Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wynonna Earp, Season 1, Episode 7: Walking After Midnight

We’ve got a lot going on this episode but I’m going to start by saying, again, I love this theme song. Because it’s awesome

Now, less awesome is Dolls being benched for most of this episode. His shadowy bosses have taken him to places unknown to plan his reassignment because he still can’t prove to them that there are actual demons/revenants in Purgatory. And if he is reassigned then that means everyone he’s recruited will need… dealing with

I’m dubious about this. Sure I can see them wanting some results, but is it just Wynonna’s gun that leaves no trace? Because tangible evidence of woo-woo must, by definition, be hard to find. And what do they think he’s doing? Making up stuff so he can continue an extended holiday in the arse-end of America? Is it not worth keeping 1 agent there since that agent insists something is going on?

Unable to present evidence, he ominously mentions something which isn’t revenant or demon which should interest them. That could be Wynonna, Doc or the Stone Witch Constance.

Since Waverley is having a part, Wynonna and Nicole Haught are left to get drunk and complain about not being invited (as well as reflect rather obviously on Waverley’s character development) while looking at the latest case in hunting down the last member of the seven. This introduces the new pathologist (who is kind of fun and creepy), lots of ominous foreshadowing for the revenant and the fact he keeps playing with Wynonna, trying to freak her out. Including random nose bleeds. Nicole definitely knows something is going on and Wynonna tries to drive her away, which is a shame because they’re really good together.

Waverley and Doc are the ones who face the main action this week. Doc continues to have a complicated relationship with everyone, having told Wynonna to take a walk when she comes to him for help since he doesn’t think their relationship is very reciprocal and is causing him difficulties with the Revenant. All he cares about is Constance the Stone Witch

The Last Ship, Season Two, Episode Nine: Uneasy Lies the Head

The title of this episode implies that the focus is about how people learn to become leaders and while I agree that it is significant to the entire story of Uneasy Likes the Head, for me it was all about creepy ass Niels finally getting his. BOOYEAH!

Niels isn't fully co-operating with  the plan to find a way to spread the virus more efficiently and Rachel and Tom are all too aware that each day they delay, more people die.  At first, Rachel doesn't even want to work with Niels but Tom argues that he interrogated Niels even though Niels killed his wife.  I understand what Tom is saying but I really don't like the idea that one person's loss is more significant than another, particularly now that The Last Ship has become a world in which everyone has lost someone. Until Rachel can get full cooperation out of Niels, she asks Tom to gather up some mussels to aid in her experiments. Yeah, I would have asked for him to give some to the kitchen staff as well but that's just me.

On land, the crew quickly runs into a gang of armed teenagers. Not to worry, the kids haven't gotten all Lord of the Flies and the they are quickly outgunned and maneuvered by Chandler's men.  This is when they learn that the immunes have placed a bounty on their heads.  This is worrying because the kids were in an isolated area which means Sean's reach is far.  Tom offers Ray Diaz, the leader of the kids, transportation, shelter and food in exchange for their help tracking down the immunes. Diaz accepts but adds as a condition the right to stay behind and fight with Tom.  Chandler of course balks at this counter offer but ultimately gives in when Diaz points out that no one knows the area as well as him and that in six months he would be eligible to enlist anyway.

While the drama is going on with Niels, on board the Nathan James, Michener is still not completely comfortable in his role as commander in chief.  He knows that he will be included in all briefings having to do with the immunes, the government and of course national security but Michener's big concern is that he'll be asked to make military decisions.  I have to say at this point, everyone would be better off if Michener just played the role of figure head without being given any real responsibility.  Michner heads down to the mess to finally meet the crew and is so overwhelmed that he cannot even decide what to eat for lunch.

The 100, Season Three, Episode Fifteen: Perverse Instantiation: Part One

Perverse Instantiation Part One, is the penultimate episode of season three.  The characters are in place to finally finish of ALLIE for good. The season started off really strong with Wanheda Part One and never really matched that peak again.  At least this episode brought the return of the King of the Ice Nation - Roan.

Let's get to it shall we?  Having failed to bring Luna onside Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia and Jasper are in a conflict about what to do next.  Clarke wants to go from village to village to see if they can find another Nightblood but Octavia is convinced that this is only going to lead to more innocent Grounder blood. Bellamy believes that they should head back to Arkadia to check on their friends.  A frustrated Clarke storms off into the woods, completely unaware that the group has been tracked by ALLIE.  Roan shows up just in time to save Clarke and grabs the flame but doesn't get far because he is confronted by Bellamy. They decide to bring Roan back to Arkadia and Bellamy shoots him to make sure that he isn't chipped. I suppose that was efficient.

When they arrive back at Arkadia, Raven is not pleased to learn that Luna is a no go.  It's time for a new plan and that involves getting the chip out of Ontari and then replacing it with the flame.  At first, Roan doesn't believe that this is a fight for the Ice Nation until Clarke convinces him that everyone is at risk if they aren't successful. The idea of entering into an environment where everyone will be chipped seems to work for Roan. Yeah, I love Zach McGowan.

So the big plan is for Roan to enter Polis with Clarke et al releasing gas to knock everyone out and then kidnapping Ontari.  Roan however believes that the flame should travel with him. Clarke however is not willing to let the flame out of her sight and agrees to pose as Roan's prisoner. Bellamy is up in arms about this suggesting that they cannot trust Roan.  Clarke makes it clear that she isn't trusting Roan, she is trusting Bellamy to have her back. Aww team Clarke and Bellamy are together again.

Jasper decides to stay behind with Monty, Raven and Harper, while the others head to Polis.  What no one realises, is that Jasper took the chip back on the rig. Fuck Jasper and his spineless manpain self. This means that everyone is now walking into a trap because Japser heard every word of their plans. Jasper and Monty search for a motherboard which Raven needs to portal into ALIE.  They have a moment of reconciliation with Jasper claiming to be happy for Monty about his new relationship with Harper.  ALLIE whispers poison into Jasper's ear and he stabs Monty to get his hands on the motherboard.  Fortunately, Monty escapes with the motherboard and makes it to Raven fast enough to lock Jasper out. Raven tries to radio Clarke to warn her about Jasper's betrayal, only to find that Mr. King of manpain cut all the wires.

Roan escorts Clarke through the streets of Polis, as Octavia, Bellamy, Nathan and Brian take up position in the tunnel.  Roan and Clarke quickly find themselves surrounded.  Jaha makes his entrance and Roan and Clarke quickly realise when Jaha says that their friends in the tunnel cannot help them that they are trapped. Roan puts a knife to Clarke's throat reminding them that Clarke is the only one who knows the phrase to activate the flame.  Roan encourages Clarke to run and his shot by none other than Kane, who then orders Roan placed on the cross. Roan had better survive this.

Back at Arkadia, an anxious Monty wants to leave the room and deal with Jasper because Harper doesn't know that Monty is chipped.  Raven suggests that the best way to deal with Jasper is to keep him talking because that way they will know exactly where is and what he is doing.  Monty decides to ask why Jasper decided to take the chip.  Of course, Mr.Manpain, has to bring up Shay. It seems that Jasper felt that they destroyed I guess we can call it the Rig people, who are pacifists.  Jasper then brings up Mount Weather.  Finally, he says that they were sent to the ground to see if it was survivable and has decided that it most certainly isn't. Yeah well, it seems to me that until women he had an interest in died, Jasper didn't have any problems.

At Polis, Clarke is brought to the throne room and greeted by Abby, who immediately demands the pass phrase.  When Clarke refuses to comply, it's time for ALIE's favourite hobby - torture by Abbie's hands no less.  This is an intense and emotional scene.  When Clarke refuses to break, Abbie points out that she said that Clarke's true weakness is her friends.  ALIE decides to call for Bellamy to brought to the throne room.

Bellamy is separated from the group but before he can be brought to the throne room, Murphy, Indra and Pike show up.  Yeah, Pike as part to team good guy still feels really off to me.  Now that everyone is free, Murphy wants to keep moving away from Polis, but Bellamy is adamant that they cannot because Clarke is in trouble. This isn't enough to sway Murphy, because he rightfully points out that Clarke is always is in trouble. Octavia is going through own degree of shock because Indra is there with Pike.  Octavia is pissed because of course, Pike killed Lincoln.  Murphy quickly explains that there's not time for vengeance and that they need every strong capable body they can muster. Octavia and Indra sort of agree but it's clear that as soon as they get a chance, they're going to put a knife in Pike's back.

Zoo, Season 1, Episode 10: Emotional Contagion

I’m going to start by ignoring the damn “let’s show the middle of the episode in the beginning” because it’s a story telling tool I loathe with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

So, everyone is now being hunted by the police, they need to get to Zambia and they need a science thingy (I’m not even going to pretend to know what it is). Which they need to get in America, apparently because the whole African continent doesn’t have science or scientific devices. Certainly not something involved studying the DNA of animals… uh-huh – Abe should have slapped someone for that.

Leaving the country as wanted felons leaves them with few options – so they turn to Ray, an old Frenemy of Jackson and terrible animal right’s activist. Abe loathes him because he repeatedly got Jackson into trouble Abe had to get him out of – involving Abe having to resort to violence which, as we’ve seen before and is so excellently portrayed again here. Abe is not a fan of working with Ray

Mitch isn’t a fan either, finding activist groups like Ray tend to have a lot of passion but know little about actual animal welfare (or the conservation work of zoos with endangered species).

Still Jackson thinks they should since he’s the leader and Chloe supports him because of her laughable judge of character and is now increasingly become little more than Jackson’s love interest (yes we’re definitely going there complete with kiss this episode) so everyone’s objections are overcome. To be fair, they don’t have any better ideas

Friday, May 13, 2016

Orphan Black, Season Four, Episode Five: Human Raw Material

Poor Art, from the very beginning, I very much feel as though Art has gotten a raw deal and in this episode, it only continues.  Det. Duko not so casually decides to inform Art that the Hendrixs, who he questioned about a triple homicide, are also drug/soap peddlers. Duko suggests that Art let go of his fascination with Beth and start to concern himself with his real family. Yep, that's a threat.

Art quickly gets on the phone to confront Sarah about the Hendrixs drug empire and he is not impressed to have eaten dinner at a drug front.  How many times can Art compromise himself for the Leda clones?  Sarah promises to look into it and Art makes it clear that he wants no part of this.  This actually made me happy because for the longest time, Art has been a lap dog.

Sarah gets on the phone with Allison and confronts her about selling drugs.  Allison warns Sarah not to get high and mighty because when they first met, Sarah was trying to sell a kilo of cocaine. Allison explains that they are out of the drug business now and only sold the pills to save their home.  Sarah is still not sympathetic and argues back that Art could lose his job.

The conversation switches to Helena, who Allison accuses Sarah of dumping on her three months ago. Allison goes on to add that they are missing some camping equipment and haven't seen Helena for a few days. Geez Allison, nice of you to let the others know that Helena's missing.  I guess envelop stuffing is just so engrossing.  Allison argues that she is not the keeper of the pregnant sister and hangs up the phone.  Yes, this is one of those moments where I am not at all an Allison fan. Clearly Allison's ovaries are screaming jealousy but Helena deserves much better treatment.

Sarah's day of drama is far from over.  Sarah has dedicated the day to spending time with Kira and together they decide to go and visit Felix.  Sarah expected a warmer reception than she received, given that Felix got involved with trying to figure out what is going on with the mouth maggot. Much to Sarah's surprise, Felix is not home alone and is in fact still hanging out with Adele.  The tension and the jealousy in the room is thick as hell. Sarah goes all Maury Povich and calls Scott to arrange for some DNA testing.  As Sarah gathers a Felix's brush from the bedroom, Adele gives Kira a few ballet tips.  This seems to enrage Sarah more and she quickly scoops up Adele's glass when her back is turned.  Having had enough, Sarah calls an end to the visit and mentions to Felix that Mrs. S might like to see him for dinner.

As so many family dinners do, this one quickly goes bad.Sarah is not pleased that Felix brought Adele with him particularly because the location was meant to remain secret.  Sarah quickly starts pushing Adele for information on GeneConnection - the company which brought her and Felix together that is linked with Neolution.  Felix is outright pissed at Sarah's instant distrust of Adele, thinking that once again, Sarah is making everything all about herself.  In the middle of the epic blowout, Scott calls and reveals that Felix and Adele are indeed related. Picking up on her mother's feelings, Kira is quick to ask to be excused, before leading Sarah away. Yes, that's Kira acting like the only reasonable person in the room.

Sarah finds comfort in her daughter who reveals that she is connected to all of the clones.  It seems that Kira knows when Helena is feeling lonely, when Cosima is sad, when Rachel is angry and how clones she hasn't even met yet feel. Sarah apologises for thinking that what Kira thought were just dreams.  The two hug and take comfort in each other.  Orphan Black has been beating around the bush when it comes to Kira for quite some time now. I think they need to explain why Kira is so special.

Krystal's back and she got issues to deal with.  Also, damn, am I the only one who didn't realise that Tatiana Maslany is in such epic shape? Krystal is certainly not the brightest of the clones and so when she waltz's into Brightborn with a ridiculously transparent false name, it's absolutely only a matter of time before she gets involved in trouble.  Unlike the clones we have met so far, Krystal has no idea about Leda or the fact that she is a clone.  Predictably, Krystal is quickly spotted by Evie, except she is mistaken for Sarah.

Donnie is cuddling the cutest (I mean designed to make an ovary twitch) baby in orientation when Krystal casually strolls in.  A panicked Donnie claims he has to shit (damn he's cool under fire) and takes off, hoping to find Cosima. When Donnie catches up with Krystal later, she claims to want a massage as a cover for the fact that she has stolen skincare items.  Donnie pretends to be an employee and awkwardly offers Krystal a massage. Krystal proves that she's blonde for a reason and reveals her belief that Dyad and Birghtborn are conducting human experimentation (as you do to perfect strangers). When Krystal says that she would be dead if it were not for a French blonde doctor, Donnie asks if she means Delphine. Thus begins Krystal's freak out which only gets worse when Donnie addresses her by her real name. Krystal uses the self defense she was practicing earlier in the episode to get away from Donnie, only to be picked up and locked in a room.

Naturally, Krystal thinks her detainment is because she stole skin care products and empties her purse on a table apologising.  On the CCTV, Susan identifies Krystal and since Krystal is neither aware or bright, she is escorted out of the facility.  This would have gone smoothly had Krsytal not seen Ira, who we know is a Castor clone.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 21: All In The Family

Let me say right now that I am very much Team Dean on this one – I think nearly this whole episode Dean said time and again everything I’d been saying.

So Dean and Sam are confronted with god. And Kevin shows up to confirm that, yes, this is actually god. I want to be super joyful about Kevin being back if he wasn’t back for about a minute to say “yes god” before disappearing again. That’s a tiny, sad inclusion. I can only hope that whole upgrading means Kevin is a new archangel.

In fact, yes, I want Kevin to be an Archangel. Make this so, since all the other except Lucifer are dead!

So Sam and Dean have god – and Sam is very much very much in awe and impressed while Dean… Dean has complexities

I mean, he’s in awe and, to begin with, carefully respectful. He doesn’t want to be turned into a pillar of salt. But he also wants to know:

Where were you?

With all the shit that has happened in the world, where were you? With so much death and loss and horror, where were you?

And there’s some genuinely brilliant emotional acting here. And yes, as Chuck points out, some of this is that Dean has complicated daddy abandonment issues which is somewhat reflected here. Not just abandonment though, I mean it’s not just that John abandoned Sam and Dean per se, but he also expected them, especially Dean, to step up (often from a very a young age) and do John’s job. Do we have a parallel here with Chuck’s absence and Dean stepping up to hunt? Especially since, as we see, Chuck also expects Dean to be ready to step up to face his sister Amarra as well. As well as us having Chuck say “I always had faith in you even if you didn’t return the favour.” That’s almost outright saying (without a god complex) that he is expecting Dean and Sam to step up to do what, in at least some ways, he should be doing

 Yes this is going to hit Dean’s daddy issues hard.

Anyway, Dean is not entirely happy with Chuck, nor willing to allow his excuse of having intervened in the past and it gone wrong to fly. Because it does sound like an excuse - with no real proof that Chuck did once intervene and it go wrong.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles #2) by Christine Warren

Felicity is asked to check out a gargoyle statue by a friend.  She finds herself ridiculous drawn to the statue and even dares to break into the museum where it is being displayed in order to look at it with her second sight, certain that there must be some odd about this specific statue. What she doesn't realise is that this decision will bring her to the attention of the noctouris, a group of cultist determined to bring on the end of the world.  Fortunately, the gargoyle she was interested in comes to life and because Spar is a protector, he quickly becomes all that stands between her and destruction.

I'm going to say at the outset that I am not necessarily a fan of paranormal romance; however, there were a lot of moving parts to Stone Cold Lover that held my interest. Yes, a major part of this story is to bring together Spar and Felicity; however, it is set against a plot of trying to stop a series of murders in the Montreal area which have stymied the police.  Felicity is not trained in magic though she has the ability to sense it.  Felicity never shies away from danger and is more than willing to sacrifice herself for her friends.  It's an admirable quality in any protagonist to have.  Normally in these true love scenarios, relationships between women fall by the wayside to center the romance and I am glad to say that Warren very much avoided that.

Felicity is also very much full of snark and refuses to be controlled. At times, it veers into a bit of Kellie Independence. It has become customary for the female love interest to have a tragic backstory and in this case, Warren steps up to the line and shies away from it. Felicity's mother was a drug addict and that made her unable to raise her daughter and so, Felicity was raised by her grandparents. We learn that her grandparents raised her to be resourceful; however, since the death of her grandparents, Felicity has been on her own in the world. I very much like that while Felicity is bothered by her mother's addiction, she very clearly states that she had a happy childhood. Yeah for female love interest that aren't overly damaged and have had good childhoods.

Things have gotten really bad with the dark side because they managed to get the Wardens on the run and blow up their safe house.  This means that the guardians are frozen in stone until someone magical awakes them.  We are told that the guild of Wardens is extremely sexist and only trains perhaps one woman out of every 100 trainees.  Sexism in a very ancient order makes perfect sense to me and I like that the women in Stone Cold Lover are not shy about critiquing this.  My issue is that this line of characterisation for the Guild of Wardens sets up women as temptresses who ultimately distract men from their task.  We are told that the original Guardians had stopped caring about humanity and refused to wake until a woman approached one and it heard her call.  All nine guardians that were awoken by women eventually quit being Guardians and new ones had to be summoned. Over time, Guardians occasionally give up their immortality to mate with women.  The woman as a man stealing Jezebel trope I really could have done without it.

Containment, Season 1, Episode 4: With Silence and Tears

People are dying in a plague

Look, I get it, this is a fictional world and we’re definitely (especially since I know the synopsis of the original show) going to get some kind of sinister conspiracy at some point. Fine. At some point I fully expect a big bad dark naughtiness and yes, there’s a really good chance that Simone is going to be involved because she’s a government agent which always = evil.

But unless everyone is ridiculously genre savvy there’s no reason for this to be in everyone’s mindset. So all tis “whose side are you on” “who is responsible” and “you’ll see who the enemy is” is just bizarre. The enemy is a virus. The side is the side of everyone NOT DYING from it. “Who is responsible”? Whut? The plague is responsible. The main way governments tend to be “responsible” with disease outbreaks is being utterly unprepared and ignoring the whole damn thing until it’s too late and then not dedicating enough resources – which is the last thing you can say about Containment.

So this leaves me kind of at a loss with Alex’s storyline this week – while thinking the guy is a hero for tolerating the bullshit all around. Simone, the terrible-at-pr, has left him with a lot of horrible speeches to make about how everything is fine and cutting off all social media and internet is totally justified, honest. Especially since it means he can’t call Jenna

But in comes Leo the arsehole who just tried to get someone to break quarantine – a sick person at that – and should be in prison to shame Alex for trusting someone “with a fancy title” rather than his girlfriend

What. Is. This. “trusting someone with a fancy title”. This isn’t someone who is a “lord” or even “mayor” or “republican presidential candidate”. I can get being suspicious of fancy titles. This is a doctor of the CDC during a plague. Y’know, during a plague if a delegate from the WHO told me to start jumping on one leg? I’d hop. If a powerplant was melting down and a nuclear physicist told me our lives depending on my yodelling? Then you’d hear me from the alp. This isn’t respect for AUTHORITAY, this is respect for EXPERTISE. And sure, they can be wrong and have their own agendas and even be evil but generally in a crisis situation involving specialist knowledge relying on those people with specialist knowledge is SENSIBLE

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Revealed (House of Night #11) by P.C. Cast and Kirstin Cast

Neferet’s machinations continue to kill more people, only this time in a very prominent, public fashion. Faced with a possible backlash from humanity, the vampires of the House of Night need to act quickly to expose Neferet and protect their own reputation

This book also brings us a lot of Neferet’s back story

Perhaps realising how utterly inadequate Neferet’s Curse was about actually giving Neferet an actual motive to be the big bad. So this book spends a whole lot of time going through Neferet’s history to try and give us a better reason for why she is the Worst. Unsurprisingly, it petty much fails. We have three options:

Firstly, from Neferet’s curse we have the ongoing supposition that Neferet is evil because she is broken. She was one of Nyx’s super special ones hence the reason she got lots of shiny healing gifts she didn’t give a shit again (because Nyx has TERRIBLE judgement or, again, is just trolling everyone)

Secondly, her cat died. Seriously. She couldn’t deal with the loss of a pet. This is a hard, painful lesson many children learn. Neferet decides she hates Nyx and all she stands for because her cat died

Thirdly: She’s kinky. Because Neferet likes to be rough in the bedroom and punish her naughty naughty lovers she is evil and corruptible. In fact, she may even be kinky BECAUSE of her terrible past from Neferet’s curse. It’s not even a matter of her inflicting it on lovers without their consent – one of the stories from her past is the lengths she goes to to find a man who WANTS her to punish him. But no, she’s kinky that means she’s corrupt and evil (and he’s corrupt and sick) and they’re all corrupt and broken.

At least on some level we have Erebus –

- Wait, we need to talk about Erebus. Why is Erebus the god of sunlight? He shines in sunlight, he shines all right and sunny. Erebus is the Greek… not even god, more avatar/chthonic entity of pure darkness. Do the authors just pick names at complete random for funsies? Don’t they even try to do some research. Seriously all it would take is wikia. Google. It’s not hard.

- anyway we have Erebus accusing Kalona of being responsible for corrupting Neferet. But the reason why she’s susceptible to that corruption in the first place is because of her evil naughty sexuality in the first place. And, really, all this attempt to place some responsibility on Kalona comes off far more as a path for Kalona’s redemption with Nyx (his uber redemption) than any real attempt to explore Neferet.

12 Monkeys, Season Two, Episode Four: Emergence

With Cassie and Cole stuck in 1944, Jones must find a way to bring them back.  With few options available, she is forced to turn to Ramse, because he is the only other time traveler. There's still no love between these two and Jones makes it clear that she is depending on Ramse's feelings for Cole to ensure that his mission is successful. Jones however does sweeten the pot by offering Ramse the freedom to leave the facility with his son, if he somehow pulls this off. At this point, given the animosity between Jones and Ramse, there's a part of me that wonders if she splinttered him in front of an oncoming vehicle on purpose?  And thus begins a series of flashbacks that had me bored out of mind.

Given that the events of One Hundred Years, happened just a week ago, the continual flashback scenes were tedious at best.  It all felt like a cheap writers device to fill in time to ensure they had enough to fill out an episode. Sure, it was cool to learn that the anonymous phone call Cole received in the lobby was actually from Ramse, but it didn't add anything to this story. So yeah, Ramse ends up in a hospital where the nurse notices strange things about his physical body and he escapes by stealing someone's clothing.

Ramse does happen to have a run in with Vivian, who as we know is a true believer in the 12 Monkeys mission, even though there's the little problem of Ramse's continued existence not exactly squaring up with what was supposed to happen.  Ramse is unable to stop the paradox from happening and somehow, despite the violence of the explosion, not only do Cassie and Cole survive, so does Vivian. Yeah, that's another little sneaky thing that wasn't supposed to happen.  When Cole finally does catch up with Vivian in the hospital, she is incoherent and completely lost.  So much for predestination I suppose. There's also the issue that the Witness is starting to be wrong about more and more things. Does this mean that are intrepid team of time travellers are unraveling the ultimate plan?

Speaking of ultimate plan, last season it was all about stopping the release of the virus, thereby saving millions of lives in the process. This season, it seems to be all about stopping the messengers from destroying time by killing primaries like Tommy Crawford.  Huh? Yeah, does anyone else feel like they are just grasping at straws to find a reason to keep sending people back in time?

When next we see Vivian, she is dying and passing on the mantle to her son, saying that he will be the one to make things right.  At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Vivian's son is none other than the Pallid Man.  I really do think that this is a sign of 12 Monkeys having trouble keeping its own narrative straight.  If The Pallid Man is Vivian's son, why did he spend so much time investing in trying to kill Cassie and Cole in the first place? He had to have known that this was only the beginning of their time travel journey.

Well it's time to get trippy and who better to do that with  than Jennifer Goines?  Jones is at her wits end with the time distortion and the red forest. For the first time, Jones has to acknowledge that she doesn't know what is going on and that they are making history. This is a huge blast to Katrina's ego but she does go ahead and drink the red tea. Somewhere I'm sure I could have included a Matrix quip. At any rate, the tea allows Katrina to understand some of what Goines sees and knows because she is a primary, though Katrina still holds onto rigid scientific ideas despite what is presented to her. Katrina however does manage to make enough of a leap to understand that time itself is going to implode if they don't stop the Messengers.

Damien, Season 1, Episode 10: Ave Satani

Well… that certainly ended dramatically. With actual action rather than foreshadow as well!

Damien and Simone escape – mainly because Damien’s got his full demon powers going now. This means John’s army of minions (who would have been really helpful last episode) are happy to shoot themselves if they try to stop Damien. Random nice ladies cry “Damien I love you” and try to throw themselves off dams. He even accidentally makes Simone spit insects.

Despite my flippant tone, it’s so very very very spooky and terrifying. Damien has a whole lot of power and doesn’t quite know what he is doing beyond wanting all of this to end, unleashing poorly understood demonic power in terrifying waves.

Simone, however, is firm. She is staying with him. She managed to save a life, she has a front row seat to the apocalypse and she isn’t going to go home and pretend it isn’t happening. Certainly not when she can make a difference, even if minor.

I like this – I like why Simone is here effectively as Damien’s second. Because it’s not about him, not as a love interest – she is there for everyone around Damien. She is there, yes, to try and keep Damien back from the edge but it’s clearly for the world, for others, for the innocents in his wake.

Ann and the Nun who killed her daughter have a few theological debates. Well, it’s more “god god god” “satan satan satan” “GOD!” “SATAN!” “GOD!” “Satan! And poking your stab wound! Ha!” Wounded nun ends up being dropped in the grave – with wounded Amani (John has him shot for… reasons. I don’t even know). They’re then both buried alive

But as they leave, a hand thrusts out of the dirt. I hope it’s Amani… maybe. I mean it’d be nice if he didn’t die, but his depiction this season has been entirely as Damien’s servant which… no. He had no real character there, no real presence beyond as an extension of Amani. It’s a broken depiction and a non-person portrayal which is so common for POC and other marginalised characters

With much running in the dark and spookiness, John, Ann and their army catch Damien – and we see a difference between Ann and John. Ann worships Damien in all his satanic glory. John worships Damien for the power it will grant him – and John gets eaten by demon dogs. That’ll learn him! No fake devotion here! You’re in or you’re dog food.

Penny Dreadful, Season 3, Episode 2: Predators Far and Near

Time to catch up with Dorian and Lily who are going to extreme places where rich men get to see poor women brutalised for their amusement and for lots of money. Upon arrival they promptly murder all of the nasty rich guys and save the woman they were abusing.

Lily and Dorian, vigilantes for oppressed women!

Let’s say now that Lily is definitely leading this crusade. She has another of her awesome, amazing speeches as she reflects on her own abused, desperate history. And in between being in awe of her you also need to be very afraid:

“We will have, my dear, a monumental revenge.” Ohh this is going to be terrifying. And awesome

She also tells her stalker, Victor, to go away, he isn’t going to like where she’s going. She also, beautifully refers to his memory as a “fiction”.

To Vanessa with my continuing to love her and Dr. Seward. Her desperate hope, her vulnerability and Seward both caring and being professionally detached while refusing to let her evade the questions. Her terror of having her voice, her history, her life recorded and not being able to forget is stunningly well done and powerful. There’s so much that Vanessa would rather forget. But Seward pushes for her full story, despite Vanessa’s warning what a bad bad idea it was to hear what happened to her: especially if she believes Vanessa.

The result of this telling leaves Vanessa in tragic tears… and Seward visibly shaken and moved (can I say yet again what amazing acting we have here? Because it’s incredible)

She also tells Vanessa to do something to make herself happy. And I have to say how important this is, especially since the Vanessa is so obviously tormented, guilty and inclined to punish herself. Vanessa is not a woman, because of this, who would ever seek out happiness for herself. Telling her to seek happiness gives her permission – compels her – to see what she would never grant herself. That is so important. And it makes her smile – and I’ve become so invested in Vanessa and her horrendous story over the last two seasons that that smile is incredibly beautifully precious. It says so much about the power of this show that I value that smile as she and Dr. Sweet continue to have their scorpion and adventure themed outings.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jilo (Witching Savannah #4) by J.D. Horn

I’ve liked Jilo as a major character in the Witching Savannah Series as a powerful and clearly complex figure. She has awesome potential and we have a lot of allusions to a long and complex history. The problem is that this series is not about her, it was all about Mercy. Jilo’s relationship with Mercy has been very complex but, on the whole, it has been one of mentor and student. Or an almost maternal relationship. There are times when Jilo even refers to herself as Mercy’s mother figure

Of course, that’s a trope. It’s certainly a trope with an elderly Black woman with a young white lady in Savannah.

That made this book extremely necessary. It’s a book that focuses not just entirely on Jilo’s history but also on her family history and her magic as well. I think that’s extremely necessary because Mercy’s family has also been very much about her family history and the importance and uniqueness of her magic. By talking about Jilo’s family and relationship with magic we put her on an equal level of importance and value as Mercy

It also allows a wonderful expansion of the world building with us seeing magical systems and sources beyond Mercy’s family’s relationship with the Line and the Old Ones – and it’s equally as powerful while being completely different. Jilo’s family’s relationship with the Beekeeper and the old powers is only tangentially created related to the kind of magic that Mercy’s family practices. This shows there is magic beyond Mercy’s magic and that there are magical struggles and storylines that do not involve them. This is not Jilo playing a part in Mercy’ storyline. This is not Jilo living a lesser for of Mercy’s storyline. This is Jilo having an entirely separate magical storyline which doesn’t involve the Taylor family at all

Jilo’s family history goes back 3 generations – and it goes back 3 generations of Black people in Savannah, following them through the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and onwards. While this includes a lot of fascinating insight into the magical system and the desperate struggle each generation has faced to try and turn away from magic but inevitably be drawn back, it is equally a story of race in America and it permeates every element of the family’s story including the supernatural elements

We have rich white sorcerers who feel entitled to Jilo’s family’s magic and service, who constantly exploit and use them every generation and get away with it due to their wealth and race and power. As antagonists they are inherently people who force Jilo’s family to turn to magic time and again because in a system that makes them so vulnerable how else can the possibly protect themselves?

While that’s a common driving force for them seeking magic or being forced to resort to magic so is the simple realities of living in a racist, segregated time. The magic they have to turn to too survive not just against threats – but also economically. There’s Jilo’s grandmother, raising 4 young girls and increasingly too old to perform the hard physical labour of cleaning – magic, despite all her misgivings, provides an income when she has few other options.

That’s a definite part of Jilo’s own storyline that is defined by this. A single mother with no income and no chance to use her education. And she had an education and brilliant ambitions – but not chance to become the doctor she dreamed as a Black woman (flatly told that there were very few chances for Black doctors – and those choices should go to Black men who can actually help their community). Even her accent that seemed so stereotypical in the main books is revealed to be creation, along with the whole persona of “Mother Jilo”. In all, Jilo is a brilliant woman from a line of brilliant women – intelligent, wise, capable and determined – facing insurmountable obstacles and carrying on.

I also like that while race permeates their story, it isn’t the only obstacles they have faced, and it’s above and beyond the magical obstacles they face. They have both economic hurdles and even as simple as Jilo’s terrible terrible taste in men who have used her and failed her and exploited her time and time again. Jilo has led a hard life, not just from magic and not just from being Black but also from being a Black woman and with more than a few men willing to use her. Including these excellent lines when a man asks if Jilo’s child is his:

“Is he yours? Have you fed him? Have you clothed him? Made sure he had a roof over his head?”

Honestly I would have to spoil so much to cover the many excellent points this book made – from the pregnant young women who sought Jilo’s grandmother’s support to challenging Jilo’s attitude towards other women’s ambitions to Jilo’s own mother’s complicated life and career when she passes as a white woman.

The plot waits until the very end of the book to start to link Jilo’s story to that of the Taylor’s doing a really good job of making sure Jilo’s story is distinct – but also not completely alien to the rest of the books to an extent that it feels like a completely separate world setting.

And when she does interact with Ginny there’s some excellent challenge of Ginny’s well-meaning-but-deeply-flawed attempts to understand racism and Jilo.

There is a trans character – or so it seems – Willy describes herself as wanting to be a woman and wearing woman’s clothes. She naturally faces a great deal of bigotry, including from Jilo to begin with before she recognises Willy as family and is willing to champion her (while Willy clearly views herself as female, everyone continues to use male pronouns to refer to her). Jilo’s support helps dispel the depiction of bigotry and challenge it – but it doesn’t change the depiction of Willy. I am still unsure whether Willy is developmentally disabled or not as everyone treats her as a child. I never really got the sense of her as a real person so much as a burden to protect and pity. It made her less of a character and more of a plot device.

This was a book that was very much needed – not just to avert the terrible mammy stereotype that had dogged Jilo from the beginning but also to truly expand the world and plot line of one of its most important characters. It added a lot to the overall storyline and was an excellent read.

Once Upon a Time, Season 5, Episode 21 Last Rites

Well… that was damn depressing. Once Upon a Time what happened to the fairy tales?! Happily Ever After, remember? What is this? Everyone is dead and everyone is sad! Bad fairy tales! Bad!

So everyone is back in Storybrooke and Zelena is all happy, she has her daughter and her love of her life (the evil death god) and now a home where they can be happy.

Except team good guy has also come back and they’re quick to tell her that Hades is still naughty/bad/awful and totally tried to trap them in the underworld. Zelena your boyfriend is the Worst

Of course, lovestruck Zelena isn’t willing to believe that and Hades does his very very best to convince her that Team Goodguy is plotting against them and totally wants to ruin everything. While doing so he keeps talking about the awesome kingdom they will have once he smites everyone with his magical Olympian Crystal. He kind of misreads Zelena who would be quite happy with a cottage and a happy life and it doesn’t even have to be in Storybrooke in sight of Regina’s awesome interior design. She doesn’t really want a kingdom, she just wants to be happy. He’s very bad at reading her.

Meanwhile Emma is raging around deciding they have to kill Hades to save Storybrooke while everyone calls her totally emotional and how this won’t bring Killian back and revenge is bad, ‘kay. Look, I get that the Charmings are soggier than a snowman in June (outside of Canada) and Regina’s right, Emma isn’t exactly using a whole lot of sense at the moment, but can we agree that killing the evil manipulative death god is probably a good idea be it for revenge or protecting the town or for happy dappy funsies?

What would have helped if she did some research – no-one knows how to kill Hades

Time for Killian, aided by King Arthur (who Hades kills for… reasons? I actually have no idea why he does this). They need to find Hade’s weakness (and Arthur needs to find some serious redemption given the givens) which means questing through the underworld looking for the storybook in between duelling various spirits and ghosties and saving each other dramatically but rather easily.

With the Storybook they can tell Emma the secret to killing Hades – the Olympian crystal he just re-created.

Ok, someone needs to tell me why he recreated the crystal? He’s a god, with the possible exception of Rumplestiltskin there’s no real threat to him here. Why create the one weapon that can actually kill him? I need some explanation between narrative convenience for why he’d recreate the crystal that kills people without even giving them an afterlife?

Anyway, Emma goes raging off without a plan which gets little except telling Zelena about the crystal being lethal to Hades – and managing to tell Zelena about the betrayal

Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 3: Oathbreaker

John Snow is alive! And briefly naked!

Look I don’t want to be too shallow about this, but this is an issue – and an issue beyond the fact I’d really like to see him naked. This is a show that has had wall to wall female nudity, lots of full frontal nudity: Melisandre the constantly naked is RIGHT THERE in fact. And here we have a perfectly plausible reason why John Snow would be naked here. He IS naked here – but all through the resurrection scene he had a coy bit of cloth covering him and now camera angles, low light and leg positioning ensures only the very top of his buttocks are visible.

I get that not every actor is comfortable being naked – that’s what body doubles are for. There’s an issue when we’ve seen a gazillion women cavort around naked and then all these usual cinematic tricks are used to stop us seeing anything when the man is unclothed.

After some excellent advice from Davos (who is very good at that) he deals withg his resurrection trauma and has some good reunions with all his friends, involving dicks jokes and lots of hugging and no eating brains at all. Not one bit of brain nomming.

He does hang the people who stabbed him though – including Olly, the kid. Ouch, harsh. Having duly finished off the traitors he walks away, repudiating the Night’s Watch

He’s totally going to marry Daenerys and become the new King and Queen (maybe not but every time I say it I hear Renee scream a little louder).

Of course he’s left just as Sansa goes to find him – Sansa has the worst luck.

Elsewhere in the North, Lord Umber has thrown his lot in with Ramsay Boulton. Sort of. He’s a blunt speaking man but not a fan of wildlings and is willing to ally with Boulton if it will help him fight the army of wildlings that Jon Snow has brought past the wall. And to show he’s genuine he hands over Osha and Rickon Stark

Monday, May 9, 2016

Fear The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode Five: Captive

With Strand back on the ship, it's time to figure out how to get Alicia and Travis back.  Fortunately, Reed survived the taking back of The Abigail, giving our not so merry crew of survivors a bargaining chip.  It falls to Salazaar to treat Reed's wound and deal with the metal spear jutting out from his abdomen.  Chris sits in the room, as Reed repeatedly taunts Salazaar and in the process gives up information on how many men his brother Conner has and where they are located.  Reed even goes as far at to threaten Ofelia but it doesn't get the response he desires. Salazaar responds that he has meet scary men in the past and they never need to tell anyone how bad they really are.  Chris, who is still caught up with guilt is shocked that Salazaar allowed Reed to say what he did without some kind of penalty, but Salazaar is convinced that Reed is simply acting out because of his fear.   A confidant Salazaar decides to leave a tied up Reed alone but that makes Chris nervous and so he volunteers to stay and guard him.  Salazaar advises Chris to stay out of the room and not to engage with Reed period. I think this is the first time I found myself actively doubting Salazaar's judgement. Why in the world would he believe it a good idea to leave Chris to guard Reed, given Chris's mental state?

On land, Alicia finds herself alone with Conner, who surprisingly makes her a steak.  Conner says that he wants the opportunity to get to know her a little bit better; however, Alicia is only interested in either seeing Travis, or finding out what has happened to her family.  Conner remains non committal and leaves to deal with some technical problems. The moment Alicia is left alone, she makes her way outside and learns that she is no longer at sea but in fact at a port.  Jack finds Alicia and tells her she needs to go back inside because being outside is against Conner's rules for new people.

Alicia decides to play Jack's game for now.  Jack shows Alicia the radar and how they pick out ships to stop.  It quickly becomes clear that other than the size of the ship, the choice at the end of the day is random.  Alicia notices one ship moving towards them and after checking the ID against the manifest, she realises that it's The Abigail.  This sets Alicia off because if Reed had dropped off her family as had been promised, The Abigail should be much further away. Alicia is able to attack Jack a few times with a clipboard but Jack quickly gets the upper hand. Seeing Alicia's desperation to get back to her family, Jack not only agrees to help her but to leave Conner and join her.  The big plan is to distract Conner by having him check out another boat while they slip away. Alicia assents to this but demands to see Travis first.

On The Abigail, Salazaar heads to see Madison to let her know what he learned from Reed. Madison immediately directs The Abigail at a cluster of ships.  Luis tries to help Strand who is still shivering from his time spent in the ocean. Luis is adamant that they need to leave now and head to Mexico. When Strand balks, Luis points out that he only has enough money to get safe passage for two people. Strand however is confidant that everything can be negotiated and manages to talk Luis into half a day delay to get Travis and Alicia. This is clearly a point of honour for Strand and he feels responsible for the people he has gathered.

Madison begins to formulate a plan and it certainly doesn't involve taking "the kids", despite Salazaar's advice on this matter.  Strand is convinced that Madison is underestimating Nick, claiming that he knew Nick's potential after knowing him for just five minutes, even though Nick was going through withdrawal.  Wait, so Nick's withdrawal period is over? Really, Fear the Walking Dead? I have said repeatedly that Fear the Walking Dead's treatment of addiction is horrible and this is just the icing on the cake.  An enraged Madison warns Strand not to get between her and her son and adds that Nick is not to be sent off on anymore missions.

Travis's accommodations are not nearly as welcoming as Alicia's. Travis wakes and finds himself in a cage and before he can acclimate himself, he gets a flash from the past. When Alex walked in alive and well, I expected fire works.  This is a woman who killed others to protect someone she cared about and now that Jake is dead, she should have an ax to grind at the very least. It turns out that when Alex met up with Conner, he asked what she had in exchange for being giveb safe harbour and so she told Conner about The Abigail but she asked for Travis in return. Yes, Travis is the one that came up with the compromise of the dingy but it was Strand's decision to cut the rope that left her and Jake stranded. We learn that after being cut loose from The Abigail, Alex and Jake quickly ran out of water and that Alex was forced to strangle Jake to death.  Instead of actually attacking Travis, Alex and Travis have a chat wherein Travis admits the guilt he feels for killing his ex wife and wonders whether or not he'll get back the piece of his soul that he lost.

Nick is cleaning a gun and watching him do this clearly makes Madison uncomfortable.  Madison is adamant that Nick is to stay on The Abigail, though he is insistent that he can be of use. To be fair to Madison, she has checked Nick into rehab countless times and dealt with his inability to cope.  It's only the unrealistic writing in terms of Nick and addiction that makes it seem as though Madison is just playing momma bear with a legitimate reason.  No addict, should ever be as competent as Nick, so soon after kicking the habit, particularly in the situation that he is living through.

Reed is still in full troll mode and given how fragile Chris is, this isn't exactly wise.  Chris feels guilt for not shooting Reed the moment he boarded the ship and believes that had he done so, they wouldn't be in this situation now.  Nick does step in to stop the situation but that turns out to only be a temporary reprieve because Chris ends up shooting Reed, putting in jeopardy, Madison's arrangement to trade Reed for Alicia and Travis.

A gunshot his heard through the ship and when they race down they find Reed dead.  Chris explains that Reed was about to turn because he was so sick and that he had no choice.  Clearly, no one believes him but Madison does do her best to comfort the boy.

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent

Faythe wants freedom from her repressive werecat family. As one of the very few female werecats, her father and brothers want her firmly repressed, kept at home and quickly married off to a man of their choosing. Faythe wants to go to college and lead her own life as an actual person…

But when other female werecats are targeted by an outside force, Faythe finds herself dragged home

So, Cyna brought this book to my attention with her review. Therefore my suffering through this is all her fault and I will never ever ever let her forget this.

There’s so much wrong with this book that I’m going to have to take it in little bites just to get through it all. Let’s start at the simplest: the protagonist is called “Faythe”.

Faythe? What kind of Originalnamee misspelling is this? Is there a reason why she couldn’t have been called Faith?

Next, let’s take the super shallow world building. We have werecats – yay, original, something different from werewolves. Except not. Everything about the way these werecats are portrayed is pretty much identical to all of the endless troped portrayals of werewolves we’ve seen. The alpha. The Pack (or pride) is the same all-controlling violent unit we’ve seen a hundred times before. It’s a shame- this could have been the opportunity to tell a story about wereanimals that doesn’t revolve around the typical not-even-accurate-for-wolves violent pack model. But this series doesn’t even claim a particular species of cat – they’re just generic big cats. It feels… lazy

And the word for a female cat isn’t a “tabby” it’s a “queen” – or does that imply too much power for these women?

Which is another awful problem with the world building. We have yet another shapeshifter story where for REASONS women are super rare. We’ve seen this so many times – for some reason there is a desperate urge to make women rare in these stories, to have women surrounded by men and, ultimately, it is used as yet another reason to make women vulnerable and powerless.

In an odd “twist” I guess, women inherit the pride alpha status. A pride that doesn’t have a female heir will collapse. But the power over the pride doesn’t go to the daughter – it goes to the man she marries.  Why not just have the alpha status transfer to the oldest son and be done with it? There’s nothing empowered about making women “powerful” solely for their relationships, being love interests, being mothers. They’re not powerful, they’re objects defined entirely by the men in their lives, to be used and controlled

This could have been interesting if we’d had Faythe facing down this misogyny, challenging it and working to change it – but the whole point of the book seems to be about telling Faythe how wrong she is and making her get into line.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Last Ship, Season Two, Episode Eight: Safe Zone

Everyone is back on The Nathan James and President Michener is not pleased by this turn of events, having drunk Sean's kool aid by the barrel.  The crew escort him into a secure room as Michener tells them that they have no right to do this.  The crew review old video of Michener standing up against Congress which wanted to close the Department of Housing and determine that Michener has metal in him.  I think that they had to look awful hard though.

Jeter is hopeful about being able to turn Michener but Slattery believes that they should just break Michener to get the information they need about Sean and the location of the sub.  Personally, I'm team Slattery at this point.  Chandler being the captain gets the last word and decides that they are going to try to convince Michener to do the right thing, fully aware that they are on a tight schedule because if Michener cannot get it together within 24 hours, the crew will never see him as POTUS which means that they won't follow him.

Slattery debriefs Michener, showing him the orders they received to find the cure, telling him about the small network of labs they established, and showing him  a video of one of Sean's men killing a scientist to stop the spread of the cure.  Michener listens but it's clear that he isn't taking in what Slattery is saying.  Slattery leaves him alone without a guard but with a computer.  Instead of reviewing the files that Slattery left behind, Michener pulls out a memory stick and listens to a message from Sean about how they are the chosen ones and that they are going to rebuild society from the ashes.

It's now Tom's turn to take a shot at breaking down Michener. The moment Michener sees Chandler, he demands to be released and taken back to Sean because he believes in Sean's mission. Chandler does his cold ass routine and tells Michener that he needs to be convinced that Sean has the right path forward. Michener has come to embrace the idea that he is part of a master race because he is immune. When Chandler brings up the cure, Michener balks, claiming that the virus will mutate again. It seems that the plan is to gather in New Orleans because of its food and water supplies and rebuild society.  The people who are not immune who live there will be handled somehow Michener claims.  Tom is quick to make an analogy to the Third Reich and suggests that what Michener is planning is to make a master race.  It's a shrewd comment and enough to spark Michener's attention because after all, who wants to be compared to Nazis.

With the information they need, Slattery is ready  to be done with Michener and honestly, who can blame him.  Jeter however believes that what Michener really needs is something to hold onto because he feels responsible for the death of so many people at the safe area he had created.  Tom does some research to find out the exact source of Michener's grief but what he doesn't know is that at that very moment, Michener is so overwhelmed that he has decided to take his own life.  They manage to save Michener and Tom reveals that he learned Michener broke protocol to bring his son to the safe house. It seems that Michener's son was infected and it set off a wave of illness.  For Michener that isn't even the worse part of what happened.  We learn that his wife asked him to put his family out of their misery so while they slept, he suffocated them with a pillow.  Unfortunately, his daughter awoke and so the last thing his daughter experienced in the world was her father killing her. Michener is racked with guilt over this and has no idea how he is going to go on. This is when we see the softer side of Tom because he talks about the people he killed since the outbreak of the virus. Tom goes on to talk about losing his wife and finding his aging father and children in an extermination camp. It keeps Tom up at night that he has had to leave his children with his father who has a bad heart to work on this mission.  It's heartfelt and it's moving and serves the purposes of getting Michener to see sense and switch his allegiances.

The Originals, Season Three Episode Twenty: Where Nothing Stays Buried

Watching Where Nothing Stays Buried, this week, felt very much like watching an episode of John QuiƱones's What Would You Do? From the very beginning it has been established that no mater how angry the Original family is with each other, no matter how long said grievances have festered that they will always put each other over and above everyone else.  Family above all else has consequences however and Where Nothing stays Buried delves into that.

Klaus has yet to deal with the loss of Cami and he stands watch over her body.  It's Hayley who suggests a wake but Klaus is only interested in getting even with Lucien.

After lots of work, Freya believes that she has found a way to deal with Lucien.  It seems the witch who cast the spell to turn him into an uber hybrid will also have the power to undo it.  Unfortunately, Vincent was only a conduit and the spell was actually performed by the ancestors.  Vincent however has made some headway because he has found a spell allowing him to take the serum which made her an uber hybrid from Aurora's heart.

Last week, filled with blood lust thanks to the ancestors, Kol killed Davina.  When Marcel comes across Kol holding Davina's lifeless body, he doesn't take time to mourn because being a NOLA witch comes with benefits - Davina can be brought back.  With the aid of Vincent and Freya, Davina is consecrated which quickly makes her a target of the ancestors, only to be brought back safely and kept in Freya's circle.  This is done surprisingly with Klaus's approval because he doesn't want Kol to suffer the same pain he did with Cami's death.  There's always a reason not to kill Davina isn't there? Freya uses Elijah as a channel and secures Davina in her circle.  This is huge for Davina because the ancestors were in the process of erasing her existence.

Freya's early warning system goes off and it quickly becomes apparent that after failing to draw Klaus out by killing Cami, Lucien has decided to go after Rebekah.  Elijah volunteers to go and save their sister but Klaus being Klaus, moved Rebekah's body, making him the only one who knows where she is. Klaus leaves, charging Elijah with the care of the family.  It's become a thing that whenever Klaus goes somewhere, Hayley has to tag along.

It occurs to Freya that while she cannot use Vincent to undo the Lucien's spell, she can use Davina because Davina is with the ancestors.  Elijah is quick to point out that this is a great risk to Davina. They call Klaus and he is adamant that they find another way.  Klaus believes that if they lose Davina they will also lose Marcel and Kol.  Why is it that Klaus of all people is the one not willing to risk Davina?  Yeah, yeah, I know, Cami had a huge impact on him.

Klaus and Hayley pack up Rebekah's coffin and he speaks about all the things that he forgot to tell Cami.  Klaus points out that Elijah's immortality is at risk and suggests that Hayley tell Elijah how she really feels about him.  Hayley is worried however that since she has spent so much time pushing Elijah away that he may not feel the same way about her.

Vincent makes an appearance at  the cemetery to confront Van Nguyen about the work he is doing for Lucien.  Van Nguyen claims that it's an uneasy compromise to get rid of the Mikaelsons.  Vincent however suggests that since Van Nguyen doesn't know the end game that rather than actually being a regent, Nguyen is little more than a pawn.  The conversation is cut short when Kol knocks Nguyen unconscious.

Freya and Elijah learn that Lucien knows that Klaus is in the Bayou and decide that they've run out of time.  Marcel and Davina are having a moment. Davina absolves him of any responsibility for her predicament and she tells him that she loves him.  The moment is cut short when Freya and Elijah burst into the room.  Elijah breaks Marcel's neck while Freya gets to work on the spell.  Davina begs, repeatedly saying that Freya will break the circle which is protecting her but Freya simply continues on with the spell.  Freya is successful but with the circle broken, Davina is now at the complete mercy of the ancestors. Davina takes off running but the ancestors hunt her down and begin the spell to destroy her soul forever again.

The Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 21: Requiem for a Dream

This episode carries the powerful message that allowing this silly silly womenfolk make their own decisions is such a terrible idea. Because Vampire Diaries.

Bonnie is infected by Raina’s spirit which means she now feels a desperate urge to kill all vampires. In her sleep, her history replays over and over with terribad vampires she must kill. Time for the collected vampires to use the ability to enter dreams to convince her not to (remember this power? They bring it up like once a season and then forget it).

Since they need to convince everyone that vampires are good (MUAHAHAH On this show! Vampires are good! Oh that’s hilarious!), Damon opts out of being the one to enter her brain because he is the worst

Again, yes, Damon is an utterly terrible person. But so is just about EVERYONE on this show. Everyone. Having Damon opt out because he’s the worst but Enzo – ENZO! – decide he’s totally not?! Even Caroline is hardly pure here. But the writers have decided to force this message of Damon is the worst and we’re all to accept this.

Going into Bonnie’s brain just gets Caroline and Enzo marked for eternal hunting. Caroline makes the firm decision that she’s going to stay with Bonnie, she’s not going to run away or go on the run and leave Alaric and the girls behind. She asks him outright “respect my choice not to run away.” So Stefan injects her with Vervain, kidnaps her and takes her out of there forcefully because women making their own decisions is not to be tolerated. Faced with Stefan deciding her future for her, Caroline is angry, pouty and, ultimately admits he was totally right completely validating his decision to ignore hers with this episode’s motto:

If you love someone you’ll make their decisions for them even if they don’t want you to. It’s an extract from Aesop’s fables – if Aesop ever released the bumper book of trolling.