Friday, May 4, 2018

The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children #6) by Jean M. Auel

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This is the final book in the Earth's Children series and it follows the journey of Ayla, as she attempts to become a Zelandonia (read: medicine woman) of her adopted tribe the Zelandonii. Ayla must survive in a prehistoric world in which danger lurks at every corner and life is dependent upon gathering from the land, while going through rigorous training which will test all of the skills that she has developed to date. Most people who train for the Zelandonii are not mated, let alone have children and so this journey will test Ayla's  relationship with Jondalar - the first human she met after being expelled from the Clan.  Will Ayla finally come full circle and be welcomed and cherished by the others from whom she was seperated from so many years ago?

I know that normally when we a review a series, we start with book one and follow through until the end but because I first read clan of the Cave Bear when I was a pre-teen and didn't know until recently that Auel had finally gotten around to finishing the series, starting at the beginning just felt like too much. Including a review of The Land of Painted Caves is a bit of a stretch on Fangs for the Fantasy given that it's not exactly paranormal; however, it does fall clearly into the realm of historical fantasy.  Auel has clearly done a lot of research into the tools used in prehistoric times and created a world which includes a creation myth and a religion that we can only imagine because not much survives from this time.  

The Land of Painted Caves is seven hundred and fifty-seven pages long and could easily have been cut down by a minimum of three hundred pages.  It was only my determination to see this story through to the end because of the fact that I started this series so young which caused me to  persevere to the end. It's quite possible to skip entire pages at a time and not miss a single thread of the story. The Land of Painted Caves is absolutely the definition of over written and pointless. 

It's not surprising that given the fact that modern science as we understand it is thousands of years away in The Land of Painted Caves that Auel had her characters worship natural spirits.  It makes sense to me that Auel had the Zelandonii practice a form of earth based religion; however, said worship quickly became tedious. Because the Zelandonii are in a pre written word stage of development, they practice an oral tradition of passing on information.  Auel took this oral tradition too far because she insisted on writing "The Mother's Song" repeatedly throughout the novel.  

Out of the darkness, the chaos of time,
the whirlwind gave birth to the Mother sublime.
She woke to Herself knowing life had great worth,
the dark empty void grieved the Great Mother Earth.
The Mother was lonely. She was the only.

From the dust of Her birth she created the other,
A pale shining friend, a companion, a brother.
They grew up together, learned to love and to care,
And when She was ready, they decided to pair.
Around Her he'd hover. Her pale shining lover.

She was happy at first with her one counterpart.
Then the Mother grew restless, unsure in Her heart.
She loved Her fair friend, Her dear complement,
But something was missing, Her love was unspent.
She was the Mother. She needed another.

She dared the great void, the chaos, the dark,
To find the cold home of the life-giving spark.
The whirlwind was fearsome, the darkness complete.
Chaos was freezing, and reached for Her heat. 
The mother was brave. the danger was grave.

She drew from cold chaos the creative source,
Then conceiving within, She fled with life force.
She grew with life that She carried inside.
And gave of Herself with love and with pride.
The Mother was hearing. her life She was sharing.

With a thunderous roar Her stones split asunder,
And from the great cave that opened deep under,
She birthed once again from her cavernous heart,
Bringing forth all the creatures of Earth from the start,
From the Mother forlorn, more children were born.

Each child was different, some were large and some small, 
Some could walk and some fly, some could swim and some crawl.
But each form was perfect, each spirit complete,
Each one was a model whose shape could repeat.
The Mother was willing. The green earth was filling,

All the birds an the fish and the animals born,
Would not leave the Mother, this time, to mourn.
Each kind would live near the place of its birth,
And share the expanse of the Great Mother Earth.
Close to Her they would stay. They could not run away.

They all were her children, they filled her with pride
But they used up the life force she carried inside.
She had enough left for a last innovation,
A child who'd remember Who made the creation,
A child who'd respect. And learn to protect. 

First Woman was born full frown and alive,
And given the Gifts she would need to survive.
Life was the First Gift, and like Mother Earth,
She woke to herself knowing life had great worth.
First Woman defined. The first of her kind.

Next was the Gift of Perception, of learning,
The desire to know, the Gift of Discovering,
First Woman was given the knowledge within,
That would help her to live, then impart to her kin.
First Woman would know. How to learn, how to grow. 

Her life force near gone, the Mother was spent,
To pass on Life's Spirit had been Her intent.
She caused all of Her children to create life anew,
And Woman was blessed to bring forth life, too.
But Woman was lonely. She was the only.

The Mother remembered Her own loneliness
The love of Her friend and his hovering caress,
With the last spark remaining, Her labor began,
To share life with Woman, She created First Man.
Again She was giving, One more was living.

To Woman and Man the Mother gave birth,
And then for their home, She gave them the Earth,
The water, the land, and all Her creation.
To use them with care was their obligation. 
It was their home to use, But never abuse.

For the Children of Earth the Mother provided,
The Gifts to survive, and then She decided,
To give them the Gift of Pleasure and caring,
That honors the Mother with the joy of their sharing.
The Gifts are well earned, When honor's returned.

The Mother was pleased with the pair she created,
She taught them to love and to care when they mated.
She mad them desire to join with each other,
The Gift of their Pleasures came from the Mother.
Before She was through, Her children loved too.

Her last Gift, the Knowledge that man has his part.
His need must be spent before new life can start.
It honors the Mother when the couple is paired,
Because woman conceived when Pleasures are shared.
Earth's Children were blessed. The could rest. 

Reading this horrendous poem one time in an over seven hundred word tome, is not necessarily a bad thing but reading it repeatedly because for some bizarre reason, Auel was determined that readers be beat over the head with her creation myth is just not forgivable. I perhaps could have gotten over the poem that just wouldn't end if Auel didn't decide to send Ayla on a tour of supposed sacred caves. On Ayla's first trip in, I read through the speculation as to why there were paintings on the cave walls, as well as justifications as to why said cave was supposedly sacred (note: because of echos apparently) and I really was fine with it but by about the tenth cave I was done. I found myself begging for mercy. How many times does one have to read about how amazing the long forgotten artist was or how important it was to create an echo to prove sacredness? Give it a rest already.  By the half way point, anytime they entered a cave I started skimming for the sake of my own sanity. 

The 100, Season Five, Episode Two: The Red Queen

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I must admit to being somewhat fascinated by how The 100 has chosen to open it's fifth season.  Eden, episode one, was largely about Clarke, and how she survived after Primefiya.  Eden focused largely on what Clarke became when she no longer had her people to protect.  The protection of Skaikru has fallen on Octavia, since she is the one who won the challenge and decided that each Kru would be represented in the bunker rather than just Skaikru. Things are extremely tense from the beginning and though Octavia is the de facto leader, she has no real experience in that role, having spent her time on earth largely training to be a warrior.  

Things come to a head pretty quickly when the people in the bunker are alerted by Clarke's attempts to reach them that the entirety of Polis has collapsed on the escape hatch, thus trapping them in the place that they sought refuge.  Being trapped doesn't present an immediate danger; however, the bunker cannot support as many people who have taken up residence and it certainly cannot do so past the five years they had all planned to be underground; effectively turning the bunker into an underground version of the Arc. It becomes clear very quickly that in order for the majority to survive, some will have to be culled - an outcome that Octavia is extremely resistant to. If that were not enough, Indra is busy trying to turn Octavia into a commander that the Grounders will follow, even as Gaia pushes back on this idea because being red blooded makes Octavia only a pale shadow and a cheap imitation in her eyes. It is in this moment we can see some similarities between Skaikru and the Grounders because it's clear that both societies have developed harsh punishments because  the business of subsistence rests on a thin thread. 

Running in the background is Abby's apparent drug addiction and survivors guilt.  Abby knows that the only person who could have knocked on that bunker door is Clarke and her inability to reunite with her daughter is deeply troubling to her. Abby is also disturbed that Kane didn't leave her to die, even though he makes it clear that he wouldn't have the strength to do that because he loves her. Given the limited resources in the bunker, Abby's drug addiction is absolutely going to be a problem. On the Arc, a doctor was only allowed to use a limited amount of resources to save someone's life so I don't believe for one second that Abby using drugs to feed her addiction is going to go over well at all. 

Kara, who is in charge of the farm has already lost so much in the culling of Skaikru that she is unwilling to lose anyone else and to that end, she locks the grounders out of the farm, leaving them to starve.  Abby argues that starving is a hard way to go but that the ones who die first are lucky because they won't have to debate whether or not to eat their friends.  It seems that floating on the Arc was started to stop cannibalism. As far as Kara is concerned, since the people left behind to die were largely Grounders, it's something she is willing to live with.

Shadowhunter, Season 3, Episode 7: Salt in the Wound

Clary has just seen Jace transform from the Owl and chases after him to fight… and how does she even stand against him for five minutes? He’s supposed to be the bestest of best Shadowhunters ever while she has been training for like 10 minutes?

Inevitably he does win after drawing it out way too long and rather than just stab and murder her already, he decides to drop her off a building. He protests he loves her and is in there really but he drops her anyway. I guess this is what happens when you know Clary but don’t have the bizarre, inexplicable affection for her.

She lands on a car and may die

Instead she manages to pull out her phone and call Simon - and hey, someone invested in acting classes here so she’s almost believable. But I’m more annoyed that the screen on my phone is cracked by a damn tiled floor but she can fall off a building and still make calls

Simon zooms in and rescues her back to the Institute where she’s all well again

And belatedly telling everyone about Lillith, the wish, Ithuriel et al. Bad Clary, these people needed to know this. Being Shadowhunters they all decide that the fate of humanity is way way way less important than Jace and Clary and agree to keep on keeping her secret. And is their focus “shit the mother of all demons is in the city up to evil!!?”? No, no it’s not. It’s “oh our precious Jace woe!” I mean even Luke. Does Luke even know who Jace is?!

While Magnus is all moping because he went and gave a potion to Lillith and it’s ALL HIS FAULT. This over the top guilt and moping is a desperate attempt to get

Also Magnus swore to give up all his power if he had to. Shadowhunters if you decide to drain Magnus/strip him of his immortality for the sake of Jace I will break things

He an Alec share a very strained hug because these actors are unused to being less than three feet apart.

After doing some research, Izzy, the new weapon’s master (because everyone over the age of 30 is dead) advises them of some top secret demon cage in Alicante they could go steal. So it’s off to Alicante. To warn the Clave that the mother of all demons is about? Hah, nope. To steal the cage of course! What, are you putting the fate of the world above our precious golden Jace again? Fie and shame! Fie and Shame on you all!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 9: Mac-Liv-Moore

Isobel is a… fascinating character. She is dying and clearly has spent a long time getting used to the idea. She’s happy to make jokes about it (much to everyone’s discomfort) and it has clearly been her lived reality for a long time. She doesn’t want everyone checking on her and she’s happy to be a snarky, witty and generally very fun person

She also doesn’t want to leave New Seattle - Liv offers when it’s clear she’s immune to the zombie scratch - but Isobel doesn’t see the value in having a coyote risk their own lives so she can die in her bed. Similarly she doesn’t want her mother smuggling into the city for the express purpose of just dying in front of her. So it comes to passing her off as Liv’s neighbour for the time being.

Last week a bus full of dangerous prisoners was eaten by Angus’s mob - as Blaine predicted, no-one really cared much about these men dying being eaten and being torn apart.

Liv and Ravi still have a great fun snarking with the French detective.

More pressing are two dead bodies - a zombie woman and her human boyfriend which is… unusual. Detective Frenchman makes disparaging comments which annoy Clive, of course. So it’s time for Liv to eat a brain

Of a rapper


Actually, I’ll be honest, I thought this was going to be so very very very very very bad. So awful. So terribly terribly awful. But considering how many terrible obsessive brains Liv has had, this brain seemed like something she could throw off now and then. So other than her choice of clothing and the occasional random rapping Liv wasn’t that affected by this brain.

The main thing she sees in the vision is the killer - which was the easiest murder mystery ever. Except the killer was “Zombie Killer Cain” - who should have died on the bus. And is renowned for murdering many many zombies

Upon reporting this, Fillmore Graves decides to put the whole city on lockdown, curfew and institute martial law. Which has Peyton and Clive irritated that this is a thing Fillmore Graves can do now.

Chase orders Major and his little team (who are squabbling constantly because they’re kinda sorta dating. Or not. Either way they’re driving Major up the wall) to look for Cain. More disturbing is Chase himself who seems to be a little more broken and unhinged each episode. This time round he nearly destroys a locker when he hears about the priest Angus and his mob of anti-Fillmore Graves folk. He’s furious and decides someone must have been suppressing the reports he’s receiving. Truth or paranoia? Either way it’s not reassuring.

He’s also called by Ravi to bring his bag to him while patrolling because it’s super important. It’s his D&D figurine

And yes, while they’re on lockdown, Clive, Ravi, Vampire Steve and the forensic artist all play D&D which is amazing geeky fun - and Michelle joins them (the Thief of Shonadaland). And I had everything crossed that they’d just accept her and not explode into a mass of sexism… and they did accept her! It was everything I wanted

Except Clive then kisses Michelle and everything becomes AWKWARD.

Major is also super mean in pointing out to Ravi that Peyton is in the morgue and Ravi is playing D&D rather than spend time with her and he will totally tell her. I would say it’s perfectly find for couples to spend time apart, but when on a scary city wide martial law lock down due to vicious serial killers it’s probably nice to check in with your girlfriend

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 22: All Hands on Decker

Oh this episode is… trying.

Chloe tells everyone that she’s about to get married to Pierce. Ella is all jumping all over this because it’s time to plan a bachelorette party.

While Pierce is somewhat overwhelming Chloe with all the wedding planning - it doesn’t help that they set a wedding date of 3 weeks from now which isn’t a whole lot of time. Chloe resolves this planning by making… a wedding murder board.

Uh-huh, that’s probably a super bad omen. Pierce suggests she take some of her leave to actually get some planning done

Which vexes Lucifer. He’s all upset about the wedding but Amenadiel is still onside deciding that it’s god’s plan. He suggests, again, that Lucifer tell Chloe how he feels. Nope he’s not doing that, instead he’s going to get into her head to try and understand why she made this decision

This means while Chloe is on leave he is going to to step into her shoes and pretend to be her. And because Chloe has a Lucifer, he decides he’s going to have one as well - and makes Dan take on the role

And ye gods why Dan goes along with this. So we have some truly painful scenes of Dan trying to be Lucifer without the powers and ye gods no. While Lucifer tries to be Chloe with actual deductive reasoning and restraint and still managing to be immensely annoying

We do have a decent moment of Dan calling out Lucifer on how little he actually knows Chloe - he focuses on her as the consummate professional, which she certainly is. But she’s more than just a job as well. I do hope this develops a little further and we see Lucifer involved in Chloe’s life more than being a constant irritant.

The case itself has some minor gay characters - one dead and the other a murderer. So… yeah that’s a relationship

And Lucifer seems to gain some insight into Chloe - that she wants a partner she can rely on, who is stable; who isn’t Lucifer basically.

The 100, Season Five, Episode One: Eden

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When last we left The 100, Clarke made it possible for Monty, Bellamy, Raven, Eko, Murphy and Emori to hide out from primefiya in space, while the rest of the grounders and skaikru hid in a bunker. Thanks to being a nightblood, Clarke was able to not only survive the initial blast but the radiation as well.  Despite all of the drama, did anyone actually believe that Clarke wouldn't make it?

Clarke climbs out of the rumble like the survivor that she is and heads straight to Polis to try and get in touch with the people in the bunker, only to get no response to her efforts to connect.  Clarke tries desperately to dig them out only to have the rubble of what is left nearly collapse on her.  Clarke's next stop is at Skaikru, where she finds remnants of the friends she once had.  Clarke finds a letter from Jasper to Monty, as well as his googles and Maya's ipod.  It's all almost too much for Clarke to handle. Clarke has always lived her life in survival mode but she's always had people to protect, peoplewho needed her and for the first time, she is truly alone. With nothing left to wait around for, Clarke hops into a rover in search of food and water. 

A sandstorm takes the rover out of commission but a defiant Clarke snarks at her barren world for trying to kill her.  Clarke walks into the desert and when she reaches the end of her endurance collapses, only to wake up to find that she has been mistaken for carrion by a buzzard. Clarke is quick to shoo the bird away but then realises that if there is healthy bird close by that there must be water and vegetation.  Clarke quickly rises to her feet and attempts to follow the bird, only to reach the top of a hill and see only more wasteland before tumbling down to the bottom of the hill.  This is enough for Clarke to decide that her fight is over and she puts a gun to her head. Given that Clarke has plot armour, this scene didn't play very well, particularly because another bird conveniently flies by and renews Clarke's hope. When Clarke follows this bird, it leads her to an area which seems relatively unscathed by the primefiyah. Clarke promptly kills the bird and has a meal.  At long last, Clarke has found peace on the land that once belonged to the Shadow Valley Clan.

Finding the valley is fortunate for Clarke because she has everything she needs to survive but it still means that she is alone because while many animals survived, the radiation was enough to kill off the clan. It's Clarke who must burn the bodies of the dead to make her new home habitable. This causes Clarke to be reflective about the life she has led up to this point and what it means now that she has no one left to fight for. Sure, there are people in the bunker and people in space but they are as disconnected as could possibly be from her. Clarke is alone.

Clarke might have spent her days in quiet self reflection if Madi hadn't found her. At first, Madi keeps her distance, not trusting Clarke in the least until she discovers that Clarke is not only a nightblood but also the flame keeper.  Clarke keeps her distance, after getting her foot caught in a bear trap and allows Madi to come to her.  Six years pass and when we see Madi and Clarke again, it's clear that they have developed a mother/daughter relationship.  Madi has filled the void of Clarke's loneliness and in return, Clarke draws pictures of her people and tells Madi all about them.

It's been six years since Bellamy and the crew left earth and they are no closer to being able to return. Six years is long enough for Bellamy to forgive Eko for trying to kill Octavia and develop a romance with her and for Murphy and Emori to end their attachment.   Murphy being Murphy, has isolated himself on one half of the ship and complains about the rules he now has to live under. I guess now that there's no reason for Murphy to play hero, he's back to being the Murphy we have come to know. Everyone is frustrated to still be stuck in space, particularly because they can see a patch of green land on the ground and have had no contact with people in the bunker. Suddenly, a prison ship appears in earth's orbit and they argue about reaching out to the ship, with some seeing it as a potential path back to the ground. When a jump ship launches, headed straight towards Eden, Raven frantically tries to make contact but gets no response. Though it means that they might not make it back to their base, Bellamy and crew decide to head over to the other ship.  Monty is concerned because though life has been hard, at least the violence has stopped. Monty is terrified that by reaching out to the other ship they are starting the battle all over again, thus forcing him to commit acts that he finds morally reprehensible.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Into the Badlands, Season 3, Episode 2: Chapter XVIII: Moon Rises, Raven Seeks

We see more of the mysterious Pilgrim and his caravan making grandiose plans for the future with lots of talk of fate and destiny - and Asra. While the Pilgrim leads them it’s clear that Cresida is the one with the visions who knows where they are going

And where they are going is to a building in the lake which they call the first temple of Asra. Which sounds nice but when they arrive it looks like it’s an abandoned museum (which also kind of fixes this story as happening in California). Some of the Pilgrim’s followers get a little antsy about this, thinking he’s led them to a ruin even if it does have impressive dinosaur skeletons in it. Cressida thinks they should be punished but the Pilgrim is far more inspiring

He makes an awesome speech about how, if the flock go astray it is the shepherd who is at fault. He offers to atone - blind folding himself and kneeling unarmed in front of his critics and telling them to strike him down as he is protected only by blind faith

And, of course, awesome skill, even while blind folded which brings us another of those so very beautiful fight scenes that makes this show such an utterly visual feast. He wins, killing at least once and proving his faith is pretty damn awesome but his martial arts are more so

But he has his own doubts. Mainly because of Castor, the black-eyed gifted man in the super tight trousers from last episode… and oh my gods that’s Tommen. Tommen from Game of Thrones. Someone needs to tell these actors they’re not allowed to age

Anyway he’s bleeding from the ears and generally feel bad and he’s worried he’ll die before he reaches Asra. And so is Pilgrim which makes him all kinds of sad since Castor clearly ha so much faith in him. Cressida? Not so much - black eyed ones don’t live long. Pilgrim shouldn’t get attached

Cressida also challenges him on his own lack of faith, insisting the “Catalyst” sent the signal so this must be holy ground. She also throws a lot of past at him - apparently he was left by the elders as a child for the jackals as a sacrifice to their gods. And she nursed him to health through “seizures and nightmares” until his power bloomed. Which suggests he has his own woo-woo which isn’t black-eyedness.

For further reassurance she performs a ritual under the full moon to see everything - which involves hooks driven into her flesh and her being raised up by it. (I believe this is an old Native American ritual). Apparently this allows her to see everything

In the Badlands Nathaniel has joined the Widow as Regent and has shiny new hands and an even shinier new hand to go with it. It’s all a lovely image and MK arrives to spoil it. Since he’s being all kind of bratty because the Widow has taken his opium, Nathaniel steps up to “help his training”. Which basically means another beautiful fight scene. Nathaniel wins, though he sees MK isn’t without skill and is most vexed when he hears Sunny trained him. It looks like MK is trying to suicide by Regent

The Widow tries to jolt him out of his funk by promising Bajie is coming - this is why she needs Bajie so badly, to help him find his gift. This doesn’t break through his depression and he proves the suicidal theory by overdosing on opium

Only to be pulled into a dream/memory by his Black-eyed self which is really really unhappy about dying. He’s lost his gift because last season the Master convinced him that he killed his mother when under its influence to try and control him. Now his black-eyed self reveals that was a lie and the real person to kill his mother? Was Sunny when he worked for Quinn

Yes this is all getting hella messy.

Let’s add some more messiness. The Widow sends Nathaniel after the Iron Rabbit because she’s done with the thefts and also wants Bajie back. It’s also pretty apparent she doesn’t know the Iron Rabbit is Tilda.

At the refugee camp, we all confirm that Sunny needs someone who knows about Black Eyed giftiness to save his son. Lydia knows a surprising amount since her father used to find the gifted and hand them over to the Abbot - which doesn’t impress Bajie since he thinks the Master was a controlling manipulator who stole children (and given what we know of MK’s past? That’s… not wrong…). She does know someone else who may help, an exiled abbot, the “Mad Witch”

Bajie can lead them to her but he’s all kind of reluctant. Partly because this will involve walking into a war zone but also, as Sunny appeals for help (which is hauntingly out of character for him) because he’s torn with his own history with this Master

Apparently she was his master and believed in Asra and how everything would be amazing and Bajie was the chosen one who would lead them all there. Naturally it didn’t turn out that way and Bajie feels all kinds of betrayed and disappointed and crushed because of it

What makes him put those feelings aside is when Sunny meets Tilda and wants to kill her for betraying Veil when she worked for the Widow. Tilda wants to make amends and Bajie is quick to speak in her favour. She has the tools Sunny needs to get there as well (transport and a disguise). I do think when Sunny says this doesn’t redeem her and “some debts are never paid” he is at least in part talking about himself as well. As we’ve seen with MK’s visions, he has his own debts.

Nathanial does track the Iron Rabbit to the camp - but is looking for a man and Lydia is quick to distract them from Sunny, Bajie and Tilda as they escape. Nathaniel and Lydia know each other - Nathaniel was Quinn’s regent when Lydia was his wife - and there may even be a little spark of flirting there. I think at least to distract him she agrees to go see the Widow

And be decidedly unintimidated by her. And is another character to poke holes in this idea of a better life - noting that refugees no longer go to the Widow’s camps because she press gangs them to be cannon fodder in her war.

The Widow doesn’t try to scare her -but offers her Viceroy, holding Quinn’s old territory and being able to help people. But to get that she needs to hand over the Iron Rabbit...

So, Lydia is offered the same path the Widow took - good intentions pave this road but its destination is unlikely to be a utopia

I can’t stress enough how beautiful this series is. And I don’t just mean the gorgeous fight scenes with their incredible choreographed artistry. But also the beautiful backgrounds, the sweeping vistas as the Pilgrim’s caravan travels. The opulent setting of the Widow’s home is droolworthy. Nathaniel’s hand is lavish. The clothing amazing. Every visual is stunning in effect but also really well chosen - the pioneering hopeful venture around the museum leading to the dark, dusty and ruined interior; reminding us these people are scrabbling for scraps in the ruins of our civilisation. The magnificent finery around the Widow contrasts with the roughness of the Refugee camp, even the Widow’s (rather ridiculous) high heels and fancy clothing against Lydia’s simple robes. I think the visuals of this show are always so very expertly chosen

The Originals, Season 5, Episode 2: One Wrong Turn on Bourbon

It’s time to have some family issues because this is the Originals and they have more family issues than mine does after the 4th sherry at a funeral.

And that’s usually when things get messy and everyone digs out their receipts.

We start with a younger Hope using her astral projecting power to spy on her dad. Unfortunately he’s ripping someone’s heart out at the time. It could have been worse hope, he could have been having sex.

This does not establish a great parental relationship

In the present Klaus has made one of his So Very Good Decisions to return to New Orleans to find Hayley. Cue snakes, blood, dead flowers etc. Because LISTEN TO THE OMINOUS PORTENTS DAMN IT. Somewhere there’s a Greek goddess yelling “how many more hints do you need?!”

Hope is happy that daddy is here but he uses vampire speed to avoid her and leave her all angsty

Marcel is also back in town ready to receive the adulation of everyone as king of the city. Which is nice and all but there’s a lot resentment still about the dead Poppy. There’s a demand for justice, especially when Klaus asks Marcel to look for Hayley as well: so he goes to the Crescents to arrest Henry and question him about Hayley. It quickly becomes apparent that he is involved somehow and he’s also badly struggling from blood lust. Without Hayley to help him control it, Marcel convinces Lisia to hand him over for punishment. No they’re not going to kill him because he’s 15, but he will brick him up in his torture basement for a little while, let him dry out and then embrace him among the vampires with open arms

It’s not exactly fun but Lisia accepts it as pretty much the only option to control her hybrid step-son without Hayley around

But questioning Henry makes it clear he’s covering for someone - and the only one he would is his sire. Hope.

More drama - Josh has been running the vampires for seven years and isn’t entirely thrilled Marcel is back saying everything is all peaceful and happy. They’ve already lost one vampire and the core of the problem isn’t Henry - it’s Hope Mikkaelson who can create Hybrids and is apparently not great at decision making. Also I think Marcus’s threats are not especially welcome in communities that have spent the last 7 years in relatively co-operation and harmony

Another person with concerns is Vincent. At Freja’s urging he goes to see the seer Ivy for flirting and insight and despite Ivy having misgivings (she doesn’t believe in fate being set so I think is leery of self-fulfilling prophecies). The cards first come up all nice and shiny - and then get really really really zomg REALLY bad. And while Vincent thinks the problem is Klaus but nope, it’s Hope.

In the desperate bleak bitter sweetness Keelin comes back to town and she and Freya are so lovely and sweet and planning their future and planning to escape the city and if you forget the whole kidnap and experiment thing it could be so sweet and wonderful. Yes we know it’s going to end badly.

Klaus does end up in the same room as Hope when he goes to question Hayley’s handsome new boyfriend with the really nice eyes and the really awful accent (record his accent. Play it for your Irish friends. Trust me, it’s fun!). He knows nothing but nicely points out that he’s much more of a dad to Hope than Klaus is. Hope arrives with her woo-woo to stop Klaus doing some brutal murdering and it’s all super awkward as Klaus is trying to avoid everything and flee the city asap before all the big dark omens happen.

We also have a visit from Roman, sexy vampire boy from Hope’s school who drops in to be all popular sexy kid and be all sad about Henry and how he’s all kind of guilty about how he let his friends bully him. Oh and he’s creepy because he’s totally stalking her for her address. And then sort of regretting it because Hope’s house is really really really creepy. And then Hope tells him the big secret - she is the daughter of Klaus Mikkaelson! Yay! (oh and BTdubs he’s back so you may want to hide because he’ll wear your spine as a necklace. Literally). And you thought introducing your boyfriend to your dad was bad.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Fear the Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 2: Another Day in the Diamond

Time for another flashback to try and explain how we all ended up where we did at the end of season 1

We have Alicia, Nick, Victor and Luciana - but they’re not alone. Madison is there too with several others (47), having founded a community in a baseball stadium. Complete with growing crops, running water, tools - it’s a really nice set up.

Madison is clearly in charge but equally seems to have a more consultation form of leadership. I get the idea that people follow her less because she’s In Charge and more because everyone really respects her.

Victor even touches on this reflecting that she was willing to save him and take him in despite all the shit he’s pulled. We also have Cole who may actually be flirting with Victor (zomg, Fear the Walking Dead has remembered that Victor is gay!) so expect Cole to die in the very very near future

Nick seems to have some level of trauma preventing him from leaving the compound - and even has flashbacks and blackouts when he tries to leave. Lucinda is trying to coax him out but Madison suggests she back off because she didn’t see what he was like. Nick is not in a good place and seems to be taking a page out of Rick’s book and playing farmer. I say again, it’s still noteworthy which characters get to check out. It’s not all good though since they have an insect infestation in their crops

They have a new entry to the camp - Charlie, a child. Madison has taken her in and is trying to coax her story out of her while making it clear she’s welcome to stay. Nick also steps into a definite caretaker role (which is unusual but nice to see in a male character), offering comfort and support

When Madison gets an idea of where she came from she insists that they go check it out to rescue the rest of her family. Madison definitely has a hero complex and she goes out even though it’s outside their range

At the camp (which seem to involve some kind of oil storage thingies) they find evidence of a fire and awfulness (and one of those numbered signs) and a survivor. Said survivor tries to hold them all at gun point in an utter panic but Madison and co are all very kind and gentle and reassuring. And when the woman falls into a large vat full of oil and Walkers, Madison even jumps in in an almost suicidal manner to help save her.