The Shannara Chronicles
Season 1 Episode 1: “Chosen: Part 2”
Directed by Jonathan Leibesman
Written by Terry Brooks (novel), Alfred Gough, and Miles Millar
Starring Poppy Drayton, Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett, John Rhys-Davies, Aaron Jakubenko, Emilia Burns, Mattias Inwood, Daniel MacPherson, Marcus Vanco, and Brooke Williams
Air Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 10pm
Wow. The Shannara Chronicles is not messing around. The new MTV series definitely needed the two-hour series premiere, with the second part taking it from curiosity-invoking teen fantasy to fast-paced, unpredictable, exciting, full-scale magical journey.
Read more below for a spoiler-lite review of The Shannara Chronicles episode 1.2, “Chosen” Part 2, and be sure to also check out my review of Part 1.
I still have chills from that ending…which I won’t tell you about for your sake! You’re going to want to see it yourself. Manu Bennett is magnificent as the ancient warrior druid Allanon. It’s great to see him again on the small screen after his masterful role as Deathstroke on Arrow. Unwavering in his focus and unbent by the opinions of doubters, Allanon is on a mission to save the world. It is clear that he respects and believes in his mission, but it is also revealed that his existence and purpose may not be a choice. He is compelled to fulfill his duty, which is the very reason why, if you’re a good guy, you would want him at your side.
Half-elf Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler) begins to show more promise in this episode, helping to find Princess Amberle (Poppy Drayton) and showing that regardless of his lack of skill, he is willing to do anything to protect her. I have to admit, he’s growing on me. And his light-hearted, comedic moments are well-timed and a nice respite from the dark tone of the story.
Without revealing details, I will divulge this: there are deaths in this episode. Several. Lots. There is one in particular that comes as a huge shock, and the ending will have you on the edge of your seat.
As far as the story of the demons goes, there is certainly somewhat of a biblical Lucifer character that is introduced (fallen-angel-turned-evil type of thing) and also some scary, grotesque, and ominous flashes of what is to come. Of course, there is a way to stop them, but it’s not easy and it will take unity and resolve.
Speaking of oneness, King Eventine (John Rhys-Davies) and his son, Arion (Daniel MacPherson), are not seeing eye to eye. Eventine has a long history of fighting and ending wars and doing it alongside his buddy, Allanon. Arion (who happens to be next in line for the throne) doesn’t trust Allanon and thinks he can do a better job than his father. He really grosses me out. Thankfully, Eventine is the type of man who is a leader and does the right thing in a time of crisis.
We also learn more about Eretria (Ivana Baquero) in this episode, including a bit of her history. Knowing more about her background and meeting her people explains a lot about her behavior and sets her up on her own hero’s journey. The question is: will she do the right thing when the time comes, even if it will cost her something very dear?
The Shannara Chronicles 2-part series premiere is worth a watch.
Check it out tonight on MTV at 10pm ET.