Sunday, May 28, 2017

Lucifer 2.17: “Sympathy for the Goddess”

“What am I Lucifer, some pawn in one of your plans?”
- Maze

We are one episode away from finishing out season 2 of “Lucifer” and after the last episode, it’s hard to imagine things can get crazier. But, they do. At the top of the hour, we see Lucifer and Amenediel watching as Charlotte brokers a deal with a sleazy thug for the final piece of the Flaming Sword. Of course, Charlotte is pretty na├»ve when it comes to human interaction and she just gives him the briefcase full of money without first taking receipt of the item. So, after a little prompting from her boys, they go to find the guy and get the piece of the sword. But all they find his him dead.

Knowing that this is a sensitive issue, Charlotte and Lucifer hilariously convince Chloe to get on the case. But first, they have to get her there without revealing they know what’s going on. Charlotte is a terrible liar (and charade player if I might add). But they get there and things take a weird turn. Ella finds a phone that belongs to the son of one of Charlotte’s biggest clients (a woman named Bianca who owns a tequila empire and uses it to launder everything from money to traffic in people). But, Charlotte offers to help. Especially since she knows a lot of what’s going on with the woman. So, we get some interesting team-ups on the case. Charlotte and Chloe go to a big opening that Bianca is throwing while Dan and Amenediel spend some time together. It was rather funny seeing the two of them hanging at a bar, talking about improv and how Amenediel always feels less than Lucifer. For what it’s worth, Dan prefers this celestial sibling to our titular devil.

We all know Charlotte isn’t Chloe’s biggest fan and we also know the feeling is mutual but seeing them work together was fascinating. Especially when Chloe got caught listening to Bianca chastise her son for killing one of her guys (the one that Charlotte was dealing with) because she knew about his side project dealing in artifacts). The son is a wannabe musician and having listened to some of his music back at the precinct, Chloe feigns being his biggest fan. We also get an interesting little exchange between Chloe and Lucifer during the episode where Chloe says that Charlotte told her everything, including that she is Lucifer’s father’s ex. Now, Chloe doesn’t put that together as bio mom. But stepmom is close enough and I’m kind of glad Chloe almost knows. I mean, it would be great if she was clued in on everything but something tells me that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

While the case is going on, Lucifer gets dragged into another mess by Maze and Linda. Linda, foolishly, used her own name to help break Lucifer out of the mental hospital in the last episode and so now she’s being suspended and put under investigation by the review board. Maze takes personal offense to all of this, primarily because she’s still pissed Lucifer didn’t keep her in the loop. She’s still new to feeling feelings as we know, but she feels them hard and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep Linda from losing her job. So, Maze forces Lucifer to go see the head of the review board to plead Linda’s case. Why he doesn’t just tell the guy that Linda was helping him with an undercover police investigation is beyond me (or use his powers to find out what the guy wants and use it against him). Instead, he is just typical Lucifer and spews word vomit all over the place, including that he and Linda were lovers.

This leads Maze to confront Lucifer about his secrets and his schemes and how he doesn’t think about anyone but himself or how his actions affect other people. And then we get to see the pair of them beat the crap out of each other for a bit before they take a breather and Lucifer explains that he didn’t tell Maze his plan because he needed her to be angry with him. They end up back in Linda’s office where she quite bluntly tells Lucifer that Maze is hurt because he didn’t consider her feelings. Which is true and you can see on his face that it never did cross his mind that he had hurt her this way.

By the end of the episode, the tequila queen is out of the picture. Charlotte went in with a wire (and got a safety deposit key) and managed to get the woman to confess. The family is a little skeptical of what they find in said box: a weird book in an ancient tongue that neither Charlotte nor Lucifer speak. But lucky for them, Amenediel studied in his youth and he can translate it. While Lucifer is tinkering on the piano, Amenediel finds the passage they need. It explains that the sword was broken into three pieces and the last piece is the key to bind the other two together. It was given to God’s favorite son. And Amenediel just rips into Lucifer, demanding his baby brother hand over his ring because that has to be it. But as they soon realize, the feather necklace Amenediel’s always worn is in fact the key. And they might want to hurry in assembling said sword because Charlotte is losing it, big time. Bianca’s son confronts her and stabs her in the stomach. She pulls out the knife and a ray of pure energy hits the guy, burning him to a crisp. Well, that doesn’t look so good for Mama Morningstar! They are certainly setting things up for a big crazy finale episode. I know the producers have said it is their most effects heavy episode they’ve done which makes me wonder if they will be going to Heaven after all.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

iZombie 3.07: "Dirt Nap Time"

“This is me, Ravi. This is me controlling my anger.”
-Liv

Considering Liv being a zombie is a central premise to “iZombie” as a show, it’s probably not a shocker that by the end of the episode, even though we now know that Ravi’s cure doesn’t cause permanent amnesia, Liv is still a zombie. She’s really not happy about it, but she’s going to have to make do, at least for now. And at least she still has her work with Babineaux to give her zombie existence meaning. There was also apparently more than meets the eye going on with that dominatrix case from a couple weeks ago, although I’m a little dubious about adding another overarching story to juggle along with the big events already happening in the lives of Liv and her friends plus the case of the week. Maybe it all will weave together somehow at the end of the season.

This episode picks up right where the last left off. Major tells Liv, Ravi, and Peyton that he gave his dose of the cure to Natalie, the hooker zombie he’s been trying to save. Liv’s not angry at Major for that, though. She’s angry at whoever stole all of Ravi’s other doses, and her prime suspect is Blaine. Peyton, pissed off that Blaine has been lying to her, encourages Liv to confront him after his usual piano lounge gig. Ravi tries to be the voice of reason, and he’s there when Liv punches Blaine and knocks him down outside the club. He keeps the attack from going farther, really. Blaine swears that he doesn’t have the other doses of the cure, and also that he’s estranged from Don-E. Liv eventually lets him go.

Meanwhile, our case of the week centers around a preschool teacher, Jamie Brennan, who keeps his kids happy with songs and puppet shows. At the end of the day, however, the school pick up circle turns straight up Big Little Lies, when it is revealed that Mr. Brennan has been sleeping with three of the moms at the same time. Only one of those moms is actually single. Not long after, Jamie turns up dead, and Babineaux, Ravi, and Liv are on the case. The looks between Babineaux and Liv when Babineaux realizes she’s still a zombie speaks volumes. Anyway, somebody, probably related to the massive love polygon he found himself in, shot Jamie in the head with a nail gun repeatedly. The construction crew working on a house across the street is missing a nail gun. Babineaux notices “STD 36” written in letter magnets on the refrigerator, which will be important later on.

Liv and Babineaux visit the preschool, where they learn from the principal that Jamie had been sleeping with three of the mothers of children in his class, Piper, Macy, and Eleanor. Piper, the single mom, is the first up to be interviewed. She thought Jamie was her boyfriend and that she had finally found a nice guy, and she’s devastated that he’s been sleeping around. She also doesn’t have a good alibi, because she was at home taking care of her sick kid. Liv is now acting like an exaggerated version of a preschool teacher, by the way, which is kind of annoying. She tries to put Piper in time out at one point during the interview, which Babineaux puts a stop to right away.

Blaine’s super depressed over the end of his relationship with Peyton (I’m not really sympathetic…Blaine’s a terrible person), so he’s being moody on the job. One of his employees, Candy, reminds him that it’s time to make up the brain orders for the week. After they finish the work, Candy asks if she can take the day off, and Blaine says he doesn’t really care what she does. Meanwhile, at the DA’s office, Peyton is meeting with the attorney representing Weckler, the guy who has been charged with killing the dominatrix. The defense attorney tries to point out how flimsy the evidence is, but Peyton’s got a signed confession, so she’s not inclined to go too easy on him.

Major and Justin are hanging out in Baracus’ kitchen, and Justin is super exited to try out the mayoral candidate’s collection of hot sauces. Baracus wants an update on the anti-zombie guys, but Major and Justin don’t have much new to report. After Baracus leaves, Justin tries to get Major to eat some brains with Tibetan hot sauce on toast, and when he declines, Justin asks Major if he’s been cured. Major explains the whole situation (he’s been cured, but there are no other available cures at the moment), but says he still wants to work for Filmore Graves, even if he’s not a zombie anymore. Justin says he’ll keep the secret, but he also wants to know what this situation means for Liv.

Next up to be interviewed is Macy, who is married and catches shade from the other moms for how she dresses. Her husband ends up being her alibi. Babineaux and Liv expect that he’s going to be upset when he finds out his wife was having an affair, but he says that they have an open marriage and sometimes he would watch Macy and Jamie from the closet. Babineaux puts an end to the conversation after learning that tidbit. Finally, they talk to Eleanor, who says her husband is away on a fishing boat for long stretches of time, but he’s in town now, so he is her alibi. Babineaux says they’re going to have to tell him about the affair, which upsets Eleanor. When they actually talk to her husband, who is a burly fisherman, of course, he starts crying, which is kind of hilarious and sad at the same time.

The situation with Weckler and the dominatrix case keeps getting weirder. Weckler’s lawyer is trying to convince Weckler to take the plea deal Peyton is offering. Peyton wants the memory card Weckler took in exchange for a lighter sentence, but Weckler says the memory card is all that is keeping him alive. Another lawyer, Harry Thorne, bursts into the room and whispers something in Weckler’s ear. Wexler says Thorne is his lawyer now, and Thorne doesn’t seem too enthused about Peyton’s deal. Later, the original lawyer stops by Peyton’s office and asks if she would join him in filing a disciplinary complaint against Thorne. Peyton hesitates at first, but then the lawyer informs her that Weckler hanged himself in his cell.

Major, Justin, and some of their buddies go to Don-E’s zombie speakeasy. Outside, the guys are all given ghost peppers to eat before they will be allowed in. Major is about to have to bite into his when none other than Don-E saves him. He tells the bouncer that Major is cool, and he gets into the club without having to eat the pepper. The guys are generally having a good time, and everybody in the group goes to spend some time with hookers except for Major and Justin. That’s when Justin asks Major if he can date Liv. Later, Major, Ravi, and Liv talk about the speakeasy, and Liv wants to pay the place a visit so she can interrogate Don-E about the cure. Major thinks she should go with Justin, but Liv really wants to go by herself. Ravi and Major start singing a kids’ song about teamwork, which makes Liv have a flashback to Peyton trying to get Jamie to talk to her. When they ask her about it, Peyton says she wanted to tell Jamie they were through, but he had someone else at his house. She saw the Honda Civic, and she thinks it belongs to Eleanor.

While Liv is deciding what they have earned stickers for, Babineaux looks up Eleanor’s records and learns that she doesn’t actually drive a Civic. The Civil belongs to a PI, naturally. Later, Liv meets Justin at the speakeasy. They talk for quite a while as they wait for Don-E to show up, including Justin telling a story about the time his preschool teacher read a love note he wrote to another student to the entire class. Don-E does eventually show up, and he claims he doesn’t have the cure. If he did, he’d be rolling in money and not still working at the club. He’s got bigger business deals going, though. Blaine gets back to the funeral home to find Don-E and a few others, including Candy, waiting for him. Don-E says they’re taking over his business, and they’re buying off the last of his product. After most of them leave, Angus’ heavy says that Angus has a message for Blaine, and he shoots him. Blaine offers a large sum of money to not be killed.

Liv and Babineaux pay the PI a visit. From the pictures hanging around his office, they come to the conclusion that the PI was hired to follow Macy. So they end up talking to Macy again. It turns out that she wasn’t actually in an open marriage, and it was her husband who hired the PI and ultimately killed Jamie. On the Weckler front, Peyton pays Ravi a visit, asking if he can help with the case at all. He didn’t see any evidence of foul play in his autopsy, but he does still have Weckler’s brain. He puts it in the memory-supercharging blue stuff in the hopes that Liv will have some helpful visions from it in about ten days.

The episode ends with Major and Justin in a rural area, drinking beer and talking about Justin’s evening with Liv. Liv wrote Justin a note, which is kind of adorable, although I’m not really feeling them as a couple yet. Justin gets a call that Harley Johns is in the area, so he and Major go to confront him and another man who are driving in a car. Major does the talking while Justin hangs back. Harley and his companion run over Justin, and when Justin is able to get back up, they realize he’s a zombie. Justin goes into full-on zombie mode in front of them, and their dash cam captures everything. They’re able to get away from Justin and Major, and they’re super excited that they now have proof zombies exist.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Doctor Who 10.05: “Oxygen”

“You only see the truce face of the universe when it’s asking for help. We show ours with how we choose to respond.”
- The Doctor

I wanted to like this episode but the way it ended, it just pissed me off. Honestly, we know Peter Capaldi is regenerating prior to the Christmas special so there has to be some reason why he needs to change but what they’ve gone with is borderline offensive and unnecessary. Anyway, at the top of the episode, he’s giving a lecture about space and how it can kill you in rather gruesome, horrible ways. Nardole points out after the lecture that Doctor misses traveling but he has to keep his oath to stay on Earth and guard the vault. I really wish they would just give us information about this plot point. It’s playing such a repetitive point in the show this series but we have no idea of who or what is inside and who or what tasked the Doctor with guarding it.

Much like he has the rest of the season, the Doctor ends up hurtling off in the TARDIS with Bill and a very grumpy Nardole in toe. They’re responding to a distress beacon from a space station in the future. We see some people in space suits running out of oxygen and then get attacked by dead people in suits. It’s rather creepy. But when the Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive, they find the place basically empty. And lacking oxygen. Because humans can be idiots and so profit-driven, the company that owns the station sells the oxygen in the personalized suits at a very high premium. As the Doctor says, capitalism in space. It also turns out that when the Doctor extended the oxygen field of the TARDIS into the station so they could take a peek around, it set off some protocols to vent it into space (again to make them pay for it). Once they are forced into the suits, they have to find their way back to the TARDIS (it’s on the other side of a door exposed to the vacuum of space.

As they go along, our trio finally runs into the surviving crew members. They think the suits are malfunctioning and have been instructed to eliminate the “organic” component (aka the living being inside it). But they’ve sent out the distress beacon and they believe help is on the way. We do get a little side bit with Bill reacting to her first non-human looking alien. A blue fellow who kind of reminded me of one of the races on Star Trek and also the Blue Man Group. Anyway, things sound like they might be looking up when the other suits hit a part of the station that’s not on their maps yet. Because the inhabitants are dead and the suits aren’t that smart, they have to rely on building schematics to get around. The other thing about this episode that was kind of annoying was our heroes being chased around a futuristic station by a machine that wanted to kill them. It wasn’t the creepy mechanical jellyfish inside the Tessalecter but they did have their own special little catch phrase. Really, it feels like Moffatt and company are just recycling bits from previous scripts. I can’t wait to have fresh blood at the helm.

The suits do eventually find a way through (after killing and assimilating one of the survivors). And Bill’s suit is having all kinds of problems. It keeps freezing up on her and she keeps kind of panicking and freaking out. Which is understandable. She even has to be exposed to the vacuum of space without a helmet on because the suit is so severely malfunctioning. I will admit I can’t recall them putting a companion in such life-threatening danger in a while. She does manage to survive the experience pretty much unscathed. That’s mostly due to the Doctor giving her his helmet. But then he’s exposed to the vacuum of space and he doesn’t come out so easily. For some reason, he’s blind (this is what I mentioned at the start of this post). This just seems like too convenient and so unnecessary a plot device to later facilitate his regeneration. Besides, I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the Tenth Doctor use some regeneration energy to heal himself without totally changing. But then again, that was RTD era and Moffatt doesn’t like to stick with a lot of that continuity. But yeah, so now we have a blind Doctor trying to save everyone. And of course, he manages it (even when he lets Bill get caught by the suits and electrocuted). In the end, he reveals that he knew Bill’s suit power was low so it wouldn’t really kill her and she’s ultimately fine. I do sometimes hate his cockiness. He also discovers that the suits aren’t malfunctioning. To keep profits going and such, the company that runs the station was likely conserving the oxygen to resell to people. So, the two survivors agree to go to the head of the company to complain (and according to the Doctor, they succeed in shutting everything down). The Doctor also manages not to get everyone else killed by linking their suits to the cooling system on the station. IF they die, the place goes boom. Simple cost-benefit analysis I suppose.

Bill, having survived this ordeal, is happy to be back on Earth but you can tell she can’t wait for her next adventure. The Doctor is more subdued though and he ends up snapping quite angrily at Nardole (who to be fair is kind of laying into the Doctor for being so reckless). We think we’ve seen the Doctor’s eyes healed but it turns out he’s still blind (and hiding it behind his dark glasses). Hate to tell you Doctor, but that’s kind of a blind person stereotype. So yeah, if you’re trying to fool people it isn’t really working. So, now we have to endure however many episodes of him trying to hide it before he can’t anymore and he regenerates.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Doctor Who 10.04: "Knock Knock"

“Honestly, Doctor, there’s nothing going on! Nothing weird, nothing alien! Just an old house and a dodgy landlord, which is pretty standard for students.
-Bill

In this season of “Doctor Who,” we’ve already hit two of the mail genres that the show’s various creative teams over the years tend to draw on: far future sci-fi and historical. With “Knock Knock,” we hit the final point of the trifecta with horror. Bill moves into a “too good to be true” old house with a bunch of roommates, and of course, all is not as it seems. There are bugs and dead mothers involved. Given that Bill’s mother also passed away when she was a baby (and the Doctor is quite protective of Bill as she moves out of her foster mother’s house for the first time), there is a general thread of parenthood running through this episode. I think the episode did some decent work to help solidify the how the relationship between the Doctor and Bill is going to be going forward, but as with most episodes in the Steven Moffat era of “Doctor Who,” the plot was more convoluted than it needed to be.

Bill and five of her friends/aquaintances are looking to move into a house together. They go to see an estate agent, but the pickings at their price range for a place with six bedrooms (couldn’t they double up if they’re that broke?) are slim. The places they are being shown are tiny with improvised bedrooms and they’re just not going to work. Just as the kids are feeling rather dejected, they are approached by a rather creepy older man who asks if they are looking for a place to live. He leads them to his rental house, which is rather dilapidated, but it’s huge, so the kids love it. Bill is a little hesitant to sign the contract, because she wonders if a big house at the price quoted is too good to be true (she’s a smart one, that Bill), but she agrees fairly quickly, too. Soon she’s packing up her stuff at her foster mother’s house and loading it into the TARDIS for the Doctor to transport to her new place.

When the Doctor and Bill arrive at the house, the Doctor starts to notice that some things seem off, and he gets very curious, wanting to know what’s going on. The branches on the trees are moving while there’s no wind, for instance. Bill introduces the Doctor as her grandfather (a nod to the First Doctor and his companion Susan, perhaps?), which the Doctor doesn’t take kindly to, because he doesn’t think he looks old enough to be Bill’s grandfather. This scenario, coupled with the Doctor’s natural curiosity, leads to the Doctor acting very much like a worried parent who is reluctant to drop their child off at college for the first time. It’s kind of adorable, really. Bill finds it rather irritating, though, especially when the Doctor starts playing the music on Bill’s phone for her new friends.

The first oddity is that roommate Pavel, who had moved into the house the night before, is in his room listening to some violin music on repeat and doesn’t seem to want to leave. Actually, if the other kids were paying attention, they would realize that he’s not making any noise at all. One of the kids, when asked about Pavel, says he just “does that” (hide in his room listening to music. Later, the Doctor observes that people don’t “just do” anything. Two other roommates of note are Paul, a sporty blonde who has a thing for Bill, so Bill has to inform him that, as a friend of mine from college would put it, she doesn’t like his genitalia. The other is Shireen, who seems to be a longer-term friend of Bill’s who is probably the person who got her involved with this whole group in the first place.

When the kids first try to settle in, thy notice all sorts of creaky noises. They try to brush it off as just being an old house at first, but it eventually becomes too much to ignore. The landlord keeps mysteriously appearing, too, claiming that he’s just checking up on them. Things get even more serious when Paul goes into his rooms, screams, and isn’t heard from again. That’s when Bill and Shireen finally acknowledge that something is very wrong, beyond typical student housing problems. The Doctor keeps investigating, and he figures out the source of the problem: basically, space roaches. They’ve infested the wood the house is made of, and they absorb people into the house. Judging from newspaper reports and photos the Doctor finds, about every 20 years, the landlord will find a group of unsuspecting students and sacrifice them to the roaches. The landlord claims it’s to save his daughter.

It’s Bill, however, who helps uncover the rest of the story. Bill and Shireen find their way up into the house’s tower, which the landlord had told them was completely inaccessible (and forbidden to enter even if it was accessible). When they enter the room, they meet the landlord’s “daughter,” who is a woman who appears to be wooden. Clearly the space roaches have been keeping her alive. The Doctor and the landlord both eventually arrive on the scene too (after the landlord makes sure Shireen is absorbed), and the Doctor and Bill figure out one final piece of the puzzle, the woman, Eliza, isn’t actually the landlord’s daughter. She’s his mother. As a boy, the landlord left a jar of space roaches by his mother’s bed (she was sick, and it was a present of sorts), one thing led to another, and the roaches kept her alive. Over the years, the landlord has continued to feed the roaches so that his mother can continue to live. This is a pretty poignant connection from Bill’s perspective, considering she lost her mother at such a young age.

The realization that she is actually the mother and is in control changes Eliza. She takes charge (although it’s never really explained why she believed she was the landlord’s daughter and that he knew best, which is disappointing). She also absorbs the landlord into the house. She doesn’t want to kill children anymore (she only did it because the landlord told her to and she thought he knew best, which, like I already said, pretty flimsy writing there), so she basically destroys the whole house. All of Bill’s roommates are resurrected, although now they’re going to have to start over with their house hunt. We end the episode back at the mysterious vault, where the doctor tells the person on the other side of the door (who happens to be playing piano) about his day. As soon as the Doctor makes the story sound especially gruesome, the person stops playing piano and the Doctor enters the vault to talk. It can’t be anyone other than the Master on the other side of that door, right?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lucifer 2.16: “God Johnson”

“No, Dad, this is who you made me when you cast me away. Now apologize!”
- Lucifer

It’s finally time, folks. We are (supposedly) meeting God! The case of the week leads Lucifer and Chloe to a mental hospital where an orderly has been bludgeoned to death and the prime suspect is a man who legally changed his name to God Johnson. Lucifer, at first, is pissed that this man is masquerading as the Almighty. He still hates his father for what he’s done and still wants to get his parents to destroy each other.

While Chloe is trying to work the case the normal way (thanks to Lucifer she can’t talk to God Johnson for days), Maze is being super clingy and trying to do girly things together. She even makes breakfast (the most burnt toast I’ve ever seen. I mean, how did she not set off a smoke detector?). Chloe suggests that Lucifer hang out with Maze but he doesn’t really seem interested. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t told her the plan (or that the angelic family is heading home). Whatever the reason, they still seem to be on the outs. Then, Lucifer takes matters into his own hands and gets himself committed so he can talk to patients (namely God) without the pesky trappings of the law. What he finds during his stay is a lot of ill people and that God Johnson may in fact be his father after all. He even witnesses God heal a woman who had been stabbed.

Excited by the prospect that he can exact his revenge on his parents right here on planet Earth, Lucifer stages a break out for he and dear old Dad (with Linda’s help). I have to say, Linda was pretty funny meeting God. She bowed. I just love how she’s taking all of this in stride now, like it isn’t that crazy. While the guys are busting out, Chloe is using Maze’s attempts to set her up with the hot hospital administrator as a way to maybe get some information on another potential suspect. Lucifer had passed along that Santa is the real killer and there is a patient that kind of looks the part. That line of inquiry is made all the more awkward by Amenediel showing up at the house (Lucifer suggested that maybe his big brother would miss a certain hell spawn when they went back to heaven). He’s eating weird pizza, commenting on the shape of the administrator’s head (I think he was drunk) and then he drops the bomb on Maze that they are going back to heaven. Yep, Lucifer definitely didn’t share that piece of information with his bestie.

Lucifer’s idea of revenge on Mom and Dad is apparently to recreate their first date and make them fall back in love so they can then tear each other apart after they’ve settled back in to married life. I liked Charlotte’s reaction when she realized it was her husband (knees him in the crotch). Lucifer punched him earlier, too. They are definitely a violent family! But they share a dance and a kiss before Chloe and the police come to take both God and Lucifer back to the hospital. I kind of agreed with Linda that it didn’t look like Lucifer wanted to punish his parents at all. He just wanted his family back together.

Back at the hospital, a nurse brings Lucifer his meds as Chloe goes to apologize to the administrator. He accepts her apology and points out the patient she was looking at isn’t violent. He even lets Chloe look at the man’s file, in which she finds a photo with a staff person dressed as Santa. And wouldn’t you know, part of the costume (the mask part) is missing from storage. Enter, a Santa faced nurse who has actually drugged Lucifer and absconded with him and God to the basement. Since Chloe is still in the building, Lucifer is actually feeling the effects of the drugs. Thanks to some quick detective work on Chloe’s part (and some speedy fingerprint running by Ella back at the lab), we discover that the patient God saved is a nurse’s mother. The nurse changed her name so she could torture her mother and kill her. The orderly just got in the way. She then says that she’s going to have to kill God and Lucifer and is going to hang them (thanks to God getting special dispensation to wear a belt). And then Lucifer realizes what’s up. She takes off the belt and God is just Earl. But snags the belt buckle because it’s clearly important. It even fits on the blade that is supposed to get them through the gates of heaven. There’s only one problem, there’s still a missing piece to keep it all together. So, I guess the family has one last task to accomplish in the next two episodes before the season ends. Well, and maybe prying Charlotte away from Dan (she went moping to him when she realized that God wasn’t her husband).

As the episode comes to a close, Lucifer sees Earl off and asks what the last thing is that he remembers. Earl shares that he was walking through a Navaho gift shop and picked up the belt buckle. Then he remembers being strapped to the gurney with Lucifer at his side. Very interesting and I’ve got mixed feelings on this reveal. On the one hand, it makes sense as to why he kept saying he didn’t remember why he was so mad and di all the things he did to Lucifer and Charlotte. He wasn’t really God so he wouldn’t remember that. But on the other hand, I kind of wanted God to be around. I like the actor (especially from his days on “Galavant”) and I like the celestial family and I want to see more of them. But, there’s a whole third season awaiting us and besides, we might see the real God in the finale! And if we do, he’s going to have one pissed off son because Lucifer is furious now that he realizes all the nice things God Johnson said him, his real father never would have said and that really hurts our dear devil.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Once Upon a Time 6.21-6.22: “The Final Battle Parts 1 and 2”

“True belief is believing even if you can’t see.”
- Henry

We have reached the finale of season 6, and this chapter in the “Once Upon a Time” story. We have also reached the end of blogging this show. It’s been renewed for season 7 but there is so much “reset” of story being bandied about and a large chunk of the core cast won’t be returning, that I’m making the decision that this will be my last post.

We begin in the Enchanted Forest during an unspecified time of great upheaval. A young man races through the woods and wakes his young daughter who is guarding a storybook just like Henry’s (maybe even his) and she’s sent away with the order to share the stories with people. The next morning, the girl finds her father’s sword and Tiger Lily shows up to take the girl to her mother with the promise that one day she will reunite with her father. I get they are trying to make us invested in these new characters but I’m only mildly interested at this point.

Cut to Storybrooke, Henry wakes up but things are horribly awry. Everyone he runs into (including Archie) is convinced that the whole fairytale thing is just mental illness son his part. Basically, we’ve reset to season 1 with people not believing Henry because of the original dark curse. Henry finds Emma in the mental hospital and she/s upset that he’s dredging up talk of magic and fairies and True Love’s Kiss. She doesn’t want to jeopardize her progress towards getting out. Oh, and Henry has another mother: Fiona. She’s the new Mayor. Which makes me curious … would this have the same backstory as the original version where Rumple was trying to procure baby Henry when Regina got him? And if it is, did Fiona ever know that her doting husband turned into a teenage boy with anger issues? Fiona also insists that Emma burn the storybook to “crush” both her and Henry’s delusions. We also see Fiona pay a visit to Rumple and Gideon (Belle is apparently dead). At the moment, it’s unclear whether Rumple remembers this shrew is his mother.

In the Enchanted Forest of now, we find the rest of the Charming/Mills clan and things aren’t good. Just as they start searching for Emma and Henry, Zelena swoops in with some terrible news. Oz (and as it turns out all the other realms) are disappearing. Thanks to whatever Fiona is doing to Emma, the realms of story are disappearing and everyone along with them. Regina thinks she needs to use her magic to get back to our world to save Emma and Henry but Hook thinks another climb up the beanstalk to fetch a (potentially nonexistent) bean is the right answer. So, after David calms Hook down a bit, they start climbing (yay father-in-law/son-in-law bonding?).

Back in Storybrooke, Henry busts Emma out of the mental hospital and takes her to the roof where she married Hook. She gets flashes of the day but she doesn’t trust her mind and she just wants to go back to Boston and lay low. This gives Henry an idea (which I’m guessing is paying Grandpa Gold a visit) but he says that he’ll help Emma leave town if it’s what she really wants. He does have a lot of his dad in him (which of course just makes me miss Neal). It turns out while Rumple is trying to bond with Gideon over Belle’s disappearance (it sounds an awful lot like what happened with Milah, God the Black Fairy is a bitch), Henry is breaking into Archie’s office to find Emma’s keys and ends up finding the storybook. And then Fiona finds him and knocks him down the stairs in an attempt to both incapacitate him and break Emma. She also shows Rumple photos of Belle all over the world.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, we get a little Regina/Evil Queen reunion. The Evil Queen has been living in the castle once she and Robin escaped from being burned by angry villagers. They now steal from the rich and give to the poor (mostly). But hey, in this instance, two Reginas are better than one! Oh, and Hook and David find the bean (there is some mildly amusing shenanigans) but then they realize that a dragon (maybe Lily?) has taken up residence in the giant’s home. Oh boy!

It seems the Black Fairy may have finally won when she convinces Emma to not only burn the story book (which conveniently opens to a picture of Hook) but also leave town. Henry seems powerless but I’m not counting him out yet. I guess I can’t count out Hook and the Charmings either because Hook has gotten the bean back to ground level. Now he needs to use it and get Emma to believe again. I’m also kind of waiting for Rumple to get his memory back and kick his mother’s butt. Henry marches right into the shop like he owns the place (or at least is related to the guy who does) and promptly points out to Grandpa that he’s awake, too. Rumple is focused on saving Belle so Henry asks for just a little assist (while Emma gets ready to go on a first date gag to snag a bail jumper).

Henry manages to get a message to the rest of the family (although he’s not sure they receive it) that he’s going to fight the Black Fairy on his own. As he stands in the hallway, ready to die trying (and as everyone in the Enchanted Forest is about to bite it), Emma shows up and says while she doesn’t remember everything Henry told her, she believes it and that’s enough to stop the curse just in the nick of time. Meanwhile, the Black Fairy pays Gideon a visit at the pawn shop and reveals she still has his heart and forces him to find her wand so she can translate Henry’s drawings. When Rumple gets back and drops the “I’m awake” bomb on Mummy, she taunts him with her own truth bomb. She’s not meant to kill Emma: Gideon is. Because only light can snuff out light. Which makes no sense at all. On the plus side, killing the Black Fairy breaks the curse and reunites everyone (well we can hope anyway). And yay, Emma remembers just in time to throw down with Gideon yet again. Rumple goes to try and get Gideon’s heart back so that he can stop his son from killing Emma but it doesn’t work out. Instead, Emma gives in to her fate (and being the personification of light) and things seem to work out. Henry wakes her with True Love’s Kiss (there’s a big group hug) and Belle and Rumple get a baby Gideon back to have a real shot at being a family.

And as we see all the realms restored, we also find the Charming/Mills/Gold clan living their lives happily. They even all gather for a big family dinner at Granny’s. I wish there’d been dialogue for this scene because that would have been great. Then we find the young girl on a train with her own “Once Upon a Time” book heading to Seattle years later where she finds a grown-up Henry Mills who doesn’t remember having a daughter. I see where the writers are going here but I’m still very skeptical.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

iZombie 3.06: “Some Like It Hot Mess”

“Spoiler alert, that letter says Good Old Major loved you like no one ever.”
– Major

I have mixed feelings about this episode of “iZombie”. On the one hand, we got a lot of really good information and character beats. On the other, the case of the week was rather annoying and ultimately inconsequential. I’m starting to think that the more the develop the mythology and larger purpose of the show, the less the cases really matter. This week, Liv has to eat the brain of a drama queen who was also a super needy millennial. She gets killed (electrocuted in her bathtub) and the investigation leads Clive and Liv to her job where they see video footage of the victim being slapped in the face, then to the club where she DJ’d and the husband and wife team who were cheating on each other. But hey, at least they had alibis. All the while, Liv is acting super needy and self-centered. Clive manages to crack the case after Liv has a vision of the victim pawning a baseball worth $1,000. It turns out, the victim stole said baseball from her roommate so she could pay the roommate back rent. So, the roommate killed her. Like I said, not very interesting or necessary this week.

The bigger plot of this week’s episode is our core group of characters trying to adjust and help Major return to being human. They’re trying to savor all the time they can get with him before he loses his memory and they lose him forever. The morning after he takes the cure, we find him eating gallons of ice cream (my husband would approve) while Ravi quizzes him with photos of people and places from his past. He does fine (at least for now). He even remembers the night he and Liv spent together. She’s less happy about that, probably because it means they can’t be together now that he’s human again. I do have to wonder though what would happen if, now that he’s human and cured, he gets scratched again. Would he have the same issues he did the first time with the first cure of dying again? And what’s he going to do now that he’s human? He can’t continue to be a mercenary with Fillmore Graves. And I’m pretty sure no one else would hire him but dude needs a job!

Thanks to Liv being on drama queen brain, she forgets to pick up ingredients that Ravi needs for the memory enhancer serum. She also isn’t answering her phone or listening to her voicemails when Ravi calls her repeatedly (she left a random spleen out on a tray for starters) and she isn’t there when Major wanders off to Walla Walla. But first, she finds him writing letters to all the people cares about. Hers is pretty thin but he assures her that it says that he loves her more than anyone ever. Which is sweet, even if Major is still really boring as a character. It was mildly amusing to watch him talk about his character in the third person as “Good Old Major”. Once he goes off, Liv and Ravi spend the night trying to find him, checking police stations and hospitals. It turns out the bus trip out of town was to go see his mother and sister (because Liv suggested he write them a letter, too). I guess going to see them made more sense to him at the time but when he arrives in town, his memory is gone and a local sheriff has to drop him off.

But it isn’t all bad news. Don-E stops by the morgue after a client mentions wanting to be human again. The draw for our former drug-dealer turned bartender is that the guy is loaded and is willing to pay $100,000 for the cure. So, Don-E goes to Ravi to make an offer: a 50-50 split for said cure. Ravi turns him down, though. As a parting gift of sorts, Don-E reveals that Blaine has been faking his memory loss the whole time. He used it as a way to get rid of the drug kingpin and make people look at him differently (specifically Peyton). So of course, what does Ravi do the first time he sees Peyton? He drops that bomb on her. Didn’t he think it might come across as him still being jealous and trying to break them up? Because that’s how she sees it. That is until Blaine admits the truth. He did lose his memory for a few days but it came back. He did lie about the continued amnesia because he liked being able to be the small business owner and lounge singer. He liked being able to be someone different. But Peyton can’t handle that so she breaks up with him. I have to admit, I’m torn about this. I like this version of Blaine. With this new information, it makes me think that under different circumstances, this could have been Blaine all the time. But it wasn’t cool of him lying about the memory loss and making Peyton and Ravi and Liv and Major suffer this whole time.

In the end, Peyton shares this information with Ravi and Liv which is good news for Major. He then gives Liv a call from his mom’s house to reassure her that all is well and he’s on his way back. He even tells his mom that he thinks there’s still a shot for him and Liv. Armed with the knowledge that the cure works and the memory loss is only temporary, they head to the morgue to give Liv the cure only to find the vials are missing. Blaine or Don-E took them. My money is on Don-E because he really wanted that money. We see Blaine at the end starting to try and put together the memory enhancer serum based on the list of ingredients Liv was supposed to get. I don’t know why he’s doing that but he is. When Major gets back, Ravi remembers the extra syringe of the cure so all is not lost. Except well …. he gave it to Natalie so Liv is out of luck now! I have to say, I’m glad there’s this hiccup because the show wouldn’t work without Liv being a zombie.