Saturday, September 5, 2015

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 9: The Seed of Evil

David is all confused because Claire has sent in the full army to crush the resistance, they’ve lost the armoury, they’ve lost the agri towers. In desperation, David calls on them to rise up and use the one advantage they have left – overwhelming numbers. The V1s are a huge underclass compared to the V6s and can overwhelm their attackers with numbers. He’s also trying to escape because Arika give shim up because he knows she most certainly will do so. Because he would as well

Am I the only one who thinks David and Arika working together would be a) awesome and b) terrifying?

David tries to rally as many soldiers as he can – and it’s clear he’s not that popular among all the V1s either. He tries to find some civilians to hide among as human shields. A building full of people – all listening to the newly returned William Wheele sermonising about being the chosen one. This confuses David for a moment who thinks his hallucinations are acting up

He pushes to the front and reconcile with his son who has a full blown Jesus complex. Literally. While David is just stunned and grateful and apologetic.

Back to Michael Alex and Noma still travelling, endlessly, towards Vega. They’re being attacked by 8 ball suicide bombers from Julian’s army – Noma and Michael speculate they’ve been offered angel bodies to come back in (which Noma considers impossible but an easy lie). They find that Julian’s huge army of 8 Balls is already preparing around Vega. Most of them are in stasis, but Alex’s clumsiness wakes them up – they fight clear but now Michael suddenly collapses and they have to carry him as all the 8 Balls wake up

In Vega, Arika does just that, telling Claire she knows where David is. They talk about Zoe who Claire shot last episode – who Arika says is just like Claire, an idealist, and both of them should have killed David long ago. She tells them that it was David who arranged the sniper who shot Claire (Did I miss something? Didn’t they figure this out 2 episodes ago? Have they just realised none of this makes sense if Claire realises David was the one behind the sniper so retconned in some ignorance?). Of course this makes Claire all sad and guilty

She also asks why Arika betrayed her and her answer is simple – for Helena. And she’s not impressed that Claire is just far too sympathetic and nice unlike her and Riesen: they’re “fierce pragmatists”. This also compares to Arika’s father who was, apparently, also all sympathetic.

Under the Dome, Season 3, Episode 12: Incandescence

Under the Dome has had considerable luck this season – at any other time it would be the worst show I’ve been watching, except Falling Skies has also been inflicted on us.

Now Falling Skies has been cancelled, Under the Dome can claim the title of Worst Ever.

So we begin after last episode when everyone used not one scrap of intelligence and practically doomed the whole of humanity, with Junior escaping from inept capture. While Barbie and Julia argue over baby evil queen who Barbie has fully accepted as his daughter and deeply regrets not dying trying to bring the demon child with him

I regret him not killing the demon child with fire. And Julia.

Barbie decides he has to go back and find the baby – while Barbie continues to deny that his alien progeny is evil. Julia desperately tries to talk sense into him (and when Julia is the one talking sense we’re reached a terrible terrible state of affairs). Julia declares that their next move has to be smart

They’re doomed.

Julia manages to convince Barbie to wait to try the cure – since neither of them know the cure doesn’t actually work.

At team resistance, Lily talks to Jim about his mass murderer solution – and she tries to talk Jim out of it by appealing to his better nature. This is the lady who worked surveillance on the dome but still thinks Jim has a better nature. She wants him to convince Hector to be all good. He agrees – but only to get her co-operation. He wants her to erase the spy footage of him since it shows him doing all kinds of murdering.

Barbie and Julia return to the group and Hector gets to meet Barbie who promptly turns all his daddy issues on Hector (he thought the head of the evil company Acteon was his dad when Hector was really in command). Hector decides to apologise since being apologetic and guilty seems to be his thing (and is totally setting him up for inevitable death possibly involving self-sacrifice)

Which is when they tell Barbie that the cure fails – but a bonus possibility is that the umbilical call of evil demon baby may have stem cells that can help make the cure. While they’re hopeful, Hector would rather mass poison all the infected – but Jim tells Hector about the calcification so they need the aliens to free them. His excuse for not worrying about the aliens escaping (hey, someone finally cares about this!) is that there’s an armed perimeter around the Dome. They’re also pinning their

Hector pours away his poison. Alas, another good idea is banished.

Julia and Barbie go looking for alien baby – and find Eva’s body, to Barbie’s grief and confusion. They realise Eva was murdered because Christine only keeps people who are useful (and has been made abundantly clear, Eva only served one purpose to the writers Christine). Barbie still wants to save his evil demon baby – but they do get the umbilical cord

 Over to the Kinship and an ailing Christine is draining more energy from the Dome – speeding the Calcification – in order to power up Demon Baby. But the whole Dome is now starting to calcify far far far too fast. Everyone will die.

Remember this is a bad thing. Apparently.

They go back to base and Junior tells them all about the attempted cure. They recap each other and Junior is now all jealous of Sam while Christine is still aging.

And people are starting to suffer oxygen deprivation. But only some of them for REASONS. Anyway the Dome needs to come down as soon as possible. So she wants an answer from Joe right now because, yes, again, Joe is the one who absolutely must save them all: though Joe remembers the death threats Christine has happily dished out in the past.

Junior comes up with the idea of killing off the elderly – getting Sam and Junior to do it with the promise that the new Queen may pick one of them to be her “Alpha.” She continues to leave ominous messages for the new Queen to face “the others.”

Sam and Junior take a line of old people and have them march into the lake.

Norrie checks with Joe and he tries to get her to leave as soon as the Dome comes down but Norrie, having something similar to common sense, doesn’t trust Christine not to just kill Joe.

She passes the knowledge to the Resistance who get the umbilical cord to Jim – who throws it away. Because he’s Jim. And this is Under the Dome and no-one has a brain. Barbie and Julia head to the cement factory because they can see lots of activity there

Christine is with the newly cocooned queen evil demon baby transferring the last of her life into the new queen. She’s joined by Barbie and Julia (there’s only one guard, of course there is) who interrupts, breaking open the cocoon – and a blurred form rushes out of it. Barbie runs after his evil demon daughter, leaving Julia with a weeping Christine. For a brief second, Barbie even looks like he’s going to shoot his demon daughter before he loses her and returns to Christine and Julia. He doesn’t quite grasp that the blurring thing probably was his daughter because he still thinks she’s human despite immense evidence to the contrary.

Barbie gets all angry at Christine but Julia goes all wet and fluffy and protests at evil alien abuse. Christine weeps and apologises. She’s apparently cured, she’s human so she doesn’t get murdered. Also she transferred all her knowledge to the new Queen so she doesn’t even know much about the master plans… but she does belatedly remember the lake and the massacre she ordered there.

At the lake all of the old people have already been killed – and Junior has decided on stage 2, kill the children as well. Without the Queen he’s decided he’s in charge. Thankfully, Barbie, Julia and de-aliend Christine arrive and Christine plays queen again to tell them that murdering children is not a good plan. They manage to save the children, but Junior notices that Christine is no longer alien

He tries to kill her but, sadly, Barbie decides to attack – only Junior is now all super-aliened and not easily beaten and Barbie has to be saved by Julia. Oh the shame Barbie, the shame. More shame. Can they at least hit Junior a few more times to see if he’s dead?

Back at the Resistance, Hector’s assistant Dava is not all that thrilled by Hector’s plan of mass poisoning and he pulls a gun on her to stop her telling Julia. See, Julia is the source of all the world’s problems! Lily finds Dava’s body with Hector stood over her. That pretty much destroys any chance of a cure. Lily is outraged and thinks when the Dome is down all these poor sick people will be quarantined. Hector doesn’t think a gentle quarantine is in the future of people infected by an alien invader. She then sees Hector’s plan – not kill the town, kill Joe, stop the Dome coming down and save the world from the aliens.

While Hector ties Lily up she manages to tell Hunter and Norrie Hector’s plan – who in turn tells Jim who is busy packing lots of money to run away.  Jim is quite annoyed by the whole thing and decides to go save Joe so they can actually get out.

Hector and his forces attack the burned down radio station where Joe is setting up his Dome breaker but before the soldier can kill Joe, Norrie shoots the soldier repeatedly. They turn to run and run into a gun wielding Hector. And he is shot by Big Jim. He protests that he’s saving the world and Jim shoots him in the head.

The Resistance all gathers – and Barbie and Julia bring back Christine because it’s not like an alien has pretended to be human to gain information and their location before, right Sam? They also realise with Dava’s dead then they’re utterly screwed. But hey they have Christine, I guess.

They leave Barbie and Julia to angst and Barbie to blame himself because he doesn’t want to blame Christine – he’s decided it was all his fault for being infected and now his poor poor evil demon child is suffering for it. But then he blinks and realises she’s a monster

About damn time! Kill it with fire!!!!!

And Christine is captured – by the new queen! She plasters Christine to the Dome and reduces her to sparklies. Apparently the old queen has to die.

Shall I all shenanigans at the whole idea of everyone running out of oxygen? The Dome has been there for FOUR WEEKS – it says right there in the opening. It’s also HUGE covering a vast area and a huge amount of air – and it has only been calficying for a few days (and only to the point of it being notable for 2 or 3 days at most). There is no way they’re going to run out of oxygen that quickly. I can see them easily having months of air in that space – certainly they’re not going to run out mere hours after Christine calcifies the Dome

I think Hector may be the most compelling character on this show. Hi desperate guilt and torment, his need to make it right because of his assumed responsibility.  His story could be immensely more interesting than Julia’s. Or Jim’s. Or Barbie’s.

But no, he dies. Something I have been predicting ever since he appeared because this is Under the Dome and Black people die under this dome, it is known. Julia (who has made so many bad decisions by now that she should die from her brain melting if nothing else).

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

We know the story of the Eddas, the stories of North Mythology from the creation of the Nine Worlds from a cow and a giant right through to Ragnarok when it call falls apart again.

But this is, as Loki points out, told from the point of view of the Old Man himself, Odin. Who is not entirely a reliable narrator. It’s time for the villain of the piece to tell his side of the story.

This book is a retelling of many of the stories of the Eddas only from a different point of view – this is told from the point of view of Loki.

I have read many of the stories of the Eddas. I like mythology, I like Norse mythology – a book containing mythology of any kind will generally find one of us running to get our hands on it. This book came the closest of any I’ve read to taking so much Norse mythology and so many of their stories and gods and really revelling in it. And, as a fan of those stories anyway, I loved it

I don’t know if I would have loved it more or less if I didn’t know all the stories inside already. In some ways, knowing what was going to happen made it more enjoyable because I could remember the original and see it through this angle the author has considered – seeing things from a different light and turning Loki into a realised and interesting and complex (and certainly not perfect) character just added new appreciation from me for these stories. Of course, if you recognise the stories you’re probably also a mythology fan so would appreciate this book anyway.

The flip side is if you weren’t familiar with Norse Mythology then this book wouldn’t be entirely spoiled for you. At no point in the book did I really not know what was going to happen next – I’ve read these stories, a new angle doesn’t change the progress, the story or the end result. There’s no suspense there and, consequently, there are times when I felt I could have skipped ahead or skimmed, like a book you’ve read several times over

But I don’t think this book can stand alone without the mythology geek’s glee. It relies too much on past knowledge to paint the world, the characters and make this new angle meaningful. The Gospel According to Loki simply won’t be appreciated to the same extent, even after being read, by someone who isn’t already aware of Loki (beyond Marvel adaptations) because that back story is needed.

But even though the story is thoroughly spoiled to me, I still enjoyed it. Loki’s character is fun, complex, deeply imperfect, slightly alien but also very very human and fun. His motives, always kind of put down to being Loki, the chaotic Trickster of extra chaoticness, who does shit because he’s LOKI and he does whatever the hell he wants to. Now we see him, the betrayals, the resentment, his eternal outsider status, how his good deeds are rarely remembered, how he thinks he’s achieved acceptance and then one trick later and everyone turns round and he’s, again, forced into the fringes. His battle between wanting to be accepted by the Aesir and Vanis, thinking he’s achieved it, and the bitterness and rage when he realises, again, how much they all hate him (especially Heimdall). It’s really excellent character development as we see him constantly swap between seethingly seeking vengeance and occasionally backing down as he almost, almost achieves acceptance only to have that hatred return threefold. Of course this leads to him both saving the gods and sabotaging them in equal measure. It also begs the question whether he would ever actually have been accepted if he didn’t sabotage himself repeatedly – or was he constantly being exploited? I like that it’s very clear that, yes, poor Loki is often abused and poorly treated – while it’s equally clear he deserves what he gets quite regularly. He’s not perfect, he gets away with a lot, but he also gets treated poorly when he doesn’t deserve it – it’s not a retelling of the Eddas to make him a saint, but nor to make him a demon – just the chaotic Trickster who turned form Odin’s blood-brother to the bitter enemy at Ragnarok.

The Problematic Portrayal of Race on Defiance

One of the hardest parts of reviewing and recapping at Fangs is that you have to be critical even when you want to jump up and down and cheer and wave great big “Team Stahma” banners. Alas, we have to remember that even on shows and in books we love and fanpoodle, there are problems

And when it comes to Defiance and race, we have a very severe problem that has not improved over the last 3 seasons.

The most obvious initial problem is the relative lack of POC - yes we can have several different alien species but POC are relatively few and far between. This is especially troublesome when we consider that Defiance is St. Louis - a city that is only 43% non-hispanic White and 47% Black - yes, this cast of predominantly White (or alien) people is happening in a city where White people are a minority. It looks like we have another dystopian future where marginalised people die in the first wave.

It is not just a lack of numbers, but also screen presence - many of the POC we have seen have not played large roles. This is another prevalent problem we’ve seen on many of our shows where, going by simple numbers, there are several POC but when you look at actual screen time and meaningful presence we find them to be grossly neglected. Certainly the largest roles - Amanda, Nolan, Irisa, the Tarrs and Yewl are held by White humans or aliens (pale aliens at that). Rafe McCawley was the most prominent (and his portrayal came with its own set of problems) - and after him it’s a long drop to the rest of his family, Tommy, Samir and briefly appearing guest roles. All of these have had severe problems

Tommy was one of the most cringeworthy. From the very beginning Tommy’s primary role has been to be wrong. He is nearly constantly in conflict with Nolan, a conflict he is never intended to win. From the very beginning when he was passed over for Lawkeeper in favour of the apparently more experienced Nolan (despite his lack of any kind of law enforcement experience and that pesky slaughtering of Votans past) to Tommy supporting the E-Rep as opposed to Nolan opposition, Tommy has existed to be wrong to contrast with Nolan’s right. He is less a character and more a character tool for Nolan’s development and even his relationships with Irisa and Berlin seemed to be part of that (Irisa to generate more conflict with her father and Berlin as part of him siding with E-Rep over independence). It was sadly unsurprising when Tommy died but even then his death was less about him and more to develop Irisa and her terrible guilt.

With Tommy dead, the writers clearly felt the need for another tool to make Nolan shine in the spot light - enter Samir. Rescued by Nolan he disappeared into the plot box, only occasionally allowed out to provide a convenient target for Yewl’s excellent snark before disappearing… until the end of the season when he got to be rescued by Nolan. Again. All the while holding up Nolan almost as some kind of super hero. What are the character notes for this man “Nolan worshipping vet?” That’s pretty much the sum total of his character.

And we have the McCawleys at which point we have to bring up the obvious - death. So much death. Tommy is dead (for Irisa’s development and she and Berlin are really the only ones who remember). The entire McCawley family (including Pilar) were slaughtered largely to define Rahm as a bad guy and to set up Alak and Stahma’s conflict. The rest of the cast could hardly remember their deaths for more than an episodes. Rafe was one of the most important men in the town - only Amanda and Datak managed to compete with him for influence and he was the town’s main employer but he disappears with hardly a mention.

There have been other POC actors playing regular roles on Defiance but this is also less than ideal. Alak is played by Jesse Rath whose mother is Indian - but he is playing a Castithan and wearing so much white make up that we only know this by googling.

T’evgin and Kindzi are played by Black people and they are not covered in White make up - Omec are definitely dark skinned and every Omec we’ve seen has been played by a Black person. However, here we have to remember what the Omec are - savage, animalistic, predatory cannibals (in the sense of eating sentient creatures), slavers and rapists preying on others. In particular, they prey on the Castithan - the oh-so-elaborately-civilised, super-duper pale people; with Stahma being a prime target/asset. Savage Black raping cannibals hunting down super pale people? This goes beyond unfortunate implications and you have to wonder if the writers intended this obvious comparison - and if so, what in the name of Yewl’s snark were they thinking?!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Doctor Who: Touched By An Angel (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #46) by Jonathan Morris

Mark is still very much in mourning after the loss of his wife Rebecca.  He buries himself in work, has few friends, doesn't date and doesn't really socialize.  What he doesn't know is that this is all about to change.  Mark receives a letter in his own hand writing with a list of instructions about what to do when he finds himself sent 17 years into his own past.  Like anyone else, Mark is tempted to go back to make changes.  Who after all doesn't have some regrets?  Unfortunately, time cannot be changed without consequences and this is where The Doctor (#11), Rory and Amy come in.

Touched by an Angel very much reminds me of Blink (season 3 episode 10) during David Tennant's tenure as the Doctor. Luckily, Mark's story is compelling enough to stand on its own and the Doctor's small role didn't decrease my enjoyment of the story. Touched by an Angel is about more than killer statues and wibbily wobbly timey wimey bits, it's about love and loss.  I think anyone who has ever lost someone they cared deeply about will closely connect with this story. It was interesting to watch the relationship develop between Mark and Rebecca, even as the story inevitably led to Rebecca's death and the terrible choice Mark had to make.  I couldn't help but myself in Mark's shoes and think about what I would do if I had the chance to save someone I love. 

Morris takes care to include a ton of 90's references to give us a sense that Mark has indeed traveled back to the 90's. We follow the journey and watch Mark mature from a young man full of hope, to a middle age man dealing with loss and desperation.  Similarly, Mark's relationship with Rebecca evolves from one of friendship to an established romantic relationship with all of the pitfalls that this includes.  Like any other couple, they make plans but life gets in the way.   It's a strong reminder to make the people we care about a priority because we never know when our last day will be.

The angels have long been one of my favourite aliens in the Whoverse.  Morris has a tough act to follow given that in New Who, the weeping angels were brilliantly written by Moffat.  The angels in this case are looking to feed off of a paradox, something we saw in The Angels Take Manhattan (series seven, episode five) Every time the Doctor, Amy, Rory and Mark found themselves challenged or surrounded by the angels, I found myself struggling not to blink, completely caught up in the story.  The angels translated very well in Touched By and Angel and are just as horrific as I have seen them on television.

Sense8, Season One, Episode Three: Smart Money's on the Skinny Bitch

A doctor is cutting into a woman's brain and Will as a child is watching.  A little girl whispers to him, "don't look at him" (read: the doctor) warning that this is how she was caught.  An adult Will watches terrified before waking up suddenly in a hospital bed.  Will is informed that he was in an accident and is lucky to be alive, though he managed to catch a terrorist.  Will gets out of bed and is told that he shouldn't leave because he probably has a concussion and his MRI is showing some abnormal activity.  Will simply keeps moving.

In Mexico, Lito and Fernando are watching an episode of the tellanovella that Lito stars in and Fernando is mouthing the words.  The two laugh and then kiss but are interrupted by Daniela.  When Daniela leaves the room with her espresso, Fernando encourages Lito to talk to her about last night. Yeah think? The woman jumped into bed with them with great glee I might add.

Riley is walking through some sort of tunnel and in the background, classical piano music is playing. We get a flashback to Riley as a child, drawing on the floor as her father plays the piano.  Riley approaches a blind busker who is playing an electric piano and places all of the drug money in a case the pianist has laid out at his feet.  Riley then dumps the drugs into the garbage and walks away swiftly.

Capheus is having a meal with his bff Jela, talking about how as a child he wanted to be a zebra.  In a flashback we learn that zebras are appealing to Capheus because when a zebra is hungry, all it has to do is eat the grass.  Capheus is walking with his very pregnant mother and she tells him not to worry because as long as they are together, something good is going to happen. In the present, Jela jokes that Capheus must never have seen a zebra after a lion attack.  Jela tells Capheus that as long as you work hard, you can be anything you want to be.  Jela jokes that he wanted to be the son of a rich man.

Daniela has made herself quite at home and though she admits its quite a cliche, she congratulates Fernando and Lito on the way that they have decorated their home.  When Lito brings up last night, Daniela apologises for over stepping, adding that she loves gay porn. Oh dear.  Daniela  has no idea what the word boundary means and she's clearly a creepy creepy fetishist. Lito chokes on his coffee in response. Lito starts to stumble in his explanation and it's Fernando who interrupts to suggest that they might not need a live-in beard.  Daniela however points out that as long as she didn't know the truth, Lito was fine with using her and making her feel that he cared about her.  Damn, Daniela can just twist shit can't she? It seems that Fernando concurs with Daniela's assessment and adds that he has said the same thing to Lito. Lito however calls his home his sacred space because he gets to be who he really is there. Given that he leads a closeted life, I can see why his home is so important to him. Daniela, for her part, is excited about getting to know the "real Lito".  Daniela finally explains that she wants to be Lito's beard because Joaquin has got it into his head that he is going to marry her and apparently, Joaquin is not someone that you say no to.  Daniela adds that she slept with Joaquin's best friend and needs things to cool down between her and Joaquin.

Will arrives back at the police station and is hailed as a hero by agent Styles.  Will wastes no time with small talk and immediately asks to speak to Jonas, only to be shut down. It seems that Homeland Security has already picked up Jonas.  Will is told to enjoy his five minutes of fame and to stop trying to make it six.

Noni is sitting up in a chair when a nurse walks in escorted by several orderlies.  Noni asks how this can be legal and is astounded that this is happening to her in the 21st century.  Nomi is informed that she has to take medication and force will be used if she does not cooperate.

Daniela and Lito are having dinner and she says that she will stay with him and Fernando until things cool down.  Daniela explains that the man she slept with had words with Joaquin and is now in San Diego.  Lito questions the connection to Joaquin and learns that Joaquin worked with Damiela's father for a long time.  Daniela simply explains that her father is in the import/export business.  Yep, there's some sort of shady background going on here.  Is Daniela a mafia princess?  Lito then asks about how serious Daniela's relationship was with Joaquin and she explains that at first it was casual and then got serious.  Daniela turns the table and questions how she was picked to be a beard.  Lito explains that his agent showed him her head shot and that Hernando thought she had kind eyes. Their conversation is interrupted when the paparazzi show up, so they pose for pictures.  Daniela calls her role as Lito's beard the best part she has ever had.

Sun is in her office and the phone is ringing but she simply stares at it.  Sun then heads to her safe and in the U.S., we see Will opening up a safe.  Will and Sun both pull out red folders. Both sit at their desks and ponder their individual folders.  When Will opens his, we see old clippings about a missing girl.  Sun is looking through some financial reports at her desk. Both look through their individual folders with intense concentration.

We get a flashback to Sun as a little girl, listening as her mother begs her to take care of her brother. In the present, we learn that the missing girl whom the clippings are about was named Sara Patrell. We get a flash to Will, as a little boy with Sara who whispering for help.  Sun closes her file as her secretary enters to inform her that Mr. Jeong, from Seoul Citibank is on the line and is very upset. The secretary warns that Mr. Jeong says that if Sun doesn't answer her phone, his next call will be to the authorities.

Sun heads to her father's office and asks to speak with him. Sun is told that her father is out of the office and has not left any information about his whereabouts.  When Sun is asked if she would like to leave another message, Sun slams her fist into the desk impressively damaging it, before turning and walking away.

Riley is walking down the street where she runs into Shug and Bambi.  Riley asks for some help and Shug suggests that Riley could use a pint.  Riley walks off with Shug and Bambi.

Kala arrives late at work and sits next to Devi.  Devi comments that if she were marrying Rajan, she would let Rajan lobotomize her. Rajan makes eye contact with Kala and sends her a text message.

Capheus and Jela are walking through the streets talking about how best to get AIDS drugs for Capheus's mother.  Jela hands over 800 bob and Jela is not impressed with the amount.  Jela and Capheus approach Mr. Fuck Off, who is convinced that what he is selling neither Jela and Capheus can afford.  Jela fakes a phone call saying that he mistook this place with JoJo's. Mr. Fuck Off is not impressed, saying that he sells the cleanest drugs.  Capheus explains that his mother has AIDS and that the medicine she is taking is making her sick. Mr. Fuck Off informs Capheus that AIDS medication does not make anyone sick and that what his mother has been taking is counterfeit, adding that the medication needed is expensive. When Mr. Fuck Off suggests that it would be cheaper to let Capheus's mother die, Capheus moves to attack, only to be held back by Jela.  The negotiation begins and Jela manages to get the drugs for the 800 bob Capheus has.

Riley, Shug and Bambie are now having a beer.  Bambie advises Riley to superglue the toilet like she did to her ex, which sent him to the emergency with half a toilet stuck to his ass.  Shug tells Riley not to bother with Bambie and suggests that Bambie has Asperger's, only to have Bambie add that she is Australian and does not have Asperger's. Bambie questions whose side Shug is on considering that Riley was thrown out on the street. Shug commiserates calling Jacko a "dickhead".

Back in Mexico, Lito is in the middle of a scene.  Naturally, he is playing the hero and is forced to say the most ridiculous cheesy line. When the director calls cut, Lito asks for a retake, saying that his character can feel his upcoming betrayal.  Riley begins to channel Lito as she heads to Shug's place. The director takes Lito to meet Joaquin.  It seems that Joaquin is a really good friend of Moreno, the producer of the movie that Lito is working on.  Lito is informed that Joaquin who is a big fan who wants to take Lito out to lunch.  Joaquin calls Lito a hero, saying that he has watched one of Lito's movies many times.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Angel of Chaos (Imp #6) by Debra Dunbar

First, Sam was the little imp who could and then she became the Iblis after the magical sword chose her and now, in yet another stunning transformation, she has become the first angel of chaos since the separation between demons and angels. The angels might be fascinated with her new wings but that doesn't mean that they are going to give Sam a pass at anything.  When an angel arrives at Sam's door promising three favours if she agrees to give shelter to a woman, naturally, being an imp, Sam doesn't pause to consider the old adage, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. Sam finds herself protecting a pregnant woman who is carrying a nephilim.  Sam may be the Iblis but the angles don't take kindly at all to nephilim.  Sam quickly finds herself battling the angles to protect the woman and child she swore to protect and once again shaking up things in Aaru.

Angel of Chaos feels very much like the Imp series returning to its roots.  Sam may be an Angel of Chaos but she still manages to find herself up shits creek without a paddle pretty quickly.  Sam may now feel morally responsible for the people she has decided are hers but that doesn't stop her hilarious internal monologue.  When Sam is attacked by three angels, Gregory naturally assumes that she has been leaving fake vomit in the sixth circle or infesting the first circle with bird lice once again.  Gregory knows all to well that Sam cannot resist her impish impulses for too long.  Sam may be a cockroach but she's his cockroach and though it means risking his vibration level and opening himself up to new experiences like vodka, chicken wings, chocolate and physical sex, Gregory has decided to strap himself in for the wild ride.

Sam and Gregory started off with a very uneasy alliance and it has grown so much.  Unfortunately, it means that Wyatt, Sam's human toy has pretty much been put out to pasture. This essentially comes down to Gregory accepting at least some of Sam's impish ways whereas; Wyatt is determined to change her.  Gregory may be the archangel Michael but Sam is now clearly his partner and his equal, even if he does enjoy punishing her in Aaru. I love every single scene they share together and am excited that in the next book, Gregory will be spending far less time in Aaru.

Okay, I know I've done a lot of gushing but I love this series.  I love the fact that Angels have hangovers and the growing relationships.  These characters feel so very real to me.  I really don't want to be critical but even our favourite books have their problems.

In Angel of Chaos we meet Jaq a Nephilim and Kelly who are a couple.  Kelly is fiercely protective over Jaq and it's nice to see but we never seem them in a moment of real intimacy.  It will be interesting to see if Dunbar expands their role in the series.

Sam and Leithu are definitely bisexual, there is no doubt about that with both of them repeatedly expressing their interest in other women. This book is very good at making that clear

But after so many books now it’s a little odd that these women never actually have sex with women. Especially since this book is so sexually charged; they have sex a lot. They enjoy sex and neither has any desire to be monogamous. We see them have relationships and we see them have a lot of casual sex (including a stream of pizza delivery guys) but always always with men. Wouldn’t these bisexual women, often expressing their lust for other women, very actively pursuing their sex lives at least occasionally have sex with a woman? At least once?

Sometimes it seems almost inevitable – but when we get close another story reason arises (or, rather, is manufactured) why they can’t actually go through with it. And it feels manufactured because these reasons aren’t maintained – like Leithu is too delicate for Sam to have sex with – but not for Sam’s brother? Leithu may enthral Sam if they have sex… but that’s not a concern for Sam’s brother? Even when Leithu is about to have sex with a woman, she shapeshifts into a man to do it, despite preparing a female form.

Again, in no way can I say these women are not bisexual, that is made very clear wonderfully on multiple occasions, but why this reticence to have them have sex with women in a series that is so sexual?

Harper was dropped off at Sam's door and Sam was tricked into offering her protection. It seems that Harper is about to give birth to a nephlim and angels we have been told see them as abominations. Harper is a Native American or mixed Spanish woman.  She is fierce and is not afraid to defend herself against the magnificent odds that is set against.  Unfortunately this is where the good race inclusion ends.  Sam refers to the father of Harper's baby as racist for his treatment of nephlim who fo the record are part angel spawn and have no relationship whatsoever to people of colour.  Then we have Jaq invoking Harper's Ferry and John Brown in relationship to the big showdown.  Why couldn't we just have some good racial inclusion?  Harper may be proactive but Angel of Chaos is far too white.

I really love this series, don't let the critiques fool you.  Dunbar keeps me giggling with Sam's antics and cheer with Sam's absolute refusal never to give up no matter what she's up against.  Sam however remains and Imp and that means that even when she is trying to be good, bad things happen like her putting hallucinogenic drugs into the soup at a soup kitchen. I never know what she is going to get into next.  I love the way her relationship with Gregory is moving and I love that Dunbar is widening the world by explaining how vampires, werewolves, angels and demons are related to each other. Simply put, I cannot get enough and cannot wait until the next book in this series comes out.

The Strain, Season 2, Episode 8: Intruders

Kelly is continuing to become one of the Master’s more intelligent vampire minions with her own personality – Eichorst teaches her how to look more human, the skills she must learn and how her body will change. All so she can reach Zach and, through him, Ephraim
At base Ephraim and Vasiliy plan how to kill Palmer – and Ephraim wants a rifle to snipe at Palmer, relying on Vasiliy’s contacts to get him one.

While Nora would quite like to know what happened to Barnes, their old boss, and how he fell out of a train – the same train Ephraim was on. Oopsie! What a coincidence! He acts all ignorant and adamantly refuses to talk about what happened in DC

Ephraim takes Zach with him to buy weapons (because he’s father of the year like that) and pauses along the way to remind Zach his mother is totally dead and now a raving monster (as I said, father of the year). But the gun dealer Ephraim knows has had a disagreement with a client and is now all injured and bleeding.

Time for Ephraim to play doctor and have his son play surgical nurse. Father of the Year.

Having patched the man up they get a gun easily but co-operation between father and son ends because Zach is still sure Ephraim can save his evil mother.

At team evil, Palmer wakes up in bed with Coco. But evil mastermind business calls Palmer away – particularly he has to meet the Cardinal about his evil book. He also has to see Eichorst who Coco hates because of all the evil – and because he smells of fish. She wants to know about him and isn’t a big fan of Palmer trying to keep her in the dark. Makes me wonder if she has an ulterior motive.

Palmer meets up with the Cardinal selling the evil book – who spends a lot of time dickering over the price without closing the deal. He has another bidder – Abraham – and wants to see what he will pay. They’re interrupted by Eichorst who wants to know what Palmer is so eager to buy – and again Palmer completely fails to realise he is not the power in this relationship and throws lots of outrage at the vampire nazi. While he may not have the power and Eichorst may be dishing out the orders, Plamer still manages to twist the knife about the Master choosing Bolivar to be his vessel rather than Eichorst.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Mark of Noba (Sterling Wayfairer Series #1) by GL Tomas

Sterling Wayfair is determined that his last year of high school will be the one where he truly defines himself – when he makes his mark and sets himself apart from his accomplished and charismatic friends

Then he meets Tetra, a woman from a whole other world who is mystically connected to him – and he realises he is far more unique than ever he imagined. And it comes with a mission far more important than setting himself apart from his fellows at school – or even finally screwing up the courage to ask Waverly, a girl he has a long crush on, out to the prom.

There’s a lot about this book I like. The concept of the book – with people from Noba fleeing to Geo to try and find sanctuary from a genocidal war that has been inflicted on their people by the Naga. This leads to two very interesting characters having to deal with this from separate angels

Tetra remembers Noba, knows Noba and is doing everything she can to preserve the last of her people, defeat the Naga and, especially, protect her bond-mate Sterling. We have some really excellent depictions of her trying to fit into Geo, a world that is pretty much a reflection of the US on Earth (honestly, you could replace "Geo" with "Ohio" and made no real difference). It’s really well done – from language mistakes, to different ideas of social taboos, to hobbies and rituals and attitudes: Tetra is a really excellent depiction of culture shock. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that so well presented a character so completely out of her depth and out of her element. It really does work well – this world is so alien to her and she often comes across as unkind simply because she is in such a different cultural context. She is a wonderful mix of extremely talented, hyper-capable and powerful while at the same time being so totally out of her depth. It’s a wonderful mix of capacity and vulnerability

There’s also her feelings towards Sterling – how she clearly cares a lot for him but she has had to separate herself from him for his own good, forcing her to face all the problems alone. If anything I think there could be more development of her pain over this.

Then we have Sterling who is struggling to get by in life as a very ordinary teenager. Struggling with romance, with school, with making his life and establish his own personality and impact in the shadow of some very accomplished best friends. On top of these very real and very well presented standard high school issues he then has Tetra come into his life, telling him all these incredible things, messing with his mind and his memory and telling him that just about everything he believed is wrong – on top of his own worries about his mental health and having to guide a rather tactless Tetra through the alien vagaries of school life.

Fear The Walking Dead Season One, Episode Two: So Close, Yet So Far

The principal is making his rounds in the empty school and the entire campus is deserted.  Alicia arrives at Matt's to find the door open and flowers strewn on the floor.

Madison, Travis and Nick speed down the road.  Nick turns the radio dials and listens to the panic. Travis is certain that they need to get away from the city and people until they know what is going on. Alicia calls and Madison asks her to pack some things and load up some groceries because they are going out of town.  Alicia however says that they cannot go because Matt has a fever of 103.  Madison tells Alicia to call 911 and Alicia says that she tries but keeps getting busy signals.  Madison orders Alicia to stay away from Matt until they get there.  Before Alicia can explain more about the sick Matt, they get cut off.

Chris gets on a full bus. When his phone rings and the ID reveals that it's Travis, Chris sends the call straight to voicemail.

Madison, Travis and Nick have arrived at Matt's. Madison again orders Alicia away from Matt, saying that people are getting sick.  Alicia however feels that this is pointless as she has already been in close proximity to Matt.  Travis moves to Matt's bedside and asks him about his parents.  Alicia and Matt say that his parents are driving home today.  Travis sends Alicia to get Matt some water when he starts to cough.  Nick heads into the bathroom and starts rifling through the drawers, clearly looking for drugs.  Travis checks Matt's shoulder and notices a bite mark.  When Alicia returns to the room, Madison tries to send her away but Alicia refuses to leave her sick boyfriend.  Matt assures Alicia that his parents will be home soon and that he will be fine but Alicia is adamant about staying with Matt because she loves him. Matt again tells Alicia that she has to go.  Matt and Alicia embrace briefly as over her shoulder, he makes eye contact with Travis. Clearly Matt knows that he is going to die and is sending Alicia away for her own good.

Chris's bus is caught up in traffic and he watches out the window as emergency services race by.  A man jumps on the bus and announces that the cops shot a homeless dude twenty times.

Madison, Travis, Nick and Alicia arrive home to see their neighbors across the street throwing a birthday party. The husband coughs into his hand and waves.  Inside the house, Nick asks Madison to tell Ms. Cruz (their neighbour) what is going on but Madison doesn't know what she would say. Nick believes that no one is paying attention. Madison sits at Nick's feet and assures him that he saved them. Nick is clearly still freaked out by everything he has seen.

Travis is getting frantic after having called Liza and Chris repeatedly and getting no answer.  Finally, Madison tells him to go and get Eliza and Chris right now.  Travis tells Madison to leave without him promising to catch up but she promises to wait.  Travis pulls out of the driveway and Madison looks across the street at the party her neighbours have set up.

Travis finally gets a call from Eliza and she is certain that he is trying to change their visitation agreement.  Travis begs Eliza to call Chris and tell him to get home.  Eliza hangs up the phone telling Travis that she will see him next weekend.  Travis gets caught in traffic. Chris has left the bus and is now walking down the busy street.

Alicia is in her room when Madison calls out that she needs the bucket. Nick is rolling around on the couch with the DT's and Madison is frantically calling their doctor trying to get a prescription to deal with detoxing.  Alicia points out that Nick is only going to get worse and will soon be unable to travel. Alicia asks if Madison has a stash somewhere in the house - perhaps some Vicodin from when she had a wisdom teeth pulled. Madison wonders if the doctor's office is closed because they are not calling her back.  When Madison hears a siren, she leaves her children, making Alicia promise not to leave the house.

Travis tries to cut through a gas station to get around the traffic but finds himself just as  stuck.  He watches as a cop loads up the trunk of his car with bottled water.

Madison makes her way to the now empty school and uses her key to enter.  Madison makes her way to an office to grab a key but starts to be suspicious about her surroundings.  Madison walks over a body outline and then uses a crowbar to pry open a locker to retrieve drugs.  Tobias sneaks up on Madison, scaring her half to death. It seems that Tobias came in search of his knife.

Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 10: Reborn

It’s the season finale! My pain finally ends! IT FINALLY ENDS!

Matt is doing a voice over to patriotic music as the whole gang fights lots of buzzy flying Espheni. Lots of shooting and fighting and Weaver’s little servant guy gets killed. Everyone pretend to care about the dead extra.

With the attack Weaver insists that they stay one more night before the attack. So everyone gathers around the camp fire for a big inspirational Mason speech. Yawn

The next day a load of bikers arrive – it’s one of Mason’s militias. Which means we have more people to hail Tom as their leader. They also get contact from one of the other militias describing a wall around DC (where they’re headed for reasons that probably made sense a few episodes ago before my brain begged for mercy). So it’s time to strategise how to get past the wall. And new guys are playing doubters since Pope has been kicked out of that role which means we have to have a lot of the same tiresome arguments (“why don’t the volm do it?” etc etc). It gives them chance to info-dump their whole plan (get virus bomb to queen. Kill queen, end Espheni).

Weaver decides to leave Anthony behind to hold the base – this is his gesture of faith. New team will attack the wall and be a distraction while Big Damn Hero Tom puts on his plot armour and goes through some tunnels to kill the Queen.

Battle time and Tom’s team enters the tunnels with a load of the named characters. Including people you wouldn’t expect to be in a strike team (like Digaan). They also find an Espheni hatchery – full of evil Espheni eggs and baby Overlords are apparently super-duper dangerous and violent. So they have to sneak past the eggs – and because of Lexi, Anne has a complete freak out panic attack about the eggs. Because she’s also pregnant. Oh joy, another Mason is on the way. This is proof humanity doesn’t deserve to be saved.

As they sneak past the eggs we hear some of Lt. Wolf’s back story (which also helpfully tells us why he knows the tunnels) and a brief discussion about the value of martyring yourself – which Weaver doesn’t approve of. Can you not have this discussion around the sound sensitive eggs?

Of course one of the extras bursts an egg, we knew that was going to happen. Lots of gun fire but no actual enemies to shoot. They then hilariously decide to keep sneaking and whispering after lots of gunfire. At this point I don’t even feel tension. I want everyone to die so much that the whole “zomg something may eat them!” instead is more “PLEASE LET SOMEONE EAT THEM!”) Lots of firing and grenades and stuff without them using any CGI budget on actually showing an alien. Is there actually an alien here or are they just fighting themselves

Monday, August 31, 2015

Prudence (Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger

Prudence Akeldama is a very special child, a meta-natural with the power to steal the powers of vampires and werewolves and child of three of the most powerful people in the British Empire – she is destined to be change the world

The first mission of which is for her and her merry band of friends to get on their new airship (the Spotted Custard) to float to India, to ostensibly discover a new source of tea.

Except quickly they find themselves in far deeper intrigue than they ever imagined

This was a very fun book. We had some delightfully amusing characters – Rue’s complete irreverence towards society, her shifting of personalities because of the many excellent influences in her life. She is skilled, capable, confident and pretty much determined to take the world by storm. I kind of love how she has this iron-hard self-assurance. In many characters it would be annoying – but it worked with Rue. Her confidence, her fierce belief in herself, her willingness to jump into any situation confident that her unique abilities, her skills and her relatives to pull her out of any problems she gets in.

We also have Gail Carriger’s excellent writing style that wonderfully uses flowery Victorian style with her humour and dash of silliness that really makes it work.

(Example: “She inspired, at even the best balls, a sensation of immanent dread. It was one of the reason she was always at the top of all invitation lists. Dread had such an agreeable affect on society’s upper crust.”)

I think the story could have been vastly improved if Rue were directing the story. If she went to India with a genuine mission rather than pretty much stumbling on the plot and then, somewhat, ineptly, then stagger around it

The book, sadly, has many problems. Above that there are two main ones. The first of which is that it is covering areas of colonialism, imperialism et al with a very shallow hand which is going to be dubious in any circumstances and I will come back to,

The second is that the Custard Protocol directly follows on from The Parasol Protectorate and it really doesn’t live up to the standards that that series set

Doctor Who: Recap Series 1

After a 16 year hiatus and one terrible terrible movie, Doctor Who returned to the air  The Doctor (9th incarnation) was played by Christopher Eccleston and his companion Rose Tyler by Billie Piper. From the beginning, the two are well matched and quickly develop a fun friendly banter.  The Doctor may be Rose's guide but she keeps him grounded. Rose meets the doctor during an alien invasion and when he offers her the chance to travel with him, she accepts after some reservation.

In their first adventure together, the Doctor takes Rose to see the end of earth.  I understand that they had to explain how the Doctor and Rose came to travel together for new fans of the series; however, it wasn't until the second episode that I truly felt like I began to get a sense of who these people are. Like Rose, we are new to everything that we are being exposed to and it's easy to see this alien world through her eyes.  The reality is that one day our sun is going to super nova and no one alive today will be there to witness it. The Doctor tells Rose that all the humans have scattered out across the universe. The End of the World encourages viewers to imagine what might be, even as the Doctor attempts to bring an end to the Lady Cassandra's evil plans.

Speaking of the Lady Cassandra, "moisturize me, moisturize me!" I love her vain and conniving ways.   It is however problematic that in discussion with Rose, Cassandra calls earth the place where she grew up as a little boy.  This means that this twisted remnant of humanity is trans*.  Had lady Cassandra been cisgender, altering her body into something completely unnatural wouldn't have made me raise a single eyebrow.  The treatment of Lady Cassandra heavily implies that only cisgender bodies are natural and that the path taken to achieve body gender alignment in the end leads to something that isn't quite human, despite the fact that  Cassandra relishes her status as the last so-called pure human. The very awfulness of Cassandra's body is realised the moment Rose stands beside her.  Rose, the cisgender woman, in this context is normal and Casandra, the trans* woman, is a freak and in complete denial of this.  If Cassandra's 708 surgeries are a commentary on societies absolute fascination with youth that's one thing but if it's a commentary on SRS, then it is most certainly transphobic.

The only character of colour to make an appearance in The End of the World is Jabe, and she plays the role of a tree. The Doctor offers air from his lungs to Jabe when he cannot find a gift for the exchange.  Jabe is the one to discover who the Doctor is and offer her condolences because he is the last of his kind. They share a moment and the Doctor's eyes water.  It's short lived because it's not long before Jabe is sacrificing herself, so that the Doctor can once again save the world. She is yet another dead body in the Doctor's wake. The 9th Doctor is still very much processing that he is the last of his kind and the weight of what he has done.

Travelling with The Doctor, means that Cassandra et al are but the first of the aliens that Rose will meet. I really do wish we had not met the Slitheen family.  These aliens are bent upon destroying the earth and because of bad gas exchange they are constantly farting. I know that Doctor Who was originally intended to be a children's show but farting aliens? Really?  It was just so puerile at times that the three episodes involving the Slitheens did not capture my full attention, even if I was amused by the Doctor's date with Margaret Slitheen. Talk about a terrible first date.  

In the Daleks, we meet the Doctor's enduring enemy for the first time.  The Dalek, just like the Doctor, is the last of its kind and without any commands, it follows it's prime directive (yes, I know that's a Star Trek reference shut up!) to EXTERMINATE.  It gets DNA from Rose and begins to terrorize the underground bunker where it has been held captive.  Rose at first sympathises with the Dalek's loneliness, until it shows her why the Doctor had been so adamant that it must destroyed. No other creature rises the ire of the Doctor like the Daleks and it is quickly evident in the way the Doctor immediately calls for its destruction. With other alien antagonists the Doctor at least tries to reason and negotiate  as can be seen in The Unquiet Dead  for example and this is quite different than his approach to the Daleks. When dealing with the Slitheens, the Doctor is quick to reject a gun but when offered a gun by Adam when facing the Dalek, The Doctor readily accepts.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dominion, Season 2, Episode 8: The Longest Mile Home

Alex and Noma are all ready to face off against 8 Balls when Michael arrives scaring them off. After a brief check to see if Noma is dying (she isn’t) he lays out the situation – Gabriel is alive (which he presents as a good thing) and Julian is about to invade Vega for spare bodies.

They walk off and return to the place where the random guy last episode nuked a lot of 8 balls to save Noma and Alex – Michael remembers it as being a similar affect to what the town of Mallory did to approaching 8 Balls.

Michael does talk to Noma about her epic sacrifice, but it’s only a brief reference towards further helping Alex. She also tells him about the man who could burn 8 Balls who told her to bring Alex east.

Devious David and devious Arika communicate by radio – Arika isn’t happy; though they both want the war to keep going she wanted the negotiations to go ahead without the sniper messing things up. David is happy for the war to keep flaring and they end on a decidedly uncooperative note.

Except seems to catch David talking – and Gates is listening in on the conversation as well.

Defiance, Season 3, Episode 13: Upon the March we Fittest Die

Kindzi is about to eat the tasty tasty human baby – Stahma and Alak powerless to stop her. Stahma is reduced to begging and bargaining – with nothing to bargain. She even offers to be Kindzi’s slave if she spare Luke.

Datak appears and stabs his spike into Kindzi’s head, impaling her to the wall and then bending it so she’s stuck there. The Tar family gets away, and Alak praises his mother for saving Luke by keeping Kindzi talking. Stahma leaps on the chance to say she did what Christie did but Alak draws a line. Too soon Stahma (but nice try).

Kindzi returns to her Omec and is miffed that there are no new Omec landing – stopped by one of her minions because they’re out of captive food to give them. Also because he wants to discuss things “as a group” (which seems to be a subtle way of not respecting her Athoritay!). He’s upset that there’s only 7 of them left. Kindzi decides a reasonable response is to kill the dissenter and demand the others eat him. Behold diplomacy. As a bonus, it seems outside of funerals, eating another Omec is naughty!bad!wrong! She demands they do it anyway.

At the police station the gang gathers to discuss their next move while eating – basically realising that the Omec are weak before they’ve fed and they now have no ready supply of food. Strategy is interrupted by Datak, carrying a gun, looking for Yewl who he considers a collaborator. He does take their reassurances that she’s back on their team and Stahma and Alak joins their planning meeting

Which involves blowing up the Omec ship. Nolan “how do you know so much about Omec ships” Yewl “it’s entirely possible I’ve done this before” (Yewl is never not awesome – and this is a reminder that the Omec are a near extinct species because of the Indogene doing this before). Nolan and Amanda question Yewl – but Yewl isn’t having it: they trust her, they follow her, or they lose their last chance. (This is worrisome because Yewl may be setting up a suicide mission for herself and the volunteers).

The volunteers include Nolan, Amanda and Datak, despite Stahma’s vociferous objection.

While discussing this, Irisa is being super sweet with Luke and Alak notices. Afterwards he awkwardly invites Irisa to spend more time with Luke after the whole war thing is over. I smell the beginnings of a romance (I have to give a nod to Renee she totally called this one)

Amanda makes a speech to the entire town to warn them of the Omec invading, eating them all and destroying the planet. She also accepts responsibility for inviting them in in the first place.

She and Berlin leave and hear an Omec raiding party – they rescue hostages, kill Omec and Amanda gets slashed in the process. To Yewl for medical intervention with her AWESOME bedside manner. Amanda is concerned about the ship not being destroyed with Yewl in Defiance healing the injured from Omec attacks: there’s no point in saving individual lives if they don’t stop the Omec. Again, Amanda’s ruthless dedication to Defiance really shines through. She tells them to go and Nolan and Amanda have romantic goodbye – though Nolan points out the VC wants to kill him still.

Without Amanda going on the mission, Irisa decides she’s going to take her place. Nolan objects, she stomps all over that. Nolan, Yewl, Irisa and Datak enter old St. Louis and use the tech there to reach the Omec ship.

Kindzi sees the launch.