Cara, the Mord'Sith who became Richard's reluctant ally during last season's time-jumping finale, joins the cast as a series regular this season. Does that mean she becomes an ally of Richard? An unwitting slave to the Mother Confessor? Perhaps, a nubile young bride to the wizard Zedd.

She certainly showed how nubile and perky she can be in her dramatic opening sequence. The only proper way to usher the actress who plays Cara, Tabrett Bethell, into the realm of series regular is to have her perform her first scene completely naked, right?

Joining her in that scene, and throughout the episode, is Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel) who's just as lovely as ever. I do find her voice a little hard to buy as a voice of authority, but I'll let it go. It's just so good to see the girl working!

The premiere establishes the direction of the new season, which continues the tradition of very, very, very loosely adapting the novels of Terry Goodkind's "The Sword of Truth" series. Next up: Volume 2, The Stone of Tears. And this will be a loose inerpretation.

Luckily, the writers and producers of Legend of the Seeker have taken the spirit of Goodkind's work, and made it work as a weekly adventure series. There are still plenty of slow-motion dramatic fight scenes, and gratuitous hard (and soft) body shots to appeal to fans of any gender or sexual persuasion. Never let it be said they're not looking to please our baser desires.

Cara's story had her stand as leader of at least one chapter of the Mord'Sith, only to be taken down by the very jealous Carpenter, at the behest of Darken Rahl (who's taken to chatting from the Underworld through flames -- very dramatic, that.). She winds up beaten, abandoned with her braid cut off, and winds up with Richard again.

It should be fun seeing her and Kahlan at each other's throats while they try and track down the Stone of Tears to shut the tears in the veil between this world and the world of the dead. And I'm glad to see a more pointed focus to their quest than last season. A quest of "Find a rock" is a lot more clear.

Last year, they'd be wandering around and I'd be thinking, if you're quest is to defeat Darken Rahl, shouldn't you be headed that way? It's not like he's hiding.

Speaking of Rahl, I'm glad to see they've decided to keep him a part of the TV series. He was a great menacing figure, and now he can be even more threatening as the Keeper's "bitch." Not to mention that he helped put doubt into Zedd's mind by bringing the last of Shota's three signs to reality.

The witch Shota revealed to Zedd that he should name another Seeker, as the prophecies stated that while the Seeker could find the Stone of Tears and save the day, Richard Rahl could not (did I mention that it was revealed that Richard and Darken are half-brothers (that's not how I remember it?!).

The signs:

1) Deny that which gives him power - Richard refused to go to the People's Palace and assume the throne that Darken's death left vacant, choosing instead to remain the people's Seeker.

2) Embrace the one in red - When the Mord'Sith Cara offered to go with him and help him on his journey, he agreed, much to Kahlan's horror.

3) Bear the mark of the one who will destroy us all - Darken Rahl appeared in the fire, threatened Richard and then burned the mark of a hand on his chest (which is the mark of the Keeper).

Oh noes, Zedd! Who will you name the new Seeker? I've been working out.

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