Saturday, October 24, 2015

Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 3: Age of Innocence

Flashforward to 3 years in the future with Stefan wanting to get in touch with Caroline because his “scar opened up.” He contacts Tyler (this guy just can’t escape this show it keeps dragging him back in) who isn’t thrilled to get involved in whatever drama Stefan and Caroline have. He wants to warn Caroline – and run. Running involves torching his car and saving his journal at the last minute.

To the present with more journaling from Bonnie who keeps having horrific visions from the Phoenix Stone which cause black outs.

Damon in a towel! Ah, Vampire Diaries belatedly remembers why we watch this show. He’s camping with Alaric. Who isn’t that much of a fan of the arrangement. Bonnie arrives for the eye-candy (and that phoenix stone thing). Alaric continues to lie about it. Damon is still focusing on kidnapping Donavon, the missing Heretic witchpire he intends to kidnap for a prisoner exchange.

So on to plan to kidnap Oscar and the plan has now extended to using his power to siphon off Bonnie’s visions since they can’t think of another way to remove them since Alaric keeps lying. Turns out Oscar knows Damon and sent him to check on Damon in the past. Oscar is currently merrily partying (don’t mind the bodies, it’s Vampire Diaries no-one cares) and happy to be out of Lily’s eternally watchful eye

They ask Oscar to siphon Bonnie’s visions – he tries – but then asks where the phoenix stone is and promptly disables them all with magic. When they wake up Oscar is gone, so is the stone and Bonnie is pissed to learn Alaric didn’t destroy it. She blames Damon for not telling her – he happily steps aside, this is so between bonnie and Alaric. They argue and Bonnie is clearly not happy though Alaric points out that bonnie and he have both died a few times and came back though now the Otherside is gone they don’t have that option. Alaric is still focused on raising Joe no matter what happens

Anyway Damon catches Oscar and admits he does know him – but he doesn’t talk about that time when he was a Confederate soldier and very ashamed of that. He claims Oscar saved him by compelling him to desert but Oscar says he couldn’t compel, he just convinced him. And now Oscar wants to be free of Lily’s rules. Damon then attacks Oscar so they an trade him in – which doesn’t go well because Heretics are super powerful but Bonnie and Alaric arrive to back him up, taking down Oscar. Bonnie then takes the stone from Alaric.

They then research it – Bonnie’s on side despite this being an epicly awful idea. Alaric tries to convince her by showing her Joe’s body and his epic inability to let go.

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 4: The Sisters Mills

We open with kids plotting evil (what I assume kids are doing all the time) and a nasty monster apparently sucking ghosty stuff from one of them. Soul? Life Essence? The vital spark of evil that powers all small sticky creatures? (I’ve had to deal with my cousin’s kids, there will be vengeance snark).

Now to Ichabod who has discovered games consoles, tinned drinks but not coasters (much to Abbie’s disapproval) and he isn’t studying for his American citizenship test (also to Abbie’s disapproval). He smugly thinks he doesn’t have to study history since he lived it – so absolutely nothing happened in the centuries when he was sleeping in a cave? She naturally picks him up on this and when he becomes smug she then tests him – and further adds that what he remembers is not necessarily what has been written down and recorded. After all, history isn’t 100% accurate

Ichabod is duly outraged. Abbie’s expression says it all.

She also pokes him about all the texts he’s sharing with historical society lady Zoe – he meanly pokes back about her still not telling Jenny about finding their dad. She’s not happy to rock the boat, her dad has a whole over life and why distract her and Jenny’s life to chase after a man who may not care?

To the plot! Joe Corbin (the sheriff’s kid, an EMT) calls her about the little girl who was all monsterised and is now in a coma (a quiet child! – Victory!). Pandora is also in the hospital being all ominous.

A trip to the hospital only allows Jenny to reassure the surviving kid since she remembers being a kid who no-one believed when she talked about monsters. Abbie also has to make a quick call to Reynolds about why she’s involved in a non-FBI case (I wonder how often this will be a thing and whether he will be brought into the loop).

Friday, October 23, 2015

American Horror Story (Hotel), Season 5, Episode 3: Mommy

Tristan is now going looking for James March, the ghost/reborn/undead serial killer – only now he’s totally a fan since he now really loves killing people. James March, in addition to being bemused by Tristan’s modern language is all about showing off his fun murder palace.

Of course, new owner Will arrives (and James vanishes so I’m going with ghost) and is put out that his plans to massively renovate are interrupted by Tristan, an apparent squatter - though he’s recognised quickly as a model – and both he and Claudia (from Vogue I think) are impressed by how quickly his face healed.

Ghostly James and the Laundress are most displeased with the plans to alter the building

Claudia in true horror story clichés, strips to her underwear before being murdered by the guy sewn into the mattress.

Tristan goes to Will who has found that the plans for the hotel don’t actually match the hotel itself while Tristan does his best to seduce him. He kisses him – and almost stabs him – but the Countess stops him – he leaves, leaving a very confused Will behind

She takes Will to her own apartment where he makes it clear he’s gay and not interested. And how he has lost his inspiration to create (he’s a fashion designer). And she seduces him anyway because let’s not the pesky fact of a character being gay get in the way of some heterosexual sexing

They’re interrupted by Tristan who is all jealous after knowing the Countess for one day and protests “all he has is money.” The countess is basically “yes… and? Your point would be?” See the Countess isn’t a rich as she was thanks to Bernie Madoff. She intends to marry Will and take all his cash.

John has another murder to investigate with Detective Hahn. A mass killing of people from a gossip site, all of them with their tongues mutilated. It’s another 10 commandment killing which is less a homage to Seven and more a blatant copy

He returns to his hotel and runs right into blood-covered-mattress guy.

John takes him to the hospital where he doesn’t look good and hears him both confessing to murder and that Sally is the one who left him in this state – he calls her a “junkie whore”. John returns to the hotel looking for Sally.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 3: The Bad Seed

Rowena is trying to form a coven. The Mega Coven, her way of trumping the Grand Coven. No, no-one likes the name, it’s certainly not helping her recruit anyone. Also they’re not fools – she may have killed the head of the last coven (which she won’t admit) but they know she has made lots of enemies including the Winchesters and have no wish to sign up to play Rowena’s bodyguards. She tries to claim she killed the King of Hell to impress them – only to learn he’s still alive.

Losing her temper, Rowena uses her shiny new evil book to nuke her recruits.

Dean is still all spacing out about the Darkness woman and, probably because of this, is not so quick to see Amarra the why-didn’t-you-burn-her-child as all evil. They also get a bit snarky about god not being around to take care of the darkness (even Castiel is a little… edgy about god’s ongoing absence). Sam suggests that the best alternative to god is… Metatron. Bad Moose! Bad idea.

They’re dealing with the spell Rowena put on Castiel by chaining him up. He’s still out of control and they need Rowena to lift it. Which means Dean tries to call Crowley who isn’t answer. Metatron is also elusive (and can we have a d’awwwww for Castiel who seems quite sad that Sam and Dean don’t like his car). Castiel also can’t really help them with where Metatron might be beyond ”he likes waffles”

The spell hits again when Castiel has a seizure (+10 points for responding to Dean’s “do you know where/when you are” with “Earth. Several billion years since the beginning.”). He’s also hearing voices (yet more bonus points for Dean’s quick step back) of all the angels looking for him and Metatron.

While Crowley has taken in the evil soulless child and educating her on how to be super duper evil. All Amarra wants is to be saved from god. He’s also dispatched demons to hunt down his mother.

Which completely interrupts her latest recruitment attempt. Being Rowena she leaves with class and grace (and an awesome furniture barrier spell).

Amarra has been looking through pictures of the Earth and is impressed by what god made which she tells Darkness Lady, communicating through a mirror (and here I thought she was Darkness Lady but since she says “I am what you are becoming” she may be). Darkness Lady wants to make sure she stays on message and even if god has made pretty pretty things.

Mystery Shows - Madlibs as Plot

A number of the shows we’ve been following defy genre. When we start watching them we can’t be sure if they’re sci-fi, urban fantasy, horror or even something completely different.

Is this because they are so nuanced, so complex or so groundbreaking that they can’t be so easily categorised?

Usually no - they’re just so lacking in information or definition that there’s no way of knowing what genre they are. Ultimately they are tagged as “Mystery” because that becomes their sole defining feature, mystery. Lots of questions with few if any answers and little real coherent world building - and this will go on for episode after episode, season after season.

Of course, a mystery isn’t necessarily a bad - but all too often this “mystery” is an excuse for some horrendously lazy writing. Sometimes I think the writers just paste story ideas on a board and then throw darts at them at random to see what plot line they’re going to pull out of nowhere next. We end up with a long string of “monster of the week” episodes, without even the excuse of monsters to justify it!

This is a different trope from shows which use random ill-explained and completely unjustified decisions or events within a show to drive the plot forward (for example, Falling Skies) because those shows do have a plot - it’s just a terribly executed plot that the writers should be forever shame for inflicting on the public. No, a Mystery doesn’t even have that - Something happens for Reasons and now everyone needs to deal with the Something and next week something else completely random will happen, also without explanation

As the mystery drags without any kind of answers the plot grows steadily more irritatingly empty and pointless - but always teasing the possibility of answers to try and keep fans engaged. Eventually when the writers finally do get round to providing answers they’ve written themselves into a corner - their episodes have been so random and so lacking in coherence that their big reveal can’t possibly answer all of the mysteries they’ve raised

Lost really started the trend of writers including mysteries into a series with viewers watching each week desperately looking for hidden clues. Lost was so popular in part because they convinced viewers that they had a grand narrative which would play out over time and have a spectacular end. From the moment we found that the survivors landed on an island and were not alone, the mystery began. Writers included: Hurley’s obsession with the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42, polar bears on a tropical island, a plane filled with drugs crash landed on the island.  Who was Jacob and what was his purpose? Who could forget the Dharma Initiative? Both the flashbacks and the flashforwards were absolutely meant to give the viewer a sense that the writers were falling a strict plan. Viewers made excuses for the slow pace of the show claiming that the authors were forced to keep drawing it out because they had no end date.  What started as a very popular show found that it steadily lost viewership for the simple fact that the writers kept asking questions. In fact questions inside of questions would be a more accurate statement.  In the end, it turned out just as viewers had always feared, the writers were making it up as they went along.  As a viewer I can think of no greater slap in the face.  Just throwing things against a wall for funsies while having people spend hours contemplating the meaning of your supposedly deep and detailed show is just plain and simple an asshole thing to do. Well done Lost.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Veiled Magic by Deborah Blake

Donata Santori is a witch working for the police – one of the future supernaturals that are publicly known to the general population. But even with her useful ability to speak to the dead doesn’t make her very popular with her fellows.

Just when she’s starting to get out of the basement and be trusted one of those ghosts comes to her with a mission that not only risks that newfound trust – but also her life. There’s a painting that holds not just all the secrets of the paranormal races (which the Inquisition Cabal would love to get their hands on to push their crusade) but also a lost race… which may be even more destructive than a renewed inquisition.

This book is a very classic Urban Fantasy – very much in line with all the classic points and elements of a basic Urban Fantasy

And that sounds like a bad thing – but I like Urban Fantasy. I like classic Urban Fantasy. If I didn’t like all the hallmarks of a basic Urban Fantasy then I wouldn’t be a fan of that genre. The key is both what is added to that template and how well done that template is addressed

I do like Donata, the protagonist. Again she is a very classic Urban Fantasy protagonist who ticks a lot of boxes but does it well. She’s a witch, which in this world means lots of ritual magic and utility spells but not much in the way of throwing lightning. She’s also a cop (therefore involve in investigation) and knows enough martial arts to be useful in a fight and not be a damsel. She’s active and dangerous without being super-powerful and story breaking. I really like how she asserts herself when defying both the authority of the Council and her disapproving family (and certainly her two male cohorts) but does so without the classic suicidal sass that is so common to the genre (Honestly, I am tired of raging protagonist raging at authority which should squish them so many times over but never ever does). And she has conflicts with her family but does love them and seems to be blessedly free of the almost compulsory tragic past. I also quite like that the romance was only briefly the cause of men fighting each other

I mentioned that she can hold her own in a fight though it is slightly frustrating that her two male cohorts are so much more physically dangerous than she is – it’s such a trope and when the supernatural are involved it’s so unnecessary. Why can’t the woman be the one with physical super powers and the man be the one with support magic?

iZombie, Season 2, Episode 3: Real Dead Housewife of Seattle

We have a wealthy lady, Taylor, in an impressive house who is attacked by a man pretending to be trying to buy her house for a whole lot of cash. She fights back impressively – dragging them both over her clifftop view

But it seems to be only her on the autopsy table with Ravi commenting on her breast implants – he’s alive but comatose. Clive has investigated and concluded that the fake estate agent was actually a hitman (whose day job is installing car stereos). Liv would also like to have a nice social get together – but both Ravi (who is immensely cute) and Clive say no. Now it’s time for Liv to have lunch on “a lady who lunches”

This includes fashion and style knowledge and focus during interviews and loving over pretty houses. She upgrades her wardrobe and nails as well. Liv is completely focused on Vaughn, head of Max Rager because there’s some links there – while Clive is going for more traditional policing and looking at the husband, Terrence.

That means both of them end up interviewing Vaughn with Liv continuing to wear her picky, fashion-conscious, vain, entitled persona. She also gets a vision of Taylor having sex with Vaughn. Not a visual Liv wanted. She confronts him and he gets creepy so she throws water at him.

She also sees Major when leaving; she’s not happy. She confronts him working for Max Rager with her full over dramatic brain and slaps him. They leave but Clive and Liv discuss her vision – and are overheard by Gilda.

They check the hitman’s work and only learn he had a client he visited (they visit people willing to pay not to come in) which was, presumably, his chance to meet either Terrence or Vaughn and be hired to kill Taylor. Of course they don’t know who the client was and the boss is away. Liv is also wearing “sitting shoes” which, as I tell Renee repeatedly, defeats the whole point of footwear

They go to interview Terrence who has a lawyer who consults on everything and a personal assistant who removes his need to remember anything. Clive rather tastelessly refers to his wife’s affair with Vaughn and Terrence goes on a violent rampage – showing he’s both violent and surprised.

Back at Max Rager Gilda scolds Vaughn for sleeping with Taylor – she’s not impressed at all. He does say that she wouldn’t exist if he didn’t sleep with other men’s wives so I take it she’s his daughter. She’s still not impressed – but she does tell them that Liv knew, somehow

On to interview Terrence’s stylist (who is his alibi) and more of Liv’s opulent house wife persona and talks a lot about shoes (those would be the sitting shoes which are still a terrible idea Renee). We also learn about Camille and Deborah, Taylor’s friends who are “awful people.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Journeyman (The Commons #1) by Michael Alan Peck

Paul, Anna and Zach all died in a tragic accident

But the afterlife is not all good. Once the Commons where all people gathered to complete their Journey and find out where they’re going next. But now Mr. Brill controls the Essence of life and creation, their power, the potential of their journeys all trapped and enslaved to increase his power and control and create his corporate empire.

These three have the potential, together, of finally loosening Mr. Brill’s stifling grip and restoring things to their natural balance.

In some ways we have a classic adventure story – with a normal boy, Paul Reid, discovering that he is so much more special. He enters the Commons as a normal person and discovers how very very special he is as he goes along, gains new powers and collects companions who are super loyal to him

It’s classic – but things are classic for a reason; it’s the every man adventure story that is often fun when done well – and this is definitely done well. What makes it special is the world.

This huge world that is made up of the imaginations of everyone who has ever passed through is so random. In a wonderful way. Whether it’s the ferret whisperer or the Mososaurs or the hippie soldiers (I LOVED the hippie soldiers in their peace symbol uniforms) and the humbolt squid and so many other random images and creations. It works because The Commons is created from the minds of so many people, everyone who has died and passed on to the next journey

It is fascinating and rich and incredibly fun and zany and the sheer vastness of it makes it an excellent read. It also combines with the complex, multi-faceted plot with three different figures all doing seemingly very different things to bring about the end result – all their missions are connected but in a world that is so outside of normal rules that the connections are almost impossible to see until the end.

I’m torn on this. On the one side it’s amazing, it looks amazing, it’s fun, it’s wildly imaginative and incredibly vivid. At the same time it feels almost like a cheat – but having a world with no parameters, no logical connections, where literally anything mankind can imagine all exists then you also don’t particularly have any onus to create a coherent world. In fact, a coherent world is quite the opposite of what is – because we have all these remnants of imagine smooshed together, all these disparate sources of Essence striving to communicate and fight against the repression of all their infinite potential. This is what makes the book so much fun and so different – because it’s so vivid and bright and random. But it also means that you have infinite supplies of Deus Ex Machinae. There comes a point when you don’t even try to follow the logic of the plot any more, just watch, enjoy and run with it because no-one ever said it had to make sense

The Leftovers, Season 2, Episode 3: Off Ramp

This episode we’re with Laurie and Tom who clearly have the Guilty Remnant in their sites. Tom infiltrating them and trying to get clearly upset doubting members out and Laurie stockpiling Nicorette.

Yes, they’re running an ex-Guilty Remnant support group/safehouse and they’ve managed to get a lady called Susan out – and giving her a phone which can’t text which forces her to talk.

Tom and Laurie are seeking out the Guilty Remnant bases (which Tom dubs “hives”). Infiltrating the Remnant is taking a toll on Tom as well (and it wasn’t like he was in a great place since leaving Wayne either).

There are mundane problems as well – money is tight. And he Guilty Remnant do find them in the middle of one of their circles (which was excellent) but Laurie doesn’t bend or let them write.

They keep fighting, Laurie supporting Susan returning to her family (which is really well done) while Tom brings in another ex-Guilty Remnant, Howard.

There’s still some strain between Laurie and Tom (he is definitely a little frayed) and Tom arranges the meeting with Jill we saw last episode – Laurie wants to go along but Tom warns her that Jill really isn’t ready to see her mother who left them to join the Guilty Remnant in the first season.

Either money troubles or the angry Guilty Remnant get them evicted – and Laurie’s laptop with the book she’s writing goes “missing.” She also has no backup. When her landlord denies having her lap top she decides to sneak into his house and snatch it from his child

Her decision making may be slightly impaired.

Speaking of impaired decision making – some Guilty Remnant members decide to play chicken with her car. She runs them down and rinses off her car afterwards. From attempted murder, she goes back to counselling ex-members and their families: making sure the blame rests heavily on the Remnant not the ex-members.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Last Man on Earth, Season Two, Episode Four: C to the T

Tandy is now locked up in a pillory and crying out for water to quench his thirst.  Melissa complies and brings him a glass of water but because Tandy is in a pillory, he cannot bring his hand to his mouth to drink.  In desperation, Tandy tosses the water at his face hoping to be able to at least get a little bit and then dropping the glass on the ground.  Phil comes out and places a gun to Tandy's head, asking Tandy if he likes playing with guns.  Phil fires in the gun into the air as Tandy protests that his gun was not loaded.  Carol rushes out at the sound of the gunshot but returns to the house when Phil assures her that this is just boys being boys.  Tandy tries to tell Phil that he has changed but Phil turns and fires at a plant, telling Tandy that he hopes so for his sake.  When Phil leaves, Tandy calls out that he needs a change of pants, shoes and underwear.

Carol redresses Tandy and she asks the group if Tandy can be released now because what they are doing is medieval and cruel. Erica is quick to point out that Phil held them all at gun point but Carol argues back that the gun was not loaded.  Todd is still extremely angry and Phil argues that Tandy did the crime and must now do the time.  Finally, Phil proposes 1 week of solitary confinement in the workout room but Carol argues that it's going overboard. Tandy then suggests how about 3 or 4 or five.  Carol asks Tandy what he is doing and Tandy explains that this is his time to prove that he has changed.  Phil agrees to the situation.

Tandy has locked himself away and when Carol comes to see him, she finds the door locked. He explains that it wouldn't be a punishment if he were allowed to fraternize.  Carol again asks why Tandy agreed to extend his solitary confinement and he explains that he has always taken the easy way out and doesn't want to do it anymore.  Tandy tells Carol to go and have fun and not worry about him.

Carol sits down to eat with Melissa and Todd and they discuss the fact that all of their canned foods are expiring, which means the cow will be their main food source.  Melissa says that they have to treat the cow like a queen.  Todd leaves to get wine and Carol feasts on the cheese.  Carol asks how things are going with Melissa and Todd and she explains that things have been weird and that Todd has been cold and distant.

From his confinement, Tandy spies the cheese.  Long after Melissa, Carol and Todd have left, Tandy sneaks out of his jail.  He crawls over to the table and puts a hunk of cheese in his mouth.  Tandy changes his mind and spits out the cheese and tells himself that he is better than this.  Tandy then stuffs his face again, only to spit it out again.  Melissa's back is to Tandy as he backs away but when he bumps into the windmill, Melissa calls out to the group that Tandy is out.

The next day, Tandy is taken out to the field and the shock caller that the group uses to keep the cow from wandering is placed around his neck. Carol once again argues that this is barbaric and Tandy claims that this is just what he needs. Tandy again says that this is what he deserves because he did the crime.  In trying to prove his point, Tandy gets too close to the perimeter and is shocked. The group walks away except for Carol, who asks if Tandy would like a pillow.  Tandy responds that if he had a pillow it wouldn't be a punishment. Carol kisses Tandy calling him strong and backs away.

That night, Tandy is sleeping when Todd sneaks out.  The next morning, Erica comes outside and Tandy starts to compliment her in a fake Australian accent. Next to head outside is Gail, who Tandy asks if she has Benjamin Button disease.  The women sit at the pool and ignore Tandy but when Tandy doesn't stop, Gail calls out that he is to shut the hell up.  When Melissa exits, Tandy starts to sing the Miss America theme, causing Melissa to inform Tandy that they are adding total silence to his punishment.  Tandy claims that he is tying to spread good cheer and letting people know that he cares about them.  When next we see Tandy, he is meeting with the group.  It seems that Tandy had Carol procure a new collar which will spray citronella into his face whenever he speaks. Phil takes the honour of putting the new collar on Tandy and Tandy tests it by speaking and gets sprayed immediately.  In fact he is sprayed several times.

Tandy sits by himself when Carol approaches to tell him that he has made it five days.  Tandy whispers that this sucks and asks if anyone is talking about him. Carol tells him that no one is talking about him, even though she keeps talking about his sacrifice.  Tandy says that he would like a little acknowledgement and Carol replies that he needs a little walk.  Arm in arm, Tandy and Carol walk to the perimeter. Carol passes Melissa on her way in, who claims to bringing Tandy some beer.  Melissa walks up to the perimeter and places the cold beers just out of reach. Melissa then reaches into the bucket and drinks down a beer in front of Tandy.  Tandy claps and tells Melissa that what she has done is funny.  Tandy gets down flat on his stomach and tries to reach the beers with his feet, only to be shocked.

Later, Tandy tries to get the attention of the group by clapping and when no one responds, he throws plants on the patio.  This inflames Todd's anger and he calls Tandy a real piece of work.  Melissa has to tell Todd to be calm down.  Tandy claps again and Carol comes to his side. Tandy whispers to Carol that he is sorry he threw the plants and adds that he just wanted the groups attention because he has something he wants to say.  The group tells Tandy that they cannot hear him and so he engages in charades to try and get his point across.  Tandy manages to convey that he hates the collar and Phil tells him that it's too bad.  Melissa translates Tandy's message which is that since the collar was his idea, he should be able to take it off whenever he wants.  Todd yells no and adds that it's about trust and that Tandy lost theirs.  Erica calls out that if Tandy is going to act like an animal, he is going to be treated like an animal.  Phil grabs Tandy by the ear and drags him to a small storage area outside, locking him in.

Tandy is curled in a ball inside his little enclosure but he wakes to a fire on the patio.  Tandy screams but each time he does so, he gets sprayed by the Citronella.  Tandy manages to get out and then is shocked repeatedly as he gets water out of the pool to put out the fire. After being shocked several times and putting the fire out, Tandy crawls back into his enclosure.

The next morning the group sees the results of the fire and wonder who must have put it out.  Todd claims that he slept right through it but his eyes are hella shifty.  Carol says that she thinks she knows and the group confronts Tandy.  Using hand signals, Tandy explains what happened the night before and Carol translates for him.  Phil steps forward and takes both collars off of Tandy.  The minute Tandy starts thanking the group and saying how much he has changed, they turn and walk away in unison.

That night, Todd is sneaking around by flashlight.  He calls out that daddy's home and enters another building.

This episode was all about Tandy's redemption and he spent most of them digging bigger and bigger holes for himself.  It's official, not only does the manchild have no morals, he absolutely has zero people skills.

What I am curious about is Todd's sudden rage.  Several times during this episode, Melissa had to put her hand on Todd's shoulder to calm him down.  Who is this person? He's certainly not the easy going Todd we have gotten to know.  Clearly something has changed since the move.

There's also the issue of Todd being all shifty.  Is he somehow responsible for the fire? We also know that Todd is sneaking away from the group.  I swear that if they have him sneaking away to eat food, I am going to lose my shit.  I know that it's something serious because of his rage about Tandy's deceptions.  It really had an air of thou dost protest too much.

The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen by R.T. Lowe

Some DNF reviews are the hardest to write. The problem is that there’s an impression that our “DNF” books are the worst we’ve read – after all, what could be worse than a book we couldn’t manage to finish? Well it’s certainly true for some of our DNFs, but most of our absolutely terrible books are so bad that I feel almost compelled to keep reading either to fully describe all their awfulness or in an almost train-wreck like ghoulish inability to look away

This book is not awful. It is not terrible. But, at over 500 pages, it is long – and by the time I got to page 210, I, sadly, lost interest. At this point the only supernatural things we’d had were a nifty prologue and then lots of hints.

The prologue, set in classical times, was promising – we had magic and prophecy and different factions and choices and clear challenges and conflict and lots of nifty well written action. That prologue managed to keep me going for pages.

But after that we focus on Felix, a fairly ordinary teenaged boy who is clearly going to become the protagonist special one with lots of power. And there’s a lot of good things about this character – he has recently lost his parents in a terrible accident (which totally won’t be an accident) and he is an excellent depiction of someone suffering trauma. His guilt, his grief, his pain is all very realistic – it’s really well done and built into his character

What isn’t built into the character is the actual plot. And for 200 pages I’ve been following Felix around waiting for something to happen beyond him pining after a beautiful girl, playing football, drinking coffee and portraying his excellently depicted trauma.

We do get lots of fake outs. Like he’ll apparently be attacked and there’ll be action and a possibility of plot… but it’s a dream (it so wasn’t a dream. No it’s not a dream. Damnation don’t just let this lie as a dream!). And then he’ll see a woman in odd clothes on campus who runs… so he chases her. Who does that? It’s the middle of the night and he sees a strange woman and just decides to chase her?! But anyway he decides she’s a vampire or a ghost (this is NOT a magical incorporated world) and ends up exploring tunnels and crypts and then… going home.

Oh how I seethed.

Once Upon a Time, Season 5, episode 4: The Broken Kingdom

Flashback time – to Camelot (a very silly place) many years ago when it was just a village and a child Arthur tells child Guinevere how he’s totally going to be king because a tree told him so. Local bullies, of course, disagree so it falls to Guinevere to be inspiration.

He does find his sword – well half of it – and they carefully hide that it’s broken to the people.

We get flashbacks showing Arthur becoming increasingly obsessed with putting the sword back together – neglecting his kingdom and Guinevere even her birthday party. Which is when she and Lancelot get close.

Arthur decides to go looking for dagger, while Guinevere decides to go herself to find the dagger, using the magic gauntlet of weakness finding which Arthur hasn’t found yet because he’s too busy looking for the dagger to look for things that can help him find it. They enter the Dark One’s tomb and Guinevere is kind of action-y and nifty and in a life-or-death moment she kisses Lancelot.

They do find the dagger, but Rumplestiltskin would rather keep it, thanks all the same. He does, however, trade them something that will make it LOOK like Excalibur is complete in exchange for the Gauntlet - in between warning her about the dangers of true love (Lancelot doesn’t like the deal but Guinevere goes for it)

They return home and Arthur is both jealous and rather worryingly angry and desperate for the dagger. She doesn’t give him the illusion sand because she’s tired of the lies and obsession – she tells him he’ll lose her and the kingdom if he keeps obsessing over the damn sword. He refuses to give up – and refuses to lose Guinevere to Lancelot and uses magic dust to compel her. He also uses her sand-of-making-broken-things-seem-whole on the kingdom of Camelot (hey, it is only a model!)

To a slightly-more-modern-flashback, Arthur reveals the truth to David about the broken sword – and how he needs the Dagger of the Dark One to finish the sword. Arthur also thinks that with it he can totally skip the whole freeing Merlin part of the mission if they just have the dagger

Emma is still fighting her inner Dark One and nearly fries Killian. She all upset and losing the battle with her inner evil when David suggests Arthur’s plan – but Mary Margaret, newly warned by Lancelot, isn’t willing to trust Arthur. But David doesn’t trust Arthur – and the two argue. It’s like watching a duel between a lettuce and a cucumber. So very sad and dull and soggy. She accuses David of becoming a knight et al to feel like a hero again

“Again”? Wouldn’t that require him to have been a hero already?

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Six, Episode Two: JSS

This episode begins with Enid standing by the roadside waiting for her parents to fix their car.  When Enid sees the walkers, she calls out for her parents to hurry but they tell her they are almost done fixing the fuse.  The next time we see Enid, she sits in the car alone and the windows are covered in blood.  When Enid looks out the window, she sees a walker happily munching down on mom and dad.  Enid wanders aimlessly through the woods. As she hides behind a tree she draws JSS in the mud.  Enid kills her first walker when she finds it hanging out of a car and again writes JSS but this time on the dirty window.  Later, Enid comes across turtle and actually eats it raw.  It's gruesome but speaks to her desperation.  Enid lays the bones on the ground to form JSS.  Enid is now at the Alexandrian fence and she can the sound of people inside.

Carol is in the pantry and she is busy playing happy home maker. I think she's even scarier like this. Carol grabs the celery soup and says that since they are running low on staples, she will make something with the things now one wants.  Carol adds that she used to make her husband Ed spring cleaning casseroles.  Shelly takes the opportunity to whine about not having a pasta maker. I don't know how Carol didn't scream at her about getting some bloody perspective.  Carol calmly tells Shelly that she can teach her how to make pasta with her own two hands but adds that Shelly would have to stop smoking in the house because it is a disgusting habit which will kill her. Carol points out that there are too many things trying to kill her already before leaving.

Sam sits on the stairs and Carol bluntly tells him that his father used to beat him and now he's dead. Carol simply states that it happened and now it's done.  Carol tells Sam that he can either live with it or it will eat him up before sending him home. Notice how Carol's warm and sunny ways always seem to disappear around Sam?

Jessie calls out for Ron, who comes to his mother's call.  It seems that Jessie wants to cut Ron's hair and he calls it bullshit saying that this is his mother's excuse to talk to him.  Jessie is adamant that there are things they need to talk about and that there are things he needs to learn.  Jessie questions if Ron blames her and asks him to lift his left arm above his head.  Ron cannot do this, so Jessie points out that Porch Dick was dangerous.  Ron however counters with the fact that Rick is dangerous but Jessie answers that Rick doesn't have anything to do with this.  Ron storms off in a huff when Jessie admits to being friends with Rick.

Maggie talks with Deanna about the fence. Maggie hands Deanna some packets of seeds and suggest that they can plant them here after they finish the expansion. Maggie then reminds Deanna that Reg wanted this community to grow and that she wanted it to as well.  Maggie tells Deanna that she needs to show the people she is still here and hand her a shovel. Maggie learned from Hershel because this is just what her father would have done.  Remember when Rick had his farmer days?

Eugene is arguing with Tara about the fact that the community is building a church and Eugene says walled in space is at a premium. Tara suggests sharing the church. What they don't know is that Denise has heard the whole conversation.  Denise says that she is nervous because she went to med school but after panic attacks got interested psychology.  Eugene asks if Denise can do this and she answers that she is all this town has and Pete didn't want her here.  Tara explains that she is there for aspirin because she gets headaches.  Denise says that Tara is her first patient and with that symptom, she is positive that she cannot kill Tara. Eugene being Eugene, points out that it is possible if Denise misses a hematoma .  Both women turn and give Eugene some side eye. Yup Eugene had it coming and then some.

Carl walks down the street, pushing Judith in a pram.  Carl stops when he is called by Gabriel, who immediately brings up what he said to Deanna about the group.  Gabriel explains that he was talking about himself and not the group and that he knows that now. Gabriel claims that he wants to help and that he is ready to learn now.  Carl suggests that Gabriel tell everybody and Gabriel agrees.  Carl tells Gabriel to come by around three and they can start with the machete. Carl is far more forgiving of that spineless bastard than I am.  As Carl continues to walk, he watches as Enid embraces Ron. Mmmmm jealousy?

Carol is cooking in her kitchen and when she looks out the window, she sees Shelly outside smoking. Suddenly an armed men charges Shelly, knocks her to the ground and then bludgeons her. Do you get the feeling that if that W hadn't of shown up that Carol would be taking Shelly out for smoking when she told her to stop?  Deanna and Maggie are digging when they hear the screams. Deanna calls out to Richard, who is on guard to ask what is going on but he bursts into flames after molotov cocktails get tossed into Alexandria.  Oooh this is going to be another action episode. Strap in everyone. Maggie pulls out her gun and starts moving with Deanna hot on her heels. The women stumble through the smoke and Maggie stops when she sees Richard's burning body, causing Maggie to have to urge her on.

Carl tells Carol that the invaders are coming from all over and Carol heads out after telling him to keep Judith safe.  Sam desperately holds onto his mother but Jessie promises Sam that he will be fine, adding that she has to go and find his brother. Jessie tells Sam to hide in a closet and to close the latch. Before Jessie can leave, there's the sound of breaking glass downstairs, so both mother and son hide in the closet and close the latch.  Jessie pulls her gun and we hear more breaking glass.

Carl walks through the house with a rifle.  Enid lets herself in with her keys and Carl almost shoots her. Enid says that she is there to say goodbye and Carl is adamant that she is not going anywhere and that the invaders are not getting inside this house.  Carl asks if Enid saw the invaders and Enid answers that they are just people and that Alexandria is to big to protect because it has too many blind spots.  Carl is adamant that all of the invaders are going to die. Carl tells Enid not to tell him goodbye. The two sit back to back on the floor and Enid agrees.  Clearly Enid wants to say goodbye to Carl because she didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Carl.  It's also interesting how Enid noted the weak spots in Alexandria.  Clearly when she was outside of the walls she was looking for escape routes and checking on how secure she is.

Carol sneaks around the bushes and watches as the citizens are either slaughtered or dragged through the streets in chains. One invader marks the letter W on his head with blood.  Carol comes across Erin being attacked and manages to kill the invader.  Carol wraps her arms around the wounded Erin and when Erin does not stop crying, Carol slips her blade into Erin's skull, dropping her body on the ground.  Carol pauses to grieve. Damn Carol is stone cold.

Spencer looks out on Alexandria with his sniper rifle. He tries to take out a W and misses. Yep, another Alexandrian fails.  If it weren't so dangerous I bet Rick would be hiding behind a tree laughing about how right he is about them. Spencer then turns his attention to a tractor trailer speeding towards the fence of Alexandria and opens fire. This is when we hear the horn which is what threw the zombies off course in last week's episode. Tara brings injured people into the medical area. Aaron tells his boyfriend that he needs to help and takes off. Tara and Aaron decide that they are going to do something and Eugene suggests that he would be best off in the medical area. Yep, he's being the cowardly lion again.

Outside the fence, Morgan kills the zombie which fell on the horn. Morgan learns that Alexandria is under attack.  He asks an Alexandrian to go with him to fight but the man stands still, causing Morgan to amend his instructions, telling him to go and hide.  Morgan enters the town and is immediately confronted by a wolf with an axe.  Morgan tells the man to leave please and is informed that he will have a slow death.  Before he can attack Morgan, Carol stabs him in the ribs.  Carol is draped in a covering that even hides her face. The get up looks oddly like a burka. Morgan tells Carol that he could have handled the W.  Carol paints a W on her head using the dead man's blood. Morgan continues to talk about how he could have dealt with the W, but Carol is fixated on getting to the armory after noting that the attackers do not have guns. Morgan tells Carol that she doesn't have to kill people but Carol won't be distracted from the armory.

Doctor Who, Season Nine, Episode Five: The Girl Who Died

Clara is floating in space and she is in conversation with Doctor, who is taking fire on the Tardis. The Doctor tells her that she is next on the priority list.  Clara reports that there's something in her suit and the Doctor tells her that it is probably a love sprite from spending too much time in the mines. The Doctor tells Clara not to worry and that the sprite is just hungry.  The Doctor asks Clara about the stars and nebulae that she can see and Clara answers but adds that she can feel the sprite on the back of her neck.  The Tardis materializes around Clara and the Doctor pulls off her helmet before the sprite can asphyxiate her. The Doctor stomps on the creature and Clara questions if the aliens they were trying to save came through okay.  The Doctor heads outside to wipe the sprite guts off his foot and explains that the invasion was stopped for now and that the next time, the species they were trying to help will be ready for an attack.  Clara is not pleased with his answer but the Doctor explains that this was the best that he can do.

The Doctor snarks that he's not actually the police and it only says so on the box.  Clara says that he is always telling her what he can and cannot do but never tells her the rules. Whoa....hold up a sec....Clara is the longest serving companion in NuWho and she has never had a conversation with the Doctor about the rules? Okay, I guess better late then never. The Doctor tells Clara that they can make ripples in time but not waves.

Their conversation is cut short when they are surrounded much to the Doctor's lament by Vikings. When the leader declares that the Doctor and Clara are coming with them, the Doctor puts on his wretched sonic sunglasses, claiming that he is wearing technology which is better than humanity will manage over the next nine million years.  Giving the Doctor a lesson in shooting off his mouth, the viking simply takes the glasses off the Doctor's face and breaks them in two.  Thank goodness! Good riddance to the sonic glasses and may they never ever be rebuilt.  I am know I am not the only one celebrating their destruction. The Doctor turns to Clara and informs her that they are going with the vikings.

The Doctor and Clara are taken to a viking settlement where Ashildr happily awaits the return of the warriors.  It seems that Ashildr had a dream that they had all died.  Clara tells the Doctor that he can do something anytime soon and the two bicker about whether or not the Doctor has a plan.  The Doctor stares at Ashildr when they go by, causing Clara to question if he knows her.  The Doctor answers that he has never seen Ashildr before and that it's a case of too much time travel.  The Doctor explains that premonition is simply remembering in the wrong direction.

The Doctor's big plan is to pretend to be Odin because to the primitive mind, advanced technology can seem like magic.  The Doctor pulls a yo-yo out of his pocket and hits the leader in the forehead with it. The warriors pull their swords as the Doctor tells the vikings that he is very cross and disappointed with them.  The Doctor then claims that the yo-yo is the sign of Odin.  The vikings don't believe him, so the Doctor questions if they have met Odin and know what Odin looks like.  Right on cue, Odin appears in the sky and tells the vikings that their day of reward has finally arrived.  The Doctor screams that the vikings are not to believe what they are seeing.  Odin tells the vikings that their mightiest warriors will feast with him in Valhalla tonight.

Big steel warriors suddenly appear on the ground and the Doctor orders Clara to stay very still.  Clara questions if they are really dealing with Odin and the Doctor points out that Odin doesn't even have a yo-yo.  Clara realises that what they are dealing with is an invasion. The warriors form a fighting circle as the invading forces advance.  The Doctor tells Clara that what they are watching is a harvest and that the invading force will leave behind the sick, young, and old. The warriors are beamed on board, as the Doctor tells Clara that they cannot get chosen.  Clara runs to Ashildr and tries to teach her how to use the remnant of the sonic sunglasses but this catches the attention of the invading force and Ashildr and Clara are beamed up as the Doctor watches.  Odin then disappears from the sky. Smooth going Clara and now the Doctor will be expected to clean up her mess.

When Clara and Ashildr appear on the ship, the vikings welcome the women to Valhalla.  A brave viking steps into a corridor and is instantly varpouized by an electric shock leaving behind his sword and his horn helmet. Yeah just for the record, vikings didn't have horns on their helmets. The walls begin to close in, pushing the vikings, Ashildr and Clara into the same corridor.  Clara tries to get the vikings to jam the wall with their swords and when that doesn't work, Clara and Ashildr run to the other side of the corridor and try to open the doors.  Despite their best efforts, the vikings are pushed into the corridor and vapourized.

On the ground the remaining vikings are astounded at the loss of the soldiers.  Some think that their warriors went willingly to Valhalla.  The Doctor is not impressed with their conversation and announces that not only did he lie about being Odin but so did the face that appeared in the sky because Gods don't actually show up. The Doctor tells the remaining village members that they got raided and he lost someone who matters to him.

Clara and Ashildr are the only two surviving people who were beamed aboard the ship.  Ashildr questions why they are still alive and they are confronted by the false Odin holding onto half of the sonic sunglasses.  Clara tells the fake Odin that she didn't mean to make him afraid.  Odin is incredulous and claims that he has no reason to fear but Clara points out that he has already scanned the sonic sunglasses and knows that it is from a society vastly more advanced than his.  Clara then points out her space suit and adds that it is highly unlikely she didn't come alone.  Clara surmises that Odin didn't kill them because he is unwilling to start a fight that he is not sure he can win. Odin then drinks down the testosterone which was extracted from the warriors calling it nectar. Clara calls Odin a thief caught in the act and tells the alien to go and find vikings on other planets promising not to follow him. I love when she points out how annoying all of the testosterone in the galaxy is. The fake Odin claims that war is the way of his people, so Clara asks him to consider if this is a war he really wants.  Ashildr however steps forward and tells the fake Odin that they will pay for what they have done today. It's clear that Ashildir has the soul of a viking as she calls for blood even as Clara tries to shush her. Odin says that they almost had them talking and then agrees to a battle against ten of the villages warriors.  Odin sends Ashildr and Clara back so that she can inform her people of their impending destruction.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Z Nation, Season Two, Episode Six: Zombie Baby Daddy

In Springfield Illinois, the group is fighting off zombies. 10K, it seems has traded in his sniper rifle for a sling shot of all things. Murphy holds baby Lucy, as zombies move closer and closer to them. After his zombie voodoo fails, in desperation Murphy tosses the baby to Doc, who takes off running. Doc boards a school bus, closing the door behind him only to find that the bus is filled with zombies dressed up like Abraham Lincoln.  The zombies wake up and Doc backs up against the closed door in a panic, screaming to be released.  Addy and Warren manage to open the door and Doc jumps off the bus followed by the Abraham Lincoln zombies.  Doc tosses the baby to Addy, who tosses it Warren.   The group manages to finish killing off the zombie Lincolns.

Baby Lucy cries and Murphy comes rushing over to reclaim his daughter calling her Daddy's precious little angel.  Warren is shocked by Murphy's sudden nurturing nature. With a stovepipe hat on his head, Doc walks through the woods.  Doc asks about Lucy and Murphy says that she finished all of her sugar water.  Cassandra and Murphy make their way to a quiet area.

Doc asks the rest of the group if anyone else is worried about Lucy and Warren answers that she doesn't know whether to be worried about Lucy or afraid of her.  Warren points out the way that Lucy seems to attract zombies.  Vasquez suggests that the baby is going to get them all killed and Addy suggests that Vasquez relax because Lucy is just a baby.  Warren determines that Lucy is not just a baby and is something else because apparently, Lucy could grow up to the saviour of the human race or the queen of destruction. Warren determines that they have to find out which.  Vasquez takes the opportunity to disappear into the woods.

Murphy talks about how fatherhood has made him a better man before tossing off his boots and asking Cassandra to rub his feet.

10K does some fishing and notices Vasquez making his way through the woods.  10K then returns to their impromtu camp with the trout he has caught.  Doc is anxious to get cooking but 10K only has eyes for Cassandra.  Warren calls out to Addy that they need to get a look at Lucy but Addy points out that Murphy will not allow anyone close to Lucy because he is probably afraid that they are going to leave her behind.  Addy questions if this is something they are considering doing and Warren responds that Lucy will probably outlive them all.  Warren notices that once again Vasquez is missing, so 10K reports that he saw Vasquez heading into town.  Warren decides to go and see where Vasquez keeps disappearing to and orders the rest of the group to try and get the baby away from Murphy.

Cassandra is still rubbing Murphy's feet when he notices Addy, Doc and 10K staring at him.

Vasquez is making his way through the woods and he stops and says something in Spanish into the radio.  Warren is tight on Vasquez's heels and she uses the scope from a gun to spy on him from a distance. Vasquez makes his way into town and Warren hides behind a building and watches as he approaches men in skeleton masks.

Doc approaches Murphy and asks about holding Lucy for a little while but is told by Murphy that they're fine. Doc notices that Lucy is chewing on something and upon closer inspection, it turns out to be a finger.  Murphy takes the finger away and the baby starts to cry.  Doc tries to pacify Murphy by saying that he's not a bad father and that they want to give the baby a little check up. Murphy is adamant that there's nothing wrong with Lucy and points out that Doc is not a pediatrician.  Addy asks Murphy to let the Doc have a look at Lucy but Murphy stands and says that the group is afraid of Lucy and what she might become.  When Murphy snarks that he knows how the group treats babies, 10K counters saying that they have seen how Murphy treats humans.  Murphy orders Cassandra to make sure no one leaves and then takes off into the woods.

The masked men start to beat and attack Vasquez as Warren watches.

Murphy makes his way through the woods with a crying Lucy in his arms.  Murphy stops for a rest cradling the baby promising to protect her but zombie wildlife make their appearance, forcing him to keep moving.

Vasquz is down on his knees and being held at gunpoint.  Warren sneaks closer and watches as Vasquez is hit in the side.  Warren whistles to warn Vasquez and starts shooting.  Vasquez crawls to a gun and shoots as well. Warren sneaks forward and grabs Vasquez.  As they walk away from the the masked men, they note that they have both been wounded.

Zombies continue too sneak closer to Lucy and Murphy as he tries to get her to stop crying.

Warren and Vasquez crouch outside of a rundown hospital and Warren notes that they won't make it back to camp this way.  Warren does agree that the hospital will probably be pretty picked over but adds that it will be better than outside.

10K, Addy and Doc talk about going after Murphy.  Doc wants to wait for Warren and Vasquez but Addy points out that Murphy left without food for the baby and they don't know what he is capable of.

Lucy continues to cry and Murphy begs her to be quiet.  At this point, they have picked up a trail of zombies.

Vasquez and Warren make their way inside the hospital through the ambulance bay.  They walk cautiously through the building looking for supplies.  Warren and Vasquez quickly realise that not only are there zombies in the hospital, they are out of bullets.  The two grab anything they can lay their hands on and start killing zombies.

Cassandra is crouched down and growling menacingly at the group.  10K suggests that they all take off in different directions but Doc is unsure given how strong Cassandra is.  Addy is adamant that Cassandra would not hurt them.  Doc however is not certain.  The group takes off running in different directions with Cassandra hot on their heels.  Cassandra manages to catch up with Addy and knock her to the ground. Cassandra bends Addy's arm behind her back as Addy begs for her to stop. Hearing Addy's screams, 10K and Doc come back to camp.  Doc asks Cassandra what she is doing and in a gravelly voice, Cassandra answers, "nobody leaves."  10K asserts once again that Cassandra is not herself.

Haven, Season 5, Episode 16: The Trial of Nathan Wuornos

Everyone’s all excited and upset about Kira’s death. Her fiancĂ© Tony has decided to blame Nathan and rile up the crowd by claiming that Kira was the only one whose Trouble could protect them from the lethal darkness. Tony wants to banish Nathan and Dwight won’t because favouritism

I can see why Tony thinks that because he’s all emotional – but the rest of the crowd?

When Nathan explains to Dwight and Audrey it turns out that Kira isn’t dead – she’s trapped under ground (when they went to get the Aether) and is only alive in the darkness because of her electricity Trouble. And Nathan’s not telling everyone that because anyone going to rescue her would also find the Aether which they need to keep secret from people grabbing it hoping for miracles (when did Aether become common knowledge). Nathan needs a second person to come with him to help save Kira.

With all the panic and lots of confusion over what to do (not say, for example, “hey Kira is trapped, it takes two people, me and Audrey will go see you soon.” Which, y’know, would solve EVERYTHING?!) Audrey decides they need to have a trial for Nathan to buy time – giving the rest of them chance to free Kira (how they’ll then explain that she’s not dead to the angry crowd I don’t know)

Dwight also likes the idea because it takes their justice system out of his hands – doubly important since he may die at any time. Vince and Teague quickly guess exactly what it is for because they’re clever and still bicker. And Tony pushes to execute Nathan rather than banishing him – claiming he has a huge long history of Nathan hurting the town (pointing out most recently that he stopped Duke from leaving the town before he could unleash the Trouble Bomb inside him). This means that a) he has an informant feeding him information he shouldn’t know and b) that he’s kind of got a point.

At the trial Tony begins reciting Nathan’s last few seasons of terrible decisions. This could take a while. Nathan also speaks in his defence

Audrey has to solve the Darkness Trouble which means trying to track down who the Troubled guy is. She hears that there’s a guy who survived the darkness and she goes to see Faber who may have seen them – he and his goons are throwing people into a cupboard for the darkness to chomp on. Thankfully she has a useful deaf man with a debilitating deafness Trouble to help her bring down the guy and his minions. She recruits him to help her. And by help she means unleash his Trouble on the whole school to stop them convicting Nathan