Saturday, April 4, 2015

Grimm, Season Four, Episode Sixteen: Heartbreaker

"How the silly frog does talk!
He can be no companion
to any human being."

Juliet bursts into Renard's room, drops the book on the bed and informs him that there is nothing in the book which will benefit either of them.  Juliet then demands to know where Elizabeth is, saying that it's Elizabeth who did this to her. Renard tries to reassure Juliet by telling her that Elizabeth had no idea that Juliet would become a Hexenbiest. Juliet refuses to be pacified and says that she wants her life back and threatens that Renard had better watch out if she doesn't get her life back.

A group cyclists ride a trail and Bella is not impressed when Rick tries to hit on her.  Bella decides to deal with it by riding off by herself.  She doesn't get far and accidentally rides into a ditch and falls off the bike.  Zack manages to catch up with Bella and helps her off the ground.  Zack then makes his pitch to Bella, telling her that she is really great, but once again Bella is not interested.  Zack tries to check on Bella's injuries and he is insistent about staying with her because she is injured.  Bella doubles over in pain and Zack places his hands on her shoulders.  Bella woges and Zack starts to struggle to breathe.  Zack ends up falling into a ditch.

Nick is sitting in a coffee shop and calls Juliet and again leaves a message. Nick is then joined by Hank, and so he explains what happened to Juliet.   Hank suggests that Juliet might be afraid of what Nick might do to her. Okay, someone needs to explain to me why this sudden fear of what Nick might do is somehow reasonable.  Nick's phone rings and of course it's about Zack.

Nick and Hank meet Wu at the park and they stand over Zack's dead body.  Zack's face is badly swollen. The cops decide to check out Zack's place while they wait to hear about the cause of death from the M.E.

Zack's apartment is rather spartan.  Hank asks if Monroe and Rosalie know about Juliet and Nick replies no.  Hank tells Nick that he has to tell them.  On the fridge, Nick finds a photo of Bella and Hank finds several drawings of her as well.

At home, Bella calls her mother crying saying, "it happened." 

Back at the station, Sam reports to Renard that Viktor has been sent back to Vienna.  Renard questions if his father became impatient with Viktor.  Renard then asks if Viktor and Adalind are alive, only to be told by Sam that he doesn't know.  Sam says that no one knows who is replacing Viktor and adds that if Renard wants him to return to the royal family, he needs some information on Kelly and the baby.  Renard hands over a file, saying that it will look like Sam is making progress, adding that there is enough truth in file to make it plausible.

Bella is on the couch crying about what happened with Zack, saying that she didn't mean for this to happen. Cindy, her mother, assures Bella that this is not her fault.  Bella is frantic that someone will find out but is instructed not to do anything because no one can prove anything.  When Cindy turns to face Bella there is a huge scar on her face.  Cindy asks Bella if she wants her life ruined the way hers was.

At the station, Wu is going through Zack's laptop and he finds several photos of Bella.  The photos clearly make it appear that Bella was not aware that she was the subject of Zack's photography. So yes, that makes Zack a creepy stalker dude. Wu does learn that both Zack and Bella are a part of a group called River City Riders and that a ride is scheduled for today.  Hank and Nick decide to head to the location to see if Bella shows

Hank and Nick arrive and inform the riders that Zack is dead.  They ask if they can speak to the person who saw Zack last and are informed that the person they want is Bella.  The riders add that while Bella is nice and likes to ride, she pretty much keeps to herself. While the riders don't know where Bella lives, they do know where Bella works.  Nick excuses himself when his phone rings. It's Wu calling to say that Zack was killed by a toxin which causes heart failure.  The toxin is extremely rare and that one ounce kills 10-20 humans.  Wu is quick to suggest that Zack's death must be Wesen related.  Nick gives Wu Bella's name and Wu agree to run a background check.

Adalind  questions Marcus about when Viktor is coming back and is told not to worry about Viktor.  Adalind then asks about her daughter and is told that the king is doing everything he can to find her.  Adalind is then ordered to change into something appropriate because Prince Kenneth will be joining her shortly. 

In the car, Hank wonders if Bella was involved in what happened to Zack, or if she was a witness.  Hank points out that there's no clear motive because the two didn't have a relationship.  They arrive at Bella's work and Hank questions if Bella is Wesen and Nick replies that they will know for sure if he can get her to woge. Nick and Hank enter the bike shop and ask for Bella.  Nick informs Bella that Zack is dead and that she was the last one to see him.  Bella admits that Zack caught up to her on the trail and that they talked a little. Bella gets upset as she tells them that Zack wanted a relationship and she didn't, adding that Zack didn't do anything.  Nick starts to press Bella for details and shows her a picture of a dead Zack. Bella however does not break, so Nick offers her his card, asking her to call if she thinks of anything.

Olympus, season 1, episode 1: The Temple of Gaia

Opening of the pilot with a guy who looks a bit roughed up in a dark placewith his legs in stocks. Kinky. He’s also surrounded by severed feet – now that cave must smell awful.

An ominous, huge, growly figure sharpens a blade while the captured man who would rather keep his legs yells his safeword tells the cyclops he’s there to help. He’s apparently been sent by the Cyclops’s mother Gaia to find her oracle. The roaring cyclops does have 1 eye – in its mouth. Well that’s different and rather impractical. The Cyclops isn’t interested in oracles and paints the man’s feet blue, as you do. Establishing the shows cheese credentials, the man manages to steal the Cyclops’s blade, use it as a boomerang to cut off the monsters fingers and break out of the stocks.

Having escaped the man follows the sound of female screaming and finds 3 women who, when they hear his mission, each claim to be the Oracle of Gaia. What, is rescuing rationed or something? Can he only rescue one damsel in distress or be over his hero quota? The women are also of classic Maiden, Mother and Crone age, so I rather suspect all three are the Oracle.

Sensibly, the man opts for a 3-for-1 rescue special, and has them hide while he lures a Cyclops off the edge of a chasm, securing himself with a rope (and a gravity defying leather skirt)

When they get to the surface, the young woman declares she’s not actually the Oracle of Gaia – as do the other two. He decides that the younger one is because she runs. Quite why the genuine Oracle would run I don’t know. So he now becomes kidnapper, dragging the woman away from her family. At least he seems to be right and it is the Oracle and she points out that the priest will kill him – after all, oracles are supposed to be all blissfully divine, they’re not supposed to run away. They’ll want to keep that secret.

She tries to bribe him then says she ran away because she was beaten, abused and raped – which he then disbelieves because the priests told him Oracles have to be virgins. She hits back at him believing the priests she said raped her. He also tries to play that he’s too hard to care so she throws in a vision: he’s a good man and his name is cursed. His name? Time to get ye to a courthouse and change it! Apparently people who say his name out loud get turned to stone; the Oracle has some hilarious curiosity (“if you said it, would you turn to stone?” He, wisely, has decided not to try).

Having proved that she’s the Oracle she demands to be released – he points out that proving she’s the Oracle doesn’t actually get her out of being kidnapped for being the Oracle… This Oracle’s logic is a little shaky.

They’re attacked by random cannibals in make up and the Nameless man fights them with a rope. A rope? This man went Oracle hunting against the Cyclops without an actual weapon? He manages to strangle one (and it’s a pretty good depiction of the whole nastiness of strangling). The other cannibal runs off with the Oracle. D- grade there Nameless. He follows their tracks but they disappear abruptly.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Grimm, Season Four, Episode Fifteen: Double Date

"One could have called that
shape a woman or a boy:
for it seemed neither
and seemed both."

Renard has a nightmare about being shot and when he wakes, he finds that his chest is bleeding.  Thanks for the shirtless Renard Grimm.

Nick calls Juliet and is forced to leave a message when he gets no answer.

At a bar, Stacy enters and sits down next to Cody and cries, saying that her husband left her that night. The two strike up a conversation and end up back at Stacy's condo.  Stacy excuses herself to get into something more comfortable and Cody starts to undress.  Moments later, Linus enters the room claiming to be distraught that Cody is sleeping with his wife.  Clearly, Cody is in the middle of one of the oldest scams.  Cody of course denies sleeping with Stacy and in fear for his life because Linus is pointing a gun at him, Cody offers Linus the five hundred dollars in his wallet. Linus accepts the money and Cody grabs his things and leaves.  Cody doesn't get far however because he quickly notices that he left his phone behind.  When Stacy leaves the condo, Cody attacks, threatening to call the police.  Stacy woges and sprays Cody with some sort of acid in the face.

Juliet wakes up in her car alone.

Wu, Nick and Hank stand over Cody's dead body.  Wu wonders if it's a robbery gone bad but Nick points out that Cody's wallet was returned absent his money.  Back at the station, Nick and Hank update Renard on Cody's case.  They go over the acid used to kill Cody and Renard says that Cody's death must be Wesen related.  Wu enters and informs them that they have tracked Cody's cell.

The cops head to Stacy's condo and speak to the manager of the property.  The cops enter the condo and after a little searching, Wu finds the missing phone.  The condo has been completely cleared out of personal items.

Renard is at a doctor's office and learns that the scar tissue on his chest is fine and that everything looks normal.  The doctor offers an MRI and Renard says that he feels okay.  The doctor assures Renard that he shouldn't worry.

Back at the station, Wu tells Hank and Nick that the only fingerprint found in the condo belongs to Linus Balouzian - a known criminal.  Hmmm the plot thickens. The cops realise that a con was running out of the condo.

Linus has checked into a cheap motel and while looking into a mirror, informs Stacey that she is going out tonight to find them a new mark.  Linus looks into the mirror and woges, demanding to know if Stacy is listening to him.

Stacy gets dressed and is clearly frustrated that she is being sent out again.  Stacy reminds Linus that without her, this scam wouldn't even work.

Renard arrives at the spice shop and asks about the book Adalind used to cast the spell against Nick.  Renard believes that he is undergoing a residual effect from his death because he keeps reliving the moment he was shot.  Rosalie retrieves the book but informs Renard that his mother shut the book and she cannot open it.  Monroe explains that Elizabeth used her blood and Rosalie suggests that since Renard is Elizabeth's son, he might be able to open it with his blood. Renard however says that the lock can only be opened by a Hexenbiest.  It's Rosalie who asks if Renard knows any other Hexenbiests.

Juliet sits in her car and ignores Nick's phone call again.  Nick leaves a message begging her to call him back so that they can talk.

At the trailer, Nick tells Hank that he and Juliet are having problems but doesn't go into details.  The conversation then turns to Wesen, with Hank suggesting that the Wesen they are looking for is a Huntha Lami Muuaji (say that three times fast).  The Huntha Lami Muuaji secrets enzymes which feed on its victims skin.  The Huntha Lami Muuaji also always travels in pairs, one female and one male but no female has ever been captured or killed and the male is extremely dangerous.  Nick and Hank decide that they had better get in contact with Rosalie and Monroe.  Before they can leave however, Wu calls and informs them that the credit card Stacy used has been active again.  Nick instructs Wu to look up all the bars and restaurants within walking distance.

Renard is at home looking at the book when his doorbell rings.  At the door is Juliet, who reports that she slept in her car last night and is unwilling to do that again.  Juliet asks to stay with Renard because he understands her, adding that she cannot go home until she figures what she is.  Renard asks about Nick and Juliet says that Nick doesn't know where she is.  Renard responds that Juliet's request puts him in a very awkward situation; however, Juliet points out that he has lived as a Wesen all his life and she has no idea how to deal with what she is now.  Renard tells Juliet to be more careful because most people cannot accept who they are.  Renard warns that how Juliet learns to use her powers will determine who she will become and adds that Juliet is one of a kind.  Renard then asks Juliet to open the book.

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 17: Inside Man

Castiel and Sam go to a… séance? Ritual? Really? And where’s my opening murder?

The ritual is to get in touch with… BOBBY! It’s Bobby! Yes I have unholy glee over this – Bobby!

Annoyingly this was one of those ridiculous spoiler prologues that need to die in fire and we’re thrown back 24 hours earlier.

And Sam being woken in the middle of the night by Dean screaming his name during a nightmare. Yes he’s having a Mark of Cain nightmare about killing Sam

The next day Dean pretends there’s nothing wrong so Sam pretends there’s no cases so instead he’s going to watch a boring art movie he knows Dean isn’t interested in – and it’ll probably take all night because he’s going a long way to watch a film. In French. About a Mime. Y’know, I don’t care how many head injuries Dean has had over the years, there’s no way he’s falling for this.

The “stay out of my room” is amusingly fraternal though

The French film turns out to be a secret liaison with Castiel and trying a last ditch resort to help Dean deal with the Mark – a solution Castiel doesn’t like.

That involves going to the gates of Heaven where Castiel isn’t welcome because of the whole Metatron torture thing. They have an interesting way of talking to him though – swapping a vessel so Hannah can speak to him despite her determination not to possess people. Castiel and Sam want to question Metatron about the Mark of Cain which he claimed to have information on but, as Hannah points out, he does have a habit of lying. Hannah’s also worried that they’re release Metatron because they’re desperate and Metatron is cunning, another very valid concern. Castiel pulls an epic guilt trip on her as she calls the guard to be all ominous for “all he’s done for heaven” and “all he’s done for her” (uh… Castiel’s record with Heaven isn’t… stellar. Do we forget the Leviathan possession thing?)

Sam leads Castiel away because he has a far worse plan than fighting 4 angels – breaking Metatron from prison

Oh such a very very bad plan.

This involves going to see a psychic, Oliver, who is very defensive of his privacy (Sam has to stop Castiel being all gung-ho as is increasingly becoming his wont – blowing stuff up is helping!). Oliver is a mind reader so it helps speed up introductions except when it comes to an actual angel when he’s an atheist (not any more!). He’s going to help them break Castiel out of prison (because, as a mind reader, he can tell what will happen if he doesn’t).

Which is when they contact Bobby in Heaven (more Bobby glee!). They update Bobby on everything and Bobby is awesome. Did I mention he was awesome? They present the plan for Bobby to bust out and open the gates of Heaven. It’s not exactly a “plan” so much as a “vague statement of intent.”

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Rogue Hunter (Argeneau #10) (Argeneau #10) by Lynsay Sands

Samantha Willan is a promising young lawyer -- in need of a vacation -- especially after a break up with her longterm boyfriend.  When Samantha heads up to the cottage north of Toronto, all she is expecting is some quality time with her sisters, maybe a few insect bites and a campfire or two.  Samantha finds herself wondering about her elusive new neighbour.  What Samantha dosen't realise is that meeting Garrett Mortimer, will change her life forever.

The Rogue Hunter is a typical Sands novel and an easy continuation of the Argeneau series.  It follows the predictable path of boy meets girl, a misunderstanding and eventually the couple declare undying love after knowing each other for an extremely short period of time.  HAE always happens this way in this series and Sands always employs the same woo woo justification.  

As is typical for Sands, there is a small strain of humour in this novel.  It is largely comprised of Mortimer and Samantha trying to make love in the most unfortunate of circumstances.  An outdoor escapades for instance are interrupted by leeches ( yeah that would turn anyone off) and another by a bear. Unfortunately, much of the humor to me felt a little bit forced.

 Samantha is a good lawyer, on partner track and is dedicated to her sisters,. Of course she has the requisite dead parents which makes her close to her sisters. If Sands had left it at that, I really would have enjoyed Samantha's part of the story. Unfortunately, despite all of Samantha's accomplishments she suffers from low self esteem and spends quite a bit of time worrying about how skinny she is,  that she resembles Olive Oyle, has a metabolism that works too quickly and yes, has small breasts.  Is it really so hard to have a protagonist not hate her body?  It's just such a damn tired trope in this genre. Yes, the media encourages all women to believe that there is something wrong with their bodies but believe it or not, some women actually like themselves for who they are.

Forever, Season 1, Episode 19: Punk is Dead

Abraham and Henry eat dinner (their dinner scenes are always awesome) while discussing Jo’s dating Isaac including Abraham’s arch comment “At least she’s getting back out there.” Unlike, of course, Henry.

Jo’s date with Isaac involves going to The Track Bar, a punk bar which Jo is a huge fan of and duly impressed when Isaac reveals he owns it… at least until she realises he plans to tear it down and build a hotel. She speaks in defence – until she sees people taking drugs and Isaac has to stop her going all cop mode.

At least until they find a body in the wall. Now she can be a cop.

Back to the morgue for snark, science and Lucas – and getting a call from a man who wants to know who the body is – because he’s in prison for killing her.

Investigation time – the man in prison is called Eddie and Lt. Reece remembers the case as she was a beat cop at the time. She tells them that he was a violent man and that included attacking his girlfriend, Lucy. Despite that she wasn’t happy about the case, the police presented them as “worthless junkies” and didn’t exactly perform a thorough investigation – and the jury convicted. The DA would like the case done with quickly, Reece, because she’s awesome, wants them to take their time, be thorough – and bring in Henry.

Which is how Henry gets to go interview Eddie with Jo and Eddie is visibly upset even as Jo points out the evidence doesn’t exactly exonerate him.

More morguing (poor Lucas) and Jo arrives with some bad news – Eddie is signing a guilty plea with the DA to help get the whole thing swept under the rug. He gets let out on time served and the case stays out of the media. Of course Henry doesn’t stand for that and goers to tell Eddie – Eddie learns he will go free but if that happens the police will stop looking for who did it. He refuses to sign

More investigating (including finding a lot of drug money in Lucy’s jacket) and off to interview a photographer who covered the bar (now photographing kiddies). He goes point them to a guy named Farrell – who is up to his neck in a hundred serious cases and Reece makes it clear that they cannot possibly involve him for fear of jeopardising these cases. She expressly forbids any of her police from investigating him

iZombie, season 1, Episode 3: The Exterminator

Kids playing in an abandoned property – someone has to get eaten for this. Especially when they decide to investigate when they hear spooky noises. The gene pool demands they be eaten

They take a picture of a figure they call a zombie and post it online to be spotted by Ravi and Liv who are gloriously snarking back and forth. This raises Liv’s fear of a horde. Liv is also angsting over Major having recognised that she hasn’t been the best person to him and she’s sent him an apology. RFavi does question how appropriate a texted apology is and she quips about eating his head.

She muses on how much hunger utterly consumes a zombie and Blaine drops in kind of pissy that Liv didn’t meet with him as she planned. He rather creepily points out just how hard it is to get your hands on brains when you don’t work in a morgue. Liv makes it clear she’s not a fan of his and still thinks he’s a drug dealing groping arsehole

Time for some of Liv and Peyton together – about time. Peyton is a lawyer handling her first big murder case and wants to celebrate and practice with Liv. Unfortunately seeing picture of the dead man triggers Liv’s memory flashback after eating a brain that morning – suggesting the brain she just ate belonged to the murderer. Not the guy Peyton is prosecuting. Awkward.

She takes this to Clive who would rather not deal with it, he’s certainly not going to interrupt a high profile trial of as tech guru for the sake of the accused – a homeless drifter (who stole the dead man’s wallet and shoes) and accusing some random guy, Marvin Webster, instead. As part of her brain eating, Liv also gains some gun insight. She, rather unfairly, accuses him of wanting an innocent man to go to jail rather than throw away his career on the words of a psychic. But as she walks away she realises her harsh arrogance was another symptom of brain eating

Yes, she ate the brains of sociopath – or, rather, someone with anti-social personality disorder as her newly fact addicted mind throws up.

That emotionless state helps her deal with Peyton’s revelation – Mason kissing another woman on facebook. She feels nothing – so she takes the chance to examine Peyton’s casefiles instead.

Time for Ravi and Liv to go zombiehunting while Liv describes how disturbing the emotionless-brain is. They find the trapped zombie – and she is a zombie, Liv’s friend/co-worker Marcy who was supposed to have died at the boat party. Ravi expects Liv to be devastated to see her friend and fellow zombie reduced to a rotting, shambling monster but the hit-man brains are still working. Ravi decides to experiment – feeing Marcy brains and seeing if she can come back from this level of rot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season One, Episode Eleven: Shonin


Ramse arrives in Tokyo Japan and is immediately overwhelmed. Ramse puts on his coat and stumbles away from the drop site as quickly as he possibly can.  Moments later, Cole arrives and immediately begins his search for Ramse. When Ramse doesn't respond to Cole calling out his name, Cole stumbles away, only to be followed by Ramse.

In a club, a drunk Leeland Goines meets with some Japanese business men. The specimen is brought out and Leeland is informed that it has been excavated from the Himalayas and is over one thousand years old.  Leeland is not at all impressed by the specimen  and makes it clear that there will not be a sale tonight.  He is told that the specimen is more valuable than it appears but Leeland calls the specimen road kill. In desperation, the business men suggest that the specimin would be a good legacy for Jennifer.

Leeland excuses himself to use the bathroom and he is accosted by Cole, seeking the army of the 12 monkeys. Leeland has no idea what Cole is talking about, so Cole asks where the virus is. This is where Leeland learns that the specimen contains a virus. Ramse arrives and a fight breaks out between him and Cole. The two men are absolutely brutal with each other as only former friends can be.  The business man fires a gun in the air and the goons separate Cole and Ramse.  They yell back and forth about who should have killed who,  and Ramse brings up that if Cole is successful, his son will die.

The two men are forced to their knees and Leeland takes the opportunity to slug Cole.  The business man thows a knife on the floor between Cole and Ramse, making it clear that they are to fight to the death. Cole and Ramse are released and it's fight club 2.0, until Ramse manages to stab Cole. Ramse looks down at his hand covered in Cole's blood.


Alarms start to go off and Jones panics about losing Cole. Dr. Adler reports that Cole's vitals appear to show that he is dying.


Leeland gives the order for Ramse to be allowed to live and agrees to buy the specimen from the businessmen. Cole whispers that the army of the 12 monkeys will end the world and  Leeland then orders something be done about Cole.  Before Cole can be killed however, he is splintered away.

Fuchu Prison Japan

A representative of the American embassy talks to Ramse about what they are able to do for him. Ramse says that where he comes from, social security numbers don't exist.  The delegate asks if this means that Ramse is not American and points out that Ramse could receive 8-10 years for stabbing that man in the club.  There are even witnesses who have identified Ramse.  Ramse is unable to speak in his own defense and is told that if he doesn't have something to prove he is a U.S. citizen, nothing can be done for him.


Ramse is now behind bars. He is approached by a very large Japanese man and beaten. Of course no backstory on this beating is given because Asian men are apparently violent without cause. Later, in his cell, Ramse is given a letter.  It calls him the traveler and the writer reports that they have known of Ramse for a long time and that if Ramse choose to join forces with the writer, his child will be safe from those who seek to erase him. Ramse is told that he is important, valued, loved and not alone.  He is also advised not to fight back against his tormentor.

Switch to scene where Ramse is beaten yet again.

Dark Heir (Jane Yellowrock #9) by Faith Hunter

When Jane receives an alarm that there’s a battle going on in vampire central, she assumed they were under attack from outside

But it was far worses – one of the fathers of the vampire species, long imprisoned in Master Vampire Leo’s basement has escaped. Ancient, powerful beyond all measure and homicidally dangerous he is now running free through New Orleans, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake

The human press and authorities have noticed and they want his head on a platter –and the mob are willing to add a whole lot more vampire heads I the process

But Joses is a revered figure in vampire society – his being held hostage is one of the few things preventing the European vampires from invading. His death would give them they every excuse to do so…

The Jane Yellowrock series is now a very long running and established one and it’s also a series that makes full use of everything that has happened before. So this book contains characters, information and references to everything that has happened in the past – which I love. It also doesn’t engage in lots and lots of excessive recapping which I also love

But perhaps a little non-excessive recapping wouldn’t have gone amiss. Not a lot, but just a little to not leave me floundering at times at a new name or another event mentioned, another past drama referenced, another mystical shiny touched upon. I didn’t get lost per se, but when something was mentioned it did take me a little while to catch up and remember exactly what it was they were talking about which did affect the pacing a little.

It is probably something I wouldn’t normally mention if the middle of the book wasn’t kind of flabby anyway – I think it comes down to the actual plot of the book not being overly complex. There are complex elements – like the different factions all having different motives for Joses – the priests wanting him alive, but each delivering to them, Leo wanting him alive to hold off the European vampires, the humans mortal authorities wanting him dead. All of this could make for a lot of complexity and nuance and difficulty – but it didn’t really emerge. These were the factions that were all vying for a piece of Joses and needed balancing, but ultimately the majority of the book was one single thread of Jane trying to chase Choses, trying to find Joses, fighting Joses, collapsing from exhaustion/healing then getting up and doing it again. There were no real twists no real different directions – just a chase.

There was a lot of investigations into why Joses was imprisoned in the first place and what drove him insane and required it – but it all felt just a little irrelevant, partially because of this series ongoing treatment of mental illness. Vampires in this setting going insane, on a semi-regular basis. When newly turned, when bitten by certain creatures, when particularly injured, when particularly sad. It would help a lot if this wasn’t really termed as a mental illness and it was just referred to as the dovoveo but there is a lot of leaking over to comparing it to “mundane” insanity. This also arises with Jane who also believes Skinwalkers will, inevitably, become insane and dangerous as well. This is both stigmatising (despite the endless trope, most mentally ill people are not dangerous) but it also rendered this whole investigation somewhat pointless. We spend so much time trying to figure out what drove Joses over the edge – but in this setting it could have been ANYTHING and was rather irrelevant. Vampires so regularly frolic over that edge that it could have been the clashing wallpaper that drove him to it.

The Returned, Season 1, Episode 4: Victor

Open with Victor before he became the creepy kid with his mother reading a bedtime story and telling him about a fairy that will protect him. The fairy is absent when 2 men break into the house and kill his family and, despite the objections of one of them, him as well.

In the present day he is much creepier and trying to play sweet kid getting in Julie’s bed. The screaming saves her from him eating her skin. The screaming is from someone who has found the body of her terrible neighbour – now being eaten by her cats after being murdered and having her tongue torn out

In case you’ve forgotten, annoying neighbour was last seen in the company of Victor.

Rather than, naturally, suspecting the creepiest kid (outside the French version of this show) the police, represented by Julie’s ex, Nikki, think it’s the same serial killer who killed Lucy and who attacked Julie. Victor’s fear of the dark means, when the electricity goes out, he runs to Julie (oh Victor, there’s nothing scarier in the dark than you! And on that note – being in the dark with Victor? Hell no). This introduces Victor to Nikki who points out you can’t actually just collect lost children. It is frowned upon

Just in case Julie missed how creepy Victor is, she finds his drawings of her neighbour dying and being eaten by cats. She finds him hiding, terrified, in the closet just like he did before he was murdered.

Seeing more evidence of Victor being so very troubled, Julie realises she can’t care for him and calls in Nikki. Julie and Victor have a tearful goodbye. Alone Julie goes through Victor’s pictures and finds she has been drawn as the protective fairy from his mother’s stories

Over to the Winships and it seems Jack spent the night. Claire is even considering Jack’s suggestion  of them moving –until the police ask him to come to the station to talk about Lucy’s murder.

Camille isn’t a fan of moving away from home even if she might be staked/shot/burned as a zombie/vampire/chupacabra (spell check, you disappoint me not knowing what a chupacabra is). Lena’s back wound is only getting worse and she’s staggering around like the zombie her sister isn’t. She times her collapse for when she’s at the top of the stairs because if you’re going to have a sucking back wound you might as well be dramatic about it (and it’s hard to properly steal thunder when one’s sister is undead).

To the hospital! Joined by pretty creepy-supposed-to-be-compassionate-but-feels-like-a-predator-and-an-insurance-salesman Peter (also looks creepily like Jack which doesn’t speak well for how much Claire is moving on). Lena blames her creeping wound on Camille; Lena has issues with how much Camille and her death has consumed her parents’ world.

Peter takes the time to explain Lena’s survivors guilt and general issues to Camille. The doctor basically calls Lena’s spreading puncture wound damn weird and Claire opts against revealing her other child is undead.

Having done that he then tells Claire that Jack is under suspicion of killing Lucy who he was having sex with – because the police have no concept of it not being his business. Claire is furious – not about Jack but about Peter violating her family’s privacy to this degree with the help of his friend

When Jack finally arrives at the hospital, Claire asks about Camille’s missing college fund. Jack objects to Lucy being called a “hooker” (not out of respect for sex workers but more out of denial that she was a sex worker). He tries to sell his sex-medium lie. Ultimately he falls back on being a mess and needing something to distract him – she does believe him when he says he didn’t hurt her but she’s not moving away with him.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Last Man on Earth, Season One, Episode Eight: Mooovin' In

This episode opens with another town hall meeting where Carol thanks Todd for helping her move her dresser upstairs.  Todd graciously declares it fun, saying that it gave him time to spend alone with her. Carol then notices that Melissa is now wearing a charm bracelet - a gift from Todd. Phil of course is not at all impressed though Carol calls it sweet, adding that Phil has never given her anything. A less than subtle reminder that Phil has been saddled with Carol - the strange and undesirable one. Phil then shows the group a set of sculptures he made of the group.  Todd suggests leaving it outside by the campfire and the women are unsurprisingly enthused.  Phil then breaks Todd's sculpture but what he actually did is remove the Phil figure accidentally. Naturally, no one missed Phil on the sculpture.

Phil shows up at Carol's to borrow her DVR and is informed that hers only has Cake Boss on it.  Carol being Carol has to spoil the ending despite Phil's warnings. Carol uses this as an opportunity to suggest living together, adding that the space between them isn't helping with their plan to repopulate the earth.  Carol sites Melissa and Todd, who are already basically living with each other (who have thankfully stopped playing She Drives Me Crazy).  This does not enthuse Phil and so Carol asks Phil to fix her door again. Carol of course invoked Todd, a guarantee to get Phil moving.  Phil whines about not getting respect in the community and then lies about originally heading to Carol's to actually fix her door.  Carol tells Phil that he doesn't have to fix the door if he lets her move in.

Phil heads to the bar so he can talk to his ball friends about how the women are having a Todd love-fest.  Well comparing Todd and Phil, who can blame them? Phil believes that Todd is stealing his thunder because he is of course the president.  Todd begins to think of a way to prove to the women that he is worthwhile and heads outside where he finds a cow at the side of the road.  You know, as you do.

Phil has now gathered everyone announcing that he has a game changer to share with them.  Of course, when he opens the door, the cow is not there.  Carol and Melissa start to snark and begin to walk away but they don't get far because the cow makes an appearance.  Phil wants to slaughter the cow for hamburger and steak but Melissa wants to keep the cow for milk.  Phil believes the humane thing is to slaughter the cow because they don't know how to keep it alive. Cue Todd,  who spent the summers on his uncle's dairy farm.  Todd knows how to milk the cow, as well as make cheese and butter.  The women become excited, so Todd pulls rank and claims that since he found the cow, he gets to decide what happens to it.  After the discontent, Phil agrees to let the cow live though he is lactose intolerant.  Todd offers to keep the cow in his backyard but Phil rejects this this idea stating that the cow will live with him. This sets Carol off because she wanted to move in with Phil.  The cow takes the moment to escape and naturally heads straight to Todd's. Now even the cow prefers Todd.

Todd ties off the cow and begins giving a demonstration on how to milk the cow.  Phil snarks that Todd learned to do this working as a male prostitute. Great slut shaming and homophobia. Yeah, for comedy.   Carol and Melissa are orgasmic about the taste of milk.  Todd shares his limited information of cows and Phil pretends that the smell of milk is making him sick and uses that as an excuse to leave.

Later that night, Phil sneaks back to the cow milks it and then drinks.  Yes, this jack ass lied about being lactose intolerant for the sake of steak. Phil is forced to hide when Melissa walks over to the cow to get some milk for her coffee. Todd joins her, commenting that there is something about a woman who can milk a cow. The two kiss, which naturally upsets the manchild Phil.  When the two leave, Phil heads back to the cow and undoes the knot Todd has tied to secure it. Phil then leads the cow away, ecstatic because the cheese and yogurt are going bye bye. How old is Phil supposed to be again?

The next day, Carol and Melissa are excited about having a bowl of cereal when Todd rushes in to announce that the cow is gone.  Phil is down at the bar talking to his ball friends about how he had to take over the situation, so that he could be a hero twice over.  Is this really his version of alpha male?

Phil heads back to the community and pretends that he had nothing to do with the cow.  Todd talks about seeing the cow in the middle of the night and of course Phil blames Todd for making a bad knot. Phil tells everyone not to assign blame but Melissa says that no one is blaming Todd. Phil however does try again to get the community to blame Todd and Melissa again has to assert that Todd is not at fault.  Phil says that he is going to look for the cow and Melissa then accuses Phil of hiding the cow.

 Melissa divides the map into sections and asks Phil where the bar he likes to hang out is.  Phil is shocked that Melissa is on to him and tries to delay the search but Melissa is determined to start right now.  The first place Melissa goes is to the bar and Phil watches from a distance (have we had an episode where he isn't actively stalking Melissa?).  It seems that the cow left the bar.  Phil rushes in wondering where the cow has gone and notices that one of his ball friends is on the floor crushed. Awww a sad moment for the manchild and yet another reason for me to roll my eyes.

Phil starts to search for the cow and who should he come across but Todd, walking the cow back to the community.  Todd tells Phil that he is going to tell the girls that he found the cow because he feels bad about how hard Melissa came down on him.  Phil asks Todd why he would want to do something so nice for him.  Todd explains that if it wasn't for the alive in Tuscon signs, he wouldn't be here right now with the woman of his dreams.  Todd adds that he has two great friends in Phil and Carol and is so happy. When are the writers going to give Todd some common sense?  When is Todd going to stop being grateful to the supposed White hope Phil?

Later that night, Phil tells everyone he found the cow.  Melissa apologises to Phil for being hard on him. They all make orgasmic sounds as they eat ice cream and Phil starts to eat it.  When Melissa points out that Phil is supposed to be lactose intolerant, Phil claims that this is his cheat day.

Later that night, Phil wakes to screaming.  Phil, Melissa and Todd rush over to Carol's to find that the cow is in Carol's bedroom.  Carol announces that because of the cow, she is now moving in with Todd, since cows apparently don't go down stairs.  Later, Carol and Todd are lying in bed and Todd says that he doesn't understand how the cow got loose and climbed Carol's stairs.  While she lies about how this all happened, the camera shows Carol leading the cow into her bedroom.  It seems she took a note from Phil's playbook. 

Yeah, I won't have to watch this horror show for another week, though there are unfortunately five episodes left.   Sparky as you read this, I hope that you are feeling guilty for saddling me with this puerile nonsense.

We finally moved away from an episode of Melissa playing the sex object.  It took long enough.  We are however still fixating on Todd, as the fat guy with a heart of gold, who naturally worships Phil. Why? None of his reasons make any sense given how Phil has treated Todd since he arrived. At this point, I just want to see Todd smack Phil.

The whole thing with the cow was Phil's attempt to earn some respect.  It never dawned on Phil to simply try being a decent guy because apparently, he doesn't have a decent bone in his body. Because Last Man on Earth is a comedy, it all had to backfire in his face.  I did however like that Melissa called Phil out on hiding the cow though I was sad the cow wasn't in the bar.  Because the cow was moved, it make Melissa appear harsh though she was bang on the money. Melissa is the only one who seems to ever see Phil for the asshole that he is. At this point, I think that Melissa is the only somewhat likable character of the entire show.

I am still waiting to find one thing about this show funny. In eight episodes, I have yet to laugh a single time.  I am sick of the bathroom humor, the characters which are walking tropes and the man-child protagonist. Why is this show certain to be renewed? What exactly am I missing?

The Last Man on Earth, Season One, Episode Seven

This episode opens with Phil dreaming that Melissa's answer to last week's confession of love was yes. They end up making love to Fine Young Cannibals, She Drives Me Crazy.  Yes, it's obviously a dream sequence. 

Finally awake, Phil is busy using his toilet pool when he is approached by Carol and informed that his so-called "private" time is poisoning the neighbourhood.   Carol has drier sheets stuffed up her nose to deal with the stink but Phil insists she leaves and calls her concerns bullying.  Phil then blames his crankiness on the music coming from Melissa's house last night.  Carol suggests that Melissa and Todd were probably having sex which Todd is not pleased to hear.

Phil goes to visit Todd, who is sitting outside having a coffee. Phil then brings up at the music at Melissa's and Todd stumbles to explain what he and Melissa may have been doing.  After a little prodding and ridiculous giggling, Todd, with a huge smile on his face admits that he had sex with Melissa.  Todd then goes on to say how it was like a dream.  Todd even says that Fine Young Cannibals, She Drives Me Crazy became his sex song with Melissa.   Melissa breaks up the moment by asking Todd to come over to her place because she needs help with a thing.  Phil offers to help but is told that this is a project Todd has already started on. When Melissa walks off, Todd of course has to clarify that Melissa is talking about sex, enthusing that he is so excited that this is his life now.

A dejected Phil returns to house and hears the strains of She Drives Me Crazy.  Phil then dives head first into his alcohol kiddie pool and screams.  As you do.

The next morning, Phil and Carol are having breakfast and she brings up his toilet pool.  Phil, lost in his obsession with Todd and Melissa still has not cleaned the pool.  Carol then brings up Melissa and Todd having sex and right on cue, She Drives Me Crazy starts to play again.  Phil then claims that Melissa and Todd are being inconsiderate because they are aware that every time the music plays, it makes everyone in the community aware they are having sex. Carol suggest that Phil do something about this because for some strange reason, Phil is now president of the United States.

Later that night, Phil suggests that now that there are four of them they should have a weekly town hall meeting.  Phil introduces the idea of a grievance board but Todd and Melissa are not paying attention and are instead tickling each other.  Phil claims to be happy for Todd and Melissa and proposes a sex curfew and a noise ordinance.  Melissa rightfully tells Phil that what she does with Todd is none of his business, causing Phil to declare himself the President. Melissa calls it bullshit and Todd calls for a vote on his restrictions and finds no support.  Melissa instead enters a motion that when visiting neighbours one should wear a shirt.  Carol then enters a motion for Phil cleaning out his toilet pool and it is unanimously voted in.

In the next scene, Phil finally begins to clean out his disgusting toilet pool. Of course it's a disaster and in  frustration, after kicking various chemicals inside it, Phil actually falls in.  Yeah I know I am supposed to be laughing at this but the whole thing is just disgusting.  Melissa finds him crying by the side of his pool. Melissa asks if they can talk and Phil asks for a moment to change.  Later, Melissa apologises for playing the music, given the talk they had about Phil's feelings for her.  Phil tries to blow it off and Melissa tells him to drop the act and be a real person. This however is something I think Phil is incapable of.  Phil brings up the fact that he almost had sex with Melissa and questions what would have happened if Todd had not seen the fireworks.  Melissa points out that this is pointless because Todd is here now.

The next day, Phil knocks on Todd's door after a night of stewing.  On the drive, Todd talks about how Melissa is an animal in the sack and that they go at it for hours and hours.  Clearly each word Todd says is torture for Phil.  Phil has apparently told Todd that he is taking him to the place where he goes to do all his thinking.  Phil then pretends that something is wrong with the car and asks Todd to get out and take a look.  Moments after Todd is out of the truck and declares that there is nothing wrong with the truck, Phil takes off driving. Phil only makes it a few meters down the road before stopping, screaming and returning to Todd.   Todd however thinks that this was all a practical joke and asks Phil how much longer until they arrive at the location.  Phil announces that they have arrived and suggests they should head back home.  Todd however wants a moment to savor the scenery, which actually is quite beautiful.  On the way back, Phil apologises to Todd, who has no clue why Phil is apologising. Todd calls Phil a "really nice guy" making me wonder has he actually met Phil. Are the writers ever going to get around to giving Todd more common sense than a turnip?

Upon return, a determined Phil heads back to his toilet pool.  Later, Carol shows up at Phil's and he has to struggle with her to get her to take out the drier sheets from her nose.  Phil declares himself a nice person, adding that he has a new plan for his bathroom needs.  Phil leads Carol into the bathroom where he has installed a porta-potty.

For the record, each moment of this show I watch, I am thinking terrible things about Sparky and this torture he has inflicted upon me.  Really Sparky? I mean really?

Okay, this episode was largely about dealing with Phil's manpan that Todd's arrival means that he does not get to sleep with Melissa.  Am I really supposed to be empathising with this megadouche? Am I really supposed to find his antics funny?

Of course, we are meant to see the pairing of Todd and Melissa as ridiculous because she is young and blonde and Todd is fat.  Heavens knows no one finds fat people attractive right. It's worth mentioning that it's also in Todd's favor that he doesn't believe that shitting in a pool and polluting the very air he breaths is a good thing.

Melissa still isn't a person to either of these men actually.  Todd is quick to celebrate having sex with her, even as Phil is moaning that he isn't having sex with her.  Are Todd and Phil at anytime going to acknowledge that Melissa is more than a walking vagina? 

Also, who picks She Drives Me Crazy as a sex song?  These are grown adults right?

Then we had Phil's toilet pool.  I am actually surprised that they're not all diseased.  I have to say that I was firmly team Carol in terms of having that cesspool cleaned up.  I suppose we are meant to see the cleaning of the pool as progress for Phil but yeah, something that basic shouldn't count as progress.

Again, why am I watching this show? Oh yeah, I remember, Sparky loves to cause me pain.

Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) by Amanda Carlson


One shall walk again, above all others she is born;
Within her the beast shall lie, well hidden in True Form;
And from this day forth, the Children of the Night shall pay;
By her supreme rule, her righteous hand will slay,
Justice to all, as none are her equal;
The True Lycan will vanquish all evil.

Not only is Jessica the only female werewolf, it has been prophesied that she will dispense justice amongst the supernaturals.  First however, Jessica must find her mate who has been kidnapped.  The journey will test her new skills more than she could ever imagine. 

There really isn't much character development in this second installment of the Jessica McClain series.  We do however get introduced to two new vampires, as well as learn some of the abilities and limitations of vampirism.  The world is also enlarged by whole slew of new supes.

That being said, I don't feel like the story really progressed at all.  Hot Blooded is essentially one large fight scene which if you like that sort of thing, will be right up your ally.  Jessica and her small pack challenge various supernatural creatures; however, this lacked any kind of real suspense from the beginning because it was clear that while the situations themselves were dangerous, no one was really in any kind of mortal danger.  It quickly became rote that whenever Jessica faced a new monster, she would pull out some super special Lycan power to defeat it.

As part of her role as protagonist of this series, Jessica also served as the moral center.  Because her supernatural ability is extremely new, Jessica very much affirmed the importance of life, making her unwilling to kill because of convenience.  It will be interesting to see if she can hold onto that as the challenges she faces get tougher and tougher.

Once Upon a Time, Season 4, Episode 17: Best Laid Plans

Opening flashback to their sogginesses, before they were quite so drippy. They’re hunting a unicorn to fondle its horn (ok, they were still very drippy) to see Emma’s future and see if she’s going to turn evil or not. (I would have loved to see them run with the unicorn trying to impale them, but alas, not). David seems an innocent baby while Emma sees a teenager who rips out her heart

They angst about this for some time before a passing peddler helpfully provides some distraction – Draconic Maleficent has laid an egg. He advises them to go around and go to a cottage and get directions instead. This sounds sensible so it’s quite shocking when the Charmings follow his advice.

The cottage is owned by the Sorcerer’s apprentice who feels quite within his right to comment on their upcoming birth. He explains why the visions conflict and how the future can actually change – the only way to ensure Emma is all good and pure is to put all her potential for evil in another blank slate (another child). Effectively a child sacrifice.

Mary Margaret decides that Maleficent egg is ideal. Because a super evil DRAGON SORCERER is such a good idea. Fetching the egg involves knocking our Ursula and Cruella who have, bemusingly, decided to bodyguard Maleficent’s cave. They manage to stop Maleficent turning them to ash (alas) by threatening her baby- much to Maleficent’s utter horror (“what kind of people are you to threaten a child?”) Maleficent begs for her child but the Charmings refuse to listen

They take the egg to the sorcerer’s apprentice who transfers the evil – and banishes the egg to another dimension. After all, he’s not fool enough to want a super powerful evil dragon baby hanging around, to be that foolish you’d have to be a Charming. Mary Margaret, in all her sogginess, protests they only wanted to put an evil dark curse on the new born, not exile it! (this counts as moral justification in her world) but it’s too late and he banishes the egg (which starts hatching into a baby) through a portal. Cruella and Ursula are randomly dragged through as well. But their baby is now “pure of intent” and up to the Charmings to guide. Wait, wasn’t that what a blank slate meant anyway?!

Mary Margaret describes their acts of kidnapping, cursing and exiling a child a “mistake.” She is a terrible terrible person.

Back at the castle Mary Margret mopes over her guilt and how it’s with her all the time (except the last 3 seasons. Maybe she thought being married to David was punishment enough). She acknowledges they weren’t kind, they were selfish and they are no longer heroes. David decides the way to save this is to fix themselves (not Maleficent), but just making sure they’re good and pure so they can get over it and not give their child issues. REDEMPTION!

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Sixteen: Conquer

Morgan wakes up in the back seat of a car and smiles at the rabbit's foot hanging off the rear view mirror.  He heads outside and makes himself a cup of soup.  A man sneaks up on Morgan holding a gun and introduces himself.  The man has a W carved into his forehead, which apparently represents wolves ,which were hunted by the first settlers of the area and the Indigenous community. The W symbolizes that wolves are back now.  Apparently, the man is part of a larger group who sometimes traps people.   When Morgan tries to take a sip of his cup of soup, he is told to put it down.  Morgan asks to keep a little bit of his supplies and is told that he will lose it all, including his life. Morgan informs the man that he can have everything but will not allow himself to be taken away.  The stranger tells Morgan to be still and his partner sneaks up from behind.  The fight is on and all Morgan has is a stick to defend himself.  Morgan warns the men that they should go but when they refuse, he proceeds to kick some serious ass before knocking them out and placing them in the car he slept in the night before. Morgan then pockets the rabbit's foot. When Morgan picks up the gun which as pointed at him, he discovers that it had no bullets.

Darryl is driving down the road on his motorcycle with Aaron hot on his heels.  They pull off to the side of the road.

Back at Alexandria, Rick slowly wakes up to find Michonne watching him.  Michonne reports that Deanna wanted him isolated to calm things down and Rosita took care of his bandages.  Michonne reports that Pete was placed in another home.  Michonne asks Rick what he is doing and Rick says that things moved fast and that he couldn't tell her what he was doing. Rick then actually taunts Michonne about wanting to get off the road.  Did this fool forget that they had no food or water and were reduced to praying for rain while eating dog?  Michonne is emphatic that they had to stop being out there.

Glenn, Abraham, and Carol, come in and Carol accuses Rick of stealing the gun from armoury calling it stupid. Gotta love how even in front of her own group, Carol refuses to show her hand. Rick plays dumb as Carol intended.  Glenn announces that Deanna is planning a meeting for tonight.  They discuss a tactic and it's Carol who suggests that Rick tell the community a story they want to hear just like she has been doing since she got there.  Yeah that was a subtle point to Rick that he really should have flown under the radar. Carol declares the Alexandrians are like children, adding that knives are all they need against the people.  Rick lays out a plan to over power the residents of Alexandria if necessary, including a threat to slit people's throats to get to the armoury.  Rick admits that he screwed up and put them in this mess. Well I suppose that's a first for Rick but excuse me if I'm still not impressed.   Rick then decides that he is going to sleep some more more and lies down.

Gabriel takes his jacket off the line, as Maggie watches from Deanna's porch. Yep, Gabriel needs to become walker food.  Maggie is joined by Reg and she questions if the meeting is about evicting Rick. Maggie makes it clear that evicting Rick is not an option and that it's not fair to put the decision on the residents who don't have the whole story. Deanna says that the situation is hers to decide (right no conflict of interest if she is the one who decides). Maggie talks about Rick's frustration at the things he has seen and lost.  Deanna immediately jumps on this because of course, she just lost her son but Maggie argues back rightly actually that they have lost so much more. Deanna points out that Rick pointed a gun at people but Maggie argues back that Rick didn't pull the trigger. Deanna however sees this as a poor sign. Reg steps up to remind Deanna that Michonne stopped Rick.  Maggie walks off the porch in frustration and Reg quickly follows to say that civilization starts when people stop running and live together.  This apparently is going to be his advice to Deanna and the people of Alexandria.

Sasha is outside of the walls and she grabs a dead zombie (yes, I know it's an oxymoron).  She drags the zombie to a pit filled with a few zombies.  Sasha stumbles and falls into the pit and instead of climbing out, she lies down in the pit with the zombies. Sasha has a weird fixation it seems and cannot decide between killing the zombies and wanting to just die herself. Other than Rick, I think this is the longest any character has been allowed to actively mourn a loss. And no, I haven't forgotten she who took her bed.

Darryl and Aaron are tracking a man through the woods and Aaron makes it clear that they have to make sure the person they are tracking is good.  Aaron then talks about the three people he was forced to send away.  Because Aaron brought them to Alexandria the responsibility of escorting them out became his.  The ousted people were driven away from Alexandria and left with a days worth of food and water and no guns.  Aaron is adamant that he will not make that kind of mistake again. Essentially, those people were given a death sentence.

Carol has gone back to see Rick alone, saying that what happened last night was good.  Carol hands Rick another gun and he asks why Carol didn't want the rest of the group to know they had more guns. Carol says that Michonne stopped Rick and that she didn't tell them just in case. Rick makes it clear that everyone is with them and that he doesn't want to lie anymore.  Carol points out that Rick said that he didn't want to lie and he didn't want to take Alexandria. Carol snarks to Rick that he cannot have it both way.  YES, I LOVE ME SOME CAROL.

Darryl and Aaron are tracking the man who is wearing a bright red poncho.  Darryl is impressed that the man knows how to keep mosquitoes off of him. 

Rick heads outside and walks through a group of men, saying hello to an armed Tobin.  Rick walks past Deanna's house and neither of the two say a word.

Nicholas glares at Glenn.  Maggie approaches Glenn and she promises to try and solve this.  Glenn simply tells Maggie that he loves her.  Maggie and Glenn agree to get together at the meeting. When Glenn turns his head, he sees Nicholas climbing over a wall and decides to follow.

Gabriel heads outside of Alexandria, turning down a gun saying the world of God is the only protection he needs.

Rick has returned home and is greeted by Carl.  Rick makes it clear that Carl is not to come to the meeting.  Carl says that the Alexandrians will die without them and Rick warns Carl that he might have to threaten, or kill one of them.  Carl suggests that Rick tell the truth in a way that they can hear; however, Rick thinks that they might not be able to.  Carl again asserts that Rick has to tell them. When did Carl get so much wiser than his father?

Aaron and Darryl look through a chain link fence in defeat after loosing the man with the red poncho.  They are looking at a warehouse filled with food and Darryl is worried that this means they are giving up.  Aaron points out that they need more people but they will need to be able to feed the people once they find them.  Darryl taps his knife on the fence to draw the attention of the walkers and when the zombies approach, Aaron and Darryl make short work of them.  The two men head into the facility.  Aaron pauses to get a license plate from Alaska, saying that if they come back with a trailer full of cans, then they've had a good trip.  When Darryl opens one of the trailers, it causes several others to open and zombies come pouring out.   Aaron and Darryl start running, killing zombies as they are able.  They slide under one of the trailers only to be followed by the zombies, so they are forced to roll out the other side.  Finally, in desperation, they climb inside a car, which quickly gets surrounded by walkers. 

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger

Sidhaeg, one of Sophronia’s best friends, is shaken to the core by devastating news of her werewolf pack back in Scotland. She is convinced that she has to go home to help – which means a crafty absence from the school and a train journey across country

Of course, Sophronia is willing to help her friend, despite doubting the wisdom of her decision. Picking up many friends ad companions they make the journey to Scotland

But along the way they stumble across the latest scheme between the supernatural-hating Picklemen and the vampires and they cannot help getting involved. But a brief distraction quickly becomes deadly – and with possibly devastating consequences for the whole country.

I love this series. I love the very concept of it – the whole idea of these very proper Victorian ladies learning all the very proper Victorian etiquette and wearing all the very proper Victorian clothes and all the very proper Victorian modes of behaviour – and turning them into weapons and tools for espionage. I love the subversion of that, I love the whole idea of these women being extremely competent and dangerous not DESPITE the trappings and restrictions of their gender in this era – but using them to their advantage. I love their lessons, I love their training, I love the whole concept. And I love that we have a predominantly female cast who are good friends (no “super special female protagonist” here) and are all competent. Sure, Sophonia is super-duper competent and the leader, but she’s happy to acknowledge when her friends are better at something and has every faith in their abilities (including Agatha and Dimity who are often seen as behind the others); certainly more so than she has with untrained men. She respects other students of the school, even Monique. She has been trained. She is dangerous.

This excellent world setting and fun concept is backed up by Gail Carriger’s writing which has always been that excellent balance between proper Victorian language and screaming hilarity. It’s fun, it manages to be both a parody and serious and it always manages to be extremely funny, well paced and a general joy to read.

Since this is the prequel series to the Parasol Protectorate it’s also interesting to see the beginnings of some of the characters and events from that series – including the beginning of Lord Maccon’s story and the drama that overtook the Kingair Pack and how Sidhaeg became the woman she did. It’s nice to see it from this end

And it also introduces another excellent theme of this book – growing up. An inevitable part of any school story, Sophronia and her friends are coming of age and things and people are changing quickly. People are leaving Sophronia’s live, people are finding their paths and people are having to grow up – which adds to some sadness for Sophronia but also concerns about where she goes next; who does she seek out as a partron or a husband

Which also links (and I’m going to have an aside here to praise how well all the elements of this book link together and feed off each other) to Sophonia’s opinion of the politics of the day. She doesn’t favour any faction, she rather thinks any faction gaining complete control would be a bad thing and disapproves of the whole “with us or against us” mentality of both the vampires and the picklemen. She is a big believer in balance but that, in turn, makes her unwilling to seek a supporter on any side, even with Lord Akeldama courting her

Bitten, Season 2, Episode 8: Dark Arts

4 years ago, we see bad witch Clara cursing men to death for money. This is a no-no and Ruth disapproves. Ruth rips off Clara’s amulet and reduces it to dust (apparently stripping her of magic) before she and Bridget leaves

Alistair, at this point, is a performing street magician (already with his little symbol), Clara finds him to get her revenge. And that’s how Alistair becomes a bad guy

In the present, Alistair, possessing Clay, wraps up his body before joining Jeremy and Nick pretending to have lost Eduardo. Back at Stonehaven Ruth is fretting about Savannah magically bleeding people to death and they’re planning her initiation ritual in which she will get her talisman which lets her focus her powers

Aliclay wants them to do the ritual in Stonehaven; they agree to get it done asap.

Meanwhile Alistair and Clay have a little confrontation inside Clay’s head which also involves images of child!Clay and Malcolm.

In the real world Savannah is all kind and reassuring with Savannah before she goes down to her initiation. She picks cards to guide her through it – initiating through fire, having rats as a familiar (she doesn’t like rats but Paige is quick to sing the praises of rats). Savannah begs to have Elena with her and Ruth agrees.

While Savannah is asking for Elena, AliClay is trying to convince Elena to stay away from her. He kisses her which is so silly, everyone knows how this trope goes; a lover can always tell their true love by their special unique kissing skills. She is now all suspicious.

While Paige is preparing for the ritual, Nick drops in for some flirting and sex because he has no sense of appropriate timing.

Afterwards the go to where Ruth and Aliclay are building a little hut but they’re building it in a different place from where Jeremy said to – due to Aliclay wanting Savannah more split from the rest of them. Nick tries to move it and Aliclay stops them – and crudely attacks Nick and Paige for having sex, calling Paige a whore. Nick demands Clay apologise and he and Aliclay fight – and Nick wins until Paige makes them stop.

Elena confronts AliClay later over losing his ever loving mind and he both blames the witches and tries to force a kiss on her – and then trying to rape her. She punches him in the head. Jeremy goes to Clay to ask him what the hell is happening between him and Nick (I dearly hope this is because he doesn’t know about Elena and Aliclay) And Aliclay tries to undermine Elena by talking about what happened at the compound – including being forced to change in front of Rachel. Jeremy says what a terrible violation it is to be forced to change in front of others and somehow between them they come to the conclusion that spending time with Savannah is making it harder for Elena to deal with her issues.

Elena and Savannah are all nice together again before Elena has a quiet word with Paige asking just how out of control Savannah’s magic can get. Since Alistair messed with her mind, she’s worried that an out of control Savannah may be messing with Clay. Paige points out how easy it is to blame magic whenever something weird happens but, really, if something is wrong with Clay then you need to talk to Clay

Instead, Elena does some more reading about Alistair and his rituals while Aliclay prepares one of those rituals which ominously involves a noose.

Elena finds information about dark witches possessing people and shows it to Jeremy along with how weird Clay is acting. Jeremy starts to ignore her and talk about her being forced to change in front of others but Elena points out she didn’t actually tell Clay that – only Elena, Rachel and Alistair knew that. They go to the storage shed where they found Clay that morning

Sunday, March 29, 2015

12 Monkeys, Season 1, Episode 10: Divine Move


Ramse burns everything –all the plans, all the research and takes Jones injections of stuff (which I think are to do with time travel).


Aaron and Cassie are back to being all couply – and Cole interrupts their couply time. Oh, Cole, Aaron wasn’t a big fan of you before now you’re making it worse! Aaron gasps that it’s not over – yes it looked like it was over Aaron but 12 Monkeys got renewed.

Of course Cassie has just seen Cole die and Cole has just seen Cassie die so they’re super happy to see each other alive.

But the virus was still out there, Chechnya wasn’t the only release point nor was Leland Goins nor was the Night Room. There’s another source: they focus on Oliver Peters, a guy who was at the CIA and who actually made the virus. Aaron loses his temper, saving the world can’t happen because it puts Cassie at risk and they don’t know what they’re doing!

Since, without their intervention, Cassie dies in 2017, I think his arguments are somewhat lacking. He does point out that Cole has no idea how to stop the plague which… yes? I mean isn’t that kind of acknowledged?

As Cassie and Cole drive off they acknowledge that it all feels a little more hopeless. This also feeds into Cole’s worry about Ramse. They break into a lab to find a dead man covered in flowers – something they’ve seen before which the Tall Man does. The dead man is not Oliver Peters, it’s his husband (yes, LGBT inclusion via a rotting corpse!) and Cassie is bitter that they’ve failed to make any difference. Cole has one of his broken glass of milk flashbacks/nosebleeds that he has from time to time which one day may be relevant but this is 12 Monkeys so don’t get your hopes up.

They do find Peter’s journal though including lots of plague references. One of which leads to Tokyo and the 12 Monkeys. Cassie is even more bitter. And drinking. And really bitter. She’s also noticed that Cole is killing himself. For another foreshadowing element, when Cole splinters a nearby plant has its leaves turn red. Related to the “red forest”?

She goes researching for animal test subjects that Peters must be using to develop the plagues. She also has to argue with Aaron who is worried about Cassie getting hurt (again, ignoring the inevitable death of most of the population including her if they don’t do something). She appeals to their inevitable death and asks him to stick with her

He joins her in going to a container yard where she thinks the virus may have been developed or supplies passed through – and she brings a gun with her. There she finds Peters locked in a container. He has finished the virus, creating it because the 12 Monkeys said they’d kill his husband if they didn’t. When he realises his husband is dead he asks Cassie to kill him so he can’t make the virus again. She considers it but, ultimately, tells him to run, find a hole and disappear into it

While she’s doing this, Aaron runs into the Striking Woman who knows his name. She talks about Cassie being important and keeping her live which sounds very menacing and threatening. No doubt Aaron will now do something monumentally foolish

12 Monkeys, Season 1, Episode 9: Tomorrow


A battered Cole limps through plague ravaged Chechnya. He sees a broadcast from the American CDC (listing US casualties at 33 million) made by Cassie. She’s asking for the Immune to go to Baltimore (the new site of the CDC) to help with their research. She also talks about quarantine zones the CDC has set up.

Cole sees one of these zones and a desperate crowd trying to force themselves in – when a woman manages to push past the soldiers they shoot her. Cole, as one of the immune, is allowed in. Well, dragged in by guards. The Russian soldiers take him to where a soldier from the US army tells him they’re taking him to the airport – and she knows Cole by name.

In the US, mobs rage in the street as panic has taken over. In the crowd, Jennifer Goins rants away – it’s possible she’s gaining a following.

The soldier escorting Cole is one of the immune and leads him to Cassie. Hugging and Cassie’s broken recitation of trying to cure the plague while knowing Cole told her it was impossible. She knew where he was because she’s seen him since then (and he will splinter back to see her). Cassie is also sick and passes out

As she comes round, she asks Cole if he’s found the “Red Forest.” Of course, he doesn’t know what that means yet. She can’t tell him anything about it – or anything else – without “changing the path he’s on.” She gives him a piece of paper with an address on it – telling him his life depends on it. She then dies tragically in his arms.

As he splinters back to the future, the scratched watch from the first episode is re-sealed.


After her foray to Colonel Foster’s enclave (Spearhead) last week, Jones is now on rumour control as it’s been spreading that the colonel has found a cure – he hasn’t. Col Foster is basing his research on the original plague despite the fact it has mutated twice since then. She says the colonel is only lying to give his people hope (which maaaaay be what others would think of Jones) and they must get Spearhead’s core to power the time machine.

Ramse tries to convince Elena to leave Foster’s “cult”. She doesn’t buy it and wants to show him how awesome Foster is – but Ramse can’t hang around for that while Cole is lost.


Time for a flashback on what good friends Cole and Ramse are. Wandering around in the freezing forest after leaving Deacon’s band, sharing gloves to try and ward off frost bite and low on supplies. They resort to trying to ambush a group of 6 men for the deer they’ve taken

They get captured by Whitley. It wasn’t a good plan. Whitley beats them to try and get some answers – but Jones intervenes when she hears Cole’s name. She plays him a recording of Cassie’s voice that mentions Cole by name (along with talking about the architects of the plague and Leland Frost). Cole does ask the pertinent question how Jones knows Cassie’s talking about this particular Cole but Jones just says “I know” which is a very weak response. She makes her time travel pitch

Which Cole didn’t buy – and he tries to escape with Ramse – but it’s Ramse who convinces Cole to stay. Because Jones may be telling the truth, maybe she can fix the world – and maybe she can erase the terrible things they’ve done to survive. Cole doesn’t buy it and tries to run and Ramse sabotages their escape, saying he is “saving Cole’s soul.”


While Ramse tries to convince Elena – and she, in turn, tries to convince him. During the convincing battle they’re found doing something they shouldn’t by Foster. Whitley approaches his father with the hard truth of Foster’s failure and lies. It’s difficult because of the 10 year rift between the two (caused by Whitley’s father killing people for Foster)

Jones tries to convince Foster about her machine but he calls it blasphemy – his rejection of Jones’s plan is more religious than scientific. He also has a moving attempt tom convince her that all what she thinks is lost – culture, art, civilisation – isn’t because they still remember it. These losses have often been pointed out as meaning as much to Jones as the people. Then she flips that script by saying that she was a mother – and shooting Foster. “Goodbye Jonathon. For now.”

Whitley has convinced is father and they bring down several guards and let in Jones’s men (and have big manly shoulder grasping of reconciliation). They invade Spearhead, guns blazing and people dying. These scenes are brutal and there’s blood everywhere and Whitley’s dad dies in the fighting along with one of Jones’s chief minions.

Surrounded by the dead, Jones gets her core. Whitley and Jones talk about his dad’s death and he now has a desperate need to cling to her vision as well. Ramse, Elena and Sam escape during the fighting and Elena is horrified by what Jones did, destroying her family. She still believes that Foster cured the plague and she overtly says what is already clear – Jones is as driven and ruthless as Foster was and maybe she was the one who lied and Foster had found the cure

To emphasise this we see Foster burning papers that seem to show that Foster had cured the 2033 mutation

She brings Cole back and he tells her what happened

Ramse returns to Cole and tells him about Jones murdering half of Spearhead and it seems Elena has convinced him – they did have a cure. But Cole is now invested in the mission (because that will bring Cassie back), even though Ramse tells him about Elena and wants him to stop, Cole just saw the world die in 2017, watched Cassie die. Ramse calls Cole blind and selfish, because Elena and Sam will be erased if Cole changes the world. Cole says Sam is already dead and Ramse hits him – but Cole stick to it “there is no future.”

I think this episode we saw a lot more of Jones, the woman who killed people to test her machine. And it’s not a woman who is an unfeeling scientist who will do anything to pursue her goal – she’s a woman trying to get her daughter back and that seems, ultimately, to outweigh everything else. There’s also a terrifying element to her faith in her machine working and resetting time: she doesn’t care what happens now. It doesn’t matter who she kills, who dies, who suffers because if she succeeds none of it will have happened, it’s the big reset switch. This makes Jones a thoroughly terrifying person.

I think this episode did a very good job of showing that. The take over of Spearhead wasn’t shown as sanitised or clean – we saw the bodies and the blood spatter and Jones walking among it face set. There was no suggestion that this was a good, neat or simple thing – all emphasised by Jones’s voice over that they would sacrifice this time to get their old time back. And it is a sacrifice

Ultimately, Foster was presented as a cult leader who killed innocents to force his own vision – and in this episode Jones is almost presented as the leader of a rival cult. The only difference is that her promise of salvation may be true. But then, that is because we see things from her group’s viewpoint – she calls Foster a liar, but his cure wouldn’t have brought her daughter back. Maybe he did find the cure – but it wasn’t her cure, wasn’t her salvation. But then, how many are invested in her salvation? Not just curing the plague but erasing it from history – erasing all the things they’ve done or been turned into by the plague. Her salvation is as much about personal redemption, a conscience reset as it is saving mankind. It is, as Ramse says, a very selfish salvation

Of course, even with the cure there is the flip side that this virus does keep mutating and Foster’s cure may have only been temporary

I’m disappointed that Whitley’s father died and not just because it was another sacrificed POC. Whitley is, generally, a very underused character, lurking in the background being all menacing. His father gave him a storyline to pursue beyond that and now he doesn’t have it

The repairing watch – what what what is this? Does this imply that the events of the first episode haven’t happened? And if so, why haven’t they?