Monday, March 27, 2017

The Walking Dead, Season Seven, Episode Fifteen: Something They Need

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Something They Need is the penultimate episode of season seven. It basically amounted to putting the pieces together to prepare for the big battle against Negan and the Saviours.  After all the time spent setting this up, this battle had better be epic because it feels as though we have been in one big holding pattern for a very long time. The battle will hopefully be the big pay off. The writers have certainly risked a lot on this. 

As expected, Sasha was captured by the Saviours and put into a cell similar to the one Darryl was held in.  It's not long before David comes in to inquire if Sasha needs anything. Of course, nothing is free and David makes it clear that if Sasha wants water, she's going to have to submit to his sexual advances. Sasha responds by head butting David which for me, amounted to one of the better moments this season.  Because she is handcuffed, David sees her as easy prey and starts to get rapey. Negan intervenes and stabs David in the throat. Apparently, beating people to death with Lucile, throwing people into a fire, ironing faces and forcing women to marry him by removing their choices is fine, but rape in the manner that David attempted is unacceptable to Negan.  It's a bizarre moment indeed and I cannot even begin to understand how Negan rationalises this to himself. 

Negan's impressed by the fact that Sasha stormed in there alone to exact revenge and so instead of killing her, he wants to harness her "beach ball size lady nuts". Yes, Negan actually thinks that he's being complimentary in this moment. Negan hands Sasha a knife and tells her that she can try and kill him, even though she would probably lose because he's standing above her with a baseball bat, she can kill herself or she can kill David before he turns into a walker and agree to become a Saviour.  Negan wants the later, particularly because he's become aware that Nick & Co. are up to no good. 

Enter Eugene, who tries very hard to convince Sasha to just submit.  He explains that the bravest moment of his life was when he drove the RV away as a distraction but that he was scared out of his mind.  Watching Abraham get killed only served to drive home the fact that at his heart, Eugene is a coward and therefore willing to do whatever he has to to survive.  Eugene tells Sasha that if she submits, she will never to be afraid again and that she can survive this.

When Negan returns to check on Sasha, she is standing in her cell, having already taken out zombie David.  Negan is happy to accept this decision as Sasha indicating that she's willing to work with him.  Negan wants Sasha to help him get to the bottom of what is going on in Alexandria, as a test of her loyalty and promises her some creature comforts for the night so that she can think through what she's going to do. 

Once again, Eugene goes to check on Sasha and this time she puts on a pitiful voice and asks Eugene for something to help her end it.  Sasha makes it clear that she cannot allow herself to be used to hurt their people and pleads with Eugene for a knife, a gun, a razor or even a damn piece of glass.  When Eugene agrees to think it over, a smile crosses Sasha's face, clearly indicating that she's not actually thinking of suicide. Unfortunately for Sasha, when Eugene does return, it's to slip her the poison that he made for Negan's wives.  It's the solution that she asked for but not what she really wanted.  A dejected Sasha slides to the floor as Eugene talks about not wanting Sasha to kill herself but how he trusts that she can make her own decisions about what's best for her.

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 12: Tomorrow

Last week we learned that Lara was Molly who came back in time to save her mother from becoming War

This week we open by seeing that. And part of me thinks this is unnecessary since we know this – but it’s also kind of awesome to see it. To see Jenny leading the resistance against Malcolm’s forces – being called a terrorist for it. And seeing Malcolm use the 4 horseman and his police force. Including war – who kills Jenny in front of Lara/Molly

Except not before Jenny manages to raise a whole lot of doubt in Molly’s mind about the history that Malcolm has filled her head with – including that Molly said that Diana was dead. Before Molly died she manages to cut a hole in War’s helmet with a magic knife – and show that War is Diana.

Molly questions future Malcolm about this and lo his lies unravel, leading Molly to find Ichabod, get a pep talk and some time travel mojo

Which picks us up where we left off – with a newly Warred Ichabod who is ordered to kill Molly and Diana. They escape thanks to a woo-woo knife and make it back to the Archive

Along the way they sum up some basics of Molly’s life (how Malcolm let her wander alone and desperate for a while before swooping in and playing caring father figure) and everyone decides to call Molly Lara since that’s what she was called for so many years and it saves everyone from having to say Young Molly and Old Molly. By saving Diana, Lara has pretty much completely changed the future (at least the details) so her memories are now very uncertain and, effectively, she and Molly are different people or will be because their experiences will be so different. At least Lara still has her skills.

Everyone is recapped and knows where they stand and everything gets more complicated. Firstly blood from the woo-woo dagger happens to mix with some black goo and apparently War blood + Ichabod blood + Black goo of spider demon memories = Henry Parish!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grimm, Season Six, Episode Twelve: Zerstörer Shrugged

"You shall break them with a rod."

Zerstörer Shrugged is the penultimate episode of this series and to say I'm pissed doesn't even begin to cover it. Dear writers of Grimm, you need to fix this next episode. I will not accept an ending to Grimm which brings about the death of the only two reoccurring characters of colour in the entire six year run of this show. I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS. I will also not accept that the Zerstörer is this horribly scary devil dude, when so much of what happened is clearly the writers trying to squeeze in relevance in the later stages, rather than spending this entire season building a believable story around the Zerstörer.

When we left Nick and Eve, they were stuck in the other world about to do battle with the Zerstörer. Eve goes all ghastly uber hexenbiest but isn't really able to put up much of a defense.  It's Nick who realises that the Zerstörer is toying with them and instead of actually killing them which he could do easily, he's trying to trap them. Things don't look good for these two.

With Diana now firmly asleep, it's time to try and figure out how to get Nick and Eve the hell out of the other world. Adalind and Renard argue about who is going to open a portal.  If Renard's informant is on point, and Diana is indeed the Shaphat, Monroe suggest that Diana can actually open up a portal using the stick. To back him up, Monroe pulls out his family Wesen bible.  Renard at first has no patience for any kind of biblical talk until Monroe explains that the bible does describe an area like where Nick and and Eve might actually be. It buoys Monroe's case that the bible includes an illustration of the Zerstörer. 

At the Spice Shop, Hank, Wu and Rosealee are looking for myths across cultures for any references which could be useful. They come across an ancient German text which Rosealee uses google translate to decipher.  They learn that the text says,"evil darkness trapped" and "Grimm pull child wife" followed by "follow and flee." 
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It's then that the scoobies realise that it's March 24th, the day the cloth warned them about. I know that there's been a lot of shit going on but did no one think to mark the days off on a calendar? Are we supposed to believe that the scoobies are really that forgetful when they've done nothing but spend time researching this damn prophecy all season? Now they begin to wonder if maybe just maybe, the Zerstörer stalked Eve, so that she'd going looking for him, forcing Nick to follow, thus causing the opening of a portal allowing him to escape. Did you follow that because it's convoluted as fuck? Look, I know that this shit was foretold but the assumptions that had to be made for this plan to work are downright astronomical.

The Originals, Season Four, Episode Two: No Quarter

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Thanks to five years of labour on Hayley's part the majority of the Original family are alive and awake.  After the vampires feed to regain their strength, they have a decision to make. Should they flee New Orleans because Marcel's bite is deadly to them now or should they make an attempt to get Klaus? The Original family may betray each other and fight like cats and dogs but when it comes to an outside threat they stand together always and No Quarter, is no exception. 

It looks like the Mikaelsons are not going to have the element of surprise because Sofya reports back to Marcel that some of the people she had falling Haley watched her intercept Keelin. Marcel is quick to surmise that this means that Hayley now has her hands on a cure for his bite. The Mikaelsons coming back to town is a headache however not overly a concern because Marcel is still the HNIC for now. We all know that this is temporary right?

Having been out of the loop for so long, Rebekah and Elijah are forced to turn to Josh to get some idea of what Marcel is up to.  Josh just happens to be having a little alone time with his new boyfriend Eddie and yes, this comes with an on camera kiss. Eddie, unlike his supernatural boyfriend is all too human.  We all know already that Eddie is on borrowed time right?  At any rate, Josh sends Eddie away so he can deal with the Mikaelsons. After some quick questioning Elijah and Rebekah learn that Josh despite his relationship with Marcel, isn't really in the loop. Rebekah then suggests that she act as a distraction to Marcel since they have so much unsettled history. 

Rebekah heads off to confront Marcel as the rest of the family goes to Rosseau's in order to access the tunnels underneath the city where Marcel is hiding Klaus. The Original family must now decide what to do with Josh.  Kol isn't in favour of killing him because Davina cared about Josh and Marcel is in agreement because Marcel cares about Josh.  Kol volunteers to stay behind with Josh while everyone else heads through the tunnels to find Klaus. 

Speaking of Klaus, he's still crumbled in a ball enduring the pain of Papa Tunde's blade.  In order to distract himself from the torture he conjures up Cami. Even though Cami is a figment of Klaus's imagination, she goes into to counsellor mode because it seems that once again, Klaus has some demons that he needs to deal with.  Through the connection, Klaus can feel that his siblings are now awake but he still needs to free himself.  For some reason, Klaus seems to like it there because he's convinced to some degree that he deserves this punishment and to be perfectly honest, he's absolutely right. Cami quickly digs through the layers of Klaus's emotional shit and gets to the heart of the matter - Klaus is scared that he won't be embraced by Hope when they finally meet after all of these years. It's no surprise that Hope features largely in his thoughts given that she is his daughter and Klaus has a whole host of unresolved daddy issues.  It seems that Klaus is terrified that he won't be a good daddy and that he will pass on a legacy of violence.  The mere fact that he threatens to kill anyone who breaks Hope's heart shows that he hasn't learned any lessons from the time he spent policing Rebekah's sexuality.

Marcel and Rebekah meet and she asks for Klaus's freedom.  We all know that it's not going to be that easy right? Marcel is particularly annoyed that Rebekah believes that she can just stroll into town and trade upon their long relationship to get what she wants. Marcel feels absolutely justified in what he has done to Klaus.  Rebekah makes it clear that right or wrong, her family will keep on coming until they get what they want but Marcel still will not bend.  When it's clear that the conversation isn't going anywhere, Rebekah pulls out the knife that was used to curse her and threatens Marcel, who is a bit shocked that Rebekah would go to such lengths. On one hand while I feel that Marcel more than any other person should know about the siblings extreme loyalty to each other, he's not wrong to be a little shocked at Rebekah since the two of them did conspire to bring Michael to town to kill Klaus. 

As we all know, The Originals is not about to let Rebekah play the role of hero or act tough.  Rebekah is the Original damsel in distress and she quickly falls into this role when Sofya sneaks up and shoots Rebekah full of arrows. Did Marcel arrange for Sofya to eavesdrop on their conversation in case he needed back up or is Sofya stalking Marcel?  I think I'm going to go with the later since Marcel would have no reason to be afraid of Rebekah. 

Marcel quickly realises that Rebekah was there to act as a distraction and that her siblings are probably breaking Klaus out of prison and so he takes off. Elijah, Freya and Hayley have found Klaus, though Klaus still isn't conscious and is working out his issues with ghost Cami.  The spell guarding Klaus is so strong, Freya is forced to channel Hayley while Elijah acts as look out. Ghost Cami is loudly screaming at Klaus that he needs to take the knife out now. By the way this whole taking out Papa's knife thing is new. When it was first introduced, that knife stayed where it was until someone pulled it out. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Colony, Season Two, Episode Eleven: Lost Boy

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Lost Boy is centered by a violent act of resistance orchestrated by the Red Hand. We watch as each character responds in various ways on how these reveals who they are no and where they stand on dealing with the alien invaders.

Lost Boy opens with Karen giving an ominous speech about what will happen to collaborators. From the moment Bram hooked up with Karen last week, I knew that Bram would end up being a useful fool.  This feeling is confirmed when the Resistance drinks a toast to their upcoming act of rebellion because this is what they do before an attack that leads to death. Bram however isn't given a good bye fuck before being sent to his death. Bram is teamed up with Patrick, and they head into the green zone together. Patrick is cool as he goes through the check point but Bram looks suspicious as fuck.  I kind of wonder how it is that the Red Hats didn't hold him under suspicion given how nervous he's behaving?

 Bram and Patrick spend a New York minute cutting shrubs before entering a home.  Patrick is quickly shot dead, leaving Bram with the decision of either running for his life or pulling the trigger himself. At this point, the writers let the audience in on a secret which Bram keeps from his family, he kills the Ambassador King. Not only does Bram kill, he boldly puts the signature blood red hand on the door of the house. Bram wants both revenge for the loss of his girlfriend and he wants to feel like he's doing something important.  The fact that he ends up lying to both his mother and father indicates that he knows damn well that his actions were wrong and put people he cared about in jeopardy.  

Karen's mission was always a suicide mission and so there were no plans made for how the Red Hand soldiers would escape the Green Zone once word spread of their murderous actions.  Bram knows at this point that there's only one way to get out of this situation - Aunt Maddie.  Maddie is immediately suspicious when Bram shows up the door.  She's suspicious enough to keep Bram away from her son, even as he insists that in order to be safe they need to leave.  Maddie does take the time to question Bram and he has pat answers but of course, they ring false. Bram claims that he was just released from prison and found his family home empty. Maddie actually thinks she's dropping a bomb when she reveals that Will and Kate are collaborators and on the run. Then Maddie does something which surprises me, she decides to take Bram to the gate when he explains that if he's caught in the Green Zone now, the guards won't listen to his explanation, given that he's just been released from prison.  At the gate, Maddie is asked to step outside of her car by the guard and informed that Red Hand youth have been killing high status collaborators.  The look of betrayal is all over her face, even as she insists that Bram is her nephew and not a danger to her.  The moment they get away from the gate, Maddie stops the car and orders Bram to get out. 

Will's perspective begins before Bram decides to become a murderer.  Will's playing a game of catch with Charlie, in his own way trying to normalise their situation and emphasising that they are still a family. It's Charlie who has noticed that Bram has been sneaking out.  Rather than being silent in solidarity with his brother, Charlie decides to snitch. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Doctor Who Season 10 Trailer

Okay Whovians, as you might know the new season starts soon. I trust that I am not alone in dealing of feelings of withdrawal. It's particularly bittersweet because this will be Capaldi's last season as the Doctor.  Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to argue about who should replace him.  In the meantime, to help you get through the wait until April 17th which is the start of the new season, I thought you might enjoy having a look at the preview if you haven't already seen it.  From the looks of it, Matt Lucas is going to reprise his role as Nardole.  It looks as though the Doctor, Nardole and Bill (Pearl Mackie) the Doctor's new companion are going to have an awesome set of new adventures. 

Well, what do you think?

The Magicians, Season 2, Episode 9: Lesser Evils

So Fillory. As Margo put it, it’s lucky they don’t have polling in Fillory because this is a hot mess of awful with their army deserting because of the mass tree killing, the treasury still kind of empty and magic still cutting out because Ember shit in it. This is looking pretty terrible.

Except there turns out to be one loop hole – rather than a war they can have a duel between kings! And it will make them super popular – as Margo puts it, Eliot is already seeing the statues.

Except he can’t fight. And the king of Loria can.

This is a bad idea. They quickly brainstorm for other possibilities and come up with magic: namely, Fenn’s blacksmith ancestors have a sword and spell that was especially prepared for High Kings who didn’t really want to go to the effort of actually learning how to fight. This goes along with a big speech from Fenn about how her husband and child are all important and her family (reminder again about how not into this Elliot is)

He’s still nervous though so it’s over to Margo and her spell which makes everyone have an impromptu Les Miserable performance.

And it’s awesome.

Ok, time to be torn. On the one hand, it’s Les Mis. Anyone who doesn’t love the score of Les Mis has no soul. Secondly it’s an awesome performance (except… I think Margot may not be there… either that or Eliot and Fenn are just leaving her in the shade). How can you not love every second of this? Of course I love every second of this. It’s awesome. Rewind it and watch it again, it’s awesome.

On the other hand? This show, with all its gross gay stereotyping, just sent the High King into battle singing a musical. And I really want to just love it, I want to ignore that, I want to just revel in the music but… I can’t really get pasty that issue.

Also it’s almost worth it to see Prince Es’s and King Idri’s faces as they approach the duelling field singing. Also Prince Es also starred in Les Mis.

Aside - can we talk about what the Lorian's are wearing because wardrobe - what are you aiming for with the king here?! 

Did the Wardrobe people raid Rick Ross's used clothing dumpster?

So time for a duel between Elliot and Idri and they quickly end up relocating to the forest (because, apparently, running away isn’t actually banned). They fight back and forth until the magic goes down and Elliot hides in a tree which King Idri then begins trying to cut down with a sword. This may take some time.

This does give them some time to talk. King Idri thinks his people are so used to hardship they won’t even notice the missing wellspring while Elliot thinks Fillory seems to be almost trying to destroy itself. They both commiserate over how annoying being king is. Elliot also talks about the utter sexual frustration of being married.

Grimm Women and Power

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Grimm has now been running for six seasons and like any show that has been running for that length we can see some disturbing patterns developing - patterns beyond the standard Oh Hell No which we have been calling out for a long time.

One of those patterns that has clearly developed is how women are treated on Grimm - especially women with power.

Or not - because for much of the early seasons of Grimm we simply didn’t have strong women. Nick lived in a very male world and the only women who really dinged the radar were Adalind (a villain) and Juliette (ignorant and so uninvolved in the story). It was a recurring issue for far too long in Grimm before Rosalie was finally introduced alongside the eventual semi-inclusion of Kelly and Truble to add some occasional female power

But the “occasional” here is relevant. Kelly and Truble were both reduced to guest roles, not allowed to cast too great a shadow on the men of the plot - and Kelly was eventually killed off. To add to the insult of this, there was no real come back of this. Juliette - or Eve - was even accepted back by the gang despite this murder: bad enough this awesome, strong female character was so poorly used but to the have her death so casually handwaved?

Truble didn’t die - but my they put her on the bus with regularity. I wonder sometimes if there’s one writer they keep in a cupboard who eventually breaks out, yelling “no more damsels!” and then we get 3 episodes of Truble before they’re restrained

Rosalie is better - but even then there’s some gender coding in deciding that she would be the physically weaker, more cunning, Fuchsbau to Monroe’s dangerous Blutbaden. Rosalie is definitely one of the more powerful characters on this show in terms of intelligence and cunning but it would have been interesting to see her be cunning and intelligent - and dangerous.

But that brings us to the dangerous women of this show who have actually managed to hang around. Adalind and Juliette/Eve

Every thinking writer knows that simply setting up a woman to become a damsel in need of continual saving is not a marker of good writing anymore. Women are demanding more nuanced characterisation and less female victimhood. Grimm’s way of meeting these demands is to create powerful female characters; however, it comes with the caveat that strength equals  evil which, while moving aside from position women as eternal victims, reifies a sexist trope that a strong woman cannot possibly be good and is inherently dangerous to men. It’s a way of disciplining women into submission by the simple virtue of strength/power being equated to evil and a lack of attractiveness. Yes, we see you Grimm.

Adalind was introduced in the very first episode as an antagonist.  It became clear very quickly that Adalind was not someone to be played with.  Over the years, Adalind, whose hatred of Grimms was absolutely epic, made no secret of her desire to rain down misery upon Nick’s life. As a Hexenbiest, one of the more powerful Wesen, Adalind absolutely had the chops to back up any threat that she made and when her power couldn’t directly cause a problem the spells in her arsenal absolutely could, as evidenced by her poisoning of Juliette.

It’s telling that despite Adalind’s animosity towards Nick a lot of her spells actually directly attacked Juliette, thereby hurting Nick by proxy. Adalind, for example, used a cat to put Juliette into a coma and she also crafted a spell to give Juliette the hots for Renard (also, who needs a spell for that?). This, of course, furthered the narrative around Juliette as damsel in distress for the majority of this series, even as it affirmed Adalind’s oh so evil persona. Adalind’s final bad act ended up in rape by deception which resulted in the pregnancy redemption. The Adalind at the end of this series is the exact opposite of the Adalind who we met in the beginning. Gee what could have induced such a drastic change?

All of these tropes are really emphasised when we look at Nick, Adalind and Juliette because it really brings home which women are allowed to be powerful.