The Expanse: Godspeed – Eros Shrugs (Review)

The Expanse - Season 2

The Expanse “Godspeed” manages yet again to make blood pressure levels rise as the Nauvoo is launched toward Eros and the Roci responds hostilely to another ship found to be attached to the space station. Chrisjen outmaneuvers the deputy secretary and Julie Mao’s father and despite the best laid plans of Col. Johnson, and the OPA belters, Eros shrugs its way out of the Nauvoo’s path.

This episode manages to put enough suspense in the last few moments of the destruction of Eros that it turns into a nail biting exercise. Miller’s decision to die while  holding the damaged explosive device and its timer was enough to keep everyone on the edge of their seat.

The action building up to the move to blow Eros into a million little pieces of protomolecule space debris shows the mechanization behind stopping a war and the decision to control the spread of the new life form.

Chrisjen shows once again what a masterful games person she is. Deftly playing Jules-Pierre Mao against Deputy Secretary Errinwright. She does such a good job that later in the episode Mao reveals to his accomplice Sadavir Errinwright that she knows they are working together.

Mao cuts off the partnership after telling Sadavir that he is too concerned with his own governmental position to be useful.

Miller has convinced Col. Johnson to destroy the Eros using the Mormon “ark” Nauvoo.  The two eject the religious denizens and using the OPA troops outfit the ship and set it up for blast off.

Meanwhile Diogo and Miller are put together, along with more Belters, to help the Eros to detonate with some well placed explosive devices. The former cop and the lad who sold water before still have that fluctuating love/hate relationship.

When Miller opts to stay behind and manually blow up the last device however, it is clear that Diogo’s estimation of the ex cop has gone up considerably.

As Holden and his crew oversee the operation they find  another ship tethered to the Eros. A group of medical personnel have landed, they say, to offer aid to the suffering people on the stricken space station.

The leader of the group recognizes that the Roci is a Martian vessel and thinks that Holden and his crew are Martians. Holden tries to bluff the man into leaving.

Miller finds one of the medical staff from the ship in an airlock on Eros. The man has been infected with the protomolecule and now Holden must stop the medical ship from not only transmitting what they have found but stop them from leaving.

With a threat of more contamination from the medical crew, Holden blasts the other ship into oblivion.

Even with the slow build up to the final moments of “Godspeed” the ending, with the slow near miss of the Nauvoo and the realization that the Eros space station dodged the collision, was tight and darn near exhausting to watch.

After getting set to see Miller self destruct via the explosion of Eros, it was surprising to see him get a reprieve. (It was also a surprise to see Holden and his  crew ready to risk their lives to save Miller.)

The Expanse has managed to continue on the same vein as season one. It intrigues, entertains and sets the pulse racing in the quiet of space. The protomolecule has clearly moved the space station out of  harm’s way and it is, apparently, getting stronger and more intelligent by the moment.

The series airs Wednesdays on SyFy. Tune in and catch this popular and addictive show about Belters, Martians and folks from Earth all on the  edge of going to war while a new life form threatens everyone’s existence.

Cast:

Face Off: All Stars ‘Snow Queens’ – Snowflakes (Review)

Face Off - Season 11

This week’s challenge borrows from “Narnia” and “Once Upon a Time” to present a theme of Snow Queens. The Face Off All Stars come to the lab to find that while it may not rain in Southern California, it can snow. At least with the aid of McKenzie Westmore and the magic of Hollywood.

The group are pretty excited by the snow, some of them, like Emily Serpico have never seen the white stuff in real life so feelings were pretty amped even before McKenzie dropped the challenge on the group. She explained how each queen would be based upon a snowflake hidden in the snow and that they only had two days to create their frozen masterpiece.

Before the design phase though a spirited snowball fight was in order and Keaghlan Ashely almost lost her trousers after an attack. One contestant who did not want to get involved with the cold wet stuff was Gage Hubbard who made threats if any snowball came in contact with him.

After the over exuberant battle the design work began with each team coming up with a cross section of creations that included, dark, evil and one vision “under ice.”

It was then time to shift into the sculpting phase. Ben and Evan have issues as it seems that each team member is sculpting to a different design. Ben is worried. This “disconnect” has caused both men to question their approach.

Michael Westmore comes in and dispenses advice. Telling one team beware of using too much ice cracking for fear of making the model look like a jigsaw puzzle. Michael tells another team to leave out the teeth and yet another to be careful of the weight of their cowl.

The teams move on to the molding phase. Gage and Rachael opt for a lighted icicles feature. Niko and Cat have their work cut out for them as they both are not overly skilled in fabrication. And Emily admits that she has never seen “The Breakfast Club” much to the amusement of her fellow All Stars. This prompts everyone to try and find out just how many “iconic” films she has not seen.

She finally snaps, “No. Shut up,”  when asked about “The Lost Boys.”

Face Off - Season 11
Emily Serpico

One new technique used a lot in this challenge was the vacu-form process.  This went toward making icicles and a snow queen scepter. Logan and Adam have a molding crisis when their cowl cracks in the back. Despite the chance of leakage, the two opt for silicone for that translucent look.

Cat realizes that the quick turnaround time of the challenge is making her start to second guess her decisions.

On application day the models arrive and Keaghlan is pleased with the work that she and Melissa have done so far. Stig and Evan have to work overtime to get the paint sorted before applying that translucent silicone face piece.

Ben is still worried about their creation though and when the time has ended for application Evan is concerned that they have not done any of the required makeup. This means that their work in last looks will be intensified.

At the end, Niko is worried that their creation may not work as well as he and Cat anticipated.

Face Off - Season 11
Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville Page

After the judges had a closer look at the creations Logan and Adam, Keaghlan and Melissa, Cat and Niko and Emily and Tyler were the best and the worst this week. Everyone else went backstage as the four teams were questioned by the judges.

All three judges loved what Adam and Logan did with there creation and the stencil effects. Cat and Niko did not fare well at all in their cross examination while Emily and Tyler blew the judges away with their design and its execution.

Keaghlan and Melissa’s creation sent mixed signals to the judges who felt it looked too masculine. The judges then went on to discuss their findings. Clearly Adam and Logan as fell as Emily and Tyler were neck and neck favorites.

At the end of the debate, Emily and Tyler were the clear winners with a makeup and design that reached heights of the sublime. As Ve Neill said earlier the creation could have walked right on to a film set.

Sadly, Cat and Niko let the side down with their “uninspired” choice of using the Statue of Liberty as their template. Although Glenn mentioned that their work is usually much better this time around their decision got them sent home.

Emily and Tyler now have immunity for the next challenge.

Face Off - Season 11
McKenzie Westmore

Face Off: All Stars airs Tuesdays on SyFy.

 

 

 

 

 

The Path: The Red Wall – They’re Listening (Review)

Aaron Paul in The Path

The big climatic points in this episode of The Path “The Red Wall” had to do with Sarah pretty much selling her soul to get the needed funds to help the people of Clark and Eddie finally admitting that he was part of a cult.  Amazingly, Cal moves back a step to normal, but that is only after a check comes in to take the pressure off.

The sting operation fails because, as Abe points out, Lisa Jackson (their ace in the hole) was not properly vetted. Despite the Meyerist’s claiming to be all good and promoting a blameless life in the “light” they tape all the “unburdening” sessions.

Turns out that Lisa joined the cult, way back when, after killing a kid in a hit and run accident that she never reported. Rather than help the Feds to bust Cal, and Sarah, she folds when Lane starts to play the incriminating tape. Lisa passes on a note, “They’re listening.” This stops Sarah’s act of blackmail cold and ends the short meeting.

As a result the movement does not get that badly needed  tax exempt status and Cal now knows that they have an outsider in the organization. This will place Abe in jeopardy and could result in more unraveling of the group’s hierarchy.

Eddie’s arc continues to be the most interesting, followed closely by Mary’s and Sarah’s. For someone who realized, belatedly, that “there is no light” while still having visions of Steve and the late leader’s realization that Cal was the wrong choice to lead in his absence, Eddie is still one of the best members of the group in terms of guidance.

When Sean comes to see him, after the revelation from Mary that the child she is carrying is most likely not his, Eddie calms the distraught young man and helps him to return to his wife and profess his love for her and the unborn child.

Mary is still torn, presumably, between her infatuation with Cal and her new “love” for Sean. She is, self-admittedly, a damaged person who hurts those around her. Her struggle, however, has now become Sean’s as well but it may just be a matter of time before she succumbs to Cal’s pull again.

Sarah, without Eddie in her life, is taking a darker path. Cal Robert’s opening up and showing her Silas’ body has affected her deeply and she is reacting accordingly. She still loves Eddie but her place and fractured belief in the movement is tearing her apart.

In the meantime, Hawk is getting ever deeper into the spiritual side of the movement although he is not spending as much time with Cal as before. The boy is still, however, fascinated and attracted to the older woman in his life, Noa.

As this season plays out, it looks like Eddie may be the only one to come through in one piece while his family, the movement and Cal may fall completely apart. The big concern is for Abe as he looks to be dangerously close to losing whatever momentum he gained by going undercover.

The Path airs Wednesdays on Hulu.

Cast:

Guest starring Megan Byrne as Lisa Jackson

Sleepy Hollow: The People v. Ichabod Crane – Molly Saves the Day (Review)

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Sleepy Hollow “The People v. Ichabod Crane” is centered around a demonic monster whose powers take the guilt of a chosen subject and use it against them.  A despair monster created to push their victim’s to kill themselves.

The black substance that attacked Crane in last week’s episode turns out to be the device by which the victim is captured. Crane is found, later in the episode, by Jenny and Diana, in a cocoon. He is held here while the drama plays out in his head.

Diana and Jenny are  becoming almost a permanent team, as are Alex and Jake who have a close call with Jobe. The episode’s highpoint was the reappearance of Kiwi actor extraordinaire John Noble as Henry Parrish.

In all honesty, this was a slow paced and somewhat boring episode. Any “courtroom” debate, whether it be of Crane’s own guilt or not, is going to drag. It was Noble’s interaction with Mison’s character that kept the entire thing from slipping into a sleep inducing event.

The further bonding of Jenny and Diana was interesting, but it really only served to solidify their partnership and to reveal Thomas’ Marine background, “Simper Gumby!”

Sleepy Hollow uses this episode to show Crane’s deep guilt over those he cannot save, on top of his guilt at losing Abbie. It also solidifies the bond between Ichabod and Molly, who saves him in the end from the despair monster.

Alex appears to be getting caught up in Jake’s enthusiastic acceptance of Crane and his mission. She may be the more pragmatic of the two but even Jobe’s disintegration of the Smithsonian guard does little to dampen her newfound ardor.

The trial of Crane was easily the most lackluster bit of the episode.  Even the saving of Ichabod was anticlimactic. Each episode so far has put Diana in the role of reluctant acceptance of Molly’s fate. Partnering her with Jenny has pretty much guaranteed that Agent Thomas was going to cave in sooner or later.

Little is seen of Dreyfuss, although his personal boogeyman and minion makes his presence very well known in this episode. We do know that Dreyfuss’ plans are on schedule and that things will become very busy for Crane and his little cadre of followers.

The show is not the same without Abbie Mills and that is probably a good thing. Although it would be nice if the former witness was allowed to return sometime in the near future. If the grown cop could be disposed of after three seasons a child surely will not last long at all.

Diana may well step in for Molly, as Jenny has for her sister, but it will not be the same. (To be fair, Thomas feels like a Mills clone sans the witness role.)

Sleepy Hollow airs Fridays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring John Noble as Henry Parrish, Kamar de los Reyes as Jobe and Onira Tares as Grace Dixon.

The Mick: The Balloon – Sully (Review)

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Just when it seems that The Mick cannot get any more outlandish than “The Grandparents” episode along comes “The Balloon.”  A clown named Sully, a bad balloon, the family competing to see who can throw Ben the best pretend birthday party and Chip trapped on a shetland pony all combine to blow Granny Hitler out of the water.

The episode begins with Ben suddenly swallowing everything he can get his hands on and mouth around. Mickey takes him to the doctor who tells his worried aunt that everything should pass. At the appointment, Mickey realizes the kid is acting out because his parents are missing.

She also learns that Ben had a birthday the previous week and no one said anything. At home, while Jimmy cuts his toenails and the rest of the family watch television, Mickey goes off on Sabrina and Chip for not remembering their brother’s birthday.

Jimmy saves the day by suggesting that they tell Ben his birthday is the upcoming weekend and that they throw him a party then. Everyone agrees and Mickey tells Jimmy to find someone like the legendary Sully the Spectacular from their childhood days.

Mickey and Alba come in the house with a giant birthday cake and they practice their “happy birthday” rap. As they head to the back garden, they find that the entire place is full of balloons, rides, games and a slew of kids. Mickey also notices that Ben is not impressed by any of this.

Jimmy arrives with the Sully, who looks pretty bedraggled. Both Sabrina and Chip are derisory about the older clown until he “rips a bird right out of the air.” Sabrina is slightly less impressed but Chip is awed by Sully’s talent.

Sully is sent in the house and Mickey tells Ben to tell his guests to head in to see the clown. The kid phrases it a bit awkwardly “Hey guys, go in the house and get a clown to blow your butt.”

Chip tells Sabrina that he has gotten Ben the best gift ever, a real pony. Sabrina goes to bring the party back outside while Chip signs for the animal. He has the delivery man help him on the back of the pony. The thing takes off with a panicked Chip trapped on its back.

Sabrina finds that her brother is missing and so is the pony.  She goes back in empty-handed and as Mickey is sarcastically telling her off, Alba tells Mickey that there is a problem.

The entire family, sans Ben and Chip, head upstairs to the bathroom and find Sully passed out in the tub. He has a syringe case and a spoon on the tub beside him.  Everyone suspects the worst and Mickey pulls a load of balloons from Sully’s mouth.

At the end of this long stream of balloons is one filled with something. It lands on the floor and Ben swallows it. Mickey send Jimmy out to find some syrup of ipecac and he comes in with a bottle of booze.

Mickey then “goes in” by shoving her fingers down Ben’s throat. Everyone, but Ben, starts gagging. Meanwhile Chip makes it back to the party on the shetland pony. The tiny horse is out of control and heads straight for the birthday boy.

Jimmy saves Ben by throwing himself in front of the running pony. Sully comes down  and starts eating the birthday cake. He explains that he is not a drug addict, he is diabetic.

Ben finally throws up the balloon and everything works out for the best. At the end of the episode, Ben swallows something else.

The Mick this week was hysterically funny. The scene in the kitchen where Mickey has her fingers shoved down Ben’s throat and Sabrina stands there gagging was comedy platinum.

So too was Chip on the back of the “out of control” pony.  “Just kill me now,” he says miserably as the animal heads where it wants to.

This episode was a perfect example of just how well this show works as an ensemble piece.  Everyone had at least one, if not two, star turns.  Sofia Black-D’Elia and Thomas Barbusca killed it this week. D’Elia’s emotions flashing across her face during the “Do you want me to go to jail,” scene and her face in the kitchen was just brilliant.

Barbusca, on the back of the tiny horse, was beyond funny.  Olson as usual effortlessly knocked it out of the park, as did Jimenez and MacArthur. Jack Stanton, as Ben, managed to make his character funny, confused and weird all at once.

The Mick is easily the funniest thing that FOX have come up with in a while. (Even better than The Grinder.)  If you are not watching this irreverently  funny comedy right now, you should be.

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Thomas Barbusca mining comedy gold on the back of a pony.

Cast:

Guest starring John Ennis as Sully the Clown.