Saturday, March 11, 2017

Colony, Season Two, Episode Nine: Tamam Shud

Image result for colony cast television show

In Tamam Shud, the chickens finally come home to roost for the Bowman family. From the moment Katie began working for the resistance, the safety and security of her family became tenuous.  As much as Katie wanted to fight, I don't think that she ever took into account everything that she was risking.  Will has worked double time in an effort to cover Katie's tracks and save his family. Before the arrival of Bennett and Burke, Will had trouble staying ahead of the authorities but now his charming smile and handsome good looks aren't going to be enough to keep him and those he loves out of danger. Up until this episode, Will has always found a way to keep the actions of his family away from the authorities but now, there's no where to hide an the bill has come due. The house of cards has officially crashed. 

In recent episodes, we have come to understand that the resistance forces are large and varied, each working different angles to achieve the same goal. This week, we are introduced to two revolutionaries who plan on flying into Los Angelos bloc using a plane which doesn't have radar to avoid detection in order to retrieve the guantlet that Broussard's team stole from the aliens.  It's a bold plan and probably a suicide mission but they go for it anyway.  The pilot is shot out of the sky by a drone but Noa, the other resistance fighter manages to parachute to safety for now. 

Burke and Will arrive at the crash site to begin their investigation.  It's Will who notices the radio which survived the crash because Burke is busy playing his favourite game - cat and mouse.  It seems that Burke has discovered that Katie and Maddie are sisters.  Burke naturally assumes that it isn't coincidence that something was downloaded from Nolan's computer. For Burke, this provides the direct link he has been looking for to prove that Will cannot be trusted. Will tries to deflect by asking Burke about his personal relationships but Burke is not fazed, particularly because he has none to speak of. What Burke doesn't realise is that by questioning Will and bringing up Maddie, he effectively showed his hand. Will now knows that he doesn't have much time left. Will gathers what he needs from the pack and scrambles the radio signal. 

Helena is very much feeling the pressure from all of the resistance activity in her territory and is desperate to avoid a rendition. Of course, Proxy Alcala wants to spin what happened rather than deal with the rebellion.  Alcala suggests that they should simply speak to the people about the Greatest Day. I suppose he thinks that everyone is drinking the same Kool Aid.

Will heads home to give Katie a ride to the Yonk and to speak to her about the missing pilot. The two leave their children alone in the run down apartment.  Will tells Katie of his plan to try and get into contact with the pilot before Homeland can and reveals that Burke is onto him. Katie doesn't want Will to head back to work but he's not prepared to go into hiding with the kids just yet. 

Instead of staying at the Yonk, Katie meets up with Broussard to inform him of the missing pilot. Ona's arrival doesn't come as much of a surprise to Broussard because Hennessy had already informed him that someone would be coming from outside of the Bloc. Kate and Broussard head to a theater to meet up with Hennessy, only to find his throat slit. When Kate and Broussard double back to Hennessy's home, they discover that the gauntlet has been stolen. My guess is that this is the action of the Red Hand, because if Homeland had anything to do with it, they'd already be in cuffs. Broussard and Kate try to reach out using Hennessy's radio to report that their contact has been killed but without proper authorization codes, they are cut off from the conversation quickly.

Now that Burke has the goods on Will, he decides to take his information to Bennett. Burke asserts that it was Kate who stole the file from Nolan's computer and is rewarded by having Bennett authorise him to search deeper.  Burke suggests that if Will is indeed working for the resistance, that if they do this right, he could potentially lead them right to Broussard. 

Because Burke is busy hunting down the goods on Will, it frees Will to try to find a radio to get into contact with Ona. He has to use his badge and promise extra rations to get a person working at an electronics store to help him but it leads nowhere because Ona doesn't answer his hail.

Burke is in full on blood hound mode as he successfully breaks Emmett. Emmett has clearly been beaten but he's loyal enough to Will not to reveal Will's help in his escape from the safe house.  Emmett however has no such loyalty to Katie, who tried to help and no idea that by revealing that it was Katie, who tried to contact him, that he's implicated Will. It's not Emmett's implication of Kate which is the final nail in Will's coffin though, it's Burke learning that Jennifer deleted all of the surveillance in Will's home, before committing suicide. 

Now that Burke has all of the confirmation he needs, he orders the agents to sit on the children. Gracie is very upset about her new babysitters and talks about missing Lynsay.  Bram tries to comfort his sister by saying that Lynsay was trying to brainwash her. 

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 15: Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

Sam and Dean are in maximum hunting mode, moving from case to case to case while Dean gets crustier and crustier. Dean, you’re hot, but no-one’s hot enough to put up with that level of hygiene.

What is the source of all of these new missions? Sam is getting data from the Men of Letters. And like Mary, he’s lying to Dean about it.

Dean, you need to have words with your family.

This week we have a hellhound running amok killing one guy and chasing his girlfriend who was just saved from having to have an awkward conversation about how she’s not that into him when he has an engagement ring all ready.

Sam and Dean swoop in and, naturally, assume that the dead guy made a deal with the devil and try to reassure Gwen that she’s probably ok since she didn’t make any devil deals (since Hellhounds are like demonic debt collectors)

Except the hellhound keeps coming and Gwen insists she’s not made any deals (and since these debts generally last 10 years before collection, it’s reasonable to assume Gwen wasn’t making demon deals as a minor). They explain the real situation to her

-and can we have a moment to look at Dean’s epic lack of fucks to give. I think this, along with last episode him being hailed as a killer, is showing more and more how burnt out Dean is. Dean is spending less time and energy on victims and his snarky commentary through this – his eagerness to get on with this and fighting is clear. Gwen’s feelings and fears? Less important.

And they call Crowley – who is still kind of annoyed with them – to let him know one of his hellhounds has gone rogue. Looks like Crowley has been letting things slip in Hell again (honestly the king of hell gig is awful for Crowley because he’s utterly uninterested in actually doing the job). And one of his Hellhounds, the hellhound, the first hellhound, has escaped and is now after Gwen because she managed to fend said hound off with an axe.

He joins them to help because rogue hellhounds are a problem and show his lack of control, because killing the first hellhound will make him look shiny but probably mainly because he’s really really bored with being King of Hell

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kiss of Snow (Psy/Changeling #10) by Nalini Singh

Sienna, powerful Psy defector and Hawke, SnowDancer Changeling Alpha have struck sparks since she first arrived in their land. Rebellion, anger, defiance – but under it all attraction which Hawke is desperate to avoid. His mate died when he was a child – he knows he will always be alone and he cannot offer Sienna the life she deserves

While Sienna has her own fear – she’s an X Psy, incredibly rare and even more dangerous. She’s already lived longer than any other of her designation. She knows her days are numbered – but who will she take down in the inevitable end.

There is an issue sometimes, especially with long series, where you have a long running complaint and then a book kind of deals with the issue and you celebrate but part of your brain realises that you’re not so much celebrating a good thing so much as the reduction of a bad thing. So we have with this book:

Squee!Brain: a relationship with a female Psy who has an actual active, destructive power!

Cynical!Brain: And they have to pair her with literally the most ALPHA DOMINANT changeling ever so she would still be the submissive one in the relationship

Squee!Brain: But she challenges him!

Cynical!Brain: They ALWAYS do. But they’re always the underling fighting to be treated as an equal from the man who still largely gets his own was. Also we have a creepy age-gap “let’s wait until she’s juuuuuust of age” issues along with virginal heroin + no man may touch her issues.

Squee!Brain: But she isn’t a delicate Silenced Psy who has collywobbles if someone so much as touches her

Cynical!Brain: But she is facing super death because of her powers and being saved by his looooove (no this doesn’t count as a spoiler. If you’ve reached this book in the series you know exactly how this relationship is going to end and don’t pretend you don’t).

So, I’m conflicted. This relationship does address some of the main issues I’ve had about the previous books in this series. Sienna makes it clear that she is the one who knows her own powers and she will make her decisions about them. I like that she establishes her own authority when it comes to her powers, limits et al which is so vital when we’ve had so many Changelings decide they know their Psy lovers better than those Psy do. Equally, unlike the previous books I like that Hawke is somewhat respectful of Sienna’s boundaries – at least in terms of her bodily integrity. He doesn’t touch her or pursue her – the opposite in fact

The Magicians, Season 2, Episode 7: Plan B

This episode is interesting because the different storylines finally come together as a whole.

Quentin is being haunted by Alice’s Nifflin who is still trapped in his tattoo (only Quentin can see her)  and really really wants to be set free. Quentin in his rather patronising style, doesn’t want to set her free because wizard society puts Nifflin in boxes. Of course she’s kind of imprisoned now

He’d also like to save Alice – despite Nifflin Alice insisting there’s nothing left of Alice to save. Oh he’d also rather not have the nifflin go on a rampage despite her insistence that she doesn’t want to kill people honest

Quentin won’t agree and this promises for lots of drama. She is willing to compromise and take over his body. He also says no.

In Fillory, the most inept monarchs of all time learn that wars cost money and cleaning up god shit takes money and the kingdom of Fillory doesn’t actually have money. And despite being monarchs this is the first time that they thought to check the royal treasury.

Over to Kady and Julia. Julia is still seeking an abortion so she turns to Kady’s scary contacts. Asian mages (mugongs? I’m unfamiliar with this mythology) who can exorcise her baby (yes we’re up to exorcism not abortion because monster baby). But they want a million dollars. In gold, to get it done.

And at the same time they’re attacked by an invisible monster. This turns out to be something summoned by the mugongs because one of them is super afraid of the evil demon child Julia is going to give birth to: better to kill them both.

Julia and Kady turn to the one place to be safe – Brakebills. Henry still isn’t a huge fan of offering asylum but when his teacher officially announces she’s screwed (which is never a good sign) he agrees to asylum. Which also gives Kady chance to run into Penny and have breakup-sex which recruits Penny.

Themes Urban Fantasy Needs to Explore

Urban Fantasy puts us in worlds that look a lot like ours - but are significantly different in one or more awesome woo-woo ways. This opens the door for many fun and zany storylines - but it also opens the door to a lot of intriguing plots, reflections and commentary on our own world - and how that would change if the woo-woo actually existed.

Unfortunately, as we’ve said before, too many shows and books simply do not explore the true implications of the worlds they’ve created and it really is sad that these opportunities are missed. Here are a few of the themes, world building and plots we wish we’d see explored more often

Starting with the biggest of all: Death.  And, relatedly, mourning
In so many Urban Fantasy shows and books, death is not the end. Between vampires crawling from their graves, resurrection, dimension hopping, angels, magic and who knows how many more - death is very often a minor inconvenience, like discovering your car is out of petrol. On Supernatural Sam and Dean have died so many times that each could found their own religion. On Vampire Diaries people have returned from hell, been ghosts, leaped in and out of afterlives, there’s even resurrecting jewelry… And I can’t even begin to count the number of books where everyone has thought someone was dead but they came back.

I’m not saying any of this is a bad thing - it’s a story staple - but what does that mean to people who experience this? Especially when resurrection isn’t a certainty, but something that may happen a tiny percentage of the time or after an epic struggle?

When a loved one dies, how do you mourn? At what point do you give up? When do you bury/cremate them? When do you achieve that “nebulous” closure concept? I mean, you ask families who have a loved one go missing and they will tell you the struggle of not knowing what happened to the person, whether they can move on and grieve or have to keep hoping. Well, in a world where the dead can pull themselves from the afterlife/grave, when do you stop hoping? When do you give up on someone? Can you ever actually do that or do you end up putting your dead in Snow White style glass coffins and watch them every day, hoping, praying, begging for them to come back

And if you do give up hope, how do you feel about that? Is it a betrayal? What kind of guilt comes with giving up your loved one for dead? For that matter, if coming back from the dead is a cure you could literally seek out, how long should you spend seeking that?

This is dark and meaty stuff, certainly, but the more I think about the implications the more they horrifying me

Moving on from this to another knotty topic: Faith & Belief

Like many of the fads that come and go, Angels are a frequent go-to supernatural in the genre. But so many books treat them like, for example, werewolves without tackling that the very existence of Angels is making an inherent statement of the divine. Can you be an atheist and look an Angel in the face? What about a believer in a faith that doesn’t actually have angels? What about angels who active reject the tenets of either your deeply held faith or another major world faith? You have objective reality confirming a specific religious belief; that has consequences.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chains (Bad Witch #1) by E. M. Michaels

Cassandra was an ordinary woman dealing with some sadly ordinary problems – having trouble in college and relationships

And then she starts having images of the past, running into ghosts and shapeshifters – and sprouting magical chains.

Using a novella to introduce a series can work… It can. In some ways it’s preferable – it allows you to focus on the world and the characters without having to be concerned with a long running storyline to introduce, develop and then finish properly. That can be a big ask. Usually the world building is lost as we’re dropped heavily into a big plot line that tries to take over the book without having the proper foundation

It’s hard to introduce a character when she’s neck deep in world saving. And if you’re then going to try and introduce metaplot as well? It’s a lot

So a novella without the need to introduce more than a minor plot line? That works. That lets us see the world without having to do anything too epic – which is what I mentioned favourably recently.

And I hate to play one book against the other but if that is how you use a novella to introduce a series, then this is the very opposite.

Quite literally – we had the world setting take a hefty back seat, character development given an attempt with very little development to make her appealing and topped off with what I guess was supposed to be an epic storyline but was so rushed, undeveloped and confused that it was almost jarring. We were setting up a big dark menace, one apparently as old as witch burning that is fixated on the main character and I thought we were going to see the beginning of several books of conflict instead of it just… ending. Why set up such a vague epic threat and deal with it so casually?

The story itself feel like a stream of consciousness exercise. The protagionist neither drives anything nor explores anything. She wanders around, has a weird experience in a club, wanders some more, randomly decides to go running because woo-woo then we have info-dumpy ghosts (ghosts? In another realm? Yes? No? Maybe? Relevance? Because she could have found a book, a recording, a passing Cheshire Cat – all would have made exactly the same impact on the book). She runs around with a werefox who, again, could be any supernatural creature who is fairly hot. I would say he’s a generic guide but that would require him to actually guide her instead of just wandering around with her following. The go to a spooky shop. It’s spooky. The shop keeper gives her grief about being all sexual so she can flare up but she doesn’t actually buy anything so… why is she here? Why is this scene here?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Time After Time, Season 1, Episode 1 (Pilot) & 2: I Will Catch You

This is an intriguing new show and I think it’s really going to divide the audience based on your love and tolerance for cheese.

So our main characters: H.G. Wells, author, inventor, socialist, pacifist full of hope that humanity which will inevitably achiever utopia with technology allowing our natural goodness and joy. He’s adorkable. Really really adorakable. I want to smush him

Still my H.G. Wells

 And we have Dr. John Stevenson, serial killer, Jack the Ripper, killing poor prostitutes. He’s also a good friend of H.G. Wells but finds H.G. na├»ve especially in his hope for humanity

He’s also kind of hot.

He arrives at H.G.’s house just as he’s ready to show off his new Time Machine, to taunt H.G. for being so timid and not already playing in his time machine.

John’s need to use it is rather urgent since the police have just found his bag full of bloody murder tools – and a time machine is an excellent escape route. H.G. quickly realises that his good friend is an evil murderer and decides to use the time machine to follow so he can politely request John come home and be properly hanged

Did I mention he’s adorkable?

H.G. arrives in a museum, in his Time machine to be all confused and in awe of the modern world – and be promptly picked up by security and interviewed by Jane Walker, assistant Curator who would rather get this whole thing away so she can get on with the exhibit and the last thing she needs is some kind of cosplaying Victorian getting in the way. She shuffles him off successfully as he is focused on trying to find John before he kills people and convince him to return to the past

Along the way he managed to be clueless and patronising about both Women and Black people, but given that he’s a Victorian, a level of cluelessness is understandable. And normally I’m more than a little leery of historical figures coming to the modern age and being completely free of the prejudices of their time (because that’s just a blatant erasure of the bigotry of the past – or a way to try and make your old timey guy super special and not like them. It’s like all those vampire shows/books set in the American South with lots of old timey Confederate vampires who TOTALLY THOUGHT SLAVERY WAS WRONG GUYS). In this case I WOULD be more inclined to run with it because H.G. Wells is depicted as such a completely zonked peace-and-love-hippy that it almost fits. He’s the Victorian equivalent of someone who thinks we can hug all our problems away with a judicious application of crystals – his opinions are very far outside the norm.

To emphasise this we get a moment that is both sad and hilarious. H.G. looking at a bank of televisions showing the news. Remember this is the man who thought we’d achieve utopia in 5 generations. He sees a future of war, terrorism and Donald Trump. A single tear falls down his cheek (really a mild response to Trump) in utter tragedy at how far humanity has failed to reach his expectations

Did I mention he was adorkable?

But the flip side of this is harsh reality because H.G. Wells is not a fictional character. He was a Eugenicist and did speak of the “inferiority” of other races and Jews in his early work. Of course in his later work he was also passionately pro-human rights, against sterilisation and spoke against racism even at a time when it was far from mainstream to do so. Still, it’s clearly more complex than simply “progressive-uber-fluffy” guy depicted here. Especially since this is a YOUNG H.G. wells who was far more into the bigotry than a mellower First World War era Wells who became more progressive

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Blood Music (Bewitching Bedlam #0.5) by Yasmine Galenorn

This book is an introduction to an entirely new world by Yasmine Galenorn which makes me very very eager

I’ve followed Yasmine Galenorn’s Sister of the Moon/Otherworld series (the name seems to change depending on who you ask) for a long time and I’ve always enjoyed her world setting, her characters and her stories. I haven’t enjoyed the massive massive bloat that besieges the series because there are so many ideas that it’s heard to fit them all in

So a new series entirely? That is promising.

And it is – promising pretty much sums up this book because it is an excellent introduction book. There isn’t so much a plot to this book as there is a general laying out the land. We meet Maudlin (Maddy) and learn a bit about who she is, what she does,

One thing I really like from the offset here I that we’re introduced to Maddy, he recent past and experiences, the fact she’s a witch, her friends and some nice world building around her but there’s no sense of specialness. That doesn’t mean she’s not an interesting character – far from it – she’s intriguing and strong and determined and has a really good relationship with her friends. And she can definitely become special and awesome – but because of what she does in the books, not because she’s come in to this book with the special heritage/magic/woo-woo of specialness. Neither tragic nor ordained for greatness.

She does have a past- but it’s a very mundane bad past. The simple but powerful story of a woman leaving an abusive and soul destroying relationship and beginning to find herself again. And that’s an excellent story – because having someone with a compelling history that doesn’t have to be epic, soul-shattering or so extreme is a wonderful thing to see. I want to see Maddy leave her ex in her dust and build herself an awesome future

Once Upon a Time, Season 6, Episode 11: Tougher Than the Rest

Once Upon a Time isback and begins with a flashback – way back when little Emma was living on the streets and a kind young man who is obviously Pinocchio (who was sent back to watch her, remember) mangles the story of the Ugly Duckling to get her back on track: basically that you can be whatever you want so long as you believe in yourself

Ugh I forgot how utterly saccharine Once Upon a Time can be. Can I also say how really awful this is to do that with this story? I mean, don’t get me wrong “Ugly Duckling” is terrible anyway – since it still upholds beauty as necessary and not loving yourself: but “if you have no self-esteem and you try really hard you can be someone other than your worthless hideous self” manages to be worse

Anyway, having baby Emma’s head filled with the worst lessons ever, she chooses Swan as a second name to tell us that she’s truly internalised them

Also, this is why you should never let me tell fairy tales to your kids.

So back to the present and Regina and Emma are caught in magic mirror land which is all a bit weird and I rapidly begin to lose patience. Since they missed their previous portal they need a new way out. Emma finds Pinocchio; since his dad was the one who created the last portal cabinet. She talks to him, manages to convince him super super super easily that he lives in a mirror world and nothing is real (really, everyone in this episode is so quick to believe their world isn’t real). We have a brief interlude from an older Killian who has let himself go and, via a broken chisel, Pinocchio has a sudden crisis of faith and that means Emma has to feed him his own message – if you believe in yourself you can be a master capenter too!

See, never mind skill and practice and talent, it’s just belief! Yes, I’m a terrible cynical person but I do so hate the fluff

Also, no matter how damn powerful your belief is, if you think you can make a cabinet by hitting a tree with a chisel then you’re not going to become a master carpenter. And this is me saying this, the closest I get to carpentry is separating chopsticks.

At this point I’m losing patience, why are we even in this mirror world

So we join Regina who is with fake!Robin and Regina is having a bit of an angst attack. Because everyone in this world seems to be deliriously happy without her and it looks like we’re lining up for a whole Regina’s pain storyline which can we please not, pleaaaaaaase not again.

She catches up with Robin and gets all sad when she realises he’s all happy as well: everyone is happy without her. After which they’re both captured which allows more heart-to-heart in which Robin is, as I said before, bizarrely willing to accept that he’s in an alternate world. Of course he is.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Walking Dead, Season Seven, Episode Twelve: Say Yes

Image result for the walking dead season 7

Say Yes, pretty much amounted to a weekend getaway in a zombie apocalypse. Richonne set off to look for guns and food, so that they can bring Jadis and her people on side to fight the Saviours.  They manage to steal a van from people who they find golfing in a field of all things.  Why are all of these people on holiday during an apocalypse damn it?  At any rate, each night after a dutiful search for supplies the Rick and Michonne make love.  This is going to sound weird because it had me thinking about Lori of all people and not because I thought that Rick and Lori made a better couple. From Lori, we learned first hand the consequences for women who have sex in a zombie apocalypse and end up pregnant.  I wanted to scream at the television, "no glove no love".  Now more than ever, women need access to birth control and not once did Rick or Michonne have a conversation about this. Look, I know that they are about to engage in a life and death struggle but given how Lori died, this is a conversation they should have had before getting sweaty. I suppose because the writers control who gets pregnant and who dies, they didn't see it as a necessary but I deeply feel that this conversation should have been included. 
Image result for condom gif

Rick and Michonne stumble upon a long abandoned camp. It's probably the kind of area that the military set up as a safe zone at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.  It's clear that something went down there because there are several zombie military personal walking around with weapons. This is just the break that Michonne and Rick are looking for.  They climb up onto the roof of a highschool to get a better look and plan how to kill the zombies and take what they need.  The roof which is covered in water, collapses and they end up falling through but have a soft landing. The room that they land in is filled with MREs. They actually have a candlelight dinner and gorge themselves on the food, clearly grateful to be full for a change. Rick actually brings up taking a few days for just the two of them to enjoy what they've found. It's Michonne who points out that they should head back because of what they are dealing with.

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 9: Child's Play

This episode has a surprisingly excellent unified theme – people coming to terms with what fighting monsters means, especially Molly.

Molly is having trouble in school, she’s angry, she’s upset and a little stroppy. Diana is rightly concerned and tries to jolly Molly out of it: but Molly is looking at a world that has monsters in it, a world where her dad is just a monster in disguise where she’s plagued by depressing and terrifying visions of the future and everything is scary and awful. She’s not jollyable.

Diana decides to take her to the Vault where she can see the cool toys and legacy there – by exposing Molly to the good/cool/interesting part of the job at least she can show an upside. It’s a nice idea which ends up with Ichabod and Molly being locked in by the security system being tripped. Oops

Meanwhile Diana has other things to worry about – a monster attacked Molly’s teacher and is now attacking her. The monster is Molly’s childhood imaginary friend given life by Molly’s will – something we have seen before with Ichabod’s son Henry creating a golam. Yes it normally takes more than this but we’ll get to that

The creature is attacking Diana because Molly is mad with her – which causes all the parental angst. But the star of this goes to Jenny – who has obviously had the difficult childhood of knowing monsters exist, having the confront that, be scarred by that etc. Molly can’t talk to her mother about her angst? Well she’s hardly the first child to do so. And here Diana should take the opportunity of knowing what Molly’s feeling rather than having to guess

Jenny is awesome and has a really interesting role this season as one-who-went-before. The flip side to that is that that’s crystalised all of her roles. She’s more of a mentor to Alex and Jake coupled with therapy/advice for Diana while removing any of her own actual storylines, wants, needs or grief. This would have been vastly improved if she had someone with which to address her own personal issues with – like Abbie.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Vampire Diaries, Season 8, Episode 15: We're Planning a June Wedding

The end is in sight dear readers, just one more episode and we can see the promised land, we will have…

Wait.. do we have protection on Bonnie? We may need protection on Bonnie….

Ok, so let’s look at the things on Vampire Diaries that I don’t care about and make my eyes roll:

Matt’s family drama: I haven’t found Matt to be a relevant character since…. I haven’t found Matt to ever be a relevant character. He’s some human who follows around the others and tries to look scowly but instead looks pouty instead.

Bonnie and Enzo. As I’ve said repeatedly, this relationship was dropped in out of nowhere for no damn good reason so I just don’t get any of the emotion behind it

Stefan and Caroline: while this has more history than Bonnie/Enzo, almost from the very first moment they realised they wanted to be together there has been some woo-woo reason why they couldn’t be. Their stars have been crossed so many times they’ve done a full circle and I have low limits on relationship angst tolerance. Add in that their storyline is inevitably connected to Stefan’s redemption/good-guy status and this show’s repeated casting of him as the “good one” next to Damon’s “bad boy” and I’m done with it. Also Caroline’s one of only 2 characters I like in this series. She can do better

Still want Caroline and Bonnie to Thelma and Louise it into the sunset.

This season being all about all of those things has not exactly thrilled me. And this episode is all about those things as well so this is my not thrilled face over this episode.

So, we learn that Katherine is apparently the big bad and now controls Hell for Reasons and is going to bring them all down for revenge. It’s decided that the best way to deal with this is to lure her out. And what better way to lure her out than use Stefan as bait – the man she was always obsessed with getting married to another woman. That’ll do it.

Of course this means that Stefan’s going to get his happily ever after and everyone’s going to come together and play happy families so we need some very very quick resolutions of issues:

Damon is quick to step up to declare that evil Stefan was an entirely different person so Stefan doesn’t have to feel the guilts.

Grimm, Season Six, Episode Nine: Tree People

"In the morning, glad, I see
my foe outstretched beneath the tree."

There are now officially only four more episodes in this series and the writers are still holding onto the meta is though the viewers owe them money.  Yes, this is my weekly complaint about Grimm.  Are they planning on just dragging it all out and then rushing meta to a close in the last two episodes? Now is not the time for bloody Wesen of the week.  Now is not the time to play up on a love triangle between Eve (Kelly's killer) Adalind (the rapist) and Nick, who for some reason thinks that there are only two women in Portland to date.

Let's deal with the meta first, since there was so little of it. The Scoobies gather to discuss what happened with the monster in the mirror.  When Diana steps forward to add her two cents to the conversation, Adalind originally tries to shut her down.  I have to say that I was irritated by this. Diana has proven repeatedly that she has more insight than the rest of the scoobies.  They only listen when Diana explains that what happened is a vision of what is going to happen in the other place.  Hmmm. So what they're seeing in the mirror is another dimension. The crew decide that perhaps the best path forward is to ensure that from here on in, no one is to look into a mirror alone.  

Monroe is quick to put his foot in his mouth and wonder if the mirror monster is after Nick and Juliet because of their close connection. 
Image result for awkward gif

Adalind is clearly not good with the reminder that Juliet and Nick were a couple before she raped Nick and had his baby. 

Rosealee and Monroe agree that Eve is going to stay with them until they figure out what is going on.  Back at the Spice Shop, Eve, Rosealee and Monroe are shocked to find that instead of the mirror being covered in Eve's dried blood, the blood is still dripping wet. Ummm super super gross. They decide to put the mirror away for now but Eve is now convinced that the only way to deal with this is by going to the other place.  Well, that's a huge leap if you ask me. 

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 14: The Raid

Last week Mary told Sam and Dean about the Men of Letters – this continues this week with her also revealing the truth behind the disastrous mission against Remiel which nearly got Castiel killed and did kill a fellow Hunter. Between siding with the Men of Letters after they tortured Sam and Dean and then this the brothers are pissed. Sam may be willing to stay silent and let it go (because he’s Sam), but Dean is not

We also see how much Mary really doesn’t know Dean. Like when she pours out how tortured she is by the hunter who died and Dean just replied “good.” Did she expect Dean to be moved by a protestation of guilt and anguish? Because a) no-one has done guilt wallowing like Dean and b) Dean is not now and has never been a forgiving person nor one who especially gives a damn about redemption

He also has epic mummy and daddy issues so drags out another issue on the table – when Mary returned from the dead she said she needed space. Understandable – but then she went hunting. Suggesting that the only thing she actually needed space from was her sons. She says it isn’t like that but it kind of is – and it’s not unreasonable. Being expected to play mother to two adult men who you previously knew as a small child and a baby – one of which has parental issues out the wazoo – is a big ask for anyone. As we can see by Dean wanting, again, for Mary to be mother

And she tells him – awesomely, that while she is their mother that’s not all she is. Which is an excellent point to make: she’s her own person with her own life, goals, and ambitions

But there are more complexities from that. Dean calls Mary Mary, acknowledging that she’s more than just his mother which is about time. But the flip side to that is, when taking Mary as a peer, she’s a woman with no history with Sam and Dean, who has given them no reason to trust her and has just betrayed them pretty epicly twice over: she’s more than just their mother but at the same time the only reason she got a pass for these actions is because she IS their mother. Dean kicks her out for choosing the Men of Letters over them – which is what I’d expect him to do with any Hunter.

My prediction? Mary will continue to ally with the Men of Letters until they betray her or, more likely, Dean and Sam. She will then rally to the support of them and die in the process. Sooner or later.

This episode really drags up both the strength and the flaws of the British Men of Letters.

Mary manages to lure Sam to the Men of Letter’s base with, well, a lie. This is a habit of hers. There she shows off all the shinies, introduces them to some of Mitch’s disposable flunkies and reveals some of both the shiny toys they as well as how successful they’ve been – the Men of Letters have almost driven vampires in the North West of the US to extinction. It’s impressive

What they haven’t managed to do is impress many American hunters, especially not particularly skilled ones – that’s why they’re so eager to get the Winchesters on board since they have such an epic reputation. They have a plan to finally finish off the last nest before moving to the rest of the vampires

Emerald City, Season One, Episode Ten: No Place Like Home

Image result for emerald city television show

No Place Like Home marks the season finale of Emerald City.  At this point, there's no word as to whether or not a second season will occur; however, the ratings have declined to such a degree that No Place Like Home may well be the series finale.  Having become a fan of Emerald City, and its beautiful cinematography, I really hope that it appears in the fall line up. 

The soldiers are in a tizzy because the witches are making their way to Oz. The flying monkey returns and Eammon looks at the footage that it captured.  As Eammon makes his way out, all of the monkeys suddenly start to move on their own and fly into the sky to spell out the word Ozma.  The soldiers are worried because there's nothing they can do to defend the city against the witches and as we know, The Wizard is off in Ev getting his weapons to fight Glinda.

Tip marches into the city with West by his side.  Tip is quick to notice how the people cower away from him, causing West to snark about Tip expecting a parade of roses.  Tip is all too aware that he must quickly decide what kind of ruler he is going to be.  When confronted with a soldier, West's first inclination is to kill him but Tip stays her hand. Unfortunately, the soldier responds with an attack and this time West kills him.  Tip and West make their way into the courtyard and are greeted by Eammon, dressed as the lion. Eammon kneels in front of Tip and surrenders his sword. Eammon holds up the crown and West snatches pointing out that Eammon has already made his choice and that Ozma must make his now. 

What a powerful moment for Tip, who shivers in front of the man who killed his father and his mother.  Tip asks why Eammon killed his parents and is told by Eammon that he was afraid and that he killed them to save himself.  Tip then asks why he was spared and Eammon explains that he has a daughter the same age as Tip and that when he looked at Tip as a baby, he saw his daughter looking back at him.  Tip orders Eammon's family to be brought to him.  Eammon screams out that his family has nothing to do with this, desperate to protect them. When Eammon's family is assembled, Tip approaches each of them and states that Eammon cannot protect them and then she strips each of them in turn of their memory of Eammon.  Eammon is horrified to find that his wife and children believe him to be a stranger now.  He is quite literally dead to them. Tip then orders Eammon banished from Emerald City and that he is to walk the land friendless with the weight of his actions upon him.  As Eammon leaves, the people of the city hiss at him much like a pissed off cat. 
Image result for boy bye gif

When we last saw Dorothy, she had arrived in time to save the Wizard from the firing squad with a stone giant in tow.  Dorothy very much wants to stop the war to save Sylvie and the other witches; however, the Wizard believes that the only way to stop the war is to kill Glinda and the witches because he believes them to be the Beast Forever.  The Wizard renews his offer to send Dorothy home, if she uses the Giant to kill Glinda.  An upset Dorothy marches out.