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Legend of the Seeker: Review - Princess
Episode Airdate: 2/27/10
Today's Episode of Legend of the Seeker is titled "Princess".
This review contains spoilers so if you have not seen this episode yet, please do not read this review until you have.
If you have read my other posts about this show, you already know that I've read the books and that I understand that the show is based on events in the books but are not a reenactment of the books. In my first hub, I pointed out many differences between the books and the show but I have to say that today's episode is neither based on the books and seemingly through much of the show's pretense out the window as well.
Let's start with the opening. They are camped out in the woods and 2 Gars grab Kahlan and fly her off. They have a good idea where she's being taken - a place where Magic doesn't work - How convenient... This concept is cool and very interesting when used on a person, like Jennsen, but a whole region of non-magic is a bit overplayed - nevermind the fact that it completely dilutes the story effects when we finally see Jennsen again.
We cut to a ceremony that shows the Sisters of the Dark killing one of their own in order to resurrect Nicci. I TOLD YOU THEY NEEDED HER - she really is heavily involved in the stories from the books so bringing her back is necessary and one of the few redeeming qualities of this particular episode. They still are playing loose with the concept that Nicci has the most powerful Han because she carries Richards as well as her own. In the books this never happens but even so, in any story of this genre, if your body is killed and your spirit is brought back, you do not have the same powers as before.
One other issue - why do the sisters of light and dark look like they belong in a harem? They are supposed to be sorceresses (I've always pictured them more like nuns myself).
The Sisters of the Dark make a deal with the lord of this non-magic region and the Keeper - Kahlan's head for eternal life - this fits with the storyline in the show as they are trying to kill Kahlan due to the prophecy that says the Keeper can't win so long as Kahlan lives (the prophecy appears only in the show but I consider it a good wrinkle to the story).
In order to get her back Cara has to act like a refined princess who needs to defer to men and speak in poetic verse?!? WHAT??? I dearly hope this isn't a "Jump the Shark" moment because this is too stupid for words. How could you build a storyline around this foolishness? Richard has to impersonate a womanizing prince and Zedd has to impersonate a matronly aunt to the princess. I hope they were going for some of the humor and campyness of Hercules and Xena in this episode otherwise, it just doesn't fit into a storyline of this depth.
And to quote from the classic Moonlighting episode "Taming of the Shrew":
"WE HATE IAMBIC PENTAMETER!!!!" (so says David and Maddie)
Seriously, Cara has to rhyme and act all deferential and meek? I guess it was supposed to come off funny but it totally missed. Look Tabrett Bethell, the actress who plays Cara, is stunningly beautiful and could easily play a princess but her character just doesn't flow that way and she never would. The only saving grace is that Cara reverts to form and wins over the lord of the region by winning the hunt and killing a Shadrin. This scene was well done, but for those of you who watched the first season, didn't the Shadrin come off as a much more fearsome creature? Cara takes the thing out with one well-placed arrow. A little consistency would have been appreciated here.
There are some awfully weird subplots trying to pair off Richard and Zedd with the lord's sister and his chamberlain. Again, I think weird is actually too nice in this instance. The only character not completely corrupted by this episode is Kahlan who immediately works on trying to escape and does all of the Kahlan things we expect her to do, even her speeches are done well and kept in character.
In the end, Cara, Richard and Zedd have to fight off the Sisters of the Dark to help Kahlan escape and Nicci gets away. Our party leaves and Kahlan gets to make fun of them after Richard holds out the Stone of Tears compass (remember THAT storyline??) and they head off towards the east.
This episode accomplished one major goal - return Nicci to the land of the living. The entire rest of this episode is so awful I could barely watch it. I don't mind cool stories that aren't in the books, I understand this is a different interpretation of events, but this type of farce, which worked so well in Hercules and Xena, just doesn't work in Seeker. There can certainly be funny moments in the show, they have had those before, but this was just soooo wrong..
On the other hand, if you are a Shakespeare fan, I suggest you find the Moonlighting episode "Taming of the Shrew" which was absolutely hilarious.
For those of you keeping score at home, this episode gets 1 star for bringing back Nicci which had to happen for much of the future stories to make sense.