Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 13: Total Eclipse of the Heart

Katherine, after 500 years of running and hiding is now free, young and healthy to do anything in the whole wide world. So she’s going to pursue Stefan Salvatore.

Of course she is. Because leaving town and all the many people who will very very quickly realise something is up and try to get Elena back (for some bemusing reason, they like her) INCLUDING Stefan, the man she is pursuing, is just out of the question.

To college – yes, we’re back in college – with Caroline rhapsodising about being free and single and fresh starts etc etc (which involves a party. Of course it does) while Bonnie continually reminds them that she’s not actually single or bitter or broken hearted (keep that up Bonnie and they’ll drop you back in the plot box). Rather than listen to Caroline’s babble, she’s more interested in the girl next to her using rather obvious telekinesis.

Stefan goes home to find a car full of dead Aaron Whitmore, the house trashed and Damon crashed on the sofa. Stefan isn’t impressed by Damon’s killing spree (c’mon Stefan – one body is hardly a spree), is surprised that Damon and Enzo are such good buddies and is further unimpressed by their plans to slaughter all things Augustine. Personally I’m totally on board this plan. Stefan makes an attempt to save his brother from being all evil and sexy but Damon is much happier with his murdering self.

Kathlena (yes I’m going that) is still using Matt as her guide to imitating Elena and Nadia as a Matt keeper – which is vexing for Nadia who thought she would actually get to spend some time with mummy dearest. Surprise Nadia! Your mum’s not a nice person.

Over to Dr. Wes who has kidnapped some random guy called Joey to continue his evil experiments (and evil exposition) and turn Joey into another vampire-feeding-vampire while moaning about Aaron cutting off his funding. When in drops mysterious lady Sloane with some mysterious blood that needs analysing – she has money, she offers protection and before Wes gets all snippy, she also knows Aaron is dead and Wes may be next on the list.

Cut to the murderous twosome – Enzo and Damon have kidnapped Diane, head of college security, so they can drain the vervain from her and ask her pointed questions about why she’s covering up for vampires. Unfortunately she can’t point them towards Wes so she’s dead (and lo, another POC dies on Vampire Diaries, the list is rather stunningly long).

Stefan makes another attempt to save Damon – this time by menacing Enzo and trying to drive him off since he’s a bad influence (hah, like Damon needs a bad influence). Of course, having been tortured for decades, Enzo isn’t giving up Damon’s help on his quest for revenge (or mayhem afterwards) nor does Stefan driving a shovel into his chest bother him unduly: he’s suffered through far far worse. He gives Enzo a death threat which, on the whole, isn’t all that menacing.

Kathlena is still floundering around with Caroline when Stefan calls with his Enzo worries - Kathlena has no idea who that is but at least uses the excuse to drag Stefan to the party with her.

At the bar Nadia gets a question from Kathlena about Enzo and Tyler shows up wanting to drink – and wanting to drink with Nadia despite Matt’s warnings. Frankly I think “she said she’s sorry” isn’t really a good way to make up for locking Matt in a safe and burying him alive. But hey, Vampire Diaries, absolutely no-one is held responsible for their actions on this show. Anyway they have a who-has-the-worst-mother drinking game and when Tyler steps away to go to the toilet (which, apparently, hybrids have to do), Nadia takes the opportunity to ask about Enzo; except Tyler’s super-hearing hears the whole thing.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Blood Guilt (Blood Hunters #1) by Marie Treanor

Mihaela survived the murder of her parents and sister at the hands of vampires.  She has spent her life as a vampire hunter, tracking the murderer, while attempting to keep humanity safe from the vampire threat.  After a surprise alliance with a few key vampires, the hunters now find themselves divided.  Some hunters desire to end contact and continue an adversarial relationship, while others seek to enlarge the partnership and work on building a relationship between vampires and humans.  Despite all that Mihaela has been through, she is quite undecided and so she takes a trip to consider her options.  When she is forced to save a child whose psychic power seems to draw him to vampires,
Mihaela finds herself in a race against time to not only save the child, but all of humanity from a new vampire threat.  Unfortunately for Mihaela, this time not only is the world at risk, but her very heart, when the vampire Maximilian appears and demands a partnership because he too has a special affinity with the child.  In the process of saving humanity, will Mihaela lose her heart?

The Blood Hunters series is a follow up to the Awakened by Blood trilogy.  This is my first exposure to Treanor's work, so I cannot speak about the continuity of this work.  I will however say that once again, we have yet another story where the female protagonist has a tortured past, leaving her essentially isolated.  Dead parents has become such a common trope that at this point, it's beyond tiresome. 

Blood Guilt is the typical paranormal romance in that it has the typical boy meets girl but girl doesn't like boy storyline.  They work together and boy and girl come together briefly, until something comes between 'them to add tension to the story and finally the problem is overcome and we get the HEA. Blood Guilt is like a paranormal romance written by the numbers because there is no movement from the typical narrative and no doubt from the very first word how this story is going to end.  I will say that Treanor at the very least skipped the all too typical comparing of a penis to things like tree stumps or wrists. Unfortunately, Treanor did include having Maximilian say repeatedly that he could smell Mihaela's arousal, which to me just reads as disgusting genital odor. Yes, I know this sort of language is typical, but that doesn't make it any less gross.

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 13: Things Fall Apart

A very powerful paranormal robs a bank – when the police arrives she teleports their cars away – and teleports the billets out of their guns, before sending everyone flying with telekinesis and engraving “hi dad” on the wall.

Teleportation just became 900% cooler.

And Stephen wakes up – apparently a dream (he’s getting precognition now? Why bother, he doesn’t use the special woo-woo he already has)

He jumps out of bed – but is grabbed by his mum on the way out – she’s worried about Astrid’s disappearance and isn’t a big fan of the “she’ll be home soon, trust me” response.

At Tomorrow People HQ, John rather pathetically fails to clean himself which he should be able to do but it gives Cara an excuse to sponge him down – which she’s quite quite happy to do. Which leads to talking and kissing

Stephen barges his way into Jedikiah’s office, outrages that Ultra would send a kill squad after Astrid (are we going to have the “Ultra is evil” reminder again?). After Jedikiah confirms that, yes, they’re evil and yes, they will kill Astrid, Stephen quits.

…he’s really having a problem with the whole “Ultra are evil” thing isn’t he?

Astrid, meanwhile, is getting antsy and angry that she can’t call her father who is worried sick; she appeals to Cara the only one who can let her contact the outside world but for both her safety and her dad’s safety, Cara refuses. After Astrid storms off, Stephen arrives to report him quitting Ultra (so can you get my family to safety… no? Ok then still not convinced on the whole Ultra=evil then) and that he dream possessed a new paranormal break out. Which may mean he has a super-Cara-like connection to her (and extra emphasis on the femaleness)

Yes, the love triangle is back on.

At ultra the Jedikiah worries about the new breakout while the Founder questions why Stephen was even allowed to quit – that whole evil organisation thing. On to the Founder tracking Stephen down and Stephen deciding to avoid him by going down a deserted alleyway – because he forgot about teleportation, I guess? Anyway he has a deal for Stephen: bring in Cassandra (the new breakout) and Astrid will be totally fine. Apparently Cassandra is the Founder’s daughter (hence the “hi dad” graffiti)

Someone remind Stephen he’s dealing with an evil organisation.

At Tomorrow People HQ everyone looks at the footage and is suitably impressed by Cassandra’s power and John drops in that she’s probably a Synergist – a paranormal who had 2 paranormal parents and, as such, is mega powerful. John makes a token “hey this is a really bad idea” but now it’s lampshaded they can all get on with it.

All Aboard the Redemption Train!

'Train' photo (c) 2010, Scott Calleja - license:
One of the more common elements of Urban Fantasy series (and fiction in general) - especially long running series is the redeemed villain. After all, what can be a more dramatic plot twist than to see two people who were once sworn enemies now standing side by side against a greater foe? And there’s definitely a lot of drama potential in a villainous character coming to see the error of their ways and becoming a complex, nuanced character who grows into their new role among the main cast who in turn grow as they slowly learn to accept the once hated enemy as a potential ally - and even friend

Redemption storylines have great potential to be excellently dramatic character building plots that are wonderful to see. If they’re done right. If they’re done wrong, they’re character breaking, unrealistic and carry all kinds of unfortunate messages not just about the villain but about the whole cast

Redemption storylines work when redemption is recognised as a process - it takes several steps to redeem a character, steps we need to see. We need to see the villain recognise their villainous actions, we need to see an attempt to atone, we need to see some respect given to the awfulness of the terrible things they’ve done and a long process to earning back trust that should not be easily achieved.

Of course, not every ally needs to be redeemed - there’s a big difference between an alliance of convenience in awful situations and redeeming someone is not necessary - for example, in Revolution Rachel and Miles are forced to work with Monroe - Monroe doesn’t have to be redeemed because no-one is looking on him as a good person; but as a bad person they have to deal with at the moment. Contrast that with Miles himself, the war criminal whose terrible past exists only for him to show his guilt and we have a very different situation.

Which typifies how redemption is done wrong - the Redemption Train. The fantasy genre is littered with evil doers who have been put soundly on the Redemption train with nary a nod to their wrongdoings. The most obvious recent example is that of Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries. In season 5, episode 11 (500 years of solitude) a large majority of the cast sat around drinking in celebration of Katherine’s demise. What’s wrong with that you ask? Let’s start off by stating that Damon is no better than Katherine. He is a rapist, has a history of killing for sport and has even attempted to murder the brother of the woman he claims to love. They have taken his redemption so far that they twisted the story to blame Vicki’s death on Katherine, rather than Damon because Damon came to Mystic Falls to find Katherine.

Other examples of the redemption train include but are not limited to, Damon’s brother Stefan whose nickname is the ripper for his violent habit of decapitating his murder victims. No need to worry though, Stefan is now completely musty, angst ridden and sorry so the fact that he is a serial killer is totally not relevant.  

When it comes to werewolves, Teen Wolf hopped on the train when they decided to redeem Peter.  He must feel like Jesus because it seems that resurrection does wonders for magically washing away sins. Peter also has great company in the form of the goody two shoes Allison. But Allison has suffered you say. Her mother was murdered. Does any of this give her the right to decide to be a party to torture and murder? Thank goodness this was just a phase because her sugary goodness returned to sicken the audience.

This is not a phenomenon limited to Tv Series. In Kristen Painter’s House of Comarré series, we are introduced to long suffering Mal who has been cursed to be a beast. He slaughters people without thought until the day his victims’ names get tattooed on his body and he is forced live with their voices. Nothing makes a vampire complete a transition to good faster than a love interest who demands purity. Chyrsabelle with her virtuous purity pushes Mal right onto the train and all of his misdeed are quickly forgotten - besides they have bigger fish to fry.

You would think that with all of the issues going on in a dystopian world that the characters would be too busy for a redemption train but you would be wrong. For the entire first season, Monroe was the Black knight to Miles’s white knight. The problem of course is that Miles was an equal partner in the creation of the Republic and given his past history and his treatment of Rachel we have every reason to believe that he was ruthless. Because true love must conquer all, Rachel is more than happy to put that aside and not only become allies with Miles but engage in a romantic relationship with him.

There are examples of Redemption done right, and for all it failed with Hook, Once Upon a Time did an excellent job with Rumplestiltskin. For a long time the characters only dealt with Rumplestiltskin when they felt they had no choice - his powers forcing people to work with him. But he was rarely extended trust and his misdeeds were constantly held up for us to remember. As he grows closer to the Charmings and their family, he is continually greeted with that same suspicion that only gradually - and grudgingly - thawed with repeated set backs. Once Upon a Time is also interesting in that it has Regina, whose Redemption Train is notable as being too hard - and too frequently derailed.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Originals, Season One, Episode 13: Crescent City

Monique, one of the girls who was sacrificed for the harvest is lying in her grave and as we hear a heartbeat increasing, Monique opens her eyes and begins to panic.

Father Kiernan is presiding over the opening of St. Anne's.  Marcel is distracted by someone but Klaus orders him to pay attention and look like a committed parishioner.

Sabine/Celeste is giving a tour through the cemetery and she stops at the tomb owned by the Devereaux family. Monique is still in her tomb and is still crying out for help. Sabine/Celeste announces that someone in the family has recently died, as Monique manages to cause the bricks to her tomb to explode.  She climbs out the tomb and Sabine welcomes Monique back to the land of the living, as tourists take photos.

Sophie rushes into the tomb and Sabine announces that it's a miracle, as Sophie and Monique embrace.

At the end of the ceremony, Klaus and Marcel stop to talk to Kiernan about Tunde, asking if his human sources have heard anything about Tunde.  Father Kiernan says that he can steer clear of whatever war is brewing between the witches and the vampires.  Camille interrupts briefly, congratulating Kiernan on re-opening the church and quickly leaves.  Father Kiernan excuses himself and chases after Camille.

Klaus gets  a phone call from Diego, who says that they have a special delivery.  It seems he has found Papa Tunde dead in a circle. 

Kiernan is back at the church doors saying good bye to parishioners when Bastianna exists, grabs his hand and begins saying a spell. Bastianna tells Kiernan to give Sean her regards when he sees him in hell and then draws an x on his hand.

Elijah, Marcel and Klaus are standing over Tunde's body.  Klaus wonders why Tunde was left for dead on their front yard, if Tunde was the witches prize fighter.  Rebekah enters the room and tells them about Monique exploding from the grave. Marcel says that they are going to get Davina back by killing the witch who took her place.  Haleigh suggests that they need to kill Celeste because when Davina warned that a great evil was coming that is who she was referring to. Klaus believes that the witches are declaring war on the vampires.

Later, Rebekah and Elijah are alone and Elijah says that Haleigh is not safe at the compound and requests that Rebekah take her to the plantation house until this is all over.  Rebekah questions whether Elijah is worried about Haleigh or whether he can trust her.  Elijah says that it's because he trusts Rebekah that he is asking her to do this.  Rebekah turns the tables and suggests that they should let Haleigh decide for herself, rather than having Elijah dictate her fate. Elijah argues that he cannot take Haleigh because that would reveal his feelings.  Rebekah finally consents in the hopes of ending the disagreement between the two of them.

Rebekah heads towards Haleigh's room but she is stopped by Marcel, who reveals that he saw
Genevieve at the church.  Marcel adds that Genevieve has a good reason to want to come back and to complicate matters, she knows secrets that neither Marcel or Rebekah want to become common knowledge. Rebekah says that she has to take Haleigh to the plantation and asks Marcel to find
Genevieve and end it like they did the last time.

Camille is working at the bar and Kiernan comes in. Camille is not happy to see him because he was talking to Klaus like nothing had happened. Kiernan asks for a drink and when he picks it up, his hands are shaking.  Camille notices Kiernan's shaking hands and Kiernan reveals that what happened to Sean, is about to start happening to him because he has been hexed.  Camille says that there has to be an antidote. Kiernan asks Camille to get as far away from him as possible. They are interrupted by Genevieve, who puts Tunde's knife on the table. Genevieve tells Camille that in order to save Kiernan, she must place the knife in Klaus's heart. 
Haleigh and Rebekah arrive at the plantation and Haleigh admits that she agreed to go the plantation because tonight is the full moon.  It seems that Haleigh wants to invite her family over and has arranged for Josh to get a message to Eve in Bayou.  Rebekah is miffed that Haleigh didn't ask for permission but Haleigh reiterates that tonight is the one night a month she gets to be with her family.
Sabine is walking through the quarter when Elijah shows up and asks her to be his family's ally among the witches. Sabine informs Elijah that they may be able to make a deal with him but not if it involves Klaus.  Sabine reminds Elijah that he has a niece on the way.  Elijah suggests that they should walk together. 
Sophie sets food in front of Monique in the hope that she will eat. Monique asks what happened to her mother and Sophie tells Monique that her mother loved her and had faith that she could use magic to complete the harvest.  Sophie adds that Monique's mother sacrificed herself for the witches. Sophie then adds that she lost her fate but realised that if she didn't believe that she would be letting Monique down. They are interrupted by Marcel, and Sophie is not impressed to see him.  Marcel reveals that he wants to awaken the three girls who were sacrificed during the harvest.  Monique confirms that Marcel is telling the truth and that he is loyal to Davina.
Klaus meets Camile in St. Anne's and she tells him that Kiernan is in the attic, resting and praying.  Camille says that Kiernan is going to go crazy and die just like Sean.  Klaus sits next to Camille and admits that he knows why she hates him.  Klaus tells Camille that the lies Kiernan told were meant to protect her and that he is a good man, with a loyal heart.  Klaus adds that the attack on Kiernan should be proof that the witches are the enemy.  Klaus stands to leave and Camille stops him to hand over Tunde's knife saying that the witch who gave it to her promised that Kiernan would be saved if she stuck it in his heart. Camille says that if she were more like Klaus, she could stab him and adds that if there is a war going on, she wants to be on the winning side.  Klaus promises to look for a way to save Kiernan.
At the plantation, Haliegh is hanging clothes on a line, as the wolves make their approach. Haleigh tells the wolf that she is looking forward to meeting hir soon.
Klaus bites his wrist and pours blood into a chalice and Kiernan cuts his hand to force the vervain out of his system.
Several people are now gathering clothing from the line, as inside the house, Rebekah is tending to the food on the stove.  A shirtless Oliver (thank you for that CW) makes his way into the kitchen and asks if Rebekah is an Original. Rebekah says yes, clearly aroused by Oliver and she calls out for Haleigh.
Monique and Marcel stand by as Sophie prepares to do a locator spell to find the witches holding the harvest power. Sophie tells Marcel that if she betrays the witches, they are going to come looking for her and if she is found she will be dead.  Sophie demands money to make sure that Monique is able to get out of the quarter if things go bad.
The party is in full swing outside and Rebekah joins Oliver to dance.  Oliver tells Rebekah that tonight is a night to celebrate life and their family. Haleigh heads back inside to clean up and she is interrupted by Jackson, the wolf who has been watching her. When Haleigh assumes that Jackson has been watching her because of the baby, Jackson says that his interest is in her.  Jackson reveals that their parents knew each other and that Haleigh was supposed to be his wife.  

Elijah and Sabine continue to walk through the quarter and Elijah stops and says, "as surprising as you may think, it's not everyday that someone asks you to betray your own brother Celeste."  Celeste asks how Elijah knew and Elijah says that when Sophie discovered there was no magic in her remains, he wondered if Celeste had placed her essence into the body of another to cheat death. Elijah begins to lay out proof of how he came to deduce her identity. Celeste and Elijah have the most awkward kiss ( Daniel Gillies clearly wanted no part of Shannon Kane) and Celeste calls Elijah her lost love. Celeste asks why Elijah doesn't understand that she died because of Klaus.  Celeste adds that she died because of Klaus and that Elijah stood by Klaus because of his vow.  Elijah begins to look pale, becomes dizzy and he falls to his knees. It seems that Celeste put an enchantment on Elijah.

Full Dark by Ty Lawrence

Ashlyn is a sorceress but she is not a very powerful one.  Her life is spent enslaved to a vampire named Brennen who is addicted to her blood.  Ashlyn loathes him but knows that without his protection she will quickly held captive by another vampire who may not be as kind as Brennen. Though Ashlyn's yellow eyes mark her as other, she wants nothing more than to participate in the human world and pretend that she is not different.

Ashlyn suddenly finds out her precarious her world is when she awakes one morning to find her house entirely empty.  Not only is Brennan missing but so are all of the children he sired.  Things escalate when the cops start sniffing around and asking questions Ashlyn can possibly answer if she wants to remain alive. 

Full Dark is told in the first person and this would have worked if Ashlyn was even remotely an interesting character.   She spent most of her time simpering and being anything but active.  I understand that Ashlyn spent most of the book in peril surrounded by creatures far stronger than herself but she was nothing but a pawn throughout the story.  Even her one rebellion keeping a nosy cop alive was weak. Ashlyn seemed to spend far too much time either screaming, drinking or crying.  Ashlyn existed largely to be a victim.

Supernatural: Season 9, Episode 13: The Purge

Somewhere in the middle of Minnesota (I’m not going to bother checking where, these places are all fill in for “middle-of-nowhere” America which is Supernatural’s bread and butter –or blood and gore anyway).

It’s a hot dog eating competition; after which the winner gets in his car and something happens to him. The large man is deflated, almost drained until he withers – then something gets out of the car. What a shame, the man had a “Bacon Makes Everything better” bumper sticker – he was clearly a wise and informed soul.

At the Winchester cave it’s time for the morning routine with a little extra tension – a lot of extra tension (and a little pouting) – and Dean has dug up the mission to find out what happened to the mysteriously wasting man.

Time to impersonate Federal agents because no-one ever checks these things after Bobby died, and ask the super-nice police woman about the case who describes how all his internal organs were sucked out while eating doughnuts. He did have a rival, Slim Jim, on the competitive food eating circuit. Yes circuit. Apparently competitive food eating is a big thing in that area.

Despite his air tight alibi they go interview Slim Jim (eating lettuce in training…) and poking around his house reveals his wife is superstitious – and Romani. They actually take a step to point out that she doesn’t like “gypsy” because it is a slur, before her non-Romani husband informs everyone how wrong she is, but on the plus side he does so in such blatantly ridiculous terms as to make it pretty clear who is actually wrong.

Back at their hotel room they research that the bag is a Putsi bag which they say is used for curses, when they’re interrupted by said wife who wants her bag back (anyone else notice how bling Dean’s gun is?). She didn’t kill the other man, she loved him and was actually having an affair (Dean is bemused since the dead man was fat and her husband is called Slim Jim for a reason but she counters the idea that fat is inherently unsexy). She points out that Putsi bags can be used for blessings

Time for victim number 2 – a woman trying to lose weight for her wedding is bludgeoned from behind in a gym and then is drained and shrivelled. More investigating and this time they find the suction mark where the fat is drained out. They split up for questioning different people, Dean choosing the option that lets him question attractive women because a) he’s Dean and b) he says Sam is awkward around women (with more tension snark about “honesty”). As Dean questions the woman, he notices she has a suction mark as well.

Some investigating and they find out the trainer with the suction mark had also lost a lot of weight lately after going to spa called Canyon Valley that guarantees weight loss without diet, exercise or surgery.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Night Owls (Night Owls #1) by Lauren M Roy

Val is a vampire, running her bookshop with Chaz, her Renfield and living a normal life – very normal, away from all the messiness of vampire politics or of her past

Until Elly enters her life. Elly, protégé of the great hunter, Father Value, has a book that the old hunter gave his life to acquire – a book that may hold the key to the Jackals (or Creeps) increasing their dwindling numbers. Since the Jackals are monsters who eat human flesh with a special taste for virgins, no-one really wants that.

But the Jackals are very eager to get their prize back and as they amass in greater and greater numbers, Val and Elly have to take greater risks and make some dubious deals to keep the book safe.

Especially since the book has decided to lodge part of itself in a college student that they’d both rather didn’t die.

That was fun.

Which is odd, because this book is also pretty involved with several well developed characters who are interesting and nuanced, more than a few difficult and fuzzy situation and a decent plot that draws all of them together. Such books tend to be deep or interesting or fascinating or exciting – but they don’t tend to be fun. They don’t usually have the lightness to them to be fun.

Night Owls is fun. It manages to hit that balance that keeps all the dark, heavy scenes and all their impact – while still keeping a lightness that is fun which is really really hard to do. Usually one or other has to be sacrificed

The star of the book – and this balance – was the characters. We had a number of characters and I honestly can’t pick a protagonist – either Val or Elly are prime candidates. But all characters have some depth and motivation behind them giving them a strong history and strong presence and motivation. There’s Val with her past as a hunter, bad experience with vampire clans  and general wish to lead a nice, peaceful life – which is so much BETTER than a legion of Musty vampires we’ve seen who randomly decide to normalise for some random, ill-defined and ill-explained guilt. Elly has just forcibly been ripped from under the shadow of Value, her mentor and a truly great hunter; she has an excellent mindset of finding her future, her chosen past while at the same time having her hero-worship of her former father-figure slowly chipped away. Both these character’s experiences and growth are showcased through others – Chaz, the Renfield and in many ways the very avatar of Val’s normality and Cavale, another former student of Value’s whose anger brings home to Elly their mentor’s flaws as well as underscoring how ill prepared she is for the world. But even these characters have their own motivations and issues that go beyond mere extensions of the characters they complete.

Almost Human, Season 1, Episode 9: Unbound

It’s another field trip of school children – haven’t we just had one of those? Do they happen daily or something? Dorian tries to show the kids educational things while John tempts them with fun but totally inappropriate things. Of course John shows them gruesome pictures of a criminal who had his arm blown off which isn’t just inappropriate for kids but is inappropriate at any time – cops really shouldn’t be gleefully boasting of maiming people.

Away from John traumatising children, a hooded figure shoots a young woman and steals her bag – he runs but within seconds he is surrounded by a gazillion drones and androids. They surround him and when he raises his gun they shoot him. Removing the mask reveals a service droid (a robot) and apparently not the first one reprogrammed to commit crime.

The droid is moved into the evidence warehouse, but once alone it reactivates. It gathers several pieces of evidence, including a female android head (the same head we saw in the pilot that Insyndicate were looking for) and some weapons. It replaces its featureless head with the female one and arms up. She leaves, shooting the guard as she does.

Time for the gang to review the footage – and they recognise the head: she’s an XRN (which they thought they destroyed – apparently only the body). Maldonado orders vast resources for a city wide mobilisation of an awful lot of police, she goes so far as to call the XRN out there an act of terrorism. John makes the Insyndicate connection – and worries that they’re going to hit “the wall”. Whatever that is.

 Dorian looks on, confused – there’s no record of XRNs anywhere. You and me both Dorian – did we skip several episodes of exposition here?

Cut to XRN killing a taxi driver – to underscore Maldonado saying how dangerous she is.

John then expositions to Dorian (in a REALLY overdramatic voice), the file has been removed because it was embarrassing. Lunacore made the DRNS – and when the DRNS were decommissioned for being unpredictable, the company was in severe financial trouble so created the XRN – a soldier more than a cop. At the demonstration something went wrong, there were so many casualties they had to set up triage. They sent in waves of police and MXs but the XRN is very hard to kill, 26 police died. It took them three days to corner and destroy the XRN until they only had a head left.

News from Rudy tells them that the person who modified the first bot was pretty damn good at his job  - but even that has limits and that the XRN will need a new body soon.

To the XRN arriving at a warehouse with several android bodies – so much for that limit. She picks one (in fishnet tights and a basque, of course) and rearms and armours. She spins to point the gun at an older man who walks in but he says her name – Danica.

The gang arrives at the warehouse after she leaves; finding the older man, Nigel Bernard apparently knocked unconscious and being treated by the EMTs. But Dorian recognises the man – he’s not called Nigel Bernard; he recognises Dorian at the same time and hurries over excited and happy to see Dorian and that he’s still police. He reaches out to touch Dorian’s face – then stops and asks Dorian’s permission first. The man is Dr. Nigel Vaughn – who created the DRNs and changed his name after the debacle.

Being Human (US), Season 4, Episode 4: The Panic Womb

Time for their wonderful, normal lives – including Josh exercising all the time and trying to keep a track of wolf triggers and Nora holding things together and making allowances. Those allowances also extend to Josh having, as Sally puts it, the attention span of a dog in a field full of squirrels. This also makes him unsuitable to help Sally find out about the little girl who died she keeps seeing in magic visions. Sally has dubbed the child Lil’ Smokie so I’ll run with that.

Aidan is having a wonderful dream about Kat – including turning her into a vampire to prove his eternal commitment to her – and a whole lot of sex which is interrupted most abruptly by Kenny. Aidan is not amused (kids always interrupt at the worst time). His ex-wife Suzanna, not-that-he’s-telling-anyone-that has just killed 10 more vampires – and since his men have seen Suzanna watching Aidan Kenny, naturally, assumes she’s after him. Aidan continues to deny all knowledge

Awww he’s just worried about Aidan – which causes all kinds of guilt so Aidan lets him leave by the front door and not sneak out the window. Which means Josh and Nora learn that Kenny’s still alive and not dead after nearly killing Nora as Aidan had promised them. They’re not thrilled but Aidan responds with sense, apology AND firmness; they’ve all made mistakes and needed second chances, he has to be responsible for the creature he created and, yes he lied but they wanted him to murder his son so not entirely unexpected. Josh is outraged and angry – but Nora (the new awesome Nora) is well aware of what she and Josh, as werewolves, have nearly done when out of control. Josh listens but he leaves – having to run and not deal with it.

Sally is pursuing her investigation by bothering Zoe. Zoe is hardly thrilled given the number of times Sally has been involved in terrible things happening to her. Sally babbles at Zoe until she gives in –it’s a surprisingly effective tactic.

That doesn’t mean Zoe can’t be passive aggressive and snarly. But then, even when she didn’t have good reason to be pissed at Sally she was already pretty passive aggressive and snarly. She does find out that Lil’ Smokey’s real name is Beatrice and that her parents moved to Brooklyn.

Road trip to Brooklyn! They find the Bensons – only to find Mr. and Mrs. Benson are apparently dead. But Beatrice – Lil’ Smokey – is surprisingly alive, along with her daughter. Zoe makes up an excellent cover story to ask all about Beatrice, the neighbourhood, her past – and everything seems stunningly normal. They get nothing, much to Sally’s frustration; Zoe considers the case closed, no way is Sally going to drop it

On Josh’s run his wolf senses kick in and he runs up to Caroline, rather startling her. She’s heavily pregnant – and a werewolf. She welcomes the chance to unload to someone who understands and tells him all about her – she and her husband Andrew were attacked by a werewolf 3 months ago; they’re both werewolves and aren’t thrilled by it. But, on the plus side, becoming a werewolf made them able to conceive after a long time trying and failing. On the more questionable side, she’s 3 months pregnant and she looks full term. Obviously, she hasn’t seen a doctor and Josh offers Nora’s help since Nora and Josh are nurses.

Teen Wolf, Season 3, Episode 17: Silverfinger

Chris isn’t dead (except his hair because that is still tragic), he’s been doctored by Allison while she,  and Isaac get a recap about the last time Chris tangled with the Masked shadows. In Japan, when he was buying guns from a yakuza boss for Grandaddy Argent. The Shadows go after anyone with a connection to the supernatural. Back then they wanted to Yakuza boss and carved a path to him - the boss was a supernatural of some kind but he still was killed, rather dramatically

There was another survivor from then – Katashi, aka Silverfinger (for shiny prosthetic) who seemed to know something and it was he that Chris went to question (he’s in town, yes of course he is), though he may not want to talk. To jog Katashi’s memory Chris has a momento – he shot one of the shadows in the Mask, it didn’t kill it but it did slow it down and allow their escape and give him a mask to take home. Behind their mask was only dramatic darkness.

To Kira who sneaks back home and remembers Scott giving her a ride, confirming that, yes all of his friends are part of the monster club: and showing his wolfy side when she asks. (How come Scott doesn’t look all dramatic and alpha-y?) something she seemed to find awesome and fascinating and all kinds of good. She’s an odd one that Kira.

Scott goes to school – and is followed by two other bikers. The twins have taken it upon themselves to be Scott’s bodyguards since the “demonic ninjas” were definitely looking at Scott. Scott instantly pushes from some space so he can talk to Stiles without them eavesdropping. Stiles is all panicky because he thinks he’s involved/being controlled/something – only now the coded message about Kira is missing and so is the mystery key on his keyring. He also remembers that the bomb Barrows used was very similar to the idea he used playing the joke on coach (except using nuts, bolts and screws in a shrapnel bomb is hardly original). Scott tries to reassure Stiles, not willing to believe he’s involved especially when he’s this… stressed.

And seeing Kira, Scott worries that the Masked Shadows may be after his new love interest because DRAMA. Of course he seems to forget this when he sabotages the twins’ bikes so he can have some alone time with Kira.

Anyway, Chris Argent (and his tragic hair) has a plan to make Katashi actually talk to him – sell him an antique gun! Of course, Allison and Isaac are going with, especially since they need to have something in place to stop Scott being involuntarily tattooed before nightfall.

They head off but Katashi is a recluse and, as Isaac snarks, not that willing to come out of hiding to buy a gun. Isaac will snark anything, I approve. In revenge, Chris (and his tragic hair) unleash plan B: using Isaac to distract Katashi’s agent while Allison and Chris sneak in and find Katashi. Isaac falls completely to pieces at the very idea so Allison gives him some courage with a quick make out and grope session. Not in view of daddy.

Apparently it works though I don’t think cocky-smirking-swagger makes him look mature. But he does succeed in keeping them busy until it turns more sinister when Katashi’s representative reveals he knows a little more about the gun’s history – with strong hints about the Argent family and the werewolves. Issac flashes fangs… just as Chris defeats the last guard to reach Katashi himself, both of them pointing guns at each other (which is a kind of bad ass way of saying hello). Katashi isn’t paying attention to his surroundings and Alison takes his gun with a chain (in a way that probably wouldn’t have worked but, hey, it looks good). Unfortunately Isaac is then led in at claw point – he isn’t the only werewolf in the building.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Revolution, Season One, Episode Thirteen: Happy Endings

Rachel and Charlie struggle to revive Gene who has stopped breathing.

Connor is still holding Truman captive, so Truman orders his soldiers to take the shot. Connor warns Sanders not to take the shot.  Monroe playing the role of sniper, kills Sanders and the soldiers all back off.  Connor grabs the drugs, ties Truman up and leaves.

After a struggle, Rachel is able to revive Gene, just as Connor runs in with the vaccine.  Rachel orders everyone receive a dose and Connor says that they have to go.  

A patriot finds Truman tied up and he orders the key found..

Charlie, Connor, Rachel and Gene hop onto a wagon but are stopped at the gates.  Connor claims that they are going on a supply run, so the soldiers open the gates for them. Just outside of the gates, they pick up Miles and Bass.

When Truman rushes into the tent, he finds that Rachel, Connor and Charlie left him one dose of the vaccine and he quickly takes it.  It makes no sense to me why they would leave a dose behind for Truman because they know exactly what he is and what he is capable of.  The only reason not to kill him off is because the writers want him to continue to be thorn in the side of Miles, Rachel, Bass and Charlie.

A clearly beaten Neville is dragged into the oval office to meet the president.  Neville struggles to his feet and is ordered to take a seat.  The president reveals that he knows that Tom has spent the last six months plotting to kill him.  Neville starts to lie but president Davis cuts him off saying that his charm won't work because he knows the truth.  Davis reveals that he got his information from Julia and that Julia is alive for now.  Neville asks why they don't kill him and Julia. Davis replies that he has plans for  Willoughby Texas and it just so happens this is where Monroe is.  Monroe being alive is a problem because he was supposed to have been executed. The president tells Tom that he is to hunt down Monroe and execute him and to make sure Tom complies, the president shows Tom a picture of a battered Julia which he then rips in two.  Monroe asks to take Jason with him because Jason wouldn't want to see his mother dead anymore than Neville does.

Gene awakes coughing and looks much better.  Outside, Connor approaches Charlie saying he is thankful that he was able to get the medicine because there were three guns him.  Connor starts to brag to impress Charlie and she plays along briefly before walking away.

Miles tells Monroe about the typhus and Miles argues that they need to buy some mercenaries.   Apparently, Monroe has a friend in New Vegas.

Five days later, Jason and Neville arrive in Willoughby and appear in Truman's office.

Charlie has her bag packed and Miles tells Rachel that Charlie is going with Bass and Connor to keep an eye on them. Rachel resists but Miles makes it clear that neither Bass or Connor can be trusted. Charlie hops into the back of the wagon as they drive away.

Truman lies and says that he saved the town from Typhus and asks how many men Neville needs.  Neville says that he knows Miles and Monroe and that he will find them and kill Monroe.  When Truman asks why he should listen to Neville, Neville tells Truman that he has orders.   Truman reminds them that one word from him and Julia is a dead woman.

Patricia and Aarron arrive at Lubbock Texas and Cynthia asks what they are looking for.

The Originals, Season One, Episode Twelve: Dance Back from the Grave

Celeste is walking through the cemetery with the witches she raised and admits that she has been coming to the cemetery each century wearing one face or another.

We then shift to a voodoo ceremony involving a snake, presided over by Papa Tunde. He talks about practicing ancestral magic and pronounces that a great darkness is coming - pirates, beasts and vampires. Tunde throws the snake into the fire, saying that he practices sacrificial magic to vanquish his enemies. Tunde then asks for his family to be accepted into the coven with him as the leader.

Elijah and Klaus are holding a meeting with a crime family made of werewolves.  Elijah talks about prohibition, which is about to become legal and suggests that the crime family traffics alcohol but the vampires would continue to rule in secret.  Their meeting is interrupted by Papa Tunde, who wants to know what is in the alliance for the witches. Tunde declares that he is a king of the city and Klaus suggests that he is either ambitious or quite mad.  Tunde demands that the vampires and werewolves offer tribute for allowing them to live in New Orleans. Tunde then presents the council Elijah gathered with the head of the mayor. There is some kind of marking on the mayor's forehead.

Marcel shows up for a meeting of the vampires called by Klaus, and Diego complains that Klaus is a no show.  Marcel is snarly and tells Diego that they are under a new regime now. Klaus walks in with Thierry and announces that he has given him a pardon.  Marcel comments that Klaus's visit to Mystic Falls has put him in a good mood.  Klaus then moves on to Davina, reminding everyone that with Davina's death, they can no longer monitor the witches. Klaus suggests rousting the witches to keep them on their toes and asks Diego to lead.  When Marcel moves to leave, Klaus asks him to join Diego but Marcel declines.

Elijah and Rebekah are walking through the quarter and Elijah tells her about Klaus granting a pardon to Thierry.  To Elijah this is a sign of progress for Klaus. Rebekah reveals that she is the one who talked Klaus into releasing Thierry because Thierry hates Klaus and because Thierry used to date a witch, he knows about French Quarter covens.  Rebekah hopes that Thierry can lead her to whoever stole the harvest magic. Rebekah is convinced that someone stole the magic and when she finds out  who, she plans to make  an ally out of them.  Rebekah adds that she is tired of being bullied and controlled by Klaus. Of course, musty Elijah is not at all pleased and asserts that Klaus is making an effort to change. Rebekah says that this is a trick played over and over again by Klaus and in the end, she always gets a dagger.  Elijah asks Rebekah not to provoke Klaus and she walks away in anger.

Klaus finds Marcel and he is not pleased to see Marcel depressed.  Marcel tells Klaus not to push him.  Klaus tells Marcel that he is boring and shirking his duties.  Their argument is interrupted by Diego.  Diego takes Klaus and Marcel to see two vampire bodies which are lying in a magical circle with  marks on their forehead matching the one on the mayor from earlier.  Marcel immediately moves to leave and tells Klaus that if he wants revenge, he will have to get it himself. Klaus vows to find out whoever did this.

Thierry takes Rebekah to a factory of sorts where there is a magical circle on the ground. Rebekah tells Theirry that someone is copying a very powerful witch and that she doesn't understand why someone would leave the circle there for them to find. Tunde appears and grabs Rebekah by the throat and immediately starts saying a spell.  Theirry quickly makes an exist, as Tunde pulls out his magical weapon.

Elijah and Klaus talk about the murders of the vampires and Klaus tells Diego to gather all of the vampires and return with the head of whoever did this.  Diego says that this is going to be a problem because everyone is a bit freaked out. Diego reminds Klaus that Marcel made sure that vampires weren't being killed by witches.  Klaus replies that Marcel has run off like a scared child. Klaus declares that the vampires are stuck with him and asks the other vampires who will fight to defend their home.  None of the vampire volunteer and Klaus says that he will handle this himself.

Cami is leaving a message for Sophie, when Marcel walks in looking for Sophie.  Marcel sits at the bar saying that he has witch problems and thinks Sophie might have the answers.  Cami is surprised that Marcel is not on top of the world because they have Davina back.  Marcel explains about what happened to Davina and then throws his drink in anger.

Haleigh is in Davina's room looking at her drawings when Elijah enters. Haleigh is trying to figure out why Davina drew those pictures of Celeste.  Elijah swears that they will find out exactly what is going on.  Haleigh assures Elijah that she is not worried and points out that it took a supernatural threat for him to enter the same room as her.  Elijah apologizes if Haleigh feels neglected and adds that even their slightest interactions upset Klaus. Haleigh says that she gets it but that it's a really crappy deal.

At the bar, Marcel's phone rings and its Klaus so he does not answer.  Cami question why Marcel is loyal to Klaus and Marcel warns Cami not to play the game.  Marcel offers to tell Cami a story about someone who went up against Klaus.

In a flashback scene, Marcel is wearing a soldiers uniform have returned from WWI and enters a party, where Rebekah is sitting with two men.  Marcel makes his way towards her and asks about a welcome home.  Rebekah says that she is not happy to see him and reminds Marcel that he left her in a box for 52 years.  Klaus returns and welcomes Marcel with a warm embrace.  Klaus tells Marcel about Papa Tunde and Elijah's belief that they should negotiate.  Papa Tunde enters the party with his entourage and Klaus welcomes him.  Marcel is confused by Klaus inviting his enemy into his home but it was all part of Klaus's plan.  Cami calls Klaus a sociopath and a monster.

Tunde has  Rebekah in a circle and lays a snake on her feet after killing it. Tunde places his thumb to the mark he made on the Rebekah's forehead.   When Celeste walks in, Tunde declares that the power of the Original sister flows through him.  Celeste asks if this will be enough to make Klaus suffer. Tunde declares that when he is done with Klaus, Klaus will wish that he could die.

Decide (Hellbound Series #3) by Tim Hawken

Michael continues his battle against Asmodeus – not just through revenge but also to end the injustices that God has created and fix the flaws of his creation

But how does one fight someone who can predict your every move, someone who can see the future, some who will always be 2 steps ahead?

Only by being unpredictable. Only by trusting others. Only by not even knowing what you yourself are going to do next

But not knowing your own plans also means you do not realise what you have chosen to sacrifice…

This book is nearly impossible to review without giving away spoilers, while at the same time even a hint of spoilers would ruin some of the major issues of the book.

The world of this book continues the previous two books in the series with its complexity and nuance: the nature of hell, purgatory and heaven, of demons, of their sins and of the denizens of each realm is maintained and revealed with the same steady, well paced, well balanced skill. From the manipulating of the elements (the nature of magic) to the way the three realms are separated and the very nature of angels, demons and the powers that shape the world we have a huge world here with lots of elements that need to be carefully balanced and explained so the reader doesn’t get lost – and it really is well done. Not only over this book, but over all three books, each building on each other, revealing more and reinforcing what has already been learned: here we have some excellent development on the very nature of foresight, the core of the battle against Asmodeus and further display of just how very broken the current system is. This isn’t done in clumsy info dump – but through a lot of showing of injustices, of seeing people time and again caught in the clumsy simplicity of the system Asmodeus has created. Not out of malice – it’s far too simple to have the bad guy be just malicious – but out of complete lack of understanding and an overwhelming self-centredness.

What I particularly liked was seeing how the flaws of Asmodeus’s creation is reflected not just in Hell – where the flaws are writ large – but also in Heaven with the constant dual refrains maintained: deception and ego. The whole of creation is Asmodeus’s lie – not just a lie to everyone else, but to himself about what he has created – and his willingness to twist everything (certainly what people believe) to further elevate his ego. Even Heaven itself is hierarchical, constantly requiring people, driving people, to seek Asmodeus’s favour. It’s excellently presented because it is a continuation and development of the books that have preceded it, this world constantly being reinforced and unfolded before the reader without any inconsistency.

But with lots of questions. These books are never going to be easy reading. They beg lots of difficult questions about good and evil, truth and lies, authenticity and honesty and control. Even relatively minor elements in the book have vast questions attached – like the demonic angels, the avatars of sin; in theory evil but also inherently what they are, inherently honest avatars of their true natures. Or the furies, old powers with their own city – powerfully displaying the very wrongness of blanket condemnation without nuance or examination – a city of women who have been wronged and have sought to defend or avenge, condemned without any reasonable examination of their crimes.

And rarely have I seen a book adequately present foresight and its power as well as this one. Ultimately, an enemy who can predict your actions is one who is nearly impossible to defeat because he will always be ahead of you – the complexities this brings derailed the entire campaign and requires vast conspiracies, secrets and some truly excellent manoeuvring to actually have a chance in the final battle against Asmodeus.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fangs for the Fantasy Podcast: 2014, Episode 4

It's Monday! Time for another episode of Fangs for the Fantasy, the podcast where we examine many of the shows we've been following this week, along with our book of the week and dissect them all from a social justice lens (though, alas, still no mermaids.).

You can join us here and you can listen live on our youtube channel, here, or in our sidebar. All will also carry a recording after the show is finished. As ever all our previous podcasts can be found in the archive

The podcast begins at 7:00pm EST (technology willing)

Including: The season finale of American Horror Story (including these "strong" women losing their powers around men), The Vampire Diaries (Elena in front again), Teen Wolf (which is awesome), Bitten (staying too close to the book), The Originals (allll the olllld tropes), Helix (finally starting its storyline).

For those keeping up with our books of the week - our next few reads are:

27th January - 3rd February: Under Attack by Hannah Jayne
3rd February - 10th February: Wild Things by Chloe Neil
10th February - 17th February: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
17th February - 24th February: Blood Passage by Connie Suttle
24th February - 3rd March: Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

Bitten, Season One, Episode Four: Grief

The wolves have all returned to Stonehaven to bid goodbye to Pete. What they don't know is that as they say their goodbyes, toasting Pete's ashes, a wolf is making it's way onto the Stonehaven property.  Elena says that all Pete ever really wanted was to spread his love and was killed by a monster who hates everything they stand for.  They hear a wolf howl and the group breaks up to start looking for it.  Jeremy, Elena and Clay find Pete's jacket hanging from a tree and Jeremy realises that the mutt is baiting them.  Jeremy declares that they will continue to mourn for Pete tonight but tomorrow the will hunt.

Back in the house the next day, Elena approaches Logan who has a cup of coffee ready for her.  Elena is very upset about Pete being dead and she says that she doesn't understand why.  Logan suggests that Pete was either targeted or was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Logan then adds that the pack's rule is being challenged. Elena says that she doesn't know if she can go home until this is settled.  When Logan brings up Philip, Elena says that this is just one more thing that she cannot share with the man that she loves.  Logan suggests that Elena get everything out of her system before she heads back home.  Elena gets up to go and finds Jeremy, who is outside scattering Pete's ashes.  Elena is overcome when she holds the urn and says that she has never grieved for a family before.  Apparently, Pete's death has brought her emotions to the forefront regarding not growing up with a family.  Jeremy assures Elena that that she will always have people at Stonehaven who love her and will always take care of her.  Elena moves to walk away saying that she doesn't belong there because all they have at Stonehaven is violence and death.  Jeremy reminds Elena that they also have love and she needs to find the balance. Elena again says that she wants a normal life and calls Jeremy complacent before crying and leaving.

A wolf changes back to human in a dumpster and quickly gets dressed.

Elena is walking on the property and punches a tree in rage.  Clay tells Elena that he has never seen her like this before, while approaching Elena like she is a skittish colt. Clay and Elena hug and he brings up that they used to work out their problems by staying in bed together.  Elena quickly blows him off saying that this was before.  Clay starts to strip saying that if they go for a run and stay to the Northwest corner of the property, they won't be seen.  When next we see Clay and Elena, they are two horrible CGI wolves.

Jeremy is talking to the sheriff, who is wrapping up her investigation. Morgan is concerned by the fact that the wolf killed the boy and then dragged him to Stonehaven. Morgan then asks Jeremy if he knows anyone who has a beef with him because it is clear that someone has a grudge against him.  Jeremy says that he is a painter and everyone at Stonehaven sticks to themselves.  Morgan backs off claiming that she is not making accusations but wants to figure out what is going on.

Clay and Elena are back in human form lying in a pile of leaves.  Elena strokes Clay's body and so he turns over and kisses her.  Elena gets up and leaves Clay lying on the ground.  When Elena returns to the house, Logan and Nick tell her that Jeremy wants them all in the great room.  Elena heads upstairs to change and Clay enters the house.  Nick teases Clay about nuzzling with Elena and asks Clay to put clothes on.

Elena is dressed and her phone goes off - of course it's Philip.  They have some small talk and Philip offers to come down to be with Elena but she blows him off and brings up the vodka campaign.  Philip brings up the wolf killings that were in the news and Elena tells him that it was nothing.  Elena promises that she will be back in time for his sister's wedding and they end the conversation.

In the great room, Antonio approaches Jeremy about the fact that they have two mutts to deal with.  They talk about the last time the pack had troubles like this.  Jeremy brings up the old mutt hunts that they did until all the mutts capitulated to pack rules. Apparently, Jeremy blames himself for Pete's death saying that it only happened because he became complacent. Antonio tells Jeremy not to blame himself but Jeremy argues back that as the alpha, it is his job to keep the pack safe.  Antonio advises Jeremy to remember that the pack is all of them and that they are all in this together.

Elena and Clay head downstairs and Elena brings up the kiss, calling it a mistake. Clay says that they are clear about what happened and they continue downstairs.

Antonio asks if they are to start spilling mutt blood but Jeremy believes that this is not a wise choice and asks Antonio to reach out to the other pack families.

Morgan heads to see Emerson who is fishing.  Morgan asks about the Danvers family because she has heard a list of rumors about them.  Emerson tells a story about a telephone worker who vanished on the Danvers property and makes it clear that they never found a body.  Emerson wonders if the worker saw something he shouldn't have.  Morgan is still concerned about the body dump and says that there is something about the Danvers clan that doesn't sit right with her.