Cobra Kai Season 5 Review (Spoiler Free)

The latest season of Cobra Kai has dropped on Netflix, and I have been anticipating it since season 4 ended. This is my overall impressions and review of Season 5.

A little over 9 months ago, just as the year was starting, Cobra Kai season 4 premiered. It brought back one of the most infamous villains in the form of Terry Silver. I have to admit, when Karate Kid 3 was released, I wasn’t as much of a fan as the earlier movies. However, the story and characters, especially the over-the-top Silver, grew on me over time. So, it was a delight to see his return to the series and watch him develop from a reluctant man who was trying to forget his past to the ultra-villain we all remember him for.

            Now Cobra Kai is back with Season 5 with Kreese in jail and Terry having full reigns as the ultimate villain. It picks right up where season 4 left off (maybe a few days after) and sets up a wild ride that makes Season 2’s “Cruel Summer” look like a picnic at the beach.

I did not get a chance to watch the season before they released it. I am not mad about that. I have yet to be established as a super fan. But many of the super fans were able to and posted their (spoiler-free) reviews ahead of the show’s premiere. Some were dedicated to the Cobra Kai and Miyagiverse franchise. Others were more general in content but include Cobra Kai as among their most anticipated shows. One thing that I noted was that many, especially the more general fans, seemed to be a little let down with the first half while praising the second half of the season. Pacing issues, quick cuts, and a dragging storyline seemed to be the common factor concerning the first half of the season.

As for me, it pulled me into the story right from the start. The entire season was a rollercoaster of emotions. I did not feel that the earlier episodes dragged along or were otherwise boring or anything. Nothing like some of the complaints that I have seen. Much of the first half was taking care of individual storylines and moving the characters into place for the second half of the season. Personally, I was happy with that.

What we know from the end of season 4 is that Miguel is on his way to Mexico and Johnny told Carmen that he would go after him. Tory is conflicted after her win, then subsequently overhearing Terry and the ref talking about the bribe money. Eli “Hawk” is the new champion of a presumably closing dojo. Kreese is on his way to jail thanks to a setup by Terry with the help of Stingray. And Daniel has called in reinforcements in the form of his formal rival, Chozen Toguchi.

Season 5 takes those story threads and begins weaving a tale of intrigue, heartbreak, and betrayal, with healthy doses of humor sprinkled in throughout. Along the way, various characters have moments where they shine. With the abundance of characters, some do get kind of lost in the shuffle. They make appearances here and there and throw out a line of dialogue or two. But other characters really shine as the season carries on.

This season also felt the most intense for me. There was one point near the end that I couldn’t really react to what was going on screen because I felt so tense and worried that something bad was about to happen. Only in repeat views of those episodes could I truly appreciate them and the moments that I just glossed over previously. Of course, part of that tension came because I was partially spoiled by one event through a screenshot I came across before I could watch the episode.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I loved the season. It is easily among the best TV and a front runner for my favorite season of Cobra Kai (so far). The excitement, the nostalgia, the humor, and the drama all come together to deliver a viewing experience that I didn’t know I needed five years ago. I am glad that I have come along for this ride. If you haven’t checked out the show yet, do so. Whether you are familiar with the movies or not, I can assure you that it is a wild ride. Strap in and get ready to hold onto your heart.            

Thanks for reading this. Look for my full, in depth look at the season coming soon. Also, I plan on bringing a few other features covering my hobbies that I have been involved in lately, some exciting things on the horizon that I am looking forward to, as well as updates to my novel and future projects that should be coming down the pipe in the next year or so.

COBRA KAI SEASON IV Review, Recap, and Reaction

My reaction and review of Cobra Kai season 4… SPOILERS AHEAD!

In 2021, there were three things that I was looking forward to. My second daughter was the first. The second was the premiere of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. The third was the 4th season of Cobra Kai, now completely in the hands of Netflix. My daughter’s birth went well, though there were some minor hiccups. I’ve been enjoying watching her grow over the course of the past few months. The Wheel of Time was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed seeing the characters and settings come to life on screen, but I am a little worried about going forward with the changes and directions they went with. Cobra Kai, which edged into 2021 with a premier on December 31st, blew me away.

Jay, from a reaction video channel that I like to watch, Jay and Adam’s pReviewed, had the perfect summary: That the show has no business being as good as it is. It’s true! It should have been a campy nostalgia-fest that was quickly forgotten. But instead, what we got was a show that not only had the nostalgia, but heart, action, and humor. I suppose that could have been foreseen, given the showrunners… the same guys that brought us Hot Tub Time Machine. A movie that should have been totally cheese, but actually worked.

Students from Miyago-do and Eagle Fang are lined up as Daniel and Johnny are preparing to give their joint instruction.
Miyago-do and Eagle Fang lined up and ready to BEGIN

What we got with Cobra Kai is a show that carries the story forward and through different perspectives. It gives more dimensions to some of the lesser defined characters in the original trilogy. The first season paralleled the first movie, but still gave us something new. The second season brought us new characters and changed the game. The long wait for the 3rd season while the show changed platforms turned out to be well worth it. That had some epic moments and ended with the makings of the alliance we have all been waiting for. The 4th season did not drop the ball.

There were many story arcs throughout the season. As I dive into it, I am going to look at various plotlines and how they developed through the season. Then I will look at the final two episodes and the outcome of the long-awaited tournament. If you have not watched the season, stop reading now, watch it, then come back for the analysis. After this point, “Thar be Spoilers!”

DANNY and JOHNNY

The final scene of season 3 was exciting, with Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) standing side-by-side, having combined their students. As exciting as that was, inevitably, they would clash in their training. It was cringeworthy watching the two senseis clash as they attempted to train their students. The second episode where they train each other in their prospective styles was a delight. I was awash with delight when Johnny responded to Daniel with, “No be there!” following Daniel’s hockey fight.

While sparring, Johnny assumes the crane kick pose to Daniel's dismay.
“Back at ya!” Johnny performing the Crane Kick pose.

It made sense that they would switch students to train in the other styles. However, it was disheartening, and also not too surprising, when the two eventually split up. I couldn’t help to be a bit frustrated with Daniel’s stubbornness. I also felt sorry for Johnny and understood his fears watching Miguel taking to LaRusso’s guidance. As the season went on, it was great to see that they did happen to influence each other as bits of their opposing training came out.

KREESE and SILVER

When I originally saw Karate Kid part 3, I hated Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). He was annoying and an over-the-top villain. In recent years, I came to like that about his character, and I liked how Cobra Kai explained this by referencing him being high on cocaine throughout the 80s. Having “cleaned up,” he was reluctant to get back in it with John Kreese (Martin Kove). However, Kreese, master manipulator that he is, was able to get under his skin and pull him back into the game.

Still, it became clear that their alliance was shakier than expected. Often, Kreese would give Silver that glare as if he knew that his former partner was up to something. Throughout the season, there were signs that he may have regretted bringing Silver back into the fold. This culminated when Terry took Kreese to the old dojo and ambushed Johnny.

MIGUEL and SAM

Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) and Samantha (Mary Mouser) were pivotal characters of this season. While they were not as active in the first couple of episodes, their purpose at that point was to keep their respective sensei on the path of unity. As the season progressed, their focus came to their relationships with their sensei and how the other one was affecting them. For Miguel, his ease in adapting the Miyagi-Do style was vital in showing Johnny’s jealousy. He already lost Robby, now he felt like he was losing Miguel.

Daniel and Miguel performing kata
Cobra Kai. (L to R) Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

Of course, Johnny’s efforts to be a father figure to Miguel causes the latter pain as seen in episode 7. Miguel returns from the prom to find Johnny drunk after being beaten by a crazed Terry Silver. They begin to connect and in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes, Miguel goes from pure joy to utter heartbreak after Johnny begins to confess that he wants to be a father to him, but then calls him Robby. This was one of the best acted scenes and you could feel Miguel’s pain as his face shifted so quickly.

For Sam, her relationship with her father became strained as she began to adopt Johnny’s philosophies. This was somewhat to her detriment as she honestly became a little too harsh, especially when it came to instigating Tory. However, it did allow her to bring a new strength that she was lacking with Miyagi-Do alone. Of course, this caused riffs with her father whose stubbornness led him to believe that HIS way was the ONLY way.

ROBBY and TORY (and AMANDA)

Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and Tory (Peyton List) had interesting arcs, both together and separate, throughout the season. It was interesting to see them going from distrustful of each other to close and romantically involved as the season progressed. I felt that their relationship was fitting, and they seemed like a good match. For Robby himself, he was disciplined and a powerhouse. The first episode where he challenges the class to hit him, then proceeds to take the group out before finally taking that hit from Tory, he goes from a disrespected delinquent to a leader and example for Cobra Kai. He even takes a student under his wing, though he later learns that he was not ready for that task.

Tory comes out in costume at a children's party.
Tory’s side gig… children’s party entertainer

Tory’s personal arc truly shined throughout the season. More of her homelife is divulged, especially after a visit from her aunt. This opens the door for more sympathy toward her, especially for Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) who is learning the truth about her and is seeing reflections of herself when she was a teenager. Had that background been kept under wraps, then perhaps it would have felt deserving the treatment that Sam was giving her at the kids’ party and later on. However, having that knowledge really made Sam out to be a bit of a jerk in the process.

DEMETRI and HAWK (ELI)

That brings us to the Binary Brothers. Having reconciled at the end of season 3, Eli (Jacob Bertrand) and Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo) went through a lot over the course of the show. They started out as best friends. However, when Eli joined Cobra Kai and took on the moniker of Hawk, they soon became thorns in each other’s side. Season 3 saw some of the worst of Hawk’s personality. However, also saw him waver in his actions. This brought the two back together in the season finale.

Demetri is tied up in punishment as a human punching bag for his fellow students.
Demetri’s punishment… as a human punching bag.

Going into season 4, despite having reconnected with Demetri, who has become quite formidable himself, Eli was struggling to fit in with both Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang. He quickly corrected that by building the bridge that helped to unite the two dojos. I loved when he went in with the plans to build the sparring deck. This put him back on even footing with his peers until he was ambushed by Cobra Kai and “lost” his Hawk identity. Like Samson, he felt that his strength had gone once his mohawk was gone. Enter Demetri and Moon (Hannah Kepple) to build his confidence back up in time for his character to reach his pinnacle.

ANTHONY and KENNY

Breaking out this season were the characters of Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro) and newcomer Kenny Payne (Dallas Young). I have to say; I enjoyed watching Anthony take a larger role this season and become more involved in the storyline. He was annoying in the earlier seasons (with his best moment being his “confrontation” with Johnny in season 1). In this season, we got to see a dark side where he was the aggressor in bullying the new kid. It soon becomes obvious that his “friends” encouraged his antics and that he seems to regret his actions.

Kenny walks through the halls of his new school in humiliation after being bullied by his classmates.
The new guy… Kenny

Of course, peer pressure being what it is, he continues to let his classmates push him into tormenting Kenny, who he sees as a rival. This leads Kenny, brother of Shawn (Okea Eme-Akwari), who spent time in Juvey with Robby, to seek out Cobra Kai. Over time, we see the pendulum shift as Kenny and Anthony switch roles by the end of the season. Even when Anthony tries to make amends, the damage is already done now that Kreese and Silver have their fangs in Kenny. Something that would not have happened if not for Anthony antagonizing the kid.

On a side note, this storyline led to a surprise cameo by Julia Macchio, Ralph’s daughter. She played the role of Vanessa, Cousin Louie’s (Bret Ernst) younger sister. She is a therapist who helps Daniel and Amanda get an understanding of Anthony’s bullying behavior. Amanda also refers to her as “Marisa Tomei Jr.” given her mannerisms, which were very close to Mona Lisa Vito, the character portrayed by Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny (another film featuring Ralph Macchio).

Julia Macchio makes a guest appearance as Cousin Louie's sister and a licensed therapist to help the LaRusso's deal with Anthony
In the Family

CAMEOS (UNDERWOOD, AISHA, and STINGRAY)

Speaking of cameos… I must mention the appearance of Carrie Underwood at the tournament. I am not a fan (though I have no animosity towards her) but it was nice to see some celebrities (outside of the franchise) making appearances. And I liked the fact that she was singing a Survivor song.

More importantly to the show was the appearance of two alums from previous seasons. First, Aisha (Nichole Brown) was a nice callback. It was a good moment for Sam to reconnect with her and for the audience to get a glimpse of where she ended up.

Then there was Raymond, aka Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser). While his character could get quite annoying, he still provided some comic relief, especially at some tense moments. Still, his appearance this season proved to be intense. I felt sorry for him when Kreese outright rejected him. But I must admit seeing his ultimate fate in episode 8 when he ran into Terry Silver was heartbreaking.

THE TOURNAMENT

Then it all came down to episodes 9 & 10 in the tournament. The showrunners really upped the game with the tournament, compared to season 1 and the original movies. The events of the tournament spanned over an episode and a half and featured many great moments. Episode 9 started out with the introductions of the main dojos competing. I am assuming that other dojos were announced in similar fashion – in universe – but they just highlighted the main three that we are concerned about.

The students of both dojos peek out at as Daniel and Johnny are confronted by Kreese and Silver.
The students at “Miyagi-Fang” take in the situation.

After the introductions, we get started with the skills competition which included kata, board-breaking, and weapon demonstrations. The students put on an amazing display. My heart sank a bit when Eli failed to break the final board in his skills entry. Then you had Mitch (Aedin Mincks) who dropped the ball (or, more specifically, bo staff) during his demonstration, followed by embarrassingly running off the stage. The competition ended with Cobra Kai taking the lead. This led into the appearance by Carrie Underwood which was interlaced with the first rounds of main male and female division fights. On a note, it feels like the skills and women’s division additions to the tournament is something that should have happened 20 years ago (at least).

The last part of the episode took us to the quarterfinals. Cobra Kai had Robby, Tory, Kenny, and Kyler (Joe Seo) reach the finals. Miyagi-do made a showing with Hawk, Sam, and Demetri. Lastly, Miguel and newcomer Devon (Oona O’Brien) held on for Eagle Fang. It was great seeing Eli get his confidence back (with assistance from Moon) and shut down Kyler. It really brought his character around full circle. His Binary Brother, Demetri, really made a showing. He certainly came far since this show started.

The tournament went on and ended with a match between Miguel and Eli. Both were apprehensive about facing their friend, and both were encouraged by their respective sensei to leave that behind for the moment and win. It starts out well as Eli and Miguel shake as they get set to start their match. Then as they were fighting, Miguel launched himself up to do a special move and his back cracked.

Episode 10 opened with the sounds of a heart-monitor in the background as the camera pans across a plethora of CT scans in a hospital room. This is a testament to the writers as I believed (and so did pretty much every reaction video I have watched since) that it was Miguel. Then it is revealed that the person in the hospital bed is Stingray. He is unresponsive and listed as a John Doe, giving the impression that he was dumped somewhere without ID and unconscious after his beating.

Then cut to Miguel back at the tournament being looked over by the event medic. It turned out that his injury is just a sprain and not as bad as it looked, still, his return was questionable. A pep-talk by Johnny fails and leads to Miguel NOT returning in his allotted time, thus forfeiting the match, and advancing Eli to the finals.

While we wait for Miguel, we are treated to the match between Robby and Demetri. While the outcome of this match was expected, I liked a moment when Demetri waves Robby toward him in a “bring it” fashion. Unfortunately for “Meat,” he loses the match. However, I must give kudos to the character for his progression from his whiny origins.

Then we have a confrontation between Anthony and Kenny. Anthony attempts to apologize to Kenny for the way that he has treated him, but the damage is already done. Kenny is unforgiving and begins to attack Anthony in the locker room. Robby walks in and intervenes but is taken aback by how Kenny has morphed from a scared kid to a vengeful brute.

This leads to the first finals match between Robby and Eli. The match is quite well, with each scoring a point and otherwise blocking each other’s attack. The time limit is reached, and they go into Sudden Death overtime. Robby, who’s Gi was opened during the match, strips it off. This prompts Eli to do the same, exposing his hawk tattoo. To this, I have to say that I love the hawk sound effect that is inserted.

They continue their battle. Just as it looks like Robby is going to win, he is distracted when he sees Kenny yelling to “Finish him.” This throws him off balance and allows Eli to escape and turn the tables. Finally, Eli scores the winning blow, crowning him the new champion. I loved this and felt that it was the perfect cap to Eli’s redemption story.

In the intermission between the final matches, we have a moment that resolves one of the major plot points of this whole season. Daniel asks Johnny for his help and to stand in the corner with him for Sam’s match. They apologize to each other, finding value in each other’s teachings, and agree to team up. Daniel even (begrudgingly) refers to their union as “Miyagi Fang.” This is a clear nod to the fans who came up with this term immediately after the third season concluded.

The girl’s final begins with Tory and Sam, each getting motivated by their respective senseis. As they begin, Sam quickly scores the first point using a technique that Johnny taught her. The match goes on and Tory soon gets an edge, eventually bringing the score to a 2-2 tie. When she stepped out of bound after being hit and the ref called “no point,” I started getting suspicious. That suspicion was furthered when he told her to elbow Sam again after her first elbow got her a warning. The final blow was bittersweet as Tory landed the hit and won the match.

ENDING SCENES

Tory showed remorse for her actions during the tournament, with apologizing for the elbow to the face as a reactionary accident. It was also a turning point in her character to see her ask Sam if she was alright after her victory, before being dragged off by her teammates. The ultimate blow to her character was when she walked in and overheard Terry Silver talking to the ref and thanking him for his “service” while ensuring that his bank account will be bigger the next day.

Anthony LaRusso faking it for his friends as he squares up against Kenny.
Cobra Kai. Griffin Santopietro as Anthony LaRusso in Cobra Kai. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

With Tory’s victory, Cobra Kai secured the overall championship of the tournament. Considering the deal struck between Kreese and Johnny and Daniel, this does not bode well for their future. However, that seems to be the least on Johnny’s mind as a trip to the Cobra Kai dojo that he opened, now shut down and, for lease, leads to a touching moment between him and Robby. They finally embrace and appear to be on the mends in their relationship. However, Johnny is also hit by the news that Miguel has skipped town and is heading to Mexico to find his own father.

Meanwhile, Terry and Kreese are celebrating the victory at the tournament when Terry pulls the carpet out from under his partner. With Stingray in the hospital, it is revealed that Terry struck a deal with Stingray where he will allow him to be a part of Cobra Kai if he fingers Kreese as the person who assaulted him. It is an interesting web that is weaved.

The final scene is with Daniel. Having returned home with his family in defeat, he is seen as Miyagi’s grave. He is going over the events and his feelings as he stares at the gravestone. It appears that he is NOT going to shut down Miyagi-do when he states that he cannot honor an agreement made with men who have no honor. As he finishes his speech, the camera pans around to show Chozen standing in the background listening to Daniel’s plee. When Danny asks Chozen for help, he responds with a simple “Yosh!” (After a quick internet search, the word is actually “Yoshi,” but the “i” is silent in this case).

FUTURE SPECULATION AND PREDICTIONS

            There is a lot to unwrap in the final moments of the season. From Miguel heading off to Mexico City in search of his father to Tory’s championship and later revelation that she may not have wholly earned it to Chozen showing up to help Daniel. For the former, that will make for an exciting arch. It is clear that Johnny is going after him and very likely that Robbie will join his father. What could come out of it is anybody’s guess. It could go any way for each person involved.

The LaRusso's, the Diaz' and Johnny gather together for a prom night photo.
Prom Night Photo

When it comes to Tory, it comes to wonder what she is going to do with her knowledge. As her hard shell has been beginning to crack this season, it would not surprise me if she goes to the Larusso’s over what she heard. She wanted a legitimate win and even if there is a chance that it was unearned, that will ruin her whole glory over the victory. With that, there is hope that the rivalry between her and Sam will begin to fizzle.

As far as Daniel’s storyline, I don’t see him giving up Miyagi-do. It was even hinted that he could not honor an agreement with dishonorable people during his talk with Chozen. And with Eli becoming the new Champion, Miyago-do won’t just collapse. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

That leaves Eagle Fang. If Miyagi-do does not close, it would seem possible for Eagle Fang to stick around too. However, with the absence of both the star pupil and the sensei, who will lead them? The remnants could filter into Miyagi-do until Johnny returns. How will the “Most Badass Girl in the Valley” fit in with this change? I think she would certainly utilize what training she could get out of it. But her spirit is more in line with Johnny.

Captain Hook with Terry Silver's face and Mr. Smee with Stingray's face. A prediction of their future?
Captain Silver and Mr. Stingray

Finally, we have Cobra Kai itself. Now with one head gone, Terry is the King. Kreese is now a wildcard with it being hard to predict how he will respond. He certainly will not forgive his former partner. Will he be willing to side with his former rivals in order to payback his betrayers? Stingray is set up to be the Smee to Terry Silver’s Captain Hook. Being the bumbling, loyal sidekick to the arch-villain will fit Stingrays role and allow him to continue to be a bit of a comic relief. However, how long will it last? Will he have a change of heart and be the linchpin that brings down Cobra Kai once and for all?

Conclusion

One thing is for sure, as exciting as this season was, I am looking forward to season 5 more than ever. Still, I feel that this was the best season yet. It just seems that each season just gets better and better. For a show that was set up to be a cool throwback to an 80s classic, it really has taken on a life of its own. And I am enjoying every minute of it. Perhaps there are some things to nitpick about it, but they are rather minor to the full narrative and the little details scattered throughout. I’m ready for more!

Links

EXCITING NEWS: New Arrivals and Progress Update – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Cobra Kai – Season 4 Eps 1 Reaction – YouTube

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 8 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

I must be completely honest about this episode. While I was enjoying the ride through most of it, the last 15 minutes or so just derailed me. Quite a few things happened that really threw me for a loop and nearly killed my enjoyment. I couldn’t even really feel anything during the final scene… I was just numb.

If you read my reaction, you know that I was not happy. Now that some time has passed, I have watched some YouTubers (book fans and non-book fans alike), read some articles and interviews, and I can say that I have eased up a little, but I still did not like how things played out. Many fans have had similar feelings as I did. I have not been viewed any reactions from the typically negative reviewers yet. Still, I am hoping that season 2 will renew my excitement and enjoyment.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

EPISODE DISECTION

The Good

The opening scene has been a bit mixed with the reactions from what I have seen. Personally, I did enjoy it. While it wasn’t the prologue from the books that us readers are familiar with (I feel that will come, just maybe not for a while… once a certain reveal happens with the “Dark One). Still, it was good to see a glimpse of Lews Therin (Alexander Karim) and the crisis he was dealing with that eventually led to the downfall of male channelers.

A View of the Eye of the World

Honestly, this scene is a mixed bag. From what I remember, I don’t even think his female counterpart was ever named in the books (I could be wrong) and I never heard the fear that the One Power would be tainted. The issue in the books was that the female channelers were reluctant and Lews Therin went ahead with his companions and executed his plan without them, which led to the taint. The other problem that I had with this scene was the fact that he is referenced as The Dragon Reborn. His title was The Dragon… period. He is the one that is to be reborn later. Still, the final shot showing the jo-cars and sho-wings was a nice nod.

As the episode opened, I was actually enjoying it. Although I was not a fan of the blight’s look, I did like seeing Moiraine and Rand traveling through to their destination. I was indifferent with the dream fake-out, but it was finally good to see the mysterious figure (listed as Ishamael played by Fares Fares) finally interact with Rand. When they finally reached the Eye, I enjoyed Rand’s “trip” into the vision of Egwene and their daughter.

Lan and Nynaeve share a Moment

Probably the best part, although it seemed a little awkward… like it was just crammed in… I loved the part when Lan and Nynaeve are talking, and Lan tells her that he will hate the man she chooses and love him too. That being a line from the books made the scene even more enjoyable. Most of the rest of the first half (maybe three quarters) of the episode was ok to good.

The Bad

While there were a few moments in the earlier episode that fell flat on me, they were few and minor. The last fifteen minutes or so really had me befuddled, shocked (not in a good way), and on the verge of steaming. First, lets address Nynaeve and Egwene’s storyline. They joined the female channelers in defending the city against the trolloc invasion. It made little sense that the least powerful person would lead a linked circle. I understand that Egwene and Nynaeve are untrained, but having Amalisa, who failed to become a full Aes Sedai lead the circle would be like having a medical school flunky perform brain surgery.

While their attack was affective and wiped out the invaders (a feat that SHOULD have gone to Rand), the fact that she killed nearly everybody linked to her, and the only ones that survived were the ones with plot armor. I didn’t like the fake-out of Nynaeve being burnt out (which in the books just meant that they stilled themselves and was just an expression, not physical). This really irked me.

Lord Agelmar and Lady Amalisa

The parts with Lord Agelmar going to defend the pass and (seemingly) dying was not on the good side either, but I was mostly indifferent about that.

What happened to Moiraine was kind of off-putting as well. The fact that she was apparently severed (while the episode leaves it up to debate and it could be said that she was just shielded, Rafe Judkins is stated to have confirmed that she was stilled). I am not happy about that turn of events, but I am willing to see how they play out that plot thread.

Finally, we get to Perrin’s arch. He has been most underutilized this season and it appears that his scenes this episode were meant for Mat. He helps Uno and the other Shienarans dig out the Horn of Valere from the throne room. Though Padan Fain gets it without much description of why it is important. But what killed me was seeing Uno and Loial stabbed by the Padan Fain. That really made me angry as it seems that they both die. If that is not the case, and they both live (it seems to be suggested by Rafe that they DO live) then fine, but I am not happy about that fake-out either.

A New Threat Arrives… The Seanchan

Because of the last fifteen minutes or so, I was numb by the time the final scene came on. And while it was good to see the Seanchan arriving, I had mix feelings about it, even after giving it some time. It was exciting seeing them arrive (at least, it would have been if I was not already numb by that scene). I like their design for the most part. I am not crazy about the “ball-gags” used for the Damane. The final scene with the tidal wave heading for the little girl on the beach was clearly for cinematic purposes. Otherwise, there was no logic to the Seanchan doing that to “announce” their arrival.

OVERALL FEELING

The episode really started out strong for me but left me feeling empty. It is becoming clearer that they are trying to make this show the next Game of Thrones instead of making it The Wheel of Time. And the other point of dissention for me is that they are really pushing “show don’t tell” when they really need a little more tell. I think this show could benefit from a couple extra episodes per season to allow them to give the plot and character development room to breathe.

“You have no power over me!”

GOING FORWARD

In the coming weeks and months, I will be cutting back. I would like to do a full season review as well as a feature detailing what the show needs to do going forward. Namely, what moments from the book absolutely must be in the show. Other features may include a review of Cobra Kai season 4 (if not this weekend, maybe the next). I also will be ramping up the finishing touches on my novella. I may do some reveals including final name, cover-art, and maybe a preview chapter or two. My goal is to have it published by early spring (late March to early April) so I have a lot of work to do. My updates here may be infrequent because of that, and it may be a while before I get to some of the things mentioned above.

I understand that this episode (along with episode 7) had the added crisis of losing one of its lead actors, but there are better ways that they could have fixed it. The last few minutes really drained my pool of excitement leaving just a little puddle. I only hope that next season will refill it.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free)

My general thoughts and reaction to Episode 8 of The Wheel of Time tv series on Amazon Prime

The Wheel of Time series has arrived on Amazon Prime. These are my general (spoiler-free) reactions to the latest episode:

EPISODE 8: THE EYE OF THE WORLD

The episode started out strong. The cold open was enlightening and where the story picked up was riveting. I was quite emotional when an iconic line from the books was uttered. I was past many of the changes. Then, the climax happened.

I am not happy!

There were so many things that happened that threw me for a loop. I just don’t see how they can bring it back to the main story. It is hard to talk about without going into spoilers. Just know that these are my raw emotions, reactions, and thoughts. I did not like how the season ended. There was a scene at the end that was good, but I just couldn’t muster the joy from seeing that scene because of the events that happened during the climax that just left me empty.

To be honest, I don’t know where to go from here. Whether to stick with the show or not. Maybe after some time and I watch the episode again, hear some explanations from the showrunners, get a grip on what I just witnessed. So far, the faith that was restored last episode has nearly been wiped away.

I am a bit shaken from this episode. I will have to return with my deep dive, after the dust has settled and I fully take in the events that unfolded, to see where I go from here.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 6 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

I am changing how I break down the episodes below. Instead of breaking down into Plot, Characters, and Effects/Action, I will be just going over the good and the bad along with any other notes I have from the episode. I think it will be a more streamlined way to look at each episode. There are only two episodes left, and this one brought my spirits back a bit in regard to the show. Read on for my break down of this episode.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

EPISODE DISECTION

The Good

Right off, we get a blazing start as we see an Aiel warrior laden with spears rushing along the outskirts of a battle. We quickly realize that the warrior is a woman, and she is pregnant. She cringes in pain signaling that the baby is ready to arrive. Several soldiers engage her and she puts up a ferocious battle. She takes a wound but continues fighting until her attackers are all dealt with, left bleeding on the ground. She finally slumps to the ground and begins to push when a sword is held up to her. That is when the cold open fades to the opening credits.

Traveling through the Ways

This was the best cold open yet. I have seen this opinion shared by many others. There have been a few dissenters, but I feel that most of them have already decided to hate everything about this show, likely since before it even went live.

Into the episode proper, several great things happened. I enjoyed the Ways itself, despite my dislike of how they entered. Personally, I was glad that we did not spend a whole lot of time there, where I heard others suggest that they wanted longer time in the Ways. We had a couple great scenes with Perrin spotting the guide stone ahead of the party and rush to get out of the nearest Waygate.

Machin Shin, the Black Wind, was different from the books. I was a little torn about this because the things said in the book were very unsettling where here, they decided to go with it engaging each person’s fears and worries.

After they left the Ways, they moved on to the city of Fal Dara. It was great seeing the character Uno Nomesta (Guy Roberts) make an appearance, even if it was for one line. I still want more WoT swears!

They are taking to the King of Fal Dara, Lord Agelmar (Thomas Chaanhing) who is a bit put off that an Aes Sedai has come to oversee his kingdom and their fight to keep the blight at bay. Once Moiraine tells him that she is there for a different reason and gives him a warning about trollocs using the Ways, he becomes more hospitable.

Moiraine then goes and talks with Agelmar’s sister, the Lady Amalisa (Sandra Yi Sencindiver). This is where they namedrop Min who now resides in Fal Dara instead of Baerlon as in the books. Moiraine also asks Lady Amalisa to send a message to the Red Ajah to seek out Mat Cauthon. At first, I was put off by this, but now I figure it just may be a bit of Daes Dae’mar (the Game of Houses… a concept from the books). This would be acceptable to me.

Min having visions

Moving along, we finally meet Min Farshaw (Kae Alexander). I loved her scenes in this and loved the actress portraying her. The vision effects were interesting. That scene is followed by a meeting between the main party about Min and their next steps. I’ll touch on this scene later.

Later, Lan and Moiraine meet up, than he goes to visit a family. At first, I was confused with who he was visiting, but it is explained later in the episode and makes sense. I know some will complain about him showing some emotion here, but I don’t mind it. I rather enjoy getting to see that he is not a complete stone.

Of course, Nynaeve is stalking him, and he calls her out on it before inviting her in. We get to see them afterwards and more of their relationship develop as she follows him into his room.

The next big moment is Rand target practicing in the courtyard of the Keep. He is a little off the mark and clearly distracted. Egwene finds him there and the two seemingly make up. He even tells her that he will go with her to Tar Valon and become her Warder.

Later, he is in bed dreaming of the events when his father was wounded during the trolloc attack. He also flashes back to when he was taking his father back into town and his father was rambling on about finding a woman on the mountain and a boy infant. Rand returns to target practicing and hits bullseyes every time as he flashes back to moments where he channeled the One Power. I enjoyed the sequence very much.

Target Practice with Rand al’Thor (coming this fall)

Of course, it wasn’t over. He goes to see Min and she tells him that her first vision was a soldier she crossed paths with. She saw visions of snow and blood. As she describes the visions, we cut to the woman from the cold open and the soldier who has her cornered. Seeing her distress, he buries his sword in the snow and helps her complete the child birth, using the sword to cut the cord. Sadly, the woman than dies and the soldier, a young Tam, walks away with the child swaddled in the cape of one of his fallen comrades. This was an epic moment and drove home the episode for me.

We conclude with Egwene, Nynaeve, and Perrin meeting up and making their decision. Lan comes to the door and explains that Moiraine has masked their bond and is gone. They realize that she has gone to the Eye of the World alone with Rand, the Dragon Reborn.

            It is the moments like these that I came for. Even with the changes, I was happy to see this moment, along with the other scenes described above. Still, there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way.

The Bad

Aside from my dislike of how they entered the Ways via channeling and no reference or explanation as to why that is the case (Loial even mentions that the Ways that they can’t reopen the gate as use of the One Power would attract Machin Shin as if that is the only way to open it), the other aspect that felt off was the absence of Mat. Given the situation with the actor not returning and the production team having to recast the character, I am a little more forgiving, however, it still leaves a lot of questions with how they are going to go forward with the story.

The next big downer for me was the meeting of the group following Min’s visions. I’m a little annoyed by the idea that whoever is NOT the Dragon will not survive the Eye of the World. It seems to me that they all have to survive. It has become clear that they each have roles to play in the series. I feel that this is unnecessary tension.

The EF4 in the Ways

Moreso, I am put off by the unnecessary tension of Perrin having interest in Egwene. I just don’t see a need to introduce this sub plot that should be moot in any case. I have heard arguments about something Perrin said in book 1 where he implies that he loves her. In the passage, he goes on to say that it is not like she is a sister, but her and Rand are an “item.” The problem I have is that this is one line that is throwaway at best and to me it is a stretch to interpret this as him having feelings for her. It is just an unnecessary plot point that can only serve to get in the way of later storylines for all characters involved.

Finally, I was not really a fan of how they depicted the Blight. I just didn’t like the bramble-like trees. I pictured it from the books as more of a baron rock desert area with pockets of gnarled trees. Though, that point is minor (for now).

Other Notes

This episode was packed with many things. Much of it was good, though some was a little questionable at least. One thing that I can say about this series is that it has been taking the phrase “show don’t tell” to heart, in some cases to its own detriment. I feel that, besides the pacing, this is the show’s greatest problem. While there is wisdom in that statement, sometimes “tell” should not be overlooked.

OVERALL FEELING

Summary

As I have said, this episode went a long way in restoring my faith in the show after a little slump from the previous two episodes. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. Still, this episode had some solid plot and character development that kept me gripped.

Lan leading the Ways

I can’t believe that next Friday is already the finale. I expect it to be good to say the least. Though a lot of questions remain, many are being satisfied as we go along and we seem to (mostly) be converging together with where the plot of the books ends, even if it will be a bit different.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free)

My general thoughts and reaction to Episode 7 of The Wheel of Time tv series on Amazon Prime

The Wheel of Time series has arrived on Amazon Prime. These are my general (spoiler-free) reactions to the latest episode:

EPISODE 7: THE DARK ALONG THE WAYS

Perhaps it was the “break” in the main plot for the previous two episodes that set me back a little. It felt like we were getting sidetracked. Maybe that is a part of why I was starting to feel down about the show. This episode, however, has raised my excitement again. There was much that I enjoyed, and a bunch of questions that have yet to be answered. I am still a little mad about one change from the last episode that was never really satisfied in this episode. Despite that, the events that happened in this episode (a favorite character from the book making an appearance, a favorite minor character also making an appearance, and some of the reveals and flashbacks) all got my blood pumping for this show again. One more week!

BONUS: (No Origin…)

As of the time of me writing this, there was no Origin available in the XRAY feature along with this episode. There was a BTS video regarding the weapons and props. It was interesting to view. A good look at what goes into the process of production.

My spirits for the show are back and I am excited for the finale next week. I look forward to what is to come as we wrap up this season.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 6 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

Episode 6 of The Wheel of Time is a mixed bag to me. There were elements that I liked and elements that I was not too keen on. Some of the latter were pretty big and take me out of the story. In the end, I enjoyed it, but with some hesitations.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

EPISODE DISECTION

Plot

The cold open for this episode takes us to a river near the city of Tear. A young Siuan Sanche (played by Keira Chansa) is fishing with her father. She can clearly channel and it appears this is a problem in this area. When they return to their hut from fishing, they find it burned down and her father sends her away. I am mixed on this plot point because on the one hand, this is a bit of a change to Siuan as she grew up in the poor streets of the city. She was still the daughter of a fisherman, but one who went out to see. I suppose the budget didn’t allow for that, so they made her more of a poor country girl.

The other hand, this scene was emotional for me. Perhaps because I am a father of two daughters, and I really connected with the father. Though I would have gone with her, first to make sure she arrived, and second even if there was no place for me, I would find some where I can be close (especially if I just lost my livelihood anyway).

Anyway, after the credits, we are back at the tower and Moiraine, Liandrin, and Alanna are standing in the Hall of the Tower awaiting the Amyrlin Seat, an adult Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo). When she arrives, they bring in Logaine who makes remarks about the weakness of Aes Sedai and comments how he still killed one of them. Siuan sees through his remarks as a way of enticing his death, but she denies it.

After he is taken away, she turns her attention on the three Aes Sedai before her. She chastises Liandrin for the debacle with Logaine. Liandrin brings up Moiraine and how she was traveling with a powerful channeler and throws into question what secrets she keeps. Moiraine is forced to prostrate herself in front of Siuan but cannot give the answer to the question asked of her. Siuan tells her that her penance will come the next day.

This scene is where I am beginning to have some problems with the series. When questioned about Nynaeve, Moiraine says that she did not know that she could channel, but only suspected. This is a drastic change from the books that changes a lot. Plus, if that is the case, how did she know that Egwene could channel. Nynaeve is supposed to be more powerful. In the books, detecting a woman’s ability to channel is one of the fundamental aspects. This is a drastic change. Time will tell on what impact this may have as the series plays out. In any case, I am not happy with it.

Continuing with this plot line, we later find that Moiraine and Siuan are in league with each other. This is straight out of the books. The show does take this a step further and show that they are lovers as well. This is not a far stretch from the books, though it is a change. I am indifferent on this change, but I do wonder how this might affect later elements of the series plot.

In any case, Moiraine insists that her penance be exile as she must take the villagers to the Eye of the World. They obtained this from a dream that Siuan had. She returns to the Hall and accepts her penance, delivered to her by Oath Rod, an artifact that binds oaths to the swearer.

In between those scenes, we have the villagers coming together in Tar Valon. First, Moiraine, following her first encounter with the Hall, locates Rand and Mat and steps in. Rand tries to protect Mat by drawing his sword but is thwarted quickly by Lan. I was a tad disappointed that Lan didn’t mention anything about the heron on the blade, but maybe they will have that conversation next episode. Mat pulls his dagger on Moiraine, but she stops him with the power. She recognizes it as having come from Shadar Logoth and extracts the sickness from him, returning it to the dagger. This is another point that left me feeling a little hollow.

In the books, she was only able to contain the sickness and it required a full circle of Aes Sedai to cleanse him from its affects. Barely anything more was said about the dagger other than the fact that if he touches it again, it may take him completely.

Perrin and Egwene are now in Tar Valon and Moiraine is taken by a Yellow Sister them. While Perrin is resting from being treated by the Yellow Ajah, Egwene mentions his golden eyes along with his seeming connection with wolves. Moiraine shows a hint of recognition but does not divulge and swears Egwene to secrecy.

She later calls Egwene to the White Tower and they go to an empty Hall. The door opens and Lan enters, followed by Nynaeve. It is a touching reunion between Egwene and Nynaeve, but shore lived as Moiraine leads them to meet with Siuan. Siuan assesses them and tells them of the coming danger.

We also get a meeting between Moiraine with Lan and Loial where they recruit his help. After her punishment is delivered in the Hall of the Tower, she leaves and rides her horse out to a Waygate some distance from the city. The episode concludes with a reunion of all of the Emond’s Fielders along with Loial, Moiraine, and Lan at the gate. She preps them for the journey through the Ways to their ultimate destination, The Eye of the World. She then opens the gate using the One Power and they enter… all except Mat who watches as it closes his friends off.

This whole scene was problematic for me. I didn’t like that Mat was left behind. I figure that it has to do with the recasting of his character. I can’t fault them too much for that, but, still, it was out of character for Mat, and it was pointed out by others that Moiraine just stood there and watched despite having said earlier that she would kill them before letting the Dark One have any of them. Then she leaves him behind without a second thought.

Still, it does kind of complicate the story. Perhaps that is why they just had Moiraine heal him so that the change in appearance could be contributed to his separation from the dagger. Perhaps the hardest part is not knowing WHY he was recast. I want to respect Barney Harris and whatever the reason, I wish him well. No knowing just makes the change all the more painful.

The other problem is the Waygate. I was not a fan from the moment they were first shown and speculated to be such. When it was confirmed, I was disappointed. Now that I have seen it in action, that disappointment has grown. It makes no sense if they were a gift to the Ogier, why would it require channeling to open. That defeats the purpose. I have been quite forgiven regarding many of the changes, but this one really eats at me.

Characters

Most of the episode focused on Moiraine. She was at the center of nearly every scene. I am fine with them expanding the love relationship between her and Siuan. I don’t think it was necessary, but I am not complaining either. I did like her line to Egwene and Nynaeve how the Amyrlin waits for only one woman and neither of those two were that woman. And I found the reversal of “on your knees” funny.

I already mentioned the reunion between Nynaeve and Egwene and how touching it was. Another moment I liked was when Egwene and Nynaeve were meeting with Siuan. When Siuan was talking about finally meeting a woman so strong in the power, and calls out Nynaeve’s name, I laughed when Egwene was standing tall until the end and immediately deflated. It fit her character, I felt. I also liked how when Siuan told them about the last battle coming, Egwene was ready to go.

 I felt that the scene when Moiraine and Maigan meet in the sauna was not needed. I don’t feel it really added anything. While I am not a prude to be sure, it did feel rather Game of Thrones like. Likewise, I have been getting more annoyed than anything every time Liandrin pops up. I did like that Moiraine finally stood up to her and put her in her place.

Special Effects / Action

This episode wasn’t really action or effects heavy. There were a few instances of weaves, but most of the episode was exposition and setting up for the final two episodes. Perhaps I would have been impressed with the Waygate if I wasn’t so upset about how they used it.

OVERALL FEELING

Summary

This episode is far from my favorite. It was almost a little off-putting. I have to admit that I am a little less excited. Perhaps part of that is the wariness over the negativity and in-fighting between fans. Many either love it (finding it perfect in every way) or loathe it (finding it as blasphemous to the source material). I have been somewhere in the middle from the get-go, leaning toward loving it, but reserved in some aspects, at least. I’ve adapted to many of the changes. After watching this episode (maybe it was the Waygate, maybe it was Mat being left behind, maybe it has nothing to do with the show and just my general depression over things going on in my life… I don’t know), I feel like I just swallowed a bitter-sweet pill.

This was a bump in the road for me. I feel really shaken. There is nothing to do but ride it out and see where it takes us. Hopefully, the last two episodes will restore my faith.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 5 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

First, let me clear something up. I am not a critic. These deep dives and my first thoughts blogs are not meant as reviews. That is why I don’t give a score, really. I say all this because I see other people’s reactions and dissections and sometimes feel I am not giving the episode a full scrutiny. I’ll think of things later that I should have said or see something from somebody that points out something that I miss (be it an easter egg, a representation, a point of view, etc.).

These are my gut reactions and my takeaways. These are my feelings and my thoughts. These are my likes and dislikes. Maybe I have pointed out something that others have missed. They are based on my own experiences, feelings, and opinions. I share them so that I can get them off my chest. So that I can “partake” in the discussion. Take them for what they are.

To that end, take the show for what it is and what YOU make of it. A lot of opinions are floating around — good and bad. If you like the show, then great. If not, that’s OK. In that case I am sorry that you don’t like it. Its not going to be perfect and not going to please everybody. That is impossible. Even if they had made the show exactly from the books with no deviation, somebody would find fault with it. Take it for what it is. Maybe if you let go expectations, you will find that the show can be quite enjoyable.

EPISODE DISECTION

Anyway, time to get off the soapbox and get to the episode.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and may reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

Plot

This episode was emotional. It has been said by others and there is no other way to describe it. It certainly was a different ride than the other episodes. But that is not a bad thing. It had its ups and downs and its good and bad. Let’s dive in.

The episode opened with the funeral of those lost in the attack on the camp. It was a beautiful ceremony heightened by the singing wails of Alanna (Priyanka Bose). The pain of Karene’s (Clare Perkins) warder, Stepin (Peter Franzén) was evident.

After the intro, we find that all groups have closed in on Tar Valon. Apparently, some of the Aes Sedai and warders break off from the rest on go into the city while the rest make ready for the procession later in the episode. The group that went ahead, of course, included Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve. They take Nynaeve to a room in the Warder’s Quarters where Moiraine instructs her to stay. There is a small confrontation between them, but Moiraine ultimately offers her protection.

Rand and Mat reach the city. The take refuge in an inn because Rand is worried about Mat and his sickness. Throughout their scenes, a familiar face pops up in the background. They are blink and you’ll miss it moments, but the eagle eye can catch Padan Fain (the peddler from episode 1) lurking around. These were well placed moments.

Perhaps the highlight of Rand and Mat’s storyline in this episode is the appearance of the Ogier, Loial (Hammed Animashaun). A fan favorite character that I will delve more into below in characters and effects below. Loial does retrieve Nynaeve from the White Tower grounds and brings her to Rand and Mat for a heartfelt reunion.

Perrin and Egwene seem to be a bit happy as the Tinker Wagons draw near to Tar Valon. Unfortunately, that joy is cut short when the Tinkers encounter White Cloak questioners led by Eamon Valda (Abdul Salis). They run but are captured anyway. Though there is no status on what happened to the Tinkers after they were brutalized by the White Cloaks.

Egwene is stripped and washed in a cringey (though impactful) scene, then given a white garment and strapped to a chair. Perrin is brought in while Valda attempts to get Egwene to confess to channeling. He tortures Perrin, though in the process, revealing something special about Perrin to the audience. He then leaves them to decide which one will die and which one will go free.

When Valda returns, he begins to work on Perrin when Egwene channels a pitiful flame. He laughs, but she apparently used that flame to mask her true intent, burning the ropes binding herself and Perrin. He snaps free of his binding causing fear to grip Valda before Egwene stabs him, takes his trophy rings, and escapes with Perrin with the aide of wolves who are attacking the other white cloaks.

The final plotline revolved around Stepin as he dealt with the loss of his Aes Sedai. While that seemed to be the focus, it also featured Moiraine and Lan and reflecting on their bond. There are references throughout, as they discuss with each other (and with others), about what would happen if Moiraine were to die. It all comes to a head when Lan stays with Stepin to watch over him, only to be drugged to sleep and discover Stepin’s body the next morning.

The final moments featured the funeral rites of Stepin. Lan was given the duty of primary griever and demonstrated great emotion as he thudded his chest in agony. Many claim that this was out of character for Lan, who does not share emotion. I argue that he does have emotions, he is just in control of them. He can hold his emotions back but release them when he needs to. Being stoic does not mean being a robot. Plus, he was given the charge of grieving for everybody in the room. Lan is dutiful and if commanded to display emotion, he is going to do it. And he damn sure did it.

Characters

Besides the Lan moment, there were a lot of character moments throughout this episode. First, let’s address the Ogier in the room… Loial. For a split second, I was hesitant when I saw him walk on screen. But then, I focused on the character, and he was the truest to book representation. He was only in a couple of scenes this episode, but I loved every minute of them.

Mat and Rand had little development, but it was good to see their reunion with Nynaeve. Nynaeve had that wonderful story regarding Egwene that she shared with Rand. It was about Egwene having a deadly sickness when she was younger and how they did not expect her to live. But Egwene was not ready, so she sat through a night of agony and broke the fever. It is implied that she did it on her own and I have heard some complaints about that. But there is nothing in the story that says that Nynaeve did not unknowingly contribute, so…

Other than that, though Nynaeve was present, she did not really feature specifically outside of a run-in with Liandrin and her confrontation with Moiraine. Lan and Moiraine were dealing with the warder bond storyline, and it was great seeing how that affected them. I feel that the characters that got the most development this episode were Egwene and Perrin.

When they were captured by the White Cloaks, we are given a scene where Egwene is stripped and washed by her captors. It is a cringy scene to watch but it shows how these people (if their brutalizing of a group of pacifists wasn’t enough). When Valda kept pressing her, it was great to see the fire in her as she pushed back. When she through that pitiful fireball at Valda, I had to laugh, but then it showed her cunning as she burned the ropes while he laughed her off.

Perrin’s development was huge. We have finally reached where he has more lines and his confession about killing his wife was emotional. That change to his story really paid off here. There was also a key moment while he was being tortured where his eyes changed color. It was only during the time when his emotions were heightened, so that leaves me wondering a few things (more on that in a moment). In any case, it was great seeing that aspect of him, even if it was brief.

Special Effects / Action

Since this episode focused mostly on emotion, it wasn’t exactly effects or action heavy. It was interesting to see the nod towards The Lord of the Rings with the ring being melted. Action was limited to the White Cloaks assaulting the Tuatha’an, Perrin and Egwene’s torture, and Lan racing through the halls to find his friend. For the most part, what was there was effect and action wise was OK.

There were two moments that sat me back for a second. The first was Loial. His look was not quite satisfying at first glance. However, I stopped caring almost immediately once I focused in on Hamed’s performance. He WAS Loial. It was fun seeing him and I was happy every time he spoke. For what it is worth, the problems that I had the most with the costume was the wig and no ears (as described in the books). I didn’t have a problem with his height. It would have been too unrealistic to have him taller. I also noticed that his hands were clearly prosthetics. I hope they can improve them over time, but I was not too upset with them.

The other problem that I had was with Perrin. When he broke from the ropes and stood up, I had an image between The Incredible Hulk and some Frankenstein movie with the way he moved toward Valda. That kind of pulled me out of it for a moment. I loved the Incredible Hulk when I was growing up (for context, I am referring to the 70s series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno). So, I was torn as I kind of liked how that called back to it the way his eyes turned yellow, and he bulked up with his rage. Part of me would not be unhappy if they kept his eyes only turning yellow at certain points.

The other aspect is what really pulled me out. When he looked like a hulking monster stalking toward Valda, it kind of looked humorous (in likely in a way not intended). That said, I enjoyed the overall arch and was happy with how the scene played out in the end.

One last thing to note is that I am starting to see some of the complaints with editing or pacing. I agree with some of those complaints and yet others I think the show is fine as is. The biggest thing was some of the cuts like Rand and Mat walking into the inn, then immediately going to their room. Or when it is suggested that Nynaeve check out the garden and it cuts to Loial bringing her into the inn. It feels like in both cases, something was left out.

OVERALL FEELING

Summary

It has been a few days since I first watched the episode as I wrap up this deep dive. Because of that, I have seen thoughts from others, and it generally seems like many either loved the episode or hated it. For me, it was a great episode. Perhaps on par with episode 4, but for different reasons. This episode carried an emotional theme that reflected in all of the three primary storylines. New introductions of a fan favorite character from the books were pleasant as well. Only three episodes left in the season. I am wondering how they are going to bring it all together. Until then, I am happy to be on this ride.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Other

The Wheel of Time Midseason Impressions – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free)

My general thoughts and reaction to Episode 5 of The Wheel of Time tv series on Amazon Prime

The Wheel of Time series has arrived on Amazon Prime. These are my general (spoiler-free) reactions to the latest episode:

EPISODE 5: BLOOD CALLS BLOOD

If you have not watched this episode yet, prepare for a lot of tears. Not just sad tears, either. Some of them are joyful (others, not so much). I can really see the story coming together. What can I say without giving anything away? It is difficult to do.

Arm and arm against the White Cloaks

Probably the best I can say is that the changes that were made are starting to merge back into the familiar for us book readers, in my opinion. That is the best part of it. I am easing my stances on the changes greatly. Also, I was able to call a few events early. Not by much, mind you. But there were scenes in the preview that I realized were about to happen and why they were about to happen just before it was revealed. In any case, I am going to have a lot to say in my deep dive.

One last thing… I heard on social media (which I checked briefly after completing the episode) that a certain phrase that I have been waiting for was finally uttered. That phrase being “blood and ashes.” Unfortunately, I missed it and will have to do a rewatch to catch it. Let’s just hope that is not the last time it is used.

A Laughing Logain – What is he laughing at???

BONUS: THE WHITE TOWER (and BTS)

The White Tower animation was a good breakdown of the origins and description of the White Tower and the Aes Sedai (post-breaking). Worth a check-out if you are new to the series. Your decision if you want to wait until the end of the season or watch them as they come, but the bonus animations have been pretty good little tidbits of lore.

I also watched the first two BTS bonuses watch are two parts of Creating the Look. They were informative and showcased the details that went into creating the costumes and the looks of the different people. I’m beginning to overload and will have to watch the Creating the Music a bit later (hopefully by the time I am done with my deep dive.

With that, I am beginning to let go of my trepidations of the changes from the book material. I feel that the showrunner, Rafe Judkins, and his crew of talent are crafting something truly epic. With only three episodes to go, I am ecstatic. Overall, I am very happy with what I have seen so far. At my first watch, I couldn’t even think of anything that I didn’t like about the episode. Some things may pop up after subsequent watches. But they are obviously small if they are there.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 1 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

It has been a couple days since I first watched episode 1 of The Wheel of Time entitled “Leavetaking.”  The dust has begun to settle, and my thoughts have come clearer. I have since watched the episode several times (and will likely watch it a couple more times as I still have people that I have yet to watch it with) and looked at countless reviews, reactions, and recaps online. I posted my initial reaction almost immediately. While I haven’t changed my mind too much on any aspect, some elements have come to me (either through personal thought or through realizations from others’ reactions) that I feel I may need to delve into more.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) walks through the village.

EPISODE DISECTION

Plot

The episode opens with Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) getting dressed as she prepares to set out on her ‘mission.’ During the sequence, she gives a monologue about the arrogance of men and how the women were left to fix it. This is kind of setting the tone for the series and shows that men are often regarded in a negative light. The next scene shows two men running from a group of women in red. It turns out that one of the men is a male who can channel, and the other man does not exist. The women, of course, are Red Ajah Aes Sedai who are there to gentle him.

I did enjoy this opening sequence. While I heard some others say that they did not like the man being hunted by the Aes Sedai, I thought it did well in showing the stakes for men in this world. It leads to Moiraine and Lan (Daniel Henney) on a mountain top after observing the capture of the man. It then segues to the Two Rivers where we begin to meet the rest of the main cast.

It was fun going through and meeting the rest of the cast in their elements. Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) in the women’s circle ceremony, Rand (Josha Stradowski) on the quarry road with his father (Tam, played by Michael McElhatton), and Mat (Barney Harris) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) in the inn were all great introductions. Though it DID make Mat seem like a jerk at first, we later see that he has heart. I’ll talk about that later when I talk about characters because I have conflicting feelings regarding his arc in this series.

From this point on through to the climactic sequence of the episode, we have several character moments and interactions. Moiraine and Lan arriving at the inn, Rand and Egwene discussing their future, Moiraine talking with Nynaeve, Rand and Tam at their cabin, among other scenes. Many of these scenes did their job in setting the foundations for the conflicts that the main characters will be carrying on through the season and (potentially) the series. Again, most of those points I will discuss below in the Characters section.

Overall, I didn’t mind the plot and pacing. I know many have complained about the pacing of this first episode. While I did notice a couple rushed cuts — like going from Lan asking Moiraine if she knew which person was their target, then cutting immediately to Egwene and Rand in the inn (I felt a small lingering shot on Moiraine would have made that cut better) — I felt that most of the pacing was fine as we got our introductions and some basic interactions.

Then we got to the hook of the first episode, the climactic Wintersnight battle. This is where the episode really came to life. Another complaint that I heard before the show even released was the use of shaky cam during the battle. This was concerning as I am not a big fan of the technique. Fortunately for me, it was not a problem and I barely noticed it during my initial viewing.

The battle itself took place in several different “fronts.” There were several character defining moments throughout the battle. Seeing Nynaeve roar at the trollocs and Mat seeking out his sisters were key moments that added nuance to the characters. At the conclusion of the battle, of course, the setup was for the group to leave the Two Rivers and begin their journey. I felt that did seem a bit stilted going from the epic battle straight to the group leaving. It took barely any convincing for them to leave — though I understood (and maybe this is where the pacing complaint came in). They had to get the group on the road for the next episode. Still, I feel that was the most jarring aspect.

One note, I am beginning to think that the reason why they include Egwene as a contender for being the Dragon Reborn is to make it easier to get her on the road. In the books, there is a whole setup with it just being the boys and in secret. All that is said is that the dark one wanted one of the boys. When they left, Egwene snuck in like Merry and Pippen at the Council of Elrond saying, “you’re not leaving without me.” I think it just made it easier to include her as a target and move on.

Characters

Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Egwene (Madeleine Madden) share an intimate time.

Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney were excellent as Moiraine and Lan (respectively). They captured the true heart of each character. From the bathtub scene to the battle, their chemistry was spot on. Also great were the portrayals of Rand, Egwene, and Nynaeve. Josha, Madeleine, and Zoe gave great performances and really embodied the essence of their characters. Michael McElhatton also shines as he transitions from the father everybody hates to the father everybody loves. Overall, I am happy with the cast listed above and the directions they are going with their plots… even the changes that were made with their characters.

There were two characters that I must spend a little bit of time with and delve deeper. The first of which being Perrin. To be honest, I was dreading the rumor that he was married in the show for a long time. How it would impact his story was of great concern. Getting to see it play out gave me mixed feelings. On the positive side, I feel that I understand the change and the reason for its inclusion. With Perring being an internal character, it gives a motivation for his actions throughout the series. On the other hand, not enough time was spent building up their relationship. Laila (Helena Westerman) barely had any dialogue and the few scenes they had together were hardly enough to develop a connection.

When the fateful scene comes where Perrin accidentally kills her, you feel for him. But it is hard to feel for her. There were certainly aspects that seem implied and that the audience was supposed to get. But so far, there is no indication of those were true. Namely, that she was (at some point) pregnant. Likely she miscarried before the show. But so far, there is no indication if this is the case. Regardless, Marcus Rutherford gave an excellent performance and I look forward to seeing him develop the character in the future. It is a challenge as Perrin has little dialogue and most of the acting will be visual.

The other character I want to focus on is Mat. In the books, Mat comes to be my favorite character in the series. Though, admittedly, not in the first few books. They made some interesting changes, most notably to his parents, Abell (Christopher Sciuref) and Natti (Juliet Howland). I was a little upset about this change because they did Abell dirty. In the books, he was a respectable horse trader. His role was small, but he was formidable as Tam’s sidekick later in the series. In the show, they turned him into a selfish lecher. His mother is not portrayed much better.

Despite this, I ultimately found that it was helpful in establishing Mat. Despite his love of gambling and his devil-may-care attitude, he obviously loves his sisters and will do anything for them. This adds a nobility to his character that wasn’t seen in the books until much later. With that aspect of his character settled in my mind, there was one more problem… that of the actor portraying him, Barney Harris.

Let it be said that I did love his performance as far as the attitude, the jokes, and what not. I think Harris captured the heart of Mat. The problem I had was with his voice. Harris had a kind of lazy draw when speaking that just didn’t feel right for Mat. I don’t know if I am under the influence of the knowledge that he has been replaced, or if others who have been praising his performance without complaint are under that influence. I just feel like that voice did not fit, though he nailed the other aspects of Mat. Perhaps I am just preparing myself for the new actor taking his place next season (Dónal Finn).

Special Effects / Action

Moiraine (Pike) unleashes her fury.

For the most part, the special effects were good. I loved the look of the trollocs and the fade(s). The action played out pretty good as well. Moiraine and Lan had excellent coordination during the battle and the choreography, overall, felt great. During the battle, I did notice some “glitches” in the effects that screamed CGI. But for the most part, it was forgivable as it was overall good.

OVERALL FEELING

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. I felt it hit the right beats and the changes, for the most part, are acceptable. The effects and CGI were excellent except for a few areas, especially during the battle. It set the stage for what was to come and as a book reader, I was invested to see how it would play out. The changes, though I was concerned, did not push me off too much. There are still aspects that concern me that I will get into later as they really came to light by the third episode. But I am happy with the overall direction they are going with the show and how this episode kicks it all off.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

*******

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)