Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Mist: Season 1, Episode 2: Withdrawal

This episode focuses far more on the Mist and the dangers around it - but it does involve the cast all making some pretty major leaps and a definite fast-forwarded apocalypse. And we’ve already split this huge cast into several groups which is slightly annoying. There’s also a lack of brutal murders despite some people being really annoying.

Anyway, begin with The Police Station where Kevin, Adrian, Mia and I’m-sure-this-wasn’t-his-name-last-week Bryan are hunkered down in the police station. Kevin wants to go out in the Mist and get to the Mall to be with his family (reasonable) and also because they have supplies there.

Supplies? Kevin you can’t have been hunkered down there more than a couple of hours. Why do you need supplies?! This is what I mean when we talk about fast-forwarded apocalypses. Why does Kevin believe they’re going to be hunkered down that long? I wonder how TVlandia works, you get a power cut and everyone starts raiding the local shops and stockpiling? The slightest thing and everyone prepares for the end!

Mia is the only one who thinks this is a bad idea, but she doesn’t want to be left alone. This seems to be a major theme of hers because she almost panics when Bryan discovers she’s an addict and tries to take her pills: she begs him not to tell anyone and he agrees so long as she leaves the pills behind, because a heavily withdrawing woman is just what they need.

They leave the station, get in a car and have Mia drive (see this is why in crisis situations some information needs to be shared). They’re ambushed on the way by men with guns which Mia deals with by accelerating - which works. But her withdrawal means sh also keeps on accelerating until they have a car crash

And they have a weird moment when they all freak out a little at the glass cracking - they’re acting like the Mist itself is dangerous. But then they forget that and get out and head to the nearby church after Mia hallucinates her mother just appearing and speaking to her. Except her mother is dead and she also moves faster than any person can - appearing in front and behind

At the Church Father Romanov is comforting hippie Nathalie who is obviously pretty shaken by her husband’s death. Connor the cowardly police chief arrives after driving his car into a moose (causing it to drop both its poutine and its Timbits). Once there he promptly makes up all the excuses why he should hide in the church rather than get out there and find killers/monsters etc.

When the police station gang arrives all kind if pissed at him for abandoning them to die - to which he responds by lying (caught by Father Romanov) and cuffing Mia. This guy is a class act. When does something eat him? Or I’ll settle for his jaw being ripped off, totally not picky here.

Nathalie has a series of beautiful moments talking about her husband (and I like how the fluffy hippie is also more than that, she’s a real person and grounded in reality) and she asks everyone to drink in her husband’s memory - the cheap wine he loved.
And Connor stops Adrian drinking because Kevin should know about the dangers of underaged drinking. Yes he said that. Yes he did. No something didn’t eat him. Yes something should.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Outcast, Season 2, Episode 5: The Common Good

This episode contains a whole lot of progress and development told at a really unnecessary slow pace

I’ve said before that this show is so in love with ATMOSPHERE that it’s dragged out far far further than it needs to be so we can all grasp the EMOTIONS.

Alison rejoins the cast at last. In the mental institute, for very-obvious-demons who share the ward with her seem to think that tormenting her is fun. Yes it makes for a very ominous feel but what do the demons get from this? If they want to kill her, why not do it? If they want to use her how is this happening? Instead we see one guy taunting her and vanishing with lots of personal information about her daughter he shouldn’t know. We also throw in a creepy kid. Because you’ve always got to have a creepy kid, right? Of course this happens in a mental institution so we have the classic mentally ill people used as background horror props because few things invoke horror like neurotypical people having to endure the presence of the mentally ill

Except creepy kids. There’s something weird about our culture that small children are some of the scariest things out there. And dolls. Dolls are worse than clowns.

Anyway, duly provoked, Alison demands to be released despite clearly-a-demon-woman trying to convince her to stay. She leaves and joins her daughter

Time for the next side plot which is even more brutal - we have Megan living with her parents and planning her future. Kyle is horrified she’s gone to them because her house is haunted - as he points out to her: “and this isn’t?”

Remember that Megan was raped as a child and this is the house where it happened. He offers his home to her but she can’t- she thinks Kyle is “crazy” which is talk of possession and dark forces. She needs to insulate her daughter from that so they can heal and get back on track

Of course it quickly becomes clear they can’t stay at her parents - even aside from her own memories, there’s also her parents who are terrible people. Hyper-religious they’ve decided that yes they did wrong by Megan when she was a child - they let her stop going to church! Not stopped the rape, but stopped her going to church. Megan chews them out gloriously. The best line beyond the brutal description of her rape: you did nothing but go to church

Now to the main plot and some actual development - starting with a flashback of daddy Kyle torturing Helen trying to get her to tell him about the Great Merge which sounds awful. He can’t possess her because she’s not full of black gas, she’s full of tentacles. Ew ew ew. Further ew - rather than talk to him she bites out her own tongue.

To the present and Anderson checks out his lighthouse church people - and they’re all apparently ex-possessed people. Looks like we have an army if necessary.

American Gods: The Good, The Bad and the Awesome

Ever since it was announced that Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was going to be made into a television adaptation, there was a vast amount of hype about it.

I’ll admit, we weren’t the ones overly hyping it. On the whole while the book was interesting and original in some ways, we weren’t huge fans and, we’ll further admit, there was a whole lot of chuntering between us about how utterly overhyped this was and how it was going to be painful to watch. We sat down to the first episode, faces set to frown and all prepared to take on the world and tell you all how wrong you were.

We were ready. You were all going to be told. Oh yes.

Sometimes it’s good to be wrong (novel experience though it is)

For awesome as American Gods is, like everything else on television, it’s not perfect.  Given that we live in a White supremacist world, it’s hardly surprising that the Gods which got the most attention were Norse and or white. Sure, we had two episodes of Bilquis snacking on people with her forever hungry vagina, a Jinn, Mr. Nancy, Anubis, Mr. Ibis and of course brown Jesus, but it would be fair to say that they didn’t feature heavily in the story. The Gods originating from cultures of colour were each given moments of complete awesome, like Mr. Nancy’s speech on the slave ship explaining to the slaves what to expect for generations once they landed.  The problem is that they were additives and this belies the importance that each God has in their specific culture.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the absence of Gods like Kali or Ganesha. Where is Buddha? Where is Muhammad? Where is Hachiman or Omoikane?  There is supposedly a war between old Gods and New Gods and yet somehow, the older Gods who still have power because they continue to be worshipped are somehow absent?   The Gods from Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, and Hinduism are all respectively old Gods and all of them to this day still have a sizeable portion of the earths population praying to them and giving offerings. The writers might have been able to reduce Jesus to a peace loving hippy, who posed no legitimate threat to the current celestial unrest but no such storyline would have been possible with Hachiman or Kali. The centering of Eurocentric Gods in the face of this once again sets up a hierarchal order of what religious beliefs matter and what can simply be dismissed and or ignored because the people who are devout are of colour. Odin, for all of his wisdom and power could not and would not be such a singular symbol of power without the exclusion of the aforementioned deities.

It’s further telling that when Odin did reach out to older Gods to form an alliance he chose Czernobog and Vulcan; two God who are clearly lesser in strength than him. Wouldn’t Hachiman, as a God of war be a far more fitting ally? Europeans have no more claim on North America than people of colour. Just as Europeans brought their beliefs and or Gods, as Mr. Nancy explained, the Gods of people colour also travelled to the so-called new world.

When these Gods arrived, just like European colonisers they didn’t simply erase the people and their beliefs who were present for centuries before.  Why is there no mention of Gitche Manitou for instance? Each Native American tribe had their set of Gods and religious beliefs and what did American Gods offer us? They gave us a white buffalo which died when its people stopped believing in its divinity. For Native American Gods to have disappeared so completely, Indigenous people themselves would have had to disappear.  Given the holocaust brought upon by European settlers and the ongoing resiliency of Aboriginal people in the face of this, their erasure from American Gods, even if not intentional, is quite certainly harmful and definitely myopic.  

There’s also Salem and the Djinn; as beautiful as their scene was (and it was), equally the LGBTQ inclusion on this show was a bisexual woman who literally ate people with her vagina and two gay men who had one amazing scene and then never really took part of the plot in any meaningful way. If it weren’t for that beautiful scene, we would probably call these characters tokens.

But really, compared to, well, so many of the other shows we watch (nearly all) it covered inclusion and social justice themes and minority characters with astonishing skill and tact.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The OA, Season One, Episode Seven: Empire of Light

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Prairie has another one of her nightmares and for this means that something bad is coming. It's Able who goes to Prairie's bedside to comfort her.  Prairie asks Able if he is mad at her and when he says no, she explains that she thought the note that she left behind would be comforting.  It seems that when Prairie left to go and find her father, she left behind a note saying that she would only be gone for a few days but as we know, that was not the case because she was kidnapped. Able clearly has no idea what the hell Prairie is talking about but he covers by claiming that he forgot about the note. 

Able and Nancy wait outside of Rahim's office for Prairie to be finished with her counselling session. They joke around a little bit and then Able brings up the note. Nancy says that she doesn't know what he's talking about, but it's clear that she lying. In the counselling session, Prairie discusses the vivid dreams that she's been having.  Rahim suggests that what we think of as psychic could be our brains way of processing all of the information that we take in. Rahim even suggests that what really Prairie really needs is a way to deal with all of the pain and loss that she's suffered.  Prairie however is not sold and is certain that there's something significant that she's missing and that she needs to put the pieces of the puzzle together before it's too late. Nancy who cannot seem to stop trying to control Rahim, asks to speak to him alone but he decides that it wouldn't be appropriate. Nancy then brings up Prairie's dreams and points out that when Prairie was a child that the doctor medicated her and while it didn't fix everything, it seemed to help. Rahim's big suggestion is that Prairie head out to dinner with her parents and establish a sort of regular family routine.

The dinner stars out fine, with the family joking about Prairie's former boyfriend. Things go off the rails on a perfect stranger pops by the table and asks to take a picture with Prairie. Before Prairie can even respond it's selfie time much to Nancy's dismay. Before leaving the stranger comments about how brave she thinks that Prairie is for surviving being kidnapped, raped and beaten. This sets Nancy off.  Able, tries to keep the dinner peaceable but Nancy won't listen. When the waiter comes over because Nancy is making a fuss, it turns out to be French, who's shocked to see the OA out with her parents.  French goes off to bring water to the table as Nancy begins to forth at the mouth about what the stranger is going to do with the photo she took of Prairie. Nancy is horrified that the stranger will write things about Prairie that aren't true. Nancy finally works her way into admitting that she doesn't know the first thing that happened to Prairie while she was in confinement and demands to know how Prairie got the scars on her back. Perhaps in an effort to calm Nancy down, Prairie says that she is the Original Angel and that she made the scars on her back herself. Predictably, Nancy reacts badly and slaps Prairie across the face.  

Fortunately for Prairie, French is quick to return to the table and guide her out of the restaurant.  As they sit in the car together, French talks about being astounded to see that Prairie actually has a family and that while she told them all about Homer and the experiments, she didn't mention that she had living parents. French surmises that what Prairie really needs to is focus on her family because they may be what she's been searching for. Really French? It turns out that the Johnsons and French are about to become the least of Prairie's worries.

iZombie, Season 3, Episode 13: Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2

Ok… that happened. Talk about a game changing episode.

After the action of last week the gang gathers together to deal with the aftermath of losing 12 Fillmore Graves people. Major is traumatised, Justin horrified and asks where Liv was. And she tells him about sleeping with Chase.

Ok, I appreciate the honesty, but ye gods, Liv, timing! Timing!

Justin doesn’t hear any explanation and storms out - he doesn’t accept brains as a reason because he has been on brains and he has been able to resist

This is something iZombie has touched on previous seasons but never really developed, especially not this season where the brains have been reduced to comic relief. The struggle of having your personality stripped, of having to resist alien thoughts and urges, of being drawn into situations and opinions which you’d normally reject. There’s a horror to that this show has completely lost and it was needed in this scene

Another problem is that this scene seems to exist entirely to remove Justin from the plot line. Maybe he’ll appear again in season 4 for some relationship angst, but just when all the action is heating up he has been completely removed from the plot line. Contrast with every other one of Liv’s relationship, Justin has been completely sidelined. It’s lucky he didn’t die last episode but, really, a corpse would have had as much presence.

Also last week I said how they didn’t shame Katty for her sex life- well in this episode there’s a lot of harping on her low standard and addiction to anonymous sex (and the only objection is Ravi’s self esteemed).

We have a brief interlude with Blaine who is not seeing business go well. He’s lost a shipment of smuggled brains and a minion. And Chase doesn’t accept his deal to provide brains because Chase has decided unprocessed brains and their personality changes are dangerous to his unit (he’s not wrong) and despite his shortage, he’s banned his men from going to Blaine’s bar - and that’s half his business. It also means less bars full of choreographer brains which, I have to say was awesome.

Another twist is Major - mourning Natalie and his squad mates, he goes to Chase and asks to be scratched. Chase warns him zombie reveal is coming and he needs to realise how bad things are going to get - but Major insists. Majoris a zombie again

At the morgue, Clive, Ravi and Liv compare notes, from Tatum bringing Chase’s dog back from Paris, to Chase being in touch with Katty (provided by Liv) and some other leaps: basically they think that Chase’s dog is apparently spreading the deadly flu around on purpose to kill loads of people and get bains on tap.

Also apparently there are dog collars that spray your dog when it barks. I did not know this and do not approve, train your dog, don’t torment it, lazy dog owners.

Time to prove this by sending Liv to check Chase’s dog - and get caught. So Liv and Clive confront Chase and tell him that Harley was not responsible for killing the zombie family.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sunchaser (Smilodon Pride #2) by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

Roen is a loner, a weresmilodon who doesn’t like to spend too long in the same place. He wanders as the mood takes him, alone and working as little as he has to

He certainly doesn’t rescue imprisoned and abused werewolves or go on the run with said werewolf and a local woman from a small town in New Mexico

And so began the weirdest road trip he never asked for - with a dangerous unknown supernatural chasing them and some very angry cops looking for her

This book is so much fun

What I love above all else is Betsy. Amazing, awesome, human Betsy. Throughout this book Roan makes assumption after assumption about Betsy. He assumes she’ll be weak, vapid, shallow, selfish, self-absorbed, whiny - and every single time she awesomely challenges him.

But at the same time she doesn’t subvert and shatter (because she does way more than challenge his assumptions) his assumptions by being an action girl underneath the dye and make up (and it is a sad trope that is so common in Urban Fantasy that for a woman to be kickarse and awesome she most run screaming from anything reminiscent of traditional femininity) - she is just awesome complete with the dye and make up. She’s kind and compassionate, she’s smart and she’s tough. She isn’t a dangerous fighter or lethal nor is she filled with rage or jaded or cynical (other so very common tropes for the Appropriate Urban Fantasy Female). She’s hopeful and positive and pro-active, she wants to change her life and she will.

She makes some pretty silly and sheltered assumptions largely because her connection to the supernatural has been entirely through fiction (and there’s some really subtle but quite snarky poking of tropes there, and I do love a good trope poking), but she doesn’t cling onto these ideas past them being proven wrong or disputed. She thinks in stories, some of them very twee indeed, but she deals with reality - whether that’s a brutal firefight with drug dealers or stealing a car or handling the reality of wereanimals around her. Above all she tries - completely out of her element, having to learn really quickly, she keeps moving, she isn’t stunned, or incapable - she learns, she tries, she keeps on plugging and not with even the slightest sense of martyrdom. She doesn’t persevere and learn and try while being suffering and noble - she does it because she’s got this and she can do this. She’s the gem of this book.

Shadowhunters, Season 2, Episode 14: The Fair Folk

This episode does the unprecedented - it has some people making good decisions!

Well Alec making good decisions. Some good decisions. But, hey, this is Shadowhunters one person making a good decision is still unprecedented.

First, some not so intelligent decisions - they need to speak to the Queen of the Seelie, to make sure that the murderous Seelie Kayley was acting alone. Are we all rapidly running past the fact that this is the second episode where the Shadowhunters are quick to assume collective responsibility for downworlders (actually that’s pretty much every episode with the Clave) while the Clave merrily avoids any responsibility for their serial killer in the basement, his entire army and the genocide sword. Because Shadowhunters are the utter worst.

The Queen of the Seelie is totally willing to meet with Clave representatives - but only Valentine’s “experiments”. Namely Jace and Clary

Alec agrees to these terms and sends the two shadowhunters who are described as “experiments” to the Seelie Queen’s realm for her to play with

This is not the good decision

Simon also decides to join them despite knowing nothing about Seelie, the Seelie realm or, well, anything, he’s coming along because REASONS.
This is also not the good decision.

In the seelie realm we see that general ignorance with Clary and Simon acting like this is a romantic stroll (while Jace seethes, his envy further stoked by Sebastian inserting the knife and taunting him. Oh, yes, people still haven’t done a background check for this guy. Also not the good decision). Simon is also killed by a passing before they finally reach the Seelie Queen who looks like a small child because we all know children are creepy and possibly evil.

She is happy that Simon is there because she wants to recruit him to the team of immortal Downworlders club because Shadowhunters are a) totally not immortal and b) stick to their own and hate all downworlders anyway

Hey, she’s not wrong.

Simon, of course, says no.

So instead the Queen sets up a game (using Simon’s inept ignorance of the world) to threaten to kill both Jace and Simon unless Clary kisses the one who means the most to her. Guess which one that is?

Because the Immortal Queen of the Seelie? She totally cares about teenaged love triangles.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Rebirths of Tao (Lives of Tao #3) by Wesley Chu

There has been a major shift in the battle between the two alien factions: the Prophus and the Genjix. They’re still in opposition - but humanity now knows they exist and is hunting them ferociously.

It has managed to save the Prophus from complete defeat, but the Genjix are still pushing towards their plan to radically change Earth - even while rent with internal conflict and the human opposition. Prophus must fight them - while keeping under the radar of the human authorities.

This book is excellent because it brings so many different storylines and balances them all perfectly

We have the conflict of the Tan family discussing Cameron’s upbringing and questioning what they did for their child, what his future looks like and how alien he may be because of that.

We have Cameron and Alex with the teen love affair and poor Tao lamenting the horror of human puberty (and frequent threats to jump off a cliff in his sleep). I loved how it ended, the reality of it and how it didn’t become sickeningly twee or consume the book.

We have Cameron - and I really love Cameron. He is incredibly skilled, extremely dangerous and even as a 15 year old far more dangerous than nearly anyone around him. He’s been backed from a very young age with vigorous training and the brilliant insight of a million year old alien full of knowledge and wisdom. It would have been so easy to turn this character into a juggernaut of Gary Stu dangerousness. It would have also been easy to turn him into a character who mopes around “woe is me why can I be normal”.

Instead while aspects of this are all present and inform his character, none to an extreme. He’s a really balanced character who combines all of these elements while still being very human and really bouncing well off Tao.

Then there’s Roen with his former relationship with Tao and the wonderful complexity this brings with both Prophus - since he’s the maverick former commander who doesn’t quite fit into their hierarchy even with Tao. And now he has a son who is possessed by his mentor which brings another whole level of complexity

And through that is Jill, effortlessly, perfectly competent in so many ways. There is an edge of the woman/mother/wife as keeper: she becomes super competent and a leader because of the manchild she married needs her to play parent. Jill’s an awesome character but the idea that a wife ends up having to be the caretaker of her husband is a problematic trope.

Preacher, Season 2, Episode 1: On the Road

The return of Preacher comes with a definite definition to remind us what this show is all about:

Complete and utter random weirdness in a generally very fun way because this is Preacher

So this begins with our three heroes, Cassidy, Jessie and Tulip and driving to find god, finding a preacher friend of Jessie’s who he thinks will know where god is.

This means listening to odd choices of music, running from the police because - well funsies, I think. Eventually being caught by said police and lots of random silliness with Cassidy avoiding the sunlight and Jessie using his Genesis voice to make the cops do odd things - like sing, or nasty but faintly amusing things (making violent arsehole cop mace his own balls) through to the homophobic - making two cops hold hands becuase men holding hands is so amusing

And lo we have the tone of Preacher often amusing, often silly and then they’ll go just that step too far and we have dubiousness.

Tulip and Jessie argue over him using the voice - shefinds violating people’s minds completely out there unacceptable. Violence she’s fine with. Violence is fair - but the voice? Not right. What is amusing is how they have these calm arguments surrounded by pretty much any chaos around them. They’re even pretty calm discussing it when the sniper starts shooting them

The Saint of Killers has arrived, firing bullets that both cause people to explode and burn when they’re touched, all with deadly accuracy. The gang flees - after Tulip uses an intestine to siphon petrol into her car.

Yes an intestine - because this is Preacher

At least they find a petrol station for more petrol, chance for Tulip to wash the taste of blood from her mouth (with the guidance of Cassidy) and Cassidy gets the chance to snack on a cat before they hit the road again

WIth the Saint of Killers following them, killing witnesses who can’t say where they’re going

They find Jessie’s friend Mark, a biblical scholar who does think he knows where god is. Except we’re starting a new theme here - anyone who knows enough about god to know where he may have gone equally is religious enough nor to be happy with Jessie’s claim that if god has just run off then he’s going to hold him “accountable.”

Monday, June 26, 2017

Fear The Walking Dead, Season Three, Episode Five: Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

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As predicted, with the problem at the damn handled, it's time for a road trip. When Strand first saw Daniel, in order to convince him to let him out of the jail, Strand lied and claimed that he knew where Ofelia was.  Well this week, that lie has consequences.  I know that Daniel proved to Strand that he could be a very scary man but it doesn't make sense to me that Strand didn't admit to lying before they even got on the road together.  It doesn't make sense that he didn't even admit that he was no longer with Madison and her family.  Why wouldn't he tell the truth?  Strand tries to delay the journey by waiting out a small herd of zombies instead of driving through them but Daniel is quick to declare that he has no time for delays.

The moment they arrive at the hotel, it's clear that something has gone desperately wrong. All of the lights are out and there's no one guarding the gate. Strand is quick to point out that this isn't right but this just encourages Daniel to move forward in the belief that if Ofelia is indeed in the hotel, then she needs his help right now. Strand doesn't actually come clean about what happened at the hotel until they are inside the lobby, after it becomes clear to him that Daniel intends to search it.  An irate Daniel rings the front desk bell which brings out the zombies and then takes off leaving Victor stranded.  I don't doubt for one moment that Strand will find a way out of his predicament and that this isn't the last time these two men will be in conflict with each other. 

It's also worth noting that this further splits up the cast.  We still don't know where Ofelia is for certain and now Strand and Daniel are traveling separately. Why is it so damn hard to get this cast to one location together?

At the ranch, Madison leaves with Troy and his men to find the people who shot down the helicopter. Madison is doing this because she wants justice for Travis and to prove her worth to the community.  This little trip will also come with the bonus of getting to undermine Troy.  From the moment they arrived on the ranch, Madison has been busy playing mind games with Troy.  Troy's so far out of his depth and completely unprepared with how to deal with a woman like Madison, who completely has his number.  Having dealt with Nick's addiction, as well as working as school guidance counselor for years, Madison is uniquely prepared to psychologically torment Troy. 

Madison, Troy and the other volunteers come across a prison bus and this is the first opportunity Madison has to prove to the others that she can carry her own weight.  Having been trapped on the ranch since the start of the apocalypse, Troy and his men have no idea what someone like Madison would have had to survive to make it this far.  Madison acquits herself well and begins earning the respect of the men.  This should have caught Troy's attention but he's too busy wanting to know how long it took the team to take out the walkers. 

Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace #1) by Keri Arthur

Powerful witches, especially from the major families, are considered a major influental part of modern society

Except for Lizzie, never living up to her family’s standards, she has gone into hiding with Isabelle, her best friend and familiar, to set up a business in werewolf territory which is more than a little hostile to witches.

She intended to fly under the radar - but when a child goes missing she cannot avoid using her magical abilities to find her; even if it did raise the ire of the local werewolf ranger

The world building of this book pulled me in quickly - which is just what you want for the first book in a series. The first book has to yell at you why this series is different, what this series has to offer that you can’t get elsewhere, something to hook you in - and a well built world is a perfect hook.

The werewolf territories and their quasi-independent status. There are the witches who are massively influential in government with their magic meaning certain witch families hold a position of almost aristocracy. We have a nice introduction of things like natural magic which is definitely raising potential for future complexities. We also have the big bad definitely with a different form of magic that is also going to add to the complexity of the world. Throw in some vampires and a nice hidden society and I’m hooked in

Lizzie herself I don’t think is going to be that original herself. Scion of a major family but without the major woo-woo? I’m laying odds now that she will turn out to have the super-rare-special magic or she will turn out to be a late bloomer or something. At some point her awesome super powers will become apparent, the tropes demand it! Honestly? This doesn’t bother me. Yes the genre is full of protagonists who deny their magic, jate their magic, don’t realise how powerful they are, think they’re weak and then embrace it all and become awesomely special power. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not fun or interesting or enjoyable to read.

Fear The Walking Dead, Season Three, Episode Four: 100

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The adage in The Walking Dead universe is that if you don't see a body, the person isn't dead and is likely appear again, if the writers have already invested some time with the character.  When we last saw Daniel, it was last season and he appeared to be lost in the fire at the commune which scattered the cast.  It was easy to believe that Daniel had perished given the ferociousness of the fire but then - we didn't see a body.

Daniel popped back up in the beginning of this season, a possible ally to Strand, who found that his familiar charm had fallen flat.  Now that the audience knows that Daniel is alive, the writers must explain exactly where he has been all of this time and how he has survived. Though this explanation is necessary to reintegrate Daniel into the series, a lot of what happened felt like filler.  Having a filler episode in only the third episode of the season does not bode well.  

One of the defining features of Daniel's character is his guilt.  It's clear that in the course of his life that he has killed many men in the service of his government at the behest of the US government.  He may have been a retired killer turned barber when Travis met him, but he was perhaps better suited for a zombie apocalypse than any other character.  Everyone else had to adjust to what it means to kill for survival and fight for their life, whereas; for Daniel this experience brought about flashbacks.  His break down if anything was a sign of untreated trauma and PTSD.  It's why he fell apart while the others were able to simply shoulder on with surviving in this hard new world.  

Daniel has always had the skills but burdened with the memories of what he has done, his hands are already so soaked in blood that this new world in which killing is no longer problematic simply drove him over the edge.  Despite everything that Daniel has done however, it seems that the universe (read: the writers) are determined that Daniel survive.  Daniel is first saved by a dog when a zombie tries to bite him and then by Efrian, who gives him water and gets Daniel medical treatment for his badly burned leg.  Efrain and Daniel form a duo for a time, scrounging for supplies and giving mercy to walkers. 

Daniel ends up in a much better mental place then when he burned down the compound; however, he still thinks about what he did and worries about the fact that he and Ofelia are seperated.  Finally, when Daniel can no longer hide from what he has done and filled with worry for his daughter, he decides to confess to Efrian.

Daniel makes his way away from Efrain on foot but when he comes up against a zombie, with no weapon to protect himself, Daniel falls to his knees and begins to pray.  Instead of being eaten, he is knocked unconscious when the zombie is struck in the head by lightening.  While it was an awesome scene, I couldn't help but think that the writers were laying on Daniel's temporary plot armor a little to thick.  It's like they decided to do the lightening strike simply because this is something they always wanted to do and thought it would look cool.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wynonna Earp, Season 2, Episode 3 Gonna Getcha Good

It is time for a homecoming game in Purgatory, apparently in celebration of the only hockey game the high school has ever won. 10 years ago and they’re still celebrating it. That’s kind of faintly tragic.

More tragic is that those old hockey players are dying - starting with one man ripping out his own liver while a creepy guy in  burlap sack looks on and apparent compels him into it. I’ll take Demonic Pact for a 100, Bob

Nedly goes into full on cover-up mode because he doesn’t need the drama around the big game. Much to Nicole’s frustration and attempted shaming. Nedly has no shame at all

Wynonna herself isn’t that focused on this monster either - because she’s obsessing over the ritual she saw last week in the old school. She doesn’t want to focus on little demons and revenants so Black Badge can hit their quota. There’s something big and bad out there she needs to focus on - her ongoing insecurity about Dolls not being there adds to this. There’s something big out there and she doesn’t know what to do about it  - again harking back to the fact she’s not a leader or doesn’t know how to be.

Mercedes is still around though being immensely fun, encouraging the drinking of tequila and lamenting how her parents left os much of their money to the town. She’s also not thrilled with trying to sort out the lives of her younger siblings. She’s still fun and trying to set Wynonna up with Perry, another member of the ill fated hockey team. She agrees to do this mainly so she can try and find out more information about the hockey team

He’s also very very easy on the eyes which helps.

Thought that information on the team thing? Is kind of shoddy writing - Wynonna kind of lasers in on the team, the hockey trophy, ripping our own organs et al right away without any real evidence trail leading her there.

Though she seems to be right to be suspicious of Perry since he skins a rabbit (Hey, they’re in the boonies. Maybe this is lunch. But since he’s in a hotel room I’m sure there’s rules about that. No smoking or vaping and no skinning small game). And at the big, more than a little pathetic meeting to kick off the celebrations of the match he ends up dumping Wynonna, his date, to help another panicking Hockey player who is drunkenly rambling on. Perry definitely seems more interested in silencing the man before she says something he shouldn’t

Doctor Who, Season Ten, Episode Eleven: World Enough and Time

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World Enough and Time is the penultimate episode of this season.  This means that we potentially only have one more episode with our beloved Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, especially given that the season finale is entitled The Doctor Falls. There's also some tension regarding the fate of Bill, given that Pearl Mackie only signed on to be a companion for one season.  Are we going to lose the first LGBT companion and second Black companion after only one season? It's all a bit too much to take my fellow Whovians.  

As much as this season has been about Missy's redemption, it's also been a sort of look back at previous Doctors and previous adventures. This is why the The Mondasian Cybermen are the prefect adversary in World Enough and Time. Unlike the present incarnation which is completely metal, the cybermen are still being established and they still have cloth faces, like they did in the original Doctor Who
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The upgrade is terribly painful and the cybermen scream in pain and one even begs to die.  It's why the next upgrade is to make it so that the cybermen don't care about the pain. We finally know the purpose of the iconic handles.  It made me think quite a bit about when Danny Pink became a cyberman and the pain he complained about. We know that Mondas is pretty much a twin to earth and that when faced with the possibility of the extinction of indigenous people of the occurred, everyone went cyber and now they no longer resembled the beings they used to be. This is a necessary explanation because until now, we had no idea why anyone would willingly choose to become a cyberman.