Saturday, July 25, 2015

Under the Dome, Season 3, Episode 6: Caged

Ominous bad guy shows Big Jim a video of Christine when she first touched the egg, of her and Eva being absorbed by butterflies which, in turn, set off the Dome and the mini-Dome. And Christine is an alien. Big Jim isn’t that fussed with this revelation; but evil guy still doesn’t know exactly what she is or what she wants so is going to torture her by inflict Big Jim’s presence on her

Such things should be banned by international treaty.

Big Jim agrees when threatened with medical experimentation. He’s put in an adjacent cell to her and Christine stops pretending to be human, merrily imitating various human emotions and being quite disturbing. His dog doesn’t like her either. Christine insists that the people will come for her trying to mock him with James’s loyalty – of course Jim isn’t impressed with her “preying on the weak.”

After she tries to make him feel bad and lonely they argue with her thinking humans and her beings can co-exist, all happy and peaceful (look at the peace she’s brought the town) while he thinks she’s destroying humanity and turning them into pod-people. We have a clumsy debate about individuality verses nice peaceful clones.

It doesn’t go too well so Jim has to convince the evil-doc his plan is working and he is convincing Christine they’re on the same side.

In town Barbie wants Eva to explain everything (while a reflection shows Eva made up of static). She tells him about working for Acteon and finding the egg which only causes him minor ructions, which I put own to woo-woo. She also wants him to give Christine another chance. Barbie agrees to speak to her – but wants everyone to know the truth as well.

While Julia finds the whole town standing around and acting like uber terrifying pod people. They’re stood still because they’ve finished the beds for the camp but can’t move into them without their glorious leader’s permission. Yes it’s very very creepy. Very creepy indeed. She searches Christine’s office and finds a sketch of several crystals – and her incriminating voice recorder.

She hides when Eva and Barbie arrives looking for Christine and finding James instead. When Barbie leaves Eva and James talk about their plans to assimilate the whole town. And their plans to “put Hunter down” if he is actually paralysed after his fall. All is overheard by Christine.

Norrie and Joe are locked up and afraid when Carolyn arrives – yes, she still lives! She’s also become a full kinship pod person. They take them both away and James tries to get Joe to work alone while everyone watches as some kind of punishment. Julia tries to intervene and James knocks her out.

She wakes up with James brandishing a gun and lots of town people refusing to let her leave until Christine comes back.

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 3: The Narrow Gate

I think this show has made a similar mistake to Under the Dome with it’s opening – and given us a strict time scale. This apocalyptic war with the angels started 25 years ago – 25 years ago? The culture has changed ridiculously quickly for that tiny amount of time. 25 years – a goodly portion of the population can easily remember the time before the war!

Anyway back to the plot, Alex has to prove himself to Julian by wandering into a room full of furious 8 Balls and get a shiny – after some exposition as to why some possessing angels can’t take it and become frothing feral beasts – hence the feral beast cage. Except one of them has his key. They key for things Julian deigns not to explain. Of course Alex decides to do it – and to go in alone.

He also wants Julian to tell Vega that Gabriel is still alive and their whole bombing thing failed epicly.

Alex goes into the very ominous dark tunnels fighting desperately against 8 balls in the dark until he is rescued by 2 men – one of them a man called Eli and the other General Riesen who goes by Sam now. Well that was unexpected. He was imprisoned because he killed an 8 Ball. And he doesn’t really believe that 8 Balls and humans can co-exist despite what we’ve seen of New Delphi

Alex gets his key (in a most unpleasant fashion) and performs another exorcising hug manoeuvre on one of the 8 Balls, returning him to (dead) humanity. With the key he (and General Riesen) leave, Noma greeting him with a passionate kiss. This is shortly after Alex told Riesen Claire was pregnant with his child so I can understand the stink-eye Risesen gives him.

Julian agrees to the alliance –and pardons Riesen.

In Vega, Claire finds that Zoe has escaped thanks to rebels – and her guards are dead. She goes to a contact, an old crony of her dad’s, an engineer (apparently alone – the leader of the city can just wander around without bodyguards now?) called Gates to bribe him with quality booze to help her find Zoe. He refuses, so she demands he do it (though he nicely counters with the vital work he’s doing). She warns of rebellion, he laments the lack of Michael and eventually agrees to help

He comes to her with the location (and a nice little biplay where he reveals he knows the V1s, the lowest rung if Vega’s brutal class system, siphon off power and he lets them get away with it and Claire is happy with him to keep doing that).

With the location, Claire sends in the troops who drive them out. But afterwards, Claire questions one of the soldiers, sergeant Mills, asking why he missed Zoe. Claire is dubious that he could possibly have missed at that range. She accuses him of being a traitor and when he curses her, she shoots him in the leg.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wicked Embers (Souls of Fire #2) by Keri Arthur

Melbourne is still under threat from the spread of Crimson Death – the vampirism plague that is creating ever more monsters. The research for cure and treatment is becoming ever more in demand from various shadowy organisations all with their own purposes

And in the middle of it is Emberly, the Phoenix, who many people think has the hidden notes for the cure research. On top of that, she’s having prophetic dreams of a new monster in town.

As a private investigator I think Emberly and Jackson are also much more legitimately involved in the plot, especially since Emberly is targeted as well. While the last book she felt inserted clumsily, now she works as a much more central figure to the investigation.

And I do like that investigation. It’s a mystery with lots of questions and numerous factions and twisting plots involved. The central question is still the plague, the quasi-vampires and their terrible infections, possibly apocalyptic disease and any possible cure or vaccination that may exist. But there are so many factions looking for this cure and many motives between them – people trying to make a profit, the Sindicati, a vampire underworld organisation that is now riven in two – with both factions after the information. And being a major underworld organisation, they have their lackies and contacts who also have their own input into the story with their own agendas and organisation.

On top of that we have PIT, the surreptitious police force that challenges the supernatural with their own shady organisation complicated with Sam and his history with Emberley. There’s a lot of things going on and it works

In fact if I have any criticism of this story is that there are too many factions and independent figures. Sometimes a name will come up and I’ll have a blank moment because I can’t remember who they are, which faction they’re part of or what goal they have. There are a lot of characters here – so very many characters and I get more than a little lost occasionally.

Part of this is it actually makes the main plot line seem somewhat out of place. Why are we following this shifting creature that eats people? It’s not that it’s a bad story – it’s actually really fun and well written and interesting. It’s just that the meta is so huge that I don’t think it necessarily fits except, perhaps, to add some new shiny new creatures to the world.

I do wish we could see more competence from Emberly. Throughout the book and their investigations Jackson is the one with the ideas and the knowledge. He knows the city better, he has the contacts, he has the investigative skills. Which is fair enough in a way, she is the investigator. But she has lived for centuries upon centuries – so where is the skill set to back this up? It’s no that she’s weak or useless – far from it, she’s immensely powerful – but that power revolves around her woo-woo. She’s a phoenix and they are might, dangerous beings – and it is actually somewhat rare to see a female character be so overwhelmingly more powerful (and actively so) than her lover and partner – but I do think at times she slightly turns into a fire turret. At the same time, I quite like how she is a power. She’ facing off against all of these major, scary organisations because she is a scary person. Not overpowered and terrifying and certainly there is tension facing off against what these dangerous organisation – but still a sufficient force that they have to respect her.

San Diego Comic-Con, Vids, Teasers and Temptations!

This is one of those events we really wish we could attend but would probably be far too embarrassing and likely to be subject to several restraining orders if we ever did (if nothing else, we are likely to find writers of various shows and scream "WHYYYYYYY?!" at them over and over again. Though I think I would like to study the Falling Skies writers from a careful distance for science).

The press around the event is always fun though - and there are numerous panels and videos that are definitely relevant to what we watch:

Orphan Black

Teen Wolf


Game of Thrones


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Accidentally Demonic (Accidentals #4) by Dakota Cassidy

When Casey Schwartz wakes up in jail, with no idea how she got there, she's forced to call her sister Wanda to bail her out. Having avoiding her sister for years due to shame about her job, this is not a call Casey is looking forward to making.  Little does Casey know that calling Wanda for help is actually the easiest thing she will experience over the next few days.  It's not long before it becomes clear that something supernatural has happened to Casey.  When she starts levitating and throwing fireballs, Wanda and her friends are at an absolute loss as to what Casey could possibly be now. 

Enter the unhappily mated vampire and former viking Clayton Gunnerersson.  In Clay's effort to end his mating with Hildegard, he has managed to get a sample of her blood. Unfortunately, Clay accidentally spills it on Casey, turning her into a demon.  Clay now has to take responsibility for his mistake and help Casey adjust to her new life.  

Casey doesn't take to being a demon very well and the issues only compound when she learns that a Clay's mate is determined to kill her and if that were not enough, it seems that Casey might just have to spend an eternity in hell. 

Generally speaking, I don't mind most of the characters in this series to date but I am absolutely done with Nina.  Every time she appears, it's so difficult to keep reading and not simply put the book down in frustration.  Nina seems constantly angry when she is not with her mate and is constantly picking arguments, making threats and swearing.  In terms of the swearing, I'm not some wilting innocent who shrivels at the word fuck but reading as Nina tries to use as many versions of the word as  possible becomes tiresome.  If that were not enough, something about Casey's demonic nature causes her to constantly attack Nina, which leads to more if Nina's acting out and consequently most of the opening chapters of Accidentally Demonic reads like 12 year old girls snapping at each other on the playground.  As a grown ass woman, I definitely could have done with that. 

As a protagonist, Casey really didn't make much sense to me.  When Casey learns that the reason Clay has not killed himself to end his forced mating with Hildegard is because Hildegard has control of Clay's daughter Naomi, Casey immediately goes into sacrificial mode.  Here's the issue: Casey has never even met Naomi, who apparently has the mental age of 15, though she is actually centuries old.  This simply doesn't make sense.  How is it that Clay is actually hundreds of years old and his daughter is only 15? I don't buy the idea that Casey is sacrificing herself for a kid, nor do I accept that Casey actually sees Naomi as 15, when the supposed young woman in question has been alive for centuries. To be clear, Casey is willing to spend an eternity in hell, married to a demon she doesn't know to save Naomi.  Clearly this is a woman who doesn't believe in self care.

Atlantis, Season 2, Episode 11: Kin

Injured Jason is still hiding in the forest, Medea not having told Pasiphae’s forces. She keeps trying to convince Pasiphae to play happy families with Jason. Pasiphae is conflicted.

Jason’s-friends-who-he-doesn’t-deserve are looking for him and Hercules, who is (again) far too good for Jason feels terribad that he didn’t hang around the man who murdered his beloved, used her head as a weapon and didn’t even kill the big bad with it. Pythagoras does his best to cut through Hercules’s sadness. They go looking for him, Ariadne impressing Aeson with her intimate knowledge of Jason’s feet. Aeson also speaks up in defence of his son going all evil because he has mummy issues.

In Atlantis, Pasiphae is holding some murderous Arena battles to try to placate the people. Medea, who clearly has not been paying attention, looks all shocked at the cruel murders for entertainment Pasiphae orders. Medea must have memory problems.

And Pasiphae’s soldiers do find, capture and imprison Jason. Pasiphae tries to invoke the loving bond of motherhood (and dark god linkiness). Jason seems to agree with her as she decides she can’t possibly kill her son.

Of course, her whole plot to bring Ariadne down involved accusing Jason of killing the Oracle – so Cilix wants to know when they’re firing up the bull and having an execution. Pasiphae delays with Medea backing her with vague omens to give them reason to consult the Oracle

To Oracle #2 who demands Jason be spared – Pasiphae is happy about this but Cilix point out the people expect Jason to be punished for the crime she framed him for. Cilix wants to know WHY the gods have spared Jason to calm the people – Pasiphae agrees and Melas warns Pasiphae that Oracle #2 can only tell the truth. Pasiphae agrees and Oracle #2 gives the reason – a mother killing her son is abominable

They decline to mention Jason actually being innocent. But Jason being Pasiphae’s son is alive – but Cilix won’t let it drop and Pasiphae eventually agrees to put Jason in the Arena. Cilix blames Pasiphae playing nice on Medea.

Medea tries to reassure Jason that his mother is totally on his side and he’s now going to fight in the arena. It’s not like it’s his first time.

Back to the friends and after much debate, Aeson decides he’s going to sneak into Atlantis and Pythagoras gives him a note to take to Icarus; Icarus tells Aeson his son is due in the arena and helps him get a job removing bodies from the sand.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lady in Pink (Deadly Ever After #2) by J.A. Kazimer

Blue and Izzy’s new detective agency is going from strength to strength and has become a household name (even if your house is a shoe). They have offices now and a staff and are a growing success

But when one of their interns is murdered it looks like Blue could be the target – and even so, losing an employee just has to be investigated. But as they delve deeper the opposition becomes stronger as they uncover more connections with Blue’s mysterious past. And his curse.

The plot of this book is interesting but I’m in two minds about it. The whole mystery of Blue’s origin, how it fed the conflict between Izzy and Blue, the whole opposition against their discovery and how it pops up in several different ways all work really well. I like how it’s related to several parts of the story and is both part of their profession and personal lives and allowed for some character growth

It also has a series of excellent Noir-style cross and double cross as victim and suspect constantly changed and changed and changed again. It had some really good twists and unexpected endings. I honestly didn’t have any idea where it was going or who the culprit was and I was completely surprised several times. I appreciate that in any book, especially a book with a murder mystery. Being kept guessing is always an achievement.

 So lots of positive. On the negative side I feel the ending was sprung on me without any real back up to it. I didn’t see it coming – but how could I? All the relevant information was dumped in the last part of the book – there was no way to extrapolate to this and that whole revelation felt abrupt and rather sudden. There’s a twist and an abrupt change of direction. Still I am curious as to what that means for the future

I also quite like the whole debate over whether Blue’s abilities are a curse or a blessing – and I think it’s actually done really well (after I’ve read a huge number of books where the “curse” has had no real downside).

For me there’s a strange disconnect with this book’s – this series’ – world building which I’ve touched on before. On the one hand, the original elements of the story are excellent. The whole idea of fairies that produce dust and need dentin to exist – that’s an excellent original concept I really like. It takes the idea of the tooth fairy and elevates it and explains it. It’s interesting and it’s original and there’s some genuine thought behind it that I appreciated.  There are other hints of things that I think have high potential – like the very original Trolls. There’s a lot of really unique elements I’m interested in here

Teen Wolf, Season 5, Episode 5: A Novel Approach

Donovan, despite the nasty lamprey hands, isn’t doing that good a job of kidnapping Stiles and ends up chasing him (neck toothy maw may have sense organs for extra disturbing). Donavon decides to tell the story of how his dad was disabled in a gun fight which he totally blames on sheriff Stilinski. Donovan keeps trying and Stiles responds by throwing every damn thing he can at guy until he finally ends up brutally impaled.

Whatever he was, impaling kills it. Though, to be fair, impaling is a pretty all round killer – kind of like decapitation or burning (Parrish excepted). Donovan’s body oozes silver goo

Stiles calls 911 to get the police sent, but plans to leave the scene after some of his excellent disturbed acting over leaving a body behind him. Personally I think it would have been wiser to stay – everyone heard Donovan’s death threats, self-defence would not have been a hard sell. But Stiles really sells horrified and disturbed. His hands are shaking too much to drive away and the cops arrive, search the school… and find nothing. Stiles hurries into the school where he killed Donovan and finds none of the destruction – just a tiny spec of blood.

He goes home to his mystery wall to have a well-deserved freak out while logically considering the options – Donovan not dead and walked out – or dead and someone took the body.

To Scott and Kira and Kira is taking in her sleep in Japanese. Scott gets an alarm that there is a break in at the animal clinic and, after investigating, calls Stiles to tell him someone is stealing the bodies of the chimera.

That stealing person appears to be Parrish who, in his probably-a-phoenix-trance, carries Donovan’s body into the woods, probably to the Nemeton.

To school and Malia brings in her discovery of the Dread Doctors book – the synopsis is teenagers are taken, buried alive and emerge as monsters. And there is no sequel to this unfinished story. But Stiles has realised it’s not the Dread Doctors (I wish to go on record as saying “Bioshock villains” was a much cooler sobriquet) taking the bodies because they’ve just walked away from their failures (which makes their success something to fear). Scott also briefly smells Donovan’s blood – but kind of ignores it because it was only a drop (and how many people get minor injuries in a school?)

They also bring in Theo to their little book brainstorm and both Scott and Lydia hit on the book being dedicated to a Dr. Gabriel Valack. That would be a patient locked in Eichen House. The man with the freaky third eye.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Walking Dead: Descent (The Governor Series #5) by Robert Kirkman (Creator), Jay Bonansinga

Lilly is now the reluctant leader of the people who survived the Governor.  Lilly feels the weight of responsibility heavily and is quick to act in dangerous situations.  Unfortunately, even having survived The Governor, Lilly and many of the people of Woodbury have forgotten the one lesson he had to teach them - zombies may be scary and lethal in large numbers but the real predator is still humans.

Lilly is the first female leader of a group that we have been introduced to in the book series.  Somehow she doesn't seem to have the same strength as Rick or even Phillip.  Even Rick's most stupid decision and plans always seem to work out somehow and that is most certainly not the case for Lilly.  With Woodbury absolutely decimated and struggling to keep going with its small population thanks to Phillip, the small town is desperate to take in stragglers and build a safe place to survive the walkers.  Lilly doesn't even bother to ask the three questions that in the television series Rick asks each new person who wants to join his group.  Nope, Lilly welcomes everyone with open arms even though she knows absolutely nothing about them.  After surviving Phillip I have to wonder why Lilly isn't more cautious and a hell of a lot more jaded.

Meredith, Cal and their children are the first people to show up in Woodbury hiding a secret.  It seems that Meredith has a mental illness and because of this, the Dupree family  have already been rejected from several groups.  It seems that Meredith has repeatedly been deemed a danger because her actions are unpredictable and far from sane.

She shoots him a hard look.  "C'mon, Cal ... you know very well what happens if they find out about my ... my condition.  Remember the KOA camp?"

"Those people were paranoid and ignorant"  He walks over to her, kneels by her chair, puts a tender hand on her knee.  "God brought us here, Mer."

"Calvin -"

"Seriously. Listen. This place is a gift.  God has brought us here and he wants us to stay.  Maybe that older man - Bob, I think his name is - maybe he's got medication you can use.  This is not the Middle Ages."

Meredith looks at him.  "Yes, it is, Cal ... it is the Middle Ages."

"Honey, please"

"They drilled holes in the heads of the mentally ill back then - it's worse than that now."

"These people aren't gonna persecute you.  They're just like us, they're just as scared.  All they want is to protect what they got, make a safe place to live"

Meredith shivers.  "Exactly, Cal ... and that's why they're gonna do exactly what I would do if I was them and I learned somebody in their midst was a mental defect."  (pg 22)
 Cal does ask for the group to keep a look out for medication on their searches for supplies but Lilly never gets into great detail about what the drugs are for or what happens when Meredith doesn't have them. Cal warns Lilly that "it's an invisible illness. Most of the time.  But these days, it's very dangers - a very dangerous liability."  Lilly doesn't ask exactly what danger Meredith poses even after learning that the Duprees have been kicked out of two different settlements.  Cal tells Lilly that Meredith has bipolar disorder and clinical depress and has tried to take her life a couple of times since the turn. To me, that sounds like an opening to ask some questions but Lilly simply moves on.  

The Strain, Season 2, Episode 2: By Any Means

Bolivar is back, he and Eichorst are gathered around his giant coffin while Eichorst explains that the Master is going to choose a new body soon. I sense some competition over who it is going to be. And they apparently want it.

Kelly has her collection of blind kids turned into tracking, animalistic monsters (which are intensely creepy) and decides to kill one. For extra creepy

Ephraim and Nora have the two scratched “survivors” of the fight in the storage sheds in their lab pretending to play nice doctors. Nora wants to know when they’re going to tell them the truth and rightfully skewers Ephraim’s excuse as “when they’re too sick to put up a fight”.

Whether that time is now or Nora shamed him, they tell the survivors they’re infected, they’re going to die terribly – but they could help them find a cure (and not become vampires and eat their son). Ephraim is, unshockingly, not a nice man but Nora plays good doc.

Vasily continues to be all sweet and worried about Abraham (and tells him to eat. Awwwww). Abe frets that there’s some knowledge in his research for the special book, the Occio Lumen but he regrets he just can’t remember things as he once could.

Nora carefully checks with Abraham whether the Master will be able to use the experiments against them and Abraham reassures them and gets all huffy at her double checking, she argues back that he needs to get over themselves because they’re all dealing with shit which seems to settle him down enough to reassure her that, yes, experimenting on people is all kinds of wrong but she does have a damn good reason (rightfully guessing the shit she’s dealing with). Doctors experimenting on people is something that is especially poignant for Abraham as a concentration camp survivor – but he draws a sharp distinction between that and what Nora’s doing

It would help if Ephraim weren’t so callous about it – though even he finds it awkward to explain to his kid, Zach.

Their science doesn’t seem to be working – vampires are damn resistant. As they begin to suffer, the survivors start to beg to die though Ephraim tricks him to laying down so he can tie them down, yelling and protesting.

Nora becomes more troubled as the patients turn, the wife before the husband, his concern near breaking her. It doesn’t help that Ephraim is an arsehole. But she does have inspiration – and they finally seem to find a plague that will kill vampires without killing humans.

Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 4: Pope Breaks Bad

It is time for another episode of Falling Skies. Let me get ready.

'Cheap booze 1' photo (c) 2008, Melissa Wiese - license:
Ok, I'm prepared, let's do this
So Sarah died last episode and now it’s time for Pope to stand on that fridge and bellow his Manpain to the skies.

I’m going to need more booze.

Pope is sad about Sarah and Tom doesn’t have a shred of sense or decency decides that he needs to talk to Pope at Sarah’s grave after refusing to rescue her. Weaver tells Tom how right he was to leave her. Pope isn’t ready to forgive.

At the camp Anthony is begging Weaver and Anne to let him go back to active duty but he can’t because of his PTSD

And a Volm ship arrives. It seems Cochise has called them so he can see his dad, say goodbye and engage in a Volm ritual before dying. Yes, Cochise is dying. It seems Cochise was born without a vital organ that gives him a shorter lifespan and he’s made his peace and is ready to die – though Anne and the other humans consider this “giving up” and that he has to fight. Anne suggests transplants which makes Cochise laugh. He considers his dad donating an organ to be a “distraction” in the middle of war. Anne and Tom utterly refuses to accept his decision (and Anne with basic human technology thinks she can advise the Volm with their tech on the medical perspective of a completely alien anatomy). He gives them something before leaving which the other Volm Shack, can use.

This nifty globe thing shows areas where the Espheni are cloaking – predominantly capital cities (especially Washington DC because Murica). And the Nazca lines in Peru and Fayetteville for REASONS.

Pope arrives to snark before he leaves to be stopped by Anthony who now announces he hates the Masons for taking him out the fight. Oh for the love of all that is sensible. Really, are we doing this show?! Pope gives Anthony a gun. Their little rebellion does point out the epic hypocrisy of Tom and how he would certainly not have left his kids behind like he did Sarah. They also all belatedly pretend to care about Denny.

Anthony speaks out to inspire his rebellion while Hal tries to defend Tom’s terribad decisions. I wouldn’t wish that job on anyone, there are a whole lot of bad decisions to defend there.

Tom leads a squad (Digaan, Mat, Weaver, Extra) to get some supplies where they find a radio which Digaan uses to speak to a woman with a highly improbable English accent (unless he has actually found the Queen, no, she doesn’t speak like that), she’s coincidentally in Bolivia. Of course she is and naturally needs his leadership.

Extra dies to a swarm of Espheni bugs. Of course he does, he should have had a red shirt. No-one else is killed because they’re all main characters.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau #17) by Lynsay Sands

Paul Jones has been working at Argeneau industries for two years.  Each day he looks forward to having the same break as Jean Louise, even though she doesn't even realise he is alive.  Paul, a recent widower and a single dad, sometimes feels guilty about his attraction to Jean Louise but he cannot stop watching her.  When his daughter ends up with terminal cancer, Paul quickly realises that the only way to save her is to turn her.  He contrives a plan and goes through his options only to be pushed into kidnapping Jean Louise by a visit from the infamous Margarette who encourages him to follow his heart. Paul desperately wants to save his daughter but when he kidnaps Jean Louise he finds that he wants more than his daughter live a long happy life, he wants a life with Jean Louise as well.  Unfortunately, according to immortal law, Jean Louise only has one turn.

If I had to describe The Lady is a Vamp in one word, it would be predictable.  This is the second time Sands has used kidnapping as a vehicle to have her lovers in proximity with each other.  From the moment Paul kidnapped Jean Louise, there is never any doubt that he will be her lifemate and that they will stroll into HEA together, horny but with smiles. I kept thinking, haven't I read this before?

The moment Jean Louise realises that Paul is her lifemate, she stops trying to escape and actually helps him to evade hunters.  Jean Louise's only issue she is only able to turn one mortal and Paul wants her to save his dying daughter Livvy.  Jean Louise realises that in his desperation, Paul would do anything to save Livvy and naturally wants him to agree to be her lifemate without the big elephant in the room causing a problem.  Jean Louise is clear in her training not to get to close to mortals because they die, therefore; avoiding the temptation to turn them but finds herself doing everything she can to ease the child's pain.

So, Paul and Jean Louise are supposed to be on the run from the hunters but they have time to have camp fire nights and go shopping.  No wonder the hunters found them in short order.  At this point, I stopped believing that Paul and Jean Louise are actually scientist and intelligent people.  If Sands is going to have her characters on the run, they should act like it. Smart people don't stay in the area after they have spotted.  Canada is a big country, and the two could have gone anywhere but chose to stay in Southern Ontario.  Yeah for smart people.

When Livvy is turned by Jean Louise after suffering a mortal wound, everyone pities Jean Louise because now she cannot turn Paul.  Jean Louise and Paul have only known each other for a couple of days and have already declared true love.  Jean Louise however decides that she cannot stick around and watch Paul die, as he is destined to do in 40 years because it would be to painful. I found myself laughing at this because in each book Sands would have us believe that after only a few days, readers should invest in the romance but The Lady is a Vamp proves the exact opposite.  True love is faithful.  We all know each day that it could be snatched from our grasp at any moment but we get on with the business of living.  Paul isn't facing some terrible life ending disease or condition when Jean Louise decides to leave him, he's simply living his life.  Jean Louise's decision makes her selfish and makes me absolutely doubtful that what these two people feel for each other should be labelled anything other than lust.

The Messengers, Season 1, Episode 12: Spark of Hope

The messengers check some new footage about the 7th Messenger – he collapsed (as they all did) on a plane and when he woke up he threw lightning everywhere. Since he was on a plane (and a man of colour called Zahir Zakaria) he was assumed to be a terrorist and locked up in an undisclosed location

Raul has a convenient contact who knows where that location is. Of course there’s also a debate as to whether or not they should let an alleged terrorist out of prison. This allows Joshua to tell them all how important it is. Blatant fake conflict to make Josh leader again

Time for another vision – a gravestone of a Christopher Daton who died in 1945 and a nuclear explosion. And a woman with her face on upside down? Uckies uckies…. Joshua decides that this is the antichrist (well she’ll be easily recognised).

Which means they now have two missions – random vision in a graveyard with possible antichrist as well as jailbreaking. Erin and Raul also have a moment as Erin worries that some of them would die in the conflict (many of the last set of Messengers died) – she wants Raul to promise to look after Amy if she dies and urges Raul to tell Nadia that he’s her real dad while he has the chance

So he goes to tell her and finds her making out with Peter. Raul instantly forbids this for Nadia’s safety but Nadia cores a direct hit in return pointing out it wasn’t Peter who got her dad killed. Ouch.

Koa has tattooed a symbol her father used to draw to help try and remember who she is in the face of her memory loss.

Joshua goes to the grave stone and meets Eliza, the ex-Messenger there, who reveals that Christopher Dayton was one of them, their healer (and I call extra shenanigans that Eliza was around to be a Messenger in 1945! What was she, 10? That is not a woman in her 80s!). The bomb blast he saw was the Trinity nuclear test, the 5th seal back in their fight 70 years ago (shenanigans! What, do Messengers get prolonged longevity?). She agrees with him that he had a vision of the anti-christ which is not a standard apocalypse thing, apparently.

So his vision called him to go to this place and basically have Eliza say “yes Joshua you’re right? And also I have the formula for the ultimate oil of Olay.” Well that was useful!

She tells them that the anti-christ is a terribad thing and they now have to stop both the horseman and the devil. They get right on that by her leaving her book full of Messengers secrets just lying around for the devil to pick up. Good job their Eliza. It also includes Amy’s psychic pictures which the devil finds most interesting

To the rest of the gang – they infiltrate the detention centre with the help of Koa’s shapeshifting with Vera using her spirit waking to find Zahir who angrily yells at the guards to keep away from him – and seems to see Vera. She returns to her body to warn them that Zahir is “unhinged” and the guards are afraid of him.

They barge their way in, Koa pretending to lead in an imprisoned Raul – but it all goes a little wrong when Koa completely forgets where they are and what they’re doing in the middle of it, resuming hr real form and speaking Chinese. They get captured.

Vera checks in on Zahir again – who can see her and her wings. She quickly tries to explain she’s an angel of the apocalypse which is a pretty hard sell. While doing this Peter thinks this is really a good time to ask Erin about whether he should stay away from Nadia. Timing, kid!

Zahir tells them what happened when the wave hit and all his electrical powers – and War is the one behind his detention, easily done because most people believe that he’s a terrorist since he’s a Muslim (and an outspoken journalist).
Raul is tied up and being beaten by ominous guy when Peter arrives breaking down the door (he, Erin and Vera questioned another unconscious guard), giving Raul chance to escape. They collect Koa (using her new tattoo to reassure her that they know her) and go to Zahir. They escape – Zahir’s power is a nifty way of breaking an electrified fence (and Peter easily rolls it up). They escape – but Peter is shot in the process.

Despite the risk, Erin uses her healing power. They wait to see if Erin will collapse… but she seems fine. Koa tells them she remembers her father’s face – now the Messengers are reunited their powers have no cost (well, those powers that had cost).
To Nadia babysitting Amy. Amy seems a little off (only interested in drawing) and the devil comes to visit (but it’s totally Nadia’s relationship with Peter that will put her in danger…). He pretends to be a policeman and she pretends to be alone, demanding to know who drew Nadia’s pictures. She rightly guessed the policeman is the devil and messages Joshua

This interrupts his fretting that the devil now owns his soul - reassured by Eliza – who also tells him to kill the anti-christ. Joshua goes to confront the devil who tries to hold the whole resurrection thing against him. Alas, this is when Amy appears to tell them about the huge spooky drawing she’s painted on a wall. A drawing of the Lake of Fire. Looks like little Amy is the antichrist.

They reach their base with Zahir acting as a battery to confirm his power – he can drain power or transfer power to things. Joshua decides to be mute and a bit lost about this because evil devil child and all that. He certainly doesn’t know what to say to Erin. Erin and Raul deal with the fact their kids were alone with the devil and he returns Erin’s request – if he dies he wants her to look after Nadia. Erin also takes the chance to tell him to but out of the whole Nadia/Peter thing. He does learn to knock on Nadia’s door this time and he apologises. And tells her he’s her dad; Nadia takes it well, since she suspected but she also has some excellent truth for him. He doesn’t get to just start acting like her dad, she’s not a child and he needs to respect that

They all relax and Vera happens to have a picture of her lost son’s family including Michael’s new father, Jeff who Joshua recognises as the man who tried to get him to return to his dad’s church. Lots of connections.

They fill in Zahir on everything and he reveals he was the reporter in Mali who reported on what Mark Ploughman (Famine)’s rain does. He hired mercenaries to silence those who spoke to him and Zahir is definitely on side now to stop Famine.

Eliza gets a visit from the devil complete with her book – who tells her thanks to her book he now found the anti-christ.  He needs her help translating her coded messages to see how to preserve the antichrist. She walks away, refusing to help and flags down a car to get a lift – only to be attacked by the people inside.

Over to Pestilence who is having a pick-nic and pulls out a laptop with lots of flight paths listed. This is somewhat ominous.

Can we hit this whole ridiculous “should we let an alleged terrorist” out of prison nonsense? They saw the video. They saw what happened – it wasn’t like any of them had any greater understanding of their powers when they first awoke. Peter even killed someone when he first came into his strength – yet they’re debating whether it’s safe to let the 7th messenger out? Especially when, without him they’re all weakened and the four horsemen can end the world?

This whole weakness thing is also something that badly needed addressing –because other than Koa and Erin, none of them seem to actually have weaknesses. Like so much of this show this was terribly underdeveloped. Them coming together could have been an epic level up of their powers as old restrictions fell away – but it never happened, it was rushed, undeveloped and didn’t go anywhere. Which is, basically this show in a nutshell

Speaking of – with so many of these threads undeveloped, I don’t think Amy the Antichrist was needed either. That’s the kind of thing you pull out in season 2 (though I realise a second season at this point is unlikely).

We really needed to take time out in the whole mission to have Raul control Nadia’s sex life? Does associating with a Messenger out her at risk? No, because she’s already the daughter/niece of a Messenger and already lives with them – the idea that her lips touching another Messenger suddenly makes her a gazillion times more vulnerable is ludicrous. I am glad he learned enough to apologise (to a degree). And I do very much love Nadia making it clear that belatedly discovered fatherness does not mean he wasn’t out of line or he has a right to treat her like a child. That was a good message.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Killjoys, Season 1, Episode 5: A Glitch in the System

John and Dutch are being fun and awesome together with the help of Lucy. I do love their snark and willingness to have fun. I want more of this – I want more of them just loving doing what they do (and I love Dutch accusing Lucy of playing favourites)

While D’avin is still being tortured by his PTSD and delaying his therapy with Pawter. Which he gets to duck because they have a mission – an abandoned ship. Apparently any RAC agent finding an abandoned ship can go on board and help themselves. After which they have to blow the ship up (hey, it’s one way to clear space debris I guess – but wasting a perfectly good ship and spreading junk instead…)

Dutch goes across to the ship first but things quickly get freaky – opening the airlock sets off security which then… turns off for no apparent reason. See, this is why I couldn’t do things like this – because that’d be me running like hell in the opposite direction.

They’re not me so all three of them go onto the ship and continue to have fun. Though John does take a moment to tell D’avin how he’s happy D’avin is getting help from Pawter.

Then things get ominous – the communication gets crackly, Dutch sees a figure running in the dark (despite Lucy reporting no life forms), a barricade and a bloody “17” painted on the wall and John finds that the ship has no recorded planet of origin. D’avin finds more blood. He follows it to an injured man with a knife and a less than welcoming attitude.

When the figure Dutch is chasing runs to the airlock, pausing only to write “17” on the glass in his own blood, he then blasts himself into space.

To top it off, when the power comes back on a contamination is detected – so Lucy quarantines them. Which means they can’t get back to their ship.  Ok everything went from fun to creepy really fast

John gets their communication back up and cctv while Dutch and D’avin question the injured man (Hogan, a ship-picker, kind of salvager) who is less angry now (the other man was his partner who violently attacked him). The same thing happened to them, 2 years ago, their ship withdrew and left them stranded. Hogan and D’avin bond over their ex-military history which leads to him and Hogan going to the medical bay for Hogan’s leg while Dutch goes looking for “deep suits” so they can get back to Lucy

Defiance, Season 3, Episode 7: The Beauty of Our Weapons

Amanda is leading a trial for Datak who stands there in chains as she says how much she is shocked that Datak turned against the town. She hated him but he always fought for Defiance. The vote to convict him is unanimous. He is sentenced to death by hanging – Datak uses his closing statement to point out Stahma totally beat Amanda. I approve, Stahma worship should always be remembered.

Arms dealer and Berlin’s ex and general awful guy, Conrad Von Bach (a rich and powerful family) arrives in town, grossly ogling a shop keeper while learning about humans leaving Defiance before Rahm arrives. Berlin greets him and punches him for selling weapons to the VC – then asks if he has weapons for her. I do like Berlin.

He does, a whole load of very very very shiny weapons. Nolan does get pissy about the Von Bachs selling weapons to anyone but Conrad rather nicely points out that Nolan shouldn’t be throwing stones from the top of his shiny glass house. Conrad is not impressed – he sells weapons, it’s what he does and he isn’t interested in their judging him for that. But, surprisingly, he’s offering all the weapons for free… so long as Berlin buys him a drink (Nolan: “do it.” Amanda “drinks are on the house.” I think they just both signed off on pimping out Berlin).

They have that drink and it seems Conrad is in major trouble with his family for giving up weapons but he declares he had to do it for the sake of impressing Berlin. Berlin isn’t that impressed because of their bad history – though it turns out they both thought the other had callously dumped them because of Conrad’s mother’s meddling. They talk some more, touching on Berlin’s relationship with Tommy – which seems like a belated “hey Berlin is totally going to have sex with this guy so let’s at least give a nod to the idea she is actually grieving” they then go upstairs and, I assume, have sex

Nolan talks to Irisa and manages to do everything terribly, offending and patronising Irissa repeatedly.

The next day they gather their recruits and we’re introduced to the Irathient sniper known as Zero because why not. They don’t have a huge number of people. And Zero’s dad, Indar, demands to know where Irisa is. He has good reason – most of the kids willing to fight have read the book about her and she’d be a very inspirational presence to them. He also sees himself putting his kid at risk – but Nolan keeping his daughter safe. He also, reasonably, points out that the Votans don’t necessarily have a dog in this fight – the Votanis Collective is against humans, not them. With Irisa not there, more of the volunteers leave