Friday, March 9, 2018

Stranger Things, Season 2, Episode 8: The Mind Flayer

Ominous lab is now under attack by waves and waves of what I’m going to call demigogs because that’s what Dustin is calling them. And, no matter what Grandfather scientist claims, the polycarbonate glass is not going to keep them out

The facility is in utter chaos, people are dying left right and centre. Bob, Jim, Will, Mike, Joyce and Grandfather Scientist whose name I should really look up - Dr. Owens - make it to the security room. They have to drug Will as he fights them so he can’t psychically transmit their location or plans to the big shadowy monster.

The rest of the facility is an utter horror show - and kudos for the writers and director for truly creating a scary horrifying setting.

To get out they need to reactivate the power and use a computer. Which is very very Jurassic Park, I’m going to give homage points. And while Jim is quick to step up to help, he knows nothing about computers. None of them do, except Bob.

Bob, the genuinely good, normal guy, doing his best and being nicer than nice. Of course Bob is willing to do it, despite the huge risk and despite knowing nothing about guns.

He makes his way to the basement with massively horrible levels of tension, and rests the computers and the locks, giving everyone else a chance to make it to the exit - which they do

Except Dr. Owens - he stays in the security room so he can guide the others using the CCTV to help them avoid the demigogs. Yes it seems like a genuine moment of self-sacrifice from a the head of Hawkings Laboratory, showing again how well this show has taken an ominous lab and utterly humanised the leader (which adds to the complexity as well of Kali’s revenge plot).

Dr. Owens guides Bob to the exit - and it’s unbearably tense. Again, massive points to the horror movie directing of this. It’s awful to watch, there’s a near moment and almost almost almost I think Bob is going to make it. Despite already being sure he’s going to die to clear the way for Joyce and Jim, I thought he was going to make it

Of course a demigog catches him just as he reaches the exit

Raise a glass everyone for Bob, genuinely nice guy. You were too good for this world.

While they were escaping, Dustin, Lucas, Steve, Max met up with a returning Jonathan and Nancy at the lab where they notice shenanigans afoot

Dustin and Lucas also have a lot of arguments about Lucas telling Max everything (which seems to be part of his Steve-led advice to shun Max into liking him) while Lucas is supremely pissed (for better reason) at Dustin keeping Dart secret.

They’re outside the lab when those inside make a run for it and they provide getaway cars to go to Joyce’s house

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Bride Wore Constant White (Mysterious Devices #1) by Shelley Adina

After Daisy’s mother died after her father disappeared, Daisy became the responsibility of her aunt and uncle. And they would very much like to marry her off and get her out of their hair

Daisy is not thrilled with the chinless future planned for… and instead is more determined to find her missing father; in the Texican Territories, a continent away

Her sister joins her on the voyage - but when there’s a murder on her journey and an innocent man seems likely to hang for it, she cannot justy move on; not until she tries for justice, especially since no-one else seems willing

This is a continuation of Shelley Adina’s Magnificent Devices series - being set in the same world and with many excellent call outs and connections to the characters within that series. But those connections are small, none of the main characters are particularly intimate or involved with those characters, those characters have not adventured with these characters and have no real draw upon them. And I think this is important. Claire and all her friends and family and flock are awesome characters but their stories have all progressed to a whole new level. Between them they have vast resources, extremely powerful, loyal friends and connections at the highest possible level of society. They are not the plucky underdogs standing firm against the vast world. They are integral to that vast world. That doesn’t mean Claire & co can’t have plenty of stories yet - but the scale and scope of them, by necessity, need to be much grander. We already saw this in the last few books - defeating invasions of England, stopping a war between the Californios and the Texican territory. The Story of Claire, Gloria, Alice, the Mopsies et al has, by necessity, become far grander and far more epic than how it started

So when returning somewhat to the root of the story, while keeping the connection and call outs to the old books for excellent recognition and confirmation that this is the same world, we also have a protagonist who will not be able to send up the batsignal and expect all the arsenal of Claire’s flock to rain down. Similarly, while you can pick up any of the books in the Magnificent Devices series and not need to have read the previous books: but this

Also there’s Mr. Featherstonehaugh who is sadly lacking in the chin department and so very suitable. Alas this poor man, may he one day actually find a bride.

So we have Daisy - and she’s a wonderful character - different again from all the previous protagonists we’ve seen before: yet still strong, capable, determined, brave and intelligent. It’s one of the gems of this greater world and series that we all of these women who are so very very different from each other yet still have their own strengths

In Daisy’s case, she’s probably much more conservative than most of her fellow protagonists. She doesn’t exactly rail against the mores of society exactly, and even her sister finds her unnecessarily proper. I actually like this, especially next to the other series, because it shows competent and capable women not just those exceptions who move against society as competent: a common theme in the series. But she does object to her uncle and aunt trying to pawn her off on any suitable, albeit dull and chinless, men they can find, at least in part to remove their duty to support her.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 16: Infernal Guinea Pig

Lucifer nicely sums up the whole murdering Cain so he can teach his daddy a lesson complete with pictures. Not good pictures but hey. And he tells Cain his plan - he intends to erase Cain’s sin.

Now I thought this meant actual time travel (he is the devil, it may be possible) but instead what Cain is planning on is bringing Abel out from hell (as Cain triumphantly announces, he always told everyone Abel was an arsehat!) where he has been since the beginning - its first resident - and putting him in a new body. This will erase the murder and therefore uncurse Cain…

….Which I think is rather logically unsound. I mean, Cain was cursed for the evil act of murder - an act he has still done. And it’s not like he’s even atoning by bringing Abel back. But Lucifer isn’t exactly a logical angel.

Pierce signs up to this - and the first thing they need is a brand newly minted body. And Chloe perfectly times her arrival with news of a bombing, one dead another injured and near death. They seize on this being an opportunity and hurry to the hospital - Pierce insisting he take Lucifer this time

Chloe is rather touchingly put out by this. Lucifer’s her partner. She trained him. She made him a half-way decent detective and now he’s running off with someone else. She’s quite miffed by this. How dare he steal her partner? And how dare Lucifer be so disloyal!

It’s kind of cute.

In the hospital, they see the bombing victim, Bree (who looks amazingly well preserved for a bombing victim) and conclude she’s a bad choice because she’s too young and no-one actually wants to have Abel around all that long. Instead they find a nice, recently deceased 90+ year old with no family who will do nicely.

Except Lucifer misses and drops (oh Lucifer can zip to hell and back easily now he has his wings back) Abel in Bree’s body anyway. Oops. And bringing him back didn’t make the Mark disappear

Plan B is to have Abel kill Cain. But for that they need to find him - Cain knows very little about his brother who he hasn’t known for millennia - but Maze does, she’s been torturing him in hell all that time.

Maze gives them info but she refuses to do the grunt work for them in finding him. It’s their job to track him down. She describes his hell - where Abel parties and then is murdered by Cain. Over and over and over and over and over and over again. They even mixed it up a bit, different settings, different countries, different eras, but always ending in murder. But the different settings taught Cain different languages so the show doesn’t have to bother with him only speaking Enochian or whatever.

And Abel is most likely to chasing women being even more sex obsessed than Lucifer.

Meanwhile Chloe and Daniel look at the bomb scene, the apparent target is a movie producer called Alexa and Bree was her personal assistant. After chasing down a red herring we come to some Bolivian drug lords who may be after Alexa, one of those hitmen has arrived in the US

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Walking Dead, Season 8, Episode 10: The Lost and the Plunderers

Image result for the walking dead season 8

Last week was Carl's big send off and this week, we look at the ripple effects of Carl's death.  Because Carl was such a major character, his death is going to impact people across the world. The story begins after the single shot that represents Carl taking his own life to avoid becoming a walker. Michonne and Rick are clearly lost.  As Rick stands over a rickety cross on top of Carl's grave,Michonne does her best to close the gates to stop the zombies from coming in. The effort proves futile as the zombies end up blocking the entrance.  Rick rethinks leaving a gun hanging from Carl's grave and decides to head back to his home and gather as many supplies as he can. It's Michonne however who almost loses it when she discovers Carl and Judith's hand prints in blue paint. There's isn't anytime to mourn and Michonne is quick to realise that and tamp down on her tears. Instead of breaking down, Michonne finds Rick and the two begin loading up supplies in their van but before they leave, Michonne notices the gazebo is on fire.  Michonne is determined to stop the gazebo from burning because she remembers that Carl used to like to sit on its roof.  Together, Rick and Michonne try to fight the blaze but it's futile because the walkers keeps trying to make them into snack food.  

On the road, a still mourning Rick is very much confused about exactly what it s that Carl wanted from him. Rick is concerned that Carl expects him to simply surrender to Negan and as we know, Rick Grimes just doesn't back down, even if he makes a promise to his dying son. All of Rick's doubts about what Carl may or may not have wanted quickly evaporate when he learns that not only did Carl write him a goodbye letter, he also wrote one to Negan.  Rick's focus suddenly becomes the garbage people, cause you ya know, your kid's last wish can't trump the safety of the garbage people and even more importantly, Rick sees the garbage people as belonging to him. At this point, Rick is clearly going to latch onto anything that will allow him not to deal with Carl's dying wish.

Now we're off to see the Saviours, who are having problems of their own.  Negan is somewhat pleased with the damage he managed to inflict on Alexandria; it's Simon who isn't pleased.  Simon seems to have particular resentment towards Rick for ruining the Saviours long run of oppressing different communities. Simon wants to get out of the Sanctuary and spend his time chasing Rick down.  Rather than allowing Simon to hunt down the Rick and crew, Negan assigns him the task of dealing with the triple crossing garbage people.  Why the hell is everyone so obsessed with what is going on with the garbage people? Simon chaffs under Negan's instruction to avoid going all scorched earth and to only kill one garbage person to let them know that the Saviours mean business. Simon is quick to point out that their usual mode of business doesn't seem to be working very well right now.

This is when Maggie' little gift from the Hilltop arrives.  Simon is not pleased to find that it's one of his men in the pine box and quickly realises that the people that Maggie is keeping captive are his people.  Simon immediately goes on a rant about what he is going to do to the Hilltop only to be cut off by a now clearly angry Negan. Negan is done with Simon challenging his position and makes it clear that Simon's job is to follow orders.

And now it's off to Oceanside for some unknown reason. In case you need a reminder, Oceanside is the community of women from who Rick and crew stole the guns to be able to go to war with the Saviours. Enid and Aaron (yes they pulled them out of the plotbox) have been captured and it's now up to Cyndie to decide whether or not they will be murdered.  Enid manages to talk Cyndie out of killing them by pontificating about how the real punishment isn't actually dying  but having to be the one to do the killing. Enid warns that by killing them, Cyndie well set off a cycle of violence and that eventually Rick will arrive and kill them all in revenge.  Cyndie thinks about it for a moment and decides to set Enid and Aaron free, warning the both of them never to return. I'm just gonna say it, at this point, why aren't Oceanside just shooting on sight given all of the trouble the Alexandrians have caused?  And right on cue, Aaron, despite explicitly being told to get the hell of there decides to stay behind to see if he can convince Oceanside to enter the war against the Saviours. Enid and Aaron have a teary goodbye and she makes him promise that they will see each other again.  Is anyone else confused about how it is that Aaron and Enid got so close?  Oh dear, Aaron better be careful, we all know about how The Walking Dead loves to canabalise its cast.

It's now time to check in with the garbage people.  Even though Simon is on strict orders on how to deal with Jadis and her people, he immediately turns into the school bully with no oversight.  The garbage people try to argue that they need their weapons in case something happens and Simon says that if and when the Saviours feel that the garbage people need to be armed, that they will return the guns.  Simon makes it clear that not only does he want all of the garbage people's weapons, he wants a personal apology from Jadis for siding with Rick against the Saviours. A wary Jadis orders her people to hand over the weapons but of course that's not enough for Simon who has an axe to burn. Simon demands an apology but when the one Jadis proffers doesn't meet his expectations, Simon shoots her top two people. An enraged Jadis pushes Simon to the ground, hitting him repeatedly as she declares her remorse.  It turns out this is just the reaction that Simon wanted and he orders his men to shoot all of Jadis's people.

When Simon returns to the Sanctuary, he hands over the guns he collected but does not mention the slaughter he presided over. Clearly, this is something that's going to come back to haunt Simon later down the road. Simon's recounting of his garbage adventure is interrupted when another Saviour tells Negan that Rick is trying to reach him on the walkie.

Stargate Origins: Season 1, Episode 6 & 7

So this rather bizarre, not especially well made but full of pretty people strangeness continues

The Nazis, still bizarrely speaking English, use the professor to translate for them and the professor does so for he is a jellyfish. They want to make an alliance with the Goa’uld for their shiny tech so they show Aset a film reel of Nazi Germany which Aset seems to find impressive and her minion seems to be a bit weird about a projector

Isn’t Goa’uld technology rather advanced and their armies rather larger for them to be that impressed by Nazi Germany?

And why is this Goa’uld impressed by, basically, shadow puppetry? And was she really impressed by a machine gun?

Y’know looking at the main series and this one, I question why the male Goa’uld seemed to wear rather a lot of clothing up to and including metal gold suites while the female Goa’uld wear a few scraps of nothing and, for one of these, daisy dukes.

Laughably the wikia actually says Goa’uld have no concept of gender (despite having queens and rigid gender roles. So hmmmmm)

Aset also notes that Nazi Germany takes many slaves which a) makes Aset thinks humans are ready to be enslaved again and means this show is dancing in dubious dubious territory. And b) this is what the Nazis can do for her: give her lots and lots of slaves

Because last episode she was all; for getting allies to fight Ra has turned into getting slaves to worship her. Her attention span is somewhat limited it seems

The professor also needs to grow a spine.

In exchange she’s going to give them the magic rock lots of Goa’uld tech is made out of which can smash through most things. Because this is pre-energy weapons and the Goa’uld fight by hitting stuff?

Now to the three pretty but inept people

Monday, March 5, 2018

Once Upon a Time, Season 7, Episode 11: Secret Garden

Way back ye precurse days (is this the third curse? The fourth curse?) Robin (that would be Zelina and Robin’s daughter conceived after Zelena raped Robin but we don’t talk about that) tries to experiment with her magic, much to Zelena’s disapproval, because a magicless Zelena thinks it’s very very dangerous.

She’s also not happy that “cool aunt Regina” has given Robin one of her grandmother’s spell books. That would be one of Cora’s spellbooks… umm… I hate to say it but I’m kind of team Zelena on this one. By all means teach her magic, but giving her one of Cora’s books?

The book contains a spell to summon “mother nature” which looks super nice except Mother Nature is a pseudonym for Mother Gothel - and this is the spell an angry Robin uses in teenaged rebellion against her mother. She vanishes

Zelena goes to Regina to confront her about this - not to ask for help but because she’s annoyed with “cool Aunt” Regina parenting her daughter. While she rejects Regina’s help, Hook (or “Nook”, new Hook, as Zelena dismissively calls him) isn’t so easily put off - he has his own grudge against Mother Gothel and he’s determined to be there.

Using Hook’s memories and a magic door they arrive in a magical shop where Gothel is talking to a dead witch - Leota. Leota doesn’t appreciate the interruption and even dead apparently has the power to zap people.

And a spanner is thrown in the works when Robin reveals she doesn’t want rescuing - she wasn’t kidnapped, she ran away. She wants to be mentored and taught by Gothel. Zelena is crushed - and leaves - because you can‘t rescue someone who doesn’t want to be rescued. She further worries that her own attempts to keep Robin magic free rather mirror her own father’s attempts to suppress her magic.

Hook, who does little more than posture constantly, does try to invoke the supreme power of motherhood and appeals for Zelena to go back and spread gooey love everywhere

So they go back and surprise surprise, Mother Gothel is evil! She wants to sacrifice Robin so she can resurrect Leota using the oh-so-unoriginally-names resurrection amulet. Zelena arrives in time to offer herself instead because being ineffective and wet is what happens to people on Once Upon a Time only to be saved by Robin who grabbed a bow and an enchanted arrow

Apparently this is enough to intimidate a powerful witch and a legendary dead witch who can throw lightning are afraid of flying sharp bits of wood

After which Zelena and Robin have a whole reunion and isn’t it touching? Zelena tries to back down on the idea that all magic is bad, but Robin decides she didn’t actually like magic but as her daughter she felt she had to be good at it. But actually archery is super cool. She then just hands her magic over to Zelena…

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 14: Good Intentions

In the evil dystopia Earth where the world has ended due to demons and angels killing each other and everything else, Jack is still being held prisoner by Michael - and he has an angel Zachariah messing with his head trying to make him co-operate. Fear of losing Sam and Dean didn’t work. Even a nice happy scenario of a fake Castiel telling Jack just how terrible humans are and how they totally needed to be conquered and enslaved for their own  good didn’t work - with Jack seeing through the ruse quite quickly.

This is annoying for Michael as he really needs Jack to open a huge portal to get his army through to Earth because, as Castiel reminds us, Michael is all about war.

He is put into a cell with Mary

She tells Jack the full evil planning of Michael and how he’s totally going to hurt and kill her to make him co-operate - and being a good hunter she is clear that he should let her die rather than give in. Jack’s not a fan but can’t access his supreme god power. Mary realises, by massive leap of logic, that the headaches they have are caused by the massive supernatural wards on the cell - but there’s one part of the room where the headaches stopped

So, I don’t know what is more ridiculous here. That they keep a human in a warded cell that would do nothing to her but give her a headache but would shut down angel magic, or that anti-angel wards cause headaches or that, after going to this much effort to ward the place they would then leave a blind spot in the prison cell of all places

Of course Jack can escape with his powers working

They go on the run with angels looking for them and are found by - Bobby!!!!

Bobby please please please come back to Earth!

Bobby recognises Mary and, since he’s already met Sam and Dean, knows all about the alternate world thing he quickly understands who she is and is definitely willing to help

Bring him baaaaack!

They return to their camp which is well hidden and guarded while Bobby tells them about the world, how angels try to exterminate them not just fight and it’s all awful. They talk about the different Marys - this world’s Mary never made the demon deal that Earth Mary did, so John Winchester died, she never had any children and she spent the rest of her life semi-grieving never getting over her dead husband. Of course, Mary realises that this is why the dystopian world happened, without Sam and Dean to stop Michael and Lucifer’s war, this is the result.

Sadly, this is also why Bobby rules out returning to Earth - because Earth has the Winchesters, HellEarth only has him