[This is a review of The Shannara Chronicles season 1, episode 4. There will be SPOILERS.]
The Shannara Chronicles journeys to the center of the Ellcrys where Amberle must confront her fears to prove her worth to the mighty sentinel, but there's a danger lurking behind every corner of Arborlon in the form of a 'Changeling.'
Amberle's quest this week felt a lot like Luke's challenge in the cave while training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Like Luke, Amberle had to face her own set of demons that could stand in her way once her path is revealed to her. For her crucible, the princess had to fight both Wil and Lorin. It appears the tree understands that both of these young men could be a distraction to her. Lorin is a painful memory of her past, while Wil is what awaits her in the future, or so we think.
The visions we keep seeing of future events become more complex as the series progresses. For Amberle, she now sees Wil and Eretria together standing near that stained glass window. At first glance, Amberle's mixed emotions for Wil and the loss of her boyfriend are clouding her judgement. The test she faced inside the Ellcrys was trying to show her that what lies ahead is going to be difficult and her attachments to her friends may cost her her life. Going back to Yoda, the wise Jedi Master once told Anakin Skywalker that he would have to be able to let go of everything he held dear. Hopefully Amberle won't follow down the path of the dark side like Anakin.
Most of 'Changeling' felt like a CSI: Arborlon episode, with everyone on the lookout for the murderer. The Changeling herself, played by the lovely Shushila Takao looks incredible both in her monstrous form and her more human impersonation. Thankfully she (or it) is still alive. The demon, along with Eretria's father will be hot on the trio's trail as they make their way to "Safehold."
It's too bad that Allanon won't be joining them on their quest since Amberle didn't see him in any of her visions. This shouldn't concern too many Manu Bennett fans out there, since it looks like there could be a power struggle brewing between King Eventine and his elder son Arion. Allanon should have plenty to do while trying to fight back the demons and family squabbles. Arion is still living in his dead brother's shadow and is struggling to earn his way back into his father's good graces.
Learning more about the ancient humans is another aspect of the lore that needs more exploration. This episode mentioned a place known as the "old world," so maybe we'll get more answers there? For those of you who have read the books, you are already well informed, but the rest of us have to be patient. What do you think of the series so far?
The Shannara Chronicles continues with 'Reaper' next Tuesday @10pm on MTV. Check out a preview below: