Monday, July 13, 2015

The Messengers, Season 1, Episode 11: Harvest

Ghostly Vera is now watching the car with her body in it about to be crushed. She decides to shout at the guy piloting the crane. Alas, she’s forgotten the whole invisible and inaudible thing. Instead she returns to her body and manages to wriggle out just in time.

To the rest if the gang who have found the farmer brothers, Vincent and Mark Plowman, one or both of which may be the horseman of Famine. They’re planning to sew the clouds to make it rain over drought stricken fields with a whole new, super-special formula and one seems awfully conflicted about this. There’s definitely some tension between the brothers.

Joshua with his newfound leadership declares that one of them is definitely famine and the whole cloud seeding thing will be the seal-breaking sin. Koa thinks the simple solution is to kill them both – easy peasy. Raul agrees – of course Joshua and Peter both point out that they’ll kill an innocent man and Erin adds further that they could be killing two innocent men since they don’t actually have proof either of them is the horseman

Lucifer is totally pro-murder. He also reminds them all how he helped them in the last naughty deal so they should totally work with him.  To add a time limit, Vera calls to report that Alan has been kidnapped and she is in the middle of nowhere. Koa, again, speaks up for murder. Honestly murder, no murder, I speak up for anything that will actually move the plot forward rather than circle us back to Vera and her son.

Joshua, who is now in charge for some reason, splits them up (sending the murderous Koa to help Vera, though she reminds Raul that murder is totally a good plan).

Koa and Peter are heading to Vera – but Koa is also having side-effects from her powers (reminding them that they need to find the 7th Messenger before I get thoroughly bored in order to remove the cost of their powers).

Before they can arrive, War, Pestilence and goons show up and Vera hides and plans to astrally project to follow them. Hey she used to have a time limit – has she taken up pearl diving to increase her lung capacity or something. The horseman are playing with the new element – which turns blue when Vera stands close to it.

But after playing she finds her body has been moved and runs back to it to find it tied to a chair – she’s now a prisoner of the horsemen along with Alan. War is much more sensible than Joshua and is happy to kill their enemy – except the rock glows blue near Vera again. It glows red near war and blue near Vera.

Time to test extraction of the element with Vera present – using Alan to blackmail her into co-operating. Every other time they’ve tried this the person doing so has died. With Vera, they successfully turn the element into a glowing blue liquid.

Peter and Koa arrive, casually taking out the guard with Peter’s super strength.

Vera’s locked up with Alan, he’s in terrible shape but is super happy because he loves her and she finally kisses him. Koa and Peter arrive then to rescue them.

Back to the farmers - Raul is paired with Erin which means she has a long lecture on how he mustn’t kill and how hard it is to kill anyway, especially not in self-defence. Raul points out he’s been undercover in a gang of drug dealers and has learned harsh lessons about hesitating when it comes to killing someone who is dangerous because they may be innocent.

His investigating skills involve ranting at the brother for playing god while coincidentally pushing Erin at him. Crafty. Erin gets a dinner date. Raul is not a fan because of over-protective-alpha-male-bullshit.

To the restaurant – Raul is separate, angsting over a letter that tells him all charges against him have been dropped (thanks to the devil) and Erin has her interview dinner with Mark. Vincent is the huge businessman and Mark is all conflicted over losing the “family” aspect of their family farm. Erin also earns that Vincent is more charismatic and has the majority scope in the family business as his dad’s favourite. Mark is careful while Vincent is always looking for a quick profit. Raul overhears Mark thinking Smart Rain will destroy farms.

Joshua investigates Vincent’s office with the unwelcome presence of Lucifer. Lucifer claims that, because he resurrected Joshua, he gets to decide where his soul is going (heaven, clearly. The alternative would be Lucifer being stuck with Joshua for all eternity). Lucifer is useful, he knows passwords, can open doors and lots of other shiny things. They find the downside to “Smart Rain”, it kills any crops except those seeds that their company has developed (and copywrited) and disappearing people who tried to reveal it. Vincent is pushing it forward, Mark is trying to stop it. And Rose has already met Vincent.

Mark is called into a meeting with his brother, Erin comes along but waits outside, listening at the door. They argue over Smart Rain – Mark pointing out it kills any seeds but their own but Vincent arguing they use it in drought areas where they can blame crop failure on the drought. Vincent is happy to do this because it will make a lot of money and he refuses to delay – and the Board wants Mark to resign. And if Mark tries to expose them they will blame him.

Joshua sends Raul a text saying that Vincent is the horseman so Raul kidnaps him at gun point. Alas, Erin arrives to stop the murdering. Raul is sure that they can’t just talk someone out of the deadly sin, they did that with Leland and he still became Pestilence – he thinks the person is the reason behind it and the only sure way to stop them is murder. Erin has a big speech against murder and doing the devil’s work (hey aren’t you on the same side as the devil now?). Her speech works and Raul doesn’t shoot him

Mark does instead. And by killing his brother he breaks his seal and becomes Famine. Fourth seal is broken.

Lucifer tries to make a deal with Famine – but Rose has been before him and already turned him against Lucifer. As well as winding Mark up to want to kill his brother. Awww Lucifer, no-one wants to play with him.

Time for the Messengers to get all mopey. Y’know this would be a good time to ask the previous Messenger how they handled their apocalypse, I’m just saying. Koa shares her worries with Peter – her memory loss is becoming so bad she can’t remember what her dad looks like. She fears losing her whole life – and Peter offers himself as family.

Raul mopes about his letter but Erin assures him that that doesn’t mean they owe the devil anything – Joshua seems to be moping about going to hell as well.

Back to the Horsemen who are all kind of happy they have the Genesis Element they got from the shiny rock thanks to Vera – one drop of which kills everyone in the room who isn’t a Horseman – it’s an amazing weapon. With the skills of all the horseman they can use this liquid (and Famine’s crop seeding drones) to spread lots of death and destruction.

Joshua also knows they’re going to do this or REASONS. But Vera tells them they can use the Genesis Element for blue shiny goodness. And Joshua has a vision of another figure, locked in a straight jacket, with angel wings. The seventh messenger. Well it’s about time!

Ok… Koa and Raul kind of have a point? Sorry, I hate to come down on the side of pro-murder here, but Leland didn’t stay talked down. Talking hasn’t worked so far. Even stopping the original sin, like with War, didn’t stop it. Of course, that raises the whole thorny issue of inherent sin – are these people doomed to be sinful sinners of sinning no matter what? At this point it would have actually been useful to speak to the old Messenger and ask her how they stopped their apocalypse, what tests they had to face et al, rather than spending weeks on Vera chasing after her child.

I’m both curious about the magic rock and annoyed by it – which pretty much sums up the plotting of The Messengers. They introduce an interesting concept or a plot hook but then don’t develop it. It just kind of lurks there, taking up space, doing not very much but BEING there and spending time on it. In the first episode we knew there was a magic rock. In episode 10 we knew there was… a magic rock. That glows. 10 episodes is a long time for a plot line to hang around without anything more than phosphorescence added. Again we have plot lines that inch along dreadfully slowly because of road blocks, distractions and lack of development (like Vera – just about everything Vera’s involved in to be honest). Only now have we finally touched on what this rock is for

I call shenanigans on Famine breaking his seal by murdering his brother over sibling rivalry! That’s totally Death or, maybe, War’s remit.