Saturday, October 7, 2017

Van Helsing Season 2, Episode 1: Began Again

Van Helsing has returned and my overwhelming thought is - how did I forget how bad the acting is? Especially the villains. They’re all so desperately competing to be the most over-the-top, shlocky, hilarious villain stereotype ever. And I’m just not sure Van Helsing is embracing this camp ludicrousness and running with it or actually expects to take them seriously

Our opening cameo is clearly for later plot points - there’s a safe space in the mountains, way above the clouds so it gets sunny. The humans there are sending up helium balloons to encourage any other free humans to head for the hills

Away from the hills we have a very annoyed Vanessa trying to get her child Dylan who has developed a distressing taste in dramatic eye make up - a sure sign she’s a vampire. She’s also totally loyal to Rebecca now. Vanessa responds to this by smacking Rebecca around and holding her out to the sunshine to get a really bad sun tan. She’s stopped by Dylan, her beloved daughter, who knocks her out and scarpers.

When she wakes up, Vanessa begins the endless running through this maze of a building (the vampires’ polluting citadel) to try and find Dylan

On the way she runs into Mohammed. Mohammed has found Sheema, his sister, pinned under masonry and she begs for his help - to find some vampires (who have waaaaay more things to worry about right now) to turn her. He, naturally refuses and they have a big moment of his dramatic, emotional denial and her repeating how much she wants to be a vampire, how much it means to her, how much she’s been dreaming about it. To stop her talking Mohammed holds a hand over her mouth - and suffocates her. This is what i mean about this show being tonally weird - the enemies are caricatures of hilarity while we then have these really painful, moving scenes that would be interesting development for Mohammed, if I didn’t partially think it’s actually here to remove an inconvenient character who could have had a nuanced reflection on survival and stockholm syndrome but, alas wasn’t really - and to make sure Mohammed has no real distractions now outside of Vanessa. I really would like to see him develop another storyline, especially since the other Black characters are dead/evil/both.

Vanessa is not sympathetic because of the whole betrayal thing but he follows her anyway probably because she murders vampires really well. To find her daughter she also bites him so she can activate her special Van Helsing Powers with blood so she can smell her. He continues to rip out vampire hearts. She also tries to punch down a steel door with her fists which is worrisome. Slightly more worrisome in that she seems to be actually able to do this. Mohammed my might want to try to be a sidekick to someone less rage obsessed

Meanwhile it’s time to join Dmitri. The most comically awful villain there has ever been on an actual non-comedy show.

He is negotiating with Taka, head of the human resistance who is secretly working with Rebecca (and already killed Brendan to allow him to do this negotiating). He shoots Dmitri in non-lethal fashion when a rather singed Rebecca arrives and then Anastasia arrives (female Dmitri, just as silly and dramatic) and there’s lots of death. Taka is dead, Rebecca is dead, Dmitri is alive, injured and sucking in Taka’s corpse and Anatasia rants away about how carnage is awesome and one day they will return to wreak their revenge and rule again. As any proper villain does. She’s also going to personally hunt down Vanessa because of course. Honestly listening to her is difficult because it’s more than a little funny

Next group is Flesh, the ex-vampire, now going by Phil who meets up with fun and more than a little eccentric gun wielding resistance fighter, Lucky. Phil wants to find Vanessa, his saviour. Lucky wants to find the boilers/generators and blow them up. Time to team up and kill vampires. They do find those generators and blow them up so Lucky’s good. Phil decides to do a blatant CIS examination of Taka and Brendan’s death completely failing to read his audience who are clearly broadcasting “don’t talk shit about our awesome leader!” despite it being clear Brendan was shot. He then follows Dmitri’s blood trail, with Lucky guilting the extras to come along which ends up with them being killed in a really squishy trap by Anastasia.

Time for another comic villain - Dr. Sholomenko

This is the human doctor who experiments on things. In particularly he has been experimenting a lot on Dylan - and he quickly goes to grab her (after a brief encounter with Lucky and Phil) and lure her for more experiments. Vanessa does find him (with Mohammed) and there’s a big dramatic moment with Dr. Sholomenko announcing because of his many experiments, it’s impossible for Vanessa to turn her kid back with a nibble. Since Vanessa is the only person with the healy bite and she hasn’t exactly been around to test there is absolutely no way this WWF understudy extra could possibly know this. But hey, let’s run with this. Dylan objects to this and bites him which makes Dr. Sholomenko super happy because he’s changing into a vampire. Or was until Vanessa shot him a gazillion times in the chest

Also vampire bad guy Julius wants to hunt down Dmitri and kill him for reasons laid out in  a ridiculously overdramatic speech. I don’t have a good mocking picture for him yet, please feel free to suggest one.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Requiem: The Mist

It’s time for another requiem - yes another show we follow has come to an end.

Sometimes a show ends and we mourn. We see the loss of Class and Dark Angel and Almost Human and grieve. We see the loss of Sense8 and we scream our rage to an unfeeling cruel world.

Some we’re conflicted about like Orphan Black but generally were positive. And some we see with a nostalgic sigh but acknowledge it’s time was done like True Blood, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural- ye gods why is this still being renewed?

And sometimes we’ve wanted to dance on it’s grave so much we’ve hired choreographers.

The Good

We actually debated this category because quite honestly we are extremely hard pressed to find anything good about the Mist, at least as it concerns characterisation and plot.

I will however throw The Mist a bone and admit that some the special effects were interesting. Mia’s interaction with her mother’s ghost was somewhat compelling and so was Nathalie and Father Romanov’s little field trip into the mist. Who doesn’t enjoy horsemen of the apocalypse suddenly appearing out of nowhere?

The Bad

I could write a book.

I mean the truly nauseating homophobia we’ve spoken about and will go into when we discuss the diversity.

Then there’s the central plot line of Alex’s rape. First of all… why? When the series started it looked like this would be relevant - there even looked like maybe exploring how rape is treated and rape victims are poorly served by the justice system. Instead it became another way for the town to hate her, seeming to be mixed with how the Misty Monster apparently doesn’t want to eat her, a vehicle with which to indulge in a lot of sex shaming of Eve (and my gods the treatment of Eve - the evil dirty slutwhorejezebel who was redeemed by a Nice Guy), and serve almost like a romance obstacle between Alex and Jay. The convoluted misunderstanding tope so often used to draw out the will-they-won’t-they of love interests. And, of course, a tool to further the homophobic hot mess

At no point was it treated as an important or integral plot line in and of itself - it was a tool to advance other plot lines and something to distract us with while everyone cowered inside with nothing to do.

These elements are so nauseating it’s almost redundant to mention anything else - but there’s also a major problem with the writing

There’s that annoying fast lane dystopia nonsense where people have been locked in the mall or police station for 5 minutes and are already discussing stocking supplies. Or the weird madlib mystery show trope where everyone seems to grasp the rules of the Mist disturbingly quickly (they’re more afraid OF the mist than the idea that there’s something IN the mist). Or how the people in the church were happy to jump on the murder train. Or how people in the mall were happy to banish people to their deaths. These people went from normal to serial killer so quickly the cast of Lord of the Flies would call foul.

And why were Bryan and Mia even there? The show managed to make them both main characters while simultaneously making them utterly pointless...

The Diversity

The main source of Diversity on The Mist unfortunately was Adrian. Given that there are few LGBT characters on the shows we watch we are normally excited to when a new show has an LGBT character but in the case of The Mist, I think we would have been happier with complete and utter erasure.  It became clear early on that Adrian would be a problem when it was suggested that he (a bisexual male) was using his male privilege to gawk at football players. Say what now?  If only this had been the worse thing that happened with Adrian.

By the end of the first and thankfully only season of The Mist, the writers had turned Adrian into a mentally ill rapist who killed people when they discovered just what a monster he is. If that were not enough, Adrian himself was repeatedly subjected to homophobia and the only sex scene he had, began with a gay bashing.  

There were several people of colour but other than Gus Bradley, the manager of the mall and Bryan Hunt, the military officer with amnesia, none of them were particularly memorable. Race isn’t a subject that The Mist chose to work with  but given the treatment of its only LGBT character, I can only say that I am relieved. Beyond being physically present as people of colour none of the characters had a specifically racialised identity or spoke about any fears they may have being in this particular situation as people of colour.

Random stuff
Honestly here we’d say something like “most awesome death” or “favourite clone” or something unique and special about the show. Not here.

I’d like to nominate Morgan Spector in the category of worst mean mug ever. Was I really supposed to take that expression seriously? Did Spector really think that look was supposed to inspire anything other than laughter?

I’d also like to offer some serious kudos to Frances Conroy who seemed to be the only actor capable of selling the ridiculous writing with any kind of convincing portrayal (which is an almost oscar-worthy achievement).  As bad as The Mist was, it would have been infinitely worse without Conroy.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 1: They're Back

Lucifer is back! In the middle of the desert, shirtless and with wings and looking fine. The wings I mean, obviously the wings. Those are some good looking wings. Yes.

He’s not particularly happy with things and irritatedly stops a stolen armoured truck and gets involved in some shenanigans with police to get himself back to civilisation.

And Dr. Linda - still recovering from last season and in a wheelchair. I really really really like Dr. Linda. She’s in the know, intelligent and insightful. She knows what it means to have the literal devil in front of her and being his therapist. She’s also, after much familiarity no longer in awe or terrified of them. Yet at the same time she’s knows that these are vastly powerful beings who could easily crush her quite by accident or in the crossfire of their family dramas: something she’s acutely aware of given her current condition. Lucifer demands she cut his wings off as he did before and she refuses. She begs Lucifer not to be rash, to stop and consider what it means to have his wings again and what the consequences could be if he removes them. Specifically she refuses to be caught in the middle of that crossfire. Which he accepts with grace. I do really like Linda and Lucifer together.#

Also snark. Lots of witty snark is always appreciated (bemusement about wings as body hair particularly)

Next step is to the police station where it’s apparent, due to his pained reaction when Dan touches his back, that Lucifer has ignored Linda and cut off his wings. Despite being kidnapped and dropped in the desert no-one noticed he’d gone: 2 days absence doesn’t cause much of a stir. He’s also concerned about the message he left Chloe last season promising to explain everything - she brushes it off. She understands that sometimes you get drunk and call someone leave a message you didn’t mean and then try to take it back. She’s not upset (oh the perils of drunk late night messages!)

But when he starts to ramble about his dad kidnapping and god and devil and wings etc etc etc Chloe isn’t impressed. She tries to follow along with his issues and family drama but how can she. It definitely doesn’t lend credibility to his claim of being kidnapped

We also have Amenadiel show up (am I the only one who finds it a little weird that random members of the public without ID even can just wander around a police station unescorted - not even just reception but just about anywhere?). Lucifer carefully doesn’t tell his brother he has his wings back since Amenadiel does not have his shiny powers again. He fears Amenadiel may not react well. He does tell him all about their mother’s moving to a new dimension since Amenadiel doesn’t speak Lucifer emoji speach

And we have a new character - Lieutenant Pierce, their boss. Ella loves him (and Ella is always quirky and cool - and greets Amenadiel who she’s never met before with a hug, because Ella) but he’s completely dismissive of Chloe, decides Lucifer’s sex life is worthy of comment and disgust and decides to talk about Dan’s crooked copness (ok, the latter case he kind of has a point). So, arsehole.

To the crime of the week! So, when Lucifer drags Chloe to the scene of his kidnapping they find a body! Actually no-one suspects Lucifer of being involved which you think they kind of would since he led them to the body and all - apparently not. They follow a line of clues to a guy who arranged to have the dead man kidnapped - ok side note. This character makes comments on Chloe’s attractiveness specifically her breasts and backside… which Lucifer takes offence to and throws the man off a balcony.

American Horror Story, Season 7 (Cult), Episode 5: Holes

This episode follows on the surprise of the last episode - actually not being an absolute trainwreck of awful. Is it possible that this season may turn it around after the first 3 episodes of seemingly irredeemable awfulness

Again, when the show moves away from the utter farcically awful political storyline it actually hits cults really well. But when it does touch the politics it all falls apart because it’s been so badly thought out. Like this episode where we officially confirm that Ivy is definitely an evil cult member and like others she wants to burn the whole world down because she hates everything including her wife for voting Jill Stein.

Really? I mean, work on the fact that their marriage was a bit rocky (as we saw in a couple of flashbacks because someone on the writer’s team tried to make it fit) but “Burn the world because she voted third party!” is… just silly. And it is extra silly because we put it alongside what we saw last week and it feels hollow. Also, voting for Jill Stein and a miserable marriage means it's totally ok to arrange to have your son see a video of his other mother having sex in a bathtub? Really?

But when we focus on the actual cult which we do for most of the episode, it’s better. Now it is super super gruesome so your mileage may vary there if you hate gore for the sake of gore. Personally it doesn’t bother me and that “horror” in there kind of lays it out but there is a whole lot of really nasty death here.

Kai wants to be city councillor because people don’t listen to experts they listen to titles and this is the only election around… ok… but it’s still city councillor. Yes people tend to listen to titles… but not any title? “I Am Superintedent of Schools Smith. OBEY ME!” But hey, run with it. To do this he wants to make everyone scared out of their mind so they will vote for him the extremist candidate. I would question if a city councillor even has the requisite powers to address major serial killer fears but then I remember UKIP ran a mayoral candidate for the town of Doncaster on an anti-immigrant ticket; it’s not even close to a border or the coast so gods know what he expected to do. So, yeah, thanks real life for continuing to be more awful and more stupid than fiction.

So what’s the plan? Beverley steps up: people need to see the horrible gruesome crimes. Sure they’ve killed people with horrible theatrical clown costumes, but no-one’s seen them especially since her boss, Bob, is suppressing the images. He’s also getting in the way of her reporting, calling her out on blatant fake news and sensationalism (and in a shout out to Real Life is the Worst, “crime is out of control” scaremongering when we’ve never been safer is definitely a thing the actual news does). He’s in the way.

Time for a murder visit to Bob which they can transmit with lots of satanic chanting. And all recorded by RJ, Bev’s camera man and clearly reluctant cult member.

American Horror Story: Season 7 (Cult), Episode 4: 11/9

This episode annoys me for a whole other reason (actually it annoys me for several reasons, because it’s American Horror Story and perhaps the worst season there has ever been and my gods that is saying something). Because I can see what this show could have been, perhaps should have been. Perhaps it even was. I say again, I think this show had a whole set up and then all the political stuff was added very late and very clumsily

Here we have Kai, the cult leader, recruiting. And the depiction of how he does it is excellent. We see him approach the Wiltons, they’re desperate, they’re being foreclosed on, Meadow is facing rising medical bills because of her cancer and has lost her job due to being sexually harassed. Harrison’s wages don’t cover the bills and he faces degrading, discriminatory treatment at work for being gay. Throw in that both of them are in a trainwreck of a marriage which clearly isn’t satisfying for either of them and they are vulnerable, marginalised people reaching rock bottom.

Exactly the kind of people a cult leader could prey on. So in steps Kai, clearly having done a lot of research on them to offer Harrison hope and positive affirmation and righteous indignation over how he’s treated (It’s not without problems - the straight guy claiming he doesn’t believe in labels is endlessly annoying and a trope that needs to die tomorrow). Week after week Harrison clearly becomes more and more dependent on Kai’s support, Kai throws in big classic bombs of loyalty and friendship and support (and some clear sexual inducements as well). Before finally pushing Harrison to outright murdering his boss. And then helping cover it up while Harrison is distraught and confused, Kai is there to make it all ok.

Meadow finds them disposing of the body but she is so down herself (desperate enough to beg drugs from passing strangers and offer sex for it) that she doesn’t even seem shocked: another perfect target for Kai. Harrison even introduces him to her as “someone to believe in”. We see her drawing clown sketches and masks for Kai. He praises her art constantly in classic “love bombing” fashion

The next recruit is Beverley, she’s a Black female reporter, reporting in serious crime and violence. And she’s being constantly sidelined: first by general disrespect and multiple times her reports are interrupted by sexist Trump-speech-pussy-grabbing until she finally snaps and beats someone for it. She gets checked into a psychiatric facility before returning to the news only to come back to Serena. A young, white, pretty reporter who is getting to the top by sleeping with Bob. While Beverley works hard and goes to gritty, messy locations to report serious issues, Serena produces fluff pieces in comfort (like wine tasting) and is given massively preferential treatment both because she’s sleeping with the boss and because that’s a harsh but not wrong comment on the state of news media.

Kai, again, does all his research into her, sees where her grievances are and then approaches her while she’s mid-tire slash to offer support and understanding and confidence and affirmation. He has some understanding words to say about what it’s like to be a Black woman: with half the people dismissing her accomplishments as a “diversity hire” (and we even see her saying they won’t fire her token Black reporter - but they won’t respect her either) and the other half making nice speeches about how hard it is for her but not actually doing anything to change the system. And he plays into her anger, her rage and she has a really dramatic powerful statement on what that’s like. Though still, despite his plans to take over the world through fear (which are terrifying and powerful and scarily possible - seriously the show sold this very well), she doesn’t believe in him. She doesn’t believe in anyone. Not even herself.

American Horror Story, Season 7 (Cult), Episode Three: Neighbors from Hell

The episode begins with Dr.Vincent meeting with a patient and her husband to discuss her fear of coffins due to being locked in dark cupboards as a child by her father. After some extensive therapy the woman now feels that she has been cured and can move on with her life.  In a case of best laid plans of mice and men, the clowns break into the couple home and trap the woman and her husband in matching coffins.  This means that if you had any doubts before, now you know without a doubt that Dr. Vincent is at the very least complicit in the whole home invasion murder spree that the clowns are on. There's no way they could have known to pick the exact fear of Vincent's patient.  What we don't know is why he is involved. Alternatively it's just utterly random for the sake of randomness.

Last week ended with the death of poor maligned Pedro and this week we learn that there will be no consequences for Ally for shooting him to death on her doorstep. Detective Samuels carefully talks Ally through a stand your ground defense making sure she sticks to the script whenever she is tempted to stray: hes' there to make sure there are no consequences for killing this latino man. For Samuels Ally's actions make sense particularly because the police were already interested in Pedro thanks to the murder in the restaurant the week before. Ally of course is relieved that she isn't going to be charged but is worried about how seeing her murder someone will affect her son. 

The police may not be interested in holding Ally accountable for her actions but that doesn't mean that society agrees that she is blameless. When Ally and Ivy show up at the restaurant the next day, they discover that people are protesting out front.  A frustrated Ally cries and screams about being one of them (read: a good liberal). The supposed persecution of Ally continues when the in a news report she is called the "lesbian George Zimmerman". Leave it to American Horror Story to appropriate the death of an innocent Black teenager for entertainment value. If that were not enough, the Wiltons show up at Ally's door wearing sombreros to let Ally know that they think she is a horrible racist woman who shot Pedro because of his brown skin. Harrison goes as far as to site his DNA results from 23andMe claiming that because he apparently has some Latino blood in him that Ally would probably like to shoot him as well.  The Wiltons want to know in particular how Ally feels about exercising her White privilege.  At this point, I very seriously considered changing the channel because really, should anyone be subjected to this?

This whole nonsense is literally painful to watch

In between the shrieking and declarations of just how good she is, it's clear that Ally is starting to get defensive and absolutely believes that she is being persecuted. Kai of course encourages this belief by assuring Ally that she has nothing to be ashamed of and that she killed Pedro in self defense. 

Kai is also working with her neighbours the Wiltons, encouraging each of them to pinkie-swear reveal their worst fears and secrets (to the shock of no-one this includes regret that they married since she’s afraid of never having sex again or having kids and he just wants out and would rather she be dead). He seems to have a creepy, violent control over them which is definitely cultish and probably what this season was about before some bright spark decided to shoe-horn in a lot of racism and political nonsense.

He is also working on Ally, seeming to have the magical power to clear crowds of protesters with a word (again, showing a cult like following rather than the political nonsense

For further cult leanings we have Detective Samuels also apparently spending his evenings round at the Wiltons. Ivy also convinces Ally to let Winter come back as a babysitter for Oz since it’s hardly her fault Ally murdered someone.

More randomness - there’s a truck coming most night dropping green gas everywhere and one night they even take a side trip to spray Ally’s lawn. This seems to cause a whole lot of dead birds - which is worrying for anyone but really not good for Ally

Ally is changing from screaming panicking break down lady, to paranoid, raging, aggressive lady. This is not an improvement. She is particularly set off when a harasser puts a vile misogynist and homophobic advert on craigslist inviting men to turn up at her house naked for sex. She decides, in a moderately random fashion, to blame the Wiltons and escalate their little war (even as her probably-cult-member-therapist tells her what a bad idea this is). He is more concerned that her phobias and paranoia have contributed to her killing someone and maybe she needs to address this.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Teen Wolf, Season 6, Episode 20: The Wolves of War

Opening dramatic scene: we have a teenaged werewolf called Alec fleeing hunters when Scott and Chris rescue him in order to tell this super dramatic story full of drama.

So back to the present with Deucalion just being shot by many many bullets and everyone fleeing for cover. They’re joined by: Stiles (you knew he would be back. And yes with Derek - of course with Derek, they’re not giving up on that, ever. Both of them have amusingly different versions of who saved who and who carried who out of an FBI firefight). Ultimately it turns out rank amateurs with guns, at night, don’t do all that good against werewolves et al. Alas the good guys don’t seem to be murdering the people they beat. Good guys really need to work on that

With the remaining Hunters fleeing, that leaves Deucalion to make a big inspiring speech which is just a little bit too schmoopy. I mean Deucalion being all inspiring and heart rending? It’s Deucalion after all. He’s not fluffy. But we’re on lots of drama and epic here (which is really really really well done, I’ll be honest. Everyone gets a moment and it’s all kind of awesome, I admit, I like it).

Gerard calls to mock him and call the war on (and Derek speaks up confirming his presence which is terrible strategy) and he mocks Scott with his plans: he has Parrish and Rafael (Scott’s dad) and Jackson and Ethan all captured. And Liam is stuck in the hospital and he’s about to get ambushed and murdered. MUAHAHA Gerard is going to make Scott split up all of his pack trying to rescue everyone because he’s just too good and all divided they can be murdered. He mocks Scott because Gerard has such perfect strategy compared to Scott

Yeah yeah tactics and strategy. Here’s my counter:
When your army is made up nearly entirely of completely untrained amateurs with big guns fighting people who are most certainly NOT amateurs and have supernatural physical skills (and night vision) you need 2 things to win: Range and Numbers. Arranging to fight Scott’s army at night, in a hospital, school and mental institution - places with narrow corridors restricting numbers and lots of rooms and corners and cover and no nice long fields of vision are Not. Ideal. Location. Choices. Gerard, your strategy is terrible.

And three truck loads of hunters just got their arses well and truly kicked despite all their weapons because they attacked at close range at night.

I also want to know where all the other Supernaturals of Beacon Hills are? Over 6 seasons this nemeton place has managed to show off wendigo, werewolves, kitsune, just about everything but none of them appear to be around for this grand war. Hey the sheer number of supernaturals should be able to mass kill these hunters even if they’re all angry were-chinchillas.

Anyway, Scott is still holding on to the idea that humanity is basically good and just needs the Anuk Ite to remove its evil influence and then peace will reign.

Oh sweet, Summer child, bless his heart.

Time for a lot of fighting!

At the hospital, Mason and Corey have their token cameo, kiss - then realise after a whole damn season, that invisibility is actually damn useful and manage to hit a couple of hunters. Melissa wakes up Nolan - and can someone check if he’s supernatural? Because he was punched half a dozen times or more in the face hard enough to knock him unconscious without a split lip, a black eye, a nosebleed, a single bruise? Anyway, Melissa grabs him up to his feet, and roughly drafts him into the fight for the hospital. And she has a big taser which she’s more than willing to use.

Teen Wolf, Season 6, Episode 19: Broken Glass

As we head towards the season finale, Teen Wolf is trying to bring everyone back in again. And yes I kind of like the callback to all these characters and acknowledge that they’re out there (except Danny, who, of course, doesn’t exist) but at the same time it feels… shallow considering this is now the penultimate episode (and yeah, I’m now becoming actively pissed at the Werewolves in London episode since it’s apparent that tiny cameo that was shopped so heavily around LGBT media was IT. Seriously, this gaybaiting tease that this show has been pulling for years now is past old) and there’s no chance for any of these characters to have that meaningful an input. Why did we even have Stiles’s cameo in the first episode?

So now we have Chris pursuing urban legends to find Derek. Yay Derek, always a fan favourite. I’m not entirely sure why it’s so essential to find him or why Chris needs to devote so much time when everything is so dangerous, to hunting Derek down - beyond the blatant product placement of Derek’s car (really, Teen Wolf you are the worst show for advertising ever). Apparently Derek has some special wolfsbane - yellow wolfsbane I assume.

But I can get behind Derek because he’s a definite call back. But when Kate Argent shows up, shooting people and beating Derek so she can grab that wolfsbane as part of her grand epic revenge against Scott. Which is apparently a thing? I mean we haven’t seen her since season 4 and, as Chris points out, she’s a werejaguar so Gerard totally wants her dead - but revenge fantasy! 2 episodes is not enough time to have this distraction, especially when there’s no season 7.

At Beacon Hills everything is getting super dramatic. Tamora has a big scary speech for her growing army of serial killers who are infiltrating pretty much everything, preparing lots of lists of suspected supernaturals, threatening Sheriff Stilinski to stay out of it (I’d say of course he wouldn’t but he’s kind of fallen off the radar). She also still has Aaron imprisoned and Jackson is missing. Everyone is getting their ominous on and Mason (in his super brief cameo - hey Corey’s still alive guys! He’s the one with the oh-so-appropriate invisibility powers) makes a grossly appropriative comment about it being like Krystalnacht. No. No, we won’t be doing that. We won’t be invoking the holocaust to discuss the evil of supernatural oppression

Especially since this show has brushed up on and then casually dismissed the fact that Tamora does kind of have a point. All the deaths and attacks that have been covered up or called animal attacks? There’s an issue here - doesn’t make her not evil but it does mean comparing this to the holocaust is doubly problematic.

Teen Wolf, Season 6, Episode 18: Genotype

This episode something deeply tragic and horrifying happens - Liam’s hair. Did you run over your stylist’s cat or something, Liam?

In other news, Scott, Liam & co have found the bodies from last episode and assume the faceless body has now been possessed by the Anuk Ite. Or half of it. So now they need to discover who that body was so they can then find that person and stab it in the face with things. This is Scott and Liam’s job

They already know the other half of the Anuk Ite is wearing classmate Aaron’s face because of the blatant weird acting which should have been a clue some time ago. It is Mason and Theo’s job to hunt him down and give him a good stabbing

Ok, can we talk about these teams? Scott and Liam are investigating and doing thinky stuff - which sounds like a job for Mason. Theo and Mason are hunting and killing things which doesn’t sound like a job for human Mason, especially since, as Mason makes it clear to Theo, they don’t trust Theo and he may eat Mason.

Liam recognises the voice on the dead Anuk Ite’s phone as belonging to one of his teachers so decides to return to school (witnessed by Gabe one of Tamorah’s minions who has already tried to kill him) to try and test said teacher with wolfsbane and high pitched noises to prove that she’s actually a werewolf. She shows no reaction at all… but she does feel super guilty about being the worst teacher ever and allowing fellow students to try and murder him and all. Uh-huh because her guilt helps.

Eventually Scott and Liam just confront her and she keeps denying (though points for Liam saying she turns into a wolf every full moon which is interesting because only, what, 2-3 werewolves actually do that? He certainly doesn’t) but they push and get her to admit that she was calling her daughter, Gwen. Probably the skinless body… whose face the Anuk Ite is wearing

Unfortunately like many parents she goes into full denial that her daughter is actually dead and when Gwen arrives with lots of fear woo-woo, glowing purple eyes and an angry attitude she distracts Scott and Liam so she can go to her. This… doesn’t really work well for her.

But time to catch up with Mason and Theo, who have gone to the tunnels and know they’ve found Aaron because of the spooky fear aura (and also spend time with Mason telling Theo how everyone totally hates him). They find Aaron, who knocks them both down and injures Mason (Theo can’t take Mason’s pain - because to do that you have to care. Snarky). Theo does manage to stab his claws into the Anuk Ite several times.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Strain, Season 4, Episode 10: The Last Stand

Last episode the terrible plan failed because Quinlan and the gang decided that the Master would face them in person rather than send a huge army. Because.... Why?

They do all manage to escape, albeit not before Gus sees his entire gang of POC sacrificed for the sake of everyone’s escape. And the death rate of POC on this show is pretty glaring, especially since Gus has been pretty much sidelined for most of this season and the show just doesn’t seem to have any plan for him at all

And why was Roman with them? Why? He’s not a gang member - he’s an expert on nuclear weapons. The one weapon they know can kill a vampire of the Master’s power. More than anyone else here, Roman is the most important character - yet this whole season has made absolutely no attempt to establish or use this. And to have him tucked in with Gus’s gang because they’ve all got dark skin (and don’t even try to tell me this isn’t the reason why they’re grouped together because there’s zero reason why Roman should have been left with Gus in a near suicidal last stand against waves of vampires.

Quinlan also stabs many vampires, taunting the Master for using his very useful army rather than, y’know, put himself at risk.

Everyone finally gathers together (well Gus & co later because the plot likes to ignore them) so Dutch can support poor Ephraim and his evil evil evil evil child who is evil.

Quinlan, meanwhile, has another new plan - but it may involve Vasiliy sacrificing himself to do it. Dutch is very upset by this because she has decided she loves Vasiliy and cannot stand to have him sacrifice himself. Yes, she’s back to loving him again. While this fills in with some big emotional scenes on the whole it’s somewhat filler and Vasiliy is not giving up his chance to sacrifice himself for the sake of his beloved New York (and we do have some nice scenes reminding us of just how much Vasiliy loves the city) by nuking it. Again.

In desperation Dutch turns to Ephraim to talk Vasiliy out of it. Which seems unlikely because Ephraim is hardly persuasive.

So what is Quinlan’s plan? It’s to lure the master underground while he fights the Master and Vasiliy pushes the button on the nuke, killing him, Quinlan and the Master

Which is basically the same as the last plan and has the same glaring flaw: the Master has an army of people he can literally possess and has absolutely no need to attend in person when there’s a nuclear bomb aimed at his head. Quinlan has adapted his plan by… oh… he hasn’t? No, for some reason everyone assumes that the Master is just going to show up in person this time for no damn good reason. Quinlan held a sword to the throat of the writers or something