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You, Me and the Apocalypse: Still Stuff Worth Fighting For (Recap/Review) Enter Dame Diana Rigg and Mystical Bollocks

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

This week in You, Me and the Apocalypse: Still Stuff Worth Fighting For things are still moving toward the end of the world as Jamie sits in the bunker under Slough bemoaning the fate of mankind and the “survivors” he shares the facility with. 32 days previously Rhonda  and Leanne attempt to steal some clothes, the general starts working on “the solution,” Jamie still has to convince Skye that he is not Ariel and Father Jude and Sister Celine go to investigate their first “messiah” sighting in Russia.

As the various storylines continue on their merry way, it becomes clear that all the various players are connected. Ariel is only interested in cracking the files of the NSA for their facial recognition program to find Jamie’s wife, who escaped from him. Before this fact is revealed, General Arnold (Paterson Joseph)  starts the world’s brightest on their fake plan and Scotty worries about his fugitive sister. 

Jamie (Mathew Bayntonis still held prisoner in the commune bathroom, along with Dave, as the very pregnant Skye threatens the two with a power nailer. Rhonda (Jenna Fischer) and Leanne (Megan Mullally) fail at stealing replacement clothing for their prison uniforms after the librarian manages to find all the dog’s squeaky toys. 

Skye increases the threat level towards Jamie, whom she believes is Ariel, and Father Jude and Sister Celine fly on the Pope’s private jet to Poland to meet the first “messiah.” Jude is already “hitting” very subtly on the beautiful sister while explaining that the “little giraffe girl” cannot possibly be the savior.

Father Jude (Rob Lowe) turns the conversation from saviors to sex with little effort.  Skye starts labor and Jamie talks her into setting him and Dave (Joel Fry) free to help her.  In Poland, at the hospital where the “messiah” is located, a crowd of zealous believers are chanting outside the facility.

The two clergy learn that Giraffe Girl came back from the dead and could speak English when she “woke up.”  Dave talks Jamie into delivering Skye’s baby, as none of the three have a car, and there are no ambulances.

Skye: “Can someone get over here and take my knickers off!”

Dave: “Bucket list phrase right there.”

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Dave and Jamie at the commune…

Rhonda, who was  caught by the dog’s owner as Leanne made her escape, gets a change of clothes from a cross dressing redneck. She attempts to contact Spike to warn him of Ariel and after the farmer gets dressed in a red dress and pearls, he disconnects the phone while Rhonda is speaking to her brother. He has called the police after seeing that the librarian is wanted by the police for being a terrorist.

In Poland, Father Jude is trying to relax Giraffe Girl and put her at ease for the questioning procedure by telling her a joke:

“Why did the monk leave the monastery?”

“Because he was ‘cloister-phobic.'”

The “messiah” is not impressed:

“My mom told me not to talk to men like you. She says you’re perverts.”

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Frankie and Sister Celine make a connection…

Sister Celine manages to connect with the girl, whose name is Frankie (Grace Taylor), and she explains what perverts are (like clowns) and the “messiah” tells the sister that she will not be saving the “idiots” out front who think that she is the daughter of God. Layla  (Karla Cromeenters the hospital room and tells them that Frankie is  not God’s daughter but hers.

Skye is having the baby, and after Dave  wimps out, Jamie has to deliver the infant. When the boy comes out, he is not breathing and Jamie repeats, as a sort of mantra, that the baby needs to breath as “there is still stuff worth fighting for.”

Scotty visits Spike’s father Rajesh (Prasanna Puwanarajah) who tells his wife’s brother that he is dying and he asks if Scotty has made up the story about the comet.  The dying man tells Scotty that if he has made up the comet, Rhonda needs to know. 

While Jude tries to convince Layla that they can help her and Frankie get away from the rabid believers in front of the hospital, Frankie reveals that she is very special indeed. Like, messiah special.  Despite knowing that the zealots will rip him apart, Jude puts his plan in motion.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Father Jude faces the angry mob…

Ariel collects Spike, whose phone was put in the septic tank, aka crapper, by his stepdad so he has missed Rhonda’s warning.  Back in Oklahoma, a police car turns up in response to the cross dresser’s call and Rhonda tries to escape by climbing through the bathroom window. Leanne, dressed as a cop tases the woman unconscious.

Father Jude places himself in danger to save Frankie and Layla while Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) smuggles the two out in an ambulance. Scotty and the general reveal a hidden side to their professional relationship. 

Leanne reveals that she kept an eye on Rhonda during the time with the redneck and she gets the librarian to agree to team up.  After she agrees, Rhonda asks to be the cop for awhile. Skye reveals a secret about Jamie’s real mother, Mary, it appears she knew all about the upcoming apocalypse.

Spike learns about the NSA application “face chaser” and Jude returns, beaten and bruised by the angry mob and Jaimie is shown his mother’s model of Slough. He sees where his mum left him in the car park and learns that Mary was sectioned in a psychiatric hospital in Scotland and Skye gives him the address.

As Jamie, Dave, Skye and the newborn baby leave the room with the model, the camera zooms in on a model car. As it focuses on the top of the vehicle, an arm comes out and puts a card in an entry point to a gate. A man and woman get out and had to a large formidable building.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Skye with her new baby…

Two guards run metal detectors over their bodies and they enter a room where a blond woman in a red dress sits behind a plastic hospital curtain, with a respirator over her mouth and nose. The mystery woman  gives them a folder. Inside are pictures of Rhonda, Jamie, Ariel and Father Jude.

The woman behind the curtain, and the respirator, is Dame Diana Rigg, aka Sutton.

This episode may not be as hysterically funny as the previous two, but the amusement factor is high. Layla and Father Jude’s “mystical bollocks” interchange is funny and on par with the rest of this installment. Rhonda has the funniest moment, with the squeaky toys scene at the start (a clear homage to Behind the Hedge and  “Play?”).

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Stuff Still Worth Fighting For  sets up an inter-connection between the twins, Rhonda and Father Jude as well as Layla and Frankie. Sister Celine has no clear connection as yet, but it does seem pretty clear that there must be one.

The entire cast are killing it in this funny British import and the series airs Thursdays on NBC. Tune in and enjoy the end of the world as we know it…

American Crime: Episode 206 – A Tale of Two Schools (Review)

TIMOTHY HUTTON, FELICITY HUFFMAN

In episode six of season two, American Crime deals with a lot of issues. In essence, however, it really is turning into a tale of two schools. Each of the educational institutes has issues, one with race, the other with sexuality. While Leyland is at the forefront, with the rape causing ripples that are turning into tsunamis, Thurgood Marshall and its beleaguered principle are fighting to keep things from getting worse.

The title of this episode could be called confrontation as that is the key theme throughout. The Hispanic students are confronting the entire school system at Thurgood Marshall, Taylor is confronting his issues, Terri LaCroix (Regina Kingconfronts Anne Blaine, Taylor’s mother and Michael LaCroix wants his cop buddy to confront Anne as well.

Meanwhile, Eric is feeling the brunt of Leslie Graham’s theme of misdirection, meant to protect the school, and Coach Sullivan is forced to confront, there is that word again, his own feelings about what Leslie is trying to do, which is avoid the truth.

In some instances, the whole Eric debacle proves that in high school sports and the minefield that is teen America, homophobia is alive and well. While Kevin LaCroix is willing to accept Eric’s gayness, his teammates are not so ready to live with his coming out.  Granted they all agree to attack Taylor, for being a little “b*tch” but that feels very similar to Leslie Graham’s ploy of misdirection.

After watching the basketball game, it is clear that if not for Coach Sullivan’s guidance the players would have little problem beating the hell out of Eric.  Although it may well be that all this hostility has more to do with Eric’s total lack of personality than his sexuality.

Anne Blaine  (Lili Taylor) has shifted her direction and wearing her angry mother-bear hat wants the school and Graham to suffer publicly for their handling of her son’s attack.  As Leslie herself admits, Blaine wants the school to bleed.  It is easy to side with Anne, after all, Graham went from marginally supportive at the beginning to threatening when Blaine refused to drop it.

Terri LaCroix has proven that money cannot buy everything, although it did keep her from getting arrested when she confronted Anne Blaine at her workplace and called her underage son a “whore.”  LaCroix, who seems to be unable to understand that her 18 year-old adult son is no longer a child, would never allow this type of behavior from the mother of another child.

REGINA KING
Terri LaCroix goes after Anne Blaine at work.

Over at Thurgood Marshall, Dixon has to confront angry parents who question his own motives for having their protesting children declared truant.  To give the principal credit, he is attempting to address the problem unlike Graham over at Leyland.

Watching the headmaster’s behavior, disregarding the woman’s  compulsive hand washing after each meeting where she continues her misdirection attack of the Blaine/Tanner issue,  it is pretty clear that this manipulative woman is heading for a meltdown.

What is also apparent is that she may take Dan Sullivan (Timothy Hutton) down with her. As all the adults struggle to deal with the issues at hand; rape, sexual identity, questions of responsibility, racism and refusal to address the real problem, the kids are also having trouble dealing with events.

Taylor (Connor Jessup) seems to be vacillating between “telling the truth” (whatever that really is) and confronting his own personal demons. The boy appears to be saying that he was not assaulted by Eric (Joey Pollariand that the whole thing is about his mother and what she is going through. Like Leslie Graham’s line of defense, however, this avenue feels like Taylor is using misdirection as well.

At the end of the episode, Taylor is being chased by Eric’s teammates through the recreation center car park and Michael LaCroix appears more than ready to cross a line. Anne Blaine, who may not be without sin herself, is now a target as she changes her attack from one of justice to revenge.

One gets the feeling that Taylor’s mother does indeed want a public letting of blood, but not from the school.  Anne is going after Leslie Graham, but she had better hurry as it does look like the headmaster is heading for a fall all on her own.

Graham’s plan to put the focus on Eric’s “coming out” has disastrously backfired with even Tanner reacting badly. The interview with the writer where Eric uses the word “fa**ot” in front of the openly gay man questioning him, causes Graham to panic.

Earlier in the episode Leslie tells the legal rep in front of her that Blaine does not want to settle and that she will, herself, not consider it. After the basketball game where Eric and his teammates have gay slurs shouted at them, and the interview, Graham rings up the lawyer and instructs him to settle.

American Crime‘s sixth episode ends with the feeling that both Taylor and his mother are in danger.  Out of the two schools and their problems, Leyland may well end up with an attempted murder charge to follow the first one of rape and Principal Dixon may solve his problems despite wanting to avoid confrontation.

JOEY POLLARI
Joey Pollari as Eric Tanner, infinitely unlikable…

The actors in this drama all acquit themselves impeccably.  The young performers all convince and Pollari comes across as genuinely unlikable.  Hutton’s character looks to be as doomed as Graham, mainly through that “guilt by association” drill that captures so many in its net.

In terms of doomed characters, it also seems that the Blaine family are not going to get out of this unscathed full stop.

This second series of an award winning series airs Wednesdays on ABC. Tune in and catch the escalating events in American Crime as they unfold.

 

The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Dark Heart (Recap/Review)

 The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Dark Heart has, obviously, a Valentine’s Day theme. On the day of the holiday Laura is attempting to make decorations and as Alicia takes over, after her boss has burned herself with the glue gun, Diamond gets a call; her gift for the day is a murder.

Arriving at the murder scene, Jake hands her a pair of gloves while wishing her a “happy Valentine’s Day. A dead man with multiple stab wounds is on the floor and  surrounded by copious amounts of blood.  Laura checks inside  the victim’s mouth and Reynaldo remarks dryly that it is a little late for CPR.

After explaining that the murder resembles the MO of St. Valentine, a serial killer who struck back in the 90s, she and Jake explain that part of those crime scenes included a groom cake decoration being placed in the male victim’s mouth.

As the episode continues a number of similarities between the old serial killer, who was killed by officers back in 1994 as he left the last body drop off site, emerge. This leads the detectives to investigate whether the real culprit was really killed.

Laura’s old Captain, Dan Hauser (Enrico Colantoni), whom she arrested back in the 2014 pilot episode for murder, was a white shield when the original killer was caught and Jake arranges for the man to get out of prison to help on this new case. 

The detectives realize that this is either a copycat or the cops got the wrong guy back in 1994. Throughout the precinct, Laura’s colleagues are getting flowers and candies, even Santiani (Callie Thorne) has balloons delivered. New “official” couple Soto and Bose have not “celebrated” and she tells Laura that Billy knows that she does not like PDA. Laura tells Meredith that Billy will go all out.

Reynaldo calls and tells Jake that he and Laura need to see him. The ME has found the groom cake topper that Diamond was looking for;  the victim inhaled it. The investigation goes on to reveal a number of things that indicate there were two serial killers “back in the day.”

They also find a website that sells crime scene memorabilia which leads the detectives to find an “expert” on the St. Valentine murders. The man steals a baby tooth of the original killer from the “little old lady” proprietor of the serial killer memorabilia “store.”

Jake: “Are those Ted Bundy’s undies?”

When they track the “expert” down, he reveals that he believes that St. Valentine is still on the loose. Later, the detectives find that the man is partially correct; there were two killers during the first series of murders.

When the police do a DNA test on Glen Baker (the man believed to be St. Valentine) it matches nothing found at the crime scenes.  Looking at old photographs of victims, Laura realizes that there were two killers based on bruises found on the dead men’s throats.

As the cops narrow down their search for the partner, Meredith gets irate when Soto does nothing for Valentine’s Day and Laura keeps the news that she dumped Tony close to her vest.

Hauser feels guilty about not knowing that there were two killers while the partner begins the new ritual of the old killings. Dressing the young woman in a wedding dress and injecting her with an overdose of heroin, the race is now on to catch the man before Rachelle dies.

A nostalgic, aka retro, craze for old chocolates leads the detectives to their hottest suspect,  Wayne Lewis, who should have been questioned in the 1990s but was not after Baker was killed. They go to his old address and find his soon-to-be ex-wife, who is a dead ringer for the victim.

Sidenote: In this part of the case, the writers seem to be taking a page from the real-life case of the UK’s Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, who was essentially killing his wife over and over. Sonia, his wife for 20 years, was a very controlling woman who was said to rule Peter at home. Each of his victims, after the first, resembled Sonia in body type and other features.

Lewis, upset that his wife left him, starts  killing again. Diamond and Broderick find out that the man is a security system installer that his wife met during the first killings. They believe that he has begun anew to terrify his estranged spouse. According to her, it was her fear of St.Valentine which led to them meeting  previously.

It becomes a race to save Rachelle, the latest female victim, who is in an impregnable vault. The cops trick Wayne into opening the door and only just save the young woman’s life.

By the end of the episode, Meredith rounds on Soto to complain that he has done nothing for the “greeting card holiday” and he reveals that the reverse it true.  Laura goes to tell Jake that she broke up with Tony only to discover that he has a new romantic interest; Jennifer Lambert (Jenna Fischer).

Lambert is not only the judge who expedited everything that Jake and Laura needed to catch Lewis, but her son Liam plays with the twins.  Broderick and the mother of his boys’ playdate are set to go out and Laura keeps the news of Tony’s departure quiet.  By the end of the episode, only Max (Max Jenkinsknows about the breakup.

Great writing on this episode with the use of new-age definitions such as “catfish” and the dinosaur technology remark when the 90s floppy discs are brought out of the evidence box.  There are also the occasional uses of procedural terms, like COD (cause of death) and Marc Webster as the ME Reynaldo projects professionalism with a capital P.

The Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays on NBC, tune in for the catchy theme tune and stay for the great writing and brilliant acting.

Face Off: Foreign Bodies – And Lance Henriksen (Recap/Review)

Face Off - Season 10

Face Off: Foreign Bodies featured  a Spotlight Challenge where the contestants could pick their own team-mate and the creation they were tasked with was a “chest-bursting” alien of their own. The show this week had a parasitic space theme and special guest (judge) Lance Henriksen.

McKenzie Westmore brought  out the show’s guest, Lance. He explained what makes the alien so scary in films and urged the hopefuls to base their creations on the idea of suspense and their own experiences.  The contestants then picked their team-mate and the parasite.

After choosing a random parasite each team began to create their storylines and characters.  While sketching out ideas of how they want the client to burst out of its host, Lance and McKenzie came back into the room.  At least one artist panicked a little when the horror icon returned.

Face Off - Season 10
All the contestants rush for the slime ingredients.

Lance and McKenzie came back with a surprise for the competitors; their first Foundation Challenge. Henriksen explained that there was an addition to their “chest bursting” homage; slime (the most important part, Lance revealed). The challenge was to make slime for their alien. It had to pass muster by doing what the teams intend it to do and the stuff had to be created in two hours.

At the end of the time period, Henriksen and McKenzie checked to see how the slime looked and performed. Immunity was the prize to  be won by the top team in this Foundation Challenge. As the five teams manufactured their slime, Lance and Ms. Westmore looked on.

Lance was the guest judge for the slime challenge and during the testing portion, the iconic performer did a “hands-on” inspection of each creation.  Henriksen was amusing and clearly enjoyed the experience. After his touchy-feely testing of the slime, Lance crowned a winning team; Mel and Melissa took  the challenge with their very colorful creation and as the winners earned immunity for this week’s spotlight challenge.

Face Off - Season 10
Lance “slime-checking.”

The teams moved into the sculpting phase with the alien bursting Focus Challenge.  Michael Westmore and McKenzie arrived to give the teams feedback and immediately tell the winning team that they are “on their own.”  Laughing, both Westmore’s return and explain that they are joking.

Ironically, the team with immunity  for the Spotlight Challenge had major issues with their character. Mel had to restart her sculpt four times and complained that her hands “feel broken.”

The immune team were not the only hopefuls having issues.  Team Johnny and Walter had major problems with their poly foam chest piece.  They had to start over and re-create the bursting piece of their character. As the two artists went back to the drawing board, Rob got into  a claustrophobic panic about time.

Yvonne and Anna changed their slime formula and Johnny and Walter appeared to have sorted the “bursting” problem. The models arrived with only four hours left till last looks. The second teaming of Robert and Katie has clearly not worked out well. While there are no major clashes this time, Katie’s sculpt of the cowl had a ridge that was far too prominent.

Face Off - Season 10
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page inspect Mel and Melissa’s creation.

At the judging, all the series judges were on the same page with their  likes and dislikes of the offerings in front of them.  The top two characters were those created by Mel and Melissa as well as Rob and Kaleb.  Ultimately, the latter team won, with Rob taking his second challenge win in a row.

Face Off - Season 10
Team Rob and Kaleb for the win.

Rob and Kaleb make a creature bursting out of the back of their model’s head. After being told that their character won, Glenn Hetrick made a play on words, or possibly a pun,  when he congratulated  Rob on his “back-to-back” win.

The two teams on the bottom were Robert and Katie along with Yvonne and Anna. After  the judges gave the bottom two teams their feedback, they revealed that it was Katie’s work that was not up to scratch and the artist was sent home.

Like prior contestants, Ms. Kinney left with her head held high and Neville Page had words of praise for Katie’s earlier works. The guest stars on season 10 of Face Off have been exciting and excited.  Paul Reubens (the Child’s Play challenge) and Lance Henriksen both got major reactions from the contestants and fans of the show.

Face Off - Season 10
Team Robert and Katie.

Face Off airs Wednesdays on SyFy. Tune in for a mad dose of creativity and watch as some major talents make magic.

 

 

Shadowhunters: Mu Shu to Go – Changing (Recap/Review)

 NICOLA CORREIA-DAMUDE

In Shadowhunters: Mu Shu to Go Alec continues to have issues with Clary as well as a total disregard for anyone not a member of the Clave, unless it is Valentine aka Fray’s father.  This episode is all about changing; Simon apparently turning into a vampire, Clary becoming more confident and Luke turning out to be a friend after all; a furry one.

Alec tricks Clary and Jace into giving over the portal “necklace” so he could lock it up.  Isabelle and Clary talk about Jocelyn. While the two are talking about how frustrating Isabelle’s brother is,  Maryse Lightwood, the siblings’ mother turns up. Apart from showing her displeasure with Clary “Fairchild” she tasks the Shadowhunters with seeing why the Seelies will not talk.

Maryse (Nicola Correia-Damude) orders Isabelle and Jace to go question the Seelie contact and forces Alec to watch after Clary.  None of the Shadowhunters are overly pleased with their assignments. Meanwhile Luke wants to intensify his search for Clary as she continues to obsess over her father; Valentine (Alan Van Sprang).

Alec tries to tell his parrabati how he really feels but stops when it appears that Jace will make it difficult for him to explain.  Simon heads back to Hotel DuMort and is stopped by the vampire who helped save him the last time and told to never return.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA, MATTHEW DADDARIO
Sparring and talking…rules.

Clary and Alec spar with weapons while talking about rules, Valentine and saving Fray’s mother. She reveals to her “babysitter” that her mom kept a box of her father’s at the loft.  Fray wants to go get it and as she attempts to persuade Alec, a lovestruck Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) calls to ask Alec out for a drink. Lightwood has to cut the conversation short as Clary has left the room and Magnus is intrigued:

“Playing hard to get…”

Alaric returns to the werewolf lair and the alpha, Theo,  orders that Clary be captured and forced to reveal where the Mortal Cup is hidden. Alec catches up to Fray and tells her off for using the invisibility rune but not turning off her phone. While remonstrating her for sneaking out, Simon calls and arranges to meet his best friend and help.

Clary reveals to Alec that she knows his secret and he continues to be in denial. Valentine is still building an army, by injecting Seelie blood into volunteers and Meliorn (Jade Hassouné) talks to Isabelle and Jace but they do not like what they hear. 

Simon helps Alec and Clary sneak into her old home and her best friend is exhibiting some new traits that bother Lightwood. Simon can now see runes and he is incredibly strong. Once they enter the loft apartment, he also finds the loose floorboard where the box is hidden.

As they open the box, Alec hears a noise outside and he leaves the apartment to investigate. Once outside, he encounters a werewolf and while Alec tries to shoot it with an arrow, Clary and Simon are kidnapped by more werewolves and driven off in a black unmarked car.

KATHERINE MCNAMARA, ALBERTO ROSENDE
Clary and Simon in the Jade Wolf.

The kidnapped couple are taken to the Chinese restaurant the Jade Wolf as Jace angrily blames Alec for Clary  being taken. The two try to track her but cannot.  Clary and Simon are handcuffed and he is taken out with the threat of being ripped to shreds by the alpha female werewolf.

Clary tells the pack leader that the Mortal Cup is at her old apartment and several wolves go out to find it. Meanwhile, Simon easily breaks his bonds with his newfound strength and finds a lighter and a phone. Calling Jace he is told to create a diversion. Simon sets off the fire alarms.

Theo takes Clary out and locks her up, Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) shows up and attempts to rescue Fray but she mistrusts him and his motives. Jace and Alec arrive and knock Luke out.  Isabelle saves Simon…again:

Isabelle: “I’m getting seriously tired of saving your life.”

Simon: “I am not.”

The Shadowhunters are surrounded by the pack of werewolves and another wolf challenges the alpha male. Theo is killed by the challenger who turns out to be Luke.  Garroway is now the new leader the pack. Jace, Clary and Simon take the badly wounded werewolf off to be treated. Simon drives the little band as he is  the “only mundane with a license.”

Even though the action is heating up, Clary is no closer to saving her mother. Magnus is still infatuated with Alec who is still cannot face how he really feels about Jace. Isabelle still has a thing for Simon who is changing into something other than a mundane. On top of all these things Valentine is making changes of his own.

JORDAN HUDYMA, CHRISTIAN BAKO, ALAN VAN SPRANG
Valentine is making changes as well…

It appears that “mommy” Lightwood does not get along with her daughter Isabelle at all and that the Clave are not overly pleased with Clary Fray at all.

Shadowhunters airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and get caught up in the action and the fantasy and see how Simon, and Clary, keep changing.

 

Agent Carter: The Atomic Job – “And Kill Us All” (Recap/Review) "Agent!"

RAY WISE

Agent Carter: The Atomic Job starts off with a lighter tone, as Peggy is woken up suddenly by Jason and she puts a gun through his head.  Later as Carter, Jarvis and Wilkes talk about infiltrating Hugh Jones’ facility, the butler’s repetitive phrase of “and Kill us all,” setting the tone for most of this episode.

Wilkes wakes Agent Carter  to show her what happens when he goes near Jane Scott’s tissue sample.  During his demonstration some of the zero matter zips out of the sample and into his body making him corporeal for a moment.  Peggy grabs his wrist and then Jason becomes intangible again.

It is decided that the corpse of Jane Scott needs to be retrieved in the hopes that Jason can absorb enough of the zero matter to cure him. Unfortunately Whitney Frost gets there first and while Peggy and a nervous Jarvis watch from the air ducts, the woman absorbs all the zero matter from Scott’s corpse.

Carter and Jarvis hear Frost say that she needs an atomic bomb. The idea being to replicate the experiment that generated the matter initially. The plan then becomes one of stopping Whitney  from getting her hands on two A-bombs in storage at Hugh Jone’s ROXXON facility. (It is the discussion about breaking into the heavily guarded building that prompts the amusing “And kill us all” repetition.

 SARAH BOLGER, ENVER GJOKAJ
Violet and Daniel look for the ring.

 

Sousa asks Violet to marry him, despite losing the ring and Peggy tells her boss about getting the special elevator key from Hugh Jones.  The two head to Dr. Samberly’s office for  assistance and he gives them an electric memory inhibitor that, when placed on the subjects temples, causes them to forget the “last two minutes.”

Thus setting up the funniest bit of the episode, and quite possibly the series, where Hugh Jones (Ray Wise) is repeatedly zapped with the  memory inhibiting device when he  remembers where he knows Agent Carter from.

Jones: “Agent!”

Carter (Zap)

After the above interaction occurs a few times, the scene devolves into Jones waking up and being zapped immediately unconscious. After Carter finds the key (it is hidden on his body) by riffling his clothes, she leaves. Jones wakes and walks out of his office with his clothing disheveled.

Secretary: “Did you have a nice lunch?”

Jones: (looking at his messed up suit) “I must have…”

RAY WISE, HAYLEY ATWELL
Jones and Carter prior to “Agent!”

Whitney and Calvin go to see her ex; the gangster Joseph Manfredi (Ken Marino) to gain access to Jones’ facility.  Sousa reluctantly allows Peggy to talk him into including Rose (Lesley Boone) as a member of the atomic job and the shoe is on the other foot when Daniel includes Dr. Samberly on the team as well. 

The gadget-man crushes on Rose and the two play a married couple, much to Samberly’s delight, at the storage site.  Jarvis, Sousa, Carter, Samberly and Rose all enter the building and begin searching for the two atomic bombs. The scientist unlocks all the doors and once they find the bombs,inadvertently  locks Jarvis in with the weapons.

As the plan was for Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) to disarm the bombs, he now has to talk a terrified Jarvis through the procedure. Peggy goes to confront Whitney and Calvin. The two women fight, very briefly, and when Frost grabs Peggy the battle ends. Carter is overpowered and thrown over a railing. 

JAMES D'ARCY
Jarvis fights his fears, including that of spiders.

The agent dangles high above a lot of rebar and as Frost moves in to finish Carter off, she loses her grip and falls, impaling herself one of the bars.  Sousa and Jarvis take Peggy to Violet’s house for treatment and Daniel’s new fiancee learns that Carter and he have a past.

Violet is not happy.

SARAH BOLGER
Violet (Sarah Bolger) upset over Daniel’s lie…

Calvin Chadwick (Currie Grahamdiscovers just how powerful his wife really is and it scares him. After Whitney shows him who is in charge, her husband calls for an emergency meeting of the council. Meanwhile, as Jarvis insists that Peggy rest and leaves the room, Jason suddenly vanishes mid conversation.

By the end of The Atomic Job, Agent Carter is wounded but recovering, Jarvis is relived, Whitney is in charge, Samberly is in love and Violet is not pleased with Daniel at all.  Most importantly, Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) suddenly disappears, his condition has not improved at all despite absorbing more zero matter, and Peggy is dismayed by the turn of events.

This episode allowed Ray Wise to show off his comedic chops, as well as Hayley Atwell being allowed to show hers, to great effect.  The scene between the two was the highlight of this installment, even overshadowing the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”  type impalement of Peggy later on.

Agent Carter airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in or miss this series and miss all the Marvel fun and adventure.

Lucifer: Season One – Binging on Satan in the City of Angels (Review) "I Love Luci"

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Using a premise that is not too different from the 1934 Frederick March film  Death Takes a Holiday, where death takes three days off from the business of dispensing death, falls in love and suffers a personal dilemma, Lucifer tells of Satan taking time off from running Hell and taking up residency  in the City of Angels.  Having missed this popular fantasy when it first debuted, it was deemed necessary to binge on the first three episodes to see what all the fuss was about.

Starring  Miranda love interest Tom Ellis (a Welsh actor who is equally at home doing comedy as fantasy) as the title character, the series asks what would happen if Lucifer left Hell, against his Father’s wishes, and lived topside, as it were.

What would he get up to? How would living amongst the human population that, once dead, have a good chance of ending up in his old domain affect him? It also asks the question of why cop Chloe Dancer (Lauren German) cannot be affected by “the devil.”

Lucifer Morningstar owns a nightclub and seems pretty benevolent with those who he has helped. While he enjoys himself amongst the living, with his sidekick Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt), angel Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside, who played, amongst other roles, Principal Wood on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) comes by periodically to warn his opposite number that the longer he stays out of Hell, the more things are in danger of being messed up badly.

The series thus far has dealt with a number of murders, punishment for those who deserve it and Lucifer’s increasing fascination with Detective Dancer. Morningstar is less enamored of Dancer’s daughter Trixie (played with adorable cuteness by Scarlett Estevez) and the cop’s ex-husband (dubbed Detective Douche by Lucifer) Dan (Kevin Alejandro).

Lucifer  benefits from a number of brilliant guest stars, in the first three episodes there are a couple of familiar, and talented, actors who stop by. In episode 103,  Richard T. Jones (Event Horizon, Collateral) plays an unscrupulous football agent and in episode 102, Jeremy Davies (Lost, Justified) plays a paparazzo under suspicion for murder.

In some ways the show feels almost like a Castle knock-off, but with the reluctant detective being teamed up with Satan versus a writer. Another difference is that Lucifer does not have official permission to tag along on cases, he just manipulates his way there. He is, after all, Satan and highly persuasive.

Ellis manages to give his holidaying devil an impish feel. The ruler of Hell is delighted to be “out and about” while, at the same time, developing emotions and feelings that should be anathema to the angel cast from heaven.

In the three episodes on offer so far, Lucifer is learning what having a conscience means, has suffered from guilt and starts to focus less on punishment and more on justice.  In terms of relationships with people,  he has not changed his feelings for Trixie, he is becoming fond of her mother.

The Welsh actor brings a keen sense of comedy to the role along with sizable acting chops that enable him to make his devil likable with just enough of an “edge” to make him occasionally  a little disturbing.  Despite this harsh side, Ellis’ Lucifer is compelling and a little addictive. Woodside’s Amenadiel is humorless and uptight compared to his “brother.”

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Lucifer and Det. Dancer…

German, as the former actress turned cop, is also a bit uptight and humorless but for entirely different reasons. Her mother was a film actress of note (B films) and Dancer’s one foray into the film world resulted in a topless scene that she would rather forget.

Lesley-Ann Brandt’s sidekick role as Mazikeen places her as an evil Jiminy Cricket, where she attempts to lead Satan back into Hell, or at least to act that bit more…devilish.

Lucifer being set in Los Angeles is nigh on perfect for this fantasy, and oddly procedural, show.  Having Satan solve crimes with his reluctant partner, who remains unmoved by Lucifer’s influences, is set against his personal evolution generated by his being in the “real” world.

Show creator Tom Kapinos, who somewhat amazingly started on Dawson’s Creek has come up with a brilliant show that features two impressive stars, German and Ellis and a fascinating storyline.  Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX. Catch this one, it is different and very much outside the box and,  once you have watched it, you too will be saying “I love Luci…”

The X Files: Home Again – Golem With a Bandaid

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In The X Files: Home Again it appears that the Golem has been resurrected, but in Philadelphia and with a bandaid on its nose, as a mysterious giant man wrecks vengeance upon those who threaten the homeless. A similar scenario to the legend of the Jewish creation of clay made to protect the denizens of a long ago ghetto.  There is more to this episode than the  rehashing of an old myth, Dana’s mother dies and  issues about her and Fox’s son arise as a result.

The episode begins with a forced rehousing of the homeless in the city of “brotherly love;” Philadelphia. The agent responsible is not the most empathetic of men and after clearing out a street  full of homeless denizens using the police and fire department (who hose the transients down) he returns to his office.

Once there, someone enters the building.  Panicking the man pulls a gun as an enormous, and apparently very smelly man enters the office. Coming into the room, the giant man grabs the armed man’s arms and pulls him apart.  Flies buzz in the office as the creature leaves the crime scene.

Detective Aaron Dross calls in the FBI  and reveals to Scully and Mulder that:

 “They said that you two have experience with, these, um…spooky cases.”

After some preliminary fact sharing, the two special agents learn that the dead man was pulled apart and his body strewn across the office, with the victim’s head placed in the room’s trash bin.

There is a bloody print on the floor of a bare foot, a big one,  and it has no ridges, not actually footprint at all just the shape of the appendage left in blood.  While Dana and Fox begin to investigate the crime scene, Scully gets a call from her brother William.  Their mother has had a heart attack and is in ICU at the hospital.  Fox tells his partner to go and continues working and picking on the local detective.

Earlier, when the two agents arrived they noticed a giant figure painted on a blank billboard across the road from the dead man’s office. After  Dana leaves, Fox looks through CCTV footage that should have caught the crime.

The camera’s were all moved and they only thing that Mulder discovers is that at the time of the man’s death, the giant figure is not visible. This means it was painted after the man’s murder.

Dana discovers that her mother asked for her estranged son Charlie before slipping into unconsciousness.  She is upset to learn that her Margaret Suclly did not ask for any of her other children.

In Philadelphia, Fox plays “Pontius Pilate” as he speaks to two antagonistic citizens who each claim to care for the homeless:

“Okay, okay, okay, I hear you speaking for them, but really you’re speaking for yourself. And I hear you speaking for them, but really speaking for yourself. What I don’t hear is who speaks for them.”

After this wise pronouncement Mulder learns of the Trashman.

The Trashman, it is revealed later, created The Bandaid Man that  manages to kill its way through a number of parasitic people who are taking advantage of the voiceless denizens that he was sent to protect. Two art thieves who steal work done by the homeless, including the portrait of the Bandaid Man that Fox wanted to inspect, are murdered.

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Dana and Fox discovering the Trashman…

The list of dead includes Nancy Huff (Peggy Jo Jacobs), the suburban woman who wants the homeless left where they are rather than be moved near the school in her area and Daryl Landry (Daryl Shuttleworth); partner of the first murdered man. (It is these two Philadelphia citizens that Fox speaks to earlier.)

The latter two victims’ deaths reek of irony, Huff has an almost OCD aversion to rubbish and Landry is a humorless and mean man who despises the very people he is “helping.”

Dana’s mother has changed her “living will” so that she will not be kept alive on a support machine. Mulder arrives and while he is there Charlie rings and after Scully puts the phone on speaker, he speaks to his unconscious mother.

Margaret opens her eyes and seeing Fox, grabs his hand and smiles:

“My son… is named William, too.”

Dana’s mother dies.

Scully makes the connection between her mother’s last words and the son that she and Fox gave up.  Dana  insists that she needs to return to work. Back in Philly, the duo  track down the “Trashman,” the artist responsible for the giant painting on the billboard.

They learn that the artist (played by Tim Armstrong) created the Bandaid Man to protect the voiceless homeless who are preyed upon by the city.  The two agents also see several other creatures roaming around in the dark basement where the Trashman works.

Mulder and Scully try to save  Landry’s life and fail. After the last victim of the Bandaid Man dies, the Trashman reshapes the face of his creation into a smiley face and leaves his basement art studio.

Dana and Fox sit on a pebble beach with Mrs. Scully’s ashes on the ground. Scully has an epiphany about why her mother asked for Charlie and then mentioned their son.

This episode clearly paid homage to the Jewish myth of the Prague Golem with the Trashman replacing Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel as the creator of the clay creature. While the protector of the homeless does not go on a rampage and kill a lot of “innocent” people in this iteration of the myth,  it cannot be controlled by its creator, similar to the Golem of legend.

The X Files in this truncated 10th season has managed to cram a lot in. Last week’s homage to “Bad Blood” and Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) was a one-off though and it appears that this season will ultimately  be all about Mulder, Scully and their son.

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Dana and Fox talk about William…

Chris Carter’s verse only has two more episodes before this mini-series ends. The X Files airs Mondays on FOX. Tune in and catch the old fever and see if the truth is, indeed, out there…

Superstore: All-Nighter – Party Signs (Review)

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This week in Superstore:  All-Nighter, a party breaks out when Glenn the store manager has a major meltdown after “corporate” locks all the Cloud 9 employee in while they are putting up the new signs.  After the varying degrees of reactions by all, only Glenn maintains his usual demeanor until a “gripe session” run by Jonah.

The episode opens with a customer who refuses to leave the store, despite it being past closing time. Everyone attempts to get the “d*ck” to leave and only Mateo manages to push the man out with a floor mop.

Just as the obstinate customer is shoved out, Glenn comes in to announce that they all need to stay late to replace the old Cloud 9 signs with new ones. As the disgruntled associates and supervisors begin reluctantly replacing the signs, the lights go off and the exit doors all lock.

Glenn explains that all the store’s lights and exits are controlled by “corporate.” Amy is panicking because she has to study for a mid-term, Cheyenne needs to attend her senior dance recital and everyone is annoyed. Ben tries to make the best of the situation and taking a leaf from “Madagascar” suggests that all the trapped employees join him in the “fun zone” where they can do what they want.

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Mateo to the rescue

Later Ben starts an “encounter” session where they can all talk about what they regret.  When it is Glenn’s turn, he starts out denying that he regrets anything and then loses his usual calm.

After the store manager begins talking about life before Cloud 9 he suffers a meltdown where  he reveals how he really feels about the store chain.  While spouting angrily about everything he hates, Glenn rips off his tie and shirt before running off.  The employees are bemused:

Amy: “What just happened?”

Garrett: “I think we broke Glenn.”

The store manager “damages” a number of liquor bottles and starts a party. As the drinks flow, games commence; one of which is “Never Have I Ever.”  Later, while searching for the codes that will unlock the store, Dina learns that supervisors are no longer “not allowed” to date subordinates, just “strongly discouraged” from doing so.

The associates all party down, staging competitions, using the children’s toy section merchandise, and put on a fashion show.

After Dina discovers this relaxing of rules, the lovesick supervisor firmly sets her sights on seducing Ben in the “bang room,” aka the Photo Lab, and gets Mateo to help her with a makeover.  Meanwhile Cheyenne performs an interpretive dance as Dina makes her move on Jonah.

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Garrett and Amy admire Cheyenne’s pre “Baby Got Back” dance…

This episode manages to address the Dina crush on Jonah and the tantalizing relationship between “Amy” and Jonah as well.  It also lets Glenn show his true feelings behind his iron-clad control of “Mr Nice Guy.”

Standout Moments:

Glenn, and the entire store, trusting a stranger to bring them the code card from the manager’s locked car. The man,  after learning where the key is hidden, steals the car instead.

Cheyenne’s recital performance starting with “True Colors” and then,  as her co-workers express admiration for her beautiful movements, segways into “Baby Got Back” aka “I Like Big Butts.”

Mateo clearly implying that he has eaten human flesh in the “Never Have I Ever” game.

The entire Dina and Jonah moment in the Photo Lab wins the award for most cringeworthy moment in a TV show since The Office.

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Doggy Glenn…

The fashion show and Amy’s spot on announcements, particularly the one for Glenn’s doggy outfit:

“…and now we have Glenn, rocking the ‘Don’t Let Him Near Your Children Collection.’  Oh, shake what the good lord gave you, Glenn…”

Honorable Mentions:

Myrtle and her hysterectomy story preamble, “It was 1953…” and the bicycle tire entrance during the fashion show.

Glenn’s line to Dina after she requests to be demoted and leaves the store while still wearing her Jonah seduction outfit:

“Why are you dressed like my mother?”

Verdict:

Superstore still manages to entertain almost effortlessly. America FerraraBen Feldman, Lauren Ash, Mark McKinney,Colton Dunn and Nichole Bloom all deliver every week, with Linda Porter (as Myrtle) stepping up to join Nico Santos and Kaliko Kauahi as another “regular” Cloud 9 associate. 

This series airs Mondays on NBC. Tune in and enjoy the awkwardness and the hilarity of Superstore.

Castle: Tone Death – Carrie, Reality TV and Secrets (Recap/Review)

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Castle returns with Tone Death, where Beckett and Rick are carrying on a  secret dating relationship, mainly to keep Castle safe from Kate’s “extra curricular” investigations, and having a wonderful time.  Before the couple begin their day though Martha is rehearsing her show and as she begins “The Things We Do For Love” a stage hand starts the snow machine and a “Carrie” style blood shower hits the backup singers.

A human corpse is the source of this blood “bath” and she was part of a reality TV musical contest. The victim was also an ex con. Castle’s mother is very upset by the death of the girl, whom she met the day before. She asks Richard to personally look into who murdered the young performer.

The dead girl’s name is Robyn King and it looks initially like her mother may have something to do with her death until Ryan discovers that King’s mom died when she was a child. So the woman who turned up and argued with the girl, whom she called “momma” is a stranger.

Kate and Rick have a fake argument in front of Ryan and Esposito tells the three who “mamma” is, a drug dealer that Robyn worked for back before the girl’s prison sentence.  The cops also learn that King was going up to Spanish Harlem regularly. Mamma’s alibi is tight and as Rick and Kate talk, she slaps him when Ryan turns up to maintain their “cover.”

Martha wants to help Rick to find Robyn’s killer and he reveals the emoji message on the dead girls cell phone  that he took a picture of.  Alexis has to help translate the text as neither Castle nor Martha “speak” emoji.  The three solve the puzzle and learn where in Spanish Harlem Robyn was going. Alexis and Rick head down to investigate.

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Alexis and Rick investigate…

Castle gets rattled and texts “911!!!!” to Espo just before finding a group of young people rehearsing musical numbers which segways into a “riff-off.”  After Ryan and Javi turn up with the cavalry, Alexis and Rick learn that Robyn belonged to an ex-con group of singers, the ACA Cons, who are competing in the AAC (All American A cappella  competition) and that one of the group was angry with the dead girl after being kicked out.

The kicked out singer, Agnes Malina becomes a new suspect and while the cops look for the missing woman Kate speaks to the sponsors of the ex-con group to get more background on the singers and the dead girl.

During the investigation, since Ryan saw Kate slap Rick, he and Javi decide that Castle has been cheating. To get the guys off his back (or chest) Richard lies and says he is having an affair with a Russian fashion model.

The three men find Agnes at boyfriend Dexter’s apartment (a pretty funny scene where Rick keeps looking in the wrong spot for the hiding girl) and  when she is questioned about Robyn it turns out that she is innocent. Later, Javi and Ryan sympathize with Kate about Svetlana, and offer to throw Rick down the stairs.

The investigation takes Esposito, Ryan, Beckett and Castle to the competition rehearsals where they speak to the head of the singing reality TV contest, Dr. Larson (John Billingsley)  and then Javi (Jon Huertas) gets into a sing-off with Hunter (Corbin Bleu) which Castle messes up. 

Kate hears Rick in the next room and it turns out that Hunter, who initially runs until Kate stops him mid-flight with a clothesline maneuver, paid off Dr. Larson to fix the competition so that Robyn’s group would not win.  As Larson is questioned by Ryan and Esposito he reveals that the ACA Cons  intro video upset the victim and she cut short the meeting with the head of the competition.

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Kate clotheslines Hunter…

This last bit of evidence leads the detectives and Castle to the killer as they track down what happened the night that Robyn was arrested. Evidence showed that the dead girl was innocent and when she went to confront the real culprit she was murdered.

Tone Death allows for some nice bits of comedy with Ryan and Espo telling Kate that in the  break up Beckett “gets them.” It also allows Jon Huertas to show off his “pipes” in the mini sing off.  Seamus Dever proves that he is still adept at comedy with his various reactions to the Kate and Rick separation.

The entire “secret dating” schtick cannot last long, however, as it requires too much stupidity on the part of Kevin and Javi.  Although Beckett’s fake boyfriend “Doctor Livingstone” provides a cute ending to the episode.

Susan Sullivan (Martha) gets a chance to make up for her lack of time on the new season thus far and in this episode, Molly C. Quinn also gets a fair amount of screen time as her character Alexis helps out dad and grandma.

Sadly, the newest addition to the Castle family Toks Olagundoye (who plays Hayley Vargas) gets credit but no screen time, hopefully this will change in upcoming episodes. It also appears that Kate’s investigations have been put on hold for the time being. 

One item of complaint has to be that Nathan Fillion is playing his character of Richard Castle increasing for laughs, losing that “cop by osmosis” plot thread that had appeared. Surely there must be a happy medium where the actor does not feel compelled to constantly engage in prat falls and silliness.

Kudos to John Billingsley (who this writer watched in action on another set, woking on another show; Stitchers) who managed to make his cameo a masterpiece performance  despite having little screen time. What a consummate actor.

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Javi and Kevin upset at “mommy and daddy” splitting up…

Castle airs Mondays on ABC.  Tune in and see where Rick and Kate are headed next in their relationship while they solve crimes together…Like the good old days.