Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Magicians, Season 3, Episode 5: A Life in a Day

So Penny is sort of dead but not, sort of a ghost but not and Alice decides the best thing to do is to take the key of Penny seeing to Kady. Also so she can get out of the Physical House while everything is so weird

Unfortunately Kady is… not in a good place. She can use the key to see Penny. The man whose love and death drove her to nearly kill herself with an overdose and now be shut in a mental institution. She describes herself as “broken” from trying to save Penny and she blames him for her being in there. It’s not exactly fair, but it is very human and she storms out. Penny is not happy

To make matters worse, videos of her arguing with the air did not convince the people who run the institution that she should be allowed outside - and when she tries to escape, resort to drugging her against her will. Oh I hope she gets her magic back and starts mauling people.

So that’s a trainwreck. Which is Magicians.

In Fillory, Margot is not having a great time. I mean no-one in Magicians has a great time but the women seem to get it in the neck especially (see, well, every single scene with Julia, ever. And Alice died. And while Elliot is having cruise, Margot is having to deal with the fairy queen’s ever more annoying whims. And Kady nearly died and has been imprisoned against her will).

She has her minion Trick to prepare her fairy poison because she is SO DONE WITH EVERYTHING. Except the fairy queen has decided to make things awkward again - by arranging Margot’s marriage - she quickly sends a bunny asking for help to Elliot and Quentin but, like everything else, pretty much has to deal with it herself

So the queen wants her to marry the prince of the floating mountain. Only because magic has gone, the floating mountain is no longer flying and it’s more like an island with some issues. They don’t have a lot of resources, but they do have a huge army

Margot isn’t thrilled - and nor is Prince Ess of Loria who kind of wants to know why their ally (due to his dad’s marriage with Elliot) needs this army. He and Margot also have issues over their failed marriage and history. Also Margot is as diplomatic as a sledgehammer. Also she’s in a  really bad mood. So it doesn’t go well.

The fairy queen seems to realise that Margot is 3 inches from done so introduces the Queen of the not-floating mountain people (the Stone Queen), her future mother-in-law. Who turns out to be super nice and wise and reasonable. She’s clearly in contact with the Fairy Queen and decides Margot is having a case of nerves and decides that it will help Margot to meet her son

First we have the younger son Prince Fomar who she vetoes because child! But the Stone Queen again shows some shocking reasonableness and introduces her older son, actual betrothed person and he’s super searing hot. Margot is still suspicious and she questions him to see any lurking misogyny - turns out the Stone people are matriarchal (and have a lot of sex metaphors) and he expects to be submissive and obedient to his wife. He doesn’t realise the rest of the world doesn’t work this way and Margot is happy to keep that ignorance.

Things are finally looking good - except there’s an assassination attempt on hot prince. Margot does not react well and throws Ess in prison (along with awesome burn that he isn’t even in her “top 50”) before moving on to the wedding. And this time the hot prince is murdered

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Drawing Dead (Dana McIntyre Must Die #1) by S.M. Reine

Dana McIntyre has always had an issue with vampires, even more than your average vampire hunter. They have history and she holds a grudge

So she does not take being bitten and turning into a vampire well. She fully intends to die before she turns. But not before taking all of Las Vegas’s hundreds of vampires down with her.

There is a possible cure- but is Dana willing to risk that? Can Vegas survive without Dana? And can it survive her vengeance?

I am now becoming ever more intimidated and by S.M. Reine’s world - because she has written about 300 series each of which have eleventy million books in it, all of which are connected and linked to a vast meta plot and world changing activity - and I AM SO BEHIND. So finding this new series my reactions were both lots of glee and a kind of gibbering terror. I will catch up with all her books! I will!

I was going to skip this until I caught up. But the cover. You know I’m not resisting that cover, right?

That said, despite the utter terrifying vastness that is S.M. Reine’s excellent world building and the truly massive amount of events that have passed, this book still works on its own even if you’re unfamiliar with the vastness. It does refer to major events in the larger world - events I’m only vaguely aware of - but this isn’t a vast world changing story. This is the story of Dana, Las Vegas and activities there. This history matters in terms of how the supernatural took over, how people were transformed by the Event and how much changed - but the details of it are not remotely necessary to tell Dana’s story. Ok, the gods thing? The gods thing lost me. I definitely need some severe elaboration on the whole deity thing.

That doesn’t mean the world isn’t amazing and broad and rich and weird. With the very conventional supernatural vampires and wereanimals, but throwing in some truly terrifying and alien fae with a very different take on anything I’ve seen before. And the cutest orc you ever did see

In fact let’s hit Dana and her wife Penny. First of all wife - yes, Dana is a lesbian, yes we have a lesbian protagonist, no she’s not “lesbian for Penny only” she is attracted to women and definitely loves Penny. Their relationship is not in any way fairy tale - there’s a lot of conflict and difficult there: but it’s down to Penny’s previous trauma as a victim of a serial killer, it’s Dana’s obsessive hatred of vampires, it’s her drinking too much - there’s a lot of complexities which make Dana not an easy woman to live with or love but they definitely do love.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 14: My Brother's Keeper

We have diamonds, an ominous man in a suit and another man clearly involved in illicity activities since they’re all very nervous about a call from a cop

That cop would be Ella - calling her older brother Jay. Who is involved in Shenanigans

Of course like everything in Lucifer, this relates to an issue Lucifer has which he insists on externalising. Lucifer is still trying to kill Cain (and looks at the mark which Cain re-tattoos every few months, which reminds me very much of Lucifer obsessively cutting off his wings) and so decides to ask Amenadiel, as the oldest of angels and the one to pay far more attention to things like this. Of course, Amenadiel absolutely refuses to help, God cursed Cain, removing that curse goes against God so is very very very wrong. Amenadiel remains, as ever, a devoted servant of God’s

I’d actually like of love it if God has taken Amenadiel’s powers until such time as he develops into his own person with his own personality.

Lucifer gets the huff because he gave his word and Amenadiel is not respecting that - and his word is super important to Lucifer. So Lucifer is in a snit with brothers

So when Chloe et al investigate the dead diamond dealer and find Ella’s brother’s wallet at the crime scene, Lucifer is all on side for “let’s prove how evil brothers are.” What is good about this is Chloe instantly recognises what he’s doing (because he does this ALL THE TIME) and tells him to cool it and is definitely willing to give Jay all the benefit of the doubt.

Jay is a diamond assessor and valuer so obviously has good use for a diamond thief. Especially when they find stolen diamonds and track where they were stolen from

Chloe and Lucifer follow up a lead, playing soon-to-be-married couple to pretend to buy a diamond. Chloe is super suspicious because the shop claimed to have no footage of when their diamond was stolen but it has CCTV everywhere. After causing a massive scene with Chloe repeatedly calling Lucifer cheap and revealing the stolen diamond, they attract the attention of the proprietor. Suspecting an inside job, Lucifer uses his woo-woo to find out what she desires: the punching of millennials

Millennials, ethical consumers without a huge amount of disposable money, are not buying diamonds. Her business is suffering and, yes, she’s resorting to insurance scams and having her diamonds stolen: but the diamond thief was supposed to “clean” them (remove their ID numbers) and sell them back. So, thief and a fraud (and we drop in on the Insurance Inspector who further tells them about “cleaning” diamond).

Jay is definitely capable of cleaning diamonds. Chloe is becoming more and more worried that Ella may be heartbroken by her brother’s guilt.

Ella needs help to find her brother - so goes to Maze (who is teaching Trixie how to stab people and hamstring them and it’s adorable). As the best Bounty Hunter, she’s sure she can find Jay - though she says she’s charging Ella. To be fair, Maze doesn’t know Ella. They’re the ones who find the body and turn a missing person case into a murder case (Maze is duly disgusted that Ella called the cops. Chloe disapproving that they’re covering up crime. But like Lucifer’s drug use last episode, she’s pretty much given up on them not been evil at this point). As they follow the trail, Jay looks more and more guilty and Maze is more and more insistent that he’s not

She also talks about loving her family so much. Maze has thousands of siblings but they all hated each other… she’s moved by Ella’s talk of family

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Star Trek Discovery: Season 1, Episode 14: The War Without, The War Within

Michael brought Georgiou to the Discovery and she gets to meet Saru

Remember when Lorca was alive and the show tried to pretend Georgiou was the good one so we could support one fascist over another fascist? Well Lorca’s dead now. No more pretence - she calls Saru a slave and tells him how much she likes eating his kind.

Saru is not amused. Georgiou is dumped in “guest” quarters while he confronts Michael about the lie she told (she told him there were no Kelpians in Terraverse) but she points out, reasonably, she was trying to spare him pain. Saru, who is always very reasonable, accepts that and also accepts the impossibly difficult, painful yet successful mission she just managed to pull off.

He also brings her up to speed on the state of Tyler - and apparently L’rell’s brain fiddling has turned him into a full Tyler rather than a full Loq. Which I guess is a little surprising but then consider just how much Voq would want to be running around in a human body with his cover well and truly blown? He wants Michael to visit Tyler, but unless he makes it an order (which it definitely isn’t), Michael opts out of seeing the man she loved who then tried to strangle her.

Tyler can access Voq’s memories but they don’t feel like his own -he’s basically all human now: though he does describe how utterly awful the whole species transformation thing was. Saru is quick to assure Tyler that all of his actions while Voq were not his own - he isn’t facing trial or punishment not is he to be confined to the brig. He is getting a tracking bracelet because Saru isn’t a fool - but is generally treated with compassion.

Stamets doesn’t share said compassion and wants Tyler to feel all the guilt forever. Which is good because I think I would explode if this show took its Kill the Gays moment and then has Stamets forgive Culber’s killer, especially given everyone else pretty much forgetting him

The rest of the crew may be leery but Tilly isn’t, eating with the isolated Tyler in the mess because she’s just made of heart and niceness and is the epitome of what the Federation is: and quickly encourages everyone else to accept him back into the fold.

While they’re getting themselves together, the ship is boarded. By Admiral Cornwell and Sarek - who quickly establishes they’re legit by Mind-melding Saru

Ok is this a thing? Because I seemed to recall Mind Melds weren’t exactly that common? Sarek seems to have replaced the handshake with the random unwanted mind-meld.

Time for everyone to recap everyone else on mirror worlds, the war, Georgiou, Lorca and oooooh sooo much. Cornwell is clearly megapissed Lorca was evil and she didn’t notice and accepts her own Lorca is probably very very dead. Georgiou is 8 levels of complicated and they’re dealing with that by making her a guest (prisoner), swearing everyone to secrecy and pretending she isn’t there until someone can actually deal with it. Michael insists she’s technically escaping political persecution so due asylum, Georgiou won’t have that because she’s a Terran while Cornwell is more We Have Other Priorities, stick a pin in it.

The war is a trainwreck. The Federation are losing very very badly, thousands upon thousands are dead, most of the Federation fleet and sharing the cloaking code doesn’t really do much to turn the tide when they’ve already lost so much. The Klingons are not united - with the death of both T’Kuvma and Kol there’s no-one to organise them. So now you have 24 houses now exactly fighting with tactics but each competing with the other to basically destroy as much of the federation as possible to show off how dangerous they are. It’s not a war, it’s a dick measuring contest with casualties

They decide to go to Star Base 1 and hide out for a time - only to find that it has fallen to the Klingons. Cornwell falls apart at the staggering loss and Saru is the one who effortlessly steps in to both get them to safety and to, very politely, remind the Admiral she’s supposed to be leading them and can she get her shit together now.

Time for people to try other options. Cornwell turns to L’rell, relying on them having a connection of mutual respect after their capture - which they do. L’rell isn’t super happy about the war either; sure she still parrots the Federation’s assimilation and homogenisation goal but she doesn’t like the idea of the Klingon Empire being 24 warring houses, again. That’s exactly what T’kuvma opposed. But she has no help to offer - the Klingons will keep attacking until they win, it’s what Klingons do

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Magicians, Season 3, Episode 4: Be The Penny

Penny died last week while Astral projecting. This is a problem because only the demon could see his astral self which now leaves him invisible and inaudible to everyone. This is a problem.

He does follow everyone around as they spread the news and grieve for him (and grows ever more exasperated at the lack of proper grieving. Guy deserved some tears! Also Quentin can’t pronounce his last name which us just extra aggravating). Kady reflects that none of them ever knew him

Which is a nice story way of saying “fuck, this character had no backstory at all!”

There is a moment when Alice talks about her dead dad which poor Penny almost thinks is about him. We do learn that Quentin’s dad’s cancer is now in remission - because the cancer was all magical - and Alice is now deeply conflicted about whether she wants magic back at all. She thinks it’d be nice to be a normal lost, 23 year old given the huge amount of mess they’ve made with magic

By spying on everyone Penny learns about the bunny messengers between Quentin & co and Elliot & co which he also follows to Fillory where he learns that Margot is super pissed about the queen and fully planning to murder her. He also fully appreciates what a terrifying person Margot is. And rightly so. Margot also duly grieves Penny with a “I always thought some day we were going to bang”. Because she’s Margot

Helplessly, he can do very little to stop Kady as she takes an overdose - but someone is magically possessed with glassy eyes to warn Julia so she can save Kady’s life with magic

There’s definitely a lot of things going on with Julia - and I don’t know why she decides to keep the glassy eyed person secret  but she does. All through this Penny feels helpless - until he meets the unfortunately names Hymen

Hymen was, like him, a Traveller. When he was astrally projecting he lost his body, just like Penny. In his case this happened because he’s a pervert who used his magical powers to spy on naked women.

Since then he’s been wandering around following people and their stories and indulging in his own fanfiction (he’s especially invested in Quentin because, well, guy born in 1902 loves him a straight white male hero). He doesn’t know a great deal, in fact Penny has to educate him on what an actual ghost is (constantly reliving their past, visible to the living, which would be useful).

Quentin and Julia have pursued a lead on the next key which, via Henry, they help pin together as been given to a student at Brakebills (who either committed suicide or whose head exploded - they have the same code for some reason) in a Dorm which was magically sealed due to being haunted which was considered a bad thing back in those days. Penny is definitely willing to go check this out because a terrified Hymen reveals that ghosts can touch and interact with them. Hoping to use a ghostly go between he follows them, tries to speak to the ghost of the boy with the key and the ghost of his father - who killed him (apparently due to homophobia) and both saves Quentin and Alice from the ghostly dad and tries to communicate. But fails, again, because the ghost doesn’t believe “Penny” is a name.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 12: Various & Sundry Villains

So after the wayward sisters pilots, we’re back to the main cast with a huge flashback that reminded me of just how much is happening re Lucifer, Jack et al

This week we have a couple of witch sisters running amok, using love spells to compel men to do whatever they want (like killing and stealing) and then killing them messily with hammers. The mundane way of murder helps keep hunters looking the other way

At the Winchesters, things are not good. Sam is despairing and bleak, Dean is trying to keep spirits up. But Dean’s idea of spirits up is just keep plunging on. That’s kind of what Dean does, kind of what he’s always done. Head down, keep hunting, keep fighting while he’s all bleak and dark, until finally things come right. Sometimes because of a plan or idea Sam has - Sam is the research guy. So the best Dean can do is keep poking Sam into researching since it’s not his forte while fumbling for a way to keep moving and keep Sam moving. This is not Dean’s strongpoint

He goes for booze and is ambushed by those love spell using witches, they whammy him and convince him to go and get them the Grimoire. The Big Bad Book of Scary Magic they have hidden in the Bunker.

Dean under a love spell is surprisingly fun and bright and happy and smily and damn cute. Yes yes he is.

Sam rather quickly realises There Is An Issue (because Dean is happy and happy Dean just doesn’t happen) but that doesn’t stop Dean knocking him out and stealing the book in a cloud of glee and lovestruck nonsense

Sam follows them when the sisters plan to apply the hammer to Dean’s head, but Dean instantly turns on Sam still completely zonked on love. The witches escape and Dean is only rescued from his enchantment by another witch


Yes, ever since we had the mention of a resurrection spell out there as a get out of death precaution witches could use, we knew Rowena wouldn’t die. We knew it.

At this point, that big dramatic cliffhanger in which everyone died has led to Mary surviving, Lucifer surviving and coming back, Castiel being resurrected, Rowena being resurrected, no-one really caring about Kelly and only Crowley still being dead. So far. I’m not convinced he will not return.

Rowena is horrified to hear that Crowley died, her only son. Sam tries to comfort her that he died a hero, sacrificing himself for the rest of them: she snaps angrily that she’d rather have a living son than a dead hero. It’s moving

It’s also clear Rowena is more than a little traumatised by her own death experience - because Lucifer didn’t just kill her, he brutally murdered her in a terrible fashion and it took her a long time to heal. She’s terrified about repeating it and part of that means she wants the Black Grimoire back. Among the spells in it is one that will remove a binding put on her powers by the Grand Coven way back in the day.