Saturday, July 30, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: UnREAL 1.08: "Two"

“You are literally insane if you think I am going to marry a girl I met three weeks ago.”

In this episode of UnREAL, Adam has arrived at his final four: Grace, Anna, Faith, and Shamiqua. This means that everyone involved in the show, both cast and crew, are trying to figure out their plans for post-show and put themselves in the best possible position for post-show success. Jockeying for post-show success leads to even more manipulation than usual, or maybe it’s just a different kind of manipulation. Rachel, Grace, Anna, and Adam all get caught up in Quinn and Chet gunning for a spinoff show, and it isn’t pretty. In addition, the relationship drama continues to ramp up, both with Quinn and Chet and the Lizzie/Jeremy/Rachel/Adam quadrangle of doom (not quite as doom-y as “Lost’s” quadrangle, I think, but some doom is definitely present nonetheless). I continue to not at all see what Quinn sees in Chet, and I think she’s starting to realize Chet is a mistake, too.

Underpinning this whole episode is a video call where the network gives Quinn and Chet the go-ahead for a show called Royal Love. The premise is that Adam and Grace would have gotten married in the Everlasting season finale (to keep with the extremes of the season), and this spinoff would follow their life back in the UK, with Grace trying to adjust to society life. The jerk from the network specifically suggests he wants to see Grace in this role because of her bikini model bona fides. Quinn and Chet talk to Adam and Grace about the idea. Grace is all in and ready to sign on the dotted line, but Adam’s not having it at all. Part of it is the idea of the sham marriage, and part of it is playing up his English society family, which he has been trying to distance himself from (and they from him). Chet enlists Rachel to try and get buy-in from Adam, and in exchange, he promises that she’ll be showrunner of Royal Love.

Meanwhile, Grace is so enthusiastic about the future plans for the show that she’s practicing a British accent in front of a mirror. Anna sees this and calls Grace on it. Grace basically tells Anna everything about the plans for Royal Love. Anna brings this up to Rachel, and Rachel tries to salvage the situation by telling Anna that she thinks she would be great for Royal Love, and she’s going to try to make that happen. Chet would prefer Grace, but he ultimately doesn’t care which of the two women gets the spinoff, so Rachel goes to work. Adam, of course, still hates the idea, for the reasons I already mentioned. Rachel brings this back to Chet, and he has a completely insane response. He gets Rachel into a Ferrari and has her drive faster and faster. He wants to push her past her comfort level, so at one point, he pushes her foot down on the gas pedal. Rachel almost gets in an accident, but she manages to stop the car just in time. When they arrive back at the set, Rachel gets out of the car and immediately vomits.

Meanwhile, it’s spa date week on Everlasting. Each of the spa dates are pretty ridiculous. Grace freaks out as her treatment is a little too close to being buried alive. Adam and Faith are supposed to sensually smear mud on each other, but at Faith’s prompting, they turn it into a mud fight instead. They have a fabulous time, but of course Quinn is furious. She wants sexy times, not friends playing in the mud. Encouraged by Rachel to really make a pass at Adam, the tantric yoga session with Adam and Anna starts out a little more to Quinn’s liking. Then Anna mentions something about what their lives would be like back in England, and Adam immediately knows she’s been given the Royal Love offer too. He finds the idea so appalling that he ends the date right then and there. After her little incident with Chet, however, Rachel finally figures out how to get Adam to agree to a spinoff. She proposes that he make a deal for a show called Royal Renovations, where he would get control of the vineyard back instead of it being the Everlasting Resort. He wouldn’t get married to Anna – just engaged – and they would work on the renovations together for the show. This is a bit more to Adam’s liking, and he agrees to the plan, making a big apology to Anna. The apology (and subsequent make-out session) kind of bugs Rachel.

Which means, of course, it’s on to the romantic entanglements of the episode! First we’ll start with everybody’s least favorite couple, Quinn and Chet. At the end of the previous episode, Chet announced that he told his pregnant wife that he wants a divorce. Real classy, Chet. Understandably, in this episode, his wife wants to get as much monetary compensation for this fuckery as she can. Chet however, convinces her that they should reach a financial settlement outside of court. He tells Quinn that he had to pay tens of millions of dollars, but she was worth it. And then he proposes to Quinn. Like a complete idiot, she accepts. Again, I really don’t at all see what Quinn sees in him. He’s a sleazy drug addict, and I really don’t find him at all charming. Apparently newbie PA Madison finds Chet just as charming as Quinn does, though. They have a few friendly conversations, and by the end of the episode, she’s giving him a blow job. Quinn sees this happening, and she’s devastated. She goes to a safe and exchanges her engagement ring for a flash drive, then she goes and tells Chet that she’s ready to get married in Vegas ASAP. I can only wonder what she’s up to, because it can’t be good!

On the quadrangle of doom front, you may recall that Jeremy and Rachel had what Rachel called “grief sex” in the last episode. In this episode, Jeremy feels kind of guilty (maybe?) and ends up breaking up with Lizzie, who was already to get married despite her previous misgivings. Jeremy tries to tell this to Rachel (presumably because he wants to get back together), but Rachel is too preoccupied to have time to talk with him. At the end of the episode, he stops by the electrical truck, but she’s not there. He texts her, and she’s not going to be answering any time soon, because she’s having sex with Adam. He finally said that what he really wants is her, not any of the contestants, and there you have it.

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.08: “Night of the Hawk”

“An immortal psychopath and racists. I’m beginning to like this quaint, little town less and less.”
- Ray

We now find ourselves in 1958: the time of the juke box and rampant homophobia and racism. Just what the civil rights attorney in me wants to watch. But hey, at least Ray got to have some humorous one-liners! Before we find the team, though, we gets some teenagers drag racing down lover’s lane. They have the misfortune of happening upon a meteor that’s also attracted one Vandal Savage. That’s not good for the kids, that’s for sure. Since it seems Savage has settled into this little Oregon town (and some strategic murders have taken place), the team splits up. Sara and Stein pose as a doctor and nurse at an insane asylum and Kendra and Ray are a married couple new in town. Jax is going to use his youth to cozy up to some of the town’s local high school crowd to get some info on those missing kids. And Rip and Snart get to pump the police for some information (with Rip doing a weird American accent).

Kendra and Ray are the first to get a shock when their new neighbors, the Knoxes show up to invite them to a dinner party. Sure that’s a nice sentiment but it is creepy as hell coming from Savage. At this point it is very unclear whether he recognizes her and the team. But thanks to that invite, she and Ray find out that he’s got a man cave that Ray is going to break into. While they are susses out Savage, Sara and Stein learn a few things at the hospital. First, Knox (aka Savage) has a restricted wing where he keeps psychotic patients. Well it isn’t quite psychotic as grotesque bat-people. Sara also finds a repressed lesbian nurse who is kind of adorable. Sara saves her from a misogynistic pig of a doctor. They bond a little over drinks while Sara and Stein are supposed to be searching the hospital and then they kiss (initiated by the nurse).

Not surprisingly, Jax faces the hardest situation of the team (even more so than Ray and Kendra being an interracial couple) because he cozies up to a white girl who was the girlfriend of one of the missing teens. First he gets hassled by some football players and then when and the girl go out on a date, the same football players track them down and start hassling them. This of course is interrupted by the bat people (aka the teenagers that have been mutated by the meteor) and the girl gets her throat slashed. Jax, in an effort to get her help, gets pulled over by a racist asshole cop and then knocked out.

Things aren’t all bad (well sure, Jax gets turned into a bat thing but you know I’m sure Stein can save him). Ray’s mission into Savage’s house yields the dagger Kendra needs to kill Savage. She plans to go to him alone and take him out but the rest of the team isn’t very comfortable with that plan. I don’t blame them. She hasn’t exactly proven herself a strong, capable warrior. She’s still just kind of bland. Sara is a much better fighter and way more badass, even as she deals with emotions for the first time post-Pit. The rest of the team is strategically in place at the hospital when Kendra goes to meet Savage. Kendra tries to get the knife out of her purse and stab Savage with it but he get the upper hand. And to keep the rest of the team busy, he lets out the monsters. This leads to quite the chaotic scene at the hospital and Stein and Snart sort of team up (well okay so it’s mostly Snart and his freeze gun doing all the work). Sara gets to save her nurse and even Rip and Ray get to take on a piece of the action. I’d say it was a win when Ray punches Savage out a window but the bad guy has the knife again so it’s really a loss.

Jax is cured as are the other kids and things are starting to settle down for the small town folk. Jax has gifted the girl (who has recovered from her wounds) with a tricked out ride and he makes her promise to get out of town because things are changing in the world and she deserves to see it. Sara also says goodbye to her nurse who seems much happier now that she’s kissed a girl (several times) and liked it. Sara seems happier, too. I’m sure Nyssa would be happy to see her girlfriend smiling again. Ray and Kendra apologize to each other for how they acted (getting caught up in the moment and all). Jax even gets to apologize to Snart for the way he acted about the Rory situation (from the conversations throughout the episode I think he’s still dead). They don’t get much of a chance to chat because Chronos shows up yet again and he’s got new Time Master toys that let him breach the ship. It’s unclear whether the guys get to the jump ship in time to escape but the Wave Rider takes off before Ray, Sara and Kendra are aboard. So I guess we aren’t quite done with the 1950s yet. Maybe Sara can go on a date with that nurse after all. Of course the team left onboard (if they are onboard) are probably going to have a very bad day now that they are in Chronos’ clutches. I am sensing a pattern of non-Savage centric episodes and Savage-centric ones. It isn’t a bad way to formulate the show but it does seem like they just keep flipping back and forth and they aren’t really accomplishing much of their ultimate goal as they bumble along. I know they aren’t legends yet but they really don’t seem to be as effective as they should be given their combined skillsets and technology.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.07: "I'm So Happy that Josh is So Happy!"

“Everyone should feel their feelings. Everyone should always feel their feelings.”

This particular episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” was kind of a mixed bag for me. There were some aspects of the episode that really worked for me, and there were some aspects of the episode that made me a little too upset. That’s kind of representative of the show overall, though. It’s a brilliant show and the characters are so well drawn, but it’s also not afraid to make viewers uncomfortable. Rebecca’s mental health issues really take center stage in this episode. She’s done some impulsive ridiculous things in previous episodes, but she really loses it this time, and she starts hallucinating Dr. Phil of all people. On the more positive side, we explore Paula’s character in this episode and get a fabulous song from Donna Lynne Champlin, and we also get some fun bro time with Josh and his buddies. That fun bro time also clearly shows how Josh’s friends feel about Valencia, which I found pretty interesting.

Josh and Valencia are moving it in together, and of course Rebecca and Paula are watching while parked down the road. Rebecca wants to give the couple a rice cooker for a housewarming gift because rice is important to both their cultures (Filipino and Mexican), but Paula of course thinks that’s a horrible idea. Anything that encourages Josh and Valencia is not a good thing in her book. Rebecca has some good sense for once and decides to give Josh some space, letting him tell her when he’s ready to get together. That’s when she’ll give him the rice cooker. Seeing Josh and Valencia moving in and making out throws Rebecca for a loop. It’s bad timing for Rebecca to be preoccupied with Josh, though. Darryl is trying to attract a new client to Whitefeather, a medium (but big time in West Covina) real estate guy named Calvin Young. Rebecca is supposed to take a key role in landing Calvin as a client, but she’s a mess. She drinks vodka out of her pen cup and ends up with ink-blue teeth. Darryl can tell Rebecca’s not doing well, so he tells her to go home and rest up so she can kill the big presentation to Calvin on Monday.

Instead of working on her presentation, Rebecca wallows, watches some Dr. Phil, and fantasizes about how the French make depression seem sexy. “Sexy French Depression,” the song that explores the later topic, is one of the better songs of the series, I think. It’s basically a little art film, and there’s a lot of French spoken in it. Soon enough, Rebecca is having full-on conversations with imaginary Dr. Phil, and she realizes that she probably needs some help. One thing I do appreciate about “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is that while it is at its heart a comedy, Rebecca’s mental health issues are taken seriously. You might remember that when she first moved to West Covina, Rebecca triumphantly threw away all of her meds. Now she frantically looks for any pills she might have left behind. Not finding any meds, Rebecca goes to see a real therapist, Dr. Akopian. Dr. Akopian is horrified at the list of meds Rebecca was on in New York, and she wants Rebecca to try some real therapy. Rebecca has rehashed her childhood countless times to therapists, and she’s not keen to do it again. Instead she finds a pill on the bathroom floor at Dr. Akopian’s office that turns out to be an ADHD medication. Rebecca thinks she found exactly what she needs.

Meanwhile, Valencia has complained that they have no furniture for their new place, so Josh buys an Ikea-style dining room table and enlists Greg, Hector, and White Josh to help him build it. The guys help even though they know Valencia won’t like it since she didn’t pick it out. They allude to their dislike of Valencia by saying things about the dining room table that they actually feel about Valencia. Greg even goes so far as to say Josh will ruin his life if he sticks with “this table.” Josh isn’t hearing any of it, though. Eventually, after pulling an all-nighter, the table is finished, and it doesn’t look half bad. It’s actually surprising they got the thing together, really. Valencia, of course, hates it when she sees it. She says it’s not what she would have picked out, and she asks Josh to return it. There are times when I have some sympathy for Valencia, but now is not one of those times.

Anyway, since Rebecca is out of commission, Paula has the responsibility of entertaining Calvin for the weekend. The weekend starts with a dinner at Paula’s house for Calvin and Darryl. Paula’s husband is off barbershopping, and Darryl leaves pretty quickly after he sees that Calvin and Paula are just going to flirt all evening. Calving invites Paula to a jazz club, and she accepts. She has a great time at the club, since she actually feels appreciated, and she sings a gorgeous jazz tune about it called “His Status is Preferred.” It’s a great song, and Donna Lynne Champlin kills it as always. As the evening continues, Calvin invites Paula back to his hotel room, and Paula accepts that invitation too. Calvin is a widower, and Paula is the first woman since his wife that he really feels a connection with. Paula’s marriage is a mess, and she really just wants the kind of attention Calvin is offering.

The ADHD pill turns out to be a bit much for Rebecca, so she calls Heather to ask if she has any downers. Heather stops by with some weed, and once she’s high, Rebecca has the bright idea to break into Dr. Akopian’s office to try and find more pills. Instead, Rebecca and Heather see that Dr. Akopian left her prescription pad out. Rebecca now has a new plan – steal the scrip pad. She tries to fit in through the doggie door and gets stuck, and Dr. Akopian catches her and Heather. She makes Rebecca realize just how far she has fallen, but she tells Rebecca she won’t press any charges for the breaking and entering if Rebecca agrees to do some real therapy.

What really brings Rebecca back, however, is when she calls Paula and finds out that Paula is in Calvin’s hotel room, about to have sex with him. She marches right to the hotel and tells Paula in no uncertain terms that what she’s about to do is a very bad idea. Rebecca says she has now realized it’s okay to feel your feelings, and she, Paula, and Calvin all end up crying together. Calvin acknowledges that this sort of thing would usually destroy a business deal, but he appreciates Rebecca’s no-nonsense attitude, and he’s willing to do business with Whitefeather. Rebecca does indeed go for a session with Dr. Akopian, but as you might expect, it’s cut short when Josh texts her to ask if she wants to get boba. Rebecca of course immediately makes her excuses and goes for boba, where she finally gives Josh the rice cooker. Two steps forward, one step back, I suppose.

Summer DVR Dump: Heroes Reborn 1.08: “June 13th Part Two”

“It’s about time my old friend.”
- Hiro

This episode is crazy! Much like the original we are finally getting answers and the action is just crazy. There’s so much to get through so let’s start. Present Noah tackles Future Noah but the latter gets a shot off and nails Erika in the butt. Quentin has been looking for Phoebe and he ends up helping Erika get medical attention because she says he’ll never find her if he lets Erika die. The better part is the two Noahs arguing and realizing what the heck is going on. I enjoyed Jack Coleman playing against himself. It was entertaining and Present Noah was pissed that his future counterpart shot Erika and stepped on a butterfly. Hiro would be so annoyed.

Speaking of Hiro, he and Angel have taken the babies back to 1999 but they are still stuck in Odessa. And Hiro has no powers thanks to baby Nathan having a power somewhere in between Sylar and Great-Uncle Peter. He takes powers. Angela warns Hiro that the twins can’t be near each other (it also explains how Claire died…poor kid took her power, too) so they are going to separate the twins. We also are subjected to the origin of Joanne the nut job. They eventually find poor Dennis’s body and she is losing it. They are watching news footage in their hotel room when the freezing guy shows up to thank Luke for helping him. But Joanne freaks out, starts throwing around terms like “you people” (it still just irks me so bad) and she ultimately stabs the poor guy to death rather gleefully. She totally has the crazed killer look at the end when she says she feels fine and Luke just kind of stares at her like “what the hell just happened?”

Meanwhile, we see Carlos getting questioned about an operation in the Middle East and Farah is there, too. It seems she was part of his unit as well. She’s going off the grid for an operation (I’m pretty sure it’s to protect Malina) when Carlos shows up and he’s not happy that he got a medal for something she did. She tells him to live up to the honor. So at least he’s kind of connected to the larger story now since he’s mostly been useless up to this point. Out in Japan, Miko’s creator sees that Hiro supposedly died in Odessa and he was in league with Mohinder. I have to wonder how they managed to doctor a video of Mohinder rambling about Evo superiority. Anyway, we witness Miko’s creator build her in the game and bring her into our world with his power as a back door to protect Hiro in the game. We get some sweet scene with him teaching her to make dinner and filling her on her past (even though we know now that she isn’t real). Erika has ordered Harris (or one of his clones) to eliminate the additional Hiro. Oh boy.

Future Noah and Molly head off to find Hiro (or at least his power) which leaves Present Noah and Casper. I have a feeling they are going to regret not using Renee for the memory wipe. Especially since Casper gets knocked out and Matt comes in to find out about Claire. I have to say I was kind of bummed about Matt’s trajectory. He did struggle so much to find his place but he is better than this. I know he wants to protect his family but come on. He does let Noah and Casper go after Casper uses one of his pennies to wipe Noah’s memory so he can’t reveal the location of the baby (they don’t know she had twins). Noah and Molly find Hiro living in a pretty nice house and it makes me think he settled down with the nurse and raised Nathan/Tommy.

I must say I really like Nathan with all his memories. He has the geekiness of Hiro and the need to save the world like his Great Uncle Peter. Even his power is like Peter. Unfortunately, just as the family reunion is getting underway, Harris shows up Noah has to kill him. This prompts a visit to Angela to warn that Erika is somewhat on to them. Angela has not aged well. She’s at a monastery with young Malina. Nathan really wants to meet her but Angela insists they stay apart until the time is right. Not long after Noah and Nathan leave, Farah shows up and Angela tasks her with keeping an eye on Malina. Farah is skeptical that Malina will be able to save the world but come on, she’s a Petrelli, too!

Noah needs to get back to the future so he can get the twins together at the right time. But first we see Present Noah get dropped into the rubble of the explosion to go wandering off looking for Claire. So at least they have fixed some of the problem. Too bad Quentin goes back to Erika and demands to see Phoebe. They have an okay reunion and it just makes me worry that they will get to him. Anyway, a bunch of Harris clones show up to take out Nathan and Hiro orders his son to flee (Molly has also been tasked with remotely monitoring the twins) with his mother and Casper. He has his own battle to finish from fifteen years ago (or you know, a few hours depending on how you look at it). Casper takes Nathan’s memory and thus we get to the point where we found him at the start of the season.

Noah gets back to the future to find Quentin is alive. He does his kind of obnoxious rambling thing and gets Noah to admit that Claire had twins and they are teenagers now. I was right not to trust Quentin because he reports this to Erika. So now they know what is going on. Well damn!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.08: “Et Tu, Doctor?”

“I have layers. I’m like an onion, a very attractive one.”
- Lucifer

Lucifer is having a pretty good time as he celebrates his ‘rebirth” after burning his wings until Chloe shows up with Dan in toe. They share a drink before the pair head off to the welcome back party for the cop who’d been in the coma. There’s definitely something off about him and not just because he’d been unconscious. He throws Chloe a wink when his partner says that hell couldn’t keep him. Meanwhile, Lucifer is experiencing pangs of jealousy over Chloe getting back with Dan. He wants Linda to get Chloe fixed but she refuses, seeing as that’s not how therapy works. But he might end up getting what he wants when the case of the week drops. A therapist who helped couples save their marriages by encouraging them to cheat. Chloe thinks it is pretty disgusting but naturally Lucifer is all for the idea. And when Chloe says they need a court order from a judge to view patient records, Lucifer ends up sleeping with a judge to get Linda appointed.

As mentioned earlier, Chloe is not too happy to have Linda be appointed to review the dead therapist’s files (although she does find a possible suspect amongst the mountain of happy of customers). But while it’s happening, Chloe and Lucifer chat about Lucifer actually being in therapy and it sort of working. Lucifer, however, gets distracted by the sign for a new doctor, a Dr. Canan (really that’s what you come up with Amenediel?). Anyway, Lucifer and Chloe head off to check out this suspect and she explains that she and Dan split because the job was more important to him. But now he’s making an effort and she’s happy about it. You know, before I was hoping they’d get back together but I have an inkling he might be the corrupt cop who shot the guy she was investigating so if that’s the case, I don’t want her anywhere near him. Things goes sideways when they try to talk to the suspect because he’s on a roof about the jump.

Lucifer quickly learns that he wasn’t jealous of his wife’s affair and he didn’t kill the therapist. He was still seeing the guy even though he couldn’t afford it and he was broken up over the guy’s death. Lucifer (not intentionally) convinces the guy to not jump and that gives the team a vital bit of intelligence. The therapist’s wife was in town two days earlier even though she had plane tickets to and from Phoenix. Very interesting. Also interesting is Maze getting to interact with Linda a bit. Maze is very protective of her boss, even if she is selling him out in a way to his brother. I don’t think that will end well for our little demon.

Lucifer is quite miffed when Chloe takes a call to go back to her place to allegedly meet Dan in the middle of the case. Yep, our Devil is jealous alright and Linda finds it very interesting. It turns out though that Dan isn’t waiting for Chloe. The cop who was shot it. He claims to be on her side and says he thinks a corrupt cop shot him but warns that it might not be safe for either of them to keep digging. But it isn’t clear whether he tells her to stop or not (and we know she’s not going to stop). In a very gross turn of events, they find the therapist’s wife and under Lucifer’s exacting gaze, she admits she came back to see if her husband was cheating her. It wasn’t the cheating that was the problem but that he fell in love with the woman. The wife was going to throw bags of horse poop at the woman. Ew. Also suspect is Dan showing up and threatening to punch the cop who met with Chloe. The way he reacts to things just makes me think he’s guilty.

Lucifer is putting his annoyance with everything, including Chloe and Linda ganging up on him, to good use by attending a group therapy session/memorial for the therapist. Oh boy, this is going to get awkward! While he gets going about his own drama, Linda and Chloe chat about Lucifer and how they think they’ve each helped him. Although Linda realizes she should probably stop sleeping with him. About the same time, everyone realizes the dead therapist’s partner is the killer (he attacks Lucifer and then bites Chloe). Lucifer still refuses to see his situation the same way as this guy (that the woman he wants is with someone else and that no matter what he does, she’ll never be his). But he has to put that on the back burner when Chloe fills him in on her secret case. She points out that she hacked the formerly comatose cop’s partner’s GPS. So they follow it to a cop bar and find the partner dead. It looks like it was a suicide. It looks like everything is all wrapped up in a nice little bow. Still makes me suspicious of Dan which is probably what the writers want.

And as luck would have it, we don’t have to wait to find out whether they mean it or not. Dan gets a text from the cop and admits he shot the guy. So the suicide note was faked and I’m thinking maybe this guy is more demon than when he was first alive. Elsewhere, Linda has decided to keep things professional and put up some boundaries of her own. Lucifer seems to respect it (although we know he’s not generally use to hear the word no) and then he gets her to fill him in on Dr. Canan. Oh boy is he pissed about that one. He confronts Maze at Lux and she admits she did to protect him but he points out she was doing it for her own selfish reasons. We all know she did it so she could go home. I don’t get why she couldn’t have just taken him up on his offer to go home after he burned his wings. But either way, he’s done with her and I can’t imagine that is going to bode well for any of them.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July: Doctor Who Christmas Special 2015: "The Husbands of River Song"

“I think I’m going to need a bigger flow chart.”
-The Doctor

Since we won’t be getting new episodes of “Doctor Who” until 2017 (as well as the end of Moffat’s time at the helm), we thought we would cover the 2015 Christmas Special for “Christmas in July”. Overall, this was a really fun episode and ranks in the top two for “Docor Who” Christmas specials, the number one still being “The Christmas Invasion”. But given how the rest of series 9 played out, this little gem was quite the surprise come Christmas Day. It was refreshing to have a Christmas special with a more upbeat tone.

Much like “Christmas Invasion”, “The Husbands of River Song” started out and on Christmas but had little to do with the holiday other than seeing some holiday decorations around. The Doctor lands on a planet and is immediately accosted by a little alien, wanting to know if he’s the surgeon. There’s some confusion as to who the Doctor is, but he goes along with it. And whom should he run into but the ever snarky Professor River Song. She’s undercover (sort of), and she has no idea that he’s the Doctor. Apparently she only knew his original eleven (twelve if you count the War Doctor) regenerations. River has “married” a dying tyrant king, King Hydroflax, and she needs a surgeon to help her remove a very expensive diamond from his head. Definitely not what the Doctor signed up for.

In a series of great physical comedy bits, River and the Doctor take off with the king’s head and make a beeline for the TARDIS. The Doctor, playing along that River doesn’t recognize him, gets to have great fun acting out the “it’s bigger on the inside” moment most companions have when they first meet him. It also appears River has married some adorable little hunk, Ramon, as well. So she’s got three husbands at this point. The robot body that King Hydroflax’s head was attached to is independent of the head and ends up collecting people’s heads who know River and where she might have gone. Our duo ends up on a cruise ship that is run by and only for mass murderers and other such criminals. Unfortunately, things get really dicey when the robot shows up demanding to have the diamond back. It takes nearly dying and a really impassioned speech for River to realize that the man she loves has been standing in the thick of it with her this whole time. They make a quick escape, and then the TARDIS lands just beyond the wreckage by the Singing Towers of Darillium. As any good Whovian knows, this is the last place and time River sees the Doctor before she goes to the Library (and her death). The Doctor plans to make the most of this time together but it shouldn’t be that bad seeing as a single night on Darillium is 24 years.

The best thing about this episode was the chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston as the Twelfth Doctor and River. They are two very experienced actors who are having fun working together and giving the material all they’ve got. Their comic timing is a delight to watch. It’s an interesting contrast to River and the Eleventh Doctor, who appeared much more frequently together. River always clearly seemed to have the upper hand in that relationship, immediately moving in and taking over in her episodes. The Doctor should always be the smartest person in the room (otherwise the episode isn’t quite as fun), and when River was around, he wasn’t. River and Twelve are much more evenly matched. They both participate in getting each other out of the many predicaments in which they find themselves throughout the episode. It probably has something to do with the more evenly matched experience between the actors.

That being said, it seemed that whenever we saw River with the Eleventh Doctor, she did in fact have the upper hand in their relationship. She knew where he was headed and what they’d already shared so she could just take control, knowing he would get to a place eventually where they might be equals.She was always confident in who she was and how she fit into the Doctor’s life. But in this episode, we see her lay her feelings bare for the robot body, proclaiming that she loves the Doctor with all she is but she can’t possibly conceive that he would be able to love her back. It was such a painfully emotional moment for her, and maybe it came out because she didn’t realize the Doctor was there with her. No matter the reason, it was very intriguing to see River in such a different light, in a bit of a role reversal from how we’d seen her previously.

Really, in this episode, the plot itself was secondary. King Hydroflax was a rather generic villain, although his penchant for absorbing people’s heads did lead to some awkwardly humorous moments. There wasn’t much nuance to him - he basically just wanted your standard-issue power and wealth. He served as a vehicle to greater explore the relationship between River and the Doctor. This episode was really about the Doctor and River and their history. Especially because this episode takes place near the end of River’s timeline. We’ve known since she first met the Tenth Doctor in Silence in the Library/ Forest of the Dead that viewing the Singing Towers of Darillium would be the last adventure she would share with the Doctor before her fateful trip to the Library. It was nice (albeit somewhat bittersweet) to see this episode bring that history full circle, letting us see that event actually play out. Now if we could have seen those 24 years they spent together, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, as long as they kept up the great chemistry we saw in this episode.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: UnREAL 1.07: "Savior"

“Just face it. You’re a monster.”

“Savior” dealt, as you might expect, with the immediate aftermath of Mary’s suicide at the end of the previous episode of “UnREAL.” The Everlasting team has to figure out how to deal with this unprecedented crisis as the network’s lawyers and the police are all really pushing for answers about what happened. Quinn and Rachel are especially on the hot seat, since they were involved in the decision to bring Kirk on set, and his presence seems to have had at least somewhat of a role in Mary’s breakdown. It is interesting to note the phases of the team’s response to the crisis. At first, Quinn is mostly concerned with keeping things quiet until she has all the information. When she gets some especially troubling information, she doubles down on the keeping quiet to protect her crew. This all would have ended in disaster if Rachel hadn’t come up with a way to utterly discredit Kirk in public, otherwise the show would have been in serious legal trouble, and without all the pertinent facts, the legal team wouldn’t have been able to advocate for them to the best of their ability. More of a rant on that in a bit (this is a blog run by licensed, albeit not practicing lawyers, after all…you couldn’t expect me to let that one go!).

When it’s clear Mary is dead, the crew starts trying to round up the cast in one location. The ladies are very confused about why they’re all being asked to stay in one room. When the sirens approach, they at first think it’s another gimmick like when the paramedics were called after Anna’s father’s death, but some of them start realizing that the scene outside, with the police and an ambulance, looks all too real. Mary is conspicuously missing, and the ladies start to suspect that something is terribly wrong. Chet and Quinn have to call the network executive (who is a misogynistic ass, by the way, constantly talking down to Quinn and insulting her) and tell him that there has been a death. He orders the cast quarantined and the crew let go. He and some network lawyers will be flying in the next morning. Meanwhile, Rachel gets the super fun job of telling Adam what happened and asking him to be the one to tell the ladies. Awesomely, Adam points out that since he’s English, he’s not very good at the whole grief counselor thing. Stiff upper lip and all that, you know?

Thankfully, Shia comes clean pretty early in the whole ordeal about messing with Mary’s meds. She first tells Rachel, who almost immediately takes it to Quinn. I think Rachel was probably hoping for some punishment for Mya, but Quinn decides to keep this development completely secret. She doesn’t even tell Chet about it. Instead, she has Jay take Shia to a hotel room until Shia’s past the point where she’s likely to say something she shouldn’t. She really resents this, by the way, because she kind of desperately wants to talk through the situation with someone. Jay won’t let her talk about it at all, though, because he wants to maintain plausible deniability. He insists that friendship doesn’t rely on complete honesty and sharing secrets, and he’s cool with still being Shia’s friend even if he doesn’t know her big secret. It’s kind of a moot point now, though. The handling of Mary’s death disgusts Mya, Shia’s last candidate, to the point where she quits the show. Since Shia has no more contestants to produce, she is sent home, presumably never to be heard from again.

The asshole network exec and two suits from legal both descend on the production, much to Quinn and Rachel’s chagrin. They grill Quinn and Rachel, as they absolutely should. Like I said in the intro, I think it’s pretty terrible that Quinn and Rachel didn’t tell the lawyers everything that was going on – they only want to know all the facts so they can best help their clients. When I was a law student in clinic, a classmate and I had a client in an employment discrimination failure to hire case who didn’t disclose to us a very valid reason why the employer didn’t hire him. When it all came out at mediation, our client lost his case and my classmate and I looked like idiots. Like I said, a lawyer can’t effectively advocate for her client if she doesn’t have all the facts. And there’s such a thing as attorney/client privilege so you can feel comfortable telling her all the facts! And with that, I’ll end my PSA on the topic.

Since Rachel and Quinn insist on not telling the lawyers the truth, and Kirk is intent on filing a wrongful death suit and getting money out of the death of a woman he brutally abused, Quinn and Rachel have to come up with another way to make everything right. Rachel is especially insistent that Kirk not make money off of this terrible situation. Quinn’s motivation is more just saving Everlasting, and if the right thing is done in regards to Kirk, that’s a bonus. First, even though the network has said absolutely no footage should be filmed, Rachel films some of the other ladies talking about what they know of Mary and Kirk’s history. Rachel tries to get Adam to say something, too, but he refuses to anything that would take the blame off of Everlasting for the tragedy. He thinks Rachel is being horribly selfish and thinking only of the show. Jeremy, however, is not so upset with Rachel right now. In fact, he and Rachel end up having sex in the electrical truck. Afterwards, Rachel tries to write it off as grief sex, which doesn’t make Jeremy terribly happy. Lizzie’s not going to be happy either when she finds out about it, I’d imagine.

Anyway, network asshole sees the crew trying to edit together Rachel’s footage, and he throws a fit. He orders the footage destroyed. Quinn and Rachel start thinking that there may be no way out of this without paying off Kirk after all. Then, when she goes to Mary’s room to grieve for a little while, Rachel finds Lilly Belle’s teddy bear, and she has an idea. Next thing we know, Mary’s sister is reading on air a note to Lilly Belle that Rachel “found” in the bear. It absolves Everlasting of any blame for Mary’s suicide, and it says that Mary killed herself so that Lilly Belle would be safe from Kirk. It’s the perfect move to get Kirk off their backs. Mary’s sister knows the letter is fake, and when Adam questions whether or not she’s okay with that, she responds that anything that will keep Kirk from getting Lilly Belle or making money off of Mary’s tragedy is fine by her. Adam starts to forgive Rachel in that moment, I think. Rachel, in need of some comfort, goes to Adam’s room that night. He tells her she’s really not a horrible person, and they spoon.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.07: “Marooned”

“I may have the IQ of meat, but I know how to cut a deal.”
- Mick

It’s been a week since the events in Star City and the team is starting to crawl up the walls a bit. Mick is still pissed about having to leave and Snart asserting dominance over him in their little duo. Rip is going down memory lane in kind of a spiral as well. He keeps watching the last message from his wife and son on a loop until Stein interrupts him. Rip doesn’t have much time to mope because Gideon gets a distress call from the flag ship of the Time Fleet. It is a dangerous mission since the Time Masters are after them but they might be able to use the other ship’s computers to update Gideon’s system with the latest information on Savage since they’ve hit a dead ed. Mick wants in on the mission because he needs a change of scenery. Jax and Stein join Rip as well. Sara, Ray, Kendra and Snart stick around the Wave Rider.

We also see how Rip and his wife first met doing a simulation that totally reminded me of Star Trek. Unfortunately they get caught making out and Rip gets called before a disciplinary committee. It turns out that both Rip and his future wife get called before the Council and are given an hour to decide how to answer for their crimes or else both will be kicked out of service. His wife resigns and convinces the Council that he is a good man and a good soldier he just needs to prove it. So I guess that’s why they were able to have a relationship later on.

That’s not the worst of his situation in the present though. They board the other ship and are promptly attacked by time pirates. While Rip is trying to make the pirates take him seriously and let them go, Ray is having fun pretending to be Captain Kirk (or as Kendra says Picard). It had to laugh at the references. It was pretty hilarious. And luckily, Rip has some other clever aces up his sleeve. He’s set several protocols for Gideon to execute when he says certain phrases. So it sounds like he’s pimping Ray’s skills but it really sets Gideon to fight back. The Wave Rider starts shooting at the other ship (and the smaller ship too). This prompts Stein to board the other ship and he annually shuts down the targeting system manually. Unfortunately, while they initiate another protocol that uses a hologram, there’s a giant hole in the hull. Snart and Sara attempt to fix it but his freeze gun can only partially seal the breach and they get stuck on the wrong side of the bulkhead doors. Oops! Also, pretty hilarious to see Ray consider himself as Han Solo, too. The nerdy space name drops is pretty great.

Sara and Snart are still stuck when Ray and Kendra happen upon them. They can’t get the bulkhead door open so Ray decides to try and use the Atom suite to go out in space to get to them the other way. This gives Sara and Snart a chance to have an interesting conversation about death. Sara says that her death made her feel lonely, as if all the people she loved were really far away. Snart explains the closest he ever came to death was in juvenile detention when he met Mick for the first time. He was young and scrawny and a bunch of older kids jumped him. Mick saved him.

Back on the other ship, Rip and Mick get into a fight in the brig (after the other captain threatens to turn Rip in) when Rip quite brutally explains that he didn’t need Mick for his mission, but he was a package deal with Snart. Rip basically says Mick has the IQ of meat which is really mean. But this prompts Mick to try and make a deal with the pirates. I don’t know that he’s really thinking of the team at this point or if it’s just himself. In either event, Stein is still sneaking through the ship and I have a feeling he’s going to save the day in spectacular fashion. In fact, he does rescue Rip and Jax and the other captain. But it does seem like Mick is going to screw everyone over.

Ray manages to seal the hole in the hull (and he gets to remark that his and Kendra’s space date is going terribly). Sara and Snart get out of the engine room after they chat a bit about Mick being in such a dark place and being a dangerous man. Just after Kendra saves Ray’s life, Mick boards the ship with the other pirates. He made the deal to get the ship so he could go back to 2016 in Central City so he can tell Rip to suck it. I kind of wish Snart either left him in 2046 or he dies because he’s insufferable right now. While the team left on the Wave Rider take on the pirates and Mick, Rip, Stein and Jax team up with the captain to escape. Quite expertly, Rip takes out the lead pirate captain (watching Arthur kick butt was pretty awesome) and then has the ship’s computer decompress the ship and let all the pirates get sucked out. Sara, Ray, Kendra and Snart take out the rest of the pirates and Sara gets to have a pretty epic fight with Mick. She ends up beating him and they end up holding him at gunpoint. Not sure what’s going to happen next.

With everyone back onboard the Wave Rider, emotions are running high. For Kendra and Ray that means making out somewhat unexpectedly. Poor Jax, the kid can’t catch a break! And for Mick, it means a hard decision needs to be made by the team. They can’t keep him I the brig indefinitely ad they can’t risk putting him back in 2016 where he could enact revenge on various team member’s family members. So Snart makes the tough call to kill his best friend. I didn’t honestly think they’d go there but I think they did. I have to admit, though, I’m not that bothered that Mick is gone. He was kind of a nonentity and somewhat boring for most the show. He was the weakest link on the team. I can see Rip’s point that he wasn’t really integral to the team’s functioning. Everyone else has a purpose. It was a very strong episode, I thought and a nice break from the Savage drama.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Heroes Reborn 1.07: “June 13th Part One”

“This time, you save the cheerleader. I’ll stop the bomb.”
- Hiro

It’s finally here! The date we’ve all been waiting for. And boy do things happen! Hiro and Noah arrive at the summit and learn that Claire is actually there but she’s keeping a low profile. Elsewhere, outside the summit, Angela and Mohinder have a chat in her char. She is being a cagey as ever but it was just so good to see the two of them again I didn’t care. She’s trying to warn him that Erica is up to no good. There’s going to be human extinction level event in the next year. Mohinder seems to know this but he thinks that Evos are the answer to saving the world. Angela disagree and since she had a vision about it, I’m pretty sure we can trust her to be right on this. But she foresees that a child can save the world.

Before things get too heavy in Odessa, Hiro gets sucked into Evernow in Japan which later confuses the developer since he sees reports that Hiro dies during the explosion. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, future Noah and Hiro have to find Claire and Noah thinks they should head to the old Primatech facility. What they don’t know is that Erica has been testing Phoebe, getting her ready to create enough darkness to cover the whole summit. Basically, she’s puling a Haitian on a larger scale. Current day Noah (from June 13, 2014) shows up and is also looking for Claire. He gets sidelined by Erica after he finds out that security has been pulled from the garage area. Future Noah and Hiro overhear all of this and it becomes clear that Erica is invested in Claire is kind of a creepy way. What neither Noah realizes at the time is that there’s a lot of Claire to find. She is apparently pregnant and Angela happens upon our time travelers with the news that Claire was taken to the hospital and is in surgery. They rush to the hospital only to find that Claire has died of a heart attack in childbirth. Surprise, you’re a grandpa twice over Noah! She had twins, a boy and a girl. Turns out I was right that Tommy and Malina are twins and are supposed to save the world together.

While Noah tries to go see Claire’s body, Hiro takes off to try and stop the bomb. It’s a good thing he goes when he does because Mohinder is in a bit of a tight spot. See Angela warned him that Erica would cancel his speech and then shoot him and blame him for the explosion that’s coming. And damn if she wasn’t right! Of course, the bombers turn out to be Harris clones so you lop one off and more just grow (apparently with bomb vests already attached). Hiro takes on a couple but quickly realizes he can’t stop them because the outcome is just too catastrophic. Noah thinks if they just go back and try again it will work out but clearly that’s not happening. As Hiro points out, fate is fate. The thing is, they can save the kids. Little Nathan and Malina. So the people speculating that at least Tommy was a Petrelli were right. The line continues, even if it wasn’t from Peter. Hiro will take them back in time so that they can grow up and mature their powers to face the coming threat. That way, when Erica is looking for a baby in a year, she’ll be blindsided.

Elsewhere in the episode, we see that Luke and Joanne are treating their son’s powers as a medical condition. Every time he puts his hand in the sunlight he gets burned. I’m pretty sure that’s not a bad thing but whatever. I mean we know Luke can go supernova if he wants to. He’s actually pretty psyched about the Evos and the whole summit thing. Joanne is more skeptical that there will be anyone there who can help cure their son. It kind of informs how the two of them took on the whole killing Evos thing. Luke is clearly not as invested in it. I have a feeling once they know their son is dead for sure, that will change. But right now Luke is staying optimistic and not blaming anyone just yet.

It looks like Erica sends the Penny Man (whose name we finally learn is Casper) to wipe Noah’s memory. But because Noah seems to have a thing for partners with weird memory wipe powers they end up wiping the guard’s memories. They head to the summit and run into Molly (who had previously run into Mohinder and taken his only copy of his research) shortly before the explosion kicks off. Post-bomb, they all head to the hospital, still looking for Claire (although Noah needs medical attention) when he sees his future self wandering around the hospital floor. Hiro at this point has gone back to deposit the twins in safety (along with Angela to keep them safe). I’ll say this for Angela, she is fiercely loyal to her family. Anyway, Future Noah is going to promptly ignore Hiro’s command of not stepping on any more butterflies when he observes Erica going to the parking garage alone. He pulls out a silencer from somewhere (does he just like keep one in his coat pocket at all times?) and slinks down the hallway behind her. Current day Noah sees him and races after but the screen cuts to “to be continued” before the two Noahs meet. It makes me wonder what kind of paradox is going to happen. Although we saw in the previous show that different versions of people could interact with themselves so I guess it won’t make the world explode more (like it would on Doctor Who).

I was very glad we got all of the development this episode that we did. They are finally moving the plot along now that the pieces of the puzzle have been put in place. The bigger story can move forward and the Petrelli twins can save the world. Angela says she only saw one child but I have a feeling they will need each other to save the world. I can’t wait for Tommy to realize he has a twin sister!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.06: "My First Thanksgiving With Josh!"

“I can only stay for a second. I’m making pies for people I hate. Which is mixed emotions for me, because I like pie.”

Before I decided to summer blog “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” this was going to be my Thanksgiving classic post this year. It’s a rare episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” where Rebecca doesn’t do something completely cringe-worthy and hurtful to people she cares about. Of course the cringe-worthy is what makes Rebecca so relatable, but it’s nice to get a small reprieve from the residual anxiety I sometimes get from the worst of her misadventures. We also learn a little more about several characters’ family situations, given that it’s Thanksgiving and all. I especially think this episode added more depth to Greg. We learn more about why he’s tending bar instead of following his dreams. We also get to meet the Chan family. We’ve heard a lot about them, but now we get to see them in person. We also briefly visit Paula’s family, too, although they aren’t as interesting. Which is probably why Paula is so invested in Rachel’s love life.

Rebecca is at the Boba stand asking the proprietors why they think Josh goes long stretches without talking to her when all of a sudden, Josh appears. He goes on and on about how awesome his family Thanksgiving is and how extended family travels from across Southern California to his mother’s house for the event. Rebecca’s typical Thanksgiving is a much more somber affair. She and her mother go to Scarsdale and watch the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on television together. Back at the office, Paula thinks that Rebecca should try and get herself invited to the Chan family Thanksgiving, but Rebecca thinks that would be silly. Next thing we know, Rebecca and Paula are shopping in an Asian grocery, and who should they run into but Josh’s mother (who is played by the same person who plays Dr. Wagerstein on “UnREAL,” yet another interesting connection between the two shows). After Paula makes a point of telling Josh’s mother how pathetic Rachel’s Thanksgiving is going to be, Rachel scores her invite.

Rebecca, as she says in a song that follows, “Gives Good Parent,” and she takes to preparing to impress the Chan fam bam with gusto. She cooks a traditional (kind of gross sounding, and I’m pretty adventurous with food, so I don’t say that lightly) Filipino dish called dinuguan (offal in a sauce of pig’s blood). Before she goes back home to spend the day with her own horrible family, Paula gives Rebecca an owl brooch with a camera in it so Paula can watch all the action. Paula’s Thanksgiving, is of course pretty dire. Her sons both have headphones in (and so does she, since she’s watching Rebecca), and there’s a racist uncle, because doesn’t everybody have a racist older relative? I’m not going to even repeat what my racist older relative said at our last family Thanksgiving.

We also get to see Thanksgiving with Greg and his dad, who used to run a local favorite Italian restaurant before he was diagnosed with COPD and Greg had to start taking care of him instead of going to business school. Before Thanksgiving dinner, though, Greg quits his job at Home Base. He has decided it’s finally time to move back out of his dad’s house and go to business school. Greg tries to do a big dramatic “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” type quit, but his boss has seen it all and genuinely seems happy that Greg is about to move on to bigger and better things. This disappoints Greg greatly. Greg plans to tell his father he’s moving out over dinner, but the plans get delayed when his father has a bad COPD flare-up and winds up in the hospital. At the hospital, Greg is told that his father now has stage 2 COPD, and the treatment is going to be expensive, even with insurance. He decides to use his savings to pay for his dad’s treatment instead of going back to school. Greg’s dad is sad when he hears about this, but he is very grateful to have a son that loves him enough to make that kind of sacrifice.

Meanwhile, Rebecca is rocking Thanksgiving with the Cham fam bam exactly as she predicted she would. The Chans love her because she went to Harvard and Yale and is successful, while Valencia…isn’t. It gets to the point where it’s kind of mean actually, with Josh’s mom specifically inviting Rebecca to church and telling Valencia she’s welcome to come along because it’s a public house of worship, after all. Rebecca does indeed plan to go to church with the Chans, but all that strange Filipino food eventually catches up to her, and she has to make a run for the bathroom. Just before she can really get some relief, though, she hears noise from the attached bedroom. Josh and Valencia are having a fight that, of course, ends in make-up sex. Once Rebecca can finally escape, she goes downstairs to hear Josh announcing to everyone that he and Valencia are going to move in together. Josh is thrilled in the moment, but he soon seems to have a bit of regret when Valencia starts going into exactly what she wants their place to look like.

Rebecca, naturally, is pretty devastated by this turn of events, and she also still really needs to use a toilet, so she takes a rain check on church and gets home just in time to avoid a really disgusting situation. A little later, when the worst has passed but she’s still having to make occasional trips to the bathroom, Greg shows up with tacos and tequila (he hadn’t realized Rebecca was sick). Rebecca, although she scolds Greg for not calling first, is hospitable and invites Greg to watch television with her on the couch. He explains what he has just been through that day, and Rebecca suggests the think about night school. It turns out Greg had already been having the same thought. They end up watching the dog show together and generally having a good time in each other’s company, much to Paula’s chagrin, of course.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.07: “Wingman”

“It’s really not a good day for your Lucifer-ness.”
- Chloe

If you couldn’t tell, I quite enjoyed the mythology of the last episode and from the looks of things, we are going to be diving deeper into it this week. Just to recap, Lucifer’s wings (which he hacked off at some unknown point) have been stolen and he is right pissed about this. Not just because he doesn’t like being stolen from but because they were a gift from his Father and whatever he and the big man may have against the other, there’s still that bond. I can’t say enough that I am like the emotional vulnerability of Lucifer’s character a lot. Since last we saw our former Lord of Hell, he and Maze have been torturing smugglers but they aren’t coming up with anything. So he decides he needs Chloe’s professional advice. She’s a bit busy, though, since the case that got her branded a traitor is coming to a very important place. The cop who was shot is being taken off life support and she only had a day to wrap up her investigation or drop it. Otherwise, it could really ruin the guy’s family’s life with benefits and stuff.

Lucifer finds Chloe pouring over photos at her house and she actually gives him some good advice: get a fresh pair of eyes who aren’t afraid to tell you the hard truth. She thinks that means he’s going to ask for her help but he heads off to the beach to chat with Amenediel. We learn that Lucifer had Maze severe his wings when they arrived in LA five years ago. Amenediel comments that Lucifer clearly had a reason for keeping them all through the eons in Hell but Lucifer is mum on the subject. Ultimately, Lucifer’s heavenly brother is not going to help.

So he heads back to Chloe and she agrees to help him if he helps her but Dan is coming along, too. Lucifer isn’t the only one who can go off and find help elsewhere. So first, the trio heads to where the shooting happened to try and reenact the shooting and Chloe thinks maybe there was another person they didn’t find but Dan says that the cops searched the whole place after the shooting and didn’t find anything. She doesn’t have any time to consider anything else because Dan gets a call about the APB Chloe put out on “angel wings”. I guess we will find out who has Lucifer’s wings. They are being auctioned off at a black market auction under the auspices of a religious charity. The Feds are already set to raid the place so Lucifer has find a way to get in and get them. He shows up in a tux and finds Amenediel tailing him. It’s pretty hilarious to see the two of them trying to work together. Lucifer gets in with the Devil’s coin but he’s not willing to part with it. His threat of getting his wings back prompts Amenediel to get kind of egotistical and kind of cocky. The auctioneer says that they can bid on the wings if they want but they aren’t getting them any other way. Unfortunately, Chloe shows up to warn that the Feds are about to bust things up and when Amenediel pauses time for Lucifer to get to the wings, he finds out that they are fake. It was kind of interesting to see Chloe’s reaction to Amenediel (pretty much the same reaction most other people have to Lucifer). Very interesting indeed.

Before Chloe gets to the auction though, Dan takes her to the hospital to see the family of the cop who is about to die. It was real not a very good move on his part because the widow is super pissed to see Chloe there and asks them to leave. But at the club, she finds a secret passage that the auctioneer escaped through and it prompts her to think there might have been a secret passage at the cop shooting. She drags Dan back to the spot and they find tunnels and a cop key. So there was another cop at the shooting so now the pair of them is going to investigate.

Lucifer parts ways with Amenediel to find the auctioneer to do as he says, the “Devil’s work”. He eventually tracks the guy down and realizes that the guy mounted the wings and apparently turned the atheist into a believer. He says he can’t live without the wings and he was tipped off by someone. Lucifer gets super scary and the guy reveals his source. Cut to Lucifer sitting with his wings on the beach when Amenediel shows up. His dear heavenly brother was the one who orchestrated the whole thing with the intention of tempting Lucifer with the desire of his wings. It nearly worked, too. But Lucifer is making a clean final break by burning his wings. He can’t go back to Hell now. Amenediel kind of loses it for a minute and starts pounding on Lucifer but then he stops, unable to go all the way. Clearly this isn’t over between them.

Chloe and Dan show up at the living wake for the cop and Chloe claims the cop was a hero and she’s closing her investigation. She explains to Dan that they can better look for a dirty cop if the force doesn’t think they’re still digging. And in a turn of fate, the cop survives (thanks to a little angelic assistance). That will make things interesting. And as Lucifer drinks and plays the piano, Chloe shows up and says that if they are friends, she should just accept that the wings meant something very important to him and not ask questions. He says that they were a relic of his past and he’s moving on. High above them, Maze (who has agreed to stay even though Lucifer started to give her an out) holds a single feather from Lucifer’s wings, stored safely in a little box. Very intriguing and I can’t wait to see where this goes from here.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.21: “Absolution”

“Every time I see his face, I want to punch something.”
- May

I’m not going to lie, most of this episode was good and really moved things forward. I couldn't’ stand Daisy’s whining the whole damn time. I wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her to shut up. Just fair warning about that before we dive in. Daisy is dreaming and she and Coulson are on the alien planet but she’s just seeing things, thinking it’s from the vision she saw. While she’s freaking out, the rest of the team is split up trying to take out Hive once and for all. Lincoln, May, Mack and Yo-Yo are on their way to a missile silo to stop Hive from launching his insta-Inuman air raid. Meanwhile, Fitz and Talbot are trying to get kill codes for said missile. I have to admit, watching Fitz put little motion capture dots all over his face (making him look like a deranged clown) was pretty damn funny.

It seems the team is going to succeed. First off, Coulson, Fitz and Talbot get the necessary kill codes and enter them in time to stop the launch. And May manages to pilot the jet underwater to sneak onto the base without triggering the radar. Hive is royally pissed about the interruption to his plan and sends Dr. Radcliffe to manually override the launch and get the missile into the air. Not being an engineer or a rocket scientist, he’s kind of clueless about what to do but he promises to fix the problem so Hive doesn’t eat him. I suppose that’s a plus.

While the team is trying to complete the mission, Daisy is beating herself up for hurting her friends and giving in to Hive’s manipulations. She refuses to accept Coulson’s offer of support and friendship, even as he digs for more information on “Absolution”. She tells him to use the memory machine on her to get what they need but they’re saving that hell for someone special. Three guesses on who it is. Like I said at the start of this episode, Daisy was a real pain in the ass trying to drag everyone down into her wallow. I really hope she gets over this next season or else it’s going to be a real drag.

Back at the silo, Mack, Yo-Yo and Lincoln manage to lure Hive into their make-shift trap and it is pretty awesome. They’ve repurposed the memory machine to totally screw with Hive’s mind and it’s brilliant. He gets really confused and flashes to all the different people we’ve seen him possess. This gives the team enough time to get the hostages free and Radcliffe comes along for the ride. Unfortunately, Hive has enough mental control to tell his lackeys to disconnect the warhead with the formula packed inside. The team still thinks they’ve won when they manage to trap Hive in a gel matrix chamber and transport him back to the base. Coulson plans to lock down the base to ensure that the swaye Inhumans can’t rescue their leader.

As the team debriefs, Lincoln says once Hive is fully taken care of he’s going to leave SHIELD and figure out his life from there. Without Daisy because Hive got in his head a little (not the worrisome way) about what Daisy needs and wants from Lincoln. I feel bad for Lincoln. He’s just trying to be with his girl and do a little go in the process and he just can’t win. Speaking of winning, FitzSimmons are having some fun. She’s planning a little romantic get away which is totally adorable and I want to see the pair of them on vacation because we need some more light and happy on this show! It’s also been kind of amusing to see the McGuffins of the cross and the SHIELD flack jacket pop up on or around various characters. Mack started out with the cross and then Fitz picked it up (and donned the jacket) to go check the gel matrix before bringing it into the base. Meanwhile, Mack goes to pay Daisy a visit and after she whines a bit and cries into his chest, she calms down a little bit. She still thinks Hive is the devil but Mack isn’t convinced. Still, she doesn’t paint a very good picture of the way he can control people.

Because this is a Whedon produced show, you know things aren’t going to go our heroes’ way in the penultimate episode of the season. Just as Fitz is checking the chamber, James triggers an explosion of the formula in the hanger, transforming one of the engineers into a swayed Primitive. And poor Fitz is stuck in there since Coulson has started locking down the base! Thanks to some quick thinking by FitzSimmons, he and another agent manage to get out of the hanger. But that leaves a bunch of Primitives locked inside with Hive and they bust him out. That’s definitely not a good thing for our team, especially since Daisy blabbed to Hive about the Zephyr and it’s high altitude capabilities. Oops, guess you guys shouldn’t have brought him along for the ride after all! Daisy can see all of this on her screen in her cell and after Mack leaves to rejoin the team, she manages to break out and bring the module up and into the Zephyr. I guess it’s kind of lucky that the team can’t see what’s happening in there because once Daisy steps out, things get really weird. Hive is still having memory glitches but he remembers what he did to her and sees that she’s in pain (aka having Hive mind withdrawal). Everyone’s been assuming she’s just suffering from the after effects and she’ll get better. But she doesn’t want that. She wants him to take her back into the fold. I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming on first watch of the episode. And it is one hell of a cliffhanger to leave us on for the final episode of the season.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: UnREAL 1.06: "Fly"

“Come with me.”

I think “Fly” is a really pivotal episode of “UnREAL.” It shows just how far the Everlasting crew are willing to go to create dramatic television, and it shows a very high cost to their approach. The episode focuses on Mary and her family, and the drama created by the show’s creative team has extremely serious consequences. As someone with a family member diagnosed with bipolar disorder who also spent a part of my career in mental health advocacy, I just really, really feel for Mary. Between the manipulations of the Everlasting crew and her terrible ex-husband, she didn’t really stand a chance. Mary’s fate is more extreme than anything that has happened while one of the shows in the Bachelor franchise has been filming (that I can recall, at least), but I don’t see it as something being out of the realm of possibility of happening. There is a lot of pressure on reality competition shows to make good television, and I could see a young, ambitious producer like Shia getting desperate and doing something that could have dire consequences.

This episode is Mary’s “family date.” Her daughter and sister and going to visit and spend some quality time with her and Adam, and then she and Adam are going to go to a romantic dinner. At first, everything seems okay. The only hint of trouble is that Mary’s talking head interviews are more high strung than usual, bordering on euphoric. It’s pretty clear, since she has bipolar disorder, that she’s heading into a manic episode. She has been both (inadvertently) off some of her meds and (purposely) drinking, so it’s not really all that shocking. Mary is understandably overjoyed to see her daughter, Lilly Belle. Seeing her sister is pretty great, too, but the mother/daughter reunion is the best. Both mother and daughter are ecstatic about seeing each other. Adam, for his part, isn’t thrilled about the whole family date thing, but he’ll play his part for the good of the show.

Chet, as per usual, is being an ass. He says no guy would want Mary (forgetting the detail that she’s only a year older than Quinn) when he could have a hot bikini model like Grace. He and Quinn decide to turn this into a side bet. Fifty dollars is at stake, and the winner depends on whether or not Mary makes it through the week without being eliminated. The problems of this episode really are an unholy combination of Shia screwing with Mary’s meds and the manipulations Chet and Quinn engage in due to their bet. It’s really a perfect storm for tragedy. Adam, Mary, and Lilly Belle are working on kneading something, I think either homemade play doh or pizza dough, when Chet sends Anna in with an adorable bunny. The bunny, of course, steals away Lilly Belle’s attention, and Mary (especially off her meds Mary) is furious. She accuses Anna of sabotaging her date, and they almost get in a knock-down-drag-out fight right there.

Quinn needs to engage in some manipulation of her own in order to win the bet. She and Rachel talk it out, and they decide that bringing in Mary’s abusive ex-husband is the perfect idea. At best, it could give Mary some real closure (Rachel’s take on it, of course, since she always wants Everlasting to be something more than it really is), and even if it doesn’t do that, it could create an opportunity for an Adam knight in shining armor moment. Quinn isn’t taking the lead on executing the plan, though, because she and Chet are going to go pitch the next season of Everlasting to the network. Quinn goes on and on about the Q-score and other stats of the potential next suitor, and Chet closes the deal by making some boob jokes. While it’s kind of gross, the two make a good team since they have worked together for so long. They are feeling a bit high from the win, and they almost have sex, but Chet’s wife provides quite the mood killer by calling Chet to tell him they’re having a boy.

Kirk, Mary’s ex, arrives on set, and while Lilly Belle is thrilled to see her father, neither Kirk nor Mary are happy that this was arranged without Mary’s request. The conversation quickly turns ugly, and Adam, of course, tries to intervene, taking a few punches for Mary. Two security officers try to drag Kirk away, but he’s still fighting, and now he’s blaming Rachel for being manipulative. Seeing Rachel in trouble, Jeremy immediately jumps in and knocks Kirk out. Lizzie watches this from the sidelines, and she’s not too thrilled, because she thinks Jeremy is still obsessed with Rachel (and she’s probably right). They also had an incident earlier that day where Lizzie thought Jeremy was being way too rough during sex. All this combined leads Lizzy to suggest postponing their wedding.

Meanwhile, Mary has become manic to the point where her talking heads are almost nonsensical. Then she makes the brilliant decision to go and try to confront Kirk while he’s being retrained in a dressing room waiting for the cops. Mary goes on about how Adam loves her and they’re going to be a family. Kirk, not pulling any punches, goes right for the jugular. He says Mary has a darkness in her, and she’s going to infect Lilly Belle with that Darkness. He thinks Lilly Belle would be better off growing up without a mother than growing up with Mary. We next see Mary saying goodbye to her family, and she’s being extra sentimental, especially in talking to Lilly Belle, reminding her how much she loves her.

As you might expect, when it’s time for Mary and Adam to leave on their dinner date, Mary can’t be found. And Madison has some bad news for Quinn and Rachel. She knows where Mary is – Mary is on the roof. Rachel rushes up to the roof, and she does her very best to try and talk Mary down. Mary, however, has been off her mood stabilizers and on alcohol for at least several days (maybe a week?) now, so there’s no talking her down. She tries to grab on to Rachel (thinking Rachel would want to “join her”) before jumping off the roof and landing in a bloody mess on the ground. Quinn rushes to the scene as she yells at Chet to call for an ambulance, and Rachel looks forlornly down on the scene from above.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fresh Off the Boat 2.23: "The Manchurian Dinner Date"

“Speeches have the ability to affect real change. Lincoln knew that. Guess who else knows that? Me. I am known for my inspirational speeches.”
- Louis

We are wrapping up the season of “Fresh Off the Boat” and that means the end of another school year. Louis is kind of emotional about the whole thing, what with Emery being Valedictorian of his class. He’s gifting each of the boys with a free dinner at Cattleman’s Ranch and they are each allowed to bring a date. When Evan’s choice of his friend JJ si nixed, he decides to take Jessica. Eddie is all psyched to bring Allison but Jessica kind of freaks that he has a girlfriend. This sets off a whole lot of craziness for Eddie.

When he tells Allison she’s been invited but that his mom freaked because she always wanted him to date to a Chinese girl (cue weirdly shot flashback to Jessica talking ot Eddie in utero), she kind of panics. He says he’ll set up a chill night so they can meet before the dinner but when the time comes, Allison chickens out and sends her Chinese friend, Audrey, in her place. Jessica is overjoyed that Eddie appears to be dating a nice Chinese girl. In fact, she’s got tears in her eyes. Eddie is both confused and annoyed by the situation when he calls Allison up to find out what’s going on. The next day at school, Eddie says that she should just come over and they can watch a Denzel movie with Jessica, to keep her from getting mad at him. But when they get home, Audrey is there playing mahjong with Jessica and Grandma. Eddie has a panic attack of his own and claims the real Alison is just some girl selling girl scout cookies. Needless to say, she’s not too happy with him (although she can probably understand).

Before we can get to the graduation ceremony itself, we need to talk about Emery writing his graduation speech. He wants to thank all the people who made the time in elementary school so nice but Louis says he can give him tips on being a great inspirational speaker. Louis can be kind of a goof sometimes but it is kind of sweet to see him trying to help his boys out. The advice he gives Emery actually works (in a way). Emery ends up giving a really sweet speech, that is very much who he is, thanking all of his family members, including Eddie, for helping him get to where he is and be the person he’s become. Allison and Audrey are both in the youth orchestra that’s playing at graduation and right before they play, Eddie comes clean to Jessica abou the switch. Luckily for him, she kind of hated fake Allison. According to Jessica, she was too perfect and needed more personality, like Eddie. And as soon as the real Allison starts playing a piccolo solo, she’s in love.

Evan has a small storyline this episode. Since he’s taking Jessica as his date to the graduation dinner, he wants to look nice. Grandma offers to make him a new suit. Things don’t looks to be off to a good start when she’s measuring the sleeves (one is super short and the other is really long) with bubble tape. I did appreciate the use of bubble tape though. I loved that stuff as a kid. He even shows up to the graduation in his normal clothes. I suppose he’s lucky he always looks kind of grown up in his dress shirts and khakis. But he gets to really blow everyone away when he shows up to the dinner in a really nice, tailored suit (with his name on the back in red glittery letters….hey Grandma made Evel Knievel's cape after all). We also get to see that Emery and Audrey are quite alike. Jessica is worried about that, especially since she now adores the real Allison (for not only being dedicated to her instrument but picking one that has lots of unclaimed scholarships). We end the episode with everyone watching Malcolm X together. Jessica is wondering if there’s a Mrs. X. when Allison points out she became a big civil rights leader. It seems like she will fit in just fine with the rest of the family. Ad it’s kind of funny that when Jessica starts opening the water bill, all three boys run for the hills. Apparently they get grounded when the bill is too high and during one of the fake Allison bits, Eddie left the water running to cover the fact he left the house. It was a good little beat of physical comedy from the three boys that I’m sure they had fun improving (I hope they are allowed to do a little improv on this show).

Overall I thought this was a decent episode. It had some nice emotional points for the characters and it also seemed like a natural place to go with the story (especially since it originally aired near the end of the school year). I was a little worried that the longer season would dilute what made this show great in season 1 but it seems to have survived the extended season. I guess not being an overly serialized show it can handle having more episodes in the season. I will be interested to see where the show goes in season 3. I was about Emery’s age in the mid 1990s so I remember a lot of what happens on this show and I do enjoy the throwbacks (there seems to be a lot of 90s nostalgia going around these days in general). I’m wondering if the show will tackle more serious subjects as Eddie really becomes a teenager. I also hope we get to see some other non-American/non-Christian holiday celebrations (i know we here at More TV Please liked the Chinese New Year episode earlier this year).

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.06: “Star City 2046”

“Your wife and son’s deaths are in the future and you want us to change that. So what, are you only willing to risk the timeline if it’s your own family?”
- Sara

I have to admit I was equal parts excited and terrified by this week’s episode premise. I knew going into it that Oliver would be in it and he might be sporting only one arm (thankfully it appears from promotional shots he’s got a robot arm so that little bit of terror went away). But I do think it is interesting to see what could be ahead for the Green Arrow if our ragtag team doesn’t succeed (and if you follow Arrow at all, Ollie isn’t exactly the happiest person right now). But that’s enough about my hang-ups on this episode. Let’s dive in to our team and their latest time-travelling hiccup.

As we often see, the team is split up pretty early in the episode and each have their own little arcs to deal with. The least dramatic of them deals with Ray, Jax and Kendra (with Stein a little involved too). Kendra remembers being a welder in the 1940s and so she’s helping fix up the engines and various other mechanical issues on the Wave Rider so the team can actually get out of Star City 2046. Things are complicated by the fact that Jax is crushing pretty hard on our hawk goddess. He’s specially bummed when he overhears Kendra and Ray sort of flirting. Stein initially thinks he’s managed to ward Ray off but then Ray tries to ask Kendra out. She turns him down and Jax overhears. But it’s also very clear that he’s got no shot at her either. It was a nice little diversion from the real havoc and mayhem going on outside the ship.

Out on the streets, we meet a young Green Arrow who is not actually William (mostly because he’s Black and I totally missed that at the end of the last episode). He forces the gang to retreat back to the ship before heading out again in search of a gizmo Palmer Tech (now Smoak Tech) was developing. They need it to fix Gideon. Having an operational ship’s computer is pretty important for time travel. Mick and Snart are going to join Rip on this mission but Sara insists on going. She’s appalled at what her city has become (overrun by criminals) and she needs to find out what’s going on and where her family and friends are. Mick and Snart end up breaking off from the rest of the team to join a gang of criminals. Mick is pretty excited by all of this. He’s got people to do what he tells them and he can be all amoral and drunk and no one cares. Well Snart seems to care a lot actually. He really does have a code and I like that about him. Mick is just the muscle and I honestly wouldn’t be too upset if he got left behind or killed on one of these missions.

Before long, Sara and Rip reconnect with Green Arrow and they also meet the leader of the city, Deathstroke. Well the next generation anyway. Slade apparently had a son (which makes me wonder how he got off the island to procreate. Then again, I do remember him having a daughter so maybe there’s something there? Anyway, he’s been hunting Green Arrow and he puts a kill order out for them. Snart isn’t very happy that their team is in the crosshairs but Mick doesn’t care. After a little posturing, they agree to rescue their friends and then have a chat about who is really in charge on their little duo. Sara and Rip, meanwhile, get a crash course in what’s happened. Her family is dead, and so is Oliver. The current Green Arrow knows where to find the tech they need. Of course it seems like it’s housed in Ollie’s old (current) lair. And just as they bust in, super old, one-armed Ollie comes out of the shadows doing his best “get off my lawn” impression.

He’s let Wilson get the best of him and crushed his spirit pretty damn hard. Everything went to hell when Ray and Sara didn’t return to 2016 to help save the city. Yeah that one hurt Sara quite a bit. Despite Rip constantly telling her this is only a potential future, she’s hard pressed to leave it behind. And when Connor (who is actually John Diggle Jr.) gets grabbed when they head to a warehouse to (finally) get the tech, she insists on rescuing him. She can’t let him die. And she begs Oliver to help her because she can’t face them alone. Rip gives her one hour and then the team is leaving but Stein talks him into going as backup. Not surprisingly, they save the day and Oliver and Connor are going to fight to take the city back. At least this way Sara can feel a little okay leaving the timeline. I did think it was very poignant and interesting that Rip has spent all this time telling them about the dangers of changing the timeline (both past and present) and yet that’s exactly what he wants to do. Sara rightly points out that he seems to be more than willing to risk things for his own family’s safety. He admits at the end of the episode that she was right. I think he’s used to working alone and he doesn’t know how to lead well. He’s still learning, just like the rest of the team is still learning how to work together.

Something tells me that even though they’ve left 2046 in better hands, the team isn’t going to be whole. There is a big divide between Snart and Mick that is only going to continue to grow. Especially since now Mick feels listless. If the previews are any indication, he may be turning on the team sooner rather than later. Overall, I thought this was a very good episode and a nice use of the characters we know from the original two shows. Seeing old Oliver was fun and I’m glad that Sara was able to galvanize him back into action. It means there is always hope.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Heroes Reborn 1.06: “Game Over”

“By imprisoning me, Erica Kravid bent time for her own benefit. That is a wrong that must be corrected. I will take you back Noah to June 13th. But promise me we will not step on any butterflies.”
- Hiro

It looks like we will finally see some more old faces this week as the characters’ paths continue to cross. Thanks to some water torture, Noah gets the original Harris to tell them where Hiro is (apparently he isn’t dead, just kidnapped by Erica and held at a Renautus facility). Taylor heads off to try and find her boyfriend but he’s gone so she melts down a little (she’s kind of useless now). She breaks into her mother’s office and steals a bunch of files to try and find her boyfriend anyway. I have a feeling that won’t work out so well. She attempts to contact Hero Truther (too bad poor kid is locked up) to reveal the truth about Renautus. Elsewhere, Ren and Miko go back into Evernow and we learn that Hiro is actually in the video game and Miko isn’t actually trying to find her father, but Hiro (or as he’s referred to, the Master of Space and Time). Sure, Erica and her tech guy try to keep her away by making the Eternal Fortress disappear) but they don’t seem to realize that Miko understand how to use the sword. So she manages to get into the facility and she and Ren start taking on the crazy Boss. Things are going their way when Ren’s battery die and leaves Miko alone. Oh boy!

Malina and Luke appear to be heading for a collision, too. He’s off leaving Joanne a voicemail letting her know he burned the house down and Malina climbs off the lumber truck, looking for Luke (that’s apparently what was in the envelope). He’s trying to buy a boat that looks like the one he and his son made years ago. They both use their powers and Malina heads off to follow Luke. Maybe if she can give him some purpose he won’t be quite so sad and pathetic. It turns out she has to save him from committing suicide first but it is fortuitous that they meet. Malina actually needs to find Tommy and clearly he knows where to look. Good! Oh I also have a theory about why Malina and Tommy have to save the world (I think they’re twins separated at birth).

Oh and it seems Carlos tortures the location of his nephew out of the Evo cop. Carlos wants to understand why the cop would sell out his own people. It seems they will need the guy with power to get in. Stupid Carlos believes the guy when he says they need to switch places and make it appear he’s an Evo. He passes out. Moron.

Tommy is being kind of mopey until he decides to whisk Emily away to Paris for the heck of it. They are starting to check out the Eiffel Tower but they won’t let people with powers up. So Tommy gets them out of there and Emily flips out on him. Tommy unloads about his “destiny” thanks to Penny Man. He doesn’t want to be a hero and save the world. He wants to be a normal kid with a girlfriend. Emily takes him to a boardwalk that sells books and they find the elusive 31st issue of 9th Wonders. This motivates Tommy to face and embrace his destiny. Good girl!

Inside Renautus, Miko pops in right as Harris, Quentin and Noah approach Hiro’s prison and she rushes Harris. Hope Noah takes him out before she does. Harris gets away but Miko and Noah have a chat and become allies. She pops into Evernow to pave the way for them to find Hiro. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to be that easy. Noah discovers that the machine Erica had built is using Hiro’s power and sending things and people to the future. He’s locked in the video game and he says no one can get him out. Ren manages to break out of a box and announcing that Miko can do it. Well that’s true but it turns out she’s not real. The real Miko died in a car accident and the Miko we’ve been seeing an avatar type character her father built. Miko battles a sort of wraith version of herself and she comes out of the game to announce she has to overcome herself to free Hiro. Harris comes in with reinforcements (with Phoebe) and events turn dire.

Quentin thinks he can talk some sense into his sister when Miko realizes the sword won’t work in Phoebe’s shadow. Quentin tackles his sister and it’s enough to let Miko get into the game and she ultimately frees Hiro. Just in the nick of time for Noah it seems. At least Ren is free (we hope). But Quentin won’t live to see the return of the Master of Time and Space. Phoebe ended up using her powers on him and it kills him. She thinks that Erica is giving her a purpose and if Hiro is freed, they will all be dead. I am excited to see Hiro take up his sword again and kick some serious butt! It also makes me wonder what happened to Ando.

Things are going to get super crazy going forward now. Noah implores Hiro to go back to June 13th so they can change things. Hiro admits that Erica bent time and that needs to be fixed. He just hopes they don’t step on any butterflies. I have to say I am very excited to see Hiro back and based on the previews Angela and Mohinder might be back, too. I am glad they are bringing back these characters and managing to move the plot forward. I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far but the plot is finally picking up the pace. It’s also nice to know that this is going to be a contained story arc.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.06: “Favorite Son”

“I have never made any one of them do anything. Never.”
- Lucifer

I have to say this may have been my favorite episode of “Lucifer” so far. It moved the narrative along in a very interesting way and is kind of giving me some of the mythology I’ve been craving. Sure we haven’t seen Hell but I don’t mind because we got some far more interesting character work for our dear Devil. While he’s wailing on the keys and singing at Lux (Tom Ellis has a great voice and I’m pretty sure he was actually playing the piano, too), a security guard is getting murdered and storage container is being stolen. While it might not seem like a very important crime to Lucifer at first (in fact once he gets to the scene, he claims boredom and runs off back to Lux to see if Maze and some hot chicks are up for a foursome. But it turns out to be quite important to him when Maze informs him that the container belonged to him.

Lucifer also isn’t having the greatest day with regards to Linda. She’s been needling him about identity and he claims he’s fine with who he is and not trying to change or become someone else. Cue Amenediel offering Linda his insights. At first I was a little distrustful of his motives but I suppose he does want Lucifer back to Hell and using Linda gets him what he wants (supposedly). He reveals that he’s quite the Biblical scholar (citing to seminary rather you know being a higher angel). He fills Linda in on some of the more key bits about Lucifer’s past and some of his other names. He also tells Linda to full commit to Lucifer’s “delusion” to try and break through to him.

Chloe is more than a little annoyed when Lucifer shows back up at the crime scene and says that the container was his and he wants his stuff back. He is very evasive about what’s in said container and so Chloe tasks Dan with digging into Lux’s books. This ties in a bit with their domestic drama going on. It’s Trixie’s birthday and also Taco Tuesday which Dan will be missing for a stake out. Chloe is less than thrilled by this but that’s kind of a constant state of being with the pair of them. Dan gets more than he bargained for when he confronts Maze at Lux alone. First she hits on him and then she flat out hits him in the back of the head and he wakes up in Chloe’s bed naked just as Chloe and Trixie come home from shopping. According to Maze, she wanted him and Chloe to hook up and get back together so Lucifer would move on. Yeah, that plan didn’t work at all!

Things get violent once Lucifer is back on the trail of the missing container. He assaults a snow cone maker who is also a criminal who runs the warehouse where the container was stolen from. He implicates a biker gang but after meeting the gang, the leader explains he’s trying to rebrand and go legit. Thanks to Lucifer’s powers, he admits he wants to own his own clothing line. Clearly, though, not everyone is happy about that change in the biker image. They found the imprint of a metal cross (associated with the gang) on the dead security guard and this tips off the leader of the gang. Lucifer and Chloe have their own stakeout where he admits he has never lied to her and never will (and then says there are Russian stacking dolls in the missing container). They end up splitting up when the leader gets shot by one of his flunkies. Lucifer gives chase in the car, leaving Chloe to follow on foot. Lucifer is having a bit of fun with hunting the guy down (even though he does have to duck out of the way until the guy’s gun runs out of bullets) until he ends up jumping off the roof. He stole the container for someone else and looked inside and saw whatever is in there. It was enough to scare him enough to make him jump to his death.

Lucifer allows Chloe to see inside the container and there are indeed Russian stacking dolls in a trunk. She’s satisfied (and even gets Dan to come over for Taco Tuesday) for now, leaving Lucifer to check for the real cargo: his wings. They’re missing and he absolutely loses it at Linda’s the next time he sees her. She tries to confront him with what God did, including naming him Samael (the light bringer). He gets really uncomfortable when she uses that name and he also gets kind of aggressive and defensive when she says that he was God’s favorite son and that’s why he was sent to Hell. Lucifer goes on quite the tirade about how he never asked to become a torturer and he’s never made a mortal commit a bad act. He hates this perception of himself. So whatever Amenediel’s plan, it seems to be working (although it leaves Linda’s office with a whole punched in it). When the episode ends, we find Lucifer on the roof of his building with the scars from where he cut off his wings clearly visible. He’s absolutely gutted that someone’s stolen his wings and he’s going to find whoever it is and punish them severely.

I was a little skeptical about making him more mortal because he was so snarky and badass as an immortal angel but I am really enjoying the vulnerability he’s bringing to the character. He’s not human by any means but he’s experiencing these new feelings and emotions for the first time. Or at the very least he’s rediscovering these feelings about his father. Because when you think about it, he’s just a boy hurt that his father didn’t want him and who can’t relate to that?

Monday, July 11, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.05: "Josh and I are Good People!"

“Bye liars and terrible people!” -Greg In the aftermath of ditching Greg on their date to sleep with hipster taco dude, Rebecca falls deeper into her spiral of self-loathing and begins a desperate quest to convince Greg that she’s not really a terrible person after all. Of course she makes the number-one mistake you can make when intentionally trying to be a good person – she makes it all about her instead of the people she is trying to help. Rebecca is extremely concerned with Greg not thinking she’s a terrible person, which is a tall order, considering the terrible thing she did to him in the previous episode. By the end of the episode, though, she actually finally does something nice for the right reasons, and against his better judgment, Greg softens a bit. To be honest, I should have seen Greg’s self-loathing, which becomes even more clear later in the season, even in these early episodes, as you have to have quite a bit of self-loathing to continue pining for someone who continually does such horrible things to you. At the beginning of this episode, Rebecca and Josh are enjoying some boba while reminiscing over a summer camp photo album Rebecca (shocker) kept for all these years. Greg sees them there, and understandably, he’s not pleased. He’s angry with Rebecca for ditching him to sleep with hipster taco guy, and also for continuing to pine for Josh, and he’s angry with Josh for sneaking around on Valencia to spend time with Rebecca. He makes it clear that he thinks both Rebecca and Josh are terrible people. Rebecca is used to being called terrible (her mom is pretty evil, after all), but she’s still upset by it. Josh isn’t used to being called terrible, so he is understandably also upset. He takes a different approach to dealing with his feelings than Rebecca does (which we’ll talk about in a minute), and he pays a visit to confession. Luckily for Josh, the priest taking confession that day is the awesome Father Brah, a nickname Josh came up with by changing Father Joseph to Father Broseph to Father Bro to Father Brah). Anyway, once Josh starts going into more detail about exactly why he’s feeling troubled (he’s attracted to someone not Valencia), Father Brah thinks that Josh’s problems could be best worked out over a game of basketball. Father Brah, who is similar in age to Josh and his friends, is actually a pretty great basketball player, which is quite amusing. I think Father Brah is one of my favorite peripheral West Covina characters on the show. He’s always entertaining, for sure. Father Brah tells Josh to make a list of all the thoughts he has in the next day that make him feel guilty. When they meet for a follow-up, Father Brah points out that Josh hasn’t actually acted on any of these thoughts, and that’s really the important thing. By the end of the episode, Josh tells Rebecca that although he’s very attracted to her, he’s committed to Valencia, so nothing is going to happen between them. Rebecca just latches on to the “very attracted” part, of course! Anyway, when Darryl confesses to Rebecca that the custody battle with his soon-to-be ex-wife over their daughter Madison is getting messy, Rebecca sees her way to convince Greg that she’s a good person. First, though, Darryl has to sing a super creepy song about how much he loves his daughter (but not in a creepy way). It’s meant to parody country songs of a similar theme, like “Butterfly Kisses.” It didn’t really work for me, though. I’m not a fan of more typical country music (I love the music on “Nashville,” though), so I didn’t get the reference without outside research, and without understanding the source material, the song just seems a bit creepy and superfluous. Anyway, Rebecca announces her intention to represent Darryl in his divorce to the entire office. Darryl isn’t thrilled that Rebecca made his personal life so public, but he’s thrilled that Rebecca is going to represent him. Rebecca immediately drags him to Home Base so that Greg can see her helping. She’s a little taken aback when Greg leaves without telling her, and the new barmaid says Greg keeps a photo of her (Rebecca) on the dart board in the back room. Rebecca decides it would be a good idea to take into account what Madison actually wants in a custody arrangement, so she, Madison, and Darryl have a chat. Madison says she’d rather live with her dad, and she reveals that her mom regularly leaves her at home alone to go on dates. All of this is documented on Madison’s YouTube channel. Rebecca has hit paydirt. At a hearing, Rebecca reveals all of this to the judge, and Darryl is easily granted temporary custody. When Rebecca tells Greg about her achievement, he’s not super impressed, so Rebecca thinks this means that to finally win Greg’s approval, she needs to get Darryl permanent custody. She sings an awesome song called “I’m a Good Person,” where she basically threatens all the Home Base patrons if they don’t say she’s a good person. What can I say? It’s a catchy song. Meanwhile, back at the office, Paula is suffering from all sides. Rebecca keeps running out of the office to deal with her Josh and Greg related issues. The other attorneys make fun of her constantly since she actually tries to get work done. Her case assistant, Karen, is also completely incompetent. She has a pet snake with fang cancer and regular tampon issues. Rebecca suggests Darryl leave Paula in charge while they are working on his divorce case, and Darryl agrees. Paula relishes the idea of finally shaping up the office, since now all the slackers have to listen to her. She spends quite a lot of time yelling at Karen, which is quite understandable. Also the subject of Paula’s ire is an attorney named Tim. He’s especially obnoxious and always rude to Paula. Tim, surprisingly, is Canadian, and Paula discovers that he used a forged work permit to get the job at Whitefeather. Paula confronts Tim about this, putting him on edge. Eventually, though, she looks at a family photo and sees how adorable Tim’s kids are, and she decides not to hurt them by turning Tim into ICE. Tim is incredibly grateful and is now fully Team Paula. Anyway, Rebecca has a completely whacked out idea (surprisingly it didn’t come from Paula) to get Darryl permanent custody. She’s going to withdraw $10,000 in cash and plant it in Darry’s ex, Stacy’s, luggage, so that when she heads on an upcoming overseas trip, she’ll get in serious trouble. Rebecca runs into Stacy when she’s trying to plant the cash, though, and with Greg’s voice in her head saying this is about a child, not about Rebecca, she has second thoughts about her plan. Rebecca ends up sitting down with both Darryl and Stacy (at Home Base, of course) and helping them hash out a custody deal they can both live with. And Stacy ends up keeping the $10,000. Later, as Rebecca is watching a baseball game, Greg sits down next to her and says that, while he can’t say she’s a good person, she does seem to be a good friend.