Shannara Chronicles jumps right into the action in this episode as Amberle, Wil, and Eretria approach their destination, Safehold.
We saw in the sneak peek shared earlier today that this episode opens on our three heroes just as they’re discovering Safehold. Since the infamous Golden Gate Bridge has been destroyed, the group must take an alternative route across the San Francisco Bay, which means Amberle, Wil, and Eretria are heading underground.
As they make their way through what we’re assuming are service tunnels to the abandoned subway system, they’re guided by the tattoo Eretria has had since before she can remember. It turns out that this exact symbol is on certain walls of the tunnels, acting as markers for which path they should take.
‘You’re no king; you’re what’s left’
Meanwhile, Ander has his own problems he’s dealing with. After making the choice to step up as king, he seems to have ruffled some feathers. The council member Ander was going to forfeit power to wasn’t pleased with his change of heart. And like Allanon says, “Her judgment is clouded by ambition.”
Ander knows that this is a crisis of confidence more than anything, so he makes an executive decision to send Commander Tilton (AKA Diana Tilton) to the gnomes to prove the two groups have fostered an allegiance.
Although the counsel essentially overthrows Ander while Diana is away, once the gnomes make their appearance, the Knights and fellow council members accept Ander’s position as king.
‘All I have are questions’
After avoiding trolls sleeping in the tunnels, coming across some cryptic clues about the apocalypse, and Eretria being magically pointed in the right direction, eventually Amberle, Wil, and Eretria find themselves in the correct place.
But once they arrive, they’re met with a new obstacle. Two guardians of the Bloodfire: Morag and Mallenroh.
The witches immediately start to tear apart the group by antagonizing them, making them question themselves, and trying to turn the girls against each other. (Total Regina George move.)
But the spell of jealousy and anger that’s cast is short lived. Both Amberle and Eretria have come too far and learned too much to be so easily swayed. A nick to Eretria’s hand startles them awake and they regain control over their own minds once again.
The nick unlocks something else as well, though. The Bloodfire.
The blood from her hand is literally sucked toward the lock that unleashes the Bloodfire, which is when the witches realize just who Eretria is. “She is a child,” one says. “Of the Armageddon,” the other hauntingly finishes. Of course, it would be helpful if they could elaborate a little bit more, but of course that would make things much too easy.
Eretria knows what she has to do. She intentionally pricks her hand on the lock and lets her blood drain into its crevices. The giant Bloodfire flames burst forth and Amberle knows her mission is next.
‘You’re nothing but an outcast from an order of dead men’
While all of this has been happening, Bandon has been dealing with a quest of his own, resisting the power of the Dagda Mor. We can tell he’s not been as successful on his mission, though, because week after week he’s getting pulled further into the darkness.
There is no exception here either. On several occasions the boy is possessed, like during a sparring match with the king as well an intimate encounter with Catania. It gets so bad that he finds himself in a magical sparring contest against Allanon. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well for the young druid.
It also makes me wonder if maybe his parents didn’t just chain him up because they were backward, misunderstanding jerks. Perhaps the Dagda Mor has been feeling out the boy’s potential for longer than we originally thought.
’The fire has power beyond your wildest imaginations’
As Amberle runs to wash the Ellcrys seed in the Bloodfire, Wil uses his elfstones to deter the witches from going after the girl. He zaps them into oblivion and gives the princess the chance she needs to run straight into the magical flames.
But once she’s engulfed, Amberle and the flames both disappear. Wooshing away them away like they’d used Floo powder.
Sadly, she’s not the only one missing. Wil realizes that Eretria lies unconscious on the floor, which is understandable considering all of the blood she’s had drained from her body. This means Wil is the last one standing and must decide what’s next on his own.
Also, it’s probably a bad time to mention this, but the last leaf from the Ellcrys has fallen and the gate to the demon army is now wide open…
Yeah. This isn’t good.
Join us next week as we recap Shannara Chronicles season 1, episode 10, “Ellcrys,” which airs Tuesday, March 4 at 10 p.m. on MTV.