The Dragon Reborn is revealed as the group begins its perilous journey towards the eye of the world in “The Dark Along the Ways.”
Despite leaving Mat (Barney Harris) behind in “The Flame of Tar Valon,” the group must press forward in “The Dark Along the Ways.” This episode is one of the most significant and exciting episodes of the series so far, as the identity of the Dragon Reborn is finally revealed.
The journey starts through the Ways, a dark path that looks visually stunning. Unfortunately, the group must exit once attacked by a dark entity that speaks to each member and attempts to prey on their fears and insecurities. Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) channels impressively to keep the force at bay, but Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) decides to take a detour to the city of Fal Dara before approaching the eye of the world through an alternate route called the Blight.
The group arrives in the city without issue but must deal with increasing fighting between themselves. Rand (Josha Stradowski) is upset that Egwene (Madeleine Madden) doesn’t seem interested in going back for Mat. While Rand’s defense of Mat is understandable, his distrust of Moiraine will grow when he finds out about her request to send the Red Ajah after him. While Moiraine is insistent that she doesn’t want any of them to die, her attitude towards Mat makes it seem like she can turn easily on any of them.
The fighting also presents the possibility of a love triangle between Rand, Egwene, and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford). While the conflict adds drama to the episode, it doesn’t feel necessary since there are already many other sources of conflict. It feels like the show doesn’t really know what to do with Perrin, as most of his storyline has revolved around the death of his wife and this unnecessary love triangle. Hopefully, Perrin will be given more interesting things to do going forward.
The episode also introduces the character of Min (Kae Alexander), a bartender who has the ability to see visions. Moiraine seeks her guidance regarding the identity of the Dragon Reborn, but she is unable to provide an answer. However, it is later revealed that she does know the identity of the Dragon Reborn. It’s not clear why she chooses to lie to Moiraine about something so significant, or what her warning to Moiraine about her downfall means.
As the group decides whether to press on, Nynaeve connects with Lan (Daniel Henney) in a fun sequence. Seeing another side of Lan as he interacts with his family and invites Nynaeve to join them is delightful. The episode discusses some details about Lan’s past, revealing more about an already interesting character. Lan and Nynaeve finally consummate their attraction to each other, and the moment is worth the wait. Rand and Egwene also make up by the end. Rand encouraging her dreams and offering to be her warder is sweet.
However, it turns out that Rand is destined for greater things. Using a montage of moments from previous episodes, with additional flashbacks, the episode clarifies that Rand is in fact the Dragon Reborn. The reveal is done well, and Min’s confirmation of the truth takes away any doubts.
Despite the show’s excellent attempts at diversifying its cast, it deserves some scrutiny for the fact that those attempts stop at the show’s main protagonist. However, it’s hard to be too critical when the show has otherwise done a great job and Stradowski is a great fit for the role. The episode ends with Moiraine and Rand leaving the rest of the group behind and heading into the Blight together, setting the stage for an exciting season finale.
You can watch Farid’s reaction to the episode below!
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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