Friday, February 1, 2019

Siren: Season 2, Episode 1: The Arrival

The second season of Siren opens extremely strongly - because it does exactly what a second season is supposed to do - reminding us who all the characters and what they’re going through

So we have Ben, rock climbing alone (which is a bad idea) and clearly having a lot of difficulty with siren song still echoing in his brain. And this may be more troubling than originally thought - pathologist Wanda tells Sheriff Dale that Decker - who committed suicide due to siren song - had actual brain damage. Also his doctor thinks he has substance misuse issues

He tells this to Maddie who tries to pass the warning on to Ben - who isn’t really willing to listen. This is pretty much the core of the rift between them

And Maddie has other issues - her mother is back in town after several months of no contact (she didn’t know basic things about Maddie’s life). While her dad, Sheriff Dale, is happy to have her back in their lives. Maddie is less of a fan, she’s clearly been hurt by her mother many times before both with her leaving them and for much alluded to substance misuse. Things are tense.

Xander is also finding his place again - Maddie is still not happy with him over the death of Donna but seems to be thawing, especially as she needs a friend to confide in. He’s pretty eaten by guilt himself and sought Ryn out to apologise to her - Ryn doesn’t seem to exactly understand the concept but appreciates it anywhere, taking him to her sister’s grave. She says that in the ocean, everyone moves forwards. Which is an interesting touch of Mermaid culture but also I have to say rather easily gives him a get-out-of-murder-free card for killing her sister who she apparently cared about so much she was willing to follow her out of the ocean

And didn’t her sister go in for revenge last season? That’s not exactly moving forwards.

Xander is also being flirted with by new character Nichole who either really likes fishing boats or is into big hairy guys in cable-knit sweaters. I’m not judging. But option c is she’s actually an undercover agent spying on them which is troubling

And to round off the town drama we have the town council kicking out Sheriff Dale as he finds out his friends weren’t all that trustworthy. Of course multiple deaths, suicides and dramas which he kind of let go with a “it’s fine, trust me” probably didn’t help him much. He reminds the cops to come to him when weird stuff happens. Presumably so he can point and laugh.

I may be a little more petty than him.

But the actual drama… why Ryn is trying to adapt to human life with Helen’s help and doing rather poorly, she’s also lonely as a pack animal without her pack. But the new plot line hits - something terrible in the water. This isn’t just sensed by Ryn but makes whales beach themselves and freaks out the sea lions.

With the help of Maddie and Ben they go out to sea so Ryn can swim and see what’s happening - only to be driven to shore by a headsplitting noise. A ship is exploring for oil using a kind of sonar - and the noise is driving sea creatures out

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Tale of Two Demon Slayers (Accidental Demon Slayer #3) by Angie Fox

Lizzie is going to Greece to have a holiday with her Gryphon boyfriend in his ancestral home - while Dimitri can finally look to a future with his family and clan now the curse has been lifted

But peace is quickly menaced by an ominous prediction of Lizzie’s death. Oh and Dimitri’ ex who raises some disturbing questions about where Lizzie actually fits in his world.

This is one of this books that surprises me. The first two books of this series have… not been my favourite series, been often quite simplistic and sidelining just about everything that made this book so fascinating - like the biker witches

And a fair bit of that continues - the biker witches are still just a vague background group who don’t serve a great deal of purpose except to be the world’s worst house guests just so Lizzie can feel super super worried.

But it does equally feed quite interestingly into Lizzie’s conflict over just how much Dimitri has done for her, sacrificed for her et al. Which is an interesting element of self-reflection especially from a character who has spent most of her story so far being understandably self-absorbed. I mean this isn’t a character flaw on Lizzie’s part because she’s obviously gone through a lot, being a little self-focused makes sense. I don’t begrudge her a second of this because that’s natural, nor do I think her resisting further revelations or her objecting to anything stopping her having a break, just a brief break. This is a reasonable, human reaction. And it’s equally reasonable for her to, when she has a bit of break, to reflect on that and think that maybe the people around her have done a lot for her. I kind of think that the Witches deserve more of this reflection and realisation than Dimitri. But the whole conflict and internal debate is really well done.

I think that the book kind of misses what Lizzie did for them - saving the witches and releasing Dmitri’s family from a curse that was killing his sisters and destroying his family and future. I mean this whole narrative kind of misses that every side character would actually be dead if it weren’t for Lizzie. The balance isn’t all one way- and I think that this is pushed at least in part because they wanted Lizzie to have break up angst with Dmitri. Which I don’t get the need for, we don’t need a relationship drama as well as everything else and I think the relationship was already super shaky because of how very very.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Charmed: Season 1, Episode 11: Witch Perfect

The director of an acapella music group goes to Greece and ends up being possessed by an ancient Greek item in a shop in Athens. He even does the patented possession neck snap.

Y’know, life in Urban Fantasy worlds must be damn interesting for anyone dealing with anything historical.

How does this link in to the Charmed ones? Well, Maggie has decided that with her demon boyfriend and little sojourn in Tartarus what she really needs is some close harmony singing

Uh-huh well done, Charmed, that’s a convoluted link almost on par with some of the ridiculous convoluted links of the original series. Hey "Witch Perfect"? It's doing that old Charmed thing of making pop culture references like 6 years after they were relevant

Harry is also kind of depressed because he’s trying to gather his memories about his not!dead son and also seems to have some lingering tartarus badness clinging to him. Oh and he really really disapproves of Galvin knowing the truth but respects the sisters insistence he not have his memory wiped.

But, of course, the true revelation of last week was Macy discovering that she and Maggie are actually full sisters, her dad, Dexter Vaughn, being both their dads while Ray was Mel’s dad. Nervous and excited she tries to explain this to her sisters and it doesn’t go down well

I actually like this argument because all of it kind of goes back to where they all are at the moment and how they approach this revelation.

Macy is happy - because she hasn’t exactly lost anything with this revelation. Her father is her father, her mother is her mother, she still has two sisters but if anything is even closer. More, with her inclination towards facts and knowledge she is fascinated to discover new secrets and new knowledge. She’s happy and interested and excited

While Mel is more reeling - she’s discovered she’s the half-sister after being so close to Maggie for so long. But more, we were told that Mel was always super close to Marisol only now she’s learning that Marisol kept more and more and more and more secrets from her - witchcraft now seems to be the least of it. Mel feels reeling and wounded and hurt.

And Maggie, having already felt betrayed by Parker, wounded by the fact that Ray, her apparently-step-father didn’t come home for Christmas and now her biological father apparently abandoned her is just hurt and deeply deeply upset

On top of that Macy feels attacked by them being a little shoot the messenger while they feel insulted by her glee and Mel actually has a good line about how Macy tries to police how they react to this and push them into how they SHOULD feel about this (positive) rather than acknowledging how they do feel about it,.

This causes all kinds of drama. Of course. Macy goes to Galvin, very angry and expressing that to him while he gently pokes that maaaaaybe they have a point. She decides to do something deeply unwise and cast a secret reveal spell

And my gods how that spell didn’t backfire I do not know. This spell is DESIGNED to backfire. It was written by a supremely messy spiteful witch cackling away as she imagined all the many ways it could backfire.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Supernatural: Season 14, Episode 11: Damaged Goods

Time to cut down another storyline - Nick, Lucifer’s ex-host, who is now dealing with serial killer impulses and a desire to get vengeance for his family by finding Abraxas the demon who killed them. This involves finding various people who are probably really eager to co-operate with him but he decides to go with kidnapping threat and torture anyway

Because evil. Oh and he has an angel blade. Do they mass produce these things?!

But we also have Dean. Last episode we were told by Billie that there was just one possible way that Michael doesn’t escape Dean’s head and causes the world to end. Despite a regular habit of disrupting prophecy and rebuilding reality, Dean accepts this

I approve. This is very very very much in character. If it were Sam who was facing this certain horrible death, Dean would end the world first. But since it involves his own martyrdom and his own self-destructive impulses and lack of self worth, this makes perfect sense

Speaking of that unhealthy co-dependence. Dean decides to set that plan in motion by going on a little road trip to see Mary (staying in Donna’s cabin. Alone as she and Bobby had a little tiff but mainly because with this very personal emotional time for Dean I think Bobby-not-Bobby would just really complicate things. The Pseudo-father-figure-who-isn’t would be awkward). And he wants to go alone. He also hugs Sam goodbye

Sam is SUSPICIOUS. Dean does not go places without Sam. He just… doesn’t. That unhealthy attachment ensures it. Dean also doesn’t hug. Dean doesn’t do emotion like that. Hugs mean the end of the world. As Sam says. Which kind of annoys me because I think one of the advantages of having fourteen seasons is that a show doesn’t need to explain things like that, but hey.

Dean heads to Mary, dropping in to see Donna, who is always awesome and show have had her own show like Wayward Sisters and I am NOT OVER THIS.

Donna also notices Dean is acting… oddly but he continues on to see Mary who, thanks to lots of phone calls with Sam, knows Something is Up and they do lots of family bonding and reminiscing while Mary tries to figure out exactly what is happening with Dean. I like this - I like the dynamic and the recognition that everyone is deeply worried but also fully away Dean will neither ask for nor accept help.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Legacies: Season 1, Episode 8: Maybe I Should Start from the End

Legacies is back

Yay. Let me contain my joy.

And we begin with some silly time line nonsense I’m not even going to give credit to because I hate it. Tell stories in chronological order! Unless you have time travel there’s no reason to show me what happens tomorrow before you show me what happened yesterday.

So instead Hope has received a message on her magical bracelet that Landon is in danger so she needs to head out to rescue him. This involves trying to leave in the middle of the night where she is caught by Alaric because apparently she knows no stealth spells or anything

She also can’t lie. Nor does she think to put Alaric to sleep or anything. He insists on coming with her to rescue Landon but she’s rightfully wary because after all, why? Why bother with Alaric?

Actually he can drive. Hope cannot. Well done Alaric, you can be a chauffeur. We should get you a hat. This is the first useful thing that Alaric has done since this series began. He also quizzes her on the way over to remind us he’s a teacher while Hope asks if he’s going to quiz his own actual daughters.

Hah, don’t you not-even-remotely-love how Legacies continually shows how much Alaric cares for Hope more than his own daughters and how those daughters clearly are hurt by this?

Now Landon has found his mother, she runs a coffee shop and he keeps buying coffee until he builds up enough courage to say “hey you’re my mother.”

This causes him to have a nice reunion with her, spelling out his who quite sad life and it all looking touching - until she drugs him, ties him up and threatens to burn him with an iron. She doesn’t believe he’s her son, she thinks he has nefarious purposes and when an evil goo monster arrives she’s pretty convinced this is proof of this (she cuts off the monster’s head with a sword).

Landon breaks and tells her all the supernatural stuff which... she believes. Now she’s more convinced that he is actually her son and clearly has experience with the woo-woo. And that they’re being chased - time to go on the run. And she clearly has some pretty supreme skills.

They’re also being chased by an evil organisation -Alaric recognises this because a suspicious man is suspiciously covering their tracks by pretending to fix a gas leak

I have no idea why we’re supposed to be suspicious about this but Alaric needs some point, after all.

They catch up with Landon and Saleh and Saleh points a gun at them which doesn’t work so well because Hope is a witch and just uses magic to take the gun off her. Time for everyone to have a catch up.