Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Girl 4.07: "Goldmine"

“I’m terrible at lying. I’m terrific at make-believe, okay? But I need to know some backstory because it’s very important.”

I wouldn’t say there’s really a theme to tie together this episode of “New Girl.” It was mostly a conglomeration of the wacky hijinks of immature early 30-somethings. One thing I did appreciate was that the three kind of disparate plots did intersect at several points in the episode. I do wish, however, that “New Girl” would only try to tackle two stories in an episode. I feel this way about most comedies, actually. You can’t do justice to three stories in a little over twenty minutes. The A story in this episode addressed a pretty major complication of the Nick/Jess breakup. They both still live together, and that’s a major turnoff to potential new relationships. I did appreciate that, as disjointed as the episode could be, it did acknowledge one fundamental problem I have with “New Girl” these days. These folks should have grown the hell up already. By the end, Nick and Jess realize they’re the “crazy assclowns” their dates complain about to their friends, and they’re probably right.

The episode opens with Jess informing the rest of the roomies that she has a third date with a guy named Ian that night. The third date is when she’s willing to have sex, so she’s really excited about getting some for the first time since the breakup with Nick. Nick warns her, however, that this might be easier said than done. He has had a bunch of dates ruined recently by telling the lady that he still lives with his ex. We’re even treated to a montage of woman after woman leaving Nick’s bed, disgusted with the fact that he still lives with Jess. There’s a woman in the present day, too, who chooses that moment to appear and even steals stuff before leaving. Jess thinks that because Ian is super mature, she just needs to tell him the truth, and he’ll be cool.

Meanwhile, Coach and Winston meet up on the elevator, and Winston is diligently sorting through mail. When Coach finds out that Winston is doing this for their neighbors, two attractive ladies, he is disappointed that Winston has been waiting so long to cash in on all those favors he has been doing. Winston insists he’s playing the long game, and he hopes that constantly being nice and doing favors will eventually get him a date. As the favors keep piling up (we eventually see Winston even hanging some shelves in the neighbors’ loft), Coach is more convinced than ever that Winston needs to strike while the iron is hot. All Coach has to do is tell the ladies “I’m not here to do chores,” and they instantly agree to hang out with him that evening.

For the C plot, Jess and Cece are having a conversation about Cece wanting to get a breast reduction to ease some back pain, and Schmidt overhears. Schmidt, as you would expect, is not at all happy. Even though he’s been Cece’s ex for a while, he’s still extremely attached to her. And her boobs, apparently. Throughout the episode, he goes through the five stages of grief. Cece keeps assuring Schmidt that she’s only going for a consultation, she hasn’t actually decided to do the surgery yet, but Schmidt is still freaked out. It’s kind of ridiculous, really.

Anyway, during the hangout at the neighbor apartment, Schmidt drops by and starts going on and on about how he’s going to miss Cece’s boobs. The neighbor ladies, however, think he’s talking about how he’s going to miss Coach and Winston when they go away. Coach convinces Winston to try and play this up. They try to convince the ladies that they are going away for 44 weeks on a sock-selling business trip. The ladies, thankfully, realize how ridiculous this sounds, and they kick Winston and Coach to the curb. Winston tries to get back in their good graces with the aforementioned shelf hanging, and when Coach sees this, he gives the ladies a talking-to. He tells them it isn’t fair to keep using Winston for all these chores and not give him sex. Which is really very gross when you think about it. The ladies agree and rock paper scissor for who will have to do the deed. Which is even more gross. The loser acts like she doesn’t mind having sex with Winston, maybe she’s actually into it, but the whole thing just felt gross.

Jess and Ian are wrapping up their dinner when Jess suggests they end the date at her place. Ian is willing until Jess springs the big “I live with my ex” on him. He definitely has misgivings. Jess tries to come up with a quick save, and her idea is to tell Ian that Nick is actually gay. She has to quick get Nick to play along. He promises he’ll be better at this than he usually is at their schemes, because it’s make-believe and not lying. At first, he actually does do pretty well. He has Ian mostly convinced, at least. The trouble arises the next morning. He tells Jess that he actually had a girl over that night. If Ian sees the lady, Nick’s cover will be blown.

Jess and Nick try their darndest to get Nick’s lady friend to leave, but it’s no go. Jess even goes out of her way to play the psycho ex. Nick’s still better than this chick’s previous 80-year-old boyfriend, though, so she’s sticking around. Eventually, Ian starts to get a little suspicious anyway. He tells Nick that Nick doesn’t really seem gay. Plus Nick is sweating a lot, as he always does when asked to lie. Just as Nick is about to cave, Schmidt walks in, continuing to lament Cece’s boobs. Nick plays the whole thing to make it sound like he and Schmidt are in a relationship, and Ian buys it. The whole thing is kind of brilliantly bizarre. Jess eventually tells Ian the truth, though, and he hightails it out of there.

Cece goes for her consultation, and in the middle of the appointment, Schmidt bursts in saying he wants to stop the surgery. The doctor leaves Schmidt and Cece alone, and Schmidt asks Cece if he can say goodbye to her boobs. He makes Cece put in headphones with music appropriate for the mood while he has the goodbye conversation. Cece cheats just long enough to hear Schmidt say that he doesn’t care what size her boobs are, because she’ll always be beautiful. I guess we’re on our way to a rekindling of the Schmidt and Cece romance.

At the end of the episode, the roomies are waiting in line to use the shower. They think Winston is the one taking up so much time. That’s when Jess and Nick have the conversation about how they must be the weirdoes their dates always tell stories about. Which is probably true. Because they are in their freaking 30s and live in a loft with four other people. Including exes. Then Winston enters the bathroom and everyone realizes that he’s not the one they have been waiting for. It’s Nick’s lady friend. She has no problem with the loft living situation and wants to know if it’s okay if she urinates in the shower. Jess tells Nick he’d better marry her. I’m not so sure.

Once Upon a Time 4.10: “Fall”

“I agree with Regina. We need to do what’s best for the most people. We need to give this town its best chance.”
- Mary Margaret

This is a big episode, folks. Well at least it is leading up to a bunch of big things. Ingrid has unleashed the Spell of Shatter Sight on the town and as everyone else freaks out about it, Rumple goes to her to make a new deal. He wants out of town with Henry and Belle (I guess that is kind of nice of him to save his grandson) and everyone else can be left to rot. How nice. Or you know, not. Emma thinks the best way to beat the curse is to get out of Dodge. Unfortunately, David tries to scale the ice wall and only ends up causing a mini earthquake. But hey, Elsa finds Anna’s necklace and she gets the bright idea to use it to track Anna, even if it has been 30 plus years. And Belle’s discovered a possible antidote to the spell so she’s going to task the fairies with cooking it up. DNA sample time folks?

Meanwhile, Regina decides that Henry needs to stick with her as long as possible while she goes to warn Robin (or probably make out with him before hiding herself away somewhere without any people or mirrors). She knows what she’s going to turn into when the spell hits. And it seems Rumple is going to wrap Hook into his plans. He’s tasked the pirate with collecting all the fairy magic to free himself for his little family getaway. He just needs to find a way to get Belle out of the way (in a nonthreatening manner I hope).

And back in Arendelle (where I swear I thought we were done), the kingdom unfreezes and Anna excitedly figures out that Rumple has the urn with Elsa in it and so they can find him. Of course, Hans and his douchebag brothers have to show up and demand their surrender. But Anna and Kristoff manage to sort of best them and run off. They make it to the woods and Anna decides that based on some information in her mother’s diary, they can either go to Rumple to find the urn or Blackbeard and pay him off for a wishing star to get the same result. Anna thinks pirates are better what with the ability to pay them off. I’m thinking probably not, honey, but you go do that. If she really thought about it, Rumple can’t harm her or Elsa and so she should be able to go after him to get the urn back. It seems I’d be right since when they find Blackbeard and he wants his weight in gold (which Anna agrees to rather naively), Hans and his idiot brothers show up again. I swear, they need to be drawn and quartered or something. Honestly. They’ve apparently paid Blackbeard off and are going to toss Anna and Kristoff overboard (from the Jolly Roger, so we now know who owns the ship) in a trunk. Oh and Blackbeard sold the wishing star to Anna’s parents. Things get a little desperate in the trunk underwater but Kristoff manages to free both of their hands and he makes Anna promise not to marry him until they get out of the situation. How sweet. And apparently the deep freeze lasted 30 years (how handy).

Emma and Elsa use the necklace and the locator potion and track Anna to a mine shaft beneath the library. But there’s been a recent cave in (thanks a lot Ingrid) and so Emma implores Elsa to let them find another way instead of causing another cave in. That first experience wasn’t the greatest I guess. And out at Robin’s camp, Regina sounds the alarm that they need to disband and then she and Robin share a sweet kiss as they try to remember each other how they are (with love and affection) before the spell hits. She admits that if he and Henry see her like the Evil Queen, she’d die. I’m guessing she’d probably rip out her own heart and crush it in anguish. So yeah, let’s please avoid that at all costs. Because, Adam and Eddie may have robbed me of Swanfire but they will not rob me of Outlaw Queen too.

People are starting to get a little edgy as they are faced with the dilemma of finding Anna or using the necklace to create a cure. The Charmings finally decide (on Regina’s tough love advice) that using the necklace to save the town is more important. But Elsa’s kept the real necklace and is off to find Anna herself while everyone waits around for bad shit to happen. Speaking of, Rumple tries to entice Belle back to the shop but she’s insistent on staying put. So he says he’ll stay with her and watch, maybe even learn a little something from the fairies (and really, when they’re dressed as nuns I can’t blame him for disliking them). As predicted, everyone is less than pleased that Elsa duped them so Emma goes after her. Elsa’s magic blasts through the rock and takes them to the beach. Elsa is very upset when the necklace stops glowing and although Emma insists they need to get the necklace back to the fairies, Elsa wishes that Anna were there. And like magic (gee who would have guessed), the trunk appears and Elsa, Anna and Kristoff have a very incoherent reunion as Ingrid’s spell approaches. Oh and the bottle with whatever Gerta wrote pops up in the water, too. I’m betting that’s how to defeat the spell.

Rumple finally convinces Belle to leave and he seals her into the shop and casts the first of at least three protection spells in the last five minutes of the episode. Hook also does the task he’s been set, even though he’s really upset about it. Rumple promises that by day break, Hook will be dead and he will have everything he needs to complete his plan. But without the fairies, Emma isn’t sure what to do about the oncoming storm. It seems the Charmings have an idea. They’re locking themselves in the sheriff’s station and Emma gets temporary custody of the baby (it took an entire half season for her to finally hold the baby). We do at least get a sweet moment of Anna and Kristoff reconnecting with David. That was fun. And Regina bids farewell to Henry (who tries to be encouraging and brave) and Robin (who really wishes he could just bone her) before she locks herself in her vault. She cast two protection spells so hooray for her. And as the spell hits, we pan through the key players one final time as they are all secreted away in their various places. We end with the spell hitting David and Mary Margaret’s eyes and their hands pull apart. It was very epic and I am so excited for next week’s episode. It needs to be here now!

Selfie 1.07: "Here's This Guy"

“You know something? No one has ever baked me a cake. This is the closest I’ve ever come to someone baking me a cake. Standing near a cake that was baked for someone else.”

So, it’s old news now, but I’ve been insanely busy at work, so I had to take a bit of a pause from blogging. “Selfie” in all its adorableness has been cancelled. I’m a fan of Emily Kapnek (I was also a devoted watcher of “Suburgatory”) and I’m also a fan of Karen Gillan and John Cho, so I’m sad to see this show go. I’ll keep blogging any remaining episodes whenever ABC decides to make them available. We’ve never had a show cancelled midseason on MTVP before, so this is kind of new territory. I will probably peruse the midseason offerings in February to see if there is something new to add to the blogging lineup. Anyway, this episode of “Selfie” wasn’t one of my favorites (I don’t like to see Eliza and Henry on the outs…it makes me sad), but it was an enjoyable enough watch. Eliza has to adjust to the new status quo of Henry having a girlfriend, and it’s not going especially well.

The episode opens with Eliza waxing poetic about how it’s nice to have a real life friend in Henry. He’s her only real friend, as she sees it. She enjoys seeing her friend requests and likes on social media consistently climb upward, but having a real life friend is pretty great in a different way. When she gets to work, Eliza goes to talk with Henry, but Henry’s assistant keeps her out of his office. It turns out that Henry is spending time with his new girlfriend, Julia. At first, Eliza is cool with this. Henry and Julia, by the way, are really freaking awkward. They go out of their way to speak to each other in a very formal way, and they also think the same way about everything and have very similar mannerisms. TV rules tell me these relationships just don’t work!

Eliza and Henry seem to have hope that they can continue being good friends despite Henry’s new relationship status. They do just fine with Eliza dating Freddy, after all, but they each have conversations that make them start second guessing that. Larry tells Henry that women can be insanely jealous creatures. Clearly he’s just projecting his issues with his wife. Bryn tells Eliza about how her former BFF has pretty much abandoned her since she started dating someone, and she expresses regret that she wasn’t more supportive of the relationship. These conversations make both Eliza and Henry want to have a conversation about the future of their friendship. Unfortunately, they’re on completely different pages. Eliza wants them to maintain their friendship as-is, but Henry wants to step back a bit. This is pretty devastating to Eliza, although she doesn’t tell Henry that.

The new paradigm really starts to bother Eliza when Henry skips one of their regular lunches to have lunch with Julia instead. He tells Eliza that she can still eat in his office if she wants, but she really wanted to company more than the location. She complains to Charmonique, and Charmonique convinces Eliza to change her strategy from being supportive of Henry’s new relationship to taking Julia down. On first glance, Eliza can’t really find any way to disparage Julia. Julia is a pretty selfless pediatric urologist. Eliza tries making fun of Julia’s job to Henry (the phrase “baby peen” is uttered and shall hopefully never be heard again), but Henry’s not having it.

Eliza is asked to introduce the key note speaker at the upcoming big pharmaceutical convention (mostly because all her social media followers will then learn about KinderKare Pharmaceuticals), and she really wants Henry’s help. Henry tries to downplay the importance of what Eliza has to do (she’s just introducing the key note, not giving it), but Eliza is still nervous. When it becomes apparent that Henry isn’t going to help her much, she starts acting out even more. She leaves a bunch of negative reviews of Julia on Julia’s website, and it’s very obvious to Henry that Eliza is the culprit. Eliza waits around her apartment for Henry to stop by to help her with his speech, but when he finally does show up, it’s basically just to break up with her as a friend. Again, Eliza is devastated, but this time, it’s completely her own fault.

Eliza runs into Bryn and another of her minions on the elevator, and they are carrying a very large cake. The cake is for their friend’s boyfriend, because they really want their friend back. Bryn claims that there is nothing but alcoholism that a most cake can’t fix. Eliza tries to take this advice to heart, and she makes a cake for Julia that is a replica of the male urological system. She wants to try to show Bryn that she respects her profession. Eliza gets Charmonique to make her an appointment at Bryn’s practice. While in the waiting room, Eliza has a conversation with a little girl about the girl’s favorite book. The book is about a very determined kitty. Eliza takes the message that she should be able to handle the key note introduction without Henry’s help. She leaves Julia’s office without speaking to her, but she leaves the cake behind.

Julia brings the cake home and gushes about it to Henry. She doesn’t realize it was from Eliza and thinks one of her patients was just being really thoughtful. Henry, however, sees the tag that says it is from Eliza. He comes clean to Julia that Eliza is actually his close friend. He said he wanted to support Eliza at the key note, but he didn’t want to upset Julia. Julia assures Henry that she is a confident woman and has no issue with him having some female friends. Henry is more in love with her than ever, but he rushes off to support Eliza at the key note. Eliza doesn’t realize Henry is in the audience, but her introduction of “here’s this guy” is a rousing success. When Henry approaches her as she’s watching the key note from the back of the auditorium, she bursts into tears. They’re back to being friends again.

At the end of the episode, Eliza stops by Julia’s office to deliver a real apology. She offers to leave some positive reviews to balance out the negative ones, but Julia thinks that would be unethical. She ends up walking out on Eliza, saying she has “real” patients to see. Eliza is happy, though, because she and Henry are friends again. And, as she puts it, while she and Julia will probably never be friends, in this situation, Eliza was ultimately the bigger person. I guess she’s learning something from her time with Henry after all!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Constantine 1.06: "Rage of Caliban"

“If you want to save a child, John, just remember what it was like to be one.”
- Manny

Things kick off pretty much in the action this week as a couple is found brutally murdered while their young daughter is unscathed. A female cop is trying to reassure the girl when one of her male co-workers gets in her face. The little girl’s eyes go black and a coffee mug explodes. Yeah, she’s totally possessed. But Constantine and Chaz are on the job. As soon as Constantine slips out the window of the girl he slept with whose boyfriend has just arrived. You bad boy, you. But hey, shirtless Matt Ryan is definitely a bonus. He gets back to the house and he and Chaz head off to investigate the latest case. Inside the house, Constantine is interrupted by Many who is there to draw up battle plans. But Constantine isn’t interested. He just wants answers to what happened and why the little girl was unscathed. He does a little bit of magic and we see that the little girl was indeed possessed by the spirit of a child who is likely hunting for another host. And it finds one later that night in a little boy named Henry who is scared of the dark. He’s much more outgoing now with the spirit inside of him and he’s rather creepy, too. He draws his dad out into the front of the house and lays out light bulbs. Dad trips on them and cuts up his feet as a few other bulbs flash. Henry acts like he just came in but you just know he was waiting. I’m betting that’s just the beginning of the torture possessed Henry has in store for mom and dad. I’m not sure I like that they are using kids as carriers for the demon spirit but I guess it was bound to happen. And it will be interesting to see how Constantine handles it with another possessed child. Hopefully he doesn’t have to deal with another Astra.

Meanwhile, Constantine is doing work at his favorite place, a bar. A perky blonde paralegal who he helped out by getting rid of her poltergeist husband gives him a wealth of information on the present case and a bunch of related cases from thirty years ago. While he won’t be able to get near the kids of the recent attacks, he does go to see the first survivor, a boy (now a man) named Marcello. Unfortunately I don’t think Marcello will be saying anything. He’s rather catatonic and appears to be missing a few fingers. Oh dear. I have a feeling Constantine is going to need to work quite a bit of magic to get the name of the spirit out of this guy. I’m also assuming it won’t simply be as easy as saying the spirit’s name to release it from this world.

Constantine and Chaz head back to home base to do some more research on what they’re dealing with and that involves snooping around the stuff that Jasper left behind. Constantine also discovers that the houses of all the attacks are on the same ley line which he explains makes sense since it is simple for a child spirit to travel. The rest of the research also leads to a bit of a funny thing with Chaz picking up a sword that only allows you to speak the truth. Oh boy. And things aren’t going well with Henry either. He chokes a dog on his way to school that was barking at him and he hacks up some pumpkins with a big ass knife and then makes a bird fly into the window in front of his mother and leaves a giant bloody crack. Gross. Constantine finds the device he needed and they go find the house and they’re going to sit and wait for crazy stuff to happen because as Constantine points out, it’s a little awkward to just go up and ask to see the possessed kid.

The next morning, Constantine is watching Henry at school and he tries to get a teacher to break up a fight between Henry and another kid but it just ends with the other kid getting telekinetically thrown into a spinning merry go round and fracturing his skull. Constantine tries to go and pretend to be a school counselor to clue the parents in to what’s going on but the dad just punches him in the face and gets him locked up. Constantine then gets a visit from Manny who points out that to save the kid, he needs to remember what it was like to be one. We also get a few tidbits about Constantine’s childhood, including that he considered suicide when his sister left him alone with their father and that his father used to burn him with cigarettes. I have to say I really do feel for him. He had a hard childhood. He doesn’t get much time to snipe at Manny before the angel disappears and Henry’s mom comes to bail him out. She and her husband were arguing and Henry freaked out and broke a bunch of stuff and she saw the darkness in his eyes.

After Constantine explains that her son is possessed and they need to get it, she agrees to participate in a séance to save her son. She drugs him and then she and Constantine go meet Chaz at the house of the first attack (Marcello). They try to hold the séance but it doesn’t work. All they get is interrupted by a three legged deer. Constantine isn’t sure why the séance didn’t work but Henry’s mom is insistent that they get back because the drugs she gave Henry will wear off soon and she doesn’t want him to hurt her husband.

It’s Halloween night and he’s all dressed as a freaky zombie when his mom and Constantine show up. His dad is having none of the possession stuff and when the adults start to argue, the spirit comes out. Constantine manages to deflect one attack back on Henry before he dons his zombie mask and heads out into the street. Chaz tries to stop him but gets pinned by a car so Constantine has to go chase him into a haunted house for the final showdown. Because of course he does.

It turns out that the spirit is Marcello and after going through some of the haunted house and getting tossed into walls, Constantine manages to send the spirit back to its body where it belongs. And as he does a voiceover about overcoming his own inner demons, he takes a swig and lights a cigarette. Bring it on Rising Darkness. Bring it on.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Special Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: "Lockdown"

“You’re still trying to make people happy. Don’t apologize to me. Be a leader and tell me what you need me to do. Tell everyone what you need them to do. You’re the Captain, Jake.”

I usually do classic recaps for the fall and winter holidays, but I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” when I watched it the other day, so that’s what you’re getting this year! It was a different take on Thanksgiving from what most shows do, and there was a guest spot from the always dryly funny Jeff Lewis (Vork from “The Guild). I think “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” appeals to me overall because of my workaholic tendencies. It’s a show about a bunch of odd coworkers who genuinely seem to enjoy their jobs and (mostly) each other’s company. I too mostly enjoy my day job, and my coworkers are most definitely awesome. We’re all close because of the amount of hours we put in during the busy season. Anyway, in this episode, it’s Thanksgiving, and Jake has volunteered to take command of the precinct so that everyone else can either go to a charity event or home early to celebrate the holiday. Naturally, things don’t go quite as planned.

Like I said, this episode takes place on Thanksgiving, although Boyle insists on calling it Turkey Day. I’m not really sure what the joke was there that the writers were going for. Maybe a riff on the whole Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays debate? Anyway, Captain Holt and Terry are going to a charity event in Brighton Beach, and since everybody else is planning to leave at noon, the Captain leaves Jake in charge of the precinct. Jake is a people pleaser at heart (a characteristic w share in common and probably another reason why I like this show), so his first act as acting Captain is to basically let all the other detectives do whatever they want. The oddest thing is giving Boyle permission to say the word “succulent.”

Good times are had by all until its noon and it is time for most of the detectives to leave for the holiday. As he is leaving, a package of white powder falls out of Boyle’s bag. Jake has to put the precinct on lockdown immediately. There have been several similar pranks at other precincts in the past couple weeks, so Jake is sure it will just turn out to be something harmless like baking powder. He tells everyone in the precinct (some officers, folks in lockup, randoms, and lawyers) not to worry, and as soon as the preliminary hazmat tests are done, they will all be able to go home. He keeps the party going with Boyle doing the “Single Ladies” dance and food from some delivery guys who are stuck inside the precinct too.

Jake calls Holt to tell him about the package, and Holt decides that he wants to monitor the situation instead of going to Brighton Beach. The closest place form which Holt can monitor is Terry’s home office. There is just one problem. Terry’s brother-in-law Zeke is staying in the home office while he visits Terry’s family for the holidays, and Terry is terrified of Zeke. Terry is a big guy, but Zeke is even bigger and calls him names like “Tiny Terry” or “Little Dum Dum.” He even calls Terry’s house “Tiny Terry’s Hobbit Hole,” which I thought was kind of awesome. Zeke isn’t happy that his room has been commandeered, but Zeke and Terry bond when Terry blames all the disruption on Hold. Zeke has a mean boss, and he assumes Captain Holt is similar, even though he really isn’t. Terry uses this to get himself a bunch of turkey sandwiches and a whole pumpkin pie.

Back at the precinct, Jake gets some bad news. The preliminary tests show that the package definitely isn’t just baking powder. They will have to call in some folks and open up the public health lab to get some answers, and since it’s Thanksgiving, that could take hours. Amy suggests that Jake start rationing food and putting anybody rowdy in detention, but Jake doesn’t want to cause alarm. He tries to appease the folks in the precinct however he can. When they start yelling for heat, Jake goes and finds some faux fur coats in the evidence locker. Unfortunately, there are only five coats, so there could be a fight over them. He also makes the mistake of giving the lawyers a megaphone to do stand-up. The leader of the lawyers is the character played by Jeff Lewis. I’ll just call him Jeff, since I don’t think the character ever gets a name in the episode.

Jeff starts making an even bigger fuss. He doesn’t see why they need to stay at the precinct for silly procedural reasons. He just wants to up and leave. Jake decides to deal with this by taking Jeff into another room for a private conversation. He very calmly tells Jeff what is going on and asks him to keep it quiet. Jeff, of course, immediately goes out into the main room of the precinct, gets on the megaphone, and tells everyone that the powder is probably anthrax after all. Needless to say, panic ensues. The situation hits rock bottom when somebody lights the precinct napping couch on fire. At that moment, Jake calls Holt and tells him just how bad things have gotten. Holt’s one direction before leaving was to not burn down the precinct, so he’s very disappointed in Jake. He and Terry head back to Brooklyn, thinking they’re going to need to clean up the mess.

Jake pulls aside Amy to ask for some advice. She’s been kind of annoying and bossy all episode, but Jake needs all the help he can get. She actually ends up giving him some good advice. Jake apologizes for not listening to her sooner, but Amy says that all the apologizing is the problem. He needs to stop only being a people pleaser and start telling people what they need to do to help the precinct get through the crisis. Jake takes Amy’s advice to heart, and the tide turns. He gets Boyle to go through surveillance footage and figure out who dropped off the package. It turns out that it was their disgruntled former IT guy who also had done work at the other precincts that received the suspicious packages. This helps speed up the investigation overall, and it turns out that the package was harmless. Holt and Terry are happy to see things back under control when they arrive. Jake then confidently tells everyone they can head home for the holidays if they don’t have anything more productive to contribute at the precinct.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sleepy Hollow 2.10: "Magnum Opus"

“How do I know myself when at every turn my life has been determined by others?”
- Ichabod

It’s the beginning of the end…of the two-part midseason finale. And it begins with a game of “name that famous person”. Abbie explains that it helps as a profiling technique to distract the conscious mind in order to solve problems. And since they’ve been over Grace Dixon’s journal about a million times with no luck, they need it. Ichabod gets huffy when she says that George Washington tells no lies but the game is quickly interrupted by Katrina contacting them through a mirror. She warns that Moloch is growing stronger quickly. They let her know that they are looking for a weapon to defeat Moloch but footsteps on Katrina’s end prematurely end the conversation. But it does jump start the discovery process for Abbie and Ichabod about the weapon. Unfortunately, Henry planned to allow Katrina to contact them through the mirror so he could spy on them as they deduce that the weapon they need is the Sword of Methuselah from the Book of Enoch. They have to be careful though since if they don’t know themselves completely, the sword will kill them. Henry sends Headless after them and Katrina fears for their safety as Abraham spills probably more than he should about where he’s going and what he’s doing.

Our Witnesses aren’t the only ones racing against a clock. Jenny is trying to get Irving across the border to Canada but they happen upon a road block that Abbie didn’t warn them about and Irving jumps out of the car to ensure Jenny doesn’t get arrested. He is still upset that he can’t see his family but he’s trying not to put anyone else in danger either. I’m just concerned about what happens when Henry finally uses him as a weapon. Jenny had told Irving she would meet him across the border on a bridge but she’s waiting there and he leaves her a voicemail saying he’s going it alone. Yeah, I’m really concerned about him.

Back at Frederick’s Manor, Henry is gloating (he’s so annoying when he does that) about being able to blow the horn that signaled the fall of Jericho and so many other wars. He argues a bit with Katrina, taunting her that her humanity is her biggest weakness. She points out that it was her humanity and love for her husband that gave him life but he denies his humanity. And in an effort to further mess with her mind, he lifts the enchantment on the house so it’s all falling to pieces and she can see Moloch for what he really is (instead of a surly teenage boy…yes at the end of last week’s episode he was maybe 8 or 9…he grows fast).

Abbie and Ichabod are following the trail set out by Ben Franklin (in some conspicuously drafted propaganda material) when Headless happens upon them. They’re concerned that he showed up and knew where they were but they manage to fend him off with sunrise. Although, Abbie is impatient and goes after him and nearly gets killed. Ichabod has to distract him and lead him right into the morning light to send him off. We also see our Witnesses struggling with knowing themselves completely as we learn that it was Abraham that convinced Ichabod to go to the New World and obviously we know that Katrina convinced him to turn to Washington’s cause. Before Headless left, he took a plaque that was supposed to be a clue to finding the sword. But Abbie caught a glimpse and thanks to Ichabod’s encyclopedic knowledge of historical stuff, he points out that it was the Ouroboros (the snake eating its own tail) and they unearth (quite literally) a cavern with a bunch of stone statues, including one of Abbie’s ancestors. Ichabod realizes that they are actually people who were turned to stone and they race out of the cellar before the Gorgon can turn them to stone, too. Abbie is kind of freaking out since so many of her ancestors died early in their lives (Grace, Abbie’s mom). She was so sure before going down there that her destiny was on this path and that it had a purpose and Ichabod reminds her of that. They need to stay strong. And then she floats the idea that if they can’t get close to the Gorgon without dying, they let Abraham kill it for them since he doesn’t have that pesky meeting its gaze problem. Clever. In fact it looks like it might even work. He’s fashioned his socks into torches (ever the resourceful chap) as they run through the plan to hope that Headless keeps the Gorgon distracted and maybe even kills it while they get the sword. Things go fairly well until they actually get to where the sword is kept. It’s right out of an Indiana Jones movie with lots of swords that they have to choose from. Yeah, they totally ripped that off from Indy.

I have to say I really liked the way they did Ichabod and Abraham’s confrontation (after Headless finally defeats the Gorgon). The cave they’re in shows each person as their true self so Ichabod can see Abraham as he was in life. And they end up dueling. We intercut between this fight and their play fighting in London and the duel which led to Abraham’s death). I really liked the way it told the story of their relationship and you got see that Abraham didn’t see himself as the villain. He saw himself as the hero and that Ichabod just latched on to him and took everything he held dear. Unfortunately, Abbie’s not having much luck with the swords. She grabs one and they all turn into snakes and go slithering off. Ichabod races in followed closely by Abraham and we get a little more verbal sparring before Abraham makes the declaration that he is embracing himself as the Horseman of Death and goes off to be with Moloch (the horn has sounded once already). Ichabod is understandably thrown but Abbie gets his head back on straight and together, they figure out where the sword is and claim it just in time. Henry and Abraham are with Moloch so they don’t have a lot of time to stop this whole apocalypse rising thing. I am very excited to see how the writers leave us at the end of next week’s winter finale.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Constantine 1.05: "Danse Vaudou"

“Those people came to you for closure, mate, and you took their money without thought of consequence. Because of you they’ve got more blood on their hands, that’s disrespectful.”
- Constantine

This week’s adventure takes our demon-hunting trio to New Orleans; city of jazz and creepy surgical-mask covered women who kill people with fabric shears. The cop who saw the whole thing is now on leave for shooting at nothing. But Constantine, Chaz and Zed are on it. Her powers were on the fritz but Constantine managed to get them working again thanks to a zoetrope. She sees a young boy being taught how to shoot by his mom and when they meet the cop, Jim Corrigan, she realizes she saw his past. Oh and comic book fanatics should be pleased that when Constantine was fixing the zoetrope, he was smoking. The writers are also really playing up the flirtiness between Zed and Constantine. They’ve got two rooms in a nice hotel and Zed teases him about not respecting her enough to share a room. He explains that he respects everyone he sleeps with but he wants to know something about them first. So Zed lets him know she doesn’t like champagne. The two of them as a couple could be entertaining as hell, especially since she calls him on his shit (kind of like Donna did with Ten). They are heading to the elevator when Zed has another vision of a car crash. We see a kid hitchhiking and getting hit on by the driver and then the kid disappears and reappears all bloody in the middle of the street, causing said accident. I don’t think Corrigan is going to be pleased with Constantine knowing all these details before anyone else. It makes our anti-hero look mighty guilty.

I was right. Corrigan shows up at the crash site and arrests Constantine as a murderer. So that leaves Zed and Chaz to do the leg work while Constantine convinces Corrigan to look into old case files about other people killed in the area as well as other stabbings. Constantine thinks they’ve got tow ghosts on the loose. I have to say, I like the way Zed handles things. She’s a very convincing con woman and she just plays off Constantine so well!

Chaz has luck finding the masked woman and he saves a guy from certain death. But he gets hacked up quite badly by the ghost himself. Paramedics shows up and at first it looks like he’s dead but he comes back to life and heals himself. I really want to know how he can do that! Back at the precinct, we learn that the woman was a model who was disfigured by a competitor five years ago and that the woman killed herself after getting out of the hospital and the boy was killed three years ago in a car accident. Constantine wants to talk to the boy’s living relative and the other model. Corrigan is very concerned about all of this and how it reconciles with his faith and such. All Constantine can say is that it may mark him and touch him but it doesn’t have to change who he is. Interesting.

So Constantine goes to talk to the former model who is working part-time at an animal shelter while Zed chats up granny. They both get rather sad stories but the important thing is that they each said they were able to talk to the ones they hurt/lost thanks to Papa Midnite. Oh Constantine, you have some seriously creeptastic nemeses. Now I’ll admit, I have no idea if the scene of a big party with dancing and drums and blood drinking is accurate for the practice of voodoo but it was definitely freaky. A woman goes to Papa Midnite to speak to her husband who died from cancer when Constantine cuts him. He confronts Midnite about his magic going awry but Papa doesn’t believe it. He magically drugs Constantine and locks him in the trunk of his car. He then talks to his sister (which is a big painted and carved skull) and asks if what Constantine said about the spirits rising completely and going on killing sprees was true. So he pays the woman with the cancer husband a visit and confirms that it is true as the husband is back and stealing away the wife’s life force energy. So it looks like he and Constantine will be teaming up to take them down and try to beat back the rising dark just a little bit. And Constantine gets to ask the skull a question if they succeed.

Chaz is still out walking the streets trying to find the model while Zed is trying to keep people off the road so no more accidents happen. Corrigan rolls up and suggests it might be better if they are the ones to pick the kid up. They’re driving around for quite a while and Corrigan drops a little hint that he knows who Zed really is and asks when she changed her name. I really want to know more about her. Even just a little bit. Well it turns out Corrigan was right and they pick the kid up. Zed mentions some personal details about the kid and he disappears from the car and rematerializes in the road. Instead of swerving to avoid hitting him, Zed just plows on through.

Constantine and Papa Midnite are stealing the bodies of the three ghosts to try and burn them and return the spirits to the place they belong. Meanwhile, Zed wants to try and pick up the kid again and get him to stick around this time. Just before they hang up, they reveal that at least the grandma and the other model felt like the deaths were their fault. I’m guessing the wife does too. Unfortunately, the spell doesn’t work and Constantine and Papa Midnite get into a bit of a fist fight, throwing insults and hurtful reminders of the people they’ve lost. But, Constantine figures out why it went wrong and what was missing so he needs to call Zed. At least her plan to get the kid to stay works when she talk to him about his grandmother and why she did what she did and that really they just had a communication problem. Oh and Chaz finds the model and starts asking her questions to keep her from running off. It was kind of hilarious.

With the guilty people on board this time, the spell works and sends the ghosts on their way. We also learn that Zed was a missing person in the area and the file no longer exists thanks to Corrigan. But things get creepy when he kisses her hand. He glows green and he’s all bloody. I guess it’s her powers picking something up of what’s to come. I hadn’t realized until that point that they hadn’t actually touched. Anyway, she tries to brush it off and act like nothing happened as Constantine and Papa Midnite share a drink. Constantine wants to know what there is to know about the rising darkness and how to fight it but the answer doesn’t bode well for him. According to the skull, all of his efforts are futile and it’s because someone close to him will betray him. I have a feeling it might end up being Corrigan somewhere down the line. While I don’t necessarily trust Papa Midnite it was nice to see him and Constantine working together, even if only briefly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sleepy Hollow 2.09: "Mama"

“Just be careful exactly what you’re looking for. This place is filled with so much pain, most of it the kind that can’t be cured.”
- Jenny

So this episode as you can probably guess from the title focuses on the sisters Mills. It’s been a while coming, especially since we learned that their mother had been committed and was seeing demons. Abbie is dreaming about finding her mother in Purgatory when Ichabod wakes her up. He’s caught a cold and so he’s on bed rest as Abbie heads off to handle this week’s creepy case; three suicides in as many days at Terrytown Psych. She brings Jenny along as an expert of sorts since Jenny knows firsthand what the victims went through living in the hospital. They swing by to chat with Captain Irving who confirms that the victims weren’t really suicidal before they died. Jenny and Abbie then decide to check the surveillance footage of the first victim and as Jenny reveals that she snuck in to the hospital when she was young to try and see their mom (it was not a good visit) and Abbie admits that she let their mother’s commitment haunt her for a very long time, we see that their mother’s ghost plagued the first victim as he hung himself.

Ichabod tries to be somewhat useful when Abbie heads back to the archives but he’s still miserable and crabby about the home remedies she keeps making him try. She recounts her memories of her mother before being committed and I can see why she and Jenny were scared. Her mom was definitely presenting as mentally unstable. Yelling at them one minute for talking to friends and the next hugging them tight because she didn’t want to lose them. Very informative I must say. Nick shows up with some drugged soup and some books and such from the cabin. Ichabod gets knocked out after he points out that her mother may be back at the hospital now because Moloch is in this world and because the hospital is situated on a convergence of ley lines. It makes sense to me. So Abbie, Jenny and Nick head back to the hospital and manage to stop a patient from cutting his wrists but as soon as Abbie sees her mother’s ghost, Abbie disappears. That can’t be good! I thought at first it felt like a creepier version of the Ghostly Plane on Charmed but it turns out it was the old wing of the hospital. Abbie’s mom appears and warns her eldest that she’s not safe. Then a nurse finds Abbie and so she realizes she’s not in Purgatory or something. Jenny also gets a visit from Mama Mills and she leaves a code to a session tape in the glass of one of the doors. So it’s back to the archives to watch the tape. At first Jenny doesn’t want to see it. She clearly has far worse memories of their mother than Abbie does. Or maybe it’s the fact that Jenny was younger when all this happened. But Abbie convinces her to watch because they need to do this together to understand what they are up against and what their mother was fighting. The tape reveals that their mother believes the nurse that found Abbie was telling her to kill herself. Which leads to a harrowing scene with the nurse talking to Irving and he nearly drowns himself before everyone busts in and saves him.

This however is actually a breakthrough in the case. They find that the nurse was an “angel of mercy” killer back in the 1950s and she was electrocuted for her crimes at Terrytown Psych. So it seems that their mother isn’t trying to hurt patients, she’s trying to stop the nurse from hurting more people. This prompts a visit back to the old wing and the room that their mother was locked in. According to Jenny, if patients make trouble, they get locked away and forgotten. I truly hope that isn’t what most psych hospitals are like because that just means the system is failing far too many people. In the room, the girls (and Nick) discover that their mother carved a mural of sorts on the way of the girls’ faces and the music to “You Are my Sunshine”. This triggers a rather upsetting memory for Jenny. One day, their mom was acting like she’d given up and she tried to suffocate herself and Jenny in the car (letting the exhaust run in a closed garage). Mama Mills appears and even Nick can see her. She’s trying to keep her girls safe.

Mama Mills explains that there’s an old hex that will get rid of the nurse and she was trying to perform it to save the other people but she couldn’t remember. So Jenny has to go find her old journal. And she’s going to need to work fast because creepy Nurse has got Abbie and she’s trying to kill her, too. Which would be super beneficial for Moloch I’m sure. But in the end, Jenny manages to banish the bitch and their mother disappears along with her. But Abbie wanted to say goodbye so they hold a séance. It’s a really touching scene and superbly acted by both Nichole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood. We learn that it wasn’t Mama Mills that was trying to kill her and Jenny, it was a demon and she ended up saving them both. And she looked after Jenny when she was in the hospital. She also lets them know that there’s a weapon in her journal (which was a nice call back to the Mills ties to the Cranes back in the day) and that they need to use it ASAP. She is now free from being stuck in the hospital and she is so proud of her girls. They are left with tearful goodbyes as they realize just how much strength their mother gave them, even if they couldn’t understand it at the time. And it seems that Captain Irving is making a break for it. Whether this is his own volition or somehow Henry’s doing, we’ve yet to figure out.

And over at Frederick’s Manor, Henry is trying to goad Katrina into holding baby Moloch. He lies and says the child is an orphan and needs motherly affection. It is quite obvious that Henry is jealous as he flashes back to all the things that led up to Moloch being “born”. Why am I not surprised that he’s suffering older sibling jealousy syndrome right now. And can we just stop for a minute to contemplate the fact that now Henry is sort of half related to Moloch? Ew, gross. Luckily, Katrina realizes that the baby is actually Moloch and steals out to grab a plant which I’m assuming has some healing properties to it. Actually it turns out it was poison that she was going to feed to baby Moloch (she’s also not looking so hot now that he’s fed on her). Unfortunately for her, Moloch’s grown up a bit and he’s not a little boy (maybe age 8 or 9). Well, that’s going to be problematic.

It is definitely going to be an exciting fall finale next week. With Katrina having to deal with an older, more manipulative child version of Moloch and the rest of Team Witness trying to find a way to also stop Moloch, goodness knows it will be crazed. And don’t forget that Abraham is lurking about somewhere, likely to mess up at least one person’s plans. While this season has had a few filler episodes, it is still very strong and twisty and it rarely disappoints in making me laugh and sit on the edge of my seat.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Once Upon a Time 4.08-4.09: "Smash The Mirror Parts 1 and 2"

“No, you always think that pulling away from people will fix your problems but it never does. I can help you.”
- Henry

In case you missed it folks, tonight’s episode is double the trouble so be prepared for a slightly longer than normal recap. We begin this week back in Arendelle a long time ago. Ingrid is hiding the sorcerer’s hat box in a cave and then she goes to see the Apprentice in the Enchanted Forest to make a deal; she will hand over the hat if the Sorcerer gives her happiness in the form of two new sisters; Elsa and someone perfectly matched. She seems willing to wait for however long it takes. Back in Storybrooke, Emma has slept in her car overnight (she’s probably used to it from her time with Neal) and Henry manages to find her. He tries to convince her to let him help but her powers go freaky again and he gets knocked down. He’s got a little cut on his head but he insists he’s okay. Still, Emma orders him to stay away. Of course, Ingrid has to show up and try to convince Emma that siding with the Snow Queen is the only way to get her power sin check. Yeah, Emma’s not likely to follow that option, lady. She in fact heads off to Gold’s shop for some help after everyone else gets home exhausted and empty handed. Henry does fill in his grandparents though when he gets back. Hook suggests sending one of the dwarves after her since Elsa points out that being around the ones she loves is a little dangerous right now. Rumple convinces Emma that he has a spell that will work to pull her powers out of her but it is kind of destructive and so they will do it at an abandoned manor at the edge of town. After she leaves, he crumples up the random piece of paper he pulled out of a book. I really hope Emma knows what she’s doing.

Back in Arendelle Elsa is getting ready to give Anna a big welcome home dinner type thing with lots of chocolate when Ingrid drops the “hat” bomb on her. She convinces Elsa that Anna was going to use it on her and had tried to use it on Ingrid, too. She also tells Elsa that her mother trapped her in the urn (which at least is the truth). Elsa goes to pay Anna a visit in the dungeon and after yelling at Anna to make the guards believe she was on Ingrid’s side, she frees Anna and comes up with a plan to trap Ingrid back in the urn. I’m getting the feeling that Elsa may end up trapped instead. They find the urn (along with Hans frozen into a statue) and narrowly avoid being spotted by some guards. Anna admits that their parents wanted to take Elsa’s powers but she (Anna) could never imagine her sister without her magic.

And in what is probably my favorite part of the early half of the episode, Regina and Robin post-coital in the magic vault. They clearly hooked up and Robin offers to go back to his tent and make her breakfast. Regina bemoans the fact that she let her own drama get in the way of their meeting decades ago but even if he weren’t presently married, she’d probably find some way to screw it up. And thus she introduces Robin to the story book. He begs her to let him help before convincing her that if they don’t leave the vault, then hooking up again doesn’t’ count as a second go around. That cracks me up and makes me so happy. You have no idea! Oh and then Robin goes and interrupts Will pouring whiskey into his tea (his lunch and dinner) to get some assistance on tracking down the author of the story book. The two of them teaming up and Robin being a little thief also makes my heart sing. Love it! Will points Robin to the library and off they pop. I had to laugh as Will started picking the lock and Robin just pushed the door open, pointing out the library was actually open.

Back at the Charmings’ loft, Elsa has explained to Henry that Emma’s magic is tied to her emotions and that in so desperately not wanting to hurt him, that’s why her magic did in fact hurt him. But he’s got some ice for a while. Regina shows up, snapping at them for wanting her attention all the time and demands to see Henry. She’s brought a locator potion too. Snow suggests Regina might want to finish buttoning her shirt before seeing Henry. I guess that not-second time was pretty good. Emma calls from the woods and tells Snow that she’s going to get rid of her powers permanently. Hook worries that Rumple will use the hat on her (having seen the effects before) and so he fakes having lost his phone so he can go after her. A little later, Snow is looking at a photo of her and Emma and David and she and David have a little chat about whether Emma giving up her powers is the right thing. David wonders if maybe right now her best chance is to be ordinary. Elsa overhears all of this and sneaks off with the tracking potion.

Up in Henry’s room, Regina heals his head wound (it was just a little scratch) and reminds Henry that he has the heart of the truest believer and he should never feel ordinary. It was a very sweet moment between the two of them and I’m glad we are getting some more of that. Especially when Regina is in a good mood. Elsewhere, Hook is blundering about Gold’s shop and he calls Emma and spills a lot of exposition before finding the map with the manor circled on it. And Ingrid is finally free of the dust of the urn that Rumple sprinkled around her earlier to keep her out of his way while he took Emma’s magic. So now we’ve got two villains hoping for Emma does what they want and two sort-of heroes racing to save her.

It turns out Ingrid isn’t actually free. She’s sort of astral projecting but Emma doesn’t want to hear it and so she takes off and ends up at the creepy manor house surrounded by fog. And thanks to Regina, Snow and David come around to the idea that Emma losing her powers isn’t a good idea. Interesting point, Regina regrets not supporting Henry when he found the story book. I don’t know why she doesn’t ask Snow where it came from but whatever, they have more important things to deal with.

Back in Arendelle, Anna is going to slip back into her cell and when Elsa sends Ingrid down to banish her, Anna will use the urn. Unfortunately, Ingrid planned for this and she traps Anna in shackles. After having Anna recount a Nordic story about a king who used dark magic to cast the spell of shattered sight on his whole kingdom, Ingrid uses it on Anna to try and pit the girls against each other. We actually see how Elsa gets trapped in the urn and in a way, Ingrid was telling the truth. Anna’s darkest feelings came out thanks to the spell and she trapped her sister. But Elsa refused to harm her sister. Ingrid freezes over the entire kingdom and we sort of get an ice palace homage to the film. Why do I get the feeling her secret ice cave is somehow linked to Arendelle and that’s how they heard Anna’s heartbeat? Rumple pays Ingrid a visit as she’s stealing Elsa’s memories from within the urn and Rumple takes it from her. He promises to give it back if she delivers the hat. She’s about to when the Apprentice (who I really think is the Sorcerer and possibly the author of the story book) appears and promises that if she goes to a new land and gives him the hat, she’ll get her happy ending. So she ends up in our world in the early 1980s.

As the Charmings and Regina go out looking for Emma, Snow and Regina get to have a little girl chat about Regina being all angst-ridden over hooking up with Robin and not getting her happy ending. Snow believes that if Regina believe in the happy ending she wants, it will come true in its own time. And it seems that perhaps things are taking an interesting turn as Robin and Will search the library and Robin finds a new story book page in his bag. So Regina goes off to see what it is and Emma tries to find Rumple in the big manor. Regina and Robin discover that the new page is actually a different path to when they could have met. It shows them kissing in the pub instead of Regina running away. Robin chooses to believe this is a sign of hope and they kiss some more. You have no idea how happy I was that Outlaw Queen had some good positive momentum this week.

It seems that Hook is right and Rumple will use the hat on Emma. She asks what he would do in her situation and he quite honestly admits he wouldn’t go through with it because he’s a man who makes bad decisions and despite his good intentions, always manages to screw things up. This of course prompts Emma to take the plunge, foolish girl. Rumple also ties Hook up and steals Emma’s phone so she won’t ever get Killian’s message of epic exposition. And it turns out the secret ingredient in Rumple’s plan to get free of the dagger is the heart of someone who knew him before the dagger. Seeing as Milah and Neal (and technically his father) are dead, that leaves Hook. So he promptly steals Hook’s heart and now has complete control over the pirate.

Elsa manages to talk Emma out of giving up her magic because she realized that they need to love themselves and embrace their magic. As wonderful as it is that Emma is now in control of her magic, I’m pretty sure that’s what Ingrid wanted. Emma gets to put on a little fireworks display for everyone to show she’s got things under control. And I was right, Ingrid gets free and the ribbons appear on all three of their wrists. Apparently, Ingrid can siphon off their power to a degree and after Rumple threatens she shatters the mirror and unleashes the spell. I have to say I really enjoyed this episode and I’m very glad we got two hours to explore things. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Only a handful of episodes left until the winter finale.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Constantine 1.04: "A Feast of Friends"

“I’m off to see a man about a dog….or rather a shaman about a bloody demon.”
- Constantine

We begin this week at the airport in Atlanta. A guy named Gary Lester is coming in from the Sudan and he’s acting kind of sketchy and honestly a little bit high. A customs agent holds him because he’s got a weird jar and things just take a bad turn. The agent smashes the jar and lots and lots of beetles swarm out and then in a horror-movie sort of way they fly into the man’s mouth. Gary takes off and ends up getting caught in some of Constantine’s home security traps. But before Gary and John get to catch up, he and Zed are out testing her powers some more. Manny pops by for a little visit to see if Zed can be useful in their quest to beat back the rising dark. They get home to find Gary and the bugs at the house and he explains that he went on a bit of a bender after the whole Astra debacle and he ended up in Sudan and he tried to exorcise a demon out a guy. It looks like he succeeded but now the demon is loose again and it’s not pretty. The guy keeps eating and stealing food from airport customers until he just keels over and the bugs come flying out to infect their next host.

It turns out the demon infects a woman at a supermarket and she eats a security guard’s face off before dying and the bugs fly off again. Constantine and Zed have to see this on the news before Constantine takes action. He’s carving a demon-capturing vessel with some Jewish relics and explains that back in the day Gary was rich and he had a car so they sort of let him hang about. But Constantine also thinks maybe Gary was using them, too. He doesn’t have a very high opinion of his former friend and heads off to track the demon alone. This gives Zed and Gary a little time to talk. He sort of fills her in a bit on the Astra situation. I found it interesting to get another perspective on Constantine’s past. That he had this sort of allure that made him charismatic. But of course Zed has to touch Gary and she gets pulled into his mind and it’s not a pleasant place. She seems to get all the negative things like his withdrawal symptoms and his guilt over Astra.

On the hut, Constantine poses as CDC and talks to a mother and son at the supermarket where he learns that the bugs flew into a delivery guy’s mouth and thanks the kid, he knows what company he’s looking for. He gets there and finds a bunch of corpses. Lovely. One of them is still alive and possessed by the demon and he almost traps it in the vessel but it apparently isn’t big enough to contain all the bugs and it breaks and so he locks them in the walk-in freezer. He is really pissed at Gary for bringing this demon around and they need to figure out specifically which demon it is so they can get rid of it once and for all. Zed’s drawn some images and that might actually help him figure it out. So he’s off to find a shaman.

He pays a visit to an old friend and they take a mystical psychedelic trip to the past and find out the demon was ravaging a village in Sudan and the shaman in town trapped it in a young boy as a sacrifice and so clearly that was a big whoops on Gary’s part to releasing it. And speaking of releasing it, the demon is out and on the run again. Meanwhile, Gary is feeling pretty guilty too and he ends up touching Zed to overwhelm her psychically with his internal drama so he can go off and deal with the demon. When Constantine gets back, he realizes that Gary is actually off to find a fix. He rescues Gary from some local drug dealers who were beating Gary up by giving them the trippy drug he and the shaman used. So he and Gary end up in a bar and Gary confesses that he was super high the night they all tried to save Astra. He thinks it was his fault and he hid when all the shit was hitting the fan. Constantine tells Gary that everyone knew he was high and that he shouldn’t have been involved because it wasn’t Gary’s world. But they’re going to finish this demon off together. I can’t imagine how that’s going to go but I am liking that we are getting little bits and pieces of the whole story as things move along and I am definitely interested to see where Zed’s storyline and powers will go from here. Having not read the comics I’m not sure what to expect.

Constantine’s plan involves breaking into a museum and having Gary steal a ceremonial knife and then head to the latest sighting of the demon. It is kind of amusing that Constantine has charmed the security guard to dance to the alarm from having the window in one of the doors busted. And Manny shows up to express his concern. But things get real when they arrive because the only way to defeat the demon is to trap it in a live human sacrifice and it has to be Gary. He is willing to do it so that his life will mean something and that he’ll be worthy of Constantine’s friendship. It’s not pretty when Constantine is carving the binding symbols into Gary’s face. Zed is furious when she sees what Constantine has done but she’s not leaving. Which is rare since everyone around Constantine either die or leave. And we end this week with Constantine holding Gary’s hand as he is consumed by the demon and Manny watches. I’m guessing that Constantine has lost a little bit of his soul in the process but I’m also guessing he has a lot more to lose in the coming battle. But at least he’s got one good soldier on his side.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Girl 4.06: "Background Check"

“I know exactly what I have to do. I’m going to tell her it’s mine. Yes. Maybe I’m not supposed to be a cop. There’s no reason you should lose your job too.”

“Background Check” was an amusing enough episode of “New Girl,” although it wasn’t really anything to write home about. Maybe I’ve outgrown the show? These folks are a year or two older than me and I am 31 with a great job and my own apartment. They should really have their shit together more than they do, I think. I identified with them as a grad student in my late 20’s, but not as much now. I guess that’s an appropriate segue for talking more about the substance of this episode, because the catalyst to all the events is Winston actually trying to get his shit together. He’s in the police academy, and a home visit is part of the required background check. He’s really, really hoping his roommates won’t blow this chance for him. And of course, since this is a comedy, things do get pretty dicey for a little while.

As we start getting into the more recap-y part of what we do here, can I just pause so say a brief RIP to the “New Girl” title sequence? Yes, I think Cece and Coach should definitely be in the title sequence, but why did the new sequence have to be so generic. I also miss hearing some of the lyrics to the song. I think music is so central to who Zooey Deschannel (or at least her public persona) is that it is kind of wrong to take her voice out of the title sequence. Anyway, moving on from that, at the beginning of the episode, Schmidt is freaking out because he read Jess’ texts and learned that Cece went on a date. This freak-out is interrupted by Winston telling the gang that he has his background check, and he needs everyone’s help to make a good impression. Coach had been planning a trip to the outlet mall, and the other guys think that sounds great, but Jess convinces them that they need to help Winston. Jess is only pleased until she realizes it’s a home visit. Then she gets a little uncomfortable.

Jess is uncomfortable because she believes she has a very large bag of meth in her room. She tells everyone about Winston about this, but she doesn’t want to tell Winston because she figures he’s probably already close to failing out of the police academy, and this could be the final straw. Apparently, she bought an upholstered footstool at a garage sale once, and when she opened the top up, there was what looked like a bag of meth inside. She’s kept in in her closet ever since, because she figured nobody but her would go in her closet. There’s a lot of slapstick around the guys trying to re-hide the meth. Nick is a terrible liar, so he doesn’t want to know the final location. Then they spill the meth everywhere and frantically try to clean it up as Winston and the Sergeant doing the background check are on their way upstairs.

By the time Winston and the Sergeant arrive at the loft, all of the meth has been shoved in Jess’ bra, and the roomies are arranged on the couch. Jess has issues keeping the meth in place, so she hightails it to the bathroom. While Winston is checking on her, the Sergeant asks everyone why Winston would be an asset to the LAPD. Coach starts a story about how Winston mentors a kid at the Boys and Girls’ Club, and the rest of the guys roll with it until a fictional kid named Duquan has been created. The Sergeant wants to corroborate the story, so Coach goes off to find the hypothetical Duquan who is waiting to be picked up at a hypothetical bus stop for his hypothetical regular Saturday visit to the loft.

Cece arrives because Jess left her a voice mail asking how to get rid of meth, and while Cece is helping Jess with “girl problems” in the bathroom, the Sergeant asks the guys to show her around the loft. As they are all in Nick and Schmidt’s room, they hear a lot of noise coming from the bathroom. This is because Cece and Jess are trying to flush the meth down the toilet and it’s not working well. The toilet is clogged and flooding. Schmidt goes to help and of course he decides to mop the floor up with his shirt (not that I’m exactly complaining). Winston is eventually drawn into the chaos, too, and he’s not pleased when he hears the word meth. The biggest problem, though, is that Nick has been left alone with the Sergeant. He just starts singing “Landslide” tunelessly, because he is afraid that if he says anything, he will talk about the meth and Winston’s career will be finished.

The Sergeant wants to talk to Nick alone, so she closes the door and Schmidt and Cece are left out in the hall to talk about Cece’s date with a guy named Paul. Schmidt thinks he sounds like a normal guy not worthy of Cece until Cece says it was actually Mark Paul Gosslear. Schmidt is stunned at the idea of Cece dating Zach Morris until Cece says she was just joking. On the other side of the door, Nick just starts reciting all of the bad things he has done when he was a kid, because in his mind, he’s honestly responding to the Sergeant’s request to tell her “everything.” Meanwhile, there’s a really awkward scene where Coach tries to convince some kids at a playground to come back to the loft to be Duquan. He seems like a total peedo, and it’s kind of uncomfortable and funny at the same time. Coach quickly realizes that the whole thing was a really bad idea, and he drives off.

In the bathroom, Jess and Winston have a pretty emotional conversation. Winston is upset nobody told him about the meth, because he thinks he could have helped somehow. Jess is forced to admit that she didn’t think Winston would actually ever become a cop. She thought he’d get too freaked out. Winston is disappointed that his friends don’t really believe in him, but he decides he wants to take the high road and take the blame for the meth so that Jess doesn’t lose her job too. Winston and Jess end up having a sort of Sparticus moment with the Sergeant where they both insist the meth is theirs. The Sergeant goes to investigate, and much to everyone’s relief, what seemed to be meth is actually just aquarium rocks. Winston is one of the best cadets at the academy, so the Sergeant passes him. She urges him to move, and her eye roll when Coach chooses that moment to walk in with “Duquan” is pretty epic.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sleepy Hollow 2.08: "Heartless"

“Since when has opening our hearts to new possibilities been a complication?”
- Ichabod

I have to give the writers credit for the way this episode opened. Ichabod and Katrina are talking about the nature of love and we’re made to think it’s just a disagreement but really they are watching a Bachelor knock off reality show. Which is hilarious. Ichabod doesn’t want to like it but Katrina knows he’s fascinated. She is settling in to the modern era quite well. Katrina knows that it will take time to rebuild the trust between them but they do share a touching moment just as Abbie busts in. She’s concerned that it’s been a week since they last saw Henry and so she put a trace on his computer activity. I’m not sure exactly what that gets them but he does have a new plans. Also, Abraham is pissed that Katrina is gone and apparently Moloch doesn’t want Abraham to go after her. Wow is he whiny. Henry conjures a Succubus who goes out feeding on young club goers before returning to spit out whatever she takes from them into a big jar for Henry. Very weird. But we do learn as our Witnesses examine the crime scene at the club that Ichabod is quite the dancer of classical ballroom dances. Which honestly just cracked me up.

Things are not entirely copasetic back at the archives. Abbie and Ichabod have a rhythm but Katrina tries to help and sort of messes with the flow. Katrina has a weird vision of a beating heart and a crying baby. Ichabod thinks she’s been pushed too quickly to use her magic and escorts her back to the cabin, leaving Abbie to order pizza for one. So the Witnesses conduct a little separate research while the Succubus targets a closeted lesbian. After the second crime scene though, they start to put the pieces together. Abbie tries to get some help on ID’ing if it’s a mystical artifact that’s being used on people by meeting up with Nick for a late night drink but he’s fresh out of answers. She declines the offer of a drink and he distracts himself with some other cute women. Just as the Witnesses and Katrina figure out they are up against a Succubus, she hones in on Nick. She can see secret desires and he’s clearly got a big one hanging over his head. She convinces him to go back to his boat but I’m guessing he’s about to get his ass kicked.

Katrina casts a spell to get them to Nick and they save him before the Succubus can finish what she’s started. Things get a tinsy bit awkward when Ichabod notices the way Nick is looking at Abbie. So he kind of brings it up on the drive back to the cabin. He admits he’s been distracted lately by his own romantic issues but she doesn’t see any way of having a relationship because it’s too complicated. Back at the cabin, Katrina is having a nightmare. She’s at Frederick’s Manor with Henry and there’s a baby. She wakes and while Ichabod tries to say he understands that she’s feeling the loss of the creature that would be Moloch, she says it’s different than the feeling of missing a piece of you when a baby is born. She feels like a part of her is out there somewhere and it’s still connected to her. She has a couple more visions, including the Succubus passing the energy she’s been collecting into the jar. It seems Henry’s plan all along was to get some maternal DNA from Katrina and use the life force energy from the Succubus to bring Moloch into the world this way. I have to give it to the guy, I didn’t see that coming.

The gang does a little more research and finds out that in order to kill the Succubus, they have to destroy her heart. So after Abbie and Katrina get into a bit of a shouting match over Katrina’s desire to save Henry, they head off to a cemetery to find the heart while Ichabod and Nick go clubbing to seek out the Succubus. Ichabod tries to get Nick’s intentions towards Abbie straight but doesn’t have much luck because the Succubus appears and they split up. Katrina and Abbie have their own chat about Katrina’s worldview disappearing bit by bit and her clinging to what she believes in her heart. Abbie kind of gets it but thinks that there are some things in life even a mother’s love can’t fix. They find the heart just about the time Ichabod comes face to face with the Succubus. She’s trying to lure him in, playing on his doubt towards Katrina. Just as he stabs her, a second hex on the jar that held the heart (which for while presented itself as having rats and maggots in it) activates and knocks Katrina out. It takes both Nick and Ichabod to take out the Succubus and Abbie has to finish the spell but she’s defeated eventually. Katrina tells Abbie that with Moloch alive in our world, she needs to go back to Abraham where she will have access to the demon and can strike it down. Ichabod seems to be willing to understand this when Abbie fills him in. He has to trust his wife’s skills as a witch and a spy. But that’s going to be hard to do when Katrina gazes upon Moloch and sees a little human baby thanks to the power of the necklace Abraham gave her.

I have to say I’m kind of bummed that Katrina chose this path. I get that they need to keep Moloch at bay and this may also give her a shot at swaying Henry but I wanted to see more of her and Ichabod together. We barely got a taste of them settling into this world and this time and I feel a little bit insulted by the writers. I’m sure it all will fit and make sense in the end. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.

Doctor Who 8.12: "Death in Heaven"

“I had a friend once, we ran together when we were little. I thought we were the same. But when we grew up, we weren’t and now she’s trying to tear the world apart and I can’t run fast enough to hold it together. The difference is this. Pain is a gift.”
- The Doctor

Well folks, we’ve reached the end (save the Christmas Special) of the Twelfth Doctor’s first run. While I know a lot of people were surprised by the twist as to Missy’s identity, I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I’d seen a few other theories about who she was (other Time Ladies basically) which I think would have been far more interesting stories to tell. The Master and the Doctor have been done to death (quite literally in the Master’s case). Besides, I much preferred John Simm in the role. But that bit of annoyance aside, let’s find out how this whole scenario pans out. When last we left our gang, Cybermen were stalking the streets of London, Clara cut off communication with Danny because he kept saying “I love you” and Danny is contemplating ‘deleting’ his emotions and becoming a Cyberman himself.

Clara gets caught by one of the Cyberman but with some quick thinking she convinces it that she’s the Doctor and that she shouldn’t be upgraded or killed. Yeah I doubt that’s going to last long. Down on the streets of London, people aren’t running in fear from the Cybermen. They’re taking selfies and such. Don’t they remember when Cybermen came through from the alternate universe and tried to kill everyone? A familiar face pops up and offers to take the Doctor and Missy’s photo when we realize that all the people are UNIT agents and Kate Stewart walks up. Through a bit of exposition and some explosions, we learn that there were 91 Cybermen in St. Paul’s (one for every county in the UK) and one explodes and becomes a giant raincloud. Everywhere in the world this is happening. Back in the Nethersphere, Danny is told that he’s going home back to his body (with a bit of an upgrade). UNIT knocks out both Missy and the Doctor as part of their plan (we have no idea what that is at the moment) and before the Doctor passes out, he warns them to guard the graveyards. We see the storm clouds starting to rain just over a cemetery and then the water trickles everywhere. They’re going to raise the dead.

The Doctor wakes up and he’s handcuffed to the wheel of a big plane. Turns out there are certain protocols in place for big-scale incursions like this and the world leaders have made the Doctor the President of the World. Yeah, he’s not particularly happy about that. We do get a nice little bit of banter with him and Kate about her father though which is a nice call-back. It seems Moffat is more willing to do that than call back to RTD. But, I must admit that there are a few callbacks to prior issues with both the Master and Cybermen. It seems that they didn’t fly the last time they were here (when Torchwood London fell). And in a morgue, a body comes back and it turns out to be Danny. He’s got his memories thankfully and he ends up rescuing Clara from a few other Cybermen still inside St. Paul’s. She’s rattling on about being from Galifrey and the type of TARDIS the Doctor pilots. We get a mention of four dead wives (one of those is presumably River) and Jenny as well.

Back on whatever the Whovian equivalent of Air Force One is, the Doctor and Missy have a little chat about their home planet. Thankfully we get a reference to “End of Time” (I was worried we wouldn’t). Missy knows where Galifrey is but she’s not telling anyone. As the Doctor heads off to give orders, Missy activates some kind of bracelet. Clara comes to in a graveyard which is concerning since the rain clouds that make the Cybermen are moving towards it. Not that she’ll obviously be turned into one but yeah, not a smart place to be. It’s kind of sad as a bunch of the Cybermen just sort of walk around in circles, unsure what to do. But she spots the one who rescued her and after she goes on about how the Doctor is her best friend and the one person in the universe she’d always forgive and never lie to, Danny pulls off the front piece of the Cyberman helmet. He’s really not looking so good all dead and such. He begs Clara to activate the emotional inhibitor but I’m thinking she can’t. Also way to make your boyfriend feel bad about himself going on about all those things you see in another man.

Speaking of the Doctor, he’s got his own problems onboard the plane. Sally and the guards get vaporized by Missy and she signals a whole mess of Cybermen to come attack the plane. The Doctor is furious (as he should be) and goes to confront her and she rambles on about how she kept him and Clara together (she was the woman in the shop…which leads to a very brief Eleventh Doctor flashback) but we don’t quite know why. Other than Missy thinks Clara is perfect. The TARDIS phone is ringing and I’m thinking the Doctor really needs to answer it. Clara needs help activating the inhibitor but the Doctor refuses and so Clara gets miffed and tosses her phone away. She’s just going to start pressing buttons until one works.

Back on the plane, Missy is still wreaking havoc and Kate gets booted out of the plane (so she’s presumably dead which saddens me. I like her). Missy gets a lift off and the plane explodes. She pops back to the Nethersphere with Seb who she ultimately incinerates because he’s cheering on the Doctor for summoning the TARDIS. The Doctor arrives at the graveyard and tries to talk Clara out of what she’s doing. He gives Danny this whole big speech about having to feel emotions to be different but Danny has a point, the Doctor needs the tactical advantage of knowing the Cybermen’s plans and so he has to activate the inhibitor. So Clara does it and we learn that the clouds will just keep coming and there’s no way of stopping it. This of course is missy’s time to come give the big Evil Speech of Evil, complete with Cybermen safety briefing. She’s created all of these Cybermen as an army for the Doctor for his birthday (she’s nuts). She wants to show him that they aren’t so different after all. So all of this because she wanted her best friend back. I think Moffat is slipping a bit.

The Doctor flashes back throughout the season to all the times he questioned whether he was a good man or a hero or anything like that. He admits he is an idiot and gives Danny the control over the Cybermen. He commands them all to burn up the clouds and saves the day. Missy gives the Doctor the supposed coordinates of Galifrey (according to her it moved back to its original position) but she won’t get to see it with him. Clara wants to kill Missy but the Doctor does it instead because he doesn’t want to blacken Clara’s soul. The Doctor is genuinely sad about having to do it, too. I mean they were buddies a long time ago and you can’t just forget that. Oh and it would appear that Kate is alive. Her father (as a Cyberman) saved her and so the Doctor gives the Brigadier General a salute.

Two weeks later, Danny makes contact from the afterlife but instead of coming through, he sends the little boy he killed in action overseas. Clara isn’t exactly pleased by this but she’s got no choice really. She meets the Doctor in a shop a while later and they end up both lying to each other. She says that Danny is back and they are happy. He says he understands why she isn’t going to travel with him anymore and that he found Galifrey (he actually didn’t and kind of lost it in the TARDIS for a bit). So they sadly walk away from each other but apparently Santa Claus isn’t going to let them end things that way without one more adventure at Christmastime. We will see you in December Whovians!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Doctor Who 8.11: "Dark Water"

“You betrayed me. Betrayed my trust, you betrayed our friendship, you betrayed everything that I’ve ever stood for. You let me down!”
“Then why are you helping me?”
“Why? Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?”
-The Doctor and Clara

So, I’ll admit, I’m writing this post having already seen the season finale, which directly continues the plot that begins here. It’s going to be kind of hard to mentally separate this episode from what I know comes next, but I’ll do my best. It was also kind of hard to mentally prepare to watch this episode again. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely a good episode. The emotions of Clara in the episode, though, were too raw to want to watch too often. That’s a sign of a solid performance on the part of Jenna Coleman, though. In this episode, the Doctor and Clara go where the Doctor usually tries not to go. The afterlife, such as it is. I worried that this episode would come too close to series 1’s Father’s Day. Thankfully, though, this one was a different take on what happens when a time traveler’s companion wants to do something about the death of a loved one.

The beginning of this episode is brutal, but I appreciated the artistry behind how it was staged. Clara and Danny are talking on the phone, and Clara wants it to be a big conversation. She wants to admit to Danny that she’s been lying about continuing to travel with the Doctor, and she wants to give him all the specifics of what she’s been doing. First, however, she decides to tell Danny she loves him. And not in a routine way. In a “I will never, ever tell anyone else I love them” way. She’s distressed when Danny’s response is silence, but she is devastated when she learns that the reason for the silence is that Danny has been hit by a car. We don’t actually see Danny get hit. A passerby picks up his phone and tells Clara what happened, and we see her rush to the scene, which eventually becomes a memorial to Danny.

Several days (presumably, since it seems to be post-funeral) after Danny’s death, Clara is talking to her grandmother when she gets a call from the Doctor. He apologizes for being incommunicado for a few days, but he’s ready to travel. Clara eagerly heads for the TARDIS without telling the Doctor what has happened. Inside the TARDIS, Clara tries to sneakily gather up all of the Doctor’s keys as she tells him she wants to see a volcano. Clara stands before the lava and finally tells the Doctor what happened. Danny is dead, and she wants the Doctor to help her save him. The doctor repeatedly says he can’t do that, because rewriting time requires extreme precision, and every time he says, “no,” Clara throws another TARDIS key into the lava. Apparently lava is the only thing that can destroy a TARDIS key. After she destroys the last key, she breaks down in tears. That’s when the Doctor points to a patch on her hand. The volcano surroundings were an illusion, and they are still inside the TARDIS. The Doctor wanted to see how far she would go. Despite the betrayal, the Doctor still cares about Clara, so he’s going to try and help her.

Meanwhile, Danny finds himself on the Nethersphere, in an office talking with ever-enthusiastic Seb. Have I mentioned before how much I enjoy Chris Addision? He played the smarmy Ollie Reeder on one of my favorite British comedies, “The Thick of it,” which also happened to star Peter Capaldi. Danny is very confused at first and doesn’t really understand how he ended up in the Nethersphere. Seb gets the honor of informing Danny that he is dead. Seb also informs Danny that someone has requested to meet him. That person happens to be a child Danny inadvertently killed while he was fighting in war (presumably in Iraq or Afghanistan). Danny tries to talk to the kid, but he just runs away. The whole thing is pretty emotional for Danny, as it should be, I would think. It was definitely interesting to learn more about Danny’s backstory and why he always had such a strong reaction to people asking him if he had ever killed anyone.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor has Clara once again use the psychic interface and think of Danny. The Doctor says this will lead the TARDIS to try and find him. They end up in what appears to be a massive mausoleum where skeletons are kept in big water tanks. A screen pops up, and the Doctor and Clara learn that the mausoleum is run by a company called 3W. Missy is actually reading the narration for the 3W introduction, and prompted by the Doctor, she enters the room and introduces herself. She greets the Doctor with a make-out session (sort of), which is just as awkward for us viewers as it is for the unsuspecting Doctor. Clara manages to avoid a similar greeting.

Dr. Chang gets the honor of doing much of the episode’s info dumping. He teaches the Doctor and Clara about the tech behind 3W. He also tells them a bit about 3W’s history. Apparently, one day somebody listened really hard to white noise from a television and heard the message “Don’t cremate me.” Those are the three words behind 3W. Basically, 3W keeps the dead in a way that won’t cause them any pain in the afterlife. There’s a really funny bit where the Doctor tries to use the psychic paper to show Dr. Chang some credentials, and Chang remarks about all the swearing on the paper. The Doctor just responds, “I’ve got a lot of that internalized anger.” It made me laugh because it was obviously a nod to Peter Capaldi’s other iconic character, Malcolm Tucker.

Dr. Chang asks Clara if there’s a particular dead person she wants to speak with, and of course this winds up as a Danny and Clara phone call. Apparently getting a call in the afterlife is a rare thing, or so Seb tells Danny (can I mention again how thrilled I am to see Chris Addison on my U.S. TV screen again?). The conversation is more painful than cathartic, with Clara saying she wants to be with Danny and Danny saying he wants Clara to go live her life. Danny keeps saying “I love you” until Clara gets so upset that she just hangs up the phone. Danny is clearly devastated by the phone call, and Seb offers a solution. All Danny has to do is push a button, and his emotions will be deleted.

It probably doesn’t take much at this point for you to figure out what has really been going on. The tanks, which seemed to just be holding skeletons, start activating. It is then revealed that Missy is Chang’s boss instead of the other way around, and Missy decides to kill Chang. But only after he says something nice to her. As the tanks continue to bubble away, it’s pretty clear what is inside. It’s a mausoleum full of Cybermen! Timelord technology had been keeping them in stasis, which makes the Doctor even more suspicious. The Cybermen are in the room where Clara had been talking to Danny, and now she’s got to run. Outside St. Paul’s Cathedral (the mausoleum is inside of the cathedral), the situation is getting even worse. In the midst of the chaos we get a huge reveal. Missy is actually the Master, although she goes by the Mistress these days. Well played, Moffat. Well played.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Once Upon a Time 4.07: "The Snow Queen"

“You see at the end of the day you’ll understand that everything I’ve been saying is true and then you’ll do the last thing in the world you think possible right now. You’re going to let me go.”
- The Snow Queen

We begin this week way back in Arendelle when Gerta and Helga and Ingrid were children. They’re flying a kite that they found and it crashes into a tree. They are arguing a bit over who should get the ribbon that was used as a tail when a creepy guy tries to kidnap them. Ingrid’s powers come out for the first time and she freezes a tree, crushing the man with a frozen branch. Her sisters swear that she’s not a monster and promise to always be there for each other. Several years have passed and the sisters have grown up. Ingrid is hiding away so people don’t see her powers, much the same way Elsa did. There’s a ball for their father’s 70th birthday but Ingrid isn’t sticking around for long. Helga introduces a young duke to her father and it seems Ingrid is a tad jealous of both of her little sisters dancing the night away with men so she leaves (after creating flurries). She’s packing to head out permanently when her sisters try to talk her out of it. And then Gerta recommends they seek out Rumple for some help. Yeah, you people really need some better research tools because he just isn’t to be trusted. As much as I adore the character, it’s just not wise to seek him out period. They go as a trio and he offers up the gloves that we saw Elsa wear in the film and the urn. In exchange he wants the ribbons they used as the symbol of their sisterhood. He does point out that Gerta and Helga’s true love for Ingrid would solve the problem, too but Ingrid is just too insecure. Helga’s Duke (who I didn’t realize was the sleazy guy from the movie) tries to hit on Ingrid and then lie to Helga and blame Ingrid for hitting on him and attacking him. Thankfully Helga has more sense and kicks him to the curb. Unfortunately, the Duke has some nasty words for Ingrid and she unleashes her magic. It hits Helga (much like Elsa’s magic did to Anna in the film) and Ingrid is left to sob uncontrollably as Helga freezes completely and crumbles. Gerta shows up and ends up putting Ingrid in the urn and then goes to the rock trolls to ask for the memory spell. Grand Pabbie explains that the magic will come with a price. Gerta thinks she’s already paid it but I’m pretty sure he meant Elsa being born with ice magic.

Cut to the Snow Queen in Storybrooke and she’s heading up to the clock tower for some nefarious reason. Robin pays Regina a visit and things are not going well for them. You can see how heartbroken they both are at not being together but Regina is insistent that Robin focus his romantic feelings on his wife because she’s all out of ideas. This is also the second time he’s just let Regina walk away from him. Dude needs to fight for his woman, damn it! Elsewhere in town, Emma and Elsa are trying a spell Belle found but Emma gets called away for babysitting duty. We see some familiar faces with Aurora and Ashley (Cinderella). She apparently runs Mommy and Me classes which leads to some awkward stuff with Emma and Snow (who Emma is back to referring to as Mary Margaret). Emma doesn’t realize it but as they are talking, the milk in baby Neal’s bottle starts to boil and everyone kind of stares at her. But she’s sort of saved from the frightened looks by a call from David saying they found the Snow Queen. Emma uses the spell and it seem to work but knowing the writers of this show and that it happened in the first five minutes of the episode, it was all an act.

Elsa and Emma are both in the room at first with Ingrid until Elsa gets really pissed and Emma kicks her out, explaining that they need to stay calm and not let Ingrid push their buttons. I certainly hope Emma can take her own advice but I worry that she can’t. She tries to keep things in control and dictate where the conversation goes but Ingrid is quick to reveal that she knows about Emma’s superpower and that she’s going to let Ingrid go. Emma wants to know why Ingrid was watching her entire life and Ingrid says it was to protect Emma and that she doesn’t believe it that Emma’s family hasn’t looked at her with fear due to her magic. She tries to implore Emma that family isn’t just blood and that they belong together.

Back at the clock tower, Hook and Elsa are trying to figure out why the mirror isn’t doing anything spooky or evil. Belle arrives and after taking a look realizes it’s a fake. David surmises that Ingrid wanted to get caught and the gang arrives at the sheriff’s station just as Ingrid freezes over the door. Oh and it seems Regina is giving up on Robin as she looks glumly through the story book. But when Henry shows up for a little help with his tie (per Grandpa Gold’s orders) Regina vows to accept the next happy ending that comes her way and Operation Mongoose is her sole focus now. Yeah, you just need to give Robin more of a chance honey. It will work out. Speaking of, he’s at Granny’s throwing darts rather aggressively when Will comes in. They end up sharing a drink and we learn about when Robin first met Marin. He’s trying to remind himself that the day he stole from her was the day he decided to no longer steal for himself but for the poor. Will explains that if you truly love someone, you do whatever it takes for them, even if it ruins your life. Please dear God, let that mean he goes back to Regina.

Henry is trying to get into the back of the shop to snoop and luckily he gets permission from Grandpa (he has to polish furniture). And Rumple agrees to go off with everyone to confront Ingrid when Belle asks nicely. Clearly he needs to keep up pretenses. Things are spiraling out of control rapidly at the sheriff’s station. Ingrid is most definitely pushing Emma’s buttons, using information about their year together to force Emma’s emotions out of whack enough that Emma explodes part of the wall and Ingrid escapes. I suppose that counts as letting her go. The rest of the family gets there and Emma kind of freaks out and causes a light pole to fall and it smacks David in the shoulder (he was pushing Hook out of the way). Emma takes off in the yellow bug while Ingrid watches from around the corner, rather pleased with herself. Emma is nowhere to be found and David and Mary Margaret feel awful for failing their daughter in such a big way. In slightly happier news, Robin goes to Regina basically tells her he is throwing away his code (at least for the day) and quite passionately kisses her. I cheered.

And as the episode comes to a close, Ingrid and Rumple make yet another deal. She wants Storybrooke and he can have the rest of the world. She will give him the last ingredient he needs to sever his connection with the dagger if she gets her ribbon back. He seems quite pleased with what’s coming which makes me more than just slightly concerned. And next week is going to be quite epic seeing as it’s a two-hour event.