Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Messengers, Season 1, Episode 5: Eye in the Sky

Joshua and Raul drink and share messed up family stories (Personally I think “my dad slept with my wife who is now pregnant with my brother” beats “I slept with my brother’s wife”). They all kind of need Joshua to have a vision to find the second horseman since War is now out there.

Rose shows up to be mildly disapproving of them downing shots. Raul excuses himself with the rather weak claim that getting drunk may unleash a vision but Rose has a laundry list of all the shit in Josh’s life that may be distracting him (Josh, hilariously, drunkenly counting each one off). Actually can we keep Josh permanently drunk? He’s much more fun this way.

Josh then falls of his stool (“it’s a vision!” “no, it’s a blackout.”)

Over to a casino in Hong Kong where a woman is cheating at cards – as the various beautiful women who drape over the men cause distractions that allow her to use impressive sleight of hand to change her cards. She still loses though.

She storms off to cash out more money but her account is empty – checking her banking ap she gets a strange “welcome to Abaddon” hack – and her banker is Lucifer. That’s ridiculous, Satan couldn’t be a banker, he’s far too moral for that.

Lucifer is also with the new Horseman of War who is all gungho and eager to succeed where previous apocalypse attempts have failed – and Lucifer has already planned to kill a Messenger.

To the Messengers and it’s Anna’s birthday (Erin has a flashback to when she had a happy family and when her husband wasn’t awful). Erin and Anna have big plans for her birthday and Anna invites Raul – though Erin quietly blocks that, wanting to spend the day with Anna lone. But Rose warns Erin that the devil may do nasty bad things if Erin’s all alone

And awkward Peter walks in on Nadia in the shower and then rips the door off the bathroom. Ah awkward teenagers with super strength. The font of eternal positivity Anna (she’s a sweet kid, but being cooped up with her for a week would make me want to kill someone) invites them all to the library

Vera and Rose continue to clash – Vera doesn’t accept that they should just ignore the Horseman of war, nor is she just going to twiddle her thumbs and wait for Josh to have a vision. Raul decides he’s going to jump start Josh’s visions while Rose is duly disapproving. Poor Rose, it’s like herding cats.

Before he goes, Raul gives Nadia a gun to protect herself – and gets some mind reading snark from her about never going anywhere.

She and Peter join Erin and Anna at the library – and Erin’s ex-husband watches them go in. They go to storytime – and Lucifer is the on reading the story. This guy gets around. And Nadia asks Peter what’s going on with the group anyway since no-one has bothered to fill her in. Of course she doesn’t believe him. Alone he runs into the old woman who we saw last episode with her abacus, who tells Peter to follow the signs. Which isn’t that informative (you’d think if god wanted to save the world he’d be less cryptic). He goes to tell Erin and, while she’s distracted, Amy disappears – she’s dragged into a car by her dad with Erin unable to stop him.

We have another flashback of Erin’s unhappy marriage, his massive control issues and her alcoholism as Lucifer continues to manipulate her and Erin realises that she’s being played (because Lucifer is pretty bad at this).

Don’t worry, Lucifer is there to offer her a lift so they can chase after him. Y’know, at some point the Messengers need to share what Lucifer looks like. Lucifer also takes the time to talk about his daddy issues

In a pancake restaurant Ronnie tries to badmouth Erin which doesn’t go over well and Amy makes a run for it. She runs out to the car park chased by Ronnie – and Erin gets out of the car. Lots of drama and Ronnie tries to drive off with Amy (who is screaming for her mother) but can’t because Peter holds the car with his super strength (I think he’d rip off the spoiler, personally). Ronnie gets out and points a gun at Peter – and Nadia shoots Ronnie.

Anna cries over the body of her daddy – so it’s over to Erin with the healing power. I actually thought it wouldn’t work since she probably wants him dead but, no, she brings him back to life (hey you can shoot him again now!). Well if Nadia had doubts before, super-strength and healing should prove to her that she’s with angels (or X-Men. In fact she should be super disappointed she isn’t with the X-Men). Lucifer is not a happy fallen angel and Ronnie decides it’s time to leave. Ex-wife has super powers is a bit of a game changer.

Raul takes Joshua to see a Mr. Dakota, his football coach at school and Native American shaman complete with Peyote. Raul gets visions of Erin (telling us he likes her in case we missed it) and his ex/Nadia’s mother demanding he ensure Nadia gets chance to be a kid.

Josh gets a vision telling him to “unburden” himself of his anger. So he calls Charlotte, his wife, and leaves a message of forgiveness. But it’s evil daddy who gets the message and delete it

Having done the forgiving thing, he has a vision of a man with lots of money clues in Dallas.

Vera has trawled for people potentially coupled to the other horseman, though Rose thinks it’s a waste of time – she looks at all Vera’s work and instead says they can’t control everything (which seems to be an excuse for not trying to control anything) and how they just have to have faith in god (which seems to mean “sit around and do nothing then act as proper puppets). Vera is not a fan but they find common cause in killing bugs – and noticing more cockroach killing which Rose flags as a possible sign.

Vera makes a guess at Pestilence and they keep seeing a roachy-skull sign (the same on the bank account hacked in Hong Kong) they then get news of Josh’s vision. There he tells them the Horseman is Gareth Fletcher, a notorious figure in finance renown for Ponzi schemes and other shenanigans. He’s sop evil that there’s absolutely not damn way this guy is a horseman, he’s too obvious.

Vera isn’t convinced – why is a wealthy businessman the Horseman of Pestilence but Rose rides over her – stop doing the damn thinking thing! God does the thinking here!

Of course Gareth is not a popular man so has some severe security but not enough to stop Vera spirit walking invisibly (though she can only be out of her body for a short time). She watches him at his computer – and sees the same cockroach symbol crawl over his screen as his investments are drained to nothing (Gareth, predictably, is rather stressed by this). It passes on the message “Welcome to Abaddon” before Vera jumps out of the window to return to her body before she suffocates.

In other news Ronnie, who should be dead, goes home to find Lucifer waiting for him. He’s still willing to work with Lucifer to get his daughter back.

The gang gathers for cake and birthday party for Anna. Raul and Erin have a moment – and Erin has a nosebleed, probably from healing earlier. Rose and Vera discuss the time limit on her gift with the added message that they have to learn from them – not just use them (we’re seeing some downsides show up). Peter thanks and tries to comfort Nadia who has both shot someone and has had the whole revelation drop on her but she’s doing pretty well with it and Raul gives them tickets to a theme park, trying to fulfil his vision quest.

They come back to the Anarchist hacker group, Abaddon and the computer virus is the work of Pestilence. Ad Abaddon just set a clock ticking down which is always ominous.

And in Hong Kong we have a shapeshifting woman who has wings in the X-Ray sneak through customs

I can’t say enough how much I hate the messages of this show – don’t be proactive, don’t be curious, don’t investigate, don’t think, don’t question, don’t be sceptical – have faith, have faith, have faith. Every week are we going to have another repeat of Rose doing her “oh silly you with that thinking thing again!” to Vera?

Equally, I’m annoyed by this “unburden yourself” message to Josh. Is Josh angry? Yes. His dad just disowned him and his wife cheated on him with his father – he has a RIGHT to be angry. Yes anger can be destructive but this idea that all anger is something to rid yourself of completely misses the fact that sometimes anger is warranted – it puts the onus on people who have been wronged to be all forgiving and creates the idea that if they feel angry they are bad people or doing something wrong. How long has Josh known about his wife and father? A week? Two? Yet he now has to move on or forgive or no more divine visions?

Erin’s backstory is interesting in its complexity – because there’s reasons behind why their marriage and home life fell apart, rather than a simplistic “it just did.” Ronnie’s paranoid fear of the outside world led him to almost imprison his family, driving Erin to drink and generally setting up the whole trainwreck.

Some of the interactions between the characters are starting to be entertaining – if they could make the group more close knit and better at bouncing off each other it would go a long way to improving the show

Where would Urban Fantasy be without random Native American characters to exist for one episode, doling out woo-woo, mysticism and sacred rituals to people who don't have a clue what they mean for the sake of quick insight or mystical tools?