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In what feels like the blink of an eye, we’ve come to the middle of the second season of The Wheel of Time. That feeling probably comes from the quick pace of the plot this season. And The Wheel of Time 2×04 keeps up that pace. This episode brings revelations and surprises, as well as a touch of creepiness to liven things up.
With a created world like The Wheel of Time, it’s inevitable that some periods are going to be loaded with exposition. Such as the beginning of season one of this show, with a world to build and characters to introduce. Then there are periods where the story hits a rhythm, where a plot point makes progress or character development occurs consistently. That is what is happening now in this episode. The book series this show is based on is 14 books long, so this saga probably still has a lot of time to go on screen. The pace could be hard to sustain. And the writers probably shouldn’t try. But for now, the narrative is humming along.
Episode 2×04 of The Wheel of Time moves events forward nicely, and in memorable ways. It is by turns intriguing and creepy. Plus, I for one am eager for future episodes to watch for any long-term implications stemming from what happens in this one.
“I’m not looking to repeat my failure.”
I’ve written elsewhere about my love of ships, and the Lan/Nynaeve subplot got a pleasant bit of focus in the previous episode. What Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) experienced during the Trial of the Arches wasn’t real but it gave fans something to hang on to. While we wait for a true reunion, both Lan and Nynaeve have other concerns to deal with.
Nynaeve is now one step closer to being a full-fledged Aes Sedai. Her test caused her a lot of trauma but the strength of her abilities in channeling the One Power meant she survived. Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood), the Aes Sedai whose loyalties have always been questionable, shows her empathy. The audience knows Nynaeve has a strong will so she won’t be easily duped into anything that helps the Dark. But suspicion will always be a healthy reaction to Liandrin. Always. At all times.
Meanwhile, Lan (Daniel Henney) is trying to adjust to not being Moiraine’s Warder anymore. He has joined another Aes Sedai, Alanna (Priyanka Bose), and her Warders but he knows he must make a more permanent decision about his future. Alanna suggests waiting until Nynaeve needs a Warder. (Seriously, everyone knows about these two.) But Lan’s confidence is too shaken. My guess is that somehow Lan and Moiraine will become a team again against the Dark.
“We remind them that they are not gods.”
Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) is still doing what she can to help defeat the Dark One. She may not be able to use magic anymore but as a Blue Aes Sedai, gathering intelligence is her specialty. That is what she’ll do to assist and protect Rand (Josha Stradowski), the Dragon Reborn who can save the world. In this episode, that involves returning to her family’s home and seeing her younger sister again. The great Lindsay Duncan plays Moiraine’s little sister and it’s great casting. But it’s also a bit wild because, obviously, Duncan is older than Pike. Using magic slows down aging so the Aes Sedai are older than they look. Such a tactile detail for the show.
Rand has been struggling to find a way to control his magical power because men who can channel go insane. He has been careful to stay far away from everyone he loves. However, the Dark One’s servants are not keeping a low profile. His army is coming together, and that’s a direct threat to Rand in this episode. Without spoiling any details, I will say just be prepared for a skin-crawling final scene.
And that’s not the only angle the Dark One is playing in this episode. His second-in-command Ishamael (Fares Fares) promises Min (Kae Alexander) he’ll remove her abilities to see the future if she brings Mat (Donal Finn) where he tells her. A positive rapport has grown between Min and Mat so this development is bleak. In general, that’s the tone for the ending of The Wheel of Time 2×04 but it’s not detrimental to the storytelling, which is cooking right now.
The Wheel of Time is streaming on Prime Video.