Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Last Man on Earth, Season One, Episode Eight: Mooovin' In

This episode opens with another town hall meeting where Carol thanks Todd for helping her move her dresser upstairs.  Todd graciously declares it fun, saying that it gave him time to spend alone with her. Carol then notices that Melissa is now wearing a charm bracelet - a gift from Todd. Phil of course is not at all impressed though Carol calls it sweet, adding that Phil has never given her anything. A less than subtle reminder that Phil has been saddled with Carol - the strange and undesirable one. Phil then shows the group a set of sculptures he made of the group.  Todd suggests leaving it outside by the campfire and the women are unsurprisingly enthused.  Phil then breaks Todd's sculpture but what he actually did is remove the Phil figure accidentally. Naturally, no one missed Phil on the sculpture.

Phil shows up at Carol's to borrow her DVR and is informed that hers only has Cake Boss on it.  Carol being Carol has to spoil the ending despite Phil's warnings. Carol uses this as an opportunity to suggest living together, adding that the space between them isn't helping with their plan to repopulate the earth.  Carol sites Melissa and Todd, who are already basically living with each other (who have thankfully stopped playing She Drives Me Crazy).  This does not enthuse Phil and so Carol asks Phil to fix her door again. Carol of course invoked Todd, a guarantee to get Phil moving.  Phil whines about not getting respect in the community and then lies about originally heading to Carol's to actually fix her door.  Carol tells Phil that he doesn't have to fix the door if he lets her move in.

Phil heads to the bar so he can talk to his ball friends about how the women are having a Todd love-fest.  Well comparing Todd and Phil, who can blame them? Phil believes that Todd is stealing his thunder because he is of course the president.  Todd begins to think of a way to prove to the women that he is worthwhile and heads outside where he finds a cow at the side of the road.  You know, as you do.

Phil has now gathered everyone announcing that he has a game changer to share with them.  Of course, when he opens the door, the cow is not there.  Carol and Melissa start to snark and begin to walk away but they don't get far because the cow makes an appearance.  Phil wants to slaughter the cow for hamburger and steak but Melissa wants to keep the cow for milk.  Phil believes the humane thing is to slaughter the cow because they don't know how to keep it alive. Cue Todd,  who spent the summers on his uncle's dairy farm.  Todd knows how to milk the cow, as well as make cheese and butter.  The women become excited, so Todd pulls rank and claims that since he found the cow, he gets to decide what happens to it.  After the discontent, Phil agrees to let the cow live though he is lactose intolerant.  Todd offers to keep the cow in his backyard but Phil rejects this this idea stating that the cow will live with him. This sets Carol off because she wanted to move in with Phil.  The cow takes the moment to escape and naturally heads straight to Todd's. Now even the cow prefers Todd.

Todd ties off the cow and begins giving a demonstration on how to milk the cow.  Phil snarks that Todd learned to do this working as a male prostitute. Great slut shaming and homophobia. Yeah, for comedy.   Carol and Melissa are orgasmic about the taste of milk.  Todd shares his limited information of cows and Phil pretends that the smell of milk is making him sick and uses that as an excuse to leave.

Later that night, Phil sneaks back to the cow milks it and then drinks.  Yes, this jack ass lied about being lactose intolerant for the sake of steak. Phil is forced to hide when Melissa walks over to the cow to get some milk for her coffee. Todd joins her, commenting that there is something about a woman who can milk a cow. The two kiss, which naturally upsets the manchild Phil.  When the two leave, Phil heads back to the cow and undoes the knot Todd has tied to secure it. Phil then leads the cow away, ecstatic because the cheese and yogurt are going bye bye. How old is Phil supposed to be again?

The next day, Carol and Melissa are excited about having a bowl of cereal when Todd rushes in to announce that the cow is gone.  Phil is down at the bar talking to his ball friends about how he had to take over the situation, so that he could be a hero twice over.  Is this really his version of alpha male?

Phil heads back to the community and pretends that he had nothing to do with the cow.  Todd talks about seeing the cow in the middle of the night and of course Phil blames Todd for making a bad knot. Phil tells everyone not to assign blame but Melissa says that no one is blaming Todd. Phil however does try again to get the community to blame Todd and Melissa again has to assert that Todd is not at fault.  Phil says that he is going to look for the cow and Melissa then accuses Phil of hiding the cow.

 Melissa divides the map into sections and asks Phil where the bar he likes to hang out is.  Phil is shocked that Melissa is on to him and tries to delay the search but Melissa is determined to start right now.  The first place Melissa goes is to the bar and Phil watches from a distance (have we had an episode where he isn't actively stalking Melissa?).  It seems that the cow left the bar.  Phil rushes in wondering where the cow has gone and notices that one of his ball friends is on the floor crushed. Awww a sad moment for the manchild and yet another reason for me to roll my eyes.

Phil starts to search for the cow and who should he come across but Todd, walking the cow back to the community.  Todd tells Phil that he is going to tell the girls that he found the cow because he feels bad about how hard Melissa came down on him.  Phil asks Todd why he would want to do something so nice for him.  Todd explains that if it wasn't for the alive in Tuscon signs, he wouldn't be here right now with the woman of his dreams.  Todd adds that he has two great friends in Phil and Carol and is so happy. When are the writers going to give Todd some common sense?  When is Todd going to stop being grateful to the supposed White hope Phil?

Later that night, Phil tells everyone he found the cow.  Melissa apologises to Phil for being hard on him. They all make orgasmic sounds as they eat ice cream and Phil starts to eat it.  When Melissa points out that Phil is supposed to be lactose intolerant, Phil claims that this is his cheat day.

Later that night, Phil wakes to screaming.  Phil, Melissa and Todd rush over to Carol's to find that the cow is in Carol's bedroom.  Carol announces that because of the cow, she is now moving in with Todd, since cows apparently don't go down stairs.  Later, Carol and Todd are lying in bed and Todd says that he doesn't understand how the cow got loose and climbed Carol's stairs.  While she lies about how this all happened, the camera shows Carol leading the cow into her bedroom.  It seems she took a note from Phil's playbook. 

Yeah, I won't have to watch this horror show for another week, though there are unfortunately five episodes left.   Sparky as you read this, I hope that you are feeling guilty for saddling me with this puerile nonsense.

We finally moved away from an episode of Melissa playing the sex object.  It took long enough.  We are however still fixating on Todd, as the fat guy with a heart of gold, who naturally worships Phil. Why? None of his reasons make any sense given how Phil has treated Todd since he arrived. At this point, I just want to see Todd smack Phil.

The whole thing with the cow was Phil's attempt to earn some respect.  It never dawned on Phil to simply try being a decent guy because apparently, he doesn't have a decent bone in his body. Because Last Man on Earth is a comedy, it all had to backfire in his face.  I did however like that Melissa called Phil out on hiding the cow though I was sad the cow wasn't in the bar.  Because the cow was moved, it make Melissa appear harsh though she was bang on the money. Melissa is the only one who seems to ever see Phil for the asshole that he is. At this point, I think that Melissa is the only somewhat likable character of the entire show.

I am still waiting to find one thing about this show funny. In eight episodes, I have yet to laugh a single time.  I am sick of the bathroom humor, the characters which are walking tropes and the man-child protagonist. Why is this show certain to be renewed? What exactly am I missing?

The Last Man on Earth, Season One, Episode Seven

This episode opens with Phil dreaming that Melissa's answer to last week's confession of love was yes. They end up making love to Fine Young Cannibals, She Drives Me Crazy.  Yes, it's obviously a dream sequence. 

Finally awake, Phil is busy using his toilet pool when he is approached by Carol and informed that his so-called "private" time is poisoning the neighbourhood.   Carol has drier sheets stuffed up her nose to deal with the stink but Phil insists she leaves and calls her concerns bullying.  Phil then blames his crankiness on the music coming from Melissa's house last night.  Carol suggests that Melissa and Todd were probably having sex which Todd is not pleased to hear.

Phil goes to visit Todd, who is sitting outside having a coffee. Phil then brings up at the music at Melissa's and Todd stumbles to explain what he and Melissa may have been doing.  After a little prodding and ridiculous giggling, Todd, with a huge smile on his face admits that he had sex with Melissa.  Todd then goes on to say how it was like a dream.  Todd even says that Fine Young Cannibals, She Drives Me Crazy became his sex song with Melissa.   Melissa breaks up the moment by asking Todd to come over to her place because she needs help with a thing.  Phil offers to help but is told that this is a project Todd has already started on. When Melissa walks off, Todd of course has to clarify that Melissa is talking about sex, enthusing that he is so excited that this is his life now.

A dejected Phil returns to house and hears the strains of She Drives Me Crazy.  Phil then dives head first into his alcohol kiddie pool and screams.  As you do.

The next morning, Phil and Carol are having breakfast and she brings up his toilet pool.  Phil, lost in his obsession with Todd and Melissa still has not cleaned the pool.  Carol then brings up Melissa and Todd having sex and right on cue, She Drives Me Crazy starts to play again.  Phil then claims that Melissa and Todd are being inconsiderate because they are aware that every time the music plays, it makes everyone in the community aware they are having sex. Carol suggest that Phil do something about this because for some strange reason, Phil is now president of the United States.

Later that night, Phil suggests that now that there are four of them they should have a weekly town hall meeting.  Phil introduces the idea of a grievance board but Todd and Melissa are not paying attention and are instead tickling each other.  Phil claims to be happy for Todd and Melissa and proposes a sex curfew and a noise ordinance.  Melissa rightfully tells Phil that what she does with Todd is none of his business, causing Phil to declare himself the President. Melissa calls it bullshit and Todd calls for a vote on his restrictions and finds no support.  Melissa instead enters a motion that when visiting neighbours one should wear a shirt.  Carol then enters a motion for Phil cleaning out his toilet pool and it is unanimously voted in.

In the next scene, Phil finally begins to clean out his disgusting toilet pool. Of course it's a disaster and in  frustration, after kicking various chemicals inside it, Phil actually falls in.  Yeah I know I am supposed to be laughing at this but the whole thing is just disgusting.  Melissa finds him crying by the side of his pool. Melissa asks if they can talk and Phil asks for a moment to change.  Later, Melissa apologises for playing the music, given the talk they had about Phil's feelings for her.  Phil tries to blow it off and Melissa tells him to drop the act and be a real person. This however is something I think Phil is incapable of.  Phil brings up the fact that he almost had sex with Melissa and questions what would have happened if Todd had not seen the fireworks.  Melissa points out that this is pointless because Todd is here now.

The next day, Phil knocks on Todd's door after a night of stewing.  On the drive, Todd talks about how Melissa is an animal in the sack and that they go at it for hours and hours.  Clearly each word Todd says is torture for Phil.  Phil has apparently told Todd that he is taking him to the place where he goes to do all his thinking.  Phil then pretends that something is wrong with the car and asks Todd to get out and take a look.  Moments after Todd is out of the truck and declares that there is nothing wrong with the truck, Phil takes off driving. Phil only makes it a few meters down the road before stopping, screaming and returning to Todd.   Todd however thinks that this was all a practical joke and asks Phil how much longer until they arrive at the location.  Phil announces that they have arrived and suggests they should head back home.  Todd however wants a moment to savor the scenery, which actually is quite beautiful.  On the way back, Phil apologises to Todd, who has no clue why Phil is apologising. Todd calls Phil a "really nice guy" making me wonder has he actually met Phil. Are the writers ever going to get around to giving Todd more common sense than a turnip?

Upon return, a determined Phil heads back to his toilet pool.  Later, Carol shows up at Phil's and he has to struggle with her to get her to take out the drier sheets from her nose.  Phil declares himself a nice person, adding that he has a new plan for his bathroom needs.  Phil leads Carol into the bathroom where he has installed a porta-potty.

For the record, each moment of this show I watch, I am thinking terrible things about Sparky and this torture he has inflicted upon me.  Really Sparky? I mean really?

Okay, this episode was largely about dealing with Phil's manpan that Todd's arrival means that he does not get to sleep with Melissa.  Am I really supposed to be empathising with this megadouche? Am I really supposed to find his antics funny?

Of course, we are meant to see the pairing of Todd and Melissa as ridiculous because she is young and blonde and Todd is fat.  Heavens knows no one finds fat people attractive right. It's worth mentioning that it's also in Todd's favor that he doesn't believe that shitting in a pool and polluting the very air he breaths is a good thing.

Melissa still isn't a person to either of these men actually.  Todd is quick to celebrate having sex with her, even as Phil is moaning that he isn't having sex with her.  Are Todd and Phil at anytime going to acknowledge that Melissa is more than a walking vagina? 

Also, who picks She Drives Me Crazy as a sex song?  These are grown adults right?

Then we had Phil's toilet pool.  I am actually surprised that they're not all diseased.  I have to say that I was firmly team Carol in terms of having that cesspool cleaned up.  I suppose we are meant to see the cleaning of the pool as progress for Phil but yeah, something that basic shouldn't count as progress.

Again, why am I watching this show? Oh yeah, I remember, Sparky loves to cause me pain.

Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) by Amanda Carlson


One shall walk again, above all others she is born;
Within her the beast shall lie, well hidden in True Form;
And from this day forth, the Children of the Night shall pay;
By her supreme rule, her righteous hand will slay,
Justice to all, as none are her equal;
The True Lycan will vanquish all evil.

Not only is Jessica the only female werewolf, it has been prophesied that she will dispense justice amongst the supernaturals.  First however, Jessica must find her mate who has been kidnapped.  The journey will test her new skills more than she could ever imagine. 

There really isn't much character development in this second installment of the Jessica McClain series.  We do however get introduced to two new vampires, as well as learn some of the abilities and limitations of vampirism.  The world is also enlarged by whole slew of new supes.

That being said, I don't feel like the story really progressed at all.  Hot Blooded is essentially one large fight scene which if you like that sort of thing, will be right up your ally.  Jessica and her small pack challenge various supernatural creatures; however, this lacked any kind of real suspense from the beginning because it was clear that while the situations themselves were dangerous, no one was really in any kind of mortal danger.  It quickly became rote that whenever Jessica faced a new monster, she would pull out some super special Lycan power to defeat it.

As part of her role as protagonist of this series, Jessica also served as the moral center.  Because her supernatural ability is extremely new, Jessica very much affirmed the importance of life, making her unwilling to kill because of convenience.  It will be interesting to see if she can hold onto that as the challenges she faces get tougher and tougher.

Once Upon a Time, Season 4, Episode 17: Best Laid Plans

Opening flashback to their sogginesses, before they were quite so drippy. They’re hunting a unicorn to fondle its horn (ok, they were still very drippy) to see Emma’s future and see if she’s going to turn evil or not. (I would have loved to see them run with the unicorn trying to impale them, but alas, not). David seems an innocent baby while Emma sees a teenager who rips out her heart

They angst about this for some time before a passing peddler helpfully provides some distraction – Draconic Maleficent has laid an egg. He advises them to go around and go to a cottage and get directions instead. This sounds sensible so it’s quite shocking when the Charmings follow his advice.

The cottage is owned by the Sorcerer’s apprentice who feels quite within his right to comment on their upcoming birth. He explains why the visions conflict and how the future can actually change – the only way to ensure Emma is all good and pure is to put all her potential for evil in another blank slate (another child). Effectively a child sacrifice.

Mary Margaret decides that Maleficent egg is ideal. Because a super evil DRAGON SORCERER is such a good idea. Fetching the egg involves knocking our Ursula and Cruella who have, bemusingly, decided to bodyguard Maleficent’s cave. They manage to stop Maleficent turning them to ash (alas) by threatening her baby- much to Maleficent’s utter horror (“what kind of people are you to threaten a child?”) Maleficent begs for her child but the Charmings refuse to listen

They take the egg to the sorcerer’s apprentice who transfers the evil – and banishes the egg to another dimension. After all, he’s not fool enough to want a super powerful evil dragon baby hanging around, to be that foolish you’d have to be a Charming. Mary Margaret, in all her sogginess, protests they only wanted to put an evil dark curse on the new born, not exile it! (this counts as moral justification in her world) but it’s too late and he banishes the egg (which starts hatching into a baby) through a portal. Cruella and Ursula are randomly dragged through as well. But their baby is now “pure of intent” and up to the Charmings to guide. Wait, wasn’t that what a blank slate meant anyway?!

Mary Margaret describes their acts of kidnapping, cursing and exiling a child a “mistake.” She is a terrible terrible person.

Back at the castle Mary Margret mopes over her guilt and how it’s with her all the time (except the last 3 seasons. Maybe she thought being married to David was punishment enough). She acknowledges they weren’t kind, they were selfish and they are no longer heroes. David decides the way to save this is to fix themselves (not Maleficent), but just making sure they’re good and pure so they can get over it and not give their child issues. REDEMPTION!

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Sixteen: Conquer

Morgan wakes up in the back seat of a car and smiles at the rabbit's foot hanging off the rear view mirror.  He heads outside and makes himself a cup of soup.  A man sneaks up on Morgan holding a gun and introduces himself.  The man has a W carved into his forehead, which apparently represents wolves ,which were hunted by the first settlers of the area and the Indigenous community. The W symbolizes that wolves are back now.  Apparently, the man is part of a larger group who sometimes traps people.   When Morgan tries to take a sip of his cup of soup, he is told to put it down.  Morgan asks to keep a little bit of his supplies and is told that he will lose it all, including his life. Morgan informs the man that he can have everything but will not allow himself to be taken away.  The stranger tells Morgan to be still and his partner sneaks up from behind.  The fight is on and all Morgan has is a stick to defend himself.  Morgan warns the men that they should go but when they refuse, he proceeds to kick some serious ass before knocking them out and placing them in the car he slept in the night before. Morgan then pockets the rabbit's foot. When Morgan picks up the gun which as pointed at him, he discovers that it had no bullets.

Darryl is driving down the road on his motorcycle with Aaron hot on his heels.  They pull off to the side of the road.

Back at Alexandria, Rick slowly wakes up to find Michonne watching him.  Michonne reports that Deanna wanted him isolated to calm things down and Rosita took care of his bandages.  Michonne reports that Pete was placed in another home.  Michonne asks Rick what he is doing and Rick says that things moved fast and that he couldn't tell her what he was doing. Rick then actually taunts Michonne about wanting to get off the road.  Did this fool forget that they had no food or water and were reduced to praying for rain while eating dog?  Michonne is emphatic that they had to stop being out there.

Glenn, Abraham, and Carol, come in and Carol accuses Rick of stealing the gun from armoury calling it stupid. Gotta love how even in front of her own group, Carol refuses to show her hand. Rick plays dumb as Carol intended.  Glenn announces that Deanna is planning a meeting for tonight.  They discuss a tactic and it's Carol who suggests that Rick tell the community a story they want to hear just like she has been doing since she got there.  Yeah that was a subtle point to Rick that he really should have flown under the radar. Carol declares the Alexandrians are like children, adding that knives are all they need against the people.  Rick lays out a plan to over power the residents of Alexandria if necessary, including a threat to slit people's throats to get to the armoury.  Rick admits that he screwed up and put them in this mess. Well I suppose that's a first for Rick but excuse me if I'm still not impressed.   Rick then decides that he is going to sleep some more more and lies down.

Gabriel takes his jacket off the line, as Maggie watches from Deanna's porch. Yep, Gabriel needs to become walker food.  Maggie is joined by Reg and she questions if the meeting is about evicting Rick. Maggie makes it clear that evicting Rick is not an option and that it's not fair to put the decision on the residents who don't have the whole story. Deanna says that the situation is hers to decide (right no conflict of interest if she is the one who decides). Maggie talks about Rick's frustration at the things he has seen and lost.  Deanna immediately jumps on this because of course, she just lost her son but Maggie argues back rightly actually that they have lost so much more. Deanna points out that Rick pointed a gun at people but Maggie argues back that Rick didn't pull the trigger. Deanna however sees this as a poor sign. Reg steps up to remind Deanna that Michonne stopped Rick.  Maggie walks off the porch in frustration and Reg quickly follows to say that civilization starts when people stop running and live together.  This apparently is going to be his advice to Deanna and the people of Alexandria.

Sasha is outside of the walls and she grabs a dead zombie (yes, I know it's an oxymoron).  She drags the zombie to a pit filled with a few zombies.  Sasha stumbles and falls into the pit and instead of climbing out, she lies down in the pit with the zombies. Sasha has a weird fixation it seems and cannot decide between killing the zombies and wanting to just die herself. Other than Rick, I think this is the longest any character has been allowed to actively mourn a loss. And no, I haven't forgotten she who took her bed.

Darryl and Aaron are tracking a man through the woods and Aaron makes it clear that they have to make sure the person they are tracking is good.  Aaron then talks about the three people he was forced to send away.  Because Aaron brought them to Alexandria the responsibility of escorting them out became his.  The ousted people were driven away from Alexandria and left with a days worth of food and water and no guns.  Aaron is adamant that he will not make that kind of mistake again. Essentially, those people were given a death sentence.

Carol has gone back to see Rick alone, saying that what happened last night was good.  Carol hands Rick another gun and he asks why Carol didn't want the rest of the group to know they had more guns. Carol says that Michonne stopped Rick and that she didn't tell them just in case. Rick makes it clear that everyone is with them and that he doesn't want to lie anymore.  Carol points out that Rick said that he didn't want to lie and he didn't want to take Alexandria. Carol snarks to Rick that he cannot have it both way.  YES, I LOVE ME SOME CAROL.

Darryl and Aaron are tracking the man who is wearing a bright red poncho.  Darryl is impressed that the man knows how to keep mosquitoes off of him. 

Rick heads outside and walks through a group of men, saying hello to an armed Tobin.  Rick walks past Deanna's house and neither of the two say a word.

Nicholas glares at Glenn.  Maggie approaches Glenn and she promises to try and solve this.  Glenn simply tells Maggie that he loves her.  Maggie and Glenn agree to get together at the meeting. When Glenn turns his head, he sees Nicholas climbing over a wall and decides to follow.

Gabriel heads outside of Alexandria, turning down a gun saying the world of God is the only protection he needs.

Rick has returned home and is greeted by Carl.  Rick makes it clear that Carl is not to come to the meeting.  Carl says that the Alexandrians will die without them and Rick warns Carl that he might have to threaten, or kill one of them.  Carl suggests that Rick tell the truth in a way that they can hear; however, Rick thinks that they might not be able to.  Carl again asserts that Rick has to tell them. When did Carl get so much wiser than his father?

Aaron and Darryl look through a chain link fence in defeat after loosing the man with the red poncho.  They are looking at a warehouse filled with food and Darryl is worried that this means they are giving up.  Aaron points out that they need more people but they will need to be able to feed the people once they find them.  Darryl taps his knife on the fence to draw the attention of the walkers and when the zombies approach, Aaron and Darryl make short work of them.  The two men head into the facility.  Aaron pauses to get a license plate from Alaska, saying that if they come back with a trailer full of cans, then they've had a good trip.  When Darryl opens one of the trailers, it causes several others to open and zombies come pouring out.   Aaron and Darryl start running, killing zombies as they are able.  They slide under one of the trailers only to be followed by the zombies, so they are forced to roll out the other side.  Finally, in desperation, they climb inside a car, which quickly gets surrounded by walkers. 

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger

Sidhaeg, one of Sophronia’s best friends, is shaken to the core by devastating news of her werewolf pack back in Scotland. She is convinced that she has to go home to help – which means a crafty absence from the school and a train journey across country

Of course, Sophronia is willing to help her friend, despite doubting the wisdom of her decision. Picking up many friends ad companions they make the journey to Scotland

But along the way they stumble across the latest scheme between the supernatural-hating Picklemen and the vampires and they cannot help getting involved. But a brief distraction quickly becomes deadly – and with possibly devastating consequences for the whole country.

I love this series. I love the very concept of it – the whole idea of these very proper Victorian ladies learning all the very proper Victorian etiquette and wearing all the very proper Victorian clothes and all the very proper Victorian modes of behaviour – and turning them into weapons and tools for espionage. I love the subversion of that, I love the whole idea of these women being extremely competent and dangerous not DESPITE the trappings and restrictions of their gender in this era – but using them to their advantage. I love their lessons, I love their training, I love the whole concept. And I love that we have a predominantly female cast who are good friends (no “super special female protagonist” here) and are all competent. Sure, Sophonia is super-duper competent and the leader, but she’s happy to acknowledge when her friends are better at something and has every faith in their abilities (including Agatha and Dimity who are often seen as behind the others); certainly more so than she has with untrained men. She respects other students of the school, even Monique. She has been trained. She is dangerous.

This excellent world setting and fun concept is backed up by Gail Carriger’s writing which has always been that excellent balance between proper Victorian language and screaming hilarity. It’s fun, it manages to be both a parody and serious and it always manages to be extremely funny, well paced and a general joy to read.

Since this is the prequel series to the Parasol Protectorate it’s also interesting to see the beginnings of some of the characters and events from that series – including the beginning of Lord Maccon’s story and the drama that overtook the Kingair Pack and how Sidhaeg became the woman she did. It’s nice to see it from this end

And it also introduces another excellent theme of this book – growing up. An inevitable part of any school story, Sophronia and her friends are coming of age and things and people are changing quickly. People are leaving Sophronia’s live, people are finding their paths and people are having to grow up – which adds to some sadness for Sophronia but also concerns about where she goes next; who does she seek out as a partron or a husband

Which also links (and I’m going to have an aside here to praise how well all the elements of this book link together and feed off each other) to Sophonia’s opinion of the politics of the day. She doesn’t favour any faction, she rather thinks any faction gaining complete control would be a bad thing and disapproves of the whole “with us or against us” mentality of both the vampires and the picklemen. She is a big believer in balance but that, in turn, makes her unwilling to seek a supporter on any side, even with Lord Akeldama courting her

Bitten, Season 2, Episode 8: Dark Arts

4 years ago, we see bad witch Clara cursing men to death for money. This is a no-no and Ruth disapproves. Ruth rips off Clara’s amulet and reduces it to dust (apparently stripping her of magic) before she and Bridget leaves

Alistair, at this point, is a performing street magician (already with his little symbol), Clara finds him to get her revenge. And that’s how Alistair becomes a bad guy

In the present, Alistair, possessing Clay, wraps up his body before joining Jeremy and Nick pretending to have lost Eduardo. Back at Stonehaven Ruth is fretting about Savannah magically bleeding people to death and they’re planning her initiation ritual in which she will get her talisman which lets her focus her powers

Aliclay wants them to do the ritual in Stonehaven; they agree to get it done asap.

Meanwhile Alistair and Clay have a little confrontation inside Clay’s head which also involves images of child!Clay and Malcolm.

In the real world Savannah is all kind and reassuring with Savannah before she goes down to her initiation. She picks cards to guide her through it – initiating through fire, having rats as a familiar (she doesn’t like rats but Paige is quick to sing the praises of rats). Savannah begs to have Elena with her and Ruth agrees.

While Savannah is asking for Elena, AliClay is trying to convince Elena to stay away from her. He kisses her which is so silly, everyone knows how this trope goes; a lover can always tell their true love by their special unique kissing skills. She is now all suspicious.

While Paige is preparing for the ritual, Nick drops in for some flirting and sex because he has no sense of appropriate timing.

Afterwards the go to where Ruth and Aliclay are building a little hut but they’re building it in a different place from where Jeremy said to – due to Aliclay wanting Savannah more split from the rest of them. Nick tries to move it and Aliclay stops them – and crudely attacks Nick and Paige for having sex, calling Paige a whore. Nick demands Clay apologise and he and Aliclay fight – and Nick wins until Paige makes them stop.

Elena confronts AliClay later over losing his ever loving mind and he both blames the witches and tries to force a kiss on her – and then trying to rape her. She punches him in the head. Jeremy goes to Clay to ask him what the hell is happening between him and Nick (I dearly hope this is because he doesn’t know about Elena and Aliclay) And Aliclay tries to undermine Elena by talking about what happened at the compound – including being forced to change in front of Rachel. Jeremy says what a terrible violation it is to be forced to change in front of others and somehow between them they come to the conclusion that spending time with Savannah is making it harder for Elena to deal with her issues.

Elena and Savannah are all nice together again before Elena has a quiet word with Paige asking just how out of control Savannah’s magic can get. Since Alistair messed with her mind, she’s worried that an out of control Savannah may be messing with Clay. Paige points out how easy it is to blame magic whenever something weird happens but, really, if something is wrong with Clay then you need to talk to Clay

Instead, Elena does some more reading about Alistair and his rituals while Aliclay prepares one of those rituals which ominously involves a noose.

Elena finds information about dark witches possessing people and shows it to Jeremy along with how weird Clay is acting. Jeremy starts to ignore her and talk about her being forced to change in front of others but Elena points out she didn’t actually tell Clay that – only Elena, Rachel and Alistair knew that. They go to the storage shed where they found Clay that morning

Sunday, March 29, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season 1, Episode 10: Divine Move


Ramse burns everything –all the plans, all the research and takes Jones injections of stuff (which I think are to do with time travel).


Aaron and Cassie are back to being all couply – and Cole interrupts their couply time. Oh, Cole, Aaron wasn’t a big fan of you before now you’re making it worse! Aaron gasps that it’s not over – yes it looked like it was over Aaron but 12 Monkeys got renewed.

Of course Cassie has just seen Cole die and Cole has just seen Cassie die so they’re super happy to see each other alive.

But the virus was still out there, Chechnya wasn’t the only release point nor was Leland Goins nor was the Night Room. There’s another source: they focus on Oliver Peters, a guy who was at the CIA and who actually made the virus. Aaron loses his temper, saving the world can’t happen because it puts Cassie at risk and they don’t know what they’re doing!

Since, without their intervention, Cassie dies in 2017, I think his arguments are somewhat lacking. He does point out that Cole has no idea how to stop the plague which… yes? I mean isn’t that kind of acknowledged?

As Cassie and Cole drive off they acknowledge that it all feels a little more hopeless. This also feeds into Cole’s worry about Ramse. They break into a lab to find a dead man covered in flowers – something they’ve seen before which the Tall Man does. The dead man is not Oliver Peters, it’s his husband (yes, LGBT inclusion via a rotting corpse!) and Cassie is bitter that they’ve failed to make any difference. Cole has one of his broken glass of milk flashbacks/nosebleeds that he has from time to time which one day may be relevant but this is 12 Monkeys so don’t get your hopes up.

They do find Peter’s journal though including lots of plague references. One of which leads to Tokyo and the 12 Monkeys. Cassie is even more bitter. And drinking. And really bitter. She’s also noticed that Cole is killing himself. For another foreshadowing element, when Cole splinters a nearby plant has its leaves turn red. Related to the “red forest”?

She goes researching for animal test subjects that Peters must be using to develop the plagues. She also has to argue with Aaron who is worried about Cassie getting hurt (again, ignoring the inevitable death of most of the population including her if they don’t do something). She appeals to their inevitable death and asks him to stick with her

He joins her in going to a container yard where she thinks the virus may have been developed or supplies passed through – and she brings a gun with her. There she finds Peters locked in a container. He has finished the virus, creating it because the 12 Monkeys said they’d kill his husband if they didn’t. When he realises his husband is dead he asks Cassie to kill him so he can’t make the virus again. She considers it but, ultimately, tells him to run, find a hole and disappear into it

While she’s doing this, Aaron runs into the Striking Woman who knows his name. She talks about Cassie being important and keeping her live which sounds very menacing and threatening. No doubt Aaron will now do something monumentally foolish