The Shannara Chronicles Recap: The Dweller Is No Match For Wil’s Elfstones
Ever since Mareth dropped the “I’m Allanon’s daughter” truth bomb in the premiere, we assumed father-child relationships would be a huge theme throughout this season of The Shannara Chronicles. That theme certainly played a big part in this week’s “Dweller,” in which Allanon and Mareth awkwardly talk about their feelings and Wil visits his father’s corpse (which is somehow still intact).
Wil and Mareth accompany Allanon on what they think is a trip to Paranor to save Wil’s Uncle Flick. But in true Allanon fashion, he changes plans without consulting either of them and claims they stand no chance against Bandon unless they get their hands on the infamous Sword of Shannara—which just so happens to be buried alongside Wil’s father, Shea.
Wil and Mareth reluctantly agree to follow Allanon and end up in a dark underground cave. They eventually find Shea, but not before Wil confidently insists on exploring the cave by himself because he has his Elfstones (which Eretria retrieved from Graymark) to protect him. Wil’s cockiness leads him right into the preying arms of the Dweller, a gigantic spider-like creature who tortures people by forcing them to relive their deepest, darkest memories.
That means we get to see a memory/flashback scene of Shea berating and physically punishing a young Wil after he walks in on his son playing with the Sword of Shannara. The scene is hard to watch and undoubtedly even harder for Wil to relive, but that doesn’t stop the young Shannara from bonding with his dearly departed father when he, Mareth, and Allanon eventually reach Shea’s resting place. Wil tearfully tells Shea that he now understands and forgives him for being seemingly distant and uncaring, and his words carry even more weight when you realize that Mareth and Allanon are hanging on to Wil’s every word.
Allanon maintains that his “Druid sleep” prevented him from having children and Mareth maintains that she’s not looking for a father, just a teacher. But based on the tense, loaded looks the two keep giving each other throughout the episode, they’re both withholding information. Even if Allanon turns out to not be Mareth’s biological father, we bet Wil’s Elfstones that the two will form a bond by the end of the season.
It’s probably a good thing that Wil, Allanon, and Mareth took a detour on their way to Paranor, seeing as Bandon and Flick weren’t even in Paranor this episode. In a strange, somewhat desperate attempt to show Flick that the “good” people he’s trying to help save aren’t actually all that good, Bandon takes Flick along to his old house and asks the house’s current residents if he and Flick can stay there for the night.
Bandon’s intentions become clear when he starts interrogating the residents about the house’s history and they rant about the devious magic-user (aka Bandon) who used to live there. Bandon plays dumb for a while, but eventually tells the residents that he’s the magic-user they’ve been insulting all night. In what is very possibly the most upsetting scene of the show so far, he goes on to kill a young boy by choking and silencing him with the muzzle Bandon’s parents used to use on him. We get that Bandon’s trying to prove a point. But by mercilessly killing an innocent child, isn’t he proving that he’s just as bad as the residents think he is? We’re not convinced that everybody (even the “good” guys) are inherently evil, and we don’t think Flick is convinced either.
Meanwhile, Eretria and Jax discover that many of the Crimson’s weapons are made from Mennonite steel, a metal that’s supposedly only used by the people of Leah. In other words, the people of Leah are probably in cahoots with the Crimson. They travel to Leah to warn Ander about their new discovery and suggest that Queen Tamlin “may be complicit” as well.
After Eretria tells Ander that she sent Catania to warn him about the Leah-Crimson double agents, he realizes Edain’s been lying to him about Catania’s whereabouts. After throwing an Edain Exposed Party (aka confronting him about his allegiance to the Crimson), Ander forces Tamlin to agree to help him take down the Crimson once and for all. Tamlin promises to help him, but now Ander is justifiably suspicious of her and knows better than to trust Tamlin based on something as flimsy as her word. At least Tamlin let Ander push Edain from the roof of the palace into a raging waterfall.
On a happier note, Lyria is still very clearly in love with and devoted to Eretria. The two share a kiss in this episode, and Eretria gives her a pep talk about embracing her power and not letting Tamlin control her. Lyria seems to take Eretria’s suggestion to heart, as she orders her mother to stop treating her like a pawn before the end of the episode.
What To Look Out For In Next Week’s Episode
1. Tamlin and the Warlock Lord
At the very beginning of the episode, Bandon visits Queen Tamlin and alludes to a deal Tamlin made with the Warlock Lord in order to save the people of Leah and give them a prosperous life. That certainly explains why everyone in Leah dresses like they’re from the Capitol, but we want to know the specifics of Tamlin’s deal. What did she agree to do? Will she fulfill her end of the deal once the Warlock Lord inevitably returns?
2. Mareth’s Magic
During one of many awkward conversations with Allanon, Mareth reveals that the last time she used “real magic,” she ended up hurting someone she loved. What did she do? Who was the loved one? We need to know more.
3. Ander’s Influence
Edain tells Ander he joined the Crimson because Ander refuses to listen to the “pleas” of his people. If what Edain says is true, this is a big deal. Ander clearly has a good heart, but if he doesn’t address the concerns of his subjects it’ll be a lot easier for the Crimson to attract new recruits.