Here is my The Wheel of Time S2 Episode 5 review and for me this was the best episode yet. As always I will staying as SPOILER FREE as possible in this review, so let’s get to it. What I really enjoyed about Episode 5 was that the story is finally opening up a little. We are now starting to see how the bad guys are manipulating events to their own desires, with our heroes being the pawns. As an audience we are beginning to see that their are Darkfriends everywhere and that you need to question who can be trusted.
The Bad Guys
After last week’s Lanfear reveal, it seemed likely this week would get into her story a little more. I love Lanfear so far, the guise of Selene is gone and this is Lanfear we now see on screen. Natasha O’ Keefe is brilliant, and her scenes she has with Fares Fares as Ishamael are very well put together. Conversations between the pair also hint at more Forsaken/Chosen to come as we move along. I can’t wait to meet them.
This week as a book reader, I’m so happy they’ve finally introduced Tel’aran’rhiod which is Old Tongue for the Unseen World. In other words the world of dreams, which is one of my favorite settings in the books, is finally here. I won’t get too much into how the dream world works, the show will explain all this as we go on. However, as a book fan, I loved the scenes here. I can’t wait to spend more time in this place with a variety of different characters over the coming seasons.
Fares and O’ Keefe just embody Ishy and Lanfear, plus their connections and own personal goals. In just one scene we see how the Forsaken are out for themselves primarily, despite them supposed to have a common goal and master.
Once the guise of Selene is dropped O’Keefe just gets to display her acting chops and chew some scenery up. This is why O’Keefe was cast, even if you don’t like Selene as she was, I hope viewers love Lanfear like us book readers do. Good bad guys are important, and Wheel of Time has a few quality antagonists.
Some book fans my worry how gormless Rand feels at the moment. However, I like it. I know where this character will go eventually, but that development is going to take time. At this point Rand is gormless and he doesn’t appreciate the danger around him. Rand is potentially stronger than either Lanfear or Ishy. However, he has raw power alone, he doesn’t understand a fraction of what these two know about the One Power. He’s like a babe in the woods and Moiraine, even if she had her powers isn’t much of a help.
Rand is going to develop and change throughout this series and Josha Stradowski will have to really bring different aspects to the role as we move along. For now, pure ignorance is the best way to be. Remember bookcloaks, Rand had no idea what he was doing with the One Power in the books, he often did things without understanding what he did.
I’m sure Rand is going to get some heroics to do before this seasons ends, unless he joins the dark first?
Liandrin and the Seanchan
So the cat is out the bag well and truly when it comes to Liandrin. In some ways, I’m hoping the writers have found ways to keep the character around more prominently than she was in the books. So far we are following Liandrin’s story fairly closely from the books. However, she does disappear for a while, and I think the characters story in the show could change somewhat from here on out.
I just want to see more of Kate Fleetwood, she is awesome. Find a way to give her more to do later please Mr. showrunner. Though I doubt you are reading my review.
As for the Seanchan, I love they they have American accents so far, which does match the books. I also really enjoy how much we learn about them here in only a few short scenes. Are they some evil empire working for the Dark? It’s actually a lot more complicated than that. Additionally there were many bookcloaks worried about how the show would handle the Damane. When they showed up in Season 1, no one could see the iconic collar’s and leashes, well, we have no worries there bookcloaks, no worries at all.
Even though I know how and why the Seanchan are the way they are, I’m excited to see them develop more in the show. I’m also awaiting the pure hate that people are going to have for then by the end of next week. One character is about to have a very tough time if you check the promo’s for Episode 6.
I love the Aiel in the books. There’s definitely inspiration taken from the Fremen in Dune, but culturally they are unique. Episode 5 is the first we’eve really got to learn a little more about the Aiel. I won’t spoil the details of how we meet an Aiel and what happens when we do. However, I will say I thought they got the language use and tone perfectly. If the Seanchan are so unlike anyone we’ve met so far, wait till we get to meet more of the Aiel.
I also say this, for anyone who thinks the Aiel are a women only society, they are not. It’s just that the two characters we have met so far, Rand’s mother in Season 1 and the new character this week are. It could be easy to mistake that for non-book readers, like they are some Amazon type tribe. Not the case, but I don’t want to spoil anything about them.
I even love the Aiel humor so far, which takes time to get used to in the books. Brilliant.
Wrap it Up
Overall, there is just something exciting around every corner in Episode 5. The bad guys are plotting in the dream world and chewing up scenery, whilst the world of the show has been opened up to those in the West and the East of the lands we have seen so far. Natasha O’ Keefe is brilliant as Lanfear unleashed and now we have the Aiel to shake things up as well.
This is the point I was worried we would not get to fast enough in the show for some fans. I’m glad the show has brought a few things further forward and yet kept others held back a little. There are so many plot lines spinning now we didn’t even get time to see what Matt and Min were up to this week, and It’s not till it’s over you even realize. Fast paced, exciting, dramatic, well acted and written. Best episode yet of The Wheel of Time for me. And the best thing is, I reckon we could top it by the end of this Season.
As always, let me know what you thought of my Wheel of Time S2 Episode 5 review and share your own Episode 5 thoughts or reviews below.
The Dragon Reviewed for S2 Episode 5 will be filmed and out tomorrow folks. Feel free to check out what Kyle, Christine and myself thought of Episode 4 Here.