The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep6- Pykon

There’s a lot going on in this episode of The Shannara Chronicles, but not all of it particularly engaging.

Amberle and the others are trapped by a vindictive Elf while Allanon tries to help Bandon use his magical gifts, Arion goes on a mission to find a mystical sword, and Ander and Slanter search for the Dagda Mor’s hideout. But admittedly, the predicament our main characters find themselves in is far less interesting than the other B-plots going on. The actions of the two princes and Allanon have more to do with forwarding the main plot than Amberle, Wil, and Eretria’s being deceived by an obviously suspicious Elf named Remo.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep6- PykonAnd the romantic aspects of the show were also highlighted in this episode, quite unnecessarily, since I think it would be better to develop the relationships between all the characters first before making Amberle daydream about making out with Wil. There were also some sexually suggestive scenes between Amberle and Eretria in the bath that felt off, when the time would have been better spent showing these two intriguing women getting to know each other better than playing sexual politics.

“Pykon” also had so many unsubtle references to the Lord of the Rings films, particularly the trek through Caradhras in The Fellowship of the Ring. Watching the main characters journey through snow-covered mountains and into an abandoned fortress felt too much like rip-offs of Caradhras and Moria, even up until the end of the episode when the trio fall into a chasm (after being betrayed by Cephalo, no surprise there) along with a pursuing Balrog, I mean, Reaper. It all felt too familiar which it need not have, considering the rich and diverse world of The Shannara Chronicles.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep6- PykonAnd all the scenes where Amberle’s group accepted the hospitality of the dubious Remo and the creepy child, Mag, were painfully predictable. It was surprising that Amberle was so trusting of an Elf so clearly up to no good. So seeing them all drugged and nearly tortured was practically a forgone conclusion. Then, there was that cheesy scene of Amberle kissing Wil immediately after being rescued. While this could be an understandable reaction, the fact that Eretria witnessed it and looked pained about it only emphasized the whole love triangle aspect of the show that frankly weakens character interactions.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep6- PykonMeanwhile, the two Princes were busy with side quests of their own that have bigger impacts on the main story. The Changeling, in the form of King Eventine, tricks Arion into finding an ancient sword which he thinks has the power to kill the Dagda Mor. Allanon reveals too late that the sword is a talisman of evil, but since Arion caught the Druid being controlled by the Dagda Mor for a moment, Arion no longer trusts him. He stabs Allanon with the evil sword just as the Druid realizes that Eventine is the Changeling.

Fortunately, he is able to magically transport himself away from Arborlon before getting killed. But he is still severely injured and might be out of the action for a while. Poor Bandon was trapped in some sort of mind cell by the Dagda Mor while his body remains unconscious in Arborlon.

Prince Ander is betrayed by the gnome Slanter, not surprisingly. But what was good to see was Slanter riding back to fulfill his part of the bargain with the prince. They both get a good look at the horrors of the Dagda Mor’s hideout and the hordes of demons he is gathering around him. Convinced of the gravity of the demon threat, the gnome and the elf better understood that now is a time for old enmities to be set aside and alliances to be built. This is an interesting and important theme that hopefully will be explored in more detail as the show progresses.

SiThe Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep6- Pykonnce our trio of heroes were left falling into the abyss at the end of this episode, hopefully they won’t get sucked into more predictable and pointless subplots. We’re more than halfway through The Shannara Chronicles, and these three characters need to make more headway both among themselves and for their greater mission.