Saturday, March 25, 2017

Colony, Season Two, Episode Eleven: Lost Boy

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Lost Boy is centered by a violent act of resistance orchestrated by the Red Hand. We watch as each character responds in various ways on how these reveals who they are no and where they stand on dealing with the alien invaders.

Lost Boy opens with Karen giving an ominous speech about what will happen to collaborators. From the moment Bram hooked up with Karen last week, I knew that Bram would end up being a useful fool.  This feeling is confirmed when the Resistance drinks a toast to their upcoming act of rebellion because this is what they do before an attack that leads to death. Bram however isn't given a good bye fuck before being sent to his death. Bram is teamed up with Patrick, and they head into the green zone together. Patrick is cool as he goes through the check point but Bram looks suspicious as fuck.  I kind of wonder how it is that the Red Hats didn't hold him under suspicion given how nervous he's behaving?

 Bram and Patrick spend a New York minute cutting shrubs before entering a home.  Patrick is quickly shot dead, leaving Bram with the decision of either running for his life or pulling the trigger himself. At this point, the writers let the audience in on a secret which Bram keeps from his family, he kills the Ambassador King. Not only does Bram kill, he boldly puts the signature blood red hand on the door of the house. Bram wants both revenge for the loss of his girlfriend and he wants to feel like he's doing something important.  The fact that he ends up lying to both his mother and father indicates that he knows damn well that his actions were wrong and put people he cared about in jeopardy.  

Karen's mission was always a suicide mission and so there were no plans made for how the Red Hand soldiers would escape the Green Zone once word spread of their murderous actions.  Bram knows at this point that there's only one way to get out of this situation - Aunt Maddie.  Maddie is immediately suspicious when Bram shows up the door.  She's suspicious enough to keep Bram away from her son, even as he insists that in order to be safe they need to leave.  Maddie does take the time to question Bram and he has pat answers but of course, they ring false. Bram claims that he was just released from prison and found his family home empty. Maddie actually thinks she's dropping a bomb when she reveals that Will and Kate are collaborators and on the run. Then Maddie does something which surprises me, she decides to take Bram to the gate when he explains that if he's caught in the Green Zone now, the guards won't listen to his explanation, given that he's just been released from prison.  At the gate, Maddie is asked to step outside of her car by the guard and informed that Red Hand youth have been killing high status collaborators.  The look of betrayal is all over her face, even as she insists that Bram is her nephew and not a danger to her.  The moment they get away from the gate, Maddie stops the car and orders Bram to get out. 

Will's perspective begins before Bram decides to become a murderer.  Will's playing a game of catch with Charlie, in his own way trying to normalise their situation and emphasising that they are still a family. It's Charlie who has noticed that Bram has been sneaking out.  Rather than being silent in solidarity with his brother, Charlie decides to snitch. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Doctor Who Season 10 Trailer

Okay Whovians, as you might know the new season starts soon. I trust that I am not alone in dealing of feelings of withdrawal. It's particularly bittersweet because this will be Capaldi's last season as the Doctor.  Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to argue about who should replace him.  In the meantime, to help you get through the wait until April 17th which is the start of the new season, I thought you might enjoy having a look at the preview if you haven't already seen it.  From the looks of it, Matt Lucas is going to reprise his role as Nardole.  It looks as though the Doctor, Nardole and Bill (Pearl Mackie) the Doctor's new companion are going to have an awesome set of new adventures. 

Well, what do you think?

The Magicians, Season 2, Episode 9: Lesser Evils

So Fillory. As Margo put it, it’s lucky they don’t have polling in Fillory because this is a hot mess of awful with their army deserting because of the mass tree killing, the treasury still kind of empty and magic still cutting out because Ember shit in it. This is looking pretty terrible.

Except there turns out to be one loop hole – rather than a war they can have a duel between kings! And it will make them super popular – as Margo puts it, Eliot is already seeing the statues.

Except he can’t fight. And the king of Loria can.

This is a bad idea. They quickly brainstorm for other possibilities and come up with magic: namely, Fenn’s blacksmith ancestors have a sword and spell that was especially prepared for High Kings who didn’t really want to go to the effort of actually learning how to fight. This goes along with a big speech from Fenn about how her husband and child are all important and her family (reminder again about how not into this Elliot is)

He’s still nervous though so it’s over to Margo and her spell which makes everyone have an impromptu Les Miserable performance.

And it’s awesome.

Ok, time to be torn. On the one hand, it’s Les Mis. Anyone who doesn’t love the score of Les Mis has no soul. Secondly it’s an awesome performance (except… I think Margot may not be there… either that or Eliot and Fenn are just leaving her in the shade). How can you not love every second of this? Of course I love every second of this. It’s awesome. Rewind it and watch it again, it’s awesome.

On the other hand? This show, with all its gross gay stereotyping, just sent the High King into battle singing a musical. And I really want to just love it, I want to ignore that, I want to just revel in the music but… I can’t really get pasty that issue.

Also it’s almost worth it to see Prince Es’s and King Idri’s faces as they approach the duelling field singing. Also Prince Es also starred in Les Mis.

Aside - can we talk about what the Lorian's are wearing because wardrobe - what are you aiming for with the king here?! 

Did the Wardrobe people raid Rick Ross's used clothing dumpster?

So time for a duel between Elliot and Idri and they quickly end up relocating to the forest (because, apparently, running away isn’t actually banned). They fight back and forth until the magic goes down and Elliot hides in a tree which King Idri then begins trying to cut down with a sword. This may take some time.

This does give them some time to talk. King Idri thinks his people are so used to hardship they won’t even notice the missing wellspring while Elliot thinks Fillory seems to be almost trying to destroy itself. They both commiserate over how annoying being king is. Elliot also talks about the utter sexual frustration of being married.

Grimm Women and Power

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Grimm has now been running for six seasons and like any show that has been running for that length we can see some disturbing patterns developing - patterns beyond the standard Oh Hell No which we have been calling out for a long time.

One of those patterns that has clearly developed is how women are treated on Grimm - especially women with power.

Or not - because for much of the early seasons of Grimm we simply didn’t have strong women. Nick lived in a very male world and the only women who really dinged the radar were Adalind (a villain) and Juliette (ignorant and so uninvolved in the story). It was a recurring issue for far too long in Grimm before Rosalie was finally introduced alongside the eventual semi-inclusion of Kelly and Truble to add some occasional female power

But the “occasional” here is relevant. Kelly and Truble were both reduced to guest roles, not allowed to cast too great a shadow on the men of the plot - and Kelly was eventually killed off. To add to the insult of this, there was no real come back of this. Juliette - or Eve - was even accepted back by the gang despite this murder: bad enough this awesome, strong female character was so poorly used but to the have her death so casually handwaved?

Truble didn’t die - but my they put her on the bus with regularity. I wonder sometimes if there’s one writer they keep in a cupboard who eventually breaks out, yelling “no more damsels!” and then we get 3 episodes of Truble before they’re restrained

Rosalie is better - but even then there’s some gender coding in deciding that she would be the physically weaker, more cunning, Fuchsbau to Monroe’s dangerous Blutbaden. Rosalie is definitely one of the more powerful characters on this show in terms of intelligence and cunning but it would have been interesting to see her be cunning and intelligent - and dangerous.

But that brings us to the dangerous women of this show who have actually managed to hang around. Adalind and Juliette/Eve

Every thinking writer knows that simply setting up a woman to become a damsel in need of continual saving is not a marker of good writing anymore. Women are demanding more nuanced characterisation and less female victimhood. Grimm’s way of meeting these demands is to create powerful female characters; however, it comes with the caveat that strength equals  evil which, while moving aside from position women as eternal victims, reifies a sexist trope that a strong woman cannot possibly be good and is inherently dangerous to men. It’s a way of disciplining women into submission by the simple virtue of strength/power being equated to evil and a lack of attractiveness. Yes, we see you Grimm.

Adalind was introduced in the very first episode as an antagonist.  It became clear very quickly that Adalind was not someone to be played with.  Over the years, Adalind, whose hatred of Grimms was absolutely epic, made no secret of her desire to rain down misery upon Nick’s life. As a Hexenbiest, one of the more powerful Wesen, Adalind absolutely had the chops to back up any threat that she made and when her power couldn’t directly cause a problem the spells in her arsenal absolutely could, as evidenced by her poisoning of Juliette.

It’s telling that despite Adalind’s animosity towards Nick a lot of her spells actually directly attacked Juliette, thereby hurting Nick by proxy. Adalind, for example, used a cat to put Juliette into a coma and she also crafted a spell to give Juliette the hots for Renard (also, who needs a spell for that?). This, of course, furthered the narrative around Juliette as damsel in distress for the majority of this series, even as it affirmed Adalind’s oh so evil persona. Adalind’s final bad act ended up in rape by deception which resulted in the pregnancy redemption. The Adalind at the end of this series is the exact opposite of the Adalind who we met in the beginning. Gee what could have induced such a drastic change?

All of these tropes are really emphasised when we look at Nick, Adalind and Juliette because it really brings home which women are allowed to be powerful.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The 100, Season Four, Episode Seven: Gimme Shelter

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For awhile now, The 100 has been beating a drum about changes to earth making it uninhabitable for humanity.  Each episode has been filled with dire warnings but thus far, we really haven't seen it impact the cast.  They've been like bears preparing for a long winter, stock piling water and food while droning on about how desperate the situation is. The problem with this is that we know that unless The 100 is suddenly canceled,  whatever problem the writers throw in front of their characters, will be solved, it's always only a matter of how. For the first time, rather being told how dire the situation is, Gimme Shelter began to show us how desperate the world had become.  

Raven has warning everyone about the dangers of black rain and it turns out that it's even more dangerous than she thought and will force our merry band of survivors to make some tough decisions. For some, they will find themselves morally in a grey place with no easy answers. 

After denying her desire to kill Ilian, Octavia has decided that it's time to get the hell out of dodge.  It's not long before Octavia notices that Ilian is following her and she decides to confront him and send him on his merry way.  Ilian believes that wherever Octavia is going that she's going to need help. They don't get to argue about it for long because the black rain starts to fall and they are forced to seek shelter.  Octavia and Ilian make it to a cave and are forced to rapidly rinse off in a stream because the rain burns.  After they're cleaned up, Octavia tells Ilian to make a fire because he's good at that, while she cleans off her horse. 

After they are settled in, Octavia is still not trying to hear a damn thing that Ilian has to say.  Ilian talks about how he has no place to go and that he cannot go home because it is filled with memories of him killing his family. I'd have to say that's a pretty fair assessment.  Ilian then tries to encourage Octavia to talk about her demons but Octavia is not in a sharing mood.  Ilian tries to suggest that there's still good in Octavia based in the fact that she didn't kill him but this simply triggers Octavia.  When she cannot take it anymore, Octavia tries to run out into the rain, causing Ilian to chase her and haul her ass back into the cave. Ilian basically has to hold Octavia down to stop her weak ass suicide attempt. Octavia responds by kissing Ilian much to his surprise. It's only when Octavia tells Ilian that she needs to feel something different that he finally consents and they have sex.  On a side note here, I'll take more shirtless Ilian please. 

Dream Eater (Portland Hafu#1) by K Bird Lincoln

Koi can read other people’s dreams – it’s a curse she’s had from childhood; a curse that brings consequences every time someone touches her. It’s made life almost impossible, but she’s finally getting it together… though she’s not ready to look after her father with Alzheimer’s

And then Ken comes to town and he seems to be carrying a whole lot of mystery with him – and one of her university professors has some terrifying dreams. And he’s fixated on her.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Koi. There’s a lot about her characterisation, her struggle, the affect her power has on her and how she is struggling to make a life despite that often in the face of scorn from her sister.

I really think her experience is closely related to disability. She struggles a lot with daily life, crowds, dealing with people and in general making it very hard to go out, shop, go to school. At the same time she is criticised sharply and condescended to by her sister who doesn’t understand why Koi can’t just do better – not knowing what she has to struggle with and just seeing her failing.

I like the nature of Koi’s power as a really unique element that I haven’t seen in many places and Koi’s experience of them is a good element. She does have a tragic-dead-mother and a father with Alzheimer’s – but while both weigh on her and shape her character, she isn’t consumed by it. They’re not used as quick and lazy characterisation for her, they have meaning, they’re actually shaping her

Unfortunately while I like these elements, Koi herself tends to annoy me. One of that is unfortunate word choice. Authors ”said” is an acceptable word – stop looking for synonyms.  In this case, stop using “snapped”. Koi seems to be constantly snarling and snapping at everyone around her. And I don’t know if this is intentional or just bad word choice. Especially when later, Koi decides she absolutely has to put herself at risk because she wants a burrito. And maybe that would make it a little better if we’d better establish how much she needs to eat after using her power.

It doesn’t help that I really don’t like how she interacts with Ken. It seems to bounce between over the top unnecessary sexual attraction (which, yes, I get it – Koi’s power means she can’t touch people easily so meeting a guy she can kind of touch without consequence is a wonderful thing. But my gods that’s an overused trope!) and then back to really excessive antagonism which feels like someone has decided to take a long love/hate attraction storyline, speed it up and shoe-horn it into the story.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time After Time, Season 1, Episode 4: Secrets Stolen

Time to keep up the most important part of this series – John is half naked again! Still confined by Brooke she spends a goodly amount of time in a towel while Brooke tries to make friends with him

Yes, despite the fact that John is Jack the Ripper, Brooke wants him to trust her, wants him to be her friend and possibly with benefits. Oh Brooke, I get that he’s hot but he’s also a serial killer. Look but don’t touch there.

She wants to experiment on John – she’s a biotechnician and wants to use DNA to alter brain patterns. Including de-serial killering John. The problem is, she assumes that John actually wants that. She’s done a lot of research on him – she knows his name, his birth even the son he had (which even he didn’t know about) but hasn’t figured out that he quite likes being a serial killer. She’s also pretty loose lipped, telling all about Vanessa and her relationship with HG Wells. My isn’t she well informed

John decides he wants nothing to do with this and tries to leave. Failed attempt one ends up with him in a cage with a man wielding some dangerous amounts of roid-rage – looks like an old experiment of Brooke’s. He commits the terrible crime of punching John repeatedly in the face before he’s being stopped

His second attempt works, though, despite Brooke’s bodyguard being disturbingly resistant to tranquiliser (or… well… realistically resistant. Really, tranqs don’t generally put you down all that quickly, not without being dangerous. There’s a reason why hospitals employ anaesthesiologists and don’t just dart you) and ALSO committing the supreme sin of face punching (not his beautiful face!)

Brooke is not amused.

We must now catch up with HG and Jane who is rapidly joining the Wet Lettuce Sisterhood with her general dampness. She’s concerned that she’s flirting with HG but he’ll think she’s a forward sluthussyjezebel because of his Victorian values

Uh-huh, Victorians talked a good game but my gods they could be dirty sex pigs behind closed doors. You’re a historian Jane, don’t buy into this whole moral probity veneer.

They gush a bit and he talks about how routine sex is in the modern world which means all the passion is missing (only if you’re doing it wrong HG). But it was hilarious to watch him play with the internet and discover pop-ups and dodgy pawn.

You think learning about the second world war will reduce his idealistic faith in humanity? Let him browse the net for 20 minutes, we’ll break him so hard.

Into the Badlands, Season 2, Episode 1: Tiger Pushes Mountain

Time for Into the Badlands to return and it opens with stunning visuals and good music. No matter what else this show is, it’s a sensory feast – a truly beautiful program – 6 months have passed since the end of the last season

Even when following Sunny who has been sold to slavers who are “mining” (prospecting for remains of our society anyway) and we’re quickly treated to an awesome fight scene showing off the glorious battle choreography. He doesn’t escape but my does he look awesome being recaptured.

Chained and set to work, Sunny meets Bajie, fellow prisoner, crafty opportunist who offers to be his guide in the prison being a confidant, teaching him the rules (including needing to meet your quota or face lethal gladiatorial combat – oooh Sunny is interested in that). With Bajie’s help he begins to put together an escape plan. But we also see Bajie is ruthless. He repeatedly calls himself an opportunist but we see that also involves a willingness to attack and use his fellow human beings.

When Sunny makes it clear that Bajie is not part of his escape plan Bajie makes his own plans – and sells Sunny out to their captures as a clipper and therefore someone valuable.

MK was kidnapped by some monks last episode and is now being trained by an Abbot in combat and presumably control. He’s a bit sulky and pouty, demanding to speak to the Master. Normally I’d roll my eyes are whiny acolyte demanding to be treated as all special but since he was actually kidnapped I’m going to give the guy a hard pass here. It’s not like he signed up for this

One of his fellow supplicants also wants to escape – he wants to return to his Nomad tribes where he was respected and worshipped for his power. Yep, they all have the lethal fighting power when they’re cut: his fellow nomads used him as a weapon to protect themselves. Apparently too many cuts will eventually kill them but he considered this a small price to pay for his own people.

Eventually frustrated, MK goes seeking the Master and finds her (points for the Master being a Black Asian woman) and her awesome broom throwing power. She clearly has some major mojo and knows all about MK and the people he left behind. He isn’t that thrilled about learning and really wants to go home to the people he left behind

She will allow this if he can get past a paper bird with sharp edges without using his powers. It’s nifty Origami – and opens a shallow cut making him go all dark-eyed and scary. He attacks her – and you know that’s not going to work. She stops his super powered punch with one hand and then with some carefully applied pressure points she puts him on the ground

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Isle of Spirits (Keys Trilogy #2) by Anna Roberts

Blue has had a whole new world shown to her – a world of werewolves and magic and witchcraft. She has come into this world just as the entire world seemed to fall apart.

With Gloria, ancient witch matriarch who held most of the Keys together, now a wolf and not really talking. Northern Florida is overwhelmed by swamp wolves with a habit of cannibalism and the aging werewolves are facing their own personal fears

Blue is in the middle of this and perhaps the only person who can put this all together and try and find an answer

I continue to love the unique world setting of this series and this book really does bring it home especially in relation to the curse of the werewolf. More and more we see werewolf-ness as generally being a useful thing for characters in most Urban Fantasy books. You get super healing and strength, complete control of your animal forms and often a metabolism which allows you to eat all burgers all the time without putting on any weight. But here we have a very different story – we have werewolves who are literally monsters in animal form and legitimately terrified over what they may do (and upset over what they have done). The change is depicted in a truly horrific, agonising manner making to clear every month this is something to dread and desperately prepare for.

We see with “elderly” werewolves a sincere concern over their health and eating correctly because each change could be their last and if they’re not looking after themselves it may be too much for them to handle. We see the horror that any of them may suffer when the change can go wrong – from when the change WILL go wrong? Because it is an inevitable which leads them all to consider if this will be the day they commit suicide or if they can trust their friends to kill them.

And that old age is 30s – because changing every month is killing them. It adds to the underlying tension and pain these characters come from and which characterises their lives.

This is also linked with the fact that the werewolves live in a largely lawless community – because they’re both off the grid and covering things up due to being werewolves but also generally poor and forgotten so it’s not like they could expect the usual legal authorities to care about them

Once Upon a Time, Season 6, Episode 13: Ill Boding Patterns

Once Upon a Time is testing me with a whole lot of personal drama. Killian and David, David’s father, Regina and Not!Robin with tragedy ensuing no doubt… I’d much rather cut through some of this. Family angst gives me headaches

So let’s get that out of the way first. Robin continues his plotting and takes the magic he has stolen from Regina to Zelena because she wants to break out of Storybrooke and embrace his new future of being a homeless man with a bow cowering in a corner overwhelmed with culture shock in New York City. Zelena would also quite like to leave so they decide to make it so

Regina isn’t a fool and notices Robin’s tampering in time to join them at the border – but not stop them. If this is what Robin wants, so be it. And she’s sympathetic to how hard it must be for Robin to adapt with Storybrooke with everyone expecting him to step into the shoes of a man he most certainly is not and even to have Regina following him around with puppy dog eyes. It’s a pretty tough gig for Robin, I get that. Of course it doesn’t help that robin appears to be a very unpleasant person and we all know how much he will implode in the outside word

Still Regina agrees to help him. Of course she isn’t stopping anyone from leaving – the protection spell is and Regina, so far, has no idea how to remove it.

Zelena and Regina make peace afterwards with Regina having another round of “it’s all my fault” now deciding she’s failed a test for not being able to move on (aww c’mon it’s bad enough that the Robin thing blew up in her face but for her then to use it to add to her “I failed and am terrible” list) before another round of accepting responsibility for all her evil… and then noticing the cobra that they turned the Evil Queen into has disappeared

She has caught up with Robin and using some carelessly spilled potion, breaks the snake spell and is back. Ye gods Regina can never ever get a break.

We also have Killian who is now So Sad because he murdered Emma’s granddaddy and now he wants to tell her even though he doesn’t have to because love. He speaks Archie who is really really annoying. Honestly his chirpy endless positivity would drive me to drink.

He goes to confess all to Emma – but since she found the ring he was going to give her (hey, where does Killian get his money from?) she says “yes” and hijacks his whole confession into a proposal. Awkward.

The OA, Season One, Episode Six: Forking Paths

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If ever there was a doubt that Hap is horrible person, for me this episode absolutely cements this.  It's not that he does anything that he hasn't done before, it's just the absolute self involved nature of his thoughts. Sure, it's supposedly about the work but when Prairie finally calls Hap it, it becomes clear what Hap really is. 

Everyone gathers at the abandoned house to listen to Prairie tell her story once again.  She explains that there are actually several dimensions and that each decision creates a fork in the path and opens yet another dimension.  It's the hope of the captives that when they collect all five movements that they will be able to leave their captivity behind and start over in another dimension.  Of course, the listeners want to know what it looks like when a new dimension is accessed but Prairie can only speculate because she's never actually seen it happen; she's working entirely on faith. At this point, Prairie's little crew is all in and no one actually calls her out on this which personally, I find absolutely stunning. 

In captivity, they practice each new movement, now fully committed after seeing Scott return from the dead and be completely healed.  In time, during one of her NDE's (near death experiences) Renata is gifted with the fourth movement. They spend their time between being experimented on, perfecting the movements hoping for the ability to memorize them.  In fear of forgetting the movements, they carve symbols onto their backs so that the scars will be a permanent  reminder. Yes, those symbols are actually self inflicted.  

Hap watches everything his captives do on CCTV.  He has become a participant in their work, learning each new movement as his captives do.  Prairie and the crew are desperate to receive the fifth movement but even more desperate to keep it from Hap. Hap watches them jealously, all too aware of just how on the outside he is.  His captives have formed a family and he is certainly not welcome.

Hap does have one person to share his secrets with though - a mentor. Yes, let that sink in for a moment, there are actually two monsters.  They have been working separately with their own test subjects, hoping to come to the same conclusions and to spur each other's work along. They meet up at an abandoned morgue in a hospital to have lunch and share their results as though they aren't both responsible for kidnapping and multiple murders. As they make sandwiches and talk about their subjects, it all seems so very normal for them. 

Dr. Citro is far more detached that Hap is and he's not the least bit concerned that he's an outsider and is in fact happy to be in the one in the position to torture. Hap however feels jealous of the closeness of his captives and he talks about how they are sharing movements with each other. Dr. Citro's only goal is to be able to prove that there is life after death and then sit back and rake in the money for being first to publish.  Hap however is in it for the science and not the accolades or the potential wealth. I cannot believe I am saying this but Hap, for all of his disgusting ways is a purist.  When Hap mentions the forks in the road, Citro gets curious but Hap is not forthcoming.  

Citro takes another tact and tells Hap that he has a surprise for him on one of the embalming trays in the fridge. Of course, when Hap opens it up, it's empty. Hap stands to find Citro pointing a gun at him. Hap is actually shocked by this and doesn't think that Citro is going to kill him.  Can Hap really be this dense? Citro admitted to regularly cycling out his subjects and cremating them to avoid attachments and somehow Hap thinks a man like this wouldn't kill him? When Hap again refuses to be more forthcoming, Citro fires his gun, forcing Hap to fight for his life, Hap ends up drowning Citro in the embalming fluid before sneaking out of the hospital with a scarf wrapped around his mouth to hide his identity. Hap does however stop on his way out to give the key to the morgue to a nurse and to ask her to call the cops because there are people there who need help. 

Hap is now a monster working alone.  Unsure of what to do, Hap takes Prairie out of her cell.  After being forced to drown so many times, a defiant Prairie puts the lubricant on her head herself and does up her own straps.  Hap asks Praire to go away with him, saying that they can go to an island and heal the sick and then use the money to fund more research.  Prairie asks about the others and Hap promises to work it out. Prairie doesn't even consider Hap's offer to take her anywhere she wants to go for a New York minute and defiantly declares that she will go nowhere with Hap. 

All out of luck, Hap begins the experiment and as the tube fills with water, cutting off Prairie's oxygen, she stares coldly at Hap. Prairie manages to maintain her death glare before the trauma of being drowned finally forces her to fight back.  Of course, Prairie dies in the machine.  When Prairie heads to the other side she calls out to Khatun but this time, the angel does not appear and does not answer Prairie's calls. When Prairie returns to her body, once again, Hap is filled with questions but this time she clearly doesn't have the patience to answer them.  Hap plays different sounds for Prairie, trying to identify where Prairie went  on her NED. It's not until Hap plays a sound from the rings of Saturn that Prairie recognises it as what she heard during her NED. An excited Hap wants to talk about this latest discovery but Prairie cuts him off by pointing out that they aren't friends or family and that she is little more than his slave.  Prairie points out that Hap wants all of the answers from his captives but doesn't have the courage to get in his own damn machine and die for the answers he wants, they way he expects others to.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Walking Dead, Season Seven, Episode Fourteen: The Other Side

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This episode should have been called the other side of nothing because absolutely nothing happened.  With only three episodes to go, did we really need a place holder to drag out the oncoming war any further?  I suppose that the writers are determined that the big battle be the season finale and therefore we have to deal with every single monotonous preparation for Rick's big confrontation with Negan. How long exactly has Sasha been sharpening that knife?

Rosita has arrived at the Hilltop and is busy training the people how to fight while Sasha works on the plans for the Saviours compound, hoping to give them an edge with their raid.  Jesus doesn't say much but he's clearly aware of what is going on and he hands Sasha plans for the compound based on what he remembers of the place.

Maggie has really stepped in as the leader of the Hilltop but at the same time she's also settling in. Maggie's eating healthy fruit and vegetables and seeing an ultrasound of her her unborn child. Maggie is content.  Maggie even builds on her relationship with Jesus and it's Maggie whom Jesus comes out to. That makes it official, the writers have made Jesus gay in the comics as well as on the show. Jesus's revelation of his sexuality is really rather low key and it makes me wonder if the writers will ever go anywhere with it?  There's a trend in the media of making a character LGBT and then never mentioning it again.  

The Saviours show up for an impromptu visit.  This is enough for Sasha and Rosita to use the opportunity to sneak away and send Darryl and Maggie into hiding.  Gregory does his usual bit of sucking up with Simon, who seems to just love having Gregory jump through hoops.  Simon hasn't arrived at The Hilltop for more supplies this time.  Since Negan foolishly killed the doctor at the Saviour compound by throwing him into an oven, the compound now needs to replace their doctor.  Gregory being the coward that he is, has no problems handing over Dr. Carson.  Naturally, Dr. Carson is not the least bit thrilled when notified of his pending change of location.  Carson however is given no choice when Simon using his pornstache facial expressions explains why Carson will be relocating. 

Gregory does manage to pull Simon aside to talk because he's worried about how the removal of Carson from The Hilltop will look.  Gregory heavily implies that he's being challenged for power at The Hilltop and adds that this would be a shame because he works so well with the Saviours.  Simon decides to throw Gregory a bone and promises that should Gregory show up at the gate of the Saviours compound after being challenged for leadership that the Saviours will be happy to back him up. Gregory will of course bring a bottle of tequila as a tribute. 

Maggie and Darryl are forced to hide in the root cellar, not having had time to make it to the secret tunnel that Sasha built.  What a ridiculous place to choose to hide given that the Saviours routinely take food from The Hilltop.  At any rate, unsurprisingly, a Saviour makes his way to the root cellar and Enid tries to head him off.  The Saviour is not waylaid for long and for her trouble, Enid loses her knife. The Saviour make his way into the root cellar and starts to look around and Maggie has to stop Darryl from killing him. When his curiosity is satisfied, the Saviour leaves.  Maggie confronts Darryl about his move to kill the Saviour and questions the fact that Darryl has failed to look her in the eye, or speak to her since arriving at The Hilltop.  It seems that Darryl is ashamed and blames himself for the death of Abraham and Glenn; however, Maggie is quick to absolve him of guilt.  Maggie says that they just have to be patient and then they can get the person who is responsible. 

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 11: The Way of the Gun

Once we dredge through some more tiresome ra-ra colonial wankery which is getting beyond boring at this point, we’re reminded of the current stakes: there’s a race on to find a totem to create the horsemen of war. To confirm this, Alex has also successfully managed to hack into Malcolm’s secret location to spy on him also looking for the totem

It’s also floated that the Apocalypse brought on by the four horseman isn’t all about the end of the world but is actually about recreating the world.

Well duh. I mean, really, you had to do research to discover this? You didn’t think maybe that Malcolm doesn’t have a complete death wish, maybe?

This research leads to lots of convenient memories from Jake and Ichabod about how there was a split off branch of the Masons called the Amata Mutata or something who wanted to use the four horsemen to change the world. Eidetic memory Ichabod has just remembered this point which should have been super obvious

It turns out that the super powerful totem of war was actually in Revolutionary America (I am shocked, SHOCKED by this revelation. Clearly it was kept next to Excalibur – complete with rock, under a stack of the weapons of Durga but just before the Arc of the Covenant all of which will no doubt also have been part of George Washington’s conversational dinner pieces). And once Ichabod and Banneker were transporting it. We also get another bit of nauseating rhetoric of Ichabod convincing a very suspicious Banneker to trust to the new America where all men will be equal because he has a total vision of how equal and democratic America will be if he’s just patient enough.

Banneker, you better work on that patience because it’s going to be sorely tried. This is beyond annoying because Banneker was actually an excellent opportunity to offer a counter narrative to Ichabod’s endless flag waving and the whole general impression Sleepy Hollow has that the Founding Fathers were giants of nobility and power and were battling harpies and colossus and lamasu and who knows what else in righteous fury all in the name of freedom. His narrative helped to peel back a lot of the glossing over that comes with this ra-ra-Ichabod speech. But to have his every concern be hand waved by Ichabod’s “be patient” speech – especially without even modern Ichabod saying “well looks like I was just talking bullshit, sorry Banneker” is an issue

Diana also snarks that Ichabod seems to have been everywhere during the Revolutionary war. Show you don’t get points for lamp shading how utterly ridiculous your own concept is.

So they now have a rough idea where said item is.

But they’ve also got competition – a mysterious woman steals one of their books; when Jenny chases her down and they fight – and Jenny loses. As Jenny puts it, she seems to know her moves before she used them: they make it clear that Jenny has some major skills.

For now Diana and Ichabod go to fetch where they think the totem of war was hidden – and it’s now a very trendy restaurant and Ichabod and Diana are most put out that the owner doesn’t just let them search and ransack the place for funsies

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Originals, Season Four, Episode One: Gather Up The Killers

Image result for the originals season 4

The Originals is off to a late start for the season and so it's fitting that the first episode begins after a five year gap. Yes, five years. That's how long Klaus has been a captive of Marcel's and the rest of the family has been asleep. It's been left to Hayley to not only keep the family safe but to find the cure for Rebekah's hex, a cure for the bite Elijah received from Marcel, as well as cure from the poisoned Freya. That's one hell of a to-do list.  During this five years, Marcel has finally become who he has always wanted to be, the king of New Orleans.  In Klaus's absence, Marcel has made peace with the witches and for the first time, things are calm in the city.  This of course cannot be expected to last. 

The Originals begins with Vincent giving the speech from the throne about the state of the cauldron.  The peace between the witches and the resident vampires of New Orleans is strong and holding fast.  The only threat to this is the five year anniversary of Klaus imprisonment by Marcel. It seems that they are expecting Klaus's enemies to stroll into town wanting their own pound of Original flesh. 

Rather than living in the rundown Mikaelson compound, Marcel has made a home for himself in Lucien's former penthouse.  I find that to be a strange choice given how many years Marcel spent coveting everything Klaus had.  At any rate, Marcel may have brokered a peace with the witches but that doesn't mean that he trusts them. Marcel has his own informant, who just happens to have some news to share. The informant suggests that Klaus's enemies have aligned with the witches to steal Klaus from Marcel's possession.  If that were not enough of an indictment, there have been rumors of midnight meetings and sigils have been appearing on walls all across the city.  Could the witches be up to something? Marcel plays cool and decides he'll just discuss the matter with Vincent, since the two have now built up an understanding. 

Unfortunately for Marcel, he must also deal with Alistair, who's in town seeking his own vengeance on Klaus because Klaus forced him to kill his own family. Is there no end to the evil shit that Klaus did?  At any rate, Alistair is convinced that Elijah is also still alive because the stryx are still alive. 

Informed of the issues facing him, Marcel heads out to speak to Vincent. Marcel heads to Rousseau’s where Josh now works as a DJ. Rousseau’s serves as a sort of neutral territory where the supernatural of New Orleans can gather safely and Josh believes that this is just what Cami would have wanted.  Above the bar is a photo of Cami and Davina. Marcel meets Vincent in the back and he brings up the sigils to which Vincent is pretty non committal, saying that the witches will keep the peace.  Marcel then asks Vincent to keep the witches out of the way while he deals with the threat that Alistair poses. 

When we next see Vincent, he's at St.Anne's and he's handing out groceries to the witches so that they have no reason to leave their homes for the next couple of days.  It's at St.Anne's that Vincent gets his flirt on a little with Maxine, who is a single mother to one boy.  It's Josh who has to point out to Vincent that Maxine just might be in to him. 

Having dealt with the witches, it's now time for Marcel to figure out how to deal with Alistair.  Marcel heads to see Klaus who is in chains. Klaus may be beaten for now but that doesn't mean all the bravado has disappeared.  Klaus makes up a story about how arrogant Alistair is and suggests that Marcel throw him a party to distract Alistair from the purpose of his visit to town.  Alistair does enjoy the party because it provides him with a crowd when he challenges Marcel's rules. Alistair is certain that Elijah is still alive and demands Klaus's blood so that he can trace Klaus's family. Left with no choices, Marcel invites Alistair to join him at the Mikaelson compound at midnight.

Marcel is absolutely pissed that he was duped by Klaus and so heads back to see him in a huff.  Klaus enjoys Marcel's frustration and even taunts him until Marcel reveals Alistair's intention to use Klaus's blood to track down the Mikaelson family, which of course includes Klaus's daughter.  This wipes the smirk right off of Klaus's face and so he offers to fight Alistair himself.

Marcel's next stop is to see Vincent, who doesn't like being summoned.  Marcel is forced to tune down the authoritative tone and ask for help rather than demand it. Marcel gets Vincent to create a boundary spell which will let everyone in but no one leave. Klaus is dragged in chains into the circle and Marcel presents Alistair with a weapon which has his venom on it.  If Alistair so much as scratches Klaus, he will not only die and the blood on the weapon will help Alistair to find the rest of the Mikaelsons.  Alistair enjoys the moment of seeing Klaus lowered in this fashion and taunts Klaus about killing Hope.  This is when Klaus goes on the attack. Klaus has no problem killing Alistair and a few of his men before he is stopped by Marcel.

Marcel announces that he is the King of New Orleans and that he expects everyone to follow his rules.  Marcel says that he is keeping Klaus around in case any of his vampires are bitten by a werewolf because of course, Klaus's blood is a cure for that.  Klaus will also come in handy should his siblings ever show up in the city. Marcel makes it clear that he keeps Klaus alive because he can.  The vampires are then informed that they are welcome in the city as long as they play by his rules.

Grimm, Season Six, Episode Eleven: Where the Wild Things Were

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."

With only two episodes left, it's clear the writers have decided to stop messing around and move the meta to warp speed. This is the episode that we've been waiting all season to see.  How are Diana and the sigils and the stick connected? What does the bone creature want with Eve?  What are the sigils counting down to? These are some of the questions answered in this episode. And then what did the writers do? Well they ended the whole bloody mess on a cliffhanger leaving me screaming at the television in frustration. 

As we saw at the end of Blood Magic, Eve entered the mirror determined to kill the creature that has been trying to draw her in.  Eve being Eve, didn't even think about leaving a note behind for the scoobies. Monroe and Rosealee figure out that Eve is missing when they arrive home and find the mirror uncovered and the spell book opened to a page on blood magic.

Nick returns home to find Adalind waiting for him.  Adalind decides that it's time to come clean about Diana's abilities.  Adalind tells Nick about Diana killing both Rachel Wood and Bonaparte. How the hell does Nick barely blink an eye at this?  Because of the things that Diana can do and can see, Adalind suggests that they bring Renard into the loop.  The scoobies may not find Renard to be trustworthy but Adalind is certain that they can trust Renard to act in the best interests of his daughter.  The conversation is cut short when Nick gets a call about the missing Eve.

Nick, Adalind and the kids head over to Monroe and Rosealee's.  Adalind woges for the first time in front of Diana, after warning her daughter that her face would change. Adalind skims through the book and finds the spell that Eve used to cross into the other dimension.  Adalind prepares to head into the mirror to rescue Eve and Rosealee is quick to remind Adalind that she has two children to think of. After all, Eve chose to go into this new dimension without telling anyone what she was doing.  Adalind's blood will only allow her to go through the mirror, so Nick uses the magic stick to open the dimension to join Eve.  When he gets to the other side, Nick finds himself in an alternate version of the Black Forest and completely cut off from the other dimension. Has anyone noticed that they didn't even bother to do any kind of research before leaping into the mirror? They don't even have a way to bring Nick back.  Unfortunately for Nick, the stick may have opened the dimension but it didn't follow through with him.

Nick makes his way cautiously through the forest but it's not long before he's attacked by a Blutbad.  Nick tries to communicate with the Blutbad to no avail. When Nick runs out of options, he pulls out his gun and shoots the Blutbad dead. It's the sound of the gunshot that gets Eve's attention and the two finally meet up. Nick is not at all impressed that Eve decided to go on this little adventure on her own and suggests that Eve is trying to prove something. Eve however is adamant that she's not trying to prove anything. Someone needs to tell me why the hell Eve decided to crawl through the mirror other than her desire to fight the skeleton creature. For whatever reason they decide to follow a path that Eve found earlier.  

It's not long before the Blutbad's comrades find him and after sniffing his body, decide to go on a hunt for some man meat. As Nick and Eve walk through this world with no idea where they are going, or how to get the hell home, Eve reveals that thus far she's seen: Hundj√§gers, Klaustreich, two Schakals, a Coyotl. It's quite the motley collection of Wesen. Nick points out that the Blutbad that he killed didn't return to a human form when he died.  Could this be a world ruled by woged Wesen? Some sort of Wesen home world?  Things become even more complicated when they realise that Eve is starting to Woge against her will. To Nick, this is enough to suggest that they need to get the hell out of there post haste but Eve is determined to stay until they kill the skull creature. 

With Eve and Nick now in a new dimension and Diana saying that they are in a dangerous place, things are looking grim.  Adalind suggests that it's time to bring Renard into the loop. Monroe isn't certain about this because Renard hasn't exactly been team scooby recently but Adalind points out that Renard has connections and can be counted on to act in defense of his daughter.