Friday, December 18, 2015

American Horror Story, Season 5, Episode 10: She Gets Revenge

And since we’re approaching a kind of hiatus it’s time for American Horror Story to take all of their many many storylines and smoosh them together until they kind of fit together – like an inpatient toddler trying to ram lego bricks together.

But let’s start by looking at the main characters, the best characters, the only ones I actually care about in this vast cast – Iris and Liz

They start with a suicide pact (after seeing a desperate, sad and highly emotional suicide pact in the hotel which deeply moves Liz) deciding that everything is shit and there’s nothing good left in this world. Iris has finally realised her relationship with Donovan is not even close to healthy while Liz has decided that she cannot go on without Tristan. Before Liz does anything dramatic, Iris steps in to remind her that people who die in the hotel with unresolved issues then get to haunt it forever more. This is something more people should remember.  Liz’s unresolved issue is the son she’s left behind

So they invite him up (by throwing cleaning products at Hazel who has gone from eccentrically amusing to kind of unpleasantly tropey with her obsession with cleaning all the things) to visit. And this could go wrong, this could go so very very wrong. Especially since American Horror Story has such a terrible terrible terrible history of with LGBT people

But it’s surprisingly sweet and gentle and kind and good and accepting and really emotional and… not awful. Yes, American Horror Story and “not awful” placed together in an extremely unexpected way. It shocked me too

With Liz now having a wonderful accepting family and an actual future she has a reason to live. And she convinces Iris to step back from her own suicide montage plans – and for them to forget a future together.

Now, alas, to the other pointless characters who are polluting this series

Here we have Detective John the serial killer randomly killing people for funsies because why not. Sally is still there “supporting him” in his serial killing adventures. Which makes her all bitter and angry and plotting terribad revenge when John reunites with Alex

Friday Discussion: Trigger Warnings

We have spoken before about how Atrocities are all too often casually invoked in fiction for lazy characterisation. We have also spoken about how marginalised issues are too often appropriated for lazy storytelling or even as a cheap marketing tool - but these points don’t just apply to the genocides and catastrophes that are in our history books, but also to the very personal atrocities that happen to people every day. Rape, abuse, hate crimes and so many horrendous acts leave people every bit as devastated as the horrors that are considered large enough to deserve historical record.

Let us not downplay what a trigger means. A person who is triggered is hurt - they are wounded, they are often forced to relive some of the worst moments of their lives. Being triggered is more than being uncomfortable - it can mean your deepest fear ambushing you, it can mean nights of overwhelming terror, it can make leaving the house a desperate struggle. No, it certainly doesn’t always manifest this way and certainly many people have learned ways to cope with their triggers - but on no account can we dismiss triggers as something minor, or “oversensitivity” (as it is so often dismissed as by people who object to them even being discussed)

Obviously, it does become difficult, if not impossible, to remove every trigger for every person in the media. Nor does it mean that any or all triggers must never ever appear in the media in any form. However, that doesn’t mean some of the most commonly experienced and egregious triggers cannot be warned for - that the victims of things like rape, torture, hate crimes etc cannot be given the chance to protect themselves.

With every depiction of these on TV or in books you are invoking atrocity. You are using atrocity, you are portraying atrocity and there is an even higher chance that you are presenting that atrocity to its victims. Which means we must always ask WHY we are doing this? Why is this here? Why is it being included?

To invoke these atrocities casually, gratuitously, clumsily and/or pointlessly not only seeds unnecessary minefields of triggering pain for victims to stumble upon but it completely disrespects their experience and rubs salt into these tender wounds. It’s bad enough that a show has decided to gratuitously depict what these victims have endured - but to do it as entertainment? To do it for shock value? To do it and show none of the consequences, the impact or the scars of it? To do it even for titillation?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hunted (House of Night #5) by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast

After a series of dubious events force Zoey and her people back to the House of Night after they managed to escape in the last book they are left only with a random series of poems to guide them to finally drive off Kaloma.

Yes, it’s time for another House of Night book, inflicted on me by Cyna and Mavrynthia, who will either be co-defendants in my trial for trying to annihilate humanity for no longer deserving to exist, or will be the people I blame in my defence. I intend to use this link spam in my defence argument.

Let’s start small – this book is utterly overwhelmed with stand-alone-stuffing. I’ve said before that this series treats their readers as having the intelligence of algae – every book feels the need to recap every single book that has passed before. By the time we get to book 8 it will be 10,000 pages long and only 100 pages of it will be actual plot, the rest will be endless, painful, dull recap

Which pretty much sums up well over 100 pages of this book. We have a brief introduction of the Red Fledglings, most of them who are nothing more than a name (and the one who isn’t, frankly, would probably be preferable as a name). Zoey and Erik begin their relationship do-si-do and they all do… nothing. They hide in the tunnels, safe from their enemies that hates going underground. They have no idea what to do but they’re safe unless they go outside and are attacked by their enemies.

Which Zoey promptly does. Of course she does. In a desperate, forced attempt to move this limping plot forward, Zoey abandons even her limited supply of common sense. She gets injured, they belatedly decide they simply have to return to the House of Night for REASONS so we can try and drag out a storyline

I say try. Because when they get there they do…. They do… uh… well Zoey and Stark connect and then they escape. That’s pretty much it until the very last chapter. It’s one bizarre distraction which was really all about Stark and the clumsy relationship and terrible love dodecahedron (more on that later).

The one attempt at a plot line is the prophecy of how to get rid of Kaloma the big bad, brought by Kramisha, the convenient source for more Nyx “wisdom”. Like the last book, this prophecy involves everyone scratching their head about how impossible it is – only Nyx has even less faith in her minions than I do! Rather than suffer Zoey & co struggling to figure it out, she again plays Irritable Bowel Goddess and gives Zoey her special “feelings” whenever she’s right. Honestly when deciding what special people they need to banish Kaloma they didn’t even need the prophecy – they just needed to read the phone book aloud and wait until Nyx started churning

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Librarians, Season Two, Episode Six: And the Infernal Contract

This episode was all about Baird and the role of the Guardian.  From the moment Baird took on the role of the Guardian, because of her training and skill, the audience believed strongly that her main job was to ensure that the Librarians survived their missions.  Though all of the librarians are incredibly smart, it's fair to say that they lack combat skills.  In this episode we learn that Baird's job is actually more important than saving a physical body.

This episode begins with the usual nonsense - an excited Jake is serving up barbecue courtesy of the chupacabra and the team is reasonably turned off. Cue the book with a new assignment for the Librarians which just so happens to be in the same town were Baird is visiting a friend.  Eve's mini vacation comes to an abrupt halt when it turns out that the Librarians are there to investigate the disappearance of her friend's intern.  Sam (Eve's friend) wants to make a difference particularly because the town of Hawthorne is corrupt.  Unfortunately for Eve, after a cursory review, the evidence seems to indicate that Sam did have something to do with the missing staffer.

Eve, Sam, and the Librarians, arrive at the hotel where Sam and the missing intern were set to meet. They look around the room and find no hint of the intern.  As they begin to discuss a marking on the ceiling, the body of the missing intern drops through a magical hole and lands on the bed.  Eve now has no choice but to explain to Sam that magic is real.  Even after what Sam has witnessed, Sam's not ready to be convinced. Eve compares magic to a nuclear bomb to help to contextualize what is going on.

Back at the Library, Jenkins tells the crew that they are actually dealing with the devil.  The devil can appear as anyone but is most likely to appear as whatever its target finds the most appealing. The devil also feeds on souls.  After some research, they realise that the Keating family has been under contract for 44 years.  A disaster occurs and one of the Keatings comes to the rescue.  Interestingly enough, a new contract is due to be signed.

The Librarians figure out which building the contract is stored in and they sneak in under cover. Jenkins plays Cassandra's sugar daddy, Stone a chauffeur and Jones a waiter.  The Librarians manage to find the contract but security is on to them. They go for plan B and push the contract done a chute which is caught by Eve.  In the meantime, the devil is conversation with Jenkins and he warns Jenkins that the closer they get to the contract, the worse their luck will turn.

Outside, Eve gives the contract to Sam to give to Jenkins and Sam punches her in the face.  The Devil appears, excited by the chance to entrap someone new.  Sam wants his reputation restored. Most of all though, Sam wants to be a hero.  Eve tries desperately to talk him out of it but Sam signs the contract.  A car appears and Sam gets in.  The devil and Sam then disappear together. Eve is joined by the Libarians and Jenkins.  Together they figure out that for Sam to be a hero, a disaster of some sort has to happen.  The mayoral debate is going to be in the center of town, so that is where the team heads to.

Once at the town square, the Librarians figure out that gas lines are being prepared. Since the contract always creates a disaster out of what is available, the Librarians head under ground to turn off the gas. They manage to turn off the gas but it vents into the room they are in and the door slams shut trapping them.  The devil appears and starts to taunt the three librarians so that one of them will sign the contract and in the process save their lives. The Devil promises Cassandra health, Jake the ability to defeat Prospero and Jones the chance to travel the world.

Caroline Mayville Secretly Psychic Detective by Sylvia Pink

Caroline is looking for a new way to help her savings last longer into her old age – and property development sees like a nice way to expand her bank balance.

Except Caroline has a secret – she can see ghosts. And her new house, while perfect in every other way, has a spectral tenant –and she has a mystery she wants Caroline to solve.

I’m having difficulty reviewing this book because it should never have really have landed in my inbox in the first place. It’s not Urban Fantasy – it’s a Cozy Mystery meets Romance. I was concerned when the publisher first approached us that this didn’t sound like our genre and expressed this to them. But the publisher assured me it was our genre

Sadly, I think they’ve done the author a terrible disservice to spam her book to blogs and review sites where it is clearly not appropriate. Sadly, it’s going to end up in the hands of people like me who just won’t enjoy it simply because it’s not their preference.

So I’m going to do my utmost to be fair to this author (who deserves better than her publisher’s shenanigans) even while I have to acknowledge that this is really not my thing

I found this book… pleasant. It was a nice meander of a story, the pacing wasn’t super fast or exciting but I think it suited it not to be. It wasn’t fast paced or action packed, it contained no adrenaline, no odd twists, no sudden surprises. There was no adventure or blood-fizzing or particularly intriguing or interesting elements or depth or much else to make the book zing

And that’s fine. It’s not meant to zing. It’s a not a book that makes you sit on the edge of your seat unable to stop turning the pages, or a book that makes you laugh uproariously. It’s a book to laze away the day casually strolling through it, meandering through Caroline’s story while still being able to put it down and pick it up again later or follow the development of her life

It is a sweet little story, we have an older protagonist – Caroline is in her 60s – and sexual and romantic at that as well as being competent and capable and having a powerful, loving relationship with her granddaughter.  I like her take on the world – she isn’t up to date with everything, but she has an experienced, mature outlook without being shocked or scandalised. She doesn’t live in a happy bubble and we’re not expected to consider her naive because she’s older. Nor is she weak or incapable or non-sexual even if several people assume she is because of her age.

She has some nice little plot lines – her buying the new house and decorating it even as she falls in love with it. Her sweet growing romance with Bob which is nice to see two older people and is filled with respect and affection. Her worries about her independence, her loss of identity are powerful and poignant without being over-dramatic and seeming out of place.

Diversitywise there are no minorities at all. There are several strong and capable women but that’s pretty much it.

This is a cosy book. It’s a comfortable book… and it’s just not my kind of book. Despite this, I definitely didn’t hate it – I pleasantly enjoyed it even if it wasn’t a book I’d pick up again. It isn’t a book I would choose but if it is your genre of book then I think you will love this, it’s excellently written and a good read.

Into the Badlands, Season One, Episode Five: Snake Creeps Down

The penultimate  of this first season was all about setting things up for the big season finale.  The problem however is that it felt like they were simply moving pieces around on a chess board and once again we got very little character development.  That's not to say that I feel like I don't know the characters, it's just that they all feel two dimensional with obvious motivations.  

Sonny is training M.K. on the big wall which surrounds Quinn's fort. M.K. tries to beg off saying that he is tired but Sonny is having none of it.  M.K. goes all black eyes and Sonny soon finds himself hanging off the wall.  M.K. reveals that he doesn't know the way to Asra. Sonny wakes up in a panic.  He then grabs the book that M.K. stole from the Widow and puts his compass into the opening in the middle. The compass starts to turn.  Clearly, these two items are meant to work together.  Are Sonny and M.K. more connected than we have been told?

In the big house, Quinn is feeling the pressure of the missing cogs.  Without the cogs, the poppy harvest will rot in the fields which will serve to further weaken Quinn's position among the other  Barons. Jade steps up to suggest that Quinn educate the cogs, adding that kindness will earn him more loyalty than the brutality he has been practicing.  Quinn of course does not agree and points out that he pulled himself up by the bootstraps.  Jade then changes tactics and brings up the fact that she used to pick in Quinn's fields and suggests that if he gives her some of his clipper force that she can get the picking done.

Quinn heads out to the veranda with the women flanking him to give his speech from the throne and is overcome by a headache.  Quinn is unable to finish his thoughts and is forced to return inside with Lydia by his side.  Veil comes by to treat him and Quinn decides that this is the perfect opportunity to talk to Veil about her parents.  Does Quinn admit to the murder and beg for mercy? Why of course not. Quinn chooses to tell Veil that Sonny's sword killed her parents.  This is technically true but he is withholding the fact that he was the one holding the sword. 

The Widow is cutting all of the new male cogs, testing to see if any of them is M.K.. Tilda takes the opportunity to question the Widow about M.K. and learns that every time M.K. uses his power it causes some of his life force to slip away.  It seems the Widow had planned to train M.K. to use his power properly. The Widow warns Tilda to be wary of men.  

After working in the fields with the men, Lydia goes to see Jade to say that she has a new found respect for her.  Lydia suggests that Quinn needs Jade more than her.  Oh dear, Jade better sleep with one eye open.  Ryder warned her last episode that Lydia has already killed one of Quinn's intended.  Jade who is completely guileless once gain offers to work together saying that they are both needed. 

That night M.K. and Tilda meet and she tells him about his power.  Unfortunately for the two of them, Sonny comes across them and immediately arrests Tilda despite M.K.'s protests.  Tilda is taken back to Quinn's fort.

After a little visit to Waldo to get his support for leadership, Ryder decides to see his grandfather to learn more about M.K.'s pendant.  Ryder is told that it's an orphan story about a place beyond the Badlands that is a sort of paradise.  Ryder's grandfather gives the impression that this is little more than a myth  The moment Ryder is gone, his grandfather orders his men to head to Quinn's fort because the "dark one" is there. What does this man know about M.K.'s powers and why does he feel threatened by them?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Da Vinci's Demons, Season 3, Episode 8: La Confessione Della Machina

Leo has gone home to Vinci to find his newly discovered sister Sofia and the Leafy Page. And hallucinations. This show always has hallucinations

He also finds Cosmo and several other Labyrinth guys who want to convert him by flogging and torture. This is not a convincing argument. Sophia arrives to the rescue and to tell him that mummy is dead – because this show simply doesn’t have enough angst.

Leo then fights Cosmo and despite his many injuries which left him barely able to stand he does quite well and after much rolling around in the mud, he kills the other man.

There can now be sibling rivalry – and telling Leo that his precious Lucrezia is now imprisoned by her dad, Gedik and the Sons of Mithras. Also he totally doesn’t want to encourage her to be all vengeful but they totally need to murder these people

Together they start to read the page and go on a nature walk while discussing Leo’s many fortune telling hallucinations. And Sofia has Leo’s genius mannerisms – they could bounce off each other well. They use the page and have mutual shiny hallucinations which leads to a shiny shiny invention.

I think they just discovered electricity – or a dangerous Tesla coil.

Riario is still on a guilt trip and has decided to tell the slightly unhinged Lorenzo that he killed Clarice. There are probably easier ways to commit suicide. It’s the battle of the Manpains! Laura pleads for him, throwing around the word “tyrant” a lot, which is amusing when we consider she serves the pope. She goes to try and convince Riario not to throw his life away because Twu Lub while Vanessa tries to tip-toe around Lorenzo’s temper. Which she’s much much better at.

Nico and Zoroaster have managed to teleport all the way (got to love how people can zoom up and down Italy in days in this show) to Wallachia to see Vlad. They’re plan is comically awful “Hi Vlad, please don’t kill us!” It sort of works so we get to enjoy more of Vlad’s awesome decorating style while commenting on how not dead the very very scary man is – given that they killed him before. Of course that means they now have to rely on Vlad forgiving and forgetting that

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Haven, Season 5, Episode 24: The Wandering Gyre

Croatoan has been revealed to be William Shatner, instantly making him 8 bajillion times less scary but still rather creepy in that paternal kind of way with additional shiny super powers. He insists on trying to play the adoring father. He wants her to go back with him to their home wherever that is – which turns out to be very much like ours with both good and bad (terrible d├ęcor but it has coffee).

No matter what she says, he insists that she’s his daughter. They then talk their epic epic family issues with him wanting to play happy families and she pointing out that he’s actually killed many members of that family (though we have a final reason for why the Colorado Kid, James, was killed – because of Lucy had killed him, the person she loved the most, to set off the Barn it would have ended the Troubles). His “I’ve killed everyone because I loved you the mostist” is, of course, neither endearing nor reassuring.

“I will kill for you and have killed people you love for you”, is totally not sweet. Even if several books we’ve read will argue that point. Croatoan is also stab proof and brutally abusive – but hey he can heal with woo-woo. Yes, Croatoan can control the Troubles – to him the Troubles are super powers without the downside or side effects.

He also expositions why he was banished – the recklessness he was banished for was to save her life (putting aether into his daughter to boost her immune system). Uh-uh, and the random killings are totally justified by this because….? Oh yes, they’re not.

However it does tell us why Croashatner needs Audrey – because the aether in her makes her super-duper aether user and with that he can make awesome Troubles to flood the place with Aether and then create evil-super-duper powers they can go home with

Duke is rampaging around killing Troubled people while Nathan and Dwight plan to try and stop him. This involves, like so many shows, setting a tap for him and then having absolutely no plans for him when he arrives. Thankfully random conscience shows up allowing them to drug him and chain him up (with special Trouble Chains they had helpfully hanging around).

Z Nation, Season Two, Episode Fourteen: Day One

At this point, the group is closer than they have ever been to their final end goal.  This episode opens with the group being forced to abandon the El Camino's.  Damn it, I liked those cars. Warren quickly determines that they are going to have to walk the rest of the way when the group finds themselves standing in the ruins of Disneyland. This penultimate episode is essentially nothing more than one big flashback which for me was rather irritating.

It begins with Citizen Z, who was in jail and about to face time for some kind of cyber crime. Well that explains a lot because Citizen Z does not look like he is in enough shape to survive basic training, let alone be a part of the military. Citizen Z is approached by the NSA and warned that what he is about to learn is something that he cannot even share with his lawyer.  It seems that the NSA wants to ship Citizen Z to the arctic to work on zombies.

We next move on to Warren, who is commanding a group of the National Guard.  Warren heads outside when she hears the sirens of an ambulance.  Warren heads into the back of the ambulance to help who she thinks is an injured person but is in fact a zombie.  Warren heads back into the outpost to seek help from the soldiers for the injured person and she is attacked.  Warren ends up killing all of the soldiers under her command using amazing head shots. Did anyone else wonder where Garret was? I guess they couldn't get the actor to agree to come back.

With Doc we learn that the nickname actually means something. Pre Z, Doc worked as a therapist specializing in drug addiction. It's hardly a surprise.  Doc at this point has been sober for five years and actually doesn't look half bad all cleaned up. When Doc is attacked by his patient, he figures out pretty quickly that his patient has actually turned into a zombie.  This is the end of Doc's sobriety and he downs a few oxy and escapes out of the building.

Addy was at a hockey game when the zombie apocalypse broke out.  Mack (now dead) was actually on the ice playing the game.  Addy takes off through the stands and Mack fights his way off the ice. The two meet up in a locker area where together they take out a few zombies. Mack asks Addy about pairing up and she quickly agrees, provided he come with her to check on her brother and her mother. We all know how that turned out.

Grimm, Season Five, Episode Six: Wesen Nacht

"Awake, arise, or be forever fall'n"

Truble wakes from her bad dream to find Nick holding a crying Kelly, looking down on her.  It's been 25 hours since she was last awake and now, Nick is more than ready to find out what is going on. After months of concern about what happened to Truble, Nick learns that Truble has been working with the people who took her - a group called Hadrian's Wall. Yes, the name is significant. HW has been fighting the global Wesen uprising and Truble has been running around the globe following their orders.  Truble did want to tell Nick but she was barred from doing so, though the group supposedly wants Grimm on their side.  In a quick newsflash, Truble announces that HW knows that Nick is a Grimm, that Adalind used to be a hexenbiest and all about baby Kelly.  It's not big deal though because the group doesn't want Kelly. 

HW may not want Adalind or Kelly at this point but they do want Nick.  It is their hope to enlist all of the Grimm to fight the rebelling Wesen. Truble reveals that the agency is large and has Grimm working overseas.  Nick and Truble head to check out her bike and Truble has an emotional moment and hugs Nick.  When is Grimm just going to reveal that these two are brother and sister already? The reunion gets put on hold when Nick gets called into the station.

Renard shoots his commercial for Andrew.  Renard gets all sexy flirty with the camera crew and director.  

Truble remains outside working on her bike and is joined by the now passive Adalind, who brings coffee.  They are really making Adalind all sweet and domestic now.  Truble questions Adalind about her feelings giving that she slept with Nick and they are now sharing a bed.  What the ever loving fuck Grimm? Adalind did not sleep with Nick, she raped him.  It is called rape by deception. Geesh. Adalind is quick to deny that they are fucking and says that they are only sharing a bed; however, when it comes to her feelings towards Nick, Adalind is incapable of giving a straight answer. Damn it, I just knew they were going to make Nick and Adalind of all freaking people a couple.  Time for Adalind to turn the tables and so she asks about Juliet.  Truble admits that she came back intentionally to kill Juliet. That's really no surprise because Truble did what Nick would have been unable to do.  Adalind promises not to tell Nick but advises Truble that she needs to spill the beans herself. 

At the station, Nick learns from Hank and Wu about a gang raid on three different neighbourhoods. It seems the gangs smashed the windows of business, kidnapped one owner and killed another.  They were all wearing Black shirts.  Did anyone else think that Grimm was invoking kristallnacht?  The cops decide to head to the crime scene and there they discover that Xavier's (the kidnapped man) bakery  has the telltale four claw marks on the wall.  Yep, it's all starting to come together.

The Originals, Season Three, Episode Nine: Savior

Talk about an action packed mid season finale.  I didn't expect it to be all eggnog and mistletoe but this episode left me reeling. Even though Savior was filled with all kinds of Mikaelson family drama, I think that this was the best episode of the season to date, even if Klaus was slightly bombarded with blondes.

It begins with Rebekah's coffin being pulled out of the ocean. We learn that unlike the dagger Klaus uses to punish her, this dagger allows her to be aware of the passage of time, feel cold and her own gnawing hunger.  The men that Elijah hired to retrieve Rebekah decide to open the container in the false belief that if Elijah would pay them so much to get it from the deep, he would be willing to renegotiate for more money.  And thus we being our Christmas episode with Elijah slaughtering those who sought to double cross him, just as any Mikaelson worth their salt would do.

Back at the family compound things are cozy with Klaus and Cami.  It seems that Cami is so appreciative of being saved from Aurora,  that she has no problem watching as Klaus compels a young woman to slit her hand to feed him blood. I guess Cami has put her Jiminy Cricket mode on pause. Who is this Cami?  Their little moment of bonding comes to and end when Cami gets a text from Vincent and rushes off to meet him.

Now that Marcel is officially a member of the Stryx, it's time for Tristan to start throwing his weight around and to that end, Tristan declares that whatever belongs to Marcel also belongs to him. Just like so many other rich, straight, cisgender white men, Tristan wants his tax and privilege.  After his entitled announcement, Tristan decides to share that the Stryx have arranged for Van Nguyen to become the new Regent. Van Nguyen will be  a Regent that the Stryx will control and will certainly help them achieve their goals.  Marcel plays along but clearly he isn't pleased by this news.

Cami meets up with Vincent, and she learns that things aren't going well for Kinney.  It seems that Lucian's compulsion has served to ruin Kinney's life.  Kinney lost his job for being absolutely incompetent and has locked himself away from everyone.  Vincent tasks Cami to check in on the detective.

Christmas is the time for family. Hayley has finally swallowed her pride and headed out to the Bayou to track down Jackson.  Jackson is still not at all pleased that Hayley is at the beck and call of the Mikaelsons and is bitter that Hayley is still in love with Elijah. Well, it's not like he went into the marriage with this as a secret.  Why Jackson thought that their year long marriage would somehow eradicate Hayley's love of Elijah is beyond me.  The two come to terms and Hayley confesses that she just wants to have a happy little Christmas with Jackson and her daughter. Y'all know that there's a fat chance of this happening right? Apparently, being chosen regardless of the fact that it was under extenuating circumstances is enough for Jackson. That's one well trained wolf.

An angry Marcel meets with Vincent.  Marcel thinks that Vincent isn't doing his duty to the Quarter by allowing Van Nguyen to ascend to the Regency. Umm, they wouldn't have been in this problem if they had just left Davina in that role.  Marcel decides to poke the bear and get aggressive with Vincent.  Vincent gives a show of force and warns Marcel that he has been holding back his power for a long time and that now perhaps he will take the Regency and use his power in a way Marcel will not like. It looks like they are finally going to give Vincent something to do other than follow Cami around like a puppy dog.  It's about damn time! Since the prophesy says that one of the Originals will fall by foe, I wonder if Vincent will be responsible?

Having reconciled with Hayley, Jackson makes his way back into town and pauses when he sees that Freya is being followed by a group of vampires.  In a parking lot, Freya is attacked and doesn't manage to hold her own for long.  It's Jackson to the rescue and he just happens to be carrying an axe. Quick question, why is it that despite supposedly being such a powerful witch, Freya always seems to get her ass handed to her?  The vampires weren't able to kill Freya but they manage to steal the medallion back that the Stryx plan on using as a weapon against the Originals.

Back at the compound, Rebekah learns that the family Christmas she was hoping for is going to be a little tougher to get than simply waking up from a long nap.  It seems that the dagger placed some kind of magical curse on Rebekah which will slowly turn her into a Ripper.  Freya tries to help and learns that despite having some of Hayley's blood, she has a wound that won't close and it has left her weak. Oh those Stryx are crafty crafty vampires.

Cami has arrived at Kinney's only to discover that she has been followed stalked by Klaus.  Lucian's compulsion is in over drive and so Kinney has decided to kill himself.  It's that time again - time for Klaus to play dashing hero.  After being invited in, Klaus compels Kinney to believe that his life is worth something and that he will get his job back after he visits his sister for Christmas. This act of compassion, earns Klaus some serious doe eyes from Cami. Anyone else feel like we are being set up?  Once again a phone call stops the romance.  Elijah calls Klaus to give him the heads up about the danger their sisters are in. Klaus decides to head to Lucian's for the cure but asks Cami to come with him so that he doesn't have to worry about her being in danger while he is trying to save Freya and Rebekah.