Aftermath: RVL 6768 – Unsettling End of Days Drama (Recap/Review)

 Aftermath - Season 1

There is no doubt about it, Aftermath manages, in its first ever episode to completely unsettle the viewer. “RVL 6768” brings the audience in as things start going really wrong. This “End of Days” scenario features meteors, a plague, earthquakes, a category five hurricane and some sort of body inhabiting demons.

On top of all this it is raining fish, snakes, and at one point, parts of a car (RVL 6768). As Joshua mentions later in the episode, it all seems a bit biblical.

Aftermath starts with Joshua at work busily gathering things up to take home. The professor is, along with everyone else, vacating the place to take cover with his family.

Karen is at home with the kids cleaning up from the latest storm.  Joshua arrives and a local policeman stops by. He wants the family to keep an eye out for a relative who is camping nearby. The car registration is RVL 6768.

The officer has a passenger in the car and he tells the family that cops killed his brother. The man was skinning his wife alive and would not stop.

Brianna relates that a friend in New York told her that faces are looking in high rise windows and that apparitions are flying around.

The family sit down to eat and the cop’s nephew comes to the door asking for help. They let the young man in and after ravenously devouring all the food in his reach he attacks the family.

He is shot dead by Matt and as he slumps to the ground something “flies” out of his body.  Karen goes to report the shooting to the police and finds a shotgun and two crazy prisoners.

The police are missing.

Later, Brianna is grabbed by another young man who carries her away by taking to the air. The teenager screams all the way up and away.  The family gather things up and take the Winnebago to find Brianna.

The kidnapped teen is able to get away when the man  dies.  She is picked up by Sheriff Dawkins. The cop knows her father but even though he saw Brianna recently, he does not recognize her.  The policeman and his partner stop at a diner. A group of bikers are making huevos rancheros and the two cops decide to kill everyone inside.

The bikers kill the officers and spare Brianna as she is not bleeding from her mouth. (A sign of the fever.) She talks the leader into taking her to Yakima where her family is.

The Copeland’s all meet up at the safe zone, Brianna is at the north entrance and her family are at the opposite end. As she prepares to enter the town limits a huge meteor hits the place and Brianna narrowly avoids being burnt to a crisp.

As things continue to get worse, the Copeland’s, sans Brianna, hear the sound of trumpets, something that Joshua and Karen talk about earlier.  After Joshua’s bible quite they state that the horns would accompany the end of days. She tells everyone to say nothing.

Show creators Glenn Davis  and William Laurin have given the viewer a world falling to pieces.  While the planet is busily shaking itself to bits,  storms, meteors and “demonic” creatures are laying waste to the rest of the world. 

Heche is impressive as the no-nonsense former Air Force,  gun-toting  wife and mother.  Tupper is spot on as the  academic who follows his wife’s lead.

Taylor Hickson, Levi Meaden and Julia Sarah Stone are nigh on perfect as the Copeland  kids. Kudos to Jason Gray-Stanford as Sheriff Earl Dawkins. He makes his character truly bizarre and at one point rather poignant. 

This is a show that could give the audience nightmares, or have them running for the nearest bible.  Regardless of either choice this is disturbing television with  an edge that resonates.

Aftermath airs Tuesdays on SyFy.

Cast:

SyFy Gears Up for Another 31 Days of Halloween

"SyFy" New Logo, SCI FI ChannelNBC Universal Logos

It is that time of year again.  Crisp autumn nights, bonfires and the month of “tricks or treats” are but a day away as is SyFy’s “31 Days of Halloween.” The annual celebration,  with its immense collection of spooky shows on offer,  starts off with a brilliant new series.

The “October Spook-a-thon” will feature the Channel Zero: Candle Cove premiere on October 11. It will also include five “made for” SyFy films and air some new features from the big screen.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Zombieland,  I, Frankenstein, Cabin in the Woods, Drag Me to Hell, The Strangers, Wrong Turn and Maleficent will all be shown to celebrate the season.

On top of these cinematic treats, SyFy will be airing some original films on Saturday nights.  The Crooked Man, The Night Before Halloween and a sequel to the brilliant Stake LandStake Land 2.

All of the regularly programmed shows will continue to air throughout the month:  Van Helsing, Z Nation and Aftermath will continue uninterrupted.

As well as this terrifying lineup of toe curling horror, Syfy will explore some creepy Halloween lore and present a load of  horror film trivia throughout the month.

SyFy will also take the audience right into the action at  Universal Studios with their “Halloween Horror Nights” and include some fan interviews. Syfy.com and  Blastr.com, will provide some great accompanying treats that will include daily Top 13 lists.

There will also be some amazing party tips to help make your party scream along, horror trope bingo cards and interviews with genre experts.

SyFy’s social channels will ask viewers to  show off their best trick or treat outfits and Halloween decorations along with their finest bloodcurdling screams.  SyFy’s Snapchat and Instagram accounts  will feature the scariest entries.

On  October 31 viewers  can celebrate Halloween with the Syfy social team inside the New York City Greenwich Village Halloween Parade via Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

The SyFy schedule for the 31 Days of Halloween is as follows:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 at 9/8c – The Crooked Man stars Michael Jai White  and Amber Benson .

Synopsis:
Singing a nursery rhyme summons the demonic Crooked Man. Once The song is sung, everybody in the house will be killed by the summoned demon.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 at 9/8c – Day of Reckoning stars Raymond J. Barry and Barbara Crampton.

Synopsis:

Years ago, the world experienced a “day of reckoning.” Creatures came up from beneath the Earth and purged humanity of evil. Looks like it is  happening all over again.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 at 9/8c – Premiere of Channel Zero: Candle Cove. 

Synopsis:

A man’s is obsessed with his memories of a children’s TV show from the ’80’s and his belief that the show caused a series of deadly and nightmarish events.

http://player.theplatform.com/p/HNK2IC/syfy20141201/select/media/HjqwKyaNoPN9

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 at 9/8c –Stake Land 2 starring Conor Paolo, Nick Damici and Laura Abramsen.

Synopsis:
Vampires have evolved. Mister has to save an innocent young woman from a brotherhood of Evil.

SATUDAY, OCTOBER 22 at 9/8c –Shadows of the Dead

Synopsis:
A group of teenagers must get away from a creature that lives and hunts in the shadows.  The thing is killing them off one by one.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29 at 9/8c – The Night Before Halloween starring Bailee Madison and Anthony Lemke (Marcus Boone from Dark Matter)

Synopsis:

A Halloween prank goes wrong and unleashes  a monster that tracks down  all the participants. It will kill them all unless they can divert the murderous creature to someone else.

SyFy has gone all out to make this years 31 Days of Halloween as scary as possible.  Tune in and catch up on Mister and Martin in Stake Land 2 or to see just what Anthony Lemke gets up to when he is not Number Three on Dark Matter.

Or stop by to see Johnny Depp in that barbershop.

With plenty of scares on offer, there is a lot to choose from. Stop by or compete in the contests.   The celebration starts 1 October with  The Crooked Man.

Blindspot: Hero Fears Imminent Rot – Brotherly Love (Review)

Blindspot - Season 2

Blindspot starts with a bomb going off in a taxi, killing the woman who was just talking about doing something illegal, and finds Jane a prisoner of Shepard and Roman.  “Hero Fears Imminent Rot” is about issues of trust, teamwork and brotherly love.

It is a  brothers love that initiates the bombing crusade across the city and it is Jane’s brother, Roman, who wants his sister to follow orders. His love, however, will not stop him from taking Remy out if she cannot “come back.”

Weller is concerned when Jane goes offline. Nas tells the new assistant director to stand down as Jane learns that Shepard does not trust her anymore.  Jane must pass a test; she must kill an old contact who failed to deliver.

Edgar is coming to grips with the realization that he was a victim of Jones as a child. He is also shaken to learn that he blanked that part of his childhood out.  This new awareness  of suppressed memories has him very concerned.

Jane has to kill the  contact who failed to deliver what he promised. She must pass this test to regain Shepard’s trust. Roman reminds his sister that the Remy he knows is a stone cold killer.  He relates a story about pet rabbits.

Weller and his team try to stop the multiple bombs from exploding across the city.  Patterson works out how to track the bombers via their tweets and Jane cannot murder Jeffery.

Roman kills the man instead.

Later Roman lies to Shepard and says that Jane killed the man.  She is then welcomed back into the Sandstorm fold.

Meanwhile bombs continue to go off, killing more innocent people with each explosion.  Using Patterson’s tracking system they stop one bomb from going off and kill a member of the two man team.

Throughout the investigation Nas and Kurt are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  The NSA agent is consistently working at cross purposes with Kurt and it endangers their  latest mission.

Jane makes a mistake and is told to set the next excursion out. The last bomber takes hostages and threatens to blow himself and his prisoners up.  Kurt goes in to talk him down and Nas shoots the man dead with a sniper rifle.

Blindspot - Season 2

Weller is furious.

He reads Nas the riot act again and tells the woman that they need to start working as a team.  Nas clearly has a hidden agenda as she listens to Jane’s sessions with Borden. Sessions that are meant to be confidential.

Borden’s romance with Patterson gets off to a shaky start as the technician gets cold feet about their date. Finally, after a pep talk from Zapata, Patterson gets back on the dating train.

The psychiatrist can speak Arabic, which he initially denied, but Patterson  puts that behind her as they kiss.

Later Patterson approaches Nas with information about what Jeffery was working on.

Weller and the team pay a silent tribute to their dead boss Bethany Mayfair.  Jane learns from her brother that he may have covered for her but he expects her to put Sandstorm first.

It is abundantly clear by now that Jane’s old group really are the bad guys in this scenario.  They all shoot first and ask questions later.  Roman reminds Remy/Jane that she is a natural killer and that this is what Shepard expects from her daughter.

Blindspot - Season 2

Blindspot this week showed that Kurt still believes in Jane, Shepard now trusts her daughter again but Roman is not overly pleased with his sister. He wants the killer back.

The series airs Wednesdays on NBC.

CAST:

American Horror Story: Chapter Three – Croatoan (Review)

Sarah Paulson as Shelby Miller

Chapter three of American Horror Story: Roanoke cranks everything up  a bit.  In rapid succession there is the grizzly barbecue murder of Lee’s ex, the appearance of Cricket and Lee’s arrest for the aforementioned murder.  Matt is also caught shagging, Lady Gaga’s “woman of the wood” or whatever she is meant to be.

(It is interesting to note that in the backstory segment,  where Thomasin is saved in the woods, that the “sprite” turns out to be white. Surely at a time when white settlers were very much in the minority, would not the spirit of the forest been a Native American? Specifically a Croatoan?)

White manifest destiny issues aside, the third episode sees tensions between the Miller’s  and local police escalate. The family help the cops search the woods and Lee finds the first clue.

A dead baby pig is found wearing clothes. The creature has been decapitated and its arms, legs and tail have also been cut off.  The limbs and head are still there.

Shelby and Matt join Lee in the search for Flora and many other dead pigs and piglets are found. They follow the trail of pig bodies to a house of horrors. Later they stumble across an old  barn where they find two lads. The two youngsters are feeding from a sow  a’la Romulus and Remus.

Mason, Lee’s unpleasant ex husband shows up, makes some threats and then later accuses Lee of spiriting their daughter off and hiding her.  The angry ex pushes Lee to the floor and then storms out.

Later he will be found stretched out on a wooden structure burnt to a crisp.  Matt and Shelby discover that the CCTV cameras have captured Lee leaving after Mason departed and that she was gone for four hours.

Shelby wants to  tell the police but Matt dissuades her.

Cricket, a psychic, shows up and tells them he can find Flora.  He claims have connections with prior FBI cases and his bona fides check out.  He discovers the White backstory and the house’s connection to Roanoke.

Thomasin White was left in charge of the “missing colony.”

Because of a dispute she is banished and left to starve while the colony plan to make their move further inland.  White is visited by an attacking wild boar, aka pig and saved by the white spirit of the woods. Eating a still beating pig’s heart changes White into something else.

She returns to the village and kills two of the town’s planners sparing her son Ambrose.  Thomasin is now known as “The Butcher” and it is her spirit, along with her followers who haunt the land.

(Sidenote: Listening to both Wes Bentley and Kathy Bates speak in this episode their accents appear to be a type of northern English. Perhaps a Yorkshire background…)

Cricket, who is the Zelda Rubinstein in this Poltergeist homage, turns out to be helping the Millers, not out of the kindness of his heart, but for $25 thousand.  Matt is not amused and he orders the small psychic out of his house. 

Lee later pays him the money but Cricket still does not deliver. Instead he  tells the distraught mother that they must appease The Butcher and they broker a deal with the spirit in the woods.

Matt goes missing during the encounter and Shelby finds him having sweaty sex with the spirit of the woods. This act is being witnessed by two hillbilly types who are clapping their hands rhythmically.

Shelby returns home and Lee is arrested by the local police. Apparently Matt’s wife showed the CCTV footage to the cops and now Lee is suspected of Mason’s murder.

Chapter Three of American Horror Story had a number of dead pigs on offer. (So much so  it is surprising that Murphy and co have not put up the disclaimer: “No pigs were harmed in the making of this production…”)

There are a number of theories about how Murphy and Falchuk are tying in each episode of this season to prior seasons. Variety  have some interesting  theories and tie-ins about season six.

The one problem with this “tying in theory” is that the one thread that held all the seasons together, until five, was Jessica Lange.  Since she is not appearing in this season either, the theory may never be fully realized.

Meanwhile, back in Chapter Three of American Horror Story: Roanoke, Lee has been arrested, Shelby is very angry with Matt and he is confused about  everything.

American Horror Story airs Wednesdays on FX.

CAST:

 

Special Guest Star – Lady Gaga

Lethal Weapon: Surf N Turf – Gas, Guns and Explosions (Review)

1lw-102_22-dm_0158_f_hires1

Move over Gibson and Glover, Riggs and Murtaugh have been dominated by Crawford and Wayans.  After blasting out of the starting gate with a brilliant pilot Lethal Weapon has followed up with an excellent second episode.

Guns, gas and explosions dominated “Surf N Turf” but the show was not all about an action packed car chase, shootouts or even the many nicknames given to the new team.

(Surf and Turf, Starsky and Hutch, Crockett and Tubs…)

It was about backstory, dammit, and that is one reasons that this version of Lethal Weapon works so well. The decision to make Martin’s deceased wife an unspoken character in the show is a good one. It gives Riggs a bit more depth.

The writers and McG (A man that could do clever action films in his sleep.) have come together to create a show with the perfect combination of humor, tragedy and ’80’s style action.

Riggs, with the poignant memories of his dead pregnant wife, is slightly crazy with grief, but he is also  adept at humor and quick repartee. Big screen Riggs was loud  and Crawford’s is less in your face and quieter.

He is also funnier and more caring.  Another difference is that his interaction with Dr. Cahill are not the misogynistic sneer featured in  the films.

This may have more to do with the changed nature of Cahill. She is a strong figure in this scenario.  Not a bumbling, ineffectual educated idiot as depicted in the films. In essence this version of the psychiatrist  is not  a comic relief figure.

Wayans, as mentioned before, is also different. Much less the “stick in the mud” and more a guy concerned for his heart. As the senior partner he tries to bring some sanity to the proceedings but Murtaugh in this setting is more than ready to rise to Riggs’ challenges.

The stunts are impressive. In the second episode of Lethal Weapon Riggs dives off the top of a building with a woman in his arms. The impetus of the leaping jump carries the two of them across a road and through the window of another building.

Is this even remotely realistic? Of course not, but it is very impressive and looks fantastic.  Besides, who cares if this could really be done or not, this is an action TV show, not a documentary.

Once again, the chemistry between Wayans and Crawford is brilliant. These two could still entertain if they were playing shoe salesmen.   It is this, along with the writing and the storyline that keeps the show moving.

It has a brilliant combination of comedy and action. The show also sneaks those “lump in the throat” moments in with ease.  These poignant moments are the frosting on this cake and they make Lethal Weapon more than just the recreation of a favorite 1980’s “buddy” cop film.

In this episode, Riggs sells his family home in Texas and it sends him into a brief downward spiral.  Roger is upset that his new partner misses his baby back ribs.

Both detectives are in trouble for the cost associated with their last bust.  (A splendid comic scene where the two men irritate their boss Avery with an attack of smart arse.) They are then sent to investigate a noise complaint that turns into a case of murder, smuggled weapons and a damsel in distress.

An ATF agent; Bennett Hirsch, arrives to find the gun. He turns out to be a villain who is smuggling the government weapons to the highest bidder.

The partners chase down the bad guys, blow up a fireworks warehouse and save the endangered witness. They also bond over the experience and go back to the biker bar where Riggs is beaten up at the start of the episode.

Lethal Weapon is close to perfection as escapist entertainment. It is a type of bromance that features plots that feel huge and sentiments that are touching.

More importantly, the series feels like a film.  The action, the sets, stunts, and production quality screams movie.

And it is brilliant.

Kudos to the cast and mad props to guest star Kristoffer Polaha (last seen as Caleb Brown on ABC’s Castle) who gave good bad guy in the limited time he had onscreen.

Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays on FOX.  Catch this brilliant new series.

*Warning* You  may feel the need to pop some corn, open a beer and kick back in the recliner for this almost filmic treat.

Cast:

Guest starring  Kristoffer Polaha as Bennett Hirsch