Saturday, June 13, 2015

Between, season 1, Episode 4: Love Hurts

Flashback start – Ms Symmonds being proposed to be Evan, one of the other teachers (actually he gives her a ring on her birthday and she said yes and this is why rings make terrible gifts and end up with you making unintended proposals you can’t walk back. Yes that’s my headcannon and I’m sticking to it. Hey, does this count as romantic proposing on your intended’s birthday or is it just a cheap way of calling all future presents joint anniversary/birthday presents – kind of like those poor kids born in late December? Ok I’ll stop now)

He then was rude enough to die mid proposal or possibly this was all Ms Symmond’s (can this lady get a first name please?) morbid dream/imagination

19 Days under quarantine

Wylie is visiting with Pat, Ronnie and Tracy who politely step around the fact she still hasn’t named her baby. Pat and Tracy still aren’t super thrilled with their brother especially when Ronnie decides he’s going to go hunting and he drafts poor Tracy into watching Baby Nameless so he can take Wylie with him

Seriously, the way these guys talk they have lots of cousins (is that a hint of “huge redneck hillbilly clan” they’re implying? I think it is) I’m sure they could spare Ronnie if he had an… accident. This is such a very bad idea. Unsurprisingly they crash and are chased by Chuck’s minions

Speaking of bad ideas, some kids steal one of the cars from Chuck’s dad’s dealership – and drive off at most unsafe speed.

We also have a Chuck running and being all tormented with his big ol’ sense of duty when he runs into New Designated Love Interest, Samantha.

Ms Symmonds goes to Melissa’s crèche and finds Melissa utterly overwhelmed again with no help. She agrees to cover for Melissa so she can go find her sister. You’ll regret that Ms Symmonds. Melissa can’t find Rylie and begins to worry – of course she takes that problem to Gord. She then actually has a huge tantrum at Ms Symmonds for bringing the kids to the church and defiling her precious house of god. Melissa, she was doing you a favour – see, this is why you have no help.

Adam alternates between staring moodily at pictures of Rylie and then staring moodily (to be fair “moodily” is kind of his default facial expression) at the pictures he took of Lana’s body – the juxtaposition isn’t creepy at alllll. He decides to re-visit the crime scene and find the convenient evidence that wasn’t there before – Pat’s hat.

Between, Season 1, Episode 3: Crossing Lines

We open with a terrible roadside zoo and a little boy who goes into the tiger cage. This is as ill-advised as it is random

16 Days after Quarantine

Minister Miller appears on television to explain why, despite the burning bodies, the quarantine must continue – there’s something in the air, apparently. Not only is there a quarantine but now a no fly zone as well – with people outside the fence starting to protest.

Wylie wakes up in Adam’s bedroom, his best guess is she passed out due to dehydration. They kiss. That was rather predictable – he has had a long term crush on her for a while.

In rich person house, Amanda finds Lana’s mobile phone which Chuck takes. Whatever he finds on it angers him. He goes to Gord demanding they go and confront Ronnie & co, especially since Gord’s last delaying tactic was that the fence was coming down which, of course, hasn’t happened. Since Ronnie was the last person to text Lana and he asked her to meet him in the forest, Chuck is obviously suspicious.

Gord explains what he’s doing to little sister Francis who says that church and his Neanderthal friends can go beat people up without Gord’s help. Actually I take back last episode – I don’t want Gord to be the leader, I want Francis in charge. I don’t care if she’s 12, she’s got more sense than not just everyone on this cast, but also the cast of just about every show we follow. Gord insists on going to try and play peacekeeper

There’s also an escaped tiger hanging around the farm where Gord has left Francis alone.

Chuck and co go to Ronnie’s house that night and call Pat – demanding he and Tracy bring Ronnie out. Pat tells Chuck to hide and has Tracy call for help from the cousins. Pat comes out and Gord tells him the issues they have with Ronnie. Gord tries to talk sense. Then all the power goes out, all over town. Chuck thinks this is a trap and a firefight starts.

Gord, you are far too smart for these people. And Gord is hit. Of course he is. He insists he’s fine and can doctor himself and insists Chuck tries to reign in his band of fools instead and check on the power. And think for five seconds. Gord doctors himself but it looks a lot worse than it is and Melissa shows up to help patch him up. I wouldn’t trust her because she says lucky the bullet went right through”, since she’s sewing his side I can only assume she means “right through his abdomen” which isn’t lucky.

Olympus, Season 1, Episode 10 Heritage

Medea is still tied down under the sun with a corpse on top of her when she is visited by the ghosts/hallucinations of her murdered children, the children she killed to hurt her husband Jason. The ghosts/visions argue over rescuing her or watching her die. Vision Lykos also shows up to take the kids away

But a vision kid does seem to have untied her. Handy that. She makes her way to Pandora’s tomb and finds Ariadne’s cloth. Inside the tomb she sees Hero curled up. She manages to get him out of the tomb and rise him with a potion. Hero desperately wants to leap in after Ariadne but Medea stops him- the only reason he survived was the ring of the magi (floating on the surface of the water filled tomb and now on Heros’ finger. A ring that floats? Damn that’s some cheap tat right there!).

The water is the river Styx and Hero angsts mightily about poor beloved Ariadne who he hated 2 days ago – until white smoke emerges from the tomb because Hero is too busy crying to close it. They run (because Medea does have the sense she was born with). He still angsts massively about how much he loved Ariadne with all his heart (really?!)

But Medea is super happy about this convoluted and ludicrous revelation – because Hero has sacrificed love! One sacrifice down! Second sacrifice is his heritage – which means going back to Athens (kill his dad). And bonus, if he becomes a god he may be able to bring Ariadne back from the dead which, still bemusingly, he now wants to do.

In Athens Oracle tells Minos how the Lexicon is terrible and how Hero will destroy everything. And she finally has a useful vision – to find Medea

Ok, for a given level of useful. The spy Minos set on Medea has been thoroughly drugged. Oracle is surprisingly violent in her questioning (while also a bit wet) and learns that Daedalus is involved in Medea’s escape.

Off they go for Minos to be all menacing to Medea – with Oracle looking especially hard and vicious at him. He tells her how he sent Hero to the gates of hell while he remarks on how she’s changed. Daedalus tells them of the weapon and it turns out Medea’s priests already know all about Pandora’s tomb. Well that could have saved a lot of time but while they’ve been talking white fog approaches the city. They assume “evil monster fog” rather than “weather.”

Friday, June 12, 2015

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode Four: One of Our Senior Realtors Has Chosen to Retire

Ethan drives his family away from the site where he killed Burke.  When Ethan gets out of the car, he takes Ben to wash the blood off of his hands.  Ben asks what the creature on the other side of the wall and Ethan calls them wolves, adding that they're in wolf territory.  When Ethan gets back into the car, Theresa suggests calling the police, believing that there's no covering up what happened.  Ethan informs her that "they already know".  Okay, who the hell is "they"?  Ethan explains that there are cameras and mics everywhere because the town is under surveillance.  So far, Ethan has not been able to figure out who is doing this.  Ethan tells Theresa that he was sent to Warward Pines to investigate the disappearance of Bill and Kate. Ethan recounts what happened after he woke up in Wayward Pines, adding that he has been trying to get out of Wayward Pines since the moment he woke up in the hospital.  For a strategy they agree to pretend to be a happy family and simply play along.  Theresa notices that Ben is missing and so she and Ethan race out of the car to find him.

They find Ben accepting an invitation welcoming him to attend Wayward Pines academy at 10am sharp. In his hands, Ethan hold a uniform jacket for the local highschool which came with the package.

Using Pope's keys, Ethan enters the Wayward Pines Police station and gets a gun.  He doesn't get to do much more because Arlene Moran arrives carrying a cake to congratulate Ethan on becoming the new Sheriff.  Fast on Arleen's heels, is Brad Fisher, the mayor of Wayward Pines, to congratulate Ethan on his new job. Ethan poses for a picture with Arleen and Brad for the local paper. It's Toby from the paper who takes the picture.  Brad brings up Ethan's fast transition and  Ethan asks who appointed him as sheriff.  Brad reveals that this isn't under his purview, so Ethan asks again and this time adds that he would like to talk to them to find out what is expected of him in his new role. It seems that Bill is going to play the diplomat moving forward.  Brian and Arlene explain that they don't like people who ask questions and that Ethan simply has to follow the rules. Ethan asks about cake and Arlene leaves to get a knife. Brad takes the opportunity to ask Toby to give him a minute alone with Ethan.  Brad explains that he is happy to have someone with Ethan's experience working as the town's sheriff.  Brad explains that being sheriff affords some power and Ethan simply says that he looks forward to working with Brad. The two men shake hands.

Theresa takes Ben to school, warning him not to draw too much attention to himself and adds that this should be for a couple of days.  Theresa and Ben are greeted by Megan Fisher, the principal.  Megan explains that the focus at the school is on arts, team building and athletics.  Megan reveals that everyone there plays a sport. Megan then asks if Ben plays the guitar and informs him that they have a fantastic music program there.  Megan calls the start of the school day and Theresa and Ben hug. It's clear that Theresa does not want to let go of Ben.

Ethan is busy searching the sheriff's office.  He comes across a trapdoor in the floor and uses the keys to open it up.  Ethan finds a box containing files on the residents. containing information on who they were before coming to the town.

Arlene sits at her desk crying when she is joined by Ethan.  Ethan places her file in front of her, commenting that Arlene is from New Jersey.  Ethan asks if she wants to go back and Arlene simply says that she loves it here.  The conversation is brought to an end when Nurse Pam and two henchmen drag in Peter McCall.  Pam calls Peter a subversive and says that he created subversive graffiti.  Pam calls for a reckoning and when Ethan says no, Pam says that this is Peter's third strike and has therefore given them no choice.  Ethan tells Pam to go and she offers to take care of Peter herself.  Ethan assures Pam that it's taken care of.

Ben is alone in a room with Megan and she is preparing to ask him some questions.  Megan asks Ben where he is from, where he lives and where home is.  To all three questions, Ben answers Seattle.  Megan questions if Ben misses Seattle and Ben answers that he does.  Megan asks why his parents won't take him home and Ben replies that they can't because Ethan has been assigned there by the secret service. Megan questions if Ethan has made this all up and questions if Ethan has ever lied to Ben.  When Ben says yes, Megan asks Ben how he can trust his father. 

Theresa is making her way down the street with a map.  Theresa comes across Peter's act of rebellion.  It seems that Peter painted on a storefront, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Theresa then notices Kate arriving for work at her store.  Theresa crosses the street and Kate asks if she can help Theresa find something.  The women make small talk for a moment.  Kate opens up a music box and tells Theresa that has 30 seconds to speak her peace.  Theresa says she stopped being an agent because she wanted her family to come first but Ethan didn't make that choice.Kate apologises saying a lot has changed for her since then.  Once the music stops, Kate asks Theresa if she wants the music box gift wrapped and Theresa leaves.

Ben is all done with school.  Outside, Amy introduces herself to him.  Ben leaves with Amy to head home even though he promised to wait for his mother.  When Theresa arrives, Ben is already gone. Ben tells Amy about the questions Megan asked.  Amy explains that Megan probably wanted to make sure Ben isn't getting homesick.  Ben says that he is sort of getting homesick and had a girlfriend in Seattle. When Amy asks if he was popular while Ben doesn't outright say yes, he doesn't so no either.  Ben asks about the fence and the animals on the otherside and is informed by Amy that she wouldn't want to go the wall.  Amy asks how Ben knows about the animals but before he can answer, Theresa catches up with them and takes Ben with her.

In the sheriff's office, Ethan shows Peter pictures from his file.  Peter denies that the man in the picture is him.  Ethan shows Peter another picture and this time he cannot help but to stare at it and say that it's from another life.   Peter says that he thinks he has been in Wayward Pines for maybe 8 years.  Ethan then shows Peter a set of numbers but Peter doesn't know what they mean.  Ethan brings up Peter's use of a cane and Peter explains that he hurt it trying to get out.  Ethan asks why no one can leave this town and Peter reveals that there's one way and pantomimes putting a gun to his head. The phone rings and when Ethan answers, a voice tells him that he is to call a reckoning for Peter.  Ethan slams the phone down and tells Peter that it was a telemarketer.

That evening, Ethan and Theresa gather in the bathroom to talk.  Ethan reveals that he has been made sheriff and that he is expected to execute a man for spray painting graffiti.  Ethan adds that everyone is a prisoner here. Ethan talks about meeting Brad and Theresa realises that Megan is Brad's wife.  From the files, Ethan learned that Megan used to be a hypnotherapist.  Ethan believes that Brad was trying to tell him something and that they can get more information about him.

In the morning, Theresa again delivers Ben to school.  When she sees Megan, Theresa invites her over for dinner.  Megan is delighted and suggests meeting at the beer garden since Theresa and Ethan are new in town. 

At the station, Ethan brings Peter breakfast, promising that nothing is going to happen to him.  Peter has spent the night going through his file.  In 2001, Peter was at a convention and met a woman who he asked back to his room, though he was married. Peter then blacked out and then woke up in a hotel room in Wayward Pines with the same woman from the bar, except she was older and her name wasn't Dennis; it was Pam.

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode Three: Our Town, Our Law

Beverley's body continues to hang on display and a child places a flower next to her body, as Beverley's body releases her urine. Pope gives a speech about how fortunate the citizens are because they protect each other, even sometimes from each other, in order to avoid their way of life being endangered.  Pope then admits that being sheriff is difficult but having the support and trust of the people gathered there tonight, is what keeps him going. Pope encourages the citizens to recite the rules of the town. Pope and the citizens start to chant, "work hard, be happy, enjoy your life in Wayward Pines." Pam has her true believer face on and chants along with everyone else.

While Pope has been holding court, Ethan has been trying to make his way out of town.  The search continues for Ethan.

Kate and Harold are back home and she heads into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, to help with what they're feeling.  Kate soon realizes that she is not alone in the kitchen.  Ethan tells Kate that he fell in love with her because she is fearless and strong but adds that what he saw tonight is evil.  Ethan however is certain that Kate isn't evil.  Kate offers Ethan a cup of tea which he refuses and instead asks her to come with him.  Kate simply says that Beverley was reckoned because she broke the rules. Ethan calls what happened to Beverley murder and adds that Kate sat there and watched.  When the kettle goes off, Kate whispers to Ethan that they didn't turn him in, only Beverley.  Unfortunately, Burke told everyone that Kate did turn them in as a warning because they are supposed to police their neighbours. Kate acknowledges that there's blood on her hands but warns Ethan that there are no second chances in Wayward Pines and he got one.  Kate hands Ethan his tracking chip and warns him to hold onto it, so that they won't know he took it out.  Kate's phone starts to ring and Ethan asks if she is going to answer but Kate is certain that the call is not for her.  Ethan again asks Kate to come with him but she simply warns Ethan that he will never make it out of Wayward Pines alive.

The next day, Ethan makes his way through the woods to the house where he found Bill's body.  Ethan marches inside and this time he finds Beverley hanging from the rafters.  Ethan takes her down and promises Beverley that he will find her daughter and tell her how much her mother loved her and how hard Beverley fought to get back to her.  Ethan covers up Beverley with a bit of lace.

Ben and Theresa have arrived in Boise.  Ben is incredulous that they are actually chasing after his father and wonders if driving 500 miles to find Ethan is futile.  Theresa says that it's strange that his father hasn't called but Ben suggests that Ethan is avoiding them.  Theresa makes it clear that what is going on between her and Ethan, is between her and Ethan and has nothing to do with Ben. Theresa finishes by asking Bill to never say Kate's name again, before getting out of the car.

Ethan has made his way to Beverley's old house.  When he walks inside, he finds it completely empty, with all traces of Beverley completely erased.  Peter McCall, the real estate agent in Wayward Pines, enters and Ethan is forced to hide. Peter tells the workers that they have a new family moving in today and that they should start upstairs.  When Peter sees Ethan, he whispers that Ethan is to remain silent.  Ethan takes the hint and heads outside, where he sees a delivery truck moving through the neighbourhood.  Ethan takes note of the license plate which says Wayward Pines, instead of a state.

Theresa speaks with a receptionist to try to find information on Ethan. Theresa explains her suspicion that Ethan is with Kate and immediately gains sympathy.  The receptionist agrees to check out if an informal inquiry has been stared on Ethan.  The moment the receptionist leaves her desk, Kate uses Ethan's ID to access the computer and uses Ben to stand guard.  Theresa learns that Ethan's last submitted receipt was at a gas station in small town Idaho.  Theresa and Ben decide to leave when they notice the receptionist on her way back to her desk.

Back at the Seattle Office, a member of the Secret Service calls someone in Wayward Pines and reports that Theresa used Ethan's ID to log into their files and might be making her way to Wayward Pines.

Ben and Theresa stop at the gas station to find out if anyone there has any memory of Ethan,.Theresa learns that he was with another guy and they both looked like they were going to a funeral.  A young boy pipes up that there was an accident near Wayward Pines.  Theresa thanks them for their help and leaves.  Theresa doesn't get far because she is pulled over by Pope.  On his way to Theresa's car, Pope leaves a trail of oil.  Pope informs Theresa that she has an oil leak and invites her to step out of the car to see for herself, ordering Ben to stay in the car.  Pope offers to tighten a valve so that Theresa doesn't breakdown.  Theresa is quick to say yes.  When Pope has the hood up, he snipes a wire which causes the car to leak some kind of fluid.   Theresa thanks Pope for his help and leaves with Ben.

Seizing an opportunity to escape, Ethan hops into the back of the truck when the driver leaves to make a delivery.  The truck doesn't travel far before stopping.  Ethan looks out the back window and when he doesn't see anything, he chooses to get out of the truck.  Ethan finds himself inside some sort of giant factory.  When an alarm of sorts goes off, Ethan takes off running and hides as he watches a cube van pull in. Ethan manages to find the car he was a passenger in when he got into the accident that led him to Wayward Pines.  Now we know where there is no DNA in the car that the Secret Service has.  Ethan finds a plastic bag with his name on it, holding his effects.  When the lights suddenly go out, Ethan hunkers down and tears into the bag and finds a picture of him and Theresa.  Suddenly, the window of the car he is sitting in is broken by Pope, who injects Ethan with something.  Ethan gets out of the car and a fight starts between him and Pope.  The sedative starts to take effect and Ethan tries to get away from Pope, with Pope laughing about there being nowhere to go. Finally, Ethan collapses to the ground, as Pope say that he doesn't know what they see in him.

Ethan awakes to a ringing phone.  When he answers it, Ethan is informed that his family was just discharged from the hospital.  Ethan asks where his family is but the woman hangs up the phone.  Ethan leaves the room to look for his family and learns that he is inside the hospital.  Ethan approaches Nurse Pam, and asks for Ben and Theresa, and is told that they are safe and sound at home.  Nurse Pam snarks that the house is free because the prior occupant had a sore throat.

West Coast Witch (American Arcane #1) by Justen Hunter

Eric’s life was pretty simple – he had his job as a bar tender and his books.

Until a vampire attacks him and an ex girlfriend of his goes missing and he meets Amy who introduces herself as his Guardian because of a pact with his family. Now he’s up to his eyeballs in vampire politics, werewolf gangs and so much more than he ever dreamed of

Above all the fact that he has magic – he’s a witch, one of the few left in the world, and a challenge, asset and threat to the other Arcane of San Francisco.

This is the first novel of a new series – which means as much as it is about telling a story it’s also about introducing a world and cast to convince us that we want to play in it – and I think this book has done a pretty decent job all round, albeit perhaps not a stellar job

The world is a good one – but not an especially original one. We have vampires in all their ancientness and werewolves in all their furriness with assorted shapeshifters around the periphery for funness. The characters themselves are interesting (the werewolf mob boss, the vampire club owner) and it’s all presented well with bonus extras that we don’t see a lot elsewhere – the undefined Guardians and the hinted at Red Angels with extra mystery brought by the fae

I think when these are developed – along with the whole near-extinction of the witches and their nature – have potential to throw in lots of new angles. I also think it’s probably a good idea not to overdevelop them at this stage so the book can spend more time focusing on introducing Eric, the protagonist. This means the world is decent, fun, interesting and also very very very very similar to a lot of worlds out there. That’s not inherently a bad thing – I liked those books, I like big worlds full of the supernatural, but until these extra elements are developed there’s little in the world to make it stand out in the genre.

The primary role of this book is to set up Eric, the protagonist – and I have mixed feelings about him

Eric has lived nearly his entire life without any real familiarity of the supernatural. Sure he’s aware that vampires and werewolves exist along with the rest of the population since they’ve recently had a Masquerade breaking a few years ago, but otherwise he’s quite clueless. Yet he doesn’t let that stop him leaping into the supernatural world head first without much in the way of hesitation. He often steps in things completely against the advice of his friend/mentor/guardian/totally-not-an-angel. He’s reckless, he’s foolish and if he weren’t the protagonist with a truly epic level of plot armour, he would be dead several times over.

I don’t know what frustrates me more, the lack of good decision making or the fact that his decisions nearly always work without any real consequences

Eric also trusts extremely easily – like Amy. Sure she saved his life but she won’t even tell him her last name, what exactly she is, what her relationship with his mother or his family is but has already declared herself to be his guardian and follows him around. And if he does trust her so much could he at least trust her enough to listen to her advice?! Like she tells him it’s very important he not let the world know he’s a witch and I don’t think the echoes of her warning have died before he’s told half of San Francisco.

He’s so blasé and careless – he falls in with the vampires (after going to see them. Alone. Against all advice. And still not getting eaten) and even starts dating Teresa - again against advice and just a few short days after being attacked by a vampire and describing the whole experience as traumatic and violating. In fact, Eric’s life changes a lot very quickly and becomes a lot more violent and messy but he rolls with it incredibly easily. Now, I’m no fan of drawn out angst, reading my past reviews will make that clear – but some reflection or pause would have helped a lot here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode Two: Do Not Discuss Your Life Before

Pope orders Ethan out of the car and demands Ethan turn around and place his hands on the vehicle. Pope puts a gun to Ethan's head and informs him that he is a guy with no ID or badge, who just stole a car. Pope then hits Ethan in the back of the head, telling Ethan that he just restrained a suspect who was resisting arrest.  Pope then adds that after calling the Seattle office, there's no record of Ethan.  Ethan offers to help with the investigation  but Pope not only wants no part of Ethan but orders him to stay in his hotel room.  Alex and Larry ride by and Larry stops long enough to inform Ethan that rule number one is that he shouldn't try to leave.

Ethan lies on his motel bed until the alarm goes off, before heading downstairs.  He rings the bell for attention and when no one answers, tries to start up the computer.  The manager finally shows up and Ethan asks about working computers and is told they don't have any.  Ethan asks for a newspaper and there's only The Wayward Chronicle, which hasn't printed an issue in two weeks.  A frustrated Ethan leaves the hotel and heads back to the house where he found Bill's body.  Ethan breaks a window to get inside and finds that no evidence has been collected and that Bill's body is still lying there, except now, it's surrounded by flies.  Ethan finds a notebook on Evan and is forced to leave it there because Pope arrives.

Pope is not at all pleased to see Ethan, particularly because Ethan was ordered to stay in his motel room.  Ethan points out that Evans is his colleague and that he cannot just let this go. Ethan tells Pope that he believes Evans was killed in the woods.  Ethan demands to know about forensics and is informed by Pope that they are coming from Boise.  Pope orders Ethan back to the hotel until the professionals can do their job.

Instead of the hotel room, Ethan heads to the bar and finds Beverly mopping the floor.  When he starts to ask questions, Beverly turns up the music and asks Ethan to dance. Beverly warns Ethan that there are mikes under the barstool.  Beverly tells Ethan that she and Evans had a plan to escape and that she was going with him.  Beverly says that the plan was in a notebook.  The two decide that they are going to meet up later and Ethan leaves when Stan the owner arrives.

Ethan then tries calling home and gets the answering machine again. Ethan then tries to call Adam Hassler again and is told that Adam is not in the office.  Ethan asks Marcy, the woman who answered the phone, if she is sitting at the seventh floor reception desk in the Seattle office, and when Marcy says yes, Ethan informs her that there is no such desk.  Ethan demands to know who Marcy really is and she simply hangs up the phone. Ethan then asks Ruby at the donut shop about Kate Houston and is told there is no such person living in Wayward Pines.  Ethan then asks about Kate using her married name and is informed that Kate works at the toy store.

In a flashback scene, Ethan is talking Theresa about the fact that he is late from work.  Theresa is suspicious but Ethan says that it's over between him and Kate.

In the real world, Ben and Theresa are watching the news hoping to learn what is going on with Ethan. Ben says that everything is classified when it comes to his father and he wonders if Ethan is dead because he has been missing for five days.  When Theresa assures Ben that his father is still alive, Ben wonders if Ethan is with Kate again.

Ethan walks down the street and looks at Kate through the toy store window. Ethan pauses and has a series of intimate memories of his time together with Kate. Ethan stops in to tell Kate that he hasn't been able to get in touch with anyone, cannot seem to leave Wayward Pines and that the only reason he's in Wayward Pines is to find her and Bill Evans.  Ethan asks Kate what happened to Evans and what happened to her.  Kate doesn't get answer because they are interrupted by Kate's husband.  Ethan starts putting key chains on the counter and asks Kate to ring it up, as he pulls money out of his wallet.  It seems that the money in Wayward Pines is all counterfeit and Ethan says that any trained agent can see this.  Ethan asks Kate what she is hiding and Kate says that what happened to Bill is really sad, particularly so for his widow Patrica.  This shocks Ethan because as far as he knows, Bill Evans was not married.  Kate continues to smile, as she tells Ethan that she used to see Patricia watering her pink hydrangeas in front of their light brown house every morning.

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode One: Where Paradise Is Home

Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke wakes beside a river and has obviously been hurt in some kind of accident.  He stands, then makes his way out of the woods. Ethan recalls a session with his psychiatrist about an incident involving a girl.  Burke admits withholding what happened from his wife because it's classified, but admits that he did however discuss the Easter Bombings with his partner.  The psychiatrist makes it clear to Ethan that he is not to blame for the bombing and asks about hallucinations. 

Ethan has made his way into the small town of Wayward Pines and all the residents stare as he walks past.  He makes it into a bar and is told he is in Wayward Pines, Idaho, before collapsing on the ground. Ethan wakes up in the hospital with nurse Pam checking out his vitals. 

In a flashback, we see Ethan in a car with Agent Rick Stallings.  They talk about the fact that Ethan has been ordered to find Kate and because of the affair between Kate and Ethan, Ethan didn't tell his wife about his assignment.  Ethan justifies keeping his wife in the dark by reminding Stallings that the mission is classified.The truck which hit them seems to come out of nowhere.

Ethan asks about Stallings, and is informed he didn't survive the accident.  Ethan requests to call home and is informed that the sheriff's department got into contact with his family after the accident. Ethan then asks about his things and Pam says that the sheriff's office has everything before leaving.  The hospital seems pretty empty even for a small town.

At the Secret Service Headquarters in Seattle, Washington, Stallings body has been discovered but as far as the agency is concerned, Ethan is missing.  At this point they are trying to figure out if Ethan is missing, or if his body was so badly burned that the remains are gone.

Having not heard from Ethan, his wife Theresa calls him but the call goes straight to voicemail.  Ben asks his mother she is calling and when Theresa says Ethan, Ben immediately becomes concerned about how things are going.  Ben believes that Theresa is lying when she says that all is good because she paused and looked to the left.  Theresa's phone rings and it's Adam Hassler from the Secret Service office, to inform her that there's been an accident.

In the hospital, Ethan pushes the button to get Nurse Pam's attention.  Ethan demands to see the doctor and asks why the hospital is so empty. He asks about his things and then asks for a phone when Pam gives him noncommittal answers to his questions.  Pam says that there are no phone jacks in the patient rooms and promises to return in an hour with Ethan's dinner.  A frustrated Ethan gets out of bed and gets dressed the moment Pam leaves the room. When he pushes the button for the elevator, Nurse Pam tries to stop Ethan saying that he is not thinking clearly.  Ethan has to get insistent with Pam to be able to leave the hospital. Once outside, Ethan heads to the sheriffs office to find that it's closed.

A concerned Ben confronts his mother about the call and Theresa informs him that Ethan was in an accident and yet there's not race of him at the scene.  Theresa does her best to assure Ben that everything is going to be okay.

Ethan makes his way into a bar and asks the barmaid Beverly for a phone.  Ethan then orders a cheeseburger, saying that he lost his things in the accident and was told that they were at the sherfff's office but when he went to collect them, the office was already closed. Beverly agrees to give Ethan the burger for free and he calls her the first normal person he's met in this town. Ethan reveals that he is in town on business and is a member of The Secret Service. Ethan calls home but gets the machine, so he is forced to leave a message. Beverly questions what Ethan is doing in town and Ethan says that he is looking for some missing agents.  Unfortunately for Ethan, he is the only new face Beverly has seen.  Beverly  writes up a receipt and instead of a bill it's her address.  Beverly suggests that if Ethan runs into trouble he should look her up.  On the back of the receipt, Beverly has written the words, "there are no insects in Wayward Pines."

Later that evening, Ethan stops when he hears a cricket chirping.  When he bends over to investigate the sound, he finds some kind of device emitting the chirping noise. Ethan places it back.  The next day, Ethan awakes in bed with a loud knock on the door.  It's the hotel manager to inform Ethan that he has slept past check out time.  Ethan asks if the phones are working yet because he couldn't get a call out and is told that there's nothing wrong with the phones and that there were no calls for him.  When Ethan explains that he is unable to pay because he hasn't gotten to the sheriff's office yet, the manager demands Ethan vacate the premises immediately.

Back on the street, Ethan decides to check out the address Beverly gave him the night before.  When he arrives, the house looks abandoned and completely run down. Ethan calls out for Beverly and when he gets no response, he decides to enter the house. Once inside, Ethan finds Evans body rotting tied to a bed.

Ethan returns to the police station, introduces himself and asks to see the sheriff.  Ethan tells Sheriff Pope about a bartender giving him the address to the house which contained the dead body.  Ethan then asks about his things, having been told by nurse Pam that Sheriff Pope would have them. Sheriff Pope informs Ethan that he doesn't have his things and so Ethan asks for a phone to make some calls. Pope agrees to Ethan's request, as long as Ethan provides information on the body.  Ethan says that he found agent Evans and that he was sent to Wayward Pines to find to agents but with the death of agent Evans, he is now only looking for Kate Houston.  Ethan gives a general description of Kate.  Pope makes it clear that he will check out the house without Ethan's help.

Wickedly Dangerous (Baba Yaga #1) by Deborah Blake

Three children have gone missing from the little town of Clearwater.  Sheriff Liam McClellan has been searching for some kind of clue as to who took the children and if the kids are dead or alive but no matter where he looks, he finds no answers.  When Mary Elizabeth Shields goes missing, her desperate grandparents send for the Baba Yaga.  Barbara Yager arrives in her Airstream, with her companion dog/dragon Chudo-Yudo.  After making a the typical request that Mary Elizabeth's mother perform the three impossible tasks required for the aid of the Baba Yaga, Baba gets to work on the case.  Baba quickly finds herself drawn to Liam, even as she does battle with an Otherworldly creature to save the town of Clearwater from environmental damage, the Otherworld from destruction, and to save the missing children.

I began the Baba Yaga series with Wickedly Magical, which has absolutely no hint of romance.  It is on the strength of that book that I decided to read Wickedly Dangerous.  Had I known that Blake would turn the Baba Yaga into a love story, I never would have picked up Wickedly Dangerous.  It feels quite a bit like a bait and switch.  I went into Wickedly Dangerous expecting a wilily protagonist, who is grumpy, awkward but yet extremely powerful.  What I got is a Baba Yaga who spends much of her time lamenting the fact that she doesn't possess good social skills, doesn't fit in because she isn't quite human and is obsessed with Liam.  Baba is barely competent in the investigation. Despite all of Baba's whining about not fitting in, the people of Clearwater take to her immediately, which is weird because small town people are normally a little resistant to strangers.  It's only when some of Baba's herbal medication backfires due to interference of the evil protagonist  that they become suspicious. 

I quickly became frustrated with Baba mooning over Liam.  Despite the fact that her life is in danger, he seems to be all she can focus on.  I had trouble believing at times that she is supposedly a very long lived supernatural.  I couldn't stop my frustration at the repeated commentary about how good Liam's T-shirt looks on him or the brown flecks in his eyes. Yes, focus on the hot guy while your life is in danger, that's just the most appropriate way to handle things. If this had just been Baba, it would have been bad enough but Blake includes Liam's perspective, so there is a ton of internal monologue about how frustrating Baba Yaga is and his fascination with her amber eyes and long dark hair. This naturally leads to the will they or won't they be a couple scenario because Baba Yaga's life is one where she travels around when called and Liam, having lived in Clearwater all of his life, is reluctant to leave.

iZombie, Season 1, Episode 13: Blaine's World

Blaine has Major locked in the freezer because he really wants to know where his prime astronaut brains are. Of course Major is defiant. And cold. I have to admit Blaine is a kind of awesome villain. He also feeds Major brains.

In the morgue, the gang looks at Teresa’s body. She called 911 but they didn’t get there in time – she was bludgeoned to death. They also found Cameron’s blood in the motel room (after Clive does a quick recap of the last episode and it’s many murders)

Time for Liv to chow down on Teresa brains before she and Ravi talk about the cured rat. Liv wants to take the cure now, Ravi wants to be sure it’s not lethal first being sensible while Liv is dealing with her best friend thinking she’s a monster and Major wanting to kill everyone like her. She’s not sensible but she’s understandable. But Ravi points out they only have one cure – and if this cure works then the next step has to be replicate it. He wants to turn Liv human but they also have to be able to cure the other zombies as well. She has to concede this –and also has a vision

The vision, as she tells Clive, incriminates Max Rager since Teresa got her hands on the memo accusing their energy drink of causing mass murders.

Over to Max Rager where evil boss guy Vaughn is showing his new head of research a video of the old head of research interviewing zombie Sebastian – which is fascinating and gruesome since Sebastian kills the old scientist. They also know that Liv is a zombie which I why they’re eager to have her there to interview them.

Vaughn ducks and weaves and reveals he knows quite a lot about what has been going on though he seems quite unfazed by Liv’s blasé admission of stabbing Sebastian to death. But the case takes them away which leaves Vaughn to be rather excessive in his praise for what his new head of science will do for his product – which seems to involve turning it into every drug under the sun. Oh and remove the little zombie-causing issue. Of course for those zombies that actually exist, Vaughn intends to deal with them

Back to the case, between a hit on Cameron’s credit card and some CCTV, Clive and Liv conclude that Cameron has been kidnapped but not where he is. Ravi has some evidence though (and he and Liv have some quality snark – of course Ravi is right about English games). They’re interrupted by a 911 call from Cameron which abruptly cuts off

Tracking down the phone they find it in a junkyard where cars are crushed. Which also what happened to Cameron’s phone. But Clive is a clever cookie and figures out Cameron is scamming things and pulls up traffic cams to show Cameron himself drive his car to the junkyard.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Whispers, Season One, Episode Two: Hide & Seek

Sahara Desert Three months ago

 A child plays with a toy stuck and pauses when some sort of meteor shoots across the sky.  There seems to be a detonation when it lands.  The child then makes his way across the sand with a single torch to guide him and finds some sort of ID patch with the name Sean Bennigan. 

In the present, Claire and Henry start their morning routine.  Henry tells his mother that he has made a new friend and when Claire leaves to answer the door, the microwave flips on and off while the light bulb flashes.  When Claire checks the door, she finds no one standing there.  Claire brings up Henry's friend again and says that she cannot wait to meet him.

Having escaped from the hospital, Amnesia guy walks through the park and the parents pull their children out of his path.  He heads into a wooded area and reclaims his bag which contains clothing and a shard of whatever the government is investigating in Africa.

Still at home, Claire calls Rollins to request he wait a bit before releasing the sketch. Rollins asks why, pointing out that they are partners. Claire affirms that she is not shutting Rollins out.  Claire then asks Rollins to meet her at the hospital to interview the only person they know who has talked to Joe.  Claire then calls Wes's house and it's Lena who picks up the phone but she doesn't answer.  When Wes wakes, he explains that all the calls he is getting are about what happened in the desert.  Claire, who is not completely interested in his reasons, simply moves onto their daughter Minx, who whom Wes needs to discuss his affair with.

In the meantime, Minx has been cahtting with her imaginary friend again and this time she informs her friend that she cannot print what he is requesting because her father has returned home.  Minx cuts her conversation short when Wes enters to discuss his lecherous ways. Wes asks to meet Drill and is informed that grown ups cannot see him and only the kids who have been chosen can see him. Wes decides to move on and affirms for Minx that no matter what happens, the three of them will remain a family.

Wes is headed to work but doesn't get far because Claire pulls up in front of him and cuts him off. Claire wants the details of her husband's status  change but Wes cannot confirm or deny anything, adding that Sean's plane was found thousands of miles from where it disappeared.  There's also evidence that someone walked away from the crash site but no proof that the person in question is Sean.  Claire decides to share the sketch with Wes, explaining that the man was seen moments before the bombing.  Wes is confused because the sketch looks like Sean. Claire questions why Sean did not come home, if he did indeed survive.  Wes reminds Claire that Sean is now a national security threat and that even talking to her is treason.  Clearly, every word they say to each other is loaded the history of their affair.

Sean has now made his way to a storage facility. The walls of his locker contain newspaper articles and pictures of the kids who have an imaginary friend.

At the hospital, Dr. Maria Benavidez walks into Amanda's room to check on her and finds Harper.  It seems that Harper is not fooled by what her father has been telling her about her mother's condition and is sure that Amanda is going to die.  Dr. Maria Benavidez assures Harper that they are doing all they can and that Amanda is fighting. Harper however is adamant that the Dr. Maria Benavidez cannot help her mother and that her imaginary friend informed her that he is the only one who can. 

Sean is still at his locker and now he is removing everything he has tacked to the walls.

Claire and Rollins arrive at the hospital and Rollins affirms that the imaginary friend is real and is getting the kids to do things.  Talking about the sketch again, Claire agrees that someone might know the subject, adding that this is why they are there.  Rollins and Claire question Harper about the sketch but Harper says that she cannot say anything.  Harper does not believe that Drill is dangerous and is certain that Drill is going to save her mother's life, again affirms that she is playing the most important game of all.  Claire then tries to get Dr. Maria Benavidez to question Harper but Harper seems to hear something and refuses to speak to the doctor.  Claire then shows the sketch to Dr. Maria Benavidez, who affirms that the man in question is indeed coma guy.

Imp Forsaken (Imp #5) by Debra Dunbar

Near death, Gregory is forced banish Sam to hell.  Unsurprisingly, it's not a great homecoming for Sam, who is immediately captured by elves. Once again, Sam cannot help but empathize with the humans who have been slaves to the elves for centuries.  Sam quickly finds herself embroiled in an elf war with the future at hell at stake. If that were not enough, Sam must fulfill her breeding contract with the ancient demon Ahriman, who wants their offspring to have the ability to devour - a skill that could very well bring about the end of creation.  How will Sam survive this time?

Imp Forsaken is easily my least favourite of the Imp series to date.  Because Sam is banished to Hell, there is very little interaction with Wyatt and Gregory and absolutely none with her friends.  These interactions are what have drawn me so deeply into this world and I sorely missed them. Sam has changed so much that I barely recognize her anymore.  In Imp Forsaken she was so caught up in freeing the humans and avoiding capitulating to Ahriman for much of the novel, she didn't do anything Imp like.  Why does developing a sense of morality mean that Sam has to give up her trouble loving ways? Other than chucking chickens at an elf, Sam has no wild antics in this novel.

Much of this book focuses on the angel Gabriel's investigation into the island that Sam blew up and the activities of the dead angles and their unauthorized visit to earth.  The problem with this is that before Imp Forsaken, Gabriel has always been a side character at best, making it hard to really relate with his struggles to understand what is happening and why.  He has a slight shift from contempt for humanity to tolerance but it's hardly enough to be interesting.  Gabriel's change of heart is very much married to Angel politics but I found myself not caring in the least little bit.

 We also learn that though higher vibration angels are supposedly largely androgynous, they are beginning to appear in their preferred gender, and only some retain the ability to appear as either.  Uriel for instance, despite presenting as female by choice is alternately referred to by both male and female pronouns. I did however find it interesting that Gregory express a desire to be female but for some reason not having the ability to. Hmmm...this however did cause me to pause.  Unfortunately, Dubar didn't expand on angels and gender beyond this statement by Gregory and Gabriel's affirmation that while he has changed his gender, he now chooses to present as male.  These changes were unfortunately blamed on Sam and I wish Dunbar had taken it one step further to maybe perhaps discuss more in depth why these formerly gender non-conforming angels are suddenly so determined to uphold gender norms and the gender binary.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Season 1, Episode 4: All the Mirrors of the World

Lots of chaos as Lady Pole is dragged screaming into the house after trying to kill Norrell and the injured Childermass is taken in to be treated. While doing so he has an odd vision about ravens and cards.

Of course Norrell is most upset about what this will do to his reputation and the reputation of magic – after all, he was the one who drove Lady Pole insane. His minions insists they can pretend the attack was a French spy and quietly shuffle Lady Pole off to an asylum.

When Childermass wakes he finds Norrell there, not out of concern, he wants to know why Childermass was using the magic he taught in the square – Childermass says he sensed magic and he thinks Lady Pole is a magician because he sensed power on her. Norrell insists that was just the magic he used to return her from the dead though Childermass doesn’t believe him. He also makes a completely unfair remark about how useless Childermass has been recovering – then apologises. There is some heart to the man. Of course he also expects Childermass to take care of Lady Pole – after all if she is put in Bethelem, people can pay to stare at the insane and there may be TALK!

Jonathan clearly believes the lie about the French spy as he talks to Arabella (who insists on dressing him and in his medals – with a nice natural byplay of him subtly altering how she thinks he should wear his coat). She’s would also prefer if he didn’t go back to Norrell – but of course he must

Norrell and Jonathan have been called in to meet the King himself – King George the third, the Mad King. Though as Norrell points out, they cannot cure madness with magic but Jonathan is willing to try – and what could be more respectable than performing magic for the crown?

Of course, Norrell is right and they can’t help the king, though Norrell does take the chance to not-subtly question Jonathan on whether he used black magic during the war as rumour says. But they’re distracted by a painting of the Raven King which, of course, fascinates Jonathan. In the paining is one of the King’s “fairy servants” – clearly the Gentleman. Norrell quickly scorns the whole thing as disgraceful and destructive to real magic

Arabella craftily questions her maid about the real culprit who attacked Norrell and, through servant’s gossip, learns it was Lady Pole and she will be shut away.

When Jonathan returns home he tells Arabella they tried all of Norrell’s spells that both didn’t work – and that he doesn’t think Norrell even wanted them too. We also learn of Arabella having to put up with a young woman lying about how Jonathan had taken her on as a pupil (and she has fannishly decorated her room with John’s pictures). She’s quite annoyed and exasperated by the whole thing. They also both admit that Lady Pole shot Norrell – and Arabella is upset about that because she didn’t see it coming and was in denial about Lady Pole being mad. She can’t bring herself to think about it any more

Despite that, she still watches as Lady Pole is taken away

Salem, Season 2, Episode 10: Till Death Do Us Part

Marburg bathes child John the sacrifice while singing creepy drowning songs and preparing him to be properly killed. Baby John wants his mother, but Marburg is all for the drowning so she can reunite with her beloved master. She also kisses the boy – full on the mouth… seriously that’s the second time this child has kissed sexually, how the hell is the network getting away with this on a child actor?

Cotton has been dragged out of town and now realises that shenanigans are afoot. He doesn’t get murdered because John rushes in and murders his would be murderers. Cotton is a little bemused as to how John even found him but John responds cryptically either to hide the fact he used magic or to hide the dodgy writing. John wants Cotton to exorcise his son of the devil so he boy is saved, the witches are thwarted and Marburg will just kill them all in a grand wave of awesomeness (ok the last part may be my plan).

After briefly considering just killing the boy (also my plan) Cotton agrees to help with the exorcism while John expositions how he’s basically hooked all his hopes/redemption/struggle/whateveron his son surviving and not being a demon.

Mary plans to use a special spell to allow her to reach the ship while with Marburg so she can break what makes Marburg immortal and then John can get with the stabbing.  They also have a big angsty romance moment which may be them looking to reconcile or grim John planning to kill Mary. Or both

In the church, Magistrate Hawthorne rants away (everyone’s still freaking out about the comet) and there’s friction between the Marburgs as Sebastian is increasingly seeing his mother’s plan as not necessarily in his best interest. Mary joins them in church to convince Marburg that she’s on board with kiddy sacrifice with Marburg drawing comparisons between Mary and the Christian Virgin Mary watching their kids be sacrificed (and throwing in some criticism of old Mary’s mousiness while reminding us that Marburg is super-duper old). They’re also still a little snarly at each other.

Sebastian is all pouty and jealous at Mary who is not impressed, making it clear how little she gives a damn and how she’s not going to flirt with a man who is dedicated to another woman – his mother. He also pretends he was totally on her side in killing her friend Wainwright because he is a distraction. Ahhh smell that paternalism. He continues to promise he’s totally Team Mary

Hawthorne continues to stalk and intrude on Anne to tell her that Cotton has been killed, by Native Americans honest and how she should totally marry him before his body gets cold. Which is when the very alive Cotton appears to accuse Hawthorne of murder. Cotton seems to have found a spine somewhere as he slams Hawthorne against a wall and threatens to expose him as a murderer before the bigwigs in Boston. Hawthorne hurriedly leaves.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Killer Rayne (The Rayne Whitmore Series #2) by Alanna J Faison

Rayne has passed through her trial by fire of the first book. She has been Unmade, her family has been destroyed and her first forays back into the world have not gone to plan

Now she prepares, she rallies her allies, her friends, she claims what is hers, she demands loyalty and lays down the foundations for the coming war.  Namen Young has destroyed her family, the lives of so many and is threatening to destroy everything – and Rayne is raising what she can to stop him.

This book is relatively slow paced – and certainly a lot slower than the last one. Its story is more an interval than a closed character arc without on particularly storyline or a real conclusion at the end so much as it is another chapter in Rayne’s ongoing saga. It absolutely cannot be read stand alone – as without the former book and the book which will come next it is completely lost without context or purpose

And all of this is a good thing. The first book was so incredibly fast, jumping from plot line to plot line to event to event so quickly that a slower paced book to consolidate was needed. As part of the series this book is excellent, it gives us time to catch our breath, remind ourselves of what is at stake and who the major players are in Rayne’s world and her battle against Namen. We’re reminded of the nature of the war and what all the powers are (since this world is so wide and varied with a lot of complex forces in play).

We ran through the world last book, introducing everything at a break neck pace but without really having the time to get to know anyone or look too far beneath except to know there was a lot beneath to know. Now we get to slow down and really look at things like the werewolf past, the nature of the witches, the relationships between the characters, the society of the vampires and look at the various motivations that drive everyone

It also really laid down how this fight was going to happen – not just as an epic battle of claws and swords and woo-woo powers (though that would certainly have a place) but also through proxies and by influence and generally by controlling mortal forces and supernatural allies. Ultimately, part of this conflict began – and certainly the reason it slaughtered Rayne’s family – out of fear that humanity were going to rise up and use their numbers and new technology to destroy the supernaturals. This not only affects Rayne through her business (and her father’s arms business targeting supernaturals) but also lays the foundation for what they want and looks at the balance between humanity as victims or a threat. Again, there’s a lot interesting topics and conflicts that are now being developed to make for a much richer story

Penny Dreadful, Season 2, Episode 6: Glorious Horrors

A maid discovers Sir Malcolm’s dead wife, Gladys.

Dorian wakes to see Angelique preparing for the day and Dorian wants to go out shopping in big public places while Angelique is wary and wishes for more discretion. Of course, Dorian won’t hear of it, he “celebrates the unusual”. Aie so it looks like the good path of last episode is not being continued. To get the “thrill of the forbidden” he decides to throw a ball for Angelique, a “proper coming out.”

Creepy Victor wakes up to find Lily making breakfast and it’s all very lovey dovey except, of course, for the whole lack of awareness and consent which ruins it.

Speaking of, Evelyn wakes before her drugged victim, Sir Malcolm and steals some of his hair.

He goes home in very high spirits only to find everyone in the house very grim to pass on the bad news about Gladys. He seems completely unemotional and rather horrifying unbothered. When hearing his wife slit her own throat his only remark is how he will have to replace the carpet.

Sembene insists that something is wrong, despite Ethan attempting to rationalise it (and thinking that maybe Malcolm just didn’t care that much). Vanessa sharply disapproves and Sembene is quietly insistent – that was not Malcolm.

And they get a visitor – the man Ethan mauled as a wolf. In private there’s lots of taunts and threats as the man tries to be very loquacious and talk about how he murdered some Mexicans while Ethan is curt and short. He insists that Ethan’s dad wants him to come home and makes it clear he hasn’t given up taking him and threatens to kill everyone in the house to try and force him to go back to America. He singles out Vanessa specifically

Oh he doesn’t know what he is messing with. The werewolf is the least of his problems

Victor and Vanessa discuss the verbis diablo when Vanessa talks about John Clare and Victor realises she’s met his creature. She misses his shock and pokes him about his romance with Lily and he’s all gleeful and awkward and a bit dorky and she’s all nice and kind and happy for him. It’s sweet.

Dorian pays a visit to the rest of the cast to invite Vanessa et al to Angelique’s ball.

Vanessa takes Malcolm his invitation and Malcolm continues to be creepily detached, not even wanting to go to the funeral. He’s even enthusiastic about going to the ball.

Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 9: A Dance of Dragons

Stannis’s Camp

Everything looks very cold because Stannis has abandoned tactical sense. To make things worse, half the camp catches fire in the night

Melisandre, you’re supposed to be the priestess of the god of fire and shadows. Things catching fire in the darkness are kind of your remit – get to woo-wooing right now!

She just stress so next day we hear Davros describe how Ramsay and his 20 men caused utter devastation because Stannis not only has the tactical ability of a carrot but his men don’t properly guard or set up their camp well. Davros protests that the men got in the camp unseen because the northerners know their land so well (so?! You’re in a wide open snowy plain! Knowledge of the terrain does not excuse crappy sentries who either let invades have free reign of the entire camp OR you were damn fool enough to put several vital targets in one place).

Davos again points out how terrible their situation is – they can’t reach Winterfell in the snow, nor can they get back to Castle Black. A shame they didn’t have a fleet of boats to take them to any part of the 7 Kingdoms other than the one colder than Canada (yes, Renee, I went there).

Stannis sends Davos to Castle Black to beg for supplies though Davos thinks it’s odd that he is being chosen since he is Stannis’s hand and too important. When Stannis insists he begs to take the Queen and his daughter with him to keep them safe. Stannis refuses again

Davos has a sweet little goodbye scene with Shireen who is far too good for this show (so is definitely going to die). Stannis has another sweet moment with Shireen who shows a lot of wisdom and not-subtle commentary referring to a civil war in the past that broke the Targaryens and shattered the kingdoms. He also has lots of ominous excuses about doing what he must – even as Shireen is so very eager to help. And he is eager for her forgiveness.

Aaaaaaargh. Shireen is lead to a pyre where Mellisandre waits. When she realises what is happening she panics and struggles. Stannis watches but she doesn’t see him as she panics – and Queen Selyse says how good it is they’re going to burn their daughter to death to save the whole army. But, at the end, when Shireen screams for Selyse it is she who cracks and says she can’t do this – and Stannis who stays resolute. She tries to run to her daughter and is held back by the men.

Shireen burns.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Orphan Black Season Three, Episode Eight: Ruthless in Purpose, and Insidious in Method

Delphine sits in a nail salon getting a manicure by yet another clone - Krystal Goderich. As Krystal gives Delphine a manicure, she tells Delphine about her attack by the Castors and her near escape. Naturally, Krystal has a fear of twins, who she calls creepy.  Krystal while relieved to have been saved, is saddened by the loss of Hector. Krystal is still positive and makes it clear that the human spirit cannot be crushed.

It seems that Dr. Coady somehow managed to survive the explosion and is actually at the same run down bar where Siobhan and Helena, had their little knock down drag out fight. Coady shares a drink with David, in which mourns the loss of the DNA because it means that the Castor boys don't have long to live.  David thinks to ask about Rudy, and is informed that Rudy is out in the field.  David informs Coady that he has a mole inside of Leda and reveals that if she can keep the Castors alive, he will get what they want.

Finished with her manicure, Delphine reports to Nealon that Krystal is still naive and has not pieced the Castor puzzle together. Nealon reports that Rachel still has value but Delphine believes that Rachel is a liability.

Cosima and Sarah are doing the skype thing and talk about what happened on the compound and Sarah's ability to survive the Castor sexually transmitted disease.  Sarah suggests that she be used as treatment for Cosima's relapse but Cosima says that Delphine has teams which are working on gene therapy. Sarah then questions where Cosima is and Cosima simply says at a friend. When Sarah pushes for more, Cosima reveals that things are good and are exactly what she needs right now.  Sarah says that she need a way forward because they are always a step behind. Sarah brings up Beth, and Cosima reveals that Beth is also on her mind.  Sarah doesn't want to lose another clone.  Cosima ends the call when Shay arrives but suggests that Sarah call Scott to find out what they have been working on.

Felix has delivered Helena to Donnie and Allison and naturally, Donnie is not pleased with yet another addition to his household.  Allison asserts that they need to play their part and Felix argues that Helena simply needs a little bit of socializing. Yeah, well that's an understatement if I've ever heard one. In the meantime, Helena is with Allison and Donnie's daughter and she kisses the container holding her fertilized eggs.  Donnie demands to know why Helena cannot live with another one of the clones but Felix makes it clear that if Donnie does not agree to this, he will let the cat out of the bag about the drug dealing.  Helena makes her way downstairs wearing Allison's clothing and just looks plain odd.

Cosima lies on her back while Shay performs Reiki. Cosima asks if Shay knows anything about near death experiences and Shay says that before people die, people see who they love and if it's strong enough, sometimes people find their way back. When Shay points out that Cosima is late for work, Cosima asks Shay to come along and see the secret lab.

Sarah is doing the skype thing with Scott and learns about the book and the fact that not only is Rachel the only one who can decipher it, Rachel refuses to do so unless she talks with Sarah. Scott confirms that Delphine doesn't know anything about this but suggests that maybe they should trust Delphine.  Sarah however does not agree because with the book, Leda could restart human cloning.

Delphine goes to see Rachel, and is not happy to see that Rachel is improving.  Rachel realises that she is a threat to Delphine.  The moment Delphine leaves the room, Scott swings the camera to Rachel ,so that she can talk to Sarah.  Sarah asks about the book and Rachel is insistent that the book is hers and that her father left it to Kiera, so that the clones would cooperate. Rachel agrees to translate if she is allowed to disappear to Taiwan.  Sarah however points out that dead woman cannot pass customs, so Rachel brings up Krystal Goderich.  Rachel wants Sarah to steal Krystal's identity and get her out of Dyad and as proof that she can do what she promised, Scott reads the page which Rachel translated.

S and Sarah talk about whether it's a good idea to save Rachel, and Felix confirms that Cosima and Scott can get Rachel out of Dyad.  S however has her doubts and points out that if they break out Rachel, it will end the alliance with Delphine. What none of them realised is that Gracie was listening into the whole argument. Felix and Sarah decide to take a little road trip to get Krystal's information.

Cosima is showing Shay around the lab and introduces her to Scott.  Scott then confirms with Cosima that they are good to go on the Rachel situation.  When Shay finds the Dr. Moreau book on the shelves, Cosima is quick to take it away from her and Scott puts it in his bag.  Delphine enters and finds Shay with Cosima.  Delphine asks for a moment with Cosima and Cosima excuses herself saying it's work stuff.  Scott agrees to see Shay out.  Delphine makes it clear that her security concerns are not jealousy because as a French woman, she enjoys lovers.

Donnie is making soap as Helena watches.  Helena tells Donnie that Allison has good taste in men and that he is "strong like baby ox." Am I the only one who went eww at this?  Donnie is clearly flattered with the flirting and leaves Helena with the soap to talk to Allison.  Donnie brings up the kiss between Jason and Cosima and Allison promises to clear everything up. 

Gracie shows up for her first day of work at the candle store and is surprised to see Helena. Gracie reveals that she had a miscarriage and Helena tells Gracie that she can be an aunt to her child, absolving Gracie of responsibility. Helena hugs Gracie, kissing her on the cheek and all I think is AWKWARD.

Felix and Sarah arrive at Krystal's nailshop and it seems that Felix is going in for the sting.  Sarah is determined that Krystal stay ignorant about clone club.  Felix enters and drops his British accent saying that he has an appoint for a manipedi. 

Scott has returned home to find Rudy holding his cat.  Rudy comments on Scott's sci fi collection, adding that he is interested in getting The Island of Doctor Moreau.

White Cat (The Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black

 Spoilers Ahead, You Have Been Warned

Cassel comes from a family of workers.  By workers, I mean workers of magic.  His grandfather can kill people with a single touch, his mother has the ability to affect peoples emotions, his oldest brother can rearrange the bodies of others, easily breaking a limb and his other brother Barron, has the ability to affect people's luck - or so Cassel believes.  That's a very magical family to be born into and as luck would have it, Cassel has no powers to speak of.  He's a great con man and even acts as a bookie at his private high school.  The only thing Cassel knows for sure is that he has murdered his best friend and the girl he loves most of all.  The thing about memories, is that in a world where memories can be altered, how do you know what's true and what isn't?  When Cassel's memories start to unravel, he realises that there is more to his family than he realises.

As a protagonist, Cassel is just an average teenage boy who comes from a very dysfunctional family.  He doesn't really know how to relate to people and tries to act the way he perceives people want him to act.  Everywhere he goes, the legacy of his family's criminal activity as workers follows him.  At the end of the day, all Cassel really wants is to blend in and try to forget Lila's death.  Cassel isn't particularly intelligent but is always working some kind of angle trying to end up ahead.

Cassel's insecurity was perfect for his age and the fact that his family is so dysfunctional.  What I didn't like is that Cassel is secure in the belief that blood is thicker than water.  Family is absolutely important but there are times, and most certainly in Cassel's case, where turning your back and walking away from family is an act of self preservation.  Considering the myriad of ways in which his family lied to him, used him, abused him and even almost turned him into a rapist using magic, Cassel's response is absolutely ridiculous and utterly naive. I am forced to believe that Black wrote Cassel's forgiveness for the sole purpose of having a hook to continue this series, even though it means sending the message that no matter what a family member does, we have to forgive them.

There is a small strain of romance running through White Cat because much of the story deals with what happened to the dead Lila - the girl Cassel loves.  The romance never overtakes the story and just sort of runs in the background.  There really aren't any convoluted love triangles, which as far as I am concerned, are far too common in YA urban fantasy.  Cassel's relationships with women comes down to trying to figure out what it means to be a good boyfriend, what it means to be a good friend and dealing with his domineering mother. 

As aforementioned, the main female character in White Cat is Lila.  At the very beginning of the novel, I very much believed that she would be the typical damsel in distress in need of saving. Black completely stomped on that stereotype and had Lila be assertive and calculating.  Lila is all too aware that in a crime family, her gender works against her and no matter what she has suffered, Lila is determined to get her revenge and rule her family one day.  Being a kid, her big plan is a touch ridiculous but Black makes it work in the end.  Had Lila's part of the story ended there, I would have been satisfied.  Unfortunately, Lila is touched by Cassel's mother and since she can work emotions, Lila is made to feel madly in love with Cassel, taking away her ability to consent.  Black made it clear that this is a violation and absolutely wrong but it still ended up turning Lila into a victim in the end and I really could have done without that.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Between, Season 1, Episode 2: Who's the Boss

Day 14: Death Toll 6,043

As should surprise no-one, Adam survived his little jaunt to the fence and has now set up a board of various things to think about – the victims, their ages, the fence et al.

Things are slowly decaying in town with a large number of orphans and drying up food supplies – and kids tasking up driving which doesn’t end well. It’s a nicely ominous “everything is falling apart” foreshadow. Gord and his sister                Francis speak to the little girl, Sarah who lost her brother in the car crash.

To Wylie and her newborn baby. Her sister, Melissa has taken in a lot of kids at the church to look after them and would really like Wylie’s help but Wylie has completely withdrawn, not going out and not even naming her new son.

To the rich folk’s household with kid Chuck completely failing to reassure his sister Amanda about their other sister Lana’s disappearance – she’s been gone for 4 days. Charles senior, arsehole rich guy, has finally died from the virus

Day 14: Death toll: 6,922

It’s time for another town meeting (led by Ms Symmonds the teacher) – but whole the last one was full of sombre and concerned adults, this is full of noisy children. They have a message to play from Minister Miller, the lady who holds some kind of authoritative role outside the fence. She confirms that everyone over the age of 22 is now dead which, bright side, means the rest of them probably will live. She wants the survivors to then burn the bodies.

Francis takes little Sarah to the beleaguered Melissa’s church hall crèche – I wonder if Sarah saying “he died” about her brother will ever be less heart wrenching?

Far more tragic is watching the survivors gather all the bodies of their loved ones to take them to the bonfire. It’s taking so long that Chuck eventually decides to draft all over 12s to move the bodies. Lana is also still missing

Gord goes around being a saint, first of all he and Francis steal food for the orphans from the supermarket and then he stops to lecture Ronnie on stealing drug. Ronnie pulls a gun and to make it worse Chuck and his cronies show up. Chuck is happy to back down from the gun wielding Ronnie, Gord almost has a death wish but they don’t stop Ronnie leaving with the drugs.

Gord and Chuck discuss the grocery store theft – and Gord apologises, he assumed it was a giant chain not belonging to his family, but he adds that there are kids who need food. Chuck does ask Gord talk to him about any future acquisitions – Chuck (and his hockey team minions) wants to hold the town together until the fence comes down and thinks about how to control Ronnie (with force) while Gord uses intelligence (getting Ronnie’s brother Pat to reel him in). We also learn Gord used to be on the hockey team before his dad forced him to quit and help on the farm.