[This is a review of The Shannara Chronicles season 1 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]
The first battle in what is sure to be a long and arduous war takes center stage in this week's thrilling season 1 finale of The Shannara Chronicles. Our heroes have been through a lot over the past ten weeks, but what's sure to be on everyone's mind as we wait for news of a second season will be: where do Wil, Amberle and Eretria go from here?
Let's start with Wil, who at first glance appeared to be our Luke Skywalker for this tale. While the young man has had some instruction from Allanon, Wil has grown leaps and bounds from where he started mostly on his own. It's impressive how he's learned to master the Elvin Stones in such a short period of time. Last week, Eretria looked dead after she opened the portal, but Wil used his instincts along with the stones to heal her. The shock on his face said it all. Clearly the Shannara blood is strong with this one. There seems to be no limit to his power. Hopefully we will get another season to see what else he can do.
Eretria is another character who's drastically improved over the course of this season. Ivan Baquero's portrayal of the lovely Rover was stifled by her one-note delivery and her constant attempts at seduction were getting old. It was a shame to see a talent like Baquero being wasted on such mediocrity. Fortunately, creators Gough and Millar gave her more to do towards the season's conclusion once the silly love triangle went away. Sure, there is undoubtedly a bond between Wil and Eretria, but their kiss and embrace this week felt more like that of a friend than a love interest. As a team, the trio is fun to watch, so let's hope they stay away from all the bickering and jealously the second time around.
Poppy Drayton's portrayal of Amberle has been the strongest of the young cast and she certainly delivered the goods in this finale. Her inner turmoil of self-sacrifice outweighing her love for Wil was well executed. While the scene with her and Wil in the perfectly sunlit cave may have been a bit cheesy, it was nice to see her have some happiness before she turned herself into Groot from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Wait, so Amberle is a tree now? That wasn't the kind of sacrifice that this reviewer saw coming, but now we have to ask what that will mean for her future?
We know that characters such as Allanon and Bandon can see beyond time and space, so communicating with Amberle won't be a problem, so maybe she'll be like Obi-Wan Kenobi, whispering in Wil and Eretria's ear about "using the force" and "letting go." Drayton is one of the better aspects of this series, so they need to find a way to get her out of the Ellcry's. Perhaps she could take a holiday, or have someone "tree-sit" for awhile.
Bandon has been one of those intriguing characters lurking in the background, unsure of what path he should take. Well, the handsome Elf has finally decided what to do and he's gone full dark side. The Dagda Mor may have been a powerful adversary, but Bandon's power appears limitless. Let's not give up on our misguided friend yet, since Bandon is not one of those "pure evil" kind of villains and we can see that there is still good in him. At least when his eyes aren't fully blacked out. It would be nice to give Catania something more to do than just cry. She may be the key to getting Bandon back to the light. Only time will tell.
The Shannara Chronicles had a shaky, but altogether entertaining first season, giving MTV viewers something more than just Teen Wolf and reality TV to watch. While the series never reached the dramatic heights of shows like Vikings or Game of Thrones, it still managed to finish to strong with the promise of more interesting stories to come. If Shannara is given a second season, what would you most like to see? Stay tuned to see what happens next.
The Shannara Chronicles might continue in 2017. Check out a behind the scenes look at how the Trolls are made, below: