Episode number: 15
Production number: 115
Director: Andrew Merrifield
Writers: Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux
US Air date: 14th March 2009
UK Air date: 1st October 2009
Darken Rahl is determined to have his personal wizard, Giller, harness a powerful magical force that will help Rahl enslave the world. But Richard's attempts to rescue his friends from the sadistic wizard's deadly experiments send him into his first explosive face-to-face confrontation with the evil Rahl.
Review by Tracy Casebere
This episode has it all: a strong plot, great acting and DARKEN RAHL! What a great combination. Sadly, there's no Zedd, but then sometimes his words of wisdom and jokes aren't needed, especially as it lets the other actors have a chance to shine instead.
Conversion starts where the last episode left off: Chase, Richard and Kahlan are still on the lookout for Chase's family. They eventually find them, and others, being held prisoner by Darken Rahl's wizard, Giller.
The reason for the imprisonment is for experimentation purposes. Darken Rahl, going against the archetypal bad guy persona, has decided to have a plan B - you know, just in case he doesn't get the third and final Box of Orden. Plan B consists of creating the magic of a Confessor and having it all for himself. This is where Giller comes in; he's developing and testing the magic on prisoners. For the most part, he's unsuccessful, but does manage to partially convert Emma, Chase's wife.
The rescue team are triumphant and the trio manage to free the prisoners. Chase, who is naturally overjoyed to see his wife, does the husbandly thing and kisses her. Only because Giller's warped experiments partially transformed her, the kiss leaves him unconscious.
At the same time this is all happening, they also learn that Darken Rahl will be coming to the prison/experiment lab to "encourage" the progress of the work. This basically translates to: I WILL SCARE YOU INTO SUCCEEDING AND IF YOU DON'T YOU WILL DIE! Still, with Richard's destiny finally within reach, they go ahead and make a plan.
Kahlan infiltrates the prison and confesses Giller, or at least she tries to. Her power doesn't work on him though as he developed a potion to become immune to a Confessors touch. Handy. With Kahlan being momentarily surprised by this, Giller manages to capture her and is super pleased to realise he now has a live test subject to experiment on. Extra handy.
Darken Rahl makes his appearance, blue flames licking at his heels. He has magic don't you know. Richard and he have their first confrontation. It sort of feels like a blind date - they've heard a lot about each other but have never actually met. Words are exchanged, swords are thrusted - we like it! Eventually Rahl bests Richard with a help of a Mord'Sith. And in true bad boy fashion, Darken Rahl taunts and plays with his victims, telling Kahlan what he'll do with Richard once he has her power.
And so Giller begins his experiments on Kahlan, with Richard struggling against his restraints trying desperately to protect her. Only he needn't have bothered. Kahlan has her own kick ass power - Con Dar. It unleashes her into a Blood Rage and with it, she's able to kill Giller and confess several other enemies at once, all at the same time. Darken Rahl however is immune (he drank some of Giller's potion beforehand.) Very handy!
Kahlan, I'm happy to say, plays this scene to perfection. If her eerie blood-red eyes don't completely freak you out, then her distant yet commanding voice will. She orders her newly confessed followers to kill Darken Rahl and to free Richard. Rahl manages to escape but Richard is hot on his heels.
With seconds to spare, Richard strikes out with his sword, clipping Darken Rahl with it on the cheek just as he vanishes into thin air and flames. And so the dance continues.
It's safe to say this is definitely one of the better episodes. It combines storylines from the books and mixes it with new ones to create a very thrilling episode. Kahlan's performance towards the end really steals the show and hints at more great things to come.
And although Conversion focuses a lot on love, (it's what invokes the Con Dar after all) it doesn't feel like the typical love drama episodes we're used to. At one point, Kahlan even holds in her hand the solution to their relationship problems - a bottle of Giller's potion. If Richard drank it, he'd become immune to Kahlan's power. They both forgo that option though and let Chase have it instead so he can be with his wife.
As they say, where there's a will, there's a way!
The best part for me (apart from Kahlan's Con Dar scene) is at the very end. When Richard whispers into Kahlan's ear: I'm going to kill Rahl, and I'm going to do it with you by my side. Oh how romantic you are. Love it!
Craig Horner - Richard Cypher
Bridget Regan - Kahlan Amnell
Bruce Spence - Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
Jay Laga'aia - Chase
Craig Parker - Darken Rahl
Jennifer Rucker - Emma Brandstone
Catherine Stephen - Laura Brandstone
Kevin J. Wilson - General Egremont
Phil Peleton - Giller
David Van Horn - Devlin
Matthew Chamberlain - Captain Ericon
Jacob Tomuri - Lieutenant Bram
Daniel Cowley - Nicholas
Stuart Thorp - Soldier
Lynette Redmond - Terrified Woman
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