Episode number: 14
Production number: 113
Director: Mark Beesley
Writers: Mike Sussman
US Air date: 7th March 2009
UK Air date: 24th September 2009
When Darken Rahl establishes a foothold in the Seeker's hometown, Richard, Kahlan and Chase must journey through the boundary to save Hartland from the forces of darkness. But once there, Richard and his companions find that the villagers have welcomed the evil D'Harans with open arms.
Review by Tracy Casebere
We're at over half way through the series and we've finally come full circle. Richard is once again fighting his way to get through the boundary, only this time he's not trying to reach the Midlands, but instead Hartland. And thankfully much less slow motion action is involved. To understand why Richard goes back, we have to start from the beginning.
Chase certainly lives up to his name as a quad of soldiers pursues him through the forest. He manages to shake them off and somehow find Kahlan and Richard in the Midlands. It's a big place but apparently all you need to do to find someone is stumble about the forest and eventually you'll run into them.
After a quick reunion, Chase explains his reasons for leaving Hartland behind and paints Richard a story of life there now. It's not pretty. No longer a town of picturesque beauty, it's instead become a slaughter ground; Gar's have crossed over the boundary and are picking off the villagers one by one. To "help" with the problem, Darken Rahl sent over some soldiers to kill the Gar's. Although if the villagers had any sense, they'd realise that more people actually went missing when the soldiers arrived.
Deciding to forgo his quest to kill Darken Rahl (like we didn't see that one coming - Richard seems to like prolonging the inevitable) Richard (and Kahlan) accompany Chase back to Harland to sort out the mess he left behind.
After a bit of reconnaissance (spying on his ex girlfriend Anna), they learn it's the soldiers who are letting the Gar's in. To have a place in society you must have a purpose. If there is no purpose, then there is no place. The D'Haran soldiers created a problem in order to gain a place in the town and therefore to establish their loyalty to Darken Rahl. It's certainly not a new trick but it's effective in this case.
To drive the soldiers from Hartland, they come up with a master plan. It involves the truth of course and means revealing to the town the reality about the Gar problem. This is yet another prime example of Richard trying to resolve problems through talking and reasoning. But it doesn't matter; we know he will still end up using his sword.
As Michael is the First Councillor, it's up to him to tell the town; but courage fails him at the last minute when the Viceroy makes an appearance. Disappointed, Richard goes off to take matters into his own hands. Don't forget though that this is a Disney produced show, and Michael gets his chance at redemption but at a terrible cost.
All in all, the episode ties up some loose ends left open at the start of the series and continues, thankfully with the plot of Darken Rahl. The love aspect of the series isn't thrust in your face so much in this one. Instead it simmers in the background, a bit like the jealousy Kahlan must have felt when Richard hugged Anna about a billion times this episode. He and Anna would never make it together, she cries way too much.
With Darken Rahl now believing that Richard is dead, it can mean only one thing: he'll get careless enough to come out of hiding and not only will this provide ample opportunity for Richard to kill him, it will also mean plenty of screen time. I predict the next episode will feature heavily on Darken Rahl. About time too!
Craig Horner - Richard Cypher
Bridget Regan - Kahlan Amnell
Bruce Spence - Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
Jay Laga'aia - Chase
Craig Parker - Darken Rahl
David de Lautour - Michael Cypher
Jessica Chapnik - Anna Brighton
Owen Black - Viceroy
Mike Edward - Lieutenant
Kevin J. Wilson - General Egremont
Ben Fransham - Gar
Rohan Glynn - Young Soldier
Blake Henshaw - Manacled Villager
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