After two seasons of do or end-of-the-world plot lines, ABC’s Legend of the Seeker is at an end. Oh Seeker, we hardly knew ye. (I’d also like to preface this post with a proper NERD ALERT.)
The series finale, aired in syndication last Saturday, wraps up our Stone of Tears story arch with a death, a confession and the Keeper incarnate. While I realize that the show’s producers didn’t have the final word on whether Seeker would see a third season at the time they finished the final episode of season two, I can’t help but feel so disappointed. In a fantasy world rich with magic and dynamic characters, I found myself not only wondering about the happy ever after for Richard and Kahlan merely hinted at at the show’s end, but what Darken Rahl’s return? Cara’s return to human emotion? Whatever zany thing Zedd is thinking of doing next?
(More on Techland: Legend of the Seeker Canceled, I Mourn)
With no prior warning, it’s impossible to feel as though the show has actually ended. What we got was a close to a chapter, not a the final words of an epic story fans have spent two years following. In season one, we watched Richard Cypher (Craig Horner) evolve into a storybook hero who rose up against an evil leader, Darken Rahl, who we discovered was actually his brother. We saw the progression of Richard and Kahlan’s (Bridget Regan) relationship as well as the relationship between Richard and the wizard Zedd (Bruce Spence), who it turns out, is Richard’s grandfather. Our heroes saved the day, of course, but season two opened with a tear in the veil between the worlds of the dead and the living, unleashing creatures of the underworld dispatched by the Keeper, who wanted nothing more than to take out everything that breathed. The only thing that could seal the rift was the Stone of Tears (Ah, I smell a quest!) and so off they went, fighting zombie-like Banelings and venomous Sisters of the Dark. By far the most interesting story of the season belonged to Cara, (Tabrett Bethell) the deadly Mord Sith turned protector of the Seeker.
As a Mord Sith, Cara was basically stripped of her humanity, but after joining up with Richard and gang, she began to recover her emotions, which produced some of the high points of the season in my mind. (Leo!) I’m sad that while we saw that Richard and Kahlan were able to beat out Kahlan’s Confessor magic, there was no resolution for Cara. We learned that she actually gave birth to a son who was killed after he was born (or was he?) and it became clear she had so many other pieces of her life to recover.
(More on Techland: Q&A: Legend of the Seeker‘s Bridget Regan on Corsets, True Love & Being a Badass)
And then there is the return of Darken Rahl (Craig Parker). He returned to the land of the living to assist Richard in killing the Keeper, but clearly did so with only the most selfish of intentions, though, we did see some flickers of remorse in him, especially when he discussed his childhood with Richard. He’s an extremely complex character with a ruthless demeanor, though I wouldn’t be surprised if at the core, he’s a wounded person without a family.
Character development aside, Seeker’s cancellation irks me on a simpler level. As shows go, it outperforms so many series on TV, especially in technical details: stunts, special effects, sets. Chide me all you want, but LOST’s CGI was at times, laughable. And don’t even get me started on V. So why couldn’t this show find a home?
Last week Craig Horner told TV Star that studio execs went to Syfy with a pitch to pick up a show, but that they wouldn’t bite because of low ratings due to a hard to find time slot. The internet viewings, however, were off the charts.
“All the heads went over to Syfy and tried to pitch it to them. Man, I wish they’d told me. I would have gone over there. I would have charmed them. I would have charmed the pants off of them. I’d have gone, ‘Come on, guys, how can you not let this show again?’ I would’ve shown them all the Internet comments. I would’ve gone, ‘Come on, these people want to see this show again.’ I would’ve done it, but they didn’t tell me. But they really tried. They went over. They pulled out all the facts. They pulled out a lot of Internet results. Unfortunately, Internet results don’t speak to money heads of studios. They might go great, ‘Great, it’s got a lot of viewers, but season three, they’ll just download again.’ So I think they really tried. I can’t say they didn’t. I know there were others, but I know they had a nice big meeting with Syfy and Syfy came very, very close.”
Close, but apparently not close enough. It’s a fundamental problem with TV now – the Internet generation is entirely out of sync with top-level network execs. We’d rather consume our favorite shows via Hulu or Netflix, but we’re not taken into account as actual ‘viewers.’
At least you’ll be happy to know that Jay Leno is still on TV…
So long, Legend of the Seeker. Wish you had a chance another season, or at least a proper epilogue. (Hell, even Heroes might get one of those.) At least we’ve got a shot at one hell of a Sword of Truth book club.