Saturday, May 19, 2018

Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 23: Let the Good Times Roll


This song now creates a pavlovian response in me. It also makes watching the finale hard since I keep rewinding every 5 seconds to hear the opening scene.

Anyway, opening scene aside, everyone is enjoying the new world. Sam gives everyone an update on the state of the world and Bobby sums it up with “Damn fool idjit from the apprentice is president”. Bobby is a wise man.

Dean and Sam call in Castiel and Jack to kill some werewolves arguing about the Kardassians which seems a little overkill. But it’s filling Dean with something alien and new: hope. Our super angsty boy is talking retirement - retirement they’ve earned, retirement they can take because with Jack’s power they can probably commit utter genocide against creatures which while inclined to do evil have plenty of outliers and capacity for good.

Sorry, Supernatural, you can’t have several episodes expanding the humanity and morality of monsters and then casually consider killing them all as a morally neutral or good act. Hey those werewolves weren’t even doing anything expressly evil beyond enjoying reality TV. Ok… maybe they did deserve it.

Jack has some nightmares about the terrible things he’s seen and the people he’s been unable to save - but Dean is awesome in comforting him here. He mentions his own nightmares casually as something everyone has all the time (I imagine with what he’s been through, nightmares are pretty normal for him which again is one of the ways this show subtly reinforces how traumatised and mentally ill Dean actually is - nightmares every night is his normal).

Dean is a perfect father to Jack at this moment

Bobby and Mary are taking a totally platonic and not romantic honest walk summing up everyone else - apparently Charlie and Rowena have gone on a road trip and WOULD WATCH THIS SHOW. Ketch is off doing Ketch things.

And then they find of a body of Maggie, an apocalyptic world person - apparently murdered by mundane means. Well that puts a damper on things

They try to figure out who killed her and learned she had a crush on a local shop assistant so Jack charges off to do some murdering, only stopped by Sam, Dean and Castiel - Dean actually shooting Jack to get his attention. The point out the obviously innocence of the man in front of him and Jack goes on another spiral of self hate and rage because he always hurts people

Points to Castiel claiming they’re Agents Knowles, Williams and Rowland. Because shout out to Destiny’s Child

He’s found in his self-flagellation by Lucifer who is there to offer him a new path. Staying with humans is bad, humans are bad, things always go wrong and you end up hurting them - instead let’s explore and remake the galaxy like Star Wars and leave the humans to it!

It’s not exactly a well thought out plan but let’s remember Jack is like, 2, at the moment so has no real grounding in maturity to see the glaring holes in this plan and he is also all torn up about the fact he does have a habit of hurting all those squishy squishy humans.

Jack asks him for something in exchange: Maggie to be resurrected. Lucifer warns that this can often go wrong and often does (Sam is a special case on account of him being awfully weird anyway) but goes ahead to keep Sam on side

Friday, May 18, 2018

Shadowhunters, Season 3, Episode 10: Erchomai

We have a completely unnecessary recap showing Lillith and child Jonathan reminding us that the evil demon queen of Edom thinks of Jonathan as her evil demonic son. We knew this but hey they had minutes to fill.

In the present Lillith has set up shop atop a high rise with a huge number of cult followers while Jace drags a very angsty Clary after him. She does manage to cut herself and leave a trail of blood which is shockingly smart for her. She must have hit her head. Of course we get more waaaahing over Jace and I’m reminded that three seasons have still utterly failed to invest me in either of these characters

We get some sass between Clary and Lillith because it’s Spunky Protag 101 to have some wisecracking. She’s not very good at it. This should shock no-one.

Magnus is appealing to his dad to get the power to save Jace. Because Jace is all important. This involves Magnus going to Edom, the demon world, at vast personal risk to appeal to his dad for help. This is the same dad he once banished: when he was a child and kicked out by his mortal parents, Magnus was taken in by Asmodeus who was all kind and parental. And evil. Magnus does not remember their time together fondly and it likely left daddy dearest with a grudge. Of course this doesn’t matter, Jace is in trouble

He goes to Edom and has a pretty awesome scene with his very powerful evil father who wants them to be together again (not happening). And since Magnus can’t rely on parental goodwill, he has to make a deal.

Remind me again why Magnus gives a damn about Jace? This is why his relationship with Alec is so abused - it’s just used as an excuse to make Magnus servile to all Shadowhunters

Speaking of people sacrificing for Jace and Clary, Luke ends up suspended from the force because he won’t stay and try to make up some convincing cover for himself, the missing Ollie, his dead mother etc because he and Maryse want to ride to Clary’s rescue. They follow the trail of blood and Maryse asks for a sword so she too can fight and die for her Clariness. But no, Alec protests, he doesn’t want to lose his mother since she has no super powers any more - also Jace will need her. Naturally this sways Maryse: what to do when faced with a choice between Mary Sue and Gary Stu.

Time for a scene that is not about Clary or Jace. I know it’s shocking. But Simon continues to have his utterly heatbreaking scene with his family, going to see his sister in hospital while he hears his mother, Elaine, try to convince the police a vampire attacked her. The whole scene is brutal as Simon positively radiates pain as he goes to his sister, Becca’s hospital bed and waits for her to wake up

When she does wake up she’s afraid and shocked - but he’s in control now. Being a big reader of YA she wonders when she’ll turn but Simon assures he she won’t, telling her of all the many hard steps you have to go through to actually be turned into a vampire. And this horrifies her, because Becca realises her little brother went through all of that alone without her or the rest of his family. And I love this, I love what moved her is the idea she wasn’t there to protect and support her brother, I love that family bond (and I love the protectiveness of a sister to a brother). I love how she resists the idea of having her memory removed because she has his back now, forever. And this is a wonderful scene which deserves to be on a much better show

Shadowhunters, Season 3, Episode 9: Familia Ante Omnia

I am officially Team Demon. These people are far too stupid to live

Let’s start with ground zero of humanity’s extinction by their own damn fool decisions - Clary. Proof that humanity has not evolved nearly as much as we think

When we left our less than intrepid definitely not-heroine she had just been imprisoned by the Clave because she decided to stay and wave at them rather than run away. She then went on trial and despite having the shiny woo-woo of being able to escape the sword of truth and occasional genocide, she decided to tell the Clave everything anyway. Namely that she used humanity’s one and only desperate wish that was being reserved to save everyone from possible destruction to resurrect her very annoying boyfriend which then left him vulnerable to possession and he’s now running around aiding the Queen of Edom and probably bringing about said end of the world.

Hey, everyone cool with that?

The Clave is not cool with this.

She is sentenced to death and led out along with a lot of other people, cicle members, the warlock Iris who wouldn’t do magic the Inquisitor demanded of her and possibly other people. Actually I think they’re nearly all circle members. Seriously the Clave has an issue that they have this many Circle members lurking around.

The Clave executes people by burning them to death which is brutal, horrifying, barbaric and repellent (but then, any death penalty is) and utterly savage and any other time I’d condemn this ferociously. Except this is Clary...

I don't like marshmallows.
To save herself, Clary offers to use her ability to pull runes out of her arse to do the woo-woo that Iris refuses to: resurrect Valentine
I refuse to believe this is an ancient organisation. No organisation this stupid could last that long
Ok, here is the Clave’s logic. Since Lillith has sent Jace to grab a chunk of Valentine’s corpse, they’ve decided to burn his body and scatter it to the four winds so there’s no chance of her ever doing that

Hah, no, that would be sensible. No they’re going to resurrect Valentine and ask him if he knows why people want to desecrate his corpse. So yeah, this is the plan they go with. Clary’s rune works and Valentine explains that he doesn’t have a damn clue, but he did use Lillith’s blood to inject into Jonathan while he was in the womb because he’s evil that’s why. Clary and Valentine make the massive logical leap that she’s trying to resurrect Jonathan

And then Valentine escapes, rallies his circle members and starts slaughtering everyone. Lots and lots and lots of slaughter. Because Clary’s rune also makes him indestructible.

Well fucking done, Clary. She eventually remembers she can turn it off again after pretty much everyone is dead. Valentine is now dead -and evil Jace shows up with suspiciously plot-convenient timing to rip out a dead fascist’s rib and take Clary captive. Yay, she’s captured again

Requiem: Lucifer

The Good

The whole concept of Lucifer has always been good: the devil living it up in LA, making deals is fun. But therapy - actual useful therapy rather than the hot mess it became? Therapy to deal with his issues, throwing in Maze and Amenadiel’s own sessions and Linda bouncing awesomely between them? It worked. Charlotte and Linda’s world shattering revelations worked (how many urban fantasy shows us the existence of gods and angels and the supposedly ignorant human is so blase over something that should rock their world to the core?). It has so much immense potential

Throw in Tom Ellis. Because he is PERFECT in this role. Honestly perfect. His Lucifer is A class combination of sinister menace and grade A charm with a hefty layer of sexy to finish it off. In fact all the characters, when allowed to be, are excellent: Amenadiel, Maze, Chloe, Linda, Ella, Charlotte, even Dan. When given the chance all completely ruled their roles. They just needed more of a chance.

The Bad

The problem I have with Lucifer is that I’m sad about it leaving because of what it could have been rather than what it actually was. I can’t say I look forward to this show, certainly not in the later season. There’s so much I really really wanted from Lucifer, so much that Lucifer could have actually been. But instead we just got episode after episode of the same annoying pattern: Lucifer would make some random decision, usually due to his daddy issues. He then obsesses over this particular facet to the point of utter irrationality while the rest of the characters manage to limp the plot along. It reminds me a lot of the worst iZombie episodes when Liv gains some weird brain tropes and annoys everyone while everyone else gets on with things

It doesn’t mean good stuff doesn’t happen on Lucifer but it tends to happen around him - Lucifer is actually getting in the way of the actual plot line of this series. Interesting stuff happens despite him, or around him: he is an obstacle to the interesting stuff. And he’s the protagonist. Your protagonist cannot be the least interesting person there; but Charlotte, Maze, Linda and Amenadiel all have more interesting conflicts and development and more meaningful storylines.

On top of that we seemed to get far and far less of the supernatural element. In season 1 Lucifer was a terrifying even sinister force. His deals were near supernatural, his charisma magnetic ensuring a following everywhere, he could throw people through walls, his desire power unearthed all secrets: he was the devil and he oozed the power of that. By the last season he occasionally pulls out his desire power - which backfires most of the time - and that’s it. The whole supernatural oomph of him is completely missing; same with the depowered, wingless Amenadiel.

It becomes only more bitter when we have the season finale teasing us with everything it could have been and will now never be. We needed more of this. So much more: more Lucifer, more Linda and Maze, more Amenadiel with his wings, more Lucifer showing his satanic might, more Chloe into the secret, even more Dan being something other than the one note comic relief he became.

I've said it before but I'll say it again - I hate the whole depiction of criminal defence as evil or corrupt. Criminal defence is vital for our justice system, an already flawed system that hurts minorities especially. Police shows on TV repeatedly demonise defence lawyers while lauding law enforcement for ignoring the rules: those rules that protect innocent people, those rules we need in a world where the police don't always flawlessly find the guilty party. This demonisation has real world consequences as we continually view legal defence as an impediment to justice, rather than its last stand

Thursday, May 17, 2018

West World, Season Two, Episode Four: The Riddle of the Sphinx

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Though we get to see some of Bernard and surprise surprise, Elsie, this episode is really all about William and how complex the man in black really is.  As you recall, when William first came to the park, he got caught up in the narrative and fell in love with Delores.  Of course, we know that this same wide eyed William, later became the man in black.  That's a huge leap and so I suppose that West World has decided that it's time to fill in some of the blanks. We know that while Logan is the one who was originally approached by Ford and Bernard to invest in West World, it was William who took the ball and ran with it, dangling a carrot in front of his disinterested father in-law to seal the deal.  

James Delos was sick and dying of a disease ironically enough he suspended funding for fifteen years ago.  It turns out that even though West World gathered DNA and information on its guests, what Delos really wanted was a chance at immortality.  If James's mind could be uploaded into a host body he could effectively live forever. This is the carrot.  We watch as James begins in his day in a spartan abode which does not seem congruent with the wealth we know he posses.  James rises, works out and pours himself a coffee with shaking hands.  James even masturbates.  It's only when William arrives that we learn that who we have been watching isn't actually James but a James host.  James has been dead for seven months now and William is there to access how well the transfer went. At this point, William is still quite sympathetic towards his deceased father in-law, wanting to fulfill the promise he made to keep the man alive in a host form, only to discover that once again the transfer didn't work. 

Over the years we watch as William ages but yet continues to show up dutifully to check the fidelity of his father in-law, only to be forced time and time again to order the host destroyed and the process to begin anew.  By the time William is old enough to be the man in black, whatever sympathy he seems to have for the now long dead James has evaporated. By this point, they've tried to reboot James 149 times and each time it proved a failure. William is concerned that the issue is that James's mind refuses to accept the reality of his death and the passage of time.  This time, William absolutely relishes telling James that not only is his wife long dead and buried but that his daughter committed suicide and that Logan died of an overdose.  Rather than accepting any of the responsibility for what happened to the Delos family, William is happy to lay the blame at James feet, declaring James a terrible person who destroyed everything he touched.  William's cruelty is so deep that this time, he doesn't destroy the James Host but leaves it to deteriorate as it deals not only with it's own personal death but the death of all its family members. 

James's host version may not have worked out but that doesn't mean that transferring a mind to a host hasn't been perfected. I firmly believe that this is the code that Delos is trying to sneak out of the park. If this truly worked, many would pay unimaginable sums to secure immortality. It leaves me wondering if William's biggest mistake is a William host?  At this point, I still don't believe that Ford is actually dead and now seeing the James experiment, it's highly likely that Ford lives on in the body of a host and is controlling William's game.

iZombie, Season 4, Episode 11: Insane in the Germ Brain

We have a lot of sporadic plot lines here - but a lot of them are powerful with death being a heady theme.

Peyton plans on leaving town to go to DC on a zombie mission of good will to try and get New Seattle seen less as a threat. Before she goes, she and Ravi have dinner with her parents - including her zombie hating not very nice father. Who Ravi puts in his place and it is GLORIOUS, all hail Ravi, the master of how to eviscerate someone politely over the dinner table

But between the sparring there’s another more earnest plea - they beg Peyton to stay in DC where it’s safe, before violence between zombies and humans flares to all out war.

One of the main people in that war will be Chase Graves who is finally working with Major to shut down the brain smuggling -since they’re losing a massive 40% of their supply. Making Russ think that new security measures are coming in and that Major will be in charge of them, Russ is quick to take Major to see the big boss AJ who is in charge of the brain smuggling. They feed him tortured mobster brain that forces him to tell the truth - giving us a couple of jokey moments (one a gay joke about attraction to Chase because this is iZombie, and this is how close they get to actual representation) and saying his team of four has 3 good members. But that team launches an ambush because Major has swallowed a tracker. And with that the brain smugglers have been shut down: Major is the golden boy and everyone gathers at the Scratching post for a celebration, with Chase singing Major’s praises. Until he hears that Russ has escaped. He stole one of Major’s squads guns and then escaped

Chase is enraged despite every attempt by Major to calm him and demands to know whose gun: Major insists he can handle it but Chase won’t stop yelling: and Jordan admits it was her gun. And Chase shoots her repeatedly in the chest - Captain Seattle shoots back, injuring Chase. And Chase shoots him in the head murdering him

All of the Fillmore Grave soldiers watches with due horror. Is this enough for Major to finally realise how broken Chase is or if he’ll keep loyally serving.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The 100, Season Five, Episode Four: Pandora's Box

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Now that we know how everyone survived primefiyah and all the cast for the season has been situated, it's time to move the puzzle pieces together. Confidant that he has leverage, Bellamy makes a deal with Charmaine to not only release Clarke, but to free the people trapped in the bunker under Polis.  It's Bellamy's plan for them to split the valley in half when this is all over. Charmaine is rather accommodating of the situation and it all comes together so easily, that Bellamy really should have been more cautious, despite his assurance later to Octavia that he doesn't trust Charmaine. Bellamy is finally reunited with Clarke and it's beautiful to watch them hug.  Using the radio, Clarke lets Raven and Murphy know that she is alive and it's all really sweet.  It's a reminder that a lot of time has passed because Clarke actually says that she missed Murphy.

Kane is led into the bunker as Gaia gives a speech about the combatants being enemies of Onekru.  Octavia makes it clear that the fight will be to death and that the sole survivor may once again become part of Onekru.  Abby, who is locked in a room -- bangs on the door -- demanding to see Octavia, screaming that it was she who took the pills.  Kane manages to be the last survivor in the ring but rather than screaming in victory like the gladiator he is supposed be imitating to keep the crowd interested, Kane cries into his bloody hands briefly.  Octavia realises that she can't declare Kane a part of Onekru  because he has lost the support of the crowd and orders him to fight again tomorrow. The look on Indra's face suggests that she isn't pleased with this decision. We know that Indra and Kane have established a kind of trust and grudging respect for each other since their first meeting.

Kane is back in his cell and gets a visit from Octavia and Indra.  Octavia is looking for a reason not to sentence Kane to death and asks him who took the drugs. Octavia promises that Kane will be allowed to live if he simply tells her who took the drugs but Kane refuses to give Abby up. Kane however does tell Octavia that he will not be fighting tomorrow and that as a group they have lost their way. When Kane brings up the dark year, Octavia demands he drop the subject immediately. Okay folks, what was going on in the arena was pretty bad, so how bad was the dark year to get that moniker? Kane reminds Octavia of his own dark past and his culpability in floating Aurora. Octavia is not moved by Kane's plea and orders the fight to go on.  Indra however doesn't see the situation the same way and agrees to give Kane a few moments alone with Abby. The elephant in the room is that everyone knows that Kane is being punished for Abby's crime. 

Abby is of course  pleased to see that Kane survived the ordeal but when she learns that Kane must fight once more, Abby immediately confesses to Indra that it was she who stole the pills.  Indra at this point is clearly disgusted with Abby's weakness and reveals that it's because Kane knew that she would confess the first opportunity she got that Abby was isolated.  Indra makes it clear that Kane must fight for his life the next day and tells Abby to convince Kane not to go through with his plan to refuse to fight as a protest against all of the bloodshed in the bunker. Once alone, Kane reiterates his plan to sacrifice himself in order to show people that the path they are on is wrong and asks Abby not to waste his sacrifice by continuing to take the drugs.  More than anything, Kane wants Abby to be strong enough to be able to withstand the loss of him. Abby promises to stop taking the pills but since we know that she's a junkie, this is not a promise she's going to be able to keep.

Charmaine may be playing docile with Bellamy but she is nowhere near capitulating to his demands. Charmaine has tasked Shaw with breaking into the Eligius's computer system.  Shaw doesn't get far because Raven is one step ahead of him and is quick to shut him down. When Murphy learns what is happening, he suggests that they need to follow through on their word and kill the people in stasis but Raven isn't ready for the situation to go nuclear yet.  Raven won't even inform Bellamy of Charmaine's treachery.  Murphy explains that he stayed behind to be the one to pull the plug because he didn't want Raven to have to take on that burden. It's the most honest Murphy has been in a long time. 

Charmaine, who we learn is a former decorated navy seal, as well as at the time of her capture, the most wanted person in the world, must also deal with the questions of the men who are following her lead. Charmaine is more than happy to free the people in the bunker because she knows that they have a doctor there.  It seems that there's some kind illness that they are concerned about but we don't know the details of it yet. 

Colony, Season Three, Episodes One: Maquis

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Season three pretty much reboots the series, moving our band of survivors from California to Seattle, with one stop along the way.  When last we left the Bowmans, with Snyder's help, they had managed to escape Los Angeles just as a rendition was occurring, with the gauntlet no less.  Given that the entire world has been invaded that doesn't leave them with many options. The Bowmans settle in the woods in a small cabin.  It's a huge change of pace because they aren't actively in the fight anymore, nor are they actively running for their lives. Snyder has been made into the family cook and water fetcher because he has proven to be capable of little else.  The Bowmans fish, read books and play cards. It's a level of domesticity they haven't have since the invasion.

The aliens however are never far from their thoughts and so the area around the cabin has been completely booby trapped in case they have to flea quickly. Each day a drone takes a survey of the area.  The first sign of trouble is when a drone crosses the barrier for the first time. They always knew that this set up would temporary, even if it finally felt normal for the first time in a long time. Bram has been picking up resistance radio communications and wants to reach out but at this point, Will prefers to lay low for as long as possible.

Things come to a head when a ship buzzes overhead before crashing several miles away.  Will knows that they cannot afford to ignore this and tells his family to prepare to get moving while he and Snyder go check out what is going on. Even after six months, Will doesn't trust Snyder but he does believe that Snyder will best able to make sense of whatever they come across.  Snyder and Will head out into the Woods and manage to find an old ski lift. When they get to the top, they see that not only has the shipped crashed, it seems as though it has been shot down. This immediately gets Will's wheels turning.  What if the guests are actually at war with another alien species? Will wonders if it is possible to turn the enemy of an enemy into a friend. 

Back at the cabin, Kate and Bram argue about reaching out to the resistance.  Bram feels that it's no longer safe where they are and that they need to do something soon.  Kate however continues to remain noncommittal, as the two of them dig up the gauntlet from its hiding place.  Bram goes as far as to question who is actually in charge of the family, arguing that if his mother sides with him, then it's two against one. 

Snyder and Will return and barely have enough time to report on what they've found before the arrival of a kill squad.  Snyder is ordered to take Gracie and Charlie to their designated hiding space while Bram, Will and Kate hold down the fort and buy them just enough time to escape.  Will, Kate and Bram fire from the cabin for as long as they can before starting a recording of gun fire and fleeing themselves through the woods.  They kill each soldier they come across and Kate barely manages to avoid death herself.  Sensing that Gracie, Charlie and Snyder might need more time, Will sends Bram to catch up with them and cover their back while they continue to try draw the soldiers away.  Will and Kate find themselves in an open field and drone comes out of nowhere, killing the two soldier who had taken aim at them.  Will immediately jumps in front of Kate blocking the drone from seeing her. Once the drone scans Will, it moves off on its own. Kate is suitably surprised and Will explains that this isn't the first time this has happened. 

Lucifer, Season 3, Episode 24: A Devil of My Word

Charlotte is dead and everyone is stunned, Dan bereft, Ella sad and Lucifer moved that he will never see her again as he is never going to heaven, unlike Chloe

This episode, more than any other, Lucifer is super open about who he is to Chloe… and she thinks it’s all a metaphor, becoming ever more frustrated but trying to understand as she cuts through his metaphorical language.

One surprising element is Pierce is rather quickly exposed to the dream team. Dan, grieving, goes to Charlotte’s apartment and realises that she was investigating him as the Sinnerman. Lucifer confirms this - much to Dan and Chloe’s outrage because he never told them. But they’re focusing on getting Pierce right now and are willing to address his avoiding the answer (though he claims he did tell them a lot - but in “metaphor” speech)

Chloe doesn’t jump on board but when Pierce addresses the department, she knows that this level of emotion is just alien to Pierce. She knows he’s lying. So now they have to prove it.

Pierce is resurrecting his Sinnerman guise, including his network of criminals and people who owe him favours. And he’s got his best men doing something vitally important.

Guarding Maze

Humans, guarding Maze

Despite being drugged and chained up, Maze escapes and murders all of them - she then runs four miles across town to traumatise one of Linda’s patients to collapse on her sofar after being sure Linda is ok. Before she was drugged, Pierce said he had someone pointing a gun at Linda and Maze was terrified she was going to be killed

Maze and Linda have a beautiful re-establishment of their friendship; with Linda awed that Maze would carve through 12 men and run four miles to get to her side; saying that these actions speak louder than any words. But to Maze, actions are easy but words are hard - so she needs to say that she’s sorry. As does Linda and they hug and are best friends forever. Maze worries that being around humans makes her weak but Linda is clear that the emotion of people around her makes people strong and Maze has never been stronger

This whole scene is so perfect and bitter - bitter because this beautiful awesome scene is the last time we will ever see these two characters. Aaargh…

Chloe et al also realise that Pierce will have resurrected his network so decide to track down the person Pierce is clearly framing for Charlotte’s murder (I kind of love the scene where they find the gun and the suspect says “it’s not mine!” and they’re all “we know, you’re being framed, pay attention.”). They’re at a charity gala for the rich and suspicious but realise the sinnerman is so good at favours that they need to track down the least suspicious man there.

They manage this - and we have an awesome moment where Chloe outright acknowledges Lucifer‘s strange, supernatural power.

Despite all this, Pierce is still cunning. Bringing Ella into the know they use her to set up Lucifer and Pierce having a big confrontation. And Pierce realises he’s alone with no Chloe to make him vulnerable and he is no longer immortal. He does confess all to Lucifer about how he tried to get his mark back by trying to kill Amenadiel. While Lucifer explains Amenadiel’s theory of how your own belief changes you - he now is coming to believe that Amenadiel was right. That he gained his devil face because after his failed rebellion against god he thought he was a monster and hated himself - so changed. While he thinks Pierce gave up his mark because, in loving Chloe, he finally did something unselfish and decided that he deserved to get what he wanted.

Pierce doesn’t buy that - but he has figured out Lucifer’s weakness: wanting to be good. So when he screams out for cops to help, Lucifer is attacking, Lucifer isn’t willing to slaughter a bunch of cops.

Time for everyone to gather for plan B, but first Ella and Lucifer talk faith and god and Lucifer actually defends god, thinking they’re all far more responsible for their own actions than they like to believe. I don’t think Ella entirely believes it, calling her relationship with god “rocky”

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The 100, Season Five, Episode Three: Sleeping Giants

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Oh my how the roles have all reversed. If you recall, when Skaikru first landed on earth, to the grounders they were an invading force and so the grounders attacked.  The little patch of earth that Clarke has appropriated from the slaughtered clan seems to be all that is habitable on earth now and she is determined to protect it at all cost and teach her adopted daughter how colonisers are to be treated.  Clarke isn't about to ask any questions from the invaders and she continues on with attack mode, setting up one of the prisoners as bait so that she can take a shot at the rest of his comrades. Because they are only two of them and they don't have the fire power to take on the invading prisoners, they are forced to split up. Clarke warns Madi to run and hide while she leads the prisoners of the Eligius away from her.  

Up in space, the rest of the crew are getting the fuel needed from the Eligius to be able to return back to earth.  It's not long before Monty discovers the cryochamber and the almost three hundred people still in stasis.  In another area of the ship, Bellamy learns that the people sleeping and those on the ground are all murderers. Things become urgent when they learn through radio communications that someone on the ground has been captured.  Because Bellamy assumes that Clarke is dead, he believes that the person in danger could be Octavia. Messing with the system of Eligius doesn't go unnoticed and Charmaine gives the the order to awaken one of the prisoners to deal with the invaders.  It takes several members of the crew to take the prisoner out. 

On earth, it's time for interrogation for Clarke.  Clarke takes a page out of Lincoln's captivity and not only remains silent, she actively tries to convey the idea that she doesn't speak English.  Charmaine however is one step ahead of Clarke and has noticed from Clarke's body language that she understands the radio transmissions between her and her crew.  Charmaine explains that they didn't know that the little oasis was occupied when they arrived and were only looking for a safe space to live.  It sounds quite reasonable but given that everything that Clarke has been through, she's not about to put her trust in Charmaine.

Now that the prisoners in cryogenic sleep have been found, the crew must decide what to do with them. Murphy is quick to suggest that they should kill everyone now because they are sleeping army who will do nothing but cause damage or kill Skaikru when they awaken.  Monty of course is not down with this idea at all. It's Bellamy who decides that a compromise is more in order. Bellamy asks Raven to cut off communications with the ground and set it up so that they can rig the stasis machines to go down permanently remotely if necessary - why waste good leverage. Bellamy does however check in with Murphy for his opinion on the plan and while Murphy doesn't exactly co-sign it, he clearly doesn't have a loud objection.  

Back on the ground, the prisoners are about to catch up with Madi. A panicked Clarke will not risk her adopted daughter being captured and so she speaks for the first time, begging Charmaine to let Maddie live because Maddie is only a child. It's only when Clarke volunteers that Maddie is leading their forces into a trap that Charmaine finally calls her men back.  Charmaine promises Clarke that if she deals honestly her, that she will be honest in return.  Charmaine's first question is how the earth got destroyed, causing Clarke to question what time Charmaine is talking about. 

Back aboard the ship, the residents of the Arc prepare to depart for what they hope to be the last time.  There's one problem though, there's no way to remotely detonate the cryogenic chambers, meaning that someone is going to have to stay on board.  Bellamy offers to be the one to stay, not wanting to be responsible for leaving someone he cares about behind again.  Unfortunately, because the process of killing the chamber is so complicated, Raven explains that it would take several days to teach Bellamy and how to do it.  Raven explains that there are two escape pods on the Eligus and that if necessary she will use one of those to return to earth. Raven also points out that if they can get on good relations with the prisoners, she can hitch a ride back to earth with them, seeing as how they have a ship. Bellamy is reluctant but at this point feels as though he is out of options. 

The Handmaid's Tale, Season Two, Episode Four: Other Women

For the last season we've watched as June has been subjected to torture and degradation, yet in the face of it all, though she has had moments of sadness, June has always been a fighter. The Gilead may have renamed her Offred but she has refused to take on that monikor, identifying only as June in her mind.  This week, we see that a mind can only be pushed so far before it breaks.

June has been captured and locked in the very room that Aunt Lydia warned her was her destiny if she didn't capitulate to everything that the Gilead wanted from her. Because June is pregnant and the Gilead prizes babies June cannot be subjected to the physical punishments that Aunt Lydia seems to love so much and this forces Aunt Lydia to switch gears.  Alone in a room with nothing to amuse her and no one to interact with, it's clear, June is in danger of losing her mental faculties. When Aunt Lydia first appears a defiant June stares her down. June is informed that she she can remain chained to the bed and then executed after the baby is born or she can change into her red dress and move back in with the Waterfords.  It's not really a choice and so June returns to the Commander and Serena Joy, with Aunt Lydia whispering in her ear about being lucky to be there, entreating her to be a good girl. 

June may be back in the red dress and back in the Waterfords home but she is not yet defeated. In fact, June is amused that they managed to frame her escape as a kidnapping in order to save face. Even in moment of defeat the Gilead always looks for ways to stay on top. Serena is the only to physically harm June in the episode a rare moment on a show in which we have become accustomed to violence against women as a regular occurrence. The moment June and Serena are alone, Serena pounces and begins to choke June who keeps a slight smile on her face never for one moment showing any kind of panic. June knows like we all know that as long as she is pregnant, Serena is not going to harm her.  When Serena lets June go and marches out of the room, June calls out,  “As long as my baby is safe, so is yours.” That's June's way of reclaiming power by throwing Serena's own words back at her. 

Aunt Lydia however is determined to break June down and remind her that she is nothing more than a womb. June cannot even bathe without Aunt Lydia waltzing in and demand that she "wash down there", lest any nasty germs get at the baby.  Gilead so anti-woman that it's not surprising that a vagina, is deemed dirty even as the womb is elevated. June is ordered to dress and come downstairs to have something healthy for the baby. This is when June makes eye contact with Nick for the first time since returning home and it does not go unnoticed by Serena Joy. Since everything is about the baby, June is offered a green shake.  Pretending compliance, June takes a small sip with ordered to by Aunt Lydia and then several mouthful when ordered to consumer more.  June however isn't ready to play good girl yet and proceeds to throw the shake up all over the counter.  A smile crosses June's face at this tiny moment of rebellion but it is short lived because Aunt Lydia simply decides to make June another shake.

Throughout the episode there's a lot of tension between June and Serena.  Serena is filled with disdain for June, largely based in jealousy of her fertility and the trapped environment they are both.  This is after all what Serena wanted but she now she is all to aware that without motherhood she is irrelevant and only June can provide her that. Serena is without doubt a true believer but as the walls are closing in, I don't believe that her rage is solely based on non compliance. I am quite certain that at least a part of it has to do with feeling suffocated by the Gilead.

Continuing on with absurdity, it's time for the baby shower.  June is forced to sit and watch as Serena opens presents and the wives coo.  As the wives comment that it's a shame that Serena has missed so much of the pregnancy and that it's too bad that she hasn't felt the baby kick yet, June is quick to volunteer that she felt the baby move the night before.  Aunt Lydia tries to defuse the situation by asking if June needs a break, June is quick to declare that she's having a great time.

And just where is the commander while this huge estrogen fest is going on? He's busy hunting with the other commanders. It's clear at this point that he's only minimally invested in the baby who isn't even his to begin with and even less interested in the domestic war waging between Serena and June. In fact, the commander is busy trying to get himself assigned to negotiate with Canada, who it seems has put sanctions on the Gilead.

On a break, June attempts to reach out to her fellow handmaidens. Ofglen, who participated in the rebellion (read: the refusal to stone Janine) led by June, simply walks right past June without even acknowledging her. It's Ofrobert who explains that as punishment, Ofglen had her tongue cut out. June asks about Mayday, only to learn that they are no longer helping handmaids to escape. June is quick to take ownership, particularly after seeing the nasty scar on Ofrobert's hand, and is told she is blamed by some for certain things.

Into the Badlands, Season 3, Episode 4: Chapter XX: Blind Cannibal Assassins

Introducing new shiny eye candy - Gaius Chau, brother of Baron Chau, imprisoned and beaten by Baron Chau because she doesn’t like him very much but won’t kill him while their mother is alive. She needs him to lead a squad to kill the Pilgrim because he destroyed their little outpost and she doesn’t need that nonsense. And if he doesn’t obey she’ll murder all the clippers loyal to him

He agrees but she knows the Pilgrim has two Dark Ones with him so how exactly Chau expects this to actually be achieved I don’t know

At the same time the Widow is concerned because a lot of fliers from the Pilgrim has scattered across her land and a whole lot of her workers have run off to seek the paradise of Asra. Since they’re already struggling with workers numbers that remains a problem. It also shows, again, that the Widow’s promise of being different doesn’t seem to follow reality given the large number of workers willing to leave so quickly.

Lydia and the Widow resolve to go see the Pilgrim, with Lydia gently convincing the Widow not to make another enemy while they’re already in the middle of a war.

There Cressida and Lydia talk faith, especially since Lydia’s mother was a man of faith. Cressida is clear that faith can be be used to control people, to keep them docile so they accept terrible lives in exchange for a better life in the afterlife. While Cressida’s faith offers a better life in Asra, here and now.

Lydia isn’t buying.

While the Widow and Pilgrim discuss change - what it will take to change this brutal world and he, rightly, says that people will need to change. The Widow clearly isn’t making changes using the same methods as those before and if she does, will her changes actually last past her death? He proposes using faith to change people

Which is when Gaius and his men attack - which is probably a good time because Cressida has already sent Nix off to go find a new Dark One since Caster is rapidly approaching his use by date (Nix isn’t thrilled by this) so only Caster is in residence. Except so’s the Widow so we get lots and lots of beautiful fight scenes with the Widow and Pilgrim carving a path through the enemy forces in a beautiful dance. Cressida and Lydia aren’t the same level but hold their own - and Gaius ends up fighting Caster. I say again, Caster seems considerably less powerful than MK was last season - Gaius lasts a long time against him while MK, when he went Dark One, was pretty unstoppable

Of course Gaius can’t win this fight and ends up wounded - but Caster then focuses on the Widow, attacking and only stopping because the Pilgrim steps in and says “Peace is With you” in his own language - and Caster falls, asleep and without his gift. The Widow is duly stunned while Pilgrim describes it as his own special ability.

They end with a bit of suspicion but a lot of mutual respect - and a mutual enemy. The Widow says she’s fine with him so long as he doesn’t recruit from her lands… I note he doesn’t actually agree to this.