Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Originals, Season Three, Episode Four: A Walk on the Wild Side

Marcel returns from his morning jog (wait vampires need to exercise now?) to find that his booze is all gone and in its place a pair of cuff links.  A suit and a mask hangs from a shelving unit.  When Marcel's phone rings, a smiling Marcel answers saying, "if you wanted to see me dressed up in a nice suit all you needed to do was ask," thinking that he is addressing Aya. Marcel is not impressed to find that the suit is from Tristan.  Tristan explains that the violence was his idea and that had Marcel gone with Aya peaceably,  it never would have happened.  It seems that Tristan is still very interested in having Marcel join Stryx. Marcel questions why Tristan believes that he is interested and Tristan points out that Marcel hasn't hung up the phone. Tristan again touts the benefits of joining the Tryx and asks Marcel to join them tonight before hanging up.

Elijah is working out in St. Anne's and he destroys the punching bag.   Hayley confronts him about his obvious rage and asks if it is about Stryx, as she holds up an invitation from Tristan.  Hayley asks for details and Elijah is quick to inform her that it is none of her concern before trying to walk away. Hayley pushes Elijah into a chain link fence and orders him to cut the over protective crap because she is a part of the Mikaelson family.  Elijah changes positions with Hayley (yep sexual tension) and asks what she wants to know.

Klaus comes across Freya doing yoga and snarks about her returning from wherever she goes when she disappears.  Klaus naturally takes the time to slut shame Freya about the casual sex she has.  Is there a woman in his life whose sexuality he doesn't want to police? Freya continues to work out and Klaus snarks that he simply wants to know who is in his home at any given moment. Freya is saved from further interrogation by the arrival of Elijah and Hayley. They all discuss the threat facing the family and Hayley makes it clear that if this is about Klaus's doom, they are all okay with that, Klaus however makes it clear that the entire family is under threat. Hayley says that she wants to meet the witch tonight.

Klaus arrives at a packed bar and he sees Lucian snacking on a local women. Klaus is invited to join him.  Lucian sends his snack food away but Gregory, the former navy seal Lucian turned remains behind. Lucian explains that he has spent several lifetimes building a company to shatter the limits of what is possible.  Klaus snarks that Alexis is Lucian's cure for the unknown and suggests that they should pay the seer a visit to see if anything else has snapped into focus regarding the threat against The Originals.  Lucian seems reluctant but does agree.

The pair head back to Lucian's, only to discover that Alexis missing.  Naturally, Klaus snarks about Alexis needing a shorter leash (cause women exist to be controlled) and Lucian explains that because of Alexis's sensitivity, she doesn't go outside unless she has to.  Lucian asserts that if Alexis is gone, then someone took her. Lucian goes into panic mode, so Klaus calmly picks up the phone to call Freya.  Freya snarks about Klaus calling because he needs something.  It's about time that Freya acknowledge that her siblings always seem to need something from her. Lucian gets his flirt on and tries to convince Freya to help and she makes it clear that just because Lucian is good lucking, it doesn't mean she won't turn him inside out. Klaus then finally gets around to saying please and adding that he is asking as her brother for her help.

Elijah comes across Hayley looking through Rebekah's things to find a dress to wear. After flipping through the dresses, Elijah picks out one for her Hayley. Is anyone else getting tired of men picking clothing for women because they are incapable of doing so for themselves? Once in the gown, Elijah questions if Jackson is okay with their planned adventure and Hayley, after a pause, says that Jackson knows she can handle herself.  Elijah clarifies to say that this is not what he meant and Hayley simply says she knows. Yes, we're officially back to the sexual tension and flirting. Hayley questions what she is walking into tonight and Elijah explains that the Stryx are the most dangerous and influential vampires that the world has ever known.

The party is in full swing when Marcel enters and is greeted by Aya. Aya takes Marcel's arm and explains that their group contains artists, musicians and politicians.  Elijah and Hayley are the next to arrive. Hayley notes that everyone is staring at Elijah and he explains that he is a pretty big deal around here. Hayley then realises that the vampires are all a part of Elijah's sire line.  Elijah explains that he wanted to create an elite brotherhood devoted to a better civilization, but had to abandon them once he realised that he created a legion of egomanical sociopaths.

Aya explains to Marcel that they are at the top of the food chain and collect what they want. When Marcel questions if he is the next collection, he is informed that Tristan has been collecting for the better part of a millennium and only chooses the best of the best.  Aya explains that should Marcel join them, he would be the first member sired not from Elijah but from Klaus. Aya suggests that Marcel could bridge the gap between sire lines and put the war to rest if he is everything they hope he is.

Freya arrives at Lucian's and Klaus hands her Alexis's brush.  Lucian is convinced that Elijah must have told Tristan about the prophecy and begins to threaten what will happen if Tristan so much as touches a hair on Alexis's head. Klaus however is concerned with how wanton Alexis is about handing out visions. Yes, this is another form of slut shaming from Klaus.  Lucian is quick to assure Klaus that Alexis wouldn't willingly share with Tristan but that doesn't mean he wouldn't torture it out of her. Freya completes her locator spell and it leads to the location that Tristan lured Elijah to the other night. Lucian points out that despite the fact that they are the most cunning and handsome vampires (thankfully, Freya rolled her eyes at this) they are out numbered when it comes to taking on an entire society of ancient vampires. Klaus smiles because he has a plan.

Aya introduces Marcel to her mentor Mohinder, who taught her everything she knows about combat. Marcel offers his hand but Mohinder refuses to accept it. They step aside and Marcel calls Mohinder intense.  Aya explains that Mohinder only drinks the blood of vampires he has conquered in combat which means he goes weeks without feeding sometimes, yet suffers no effects from hunger because of his extreme control.

Hayley and Elijah take to the dance floor and they notice Marcel standing with Aya.  Marcel says that he should have known that this isn't a party but an initiation.

Sleepy Hollow, Season Three, Episode Five: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Editor's Note: This is the second half of the cross over episode between Sleepy Hollow and Bones which for some inexplicable reason, Fox thought was necessary.

A courier driver makes his way happily down the road when Pandora appears in the middle of the street like a specter.  Thinking that he has run her over, he pulls over to the side of the road.  When he turns around, she's not there.  Pandora appears in front of him and tells him that this is not personal and then uses magic to suffocate him.  Pandora's eye begin to glow a sinister yellow and she instructs the driver to run.  When he turns tail, she opens up the back of the delivery truck. In the back of the truck is a sarcophagus which originated at the Jeffersonian.  Pandora throws an amulet on the bones and maggots appear.  Pandora says that some men are too important to die. The maggots become a live creature named General Howe and Pandora informs him that the King requires his aid.  Pandora asks him to gather his men to make the patriots become afraid of Britain and her dead again. Pandora offers General Howe vengeance on an enemy who once tried to end his life. Yep, you guessed it Ichabod Crane.

In the meantime, Crane and the crew are spending Halloween bowling.  Jenny is the first to comment that Crane could have loosened up and actually worn a costume and so he points out that he is John Adams.  The crew apparently should have guessed this from his waistcoat.  Ichabod notices Zoe and Abby encourages him to head over and get his flirt on. Naturally, Zoe knows exactly who Ichabod is dressed as and reveals that she chose to dress up as Betsy Ross.  Yeah, Sleepy Hollow is laying this all on a little thick if you ask me. They agree to bowl a frame together later and Crane heads back to his crew. Everyone takes the opportunity to tease Crane about his little chat with Zoe.  The laughter is cut short when Crane gets a text informing him that General Howe's remains never arrived at their destination.

Some kids are egging a graveyard when they notice an old gothic mausoleum and decide to investigate. The kids started to get freaked out and decide to leave but before they can do so, General Howe appears.  All of the kids save one manages to escape and he quickly finds himself surrounded by revolutionary war zombies.  Okay, for the record everyone knows that in a horror situation, the black folk flee and the white folk investigate and then get murdered.  WTH Sleepy Hollow?

Abby and Crane are investigating the now empty courier truck.  Crane immediately suggests that Pandora is guilty and wonders what she would want with Howe's remains.  Together, they decide to follow the tracks which of course leads to the mausoleum that the kids were just at. It seems that the British employed the area as a staging ground for the battle of Manhattan. Is there a stone in Sleepy Hollow that isn't historical in some fashion? As they head inside to check out the mausoleum, Abby takes the opportunity to bring up Zoe and suggest that Crane plan a date with her but Crane is adamant that he and Zoe are not a thing.  Okay, do these two even realise that they could be facing death? Why are they even talking about Zoe now? Abby suggests that it's time to move on and Crane talks about his former relationship with Katrina but says that this chapter of his life is now closed. Yep, let the audience say Amen. If I never hear Katrina's name again, it will be too soon.

Abby and Crane pause when they notice blood dripping from the season.  When they look up, the body of the kid plummets to the ground.  Abby and Crane don't have time to register what they are seeing because they are approached by zombie red coats, being led by none other than General Howe. Abby and Crane fire but being dead, neither Howe or his soldiers are injured.  They take off running with the soldiers fast on their heels. Crane and Abby just manage to evade the soldiers who run outside and end up bursting into dust when the suns rays touch them.

The next day at work, Abby heads into Reynolds office to find out why he has been visited by two U.S. attorneys. It seems that Reynolds has been working on a big case regarding a company buying items stolen by terrorists.  Reynolds offers Abby the job of task force coordinator and she is happy to accept.

Crane has flashbacks to when Howe was demanding that he inform on the patriots, as he searches through books for clue.  Abby enters and informs Crane that the death at the mausoleum has been ruled an accident.  Crane is upset because he has found nothing in Washington's bible, Franklin's notebook and Grace Dickson's notebook to explain what they witnessed.  Abby is adamant that they will find something because they always do.  Crane is upset because though things didn't end well with Howe, there was a time when he thought Howe to be honourable.  Abby however reminds Crane of all the things Howe tried to make him do. Crane then admits that Washington sent him to kill Howe, conceding that this was one of the darker points of the war.

Yep, it's flashback time and we see Howe holding the amulet that Pandora used to raise his body. Crane holds a gun to Howe's head advising him to order his men to turn around. Howe however chooses to test Crane's resolve, saying that Washington gave him this order to test Crane's loyalties. Howe asks Crane if he can kill a man in cold blood. Crane asks Howe to retreat and he refuses to do so until all the colonials lie in a grave. Howe tells Crane to do what he came to do or leave before he is placed in irons. Redcoats burst into the room, forcing Crane to flee.

In the present, Crane reports that if he had had another moment he would have pulled the trigger, which might have meant that the colonials would have been able to keep the city.  Abby wonders if there was another reason that Washington sent Crane to take out Howe and Crane admits that Howe was holding a stone with a Nordic emblem when he confronted him. When Crane says that the emblem looked like a man with two swords through him, Abby suggests that it means dead man walking.  That's all that's needed to give Crane a lead to a rare breed of undead warrior who swore an oath of duty in life that lasts beyond death.  From the book they figure out that the method of killing Howe must reside in his tomb.Since Pandora wants to raise fear in people the fact that Howe and his men will be roaming the street on Halloween will accomplish that if they are not stopped.

Joe Corbin arrives at Jenny's with the ingredients for her favourite drink and they flirt a little.  It's not long before they start talking about the shard.  Jenny has figured out that a man named Atticus is the one who is after the shard. Joe recognizes Atticus as a friend of his father's.   It seems that Joe's father served with Attius in the military.  Joe asks Jenny to hand him the albums he brought over and sure enough, there's a picture of Corbin standing next to Atticus.  Jenny and Joe wonder how many secrets Corbin kept from them but Jenny is adamant that now that they have a name, they can get some answers. Jenny assures Joe that Corbin was one of the best men she has ever known.

Bones, Season Eleven, Episode Five: The Resurrection in the Remains

Okay, I know that you are probably surprised to see Bones on Fangs for the Fantasy.  This is a one off cross over between Bones and Sleepy Hollow. If you happened to miss this episode of Bones because really, who would have expected a cross over episode between these two shows, not to worry, it wasn't strictly necessary to see Bones to understand this week's episode of Sleepy Hollow. Yes, I know that it makes absolutely no sense but here we go anyway.

Preston and Chris set up a kegger for a Halloween party.  Unfortunately for Preston, he ends up falling through the floor.  The hole in the ground reveals a decaying skeleton.  Cue screams of terror.

Booth brings in some candy and naturally, Brennan is not pleased with the amount of candy saying that it's bad of children. Booth sees this as insurance to stop their house from being egged because last year, they ran out of candy.  Brennan uses the opportunity to show him some displays that she has made for Christine (their daughter) and her friends.  When Booth takes a bite of the brain, Brennan informs him that what he as actually eaten was her real model brain and not a piece of candy.  Booth is absolutely horrified but then, who wouldn't be?  Brennan then informs him that it's all a big joke which she did because it is customary to play pranks on people this time of year. The conversation comes to an end when they get a call about the skeleton that Preston and Chris found.

When they get the location of the skeleton, Hodgins is already examining the body.  Brennan says that the killing could be ritualistic.  Near the body they find a mort safe and so decide to open it up. Inside they find a body that likely dates from the 18th century.  The head is missing as well.  Booth questions what the two bodies have to do with each other.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Brennan is gloating about convincing Booth that he ate human brains.  The team reports that the red coat the skeleton was wearing is the real deal. Brennan however says that she sees no conclusive cause of death.  Brennan calls the remains fascinating but however tells her team to focus on the first remains that Preston and Chris found - the body of a woman.

Camille goes to see Angela, who has done a facial reconstruction  of the victim.  Camille shows Angela the ear from the corpse.  They discover that the corpse had magenta hair and a bunch of piercings.  Angela changes the facial reconstruction and they get a match to Sarah Lippman, who was reported missing yesterday.

Booth visits the hospital where Sarah worked and questions if there was anything different about her recently.  Dr. John Cruz says that the changes in her appearance coincided with her application for residency. John points out Sarah's boyfriend Joe Brown.  Booth tells John that Sarah has been found dead late last night.  Booth asks about the nature of their relationship and John explains that people thought they were a weird match because Sarah was kind of dark and he is a good catholic boy. Really, a good Catholic boy? Does that claim mean anything these days? John adds that the last few weeks Sarah was happier than she has ever been.

Hodgins tells Wendell that thousands of beetles had to be killed to make the dye for the red coat, meaning that the corpse was a high ranking British officer. Wendell wonders why the body was under a church in the middle of nowhere if the person was of such high rank.

Booth examines Sarah's locker and discovers a book of witchcraft which has the same symbol as the iron coffin.

Later,  Brennan explains to Hodgins that the symbol is a Nordic rune and that it's presence on the coffin and the victim's book suggest a link.  Hodgins wonders if something otherworldly is going on here. Cue the arrival of Ichabod and Abby.  Hodgins snarks about Crane's clothing and Crane says that he wears this kind clothing to honour the men who fought. Abby introduces herself and Crane and asks about the headless body and is adamant that they are not leaving without the bones because it's about solving a case in Sleepy Hollow.

FBI agent James Aubrey tells Booth that in looking through the Sleepy Hollow files he has discovered multiple victims who have lost their heads. Booth says that they are going to help Ichabod and Abby, even though Brennan isn't going to like it.  James snarks about Ichabod being scared for life by his name. Even though this cross over doesn't make any sense whatsoever, it's nice to see someone point out just how anachronistic Crane is.

Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 4: I Carry My Heart with Me

It’s another flash to the future – 3 years from now when Rick is not dead but is instead making electronics for a doll with ominous music. He also seems to have 2 daughters and a shotgun in case of house guests – in this case Damon who is there to be ominous and threatening.

And to the present and Alaric all angsty over his Evil Rock and hanging around the morgue with the morgue tech telling him he can’t keep Jo’s body around because ewwie.

Just to prove how pointless evacuating Mystic Falls was there are now coach tours to the deserted town. Matt has to show them away and threaten Enzo randomly – Enzo wants access to the town CCTV (why why do they even have CCTV in the town? I mean who is paying for it?).

Damon and Lily are all prepared for their hostage swap with Lily all accusing Damon of being selfish for taking a hostage like she did. And Damon in trouble because Valerie killed Oscar last episode. Oops

Sefan and Damon argue about this – with Stefan blaming Damon for endless bad decisions. Actually, as far as Vampire Diaries goes, kidnapping Oscar wasn’t an entirely terrible decision

Nora and Mary Louise go to see Stefan and Damon looking for Oscar. Good line:
“You reak of blood”
Damon “I’ve been binging”
Stefan “I’ve been judging”

That pretty much sums up a lot of the last seven seasons – except when they swapped roles. Damon tries some desperate lies about Oscar having escaped while they hide his body out the window. That actually works. They also send an unpleasant message with a disposable Woman of Colour – for every hour that Oscar is missing, a student will die

Wait, I lost track – do Damon and Stefan care about civilian casualties at the moment? It’s not like Vampire Diaries is consistent here.

Caroline and Bonnie are all room-matey again (and remind us that Caroline’s skin is vervain which they’re all angsty about but is actually a kind of awesome super power). Bonnie tells Caroline of her trying to let Alaric down about his whole creepy resurrection thing.

Which means Caroline and Stefan’s relationship is still all tense with burny-ness an unresolved Valerie issues. Stefan has a solution to murderous witchpires – a school dance

Friday, October 30, 2015

American Horror Story, Season 5, Episode 4: Devil's Night

It’s apparently Devil’s Night at the hotel which means some new guests – including Richard Ramirez (his third visit after dying in 2013), greeted by Liz who is quite impressed. They’re both sad that Manson can’t join them

He’ also been left people to murder in his room with James helping

He had a pentacle on his hand. Yes, it’s the damn Night Stalker.
Detective John is all sad panda because his daughter Scarlet isn’t coming to see him on Hallowe’en. Also he has a whole lot of blood pouring down the wall as you do.

With blood to clean we have to catch up with the merry cleaning lady Miss Hazel Evers and a flashback to 1925, Hallowe’en and the kidnapping of her child.

When John comes to ask her why there’s blood pouring down the walls she claims it comes from her going “a little mad” on the anniversary of her son’s kidnapping and murder. She breaks down, blaming herself for losing him – of course John empathises a lot with that having lost his own son. She asks him to have a drink with her to help comfort her as she tells her story and her guilt. The body was dissolved in quick lime so, like John, she never knew what really happened to her son. She also gets manic and rather scary when discussing preparations for the party.

John goes on to work and reseaches Hazel’s story – and learns it happened in the 20s – and he has pictures of her in the 20s looking no older than she is now.

He returns to the hotel and the bar and has decided Alex is right – he isn’t an alcoholic, just a control freak. Liz approves – “control is an illusion.” We have another guest of the party join him – Aileen Wuornos. Liz tells her that John’s a “special guest” and, presumably, off limits. John thinks she’s in a hallowe’en costume and with that they debate her crimes (and her ongoing claim of self-defence). John goes to his room with Aileen to have sex (Liz puts in “you’re too drunk to know how ugly that woman is.” Because when going to bed with a serial killer, her appearance is really what matters, right?)

John ends up knocked out and tied to a chair trying to convince Aileen she’s not really Aileen Wuornos. She welcomes him to Devil’s Night. He manages to get free and cuff her in the bathroom. Only to find all her ID says she is actually Aileen Wuornos.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 4: Baby

Gah, it’s another care love episode. Am I the only one who doesn’t really care about the Impala?

And to action – we see Dean, unconscious, injured and handcuffed in his car. Yes, it’s another of those “start the episode half-way” bullshit openers

So back 48 hours for car washing and plot recapping. They don’t even point the camera at Dean who doesn’t get all wet and then need to take off his soaking shirt that’s all skin tight and… Honestly, who has Dean Winchester, a hose and a tight t-shirt and focuses on a damn car?

Castiel is busy healing (and not understanding Netflix) and not getting all wet and shirtless either.

So on to a case in Oregon possibly hunting werewolves. Dean is outraged at Sam’s malicious smoothie drinking (flashbacks nostalgia love). Dean can’t convince him to party with him in a dive bar though, so Dean goes alone – only emerging with sunrise and looking… rough. Only to find that Sam was hosting naked women in the car. Sam is embarrassed, Dean revels in taunting him for it. Followed by a singalong

Ok, I’m totally loving the brother thing.

Alas all this fun is kind of derailed by Sam getting all angsty and introspective.

The Sam goes to sleep and wakes up with his Dad – as a young man – driving. Ok. Why not. Sam isn’t a big believer in his dad John being back from the dead – anyway it’s a message/dream/vision saying the Darkness is coming and they’ve got to stop it. Really you need a vision to tell you this?

Sam wakes up for real now to tell Dean that he’s having ominous visions (as opposed to it being an actual dream? Let’s face it, it wasn’t a very influential vision). Sam thinks this is all due to him praying so it’s all divine intervention stuff. Dean is not impressed with empty nonsense as intervention from an absent, doing-nothing deity.

Dean also isn’t surprised by dreaming about John because he has lots of dreams about his dad – normal dreams of a normal childhood which he never had. Sam does the same – but about his mother. Both dream of the normal life they never had. Sam insists on divine messages.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chosen (House of Night #3) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Zoey has to deal with her friend Stevie Rae’s death and return as the evil undead. Definitely something she has to deal with

Of course that has to take a back seat to her constant conflict over three different love interests.

The People of Faith also seem to have decided they hate vampires, but, really the love interests are way more important

My suffering continues thanks to the cruel machinations of Cyna and Mavrynthia and Merriska and I continue to battle through this series

However, now I can be somewhat positive, because there are some definite improvements in this book, especially Aphrodite. So far she has portrayed in the most grossly misogynist of terms and treated as a parody of a terrible person, here we actually get to see her as a more of a person. Sure, she’s not exactly a very pleasant person, but she is a person rather than a monster in human form. She’s actually far more developed than Zoey’s friends who are little more than mindless drones worshipping her every move.

So Aphrodite finding her own personality, being involved in the plot even if it is in the path of “redemption” for not being a good follower of Zoey in the first place. Even better, not only is Aphrodite not just a caricature of evil and awful, but she actually challenges Zoey in ways that don’t just come down to her being super evil and terrible. She challenges Zoey and she may be right – and she challenges her on several levels: She pokes at Zoey’s ridiculous refusal to cuss and her massive slut shaming and even demands the whole group see sense when they’re busy bickering. Now we have Aphrodite as part of team good-guy which means hopefully we will continue to have a character who will challenge Zoey in the future.

Another nice moment is when her friends actually challenge her over the secrets she’s keeping. Sure, they’re obviously wrong and mean and don’t understand – but this whole series is so saturated in evil people vs sycophants that just seeing someone challenge Zoey who isn’t evil personified is an amazing relief

See, this is the problem with this series – it sets the bar so damn low than it is incredibly easy to be pleasantly surprised.

Right here endeth my praise

Like the previous books in this series, this book is sorely lacking in plot – and actual active involvement in said plot.

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 2, Episode 10: Santa Sangre

We’re catching up with Freddie who was buried alive – an unpleasant way to die. But he is rescued by a Culebros whose boss blames him for the death of two of the Lords. Her boss is another Lord (a female lord as she calls out when Freddie assumes she’s male). She’s also not impressed he’s given up the bloodwell, going against what a Peacekeeper is supposed to do

Freddie threatens to kill a minion, she’s amazingly unimpressed – that’s what minions are for! She knows Carlos wants to bring his big truck of blood there and have “culebros take their rightful place in the foodchain” which she thinks is a stunningly bad idea that destroys everything. Her people can’t get involved for “reasons” – reason being vague prophecy. She says Freddie’s job is to put the right brother on the throne – that brother would be Richie.

She also manages to be impressively creepy

 Back to the gang with Kate severely injured, Scott trying to help, Richie begging Scott to save her (even while she shames him for focusing so much on being the king he derailed her plans to save her brother) while Carlos is pretty indifferent. She continues to give them both a massive slap down, shaming them for all the effort she put in to saving them all to be ruined by greed. She dies as she tells Richie he should burn in Hell.

Kate dies – and there’s a showdown between Richie and Scott vs Carlos and Aidan. Richie gives up, rather than destroy the tanker as he planned on. What this needs is a deus ex Richard gets his shiny Culebros power: an eye on the palm of his hand he can use to compel people. He runs but not before he tells Aiden to kill Carlos

That leaves Carlos chance to tell Scott that it’s totally fine to kill Kate so Scott can find himself, reciting his own history of being dismissed as a bus boy and trying to downplay the fact Kate is Scott’s sister by pointing out he was adopted. They seem to make their peace… seem to anyway.

Aiden does try to kill Carlos which fails and then storms off like the irrelevancy he is.
Kissa has killed Malvado and Seth completely ruins her triumph with some hard truth – eventually she will realise she’s still angry. She wants to know why Seth helped her and even he doesn’t seem to have a good answer. He also randomly tries to stop Culebras feeding on people in the bar, much to the annoyance of several in the crowd – he turns to Kissa but she’s clear, she killed Malvado for freedom. Which, to her, means no rules and no-one telling them what to do. Of course those Culebras think they have a new boss – Richie

Who arrives – for Kissa to threaten his life. Yes she’s not forgiving the betrayal. Richie uses his new kingy powers and language to call in the other Culebras to save him. Kissa’s not impressed “you’re the one that I just killed” – but they agree to talk while the rest look out for Carlos.

In his office he tries to spin it as him helping everyone – (though why he expected Kissa to be happy in El Rey with Malvado is bizarre). Seth tries to recruit them to help him kill Carlos – and invokes Kate’s death as a reason to do so. He also tells Seth and Kissa about the bloodwell, which they don’t know about yet. Seth still isn’t letting go that Richie used Kate and got her killed – but now Freddie arrives to add his own 2 cents and how terribad it will be if Carlos creates an army of Culebras all hocked up on the uber blood.

So plan making time – Richie doesn’t want the truck destroying because the Culebros need the blood (Seth agrees because he doesn’t want people eaten by vampires because random conscience he’s just spawned). So it’s time to steal it apparently.

Carlos arrives – without the tanker, just with his chief minion and future queen Maia. Kissa goes out to confront him, sipping from his devil flash and wielding the key-club. They fight

Seth and Richie are off to steal the truck and airing all their tiresome brother issues. It doesn’t all go entirely to plan, everyone seems to lose their respective fights. Because that’s the rule of fights – the “good guys” have to lose first – though Richie does whip out his new mind control power.

And Scott goes completely off the rails in the name of Kate and crashes the blood truck, spraying he blood well everywhere. Carlos seems to take over, inviting his Culebras to go out and feed – then come back and slaughter all he humans.

SO everyone starts fighting to musical accompaniment of course. Because why would the band stop? And how come Culebras lose their strength and skill when fighting Seth? And Kissa takes on Maia (and wins) with Carlos being extra sexist and vile about it.

This fight scene goes on forever

Finally Carlos gets staked by Richie – but that doesn’t kill him because of the whole labyrinth thing. So they decides to chop him up while he claims he made them all (sort of). They slice and dice him

And daylight with the remaining human survivors leaving

They plan to scatter Carlos body parts about. And Kissa has decided, as she saw with Carlos, that Culebras are utterly helpless without a leader. Seth encourages Kissa to lead – but she decides no because she’s too much of a mythological figure. She wants Seth to do it. He refuses, so she pleas on behalf of Richie.

Richie is busy setting himself up as the new boss before he and Seth have another round of brother issues. They fight and Seth ends up beating his brother into the sunlight and threatens to kill him unless Richie accepts that it’s a dual operation – Seth and Richie together. He agrees. Freddie agrees – before he goes home.

Kissa plans to leave – though Richie makes a plea for her to remain. She refuses, she will no longer be the property of men. She returns his necklace.

And Kate – well she died in a puddle of that cursed blood well. Guess who is back?

Well… that was a terrible ending.

What was Carlos’s plan anyway? Just show up and… what? Because his forces, such that they were, not only completely lost against Richie, Kissa, Seth et al, but they were slaughtered without managing ONE casualty on the other side. What did he actually intend to achieve here? And what did the writers intend except for a fight scene that lasted, what, 16 minutes? The conflict felt so tapped on the end – like they wanted the series to end last week and then this episode was to tie up loose ends – but they realised they didn’t actually have enough loose ends to tie

And I am so sick of Gecko brother drama – which, annoyingly, I think is what stopped this season being excellent for me.

I think this season as better than the first, but it had a lot of potential to be excellent, especially since it broke away from its origins and not having to follow the same painful track and tropes of the first film. A series drawing heavily on Aztec symbolism, an original take on vampires, a rich society and history and with an almost entire cast of POC? Yes that could have been awesome. The potential was there

But I think there was almost too much and not much of it developed. What does Freddie being the Peacekeeper actually mean? What are all these prophecies we see scattered around? What is El Rey? Exactly what makes the Bloodwell blood special? How is it special? Is it more than taste? What is the Labyrinth, what does it mean? Who are the other Lords? What do they do? Why couldn’t they intervene? Why didn’t they intervene when Celestino was killed? Exactly what are the basic physical traits of a Culebras and how come they go away when fighting Seth? What goes into the cult of the Deosa?

I’m frustrated because this world is rich enough and interesting enough that so much could have been done with it and I WANTED these answers. But could we have really got them all in 10 episodes? I’m not sure – that’s a lot

There was also a problem with focus – because not only were a lot of these answers missed but a lot of relationships needed more definition. Scott and Kate was an awesome storyline with potential for immense growth on both sides (I think Kate got it, Scott less so) but not enough time. I don’t even know what Freddie was doing. Paloma and Santanico was excellent and meaningful – and rushed. Similarly Sonja felt rushed and out of place – and why even introduce Maia at all?!

Instead we have episode after episode of Gecko drama and, your mileage may vary, I had real trouble caring. Apart from anything else the need to jump from the first season (and the characterisation of the film) meant a fair bit of character overhaul. And, honestly, with all the fascinating things here, is “brother drama” high on anyone’s agenda? It frustrated me so much because this should have been Santanico/Kisa’s season but so often she seemed to be in the background to the Gecko’s latest tantrum

Still I did very much like how Santanico/Kisa ended – her own name, free from all men, free from all love interests, living her own life beyond revenge. I do, however, think even if she didn’t want to accept leadership some more respect for her as the deosa would have been nice – or more analysis of why she didn’t want it. I would have also really liked it if she had been more of a power throughout and not so often victimised.

I do think the depiction of women this season has been better than the sex objects of the first Season (which isn’t saying an awful lot) – with Kissa/Santanico and Kate’s storylines being there if often distracted. Next season Kat promises to be a fascinating character. Still, isn’t flawless – there’s a lot of sexualisation that was never turned on the male characters and Kissa deserved to kick arse more than she did.

Most of the cast are Latino which is almost unique on television – and certainly in the genre (which often feels less diverse than the media in general) though the only non-Latino POC, Scott, was sorely underused. Still it is very rare to see this many Latino people on the screen, I do wish we had drawn on more of the Aztec mythology, but it’s still interesting to see such a number of POC characters on one show and in so many of the roles on the show.

Sadly, there are no LGBTQ characters still.

Despite the ending, I am looking forward to season 3. This season was a nice departure from the first and introduced, even if it didn’t develop, a whole lot of awesome. Now season 3 will be an even further departure – and more opportunity.


iZombie, Season 2, Episode 4: Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blues

Three kids find a gun

This can never ever end well.

And Liv catches up with Peyton with lots of hugging and sentiment and awwwwwww so much awwwww. Lots of awwww. So much awwwww. Immense amounts of awwwww. The best possible awwwwww.

Major wakes up in bed with Gilda. Alas he sleeps in underwear even after having sex. He goes home to greet his dog with “that’s the smell of sex and self-loathing”. Can we spare an “aww” for Major? The dog, btw, is one he took from one of his zombie victims. Ravi has named him, of course. And stuff is still awkward with Liv and Major

Anyway, crime scene – and they notice a lack of piolice at this scene because the rest have been called out to a cashier who was shot in a ritzy area. Liv points out that a lot of cashiers are shot but only those in posh shops get lots of police attention. This victim is a Texan waitress from a country music place called Lacy. She’s also sending a lot of letters to a guy called Matt who is in prison – and Matt sends the letters back unopened

Liv is experimenting with her brainy cooking to the cost of actually making it smell amazing, poor Ravi. They also check out all the unopened letters – turns out Matt was her boyfriend who dumped her after she cheated on him. Mat was also released recently. As a bonus Clive is super awkward and embarrassed reading allowed the sexy letters, much to Ravi and Liv’s amusement. It’s also clear that Matt has violent anger issues.

Liv is now embracing her southern clichés. And the ability to play guitar and singing country music.

They go to see Matt with Liv happily chewing him out for being so judgemental about Lacy.

Also at the police station we’re introduced to FBI Agent Dell who is in the city to investigate a string of rich people going missing (these were people Blaine targeted for brain experiences for his clients) who wants – and gets – Clive’s help since one of his cases may be connected (he thinks not – it’s actually one of Major’s victims).

Dell does a nifty job of breaking the ice by being kind of fun and not all hostile as these shows usually demand federal agents be.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Leftovers, Season 2, Episode 4: Orange Sticker

Earthquake! Yes it’s the same one as at the end of the first episode and now we join Noras who wants to know where Kevin is in the middle of the night since he’s busy wallowing in a mud hole even as her neighbours go looking for Evie. When Nora hears from Erika that Evie is “gone” she has a clear moment of utter panic, Especially when she sees a dog running loose trailing a lead behind it.

She goes back inside and faints.

When she wakes up she desperately, panickingly tries to get the internet working before finally dialling 911 and asking, almost incoherently, whether “it happened again.”

When Kevin arrives she just clings to him desperately. Then turns around, takes the baby and heads upstairs. Ghost!Patti tells Kevin he has some explaining to do. She also watches him as he showers off all the mud.

The next day, Nora is clearly not a happy person even as Kevin explains what happened to him after he went sleep walking. She also points out how dubious it would be for him to go to the cops to explain how he just happened to appear where Evie and her friends vanished. He’s called in along with many other people to help in the search and rescue. Nora goes as well to the now dry lake. It will also give them chance to find Kevin’s phone which he lost that night – he also notices he left a muddy hand print on Evie’s abandoned car

One of the Rangers nearly hassles Kevin for not being a local before John Murphy tells him he’s a neighbour. Again we see how strict Miracle is with outsiders. They all go searching while Nora stumbles across a prayer circle praying in the name of the spared of Miracle. Her brother, Matt, among them.

And the police find the palm print (it was pretty obvious). They’re also inundated by outsiders desperate to get the remaining drops of water. Erika doesn’t care, she says “it’s just water.”

At least, after a day of searching, Kevin and Nora haven’t found his phone but Kevin says they can claim he dropped it while searching. Nora who is definitely in a very bad mood, tells him to keep looking.

She goes to get ciggies and booze – and Virgil, an older man, pays for groceries (if booze and ciggies count as groceries) when she realises she doesn’t have her wallet. He also says “I’m sorry for your loss” which confuses Nora and gets him kicked out by the clerk – it seems he has a habit of this? Whatever this is (psychic prediction or random condolences?)

The Storms Cry (Rayne Whitmore series) by Alanna J. Faison

This is a book that gives us some of Selene’s history before she joined the story in t Rayne Whitmore series. We knew her past was bad… and this book is very very very clear how very bad it is.

This means this shot story comes with a whole lot of trigger warnings for rape and abuse.

We’ve read a lot of books and seen a lot of shows that have used rape as a gratuitous plot device. It is used for titillation, sexualisation and clumsy gross characterisation all of which is usually unnecessary and thrown in for various shallow, terrible reasons.

But this book is a good reminder that just because there are some utterly terrible depictions doesn’t mean that all depictions have no worth – especially since, as we’ve said before, it isn’t a good idea to ignore that these things exist

Selene is a lesbian – and though a powerful witch her father has no interest in her happiness, but what she can bring to the family. Her treatment and abuse stems very much from the dual opinion – and the opinion of the men around him – that women exist to be the property of their fathers (and husbands) and that heterosexuality is compulsory. These oppressions all too often and do lead to women forced into relationships with men they don’t want, rape and corrective rape.

Selene, for all her power, is seen as an asset to her family, she is seen by her father as someone who can be used to further the power and influence of himself and his family- her sexuality is irrelevant to her making an “appropriate” marriage. It’s an oppression as old as matrimony itself.

We see a lot of this through Selene’s point of view and the brutality she faces but there are some other subtle notes as well especially for such a short story – from the helplessness of her mother to the complicity of her brother to her father’s willingness to use the lives of women around Selene to control her behaviour.

It’s a good reminder that personal power and strength doesn’t mean you can easily overcome and oppressive situation – and it’s not “weakness” that  prevent people from leaving or saving themselves.

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 2, Episode 9: There Will be Blood

1912 flashback and people digging for something – with a charismatic man convincing people to keep digging past exhaustion. But they do strike… blood. A blood well. That charismatic digger then attacks his fellows with a pick axe

Well that could have been a not-too-subtle environmental activist metaphor or it was just Dusk Till Dawn.

In the present, Aiden, Carlos and Scott and some minions find that bloodwell. Carlos uses the obsidian club key to open it, exposing a huge lake of blood (Malvado senses it open).

We have another flashback of how the bloodwell was made and why Kate wants it – just in case we’ve had trouble catching up. Which has been a major problem with this whole storyline

Richie is still being tempted by Malvado to take over his empire. Malvado going to El Rey (whatever that is) requires a whole lot of blood – the blood well. Preferably without Carlos tainting it and becoming uber powerful off it first. And Malvado still wants Santanico. The plan is for Richie to steal the tanker full of blood from Carlos after he has extracted it.

Now they just need to know where it is – so they ask Kate (who was traded last episode). Richie insists on being the one who does the blood-sharing-images thing. He gets a quick recap of everything she’s been up to and the location of the bloodwell. Richie also takes Kate of Malvado before he can turn her.

Kate very much wants to know what is going on with Richie who is full of guilt and trouble – he tries to get her to get out of the car. No way is she going to be dumped; she lays down the law, she is going to the bloodwell. She also calls him out on his motives and tries to further push the brothers back together – only to learn that Seth and Richie are in this together. She has a wonderful naïve moment of thinking the Geckos have a grand plan which will ensure everyone is super duper happy.

At the site, Aiden and Carlos are happily loading up their tanker though there’s some tension between Aiden (and his new Culebros women – because of course he has a fanclub and walking sex objects) and Carlos. Carlos has clearly been letting his ego run wild.

As they wait to move in, Kate realises that Richie is not planning a happy future for them all. Kate is furious and he puts it down to what he has to do – throwing in the bodies she’s buried as proof that she should know all about that.

She runs to Carlos and co to warn them about Malvado’s plotting. She gives them about 10 seconds warning before Richie attacks with a big vampire killing gun. He’s all alone and Carlos’s new girlfriend holds a gun to his head.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Forbidden (Gabriel Lennox #1) by M.L. Desir

Gabriel Lennox would rather not be involved in Chosen society at all. He would rather not drink blood, not be involved in their parties and certainly not create new vampires. He definitely has no interest in being their prince.

However, his solitude is not to continue. Lillith, his powerful and ancient creator, insists he take the throne while Seth, competition for that throne, is determined to make him into a rival. Throw in the plotting of the true immortals – as well as a whole lot of questioning over what immortality actually means – and Gabriel’s peace is shattered

So this book is definitely different from most of the vampire books out there. We follow Gabriel a vampire and hailed as a prince who really really doesn’t want to be a prince.

There’s a really interesting ongoing plot/debate of this book about what it means to be immortal. After all, Lillith promises the vampires (or not vampires since they often deny the title) immortality but how do they know they have it? And how do you even test that? And does the rules for one apply to all? This is central obsession of Gabriel and Seth – are they really immortal?

And if they are immortal then that begs lots of other questions – like why is Gabriel following orders? Why should he do what Lillith tells him? After all, isn’t he immortal, what is Lillith going to do?

In fact a lot of Gabriel’s character – in between the eternal surliness that is ever-present in this character – is based on him questioning the reality people present to him. He doesn’t want to be prince, but if he is going to be prince then they don’t get to make demands of him so who are all these people giving him orders?

Interestingly we also have some characters in very painful and difficult circumstances – Bela lost in Seth’s shadow and Colin, battling addiction and hatred of the world and himself – that latter of which really drives him to extreme behaviour. I wish more had been developed with him because he seemed to be a far more compelling character than the eternally surly Gabriel whose specialness seems entirely based on the super special woo-woo only he has for Reasons

The world itself is also somewhat unusual. We have many books with vampires deciding they should take over or be superior and the protagonists opposing that. But this comes with a whole different level brought by Lillith and her fellow originators of the vampires, each with their own agenda

Once Upon a Time, Season 5, Episode 5: Dreamcatcher

Camelot (‘tis a silly place) many years ago with Merlin seeking out the ten Dark One for destroying the only woman he ever loved. He has the Dark One’s dagger but cannot make himself kill the Dark one – and in his grief he drops the dagger. But rather than killing him the Dark One takes one of his tears – and turns Merlin into a tree.

All of this is seen in the present through a magical Dream Catcher by Emma as she examines the tree.

The enchanted Mary Margaret and David continue to convince Regina that they need to give the dagger to Arthur – despite her extreme misgivings, Regina goes ahead – until Emma freezes her parents

Oh how I wish this had been done so many many many many times.

Emma has a full explanation of Arthur’s evil plans (all accurate) and her parents being spelled – and adds that Arthur wants to actually kill Merlin. Emma doesn’t exactly explain how she knows this. And Emma has decided she needs to use Dark Magic to free Merlin, despite Regina’s warnings of knowing what that’s like – Emma makes a respectful point “I’m not you.” And I appreciate the respect

Regina is also worried about Emma using Dreamcatchers to steal memories – she calls it dangerous dark magic. It also showed her how Merlin was captured which gives Regina an idea on how to free him.

And Henry keeps flirting with Violet only to meet Sir Morgan, her father, who isn’t all that impressed by a 13 year old squire who can’t use a sword.

Of course poor Henry tries to learn how to use a sword only to have Regina and Emma arrive to tell him that it’s ok to be unique and different and himself. And work the whole “mysterious stranger from a faraway land” angle. He runs with it – romantic date in Granny’s diner and awkward teenaged fumbling as he uses all the modern contrivances he can to impress her. But Violet tells him she just doesn’t like him that way and she wants to be friends.

The conversation also inspires Regina to find the appropriate heartbreaking tears – using the Dreamcatcher to re-live the loss of Daniel at the hands of Cora.

They try the potion but it doesn’t work – because Regina’s heartbreak is real but she’s also moved on now she’s found Robin so it doesn’t have enough power. Henry’s weepy teenaged heartbreak is apparently sufficient though.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Six, Episode Three: Thank You

I normally don't put spoiler alerts on recaps but since so much happened in this week's episode, consider yourself warned if you are reading this before watching the show.

The group runs through the wooded area back towards Alexandria as the horn sounds in the background.  Rick gets into contact with Abraham and tells him that half of the zombies broke off and are headed right back to Alexandria.  Rick explains that they are running to keep in front of the horde.  Darryl offers to gas up his bike and get moving but Rick is adamant that Darryl, Abraham and Sasha keep drawing away as many walkers as they can.  Darryl argues but Rick says that if the herd turns around, things will only get worse.

Nicholas stops and Glenn calls out his name to bring him back to the present.  Annie stumbles and in the process, twists her ankle.  Glenn puts Annie's arm around his shoulder and together they keep moving. Cue an Alexandrian losing their shit and blaming Rick for what is happening. The man says that Rick killed Carter and claims that they are done.  Michonne whispers violently for the man to shut up and move.  Rick huddles the group together and says that he is going to go back and grab the RV and get in front of the herd to lead them back.  Rick orders the rest of them to get back to Alexandria.  Rick then pulls Michonne and Glenn aside instructing them to kill whatever is in front of them.  Glenn naturally wants to go with Rick because he thinks it's too big of a risk for Rick to take on his own.  Rick however tells Michonne and Glenn that the people from Alexandria aren't all going to make it.  Rick suggests that they try to save them but if the Alexandrians cannot keep up, they are to be left behind to ensure Michonne and Glenn  get back.  The entire time they are talking however, Heath is listening in.

The conversation is broken up by a scream. And who do you think bit the bullet? Why the Alexandrian who was blaming Rick for getting them into this situation. It's a rule on The Walking Dead, if you criticise Rick, you have to die.  Rick pulls the zombie off the man's throat and Michonne drives her Katana into his head, giving him a quick and easy death.  The horn stops blowing and Rick takes useful items off of the dead man's body as the Alexandrians watch with horror.  Rick tells the group to get back safe and takes off to get to the RV.

Michonne and Glenn lead the Alexandrians, encouraging them every step of the way.  Sturgess is the next Alexandrian who loses his nerve, even as the others try to assure him that everything is okay. The group is worried that they are going to catch up with something because they are moving in the same direction as everything else is.  Michonne says that they have no choice but to keep moving forward. When they come across a small group of walkers, Michonne, Heath and Glenn move forward to take care of them.  When a few more show up, Tobin and Scott leap forward to do their part.  A nervous Sturgess pulls his gun and starts shooting but hits Scott in the leg before falling over from the blowback. While the group is distracted trying to take care of the zombies, Sturgess takes off running. Scott lies on the ground trying to fight off the zombies and Tobin and Heath come to his rescue. Unfortunately for Tobin, a zombie sneaks up on him and bites his shoulder. Tobin shakes the zombie off before killing it but the damage has been done.  When Michonne checks Tobin's shoulder, he is bleeding from the wound. Tobin tells the group that he knows what it means and says that they've got to keep moving.

Darryl checks with Abraham to see if they have gone five miles yet.  It seems that at the next intersection, Darryl wants to spin around and go back.  Sasha reminds Darryl that the plan is to go fifteen miles or more.  Darryl says that he is going to change that and Abraham, siding with Sasha, points out that the magic number is 20, to ensure that the herd does not return to make them snack food.  Sasha tells Darryl that they cannot stop him if he wants to leave but points out that without him, the walkers could stop them. Darryl tells Sasha and Abraham that he has faith in them and takes off.

Michonne and Glenn continue to lead the group.  Nicholas and Heath take up the rear, supporting Scott between them.  Michonne takes another look at Tobin's shoulder and the bite mark is now clearly visible.  Tobin questions if his injury is bad and Michonne says that it's about what you would expect.  Michonne asks about his wife and Tobin explains that he met his wife early on. When Aaron found Tobin he was alone, had lost everything and everyone and had given up on being someone.  It was Betsy who saw the humanity in Tobin and they became friends and finally lovers.  Tobin credits Betsy with making him more than he used to be.  Tobin says that he wants to say goodbye to Betsy because finding her was everything.

Annie suggests that they stop and take a break but Scott is adamant that he is okay. Annie tells Scott that he won't be if they don't stop his bleeding.  Glenn says that they will find a place because they cannot stop out in the open too long.

The group make their way into a small town and check the abandoned cars one by one.  Glenn pulls Michonne aside to say that he needs to get home but will not leave the Alexandrians behind. Michonne says that Rick knows what he knows but since they are about half an hour ahead of the herd now, they can stop briefly and still make it home safe.

Nicholas confirms to Heath that they are halfway home.  Heath asks if this is where it happened and Nicholas explains that neither he or Nate knew what they were doing.  Heath asks about the people on Nicholas's crew who died and Nicholas says that they weren't afraid, he was.

After checking all of the cars, Heath tells Michonne and Glenn that none of the vehicles will start. Heath adds that since Nicholas was here last, Nicholas can show them the way. Glenn pauses a moment and then says alright.  Nicholas is the last person I would want to lead my anywhere.  Glenn helps Annie and Heath helps Scott and Nicholas takes the lead.  Nicholas stops when he comes across Strugess's hat and Annie is quick to points out that Sturgess left them behind. The group continues to race towards home with Nicholas in the lead, when they come across a group of zombies feasting on the remains of Sturgess.  Nicholas freezes and Glenn has to pull on him to get him to change direction.  They retrace their steps and find that they are surrounded by zombies.  Nicholas freezes again, and Glenn says his name to get his attention.  Nicholas leads them into what used to be a pet store.

Michonne instructs Heath to patch up Scott and Annie so that they can get moving.  Heath brings up the fact that the walkers are blocking them in down the street and in the alley. Michonne says that they cannot take on the walkers and that they will lead them away if they have to.  Heath snarks about  how well this strategy has been working so far.  Michonne says that she is trying and not giving up and Heath snarks again and responds, "not yet."  Glenn and Nicholas approach Michonne and Heath. Glenn suggests that they distract the herd coming in so that the walkers don't make it back to the community. Glenn wants to burn one of the buildings because he believes that the zombies will be drawn to it. Michonne volunteers to go but Glenn says that since it's his plan, he is doing this.  Michonne brings up Maggie and Glenn explains that this is why he is doing this.  Glenn asks Michonne to leave if he takes too long and promises to find a way to signal her if everything is okay.  Nicholas says he knows about a feed store and offers to go with Glenn.  When Glenn doesn't respond, Nicholas then offers to draw him map.  Glenn finally agrees to allow Nicholas to take the lead and says that he needs a moment.

Glenn heads to a private area of the store and pulls out his radio and Hershel's watch.

Doctor Who, Season Nine, Episode Six: The Woman Who Lived

A carriage makes it's way down the road and The Nightmare stops the coach to demand their cash, bags and loot.  When the intended victims refuse to comply believing The Nightmare to be alone, two glowing eyes appear in the bush.  In a different area, the Doctor arrives with his Tardis.  The Doctor is holding a device and is clearly tracking something.  Back at the carriage, the people start to hand over their belongings but hold back the amulet.  The Doctor interrupts the robbery and The Nightmare threatens to blow his brains out if he doesn't get out of the way.  The Doctor however is more interested in following the signal.  Suddenly. the Doctor looks up and realises that he is interrupting a robbery. The Doctor starts to bicker with The Nightmare and the driver of the carriage uses the opportunity to drive off.

The Nightmare takes off her mask and we learn that she is Ashildr.   Ashildr's first question is what took the Doctor so long.  The Doctor questions if Ashildr knew who he was when he arrived and she explains that the Nightmare has a reputation to keep up.  The Doctor reveals that the last time he saw Ashildr. she was in a leper colony. Ashildr accuses the Doctor of lying and he explains that she seemed fine when he popped in and that he saw her, even if she didn't see him.  Ashildr then assumes that the Doctor is there for her but learns that he is on a mission to retrieve something.  Ashildr is clearly hurt by this admission and the Doctor apologises calling her by name.  Ashildr doesn't recognize her own name and barely remembers the village where she came from.  When the Doctor points out that anyone in the village would have died for her, she snarks that it worked out because they are all dead now.  Once again, the Doctor calls her Ashildr and she asks not to be called that because she doesn't even remember that name. Instead, Ashildr wants to be called Me, because she is no one's mother, daughter or wife and is in fact her own companion.  Ashildr offers to give the Doctor a ride and suggests that he can help her with packing.

When they arrive at Ashildr's home, it's pretty much a mansion.  In the bushes a figure is growling. Ashildr leads the Doctor into her study and they talk about an ancient amulet that Ashildr was hunting down.  Ashildr says that she robs for adventure and has been at it for 800 years.  We learn that Ashildr was a medieval queen for a time and fought in the 100's year war.  Ashildr explains that she has learned that after 10000 hours practicing any one thing, one becomes an expert. The Doctor, being the Doctor, wants to know how many people Ashildr has killed and she tells the Doctor that he will have to check her diaries.  Ashildr claims to have saved a lot of lives and was burned as a witch for saving a town form scarlet fever.  The Doctor brings up the black death and Ashildr says that she got sick but got better.  The Doctor warns about a fire that will happen in London and another bout of Black death.  Ashildr explains that she cannot remember her life because she only has a normal size memory.  Ashildr says that she has done all she can on earth and asks to travel with the Doctor because the people are like smoke and blow away in a moment.  When the Doctor responds that he knows what it's like, Ashildr asks to be taken away on the Doctor's ship.  The Doctor questions how Ashildr knows that he has a ship and she claims to be clever.  Again Ashildr asks to travel with the Doctor and this time he tells her that he will think about it.  Ashildr then offers to help the Doctor find the amulet and the Doctor is quick to say that he doesn't need her help.  Ashildr points out that the Doctor does not know where Lucy Fenshaw lives and that she is an excellent house breaker. Ashildr walks away after saying that they will leave in an hour.

The Doctor starts to peruse Ashildr's diaries.  He reads about a man she left behind because she wasn't aging.  When she sees her love again, he is an old man and believes her to be a ghost. He comes across ripped out pages that are stained with tears. The Doctor then reads about Ashildr's account of the plague and the loss of her children. Ashildr writes that she is not brave enough to die and let go of this wretched life.  She writes that she will not have any more babies because she will not suffer such heartbreak again.  Ashildr writes that it's her against the world.  This account is really heartbreaking to read.

In the meantime, Ashildr makes her way out to the bushes.  Ashildr tells the creature in the bushes that he needs to be quiet and that the Doctor will help her get the artifact.  Ashildr assures the creature that the Doctor not only does not know about him but has no idea what they intend to do with the artifact.

The Doctor finds Ashildr and asks why there are pages missing from her journal and Ashildr explains that when things get really bad she rips the pages out. The Doctor asks what could be worse than losing her children and Ashildr explains that she keeps that entry to remind her not to have anymore. Ashildr stokes the fire and the Doctor says that he left her alone too long and had no idea how much she has suffered.  The Doctor adds that he remembers the person she used to be and that this person is still in there. Ashildr assumes that the Doctor is pitying her and says that the Doctor is scared of who she has become.  Ashildr asks if the Doctor wants to make her feel again and then run away.  Ashildr makes it clear that it's the Doctor who needs her help and that just this once, the Doctor cannot run away the way he usually does.  The Doctor is surprised and questions how Ashildr could possibly know this because they have only met once.  Ashildr says that it's true and calls the Doctor the man who runs away, claiming that she just worked it out.

Da Vinci's Demons, Season 3, Episode 1: Semper Infidelis

Da Vinci’s Demons is back for a last and final season to see if it can possibly redeem even a little of the nonsense of the last two seasons.

Which ended last season with the Ottoman Empire invading Naples and we open with Zoroaster trying to get into the city rather than turning around and running for the hills and then being allowed to run through all the battlements – wow their security at war is a really dedicated thing.

Leonardo is prepared to unleash invention death on the invading fleet when his dad, Piero, tells him he sees Leonardo’s mother on board. Just as Leonardo’s mother tells Bayezid, head of the fleet, that she sees Leo. Bayezid apparently cares. Piero begs Leo not to fire, but even he can’t put his epic mummy issues ahead of the war. His mother seems to agree since she encourages Bayezid to victory.

Lots of cannon fire unleashing carnage on the fleet for a whole lot of angst – especially since Bayezid decided to lead his fleet from the front and his ship was hit. Leo’s mother ends up in the water with big heavy chains on her

The cannons seemed to have worked, blocking the entrance to the Naples harbour. Alfonzo is now all for declaring victory and Leo a saviour – (presumably not worried about the Ottomans finding somewhere else to land their fleet or the fleet has been so devastated). Alfonzo and Lorenzo argue about who gets to pay Leo to make the shiniest biggest weapons

Of course, Leo is all angsty and not really thrilled to be responsible for the death of so many people – or any future deaths and certainly not the death of his mother. He storms out in a temper with Lorenzo convincing Alfonzo not to stab Leo for his insult.

Zoroaster goes after Leo to try and provide some level of comfort. It fails somewhat epicly.

As Leo angsts – he notices that the Ottoman flag ship is suddenly burning brighter and stronger hours after just smouldering. He reports this to the princes and Alfonzo is quick to deride whether “heathens” could manage the chemistry Leo is referencing – Lorenzo isn’t that quick to ignore the technological might of the Ottomans but Alfonzo is sure the arriving Napolese fleet will totally take down the remaining Ottomans.

Alfonzo, in case we missed it, is a damn fool.

The next day the Ottomans are making something as the Naploese fleet arrives – and is destroyed by Ottoman undersea mines. They also manage to get their ships past the blockade with Genius so now it’s back to war again with cannon fire going both ways and all is chaos and bad because the Ottoman have super duper cannon – which looks a lot like Leonardo’s cannon multiple barrel cannon.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Z Nation Season Two, Episode Seven: Down the Mississippi

Two men walk together down the roads and behind them a truck approaches.  The men turn and pull out their guns but over the speaker system, a voice begins to speak about dental health of all things. Rollie and Cornelius get of the truck and ask the men when the last time they had their teeth cleaned was.  Rollie says that they accept donations and smiles in exchange for their work. Rollie escorts the men to the back of the truck where two dental chairs are perched.  The men are given gas as Rollie goes on about the benefits of dental care.  The men succumb to the drugs and Rollie flicks a lever which causes the chairs to rise up and tosses the men in the back of the truck.  Rollie and Cornelius get into the truck and drive away.

The group walks through a swampy area with 10K pulling up the rear and Murphy using his peripheral vision to shoot 10K death glares.  They come to the banks of the Mississippi and find a boat filled with zombies.  Warren suggests that they can move faster on water than on land. This makes sense because people have used the Mississippi this way for a very long time. Murphy hangs back while the group approaches the boat and slaughters the zombies. In the boat they find the operator and when they tell him they are taking the boat, he asks to negotiate, claiming that he knows the river and that the boat isn't easy to operate. Warren asks that the group be taken south to Memphis. The operator tries to start the boat and it's stalled. When 10K checks the motor, they find a zombie hanging off it, which Addy promptly dispatches.

The group are making their way down the river when they run into Skeetchy and Skeezy.  Doc asks the operator to slow down. Skeetchy and Skeezy are making their way along the river in a paddle boat of all things.  Skeezy looks like he has been tared and feathered. Skeetchy and Skeezy are invited to join the group but are upset about having to leave some of their possessions behind. These two always have an angle that they are working. It seems that Skeetchy and Skeezy went to Graceland and cleaned the place out.  Skeezy and Skeetchy talk about the problems that they got into as a jaded Warren and Addy listen.  It seems that Skeezy and Skeetchy invoke the Murphy and have created this fantastic tale about what the Murphy supposedly looks like and can do.  Murphy is not impressed listening to the lies they are telling.  Vasquez gets to his feet threatening to throw Skeezy and Skeetchy overboard and Doc is quick to speak up.  Skeetchy warns that there are zombies jams on the river and it would mean death for them.  Everyone is convinced that Skeetchy and Skeezy are lying until they run into the zombie jam themselves.  The zombies start pulling on the boat trying to get at the group.  Warren gives the order to bail out when the zombies actually make it onto the boat.

10K makes his way out of the river and finds himself alone. 10K calls out for the group but gets no answer.  In the water, Vasquez's bandanna floats.  10K comes across Skeetchy, who says that he saw Skeezy go down. 10K asks about his friends and is informed that the group was swimming west. 10K then asks about Murphy and is told that Murphy sunk to the bottom.  Skeetchy suggests that he and 10K stick together because guys like him in these parts get taken advantage of.  When they hear a scream, 10K and Skeezy run in the direction of the sound only to find Skeetchy.  At first they believe that Skeetchy has lost his bottom half and think about giving him mercy but Skeetchy calls out that his body is stuck in a hole.  Once Skeetchy is free, 10K starts to leave but Skeetchy and Skeezy convince him to join them to avoid the human traffickers.

The group crawls out of the water and Doc immediately starts screaming for 10K.  Doc announces that he is going to cross the river looking for 10K.  Murphy however thinks that this is a fools mission.  Vasquez points out that the other side of the river is east and that they are heading west.  Doc is astounded that the group is thinking of leaving 10K behind.   Addy suggests that 10K floated down the stream.  Warren agrees to stay on the rivers edge looking for 10K and agrees to give the search 24 hours.

Skeetchy, Skeezy and 10K come across a group of men.  Sketchy claims that he is going to offer the men ever lasting life.  Skeetchy  brings up The Murphy and pulls up a wanted sketch of the Murphy which looks like Skeevy.  The men demand that Skeezy levitate to prove that he is the Murphy. Skeevy claims that he cannot do this on an empty stomach.  Skeetchy then tells the men that if they want to be immortal, Skeezy has to bite them.  Skeezy takes a big bite out of one of the men as an incredulous 10K looks on.  The man who was bitten announces that he is cured.  One by one the armed men line up to be bitten and in exchange, they give Skeetchy bullets and guns.

That night by the river Vasquez, Warren and Doc sit up looking for signs of 10K.  Doc believes he saw a signal light down the river but none of the group saw the signal.  Vasquez says that they have waited long enough for 10K and that they are jeopardizing the mission.  Doc is not impressed and demands to know who Vasquez is.  Vasquez says that he is escorting Murphy to California and is not putting him in danger unless there is a good reason.  Warren interrupts to declare that nothing is happening tonight and promises to reevaluate tomorrow.  Warren tells Doc that they push on and survive because that's all they can do.  Doc says that he's tired of pushing on and Warren acknowledges this but tells him to get some sleep.

We get a shot of 10K and it turns out that Doc was right. 10K was at the river holding a flare in the hopes of getting the attention of the group.

In the morning, 10K Skeezy and Skeetchy come across the dental truck.  They hop in and get excited to find keys in the truck.  They drive until they come to a town and find themselves happily waved in. Skeetchy and Skeezy claim to be the dentist who catch zombies for the town.  The zombies are loaded off the truck and Tyler Burr introduces himself claiming that they are in his town - Burrtown. Skeetchy introduces himself 10K and Skeezy giving fake names.  They follow Burr as he goes on about how everything fell apart after the war of northern aggression.  Bur explains that the town has a distillery, electricity and a community which keeps an eye on each other.  It seems that in Burrtown, they turn zombies into a workforce.  10K makes eye contact with a woman for quite some time as Burr encourages Skeezy and Skeetchy to enjoy the town and women.  10K says that they are leaving but Skeetchy and Skeezy announce their plan to spend the night.