Tag Archives: entertainment

Wynonna Earp: Digging Up Bones – Stone Witch (Review) Spoilers

Wynonna Earp - Season 1

“Wynonna Earp”  (Digging up Bones)  finally introduces the Stone Witch. It is also revealed that there are revenants in some surprising places and there is a reason that Bobo Del Rey is the leader of the demons that are infesting Purgatory.  Doc and Wynonna finally connect, in the woods; in broad daylight; in a frenzy.

The episode starts with Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) dreaming of sister Willa and Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley). Levi crops up again, after being dragged out of the triangle and placed in a permanent living hell.  The remnant chews off his own foot in order to escape back into the safety of the triangle.

Dolls sets up an appointment to see the local Judge.

Judge Cryderman (David LeReaney) grants Dolls a search warrant for Bobo Del Rey’s bus and insults Wynonna. Another day in Purgatory for the Earp heir and a chance for Dolls to be reminded that his assistant is not well thought of in the town. 

A new revenant is in town, a gay demon called Fish who wants to find his lover before being dispatched by Earp back to Hell. The love of Fish’s life turns out to be the tormented Levi.

Wynonna learns that Doc put Levi out of the Triangle at the orders of Del Rey and is not impressed, although this argument leads to the “sex in the forest” event.

Before the visit to Cryderman’s office and the request for the search warrant, Dolls is exercising in the black badge office. Shirtless and covered in sweat (the furnace will not shut off in the building) Earp is distracted:

“I brought you a shirt, put your coffee back on…You know what I mean.”

The U.S. Marshall tries  to force Wynonna to exercise restraint as they search Bobo’s bus and Waverly takes photos from the periphery of the camp. The elder Earp loses patience and ends up kicking revenant a** and arresting Del Rey. The demon leader knows that Waverly is taking pictures and looks right at her.

Wynonna Earp - Season 1
Bobo Del Rey (Michael Eklund)

Del Rey is arrested and Wynonna points out the overall lack of revenants at the camp and that the leader was obviously warned.  Waverly visits Bobo, her child-hood “friend,” and ask why he picked her to set up her family. Wynonna also stops in the interrogation cell to see Del Rey.

Bobo proves his strength as the demon leader when he spirits the Peacemaker from Wynonna’s hand and can hold the weapon despite the burning of his hand.  Del Rey is released from the jail and Wynonna gets kidnapped by another revenant, Fish.

Doc gets his wish and meets up with the Stone Witch, aka Constance Clootie (Rayisa Kondracki). This does not end quite the way that Holiday intends however  leaving his thirst for vengeance unsatisfied. 

The Stone Witch has power over Bobo and he has to find bones for her to rebuild two skeletons, “her boys” and although she is powerful, she loses some of her hold on Del Rey when he learns that she is terrified of Doc Holliday.

Wynonna agrees to help Fish find his lover in exchange for a picture showing the seven revenants who killed Willa  and she  goes to see Vinnie the Vulture who taunts her by talking like Ward Earp.  She gets the information she needs and sends the demon back to Hell.

Fish tells Earp  that to get the picture they need to break into the basement at the police station.  Grabbing boxes of photographic negatives, after sending Doc in to distract the female workers, Wynonna agrees to take Fish to find Levi as Dolls talks with the Stone Witch and Cryderman whom he accuses of child abuse.

Doc helps Wynonna find Levi and before she sends the two revenants back to the underworld she experiences compassion for the two demons, something that has never happened before. Shortly after she returns to the office and Dolls, her boss realizes he has seen the picture Fish delivered before.

It is hanging in the judge’s office.

Waverly still has a connection to Bobo who claims that she is strong and filled with anger.  This is the second time the younger  Earp woman has been accused of this.  While it may well be Wynonna who wields the gun it is Waverly who stayed behind and lived in a town that hates the Earp’s. Cue a lot of resentment and repressed rage.

Wynonna Earp - Season 1
Wynonna and Dolls

The Stone Witch appearing could be a game changer for the Earp clan but the most interesting thing here is the fear she has of Doc. While his first encounter, in the black badge office, did not end overly well, he apparently has some sort of power over the witch. Whether he can figure this out remains to be seen.

Officer Haught was nowhere to be seen in this episode, nor was Waverly’s boyfriend so the younger Earp sister had no-one vying for her affections. The new twist of Wynonna and Doc getting up close and personal in the wild may prove interesting since she also seems to be rather interested in Dolls.

“Wynonna Earp” airs Fridays on SyFy.

 

Penny Dreadful: Showtime Classic Victoriana Returns

 PennyDreadful_301_3321.R

For those who have watched the first two seasons of “Penny Dreadful” on Showtime it is now a time of celebration as the show that delivers classic victoriana weekly, with a dose of horror icons, has returned.  The first episode, airing free on Hulu at the moment, is titled “The Day Tennyson Died” and it has a melancholic air despite lapses into wholesale violence across the globe.

The series stars a veritable who’s who from the world of British film and television.  Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear and even Billie Piper play characters from the world of horror fiction of the time. American actors Josh Hartnett and Wes Studi round out the familiar faces to be found in this splendid reimagining of iconic figures in the genre. 

In this season, along with Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, the wolf man and Dorian Grey, Dracula makes an appearance. The vampiric count is joined by Renfield, who is Dr. Seward’s secretary, and it appears the vampire has zeroed in on Vanessa Ives (Green.)

After season two, Ives is suffering from crushing depression, or ennui as her friend Ferdinand Lyle says, and goes to see Dr. Seward (Patti LuPone) based upon his recommendation.  Chandler (Hartnett) has been extradited to New Mexico in America and Murray (Dalton) is in Africa.

The explorer is disillusioned after having buried Sembene (Danny Sapani) and after being jumped in an alley outside the bar where he has been drinking, he meets Kaetenay, (Studi) who already knows who the explorer is and steps in to save the man from being murdered by a definite criminal element. 

PennyDreadful_301_0534.R
Josh Hartnett

Chandler is “rescued” from his legal journey by train and it appears that Murray and Kaetenay will be traveling to the American west to save the sharpshooting wolf man.

Dracula makes an off camera appearance as he forces Renfield to provide him with information about Ives.

John Clare (Kinnear) leaves the icebound ship to return home after having a few flashbacks to his old life and breaking a child’s neck.

“Penny Dreadful”l looks like a sumptuous feast of celluloid film posing as television.  The sets are glorious recreations of global areas. A bar in Africa, a steam train in New Mexico, the ship frozen in the ice in the Arctic, and of course Victorian London.

While the series is based, in part, upon the sensationalist “pulp” novels of the day, the series has the feel of a “live” graphic novel. The hues and textures along with the lighting resembles a glossy page rather than a TV screen.  This sells the morbid and melancholy nature of the horror series brilliantly.

PennyDreadful_301_5002.R
Timothy Dalton

The atmosphere is brilliantly gloomy,  foreboding and dark, even when in the desert wastelands of New Mexico.  Perhaps the only note of dissent for this splendid series is its attempt to turn the Jekyll/Hyde mythos  into some sort of Victorian Incredible Hulk.

It may have made sense to turn the medical boogeyman into a chap who has anger management issues a’la Bruce Banner for those not familiar with the Robert Louis Stevenson creation. One can only hope that they do not also have him “hulk out” and change color.

This is wonderfully bleak and twisted television, bringing back the favorite monsters of literature and introducing a few more. The next episode of “Penny Dreadful” airs in July.

 

 

The Catch: The Benefactor – Triangles (Review)

SONYA WALGER, PETER KRAUSE, SHIVANI GHAI, JOHN SIMM

In “The Catch” this week Margot’s brother shows up and it turns out he is “The Benefactor.” Rhys calls the shots and is the head of the “firm,” something that Margot expected to be when their father died.  Her brother is also even deadlier than she is. It appears that the siblings have more in common than the family business  they are involved in a triangle and this episode if full of them.

Alice Vaughn and her company Anderson Vaughn  take on a job for the first female Army Ranger, Nia (played by “Orange is the New Black” actress Samira Wiley) who is getting death threats.  This storyline follows the peripheral storyline of a budding office “triangle” between Sophie (Elvy Yost), Danny Yoon (Jay Hayden) and Agent Shawn (Caleb Smith). Shawn recommends that Nia use the P.I. company.

The main story is the arrival of Rhys (played by the superb Leeds actor John Simm: “Life on Mars,” “The Village”) who demands the necklace that the team stole last week.

Felicity (Shivani Ghai) is revealed to play for both sides when Margot and Ben catch her in bed with Rhys. Agent Dao stops by Alice’s office to apologize for bugging her house and as a piece offering he shows her pictures from the party where the bracelet was stolen. This photographic evidence proves Christopher was there during the theft.

Margot asks Felicity to help her get one over on Rhys and more is revealed about another triangle, Benji (Peter Krause), Margot (Sonya Walger) and Rhys, the “benefactor. “While this latter triangle has nothing to do with sex it does deal with relationships.

SAMIRA WILEY
Samira Wiley

Yet another triangle exists between Alice (Enos), Agent Dao (Jacky Ido) and Benji/Christopher.  One could even say that there is even a three way split between Valerie Anderson (Rose Rollins), Alice and Dao.  Later Valerie and Dao end up connecting and the FBI agents asks “how do I know you’re not just using  me?” Valerie responds that she is. 

Apart from triangles and relationships, and the con, the storyline is all about how deadly Rhys is and how much he missed Benji.  Most important is that despite his “devil may care” attitude, Rhys is very murderously inclined.

By the end of the episode Rhys the benefactor has a body count of two; Mickey Shive and, somewhat shockingly, Felicity.

Before that, Ben and Rhys tend to  Mickey in order to retrieve the necklace while dressed as the local police . Ben is shocked when Rhys kills Shive in cold blood.

Dao, who believes that “Christopher Hall” (Benji) killed Mickey and the woman in Paris, as the ballistics proof the same gun was used on both victims. Alice is angry with Christopher, as she is now an accessory to murder but agrees to help him to retrieve the bracelet.

“The Catch” is all about “the con” and this episode has several cons occurring, on top of the triangles, romantic and otherwise. Alice teams with Benji/Christopher to retrieve the real necklace and she leaves a fake one with the unconscious “victim” for Dao to find.

Margot renegotiates with her brother to have the debt written off and Rhys decides to stay in Los Angeles.  He then  gets a lead from Felicity, who gives up Alice Vaughn, and Rhys kills Felicity  as he  searches for and finds Alice on the Internet.

Before Felicity is despatched by bullet, the end of the episode features a lot of sex, Dao and  Valerie, Felicity and Margot and Alice and Benji/Christopher.  Of course after leaving Margot’s bed things end badly for Felicity. The other two couples may not end up dead, but one does get the impression that this whole thing will end in tears.

JOHN SIMM
John Simm

Simm is brilliant as the charming psychopath and will, hopefully, become a fixture as the series really needs some charisma, even if it is of the murderous variety.

“The Catch” airs Thursdays on ABC. This really does feel like an updated reimagining of “It Takes a Thief” but despite this it is quite enjoyable. Tune in and see what you think.

 

Legends of Tomorrow: Leviathan – Size Matters (Review) Spoilers

Daddy Dearest and Cassandra in LoT

At long last, “Legends of Tomorrow” go back to the future (sorry) in “Leviathan.” It does not take the group of would-be heroes long to learn that size does indeed matter.  Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) has  to duel with a giant “Mighty Morphin Power Ranger-ish”   robot and it is nigh on impossible not to feel for Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) when Kendra stops mid attack once they finally capture Vandal Savage. 

Hunter’s expression is mixed. Anger, disappointment,  confusion and (yes, perhaps a little bit of) resignation.  The team of Snart and Rory are back on form trading quips and Mick (Dominic Purcell) may just have the come back of the episode.

Snart and Rory  get the drop on Savage’s daughter Cassandra (Jessica Sipos) and Mick wins the short exchange hands down:

Cassandra: “Whoever you are, you’re certainly persistent.”

Rory: “Not really. We just like bright, sparkly objects, like that bracelet.”

Cassandra: “You’d risk dying for a bauble?”

Rory: “It works with my outfit.”

All delivered in Rory’s marvelously graveled growl.

(It is interesting that he and Snart, played by Wentworth Miller, both have the most unique and entertaining voices on the show. Snart with his  drawling delivery of dialogue sounding a mix between Snagglepuss and perhaps the late Paul Lynde and Mick with his “Drax-like” demeanor as well as enunciation of lines stand out from the small crowd of “legends.”)

Heading to 2166, the group of would-be heroes and future legends all conspire to grab Savage (Casper Crump), after initially getting his daughter and then explaining to her that “daddy” is a megalomaniac bent on destroying the world.

There are some pretty impressive fight scenes, not just between The Atom and Leviathan but between the small group who initially attempt to infuriate Victor’s lair. Another well choreographed battle takes place once Kendra (Ciara Renée) works out how to weaponize her old “bauble.”

Sidenote: One small bauble of contention is the melting down of the bracelet to pour it over Kendra’s long time lover Carter Hall’s (played by Falk Hentschel) spike-covered cudgel, or mace. The bracelet is a small delicate thing and yet, when Rory melts it down, the now liquid  bauble manages to completely cover the head of the weapon…Really?

Snart turns Cassandra by showing her the truth of Daddy Dearest and she agrees to help Hunter and his team.

The “Legends of Tomorrow” team, sans Palmer, Stein and Jax,   take on Savage, indirectly through the “back door” and still almost lose the fight.  Being an immortal “stinker” Vandal has all the odds in his favor and his Leviathan which The Atom engages after enlarging himself,  is a tough opponent. Palmer defeats the robot however and as the battle continues, Cassandra, now turned, comes back to daddy.

The first thing Savage notices is the missing bracelet.  Hunter, Lance, Rory, Snart and Kendra attack the soldiers of Savage and like all true villainous bullies Vandal underestimates his opponents. Also like a bully, once Vandal realizes he can be hurt, his confidence falters.

Once last “trick” remains however, as  an amnesiac Carter appears in the garb of a Savage soldier. The villain tells Kendra that if she kills him then her lover will never remember who he is. Hawkgirl stops and apologizes to Hunter about her inability to sacrifice Carter for Rip’s family.

Hunter is not happy at Kendra’s failure to save his wife and son but takes Savage hostage. Ray is also not overly pleased with his fiancee after learning that Carter is back in the picture.

Irony of the episode award goes to Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) who, due to earlier  sustained injuries,  sleeps through the entire robot attack and the capture of Savage.  Vandal is a stinker even in captivity as he taunts Rip about whether he will be able to save his family. 

“Legends of Tomorrow”  is still cracking  entertainment. The characters are all interesting enough that we care what happens, although with Kendra it is that little bit tougher.  The clear favorites are Rory and Snart, that odd couple duo who light up the screen way more than Firestorm each time they are together.

There are some bits that irritate, like the melted bauble and Cassandra being so easy, and fast, to turn.  Clearly some daddy issues there. It is interesting that The Atom has to “enlarge” himself in order to defeat the Leviathan proving that, despite what men’s magazines have touted for years, size does matter.

“Legends of Tomorrow” airs Thursdays on CW.

 

The Path: Breaking and Entering – Doubts (Review)

Sarah breaks into her sisters house The Path

In “The Path: Breaking and Entering ” Eddie’s doubts come roaring back. These are driving a rift between Sarah and Eddie as he begins to also doubt Cal’s motivations.  Lane is losing his faith in the movement.

As Jason Kemp’s widow tells him:

“Once you see the first crack, you begin to realize it’s cracked all over. It’s like my grandpa used to say, “Once you’ve seen the freak show, you can’t unsee it.”

This is Eddie’s problem.  At the start of the episode, he is seeing cracks, inconsistencies and hypocrisies.  On the car ride to the compound, Sarah says it is a disgrace to separate families.  This is exactly what the Meyerist Movement does, repeatedly, when it recruits new members.

Eddie goes with Cal on a mission.  Roberts is still bruised from his beating but he insists it was the right thing to do. Hawk’s IS girlfriend and her family are evicted from their house. He brings them to the movement for shelter and Sarah reluctantly agrees.

The mission that Cal takes Lane on is about retrieving $40K from Alison Kemp (Sarah Jones). Roberts rents a key to her hotel room and begins searching for the money. He tells Eddie to check no-one is hiding in the room and Lane finds Alison out on the balcony. Lane tells Cal that no-one is there.

Ashley’s mother is uneasy staying with the cult and Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan) does not make it easy for the outsider because she is not of the movement.  Roberts goes to see Mary and finds Sean (Paul James) in her room. Cal tells Sean he needs him at Milton,  in Delaware, to start a office there.  

Eddie and Sarah argue about Hawk and his IS friends.  Later he tells her about  Cal’s breaking and entering to retrieve the missing  money and  suggests that since Roberts is now leading the movement that people are getting hurt.  She disagrees.

Sarah does go to see Cal and tells him to forget about getting the money from Jason Kemp’s widow.  She then goes to pull Alison’s file. Sarah also pulls her sister’s file, the one who left the movement,  after talking to her mother.

Alison meets with Eddie in a bar and they talk missing money, Jason’s “non-suicide” and the problems with the cult. She tells Lane, when he asks, that the movement does good acts, but  that the system is broken and that Jason was going to leave.

At the Gaines house, Abe’s wife accuses him of using their youngest child as part of  the cult investigation.  Later Abe questions Jason Kemp’s parents. He learns that the cult call outsiders “Ignorant Systemites” and  he also learns that Jason rang his father to get the number of  a Dr. Rothstein.

Sarah does some breaking and entering of her own by going into her sister’s house.  She takes a sand dollar and after trying some lip gloss looks in the medicine cabinet. Sarah finds a lot of prescriptive medication, including diazepam.

Eddie lays down some ground rules for Cal, telling him that it is not okay to break into rooms to steal money. Roberts agrees. The tension mounts in the Lane household  as the presence of the IS family continues to drive a wedge between Sarah and Eddie.

Sean recognizes that there is something going on with Cal and Mary and Abe learns that Kemp wanted to buy a very expensive  pancreatic cancer treatment from Rothstein.

At the Lane home, the movement members gang up on Ashley’s mother giving equal parts support and “in your face” truths. Eddie, and Hawk, are uncomfortable about it but for different reasons. The teen is embarrassed by all the trappings of the movement and Eddie’s doubts are making him see things differently.

The next day, the IS family attend a “service” and Ashley (Amy Forsyth) leaves the hall upset. Hawk follows and Eddie stops Sarah from going after them. The two teens comfort one another and end by having rushed sex in the back of a car.

Abe speaks to Eddie about the movement and asks how long Meyer has been writing the final rungs.  Lane has another vision, in this one Sarah and Cal are embracing and the song being sung sounds hollow. Lane leaves Abe and the gathering.

Roberts and the rest of the hierarchy have not told anyone that Meyer has pancreatic cancer and is dying. Abe believes the cult is trafficking drugs but it seems more likely that Kemp was moving cancer treatment medications in a bid to save Meyer’s life.

Presumably, Kemp was killed to keep him from telling anyone about Meyer dying. Alternatively  he could have  committed  suicide out of despair. This latter explanation  seems less likely as Alison told Eddie her husband said he was getting out of the movement.

“The Path” is getting darker as each episode airs.  Cal Roberts comes across as an extremely repressed individual and one that harbors secret desires.  Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) still seems like he could be swayed into the movement and Hawk may be well on the path to becoming a “Denier.”

Sarah’s displeasure with Eddie (Aaron Paul) seems to be driving her to Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) and feeding her inner paranoia.

By the end of the episode, Roberts has, yet again, acted impulsively and brought the “illegal” immigrants into the movements fold, driven Sean away from Mary and is becoming too aware of Sarah, just as she is with him.

Eddie Lane still wants to do good things for people but his doubt is crippling him and causing him real anxiety.  Could he join his son in leaving the movement? This episode is all about doubts; Eddie’s, Hawk’s, Sarah’s and even Cal’s.

“The Path” airs Wednesdays on Hulu.

 

Fresh Off the Boat: Hello My Name Is…Dr. Huang (Review)

RANDALL PARK, HUDSON YANG, FORREST WHEELER, IAN CHEN, CONSTANCE WU

“Fresh Off the Boat” steps up the comedy quotient with “Hello My Name Is..” while the entire episode is about what name Evan will use to open his toaster account, by the end it does not matter as mom Jessica tells Louis their youngest will be called Dr. Huang.

Eddie (Hudson Yang) breaks the family toaster making a pop-tart/bagel sandwich and the Huang family now need a new one. It is time to open a new toaster account at the bank. Evan is chosen as he has a wad of cash saved from not buying candy for three years.

Jessica: “That’s why you’re my favorite.”

Evan: “I know.”

The entire Huang clan, including Grandma (Lucille Soong) turn up at the bank and while Evan (Ian Chen)  is excited to be signing his name to his first official document, Jessica bursts his bubble by revealing that his name was randomly chosen. The name of Evan came from the checkout nurse at the hospital where he was born.

Evan is crushed:

“My name is random? I thought you picked “Evan” just for me. I thought you looked into my little baby eyes and knew I was an Evan. But I could have been anything.”

Jessica then reveals how she picked her American name.  Initially it was Bob as her Chinese name was too hard for American’s to pronounce. Something that Evan soon learns is still a problem when Frank, the bank assistant pronounces his Chinese name as “Seafood.”

Evan: (Annoyed.) “Yes Frank, that’s my name. Seafood.”

Louis tells two stories about how he picked Louis as his name. The first is made up and based on the Incredible Hulk  actor Lou Ferrigno. The second revolves around “Uncle Barry” who Jessica hastens to explain is not their uncle but a bum.

The tale ends with food poisoning and Louis meeting Jessica in the long line to the restaurant’s toilet.  It also  finishes with Louis projectile vomiting in the alley while fighting for  the name of Louis.

HUDSON YANG
HUDSON YANG aka Topaz

Emery (Forrest Wheeler) gets chills when he learns that his name came from an emery board.  Eddie goes into a fantasy about the name he would chose. In the eldest Huang son’s vision he is sitting back with a face tattoo and a suit. Jessica shoots this down instantly:

“There is no world, real or imaginary, where you will ever have a face tattoo.”

In Eddie’s fantasy the president is Shaquille O’Neal and Busta Rhymes is on his record label.  His chosen name is Topaz (his birth stone) and he forces Rhymes to have a concert on the moon.

Evan goes to splash water on his face and Grandma explains that he makes the name, not vice versa.  He then choses the  name for his account and when the family come home Eddie breaks the newly acquired toaster.

“Fresh Off the Boat” just keeps getting better and better. The kids on the show just rock in respective roles. Ian Chen shows abilities that far exceed his years. The scene where Frank asks if the family will just buy a toaster rather than open the account, Chen just looks at the bank teller and blinks once…slowly.

Hysterically funny and just brilliant.

Randall Park and Constance Wu are perfectly matched and are effortlessly funny.  Soong also makes the most of her non-English speaking grandmother. The epilogue piece at the end of the episode revealed how she got all those Garfield books and the significance of the name Jenny.

Great one liners abound in this episode. From Louis’ “Those gumdrops were like bullets” to the “All white people look the same” each gem hit the right balance to be truly funny.  Another great gag was the Jessica “moon rock concert” line  which was delivered perfectly.

BUSTA RHYMES
Busta Rhymes talking Moon rock concert.

“Fresh Off the Boat” continues to be a delight and it maintains its comedy from episode to episode.  This sitcom, inspired by the real Eddie Huang’s memoirs is a well oiled comedy machine with performers who mesh together perfectly.

The series airs Tuesdays on ABC.

 

Agents of SHIELD: The Singularity – Ghost in the Shell Meets Marvel (Review) Or, Deus Ex: Human Revolution Meets...

 CHLOE BENNET, BRETT DALTON

“Agents of SHIELD: The Singularity” feels remarkably like “Ghost in the Shell” meets Marvel, or maybe “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” meets Marvel.  Once the episode gets past the May and Mack exposition heavy beginning, it zeroes in on the rescue effort of Daisy.

Hive and Daisy have a moment where the parasite explains the Grant Ward is glad to be dead. Back at SHIELD Fitz reveals that Daisy is addicted to Hive. Enter guest star John Hannah as Dr. Radcliffe who the team feel will be the best chance to get Daisy from Hive. 

Fitz, Simmons and Mack go to persuade Radcliffe to help while May, Lincoln  and Phil go to grab Alisha (Alicia Vela-Bailey) before Hive can infect her. 

They are too late.

The transhumanism  that Radcliffe specializes in mirrors the verse in the 1995 “Ghost in the Shell” film where people in the future have accessorized their bodies to such an extent that they rely upon technology to enhance every bodily function. Not too dissimilar to the plot in the 2011 video game “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” where people replace body parts and abilities with robotic and computerized versions of the real thing.

(Although arguably the GitS verse is more about becoming one, a kind of singularity, with computers which drives the plot line in that verse.)

Lincoln proves his loyalty to SHIELD after volunteering to be hooked up to a suicide suit (murder vest).  Hive still wants Lincoln to be in his gang although James, the Aussie wannabe inhuman  who was Lincoln’s friend. is now  the newest member.

James gets his powers in return for the achilles heel of Hive, the other half of the Kree sphere shaped artifact, which is, says the parasite, the only thing that can destroy it.

Interestingly enough, Phil Coulson points out that the alien does not “get” the importance of not messing with a man’s family. While this could seem to be contrary to the feeling of family that new inhumans experience when infected by Hive, it seems that there may be more than one way of “skinning a Hive.”

Talbot gets in contact with Phil about the intel that Malick provided before Hive killed him, using Daisy, and it is the former head of Hydra’s act that prompts Coulson’s observation about alien’s not getting the importance of family.

The head of Hydra is severed by Talbot’s troops as May and Phil watch.  It is a bittersweet experience.

Fitzsimmons crash the transhumanism party  hosted by Radcliffe and meet his assistant Anon (played brilliantly by Camille De Pazzis) and the scientific duo go through their paces as specified by the elusive scientist, Radcliffe.

Unfortunately in mid transaction, the two are separated with Jemma being forcibly removed as Fitz talks to Radcliffe. He is interrupted by Daisy who threatens him with snapping his neck if he approaches her again.

Jemma meets up with Ward/Hive and shoots him in the stomach.

This does not slow the creature down long and at the end of the episode he is showing his band of inhumans the town he bought them. Ward has acquired “Hive Town” for his army, using Malick’s money, and it is clear that he means to populate  the town with inhumans.

Daisy may not need saving after all. The fact is she has not turned deadly after being infected. She does not kill Fitz and she did not destroy the base last week. It is all too easy to see Daisy destroying Hive/Ward in “Hive Town” and taking over the inhumans herself.

IAIN DE CAESTECKER, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE

Highlight of the Episode:

Fitzsimmons sealing the deal.

Overall Thoughts:

Mack continues to be the voice of reason and of the audience. His line about Anon, “I need to get out more” after seeing all her enhancements was funny. James, the newest inhuman is annoyingly funny with his Aussie aggressiveness and big headed attitude.

Coulson tells his troops that Daisy is “still one of us” and this may prove to be true in more ways than one. While she may be infected, she still retains her essence under all that “hive-ness.”  The new leader of the inhumans has no humanity, as evidenced by his murder of Gideon’s daughter in front of the man, and this, more than the thing found under James’ house, will most likely result in  his downfall.

It was wonderful to see the brilliant John Hannah as a new recurring character (a personal favorite) on the show and viewers can expect only the best from this talented thespian.

“Agents of SHIELD” airs Tuesdays on ABC.

 

Stitchers: The Dying Shame (Review) The Red Cap Comes Off

Emma ISHTA

The hints come fast and furious in this episode of “Stitchers” (and that is not a pop culture reference) and “The Dying Shame” has a few comedic moments as well as  awkward ones and that red cap comes off “mid-stitch.” It is becoming pretty apparent that the “young Cameron” is, in actuality, Daniel Stinger.

Sidenote: This episode was written by the ever talented April Fitzsimmons who just became my favorite writer ever and was directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado  who is now my favorite director…ever. 

This week had an international flavor with the murder of Chinese pop star Coco Soo.  Her bodyguard Mei Ling (Pamelyn Chee)is drugged  allowing Soo to be killed. The Chinese authorities want the minder arrested, Quincy takes her into  “temporary” custody and the two bond over pizza and conversation.

The kid in the red ball cap finally reveals himself, sort of, when he takes control of the stitch from Cameron and the team.  The anomaly admits that he is not Cameron and in the flashbacks at the beginning of the episode, in the Goodkin stitch, one can see the boy in the stitch wink (very quickly) when he introduces himself as Cameron to the young Kirsten. (Oh you Stitchers writers are so good…)

After telling Kirsten that he uses the name to make it easier for her to trust him, “Cameron” tells her to keep their conversation secret.

Liam makes a move on Camille after asking about Kirsten. While the assignment is going well the girl from Bakersfield gets caught out when Linus learns she lied to him.  Goodkin and Nina are moving into “cute couple of the year” status.

Kirsten tracks down Stinger’s first wife Elizabeth Brown, who is apparently dead.  At the dinner party, Nina finds Kirsten’s “Stinger Wall” and is impressed by the brainpower of Ms. Clark.

Nina;  the Perfect Woman:

Nina has got to be every nerd’s definition of the best girlfriend, and most perfect woman ever.  Beautiful, and knowledgeable about all the right  things (comics, video games, movies and very good with pop culture references) this young lady seems way too good to be true.

Cameron is bewitched by his new flame and later when “Chippy McChipper” has obviously “gotten some” (as Maggie so indelicately puts it) Kirsten is not impressed. In fact, after meeting Nina (Jasmin Savoy Brown) Ms. Clark is less than friendly with Goodkin, either through jealousy or annoyance that Cameron has found what seems to be the perfect mate. 

“Mary Poppins man” Liam Granger (Jack Turner) may rumble that Camille is “playing him” and it is still unclear just who the Brit is really working for.  

Relationships:

The biggest “personal” mystery of the episode has Quincy telling Mei Ling that he is working on someone more understanding than his ex.  Who could that be? Fisher is sort of the resident big brother to the females in the lab, but with Camille he does seem to be expressing a bit of interest as they bond over Krav Maga.

Linus walks away from Camille when she fesses up to lying about the library. After the first season’s discontent will this be thing that breaks them apart?

RITESH RAJAN, KYLE HARRIS

Kirsten is clearly not happy about the “Nina Situation.”  Despite giving Cameron’s new squeeze the okay, her cold shoulder the morning after their dinner speaks volumes.

Comedic Highlight:

The clear winner was Fisher being  handcuffed to the bike rack by Mei Ling.  A splendid moment that built up the amusement factor  with the detective’s grumpy “I don’t want to talk about it” and then both Maggie and Kirsten bringing it up.

Linus comes a close second with his “sinophile” moment at the Coco Soo brief. Although Kirsten’s telephone conversation at the start is funny:

“S as in…Sam.”

Sci Fi Cool Factor Moments:

The ability to understand Chinese while in the stitch was “way cool” and felt feasible.  (So too did the reading of the language.) The stitch hijack also registered 9.5 on the science fiction scale with the “not-Cameron” construct explaining that he could “hear” Kirsten’s mental communications. Also the residual effect of the stitch has Kirsten able to speak Chinese.

Favorite Pop Culture Reference:

Big Trouble in Little China” – Cameron quotes Jack Burton’s line to Kim Cattrall’s character Gracie Law. “And if we’re not back by dawn, call the president.”

Tissue Moment:

Kirsten and Coco Soo’s father after the killer is caught.

Final Thoughts:

The clue left by the red cap kid, quoting the conversation between Coco and her father “Hearing a hundred times is not as good as seeing once” is clear. The conversation in the stitch had to do with Coco’s dad professing his innocence.  The kid is obviously Stinger, Kirsten’s dad, and he too is protesting his innocence or,  at the very least, declaring his good intentions as everyone else, including Kirsten,  believes him to be the villain.

“The Dying Shame” was a great episode in terms of storyline and pop culture references, the game at the start between Nina and Cameron was brilliant, and guest star Pamelyn Chee was excellent as the kick-arse bodyguard.

Pamelyn Chee
Pamela Chee as Mei Ling

Challenge:

In January when I stopped by the Stitchers set and talked to Executive Producer Jeff Schechter he put a challenge to Mike’s Film Talk regarding a pop culture reference in this particular episode. The answer has to be “Big Trouble in Little China.”

“Stitchers” airs Tuesdays on Freeform.  Watch this show.

Hunters: Maid of Orleans – Regan’s Backstory (Review) Spoilers

 Hunters - Season 1

“Hunters” starts with some backstory on Regan as a child. It also highlights the issue of sounds on the creature’s hearing. The younger Regan attacks another girl who will not stop jumping rope outside her house. The slapping noise of the cord hitting the sidewalk hurts her ears.

“Maid of Orleans” takes the Hunter back to her childhood and we learn that her father is also a Hunter as well as her mother, who we never meet in the flashback sequences. This episode feels very much like a cross between “Predator” and “The Terminator”franchise.

In the present Regan, Briggs and Flynn all head to the jungle and with the bickering between the local guns for hire and the clicking noises it feels like Arnold Schwarzenegger may come bounding out of the underbrush at any moment.

The atmosphere works and puts the viewer on edge. The fact that Briggs is trigger happy adds to the tension. Keeping with the Predator theme, a young woman they rescue tells Flynn that a monster came out of the jungle and took her mother.

Instead of the 1987 film monster, these kidnappers are the “leather-faced fodder-muckers” that McCarthy (Julian McMahon) did business with last week and something much more frightening.   Regan knows the leather faced  creatures  very well as it seems that they killed her family.

It is also revealed that the younger Regan (Britne Oldford) killed a rabbit and ate it raw while on the run.  Flynn and his team reach the camp and find it empty of life and surrounded by dead bodies. The dead are mangled and torn apart. 

As they move through the camp something is watching Regan.  Later she finds a footprint. The camp was a heroin factory but one of the bodies found has the same holes in it as the heroin addict’s corpse found at  McCarthy’s place.

More memories of Regan before the ETU emerge, sex, smoking crack and attacking the police brings her in contact with the organization.  In the jungle, Flynn bonds with the alien agent who reveals that Briggs has a love/hate relationship with her.

Regan also tells Flynn that she did not know she was alien till her parents told her. The FBI agent is also starting to believe that his wife Abby was a Hunter after all.  A “monster” kills all the local gun’s for hire sand the leader, Mato.  Alarmed and angry, he  goes to call for backup. Regan shoots him  in the back of the head, per ETU protocol.

Mato (Deniz Akdeniz), who Regan killed with a bullet in the back of his head, wounded  the creature before being executed and the remaining team start to  track the creature down despite Jackson ordering them to abort. 

Briggs finds a punji stick trap and it slows the team down while Flynn treats the other ETU agent’s injury. Briggs explains why he dislikes Hunters and Regan.

The Hunter ETU agent tracks the creature on her own.  She finds the “monster” and the description is an apt one.  This Hunter looks anything but human and it is indeed wounded. Rather than kill it, Regan reaches out and touches the creature.

Thus far, it seems that there are several varieties of the same Hunter species. Not all Hunters are created equal with some being less human than others. There are also, apparently, warring Hunter factions on Earth.

Briggs tells Flynn (Nathan Phillips) that regardless of what the aliens look like that underneath it all they are monsters. Regan shows, via her flashbacks, a certain vulnerability that, despite her alien nature, makes her rather endearing. 

Hunters - Season 1
l-r) Britne Oldford as Allison Regan, Nathan Phillips as Flynn Carroll.

“Hunters” airs Mondays on SyFy. Tune in and watch this serious  and intriguing thriller.

Blindspot: In the Comet of Us (Review)

Blindspot - Season 1

“Blindspot: In the Comet of Us” could be seen as the tattooed version of “Spotlight” (The 2015 Oscar winning film about sexual predator priests being protected by the church and the establishment.) In this episode it is Zapata who solves a tattoo and the result is a college under siege by two gunmen as Weller and his team attempt to save as many as possible.

The show follows separate events and each member of the team has moments that interact with others. For example, when Reade is trying to keep the rigged door from exploding, the mini-fridge that Weller throws through the window in his timeline lands outside. Reade notices it and asks what it is.

Each team member is shown prior to the active shooter scenario at the college. Jane (Jaimie Alexander) is show with Oscar who is attempting to put some distance between himself and Jane. She reacts badly to this news.

Zapata (Audrey Esparza) is at an addict support group meeting, for gambling, and it is the first time she admits to having a problem although she does not share in her first meeting. 

Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) is with his father who he has taken out of the hospital to be at home and Reade (Rob Brown) is getting a suit fitted.  His tailor offers advice on dating as well as fashion;  making the agent wear a bowtie. Tasha remarks on it at the beginning of their shift:

“What’s with the bowtie Bill Nye?”

Mayfair (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) deals with the fact of Sonia being alive. 

Weller’s team learn about the tattoo’s relevance, it is on the hand inked on Jane’s lower abdomen, and  that the numbers point to the university football game scores, four of them.  The team  speak with Coach Jones and while they are there, the head of the college closes ranks against the team and someone starts shooting inside the buildings.

One of the shooters is Levi Hart (Charles Brice) the scholarship player who sparked off  the investigation because Zapata read the story of his being busted for drugs.  Reading the article allowed her to  make the initial connection between the scores and the tattoo.  They question the coach.


At the university there are two shooters and both men are armed with automatic weapons, wearing body armor and have rigged exits with explosives. 

It is revealed that Jones  was molesting young players and that the university was offering full scholarships as hush money so the boys would not talk.  Hart took the money but then flipped out when he saw the coach vetting new youngsters.

“Blindspot” manages to pile up quite a body count in this episode and somewhat annoyingly  Weller, and Reade, get blown up again.  Also annoying was the too vulnerable Jane Doe. While it does make a certain amount of sense that Doe cannot be a bada** all the time, it irks that she choses react to Oscar this way. Especially with the final scene in this week’s episode proving that her handler may not be trustworthy.

Oscar (François Arnaud) and another man unzip a bodybag. Inside is Carter (Michael Gaston) who Oscar killed rescuing Jane from the CIA agent’s waterboarding interrogation. 

A number of things are learned about the team, including the head of the organization, Bethany Mayfair.  Mayfair gives Sonia almost $50k and then tells her to get out. Tasha reveals a bit of backstory with a tragic domestic shout when she was a regular cop and Weller reconciles completely with his father.

The episode does not end well for the football player and it is an interesting storyline. It appears that the tattoos pointed directly to Coach Jones. This is puzzling as the ink thus far on Jane’s body has dealt with terrorism and not sexual abuse.

Blindspot - Season 1

The twist at the end of “Blindspot”  of Carter’s body  being unwrapped was surprising, as was the interaction with Oscar and his colleague. It sounds like this will affect Jane somehow.

The connection between Jane, Mayfair and Carter is Operation Daylight. With the conversation between Bethany and her former lover, in the back of her car, Jane is also connected to Mayfair’s Sonia. It appears that Daylight may be driving all this season and all that remains to be seen is whether Jane will be able to connect the dots on her own.

“Blindspot” airs Mondays on NBC.