The Shannara Chronicles Recap: Episode 8 “Utopia”

Watching this show is what it must feel like to have brain worms. Feeling them sapping your intelligence away, and only being able to hang on because you know, soon, the blessed end will come.

Before I sat down to watch this episode, I took a couple shots of vodka, just to make the whole thing slightly easier to enjoy. I should have known The Shannara Chronicles would be prepared for that, though. That it would be able to top its own massive absurdity by bringing the one thing even vodka can’t defend against.

An Amish Trekkie Rave.

What else can you say at that point? There was an Amish rave, but only after the ceremonial screening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In a fantasy series. Because the real plot of this show is fuck you all.

I quit smoking months ago, and I’ve never wanted a cigarette as bad as I do after watching the utter clusterfuck that was this episode. I feel insulted on every level a human being can be. There is only one way to make this train wreck bearable to watch.

Yes, I mean by playing the Supergirl drinking game. Every time someone says “family”, take a shot. You’ll be so wasted by the time the end credits roll, you might be able to enjoy The Shannara Chronicles without spending the rest of the week in a dark room weeping in shame.

Don’t get me wrong, either. I actually enjoy Supergirl, even with it’s many glaring flaws. It is high art, a veritable Shakespearean play, next to The Shannara Chronicles. I may roll my eyes at how hard Supergirl tries, but at least it’s trying. The Shannara Chronicles can’t stop shitting all over the audience it’s suppose to be aimed at long enough to even do that!

It’s like that burning itch you get right before you have to make some uncomfortable phone calls to your previous sexual partner. It’s a televised STD. Which is still being pretty unfair to the STD.

Okay, so I guess I should probably just recap this steaming pile at some point, though I can assure you, it’ll be over quicker for you than it was for me. I’ve had to sit through this craptoberfest twice now. If you were smart, you skipped the episode and just came here to see what happened.

Which was a fucking Amish Trekkie rave! I can’t get over that. I just can’t.

So, to remind us of where we where last week, Ander just became King of Arborlon, by virtue of being the only member of his family that wasn’t dead, or on a quest. Mind you, he’s done nothing to earn it, has had pretty much no character growth, and is utterly useless for the most part, but sure. Let him be King. He’s pretty. It’ll be fine.

Over in the other even less believable plot, Eretria got shot in the gut by the low rent barbarian lady, even though Eretria was facing away from her, and had that part of her body pressed against Wil. This isn’t a plot hole, though, because the arrow was forged from pure moronicum, and as such, is able to do whatever the plot requires of it.

Which will end up leading us to the Amish Trekkie Rave.

I am not drunk enough to write that shit even remotely seriously. Pretty sure that I’d have to be passed out to be drunk enough to take any of this seriously.

Moving on…

So, Eretria is hauled to a nice little Amish town right out of Stargate SG-1, where a guy named Ty is apparently in charge. He likes collecting things from the old days, which I want to point out, would be a couple of thousand years ago. He buys up all the maps, books, and even Eretria, hauling her off to the infirmary to tend to her injury. Being the nice pseudo-Amish man he is, he puts her to sleep with a little gas first, delivered through a mask, made of plastic, that has survived for a couple thousand years.

Huh. That’s some well made plastic. I mean, like, really well made. Over time, plastic gets brittle, but not this mask. It’s in perfect shape, as is the canister of gas or whatever its hooked up to. For all of it to be in proper working order, after all that time, is actually somewhere around the level of a miracle.

But, hey, never mind that shit. That would require you to stop and think, and this show, it isn’t for people that like to think. It hates those people. It’s for cool people that think Canada is part of the U.S., another state, like Alaska. It’s for Donald Trump voters, that know he can make China pay for that wall to defend us against Mexicans.

Both of those things actually happened, by the way. A woman visiting Canada had the cops called when she freaked out over being given Canadian money, only to reveal she thought Canada was a state in the United States, not a separate country. The other thing was actually said by a Trump voter.

This show is for people like that. People that buy shoes with Velcro straps because tying a knot is a complex problem they lack the brain capacity to figure out.

Okay, let me get back to this unrepentant douchedrizzle.

Wil and Amberle race to find Eretria, but Wil thinks they need to slow down. Amberle won’t have it, because she’s a hysterical woman and needs Wil to verbally slap her until she calms down. To prove this, she almost steps in a Troll trap, but is saved by Wil, who detected it with his penis sense.

The utter contempt this show has for women makes me think it was funded by a joint venture between the MRA and the worst elements of Gamergate.

Over in Arborlon, Allanon wants Bandon to become a Druid. When Bandon doesn’t want to become a Druid, Allanon tells him he doesn’t have a choice. I assume he laughed manically once he was off screen, because that was a seriously shitty thing to do. Whatever. This show is a total waste of Manu Bennett.

In Utopia, the town Eretria was taken to, named such so you know that there’s some kind of evil shenanigans afoot, she wakes up to find herself hooked to an IV.

The magic water will chase the demons out!

Okay, let’s assume for a moment that the bag itself survived a couple thousand years without cracking. What the hell is inside it? Antibiotics? I’m assuming it must be since they made a big deal of Eretria’s arrow wound being infected. Which means what’s in the bag must have also survived thousands of years without turning toxic. Not to mention the IV line, and the needle in her arm.

I’m usually pretty good about turning a blind eye to little hiccups in things, but this isn’t a little hiccup. This is nonsense. The only thing hooking her up to that bag would do is kill her. Yet, not only does it not kill her, it completely heals her! It must be an IV Bag of Healing +5.

She sees some old guy with one eye, escapes, runs into Ty, who is eating pie, and talks her into hanging around, because the fate of the world doesn’t hang in the balance or anything, so fuck it, why not.

Meanwhile, Wil and Amberle take a break from looking for Eretria and saving the world to get half naked and make out in Troll infested territory. Mostly because Amberle is disillusioned, horny, and wants her own people to burn in hell or something. I’m still not clear on why, but I’m guessing it’s because the show loves writing her as naive, stupid, and yet, somehow, slutty.

Their make out session is interrupted by Cephelo, who turns up in a Troll trap, leading to a debate between Wil and Amberle over whether or not they should save him. Amberle thinks they should let him out so he can lead them to Eretria, and Wil doesn’t. Amberle wins naturally, because despite the fact he tried to rape her, she trusts him, and out he comes to lead them to a town that’s down the road they are walking on. Clearly visible, too, as we saw when Eretria arrived there earlier.

Jesus, this show is dumb.

Back in Utopia, Ty is trying to sell Eretria on how great humans are. He says that the Elves lied to them when they said humans were vicious and warlike. To prove his point, he shows her a gun and how to use it. Because nothing says peaceful intellectual like a firearm that couldn’t possibly still be in working order, or have usable ammo. Never mind that, though, because Eretria thinks he’s cute and happily drinks the Kool-Aid, because it’s her turn to be a fucking idiot.

And idiot with a brand new fucking gun.

Oh, and Ander is getting drunk because he doesn’t want to be King and his whole family is dead, and he’s trapped in this show. I want to get drunk just so I can sit through an episode, so I can only imagine how much it sucks to be him. Allanon gives him a stern talking to, though, so you know Ander’s alcoholism will be cured soon.

Over in the actual plot, for lack of a better definition, Cephelo has kept his word and taken them to the clearly visible from the road town, then gives Wil a hug and high tails it out of there, having stolen the Elfstones. Wil and Amberle decide to slip into the village, which is having a party of some kind.

A party that includes a steam engine, electric lights, and a barn party where they show footage from Star Trek: The Motion Picture!


I dunno where they stored that film, since even under ideal circumstances, film tends to degrade badly in just a decade. It must have been one hell of a place. Probably hermetically sealed or something, to preserve the worst of the Trek films for future generations, so they could think humans actually traveled around in space ships, like this bunch does.

Then they boo Spock, because they think he’s an Elf, and I want there to be a barn fire to put an end to this rabid cult of Spock haters.

Anyway, despite the impossibility of actual film, much less a projector, having survived for a thousand years in a post nuclear war world, everyone cheers and we get down to some good old fashioned Amish Rave fun!

Complete with techno music and a light show. For real.

This is the point where this show just becomes laughable to me.

Eretria changed into a nice white dress for the party and dances with Ty a lot while Amberle and Wil disguise themselves and sneak into the party to look for her. There’s lots of pointless dialogue that goes nowhere and serves no purpose before Wil and Amberle find Eretria and she tells them to piss off, because she wants to stay with the hard partying Amish Trekkies.

She goes to get the map to Safehold, then Wil and Amberle get caught, and Eretria gets a cryptic message from the one eyed guy in the infirmary, and changes her mind about staying in Utopia, gets Ty’s gun and forces him to take her to where they have tied up Wil, Amberle, and Cephelo, who they caught earlier. They are going to give them to the Trolls, to eat, in exchange for not eating the people of Utopia.

Cephelo tries to trade his own life for the Elfstones he stole from Wil, but Wil knew he’d try to steal the Elfstones, and replaced them in the bag with the D&D dice from last week, so Cephelo is going to get eaten by Trolls after all. Eretria manages to change back into her regular clothes, while holding Ty hostage and rushing to save the friends she wanted nothing to do with from certain death, which is only slightly more amazing than the fact the Utopians changed Wil and Amberle back into their own clothes before tying them up to be eaten.

If all of that made your brain hurt, welcome to my world. There isn’t enough vodka in existence to make any of this less stupid.

Not content to just be stupid, The Shannara Chronicles now goes for full on offensive. During the escape, Cephelo gets shot, takes the gun Eretria has, and gets a heroic death as he allows the others to escape. Yes, the slave trading, woman beating, rapist gets a heroic death. Because that’s what kind of show this is.

The Utopians get eaten by Trolls, the heroes escape, and Ander decides to become King after all, for no fucking reason whatsoever, and we’re done until next week, when we get to find out if this show can be more offensive, stupid, lazy, and shitastic.

As for me, that’s it. I’m done. I can’t recap another episode of this shitshow. Amish Trekkie rave is where I draw the line. Sitting through two more episodes of this accidental fart stain may cause me irreparable brain damage, and between us, I don’t want to be a Trump supporter, so I’m going to protect myself by not watching another fucking minute of this unholy abomination being vomited onto the airwaves by a lethargic mass of testosterone that has never seen a woman and only knows how to write them by making them the emotional and intellectual equivalent of a newborn molerat.

This disastrous result of a late night infatuation with microwave burritos and whiskey is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever seen put on television, and I’ve seen reality shows. It is utterly vapid, without any kind of redeeming qualities, is insulting to fantasy fans, nerds, geeks, women, men, people of color, and anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together, or possessed of an IQ higher than 3.

Mr. Brooks, you should be deeply ashamed of helping foist this televised equivalent of a Twinkie onto the unsuspecting masses. It may look good, it may have a creamy filling, but ultimately, it’s so completely unnatural, artificial, and empty, it actually would survive a nuclear war, and the thousand or two years that follow, unlike literally everything else we see people suing in this fucking episode.

Fuck you, MTV.


4 thoughts on “The Shannara Chronicles Recap: Episode 8 “Utopia”

  1. I just watched this episode. Terry Brooks must be turning in his grave, if he were dead.

    This show started off fine but as they introduce the modern world in a high fantasy series it just gets utterly stupid. This is not what Shannara is about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, Mr. Brooks was on set as an advisor for all of this, so it had his complete approval.

      I guess getting a live adaptation of his work, finally, was worth the compromises. Can’t say I blame him, but still. This went south fast.


  2. I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments and words in this review if I tried. As a fan of the Shannara series since the first book, I am utterly horrified at the total mockery they’ve made of the source material. I get that changes and compromises have to be made when converting a book to television, and also to appeal to a broader and younger audience, but this show is a relentless and shameless insult to anyone and anything that calls itself intelligent. It’s not entertainment; you can literally feel your brain cells dying as you watch this show. The only thing I regret more than wasting my time watching this for ten episodes in a vain attempt to find anything redeeming about it (Manu Bennett is about it) is learning it has been picked up for a second season. There’s a tiny bit of morbid curiosity as to how much more they will further mangle Brooks’ world, but definitely not enough by a mile to make me watch it again. I’d rather eat my own organs.

    Mr. Brooks, I hope the paycheque was worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, considering how long he has been trying to get his work adapted, it probably was. Doesn’t make it okay, but I can understand his willingness to accept the compromises.

      I can’t understand the writers and producers of the show producing something this mind shatteringly stupid, however.


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