This article contains spoilers for The Shannara Chronicles episode ‘Paranor’.
The Shannara Chronicles are flying along as Allanon, Wil, and Mareth head to Paranor to meet with Bandon and try to save Flick. As they arrive, Allanon insists that Mareth is too weak in her powers and can’t go with them any further. She gets angry and rides off. Allanon and Wil head inside to make the exchange. They tell Bandon to release Flick first; he does so only after cutting him with the Warlock blade, which infects him with a contagion that will kill him unless Bandon cures it.
Allanon summons the skull — except it’s not really the skull, but an illusion cast by Mareth. Bandon sees through it, but Allanon tackles him, carrying them both into a prison. The problem is that Flick is still dying, and Bandon still wants the skull. Allanon refuses to tell them where it is, but Wil and Mareth figure it out and use a device that would kill them if Mareth is not Allanon’s daughter. The device works and transports them to Shady Vale in the past, where they come across a young version of Shea Ohmsford, Wil’s father.
Meanwhile, Gareth Jax heads off to deal with his own past responsibilities, leaving Eretria to be attacked by the Queen’s assassins. She fights most of them off with Cogline’s help. He takes her to see the Queen and we learn that he used to be a druid. We figure out that Queen Tamlin made a deal with the Warlock Lord to allow him to drink from Heaven’s Well, the source of magic in the Four Lands, in exchange for killing her husband and giving her the Kingdom of Leah and keeping it out of the fight. Cogline fears that now that the Warlock Lord is coming back, he will insist on Tamlin fulfilling her end of the bargain. Cogline also tells Eretria of her lineage — how she is part demon and that she will might be controlled by the Warlock Lord unless she learns to control her powers. He has her train on a wraith that he’d captured.
Jax visits the wife and child of one of his soldiers that died, giving them gold. But the Crimson follow and attack, killing the boy. Jax takes out the soldiers and captures their leader, taking him back to Leah where he and King Ander start to interrogate him. Ander goes to the queen, with Lyria at his side, and asks for troops to help in the battle against the Crimson. She gives him three brigades when she learns the Crimson broke into the castle and rescued their man. She also sends Jax off to confront General Riga at a secret meeting, telling Jax the Crimson have outlasted their usefulness.
I like that they’ve brought Cogline into the series — a character that doesn’t actually appear in the novels until Wishsong of Shannara, but he is age-appropriate. Taking Wil and Mareth back to past Shady Vale was a nice touch and could give Wil a chance to come to terms with his own fate. And it looks like Mareth can finally claim to be Allanon’s daughter, since the time trip worked.
The more this season lays out, the more we can see how much they had planned in Season 1 to do just this. Eretria’s introducution as part of the solution to saving the Ellcrys, in which she is only tangentially involved in the novels, has been paying off big here in Season 2. This season is tight and fast paced… and now we’re going into the back half of the season.
Spike has made a chance starting this week, and until the end of the season, there will be two episodes back to back each Wednesday. So there was no trailer for the next episode, as they went ahead and showed it. There was no waiting to see what would happen to Wil and Mareth after they met Shea. Look for the recap of episode six, ‘Crimson’, later today here on the site.