Legend of the Seeker: The Complete Second And Final Season
by Various Directors
Review by Charles Mohapel
ABC Studios DVD ISBN/ITEM#: B003JSSPSY
Date: 09 October 2010 List Price $45.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Legend Of The Seeker was a syndicated show made by ABC Studios, which leads me to suspect that while ABC executives saw promise in the concept of making a fantasy show in New Zealand and taking advantage of the world class talent showcased in movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. More importantly this talent also worked on syndicated television shows like Young Hercules, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Jack of All Trades, all of which had Legend Of The Seeker's Executive Producer Rob Tapert serve as an executive producer on at least one episode.
Unfortunately for fans of the show who got their weekly fix of Legend Of The Seeker on CW stations like WGN - Chicago, WPIX - New York, and KTLA - Los Angeles, they declined to pick it up for a third season.
Fortunately for us, ABC Studios chose to release the second and final season of Legend Of The Seeker on DVD and while it's not on Blu-ray, it's still something for fans to look forward to watching.
Created by Sam Raimi
Based on the "Sword of Truth" book series by Terry Goodkind
Craig Horner... Richard Cypher
Bridget Regan... Kahlan Amnell
Bruce Spence... Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
Craig Parker... Darken Rahl
Tabrett Bethell ... Cara
Now that Richard Cypher, the Seeker, has defeated and killed the evil Lord Darken Rahl with help from the Boxes of Orden, Kahlan Amnell (the Mother Confessor), wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander, and a reluctant ally in the form of Cara, a Mord'Sith, you'd think that everyone could sit down, catch their breath, and celebrate the triumph of Good over Evil. But if you thought that you'd be wrong -- when the powerful magics contained in the Boxes of Orden were released all at once, they tore the veil between the world of the living and the Underworld. Now monsters like the Screeling in "Marked" are crossing into the world of the living and killing at will and after discovering that he is now Lord Rahl, Richard has to find a way to kill the Screeling. Worst of all, the Keeper of the Underworld is making the same offer to the dead, beginning in "Baneling" -- become Banelings, return to the world of the living, and keep killing for the Keeper. Fail to kill at least one person a day and they get forcibly recalled by the Keeper -- and the consequences are worse than simply dying.
One of my favorite episodes was "Broken", a Cara-centric story where you learn she was tricked as a child into believing that her father had sold her to the Mord'Sith by the village schoolteacher who was secretly a senior Mord'Sith. For the first time you see that Cara has a human side after all.
"Touched" was amusing in that you got to see the kind of chaos a young untrained Confessor like Annabelle can cause by a careless touch of the hand. Using an enchanted device called a Quillion, Kahlan removes Annabelle's Confessor powers to release Richard from Confession.
If you've ever wished you could roll back time and relive your youth, then "Wizard" might make you think twice about actually experiencing your wish. Zeddicus is a Wizard of the First Order and not surprisingly is not exactly the most humble of men, but when he is returned to his youth by the powerful witch Shota, his hubris knows no bounds.
"Fury" tells the story of an enchanted group of forced pacifists called the Minders and how a compelled Richard teaches them to defend themselves against a large group of slavers by massing the entire village wielding weapons, sharp farming implements, and assorted kitchen cutlery. Sometimes simply looking like you're ready to fight to the death means that you don't have to shed a drop of blood on either side.
If you remembered Denna, the Mord'Sith who tried and failed to break Richard, then you remember just how deliciously evil she was. While pursuing a rather nasty D'Haran general into a brothel, they are shocked to discover that a now-unemployed Denna is the brothel's madam. Worst of all, she has plans of her own to grab power for herself.
Foiled in her power grab, Denna flees in "Light" and is pursued by Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, and Cara. Eluding them, Denna turns the tables and kidnaps Zedd, planning on breaking him and having him as personal wizard for use in yet another scheme. While pursuing them, Richard is plagued by debilitating headaches and encounters a mysterious order called the Sisters of Light. They tell him that his headaches are the result of his wizard powers beginning to manifest themselves and he has two options -- begin his wizard training immediately or die.
This plotline continues in "Dark" where you discover that one of the Sisters of Light, Sister Nicci, is actually a leader of the Sisters of the Dark, servants of the Keeper.With everyone having their own agendas, Richard reluctantly allies himself with Sister Nicci and they escape from the Sisters of Light. Meanwhile, Shota reveals a new candidate to replace Richard as the Seeker and Zedd, Kahlan, and Cara find a blacksmith named Leo and name him as the new Seeker.
This plotline all comes to a head in "Perdition" as Richard rejoins the others, leading to he and Zedd combining to destroy the evil Sister Nicci.
Watching "Torn" where a magical accident causes Kahlan to be divided into two people with distinctly different personalities, a story that reminded me of "The Enemy Within", the fifth episode of Star Trek: The Original Series where a transporter malfunction causes a similar split.
In "Hunger" Zedd's brother Thaddicus teams up with a conman selling a cure for Banelings - the cure is real enough, but the supply is limited and as the pair keep watering it down to make more money, the cure's efficiency gets progressively weaker. Cara dies, wakes up in the Underworld, and accepts Darken Rahl's offer to become a Baneling. I liked the creative manner in which she was saved.
I liked "Princess" since Cara was forced to impersonate a meek submissive virginal princess. Given that we have already learned that the Mord'Sith are skilled in the linked arts of pain and pleasure, this is akin to watching a hungry wolf masquerade as a sheep.
Since we already know that Death is not a permanent state in this world, Sister Nicci has returned in "Bound" but a faction of the Sisters of the Dark feels that she has bungled killing the Mother Confessor once too often and they decide to kill her again. They use a poisonous spider as their assassin and when it bites Nicci, she falls into a state of near death, but is saved by a spell cast by Zedd. She then kills the renegade Sisters of the Dark, lets Richard go, and ceases to serve the Keeper.
In "Creator", we meet Maia, played by Keisha Castle-Hughes, the youngest ever nominee for Best Actress for her role in Whale Rider. Maia claims that she is the Creator and vows to kill Richard since he is an agent of the Keeper, but when he saves her from death at the hands of Darken Rahl, she changes her mind and helps Richard and his party.
"Desecrated" is a story of revenge and a magical monster called a Nygaax.
"Vengeance" sees the return of Zedd's brother Thaddicusas an infuriated Darken Rahl discovers that his father Panis Rahl whom he killed as a young man and who was brought back to life by the breath of life of a Mord'Sith, is still alive.
"Walter" begins with the comic story of Walter, the comical bumbling village buffoon who was Darken Rahl's double and how Darken Rahl comes back in poor Walter's body.
If you want to find out what happens in "Extinction", "Eternity", "Unbroken", and "Tears", the last four episodes of Season 2, you'll have to watch them for yourself.
Of the bonus features, my clear favorite was "Redemption of A Mord'Sith: Meet Cara" where Ken Biller (Executive Producer), Stephen Tolkin (Co-Executive Producer), Mark Beesley (Producer/Director), Jane Holland (Costume Designer), and Steve McQuillan talk about the growth of Cara as a character over the course of two seasons, as well as the growth of Tabrett as an actress. Listening to Tabrett speaking as herself, not Cara, she comes across totally differently from the nasty character she plays -– she seems to be fun to be with.
In "Under The Underworld", we learn that Terry Goodkind's version of the Underworld is more like that of the ancient Greeks than the Heaven and Hell concept of Christianity.
When it comes to the Deleted & Extended Scenes, my favorite was "The Story of Panis" which is the story of Lord Panis Rahl, father of Darken Rahl and Richard Rahl (aka Richard Cypher, the Seeker). "Walter's Transformation" deals with the hilarious plot line about Walter, Darken Rahl's double. "Who's Got First Watch?" is another hilarious scene where Richard and Cara engage in mock battle with the loser to stand first watch. "The Mother Confessor's Return" was mildly amusing, while "What Could Have Been" and "The Importance of Death" were no loss.
Of all the trailer and promo spots, the only ones that got me excited were the trailer for TRON Legacy, coming out in 3D and IMAX 3D in select theaters on December 17, 2010, and the promo for FlashForward: The Complete Series on DVD which I have already reviewed.
As much as I enjoyed Legend of the Seeker: The Complete Second And Final Season, I really wish that there had been a lot more bonus features on the 5-DVD set. If it was up to me, I would have put 4 episodes and all the trailers and promo spots on Disc 1, 5 episodes on Discs 2, 3, and 4, and the last 3 episodes on Disc 5, as well as more bonus features. But it wasn't up to me and none of the networks chose to pick up Legend of the Seeker for a third season so we won't be getting it on Blu-ray disc either.
Regardless of all my wishes or those of the show's fans, we won't be getting any more seasons of Legend of the Seeker. All in all Legend of the Seeker: The Complete Second And Final Season is a very good but not great souvenir of the series.