Saturday, April 1, 2017

Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 16: Ladies Drink Free

Werewolf time – one person eaten and a young woman, Hayden, being bitten.

That’s a mission – Sam and Dean are on it. And they’re getting Mick from the Men of Letters involved. Sam is playing nice but Dean has a whole lot of contempt for people whose entire experience of the supernatural is from books and they’ve had no field experience at all. Of course he’s also pretty contemptuous of book learning in general

The fact that Mick’s book learning Men of Letters failed so spectacularly against the vampires kind of gives Dean a lot of ammunition here.

This doesn’t promise to be a good road trop.

Sam still wants to help Mick learn because, if they’re working together, it’s better that the Men of Letters be more capable.

We also continue to explore more of the ways the Men of Letters does things – including how they’ve wiped out werewolves in Britain… Sam and Dean both speak up on that one. They’ve met werewolves who have been able to control themselves – Garth the Annoying is a werewolf after all. Slaughtering all werewolves regardless of who they are, how they try to live or whether they’ve killed or not is not ok. In fact, while it’s not common, the Winchesters have certainly found the odd monster out there that isn’t entirely monstrous.

They put that aside and continue their journey – including “roughing it” in a 3 Star hotel. This is luxury beyond compare for Dean

It’s played for laughs – but it again shows the extremely different contexts they work in. How the Men of Letters have made everything so calm and civilised and safe that Mick is completely out of place in the more desperate frontier of America.

They investigate – including interviewing the grieving family and Mick doesn’t do too badly pretending to be a doctor… and he discovers Hayden has been bitten and is due to turn.

They also discover Claire is here, hunter Claire who they have a long history with. She’s here without Jody’s knowledge because while Jody will take her hunting she then tries to keep Claire in the car. Claire is much more of a lone wolf anyway. The Winchesters aren’t a fan of this and we continue to have the whole big-brother vibe: protective from Sam and jokey from Dean. It’s a bit paternalistic and annoyingly controlling but they don’t try to stop her or completely remove her choices. Perhaps criticise and be very involved in them – but ultimately they do tend to leave them in her hands.

Mick also lies to the Winchesters about Hayden being bitten – so he can go back without them and inject her with silver – killing her.

He tries to keep this secret but the next day as they’re investigating (Claire with Sam interviewing Hayden’s friends and doing an excellent job because she’s not a 30 year old man) he and Dean are interviewing suspects while Dean pokes Mick’s actions. Mick spills his secret since Dean already knows exactly what Mick’s done and is extremely not happy about Mick killing a child and giving her no chance to prove herself. Dean also refers to Magda – the psychic child who was horrifically abused who he and Sam decided to save. And the Men of Letters killed.

Colony, Season Two, Episode Twelve: Seppuku

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Seppuku marks the penultimate episode of Colony. Can you believe how fast this season has gone? There are so many questions we don't have answers to but at least we got some long awaited justice.  I'm looking right at you Nolan. 

Let's begin with our favourite resistance fighters, who as we know are desperate to get out of the colony now that they know that it's only a matter of time before the aliens clear it out.  The one snag is that they cannot leave the Bloc without the alien tech and the Red Hand has a tight grasp on that.  They decide that their best approach is to talk to Red Hand because they're all supposed to be on the same side in this fight.  Kate and Will sit Bram down to find out how to make contact.  At first Bram tries to deny knowing how to get into contact with Red Hand and Will bluntly calls him a liar.  I found this exchange interesting because Bram certainly has not been exposed to this side of his father before.  After a little more pressure from Kate, Bram comes clean; however, he's not allowed in on the action. Will and Broussard put the pressure on the bouncer Bram told them about and manage to arrange a meeting with Karen.

Broussard and Kate are out front when Karen approaches for the big face off. Not one to waste an opportunity, Karen has men approaching, unaware that Will has the high ground and is keeping an eye on everything. Broussard begins by discussing how much it cost him to acquire the gauntlet but that clearly does not leave an impression on Karen.  Broussard follows up by saying that there's a resistance movement outside of the wall which will be able to use the technology to help the resistance move forward.  Karen however goes into full blown petty mode and says no. It seems that she's not interested in working with any other resistance fighters because she sees them as collaborators who are far to willing to make compromises.  I don't know how it is that Broussard kept his calm in this moment because I really just wanted to reach out and smack some sense into Karen.  Karen doesn't even know what the gauntlet is or the potential break that it could lead to, she's saying no based on her moral beliefs in how the war should be fought.  She's actually happy that she's an amateur and not a professional like Broussard. In that very moment I swear that Karen was channeling Trump. 

Now that Karen has said no to handing over the gauntlet, the resistance fighters have no choice but to storm the Red Hand warehouse.  Fortunately, they managed to plant a mini drone on Karen during the meet up, so they know exactly where this is.  Our hardy little band of resistance fighters are under no illusions about how this might go down given the fact that they will be outnumbered and outgunned.  Promising to get them out of the Colony is no longer enough for them to move forward.  Noa finally reveals why the gauntlet is so damn important. It seems that her resistance group has its very own alien who has turned traitor because ze doesn't believe in what ze's group is doing. With the gauntlet, the traitor Rap will be able to intercept communications bringing the war to a brand new level. 

Before heading out to raid the Red Hand warehouse, Katie stops to have a little chat with Bram, to warn him that what they are about to do is very dangerous and that they might not make it back.  Katie asks Bram to take care of his siblings in case they don't return and suggests that he turn to Aunt Maddie for help. Katie, being completely unaware of how Bram used Maddie believes that Maddie will help her children because at the end of the day, they are all family.  

Friday, March 31, 2017

Magicians, Season 2, Episode 10: The Girl Who Told Time

Ok I’m getting a little frustrated by the unconnected storylines that are pretty much dominating Magicians at the moment. Everyone needs to be reading off the same page at least for a little while.

So, let’s drop in on Fillory where everyone is preparing for the wedding and we begin with a lot of annoyance from Margo because Elliot is involve in something else. I like that Margo and Elliot are working together more this season but Margo being so eye-rolling that Elliot dares to be involved in something that directly doesn’t involve her has bad precedent.

Quentin also quickly abandons ship

Y’know, it’s almost stunning how little most of the cast cares about this whole kingdom falling apart thing

Elliot has recruited Josh from Brakebills as he is a magical drug dealer/chef and he needs a wedding menu. In particular he hopes to use food as a desperate way to make himself more popular since he’s polling at 25%. In a moment of not great judgement he asks Bayler, his captured Foo Fighter rebel, how to get the people on side

I mean, it’s not a terrible idea, exactly, because clearly the Foo Fighters care passionately for Fillory. But Elliot is too lazy to follow things through – or realise it takes more than Nachos to convert someone to your side. Turns out he’s using Nacho plates to communicate with his fellow Foo Fighters to raid the wedding likely with lots of murder. Thankfully, chef Josh is also a potion maker and he has made a happiness potion. And extremely powerful happiness potion. One that leaves people comatose with happiness – and he’s then willing to go undercover and happily dish out that potion to the insurgents

Happiness poison, well that’s a different tactic.

Rather than consult Baylor, he could have asked Fenn his wife? He is concerned about her – especially since he recognises she may not be thrilled by him taking a husband – but she’s quite casual about polyamorous marriage which is common in Fillory (well ok, but that’s not exactly the point? It’s not “are you unhappy I’m marrying someone else?” so much as “are you ok I’m marrying someone I’m vastly more interested in than you?”) and Fenn is happy because it makes them stronger and more secure which is perfect for her baby

And, y’know, I’d be happier with this if it were a continuation of Fenn, the ex-Foo-Fighter, the woman who was so dedicated to Fillory she was ready to marry and assassinate the king to get a Fillorian ruler, the woman who has always wanted the best for Fillory. But instead, it’s about the baby and, really, that is all just pathos ammunition for the fact the baby has been promised to the fairies

And both Margo and she are seeing these fairies, which creeps Fenn out as she thinks she’s seeing things. Until Margo tells her the truth. Fenn is very not happy and not on board with giving up her baby; Margo’s going to have to find a loop hole.

Yes, Cuba Gooding Jr did Assault Sarah Paulson


It’s been reported that Cuba Gooding Jr and Sarah Paulson were at the American Horror Story: Roanoke panel for the Paleyfest in Los Angeles, to discuss American Horror Story: Roanoke. This would have been an unremarkable event had it not been for Cuba deciding to slip behind Paulson and lift her dress, exposing her legs and buttocks when Paulson turned to introduce Kathy Bates. Paulson responded with a shriek as she tried to cover her exposed body.  Since news has spread of Cuba’s actions, twitter responded with rage questioning how he would feel if this happened to his daughters.

American Horror Story: Roanoke is not the first time these two have worked together and they have reportedly established a friendship. It’s in the guise of joking around that Cuba felt he had the right to expose Paulson as a joke to the audience.  That his actions were a form of assault most certainly didn’t occur to him.  It’s because of rape culture that violent actions (and make no mistake about it, forcibly exposing someone’s body is violent) are laughed off as unimportant. That Twitter felt the need to reference Cuba’s own daughters as a way to attack his actions evidences that even when we can recognise an assault for what it is, we reify the idea that woman as a category are not due bodily respect.  Women are only free from assault when they can be framed as mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.  What Cuba did to Paulson isn’t wrong because he doesn’t want his daughters to be similarly assaulted but because he violated Paulson’s right to privacy and her right to choose when her body is displayed.

I know a lot of people have defended this action with the argument that Sarah Paulson laughed it off. She didn’t react with outrage and anger - so it must be okay then?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Souljacker (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine Galenorn

Lily is a succubus, after centuries of dangerous wandering she has finally managed to settle down and set up business in her salon

But when a client is killed by a vampire in her place of business, the life she’s sought to preserve start falling apart. The vengeance driven widow determined to drive her out of business would be bad enough- but the murdering vampire wasn’t just a random act.

The vampire is a serial killer – and he’s targeting customers from his mortal life. Including Lily and her frinds.

And everyone knows the police don’t investigate vampire kills

We have a common Urban Fantasy everything-there world here which Yasmine Galenorn does so long. Honestly these are always my favourite kinds of worlds so long as the author has sufficient restraint not to throw all of it at us all the time, swamping us

I think this book treads a narrow line. Lily is a succubus, we have the fae courts which she’s also related to. We have a magic cat, a witch best friend, a human friend, a chaos demon, several wereanimals and some vampires. It’s a lot

But it works because they’re all tied into the plot in a relevant fashion. We have elements of world building like the politics, opinions and culture of the wereanimals, the vampires and their ongoing plot to gain more power and how different they are from the people they were before. The world building is huge but the focus manages not to get too distracted.

The plot itself has a lot of action, tension and many many dramatic scenes pulling in many characters as the seral killer is made very very personal. A lot of the time it’s very hard to justify why none police characters are actually going to chase a serial killer around – but here the combination of politics tying their hands and the personal nature of the attacks really bring the story home to the characters rather than having random amateur hour.

Lily is a succubus and, I admit, when I first read this I kind of cringed. There are some excellent succubus protagonists out there. And also a substantial amount of books where I have to skim past endless pages of humping to get near the actual plot. Thankfully, this book fell in the former category – Lily being a succubus – and a sex worker is not used as a gratuitous way to have lots of sex scenes. In fact her hunger is used both to create a burden she has to deal with and work around (especially in a society where wandering around in an evening is difficult and dangerous) as well as a tragic and difficult path. Being a succubus is no just about being super hot – far from it.

The 100, Season Four, Episode Eight: God Complex

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There's ten days left to the end of the world and everything is grim and dark and dark and grim. Yes, it's what The 100 has become famous for at this point.  The problem is the unrelenting darkness though God Complex did provide the first bit of hope for the season as well as possibly set up future conflict for season five. We've always known that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, it was always a matter of when the light would appear and what form it would take. Unfortunately, this light involved Jaha, a character second only to Jasper in being useless and annoying. 

Let's begin with the hope shall we?  Okay, so y'all remember that cult bunker Jaha found in episode three (The Four Horseman)? Well, it seems that Jaha has been thinking about the cult and wondering if perhaps they checked out a decoy bunker. For some reason, the cult has 12 levels and they checked on bunker 11. Yes, it's contrived as hell but go with it because at least it's a step away from grim and dark and dark and grim. Jaha puts the pieces together and convinces Kane that he's right. Now they have to get to POLIS and speak to the last flamekeeper who just happens to be Indra's daughter.

Jaha, Monty and Kane arrange a meet up with Indra and Kane is shocked that rather than being greeted with a hug this time, he's greeted with a slug. It seems that Indra is not over Skaikru forming and alliance with Agzeda which of course resulted in the death of Trikru warriors.  Kane tries to explain that it's the end of the world and that they are looking for a way to save everyone.  When Kane tries to suggest that it's shortsighted for Indra to expend her efforts battling Agzeda with death so close at hand, Indra claims that all anyone can wish for is a warriors death. It's only when Kane calls out that he needs to speak to her daughter and that they might have the key to saving everyone that Indra relents.

They head to the temple and Kane uses his pass from Roan to get the Agzeda warriors to let them in.  Indra however isn't done with her war and she grabs Monty's gun and shoots all of the warriors.  Something about seeing the gun in Indra's hands feels good. Kane of course is ruffled and upset but Jaha points out that this isn't their war and they have more important things to worry about just now.  For once, Jaha is right about something.

The pieces come together when they realise that the symbol of the doomsday cult is at the center of Gaia's tattoo. The same symbol just happens to be on Becca's crypt. So now it's off to the temple -- where after moving some junk -- they discover a hatch with the words "salvation lies within" on it.  Now we're cooking. This is it at last; except that the medallion won't work as a key because they are at stage 12 and the medallion is for stage 11. Oh those pesky cult members. It's Monty who suggests that maybe the phrase "rise from the ashes" should be taken literally. Jaha grabs the medallion and burns it and it turns into a key. Now with proof that they are onto something, Indra is willing to risk her warriors and she orders them to keep Agzeda away at all costs.  Indra also makes it clear that if they do indeed find a bunker, Agzeda is not allowed in. 

They open up the hatch and begin to descend.  Did anyone else start thinking about Lost at this point? The last time Henry Ian Cusick was in a bunker things got sticky. Has this all been the secret work of the Darma Initiative all along? Are they all going to have to start pushing a button to stop the world from coming to an end?  Okay, I'll stop with the Lost references now but you have to admit that they work. By the light of flame, the group descends into the bunker.  Now that they've found a place to live out the radiation, there's still a question of who gets safety and who is left to die. How big is this bunker anyway? There's also still the little matter of supplies. 

At Rebecca's lab things aren't going well.  The man whom Emori convinced them to test last week, survives the initial bout of radiation but as the levels increase, his body begins to get lesions and he starts spitting up black blood. Before long, he's dead.  So much for the last hope for humanity. When Abby and Jackson review the test, they realise that they inadvertently used an additive which stopped clotting. You would think that with so much at stake they would have double checked everything before risking a man's life, especially with all the drama of Abby worrying that she would become a murderer. With a small change, they're ready to run the test again, only this time they don't have a person to test nor do they have time to run out and hunt someone.  This is the situation Emori feared. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stolen Ink (Ink Born #1) by Holly Evans

Davian is a tattoo magician – a man who can sense the magical tattoos under people’s skin and bring them to life. He’s spent most of his life hiding the true extent of his powers, hoping to avoid the attention of the Council and live a quiet life with his friend and business partner Keir and, hopefully, find a cute guy to have some fun with.

Except someone in the city is killing people with tattoos and stealing them – an agonising and terrible way to die. With his power, Dacian is perfectly placed to stop him and people are pressing him to get involved – but can he stop the killer and stay under the Council’s attention?

I really like the world building of this book – it does a really good job of taking a modern world and making it feel like a Dungeons and Dragons town. We have wizards and cars. We have elves and modern technology. It all seems to work – part of that may be not going into too much unnecessary detail at this point: it does an excellent job of hinting and shaping a lot without going into lots of details

Which is good because we can already see many many kind of wizards each of which are clearly very different from each other. We have elementals. We have fae. We have elves. We have wereanimals. We have a lot – and a whole lot of them are repeatedly touched on with excellent little details that are there to give an impression of a wider, different, broad culture (like the social nature of elves, the personalities of elementals etc etc)

This applies to government as well – we have so many hints of how this is worked related to the Council, how they treat powerful magic users and some indications of the way powerful supernatural forces interact with this organisation

Again, no-one sits down and starts expositioning lots of information about the society – because that would make absolutely no sense at all and would really clutter up this beginning book. But it does an absolutely awesome job of portraying an amazing world without dragging down the story

On top of that the actual focus – tattoo magic, the magic that Dacian and Keir have and the very foundation of the plot of this book. This shows how much imagination and detail can actually go into world building when it’s necessary to the plot

Unfortunately the story does kind of drag in the middle. Dacian spends a lot of time not knowing what to do, he’s kind of been tapped by several people as the one who should do something about the serial killing. He’s understandably reluctant since he’d rather keep his magic secret (and pretty much everyone seems to know he’s more than he seems) and he definitely doesn’t know what to do. So I can get that there’s a bit in the middle of the book where Dacian figures out what he can actually do

Time After Time, Season 1, Episode 5: Picture Fades

John had gone back to France in World War 1 to find his son – but not just find his son, but save him from where his fate to die in an ambush.

HG needs to go back and stop this (obligatory Martin saying “but saving lives is a good thing” so HG can point out that breaking time lines is bad in cause the audience has forgotten the central problem of every single time travel show and book ever since the genre was created) but he insists on going alone. Despite not speaking French and having no clue about World War 1 – Jane who speaks French and is a historian so could be quite useful but she is told to stay home because she’s a woman. Jane calls him out for being sexist and he responds by putting his manly foot down

So Jane… pouts and has a little tantrum and does as she’s told

John has made contact with his son Henry and finds that Henry is a completely good man, a doctor with no inclination towards serial killing at all. He has a fiancée, he’s happy and is all bright and good. Oh and he hates his father, believing his dad abandoned his mother completely, running out on the family.

We get lots of John’s conflicted sad face that his son isn’t like him, that his son hates him but also kind of hopeful that his son is a good and decent man unlike him. Yes we’re doing John the morally conflicted serial killer thing.

Since Henry doesn’t want to abandon his unit just on John’s say-so, John resorts to kidnapping to save his son’s life. (HG tries to intervene, he’s not exactly effective) His son is not amused and certainly not grateful and continues to speak bitterly of his father

Leading John to have a massive rant about everyone judging him without even knowing him – history, his son, etc etc. Is this a rant against people condemning him (because that’s kind of ridiculous) or a rant against people not knowing about him (we’ve seen he was deeply troubled by his anonymity next to HG’s fame) or a rant because the one person who may know him as a father rather than a serial killer also hates him? I don’t know – could be any or all of the above.

To add to that he also holds up Henry as the one good thing in his life – because he’s produced a genuine, caring gentle son who seems to be a good person.

However Jane, in the present, does some research and discovers actually Henry died somewhere else (and spills all this knowledge and more to Griffin) and hurries back in time to save HG who she sees now being caught in the explosion. Back from the future she runs straight into John and quickly reveals that Henry is under threat again because she’s skilled like that

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox

A hundred years ago a treaty was signed to prevent three factions of an ancient magical dynasty going to war over the spell book that was their legacy

This spell book contained the power to literally end and remake the world – only after long deliberations was the book split in three for safety

But now, someone claiming the legacy of that ancient sorceress is back and determined to reunite this tome

Mother Goose has risen again

I’m always a little wary of TV series to book conversions because they very rarely work. The problem is that so much of a TV series is left to interpretation: we’re not in the character’s heads, we don’t know how they think and seeing someone else’s take on these characters can be really jarring (just look at the Grimm book adaptations).

Even without that, just the tone set by books can be very different from TV – like the very act of describing characters: this book opened with Eve and Jake. Eve was described as a “statuesque blonde” and Jake “ruggedly handsome”. Don’t get me wrong, no-one looking at Eve on the show can argue that she is, indeed, a statuesque blonde and no-one will disagree that Jake is ruggedly handsome. But to open with these descriptions ironically makes the appearance of these characters more important than it would be on television

I think this happens a lot with tv-to-book adaptations. Because TV is such a visual medium, descriptions and appearance are automatic but, conversely, are not always relevant (beyond the constant drive to use pretty actors). Eve’s statuesque blondeness is rarely relevant in the TV series, it just is. But book adaptations feel the need to include the same level of description as they have in television – but Chekhov’s’ gun applies. If you mention appearance in a book we assume this is somewhat relevant: by trying to imitate the visual aspect of television, this book managed to create the impression in the first few chapters we were looking at an Eve/Jake romance: because when your book opens with two characters fighting for their lives against a mystical boar, the only reason “statuesque blonde” and “ruggedly handsome” would appear in the text is to establish a romance subplot

Into the Badlands: Season 2, Episode 2: Force of Eagle's Claw

Time for more stunning visuals – but not quite as many fight scenes

Sunny has just been betrayed and is now being used in the arena – but the boss guy doesn’t especially want a crafty, manipulative rat like Bajie running around either. So, twist, he chains them both together for the gladiatorial combat so Sunny has a disadvantage

Ok, this show could have gone very badly with this – portraying the fat guy as the inept comic relief. But, in general, it doesn’t. Sure Bajie isn’t a skilled fighter but nor is he utterly physically inept and he is the one who directs their escape. He even manages to save Sunny – (of course Sunny does most of the fighting and the attacker ends up well and truly splattered)

They do escape and cross the long grassland. Again we see competence from Bajie – he can find food (and I wish it were more a case of them both being hungry and Bajie getting food for them rather than Bajie stopping to eat while Sunny wanted to continue on) and he’s the one who can remove their shackles

And while Sunny attempts to leave him behind, he may need Bajie to get across the huge wall that separates them from the Badlands

I’m curious that they have made Bajie competent – in a show that is so utterly physical, that is defined by these beautiful, amazing fight scenes, it would be easy to turn the fat guy into inept comic relief. Especially since Nick Frost has spent no small part of his career playing that role.

Over to Lydia who has joined her father and the Totemists. And they’re all very peaceful and kind and very religious and Lydia is super happy there (though next time save your speech about how happy you are to be home for an event other than someone’s wedding – way to make the day all about you!)

Until they’re raided by vicious nomads who are there to steal and rape. The Totemists are utterly pacifistic and refuse to fight back, all kneeling. Except Lydia who fights – killing them both to save her dad from being killed and the new bride from being raped. Even as she desperately struggles for her life, none of the Totemists help her

After the nomads are killed her father is furious “who are you to kill in our name!” he demands – killing is completely forbidden in their religion, even to defend themselves.

Once Upon a Time, Season 6, Episode 14: Page 23

Flashback opening – back to Regina in her Storybrooke days, pursuing her eternal quest against Snow White while an increasingly sad and even slightly desperate father who continually tries to take her off the path of vengeance and to find happiness

Especially since Tinkerbell shows up to again remind Regina that she had a chance to go for True Love and failed. Look I’ve said before how much we hate that particular storyline. How Regina is shamed and blamed for her own lack of happiness because she wasn’t willing to jump into a romance with a complete stranger. Especially when we consider how much more pain that whole romance has brought Regina. (or, for that matter, that her whole path to the darkside began because her true love died on her. You want to blame Regina for being reluctant to enter a romance?) Add in that Once Upon a Time is really pushing that romance needs true love. So, yes, someone slap Tinkerbell upside the head.

Anyway, daddy dearest has got on this train and tries to get her to use cupid’s arrow to track down the person she loves most in the world thinking this will lead her to Robin. Actually, no daddy, it will lead to you. Which will be the laziest use of magic ever. At this stage she hasn’t met Robin and knows precisely one thing about him –he has a tattoo. The idea that he is already her true love is really bizarre even if Regina has a huge thing for guys with ink

Not being into this game, Regina instead corrupts the arrow to make it lead her to who she hates most in the world – and it leads her tooooooooo a mirror.

Yes, Regina loathes/d herself more than anything, loathed what she became, loathed who she was. And oh isn’t that painful

To the present and EQ is running around doing her evil, promising Henry (who still thinks she’s redeemable) that she’s going to do more dark and evil and terrible things because evil. She has grabbed the shears of fate snipping, intending to use them to break the bond between her and Regina and therefore free herself to kill her. And she’s going to use kidnapped Robin to bait the trap.

And even Robin realises EQ needs a fresh start and saving from herself. Not that she’s ready to hear that.

Despite knowing it’s a trap, Regina walks into it – there’s a snipping of fate and the fight is on. Sadly it’s more swords than magic, c’mon CGI department, Regina vs Evil Queen should not be a sword fight!!

More than the fight itself is the nice way they exposition their emotional conflict while still fitting naturally: with Evil Queen pouring scorn on how Regina has “filled the hole inside her” (recognising, in the foundation of that self loathing, that there is a hole inside her) with love and family while Regina is equally determined that they’re real and powerful and have changed her.

And then Regina wins the upper hand… and doesn’t kill Evil Queen. The EQ spits “I hate you” but Regina doesn’t hate her/herself… not any more. She has found love, redemption, family, she has been redeemed, she isn’t that self-loathing person any more. And because she loves not hates she’s going to not kill the EQ

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Walking Dead, Season Seven, Episode Fifteen: Something They Need

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Something They Need is the penultimate episode of season seven. It basically amounted to putting the pieces together to prepare for the big battle against Negan and the Saviours.  After all the time spent setting this up, this battle had better be epic because it feels as though we have been in one big holding pattern for a very long time. The battle will hopefully be the big pay off. The writers have certainly risked a lot on this. 

As expected, Sasha was captured by the Saviours and put into a cell similar to the one Darryl was held in.  It's not long before David comes in to inquire if Sasha needs anything. Of course, nothing is free and David makes it clear that if Sasha wants water, she's going to have to submit to his sexual advances. Sasha responds by head butting David which for me, amounted to one of the better moments this season.  Because she is handcuffed, David sees her as easy prey and starts to get rapey. Negan intervenes and stabs David in the throat. Apparently, beating people to death with Lucile, throwing people into a fire, ironing faces and forcing women to marry him by removing their choices is fine, but rape in the manner that David attempted is unacceptable to Negan.  It's a bizarre moment indeed and I cannot even begin to understand how Negan rationalises this to himself. 

Negan's impressed by the fact that Sasha stormed in there alone to exact revenge and so instead of killing her, he wants to harness her "beach ball size lady nuts". Yes, Negan actually thinks that he's being complimentary in this moment. Negan hands Sasha a knife and tells her that she can try and kill him, even though she would probably lose because he's standing above her with a baseball bat, she can kill herself or she can kill David before he turns into a walker and agree to become a Saviour.  Negan wants the later, particularly because he's become aware that Nick & Co. are up to no good. 

Enter Eugene, who tries very hard to convince Sasha to just submit.  He explains that the bravest moment of his life was when he drove the RV away as a distraction but that he was scared out of his mind.  Watching Abraham get killed only served to drive home the fact that at his heart, Eugene is a coward and therefore willing to do whatever he has to to survive.  Eugene tells Sasha that if she submits, she will never to be afraid again and that she can survive this.

When Negan returns to check on Sasha, she is standing in her cell, having already taken out zombie David.  Negan is happy to accept this decision as Sasha indicating that she's willing to work with him.  Negan wants Sasha to help him get to the bottom of what is going on in Alexandria, as a test of her loyalty and promises her some creature comforts for the night so that she can think through what she's going to do. 

Once again, Eugene goes to check on Sasha and this time she puts on a pitiful voice and asks Eugene for something to help her end it.  Sasha makes it clear that she cannot allow herself to be used to hurt their people and pleads with Eugene for a knife, a gun, a razor or even a damn piece of glass.  When Eugene agrees to think it over, a smile crosses Sasha's face, clearly indicating that she's not actually thinking of suicide. Unfortunately for Sasha, when Eugene does return, it's to slip her the poison that he made for Negan's wives.  It's the solution that she asked for but not what she really wanted.  A dejected Sasha slides to the floor as Eugene talks about not wanting Sasha to kill herself but how he trusts that she can make her own decisions about what's best for her.

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 12: Tomorrow

Last week we learned that Lara was Molly who came back in time to save her mother from becoming War

This week we open by seeing that. And part of me thinks this is unnecessary since we know this – but it’s also kind of awesome to see it. To see Jenny leading the resistance against Malcolm’s forces – being called a terrorist for it. And seeing Malcolm use the 4 horseman and his police force. Including war – who kills Jenny in front of Lara/Molly

Except not before Jenny manages to raise a whole lot of doubt in Molly’s mind about the history that Malcolm has filled her head with – including that Molly said that Diana was dead. Before Molly died she manages to cut a hole in War’s helmet with a magic knife – and show that War is Diana.

Molly questions future Malcolm about this and lo his lies unravel, leading Molly to find Ichabod, get a pep talk and some time travel mojo

Which picks us up where we left off – with a newly Warred Ichabod who is ordered to kill Molly and Diana. They escape thanks to a woo-woo knife and make it back to the Archive

Along the way they sum up some basics of Molly’s life (how Malcolm let her wander alone and desperate for a while before swooping in and playing caring father figure) and everyone decides to call Molly Lara since that’s what she was called for so many years and it saves everyone from having to say Young Molly and Old Molly. By saving Diana, Lara has pretty much completely changed the future (at least the details) so her memories are now very uncertain and, effectively, she and Molly are different people or will be because their experiences will be so different. At least Lara still has her skills.

Everyone is recapped and knows where they stand and everything gets more complicated. Firstly blood from the woo-woo dagger happens to mix with some black goo and apparently War blood + Ichabod blood + Black goo of spider demon memories = Henry Parish!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grimm, Season Six, Episode Twelve: Zerstörer Shrugged

"You shall break them with a rod."

Zerstörer Shrugged is the penultimate episode of this series and to say I'm pissed doesn't even begin to cover it. Dear writers of Grimm, you need to fix this next episode. I will not accept an ending to Grimm which brings about the death of the only two reoccurring characters of colour in the entire six year run of this show. I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS. I will also not accept that the Zerstörer is this horribly scary devil dude, when so much of what happened is clearly the writers trying to squeeze in relevance in the later stages, rather than spending this entire season building a believable story around the Zerstörer.

When we left Nick and Eve, they were stuck in the other world about to do battle with the Zerstörer. Eve goes all ghastly uber hexenbiest but isn't really able to put up much of a defense.  It's Nick who realises that the Zerstörer is toying with them and instead of actually killing them which he could do easily, he's trying to trap them. Things don't look good for these two.

With Diana now firmly asleep, it's time to try and figure out how to get Nick and Eve the hell out of the other world. Adalind and Renard argue about who is going to open a portal.  If Renard's informant is on point, and Diana is indeed the Shaphat, Monroe suggest that Diana can actually open up a portal using the stick. To back him up, Monroe pulls out his family Wesen bible.  Renard at first has no patience for any kind of biblical talk until Monroe explains that the bible does describe an area like where Nick and and Eve might actually be. It buoys Monroe's case that the bible includes an illustration of the Zerstörer. 

At the Spice Shop, Hank, Wu and Rosealee are looking for myths across cultures for any references which could be useful. They come across an ancient German text which Rosealee uses google translate to decipher.  They learn that the text says,"evil darkness trapped" and "Grimm pull child wife" followed by "follow and flee." 
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It's then that the scoobies realise that it's March 24th, the day the cloth warned them about. I know that there's been a lot of shit going on but did no one think to mark the days off on a calendar? Are we supposed to believe that the scoobies are really that forgetful when they've done nothing but spend time researching this damn prophecy all season? Now they begin to wonder if maybe just maybe, the Zerstörer stalked Eve, so that she'd going looking for him, forcing Nick to follow, thus causing the opening of a portal allowing him to escape. Did you follow that because it's convoluted as fuck? Look, I know that this shit was foretold but the assumptions that had to be made for this plan to work are downright astronomical.

The Originals, Season Four, Episode Two: No Quarter

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Thanks to five years of labour on Hayley's part the majority of the Original family are alive and awake.  After the vampires feed to regain their strength, they have a decision to make. Should they flee New Orleans because Marcel's bite is deadly to them now or should they make an attempt to get Klaus? The Original family may betray each other and fight like cats and dogs but when it comes to an outside threat they stand together always and No Quarter, is no exception. 

It looks like the Mikaelsons are not going to have the element of surprise because Sofya reports back to Marcel that some of the people she had falling Haley watched her intercept Keelin. Marcel is quick to surmise that this means that Hayley now has her hands on a cure for his bite. The Mikaelsons coming back to town is a headache however not overly a concern because Marcel is still the HNIC for now. We all know that this is temporary right?

Having been out of the loop for so long, Rebekah and Elijah are forced to turn to Josh to get some idea of what Marcel is up to.  Josh just happens to be having a little alone time with his new boyfriend Eddie and yes, this comes with an on camera kiss. Eddie, unlike his supernatural boyfriend is all too human.  We all know already that Eddie is on borrowed time right?  At any rate, Josh sends Eddie away so he can deal with the Mikaelsons. After some quick questioning Elijah and Rebekah learn that Josh despite his relationship with Marcel, isn't really in the loop. Rebekah then suggests that she act as a distraction to Marcel since they have so much unsettled history. 

Rebekah heads off to confront Marcel as the rest of the family goes to Rosseau's in order to access the tunnels underneath the city where Marcel is hiding Klaus. The Original family must now decide what to do with Josh.  Kol isn't in favour of killing him because Davina cared about Josh and Marcel is in agreement because Marcel cares about Josh.  Kol volunteers to stay behind with Josh while everyone else heads through the tunnels to find Klaus. 

Speaking of Klaus, he's still crumbled in a ball enduring the pain of Papa Tunde's blade.  In order to distract himself from the torture he conjures up Cami. Even though Cami is a figment of Klaus's imagination, she goes into to counsellor mode because it seems that once again, Klaus has some demons that he needs to deal with.  Through the connection, Klaus can feel that his siblings are now awake but he still needs to free himself.  For some reason, Klaus seems to like it there because he's convinced to some degree that he deserves this punishment and to be perfectly honest, he's absolutely right. Cami quickly digs through the layers of Klaus's emotional shit and gets to the heart of the matter - Klaus is scared that he won't be embraced by Hope when they finally meet after all of these years. It's no surprise that Hope features largely in his thoughts given that she is his daughter and Klaus has a whole host of unresolved daddy issues.  It seems that Klaus is terrified that he won't be a good daddy and that he will pass on a legacy of violence.  The mere fact that he threatens to kill anyone who breaks Hope's heart shows that he hasn't learned any lessons from the time he spent policing Rebekah's sexuality.

Marcel and Rebekah meet and she asks for Klaus's freedom.  We all know that it's not going to be that easy right? Marcel is particularly annoyed that Rebekah believes that she can just stroll into town and trade upon their long relationship to get what she wants. Marcel feels absolutely justified in what he has done to Klaus.  Rebekah makes it clear that right or wrong, her family will keep on coming until they get what they want but Marcel still will not bend.  When it's clear that the conversation isn't going anywhere, Rebekah pulls out the knife that was used to curse her and threatens Marcel, who is a bit shocked that Rebekah would go to such lengths. On one hand while I feel that Marcel more than any other person should know about the siblings extreme loyalty to each other, he's not wrong to be a little shocked at Rebekah since the two of them did conspire to bring Michael to town to kill Klaus. 

As we all know, The Originals is not about to let Rebekah play the role of hero or act tough.  Rebekah is the Original damsel in distress and she quickly falls into this role when Sofya sneaks up and shoots Rebekah full of arrows. Did Marcel arrange for Sofya to eavesdrop on their conversation in case he needed back up or is Sofya stalking Marcel?  I think I'm going to go with the later since Marcel would have no reason to be afraid of Rebekah. 

Marcel quickly realises that Rebekah was there to act as a distraction and that her siblings are probably breaking Klaus out of prison and so he takes off. Elijah, Freya and Hayley have found Klaus, though Klaus still isn't conscious and is working out his issues with ghost Cami.  The spell guarding Klaus is so strong, Freya is forced to channel Hayley while Elijah acts as look out. Ghost Cami is loudly screaming at Klaus that he needs to take the knife out now. By the way this whole taking out Papa's knife thing is new. When it was first introduced, that knife stayed where it was until someone pulled it out.