Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 7: Death and the Maiden

Silas, neck bandaged, is apparently still alive. And telling his story to random people at a bus stop who, unsurprisingly, think there may be something wrong with him. To be fair on Silas, he’s probably having a bad day – 2,000 years waiting to be reunited with your true love who then stabs you in the neck with glass? Yeah, that’s a pretty bad day. He decides to take out that bad mood on the poor people waiting on the bus, liquefying internal organs. Some people just have no way of handling their issues.

On to the doppleganger – Stefan has bad dreams from all his unpleasant memories and Elena wakes him up with coffee and bright happiness (one out of two isn’t bad) and Stefan’s memories are back. Elena thinks this is amazing (kind of forgetting that Stefan was heart broken and pouty before he lost his memory).

Damon tests Stefan’s memory and is suspicious that Tessa would just give him back all his memories without strings attached – well, except when he starts remembering his repeated drowning in a safe he shatters a glass in his hand. Memories have their own strings attached.

Next little problem: Amarra. So long as Amarra is alive, the Otherside will be around which gives them a chance to resurrect Bonnie (something they, it seems, can’t do if she goes to a more normal afterlife) which means they have to keep the now not-immortal and very human Amarra alive despite the fact her mind has been shattered by 2,000 years of being a statue and she is both babbling incoherently and occasionally trying to kill herself.

Bonnie herself is concerned what will happen to her when the Otherside disappears if Amarra succeeds in killing herself. She and Jeremy have another touching moment together that is actually touching – keep this up and we may have a good strong relationship that doesn’t revolve around Elena

Damon gets in touch with Silas, who is on a bus and being all kinds of random. See, he’s decided to go with plan B – kill Amarra, kill himself and go to the afterlife together since he doesn’t see a great deal of future with Amarra the suicidal and unhinged. And he’s not going to bring Bonnie back since breaking his promise may create a rift between Damon and Elena and he wants that because he’s pissed at the world and enjoying these petty torments.

Elena’s new plan is to keep Amarra alive because they have to bring Bonnie back – and make Silas do it somehow. But Stefan has gained several levels of pouty in that quarry and he just wants Silas dead (though his point about Elena putting her trust in the wrong people? Accurate).

Jeremy takes a sandwich to Amarra – and she recognises him as the hunter that Silas killed – that he should be dead; and she can see Bonnie – she is the Anchor to the otherside, she can see everything and Bonnie can touch her. Inspiration! Jeremy and Bonnie wonder if they could make Bonnie the Anchor – giving her the ability to stand on both sides of the divide at once (and, possibly, reaching Amarra’s mental state?) So they need someone who can cast the Anchor spell – someone who doesn’t want Amarra and Silas to die in peace….

Friday, November 15, 2013

Broken Dolls by BR Kingsolver

RB is a powerful telepath and a private detective, working outside the clans on a series of mundane cases, often finding cheating spouses.

But outside the clans doesn’t mean she has no ties to them and when a young druid is kidnapped – one among many, she is the one that Lord O’Byrne turns to to investigate.

The trail leads across Europe to a huge human trafficking network of vulnerable women – and uncovers tensions that may start a war between the clans

So much good to say here.

Let’s start with the world. A world with a huge hidden population of Telepaths – with varying gifts. Some of those gifts produces druids – or succubi (with lots of history explaining this odd link). And by varying gifts – our protagonist, RB has 15 separate ones and I get the impression she doesn’t even have a quarter of them so there’s huge scope for “varying” under that umbrella. The Telepath clans are woven into our history in a way that draws on it and explains their current affiliations, enmities and ongoing issues but doesn’t appropriate it (for example, the Clans are very involved in World War 2 but never said to be responsible for it) but with the odd name drop implying certain famous people are Telepaths in ways that work without being skeevy (like the Medici family for example) and just make me further appreciate the integration. The world is huge and awesome.

The plot is really fast paced and wide. It has a lot of elements all of which are inter-related and draw on each other as RB sees the conspiracy she’s facing grow every wider and more complex as the human trafficking she’s exploring becomes Europe wide and related to various clan plots. Despite that, RB is excellently focused on her goals among the temptation to bloat elsewhere. The action is really well written, the story is extremely fast paced – the race to find and save a girl, the many leads they have to chase down all feel both realistic and exciting; from the excitement of a new lead to the disappointment of another route blocked, it carries you along.

I love the main characters. She’s powerful without her super-woo-woo being her defining feature. She’s blessedly free of angst. She gets on with other women and doesn’t have any of those insta-hate moment. She’s sexual without it completely overwhelming the story. Her main assets, despite all of her super powerful magic and her supernatural beauty, is actually her brain and detective skills. She has familial support despite her estranged father, she has a community, she has a life and she’s happy about it. It’s kind of sad how rare all of these elements are and how refreshing it is to have a protagonist who combines all of them.

Revolution, Season Two, Episode Eight: Come Blow Your Horn

At the Willoughby Pool, Mile is violently interrogating a Patriot to find out where Horn is.  The prisoner informs Miles that Horn has men looking everywhere for him as well as Rachel and Aaron. Miles informs the prisoner that he is going to find Horn first. 

Rachel is spying on the Patriots and sees that Gene is amongst them.  Truman announces to the villagers that Stu Redman is really Miles and that Miles set off the bomb in revenge for execution of Monroe. Aaron is called out as Miles's accomplice.  Gene steps forward to say that Aaron and Miles fooled everyone.  Gene adds that Rachel and Charlie are victim who were manipulated by Aaron and Miles.  In closing, Gene asks for people to report in if they see them because he wants his family safe.

Outside of town, Aaron and Monroe are waiting for Miles.  Aaron makes it clear that they are not leaving because Miles promised he would meet there but Monroe has his doubts because of the ambush when Aaron arrived. Monroe wonders if Miles can get out of town or if he still alive. When Aaron reiterates that they are not leaving, Monroe agrees but asks Aaron not to light him on fire.

Charlie returns to the pool and tells Rachel what Truman had to say. Rachel asks Gene and Charlie admits to seeing him and suggests that they find a way out of town. Rachel says that they cannot live because the Patriots will never give up and never stop looking for him, unless they kill Horn first. 

Neville approaches the Patriot Regional Outpost in Glendon, North Carolina. When he is stopped Neville says that he there to see commander Roger Allenford.  Neville holds up Justine's ring and says that he will only speak to Roger. Neville is escorted to Roger's office and informs him that she is alive but tied up, safe and hidden.  Roger tells Neville that he has a lot of balls coming here and announcing that he has Justine captive.  Nevile reminds Roger that Justine is an enemy of The United States of America. Neville asks if Roger is a good patriot and he agrees that Justine is guilty of sedition and should be punished.  Roger questions why Neville didn't bring Justine in.  Nevile replies that Justine is a dark spot on his spotless career and that people must be questioning if some of Justine's treachery rubbed off on him.  Neville suggests that if Roger brought Justine to justice it would solve all of his problems. Roger questions why Neville would do this and Neville not only admits to being ambitious but suggests that there is value in being friends with a man like him.  Neville asks Roger if he would like to come and see the Mrs with a face very reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat.

Truman, Gene and Horn are having a little conference.  Horn is not pleased that Aaron and Miles have not been found and he threatens Gene. Horn is certain that someone knows something and suggests lining up all of the people that Aaron knows and shooting them one at a time until someone gives Aaron up.  Truman is appalled by the suggestion and reminds Horn just how hard he has worked to manage this town.  Truman reminds Horn that they have a plan but Horn is not satisfied and questions how many years it will take for The Patriots to take the whole continent. Horn says that if he can figure out what makes Aaron tick they can take everything in months, before dismissing both Truman and Gene.  

Rachel hands Charlie an energy bar she found but Charlie is not impressed.  Charlie tells Rachel that she knows that she is angry but argues that Rachel does not know why Gene did what he did.  Rachel simply states that Gene sold them out and questions why Charlie does not hate him for it.  Charlie reveals that she hated Rachel for abandoning her and he brother and for killing Nora.  Rachel says that that's not fair because this is different. Charlie says that hating her was the easy part but letting it go, that's hard.  Miles enters and says that the place is like East Berlin and that The Patriots have dogs.  Charlie asks if he found the place and Miles replies that their captives information about the basement of the old paper factory is accurate. Rachel questions if there is a way to get in there a drop some kind of device and Miles replies that it is not going to be easy because the place is sealed up tighter than a drum. Miles adds that he saw Truman walking in with Gene. 

Miles is standing on a boat looking around.  Aaron goes below and sees Cynthia huddled by herself. Aaron asks Cynthia to talk to him and she asks if he killed Carl.  Cynthia points out that Carl died in a car fire and that it was always strange.  Aaron says that Carl hit him and that he got angry and couldn't control himself.  Cynthia is upset that Aaron lied to her and points out that Aaron murdered Carl and then slept in her bed. Aaron says that he is sorry and that he didn't know how to explain it. Cynthia replies that she has had enough liars in her life and asks Aaron to leave her alone so that she can think.

Miles's injured hand is clearly not healing.  Charlie and Rachel are inside working on some kind of poison.  Rachel snarks that she always dreamed of cooking with Charlie, just not like this.  Rachel plans to drop the gas and kill everyone inside. Charlie wonders what they are going to do if Gene is there when they plan to act, but Rachel does not comment.

Monroe has decided to go and look for Miles in the belief that if he was coming, he would have been there by now.  Aaron follows and asks what happens if them find him and Cynthia. Aaron tries to stop him and says that they wouldn't last three days without him. Monroe argues that Miles has information he needs to find someone and now it is Miles's turn to hold up his end of the bargain. Patriots with torches approach and Monroe is forced to hold Aaron. When the Patriots get close, Monroe attacks and takes out about six of them on his own. Unfortunately, more Patriots hear the gunshots and head in their direction.  Monroe says that the patriots will not kill Aaron but will kill him and so he takes off running. Cynthia starts to scream but for Aaron can get to her is grabbed and injected with a sedative.

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 6: Sorry for Your Loss

Flashback! 7 years ago, Russell is playing the piano in a recital – excellently. And then he continues playing it without using his hands and seems rather surprised by this. He covers well though. Despite the judges accepting him, his father unleashes some harsh criticism in Korean. He also calls Russell Ryung, but Russell prefers Russell – much to his father’s disapproval and goes into a full blown “do you know what I’ve done for you!” rant that parents do so well. He also doesn’t want to hear about Russell’s telekinesis difficulties – which only become more concerning when Russell kicks things in anger – and sends them flying

Present day Russell is helping Stephen earn some money by hustling pool. Then in comes Piper, playing wonderfully ignorant of all things pool – and promptly wipes the floor with him. Of course (the minute she didn’t know what a queue was was a clue there). She also seems to be using telekinesis which Russell and Stephen think to each other. When she plays ignorant about hearing their thoughts, he throws a ball at her – which she stops with telekinesis. See, that could have been terribly embarrassing if he were wrong. She runs, they chase, she hits them with a queue and disappears.

Back to HQ and John and Cara put on their judgey faces since last time they went out and about people were shot which really ruins a party, but scolding is delayed by Tim passing on the news that Russell’s father has just died of a heart attack.

Russell wants some alone time, just claiming he and his dad weren’t close despite being obviously upset. She and Stephen recap some events from last week and that Irene is apparently fine. Cara is still giving John the silent treatment – not for keeping it a secret that he can kill (which clearly disturbs him and he considers himself warped) but for not letting her into his head because he could have more secrets she’s not allowed to play around with. Russell interrupts and wants to go to his dad’s funeral; Cara starts to lay down the law in which case Russell says he won’t return – but he’s going. John insists on going with him (she’s pissed that he’s “running out” on the conversation about how all his brain meats belong to her).

At Ultra, Darcy shows Stephen a picture of Astrid and reminds him that secret missions for deadly conspiracies are not really something you should invite your friends to – and how she’ll look the other way now but Jedikiah will kill Astrid if he finds out. It is, after all, how Jedikiah deals with pretty much everything. And he realises that Ultra knows about Piper (not much – just that she’s a teenaged Black woman).

Stephen rushes to HQ to tell Cara – who says it’s a bad time, they have to hide. Stephen says it’s like John never left and that Cara is “minding the store” for her boyfriend. Seriously? She saw several of her people shot – excuse her if she’s not eager to risk everything, again, for a complete stranger.

American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 6: The Axeman Cometh

New Orleans, 1919 and a man types at a typewriter while spookily reading it aloud – a taunting message to the papers in which he describes himself as a demon. He’s the Axeman, an axe murdering serial killer with massively high opinions of his own power – and lots of blood stains on his suit. He will go out and kill people again – but will spare any household that is playing Jazz when he goes prowling

His threat is read at the Academy by the then generation of witches who worry about what to do – many considering how to play jazz or whether records will suffice but one of them protests. They’re witches, they’re powerful and they’re suffragettes and she urges them not to cower and hide.

The Axeman walks down the street hearing jazz loudly playing from every home until he reaches the Academy – from which opera emerges. The door is left open. The word trap is emblazoned in neon lights above the door (not quite but still). Axe in hand, he heads towards the offending soprano. He finds the record playing and a woman dealing a tarot – the death card comes up and he swings his axe. She vanishes and appears behind him and stabs him in the heart with a dagger. Witches come from every corner of the room, each with daggers all stabbing him in a wonderfully dramatic scene – got to admire that visual.

Zoe, doing some random exploring when a series of spooky coincidences lead her to a hidden cupboard. Inside are pictures, a spirit board (oh no, bad idea) and other old artefacts of the school. She takes her find to Nan and Queenie and points to the pictures – the school used to have to sleep girls in bunkbeds it was so full and the numbers declined every year until they are the only three students. Witches are dying out and no-one seems to be doing anything to fix that (Queenie brings up Fiona but Zoe points out she’s less interested in saving witches than burning them) – so they need to stick together and watch each other’s backs. Sealing their commitment with drinking absinthe – though Queenie isn’t so sure how much she needs a couple of white girls to watch her back since she’s been looking after herself for so long.

Then she gets out the spirit board (no no no – 3 girls playing with a spirit board? Nooooo…. Have you not watched just about every horror film ever?!) Queenie has experience and tells them how much of a bad idea it is since it doesn’t just call ghosts it releases them. But she goes along anyway with Zoe’s plan to find Madison – they ask questions and find a ghost, that was murdered – and says they were the ones who murdered them (three guesses as to which ghost they found) He spells out the name Axeman. Queenie kiboshes the whole thing, knocks the glass around and tells Zoe “if survival is so important to you, you need to find out who you’re talking to.”

At least someone has sense here.

A More Diverse World Blog Tour

As Aarti excellently points out, speculative fiction in general, is extremely erased when it comes to POC. Not only are People of Colour authors erased but it is actually harder to find a book about People of Colour that is written by Person of Colour - and as we’ve said before, Author Authenticity Matters. We have also a guest post pointing out some of the pitfalls facing POC as well as the Gatekeepers authors often face.

We strongly recommend checking out the full tour and seeing the authors who have been reviewed by participants.

With us, we simply couldn’t decide, especially since we have very recently read several books written by POC it seemed a shame to highlight one that we happened to read close to the time, rather than all of the POC-authored books we have read both this year and over the lifetime of this site.

L. A. Banks:   

Alicia Wright Brewster:

Octavia Butler

Janiera Eldridge

Seressia Glass:        

Nalo Hopkinson:

Julie Kagawa

Ambrielle Kirk

Sang Kromah

Marjorie Liu

Shawntelle Madison

Nnedi Okorafor

Ifè Oshun

Jaime Reed

Kimberly Richardson

Cecilia Robert

Kashif Ross

Stephen Roy

Nalini Singh

Kenya Wright


Ellen Oh, Greg van Eekhout, Cindy Pon, Rajan Khanna, Ursula LeGuin, Melinda Lo, Ken Liu, K. Tempest Bradford, Daniel H. Wilson, Rahul Kanakia and Paolo Bacigalupi

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Danse Macabre (Anita Blake #14) by Laurell K Hamilton

Anita has missed her period. That’s more than enough drama considering the possible fathers, bickering from Richard and the various birth defects that vampires and shapeshifters can have.

But that is eclipsed by another problem – Jean-Claude is holding a grand meet up of Master Vampires to watch the ballet. Masters of the City are gathering in the city, including several of Jean-Claude’s old friends. So many Masters together is bound to be a source of drama – each with their own hidden ulterior motives to navigate. And Anita’s powers – her Beasts, the Ardeur – are eternally unpredictable leading to a whole new level of problems

This book has a pattern. Woo-woo happens: Anita’s the beasts rise, the ardeur does it’s ardeury thing, Belle Morte drops in to cause trouble because she really really needs a hobby, the Mother of all Darkness looms into vision and is all spooky but doesn’t really do anything. They deal with the woo-woo, this usually involves sex or pseudo-sex or almost sex (of course it does) and then they talk about it. For hours and hours and hours. For once this isn’t the book where sex completely overwhelms everything else – this is the book where TALKING about sex completely overwhelms everything else. Sex, their powers, their angst, their issues it’s vast chunks of people sat around talking about woo-woo and Anita’s vagina. All made even more painfully long winded by people having not a braincell between them so having to have everything explained to them AGONISINGLY SLOWLY!

Augustine’s issues: woo-woo, sexy times then absolute chapters of post-match analysis with him completely not understanding, well, anything – we have pages battling his issues, his emotions and the problems of his woo-woo. We have chapters of it. Samuel’s family drama – woo-woo, sexy times, then more pages of post-match analysis. Then we have Richard’s issues for more endless discussion. Then Anita and Asher have a woo-woo/sexy/angsty discussion moment. Over and over again, the pattern repeats itself – all interspaced with the endlessly returning woo-woo drama: the super-ardeur means Anita’s vagina will eat all of the guests – let us talk about this for chapters on end!

We actually have a pregnancy scare in this book. And it’s a background plot point – I kid you not, it is driven into the background by the endless woo-woo/sexy/discussion scenes in this book.

Normally when I review a book I mention what happened in the book and how it relates to the story to date. With the Anita Blake series, I have actually read all the books and am now coming back to them which gives me the unique opportunity to also mention how what happened relates to the future. I wouldn’t usually do that because of spoilers and because it’s not really relevant most of the time – but in this case there’s a strong exception.

The Originals, Seaon One, Episode Seven: Bloodletting

In the Quarter, Marcel is holding a vampire fight club.  The number one rule of fight club is don't talk about fight club. Apparently, the winner of fight night will move one step closer to getting into the inner circle and getting a daylight ring. Klaus makes an appearance and snaps the neck of one of the fighters saying that he would like a word. Marcel questions what Klaus is doing. Elijah makes his appearance and he threatens to kill everyone including Marcel if they don't hand over Haleigh. Marcel does his usual proud and ridiculous bit by claiming Elijah and Klaus have a lot of nerve to come into his homes and makes demands.  Klaus questions if this is really Marcel's home and Elijah and makes it clear he wants Haleigh. Marcel asks if they are talking about Haleigh and questions who she is.  Klaus tells him that Haleigh is an old friend and Marcel admits that he was surprised when he got to the plantation to find Haleigh there.  Marcel offers to help find Haleigh and questions that if Haleigh isn't here then where is she.

Haleigh is in the back of a moving van and struggling to escape. Tyler opens up the back and he tells Haleigh not to fight him because she cannot beat him.  Tyler tosses Haleigh over his shoulder and starts walking.

Elijah and Klaus are sitting comfortably, when they are approached by Marcel. Marcel tells Elijah that he liked him better when he was daggered and then to Klaus that he owes him the world. Marcel tells them that the can benefit from the help of a witch and says that Sabine will help them find their girl before leaving. Klaus questions where Marcel is going and he replies that his night walkers have to get inside and he has a city to run. Marcel asks Sabine if she can find Haleigh and Sabine replies that she can try.

Haleigh is in a cabin deep in the bayou. Haleigh tells Tyler that he ambushed her in her own backyard and Tyler makes it clear that she was shacked up in a mansion with the psychotic Klaus. Haleigh says that a lot has happened since they saw each other last and Tyler brings up the hybrid baby. Tyler points at Haleigh's birthmark and explains that she comes from some sort of werewolf royalty and that there is nothing significant left of them.  Haleigh sees a woman run by and she begs for help but Tyler informs her that wolves cannot help her because they have been in the woods hiding due to the fact that they have been persecuted by the vampires for decades. Duane walks out of the woods and helps Tyler get Haleigh in doors.

Sabine does the spell and tells Elijah and Klaus that Haleigh is deep in the bayou. Elijah wishes that Sabine could be more precise and Klaus quips that Elijah is worried about his shoes.  Sabine points out that there are encampments of werewolves out there. Klaus snarks that their company may not have been good enough for Haleigh.

Josh is sitting in a bar, when Marcel approaches and suggests he joins the other vampires.  Marcel then brings up Josh's visit to Klaus's plantation. Josh tries to run but he is stopped by Marcel's vampires.

Klaus and Elijah are in the swamp and Klaus suggests that Elijah has taken on a leadership role since his return in the hopes of impressing Haleigh. Elijah tells Klaus that it is a mistake to treat Haleigh like a walking incubator. Klaus picks up a scent and heads to Tyler's truck.  Elijah questions why Tyler would have any interest in Haleigh.  Klaus says that Tyler wants revenge because he want after Tyler's girl. Elijah suggests that this is the least of Klaus's offenses.  Klaus reveals that Tyler was the first werewolf he turned into a hybrid and that he was forced to kill all of the other hybrids after Tyler turned them against him. Tyler then ran and so Klaus killed his mother.  Klaus suggests that Tyler needed to be taught a lesson and Elijah questions what lesson Klaus will be taught if Tyler retaliates by harming Haleigh.  Klaus tells Elijah to go ahead and save Haleigh and then reminds him that he has already sampled what Haleigh has to offer. Klaus adds that he will kill Tyler himself before taking off.

Marcel heads to see Devina and she immediately reports that someone was doing magic in the quarter.  Marcel tells Devina to stand down because he approved of the spell. Marcel then dumps Josh on the floor and explains that Josh has been compelled to spy by Klaus and rather than killing him it would be better to flip Josh and have him spying on Klaus for him.  Devina says that she can make Josh forgot what Klaus told him but the more Klaus said, the more it's going to hurt. Marcel tells Josh that it is going to hurt a lot and Josh quickly agrees. Devina starts to work on Josh and he collapses on the ground screaming.

Tyler heads back to see Haleigh and she tells him about the wolf which has been watching her and asks if has been him all along. Tyler denies that it was him and says that he is the only hybrid left except Klaus.  Haleigh reveals that the entire Original family has made a pact to keep her and the baby safe. Tyler questions what makes Haleigh think that he is afraid to die.  Duane enters the cabin and Tyler tells Haleigh that he is going to take away the thing Klaus wants most as he uses a needle to draw blood from her stomach, before quickly killing Duane.

Marcel is at St. Anne's and pauses when he sense Rebekah.  Rebekah demands to know what Marcel has done with Haleigh and starts kicking his ass. Rebekah says that Marcel used her and then took Haleigh. Marcel denies taking Haleigh and wonders why Rebekah came back.  It seems that Rebekah is worried that Klaus will find out that she accidentally led him to the plantation. Marcel swears that he would never rat Rebekah out and would never do anything to hurt her. Rebekah says that all of Marcel's charms and manipulations prove that Marcel is every bit the liar that Klaus is. Rebekah demands that Marcel prove her wrong and so he tells her to follow him.

Tyler tells Haleigh that Duane volunteered to this and adds Duane is a werewolf who died with Haleigh's blood in his system. Haleigh surmises that Tyler is trying to make a hybrid.  Tyler reveals that he met a witch who had nightmare visions about Haleigh's baby and how Klaus could use it to make an army of hybrid slaves. Haleigh says that the baby is just a baby and that she is sick of the witches and their premonitions.  Tyler says maybe but points out that all hybrids are sired to Klaus and that won't happen this time.  Haleigh wonders how Tyler knows that Klaus is sure what the baby will be able to do and Tyler points out that Klaus is a killer of men, women and puppies and therefore it is unlikely that Klaus just wants to be a daddy. Tyler reminds Haleigh that hybrid can walk in the sun and their bite is lethal to vampires.  Duane suddenly comes back to life and instructs him to feed on Haleigh.  Tyler slices Haleigh and Duane sinks his fangs in as Haleigh screams.  Duane goes a little wild and heads outside to calm down as Haleigh struggles to reach the knife that Tyler dropped. Outside Duane reports that he feels better than ever.

Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 6: Heaven Can't Wait

Oooh the recapping of past episodes suggests we’re finally going back to meta! Excellent…

And our opening splatter victim is in Idaho, hanging up on a suicide prevention helplines. He points the gun at his head but puts it down, crying, when he sees a picture of a woman and child. A live saved? Naaah, a man enters, shrouded in shadow with a cross earring, puts his hand on the man’s head and splatter happens. The power looked angelic, so he possibly tried to possess him.

To Castiel! Yes he’s back

And he’s working as a shop assistant (apparently doing a really good job) under the name Steve and desperately mimicking human behaviour. The newspaper reports 4 local disappearances or deaths – including the splatter in the opening credits

To the Winchester cave, where Kevin has successfully crawled out of the Plot Box where most television minorities find themselves banished to when they’re not needed by the protagonist. Kevin has translated the Angel Tablet – into Cuneform and then into a dead Ilemite language. This is not helpful. But Kevin gets enough off them to see reference to Fallen angels in Metatron’s footnotes so it’s possible they can reverse the whole banishing angels spell and send all of the “winged dicks” back to Heaven. Research time! Dean is just thrilled.

Dean is saved from the horrible scourge of reading by Castiel calling with info on the case – well some info. His hands are full with a machine that dispenses blue liquid. I don’t know what it is. I don’t want to know what it is. I think people drink it. I’d advise them not to.

Dean plans to go check it out despite the very limited information while Sam is bemused by the lack of knowledge and has to be kept in the dark anyway because Ezekiel, the angel possessing him, wants to be the only angel in the Winchester cave. Kevin provides the excuse – Dean just wants to duck research

At his work place, his boss is bemused by the sleeping bag in the back room and Castiel claims he just stayed late taking inventory and he totally has a home and bed. Honest. She also invites Castiel out on a date because, well, Castiel.

Dean, playing fake FBI agent, checks on the four missing – the four confirmed dead – people. All of them were depressed and suicidal – but it wasn’t suicide. How can he be sure? Well the crime scene is… messy. The body has been vaporised and a fine mist of blood and tissue has covered every single surface turning it all a rather nauseating shade of pink.

Dean contacts Sam who is having no luck with the research – of course one person who may know is Crowley (they don’t keep him chained up for the one-liners. Frankly, I think his one-liners are more than enough reason to keep him around).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sleepy Hollow, Season One, Episode Seven: The Midnight Ride

We begin with a flashback to Paul Revere's ride announcing that the English are coming.  The men are riding through the countryside when who should appear but the headless horseman. One by one, he slaughters the mind riding behind Revere.

In present day Crane is astonished with the amount of food Abbey has stockpiled and declares that if they had these kind of supplies during the war, they could have taken Lexington within a day.  Abbey has decided to stockpile supplies in case they need to stay in one place and hide from he horseman for an extended period of time. Ichabod grabs a bottle of water and is astounded that Abbey would pay for water.  He suggests that they should drink tap water or from the lake but Abbey argues that tap water has chemicals in it and that the lake is too polluted.  Abbey's alarm goes off, letting her know that sundown is one hour away.  Abbey says that she will grab Corbin's shotgun from the precinct while Crane meets with the Masons. Ichabod replies that the Masons believe that they have discovered a way to exploit the horseman's weakness and questions Abbey's decision to miss the meeting. Abbey makes it clear that she is not welcome around the Masons because she is a woman.

On her way to the precinct Abbey runs into Morales.  Abbey moves quickly and explains that she is trying to get ready for Jenny's release from the institution tomorrow. Morales says that he wants to talk to her for a few minutes with Crane hanging over her shoulder and admits that while things have been awkward between them, he would like to spend some time with her. Morales asks if they can be friends and Abbie agrees to have coffee with him the next afternoon.

That evening, Morales is walking when he hears someone call his name from an alley.  It turns out that it's Brooks and Morales draws his gun.  Morales says that he thought Brooks was dead and Brooks responds that rumors of his demise are pretty much true.  Brooks advises Morales to stay away from Abbie and adds that he is the only one who can protect her at the end.  Brooks tells Morale that the time is coming when he will have to pick a side.

Abbey heads to her car and when she checks her phone, she has a message from Crane saying that he is going to talk to the Masons about excluding her.  Crane asks Abbie to meet him.  When Crane arrives at the Mason's he hears a sound similar to two gun shots.  Abbie pulls up outside and sees the headless horseman in the window so she grabs her gun.  When Ichabod moves through the house, he finds the Masons headless.  The horseman manages to escape.

Frank at the Mason house hoping that the perpetrator isn't headless. Frank questions why the Masons got their heads chopped off and Crane explains that for five hundred years, the Masons have been involved in secret war between good and evil. Frank asks where he heads are and Abbie explains that they were taken.  Exasperated, Frank declares this ritual suicide because he has run out of theories to cover for the supernatural events in his reports. Frank points out that he doesn't have proof that the horseman exists and adds that he has to notify the families before leaving.

Crane is going through the Masons files desperate to find information on the horseman.  Crane says that this isn't the first time he has lost friends in battle and this won't be the last.  Crane comes across a book with a page ripped out and throws it on the floor in anger. Abbie wonders if the horseman came looking for him  and Crane vows that he will not leave this earth with the horseman still in it.  Abbie reminds Crane that the horseman beheaded August Corbin and that she to has a stake in what happens. Crane noticed a picture of Washington with a slash through it and then surmises that the horseman was looking for his skull. Abbie replies that the last time the horseman went after his skull, Katrina warned them that this would hasten the end of days and give rise to the three other horseman.

Back at the station Frank questions Crane and Abbie about wanting to destroy the horseman's skull.  They are interrupted by an officer who reports that Frank has numerous messages from the FBI. Abbie explains that if she destroys the skull that it will never come back to him but Frank reveals that he sent to skull out to another lab. Crane points out that the horseman will kill every night until he gets the skull which will force Frank to inform more families of the death of their loved one. Abbie asks Frank to trust them.

Frank heads to the lab and calls out for Paul.  He finds Paul at the microscope and thanks him for coming in so late.  Paul reveals that the biopsy on the skull came back unreal but are still waiting for carbon dating.  Frank asks for a box to transport the skull, just as outside the horseman is arriving. The door opens and the horseman enters firing an automatic weapon, so Frank dives for cover.  Frank actually manages to shoot the horseman a few time but of course the horseman is unharmed. Frank grabs the skull and makes it out of the lab to his car and leaves the lot as the horseman looks on.