Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.13: “Take Me Back To Hell”

“One last bit of punishment on the way out? Sounds like fun to me.”
- Lucifer

Well folks we’ve made it to the finale and boy is it going to be a doozy! Our favorite Lord of Hell is under investigation for a murder we as the viewers are 99% certain was committed by Malcolm! Chloe pretty quickly decides her buddy is innocent but he gets a little hysterical and calls Amenediel for a ride out of Lux (confusing the hell out of some cops). Meanwhile, Malcolm goes from cagey to downright creepy. He shows up at Lux as if he hadn’t been there and then sees one of Maze’s knives (no idea how it got into the club since we didn’t see either brother pick one up). But this seems to give Malcolm an idea.

While the police are trying to find him, Lucifer and Amenediel have a heart to heart on a rainy rooftop where the latter admits to the former how much he’s screwed up and needs to fix so he won’t be taking Lucifer back to hell. But the thing is, they need a plan. And boy do they squabble about everything. Lucifer thinks being in his brother’s fake therapist office would be a great idea and eventually that turns out to be the case when Linda finds them. But they tell her the truth about their relationship (she doesn’t believe them) and after she admonishes them, they figure out that Malcolm is probably skipping down and would need new IDs and such fast and Lucifer happens to know a guy. While the angels are hunting for Malcolm’s new ID man, Chloe learns the truth about the Palmetto case from Dan and everything that happened. But hey, at least Detective Douche is on Lucifer’s side in all of this! I also liked that the core group of character we’ve been introduced to over the season play a part in all of this unfolding.

Chloe goes to look for Lucifer back at Lux and all she finds is Maze. Our resident demon isn’t all that interested in helping Chloe until she learns that Chloe believes Lucifer is innocent. What follows is a rather amusing team up with the girls. They haven’t had much to do with each other until this point but I hope next season we get to see more of it. Around the same time the boys drop in on Dan with some information about where Malcolm may be going to get some getaway money, the girls learn from Malcolm’s wife that he’s gone off the deep end. Maze has seen it before (apparently she’s witnessed other people come back from Hell?). It basically just makes his appetite (both for food and other stuff) insatiable and it will only get worse. He’s a lunatic really and I’m so looking forward to the gang getting him for good.

Unfortunately, while the brothers kick some serious ass when they find where Malcolm went to get money (lord they looked like they were having fun), Malcolm gets the upper hand on Amenediel, stabbing him with Maze’s blade. It was interesting to see the emotion and anger and fear from Lucifer of losing his brother. Luckily, the girls show up around that time and Maze urges Lucifer to go after Malcolm while she tends to the big guy. It turns out to be a pretty lucky thing that Maze kept a feather from Lucifer’s wings because she needs it to heal Amenediel’s wound. It is also interesting that she made that sacrifice for him, since she thought she could use the feather to get home to Hell. Very interesting indeed. I suspect the writers will explore that whole dynamic in the next season.

Malcolm gets away but the gang does find a way to clear Lucifer’s name. Dan turns himself in for taking the gun out of evidence. I don’t know that he’ll lose his job over this but it will certainly jam him up for a while. But hey, at least he’s not dead. Lucifer even uses his real name in thanks for what he’s done (which shocked me and Dan). But things aren’t all cozy and rosy for long because Malcolm has taken Trixie and he’s using her as leverage against Chloe to get his money (he left it behind when he took off so they wouldn’t catch him). Chloe goes to meet him alone but Lucifer shows up. We know that something has to happen to him since Chloe is around and he gets shot at pretty much point blank range. As he’s dying, he offers up a plea to his father, that he will be the son his father always wanted him to be if he protects Chloe. Lucifer pays a short visit to Hell (we don’t see much) before finding some sort of chamber empty. He doesn’t have time to ponder or investigate because he’s pulled back to the mortal world and boy is he angry. His eyes go all Hellfire red and he’s going to rip Malcolm to shreds. But just as Lucifer corners him, Chloe shoots him. And it turns out that God ended up giving Lucifer his coin back (to get out of Hell) so Malcolm has no way back and he’s going to be stuck tortured in Hell for all eternity. Hallelujah!

With Trixie safe, Lucifer heads home to fill Amenediel in on what he saw in Hell (and that he sort of had a chat with Dad). Maze is nowhere to be seen which is interesting, too. I suspect she will have a lot to say about the missing Hell inhabitant. As the episode comes to a close, Lucifer shares with his brother that their mother has escaped Hell. My first reaction was “Mother? What?” I can’t wait to see what all of this means for our characters. Up until now it’s all been about Lucifer and his father and their strained relationship. It makes me wonder if part of the reason Lucifer was sent to look after Hell was because of their mother. But who is she? Biblically (and as far as I know canon-wise in the comics) no mother of the angels exists because God created them in his own image. It’s all very interesting and I hope that the show premieres in the fall so we don’t have to wait quite as long for answers.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.12: “Last Refuge”

“You better not drop my future criminal partner or you’ll be in trouble. Comprende?”
- Mick

After our little journey to the Wild West, we are finally dealing with the fall out of our heroes running through time. The Pilgrim (the Time Masters’ worst assassin) is hunting the team in their pasts. How they know when to check in and such is going to be interesting. Before we see her take out our gang, we see her kill one of the Time Masters who we ran into a while back. It’s pretty creepy. Luckily it seems Gideon can track the Pilgrim’s ship through the time vortex and she first targets young Mick. His house is on fire and his parents are dead. Ray saves the little punk (I have a feeling he killed his parents but there’s no confirmation) and then adult Mick tasks Jax with babysitting. Next stop is about a year before Sara and Oliver end up on Lian Yu. She’s at the police station apparently doing a “take your kid to work day” excursion because she is doing a paper on the criminal justice system. Luckily, Sara and Mick show up to save her. This is going to have some seriously weird effects on our characters if they remember being scooped up. And then somehow, Gideon can’t track The Pilgrim’s ship. Oops!

As is often the case with Rip, he divulges some key information that the team could have used previously but are only getting now. Understandably, killing Kendra would be a waste of time what with her being able to reincarnate and apparently since Rip is a former Time Master, wiping him out is a no go, too. This just pisses Snart off because we don’t know anything about Rip’s past. Rip insists that they less they know the less that can be extracted from them by their enemies. Yeah I have a feeling he doesn’t have much nice stuff in his past. While they’re still bickering about that, Sara has to go down to the cargo bay and separate her younger self from mini Mick. Mick was hitting on Sara and she slapped him. It’s pretty hilarious actually until younger Sara demands some answers. Older Sara just says that they’ll be safe there and that her dad won’t lose her ever (um that’s a big fat fib honey).

It seems like the team is taking things pretty calmly until Ray starts manifesting internal injuries. The Pilgrim has found him in 2014 (so I guess it doesn’t have to be really young in the time line) and is pounding on him. But Rip and Firestorm come to the rescue. And Ray sort of proposes to Kendra in the present (on the ship…whatever). While she’s been ignoring the warning from her prior life, I have a feeling the whole being married to someone not Carter is going to have consequences that she's not going to like very much.

Rip’s next big idea is to take the rest of the team as newborns which is potentially risky if they’re kept out of the timeline too long. But hey, at least it’s a plan that doesn’t suck entirely. And it provides some adorable moments with Kendra and Sara absconding with baby Snart. It’s a little more awkward when Rip and Mick take baby Stein (off the side of a highway from his parents in the middle of the night). But perhaps the most poignant kidnapping is Jax. He grew up believing his father shipped out before his mom went into labor and then died two weeks later in combat overseas. But when Stein sees that Jax’s dad is still there, he goes to fetch Jax, giving the guy an opportunity to meet his dad. The team beats the Pilgrim to the punch on the rest of the team and ends up taking them to a safe harbor spot. Aka his childhood home with his mother (who seemed to be expecting them). Very interesting!

In very short order we learn that Time Masters are raised in a place called The Refuge (the house they are in) and are often orphans from throughout history. Rip’s real name is Michael. So they do explain that they change their names to protect themselves from being erased. Guess that comes in handy (and should make the comic book fans happy). Rip is a little anxious to leave the place (he feels kind of selfish for putting the team through all of his but his mother (well adopted mother) reminds him that he’s meant for great things. Before the rest of the team leaves, Mick sees his younger self playing with a match and pretty much confirms that in some way, the family death was on him. He threatens to kill young Mick if anything happens at the Refuge (um, that would kill you too but ok).

Back on the Waverider, Ray confronts Kendra about overhearing her conversation with Sara (about Ray proposing and not being sure she wants to go through with it). So she spills the beans about her past self and he tells her that it’s up to her what she wants to do and to just let him know. But they have more important things to worry about because they intercept a message from the Pilgrim. She’s kidnapped at least Jax’s dad and she’s going to kill him if they don’t turn over their younger selves. Oh boy. Rip contacts the Pilgrim with a counter offer. He’ll give her his younger self in exchange.

At a neutral location, the gang arrives to meet up with his adopted mom and little Michael. Things appear to be going according to plan (an exchange of Jax’s dad for the kid) until Ray gives a signal and everyone starts attacking. The Pilgrim uses this weird timey-wimey mojo to slow and reverse time until all of the team is stopped mid-attack. But she’s so busy focusing on the grown-ups, she’s not paying any attention to young Michael. He stabs her in the leg a couple times with a screw driver and she loses her ability to keep time at bay. She’s gets incarnated rather quickly. It turns out young Michael had been a street kid and Rip knew what his younger self would do if the Pilgrim threatened him. Well damn that’s pretty crazy. Now hopefully they can return everyone to their timelines and get back to hunting Savage down. After all, we only have a few episodes left and while the show has been renewed for season 2, I don’t really want Savage to last to next year.

But it seems I was wrong about them returning their younger selves to the timeline because the Omega Protocol is still in effect. So Rip decides it’s a grand idea to attack Savage in 2166 at the height of his power because they’ve run out of time. Well, this is going to get interesting!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Heroes Reborn 1.12: “Company Woman”

“It is never a good time, Mother. I’ve spent an entire life on your back burner. Well not anymore.”
- Taylor

Well Evos, we are nearly to the end of our story. As you probably know, NBC has not renewed our dear little show for a second season so the finale well be the true end of things. I have to say I’m not all that surprised. The ratings weren’t that great but at least we came into it knowing we’d get a full story so there’s that consolation, I suppose. As you’d expect, everyone is making their way to Odessa and Gateway. The news media and general populace is starting to panic of Micah’s message but Erica and Renautus is still going forward with the plan. Tommy agrees to send people forward in time. But when he finds out that they only intend to send around 12,000 people (enough to have genetic diversity to ensure a healthy population), he vanishes. Oh, and also, Ren finally shows up and gets into the facility. The poor guy is going to be so sad when he learns that Miko is gone! But he does end up meeting Emily and the pair go off to try and find Tommy. That’s kind of adorable.

Matt and Taylor arrive and bust into Erica’s office. Matt is clearly pissed about Erica holding his family over his head so he’s doing the same to her. He forces Taylor to hold a gun to her head and then drops the pregnancy bomb on Erica. At the very least it ensures he gets watches which will get him and his family to the future. How he plans to get the watches to his wife and son is a bit of a question mark for me since I’m pretty sure he hasn’t seen them in a while and they aren’t exactly keen on him being around. But that’s not the point. As Taylor goads her mother about having a grandchild whose father is an Evo, we see that Erica herself was sexually abused by an Evo and is likely Taylor’s father. When Tommy’s disappearance is reported, Erica starts to rush off and leave Taylor’s baby drama for later until Taylor makes some glasses explode. Erica insists she had Taylor tested and she’s not an Evo. Baby is showing powers from the womb. Damn! Taylor insists on seeing Francis but eventually she realizes he’s been dead the whole time. She accuses Erica of being power hungry and a control freak but as we see in flashbacks, she’s taken some drastic measures to protect her daughter. She didn’t tell the father when she was pregnant (her dad is a pretty awesome guy I must say. Supporting her decision to be a single parent and all) and when the father shows back up (at Erica’s request) to save Taylor’s life, Erica kills him so he can’t take Taylor from her. I still don’t like Erica’s plan, but this does make her more sympathetic in a way. Taylor doesn’t much care for Erica’s truth dumping. She’d rather die than being an empty world with her mother. I honestly thought she was going to shoot herself. It also turns out that Penny Man showed up to wipe Erica’s memory but Erica didn’t want him to. She just wanted Taylor to forget.

More interestingly, Luke has the idea that instead of trying to get into Gateway (given that Malina is kind of Public Enemy Number One), they should find a way to get on the news and attract Tommy’s attention. But first, they need to get rid of Quentin and Phoebe. In a turn of events that didn’t really shock anyone, Phoebe gets away and Quentin rejoins Team Heroes. I knew he was only siding with Erica and her ilk because of his sister. But he’s finally come to see that she isn’t his sister anymore. She’s consumed by her power and the need to hurt others. The trio ends up heading to the high school where Claire went (they’re setting up an evacuation point). Luke thinks it’s a good idea for Malina to get on the news there so Tommy will find her. He’s not going to be happy when Joanne shows up, too (I have no doubt she will). With an assist from Micah, Tommy does see it (after he takes his mom to the future and questions his destiny).

Things turn bad very quickly as both Tommy and Joanne show up at the school. Tommy gets digitized by Otomo and Joanne gets fried by Luke. Farah’s also been shot (thanks to diving in front of Joanne’s bullets meant for Malina). So now we’ve got a problem. Malina can’t very well reunite with her brother while he’s locked in a video game. Luckily, Emily and Ren are on the case. He quickly picks up that the building they are in looks exactly like a level of Evernow. Clever how all that works out. Unfortunately for Otomo, he gets a needle in the neck once he’s uploaded Tommy. We end with Tommy being locked in a very fortified digital castle and Matt being stuck in his car under water. Honestly, it serves him right! I can’t imagine how they are going to get him out of there without Malina’s help. And I’m still wondering what happened to Noah. There’s so much that still needs to happen to wrap up all the storylines! I really want to see Tommy and Malina use their powers together. I have a feeling the West Coast crew of Farah, Micah, Carlos and his nephew aren’t going to be that important to the final mission although you never know. I wasn’t sad to see Joanne go and I have a feeling that Luke wasn’t all that broken up about it either. Much like Quentin had lost his sister to the insanity of Evos versus humanity, so Luke had lost Joanne (albeit to grief and prejudice).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.12: “#TeamLucifer”

“You preach rebellion but you’re all a bunch of sheep…and goat. Where’s the real defiance? The free will?”
- Lucifer

We are almost done with our maiden voyage with our favorite handsome Devil and his entourage. I know I’ve said I’m quite glad that the show got renewed for a second season but it bears saying again. Hopefully we will see some bigger places (including Hell) in season 2. But before we get there, we need to see what is happening with our Devil and Detective Decker. Lucifer has been avoiding Chloe for the last three weeks while he has Maze throw knives at him to see if he’s vulnerable to various metals. He’s not (although he does stub his toe when Chloe shows up). She’s got a case that she needs his help on. He’s hesitant but it’s clear pretty quickly why she needs him. A young girl was murdered and the words “Hail Lucifer” were carved into her back.

It seems that Chloe and Lucifer are sort of teaming with Dan and Malcolm (super awkward meeting in which Lucifer wants Malcolm to stop touching him). Our team heads off to chat with the victim’s dad at her apartment. They find that she had subdermal implants and a creepy secret room which all kinds of crazy Satan Cult things in it. Lucifer is really not happy about all of this. As he and Chloe head back to the station to do some research into the Satanists, Malcolm has a run-in with Amenediel. The angel is obviously pissed that Lucifer is still walking around. Malcolm spills the beans about the magic coin and that Lucifer said angels can’t kill mortals so Malcolm isn’t all that worried about Amenediel’s threat to sending him back to hell.

After some begrudging team work, Lucifer and Chloe find the cult and the location of their next meeting. Lucifer insists on driving alone (what with his fear of Chloe being a threat to him and all). Lucifer uses his creepy eyes to get into the meeting and he can’t help but burst in and scold the lot of them for being stupid and ignorant. They do get some good information out of the cult leader (named Mitch who if I’m not mistaken played Neal Caffrey’s nemesis Matthew Keller on White Collar). He explains that some people took the whole cult thing to a different level, including the victim and her boyfriend. He’s the one who probably killed her. So now they’ve just got to find the guy. I do like that they allowed the actor to use his normal accent. Yay for natural accents! Anyway, while they wait for a location on the boyfriend, Lucifer grills Trixie about whether Chloe is an angel (and he even insists on taking a look at Chloe’s back). The whole reason is because he realized that angels can hurt each other. Speaking of hurt angels, Maze pays Amenediel a visit and he insists he can’t go home to Heaven having failed in his mission. That’s not going to sit well with Lucifer, let me tell you.

On the plus side (I suppose), they find the boyfriend. But he’s dead and been carved up pretty badly. My guess is Mitch found the guy before the cops did and did the bastard in. I may be wrong though since everyone seems to think that Lucifer might be involved. Not only with the whole Satan connection but someone took the time to paint Morningstar on a bunch of crates and then a little later, Chloe and Dan find a monogramed “M” cufflink. Someone is trying to frame our dear Devil and I don’t like it one bit. And Lucifer is not in a very good mood either. His visit to Linda isn’t particularly helpful and a bunch of yahoos are picketing outside his club. He nearly kills a guy before Malcolm steps in. Malcolm just needs to get hit by a bus or something. He’s disgusting and vile and not worth the air he breathes.

It also appears that things are not going as planned for Maze and Amenediel either. After some love making, Maze is about to stab him with her crazy demon blade when he stops her. He looks all hurt and betrayed (dude she’s a freaking demon!) and wings off. I’m guessing he’s going to pay Lucifer a little visit. The two of them have some things to talk about I’m guessing. But first, Malcolm gets to admit he killed the little Satanist kids in Lucifer’s name. This just pushes Lucifer over the edge and he’s going to rain some Hell down on Malcolm when Amenediel shows up and gives him a new target for his anger. The pair of them get really into it, beating the crap out of each other, blaming each other for all the crap that’s wrong in their lives. Then Maze shows up and basically tells them that they both used her and she leaves her blades, suggesting they just kill each other already. But that is going to have to wait because when Lucifer goes down to the club for a drink, Chloe shows up and as he pontificates about not trusting people and getting hurt and all that, she finds the dead reverend (the guy he got into a scuffle with earlier that made the news). So now Lucifer is under arrest and I have a feeling Malcolm is behind it. No matter how much bad blood there is between Maze and the angels, I can’t see her and Amenediel letting Lucifer go down for something he didn’t’ do. I just hope Chloe is smart enough to realize what is going on and works to free Lucifer before it’s too late. I’m very excited to see what happens in the finale. If the preview is any indication, it is going to be one hell of an ending and we might just get that glimpse into Hell we’ve all been waiting for. And maybe in season 2 they will actually expand on some of the comic book mythology that people have been waiting for.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.11: “The Magnificent Eight”

“Don’t worry, we’ll stay out of trouble.”
“How I hope and pray that to be true.”
- Sara and Rip

Welcome to the Wild West, Legends! Given where we ended the last episode, I’m a little confused as to why the gang ends up in the Wild West but I guess we’ll find out. As it turns out (thanks to a little time travel lessons from Rip and Mick) there are periods of time that are blind spots to the Time Masters and 1871 Salvation (in the Dakota Territories) happens to be one of them. The gang is itching to get out on the town but Rip stays on the ship. The reason becomes apparent a little later on. It’s not long before the gang finds themselves in a bar fight (after Snart shoots a guy who was going to shoot Stein). It turns out the guys they pissed off are a highway robbery gang. Oops! Oh and Sara drank Mick under the table which was pretty hilarious. He’s kind of turning back to their side of things after that whole beat down on Snart.

But hey, at least they meet an interesting time traveler named Jonah Hex. He’s got a history with Rip and he insists on seeing our leader. We don’t quite know what their past involved at first, other than something called Calvert. The team does a little digging into it (thank you Gideon) and learn that it used to be a town in Oklahoma before some bad guy destroyed it. Rip finally reveals that he came to the time period on a Time Master mission and temporal drift caught up to him. He fell in love with the era and its heroic leanings. He had to drag himself away so he could return to his future wife. But the day after he left was when the town was destroyed. Rip also admits that he knew it was coming and this earns him a punch to the face from Jonah. I know he’s got his own comic book line and stuff, but I think he’d be kind of fun to have with the gang on occasion.

While the men folk try to instill some law and order in town, the girls head off on a vision quest of sorts. Kendra bumped into a woman and had flashes of memory. They find the woman and it turns out she’s a past life of Kendra’s (still living it out at the time). I am kind of glad we got that sorted out. It was kind of curious that they hadn’t run into any of Kendra’s other lives before now (either past or future given their jump to 2046 and 2147). Past Kendra tells current Kendra that it always ends the same with Savage killing them both and being reborn. She admits that they’ve loved other men deeply but it always ends in heart break or tragedy if the lover isn’t Carter. Clearly this upsets Kendra given her relationship with Ray. But Sara tells Kendra that she doesn’t have to listen to her past self. The visit also gives them another potential item to use against Savage if they can track it down.

Back in town, Ray ends up becoming the sheriff and thinks he’s succeed in kicking the guys out of town when he has Snart take a well-aimed shot at the leader. But as we’ve learned from Calvert, taking the gang out is the only way to ensure the place isn’t decimated as soon as they clear out. So a bunch of the guys (minus Rip and Stein) head out to their camp to try and take the leader in. They are mostly successful. They get the leader but the rest of the gang nabs Jax. So now they’ve got to come up with a trade. Ultimately Jonah suggests a quick draw and Rip ultimately takes the duty on. He seems to believe he has no choice. At least he’s really good and kills the other guy, running the gang out of town for good. Stein has a little side adventure with a young mother whose son is dying of TB. He has Gideon make some vaccine (and promptly gets into an argument with Rip over it). He begs the woman to destroy the rest of the meds once her son recovers and after the town is saved, we learn that the boy’s father was H.G. Wells (or rather his father’s initials were H.G. and it seems this young lad will grow up to be the crazy inventor and awesome writer). What a fun little tidbit.

Another fun tidbit comes after the gang is run out of town and the bounty hunters sent by the Time Masters show up. The team ends up handling them but has to use their future tech and powers to do it. And as Mick is killing one of the guys, the hunter warns that The Pilgrim is being sent after them. The funny bit was Snart asking Rip if he had a memory erasing device ala Men in Black. I laughed pretty hard at that one. But the gang has bigger things to worry about now. The Pilgrim is the Time Masters’ deadliest assassin and she’s really damn good at her job. She won’t be going after them as they are now (with powers and weapons and such). She’s going to wipe them out in their past. And as the episode comes to a close, we see her sneaking up behind a young Mick Rory (who is watching a house burn…creepy little prick). I have to say while this episode was entertaining, I’m kind of glad the next episode moves the plot along (at least in terms of the Time Masters hunting the team). Once again we had zero movement on stopping Savage. That’s really the biggest weakness of the show for me is that they don’t seem to accomplish anything of substance week to week. At least on the sister shows they actually make progress on storylines. But hopefully season 2 will be a little more cohesive.

Friday, August 19, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.11: "That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!"

“Who knew a little vandalism would be, like, the most amazing foreplay we had ever had?”

Up until the season finale, I think this episode featured Rebecca’s lowest moment. In the middle of yet another of her crazy schemes, Rebecca’s efforts to explain her pretty creepy actions manage to alienate both Josh and Greg. She started the episode on good terms with both of them, and by the end of the episode, she has lost them both. On a lighter note, the episode also has some words to add to the pop culture vocabulary: textmergency and textastrophe. Both, clearly can be used to describe accidentally sending an embarrassing text to someone who don’t intend. There’s a whole song about it, and for a song that doesn’t feature any series regulars as performers, it was pretty entertaining. One would like to think that the events of this episode would make Rebecca reevaluate things, but it just really sends her into a spiral of negative self-talk. The positive change will have to wait.

At the beginning of the episode, Rebecca and Josh have another one of their chance conversations over boba. Josh mentions that he’s off to tai kwon do class, and he forgot his phone. Forgetting his phone is really making him antsy, and this will come into play later. Later that morning, Rebecca is at work beginning a mediation (or arbitration…something ADR-like), and being the consummate professional she is, she starts texting Paula about how much she loves Josh and wants them to be together. Unfortunately for Rebecca, that text goes to Josh, not Paula. She tries to signal to Paula what’s going on, which catches the attention of her opposing counsel. Paula says she’s worked with the other lawyers/legal professionals in the room for years, and she can tell them what’s going on. They are all as horrified as Rebecca and Paula are, and they offer their suggestions for how to deal with the situation. When Rebecca remembers that Josh left his phone at home, the judge offers her a police escort to Josh’s apartment so she can delete the text before he gets home.

Meanwhile, Paula and her husband Scott have decided to go to marriage counseling with Father Brah. Scott says they don’t believe in going to psychiatrists, but apparently marriage advice from someone who can never be married is cool. Father Brah does have a decent enough suggestion, though. He gives them homework to spend one evening with each other, no distractions. Paula and Scott decide to have dinner together at home (which Paula’s not especially looking forward to). Because of this commitment, Paula isn’t going to be able to help with the delete the text caper.

While the other lawyers and the judge are singing their song about textmergencies and textastrophies, Rebecca is rushed to Josh’s apartment with the police escort. She finds a hidden key to the apartment in a Buddha sconce, and she’s in. She figures out the password to Josh’s phone in a disturbingly quick amount of time (it’s Valencia’s birthday), and she successfully deletes the text. She then makes the mistake of pausing for a few seconds to smell one of Josh’s shirts. As she opens the door to leave the apartment, Josh is standing there. He is understandably wondering why Rebecca is in his apartment, and Rebecca does her best to construct a story on the fly. She says a burglar threw a rock through the glass door of her apartment, and she got so scared that she went to Josh’s apartment. Josh is all concerned, and he wants to help Rebecca clean up the glass.

Realizing that I there isn’t broken glass at her apartment when Josh gets there, it’s going to be a problem, Rebecca makes an emergency phone call to Paula. She needs glass broken, pronto. At first, Scott is upset that Paula took the call and is now saying she has to go somewhere. He thinks she’s been having an affair. Paula swears she hasn’t been, and she tells Scott that he can join her on what she’s about to do if he would like. Scott is all-in on the break glass at Rebecca’s apartment mission. He goes into Rebecca’s house to use the bathroom, and when he returns, he has what looks like the perfect rock to use to break the sliding glass door (Paula had been having trouble finding any rock at all). Scott throws the rock, the whole door shatters, and the two make a run for it just in time. The escapade brings Paula and Scott closer together again, and as Paula later tells Rebecca, Rebecca just might have saved her marriage.

Rebecca and Josh arrive at Rebecca’s house, and Rebecca is shocked to see just how bad the damage is. Everything is going well – Rebecca pours a glass of wine and orders some take-out fondue (telling Josh she needs to relax), and Josh is happy to join her for the evening. Then he finds the culprit rock and realizes that it’s part of a set of three decorative rocks Rebecca keeps on her coffee table. Realizing that the whole story makes absolutely no sense, and freaking out that Rebecca has been telling him lie after lie all day, he walks out, leaving Rebecca sitting among the broken shards of glass. She sings a song that is a “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” classic, “(You Ruined Everything) You Stupid Bitch.” It’s basically negative self-talk in musical form, and for those of us who are anxious types that constantly evaluate what others think of us, it’s pretty accurate and heartbreaking.

Greg always leaves Heather’s apartment via Rachel’s backyard, and when he sees her sitting among the glass, he immediately asks what’s wrong and tries to come to the rescue. He hugs Rebecca and says of course he’ll stay with her for a little while (she doesn’t want to be alone). He even starts sweeping up the glass. Then he notices the fondue bag with “Josh” written on it and a wine glass with ice in it (“a classic Chan move”), and he realizes that once again Josh is the source of Rebecca’s distress. Greg walks out on Rebecca once again. The next morning, all Rebecca has is Paula, who praises Rebecca for saving her marriage and says that she’ll help make things with Josh okay again. If only Paula wasn’t such an enabler of Rebecca’s worst instincts, I’d say it’s great she’s such a good friend.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Heroes Reborn 1.11: “Send in the Clones”

“You trust me don’t you? Because I am trusting you with the future of the entire human race. And I’d like to show you how to save it.”
- Erica

We are in the final stretch, folks. I expect within the final three episodes our characters will eventually all converge (preferably in Odessa) much like they did originally in season 1 in New York. The gang is still quite spread out. Tommy and Miko are running around the future compound trying to evade Erica while she threatens Miko’s father. I really hope someone kills her. She’s getting on my nerves. After realizing that Miko needs to be at Sunstone Manor (where Matt is still in control), Tommy sends her back and lies to Erica about her just disappearing. He does manage to convince her to go back to the present so at least everyone will be playing in the same time zone.

Out in Missouri, Malina and Luke are trying to find a way to get to Tommy (or at least they think they are since he’s not technically in Midian anymore). Quentin, Phoebe and two of the clones are trying to head them off with orders from Erica to kill Malina on sight. Quentin may have joined the other team but at least he’s starting to feel guilty about it. He doesn’t want to kill Malina. She’s only a little younger than Phoebe (who I have to say is also very annoying and I wouldn’t mind if someone killed her, too). Luke and Malina (after stocking up on some ammo and gear) head in the direction of Midian and are soon intercepted by some clones and Phoebe and Quentin. They race into a corn field (they are never not creepy) and Malina gets nabbed. Phoebe starts choking her with her darkness until Luke swoops in and subdues everyone. Even though he really wants to kill Phoebe for his son’s death, Malina convinces him that the pair are more valuable while Erica still has Tommy.

Out at Sunstone Manor, things are not going particularly well for everyone. Sure, Farah and Carlos manage to get his suit back and take out the recording keeping all the Evos under Matt’s thumb. But they split up from Taylor and Renee and that just ends poorly. I know I’ve mentioned before that I used to like Matt and now I kind of hate him. He apparently had (yet another) falling out with his wife at some point. His powers overtook him yet again and she couldn’t deal with his drama. But he’s still convinced Erica will send them all to the future. We also learn that Renee’s power to dampen other Evos powers somehow relies on his hearing (retcon much?) and so Matt just shoots him in the ear to mess up his powers. Matt thinks he’s going to use Taylor has a bargaining chip with Erica (especially when he finds out Taylor is pregnant) but I honestly can’t imagine Erica caring, especially with her views on Evos and the fact that the baby likely has powers. But on the plus side, with the message down, all the other Evos can how help out and Carlos and his nephew find Micah. Now they just have to disconnect him from the system! Carlos is on his way to breaking the glass when another clone shows up. The priest takes him out but then gets shot. But hey, at least they rescue Micah. I’m glad he’s okay.

Back in Odessa in the present, Tommy briefly reunites with Emily and his mom before Erica whisks him away again. I really can’t wait until the gang kicks her butt. Everyone is still curious about where Noah’s gone. We know it wasn’t Tommy and I doubt it was Hiro since it seems like once Tommy takes a power, you can’t get it back. I’m kind of hoping maybe Peter somehow borrowed the power from someone else and swooped in for a surprise save. But that is probably wishful thinking at best.

As Matt and Taylor head to Odessa, Erica shows Tommy the machine he’s supposed to hook into so he can save the world (it amplifies his power so he can teleport mass numbers of people). Oh and Miko faces off against an army of clones (a clone army? He doesn’t look like Boba Fett). But the original Harris wants a crack at Miko so the clones back off. It appears Miko’s final mission is to kill him quite spectacularly with her makeshift spear. Good girl! I have to admit as much as I wasn’t liking Carlos, he was kind of integral to this episode and the most interesting part of the episode happened around him. Micah manages to use his powers to get the message out that Erica has been feeding the world lies. He shows footage of how they made it look like Mohinder released that terrorist video taking credit for June 13th (by using a shape shifting Evo). The kid’s got brains and guts. I’ll give him that. I’m excited to see how everyone manages to get to Odessa and stop the human race from going extinct. Unfortunately, Erica is still intent on killing Malina and she’s now tasked Joanne with that little job. Erica thinks Luke’s presence as Malina’s new protector makes the job more enticing. I mean, sure Joanne is not a big fan of her ex-husband for being an Evo but I can’t imagine she’ll kill him this time (not when she had the chance in Carbondale and didn’t. But who knows. He may end up killing her in a tragic moment

I am so glad that the clones are gone and that things are moving toward a conclusion> I’ve enjoyed getting to see some old favorites return and I quite like some of the younger characters (and not just because they are Petrellis). I still want to know who saved Noah and if the twins are going to be able to actually save the world. Only two episodes left before we find out how it all ends!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.11: “St. Lucifer”

“You like the way being good makes you feel. But true good needs to come from a place of selflessness, authenticity.”
- Linda

This week’s case was a little weird. Mostly for how it made Lucifer act. Fresh off of not sleeping with Chloe (and both of them being rather confused and uncomfortable about the whole situation), they get called to a crime scene at a charitable foundation run by an ex-NBA star. He’s found murdered on the premises and his watch, ring and wallet are missing. One of the people at the foundation points out a homeless man who claims he found the guy dead already. The odd thing is, Lucifer got a rush off not sleeping with Chloe and he’s trying to recreate that. He thinks that being charitable himself will do the trick, although it doesn’t quite work out like he’d hoped. He offers Lux to the victim’s wife for a charity gala and then strips buck naked for the homeless guy. Yeah, not what you really should be doing there, Lucifer.

In his effort to be more giving, Lucifer drags Chloe to a luncheon type thing for all the charity’s biggest donors. He gets to sing (and refuses to use his powers on the women present) and they learn that the victim was a closeted gay man and his wife knew all about it. When the duo go to question the wife some more, her attorney shows up and gets really aggressive. I didn’t like him until Chloe pointed out that he does good work for the foundation and he doesn’t charge his charitable clients. He really believes in what the foundation is working towards. Pretty soon, thanks to the victim’s lover, Chloe realizes that the money sent to build a school in Haiti was never built. That’s just about the time Lucifer is just having a real bad evening and things take a turn.

See, Malcolm has Dan tied up in some basement somewhere. He’s put Dan’s prints all over the gun so he’s going to frame the guy for Lucifer’s murder. He thinks that he’s not going back to Hell if he does what Amenediel says and when Malcolm eventually confronts Lucifer with all of this, all Lucifer can do is laugh in the guy’s face. Lucifer just thinks the whole thing is ridiculous and while he’s a touch afraid about dying, he does have his handy magic “get out of Hell free” coin that he was saving to take him home again. But he trades it to Malcolm for not shooting him. I really hope Malcolm dies a horrible, painful death and then Lucifer finds a way to steal the coin back so Malcolm is stuck in Hell. That would be a fitting end for that grease spot of a person. But Lucifer’s night gets worse when the victim’s wife shows up and he realizes she murdered her husband to protect her money. He gets really angry about this and then the crazy woman shoots him!

I did find it kind of weird that Chloe was trying to suss out the attorney’s desires like Lucifer would (or at least how she perceives he would). But it worked so yay. The wife is arrested and at least the case is solved. Oh, and Lucifer didn’t die. Very interesting. Dan finds him on the ground in his apartment and the reveal is kind of invigorating (Dan got free and went to stop Malcolm). So now Lucifer knows that Amenediel tried to have him murdered and he didn’t get injured. Speaking of the dastardly angel, Maze finds him in a restaurant eating a very rare steak and making googly eyes at a glass of wine he can’t drink. I wouldn’t say they bond exactly but she challenges him to be “fun” and they end up having sex in a car (very Titanic style with the fogged up windows). Maze alter reports all this to Lucifer, claiming that now he’s got an inside woman on Amenediel. I guess that’s true, especially since Lucifer knows what his brother is up to now.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole episode was Lucifer’s realization at the end of it. As he and Maze sat talking about how he can be immortal sometimes and vulnerable other times, it sparks a theory in his head that he needs to test out. So he goes over to visit Chloe and she admits that she feels like there is some deeper connection between them that allows her to be vulnerable. I do really want the writers to tell us what is so damn special about her that makes her have this pull over the Devil. I’m sure Lucifer would like some answers to because as she’s talking, he cuts himself with a knife and bleeds. It appears that being near Chloe is what makes him physically vulnerable. So yes, they need to decide what is causing this and fill the viewers in as soon as possible (we’ve only got two episodes left people!) because not knowing is going to drive me crazy. I, like Chloe, am happy to see Lucifer back to his old self. He was kind of annoying trying to be so good and altruistic (not that he really succeeded mind you). I like him better when he’s smarmy and holier-than-thou (excuse the pun). The show is about the Devil after all and he’s not a nice man. He’s not totally evil as I think we are seeing and is very important for him to be known to other people.

I hope in the second season (yes it go renewed) that we find out more about his history with God and what really happened. I don’t necessarily need to see God as a character but I’m particularly interested in that relationship and what went so wrong there (and not just from Lucifer’s perspective). Maybe it’s the similarity I feel to the characters on Dominion (I still want Michael and Gabriel to show up) that triggers this need to have this familial drama explained and explored or maybe I just want more backstory on the characters because I wouldn’t mind some more on Chloe, too.

Monday, August 15, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: The LA Complex 1.01: "Down in LA"

“You know, I don’t even care that I live out of my car just as long as it gets me to auditions.”

Now that we’ve worked our way through the first season of “UnREAL,” it’s time to move on to our third So Cal Summer show, “The LA Complex.” “The LA Complex” was a Canadian show that eventually also aired on the CW. The show is oh so Canadian in its sensibilities, which makes it kind of charming. It’s entertaining to watch how the production team thinks their fellow Canadians think of LA. One of the main characters, aspiring actor/musician Abby, is even from Toronto and has to field calls from her boyfriend who wants her to come home. The main characters are all struggling (or until recently struggling) artists trying to survive in Los Angeles. Most of them rent rooms at the Deluxe, which is the complex to which the title refers. It’s a motel, basically, where the owner is super chill (to a comical degree) and there are noisy pool parties in the courtyard on the regular. The show is really just a soap about aspiring artists, and it doesn’t really try to be anything more than that. The soapiness and Canadian-ness gives it good entertainment value.

The first character we meet in this episode is Abby. Like I said, she’s an aspiring actress/singer from Toronto. When we first meet her, she’s just been evicted, and she’s trying to break into her old apartment to get her stuff back. Her landlord catches her and chases her back outside, smashing the back window of Abby’s car before Abby drives away. Now homeless with even her car in tatters (it overheated), Abby calls her friend Tariq, a fellow Canadian who is in LA for an internship with a hip hop producer. He’s busy at work, but he sends his friend, aspiring comedian Nick, to help Abby instead. Nick puts water in her car and takes her to the Deluxe. He convinces to let Abby have a recently vacated room, even though she can’t pay right away.

We also meet Raquel, played by the always awesome Jewel Staite. I’ve been a fan of Jewel since I was twelve and she was Catalina on “Space Cases” (zabagabe!), although she’s probably best known for playing Kaylee the engineer on “Firefly.” Taking a page from Jewel’s own history with “Firefly,” Raquel is constantly asked about the short-lived show she was on several years ago that has become a cult hit. Specifically, it was called “Teenage Wasteland.” She’s having trouble finding work now, though, although she plays it off as just being picky. She encounters two aspiring young filmmakers who want her to read their script, and she decides she’s going to try and pitch the script to some of her industry contacts. She’s also been hooking up with Connor, a hot and somewhat younger Australian who just got a plum role on a new medical drama.

Now that he has some money, Connor is moving out of the Luxe and into his own house, so he’s having a big goodbye party. There’s a band playing on the balcony of the Luxe and everything. Even in the pilot, though Connor doesn’t find the successful life to be all that it’s cracked up to be. He doesn’t have time to help out Abby when she needs to get to an audition (more on that in a sec), and when he’s actually setting up his awesome new house, he seems rather lonely. That makes sense considering he’s used to living in a motel where everybody seems to just linger and party in the courtyard all the time. Living by himself is going to be quite the adjustment.

Nick is interested in Abby, but once Abby meets Connor, she’s got other ideas. They have sex on the roof of a building, and the next morning, they realize that Connor didn’t use a condom. He ends up taking her to the drug store for a morning after pill. Which they couch as an “abortion pill,” which is completely wrong and misleading. Anyway, Abby finds out that she’s been rebooked for an audition that she missed the previous day thanks to all the apartment and car drama. She ends up having to take the bus to get there, which Is kind of unheard of in LA. The audition seems to be going well, with Abby killing it with a song, but then the morning after pill gets to her and she vomits all over the piano.

Tariq, as I mentioned, has an internship with a hip hop producer. He’s frustrated because even though he had to send in a bunch of tracks to be considered for the job, he’s basically just a gofer. The producer Tariq is working for is trying to put together some beats for Drake, and Tariq begs for one of his tracks to be considered. He gets one shot, and the producer and his entourage all think the track Tariq plays isn’t that great. Tariq decides to take a chance, and when he’s asked to send three tracks to Drake, he adds one of his own tracks to the email, too. When the producer finds out about this, he’s not very happy, but he tells Tariq that it’s his track now, since Tariq erased his name from it.

Finally, we meet Alicia, who is played by the also awesome Chelan Simmons (yay Gretchen Speck-Horowitz!). She’s an aspiring dancer who has an audition for an Usher tour near the beginning of the pilot. She seems very confident at the beginning of the episode, trying to help a newbie navigate the audition process before she gets a callback and the newbie is rejected. Alicia spends much of the episode waiting for the phone call that says she’s going to be on the tour, but that call never comes. Alicia meets Abby, and they commiserate over their mutual career woes. Alicia decides to show Abby what she does to make money as a struggling dancer. It turns out that Alicia moonlights as a stripper. Abby actually seems kind of impressed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.10: “Progeny”

“I owe you an apology Mr. Rory. I failed you. I brought along on this mission under false pretenses, in dial of your true nature. And when that nature took its course, I asked Mr. Snart to…deal with you. My point being your quarrel should be with me, not with him.”
- Rip

Well we are finally out of the past (at least for this week) and it brings with it a whole host of complications. According to Rip, in the year 2147 there is an ally of Savage who will become a violent dictator and unleash a virus that will kill billions and allow Savage to take over the world. So they are going to infiltrate the upper echelons of society to gain access. Apparently Rip can’t pick up an encyclopedia because he’s kind of shocked to find out that the future dictator is currently a teenage boy. Yep, they are going after a kid.

This naturally divides the team into the morally ambiguous (Sara, Snart) and the morally outraged (Ray, Stein and Jax). Rip thinks that they have no choice but to kill him at first but then someone suggest removing him from the timeline. They will need a backup plan as well and since they observe Palmer Tech robots policing the placed, Ray and Firestorm are going to sort out the tech piece. Things get kind of weird for Ray though when he learns he’s got a kid somewhere in the past (or so he believes thanks to Jewel Staite). So Ray spends much of the rest of the episode winging over having left a child fatherless.

On Team Child Abduction, Sara and Snart bicker about whether to actually kill the kid when they catch up to him. But Rip wants him taken alive and that’s what happens. They hook up to some drugs in the med bay to keep him sedated, where he can dream about baking cookies with his mom. Okay, for a future mini Hitler, he’s got some pretty benign dreams. And honestly, I’m a little disappointed they didn’t manage to make a “Let’s Kill Hitler” joke about putting the kid in a cupboard. Then again, only Whovians would get that joke.

Dealing with Savage and the kid aren’t the only things tripping up the team this week. As we saw at the end of the last episode, Mick is locked up in a cell on the ship. The team is hoping maybe they can turn him back to their side. First, Rip tries to explain that if Mick has issue with anyone it should be him not Snart for lying to him. Mick isn’t all that impressed. Then Sara stops by for a chat. She doesn’t want to confess any guilt or anything but she points out that Snart cares about Mick more than he lets on and she suspects Mick feels the same way. And a little while later, Sara tells Snart to get off his ass and talk to Mick. Well that’s a bit of tough love but it actually works.

Before the guys can work it out, the team has to face off against Savage and the kid’s father. Rip took off, intending to kill the kid after all (just taking him out of the timeline did nothing to change things) but he can’t go through with it. Instead, he proposes an exchange (especially after Savage gets his hands on Sara). But the exchange is made and the team is able to leave unharmed. Ray also learns that his brother Sydney (whom we’ve never heard of before) is actually the ancestor of Jewel’s character. So at least he doesn’t have any progeny he didn’t know about. But he and Kendra still have issues.

Over the course of the episode, Kendra is mostly having flashes to the 1940s when she and Carter were parents to Aldus. They are getting ready to run again because she thinks she senses Savage’s presence. We see them explain to their son that they’re hawk people being hunted by an immortal tyrant. It all just serves to show that Kendra is still in love with Carter, even though he’s dead and her past. And despite her assuring Ray that he is her future, I can’t really say I’m all that invested in either their relationship or her character. She’s definitely the weakest of the team. And instead of actually averting the future that they feared, the team helped to hasten it sooner. Good job guys. Way to stop Savage…or not.

Down at the cell, Snart makes Mick an offer. They’ll settle this like thugs (with their fists) and if Mick kills Snart, Mick is free to leave. But when it comes time to deliver the final blow, Mick can’t bring himself to do it. Interesting that he has some emotions left (or at all really). He’s a little more interesting with the Chronos stuff tossed in but I still prefer Snart over him. But hey, at least Mick gets to share some important information with the team that kind of moves the plot forward. Since he failed to bring the team in to the Time Masters, they’ve sent Hunters out after the team and his only advice is “run”. I think I read that these Hunters are going to try and take out the team earlier in their timelines which could be kind of interesting. It at least gives us a chance to see some other characters we haven’t seen pop up on this show before. I’d be most interested in Sara and Rip to see how the Hunters try and take them out. I’m guessing with Sara it will be pre-island so she won’t know how to defend herself (although that would totally screw up a lot of things). But whatever they do< I just hope we are able to wrap up the Vandal Savage storyline this season. As villains go, I’ve seen better in the Arrow/Flash universe and Savage is just kind of boring. He’s sort of vaguely menacing right now. Yes we know he’s killed a lot of people but he doesn’t really do much with regards to the team.

Friday, August 12, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.10: "I'm Back at Camp with Josh!"

“You know, all my life, I’ve wondered if I was good enough, or smart enough. But now I know you’ve always believed in me. You’ve always supported who I am. You never tried to change me. That means so much. You have no idea.”

Now that Rebecca has admitted that she loves Josh, Paula has kicked her “Operation: Get Rebecca and Josh Together” into high gear, being more insistent than ever that Rebecca needs to be aggressive about pursuing Josh. Rebecca seems to want to have some respect for Josh and Valencia’s relationship, but Paula doesn’t care, and she hatches yet another one of her crazy schemes. Said scheme involves trying to recreate the camp atmosphere in which Josh and Rebecca started dating in the first place back in the day. The whole experience takes Rebecca through both some physical and emotional pain, but in the end, she gets more validation from Josh, which I suppose would make it worth it to her, even if I think a relationship with Josh is a kind of shaky proposition given her emotional state. Speaking of emotional states, we also learn in this episode that Greg is a commitment-phobe, which was news to me, and that Darryl is lonely and wants to make friends, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

The episode begins, as many “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” episodes do, at the boba stand. This time, Rebecca and Paula are drinking boba while squeezing over Rebecca’s love for josh. Rebecca admits she’s been Googling pictures of mixed-race babies, and they also contemplate what Rebecca and Josh’s wedding invitations would look like. While this is going on, Josh stops by the boba stand to buy a bunch of candy. He tells Rebecca that he volunteers with a program for at-risk youth, and he’s about to participate as a counselor in the program’s camp week. Paula immediately sees this as an opportunity to make Josh remember when he fell in love with Rebecca, and so she pushes Josh to see if Rebecca can volunteer with the camp, too. Josh puts in a good word with the administration, and Rebecca is invited in for an interview. The person she talks to makes it clear that they need money way more than more volunteers, so Rebecca writes a very large check for the privilege of giving a women’s empowerment seminar at camp.

Valencia, for no other reason than selfishness that I can see, really doesn’t support Josh going to camp. She thinks he should be picking up extra shifts at work instead so he can make more money. Josh gets upset because he doesn’t think Valencia really understands or appreciates him. Valencia goes really extreme with it, saying their future kids won’t have food on the table if Josh keeps acting like this. Meanwhile, Rebecca has a big plan to make a move on Josh at camp. She has a letter she wrote to him ten years ago that she never gave him, and she wants to read it to him now. Paula thinks this is an absolutely terrible idea, and she’s probably right. Who wants to revisit things that their teenage self wrote? It can only end in embarrassment.

Meanwhile, like I mentioned in the introduction, we learn that Greg is a commitment-phobe. He and Heather are talking about going to a movie, and Heather, in her dry way, says she’s excited about their relationship and wants to be exclusive. Greg panics and almost immediately breaks up with her. At Home Base, Greg tells Hector and White Josh that it never would have worked out because they have different opinions about Chuck Palahniuk from “Fight Club.” Hector and White Josh are trying to give Greg good advice when Darryl interrupts. He’s lonely because it’s Madison’s weekend to be with her mom. The guys mention they were hoping to watch a pay-per-view fight, and Darryl offers to hold the event at his place. What follows is an awesome musical sequence called “Having a Few People Over.” It’s basically Darryl getting his apartment set up set to electronica and lots of neon colors. The whole thing is very clever. The guys all quickly get bored with the undercard fights, and in a desperate move, Darryl calls a party casting service.

Meanwhile, right from the get-go, Rebecca’s camp experience isn’t what she hoped. The girls she is supposed to mentor start making fun of her before the bus even leaves the parking lot. The taunting continues once they arrive at camp. She gets injured in a game of tag, and Josh won’t sit with her at lunch, because he’s supposed to sit with the boys. Instead, Rebecca has to force her way into a table of girls who really want nothing to do with her and aren’t shy about it. Josh is busily taking selfies trying to boos his social media ratings, and this gives Rebecca an idea. She asks the girls where one can take a good selfie, and they suggest “Blowy Point” (Rebecca remains kind of hilarious na├»ve about the origin of the name throughout the episode). She challenges Josh to a selfie contest at Blowy Point, assuring him she’ll bring her windbreaker.

Unfortunately for Rebecca, it’s not just the girls causing her trouble at camp. She gets a crazy amount of mosquito bites to the point where she goes into anaphylactic shock. She wakes up in the infirmary and immediately has to run to “make a boy love her at Blowy Point.” Poor Rebecca. As you might expect, the photo session at Blowy Point doesn’t go the way Rebecca hopes, either. She starts reading the letter, and Josh laughs, remarking how “dramatic and weird” Rebecca used to be. She brushes it off and gets the heck out of there, throwing her letter in the trash can. When she tries to give her seminar, the girls continue to heckle, and Rebecca finally completely breaks down. The girls take pity and offer to help her get glammed up “for herself.” They even sing a song about it.

Among the twenty-five people Darryl invited to the party is Greg’s childhood crush. They hit it off at first, even though she doesn’t remember Greg at all, but it quickly fizzles. The experience leads Greg to get a “commitment for dummies” type book from the library, apologize to Heather, and agree to be exclusive. Darryl and White Josh continue to bond, this time over the fact that they were both social directors of their fraternities in college. White Josh even stays to help Darryl clean up, and on his way out at the end of the evening, he gives Darryl a kiss on the cheek. Rebecca gets a kiss on the cheek too. Josh asks to speak with her alone, and he tells her he read the rest of the letter. It talks all about how Rebecca believes he’s going to do good in the world, and Josh says nobody else has ever believed in him. A breakup with Valencia isn’t happening anytime soon, but Rebecca believes she has an in. As Paula tells Darryl and Rebecca, sometimes a kiss on the cheek can mean everything.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Heroes Reborn 1.10: “11:53 to Odessa”

“But why wouldn’t she want to save everybody?”
“I think she likes humanity more than human beings.”
- Malina and Noah

With only three episodes left after this, things are really kicking into high gear. As you recall we found Miko flung forward into the distant future. She encounters some of the scientists that Erica was sending through and she takes them out and heads off presumably to find her father. Back in the present, Tommy wakes up with marks on the back of his neck (he passed out and they ran tests) and after Erica explains that he needs to rebuild the time bridge that Hiro was maintaining while stuck in Evernow, he demands to see the future for himself. So they head there and it’s barren and desolate and I still hope he won’t help them. He needs to just hold on until Malina and Noah can get there. Oh and Ren is having weird visions of shogun warriors while he is trying to track Miko in the game. It’s a construct (similar to Miko) that explains that Ren needs to get to the future to save Miko (presumably the real one) from dying. The construct told him to find a way to the future with a bunch of people and he sees a bus (the 11:53 to Odessa) and gets on.

Speaking of, Luke tries to stick with them since he feels he owes Malina but Noah shuts him down. On the road, Malina asks about Claire and Noah admits that she reminds him of her mother quite a bit which is a good thing. They end up at a gas station and Luke has followed them. He tries to explain everything that he didn’t tell Malina before (including about his son) but Noah still won’t let him come. I get that Noah is probably pissed that Luke tried to kill his grandson but you have a guy who can go super nova. That has to help somehow!

Out at the Evo mind control farm, Taylor and the Hero Truther team are trying to find a way to sneak in and get Micah. Taylor has a pretty smart plan actually. Since one of the team is a shape shifter she has him switch into Erica and they manage to get inside. This serves as a plot device to pull Matt away from his interrogation of Farah (who is not actually dead after all). Up until this point she’s been very difficult to break. Now that he knows about Carlos being in her unit, he uses him. He even reveals that Carlos is in love with Farah. Turns out she loves him, too and Matt uses that to force Farah to admit where Malina was going. I really don’t like what they’ve done with Matt’s character. I guess he was just so tired of all the crap he went through that he just sold his soul but it really disappoints me since I used to like him so much. Matt sniffs out that Erica isn’t really Erica but Taylor manages to subdue him so now they can look for Micah and Francis. The shape shifter takes Matt’s form when he starts coming around and then Harris shows up and shoots the shape shifter and Matt realizes that he’s expendable. Maybe he will realize what he’s doing is wrong and change teams. I’m not sure Taylor and the team will find Micah but at least Carlos and Farah are escaping (he’s beaten Matt’s mind control). Matt pays Micah a visit and finds out that he and his wife and son are on the transport list to the future so I guess he won’t be changing sides. And it seems Hero Truther may be in a bit of a bind, too as a bunch of guards and Evos under Matt’s control spot them and start advancing.

In the future, we see Miko break into the facility and find out the truth. The real version of her is on life support. She finds her father and he explains that Renautus would have killed her if he didn’t help. She’s got another mission, too. She needs to find Hiro. Oh and he sent Ren to her and he will be arriving in the future soon to help her. Tommy gets a little tour of the facility, too and Erica admits they won’t be bringing 7 million people along for the ride. But Tommy does eventually agree to help but he wants his family and friends safe. Their little tour is interrupted by one of the Harris’s letting her know that Miko has showed up. Tommy sends some people back (including Phoebe and Quentin who are kind of having a tiff) when Miko shows up.

Noah and Malina are on their way to Odessa when a giant storm roars up. It looks like a really crazy thunderstorm but it is somehow more than that. So Malina decides the best plan of action is to use her powers to try and stop it. She manages to make the storm dissipate but Noah disappears (I have a feeling since Tommy and Miko popped back from the future that he managed to save his grandfather from being flattened by a falling car). Luke comes to her rescue when a bunch of people accuse Malina of starting the storm in the first place so they have to take off.

Things are almost to a head as we wrap up this season. I am enjoying it for the most part, even if things were a little slow at first and I want to just punch Matt repeatedly for being an idiot. But I am glad that the network gave this show a chance. I’m also glad we knew it was a limited series from the start so we won’t be left with any huge cliffhangers at the end. Either Malina and Tommy succeed in saving the world or they fail. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Unreal 1.10: "Future"

“Yeah, DC is Hollywood for ugly people.”

And so we have reached the first season finale of “UnREAL.” Because I’ve been writing these posts, I’ve been letting the second season accumulate on my DVR so I don’t get the two mixed up. I’ll be very interested to see how the events of this episode affect the next season. All of the scheming that has been happening in the past couple episodes comes to a head, and in some cases goes to a new level, and many of the characters have to resign themselves to not being in quite the situation they hoped they were going to be in my the end of it all. The episode is also an interesting look at the relationship between Quinn and Rachel, which is unhealthily pseudo-parent/child. This is yet another parallel between “UnREAL” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” While Paula and Rebecca’s relationship isn’t quite as destructive as Quinn and Rachel’s, Paula definitely sees Rebecca as a surrogate daughter and encourages Rebecca’s worst impulses. Quinn and Rachel also have a similar relationship, and Quinn encourages Rachel’s worst impulses, especially when it helps Quinn.

This episode again picks up not long after the last one left off. We see both Rachel and Adam sneak out of bed and leave Jeremy and Anna behind respectively. Rachel leaves a note behind for Jeremy that basically just says “I don’t deserve you.” Jeremy wakes up and sees this, and he’s incredibly frustrated by it. There’s just one hitch in the plan. Quinn catches Adam trying to leave, and she’s not having it. Rachel meets Adam at the tarmac, ready to throw her whole life away, and Adam has bad news, to put it mildly. He’s not leaving, and he’s going forward with the show. Rachel claims she’s okay with this, but she leaves the tarmac and completely falls apart. When she shows up on set the next morning, she’s a complete mess, smeared mascara and the whole nine yards. Quinn notes Rachel’s appearance and insists she’s better off without a player like Adam. She also thinks Rachel’s relationship with Jeremy can be easily repaired, which we’ll see is clearly not the case.

AS for Quinn, she’s in a pretty bad situation herself. Brad the asshole network exec is no longer returning her phone calls. Instead she finds out from his assistant that her pitch session is cancelled indefinitely. Quinn goes to confront Chet about this and finds Dr. Wagerstein and Madison in the room too. Madison makes it clear that she doesn’t want to file charges against Chet, and Chet announces that Dr. Wagerstein is going to have her own segment on future shows. To make matters worse, Chet has called in Britney, the “villain” who was eliminated in the first week. He thinks it’s an edgy idea, but then Quinn reminds him that they’ve brought the villain back at the end in three other seasons. Chet really is an idiot, isn’t he?

Not only is Britney back in the mix, but Grace really, really still wants to win, even if Anna seems to have it in the bag. Grace takes a walk with Adam and makes her case. Basically, she’d be a lot more fun (and better in bed) during their year together than Anna would be. Grace keeps disparaging Anna for her eating disorder, which really isn’t cool. Rachel has her own plans for how the show is going to end, though, and Quinn gives the go ahead (in exchange for Rachel forgiving her for last episode’s blackmail) for Rachel to put her plans into motion. They have a conversation that is especially illumninating about their relationship, where when Rachel starts to complain about her guy problems, Quinn pulls out the wedding magazines she had started to tab, even though marrying a drug addict manwhore isn’t exactly living the dream. For the record, she gave the ring back, so she’s not actually going to marry him, but for a little while she was seriously considering it.

Production moves to Adam’s family’s estate n England for the proposal and wedding, and we are introduced to Adam’s awesome grandmother. She’s a Duchess, but she also isn’t shy about the fact that before she got married, she gave Mick Jagger a blow job. She and Adam have a chat, and the doesn’t mince words in telling Adam what the family expects of him. Cromwells don’t marry “brown people,” and the only woman who will be acceptable to the family is Anna. Granny has no doubt that Anna will be an excellent choice. While she’s kind of judgmental (or maybe just realistic) about the kind of woman who can become a Cromwell, she’s not judgmental about Adam’s past at all. She just wants what’s best for the family overall, and what’s best is Adam marrying someone like Anna and producing heirs to the Cromwell line.

It’s now time for the big proposal. I think the way Everlasting handles this is kind of tacky compared to the Bachelor franchise. And saying that something is more tacky than the real show is not something I ever thought I would say! On the real show, the final two contestants each have a private conversation with the Bachelor(ette) where they are informed of their fate. Here, Adam has to announce his choice in front of all three ladies. His choice in Anna (which pisses Grace off, naturally), and Anna walks up to the balcony where Adam is standing to accept the proposal. Anna accepts the proposal, and the wedding planning continues in earnest.

Throughout the episode, Jeremy has been putting together the pieces of what’s been going on with Rachel. He lies to Rachel about not having seen the note, and he uses the “Rachel already told me” trick to get Adam to admit that he and Rachel slept together. All of this culminates in Jeremy acting like he is about to propose to Rachel in front of the whole crew, only to tell her off right there and let everyone know she’s been cheating. Rachel’s got bigger fish to fry, even if she is humiliated. Jeremy, however, isn’t going to leave things at workplace humiliation. At the very end of the episode, he goes to Rachel’s mother and tells her that Rachel is “sick” again. What horrors this will lead to, one can only imagine. I wonder if Jeremy doesn’t realize the pure evil of Rachel’s mom, or if he’s just that angry with her. Either way, Rachel’s in very serious trouble.

Rachel executes the final phase of her plan to get revenge on Adam. She and Adam have a conversation in a confessional about how Rachel isn’t actually happy about the breakup and is actually quite upset about it. She gets Adam to say that he doesn’t really love Anna and absolutely plans to get the marriage annulled after a year. As soon as the conversation is over, it’s clear that Rachel isn’t actually as upset as she was pretending to be with Adam. And Anna is in the confessional next door (in her wedding dress) and heard everything. When it’s time for the ceremony to start, Anna is gone. Rachel gets to go up in front of the guests and say they have a runaway bride and Adam is going to be alone. Quinn also gets to look super competent when she has to take over from Chet to handle the fallout. She gets great footage of Anna explaining exactly why she’s leaving. At the end of the episode, Quinn and Rachel collapse on lounge chairs, exhausted but ready for the next season of Everlasting. And Rachel says she loves Quinn. Clearly Rachel needs to work on her mommy issues.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Summer DVR Dump: Lucifer 1.10: “Pops”

“Don’t let your…daddy issues cloud your judgment.”
- Chloe

This week’s episode is all about family dysfunction and no one is really left out of the awkward family drama. Lucifer is having daddy issues, Chloe’s mom shows up in town unannounced and the case of the week involves a star chef who was estranged from his son. The chef was found poisoned at a grocery store, after having breakfast at his restaurant. So naturally all of the staff is suspects. But as they talk to everyone, it becomes clear that while the guy was kind of a jerk and was harsh with all of his staff, they still looked up to him like a father figure (this gets old for Lucifer rather quickly). When they meet the chef’s son, Junior, Lucifer immediately thinks he’s guilty. They do a little digging and end up talking to the sous chef named Ann. But it looks like Ann isn’t the culprit when she vomits blood and passes out from poisoning. Oh boy!

To make matters more complicated, Chloe’s mom shows up in town and insists on having a family dinner (which according to Chloe is not even a thing that happens). In a rather candid moment with Lucifer, she admits that growing up she always left like she had to be the adult in the relationship with her mother. Her mom was always racing off to auditions and dragging Chloe with her (part of why Chloe got out of acting I suppose). Lucifer likes mama Decker though. And of course, she likes him because no sane person who meets him doesn’t (yes I’m looking at you Dan). Speaking of Dan, he’s having a hell of a time with Malcolm. Dan finds out that Malcolm is after Lucifer but doesn’t plan to help take out the competition.

Elsewhere in the episode, Maze pays Linda a visit, asking the doctor to make her more normal. When Linda turns down sex (that’s really not the way you pay your therapist guys!), Maze isn’t happy. But Linda tells her to connect with people on a deeper, more meaningful level. Basically, girl needs some friends if she’s going to stick around town for a while. That suggestion doesn’t exactly go as Maze plans but it’s actually kind of adorable. In the middle of the investigation (after Chloe and Lucifer pay a visit to Junior’s ex-girlfriend who is a drug addict and former hostess at the restaurant), Chloe gets a call that her mom sent the babysitter home. This leads to a big fight between mother and daughter over Chloe’s mom dressing Trixie up to take to an audition. So Trixie takes off, ultimately ending up at Lux looking for Lucifer. Hence Maze’s first friend. As I said, it was kind of cute (aside from Maze almost serving an 8 year old alcohol). It was also kind of nice to see Trixie as her own person a little bit.

Dinner at the Decker household turns nasty and awkward almost immediately. Lucifer’s brought Junior along to help cook (and try to get some information out of him) but Lucifer’s way of getting people to speak the truth gets in the way and pretty much everyone ends up offended. Dan leaves with Junior and Chloe’s mom begs off, too. This leaves Chloe and Lucifer to stand about awkwardly. Although Chloe realizes that Junior couldn’t have killed his dad because the poison found (a mix of mercury and heroin) didn’t match any of the drugs they got at his ex’s place. Lucifer then points out it was rather convenient that Ann didn’t die.

So our dynamic duo heads back to the restaurant and confront Ann. She admits she used the poison because the victim was going to give the business back to his son after reconciling. But the intended victim was actually Junior, not his dad. Oops! Ann sets the place on fire and Lucifer gets burned carrying Chloe out of the burning building. It was kind of heroic and a little unnecessary. But hey, at least the culprit is ultimately caught and the case is solved. Now it’s time for the dysfunctional people to resolve some things. Maze reports to Linda about making a friend and then asks the doctor out for an age-appropriate drink. Hey, it’s a start! Chloe and her mom make up before her mom leaves on an early morning flight. She also gives her daughter a piece of advice about being happy. This prompts Chloe to text Dan to try and figure out where they stand after their kiss. But he’s a little busy confronting Malcolm and then getting choked out by the jerk. Said jerk also sends Chloe a break up text which isn’t going to leave Dan very happy. One would think Lucifer would be thrilled with Chloe showing up drunk at his door but he oddly can’t take advantage of her. It seems our Devil is developing a sense of right and wrong and respect for women. It’s big of him to realize that if he and Chloe slept together now, she’d regret it the next day. Even though it ended with Chloe snoring loudly on his shoulder and him sort of cursing his Dad, it was kind of sweet. And I’m proud of Lucifer for putting the brakes on even though I was kind of hoping for at least a kiss. They didn’t have to go all the way at all. He could have stopped her after one with the same result.

I like that Lucifer keeps trying to find answers to his own dysfunction in other people’s lives. He doesn’t really seem to be getting anywhere but at least he’s trying. It would be kind of interesting if at some point we actually got to meet God and see what father and son really are like together. Because as you know, we just have Lucifer’s side of things (Amenediel doesn’t get to have an opinion because he’s a scheming jerk face).

Saturday, August 6, 2016

MTVP Rio 2016 Olympics Coverage: Opening Ceremony

It’s that time again – time for the 31st Olympiad! I’ve been borderline obsessed with the Olympics for almost as long as I can remember. In 1988, Brian Boitano and Katerina Witt were heroes to a preschool-aged me who then tried (and failed) to learn to ice skate. I remember watching Today Show broadcasts from Albertville and Lillehammer before school in 1992 and 1994. I showed up very tired to a summer clerkship during law school thanks to devotedly watching the primetime coverage from Beijing in 2008. I’d say my real intense watching of the Olympics began in 2000 with the Sydney games. This is fitting in a couple ways. First, the Sydney games were the first for Baltimore (my adopted hometown) native Michael Phelps who is now competing in what will probably be his last Games in Rio. Second, the Olympics coverage on MTVP this year will be a little more sparse than usual because of all places, I’ll be in Sydney for the second week of the Games. I’m going to try, if it’s technically feasible and I can find a way to do some Olympics viewing in Oz, to write something comparing American and Australian coverage of the Games. I have a feeling it’s quite different.

Anyway, on to what actually happened last night. It’s no secret that the background to this year’s Games has been one of deep anxiety. There have been numerous ISIL related terrorist attacks this year, and certain politicians who shall remain nameless are using the fear generated by those attacks to fan the flames of nativism and xenophobia. Closer to the Games, Brazil itself and the state of Rio de Janeiro are in political turmoil. Brazil’s president has stepped aside in the middle of a de-ranging corruption scandal, and the state of Rio itself is in extreme financial crisis and had to be bailed out by Brasilia. There are major concerns about security and environmental health at the venues. In the middle of all that turmoil, though, the organizers of Rio 2016 gave us what Brazil is best known for – a joyous samba-infused party.

Brazil doesn’t have the money that China or Russia do to spend on the games, so these Opening Ceremonies were planned with a real do more with less attitude. I found that kind of refreshing, but maybe that’s just because I’m a government budget analyst in my day job. I think the Olympics have really become too gaudy and too much of a money pit to continue as they have been, so this was a welcome step back. For starters, the ceremony, instead of taking place in an elaborate brand-new stadium, was in Maracana Stadium, which has great historical significance to Brazilians. It was built to host the 1950 World Cup, where Brazil made it to the finals only to lose to neighboring Uruguay. I would like to see more host countries refurbishing sports venues as part of their Olympic plans instead of building more large stadiums that can never attract as large a crowd in the future. But the IOC at the moment only seems to see bling, so I suppose that’s wishful thinking. Additionally, the pageantry of the ceremony wasn’t quite as elaborate as Beijing, for instance. Money was put into a state of the art projection system, but everything else was more scaled back.

There were, as you would expect, many elements of the presentation that were meant to highlight Brazilian history and culture. Some worked better than others. The one that I thought really didn’t work was early on in the presentation where Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen did a catwalk-style walk across the stadium. I’m not a huge fan of Giselle to begin with, and it was kind of tacky. The one redeeming aspect was that this portion of the program was set to “Girl from Ipanema,” because how could it not be? There was also a segment that traced Rio’s early history, from the water to the rainforest, to settlement, and the development of cities. It was an impressive visual spectacle, for sure. As per usual with Opening Ceremonies, there was also a segment highlighting Brazilian music, which was entertaining, although I was frantically hunting through my apartment to find my camera because I leave for Sydney on Friday and how could I go to Australia without my camera (I eventually found the camera under some clothes in my bedroom, for the record)? There was also a very positive social and environmental justice theme to the ceremony. There was a segment about taking care of the environment, and there was also a celebration of Brazil’s diversity and the international spirit of the Olympics.

The tensions in the world right now and that spirit of diversity made the parade of nations, usually a point in the festivities that I just have on as background noise, especially poignant. To see people from so many countries all having the time of their lives together was touching, and especially touching was the newly formed ten-person refugee team, with participants from, among other countries, Sudan and Syria. The crowd gave the refugees a standing ovation, and if you didn’t get at least a little teary, then I don’t think you have a heart. It was exactly the kind of message that I think needs to be broadcast earnestly before we go too far down the path of “I’ve got mine.” Another favorite moment of mine from the parade of nations was the entrance of the Brazilian team to more thunderous applause. The music choice was “Brazil,” which was both appropriate and something I appreciated because that was one of the songs we performed in our marching band show during my senior year of high school.

Following the parade of nations were all the ceremonial steps that have to be taken to officially open the Games. IOC President Thomas Bach shifted effortlessly between French and English as he gave the usual thanks to the host country and warning to the athletes against doping. Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer then declared the games open. I think the Rio Olympic Torch is especially beautiful. Marathoner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lit the torch, which is housed within an intricate sculpture that is meant to look like the Sun. The way the sculpture sparkles when the torch is lit must be spectacular to see in person. The torch lit, it was time to party. The samba music started again, and samba clubs began to dance, providing a very fitting end to an uplifting evening of unity in sport.

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.09: "I'm Going to the Beach with Josh and His Friends!"

“Oh my God, who pole dances for male attention? Do you know the name of the class I took in New York? It was feminist pole dancing!”

This is another one of those episodes of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriends” that just strikes at the heart of my own anxieties and hang-ups. All her life, Rebecca has wanted a real friend crew, and when Valencia invites her on a beach day with the gang, Rebecca jumps at it, even though she knows full well that Valencia probably has ulterior motives. Instead, she ends up being a seventh wheel, making a fool of herself, giving up one of her big secrets (the partial truth of why she moved to West Covina), and playing right into Valencia’s hands. Even though she does have her Josh obsession, which Paula (for her own reasons) tries to force Rebecca to confront in this episode, I feel like Rebecca does genuinely want friends too. It plays right back into the whole “I Have Friends” theme in the episode where she throws a house party. In fact, Rebecca even sings a few bars of the song early in this episode when she’s feeling especially lonely.

The episode begins with a scene that I feel like could be ripped right out of certain phases of my life. Rebecca has gone to see a movie called “The Cancer Crew” by herself, and we see her chowing down on popcorn. After the movie, she sees all the friend groups chatting and having fun, and she feels very lonely. It turns out that Josh, Greg and crew have also gone to see the movie, and Rebecca spots them hanging out outside the theater. They’re talking about their plans for an upcoming beach day. Josh wants to do everything exactly as they always do for a classic beach day. Greg would rather do something more cultured like go visit the Getty in LA, and he’d also like to bring Heather along. Josh vetoes all of this. Valencia spots Rebecca, and once she remarks about how weird it is that Rebecca is always around, Josh calls her over. Valencia, clearly with a scheme in mind, asks the very eager to be friendly Rebecca if she’d like to join them for the upcoming beach day, and of course Rebecca says yes. Valencia sings a very passive aggressive song called “Women Gotta Stick Together” where she mixes female empowerment with put-downs.

The next day at the office, when Rebecca tells Paula about her plans, Paula is not enthused. She sees that the beach day can only end in tears. She wants Rebecca to stop living in denial and admit her feelings for Josh. Rebecca, of course, refuses to do that, and she refuses very loudly. She’s loud enough that Darryl asks if he can join Rebecca and her friends on the beach day, and Rebecca has to tell him no. He even offers to rent a party bus for the whole crew, which Rebecca dismisses as trying way too hard. When Rebecca pulls up to Josh’s place on beach day, though, she’s in a party bus. The whole crew doesn’t really know what to make of this, but they go with it. Valencia says it’s perfect for being able to sit on Josh’s lap the whole way to the beach. Josh and Greg are busy just generally fighting. Greg wants to bring craft bear and listen to new music, and Josh hates both of those things. Greg thinks Josh is controlling, and Josh thinks Greg is a misanthrope who isn’t very fun to be around. They’d both be right, I suppose.

At first things are mostly okay. Josh and Rebecca robot dance to some music, but Valencia has to put the kibosh on that right away. Defeated by Valencia, who is now grinding with Josh, Rebecca talks to Greg for a bit. Then Greg asks the bus to stop to pick up none other than heather. Nobody knew Greg was dating Heather until now, and Rachel seems mildly upset about it. Greg turns all his attention to Heather (as he should, if she’s his date), so Rebecca tries to strike up a conversation with White Josh, who only wants to talk about working out and dieting. Rebecca sees Darryl stranded by the side of the road, so she begs the gang to stop the bus for him, thinking she’ll finally have someone to talk to. Unfortunately for Rebecca, though, White Josh is a trainer at Darryl’s gym, and Darryl is kind of obsessed with him, so Darryl immediately wants to only talk to White Josh. White Josh is very sweet about the whole thing. Now essentially a seventh wheel, Rebecca does the only thing she can think to do to regain the attention of the group. She starts pole dancing. The rest of the group is kind of horrified at the sight, and Rebecca quickly realizes she made a mistake. She goes into the bathroom and asks Paula to come pick her up at the beach. Paula says she only will if Rebecca admits she loves Josh, and Rebecca continues to deny it.

When Rebecca reemerges from the bathroom, the bus has arrived at the beach. Valencia decides to press Rebecca on why exactly she moved to West Covina. Rebecca starts to say she got a really good job offer, then Darryll blabs that Rebecca actually called him begging for a job at Whitefeather. Rebecca is forced to tell the partial truth. She was very unhappy in New York, and it was her brief conversation with Josh that led her to believe West Covina was a place where she could start over and be happy. The rest of the group is kind of sketched out by this, and Valencia feels vindicated. Josh tries to act reasonably upset, but he asks Valencia if he can talk with Rebecca privately. She thinks he’s going to tell her off, so she’s cool with it. Instead, in “West Covina (Reprise)” Josh sings about how proud he is that he introduced Rebecca to his favorite place, and he’s very happy she moved there. When Rebecca exits the bus, Paula is there, and she finally admits her feelings for Josh.

Summer DVR Dump: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow 1.09: “Left Behind”

“It doesn’t matter. We’re not leaving our team.”
- Professor Stein

When last we left our team, Ray, Kendra and Sara were left in 1958 while the rest of the team had been hijacked by Chronos. He screws with the Wave rider a bit and then take offs with Snart and leaves Stein, Rip and Stein on the ship. While those three are trying to find the rest of the team, Sara, Ray and Kendra have to accept that the team isn’t coming back. We see them as time starts to pass. They share an apartment and then when Ray tries to get a time beacon working and it fails, Sara takes off, saying she needs to find where she belongs. I have to say wouldn’t it be confusing for her to go to the League before she’s even born? Wouldn’t Ra’s Al Ghul be all “I’ve met you before” when he sees her again?

Anyway, Ray and Kendra end up starting to date and when we next see them, she’s a librarian and Ray is a college professor, teaching Bill Gates’ father which is pretty hilarious. He gets kind of excited by that. They are celebrating their two-year anniversary and Ray is about to propose when his beacon goes off. Ray and company (minus Snart obviously) pop in and scoop them up. Kendra is happy to be back in her original life but Ray isn’t willing to let things go.

As the team is trying to find Sara, we get some very interesting information on Chronos. The reason he’s kidnapped Snart becomes clear when he takes off his helmet and reveals he is in fact Mick. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting that to be the case but it is kind of interesting and gives him more to do. It turns out Snart didn’t kill him (obviously). He kind of chickened out and just punched Mick in the face to knock him out. He was eventually rescued by the Time Masters after he’d nearly gone mad and was built up to be this bounty hunter badass focused only on killing the team. He was taken to the Vanishing Point and rehabbed over many lifetimes (or something). He seems to be taking more joy in threatening Snart with having to watch his sister die over and over again. I’m with Snart that Mick is really demented and off the rails and not worth saving but then again they have plenty of time to figure that storyline out.

When the team finally realizes where Sara is (aka the League of Assassins), they try to rescue her. But it’s hard to rescue someone who doesn’t want to be rescued. Sara has been indoctrinated again into the League’s way of doing things and she’s all for Ra’s and doing his bidding. So when the team shows up, she sounds the alarm and they all get locked up. Trespassers will be executed. Oops! At least it gives Ray and Kendra some time to sort out their issues. We also learn that if one is stranded in a foreign timeline for too long, they begin to lose their original self and their past. Kendra admits she was starting to lose herself and her past lives and that is likely what’s happened to Sara as well.

Lucky for the team, Rip studied the League for a thesis in school and he knows about trial by combat. He seems only a little alarmed when Ra’s defers to Sara. But ultimately, Kendra steps up. It is two-fold: it allows Kendra to get her wings back and hopefully remind Sara of her humanity. Things don’t seem to be going too well until Chronos shows up and starts blasting people. He was kind of stupid to leave Snart alone on the jump ship because Snart is definitely not stupid and manages to get free (even though he loses a hand in the process. With a little League assistance, the team takes down Chronos and they’re all pretty shocked to see that it is Mick under the helmet. But they’re going to take him back to the ship. Before leaving 1960, Sara and Rip fill Ra’s in on their time travelling. And Sara makes sure Ra’s sends Nyssa in October of 2008 to rescue her so she can join the League again. I also found it kind of hilarious that Ra’s wasn’t really surprised by the whole “from the future” thing.

It seems that despite the drama of leaving 1960, Kendra and Ray are still good as a couple. He still hasn’t proposed (although he’s got the ring so it won’t be long now) but they’re both quite happy that for once, Kendra gets to choose who she falls in love with. I suppose that’s fair. With Carter dead, she is free to be with whoever she wants. And perhaps on an interesting note, they are going to try and reform Mick and turn him back to their side of things. Sara is particularly interested in this endeavor since she thinks that if they can save Mick, then she can be saved, too. Girl really just needs a spa day or something (and not in the Lazarus Pit). But thanks to some future tech, at least Snart is back to having two hands after having it regenerated. He’s got a fighting hand!

While the team recovers from their trippy experience, Rip sets their sights on 2147. He explains that while Vandal Savage may have disappeared from history for a while, he knows that they will find Savage in this time and place. I have a sinking feeling that they’re going to find him as a young child and Rip is going to make the decision to try and assassinate him. That’s going to cause all kinds of drama amongst the team. It’s the big dilemma in all those kinds of stories about going back in time to get rid of horrible people like Hitler (I’d kind of love a “Let’s Kill Hitler” moment but that’s just the Whovian in me).

Friday, August 5, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: UnREAL 1.09: "Princess"

“Really? I’m sorry, your below-the-line, coupon-cutting boyfriend is going to offer you something more interesting than a five year deal with me?”

The penultimate episode of “UnREAL’s” first season didn’t fail to bring the drama. Adam was down to his final three women, and there was continuing jockeying for position. The relationship drama also heightens, as Quinn starts to try and make her moves against Chet, and Rachel finds herself torn between Jeremy and Adam. Not gonna lie, I think I’m pretty firmly Team Adam in the Adam vs. Jeremy showdown. Jeremy is kind of bland, and he has treated Rachel horribly. Adam, however, while he’s a bit of a horndog, at least has some depth to him. He’s more of a fully-drawn character than Jeremy is. I can believe that Rachel would find him intriguing enough to risk her career over. This episode also sees Dr. Wagerstein come into her own a bit. She becomes aware of some of the gamesmanship going on between Quinn and Chet. It’s hard to believe she is played by the same actress who plays Josh’s super-loveable mom on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

This episode picks up pretty much right where the last one left off. Rachel and Adam have just had sex. Rachel notices she has a bunch of text messages from Jeremy, and she instantly regrets her decision. She hustle’s out of Adam’s room, claiming their night together was a mistake, and heads right back to the electric truck to be with Jeremy. Jeremy invites Rachel back to his house for an evening so she can take a real shower and enjoy some creature comforts. He thinks she deserves to not live like a homeless person for a night. Rachel does go back to the cabin with Jeremy, and they end up showering together. Later in the episode, Rachel goes to a party with Jeremy and some of his friends. They have a lot of fun, and Rachel seems to fit into that life easily. Jeremy suggests that maybe they should get out of the reality TV business, go back to LA, and live a “real” life with his friends. This seems odd to me given that just a few episodes ago, he was insisting that it was never his dream to get out of the business.

Ridiculously, Chet says he wants to have a baby with Quinn, and Quinn seems to agree, letting Chet finish without a condom. The next day, Quinn says she has a gynecologist appointment back in LA, and she takes some emergency contraception during the flight. I was glad to see Quinn hasn’t completely lost all reason. Her actual appointment is with the jerk network executive, though, not a doctor. She wants to pitch show ideas to him solo and completely cut Chet out. She’s got a whole notebook of ideas, apparently. The network exec agrees to give Quinn a chance to pitch some ideas, and Quinn thinks she’s on her way to starting her own company. She’s so sure that she tries to blackmail Rachel into joining her. She’s going through old footage, and she happens to see footage of Rachel and Adam having sex. Rachel had tried to cover up the camera in Adam’s room, but it wasn’t good enough. Quinn tells Rachel that if she doesn’t join her new company, she will tell Jeremy all about Rachel’s extracurricular activities. Adam agrees to keep quiet for Rachel’s sake, since he does seem to have real feelings for her.

Quinn also tries to use Madison against Chet, but it appears that move is going to come back to haunt her. She gets Madison to admit what she did to Chet, then she insists that Madison needs to report the incident. Because you know, there was a massive power imbalance, and what Chet did was not at all okay. This is all true, of course, but it’s not coming from a genuine place with Quinn. She just wants Chet to go down, and if it’s direct repercussions for his cheating on her, so much the better. Madison, however, is not down with this plan at all. She doesn’t think Chet did anything wrong, because she was completely okay with what happened. She’s so torn over what to do that she talks to Dr. Wagerstein about it. Dr. Wagerstein tries to reassure Madison that Madison can handle the situation in whatever way makes her the most comfortable, but then she quickly turns the information to her own advantage. She tells Chet about Quinn’s whole plot to use Madison against him, but in exchange, she wants her own segment on Everlasting that could eventually turn into a Dr. Phil-like spinoff. Something tells me Quinn’s dream’s of having her own company free from Chet aren’t long for this world.

As far as Everlasting goes, this week the final three spend some more time with Adam at the vineyard. In one especially memorable scene, Adam and Faith have some fun with demolition and find a “secret room” that turns out to all be courtesy of production design. Faith tells Adam that she actually wants to win Everlasting. She thinks it would be a win-win for her and Adam, because Adam wouldn’t feel like he was leading her on, and she could maybe introduce Amy to San Francisco and the idea that they don’t have to hide their relationship. Both Adam and Rachel think that Faith playing pretend for another year would not be the best thing for her. She needs to come to terms with who she is and make her peace with that and her hometown. Adam ends up eliminating Faith from the competition at the elimination ceremony.

In addition to the vineyard dates, Adam is supposed to select one woman for an overnight date. Determined to get Rachel’s attention, he chooses Anna, and he actually has sex with her. Rachel, of course, can’t resist watching this happening from the command center, even though monitors are supposed to be turned off for overnight dates. Rachel also sees Adam leave the room later in the night, and she gets concerned. She finds him by his favorite pond, and he drops a bomb on her. He doesn’t want her to start her new life with Jeremy without him saying how he feels. Adam wants to run away with Rachel. He thinks they should go someplace glamorous to start, then see where life takes them. He doesn’t think Jeremy can provide Rachel with the kind of life she wants. Rachel is going to have quite a decision to make.