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LEGEND OF THE SEEKER: Magic Gone Amuk in ELIXIR
By Erika Blake
View Full gallery of HD screencaps for the episode in our gallery.
The Theme of the episode ELIXIR is misuse of Magic and it’s burden. This episode of LEGEND OF THE SEEKER opens with Richard making breakfast for Zedd…by slicing up fruit that the wizard has magically suspended in the air for sword practice. Zedd isn’t overly impressed that Richard’s skills and decides to make things more interesting. He takes a melon and turns it invisible and challenges Richard to see what cannot be seen…at least he didn’t have a heavy blast shield lowered over his eyes, right? Perhaps Richard felt in tune w/ the piece of fruit since his ripped bare-chested body was covered in juice and fruit splatter, but after much concentration he was able to decipher where the melon was hiding and split it apart. Even though Richard did well, apparently Zedd was grouchy and hungry and wasn’t overly impressed.
Richard high on his newfound conquest over magic heads over to a local waterfall to wash off when he comes upon a nude Kahlan air drying after a bath. Richard is rather stupefied by the glorious sight of seeing Kahlan in her all together and when she turns and catches him gawking at her, our poor boy doesn’t know what to do with himself and is very pleased when Kahlan points out that someone is stealing their horses to give him the perfect excuse to run away and save himself from embarrassment.
Richard attempts to get the horses back but falters when he realizes that the thief is just a boy. Unwilling to kill the young man, Richard gets knocked to the ground and our trio are again left on foot. Zedd is now in a very foul mood, Richard could slice up invisible fruit but could not see a large human taking their horses. To this, Richard feebly responds that he was distracted. Kahlan who’s wearing her black corseted under clothing and armor doesn’t look Zedd in the eye. If he could’ve we might’ve seen steam erupt out of Zedd’s ears at having to deal w/ his young charges raging hormones. After Zedd storms off, Richard tries to apologize to Kahlan saying that he didn’t see anything to which Kahlan quips back, “Richard, word of advice, never lie to a Confessor.”
Ah young love, poor Richard, he just can’t cut a break not only was Zedd in a bad mood but Kahlan just won’t let him catch a break and try to smooth things over for his ill-fated timing at the waterfall. Not being able to tell a simple fib around a human lie detector has to be frustrating. This whole sequence was funny and was a humorous way to open the episode. Since we’re not allowed to hear Richard’s thoughts like we do in the novels where he’s constantly fumbling over inappropriately staring at Kahlan, it’s very entertaining to see his blooming puppy love play out on screen.
There was a major editing problem in the beginning sequences however – right after Richard gets thrown from the horse…or should I say Craig’s body double was thrown from the horse…they cut to the footage from BOUNTY where Richard threw himself onto the ground to try to catch the rabbit. This might’ve worked had he not been wearing his shirt in that scene, or had he put it on before trying to chase down the horse thief. Richard chased after the horses in only his vest – having even 2 seconds of footage of him w/ his shirt magically on was poor, poor editing. They should’ve just cut to the sword credit instead of bothering to put that in.
The trio arrive in the town of Drenidril looking for the horse thief. The boy meanwhile has sold the horses in order to buy a vial of something. He drinks it and makes a local flower girl kiss him. The effect is short lived and she runs away appalled that he’d dare to try anything on her. Richard is then seen chatting up a local bar wench who says that she doesn’t know anything about horse thieves and gives him a pint on the house. Richard, who’s had a hard morning already gladly accepts the drink and takes a long swallow only to find himself under the disapproving glare of Kahlan and Zedd. I might add that Kahlan was still wearing her black under garments and her Confessor gown was nowhere to be seen. Throughout the ep there are a few instances where she’s got a shawl around her shoulders to try to hide her dress even when she has it on. I’m guessing that she was hoping by not wearing her gown that people might be more honest and willing to open up to her in the bar since people generally fear Confessors.
Suddenly Richard has a weird flash and he sees the boy sitting by a lake. Overcome by the feeling that he knows where the boy is located he takes off with his 2 confused magical friends following in pursuit. Kahlan and Zedd don’t know what’s going on, perhaps Richard has weird abilities being the Seeker. Whatever caused his feelings they worked and they came across the boy. Kahlan in her white gown now and threatens the boy if he doesn’t explain where they can find their horses. The boy gets a look of sheer terror on his face as she approaches him and he agrees to take them to the people who bought the horses.
Back in the village Richard tries to play things cool and simply asks for the horses back. The thugs blow him off and things get out of control and a fight ensues. Kahlan is forced to reveal her true self and when she’s cornered she grabs the neck of the ringleader and pulls her whammy on him so that he can take out his own men. Kahlan is left helpless while Richard continues to pick off the thugs along w/ her converted man. Zedd meanwhile seems to still be out of sorts and finally resorts to using his Wizard fire to try to stop things. One of the thugs gets all excited by the Wizard fire and runs off. Richard helps a woozy Kahlan to her feet and Zedd comforts her as she regains her strength. Meanwhile the bar wench finds Richard and explains that she had doused his drink and has more magical elixir if he ever needs more help locating someone else she’d be glad to help again…for a fee.
The trio are called into a store and the shopkeeper who had identified The Sword of Truth (kudos to Richard for being wary about revealing his identity…he seems to finally be learning his lesson that flapping lips invite trouble) and informs them that Drenidril was being destroyed by magic – people are selling it on the black market and families have been destroyed over it. Zedd is horrified.
When they exit the store the man who Kahlan turned in their fight, Rymus, bows at her feet and demands orders. Kahlan appears sickened by the man’s devotion to her and Richard is confused. After Rymus reveals that there is in fact no way to get their horses back (they were sold earlier in the day,) she thanks him for what he did and asks him to goto another town and look for respectable work and live an honest life. By doing this, she promises him, that he’ll immensely please her. Richard doesn’t know what to make of this and insists that there must’ve been something that he could be used for to help them out. Kahlan is repulsed at the idea and explains that when she uses her power she makes those affected into her slaves. She refuses to use them for any longer than is necessary. Before he takes off Rymus reveals the location of the place where his band of marketeers purchased their elixirs from.
En route to the hideout, still puzzled over the Kahlan riddle Richard asks Zedd for a better explanation of Kahlan’s powers. Zedd’s uncomfortable with revealing too much about the delicate subject matter and tells Richard that he should just ask Kahlan himself…to which Richard promptly runs forward to ask her, leaving Zedd very bewildered by the boy’s impatience and lack of social tact. Before Richard can ask anything a puff of smoke goes up before them and Richard and Kahlan are knocked unconscious. Beyond panicking Zedd races forward to see what befell Richard and finds himself surrounded by thugs, when he flashes Wizard’s Fire at the thug from Drenidril it ricochets off of him and he’s unharmed after taking a protection elixir. Two men from behind clamp something around his neck and his fire ceases. Zedd is knocked unconscious and carried away.
Richard wakes up and is distressed to find Kahlan knocked out. When she comes to they realize that Zedd is gone. Richard finds the vial and realizes that Zedd was kidnapped. They both run off to the hideout to rescue him but find it empty. Richard insists that Rymus must’ve lied to them and Kahlan states that it just isn’t possible that the hideout must’ve been moved. She asks him if he can use his new Seeker skills and he informs her that it was an elixir. Richard tries to track them to find out where the hideout might’ve been moved but the tracks stop dead and the trail goes cold for finding Zedd. Richard and Kahlan argue over what to do next and the only thing that Richard can come up with is that he needs another douse of the elixir that the bar wench served up. Kahlan is appalled that he’s want to rely on magic instead of using his brain. Before they can come to a decision the storekeeper calls them back to the village, the boy who stole their horses is in trouble.
Zedd wakes up and finds himself prisoner to an old Wizard friend Jeziah. Jeziah immediately removes the collar and ultimately explains that they’ve been capturing Darken Rahl’s wizards, removing their powers, selling them on the black market in order to raise money to create an army to fight against the tyrant. Zedd isn’t fooled by this and insists that Jeziah must be just doing it to make himself rich – he tries to leave but Jeziah captures him again with the neck collar and his men carry him off.
Back in the village their thief is getting the tar beaten out of him. Richard and Kahlan help out and the boy is released. Richard, who’s now in a panic over Zedd runs back to the bar where he’s forced to trade his beloved tooth necklace for another round of elixir since he doesn’t have any money. He sees a flash of Zedd being unconscious w/ some strange stone sucking energy out of him. He asks what to do – he doesn’t know where to find him, the barkeep insists that the elixir will tell him but that he has to hurry because the effect will wear off soon.
Kahlan chats with the boy and realizes that he’s lovesick. He explains to her why he bought the elixir and that even though the drug wasn’t real, at least for a moment he to got to feel special w/ the girl. Kahlan’s face goes dark and she asks him why he would even want that – wouldn’t he rather know what it truly meant to be loved by another person? How could he be happy with the illusion of love? (In case you haven’t figured it out, there’s a LOT more going with what Kahlan is asking than meets the eye…for those who haven’t read the books I’m not spilling anything since I’m pretty sure that all will be revealed next week, all that I will say is, rewatch the fire scene in LISTENER again for clues on what’s going on in the mind our Confessor for clues.) Before they could get any deeper into discussion Richard bursts in and hurries Kahlan out because he knows that Zedd is in serious trouble.
Zedd is having his powers drained into a stone. He uses what magic he can to force a rat to climb into the pants of his guard and says that he’ll instruct it to bite him if he isn’t released. Unfortunately Jeziah shows up and they argue over the ethics of what he’s doing and he keeps draining Zedd’s powers. He also tells his men to pack up, the Seeker will be looking for them, they’ll leave Zedd behind when he’s powerless.
Kahlan and Richard race through the woods while a drugged out Richard continues to catch glimpses of Zedd in captivity. A couple of times Kahlan falls over in the undergrowth and refuses Richard’s help at getting up…she’s now cranky and out of sorts too. Suddenly someone bashes into Richard and he gets clocked on a rock and is knocked out. It was Rymus, Kahlan’s new confessed man who was worried that Richard was going to hurt her. She informs him that he was quite wrong and checks Richard and cradles his head in her lap waiting for him to wake up. When he wakes Richard finds himself gazing up into Kahlan’s lovely smiling face surrounded by a halo of sunlight. His bliss of feeling her fingers stroking his face are short lived when he realizes who knocked him out. Richard threatens to kill Rymus but is held back by Kahlan who tells him that he didn’t know what he was doing. Richard then realizes that his drug has worn off. Not knowing what to do Richard says that he’s heading back to the village for more of the drug. No longer able to tolerate his relying on the stuff Kahlan guilts him out and asks what he thinks Zedd would say about this new dependency that he has on the elixir. She orders him snap out of it and start acting like the Seeker and think. Richard realizes that she’s right and he starts to remember small details about the caves where Zedd is being held and with some prodding, Rymus points them to where the right caves might be located.
I love it when Kahlan and Richard squabble and bicker. They sound like an old married couple and usually Kahlan ends up winning because she is the more level headed of the pair only she can get away with pointing out that the Seeker is acting like a dumb-ass. She knows exactly what buttons to press in Richard to get him to think clearly. It’s a big part of why they’re such a great couple – neither is complete w/o the other there.
They find the cave but not before Zedd’s powers are completely drained. With Rymus in tow they head out to chase after Jonas and his men to get the stone back that is holding Zedd’s powers. Richard, Kahlan, and Rymus all fight Jeziah’s men. Jonas turns himself invisible and Richard is forced to use his training from earlier in the day and manages to fend off the attacks. When the invisible trick fails to work Jeziah blasts Richard with Wizard’s Fire. The magic from the Sword of Truth acts as a shield but under Jeziah’s relentless fire, Richard is quickly losing ground in the war. Zedd eventually finds the collar and snaps it on Jeziah’s neck which stops the fire and Zedd informs Jeziah that he would be forever prevented from using of his wizard powers for what he did. In the fighting Rymus is killed and his final parting words were that he was pleased that he could die with honor protecting her.
The next day Zedd is feeling stronger as he sucks his wizard energy back from the stone. He asks Richard what he learned out of this experience…ultimately Richard is conflicted. The magic did help him to find Zedd – but it was his wits that ultimately led them to find Zedd in the end. Basically he decided nothing is ever easy and that magic isn’t good or bad, just the intentions behind it. Zedd is pleased. (As was I to hear Richard say one of Zedd’s favorite phrases in the book “Nothing is ever easy.”)
Back in the city Kahlan has a surprise for Richard and she hands him back his beloved necklace. He’s amazed and overwhelmed that she would get it back for him. When he asks how she did it, she flashes him one of her special smiles and says that Confessors can be very persuasive. The village boy tries to woo the flower girl in his own way without magic by not pushing himself on her, Kahlan seems pleased. Zedd meanwhile isn’t so full of love and drops a bomb on her. He agrees that love is wonderful for the boy, but not for her. Richard is developing feelings for her and she for him in return. He insists that it has to be stopped and that she has to tell him because she knows well enough that it will never work between her and Richard. And on that gloomy note the episode ends.
This episode had lots of plot devices buried into it that were incorporated from WIZARDS FIRST RULE. Kahlan spends a good part of the book hiding the full extent of her power to Richard. She does this out of years of feeling alone and wants to try to hold onto something that she’s never experienced in her life – real friendship with someone who treats her just like any other person and not a Confessor. Richard is the only person who has ever just treated her like a woman and does the most basic of things like offer her a hand…people fear the Confessor’s touch, no one touches her intentionally. This week we were given a big insight about the burdon that she feels in carrying her power. She also exerts energy trying to hide her power from Richard, having Reimus left alive was a great storytelling tool to explain why a large part of her finds her power to be distasteful.
There were some truly lovely moments in the episode – the 2 instances w/ Richard and Kahlan caring for each other when they were knocked out had a very fairy tale, potent with unrequited longing – I’m so falling in love with you – feel to them both. You just don’t see that sort of thing in films unless they’re big historical epics, much less on weekly TV. The scenes could’ve been ripped out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting. They were literally gut wrenchingly beautiful to watch.
If LISTENER was the unconscious awakening of Richard and Kahlan’s feelings for each other, ELIXIR was the episode where their love for each other began to blossem. It’s always the little things that spark it, like Richard realizing that Kahlan’s upset because she’s got these little lines crinkled over her forehead or Kahlan getting his beloved necklace back for him and flashing him that warm special smile that she only reserves for him. Neither one of them can help it, love is strange and foreign for both of them and they’re both swimming in its heady glory. For anyone who felt like that they were in mush overload, worry not, things are about to go downhill rapidly for our lovebirds. Poor Richard has no idea that he’s going to crash to Earth just when he’s learned what it’s like to walk on clouds.
I was utterly intoxicated by the beauty of the places where they filmed this week’s episode. The plants were beautifully exotic and it made me desperately want to retreat to New Zealand for vacation. The FX were well done – the magic sucking stone powers were gorgeous and Jonas going invisible was very believable CGI. The fight scenes overall took back burners in this episode, they were there but they simply progressed the story, they weren’t the big end results.
It was nice not having a “Faithless Midlander of the week” episode. Instead of blundering and comic-bookish D’Harans for villains we were treated w/ a very sinister Wizard who was supposed to be one of the good guys. This episode showed that even Zedd was forced to also have the veil removed for him and he had to “see what can’t be seen” and realize that even people who he thought that he could trust might be just out for themselves. By this episode the whole Zedd/Richard/Kahlan dynamic has completely gelled. Richard now views Zedd as a respected mentor and Zedd in turn views Kahlan to rather be like a beloved daughter. He’s the unfortunate middleman in the center of the emotional tornado that is the Kahlan/Richard love story. For more on that little insight stay tuned next week’s episode IDENTITY.