Wheel of Time: What Was Meant to Be   Show Only 
October 6, 2023 7:57 AM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

All roads lead to Falme, so to speak.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Gotta admit the show is growing on me. Finally Matrim bloody Cauthon doing some bloody Mat Cauthon things, I cheered hard (he has some of the best moments in the books).
posted by WaterAndPixels at 8:25 AM on October 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

I thought this was easily the best of the series, so far. Like, a whole 'nother level up.

I don't have thoughts organized, so only
some disconnected observations...

Lews Therin kinda creeps me out, honestly. I'm not getting "good guy" vibes from him. Maybe it's just me.

Moiraine letting Lan in back through the bond was beautifully done.

I'll miss the actress playing Renna; she was very good. And, wow, I think Egwene's demonstrated that you ought not underestimate her.

Also, Rand, good job on being terrifying. "Oh, this old sword? It's mine. But, here, look at these pretty lights."

I'd forgotten about that guy killed in last season who turns up as a Hero of the Horn. I read the books, so I do know some things, but too long ago and, anyway, I suspect the non-book reading audience is a little confused. But I took a careful look at that group.

Also, they were pretty awesome, but I feel like that was a wasteful use of the Horn. Aren't they supposed to be used for the Last Battle? This was something ... less. Still, awesome.

I think the moment when Elayne healed Rand was well done. I actually am pretty smitten by her, so I've enjoyed seeing her really prove her mettle. She's not just another pretty face.

I feel like there's some cruelty in Nynaeve. It's a bit worrisome. Egwene's cruelty was justified, though.

That level of power from Moiraine might have come in handy earlier in the show.

Have I mentioned how much I like this new actor playing Matt? He's been very good. It feels a bit like a cheat with the dagger, though. It was fun seeing Fain run away, screaming for the guards.

That motherfucker who killed Hopper deserved to die. But, honestly, that's true of all the Whitecloaks, all the time. I had this over-the-top reaction to Hopper being killed: I felt my eyes go wide and my mouth fall open. I did not expect that.

The one disappointment for me was that I was underwhelmed by the Aiel Spearmaidens. I expected them to be on another level of melee fighting than everyone else and they really weren't.

Nynaeve was kind of useless in the battle.

Lan, fighting the Seanchan, like Moiraine, seemed like he'd leveled-up or something. Has he caught arrows out of the air before? But, cool.

Ishamael was quite sympathetic and well-portrayed. So long, Ishamael.

Rand being stabbed by that dagger, in that spot, and not entirely healing is ... interesting.

Lanfear was deliciously devious and competent in this episode, to the point of being smug, so her being put so on the back foot by Moghedian was a surprise and a bit worrisome.

And Moghedian was a delight. Looks like we got a whole batch of Forsaken out there now.

I've lost track of Liandrin. Where is she?

I'm a little confused about the popular response to the Dragon Reborn. Shouldn't they be more than a little worried? Like, they're out of the frying pan, yes, but now they're in the fire.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:39 AM on October 6, 2023 [4 favorites]

Sorry, forgot to mark this "show only". If we need it (and therefore save books discussion for the season thread restless_nomad said she was gonna make), we can ask a mod.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:41 AM on October 6, 2023

This episode was so good!! I especially loved the horn.
posted by rebent at 9:23 AM on October 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

This was very satisfying! Definitely agree that the show has leveled up, and with sentiments above. The production values felt a bit amateur in the first season (and parts of this season), but some of the scenes from this episode were wonderfully cinematic.

Ishamael made the classic Bond villain mistake of pausing to talk too much when the heroes are on the ground.

Going into this show, the only actor I recognized was Rosamund Pike (Moiraine), but the whole cast has really shone in the last few episodes. I'm going to miss Fares Fares's Ishamael. Looking forward to Moghedien and the other forsaken. Those roles have some marvelous scenery-chewing.

Other parts were a still kind of disjointed. The battle in the city disappeared and reappeared at the director's convenience. It didn't feel like a huge battle, maybe due to budget. The damane assembled on the tower shoot a few fireballs, but Moiraine can single-handedly send a column of fire through an entire fleet? Ishamael just lets Rand walk up and skewer him?

Anyway, on balance, Egwene gets the VIP award for ass-kicking, and everybody else gets honorable mention.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:09 PM on October 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

I don’t know whose idea it was to make Moghedien look and sound like Bjork, but it was brilliant and I love it.
posted by ourobouros at 8:46 PM on October 6, 2023 [6 favorites]

Rand's fight (if you can call it that) with Turok was bad-ass. It made more sense in the heat of the moment than the prolonged duel in the book... but I really love the prolonged duel in the book.
posted by drhex at 11:00 PM on October 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

After some consideration, as much as I loved our guys kicking ass, the show has run into the problem that superhero shows have with people displaying so much lethality that, in the future when they're in other fights, we're going to wonder why they're spending minutes in a melee fight when we already know they can kill like ten people from a distance in two seconds. I'm looking at you, Rand.

Now that I think about, maybe the books had this problem with Rand, too? What I (dimly) recall is that for the most part, as Rand leveled up he almost always only was fighting in situations commensurate with his abilities. Facing other very powerful individuals or armies, or both. More difficult to do on screen.

But I think the shock of his instant mass lethality in the scene with Turok and the soldiers was worth it. We needed to get a glimmer of why people fear he could "break the world".

I agree that most of the battle in the city was underwhelming. Even with all the CGI advances and shooting with large budgets (for TV), it seems like almost never in any TV shows are the big battle scenes the spectacle they're supposed to be. They often don't visually make much sense as a result. But I also thought most of the non-magical fighting was forgettable (some of Lan's moves were great, though). It wasn't bad, just never visually interesting or that suspenseful.

Interestingly, the magical fights were good, given that this was previously a weak point, especially the first season. I especially thought Egwene's shield and Ishamael's pounding on it were surprisingly well-done, visually and in the sound design it was a lot, which worked. But Moghedian's restraint of Lanfear was also well-done. And Moiraine's weave against the ships (not so much the result, but the lead-up).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:35 PM on October 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

Consistently marking these threads show only makes it easier to navigate between them. (And we haven't all read the books. )
posted by Coaticass at 3:10 AM on October 7, 2023

Otherwise the previous episode linked is the last general thread which was for the pilot.
posted by Coaticass at 3:12 AM on October 7, 2023

Wow. All the violence. * ALLLLL of it*.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:44 AM on October 7, 2023

Full season Books Included post is up!
posted by restless_nomad at 4:55 AM on October 7, 2023 [2 favorites]

I really liked this episode and thought it did a great job of tying up most of this season's storylines while also leaving some big ones for the future season(s). Some highlights for me in no particular order:
Moiraine explaining what she meant when she said Lan wasn't her equal.
Egwene getting her vengeance.
Rand and Turak's "duel".
Egwene and then Perrin shielding Ishamael's attacks.
Uno coming back as a hero of the Horn of Valere.
Mat no succumbing to the dagger while locked in the room.
A full intro instead of the truncated one we've had all season (I like watching intros).

I felt this was a better season than S1 so hopefully they can keep things going and S3 will be at least as good as S2 was.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:03 PM on October 10, 2023 [4 favorites]

Hopper's death upset me EXTREMELY. he was supposed to stay but he came to save Perrin anyway. he was a good wolf :(
posted by supermedusa at 8:56 AM on October 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

otherwise yeah really great episode and season wrap!

not enough Sophie Okonedo though!
posted by supermedusa at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'd forgotten about that guy killed in last season who turns up as a Hero of the Horn.

He was killed in this season, whatever episode with the Seanchan attacking that fishing town Perrin was in.

I also wish they gave us a glimpse of what Liandrin is up to in the cliffhanger for next season.

This episode was so great, we were on the edge of our seats the whole time. My wife also commented that how is Moiraine so much more powerful than she seemed before, while I was like "since when can Lan catch arrows out of the air??"
posted by numaner at 7:23 AM on October 12, 2023 [2 favorites]

Nynaeve was kind of useless in the battle.

The writers were really stalling for time on her scenes with Elayne (aka: Daughter-Heir of Andor). It somewhat disrupted the flow of the battle sequence, but I'm guessing they wanted to feature Egwene's emergence as one who doesn't need to be rescued by Nynaeve.
posted by fairmettle at 12:13 AM on December 5, 2023

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