The Wheel of Time 2×05 Review: “Damane”

The Seanchan and Ishamael (Fares Fares) in “Damane.”

The Dark One’s associates reunite and put their far-reaching sinister plans in motion in “Damane.”

Liandrin’s (Kate Fleetwood) motivations for her betrayal of Nynaeve (Zoe Robins), Egwene (Madeleine Madden), and Elayne (Ceara Coveney) at the end of “Daughter of the Night” don’t remain a mystery for long. As Nynaeve regains consciousness, she surmises that Liandrin has made a deal with the Dark One to help heal her secret son in exchange for handing the three over. Though Liandrin’s betrayal is not a shock given her previous ruthless actions, her going as far to form an alliance with the Dark One of all people is still unsettling.

Thankfully, Nynaeve and Elayne evade capture, but Egwene is not so lucky, finding herself enslaved by the Seanchan, a group of conquerors in league with the Dark One’s associates. Since their earlier introduction, the Seanchan have been menacing and disturbing villains as the Dark One’s influence continues to spread. Hopefully, Nynaeve and Elayne succeed in rescuing Egwene sooner rather than later.

It doesn’t seem like Liandrin will be able to deceive the rest of the Aes Sedai for long. Verin (Meera Syal) arrives at the tower wishing to speak to Nynaeve and Egwene, and quickly works out that the Aes Sedai has a traitor in their midst. It’s amusing to watch Verin begin to put the pieces together and confront Liandrin over her suspicions.

Aviendha (Ayoola Smart) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) in “Damane.”

Another highlight of the episode’s subplots involves Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) leaving Elyas (Gary Beadle) behind to help his friends. In a nearby town, he rescues a mysterious girl in a cage, Aviendha (Ayoola Smart), and the two team up to fight off her captors. It’s an exciting fight sequence and Perrin’s quick bond with Aviendha is intriguing.

After saving Rand (Josha Stradowski) from Dark One associate Lanfear (Natasha O’Keefe), Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) forces them to go on the run. Though Rand is still in disbelief about his lover’s identity, Moiraine effectively communicates the urgency to him, even slaughtering a spare horse at a nearby stable so that Lanfear can’t use it to follow them.

The two find themselves back at the house of Moiraine’s sister Anvaere (Lindsay Duncan). Their time at the house continues to provide more depth to Moiraine and her fascinating history. Moiraine and her sister have a nice heart-to-heart as Moiraine gives her vague details of what has been going on, while Rand bonds with Anvaere’s son Barthanes (Will Tudor).

While Lanfear’s cover persona as Selene was interesting, it’s fun to see her lose the fake personality and go full villain. An in-dream reunion with the Dark One’s main associate Ishamael (Fares Fares) sees the two characters play well off of each other as they compare the current Dragon Reborn to the previous one and make their plans to hurt not only Rand, but each of Rand’s friends and loved ones.

“Damane” ends with Rand reuniting with Lanfear in the dream world, setting up a showdown that hopefully Rand will be able to overcome unscathed. While the first few episodes of the season succeeded at developing and balancing multiple character arcs, the action is thankfully starting to pick up in the second half of the season. Hopefully, the season finale’s resolution will live up to all that has preceded it.

Here is Farid’s recap for those interested!

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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