Falling Water: Ambergris – The Boy (Review)

 Falling Water - Season 1

It now seems that the common denominator in all the dreams is the boy. Falling Water “Ambergris” reveals just why Bill is fascinated by dreams and sharing them. We also learn that Isla, who seems to like smoking crack cocaine, can read minds.

As the episode progresses, Burton, who is apparently not getting much sleep, learns that the land deal is actually worthless. He realizes that the mineral rights offer is a front for Tess’ boy. He also finds out that Isla can see Olivia, aka the woman in red.

Taka meets with Bowen and  Sabine asks him if he is willing to continue their arrangement.  He is also told that Kumiko, his mother, is lost in her own dreamworld.

Tess enters into Bill’s dream (“one time.”) and they  run into the faceless men.  She runs off and Bill goes back into the building to confront the creatures.

Bowen meets with Charlotte and agrees to let her see the boy. In this sequence he is much younger, but clearly, this is the same youngster; Tess’ son.

Out of the three protagonists, Tess and Burton are both suffering from their dreams. Taka is seemingly unaffected by his interaction with the dream world.  Tess tells Bill that she feels tired and out of sorts.  Burton does not admit it but he is suffering similar symptoms.

(Although his state of distress does not affect his ability to exercise.)

Falling Water - Season 1
Tess

Bill tells Tess about his twin sister slipping into his dreams when he was a boy. She also learns that Bill’s sister died when she was 16. Burton quits the company he is working for and Isla comes to visit him.

Olivia, it seems, is being held prisoner and in Burton’s dreams she demands that he rescues her. By the end of the episode she is revealed to be on a filthy floor, tied up and and motionless.

The dreams of  each person in this trio continue to merge with reality. Burton, however, seems to have more blending than the other two. His life appears to be one long interwoven dream.  Isla, at one point, tells Burton that this all a test to see how powerful his dreams are.

They are, she tells him, very powerful.

Andy’s body is found in the dumpster. Taka is called in  for his “international” connections. Andy was from Iceland and he was supposed to be in prison for murder.

Taka meets with Bill to ask about the dead man. As he is leaving, Taka sees Tess. They both recognize each other as they  have been sharing dreams.

Apart from Tess’ son appearing in all of their dreams there appears to be another constant, a teddy bear, wearing a red sweater, is another item that shows up in all their dreams. Those green sneakers also appear to be making appearances in each ones dreams.

In the dream that Tess shares with Bill, they are initially on a school bus. Bill tells her that he has to sit with his sister.  The back of a girl’s head can be seen a few rows forward in the bus. Bill tries repeatedly to sit with her but cannot.

They leave the bus and enter a house where a piece of art by Taka’s mother; Kumiko, sits in the middle of a small room. This artwork also appears to the others. Taka sees it, as part of a book asking about ’80’s artists who have disappeared.

It is Burton who has the weirdest experiences this week. Although he did have some odd dream sequences in the previous episode, this week his dreams were so well merged that everything the head of security  did seemed like a dream.

When Burton takes Isla to get her fix, she vanishes out of the backseat of the car they are in. Before she does, however, she notices Olivia and says that the dream woman is beautiful. Burton gets out of the car to talk to her and Isla is gone.

Later she turns up in Burton’s apartment.

Investigating Andy’s death, Taka goes to the airport lost and found section  and looks in the dead man’s suitcase. Inside the small bag are hundreds, if not thousands, of those blue handbills. Each one has a picture of Tess’ boy and the words “His name is…”

Falling Water continues to feel like  a murky version of either Inception or Dreamscape. In the meeting between Burton and H. Robert Arnot, the latter talks of influencing someone’s dreams.

Each episode of this quirky series needs to be watched a number of times to catch all the nuances and messages on offer. It is, despite being quite addictive, hard to follow at times.

Falling Water - Season 1
Taka.

It is interesting to note that of all the dreamers, it is the tough nut; Burton, who is suffering the most. Taka is too focused on searching for clues to be too affected.

There are so many questions that need answers. Who is studying Burton’s dreams and why?  Why is Tess’ son’s age different to different people? And finally, what is Kumiko’s connection to all this?

Falling Water airs Thursdays on USA. Check this one out if weird and quirky is your cup of tea.

Cast:

Falling Water: Castles Made of Sand – Green (Recap/Review)

 Falling Water - Season 1

In Falling Water “Castles Made of Sand” the dreams continue to merge with not only the three protagonists but with the real world.  Green, for example, appears in the dreams and real life. Taka notes that all the suicides wore green trainers (sneakers) as does Alice when the detective  chases her in the woods.

Green is the colour of the tennis ball that Woody is bouncing to the boy (Tess’s son.) and later in the episode when Burton opens the suitcase on the bed, it is full of green tennis balls. He bounces one as he talks to Olivia.

Like last week’s episode, had a common theme of the Belgian businessman, who was the Belgian Ambassador in the dreams. This week it is the colour green and those tennis shoes.  There are other things the dreams have in common however. Like “The Boy” who randomly appears in the various dreams.

The dreams in “Castles Made of Sand” have altered from the previous dreams. Tess dreams of dancing with Javier Mendoza who is dying. Taka has a dream that literally comes true and Burton learns he can affect his dreams, although it does take him a while.

At the start of the episode, Andy is quickly shaving off his beard when Anna Marie shows up. They talk for a moment and Anna drops her bomb, the boy, Tess’ son,  is missing.

Tess goes to visit Javier Mendoza and shares a dream with him. In the dream she gives him the drachma referenced in their conversation.  They embrace and start dancing slowly.

A faceless man comes up behind Tess and drags her away from Javier. She fights with the thing and plunges a pick axe into its chest. Later in the episode the missing Andy is found in a dumpster with a bloody wound in his chest. He is wearing the same outfit as the faceless man in Tess’ dream.

In another dream, Tess runs into Levon who is selling forget-me-nots in the restroom. He grabs her and gets really quite vicious with her. She manages to get away.

Taka speaks with Alice, the girl with the green sneakers, and her psychiatrist. He learns very little but what she does pass on is disturbing. Some unsettling things emerge during the Q&A.

The detective mentions a detail from another dream, where the Belgian ambassador is suffocated with a bag over his head. Alice’s eyes widen in recognition.  Later she mentions overweight politicians eating ice cream, which is what the man was doing in Taka’s dream.

After the session, which Sabine sat in on, Taka dreams of psychiatrist.

He is watching Sabine in some sort of peep show set up. She is on the other side of a window and takes her clothes off, except for her high heels and underwear. She also leaves her blouse on, but unbuttoned.

She moves to the bed, which puts her almost out of Taka’s site line, removes her panties  and, taking out a vibrator, begins to masturbate. She asks if he can see her and not to move.

After Taka wakes up, he stops in a cafe to have some cake and a cup of coffee. He looks up and sees Sabine ordering some parties from the coffee house. The two talk and Taka winds up having a date with her.

At the conclusion of their night out, Sabine invites Taka in. She has him stop at the stairs leading to her bedroom and stop. He can see her through the  bannister.

She has chair placed in front to a peep show in her bedroom. She removes her knickers and asks if he can see, mirroring what happened in his dream. Then, just as she did in  the dream, Sabine turns on a vibrator and begins to masturbate to orgasm.

Disturbingly, as Sabine climaxes, Taka’s mother screams out.

Burton has now realized that he is dreaming and that he can control it to a degree. The woman in red, Olivia also appears to realize that he is dreaming. Burton dreams the same dream three separate times  and each one  ends differently.

After acknowledging that it is indeed a dream Burton turns and opens the suitcase on the bed. It is full of green tennis balls. He begins bouncing a ball and the rhythmic sound confuses Olivia. She then disappears.

He then spies a blond woman watching everything. Burton chases her down through  steam filled corridors and eventually catches up to the woman.

The merging of the dreams are becoming more frequent. So too are the “leaking” of each person’s dream into real life. Taka and Sabine’s masturbating while he watches. Burton mentioning the restaurant Marcello’s and Woody’s apparent  recognition of the place and his tossing a green tennis ball to Burton as he leaves.

There is Eddie in that dumpster bleeding from a chest wound. Clearly he was the faceless man in Tess’s dream. And finally, there is the blonde woman who was watching Burton and Olivia in his dream. In real life, she turns up as a prospective buyer of whatever the Belgian is selling.

As usual, this episode keeps switching  so quickly and effortlessly between the dream sequences and reality that it is hard to distinguish the two. The character who orchestrates the experiments that Tess takes part in was a background presence this week.

Bill Boerg appears in the sequence where Tess dreams of the faceless man the first time. He is also there when she wakes up, hours after the rest of the test subjects awakened and left.

Show creators Blake Masters and Henry Bromell have managed to come up with a formula that is oddly addictive.  Despite, or perhaps because of, the difficulty in keeping what is real and a dream separated, Falling Water is nigh on impossible to stop watching.

So many questions are waiting to be answered and more keep appearing with each new episode.

Falling Water airs Thursdays on USA. Tune in and get caught up in this world of merged dreams, mass suicide and Topeka.

Cast:

Falling Water: Episode 3, Monsters Most Familiar (Review)

 Falling Water - Season 1

Falling Water sees the three main protagonists becoming aware of their dream sharing. “Monsters Most Familiar” deals with the question of why we build our own boogeymen. It also continues the blending of dreams with reality.

Taka still sees his comatose mother everywhere while searching for answers to the mass suicide he discovered.  Those green tennis shoes (trainers) are cropping up everywhere, even in the shared dreams.

Perhaps more importantly the imagery in the shared dreams are also cropping up in the real world.  The huge clear bowl of vanilla ice cream been served to the Belgian Ambassador for instance.

Firstly, the waiter, Woody, tells Taka that the desert of for the ambassador. Secondly, the mound of ice cream with what appears to be chocolate added, is an obvious allusion to the man’s real life drug overdose.  Even more to the point is that girl Taka follows into the bar and restaurant takes a white plastic bag and uses it to suffocate the ambassador in the dream.

In the bar Burton hears Woody tell the bartender, after ordering pretzels, that he is allergic to peanuts and “froths at the mouth like a rabid dog.” Later, on the corporate plane, Woody repeats the line in real life, verbatim.

Clearly the bar is an interchange or bridging point in the in the dream.  Burton has been dreaming of the place for some time. Now we have Tess and Taka entering into Burton’s dream. It must be his as Burton meets his dream lover here at the start of the series.

Apart from the merging of each person’s dream world into a shared world of dreams, each individual has something odd and off-kilter about their lives.  Burton has a love affair with a woman who only exists, it seems, in his dreams.

Burton’s job is also quite odd, working security for a firm that specializes in the weird and wonderful.

Falling Water - Season 1
Burton

Tess grew up being psychoanalyzed to the nth degree and finally had a nervous breakdown. Tess was hospitalized for an extended period of time and she does not get along with her sister. She and her mother also have an odd relationship.

Taka sees his comatose mother everywhere but she is clearly only in his mind. The cop does see the fliers with a picture of Tess’ son and the words “His name is…” written underneath.  (Later Burton sees the same phrase on the back of a business card.)

The detective follows the green sneaker girl to a clearing in the woods where she and other cult followers throw the ashes of the 12 dead people in the air. Following a woman who leaves the group and enters  into the woods, he sees his mother again.

Later the woman calls Taka and reveals that she knows he saw his mother in the woods.

Everything about this series is quirky and disjointed. Boerg and his team experiments are, it seems, bleeding over into everyone else’s dreams.  Taka and Burton are having their dreams merge and now Tess has entered the picture.

Both Burton and Tess have something in common with their dreams.  Burton sees his dream lover taken away.  It is disturbing and it upsets him. Tess, in her most recent dream, has a faceless man chasing her.

She is attempting to find two years worth of records that she has no recollection of. Taka wants to solve his suicide mystery and Burton wants to know who the woman is in his dreams.

Falling Water is fascinating. Despite being a little confusing with all the dreams and dreamlike reality it is an addictive experience.  Watching each episode unveil a reality versus the dream state it is difficult not to get wrapped up with each scene as presented.

Every single event in this new series has an unreal feel to it.  Series creators Blake Masters and Henry Bromell have are presenting what feels like a dream within a dream times three.  

Falling Water airs Thursdays on USA. Tune in and try to follow this odd series.  Be prepared to re-watch episodes to find the connections. Like the Belgian ambassador in tonight’s episode there are more ties between the three protagonists.

Cast:

Falling Water: Calling the Vasty Deep – Purity of the Data (Review)

 Falling Water - Season 1

The second episode of Falling Water “Calling the Vasty Deep” continues the shared dream storyline. Not just with the group Tess has joined in Bill Boerg’s organization but with Taka and Burton as well. The dreams continue to bleed into real life and the little blond boy, Tess’ son, appears to the players outside of their dream state.

Burton continues to dream of the restaurant and the bartender (Hammond) reacts to Burton talking about his date being kidnapped. “No, that was a dream, this, is a dream,” the bartender says.

Tess continues to search for her son with Bill’s help and she finds a charge of $10 in a hospital, for the epidural, but the place has no records for her there.  Taka takes evidence from the crime scene where the 12 people killed themselves and brings it home.

He buys an album by the artist who drew the picture of the boy. At home Taka shoves his feet into the green trainers and turns on the vinyl  record. The music to the song sounds odd, like it is being played backwards and it is oddly catching.

He dreams about the blonde boy and seeing his mother attacking an art piece. When he wakes, Taka opens the album and sees his mother on the middle cover art. He visits her and spies a girl in green trainers (sneakers). He  follows her but is told to leave the room.

Tess dreams with the group for Bill but only connect with Levon in the dream. The connect outside of the experiment as well although they are not supposed to “for the purity of the data.” Later Bill catches Tess leaving Levon’s place but does not kick her out of the group.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to spot the dream sequences. Sometimes is is easy, as when the water drops fall up or when movements are clearly backward.  (There is short scene where Burton caresses a woman’s hair and the move is actually filmed in reverse. It jars and feels out of place.)

The emphasis in this episode was on water. Burton walks through water that is spreading across the bar floor. Tess and Levon play in water on the roof and she walks through patches of the stuff later on.

The sharing of dreams continues.  When Tess’ son runs away from the faceless men in the dream, he ends up in Taka’s dream. All the scenes feel dreamlike, with the exception of Bill and Tess’ encounter toward the end of the episode.

Taka and Burton both seem to be constantly in some sort of dream state. The detective moves through his dreams and Burton mainly  watches everything happening in his.

Tess’ son moves through both worlds easily, the dream state and the waking one. Those blue sheets of paper with his face on and the phrase “his name is” is in both places.

Falling Water continues the weird disjointed feeling associated with some dreams and it is still difficult to tell when things are real.  The scene where Levon comes to pound on Tess’ door was one such segment.

As he beats on the door to be let in, Tess flings open the door only to find no-one on the other side.  This scene, like most in the episode feels like a dream that has intruded into the real wold

Falling Water airs Wednesdays on USA.  Tune in and learn the significance of the boy in the series and see if they can break him out .

Cast:

‘Queen of the South’ Season One Finale: Cicatriz – Scar (Review)

 Queen of the South - Season 1

After last week’s episode, where Brenda stupidly brought up the subject of her son, “Cicatriz”  moves the future Queen of the South closer to her evolution from chrysalis to butterfly.  The season finale threw many things into the mix, including the shocking revelation that Guero is still alive.

He is also, apparently, either an undercover agent for the DEA or he has turned into an informant  for the US agency.

Theresa is questioned by her old would-be rapist, Gato,  who now has a huge scar on this face after she shot him.  Camila gathers her new employees for a meeting. Epifanio is now the Governor and after speaking with Mendoza, threatens action against his wife for stealing his men.

Gato  intends on taking up where he left off and Theresa takes him out permanently this time. Pote (Hemky Madera, who tried to stop Gato (James Martinezfrom raping Theresa the first time becomes a reluctant  ally.

Epifanio uses his newly acquired military forces to attack Camila’s new business associates, killing one and capturing another. The men’s “families” and soldiers are murdered as retaliation for Camila breaking away from him.

Theresa forces Pote to drive her to get Brenda from El Limpiador. She calls Camila after learning about Epifanio’s move against her. Mendoza tells Mrs. Vargas to meet her at the Higueras farm. After the call Pote decides to help Theresa.

James comes to grab Camila and get her out of Mexico. Instead he goes with her to meet Theresa at the farm. Isabella and Camila have a big falling out and the girl is sent back to Epifanio.

Cesar, who was marked for death,  manages to kill his guard and escape.

At the farm, Pote helps Theresa overpower the men guarding Brenda.  She finds her friend tied up in the garage, dead.  El Limpiador returns to find his men dead and Theresa shoots him to death.  She then buries Brenda.

Epifanio murders Xander, one of his former head’s that  he had kidnapped, in the back of his car just before a press conference. He tells his campaign manager that he needs a new tie.

Camila arrives with James. The two women talk and Theresa reveals that she no longer works for Camila and that she has a list of demands.  As the two women talk someone in a ghillie suit is taking their picture.

At an office in the US, a DEA agent  lays down the picture of Theresa and asks,  “who is she?” The person looking at the photograph is Mendoza’ former boyfriend Guero.

The season finale of Queen of the South increased Theresa’s body count significantly. She now has three notches on her gun and  a new right hand man in Pote.

Mendoza has made her move, with the aid of Guero’s book and a pistol, and will clearly start working with Camila instead of for her. Epifanio has declared war on his wife and will not be very pleased to learn that Theresa has escaped again.

It will be interesting to see if Camila’s prediction about Cesar, aka Batman comes true. Will her husband turn on his right hand man and sacrifice him?

The biggest shocker in the finale was Guero sitting in an office alive and not dead.

Brenda’s death, while upsetting, was pretty much on the cards from the first episode.  The woman may have had a certain amount of business smarts and cunning, but she also suffered from an innate naivety that got her killed in the end.

Theresa is now set to begin her rise as the new queen of the Dallas cartel and next season should show a significantly different Mendoza.  Braga was good as the lead character and the rest of the cast managed to shine as well.

Kudos to the show’s creators M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller for a splendid adaptation of the telenovela original.  Queen of the South will return in 2017.

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Guest starring Jon-Michael Ecker as El Guero