Saturday, December 30, 2017

Van Helsing, Season 2, Episode 12: Crooked Falls

We start out with a dream sequence to remind us:
a.            The elder is out there, scary and powerful
b.            Scarlet was adopted and her biological mother could still be out there.

This is one of Scarlett’s ominous visions and dreams and comes with the added ominous worry that Vanessa is no longer part of it.

She and Axel have made it to Crooked springs, the place high in the mountains with the idealistic Jessie sending out red balloons and using the radio to try and attract people to safety because she’s overflowing with hope and positivity. There’s also Dennis who hates strangers and is sulky and not full of positivity. There’s also McGrath who… is there? And Boss Lady

Boss lady is mysterious. She doesn’t have a real name. She is a loner who stalks the wilds to kill vampires and saves people. She’s a scientist. We don’t know who…

Nope, I’m not playing this. I’m not pretending - I don’t believe anyone watching this show didn’t guess Ominous Older Woman is Mummy Van Helsing within 5 minutes. There’s just absolutely no way at all. I’m not going to hang around for a big reveal and pretend to be shocked.

Among the people she rescues is Doc - bringing her back to the sanctuary to have Scarlet be super unhappy that she’s lost the key. And Axel be super unhappy because he hates her and think he abandoned Julius because he hates her so much and Doc is absorbing all the negative and hating herself.

Meanwhile Lucky, Flesh and Jolene are wandering the wilderness, kind of lost because Flesh has no more Vanessa visions (yes we’re playing up the fact she might be dead, I’m not really buying it). They do run across small precocious child Callie who is STILL ALIVE. Seriously she better be revealed as a fae or witch or alien or something because it’s ludicrous this kid is still among the living.

Also, note again that this show is taking place in a not-very-large theme park and if you wander for five minutes you WILL run into the other cast members.

Callie also conveniently has one of Jessie’s red balloons and expertly reads Jessie’s hand drawn map to lead them to Crooked Springs and more reunions. I swear people aren’t even shocked by tripping over each other by now

So pretty much the whole gang is now gathered together in the centre of the square 5 miles where they’ve been orienteering all weekend. So time for some character and relationship development: this includes Jolene learning that Doc took Axel to Vanessa, got him turned back human and all very self-sacrificey and she’s super super impressed and even if Axel hates her she knows Doc is awesome. This leads to Doc sharing her real name (Sarah btw) and hometown and them bonding

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Van Helsing, Season 2, Episode 11: Be True

This episode is all about Mohammed and Sam - with flashes of their back story. Including with Mohammed first meeting Sam, being more than a little concerned by how good Sam is at beating vampires to death.

But later he sees Sam apparently about to commit suicide - he runs to intervene to help and Sam gasps that he’s deaf and is unable to communicate with anyone - until Mohammed uses sign language, taught by his deaf grandmother. Sam has someone he can communicate - a friend

And lo this trainwreck began

In the present Sam has kidnapped Mohammed fully intending to bite him and turn him into his vampire minion - but Mohammed quickly tells Sam that Vanessa bit him which means he’s now totally inedible and will turn Sam human again

Sam is very very very against this - utterly opposing the idea that he will ever be human. He is clear that he will always be “him”. It’s clear that Sam’s whole identity is now very very heavily invested in his vampireness.

Mohammed is still dying so Sam drags out one of his human food stock - Cara - and orders her to help Mohammed. This takes some very brutal medicine with lots of debriding flesh and general awfulness. It does give Cara and Mohammed time to bond with Cara noting how little the apocalypse has brought Mohammed down (apparently?) and her determination to escape - even if that means pouring water onto the floorboards until they rot. She’s tenacious. Together they plan to bring down Sam

While Sam is outside listening to Mohammed scream but also having his own flashback of the abuse he suffered from his dad when he was a child - including the attack that deafened him. He has now captured his dad as a blood source and to torture him - finally beating him to death.

When he goes back inside Cara and Mohammed make their move. And it fails - Cara ends up being throttled by Sam while Mohammed begs him to spare her. Sam does… and Mohammed is convinced this shows Sam is good underneath it all (uh… serial killer?) and is quickly proven wrong by Sam then hunting Cara down - because he’s a serial killer

He ties her up and plans to bite her (since he still can’t bite Mohammed), making it clear to Mohammed that this is him. Evil evil evil, super evil.

Mohammed appeals to Sam that Sam owes him from saving him from committing suicide when they first met - only to have Sam turn it round. Sam wasn’t committing suicide - he was luring Mohammed in; he planned on Mohammed being his next victim and it was only Mohammed’s sign language that changed his mind. He adds that Mohammed knew he was a murder - which Mohammed completely denies (though I have a sneaking feeling that Sam may be correct)... Sam still insists Mohammed was a friend

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Doctor Who, Season 11, Episode 0: Twice Upon a Time

Time for the iconic Doctor Who Christmas episode. An episode that not only brings us a new regeneration but also has the first Doctor and the 12th Doctor together for most of the episode

And I liked a lot of these dynamics - I love how Doctor #1 is clearly not as reliant on the tech and toys that Doctor #12 is (yet is still effective despite that) and how much the Doctor has grown and changed to become the creature he has

I am more leery with Doctor #1 being not just a crotchety old man but talking down to Doctor #12 because of it. I mean, Time Lords must be used to people being so many centuries older than them while looking younger. I even imagine meeting a future/past incarnation of yourself may be not entirely out of the realm of possibility (how many times have the Doctor done it after all?).

Doctor #1’s sexism - yes it was played for heavy humour, yes it was a nod to the fact the first season of old Who was waaaay back in 1963 and like any show that old there are Problems. And Doctor #12’s utter cringing embarrassment in the face of it was kind of amusing: but we’re still seeing a species of aliens that has somehow adopted human sexism despite a) being ancient enough and wise enough to know better and b) coming from a species to whole, if gender as a concept is even relevant, will be waaay different from what we can conceive of)

We start going back 709 episodes ago (and am I the only one geekily thrilled by that number? And am I further the only one living in horror of the fact I haven’t watched half of these and now I need to watch them all! MUST WATCH THEM ALL) with a really really good mash up of original footage and modern actors playing the role of Doctor #1 and Polly and Ben.

Way back then, Doctor #1 is also resisting the urge to regenerate, same as Doctor #12 - and both of them end up together in Antarctica.

Doctor #12 recognises his old sense and the whole regeneration denial thing but is then completely lost in the joyous nostalgia of his younger self still calling a Tardis a “ship” (and not recognising sonic technology). In a moment of slight hypocrisy, Doctor #12 is horrified that doctor #1 may die and change history so 11 incarnations of the Doctor didn’t exist

This is another major theme of this episode wove subtly through it: The Doctor matters. He is important.

But before they can get into this they’re joined by a British soldier from World War 1. Through Time Shenanigans he has been transported from his deadly yet moving stand off in a crater facing off against a German soldier, neither wanting to fight, neither wanting to communicate - he has now been dumped in the middle of a multi-doctor argument and invited onto the Tardis: Doctor #12’s Tardis (as he says: Always remember where you parked! And oh how the Doctor needed to learn that lesson!)

Doctor #1 is not amused by how the Tardis has been redecorated. Nor about regenerating without a little more youth.

The Captain is also quite upset by Doctor #12 referring to World War “One”. oops, spoilers.

Doctor #1 is also not entirely on board with how Doctor #12 refers to the Earth: It Is Protected (Doctor #1: It is? By who?!)

They are captured by the alien species behind the time shenanigans and pulled on board their ship - The Chamber of the Dead which has advanced time travel technology and people made of glass (again interesting look at how the Doctors operate: Doctor #12 waving around his Sonic Screwdriver while Doctor #1 examines the glass being closely and sees it’s asymmetrical: a computer generated construct would not be). Doctor #1 is also very very disturbed to hear that he’s referred to as “The Doctor of War”.

The people of the Chamber of the Dead want him them to hand over the Captain in the ship and in exchange they will let him speak to “her”

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Hello all - we're entering the holiday season with lots of booze, more food than we can possibly eat (which we will eat any way) and Renee enduring the frozen snowpocalypse which is Canada any month other than August (when it is merely toe-losingly freezing).

The last few months have been a little shaky and rough for us, as everyone's probably seen with our content - but we're weathering and charging on into the holidays (albeit with a snow plough in some cases) and will be aiming for a New Year of more supernatural awesomeness

But naturally this week we will be far far far too drunk (and, for 50% of us, too cold) to be reading and producing reviews