TV Review: The Shannara Chronicles 1.3 “Fury”

The Shannara Chronicles
Season 1 Episode 3: “Fury”
Directed by James Marshall
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, Daniel MacPherson, James Remar, Marcus Vanco, and Brooke Williams
Air Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 10pm

The Shannara Chronicles episode 1.3 steadily sludges us further into the new series’ developing story. If you can guess by my first sentence, I’m not in love with episode three; still, there are some redeeming factors.

Read more below for a SPOILER-filled review of The Shannara Chronicles 1.3 “Fury.”

Let’s start with some COOL stuff. The demons are slowly increasing in number and they look scary and massive and disgusting. Nice graphics, MTV. I mean that. There are also several well-choreographed action sequences such as Allanon (Manu Bennett) fighting a demon (AWESOME) and multiple fight scenes featuring Amberle (Poppy Drayton), Wil (Austin Butler), Eretria (Ivana Baquero), and the Rovers. Additionally, Wil’s destiny awakens in this episode and we see him use magic for the first time.

Beyond these fun elements, the episode is lacking. When it comes to plot and character development, it is rushed and forced. The new character, Bandon (Marcus Vanco), comes into the group in a hasty and illogical fashion. Amberle accepts him immediately and insists he go with them to the castle. With all her training, which was likely mental as well as physical, why would Amberle be so naive to bring a stranger near the Ellcrys and royal family without at least questioning him? If she can sense or feel that they have a similar power, we should have seen a little bit of that realization/understanding. Moreover, the relationship between Amberle and Wil is moving along quickly, but it doesn’t feel like they have a whole lot of curiosity or mystery surrounding one another. They are acting like they have known each other quite some time, but have skipped a few steps. I know that some friendships/relationships are like a whirlwind, but this doesn’t feel like that. It just feels ill-paced.

More with Amberle’s story (she is a main character, after all). The Elven Council agrees to let Princess Amberle go on her mission a little too easily after she talks about demons and explains why she ran away from her sacred duty. Wil’s statement does corroborate Amberle and Allanon’s, but it was vague at best. I understand being royalty and the last of the Shannara bloodline is significant and worthy of respect, but wouldn’t the council ask Wil details? What did the demons look like? In what circumstances did you see them? Some details to confirm the truth? It is suddenly a unanimous decision to follow her lead, even after they all were angry and skeptical just moments before.

Amberle. I’m still having a hard time seeing her as a “tough” character. She looks sad all the time. I thought she looked familiar, so I IMDB’d her and surely enough, she played Madeleine Allsopp on Downton Abbey this past season. This makes so much sense. She’s a lady…which I suppose fits with the princess bit, but not the warrior bit.

Eretria. I thought information on her background would invoke more sympathy and understanding from viewers, but I find myself getting more and more annoyed each time she is on screen. What is it about her? All I know is that I get the same feeling as when I see Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Am I being too harsh? Maybe the writers are trying to stick closely to the book(s), but not considering what works for TV? I haven’t read the books, so if you have, please let me know what you think!

Here’s hoping episode four is a little more like episode two.

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