Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer DVR Dump: The Librarians 3.09: “And the Fatal Separation”

“I’ve had a great run, boys. But it’s time for to say goodbye to the Library and this dimension forever.”
- Charlene

We are in the penultimate episode of the season, folks! As a creepy Asian collector gets a map from some guy who doesn’t talk (supposedly to the lost land of Shangri-La), we find that Jake is already there studying from the Monkey King. He’s been there for two months but he’s learned everything he can (minus magic because Jake is still very anti-magic). It’s interesting, he’s got a very different fighting style from Eliot Spencer but I’d say it’s a little similar to Lindsay from Angel. Very interesting. Unfortunately, while he puts up a good fight when the collector and his ninjas show up, Jake gets hit with a knock-out dart and falls into the river (going over the falls).

Back at the Library, Jenkins has rediscovered the chamber of memory (it’s a bunch of candles linked to everyone with a connection to the library). Eve’s candle is super bright and has a long way to go. But the reason Jenkins summoned Flynn there was to show him that Charlene is still alive. Yay! Oh, and Flynn’s candle is nearly burned out. When it goes out, the person dies and becomes a memory (hence the name of the room). But that also tie sin with Flynn realizing that he’s going to have to give up his life to save the library.

While Flynn is contemplating his end, Cassie is stressing over learning to control her new gift (or at least the new ways in which it works). Eve is confident she can do it and has faith that when the time is right, Cassie will know what to do. That time may be sooner rather than later because Jake comes flying through the back door and reports on what went down in Shangri-La. Flynn knows the collector (they’ve gone head to head previously). Also, the Monkey King having to rebuild a bit of the sacred city may have been Flynn’s fault when he was securing the spear of destiny (which I suspect is a slightly different version from the one being sought on Legends of Tomorrow). Anyway, they need to a plan to get back to the city and the staff (which controls the magic in the city (whether it’s good or evil). Whoever holds said staff at sundown controls the magic. At first, the plan is going well. Cassie and Ezekiel go in posing as land pirates offering up something Flynn beat the guy to previously. Cassie impresses him with her knowledge of other people in the business and then things go a little wonky when he brings up Ezekiel. The guy thinks our resident master thief was great. He never met him but heard his voice at a party once. So, Ezekiel is gonna have to keep his trap shut for the rest of the episode if they want the plan to work. Then again, it would help if the rest of the team hadn’t gotten knocked out by more blow darts and a possessed Monkey King.

Things get even more bizarre when Flynn and Jake break out of their prison after waking up and find Charlene in one of the cages. But she isn’t really a prisoner. She’s been hiding in the collector’s possession hoping the Egyptian god wouldn’t think to look for her there. But now, she’s going to go back to the Library and sever her connection to protect everyone. She can’t very well be used to unlock pure evil if she’s not a Guardian anymore. But with Eve missing and the Staff still in the collector’s possession, she agrees to help the boys out one more time for old time’s sake. And Cassie and Ezekiel manage to slip onto the train on which Eve has been loaded. I hope they’re nearby when Eve’s former boss (and mentor) drops the “I’m the head of DOSA and you (Eve) are a sleeper agent” bomb on our favorite Guardian.

Eve’s former boss goes on and on about how it was all a set up to get Eve close to Flynn so they could have someone in the Library because the government views the Library as a terrorist threat. Are they forgetting that Eve got an invitation to the Library just like our newest Librarians? Anyway, thanks to being able to sort of use her new powers, Cassie is able to get Ezekiel past the guard and in to rescue Eve. I just hope that Eve is still on our side. Meanwhile, while Jake is trying to undo the spell put on the Monkey King, Charlene and Flynn head back to the throne room but the collector has the staff and is acting all haughty, like he’s already won.

Ultimately, Flynn, Charlene and Jake are able to save the staff and Shangri-La. Jake is even able to save the Monkey King’s soul (though he gets some magic tattoos for his trouble and is kind of pissed about it). I suspect Eve hasn’t said anything to anyone about being a sleeper agent (which worries me going into the finale). She’s been part of the team since day 1 of the show and I can’t imagine her betraying them. And as we say goodbye to Charlene, we discover that Jenkins wasn’t in love with King Arthur’s bride, but Charlene (who we are to assume is in love with Judson). And now that she’s leaving this plane of existence, I expect her to reunite with him. It’s a very moving goodbye (especially between Charlene and Flynn). Before she goes, Charlene whispers something in Eve’s ear and I really want to know what it was! Does Charlene know the truth? What’s going on?! We end with Eve walking into the chamber of memories and watching as Charlene’s candle goes out. Maybe it’s just the lighting in the room but Eve looks a little sinister there. Gulp!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fresh off the Boat 3.21: "Pie vs. Cake"

“You know I’d love a sibling team-up. It’d be like my favorite TV show. “Sister Sister.” Except brothers.”

“Pie vs. Cake” combined two rather interesting plots that don’t seem to have much to do with each other, other than examining the dynamics between particular members of the Huang family. Jessica has to confront some things about herself when her mini-me, Evan, becomes better than her at arguing. Eddie and Emery try to work together to win a comic book contest, despite their very different sensibilities and work ethics. The plot with Jessica and Evan was more developed, and I really did appreciate how it moved Jessica’s character forward. Now since this is a fairly traditional half hour comedy, Jessica could be back to her “win at all cost” self in the next episode, but for this half hour, it felt like real growth. Jessica had to realize that she can still be good at things, even if someone else is even better. She also had to realize that it wasn’t okay to sabotage her kids for the sake of staying the best. It really was a good episode for Jessica.

The episode opens at the local discount department store, where Jessica is determined to return some of Louis’ very used socks for cash. It seems like the impossible – I figure I’d be lucky to get store credit in such an obvious scam situation. Jessica, however, holds herself to a higher standard. She harasses the poor clerk, Roger (who is played by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” favorite Tom Lenk) until she gives him the cash. She even hid the fact that she had a receipt for the socks to give herself a bigger challenge. Evan proudly puts the receipt in an album of other receipts that represent Jessica’s “precious victories.” At school the next day, Evan is introduced to an even better way to emulate his mom and make her proud. A group of kids in blazers enter the cafeteria, and he at first assumes they’re private school kids. When he finds out they’re on the debate team and what that means, he’s enthralled.

Meanwhile, Eddie finds Emery diligently drawing a comic. Emery explains that he wants to enter a contest where the winner has their comic placed in comic book stores around the country for free. Eddie things working for free is lame, so he’s not interested. At least he’s not interested until Grandma Huang points out how much money can be made in comics, using her beloved Garfield as an example. This intrigues Eddie, since he’s all about the Benjamins, so he offers to partner up with Emery on a comic for the competition. Emery, of course, thinks this is a fantastic idea, because it will be just like his favorite TV, show “Sister Sister,” just with brothers instead. He even draws a cute “Yes!” speech bubble to formally accept Eddie’s offer.

When Evan asks Jessica for permission to join the debate team, she is thrilled, but she can’t let Evan have it too easy. She has to debate herself first, listing out the pros and cons of Evan being on the team. Of course she lets him join, since she was on the debate team herself in school. She helps Evan practice for his tryout, having him give his speech in front of an army of Beanie Babies. Speaking of, is anybody interested in buying some Beanie Babies? There are a couple tubs of them in my parents’ attic that I’m sure they’d love to get rid of (they keep threatening to bring them to my apartment). In my defense, I was 12 and 13 years old in 1996. Prime Beanie Baby age. Later, the family eats dinner at Cattleman’s Ranch, and they are trying to choose between pie and cake for dessert. Jessica wants pie, and Evan wants cake. They both give impassioned debate speeches to support their position, and Evan wins by reminding people of happy occasions associated with cake, like birthdays. He wraps up his speech with, “If you choose life, choose cake,” to wild applause from the rest of the Cattleman’s patrons.

Eddie and Emery start working on their collaboration. To say they have different taste and creative styles would be an understatement. The superheroes Emery has drawn are called “Nice Man” and “The Empathizer,” while Eddie has basically just written a list of ‘Yo Mamma jokes. Eddie convinces Emery that they should each draw up ideas for ten superheroes and see if there’s one they can agree on. When Emery goes to show Eddie his ideas, Eddie is just eating Twizzlers and watching his friend Trent play video games. He hasn’t come up with any ideas yet. Emery gets upset and accuses Eddie of trying to make him do all the work. Which is kind of true. He even quickly draws up a new character called “Lazy Boy” to make his point. It’s Grandma Huang who brings the boys back together. She recoils in horror at Eddie’s drawing of “Spaghetti Dog” (a dog who looks vaguely Garfield-ish and likes spaghetti instead of lasagna) and implores Eddie to learn to work with his brother. Eddie makes amends, and the boys start truly trying to come up with an idea for their comic.

Jessica hears Evan on the phone bragging to one of his friends about winning the dessert debate, so she takes him to the store to prove she’s still got it. She wants to try to return the family phone, which was purchased five years prior at a Radio Shack in DC. There’s no way Roger should accept the return, and at first it seems as if Jessica has actually crossed the line where Roger won’t help her anymore. Evan comes to the rescue, giving an impassioned speech about the importance of helping mothers, and Roger accepts the phone. Jessica feels more defeated. Louis finds her sitting at the kitchen table in the dark because Evan wanted the lights off and she didn’t think she could argue with him anymore. Jessica tells Louis she doesn’t think she has anything left to teach Evan, and she didn’t think that moment would come so soon.

Louis offers a sympathetic ear to Jessica, but she already has a plan for how she is going to regain her pride. She is going to challenge Evan to another argument, and he is going to win. She sits at the kitchen table with two vegetables in front of her, ready to argue with Evan about which is best. When Evan arrives home, however, he’s devastated. He’s been told he can’t participate in the debate team. Suddenly, Jessica sees how she can be “needed” by her son again. She marches Evan right back to the school and into the debate class. The teacher says that Evan is indeed an excellent debater, but the debate team is only open to fifth grades. Jessica uses expert debate tactics to argue why younger kids should be included, which crescendos with her quoting Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.” The kids are super impressed, and Evan gets a spot on the team. The triumphant duo arrive home to celebrate their victory, and Evan and Emery have a new (Stan Lee) approved idea for their comic. “Persuader and Blazer Boy.”

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer DVR Dump: The Librarians 3.08: “And The Eternal Question”

“I don’t like vampires!”
- Jake

Spontaneous human combustion is the name of the game this week. We see a guy doing quite well during a golf tournament. Well, until he bursts into flame. So the team is going to check it out. Though, Cassie says she needs to go visit a doctor in New York who might have information. And Flynn and Eve are off on a different case (a clue left by Charlene for Eve). Jake and Ezekiel go to talk to the golfer’s widow and she explains that her husband had stage 4 cancer but then they went a holistic spa and they cured him. She goes to get the brochure when Ezekiel pulls the curtains to give her more light and she bursts into flame, too. Vampires!!

In New York, Cassie learns that her tumor has gotten too large that she can’t put off surgery any longer. But she’s not going to have surgery to remove it. She just wanted a timeline. But the doctor says she doesn’t have any more time. I’m wondering what they are going to do with her health now. She temporarily hides her fear under a bubbly personality for Jake and Ezekiel while she tries to ask Jenkins out on a date. I found that really odd. I mean, they have kind of a friend, or even a father-daughter vibe going on but a romantic one is just weird. He’s way too old for her!

But there isn’t really time to worry about the squicky factor of that particular pairing because the trio of Librarians heads off to the holistic spa to snoop around. Cassie talks to the caretaker’s daughter about the plants and surrounding soil (she seems interested in learning all she can). But she’s also upset by the false hope that people are given in this place. The guys are also kind of weirded out by the guy they are talking to as well. And about the time Jenkins calls with some crucial information about our combustible golfer and his wife, Jake and Ezekiel figure out the same thing: vampires! Semi-kind hearted, Spanish vampires.

And it turns out Flynn and Eve aren’t following some trail left by Charlene. Rather, Flynn has decided this is the most opportune time for he and Eve to have a romantic getaway in the Alaskan forests. She’s a little miffed he conned her but she kind of loves the gesture anyway. This seemed like an unnecessary subplot for this week’s episode. The rest of the plots are a lot stronger. While they enjoy the evening, Eve realizes they need to get back because the team needs them. Speaking of, Cassie and Jenkins manages to talk Ezekiel and Jake out of going back to the spa crosses and stakes blazing. They need to figure out what’s going on before they take action. There’s also a nice call back to the third Librarian movie where Flynn fell for a vampire (Stana Katic if I remember correctly). Cassie calls Jenkins out on the fact that Flynn fell for an immortal. But Jenkins explains that long ago he pledged his heart to another woman (even though she didn’t choose him … um Gwenivere?) and so he can’t be with anyone else.

Back at the spa, the caretaker explains everything that they know. They came from Spain a while ago and this land has protected them. They are able to walk in sunlight but only on the grounds. They aren’t aware of why guests would be combusting because they don’t feed on the guests (at least not enough to turn them). But as Ezekiel and Jake go browsing the grounds to follow the golfer’s routine, they spot a sketchy locked door and bust in to find some curious mixtures. And then one of the employees comes in and basically spills the beans. He and one of the other vampires (the son or maybe the daughter) have been working on a formula to allow them to walk in sunlight off the grounds. But it isn’t just so they can enjoy the scenery outside, it’s to take over the freaking world!

Cassie gets an offer to be turned into a vampire by the daughter (I now think it is the son who is plotting with the other employee) and then Jake and Ezekiel fill Cassie in. But when Cassie goes to confront the daughter, things take a turn for the dangerous. She insists on speaking to her mother but when they get inside, they find Ezekiel and Jake standing over the mother vampire’s ashes. Then all the boys bust in and grab our guys like snacks. Oh, and Jenkins (having found Cassie’s doctor’s card on the floor) learns that she’s dying and a lot sooner than they all realized.

Thanks to her rapport with the daughter, Cassie manages to convince her brother to at least hear her out about the secret lab. Unfortunately, he leaves orders with his guys to kill Jake and Ezekiel. I have to admit, our guys held their own until Jenkins shows up and is a total badass. Love me some sword wielding Jenkins! Elsewhere in the spa, Cassie figures out at the it is the water that is protecting the vampires, not the rocks. And then a massive sibling fight breaks out and the daughter ends up killing her brother. Just in time for Cassie to pass out in Jenkins’ arms. I’m thinking she’s getting that brain surgery whether she likes it or not. Which may affect her abilities or it may not (given the amount of magic she’s been exposed to). I also liked the sort of flirtation Cassie had with the vampire chick. It was slightly reminiscent of Flynn.

Cassie makes it through the surgery and her gift is even still intact (although it appears to be amplified and altered a bit). But hey, that will give the show some new ways to go about showing her abilities in the final two episodes. And at the close of the episode, she goes to thank the vampire chick for helping her see she was being foolish about the things she’d been focusing on and they share a sweet kiss. I kind of hope we see the vampire again. Because Cassie could use a little love in her life!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

#iZombie 3.13: "Looking for Mr. Goodbrain Part 2"

“If we’re going to survive, we might have to do a few things that can’t be undone. If I scratch you, you’d better be damn sure whose side you’re on.”

Once again the creative team behind “iZombie” pulled off a finale that left me wondering where the show was going next year and sure it would be someplace interesting. And yet again, whoever is in charge of the music cues was on point. One of my very favorite moment of “iZombie” overall was in the second season finale when a bunch of zombies were munching on the “real” Rob Thomas’ brain while singing Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell.” This year’s music moments didn’t quite top that, but they were still pretty darn clever. This episode was just jam packed with twists and turns and things that will most definitely have consequences next season. D-Day is upon us, and now that everyone knows zombies exist, it is going to be time to see how the reaction plays out. Will humans be content to let the zombies live peacefully as long as they mostly stay in Seattle, or will our ugliest impulses (which have been quite prevalent for the past couple years, I think) reign?

The episode begins in the aftermath of the house explosion that ended the previous episode. Liv, Peyton, and Ravi are watching the news coverage of the event, and Liv is clearly devastated (as you’d expect, considering her two main romantic interests of the moment were both there). Just as everyone is feeling especially desperate, Major and Justin show up at the door. They survived because they were outside, but the rest of their squad and Natalie did not. Justin asks where Liv was, so Liv has to come clean about the whole sleeping with Chase Graves thing. At least the has the class to take him into another room to deliver the news. He doesn’t accept the being on the brain of someone who liked hookups excuse, and he storms out.

Later at the morgue, Liv and Ravi are working on the explosion victims, trying to piece bodies back together. Babineaux stops by with new information on the Katty Kupps case. Patrice, Tatum Wexler’s roommate, was on the flight from Paris that Katty suspected was the source of Seattle’s Aleutian flu outbreak. She was supposed to be bringing Chase Graves a new pet dog. The team starts speculating about whether a collar meant to dispense citronella to stop barking could have actually dispensed Aleutian flu. Liv confirms she has seen the dog (and the collar) plus a napkin with Katty’s phone number on it in Chase’s hotel room. When pressed on why she was in Chase’s hotel room in the first place, she has to admit that she slept with him. Meanwhile, at the Scratching Post, a bunch of zombies on choreographer blue brain are dancing to “Dream Lover,” which was a pretty great visual. One of Blaine’s minions shows up and says the feds interrupted the drop of Russian brains they were counting on. Blaine, understandably, is not happy about this development.

At Filmore Graves, Blaine tries to do a deal with Chase. He wants to provide all of the brains needed by Filmore Graves employees. Chase declines, saying he has the brain situation taken care of. Furthermore, since whole brains, blue or otherwise (as opposed to brain mush) can be a distraction to his soldiers, he is banning his employees from patronizing the Scratching Post. That just adds insult to injury for poor Blaine. As a very frustrated Blaine leaves Chase’s office, Major enters. Major wants back in at Filmore Graves. Meaning he wants Chase to scratch and re-zombify him. Chase warns Major of the consequences. D-Day is coming, and Major will need to make some tough choices about which side he’s on. Major says there’s no question he’s on the side of the zombies, and he really does want to be scratched.

While Chase is taking meetings, Liv and Babineaux are hovering outside his house. They are planning to do some recon to determine if he had something to do with the Aleutian flu outbreak. Specifically, they want to test the dog collar for flu residue. Liv drinks some Max Rager and jumps over the wall, and she lands right in Chase’s pool. Chase has just arrived home, and he sees this happen. He gives Liv a robe to wear while he runs her clothes through the dryer, and she and Babineaux sit on his couch for a chat. They tell Chase about all of the circumstantial evidence that connects him to the Aleutian flu outbreak. He gets rather snarky with them, which I appreciated, asking them if they want to watch some TV while Liv’s clothes dry. It’s way better than how robotic he’s been in some of the earlier episodes. Meanwhile, since Chase’s directive, the Scratching post is not doing so well anymore. Only one guy is dancing, and Blaine is so disgusted he turns the music off.

At City Hall, a woman from the CDC tells city staff, including Peyton, that the Aleutian flu out break could be really, really bad. It’s a slow, painful death. Vaccine’s are on the way, however, and she recommends everybody gets vaccinated. Our gang sits around the office, talking about the vaccine. Babineaux apparently is really paranoid about diseases and wants to get his as soon as possible. He’d be even happier if Peyton would tell them where the city is storing them so he could get his early. Liv ends up having a vision of Filmore Graves employee Carey Gold (who I believe is related to Tatum Wexler’s roommate Patrice) standing over Katty, who is in a car trunk, surprised Katty is still alive. The gang now thinks Carey is behind all the recent zombie murdering. And they’d be right. At Filmore Graves, Chase, who has also figured this out, calls Carey into his office and accuses her of mutiny. She admits it, and she says she did it because the whole “zombie island” idea will get them all killed. She’s probably right about that, actually. Putting all the zombies in one concentrated area would just be asking for somebody to destroy them all in one go. Chase calls for security, but the guards are all loyal to Carey. Chase ends up shooting Carey and all the guards just as Liv and Babineaux arrive. He ends up confirming to them what happened.

The vaccination stations are finally open, and of course, Johnny Frost uses his media personality status to get one of the first doses. Meanwhile, Babineaux goes back to the precinct, where he is confronted by Dale. Dale picked up one of Babineaux’s Cis while she was working on intercepting something related to Russia (presumably Blaine’s botched brain drop), and this CI has connections to Major and Blaine, too. It’s that guy Don-E brought into the business earlier in the season. In the interrogation room, Babineaux realizes it’s time to bring Dale into the fold, so he hits the CI and makes him go full-on zombie mode to prove to Dale that there are zombies among us. At the morgue, Ravi tells Liv that he found some open vials of tainted Utopium among Katty’s effects. It’s not enough for a cure, but the residue might be valuable. He has Liv turn the release valve on his mad scientist set-up, and that triggers a vision for Liv. She sees Patrice attacking Katty outside of Tatum and Patrice’s house.

Liv sneaks into Tatum and Patrice’s house. On an abandoned cell phone, she sees text going back and forth about how it’s D-Day and zombies will never go hungry again. Liv’s cell phone battery is dead, so she uses the kitchen land line to call Peyton and warn her that something is wrong with the Aleutian flu vaccines. Peyton tells Liv that the vaccines are being stored at a nearby elementary school. Tatum enters the kitchen, and she explains to Liv how she was zombified. They hug, but then Patrice tries to attack Liv. Liv knocks out both Patrice and Tatum, then she goes to the school, where Filmore Graves mercs are tainting the Aleutian flu vaccine with zombie blood. Liv calls Babineaux, who is in line at the vaccination station with Dale, to warn him. Babineaux has to go outside to get reception, but by the time Liv can deliver the news, it’s too late for Dale. As Babineaux rushes back in to save her, she’s already gotten the shot.

Liv heads to the local news station, where she confronts Johnny Frost about how he’s a zombie now, and she gets him to make an announcement about the vaccines being tainted and that zombies aren’t inherently bad. People flee the vaccine centers and head for the gun shops, but we also see some more tender scenes of new zombie life. Babineaux helps Dale dye her hair. The Scratching Post is hopping again. Chase and some of his mercs show up at the news station. He has his own video that he wants to broadcast. He says Seattle’s zombies will stay put in Seattle if the rest of the country donates sufficient brains (upon the death of the donors) to keep them well fed. It’s a bit of blackmail, for sure, but it’s not exactly a bad deal. We see Peyton inform Mayor Baraccus of recent events while he’s reading a book to a group of school children. It was a scene that was a bit too much of an on-the-nose invocation of 9/11 for my taste, personally. We also see a bunch of humans try to attack one of the new Filmore Graves operated zombie feeding stations, just to get mowed down by Filmore Graves mercs.

At the end of the episode, Liv goes back to the morgue, where Ravi informs her that he has used the Utopium residue to develop what he believes is the first vaccine for zombism. He takes it himself, and Liv is incredulous that he’d use himself as a guinea pig when there’s no good way to test the vaccine. Ravi does have a test in mind. He wants Liv to scratch him. If he doesn’t become a zombie, then the vaccine works. I would think he’d want to try this test in a few weeks after his body has built up immunity, but nope. He wants to do it right now. Liv doesn’t want that responsibility, but Ravi says it’s not her responsibility, because he’s asking for it. He wants her to deliver the scratch because they started this journey together. Eventually Liv agrees. As we fade to black, Ravi makes zombie noises, and Liv tells him, “don’t be a dick.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" 1.16: "Josh's Sister is Getting Married!"

“I drink anywhere. But I do my study drinkin’ here.”

As many episodes of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” are, “Josh’s Sister is Getting Married!” is an emotional roller coaster. Many of our favorite characters have been continually making bad decisions, and finally, for once, some of them start trying to change their behavior. Of course it’s not going to stick, but I think the trying is important. Rebecca especially gets burned by trying to change her behavior. She wants to be a positive person in the lives of Valencia and the Chans, but thanks to Paula’s continued meddling (and Rebecca not having a serious conversation with Paula soon enough), it all blows up in her face. Musically, I think this is one of the weaker episodes of the season, but Greg’s song in this episode is kind of my theme song for life, so it’s not all bad by any means. That song in particular doesn’t exactly showcase Santino Fontana’s fantastic voice, but it expresses a sentiment I think many of us wanna-be high achievers can relate to.

The episode begins not long after the last one left off, in the aftermath of Josh learning that Rebecca ordered and received a bunch of photographs of him. As Josh looks through the pictures, Rebecca admits that she did have feelings for him, but her trip to New York has inspired her to break old patterns, and she has no intention of interfering with his relationship with Valencia. She even offers to let Josh take the pictures, or she’s going to throw them out. At first Josh declines, but some of them are from good angles, so of course he takes them. Rebecca slips and says that is “the last of the Josh Chan stuff” and has to quickly deny that she has more stuff. In reality, she’s got a whole cupboard of random (and kinda creepy) Josh stuff.

Meanwhile, Greg is still taking extension classes to try and work towards his MBA, and he’s studying for a test at a bar (not Home Base). He starts telling the bartender about how he got into the “Harvard of the South,” which is what he considers Emory, although the bartender rightfully counters that Vanderbilt is usually considered the Harvard of the South. Rebecca shows up at the bar, too, and she and Greg banter a bit before Rebecca decides again that she needs to break old patterns and goes home. When we next see Greg, he’s at school waiting to get his test back, and he is once again bragging to a classmate about the whole “Harvard of the South” thing. To Greg’s chagrin, he gets a C- on the test. His instructor says that she knows Greg is smart, but it is as if he decided not to try. This leads into Greg’s bit song of the episode, “I Could if I Wanted To.” I’ve got to admit, it’s kind of my theme song, and it’s got a great 90’s grunge rock groove. As I already mentioned, it doesn’t especially show off Santino Fontana’s voice, but I still dig it, probably just because I identify with it so strongly.

Meanwhile, at Rebecca’s house, Rebecca and Paula are clearing out the rest of Rebecca’s Josh stuff. Or, more accurately, Rebecca is trying to throw out her Josh stuff and Paula is objecting to getting rid of every single item. She really is a terrible, terrible influence. Rebecca and Paula are still bickering when Josh’s mom and sisters stop by. One of his sisters, Jayma, just got engaged, and she wants Rebecca to be a bridesmaid. Rebecca wants to turn over a new leaf and distance herself from the Chans, so she suggests Valencia should be a bridesmaid, considering she’s Josh’s girlfriend and all. Jayma says that both Rebecca and Valencia can be bridesmaids. This isn’t what Paula had in mind, but she’s thrilled Rachel is agreeing to be in the wedding. Because that’s not creepy.

Greg goes to the grocery store to pick up some coffee for studying, and he meets a rather sad stock boy named Marty. Marty recognizes Greg from the unfortunate events that happened at Spider’s/Spiders/Spiders’ in the season’s second episode. Marty has a crush on another store employee named Ally, but he doesn’t think he has a chance with her. She moved to their store from being a manager at a whole Foods all because she has a crush on yet another employee named Brody, aka “Grocery Clerk with Half an Eyelid.” Apparently he’s really charismatic. Greg sees himself in Marty (it’s the whole going after a woman who is really interest in someone else thing), so he offers to help. With Greg’s prompting, Marty performs a song called “Clean Up on Aisle Four,” which is replete with grocery store puns, for Ally. At first she’s smitten, but then a jealous Brody starts doing cartwheels, and she’s all about him again.

Rebecca and the rest of the bridal party go dress shopping for Jayma’s wedding. Valencia, of course, is late (she’s got to make an entrance), and she walks in wearing full-on feather wings on her back. She claims she just came from a Hometown Hotties audition shoot. She tells Rebecca that normally she’d curb stomp her for kissing Josh, but she’s grateful to be in the wedding, so she’s giving her a pass this time. Rebecca is appreciative and says she can make the Chans love Valencia. She spends the rest of the dress shopping session deprecating herself (mostly about her figure) and building up Valencia. Later at the office, Paula wants an update on wedding prep. She really wants Rebecca’s permission to put something rashy (poison oak would be ideal) in Valencia’s dress, but Rebecca says no. Paula starts researching anyway. Paula eventually thinks she has a source for poison oak who has offered to throw in a few deer ticks for good measure. This is unforgiveable to me – I know people whose lives have been completely destroyed by Lyme, and even Valencia doesn’t deserve that. Rebecca half-heartedly tries to put a stop to it, but Paula won’t hear of it. Before she can object too strongly, Rebecca gets a “911” text from Jayma and rushes to the bridal shop. It turns out that her dress is done early, and Jayma wants to celebrate with her girls.

At the bridal shop, the ladies are all getting along really well. Valencia says she wants almost all of them to be in her bridal party, and Jayma says they don’t all think she’s heinous anymore. Then she asks Rebecca and Valencia to have her dress packed up. While Rebecca and Valencia are working on that task, they start talking about the pros and cons of their respective boob sizes. Rebecca decides to try on Jayma’s dress to make a point (that her boobs would look terrible in it), which leads to one of the iconic (but not one of my favorite) songs of the first season, “Heavy Boobs.” After Rebecca is finished, Valencia also tries on the dress, and on her, it looks perfect. She asks Rebecca to take a picture of her in the dress, and Rebecca agrees. Paula, meanwhile, has hacked Valencia’s phone and social media accounts, and when the photo shows up in Valencia’s photostream, Paula immediately posts it with some unflattering hashtags.

Valencia and Rebecca are just about finished having the dress packed up properly when Jayma and the other ladies show up furious. Jayma says that Valencia has ruined her wedding. Valencia makes the case that she was framed, because, among other things, her hashtags are always positive like #fitspo, not #hotterthanthebride. She immediately suspects Rebecca. At first, Rebecca doesn’t say anything, but then she bites the bullet and takes the blame, even though she did nothing wrong (because Paula’s cray cray). Rebecca is kicked out of the wedding party, and the Chans now love Valencia. Rebecca confronts Paula, who admits that she keeps pushing Rebecca and Josh because she thinks that without Josh, she and Rebecca won’t be friends anymore. Rebecca says that isn’t the case, and she really needs to make some changes.

Back at the grocery store, Greg decides to talk to Ally about Marty. She doesn’t like how he keeps pushing (he even tried skywriting) even though she has clearly turned him down. She thinks it makes Marty seem pathetic, and she wonders whether or not if he stopped his ridiculous pursuit, she might give him a chance. Greg then goes to Marty and suggests that maybe giving up on Ally is the best move. Later that evening, Rebecca shows up at Home Base to drink. Greg is working, they banter, and he makes her a gin and tonic. Rebecca asks Greg if he wants to get another drink once he’s off work, and he turns her down. He doesn’t want to be her second choice. Rebecca leaves, devastated. While Rebecca is sulking at home, Josh shows up to yell at her about Valencia. Rebecca counters that now his family actually loves Valencia, and then she kicks Josh out of her house. And she follows that up by throwing out “Channy Bear,” a teddy bear to which she taped a picture of Josh’s face. Rebecca goes back to Home Base, and she kisses Greg to make her point. At first, Greg tries to say no, but Rebecca assures him that he’s not second place, and this is about him, not Josh. Greg says that if they’re going to do this, it’s not going to be one night of regret. Basically, it’s got to be at least a three-day bang-fest. Rebecca agrees.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fresh off the Boat 3.20: "The Masters"

“There’s no winner in parenting. But if you see a gold wrestling belt in our closet that says, ‘Parent Mania Champion,” just know I had it made before this conversation.”

Overall, “The Masters” was a solid episode of “Fresh off the Boat.” It had an entertaining plot that held my attention, it included commentary on where Asians fit in the world of sports, and we even got to see Louis and Jessica seriously discuss and compare their parenting philosophies. All of this is set up by Tiger Woods playing in the Masters golf tournament. This set up Jessica to first laud, then question her “tiger mom” parenting style, although by the end of the episode, she is of course once again convinced she is right. Jessica wouldn’t be Jessica otherwise. While Emery is kind of sidelined from the big parenting golf competition that ensues, I enjoyed his little side plot where he’s trying to spread the Gospel that Tiger Woods is actually half Asian. The twist at the end of that plot, while sad for Emery, was pretty genius, from a technical standpoint.

Anyway, as you’d expect, the episode opens with the Huang boys watching Tiger Woods compete in the Masters. They’re pretty excited because he is half Thai, and they always like to see Asians do well in sports. They don’t have a lot of pop culture heroes to look up to, so when an Asian comes along and makes news like Tiger did in the mid-90’s, it’s a big deal. The boys don’t want Jessica to know about Tiger Woods, because then she’ll make them all try to learn golf. She does this any time an Asian is famous for something in the United States. A very little Evan had to try and learn to be a newscaster when Jessica learned about Connie Chung, for instance. Evan almost instantly spills the beans to Jessica, however, and you can see the gears start to turn in her mind. This obviously earns Eddie’s wrath, since he doesn’t want to be pulled into another of Jessica’s tiger mom plots.

Emery seems the most enthusiastic about Tiger Woods. He really wants his classmates at school to know that Tiger is half Asian. It’s kind of a running joke throughout the episode that everybody thinks of him as just Black, and nobody realizes he has a Thai mother. Nobody wants to be bothered to listen to Emery, though, not even Eddie’s friends. One of them, for instance, is too busy picking a fight with another kid who has the same backpack. I can totally see this sort of thing happening back when I was in middle school (around the same time as the show takes place). Backpacks were a big deal, people! I sewed lots of cute buttons on mine so that they would be unique. Emery decides to see if he can get Reba to let him use the school PA system to make an announcement about Tiger Woods to the entire student body. He even gives her a folder of research that proves he’s half Thai. Reba thinks this is a story that could break wide open, so she eventually agrees to give Emery the mic. Unfortunately for Emery, once he finally starts his speech, all the kids are out in the school yard watching the aforementioned backpack fight. It’s a great speech, though, and a great twist that suddenly made that random detail of the backpack argument relevant.

Anyway, Jessica tells Louis that she sees herself in Earl. She believes she is the one pushing their kids to greatness. Louis, understandably, is kind of insulted by this, because Jessica is implying that she really does most of the parenting and Louis’ contribution won’t really matter that much in the long run because he is too soft. Louis explains that he has a more laidback parenting philosophy because his father was extremely tough/strict with him, and he wants something different for his kids. I find this interesting considering the “real” Louis Huang that the real Eddie writes about in his memoir was, according to Eddie, extremely tough and basically physically abusive to his sons. Although even if TV show Louis is different from his real-life counterpart, I think it was an interesting point for TV Louis to bring up in this context. After stewing on it for a while, Louis has a solution to this argument with Jessica. He wants to settle it with a golf tournament. He’s going to train one kid, and Jessica is going to train another, and each will use the same golf pro for help, and they are going to see which kid does best at nine holes of golf. They decide not to include Emery because he’s good at everything automatically, so Jessica takes Evan and Louis takes Eddie.

Jessica does her thing and tries to push Evan to the limit. She’s super picky about the golf pro they’re going to work with (she ditches the first one, Phil, because she doesn’t like names that can be shortened, plus he calls her “Jess”). She makes him get up at 5:00 AM to practice before school. Evan is a “true beginner” to golf, as the golf pro puts it, and he doesn’t really take to it well. Jessica gets really concerned about her prospects in this competition when she sees Eddie crushing it at the driving range. Eddie is taking well to Louis’ laid back style, and he loves that they go for doughnuts before every practice. Jessica pretty much has exactly the reaction to this that you’d expect. She wants to win at all costs, even the cost of the dignity of her sons, so she asks Louis if they can switch who they are training. Louis, convinced that his method will work on any of their kids agrees to it. Eddie is understandably kind of hurt by the switch, and under Jessica’s strict style, his golfing gets worse and worse. Louis, meanwhile, takes Evan to a minigolf course, and Evan actually starts enjoying golf and developing some skills.

This turn of events causes Jessica to have a bit of a crisis of parenting confidence. To make her feel better, Louis offers to cancel the parenting challenge and just play a fun family golf game where there is no keeping score. Jessica agrees, but she sulks the whole time. She goes off to get a platter of junk food for the boys (a sign of just how upset she is), and she runs into a woman who looks like she’s Kultida Woods. Jessica asks “Kultida” more about her parenting philosophy and how she feels like her permissiveness has benefitted Tiger. She responds that she isn’t permissive at all. She was very strict, and that lays the foundation. This makes Jessica feel better and like she hasn’t ruined her kids. She feels like she gave them the foundation to then succeed later when they’re able to use a little creativity. We find out later that this wasn’t actually Kultida at all, but Jessica doesn’t know that, so she ends the episode once again satisfied that she is right in all things.

Summer DVR Dump: The Librarians 3.07: “And the Curse of Cindy”

“It didn’t work on me because I’m so awesome? Advantage me!”
- Ezekiel

As if cults weren’t creepy enough in general, magic cults are even creepier. When we begin this week, a woman is sneaking onto the grounds of a hippy cult looking for her daughter. When she finds the girl (after some searching), a gong sounds and everyone gathers to see Cindy, the person they are all worshipping. A short time later, our team lands outside because the clipping book has alerted them to the cult activity. Thanks to Flynn and a little magic, they get on the premises and Ezekiel fills the team in on Cindy. She only goes by her first time, there are no known photographs (if you ask me based on what it looks like before she emerges from the house, she might not even be human) and all kinds of people follow her. They know there must be an artifact somewhere nearby (likely in the house) so they are going to have to find a way to get in. Lucky for the team, Flynn has managed to get himself chosen to be one of the house guests. It’s apparently like some weird, extra skeevy version of Big Brother or something. I can’t imagine this is going to end well.

Things just keep getting weirder as the rest of the team tries to investigate the situation. The girls split off from the guys and manage to get inside the house. We also see Cindy inside watching herself in a confessional video (again, much like Big Brother). She looks pretty sad while watching and I’m wondering if she was like a rejected contestant or something to have everyone adore her. The girls see Flynn giving a confessional but he’s gone by the time they manage to get into the booth (creepy). Also creepy is the giant statue of Cindy (I swear it looks like it was made out of paper Mache). Jake and Ezekiel notice a military truck and sneak into a bunker, only to be immediately chased out by DOSA. I’m guessing they went snooping around, too, and got whammied by whatever Cindy’s artifact is. No one is immune from this crazy chick!

So I may have been a little hasty in my assessment of no one being immune. Ezekiel and Stone get dragged before her Extreme Creepiness and Jake falls under her spell. But Ezekiel is fine. He’s not affected by her at all. Down in the kitchen, the girls run into the chef (a super famous one) who is all upset that Cindy wants from-a-box macaroni and cheese. Eve goes to deliver it and gets to take out a DOSA guy and drag both Jake and Flynn back to the Library (although they weren’t quick enough to keep Jake from spilling quite a few secrets about the library to Cindy). She’s worried now that the Librarians will mess with her plan. While we don’t yet know what that plan entails, we do know that her perfume is the key to making everyone love-drunk morons. Jenkins explains that back in the day, powerful practitioners would brew obsession potions to help with battle. He suspects that Ezekiel was immune because he is so in love and obsessed with himself. They still need to go back and find a pure sample of the perfume so Jenkins can make an antidote, but he mixes up a little something so there is less chance the rest of the gang will be affected by her magic. Once back on the scene, the girls sneak into the barn to find a giant missile being prepped for launch. Yeah, that’s some crazy stuff going on right there. I’m still waiting for Ezekiel to figure out who Cindy actually is.

The girls get locked in the freezer by the witch who is making the potion (sort of a stereotypical cackling old biddie but whatever). Meanwhile, Jenkins tries to break the spell on Flynn and Jake but they just start sort of hitting on and complimenting each other. Frankly, I’d have liked to see more of that. It could have been highly amusing. And while I felt most of this episode was lackluster, I have to admit, Ezekiel really got to shine near the back end of it. He sneaks into Cindy’s room and watches her get horribly voted off a Big Brother-esque show. He remembers her from it and he explains that what she’s after isn’t real. The people will turn on her eventually and he proves it by dousing a group of them with more potion so they are practically tearing her apart because they all want her. Cindy feels horrible for what she’s done (I really liked how Ezekiel was able to open up to her) and she insists they have to stop the missile launch. Unfortunately, she’s now changed the potion and turned everyone to love her. Well crap!

But with a little team work from our gang (including Jenkins showing up with the antidote), the missile is stopped and everyone is okay. We also learn that the God of Chaos had inhabited the woman we thought was a witch and he’s floated off to regenerate in his sarcophagus. As things calm down, Ezekiel tells Cindy that she’s got one friend (in him) and she should start from there. She gives him a big old kiss that leaves me a bit flustered before he plants a gentle one on her forehead and heads out. Back at the library, the gang ponders where the god’s sarcophagus may be. And Jake (rightly) points out that it wasn’t Ezekiel’s narcissism that kept him immune to the potion, it was because he already had feelings for Cindy from watching the show. Our little thief is loath to admit the truth but I have to agree with Jake on this one. Ezekiel doesn’t show feelings for others often but he does definitely have them. And as the episode comes to a close, we find that the sarcophagus is in the hands of DOSA. That can’t possible end in anything other than terror and hellfire.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Doctor Who 10.11: “World Enough and Time”

“We had a pact, me and him. All those stars, we were going to explore them together. But then, he was too busy burning them.”
- The Doctor

Since I found out that John Simm was returning as the Master (and in this episode no less) I’ve been very much looking forward to this episode. I loved him as an adversary for the Doctor but I also liked that they were friends once upon a time. It gives their relationship such a deep history. Before we really dive in to the story of the week, we get our first sort of in media res moment of the Doctor landing the TARDIS and starting to regenerate!

Anyway, we pick up with Missy leading an adventure as a test from the Doctor. He wants to see if she can be good like him. They’ve found a 400-mile long ship trying to get away from the gravitational pull of a black hole. Quite pretty really (the black hole that is). Bill and Nardole are both quite miffed with the Doctor for sending them on this little trip seeing as neither of them trust Missy. She’s having a great time though needling them both about her connection to the Doctor. But as often is the case, things take a nasty turn when one of the ship’s occupants comes in and starts pointing a gun at everyone, demanding to know who is human. A mysterious “them” is coming up the lifts and that only happens if they detect human life signs. The guy thinks if he kills Bill they won’t come. The Doctor pops out of the TARDIS to try and diffuse the situation but Bill gets shot through the middle anyway, leaving a giant gaping hole right through her!

We jump back in time briefly to see the Doctor suggest his plan to let Missy run things (with him observing and keeping tabs) to Bill and Nardole. The Doctor kind of explains to Bill why Missy is so important to him. She’s his oldest friend in the universe and they had a pact when they were children (probably before the Master looked into the Void and went bonkers). Clearly, he misses that friendship and wants to find it again if possible. Bill asks the Doctor to promise that he won’t let Missy get her killed but he can’t promise that (on the premise that she’s human and easily breakable). Cut back to Bill being shot through the middle and some creepy thins step out of the lift and take her away, saying they can repair her. Given their mechanical-like movements and modulated voices, I don’t understand why the Doctor and Missy (at the very least) didn’t put it together that they were some sort of Cybermen.

Given the size of the ship (and some random nonsense about gravity) we learn that the top of the ship where the Doctor, Missy and Nardole reside moves slower timewise than the hospital where Bill finds herself. She’s sort of rescued by this creepy guy that kind of reminded me of a cross between Igor from Frankenstein and a Klingon (in look). But as Bill explores the hospital and finds all these “special” patients in pain, she begins to trust this guy. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting the twist regarding this character so I suppose kudos to Moffatt for that but otherwise, I just didn’t get why the Doctor didn’t figure it out sooner!

I did find it kind of disturbing that Bill kept seeing flashes of the Doctor telling her to wait for him (he managed to psychically send her a subconscious message but still, it kind of was jarring to see him just randomly pop up everywhere without warning. It was rather amusing to see Bill and her buddy watch the others at the end of the ship on the TV (it appeared frozen due to the difference in how fast time moved). Eventually, the Doctor, Missy and Nardole get into a lift and head to the other end of the ship. Bill keeps asking how long it will take for them to arrive and her buddy ends up taking her to the operating theater where she gets “converted”. Yeah, this just feels a lot like Dalek Clara from season 7. I mean, I get that Moffatt is running out of new ideas (which is one of the many reasons I’m looking forward to a new showrunner) but come on. I do have to say that the Cybermen aren’t very unique (but at least it wasn’t Daleks again).

By the time the rest of the gang arrives, Bill has already been turned into a Cyberman. The Doctor and Nardole go off and find the operating theater while Missy is left at the computer controls to try and figure out what’s going on. Bill’s creepy friend (who betrayed her) shows up and starts talking to Missy. She’s generally annoyed by his presence as she’s trying to work out what seems so familiar about the whole scenario. She assumed that the ship came from Earth but it turns out that was wrong. It’s from a planet much like Earth that she and the Doctor have (presumably) seen before and just as she figures it out, a Cyberman approaches the Doctor and Nardole. I believe this version of the Cybermen was from the original run of the show which explains the Doctor’s confusion as to why this unit looks brand new. And then, in a heartbreaking moment, he realizes that this unit is Bill. Oh, and the creepy guy turns out to be the Master. How he got there and how he knows Missy is a future regeneration (he says he’s worried about his future) is all very confusing and we better get answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy he’s here and I guess I understand his point about wearing a disguise since he was the former Prime Minister of Britain (I suppose Bill is probably old enough to have remembered Harold Saxon). The look on the Doctor’s face when both versions of his frenemy pop out is a mix of surprise and shock. We are in for one hell of a finale episode.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Doctor Who 10.10: "The Eaters of Light"

Listen, you are all very, very angry. But really you’re just very scared.”
-The Doctor

The opening of the episode suggests that the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole will be going to a rather mysterious place. Specifically, we see two kids playing around the Devil’s Cairn in Scotland. They seem to be brother and sister. The sister wants to hear the music and the ghosts talking from inside the cairn, but her brother worries that if she does that, she’ll disappear, and he’ll get in trouble. Of course the kid starts hearing things and disappears. We then see the TARDIS appear in a similar location, but in the second century. Apparently Bill is really interested in the Roman Ninth Legion, and she wants to know what happened to them. She and the Doctor seem to have some sort of challenge related to this going on. Nardole is just annoyed that the Doctor is wasting time not watching Missy in the vault.

Bill goes off exploring, and she comes across a woman who seems to be saying prayers in remembrance of her family. Bill approaches her, but the woman screams and tries to attack Bill. Bill runs and runs until she falls through a trap, where she finally meets a Ninth Legion soldier. She’s shocked that they can actually understand each other (thanks to the TARDIS, of course). The soldier explains that a creature has wiped out almost the entire Ninth Legion, and he and a few other soldiers deserted. The other deserters are in a sort of safe house by the river, so that’s where they decide to go. The creature, which has kind of cool looking glowing tentacles, finds them, though, and tries to attack. The soldier sacrifices himself, and Bill ends up making it to the safe house, where the soldiers don’t seem to quite know what to do with her. It seems like kind of a threatening situation for Bill.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Nardole are doing their own exploring. They find the remains of most of the Ninth Legion, and the bodies seem to be in a very peculiar way, sort of as if dried out. Then they come upon some cairns, decide to take a look, and quickly find themselves surrounded by an army. The pair are held at knifepoint for quite some times, as the young Picts insist on waiting for their leader, a woman named Kar (the same woman Bill encountered earlier) to decide what to do. Kar is the “gatekeeper” for her tribe. She watches over the cairn and keeps bad things from coming out of it. The Doctor ends up going into the cairn, and he sees a light portal with a nasty looking creature in it. When he reemerges, it turns out that two whole days have passed. His and Nardole’s search for Bill just got a lot more difficult.

Bill tries to explain her soldier friends sacrifice to the remaining Ninth Legion. She says he was covered in a tar-like substance and died. She has a little bit of the tar on her, too, and she ends up passing out for two days because of it. When she regains consciousness, she starts getting along well with the Ninth Legion guys. One in particular takes a real liking to her, to the point where she has to let him know she’s gay. In one of the more entertaining scenes of this season, he’s not only cool with that, he thinks she’s limiting herself by only preferring one sex/gender. Apparently most Roman soldiers were a little less choosy! I just generally enjoyed the nonchalant way in which the discussion happened, after Bill thought it was going to be a big deal that she would have to explain carefully. She eventually convinces the guys that even though the situation looks really bad, the Doctor is the only person who might be able to help, and they need to find him.

The Doctor, meanwhile, gets more helpful information out of Kar. Gatekeepers like her and her predecessors are supposed to fight the “Eaters of Light” (the scary creatures everyone has been seeing) on a regular basis so that they don’t cross over into our dimension. Kar let one through deliberately, though, because she wanted to kill the Romans. And for the most part, she succeeded. The Doctor is not at all impressed, especially because now he has to figure out how to stop more Eaters of Light from crossing over and causing even more trouble. To make matters worse, the creature that has already crossing over is getting stronger, and it’s circling where Bill and her new friends are hiding.

Both the Doctor and Bill have to take leadership over their respective contingents. Bill has a plan for trying to get the remains of the Ninth Legion out of the caves. The Doctor has a plan to try and lure the Eater of Light back through the portal, but it has to be done before dawn, when the creature will reach its full strength. Bill and her Ninth Legion friends run into the creature while trying to get out of the caves, and there’s a little skirmish where one of the Legion is killed. The rest make it out, though, and the Doctor and the Picts are there to greet them. Kar and “Grandpa” (the oldest of the remaining Legion who is now their default leader even though he’s only eighteen) start arguing a bit, but the Doctor puts a stop to it. The Romans and the Picts have each deeply hurt each other, but their going to have to work together to save the world from being destroyed by the Eaters of Light.

The Picts basically throw a big party because the Eater of Light is drawn to sound. When the creature shows up, the Picts and the Legion hit it with these devices that poison the light it’s trying to eat. This drives it into the portal. That’s not the end of the Doctor’s plan, though. He realized that it’s the time difference between both sides of the portal that results in a Pict only having to enter the portal every few decades. He can protect the gate for much longer than any human. Kar’s not having this, though. Protecting the gate for as long as she can his her destiny. And this time, she’s going to have help. The entire Ninth Legion is going to join her. It turns out that so many people crossing the portal at once makes it unstable, though, and the cave where the portal is located starts to collapse. That’s why people still hear music around that particular cairn, including the little girl from the beginning of the episode (spoiler alert: she didn’t get stolen by the ghosts).

When our team gets back to the TARDIS, Nardole is dismayed to find out that Missy is on board. The Doctor has worked out a new arrangement. Missy is biolocked out of the TARDIS controls, so she can’t actually do much, but she can travel with them and perform maintenance on the TARDIS. The Doctor is happy with this arrangement, and Nardole clearly is not. Missy watched some of what happened on this latest adventure, but she’s struggling to understand it. The Doctor tells her she needs to learn to hear the beauty in music. We later see her listening to the Celtic music from the Picts’ party, and she’s crying. I think we’re supposed to believe that she is truly changing for the good.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer DVR Dump: The Librarians 3.06: “And the Trial of the Triangle”

“You are a gifted leader, Flynn, but you aren’t the only one with a gift.”
- Cassandra

This week, Flynn returns because he’s looking for the Eye of Ra. Supposedly, it can stem the flow of evil leaking into the world but it’s been lost and he doesn’t know where it is. While he’s frantically searching the library, the rest of the team nab him for an intervention. I have to admit, I totally agree with everything the rest of the team had to say about Flynn’s behavior and his demeanor. He’s dismissive, arrogant and doesn’t understand friendship. He brushes their concerns off, saying that he hasn’t told them everything because he thought they had more time to figure it out. But as they start to work out where the Eye might be, we see how the rest of the team actually works together as a cohesive unit, each person serving their purpose. We learn that the Eye was last seen in 1886 in the possession of a previous Librarian who died in the Bermuda Triangle. The clipping book helpfully shares an article from the next day about a Venezuelan plane going down in the same spot. Oh boy!

While Flynn is being kind of moody, the rest of the team is actually doing what they do best. Jenkins has built a miniature back door to get them back from the Triangle without an issue. And thanks to Cassie and Ezekiel, they will have a way to get in (magic tic tacs). Eve isn’t really pleased about using magic but it’s all they’ve got. Perhaps the most interesting find is Jake doing research on the Triangle and the ships that have gone missing. There have been 107 (well 108 with the one about to go) and they follow a pattern, in fact it matches a Lewis Carroll poem (The Walrus and the Carpenter). I like how they linked it in with poetry and the fact that Carroll is known for his trippy writing style. Unfortunately, when they get to the airport in Venezuela, they are on the wrong side of security. So Eve and Flynn create a distraction so the rest of the team can get their bags through (specifically the one with the mini back door). It actually gives Flynn and Eve a chance to get some things off their chests. He still loves her and wants her to see him as a hero again, rather than a screw up. It’s kind of sweet but I can still see the rest of the team’s point of view. Just as they head for the plane, they’ve got some unforeseen issues. One is a DOSA agent spotting them and then there is actually a plane full of people!

As the gang tries to figure out a way to get the people off the plane, Flynn is still acting like kind of an asshole so Eve drags him into the bathroom and ends up beating up on him a bit (so everyone obviously thinks they’re joining the mile high club) until he admits that all the bad things that have happened (magic coming back into the world, the ley lines being super charged and now evil being leaked into the world) were all on his watch and he thinks he has to stop it. He’s also seen what pure evil can do and he is somewhat disillusioned by it. But ultimately, Eve convinces him to help save the people on the plane. That’s a good thing since the rest of the team happens upon the fact that there aren’t pilots anymore. Ultimately, Flynn uses a stage trick to turn everyone into pigs (mentally) to get them off the plane. But because he’s still kind of reckless, he sends everyone off the plane and then stays so he can find the artifact he’s after. I suppose he did get the innocent people to safety, so he did what Eve wanted.

When Flynn first wakes up he’s still pretty cocky. He realizes that the Triangle is just a rabbit hole protecting the Eye of Ra. In order to get it, he needs to pass a test in the Rose Garden, against the Red Queen (who looks like Cassie). He has to answer four questions honestly or else the Red Knight (Jake) will kill him. And wouldn’t you know, the questions he has to answer are about the way he’s been treating his friends and loved ones. But at least he is able to be honest and in the end, he realizes that he’s put up these walls of confidence to hide how insecure and scared he still is facing all of this, even after being a Librarian for over a decade. As it turns out, the figure he thought was Jenkins is actually the Librarian who went missing with the Eye. He explains that in order to use the artifact, Flynn will have to willingly take a life. I suspect in the end, he will sacrifice himself (which I’ll be honest, while I really like Noah Wylie, I think he’s kind of outgrown the show or maybe the other way around and it would be better just to have the other Librarians running things). When he gets back to the library, he manages to send the rest of the people from the plane home and Cassie and Ezekiel find a way to send the DOSA agent back without any memory (they send him through thinking he’s a chicken). And he assures everyone that he’s going to be different now. He does make Jenkins promise not to tell anyone about the sacrifice that comes along with the Eye, though. At least not for now. I will be interested to see what happens when the rest of the team finds out. I mean, I know they’ve struggled with his moods but I suspect Eve does love him and losing him would be really hard for her (any Guardian really).

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fresh off the Boat 3.19: "Driving Miss Jenny"

“That’s your idea of the future? Why are there still chairs? Where are our alien captors?”

“Driving Miss Jenny” was a nice enough episode of “Fresh off the Boat.” I did appreciate that it focused on Grandma Huang, who is usually just around for sassy one-liners in Mandarin. It makes sense that she hasn’t really been a focus of storylines before this. As Jenny herself puts it, prior to getting a motorized chair, she inhabited a very small world. She barely left the house. Now that she has the freedom of her new chair, she’s trying to live her life, and this makes Louis nervous. An adult child worrying about their aging parents is a completely normal thing that I am sure crosses all ethnic and cultural boundaries, so it was a great story for the “Fresh off the Boat” team to tell from their own unique perspective. The less complex plots in this episode are also related to how members of the Huang family relate to each other. Evan and Eddie go into business together, and Jessica tries to convince Emery to purge his bedroom of what is basically a lot of trash.

This episode begins with Louis driving one of the cooks from the restaurant home from work. While he’s driving, a motorized chair slows things down, and the two men start to get annoyed. Then Louis realizes that the woman in the chair is his mother. He’s not thrilled with the idea that she’s using her chair to go places all by herself. When he gets home, Louis asks Jessica if she knew about this. Yes, Jessica did know, and she’s thrilled. She thinks it’s fantastic to have another set of wheels in the house. Grandma being able to do things for herself around town has freed up a ton of time for Jessica. She’s using that time to do a real deep clean of the house and clear out all their old junk. She even wants to have a yard sale, and she’s been gathering up likely items to sell.

Jessica really wants Emery to go through his stuff and do a purge, but he insists that every piece of junk he possesses has a memory attached to it. He even has straight-up trash like a soda can and a broken chopstick, but each item triggers a memory for Emery, usually a memory of a “first” in Orlando. Emery imagines showing his grandkids the soda can that is connected to the first girl who ever liked him in Orlando, for instance. Jessica, for her part, thinks it’s ridiculous that Emery’s vision of the future doesn’t include evil alien overlords. Jessica is my kind of dystopian writer, clearly. Jessica gives Emery an ultimatum – he gets on box in which to put “keep” items, and the rest has to go. Emery responds by filling up the “keep” box and stuffing the rest of his “treasures” into two beanbag chairs. Jessica discovers this, and she figures out pretty quickly (because for all her quirks, she’s a good mom) that there’s something deeper going on with Emery. Emery hardly got to take anything with him (and what he took got lost) from Washington, DC, and now he’s forgetting what it was like to live there. He doesn’t want to forget Orlando in the same way. Jessica comes up with a rather ingenious compromise. She takes photos of all the junk for Emery to keep in a photo album so that the items themselves can be tossed. Emery thinks this is the greatest thing ever, so crisis averted.

Louis’ worry about her mother has reached the boiling point, and he ends up trying to buy her groceries for her, temporarily convincing her their insurance won’t pay for her wheelchair anymore (which is really pretty horrible), and following her to a mahjong game at the senior center. He hovers over her as she plays (he claims he’s just waiting for a spot to open up at the Go Fish table, because of course he is). Louis also gets increasingly uncomfortable as he realizes his mom is flirting with another mahjong player, the most “adorable” old man named Warren. One of the seniors breaks out a bottle of wine, and Louis tries to discourage his mother from drinking (since she’s going to be driving her chair and all), and with that, Grandma ditches him by asking him to go get her some tea. To make matters worse for Louis, she even ends up going on a date with Warren later, too. Louis’ fears seem to be realized when Warren shows up at Louis’ door saying that he can’t find Jenny. Louis’ first instinct is to call the police station, but while he is on that call, Jenny herself calls (the Huangs apparently have call waiting, and also, the police officer Louis was talking to never hangs up the phone – poor idiot). She’s at Greenie’s, a local coffee shop. She ditched Warren because she thought he war boring, but her chair lost power, and she needs Louis to bring the charger.

Meanwhile, Eddie is also a victim of Jessica’s big clean out. He has no more “gym rags.” While he is complaining about this to Evan, he notices Evan’s bank statement. Evan has started a housesitting business, and he’s making quite a bit of money from it. Eddie wants in. He cites his interest in business (particularly the side hustles various rappers and athletes have going on) as a reason why he would be a good addition to the team. The job in actuality, however, is not all Eddie hoped it would be (shocker). Evan is extremely (to an almost unhealthy degree) fastidious. I suppose that’s the unique thing about his business. He’ll do the usual housesitting stuff like clean out the cat box and bring in the mail, but he will also provide the homeowner with updates on the angle of her orchid’s leaves. For just $10 a day. This is all too much for Eddie, so he outsources his work to his friend Dave. He plans to give Dave $2 of the $5 he earns for every house. He’s got a pretty good business-y justification for this to Evan, but Evan takes it a step farther. He decides to cut out the middleman and just hire Dave on directly. Easy come, easy go, I suppose.

Louis and Jenny have a heart-to-heart when he goes to Greenie’s to pick her up. Jenny has felt like she has been trapped in a very small world (and she throws in multiple references to “While You Were Sleeping” here, which we all know makes me happy, since that’s one of my favorite rom coms). Through their conversation, Louis realizes that, while he worries, his mother is an adult and he needs to give her at least a little space. Louis offers to drive her home, but she still really wants to take her chair once it’s all charged up. The episode closes with a fantastic scene of Louis driving really slowly beside his mother, and at her request, turning on the car radio to Gloria Estefan’s “Rhythm is Gonna Get You.”

Monday, July 3, 2017

Summer DVR Dump: The Librarians 3.05: “And the Tears of a Clown”

“Jenkins, please tell me I’m dreaming and I haven’t really grown a second head!”
- Eve

I have to admit, this episode kind of made me think of the episode of “Torchwood” with the creepy traveling Night Circus. We start with a young couple at a carnival in 1996. The girl tells the boy how to beat the game but then she runs off to talk to some other guy. We then jump to the present where we see a woman being loaded into an ambulance and a scruffy guy complaining about the carnival being on his land. The leader of the carnival somehow uses magic to brainwash the guy on the spot and draft him into the carnival. It also gave me somewhat Heroes season 4 vibes, too.

We then find Jenkins at said carnival looking for the team. He keeps getting followed by creepy clowns (I don’t have a phobia of clowns but they are just never not creepy to me). He runs into a young boy whom he uses to sneak away but the kid turns out to be helpful. We see the leader of the carnival conferring with the clowns and then drop a photo strip from one of the booths. Thanks to the kid, Jenkins manages to get a bunch more printed out. And then (after scaring the kid off) Jenkins sneaks into the mystery tent and finds Eve … with two heads!

Jenkins manages to break everyone out of their brainwashed mantra but they’ve all been transmogrified (Jake is super buff, Cassie is a mermaid and Ezekiel is charming a snake). Luckily, the gang manages to evade the insane clown posse and get back to the library (where the magic of the carnival can’t reach them so they’re back to normal). Back at the carnival, the leader sees a young woman and it turns out (I really should have assumed this from the start) she’s the young girl from 1996 ad the leader, Kirby, is the boy she spurned. He’s trying to recreate the magic of that night (or something). It’s nice to see Felicia Day on a show again though (at least one that I watch).

Jenkins concocts a little something to help the team remember what happened that led them to the carnival in the first place. We learn that after finding the woman who we saw being loaded into the ambulance, they went to the carnival to look around but were pretty quickly apprehended by the creepy clowns. After trying to decide what old artifact it could be and coming up empty, they realize that with magic back in the world now, artifacts could be created anywhere at any time. Jenkins explains that it doesn’t matter how it happened, rather the what of it. They also discover that Kirby was a crappy kid’s magician until six months ago when the carnival started up. Because the clowns will be looking for them, Cassie gets clown outfits for them to wear when they go back. The boys head off to Kirby’s trailer to try and find the artifact while the girls find Kirby hanging with the redhead named Charlotte. Eve points out that it is clear that she’s the right one (apparently, in sort of Sarah Connor fashion, he was going through all the Charlottes with the same last name as her until he found the right one). He wants to recreate their night but when it doesn’t go as he’d hoped (she doesn’t win the game) he gets mad. And then one of the clowns finds Ezekiel’s magic detector and he really starts losing it. He blathers on about the ascension and how everything will be as it should be by that night. Jake explains that Houdini surmised there could be alternate dimensions and he referred to it in a letter to Arthur Conan Doyle as the ascension. Well great, we’ve got an unstable guy who has magic he shouldn’t, hoping to trap a girl he knew in high school in an alternate dimension she can’t leave. What could possibly go wrong? Also, I have to admit the team looked pretty ridiculous in those clown costumes although Christian Kane was kind of rocking the eye makeup with his stubble and beard. He had kind of a sexy cowboy clown thing going for him. So, I guess not all clowns are creepy after all.

The team sneaks into the show that Kirby is giving Charlotte and try to take out the clowns so they can get to her but of course they get caught and we see that Jake’s theory that the wand he uses is the artifact is incorrect when Ezekiel snatches it from the guy’s hand. I want to say it’s the cape but we’ll see. When the team goes on about how real magicians have flare and are master of illusion and have showmanship, he throws a hissy fit and threatens to encase them all in wax so they won’t be mean to him. He rants about how he’s going to make Charlotte pay attention to him unlike their time at the carnival as kids. After jogging her memory, Charlotte manages to talk Kirby into giving her the flower on his lapel (so I was wrong in the end, too) and without it, he’s powerless. Ezekiel manages to trick him into jumping into the vat of wax and destroying the carnival. Everyone is walking around all confused when DOSA shows up (damn government goons. Leave the Librarians alone). But for the moment, at least, the artifact is safely housed in the library and Charlotte can go back to her life. Eve worries that if they don’t get a handle on magic soon they will have even more modern artifacts to house in their new wing. And she also worries that the war between good and evil will be far worse with more modern artifacts in play. Oh joy!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

iZombie 3.12: “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain Part 1”

“What do they say at Fillmore Graves, Discovery Day is coming? It certainly feels that way.”
- Liv

It’s the beginning of the end. Of season 3 at least. We are in the penultimate episode of the season and things are getting pretty dire. At the start of the season I was a little skeptical of how the whole “zombie population discovery” plot was going to unfold but as we find ourselves on the brink of “Discovery Day” I can finally see where we’ve been heading and all I can say is, season 4 is going to be even more insane.

At the top of the episode, Liv and Ravi are trying to figure out how to handle the fact that the journalist that cozied up to Ravi printed such detailed information about zombies, including how to identify them and she even used a picture of Liv going all “rage zombie”. Cue Ravi’s former boss from the CDC who shows up and chastises Ravi for going on the record for this silly piece. That’s all well and good that she still isn’t convinced about the zombie problem but it’s going to make their lives so much more complicated when she winds up murdered and Liv has to eat her brain. Usually we get awkward visions that are funny. This time, she (and we) got full mental images of Ravi and his boss having sex. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be in Liv’s shoes either at this point. But her work tracking a possible bioterrorism outbreak takes some odd turns. She was interviewing first class passengers on a flight where the outbreak supposedly originated. First, we have a woman who is obviously racist and quite xenophobic. Then we meet the very nice Sikh and his adorable baby. All the while, Clive is freaking out at Ravi’s suggestion of a possible bio weapon.

Elsewhere in the episode, the new zombie mayor asks Peyton to be his new chief of staff. She’s hesitant because she still doesn’t know if he’s responsible for turning the dominatrix’s killer’s daughter and orchestrating the killer’s death. But Liv says that if he’s innocent, then Peyton can help shepherd the first zombie mayor through a crisis and if he is involved, she can keep an eye on him. Plus, pay bump? Major also gets outed at Fillmore Graves as human. Chase Graves kicks him out but his squad is insisting on throwing him a going away party. It’s nice that they still respect him and like him. Former zombie hooker Natalie is also back in town and she pays Major a visit. I have to admit, he certainly jumps into bed with women really fast! I mean the groupie was only a couple days ago, jeez! Then again, I always thought Major had a thing for Natalie more than just wanting to save her. She’s moving to Italy (at least for six months) and he agrees to go with her. Oh, and the crazy zombie truther guy got turned into a zombie, leading Liv and Clive to lock him in a freezer “Chaos Killer” style. Unfortunately, a couple of his buddies show up and he ends up eating their brains.

While the case of the week is going on, Liv finds herself going to the hotel bar every night. She can’t explain why but she is hoping it’s related to the case. A lot of the victim’s notes on the case she was working were written on cocktail napkins. She meets a host of different men (one each night) but she stops short of hooking up with them. When Liv and Clive go back to the hotel to see if the bartender knew her (he was out for a few days). The bartender remembers the victim because she was a big tipper and because she left with a different man each night. I don’t know if she was just lonely or bored or what but that seems kind of crappy on her part. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t know that culture very well. Liv heads off to attend Major’s going away party with Justin while Clive interviews the third passenger and things take a turn. The guy ended up sitting in coach with his wife because the tickets got messed up and he knew he’d never hear the end of it. So, he gave his first-class seat to some girl. Clive has them run the records and it turns out to be the friend of the dominatrix’s killer’s daughter. Clive stops by to question and realizes that the girl’s mother is someone he knows (I don’t remember seeing her before although her voice sounds familiar).

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Liv ends up back at the hotel rather than meeting up with Justin and she runs into Chase Graves. They share a bunch of drinks and end up playing a game, trying to guess other peoples’ fantasies. Then they share some of their own (obviously fueled by the alcohol). Liv gives in (I mean the man is gorgeous) and they end up hooking up. Liv gets to meet his adorable little dog and then she finds a cocktail napkin with her victim’s handwriting on it. I’m guessing Chase killed her to keep her from figuring out that zombies are real. Which would make me sad because I want to see more of him and I don’t want to hate him. And if that revelation wasn’t bonkers enough, the zombie truther (who again, is a zombie now) shows up at the goodbye party ranting about how zombies are monsters and evil and he’s got a suicide vest. Justin and Major are outside talking about Liv being a “no show” when the house explodes. So much for Major going to Italy with Natalie (I think she’s human now at least). It was certainly a bold move to have such a big event rock some of our characters. Though, if I’m honest, I kind of wish Major could have gone off to Italy with Natalie because he’s still just so useless.

iZombie 3.11: "Conspiracy Weary"

“It’s been a hell of a day. You might tell your friends to quit pointing those guns at me.”

This particular episode really set a lot of things in motion that will move us towards the end of the season. Things are becoming very complicated for our crew very fast, and surprisingly, considering the stakes of the zombie vs. human war that always seems immanent, most of the complications have their roots in romantic relationships. Liv, Major, and Ravi are all seeing new people, and as of right now, it seems like some of those new people can be trusted, and some can’t. You’ll be surprised by who we learn we can’t trust by the end of this episode. I’m guessing the creative team has a few more tricks up their sleeve to deploy before the end of the season, too. Justin, Shawna, and Rachel all bring their own unique concerns, and we’ll see how they all pan out. And I suppose the fact that I’m focusing on the romantic relationships so much here speaks to how much of the bigger mythology plots were addressed in this episode too. Some of that stuff was resolved, so we can move on to discussing the romantic relationships and the complications that could ensue.

The episode picks up right where the last one left off. Harley Johns is about to shoot Ravi in the head. Cooler heads prevail, and Harley ends up just hitting him, but the danger isn’t over. The mob still want to make Don-E a permanent zombie by causing him constant pain with a cattle prod. Before things can get to that point, though, Liv and Blaine crash the party in full-on zombie mode. They start fighting the zombie truthers, and soon they’re backed up by a squad from Filmore Graves. In the chaos, Rachel, Ravi’s new friend, runs away. Liv has amusing reunions with both Major and Justin during and after the fight. By the end of the skirmish, the younger Johns brother is dead, but Harley manages to escape. Chase Graves asks Liv to look into the possibility of a Johns compound outside the city and to run ballistics on some weapons that were at the site of the fight. Blaine also wants to do some sort of deal with Graves, but he doesn’t seem super enthused about it. Blaine, Don-E, and Liv all end up eating younger Johns brother brain together, Blaine and Don-E because why not and Liv because she thinks it could help her find the compound.

When Ravi arrives home, he sees that Major has built a “sex fort” in the living room, and that leads to the guys discussing Major’s thing with Shawna. Ravi’s skeptical, because he’s a smart guy. Rachel interrupts this conversation by showing up at Ravi and Major’s house. Ravi is very happy to see her, considering she disappeared in the middle of the big fight and all, but it gets awkward fast. He goes to kiss her but she backs off (but she’s not really upset by the attempt), but she completely freaks out and leaves once she sees Major and realizes Ravi’s roommate is the Chaos Killer (or “Chaos Kidnapper” as Major prefers to be known). When we next see Major, he’s in bed with Shawna. She wants to go dancing, but Major’s still wary of being seen in public. So Shawna responds by taking a picture of the two of them in bed with a selfie stick. Because of course that will stay private.

Liv wakes Peyton up in the middle of the night with what she claims is important news. She’s talking conspiracy theories. At first what she says is sensible – she mentions how the guard who killed Wexler is now dead too. Killed on a cruise (which just make me think of “Pushing Daisies”). But then Liv goes too far and mentions potential Illuminati involvement, and Peyton’s done. Bo Johns was a conspiracy nut, after all. Liv then shows up at the morgue, where she tries playing loud music so that she can’t be heard when telling Ravi and Babineaux about the weapons recovered from the scene of the fight. She’s going to go back to the scene to try and trigger some visions, but then they have a better idea. We next see Liv, Blaine, and Don-E all trying to out-conspiracy theory each other (Tupac and Biggie are alive, y’all!) at the Scratching Post. They’re all planning on going to the scene of the fight together. Meanwhile, at Filmore Graves, a soldier approaches Chase while he’s getting his spray tan on (kind of a gratuitous excuse to show Jason Dohring naked, but hey, I’m not complaining!). The soldier says that he ate some of Bo Johns’ brain too, and he had a vision of where the compound is. Chase wants to send a squad there right away, and he doesn’t want to let Seattle PD know about it.

Peyton’s receives Wexler’s personal effects from jail, and in his wallet, she finds a picture of his daughter, Tatum, and a key to a safe deposit box. She calls Tatum to the office to ostensibly give her the personal effects. She also wants to strike a deal, though. She wants to go with Tatum to open the safe deposit box in the hopes that it will contain the memory card Wexler died for. At first, Tatum doesn’t want to play ball, but then Peyton offers to help her figure out which bank contains the safe deposit box, so Tatum doesn’t really have a choice but to cooperate. Inside the box is a music box that belonged to Tatum’s mother, and inside the music box is a memory card, which Tatum gives to Peyton. On the way out of the bank, Tatum freezes for a minute, and she claims it was just “brain freeze,” but Peyton clearly suspects more is going on, since she knows about zombie visions and all.

The zombie crew and Babineaux are at the scene of the big fight searching for visions. At first, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be successful. All three zombies just have a vision of Justin chasing Harley’s truck, and they all knew about that already (it was on YouTube, after all). Then, Babineaux asks Liv to focus, and that makes her have another vision. Harley is telling Bo that he knows there’s a tracker on his car, and he’s going to use it against the police. Liv immediately texts this information to Major and Justin, who are about to be part of a Filmore Graves raid on the supposed Johns compound. They realize, as Admiral Akbar would put it, that “it’s a trap!” They tell Chase, who orders the squad to stand down. Everyone does except one pair, and part of compound blows up because of it.

Liv pulls her waking people up in the middle of the night thing again, and this time it’s Ravi, who is sleeping in the lab. She tells him one happened with the Filmore Graves op, then she asks why he’s sleeping at the lab. Ravi tells her about Major and Shawna, and this leads to the discovery of a tumblr page where Shawna has been posting all of her texts and pictures with Major. Liv shows this to Major, and he is horrified. He ends up breaking up with Shawna over it, even though she claims she was just trying to rehabilitate his image. Major, however, wants to go back to how things were before he was famous. Shawna thinks this is unlikely, and she leaves in a huff. Ravi’s having better luck in the relationship department. Rachel shows up again. She’s trying to make sense of all the crazy zombie stuff she’s seen, and Ravi confirms a lot of it. She also proves to her that he’s not a zombie himself. Finally, he starts telling her additional details about what went down at that fateful boat party.

Babineaux’s off the books ballistics guy shows up at the precinct with the results of his analysis, and Babineaux and Liv try to have a conversation with him without attracting too much attention from other nosy detectives. The ballistics guy confirms that the weapons used in the big fight are the same as what killed Wally. Babinaux and Liv think they have a huge break in the case. Liv gets home to find Peyton looking at the footage from the memory card. Wexler is calling somebody more powerful and asking for help. Peyton and Liv theorize that somebody who doesn’t want that footage seen, like Baracus, is the one really pulling the puppet strings. This is a huge problem, because Baracus has just been elected Seattle’s first zombie mayor in a special election. Liv also gets a call from Babineaux. Even though the cabin on the Johns compound seemed abandoned, he has discovered there was a noise complaint about construction noise on the property. Liv and Babineaux go to check this out, and they discover a doomsday prepper-style bunker. Sleeping in the bunker is none other than Harley Johns. Babineaux ends up shooting him when he doesn’t cooperate, and Liv has a vision that Harley didn’t kill Wally and his mom. He was outside their house and heard/saw someone else shooting. Babineaux is about to start beating himself up for killing an innocent man when Harley starts resurrecting, zombie-style.

Let’s end this post with some final commentary on the romantic travails of Major and Ravi. In the Filmore Graves locker room, Major learns from one of the other soldiers that t-shirts with one of his photos from Shawna’s blog are for sale, and the caption reads “Killer Abs.” The general media commentariat seems to blame Major for this, even though he had nothing to do with it, and when we last see him, he’s partying it up with his Filmore Graves buddies, trying to forget it all. On the Rachel side of things, we learn that she’s actually an investigative reporter when we see her pitch a “zombies are real” story to her editor. The episode ends with Ravi seeing the front page story and wondering what he has done. D-day appears to be here, folks!