Monday, January 21, 2019

Supernatural: Season 14, Episode 10: Nihilism




After a very very very long recap - honestly after fourteen seasons it’s amazing every episode isn’t just endless recap - we open with Dean running a bar with Pamela Barnes. She was a recurring character on the show, a psychic and one of Bobby’s contacts who became blind when looking at Castiel’s true form and later died because she’s female and on Supernatural and that’s just dangerous.

He’s having a happy time drinking booze, having no customers, not!flirting with Pamela and killing the odd vampire who shows up. And not selling his bar. This quickly replays on a loop and this is obviously Dean stuck in his headspace

And am I the only one who thinks that there’s absolutely no way Dean’s headspace bar would have country music while classic rock still exists? C’mon Supernatural you know your own soundtrack!

So to everyone else - the terrible plan of terribleness has failed and now Dean is newly possessed by the archangel Michael and there’s an army of monsters about to turn an entire city into monsters. Not an important city or big one, but Supernatural has always had a kind of rural-mid-west thing about it that it’s not going to break that now.

So then the gang throws holy oil at Dean!Michael and manage to get the holy handcuffs on him. Which… well they had a plan B I guess? They could have maybe included this in the planning? Maybe thrown the holy oil at Michael and then gone in with the spear? Or maybe it needed unnecessary gloating to work?

Michael declares that their puny handcuffs totally can’t hold him. Except they can. Or at least for the time being. But they can’t stop him summoning his growing army of monsters who begin banging on the hastily secured doors.

With no idea what to do, Sam decides to call on the Reapers. Billie, the new Death, always has a reaper following the Winchesters around because they’re both a) annoying and b) there’s grudging respect. But mainly A.

So Jessica is their currently assigned Reaper - because they’re so annoying that she’s had to assign shifts of Reapers to watch them. Jessica then explains to Sam that she’s a reaper and it’s so very much not in her job description to save people. Quite the opposite. He tries to invoke some debt the Reapers owe them but she points out the Winchesters can’t fuck things up, then fix said fuck up, then act like everyone owes them for that

I like the Reapers, they’re so very good at calling out Winchester shit

Michael pipes up to say in his world they’ve destroyed death and enslaved all the Reapers. Since people are regularly dying on his world I can assume this is either a) nonsense, b) the writers threw it in to sound ominous without thinking what it meant for their world building) or c) Archangel shenanigans

Thankfully some other mystical force gets in touch and whisks Sam, Castiel, Jack and Dean!Michael to the Winchester cave which is rather surprising but hey good use of Deus Ex. It’s also surprising to Maggie leading the extras to fight the monsters in the city - but thankfully Michael now summons those monsters to the Winchester cave so they stop destroying and recruiting

That leaves Sam & co thinking what to do next and they decide, following a previous experience with Crowley and possession. So they want to go into Dean’s head using shenanigans to snap him out of possession

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Van Helsing, Season 3, Episode 13: Birth Ritual




Ok, things have just got… mystical. Super mystical. And I know you’re all saying “it’s a show about vampire apocalypse, how is it not mystical?” because it isn’t… I mean, apocalypse/dystopian shows tend not to be. While there’s been suggestions of woo-woo round the sides, we’ve played more into genetics than magic which is why the holy man felt so out of place last episode. Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic shows rarely involve actual woo-woo, even when they have things like zombies and vampires: they need that Realness to be impactful

But before we get to woo-woo, let’s catch up with Denver

So, Denver hasn’t entirely fallen, just one sector of it, so far. And this sector still has the time and resources to send out people to murder escaped prisoners? I call shenanigans.

Anyway Sarah is being investigated by Scary man from Black Tech (and you knew the evil company of evilness was definitely operating in Denver). He had CCTV hidden in the room and knows Sarah engineered Caitlin’s death and is almost impressed by her cold blooded remorselessness. The mayor of Denver is not amused to be covering up a murderer because he believes in the rule of law and all that. He’s adorable. Sinister science person makes it clear, oh-so-politely, who is really in charge and it’d be a shame of Black Tech lost faith in the mayor

Honestly he just has to say “I’m afraid of accidents” in a sinister tone to complete the whole thing

Black Tech wants Sarah around because she’s crafty. She also claims to have turned the repellent they use into a super vampire poison which is really useful…

… if it’s true. I don’t know. Sarah could be planning anything. Her main goal is to continue her DNA study of the ancient vampire blood Scarlett gave her - and whatever the results are she’s super shocked

Julius is trying to help the defenders to try and save Denver, in particular forcing them to change their tactics. They want to wait until reinforcements arrive (from Black Tech) because the vampires are contained… which they would be if they were feral, mindless and vulnerable to sunlight. But intelligent and immune it’s only a matter of time before they bypass the defences and everyone is screwed. Julius convinces them to go on the offensive and volunteers in a near suicidal mission: something Sarah objects to (and this is why i doubt her claims about the vampire poison).

They find Frankie dead so Julius can have more angst and guilt. And the Sisterhood using several captured humans as bait, including Kelly. Remember her? I swear Kelly is the dark one, she’s survived everything!

Angst angst time for a confrontation with with Scab and a cliffhanger.

Right now to the heady woo-woo of Vanessa’s story

Vanessa has returned to the asylum place where they killed the first elder to confront the big bad, Mohammed sort of following and being kidnapped by Sam who is also honing in guided by the shadowy figure known as the Oracle in the credits so we’ll run with that

The Oracle lures them both inside where it’s all ominous - and Vanessa confronts Sam, her eyes glowing red and there’s a brief, savage fight which Vanessa seems to have the edge… until the Oracle arrives and uses shiny woo-woo to freeze them both so she can talk at them

There’s a lot of talk and denial and anger but basically there is no fourth elder. This is the audition for the fourth elder (or something more since we seem to end up with a vampire who is way way way more powerful than the previous elders) and the choice is between Sam and Vanessa. Sam’s all in for this while Vanessa is in natural denial - though the Oracle, Sam et all keep poking her over what she’s done to turn herself into what she is.

The Oracle leads them into a secret labyrinth which is huge, impressive, ominous and has a great big thunderstorm. Which is perhaps a little over the top but hey we’ll run with that, we need a little melodrama. The Oracle continues to talk about what a disappointment Vanessa’s denial of her true destiny is - it feels like she really wants Vanessa to be the elder but she’s super unco-operative. The Oracle demands their tokens, because all elders have to have a token of their pain and suffering (for reasons): Sam has his tooth jewellery and Vanessa has Dylan’s ribbon…

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Van Helsing: Season 3, Episode 12: Christ Pose





As Van Helsing heads towards its season finale, someone on the writing staff has decided “let’s really annoy Paul with big shallow hot takes on things that need way more analysis”

And lo it’s time for the next episode for this. Now we have Scarlett stranded on an island for some indeterminate amount of time… long enough for her to do a full Tom Hanks - Wilson skit. She also shows herself to be not the smartest person around with her spending a long  time making a raft but not checking the island with a lighthouse for boats

One would expect boats in such a location

Anbyway she arrives on shore and manages to catch up with Axel and… ye gods how much time has passed? What has Vanessa been doing? I mean Axel has travelled from San Francisco to Denver then to wherever he is now and now Scarlet went from San Francisco to this island and now wherever Axel is

In the apocalypse. With apparent hordes of vampires around. In fact, where are these hordes of vampires? How come travelling is this easy? Even Game of Thrones wasn’t as fast and loose with distance.

So there’s much kissing and Axel briefly tries to convince her to move in with him somewhere and have lots of little ninjas but she insists on going to help Vanessa. Though Axel adds a little angst to that by asking if Scarlett will be ready to murder her sister should Vanessa have fallen to the Dark Side of the Force

Road trip time and along the way they find a pack of day walker vampires which use their new found intelligence to pull them into a trap. Which would have worked if they weren’t immortal vampire killers who slaughter them all with ease

Except Axel fires a shotgun and it misfires and badly burns his face and eyes. Wait, wasn’t Axel sort of immortal like everyone else? After coming back from being a vampire? Just like Julius and Phillip? He can be mauled by vampires but this brings him down?

Badly injured, Scarlett drags him to a random guy who happens to be in the area for help

Said random guy does help despite all her snarling because he’s Super Holy Guy. He is a man of deep and abiding faith who firmly believes in god and everything is god’s will and all you need is prayer - and that includes Axel’s fate when he gets an infection (wait, again immortal guy has an infection? Really?). Holy guy insists on prayer, everything happens for a reason etc. He also walks around the apocalypse with no weapons, he’s a dedicated pacifist who relies on faith to keep him safe.

What a lucky lucky man. That’s Scarlett’s point of view. But Holy Man invokes faith, telling his story of miraculously surviving a hurricane. Scarlett is still not a big fan of this idea because they’re living in apocalypse world and all - which Holy Man refers to as “god’s discipline”.

Yeaaaahhhhh so special holy man gets to survive and walk around untouched by vampires, but 90% of the population of Earth is slaughtered for “discipline”? Yeah, that’s really really twisted. And part of the utter problem of divine intervention saving you means there are millions upon millions of other people suffering horrendously who are somehow unworthy of such intervention. Throw in the idea of god’s “discipline” causing genocide and I dearly hope a vampire eats the man.

Instead they go looking for antibiotics (which have a use by date, y’know, so this many years after the apocalypse may be a bit...ineffective). Along the way Scarlet saves Holy man’s life (yes he thinks this is divine intervention, of course he does) and they go to help Axel… except a horde of Walkers appear

Monday, January 7, 2019

Van Helsing: Season 3, Episode 11: Been Away





Mini storyline first - Sam is still hunting down the one he loves, Mohammed. He pauses along the way to kill Mike (I’m fairly certain he’s killed Mike before but hey, sacrificial gay men was apparently delayed. These characters exist entirely to die for Sam’s evilness) to tell him that love is the source of all suffering. That people hurt and suffer the most because people they love are taken from them which is such pain

Obviously Mike disagrees, but his refusal to defending himself, repeatedly, because Sam threatens the people he loves. He ends up dying horribly and Chad watching him die which Sam takes as further proof that love is the source of all pain

He insists he’s trying to remove love from himself but the woman vision following him says he hasn’t yet - and directs him to where Mohammed and Vanessa are.

Right, now to main plot…

Actually that’s a lie. I don’t think there was any real main plot here because I’m not sure anything that happened this episode was actually relevant to the main plot which is something I’ve been saying about Van Helsing all season. Did we really need an entire episode to give Axel a tragic past? Really?

So Axel continues his road trip and eventually ends up in his home town waiting for Scarlett. He even turns on the lights to draw attention from passing vampires though apparently it’s for Scarlett. I guess. He has a memory board and one of them is a newspaper clipping of his sister Polly who apparently went missing when he was a

While hanging around he meets a group of survivors who are using sirens to distract vampires while they loot stuff. It doesn’t go entirely well and someone gets eaten. Axel charges in to the rescue and they all run off together. We have Lorne, a man with obvious dementia and memory problems, Axel remembers from his childhood. And Axel is remembered as well - but briefly due to his dementia.

We also have Carter who is aggressive and harsh and scathing - especially to Lorne. Nelson who is, well, there. And Kelly.

Carter doesn’t welcome Axel because GRRRR ARGGGH I’M THE ANGRY ONE. Kelly does welcome him because she thinks he’s cute and I’d be kind of really happy with this except Carter is pretty scornful about it and Axel openly is a “Good Man” by saying she doesn’t need to trade herself for protection. Which is super condescending and don’t tell me Axel has body image issues and doesn’t realise how hot he is because he definitely knows he’s hot. Hey, a woman can want to have sex with a hot guy because she wants to have sex with a hot guy. This is a legitimate desire and can we not have everyone making an issue of it?

Anyway she dies later.

Axel decides to help them on a raiding run because their plan of using the siren distraction then stealing lots of stuff won’t keep working on the more intelligent, organised day walkers. So Axel makes a plan (Carter is both scathing of the old plan and scathing about Axel’s ability to make a new plan because she has a characterisation as the Angry One damn it) and they go in with lots and lots of power tools

This may actually have been the point of the episode - someone wanted to kill vampires with a chainsaw. Which is a legitimate wish I perfectly understand

During the attack Kelly is bitten and Axel shoots her to stop her turning so tragedy. Well if anyone cared. No-one really does. It’s also sort of Lorne’s fault because he charges on the scene firing his gun randomly before running to the cellar. Carter kind of freezes and needs to be snapped out of a fugue state to get her to move and they all retreat to the basement.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter #11) by Nalini Singh





The Cascade is rising again, the power swelling and ancient angels starting to influence the world with their ancient prophecies

Prophecies which focus a lot on Elena, the only human born angel in existence. She’s gone through many changes - but will she survive how the magic changes her again?

But while the world is shaken there’s a more mundane, but deeply personal threat as well. Someone is killing vampires - including an attempt on her brother in law. She and the world may be under threat from magic - but her family is under threat from a killer and Elena refuses to let that go


I find myself clinging more and more desperately to Nalini Singh’s epic worlds because we’re seeing so few of these beautiful epic series. More and more are closing and, damn it, I love me a long epic! More epics! More book series with more books than I have digits!

And so we continue to the story of Elena - and I like that we are going back to Elena this book after several books of following more and more of Raphael’s Seven and their relationships, we’re now returning to the original, Elena, the first human born angel and what she means in this changing Cascade world. I like this revisit because we can see so much of how Elena has grown now we’re refocusing on her - another advantage of these long series. Some of this is very personal to Elena which really shows both a lot of her personal growth and journey as well as how she is so very different from other angels. Her relationship with her family, her attitudes towards her brother-in-law, her sister and, above all her father. She has evolved and has some much more mature and nuanced emotions towards her family as she and they have grown. Equally it emphasises she isn’t an Angel - how so many of those angels have no real familial ties of note. But we don’t just see her humanity but also how angelkind has changed her. She looks at angels she thought as cruel and sadistic and now she sees them from a much different perspective - she can see the risks they take with vampires as well as the angel’s cruel response. She’s not as condemnatory even while, at the same time, not quite signing off on it

Throughout the book we see Elena elegantly straddling that line between human and angel - and even her ties with the Guildhunters still putting her both part of the organisation but also apart. I also really like how this is never seen as a bad thing - sure she has lost some commonality over the books with some of her friends, but she still has her ties and in a genre where difference is so often seen as exclusionary or isolating, Elena has a really strong friend network. Which I also appreciate in paranormal romance where so many women seem to live lives with few truly close connections beyond that with their love interest. In fact, huge amounts of this book happen with Elena completely separate from Raphael - I would even say he is a bit character in this book, there more for what he represents than his actual presence. I’m not saying Raphael should be sidelined - but it’s nice to see us revisiting characters in a romance and her having a life that isn’t entirely focused on him

Friday, January 4, 2019

Requiem: Z Nation





As the last season of Z Nation reached the finale it was revealed that there won’t be another –I saw the news on Nana’s twitter account. Honestly, part of me is shocked that such a gimmicky show lasted for five seasons – but I’m still going to look back on this surprising sharknado of a series…


The Good

It’s original, it’s new, it’s different. To bring such zaniness, so consistently to a long running zombie show was definitely surprising. It managed to maintain a level of comedy and weirdness that we rarely see. And yeah, sometimes it was annoying, sometimes it was silly, sometimes it really
doesn’t make sense. But still it’s different and I really appreciate that, Addie, Warren and Murphy (the relationship between Warren and Murphy has so especially when backed with a really strong core cast. Especially Warren who I both think made this show and is completely wasted on this show. But 10k, many levels, I really wish the show had continued just to see more of it)

  
The Bad

I think Z Nation has always suffered from something of a tonal dissonance. It is zany and that does make it unique. And equally if it was zany every episode it would become way way way way more annoying and I couldn’t stand it… but this contrasts a lot from other zany shows like, say, The Librarians or even Warehouse 13. Because Z Nation will not only bring the plot occasionally as well, but it will go all out for epic, heart rending angst and deep emotion and deep complex relationships like the one between Warren and binge watch this show as you’d be going along and then Warren will TEAR OUT Murphy and… it’s confusing. I  can’t even imagine what it would be like to
YOUR HEART with utter grief.

And then the next episode we’ll have a giant ball of zombies taking out the liberty bell neither half realises the other half exists. No matter how serious Warehouse 13 or The Librarians got, they always remembered what show they were. It’s like two shows mashed together and

And I’m not saying the serious elements are bad because they’re really really not. Z Nation can bring the acting and pluck the heart strings… but it feels out of place.



The Diversity

Z Nation attracted our attention in the first season when we saw Obvious Designated Protagonist Straight White Male die. It may be the most stunned I’ve ever been watching a show - they killed the protagonist! Already!

And then Warren stepped up and made the show her’s and I didn’t have a second of regret. Warren was such an awesome character for so long, yes strong but still having scenes of grief and vulnerability, inspiring, positive while not being naive, caring and charismatic. Warren has always been excellent.

Of course Warren being excellent meant occasionally it was tempting to look past some of the more problematic portrayals in the series. The sexualised, servile treatment of Cassandra was appalling, their forrays among the Native Americans have been pretty cringeworthy and their jaunt to Mexico was fraught with stereotypes… but then it also has Vasquez and Escorpion, two definite complex, layered characters.

Sun Mei as an Asian stereotype pretty much ticks every trope box but she was a character despite that and the only word of criticism I could ever have for Kaia (and Nana) is there’s not enough of them. The show has always had a number of female characters alongside Warren and Addie, Red, Sun Mei, Kaia, George and that is always good to see in so many male dominated shows… but I do have to note that none of them are constants in her life like Murphy, Doc and 10k are.

LGBTQ wise we have virtually nothing for five seasons. Two recurring bit characters are revealed as possibly gay for pure homophobic comedy reasons and then never seen again. And Addie is bisexual - and if you just blinked and say “wait, she was?!” you may have missed it as this was referred two once in one episode and then never touched on again. Unlike both her male love interests. We’ve mentioned this trope so often - of course it’s not a problem that a bisexual character is in opposite sex relationships but it’s telling how often the only LGBTQ representation on a show will be That One Episode where a bisexual character briefly mentions their bisexuality for it never ever ever to raise again.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Z Nation: Season 5, Episode 13: End of Everything





It is the season finale of Z Nation and, sadly, the utter finale of Z Nation though I have a lot of thoughts on that to digest in the Requiem

Sun Mei died last episode and her brains have been passed on to Red to keep safe. Which she does. All episode. Bye Red, do you want a cushion for that plot box?

George is having one of her moments of struggle and doubt, struggle over what everyone has had to endure for Altura, if what it will achieve will be worth it or even be possible. If they are good enough for Altura and if she can keep going. This is an excellent emotional moment and perfect for George because she’s just endured torture. That should leave a mark - that should leave psychological marks. That should take some time to recover from it. And of course Warren gives her an excellent pep talk

Which… I get because Warren is a leader but at the same time Warren being George’s crutch has happened for far too long.

The bad guys continues being evil with Estes being all paranoid and Pandora using lots of sexiness to fight back. Including in front of Sun Mei’s corpse. Classy.

He has gathered all his militia and all his volunteers to send them to the staging ground identified by George… Pandora is so very very sure that she broke George

She is wrong… there isn’t an army of Talkers there. There’s 10k, Doc, Addie and Murphy all having awesome little character moments earlier. But now there’s Doc with a loud speaker making gun noises drawing them all in. And then 10k looking on, from a distance. Now, what can one sniper, even one as ridiculously good as 10k do against an army?

Weeellll, this is the apocalypse. And the show has belatedly remembered the real enemy out there isn’t Talkers or humans - it’s zombies. And how one human dead turns into a biting infectious zombie and how one sniper taking out 4 or 5 men in a tightly packed group can pretty much kill them all

I would think that this would cause 10k, Doc or George a little consternation? I mean they just caused a not-small massacre: that was Altura’s entire militia and a number of volunteers. That’s got to be a significant percentage of the population killed.

Estes and Pandora have a freak out over their entire army being destroyed when Addie and Murphy arrive with a lot of conscious Talkers… all here and ready to vote. With sympathisers at every gate to to let in more Talkers. See it’s election day and Estes expected all of the Talkers not to be there so the paranoid living humans could then vote for security and his Supreme Leaderness. Except the problem with no real alternative and, at the same time, threat of bombing means most the humans have stayed at home. Curse those low turn outs, scourge of democracies and dictators who are doing dictatorship wrong.

Now with lots of Talkers flooding in they can all cast ballots (because Estes has still left peace justice democracy and a constitution on the ballot?) and the living who were willing to see their loved ones kicked out decided to… just let the Talkers in now? Apparently?

Anyway, this is happening

Meanwhile Estes and Pandora run away chased by the good guys and Cooper is here! Yes, Warren’s sort of love interest from the beginning of the series. He’s here to remind Warren that he loves her and… put a pin in that Cooper, currently saving the world, ‘kay

But for reasons Murphy is going to stay and glare at him so Warren and George can go on to their big confrontation on their own. This involves confronting Estes and he doing the proper supervillain thing and explaining his big bad plan

So he has to kill the Talkers because they eat Lithium to stay “alive” and eventually they will run out (Sun Mei’s quote aside) and eventually they’ll have to kill them all. Which would sort of have a plan except we’ve already seen that zombie brains can feed Talkers, there’s a load of zombies and it take relatively tiny amounts of brains to keep them human. And hey if you have to kill them all you could wait until they’re mindless monsters rather than… well… jump the gun? Also I seriously doubt his estimate of how much lithium there is in the country because… yeah, there’s a lot more than what they’ve found. It’s not that rare.

Perhaps recognising that “kill them now so we don’t have to MAYBE kill them later” is a dubious motivation the writers have a second motivation for him- the planet. See to keep Altura working and being eco-friendly, they need solar power and batteries to work when the sun is down and these batteries need to made from Lithium so we can’t possibly feed them to Talkers - we have to annihilate all the Talkers so we can run a green economy! Yes to granola! No to fragile loved ones!

Um…

Ok, look, I greatly praise Estes desire to make a better, greener future. But the population of the world is pretty much less than a million people at this point? At least as far as we can tell. And they’re not using a whole lot of industry here… global warming is not a pressing issue any more… burn some damn coal. Or set up a wind turbine! The wind still blows at night! We’ve seen the dam already for that matter! This is not a reasonable motivation.

So he explains all this and Warren is recording it and Citizen Z is broadcasting this live to everyone who collectively gasp “ZOMG HE’S EVIL!!!! All of our prejudices are now invalid, let us not murder the Talkers we were rounding up and massacring a few days ago!” Because this is how prejudice works.

Anyway, he is FOILED! And more he’s just said Talkers are like totally totally icky and Pandora heard him! And this sinister characters has just learned that the guy who hates all Talkers hates, her, a Talker. She decides to blow up all the things, as one does.

This has Warren working with Estes to try and not blow everything up while George and Pandora have Blatant Character Moments in case anyone was asleep through all the previous character building. So, simplified: Pandora is evil and hates hates hates herself because she’s a Talker and is ugly underneath that mask and thinks it’s terribad awful. In case you missed that the woman who always wore a mask and denied being a Talker, hates being a Talker. While George refuses to kill her and tries (and fails) to save her… because she’s George and she cares

Except, y’know, about the entire armed forces of Altura who are dead who no-one seems to care about.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Z Nation, Season 5, Episode 12: At All Costs





We’re heading towards the season finale and the big confrontation at Altura. Murphy has been marched into a load of busses by Estes and his cronies. Not to go anywhere just to detain them.

Because buses are secure?

Murphy is not amused and Estes really should pay attention to when Murphy uses his terrifying super powers to control all the Talkers around him. Yes he sounds like he’s joking when he says “undead demigod” but he really isn’t.

Everyone else is sneaking into Altura despite the security, facial recognition and habit of shooting traitors in the head.

Ok, let this rant hereby stand for the whole episode because otherwise I’m going to have to say this over and over and over and over: 5 seasons of canon do not support the technology of Altura. The conditions the Alturans have been living under since the apocalypse do not support the technology of Altura. Computers are dubious from what we’ve seen, computer networks more so and even less necessary, mobile phones are ridiculous and, most of all, all this electronic and cybersecurity makes no sense. The enemy for these survivors has been, for the most part, mindless zombies. You don’t need facial recognition for this - it’s ludicrous that Altura has this kind of security structure

In classic Z Nation fashion they even lampshade how ridiculous this is with Murphy repeatedly being bemused by the fact they have phones. So take my rant as done so I don’t have to repeat it

Inside Citizen Z joins Kaia and they do a fair bit of hackingness while George and Warren are captured - apparently by design. Their presence is convincing Estes that the Talkers are preparing to attack. And he may be right because Doc, Addie and 10k have rescued all the Talkers to take them to a place they start fortifying… and we have a really nice father/son moment with Doc and 10k (in that it’s really real because Doc is all real and emotional while 10k is faintly bemused and doesn’t quite know what to do with all this emotion. The accuracy is painful). Addie is also still not entirely sold on Newmerica, not having enough faith in humanity to have it happen.

Pandora finds Murphy all alone and fails to get him to talk except to snark. I would have liked him to use his super powers on her but apparently not. The most disappointing part of this scene is that Pandora vehemently rejects the idea she’s a Talker. So rather than having some kind of long running sinister plan, it turns out she’s just utterly in denial over what she actually is… it feels like a missed opportunity to have a character more complex than evil character is evil. Anyway she leaves because she hears the vote is on - some dastardly vote of Estes to make himself supreme leader (only the living may vote, of course) so she decides to leave the demigod behind untouched. This is not a good idea