Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Moonlight 1.08: “12:04AM”

“I’m not angry. I found my guardian angel.”
- Beth

I will admit that the “case of the week” in this episode is one of my least favorites. I understand why they did it to show parallels to Beth’s own situation but I think it could have been handled better. The case deals with a convicted serial killer on death row who is being put to death at the top of the episode. Beth is on scene (of course) and she kind of bonds a little bit with the sole survivor of Donovan Shepard’s massacre, Audrey. Donavan is crazy and he’s got all these followers who think he’s some kind of prophet. Shepard has some rather ruthless parting words before he dies and it is enough to incite his followers into a frenzy.

Beth lets Audrey stay at her place that night, assuming the girl doesn’t want to be alone. Audrey is grateful but gets really freaked out when someone sounding like Shepard calls her and uses the exact same phrase he did when he saw her hiding in the closet all those years ago. To assuage some of Audrey’s fears, Beth takes her to see Mick. He agrees to take a look into the case for her and even offers to stay outside Beth’s place that night but Beth turns him down. She doesn’t think it is that big a deal. Although she is drawing parallels to her own kidnapping, pointing out that even though her kidnapper was never caught, she always felt safe and that Audrey’s tormenter had been in jail and she never felt safe. Well that’s because you had a sexy vampire keeping watch, honey.

Mick’s sleuthing uncovers a website with unlisted information about the DA, the jury and Beth. So of course, Mick rushes over and it’s a good thing he does. Beth’s gone to Buzzwire to finish up a few things and a man has broken in and is posing as Shepard. Mick swoops in (literally) and takes the guy out. He’s just a Shepard lackey but Mick gets him to talk and reveal that Shepard had a bio pic deal with some big producer named Jerry Drake. So Mick heads out to meet with Drake. It turns out Jerry was the one who set up the website with the unlisted information on everyone. Mick makes it very clear that if any harm comes to Audrey, Jerry will be in a world of hurt.

Beth and Audrey head to the DA’s office to look through mugshots to see if Audrey can ID the man from the night before but all they find is the DA’s office a bloody mess. Mick’s listened to Shepard’s memoirs and he now thinks that Shepard could have become a vampire right before the execution and so he goes to check the morgue. He finds the DA’s body instead so goes to the prison to look through video footage. He finds that the priest turned him right before the execution so now he gets to pay a man of the cloth a visit. Things get a little rough in the confessional until the priest admits that Shepard hated Drake for exploiting him. So while Beth and Audrey are holed up relatively safely at Mick’s place, Mick is on the war path to kill Shepard.

Because Mick told Beth to do something (stay out of his office), you know she’s going to do the opposite. She ends up snooping through his files and finds one on her. It has photos of her growing up. The cool part about this scene is I’m pretty sure Sophia Myles actually gave the director photos of her childhood to use since it looked exactly like her. Anyway, she’s kind of freaking out a bit. I don’t think she’s necessarily thinking stalker but she is upset Mick let her think she was imagining their connection.

Mick gets to Drake’s place and finds the producer dead. Shepard killed him earlier and he’s lying in wait. He and Mick tussle and Mick goes over the edge of a pretty steep embankment. I guess Mick didn’t vamp out so Shepard doesn’t realize Mick is like him. But in the struggle, Mick drops his phone and Shepard uses it to track Audrey down. Beth ends up calling Mick’s phone (because he said he’d be there in 10 minutes after finding Drake’s dead body) but she realizes pretty quick that it isn’t Mick on the other end. She does everything she can to protect Audrey, including taking on Shepard herself. He’s surprised she isn’t afraid of him and just when he’s about to slit her throat, Mick rushes in and kicks Shepard’s ass pretty handily. The situation gets a little dire as the girls race for the elevator and Shepard nearly gets in. But Mick gets his attention long enough for the doors to close so Beth and Audrey don’t see Shepard’s head depart from his body. I have to wonder how Mick cleaned all that up and got rid of the body. Where are the easily killed vampires from Buffy that just turn to dust when you stake them when you need them? That’s easy to just sweep up!

With Audrey squared away and finally feeling safe from Shepard, Beth has a chance to talk to Mick about the photos she found. It was a beautifully shot scene and it was so intimate and touching without being overdone. Beth is happy she’s found her guardian angel (even if he still considers himself a monster) but she wants him to talk to her. She acknowledges how hard it had to be for Mick to kill Coraline to save her and she brushes off the idea that he would have done it anyway. Mick insists they can’t be together (notice Josh was rather absent from this episode) but Beth isn’t so sure. She gives him a kiss on the cheek and he heads inside away from daylight as it backlights her in a soft glow.

As I mentioned before, this wasn’t one of my favorite episodes case wise but I did like the bit of resolution we got near the end of the episode. I’ve mentioned several times before that Mick and Beth have always been my favorite couple on this show and the progression we are on with them is just so fun I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer DVR Dump: 12 Monkeys 1.08: “Yesterday”

“Tell me, what hope was there for the men of Spearhead who opposed you? When you put bullets into their heads? I remember the day you spilled blood in the name of hope.”
- Dr. Jones

Things are not as hunky dory as we might hope for our time-travelling team in either time period. In 2043, the time machine is losing power and they need a new part to fix it. Unfortunately, the only place that has the part they need, is a former government compound where Jones used to work. We get a little history of the scientists who assembled to try and come up with a cure but when one of the high ranking generals (Foster) lost his wife, he went nuts and killed the rest of the military leaders. So Jones left and started Project Splinter. It seems that Ramse and Whitley will have to make the dangerous journey to secure the part and face the crazy general if they have any hope of getting Cole back. The trip doesn’t start off to well. The head of security at the compound is Whitley’s own father and the general is definitely kind of loopy. He’s built a giant super computer that is supposed to figure out and synthesize a cure that anticipates any possible mutation of the virus before it happens. Yeah, okay. Clearly his plan hasn’t worked. I know the Project Splinter people haven’t completely succeeded but they are at least getting closer. We finally get a bit more history about Ramse in this episode as he runs into Helena, his ex. She took off on him five years earlier when the West Seven were after him. It turns out she had good reason to run. She had to think about their son, Sam. Yeah, hell of a bombshell to drop on a guy.

Back in 2015, Cassie is still unnerved by what happened in Chechnya. She fears that what happened may not have stopped the plague and she needs to know if Cole was found dead at the site or not. Well he certainly isn’t dead as we see him wake up with a bullet wound to his leg. He manages to clean it with some alcohol (ouch) and it looks like he might even get rescued. A girl and her father find him buried under the rubble. But I just get a very bad feeling that they aren’t people Cole should be trusting. At least it seems Cassie has convinced Senator Royce to allow her to go to check out the site under the auspices of the CDC. Please let her get to Cole before the 12 Monkeys do!

In 2043, Jones and her team try one last time to get Cole back but their efforts completely destroy the core of the machine. So desperate times call for desperate measures and Jones goes to the compound to seek out the core in Foster’s machine, not just the part. Before she gets there, though, Ramse tries to bond a bit with his kid. I really hope he gets a chance to know his son more. Once Jones arrives, she and Foster get into a heated debate over dinner about who is right and who is making more progress finding a cure (as Ramse puts it, they’re having a dick measuring contest). Maybe it’s because we’ve gotten to know Jones over these last few episodes but I see her point more. She points out that Foster is a monster who killed people in the name of hope and yet he’s done nothing concrete and tangible to show people that it was worth it. And then she adds fuel to the fire by tossing him a copy of his wedding photo. I guess she’s got his attention now. She says that Cole got the photos before Atlanta burned but Foster just won’t believe her. He dismisses her notions of clinging to the past and memories of those lost and says they need to focus on the future. It would appear Ramse might be willing to drink Foster’s Cool Aid if it means taking the guy’s deal of using the core and then Jones going back to work with Foster on the cure. It would mean he would get to spend more time with his son, that’s for sure. But Jones refuses to believe Foster has the best interests of anyone at heart. Ultimately, she decides that the best thing to do to further their aims is to take the core by any means necessary. Let’s just hope none of the kids get hurt in the process. I can’t imagine Ramse would be very happy.

Back in 2015, Cole is not doing so well. Nearly being splintered back to his time and failing had to hurt. But it seems I was wrong about the girl and her father. They may just be people trying to help. Cole gets concerned when the girls tarts coughing and her father has gone to seek help. This may be how the virus continues to spread. Lucky for them, Cassie is on her way from the US (without Aaron because he insisted she go on her own to get closure).

Time gets a little confusing as Cole is finally rescued from the hole. We see Cassie bribe a whole bunch of different people (including guards at the blast site) and we see her smile around the same time Cole is being dragged from the hole. So we are led to believe that they are in the same time. But she calls Aaron and says that Cole is gone and the plague must not have been let loose. Oh how wrong she is. Cole was splintered two years into the future to 2017 where the plague has consumed the world. He must be getting really tired of constantly failing after thinking he’s succeeded. But I don’t doubt that he’ll find a way to Cassie and try to make things right.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.02: "Simon"

“I know you’re a ghost. I know you don’t really exist. But it doesn’t scare me. You can stay. I won’t ask you to leave anymore.” -Adèle

The second episode of “Les Revenants” continues much like the first. It is still moody and atmospheric, and we learn more about the characters we met last week. What is especially interesting is that we continue to learn lots of random past connections between the characters. For instance, ten years ago, Simon taught a very young Lena how to play drums, and Julie turns out to have been the victim of a very disturbing crime. We also got to see a bit more of the consequences of people coming back from the dead. It’s wreaked havoc on several families in this typically sleepy Alpine town. I especially liked seeing more of Simon and Adèle’s story. I have found their scenes to be the most emotional of the series thus far, probably because their story (or what we know of it at this point . . . there’s almost certainly more beneath the surface) is so tragic.

The episode opens with a flashback to the night before Simon and Adèle’s wedding. Simon’s band is playing a show at the Lake Pub, and Adèle is waitressing. It’s a joyful scene, and it seems that Simon and Adèle are truly ecstatic to be getting married the next day. Later, when they’re post coital, Adèle tells Simon that she has something to tell him, but she wants to wait until after the wedding. Simon correctly guesses that she’s pregnant. He is so happy he starts crying, or at least that’s how it appears. The next day, Adèle is at the church in her dress ready to get married, but Simon is missing. Several police officers show up, and Adèle immediately knows something is very wrong. In the present day, Adèle is not taking her recent Simon sighting well. She, Thomas, and her daughter, Chloé, are supposed to be going to church to do wedding planning, but Adèle won’t leave her room. Chloé is very worried that her mother is having another grief spell. Apparently this isn’t an infrequent occurrence.

Camille and her family are also having a hard time with Camille’s return. Lena in particular is very upset. She’s not entirely convinced that the person in the next bedroom is actually Camille, and she wonders if something supernatural is going on. She is still operating under the assumption that her sister is dead. While Lena is at the Lake Pub, Camille goes into Lena’s bedroom and looks at photos. She sees a photo of Lena and Frédéric, and she is enraged. She completely trashes Lena’s room, and then she lies to Claire when Claire asks about it, saying she was asleep the whole time. She is also very standoffish to Pierre when Pierre is trying to tell Camille that what happened to her makes her special (I don’t blame her for that one, honestly).

Julie makes good on her threat to Victor and goes to the police station to see if anyone has filed a missing persons report about him. Nobody has, but one of the officers still wants Julie to give a statement about the situation (she’s been lying and claims she just saw Victor while riding the bus). When she arrives back at home, Simon is at her door asking her if she knows Adèle, and Julie brushes him off. Once Simon is gone, Julie tells Victor that she didn’t actually turn him into police, but he can’t stay with her forever. Julie buys Victor a new sweater (suggesting she’s more attached to him than she’s letting on), and as the two are leaving the apartment building, Julie is informed by her nosy neighbor about Mr. Costa’s death. Once back at home, Victor gets extra creepy and pretends to jump out a window. Julie is shocked to find him completely unharmed downstairs. At the end of the episode, Julie puts victor to bed, then she goes into the bathroom and cries. As she lifts up her shirt, we can see scars on her stomach, and we now know she is the first person who was attacked by the person who attacked Lucy at the end of last week’s episode.

Simon, in the present day, goes to a diner and tries to get some food. When Simon shows the proprietor some coins and asks what they will buy, the proprietor tries to throw him out. Simon is extremely upset by this, and he beats the crap out of him. Unfortunately for Simon, the altercation is caught on CCTV. At the Lake Pub, Simon finds Lena, and he asks her to remind him where Adèle works again. As soon as she tells him, he leaves. The encounter makes Frédéric a little jealous. Soon after, the police stop by the pub and take Toni, who appears to be the owner, away for questioning about Lucy. Once that chaos has passed, Lena notices a very peculiar photograph on the wall. The photo is of Simon teaching her to play drums ten years ago.

Meanwhile, Adèle, Thomas, and Chloé are finally at the church for wedding planning. Adèle is not liking any of the hymns or readings that are being proposed to her. Thomas gets a call from his lieutenant about the attack on Lucy, so he leaves to go coordinate the investigation. Chloé excuses herself to go to the restroom, and she’s taken aback by the extremely low water pressure. That of course, is followed by a quick cut to the control room observing the lake and the dam, where we learn that the lake water level is continuing to go down. While Chloé is in the restroom, Adèle talks to her pastor about the Simon sighting, and he encourages her to talk to Simon the next time she “sees” him, because it might give her peace of mind and closure.

At the police station, the lieutenant is very aggressive about questioning Toni. She is convinced that Toni is responsible for the attack on Lucy and the other, similar attack that happened several years ago. Thomas has to make her back off a bit. Meanwhile, another returned person, an adult male, arrives at a seemingly abandoned farmhouse and breaks a lock to enter it. Once he’s released from the police station, Toni goes to that same farm house. He starts freshening the place up, but then he is attacked by a wolf. He manages to shoot it before it does too much damage. While Toni is burying the wolf, the other man appears. They clearly know each other and don’t get along (they’re brothers, the other man is named Serge), and at one point they each temporarily knock each other unconscious with a shovel. When both brothers are again conscious, Toni has to explain to Serge that their mother is dead and he (Serge) was dead too, and we see him comforting Serge using the same words the serial attacker said to Lucy.

Simon goes to the library where Adèle works to try and talk to her again. Unfortunately, he is noticed on security cameras, so the police are on their way to deal with his assault on the diner proprietor. Adèle does actually talk to Simon this time around, about how she’ll always love him but it’s time to move forward in his life, but a bunch of kids arriving at the library cuts the conversation short. As Simon is leaving the building, he gets picked up by police. When Simon arrives at the police station, Thomas obviously recognizes his name instantly. The lieutenant thinks it’s really strange that someone who was thought to be dead is now alive, but Thomas is mostly interested in grilling Simon about Adèle. When he gets home at the end of the day, Thomas finds a very happy Adèle who has finally chosen hymns for their wedding. He suspects Simon has something to do with this, and he’s not wrong.

Camille, still really upset about the Lena and Frédéric situation, sneaks out of the house and goes to the Lake Pub. She tries looking in the window, presumably hoping to see Frédéric, when she is stopped by a young man who she knows, but doesn’t seem to recognize her. She runs off. When Camille finally comes home, whole family wants to know where she was. She tells them about her trip to the Lake Pub, and it’s clear that the whole situation is really upsetting to her. Later, Lena comes into Camille’s room and says she thinks she’s found another returned person (Simon, obviously). It’s a nice way for the sisters to reconcile.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Kyle XY 1.08: “Memory Serves”

“Seeing that picture, I felt I was getting close to the truth and it scared me.”
- Kyle

With only two episodes left in the season after this, the writers have really started to kick things into overdrive plot wise. Kyle is undergoing some hypnosis and at first all he can remember is the night Kern died and that Foss pulled the trigger. But when the hypnotist tells him to go deeper, he starts spouting random nonsense that kind of freaks Nicole out. She gives all kinds of excuses to her colleague about why Kyle said Foss was in his memory and what the nonsense stuff was. I have to say, she’s totally in denial and not handling it well. Speaking of Foss, Steven got him removed from their route because Kyle is so upset by him. This doesn’t stop Foss from showing up at the house and kind of asking if he did something wrong. He was kind of like a sad puppy (well a puppy who would claw your eyes out if it meant protecting his secret but still). Lucky for him, the background check the police ran (at Steven’s request) comes up clean.

The A plot of this episode revolves around Lori, Declan and Kyle sneaking off to the University of Washington to try and investigate Kyle’s possible connection to Kern. They lie to Steven and Nicole and say they are seeing Whitman instead. They know there’s no way they’d get permission to see UW otherwise. So they head off and Declan goes to check out the gym and the basketball team (he’s possibly being recruited) while Lori and Kyle go find the science building. They get lucky and run into Professor Kern’s former research assistant. She was helping with his testing dealing with mental agility and memory. She doesn’t remember Kyle and she says she would know if he worked on the research because she did all the testing but she does agree to test Kyle and see what the results are. No one should be surprised that Kyle scores insanely high on all the tests. As she’s reveling in his awesomeness, Kyle gets distracted by an old photo in a trophy case. It’s of a group of grad school students from 1985 and one of them looks exactly like Kyle. Clearly he wasn’t around in the 1980s but they convince Steven to let them stay overnight so they can dig deeper and find out who he was and maybe how Kyle was connected to him.

They don’t get a whole lot of digging done that night. But Lori does spend some time with a college guy named Wes and Declan kind of broods over it. Kyle asks why he doesn’t just tell Lori that he likes her and Declan sort of throws it back in Kyle’s face that maybe he should take his own advice and tell Amanda how he feels. The next morning, Dr. Kern’s research assistant shows up and tells them she figured out who the guy in the photo was. His name is Adam Baylin. It’s also a bit awkward because Lori just shows up and grabs a towel to get cleaned up. The look on Declan’s face is just so upset and hurt. He really likes her clearly and he thinks the worst of her night out. Anyway, the research assistant tells Kyle she has a secretary she’d like him to meet. She worked in the department when Adam was around she describes him as kind and caring and interested in other people’s lives as well as academically brilliant. He even worked with Professor Kern on several projects. But when Kyle asks to get an address or phone number, the secretary breaks it to him that Adam’s been missing for 20 years. She does however give him all of Adam’s research to see if they can find out what the connection is to Kyle. It looks like they aren’t going to find anything when Kyle happens upon a drawing of the logo he drew (and the one on the keycard near Kern’s remains) with numbers written down. Oh and Declan and Lori have it out (she didn’t sleep with the guy, they just talked).

Back home, Nicole is listening to the recording of Kyle speaking gibberish and Josh unwittingly gives her the suggestion of slowing it down. She does and she and Steven then figure out that the numbers and letters are coordinates on a map. Steven takes a look on View It Earth (I guess they couldn’t use Google Earth because of copyright) and it’s blocked. Josh pipes up that it’s blocked because it’s a government facility. Around the same time, Kyle figures out that the numbers are coordinates and he wants to go check it out. Too bad for him that Hilary has a big mouth and Declan told her the plan to visit UW. Steven demands the kids head home immediately and Lori tells him they will. She goes for a bathroom break and the guys take off to check things out. Kyle insists on going into the woods alone and ends up having a run-in with Foss. He warns Kyle to stop asking questions and snooping around because a nefarious and nameless “they” will go after him and the Tragers and they could all end up dead. Kyle appears to take Foss’s warning seriously and lies to Declan as they get back on the road. He says there was just woods (the same story he feeds to the rest of the family). But before Declan heads out, Kyle tells him the truth. I have a feeling the pair of them are going to keep digging, despite Foss’s warning. They are two pretty determined guys and Declan probably just wants to stick it to the creepy dude stalking Kyle. Oh and we get a Declan and Lori parting kiss. Maybe they are back on the road to being a couple after all! But as Kyle contemplates whether he really wants to just move forward with the life he has at that moment or still look backward, we see that there was a hidden security camera in the area where Kyle and Foss had their tussle. Whoever the “they” are, have seen that Kyle is in fact alive. I cannot imagine that is ever going to be a good thing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Falling Skies 5.05: "Non-Essential Personnel"

“I think you stuck your neck out for those people because you care.”
- Hal

Well we have officially reached the midway point in our final journey with Tom and the 2nd Mass. So of course we start off the episode with a group of people we don’t even know being attacked by some skitters in a small town. A little knot of people get out of the building and make a run for it but they are quickly surrounded by skitters. But not to fear, John Pope and his gang are here to save the day. And then promptly weed out the people they see as weak and hightail it to a bowling alley to set up shop. This reminds me of when we first met Pope and his crew. They were lunatics back then and now that Tom has kicked them out of the 2nd Mass, Pope is taking up his insane ways again. Speaking of Tom, Pope has him running all over creation (communicated by radio) looking for Hal. After Tom invokes Sarah’s name, he at least learns that Hal is still alive. He may not be for much longer because just to rub it in, Pope cuts up Hal’s arm pretty bad and makes Tom listen to it over the radio. Bastard! Tom, naturally swears to kill Pope. Is it bad that I’m hoping Tom is successful?

Tom isn’t all that Pope has to deal with though. One of the women he claimed was too weak to fight, Isabella, says she’s a nurse and then puts on this tough act for him about sticking up for the others because they would owe her and you only do things for other people in this world because you expect to get something in return. Hal calls her on her bullshit when she’s patching him up (and reveals she’s not a nurse). Nice props to Matt though for being better at stitching up wounds! Unfortunately, just when Hal is trying to sway Isabella to his side, Pope comes back and gets even crazier. He wants Hal to admit his father has gotten so many people killed and he’s trying to set himself up as the new world leader but Hal refuses. Hal goes so far as to tell Pope to just shoot him. I can’t see that happening just yet though. Tom has made it to town and is on his way to find Pope to keep his promise.

Elsewhere, the 2ned Mass is making its way to Washington DC (although I swear they were heading for Fayetteville last week) when they get ambushed and boxed in. Whoever is shooting at them wants a vehicle and half their guns and ammo. Weaver refuses and then decides by himself that he’s going to go in and diffuse the situation. He gets shot in the arm when he heads in but he’s still alive. His plan to take out the (lone) gunman once they are inside fails and he gets his arm hurt a bit more. I also don’t buy that this guy has a wife and two kids in need of protection. He just seems too nutty for that.

Well, it turns out I was wrong out about our gunman. He does have a family, or he did anyway. They were killed by skitters. Lucky for him, Weaver is calm and methodical about feeling him out, giving Anne and the rest of the 2nd Mass a chance to make it look like they’re giving in to his demands and then doubling back and mounting a rescue effort. Weaver realizes that this guy (whose name is Marty) is who he could have been without the 2nd Mass to support him after all the loss he suffered. So, once Weaver is all patched up, he and Anne decide to take Marty along with them to give him the support they’ve given each other.

Things aren’t looking particularly awesome for Hal and company, though. I was right in that Pope doesn’t shoot Hal right then but that’s mostly because one of the hornets has attacked and drawn fire (and Pope’s attention). Isabella is sent back in to patch up Hal after Pope’s latest beating and he convinces her that she should let him go. This becomes especially convenient after she explains she’s grabbing guns and hauling butt out of there, leaving Pope behind.

Night falls and Tom is about to mount his own rescue of Hal (not knowing his son’s plant to escape with Isabella) when the Dornia appears to him and begs him not to go. They are building a weapon that could take out the Espheni for good but they need Tom (and only him) to deliver the weapon so if he dies now, they’re horribly screwed. Tom doesn’t care and so he goes off all half-cocked to find Hal. He gets past Anthony and some other guards but ends up running into Pope before he can get inside. They exchange shots and both land some doozies. I’m not entirely sure how Pope is even still breathing considering Tom was using a shot gun (at least) and it looked like his first shot was center mass to the abdomen on Pope. Before Pope can get off any more shots, Hal and Isabella escape (hooray) and Tom gets carried off by the hornet (boo). And as Isabella and Hal search for Tom the next morning, we find Pope (still alive though in really bad shape) demanding to know where Tom has gone.

I’m not sure I like that they are making this all about Tom as the Savior. I liked it better when it was more about the family of the 2nd Mass and them working together to survive. I get that Tom has become the leader through all of this and maybe it’s because I like Noah Wylie so much that I don’t want to see Tom die at the very end. But I’ve heard that a Mason isn’t going to last through the season and I just worry that Tom is going to end up dying at the end to save the world and defeat the Espheni. I guess we’ll see in the next 5 episodes.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Marvel's Daredevil 1.05: "World on Fire"

“I can’t go to L and Z alone. They’re going to shark attack me, man. Look at me! I’m delicious!”

As I predicted last week, the fifth episode of “Daredevil” has a bit more of a case-of-the-week focus, however there’s still plenty of mythology, too. This week’s case is a civil case, not a criminal case, which makes me a little squirrely because it comes pretty close to the kind of law I used to practice, and legal inaccuracies in television shows are a pretty strong pet peeve of mine. Usually there isn’t enough actual legal stuff in “Daredevil” for it to bother me too much (other than the fastest trial ever that I ranted about a bit two weeks ago), but this week skated a little closer to the line. Beyond the case, there was plenty of build-up of the mythology, with Fisk continuing his plan to take over and “rebuild” New York City. There were also advancements in the romantic relationship department, both with Matt and Claire and Foggy and Karen. I don’t have much hope for the long-term viability of either relationship, but that’s where we’re at for now.

We start right in on the first of the two relationships with the episode’s opening. Claire is getting a shower in Matt’s apartment and clearly still in a lot of pain from the beating she took during the kidnapping in the last episode. She’s got a fair number of lacerations, and as Matt diagnoses by listening to her breathing, a hairline rib fracture. They get especially close as Matt is treating one of the lacerations on Claire’s back, and they end up kissing. They don’t have much time to talk about it, though, because Matt has to go to work. This made me start to wonder what the creative team was planning to do with Matt and Karen, who seemed to have a bit of a thing in the pilot. Have they been dropped in favor of Foggy and Karen? Well, it appears that at least for now, the answer to that is yes. I have a feeling this paradigm will be short lived, though. Later in the episode, Matt and Claire do have a bit of an argument, where she says she’s not sure she should be falling in love with someone who “enjoys” beating people up the way Matt claims to. Matt says that’s probably a good idea.

Meanwhile, much is happening on the organized crime side of things. Wesley arrives at Ranskahov headquarters, announces that the deal for Fisk to help with distribution is done, and he innocently asks Vladimir where Anatoly is. Vladimir, understandably, has the exact same question. At that moment, a henchman brings in Anatoly’s headless body. There is a black mask with the body, which looks quite a bit like the vigilante is responsibly. Vladimir vows revenge. Madame Gao seems especially skeptical, but eventually Fisk seems to win her over, too. Nobu reminds Fisk of the promises he made to Nobu “and those he speaks for,” so I’m really starting to wonder who Nobu really is.

Concurrently, Fisk calls a meeting with all the other crime bosses (minus the Ranskahovs, obviously) that he has been dealing with. He tells them that he killed Anatoly for “personal” reasons, and he says that eventually, he wants to cut the Russians out of his business entirely. The timing isn’t quite right yet, though. The rest of the gang is skeptical, but when Fisk promises to split what had been the Ranskahov share of the profits equally among everyone remaining, they go with it. We next see some Russians transporting one of Madame Gao’s blind workers. When they arrive at their destination, the Russians go inside the building while the Asian man remains in the car. We’re told by a camera angle looking out from that car that Matt is lurking. When the Russians emerge from the building, Matt attacks. The Asian man is shot and killed in the fray. Police arrive on the scene, but Matt manages to run up a fire escape before they see him. The surviving Russian man is arrested.

Moving on to the case of the week, a woman named Mrs. Cardenas arrives at Nelson and Murdock. He’s a friend of Foggy’s police officer contact’s mom. Her landlord, Tully, who is really better described as a slumlord, wants to convert her rent controlled apartment building into condos. His staff started some repairs and left everything a mess. There’s no water and spotty electricity. Matt says they’ll take the case, and of course he volunteers Foggy to talk to Tully’s lawyers while he goes to the police station to look up other tenant complaints against Tully. The law firm Tully has on retainer just happens to be the law firm where Matt and Foggy interned, then turned down permanent positions to start their own firm. So this will end well, for sure.

Foggy and Karen go to the law firm as instructed, and they are met in the lobby by Marcy Stahl, one of the firm’s attorneys who also happens to be Foggy’s ex. She says she is Tully’s lawyer, and she aggressively explains why Mrs. Cardenas has no case. Foggy is equally aggressive in explaining his point of view, and they engage in a bit of a battle of wits before Foggy and Karen eventually leave. The whole encounter makes Foggy more determined to win the case. Foggy and Karen then pay a visit to Mrs. Cardenas to update her on the case. Foggy offers to finish all the repairs to her place so that it’s habitable while all the legal wrangling is happening. After the work is done, Mrs. Cardenas treats Foggy and Karen to dinner, and they treat it like a date. It’s a pretty uncomfortable date, though. Karen seems more interested in talking about Matt, and she wants Foggy to touch her face like Matt would. I’ve got to admit, that even though I find Charlie Cox much more attractive then Elden Hensen, I felt kind of bad for Foggy in that moment.

Meanwhile, Matt is at the police station waiting for his and Foggy’s officer friend to get him all the complaints against Tully. Thanks to his super hearing, he picks up on two detectives interrogating the Russian guy he beat up the night before. The Russian gives up Wilson Fisk’s name, and the detectives kill him, making it look like self-defense. Later, of course, Matt, in vigilante mode, attacks one of the detectives and tries to get him to spill the beans on Fisk. While the detective offers no specifics, he does imply that Fisk and the Russians are connected. The detective falls unconscious, so he says no more, but Matt does get his phone. Back at the apartment, Claire finds some addresses on the detective’s phone, one of which seems likely to be Vladimir’s. Of course that’s where Matt is headed next, and that’s when Claire gets upset.

Another romantic relationship explored in this episode is Vanessa and Fisk. Vanessa has finally agreed to a second date, and they are at the same restaurant as the first date, only this time Fisk has rented the whole place out. Vanessa would like to get to know Fisk better, and while he promises he will never lie to her, he does get evasive when she asks him to talk about work. He goes on and on about how he wants to make Hell’s Kitchen better and rebuild it from the ground up. Vanessa is smart, though, and you can tell the gears are turning. She knows that he is not starting up a community development foundation! She does see something in him that she likes, though, despite the atrocities he has committed. I’m not sure what that says about her.

Anyway, Fisk and Vanessa are looking out over the city when four explosions go off at each of the locations where the Russians have major installations (the addresses in the cell phone Matt recovered). One of the explosions is right by Mrs. Cardenas’ apartment, and she, Foggy, and Karen are caught up in the middle of it just as Foggy is about to touch Karen’s face with his eyes closed. Mrs. Cardenas is the worst injured of the trio. Matt has gone to the building where Vladimir is supposed to be, and that one blows up, too. He punches some people, and he manages to get to Vladimir, but then the cops show up. I’m not quite sure how he’s going to get out of this predicament. You’d think he would know that all the punching and havoc was going to catch up to him at some point!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: The Straits 1.07: "Poison"

“You aren’t happy. I get that. But guess what? You weren’t there to ask.”

“Poison” starts to explore the new Montebello family dynamics now that Harry and Marou are (sort of) mostly recovered from their injuries and Noel is in jail. Harry is still very upset that Noel is in jail, and Marou is desperately trying to prove that Noel in jail wasn’t too high a price to rescue him from the bikies. Speaking of the bikies, there is understandably still bad blood between the bikies and the Montebellos, so the Montebellos need to figure out a new drug distribution plan. Marou thinks if he executes this successfully, he will finally win Harry’s approval. There are also some advances in the romantic relationship department, too. Gary continues to court Zey islander Bridget, Joel and Sissi continue to hang out, and we learn more about Harry and Natasha’s long standing affair. Kitty learns more about the affair too, but more on that in a bit. While this episode felt a little like a placeholder, there were definitely some juicy bits too, which is what makes “The Straits” overall such an addictive show.

Like I mentioned, Marou is really trying to prove himself in this episode. He’s got a big plan to steal 3 kilos of cocaine off a cargo ship and distribute it through a new partner. First up, obviously, is stealing the coke, and he does this with Gary’s help. As usual with anything involving Gary, there is a mildly comedic bit, where, since they were told to “ask the cook” about the package, Gary and Marou are fruitlessly threatening the galley staff. Eventually, they get a cook to tell them that there is a guy named Cook who works in the engine room. This turns out to be the right Cook, and Marou and Gary score the package. Marou wants to deliver the package to their new distributor himself, but everyone, especially Harry, says he needs to take Gary with him.

Harry is really perseverating on Noel being in jail, even though he has three other kids who are probably worth his attention. Harry is worried because in a contained place like a jail, he’s vulnerable to being killed by the bikies, and that’s probably exactly why they were willing to make the deal. He is so upset about it that he is even really rude to Natasha, implying that Noel’s predicament means she didn’t do her job well. We see early in this episode that Harry’s fears aren’t exactly unfounded. In the middle of a basketball game, a bikie throws a ball right at Noel’s head. The Montebellos paid for protection for Noel, though, so his posse stands off against the bikies, and the peace is maintained for now. It won’t last for long, though, because as we see throughout the episode, one of the bikies is sharpening the edges of a spoon handle to be the perfect shiv.

It’s pretty clear that while Harry has significantly improved, he isn’t completely 100% yet. He has isolated memory lapses. For instance, when Coco gets an invitation to a dog birthday party, Harry forgets that he took her to a party for the same dog last year (the dog party eventually has more significance). For what it’s worth, Marou isn’t 100% either. He has several PTSD attacks throughout this episode, one of which happens while he’s driving and almost causes an accident. Gary is back on Zey courting Bridget when he gets the call from Marou that he needs to come back to Cairns and help hand off the package. Bridget’s brothers are upset that Gary hasn’t talked to their mother about dating Bridget yet (apparently getting permission is an Island custom), but that is going to have to wait. Again.

Meanwhile, Sissi and Joel continue to grow closer. Joel mentions that he needs to find work, and he continues going to another city where he has heard there are jobs. Sissi obviously wants Joel to stick around, so she offers to try and get him a job at the Montebello family croc farm. Much to Joel’s chagrin, the job Sissi finds for him is killing cane toads. By smashing them with a shovel. Joel claims that, while he understands that the cane toads are a significant danger to the Australian ecosystem overall, he just doesn’t like killing animals. Sissi seems unimpressed. I think I’m on Team Sissi for this one. Cane Toads have deadly poison, and they’ve just wreaked havoc on Australia in general. By the end of the episode, however, Joel is indeed smooshing cane toads.

We see Marou and Gary very deliberately give a package to some truckers. Obviously, there are bikies in the area, and when they see this transfer happen, they start following the truck. They pull out their guns and demand to see the package, but it is just sand. The whole thing was a decoy. Marou and Gary personally hand off the package to the new distributor. Everything is going fine at first, until Gary asks to be excused to go pee. While Gary is gone, the new distributor pulls a gun on Marou and asks for an autograph. Gary, when he turns around, thinks the situation is actually more dire than it really is, and he starts shooting. The new distributor and his goons start shooting back, which makes for a very tense getaway, to say the least. One they are safely away, Marou really lets Gary have it for screwing things up yet again. They drive to the airport in silence. Once back on Zey, Gary does go to see Bridget’s mom. After a kind of awkward conversation, she gives her blessing to Gary and Bridget’s relationship, and the new couple celebrate.

When taking another look at the dog birthday party invitation, Harry realizes that the prosecutor who has been handling Noel’s case is going to be there. He thinks this might be a good opportunity to exert some influence. At the party, Harry sidles up to the prosecutor and essentially offers him a bribe to de-authenticate the grenade launcher used in the attack on the bikie headquarter. The prosecutor sees right through Harry, and it’s no go. Harry asks Natasha to give it a try, since she knows the prosecutor from law school (he was an instructor). Natasha takes the prosecutor out to lunch and insinuates that she knows the prosecutor slept with a lot of students when he was an instructor, and she threatens to make the scandal public. This time, he agrees to have an expert witness fake testimony about the grenade launcher. This development can’t have happened too soon. Toni visits Noel, and she expresses her concern that the kids aren’t really going to remember him soon. One of the kids drew a picture of the family, and Noel doesn’t think his depiction looks accurate.

Harry, Kitty, and Natasha are about to have a little champagne to celebrate Natasha’s success when things get awkward. Kitty walks back into the living room just after Harry and Natasha shared a sort-of intimate moment, and Natasha immediately excuses herself. Sissi saw the whole thing on the security camera feed. Sensing something isn’t right, Kitty asks Sissi if the security cameras record. A very upset Sissi shows Kitty what just happened, and Kitty is devastated. She marches out to the living room and asks Harry if Andrew (Natasha’s son) is his. Harry doesn’t deny it. The family is in shambles when Marou gets home and gives Harry the money from the drug deal. Harry is still being standoffish with Marou, and Marou calls him on it. Harry says his problem isn’t with Marou, but Lola, and Lola isn’t who Marou thinks she is. Before Marou can really react to this, we cut to Noel in jail. He’s just getting out of the shower when a bunch of bikies start beating the crap out of him. Then one of them pulls out the sharpened spoon.

Falling Skies 5:04: "Pope Breaks Bad"

“What if one person was your greater good?”
- Pope

To say there is dissention in the ranks would be somewhat of an understatement. Tom finds Pope burying Sarah in the woods and sort of half-ass offers condolences. Pope is clearly still furious with Tom for not going to save Sarah before taking out the Espheni breeding facility in last week’s episode. But for a little while, Pope keeps quiet. Well, until Anne completely shuts down Anthony by refusing to give him his gun back and clear him for duty. He’s a loose cannon and they can’t have running around on missions. So now Pope gets his hooks into Anthony a bit and together they start spreading some negativity among the ranks. They point out to a bunch of guys that if it had been Matt or Ben or Hal stuck in the gunk in the forest, Tom would have hauled ass and moved heaven and earth to save them. But since it wasn’t a Mason, Tom didn’t really care. I’m not saying that’s true, although Tom does take his family’s security and safety very seriously. But that could be just a good father.

Cochise (they finally had subtitles with his name so I know how to spell it now!) is also got some drama of his own going on. He’s dying. The Volm have two kidney-like organs and he only has one and it is failing. So he’s going to spend time with his father before he croaks. Naturally, Tom and Anne don’t accept this and Anne goes behind his back and talks to his father about a possible transplant. At first, Cochise doesn’t think it will work. But his father ultimately agrees when Cochise goes on this big long rant about how the human will to live and survive and have hope has rubbed off on him and it seems to have served humanity well in the fight against the Espheni. So now Anne has to perform a transplant on an alien. Good job Anne!

Thanks to Ben doing some research gathering, Tom, Matt, Weaver and a couple other folks head out to an old police cruiser station to get some more gear and wheels to make the trek to Washington DC. Apparently the Espheni are blocking the capitals of a lot of countries but the most is DC. Once they head out, Hal overhears Pope and Anthony drumming up support. Unfortunately, Hal sort of suggests that all of Pope’s prior plans were thinking small (hoarding supplies and the like) so now Pope is going to plan something much bigger. Oops!

The raid on the cruiser depot starts off pretty well. They find some batteries and mace. Oh and some cars that will run and some gas. Oh and they manage to raise a woman in Bolivia on a short-wave radio. Then, of course, things go badly and some of the little weird hybrid bugs that stung Tom swarm out of a building and Tom tries to draw their attention to keep Matt safe. Tom doesn’t notice the open window in the room he ran into so of course they swarm inside with him. But he remembers they have human eyes and maces them all. It gives the gang enough time to get out and head back to camp with their haul. Back at camp, the transplant looks like it’s going well. Cochise even wakes up feeling fine. But alas, his father’s heart has stopped. So when the gang arrives, Anne and Ben grab what they can from a car battery to use to jumpstart the alien’s pumper. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.

Things between Tom and Pope come to a head when they come back one short. Pope rails that the Masons have come through without a scratch on them and that Tom just sends everyone else to die. Tom throws back that his daughter counts. And then he lights into Pope about being a leader. He even tells Pope to kill him right there. But Pope doesn’t do it. He’s got other plans. And when Tom basically kicks him (and anyone else who wants to follow him) out of the 2nd Mass, Pope puts his plan into action.

In a brief lull before the shit really hits the fan, Anne and Cochise share the silence (which is what he didn’t get to do with his father before he died) and it’s kind of remarkable. Cochise gets to say goodbye to his father’s spirit and Anne gets to say goodbye to Lexi because she’s realized that everything is about Lexi. She was secretly hoping that once the war was over, everyone they’d lost would just be back. It was a touching moment that ends when Anthony ropes Anne into talking about his condition. It’s a rouse to get her into a room with Pope who has now shaved his head. It just makes him look like a crazy White Supremacist to me but whatever. He looks like he’s going to kill Anne and to be honest, that’s kind of what I was expecting going into the scene. By the end, though, I realized that’s not what was going to happen. Sure Pope may have considered offing Anne as payback but when she points out that Tom is fighting for his children and his legacy, you can clearly see that spark something in Pope’s mind. And later that night as Tom is walking in the woods, the Dornia appears to him as Rebecca and says that there’s one final battle that is coming and he needs to be ready. But he also needs to know where Hal is. Of course Pope kidnapped Hal. For one thing, Pope had young kids so I don’t’ think he’d touch Matt and Ben could probably kick his ass. And for another, it was sort of Hal’s suggestion that led Pope to this point. So while the 2nd Mass is marching to Fayetteville, Tom is off to confront Pope and try to save his son.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Moonlight 1.07: “The Ringer”

“One of these days you’re going to have to stop hating what you are.”
- Josef

If you thought the insanity of the last episode was bad, just wait for the shenanigans going down this week. Mick shows up to the scene of a fire and runs into Beth. Apparently it’s an old hotel that Mick’s parents used to take him to when he was a little kid back in the 1920s and 1930s. As if the building fire isn’t emotional enough for our tall dark and immortal leading man, a photographer shows up who is a dead ringer (hence the episode title) for Coraline. Now clearly that can’t be right seeing as he killed her and all but the moment she opens her mouth he swears it is the same person. Beth introduces the woman as Morgan. They’ve worked together a few months.

Mick’s head is spinning as we see flashbacks to the night he met Coraline for the first time in the early 1950s. She’s hosting a lavish party and him and his band are providing entertainment. He’s pretty much taken with her and she flirts with him a bit, getting him to play a racy song (for the time) and going skinny dipping with her in the pool after the party is over. Mick goes to Josef ranting and raving about seeing Coraline but Josef points out that it can’t be Mick’s ex, especially since she’s not a vampire. That is definitely a key points there, my friend.

As Beth and Morgan pour over crime scene photos, Beth notices a gash on Morgan’s arm. Morgan plays it off as a guy attacking her before making off with her cameras. So now we have a reason to really put Morgan in Mick’s orbit. Thanks to Beth talking up Mick’s skills, Morgan hires Mick to find her missing cameras. Along the way, Beth suggests that maybe the arsonist wanted the photos on the camera but Morgan keeps them on a memory stick around her neck. As the three of them check out the photos at Morgan’s 50s-themed apartment, they see man killing a woman in the fire. Mick goes to the hotel and finds a body before showing up at Morgan’s place to dust for prints. They study some more pictures and notice the woman had a Fleur de Lis tattoo on her shoulder (just like Coraline). Mick thinks this is all an elaborate set-up to mess with his head.

Mick gets a hit on the fingerprints he lifted from Morgan’s apartment and finds out they belong to a guy who died in prison three weeks ago. So he enlists Josef to help snoop around the guy’s house. They find Morgan’s cameras stashed in a safe and it looks like the dead woman is in fact the guy’s girlfriend. The parallels to Mick and Coraline just keep coming. And now Josef needs to meet this woman. He isn’t saying he believes Mick that it’s Coraline but he’s at least intrigued. So when Morgan shows up get to get the cameras, Josef goes all creepy vampire stalker and is covertly smelling her and studying her. Mick tells Morgan that the guy who stole her cameras was dead at the time and she doesn’t even flinch. She just suggests they go to the cemetery to check to see if there are actual ashes. Josef agrees with Mick that it looks and sounds like Coraline but she’s human and that just isn’t possible. Josef makes it clear that there is no cure for their condition and Mick needs to stop hoping there is and accept what he is.

That night Mick and Morgan go to the cemetery and as things reach their climax, we see just how crazy Mick went with Coraline in the past. He shows up after she’s stood him up several times and he sees a guy in her living room sipping a martini. So what does he do? He gets really drunk and goes back to the house at 2am and starts banging on the door. Coraline doesn’t really let him in but he breaks a window and they start making out. Yeah, I can see why Mick kind of went nuts around her. Back at the cemetery, Mick gets ambushed by the dead guy (he is in fact a vampire). The newbie vamp is pretty strong and kicks Mick’s butt for quite a while before Mick gets the upper hand. He bites the newbie (I’m not entirely sure how that will help but whatever) and Morgan sees. Mick is clearly losing it because he chases Morgan through the cemetery and then accuses her of setting him to get payback. She is doing a great job of being freaked out and she kind of takes off when Mick starts grabbing at her and ripping her shirt to try and find the tattoo. It’s not there and Mick realizes he’s let the memory of Coraline just ruin his life again.

Beth doesn’t understand what has been going on so she demands that Mick tell her the truth. And so he does. To a point anyway. He admits to killing Coraline and setting the fire but he doesn’t mention Beth in any of this. She still doesn’t remember that it was Mick who saved her or that it was Coraline who kidnapped her. Mick was right that she’s suppressed it all really deep down. I’m sure eventually it will all come out. And as Mick accepts that he was wrong about Morgan, we see her at home sitting in front of her mirror. And she uses one of those make-up remover pads on her shoulder, revealing the Fleur de Lis tattoo on her shoulder after all. So we are still left with the mystery of how Coraline survived the fire and became human. There is definitely more story to be told and I’m certain we’ll get it. As a character, I’ve never really liked Coraline. I know that’s how it was set up but she just was never all that interesting to me as a character. I suppose had the show gotten a second season there were some avenue that could have been worth checking out but alas we will never know.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.01: "Camille"

“Because after years of praying for this, I thought you’d know how to welcome her. That’s why I’m disappointed. I may not know what to say or do, but I didn’t pray for this to happen.”

We continue our summer travels by heading for one of my very favorite places, the French Alps. Only this isn’t a gorgeous ski town like Chamonix. It’s a sleepy town where not much happens other than, you know, the dead coming back to life. There have been a couple U.S. versions of this show that I’m aware of (one an “official” U.S. remake and one that wasn’t really a remake but had a very similar concept), but this is the French original real deal. It is incredibly moody and atmospheric, which is what makes it interesting to watch. I studied French from middle school through college (although it’s been about eleven years since I’ve taken a French class and about three since I’ve had to use any French skills), I can generally follow along without too much distraction through a combination of listening and reading the subtitles. The characters aren’t especially deep, but it’s the atmosphere that really keeps me coming back. Plus I want to know why people are returning from the dead and why the big lake in town keeps going down in water level!

The episode opens to a flash back to four years before the “present day” where most of the action will be taking place. A group of school children (tweens and young teenagers) are on a bus for a field trip, perilously hurling down narrow roads through the Alps. Of course, the bus falls off a cliff, and all the children are killed. When I was in the Alps myself about 15 years ago, I definitely feared that would happen to me. The roads are narrow, and it’s a long way down. As we shift into the present day, we can see that the accident has taken a terrible toll on this small town. A therapist named Pierre has convened a support group for parents of the victims. One of the members of this support group is Jérôme, the father of a young red-haired girl named Camille who was one of the victims. Jérôme is pretty surly, criticizing the monument that is about to be unveiled to honor the victims.

Meanwhile, Camille herself (at the exact age she was when she died four years previously), makes her way up the mountain to the village. She slips into her family’s house and heads for the kitchen to get some food. When her mother, Claire, finds her there, she is shocked, but she tries to maintain her composure so that Camille won’t figure out what happened. She does, however, call Jérôme and Pierre to come over as soon as possible. When Jérôme arrives, Camille is taking a bath, and Claire leads Jérôme to the bathroom door. It’s super creepy when he opens the door and Camille yells at him for basically being a creeper. When Pierre arrives, he talks to Camille a little bit, and she seems to be okay. She can’t remember the accident or anything that happened later. She’s starting to suspect that something is seriously wrong, though. It doesn’t help that her parents have moved on from their relationship since her death. Claire seems to be seeing Pierre, and Jérôme has been fooling around with a barmaid named Lucy. Lucy, unfortunately, gets stabbed to death by a returned person we’ll meet in a future episode.

There are several other important characters, beyond Camille and her family, that we meet in this episode. One of those characters is a nurse named Julie. She is a home health aide for Mr. Costa, a widower. Mr. Costa’s late wife also returns, and he thinks he’s going crazy, so he calls Julie for a shot of something. Julie takes the bus across town, delivers the injection, and busses it home. On the bus home, she is joined by a little boy. The boy ends up following her all the way back to her apartment. When she is grilled about the boy by her nosy neighbor, Julie lies and says his name is Victor. Julie is kind of (understandably) creeped out by Victor, and as a single gal, doesn’t want to have to care for him indefinitely, so she threatens to call the police and report that she has found him. Ultimately, though, she can’t bring herself to do that, and she feeds him some rice for dinner. As for Mr. Costa, he still thinks he’s going crazy, and he winds up jumping off the dam at the edge of the lake.

We also meet Simon, a young musician who, when he was killed, was about to get married to a woman named Adèle. When Simon returns, he naturally wants to find his fiancée. First he goes to the apartment he remembers as hers, which happens to be Julie’s apartment now. This of course also intrigues the nosy neighbor. He goes to the Lake Pub, seemingly the only bar in town, where he meets Lena, who happens to be Camille’s twin sister. She knows Adèle because she used to be tutored by her, so she takes Simon to her house. The reunion is not a happy one. Adèle is about to get married to someone else, and I think she believes Simon’s ghost is haunting her because of it. She refuses to open the door and screams for him to leave. The commotion attracts the attention of her young daughter (whose father is Simon, of course).

Camille does start to figure out what’s going on by the end of the episode. Lena comes home from her night at the bar and escorting Simon, and when Camille hears her, she knocks on the wall separating their bedrooms. This is a code the twins shared, and Lena is understandably shocked to hear it. When Lena enters Camille’s room to find out what is going on, both sisters, break down crying, Lena because she can’t believe her sister has returned, and Camille because she can’t believe her sister is now four years older. Both this scene and Simon and Adèle’s reunion are just heartwrenching. At the very end of the episode, we learn a little more about the circumstances of the bus accident. Lena stayed home “sick” from the field trip because she wanted to have her boyfriend (who Camille has a crush on) Frederic over to fool around. They end up having sex, and somehow through super twin powers, Camille can sense it. She causes a huge commotion asking the bus driver to stop, and at the same time, Victor appears in the middle of the road. It’s too much of a distraction all at once for the bus driver, and over the cliff they go.

Summer DVR Dump: 12 Monkeys 1.07: “The Keys”

“Listen, I wanna tell you something. It won’t make any sense to you now but it will the next time you see me. It’s the keys. I couldn’t tell you before because I was too embarrassed. It’s the keys in Florida. I saw a picture of a beach there in a magazine once. That’s where I’d go. I’m glad I got to know you, Cassie.”
- Cole

Things are getting pretty intense where the virus deployment is concerned. It turns out Operation Troy involves using the virus to kill Adam Wexler (who I totally missed was an ex-CIA analyst leaking secrets). No one in our little ragtag band of misfits can actually confirm that all of this is going down so Cassie and Cole end up going to a benefit to meet with an antiquities expert. It also seems that both Cole and Cassie are still suffering the aftereffects of their respective ordeals. Cassie is pouring tea and burns her hand with hot water and Cole is still getting random flashes. At the benefit, Cole is reveling in all of the art and the food and the dancing while Cassie is straight up on mission. It was kind of interesting to see Cole just trying to live life knowing he’ll be dead soon. Cassie talks to the expert who tells her that a piece of art Cole found a photo of is linked to a very secretive religion in Chechnya. But when she brings up the Army of the 12 Monkeys, he brushes her off. So Cole gets rough and doesn’t get a whole lot of information out of him. Back at the bookstore, Aaron shows up without much to show for his efforts. Until Cole tells them he’s about to splinter and come back a week later.

Aaron goes back to his office and lifts a flash drive off his boss that shows the link between the virus and Wexler and what they plan to do with it. The CIA thinks that by deploying the virus in a secluded area, it won’t have time to spread and the virus will go inert after death. I highly doubt that’s going to happen. Just as Aaron collects copies of the information on the flash drive, Cassie gets a phone call from Cole who is in Chechnya with the virus. But he’s under fire and needs help. Operation Troy is going down right then and there.

Time gets a little wonky as we jump back two hours and find Cole in southern Chechnya. He’s waiting for a man with a metal briefcase and ends up paying a cab driver a giant wad of bills to follow the guy’s car. The man gets out on the side of the road and starts trekking through the forest so Cole follows suit. Cole clearly has good tracking skills (which include not getting spotted) but he has to reveal his position when a gunman takes out the courier. So what does Cole do? He grabs the virus and hauls ass. On the way, he calls Cassie and explains that he got the information on Chechnya from Aaron and Cassie a week ago (in his time) and then he was sent back to this day to get the virus. But he needs to know how to destroy it because the 12 Monkeys are on to him.

Cassie calls Aaron to fill him in on Cole’s situation (which neither of them understand yet) and Cassie insists they go to the CIA. Aaron calls in another favor from a friend and they head to the CIA but of course they don’t have clearance. And Cole calls Cassie again to totally info dump on her. They will have information about Operation Troy already happening in one week which is why Cole got sent back now. Unfortunately, he gets nabbed by the gunman and dragged off to see Wexler. Wexler thinks he had a briefcase of money coming but Cole insists that the case contains a virus. People really ought to listen to Cole more often because when they open the case, the virus is in fact deployed. Good thing Cole is immune, huh?

The Chechens start getting sick really fast and Cole tries to explain that if anyone leaves the compound, the world is screwed by Wexler doesn’t seem to care. He thinks maybe it is a good idea to cull humanity. Basically he is just a giant douchebag. And things in the states aren’t going well either. Aaron gets chewed out by his boss and Cassie begs the head of Operation Troy to let her call Cole. She calls the guy out on the fact he doesn’t know what’s going on with the op. I swear for a second she was going to accuse him of being a member of the 12 Monkeys but she didn’t. Back in Chechnya, one of the guards agrees to trade Wexler to the Russians for some reason that I didn’t quite get and Cole kind of calls them all a bunch of wusses for thinking about leaving. A part of me is hoping he splinters and gets the hell out of there before anything else happens.

Cassie convinces the CIA to make contact with Cole again and he tells her that the guards are dead (thank you giant firefight where Wexler and Cole both get shot) but that Russians are coming. They need to destroy the base before the Russians arrive so the CIA scrambles some bombers. Cassie and Cole have a really emotional goodbye with everyone else listening in which is kind of awkward, especially with the talk about the future. Cole tells Cassie she needs to be strong and not tell the version of him that’s coming about his death. It could screw with the timeline and he doesn’t have many jumps left in him anyway. And as Cassie watches, we see the bomb drop and hit its target. Before Wexler dies from his bullet wound, he tells Cole that the 12 Monkeys were involved in a fight with the Yakuza in Tokyo in 1987. I guess that’s there and why Cole meets Goines the second time (for Cole). I’m not sure if Cole will actually make it or not but we’ll have to find out I’m sure.

Cassie and Aaron come to an understanding of mutually assured destruction with the government and get released. Cassie is clearly traumatized by what happened to Cole and she questions whether she should try to change things when Cole shows up to get the information but Aaron reminds her that they’ve averted the plague now and they can’t risk messing it up. So they both dutifully play their parts and give Cole the information he needs to go back and stop the virus (and die). And Cassie realizes that the weird thing Cole shared with her right before the bomb hit is the place young Cole would have gone if he could have gone anywhere. Very touching and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Kyle XY 1.07: “Kyle Got Game”

“What happened was a team decision.”
- Declan

This episode picks up not long after Kyle recognizes Professor Kern. He’s kind of obsessing over the guy, hoping to put some pieces of his memory back together but it’s not working. Nicole and Steven have their own theories (maybe Kyle was one of Kern’s students) but nothing concrete. The thrust of this episode focuses on Kyle trying to fit in with other kids. At Nicole’s behest, Kyle goes to hang with Josh and his friends while they are playing basketball. Kyle is of course super impressive and hardly ever misses. This leads to Charlie stopping by (on his way to pick up Amanda) and suggesting Kyle try out for the local rec team.

The day of practice, Kyle dresses himself but it takes some ridiculous suggestions from Josh and a little decent help from Charlie to make him not look like a total weirdo. We also learn that Steven used to play ball and he’s getting really stoked for Kyle to possibly be on the team. Lori gets roped into dropping Kyle off for practice and she ends up staying. She and Hilary are still in their little fight or whatever and Declan is in a mood, too about Kyle joining the team. They are a week away from the championship facing last year’s rivals and he’s just worried that putting Kyle on the team will screw up their chances at winning. But after the coach sees Kyle shoot, he’s on the team. Kyle is really enjoying himself until Declan blocks a shot and pushes him a little too hard. I have to say, I know that Kyle doesn’t really like Charlie because he’s with Amanda but I was kind of glad he was being nice to Kyle in this episode. That night, Josh gives Kyle all kinds of books to read and videos to watch. He’s in the middle of absorbing all kinds of useful knowledge about the game when Charlie and Declan come by. Charlie is there to drop off the playbook and Declan is supposed to be apologizing. He does and I’m just waiting for the real bonding between them to begin. Things are still super awkward and annoying for Lori because Hilary shows up with one of the lamest excuses ever to try and see Declan (he told her “see you later”). Declan is pretty pissed that the girl drama is still going strong and is grateful when Charlie suggests they head out.

While the Tragers are reveling in the excitement of the upcoming game, Foss is doing some work of his own. Whoever he’s working with tells him that Kern made the paper again and it could mean the police are getting closer. Foss tells his boss not worry because he has a plan. He somehow managed to snag Kern’s wallet and obviously he kept the gun. He ends up trolling streets for a drunk, drug addict homeless guy, plants the items on him and kills him. Simple solve there, I suppose.

The remains in the woods are identified as Kern’s but Nicole and Steven want to wait to tell Kyle about it until after the big game. He needs to focus on the sport and enjoying himself. I can understand why they’d be hesitant to tell him at that moment. I’s not like they could do anything about it anyway. It seems that Josh has gotten into the spirit a bit and is taking bets on the team beating last year’s champs thanks to Kyle’s skills. Well, things start off okay. Kyle is making awesome shots, the team is pumped and the crowd is supportive. But as the game winds down, the pressure mounts and he starts making mistakes. I guess he’s not perfect at everything. The crowd starts to turn on him and the coach really starts yelling at him. Even Steven looks disappointed in the decline in play. Everything comes to a grinding halt though when Declan goes to make a shot, gets blocked and lands wrong on his ankle (he’d tried to show off after Kyle did an Air Jordan move during practice and had already tweaked it). The coach calls a time out but when Declan can’t put weight on the ankle, the coach turns into a real dick. He demands that Declan get on the court or he’s off the team. One by one the rest of the team sits down, claiming injury, too, in a show of team spirit and solidarity. I have to say I really liked how that scene played out with the guys having Declan’s back. The coach is a bit of a nut job. It’s community league basketball. Not the freaking NBA!

Josh is upset that the team forfeited because now he has to pay everyone back a total of $200. He tries to get the money from Steven but his dad says no. Josh launches into this rant about how Steven never supports him and is never proud of him and Steven realizes that he has probably marginalized Josh a little bit. But he says that he loves Josh and he is the son he’s always wanted. He also makes Josh sell all the video games he bought with the money to pay everyone back. With the game over, Nicole goes to see the detective and she learns about the drug addict found with Kern’s wallet and the gun. The police seem satisfied that the case is closed. But Kyle is understandably upset about the fact that the body was Kern and they were no closer to figuring out how he could have seen the man in his dreams or what the connection is. Luckily, the stupid girl drama with Lori and Hilary ends and Kyle and Declan officially start bonding as friends over playing some hoops. And that night, Kyle dreams more about Kern, this time seeing the real killer; Foss.

I thought this was an interesting episode in that it did move the plot forward but it also gave the viewers a good lesson in teamwork and friendship. And of course, I am all for the advancement of the Declan and Kyle bromance.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Marvel's Daredevil 1.04: "In the Blood"

“That’s because we’ve been talking behind your back. About how the Russians can’t seem to handle one man running around in a mask. I mean, if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer, maybe that would explain how you keep getting your asses handed to you.”
-James Wesley

The fourth episode of “Daredevil” focused primarily on one of the criminal enterprises under Fisk’s influence – the Ranskahov brothers. The Russians have been taking the brunt of Matt’s vigilanteism in the first three episodes, so it makes sense that all their recent setbacks are now causing bigger problems. This was also another episode where Matt was separated from Foggy and Karen, doing his own vigilante thing. Actually, Matt wasn’t really in this episode much at all, but he did drive much of the action. I wonder if the series going forward will take an every-other-week approach, with Foggy and Matt case episodes alternating with more mythology-heavy episodes. That could work for me, if it is indeed how the rest of the season goes. Although now that I think about it, too many case of the week episodes might not be a good thing for me personally, since one of my pet peeves is legal TV shows that get lots of stuff wrong (for example the quickest scheduled trial ever in last week’s episode).

Like I said, the big focus of this episode is the Ranskahov brothers, Vladimir and Anatoly. The episode opens with a flashback scene to eight years previously where the brothers are in a prison in Siberia. It’s pretty clear that Anatoly, the older brother, is the real planner while younger brother Vladimir is a bit of a hothead. They seem to be about to escape, and part of the escape plan involves cutting up a corpse. Meanwhile, in the present day, Matt is messing up yet another job that the Ranskahov brothers are trying to complete. This one ends with a body falling on the hood of a car. Afterwards, Matt has to go to Claire to get patched up yet again. She’s catsitting for a friend, so it gives her a good excuse to not be at her apartment where the Russians can easily find her. Matt and Claire talk about how their arrangement is going to work going forward. Matt tells Claire to put her number in his burner phone, and he will call her when he is next in need of her services.

Throughout this episode, Karen is continuing to pursue the true story of what happened at Union Allied. First, she takes another meeting with reporter Ben Urich. Ben says he doesn’t want to take the story, and he recommends Karen drops it. Karen chides Ben, bringing up all the great exposes he has written in the past. Ben basically pulls a Murtaugh, saying he’s too old for the high stakes investigative reporting game anymore. Karen then goes to an auction off office equipment, some of which belonged to Union Allied. Her theory is that whatever Union Allied has become will try to buy all their old stuff back. Ben slides into the seat behind her and warns her to be careful. He points out a few other people who aren’t bidding on anything. He thinks they are Union Allied spies. He tells Karen to bid on and win a lot (presumably a cheap one) to look less conspicuous.

Later, Karen and Ben again meet at the diner. Ben says Karen needs to stay out of this, but he’ll keep investigating. Apparently his tipsters have a habit of being victims of retaliation. Ben wants Karen to sign the NDA to keep her safe (but he doesn’t have to keep quiet himself, since he hasn’t signed one). Karen did indeed bid on and win a $3,500 lot of 1990’s era office equipment, including a fax machine, but since she’s broke she charged it to the law firm. She’s pretty sure she’ll be fired, but Ben reminds her that the alternative is worse. Near the end of the episode, she shows Foggy the fax machine and tells him more equipment is coming, and he’s actually happy about it. It makes him feel like he’s actually working in a real office and starting to live his dream.

Wesley visits the Russians at their cab company. He says that Fisk is offering some of his people to help with the vigilante situation because they can’t get the job done. The Ranskahov brothers are not happy about this. They pay a visit in the hospital to a guy Semyon who was put in coma by Matt. They give him epinephrine to wake him up and make him talk about whatever he knows about Matt. He wakes up just long enough to tell them about Rosario, then he dies. The Russians raid her apartment, and Santino sees this go down. We see Matt and Foggy leave the office at the end of the day in a good mood, but then Matt gets a call from Claire, and he can hear she’s being attacked. Matt runs to the apartment where she has been catsitting, but he’s too late. She’s gone. He tries to hear what’s going on outside so he can run after the abductors. He hears Santino’s name mentioned, but he loses track of where Claire is going.

Matt visits Santino because he heard his name and all. Santino seems a bit beaten up and worse for wear, and while he doesn’t know much about what happened to Claire, he is able to give Matt the name of the taxi company that was on the back of the taxi used to kidnap Claire. It’s the Ranskahov brothers’ taxi company, of course. At the taxi garage, the Russians are torturing Claire, and they want to know the identity of the masked vigilante. You all know how I feel about torture, and here I am blogging two torture episodes of television in a row. The things I do for you readers (all one or two of you)! Just as things are about to get really violent at the taxi garage, the lights go out, and Claire starts laughing. She tells the Russians they can ask the vigilante his name directly.

Matt arrives on the scene and fights off all the Russians one by one. Claire gets an assist on the last one by hitting him over the head with a baseball bat. Once all the Russians are dead or incapacitated, Claire starts to break down, and she and Matt hug in the middle of the garage. The Ranskahovs arrive at the scene and survey the damage. When they are told that the masked man has struck again, Anatoly decides he’s going to go to the deal with Fisk and get some extra help to fight off the vigilante. Vladimir, who had been resistant to the idea up until this point, finally agrees that asking Fisk for help is something they really need to do.

Wilson has the car take him back to the gallery where we saw him last week so that he can flirt with the saleswoman, Vanessa, some more. They agree to meet for dinner when she is off work. She mentions that one time a man offered to buy every painting in the gallery so that she would be off work sooner, but Fisk counters that any woman who has to be bought isn’t worth it. They do have dinner at a fancy restaurant, and Fisk mentions that Hell’s Kitchen isn’t changing fast enough for his taste. There’s a little mini debate on gentrification, and Fisk comes out the winner, of course, since he wouldn’t have it any other way. Fisk and Vanessa are about to enjoy desert when Anatoly arrives at the restaurant and causes a scene. Fisk tells Wesley to put Anatoly in a car, and the date is over. Later, when Fisk is dropping off Vanessa, she doesn’t commit to another date. She saw something different in him, but she doesn’t know what to make of the restaurant incident.

At Matt’s apartment, Matt patches up Claire’s injuries from her abduction. It’s an interesting role reversal. She’s scared, but she’ll still help Matt because she thinks he’s really doing good for the city. Matt finally reveals some personal information to Claire, telling her that his dad was a boxer and his name is Matthew. Meanwhile, Wesley and Anatoly are in the car, and Wesley admonishes Anatoly for showing up in person instead of calling. Fisk pulls up to the driver’s side of the car and pulls Anatoly out. The two seem to have a history, and they start fighting right there on the street. Fisk eventually gets the better of Anatoly, and he repeatedly slams Anatoly’s head in the car door. It’s an especially gruesome scene. When it is all over, Fisk tells Wesley to deliver to body to Vladimir. Wesley says this will start a war, and Fisk is good with that.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: The Straits 1.06: "The Price"

“I know that you have shown me great kindness. And kindness must be repaid. But I believe that I have been loyal to your family, hmmm? And Mr. Eddie. Cooking, cleaning, dealing with mortally wounded.”

The sixth episode of “The Straits” saw resolution to some plots (Harry’s coma, Marou’s kidnapping) and the beginning of other plots. It was a good transitional episode in that sense. If you’ve read this blog much (all one or two of you), you know that my line for when I stop enjoying television/film is torture. Marou is being held by the bikies in this episode, and they certainly aren’t being kind, so this episode was a bit difficult to get through. Through it all, it’s been fascinating to watch Sissi take a leadership role in the family. While Harry has been incapacitated, Sissi has filled a similar role as being the sensible but tough when necessary Montebello. She occupies the same space between the extremely macho and violent Noel and the extremely pacifist Marou. I don’t really know where Gary fits on that spectrum. He’s just the screw up who occasionally gets something right to help the rest of the family – definitely not leadership material.

The episode opens with two guys we’ve never met before in a van in the rainforest. There had been some conversation about Aboriginal paintings and if they were authentic. They encounter a presumably Aboriginal teenager who says his vehicle has broken down and he needs a jack. One of the men opens the back of the van to grab a jack, and he casually asks about the authenticity of the paintings. Before the conversation can continue, some other young men approach with machine guns, and it’s clear that the whole thing was a set-up for a carjacking. As the two men stand in the rainforest with no vehicle and all of their belongings stolen, they wonder if they know anyone in Cairns.

In Cairns, the family is gathered around Harry’s hospital bed as he is starting to regain consciousness. A photo is sent to Noel’s cell phone, and Noel and Vince immediately leave the room. A few minutes later, Sissi follows, wanting to know what’s going on. Noel shows Sissi the photo, which is of a very bloody Marou. Sissi is horrified, but she pulls herself back together as quickly as she can. Noel tries calling Two Stroke, but he’s hung up on. Sissi decides to call, because Two Stroke might actually talk to her, and talk to her he does. He wants to meet up, but he wants Sissi to come alone. At the meeting, Two Stroke tells Sissi that he wants her and her family to decide how much money the return of Marou is worth. They need to make an offer, and the bikies will decide if they will return Marou. After the meeting, Noel and Sissi argue whether to try to find Marou on their own or pay off the bikies. Sissi wants to do the deal, but Noel worries this will encourage the bikies to kidnap other Montebellos. Vince has a compromise. Sissi should get the family’s liquid assets together in case the money is needed, while he and Noel will question Boydie and try to find Marou.

Marou himself is in pretty bad shape. First the bikies torture him to get more information about the Montebello family dealings, then they torture him even more just because they want to cause the family pain. As I’ve said, I hate, hate, hate torture on television (or in real life, for that matter), but I will say that it was less graphic than I’m used to seeing on American television. It’s most definitely implied in every scene with Marou what the Bikie torturer is about to do to him, but the camera always cuts away just before he actually does it. While the editing made the episode more tolerable to me than most torture episodes, there was one scene that especially upset me. The torturer asks Marou if he has any kids and talks about how great it is to be a parent . . . right before pouring a pitcher of boiling water right in Marou’s lap.

Sissi goes back to the office to gather the cash from Paddy’s house that she’s got stashed in the ceiling. Just as she’s about wrapping up, one of the guys from the opening scene walks in. It turns out that he’s Paddy’s nephew, Joel. Sissi has to tell him Paddy is dead (although she says it’s a fishing accident). Paddy seems to be devastated, although given that he and his friend seem kind of grafter-y, I’m not sure how sincere it is. Sissi seems quite taken with Joel, though. Later, while driving around on an errand related to saving Marou, Sissi sees Joel trying to hitchhike. She gives him the address of a hostel for which the owners are friendly with the Montebellos, and Joel seems grateful. He also seems quite taken with Sissi, although again, I doubt his sincerity.

Noel and Vince go to Boydie’s house, where a neighbor is outside doing some gardening. Vince feigns interest in the neighbor’s garden and manages to get the address of Boydie’s mother. They go to the address, and Boydie is walking up to the house. Vince and Noel grab him and ask him for information on Marou’s whereabouts. All Boydie can give him is the license plate number of a van involved in the abduction. They give the number to Sutherland to investigate. Meanwhile, Lola has been acting very strange. She has noticed Marou is missing and she is worried about them, but whenever another Montebello asks her where Marou is, she lies, saying he’s at a footie reunion or somesuch. I guess she doesn’t want the others to know that Marou was trying to talk to Boydie. She does, however, find Two Stroke’s address in Marou’s jacket pocket, although she doesn’t yet know how much she’ll need it.

As part of gathering the money needed to pay off the bikies, Eddie and Gary have to get some cocaine from a stash the Montebellos have buried on a remote island in the Torres Straits. Of course, since they’re Eddie and Gary, they have trouble finding the drugs. They identify the tree Eddie swears he buried it under (there’s a tin he left there), but they can’t find anything. After thinking it out a bit (shocker), they realized that one of Eddie’s “cousins” may have followed him and seen him bury the drugs. The problem is that this cousin runs with a rowdy and dangerous crowd. Gary calls Sissi and asks if they can abandon the hunt, but Sissi chews him out for not caring about Marou. This finally spurs Gary on to come up with a plan. They throw two flares into the house where the cousin and his posse are partying, and it smokes the guys out of the building. They get most of the drugs back, and when they arrive at the airport, Joseph gives an ultimatum that he really wants to go home this time. Gary finally acquiesces.

Working at the Croc farm together, Sissi finally ends up telling Lola that Marou has been kidnapped. Lola, being Lola, goes to extremes in not taking it well. She goes to Two Stroke’s house and kidnaps a boy from a car sitting outside of it. Meanwhile, Noel finally hears from Sutherland, who says that one potential location of the bikie vehicle is a chook farm just outside of town. Noel and Vice go there first, and they find a lot of empty buildings. Eventually they find the room where Marou was being tortured, but the bikies have moved Marou already. Noel is devastated by this, and back at the house, he tells Sissi to do the deal with the bikies. Lola then calls him to tell him about the kidnapping, and Noel meets up with her. They quickly establish that the kid in the back seat isn’t actually Two Stroke’s son but the son of a Meals on Wheels volunteer.

Gary and Joseph touch down at the airport. At first it looks like it is going to be an easy escape, but then they are approached by an officer with a drug-sniffing dog. The officer asks Gary and Joseph to stop, but Gary throws a tennis ball to distract the dog, and they run for it. Once safe, Joseph explores downtown Cairns before making a phone call home, and the sight seems to overwhelm him. Now that they’re all reunited, the Montebello siblings try to decide what to do next. Sissi says she is going to deliver the money to the bikies. She goes to the super skeevy motel where the bikies are hiding out, and Two Stroke says the money isn’t enough. They can’t have Noel riding around like nothing happened while their leader is dead.

We don’t know right away what Two Stroke’s extra condition for Marou’s release is, but we know Marou’s reaction. He protests at first, because it would mean not seeing his kids, but eventually he agrees. Then we see him turn himself in for blowing up the bikie headquarters, and he goes to jail. With their conditions met, the bikies drop Marou off by the side of a desolate road, and we eventually see him reunite with Sissi and Gary. The (non-jailed) siblings then go to see Harry. He’s sitting in a wheelchair now, and apparently he can talk a bit. He asks where Noel is, and Sissi tells him that Noel has “gone in.” Harry’s reply is a clear, “Fucked up. Price too high.” Which must leave Marou feeling like absolute shit.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Moonlight 1.06: “B.C.”

“He lets you know what we are and then leaves you on the edge of our world looking in. Don’t you want to do more than just look?”
- Lola

Much like the case in the last episode, Mick and Beth are on a collision course even though they don’t know it yet. Beth is covering a fashion shoot which turns far more interesting when one of the models dies. And Josef pays Mick a pre-twilight visit to task his buddy with finding a vampire named Lola. She and Josef have an on-again-off-again thing and she’s disappeared and he’s worried. Just after Beth discovers the dead girl, Renee, went to a new club called Valis, Josh and Beth’s cop buddy show up and snag the footage she and Steve got that captured the girl’s death. Josh wants Beth off the case but that obviously isn’t going to happen.

Mick does a little digging into Lola and he learns that she bought a metric ton of silver recently. Oh and Josef fesses up that she stole $1 million from one of his accounts and he just can’t let that kind of behavior stand. So it is about money. Mick goes to check out where the silver was shipped to and he finds a dead vampire in a barrel. It’s been burned and it stinks of silver. Somehow he gets the body to the morgue where another vampire morgue employee helps him out. It appears someone poisoned the vampire with silver, drained al the blood and then lit the match. No idea why but it is definitely creepy. Beth tries to get in to Club Valis on her own but gets turned away at the VIP room (which is the place to be). So she goes to the morgue to take a look at Renee’s body to try and figure out what Renee had that she doesn’t that could get her in. It turns out to be a microchip. The kind vets put in people’s pets to keep track of them. Lucky for her, Beth runs into Mick at the morgue (again) and Mick agrees to help insert the microchip.

Beth brings up the kiss and Mick tries to brush it off as an accident. Yeah, those two clearly are good at avoiding their feelings. But Mick isn’t going to let Beth go back to the club alone, especially after she reveals that Renee had silver in her blood. Clearly this makes Mick think Lola is involved. Of course he’s right. Oh and I forgot to mention the guy guarding the velvet rope into the VIP room just showed up as the Author on Once Upon a Time. Beth manages to get into the VIP room and it’s like a giant orgy. Mick takes the cooler way in (through a window he has to jump through). But Beth gets her hands on some Black Crystal, a new drug, and Mick gets to meet Lola. She’s at least a couple hundred years older than Josef and she starts planting thoughts in Beth’s head about getting a taste of the vampire life. The creep-fest is (mercifully?) interrupted by a police raid and neither Beth’s cop buddy nor Josh are pleased to find Mick and Beth there.

Beth and Josh get into a fight (over Mick of course) when Josh drops Beth off at home. While she does a little drug research, Lola decides they need to move locations and Mick fills Josef in on Black Crystal. Josef also admits he gave Lola the money but he had no idea what she was using it for. Next time, dude, ask! The situation takes on a heightened sexual sense when Beth lets Lola’s words goad her into trying a little of the drug. She shows up at Mick’s place in a little black dress and tries several times to throw herself at Mick. When this first aired I think this was one of my favorite episodes for this scene. What can I say, it was pretty hot. Even if Mick is dodging the overt offers of sex. He ends up in the shower with Beth (fully clothed) to help sober her up from the drug.

The next morning Beth is embarrassed about what she did and said the night before. She can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to be a vampire though with the heightened senses and the immortality. Mick points out the downsides of no food, hiding from humanity. He’s got a point. Immortality can be very lonely. She ponders that a little as she goes to make amends with Josh. They seem to reconcile pretty fast. After seeing the chemistry with Mick and Beth (even if she was on drugs) just makes me see how little connection Beth and Josh have. It’s good that Beth is there though because after Josh threatens the club owner, they get him to go in with a wire and give up Lola. Beth gives Mick a heads up since clearly it doesn’t benefit anyone if Lola is caught by the cops. As Josef makes clear, she won’t think twice about exposing her own kind.

Mick gets to the warehouse and finds that Lola has indeed been using vampires to make her drug (which also explains why there’s nothing illegal in it for the DA to charge her with). Lola says that Mick and Josef are a lot alike with their morals and such. Josef would not be pleased to hear that (and in fact he isn’t when Mick shares this with his friend). Mick, with a bit of luck on his side, ends up besting Lola and she falls into a tank of silver. With the cops gathered just outside, he sets the place on fire to destroy the evidence and protect the vampire secret. Josef, as I mentioned, is not happy to hear Lola compared him to Mick. They do take a moment to reflect on all of the things Lola had done and seen in her long life which is kind of cool. And Beth secrets the vial of Black Crystal away, just in case. Maybe as a reminder of what it’s like to be Mick. I have to say this episode holds up very well upon re-watch and I’m very glad I was able to enjoy it so much.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer DVR Dump: 12 Monkeys 1.06: “The Red Forest”

“Time is going to take what it’s owed. Eventually, it will kill you.”
- Dr. Jones

We pick up right where we left Cole at the end of last week’s episode in an alternate 2043. He is rather disoriented and keeps seeing flashes of his own present bleed through. He gets taken to Jones who explains a lot is different now. The time machine never worked and she’s never met him. Oh and the plague was released in Chechnya in 2015 under something called Operation Troy. Cole manages to talk to the head of the West Seven who just happens to be one-eyed Ramse. Because Cole and Ramse are so tight, Cole convinces his old buddy to use the machine to send Cole back to 2015 so he can right the timeline. After a little deduction, Cole and Jones figure out that Cassie was murdered in 2015 so that’s why there was no message and why Cole and Jones hadn’t met. Well that and Cole died.

Cole ends up in 2015 in a convenience store and after making sure the date is right, he goes in search of an ally. That turns out to be Aaron. I’m not sure I like this team up because I just don’t like Aaron. We see a few pieces of the alternate timeline link up with 2015 before Cole actually nabs Aaron in the parking garage. There’s a man named Adam Wexler and he’s hiding out in Chechnya. And Aaron’s boss gets a fax about Operation Troy. Very interesting. Anyway, Cole finds Aaron and after Aaron freaks out a little bit, takes Cole to Cassie’s family bookstore to get cleaned up and so Cole can try to explain what the hell is going on. Aaron doesn’t believe him and is really confused about how Cole knows about Operation Troy. But the time for confusion is short because thanks to Aaron being a complete idiot, the police show up.

Aaron and Cole head to the Night Room to try and rescue Cassie. Cole’s latest plan involves Aaron shooting at the man in the hat while Cole grabs Cassie. That plan fails rather spectacularly. Not only does Aaron not take the shot at the right time, he sets off a car alarm and Cole from the past gets shot which makes the current Cole not so happy. Now they have to find another way to get to Cassie. Luckily Cole remembers the license plate number and Aaron calls in a favor. They learn that the truck had been used for a multitude of purposes including landscaping. So the guys end up at a green house. Not long after the guys arrive, a couple of the men who were involved in Cassie’s abduction show and Cole kills one of them and starts pounding on the other for information. Aaron uses a little diplomacy to get the guy to talk and tell them where he took Cassie.

Elsewhere, Cassie is locked in a room and overhears that she is important to the Witness (the man in the hat’s boss). While I’m hoping that means Cassie ultimately survives this episode, I don’t like the tone they’ve been using to talk about Cassie. It’s just really creepy. It gets even creepier and kind of acid trippy when Cassie gets drugged and this woman starts telling Cassie that she’s in a red forest with tall grass. The hallucination then progress to a house that is very horror movie and keeps switching what it looks like. And there is a man there that Cassie seems very afraid of. It might be the Witness but we can’t be certain. Either way, she is seriously freaking out and manages to take off. Lucky for her, Aaron and Cole have showed up and Aaron manages to get Cassie out of the warehouse. Cole has enough time to take out some of the soldiers before he splinters back to the correct timeline in 2043. Cassie may have been rescued but she is most definitely not okay. She is still seeing flashes from whatever they gave her and she is really scared of what the Witness could be planning. But at least Aaron now believes her about Cole (having seen him splinter first hand). And it seems he is on board with stopping the virus. They are going to see what they can find out about Operation Troy.

After Cole gets a little rest and a blood transfusion, the team gathers for a debrief. Cole has filled in Jones on the alternate timeline and the information gleaned from that. Jones seems fairly confident that since Cole is back in the proper timeline that the virus is no longer released in 2015 in Chechnya. But since the virus itself wasn’t in the Night Room in 2015, perhaps the actual virus is being kept in Chechnya. So the future gang is along intent on figuring out the deal behind Operation Troy. Once everyone else is dismissed, Cole and Jones touch base. He isn’t having headaches and seeing flashes of the other reality but he can still feel them in his head and they hurt. Jones confirms that eventually, the splintering will kill him like it did all of the other people before him. I have a feeling though that whatever makes Cole able to survive the jumps will keep him going long enough to reach the end of their mission. I’m not saying that will be the end of the season because I don’t know what they would storyline wise if they stopped the plague at the end of season 1 (for the record it’s been renewed for season 2 already). But we do know that there is an expiration date on Cole’s ability to travel through time and survive it. I just hope that while Cassie is relying on Aaron right now, she ultimately finds a way to be with Cole. Their chemistry has been there since the very beginning and I can’t see why they wouldn’t eventually end up together. At least for a little while. But I am intrigued by Operation Troy, especially since it seems the CIA is behind it.