May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Wheel Of Time “Strangers And Friends”

Season Two, Episode Two

As I see it, there were two big cliffhangers from the end of season one that weren’t addressed in the first episode of season two.

Ho boy were they addressed here…

See, the mystery for the characters was to wonder where Rand went.  For the show, it was who the heck those guys that showed up at the end of the first season.  I’m sure that people who read the books know who those guys are with those channelers wearing the weird muzzles, but I’ve only read the first book, so I have no idea.  I know now where Rand went and I have a rough idea who the boat people were.

Rand is the easy one:  he’s working at a mental hospital where he may have access to some of those False Dragons.  That makes sense seeing as how he’s been told, as has everyone else, that male channelers always go dangerously insane, so why not check in with men who have actually gone through that?  He’s trying not to channel too.  OK, he does to really hurt a co-worker, but he clearly hates himself.  And he’s sleeping with his landlady because…

OK, let me see what’s happening here:  the Two Rivers folk are being slowly but surely separated from each other.  Add in Moiraine and Lan to that, and even the folks that stuck together are breaking up.  And in Moiraine’s case, it’s her fault.  She fires Lan in this episode for the crime of not being able to protect her when she went off by herself and didn’t tell him anything about where she was going or anything.  I’d think Lan was better off if I had a better idea of how the whole warder thing works.

Mat?  In prison in the Aes Sedai tower, but at least he has company now in the form of that prophetess from season one, Min.  Min and Mat?  Well, that makes sense.  Min also sees Mat stabbing Rand, but there’s no context to that vision, so it could mean anything.

Egwene and Nynaeve were in the White Tower together, but while Egwene is trying very hard and not getting very far, Nynaeve is being trained in forces she’s not interested in because she doesn’t think anyone, herself included, should have that sort of power.  Factor in that Nynaeve overhears the worst part of a conversation Egwene is having with a new friend, a princess no less, and those two may be going their separate ways for a while.

And then there’s Perrin, part of a search party hunting baddies.  He’s seeing the recent past for some reason, and the small farmhouse with dead innocents inside and a dead Fade outside is mysterious enough, but then the boat people show up, and those guys know how to fight.  So does Perrin’s party, but those muzzled channelers are another story, and that Darkfriend Ishamael is advising the boat people’s leader, a guy who travels on his own raised throne, so you know he’s probably not friendly.  It’s very Xerses, if you catch my drift.

So, Rand is at a hospital trying to learn how not to become mad I suppose, and the boat people are probably evil.  Good to know.

Now, if I had an idea where things were going, I might be more invested.  The first season was mostly a long journey.  This one has the characters literally scattered all over.