Saturday, March 5, 2016

Wayward Pines, Season One, Episode Eight: The Friendliest Place on Earth

Things are on high alert at Wayward Pines and everyone seems to want different things.  Pilcher naturally wants to be control of absolutely everything that goes on and for everyone to follow the laws that he has created.  He also very much wants to be seen as the benevolent benefactor.  Ethan wants the violence to end and for peace to finally come to Wayward Pines.  Kate, simply wants to the truth and is willing to do whatever she has to do get it.

There's a lot of flashbacks this episode.  We see Kate shortly after being brought to Wayward Pines and she is in a padded cell with Pilcher, who is acting as her psychiatrist using the name Dr. Jenkins. Kate is absolutely convinced that she has become an unwilling participant to some sort of secret government experiment though Pilcher tries to convince her otherwise.  We see Pam doing her evil thing and injecting Kate. Later when Kate appears to have acclimated, she is now in an office with Pilcher and she talks about how all of the questions that she had in previous life still exist.  Kate wants to know if there's a God and why it is that humans breathe but she has come to terms with her new life in Wayward Pines, admitting that it's a lot safer her.  Pilcher buys her story and writes Kate a prescription.  Pilcher encourages Kate to get pregnant, saying that she would make a good mother. Outside the office, we see Kate crumple the prescription in her hand. Kate has convinced Pilcher of her willingness to follow the party line but she's clearly not giving up.

Pam seems to have undergone a bit of character growth this week.  When David marches into the hospital demanding to know how these people could have created a bomb, it's Pam who pulls him aside and reminds him of where he is.  Pilcher is at a loss as to what to do but is clearly considering violence. It's Pam who deflects this urge and suggests that they should hold a gathering and make a celebration of life in Wayward Pines.  At this point, Pam seems a long way away from the woman who gleefully injected Kate with drugs against her will.

Pilcher heads to see Kate to question why she didn't come to him with her concerns.  It seems that he wants impress upon Kate that her actions have caused harm to the community and that she needs to stop her people. Kate however turns the tables when she calls Pilcher by his actual name, instead of Jenkins. Pilcher is stunned that his identity has been revealed and demands to know how long has been aware of who he is but Kate simply responds that it doesn't matter. Pilcher is disappointed because Kate represents a failure for him he had thought that if he could get Kate to conform that he could get anyone to conform.  Kate demands to know the truth but Pilcher simply walks out of the jail. The fact that Pilcher was so determined to break Kate rather than working with her to settle things down shows how his megalomania makes him unfit to lead.

Pilcher's paranoia is running high and he is certain that someone inside of the mountain must be helping the people of Wayward Pines.  He has the entire place being monitored 24/7 and therefore someone must have been ignoring the secret gatherings.  To calm his nerves, Pam agrees to head an investigation. Pam sits down with the surveillance team and asks pointed questions about their family and how they feel about their job.  All is fine until she gets to Reggie, who immediately spouts the company line.  Pam prods more out of Reggie and he finally admits that he sometimes fudges or erases bits of tape when people are actively questioning. Reggie believes that it's human nature to question and that he sees these people crying alone in their beds at night. Reggie doesn't want to be responsible for the death of someone simply because they questioned what is going on.  Pam assures him that everything is going to be okay and dismisses him.

Things aren't going to go well for Reggie because David has determined that what's needed is more discipline.  How this man cannot figure out that this approach didn't work in the town and was therefore not likely to work with the mountain people is beyond me, especially given that he is supposed to be a genius. Pam starts begging David for Reggie's life and says that if someone should punished it should be her.  David determines that there will be no more violence and decides to put poor Reggie in the freezer again in front of the mountain staff.

Ethan is still running around town trying to get control of the situation.  When he finally confronts Kate, she is anything but cooperative saying that he is Pilcher's man now.  Kate accuses Ethan of just following orders and says that her people depend on her and therefore she won't be giving them up to Ethan. It's worth pointing out that Kate has a reason to be mistrustful. She has been in Wayward Pines much longer than Ethan, has actively been lied to, drugged against her will, and watched as people were reckoned for disobeying Pilcher's laws. This would the perfect opportunity for Ethan to tell the truth but  of course he doesn't,even though it's clear that all she wants are answers. Ethan doesn't pause for a moment to consider that it wasn't that long ago that he was in Kate's position determined to figure out what is going on.

The 100, Season 3, Episode 7: Thirteen

I know that Clexia fans are reeling but the truth of the matter is that from the moment I saw Alycia Debnam-Carey in Fear the Walking Dead, I very much suspected that Lexa wouldn't live for long on The 100.  Normally, in circumstances like this, I would talk about gay death because Lexa died shortly after making love with Clarke and this one again leaves Clarke as the only reoccurring LGBT character on The 100.  That being said, it's impossible to blame the producers and writers when they have an actor signed to another show.  I don't think it would have been possible to write Lexa out of The 100, without killing her offLexa, whose whole life was her people, would never have willingly left them.  Her death while horrible, is the only way her character could ever have left The 100.

I think more upsetting than the fact that Lexa died is the manner of her death.  A character like Lexa deserved to go out on the battle field but I suppose doing so would have undermined the one lesson she learned from Clarke, "blood must not have blood".  Clarke primarily taught Lexa that there is more to life than bloodshed, revenge and violence and conversely, Lexa taught Clarke that she could be herself and find love again even with all the sins weighing her down. Clarke has had booty calls since the death of Finn but she hasn't loved anyone again until her path and Lexa's reunited.  At the end of the day, these two women taught each other significant life lessons and Lexa's death is going to change the direction of the show.

This week, The 100 focused very heavily on the mythos of the show.  We learned what happened to the 13th Arc and more about the role that the artificial intelligence played in the destruction of the earth.  The Grounders have turned this mythos into their religion and Titus is a true believer. We find out exactly how much when we see the lengths that he is willing to go to to find out why Murphy has the sacred symbol.  The first commander was the creator of the artificial intelligence which destroyed the earth.  When she then created a second generation and tried to use it to help the people in space survivor, they demanded it be destroyed. Rather than seeing her creation be destroyed she launched an escape pod and in the process destroyed the 13th Arc.  When she landed at Polis and encouraged all the survivors to come to her under the guise that she was there to help she became the first Commander.   Each commander since that day has had her tech implanted in the back of their neck. I suppose this is why the Grounder society is matriarchal in terms of leadership. This story is painted on the walls in Polis and because it's a part of their religion, Titus cannot conceive of the idea that this is grounded in what actually happened - a historical record of the destruction of the earth and the survival of humanity.  He is absolutely disgusted when Murphy tries to explain what it all means.

It won't be until Clarke gets back to Arkadia that we will see them make the full connection between what Jaha and Allie are up to and the religion of the Grounders.  As much as I enjoyed watching the history of the destruction of the earth and religion the grounders have developed out of it, I really don't want to see Jaha's story line dragged out

It's clear that Titus loved Lexa and would do anything to protect her.  When he attempts to shoot Clarke, it's not from a place of jealousy or worry that his power is being usurped but a fear that Clarke was leading Lexa down a road which would be soundly rejected by her people.  Given that the group Octavia tried to warn moved to attack Lexa when all she did was order Arkadia surrounded rather than it's people slaughtered is telling, Titus's concerns were indeed legitimate.  It's Titus who steps forward and kills the man who dared to attack Lexa.

Will We Ever See The Teen Wolf Video Game?

Teen Wolf is having another successful stretch, and it's set to wrap up the second part of season five this March. The show has been renewed for a sixth season, and it's hard to imagine anything but more of the same material so many fans have come to adore. Nevertheless, where other media is concerned, Teen Wolf has been surprisingly slow to expand.

Supernatural fiction, particularly where teen romance can also be involved, is spectacularly popular these days. And while Teen Wolf may inspire the same enthusiasm, discussion, and fan fiction that some other similar series or films do, it oddly hasn't been turned into a prominent video game yet.

If that sounds like an observation somewhat out of the blue, keep in mind that a Teen Wolf video game is something we were promised nearly two-and-a-half years ago now. In an interview posted to YouTube in October 2013, producer Jeff Davis confirmed that a Teen Wolf video game was something that had already been discussed. He also indicated there would be forthcoming news about such a project. Unfortunately, no such news really ever came up.

That's not to say there's never been a Teen Wolf game. Avid fans will recall that in 2012, a Facebook application was announced by MTV to give people the chance to jump into a social gaming environment based on the show. Teen Wolf: The Hunt featured material written by writers from the actual show, and it basically amounted to a mystery-solving experience as players attempted to find out what was plaguing the town. But primarily, Teen Wolf: The Hunt was valued as a means by which MTV distributed some special content (photos and clips, etc.) from production.

Outside of this Facebook app, Teen Wolf gaming has been basically non-existent. There have at least been a few werewolf-related games (some seemingly geared toward a similar audience to that which watches Teen Wolf) that have become popular. Gala Bingo has been particularly active in approaching the genre. Its collection of themed slot and arcade games includes titles like Wolf Rising, Wolf Run, and Full Moon Fortunes, all of which call to mind similar themes and atmospheres to that of Teen Wolf.

We've also seen werewolf- (or at least wolf-) based fiction gain a strong presence on gaming consoles. Telltale Games' The Wolf Among Us has become one of the most popular episodic games on any major platform. Though it's not specifically related to werewolves or teen fiction—it's also based on a comic book series that has nothing to do with Teen Wolf—it naturally appeals to some of the same people who'd love to see a game based on the MTV show released.

It's clear that the appeal of this subject matter in gaming isn't the problem. Wolf and werewolf games have gained quite a bit of popularity in the last few years, and that makes the lack of a follow-up to the 2013 promise that much more baffling. But here's hoping that with another very successful season under their belt, Teen Wolf's creators get serious about this idea moving forward.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassins #14) by Jennifer Estep

Gin Blanco has a new enemy. Deidre, Finn’s mother. Unfortunately she’s not just powerful and dangerous – but she’s also very very very good at manipulating Finn’s desperate emotions. Which means Gin has to play nice

She’s not very good at it. And definitely not a fan. Sometimes it’s easier when you just have to stab someone in the face.

I said in my last review of an Elemental Assassin book that this series has become very very formulaic (not bad, because I love the formula, but still) following the same basic pattern

Gin: *cooking BBQ*
Big Bad: Rawr, I am big bad and will control all Ashland and it’s improbably huge crime rate despite the Spider’s habit of stabbing everyone in the face which would suggest I’d be better off going somewhere else.
Gin: I will find you Big Bad and stab you in the face!
Big Bad: no because I have awesome powers! Super duper rare awesome powers like the last 10 face-stabbed people who tried this.
Gin: Oh no! *is captured/tortured/despairs*
Gin: Wait, past 50% of book! Escape time! See you, Sugah, bless your heart, belatedly remembered southernism. And I remember I have super powers! And Awesome friends!
Awesome friends: Yo!
Jo-Jo: *Cure Major Wounds*
Gin: Now I stab you in the face!
Big Bad: Aaaargh *is stabbed in the face*
Gin: *Makes dinner*

When I finished this book, my first thought was that we’d finally broken the pattern! And then realised that I was being, perhaps, a little optimistic there. I mean we have deviations but that same basic is there – super powerful enemy appears, we have the original set back and then the come back of awesome

So, it’s not exactly not following the same formulaic pattern. And a lot of the twists – with Deidre being Finn’s long lost mother, are somewhat repeating the same patterns we saw when Owen was dealing with Salina (which the book even gives a nod to).

However, while there are a number of similarities still, the pattern itself is disrupted by a whole lot of revelations towards the end of the book. And the introduction of a new big bad. Ok, since Mab Monroe died there have been a number of big bads brought in to replace her (including her daughter) and has followed the same pattern only briefer. But this book introduces an antagonist that is a concept, an organisation rather than a big bad scary elemental who is scary because of their big, bad scary powers. More, this affects the whole structure of the city, everything that Gin has done and everything she is part of.

In general, it feels like this book is bringing in a series reboot, a different focus and a change from the current pattern of repeated powerful one shot enemies. While we have a lot of similarities here, we can see the change of direction – we’re going somewhere new from here, or I hope so

Marginalised Characters: Banished to the Plot Box

One phrase you will see repeated a lot on Fangs for the Fantasy is “the plot box”.

The Plot Box is a mysterious, unknown place where characters (usually minorities) are banished to when the writers decide they no longer know what to do with (or want to deal with) them. These characters disappear, often with little explanation, and are absent from the screen/page until the writers decide to use them again and they just reappear as if nothing happened.

We talk a lot about the Plot Box on Fangs because this is a storytelling tool that is very commonly used, can appear in many different ways and very often serves as another means by which marginalised characters are erased or tokenised.

The most common form of Plot Box Banishment is the simple disappearance. Usually with no explanation - a character will just not be present for several episodes. I’d like to think that they’re having wonderful wild times with the Doctor and he just got the timing wrong - but Doctor Who isn’t that diverse either.

The Originals has one gay character and he spends the majority of his time in the plot box.  Josh is besties with Davina. When he lost his boyfriend Aidan, Josh went away to lick his wounds and everybody including Davina who supposedly cares so much about him promptly forgot that he exists. Josh is allowed out of the plot box only when Davina is in some kind of danger or her fee fees are hurt. He has no real story of his own and the epitome of the GBFF, there to provide service and comfort for his straight “friend” (so often our shows seem to confuse “servitude” with “friendship”)

ABC made a big deal about adding Mulan to the cast of Once Upon a Time. And a while Once Upon A Time was teasing the idea that Mulan would confess her love to Aurora giving the series its first (and only) LGBT character. When Aurora announces her pregnancy, Mulan congratulates her and never reveals her feelings. Mulan then deals with her disappointment by joining the Merry Men and disappearing into the Plot Box - when the Merry Men return, Mulan is conspicuous by her absence. Though I say conspicuous, absolutely no-one noticed: her being lost in the Plot Box was not worthy of comment. Just when,. as an audience we were thinking of starting a missing person’s report Mulan shows up to help Merida to deal with a problem, before promptly leaping back into the Plot Box again.  

Morgan on The Walking Dead is perhaps my personal favorite example of this particular form of banishment. We first meet Morgan and his son Duane in season one, when Rick stumbles upon them after waking up in the hospital alone.  Morgan explains to Rick how society fell apart and gives him rudimentary instructions of how to survive in a zombie apocalypse.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Shadowhunters: Mortal Instruments Series, Episode Eight: Bad Blood

After all the running around, the shadowhunters finally have the Mortal Cup inside of the institute. Alec wants to hand it over to the clave but Clary is insistent that they cannot do this because it's the only leverage they have over Valentine, who is holding her mother hostage. Alec locks the Mortal Cup away for now but makes it clear to Clary that this is no way means that they are friends.  I wish that they would stop having Alec come across like a jealous ex girlfriend, even if this is the tone the books took.

The alarms go off at the institute and Izzy, Jace, Clary and Alec head outside to find out what set off the wards, they find Raphael holding what appears to be an unconscious Simon. Clary is absolutely pissed and blames Raphael for what happened to Simon, completely ignoring that she has spent the last little while blowing Simon off though he called her repeatedly for help.  They don't have time for Clary's angst and guilt however because a choice has to be made. Simon either has to be staked to let his soul free or they have to turn him into a vampire.  Jace rightfully finds the idea of Simon as a vampire ridiculous and Clary starts to cry.

Lydia Branwell walks into the institute disguised as Valentine. Alec shoots off an arrow very quickly and Lydia catches it and transforms into herself, snarking about the slow response time from the rest of the shadowhunters. Lydia is the representative the Clave sent to see exactly what the Lightwoods have been up to. There's no love between Maryse and and Lydia though their families have a very long history. When Lydia learns that there's been an attack at the werewolf headquarters she decides to check it out with Alec.

Clary has a decision to make about what to do with Simon and so she heads to his home to speak to his mother.  Elaine is all distraught about her missing son, and she questions if Clary knows where Simon is.  What Elaine doesn't know is that Jace is in the room and he's used a rune to make himself invisible.  When Clary starts to hedge and it looks like she is going to reveal how the world really works to Elaine, Jace drops a carved wooden monkey which was a mother's day gift from Simon on the floor.  When Eliane walks over to pick up the carving, Jace questions what Clary is doing and tells her to be careful.  Umm did anyone see them use a silence rune? If not, how is it that Elaine didn't hear at least Clary's side of the conversation?

Clary heads to Simon's room to collect things that he's going to need for a transition.  Jace decides to tell her a story about his childhood. It seems that as a child, Jace's father gave him a falcon to tame. Jace worked with the falcon on a daily basis even though it often drew blood until the falcon trusted him and performed at his command. Jace then took the falcon to his father, who promptly snapped the birds neck. Jace says that he was told to tame the bird and not love it. Jace tells Clary that as a Shadowhunter, she has to learn to think with her head and not her heart and that is what his father taught him by snapping the bird's neck. Clary however is certain that if that is what being a Shadowhunter is all about, she's not interested.  Since Clary doesn't make a habit of thinking with her brain anyway, it wouldn't have worked.

On the way to meet with the werewolves, Lydia gets her flirt on with Alec, saying that she knows why so many girls are into him.  Alec tactfully ignores this comment. Lydia then reveals that she was going to run the Lisbon institute with her fiancee but he was killed. Lydia then suggests that Alec avoid love.  Everyone is filled with happy stories this episode it seems.

Inside the restaurant that the werewolves use as their headquarters, Lydia and Alec find Luke. It seems that the werewolves were attacked by something called a Forsaken.  They are all certain that this is the work of none other than Valentine.  Luke is certain that this attack is personal and suggests that he might be going after former circle members. Lydia then has a big revelation for Alec - his parents are former members of the circle.  She pretends like she is shocked that he didn't know but it's quite obvious that Lydia was aware of Alec's ignorance.  Lydia does however promise extra protection for the former circle members.

Staked (Iron Druid Chronicles #8) by Kevin Hearne

Atticus continues his lethal war against the vampires – old enemies of the druids who had nearly succeeded in wiping out druidry 2000 years ago. Now Owen is opening his own school for new druids, it’s time to fight the vampires to a new peace – or extinction.

Owen and Granuaile have issues of their own, Owen building his school while Granuaile pursues her long festering family issues as well as continuing to fight against Loki’s scheming as they’ve all been dragged into the fight for Ragnorak.

This is a book with three different protagonists – Atticus, Granuaile and Owen – and I like how all their stories are connected but they all have their own plot lines and own goals. I was surprised by this because, when Granuaile first became a druid I suspected she would become a sidekick for Atticus. A kind of two legged Oberon to follow Atticus around, be sexy and be in awe of his power. Yes, I’m cynical, but I expected that

Instead we have all three of them leading their own lives and their own agendas – each of which says so much about the characters, their view points and experiences

Atticus is interesting in that he is the oldest and most powerful of all three of them – yet at the same time the one with the least plans and even the least freedom. He has spent two thousand years hiding from Aenghus Og, making enemies and collecting baggage – since killing Aenghus Og Atticus has earned so many debts, so many favours and launched on so many crusades (including the whole Norse Ragnorak issue and the current war against the vampires) that he can’t even begin to make plans for the future. When Granuaile comes to him with her environmental aims he not only doesn’t understand her (given he’s from a very different time and is far more focused on supernatural threats than human defilement of the world) but because simply having space to do something he chooses seems pretty alien to the way he’s living and has lived for two millennia. Even now with Fand out there he is, again, under threat. Atticus is a man under siege, often having to make bad decisions to try and solve the problem in front of him, fully expecting it to come back and bite him but not seeing another choice. It’s interesting how Atticus can be such a light, happy character yet have this rather bleak undercurrent.

While Granuaile is very energetic and passionate and driven – but also very personally invested. In some ways she’s much more connected to the modern world than Atticus or Owen – she’s also relatively young and still growing into her life and role. She still has issues with her step father and his callous polluting of the world which is very emotional and personal for her, which involves a lot of growth, missteps and learning – in fact I think a lot of her story this book is Granuaile deciding what she’s going to do with her life and how that doesn’t involve Atticus. It’s not that she’s breaking from Atticus, they still care for each other and spend time together – but all of Granuaile’s plans and growth are her own: her own battle against Loki, her own deal with the witches, her own plan for the future, even picking her next language to learn (druids have to learn languages for different head spaces) all separate from what Atticus suggests or would do.

Teen Wolf, Season 5, Episode 19: The Beast of Beacon Hills

Corey takes Mason into hiding – this lasts about 5 minutes before he fails epicly (because he’s Corey and utterly useless in every way possible and can’t even hide even with an invisibility power). This ends up with Mason kidnapped by the Dread Doctors.

Naturally Scott & co start searching however they can. We get a completely-non-aware moment when Corey describes that we should totally have known that Mason was the Beast because the way he was dumped into the plot box every time action happened. Because this show has absolutely no idea how often it’s rammed gay and Black characters into the plot box.

By this logic, the unexplained absent Danny is actually an Archdemon or Lucifer or maybe Unicron.

But Theo and the gang also wants in on the action, being deftly manipulated and taunted by Deucalion who cleverly pokes Theo into absorbing the power of Josh, his zappy chimera, to use the dread mask and join the search (actually this turns out to be pretty useless as the mask only reveals what we all learned from last week’s Argent Storytime). Oh, and reveals that he was able to leave at any time because he’s Deucalion and Theo is an entitled teenager with a mopey streak who doesn’t know nearly as much as he thinks he does.

Despite absolutely no-one trusting Theo they all decide to trust Theo and the complete lack of any kind of knowledge, skills or utility he brings. Oh, he reveals that the Dread Doctors are tapping a preserved Nazi Alpha werewolf for immortality juice (I could have happily lived in a world where I didn’t have to type that sentence). Using the help of everyone but Theo (remind me again why he’s here?) they manage to find said undead alpha nazi werewolf (this sentence doesn’t get better typed a second time) and he is plugged into Mason via a tube into his neck which is unpleasant

We do get a use for Theo – like Deucalion the Dread Doctor’s just can’t resist taunting him by how useless and mundane and dull and a failure he is – not even a special evil (special evil turns from true good) until he sees to give up all of his plans and just launch himself at the Dread Doctors, along with Liam equally failing to do anything.

Except antagonist Mason into enduring agony and possible death to rip himself free of the Nazi alpha zombie werewolf (third time. No better) and transform. Without frequencies – he has made the final transformation into the Beast. The Dread Doctors consider this a victory… despite the Beast’s first action to squish all three doctors as easily as swatting flies (what exactly is their plan? Surely not elaborate suicide?)

On the plus side this saves Scott, on the minus side it also saves Liam and Theo. And it may result in Mason being lost.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Season One, Episode Seven: Major Arcana

So, Clary now knows that her mother hid the Mortal Cup inside the tarot cards. But where are they? Not to worry folks, it seems that Luke confiscated them for some reason.  If he didn't know the importance tarot cards, why exactly did he take them in the first place?  I suppose that's a question we shouldn't ask. Shame on me for trying to make sense out of nonsense. Luke has the cards at the police station and so the plan is for Jace and Clary to accompany him to retrieve them.  We all know this isn't going to go smoothly right?

Simon wakes up in bed next to Maureen, who goes on and on about how amazing he was in bed. It's a moment of ridiculous ego stroking that read like an Axe commercial.  At any rate, Simon begins hallucinating that he is actually in bed with Clary.  When he accidentally calls Maureen Clary, she makes it clear that she is not about to be his side piece and Simon grabs his shit, makes a weak excuse and leaves. I like that Maureen stood up for herself but I am pissed that she is once again playing second to the glorious Clary, who I cannot figure out why everyone is so obsessed with.

Alec returns to the institute to learn that his sister covered for him with their parents.  That little deception is going to cost him because now Isabelle wants to know all about Alec's personal life. Isabelle justifies this request by claiming that she shares everything and therefore Alec should as well. I suppose Isabelle has never heard of the concept of boundaries. Alec says that he was with Magnus helping him heal Luke and that he might have shared a cocktail with him.  Isabelle is all, you can tell me everything you know but Alec pretends to let it all fly over his head.

So, back at the station, before Luke can get to his desk. he gets stopped by internal affairs. Capt. Vargas informs Luke that he is the prime suspect in not one but two murders. Just as Clary begins to worry, Jace spies Luke being given the perp walk. Yes, it seems they have a rune for everything. They decide to head into station and get the cup for themselves.  Clary's plan is to slap Jace and pretend they are breaking up and then root through Luke's desk to find her supposed missing keys.  Naturally, since this is Clary's plan, it doesn't work out and they learn that Luke's things have been taken by internal affairs.

In the meantime, poor Simon has been calling Clary repeatedly because he keeps having hallucinations.  At one point, he looks in the mirror and sees fangs in his mouth.  Things escalate when his mother and sister decide to hold an intervention after being informed by Maureen about Simon's weird behaviour and her belief that he is on drugs.  Simon tries to say the issue is that he is ill but neither his mother or sister actually listen to him and instead proceed to bicker. In frustration, Simon slams his fist on the desk, breaking it in two.  Of course, Clary is too busy chasing down the Mortal Cup to think for a moment about Simon and the one time he does manage to get her on the phone, she accuses him of being a hypochondriac, before Jace grabs the phone and ends the conversation.  Someone needs to tell me again what's so great about Clary.  Simon put himself in great danger to help her and this chick cannot even spare him a moment of her precious time. Yes, Clary officially fails at friendship.

The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1) by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Selene wanders through the streets of New York city, helping women who have been preyed upon by men; she protects the innocent.  Unfortunately, Selene's power is waning and though it scares her, she also knows that it might be inevitable.  Shortly after hearing a summons from a true believer, things begin to change and Selene finds herself embroiled in a mission to find a man who murders women in order to complete and ancient ritual.  With Theo, a classics professor by her side, she faces a choice she could not have predicted. Will she remain Selene the private detective, or return to being the Goddess Artemis, with all the power, coldness, and anger this entails.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm going to straight up say, I am a huge mythology geek. When I realised that this book is about Greek gods living in the modern world, the only thing that would have given me pause before picking it up, is if it were paranormal romance or YA.  I'm happy to report that The Immortals is neither of the aforementioned and is actually quite grim and dark.  That being said, I must acknowledge that the premise - ancient Gods in our present times, is not something that is at all new; however, Brodsky does put an interesting twist on her story.

Once humanity stopped worshiping the Greek Gods, they found that their powers began to depart and so upon the orders of Zeus, the great diaspora began. Some Gods, like Dionysus mange to hold off the great fading because each night in bars across the world people still imbibe.  Apollo, God of music becomes an Indie Rock star and Hermes, the messenger benefits from things like branding through the apparel brand Herm├Ęs, and of course the fact that in the present, the transfer of information is faster than it ever has been. Even the little known Victory is doing well thanks to Nike. These Gods have managed to still to retain some of their strength but lose some of their talent - like Apollo's ability to heal or Hermes ability to fly for example have been forever lost. Not all Gods fared as well, Dionysus or Apollo.  Hestia, the Goddess of the Hearth for instance, simply faded away and died because she lacked the strength worship would have given her and because there's no place Goddess of the Hearth, in a world where people heat with gas or electric.  Though Artemis has many names, being the Goddess of the Hunt is a largely diminishing power in a world of factory farming. Still, Artemis insists om protecting the innocent and holding fast to her virginity.

Much is made of Artemis's virginity in The Immortals and her relationship with Orion. I must admit to being quite conflicted by it all.  On one hand, some would call Artemis explicitly feminist but then there is also the overt fixation on virginity and purity which stems from a place of misogyny and patriarchy. When you really think about the myths, Artemis is surrounded by rapist, even her father Zeus.  That being said, her constant hunting of men, combined with the over fixation on virginity was absolutely a problem for me.  To some degree, I would have preferred an asexual Artemis to the version we got in The Immortals.

As the protagonist of the story, Selene/Artemis left so much to be desired. I found her to be almost robotic.  Even in times when she was mourning for the loss of Orion, who had died millenniums ago, this character actually aroused very little sympathy from me.  Selene is neither human nor Goddess and thus she is very difficult to even remotely like, let alone identify with. Selene walks the street as a vigilante but not because she cares for women but because some part of her tells her to punish the men who hurt them. She is even willing to turn her back on a woman who returns to an abuser though we all know that there are multiple reasons why a woman may choose this option. Selene walks away from the few women she gets close to claiming that because she is a Goddess, she doesn't care about what happens to humans and yet, she is not a Goddess any longer.  I simply didn't like her as a protagonist at all.

Magicians, Season 1, Episode 7: The Mayakovsky Circumstance

Last week our main characters all turned into geese and flew to Antarctica. Because why not?

There they study under the teacher Myaskovsky, who is basically a vodka-swilling short tempered Russian stereotype. He’s an awesome teacher and kind of fun but we can’t deny that he is a stereotype. Just because a character is awesome doesn’t mean he isn’t a stereotype

His lessons are harsh, his contempt withering and, at times (especially with Kady), creepy but he does manage to teach them several difficult lessons in harsh conditions. He also finds Alice and Quinn’s endless sexual tension immensely frustrating – speaking for the audience when he says “why don’t you two just fuck?”. And doubly so when he says:

“Why are you both determined to be so fucking bland?”

Yes. In fact, let’s repeat this:

“Why are you both determined to be so fucking bland?”

His urging, and some kind of mind control involving foxes, eventually ends up with Alice and Quinn finally having sex. While part of me is glad we can leave the will-they-won’t-they behind, part of me also wonders just how much informed consent you have when a drunken angry authority figure keeps forcing you together while naked.

While Alice and Quinn continue to try not be so fucking bland, Penny and Kady also work through their issues after the relationship rift caused by her revelations last episode. This episode she decides to explain herself by allowing the psychic Penny to read her mind so he knows all about her history with Marina and the situation her mother is in. They reconcile (and sleep together) and Penny tries to offer her a way to buy off Marina forever by stealing from Myaskovsky

It turns out to be unnecessary because he also took the opportunity to read her mind – and is surprisingly kind and gentle with her – he recognises the wrong that she’s suffered and to tell her she’s free: a bitter sweet offer since that freedom comes with the death of her mother. He’s also warning her since Brakebills knows she’s been stealing from them and will punish her harshly regardless of extenuating circumstances: he’s giving her chance to run since he doesn’t agree with that punishment. But she has to leave Penny behind – because as a traveller he needs training if his powers aren’t going to get him killed. It’s a very sad scene – and does a lot to ensure that Myaskovsky isn’t entirely a 1 dimensional stereotype.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lucifer, Season One, Episode Six: Favorite Son

Last week I complained about the idea of Lucifer as a cop investigating everyday crime in L.A.  It seemed short sighted and something that wouldn't maintain interest long and in fact, as of episode five, I was already getting bored, even though I very much love Tom Ellis as Lucifer.  Well, it seems that the writers recognized that Lucifer as a cop is a shortsighted device because this week, along with our regular case, we had a few developments that most certainly peeked my interest.

Lucifer arrives at a warehouse when called there by Chloe and learns that the case of the week is about security guard who has been killed. Lucifer is not the least bit interested and walks away from the case.  He even shows disinterest when Mazikeen informs him that it was his shipping crate which was stolen.  Mazikeen has to prick Lucifer's pride by questioning if this means that someone is free to steal from him now.  Despite Lucifer's nonchalance, he does at least to some degree care how he is viewed. Well, at least we know that Lucifer has one of the seven deadly sins - pride and that it can be used to manipulate him.

There was never a doubt that Lucifer must be a complicated being since he is essentially as old as time and is clearly the writers interpretation of the biblical Lucifer. Last week we saw Amenadiel worm his way into Linda's confidence and this week we got to see the results as he encouraged Linda to believe Lucifer's identity and use the bible to suggest how she should talk to him.  Linda agrees and in her session with Lucifer, she calls him Samael, a name he angrily rejects.  Linda persists and suggests that as Samael, he is God's favourite son.  This brings Lucifer's anger to the forefront.  He talks about the fact that he feels that he didn't do anything to deserve this and that his name is constantly impugned. He absolutely rejects the idea that he is responsible for humanity's bad acts.  For Lucifer, it has been eons of torture.  Ellis absolutely kills it with this scene as Lucifer's pain is laid bare for all to see.

Linda then goes in for the kill "You are his fallen angel, but here's the thing. When angels fall, they also rise. All you have to do is embrace all that you are,"  In this moment it is obvious how much Lucifer wants this to be true but he is stuck.  When he finally retrieved the container he showed Chloe that inside it were nesting dolls, but when he opened the secret compartment, he discovered that his glorious wings were missing.  This means that what is happening is no longer a game. Lucifer is no longer the rebellious son and he can no longer make decisions with his full autonomy and power. If that were not enough, the fact that he is becoming mortal will make the task of getting back his wings that much more difficult.  Who the hell has his wings and does that mean that there are other demons out there, or perhaps maybe angels out there working to keep Lucifer out of hell? When Lucifer shares the news with Mazikeen about the lost wings which are beautiful btw, his heartbreak is obvious.

Runaway Vampire (Argeneau #23) by Lynsay Sands

Like most, Mary's life had been a series of ups and downs.  Now a widow, Mary decides to take one last trip in her RV but the memories of the trips that she took with her husband haunt her so much that she decides to return home early, making a stop at friends RV park.  Mary had believed that the trip would be uneventful but that immediately changes when she accidentally runs over Dante Notte, who is on the run from kidnappers.

Dante is only looking to find help for himself and his brother Tomasso and doesn't expect when he is run over by Mary's RV that he has met his life mate - the one person who he can let his guard down around and love forever,  With the danger closing in around them, Dante must somehow convince Mary that he is an immortal and that they are meant to be together, all while keeping her safe from the kidnappers who may target her to get to him.

Those who are new to this series, will have no problem following along with the romance between Dante and Mary because Sands takes care to explain who and what immortals are, along with her concept of life mates.  For longtime readers, Sands does take the time to bring back Lucien the leader of the Immortals and since this is Dante's story, it's a return to the Notte twins. I would have liked to have seen more of the Immortals that we have been introduced to this far.

I really liked that fact that Mary is 62 and had lived a full life.  It's not often that mature women are presented as sexual beings and Sands left absolutely no doubt what Mary wanted from the moment she spied the very naked Dante.  This is the second book in this series in which Sands has gone out of her way to pair her handsome Immortal with an older woman and I love it. Mary is also not a woman to be played with and unfortunately has a very tragic backstory.  It is however problematic that Sands heavily implies that had Tomas not entered Mary's life that she was destined to be a lonely old woman living in a one bedroom apartment with her dog. I don't understand why Sands would go to such lengths to make a strong, sexual woman and then turn around and have her being content to just wilt away.  It absolutely belies just how vital women can be at all ages.

Runaway Vampire, while focusing on the romance between Mary and Dante also served as a set up for the next book which will clearly feature Tomasso finding his life mate in Venezuela.  To some degree, this left the story feeling unfinished.  I understand that the point of each book is to bring a couple together but I've always felt that there should be more to even paranormal romance books than the coupling, particularly when they are as long running as the Argeneua series.

One of my long running complaints about this world is that despite the length of the series, we have only recently been introduced to the idea that LGBT immortals exist and until Runaway Vampire, we haven't actually met any of them.  One would hope that after waiting so long to introduce gay characters to her series and the homophobia that Sands has engaged in in the past, that inclusion would be a step forward but alas, that was not to be the case.

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, Season One, Episode Nine

The mud born have been pushing to get their land back from the invaders.  From early on this season, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands there has been a lot of examination of colonialism and this episode is no different. The huscarls come across a human who claims that he was kept captive by the Warig and though they lose one of their men, they bring the man back with them to Herot completely unaware that they are bringing the leader of the mudborn into their territory.  After having killed Koll, a shifter living in hiding in Herot, one would think that this would make the Huscarls at least  a little bit suspicious of strangers but apparently this is not the case. Nothing like letting the enemy have a look at your defenses I suppose.

This week, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands laid it on pretty thick. It seems as though the mudborn have a chosen one whose birth was foretold. This chosen one will supposedly unite all of the mudborn and defeat the humans, chasing them from their land. Given that the humans are invaders and that they've slaughtered them at will, defiled their holy places and enslaved them, it's hard not to be team mudborn, though Beowulf: Return to the Shieldands is trying to suggest sympathy for both sides.

We finally got a little bit of Beowulf's backstory this week when he and Elvina are captured by the Warig. It seems that while Beowulf went to hunt down some escaped Warig prisoners, the Warig doubled back and slaughtered his wife and child, burning down his home. He clearly feels that all Warig need to die, missing the point that had the humans not invaded, murdered and enslaved perhaps his family might still be alive today.  I don't really expect much nuance from Beowulf at this point given that from what we have seen of his investigative skills  he's not necessarily the brightest person around.

For much of this season of Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, there have been plenty of clues that there's more to Elvina than meets the eye. When she is forced to reveal that she is a shifter in order to save Beowulf from being burned alive by the Wharig, I cannot say that I was surprised.  With all of the hinting the big reveal felt anticlimactic. Throughout most of the episode, Elvina kept stressing the value of all life, something that Beowulf clearly didn't agree with. With her big secret exposed, Beowulf finds that while he cannot kill Elvina, he can no longer see her humanity and demands that she stay away from him and never ever return to Herot. The moment when he tells Slean that Elvina is dead represents his absolute rejection of her.  His failure to see the bridge that Elvina could provide is a stunning example of how small minded Beowulf is and why the conflict will continue to rage. For a better examination of colonialism, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands needs to pull away from Beowulf's perspective.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Walking Dead, Season Six, Episode Eleven: Knots Untie

Well, Richonne is all set, and now it's time to get back to the business of living.  The Walking Dead, despite being about surviving a zombie apocalypse,  has always been about human relationships and or human interactions. Last week we met Jesus, a beloved character from the comics for the first time.  When he first meet Darryl and Rick, Jesus thought they were up to no good and so didn't mention the fact that he comes from a community similar to Alexandria called the Hilltop.  Now that Jesus has broken out of his confinement, it's time to talk business and that means trade between the two communities.  He knows that the Alexandrians are well equipped in terms of guns and ammunition but less so in terms of food. With over fifty people to feed, food is quickly becoming a problem.

Rick agrees to travel with a group of Alexandrians to the Hilltop to see what can be arranged. Along the way, Abraham has the conversation of the night with Glenn, questioning if Glenn meant to make a pancake when he dropped the Bisquick. Glenn and Maggie are expecting and it seems that this is a planned child, much to Abraham's two condom wearing at a time astonishment.  Perhaps if he weren't sleeping with Rosita and daydreaming about Sasha, the idea of settling and raising a family wouldn't be so scary.

At the Hilltop, the leader Gregory turns out to be a massive douche.  Proving that Rick has indeed evolved, instead of bashing Gregory's head in and simply taking what he wants, particularly because the Hilltop only has spears and no guns, he sends Maggie to negotiate for them.  I gotta say, I loved seeing Maggie step up to the plate.  I loved watching her press advantage and outwit the douche who wouldn't stop coming on to her and calling her honey.  Yeppers, #teammaggie.

It turns out what Rick's group has to trade, is what they have always had - their strength.  When Gregory is stabbed by one of his own people, as a message from Negan, the leader of the Saviours that he is not happy with the food the Hilltop gives in order not to be raided, he knows his back is up against a wall.  The Alexandrians may not have much food, or medicine but they can fight and Rick knows this.  Rick suggests that they take out Negan's group in exchange for food.  Violence is an everyday thing to Rick who has very much come to have a kill or be killed mentality about the world. Covered in blood after killing Gregory's assailants he simply says, "what" in answer to the astonishment on the faces of the Hilltop people.

At the same time that Rick's group is preparing to go into battle, there's the looming issue of Maggie's pregnancy.  Maggie manages to get an ultrasound at the Hilltop and as luck would have it, their Doctor is an obstetrician. On the way back to Alexandria, Maggie and Glen share the photo of their unborn peanut with the group and each person takes a moment to reflect.  Bringing a child into the apocalypse is a scary undertaking no doubt but this child is also a very stark reminder of exactly what it is they're fighting for.  It's a return to some form of normalcy, to hope and to a future.

The Feast of the Drowned (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #8) by Stephen Cole

The naval ship the HMS Ascendant has mysteriously sunk in the North Sea.  The Doctor isn't inclined to investigate until Rose and her friend get a ghostly visitation from one the seamen who was aboard ship.  Though it makes absolutely no sense, Keisha is determined to head to the Thames and throw herself in because she believes that somehow against all odds that she will find her brother and rescue him before the feast.  It would be bad enough if the Doctor, Rose and Mickey only had to deal with one person who had lost touch with reality, but many of the inhabitants of London are determined to throw themselves in the Thames and the ones who do, never resurface for some reason. With more and more people disappearing each day, it's a race to find out what is going on and how to stop it.

The Feast of the Drowned very much reminded me of the Waters of Mars, largely because the Doctor is fighting an alien species which thrives in water and takes over human bodies.  Part of the reason I pick up these Doctor Who books is to enjoy new adventures with characters I've grown to love and or miss terribly.  In fairness to Cole, The Feast of the Drowned was actually released quite a few years before the Waters of Mars but because I have already seen the episode in question so many times, this book felt very repetitive to me. It did however make me wonder if this book was the inspiration behind The Waters of Mars?

The repetitiveness was not at all helped by Mickey, and Keisha's fixation on the fact that Rose had disappeared with the Doctor for a year.  By this point, everyone should be over this. Keisha in particular seems very jealous of Rose and angry by the way that her friend has changed.  Because of all that Rose has seen, she cannot simply go back to being content bar hopping on a Friday night and this has created a disconnect.  She has moved so far past some people that the relationship will never be the same and Keisha seems determined to make her pay for it. I really just wanted to be done with the guilting of Rose.

In terms of characterization, I feel that Cole did a pretty good job with Jackie, Rose and of course our beloved 10th Doctor. One of the things I remember the most from Tenant's era is every alien being offered the chance to leave or end the damage they were causing before being annihilated by the Doctor. Tenant's Doctor was often brutal in his application of justice and we can see that coming into play in The Feast of the Drowned.  When the aliens who have drowned humans in order to use them as incubators for their offspring refuse the Doctor's offer of relocation, the justice he exacts is swift and final.  This time, there's no one to tell him to stop or to wait, no one to remind him of his own rules - the Doctor simply acts.

Hemlock Grove, Season 3, Episode 9: Damascus

And Olivia kills everyone, snarking gloriously all the way and continues to give not one single fuck about everything.

Ok, not really – but damn wouldn’t that be a better show?

Well, we don’t get Olivia rampaging around, exactly, though she’s still a terrible person. We do get a whole lot of death this episode – yes we’re racing towards a tragic ending

Firstly, let’s cover the anti-climactic, clumsy summation of the meta that defined the last season and has been largely forgotten and ignored this season: Spivak, the Jormungandr, ancient enemy of the Upir. Roman found out where he was lairing last episode and, with a last minute revelation, they find the weakness of the near immortal creature. Turns out the reason why the species are at war in the first place is that Jormungandr are super-duper vulnerable to upir venom (the war, by the way, is over who gets to eat humanity unchecked so we’re all kind of team nobody here, but the Upir, even with the jaw thing, are kind of classier and don’t wear ugly jumpers so we’ll go with them. I mean, if humanity has to be killed by an immortal predatory monster, it could at least have the common decency to be well dressed while doing so, right?)

You’d think all the bed time stories of how super dangerous the Jormungandr would include a note that “hey just bite ‘em”. So in between dripping Roman’s venom in the spawning pools of baby manta-ray monsters Roman and Peter find the big bad Spivak. After ineffectually shooting him a few times, Roman nibbles on him and lo the season’s uber big bad is killed in the time normally reserved for advert breaks

I’m quite sure this show is written by people of integrity and in no way did someone wake up and realise they had a storyline left and just decided “fuck it, bite him. Death. Back to the angst”. Of course not. Baby Nadia is rescued (she was being used for creating new Jormungandr and I’m not even going to try and decide how or why because I can live my whole happy life not knowing that, and this show likes incest too much for me to examine any of their breeding plans in detail).

Bitten, Season 3, Episode 3: Right Behind You

Time for my pouty frustrated face

I’m not frustrated by how this episode went, but by how it got there

Today, everything was revealed to the rest of the pack – so Jeremy et al are aware that Sasha Antinov and his kids are in America and that Roman wants them handing over – something Jeremy has already promised to do.

This puts the North American Pack in something of an awkward position – the Russian pack is bigger (especially after the recent losses the North American pack has suffered), even when Karl reveals that it’s not quite as united as it seems (relying on a whole lot of bribes to keep the disparate factions united) and Roman has been steadily moving more and more wolves into the US.

It’s not a good place for the Pack to be in. And it could have been a great storyline

Again, this frustration comes from my reading of the books – But I’m going to complain about it anyway. In the books Jeremy would have been awesome with this storyline! In the books he would have spoken to Clay and Elena and other wolves, taken their advice, explored options, thought and then made a decision – and it would have been a decision everyone would have supported because they respected him that much! It would have been excellent and told us, yet again, why Jeremy is such a supremely good alpha

Instead we have this Jeremy who frets about Elena keeping secrets and being distant – without for one second acknowledging that she may be being secretive because he is less approachable than a rabid porcupine! How about, for one second, realising that the reason people are keeping secrets from him is because he rides roughshod over every suggestion and concern raised? Even this episode, when Elena speaks to him he pulls the whole “I am Alpha. Do not question!” Why offer advice or objection when it’s rejected out of hand.

Sadly none of them make the obvious point that allowing Roman to hunt mutts in his territory, allowing him to bring in more and more wolves without permission doesn’t exactly make Jeremy look in control either.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Originals, Season 3, Episode 14: A Streetcar Name Desire

The plotting from last week continues with Aya and Aurora coming up with a dastardly scheme with Davina’s help and Marcel’s disapproval to destroy the sire bonds. Marcel isn’t a huge fan of this because the likely way Aya will test if the sire bonds are gone is to kill Klaus which means if Davina (a teenaged witch with not great decision making skills) screws up all of Klaus’s line dies – including him.

Continuing from the Vampire Diaries, we have a visitor to New Orleans – Stefan. He gets some nifty paste off Freya that will conceal him from Rayna so she doesn’t hunt him down and repeatedly stab him in the head. Or heart. Or other bad place.

Of course he isn’t entirely welcomed since the prophecy does say an Original will be taken down by their friend – and Stefan counts.

Still they’re distracted by the bad guy plotting which results in Elijah and Klaus being trapped in mystical dream world with Tristan and Aurora (it’s a dream world the Stricts made for Tristan so he wouldn’t suffer eternal drowning). How do they get there? Witches. I’m sure people just roll dice to see what powers the witches have. I mean, this episode Klaus and Elijah are both taken out by one witch with a hand wave and a brief line – but in Vampire Diaries Bonnie took a full three seconds of staring before Enzo knocked her out.

This results in lots of sniping between the two sibling teams with Aurora, of course, being attacked constantly for being mentally ill. Let’s not recap the endless sniping

Hayley, Camille, Freya, Lucien (who they picked up along the way) and Stefan need to ride to the rescue. This involves Freya rescuing her brothers by destroying the symbols that represent them (queens on a chessboard – representing the women they betrayed. Which is terrible because there’s only 2 queens on a chess board and there would need to be so very many more).

While the rest of the gang try to break in. The easiest way to do this is to sneak Stefan into the building and remove his masking paste unleashing a pissed of Rayna on the Stricts

In case there was any doubt before, Rayna is a scary scary scaery hunter and many many Stricts die

Elijah and Klaus waking up also puts a severe crimp in the Strict coven’s day, Original vampires are cranky when they wake without coffee. On Davina survives (whyyy?) – and she manages to complete the spell, de-linking Klaus from his sire line.

Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 14: Moonlight on the Bayou

Damon is desperately looking for a way to fix his shit and save Stefan from Rayna after Damon so epicly screwed up (with the help of Enzo) with Bonnie hanging around to help because being a good little helper is basically what Bonnie does (and can I note that I’m tired of everyone noting how helpful and friendly Valerie is for little reason when Bonnie has been pulling that without acknowledgement for 7 seasons now?)

This means going back to Enzo (very very short attention span) and learning about some people called the Armoury who were the ones who kidnapped Enzo when Matt asked for help. The Armoury’s purpose is basically to take dangerous magical artefacts and lock them up so they don’t do any damage (despite failing badly to hold Rayna). Yes, we’re borrowing a more incompetent and sinister plot from Warehouse 13 and The Librarians.

They’d quite like Rayna’s sword. They’re also happy to take Rayna herself. So an awesome plan would be to get Stefan to the Armoury have Rayna appear there and be taken out and then everyone can go home happy, right?

Until Valerie learns of the plan and points out they’ve dealt with the Armoury and they are ruthless and uncaring about who gets hurt. Sure they’ll use Stefan as bait, but won’t care whether Stefan, Damon et all die in the process and these are terribad people to work with.

Damon and Bonnie decide to leave – and both get rendered unconscious and imprisoned pretty much proving Valerie’s point. Also reminding us that the power of witches is random whenever the story writers want them to be. Bonnie ends up magicless because of an injection and Damon ends up in a cell with Tyler (who is there. As is Elena’s body. And probably everything else that has ever fallen through the plot box over the years) on the night of a full moon – and full moon werewolves are generally terribad awful for Damon.

He’s rescued before Tyler eats him by Bonnie who gets to him by CUTTING OFF ENZO’S HAND because she is Bonnie and that is awesome. This is despite Damon begging her not to risk her life for him… which of course she does and ends up hurt and hospitalised in the process (the anti-magic thing put on her stops her from healing with vampire blood)

During this episode we get a number of little moments which point us towards a Bonnie/Damon Romance. I think we’re definitely going there.

Sleepy Hollow, Season 3, Episode 12: Sins of the Father

Much of this episode was a monster of the week episode – and it was perfect for that.

Our main enemy was a ghoul controlled by Atticus Nevins – the old enemy who worked with old August Corbin (the old Sheriff, Joe’s dad, Jenny and Abbie’s mentor who guided them to the supernatural) who was using the monster for his own nefarious means and to ostensibly hold on to his crumbling empire (what with him being badly gutted by Pandora and then having to go on the run, all kinds of old lieutenants are now muscling in on his former territory and now being badly icked).

The gang does their usual excellent job of following twists and turns, running down clues, discovering the man who was actually coming to them for help was actually the one behind it all along, followed by a big shiny fight with the monster which they eventually destroy… though with Atticus escaping

I’m brushing over all of this not because it’s not good – because it was: it was well acted, well paced and great fun to watch – but because they details don’t matter to the overall show. It was fun, it was good and it was a great backdrop to approach what this episode was really about: recap and review

Everyone has gone through some various issues these last few episodes and this episode puts them all in one place for us to examine and recap to remember where we are.

The case lets us see Jenny, Joe, Abbie, Ichabod and Sophie work together – and continue to do so well

We have Abbie, struggling badly with her mental health after her ordeal in the catacombs. She’s hurt and hurting and having trouble adapting and getting back to where she was before. Ichabod is simultaneously caring while not intruding, similarly Jenny acknowledges Abbie has a problem, is there for her, but not pushing it beyond what Abbie is comfortable with. This is important, it’s vital they’re there to care for her but not to push past things she isn’t ready to deal with yet. When Abbie says she’s processing something or not ready to deal with something, they back off. I appreciate that a lot.