Lucifer: Monster – Oily Balls (Recap/Review)

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Lucifer is on a downward spiral after killing Uriel and in “Monster” he acts out against Chloe. She is not happy with Lucifer’s “new”  attitude. So she reprimands him and “benches” her partner. It is not just Chloe that Lucifer strikes out at, he also targets strangers and Linda Martin.

Morningstar is not the only one suffering. Amenadiel feels as much guilt as Lucifer. Charlotte is dealing with her son’s death quite calmly and Maze is not bothered at all.

The episode begins with  a “zombie” themed wedding. The bride and groom are about to take their vows when shots ring out. The groom is wounded but the bride is shot twice and she dies.

There appears to be a sniper running about.

Dan actually ends up working the case with his soon-to-be ex. Lucifer spends all his time wallowing in guilt. Drinking and playing the piano or acting very inappropriately at the crime scene. He spends most of the episode breaking rules and ignoring protocol.

Following clues, Morningstar and Chloe end up at a Dutch food truck.  As Decker questions the van’s owners, Lucifer orders, quite loudly, Oliebollen, aka Dutch donuts, which explains mean literally “oily balls.”

(Major points to Tom Ellis and the writers for this episode for having Lucifer pronounce “stroopwafels” correctly.)

As Lucifer stands shouting out his order, the sniper shoots the van owner’s partner.  The death barely registers with Lucifer.

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Chloe laying down some ground rules.

At home Chloe is beginning to regret house sharing with Maze. She comes into the room to find Trixie giggling and being pushed in a “sex swing.”  She lays down some ground rules and Mazikeen reluctantly agrees to them.

Charlotte takes a grieving Amenadiel out to where Lucifer buried Uriel.  They talk and the angel gets angry with his Father, who he says should have prevented the death and the issues with Lucifer and Charlotte.

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Later, as  Decker gets more involved with the case, she has to ask her “roomie” to take Trixie trick or treating.  Again, Maze reluctantly agrees.  She helps the kid change costumes and the two do very well at candy gathering.

The sniper turns out to be a military man whose wife died from cancer. He is punishing those he holds responsible. Dan and Chloe rush to save the last two names on the killer’s list.

Lucifer turns up, after drunkenly telling everyone in Lux to leave, and stands in front of the sniper’s target. He demands the man shoot him.  The sniper shoots all around Lucifer and Chloe gets the drop on the killer.

Chloe  tells Lucifer that she does not believe him to be bad at all. He explains that she really knows nothing about him

While trick or treating Maze intimidates the people giving out sweets and later, at Trixie’s urgings, dons her own costume. Trixie loves it.  After the case is solved, Chloe returns home to find both Maze and Trixie asleep in front of the television.

Both of them have apparently gorged themselves on candy and the film playing on the telly is Nightmare on Elm Street.  Chloe covers the two sleeping beauties up.

Lucifer goes to see Dr. Martin and he apologizes for being so horrible to her before. She insists on total honesty or the sessions will have to stop. She tells Lucifer to show her his real self. He agrees to this request and does so.

Hiding his human countenance, Lucifer appears in his true form complete with those red eyes. Linda says nothing. She stares in complete silence, quivering like a frightened rabbit.

Lucifer leaves.

“Monster” brought out the best in the script writers and the actors on Lucifer. Morningstar’s explanation behind his grief was brilliant. He  explains that he has never killed anyone.

He has only ever punished the dead, he says, not the living.  Amenadiel’s anger at their Father, is really anger at himself. He lost his powers because of his reluctance to take action. (That and his having sex with a demon.)

Looking at the previews to next week’s episode, it appears that Linda may finally believe that Lucifer is the devil.

Lucifer airs Mondays on FOX.

Cast:

Delusion (2016): A Long Time Coming (Review)

David Graziano as Frank Parrillo in Delusion

Written and directed by  Christopher Di Nunzio (A Life Not to Follow, Under the Dark Wing) Delusion is a slow dark look at the grieving process set against an urban backdrop. There is a mixture of the paranormal and a touch of evil as a man tries to come to grips with his wife’s death. 

David Graziano is Frank Parrillo, a widower who is still haunted by the death of his wife Isabella (Carlyne Fournier) three years previously.  Frank has just received a letter from Isabella, written before she died. This posthumous delivery starts Frank on a journey of self discovery and could lead to the possible corruption of his soul. 

Frank’s search for closure takes a long time.  He speaks with a psychic who does a card reading. She warns him about a new person in his life. She will not, says the card reader,  be good for him.

Parrillo is, as Graziano plays him, a middle class “everyman.” A older chap going through his mid-life crisis alone. Frank tells his nephew early on that he likes younger women.  A fact made clear when he flirts with the young waitress at the diner.

But Frank is a nice fellow. The waitress flirts back and her older customer is delighted that he can connect with her.  It is Parrillo’s “nice guy” actions  that sets him up for a possible fall from grace.

While Parrillo is eager to laugh and joke in public, at home his demeanor is very different. He is plagued by odd dreams and he meets the woman that the psychic warned him about.

Mary (played by Jami Tennille) is unsettling and mysterious.  She and Frank connect but it is clear that they do not really fit.  Tennille gives her character an unnerving personality that vacillates between being interesting and frightening.

Jami Tennille as Mary
Jami Tennille as Mary

Delusion is very slow paced and quite surreal. However, since Di Nunzio is looking at the process of grieving the loss of a loved one, it should be. Grief itself may eventually become a cathartic experience but it always a long time coming.

Everyday tasks and events become surreal in the face of that looming gap. “Seeing” the lost family member, or that sense of expectation where we expect to hear their voice or to see them come around a corner.

Di Nunzio  has taken the mentally tasking experience of grieving the loss of a spouse and given it a supernatural noir touch.

Frank struggles through his days with the aid of medication. He still hallucinates  and relives special moments with his dead wife.  Between his constant memories and the skull face woman he keeps seeing, it brings up the possibility that Parrillo may be imagining the whole thing.

A man in a black suit and red tie pops and there is every chance that this elusive character may have designs on Frank’s well being.

Horror fans who expect jump scares will be disappointed. Although at least one scene will give the viewer a bit of  a start.  Delusion  is more about the mental processes we go through and focuses on the un-nerving and unsettling  aspects of what may or may not be real.

The title says it all. Frank may well be suffering a delusion. After all, these sorts of things are not real.  Or are they?

Having only recently discovered the existence of Graziano he has become a personal favorite in a short space of time. He brings a high level of truth to his portrayal of Frank and it is his presence that keeps the viewer watching.

If there is any complaint about Delusion it would be the pacing. Even though it is understood that this may have been done to echo the real process of dealing with loss, the film does drag a bit.

It is an interesting look at one man’s struggle to deal with his wife’s death.  We get the impression at the start that Frank has been doing very well. The letter from his dead wife changes all that.

Delusion is a solid 3.5 star film.  Had the pacing be that little bit quicker and some of the supporting actors a tad less wooden, this would have been a full 5 star effort. The storyline and Graziano make the film work as does Nunzio’s firm directing and crisp editing.

Christopher tells us that Delusion is still be on the festival circuit.  It will be screening at the Shawna Shea Film Festival on 11 November. The film  just finished being screened at the Hudson Valley International Film Festival in August and Action on Film International Film Festival In September.

The film has been picked up by Cinema Epoch for distribution and is avail to watch via Amazon.com. It will be available on more platforms very soon.

Delusion – Official Trailer from Christopher Di Nunzio on Vimeo.

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Elementary: Henny Penny the Sky is Falling – Poison Ivy (Review)

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A mathematical wiz is found murdered with a fireplace poker shoved through his chest in Elementary this week. “Henny Penny the Sky is Falling” has Holmes and Watson trying to find out why the man was murdered and who did it. Along the way, Holmes gets a bit of poison ivy on his wrist and he and Watson are put in for an award.

Although  the award, which was a citation actually, is for the entire unit. Holmes requests his name be taken off the thing as he had a bad experience with awards while working with Scotland Yard. Watson, however, is completely up for being included.

“Henny Penny the Sky is Falling” is the 100th episode of Elementary and while this is an impressive milestone, the show did nothing spectacular for its century episode.  The plot centered around the murdered man’s claim that the scientific world were looking at asteroid size all wrong.

The supposition was that the composition of the space rocks had been ignored, thereby making size prediction inaccurate.  As Holmes and Watson question various witness they also bicker over the award.

Holmes is upset to learn that Joan is all for it. The duo agree to disagree about the award. While Sherlock is adamant that he wants nothing to do with the ceremony he does show up at the end.

This was a touching episode, in terms of the relationship between Joan and Sherlock. He explains that their status has changed. He now loves investigating cases with her and she is a positive motivator.

The investigation  has Holmes and Watson questioning the victim’s boss, Mitch Barrett. (Played by Richard “John Boy” Thomas) They learn that the dead man was dating his bosses wife. Other things learned by the two included the discovery of a dead drop which yields up a thumb drive.

They learn that the paper written up by the dead man was a fraudulent bit of work. It contained just enough information to  keep companies waiting for a decade. The premise also changed the face of asteroid hunting to asteroid mining.

After questioning Barrett’s wife, they learn of a cabin in the woods and find what went into the paper. Holmes gets a rash, caused by poison ivy and it is this that solves the murder.

The duo question Mr. Huber, the murdered man’s partner in crime, and it is revealed that Huber had gotten the Russell’s suitcase covered with poison ivy. The itchy plant grew all around the dead man’s cabin.

Sherlock works out that it was Huber who killed Russell. The pair also learn that the entire paper was about the more profitable prospect of asteroid mining. This was the motive for killing Russell.

By the end of the episode, Huber is in cuffs and Holmes opts to attend the citation ceremony after all.

Elementary left any reference of Shinwell Johnson out this week.  It focuses instead of the relationship of Holmes and Watson and their reaction to the award news.

While it was a bit of a letdown, in terms of this being the 100th show, the episode was entertaining nonetheless.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS.

Cast:

Guest starring Richard Thomas as Mitch Barrett, Owain Yeoman as Julius Kent and  Gordon Clapp as Deputy Chief Prosky.

Secrets and Lies: The Daughter – Searching for Rachel (Recap/Review)

 JULIETTE LEWIS, BRENDAN HINES

In Secrets and Lies this week Eric continues searching for his wife’s killer and Danny, the NYPD detective, is still looking for his daughter Rachel. The two men have a falling out when Eric realizes that Danny is working with Cornell.

Neil is held for questioning about the escort he took to Eric’s party. Before that, Cornell comes under pressure from Major Bryant to take on a partner. Like all fictional cops, Cornell works better alone and says so.

Later, however, it looks like Detective Ralston may meet Cornell’s expectations as a potential partner. Bryant certainly notices that the dour homicide detective works well with Ralston. This may crop up later as an enforced partnership.

Cornell gives Eric Warner his dead wife’s mail. She points out that one of the letters is a delinquent mortgage notice. By the end of their short talk, Eric angrily tells the detective that he married a woman he knew nothing about.

Eric finds Patrick talking to Neil and he confronts his friend about lying. Clearly there is something going on between Patrick and Neil that Eric knows nothing about.  It would not be too surprising to learn that Patrick, who has a drink problem and is unable to keep a secret, knows more about Rachel and Kate than he is letting on.

Patrick joins Eric on a trip to Boone. The mortgaged house that Kate paid off without her husband’s knowledge is located there. So is Kate’s mother.

Cornell and Ralston pull a sting on Carly and bring her in for questioning. Apparently the escort is a favorite of the police department as a number of cops avoid her gaze as she heads back to be interrogated.

The call girl is not a cooperative witness although she does corroborate Neil’s alibi.  Carly gives up nothing else and she refuses to acknowledge the presence of Rachel, even though the two are in a selfie together.

Cornell puts Carly on hold until she can question her further. However, when she returns  the call girl has been released by someone high-up in the department.

Patrick lets the cat out of the bag about his sister’s marital problems. Eric apologies to Amanda and he tells there are too many secrets in the family.

Eric and Patrick meet Kate’s mother, the  woman that she told Eric was dead, and he learns that Kate’s past  is full of even more secrets.  Cornell talks to Amanda and reveals that she knows Eric and Patrick are in Boone.

Warner learns about Jake, Kate’s mother’s boyfriend that she “stole”  at the age of 16. The man is her son’s father. Eric and Patrick go to see him. Eric accuses Jake of rape and hits him.

They talk after the assault and the funniest part of the episode was Jake’s wife. She leans down, before he talks to Eric,  and tells him:

“I heard what was said. We will talk later.”

The woman’s tone indicates that her husband will be in the doghouse for a  long time. After the meeting, the brothers go home. In the parking garage, Danny approaches Eric asking for help.

The detective’s demeanor has changed drastically. The aggressive and bullying man has disappeared. In Eric’s apartment, as the two men talk, Amanda arrives. She reveals that Danny has a warrant out for his arrest. He left in the middle of a huge drug bust trial and is a crucial witness.

Major Bryant confronts Cornell. She goes on the offensive by demanding to know why her witness; Carly, was released. Bryant reads his best detective the riot act and tells her to arrest her informant, Danny.

In this little exchange we learn more about Cornell. She has daughter and they apparently do not get along.

There have been complaints about the second season of Secrets and Lies. Many feel that after the show lost its original source material (the Australian series it is based on only lasted one season) it has floundered amid the use of stereotypical tropes and a weak storyline.

Detective Cornell, despite her grim visage, is an interesting character. Her dour and almost aggressive approach makes her different from most TV cops. With such anti social tendencies it is no wonder that she works better alone.

While there is no clear suspect as yet, it does look like Kate’s dear old mom could be someone with enough anger to push Mrs. Warner off the roof. Although Eric’s temper, and his being on the roof, makes him a close second.

Secrets and Lies airs Sundays on ABC. Tune in and see if Cornell arrests Danny and whether the investigation comes up with a better suspect.

Cast:

Masters of Sex: Topeka – Behind the Glass (Recap/Review)

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This week’s episode could quite possibly be the highlight of season four.  Masters of Sex “Topeka” follows Bill and Gini as they go undercover to stop pseudo specialists using their techniques.  On top of them protecting their legacy, a number of other things come to light.

Bill and Gini try to attend sessions seperately and learn that all the imposters will only see couples. They change their plans and got to Topeka as a “married couple.”

They leave the clinic in Nancy and Art’s hands.  After Bill and Gini leave Austin comes in and pushes to have his penis pump “patent pending” advertised in the reception area.

Art and Nancy treat the Clavermore’s.  His case history is used by Bill and Virginia in their undercover counseling. Back at their clinic, Nancy moves to have Mr. Clavermore partner with her and Art to open their own clinic in New York.

Art is outraged.

Guy is thinking of being a volunteer for the homosexual study to be run by Art.  Nancy uses what Gini told her about her husband to manipulate him into leaving the practice.

She tells him that she hates swinging, copying how Art really feels about Nancy being with other men, and later goes to have sex with her partner from the coat party.

Lester punches Austin Langham after he talks about Lester’s wife, who he had sex with as part of the Masters and Johnson study. Linden tells Guy not to volunteer. “It changes you,” he says, “having sex behind the glass.”

He knows from bitter experience that this is true.

Meanwhile, Libby and Abe continue to see each other. During lunch, Abe’s crown is cracked by a walnut shell in his food. Libby wants to sue.

Libby learns that Abe is still married to his third wife as he refuses to negotiate with her. She wants his suit of armor and his grandmother’s jade earrings.

She talks to his wife and manages persuade her to let him have the armor in exchange for the cadillac.  Abe is overjoyed and impressed.

In Topeka, Bill and Gini put on disguises and meet the local specialists.  After the first session they are allowed to return to their hotel room to “practice.”  Virginia tries to get Bill to join her for dinner but he has other plans.

Dody arrives. She and Bill talk about what happened 30 years ago and it appears that they both assumed too much.  Bill learns that she never got the roses or his proposal letter. Dody is distraught as she really thought Bill just left with no explanation.

After they talk, she wants to have sex and Bill explains that is not why he wanted to meet with her. Dody is crushed.

Outside the Topeka hotel room, Virginia has trouble with the ice machine and Dody’s husband helps her.  She is outraged that he has allowed Dody to meet with Bill in his hotel room.

Gini is upset with Bill, jealous that he is with Dody and in the morning she confronts him.  Suddenly Gina realizes what she put Bill through.

“I’m so sorry,” she says softly.

The second day of the undercover session ends with a reluctant Bill agreeing to have sex with Virginia behind the glass. As they go through the “treatment” Gini whispers to Bill that she loves him.

Lizzy Caplan was magnificent in this episode.  Her anger when she spoke to Dody’s husband and her reaction when talking to Bill later were spot on.  Later, when they have sex for the faux specialists, we believe that she really does love Bill.

Kevin Christy also knocked it out of the park in this one. His impassioned plea and the story of his wife’s change after participating in the study was heartbreaking.

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Nancy and Art

“Topeka” was also about the reality of Art and Nancy’s marriage.  The way she manipulated him, using what she knew from her talk with Virginia was so coldblooded.  It was a sad moment and one that showed Nancy’s true colors.

It will be interesting to how Virginia’s declaration of love changes Bill’s actions.  He is, after all, a little slow on the uptake.

Masters of Sex airs Sundays on Showtime.

CAST:

Guest starring  Teddy Sears as Dr. Austin Langham, Charles Shaughnessy as Mr. Clavermore and  Lisa Banes as Mrs. Clavermore.