Saturday, June 27, 2015

Under the Dome, Season 3, Episode 1 & 2: Move On & But I'm Not

And it’s a double first episode. Loki, what did I ever do to you?

We’ve now updated the opening voice over to “3 weeks since the Dome came down.” Just boggle at that. We’re also told they found a way out last episode (which they seemed to) but the voice over thinks it may lead to an alternate reality…

Under the Dome that’s a supreme amount of dubiousness and we’re not even past the voice over yet

To the tunnels before the portal of mist and white light – and creepy Melanie tells everyone it’s time to go home. Barbie moves to follow it Joe and Norrie don’t want to leave Julia. I want to make it clear that I’m so very happy for them to leave Julia. Yes yes I am. People are also worried about going through an unknown misty portal. Since the alternative is staying trapped under the dome and having to endure Big Jim with nowhere to go, I don’t care if the portal leads to Hell or Wisconsin, I would sprint through it.

They emerge into a field with no Melanie – and the Dome making terrible sounds (but they are outside). The Dome gets a nice firework display of pink lights – then explodes and disappears

The Dome is gone! The end! Yay!

Or not? Barbie goes looking for Julia and runs past Big Jim’s impaled body, James Junior unconscious or dead (maybe dead? Please?) and Julia also unresponsive. He holds her and cries. I’d feel sad for you Barbie but I kind of want all these people to die, so I’ll be over here kind of hoping they’re not breathing, sorry and all.

And now we’re in Yemen and Barbie is a soldier and Hunter appears to be his tech support guy… it’s a good thing I don’t expect this show to make sense. They’re rescuing people from insurgents while surrounded by random burning stuff for dramatic purposes. We have a firefight in which Barbie’s team does little and he is a Big Damn Hero (of course) before taking and abusing a prisoner because America and evil Muslims. He then shoots the helpless guy in the head.

Hey, can we go back to doing ridiculous things under a dome? I prefer that to random killing brown people for edginess and how I’m expected to still root for this guy after he murdered someone after mentally torturing them.

Hostages are rescued from evil insurgents and the nice aid worker thanks Barbie for being such a good mercenary and helping her save the world. She thanks him more in the shower later – they’re a couple (Under the Dome, you make me watch this drek yet still show that little of Barbie showering? You could have at least tried to make this whole thing less painful). Afterwards she tells him what a good person he is for murdering and abusing guys

Joe is also texting him for reasons. He ignores it and goes to bed to have more nightmares about Julia (it’s ok, I sometimes have nightmares about that terrible character as well. In fact the whole last season was quite traumatic, there’s a limit to how much stupidity we should have to endure). Apparently it’s been a year since the Dome came down – and Aid worker lady (can we get a name?( wants him to go to the memorial at Chester’s Mill

Between, Season 1, Episode 6: War

21 Days Under Quarantine

Adam has been reunited with his dad in the prison and is very very confused. He wants to get Adam out of there. He tells Adam about a tunnel where he can get out – but he doesn’t expect to join Adam. In fact, he doesn’t look well. He also tells Adam there is no cure for the disease – he should know, he worked on it

It also means, as an over-22 year old, he’s probably dying (though this disease never had symptoms before, people just died). They have to hide when a large number of military vehicles drive in… Adam’s dad says “they’re early”. The soldiers have been sent by the government to dish out cures – not knowing that the injections will actually kill everyone in Pretty Lake AND that the protective masks the soldiers are wearing won’t save them either

All he thinks he can save is Adam – he’s dead, the soldiers are dead, the kids are dead, he just hopes he can save Adam. Adam insists he has to help people, especially Wylie – and his dad dies.

The troops arrive at the prison with ominous trays of syringes.
Pat is all tortured over Amanda’s death while Chuck and Samantha bury her. Of course they blame the Creekers and Chuck is on another vengeance kick. Samantha thinks this is a bad idea but since when does Chuck listen to other people.

Naïve Wylie tells Tracey she can just explain it all to Chuck. Because that has worked in the past. While in town someone warns Melissa that Chuck & co are going after the Creekers so she needs to get her sister out before Chuck’s classic random violence gets her killed.

Speaking of, Chuck and his gang head to the Creeker house carrying guns, of course the possibility they’re not at fault is not something Chuck wants to hear. They find the house empty, but also find Pat’s damaged car.

While they’re at his house, Pat goes to Chuck’s to try and talk to him (oh such naivety) and only gets Samantha – he tells her he killed Amanda. When Chuck returns, Samantha tries to arrange a peaceful discussion

While she does that, Ronnie, Tracey, Wylie and several Creeker cousins head into town with guns. (Wylie has brought a baby to a gun fight. No matter how hard you throw a baby, it will never match the range or accuracy of a rifle). Samantha tries to get everyone to play nice (which is usually Gord’s job but he’s wisely decided to stay out of this bullshit). But she’s sure they have a peaceful settlement ready at the church.

In the church Pat offers to give up to “justice”, even death at the hands of Chuck the awful (hey can we have the same punishment for the man who nearly murdered a child?). He’s doing this because he wants peace. He wants promises that the war ends with him (uh-huh, until next week when Chuck decides whatever random event happens is totally the Creeker’s fault and goes on another rampage). Ronnie agrees – and so does Chuck so long as he gets his vicious revenge.

At the farm, Gord isn’t entirely happy with Hannah and her surprise husband showing up. She explains it was an arranged marriage – but though she’s not a big fan of hubby John, she’s not willing to abandon her community. Gord is waves her on the way, still not happy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Returned by Seth Patrick

I don’t understand this book – I just don’t really understand the point of it.

When I picked it up I thought it would be the book that The Returned television series was based on – my mistake, it’s actually a book based on the television series (both of which are based on another book which is rather loopy). Book spin offs from TV shows happen and we’ve reviewed a few before so while it wasn’t what I expected I was curious about where it would go, given the mystery and unanswered questions of the series

It turns out, however, that “based on” is not exactly an accurate description of this book. “Blatant copy” is much more accurate. This book is a recap of the show. Literally, someone took the script sat down and just wrote it as a novel. The characters, plot, setting, conversations – pretty much everything is exactly the same. It actually reminds me of a blog recap without the commentary. I almost DNFed this book from sheer redundancy since I already knew what would happen in painful detail – but I held on to the end to see if anything changed. Lack-of-things-to-spoil-alert: nothing did. Not one damn thing

The only real difference between the two was medium. Since this was a book we had a lot less of the dramatic visuals and ominous music that were so prevalent in the TV series (which is absolutely terrible because this entire tv show was BASED on the atmosphere – it’s like taking a Michael Bay movie and removing the explosions an half naked Megan Fox – there’s nothing left to it afterwards). We lose a lot of the ominous because of this – for example, when Victor appears on the tv show he is so utterly creepy that the average viewer wanted to kill him with fire – that’s completely lost in the book. And Victor is oddly chatty and not ominously silent.

Instead what we have is the ability to see things through the character’s eyes, from their point of view. Yes, this book is a switching POV 1st person. And this is AWFUL. It is awful because it takes all the nuanced depiction of the atmosphere, well acted portrayals and layered conflicts and decides to info-dump the hell out of all of it. Do we need to see Jerome struggling with the conflicts over Lucy, his family and his general feelings of failure and inadequacy? Nope because he’s going to info-dump all of that in one big self-reflecting chunk of text! Lena dealing with survivor’s guilt and fear with her returning twin sister? Sure we could show a series of developing conflict – or we could have her exposition an appalling info dump.

Women in Blake Crouch's Wayward Pines Series

I'll be perfectly honest and admit from the get go that I had never heard of Crouch or his series until Fox decided to air the television series Wayward Pines, based on Crouches trilogy Wayward Pines. .  Whenever I discover that there is a print version of a movie or a television show that we are watching I try to read it because I believe that it gives a fuller picture of the story.  As wonderful as television and movies are, and for all of the progress in technology, there are simply some things that come across better with the written word.

I picked up the first book,  Pines after watching five episodes of the Fox series, certain that I had by then attained at least a basic understanding of Crouch's story and world. It seems that thus far at least, the show is pretty faithful to its source material.  This is good in many ways because Crouch takes a unique approach to his dystopia, particularly in this era where the zombie is king.  That said, in terms of gender, Crouch's Wayward Pines series is seriously lacking.

The Wayward Pines series is yet another dystopian story in which the straight, cisgender, White, able bodied male not only becomes a leader, but he is practically a saviour.  Time and time again, Pilcher brought Ethan out of stasis, only to have place him back in  stasis when Ethan refused to adapt to the community.  Ethan refuses to quietly go along and he above everyone else, gets the answers as to what is really going on with Wayward Pines.  It's the typical approach dystopians take because somehow authors who can picture the most fantastic scenarios, cannot seem to imagine a woman in charge, let alone being heroic.

With the exception of one female character, the women all exist to nurture Ethan, uplift Ethan, teach Ethan a lesson or simply follow his rules.  They are so wrapped around Ethan that they don't seem to have a personality of their own.  This is particularly true when it comes to Theresa, Ethan's wife.  When we first meet Theresa, it's been a year and half since Ethan has disappeared.  Theresa is vulnerable, lonely, grieving and desperate. Without a doubt, Ethan is everything to her and she is desperate to hold onto the memory of him.  She talks repeatedly about the hold Ethan has over her.  For his part, Ethan is certain that had Theresa been unfaithful instead of him, their marriage would have been over.  Theresa is absolutely willing to forgive him anything because at the end of the day, they both acknowledge that Theresa loves Ethan, far more than he loves her.  Immediately, this fact creates an imbalance of power in their relationship.

Only in the most egalitarian of relationships is parity ever reached in heterosexual relationships.  Theresa gives up everything to be a wife and mother and at the end of the day, that's all she really is.  She doesn't act to defend herself unless it's a life or death situation and even then, she's counting on Ethan coming to the rescue.  It never occurs to her that she might find a way to rescue herself.  The only thing that Theresa knows for sure, when she is given a choice between Ethan and his boss, is that she was meant to be a nurturer and it is for that reason that Theresa chooses Ethan. Theresa actually chooses to take a secondary role because that's natural to her.   When Theresa learns the truth behind Wayward Pines, she commands Ethan to fix it, once again not giving any thought as to what she might do.  When Theresa and Ben are on the run from Abbies, Theresa comforts her son by suggesting that Ethan will save them. So. not only is she naturally a woman who stands behind her man no matter what, she has absolutely zero agency.  She is a cardboard cutout trope.Theresa is a damsel waiting to be saved and or noticed.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gray Moon Rising (Seasons of the Moon #4) by SM Reine

Rylie has been a werewolf for a year and is desperately trying to reconcile himself with the people she killed in the last book. It isn’t going well, while Adam and the other werewolves are roaming and learning control, she is desperately trying tom isolate herself… and she has a silver bullet ready.

But the mountain where it all began is calling her – and not just her, but all the werewolves in the world are being drawn back to the source. And were werewolves gather in such numbers, so too do hunters.

I have to say I am a little disappointed, in the end, by how Rylie became the superior Alpha which I’ve seen in other series of books set in this world. I expected her to do some thing or learn something or achieve something – I expected her to earn it in some epic, awesome moment. To have it be bestowed divinely without me seeing particularly why felt like something of a cop out. I expected this series of books to continue to show her growth as she went from ordinary teenaged girl to confused werewolf and eventually to something even more – and I feel it didn’t quite reach that potential.

Not that Rylie didn’t grow and change, in fact her progression through the book is pretty excellent. She begins fully reeling from the deaths of the last book. She is consumed by guilt, suicidal and generally not entirely sure she shouldn’t die – or that all werewolves shouldn’t die for that matter. It’s one of the interesting conflicts of this series – while it’s nice to think werewolves are being persecuted and attacked by the big mean hunters the fact remains that they are out of control when they change, the can’t control their changes and they do kill people.  Rylie herself has killed people, innocent people.

But we see her concern grow for her fellow werewolves far more so than for herself as she struggles to reconcile with her actions. Concern for the other werewolves also drawn to the mountain, worry about them being hunted. I love how she finds the value of werewolves through her worry for others, through seeing them as people being hunted and people to save even if she can’t see herself that way. And I know that there’s a whole lot pure martyrdom in the genre, especially with women, but working with her the guilt and pain means that this is far more developed than how we normally see the trope

Jonathan Strange and Mr, Norrell: Season 1, Episode 6: Black Tower

There are now wanted posters going up for Jonathan Strange – a wanted fugitive. At the same time his book has also gone on sale.

Norrell reads it and seems both pensive and sad – crying as he reads it (especially the inscription to Arabella). He also starts hexing the book – making them disappear from the hands of people who have bought it. The publisher, rightly, calls this theft.

In Parliament, there is more talk of uprisings using the name of the Raven King – and this is all being blamed on Sir Walter since both his magicians are now disgraced: Jonathan for being a fugitive after being suspected of his wife’s death and now Norrell for being a thief.

Sir Walter goes to Norrell to rage at him for just that. Norrell tries to justify himself but it sounds very weak and self-serving. Norrell’s also worried about where Jonathan is, fearing retaliation. Childermass, somewhat randomly, asks where Drawlight is. To the debtor’s prison! Which is most unpleasant – hoping Drawlight knows where he is. He does have gossip about Jonathon taking drugs and potions and actively trying to make himself mad – since Drawlight has a skill for gossip they want to send him to find Jonathan. And Norrell goes further into the darkness – threatening Drawlight with magic if he doesn’t obey.

Jonathan has fled to Venice and is looking very very worse for wear indeed as he experiments with magic – watched by The Gentleman.

Also in Venice and English doctor James Greysteel and his daughter Flora decide to visit an old lady who is rather mentally unwell – surrounded by cats and squalor and eating the rats they leave. As he doctor and his daughter leave they find Jonathon arguing with his Venetian supplier and she offers to translate. The Venetian is warning him that the ingredients cause madness – which is exactly what Jonathan wants (so he can then see the fae and bring Arabella back. As plans go it has one or two teensy little flaws).

Since his supplier fell through they decide to have a meal together where he disturbs Dr. Greysteel by talking about his dead wife and his attempts to claim a fairy servant. He hears about the cat lady and they suggest he could cure her – but again, magic can’t cure madness, in fact it’s possible the old magicians didn’t think madness was a condition in need of curing but an asset. Flora adds her own insight seeming to agree, that madness can be an asset.

She is also fascinated with Jonathon and hopes to hang around. While he visits the Cat Lady so she can teach him madness. And my Jonathon can pull off creepy. He casts a rather terrible spell on her, turning her into a cat as she wished and taking the4 essence of her madness – a mouse, which he then eats. This will not end well – but he does spit it out to turn it into a potion so he can only take a small dose of madness. This will also not end well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3) by Blake Crouch

The Last Town is the last in the Wayward Pines trilogy. When Ethan decided to pull the trigger and reveal to the citizens of Wayward Pines the truth about the town he couldn't even have begun to imagine what it would cost. Ethan must find a way to stop all of the death and get the town on track but the people must able to him owe their allegiance to  David Pilcher, the town's creator. David is not happy with the fact that his self styled divinity is not being respected or recognized in a manner he finds suitable and is therefore willing to do anything to teach the residents a finale lesson.

It's impossible to read Pines and not want to find out how this story ends.  Pines is really about the mystery of Wayward Pines itself.  Wayward tends to focus on how to deal with what Wayward Pines is and The Last Town  deal with the survival of humanity itself.  Of the three books in this series The Last Town is easily the least nuanced because it is essential a horror book.  Ethan and the residents of Wayward Pines spend the majority of the book rushing from place to place in order to either a) take control away from Pilcher or b) stay one step ahead of the abbies which want nothing more than to slaughter them.

The action pace of the novel allows no room for further character development.  What little the residents do communicate with each other is often stilted and agonizingly drawn out. The women really suffered The Last Town which isn't surprising as the the Wayward Pines series falls into the all to typical dystopian fantasy trap of making everything about the straight white male. I had hoped for some time that Theresa would really come into her own.  At the end of the day, Theresa ended the book as she started, a wife and a mother.  Unless she is forced into action, Theresa is content to hope that Ethan will save her.  Trapped in a jail cell and surrounded by Abbies, Theresa's way of comforting her son Ben is tell him that Daddy is going to fix it.  In the wake of learning what is happening with Wayward Pines, Theresa commands Ethan to fix it. 

Salem, Season 2, Episode 12: Midnight Never Come

John got himself all stabbed last episode and Sebastian makes a desperate stab for the creepy by saying how much he loves seeing women bleed to death but men bleeding to death just isn’t his thing. Yup, he just felt the need to have a “no homo” moment over a man bleeding to death and/or wave his misogyny flag. Either way, it fails to make the manchild achieve creepiness because this show has completely overwhelmed all creepy meters with all the flesh and eyeball eating. Watching someone bleed to death is just pase now.

John isn’t all that inconvenienced by his knife wound and uses his Naïve-American-woo-woo invisibility bag to run around stabbing people (who decide to just stand there and be utterly horrified by this display of magic despite, y’know, magic everywhere) like a more stabby Harry Potter.

Sebastian, being a powerful wizard, runs away.

Of course John is now stabbed AND woo-wooed with nasty black lines all over him so he’s not doing so well

Cotton arrives on the scene to help John (who is not dead) and patches him up and tells him not to worry because his kid’s with Anne Hale who is so sweet and wonderful. John is less than thrilled since he knows Anne is a witch. Cotton is convinced this is nonsense after all, Anne Hale is now Anne Mather – his wonderful wife. Cotton wants to hear it from Anne himself despite John thinking it’s suicidal. John calls Cotton a good man which is TV speak for “suicidal damn fool who is too stupid to live”

Turns out I was wrong last episode, John Junior is in the hands of the real Anne Hale, not Marburg in disguise. She is just being creepy and odd so we don’t know which side she’s actually working for. She takes little John to her house (is every room in Anne’s house spattered with blood? Is this just a decorating choice for Anne now? Does she come in one day and decide the living room would be improved with more brain matter smeared around the lintels?). John junior tells her about his miserable childhood and Anne is just terrible at comforting frightened sad children with dangerous demonic magic.

Anne goes to Marburg to wetly declares she is loyal to Cotton and she would never betray his trust and hand over the child. But, revelation, Marburg knew Anne’s dad and sent him over the sea to find somewhere safe to raise their daughter. Yup, Anne Hale is her daughter of Marburg – maybe the water magic Marburg has mastered explains why Anne is so very very soggy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch

Wayward Pines is a small town nestled in Idaho.  It has picturesque views of mountains and a small population that mostly knows each other.  It's about American as apple pie, if you ignore that each house has a running camera to track movements and sounds, jobs and even spouses are assigned.  No one ever speaks about their past.  The primary rule however is that no one can leave.  This is the world Ethan Burke finds himself in.  Human civilization collapsed nearly 2,000 years ago when humans devolved in Abbies/ Aberations.  Ethan knows all to well what is on the other side of the wall.  Somehow he has to balance people's right to know where they are and what happened to them, against his life and that of his family.  If that were not enough, as the local sheriff, Ethan is responsible for finding out who killed one of Wayward Pines citizens.

Pines, the first series in this trilogy is really about the mystery of Wayward Pines.  In this current novel, now that the mystery has been answered Ethan must find a way to live with what he knows.  The world as he knew it is over and while Wayward Pines offers relative safety and comfort, it is controlled by David Pilcher - a ruthless man with a God complex. 

Pilcher more than any other character in this story got some serious character development.  Wayward Pines is the result of his life's work and its also his sole obsession.  Pilcher didn't just save humanity out of a sense of altruism, he very much wants to be perceived as the great benefactor, in short, a God. The children in school are even taught that he is their real father.  Pilcher went as far as to have his wife murdered when she refused to take the leap with him into the future.  He cultivated the trust of people who were vulnerable in some way and offered them security and a dream of a better tomorrow.  It's easy to see why those who live in the mountain (the humans that are aware of the real state of this world ) almost worship him.

Throughout Wayward, it's clear that this book is a long chess game between Ethan and Pilcher.  We do get the perspective of other characters like Theresa for instance but that serves largely to remind us of the horror the citizens are living with. The disagreement between Ethan and Pilcher comes down to power.  Pilcher having envisioned and created this town feels that it is right to control it and the people in it. Ethan even fully aware of what life is like outside the fence is determined to have some sort of control over his life and some basic privacy. He doesn't buy into Pilcher's belief that the ends justifies the means.

The dance between Pilcher and Ethan is interesting but it does have some flaws.  What would motivate Pilcher to keep waking Ethan up when each time he has made it clear that he isn't going to go along with the program?  Knowing that Ethan is not a man to be controlled or manipulated, what sense did it make for Pilcher to decide to invest Ethan with power by making him sheriff? And the coup de grâce? Pilcher with Pam's aid killed his own daughter and that tasked Ethan with finding the murderer.  Pilcher could have taken her body outside the walls of Wayward Pines He could simply have buried it but instead he left her body for Ethan to find and then tasked him with finding the murderer. Yes, Pilcher claimed to want to put the blame on Kate by planting a weapon at her house but for someone who is capable of conceiving and starting Wayward Pines, his plan seems overwhelming ridiculous.

Penny Dreadful, Season 2, Episode 8 Momento Mori

Lily reflects on how she likes her men boyish and full of games and… dead. Just like the corpse she created last week (and kisses his staring dead eye – uckies uckies uckies).

Back at Frankenstein’s, John comes home to find Lily missing and rages at (a probably hung over) Victor for letting her go out with a man – threatening him with a live wire. All his comments about letting Lily chose go out the window as John growls that Lily is made for him, is his – not Victor’s and not Dorian’s. He now intends to leave with her and, one day, come back to get Victor and do terrible things to him.

Lily returns to Victor the next day, surprised by all the destruction. Victor yells at her for being out all night but she is amazingly calm and collected, tells him to settle down while casually telling him about her evening. She’s also received flowers from Dorian who she considers immensely charming but just a little too sophisticated. Victor tries to convince her to run away from London with him – but she doesn’t want to go, London is her home.

Victor goes to see Sir Malcolm and I’m not sure whether to talk about opiate addiction or being in love or both (I think love) – either way he needs his surrogate father for some advice to which Malcom has little except mutual supporting confusion to offer. Malcolm reflects on his own failings – his past of cruelty which he has only recently come to recognise; he recognises how he has changed, how he is now happy but also how that, fundamentally, isn’t him.

The woo-woo seems to be fading as well, since he seems to have grasped that he was at a ball during his wife’s funeral which just Is Not Done and certainly is not him.

Lyle is visiting with Evelyn and he muses about vanity, appearance and youth – which also leads to a note on Evelyn’s youth (eternally preserved by her demonic master) and her dangling that carrot before him. He pretends not to care about Vanessa & co and cuts of her attempts to tempt him as unnecessary since he’s already her creature (after all, if she’s already blackmailing his obedience more is just gilding, or the fiction that he’s a willing accomplice). And he has absolutely no knowledge to offer her – which is why she threatens him; but he has been very careful to ensure he knows nothing to tell. She forces him to kiss her before he leaves, much to his obvious disgust – and hers. As he leaves Hecate as her own questions – and is still plotting against mother dearest

Inspector Rusk is still doing his detecting guided by his bizarre psychic instinct - which leads him to Malcolm. He wants to know why Malcolm told his predecessor to hunt a beast rather than a human killer and Malcolm tries the really terrible excuse “it was just a silly whimsy of mine.” The inspector does not buy this. The Inspector remarks about his excessive security and lack of staff (and I call shenanigans, there is no way Sembene can maintain that house by himself). He tries to confront Malcolm about the clandestine nature of his daughter’s burial which Malcolm absolutely refuses to be questioned about – and he denies knowing Ethan Chandler.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pines (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch

Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke wakes after a horrible car accident to find himself disoriented and lost.  Ethan makes his way into the lovely town of Wayward Pines - the very town he was sent to, to investigate the disappearance of two secret service agents.  Immediately, things about the idyllic looking Wayward Pines start to seem strange.  When he cannot get in touch with his boss at The Secret Service, or his wife and child, Ethan gets determined to leave Wayward Pines.  The problem is that the town members have decided that the only way for Ethan to leave is in a pine box.

I'll be honest and admit that I decided to read this book simply because of the fact that it has been adapted into a television series.  That said, if you've seen the first five episodes of Wayward Pines the television show, this review will not contain any spoilers for you.

The only character really developed in the Pines is Ethan Burke.  We learn about his fear and his PTSD, after having been captured and tortured in Afghanistan.  Ethan is clearly a haunted man.  He knows that he hasn't been a good father to his son and he most certainly has not been a good husband to his wife Theresa.  Ethan's clear that had Theresa been the one to be unfaithful, the marriage would have been over whereas; Theresa is clear that not only did she forgive Ethan his one dalliance, she would forgive him even if he cheated again.  Theresa talks about Ethan just being everything for her and yet that is clearly not the case for Ethan.  Ethan does truly love his wife but he doesn't actually know how much until his life is threatened and he realises that he might never see her again.

The show does a really good job of giving a good sense of the cult like nature of Wayward Pines but because the orientation meeting is missing from the book, it's not nearly as heavily developed.  We don't learn heavily about the rules.  The terror comes from Ethan's limited interactions with the citizens, like the ever creepy Pam and the increasingly hostile Sheriff Pope. For a time, it's Ethan who seems damaged, despite his insistence of the opposite because he is after all the one running around town claiming to be Secret Service, without any identification at all.  It well could be the emotional breakdown that Jenkins suggests.

Orphan Black, Season Three, Episode Nine: Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow

Siobhan, Felix and Sarah arrive at a bar in England.  They meet with Terry, - the man who helped to find Sarah - at the back.  Siobhan's welcome home from Terry is a gun. Umm are the writers even aware that guns aren't common place in the U.K.? When Terry excuses himself, Siobhan checks out the gun, promising to kill the Castor original once found.

Rudy is undergoing testing by Dr. Coady.  He quickly answers false the first time but is unable to answer the second question.  A frustrated Rudy asks how long he has and Dr. Coady assures him that they will find the original Castor.

Allison's daughter is working on her karate moves and Helena takes it upon herself to show the little girl how to go for the kill.  It's Gracie who stops the gruesome lesson, reminding Helena that they don't do things like that now.  Helena straightens up and says that now that she is a mother, she walks a different path. 

Back at the bar, Sarah is learning how she came to be with Siobhan.  Siobhan shows shows Terry the poem that Rachel translated.  Terry cannot make heads or tales of the little poem but he recognizes the number on the bottom, as a number issued to someone who has been imprisoned.  Terry heads off to find a name to match the number.

Allison is setting up Gracie to work at the soap store but Gracie says that she has a doctors appointment this afternoon.  Allison gives Gracie the day off and starts wondering where Donnie is.

Donnie is checking out his wounds from the fight he lost Jason when Allison calls.  Donnie explains his absence in the bed by saying that his sinus was whistling.  Allison gives Donnie his honey do list and the call ends.

Cosima makes herself a coffee and is lost in thought.  Finally, she decides to read through Shay's file. When Shay enters the room, Cosima hides the file and says that she cannot get together with Shay because she has lots of work.  Cosima is extremely distant and it's obvious that Shay is concerned.

There's a knock on the soap shop door and when Donnie heads to the door, he see Lionel. Lionel wants the pills, now that Kellerman is no longer vouching for Allison and Donnie.  Lionel takes the container holding Helena's eggs as ransom, until Donnie and Allison return the pills to Pouchy.

Cosima has gone to see Scott about the file and he assures her that nothing in there says Shay is a spy. Cosima however cannot let go of the fact that Shay saw the book and once asked about Sarah.  Scott reveals that when Rudy showed up, he knew that Cosima is sick.  This does not exonerate Shay because Shay knows that Cosima is gravely ill.  Cosima says that she feels like an ass for putting everyone in danger.

Felix is not the least bit impressed with the English pub food. A group of men approach Siobhan and she introduces them to Felix and Sarah as the band. Apparently, Siobhan used to light the bar up every Friday night and so they cajole her into singing a song.

Terry calls Siobhan and leaves a message saying that he is just around the corner.  When Terry moves further into his room, he finds Ferdinand waiting for him.  It seems that Terry had an understanding with Ferdinand that Ferdinand was to be informed if Siobhan ever came to town. Terry tries to say that he was just about notify Ferdinand and doesn't know the purpose of Siobhan's visit.  Terry is suddenly attacked from behind.

In the meantime, Siobhan has taken the stage and started to sing.  In his apartment, Terry gets the crap beaten out of him, as an emotionless Ferdinand watches.  At the bar, Siobhan is back in her seat with a smile on her face.  When Sarah brings up the Castor original, Siobhan repeats her vow to murder the original, justifying her decision by pointing out that Castor is sterilizing women.  Siobhan decides to give Terry a call but gets no answer because Terry is still being beaten.

Helena is flitting around the soap shop, dancing and singing massively off cue.  Gracie pops in for a moment to say that she is off to her doctor's appointment.  Gracie actually hugs Helena goodbye.

Donnie is sneaking around the soap shop when Helena finds him.  Donnie lies about where his injuries came from and begs Helena not to tell Allison if she calls.  Helena orders Donnie to sit and tells Donnie that she will make the pain go away and then maybe Donnie will tell her the truth.

Cosima is being escorted into Dyad.  Delphine snarks that Cosima is here because now Cosima believes that Shay is a mole for Castor.  Cosima says that she doesn't know if Shay is or not and admits that there are things about Shay that don't line up anymore.  Delphine wonders why she should help and Cosima concedes that Delphine was right about her not being able to avoid Dyad and that she screwed up. Delphine however is not trusting and asks what Cosima is not telling her. Cosima admits that Sarah is in London trying to find the Castor original.  Delphine asks Cosima to leave everything with her.

Helena has created some kind of paste for Donnie, explaining that this is what they used when the nuns beat the demons from them.  Donnie admits that they shouldn't have gotten involved with Kellerman but after losing his job and Allison's desire to run for trustee, he didn't see other options.  Helena is impressed that Donnie did this for his family. Donnie says that he has to return the pills and get their money back.  Donnie reveals that the tank is missing and Helena explains what the tank is for.  Helena demands to know who took her babies and Donnie tells Helena that the people they are dealing with are dangerous.  He actually calls Helena family and asks her to stay out of this.

Siobhan, Felix and Sarah arrive to find a badly beaten Terry.  Terry vows that he didn't tell his attackers anything before dying.  Siobhan grieves for a moment before saying that they should go home because they have lost their advantage.  Sarah argues that Terry said he found something but Siobhan will not budge and orders Felix and Sarah back to the pub.

Outside, Sarah informs Felix that they are not going back because Terry's death indicates that Castor is getting closer.  Having stolen Terry's cellphone, Sarah goes through his contacts and arranges a meeting by pretending to be Siobhan.  They arrange to meet in the square in an hour.  Felix is not the least bit excited by this plan but adds that he has to tag along to know that Sarah is safe.  What neither of them realise is that they are being watched by Ferdinand.

A taxi pulls up asking for Siobhan and after Sarah confirms that's who she is, Sarah and Felix hop into the taxi.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Messengers, Season One, Episode Ten: Why We Fight

With Joshua dead, the devil dangles his ability to resurrect Joshua in front of the Messengers.  The devil starts a count down when Vera argues that the devil needs Joshua alive as much as they do.  Raul is the lone holdout and it's Vera who reveals that Joshua saw a sign for Plowman Family farms. The devil calls farming and famine a perfect match.  The devil lets his wings fly, his eyes go red and then he resurrects Joshua.  Yeah, the special effects here are kind of cheesy but does anyone really expect anything good from this show at this point? 

Joshua sits up gasping for breathe, horrified that the Messengers made a deal with the devil.  Joshua reveals that he didn't tell Rose anything about his vision.  Joshua vows that he will not allow the Messengers to fail.  Yep, cue substitution of leader to the typical White male version.  Joshua leads the crew to the train and they meet up with Koa, who hustled the tickets for them. 

The horsemen are checking the facility where the remains of the meteorite are being held. Richards assures Schiller that his hacking skills will come in handy.  Schiller is a little reluctant and is worried that the devil will find out about this.  Schiller is concerned about the fact that thus far the devil has managed to talk the horsemen out of the apocalypse six times. For her part, Richards is unconcerned.

Koa sits with Joshua on a train and Joshua reads to Koa from the newspaper, sharing the news that the Plowman brothers are big players in the genetically modified seed industry.  Oooooh some writer on this show is anti Monsanto - not that I blame them.  Koa changes the subject and questions what it's like to be dead.  Cue typical tunnel of light story.  Yep, Joshua was headed for heaven until the devil grabbed him and now poor Joshua feels like the devil has him tight in his grip. Joshua is terrified that he is going to hell for being brought back.  Koa decides its time to lighten the mood and initiates a card trick.  The trick does not work out as Koa is planned and she becomes distraught because she knows the trick like the back of her hand.  It seems that Koa has begun to forget things. Joshua suggests that the memory problems are the cost of Koa's gift.  He doesn't talk long because he gets a vision of a terrible storm with flashes of lightening.

Vera and Alan sit in another area of the train discussing Amy's drawings.  It seems that not only did Amy include Vera's son she excluded Rose.  Vera points out that Michael's soccer uniform is the same uniform that she saw in the vision the devil gave her.  It seems that its Amy's imaginary friend who is guiding her.  Alan asks if they are sure that Amy is not a Messenger but Vera is sure because they haven't seen Amy's wings.

Raul, Erin and Peter are sitting together.  Erin is determined to find a way to get Amy away from all of this. Erin is concerned that Amy is drawing photos which predict the future.  Cue awkward conversation about children and Raul admitting to being Nadia's father. 

From the window, Vera sees a sign for the St. Monica's Tigers, with a tiger just like Amy's drawings.  Vera realises that St. Monica is the patron saint of mothers.  It matches the clue the devil gave her earlier.  There's a photo on the table of a group of soccer kids and Vera quickly points out Michael. When Joshua hops off the train to tell Vera and Alan that the train will be leaving, Vera naturally wants to stay and follow up on this lead. Vera suggests that since they gave the devil what he wanted, he might be helping her find her son.  Joshua is adamant that they not separate right now and that the devil cannot be trusted. Vera will not be reasoned with, so Joshua hops back on the train.

Back on the train, Erin advises Raul to tell Nadia who her father is as soon as they get back.  Raul is worried that Nadia will not take the news well and admits that he has feelings for Erin. 

A deputy walks down the aisle and notes Peter.  He looks up Peter and Raul hears him realise who Peter is and that Peter is wanted for murder.  The deputy immediately gets on the phone and calls in Peter's whereabouts. Raul sneaks up on the deputy, knocks him unconscious and disconnects his phone call.  Erin later finds Raul tying up the deputy in the bathroom. When Raul and Erin rejoin Josh and Koa , Raul isn't interested in Josh's vision and wants to get off the train now that Peter has been spotted. Joshua however wants them to all stay together, arguing that they have already lost Vera and Alan.  Raul points out that Peter isn't the only fugitive and that both he and Erin are wanted as well.  Koa uses her powers to stop the train and Vera, Raul and Peter hop off, promising to meet Koa and Joshua at the Plowmans. 

Vera, Raul and Peter make their way to a farm, where they notice that the farm has seen better days.  The group runs across a tree from one of Joshua's vision and wonder about asking the residents for a ride.  The Messengers are confronted by Earl and Tom and quickly say that their car broke down and are looking for a ride.  Earl agrees to give them a ride and invites the Messengers to dinner first. 

Vera makes her way to the Fairburn house only to find no one at home.  Alan begs Vera to wait for some kind of back up but she leaves her body and enters the house. Vera finds the home in shambles, with a broken photo of the family in question. 

Killjoys, Season 1, Episode 1: Bangarang

We open to a dusty alien planet called Westerley (a planet in a quad planet system) and a woman moving through the Badlands. Move to two men in an ominous dank room torturing a third man. Seems the captured man stole their ship – or took a ship they were going to steal. Either way they’re not happy about it. Another man drags in the woman – which is pretty bad for the captured man who clearly expected her to rescue him


Plan B involves demanding to see the boss, Corin. And then it’s back to hidden Plan A – lure the boss out so the two of them can take him in (using hidden weapons and nifty skills – and having the scared captured damsel be revealed as both the boss and awesome) “In the name of the RAC you are locked and served”.

They arrive at the prison (and they have a nagging ship computer) to hand over their bounty. They’re recognised as Dutch (level 5 bounty hunter) and John (Level 3). Some snark later and John gets a litte message about an unclaimed level 5 bounty for a Kobee Andreas which catches his interest- marked as a “kill”. He hastily changes his plans to take a few days off.

We catch up with Dutch telling a bar tender friend, Pree, how weird it is for John to take some down time without her. She is sure something is up.

Among this we get some nice world building nuggets of an oppressive police force – who are working or the “company” getting more stringent because of a possible strike; so it’s not a happy fun place.

To the Slaver space ship Arcturus (this does not seem to be a happy fun future) where several “passengers” pay off their fare to one of the colonies by cage fighting. John has signed up, specifically to fight Kobee Andreas.

Back to Dutch who goes to see an old pro, Bellus, for some new jobs, preferably some nice easy level 2s or 3s. To which the Bellus tells her she should focus on her active warrant which rather bemuses her because she’s pretty sure she doesn’t have one. Yes, John signed her up – even though she doesn’t do Level 5 warrants because they’re kill work and she refuses to do them. And John’s used her name because he’s a level 3 so can’t do Level 5 warrants. Naughty boy; Dutch covers for him.

Dutch flies out, calling John for a whole load of “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” but John promises to explain later. Then he hangs up on her – “oh hell no!”. And the snarky computer is awesome.

Defiance, Season 3, Episode 3: The Broken Bough

Nolan loves the terrible book written about Irisa and takes great pleasure reading it aloud to Irisa as she tries to snatch it back (something every father everywhere would do, it is known).

Alas their fun time is interrupted by Berlin bursting in and saying there’s a VC vehicle headed to town. They assemble their militia to intercept… Stahma and Datak – Datak needs medical help

Doctor Yewl patches them up while Datak tells his story (faked) and Amanda and Stahma exchange intense eye contact (since she knows about Kenya’s death at Stahma’s hands). Nolan also thanks Yewl which she refuses to accept, after last week she’s clearly having nothing to do with Nolan.

Datak tells them about the dead McCawlies while Stahma expertly imitates tears. Nolan storms off to load up with All The Guns so he can charge out and attack the VC camp that Datak described. Amanda inserts some sense – she needs him to scout the camp not get himself killed trying to bring it down single handedly.

He also briefly tries to address Irisa’s trauma – and whether he can count on her in a fight. She won’t talk about it.

They drive out and are ambushed – Nolan kills several and is nearly shot – only saved by Pilar. Irissa, notably, does nothing. She leads them to her cabin. She claims she found the baby after a VC massacre and they offer to bring her to Defiance. I think Irisa is suspicious. I think Nolan is suspicious

And when she offers to drive the next day, Nolan is quick to refuse even if she does know the way. So she pulls a gun on them – the gun Nolan gave them. Nolan and Irisa’s lack-of-surprise faces are classic. Of course the gun he gave her doesn’t fire. Of course they know who she is. She argues desperately against being captured and fights desperately to hold the baby. When Nolan draws a gun on her Irisa, horrified, begs Nolan not to kill her. He’s somewhat bemused – he never planned to

He planned to leave Pilar cuffed and the baby and come back and collect them when they’ve finished, though Irisa insists on being the baby (having a hilarious argument over it as Irisa repeatedly points out it’s a baby and you don’t leave babies behind).