter. (Trust me. This will all make sense in a second.) Whenever a villain goes into a long monologue about how love is a weakness I think about Harry Potter and how there is no bigger lie.

Love saved Harry when he was a small child. Love surrounded him with family and friends that gave him a home and helped him conquer his greatest fears. Love is what gave Harry and everyone around him the power to defeat Voldemort. Love is what helped him survive and thrive in the face of great darkness.

Wil, aka the chosen one like Harry, is not going into this battle with the Warlock Lord by himself. Love has surrounded him with family and friends. Love has given him a home even though he’s a traveler always on the road. Love has given him the strength to help his friends and receive the same help in return. And at the end of the day,  love is what’s going to give him the victory he’s seeking.

This concept is it just reserved for the chosen one. It also goes for Eritrea, Mareth, Lyria, and Allanon. Love will give them the strength to fight when there is nothing else left. Love will give them a home when they are all alone and love will guide them back when they get lost in the darkness.

Voldemort didn’t have this love and he died. The Warlock Lord will put up a fierce battle and he will take away so much from The Four Lands. But like Voldemort, the Warlock Lord will fall in the face of love.

Catania Deserved Better, 2nd Edition

‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×07 & 2×08 Review: Warlock & Amberle

Since they didn’t find Catania’s body I had hope that she would somehow come back to life again. I was over the moon when I saw that Bandon had taken her body. Yes, it was definitely creepy and Bandon and Catania are not my end game or OTP. But, I was just happy to have Catania back in my life after harping on in a previous review about how her story was a missed opportunity.

Then the Warlock Lord decided to teach Bandon a lesson. As was the theme of these two episodes, love is a weakness and the only way that Bandon was going to stand at the Warlock Lord’s side was by destroying the love he held for Catania. So the Warlock Lord twisted Catania up into a dark and evil version of herself and Bandon killed her to spare her of that existence and because he realized he had made a mistake.

And honestly, all of this is a fucked-up way for Catania to die again. Both times she was killed, it was by men she trusted. With Ander, from a writer’s perspective, her death was to motivate him into agreeing to the marriage with Lyria. And with Bandon it was to crush the love that he held inside of him and to make him into a more suitable vessel of dark magic for the coming change in The Four Lands.

It sickens me to think that this brave, smart, kind,  and beautiful woman was used as a plot device to further two other men’s storylines. Women/characters like Catania deserve richer storylines than the ones that they are given. Writers rooms and the people that consume this media are so used to writing/seeing the same thing over and over again that we fall into the same traps and think that there is no way to motivate our heroes.

There are other ways. I’ve seen other shows find them and I hope The Shannara Chronicles does too.

Wil Facing His Destiny

‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×07 & 2×08 Review: Warlock & Amberle

Returning to the Ellcrys and talking to Amberle was what Wil needed. For too long Wil has been stuck in the in-between of wanting to help people but fighting against his destiny. Now it’s time to nut up or shut up. (I might have watched Zombieland before writing this review. #SorryNotSorry)

He has nothing holding him back from saving the people of The Four Lands. He knows his time with Amberle was special and that he loved her. But that is part of his past and his future desperately needs him, be that for defeating the Warlock Lord or finding some form of happiness in his companionship with Mareth.

The doubts from before are gone and we aee hopefully left with a Wil that is ready to fight the hard battles that are coming for him and those that he loves and cares about.

Additional Notes:
  1. I’m getting a little tired of seeing Eretria and Lyria separated. I understand that in the grand scheme of things they have two different destinies and have so far had different responsibilities. But couples, strong couples that survive and thrive despite what separates them, work together on all of their problems. That’s what we want to see with Eretria and Lyria.
  2. Talking about Eritrea, I’m terrified for what is coming for her but I’m also a little bit excited. Playing evil always allows the actor to flex their acting muscles. I I have loved every second of dark Eritrea and am curious how she will come into play in the final battle against the Warlock Lord. PS. Here’s hoping that if Eritrea falls to the dark side, that her love for Lyria will bring her back. What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment!
  3. In last week’s double episode review I talked about how I wasn’t buying Mareth and Wil. A part of me still doesn’t but when I compare it to the amount of time that it took me to love Amberle/Wil, Amberle/Eretria, or Amberle/Eretria/Wil, it’s about the same time. So I’m readjusting and looking at this with fresh eyes. The chemistry is there between Mareth and Wil. Honestly, Austin Butler has chemistry with every single person on this cast, including Manu Bennett. But there’s something brewing between Mareth and Wil that could blossom into something new, powerful, and good for both of them. With so much going on around them, romance is hard to find. I think these two balance each other out,  help where the other lacks, and strengthen each other when it’s most needed. There’s still a long way to go for me to be screaming at the top of my lungs that this is my OTP, but it’s a good start.
Favorite Scene from “Warlock”:

Queen Tamlin’s last ‘screw you’ to General Riga was a thing of beauty. She took away the satisfaction he would’ve gotten by pushing her off that ledge. Again, thing of beauty!

‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×07 & 2×08 Review: Warlock & Amberle

Favorite Scene from “Amberle”:

This face will haunt in me in my dreams. Thanks The Shannara Chronicles makeup & crew! You did an amazing job!

‘The Shannara Chronicles’ 2×07 & 2×08 Review: Warlock & Amberle

The Shannara Chronicles airs Wednesdays on Spike at 9/8c with two episodes.

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