Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Falling Skies 5.01: "Find Your Warrior"

“This is the time for overkill. To fire both barrels and use everything we’ve got.”
- Tom Mason

If you’ve watched “Falling Skies” before, then you know that at the close of last season, Tom was left adrift out in space somewhere while Lexi destroyed the Espheni power core on the moon. Tom is having a bit of a freak out and trippy experience when his wife Rebecca shows up and starts talking about her breast cancer coming back. It seems sort of like a normal conversation (one that Tom remembers having before she died) but things get a little weird when she starts talking about him needing to tap into his rage, find his inner warrior and kick some alien ass. And then he gets dumped into the ocean back on Earth, very much alive.

Too bad the rest of the 2nd Mass don’t know that. Anne is giving something of eulogy and a rally speech at the same time. She implores the gang to keep fighting in memory of Tom and Lexi. That her husband and daughter gave them a big victory but they need to finish the fight and kick all the aliens off our planet. That night, while Weaver and company are fortifying their defenses, Tom is making his way back to civilization (as it were). He’s attacked by one of these extra creepy Skitters that got turned into a dragon-fly shape. At first he injures it and it takes off but then he lets his anger take over until he’s hacked the damn thing’s head off.

Tom is not particularly in the mood for Pope’s 20 questions when he finally makes it back to camp. He’s a little more forthcoming with Anne and the boys after Anne ensures he’s not bugged with alien tech or eye worms. Even though he told them about the sort of memory on the ship with Rebecca I couldn’t help feeling like he was leaving something out. I just hope it doesn’t screw them over in the long run. After Anne gives him the all clear, he makes a rather impassioned and rousing speech about the need to get angry and tap into their rage to take back their planet. But he’s not happy with Weaver’s assessment of their vehicles. They need to hit the Espheni tech before the invaders can power up again. Ultimately, they break into three teams to go scout and blow stuff up. At least they know now that there are 317 other human militias around the world that the Volm have contact with. If they can all get coordinated with the 2nd Mass, then humanity might have a shot. The first team (with Hal and Maggie) blow up some Skitters and some tech all at once. And the team with Weaver and Ben find a bunch of Mechs that don’t really work. So of course Tom, Anne and Matt’s team has to find themselves surrounded by a bunch of Skitters.

One of the Volm with Weaver senses that Tom’s group needs help so Weaver and his gang head over to lend a hand. Unlike the Skitters Hal and Maggie saw, the ones surrounding Tom are definitely coordinated and working in tandem. A firefight ensues and one of their group gets killed. Still on mission, Tom takes his dead buddy and uses him as bait for the Skitters. As he’d hoped, they descend on the dead guy, eating him because they’re hungry. His plan to blow them up with a bomb fails because the trigger doesn’t work. Luckily, Weaver and reinforcements show up and take out the Skitters. Organized Skitters means an Espheni Overlord nearby (within 5 miles of the ambush site). As Weaver and Anne start rattling off what’s in the radius, Tom flashes to part of the memory (that definitely wasn’t real). One of the places the Overlord could be hiding is Woodrow Wilson High School. Tom saw a bust of the President in his vision/dream thing and he never had a bust of Wilson. He’s convinced that’s where they need to go and it takes a little arm twisting to get the rest of the team on board.

Before they head out, Hal and Maggie have a bit of a confrontation about the whole Ben situation (what with she and Ben being drawn together because of the shared spine spikes). Maggie admits that she loves Hal but she can’t control how she feels about Ben so it’s best if she and Hal keep their distance. Good luck keeping a horny 20-something guy away. Well, they do have more pressing concerns to attend to at least. The raid on the high school looks like it’s going to be a bust at first. They don’t see anything and Ben and Maggie don’t sense and Overlord present. But as the group moves into the gym, Tom spots the bleachers moving and Skitters come out of the woodwork (as it were).

The 2nd Mass has come prepared though with some pretty epic guns that just take down Skitters en masse. It’s kind of impressive. While that’s happening, one of the former spine kids gets killed by a Skitter and Ben gets coopted by the Overlord. The Overlord says that Ben is his leverage but Tom disagrees (after finding his way down to the basement where the Overlord is hiding out). Tom says that he can kill the Overlord and all Ben gets is a headache. And that’s exactly what happens. Tom shoots the Overlord once and then four times in the head for good measure. They won this battle, even if they lost a few soldiers. I have to say the writers know they are in the final stretch and they aren’t afraid to kill people. Sure they’ve been somewhat supporting characters in this episode but I don’t doubt for a second at least one or two major characters are going to die by the end. Hell, maybe even Tom himself.

While Tom’s attitude was a little jarring, it’s understandable that he’d get to this point after everything and everyone he’s lost. Plus whoever or whatever saved his life put that bug in his ear about being a warrior and taking down the threat. I will be interested to see how the story wraps up over the next nine episodes.

Summer TV Rewind: Kyle XY 1.04: “Diving In”

“Art is about drawing what you feel. Not what you see.”
- Amanda

So I have to say that this episode had some of the more physical comedy moments in it. I mean it’s kind of juvenile humor but I still laughed and it was kind of entertaining to see Kyle learning new things about how to exist in the world. He starts off dreaming about Amanda swimming to him underwater, nearly kissing him and then disappearing. It’s the first time he can remember having a dream but he doesn’t get much time to enjoy it. The police detective is back to ask about the symbol in his drawings. He claims he drew it the way he did because that was how he saw it. He gets a little reprieve from everyone being concerned about what’s in his head when Lori gets caught sneaking off to the public pool instead of watching Kyle. Even the detective is no help there (he is leaving which I totally laughed at). So the Trager kids are all going to the pool. Lori quickly abandons the boys to hang with Hilary and give Declan the cold shoulder. Left to their own devices, Josh explains that the purpose of pool going is to scope out hot chicks but not talk to them (I’m personally with Kyle. Why you wouldn’t talk to them if you thought they were hot is beyond me). Josh actually gets a smile from a hot girl and so takes off to get Lori to do his dirty work and get her number. While they are arguing, Kyle jumps into the pool and Amanda saves him (leave it to Hilary to be the one to notice Kyle’s absence). And then the super awkward moment that is the funny physical humor. As Amanda is checking to make sure Kyle is okay, he gets his first erection.

While teen drama is afoot, the man in the truck now has a name: Tom Foss. And Mr. Foss is leaving the company he worked for after putting in ten years of service. It’s kind of a strange little scene although we do learn that the dead man (Kern) and Foss also worked for the same company. And while Foss has been kind of a creepy stalker guy, he is kind of hot and I do want to see more of him. We do see him come home and the guy from the company who he dealt with earlier has broken in. it seems the key card Foss handed in was actually Kern’s. Oops! Things escalate quickly from there when the guy comes back and Foss being kind of a badass takes him out. So much craziness! The other adult drama this episode involves Nicole and Steven trying to register Kyle for school. The Vice Principal is kind of a pompous jerk who would rather dump Kyle in a special ed program than provide a one-on-one tutor (Which seems like he might have a point about the expense). They’re still railing about the Vice Principal’s stance when they get home and Steven has to have “the talk” with Kyle. It’s super awkward because of course Kyle’s never had an erection before and he doesn’t understand why if it is normal and natural why it has to be hidden. In an attempt to help out, Josh introduces Kyle to dirty magazines and masturbation. Yeah that’s way more awkward than the talk itself!

The next day, Josh finds a way to get Lori temporarily out of Kyle watching duty while also getting the number of the hot girl from the pool. They can get Kyle swimming lessons. Things seem to work out pretty well actually. Kyle learns to swim and Amanda isn’t quite so freaked out by everything. She’d stopped by and seen a lot of Kyle’s drawings of her. Oh and Declan had also stopped by to actually ask Lori out to the party on Friday night. She seems set on having sex with him at the party now which makes Hilary kind of giddy. Kyle pays Amanda a visit at home where she shares some of her dad’s paintings with him and explained that the arts are all about how you feel. So instead of just using crayons, Kyle incorporates some painting into his next drawing.

That night, Josh gets up the courage to finally call the girl (Ashley) thanks to Lori getting her number and they agree to go to the same party Lori is going to with Declan. And now somehow Kyle gets roped into going, too. The look on his face when he says he doesn’t like parties is pretty amusing considering the last time he went to a party he got super drunk and then fought a cop. But it is a chance to give Amanda the painting he made. Nicole isn’t happy about Steven letting Kyle go to the party even though the other two kids will be there and the party is chaperoned. Steven explains that while he understands the desire to protect Kyle, they need to let him make mistakes and learn from life to be a normal well-adjusted kid.

Things at the party really don’t end well for any of the Trager kids. Josh and Ashley do meet up and end up skinny dipping in the hot tub until they are caught by the chaperones. It is very awkward and Josh is humiliated. Elsewhere, Lori and Declan end up having sex in the bushes (um you couldn’t find a spare room in the huge house?) and it clearly was awkward and not very good. While all of that is going on, a drunk Hilary falls into Kyle’s lap and is kind of hitting on him. Kyle isn’t exactly oblivious but he’s more interested in trying to find Amanda. The evening ends poorly for Loir when Hilary drunkenly announces that she told Declan to ask Lori out on a real date because that was the only way he was getting into Lori’s pants. Yeah it was kind of a bitchy move and I can totally get why Lori is hurt and furious at both Declan and Hilary. To make matters worse for Kyle, he finally spots Amanda but her boyfriend Charlie shows up. I will admit watching this episode I did get a tiny bit emotional as Charlie is played by the late Cory Monteith. Kyle never gets to give Amanda his picture. Instead, just before he and the Tragers all head home early, he tosses it in the pool. Poor guy. But I think Steven was right in letting him go. It sucks that he got his heart broken but he needed to learn so he could grow.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Marvel's Daredevil 1.01: "Into the Ring"

“I’m not seeking penance for what I’ve done, Father. I’m asking forgiveness. For what I’m about to do.”
-Matt Murdock

There are two things (among others, of course) that we really enjoy here at MTVP. One is exploring new aspects of television and what it means, and the second is Marvel television shows. In “Marvel’s Daredevil,” we’ve got both. I find it fascinating how quickly broadcast and internet “television” are becoming more equal. Last summer, we covered Netflix’s excellent “Orange is the New Black,” and this summer we’re covering three international shows that can be viewed legally by Americans through internet portals Hulu and Netflix. So, since as I already mentioned, we really like Marvel TV shows around here, it made sense to cover yet another Netflix venture, “Daredevil.” Like the other Marvel TV shows produced thus far, this one also has a link to the Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy family. The showrunner is Steven DeKnight, who wrote for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and “Dollhouse” in the Mutant Enemy realm and also created and ran “Sparticus” for Starz.

“Daredevil” tells the story of Matt Murdock, defense attorney by day, vigilante by night. He also happens to be blind, thanks to an accident when he was a little kid. Toxic waste that spilled in the accident got into his eyes, and that was that. He lives and runs a law practice with his friend Foggy Nelson in Hell’s Kitchen, and it appears that, as the series progresses, he will have to fight off more than one criminal element in his neighborhood. Through an introductory scene where Matt goes to confession more for therapy than penance, we learn a little about his backstory. His father was a boxer, although a mediocre one. Presumably that’s where he gets some of his vigilante fighting skill from. Interestingly, he asks the priest not for his penance, but for forgiveness for what he is about to do (as you can see from the Quote of the Episode).

What Matt does, presumably, is start his vigilante career. We see some women who have been trafficked being let out of a cargo container. Their handlers, unsurprisingly, are treating them horribly, and any time they scream, it just gets worse (cattle prods are involved). Matt swoops down, and after a bit of the fight, eventually takes out all the handlers (although at least some are left alive, which will probably come back to haunt him later). He lets all the ladies go and gives them some advice on where to go for help. We also learn early in the episode that by day, Matt is a criminal defense lawyer. He and his friend Foggy Nelson have just set up their own practice, and they don’t have a lot of money. Foggy wants to take whatever case will get them paid, but Matt only wants to defend the truly innocent. I have a feeling this will be a frequent source of friction between the pair. Foggy “bribes” a police officer acquaintance of his with some cigars to give him a call if he comes across any interesting cases.

Foggy’s police officer friend does indeed come upon an interesting case. A man has been killed, and the woman, Karen Page, who was found with the body is the prime suspect. She however, insists she was innocent. She blacked out, and when she woke up, she saw her coworker/person with whom she has been on one date, on the floor and bloody. The police officer call foggy, and Matt and Foggy show up at the police precinct, claiming they are Karen’s lawyer. Karen is a bit apprehensive when the guys tell her they have only been practicing law for a matter of hours, and Foggy is a little uneasy when Karen says she doesn’t have much money to pay them, but eventually they all agree to work together. Karen and the deceased, David, both worked for Union Allied Construction, which had been getting a ton of business, including government contracts, since the big Battle of New York in the first Avengers film. Karen says she and David went for drinks, she blacked out, and like I said previously, when she woke up, David was bloody and dead. Matt believes her story, because thanks to the super senses he picked up after becoming blind, he can hear her heartbeat.

That night while in jail, a correctional officer tries to strangle Karen and make it look like she hung herself. Karen, however, puts up a hell of a fight and manages to get away. When they find out what happened, Matt and Foggy raise holy Hell and get Karen released from jail right away. Matt needs more answers from Karen about why she was first framed, then almost killed. Karen says she doesn’t know precisely who is behind all of this, but she may know the why. One of her duties in the accounting department at Union Allied involves preparing a report on the pension fund, and she started noticing some serious funny business with the fund. David worked in the legal department, and they were actually meeting to talk about what she found, with the date just as cover. Somehow someone found out, though, and thus began all of Karen’s troubles. Matt wants her to stay at his apartment for the night, because he doesn’t think she’s safe with what she knows.

At Matt’s apartment, Matt and Karen bond a bit, as Karen asks Matt about his blindness and Matt tries to ask Karen more about the case. He is trying to figure out why the original plan was to just discredit her and let her live. He asks Karen if she still has the pension file with the evidence in it, and he can tell that she’s lying when she says, “no.” In the middle of the night, Karen sneaks out of Matt’s apartment and tries to go back to her apartment, where the thumb drive with the pension file is hidden in the drop ceiling. Unfortunately, a Union Allied henchman is waiting for her, and he attacks. Matt arrives (in his black vigilante outfit) just in time and manages to save Karen. In the process of the fight, he is briefly knocked unconscious and has a vision of his father. Eventually Matt takes down the henchman, and he drops off the body and the pension file at a local newspaper. I’m pretty sure Karen hasn’t figured out that Matt is the person who saved her.

The likely villains of the season are also set up well in this episode. In a rooftop scene, we see a whole smorgasbord of organize crime. There’s Madame Gao of the Triad, Nobu of a Yakuza clan, and Vladamir and Anatoly from the Russian mob. There is also their rather sniveling accountant Owlsley. This whole motley crew is met by James Wesley, the lawyer for the person running this whole show. Wesley is not at all happy to hear about the incident. After the Union Allied scandal makes the papers, we see Wesley on the phone with his still unidentified boss. He says they’ve pinned the scandal on the head accountant, and he’s been killed in a way that makes it look like it was an overdose for good measure. They discuss killing Karen, and decide not to because everything she knew is already now public. They do however, think it might be smart to put her lawyers on the payroll. I’m doubting that will actually happen!

Karen cooks dinner for Matt and Foggy to express her thanks. Since she can’t pay them at the moment, she offers to work for them for free for a while and keep their office clean. They agree, and the practice of two now becomes three. Later, Matt goes to his father’s old gym at closing time to do some after-hours punching bag work. While Matt works out, we see the criminal element in New York have a bit of a resurgence. Madame Gao’s minions (who have blinded themselves) are making heroin packets in earnest. Nobu is planning to buy a block-size building in Hell’s Kitchen. Barrett, the guy who was running the trafficking operation, gets a new shipment of weapons to deal with any reoccurrence of the masked vigilante. Our friends the Russians, in a creepy stalker van, attack a man and kidnap his son. Matt, in his black vigilante outfit, surveys the city from a roof as superheroes tend to do, listening for trouble. He decides to help the kidnapped kid first.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: The Straits 1.03: "Yawor My Lovely"

“I put my neck on the block every day for your family. You think what I do is easy? You know they’ve got whole government departments trying to work out what I do. One slip up, I go away for life. This? This is the thanks? Take the house. Take it. I can go away.”

The third episode of “The Straits” was an especially intense one. By the end of it, there were two members of the Montebello family in mortal danger. Since we’re early in the series, it’s a pretty safe bet that at least one will survive, but at the end of this episode, at least, it doesn’t look good. The melodrama is really turned up to eleven, though. One of the life-threatening scenarios facing one of the characters is so ridiculous that I may have laughed the first time I saw it (well, I may have laughed if I wasn’t busy being terrified of the snake). This episode was so crazy you would think we were getting near the end of the season, but we’re actually just beginning. We still have a little over two-thirds of the season to go! I think this episode really speaks to why “The Straits” is so addictive. The action really never lets up.

At the beginning of this episode, we meet Vlad, a sniper for hire. He’s diabetic (at one point we see him take an insulin injection), and he has been hired to kill Harry. We will see Vlad periodically throughout the episode, but he obviously becomes most important at the end. More immediately, there is a Montebello anniversary party in the works. While they are setting up tables and decorations, Sissy keeps giving Harry dirty looks. He notices, and he pulls her aside to ask what is wrong. I figured she would mention seeing his affair with Natasha (she doesn’t until later in the episode), but she mentions the situation with Paddy instead. They visit one of the houses Paddy bought, and Harry says he will deal with the problem. He ends up dealing with it by taking Paddy fishing and literally stabbing him in the back. To say it is a pretty brutal scene would be an understatement.

At Kitty’s insistence, Gary is going back to Zey Island. First, however, there’s some more drama with Lola. Gary and Lola have an awkward conversation about what happened. Gary tells Lola that he told Marou he supported him, and if Lola presses the issue any further, he will tell Marou what they did. Lola does seem to genuinely love Marou in her twisted way, so this is enough to keep her quiet for now at least. With Lola taken care of, Gary and Kitty go to Zey. We quickly see just how much power Kitty has on Zey. The customs guy, who the Montebellos clearly know well, says he’s leaving his job so he can go back to art school. Kitty can’t have a customs agent actually checking Montebello packages, so she manipulates things to make him keep his job.

Kitty is convinced that throwing a big party will remind the islanders who the Montebellos are and what they can do. She starts ordering Gary, Eddie, and Joseph around to take care of all the preparation. The interaction is kind of hilarious, especially when she orders Joseph to make two kinds of curry. Which he does, of course. At the party, Kitty schmoozes and does indeed remind the islanders what they owe the Montebellos. Specifically, she threatens to close the family crawfish factory on Zey. One woman in particular apologizes profusely for not warning Gary about the stranger on the island, and she says it will never happen again. Also at the party, Gary meets a younger woman (late teens/early 20’s, maybe?) named Bridget. She is still in school. Kitty doesn’t approve of Gary talking to Bridget at all, and I’m not sure why, considering how much she wants at least one of her kids to marry someone on Zey. Maybe it’s the age difference?

In yet another wrenching (and kind of melodramatic in a cheesy way) scene, Harry dumps Paddy’s body in the ocean and rows off in a dinghy as his fishing boat explodes behind him. His hand is injured, but he eventually makes it back home. Sissy notices the injury, and Harry eventually tells her what he did. He wants Sissy’s help in cooking up the story about where Paddy went. He’s supposed to go on a trip somewhere. Preferably in South America. Sissy is horrified at what her father is done, and things are extremely tense between her and Harry for the rest of the episode. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of Sissy telling anyone what happened, though. People spend much of the episode wondering where Sissy is, because she keeps running off to let out all her hurt and frustration about what happened. Kitty is also pissed because she thinks Harry is just in his current drunken state on their anniversary because he’s inconsiderate. She has no idea what has happened.

Back on Zey, we get to what is the absolutely most ridiculous sequence of the entire series. Joseph asks to be taken back to the mainland, because he has done more than his fair share to earn a favor from Gary and Eddie. Gary agrees, but the drive to the airport is a comedy of errors that is way too over the top. First, Gary, who is probably high, gets in a car accident. He’s somewhat injured, so he and Joseph try to walk for help. In the process, Gary of course gets bitten by a snake. The snake bite is serious, but when Joseph finally gets to the clinic, he finds out that Eddie has stolen all the anti-venom. Back at the house, Eddie is nowhere to be found, so Gary sits in the chair and slowly deteriorates, basically waiting to die. While he’s delusional, he does make a call to Harry and confesses that she slept with Lola. Harry’s reaction is interesting. He’s not at all mad at Gary. Instead he takes Lola aside and tells her to leave and never come back.

Harry, however, is not going to be able to do much other than make threats for the time being. He gets a text that something is ready for pick-up, and so he drives off to a house that’s kind of remote in the forest. A woman greets him at the door. No, this isn’t yet another affair. Harry has commissioned a beautiful silver music box as a gift for Kitty, and it is finally ready. Unfortunately for Harry, though, he was followed to the house by the sniper. On his way back to the car, Harry is shot. He’s still alive, and he manages to get a strained phone call through to Kitty. In the middle of the call, though, the sniper approaches him and we hear more shots. Kitty screams on the other end of the line, thinking that her husband, who she was kind of nasty to earlier, is dead.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Moonlight 1.03: “Dr. Feelgood”

“I’ll deal with the cops and the computers. The other thing, you’re the expert.”
- Beth

As you might recall, episode 2 ended with quite the revelation. Beth saw Mick as a vampire and he was not in a good state. She’s now fighting her nerves to go talk to him about what she saw. She wants him to tell her that she didn’t see it but he obviously can’t do that. He implores her to keep his secret but gets cagey and evasive when she asks how he became a vampire. As Mick is dealing with Beth finding out the truth and battling his inner demons about being turned, we see a man get his by a car. It turns out he’s a vampire and he ends up feeling on the guy who hit him (who is a doctor).

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that as Mick ponders his own turning, the doctor becomes a vampire and starts killing people. His first victim is a convenience store clerk. Apparently vampires can’t taste food and the newbie just wanted blood but didn’t know it. Beth shows up at the scene to cover the story and when her cop buddy tells her that all the blood was drained, she makes a trip to the morgue. Mick is already there thanks to Guillermo giving him the heads up. Realizing that it is a newbie vampire gone rogue, Mick decides to take matters into his own hands. Of course he has to contend with Beth trying to horn in on the case. And so he in a vague way, he explains how vampires are made. And as he does so, we see that his ex-wife, Coraline, turned him on their wedding night. Clearly he didn’t ask her to do it and he’s horrified when he wakes up the next morning with fangs and an aversion to sunlight. Super awkward! While Mick is off playing detective, Josh pays Beth a visit with some late night spicy Chinese food at Buzzwire. He’s concerned that she’s changing and it has something to do with him but she assures him that it’s just all the craziness with Mick and her new job.

Mick stops by Josef’s place where his handsome friend suggests Mick contact the Cleaner. It seems part of the way vampire stay under the radar is they have a service to clean up their messes. And as Mick retraced the rogue’s steps to the place he was sired, he’s got a clue to who the sire actually is. A little arm-twisting later, Mick has learned the name of said sire and pays him a visit at the jet propulsion lab where he works. The sire had no idea he’s actually turned his poor victim and he doesn’t seem very concerned about it really.

The sire really should be concerned because the newbie has killed a second victim. Mick sets Beth on the trail of checking police reports, specifically for the area where the vampire was sired. The next morning, the newbie’s wife comes home and finds him asleep in the fridge in their garage (naked). Yep, that’s how vampires sleep. Unfortunately for her, her husband is just super hungry and makes a meal out of her. It definitely seems like this guy just won’t stop killing until he’s stopped by someone else. Beth’s contacts pay off and give her and Mick the name and address of the newbie vampire. On the way, Mick explains he can eat food but doesn’t (again the no taste thing) and he’ll be 85 in November. Man looks good for a senior citizen! They get to the house and find the dead wife. As they snoop around the house to figure out where the vampire went, Beth sees a wedding photo and gets dangerously close to asking Mick about his own marriage. He tells her that he was married once but his wife is dead. Oh if only Beth knew the truth.

Apparently I misjudged the sire because he shows up at the house and stakes Mick to keep him out of the way. He hasn’t been able to sire before so he sees the rogue as a son and he wants to have a relationship with him. Something tells me that’s not going to happen. After a little hemming and hawing, Beth pulls the stake out and they head to the hospital where the rogue works. He’s clearly overwhelmed by all the blood around and he’s about to snack on a patient when his sire shows up. A brief confrontation ensues where the sire realizes he can’t control the newbie so he takes off. He doesn’t get far. The Cleaner has some words for him and she and her minions drag him off somewhere. This leaves Mick to handle the problem. Trying to remind the rogue of his own humanity doesn’t work so of course it devolves into a vampire fight. Mick gets the upper hand and stacks the rogue. Beth suggests turning him into the police but Mick has other ideas. Namely ones that involve an incinerator. Josef approves. And as they share a drink later that night, he reminds Mick that he needs to let Coraline go. He can’t keep carrying the weight of her betrayal around with him forever. Josef is a wise vampire I must say.

The next day, after having been able to think about what he wants to do, Mick goes to Beth’s apartment (not quite mirroring the beginning of the episode but close). She invites him in but what he has to say can be said at the door (also I’d be worried about Josh overhearing). He tells Beth about Coraline turning him into a vampire on their wedding night. When Beth points out I must be difficult for him to trust people now, he admits that she is the first human he’s even been completely honest with and he trusts her. Which is all very nice and totally going to get in the way of Beth and Josh’s relationship!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer DVR Dump: 12 Monkeys 1.03: “Cassandra Complex”

“I was wrong about the plague. People could have died because of me.”
- Cassie

When last we left Cole and Cassie, Jennifer had just been taken captive by someone looking for the Army of the 12 Monkeys and the virus. In 2015, Cole is teaching Cassie how to shoot so that when they find the man who killed her friend, she’ll be ready to act. But being ready isn’t all they are worried about. They still need to find the Night Room which means finding the scientist who got away. It turns out Cassie getting called down to the police station to answer questions about Jennifer’s kidnapping is fortuitous because she finds a photo of the missing man. And she fills Cole in on her own history with the man. He worked with her down in Haiti the year before handling a dangerous outbreak. Unfortunately, when she pays a visit to the CDC, she learns that he is dead. Cole says he has to go back to Haiti in 2014 and ask the guy about the Night Room before Jennifer breaks so they can beat the 12 Monkeys to the virus. Cassie begs him to stay away from her if he does go back. So Cole goes back to 2043 with his suggestion of finding the missing doctor in Haiti. The science team bickers about it for a while but ultimately agrees to send him back there with the warning that he cannot cross paths with Cassie. They also warn that there were massive solar flares recorded in 2014 so it might affect him when he goes back.

Before Cole gets sent back, we see how Cassie ends up in Haiti. Apparently she’s been chasing outbreaks ever since Cole grabbed her and told her about the oncoming plague. Aaron isn’t happy about her going off again when she’d just gotten back but she’s not listening to a word he’s saying. She gets to Haiti and ends up talking down a man with a gun who wants his sick daughter treated. That night, she and the guy Cole is looking for bond over some drinks. Well they do more than just bond. They totally hook up because come on, who didn’t see that one coming. I will be interested to see what the disease actually is as they were flashing around stats on Ebola (which as you know, was an outbreak of sorts in 2014). Cole lands in 2014 and looks around all confused. The next day he finds the tents where the sick people are being kept and he spots the doctor he’s looking for. Too bad he starts experiencing temporal interference and jumps back briefly (and by the looks of it painfully) to 2043 before rematerializing in 2014. His nose is bleeding but he uses it to his advantage to get into the tent and ask the doctor for help. Cole almost succeeds in getting the guy to go with him but he wants to grab supplies and Cole nearly has a run-in with Cassie so he takes off.

Cole starts following the doctor when he goes on a medicine run (the guy with the gun returned and took all the meds they had). According to Cassie’s boss, the doctor was shot when he went on the med run. Cole does a fairly decent job of tailing the guy until he gets turned around and distracted by a statute of an angry monkey head like the one Jennifer was sketching everywhere. They did seem to think that the 12 Monkeys symbol showed up in countries where large-scale diseases were unleashed so this epidemic would make sense, too.

Back in 2043, Ramse (Cole’s best friend) is checking out the outer perimeter after he found a knife and has some strong words for the soldier that’s following him. As we learned previously, the scavengers are pretty dangerous. In fact one jumps the soldier but Ramse gets the drop of her. Turns out they knew each other back when he and Cole were part of a scavenger group called the West Seven. The girl, Max, wants out and is seeking shelter but Ramse knows better than to let her into the compound with the scientists. So he sends her on a ten mile trek to a group of survivors. Why do I get the feeling she is going to come back and bite him?

Back in 2014, the doctor jumps Cole but he manages to get ahold of the doctor’s gun and explains himself, warning that if he could find the doctor, so can the 12 Monkeys. After a little arm twisting, the doctor agrees to tell Cole where the Night Room is after he gets the meds and returns them to the tents. Yeah, except he never returns from this trip so Cole really should have insisted on finding out the truth beforehand. Especially because the head of the 12 Monkeys shows up just as they are getting the meds. Cole does learn that they were trying to use viruses and manipulate the DNA to deliver medicine instead of poison. It’s nice to get some gaps filled in very early on so we can focus on moving the plot forward. We see how the head of the 12 Monkeys got his scar (courtesy of Cole) and we also see Cassie lose it and break down over the disease as it is killing people. She believes that what’s happening is the plague Cole mentioned. We know it turns out not to be the disease but she is so convinced she even advocates shooting anyone who tries to break quarantine. Lucky for everyone else, her boss puts a stop to things and orders her back to the States.

Cole gets the location of the Night Room (sort of, it’s kind of a mobile lab and he tells Cole to look for specific types of high tech equipment) and then predictably shoots the doctor to keep the timeline intact. In 2015, he lies to Cassie about how the doctor died which can’t be good for their relationship (yes it’s only three episodes in and I already ship them…deal with it). Cassie is going to go back to the CDC though so that sets her on the path she needs to be on to find the plague and gather information that will help Cole stop the outbreak. And in 2043, Ramse fills Cole in on Max showing up. He suspects that she’s really a spy and their old scavenger gang is going to be hot on their heels very soon. And Ramse would be right as we see Max returning to camp and filling the leader in on the fact she found Cole.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Blackpool 1.03

“Somewhere in everything that’s gone wrong, somehow or other, you are always there. What’s the opposite of a lucky mascot? Well, that’s you, that is!”

And we are now approaching the half-way point of the BBC dark comedy, “Blackpool.” Slowly (well, maybe not that slowly…it is only the third episode), Ripley Holden’s personal and professional life continues to unravel. There’s a lot going on in “Blackpool” with plots that feature all of the members of the Holden family, and as difficult as it is for me to say as a major David Tenant fan, the show is really the story of Ripley Holden and his unraveling. All the romances and other intrigue is just icing on the cake. This is Ripley’s story, first and foremost. In this episode, both his children turn against him, and his wife finally consummates her relationship with another man. He also is pretty horrible to both of his best friends, although he tries to make it up to one of them by the end of the episode. It’s really only a half-hearted attempt, though, because Ripley is a pretty terrible person.

We learn at the beginning of the episode in a conversation between Ripley and his accountant that Ripley’s finances are even worse than we thought. The accountant is bugging him about his overdue taxes, and Ripley hands him a stack of cash he had stored in the ceiling of the Lucky Star Arcade office. The accountant says that’s not going to be nearly enough to pay off his liability. They might need to use some of the casino expansion money. There’s just one small problem. Ripley has already used the expansion money to pay for the most recent renovations to the arcade. Ripley basically needs to keep expanding the arcade to pay off the debt he’s already incurred. He’s in a bad situation, and the accountant is not happy about it. To make matters worse, we soon learn that the planning commission has denied Ripley’s request to expand the arcade into a casino hotel. Ripley tells Albright that he’d better do something about it, although Albright swears he has no influence. Ripley tells Albright that it will help if he can finally get Carlisle to stop pursing the Mike Hooley case.

Carlisle, for his part, has been investigating the flats that the Holdens own. He speaks to one of the prostitutes, and he has forensics look at the place. Eventually, he tells Ripley that his team has found forensic evidence tied to Mike Hooley at the flats. Ripley continues to deny everything, and Carlisle and Blythe are at a loss for who exactly in the Holden family is guilty. Carlisle insists, at least, that he knows it can’t be Natalie. Carlisle and Natalie run into each other as Carlisle is leaving the arcade. She takes him to a strange underground aquarium place to talk, and they seem to work out their difference. Natalie is sure she wants Carlisle, and he eventually gets past the “she might be a murderer” thing. They go back to Carlisle’s place, and the resulting love scene feels more violent than romantic. There isn’t any actual violence, but it’s not what I expected based on Carlisle’s fantasy in the previous episode.

Speaking of romance, Shyanne, never one to give up, is a creepy stalker and stops by Steve’s apartment again. They end up getting back together, and they enjoy a lazy evening of sex and pillow talk. Eventually, they decide to get out of bed and go for a walk. I figured this couldn’t possibly end well. I thought Ripley would see them walking and cause a big fuss. Shyanne wants to spend the night at Steve’s place, but he wants her to go home because he has to work the next morning. He basically says it’s one of the hazards of dating an older man. He drops her off at a trolley stop, and she heads home, as he is walking behind an enclosure at the trolley stop, though, Steve is brutally attacked. We don’t see the perpetrator, but of course any viewer would guess that it’s Ripley or somebody doing Ripley’s bidding.

When he’s not shagging Natalie, Carlisle is of course diligently continuing with his investigation. The next step in the investigation involved what was perhaps the silliest scene of the series to date. Carlisle sets Danny up to sell drugs to a fellow police officer. Just as Danny hands the officer the drugs, Carlisle and an impressive amount of back-up arrive on the scene, dancing and snapping their fingers, “West Side Story”-style. Carlisle puts Danny in handcuffs, but he doesn’t actually take him to the precinct. Instead, they have a bit of a talking-to. Carlisle wants Danny to tell more of what he knows about the Mike Hooley murder in exchange for not telling his parents about the drug activity. Danny runs off for now, but thinks are going to get worse for him by the end of the episode.

Ripley is pretty much just being an ass to all of his friends. Ripley drunkenly stops by Terry’s apartment while Terry is having a date. Ripley’s complaining about Albright again, and Terry really just wants Ripley to go home so he can finish his date. Instead, his date goes home in the cab he called for Ripley. The next day, Carlisle confronts Albright about Albright’s financial interest in Ripley’s casino project. This leads Albright to tell Ripley that he’s pulling his investment out of the casino. Ripley, as you would imagine, is not at all pleased about this. He reminds Albright that he doesn’t exactly have money right now to give Albright to effectuate the cash-out. This sequence of events, I think, is what really made me feel like Ripley’s world is falling apart. Even his best friends have abandoned him. Ripley does, at least, attempt to make things right with Terry in his own way. Mostly because, as we know from a conversation he has with the protester in front of the arcade, he thinks doing something good will make his luck change. He talks to Terry’s date and apologizes for how he acted. Of course, we also learn that they (Ripley and the date) have slept together in the past.

Carlisle and Natalie have another rendezvous, but their time in a bubbly tub together is interrupted by a phone call from Shyanne. Natalie meets Shyanne at the hospital and learns about Steve’s rather horrific injuries. Shyanne wants Natalie to confront Ripley about the situation, because she’s convinced Ripley must be behind it. Natalie hesitates, which really angers Shyanne. Natalie does eventually confront Ripley, though, and he swears he had nothing to do with it. Once he’s recovered a bit, Steve tells Shyanne more about his history with Ripley. Ripley was a bully, and one time he left unflattering letters for a bunch of their classmates. Steve’s letter said that Steve was a bully, and Ripley was going to commit suicide because of it. Ripley survived the suicide attempt obviously, but Steve was kind of an outcast for the rest of his school career.

In the afternoon, Natalie notices Danny seems out of sorts. He is sitting at the kitchen table with his head down, and he doesn’t really want to talk about what’s wrong. Eventually, Natalie convinces him to spill, and he tells her that he’s being harassed by the police, particularly DI Carlisle. Natalie marches right down to the precinct, and she is devastated to see that the man she has been falling in love with is actually the police detective who has been harassing her family. She meets up with Carlisle at a café, where they both sing a song about lies. They kiss, and then she walks out on him without ever really confronting him about the lies.

The end of the episode sees a lot of Holden family turmoil and tense conversations. The most important of these conversations is between Danny and Shyanne. Shyanne is convinced that Ripley was behind the Mike Hooley murder and the attack on Steve, and she tells Danny that she hopes somebody eventually turns Ripley in. Danny ends up going to the police station himself, and he confesses to the murder. Albright gave Ripley and Natalie a heads up that Danny was at the precinct and wanted to talk without his parents, so they are both on their way. Carlisle is listening to what Danny is saying, and he doesn’t quite know what to do with it. He doesn’t believe Danny is a murderer, and more importantly, he doesn’t want to hurt Natalie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Kyle XY 1.03: “The Lies that Bind”

“Lying’s not the way. Like I told you, tell the truth no matter what.”
- Steven

Now that Kyle has a place to sleep, you’d think thing would start equalizing out back to normal. But you’d be wrong. Lori and Josh are frustrated that Kyle sleeping in the tub is interfering with their morning rituals. And Kyle feels out of place within the family. Everyone else has somewhere to be or something to do. Steven ends up taking Kyle to work with him so someone can keep an eye on him while Lori and Nicole go to work and Josh heads to summer school. It turns out though that everyone’s day is not going according to plan. Lori has skipped out on work to have a hot tub make out session with Declan and Nicole gets sidelined by the detective calling about the skeleton we saw in the last episode. She sits down with him and gets kind of defensive with the detective for thinking Kyle might be involved in the murder. She thinks maybe Kyle witnessed the attack and that may be what caused his amnesia but she refuses to believe he’s a killer. She’s also hesitant to share crime scene photos with Kyle given his fragile mental state.

She shouldn’t be the only one worrying about Kyle though. Steven dumps Kyle on the new temp secretary before going into a meeting with the CEO of the company. The meeting doesn’t go well. It seems a lot of the people working for the company came along with Steven and now the CEO wants to lay people off but wait until the end of the quarter. Basically, he’s a giant dick. While all of this is going on, Kyle wanders off to the server room (he overheard the secretary whining about it not working) and after reading all of the manuals, settles into fix the problem. Of course it doesn’t look like he’s fixing anything when Steven and the temp stumble on him. Luckily, just as the CEO heads for the sever room because his email isn’t working, Kyle finishes his work and the problem is solved. Score one for the math and tech genius kid.

That night Steven and Nicole foist Kyle off on Lori for the next day so they can both work. Lori is so not happy about having to babysit. And it seems little lies are getting around this episode because when Nicole shows Kyle the photo of an ID card with a symbol on it, Kyle denies knowing anything about it or having seen it before. More on that a little later. While Kyle is doing Josh’s math test for summer school (and then being told to lie about helping), Nicole fills Steven in on what she learned from the police. He’s also upset that Kyle might be involved but he is also concerned about what that means for their family’s safety. As they talk, we see the guy in the red truck listening in. When Nicole mentions that whoever the killer is would likely have scratches, the camera pans down to show scratches on the guy’s hand. So he’s definitely the killer and kind of a creepy stalker dude.

The next morning, everyone leaves the house and Kyle is still asleep (of course the adults don’t realize this). Lori snuck out early and met up with Hilary to stalk Declan. Lori claims to not care if he sees other girls (they are more friends with benefits anyway) but she is clearly upset when she sees Declan getting into a car with a bunch of pretty girls. Hilary may be a ditz sometimes but she’s pretty much spot on when she points out that Lori cares more about Declan than she wants to admit. Poor Kyle is so confused that he was left home alone. He feels like he doesn’t have a place in the home or the family (I mean he’s sleeping in the tub in the bathroom that everyone uses) and he feels kind of useless. Well that is until he sees that the satellite dish is broken and he climbs onto the roof to fix it. But it seems the Tragers aren’t the only ones having issues and the need for lies this episode because as Kyle is getting down from the roof (okay he literally just jumps off the edge of it) Amanda drives by and sees it, crashing into some trash cans.

Amanda is freaking out (I honestly didn’t think hitting some trash cans would do the amount of damage done to her car) and she tries to hide the damage. But Kyle being Kyle suggests she just tell the truth because lying is clearly making her feel worse about the situation. And it seems Lori wants Kyle to lie for her, too. I have to say Matt Dallas has very expressive eyes when he’s playing the childlike wonder of Kyle’s early days. Unfortunately things take a turn for the awkward at the dinner table when Kyle spills Josh and Lori’s secrets because he just can’t take it anymore. But a little talk with Steven on the roof seems to clarify things for Kyle a little bit. It gives Steven enough courage to tell the CEO that he’s informing people of the layoffs and he’ll quit if the CEO tries to fire him.

Lori and Nicole have a touching mother-daughter moment and Kyle lies to Amanda’s mom about the car. It doesn’t earn him any points with her but Amanda seems grateful. And the Trager children seem to be bonding over the need to keep certain things between them. All seems well the next morning, especially with Kyle getting his own room, but of course it wouldn’t be an episode of Kyle XY without a little mystery leading out of the episode. As Nicole starts hanging up some of Kyle’s drawings she discovers the random black bits are all part of a bigger image. Put in the right order, they create the key card symbol. So he does remember it, or at least subconsciously he does. Very interesting to see where all of this goes.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Falling Skies: The Status of the War

This summer will be a first for us here on More TV, Please. Or at least for me. It is very rare that we cover a series live here if we haven’t covered earlier seasons. Sure there have been a couple exceptions like Leverage (although the first and final seasons have been covered) and Once Upon a Time (we did not cover the freshman run). But in this instance, we are coming into a show that has never been covered here on the blog before. To be honest, until very recently I hadn’t seen Falling Skies. But after sitting in the panel for it at San Diego Comic Con 2014, my interest was piqued and I binge-watched the first four seasons in preparation for the final run this summer. So before that comes along, I wanted to give a little summary of who the characters are where they’ve been thus far.

The Premise

Falling Skies is based on the idea of how would humanity respond to an alien invasion. Sure, it’s not a new concept but in today’s TV landscape of remakes and reboots, there is very little that is purely original. Humanity hasn’t exactly been decimated by the invasion but things are fairly bleak for the survivors. And it seems that just surviving, trying to find food and supplies, is just as dangerous as an alien encounter. Over the course of four seasons, we are introduced to a myriad of characters and alien races. But the thing about the setting that really intrigued me was that for the most part, the early seasons took place right here in Massachusetts. I really appreciated the geographic references to places that I recognized. It was also intriguing to see how some subsections of humanity chose to thrive and fend off their alien attackers. When we first meet up with our ragtag band of heroes, they are part of the Second Massachusetts Regiment. In the wake of this tragedy, the old militia form of defense was resurrected.

The Cast of Characters

At the heart of our ragtag band of renegades is the Mason family, led by former history teacher Tom (played by Noah Wylie). Tom eventually gets put in charge (well second-in-command) of the Second Massachusetts Regiment, under the leadership of Colonel Dan Weaver (we will get to him). Along for the ride are Tom’s sons, Hal, Matt and Ben. When we first are introduced to the Masons, Ben has been abducted by the aliens, known as Skitters. Tom’s main mission is to rescue his middle son and free from the alien’s hold. It is by no means an easy process. Along the way, Tom falls in love with Anne, the regiment doctor and they believe they have a daughter together named Lexi. It turns out some of the other aliens (there are a lot) impregnated Anne. Lexi, given her alien DNA, isn’t accepted into the family for quite some time (especially when she grows up and starts killing people).

Colonel Weaver has a very hard exterior but he wants what is best for the people under his command (militia and civilian alike). He makes the tough calls and does his best to keep his people together and safe. Sometimes his plans don’t work so well, especially when they make it to the new United States (if this feels at all like NBC’s Revolution, that’s probably because it is. However, Falling Skies clearly came first and probably did it better) and it turns out to be a big mistake seeking refuge with these so-called Patriots.

While there are many other humans populating the Second Mass and the other groups they encounter along the way on their survival quest, the aliens make up a large portion of the rest of the plot. As mentioned earlier, there are the Skitters who remind me a little of Species 8472 from Star Trek Voyager. We spend much of the first season believing they are the invaders who have stolen their children and relegated them less-than-ideal living conditions. Ultimately, it turns out they are being controlled by the Espheni (very tall aliens who have actually enslaved the Skitters to do their bidding). In the fourth season, we are introduced to the Volm, interesting aliens who end up allying themselves with the Second Mass.

The Sit Rep

As I’ve alluded to above, a lot has happened since we first met the Masons and their allies. They’ve discovered that the Skitters aren’t the enemy they thought they were. Some of them have even banded together and sided with humanity to try and exist peacefully and fight back. Yes, as a species they are still pretty awful but their overlords, the Espheni, are far worse. Forced labor camps and torture. The plan was to turn all of humanity into Skitters basically. Also as I mentioned before, Lexi is not exactly human. She’s had her struggles along the way but she makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her father and her family by killing the prime Espheni overlord. Humanity is one step closer to being free of their invaders. But Tom is lost in space somewhere and we have no idea how he’s going to get home or how the rest of the Second Mass will handle the potential loss of their leader.

I am very excited to see where the show goes for its final run. I’ve enjoyed the story thus far and while I am definitely sad to see it go (although you can still see Noah Wylie on TV this coming winter in the second season of The Librarians), I am happy the writers knew this was the final season going in. Knowing the end is coming helps the creative team wrap everything up for the viewers. There’s nothing worse than a show ending before they knew it was over and not getting to tell all the story they intended. So check back each week to see what the Second Mass is up to as we take that last trip with them.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: The Straits 1.02: "The Trouble with Raskols"

“You always whinge about it, and then bang, the next thing you’re pulling in a shark.”

The second episode of “The Straits” certainly added some more twists to the Montebello family drama. We also got to learn a little more of the culture of Far North Queensland and the nearby islands. I had never really given much thought to Papua New Guinea before watching “The Straits,” other than knowing it was a country thanks to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. This particular episode, however, focuses a lot of Papuan culture. The Montebellos unintentionally find themselves in the middle of a blood feud and have to use their wits (and some money, naturally) to get themselves out of it. The Montebello family drama deepens, too, as Lola goes to new lengths to try and get Marou named Harry’s successor.

As the episode opens, we see two Raskols working in a meth lab on PNG, presumably using the equipment Noel brought over during his short-lived plan to get into the business in the last episode. One of the Raskols is kind of floundering cooking meth while the other is trying to make a phone call. They argue a bit about whether or not operating a phone so near the cook is a good idea, and the brother on the phone claims he saw on Mythbusters that it’s perfectly safe. As you would expect, as the Raskol on the phone walks away from the meth lab, the whole place blows up. This will later have a significant impact on the Montebellos, because the two Raskols were brothers, and the surviving brother blames Noel for his brother’s death. Also in the beginning of the episode, the police are investigating the death of the biker gang dude Harry killed by jellyfish in the last episode. They question Harry because he was seen meeting with the deceased near the time of death, but Harry manages to keep it cool.

Meanwhile, Gary and Eddie are on their way to Zey Island when they pick up a Sri Lankan castaway named Joseph. Joseph is a dentist, and he kind of serves as comic relief in the middle of the rather violent happenings on Zey. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that. None of the Montebellos are white, so it’s not really racist in the traditional American sense (and since “The Straits” is Australian, I wouldn’t expect it to be), but using the show’s one South Asian character in such a broadly comedic way compared to the tone of the rest of the show feels a bit off to me. Anyway, the surviving Raskol brother arrives on Zey not long after Gary, Eddie, and Joseph, and he tells folks he’s looking for Noel. Hapless Eddie tells the Raskol that Noel isn’t on the island, but his brother Gary is. That’s perfect for the Raskol, who thinks he can take a brother from Noel in exchange for his own brother. Eddie suffers two stab wounds while the Raskol interrogates him for more information. The number of injuries Eddie has sustained in these first two episodes is rather broadly comedic, too.

Once Eddie is incapacitated, the Raskol goes after Gary. He shoots up Gary’s house right after Joseph had spent a lot of time cleaning it (which is kind of comical, again in a sort of uncomfortable way). There’s a big gun battle between Gary and the Raskol, but Joseph ends up pushing the Raskol down the stairs, seemingly killing him. When we next see the guys, they’re gathered around the Raskol’s body and an open grave. The Raskol, however, starts moving a bit. He’s only mostly dead, apparently. Eddie tells Gary that Gary needs to finish the job because Gary is the big man on the Island now, and Eddie doesn’t really get paid enough to deal with that sort of thing. Gary has never actually killed anybody before, though, so he freaks the heck out. He jumps in the truck, leaves Eddie and Joseph, drives right to the airport and hops a flight immediately back to Cairns. If Gary weren’t kind of hot, I’d be really pissed at him right now.

Kitty is getting especially worried about the Montebello family standing on Zey Island. A friend tells her that there has been gossip related to Noel’s house getting shot up. There’s also the matter that nobody other than Eddie warned Gary that a Raskol was looking for him. She sees this as a sign that the Islanders are starting to sour on the Montebellos. I think Kitty feels this especially strongly because her connection to Zey is what she brings to the relationship with Harry. Before we dive back into the main plot, we also learn a little more about Marou. He’s a preacher at a local church, and we see him in action. Lola gushes about how good he was afterwards. She’s a real Lady MacBeth, that one, and it only gets more ridiculous as the episode progresses.

Harry, Noel, and Marou go to PNG to settle the feud with the Raskols. Gary is supposed to go as well, but he’s busy getting drunk at a bar. They come bearing rum and fried chicken in the hope they can placate the Raskols. Noel ends up really stepping up. He and Harry suggest to the Raskols that to completely pay the blood debt, the Montebellos’ gravel company would provide a new gravel road for the village. The Raskols take them up on the offer. The Chinaman is also part of these negotiations. He mentions that there are some girls from Taiwan that he would like to smuggle into Australia, but Harry says no. As he puts it, the Montebellos don’t transport anything that can tell tales. Noel looks interested, though, and he’s still trying to prove himself, so I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of it.

While the feud is over, the Montebello family continues to unravel. Sissy is diving into her new job as apprentice business manager. She keeps finding anomalies in the books, such as a bunch of bank accounts closing and properties being bought up. Paddy recommends to Harry that she be given a different job, but Harry won’t hear of it. Because of the buying up properties, Sissy starts following Paddy, and she sees him stop and pick up mail at one of the recently bought houses. She thinks he is embezzling. Meanwhile, Lola picks Gary up at the bar and offers to put a kettle on for tea while he gets a shower. Lola gets a not-so-brilliant idea, though, and she decides to join Gary in the shower. They have sex (because of course they would). Later, Lola admits to Gary that she was hoping the incident would make him feel guilty enough to support Marou as head of the family. Gary protests, but it does end up working. When Marou shows up at Gary’s house with some coffee after returning from PNG, Gary voices his support.

Harry seems to be finally starting to buy into the idea that Noel could be head of the family someday. He tells Kitty that Noel did especially well diffusing the Raskol situation on PNG. As for Noel himself, he and Toni have been getting a bit closer again since they’re both living in the same house post-shooting. They have a few tender family moments throughout the episode. At the end of the episode, Noel stops by a market and gets a gift for Toni. As he steps out on the street, the local biker gang is driving by, on their way to the funeral for the guy who was killed by the jellyfish. One of the bikers makes a throat-slitting motion as they ride by Noel. Noel raises a middle finger in response. Clearly the feud isn’t really over yet.

Friday, June 19, 2015

iZombie 1.12: "Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat"

“Ravi, Hope’s dead. How on the nose.”

The penultimate episode of iZombie’s first season, while some big things definitely happened near the end, primarily felt like an episode whose purpose was to move all the chess pieces on the board to where they need to be for the season finale end game. Major seriously overstepped in his zombie investigating, and Blaine also seriously upped his game. Peyton can now also be added to the list of characters who know Liv is a zombie, and to say that she didn’t take it well would be an understatement. I think that’s ultimately a good thing for Liv, though. The sooner she has to come to terms with all aspects of becoming a zombie, the sooner she can figure out what her new “life” will truly look like. Plus, I have no doubt that Peyton isn’t going to stay away forever!

The mystery of the week was tied somewhat into the overarching mythology of the show, but I enjoyed it more because it was campy. It was clearly a loose parody of “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” The characters even make reference to that film several times in the episode. There are four teenagers total. Three of them are in a band, and one is kind of a blond bimbo who is dating one of the band members. One of the band members, Teresa, is played by Bex Taylor-Klaus, who played Cin on “Arrow.” The other two band members are guys. The four teens are driving home through the woods when they appear to hit someone with their car. That someone comes back to life, though – a zombie, obviously. To make matters worse, that zombie is Sebastian, the seriously creepy Max Rager guy who recently licked Liv’s blood before Liv seemed to kill him. Of course, right after the teens have made their “we shall never speak of this” pact, Sebastian emerges from the grave they dug, and he kills Kimber, the annoying cheerleader girlfriend.

Two weeks later, Kimber’s body is discovered, and Ravi and Liv are on the case. Liv knew of Kimber because she went to her brother, Evan’s, school. When they see how the body has been dismembered and the skull cracked, they immediately suspect zombie attack. While taking a look at the crime scene, they also discuss Major stopping by Liv’s apartment with the coolers from Meat Cute and vowing to kill all zombies. As for Major, he’s in the middle of recording a “if you’re watching this, I’m already dead” video on his computer. I guess he figures the zombies are going to get to him sooner or later. And he’s probably right. Blaine is very pissed that his minion misplaced the astronaut brain, and he’s out for blood.

Liv drinks liquefied cheerleader brain (mixed with Mexican hot chocolate . . . still disgusting, though), and as you’d expect, this week’s zombie brain eating effect is that Liv regresses to a high school cheerleader. Although something tells me Liv probably wasn’t the cheerleader type. She was probably the annoying have to take as many AP classes as possible to inflate her GPA and become valedictorian type. Ravi discovers that Hope, the rat he thought he had cured of zombism, has died, and Liv is unusually peppy about the situation. Despite the setback, Ravi is clearly highly amused by Liv’s behavior. Anyway, Kimber’s best friend Tate is being interviewed by police, and Liv sits in. Tate thinks Liv is the best thing ever because she acts just like Kimber. Take likes Liv so much that she plays a voicemail Kimber left her about bailing on the church lock-in to hang with a new boyfriend. Tate identifies the song playing in the background, which happens to be by the Asshats, the band of teens we saw at the beginning of the episode.

Babineaux and Liv visit the Asshats rehearsal space, and after the stoner tries to run away, they have a conversation. The Asshats claim they were rehearsing all night when Kimber went missing. Teresa and one of the guys keep arguing about how detailed of a story they should tell, and it causes Liv to have a flashback to the band and Kimber in a car together. She starts to think there is more to the story. When she gets home, Liv and Peyton have some girl bonding time over Peyton using Liv’s curling iron. I’m not sure how I feel about the zombie power of the week making Liv and Peyton closer. The whole “we haven’t been girly in a while” thing seems a bit shallow and on the nose to me. Meanwhile, Major is continuing his own investigation. He goes to Meat Cute posing as a health inspector. Blaine is immediately suspicious, because they just had a health inspection two months ago. Plus, Major is taking pictures of the store exits. He leads Major into the back room, which can’t end well.

Babineaux looks at security footage and sees that while Nate’s car was at the rehearsal space all night, there was another car that was reported stolen. He suspects the teens were actually in that car all night. When he and Liv go back to the rehearsal space to confront the band about this information, they find everything in shambles and Nate (the stoner) dead. Liv ends up eating some of his brain, which turns her from cheerleader to stoner. Peyton finds her trying to make an apple bong, and she’s really pissed off that this means they aren’t going to be going to spin class together. Liv then has a vision of Nate wanting to squeal about the murder and the other band guy being really angry about it. Peyton does, however, give Liv some “special” lollipops, which Liv is indulging in when Teresa comes to the police station asking for help. She thinks she’s going to be killed next. Meanwhile, Major’s story is taking a really dark turn. There is however, a brief moment of lightness when Ravi asks him for advice on an upcoming date/vacation he and Peyton are taking to San Francisco. The lightness is short-lived, though. Major buys some illegal guns, presumably planning to shoot up all the zombies at the Meat Cute. Speaking of, Blaine is complaining about the health inspection when Candyman appears. He thinks the “health inspector” was Major.

Babineaux has Teresa work with a sketch artist to identify the guy who killed Kimber. She does so, but while she’s waiting to be checked out of the police station, she gets a text from Cameron (the other band guy). He tells her not to trust the police and to meet him at a motel with “his” stuff. Back at the ME’s office, Ravi and Liv have another zombie murder victim. The police think they have a serial killer on their hands, so they’re assigning it to a different detective. Liv realizes she needs to get her act together, so she drinks some more of Kimber’s brain so she won’t be a stoner anymore. It’s a good thing she’s sober now, because Babineaux has some bad news (although maybe it would have been easier to take if she was still high). The sketch is finished, and it’s pretty clearly Sebastian. As Liv is discovering this, Sebastian has broken into Liv’s apartment, where Peyton is getting ready for a date.

It’s interesting how the horror of realizing she has made another zombie (well, and I guess taking cheerleader brain) sobers Liv up. She heads home, where she can’t find Peyton. Instead, she is greeted by a zombified Sebastian, who is furious because whatever Liv made him “forced” him to kill his Aunt Edna. Liv makes the point that she’s never killed anyone she didn’t intend to, even when in full-on zombie mode, but then things just devolve into a knock-down-drag-out fight. This particular scene is kind of hard to watch because Liv and Sebastian keeps stabbing each other. Eventually, Liv gets the knife right into Sebastian’s skull, and he is well and truly dead. Peyton came to and wandered into the kitchen during the height of the fight, and now she’s wondering what the heck Liv is. Liv tells Peyton the full story and admits she is a zombie. Peyton doesn’t take it well at all. She disappears, and nobody, even Ravi, can get a hold of her.

There are a lot of dangling threads left by the end of this episode. Major, who has been brought in by the Candyman, is hung up in the back room of Meat Cute. Blaine is very interested to learn who he really is. He is also intrigued when Liv’s brother, Evan, finally stops by with that job application. As for Teresa, when she answered that text from Connor, the other remaining band member, she was attacked. We see her very bloodied, trying to dial 911. Has Connor become a zombie, or is something else going on? Liv’s got to face an investigation into Sebastian’s death. Babineaux says she should have nothing to worry about, since it was clearly self-defense. And finally, Peyton is still missing. A dejected Ravi wonders if he’ll ever get to go on that date to San Francisco.

Summer TV Rewind: Moonlight 1.02: "“Out of the Past”

“You know, since you met that guy, screwed up has started to seem normal.”
- Josh

It seems the moment Beth came back into Mick’s life, pieces of his past have come back to haunt him. The latest trip down memory lane involves a case he worked in 1983 where one of his clients was killed by a man name Lee Jay Spaulding. Lee Jay was the woman’s husband and Mick revealed himself as a vampire. He’d intended to kill Lee Jay for what he’d done but the cops showed up and he never got to finish the job. Needless to say Josef was not pleased with Mick’s screw-up in present day. All of this drama comes flooding back because Lee Jay has finally secured his release from prison. He has plans for his release. He’s going vampire hunting.

Beth is friends with the reporter who wrote Lee Jay’s tell-all book and this sets things off for Beth and Mick. Well, okay so first Beth is reliving her abduction and rescue in the form of a nightmare. Her boyfriend, Josh, suggests it is just her mind’s way of handling the near-death experience. Obviously we the viewers know better. Anyway, back to the case. Beth gets an advance copy of the book and sees Mick’s photo in the book. Clearly Mick has to lie to Beth and so he says that the PI involved in the case back in the 1980s was his father. He begs Beth to convince her reporter friend that Lee Jay is dangerous but she’s not having it. Before heading to the release party for the book (it is still unclear how Mick got an invite), Mick pays a visit to the cop who worked the case with him. They apparently had some evidence that wasn’t admitted in the trial previously. Apparently Lee Jay had a first wife who also died and it appeared to be suicide. I’m sensing a pattern here! I guess Mick is lucky that his old cop buddy has gone blind or else he would have some serious explaining to do about why he hasn’t aged!

The situation doesn’t get any better at the release party. Things are very frosty between Mick and Lee Jay when they are introduced. Sure Lee Jay can appear all charming and impart what on the surface sounds like a good message for at risk youth. But underneath, it’s a not-so-subtle threat to Mick. I’m coming for you and I’m going to win this time. Of course, you can’t kill off to the titular hero, especially not in episode 2, so you have to assume Mick is going to be fine by episode’s end. But Lee Jay is definitely going to put up a fight before that. Mick corners the creep in the bathroom but Lee Jay is ready for him and stakes Mick (it only paralyzes vampires in this mythology). And then because Lee Jay is nuts, he smashes his head into some glass and runs out screaming, ensuring that as many people as possible see him bleeding and hear him yelling about how Mick attacked him. I’ve got to hand it to him. He totally set Mick up.

Lee Jay isn’t done setting Mick up either. As Mick contemplates the case of the woman Lee Jay killed (she went to Mick for protection and Mick beat up Lee Jay pretty bad before he ended up killing his wife), Beth does a little more digging of her own. She can’t figure out why Mick is so hot on Lee Jay’s trail. Oh, it was interesting to see Mick drinking from pretty women and hanging out with Josef in the past. Then again, any scene with Jason in it is a good one for me. So following her own leads, Beth pays the cop who worked the case a visit and learns some surprising information. Mick didn’t have a son and Mick Sr. (as it were) is still alive and kicking, despite what Mick told Lee Jay at the release party. More than just a little awkward. At this point, though, Beth is more willing to read the police reports that weren’t admissible at Lee Jay’s trial.

Mick gets home to find Lee Jay has broken in and found his blood stash and his spare gun. Not surprisingly, Lee Jay shoots himself with said gun and calls 9-1-1, accusing Mick of shooting him. The prick really does know how to set the stage. Mick thinks he has no choice but to run at this point which leads to a rendezvous and car swap with Josef (where the older vampire chides Mick for not just killing Lee Jay) before Mick winds up on Beth’s doorstep. He needs her help but things are awkward because Josh is actually a DA. So having Mick around is very dangerous and could potentially cost Josh his license and his job. But they have the idea to film Mick denying everything and pointing out all the stuff that makes Lee Jay dangerous. The situation doesn’t look too good for Beth’s friend when she picks up Lee Jay from the hospital. He ends up kidnapping her and calling Beth so he can threaten Mick. If Mick doesn’t turn himself in, Lee Jay will kill the reporter (he might kill her anyway but Mick already knows that). Josh is actually helpful and calls in a few favors to get the news outlets to report that Mick had turned himself in. While he’s doing that, Mick and Beth track down Lee Jay. Mick goes in and takes out Lee Jay’s buddy for the bastard is ready for our hero. He shoots Mick with silver buckshot (silver is poisonous to vamps) and then starts taunting him with a blowtorch. Beth, having been left in the car and told to stay there (seriously, she has a point in questioning why the girl always gets left in the car), disregards orders and ends up saving Mick’s life. She shoots Lee Jay in the throat (all the while flashing back to her childhood trauma).

Mick takes off before the cops arrive and Beth goes to find him, ignoring the police trying to get a statement from her. Mick barely makes it home and starts sucking on some blood to cure himself when Beth walks through the door. Mick is horrified that she’s found him in this state but he can’t ignore the truth anymore and as the episode comes to a close, he reveals the truth about what he is. Looking back I wasn’t entirely surprised they didn’t reveal his identity to Beth in the pilot. But I think doing so in the second episode was a good choice. It let the viewers get established with the characters a little before altering their core relationship.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer DVR Dump: 12 Monkeys 1.02: “Mentally Divergent”

“Time is cruel, Mr. Cole. We’re risking everything by toying with it, taunting it. Believe me, I’ve learned enough about time to fear it. And so should you.”
- Dr. Jones

The action kicks off pretty fast in this second installment. With Cole’s revelation about the Army of the 12 Monkeys, Dr. Jones and the rest of the team are scouring old newspapers and other things and find the images of drawing Jennifer Goines was doing at the mental hospital in all different major cities. Since it seems to have started in Jennifer’s room, they plan to send Cole back after he and Ramse take a little trip to see if they can get any info in the present. Their trip is pretty uneventful (aside from a brief scavenger attack). So they head back to base and Cole gets ready to go back in time. He suggests that he meet up with Cassie for some help but Jones dismisses that. She doesn’t want him to corrupt her timeline and throw their mission out of whack. It seems that the team who is operating the time travel machine isn’t exactly experienced. They intended to send Cole back to Philadelphia in 2015 and he ends up in North Korea in 2006. OH boy. Ramse is not pleased when that happens and the team has to attempt a dangerous slingshot through time to get him to the right place and time.

In 2015, Cassie has gone into hiding at her grandparents’ old book shop (thanks to a lift from Aaron). She’s also trying to figure out anything she can on the 12 Monkeys but her dad’s contact isn’t answering his phone. So of course, she goes to find him. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he’s dead. A man who claims to be linked to the 12 Monkeys did him in for asking questions on Cassie’s behalf. And he gets all threatening when he tells Cassie to back off and keep quiet about the death or else he’ll kill her and everyone she cares about.

Elsewhere, Cole gets himself admitted to the psych hospital after displaying some violent behavior towards some cops and in lock up. This gets him close to Jennifer but she’s pretty messed up. I’m not entirely sure what her diagnosis is but she is just rambling on about all kinds of nonsense when he tries to ask her about the 12 Monkeys. He gets dragged off by orderlies after she presses a panic button. Yeah that’s not particularly helpful to his cause. But I do have a feeling that she knows what he’s talking about.

Cole gets sedated and Jennifer is back in her room drawing more monkey faces. Her doctor is trying to question her about what happened and tells her that the 12 Monkeys aren’t real. Jennifer is really not in a good place but she does mention something about Cole wanting to know what the Army wanted to know: the location of something called the Night Room. Jennifer gets an extra dose of meds while her doctor calls someone to fill them in on her loosening tongue thanks to Cole’s appearance and run-in with her.

Back at the bookshop, Cassie is understandably freaking out when Aaron shows up. He did some digging into the police records (or lack thereof) on the night she and Cole were arrested. She claims that Cole killed Goines (he didn’t have a heart attack as it said on the news) when Aaron whips out some photos that the CIA got from the State Department from Cole’s little misadventure in North Korea. He warns Cassie that Cole is dangerous and deluded and she should stay away from him but she just tells him to leave.

Cole wakes up to find himself strapped to a bed and Jennifer perched on the edge of his bed. While she is kind of creepy, I do think she becomes a little more lucid as the episode goes on. With a bit of prodding from Cole, she reveals what she knows of the 12 Monkeys and the Night Room. Basically, in about 2013, she was working in her father’s lab (she’d had some mental health issues when she hit puberty that were mostly controlled with meds at the time) when the Army of the 12 Monkeys showed up and the same man who killed Cassie’s friend killed most of the scientists and demanded to know about the Night Room. Jennifer explains that something inside her broke and she couldn’t speak. They left her there and her father thought she killed the scientists (but one got away so I’m sure that will come back later). Cole doesn’t have much time to beg Jennifer to tell him where the Night Room is (it’s an offsite lab that supposedly houses the virus that screws over humanity) before the doctors come in and drag Cole out of the room, saying they are sending him back to lockup for attacking Jennifer. And of course, Cassie swoops in to sort of save the day.

Cassie gets Cole released into her custody but things take a turn for the dramatic when the man who killed Cassie’s friend shows up and tries to take Jennifer away. Cole races after them and is confused by how the man knows him (he really needs a lesson from the Doctor and River). Unfortunately, Cole gets beat and the man absconds with Jennifer. But at least he and Cassie now agree that they need to go through this together and their next step is to find the scientist that got away. Somewhere else in the city, the man ends up drugging Jennifer in the hopes of getting what he wants but I’m pretty sure she’s not going to give it up anytime soon.

Back in 2043, Cole is kind of pissed that Jones keeps harping on the Night Room and the missing scientist. He just wants to take action and get going. And he is not happy with her freaking out about Cassie being involved. In his defense, Cassie inserted herself this time. He had no contact with her before she showed up at the hospital. But Cole and Jones have it out a bit where Jones reminds Cole that she remembers losing the 7 billion people whereas he just remembers losing his childhood. They need to be able to trust each other and for Cole that means letting Cassie help.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Blackpool 1.02

“It’s called the trickle-down effect. There always has to be a loser. And I spent my life making sure that I’m not it. The right decision is the one that makes you a winner.”

So we’re back for another dive into the odd but compelling world of BBC’s “Blackpool.” This episode had a couple of the show’s most memorable (in both a good and bad way) musical acts. It also really focused in on the relationship between Carlisle and Natalie. I find them adorable (as I will probably say repeatedly throughout this post), so the direction in which they went by the end of the episode kind of made me sad. Not too terribly sad, though, since if Natalie is really that unhappy and that into Carslisle, she should divorce Ripley first. I’ve known several people whose lives have been ripped apart when their spouses cheated, so no excuses for cheating. But this is television, so there is going to be drama. Speaking of drama, the episode also takes another scratch at the surface of what’s actually going on with the drug and prostitution culture in Blackpool, which may bring Carlisle and Blythe closer to figuring out what happened to the man who was found dead at Ripley’s arcade.

This episode again opens on a Holden family musical montage. This time, they’re singing along to “The Gambler,” which seems appropriate. Early on in the episode, we get a real taste of Ripley Holden’s very American neoconservative sensibilities I alluded to in my last post. Danny confronts his father about the fact that the murder victim was most definitely at the arcade on the night of his death. He is very upset that Ripley lied to the police about that. Ripley, in response does a little demonstration for Danny about his own moral code. He introduces Danny to Chantal, a young mother who frequents the arcade, and instructs Danny to give her some money. Before Danny can comply, though, he tells Danny that the money is actually the pay packet for one of the arcade’s employees. Ripley is a winner, so it is morally right that people who work for him benefit from his good fortune. Chantal is a loser, so to Ripley, it’s presumably morally wrong for her to receive a windfall (or morally right for her toddler to starve…your choice). Danny is understandably disgusted by this and runs off.

Meanwhile, the police investigation is progressing. Carlisle and Blythe are staking out the arcade (the stake-out location is conveniently located in front of an ice cream truck – Carlisle seriously never stops eating for the entire first two acts of the episode), and they see some new machines are being delivered. Carlisle decides to find out what is going on, and he delivers both good and bad news to Ripley. He tells Ripley that since forensics is done with their evidence collection, the arcade can reopen. But he also tells Ripley that he intends to interview Danny. By the way, Ripley’s accountant is pissed about the purchase of the new machines. Ripley used the money that was supposed to go towards paying off his tax liability to pay for the machines instead. Since he doesn’t take much in the way of government services, Ripley doesn’t feel like he should have to pay taxes. I can see why his accountant is anxious.

While eating cotton candy, Carlisle is told about a really big break in the case. Some of the deceased’s friends have stopped by the precinct to identify the body. Carlisle and Blythe immediately go to interview the men. They claim that the deceased is a man named Mike Hooley, and they were all out for his stag night. Prostitutes were also apparently involved. Carlisle thinks it’s odd that if Mike Hooley was engaged, his fiancée never took any steps to try and find him. To get to the bottom of that conundrum, he decides to interview some of the prostitutes who live in the run-down flats that Ripley owns (yep, he’s a slumlord too…a real charmer, right?). He decides to do the interviews at a really cheesy old dance hall because it’s “neutral ground.” And they serve pastries. The prostitute we see Carlisle interview swears she’s never seen Mike Hooley in her life.

Of course, some time is also devoted in this episode to the various romantic entanglements that are happening among the members of the Holden family. Most amusing to me is the relationship between Carlisle and Natalie (mostly because I’m enjoying watching David Tennant get his flirt on). Carlisle sees Natalie go into a grocery store, so like a total creeper, he follows her in and pretends to shop. He reveals his true intentions when Natalie points out that his shopping cart is full of tofu. Carlisle claims that he saw her in the store and just wanted to try and ask her out again. Natalie protests, again telling Carlisle that she’s married. Carlisle, however, gives a big speech about how they’re the type of people who have always done the right thing, and maybe now it’s time to do the wrong thing, Natalie agrees to meet Carlisle at a bar that evening. There’s another love-themed musical montage, at the end of which Ripley finds a heart broach among Natalie’s jewelry. I think he knows something is up. But he’s sleeping with the main prostitute at the flats, so he really doesn’t have any room to protest. Anyway, Natalie and Carlisle meet up at a drag club, because Natalie thinks it’s the one place in Blackpool where she knows Ripley will never set foot. The two of them are really adorable together.

There’s also the matter of Shyanne and the much older Steve (who I keep just thinking of as Mr. Molesley from “Downton Abbey”). Shyanne shows up at Steve’s workplace and confronts him about the break-up over text. Steve tries to brush her off until Shyanne takes her shirt off right there in public. This girl is really devoted to Steve to an unhealthy degree considering the short amount of time they have been dating (not to mention the age difference). Steve tells her that the age difference is too much for him. He saw Ripley a second time and realized that they knew each other from school. Thinking about going to school with her father just creeps him out (so he says). Shyanne goes home and throws a hissy fit, accusing Ripley of trying to ruin her life (which he probably deserves). Ripley, for his part, is doing a good job at pushing everyone close to him away. He is really rude to his two closest friends and investors. One of them doubts that the hotel-casino concept will work, and Ripley punches him. The other is the local police chief, and Ripley lays into him about letting Carlisle interview Danny.

We get to see more of Carlisle and Natalie’s first date, which is super cheesy and adorable, although it kind of takes a dark turn. There’s a musical number where they sing along to the song the drag queen is singing, then they suddenly are dressed in fancy clothes and ballroom dancing while Ripley plays a piano. We go back to reality post-song, where Carlisle and Natalie are walking outside. Natalie starts trying to ask some questions about Carlisle, but he keeps just asking questions about her and Ripley in return, including whether or not she still loves Ripley. Natalie is a bit put off by this, but she ends up kissing Carlisle, so I guess she’s not too put off. After the kiss, though, she starts to have regrets, and she runs off. She discusses her dilemma with a Samaritans co-worker the next day, and after that, she decides to give Carlisle another call and apologize. They end up arranging a second date.

Meanwhile, Carlisle is interviewing Danny. There’s some trouble brewing because Danny told Carlisle that he saw Mike Hooley at the arcade, which contradicts Ripley’s story. There’s also the matter of Mike Hooley being involved in a fight at a nearby club called Romeo’s and Danny having clearly visible injuries on his hands. Ripley tries to do a quick save by claiming he put Danny in a cab at midnight. Danny is upset at the growing web of lies, and he ends up running off after the interview. Blythe, for his part, has done some more traditional policework. Mike Hooley had drugs in his system, the type of which were often sold at Ripley’s flats. All the prostitutes, however, denied ever seeing Mike Hooley. Blythe has one other bit of knowledge to drop. Ownership of the flats is in Natalie’s name. Carlisle insists that it must jut be Ripley doing a tax dodge, but when Natalie arrives at the drag club for their second date, Carlisle has stood her up. He’s at his hotel, a disheveled mess.

Ripley takes his two buddies out for a night at the strip club to try and make things right. Everything seems to be going well, but when the police chief goes to get a drink, Ripley tells Terry (the other investor who Ripley slapped earlier) that he doesn’t trust the police chief anymore. The evening gets worse when Ripley discovers that Danny got a job at the club announcing all the performers. While Ripley himself worked this sort of job as a teen, he thinks it’s unbecoming of his son to do so, and he drags him off. Something is seriously up with Danny – perhaps a multitude of things. He is clearly involved in the Mike Hooley murder in some way, even if it’s tangential.

Natalie ends up going to Carlisle’s hotel room to confront him about standing her up. He starts talking about how he was just trying to listen to what she was saying about how she wasn’t sure if she still loved Ripley, and Natalie is furious. She accuses Carlisle of just enjoying the pursuit and backing off now that things were starting to get real. Carlisle doesn’t feel this way at all. We see him indulge in a really cheesy fantasy (set to “I Second That Emotion”) of what sex with Natalie would be like. He tries to get her to stay, but Natalie says that she sees now that the whole thing was just a fantasy. When she gets home, she asks Ripley to hold her, although she doesn’t tell him why.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Kyle XY 1.02: “Sleepless in Seattle”

“I’m keeping a list; what makes Kyle an alien.”
- Josh

Now that Kyle is getting settled in with the Tragers, we learn that he doesn’t really understand the concept of sleeping. He sees everyone else doing it but he’s so drawn to exploring the world that he just can’t do it. So late one night he gets up and explores the fridge. I know the hilarity of the fish out of water scenario won’t last forever because he does eventually acclimate to society but goodness watching him eat pasta and pickles and bananas (the wrong way) is just hilarious. Then the boy discovers Sour Patch Kids and is in heaven. Oh and when the family wakes up to the sound of a kung fu movie playing, they find Kyle expertly imitating the movements and speaking Chinese. This leads Josh to the conclusion that Kyle is in fact an alien. Throughout the episode Josh take notes on things that Kyle does that are odd. He tries to eat a tea bag at one point, there’ the lack of a belly button and he likes to stay underwater in the bath because it feels weightless. Well he’s not exactly wrong about the bath part but we’ll get to that a bit later.

While Kyle is getting checked out by a doctor, Lori is being an annoying teenage girl with issues and her friend Hilary is encouraging her to use Kyle as a way to make Declan jealous. Whatever. Lori in the early days was just really irritating. At the doctor’s office Kyle gets examined and it physically fine. The doctor thinks maybe he can’t sleep because he’s trying to process everything that’s happened. Kyle also can’t answer the detective’s questions about where he came from and why he was naked in the woods. As a therapeutic approach, Nicole suggests Kyle draw. And boy does he. He just keeps going and going and I kind of wish I could get some of his drawings because they are so interesting the way he does them. Nicole also gives Kyle some chamomile tea and he gets a bath (which is also pretty hilarious) but he still can’t sleep (even with the sleeping pill prescribed by the doctor) so he goes to explore outside. What he doesn’t quite realize is the man in the truck is following him and that’s a bad thing. Kyle encounters a dog on his late night wandering and that’s enough to scare stalker man away. It also gives Kyle a chance to have a little chat with Amanda before going home. He gets there to find Lori trying to sneak out but of course both of them get caught and Lori is not happy. Josh wakes up when Kyle goes back to bed and Kyle says he went outside to look at the stars (sort of parroting something Amanda said) and that further fuels Josh’s alien theory.

Stephen ad Nicole’s next plan is to just exhaust Kyle out so that he’ll have to sleep. That plan sort of backfires because Kyle is a crazy fast runner and tires Stephen out. Nicole then suggests they watch Kyle in shifts that night but that’s an even bigger disaster. Not only does it derail Josh’s late night Xbox playing but Lori can’t go out with Declan and she kind of yells at Kyle because he’s ruined her night. Kyle doesn’t sleep at all but he’s counting down from some incredibly high number when Nicole wakes up after 9:30. Stephen had a big meeting that he missed because they both overslept. Kyle overhears them arguing about him staying there since Nicole had said it would be temporary and it’s now turning into a more permanent thing. So Kyle disappears.

Everyone is feeling a little guilty about Kyle taking off but they’re at a bit of a loss as to where to look to find him. Nicole does finally put the drawing he did of the forest together with Josh’s alien theory and she drags the family out into the woods late at night on a hunch that he would go to the only other place he’s felt at home. Sure enough they find him standing on a stump staring up at the sky. As he puts it, he’s waiting for his family to find him. Which of course was an ‘aww’ moment for me when Stephen said they did find him. I know it’s kind of cheesy but I like feel good moments in my shows. Especially ones that are about family.

They manage to get Kyle home and he is finally exhausted. Stephen tells him to find where he’s comfortable and so Kyle ends up sleeping in the bathtub with the radio on static. He’s perfectly content to be there devoid of any thoughts and just existing for a while. The rest of the family is glad that he’s asleep, too, even if the kids are a little inconvenienced by his sleeping choice. Nicole and Stephen are glad he found a way to get to sleep because they need the sleep themselves.

This was a pretty solid second episode. It had some good laughs and some interesting points to address about family and acceptance. And I like that they are feeding us little bits of mythology each episode because we end back in the forest focusing on a skeleton. Like I said in my first post, it’s been a while since I have watched these episodes so I don’t quite remember how far we get into the mythology this season but I am very excited to see just where we end up at the end of episode 10 this summer. A part of me kind of regrets not watching this show when it was on originally (I was just starting college and didn’t watch a lot of TV). I think 18 or 19 year old me would have really enjoyed this. Not to say 20 something year old me didn’t enjoy it the first time but I wonder if I would have connected a little more with Lori and Josh had I been closer to their age at the time I discovered the show.