11.22.63: The Day in Question – Loops (Review)

The finale of 11.22.63 The Day in Question is a heart breaker. After all the trouble that Jake an Sadie go through, the yellow-card man reveals that there are loops, something that he mentioned the day before Oswald tries to kill Kennedy.

Jake and Sadie in 11.22.63

The finale of 11.22.63 The Day in Question is a heart breaker.  After all the trouble that Jake and  Sadie go through, the yellow-card man reveals that there are loops, something that he mentioned the day before Oswald tries to kill Kennedy.

These loops, as they say, are a deal breaker. But more about that later.

Jake and Sadie face increasing obstacles as they try to stop the assassination attempt on the president with faces showing up from their past. Johnny Clayton,  Frank Dunning and Billy Turcotte all appear as part of the past pushing to stop the couple from saving JFK.

It is not just the dead that try to keep the past from being altered. The living also attempt to stop Jake and Sadie, the man at the depository door (Bonnie Ray Williams) is unsure of whether Oswald is on the sixth floor or not. Jake tells Sadie that the past is pushing back the man’s memories, changing history as they live it.

The two enter the building with minutes to spare and have to run up the six flights of stairs.  (On a sidenote, who ever it was who ran up those stairs in heels – Sarah Gadon or her stunt double – must be in excellent shape.)

All of  the build up to the couple stopping Oswald is handled well, the running and fight with Lee and Sadie being shot are all white knuckle moments. Even those who have read the book will get caught up in the action.

Lee is stopped, Jake interrupts him after his first miss and after some tense hide and seek, Epping leaves  Sadie to stay  in one spot. Jake and Lee fight and Oswald gets shot with his own weapon. Jake then discovers Sadie has been injured  and he rushes to her.

Sadie dies.

The Dallas police and the FBI arrest Epping believing that he was trying to kill the president.  Agent Hosty intervenes when  the Dallas Police via Captain Fritz tries to railroad Epping and then becomes concerned when Jake tells Hosty  about being ordered to burn Oswald’s letter.

In the middle of Jake’s interrogation the president and first lady call to thank him for his efforts. Epping is released  and he returns to Lisbon, Maine. Before going back to 2016,  Jake promises the dead Sadie that he will make things right.  When he returns to the new future  he finds Al’s diner is gone and the city is in ruins.

He comes in contact with Harry Dunning who relates, rather vaguely, that Kennedy caused the ruination of the US after serving two terms, after which President Wallace took the office. Jake returns to the ruins of Al’s diner where he is accosted in the rain.

He falls back into 1960 and sees a young  Sadie in a car with her two cousins. He follows her to a diner and starts to introduce himself when the yellow card man shows up outside the eatery. Jake goes to talk to the man who says that Sadie will always die no matter how many times he returns.

Epping returns to 2016.  Jake is  just going through the motions of teaching, even Jake’s students notice something is wrong. When Harry comes in to say that he did not get the promotion, Jake apologizes for not helping and cries while hugging the janitor.

Looking up Sadie on the Internet, Jake discovers that she is being honored at Jodie and he attends the ceremony. The two dance and just as she did when Jake met the young Sadie in 1960 she realizes that she knows him.

While  11.22.63 did not encompass all the trips that Jake takes in the book, it did manage to keep the tension tight and it ran  along the same lines as Stephen King’s novel. That said, there were some things that did not track well.

For instance it is never explained how the president knew about Jake saving his life.  Overall, however,  the show entertains.  The ending is a real tear-jerker.  The decision to have “old Sadie” not be portrayed by Sarah Gadon in old age makeup was a good move, making the young Sadie’s appearance all the more effective.

James Franco played Epping brilliantly.  His ability to have the audience feel his stress and tension at being in the “wrong time” and his grief at losing Sadie sold the show, as did Gadon’s performance as his soul mate.

The one annoying thing is the “loop” issue brought up by Kevin J. O’Connor‘s character.  Obviously the man is speaking of his daughter when saying “she always dies.” Yet Jake takes the man’s information to mean  that Sadie will always die.  While the reason Epping gives up in the book deviates is arrived at via different route, it does not matter, the downbeat ending of both stories is equally upsetting. 

Kudos to Bridget Carpenter for a  great adaptation of King’s book and  may this re-telling go down as one of the more successful on offer.  The final verdict on 11.22.63 is that this was a five star tale. It followed the premise of the original material well enough and the viewers cared about all the characters.  

So that in the end as the viewer watch that final dance,  a plethora of emotions arise while one reaches for that damned tissue box.

Well done Hulu.

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Saviour Day – Hey Jude (Recap/Review)

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Saviour Day moves things that bit closer to the end of the world and it appears that everyone is prepared to lie about that day. Except, it seems, Father Jude. While the world waits to see if Saviour is going to work, Frankie proves the power of the child and Celine makes a decision.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Saviour Day moves things that bit closer to the end of the world and it appears that  everyone is prepared to lie about that day. Except, it seems, Father Jude. While the world waits to see if Saviour is going to work, Frankie proves the power of the child and Celine makes a decision.

Layla and Jamie put up flyers about the missing Frankie. General Gaines and Scotty take the president into the command center to watch the missile hit the comet.  McNeil has  good gag with a banana and a muffin which he uses  as a visual aid.

Jude and Celine are interrupted by Father Christophe (Anthony Howell) and the sister hides in the closet. The two discuss leaving the church and Jude says they must wait until their mission is over.  

Frankie (Grace Taylor) may not necessarily be the new messiah, but she quickly discovers Ariel’s breaking point, mess and noise, after playing her version of 20 questions, and promising to wet herself repeatedly, till her evil uncle snaps.

Ariel: “Oh my God! Do you ever shut up?”

The tiny messiah has won and the evil twin goes to give her all the sweets she wants.  To be fair, Ariel does bring it on himself, after all, what child likes to eat peas?

Layla and Jamie discover a head-sized box by the canal where Frankie went missing.  The couple see the box:

Layla: “Jamie look…”

Jamie: “Have you seen Seven?”

Layla: (Angry) “How’s that helping Jamie? How’s that helping?”

Jamie: “No, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”

They open the box and find a balloon and a letter. The former has writing on it saying that Ariel wants Layla/Hawkwind back and the letter includes instructions on what he wants, in poem form.  Layla reads the directions and then goes on:

Layla: “Then it gets a bit porny…No, make that very  porny.”

Layla comes up with a plan to rescue Frankie by having Jamie take his wife hostage.

Celine is caught leaving Jude’s room by the mother superior and she tells the sister to make a choice. Jude, who Father Christophe called to a secret meeting is approached by his new wife and she tells him how she feels and what he needs to do.

Jude tells Celine they will talk later. Rhonda learns that now she is in a military prison, she will most likely be shot for treason. Layla pumps up Jamie to play the “snapped” good brother as he does not believe that Ariel will buy it:

Layla: “Jamie, I hate to break it to you, but you are absolutely 100 percent the type to snap.”

Jamie pulls it off.

Jude attends the meeting and learns that the church’s hierarchy plan to lie to the people and assign a false messiah. Disgusted at his fellow clergy, Jude removes his dog collar and quits.  As he leaves, the leader of the group gives Father Christophe a sign, it looks like Jude’s fate may be sealed, since they want their decision kept  secret.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
General Gaines, the US president and Scotty

At the command center, Scotty, Gen. Gaines and the president wait for the rocket to reach the comet.  After impact they wait to see if the projectile has been knocked off course. The impact takes place and the room breaks into wild celebration.

Celine makes her decision to go back into the order and leaves Jude a letter.

Layla and Jamie meet Ariel at the carpark where he was left by Mary. Layla quickly runs down things he needs to know, like Frankie’s giraffe outfit, she has spares and so on. She reveals that she and Frankie watched the videos that Jamie made while he searched for his wife.

Ariel arrives, with a bomb.

Ariel: “Looks like you brought a gun to a bomb fight, Jamie. School boy error…School boy error.”

Jamie wins, with help from Frankie and then Layla. Ariel runs off blinded by the mace after also being kicked in the b**** by Layla/Hawkwind. Although it is close. Ariel actually overpowers his twin at first, but Frankie’s sick(vomit) keeps the detonator from working.

Saviour does not work. When the news is announced it turns out that the clergy are not the only ones prepared to  lie. The command center personnel are rounded up by armed guards as the world is told via the media that the mission was a success.

The order of nuns that Celine returns to are dancing and drinking in celebration of the news about Saviour working.  Jude arrives and leaves a message for Celine, he hands the dog collar over to the mother superior and asks her to give it to his wife.

Jude: “I have always wanted to visit a convent and this is exactly as I hoped it would be.”

The president addresses the world and Scotty asks if he is okay doing this. The American leader replies, that he is fine, he has “done this a million times.” The implication being that he has lied to the public that many times. Brilliant.

Rhonda reacts jubilantly at the news that Saviour worked.  During the president’s speech  we see the captive command post personnel, Jamie, Frankie and Layla and also  Rhonda dancing around her cell.

Jude is in his room waiting for Celine, his door opens and he turns expectantly. Scotty and Arnold Gaines hug while the general cries, Rhonda shouts that she loves her brother and Celine enter’s Jude’s room to find his body hanging from the ceiling.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Gracie Taylor and Mathew Baynton.

Standout Moments: 

Frankie, after discovering her uncle’s achilles heel looks at him coldly and dispassionately. She then launches into the world’s most annoying siren noise. This is followed by the promise to wet herself, twice and that he will have to clean it. This breaks the OCD villain  down completely.

Frankie, again, projectile vomiting all those sweets that Ariel gave her; all over him.

Layla telling Jamie that he is the nicest man she has even known, then asking him to be a “d***.”

Jude telling it like it is at the secret meeting: “Am I the only one with the b*** to stand up for the truth?”

Layla, again, spraying Jamie in the eyes with the mace in the car.

The president doing tongue twisters to warm up before this speech.

Final Thoughts:

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Saviour Day is a roller coaster episode. The end of which should have had the viewer in tears.  Brilliant comedy throughout the proceedings and then a rapid series of sucker punches, leaving the viewer saddened and reaching for that damned tissue box.

#YMATA has been ended after one season, but there are still a few episodes in this one to go yet. There is the question of just how all the people spotted in Jamie’s prologue, from that bunker in Slough, get there.

With two episodes left, much is left for the survivors to do. You, Me and the Apocalypse airs Thursdays on FOX. Tune is and see if Jude is really dead…Or did he overpower Father Christophe…Or is that wishful thinking?

Face Off: Smoke and Mirrors – “That’s so Cool” (Review)

This week’s Face Off: Smoke and Mirrors once again moved to the darker side of fantasy and while Mel Licata did not win this week, she did get a “That’s so cool” from her model.

Face Off - Season 10

This week’s Face Off: Smoke and Mirrors once again moved to the darker side of fantasy and while Mel Licata did not win this week, she did get a “That’s so cool” from her model. This could actually describe the whole challenge.  Using the motif of witches who have their facade peeled away to show their evil visage was a touch of “dark Disney.”

After The Gauntlet II, where Michael Westmore was given a break from being adviser, the makeup legend made a comeback.  At the start of the episode McKenzie introduced the contestants to the challenge outside the “incredible” Lobo Castle and she explained that, like the well known saying, beauty is only skin deep.

The castle door opens and seven stunning models, made up as beautiful evil sorceresses, came out and were picked by the remaining seven contestants. Rob was excited that he got the “dragon queen” as he made the instant connection of castles and dragons.

Mel picked the “Temptress of Flame” and it is this model who reacted so enthusiastically to the artist’s makeup choice later in the program. Walter Welsh wound up with the “Emerald Empress” one of the choices he really did not want. Annie picked the “Shadow Enchantress” and she was quite enthusiastic about getting started despite what she felt would be a hard job.

Face Off - Season 10
Robert’s transitional creation does not go over well.

Yvonne got the “Corpse Conjuror” and she felt up to the challenge of creating her vision of the evil underneath the facade.  Robert allowed his mischievous side take over from the start and this almost cost him dearly later on.

Michael Westmore came on with McKenzie and he looked at each draft design and, as usual, offered advice and praise to the hopefuls. Rob looked less than pleased at the idea of his sculpt looking like a “standard old-man” and he also learns, from Michael that his nose needs work.

Rob had issues with gender in that his sculpt looked too masculine and he went to Anna and Mel who helped him out with “shape” advice.  Considering Rob has two wins under his belt, and grabbed another (his third) with this challenge, it is clear that he works better when stressed.

While Rob does go on to win this challenge Yvonne came a close second with the judges remarking on her splendid paint job and use of makeup. All the panel agreed that each week she gets better and better. It is this consistent improvement that may allow her to take Rob’s current lead away from him.

Face Off - Season 10
Yvonne’s Corpse Conjuror comes a close second to Rob’s Dragon Queen.

Robert Lindsay’s impish approach to the challenges thus far earned him the “class clown” of Face Off title from the judges. This jovial attitude landed him at the bottom with Anna as the two worst looks of this challenge.

Anna, the loser in this challenge, struggled with her concept and has to do the fastest sculpt she has ever done. Sadly, despite her focus,  the final product did not match the judge’s expectations.  As Ve Neill tells the artist, it looked great from a  distance, but, fell apart close up.

Face Off - Season 10
Anna working on the sculpt.

At the end of the episode, after the “safe” contestants were sent off, it was Yvonne and Rob who wowed the judges.  While Yvonne’s painting, sculpt-work and makeup were all beautiful, Rob got his third win because of the overall quality of his creation, his “Dragon Queen” was the whole package.

Face Off - Season 10
Glenn Hetrick: “I absolutely love this.”
Face Off - Season 10
Rob’s complete package for the win.

Anna Cali may have been sent home, but as the artist told the judges, she wanted to be on Face Off ever since season one. This was a dream come true for her and Neville Page told Anna he expected to see more from her in the industry.

Face Off airs Wednesdays on SyFy. Tune in now as the final six face further challenges.

Shadowhunters: Bad Blood – Bad Decisions (Recap/Review)

In Shadowhunters: Bad Blood Clary still has the Mortal Cup and it seems that all this episode is about bad decisions versus right ones.

MATTHEW DADDARIO, STEPHANIE BENNETT

In Shadowhunters: Bad Blood Clary still has the Mortal Cup and it seems that all this episode is about bad decisions versus right ones.  The Institute is in trouble, mainly because of Clary Fray being allowed to run about rather than saying in the Institute under their protection.  An envoy from the Clave; Lydia Branwell (Stephanie Bennettis put in charge of the Institute and Simon is dead.

Although Clary’s BFF is not really dead just yet, he is a fledgling  in “transition” according to Raphael (David Castro) who brings the young man to the Institute. Apart from explaining what Simon is going through, Raphael tells Clary and her fellow Shadowhunters  that Camille, who turned Simon, is the one who broke the accords. 

Valentine begins making his move to get the cup in earnest. Sending Forsaken to attack first the werewolves and then the Institute. At each attack a former Circle member is the target as Clary’s father starts seeking revenge from all who betrayed him.

Luke Garroway (Isaiah Mustafais first on Valentine’s list and Hodge (Jon Coris number two. Clary is beside herself with guilt over letting Simon down and Raphael explains that she must either allow her best friend to transform or kill him.

Magnus arrives at the Institute after being called by Lydia to research the dead Forsaken. The warlock is pleased to see Alec still does not know how he feels about Bane.  Alec also seems pretty impressed  with Lydia.  Lightwood may be uncertain about how he feels about Magnus but  either the Clave envoy nor Bane have any doubt about how they feel about Alec.

As Clary struggles with her decision about Simon, Luke reveals that her mother, Jocelyn stuck by him after Valentine changed him from  Shadowhunter to werewolf. Another revelation has to do with Alec learning that his parents are also former Circle members.

Jace tells Clary the story of a boy and a wild falcon. The boy is told, by his father, to tame the bird and when he succeeds the man kills the creature. After Fray declares this the worst story she has ever heard, Jace reveals the morale of the tale. The boy was not meant to love the bird, just tame it.

Before Fray can choose Simon’s fate, Camille arrives to reclaim her pet mundane. Raphael, with the aid of other vampires stages a coup and Camille is destroyed. Simon is allowed to turn and when he becomes a vampire he is filled with revulsion at becoming a monster. He flees and Raphael promises to look after him before following the former mundane.

Lydia, who shared her backstory with Alec, takes over the Institute permanently and after Magnus advises Alec to follow his own heart, he proposes to the envoy. The plan being the they rule the Institute together. Branwell seems to like the idea.

It is also revealed that Luke was Valentine’s parabatai before he attacked him and turned Garroway into a werewolf.    Apart from certain “bad” decisions much more of the Shadowhunters’ world is revealed. The backstories show a lot of history and explains a lot about Valentine’s rage.

By the end of the episode, Clary obviously feels that she has made a couple of bad decisions, not telling Simon’s mother and letting her best friend turn into a vampire.  Simon is definitely not pleased about his new “state” and right now it looks like Fray has lost her BFF.

Harry Shum Jr. was not given a lot of screen time in this episode, but it is interesting to see his rather “fey” warlock again after watching his recent performance in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of DestinyKatherine McNamara is still working hard at being the heroine from Clare’s novels and only time will tell if she can completely convince fans of the franchise of her “veracity” as Clary Fray. 

Mad props to Alberto Rosende for knocking it out of the park with his transformation scene, one for the tissue box most definitely. Kudos too have to be given to McNamara for her reaction to same.  The scene had one reviewer reaching for a hanky and doing a bit of eye dabbing…

Thus far Shadowhunters continues to entertain, although it has lost that “snappy” feel from the opening episodes and moving into darker more tragic territory.  The series airs Tuesdays on Freeform, tune in and see what you think. Does the show capture Cassandra Clare’s world or is it a complete miss?

 

Shades of Blue: Good Cop, Bad Cop – Bad Continuity…Again (Review)

Shades of Blue: Good Cop, Bad Cop had me going. Tears were stinging the old eyes as Saperstein lay in his plain wooden coffin, decked out in his “police dress uniform” with a chest full of medals and then?

Shades of Blue - Season 1

Shades of Blue: Good Cop, Bad Cop had me going. Tears were stinging the old eyes as Saperstein lay in his plain wooden coffin, decked out in his “police dress uniform” with a chest full of medals and then? That pesky old bugger, bad continuity stepped in again and threw this viewer right out of the moment.

If not bad continuity it was at least someone asleep at the camera, as it were, where from one angle the dead body, “in-state” is so high in the open coffin that the actor’s shoulders are above the top of the oblong box. The camera angle changes to looking down upon the dead man and suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Saperstein’s shoulders are against the bottom of his coffin and the head which was above the box is now inside it.

In a few seconds, we are taken out of that teary moment where we consider the fate of poor Saperstein and instead marvel at his incredible floating body trick.

This is no “optical illusion” at work here, but flat-out sloppy work by someone. It could be the director, camera operator or the editor, or a combination of all three. Regardless of who may ultimately be to blame this had the same affect as the shotgun mess in episode two; “Original Sin.”

Both these continuity glare-ers take the viewer right out of the moment.  It serves to slap us up-side the head and scream:

“You’re watching a TV show stupid! Now grab a tissue and wipe your face!”

It seems that the producers hope that no-one will notice these moments that do not match, or fail to follow-through with what is happening on-screen.  Similar to those times when, for the sake of safety apparently, a character points a cocked gun at someone and in the close-up, the hammer is suddenly “un-cocked.” Then the camera  goes back for a medium or long-shot and it is cocked again. This creates an  instant splash of ice-cold reality that takes even the most imaginative of us right out of the moment.

Thanks chaps.

Leaving this moment behind, or to be more accurate moments as this grievous sin of the “floating body”  is committed twice,  Good Cop, Bad Cop tries to tie a few things up.  The “bad cops” who  beat seven kinds of hell out of Cristina’s boyfriend are given their comeuppance and (as a perfect lead-in to the emotional funeral) Santos makes things right with her daughter and the new “man” in her life.

Another tear inducing moment has Tess getting those posthumous Mets tickets from David Saperstein. The same man who she has continually piled disdain upon for being the rat. A tissue grabbing scene where only the hardest of hearts could not be moved by the dead Sap’s voice reading his note to Tess and her reaction to the message he wrote.

Warren Kole‘s handler is working oh so carefully to get under his dream girl’s skin.  His FBI Douche-bag should have dangerous stalker tattooed on his forehead, although to be fair, Jennifer Lopez‘ Harlee was aware of this side of Stahl from the get go.

By the end of the episode, Santos has opted to “roll” on Ray Liotta‘s Wozniak and the two “park cops” who beat up Cristina’s boyfriend and his pal have had some rough justice dispensed by Woz and the rest of the “fam.”  Nava also manages to insult Harlee and she says in response to his Stahl induced allegations:

“Thanks for coming all the way down here to call me a whore.”

At least mother and daughter have gotten their trust issues sorted and, for better or worse, Loman is officially a member of Woz’ team.

Kudos to Ray Liotta for dancing  like a madman as his character vacillates between “good cop and bad cop” as he attempts to lead his crew on both sides of the law.  One moment dropping motivational platitudes about being “good” and then doing the same on the “less than good front.”

Shades of Blue ends with Harlee obligating to the FBI side. She has gone over to Stalker Boy’s corner but it remains to be seen just how long she will stay there. The series airs Thursdays on NBC T.un in and see if Harlee makes good on her promise to “dob” Woz in and to see how many other scenes the show’s makers can mess up with bad continuity.