Saturday, April 8, 2017

Colony, Season Two, Episode Thirteen: Ronin

Image result for colony cast television show

Ronin is the big season finale. Colony left us with just a enough meat to spend the next few months stewing about what is next for the Bowman family and our favourite snake in the grass Snyder. Judge me all you want, there's a part of me that cannot stop rooting for Snyder, though he is conniving and self interested to the end. With the end of Ronin, the Bowmans have finally left the hated Bloc and are riding off into desert, not in celebration of a job well done but in preparation for the much needed work that still must be done, if they are going to help save humanity from the aliens. This new location will allow them to tell a more varied story as well as introduce some new characters.  

From the moment we learned that The Global Authority was not at all pleased with the Los Angelos Bloc, the tension for the season began.  If the GA (read: Global authority) decided to rendition the Bloc, whether or not Will maintained his cover would be irrelevant.  Whether or not Bram managed to survive in the warehouse would be irrelevant. Whether or not Katie managed to throw authorities off the trail and stay true to her promise not to get any further involved in the Resistance would be irrelevant.  If you're not on the planet or you're not alive, you can make no impact. 

The big drive behind the resistance's desire to get their hands on the gauntlet is because they have managed to turn a Rap into the Benedict Arnold of his people. This is a big freaking deal. It seems unfortunately for the resistance however, the aliens have somehow managed to recapture the Rap and put it back into service again.  To do this the Rap is opened up and something globe shaped is replaced on the inside. It's enough to make me wonder if there is any biological component to the aliens or if they are just tech run amok. 

In Los Angelos Bloc, everything is in a state of chaos because a total rendition of the Bloc has been ordered. As a cover story, the people have been told that they are moving to a new Bloc where they will no longer have to suffer shortages. Even though they don't want to leave their homes, being promised extra supplies and the belief in The Greatest Day, is enough for people to be in a submissive state, with the exception of course of Snyder.  All of the activity in the Bloc is enough for Snyder to get suspicious and so he goes to see Bennett to find out what is going on. Bennett has bought the story of moving to a place with more supplies but also lets slip his belief that the emptying of the Bloc is to find the missing gauntlet.

Snynder being the snake that he is thinks there's more to the story than he's been told and so he finally confronts Helena and learns the horrible truth, the entire Bloc will experience total rendition in six hours. Helena it seems has deemed Snyder's work enough for her to place him and his daughter on the exemption list. Snyder is to head to Europe where he will work in a much reduced capacity under her.  You would think that given that Snyder is lucky to be alive at all that he would be a little more grateful, but you'd be wrong. A man like Snyder doesn't take any kind of demotion as a blessing, his ego absolutely will not allow for it. 

Will and Kate manage to allow the blackjackets to track them back to their hiding place. This is not a good thing at all. Will, Kate, Broussard and Morgan manage to fight off the authorities but in the process, Morgan is shot and killed. With few options left to them, Kate brings everyone to the home of the religious leader of the little group that she was a part of. Despite the risk, the leader is willing to allow everyone to shelter in his home while they figure out their next move is. They don't have a lot of options at this point and so Will brings up the unthinkable, making a deal with Snyder.  They all know that Snyder is a snake but Snyder's proven that he does keep his word. Broussard is resistant to the idea of trading the gauntlet for a way out of the Bloc because too many of his people died to capture and maintain it. In the end, Kate and Will team up Broussard and he consents to their plan.  Will gets into contact with Snyder and they make an agreement to meet.

Clearly, things are in a crisis situation for everyone. Snyder must come to a decision as to what side he's on.  Snyder knows that those being sent for rendition are going to end up in the factory, more than likely living out their last days in misery.  Even though he has been spared that fate, he's going to lose all of the power he so recently regained. Snyder may not be in a position to save himself at the next Rendition.  There's also the argument that eventually, the aliens will evacuate the entire planet and that he's only buying himself a temporary reprieve from the inevitable.  That's a lot for one snake to weigh out and naturally, the always self interested Snyder does not disappoint.  Snyder heads to see Commander Vos, to question what would happen if  had the ability to lead them to the gauntlet. Snyder even makes it clear that he's acting on his sole authority for his sole benefit.  It seems that Snyder has decided that Helena has outlived her usefulness. When Vos suggests that the aliens would be very grateful and that Snyder would be assured comfort, that's all Snyder needs to hear. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Magicians, Season 2, Episode 11: The Rattening

Julia and Quinn are shade hunting – trying to get Julia all put together again. And I do quite like how Julia keeps checking her behaviour, clearly second guessing herself and lack of conscience a lot

So they find an Ancient One – a dragon. And she is kind of awesome. She official does not deal with shit and is very snarky. Go snarky dragons. She will send them to the underworld to get Julia’s shade but she wants the button they use to travel to Fillory in exchange. Julia says no – but Quentin caves

They now have 24 hours to explore the underworld:

Dragon: “you have 24 hours to come back”
Quentin: “or?”
Dragon: “I sit patiently for you to come back. No, I eat you, I’m a fucking dragon what do you expect?!”

To the Underworld –which resembles a waiting room and a hotel. And I kind of love the totally unexpected banality of it. The waiting room, the numbers and the orientation video (and the leaflets – relax, you’re probably not going to hell!) It’s all so… gloriously mundane. Of course this is just a stepping stone into the real afterlife where everyone kind of gets comfortable with death and then moves on. Also they cause paperwork because they’ve died 39 times each

Except the Shades are hidden – and people without Shades are removed which is definitely worrisome.

Instead they manage to connect with Julia’s old friends – the coven that Reynard slaughtered (including the actual Richard whose body Renard is using which is kind of freaky). They’re spending the afterlife bowling but they have info for Julia including there are definitely other gods: though Hades and Persephone are AWOL. With their knowledge and help Julia and Quentin get to Persephone’s house where the Shades hang out

There they see both a picture of Persephone which, to Julia’s rage – turns out to be Our Lady Underground. The woman she and her coven prayed to. The goddess whose identity Renard stole. The Goddess who EXISTS but DIDN’T answer their prayers – instead allowed Renard to use her name to rape and murder them. Julia is beyond furious

And that’s a really fascinating element to bring up – if you have proof deity exists and deity has ignored your prayers – or allowed abuse in deity’s name – how enraged would you be?

They also see the Shades (all children) performing minor miracles – each beautiful and meaningful while not making a huge difference in the world.

The do find Julia’s shade – but they also find Alice’s shade. The missing ingredient that meant Quentin could never bring Alice back from being a Niffin. Quentin collapses into an emotional puddle around her. And when they leave Julia insists they bring Alice’s shade with her… wait, they’re leaving Julia’s behind? Oh I will have words about that if they have because that would mean Julia is sacrifice for Quentin and being screwed again.

Physical Disability on The Walking Dead: Comics, Games & Show

It’s not often that we see the portrayal of disability in a post apocalyptic world.  It’s easy to imagine that having any sort of disability would present and extra set of problems because they already do in our present world. Disability like all other marginalisations would provide a depth to a character and allow for far more diverse stories to be told. However, more often than not, when writers deign to include a disabled character, the super-crip raises its head and leaps over tall building in a single bound, or as in the case The Walking Dead, takes out a horde of walkers while barely breaking a sweat.

In general, physical disability is not addressed in any great detail in any medium of The Walking Dead. There have been disabled characters previously in the series - both in the television and the comics - but it’s noteworthy that they don’t last long. A one-legged Dale doesn’t last very long before being killed off, for example. It’s also noteworthy that the character singled out for this is already not regarded for his physical capabilities. In fact, he’s already largely regarded as not being very physically capable due to his age. Lee in Telltale Games series also loses an arm, but, again, he doesn’t last long - this is suitable for a temporary plot, not long term character development

We’re not saying running from zombies would exactly be an easy - or long - life for someone in a wheelchair or on crutches, but physical disability in general would be far more common in this world. Poor diet, lack of medical care, a much more physical existence (especially for people unused to physical labour), long periods of travel in unfamiliar territory - and that’s aside from the constant fighting against other survivor groups, walkers and occasional tigers. No this doesn’t mean everyone is going to start losing limbs - or people who lose limbs in such poor medical conditions are going to survive - but joint pain? Limited movement? Poorly healed breaks? Fatigue? It’s probably no surprise given that our society in general is very resistant to recognising any invisible disability (physical or otherwise) that we see it similarly not depicted in fiction.

However, The Walking Dead unlike most examples in this genre, has touched on some more prominent disabled characters - but it has been definitely flawed

The Walking Dead Comics and the AMC show are treated as two separate entities; however, some obvious overlaps do exist both in characters and how said characters are treated.  Carl of the comics only has one eye and similarly, Carl of the television show also only has one eye.
It’s said that everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame and Carl has certainly had that in this post apocalyptic world; he’s Rick Grimes’s son. Carl can never escape the shadow of his father and consequently people treat him differently because of it. It’s Carl’s fame amongst the survivors that dims the amount of ableism he experiences because of the loss of his eye but that doesn’t mean that the scarring on his face makes people feel comfortable. It’s why when Lydia encourages him to reveal himself and even licks his empty eye socket during sex that Carl feels free for the first time. Carl suddenly doesn’t have to hide what he once viewed as his ugliness behind bandages; Carl is free. It’s important to note that prior to the eye licking incident with Lydia the only other time Carl removed his bandage was on orders of Negan for the express purposes of being shamed. This scene was played out in both the comics and the television show.

For all of Carl’s appearance issues with his eyes, he never seems to really have any trouble in battle. The writers never consider that Carl’s blind side could and would be a great disadvantage in any physical altercation whether it be with a human or a zombie. Carl can even shoot a gun accurately without a problem or any compromised depth perception. Sure, he might have learned to adjust over time for his vision but it’s never actively portrayed in either the comics or the television show. The loss of vision in his eye doesn’t really affect Carl in any meaningful way. Carl has more issues with living under his father’s shadow than he does with his disability which is never actively named as such, following a pattern of creating a disability while making it invisible in the meta: creating an oxymoron of visible invisible disability. Basically, Carl’s missing eye could just as easily be replaced by an unsightly scar.

So far so good but the same cannot be said of his father Rick. On the show Rick is still completely able bodied and fully embodying the role of leader. Despite the challenges that he has faced, the illness, the poor nutrition and the constant running for his life, Rick is more changed in personality than he is in body.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War by Robert Kirkman (Author), Charlie Adlard (Artist), Stefano Gaudiano (Artist), Cliff Rathburn (Artist)

The Walking Dead has shifted quite a bit.  People have divided themselves into functional communities and they are even trading with each other and holding fairs.  Rick is still in charge at Alexandria, though all of a sudden he's griping about being an old man and losing touch.  Things settled into a sort of normalcy and so of course, this couldn't be allowed to continue - enter The Whisperers who are a group like none our merry band of survivors has ever had to face. 

In A Call to Arms, the infamous Negan escaped his prison and decided that his version of proving that he had turned over a new leaf would be to infiltrate the Whisperers. Quite unsurprisingly, this the prelude to disaster and ends up being the spark that begins a new war. Because of his injury, Rick is forced to sit on the sidelines and so he puts Dwight in charge of their forces.  Vincent is sent out to the other communities to ask for help in defending Alexandria.  Of the communities that are trading with Alexandria, only The Hilltop and The Kingdom agree to participate in the war.  Of the two who send forces, only The Hilltop seems to do so without any problems in their community. With Ezekiel dead, many members of the Kingdom see no reason to rush to Alexandria's aid, particularly knowing that Rick believes that he can just install Michonne as their leader.  There's plenty of resentment towards Michonne, because people rightly believe that she abandoned their community and broke Ezekiel's heart. At the end of the day, the only reason The Kingdom agrees to participate is because they fear that if Alexandria falls, so will The Kingdom. 

Rick may be seen as a saviour by many but this also comes with a lot of resentment.  I think that at this point, Rick has so bought into his own hype he cannot see the ways in which people bristle under his leadership. When Rick passes a law in Alexandria, he expects every community to follow it even if it doesn't apply to their situation. The perfect example is his rule on death penalty and his response to learning that Maggie had ordered an execution. The problem with being a supreme leader is that there's always going to be a resentment and you cannot rule people unless they agree to be ruled.

The only person Rick bothers to check in with is Andrea and she's the only one he shows weakness around.  At first it seems humbling to think that Rick Grimes could actually have some doubts about his leadership abilities or the decisions he makes but it's really about his physicality and fear that he may just be usurped by someone else. Andrea is forced to spend them majority of her time in this volume acting like a fluffer and constantly boosting Rick's ego. When Rick asks if he did the right thing when he decided to leave Negan to roam free and to fight on the front lines, rather than continuing in her objections to Negan being alive at all, Andrea simply says that she trusts Rick and is therefore fine with his decision. What the ever loving hell? Is Andrea ever going to think for herself again? At one time, Andrea didn't even want Negan imprisoned and now she's fine with him being paroled when he played a large part in why they are in this mess.  Yes, the fault still largely lies with Carl; however, Negan's actions escalated the situation into war. 

Carl really isn't much better though his excuse is that he's younger than Rick.  If we look back at how this whole thing got set in motion, we can trace it right back to Carl not having the sense of a concussed penguin because he found himself attracted to a Lydia, the Aphpa's daughter. Sure, common sense flies out the window when teenage hormones are involved but there should be limits.  Now that Carl is forced to deal with the consequences of his rash decisions, he still wants to play wrong and strong.  Michonne heads to The Hilltop to ask Maggie to chip in some forces to fight against the Whisperers, and of course, Carl is offended that he's not asked to come along and even goes as far to suggest that if he chooses to go, there's nothing anyone can do to stop him.  At this point, I really want to see Carl fed to the zombies.  Michonne has to placate Carl by pointing out that The Hilltop won't have a lot of strong warriors left behind and that she's leaving Carl there to help deal with any problems that arise. Yes, Michonne pretty much had to stick a dummy in Carl's mouth. 

Carl's obsession with Lydia has led to a pretty dark place, yet he's is all hope and sunshine that everyone  and everything is going to get through this just fine. Has it really been that long since the prison was destroyed and they had to flea? Has Carl really forgotten that nothing is guaranteed, particularly in a zombie apocalypse? Carl's yes we can attitude is enough to irritate Lydia into revealing that he's too young for her and that she doesn't love him.  Carl being a Grimes, most certainly cannot accept someone telling him no and so he has to insist that Lydia loves him. It's outright creepy abusive shit to tell someone that their feelings are wrong just because you're in love lust with them. 

This volume focuses on two relationships. For some time now, Dante has been flirting with Maggie. It's clear that at least on some level, Maggie enjoys the attention and it helps that Dante hasn't really pushed the issue before. With the Whisperers breathing down their neck, Dante realises that tomorrow is promised to no one and decides to stop procrastinating when it comes to Maggie.  Dante tells Maggie that he really likes her and wants to be with her.  As much as Maggie enjoys the flirting, Dante's declaration moves things a step too far for her. Maggie only wants to be with Glenn and is content to be alone.  It's Maggie's memories of Glenn that make her happy.  This is kind of bittersweet. Maggie and Glenn as a couple were wonderful but the idea of Maggie remaining single for however many days she has left is just incredibly sad.

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 1: Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother

iZombie is back – and we’re opening with a recap because my gods do we need it given the last season!

So, a reminder: Max Rager has been destroyed, their zombie captives have been released and taken by Vivian Stoll from Fillmoregraves (ok that’s still either terrible or awesome or both. I laugh, then feel terrible for laughing. I’m a bad person) to her home. Vivian and her happy band of zombie mercenaries want to set up a new homeland

Meanwhile Peyton was just rescued from crime boss Stacey Boss’s goons by Blaine (who was kind of responsible for the kidnapping in the first place) while Ravi waited outside and Ravi is all sad about this.

So the gang gets together and Liv pushes that the five of them are united and should not keep any more secrets from each other – which involves Liv clearly telling Clive that she and Major are zombies and her also telling the group that Vivian is talking about a new zombie homeland.

Clive would kind of like not to be in the loop on this one because, really, it’s a lot to absorb. He also hears about an army of super powered zombies (since they have Max Rager) mercenaries who want to establish a new country and he is…  duly wary of that.

While Major kind if sees the point – he doesn’t think that zombies are going to be welcomed with open arms by humanity. Let’s face it, brain eating is a tough sell.

They resolve to go and see Vivian and see what she means by a zombie home land

There’s also a lot of talk around whether Peyton and Blaine are a thing which is a huge distraction at the moment. Major is also looking for Natalie – one of the zombies he had a thing with before drugging her and freezing her.

So to FillmoreGraves and Vivian makes some compelling points about how, when zombies are revealed, humanity will murder them. They eat human brains and they’re highly contagious via the slightest scratch. This is not something humanity is going to accept with warm fuzzies. The “zombie homeland” means an island, which they own, which will become their new stronghold which sounds a lot less ominous than images of invading and conquering Seattle.

She also tells the story about why she has a zombie army. She was infected by her husband who is now probably dead (all likely due to Blaine). While on a mission a large number of her soldiers were infected by a nasty weaponised agent and that infected a whole lot more people – including children – at the company gathering. Faced with everyone about to die horribly she offered the only cure she had: zombie scratches.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Flashback: The Morrigan (Yancy Lazrus #3.5 ) by James A Hunter

This book finds me in an awkward position of trying to write a review which is functionally different from my review of Siren’s Song. Because I’m in much the same position

I like the story. I think it’s well written, I think it has a lot of action, a lot of excellent epic fight scenes and the whole awesome description of Vis and the Tuatha de Danaan. It was epic, it was action packed, it has some nice twists.

But it’s a story we know. It’s a story we know very well. It’s a story that pretty much underpins a lot of Yancy’s character. In fact it may be the defining moment of Yancy’s character

Before this book Yancy was a cynical, brutal but loyal member of the Guild of the Staff. He was their wetwork specialist, their fixer. This was the man who was called in for one reason – to break things and break people. This was the man who was hardbitten, cynical – but still very much a believer in what the Guild of the Staff represents

And then Ailia, the woman he loves, was abandoned by the Guild of the Staff after they faced the Morrigan and Yancy decided to turn his back on all of them. This in turn laid down the path which led to the main books

This isn’t the plot of this book I’m describing here. This is the plot that has been fundamentally clear since the beginning of the series. There’s no way it couldn’t be because this was who Yancy is. The whole reason why Yancy is where he is right now, the whole reason why Yancy began the series as the solo blues man he is is because of the events in this book

There was no way we couldn’t not know this story

There is no way we couldn’t know how this book ends.

We even know most of the details of this, who is involved and why.

So despite all the action and the power and the roaring fighting, I have almost the same level of frustration I have with Sirens - I know this story.


Shadowhunters, Season 2, Episode 1: Guilty Blood

Shadowhunters is back and we almost missed it – but we need to find the answer to the most important question… did these characters find the most important treasure of all? No, not the cup, not the cure for Jocelyn – but ACTING SCHOOL?!

Please, watching Harry Shum lower himself and Isaiah Mustafa deliver his lines with a “my agent will pay for this” look in his eyes is depressing.

So, Valentine has Jace on the worst cruise ever and alternates between torturing him and then playing loving daddy. Because this works. Actually that’s not entirely sarcastic, this seems to be actually working. Jace is looking sympathetically towards evil daddy dearest. Really. Even with the torture. He also tries to tell Jace that he’s the good one and his mum is totally evil (and, like every stupid protagonist faced by this stupid situation, he is actually willing to listen to this rather than assume the bad guy is actually lying to him. Really).

Yes I’m going to be saying “really” a lot here. The collective IQ of this show is slightly lower than a Trump rally.

Also Valentine thinks all downworlders are super evil because they have demon blood that they simply cannot control. Also he experimented on Jace by injecting that evil demon blood into him while he was a foetus to make him more powerful.


Back to the main gang – on considering that Valentine has the Mortal Cup, is threatening to unleash an utter war in their society and generally unleash all kinds of badness, everyone is super worried… about Jace. Fuck the rest, war et al – Jace needs saving

Also the Clave are just the biggest mean meanies evah for not shelving this whole stop-the-war-and-save-the-world and focusing on precious Jace. They have a new leader, Victor. We’re supposed to see him as evil rather than the guy who actually has his priorities in order


The Clave generally thinks that Jace is less of a priority here and may even be a traitor, since he ran off with Valentine and, by Clary’s own damn words, she had multiple attempts to kill Valentine and he didn’t. His loyalty – from what we’ve seen alone – is definitely suspect. Of course the Clave is the Worst EVAH for seeing Jace as an enemy and is even moar evil by restraining Clary and the gang when they declare “waaaah, we know better and are going to defy you and tell you this to your face, so there!!!!!” I would say they’re under arrest but, given their general demeanour, I think “grounded” is more appropriate.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Apprentice (Into the After #1) by Patricia Thomas

This book didn’t have much in the way of plot. Tari goes to university as an apprentice. She studies, she learns, she takes exams. Apart from a bit at the end, this is basically the story

And that’s ok

I kept waiting for one of her fellow students to be murdered and her having to hunt down the killer

Or another student to be a vicious competitor and she and her friends would have to get together in a desperate struggle about them,

Or maybe the whole archive would secretly be run by soul stealing aliens

It wasn’t. It was Tari going to school. And that’s ok.

There were no love triangles, no desperate struggle, no quest to save the world/find the deep dark secret. There wasn’t even a mean teacher who was trying to make Tari fail for some reason that should have got them fired from any decent educational facility

And that was ok

Tari has a secret but it’s only really a big thing towards the end.

And that’s ok

No, really. I know I know, with any other book I would have screamed at it to get on with some actual plot. I would be frustrated by the lack of action, by a book where nothing seemed to be actually happening

But I wasn’t. I loved this book – really, the lack of major epic plot was ok. More than ok. It was so excellent to see a character just exist. No world defying consequences, no massive issues, no convoluted drama o love triangles or convoluted dragging out of the plot with lots of misunderstanding and caricature villains

This was Tari going to the archive to learn. That’s it

And it works because this world is awesome. This book is one bug info dump – and yes THAT’S OK. It shouldn’t have been. By every rule out there this book should have annoyed the hell out of me. But I read it all in one afternoon, not stopping for a second (I was supposed to cook dinner. We had take away. Which I ate one handed because I didn’t want to stop reading.) It was one long info dump of a FASCINATING WORLD

I’m not going to go into too much detail about this world because that is this book because this book is absolutely awesome and the world building needs to be experienced. The book takes place in the After (contrasting with The Before – or Earth). The After is a world created from Earth’s fiction – every time a book is created, read and loved on Earth it enters the vast Archive. And the characters in that book add to the After’s population. Each new book can add new streets, new lands – even new cities and countries and mountain ranges to The After. And the After is vastly diverse –whether a city is sci-fi

Into the Badlands, Season 2, Episode 3: Red Sun, Silver Moon

At some point I’m really going to need these gazillion different storylines to get together

Let’s look at Sunny first

He and Bajie are being hunted by bounty hunters after escaping the miners and happen to run into another clipper, Nathanial Moon, who helps them kill the horde.

And, I say again, the choreography is beyond beautiful and awesome. These fight scenes take up most of every episode and every single one of them is awesome and beautiful and amazing and underpins the essence of this show.

And it is nice to see Bajie not being awesome but not being a liability either.

This man is Nathanial Moon, a legendary clipper with immense skill and an incredible kill count. While he does work as a bounty hunter, he isn’t here to collect on Sunny and Bajie. He’s here to be a great big warning and learning process for Sunny along with a huge chunk of philosophy.

Nathaniel killed for his baron until finally he ran away because he is thoroughly sick of killing and looked for something to fill “the void” inside him that all that killing caused. He met a woman and fell in love and had a child and finally found future and peace

Until the relative of one of the people he killed tracked him down and killed his family. His lesson: you can’t run from what you re, you can’t run from your past, you can’t hide from what you are, you can‘t change

The powerful part of this is not that his baron hunted him down – but that it was a random relative of a random person he killed. Given how many people they’ve killed (over 999 for Nathaniel and 404+ for Sunny) the chances of someone not coming for them at some point is almost non existent. It’s not just one person you need to avoid/kill/remove.

Once Upon a Time, Season 6, Episode 15: A Wondrous Place

Ok, I know the whole concept of Once Upon a Time is a mash up of fairy tales, but this one is a stretch

So Killian is stuck on the Nautilus with his brother and captain Nemo and has now been teleported to a whole different realm – the Enchanted Forest as it turns out. To get back to Emma the Nautilis needs Kraken blood which they’re fresh out of so Killian leads them Kraken hunting

Which happens to lead them to Jasmine and Aladdin who are still looking for Agrabah after the wish she made with the genie transported them to the Enchanted Forest (for some reason) and apparently nowhere near Agrabah. Luckily it does have them rowing a small boat happily near a kraken attack so they can run into Killian who saves them – but in doing gets no Kraken blood.

So plan B is to find Jafar. Because Jafar is good at portals to other realms and is full of revenge and the Nautilis has a handy-dandy revenge-obsessed-person seeker. It’s all a little bit of a stretch

Time for a flashback to Jasmine in ye olden times of Agrabah. To save the city from Jafar, the Sultan decided he needed to marry Jasmine off to a prince with a big army: showing off the pricey diamond ring which would be her dowry (not to dis the bling, but she’s a princess and your dowry is a single ring?). Jasmine isn’t into being treated like a bauble for sale and makes it abundantly clear this isn’t happening

While Jafar also wants her to marry – him. Otherwise he will destroy Agrabah

While looking for an answer she runs into Ariel, a mermaid in the middle of a market in a desert city. She saves her from unknown consequences of stealing in the Agranah market. This is literally the only way Jasmine knows how to make friends: condoning theft in the market place.

Ok. Ariel’s here to look for Eric, a prince of a maritime city apparently on a trade mission to a desert city which is at best “not too far” from the coast. Ariel wants to connect with him for true love. While Jasmine wants to connect with him for his large navy

Which will help. This desert city. In the desert. Some distance from the sea. A navy. I think there’s been some inbreeding in this royal line.

So they go searching together on a magic carpet of terrible CGI and decide Eric (prince of a Maritime city) is camped with some of the trade caravans in the desert outside the city because what else would a seafaring nation do? It turns out this isn’t actually Eric, it’s Jafar in disguise and he repeats his demand for Jasmine to marry him or everyone dies.

Jasmine capitulates and hands over the dowry diamond – and then Jafar reveals he’s totally not into her and doesn’t really want to be Sultan. But the gem contains a super powerful ward protecting him from doing terribad things to the city and he can only break it by the gem being given up freely. Which she’s now done so he gets to disappear the city

And she gets to spend the rest of the episode describing what a terribad person she is and having Killian deal with her angst at being a terribad person and convince her she’s a hero.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Walking Dead, Season Seven, Episode Sixteen: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Image result for the walking dead season 7

If I had to describe The First Day of the Rest of Your Life in one word it would be anticlimactic.  I knew going in that it would be tough to top the season opener in which both Abraham and Glenn died but there should have been a greater pay off for having to slug through multiple episodes of perpetration for this supposedly epic battle. The season finale is not the pay off the audience deserved and I think that this will go down as one of the worst seasons to date.  At times season six almost made me nostalgic for white people sitting on a porch because at least then, Glenn was still alive.

Part of what made this so anticlimactic was the knowledge that Sasha had come to the end of the road.  With the majority of the deaths on The Walking Dead, other than those of the clear fillers, there's not been much warning that they're coming.  With Sasha, we knew that she was going to die because Sonequa Martin-Green has already been cast as a leading character on the new Star Trek series.  What we didn't know was how.  It quickly became clear on her suicide mission to kill Negan at the Sanctuary that at best her death would be a pyrrhic victory for Rick and the gang but when it played out, it was even worse than that. All Sasha's death did was to provide a little bit of time. 

Sasha, like many characters of colour on The Walking Dead, never got the characterisation that she deserved.  This is why the writers had to go to such extremes to make her death poignant to the viewers.  The writers offered us some fan service by having Sasha spend some time talking to Abraham. Personally, if they had to bring back a character, why couldn't it have been Glenn? Look, I know that Sasha's connection was to Abraham and not Glenn but Glenn is the fan service that I wanted.  Part of the problem for me with Abraham and Sasha in this episode is that the magic between them seemed to just be missing. I didn't feel any chemistry between them and that was sorely needed in order to move us to the point of accepting that Sasha was ready to make this gigantic sacrifice for her people. I will however say that Sasha's death accomplished one thing that I thought would never happen, I was rooting for a walker.  I really wanted to see Sasha rip out more throats. 

For Sasha's death to work, Negan basically had to become a James Bond villain. Part of the enduring problem with The Walking Dead is that Rick and probably Carl have built in plot armor.  This means that though it makes complete sense for Negan to just show up and blow Rick away, Negan has to come up with some long winded reasoning to justify the antics he pulls.  Why didn't Negan just order Gladis to put a bullet in Rick's head for instance? Why exactly did Negan find it necessary to drive up to Alexandria with Sasha in a coffin when he knew going in that he had the upper hand?  Negan knew that he had turned the garbage people to his side and had disabled the bomb which Rick and crew had planted. There should have been no way in which he lost this battle.  Essentially, The Walking Dead made Negan stupid. 

Let's pause for a moment and question why it is that Negan decided that he could flip Sasha? Negan may have been successful turning Dwight but what kind of leverage did he really have on Sasha to assume that she would turn against her people?  I know that he's got Eugene on his side but Eugene is a coward. Some of course could argue that Negan really did like Sasha and her "beach ball size lady nuts", especially given his reaction when he saw zombie Sasha for the first time but I'm far more pragmatic and believe that it was yet another device by the writers to try and elevate Sasha, so that her death would have more meaning. 

Sleepy Hollow, Season 4, Episode 13: Freedom

Thanks to a vision, Ichabod and co are now all aware that Henry is back and is now War. en

Using woo-woo and technology they realise Malcolm is ready to make his move – by having the 4 Horseman attack Camp David and take the President prisoner. The guards and soldiers can do absolutely nothing against the horsemen – they walk right in, cut down all the soldiers and, inevitably, Malcolm kidnaps the president

It’s all very… simple and anti-climactic.

From there he makes a public address of, basically, “I’ve got your POTUS come and get me!” Team Witness realise what he’s doing – the US military will hit the 4 horseman and then be slaughtered proving Malcolm’s might

Y’know what… nah. I mean if they’d made an effort to show that, for example, Death could kill people en masse or War could sap their strength or Famine could make legions fall hungrily or Pestilence could unleash plague – or something other than these horsemen being more than indestructible medieval knights. I don’t care if they’re indestructible, the US has enough soldiers under arms to simply pin each horsemen under mountains of bodies. Or bury them in tanks, plans, bombs. Or just be so many people that the horsemen simply cannot stab everyone to death at sufficient rates. They really failed to establish the fearsome power of these horsemen –immortality is not enough

Also, can I ask again where all the supernatural knowledge went? Washington knew all about the supernatural. Absolutely ever famous figure in American history knew about it. Magic itself doesn’t appear to be that rare. This isn’t like other supernatural worlds where we have shadowy mystical organisations fighting to keep the mystical secret. There’s no cover up here. Everyone just forgot? Nah

Anyway Team Witness needs some mystical horsemen slaying weapons so time to conveniently find a hidden book with some clues to a hidden stash of special weapons

Oh hey let’s throw in a whole segment about the founding of the archive where Banneker tells Washington he’s not happy with him for the way he used Ichabod (but totally silent about slavery) and Washington wants to make up to Banneker about that (but not about slavery) and how Banneker is wary of government officials running the archive because Ichabod (not slavery)

Yeah Sleepy Hollow don’t introduce Banneker as a belated attempt to address racism in all your preciously pedestalled founding fathers and then have his main beef with the founding fathers be how he sacrificed one white man during a way. Throwing in Banneker so he can advocate for justice for ICHABOD is nauseating.

In the present the gang now has the special rusty weapons and a big speech from Ichabod because they had some seconds to fill.

But they have to destroy the horsemen and since they’re linked to Malcolm that means they have to de-immortal him. Who knows how to do that?

That would be Jobe. In the future Lara knows that Jobe was totally screwed over and isolated by Malcolm who basically turned him into her babysitter. So all they have to do is summon him and ask his help.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Grimm, Season Six, Episode Thirteen: The End

"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me"

It's official, Grimm is no more and now all I need to do is pretend that the entirety of season six didn't happen because I think it will be remembered as the worst season of Grimm.  I absolutely don't forgive the writers for how they ended this series. Yeah, I know that fairytales are supposed to have a happy ending but there are also supposed to be rules when you create an alternate universe. What the writers did was simply throw shit against a wall repeatedly and make shit up to fake their way through this final horrendous episode and season.  

You may well recall that at the end of Zerstörer Shrugged, I was pretty damn pissed because both Hank and Wu died. Given that Hank and Wu were the only two reoccurring characters of colour, seeing them dead on the ground made me so damn pissed. Well, as I'd hoped, Nick pulled out his magical stick except this time, for some unknown reason, the damn stick didn't work.  Why it didn't work, we were never told. It simply stopped working.  See what I mean about the writers just faking shit.  

While Nick was busy with the Zerstörer, the scoobies come up with a plan to mix Grimm blood with Hexenbiest blood and the blood of a Wesen, in order to create an uber spell to kill the Zerstörer.  Given that guns seem to have no effect on the beast, I think they're all a bit over confidant that this will do the trick.   It's Truble who suggests that they need to rely on the tactics of their ancestors and cut off the damn Zerstörer's head.

Eve has stayed behind to give Nick the heads up. They have a brief chat about the fact that she isn't a hexenbiest anymore and Eve is once again adamant that she's going to come through this just fine.  This might as well have been famous last words because the Zerstörer  shows up and shoves a knife into her gut before disappearing. Once again the Judas stick doesn't work and Eve stays dead. And why doesn't it work? Because the writers decided to suddenly take away the uber magical powers of the stick for the purposes of angst. 

Nick is quickly running out of allies and so he heads to the cabin in the hopes of finishing the spell and stopping the Zerstörer at last.  Just as the scoobies are finishing the spell, Diana waltzes in to announces that the Zerstörer is on his way and has been tracking Nick using you guessed it, the stick. Diana, being the ever helpful child actually opens the door for the Zerstörer. Did no one have the stranger danger conversation with her?

Renard goes into full on Dad mode and decides to attack the Zerstörer to defend his daughter.  Renard tells the Zerstörer  that he's willing to die to keep his daughter safe and that is precisely what he does next. NOOO! Not Renard.  So if you're keep track, that leaves Adalind (who I don't care about), Rosealee, Monroe and Truble.  Seeing that shit is getting real, Adalind calls out for Truble to grab the baby and run.  Unfortunately, the Zerstörer promptly locks Truble in the cabin, cutting off any possible escape.  Adalind goes Hexenbiest and uses her power to attempt to chuck an axe at the Zerstörer but he kills her.  Given that Adalind is a rapist, I cannot get too worked up about this, but I will admit to getting into my feelings a little bit when her last words to Nick were for him to make sure that her children are safe. Rosealee picks up the staff when the  Zerstörer  drops it and he promptly turns it into a snake which bites into Rosealee's neck. Monroe woges and tries to free Rosealee but the snake turns on him next. Nick rushes over to Monroe and Rosealee, who is already dead. Nick takes Monroe's hands and begs him not to go but Monroe dies. Nick lets out a howl of pain at Monroe's passing and this is the most vocal he's been at the loss of one of his loved ones, highlighting just how much his relationship with Monroe has come to mean to him.

The Originals, Season Four, Episode Three: Haunter of Ruins

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When we first met Eva, Vincent's wife, she was already a serial killer of children and not at all stable.  The Haunter of Ruins, takes us back to see how she became that way.  Eva spent time trying to convince Vincent to leave New Orleans because of the threat Marcel posed when he ran the city the first time; however, Vincent was committed to staying because New Orleans is home.  Even when Eva revealed her pregnancy, Vincent refused to leave and instead asked for time to find a way to keep Marcel out of the Treme, in order for their child to grow up being attached to his ancestors.  

Things got bad when one day a book just showed up.  Despite Vincent's best efforts which included sacrificing various animals, he couldn't get the power of the book to work for him. Eva, determined that as Vincent's partner and an equal that she would help out. As you may have guessed, this is why Eva started sacrificing children. Vincent tried every single cleansing spell that he knew but Eva had become a demon and was far beyond intervention. Eva however warned Vincent that he wasn't free from the being which pushed her in this direction and that a darkness lived inside of him.  To this day, Vincent still doesn't know what happened to their unborn child. What he does know is that the book appeared out of nowhere, that it's written in his own handwriting though he has no memory of ever writing it and though he doused it gasoline, it refused to be destroyed. 

When Marcel arrives at St. Anne's, Vincent asks Marcel to take the book and to kill him if he ever asks for it back.  It seems that Vincent is absolutely convinced that the book is filled with dark magic. Marcel tries to justify the terror he unleashed on the Quarter by pointing out that he was trying to protect Davina. Yes, he's really sold himself on that lie. Getting a tight reign on power had nothing at all to do with it.
Vincent fires back with the fact that he was fighting for his unborn child.  I'm totally #teamvincent on this one.  

Detective Will Kinney (yeah I had to look up his damn name) shows up to report that there are other children missing.  Kinney is determined to investigate and Vincent holds him off, claiming that he is trying to keep everyone safe.  Kinney gives Marcel and Vincent 24 hours to figure shit out before the missing kids become public knowledge.

Vincent and Marcel head to the old Stryx house because it's no longer boarded up and people have reported seeing lights inside. When Marcel and Vincent arrive, they find a zealot inside working a spell and preparing to kill the kids. A battle breaks out and the zealot briefly gets the upper hand. The zealot tells Vincent that he's not the only one and that what he's unleashed cannot be stopped. Before the zealot can take out Vincent's eye, Marcel intervenes. The battle continues and finally ends when Vincent slits the zealot's throat.  That's one bad guy down but unfortunately, the kids are still dying because their magic is being drained. Vincent is quick to notice that the spell is tied to the personal totems of the kids. Because he recognises the spell, Vincent is able to break it and all is good until they notice that there are more totems than kids.  Marcel picks up the hairbrush and sees an M engraved on the back. You guessed it, M stands for Mikaelson.

Marcel is still in full on petty mode and Vincent has to talk him into allowing the Mikaelsons to come back to town so that he can break the spell on Hope because otherwise, she'll die.  Vincent even goes as far as to argue that Hope is practically Marcel's sister. Marcel finally relents but makes Vincent promise to do this on the down low.