Let’s start with the character we were introduced to at the end of Episode 3: Logain Ablar, played by Alvaro Morte. Morte brings a quiet confidence, almost an arrogance to Logain. You can tell he truly believes that he is the person of prophecy that could save the world.
In the Tinker’s camp, we got two very good performances from Maria Doyle Kennedy (Ila) and Daryl McCormack (Aram). Kennedy’s touching, emotional role challenges Perrin to try and look at the world in a different way, and McCormack’s Aram endears himself to the audience with his mix of charm, skepticism, and inner conflict.
Alexandre Willaume continues his phenomenal portrayal of Thom Merrilin. He really steals every scene that he is in. I personally find that I enjoy this version of Thom much more than his book counterpart. His motivations are clearer, and despite the shorter screen time (since we don’t meet him in the Two Rivers in the show) the essence of his character comes through perfectly.
Daniel Henney and Zoë Robins continue to have fantastic chemistry as Lan and Nynaeve; their interactions are a highlight of the entire series so far, and book readers will love one particular interaction. Robins especially steals the show for me with a scene near the end of the episode. I enjoy the little snippets of personality that the writers and Henney have brought forward in Lan, as they make him more relatable to the audience while still being perfectly in character.
Kate Fleetwood’s Liandrin is another standout of the episode. Her attitude is intense but her motivations are mysterious, leaving the audience guessing whether she will end up being an ally or antagonist to our main characters.
We also have our first scenes with Alanna Mosvani, played by the charming Priyanka Bose. Bose is delightful in the role and, as with Willaume’s Thom, she gives Alanna’s character more depth than her book counterpart.
Writing and Plot
The writing has continued to improve with each episode and Episode 4 is no different. This episode is the best example of “show, don’t tell” that we have seen so far. One such scene has brought all of us to tears every time we’ve watched it. This episode balances advancing the plot with a whole lot of worldbuilding, to where it doesn’t feel like it’s running in place to explain things. Each separate character group gets plenty of screen time and no plot line was noticeably weaker like in Episode 3. Interestingly, this episode also has the most content that is not straight out of the books, although most of the additions did occur off-screen in the books or were combined with book scenes (such as Lan, Moiraine, and Nynaeve meeting up with the Logain party). I really enjoyed these and think that they helped flesh out this story for the audience. Everything felt intentional, and we’re not getting changes just to make changes.
Now I come back to what I said in my review for episodes 1-3: we are judging this against Rafe’s comments on keeping the “spine and heart of the books” and that they are adapting “the entire series, not just each book individually.” I believe that both continue to be true for this episode. This is my favorite episode of the season so far. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding and character development, especially in the Aes Sedai plot line. As I said before, I can’t get enough of Lan and Nynaeve’s interactions. We got some excellent character work with Perrin, Egwene, and the Tinkers. Thom, Rand, and Mat add more twists and turns to the season-spanning mystery of the Dragon Reborn’s identity (plus an Easter egg that book fans will love). This is an episode that I have been waiting to see fans’ reactions to since first watching it, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.
Episode 4 – The Dragon Reborn (Overall: 4.5/5)
Lane: 4.5/5, Sara: 4.5/5, Eri: 4.5/5, Omar: 4.5/5