Saturday, December 1, 2018

Supernatural: Season 14, Episode 7: Unhuman Nature

Jack collapsed last episode and his three dads are all panicky about how to help. Castiel tries to use his angelic abilities, but he has no idea what is wrong with Jack or how to fix him

In desperation they take him to a hospital, desperately trying to get through his admissions process when he has no surname, family or officially presence. But medical technology also doesn’t work so well with an ailing Nephilim.

Running out of options, with lots of powerful grief and Dean especially falling apart, they turn to Rowena

I always love a visit from Rowena! She isn’t thrilled about helping a nephilim and especially not the son of Satan - thinking that anything to do with satan is better off dead. But she can’t resist Jack’s innocent charm, even if he does kind of accept she may be right

But even Rowena’s magic doesn’t work. She does diagnose him though - a Nephilim needs grace to live. An Archangel Nephilim needs archangel grace. Which is a problem because all the archangels are dead.

Everyone starts brain storming except Jack - who wants to spend some time living and asks Dean to take him out. Which includes Dean showing him how to drive. Yes, drive his car, his baby; he doesn’t even let Sam do that. I like that a series of 14 seasons can have moments like this that have been so well established - and I like that they didn’t feel the need to make that point in this episode. We have fourteen seasons already we don’t need to make this clear.

They also fish with Jack being all gushy about this because he wants to spend more time with dean while he still has time left

And this whole scene, whole arc, is beautiful - but why Dean? There’s Sam and Castiel saying how hard it is to lose a son, and how this hurts more than their previous losses - but even they are talking about how it hurts Dean especially. I think the habit of Supernatural to focus more on Dean than the others takes something from the show. Especially this where Jack has, if anything, been closer to Sam and even closer to Castiel than Dean.

Castiel thought he had managed to track down Sergei, a shaman, who may be able to help - but only seems to exacerbate the problem. Castiel is duly enraged

But they now have no hope for Jack

Friday, November 30, 2018

Van Helsing: Season 3, Episode 8: Crooked Steps

After a whole lot of side plotting last week, we return to the sisters, Vanessa the Honey Badger (who is surprisingly non-badgery this week) and Scarlett.

They’re studying the book that their mother left them that apparently contains all the scary secrets about the first. Only they can’t figure out what these secrets are (though, amusingly, Vanessa tries to stab secrets out of the book). They do talk about what their mother wanted or even why they had the elder blood in a vial - Scarlett even gave some of it to Doc because she just has no other idea

A random vampire attack spatters blood on the book and it reveals a map!

Sister road trip! They steal a boat which gets Vanessa shot with a shotgun which is briefly inconvenient but yeah they’re this immortal. They arrive on an island, abandoned now the last survivor on the island has committed suicide, and find it eerily well preserved, untouched since the rising.

They find a projector and do some random puzzle-game steps to change the map enough for them to find their X - a cross that needs opening with magical Van Helsing hands just like the first elder’s home. And inside they find another elder.

Jacob Van Helsing

Abraham Van Helsing’s brother, vampire hunter, vampire and elder. Which raises so many questions! What a shame that he speaks nothing but cryptic nonsense

Also this actor plays Bobo Del Ray on Wynonna Earp, who knew you could be typecast as an insane rambling vampire? How is there even this many roles for this to become a thing for an actor?

His babbling is frustrating to parse, he explains he was turned chasing an elder with his brother Abraham (and he and that elder fell through a portal into a labyrinth which could be just about… ANYTHING?!). And he became an elder because he was chosen to be one. So elders can pass on their rank? Or they can lose it? Do they just pass on the totem? SO MANY QUESTIONS HERE!? How come no-one asked about the whole elder transfer process?!

He also babbles a lot about how he expected siblings - and only one can survive. He basically hints at a prophecy/fate/destiny that means only one of them will survive. Which also hints at maybe one sister killing the others

What’s also interesting is he can drink Vanessa’s anti-vampire blood - something he (and somewhat leerily, she) seems to find seductive and he comments on Vanessa feeding on herself to boost her own powers with blood. Because he did the same thing

Yes we have a huge revelation here - because previously it had been implied that Vanessa and Scarlett had their super powers because they were experimented on as children. But apparently it’s a Van Helsing thing, at least a little.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Charmed, Season 1, Episode 7: Out of the Scythe

Emotions and secrets and life changes are the themes of this episode. So, each sister is having life changes:

Macy has just been promoted by her new boss, Julia, who is known as a hardarse. She thinks Macy would be an awesome boss but there’s a hitch - she also needs to make some major economies which means firing Galvin. Macy is all “nooooo he my friend” and Julia hits back that men do this all the time then go play golf. Which is a gendered way of saying “if you’re a supervisor hiring and firing goes with the territory time to be professional.”

And are they friends? I mean the last half a dozen episodes have kind of shown them to be super super awkward lately

She decides to see Galvin for a dinner firing only he babbles constantly, stops her getting a word in edgeways and praises her lavishly for her promotion while positively

Mel is struggling choosing her Thesis, with Harry gently prodding her to choose soon, even suggesting she use her time bending powers to give herself more time to choose because he cannot give her more extensions. She is dodging the subject and currently working as a bar tender

And we have Maggie who is still mooning after Parker. And using the magical training orb to have fantasies about him. And part of me rolled my eyes at Maggie’s pathetic fantasies but then I roll them twice as hard at the writers who think this is a woman’s sexual fantasy. Because really? Really really?

She’s also having trouble choosing her major and considering dropping out because she’s not sure about academia in general. Something she explains to Parker when they finally get together - Lucy has moved on and sends a group text saying they totally have her blessing. That was super quick and easily resolved… hand wave that storyline! Handwave it away! (And I generally approve of getting her blessing because, sure, you don’t own your exes. But if you’ve hurt a friend by kissing her boyfriend, respect demands not jumping on that boyfriend if you value that friendship). They have a low key date with veganism and lots of hyper empathetic insight which makes Parker feel all understood as they both discuss the overwhelming expectations their family puts on them. Parker talking about his rich family why Maggie dealing with a family of brilliant academics and the pressure to go to college from all of them

It’s all going well, but when she kisses Parker she hears his thoughts - that he has a secret he hopes she never learns.

This puts her off - but when she tells Macy, Macy wisely points out that lots of people have occasional dark thoughts and that doesn’t make them bad people so Maggie should explore more.

So Maggie goes to see Parker and walks in on him injecting himself. Because she hasn’t seen the 9,678,976 shows which have done the “legitimately taking medicine mistaken for drug use” storyline before now. She storms off in a huff before, inevitably, by the end of the episode when Parker reveals he actually has an immune system condition which will probably kill him before he’s 40 and this is why he injects himself. He finds himself feeling weak because of this and his whole family cruelly treats it as a dirty secret. Of course Maggie hugs him and tells him she’s not abandoning him. He thinks how wonderful it is that he has told her his secret

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Z nation: Season 5, Episode 8: Heartland

In what is supposed to be a cute scene but also kind of emphasises how broken their timeline is with George having to have the consitution explained to her last episode, we have 10k and Addie arguing over internet memes.

They arrive in Heartland where the flour with the added brainess comes from and find a farm that looks fairly abandoned, with the farmhands, all talkers and all going very close to zombie. We also learn that this farm also provides most of Newmerica’s grain so it being abandoned is pretty much bad for everyone.

They’re joined by Doc and George and all of them hide in a cottage where Doc helps the adorkable 10k with his stump - which isn’t looking good - treating it with copious amounts of moonshine to make him adorably drunk and disinfected. And we meet Finn, an old friend/flame of Addie’s who has been helping her get Talkers to limbo and safety. He’s also been shoot but Doc is there to patch him up

He lives - because he’s very lucky. As Doc says, he’s a terrible doctor. He and Addie explain a little of their past, do some spiky club flirting. He also doesn’t have much of the additive that goes into making the Biscuits - but says it isn’t brains - they were lost in the attacks, the same attacks that also turned most of his farm hands into Talkers.

Oh and the Biscuits are apparently Bizkits. Yes, I’m not typing that

Someone is trying to shut them down - while George is pretty sure that it can’t be talkers, Warren also points out that starving people are easily manipulated and anyone wanting to take over, Talker or Human could benefit from causing starvation

Speaking of -Pandora and her assistant are lurking round causing trouble, as they do.

We have a naturally silly scene while everyone rounds up the Talker Ranch hands so they can provide them with brains… from Charlie. Charlie is a Talker who apparently volunteered his brain to let the other Talkers live and know. It’s… comedic to begin with. Then becomes darker when it becomes clear neither he nor us are clear whether he actually volunteered for this or whether he’s a vulnerable man being exploited. And then utterly tragic when, his brain nearly gone and reduced to virtually no consciousness, he asks for mercy. And is granted it by Finn

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A Mark Unwilling (The Reckoning #1) by Candace Wondrak

Lexa’s family had every privilege - of course they did, they paid for it with Lexa’s soul.

She always knew that some day her demonic master would come to collect - but who knew that would be the least of her concerns with cultists, vampires and, most of all, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding free

The demonic mark on her body may make her invincible but with the apocalypse rising even she may not survive this

A lot happens in a very brief space of time in this book. It doesn’t exactly make it hard to follow per se, I mean I could tell exactly what was going on but it felt rushed without a lot of layers.

We open the book introduced to our protagonist, Lexa is a woman whose soul has been sold to some mysterious demon by her parents when she was still in the womb. While this has the nice benefit of being unkillable and presumably other side effects to being soulless, it also means she lives with the knowledge her parents sold her soul. This comes with like, ALL the parental issues and understandably - I mean we have parents who are not necessarily bad and are quite caring and a very privileged upbringing but that undertone of them having sold her soul colours their entire relationship. But we don’t really have time to explore it and instead we just end up with a bad mother character and a loving father character who gets written out before his position on the pedestal can be made more complicated or nuanced

And because the four horsemen of the apocalypse land so quickly after the book starts we never really get a chance to see Lexa’s relationship with them - or even what being marked actually means. This happens for a few other baseline things we start the book with - like her friend David, a 300 year old warlock. This means… I’m not even sure. He has magic and he’s old so he has knowledge which makes him quite useful to Lexa but I would have liked seeing more time of them together, more time to show the relationship and why this relationship is actually there. Or even what a warlock actually is.

And this could work is, during the plot, we actually worked with these relationships, but we hit the ground running and we don’t really stop. But not only do we not really stop, but the action is kind of disjointed. We have a cop who is also Marked but apparently to a Greek god - and everyone just kind of runs with this without explanation. Ok, how do they fit in this cosmology? What does this mean?

And then there’s a pack of vampires who are involved for… reasons? I mean they may know about the potentially upcoming apocalypse but we’re not sure why or how and they can’t actually explain themselves but they spend so much time being menacing and misunderstood. And there’s the blood moon so badness is happening with them so, again, we never really develop any relationships or world building or what they mean because we have ACTION. And maybe could explore that but we also have a member of the party who can see the future and there’s a cult involved and she needs rescuing and why why why why why is this all here? Slow down, slow down, I can’t even remember any of these character’s names an-