Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marvel's Agent Carter 1.08: "Valediction"

“I know you loved him Howard. I loved him, too but this won’t bring him back. Howard , you are the one person on this earth who believes in me and I cannot lose you. Steve is gone. We have to move on, all of us. As impossible as that may sound, we have to let him go.”
- Peggy

Well ladies and gents, we’ve arrived at the finale of “Agent Carter”. Overall, I’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into the life of Peggy Carter. Even though it has the same creative team behind it as “SHIELD”, I feel like this had tighter storytelling. It’s almost the level “SHIELD” would have had if it had been able to start with the events of the second Captain America movie. We pick up pretty much right where we left off. Sousa, Peggy and Thompson get called to the movie theater and Peggy realizes it wasn’t a monster that killed everyone (as assumed by the theater owner) they killed each other. Sousa has the misfortune of finding the leftover canister with a little gas still left in it. He tries to kill Thompson and thumps Peggy pretty good. But he comes around and seems to recover all right. Things at the SSR are getting tense, though. With nine more containers of the gas, they really need to figure out what the Russian doctor is up to. That may be a little more complicated though when Howard Stark waltzes in to headquarters like he owns the place.

Howard hasn’t come empty handed either. I was right last week when I suspected whatever made the heater-goers attack was used in Russia. Howard confirms that one of the generals stole Howard’s inventions (it was supposed to keep soldiers awake for days but kind of backfired) and used it in Russia. Howard feels responsible for what happened and he believes the doctor is trying to punish him. Speaking of, he’s riding around with Dottie. They are heading out of the city when Howard and the SSR put a plan into motion that will draw out their enemy. Howard is giving a very public speech at City Hall. The SSR is assuming that Dottie will take a shot at Howard during the speech but things are a bit more complicated than that. The bad guys have rigged an automatic shotgun to start firing but not hit Howard. Not surprisingly, the plan is to get Howard back to SSR headquarters if there is an attack. It seems the bad guys had a different plan. Howard gets into a police car and it takes off. He’s been kidnapped!

The team converges on the now-abandoned police car where they find the driver dead. I was a little confused by this. I thought the driver was working for the Russian guy (who I’m just going to call Leviathan from now on). Then again, it seems Leviathan doesn’t have a problem killing his own people. Howard is now stuck in a car with Dottie and when he starts to flirt with her, she points out that he doesn’t remember her and when he calls her the wrong name, she cold cocks him. While trying to find Howard, Thompson and Peggy figure out where the real target is. There is a big celebration going on in Times Square and since the gas is best deployed aerially, they have to shut down all the airports. Unfortunately, Howard has is how private plane collection that the SSR was unaware of. Oh and Howard stupidly showed Dottie the location six months earlier when she was totally snowing him. She’s probably the one who stole the inventions from his home vault, too.

As our heroes race to save Howard, we see the Russian doctor use his hypnosis techniques to get Howard to do what he wants. He plays on Howard’s guilt of what his inventions have done and how they’ve been misused. He goes back to a time when Howard felt real shame (losing Cap) and ends up getting Howard into one of the planes to take off. He’s going to make Howard suffer all right, by having him be the one to deploy the gas. All the while Howard will think he’s on his way to rescue Cap from the ice. Time is running out because if Howard reaches land there’s nothing they can do. Jarvis offers to go up in another plane and shoot Howard down over water if he must. It’s a very moving moment when Jarvis is in the plane before he takes off. He knows what he has to do but he’s clearly conflicted about it. For all Howard’s faults, he’s still a decent boss and a friend.

Peggy gets into the radio room and there’s a pretty cool fight between her and Dottie. Dottie seems to have the upper hand and Peggy is getting tossed around quite a bit but Peggy ultimately wins. Dottie breaks a window with a bat and then Peggy manages to kick Dottie out the window. Of course, leviathan has taken off so it’s up to the boys to find him while Peggy desperately tries to get Howard to see reason and pull his head out of his fantasy. With some smart thinking by Sousa (hello earplugs) they take down Leviathan. Peggy’s having less luck with Howard. She can’t find a way to snap Howard out of his fantasy of finding Cap alive. Jarvis is within range so now Peggy has to make the decision of whether they shoot down Howard or not. I have a feeling they won’t because Tony hasn’t been born yet and he’s only in his late 30s or early 40s in the Iron Man and Avengers movies. Clearly Marvel values continuity in its franchise and won’t kill off Daddy Stark before his time. But they are still doing a good job of making the moment suspenseful.

Howard manages to snap out of it thanks to an impassioned speech from Peggy. It was a very moving speech for sure. Things look good except that Dottie has escaped so they likely haven’t seen the last of her. Back at the office the next morning, a Senator shows up to congratulate Thompson who does seem to take all the credit. It pisses Sousa off but Peggy isn’t bothered. She knows what he did and what she’s worth and she doesn’t need to be validated by other people. She turns down drinks with Sousa to go see her new digs with Angie courtesy of Howard. It seems Howard has had a change of heart and is going to destroy all of his bad baby inventions and Jarvis is entrusting Steve’s blood to Peggy. She ends up pouring it off a bridge. And in a bid at a second season, Leviathan gets a new cell mate in prison who looks familiar (I think he’s the guy who was one of the main villains in Winter Soldier.

I thought this was a very good ending to the season and if that’s all we get of Agent Carter, I’ll be satisfied. But I think Peggy has such spunk that I’d love to see her kicking butt and taking names when her follow SSR Agents know what she’s capable of.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sleepy Hollow 2.18: "Tempus Fugit"

“Well then, Lieutenant, let us change the course of history…again.”
- Ichabod

The writers of “Sleepy Hollow” kick things off right from the get go of the finale. We find 18th century Ichabod kicking some serious British butt on the battlefield when he receives word that Abbie wants to speak to him from lock up. He’s not happy about being pulled away from his post but he goes anyway. She tries to convince him to let her explain everything but he’s not too eager to believe her. She talks funny, is dressed oddly and he thinks she’s likely a spy. That perception of her kicks in when the go to the battlefield where Ichabod was supposed to meet the Horseman of Death. There are lots of dead people but Crane is clearly not one of them. He convinces his superior to let him escort Abbie to the nearest runaway slave camp.

Elsewhere, Katrina races into the medical tent, expecting to find her husband lying dying in a bed. Obviously he’s not there and a soldier confirms that Ichabod never showed up for the battle and he confirms Ichabod was with Abbie. Katrina is more than a little pissed and it leads her to a confrontation of sorts with Headless. I have to say I liked seeing some of the bad guys come back even for just a little bit. Somehow (probably because Abraham is still in love with Katrina and it’s so close to when he was turned by Moloch), Katrina convinces Headless to team up with her.

On the carriage ride to the slave camp, Abbie rattles off all the things she knows about Ichabod to try and convince him that she’s not a spy and she’s actually from 2015. Much of what is going on is reminiscent of the pilot and I think that’s such a great way for the writers to pull viewers back in. It also makes the episode feel like if it were the end, it could be a satisfying conclusion. Abbie hits on the fact that they had lots of books back in her time and most of the authors are alive. Washington and Jefferson are too far for a quick trip but they can call on Mr. Franklin. On the way up to Franklin’s front door, Abbie points out which buildings will one day be a Starbucks (as you probably know, that joke was one of my favorites in the pilot) and I laughed so hard. Much to Ichabod’s ire, Franklin readily believes Abbie when she says she’s from the future. In fact, he calls her the embodiment of the American dream. Ichabod still isn’t on board with the whole Witness agenda. Franklin picks up on this and Abbie’s reluctance to name the female witch who wants Ichabod dead until Ichabod isn’t in the room. Franklin isn’t too worried about Katrina or Headless. If they can reverse the spell used, then time will fix itself. To do that, they need to pay Grace Dixon a visit. Before they can head off to Fredericks Manor, Headless busts in much like he did in the pilot and ends up decapitating dear old Franklin. I wasn’t that shocked by it honestly. I knew there was a death coming and it just felt like Ichabod needed to lose a mentor in order to get invested.

Turns out I was wrong. Franklin’s death just pushes Ichabod to lock up Abbie again. As he’s walking away, she yells at him to check her phone for their failed selfie attempt. She also warns him that the witch after him is Katrina and she’s pregnant. After being relieved of duty by his commanding officer, Ichabod heads home and finds Katrina has prepared items used during the time for women who are expecting. She denies being pregnant and almost gets the drop on him with a floating knife when Ichabod is summoned by General Washington. Ichabod ends up paying Abbie another visit. No doubt his commanding officer intends to have his way with Abbie and Ichabod needs to stop it. He finally believes Abbie’s story when he gets th4e phone work and finds the video Ichabod took while trying to take a selfie. It was hilarious and sad at the same time.

Once Abbie is freed (she totally kicks the commanding officer’s butt), the Witnesses head to see Grace. It seems Grace knows about Abbie and is so thrilled to meet her. Ichabod is a little put off by the familial connection. He’s still trying to process the whole “my wife is an evil witch who wants to kill me”. Abbie tried to explain to him that Katrina was good and did love him once. But likely being stuck in Purgatory for two centuries and then losing her son first to evil and then to death messed her up. Grace can work the spell to send Abbie back to her time but she needs to draw on the magic of the protective magic around the manor. This gives Katrina an easy shot of killing the wards entirely and Ichabod and Headless end up having a fight. It looks like Ichabod is about to be decapitated when Abbie’s spell works. She gets back to the present and Katrina is not happy. She wants Abbie dead for Henry’s death but Ichabod manages to stop her. Of course that involves killing her. She dies in his arms and he breaks down a little bit. Abbie says that he had no choice but he retorts that they all had a choice. Just before the episode ends, Jenny and Irving show up and we get sort of a nice moment where they realize that the fight isn’t over and they are meant to go forward as a team, united and strong.

Overall, I thought the finale was very strong. It had some great parallels to the pilot and some of the mythology they set up over the last two seasons. I think killing both Henry and Katrina was actually a good way to move forward with a bit of a clean slate. Sure, Headless s still out there (and likely will become their biggest threat now that Katrina’s dead and can’t free him from the guise of the Horseman) but this gives the writers a chance to really change things up and start fresh. I hope we get a chance to see what happens next for our Witnesses and their allies.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Marvel's Agent Carter 1.07: "Snafu"

“You think you know me, but I’ve never been more than what each of you has created. To you I’m a stray kitten left on your doorstep to be protected. The secretary turned damsel in distress, the girl on a pedestal transformed into some daft whore. You’re behaving like children and what’s worse, what’s far worse is this is shoddy police work. You were inches away from the woman that you want when you loaded me into your car.”
- Peggy

Things are getting dire for our heroine. Before she’s tag-teamed by the Chief, Thompson and Sousa, we see the Russian doctor on the front lines in 1943 where his talents for making people get lost in their minds and not feel pain is put to work during a double amputation on a young soldier. I guess we know where his skills came from and why Leviathan wanted him. Back at the SSR, the guys are trying everything short of violence to get Peggy to talk. They say how confused and frustrated they are. Souse accuses Peggy of sleeping with Howard (yeah right, she’s smarter than that). The Chief wants to know about the sphere with Cap’s blood in it (he doesn’t know about the blood) and she tries to point them in the right direction (Dottie’s direction). Speaking of the Russian assassin, we see her purchasing a baby carriage. I can’t even begin to imagine what she’s going to do with it. And the confound matters back at headquarters, Jarvis shows up and announces he has a signed confession from Howard Stark.

Jarvis says Stark has confessed to everything and he’s on a plane due to land in a few hours. He will sign the signature page of the confession and report to SSR headquarters. The deal is that Jarvis and Peggy go free. The Chief isn’t too happy about that and keeps them in custody until Stark arrives. Of course, he’s not actually going to show up. It was all a rouse concocted by Jarvis in a panic to try and get them more time to close in on Dottie. Good one, Edwin. Really good plan there. But it does afford Peggy a few into the Chief’s office and she spots the doctor tapping away on the window sill in Morse code. There’s going to be an extraction in a short time and this prompts Peggy to come clean to the guys. They are skeptical at first (understandable really) when she explains that she did her own investigation and she feels guilty for the agent’s death. When they can’t understand why she wouldn’t go to them for help, she bluntly reminds them that she’s invisible unless she’s playing secretary or coffee maid. They don’t say anything exactly but it is obvious they realize they were being assholes. And Peggy also gives them one more thing to show she’s telling the truth; she reveals Cap’s blood. This is enough for the guys to believe her.

Sousa and Thompson take a couple guys across the street to check out the building and see if they can find who the doctor was communicating with while the Chief babysits the doctor. That goes about as well as can be expected. The doctor gets in the Chief’s head and convinces him to lock up Jarvis and Peggy and continue the rouse that Peggy is a traitor. He gets into the lab with the doctor and ends up finding what looks like a light-weight bullet proof vest of sorts. But what the doctor is really after is in a crate. It’s pretty old and hasn’t been used in a while apparently. Now it has me wondering if some of it might be Hydra related. It probably isn’t since this show is separate from Agents of SHIELD but they are connected enough that it could be an 0-8-4 or something.

Across the way at the other building the agents split up which really is never a good idea. I know they have like 4 agents and lots of floors to cover but you’re facing a highly trained and skilled assassin. As Thompson points out, a pint-sized assassin-in-training kicked their butts in Russia. So of course Sousa has to find Dottie and get into a fight. He sort of holds his own a little bit until she starts spider-jumping down the stairs and kills an agent. Seriously, Romanov never did stuff like that that I remember. Maybe the program changed between the 1940s and the 2000s.

Peggy and Jarvis eventually get free after a bit of physical comedy with a table used as a battering ram. But things are getting even more dangerous. The vest the Chief is wearing is a heat vest that likes to go boom when it overheats and thanks to it being a Stark invention it always overheats. There aren’t a lot of options to stop it. In fact there aren’t any that will let the Chief live. So he ends up jumping out a window just as the vest explodes. He wasn’t an overly bad guy and I feel bad that he died. At least he gave Peggy an order worthy of her skill before he died. He wants her specifically to take down Leviathan. Sousa also found some sketchy information in the room Dottie was using. There’ still some things that need to be figured out, like what exactly was taken from the lab. Peggy worries they nabbed Steve’s blood but she’s relieved to find it’s still there. But whatever was in the crate is gone and no one seems to know what it is. However, I think I know. Dottie takes the baby carriage to a movie theater and leaves it there and then all the theater goers start coughing and beating the crap out of each other. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happened at the battle with all the dead Russians and why Stark was there in the aftermath of everything.

Next week’s finale is going to be a very exciting affair. I have to say I’m kind of glad the season was so short. It really keeps the storytelling tight and it does seem like we’ll be getting a definitive ending to this particular storyline in the event the show doesn’t come back. I won’t speculate on its chances because with ABC and Marvel you really don’t know what is going to happen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Girl 4.15: "The Crawl"

“Fake accent, smug attitude. This is exactly why the teachers have turned on Jyan”

“The Crawl” was just a weird episode. I can’t really think of a better word to use to describe it. In some ways, it felt like classic “New Girl.” The gang was being goofy, and they were each other’s best support system. It was a nice mix of heart and humor for the most part. On the other hand, I feel like the very end of the episode kind of ruined the whole thing. I’m tired of Nick being impossibly unable to function in life. I think it really allowed Jake Johnson to shine when Nick was allowed to become a little weird, but now I think it has gone way too far. Around the time he started dating Jess, the weirdness escalated from saying hilarious random things to just completely failing at functioning like a human adult. It was really what killed Nick and Jess’ relationship, and I would really like to see that change. Nick can stay weird to continue to give Jake Johnson such a wonderful opportunity to survive, but he needs to be able to function. A completely helpless Nick crosses the line from funny to pathetic.

As the episode opens, Jess arrives home to the loft after having apparently spent the week at Ryan’s. Since Ryan apparently doesn’t still live like a college student even though he’s over 30, apparently it was very pleasant. Jess is a bit smug about how pleasant it all was, complete with fake British accent, and Coach says that’s why the other teachers don’t support the relationship. They’re too darn smug about it. Jess says Ryan is looking for a job at a different school, and she hopes that will ease some of the tension with the staff. Meanwhile, Nick, who hasn’t left his bedroom since Kai broke up with him a week ago, finally ventures out into the kitchen to let the rest of the roomies know that he has finally planned his dream, smiley-face shaped (where the bars are situation on a map looks vaguely like a smiley-face) bar crawl. Most of the gang has plans – Winston is supposed to work, Schmidt is going to some cardiologist fundraiser with Fawn, and Jess and Ryan have reservations at a fancy restaurant. Nick, however, says the crawl is mandatory.

The crawl starts at an Irish pub (which kind of makes me want to break out the shepherd’s pie I’ve got in the freezer). Schmidt is the only member of the gang not there yet, because he’s trying to put In an appearance at the fundraiser. The fundraiser itself is rather ridiculous – even the invitations looked like actual human hearts. At the actual crawl, Cece has decided she’s going to try and out-drink Nick, which can’t possibly end well. Winston, because he’s on call with work, is the “designated buddy,” and he carries around a backpack with just about anything the gang could need for the evening. Jess and Ryan chat in a booth and try not to drink too much because of their reservations for later in the evening. Ryan says he has been having trouble finding another job, and he has even asked the headmaster at his old prep school for help. He also asks Jess to move in with him, and she doesn’t react in response.

A bunch of other people end up joining the bar crawl as it moves along, as Nick happily declares, “The crawl is for all!” One of those latecomers is Schmidt, who leaves Fawn at the cardiologist function after she was a bit too demanding and basically told him they wouldn’t be going to the crawl. Schmidt tells her to decide if she wants a photo op or a boyfriend, and then he leaves to join the crawl. When he arrives at the bar the gang is patronizing at the moment, he is kind of horrified that Cece is trying to outdrink Nick. He knows that this can’t possibly end well! Coach, by the way, has been trying to flirt with a paper heart as a prop. There’s one particular woman he keeps running into named Faye, and the gag just isn’t working on her at all. She’s getting quite annoyed by it, actually. Coach and Faye, however, eventually bond over the fact that they both have Kansas drivers’ licenses and grew up as military brats. Coach ditches Faye because he’s not looking for something serious, and Faye could be something serious. Winston basically tells him that’s dumb, though, and Coach eventually goes after Faye and gets her e-mail address. She says if he sends a really nice, perfectly proofread e-mail, she’ll go out with him.

In a bar bathroom, Jess and Cece discuss the moving in with Ryan situation. Jess pretended she didn’t hear the offer because she was afraid. Jess and Cece decide to do a pros and cons list to help Jess figure out what to do, and according to the list, there really are no cons to moving in with Ryan (how about moving away from your best friends, perhaps?). At the bar, Nick and Ryan talk about the situation as well. Ryan isn’t sure whether Jess really didn’t hear or if she was just pretending. Nick assures him that she was probably pretending. Flashbacks show us that apparently pretending not to hear things is something Jess does a lot, especially in the context of relationships. Jess and Ryan do eventually agree to move in with each other.

Eventually, the alcohol catches up with Cece. The person holding her hair as she pukes in the toilet is, of course, Schmidt. They have a nice conversation in between rounds of vomiting, though, and they’re really starting to bond again. Cece and Winston have a conversation about her feelings for Schmidt, because apparently Winston is now the relationship counselor of the group. It’s pretty obvious that Cece still has feelings for Schmidt despite how he treated her, and it seems like those feelings are reciprocated. Just as the sparks are really flying, though, Fawn shows up and declares that she wants Schmidt to be her boyfriend. Schmidt takes her up on the offer.

It’s last call, so the gang has to hurry to the last bar if they are going to be able to complete the crawl. Nick is determined to make it happen and complete the smiley face. Jess and Ryan have temporarily abandoned the crawl to fool around a bit. They are interrupted, though, when Ryan gets a message from the headmaster of his alma mater. The headmaster wants Ryan to be the next headmaster at the school. In England. After a pause, Jess tells Ryan that he wants him to go for it, since it is pretty much his dream. She thinks they can do long distance. Because of course they can.

The gang finally reaches the last bar, and Nick is finally upset over the breakup with Kai. It’s all hitting him because he has “nothing to do” now that he has completed the crawl. The rest of the group cheers Nick up enough that he’s willing to go into the last bar, but the bouncer won’t let him in because he’s not wearing shoes. Apparently Nick threw his shoes at a squirrel on his way to the last bar, and shoe-throwing at squirrels is something he has done before. This is an example of a time when the line from “Nick’s a loveable weirdo” to “Nick’s kinda creepy and barely able to function” has been crossed, and I don’t love it. Anyway, Winston’s got a couple six packs of beer in this backpack, so they finish the crawl out on the sidewalk and it’s all good. Couldn’t Winston have packed an extra pair of shoes instead?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sleepy Hollow 2.17: "Awakening"

“The bell is a gift. I’m only awakening what is already in their blood.”
- Henry

Well Sleepy Heads, as we head into this penultimate adventure, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand it feels like they are finally giving Katrina something to do other than vaguely screw up magic every now and then. On the other hand, I was rooting for the Cranes to work through their marital issues and it seems with Mr. Crane following their son down an evil path, it will be the end of their marriage. It seems Abbie has a mind to focus she and Ichabod on their bond as Witnesses as they try to search out copies of some of the books from Jefferson’s secret library. They agree that while destroying it was the right move, having some of the texts might have been helpful. Unfortunately, their chummy banter about the rules of being Witnesses are interrupted by three people going into fugue states with their eyes white and having weird things happen. We see Henry reciting a spell as he watches near a large bell that’s been tolling.

Ichabod and Abbie get called to the station and sent out to investigate what’s going on. They run into Jenny on their way and she fills them in on Irving’s evil soul. They briefly discuss their nuclear option to keep him safe but also give them a chance to save him (using the gorgon’s head to turn him to stone) before parting ways. Ichabod is quick to associate the strange happenings with witchcraft and as they examine the bell (this one is new and looks like the Liberty Bell in Philly) Ichabod quips that he cracked the original bell. Because of course he did!

In 1773, under orders of General Washington, Ichabod is sent to destroy what would become the Liberty Bell. He used a decoy dummy to distract some Red Coats and then set a charge in the crate. It blew up but obviously didn’t destroy the bell. After a little research, they realize that the bells can be used to awaken witches and given how many witches were around back in the day, their descendants could number in the thousands. So at least we know what Henry was up to. Too bad Katrina is a little too busy learning blood magic to be of any assistance to her husband. She’s been withdrawn from him. I can’t tell if she’s trying to purge her blood of Henry’s influence or not. But he shows up for real this time and whisks her home to Frederick’s Manor. It’s less dilapidated these days and he has a proposition for her. He needs her full-blooded witch power to awaken all of the descendants. He wants to form a coven so they can have the family he was denied. Oh, but daddy can’t join in the magical mayhem. I really hope Katrina isn’t buying into this nonsense.

It appears our dear Cranes are going to have that acrimonious split after all. After a rather amusing shopping trip involving Ichabod meeting power drills, our Witnesses and Jenny head out to destroy the bell. Irving is guarding it but Jenny handles him. Or so she thinks. She gets the drop on him and shoots him but he just pops back up. Anyone who has seen this show can tell you dead people who are brought back don’t die. Anyway, Katrina and Henry show up and it’s obvious she’s really gone over to the dark side (she’s shot in kind of an eerie green filter and she’s dressed all in black). She says that Washington reneged on his promise to reintegrate witches into society and they are just taking back what’s theirs. She says that she knows now she never could be happy with a mortal man and knocks Ichabod and Abbie into the tunnels and seals up the hole they blew, keeping them inside.

While Irving is busy hunting Jenny in the tunnels, our Witnesses formulate a plan to destroy the bell. Ichabod figures out that they would take the bell to the hold town hall for safe keeping. So they will head there and cause a distraction. It turns out this distraction involves Ichabod calling out his son. Finally, someone calls Henry out for what he is, a whiny little child who didn’t get his way. Ichabod yells at him that he didn’t even know about Henry so how could he abandon him (so true)? Abbie’s showed up in the car and it looks like she’s about to ram into Henry when Katrina appears and stops the car and then sets it on fire. There’s no way Abbie is in that car.

Henry goes to check out the car while mama and daddy have a little chat. Abbie’s nearly got the charge set on the bell when Henry realizes the ruse. I keep thinking that Katrina will snap out of it at some point but it looks like she’s turned Sith on us. Ichabod and Abbie are tied up but they manage to get free and Ichabod’s got some pistols hidden under his coat. He goes for the bell while Abbie takes a shot at Henry (she thinks he’s mortal) before Katrina and Henry can finish the spell to awaken all the witches. Henry is in fact mortal and ends up dying (thank you Greek fire). But he gets a sort of touching moment with both of his parents. In the end he got what he wanted, though I am kind of sad to see John Nobel go. But instead of reconciling, Katrina loses her shit and basically says all the mean and nasty things she can to her husband before starting to cast a transportation spell of some kind. So of course, Abbie runs straight at her and they both disappear. But hey, with Henry gone, Irving is finally free and Jenny doesn’t have to turn him into a lawn ornament.

And because things can’t get any weirder, Abbie ends up in 1781 along with Katrina (who has fallen into her pregnant body of the time). I have to say there were some nice callbacks to the pilot (in reverse of course) with Abbie stepping up to the road and nearly getting run over by a horse-drawn carriage. Abbie gets arrested by some soldiers for not having papers and being kind of mouthy and she gets tossed in jail. But she demands to see Ichabod. Now she just has to convince him she’s telling the truth and make sure they don’t screw up history while Katrina vows to not save Ichabod so that she can raise her son and have a second chance at motherhood.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Constantine 1.13: "Waiting for the Man"

“The point is we can all shape our destiny but none of us can escape our fate.”
- Constantine

Well gang, we’ve made it to the finale. I want to say it’s on the season finale but this is a numbers game and our boy Constantine just isn’t pulling in his weight. So I’m going to call it for what it really is, the series finale. All season we’ve been leading up to Constantine facing off against the Rising Darkness and it is finally here. The death of a cop who was working a missing person’s case in New Orleans draws Constantine and Zed back into the orbit of Jim Corrigan. Before our heroes arrive on scene, we see three young girls lure another young girl off to “marry” The Man. It’s clear they’re all dead and there’s some magic in the air to make them look alive. And after examining the cop’s body, Constantine realizes the cop ran afoul of a guy branding people with the devil’s mark. As Corrigan steps off to take a work-related call, the corpse is animated by none other than the spirit of Gary Lester. I guess he’s not too miffed at Constantine sacrificing him. Anyway, he warns that Papa Midnite has a big bounty out for Constantine. And we see Papa kill a man (who killed his own wife) to try and find a way to bring Constantine down. Oh, and all the while, Zed keeps seeing Corrigan as a bloody corpse backlit by weird green light.

The trio (I really wish Chas was here, too since he’s such a big part of things) heads to the house of the latest missing girl. Her mother is really worried and with good reason. Her daughter wakes up in a creepy house alone and ends up getting found by the other three girls. They’re getting her ready for her wedding to The Man (who is busy off torturing another cop). It is all very creepy if you ask me. Now I’ve watched shows with all kinds of nasty stuff happening to kids but this just seems really bizarre and not really connected to anything else that’s been happening in the season. With Zed’s visions on the fritz at the moment, Constantine does a Tibetan ritual (which involves eating some of the girl’s hair and electrocuting himself) to find where she was taken. It was really gross. But it does the trick. And while that weirdness is going on, Zed gets her own visit from Manny who tells her that her choice to share her visions is her real gift. I have a feeling she’s going to share the vision of Jim dying with him.

It seems Papa Midnite is going to use the dead guy has his proxy to take out Constantine because the guy, now a zombie, attacks Constantine at the abduction site. I’m pretty sure the zombie would have succeeded (for one thing it was controlled by Papa Midnite directly) had Corrigan not shot him. But Constantine knows that Papa is going to come back harder than ever next time and even more directly. So they need to get a jump on finding the missing girl. Zed finally has a vision and gets an address from the missing cop. The gang arrives to find a creepy crow sitting on a fence post. Corrigan and Zed don’t pay it any mind but Constantine knows something is up. It turns out the house belongs to the missing cop and they find him hung in his attic. I guess the Man is holed up elsewhere. Constantine orders Zed and Corrigan out of the house when he spots the crow again. It seems there’s going to a final showdown between him and Papa Midnite and he can’t risk their safety.

It seems Papa isn’t the only one who knows how to animate dead people. Papa shows up at the house and thinks he’s shot Constantine but it was really the cop with a glamor spell. But Constantine does learn some important information. The Brujaria has put the bounty out on his head. He manages to knock Papa out and snag his keys and phone before heading off to rejoin up with Zed and Corrigan. Things are taking a bad turn for our latest young victim when the Man returns and tries to strangle her. She runs off into the woods not long before Constantine shows up and finds the other three dead girls. Luckily, the gang stop the Man from killing the girl and return the girl safely home. Constantine releases the spirits of the dead girls and Corrigan shoots the Man.

With the case solved, Zed admits the truth about her vision to Corrigan and he decides now would be a great time to kiss her. Constantine watches as it happens and takes off into the rain where he gets a visit from Manny. The angel says they are closer to winning this war than they were before. Constantine isn’t too impressed and he really should have remembered Papa’s warning to him from the last time they crossed paths. Constantine would be betrayed by someone close to him and by God he is! Papa got arrested for the cop’s murder since he was found in the house but Manny sets him free with the order that Constantine’s life is off limits. Manny boldly claims that the Brujaria work for him. I must admit I was not expecting that reveal, although I suppose I should have.

I was a little disappointed in the finale. I was kind of hoping they’d end the episode with a voice over like they did with the pilot. It would have brought it nicely full circle. It is a shame that we likely won’t get to see the fallout of Manny’s reveal or how it affects the rest of the team. I can’t imagine either Constantine or Zed taking it very kindly that their angelic intervener is working with the enemy. I feel like we are left with lots of questions that will remain unanswered. But, that’s the nature of serialized TV.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Girl 4.14: "Swuit"

“You’re yelling nice things at me again! It’s very confusing!”

“Swuit” was an especially entertaining episode of “New Girl” (or at least the A story was), although there wasn’t a ton of substance to it. The B story actually kind of actively pissed me off, but the A story was funny enough that I rolled with it. The episode really focuses on Schmidt, Nick, and Cece trying to make better lives for themselves. They’re all trying to rely on benefactors to make that happen, and it just causes trouble for everybody. I’m realizing now that maybe I like this episode because it didn’t focus on all the Jess and Ryan drama? It was nice to see what some of the other roomies are up to. Of course, Winston still doesn’t get much of a plot, but he got to do one of his “classic mess-arounds,” so that’s better than nothing, I guess.

You may recall that at the end of the previous episode, Nick decides he’s going to be a little more driven, Schmidt decides he’s going to be a little more laid back, and they both decide they want to try to work together again. In college, they would work on inventions together. Nick would come up with a crazy idea, and Schmidt would figure out how to brand and market it. There’s a funny flashback bit early in this episode, where Nick basically invents the smart phone. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that funny. It was a bit on-the-nose now that I think about it. Anyway, in the present day, Nick and Schmidt are excited to debut their newest creation to the rest of the roomies. It is called the “swuit,” and it’s a three piece suit made of sweatshirt/pants material.

As one would expect, the Swuit is not really a hit among the roomies. It doesn’t help that it’s not tailored well at all. I mean, the idea of a jersey work clothing item isn’t crazy. I have a jersey work blazer, and several of my coworkers have them, too. The whole thing together is just a bit ridiculous, though. Anyway, Schmidt and Nick have a pitch meeting scheduled with a famous QVC host, Lori Greiner, and now they need to come up with a new idea to pitch. I kind of feel like it would probably be easier to randomly run into a QVC host in my hometown than in LA, considering QVC studios are only about half an hour away, but I digress. As Nick and Schmidt try to come up with a new pitch under pressure, their different work styles become very apparent. Schmidt is very structured and deliberate, and Nick . . . is not. They both get really mad at each other as they continue to have trouble coming up with an idea.

Cece’s working at the bar, and she’s lamenting the bad tips she has been getting. She’s also being kind of creepy doing a hard sell to get customers to come into the bar. She tells Winston and Coach that her college is raising tuition, and if she can’t get the money together, she might have to drop out. Winston wants to help Cece out with the money, but she doesn’t want to take charity. Over at a booth in the bar, Winston tries to convince Coach to help him give money to Cece. Coach objects because he’s broke and doesn’t really have money to spare to help out Cece, but eventually he relents. Bring on a “classic Winston and Coach mess-around!” Coach and Winston tell Cece that they don’t just want to give her money, they want to “invest” in her. They’ll give her the money with the expectation that she will pay it back with interest a few years after graduation. Sounds like a racket to me, but I’m the one with tens of thousands in student loan debt from the federal government at about twice the interest rate of a mortgage, so what do I know? Anyway, Cece eventually agrees to the plan because she feels she has no other choice if she wants to stay in school.

Back at the loft, Jess tries to use her teacher/supervisor skills on Nick and Schmidt to help them work better together. In separate conversations, she tells Nick and Schmidt that the other is having “man troubles.” Nick and Schmidt are both horrified enough to agree to let the other business partner think he’s actually the “boss” of the operation. The plan works and Nick and Schmidt do actually play nicely together for a little while. They come up with a new invention that involves attaching a dog treat to a camera. In the course of being super nice to each other, though, “man problems” come up, and both Nick and Schmidt reveal that they don’t actually have any. They quickly realize that Jess was the source of the misinformation, and they are not happy. Nick and Schmidt are pissed at each other, but they still plan to go to the pitch meeting.

Anyway, while Nick and Schmidt are waiting at Lori’s office for the meeting, Nick realizes he forgot to bring the dog biscuit camera prototype. Luckily, Jess sees it siting in the loft and decides she should take it to the meeting. On the way, though, Jess spills a cup of coffee all over herself. The only other clothing available is, of course, the swuit. The beginning of the pitch meeting is a huge crash and burn. For some reason, without the prototype, Nick and Schmidt can’t remember any of what they wanted to say about their invention. I’m not surprised this happened to Nick, but I am surprised that Schmidt couldn’t come up with something clever in a pinch. Anyway, Jess, now dressed in the swuit, barges in on the pitch meeting, and the whole thing turns into a swuit pitch, which is way slicker than the dog biscuit camera pitch was.

Meanwhile, Cece is at the local community college taking a not especially good class in British art history. Winston and Coach show up to sit in on the class and see how their investment is doing, and they don’t at all approve. Not only is Cece taking British art history, she’s also taking Afrikkans. Winston and Coach really want her to take something more useful, like pre-med. Or hotel management. I take this sort of criticism a bit personally, since it took me two advanced degrees beyond my bachelor’s to get a decent job in my field. That doesn’t mean my education was worthless. It means employers should be more willing than they are to train their new employees when the requirements of the job don’t perfectly match up with the exact experience of a generally smart person. Obviously, Cece situation is an extreme example of the “pursuing a worthless liberal arts degree” trope, and I didn’t especially appreciate it.

The pitch meeting ends up being a success of sorts. Back at the loft, Nick and Schmidt tell Jess and Kai that Lori paid them $10,000 to kill the swuit because she already sells a suit made out of scrubs. Nick and Schmidt are proud of their success and want to keep working together. Kai, however, wants somebody who will just hang out and do nothing all the time, so she breaks up with Nick. At the bar later, Jess tries to cheer Nick up by telling him that it’s the first time he’s ever been broken up with for working too hard, so that’s progress. Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson still have remarkable chemistry, I must say.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Marvel's Agent Carter 1.06: "A Sin to Err"

“I knew she was hiding something but not this.”
- Sousa

We are closing in on the back end of our adventures with Peggy Carter and things are starting to heat up. Fresh off their mission to Russia, Peggy seizes on the idea that a female undercover operative charmed Howard and got into his vault. She’s especially keen on this idea as our rescued psychiatrist explains the birth of the Leviathan program in 1944. With a begrudging blessing from the Chief, Peggy heads off to figure out if her theory holds any merit. So of course she heads to the diner for a meeting with Jarvis. He arrives just after Peggy’s tried to give Angie a bit of a pep talk about not giving up on her acting dream. We’ll see if she follows Peggy’s advice. Peggy is still annoyed with Jarvis for using her the way he and Howard did but they have a common goal and so she wants to look at every woman Howard entertained in the prior six months. Jarvis warns it will be a long list. Apparently Howard gifts each woman with the same bracelet after the break up (tacky) and he uses Jarvis to deliver both the parting gift and the news. Poor man. He is just so abused by his boss. Peggy wants to track the women down and uses their disdain for Jarvis to see their wrists. She properly surmises that the Russian assassin will have scars from the handcuffs on her wrists.

Elsewhere, Dottie gets into the building opposite the SSR and we learn that our kindly psychiatrist is in fact working for (and may be the head of) Leviathan. Using Morse code and some other method of transmitting messages, he gives the order to kill Peggy. And then, he starts giving the Chief a therapy session on why his wife left him and how to fix it. I think he was using some kind of mind control thing to throw him off the scent but they get interrupted because having a Russian assassin on your tail isn’t enough. Sousa goes to jail and gets a positive ID on Peggy from the guy she beat up and handcuffed to a chair in the opening two episodes. Man, she is getting it from all sides! And Sousa insists on telling the Chief right then and there.

Peggy and Jarvis investigate the next woman on their list who has a sort of Russian sounding name. It’s the right person but Peggy comes up empty on the ID for the woman and Jarvis couldn’t find any information either. Of course it’s Dottie. That was obvious from the minute the name they were looking for was vaguely Russian. It might be her real name…or not. Unfortunately, their meeting at the diner goes awry because SSR agents from DC have showed up to try and contain her. She takes them out quite easily but gets caught by Thompson in the alley. He at least respects her skills after Russia but he still can’t let her go. He tells her to go into the office and talk to him but she can’t. She kicks his butt, too and then Sousa shows up, gun aimed at her chest. Of course he won’t shoot her but he’s crestfallen when she walks away because as he puts it if she walks away, he knows it is true that she’s been working with Stark. She leaves anyway to make a stop at her room to get Cap’s blood before rejoining Jarvis.

At the SSR offices, the Chief tasks all the remaining agents to get to every port, train station and airport to make sure Peggy doesn’t flee. And he leaves an agent in charge of the psychiatrist which is so going to turn out to be a bad thing for the agent. They get to talking and the psychiatrist points out that the agent is eager to please and often feels ignored in his professional life as with his personal one because he is a middle child. He offers to help the agent with his confidence level by telling him to focus on becoming the best agent possible. I’m pretty sure that means he’s going to turn the guy into a sleeper agent of some sort. He’s got this ring he keeps turning that makes a humming noise. He ends up getting the agent to draw him a map of the layout and he learns that the Chief is the only one who can now get into the lab where Stark’s weapons are. He’s probably looking for Cap’s blood. And when he’s done with the agent, he orders him to go out, have a drink and then get hit by a truck. So not exactly a sleeper agent but still a brainwashed one.

Out in the field, Thompson and Sousa head off to Peggy’s apartment building because Sousa overheard Peggy say she was stopping there before rendezvousing with Jarvis. He doesn’t know about the blood sample she’s there to collect. We see her pull the sphere out of the wall but she doesn’t have time to cover up the hole in her wall because Sousa, Thompson and some other agents are barging into the building and up to her floor. The agents bust in and start searching around for anything while Peggy hides outside on her window ledge three stories above the ground. I’m not sure how she’s going to get down without severely injuring herself. She ends up inching along the ledge to Angie’s room and after Angie gives a very convincing performance for the SSR guys and the land lady, she gets Peggy inside and even gets her brother to send a car to get Peggy out of town once she reaches the meeting spot with Jarvis. Too bad it doesn’t look like Peggy’s going to get there. She encounters Dottie who first gives her a hug and then kisses her to knock her out (paralyzing lip balm anyone? Is Captain Jack afoot somewhere and I missed him?). But before Peggy passes out she realizes that Dottie is the assassin she’s been looking for. She doesn’t get to do anything about it because Thompson and Sousa show up and slap cuffs on her before dragging her back to headquarters. Thompson cuffs her to the chair in the interrogation room and Sousa settles in for some tough questioning.

I am intrigued to see how the final two installments play out and whether we will get a complete storyline by the end of episode 8 or if we will be left with a big cliffhanger that may never get paid off. The ratings are horrendous but they aren’t amazing either. It’s a toss-up whether Peggy and the gang come back for another round.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sleepy Hollow 2.16: "What Lies Beneath"

“Have you not asked yourselves why, why you were chosen? The nature of your mission? Everything Washington and I learned about the Witnesses is in this chamber.”
- Thomas Jefferson

It seems our Witnesses are up against a lot of foes these days without really knowing who they are fighting against. As they visit a war memorial, Abbie points out she misses when they knew the endgame and what they were fighting against. At least they’ll be on an interesting case this week. They’ve got some missing engineers (one of whom is the brother of a journalist played by “White Collar” actor Sharif Atkins). The engineers were exploring the tunnels under the town and found a cover to another lower chamber. They manage to get it open and then are dragged down by a creature. Abbie and Ichabod take a look themselves and our 18th century man determines that the chamber below was designed by Mr. Thomas Jefferson. Our Witnesses are trying to figure out what’s being guarded by evil creepy crawlies and Ichabod admits he thought he was friends with Jefferson but one day out of the blue he got “un-friended” by Jefferson for no reason. I’m interested to see where this goes.

Elsewhere, Frank approaches Jenny and asks her hack into police evidence so he can get his wedding ring back. Knowing that he’s in league with Henry now, I can’t help but worry he’s going to set Jenny up and get her arrested and locked away so she can’t help the Witnesses when the time comes. It seems something Henry would concoct and I doubt Frank has much say in the plans these days. He’s just a walking meat puppet. Well I’m not entirely wrong. Frank isn’t looking for his wedding ring. He’s grabbing stuff from the Hellfire Club. Jenny catches him in the lie but he knocks her out and takes off before she can stop him. She chases him down and he explains that after he came back, he was filled with evil but to pass the test Katrina did, he found a rune in one of Henry’s books that bestows temporary salvation. So he’s sort of the old Frank at the moment and his purpose was to steal information on the Hellfire Club and funds Henry sent to them. He wants Jenny to give it to Cynthia so she and Macey can get far away from Sleepy Hollow before Frank reverts back to a soulless servant of Henry.

Down in the tunnels, Abbie and Ichabod encounter the demonic creatures. There are far more of them than they realized and so they start scurrying back up to the surface to get some more firepower when the journalist appears. He is going to get our Witnesses in serious trouble if he’s not careful. After some posturing, Abbie agrees to give him limited access to the investigation. He is told to stay put while our heroes go do a little extra research. The inscription on the seal talks about reavers (not the kind from “Firefly”) and Ichabod explains they weren’t demons but Washington’s private security force and these guys probably had some supernatural juice pumped into them to ensure whatever they were protecting would stay safe. Abbie and Ichabod head back down the tunnel (using the journalist’s camera as a blinding tool to get the reavers away from the hole. Things take a turn for the weird when, as they are fighting off sentries, a door opens and our Witnesses rush in. Who should they find alive and well but Mr. Thomas Jefferson himself.

Well actually, it’s not Jefferson exactly. He did die in 1826 but this is a part scientific part magical spirit version of him. He’s been waiting for the Witnesses to come along so he could impart knowledge on them for their fight against Evil. Ichabod and Abbie try to explain to him that the need to find the engineers is more important at the moment. Abbie even discovers the reaver nest right under the chamber and the two engineers who are still alive. The problem is Jefferson is unwilling to risk destroying the nest because it would destroy the power source of the magic and all of the knowledge he and Washington gathered about the Witnesses would be forever lost. I can see the dilemma. They want to rescue the guys but they need this information in their fight. Ultimately, it’s no real decision at all. They rescue the guys and realize that to keep other people from finding the tunnels and the reavers, they have to destroy the chamber. Ichabod takes care of the deed and gets to share some final parting words with Jefferson’s spirit. Jefferson apologizes for rebuffing Ichabod. It turns out that in order to ensure that Ichabod and Abbie had the knowledge they needed, Ichabod needed to be kept at arms’ length. It was Jefferson’s biggest regret. Ichabod eventually convinces Jefferson that the ideals that built this country can still be honored even today. Jefferson understands and tells Ichabod where to set his charges to make sure everything blows. And Jefferson gives Ichabod some interesting parting words, that he (Ichabod) is as much a founding father of this country as the rest of them.

After the fact, Abbie explains to the journalist that things are still going to be happening and he needs to stop digging for the truth for a little while. After all it’s hard to be a Witness and do what they need to do with cameras going off in their faces. At least he seems to respect that. And it wouldn’t be Sleepy Hollow without something creepy going on with Katrina that no one else knows about. She wakes to find Henry sitting by her bed. He’s got some dead roses and he ends up pricking her hand, claiming he killed Moloch for her and he wants to reunite with her. He’s seriously got mommy issues. But it was a dream or so she initially thinks until she goes to splash some water on her face and her hand starts bleeding. I do hope our Witnesses find out what’s going on with Katrina before the finale in 2 weeks. They can’t be fighting threats from all sides.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Constantine 1.12: "Angels and Ministers of Grace"

“Nobody’s ever ready. Not for what we do. But this is the labyrinth we chose to walk, isn’t it?”
- Constantine

It’s hard to believe but we are one episode from the season (or more likely series) finale of “Constantine”. It’s been an interesting and crazy little show while it lasted and I for one am glad we got this chance to hang with Constantine and his crew. Speaking of, things are still a little off with our gang. Zed has kind of retreated from the world (into something of a Zen garden in the house). She seems to be afraid of her powers after what happened in New York. But she’s going to need to come out of hiding because Manny pays Constantine a visit (courtesy of Chas’s body) and says that they need to get to a particular hospital because there’s a girl named Taylor being brought in with an apparent overdose. We see her get some drugs from a guy and then something demonic attacks her and plunges both syringes into her chest. So, with a little coaxing and Chas stabbing himself in the leg with a screwdriver, they get to the hospital. Unfortunately, after Zed touches Taylor and has a rather scary vision about a burning hot light, she starts having another seizure.

Zed is sent for a CT scan and she’s kind of freaking out in the machine (understandable). Meanwhile, Constantine drags Chas down to the morgue to look at Taylor’s body. With a quick spell they determine that something made of dark matter killed her and it might be loose around the hospital. I’m guessing it might be just generally messing with people. There’s a guy who is getting skin grafts who got drunk and in a bar fight and wants to get fixed up and he’s just generally rude to the nursing staff. He yells at the custodian, too (who is constantly drinking on the job) but it’s the custodian who is the next victim.

It seems, too, that Zed’s visions may not be a divine gift after all. The ER doctor comes in and explains she’s got a small mass on one of the lobes of her brain and it could very likely be the cause of her visions and headaches. Constantine brushes it off but Zed is clearly upset. And at this point, Chas doesn’t even know because Constantine sent him back to the house to do some research. Constantine heads up to the roof to have a smoke when another doctor comes by to bum a light. Manny takes over the body and ends up in an argument over Zed’s condition with Constantine. So what does Constantine do? He uses some air from Hades to knock out our resident angel and then binds him to the body for a while. Manny protests this, claiming that he loses all connection to the angelic host and his powers by being in a body but Constantine doesn’t much care. They’ve got another dark matter attack to investigate and it turns out there custodian guy had a piece of the heart of darkness in him. According to Manny, there was a sorcerer who was super powerful until God kicked his ass and his power solidified into a giant rock of evil which got shattered and spread across the world in the Great Flood. Constantine tasks Manny with finding out if there were any connections between the two victims while he goes to home to check a theory. He has a piece of the dark diamond thing and he uses Chas to see how it works. While Chas is getting all evil and angry, Manny is experiencing some of the more sensual side of humanity. Namely the nurse who is flirting with him dragging him into a storage closet and giving him a blow job.

Constantine pages Manny and thinks they’ve got an idea on who the killer is once they realize the other victims were addicts who got sober and then fell off the wagon. The rude skin graft guy is who they are after until Constantine finds him and he’s being attacked by someone else. Unfortunately, Constantine doesn’t manage to save the skin graft guy. While he’s getting his ass handed to him, Manny does have a chance to talk to Zed (Constantine doesn’t handle emotions well as we’ve seen). Before they have a little heart to heart Zed’s doctor explains the biopsy procedure for the tumor and the audience learns he served in the military and has some shrapnel in his chest. Once he leaves and Zed calls Manny on not being a doctor, she is comforted to know that the tumor is there for a reason and her powers aren’t evil. Manny can’t confirm that they are a heavenly gift but Zed seems pretty relieved that she’s not demonic.

When Manny finds Constantine, the pieces start falling into place. The killer is Zed’s doctor and he gets very upset when Zed refuses the procedure and is checking herself out. Constantine and Manny show up and Constantine proves that the doctor is the killer because shards of the diamond are drawn together and it’s pulling on the doc’s chest something fierce. They have to chase him down and things are not looking good when a gate closes behind them all, locking them in. Zed says she understands now what her vision was and I have a feeling it’s going to be some light from heaven to scorch the doctor but we’ll see if I’m right. I was sort of right. Constantine reverses the spell on Manny and Manny ends up coming down and taking the doctor to heaven. The shard of the diamond is left behind and it combines with the shard that Constantine had but is safely tucked away in a little container. So not really smiting but still a good way to end. Zed ends up in the chapel and Constantine shows up to tell her that every morning he imagines all of the people he cares about are dead so when it actually happens, it won’t hurt as much. That’s a rather morbid way to start each day but in his line of work I suppose it’s reasonable. And now Constantine isn’t the only one who can see Manny. Constantine leaves Zed and Manny to chat about where Zed’s visions come from. She looked so at peace. The calm before the storm.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Galavant 1.08: "It's All in the Executions"

“Everyone! I’m going to kill my brother! Drinks are on me!”
-King Richard

So let’s be real here. I have mixed feelings about the season finale of “Galavant,” the show I was so hoping I would insta-love. There were some very, very funny scenes, especially a sequence that made great use of the comedic and vocal chops of Tim Omundsen and Joshua Sasse. Let’s just say that drunk Galavant and King Richard was pretty darn epic. The final minutes of the episode also sent my imagination running through possible scenerios and adventures for a second season. That whole second season thing is the fundamental problem with this episode, though. As in there probably isn’t going to be one, if the ratings are any indication. Instead of a satisfying conclusion to this adventure with the promise of more to come in the future, we got a bunch of cliffhangers, one of which was especially creepy. Will we ever see Isabella rescued from the pinkest of Pretty, Pretty Princess locked bedrooms (that will make more sense soon – I promise)?

When we last saw our heroes, they had just been introduced to Richard’s older brother, Kingsley, who wants to take over the kingdom, including Valencia. Now they are all back in the dungeon. When the Jester finally stops singing the episode’s introduction, Galavant says he has a plan to free them all. He doesn’t exactly go into much detail about said plan, although he says he wants to use his wits as part of the plan. That would be a first! Isabella, overcome with the unresolved sexual tension gets close to Galavant and says she has confidence in him. The two almost kiss, but Galavant pulls away at the last minute. I think he’s afraid of something real with Isabella, although this isn’t really explored in depth. Sid warns Galavant that if he keeps it up, Isabella is going to friend zone him sooner rather than later.

Sticking with the goal to use his wits instead of brawn, Galavant manages to get an audience with King Richard by saying he has gossip to share about Madalena. Gareth doesn’t think King Richard will care, but shocker, he does. Very much so. Since Richard thinks he still has a chance with Madalena and all. Galavant tells Richard stories about how gross Madalena’s feet are, and they have a good laugh over it. Galavant suggests that he and Richard go for drinks, and Richard accepts. What follows is possibly one of my favorite scenes of “Galavant” (tied perhaps with the introduction of the Pirate King and his land pirates). Galavant and Richard go to a tavern, and they commiserate over how Madalena has burned both of them.

Near the end of their drinking session, Galavant plants the idea of killing Kingsley in Richard’s mind. Richard thinks it’s a fantastic idea, and they sing a pretty hilarious song called “Off on a Secret Mission” as they not-so-quietly sneak through the castle on their way to Kingsley’s chambers. On the way, they stop by the dungeons, and a drunk Galavant is kind of an ass to Isabella. He talks about how pretty she is (and to his credit, says he likes her brain too), and he tries to kiss her. Isabella, however, wants to make sure his feelings are genuine, so she tells him to try again when he’s sober. Shut down by Isabella, Galavant and Richard finally head to Kingsley’s chambers. Just as they’re about to stab him in his bed, the real Kingsley appears from behind a door with a bunch of guards, who of course catch Galavant and Richard and send them down to the dungeon. Kingsley even takes Richard’s crown to add insult to injury.

In the dungeon, Galavant slurs a bit more at Isabella (who kind of ignores him) before passing out. Before he falls asleep himself, Richard sings “Goodnight my Friend,” which is apparently a lullaby his nanny sang to him and Gareth when they were growing up. Because of where he is sitting in the dungeon, the song is some how piped throughout the castle, and it seems to give Gareth a change of heart about following Kingsley’s orders and being his champion. The next morning, Gareth goes to the dungeon and says he’s getting Richard out, but Galavant has to come too. Galavant (temporarily) fights off Gareth and (finally) kisses Isabella, but then he’s knocked out by a recovered Gareth.

Gareth takes Richard and Galavant to the beach and delivers them both to the pirates. Apparently Galavant and Richard are supposed to sail back to Richard’s kingdom, with Galavant as Richard’s bodyguard, basically. Gareth gives Galavant care and feeding instructions for Richard, which is kind of adorable. Gareth then goes back to the dungeon and frees everybody but Sid, who he keeps for “insurance.” Poor Sid! Gareth’s next stop is the throne room, where he is very honest to Kingsley and Madalena about the fact that he hasn’t killed any of the people they told him to kill. Kingsley is very pissed off about this, and he is just starting to really yell at Gareth about it when Madalena stabs him and he dies. Then she offers to make Gareth king. He accepts, and he sits on the throne next to her. Which is just weird, really. And what happens to Sid!?

Finally, Isabella, her parents, the Jester, Chef, and Gwynne all show up at Cousin Harry’s kingdom. Apparently it was the only place they could think to go after their big escape. Harry tells Isabella that he has a room all prepared for her. It’s actually kind of a separate tent thing, and inside is the girliest girly room you can imagine. Poor Isabella just looks resigned as she walks into the room and Harry locks the door behind her. She looks out the window much as Madalena did in the pilot episode, presumably hoping Galavant will come rescue her someday. It’s really super creepy and almost ruins the whole thing for me. Galavant sings a big, meta song about how whether or not they get a season two, it’s time for more adventures. I don’t love that there were so many cliffhangers, but I get what the creative team was trying to do. Whether or not the show is renewed, the hope is that the viewers will use their imaginations to continue the legend of Galavant. But did the ending have to be so darn creepy?

Marvel’s Agent Carter 1.05: “The Iron Ceiling”

“I’ve been trying to tell that story since I came home from war.”
- Thompson

We are starting to come into the home stretch of our time with Agent Peggy Carter. But before we pick up with the latest drama in the hunt for Howard Stark, we get a glimpse into Dottie’s past in Russia in 1937. There are lots of young girls and they’re being trained to fight. Young Dottie ends up killing her opponent. Yeah, so we now have seen the origins of the Black Widow program, even if they didn’t give it a name. In the present, Dottie is having breakfast with Peggy and with a little spy craft manages to snag Peggy’s room key out of her bag. Peggy obviously doesn’t notice as she’s got more pressing matters to deal with. Jarvis shows up and tries to get her to still help Howard but Peggy’s just pissed at being used. When Jarvis points out that the guys at the SSR don’t respect her, she says she’ll make them respect her. And it seems she will get that chance very soon. The office is in a tizzy over the coded message that popped up on the typewriter. When the code breaker the Chief brought in can’t crack it, Peggy jumps in. The message is a meeting about an exchange of weapons and it’s supposedly linked to both Leviathan and Stark.

Peggy doesn’t quite beg to go on the mission but she does have to flaunt a little of her skills (namely her connection to the Howling Commandos) to get put on mission. She’s forced to change in the men’s locker room and Sousa ends up stumbling across her (thanks to Thompson being a dick) and sees a couple of Peggy’s gunshot wound scars on her shoulder. Peggy thinks nothing of it as they head off to Russia to meet up with the Commandos. It seems they at least have respect for Peggy’s war efforts. It seems like none of them knew Peggy was so closely linked to Captain America. Well they sure know it now, thanks to one of the Commandos blabbing about Peggy’s connection. As they head over the border towards Russia, Sousa looks over photos of the mystery blond woman and spies the same scars (which he confirms via Peggy’s personnel file. She’s got some explaining to do when she gets home.

Thompson’s team and the Commandos settle in at camp and are exchanging stories when we learn a little more about Thompson and his war record. He got a Navy Cross for saving his entire camp from some Japanese soldiers. I guess it humanizes him a little bit but I still think he’s a sexist prick. Back in the US, the Chief meets with a reporter friend who explains that Stark was at the battlefield in Russia to do clean up and got into an argument with the general on site and then turned down a seven figure contract with the Army and severed ties. It seems the reporter isn’t too convinced that Howard is involved with selling weapons or that he was involved in the massacre at all.

Back in Russia, the group infiltrates the drop location in two teams of four. It turns out to be the same place where we saw young Dottie getting trained. They find a little girl and one of the Commandos tries to get close to the girl and tell her that everything is okay when the girl stabs him in the chest and takes off. I could totally see that coming a mile away. I do find it interesting how the show is building all of this mythology for the movies we already have. I know some people don’t like how interconnected all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is but I think it’s pretty cool. One of the other Commandos gets shot and the girl gets away. In tactical mode, Peggy takes over the lead and for once Thompson doesn’t seem to mind. They find an old man and a young guy locked up in a room. Interesting.

Back in the States, the Chief approaches Jarvis and starts to talk to him about Stark and the massacre. He explains that he’s not trying to railroad Stark. He just wants the truth. I want to believe him because the SSR were the good guys (though there probably were some Hydra agents in there somewhere) but I can’t completely do it. And we find Dottie break in to Peggy’s room and snoop around. She doesn’t find the hole in the wall with Cap’s blood but she does find photos of all of Stark’s inventions. She doesn’t take them but she still knows they are there.

It turns out that Leviathan stole blueprints for one of Stark’s inventions and they have mentally ill scientist trying to build it. Peggy busts them out of the prison but they end up in a fire fight and the scientist kind of loses it. He tries to bargain the lives of the Commandos for his freedom. Thompson ends up shooting him and then gets hit with some PTSD and freezes up. Peggy takes charge and gets them out of there (minus one SSR agent) and back to the States relatively safely. Thompson admits on the flight home that the soldiers he killed during the war were carrying a flag of surrender and he’s felt guilty about it ever since. It seems he’s got a new respect for Peggy which is good and I did kind of feel bad for him, carrying around all that guilt. Back at headquarters, Thompson, Peggy and the Chief kind of agree that there’s more to the story than they have but they don’t think Stark is involved with Leviathan. That’s something at least. But Sousa is still acting kind of weird around Peggy. I have a feeling he’s going to confront her soon about her involvement with Stark. And as if Dottie wasn’t creepy enough, that night, she climbs into bed and handcuffs herself to the headboard like they did to her at Black Widow camp.

Sleepy Hollow 2.15: "Spellcaster"

“We don’t fight against something. We fight for something. Love, family, a life. I pray we never lose sight of what is important.”
- Ichabod

We are nearing the end of our second year with our Witnesses and things are starting to get a little strange. At an auction house, a curator comes across a journal of John Dee. No sooner does he hand it off to his assistant and take a phone call then a man in seventeenth century garb appears and steals the book, killing the assistant and a guard via blood magic. Yeah, that’s not a good sign. Elsewhere, Ichabod is house hunting and he needed Abbie to translate realtor speak. Of course there’s more to buying a house than that, many items which Ichabod doesn’t have (an income, a credit history). But he’s trying to look forward. Abbie clues Ichabod in on the case and they seek out Katrina’s help. With a little research on her part and some snazzy FBI technology, they get an image of the killer and Katrina IDs him as Solomon Kent, a warlock that all witches fear. As they talk about him, we see that he’s performing dark ritual via blood magic and trying to raise evil from Dee’s journal.

Speaking of raising evil, we find that Henry has been hiding out in long-term hotel lodging. It seems he just wants to be left alone but flipping through channels on TV alerts him to the present murder case and he recounts that he’s seen blood boiled in a body before. I have a feeling he’s either done that type of magic before or seen it. I don’t think he was old enough to have crossed paths with Kent, although at this point we don’t’ know when he was put to death. I am happy to see that Henry is back. He’s been sorely missed these last few episodes. But he does sort of bond a little with the hotel manager’s son who has come to fix the broken faucet. I really want to see him team up with mom and dad to kick Kent’s ass.

We get a rather interesting twist on the Salem Witch Trials once Abbie learns that Kent settled in Massachusetts and was a pastor. Katrina gets to fill in the rest thanks to her own family’s history there. Kent was once a good man and the leader of a strong coven, which is why Katrina’s grandmother settled there. Unfortunately, Kent fell in love with a woman who didn’t reciprocate his feelings and he used dark magic to cover up the fact he accidentally killed her. Kent was solely responsible for starting the trials and he even had Katrina’s grandmother hanged when she tried to implore him to see reason. Katrina’s family fled Salem and eventually the rest of the coven found Kent and banished him to Purgatory. Mrs. Crane also believes she might be able to follow the journal’s magical signature so they head to the auction house. She doesn’t know where it is but she sees that Kent’s attempt to access the magic within fails because the book has been split. Dee apparently made it so that the book had to be whole to work. So now they’re off to find the rest of the journal before Kent. And we still don’t know how Henry is going to factor into all this yet.

The gang heads to a warehouse after Abbie discovers that the missing pages were in a delayed shipment. She also gets a brief visit from Irving. He’s not holding grudges and he understands the hesitation to trust him but he claims Katrina said his soul was clear. I really don’t know for sure about that. But we will have to ponder it later because Kent makes it to the warehouse, too. He takes out Ichabod and Abbie and Katrina gets to throw a little power around and sort of taunt him with the fact that she’s going to stop him for her family’s sake. But he throws the fact that she’s limiting herself by being good back in her face and then uses some blood minions to keep the Witnesses busy. Kent tries to convince Katrina to give in to the dark side and she kind of goes there for a brief moment but pulls herself back. It’s enough time for Kent to insert the missing pages and abscond with the journal.

Katrina feigns being too weak to face Kent again. But she sort of admits to Ichabod that she has lots of parts to her magic that she’s never accessed or explored. While she’s resting, Abbie seeks out Irving to find out what she can about his return to prep for a zombie apocalypse. But it turns out that Kent’s plan may not be to resurrect his lost love but to go back in time and change the past to keep her from dying in the first place. Ichabod points out just how bad that would be for them and the history of the country in general.

Back at the hotel, Henry overhears an argument with the owner and some thugs who are staying there. It looks like Henry wants to smite the crap out of said thugs but he just turns around and goes inside. I’m seriously waiting for him to do something other than mope around because dude needs to take some action. This isn’t really an identity crisis as much as just moping around. While he’s mulling over his future, the Witnesses and Irving face off against Kent. They use modern technology and the elements to defeat him. Well to weaken him enough for Ichabod to get close and pound the ever living shit out of his face for hurting Katrina and her family. Things are not as they seem though when the Witnesses go off looking for Irving and he steps over Kent’s body, breaks his neck and steals the journal. He readily lies to them that the journal is gone along with Kent’s body. I guess it was a good thing I felt a little off about Irving because after Henry starts using his powers again (he kills the thugs but not out of a sense of defending the weak) he meets up with Irving and takes possession of the journal. Irving is most definitely Henry’s servant. Whether Katrina saw it or not is unclear. She’s dealing with her own magical problems as she starts exploring the darker side of her own powers. Abbie and Ichabod better be real careful about the people around them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Girl 4.13: "Coming Out"

“I’m not gonna sit around here all day like an off-duty ice cream truck driver!”

“Coming Out” was an interesting meditation on several of the roomies deciding to really seize what they want from life. I still don’t buy Jess and Ryan’s relationship (yeah, I know he’s adorable and British, and while that’s a great start, I don’t see what else Jess likes about him), but I appreciated Jess taking charge and owning her supervisory position as vice principal. It’s a lesson I feel like I need to work on myself. When you’re a supervisor, you can’t please everybody all the time. You can only do your best and own your decisions once you’ve made them. I think it was an important breakthrough for Jess, and I thought it was kind of cheapened by her declaring her love for Ryan in front of the whole faculty. Schmidt and Nick also had to learn how to achieve a better work/life balance. I’m definitely more on the Schmidt end of that spectrum, so there were lessons in abundance there too. The less said about the “Winston and his crystal necklace” plot, the better. Poor Winston needs to get more plot love!

The episode opens with the aforementioned Winston and his crystal. Winston’s new LAPD coworkers are having him wear the crystal as a sort of hazing ritual, but Winston actually likes it because it makes him feel powerful. He discusses this with Nick and Kai, who haven’t moved from the living room couch since Thursday. Have I mentioned yet how bad I think Kai is for Nick? She enables his laziest tendencies, when he could be much more. Schmidt enters the room and is clearly having stomach pains. Nick and Kai convince Schmidt to go to the doctor, where we learn that Schmidt has had ongoing stomach ulcer issues, but he hasn’t been taking his medicine. The nurse at the doctor’s office tells Schmidt that he needs to take some time off work, but he really doesn’t want to. He thinks Gina really needs him, and if he just keeps at it, he’ll get the more challenging accounts (like “red potatoes”) that he really wants.

That same morning, Coach walks in on Jess and Ryan in bed. He’s done a bunch of research, and he doesn’t think Jess and Ryan need to keep their relationship a secret. He found a court case that says someone in Jess’ situation can’t be punished. Coach is invested in the situation because he wants to be the “hot teacher” at school again, and currently all the ladies on faculty are fawning over Ryan. Jess goes to the principal and tells him about the relationship. He says he’s good with it, but he warns Jess that once they find out, the other teachers are going to tear Jess apart at any hint of favoritism. Jess is tested immediately when, after she announces the relationship to the faculty, she has to evaluate field trip proposals. Ryan’s proposal is clearly the best by a long shot, so Jess chooses it, but the rest of the faculty are in an uproar over favoritism.

Back at the loft, Schmidt is trying to leave for work against doctor’s orders, so Nick and Kai ambush him. Schmidt keeps protesting that Gina needs him, but eventually they swaddle Schmidt to get him to take a nap instead of going to work. Schmidt takes one day off, but after that, he’s really itching to get back to work. He takes an old school (seriously...from the 1980s) Macintosh into the bathroom (Nick calls this computer his “word processor”) and tries working on that. Nick finds Schmidt and gets upset that Schmidt isn’t resting. The two have a big fight over their respective work habits. Schmidt is disappointed that Nick has become a lazy bum when he used to always have good ideas and want something more out of life. Nick is disappointed that Schmidt is working himself into health issues for a boss who doesn’t really care about him. Each of them have valid points. The scene ends with the old school computer playing the theme of the old PBS game show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” 8-bit style. Which is awesome, although the old Carmen Sandiego computer games never (unfortunately) used the theme song from the TV show.

Jess holds her usual office hours, and instead of nobody showing up, she’s got a long line of very angry teachers to deal with. Jess offers to hear their concerns one-by-one, but none of them really have anything substantive to say. They’re all just angry. To get everyone to calm down, Jess offers to switch the field trip to the creepy biology teacher’s foliage viewing idea. Ryan is upset by all of this (since Jess was clearly upset enough to change the field trip), and he offers to find a different job to improve the situation. Jess tells him not to do that. The field trip itself is a complete disaster. It turns out to just be a chance to have all the kids do the massive amount of yard work at the creepy biology’s teacher’s farm. Jess calls the trip off, and in the chaos, the biology teacher disturbs a wasp nest. Everybody ends up stung pretty badly.

Even with Jess and Ryan’s relationship out in the open, Coach is still not getting any love from his coworkers. Apparently the ladies have all decided they want someone like Ryan. We finally harken back to a characteristic we learned about Coach way back in the pilot – his tendency to yell even when he doesn’t really mean to. Winston, of course, advises the use of a crystal necklace. Coach instead tries dressing like Ryan (although Winston still recommends the crystal). Coach eventually decides to just be himself around the ladies, and they do show a little more interest, but the whole thing gets derailed when Coach admits that he has a wasp sting in his crotch area. Guess that’s kind of a buzzkill!

After their argument, Nick and Schmidt each try to change their ways a bit. Nick actually gets up before noon and tries to be a little productive, which completely freaks Winston out. Schmidt goes back to work, but the ulcer is still bothering him. He finally flat-out asks Gina for the red potato account, but Gina says she wants to keep him right where she can find him as a mid-level employee forever. He’s good at what he’s doing right now, so why would she want to sacrifice that? After work, Schmidt and Nick apologize to each other. They decide they want to try working together again, although a “jamming ideas” session, doesn’t exactly go well. Nick really wants to build some sort of robot, but Schmidt thinks that could be a bad idea.

At the bar, Jess talks with Cece and Coach about the disastrous field trip. Cece says that jess needs to own her decisions, and she can’t please everyone all the time. The staff doesn’t need to always like Jess, but they do need to listen to her. Jess takes this advice to heart and has another staff meeting where she tells it like it is. She says she’s going to make some decisions folks don’t like, but they’re going to have to deal with it. She loves her job and she loves Ryan (again, where the heck did that come from?). She finally earns the respect of her staff, and Ryan is quite pleased, too. At the end of the day, the gang is back at the bar, and Winston gives Coach the crystal necklace. Then they all line dance to some country music playing on the juke box (apparently country line dancing was Coach’s biggest fear, and by the power of the crystal, he is now able to overcome it). I do always like it when a “New Girl” episode ends with dancing.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Galavant 1.07: "My Cousin Izzy"

“It’s too late now, isn’t it? It’s out there. It’s ratting around in my head taking up space where fight thoughts should be.”

“My Cousin Izzy” was a fairly entertaining episode with some of the best music since the “Galavant” series premiere. Galavant had a big ballad about his “Moment in the Sun” (that we didn’t actually get to hear much of because he kept being interrupted). And Chef and Gwynne had an adorably dark “Sweeny Todd”-esque duet about how they should poison the food of all the royals. The season is rapidly coming to a close, and this episode sets us up for the big finale. It was kind of marking time, plot-wise, but it was a fun way to mark time. We also got to learn a bit more about what makes Galavant tick, which is always welcome. Now if only we could learn more about what made Madalena so heinous other than growing up poor. Because there has to be more to it than that.

The episode opens with a flashback to “30 winters ago” that features a young Galavant. Not all that surprisingly, young Galavant was a bullied kid. His father (played by the awesome Anthony Stewart Head of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Merlin” fame) finds Galavant sitting, dejected in his “underarmor.” Galavant’s father tells his son that he needs to learn to suppress his emotions, because that’s the only way he will ever be a true hero. He starts to sing the song I mentioned in the intro about Galavant havings his “Moment in the Sun,” but he’s interrupted by his nagging wife. It was great to get to see Tony Head sing again – the only other show where I’ve seen him sing is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” where he has a coffeeshop performance in the fourth season and of course does a great deal of singing in the sixth season musical episode, “Once More, With Feeling.”

In the present day, Galavant and crew are still in the dungeons (although they seem to be solidly locked up now – very strange considering they discovered the cells were unlocked in the last episode. Galavant really wants to save everybody (himself, Isabella, Sid, Isabella’s parents, and the Jester), and he is convinced that will be his “Moment in the Sun.” He starts singing about it, but then he gets interrupted. Unfortunately for Galavant, Isabella’s parents don’t approve of him. They tell Isabella that they have written to her cousin Harry asking him to come save them, and they remind her that she is engaged to him. Isabella wants to talk to Galavant about their feelings for each other, but Galavant says he’s in “hero mode” and needs to put all that aside for a little while. He does, however, sing a little more of “Moment in the Sun” before all the prisoners are brought upstairs to the throne room.

In the throne room, Madalena introduces the whole sorry cast of characters to Kingsley. Richard and Kingsley are going to duel for the kingdom. Since he’s nothing if not a coward, Richard wants each of them to choose a champion to fight, “Game of Thrones”-style. Kingsley immediately chooses Gareth because he knows that will really upset Richard (Gareth has always been Richard’s champion since childhood). Richard is stuck choosing Galavant. Galavant, for his part, is super psyched about this and starts singing (again) about how he’s going to save everyone and it will be his “Moment in the Sun.” This time however, he is interrupted by a good chloroforming.

Everybody is brought outside to the big tournament field for the duel. Inside, there’s a cute (but sad) scene between Chef and Gwynne where Gwynne says she doesn’t want to get too attached because they are both probably going to die. There are multiple royal families fighting, and when that happens, the poor are always the ones to suffer in the aftermath. Galavant and Isabella also have a bit of a moment, where Galavant tells Isabella again that he has to put his feelings for her aside for now, because if he didn’t, they would definitely affect his mindset in the fight ahead. Just as the duel is supposed to start, Prince Harry and his army arrive. It turns out that Prince Harry is a little kid. My reaction to that was just “Ew!”

King Richard is nervous about losing his kingdom, so he delays the big duel by saying that protocol dictates the need to throw a big welcome feast for Prince Harry. Chef is asked to put all the food together on very short notice, and he’s pretty pissed off about it. In the course of a very Sondheim-esque, right out of “Sweeny Todd” duet, Gwynne convinces Chef to poison all the food for the feast. They plan out a separate, painful poison for each course of the meal. This number was very entertaining (although quite morbid). Ultimately, though, Chef can’t bring himself to be a mass murderer. Over the years, he has learned the food allergies of all the members of King Richard’s court, so he decides to include ingredients everyone is allergic to instead (must be mildly allergic, because nobody goes into anaphylactic shock or anything). Chef figures that if they (all the servants and the poor) are going to die, they can at least enjoy watching the discomfort of the royals first. Gwynne is happy to be reminded that there are still goodhearted people in the world.

Meanwhile, back down in the dungeon, Sid hears all the commotion outside and thinks Galavant is dead. He and the Jester work up a plan to free themselves and Isabella’s parents (they steal some keys off a guard). After some sneaking around, they wind up in the throne room, where the big feast is in chaos due to everyone having allergic reactions. Sid throws Galavant his sword, and Galavant starts fighting people, but the fighting doesn’t last for long. Galavant and Isabella get close to each other (Galavant warns her off eating the crab she’s allergic too), and they almost kiss, but Galavant starts singing “Moment in the Sun” (again) instead. If only he wasn’t such a darn narcissist! Anyway, Harry decides to leave because Isabella clearly has feelings for Galavant. Richard decides he’s going to fight in the duel himself, even though it means he’s going to have to fight Gareth. No matter who wins, though, everyone agrees on one thing. Chef is going to have to die for the allergy attack.