Saturday, February 18, 2017

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 12: Stuck in the Middle Of You

Nope, nope nope, stop this. Stop. I hate hate hate hate this whole broken time line nonsense. Can we please just tell a story in neat chronological order? And now with artsy pauses and dramatic walking and even repetition? Stop.

So piecing together this hot mess of storytelling.

Hunter called Wally calls in Mary to help him with a case. Because Wally is your basic decent hunter not Winchester Apocalypse-it-must-be-Tuesday-hunters. You can tell by the way he’s freaked out by the fact Lucifer has a kid while the Winchesters are pretty meh about it

He has a demon problem.

Demons! Yes these are actually a threat to the average hunter. I know Dean and Sam spent the last 4 seasons pretty much focused on demons and now regularly have mimosas with the king of hell which kind of takes away the fear of demons. But, of you remember back to the heady days of seasons 1 & 2 (aside – don’t go back and watch these. Because you’ll see Baby!Dean and think he was so cute and adorable and then remember you used to think he was super hot, then feel like a cradle snatcher, then realise you were so much younger then and THEN realise how old you are now and you’ll end up sitting in a corner eating a whole tub of ice cream or going to a club drinking too much and dancing in woefully regretful ways to prove you still got it. Either way it’s not pretty and regret lies that way. So I’m told. By other people. Not me of course) demons were actually waaaay up there in the scale of scary shit the hunters didn’t want to face.

Of course the fact they’re carrying an arsenal of angel blades around (he remember when they used to exorcise demons and try to save their hosts?).

So they meet in a diner, make a plan, encourage Castiel to flirt with the waitress (hey remember the whole terror of Nephilim thing?) and she thoroughly takes control and owns that exchange.

And then it all goes to shit

The night fishing demon they’re hunting is way more than a demon, has yellow eyes, is immune to their bullets and even the demon blade – can take down Castiel and has some awesome weapons. He also has minions.

Wally ends up dead. Castiel severely injured with a weapon that cancels angelic healing. Mary uses a big car as a weapon because she’s Mary and practical like that.

Of course, a yellow eyed demon is something they have history with. Except… Azazel? He was scary and all – back when Dean was adorkable – but Abaddon, Lucifer, god’s own sister have all come and gone since then. To say nothing, again, of the mimosa parties with the King of Hell. Azazel ain’t that scary any more.

Turns out that Mary was actually the one who called in Wally – so she could call on Sam and dean without them realising. And it’s the Men of Letters who’ve set her against this guy – much to Wally’s distrust (he doesn’t buy what they’re selling) but she thinks she’s been doing awesomely with their gear and intel

And she seems to have another motive – not killing the demon but stealing from him and not telling the others.

That’s an arsehole move there Mary – people risking their lives for your lies?

The Men of Letters totally deny they knew he had yellow eyes, totes not their fault.

And then Crowley shows up. No mimosas but lots of insults. He’s not impressed by them – and this is Mary’s first introduction to the King of Hell. She’s not impressed. Nor am I, with Sam:

Sam; The demons, they were yours
Crowley: Obviously

Colony, Season Two, Episode Six: Fallout

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We are just about at the halfway point of this season, which thus far has been a reset.  The characters that we have come to know in season one, are largely still with us, though they have been somewhat re-positioned.  At this point, we still don't really know the end game of the aliens but we do have a larger sense of the world itself and know a little bit about the new government.  The question is, can our merry band of survivors really create a strong enough existence to shake up the new world order?

Things are really tense for the Bowmans, and they have to watch each step they take.  Now is the time to circle the wagons because everyone else is looking out for themselves.  Let's begin at the prison camp where Bram is being housed. Nolan decides that he wants a tour because of the special shipment which is in the warehouse and Maddie hitches a ride to check on her much beleaguered nephew. Over the last few episodes, Katie has pushed Maddie hard in order to ascertain if her sister is doing everything that she can for Bram, and as it turns out, Katie's right about exactly how self interested Maddie has become. To assuage her guilt, Maddie brings Bram a bag of goodies saying that she thought he would find it a welcome relief, given that the food in the prison cannot be all that good. Bram of course isn't interested in the food and wants to know when he's going the hell home.  Maddie tries to offer Bram a bit of good news by informing him that his brother Charlie is finally home.  Bram however isn't comforted by this news and wants to know why his parents aren't doing everything for him, the way they did for Charlie. Bram promptly drops the bag of food on the ground and walks out, now sure in the knowledge that he's going to have get himself out of this bind. 

While Maddie has been busy, Snyder takes Nolan on a tour of the facility.  Even though Nolan is now the Deputy Proxy, there are still certain things which are above his pay grade.  This however doesn't stop Nolan from leaning on Snyder, claiming that he is the one responsible for Snyder landing this cushy job at the prison and that they can continue to be friends.  Snyder seems passive, which should have been a warning to Nolan that his mind is already spinning.  Snyder takes Nolan to the crates that the aliens want taken off planet and of course, Nolan is insistent on opening one up. Inside the crate, there's a tube of some sort, which Nolan sees as proof that the Greatest Day is going to happen.  At this point, I have no idea what the hell this device really is, or if it's indeed connected to the Greatest Day.

That evening, Maddie remembers that she's an aunt who's supposed to love her family and decides to advocate on Bram's behalf with Nolan.  Her change of heart doesn't last a New York minute when Nolan starts talking about how close they are to their goal.  Nolan even argues that in times like this, they have to look out for themselves. He says this bullshit with a smarmy ass smile and Maddie drinks it up hook line and sinker. 

As expected, Snyder is running his own game.  Nolan should have thought about the fact that Snyder was selected to be Proxy in the first place, thus meaning that he's no easy mark, no matter how low his star has fallen recently. Snyder gets on the phone with Helena to tell her about Nolan's little visit to the facility and his desire to see what's in the crates.  Nolan assures Helena that he didn't show Nolan the crates which really matter.  In the coup de grace, Snyder then implies that he's looking for Helena and informs her that Nolan is gunning for her job. This will probably mean problems for Maddie, if Nolan finds himself on the outside looking in; however, I'm done caring about what happens to her character. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Magicians, Season 2, Episode 4: The Flying Forest

Quentin gets patched up by some centaur doctors but this is going to take a while to put him together after the beast gave him a mauling.

That means Elliot and Margot can’t really hang around since they’re the last monarchs standing. They head back to the capital only to be reminded that Fillory is pretty much falling apart and being monarch is no fun at all.

This involves Elliot falling apart into a mopey, useless mess, as per usual. While Margot grows spikes and is vicious, ruthless leader and, probably, actually quite effective in an iron-fisted despot kind of way. She knows what needs to be done, is willing to get it done and isn’t going to be distracted by sentimentality.

Including not being interested in building a monument to Alice because she wasn’t actually their friend. She was a “package deal who came with Qunetin” She’s brutal, but I almost have to respect her adherence to a vicious honesty rather than claiming a relationship they didn’t actually have.

The problem with Fillory is that, while the Beast isn’t draining the wellspring any more, apparently gods taking a shit in it isn’t great either

This is also a problem back in Brakebills where Henry and his professor notice magic acting up.

Margot has little patience for Elliot’s moping, making the excellent point “my crown is as heavy as yours.” She’d be an evil ruler but damned if I’m not respecting her.

Elliot bemoans the awfulness of him having grown up and Margot starts looking for a loop hole for him

She finds a way to create him a golem which he can move his mind into so he can stay in Fillory while his brain is happily running around in his body and partying in Brakebills, making drinks and finding a hot guy to have sex with.

Except while having sex in golem body with his man, his “sexually aggressive wife” (who has already made comments that makes it clear they’ve had sex and while he didn’t enjoy it, she’s a definite fan) approaches his real body in Fillory, pursuing sex. And Elliot says yes to her while saying yes to the hot guy he just met

Have you noticed how every time Elliot, a gay man, has sex, a woman is involved? Seriously, that’s an issue with this damn show.

Having partied, Elliot ends up being interviewed by Dean Henry about how very very very over his head he is. Henry, rightly, points out that Elliot has to choose between his two lives: Fillory or Brakebills which is basically no choice because he can’t leave Fillory. So he has to step up and accept he has actual responsibilities – at least Henry decides he’s going to help because the whole idea of Earth students going to Fillory and sort of conquer the place. (Sort of).

This feels like an attempt at a social justice message on colonism but is so weird and clumsy and with such a kind of ludicrous context that it’s all so very very bizarre.

Friday Discussion: Isolated Tokens: Being the Only One

In our not-nearly-as-aware-as-we-wish times, more and more media creators are looking at their books, television shows, comics and games and realising “oh shit, everyone’s a cis, straight, white guy!” and realise they’re going to face the ultimate, horrendous scourge to ever befall an author: angry tweets

It’s amazing how they survive such cruel attacks

To avoid this terrible fate, they quickly drop in a marginalised character to wave that minorityness at the screen and call it done. Behold a token. One single, solitary, lonely token that, despite so much mocking, they still seem to think will earn them brownie points

But let’s examine this isolated token more closely and see just how bad it is.

So the author has decided to take the not so original step and dropped an isolated token into your story. Yes they are the one POC character in a sea of white folks. The one woman surrounded by men, the one LGBTQ person overwhelmed by an amazingly huge number of cishet people. The one woman to act as healer (or be “one of the guys”) in an all-male team. We have the one or two isolated, token characters giving a spot of “diversity” in a sea of homogenous privilege

And right away we will call “token” because “there can only be one” is such a classic indicatory of tokenism and a clear indication that the author is not actually invested in including the said marginalised groups so much as earning diversity cookies.

Why does this stand out so? Because marginalised people do tend to try and find themselves. From parades to churches, to barber shops to cafes to festivals to community centres to activist groups to shelters to co-ops to bars to clubs to hotels to resorts to craft clubs to sports teams  to dating apps, to community websites to ANYTHING - even the briefest of briefest google searches will find an enormous number of entities expressly created so marginalised people can find each other, socialise with each other and live in/create communities for themselves.

Honestly, it shouldn’t be surprising that real marginalinsed people not living in token world often build and seek out their own communities and aren’t always content being the odd one out in every single room they occupy. We, as fans of media, can completely understand the desire for fans to look for communities of their fellow fans just to discuss our hobbies, to cross entire continents to attend conventions and events - it should not be a bemusing idea that marginalised people would seek each other out for safe spaces, commonality of experience, understanding and community, it really shouldn’t.

But, ok, your token IS the only POC/LGBTQ/Woman/Disabled person in the village. That happens, we don’t all have communities and, for various reasons, we don’t all seek it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The 100, Season Four, Episode Three: The Four Horsemen

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In an interesting twist, the people of Arkadia are forced to deal with the fact that despite all of the preparations and advanced tech, once things get bad, they will only be able to save 100 people.  The number is ironic given that it was 100 kids in season one who were sent to earth to see if it was viable.  Clearly, there are currently more than 100 people in Arkadia and this means that Clarke, the de facto leader, is going to have to choose who lives and who dies, a decision that she absolutely doesn't relish.  The more Clarke tries to run from making a list, the more insistent that Raven is that this is what must be done.  Raven makes it clear that Clarke is the expert at choosing who lives and who dies. 

The Four Horsemen, is loaded with the idea that leaders often have to make unpalatable decisions and then must find a way to live with themselves for the choices that they make.  Naturally, given the mayhem of the last season, the two who seem to suffer most alongside Clarke are Bellamy (who's still on the redemption train) and Jaha (who is inexplicably is still alive despite being pointless). 

When Jaha attempts to leave on an expedition to find some under ground bunker he believes might provide shelter for thousands, for the five years necessary for earth to be survivable again, Clarke and Bellamy are quick to jump on the opportunity. Raven, who plays the realist this episode is against the trip, points out that by the three of them leaving, they are taking away not only a necessary vehicle but manpower at a time when every resource is critical.  Clarke however will not give up hope and so promises Raven that if they don't find anything suitable, when she comes back she will make the list. Clarke should have asked herself when was the last time one of Jaha's schemes worked out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1) by Melissa F. Olson

Scarlett’s job, as the null in Los Angeles, is to clear up any evidence that the Old World exists: to keep humans ignorant that vampires, werewolves and witches walk among them

Los Angeles is a unique city – the three factions work together as equals to form an uneasy peace – and Scarlett’s job is vital for maintaining that peace among such fragile politics

Which is when she finds her friend, a vampire, surrounded by corpses killed by her own fangs… and Scarlett must try and find justice among expedient politics and preserve the city from someone is determined to upset this delicate balancing act

As I was reading this book it became clear that there’s a huge amount of history to this series. Usually that’s something that almost annoys me because I hate to start  series half way through – and this is a new book in a new series

But it works – it manages to convey this full sense of history and so many many many many major events that have clearly shaped this world and these characters – but it doesn’t drown us in Stand-Alone Stuffing and info dumping. It tells us exactly as much as we need to know, and no more. We get no explanation, we need no explanation –this book and its plot stands as it is. It doesn’t need all the detail that has clearly come before for me to still embrace and understand these characters and the conflicts they face.

Oh I wants some – and will most definitely be grabbing every last book this author has written and demanding to know more more more more more. The richness of the world is better for the history that clearly permeates it. It’s interesting to see characters starting a storyline without being a blank slate or with a very brief history – but with a fully developed past that comes from several books of growth which made it a fascinating book from the beginning without any kind of introduction needed yet without being lost. At the same time we have a lot of hints of so much world to see.

I don’t know whether it’s because of this rich history – but I really like the characters in this book and how they relate to each other. Not always perfect but recognising their flaws. Like Eli and his classic, clich├ęd werewolf possessiveness but still recognising that he’s wrong in this and it’s recognised as an issue between his and Scarlett’s relationship (ok, yes let’s address that. Scarlett. Really? Really?) rather than something that will just be ignored or tolerated. I think her misgivings about his being a member of a pack are also interesting and nuanced and not something we’ve often considered. We have the authorities who rule the city who actually treat Scarlett with a level of respect and make decisions she may vehemently oppose but they make sense, consider some severe consequences and don’t come from a place of evil or incompetence. Scarlett even comes close at looking at the as peers or at least people she can respect and like and honour.

Beyond, Season Two, Episode Eight: Last Action Hero

More than any other episode so far, Last Action Hero has me wondering how the hell this crap got renewed? Look, I like a little popcorn for the brain as much as anyone else but I barely managed to stay awake during this tortuous hour which went absolutely nowhere.  There's barely a plot going on and yet for some inexpiable reason, the authors thought they had to drag it out even more. Admittedly, I'm not the target audience for Beyond but come on already. I'd be willing to bet that if this aired on any network beyond the CW and Freefrom, it most certainly wouldn't be getting a second season as it stands. 

At any rate, since I had to watch it, it's my turn to torture you with a recap; that is if you still even care about this crap.

So, when we last left Holden, he had been shot in the shoulder after Jeff helped him escape from Yellow Jacket's ambush. You'll note that this is episode seven and the writers still haven't gotten around to giving Yellow Jacket an actual name yet. At any rate, Holden and Jeff decide that because they are being chased by Yellow Jacket that a hospital is out of the question.  They decide to stop at a pharmacy to get some medical supplies so that Jeff can dig the bullet out of Holden's shoulders. Lydia, the pharmacist on duty is helpful at first until she notices that Jeff has a gun in his back pocket. Being an aficionado of action movies,  Lydia decides to draw her own gun on Jeff.  After some back in forth in which she quotes lines from a movie, from some inexplicable reason, Lydia decides that she is going to help Jeff.

Having spent the night at Diane's, Jeff is getting ready for the day.  Downstairs, Diana is cooking breakfast for Luke while he snarks about Holden getting the freedom to roam around. Yes, it's typical sibling rivalry stuff. The subject then turns to Luke's lack of employment with Diane stating that Luke should be making her breakfast before she goes off to work.  I cannot say that I disagree with her on this one, given that Luke is a grown ass man sponging off of his momma.  Things get awkward when Ian comes downstairs wearing Tom's aftershave.  Who the hell does that? Why would you want to smell like your bae's ex?  Diana has to tell him never to do that again.
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When Diane leaves the room to continue her phone call, Luke questions how regularly these sleep overs have been going on.  We learn that Ian and Diane have been hitting it since Luke went off to college and predictably, Luke is grossed out. Ian once again offers Luke a job and this time he takes it, having found out that it's difficult to get by as a college drop out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bonds of Justice (Psy/Changeling #8) by Nalini Singh

Sophia is a J-Psy. She’s a justice Psy, able to read the minds of people who have committed terrible crimes and then take the image of what they did and pass them on to others. That can then be used in court to prosecute them. And what can be greater evidence than the testimony of the killer’s own mind?

Unfortunately even the Silent psy cannot stand this kind of mental bombardment and J-Psy have a short shelf life before their shields finally degrade and they die – by suicide or by being min wiped

Sophia is reaching the end of her career and…


Again? Really? This is the 8th book in the series and so far all but one of them have included a main female character who is either imploding because of her Psy powers (Sascha, Faith) or deeply traumatised by her past (Brianna, Talin, Katjya) or on the run and are an actual distrusted prisoner (Ashaya, Katya again) – always we have the terrible fragile and/or broken and/or vulnerable woman who needs to be saved by the big strong man.

I think what makes it more glaring and annoying is that the man in this series are also traumatised. Judd struggles with his abilities (which are lethal because he’s male so allowed to have lethal powers) as does Dev. Lucas, Dorian, Vaughn and now Max have all had traumatic, terrible pasts. But none of them are 2 seconds away from utter destruction/meltdown. None of them need saving or putting together. None of them are dealing with PTSD or fear – none of them are fragile. At most they need “melting” or “thawing” because they’re big strong manly he-men of manliness and trauma just turns them into diamond hard weapons of tough ruthlessness, rawr; while women become puddles and wrecks and cower in a corner for a man to put together again – occasionally having flashes of temper so the man can announce how he likes a lady with spirit (or words to that effet).

And I’m not saying that either is the correct way to respond to trauma. But where are the men cowering in puddles? Where are the women becoming iron hard, emotion-deadened ruthless scary forces? Both are viable responses but in this series they’re rigidly gendered.

And of course our love interest, Max, gets all hot and bothered for Sophia within minutes of seeing her – and then he starts talking about her like he’s hunting her:

“Slow, he thought, he had to do this slow. She was so skittish, he’d have to stroke her into trusting him”.

The OA, Season One, Episode Two: New Colossus

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Little Prairie is now in an elite school for the blind, having been smuggled out of Russia by her father. Every Sunday night, Prairie plays the violin for her father and he listens in on the phone. It all comes to a halt when Prairie is called to the headmistresses office and informed that her father has died. Aunt Nina is there to take her away, not having the money to keep her in the school. Prairie however is certain that her father is actually in hiding and not dead but she is taken away anyway. Prairie now begins experiencing her blindness like a prison inside of the child mill that her Aunt Nina is running. The Johnsons show up to buy a baby from Aunt Nina and Nancy meets Prairie for the first time when she excuses herself to use the washroom. Nancy follows the sound of a crying baby and spies Prairie trying to calm the child down. Nancy wants to adopt an infant and Prairie as well and offers to pay. Nina suggests that it would be better if they take the baby, while Abel is stunned by Nancy's request. In the end, Nancy and Abel decide to adopt Prairie and promise to change her name and make her an American girl. 

They bring Prairie home and it seems that she bonds with Abel right away.  Abel helps Prairie learn to climb a tree. At night, Nancy and Abel awake to find Prairie walking around her room speaking in Russian.  Abel is adamant that Prairie needs a doctor.  Nancy is forced to rush to Prairie's side when she picks up a knife.  

The doctor tells the Johnsons that Prairie believes her father is alive and is sending her messages in her dreams and that the Russian mafia are after her. The doctor says that Prairie is showing signs of mental illness and that she needs a mix of medication. Nancy argues that what Prairie needs is love but the doctor is adamant that they are dealing with a psychosis. What the adults don't realise is that little Prairie is listening at the door. Okay, hold on a second. This doctor needs to be fired.  A child is simply informed one day that her father is dead and she's never been given any closure so tries to find a way to hold onto him and that makes her mentally ill?
bill nye sense no sense

Later, Nancy is giving Prairie a bath and Prairie has a flashback to almost drowning. Nancy is quick to hand over one of the pills that the doctor prescribed. Later, the little family poses for a photo and Prairie is clearly drugged right out of her gourd. Prairie tells the group that she was medicated for 13 years and though she felt numb, it didn't stop her premonitions.  Prairie dreams of seeing her father again at the Statue of Liberty of all places but when she reaches out to him, he steps away.

Prairie is now all grown up and Nancy is still playing nursemaid to her, infantalising her, doling out medicine, which Prairie dutifully takes.  Prairie is convinced that the dreams are messages from her father calling out to her. Prairie relates that the premonitions are powerful because she can see in them. On her twenty-first birthday, Prairie leaves the Johnsons and heads to the Statue of Liberty. Prairie sits quietly with her violin but of course her father does not show up. Finally, Prairie is the last one there and is told by security that she needs to get on the ferry. 

A dejected Prairie takes the ferry back and ends up in the subway.  In the present Prairie admits that she should have gone home but was heart broken and ashamed. Prairie decides to play her violin in the subway until her father steps off a train and finds her. Clearly, this means that Prairie doesn't have the sense of a concussed penguin.  The man who finds her isn't her father, but he will change her life nonetheless.

It's morning now, and Prairie's little crew head out and go their separate ways. French runs through the woods to his home.

It seems that while Prairie was telling her story, Nancy and Abel were getting busy. A happy Nancy offers Abel breakfast in bed.  When Nancy gets up, she sees Prairie making her way back home. Later that morning, Prairie says that she went for a walk and that she needs to be alone sometimes. Nancy is quick to point out that the last time Prairie went out alone she came back with dog bites. For good measure, Nancy also brings up the incident with Steve's teacher. Prairie makes it clear that she cannot live cooped up in the house all of the time. Nancy makes the jump to Prairie needing to be hospitalized. Prairie apologises in an attempt to forestall being hospitalized and Nancy agrees to wait as long she goes to see a psychologist fromm the FBI. It's Able who steps up to support Prairie, saying that she can have an hour alone. 

At home, French gets his younger siblings ready for school.  He sends his siblings off to dress and then snorts some drugs, before leaving himself. At school, French gets a text about the bus accident that Prairie was in. French is then called to the principal's office, where he is informed that he's won a scholarship. French is told that he has to abide by the character clause and carry a full course load. 

In the cafeteria, Steve, and Jesse sit together trying to verify Prairie's story and they are joined by Buck.  They pause for a moment to note that Betty is chatting with Mr. Gilchrist.  Steve is quick to disavow the idea that the Betty is trying to get him out of military school. They are joined by French, who is not happy about receiving the text in the morning.  Steve is quick to say that French is a dick if he doesn't return. 

At home, French tells mother the good news about the scholarship. She's not full of praise and wonders if he is done with Harvard, claiming to want the best for him.  French's mother is certain that they can make it without him, though she is quick to blame her condition for not participating in the lives of his younger siblings.  Finally, French's mother tells him that she is proud of him and sends him out to pick up milk for her tea in the morning.

Buck runs into French at the store, and French isn't exactly excited to see him. Buck brings up French's worry that being in the house will screw up his scholarship. Buck admits that his parents want him to be like French. It's worth pausing to deal with the fact that Buck's parents admit that at first they wanted him to be Christine Yee.  Is this a confirmation that Buck is a trans* character? French is concerned that if he's caught up in a house known for drug deals that this will bring an end to the scholarship.  Buck questions if French is curious as to how this ends because he believes Prairie picked them for some reason. French however is adamant that he doesn't need help and does everything on his own. French hops in his car and Buck starts to walk away but before Buck can get far, French calls him back and offers him a ride.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Blood Rebellion (Blood Destiny #6) by Connie Suttle

Normally I do a plot summary to start reviews, but really what’s the point? Lissa is awesome, faces absolutely no conflict or difficulty and is now ruling an entire functioning planet by wont of her Sueishness. Everything works out because it just does, there’s no conflict or complications and Lissa is just totally awesome and super powerful all the time.

Oh dear gods it gets worse. It actually gets worse

See, Lissa, the worst person of in the universe, Supreme Queen of Mary Sues is now in charge of an entire planet. She’s also, apparently An Adult.

But this adult who is the supreme all powerful dictator of a planet decides to run off and sulk every time things go wrong. Something happens she doesn’t like? She leaves the planet or goes back in time and pouts for a few weeks/months before coming back and deigning to rule her kingdom again. And absolutely no-one calls her on this shit. This woman is supposed to be, at least, well into her 40s. She behaves like a petulant teenager

Of course, everyone may be just happy to see her gone because she is an utterly terrible ruler whose planet would collapse were it not for the power of her Sueness and endless super powered lovers with god like abilities.

Her planet has absolutely no resources. She’s literally just moving a gazillion vampires and comesueli (proto-vampires which basically act as a slave race but no-one talks about that) to a planet with no industry, agriculture or industry but hey everything’s working out. And Lissa is micromanaging EVERYTHING. Sports, culture, nascent industry. Everything. She takes a day out of her schedule to help pick fruit with half her council for a winery. A single winery. She has an entire planet to manage and she spends pages concerned with this one winery run by one of her favourites because it’s going to shore up a PLANET WIDE ECONOMY. They make decisions on the economy and agriculture going forwards with no attempt to study what their planet or population can actually do – just “hey, let’s do this” and lo, they do.

She literally has a little snit because tourists will be coming to her capital and *gasp* photographing her palace. She seriously decides the capital city of her new planet will be closed off except for certain days when she can be out of the city and absolutely no-one questions either the draconian nature of this or how unworkable it is.

The Walking Dead, Season Seven, Episode Seven: Rock In The Road

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When we last left The Walking Dead, much of our merry band of survivors had reunited and they had made a promise to find a way to fight back against the Saviours.  Due to the large force that Negan commands, for the first time ever, this is a threat which Rick and his ragged band cannot take out on their own.  It means that they are going to need allies. This necessitates a major increase in the population of The Walking Dead, which will allow a lot of nameless faceless people to die in what is sure to be an epic battle, as well as set the stage for a more settled type of survival.

The first order of business is to get the asshole Gregory on side.  Gregory is adamant that the Alexandrians didn't live up to their end of the bargain and therefore, he is not going to join a war against the Saviours.  Gregory wants Rick and his crew to simply disappear so that The Hilltop is not tainted or accused of working in collusion.  At this point, I really want to know why it is that people are even following Gregory? What did he do to inspire their trust in his leadership abilities?  Jesus is not shy about pointing out that the last time the Saviours decided to teach them a lesson, it was Maggie who saved the Hilltop.  This is absolutely foreshadowing a change of leadership at the Hilltop and the only one who doesn't really see it yet is Gregory because he's an arrogant asshole.

While the adults have been talking, it seems that Enid ran around telling everyone of the plan to resist the Saviours.  It seems that Gregory doesn't have the true pulse of their people because quite a few step forward to volunteer to fight.  It's absolutely a start however even with the volunteers, Rick & Co., still don't have enough people to take out the Saviours, particularly when they only have two guns. Rick moves to head back to Alexandria, not wanting to be gone if Negan returns but Jesus suggests that it's time that Rick meet King Ezekiel and besides, Jesus stole one of the Saviours radios and now they can listen in on them.

Once in the Kingdom, Rick and Morgan reunite. Morgan's chooses to respect Carol's expressed desire to be left alone and simply tells Rick that Carol's gone.  Morgan explains that Carol was attacked and that he had to kill someone to save her. This of course is the big set up because Morgan will weigh in on Rick's suggestion that all of the communities join together to go to war. Morgan is still on his anti kill program despite what he did to save Carol.

Rick tries to sell Ezekiel on going to war with Negan but Ezekiel is not impressed that Jesus told Rick all about the issue they are facing, given that he has chosen to withhold information about Negan from his people. Rosita and Michonne detail the havoc and death that Negan has brought into their lives. Richard is absolutely in support of going to war against the Saviours. After hearing everyone out, Ezekiel turns to Morgan to find out what he thinks.  Morgan, who is clearly still living in lala land points out that many people could die in a war and suggests that maybe they could find a way to just capture Negan.  At this point, I'm super irritated with Morgan. I know that he didn't see the savage way in which Glenn and Abraham died, but he knew these men and should have felt something more at the loss of their lives.  War is not an easy thing and it's not as though Rick was asking to go to war for no reason.  I think they've beaten this pacifist Morgan thing to death. Ezekiel decides he wants to think about it for the night and Rick tells a story from his childhood about the rock in the road, hence the title of the story.

While Rick is making his pitch to Ezekiel, Father Gabriel is busy clearing out all of the food from the pantry in Alexandria.  He also grabs shovels and knives and anything that can possibly be used as a weapon.  In the dead of night, Gabriel drives off without saying a word to anyone.When Gabriel pauses to close the gate, a head pops up indicating that he's not alone.  Has dude gone back to his cowardly ways after spending so much time professing how he has changed?

Benjamin takes a trip into the woods to try to work on his skills and to check on Carol.  I cannot help but be amused the way the males of the Kingdom seem to assume that Carol is so helpless and defenseless because of her gender.  It's sexist as all get out but it leads me to believe that it's only a matter of time before Carol shows them exactly who they are dealing with. At any rate, Benjamin offers Carol some water and food explaining that since there aren't many people left, people should help each other when they can.  It reminds us of just how naive Benjamin really is. Carol suggests that he gets out of the woods before it gets dark and to change the way that he walks because she could hear him from miles away.  When Benjamin suggests that Carol follow her own advice, Carol is quick to point out that she'll be just fine.

Later that evening, Benjamin finds Ezekiel saying one of MLK's speeches to a child as a bedtime story. Ezekiel asks Benjamin's opinion and Benjamin reveals that he thinks that they should fight. It seems that Benjamin believes that when given the choice to be a hero, one should always say yes.

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 6: Homecoming

Time for a road trip to Sleepy Hollow which means lots of complex memories about Abbie and all their memories.

Which would be time for lots of explorations of Abbie an what she meant and how important she was and how she could never be replaced and how this show is just a thin, desperate shadow of what it could be with her absence.

But instead it seems to be another episode focusing on solidifying the new team. And I get that that’s necessary to go forwards – but this is how this whole series has dealt with the desperate absence of Abbie. There has been little mourning for Abbie – it’s the general feel of reboot that consumes this season – this really unseemly feeling that the show is trying to draw a line under Abbie, trying to move as fast away from Abbie as it can. Yes, it needs to move forwards (if it must continue) but it can do that by treating its past and Abbie’s memory with respect, rather than as something briefly referenced only to emphasise this as a distant past.

In Sleepy Hollow they are determined to find the last shard of the Philosopher’s Stone before Dryfuss. We also drop the knowledge that the Philosopher’s stone one person immortal by killing a thousand or so others – just to make sure we don’t all just let Dryfuss get on with it. Dryfuss has also got his Demon Jobe back – I still don’t know why Jobe is supporting him in this? I mean, isn’t he literally letting Dryfuss find a big loop hole in his soul contract?

In Sleepy Hollow they show off Ichabod’s archives as well as some letters from Washington that conveniently contain info that Ichabod missed before. Basically it confirms that Banneker also knew that Ichabod was the Witness – and he was the one who planned to divide the stone. Ichabod tries to put a brave, good-soldier face on things but he’s clearly bothered by the fact that just about everyone in colonial times knew he was a witness but no-one told him. That’s definitely something he doesn’t want to happen with Molly

They go looking for the Stone using one of Jenny’s Artefacts after Alex does some technical tinkering to enhance it (see the roles all being drawn on again. It’s trite but it’s nice that everyone is being involved on some level) and run right into the guardian of the Philosopher’s stone. Well damn, shame the others didn’t have one of them. It’s apparently a sphinx but basically an archer.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

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Grimm, Season Six, Episode Six: Breakfast in Bed

"Sleep is good, death is better; but of course, the best thing would
 to have never been born at all." 

Clearly, Breakfast in Bed, deals with the difficulty of trying to hide the fact that you're seeing something that no one else does.  It's made worse by the belief that telling the truth and asking for help will lead to even greater problems.  Though the majority of the story focuses on our typical Wesen of the Week storyline, it's clearly meant to link in with Eve and Renard's ongoing problems.

It begins when Dan rushes into a cheap hotel as he is warned that he has to keep the noise down. As Dan makes his way to his room, a neighbour woman snaps at him about the noise, as an elderly man sits in a wheelchair and stares at him. Dude in the wheelchair just screams creepy as fuck. 

A nervous Dan employs the numerous locks on his door and then nails a chain around the window. Dan then peeks under the bed and in the closet before climbing into bed clutching a hammer. Dan fights sleep but eventually succumbs, only to be awakened by a green mist. A disgusting creature climbs on top of Dan and then opens it's mouth in a four way split, revealing a row of glowing green terrifying teeth.  No wonder dude is paranoid. 

While Dan is having his appointment with the creepy creature, Nick sneaks out of the room he shares with Adalind, to head into the tunnels to take pictures Eve's carvings.  He is joined by Eve and the two discuss the potential meanings.

It's time to have a little chat with Monroe and Rosealee about what the hell these glyphs mean. Looking at the images, it's Monroe who recogises the Pleiades constellation, which ancient civilizations associated with mourning. It coincides with the fact that seven Grimm buried the artifact and seven keys lead to it. They begin to ponder if perhaps they are looking at a calendar and it's Eve who suggests that maybe it marks a time in the past.

The next morning Dan, who is properly freaking out runs out of his room wearing only an under shirt and boxers.  He makes his way outside rambling about someone in his room. A man who works with the homeless notices Dan and approaches him to try to help. Dan immediately comes to the conclusion that the good Samaritan is the person who has been slipping into his room and goes on attack, in the process killing the man. 

At the precinct, Nick brings up the carvings to Hank and it's clear that Hank would much rather stick to real world problems.  They get interrupted by Wu, who tells them all about Dan's murder.  After some brief investigation, they manage to track Dan back to his hotel room and take him into custody. Nick and Hank debate whether Dan is dealing with a mental illness or if there's Wesen involvement. Of course, they decide that some random Wesen had a role to play in this. 

Nick and Hank stop to talk with Scott, the manager of the fleabag hotel about Dan and about Charles Link, the creepy dude in the wheelchair, who was eyeballing Nick in the hall when he went to apprehend Dan.

The Vampire Diaries, Season 8, Episode 12: What Are You

Matt is being made relevant again – with lots of ancestral visions which is apparently a thing he has now. This involves some very unfortunate sleep walking which ends him joining Alaric and Dorian

Dorian continues to hint about something going on in his life but is constantly interrupted when he tries to elaborate

Anyway, since they’ve adopted an archaeological system of “let’s find distant descendants and give them random things which may have their surname attached” it seems that one of these items is causing Matt to have ancestral dreams about his bell making ancestor working with the Bennet witches – Bonnie’s ancestors.

So last episode Enzo died and I’m supposed to care. Apparently Bonnie super super cares and is super upset. She’s also not ready to speak to Damon,  Stefan, Caroline or anyone else who will inevitably say “we’re so sorry” before moving on to another subject and dragging her into it

Caroline, having a moment of almost prioritising Bonnie, sends Bonnie’s mother to her. Hey there Abbie – where have you been? No, really, where have you been?

She’s here to help Bonnie with the funeral and letting go and tell us where she’s been – oh wait, not the last part. Bonnie’s been hearing Enzo’s voice which she takes as a sign that she can get Enzo back. Alas for her, no – Bonnie does not get happy endings. Instead it seems her grief and connection for him in hell risks pulling her in – she is saved only when Abbie burns Enzo’s body. For more grief and tragedy

Stefan, meanwhile, has all the Manpain now he’s a human again with human feelings. He’s duly torn up by his suddenly active conscience. He’s also splattered in blood which leads to him being arrested and confronted by his many many many many many many many crimes. I wish I could say this was even remotely about the victims, but it’s all about Stefan’s guilt.

Caroline arrives to cause utter paperwork chaos by simply making all the police forget him and remove all evidence of him. Because removing a police suspect with this much evidence against him is just that easy. On the way out Stefan is confronted by that rarest of beings – the daughter of one of his victims. She’s all alone in the world and Stefan has All the Guilts

They decide to go find her mother’s body and as they go on this side quest they find out that she’s actually alive. They find her, save her with Caroline’s vampire blood and Stefan gets stabbed. And because he has the cure in him vampire blood cannot save him – they have to use actual medicine to patch him up again

Emerald City, Season One, Episode Seven: They Came First

Image result for emerald city television show

This episode is aptly named because They Came First, is all about choosing who to align with. Glinda, The Wizard and Lady Ev have all moved their pawns into place and now all that is left for the pawns to do is decide if they are going to run and hide, or follow through with the plan to its culmination. With the Beast Forever and the future of Emerald City at stake, neutrality is no longer a choice.

The first person placed in a position to choose his alliance is Eammon, who is ordered by the Wizard to go door to door and round up all of the little girls in the hunt to find witches.  One of Eammon's friends begs him for mercy, pointing out that he's known his daughter from birth but Eammon responds by knocking the man to the ground savagely. At the castle, Eammon tries to advocate for the girls but the Wizard is adamant that they need to gather up the witches that Glinda is grooming. Eammon then suggests that the people will revolt but that doesn't worry the Wizard, because the Wizard feels that people only revolt when they are angry, not scared.  I think the Wizard might be wrong on that one because if someone had simply gathered up my child, I would absolutely be on the war path. 

When we last saw Dorothy, Lucas and Sylvie, they were making their way out of Emerald City, thanks to Dorothy making an agreement with The Wizard to kill Glinda.  Dorothy and Lucas stop to allow Sylvie to stretch her legs.  While Sylvie plays, Dorothy makes a point of reminding Lucas that he's sworn loyalty to Glinda and Lucas in turn points out that Dorothy's allegiance is to the Wizard, thus setting them up as being at odds with each other.

Jack and Lady Ev have begun their journey from Emerald City and Jack being a sensitive young man, does his best to attempt to console Lady Ev.  Unfortunately for Jack, Lady Ev takes offense to every single overture he makes and promptly throws him out of the carriage, stranding him in the Screaming Woods.  This is yet another reminder of the unequal power between these two and that Lady Ev doesn't know how to treat a friend or love interest.

Proving that they are the worst babysitters ever, Lucas and Dorothy realise that they've lost sight of Sylvie.  Are either of these two ever going to watch out for this child? When Dorothy finally comes across Sylvie, she is lying in a field completely unaware that a pack of wolves is approaching because of her ear plugs. Dorthy calls out to Sylvie repeatedly as the wolves get closer.  In her fear, Dorothy throws our her arms and the red gauntlets appear, causing a massive shock wave which scares away the wolves. The gauntlets really are an upgrade on the ruby slippers.

After retrieving Sylvie, Dorothy and Lucas head to the little cabin Elizabeth told them about. Lucas does a check to make sure that it's safe and Dorothy plays a little game with Sylvie to get her comfortable with not wearing her ear plugs. Seeing the closeness which has developed between Dorothy and Sylvie, he makes a point of reminding Dorothy that when they reach Glinda's, Dorothy will have to give the child up.