Friday, August 5, 2016

Zoo, Season 2, Episode 7: Jamie's Got a Gun

It’s time for another episode of Zoo, so what ridiculousness do we get this week?

The gang heads over to a country. This is apparently England. Apparently. Despite having a church that looks very un-English, wooden houses that are pretty rare in England, a whole load of animals that don’t live in England, hordes of Cicadas which is pretty good for a species that is nearly extinct in England and some accents that most certainly do not come from England. Ye gods.

So why is the gang there?

Well using various amounts of brain twisting desperate explanation and trying desperately to get the writers to lay off the LSD for 5 minutes – just 5 minutes – we have the following incoherent explanation for the animals running amok:

“So you’re saying that some traveling carnie grifter from the 1890s inadvertently invented the triple helix?

No, really. Some 1890s travelling show man with Ye Olde Mutant X-Ray machine took X-rays of creatures around the world, creating the triple helix. These creatures’ descendants then became the raging triple-helixed mutant animals

This means:

A)     Apparently a majority of all the animals in the world are descended from creatures this guy X-rayed. In the 1890s. I mean how did he even travel that far?! And he must have X-rayed literally thousands of creatures of the same species for this level of dominance. You’d think he’d have got bored after the first 100
B)      He X-Rayed a gazillion jellyfish. Even leaving aside the logistic of X-raying one of these, not hurting it and putting it back, why would you even bother? It’s a jellyfish. It’s transparent. I can’t think of a more pointless activity
C)      X-Rays. The Triple Helix was caused by X-Rays

That sound you heard was a million scientists crying out in pain.

Or it could be the sound everyone made when Allison started flirting with her step-son Mitch.

So they’re going to this guy’s old home in the hope he’s kept a convenient list of the thousands of animals he’s pointlessly X-rayed so they can Pokemon the lot of them and find a cure. Yay

Except Reiden got there first and has totally stolen everything except the shit this long dead Carny decided to bury in hi non-existant brother’s fake grave because where else are you going to store shit? See, before Ikea when you ran out of shelf-space you really had no option but to invent a sibling, pretend they died and then dig out a burial plot. Obviously.

Reiden has stole this because reasons, I’m sure. Can someone remind me again WHY Reiden is so against saving the world? And no “evil” is not a motivation.

Anyway, while they’re all doing that Jackson loses touch with reality, starts digging a grave himself (ah, must have something to store!) and babbling gobbldegook. Seeing his companion having a psychotic break and unable to communicate rationally Mitch blames this on Jackson overhearing his step-mother flirting with him

Mitch decides to treat this by inducing some hallucinations with experimental mind altering drugs!

Remind me again why everyone last episode thought he was such a brilliant doctor

This leads to a merry trip down memory lane where we learn that Jackson’s dad was an arsehole, he liked using Mnemonics to teach things and that Jackson burned down his dad’s lab and life’s work. In response his dad decided to inject him with the triple-helix which is why Jackson’s all mutated today.

I like to think that Jackson also smashed his dad’s “world’s best dad” mug – or that’s pending since Abraham just learned that Professor Oz, senior, is still alive. He thinks it’s a good idea not to tell Jackson. So do I.

Dariela gets some rapidly stuck on character development about not wanting to be a soldier and all about death so decides to leave the gang to stay behind and protect civilians with terrible accents against animal attacks. Kind of like a soldier. I hope this isn’t writing her out.

Logan turns out to be an evil spy working for Logan and this may be the one plot line I actually like – because the gang totally deserves this. I mean, we were introduced to Logan as a thief and liar willing to screw people over for money, Jamie decides he’s hot (which, granted, he is) and he chopped her toe off due to frostbite (I’m told this is a common mating ritual in Canada) and suddenly he’s trustworthy? Really Really Really? Yes I’m GLAD this bullshit is coming back to bite them in the arse

Oh and Jamie has taken to being mopier than a Livejournal Poet

Pictured: Jamie
 She also doesn't have a gun.

Consent in Romance - Love at First Woo-woo

CBS love awkward romance #braindead

Romance will always be one of the central elements of Urban Fantasy - and is certainly the foundation for Paranormal Romance. Naturally, there are many many tropes that are dubious or troublesome when it comes to romance (and more than a few that are mockable), but in our society where rape culture is so entrenched, there are few things more damaging and more disturbing than the many issues around consent.

We have already spoken about magical romances that bind the couples together, removing their consent to leave - but now we look at the foundation of so many of those romances.

We have referred to this in the Lexicon as Love at First Woo-woo, but often it is far more pervasive and destructive. Whether it’s magical bonds, the whims of some deity, magically induced lust or some other convoluted reason, all too often we see the woo-woo swoop in and the characters squished together into a romance.

Whether they want it or not.

Whether they chose it or not.

Whether they would ever choose it. Even when it goes against everything they want or dream or stand for. The woo-woo has spoken. Choice, autonomy, sex is irrelevant.

Magical sexual attraction seems to be the mildest form of this - and we have no end of incubi/succubae/witches et al who simply must have sex or are overwhelmed by the woo-woo lust for each other. Anya Bast’s Witch Series, is a classic example, elemental witches are drawn to each other by the woo-woo. The sad thing is it’s completely unnecessary - there’s no reason why these characters couldn’t have just found each other attractive - but no, there had to be coercion. There has to be that external pressure that forces that sexual step

There has to be an excuse.

At the core a lot of these tropes stem from the enduring, sexist, trope that a sexual woman is evil. A woman who pursues sex is a slutwhorejezebel and terribad awful, to be shamed and condemned. Nice Girls don’t sully themselves with the dreadful, awful sex and reach shakily for the smelling salts and the fainting couch, pearls clutched in a death grip, at the very idea. The only way your pure shining womanhood can possibly use her sinful ladyparts is if it isn’t her choice - or, more accurately - her FAULT. It’s very closely linked to the trope where a woman says “no” and has to be “worn down” by a male love interest until her defences are finally breached.

This is epitomised by the Anita Blake Series where we see Anita having one of the most expansive sex lives of any protagonist ever - but had to be dragged kicking and screaming to every sexual encounter.

It’s a tragic trope and the prevalence of it - that women need to be able to blame magic for them actually having sex - is why I still repeatedly praise series like Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld series that show pro-active, sexual women who enjoy their sex lives without any magical nudge to justify them getting down. This shouldn’t be praiseworthy, this shouldn’t stand out - but sadly it does

Of course this trope goes beyond reinforcing the idea a “good” woman needs to have an excuse to have sex - we can’t stress enough how often this violates consent.

Twilight is an especially infamous example of this trope - where magical “imprinting” results in werewolves (nearly all male) bonding with their love interests after just looking at them - making the relationship pre-ordained. And consent? Well one of these “women” who is “imprinted” on is actually a small child. The other a baby in the womb - but we’re assured they’ll have an attentive, loving caring future-boyfriend to dote on them until they come of age.

That’s called grooming. It’s a crime. And even if they don’t touch that girl until she’s 18, honest, that’s still a lifetime of brainwashing to impose on her. No reasonable person can call this consent.

While Twilight is extreme because of it’s involvement of children - it’s not alone. Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series has changelings begin the “mating dance” with their chosen mates - even when those mates are completely uninterested not just in love, but in emotion at all! But the woo-woo has spoken! Personal consent, lives, beliefs or inherent nature are irrelevant! Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Werehunters form magical bonds - again before any real acquaintance has even been established. Eileen Wilks World of the Lupi series has mating bonds so strong they can’t even move too far away from the other! They’re literally joined at the hip!

It’s not just shapeshifters (though they do seem to dominate for some reason) - the Black Dagger Brotherhood (which has never seen a terrible romance trope without claiming it) has vampires getting in on the bonding-at-first sight nonsense as well.

This is another element that has to be emphasised of this trope - nearly all of these bound-for-life-at-first-sight people are virtual strangers. It emphasises not just a lack of consent but also strikes us as lazy writing. You could build a relationship, you could write the things about the other that attracted and endeared your protagonist. You could write them falling in love as they come closer and see all the wonderful qualities. Or, woo-woo could strike within seconds of seeing each other and they could be happily skipping down the aisle before they even know each other’s surname.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Chaos Rises (Chaos Rises #1) by Pippa DaCosta

Gem and her brother Del are half-demons – which is a difficult in the world after the demon invasion. Humans want to destroy or imprison them. Full demons want to enslave them. Gem and Del have made terrible decisions to keep the safe.

And now Del has disappeared – and Gem is faced with another set of terrible choices and thin hopes to save her brother – but her demonic master is the only one who seems to know what is happening even though she knows she cannot trust him and he has his own sinister agenda

This is a semi-dystopian world where the population is recovering from the aftermath of a (possibly brief) demonic invasion. It doesn’t seem to be too different from out world – but there are demonic zones and creatures lurking around

This leaves the demons still on Earth both as creatures to be feared and also creatures that are targeted by humanity from what I can see. While the demons themselves have complex powers, their own culture and their own history

This is one of the few occasions where I actually say I need more world building info! It’s common for initial books in a series to dump too much information in. But this world is big, it has history, we have the demons before the veil, the veil collapsing, this apparently leaving demonic places on earth. We have the elements, we have courts and demon kings and queens and princes, we have lesser demons. We have the half-demons, we have the Institute. A lot of this has history and world building implications which isn’t just good for my nosy, world-building loving self, but it would also really help understand what is going on, understand these characters, understand them and how they relate to the world. I neeeeeed more

Colony: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

The pilot of this dystopian does exactly what it needs to do – introduces everyone, what their issues are and what the stakes are as well as setting up the world setting

Which is interesting because of how subtly it was done. It didn’t scream “dystopian hellhole” from the opening scenes – no, people seem to have relatively normal lives. I appreciate how it started with such a very mundane opening scene of breakfast and then introduced just a hint of the underlying problems: Shortages of basic supplies we take for granted

Our main characters – Will, Katie and their children – go through a relatively normal day with these constant little hints: radios talking about travel bans, ominous flying machines, fear of the police – all of it escalates as we see Katie bargaining for insulin (in a world where the occupiers don’t feel the need to treat diabetes).

While people don’t lead happy lives, the fact they don’t lead utterly hellish lives of pain and privation is, I think, an important touch. Especially since the (presumably) alien overlords (they talk of “the arrival” and “the invasion” and we see a lot of super technology) are largely absent and it is collaborators who are actually the face of oppression. They are the ones who round up dissidents, enforce the curfew etc etc. There’s a resistance and some of the people even call them terrorists. The fact the dystopian isn’t constant hellish torture is perhaps the key to selling this – because people probably can keep their head down, keep quiet, play along and not face any consequences. We also see very clearly that the Collaborators enjoy a much higher quality of life with much better food, drink and general luxuries.

I am interested in how the Resistance is portrayed – they’re planting bombs, some call them terrorist and those bombs are even called IEDs. No direct comparisons are made with real world insurgencies, but I have to say I’m surprised in the present political climate to have an Insurgency presented as, at least potentially, good guys.

Our main characters deviate from their “normal” lives when Will tries to leave the walled city of Los Angeles to find their missing third son – and gets caught up in a Resistance strike which ends up with him being caught. And exposed as an army ranger: which is rare skill set these days as all police and soldiers were rounded up and disappeared shortly after the occupation (another of Will’s friends, Broussard, talks about this).

Glitch, Season One, Episode One

Sergeant James Hayes gets a call that there's some trouble happening at a grave site and when he arrives to investigate, he finds a woman covered in mud with a deep cut on her leg. James tries to question her as to what happened and who she is, but the woman is in far too much shock to answer.  Deciding that the woman needs medical treatment, he calls for help and Doctor Elishia McKellar arrives. Am I the only wondering if this make believe area of Australia is too poor to afford an ambulance?  As they work on the woman, two men appear, similarly covered in mud naked and in shock.  Hayes is quick to give them a blanket to cover themselves and they also have no answers for him as to what exactly is going on.  Elishia and Hayes decide to take the people back to the surgery but before they head off, another woman appears.  Elishia decides to take the women, leaving Hayes to transport the men.  Before Elishia can drive off, yet one more woman appears.

What neither Elishia or Hayes realises is that they missed someone.  Paddy Fitzgerald is equally covered in mud, so he wraps himself in one of the blankets Elishia and Hayes left behind and leaves the cemetery.  Beau, a young Aboriginal kid, having watched people crawl out of the grave decides to follow Paddy and record him.

By the time Hayes arrives back at the surgery, Elishia has started to get the women cleaned up so, he tends to the men, handing out clothing. Charlie remembers that he lives on a farm but that's all he knows.  Carlos has flashbacks to running away from law enforcement, so he takes off, forcing Hayes to chase him.  While Hayes is outside with Carlos, one of the women learns her name from looking at an inscription on the ring she is wearing.  The woman learns that her name is Kate and what more, she's convinced that she's been at this particular surgery before.  Before Elishia can look her up, Hayes comes back inside with Carlos and is astonished to see Kate.  Yes, as it turns out, Kate is Haye's dead wife.  Hayes doesn't want to admit it at first but the resemblance is uncanny and Kate even has the coffee coloured birthmark that his dead wife had.

When Beau turns a corner to follow Paddy, Paddy jumps on him demanding to know why he is being followed. Beau explains that he is filming this and Paddy lets it go though he seems confused.  Paddy decides that after the night he has had, he wants to get a drink and asks about a bar he knows. Conveniently, the bar is around the corner but when they arrive it's closed. When Beau points out that he cannot enter, Paddy assumes it's because Beau is an Aboriginal.  Thankfully, Beau immediately calls Paddy, a "racist fuck" and says that the bar is closed and that if they go in, it's breaking and entering.  Paddy however will not be dissuaded, so the two break in. Once inside, Paddy finds his knife prominently displayed at the bar.

A shocked Hayes drags his reanimated wife back to her grave.  Kate's overcome and remembers digging herself out.  This enough for Hayes to apologise for bringing Kate there in the first place.  They had to a playground - a place where they used to go when she was alive and talk for the first time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Between, Season Two, Episode Two: Us vs. Them

Having escaped Pretty Lake, Harrison and his sister start pushing Chuck for whatever plan he has now that they have escaped.  Then tension is high but they don't get to argue for long because a military van shows up in the middle of the road and a sniper shoots Sam in the head, causing her body to collapse on the horn.  Chuck is quick to push Sam's body in the back with Harrison, turn the van around and head back to Pretty Lake.

The exit Wiley and Adam used to escape Pretty Lake is closed over.  Liam Cullen shows them his license and says that he took a vaccination to prevent him from getting sick.  It seems that Liam's goal is to come up with a cure for the residents of Pretty Lake.

Chuck drives back into Pretty Lake, apologising to Harrison repeatedly for the death of his sister.

Adam decides to search Liam's bag and Liam explains that the must take a vaccine twice a day. Adam is immediately suspicious at the very idea that they might have to take an injection, given that the last shots they were offered were deadly. When Adam hears helicopters, Wiley, Adam and Liam rush outside.  Chuck also sees the helicopters and increases his speed once he realises that they are headed to Pretty Lake. The helicopters drop off packages at the center of the town just as Chuck, Adam, Wiley, and Liam arrive.  Liam is quick to claim ownership of the packages and this naturally raises the distrust of everyone.  Adam in particular is concerned that the package could contain a bomb. Against Chuck's advice, Harrison decides to open the package because with the death of Sam, he's seen where Chuck's leadership leads to but Chuck stops him. Chuck refuses to give in until Wiley and Adam explain that they both got out and are contagious.  Liam argues that he's the only reason that everyone is still alive and tells them to trust him.

Ronnie wakes up when Renee throws the gun she stole from him along with some food on his bed. Ronnie isn't particularly welcoming and asks Renee to go and she explains that it was a crime of convenience.  To smooth things over, Renee offers up sex which Ronnie is more than happy to accept.

With Adam holding a gun to him, Liam opens the package which contains his lab equipment.

It seems that Ronnie has forgiven Renee, so she uses his goodwill for information about her missing brother Eric.  Renee thinks that Eric may have wandered into town and since Ronnie knows people, he would be able to get answers.  On the back of the picture of Eric, is a map Ronnie is to use if he finds Eric. With that, Renee takes her leave.

Gord stares at the carcass of the dead cow. Gord gets to work butchering the cow and hanging it up to blees. He packs the meet up in blue coolers and stores them in his truck. While he's in the kitchen washing the blood off his hands, the truck is stolen. Gord chases after his truck with a rifle but doesn't shoot.

Harrison has clearly gone over the edge and is playing paintball in the house.  Luke tries to talk him down but Harrison is only stopped by the arrival of Frannie.

Ronnie makes his way to the bar to ask about Eric.  He hands Mark and Melissa a picture of Eric but of course neither of them claim to have seen him.  Melissa suggests that Ronnie check out Harrison's crew. The minute Ronnie leaves, Melissa tells Mark to ensure that he's cleaned up his mess.

Liam is ready to run tests and so Adam is quick to volunteer but Liam needs someone who is actually infected. This is news to Riley and Chuck, who learn for the first time that Adam is immune to the virus because his father ensured he would be. Chuck gives a small blood sample and Liam compares it to his own. Yes, it's Liam the Science Guy Time.

This is all really amounts to filler on what is already a boring episode. The whole thing is implausible anyway so way ram in some pseduo science? Liam then asks for volunteers for the first shot and Adam grabs the needle and injects Liam with it. An angry Liam calls it a mistake, saying that the vial represents a single life which Adam wasted.  Adam is not convinced, pointing out that the last cure they were offered killed people.

Man in Black (Black Knight Chronicles #6) by John G Hartness

So after a lot of manipulations from Lillith and some very bad decisions on James’s part – he is now Master of the City

And there’s a lot of people, not least of which the global vampire council. And while James would probably be willing to step down, there is no abdicating – just death. Which means, just as all of his friends have stepped back away from him, James finds himself defending his life by defending a title he didn’t ask for.

So Jimmy is now master of the city. And some of this I really like

I like how he walks the moral tightrope. After all, the last book saw Sabrina leave him because she couldn’t tolerate his ruthlessness, she refused to accept his willingness to fight, hurt and even kill people. She thought he had gone to the dark side.

To a degree she’s correct – he is much more ruthless than he was. He does fight and hurt and kill. He leaves a swath of destruction in his wake and it does worry him. He does worry about what he’s become

At the same time he isn’t apologetic because he knows he didn’t kill when he could have and it’s a bit more complicated than just descent into darkness

Especially when we look at his proposed replacement as Master of the city who is very much in favour of killing everyone who challenges him, not acknowledge humans as people and generally willing to leave a pile of bodies in his wake. Jimmy gives second chances, Jimmy enforces his rules and is even a strict, iron fisted ruler – but without killing and, if he can, without violence. Jimmy is certainly not a good guy in this book, but he’s way better than the alternative. This moral quandary is one of the best parts of the book

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

Imogen and Marin are sisters who've not actively spoke in years.  When Marin reaches out to her older sister to apply for a residency at the famous artist colony Melete, something about it doesn't seem quite right to Imogen but she cannot imagine getting a better opportunity to finally dedicate her life to her art.  Imogen is a writer and Marin is a dancer - both artists in their own right - with disciplines so different, there should never be a reason to compete.

Melete at first seems just like the fairy tales that Imogen had written and dreamed of being a part of since her childhood.  The scenery is absolutely inspired and enhanced by the presence of her sister.  If only Imogen had paid closer attention to what happens in fairy tales before the happy ending occurs. There's always a price and now Imogen must decide if she is willing to pay it, in order to save her sister.

I read Roses and Rot in one day.  I simply couldn't put it down. I don't remember the last time I picked up a book which captivated me from start to finish the way Howard's Roses and Rot has. The pacing was absolutely perfect, drawing me in as Howard revealed the various layers of her story. The writing was absolutely gorgeous and so vivid that I could easily see the campus of Melete and feel Imogen's doubts.  Even when Howard stepped away from the main story to delve into the Imogen's book, rather than being a distraction, it simply added to the complicated beauty of Roses and Rot.

One of the things that  really stood out to me was the relationship between the sisters. Sure, they each had their own romances but at the end of the day, unlike fairy tales we have grown up on, the love that mattered most was the love between Imogen and Marin.  No man, no matter how he may have claimed to love either Imogen or Marin could have saved either of them.

Ostensibly, Roses and Rot is about an artist making a deal with the fae.  Faerie needs to feed off the emotions of humans and so to accomplish this, one person is chosen every seven years and in return for becoming a food source for the fae, the artist is given their deepest desire and success in their chosen field of art.  Alumni of Melete have gone on to win Tonys, Oscars, Pulitzer Prizes and appear on the New York Times bestseller list.  That may seem to be a steep price to pay for something the artist might well have achieved on their own with hard work, dedication and a little luck, but it also comes along with the assurance that hundreds of years after you're dead that your name will live on and your art will continue to be loved.  It's a form of immortality that few artists have achieved.

Preacher, Season 1, Episode: 10: Call and Response

It’s season finale time. You know this is going to be so supremely random and weird. It’s Preacher after all.

Tulip is back in town – with Carlos – and she tracks down Jessie staying with, of all people, Donnie and his wife. Actually I quite like how Donnie has had a whole come-to-Jesus moment over Jessie’s mercy. Make note of it for later importance – the one person Jessie has actually “saved” has not been because of power or Genesis or antics – it has been through mercy. Sparing someone he could have killed. Someone he could have killed and no-one would have judged him for it. Definitely relevant

We finally get the back story of Carlos – he betrayed them while they were robbing a bank – betraying them because he was jealous and bitter about their happiness together. His betrayal coincided with and may have caused Tulip to miscarry.

And now they have him at their mercy and have the weirdest, deepest and most THEM argument ever. Starting with Jessie advocating forgiveness, because hell (with Tulip outraged that Jessie is letting this go). And then Jessie deciding he’s going to hell anyway so he’ll do it – for her. Which leaves her super touched and making excuses NOT to kill Carlos because when it comes to touching emotional murder, it’s the thought that count. So after complaining about Jessie making a mess in her car while he argues about precautions they let Carlos go. But not without a brutal beating first

And this is just them. They’re not good people – but they’re not nearly as terrible as they could be. They’re not rational, they’re deeply emotional and often pretty broken and both excellent together and deeply unhealthy together. This entire scene pretty much epitomised Tulip and Jessie in essence.

While they’re having this reunion, Cassidy is being tortured by the sheriff who wants to know where Eugene is. And yes, by grabbing his criminal record and paying attention to his sun aversion, the sheriff knows Cassidy is a vampire. It’s a bit convoluted but I’m going to let it go because the emotional impact of the sheriff’s grief for Eugene – and his guilt – is so powerful and so simply and beautifully acted that I have to let it be centre stage. Especially when Cassidy is released after he scores a palpable bullseye right in the sheriff’s guilt. Kudos to a stellar performance right there.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Coming Darkness by Susan-Alia Terry

Lucifer has a good life. He is respected and honoured by the supernatural community, he has a home, a mate and great taste in clothes. He has family issues, of course, but he can work round them

Until the family comes to him looking for help. God is gone, something is afflicting the world and a whole new and unknown powerful enemy has appeared seeking to annihilate His creation.

Lost in this fight, he leaves his lover, Kai to try and find his place in the world without Lucifer… and to realise some harsh truths about what that relationship has actually done to him.

This world is huge and fascinating and all round incredible.

We have the archangels and Lucifer. They have great, separate personalities and a lot of family drama. Lucifer and his fun and his pain are almost as epic as the poker match he plays (which is beyond epic)

We have a world full of supernatural creatures, including werewolf packs and vampire clans that all have their own cultures and personalities and histories. We have the underground supernatural city with its own awesome history and legends and mythology and politics with the different factions pushing their own agendas

And we have Kai, lover of Lucifer, dangerous vampire assassin overshadowed by his lover and trying to find his own identity and respect separate of that.

We have a city that treats humans as possessions, food, tools and toys and the experience of one woman being dragged into it.

We have demonic contracts and politics and magic and then on top of all this we have storyline about the end of the world which has amazing, powerful statements about free will and analysing what that means and a whole concept of god and supreme beings I’ve never seen before and absolutely love for the implications of it.

The Last Ship, Season Three, Episode Eight: Sea Change

As we know, President Michener has committed suicide and it's now time for the American people to somehow comprehend the loss.  To some degree, many in the top echelon blame themselves.  Allison and Michener were lovers and she knew about his suicide attempt on the Nathan James and therefore feels guilty that she left him alone knowing that he was under immense pressure thanks to the leak regarding his safety zone and the The Nathan James captors.  For his part, Tom is enraged and actually irrational. The basis of Tom's emotions are centered in his belief that maybe, just maybe he pushed Michener too far too fast.  Even Jacob seems to feel culpable.  This manifested in his report to the nation about the role his investigative reporting may have played in Michener's decision to kill himself. On an aside, can someone tell me why it is that whenever television decides to portray a funeral they always do it in the rain?

the emperors new groove disney sad crying upset
Are we supposed to somehow feel sadder because it's raining? Yeah, that doesn't work on me, especially because it all seems so contrived.

At any rate, Tom's initial reaction to the death of Michener is to strike China. Yep, when all else fails just start a war. Why deal with emotions of loss or impotence when explosions are cool man.

breaking bad explosion walter white idgaf bryan cranston

It's absolutely ridiculous as Sasha thankfully points out.  Even if Tom had been able to take out Peng, that would not stop the second in command from taking over and following Peng's agenda. There's also the matter of collateral damage. Tom chooses to settle for heading to Shanzhai to track down Wu Ming.

Outcast, Season 1, Episode 8: What Lurks Within

This episode finally dumps a whole lot more complexity on just about everything – which is what I’ve been saying for a while. Especially since Anderson is the worst

After a series of events, Giles decides to arrest Sidney, the demon leader, despite Anderson’s objections (more on that later) which gives Kyle a chance to talk to him and introduce a whole lot of complexity.

He describes how he and his fellow- I’m going to call them demons because I have no idea what they are – basically land in people at random (good or bad) which pretty much screws up all of Anderson’s prayer theory. And when they land they’re confused angry and generally “rough”. Which is why there’s a lot of violence with the initial possessed. But he also says the two sides merge together – and the reason why Kyle’s mother is in a coma is that he literally ripped half of her away. He says, if left alone, the two sides can merge peacefully.

On top of that, we return to the idea that it can happen to anyone – good or bad. Because Sidney is possessing a paedophile and possible serial killer; and when Sidney took over he let the man’s victim go and, presumably, is not continuing his predation (but proof that the host is still alive – he’s clearly still tempted). Exorcising Sidney brings a paedophile back to town. Who is the monster there?

Of course he could be lying…

But then we have the example of Elizabeth Odgen, Lewis Ogden’s possessed wife. He’s been acting suspicious for some time which Giles has been following up, not because he’s possessed but because he’s been helping them. The serial killer trailer is a place to lock up the newly possessed during their violent stage so they can get their shit together. He describes how he loves spending time with the new Elizabeth, how she is still in there, part of the new Elizabeth and he doesn’t want this to stop

Ok… part of this does humanise the possessed – but he doesn’t really focus on how Elizabeth is still there and she likes what she is or anything. This focuses on the fact that Lewis likes this Elizabeth. It’s not about her, her freedom, her expression, anything – it’s all about the person he likes. He will have her possessed because this is the woman he enjoys. This is not about her, freedom, expression or anything and kind of reduces her to an object or tool. His preference is what dictates her existence.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Killjoys, Season 2, Episode 5: Meet the Parents

We have 2 opening reminders when this episode begins – firstly that Westerley is still a terrible dystopian awfulness where even currency doesn’t work (as D’avin and Dutch pursue a warrant).

And another reminder that we’re building a problematic trope around Dutch and other woman – she doesn’t like them. She continues to express her disapproval of Johnny and Pawter in less than flattering terms and she even has some snark for D’avin flirting with the new barmaid. Can we not with this trope please?

The plot line is divided in two – first of all we have Dutch and D’avin flying around doing warrant stuff while Khylen and Fancy uses green-goo-based-woo-woo to dip into D’avin’s mind so he can question D’avin’s dad trying to find out why D’avin is green goo immune. Only to find out very little beyond D’avin’s dad is an arsehole – whatever D’avin’s secret is, it has nothing to do with his dad.

But raiding people’s minds has side effects and a not completely absent chance of bran switching. Yup, we have Khlyen running around in D’avin’s body with Dutch while D’avin runs around in Khlyen’s body with Fancy. This gives D’avin chance to marvel at Khlyen’s strength, fight Fancy and work through some of his daddy issues.

While Dutch gets to play with D’avin Khlyen and deal with some of her issues including the knotty problem of not knowing what to feel or how to be now she doesn’t entirely hate him any more. I like this, how she’s more adrift because her one central identifying tenet: hating/hunting/hiding from Khlyen is no longer relevant.

Khlyen is as mysterious as ever, won’t answer any questions and generally is annoying. He does answer one thing – when she asks why she was on Arken, he says it wasn’t her. So these memories/visions of D’avin involve clone Dutch’s I guess. Also Khlyen’s plans for her may have been completely derailed by D’avin’s anti-goo powers which Khlyen learns, thanks to a brain scan, is likely due to the military performing weird operations on him.