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

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.

 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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…”

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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. 

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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.

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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)

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

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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

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.

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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)

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.

Superstore - Season 1

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.