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Saturday, November 14, 2015
Aurora is fast asleep in Klaus bed while he takes a call. When she wakes and asks him to come closer, he advises her to remain out of harms reach. Aurora however promises to tell Klaus everything she knows.
Freya is busy working on a spell which allows her to communicate directly with Rebekah in Morocco. Freya updates Rebekah on what is going on with their infamous brothers and what is going on in New Orleans. Rebekah reveals that she may not be in Morocco much longer because she has a meeting with a witch who may know how to bring back Kol. Freya tells her little sister to stay safe and they take a drink to family before Freya disappears. Rebekah gets up to leave the bar and has her throat cut from behind by Aya. Standing over Rebekah's body Aya informs her that the problem with a witch's body is that you cannot put up much of a fight when the real monsters come out.
Freya walks into the courtyard and notes the destruction from the fight Elijah and Klaus had. Using her witch powers, she is able to see the fight in her mind. Freya finds her bruised and blooded brothers in the dining room. It seems that they have agreed that it is more important to stick together than continue to fight. Freya questions what they determined and Elijah reveals that they are going to expose and destroy their first sire line.
Kinney brings Cami to the police station and she denies that she is not a serial killer. Will asks Cami to prove that she is the victim and promises to protect her. Suddenly, the lights flash and Will finds himself pushed aside and Cami is grabbed by Lucian.
In the Quarter, Hayley calls Davina to say that she is running late and adds that she will be a little longer when she notes in a shop window that she is being followed. Hayley leads the vampire into an alley and he cautiously enters behind her. Hayley then attacks but finds that she is not able to make physical contact with Shin Minh who was following her. When Hayley is grabbed around the neck, she bites Shin Minh.
Elijah and Freya talk about Aurora. It seems that Elijah is concerned about Aurora's involvement despite Klaus's belief that she might be the key to ending the prophecy. Freya argues that Aurora's loyalties are to her brother and questions why Tristan and Lucian are working together. Elijah suggests that a mutual lack of goodwill towards the Mikaelsons might not be unjustified. Elijah reveals that he compelled Lucian to believe that he was Klaus, Aurora to believe that she was Rebekah and Tristan himself. Elijah justifies this by saying that Michael was hunting them and Freya realises that he made them bait. Elijah explains that Michael hunted their decoys for a century, allowing them to relax but they were daggered the compulsion ended. Elijah says that when they are under threat, the Mikaelsons do whatever it takes to protect their own. Elijah confirms that their first sire lines are doomed if they are in fact working against them. Freya's glass starts to shake in her hand and she tells Elijah that something is wrong and that they need to call Rebekah right now.
In the Quarter, Aurora uses compulsion to force a woman into giving up her emerald necklace. Klaus sneaks up on Aurora from behind and asks Aurora to come with him. Klaus reveals that he has cleared his calendar for the day and wants to show her his city. Aurora questions if this is Klaus's way of finding out which side she is on and he agrees that he would love to know. Ahh I see we are in for an episode of cat and mouse. The two agree to have lunch together.
Cami awakes to find herself in Lucian's condo which is filled with boxes. Lucian offers Cami a drink, saying that he cannot see a reason they cannot start again. Cami makes it clear that she doesn't like Lucian and turns down the drink. Lucian tells Cami that he hopes later she will remember that this could have gone differently. Lucian then calls Will into the room and informs Cami that Vincent believes that Cami is at home watching The Real Housewives. Lucian orders Will to throw his knife at Cami; however, Lucian catches the blade just before it can strike Cami in the eye. Lucian then reveals that the reason for their little meeting is because Lucian is looking for a small medallion with runic markings. Since that Cami is on vervain, Lucian promises to increase his parlor tricks if she refuses to help. Cami takes a lid off the first box and starts looking.
Freya tries to contact Rebekah and her hands become covered in blood. Freya reveals that she cannot find Rebekah which means her witch body has vanished.
Rebekah wakes up in her old vampire body, tossing the lid off the coffin. Aya enters the room and Rebekah questions if Aya killed her witch body because she couldn't find the original body. Rebekah tells Aya that she needed her witch body and is now owed more than an apology. Rebekah quickly finds herself surrounded by vampires but she is not the least bit intimidated.
Lucian eats the meal that Will cooked and Will threatens to stab him in the heart the moment he is free. Cami explains compulsion to Will but when she brings up vampires despite what he has seen, Will isn't buying it. Will questions what else he and Cami will be forced to do and Lucian says that Cami is on vervain but if Cami finds the medallion, the bloodshed will stop. Cami reveals that she has cataloged everything and what Lucian is looking for is simply not there. Lucian however is insistent that the medallion is there and Cami asks if he is going to use it as revenge against Klaus. Cami snarks about this being all about Klaus stealing his girl. Lucian however says that Klaus stole 100 years of his life and then orders to slice open an artery on his leg.
At the little lunch Aurora asks Klaus what he wants to know. Klaus claims that being around Aurora is intoxicating and questions if she feels the same. Aurora declares that she is not his enemy or Rebekah's, but that she hates Elijah. Klaus questions if Aurora is allying with the brother who imprisoned her and the stable boy she believed was beneath her. Aurora points out that the three of them spent 100 years working together and hiding together believing they were the Mikaelsons. When the compulsion ended, they lost everything and Michael was still after them. The three of them swore a pact of vengeance. Klaus points out that if his family dies, so do all of them but Aurora calls it a beautiful mystery. Aurora then requests desert and a walk.
Sun Tzu and chess and dramatics from Ichabod while Abbie effortlessly wins because she’s Abbie and made of awesome. We get the prequel to this episode’s theme – overthinking vs “feeling your way.”
There’s also a recap on just about everything going on so far, albeit quite neatly done so hats off to it.
Reynolds drops in because he’s heading to DC – and wants to leave Abbie in charge while he’s gone.
On one of the bad guy teams, Atticus seems quite agitated about losing the Shard of Anubis – since someone contracted him to get it and he only has 12 hours to do it. Sophie wants to help but Attticus is bringing in the big guns – norse poetry. He uses bad poetry to raise up pandora’s box, open it and call forth something norse involving berserkers – monsterous bald things he dispatches to hunt his prey.
Jenny and Joe are sparring, recapping (this show does like its recaps) and debating what to do about the two bank account numbers they have that Joe’s dad, the mysterious Sheriff August Corbin, left for them to find. There also follows some flirting – and the Shard which Jenny absorbed suddenly taking over and Jenny dropping Joe hard. She glows reds and has disturbing visions – Joe realises something is wrong – and they decide to consult Abbie and Ichabod
Of course this does mean explaining to Abbie that they went after Atticus after she expressly told them not to. They realise that only Jenny touched the shard and absorbed it. Ichabod thinks it’s a bad idea for a human to have something that powerful inside them.
So they need to get the shard out of her, Joe and Abbie argue when Jenny’s super-hearing hears the norse monsters attack. Bullets do nothing to the creatures – but Jenny does, fighting with immense strength and skill. Though even her super powers only slow it down (and impress/scare the others)
They run and hide in a convenient tunnel system and Abbie acknowledges Jenny’s awesomeness – and that the monsters are hunting the shards. Abbie suspects Atticus, Ichabod suspects Pandora and they realise Pandora and Atticus are working together. To reinforce that super-power Jenny isn’t all good, she feels all woozy and nearly faints
To the archives! There Abbie and Jenny have a nice bonding moment which they needed because they were angry before and I do love them re-bonding after a fight. Jenny pokes Abbie’s control-freakness and futile attempts to compartmentalise her life.
Joe and Ichabod talk Joe’s love life and Ichabod “losing battles on many fronts” which has Joe advising he speak to Abbie – suggesting he sees Ichabod and Abbie heading for a romance too
And Bonnie finally finished her ultimate act, using Elena’s freshly crushed heart as an ingredient for the spell that killed every last member of the cast but her. And lo there was much rejoicing, considerably less death and an end to the global whiskey shortage
…damn I fell asleep and started dreaming while recapping Vampire Diaries.
So it’s to the actual show beginning with another 3-years-in-the-future scene – Damon is visiting Rick and warning him that his fiancée will be used as bait for Stefan – that fiancée being Caroline (uckies – that’s technically a teacher/student romance) and they’re already too late as she’s already blood stained on TV with a message for Stefan
To the present and Stefan dreaming about the kid he ever had and waking up to the awkwardness of Caroline learning Valerie stayed the night. Stefan explains why he is trying to protect Valerie – Caroline sees absolutely no reason why this is their problem, even a little. Valerie likes the idea of escaping because the Phoenix stone has another downside – it turns people mad which makes Julian scary
Julian and Bo are playing with swords at the mansion and Lily is all love struck. She warns Julian they have enemies – her sons – and decides to deal with that by inviting Damon and Stefan to a little party (they’ve already completely written off Valerie).
Meanwhile Rick is still all sad panda, Jo is still possessed and Bonnie isn’t happy being recruited to play stalker and watcher over the who-ever-it-is possessing Jo. Bonnie being dragged into a menial unpleasant task that she has no motivation for? Surely not!
Stefan wants to go to party, Damon doesn’t. Stefan wants to kill Julian right now. Damon wants to wait until Lily has got used to him being back so he can then crush her heart with his death.
Personally I think killing either of them while surrounded by beings that are immensely more powerful than Stefan and Damon is a bad idea which needs a bit more planning – but they’ve always thrown themselves hopelessly against powerful enemies (if it weren’t for plot armour, both Stefan and Damon would have been killed by Katherine, Elijah or Klaus several seasons ago).
Clearly this needs more relationship drama so Valerie pokes Caroline about the big-secret of being pregnant with Stefan’s child that Stefan is keeping from her.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Los Angeles, 1962 and the Countess – under a different name – approaches THE MURDER HOUSE. Yes the house from season 1
I suppose if I regarded the first season nostalgically rather than treating the memories of it as proof that I haven’t drunk enough booze to kill off those brain cells, I’d be happy about this.
As we know from season 1, this house was run by a doctor who practiced back alley abortions. “Mrs. Johnson” claims to be 3 weeks pregnant while obviously much much further along. They operate on her and remove… a ravenous demon foetus which kills his nurse. This doesn’t put off the doctor who is happy to deliver the boy (and say congratulations and hand it over to the mother – I think he rather forgot the purpose of an abortion somewhere along the way.)
In the present little vampire Holden enjoys playing mind games with his dad Detective John and show him to the glass cousins. Where he sees Alex.
Cut to Liz and Tristan having sex. Afterwards Liz has also got him books – appreciating Tristan for more than being beautiful and realising he can appreciate books. Tristan asks Liz if she loves him – and Liz says she doesn’t now while Tristan says he’s certain. They’re very very romantic together. Finn points out he’s not gay and Liz makes it clear he’s not – and nor is she: she’s a straight woman. But Liz has the guilts over the Countess.
Who is busy having sex with Will – an actual gay man who is not sexually attracted to women. So she invites Tristan to come join. She wants Tristan to help “fluff” him and isn’t taking no for an answer.
Alex has dealt with her soon-to-be-ex husband finding her playing Goth Snow White by drugging him and appealing to Liz for help. Liz agrees despite not being a big fan of Alex – and they dispose of the coffins so Alex can pretend it was another of John’s many many dreams/visions/hallucinations. He insists on go checking. Naturally he finds nothing.
This requires more random – Countess saying goodbye to her baby in a crib in room 33. A baby we don’t see and, frankly, the mystery better be that it’s NOT the evil demon foetus from the opening because what is the point of this mystery? Anyway she’s off to France
Amarra’s out making friends again – friends with tasty tasty souls. Crowley disapproves of the rapidly aging Amarra vanishing to snack on humans. He decides to ground her – and uses his power to make it stick. She’s powerful but he is the King of Hell and, for now, that makes him stronger
Sam and Dean are hunting Amarra by looking for soulless people. Unfortunately there are plenty of unpleasant people in the world who still have their souls. Sam also wants to get Castiel back in the game – interrupting his tv marathon and is steadily devolving from Netflix to… talk shows.
As Castiel tries to leave the bunker he is plague with flashbacks of him violently attacking Dean and other brutal violent images.
He returns to the bunker – but then sees Metatron in TV taking home video.
Also Len from last episode, the soulless guy, is now dead. That would be because Crowley is cleaning up Amarra’s discards. The Kingdom of Hell is also severely depleted after Amarra’s feeding binge – and they’re even down on recruiting souls.
Cleaning up hasn’t helped – since Sam and Dean go to investigate Len and discover a demonic murder – and another of Amarra’s snacks. The clean up has achieved exactly the opposite of what was intended. They happily catch the demon intended to kill Goldie, Amarra’s most recent soulless snack and take him to be questioned – to a room that is so appallingly decorated that I feel tortured just looking at it. That wallpaper breaks at least 3 international treaties.
They abuse this demon with the appalling décor and he tells them about Amarra eating souls and growing up – which isn’t much news. And Sam insists they exorcise the demon rather than killing him – actually saving someone for once. Except, of course, that lets the demon escape. The argument is settled when they see a bullet wound in the body – the man he’s possessing is already dead so Dean wins and they stab him.
And makes a joke about dumping the body at a school playground. Bad Dean! See this is why Sam gets to play the good (but less funny) one
Both The Walking Dead comics and the television show begin with Rick waking up in the hospital completely unaware that his world has changed forever. Though Rick interacts with many characters, there is never any doubt that this is his story and that as readers and viewers, we are to identify with his struggle and empathise with the way he is forced to change, based in the circumstances which he is presented with. From almost the moment he reunites with Lori and Carl and becomes a member of a group, Rick takes on a leadership role (especially when Shane is… disposed of. The unfortunate fate of anyone who challenges The Almighty Rick). People look to him for guidance and are willing to risk their lives on just about any plan he formulates.
Of course, it helps that Rick Is Always Right. Throughout the television show and in season six in particular, we have seen several examples wherein Rick makes a decision and then later on in the same episode, something happens in the plot to prove Rick right. In fact, simply challenging Rick’s ability or right to lead is enough for a character to end up dead, as we have seen with several Alexandrians in season 6 (I think Rick keeps a pack of pet Hit-Walkers to silence any dissent). Not only does Rick have plot immunity, he is in the enviable position of always being proven right. Rick isn’t just the leader, he is the alpha who makes the tough choices no one wants to make or is capable of making.
Strong White, straight, able bodied cisgender male leadership in a dystopian style show or book is absolutely commonplace. It seems that at the end of the world, writers and showrunners firmly believe that the White het, cis, guys will save world, whether they are competent enough to do so or not. This scenario necessitates the “depowering” of other characters, and especially marginalised characters. In the case of The Walking Dead, no matter who Rick interacts with, they will always in some fashion be less competent to lead.
A perfect example is Carol who, on the TV show, would be a terrifyingly excellent leader, a fact she has proven time and again. Yes, it seems the show is determined to present her as too damaged to lead: Carol being a survivor of domestic abuse and losing her only child, has been twisted in such a way that suggests that no matter how awesome her acts are, that damage outweighs her leadership. Having seen her daughter become a walker, it’s Carol. who takes it upon herself to teach the prison children how to protect themselves, even while mentally defeated Rick focuses on teaching Carl to farm. Carol’s interactions with children come to represent her damage. While Rick making similar ruthless decisions is seen as making necessary hard choices.
The Carol of the television show is quite different from the Carol of the comics. The Carol of the comics always remained dependent upon not only Rick, but everyone in the group. Eventually, she succumbed to the pressure of the world falling apart and tried to hug a Walker. There was never any hope of this incarnation of Carol ever challenging Rick for so much as a slice of bread, let alone leadership of the group, the Carol of the television show is absolutely the antithesis of her comic book version. Carol is not only strong and capable, she has shown the ability to make the tough choices. (“Look at the flowers Lizzie” has become infamous). Unlike Rick, when she lost Sophia, she didn’t decide to stop participating in the group and instead used her loss to steel her determination to survive no matter what.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Adele and Gareth have successfully freed Britain from vampire occupation – and the Equatorian army is moving north into France. On every front humans seem to be winning the war against the vampires
Until vampires are, impossibly, seen again in Britain. The vampires have their own geomancer and the Witchfinder is not just content to protect the vampires from Adele’s powers – he may turn the terrible powers of the Earth against the Empire and humanity itself
Adele and Gareth must act quickly to stop his plan even as it takes them far from the lands they’re familiar with and challenges so many of their assumptions
I could say a lot about this rich world – but I’ve said that in other books. I could mention the fun plot – which is fun and swashbuckling – but I’m going to need all my space to talk about the characterisation of this book which was what really shone out.
I really like the evolution of Gareth in this book. Gareth is an interesting combination of self-loathing and arrogance. Steeped in human culture, he has come to hate everything vampiric, including himself. He hates the clans, he hates his species, he hates everything they do. He sees no value in their culture, their society – anything. He sees his species as not only doomed to extinction, but possibly even deserving of it.
But from that is also an incredible arrogance. He hates vampire culture and even himself – but he also puts himself on a pedestal – because he is willing to learn human language, use human tools, learn human ways. He is better than other vampires because he is willing to emulate humans – and he can’t accept that other vampires may be redeemable in anyway. When he sees other vampires using tools he simply cannot accept it, he doesn’t believe that anyone could mimic his own progress. Only he is special enough for that
Then we have Yidak who is even more unique – because he is a vampire through and through a vampire who is progressing and advancing through more than imitating human ways. I think the most powerful example is his “written” language. We see Gareth over and over trying to use human writing despite the difficulty of using a pen considering vampires’ limited manual dexterity – then we see Yidak developing a language based on sound (to fit their oral tradition) and with a writing system better suited to vampiric strength and claws.
Major is very very energised and may as well have “just had sex” tattooed on his forehead – Ravi and Peyton (eating breakfast and good people who don’t deserve jolly post-sex people inflicted on them at that time in a morning) definitely notice
Then Liv comes down stairs (though Ravi’s “if that’s Rhianna coming down stairs that would explain so much” is pretty on point) equally bouncy and happy. Ugh happy people in the morning. Peyton is happy for them, Ravi objects to the morning nausea.
Meanwhile we’re actually getting a continuation for last week’s case – with the murderer from last week, Harry Cole, getting a huge plea deal and bail. He’s so smug about it that I can’t be that sad when two people on a bike zoom past and gun him down (missing Clive just)
Back in the morgue Ravi and Liv address important issues - whether Liv and Major had sex and whether zombieness is transmitted and whether a condom can really make a difference.
Clive joins them to be hailed as a hero by the others (though he objects to “not being shot” being considered heroic. He also thinks that Harry was getting his plea deal by testifying against someone else who probably paid for the convenient death. To prove this he wants Liv’s psychic help in an interview. Now – before she has eaten brains because Clive is still on the dark about where her visions come from. She can’t, of course, tell him to wait while she eats brains
So they go to question Roger Thrunk, the “fixer” of the company. And a lawyer so is not that easily shaken.
It doesn’t help much and they can’t even assume he’s guilty because, as Clive points out, Harry was a gambler who owed a lot of people money. Which means Liv has to look forward to gambler brains.
This show needs to stop making brainy recipes that look kind of yummy
Liv begins gambling on just about anything and has a vision about who the guy who attacked Harry was collecting debts for – a book keeper called “The barber.” Because he’s a barber. Total waste of a cool criminal name.
They go to interview The barber who is just damn good at police interviews (and points for the whole room joining in). The Barber also points to another possible suspect – Harry’s widow. So, to the man’s funeral (happening at Blaine’s undertakers).
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Midnight, Rise of the Black Vampire does not disappoint when it comes to racial inclusion. Not only is Amber an African-American vampire, the story is littered with cultural markers that never leave the reader doubting her identity. It reads as an authentic experience, as we learn about Amber and her friends being routinely stopped by the police for having the nerve to walk the streets as people of colour in a white supremacist police state. Everything from the music, to the language affirms Amber's identity as a person of colour. This is a refreshing change, as more often than not, when stories include Black women, they often read like White woman painted Black for inclusion cookie points. I found myself relating with much of Amber's lived experience.
Hardie spent a lot of time with world building. We learned the origin story of vampires and its ties to religion, and relationship to the Christian God. That said, there was an annoying amount of name dropping as Hardie constantly made Black historical figures vampires and interjected Amber's mother into historical scenes. It made me feel like I was reading Forest Gump but for people of colour in that regard. What was the point of saying that Bass Reeves, Jean Baptiste Point de Sable, and Ludwig Van Beethoven were vampires for instance, when it didn't add anything to the story? To some degree, one has to suspend belief to read a story like this but Hardie took it a touch to far and it kept pulling me out of the story.
What I found odd was the constant assertion that Black vampires were the epitome of vampire society, even though millions died during the middle passage. Hardie tended to blame everything evil on humans but the challenges that his characters faced were the fault of White supremacy. Midnight, Rise of the Black Vampires floats back and forth between a PSA about how hard it is to be Black in America, even as it seeks to elevate Blackness as the ultimate form of vampirism. Hardie continually reminds the reader that in terms of hierarchy, white vampires and even more specifically albino vampires are the lowest tier. It made me wonder if Hardie understands that someone can be both albino and Black? The fact that albinos were specifically cast as savage, animalistic and violent serves to reify some of the negative stereotypes associated with albinism. Attacking an already marginalized group in this fashion to assert Black superiority is indeed problematic.
At a construction site, protesters line the gate. Issac (Jake's dad) is indifferent to the fact that people are protesting his work on native land. He is informed by Andy that they are waiting on their last permit but Issac tells Andy that he has it, though he doesn't because he wants to uphold the company record of being fast. Andy gets to work and ends up dropping into a really deep sink hole. Andy gets to his feet and finds himself in a sort of cave. As the work crew lowers a rope for him, some kind of dust creature escapes through the hole. Once outside, the dust creature makes himself a double of Andy and smiles hideously.
At the library, Jake is hard at work and Cassandra tries to find out what his secret project is. Jake reveals that he is writing an academic criticism on colonial architecture. Jake turns the computer around so that Cassandra can read it and she notes that he is still publishing under a fake identity and encourages him to be himself now. Jake explains that he worked really hard on these identities and each has their own reputations which allows the work to get out there. Jake justifies this ongoing deception because of the fact that the library is secret, so Cassandra counters that Flynn did all sorts of research when he was the only librarian. Ezekiel comes downstairs with a big ball of popcorn, questioning who is up for movies but the big book starts flipping pages, meaning that the librarians have a task ahead of them.
In a different area of the library, Eve and Jenkins talk about the ongoing issues with the library. It seems that some rooms are still missing. Jenkins brings up Flynn, but Eve cuts him off saying that Flynn made it clear that he wouldn't be joining them. When Jenkins and Eve make it to the main room, they are informed by the three librarians that there is a giant rift in Oklahoma. You guessed it, Issac's work site. Jones is quick to claim the case but Jenkins doesn't think he is the right one on his own. Cassandra suggests that they all go and Eve is quick to concur. Eve stays behind so that the librarians can can get used to working together again.
In Oklahoma, the people are still protesting when the librarians arrive. They are mistaken for a team from the archaeological society and are informed by Lyal, that they will be looking at a sacred Choctow burial ground and that there's ancient tribal art under the surface. The Librarians are let in by the police but are warned that they are looking at a big pit. Andy escorts them in and reveals his belief that the Choctow aren't even local. Jake looks around the crew and asks for their foreman and when he is told that the foreman hasn't been seen since this morning, Jake asks where the nearest bar is.
When the librarians enter the bar, they find Jake's father drinking. Issac believes that Jake is there looking for a job and quickly informs him that they don't need anyone else. Jake asks about the trouble he has been hearing about and Issac explains about the protesters and that the state says he has to wait around for "egg heads" to sign off on his work. Jake admits that he is part of the team that Issac is waiting on. Issac is not impressed and snarks that unless they are giving degrees for digging holes and chasing women that Jake isn't much of an expert. Jake introduces Cassandra and Jones but gives Jones one of his fake identities. Jones claims that Jake is their field assistant and calls him a "blunt hammer". Issac is quick to surmise that Cassandra finds the artifacts and Jones examines them and then questions if Jake's job is to drive the truck. Clearly, there's animosity between father and son. Issac explains about the sink hole, calling it magic, adding his belief that the protesters must have messed with it. The librarians step aside to confer and decide that they need to look into the sink hole themselves. When Jake tells Issac this, Issac questions if this is the job that Jake turned his back on his family for.
Back at the work site, Lyal stops the truck and says that the permit states that a tribal observer must be present for an appraisal. Issac tells Lyal to come back when he is not wearing diapers. Jake intervenes and convinces Issac to comply, so Lyal hops in the back of the truck next to Jones. When they arrive at the sink hole, they find that the men are closing it up. The men claim that Andy gave the order but Andy says that he just got there. Jake places the helmet on Jones's head and explains how it works and adds that Jones can contact him in case Jones wants him to take any notes. As Jones descends, Cassandra wonders if it is safe down there and Jake answers that nothing is safe near Issac.
We have a man with newspaper clippings about the missing Evie and her friends approaching Miracle for “research.” Surprisingly this seems to be valid, because they let him in. And with a load of equipment he packs onto the bus (otherwise full of a prayer group of tourists).
Inside he only gets a golf cart as a visitor and we get the standard backdrop of oddness that is Miracle as he makes his way to the Murphy household to knock on the door – and rudely take a picture of Erika without her permission. He then goes next door and actually introduces himself to Nora – Dr. Juaquin Cuarto. He’s asking lots of questions and seems to be trying to connect the disappearance of Evie to Nora’s presence – and further asks if she touched her husband and kids when they departed. All before making even the slightest small talk
Y’know, if she murders him I’ll totally be on her side. Instead she just kicks his equipment off her property and screams at him before reassuring Erika that she’s fine. She does a very good sincere-but-not-really.
The next day she throws a rock through the Murphy’s window… for some reason, before tending to Mary who is now in her care. She also gets a call from one of Dr. Cuarto’s colleagues and hangs up – that’s even worse than PPI calls. Jill continues to be the most calm of the family and Nora is still chaining Kevin up which has its advantages. He’s also hallucinating still (and passing it off as cramp).
The Murphys see the damage and Erika seems to be blaming John (his actions probably don’t win them many friends). They also get another visitor from the Department of the Departed, George – from the “Secondaries” (which Nora says never happens – people who supposedly Departed after the main event) branch who the Murphies won’t speak to. Nora greets him since she also works for the department.
Instead Erika goes into the woods and digs up her box inside which is a dead bird, which she adds to the pile of dead birds. Because this is Leftovers and it likes the random. The parents of Evie’s friends who also vanished want to press Erika into speaking to George. She’s not having it and she’s certainly not being pressed into it.
Erika treats someone who was brutally beaten for selling spring water for ridiculous high prices (that would be John’s work again, against anyone peddling woo-woo). Her fellow medical professionals ensure she gets the job to treat him – so she can pressure the man into not pressing charges against John. She also sees the attackers took the man’s palm print.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Lily Yu and her mate, Rule Turner are completing the legal procedure to get Rule full custody of his son. It’d be nice if the could do it interrupted- but the looming politics of the press attention for the “lupi prince” and the complication of Rule now carrying the magical Mantle of the Leidolf clan despite them being his ancestral enemies
Then people start dying – and in the post-Turning world with wild magic and long gone creatures now emerging, this is far from a simple murder. And unsimple murders are now Lily’s job as an FBI Agent for the Magical Crime’s unit. Mystical serial killers have to take precedence to even the most important of family dramas
This book was a blessed relief to me. In the last 3 book reviews I have been immensely frustrated by how this series has expanded immensely quickly without nearly enough time to develop it. We started jumping dimensions, suddenly there were more supernatural creatures than we could shake a stick at and I have no idea what was happening and why. I love a big rich world, I really do – but this was too much too soon. It was like sitting down to an epic 4 course meal full of all your favourite food – them having someone dump all of it on one plate an expect you to eat it all at once.
So this book, while not removing what has come before, focuses much more closely. The dragons are out there, the huge magical take down of technology is still happening, the increase in magic and the gifted is all still there – but it’s a background to a story which is more local and lets us digest the world a bit more, what has changed and what these characters are without them disappearing to Hell or Edge or dealing with dragons or elves or demons or any other deluge of creatures.
We still have the mystery and a world changing – the Turning has still brought new magical beings and challenges and Lily’s entire job has vastly expanded to be part of the new FBI task force dealing with all the random magical chaos. But it’s much more digestible. For the first time in 3 books I feel I can catch my breath absorb this world without it pulling the rug out from under my feet and hitting me with some other massive world building overhaul.
I also have to say how much I lie how little of this world is known – characters are very willing to say “I don’t know”, which I like. We don’t know every aspect of our world – and their world has changed so much, how could everyone know how things are? Too often fictional worlds present everything as known and certain – rather than unknown and theorised
There’s also a return to my preferred protagonist – Lily and Rule as opposed to Cynna and Cullen. Lily, being a detective is much more focused and practical and just a lot more fun to me.
Emma now has the Dark One Blade and Exacalibur and her inner Dark One happily mentions history – which is a dangerous thing to do in these parts! Mention the past and you’ll be flashbacked!
Yes, we’re zooming back 1,000 years with men running in a desert – one of which is Merlin. Damn he looks good for his age (what am I saying? Damn he looks good at any age). He and his fellow find the Holy Grail which promptly kills said companion and turns him to dust (as Excalibur has a habit of doing). Because Merlin is super humble about it, he gets to drink from the cup (which doesn’t contain poison which, you have to admit, would be UTTERLY HILARIOUS!) instead it gives him magic to turn the whole desert into a green plain and forest.
Fastforward to a more recent flashback, everyone in granny’s diner in Camelot with Emma weaving a dream catcher while Merlin tells everyone if they get him Excalibur and the Dark One dagger he can put them together
This leads to another flashback (confused? You will be!) 200 years ago and Merlin finding a damsel in distress who had her village destroyed by terribad evil man Vortigern who would love revenge – in the sappiest way possible. Her vengeance will be to tend a little garden. Honestly you could have cursed Voritgern with boils, haemorrhoids, televangelists before 9:00am EVERY Sunday and you go for flower garden? Damn these noble heroes and their high road. (And I don’t trust it. Sure she acts sappy now, but it’s only a matter of time before she’s sacrificing babies). Blatant love interest is called Nimue.
Unsurprisingly they fall in love but he is concerned about marrying Nimue since he’s already 500 years old and would rather not live forever when she gets old and dead which is totally not romantic. She suggests she drink from the grail as well so they can both be young and phenomenally hot for all time. He mopes because immortality and ultimate cosmic power sucks terribly, honest. Nope he wants to remake the grail into a sword (whoa, Merlin, said grail murdered someone for touching it without being humble enough and you’re going to go about reforging it) which can then remove his magic so they can be weak, scabby medieval peasants and catch rickets and die of famine or plague or some other wonderfully mortal thing.
Monday, November 9, 2015
A man runs panicked through the London and even keeps moving after he drops his bag of groceries. Bonnie is in hot pursuit and breaks into his apartment saying that she is going to set him free. Bonnie says that the man is going to be the first to make the humans see. Bonnie zaps the man's forehead and he runs outside to get away from her. Back on the street with Bonnie hot on his heels, the man begins to lose his form and becomes a Zygon once again. Bonnie records the whole thing as the man runs away. On the phone, Bonnie announces that she is going to unit to retrieve the Osgood Box.
Clara watches the explosion on her television and smiles when she sees two parachutes in the sky. The Doctor and Osgood are now safely on the ground. The Doctor gives Osgood his sonic glasses when he notices that her glasses are broken. Please please let Osgood keep those damn wretched glasses. Osgood suggests that the Doctor is talking nonsense to avoid her from being scared. He simply walks away telling her not to look at his browser history. The two are on the move and Osgood wonders why Bonnie didn't blow them up but the Doctor points out that they were blown up. Osgood says that if she were taking over the earth, the first thing she would do is kill the Doctor, 12 times in rapid succession if she had to. They talk about Clara and it seems that the Doctor hasn't given up hope yet.
From her pod, Clara moves her finger up and down and Bonnie does the same sending a text message to the Doctor. Osgood believes that it's Bonnie but the message says, "I'm awake." After seeing the message Osgood says that Clara is fighting back and that the Zygon doesn't know she text or why she misfired the bazooka.
Bonnie yanks out a hidden laptop and looks at the Osgood video about the Osgood box. On the tape Osgood says that she lied and that the Osgood Box is not there. Osgood adds that there's a reason the box is called the Osgood box and that it can start a war or bring peace. In frustration, Bonnie smashes the laptop on the ground.
The Doctor and Osgood approach two cops and when they get a blank look in response they decide to move along. Osgood calls Clara's phone and gets Bonnie, as the cop car turns to follow them. The Doctor asks Bonnie her plan and in return, Bonnie asks for the location of the Osgood Box. Bonnie winks while she is talking and when the Doctor confronts her about it, she denies winking. The Doctor asks where the pod is and Bonnie blinks furiously. The Doctor then says that he coming to get Clara and warns Clara not to let Bonnie into her memories. The Doctor and Osgood grab a car and Osgood chases down the location of Bonnie's phone from South London.
Deanna is outside the walls of Alexandria and she climbs a ladder to the outside gate and looks in at her little town. It looks calm and serene. She picks at a sign which reads PNR #1 R Monroe. Deanna then watches as residents stack bodies and drag them away. In the background Michonne explains to Maggie about what happened to Glenn. In the distance Rick screams, "open it." When Deanna turns her head, she that Rick is running frantically towards the gate, as he is chased by zombies. Michonne tosses open the gate and Rick is almost surrounded when he stumbles. Michonne just manages to get the gate closed in time as zombie swarm it. A horrified Deanna looks on.
The horde quickly surrounds the walls of Alexandria, while inside the panicked residents gather. A determined Rick tells the assembled crowd that the zombies they heard are only half of what was led away and they are surrounded 20 deep. Rick acknowledge their fear because they haven't seen anything like this or been through anything like this. Rick assures them that they are safe for now and that the wall is going to hold together. He challenges them keep it together and assures them that the others (Darryl, Abraham, and Sasha ) are going to come back and lead the herd. Rick adds that Glenn and Nicholas will be back as well and instructs them to keep noise to a minimum and the lights out. Rick says that the place must be as quiet as a graveyard.
Aaron tells the group that a quarry broke open and that the walkers were headed this way but Rick's plan worked. Aaron points out that at least half of the zombies are gone. Aaron goes on to reveal that he was out recruiting with Darryl and that Darryl wanted to keep looking for people but they did what Aaron wanted and ended up in a trap. Aaron says that he lost his big which gave away their location and takes responsibility for the attack. Rick responds that there will be more to talk about this later. In other words, we don't have time for your guilt. Deanna simply walks away even as the people call to her. Clearly, she has lost it, even though the members of Alexandria still look to her for guidance.
Jessie returns home and drags out the body of the person she killed and then she starts digging a grave. Rick dumps more bodies next to her and says that they don't bury killers inside the walls. Jessie asks what they do and Rick replies that they wait.
The people go to the community kitchen to get food and are upset by what they have been given. They absolutely refuse to ration and instead march into the kitchen and start taking food, saying that there's no point in starving while waiting to die. Deanna watches all of this and does not say a word. Spencer tells them that the food needs to last but Bruce throws the fact that he left the gate open in his face. Spencer acknowledges what he did but points out that he is also responsible for the placement of the truck adding that if it weren't for him, maybe they wouldn't be talking now. Spencer asks Bruce where he was during the raid and Bruce does not answer. Spencer says that doing this will start them down a road where nothing or no one matters. Bruce starts putting back cans and the others follow suit.
Maggie works in the garden and when Aaron sees her, instead of approaching he walks away. Some of the residents are at the wall writing names of the people who died on it. A teary eyed Aaron looks on. Aaron then finds Maggie in the armory and she is arming herself. Aaron talks about luring the zombies off the wall and opening up a path. Aaron questions if Maggie is just waiting for dark and asks what happens when she twists an ankle jumping down or gets slowed down by one walker and then has to deal with all of them. Aaron says that he cannot let Maggie do this and offers to help her. Aaron finished by revealing that he knows a safer way out.
Deanna sits and stares at her wedding ring. Deanna then grabs the plans for Alexandria and starts writing on them. She adds a mill, crops, and and education training center. Clearly, Deanna's mind is on the future and she finally smiles. Deanna looks up when she hears broken glass and finds Spencer cleaning up the mess he made. Deanna accuses Spencer of being drunk and he says that he is getting there. Deanna says that she just came from the pantry and accuses him of stealing. Deanna questions if what Spencer told everyone was bullshit. Spencer however responds that if they all did it, it would be the end but if it's just one person -- then no one would ever know -- so then why not him. Spencer says that he deserves an award because the residents were right and they are all going to be dead soon. Spencer adds that they are all so screwed because they were never safe there. It seems that Spencer blames Deanna for the death of Reg and Aidan. Spencer grabs his drink and walks away and Deanna loads the food back into a cart.
Carl approaches Ron to ask if he has seen Enid. Ron asks Carl what makes him believe that Enid isn't dead. Carl says that he is going to find her and asks Ron for help. Ron is adamant that he not helping Carl. Carl points out that it's not for him but for his friend and Ron corrects Carl, and says his girlfriend. Ron is adamant that he told Enid to stop going outside the walls and that there are bad people out there. Carl says that is not the case if you know what you are doing. Ron tells Carl that he is not going to let him go. The two boys starts to push each other and Carl pushes Ron to the ground. Ron threatens to tell Rick and adds that Rick will try to find Carl and others will follow, then someone will die. Ron says that Carl saved his life and now he is saving Carl's.
Clarice writes a kind of mutual dislike letter to her husband Lorenzo (it’s kind of “you’re a terrible person, so am I so meh”) in between torturing the man she captures last episode. Clarice has grown some sharp edges. She’s looking for Cosima and is happy to slice and dice to get answers.
Her new hobby is interrupted by someone who kills the owner of the brothel where she’s staying – she sees the man and gasps “you!”
In Naples, Leo and Zoroaster and the other refugees are leaving Otranto. Leo is still sad and blaming himself. Leo wants to go to Rome and work with the Pope to save Italy from the Turks. Zoroaster thinks he’s out of his ever loving mind and that Sixtus is more likely to kill them all than the Ottomans are. Leo rides off and, of course, Zoroaster follows.
In Rome, Riario has managed to convince the cowardly Fake!Pope Sixtus to leave his secure cell because, as Riario puts it, it’s hard to courageously rally troops while cowering in a safe room. Especially since they need to convince the powerful Lady Laura to throw the weight of Venice behind the Crusade. She has her own plans as well – she wants to gather all of the Republics’ forces in Florence, a traditional opponent of Rome. She hopes that the display in Florence will inspire everyone by the display of unity. She wants a full super, duper carnival display for inspiration
The climax of which will be the display of a Turkish prisoner. The prisoner is desperately praying which causes Riario to explain the whole concept of praying to Mecca while Sixtus insists Rome is the only holy city (which is ridiculous – c’mon there have been Nine Crusades by this point to capture the Holy Land – yet Sixtus doesn’t even acknowledge Jerusalem as a Holy City?). More annoying for Sixtus is that the captured “Heathen Cur” doesn’t look like the monster they want to inspire terror – but a normal, terrified man cowering in a cage.
His attempts to terrifying the man just ends up killing him. Laura isn’t impressed. Laura and Sextus don’t get on.
Leo and Zoroaster arrive at the gates of Rome to meet Riario – and Zoroaster is fiercely opposed to working with him. Leo tries to encourage Zoroaster to make peace – he refuses and Leo tells Zoroaster to leave
Leo meets Sixtus (refusing to call him the pope since he knows about the Real!Pope but not that he had escaped). Leo encourages Laura to stay while he appeals to the Pope to let him “bring hell” to the Turks. Sixtus wants to play “I told you so” over Leo working with the Sons of Mithras – and he dismisses Leo’s offer to make engines of destruction for Rome’s armies. Despite Riario’s objection – Sixtus demands Leo prove himself by finding the assassin first – and demands Leo kisses his ring. Which he does.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Bernadette runs down the road and is being chased by a zombie. Suddenly, a flash of light appears and when Bernadette turns around she sees that the zombie is caught in a beam. The zombie is broken into several pieces and then dropped to the ground. The light then surrounds Bernadette.
The crew is driving down the street and Vazquez suggests that they get off the road. They come across the remains of the zombie by the side of the road and Warren slows down the jeep. The group is in awe of the way the zombie is sliced into bits. 10K adds to his hit count and kills a wondering zombie. What the crew does not realise is that they are being followed in the sky. 10K says that there used to be a lot of mutilated cattle in this area. Murphy is adamant that aliens don't exist and 10K points out that this is what people said about zombies. Suddenly, the engine of the jeep stops working. They begin to hear weird sounds coming through the radio. When Warren looks up, there's a bright light in the sky. The light zooms in quickly and then zooms out. It hovers for a moment and then shoots into the sky. The jeep starts up suddenly again and the group continue on with their journey.Warren relates a story about her father seeing a bright craft buzzing over him and that it made him a believer. Murphy is still adamant that there are no aliens. The crew drive past a sign for Roswell.
It's daytime now and Warren looks through 10k's scope at a crash scene. Vasquez does not believe that they are dealing with an extra terrestrial. The crew head to the crash site on foot and Warren notes that the remnants have been there for awhile. They notice that the crash site is in a perfect circle. Warren says that it is not the thing they saw last night and so suggests that the group keep moving. Zombies head in their direction and 10K uses a sling shot to take out a couple of zombies.
The team make their way into Roswell pull up to a diner where 10K does his slingshot thing again. The group enters the diner with Warren in the lead and are asked if they are there for the visitors and if they have been touched by Bernadette. It seems that there's an exodus going on. The people who have been arriving at the diner have been doing so after dreaming about it. Roy Nearberg informs them that they are not too late and that he is going to introduce them to their fellow extronaughts. It seems that they believe that humans have been invited to visit an alien world in six days. Bernadette (the same woman who was running from the zombie at the opening of the show) greats the group and says that among the group will be the one that the visitors are waiting for. Bernadette hugs Murphy and calls him the emissary. Yep, it's always about Murphy.
Later, the group sit to eat some chicken teriyaki and once alone, Vasquez questions how long they are going to allow people to believe that Murphy is the emissary. Warren answers that as long as they keep offering food and water but adds that they will be out of there soon. Vasquez tosses the food at Murphy and the group starts snarking about Murphy being the emissary of the human race. Dan Scully approaches their table and introduces himself and questions if they believe the alien exodus crap. Dan says that he was just passing through and that the people who have been staying in Roswell believe they have been seeing UFOs. Dan tells the group that the aliens aren't coming to save humans because they have been on earth for thousands of years and are the ones who caused the apocalypse. Dan tells the group that they should leave before the zombie aliens return and infect them all. Dan warns that they aren't to listen to Bernadette because Bernadette will get them all killed.
Warren grabs a map while Doc talks about wanting to believe in UFOs. It seems that Warren wants to get a look at the base because it means that there's a ground crew with fuel and transportation. Bernadette appears and offers to show the group where the base is because she goes there all of the time. Bernadette adds that the visitors contact her all of the time.
Bernadette leads the group to a military base. Murphy snarks about the lack of big technology and Warren asks about a radio. The group agrees to split up for now and search the base. Warren and Addy fight off a group of zombies, as a useless Bernadette watches. When the group gets back together at the landing spot Bernadette has marked, they all say that they have found nothing. Bernadette informs them that the aliens are only going to take the humans who have been called. Bernadette says that the aliens have seen what we've done to ourselves and don't want humans doing it to them. 10K asks about top secret areas and Bernadette reveals that she was told only to bring the emissary. Apparently, Bernadette has been hearing voices but they haven't said what they want with Murphy. Warren asks to be take to the place where Bernadette hears the voices. Bernadette moves so quickly that they don't actually see her move.
"Cherish those who seek the truth
but beware of those who find it."
Beau Childs is doing some accounting work when he realises that nearly half a million dollars is missing. Childs goes into an absolute state of panic and tells his assistant Paul Wemlinger that someone is falsifying the data. Childs calls the police but is interrupted by Wemlinger who claims the he knows who is responsible. Wemlinger hands over a folder and then Woges and kills Childs. Wemlinger then call 911, crying that someone killed his boss, before hanging up the phone.
Adalind holds baby Kelly and Nick sleeps in the hospital chair. Rosalee enters the room, and Nick leaves with her. Nick is still extremely frantic and in the hallway, he tells the group that Chavez was killed by Wesen. Nick shows the team the chess piece that Chavez gave him and says that he still doesn't know where Truble is. Nick however announces that he has to go back and figure out who did this. The men agree to go with him and Rosalee offers to stay behind with Adalind and baby Kelly. Really? We're all ready doing the gender thing? This is twice now Rosalee has stayed behind with Adalind and the baby.
The men arrive in two separate cars at the location where Chavez brought Nick. Nick tells the men that Chavez warned of an uprising. When they look around, they find that the bodies are gone. Wu notes that the ground is still wet and Hank says that someone went to a lot of trouble to cover it up. Nick pulls out Chavez's phone and Wu agrees to run it for the last caller. They head to the exit where one of the assailants escaped and Nick notices that the four black lines have been painted over. Wu brings up a conspiracy and Hank wonders if they should bring in Renard. Nick believes that Renard should be left out of it until they figure out what is going on. The men decide to leave but what they don't know is that they were being watched.
Adalind sits up in alarm and asks for her baby. Rosalee comforts Adalind by saying that the baby is in the nursery. Nick is back and he thanks Rosalee before sending her on her way. In the hallway, Nick tells Rosalee that they found nothing at the factory. Rosalee informs Nick that the Doctor will be releasing Adalind tomorrow and questions if Adalind will be going back to his place. Nick says that he has no place else to take her and Rosalee agrees to come over in the morning with Monroe to help out.
Hank reports to Renard that Adalind had the baby. Before Hank can leave the office, he is informed that while Nick is on a break that he will be partnered up with Detective Pogue. Hank is resistant but Renard tells him to make it work. Pogue comes to the office and informs Hank that they have a body. When Hank and Pogue arrive at the scene of Childs murder, Wu gives them the break down. Wu and Hank make eye contact over Pogue's body after seeing weird markings. Hank questions the supposed witness Paul Wemlinger, who claims he heard awful screams and saw two men running from the office. Hank asks for a description and is told that they were both wearing ski masks and that one of them was holding some kind of stake or weapon. Wemlinger claims that he tried to stop the bleeding after the men left and called 911. Paul even says that he tried to give his boss mouth to mouth. With tears in his eyes, Paul claims that he doesn't know who would do such a thing and suggests that the cops talk to his bosses assistant Betty. Privately, Hank asks if they buy Paul's story but Pogue doesn't believe that Paul is capable of ripping someone's throat out. The cops then move onto Betty, and she claims everyone in the office got along well.Wu pulls Hank aside to inform him that security cameras don't show anyone coming or going in the last three hours except for the cops themselves. Wu is certain that this has got to be Wesen and Hank snarks about having to explain this to Pogue.
Charlotte is dead, stabbed repeatedly and picked up by Gloria. Who is using an ice-cream van to carry away bodies – because Gloria. Lots of sadness all round, especially since Audrey has only just accepted Charlotte as her mother (which we should have seen as a death knell right there).
Vince and Dave are still investigating Croatoan when a raging Dwight rages in demanding that killing Croatoan be the new priority – Audrey agrees (having lost both her mother and her son to him. Now that’s a Jeremy Kyle episode right there). Which means having Dave produce another vision
Which means booze and trying to get past Dave’s own reluctance. He has a vision of seeing Charlotte – and a key to Charlotte’s “go-bag” with her notes: but Croatoan also said Dave’s name and knows he’s watching.
Vince and Nathan want to talk to the dead Charlotte in case she has anything more useful to tell them (and dramatic death scenes never tell you all you need to know – the Grim Reaper times his scythe for dramatic flourish). Thankfully death is a mere inconvenience and the Troubled Card Reader Lainy has a sister, Ona, who can speak to the dead.
Nathan goes to see her – and she fails to contact Charlotte. But he does meet Herb, Lainy’s dead husband (I would call shenanigans on Nathan seeing a guy with a scar on his arm and saying “ZOMG DEAD PERSON!” but this is Haven). Looks like Ona actually has a Resurrection Trouble and is surrounded by a little group of dead friends.
Dwight is super-eager to bring Charlotte back while Audrey sensibly thinks that every Trouble has a downside… so where’s the catch. Especially since it’s a new Trouble and who knows what the downside will be? Nathan sides with Dwight – they have to take the risk. So unwise plan it is. Audrey also has Nathan hide the aether from everyone, including her, since Croatoan is after it
Dwight goes to get Charlotte’s body after a nice moment with Gloria (who I awesome). They bring her to Ona – and resurrection happens. Charlotte has gaps in hr memory and Ona urges patience.
That fragmentary memory has sent Charlotte on the run, possibly thinking Audrey killed her. Dwight rages
Audrey decides the best way to fix this is to go get some more magical Troubled Tarot readings (worst idea ever! Where’s the upside?!) Only she finds Herb eating Lainy – yup, we have ourselves a raging zombie trouble! And bullets don’t kill him!