Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 10: Christmas Through Your Eyes

Kai manages to kidnap Jo by stabbing someone (Jo may suck as a doctor since she apparently though this was caused by a car accident. Presumably a car with a knife) and following them to the hospital because despite the vampires everywhere, hospitals have zero security

Sheriff Liz drops in on Caroline so they can have their special tree-trimming thing in her improbably-huge-dorm-room (even Sheriff Liz snarks this) and she invites Stefan because clearly more relationship drama is necessary. To help move the whole Stefan/Caroline bonding along, Sheriff Liz suddenly feels faint.

Elena and Damon are technically looking for ways to free Bonnie but really Elena is staring at Damon’s uber sexiness. Alaric calls them to come see him – Damon suggests that maybe some precautions may, perhaps, have been useful with the serial killer loose but Alaric scoffs at the very idea. Damon’s plan is to kill Kai. They also add some more exposition – Kai can’t merge with Jo without her magic which is stored in a knife which Damon has hidden – and Kai can’t use a locator spell because he can’t do magic.

Elena joins Caroline at the hospital where they’ve taken Sheriff Liz and they talk about Damon and Elena’s relationship because it’s definitely the thing they should be talking about right now. After compelling a doctor, Elena learns that Sherriff Liz has cancer (vampire blood cure anyone?)

Stefan decides it’s his job to give Caroline the bad news. Apparently vampire blood doesn’t cure cancer – Stefan is sure if it did they’d have heard about it (why? Because there are a huge number of compassionate vampire blood donors out there?) and Liz is incurably ill. Caroline is sure his mother is cancer proof. Ok I’m being unfair this is a really deep, moving scene that if Liz had been given 10 minutes this season – or if they couldn’t just VAMPIRISE her – would be excellently done. And since I’m British and am exposed to British soaps there is absolutely no way shape or form you can get me in the emotions with a tragic Christmas episodes because we are the masters of making people sob piteously over the turkey.

Over to Tyler and his plan is to let Kai live – Luke and Liv aren’t big fans of letting him live since he did try to murder them when they were children, but Tyler thinks letting Kai merge with Jo and becoming a super-powerful serial killer will be an awesome way to spare Luke and Liv from the merging thing. This is why Tyler shouldn’t make plans. Luke points out a super-powerful witch on a killing spree is probably not a good thing, he also has a sense of fated duty towards the coven. But Liv is willing to throw that aside and unleash a serial killer for a normal life.

Unfortunately Liv seems to win the argument because they cast the finding spell for Kai and get him the knife full of Jo’s magic and join him in his evil ritual of sibling bonding (which sounds vaguely incestuous). Kai starts stabbing Jo which shocked Luke that his stabby brother likes stabbing things and nearly gets himself stabbed in the process – so he leaves. Jo points out she has to voluntarily retake her magic back and random stabbing won’t change that (but it could kill her first).

Jo begs Liv to let her go but Liv does point out that Jo trying to avoid the terrible fate of merging means that it falls on Liv and Luke instead, the whole “spare me from this terrible fate so you can have it instead” isn’t a big winner. Except, of course, Kai’s a serial killer. But Liv points out that Jo may win the merging (amusingly, while Liv is willing to consider that, absolutely no-one believes Luke would survive the merge with Liv) and points out how strong she is – which is when Kai comes back and steals Liv’s magic. He tortures Liv until Jo willingly takes back her magic.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Archangel's Storm (Guildhunter #5) by Nalini Singh

Princess Mahiya is the niece of the Archangel Neha. A privileged position – or it would be if she weren’t the daughter of Neha’s cheating husband and Neha’s own sister. Neha is more than a little bitter and not above using Mahiya as a scapegoat for her parents’ actions

But when one of those parents, her father Eris, is brutally murdered the Archangel Raphael offers to send Jason, his spymaster, to help investigate in the hope of curbing Neha’s growing instability and rage. But for Neha to trust Jason in her lands, she needs someone to bond with Jason – the disposable princess seems like an ideal choice. But Jason sees far more in Mahiya than ever Neha did.

This book has an excellently balanced and paced storyline – it combines character development, mystery and romance in a perfect amount that none of it is neglected and none of it is overwhelming. We have a series of murders to investigate and not once does it feel like the characters are ignoring that mission – but nor does that mission get in the way of us seeing the characters and allowing the characters to show they have their own agendas beyond the mission they have been given. They’re not just servants and we really get to see their own personality. Similarly the romance doesn’t get in the way of the mission and it doesn’t subsume the characters own personality in a wave of oh-how-hot the other is but it still allowed to grow in strength and depth over the course of the book with enough passion to keep it real without the melodrama to make me want to roll my eyes.

I especially like how Mahiya doesn’t expect a long term relationship and though would prefer one, understands if it isn’t on the cards. The best line of this is when someone worries about Mahiya getting her heart broken to which Mahiya accepts it could happen – but that she’d live through it and heal. She acts like a mature grown up – more, she acts like the immortal creature she is and that a bad love affair won’t destroy her.

On top of that we have some nice building of meta – it’s a nice slow burn which I think this story needs because the early books in the series pulled out the vast epic so early that we needed a more slow burn to prevent the idea that vast epic disasters afflict every week. There are lots of questions and hooks left in this world to bring in a vast number of storylines which points to a rich world and a lot of meaty plots to come.

What I loved most about this book is how it flipped the script – both on the last four books in the series but also in the genre in general.

Like every paranormal romance character ever, both Jason and Mahiya have tragic pasts (a tragic present in Mahiya’s case) and Jason follows the same pattern we see a lot of male characters with tragic pasts do – he’s cold and distant and unable to connect with people. He isn’t, however, cruel which is a very nice change nor is he aggressive. His tragic past that still haunts him isn’t treated as an excuse for him to lash out at others – he’s distant, cold and his emotions are dampened. He’s isolated but he doesn’t force that isolation with savagery or cruelty or bitter womanising with the inevitable trail of desperate women who just want to love him dogging his wake (like Dmitri) which is very nice to see.

American Horror Story, Season 4, Episode 9: Tupperware Massacre Party

Dandy visits fortune teller Maggie for some advice about his messed up life especially since he’s now added a passing Avon lady to his victims so he can sew together a Dot and Bette puppet out of her corpse and his mother’s. Maggie tells him something blandy reassuring which he takes as complete vindication and leaves relieved – after creeping Maggie out.

Jimmy has taken to getting very drunk, flirting with Barbara – now under the stage name Ima – and feeding her. Until he sees Dandy and drunkenly runs after him, accuses him of being behind the twins’ absence and being the other clown murderer (50% right) before falling down drunk. Dandy swears to destroy Jimmy

While looking for the twins at the camp, Desiree is met by a man called Angus – who she tells Maggie is her “beau” but to keep it quiet. In a tent they find Jimmy having sex with Barbara. Desiree calls them “pigs rutting” and Maggie adds “he’ll put it in anyone, he’s drunk.” Maggie tries to storm off and Jimmy stops her yelling that Barbara both begged her as crude descriptions of her, Maggie gives him a well deserved smack. Barbara runs to Jimmy’s defence (threatening to “flatten” Maggie) while Maggie points out Barbara could be anything for Jimmy (“a pillow, a doughnut, a sock”). Jimmy is sick.

And he’s still drunk at one of the “Tupperware parties” he does for the housewives of the town – and it does not improve his performance. He hallucinates his mother who is definitely not impressed with Jimmy’s decline. Eerily, the other Tupperware attendees also have small talk with Ethel. When the hallucination ends, Jimmy is kicked out.

When he leaves, Dandy arrives, asking to borrow a phone. And later, when the hostess’s husband returns home he finds all the women murdered in the swimming pool, blood everywhere.

Dandy took some of their blood for his bath and Regina visits to tell him she’s gone to the cops. Dandy calmly tells her he killed her mother. Regina is shocked and horrified – and then takes in her blood stained surroundings. Dandy happily expositions about killing his own mother and how he’s discovered bathing in blood. Regina tries to leave and Dandy locks the door. Dandy tells her how happy he is, Regina replies that his victims aren’t. He wants her to join him in his blood stained bath with a tantrum over her being so scared. He gets disappointed and angry because Regina isn’t joining him on his murder train – and he kicks her out. He goes off on one of his classic rants

Regina comes back with the police and it looks like Dandy may finally get his; but Dandy relies on his vast wealth and happily admits to murder and that he’ll get away with it because he’s just that wealthy. To prove it, he offers the detective $1,000,000 to kill Regina – and he does it without thinking for a second.

The Potential of Urban Fantasy

“Popular escapist fiction enchants adult readers without challenging them to be educated for critical consciousness” - bell hooks Rock My Soul 2003

One of the reasons we were inspired to create Fangs for the Fantasy is to hold the genre we love to read accountable - it is too easy and too common to love a thing and decide that, therefore, it must be perfect when we should love it enough to work for it to be better. When authors routinely create books that contain trope laden marginalised characters or erase us because for some reason we didn’t fit their storyline or out of fear of a rejection from publishers, it says that our struggles, indeed our very lives don’t matter.  It is an act of self love to demand to see your self represented well in a genre you consume. It’s an act of critical consciousness to challenge the prevailing thought which says repeatedly that we don’t matter.

[...] the function of art is to do more than tell it like it is - it’s to imagine what is possible” - bell hooks Outlaw Culture 1994

Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction, indeed all Speculative Fiction, fits this paradigm perfectly. It’s a world in which anything is possible. From vampires to light sabres, to zombies to dragons and werewolves, yet somehow marginalised people and our experiences don’t flatter the imagination. To some degree, we are all complicit in maintaining the discord in worth and value but taken as a whole, urban fantasy is guilty of perpetuating some of the worst attributes of our problematic understanding of power and privilege.  

Because much of the fantasy genre is regarded as pure fluff, it can be tempting to simply internalise the messages we receive when we consume it. After all, there really are no such things as vampires and wendigo and since the basis of the work is the imagination, it becomes all too easy to not take it seriously and deny the power it has. But if you love something, truly love something, isn’t it important to listen that much more carefully? Isn’t it important to give it your full attention? More, isn’t it important to respect the power and influence it has? Too often we see the bizarre contradiction where we celebrate speculative fiction being widely popular in books, TV series and films yet at the same time we dismiss the power and influence such a vastly consumed genre actually has. We even go so far as to deny it actually being an art form, as if it’s very popularity renders it ineligible. Speculative fiction cannot be as immensely popular and as widely consumed as it is and at the same time be irrelevant or lack influence.

It’s all too easy to get completely caught up in the fantastical or the romantic nature of the story itself and scream, “my precious.”  Many times I have perused Goodreads after writing a review to find out if others took the same umbrage with a story that I did, to find any kind of critical critique lacking. It is understandable that not everyone will agree over a review - but it’s astonishing how grossly blatant a trope can be and still be near universally overlooked. Sure, there is a lot of commentary about purple prose and nonsensical plot lines but more often than not an absolute failure to acknowledge the greater issues with a book or series prevails. It’s not enough that we demand good writing. We need to begin to demand greater diversity of characters, locations and perspective for the genre to grow, otherwise we are simply telling the same story repeatedly and lauding it while it fails to contribute little that is new, substantial, challenging or useful. Urban Fantasy need not be something we dismissively accept as junk food for the brain because it has the absolute potential to be subversive in ways more restrictive genres cannot hope to accomplish.

And it is the sheer lack of barriers at the heart of this genre that makes the paucity of diversity or subversion in it so utterly shocking and inexcusable. More than any other genre out there, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and the greater speculative fiction mega-genre are limited only by our own imaginations - and it is depressing that our collective imagination is apparently so very narrow.

Storytelling has the power to generate and spread new ideas, to shape our society and our values, to pass on these vital messages to the next generation in a way that no history book could possibly manage. Storytelling is how we can re-imagine and reshape the world and lay the foundation on which we can build something better. Storytelling is how we reach out and allow ourselves to escape a harsh, often unfriendly world to one where we can know excitement, joy and escape - something all the more vital for the most marginalised among us. Storytelling is, therefore, important even vital.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Grimm, Season Four, Episode Seven: The Grimm Who Stole Christmas

"I have but to swallow this,
and be fore the rest of my days
persecuted by a legion of
goblins, all of my own creation.
Humbug, I tell you; humbug!"

Dennis and Emma Gladstone are throwing a massive Christmas party.  The doorbell rings and when it is opened, their guests find a present on the front porch.

Monroe has decorated the house for Christmas and he starts the train for the first time for the season, much to Rosalie's excitement. Monroe then points out an invitation taped to one of the train cars to Rosalie. When it comes around, Rosalie grabs it.  The invitation turns out to be an offer from Monroe to go on a honeymoon with him.  Can I just say, it's about time. The two hug happily and they both say that they are going to be okay.

At the Gladstone's, a hand breaks its way through the present that was dropped off.  Emma wakes Dennis to let him know that there is someone in the house.  Downstairs, a kallikantzaroi, which looks quite like the Grinch  becomes visible. Denis makes his way down the stairs after telling Emma to call the police and hears the sound of things being crashed.  He confronts two kallikantzaroi with glowing green eyes.  Denis calls out for help and tries to run back upstairs but the kallikantzaroi grab him by the legs and drag him away.

Trubel, Hank and Nick are at the Grimm trailer doing research on the Wesen heretics who burned the cross.  Hank questions how they knew that Rosalie and Monroe were married. Back at Nick's Josh Porter is going through the Grimopedia in amazement, as he and Juliet talk about the fact that Wesen are real. Josh mentions that he thought his father was "crazy" and brought his father to Nick because he was dying.  Josh reveals that there are days when he wishes he could be like Nick and Juliet points out that one day, he might not have a choice.  Josh admits that this possibility scares him. Josh then questions if the threats against Monroe and Rosalie are real and wonders if there is something he could do to help.  Juliet points out that he has enough to deal with right now and Josh concedes the points.  The two sit and look at the tree and Josh says that this is his first Christmas away from Philadelphia.

Hank and Nick arrive at the Gladstone's, where Wu tells them that Dennis got banged up pretty badly in a home invasion. Wu adds that the nieghbours reported hearing a lot of strange noises.  The cops enter the house and it is a complete wreck.  Wu takes Hank and Nick to meet Emma, who is anxious to see Dennis.  Emma tells them that she heard the attack and that when she finally got downstairs, whoever did this was gone.  Emma explains that they had a party with a lot of their friends which went until about 11.  Emma does bring up the present left on the front doorstep and points it out to Hank, who goes to check it out.  Hank realises that the box looks like something or someone ripped it open from the inside. Nick picks up a piece of fruit cake that the perpetrators were munching on. 

 Josh and Trubel make their way down the street and Trubel says that she has to check on a guy and it involves the stuff going on with Rosalie and Monroe. Josh asks what she neeeds him to do and Trubel orders him to stay there.  Josh hides in the bushes, as Trubel runs across the street and enters the backyard of a house, to hear raised voices on the inside.  When Trubel looks in the window, she sees a group of people meeting.  From his hiding spot, Josh notices a man carrying a box .  The man walks into the backyard and vogues when he sees Trubel..Josh sneaks up behind the man and bashes him over the head with a rock.  Trubel searches the man and finds something and Josh blathers on about the man voguing

Trubel and Josh head back to Nicks's and Truble hands Nick the mask she took of the man.  Trubel then brings up the incident where Bud asked her to help with a bully problem at his kid's school and reveals that it was really all about Shaw, a Wesen who was going to do something to Nick because he wasn't a Grimm anymore.  Trubel adds that Bud thought that Shaw found out that Nick was no longer a Grimm, from a guy who attended Monroe & Rosalie's wedding.  Trubel reveals that the mask was in the pocket of a Shackle that Josh hit in the head with a rock. Nick gets a call from Hank saying that the witness is ready to talk.  Nick agrees to meet Hank at the hospital and tells Trubel to see what she can find out from Bud.

At the hospital, Denis describes his attackers as three kids who dressed up like red hairy monsters.  Nick asks for more details on what the perpetrators looked like and Denis snarks about Nick and Hank filling out a police report for hairy little beasts.  Denis suggests that they look for whoever was inside the costumes, so Nick says that more detail about the costume could help point them out. 

Bud, Josh & Trubel watch the house from across the street. Using binoculars, Bud identifies some of the Wesen in the house.

The Pirate Princess (Jinx #2) by Alice Rozen

Jinx the witch is not shy about using her powers when she think it is warranted, much to the worry of the school authorities. To try and unruffle a few feathers, Jinx finds herself pulled into starring in a school play about the dread pirate captain, Sirena.

She had many worries and jitters about the play – but she definitely didn’t expect Sirena on her fabled ghostly pirate ship, the Flying Dutchman, to actually appear as the performance began.

With the new surprise arrival of Felix, Jinx must match wits with the pirate captain who is determined to sacrifice a witch born on hallowe’en to Davy Jones and isn’t afraid of having to hurt people in the process

This is one of those hard reviews to write – because I don’t have a lot to say but still loved it. I loved it because it’s immense fun. The story is fun, the characters are fun, the world setting is fun. It’s just all so very fun. It’s light, it’s fast paced, the action is perfectly balanced, it’s funny and there are lots of extremely fun, epic moments of excitement that, at the same time, don’t go over the top nor do they try to get too gritty or dark. It’s fun, it’s a fun read, it’s meant to be fun. And I can’t just write a review which says “it’s fun, go read it for the fun because fun!” though, really, what more could you possibly want from a book beyond fun? It’s one of the most difficult aspects of reviewing that when you liked a book for simple, good reasons, the review is short.

Of course, while the fun is by far and away the main reason to read it, there are some nice bonuses on top of that as well. We have a short but intriguing story that involves battling the enemy in ways beyond merely squishing and killing them as well as complex villains with difficult and deep motives that are hide to argue against, even if they are overly idealistic and simplistic. We have some excellent character development in Jinx’s school life and how she uses her powers as you’d really expect a 10 year old to use her powers. This also involves, very refreshingly, a complete absence of the usual “waaah I have super powers, it’s so terrible to be me!” Jinx is a witch, she likes being a witch, she loves her powers, she has absolutely no desire to hide her powers or suppress them and she’s quite willing to let loose when she sees things she disagrees this. Does this give the 10 year old Jinx something of an invincibility complex? Of course – but what 10 year old wouldn’t?

I like how this world has developed – building from the foundation of last book, we’re now expanding outwards. Not only with the introduction of Felix (and it is only the introduction this book, there isn’t much development of it yet – but this is a 100 page book with a lot of action) and a good foundation for that future relationship, but also with bringing in the Illuminati and general hints of meta. After the basics from the first book, this book is littered with little plot hooks promising that there’s a full meaty series to come that is going to be more than what we see. This gives me a lot of hope that there’s a full series run available here.

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 9: The Things We Left Behind

Dean has a dream about slicing and dicing people until he’s covered in blood. That’s bad Mark news. On the plus side he does wake up as if it were a nightmare so, hope!

he seems better later watching the three stooges and eating cholesterol in its most solid form – but Sam is leery of his Mark.

And to a girl, Claire Novak, who is clearly very troubled and often in trouble at that. She is visited in her cell by… Castiel. Jimmy Novak, her father, is the body Castiel is possessing. Alone things are… tense, Claire is not thrilled. Castiel tells her (to my great relief) that Jimmy’s soul isn’t in residence any more because the body has been so badly mangled. Claire doesn’t particularly want a visit from the guy who took her dad from her; especially since after her dad was taken, her mother took off and she’s ended up in a group home. But that’s exactly why Castiel wants to help – a somewhat belated attack of conscience.

She wants him to get her out – which means putting on a tie (which Cas isn’t good at) and trying to get custody of “his” daughter and having a very very very awkward interview. Sandy, the nice social services woman, is not that impressed and says no.

Unable to get her out through legitimate means, Castiel stages a gaolbreak in the middle of the night, complete with unconscious guard.

He takes her to a diner and Claire notes the change in Castiel and Castiel nicely sums it up with him used to be so assured of righteousness and now he doesn’t think there is such a thing just “people trying to do their best in a world where it’s far too easy to do your worst.” Castiel thinks they should stick together – Claire’s not so sure. So she steals his wallet and ditches him. She hitchhikes away

And Castiel calls Dean and Sam and Dean is very much doubting that this constitutes an emergency (unlike apocalypse #3, and yes this show has had numerous apocalypses) nor does Dean especially see why Castiel feels responsible. Sam goes off to check the Group Home while Dean and Castiel stay in case she comes back, ostensibly, but really so Dean can question what’s going on with Castiel (and assert that ketchup is a vegetable.) Castiel lays out his motives and Dean points out that to keep going and manage life you have to move on and not think about those you fail or those you can’t save. In an equal moment of self-awareness, he agrees that he doesn’t actually do that but also points out that he’s not exactly in an ideal state because of that.

Castiel takes the chance to turn it round and inquire as to how Dean is handling things (and Castiel’s sad eyes won’t accept “fine” as an answer). After much worry about the mark, Dean has Castiel promise to kill him of the Mark turns him evil.

To the actual hunt for Claire, Sam hear at the Group Home about a friend Claire had at the home called Dustin who now works at the Wiener Hut.

This Week in Book Covers 1st December - 5th December

The Big Over Easy (Jack Spratt Investigates #1) by Jasper Fforde

While I’m not a big fan of this style of cover, I think this does it well. It’s cartoony and fun - which, after all, is the very essence of this book. We have Humpty Dumpty just to drive it home - and a gun in classic retro-crime novel style as well; all the elements are there. I can’t say I like the cover but it does the job admirably

The Fairyland Murders (Deadly Ever After #1) by J.A. Kazimer

I find this cover interesting because here we have a male protagonist presented in a pose that is very similar to poses we see of a lot of female characters on book covers - but there are noted differences. Like his back is to us - but while that would be a classic arse-showing pose, his jeans are loose and he isn’t wearing tight leather. He’s wearing a vest, but it’s not midrift and the limited flesh it shows - his arms - are covered by writing or off the cover; more the black of the top coupled with the background makes it hard to track the shape of his upper body at all. It’s a classic cover angle with none of the sexualisation we are used to seeing

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Originals, Season Two, Episode Nine: The Map of Moments

We get a flashback to New Orleans, in 1914. with carolers singing away.  Kol enters a house and immediately beings searching it.  Kol finds a diamond hidden as stopper for booze and orders Mary Alice Claire to meet him in the graveyard because he has a date with a dagger.  The moment he leaves the house however, he is ambushed by Marcel and Klaus. It seems that they were following Kol, after being informed of a thief working the streets and demand that Kol hand over the diamond.   The witches Kol left behind are trapped in the house and Klaus tells Kol that those women will never leave the house again.

Rebekah hangs a wreath in the house and offers Elijah some wine but he is not impressed and believes he is being handled with kid gloves.  Elijah makes it clear that he was sent to protect Hope by Klaus and Hayley questions what happened to him in the diner.

Kol and Davina have worked on a spell in the hopes of protecting Cami from Esther's plan of shifting Rebekah into her. Marcel is trying to rush the process and of course, Kol is snarky about the whole deal.  When Marcel grabs Kol, Cami points out that he will be more useful alive.  Marcel and Cami leave and Davina questions the animosity between Marcel and Kol.  Kol explains that he doesn't like playing odd man out in his own family and that Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah are a party of three, with only room from Marcel.  Kol brings up the diamond he needs to do the spell, saying that 100 years ago, he had one brilliant moment, until Marcel ratted him out to Klaus and Klaus took the diamond.  Davina suggests stealing it back, saying that it is a good chance to snoop.

In the bayou, Michael is busy ripping a body apart but stops and gets suspicious when he sees a crow. Esther appears and snarks about Michael making a mess of her werewolf sentries.  Michael tells Esther that he missed her and she returns the sentiment.  The reunion doesn't stay pleasant because Michael is not at all pleased that Esther brought her lover back without a thought of him.  Michael promises to slaughter every single wolf he sees, until he kills Ansel.  Esther then informs Michael that Klaus killed Ansel and snarks that though Klaus isn't really Michael's son, he certainly acts like it. Michael screams, telling Esther not to mention Klaus. Esther taunts Michael to strike her but she poofs away when he tries. When Esther returns, she tells Michael that they have things to discuss regarding their children.

Elijah is cuddling Hope, as Rebekah prepares to make a bonfire which she reminds Elijah is a family tradition.  Elijah wonders why their family is always at war and Rebekah says spending time with Hope made her see things differently.  Rebekah adds that they are not the monsters their parents think they are.

Klaus and Hayley pull up and Hayley rushes over and stares in awe at the baby.  Elijah hands over Hope and Hayley takes her into her arms.  Hayley walks the baby over to Klaus, who takes her in his arms and smiles.  It's actually quite the touching scene to watch Klaus hold the baby, with Hayley by his side and Elijah and Rebekah looking on.

Rebekah is back to work on the bonfire, as Klaus explains what happened to Freya and the curse Dalia cast on all the first born Mikaelson's for all eternity.  Hayley asks if this is true and Elijah says it is, if they believe Finn. Rebekah snarks that Finn hates them because he lost the sister her adored and then got a judgy pack of siblings.  Hayley is worried about the threat Dahlia holds but Elijah points out that the story is over 1,000 years old and Dahlia is long dead. Hayley points out that Esther is alive.

The bonfire is now assembled and Rebekah says that before they light it they should write down their wishes for each other then burn them for luck and this was their favourite part as kids.  Klaus says that this is reason enough to ignore it but Hayley over rules Klaus saying that this is Hope's first bonfire season.

Cami meets up with Marcel and he advises her not to think about what might happen.  Cami says that she cannot stop it and Finn could make a difference but he is ten feet away and locked in a box.  Cami is insistent that she need to talk to Finn but Marcel forcefully says no. Cami reiterates that she is hours away from someone taking over her body and suggests that Marcel avoid trying to control her.

Klaus is playing with Hope when Hayley approaches him to do her bonfire game. When Hayley insists that it's not silly, Klaus points out that he is not her husband to boss around. Hayley then points out that she had to endure endless labour and even death to produce Hope.  Klaus gives in and writes a note wishing that Hayley would tell Elijah that she is marrying her werewolf suitor, promising to pour Elijah a scotch and congratulate him on the bullet he dodged. Klaus then hands the note to Hayley who crumples it and stalks away.

Marcel bring Finn into the room and tells Cami he is only allowing this for her and will stay in the room to make sure she is safe. Cami points out that Finn does not have the strength to pick a fight, adding that he won't talk to her with Marcel there.  Marcel skulks off and Cami offers Finn a grilled cheese. Finn however tells Cami that her kindness is her fatal flaw and will be her downfall. Cami again encourages Finn to eat but he is adamant that he will not get lost in her beauty or empathy. Cami quips that she would appeal to his morals but they don't seem to exist.  Finn responds that he is not the one who was sleeping with one vampire, while half in love with another.  Yep, throwing in a little slut shaming. Finn says that the problem is that Cami believes that people can change and he does not believe in redemption, only right and wrong and good and evil.  Finn argues that he is trying to help people like Cami and adds that when he is free, he will see to it that every vampire in New Orleans ceases to exist. Finn then adds that he will show no mercy to anyone who stands with them.  Cami leaves the room and orders Marcel to lock Finn back up.

Deceiver's Bond (A Clairvoyant's Complicated Life #2) by Katherine Bayless

Lire, powerful Seattle psychic and clairvoyant could really use some down time after narrowly surviving a traumatic and near-death experience – especially since she now has 3 new psychic powers to try to assimilate even while she’s frightened of some of the new things she can do.

But there are ongoing effects – the demon Paimon still has forged a link with Lire and is driving her to act to save the world; if she can actually trust a word he says. Invisius is still trying to snare Lire in its own secret machinations…

And then the sidhe appear.

This book seems to be moving in a very different direction, while still using the wonderfully rich world and excellent characters we had in the last book (I loved them so very much).

In the last book the focus was on a demonically manipulated serial killer and, lurking behind him, the sneaky and manipulative Invisius organisation with its mind readers, diviners and the ability to control people’s thoughts. It was a dire threat to face, but Lire had friends and allies and we were all set up to face it

This book takes a sharp turn – and a much broader focus. This brings in the fae and the demons in a much larger extent and we have some wonderful expansions of the world building with both creatures being referenced and developed including an excellent and original reason for why both species actually want to reach Earth (I think this is especially important because so much of the genre works by relying on past assumptions of genre staples. Demons want to invade this world? Why? Because it’s what demons do, right?). It upgrades the epicness of the series and puts things in a far more important context. This is no longer just Lire’s story, but a story on which the world rests.

But Lire is still front and centre of it – her story is still central. We still have Lire getting though her life, excellently handling her psychic abilities that have now grown so greatly and her own self-doubts and worries about that. There’s the added pressure of her normal life being almost unsupportable through all this pressure – even well meaning pressure – and her growing frustration with the very nature of prophecy. Various beings have decided she is the Chosen One to save them all and she has not the time, patience or confidence for such pronouncements. Especially since prophecy is being used as a stick to goad her or a justification for other’s meddling. No matter what the prophecies say, this is Lire’s life and she has no wish to throw it away or twist it irreparably because “it is written”.

It’s still about her which is excellent – because Lire is an awesome character.

One thing the new, epic and fascinating plot lines have done though is brush the old plot lines aside a little… clumsily. I felt that we kind of raced to the new paradigm and the old one was hastily put to bed and banished into the background.

I do find Lire to be annoyingly nice at times. In particular she’s almost supernaturally forgiving and understanding. Especially towards Danny and Kieran. Yes both of them have been put in awkward situations like Lire, but the situations they’ve been put in have caused them to directly affect Lire’s life. Danny has invaded the minds of people round her, changed their lives, rearranged her neighbours, her work and regularly kept secrets from her. Kieran was sent to seduce her (which is a very very broad definition of what he was expected to do) and fought with her while Maeve did her thing with Vince. Sure they are in terrible circumstances and are acting with the very best of intentions but I think Lire is being something of a saint to be as forgiving and understanding as she is. I would definitely have stabbed a few people with the silverware over dinner by now.

Forever, Season 1, Episode 11: Skinny Dipper

We pick up just before we left it last time – with Adam the sinister immortal murdering a taxi driver so he can use his taxi to kidnap Henry. He drives recklessly and accuses Henry of ignoring him (wait… has Henry even had a means to contact the man?) Adam decides to prove he’s immortal while killing himself while driving at high speed. He vanishes, as dead immortals do and the car careens out of control and ends up in the river.

Henry desperately struggles to escape but, inevitably, drowns. It’s been a while since he died. As he comes back to life in the river, Henry reflects that he fears death still but, clearly, Adam does not and that is worrisome (he calls Adam “insane”). As he swims to shore he is seen by the police, swimming naked

Which means the next day he is sat opposite Lt. Reece who has her excellent “you make no sense you frustrating man you” face on. Henry goes for “I’m a sleep walker who sleeps naked” which is actually a pretty good excuse. She gives him an ultimatum – his eccentricity is ok, but this can’t go on because it will challenge his credibility and undermine his work.

Of course, far more embarrassing for Henry is that the entire police department now knows he was brought in naked and of course he will be teased mercilessly. While everyone else thinks it’s hilarious, Jo is concerned. Henry, of course, deflects her.

He also has to autopsy the taxi driver that Adam stabbed; Henry quickly recognises him from the ID in the taxi and that he was stabbed by a sword. Lucas makes a Highlander reference which, hilariously, the immortal Henry doesn’t recognise.

Henry takes a brief break to go home and tell Abe what he’s doing and Abe says he can’t possibly go hunting for Adam alone he needs help – from someone with a badge; he wants Henry to tell Jo. Me too. Of course, this hits Henry’s sensitive sports because he did once trust Nora, his wife, with his secret and she had him committed to an asylum.

Back to the murder, Henry passes on his findings and the police fish out the taxi. In the taxi they find the sword hole and a bullet casing from where Adam shot himself. The gun was also antique, as recognised by Hanson. Throughout the investigation Henry is distracted and traumatised. Jo also finds Henry’s watch – but says Henry must have just dropped it.

Henry recruits Abe to help him investigate which also involves jumping into the river. Except the police are watching for him and Henry ends up explaining himself to a not-amused Lt Reece all over again. Henry has his explanation for finding evidence this time showing yet again that Henry really doesn’t understand evidence rules. He gets very excitable over the case then apologises to Reece when he realises he’s shouting.

Jo, again, tries to get him to open up to her or see a therapist. Henry agrees to see a therapist but is very very worried since his time in the asylum was torturous. They manage to find him a British doctor  - who outright calls Henry’s observations “Sherlockian” which means Forever isn’t even trying to be subtle. Actual therapy is a lot less stressful than Henry’s memories and, again, pushes him to trust Jo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Librarians, Season One, Episode Two: And the Sword in the Stone

Episode two opens with two Brotherhood assassins about to kill Flynn, when Eve intervenes and knocks their heads together. Jacob and Ezekiel  help Flynn to stand up and Eve notices how badly Flynn has been wounded.  Eve offers to treat Flynn but he says that because it is a magical wound, it cannot be treated.  Jacob calls out that they need to go and find Cassandra but Flynn informs the group that Cassandra is the one who let them in.  Flynn then takes a swig of Bathsheba's oil of healing, which slows the bleeding but does not stop it.  Flynn says that it will slow the bleeding long enough for them to find Charlene.  Eve says that she passed Charlene earlier and was instructed to meet her deep in the library by the corridor of doors.  Flynn takes off running with the others on his heels.

Lamia gives the order for the Brotherhood to pack up as much as they can.  Cassandra questions if this is all necessary and Lamia points out that all of these items could be used to help the public. Cassandra is at least somewhat skeptical that the Brotherhood is on the side of good. Lamia assures Cassandra that they are going to use the library's powers to change the world.

Flynn keeps running and when Jacob asks how big the library is, Flynn says that it is as large as they need it to be.  A bell suddenly starts to toll and the library begins to fold in on itself, as Flynn yells no.  Eve grabs Flynn and they take off running in the opposite direction.  Lamia gives the order for everyone to get out and says that the library exists in its own pocket dimension  and that the first librarian just cut the anchor chain.

Jacob is counting down the bells and Flynn says that he has never been this deep in the library before.  Flynn adds that Charlene will know what to do but Eve says that she is not coming.  They find a secret door and leap through it.  When Flynn tries to go through the door again, it leads him nowhere and then the door suddenly disappears.  Ezekiel questions where they are because it's daylight now.  Eve looks at her GPS and announces that they are in Oregon.  They head for the road and meet up with Jenkins, who seems to have been waiting for them.

On the drive, Jenkins says that they are not taking Flynn to a hospital and instead drives them to a different location.  Eve again asserts that Flynn needs a doctor but Jenkins says that wounds by Excalibur don't heal.  Flynn is shocked that Jenkins knows about Excalibur and questions where they are being lead.  Jenkins turns on the lights and reveals that they are in the library.  Flynn collapses on the ground.

Flynn wakes up to find out that they have used duc tape and glue to try and seal the wound.  Flynn gets up and calls out for Judson and Charlene and Jenkins explains that this is an annex of the library. Jenkins adds that Judson has cut ties of the library to the physical world and that all they have is this room, which will give them access to the information, with no way in or out of the main library.  Jenkins calls Judson rash and says that the library is best used for research and not gallivanting around.

Flynn says that he should have seen Cassandra's betrayal coming and wonders why Judson didn't warn him.  Eve suggests that Judson trusted him to figure it out on his own. Flynn says that people are dead because he just wasn't good enough, as he makes his way up a flight of stairs.  Eve points out that Flynn is reopening his wound but Flynn says that it doesn't matter because it is a magical wound; it means that it will never heal.  Even finally tells the others that if Flynn keeps bleeding, he will be dead in 24 hours.

Cassandra meets with Lamia and Dulaque and he points out that the librarians will go to any lengths to keep magic out of the world.  Cassandra asks about being cured and behind her back, Lamia raises a knife as if to stab her, as Dulaque says that when the key is joined to the lock, they can cure her and magic will be returned to the world. Cassandra asks Dulaque to save all of the people who science cannot save and Dulaque assures her that this is what she is there to do.  Dulaque sends Cassandra off for a nap and Lamia confronts him about why she was not allowed to kill Cassandra.  Dulaque explains that even with Excalibur, it will be difficult to access the lock and having even half a librarian (read: Cassandra) will prove useful.

Outside the satellite site, Eve tells Jenkins that since she is new to this that she really needs Flynn to get it together.  Jenkins tells Eve to pull Flynn together because it is her job as a guardian to keep him in one piece mentally and physically.  Eve points out that she didn't do a good job but Jenkins is not sympathetic, saying that this sort of thing happens to Guardians all of the time.  Jenkins adds that Flynn is drowning because he has lost both Judson and Charlene and sends Eve inside to save him.

When Eve re-enters the satellite site, she finds Flynn studying, trying to find a way back to the library.  Eve questions if this what they should be doing and Flynn argues that the library has tools and resources that they are going to need to fight the Brotherhood.  Eve points out that since they have been together Flynn has only used his brain and that is why Judson chose him. Eve adds that if finding the library were the right thing to do, he would be doing it and reading about it. Eve suggests that Flynn not go back to hiding in books the way he did before he became the librarian.  Flynn says that he is going to be dead tomorrow, so Eve asks how Judson and Charlene would want him to spend his last day and Flynn replies that they would want me to save the world one last night.

The Librarians Season One, Episodes One: And the Crown of King Arthur

The Librarians opens up in Berlin with what appears to be an American military group preparing to raid a factory to retrieve a weapon of mass destruction.  The team is being led by Eve Baird. The military confront a group of suspects and the shooting starts.  When two suspects manage to make an exit, Eve runs after them by herself. Eve catches up to them but the men have already set a bomb to explode.  Suddenly, Flynn Carson crawls through a tunnel and lands smack dab in the middle of the tense situation between Eve and the two men she has cornered.  Flynn explains that he is simply there to retrieve the opal of Samora, explaining that Teutonic Knights recovered it during the third crusade.  Flynn finds it locked in the original magical safe, adding that it summons demons but it doesn't control them. Flynn using a tuning fork on the safe, accidentally setting off a trap, which Flynn explains will turn every corpse in a three mile radius into zombies, if he doesn't disarm it within three minutes.  Eve orders Flynn to make it stop and he yells that it would be easier to concentrate if someone would turn off the beeping nuclear bomb.

The men that Eve held at bay make their move and escape.  Eve and the men exchange bullets, as she tries to disarm the bomb. Flynn tells Eve that it is easier to disarm the bomb than the safe he is working on.  Eve continues to shoot at the men and Flynn gives Eve the code to disarm the bomb and he disarms the safe as well.  A man holds a gun at Eve demanding the bomb and Flynn informs her that he is out of bullets, so Eve takes a swing at him, knocking him unconscious.  Eve questions Flynn on how he knows all of that and Flynn simply explains that he is the librarian.  Eve's men show up and she turns to address them but when she looks behind her, Flynn is gone.

In New York City, the next day, Dr. Jonas Sheir rushes through the streets as he calls the library saying that he must speak the librarian, a Mr. Flynn Carson. Flynn says that Flynn Carson was in Minneapolis and Sheir states that Flynn Carson was in Berlin recovering the Opal.  Flynn pauses and Sheir realises that he is indeed talking to Flynn, and says that Flynn won't remember him and that he is outside and is coming in.  Sheir makes his way into the library entrance, only to be stabbed in the stomach by a man who says, "the crown is mine."  Sheir drops a piece of paper, which Flynn later picks up.

Eve is back in New York, explaining to her superiors what happened in Berlin.  Eve enters her empty apartment, as she is told that she is going to have a month on leave.  Eve opens her fridge, to find even that is empty.  Suddenly, an envelope slides under her door and when she opens it, it is an invitation to interview for a prestigious position at the Metropolitan Library.  Even instantly makes the connection to the Librarian.

Eve shows up at the library with her invitation and meets Charlene who is excited that Eve has the white envelope.  Charlene quickly inspects Eve, trying to guess what branch of the military she is from and Eve explains that she from a  NATO Counter Terrorism unit and asks Charlene to stop touching here.  Eve and Charlene head towards the bookcase, as Charlene goes on about Flynn making a fuss because he hasn't had a guardian in over ten years but Charlene adds that Flynn cannot make a fuss because he cannot argue with the white envelop.  Eve asks what a guardian is and Charlene calls her adorable.  They enter an elevator and Charlene explains that each librarian has a guardian, a bit of common sense and brawn to the guardians head up in the cloud.  Eve points out that there wasn't much danger upstairs but Charlene simply replies that upstairs is the Metropolitan Library which Charlene calls it the entrance to the real library downstairs.

When the elevator doors open, Eve gets her first site of the library.  Charlene explains that the library collects ancient knowledge and assures that real magic does not wind up in the wrong hands.  Eve is speechless and sputters that this is real.  Charlene explains that Eve got the invitation because the library needs her expertise and welcomes her to the library.

Resurrection, Season Two, Episode Nine: Aftermath

Tom lies on the ground after being hit by Joey and he gets a vision of himself, holding his infant son with Rachel saying that they were so close.  Bellamy and Fred stand over Tom and Bellamy explains that the group killed him.  Maggie calls Bellamy to tell him that Ray is cured and that they are going to be okay.

At the Langstons the mood is sour.

Fred goes to deliver the news to Janine that Tom is dead. Janine enters the house and gets a glass of water from the cupboard and breaks up a pill in the water, before carrying it in to Rachel, who is sleeping.  It seems Rachel does not remember going to bed and Janine says that they had some tea together, where she explained that there is nothing more important than Rachel and the baby.  Janine soothes Rachel and leaves the water at her bedside table, without telling her the news about Tom.  Before leaving, Janine makes sure to grab Rachel's phone.  Tom better come back, otherwise, poor Rachel is going to be left to Janine's mercies.

At the Langstons, Fred explains to Margaret and Lucille how Tom died. Lucille points out that Tom was Jacob's oldest friend and the first to accept him when he came back.  Margaret asks about the True Living group and Lucille calls them cowards, adding that someone needs to round them up. Margaret questions what Jacob is to be told because Tom was his friend.  Lucille says that they will tell Jacob that there was an accident and that Tom died.

Upstairs, Jacob plays with toys and listens in to the adults talking.  Downstairs, Margaret says that Jacob should be told for his own protection but Lucille is adamant that Jacob is their child and that  they will raise him how they see fit.  Margaret excuses herself and Henry tries to tell Lucille about the factory reopening and the deal he had to make with the bank but she cuts him off to ask if he is sure and if this is what he really wants.  Henry says that he is doing this for them. Lucille congratulates Henry, acknowledging that this means a lot to them.  As Henry walks away, Lucille adds that she doesn't care what Margaret says, an eight year old boy doesn't need to know that there are people out there who want to hurt him. Of course, what Lucille does not know, is that both Jacob and Margaret heard her.

Later, Lucille tells Jacob about Tom's death and his only response is to turn his teddy bear to face the wall.  Lucille brings up how close Jacob and Tom used to be.  Jacob denies being sad and says that he didn't really know Tom because Tom was different when he came back.  Lucille starts to cry and Jacob apologises for making his mother feel bad.

Maggie and Bellamy look through the observation window at Ray, who is doing well.  Maggie explains that the fetal cells from Rachel's amniotic fluid only provided enough for one dose.  Maggie does however add that if she can get more, Bellamy can send it to his government contacts and get them to mass produce it.  Bellamy grabs his head and quips that his contact has not called him back.  Maggie checks Bellamy's pulse and notices that it is weak and thready.  Bellamy admits that he took his last dose last night and adds that he cannot afford to be admitted because he needs to find Rachel right away.  Maggie suggests leaving it to Fred but Bellamy says that without Rachel, there is no hope for him, or anyone else.

Henry is in the basement looking through the old line of furniture.  Margaret says that it will take longer than they planned but they will get the factory up and running.  Henry then reveals that he met with Brian and convinced him to go through with it.  Margaret questions Henry's decision, pointing out that Brian is an unreliable partner.  Henry questions why Margaret is second guessing his good fortune and brings up William Kirk, who used to work in the factory.  Henry tells Margaret that they should be proud of all of the great things the family has done over the years, adding that the Langstons will be right back where they belong soon.

Rachel wakes up suddenly and gets out of bed without drinking the water.  Rachel asks Janine if she has heard from Tom and Janine asks Rachel to sit before telling her that Tom is dead.  Rachel denies that Tom is dead and Janine goes on to say that Tom was hit by car while protecting the Returned.  Rachel starts to cry and says that she needs to see him but Janine is adamant that this is not a good idea.  Rachel bolts for the door, only to find it locked.  Rachel demands to be let out but Janine again tells Rachel this is not a good idea and that she needs to think of the baby.  Rachel tries another door and finds that it is also locked.  Janine tells Rachel to calm herself, placing her hands on Rachel's stomach, saying a bible passage. Yes, Janine is getting well and truly creepy.

At the station, Fred announces that they have an eye witness who got a partial plate.  Fred sends Carl to the church to look for witnesses.  Fred then notices Margaret waiting for him.  Margaret storms into Fred's office and explains that Henry has been in contact with Brian Addison about an investment in the factory.  Margaret adds that Brian, and his grandfather William Kirk, are trying to swindle them and declares it a crime, which Fred needs to stop. Fred tells Margaret that she knows how this works and that she led Henry to this.  Fred adds that if Margaret and Henry share a delusion that they can get the factory up and running again that they deserve everything that's coming to them.  Margaret says that when she returned, she had hoped that Fred had become a man in her absence and now she knows it will never happen.  Fred simply opens his office door and Margaret marches out.

Lost Girl, Season 5, Episode 1: Like Hell Part 1

Last season in its very very very oh-so-very confused finale, Kenzi sacrificed herself for Bo since she was Bo’s heart. Bo is still very sad about this, we see, as she rock climbs in a desert to retrieve a shoe from a nest. That would be one of the evil hell slippers (did I mention that last season was confused? And more than a little weird? Because it was – and evil hell shoes were part of it). Hurrying to climb down to avoid a trap, she falls – and gets really nastily wounded at the bottom. She’s found by three not-very-nice men who want to take her home and “take care of her.” Why which, it’s implied, they mean rape.

She devours their chi (just sucking in all three of their chis, she seems to have mastered this distance feeding on multiple targets thing) and heals. She leaves them alive but incapacitated and leaves with her Hell Shoe.

She goes home which she now shares with Tamsin who has hidden the other shoe (last season she did say that Bo couldn’t have both shoes. I think. That season was confused). Bo’s plan is to put on both shoes because they can get her into Valhalla (Odin appreciates ballet slippers?). Tamsin (who still seems oddly childlike after her rebirth – yes, last season, yes confused) says she can’t go because she won’t come back for Reasons (she can’t say). When Tamsin (a Valkyrie) took Kenzi’s soul to Valhalla, something terrible happened which still gives her nightmares – but she can’t explain what

Bo goes to the Dal where Trick and Dyson are where Bo makes it clear she won’t be talked out of saving Kenzi. They give her some well wishing (and Trick wants her to pass on good wishes to his wife, Bo’s grandmother) and Dyson’s declaration of love for Kenzi and fealty for Bo.

Over to Lauren who appears to be in some kind of fae hospital (judging by the man breathing fire) and Bo arrives with the Evil Shoes, worried about the side effects of malevolent footwear. This is why she’s come to Lauren to monitor and drug her in case she goes on a shoe inspired killing spree. Yet despite that, while Lauren describes all of the many precautions she intends to take, Bo puts on both shoes. They sink into her flesh leaving her barefoot. Lauren hurries over but Bo vanishes.

Bo appears in pretty ritzy looking surroundings to be met by a woman, Freyja, who tells her she’s late. She’s in Valhalla and the woman has mistaken Bo for the florist. Valhalla has a florist and a Turkish Spa apparently. Freyja advises Bo to check in and before Bo has any wish to say she isn’t supposed to be there, a woman who isn’t in their system is declared “a stray” and Freyja pauses in her florist troubles to open up a fiery black portal and dumps the interloper through it. Some hotels have the strictest anti-riff-raff measures.

Bo goes to the desk to try and find Kenzi but the receptionist refuses to touch her, meaning she can’t use her succubus powers. Plan B involves succubussing a maid. Having stolen her uniform she goes in search of Kenzi (which involves sniffing buttons for chocolate). She goes into a random room that happens to be the right one – and finds Kenzi. Screaming, babbling and hugging follows.

Once Upon a Time: Season 4, Episode 11: Shattered Sight

Flash back opening – 1982, Boston and Ingrid’s first arrival. And visiting a psychic to find Emma and is not amused that she’s a fraud. She storms off vowing to find Emma.

And then we move to Storybrooke, now, with the mirror shattered and chaos descending. In the police station Mary Margaret and Charming are snarling at each other (which is so wonderful to see) and Kristoff is saying mean things to Anna – Anna, Elsa and Emma are all immune. And Emma reassures them she’s the Saviour – I love Anna’s line “is that like a real job here?” Clearly she doesn’t realise how often this town needs saving. But Anna does remember what the legend says would stop the mirror’s magic – killing Ingrid. Sounds good – make with the stabbing! Of course everyone’s too wet to plan a murder, so instead Emma and Elsa head out to find another way, leaving Anna behind (because she’s useless in just about every way possible). That leaves Anna to convince the Charmings not to hate each other despite them being much more fun this way.

Elsa and Emma go to confront Ingrid – but the ribbons they’re wearing stop their magic hurting Ingrid. And she’s sure that Elsa and Emma will totally love her soon. They try to take them off but they can’t – but Emma believes that to counter the love-ribbons they need to find some super hatred. Emma thinks the best source for some magically enhance hatred of her is Regina.

This calls for a flashback to when Emma was fostered by Ingrid and Ingrid was a kind of awesome foster mother. Which eventually develops into Ingrid planning to adopt Emma. Everything is going wonderful until Ingrid decides to tell Emma she’s magical and drag her in front of a moving car to prove it. Emma is not amused and pretty devastated that the woman willing to adopt her seems to be so disconnected from reality to a dangerous degree.

Later, in 2001 when the first curse hit, Ingrid uses the scroll she got from the Sorcerer to get into Storybrooke. In  2011 Emma is in town and visits the ice cream parlour – and sees Ingrid. But this is Emma pre-revelation and Ingrid babbling away about apprentice, magic et al and is pretty hostile. Ingrid takes her memories.

To the present - and evil!Regina is stuck in her own vault and decides this is all Emma’s fault. Evil Regina also has a much more awesome wardrobe.

Emma and Elsa approach her vault to initiated Operation Suicide By Evil Queen. Emma uses her magic to bring down Regina’s barrier. Now Emma just has to antagonise Regina (“how do you walk in that thing?” “with the poise and composure of a queen”. Ah Regina). Emma tells Regina she deliberately brought Marianne back to break Regina’s heart AND she’s happy with Hook so she can flaunt it in front of Regina – yep, that’ll get the hatred flowing. Regina’s spell burns away the ribbons. Emma throws Regina back against the wall then she and Elsa run. Very very fast.

They run and Regina goes to the police station where she finds the Charmings, Anna and Kristoff. She quickly spells Anna away (something everyone who has ever met her wants to do) and she challenges Snow White to a sword fight (David worries about the computers)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fangs for the Fantasy Podcast: 2014, Episode 25

It's time for this week's episode of Fangs for the Fantasy podcast

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)

17th November - 24th November: Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr
24th November - 1st December: The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
1st December - 8th December : Death’s Mistress by Karen Chance
8th December - 15th December: Staked by J.F. Lewis
15th December -  22nd December: Odin Ravens by  K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr
22nd December - 5th January: Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews
Since we missed last week's podcast we will try to discuss the last 2 books of the week as well as the current one