Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 18: Resident Evil

The Travellers are up to something big… next stop Mystic Falls

WHHHYYYY? Why is this tiny speck of a Founder-obsessed town in the boonies of Virginia they go-to location for everyone supernatural? You would think immortal beings with infinite power might actually want to see a bit more of the world.

*ahem* anyway, moving swiftly on.

So this episode began with someone looking at the title and saying “diaries? We’re supposed to have diaries? Oh shit, why did no-one remember the diaries!? Elena, write something!” Which she does then has an awkward moment with Stefan apparently before they met – then she wakes up after nearly been run over by a car.

Dream sequences. They lurk on the same list of things I hate on TV along with mixed up chronology and prophecy.

These also happen when Elena’s awake, flashing back to a time when she and Stefan were dating – only I don’t think these things actually happened. Especially since her dad is alive in these dreams. And she’s blacking out during the day as well.

Caroline puts weird waking hallucinations down to unrequited feelings about Stefan – obviously! I mean, when you have a crush on someone don’t you usually have hallucinations, lose time and flashbacks to events that never even happened? Caroline, your urge to force your two friends to have sex is reaching all new creepy and weird levels. Stefan calls Caroline to add that he’s also having creepy Elena visions.

Caroline decides the best way to deal with this is call and tell Damon because… I dunno, cruelty? And to present it as the universe forcing Stefan and Elena together through strange hallucinations. Someone needs to talk to Caroline and her notions of romance.

Enzo’s still hanging around since his quest to find his lost not!girlfriend was derailed when the Travellers decided to burn themselves to death

Over to Bonnie who just had a Traveller guy use her to come back from the dead. Something she doesn’t remember – but her dead grandma is happy to fill in the gaps; apparently the dead witches are scared by whatever the Travellers did and the Other Side is not reacting well.

Onwards to the next clown show – Jeremy has insisted that he, Tyler and Matt are going to be Elena’s super bodyguards to Liv (Matt, presumably, will be used as cannon fodder since he lacks any actual applicable skills except dying and being resurrected by the Evil Resurrection Ring). Liv is, understandably, dubious. Anyway, to be sure that no-one is harbouring Traveller possession, Liv wants them all to stab themselves with the Traveller-killing blade; Jeremy’s fine with this (he’s Traveller proof – ha, ha), so is Tyler (he’s a hybrid, stabbing, is a minor inconvenienced) but Matt (cannon fodder) is duly concerned. Do I have to point how not-very-useful Matt is as a defender. Tyler points out that he has the Evil Resurrection Ring; but no-one seems to recall the whole “turns you into a serial killer” fine print. Besides, you can actually be stabbed dozens of times and not die  – suffering long term health effects, however, is definitely on the table.

Anyway, now everyone is Traveller free, Liv explains their mission – STABBING RAMPAGE! See, Travellers are hard to track but when they do gather they like to take over whole towns by possessing everyone. The natural solution to this is to stab everyone. I’m beginning to see why Liv’s coven has tracked the Travellers for 1,000 years and not achieved a whole lot.

Cut to lots of Travellers doing just that –including Sheriff Liz (Caroline’s mum).

Bonnie drops in to see Jeremy who is answering none of her calls or telling her anything. And she finds Liv there and… Jeremy can’t tell her why. Because Reasons.

And Traveller Sherriff stabs Matt in the neck after hearing him not-subtly talk about a Traveller knife. C’mon, you’ve all wanted to neck stab him before. Dead Matt tells Bonnie, the Anchor (oh look an actual power or skill that might be useful. Shame she’s not in the loop) to tell Jeremy about being killed but she can’t know anything for REASONS. And why does the non-supernatural Matt appear before the Anchor anyway? He’s not headed for the Other Side. But apparently he is for REASONS and he reaches the Other Side with lots of ghosty people – and Kol. That’s dead Original Kol. The Other Side is broken, whereas before everyone but witches spent their afterlife in solitude, now they can all see each other. Matt wants the chance to see Vicki before the evil resurrection ring brings him back to the land of the living.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ashes & Alchemy (Gaslight Chronicles, #6) by Cindy Spencer Pape

Minerva Shaw is forced to race into the London night in desperation to find a doctor for her ill daughter Ivy.  Though her clothing is soaked through and she worries about how she will pay the doctor, Minerva knows that she cannot stop.  When in desperation, she passes out briefly at the door of Sebastian Brown, she has know idea that this faithful meeting is going to change her life forever.  Minerva and Sebastian quickly discover that Ivy, along with the other children who have gotten ill,  have been the victims of scientific experimentation.  As Minerva and Sebastian  two race to find the culprit, they find their own hearts racing as well.

Ashes & Alchemy is only 80 pages and therefore is a novella.  Unfortunately, this means a very rushed romance.  Sebastian and Minerva actually know each other for about 24 hours when they decide that what they feel for each other is love.  Sebastian proposes within 48 hours and they are married within three weeks.  That much time isn't even long enough to decide that one is in lust, let alone love.  They know absolutely nothing about each other and yet Sebastian is quick to share that he is a member of a super secret society, putting not only his life but the lives of his family and friends at risk.  Not to worry though, Minerva promises not to tell, honest. 

The problem with the brevity of this story is that Pape based it on new characters with a few familiar ones popping by for a cameo, leaving the reader with very little familiarity with the main characters.   The mystery is over before it even really begins and they don't really investigate but follow a lucky turn of phrase uttered by a young girl.  The so-called mystery is a ruse for the ridiculous love affair. 

To Pape's credit, Minerva has a strongly independent streak.  When Sebastian tries to encourage her to stay behind when they go after the villain, she is determined to be included.  She is a survivor of an attempted rape and even killed her would be rapist.  Given his history in the military, Sebastian is authoritarian in nature but he does not get away with that when it comes to Minerva; she is his match and more.  At least in the sense of class however, Sebastian does become her savior, because when they first meet, Minerva's flat is a crime scene and she is unemployed as a consequence of staying home to care for her daughter.  A life with Sebastian elevates Minerva's class status significantly.  In this way, the HAE is constructed to turn her into a fairy tale princess through the wiping away of all of her deprivations.  

The 100, Season One, Episode Five: Twilight's Last Gleaming

Finn and Clarke are in the afterglow stage and Clarke says that last night wasn't just about needing someone and that she needed him and wanted it to be him.  For his part, Finn jokes about having his first earth sex.

Abigail is locked up and gets a visit from Jaha.  Instead of answering, Jaha tells her that the arc is at a critical stage and her husbands projections were wrong.  Abigail has been granted a medical release to look after the people pending the council's decision. Jaha offers her extra oxygen but Abigail says that she is not going to take more than her share. Abigail believes that if they start choosing who gets extra O2 that it's one step closer to choosing who lives and who dies.  Jaha then informs her that the council has approved Cain's plan for population reduction and that it will begin in 1 hour. Abigail begs for Raven to report back but Jaha argues that the longer they wait, more people will die.  Abigail points out that Raven risked her life but Jaha says that it's Abigail who risked her life by making Raven believe that loving a boy was worth risking her life in a 100 year old coffin. Jaha hands Abigail the oxygen again and says that she can help people's suffering. Abigail takes it but says that Raven will make it to earth.

Raven is on the pod and she does a system check.  It's clear that she is nervous, as she starts up the heat shield and starts her descent to earth.

Back to the afterglow, where Clarke suggests sharing the things they have found in the bunker.  Finn is against this because sharing will reveal that they have found something, leaving them no place to hide the next time someone goes ballistic.  Finn finally admits that he wanted it to be Clarke too.  They look up and see a shooting star and Finn suggests that they make a wish.  Clarke sees this as ridiculous because it's just a rock burning up in the atmosphere.  Clarke looks again and realises that what they are seeing is not a shooting star.

The survivors see the pod landing.  Clarke and Finn start blowing out candles and discussing what is being sent down.  Finn says that this is a good thing because they are not alone on the earth anymore and that they should take a minute to appreciate this.

The survivors start making plans to meet the pod and Bellamy makes it clear that they are not going to check it out till morning because it isn't safe.  Octavia argues that everyone for 100 miles saw the ship land and questions what happens if the grounders find the pod first, Octavia suggests that they should go now but Bellamy will not be deterred.

Abigail is looking over Reese and the other residents of the arc.  Jackson tries to comfort Abigail, who is upset that Reese is going blind.  Abigail demands to know why Jackson isn't monitoring the radio listening for Raven but he points to the long line of people waiting for medical help.  Abigail promises to take care of everyone because she believes making contact with the ground is the only way to help the people.

Raven is unconscious on the pod and Jackson transmits a message asking if she is receiving.

Octavia approaches Finn and Clarke to talk about the landing.  Octavia reports that Bellamy told everyone to stay until dawn.  Clarke of course barges into Bellamy's private area to discover him gone. Clarke quickly realises that Bellamy wants what ever is in the landing pod.  Clarke takes off saying that she should have known that Bellamy would go for the radio because Bellamy has spent every waking minute ensuring that no one from the arc realises that the survivors are alive. Clarke  adds that she screwed up and let herself get distracted.

Octavia catches up with Bellamy and calls him a selfish dick.  Bellamy says that he did this to protect Octavia, so Octavia asks what he did.  Bellamy admits that he shot Jaha in order to get on the drop ship.  Bellamy justifies his action by reminding Bellamy that Jaha floated their mother and locked Octavia up. Octavia responds that she didn't ask him to do that. Bellamy concedes that he made the choice and adds that he will deal with whatever has been sent down from the arc.

On the arc, Cain reports that the culling will be made to look like an accident so that order will be remained. Cain assures Jaha that it will be painless but Jaha is clearly troubled. Jaha tells Cain that in his capacity as chancellor, it  will be Cain who gives the order to do the culling.  It seems that Jaha plans to commit suicide and die with the people of section 17, leaving Cain in charage. Cain asks Jaha not to do this but Jaha is adamant and points out that Cain has a strength which isn't weakened by sentiment.

Bellamy has arrived at the pod and he rips the radio out and then throws it into the rive before taking off.. Clarke and Finn separate to look for the pod. Raven regains consciousness and takes off her helmet. Clarke reaches her first and Raven leaves the pod in wonder at being on earth.  Finn rushes over and the two embrace as Clarke watches.  Raven kisses Finn. Well, it's safe to assume that Finn now has woman problems and the love triangle has begun.

The Originals: Klaus and his Vagina Collection

On the Originals we have a number of female characters - both plotting against the Original family, and the eternally troubled Klaus in particular - and working for them. And, of course, sharing Klaus’s bed. These women need to be careful, though, because there’s fine print - get too close to Klaus and you may become his chattel. And since he’s one of the most powerful creatures on the planet, how free are these women to reject him and his claim?

We have been complaining  about the portrayal of Rebekah Mikaelson since early on in her appearances on The Vampire Diaries (TVD).  Over time, we have seen her backstory on both TVD and The Originals.  There has been one long running theme to Rebekah’s past - she is not free.  Rebekah is not free to fall in love and she most certainly is not free to have sex. You might  think that a 1000 year old female vampire might just be able to make competent decisions about what do with her vagina but according to Klaus Mikaelson, you would be wrong. Klaus spends an epic amount of time either killing Rebekah’s suitors, or scaring them away. This, of course, is done under the guise of love because what good is a patriarch for if he doesn’t keep the family vagina pure? No man can possibly be good enough for Klaus’s little sister and while he projects this as a sign of his high esteem for Rebekah, it is really just the same ordinary patriarchal desire to control female bodies that has been going on since the beginning time.  

That his infatuation with his sister’s genitals is downright incestous is ignored. No, that would be creepy, so instead it is wrapped in sexist justifications that reduce Rebekah’s personhood. Klaus is just intense when he loves people and because he believes that he is protecting her it’s deemed okay and it is further troubling because, as Klaus is the protagonist of The Originals, the audience is expected to see his POV. Yes, Rebekah continually rebels and she talks about wanting to be in a loving relationship and even raise a child some day. What Rebekah doesn’t do is simply express a desire to get laid. Casual sex is something the males of both the TVD and The Originals can and do engage in sex without much direct consequence. When Rebekah seeks a partner it is almost always about wanting a relationship. At times it reads as justifying her sexual desire as chaste enough in the hope that Klaus will break down long enough for her to get her groove on.

What is further galling about this whole situation is that Rebekah has come to accept Klaus’s policing of her sex life. When she finally confronts Klaus about his policing, it’s not because he has no right to control her sex life - but because his standards are too harsh and limiting. She doesn’t think he should have no say in policing her - he just needs to be more relaxed about it, less exacting. She doesn’t question his right to make those decisions for her - she questions whether he’s making good decisions.

The second blonde in Klaus’s life is Camille. Klaus was introduced to Camille by Marcel and from almost the moment he meets her, Klaus manipulates her. Klaus uses compulsion to force Camille to date Marcel, messes with her memory, forces her to provide counselling and, when things begin to look like they just might get rough in the quarter, tries to force Camille to leave New Orleans (it’s for own good, love honest.)  Somewhere in the middle of all of that manipulation, Klaus decides that he must police the vagina of another grown woman. And what does Camille do about? Why she panders to it and justifies it of course.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Anointed (The Cantati Chronicles #1) by Maggie Mae Gallagher

Alana is a Cantati, an enhanced magical human, one of the few who were born after the Mutari, when the demons broke down the barriers between their world and ours and unleashed their fury.

Now there’s only a few remnants of humanity left and she is one of their defenders – in the last days at the end of a losing war. Faced with extinction they have once chance – to send Alana back before the demons broke through and stop it, for the sake of humanity.

But when she returns to the past she finds herself with far less time than she thought she’d have and only a few cryptic clues to follow as the Mutari ticks ever closer. And there’s another figure, Gaelen, who knows about the demons and is looking for the same clues she is – but can she trust his agenda?

Oh dear, it’s one of those. Ok, before I sharpen my knives, it’s time to think of something nice to say. So here we go – the concept, the idea of demon gates giving people magic, of the different realms, of all the world building that was eventually revealed in painfully long info-dumps – is actually kind of interesting, This would be a fun world to play in and an interesting world to tell a whole load of stories with.

Alas, instead of those fascinating stories, we got this one.

This book is set primarily in the UK and mainly in London. Alana was born in London after the apocalypse (I can’t imagine travel was particularly easy in the dystopian world after the fact either). Yet she’s American… her accent is taken as American, her word usage is American, her thoughts point to an American… I find this rather bemusing

Almost as much as the Britain she describes. I would advise against ordering “biscuits” for breakfast in the UK, you may be served cookies. Or just be regarded with odd confusion. I don’t know where she’s finding Grand Central Station in London; London has over 300 stations, Grand Central isn't one of them. And I can’t even begin to guess at the accent transcribed here it’s like cockney meets Scottish with a side order of Dick Van Dyke – and it’s the same whether she’s in London or Scotland or Cambridge. She goes shopping in “malls” (not shopping centers), she manages to go into shops and stock up on guns quite easily.

The writing is also really clumsy – it’s scattered with hugely long winded monologues for the world building. Or because the author’s suddenly remembered that Alana has just watched everything she knows and loved die so we have a page or so of angry angst… then she gets on with things. It’s like flipping a switch, I can almost hear the author saying “oh shit, she’s supposed to be sad”.

We have some really rammed in staccato sentences and then some lines like this:

“With the dimensions open, humanity regained the magic that had been lost to the ages. This new breed of humans had been thusly named the Cantati”.

‘Thusly?’ Aside from freaky archaic word use, that would imply some explanation for the name – like the name would naturally follow from the explanation. So “thusly named Wizards.” Or Sorcerers. Or Magic Folk rather than a word that sounds like Italian singers.

The Originals, Season One, Episode Eighteen: The Big Uneasy

This episode begins with Klaus painting Genevieve after a night of sex.  He offers her the painting as a way to seal a deal with him, though Elijah has already worked so hard the various groups sign a treaty.  Klaus suggests what the witches really need is the protection that he can provide in exchange for the promise of their allegiance.

The young witches who completed the reaping do a spell. Monique channels the ancestors, who apparently tell her that it is time to complete the reaping. Monique says that the harvest girl must be resurrected and for that to happen Genevieve has to die.

Genevieve and Klaus find Elijah supervising a makeover of the compound. Genevieve takes the opportunity to bring up feast days and how the witches were denied the ability to celebrate while Marcel was in charge. Genevieve wants to celebrate La bénédiction de la Fête, where members of the community offer gifts in exchange for blessings from the witches.  Genevieve sees this as an opportunity to introduce the harvest witches to the community. Elijah is not impressed, given the recent history between the coven and the Originals but Genevieve points out that she made her amends with Klaus and asks Elijah to think it over. Klaus suggests its a way to show solidarity with a one time enemy. Elijah suggests that Klaus should spend his time thinking about how to accommodate Hayley. Klaus points out that Hayley is werewolf royalty and is much safer with the pack than she would be here.  Klaus does however promise to bring Hayley home before the birth because he doesn't want his child born in a swamp.

Haylay finds herself surrounded by a group of people waiting to see her.  Oliver explains that due to the role her parents had in pack hierarchy, they may well believe that Hayley is going to be the messiah. Oliver excuses himself when he gets a call from Klaus.  It seems that Klaus has assigned him the task of finding Cary - a distant relative from Klaus's werewolf clan. Klaus informs Olivier that the wolves are to attend the witch feast so that Elijah will stay out of his way.

Klaus heads to see Cami to say that he has formed an alliance with someone to help Kiernan.  Cami points out that the resurrected witches are the ones who cursed her uncle in the first place. Cami tells Klaus to do whatever he can to help Kiernan.

Thierry reports to Marcel that Klaus is fawning all over Cami but Marcel is concerned for Cami's safety.  I am sure that this will last for a New York minute given how quickly he got over Rebekah. Marcel is concerned with how Klaus would react if he learned that Marcel and Tami slept together. Theirry is unimpressed and believes that they need to worry about what Klaus is up to. Marcel wants to find out what Klaus is planning with the witches and then rat him out to Elijah.  Yep, divide and conquer again.  Didn't we just have that story line?

Monique reports to Genevieve that after communing with the elders, Genevieve must sacrifice herself. Genevieve believes that it is not her time yet but Monique argues that they need Genevieve to die so they can have the full power of the harvest. Genevieve points out that she used to be one of those elders and that before she leaves, she is going to make sure that the witches have the power to control their own fate. Before Genevieve dies she plans on getting her hands on Esther's spell book.

Elijah informs Diego and the vampires that they are to go to the feast and give the witches a gift.  When Diego says no, Elijah makes it clear that this is not a request. Elijah points out that it's a declaration of strength to acknowledge a lesser faction.  Elijah then heads to see Francesca, to order the human faction to attend the witch feast and Francesca says that he will owe the humans a favor.  Elijah then heads to see Hayley, who says that the werewolves are not attending. Oliver and Jackson obviously both agree they need to send a representative with a gift. Privately, Elijah tells Hayley that Oliver and Jackson agreed too easily and that she shouldn't trust either of them.

Oliver drags Carey into St. Anne's to meet with Klaus and Klaus is not impressed that Carey has been manhandled.  Klaus point out that the lack union between the various werewolf packs is what lead to the downfall of the werewolves. Klaus shows Carey the moonlight ring and asks him to find out what stone it housed.

Thierry and Diego meet about the current situation for the vampires. Marcel offers himself as leader of the rebellion but Diego points out that the last time he stood with Marcel against an Original, it didn't go so well. Marcel believes that if they make enough noise and prove they won't bow down, the Originals will leave. Diego says that he knows where he stands with Elijah, so Marcel informs him that Klaus has been having meetings with witches and werewolves and adds that Klaus cannot be trusted. Diego says that Marcel picked up Klaus's coin and calls him a coward. Marcel attacks Diego saying that a good leader knows when he has to fight another day and again asks Diego to fight with him. Diego says that he picked the winning side and if Marcel and Theirry want to start a war, they will be fighting against him.

Hayley finds Oliver and Jackson in conversation and when Olivier gives her attitude when she questions what is going on.  Hayley throws him against the wall and twists his arm back.  Hayley says that the last month of pregnancy is all hormones and mood swings and since this is her pack, she wants to know what is going on. Jackson tells Oliver that because Hayley is one of them, she deserves to know. Jackson reveals the alliance with Klaus and Hayley demands to know everything.

Klaus is now talking with Genevieve about Kiernan.  Genevieve says that there is no way to undo the hex but does point out that Esther was powerful and might have an answer in her grimoire. Klaus calls Genevieve crafty and she points out that with the grimoire she could solidify her place in the coven. Klaus says no and Genevieve calls it unfortunate for Kiernan.  Klaus grabs Genevieve saying that he won't be manipulated and Genevieve uses her power to cause Klaus pain, saying that she won't be threatened. Genevieve tells Klaus that they are at a stalemate and that he is not to call her again.

The feast is in full swing with the harvest girls being paraded in.  Genevieve sends a witch to the compound to look for the grimoire I assume. Klaus however confronts the man Genevieve sent saying that he has been expecting him. Elijah tries to talk to Davina but she isn't interested in small talk or pleasantries. Genevieve tells Davina to show respect because he has been their patron. Elijah points out that the party is for the coven because they needed a sign of respect to uphold the treaty. When they walk off, Hayley meets with Elijah.

Monique and  Genevieve talk about Davina.  It seems that Monique doesn't feel that Davina has done anything but stand against the witches - harvest girl or not. Genevieve says that Davina just needs a little lesson. Genevieve makes the announcement that people may deliver their offering and that no blessing will be denied. Genevieve then watches as gifts are placed in front of the harvest girls.  Cami presents an offering to Genevieve to honor what Elijah has built and what her uncle has worked for. Cami offers Genevieve a brooch (the tackiest thing you have ever seen) and Genevieve says that she may be able to help her.

Davina gets off the dais and runs into Josh. Of course being a great GBFF, Josh notices how very say Davina is and they agree to leave together.  Before they can escape however, Klaus calls out to Joshua that they have unfinished business together. Davina demands that Klaus leaves but he points out that she is not as powerful as she once was.  Klaus grabs Josh back the back of the neck and starts to drag him away as Davina follows. Klaus gets everyone's attention and tries to present Davina with a present but she refuses. Klaus then publicly pardons Josh for trying to kill him and offers Davina the present again and this time, she accepts. When Davina opens the box, she finds a ring and a spell to make daylight rings.

Klaus seeks out Hayley to talk about his plans for the werewolves and she makes it clear that there will be consequences if he is negotiating in bad faith.

A group of Black drummers make an appearance saying that they have a message from Marcel. They slice their wrists open and the sight of blood makes the vampires drop fang. Elijah steps forward and tells the vampires not to violate the treaty.  The lights go out and the vampires attack. When the lights come up on the wall in blood are the words, "there shall be no peace."  Elijah helps Hayley off the ground as Klaus watches. The floor is littered with bodies.

Theirry reports what happened at the feast and says that Josh made sure that Davina got out safe and he made sure the other harvest girls were safe as well. A pissed off Elijah makes his presence known by throwing Theirry around. Marcel is quick to point out that if Elijah kill him, he will never know about Klaus's secret meetings with the werewolves, or what he really has going on with Genevieve.  Elijah tells Marcel that he doesn't know him and for his violation, Elijah rips out Theirry's heart. As Theirry desiccates, Elijah tells Marcel that he lives and dies according to his will.

Klaus approaches Genevieve and says that what happened wasn't his doing and that he owed Davina some consolation after killing Davina's first love.  Klaus then  hands Genevieve a present, which he claims to have picked up earlier tonight. The box contains the hands of the man who tried to steal the grimoire. Genevieve tells Klaus that he should be afraid of her.  When Klaus snipes that he will miss the sex, Genevieve says that Cami showed up at the feast and that though she gave her hope of lifting the hex, there is no hope now. Klaus promises that if Kiernan dies, Genevieve will be next. Genevieve says that it would be foolish to kill a powerful ally over a human who is sleeping with Marcel.

In the swamp, Hayley tells Jackson that after seeing all of the deaths at the party, she believes that there will never be a peace and that they will always be at the mercy of whomever is calling the shots. Jackson calls it survival of the fittest.  Hayley suggests that they need to use Klaus's help while he is still willing to give it and that no matter what, they are not to trust Klaus.

Elijah confronts Klaus about conspiring with wolves but Klaus says that the wolves are his family, as much as any Mikaelson. The brothers quickly turn to bickering about Hayley because we cannot have a Plec show where two brothers aren't fighting over a woman. Elijah makes it clear that if he wants something, he's going take it and that nothing will stop him. Isn't it nice to Hayley reduced to a possession?

Klaus heads to see Cami and mentions that he knows she went to see Genevieve, who was moved by her plight. Klaus then adds that because he insulted Genevieve she is now going to let Kiernan die a painful death.  Cami asks why he is telling her and Klaus replies that secrets are a poison. Of course he then brings up Cami's affair with Marcel. Cami points out that Klaus at one point compelled her to date Marcel and that maybe Klaus is mad because he didn't get to control the coupling. Klaus tells Cami that the next time he sees Marcel, he will kill him.

From a distance, Elijah watches as Haley hangs out with the werewolves. A werewolf approaches and tells Elijah that he doesn't need to keep checking on Hayley because Hayley is not only doing okay but has a natural gift for leading.  Elijah asks that Hayley remain ignorant of his visit.

Marcel stands over Thierry's body saying that he will take back their city, even if he has to burn it down. Diego and the other vampires make an appearance and Marcel promises he is going up against the original with no backing down.

Monique tells Genevieve that she failed in her duty and the vampires attacked them leaving them and that they are without the ability to retaliate because they are not at their full strength. Monique picks up a knife saying that Genevieve's sacrifice is the final step.  Monique starts the ceremony but stops when she channels the elders, who send the message that they want Klaus's child dead.

Can we please just stop all the male characters controlling or attempting to control the female characters?  For some reason, Klaus feels that any woman he has laid claim to is not to have sex with anyone else. It is further troubling that he has so fixated on what has happened between Marcel and Cami because once again, Marcel is the uppity Black man who soils precious White female bodies.  There is also the issue of Marcel as protagonist.  Marcel may be smart but he is clearly no match for the Originals.  This again has Marcel as the Black men who simply will not accept that he is inferior to the far superior White man.

This is further complicated because we then see all the Black men who are sacrificed in the band.  Sure Marcel is responsible for that but we need to put it into context.  Plec has a habit of callously killing off characters of colour to provide angst or growth for White characters.  Anyone remember Caroline's feeding frenzy on Black people on TVD?  This is really no different.  Black people are disposable and certainly not worthy of any respect and both The Originals and TVD have made this more than evident.

I am glad to see Hayley framed as a natural leader but there is still the issue that both Oliver and Jackson felt comfortable going behind her back and making an alliance with Klaus.  A leader inspires loyalty in the people who follow them and at this point and the loyalty of the people around Hayley is sketchy at best.  Then we have Hayley justifying her attack on Oliver on hormones.  Really?  Add that to the fact that she is still very much the walking womb, it means that for every step forward with Hayley's character, we get three steps backward.

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 1, Episode 6: The Place of Dead Roads

Do you know what From Dusk Till Dawn needs? More flashbacks! Of course it does! So we start with Richie a few years before, apparently living rough in the wilderness and not doing that great a job of it. But he has his murder knife and kills a snake with it – and eats it. Which causes/triggers/prompts hallucinations/visions of beautiful, scanty clad women calling his name and telling him to hunter her down. A much more conservatively dressed man called Warren interrupts the vision to question this whole Mountain Man look and tell him about Seth’s job.

To the present where, as you’ll recall, the whole gang has arrived at the salubriously named “Titty Twister” and Seth still isn’t willing to let Jacob and his kids go (why again? It’s not like they’re useful any more). When the barker is creepy and nasty to Katie Seth punches him for it, oh you big noble hero –please explain to me why you’re dragging them into a strip joint?

Inside Seth’s relaxed happiness is derailed by a huge carving of the eye-symbol which he saw on Richie’s knife. Jacob plays herd on his son. Seth learns that Carlos owns the place, but he isn’t there and no-one can tell him when he’s due. Switching to him, Carlos is far too busy with the fruit baskets (and a chaser of snake venom. Both apparently necessary for a war) to answer Seth’s calls. Seth’s also not thrilled about closing a deal on Carlos’s home turf. He also has the heebie jeebies which is ironic because the normally paranoid heebie jeebie magnet, Richie, is hypnotised by all the half naked women.

Seth, maybe because of the booze, also tries to make nice with Jacob and his family offering booze and randomly calling them “family” before pressuring Kate to forgive him for the random people he probably killed or at least wounded. She does so he decides she needs to confess something now. Ok, since when did Seth become the random, eccentric brother? He goes on to poke Jacob and his dead wife before asking Richie about his visions who no longer wants to talk about them since he’s enjoying the attractions of the bar. He goes out to move the money and gets attacked by the barker he punched and a whole bunch of friends.

Inside, Katie can’t figure out why they’re not running for their lives with Seth gone so long – so she and Scott believe Seth may be right, maybe Jacob does think god is punishing them. They’re not impressed and Katie actually turns to Richie for comfort – which is probably the very definition of rock bottom.

Freddie is out in the hot, dry desert, with that eye-knife and now severed heads are talking to him. Between flashbacks and hallucinations, about half of what appears on screen is meant to actually be there. I think the severed heads are real – some of Carlos’s victims. But, hey, at least it gives directions to the strip club. And he gets a free hat!

He sits in a diner and has a flashback. Oh we missed them so – talking to Earl about the bad reputation the Rangers had of taking the excuse to hunt down any Mexicans. Earl who has been around for a while expands on it and how bad it was; though he seems to go off on a tangent about lynching and burning people as necessary? And the road to tell?  He comes back to the present in time to see some of Carlos’s men arrive in the diner – and he follows them into a secret, hidden back room.

Where he ends up captured, beaten and tied to a chair. Carlos has found the knife and thinks it has shown Freddie things – he cuts Freddie’s hand and uses the knife to read his memories.

Seth is saved from being butchered by some bloke called Narciso who is apparently scary and important so probably a vampire – and he wants to know why Seth can duck 8 gazillion Texas rangers but not some fools outside a bar. He also doesn’t get why Seth is paying so much to Carlos – though he starts laughing when Seth says Carlos is getting them to El Rey – because it’s apparently a myth.

Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 18: Meta Fiction

Metatron playing narrator and breaking the 4th wall? Nah, Supernatural, don’t do this it never works. Don’t try to be artsy

Now, Dean showering. That works. Hotness comes with Mark of Cain angst, though. He continues to pretend nothing’s wrong though

To Castiel! Yes Castiel! My angel’s back! And he rips his coat – since this is brought to our attention AND that harming Castiel’s coat is blasphemy, there is bound to be a story purpose behind this. He’s following a blood trail to an absolute massacre of angels – with a strange, halo’d V symbol in blood on one wall. He talks to an injured survivor, Hannah, who heard a musical, heavenly tone and followed it along with a lot of angels. It was a Metatron recruitment pitch (promising a return to Heaven, which is supposed to be impossible) and it ended badly for those who turned him down. She and her fellows want to follow the great leader Castiel – but he refuses on account of the fact EPIC BAD THINGS happen when he’s in charge. He does intend to hunt down Metatron though – and Hannah adds that Gadreel (the Sam possessor) is working for Metatron too.

He passes this on to the Winchesters and this is the first time they realise Gadreel is Metatron’s puppet and not just acting on his own and Castiel and Dean have a moment with Cas’s endless bemusement over the world. They identify the luring-angel spell as having being used in several different mass murders in Utah. They can plot Gareel’s route though and find two possible locations for his next stop. Castiel takes one, Dean and Sam the other

Castiel is joined by… Gabriel. Who is supposed to be dead, killed by his brother Lucifer. But since he has been playing Loki for a few centuries I guess we should have expected deception. He was hiding in Heaven and then fell with the rest when Castiel and Metatron barred Heaven. Metatron is now hunting him – which shouldn’t be a problem because the four Archangels are pretty much unstoppable by anything but another Archangel – but Gabriel lost most of his power in the Fall. Gabe’s now revealed himself because the little musical thingy to bring all the angels into a trap is the Horn of Gabriel and isn’t meant to be used for angel killing. Gabe wants to join in the killing Metatron quest – in fact, he wants to lead it.

Trusting Gabriel is a bad idea. I’m just going on record with that now. Gabe leaves a message for Dean and Sam about being back and he and Castiel exposition a little on how they’re different from other angels – since angels are generally pretty bad at free will and all that. Cas denies how special he is but gets a rather accurate “you’ve been god more often than dad has.” Which I don’t think we can really argue against. Anyway, Gabe is happy to step up to lead (I repeat about not trusting him).

When they stop for petrol, Metatron’s minions drive up. Gabe decides to hold them off so Castiel can escape – surprise! Yes he wants Castiel to be leader not him. It’s a bold and brave moment – and Castiel notices his coat isn’t torn. It’s all an illusion.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No Lasting Burial (The Zombie Bible #4) by Stant Litore

Jesus of Nazareth walks the earth and he keenly feels the pain of the world.  The survivors of Kfar Nahum are a broken people despite following the law.  The dead over ran their small fishing town and in the process killed many and left the living broken. In retribution, those who were bitten and destined to rise with a hunger which could never be assuaged were dumped in the sea. The people of Kfar Nahum invoke the memory of Ezra and believe that they have invoked God's anger by not following the law closely enough.  This then explains not only why the dead walk but why those cast into the sea now consume the very fish they need to survive.

Yeshua makes his way out of the desert lost and confused, aware that somehow he must stop the sound of the voices screaming in his head.  He seeks to feed the people of Kfar Nahum by calling up the fish to feed the hungry but in the process calls the zombies out of the sea.  How will the people of Kfar Nahum deal with this horror again, now that they have lost so much?

To be honest, I picked up No Lasting Burial expecting it to be somewhat quirky.  A sort of biblical tale meets zombies ala The Walking Dead.  It's true that No Lasting Burial does indeed fit the model of a zombie apocalypse/dystopian in the loosest sense; however, the zombies themselves feel sort of extraneous to the story.  Life in that time period was hard, particularly for poor Jews.  Litore didn't need to add the zombies to give us a sense of suffering and the stark nature of life that the average human lived.  The zombies just were over to top. No Lasting Burial feels like an excuse to retell an already familiar biblical story.

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 19: Modus Viviendi

Another episode of Tomorrow People, hang on to your hats and reach for your drinks and leave your intelligence by the door!

Jedikiah breaks into Ultra but can’t reach the super machine of doom because the Founder changed the locks. CURSE HIS CUNNING! Plan B, slamming one’s fist against bullet proof glass until it bleeds, is unsurprisingly ineffective.

The Founder turns this into a propaganda speech for his staff, all of whom seem to have forgotten that he was very much involved in Jedikiah’s “brutal regime”. I think a side-effect of being a Paranormal is to also be very very very naïve. Anyway, he wants the big bad Jedikiah found and brought to him for justice (police, courts? Nahhhh). Stephen warns John about this just in case the Jedikiah manhunt leads to Roger’s dead body. Anyway, Stephen wants to try the new nifty machine again but he can’t until he’s mastered how to stop time – (hey remember he can do that? Because it’s a skill he NEVER USES? Or even tries to use?). The place on the other side can only be occupied with Paranormals and it needs time stopping to get there – oh and the Founder totally dodges the question about whether you can come back or not. Which I think may be an issue.

This means training all of Stephen’s other powers. Which is apparently hard (especially using all 3 at once). There’s also more flirting with Hillary.

John drops in on Jedikiah who is a paranoid mess and keeps pointing his gun at John (honestly Jed, you shoot a paranormal or he uses teleportation and telekinesis to take the gun off you. These threats are silly). He refuses to leave and wants John to help him in his continual vigil over Roger’s body. Jed tries to bond with John, who isn’t buying, so instead, because he fears the Founder’s “weapon”, he tells John that if Ultra find them they need to destroy Roger rather than let him be used.

The Founder drops in on Stephen awkwardly preparing for Hillary’s visit (waaay too many candles) to say he wants a peace summit with the Tomorrow People – which also comes with a huge threat if they’re helping Jed. Stephen takes the offer to Cara who comments on the idea of a peace summit + threat as not being all that peaceful. But, hey, Stephen is all team Founder now for… I’m not even going to say REASONS because that shows this programme far too much respect. There are no reasons here, it just is for complete randomness.

They also discuss the machine, bringing Roger back and his bullet wound and Tim almost spills all the texts Hillary has been sending Stephen. Why is no-one creeped out by his monitoring their texts? Stephjen finally returns home for his date, briefly interrupted by Astrid calling and being quickly got rid of

So Astrid calls Cara because… she wants a friend? They both get together on how terribad that Stephen is sleeping with Hillary and how evil she is and untrustworthy and how they totally have to kidnap Hillary and read her mind.

Warehouse 13: Season 5, Episode 1: Endless Terror

Claudia and Paracelsus face off. “You are the Next”. “You are the Past”. Which is epic and awesome and we may have to end the season right here because those lines will not be beaten. They both throw awesome powers at each other, the Warehouse protecting Claudia and giving her super powers.

Problem. Claudia is part of the Warehouse so he cannot kill her. But if she’s part of the Warehouse, he can control her – and does so like a little puppet. He uses an Artefact to steal all of Claudia’s knowledge before using her to help put together a diabolical scheme involving several Artefacts.

At the hospital, a worried Pete catches up with a newly released Myka who is relieved because her cyst was benign –not realising her cancer has been cured by Pete making a naughty deal with Paracelsus. Which he doesn’t tell her when he explains the whole losing the Warehouse and creating an evil god thing.

Mrs. Frederick has zoomed off somewhere to find the Regents (who are conveniently far away to stop her being around and being awesome all over everything) while Artie and Jinks try to break through the shield on the Warehouse ineffectually but in a highly amusing, random and very Artie fashion (poor Jinks). Artie does have an idea on how to bring Paracelsus down – the arrow that killed Achilles.

Myka arrives and scolds everyone for not reading the manuals, the updated guides and the footnotes like she does (Artie’s excuse “I have a huge backlog after I turned evil and tried to poison  the world.” Jinks and Pete admit he has the absolute best excuse). Having activated the fail safe (that was in the manual) the gang can just walk through.

Inside the Warehouse they split up with Artie and Myka working to disconnect Paracelsus from the Warehouse (Jinks warns Myka about Artie’s habit of using people as guinea pigs for his dangerous experiments. Poor Jinks) while Jinks and Pete are on distraction duty (I say again, poor Jinks).

Pete causes a little chaos which he is very very very good at – so Paracelsus sends Claudia with a bazooka (and lots of apologies. But mainly a bazooka. Because Paracelsus is a magnificent bastard). It’s several kinds of awesome

Myka and Artie follow his plan to use mirrors to fix the mystical woo-woo basement so it can be super awesomely decorated with glowing runes again. (“It is not an exact science.” “I know, I miss exact science”). Their plan works (power of Artie grumpiness!) and the room looks awesome again.

Paracelsus is depowered and Claudia is free from the murderous rampage. Despite having lost, Paracelsus seems quite happy, especially since the episode has barely started yet so there’s way more to come.

This Week in Book Covers 7th April - 11th April

We continue our weekly review of the covers from the books we read last week - and this week is another surprisingly good week - no covers we hate, no twisted spines. A couple which are a bit plain and maybe a couple that just fail to fully convey what is within (which is, in most cases, a prime flaw)

Maybe the covers in the genre are getting better?

The Last Werewolf by Glenn Duncan

Simple, bold, striking, beautiful. What more can be said? It reminds me very strongly of Flesh and Blood by Daniel Dersh. In fact, that is telling, because I believe these striking, abstract, figureless covers with their dramatic monochromes and without a central image tend to be something I see far more from male authors than female authors (I think Ben Aaronovitch has produced similar) - makes me cast a curious eye at the publishers for this pattern.

The Remaining (The Remaining #1) by D.J. Molles

Yeah, this cover doesn’t work for me. The flag, the soldier - I know why they’re there, they are both very important links to the themes of the novel - but if I were shopping and saw this cover I’d think “ridiculously hyper-patriotic American war novel”. Even the destroyed buildings in the distance (and they aren’t even very clearly destroyed) speak more of a soldier in a war zone fighting for Apple Pie or whatever the simplistic slogan is these days.

The Furies by Mark Alpert

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trinity Stones (Angelorum Twelve Chronicles #1) by L.G. O'Connor

Cara was an investment banker and her main problems in life were a misogynist boss she hated and the fact her love life consisted of dreaming of Kai, her married best friend.

Then she received an odd letter from her grandmother. It opens a world of vast wealth, a whole new home – and angels. Angels and Nephilim and gifted humans whose job it is to prevent the long banished fallen angels, the demons, from wreaking havoc on Earth. She has been called to serve as one of these gifted people and is part of a sacred prophecy, the first of the 12, leading up to an epic battle for the very sake of humanity.

And she meets Simon – sexy, suave, rich, sophisticated and secretly her Guardian in disguise – and forbidden to her.

Oh, I am torn over this book. Well, kind of.

On the one hand, I am fascinated with the concept and world of this book. The Trinities, the three supernatural agents, each with their own niche (which I’m not sure of) and powers (which I have a rough idea of but not entirely) and role, all focused on a centre stone who is important (in some ill-defined way which may be different for each Trinity, though I’m not sure if every trinity has a centre stone?). The ability to gain insights into this future by examining the stones (something I didn’t entirely understand but got the gist of) is a wonderfully teaser way of driving the story. The constraints of free will (which I think they broke a few times but could use more explaining) makes for a nice little twist in both motivation and limits. Then there’s the unaffiliated Nephilim and the Seeker families that both suggest a wider world, activity and involvement beyond the Trinities (but this isn’t expanded upon leaving much up for grabs)

And, of course, there’s a prophecy. I know, I know, clichéd but a good prophecy always adds power and texture to a nice apocalyptic story – and this, with its prophecy of 12 possible chosen ones (chosen for what, why and how I do not know) suggests a nice, long, slow build to an epic finale. On top of that we have a huge, ill-defined history full of ill-defined factions that may or may not be relevant today.

The world has so much in it that I want to explore every part of it- because I can feel there is so much here. And all this world building has been presented in a way that makes me interested, which is impressive and speaks volumes for the world since it was presented in a series of info-dumping (albeit, it doesn’t reflect so positively on the writing).

The dog’s also special somehow. I kind of gave up expecting answers by then.

And the problem? Well, if you look above you can probably guess my problem – everything is vague and unfinished – the characters didn’t ask nearly enough questions to fill in the gaps, and they were questions that should have been asked and would have been asked. For most of the book I actually thought Cara was the Centre Stone of the Trinity (we’re talking the last 20% when I realised I was wrong). Everything is suggested but nothing is defined!

Continuum, Season 3, Episode 5: A Minute to Air

As ever we start with a flashback to the future (which sounds so wrong) in which Travis, a fugitive, pays a dangerous visit back to his wife and daughter (romantically nearly giving his wife a heart attack). They’re all very touching together – but him being there leads the Protectors right to them and ultimately causes Travis’s capture.

To the present where activists unfurl a banner on an office building owned by Fermatas – a major arms dealers. Carlos isn’t impressed by the idea from Kiera that they should get involved in this – a little civil disobedience is hardly exclusive to Liber8 and she can’t decide any and all protests are Liber8 covert actions. He hangs up on her

Which is when Curtis (he was a Liber8 but actually a Freelancer) pops up to say “hey Kiera, need a friend?” since Carlos and Alec are not all super happy with her at the moment (hmmm… must be something about joining secret cults and upholding fascist states. Funny that). Kiera responds to this overture of friendship by reporting him to Catherine (Freelancer head) because she suspects Shenanigans. After a brief comment on how they recruit people and Catherine seeing herself as a mother figure, she really clumsily dodge’s Kiera’s question about what’s behind an Ominous Door. Seriously “none of your damned business” would have been more subtle.

At the police station Betty, the new mole, gets a call from Lucas that Dillon won’t let her answer. Wow, someone needs to explain to him what the purpose of a double agent actually is.

Now for an extra twist, they’ve arrested one of the activist who unfurled the banner – and it’s Dillon’s daughter Christine. And she’s really not happy with her father or his brutal, police state tactics. Unlike previous suspects he was happy to torture, he pushes his daughter to demand a lawyer.

Of course, having a pro-Liber8 daughter leads to investigation, but now with Prion’s funding and the utter and complete corruption of the police force, Dillon cannot be removed, even by Inspector Nora. So it’s spin doctor time. And an argument with his, I presume, ex-wife who is very not happy with the corrupt Dillon for being so corrupt but not willing to help their daughter.

Over to Corporate Alec and Kellogg slithers over, sniffing for a job to join his team. C. Alec says no. And further he’s going to buy out Kellogg’s involvement in Sadtech and show him the door. Kellogg freaks more than a little and brings up a random book on corporate management (steamrolling) which, apparently Alec wrote. Or will write.

Anyway, Dillon’s spin involves and interview with Diana, the same journalist who interviewed Julian last episode. She’s certainly good at spin and manipulating people. The interview is pretty awful – Bolton focuses entirely on Dillon’s daughter and Nigel, her fellow interviewer, continually tries to talk about the corporate corruption and police failings and everyone ignores him.

Resurrection, Season One, Episode Six: Home

Fred repeatedly watches the video of Caleb disappearing.  At the moment of disappearance, the video turns to snow.  Clearly, Fred is looking for something.

Bellamy reports to Lucille and Henry that Caleb is missing now.  They are greatly concerned and Henry asks about looking for Caleb but Martin says that he doesn't believe there is any point.  Their conversation is interrupted by Jacob saying that he is ready for bed.  Lucille gets up to follow but suggests to Henry that they should sleep in Jacob's room that night.  Henry then talks to Martin about Lucille's grief after the first Jacob died and how at the time he feared that he has lost her for good.

Fred is now looking through the cell where Caleb was kept.  Carl interrupts Fred's search to say that there's nothing there but Frank is adamant that a good cop doesn't stop looking for clues. Carl tries to distract Fred by inviting him to play cards but is rebuffed and leaves.

Next, Fred heads to see Elaine to talk about her father's disappearance.  Elaine says that its no stranger than anything else that happened. Fred heads for the door but pauses to say that he has always thought of Elaine as a daughter and never meant to hurt her by the events of the past week. Elaine answers that she thinks that it's all for the best and Frank leaves with a smile.  Elaine turns to look at Caleb's urn and Ray enters the room. Rays that the man who returned wasn't Caleb and Elaine agrees.

Bellamy is now sitting down with Maggie and Rachel.  Rachel says that the moment she woke up, all she wanted to do was return home and this was strange because before she died, all she and Tom could talk about was getting out of Arcadia.  Martin hands over his card and he and Maggie leave. Martin is not pleased that he still doesn't have answers about what is going on. Maggie reveals that she called Eric Ward, an old professor of hers who works for the NIH.  Bellamy is shocked but Maggie suggests that the government might not be the enemy here.

Fred heads to the local watering hole and runs into Gary.  Fred suggests that Gary head home because he is upset. Gary will not be pacified and says that Caleb is the same as Jacob - a freak. Gary starts to yell and wants to know why Fred isn't searching for Caleb.   Fred again tells Gary that he needs to leave. Gary heads to the door and asks Frank if he is going to do his job, or let other people do it for him.

Bellamy and Maggie return to her office to find Eric Ward waiting for them bursting with excitement. Eric's idea is that the returned are cloned from a parallel universe.  Maggie questions the fact that they all have their memories and share the same symptoms. When Bellamy shows concern about how much Eric knows, Eric assures him that he is not there on behalf of the NIH and is there as a guest and a colleague. Eric explains that he has figured out that one can predict the latitude a Disappeared person will appear at based on how long they have been dead and asks to meet Jacob.

Tom heads to see Rachel to drop off groceries and tell her about Caleb's disappearance. When Tom looks up, he notices that Rachel is shaking.  Rachel tells Tom that when she drove off the bridge she didn't know and then extrapolates to admit that she is pregnant.

Tom is now sitting with Janine and tells her about Rachel's pregnancy.  Janine asks if Rachel is keeping the baby and Tom is shocked that Janine would advocate abortion.  Janine assures him that she is not suggesting anything and points out that Rachel was depressed.  Tom assures Janine that he didn't want this but Janine did point out that they both wanted a baby. Janine is upset that they have been trying to have a baby for three years and now Rachel, a woman who committed suicide is pregnant.  Tom assures Janine that he is committed to their marriage but has told Rachel that he will do what's right for the baby.  Janine tells Tom that he has turned her into an obligation and leaves the room.

Eric interviews Jacob, Henry and Lucille, as Bellamy and Maggie listen in.  He keeps it lighthearted until Jacob leaves the room to get a snack and asks the Langstons to go to  Bethesda with him. Eric says that right now, they only have the standard medical exams and that Bethesda has the best equipment in the country. Bellamy interjects that Eric wants to turn Jacob into a lab rat. Eric replies that this is about Jacob's health and well being and points out that things didn't end well for Caleb and that he wants to figure out what happened so that he can stop it.

Once Upon a Time, Season 3, Episode 17: The Jolly Roger

Flashback to the Enchanted Forest and Hook actually putting together some of his crew again (including Smee) for the purpose of robbing people, of course. Land Pirates! (Also known as Brigands or Bandits, but pirates sound way cooler). He is beloved by his crew, an entire bar and the prostitute they hire at least pretends to be fairly beloveding – but once Hook’s outside he pays the woman off and asks her to leave and lie about what happened. He settles in for a good ol’ angst when Ariel clubs him on the back of the head.

Back to the present! David and Emma are defeated by an Ikea crib and Regina has a protection spell for Mary Margaret’s precious unborn baby. Emma doesn’t want to hide behind a protection spell – she wants to go all aggressive after Regina teaches her how to use her often-forgotten-but-conveniently-reappearing-when-the-story-demands-it-magic.

Regina agrees – but Emma goes all in or goes home – no half measures, no partial commitment. Mary Margaret and David throw around angsty eyes. They don’t criticise but they do object to Emma not having them look after Henry – because Henry, without his memories – finds the Soggy Ones very very very very very boring and baby obsessed and boring. Really Boring. Unlike Hook – who is awesome.

Hook has his own problems – like Smee and his crew demanding they hit the high seas again (Jolly Roger vs Supertanker. That should be fun). Smee just can’t understand why they’re staying in town. But Emma shows up to tell Hook her plan and why she needs him to babysit – but also adds that Henry belongs in the real world and after Zelina’s finished, she’s “done”. Hook thinks this won’t work because Emma can’t just pretend all the magic stuff never happened – he tried in the year he remembered which no-one else does but he refuses to talk about (ominous foreshadowing ahoy)

And Ariel washes up on shore – noticed by Mary Margaret and David taking a walk and lamenting their lack of funness. Wait, didn’t Regina just put a protection spell on their house? Anyway, Ariel has been looking for Prince Eric in all the seas of the world (maybe she should have tried dry land) and failed to find him. Time to ask Hook – because in that year of randomness, I’m sure he was keeping track of fishy love interests.

Time to pick up the flashback – Ariel thought Hook had kidnapped Eric because Eric was kidnapped by pirates on the Jolly Roger – except Hook doesn’t have his ship any more. But he does want it back. The only clue to the identity of the people who have the Roger and Eric is the dagger Ariel has – with 2 Bs on the hilt.

Blackbeard. And Smee isn’t eager to go against him for the ship, but Hook is convinced he needs it to feel whole again (anyone laying odds that the reason Hook doesn’t feel right is the lack of Emma, not the ship?)