Friday, March 30, 2012

Grimm "Island Of Dreams" Review

When Grimm took a break, a preview aired for the next episode, which promised to tell the true story of Renard and Adalind. Of course, one presumes "Island of Dreams" will be an episode about Renard and Adalind and their role in the Grimm universe; however, Renard and Adalind simply settle on being the 2012 version of Lindsey and Darla in season two of ANGEL. The previews would've been more truthful if the gist had been 'the truth will EVENTUALLY be revealed before the season ends and in between will be scintillating bits involving classic art and blood cookies.' But "Island of Dreams" took another significant step in bringing Nick's secret out to the public, and if not the public, then to his doting girlfriend Juliette.

Nick and Hank are in hot pursuit of a drug addicted duo who killed a shop owner last seen in the body part trafficking episode. The drug addicted duo are Vessen addicted to a substance known as J. The effects on humans are bad; but for Grimm folk, the herb has an addictive opiate. The two criminal vessen who kill the shop owner and steal some of the J are clearly driven into a state of psychosis by the drug. Their behavior makes them dangerous threats to the good guys. The shop owner's sister comes to town to settle matters. Her name is Rosalynn and she happens to be a recovering J addict. Rosalynn is a different kind of Vessen. Her first recognizance of Nick as The Grimm results in whimpering and cowering, but she recovers herself and becomes bold with him. She specifically asks him how he can perform his job as Grimm i.e. keep his professional responsibilities separate from his personal Grimm responsibilities.

Rosalynn is a refreshing character who seemed set-up as a possible recurring character. She is the character Grimm lacks. Juliette is relegated to domestic scenes or scenes in which she accepts cherry pie from the cowardly neighbor. Adalind hadn't appeared in months. The other women come-and-go depending on the case. Rosalynn possesses essential knowledge of Grimm life; she's like Aunt Marie if Marie was a Vessen who agreed to work with a Grimm on a case involving her brother. She's brave and bold and calls Nick out on shit that no one else can call him out on. The non-aggressive Vessen cower in fear of him; his human friends and co-workers don't know about this other life he leads; Renard is the shadow in the corner, barely visible, needing more light to reveal his full frame. Monroe is the quirky sidekick whose depth is shown only when an ex-girlfriend is in town. Monroe's necessary for Nick, though, because he keeps things light and sane, which is needed, especially when Nick's other life is full of nonsense and things he doesn't understand.

Rosalynn is also a tough girl. Monroe and Nick find the criminals in the Island of Dreams, a place where Vessen go to light up and hallucinate. Nick takes down the one criminal so quickly. Monroe spots the other and calls for Nick. The other criminal confronts Monroe outside. Rosalynn swoops in with a brick and bludgeons the criminal, saving Monroe's life. Rosalynn is mentally tough as well, a recovering addict who needed to move to Seattle to find peace and contentment. I hope she remains in the show because I'm interested in watching her post-addict life and how she deals with temptations. The city of Portland alone is a huge temptation, just being back and around the old sights. But she can do good, and Nick needs someone other than Monroe to help him.

Meanwhile, Renard orders Adalind to ensnare Hank. Renard wants Nick on his side. Adalind questions why she's targeting the friend who has only rejected her advances. Renard explains, "We get to Nick through his friends." Adalind then makes blood cookies. The blood cookies are tricky treats; only Hank can eat them. Wu eats the last blood cookie and nearly dies; the poor bastard consumes furniture as an after-effect. So much time passed since Hank saved her life (I don't recall when he did and I write about the show every week) that it seemed somewhat suspect for the pretty blonde to show up out of nowhere with blood cookies. Of course, Hank is unaware of the blood ingredient. The cookies produce erotic dreams. Anyone who's seen season two of ANGEL would note the similarities between his dreams of Adaline and Angel's dreams of Darla. One should expect the season to then end in an alternate dimension called Pylea. I jest.

Nick took Juliette to the shooting range at the end of the episode. Juliette hit the target with each shot. Nick wondered what just happened. Each episode, Juliette receives small clues into her boyfriend's other life. This week, the repairman kept giving them blankets, food and free repairs to make up for the spying and stalking of the last few weeks. Next week seems to be the episode in which Juliette learns the truth. Grimm previews are deceiving though. Overall, though, "Island of Dreams" was good. Rosalynn is a great character. The intrigue between Adalind and Hank is, well, intriguing, specifically in how it relates to Nick. I still like what the show is each week.

Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt wrote "Island of Dreams" and Rob Bailey directed it.

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The Secret Circle "Sacrifice" Review

John Blackwell delivered a stirring speech to the circle members at the close of the episode which was meant to tie the thematic threads of the season together. The circle members were battered and nearly broken after their run-in with a possessed witch-hunter named Samuel, and the increasingly powerful Eben. The circle watched helplessly as Eben completed the spell to resurrect demons and become a more powerful and imposing figure for the circle, someone who very well could destroy witchcraft for all of time. Blackwell delivered his speech to console the group and to motivate them for what's to come. He spoke about the dangers of witchcraft, the harm it has caused, the suffering of anyone cursed with the gift of witchcraft, but, he realized the importance of possessing and controlling such potent magic. As with anything in life, how one controls oneself is the deciding factor between self-destruction and…well...not self-destruction.

Various episodes in the first season showed the damage witchcraft inflicted onto other individuals, whether they were actual witches or not. The boat fire resulted in the death of a parent of each teenager (except Cassie). The demonic resurrection of 1996 destroyed the life of Heather and her creepy caretaker brother. The loss of power drove Charles and Dawn to kill folk in pursuit of regaining their lost power. Blackwell is only aware of what the power did to him, but Ehrman's script relies on the audience's memory of these traumatic events for the characters as Blackwell orates in front of the circle members. The drama with Eben and Samuel taught Blackwell a valuable lesson about perspective; specifically, one's perspective about magic is as powerful as the magic itself. None of the teenagers bicker after the speech. Adam admits regret for doubting Cassie's father. The others seemed reassured by the speech. The witch-hunters will come for the circle. The circle members just need to be brave and confident in their ability to wield magic without destroying themselves or the people they love. The journey to this point wasn't ideal. There were inconsistencies, digressions, lack of direction; but the teenagers were consistently concerned about the effects of their power and in doubt enough about their ability to use it to bind the circle that this scene felt like it was a long-time coming.

The resurrection of the demons was the most urgent and immediate story in "Sacrifice." A witch-hunter named Samuel came to Chance Harbor to tell Blackwell about Eben's plan. Samuel strayed from the pack because of his reluctance to sacrifice his life for the cause. The story accomplished quite a bit as already written about in the two paragraphs above. The story also led to a big Blackwell reveal for the circle: he can use magic. Additionally, they learned about Blackwell's role in the demon outburst in 1996 which eventually led to the death of Nick, Heather and Melissa's possession. But none of the characters run in fear. If anything, the truth brings everyone closer. Eben's increasing power transformed the witch-hunters into a credible threat. Eben should retain power even if the circle discovers which witch gave him power. The magical crystals are the answer to Eben's demons. The circle simply needs to locate the other five crystals, wrest at least one away from Charles, so it's not quite so simple after all. "Sacrifice" and "Curse" injected much-needed direction into the season's endgame. It was odd for the parents to be absent only a week after the events of "Curse" but The Secret Circle must have budget constraints.

Adam and Cassie continued to deal with the effects of elixir. Their passionate love for one another is still a bit hard to accept in light of how lazy the writing was for them most of the season. The characters spend much of the episode apart. Adam's busy running a dinner for the Chance Harbor High School hockey team. Cassie is busy with Jake, Blackwell and Samuel. Cassie's hurt each time she's around Adam. His behavior and tone of voice are a far cry from the boy she still loves, and who loved her, not too long ago. Deep within him dwell feelings of rage and frustration. Melissa and Faye, who helped waitress the dinner, use Adam to help them compete against one another for the affections of the captain of the hockey team. The flirtations are innocent. The dude's girlfriend shows up. Adam freaks out. He continually asks the hockey captain if he knows how lucky he is to have love. In the backroom, after he's thrown a punch and the girls talk him down,  he admits he's frustrated because he remembers perfection with Cassie but none of those feelings he had during said perfection. It's lame and doesn't really work, but this is where the character is.

The show missed a tremendous opportunity to end the episode on an uplifting note. The episode ends on Blackwell digging up the bones of an unknown person. Earlier, though, Blackwell offers to play a game of mini-golf with Cassie. She's trying not to fall apart. The gesture is sweet and paternal. Cassie agrees to play a game with mini-golf. The writers don't return to the agreement because the scene wasn't about playing mini-golf as much as it was about their relationship deepening with trust and love. I miss the days of the old genre shows on The WB (mainly Joss' shows) when an intense story would end in a moment of fun and lightness for the characters, whether it was Wesley worrying about being paranoid, or the Scoobies eating lunch outside and enjoying one another's company. It would've been nice to see Cassie and Blackwell actually playing a game of mini-golf. TSC needs to keep their viewers hooked though and ending an episode with a cliffhanger is quite important.

However, the human element of the show is sometimes lost. Diana and Grant were involved in a story tonight about the importance of truth and trust in a relationship. It was a shallow story with a poorly developed character. In other areas, the characters are too concerned with their romantic entanglements or lack thereof. The teenage characters never seemed fond of one another. There haven't been scenes in which they just see a movie or hang-out at the Boat House or get into silly supernatural adventures. The TSC writers take their story seriously. How refreshing it would've been to see Cassie and Blackwell just mini-golfing, getting away from the intense drama of their supernatural other selves. Of course, there's work to be done to naturally portray these moments. The characters need to like one another, and the audience needs to believe they like one another. The point is The Secret Circle can be a drag to watch; its world zaps one's energy. If they just took a cue from a vampire slayer show that aired for seven seasons in regards to characterization, character interaction and dynamics, a major flaw of the series could be corrected.

David Ehrman wrote "Sacrifice." Nick Copus directed.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Vampire Diaries "The Murder of One" Review

The good guys in Mystic Falls tried once more to kill Klaus. They were armed with eleven (actually twelve) white oak stakes and the knowledge that the Originals were linked by blood and magic. Elena, Stefan, Damon, Caroline, and Matt gathered in the woods to rehearse every scenario in which an Original could conceivably be cornered and killed. The best laid plans always go awry when Originals are around though. There's an old saying about the relationship between repetition and insanity, and I'm sure the writers and the fans were feeling a bit insane with each subsequent 'failure to kill the Originals' narrative. "The Murder of One" doesn't even tease the actual possibility of offing Klaus in the nineteenth episode of the season. The One in the title refers to Finn, the lone Original to die. The murder of this one Original changes the whole endgame. That's just what TVD loves to do as their seasons wind down.

Stefan is the only character who, lucid, is on edge throughout the episode. I used the word lucid to separate him from Damon because Damon would've been the second character to nearly lose his mind when yet another hurdle appeared out of nowhere in their pursuit to kill Klaus. Damon spent much of the episode having blood drained from his body to purge him of vervain. The Original killing duty fell to Stefan. Elena experienced several moments of unease as she watched Stefan furiously stick to the plan no matter the cost to other people. Elena suggested they save Damon instead of going through with their plan to kill the Originals, but Stefan wasn't interested. The source of Stefan's rage isn't complicated--Klaus removed his humanity once upon a time--and it's not worth analyzing at depth because he wears his emotions on his sleeves. In every other area of Stefan's life, he regained self-control. Klaus has the ability to bring out the crazy side of Stefan Salvatore.

Elena's fear, unease and worry aren’t unfounded. Earlier in the year she saw firsthand what Stefan the Ripper is capable of. Also, she just watched Stefan put himself through hell as he tried to stop drinking human blood. The man can be like a severe thunderstorm. The former couple engages in a heart-to-heart conversation in the penultimate scene of the episode. It's about Stefan's behavior, their past, their feelings for one another after everything, as well as the gigantic mammoth in the room called Damon. The conversation was necessary. Stefan and Elena haven't been on the same wavelength or page or whatever in a long time. Among the refreshing qualities of TVD are the mature scenes between characters--Elena, though 17, is capable of communicating honestly with other people--and she and Stefan are able to acknowledge their love for one another; but both can acknowledge the Damon factor without resorting to the behavior of one Dawson Leery when he's behind the wheel of a sailboat. Their dynamic changed, and it'd be silly if they fell back in with one another after all that's happened. The death of Klaus might 'free' Stefan, but their conversation clearly conveyed that a relationship won't be so easy to recover.

Stefan and Elena teamed with Matt to kill Finn when they weren't engaged in a heart-to-heart talk. As they were swarming Finn, Klaus forced Bonnie into undoing the binding spell. The death of Finn did not usher in death for the remaining Originals. However, Finn's death taught Stefan and Elena a valuable thing. Namely, the death of Original results in the death of his or her line, thus the death of each sibling would wipe out the vampire species as a whole. The stakes are high. Rebekah kidnapped Damon to torture and punish him for using her last week. Stefan exchanges the white oak stakes for his brother. Klaus compels Damon into telling him the complete truth about the number of stakes in existence. It seems as if Klaus has the absolute upper-hand over the others; however, another stake is in Alaric's apartment. Unfortunately, his psychopathic alter ego whom hates vampires hid the stake from sane Alaric, which means he's in possession of the lone stake that could wipe out every single vampire.

The expansion of the Original mythology is welcome. I forgot about Klaus' original plan to leave Mystic Falls with Elena to make more hybrids. Many lives hang in the balance now. The vampires’ existence is threatened by the death of the Originals. The death of Klaus isn't a black-and-white issue either. Tyler is a hybrid because of Klaus. There's mystery about who turned Rose, because the answer is the difference between the deaths of the Salvatores re the originals, and there's also a palpable sense that any of the characters besides the Big Three could die. Of course, this is TVD where characters are killed off willy-nilly, but, for some time now, the core group of characters seem safe. The season won't conclude without a major death or two.

"The Murder of One" became an engaging episode once Sage mysteriously died after trying to beat Stefan to a pulp for murdering Finn. The first half of the episode dealt with story the writers have told before but in different ways. There were great moments within the first half though, particularly the trio of Elena, Caroline and Matt hanging out and talking, as well as Caroline's scene with Alaric in which she forgave him for killing her dad because she didn't feel more moral than he considering she killed a boy on the night she became a vampire. Caroline told Alaric that she needed to believe he's still worth saving. Obviously, the redemption of Alaric will be a major thematic thread in the final four episodes. His complicated duality is problematic, but the roots are grounded in the mythology, so it isn't a major point for criticism. As for Bonnie and her role tonight, the character's been too underwritten during the series. She's, unfortunately, which is the fault of the writers, an afterthought.

Other Thoughts:

-I forget which part of Colorado Jeremy went to. Kol the Original watched Jeremy in case he needed to kill him. Jeremy was in a park, sans jacket, playing with his golden retriever. The winter was mild throughout the country. I'd perhaps need to research temperatures in Colorado. The timeline of the season is murky. It must be four months after prank night. Anyway, I just thought McQueen should've dressed like his character was in Colorado rather than Georgia.

-Rebekah freed Damon because of her admiration for the brothers Salvatore. She used the move to provoke a reaction from Klaus about his own feelings on her as his sister. Klaus said he wanted a family more than anything but they didn't want him. Rebekah is alternately worth rooting for and then worth despising. Claire Holt's consistently spunky in the role. Rebekah's plans for revenge were consistent with a very old vampire who's stuck with the mentality of a teenager--she wanted to drain the vervain from Damon to compel him to do whatever she wanted.

-Sage died tonight, ending one of the most unremarkable runs of a 'significant' character in recent memory. What a bust.

-Caroline Dries wrote the episode. J. Miller Tobin directed.

-TVD returns April 19 with the first of its final four episodes of the season. The finale airs on May 10.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lost Girl "Faetal Justice" Review

I dislike the majority of Lost Girl episode titles. Perhaps there's a certain charm in using 'fae' in various episode titles. If so, the charm eluded me. Several factors caused me to dread this Dyson-centric hour besides its unfortunate title. First, Dyson isn't the most dynamic character. He's mostly Dyson's love interest, occasionally kicks ass, and gloomily stares ahead. His shape-shifting fae side might've been fun if Alan Ball hadn't single-handedly destroyed the shape-shifter type in True Blood. I cringe whenever I see someone transform into a wolf or any other animal. The previews promised a story about the pursuit of justice for a falsely accused man, which is exactly what was told.

Whether or not Lovretta and staff recognized the limitations of Kris Holden-Ried during season 1 is unknown to me. "Faetal Justice" is about saving Dyson's life from the grubby and murderous hands of the dark fae. Some nights ago, Dyson entered Vex's bar to question a dark fae called Ba'al about the disappearance of a light fae woman (or something). Or Dyson returned to yell at Ba'al for stabbing him during the investigation into a missing light fae female. Later in the night, Ba'al died from a werewolf attack. Three witnesses identified the 'angry cop' as the murderer. Dyson woke in a dirty, damp alley with blood on his mouth and chest, went directly to Trick's to invoke sanctuary against certain execution from the dark fae. Dyson, of course, doesn't remember the last eight hours of the night, insists he wouldn't kill Ba'al, and then Bo and Kenzi decide to help their by friend by clearing his name. Sanctuary prevented Dyson from leaving the bar, which meant Holden-Ried just needed to sit around and look concerned and urgent.

The case brought all of the characters we've seen before out to play. The Morragan and The Ash were engaged in a power struggle. Lauren performed the evidence work on the blood. The case also brought up things like fae law and fae politics. Bo is, once again, at the center of the dark and light conflict. The Dyson case, left alone, would've created a war between the two sides. Bo's ability to play in both worlds prevents war as well as individual death for Dyson. The politics and laws of the fae world still seem vague. Certain episodes provided the basics to understand the differences between both. Due process is ignored in the supernatural realm. Three witnesses are enough to condemn a man on the dark fae side. Of course, the writers could've thrown this in to make the adventure to save Dyson more urgent.

The actual investigation was by-the-books procedural. The good-natured bar keep who happily answered questions turned out to be the killer who framed Dyson. Kenzi befriended a tertiary character who also could not remember certain things in her life. The tertiary character had a history similar to Kenzi's, and she was written as an alternate-Kenzi had Kenzi not found Bo. Of course, I'm reading in between the lines because of the shared history, the interesting hair color, the wild wardrobe, and affinity for standing around in loud places with throbbing music. Tertiary character promised to call Kenzi as she left her apartment, on her way to a new life that includes work and taxes, but I doubt we see the tertiary character again. I learned a lesson after wondering whether or not Kenzi would feel the effects of the nice fae boy killed an episode or three ago--it hasn't been brought up since--and therefore do not care about whatever new friend Kenzi makes.

The return of the Morragan was fun. I didn't expect to like her when she returned. Her performance in the "Pilot" was over-the-top and campy. Nothing about the performance changed. However, I simply found her animated and lively ways refreshing. I disliked The Ash as much as possible, which suggests that I side with the dark fae. The characters on the dark side are livelier than the dour and sour-faced light faes. I'm not invested in the dark vs. light battle though. I'm more interested in Bo and Kenzi solving crimes and kicking ass this week. The show seems poised to move into a more serialized mode in the future. The serialized element of the show is my least favorite element. But we'll see how everything evolves.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Once Upon A Time "Hat Trick" Review

I never really cared for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Disney animated adaptation is the best adaptation of the stories, even though it inspired 11 year old me to note the similarities between a drug trip and the story. I don't really like Once Upon A Time as a whole. The thought of the two stories meshing tonight filled me with dread. Luckily, I literally thought of the worst case scenario for "Hat Trick." The actual product isn't as irritating as the alternate version I created in my head. The ABC promo department is to blame for my feelings of dread. The trailer made this episode seem unwatchable, and each subsequent viewing of the trailer was worse. "Hat Trick" is the origin story of the Mad Hatter rather than an actual adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Without a doubt, though, OUAT's adaptation will happen. Kitsis and Horowitz were more interested in how the Mad Hatter ended up in Wonderland, as well as in how he became the Mad hatter.

The story of Jefferson aka The Mad Hatter begins, predictably, with a hat. Actually, the story begins with a visit from the queen. Jefferson runs through the fairy tale forest like a dude who just committed a significant crime; however, Jefferson is merely playing a game of hide-and-seek with his daughter, Grace. A brief bit of exposition tells us that Jefferson's previous line of work resulted in the death of Grace's mother, which motivated him to turn his back on that line of work. The queen is a woman who gets what she wants through immoral methods. She promises Jefferson a life of wealth for him and his daughter should he do what she wants. Jefferson is reluctant because he wishes not to be separated from his daughter. Unfortunately, Jefferson cannot deal with his low existence. At the market square, he's ashamed when he can't buy a stuffed white rabbit for Grace. Grace continually tells her father that material items don't matter to her as much as he does. But Jefferson is a weak man. He takes the job in hopes of providing a better life for his daughter without realizing the choice will deprive him of her.

The queen is a deceptive bitch; this quality of the character isn't new. The trip into Wonderland is absolutely ridiculous. I'd feel like a broken record if I devote several sentences to the ridiculous quality of the trip into Wonderland. I mean, it's not much different from what we've seen in other episodes. Jefferson spins the hat, creates a vortex, or tunnel into another world, and he and the queen jump through into Wonderland. The journey through Wonderland is tame. Jefferson's sulky and miserable because he wants to be home. The queen uses her magic to easily get through the challenges of Wonderland. The item she seeks is a box; she gathers a seed from a plant, drops it into the box, and then her father appears out of a purple smoke. The short back story is: the queen of hearts kept her father in Wonderland for some sort of leverage, and the queen took the leverage back. In the process, she screwed Jefferson over. 3 people can't leave Wonderland when 2 people enter. The queen of hearts' army captures Jefferson and informs him that he can leave Wonderland when he creates a new hate--a process which will eventually drive him mad.

The modern Jefferson, the Storybrooke version, isn't mad at all, but, rather, aware and completely in possession of both sets of memories. He kidnapped Emma under the belief she possesses magic to make a new hat that can let him go home and be with his daughter again. Jefferson watches the citizens of Storybrooke through a microscope, unable to leave the house, because it is his curse to remember everything and be torn between both worlds. I liked how the story finally brought Emma to a place where she needed to actually consider the possibility of magic in Storybrooke; that the stories in Henry's book were real; that everything Henry theorized is right. Emma wouldn't be able to act without some belief in the nonsense her son believes in, especially when Mr. Gold and Regina are in cohorts together. Emma-the-Skeptic hasn't been interesting. It's like the series forgot to emphasize her skepticism. The scenes between her and Jefferson were all about the importance of her belief, about how folk want a magical solution to problems but insist on not believing in magic. At most, Emma's been a passing skeptic depending on the episode. In the end, I suppose the arc tracked, but it was sloppy.

Once Upon a Time continues to tell the same basic story with all of its characters. Sometimes a character is separated from a lover; sometimes a character is separated from his or her child. The audience's sympathy for Jefferson stems from his relationship with his daughter. We saw the basics of their relationship: all they have is each other; they play games, and share fake tea. It's okay for an 8PM family show. It's too simple and boring for me though, and that's entirely subjective and a matter of personal taste. This episode just added another reason for the audience to root for the curse to lift; it made Regina into a more of a bitch; it showed Mary's resolve and more of Emma's commitment to her mother.

I'm sure the origins of the Mad Hatter delighted the more ardent fans of OUAT. I'm curious about the root of his madness. I wonder if the writers will keep the mercury root; but, what if Wonderland doesn't have mercury? Of course, Lewis Carroll didn't explicity say the Mad Hatter's mad because of mercury in the story. If Jefferson's just mad from the process of making hat after hat after hat with no result, he could become a quasi-Sisyphus, an absurd hero who overcomes the evil queen by his resolve to make the hats even if it's inevitably fruitless. But this is an 8PM family drama on ABC, so that will never happen.

Other Thoughts:

-I hope we never see the caterpillar again. If we do, let's hope more money is spent in the effects department. I know we'll have more adventures in Wonderland because of Alice's adventures there. Also, there's the mystery of the queen of hearts identity to consider.

-Regina's and Mr. Gold's best laid plans went awry when Mary returned to her cell. Blah.

-The best Alice in Wonderland is actually that nonsense early morning Disney half-hour series that aired years ago.

-Vladimir Svetko and David H. Goodman were the credited writers. Ralph Hemecker directed it.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

The Secret Circle "Curse" Review

I love the thrill of watching storylines pay off, the slow realization that the slow build was entirely worth the nonsense in between. Buffy, ANGEL and LOST made the viewer feel like the wait was worth it. Of course, television shouldn't be about the wait, or if the wait was worth it. Someone shouldn't judge a series based on the number of questions answered by series end; rather, a series should be judged by the storytelling alone, or in other words, the integrity of the storytelling. If a series struggles to find its voice, one shouldn't kill it. If a series finds it voice and it still sucks, well, that's a different matter. The integrity of storytelling can be affected in a myriad of ways--plot holes, lazy choices, poor characterization, inconsistency, etc. It's not enough for a writer, or writers, to introduce a major relationship or mythological piece early in the series if the writing isn't good enough to support the supposed significance of the relationship or mythological piece. Introducing such a thing early doesn't automatically earn what happens in an episode six months later. Arcs paid off in "Curse." Things from the past were brought back to importance. The endgame of the season came into focus through the interactions of the adults. Grandma Jane finally returned. I should feel renewed faith in The Secret Circle because of these story choices, but I don't. The storytelling seemed forced rather than organic, a product presumably of the writers realizing the few episodes left in the season to coherently wrap up this mess.

The action began and ended with Cassie and Adam. Their passionate 'destined-by-the-stars' fate and subsequent sexual encounter supposedly activated a deadly curse. Faye dismissed it as an old Puritan tale designed to scare teenagers away from sex. The Blake-Conant curse had a horrible explanation from Jane. One could've labeled her an unreliable narrator because of her memory issues, but Blackwell is responsible for the lousy explanation. The Blake-Conant curse when activated results in the death of a circle member. The other ladies dismissed the danger immediately after they learned about Cassie and Adam's lovemaking. Jake was left alone as the poor bastard who suffered because of uncontrollable teenage hormones. He awoke with a fever and odd veins in his arm. Hallucinations started. Jake remembered murdering the shop owner Calvin. The memory and Calvin's ghost haunted him so much so that he felt unworthy of beating the sickness by receiving the magical elixir created to cure he and others doomed by sex between two peers.

Cassie, Adam and Jake traveled into the Chance Harbor woods. Adam and Jake were at odds. Jake felt jealous of Adam. Adam just doesn't trust Jake. Cassie, as always, stood between the men. She needed to find an ingredient for the elixir in the woods. The crappy triangle received this screentime to set-up the dramatic denouement and, also, to enlighten both Cassie and Adam about the murder Jake committed. The elixir carried a devastating effect for the destined lovers: a loss of memory re their feelings for one another. They'd remember loving one another, just not why. Nothing worked about their tragic fate. The writing for their relationship has been atrocious, harmed further by the poor chemistry between Britt Robertson and Thomas Dekker. The kiss between Cassie and Adam on Valentine's Day felt abrupt. Before the kiss, Adam continued to pine for Diana, and he envied other boys who flirted with her; meanwhile, Cassie couldn't keep her eyes off Jake. "Curse" cast these characters into the roles of Romeo and Juliet. Who didn't think of the fated lovers of Verona during the scene in which Cassie and Adam drank the potion? Their scene wasn't the only nod to Shakespeare either. Lady Macbeth has been thrown around in Walking Dead reviews because of Lori (or really any woman) talking into their man's ear about murdering someone. I won't digress too much, but I suggest TV critics re-read Macbeth to get the reference right. Jake reminded me of Lady Macbeth as he hallucinated and remembered what he did to Calvin. I thought of the lines, "Here's the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!" which Lady Macbeth utters when she's crazed with guilt of the murders on her hand. Jake needed this Calvin storyline to help break down the final barrier between him and the audience from a sympathetic standpoint. He needed to suffer and be remorseful to truly progress as a believable good guy.

Blackwell used what little power he has to orchestrate the curse. Indeed, he's responsible for the birds, the Jake sickness, the cure, the decision to keep his daughter and Adam apart. His reasons are rooted in good intentions. Dawn confronts him about his purpose in town to which he tells her about the witch hunters and the threat they present to everyone. As for the curse, he believes Amelia and Ethan's love led to the boat fire. The circle lost two of its members which made them vulnerable to attack. Blackwell wants to protect Cassie, and if it means ruining her happiness with her destined lover, then so be it. Blackwell's prominent role in the construction of the curse was great. I haven't been a fan of the character, but I bought him as a powerful witch in his scene with Dawn. That was absolutely necessary for the character.

Blackwell's still a polarizing figure. His role in the curse won't be in the dark forever. Cassie is bound to find out. Charles hates Blackwell. Yes, the adults returned after a strange and unexplained absence, and they were in full possession of their memory. Dawn used Amelia's murder against Charles. Charles continued to use the crystal to control Jane. I'm convinced of one thing happening in the finale: Charles' demise. He's been a true bastard to too many characters who don't even know it yet: Jake and Cassie most notably. Charles’ comeuppance won't happen for, at least, five episodes. In the meantime, he's going to try to kill Blackwell with the help of a brainwashed Jane.

"Curse" would've worked if the writing was better and more consistent earlier in the season. Characters disappeared. Storylines were seemingly dropped. It created a sense of disruption and chaos, like the writers were literally throwing leftover food on the wall in trying to figure out how they screwed up. At least the rest of the season is finally focused.

Other Thoughts:

-The Eva arc weakly fizzled out. Faye, Diana and Melissa bonded more because of the experience. Eva's story had potential. I don't fault the writers. I thought the acting was dreadful.

-Cassie's dark magic wasn't emphasized but the magic remains an issue. Cassie almost fatally hurt Jake as he strangled Adam. Adam brought Cassie's eyesight to his to re-direct her power and join with his. If the writers had more scenes like this, the relationship could've worked. The duo remembered their first spell together; literally, that was the only significant moment between the two between the "Pilot" and "Curse."

-Don Whitehead & Holly Henderson were the credited writers. John Fawcett directed it.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK


Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Vampire Diaries "Break on Through" Review

"Break on Through" is one of the show's more obvious titles. The three stories tonight were about 'breaking through' to an individual whether it be a parent, a dangerous vampire, or someone who has a psychopathic alter-ego but doesn't know he has a psychopathic alter-ego. The common thread, besides breaking through, was about personal responsibility to oneself and to the others. "Break on Through" was clearly a transitional episode as well, designed to move the narrative into a certain place. Two of the three stories were more filler than not, and the third only became interesting in the last scene; but the filler quality didn't diminish the episode. As a whole, it was quite satisfying, with effective and heartfelt moments, moments that were truly moving.

So far, Sage hasn't been the character I thought she'd be. Originally, I imagined a truly transcendent vampire, someone who differed entirely from the vamps we've seen before. The only difference we've seen is her ability to access the minds of other vampires, including originals, and beat men in prizefighting. One must remember, though, that one might not have seen all there is to see about Sage. Sage returned to Mystic Falls. Damon and she soon conspired to figure out Rebekah's plan. The disappearance of all but one original made Damon suspicious, but he had no way to find out what plans Rebekah made. Sage, though, reminded Damon of her ability, of all she taught him 100 years ago, and he devilishly smirked--the way into an Original's mind is through weakness. Rebekah's weakness is Damon. Despite her years on earth, she's still a teenager, though she can destroy folk with her vampire strength. Damon slept with her, which allowed Sage to access her mind and inform Damon of the existence of the second White Oak Tree.

The plan didn't progress smoothly after the mind mojo nonsense. Sage has a 900 year old love for Finn, the most boring Original of the bunch. Her love for him completely screwed up Damon's plan. Rebekah burned down the Wickery Bridge (probably should've mentioned that the white oak tree IS the Wickery Bridge). Damon sold his anger about the turn of events. Sage made it clear she wouldn't let him kill a single Original if it meant Finn would die with them. The bond of 100 years ago burned just like the Wickery Bridge, leaving nothing but ash. Damon, though, got away with the sign made of pure white oak, which is good, because if the principal characters had to think of new ways to kill the originals only for the plans to be foiled, I would've written a strongly worded paragraph about that.

The temporary insanity of Alaric Saltzman was the most problematic thread from last week's episode. The possession angle made me want to tear out my hair in frustration. Patience, of course, is a virtue. One week later, matters were clarified. The price of a ring that grants immortality is costly. Samantha Gilbert didn't possess Alaric through the ring (unless I'm mistaken). However, the ring gradually brings a character to a dark place. The number of deaths a character endures has devastating effects on a person's mind. With each death and subsequent resurrection, a piece of the mind is lost to darkness, to impulses buried deep within a person's soul, the darkness no one wants to confront. Alaric's evil other self hates the Founder's council with a passion. Among his belongings is a thick binder with instructions for Jeremy, who owns the second ring, to complete the work of murdering council members and then eradicating the vampires. According to Other Alaric, or Sam Gilbert, the Founder's Council is guilty of looking the other way; in other words, the status is more definitely not quo. Like Dr. Horrible, Alaric took drastic action to change the status quo.

The writers brought Alaric to a dark, dark place. The scene between him and Meredith reminded me of ANGEL's "Billy" in which the touch of the demon Billy transformed its victims into misogynistic psychopath. The most memorable sequence in the episode is when Wesley chases Fred through the Hyperion--it's horrific, creepy, unsettling and disturbing. Alaric's attempt to murder Meredith isn't as dark, horrific, creepy, unsettling and disturbing as Fred-Wes in "Billy" but it's effectively dark and horrific. The writers used the scene to show an active and courageous Meredith just like the ANGEL staff showed what kind of stuff Fred had in her. I don't know what the future holds for Meredith and Alaric, but I doubt things return to normal any time soon.

The C story focused on Abby. Caroline helped her adapt to her new life as a vampire, but couldn't stop her from abandoning Bonnie for the second time while Bonnie was off cleaning up the mess of Alaric's. I wanted to hug Caroline when she told Abby, "No one is better off without a parent." The pain keeps coming for Bonnie. Bonnie and Elena, though, reconciled in a genuinely moving scene of friendship. Nina Dobrev nailed her last two scenes. In one, she tried to say what was impossible to say, and Bonnie understood her friend's remorse without needing a long speech. In the other, Elena checked on Jeremy to make sure the ring hadn't transformed him, there were tears running down her cheeks and Dobrev expressed so much emotion in a few lines.

"Break on Through" brought the narrative to a place where the Originals should slowly come into the story. The weapon is in the possession of the good guys. The distracting serial killer arc is over. The complete focus of the characters will be on the bad guys. Even Stefan found a measure of self-control after struggling to recover from the Ripper days early in the season. There aren't many episodes left in season three, but we're set up for a truly phenomenal endgame.

Other Thoughts:

-I wrote one sentence about Stefan. Stefan took Alaric down but spent much of the episode attempting to control his blood lust. Stefan is one of my favorite characters. Ripper/Dark Stefan is a fun for awhile. Paul Wesley is at his best when portraying good guy Stefan. I wasn't surprised by his ability to give Meredith his blood to save her life, but it didn't hurt the meaning of the scene. It's good to have the real Stefan back.

-Similarly, I didn't write much about Elena. It's rare that I don't write two long paragraphs about Elena-Stefan-Damon.

-I was stunned when The CW previewed an all-new episode next week. I screwed up the episode order last season. I know, for a fact, that "Break on Through" is #117, which means only five episodes remain in the season, and March isn't over yet. I assumed the show would break until April 6 and return with five weeks of new episodes. The season could conclude on April 26; but the season could conclude in the first or second week of May. The sweeps period doesn't matter for The CW. The majority of the shows perform horribly in comparison to the other four networks (yes even NBC). Google could tell me the answer, but I prefer to speculate and guess.

-Rebecca Sonnenshine wrote the episode. Lance Anderson directed it.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The River "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" Review

Clark imagined he'd put together an action-packed eight episode series of the footage he shot during the 38 days the Magus searched for Emmet Cole, found him and returned home. I sincerely hope no one actually expected the Magus crew to return home safely in the series finale; I sincerely hope no one feels The Killing-like vitriol for the River writers because it's just not worth it. One thing in the season finale surprised me, which was the surprise death of Lincoln. Of course, the show quickly erased the surprise by bringing him back to life and ushering in The Boiuna itself. Last week's previews promised a 'terrifying' finale. Nothing terrifying happened. The River ended as it began: incredibly silly and ridiculously campy.

I'm pretty sure that I viewed the show completely different than the writers or the ABC marketing department during these eight episodes. Where both aimed for a genuine horror series, I only saw the silliness of the villains and of the Boiuna. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is probably the final chapter of The River. The ratings were never good. Last week's episode drew just above 4 million viewers. NBC would accept those numbers. The CW would accept those numbers. The ABC maintains dignity though. A little more than 4 million viewers isn't enough to justify a renewal on ABC. Fans of the series will need to content themselves with these eight episodes. In a brief scan of the interweb just now, a few fans expressed positive feelings about the final because they were surprised and creeped out by the events of the episode. There were feelings of disappointment because the series didn't hit the creepy factor until the last episode, and the season concluded on a cliffhanger.

I theorized several weeks ago about the creative process of transforming the premise of The River into an 8 episode series. Oren Peli envisioned his premise as a film, which would tell this -story in just 90-100 minutes. Spielberg, though, saw a series and urged Peli to adapt the idea for television. The middle portion of the season wasted too much time. The Magus crew was thrown into the jungle with pissed off tribesmen and kidnapped by ghosts. The search for Emmet Cole stalled during each of these silly stories of nonsense in the Amazon. The "Pilot" and the final three episodes of the season seem were the most important episodes. They seemed like a slightly expanded version of what Peli would've brought to the silver screen had Spielberg not intervened. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" seemed like it told the story Peli originally wanted to tell.

Jahel warned everyone against entering into the Boiuna to find Emmet Cole in the "Pilot." The Boiuna is an evil stretch of land where people don't leave. Emmet Cole, after months in a cocoon, is transformed. He's no longer the inspired man who believes The Source is his destiny. The trials and tribulations of his final journey, the deaths he caused, the mistakes he made, have completely changed his character. Emmet wants to leave, he wants the tapes destroyed, and he doesn't want to talk about the Boiuna anymore. The Boiuna, though, is a pissed off spirit: it is the Black Snake, Sheperd of river Souls, the God of Demons (according to Jahel). Jonas shot Lincoln in the neck but intended to hit Emmet because of the whole 'hang-man' incident. The death was shocking and ballsy until Jahel communicated with a spirit to bring back his 'hurt' soul. Within 8 minutes, Lincoln is back; however, a spirit possessed him--the Boiuna. It was natural for the Boiuna itself to possess Lincoln and challenge Emmet. Emmet's been using The Boiuna without apology for months, hell, years, and the Black Snake is angry.

The Boiuna used the memories of Lincoln against Emmet. The father-son troubles have been a dominant theme throughout The River. I'd refer to my comparison between them and the Infinite Jest father-son dysfunction but I won't beat a dead horse. Emmet doesn't trust the resurrected Lincoln after an exchange of 'I love you' because Lincoln hadn't said those words in years. The father-son dynamic is at the heart of the struggle for Lincoln's soul. It's simply good storytelling to make the dynamic the crux of the conflict and, also, the resolution of the crux. The Boiuna tries to tear the Magus crew apart with its knowledge of everybody. Kurt is imprisoned in the brig after the Magus learns of his possible intentions; Clark can't look Emmet in the eye after the Boiuna tells Emmet that 'his body wasn't even cold before [Clark] fucked [Tess]; Emilio orders Jahel to live in Montana with her aunt, tells her the truth of her mother, and admits his fear of his own daughter. The Boiuna is truly a destructive spirit, as destructive as its jungles and water and ability to close channels and create an infinite circle for the Magus to sail. Emmet breaks through the spirit by apologizing to Lincoln for being a bad father and by communicating his feelings of love for his son. The Boiuna exits but not without screaming 'WE'RE AT WAR!' The next day, Tess prepares the Magus for its exit from the Boiuna. Unfortunately, everything closes around the Magus. The crew is trapped.

I anticipated the season ending with the crew unable to leave the Boiuna. It makes the most sense for the show. I've argued about the show needlessly introducing this 'find Emmet Cole' plot. The same beats could've been written if Emmet rode was around for the entire ride. The River is best suited for the situation in season 2, in which they're literally unable to escape from the Boiuna, and forced to fight off the ghosts, grayscale tribes, and other various tribes. Indeed, the show is going to embrace its Twilight Zone side if season 2 happens. I doubt the second season happens. Overall, I don't regret the total time I spent watching and writing about this crazy, silly and ridiculous series. I don't fault the show for trying something different. Each episode never lacked energy. The post-production work is among the best I've seen in television. The pacing was exceptional--no scenes ever bored me; I'm often bored out of my mind watching parts of The Secret Circle and Once Upon a Time, but The River made everything feel urgent and immediate even when the subject matter was nonsensical silliness. The writers committed to everything we saw on screen with reckless abandon. The commitment helped every scene.

This is probably the end of The River. I doubt I ever write another word about the series. I had a fun time though. If ABC renews the series for an 8 episode second season, I'll write about it. If not, I'd like to salute Michael Green, the rest of the writers, the directors, and the entire crew. The series entertained me each week. Sometimes, I just want to be entertained.

Aron Eli Coleite & Michael Green wrote the episode. Gary Felder directed it.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK


Lost Girl "The Mourning After" Review

Bo is sometimes like a child whose eyes grow wide when a new shiny toy appears before her. A child is usually content with a toy car or toy train, a nifty LEGO set, or a box of blocks until some other kid enters the picture with a nerf gun the size of Australia, with a gold handle and diamonds decorated all over the rest of the gun, or the other kid has a LEGO set that makes candy; and so the kid with the lame car or train drops the old, boring toys and punches the other kid in the face to take the magical candy-making LEGO set or the nerf gun the size of Australia adorned with diamonds and gold. Bo met another succubus in "The Mourning After," and it causes her to drop Kenzi faster than the average rate of speed of a 747 Boeing jet 30,000 feet in the air. I suppose a more apt analogy to Bo's behavior would be someone dropping a friend for the more popular person in school, but I carried away with my imagination of a LEGO set that makes candy and refused to delete it. The important thing: there's a new succubus around and her influence on Bo is notable.

Saskia is the new succubus in town. Bo meets her while investigating the death of a young woman who committed suicide after a night of sex. The curious thing about the death was the bloody writing on the wall which suggested a possible killer, but evidence showed that the death was self-inflicted. Bo and Kenzi attended a speed dating thing where they found nothing until Saskia arrived and kissed Bo on the lips, drawing energy from her. Bo's eyes are wide and full of wonder, possible awe, genuinely stunned that she's not the lone succubus on the earth. Saskia heartily laughs at such a theory that Bo thought of herself as the last succubus in the world. No, Saskia says, she is not the last succubus; furthermore, Saskia says, she possesses secrets and tricks that Bo desperately needs to become a stronger and more powerful succubus in the dangerous, complicated world of the fae. Saskia is dangerous and complicated, which should make the show more fun when she's around, and she does a number on Bo's psyche before the end of the episode. Bo tells Kenzi to take a hike, but in a nicer way, and embarks on solving the case with the super-cool succubus.

The case actually takes a backseat to the pressing issue of what a succubus is truly capable of. Bo is prepared to take notes, but Saskia promises to teach her by example. As Bo learns about herself, she'll learn about the incubus and the other sub-species of succu-incu-bus. Within "The Mourning After," Bo learns that a succubus can return energy to the person it's been taken from, as well as more about power in the touch and kiss of a succubus. Saskia's part of the Dark though. Bo hasn't decided between both, but rules are different for each side. Saskia's behavior won't be acceptable by The Ash. Bo must be careful; however, she's in the initial stage of her fascination with Saskia and she doesn't thinking clearly about the situation until it's too late and the suspect's essentially murdered in cold blood. Justice is not something the Morrigan and the Dark care about. Such a reality is difficult for Bo to accept and live with; she's genuinely bothered by the fate of the Albaster because, in her mind, no one had the right to end his life without proper justice.

Kenzi, once again, is on her own, feeling badly about herself. The teaser showed a rather randy Kenzi craving close contact with someone from the opposite sex. Kenzi just wants company and something to do. Trick is the man of the hour as he needs Kenzi to help him locate a missing coin. The coin was found by Trick and his friend, Valentine, some time ago and the coin brings luck and success its possessor for 100 years. Kenzi learns a little about Trick's powerful past as a Blood Lord or Blood (insert regal term here) when retrieving a magical egg from this groovy fae who exists between realities (or something). Trick could've gotten anything he wanted by writing in his book of blood. Trick is obviously a reformed man. Kenzi and Trick eventually finger Valentine as the coin thief; well, actually, Valentine possessed the magical coin for a century. Trick's success didn't come from a coin but, rather, from moxie (or the book of blood). Through their adventures, both learned something new about the other. In fact, Trick urged Kenzi to return home, forget about her hurt feelings, and talk to Bo.

Bo actually needs Kenzi more than ever when Kenzi enters and remarks about how there's new competition to be Kenzi's BFF (meaning Trick). Bo suddenly hugs Kenzi and asks her to tell her all about her day because she's tired of herself, her stories, and everything in general revolving around her. The moment is ruined when Bo can't help but stare at Saskia's red jacket as Kenzi tells her the story of the coin, Trick and Valentine.

"The Mourning After" is a great episode. Thus far the best episodes of the series have focused on Bo and Kenzi. The love triangle between Bo, Lauren and Dyson sort of works, but stories are hurt by the focus it requires. I think the heart of the show is Bo and Kenzi's friendship. Their friendship was challenged by the arrival a new character, which gave them substantial and entertaining stories, as well as an honest reconciliation at the end. Their emotional arc through "The Mourning After" was great. Bo's tendency to discard people needed to be addressed and she needed to learn something from these stupid decisions. Mission accomplished.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK



Monday, March 19, 2012

How I Met Your Mother "The Broath" Review

"The Broath" tells the story of how the gang met Quinn--no more and no less is told than that. Of course, there are subplots involving the other members of the gang. Ted and Robin haven't figured out their dynamic-post "I Love You," and Marshall feels embarrassed about Lily being his lone sexual partner. But, really, it's the story of how the gang met Quinn within the frame of the HIMYM morality tale--the message is don't meddle or judge or throw interventions.

A period of time has passed since the last episode. Barney disappeared for a couple of days and re-surfaced to introduce the broath to Ted Eveleyn Mosby. The impetus of the broath is the impending introduction of Quinn to the group at large. Barney suspects his friends will judge Quinn and her intentions because of her stripper profession, which is what the friends do. They scrutinize her like she's a piece of classic literature and they're a bunch of professors in pursuit of scholarship. None of the gang likes her because of her abrasive attitude and insulting comments towards Barney. To use her words, she's a 'bitch' and Barney's the submissive boyfriend whose will has been completely broken by the promise of regular sex. The gang stages an intervention (Quinntervention is the preference of Marshall) to tell Barney he's in the process of making a massive mistake by not only being with her but by deciding to move in with her and share his income with a woman who earns much, much less. The intervention becomes dramatic when Quinn shows up, hears the truth of the situation, and then dumps Barney with a slap to the face.

The gang feels contrite; this isn't the first instance in which they've meddled into affairs. Barney, in fact, anticipated such meddlesome behavior from his friends. The MacLarens gang is incestuous and insular, like all fictional groups in any show, because hiring actors to create a more dynamic social circle is expensive. Thus there are stories in which this quality of the group is displayed. Bays and Thomas acknowledge this quality and comment on it. Barney is used by the writers to illustrate their awareness of this trait in a Meta way. Barney and Quinn planned everything out beforehand to help bring awareness to the others of their behavioral tendencies when someone new is introduced. The new couple essentially tells the other four to settle down with their interventions and meddlesome ways because Barney is a grown man who's able to decide for himself who is and isn't worth dating and moving in with. Ted, Marshall, Lily and Robin, heads lowered in shame, apologize and excitedly hug Barney and Quinn when they confirm their intentions to move in together.

The story succeeded in showing the viewer why Barney is committed to Quinn. The Valentine's Day story had amusing moments but lacked any significance; it mostly commented on Barney's past and thus featured a new and improved Barney who's willing to endure the karmic breaks if the end result is true happiness with a good woman. The flashback of the couple plotting their devious...plot succeeded in showing Barney's love for her and their mutual comfort with one another. The characters didn't state why they feel the way they fell; it was simply shown, and it's the ideal choice for a storyteller.

Ted and Robin were pitted against each other for Quinn's apartment. Neither actually cared about the apartment as much as they cared about what they lost post-"I love you." Robin lost her best friend and most trustful confidante. Ted lost the woman he loves, best friend, and cannot find a place in his life for her where things can be normal again. In an effective scene, Robin apologized for her rejection of his love, and Ted honestly told her he can't be normal with her. They try to be normal once more at MacLarens near the end. Robin joyfully tells Ted about her promotion, but their isolation overwhelms both and Robin leaves. Indeed, Ted won't see for a long time, but Future Ted "will get to that."

I don't know how to succinctly conclude this review. I began the review with worry about whether I could find three paragraphs worth of thoughts about the episode. I would've torn into "The Broath" if Barney hadn't orchestrated the entire nonsense because the nonsense is tiresome and oft repeated in the show. The stories were written effectively though. I don't have any negative thoughts about "The Broath." I didn't love the episode though. It was average.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Once Upon A Time "Heart of Darkness" Review

Jimminy Cricket tells Charming that Snow White doesn't love him not because she doesn't remember him but because she doesn't remember who she is. Memory is any character's most dangerous weapon. Rumple hands Snow White a powerful bow n' arrow with which to murder the queen. Snow wants the Queen dead for murdering her father and ending her kingdom. But the only weapon any character needs to ruin the queen is their memory. Slowly, the narrative's reaching a place where characters remember bits and pieces, even if those memories are completely misinterpreted. Indeed, one's memory is the main theme tonight. Identity, too, is an important theme; and, as always, the idea of true love is essential.

Kitsis and Horowitz love the chance to subvert the viewer's expectation of fairy tale characters. The writing duo embraced the possibilities of re-inventing stories that've been in the public domain for years and years. I won't exhaustively list each instance of their reinvention of characters, but each significant character had a moment in which the audience is supposed to be shocked by the deviation from the beloved version of a character in a Disney fairy tale movie. However, the writers’ love of subversion is predictable now. Indeed, when I watched Snow White hum a tune, sweep the floor, and extend a hand to a blue bird, I knew she'd try to murder the bird. The previous scene ended on a character stating disbelief that Mary would kill at all; so of course that iconic image of Snow White and the animals would be twisted around in this contemporary adaptation. Beyond the subversion though, the scene established the arc of Snow in "Heart of Darkness"--the dwarfs had an intervention for their friend and beseeched her to find Rumple to get her old memories back because they miss her old self. New Snow White is full of anger, thoughts of revenge and death, and even Happy isn't so happy around the New and Malevolent Snow.

Snow White post-potion is an example of the disastrous and dangerous effects of losing one's true love. The Evil Queen wanted to curse the fairy tale world because of her own loss of true love. Rumple briefly transformed into a man again due to Belle's inexplicable love for him. Snow thinks the queen's death will be the remedy she needs to feel peace again. Grumpy followed her through the forest and urged her to return to Rumple in hopes he could reverse the curse. Of course, Rumple gives her a magical map and murder weapon. It's not until Charming visits Rumple that he assists in the prevention of the queen's murder (in exchange for the Prince's cloak). The depth of the story does not extend beyond the simple idea that Snow is not who she's supposed to be without Charming. The dependency of her identity on her love for Charming is potentially problematic and troublesome, but I'll opt against explaining why, for the sake of the readers. Charming finds her once, she ties him to a tree, Jimminy frees him and delivers the line I mentioned in the first sentence of the review, and Charming finds her a second time, takes an arrow to the chest and then Snow feels love, kisses him and remembers who she is. King George's army takes Charming away to murder him or something. Blah--it's all the same now with these two characters no matter which narrative it is, and it's tedious and boring.

In Storybrooke, Hopper helps David remember what happened during his blackouts. David had a memory of standing in the woods with Snow, telling her not to murder "her." David, of course, is a moron and misinterpreted the memory. The Kathryn murder mystery advances to an obvious place--Regina is the obvious culprit who's framing Mary--but the writers put the viewer through a lot of nonsense getting to such a place, as if the majority actually thought Mary murdered Kathryn. David's memory breaks Mary's heart, and she wonders why he can't believe her word when she defended him with her every breath and thought when he was implicated in Kathryn's disappearance. Again, it's a contrivance to keep the destined lovers apart. This is my hope for Once Upon a Time in season two: no more Snow White-Prince Charming stories. Season 1 is ultimately about Snow, Charming, the Queen, Emma and Henry, which means these episodes have to happen, but they always suck, and I'm tired of them.

August and Henry shared a conversation during the episode about their mutual belief in the reality of the stories and, specifically, how Storybrooke is the place where these people are now and just don't remember. Emma also believes in Mary's innocence and hires Mr. Gold to help her prove Regina's guilt whilst appearing to pursue the case against Mary. "Heart of Darkness" gave the impression of a show actively 'going places' but with its same old snail-like pacing and mind-numbing scenes. Rumple created a love magic using a single strand of hair from Charming and Snow. In both worlds, he told Snow/Mary that he was invested in her future. I think we all know where the story is ultimately heading, in regards to taking down the queen and the introduction of the magic love jawn potion, and if the ultimate statement of the show's first season is the triumph of love over evil attempts to destroy it, then I guess it's par for the course with this show.

Other Thoughts:

-I really expected a break between #116 and #117. Damnit though OUAT is all-new next week as the Mad Hatter comes to town. This show is wearing me down.

-Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg wrote "Heart of Darkness." Dean White directed it.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Secret Circle "Lucky" Review

Everything John Blackwell does is viewed suspiciously by the other characters in The Secret Circle. His presence alone creates tension and conflict in each scene he's in. Such a figure should help a series overcome its major flaws. After a month long hiatus though, The Secret Circle is as dull as it was in February. Blackwell wants to protect Cassie from herself. Cassie believes she's in complete control over her emotions and magic (don't all teenagers think such nonsense?). The witch hunters disappeared, but they're on the periphery of our characters minds because Eben displayed potent power after being impaled to a tree by the four other members of the circle. The central story of "Lucky" helps to define Blackwell's role going forward; it defines Cassie's arc for the remainder of the season; and it adds a wrinkle to the 'written in the stars' nonsense Ethan's been blabbering about since the "Pilot."

Blackwell spends his time in "Lucky" searching for a mystical object. Cassie witnesses her father sifting through things in the abandoned house. She and Adam have a boring conversation about her father's possible motivations for searching the house. Indeed, the entire circle gathers to offer their theories about Blackwell. The group scene is as boring as one-on-one scenes because each actor delivers their lines stiffly and monotonously. No one besides Cassie, Adam and Jake care about Blackwell. Why, then, should the audience care? Initially, Cassie wonders if her father is in search of an object that could take away her powers. Father and daughter shared a conversation about Cassie losing the ability to control the dark magic. John speaks from experience, as a recovering dark magic user, that the magic possesses an individual and does not let go. John's been as consistent as the sun rising each morning: he said he returned to protect his daughter and nothing we've seen suggests otherwise. The object John wants takes power from witches but it's actually used to transfer power to someone. John wants to find out who transferred power to Eben on the day of the boat fire. Cassie remembers Ethan's mysterious presence in the boat but remains silent.

The school event which brings the characters together is a 'Casino Night fundraiser.' The event is pointless. Nothing happens inside of the school. Diana flirts with a boy. Faye kisses Lee; Lee's previously comatose girlfriend shows up because, apparently, anyone is able to enter the event without a ticket. Cassie and Adam engage in another serious conversation about their fathers. Outside, Blackwell's hanging around and then Ethan stabs him in the gut. Cassie chases Ethan, uses dark magic to trip him up, and then stands over him with a piece of wood, eager to bash the dude's brains in. John stops her though, and Ethan flees the scene. John interprets the attack as an extension of the jealousy he feels regarding the Amelia-John marriage; and, also, Ethan doesn't want anyone knowing about what he did in 1996. The dramatic scene convinces Cassie of her own volatility with dark magic. John promises to help her.

If none of the three paragraphs interested you, don't worry, because they didn't interest me. "Lucky" was a slog of an episode. The twists were obvious. The subplots were worse than the A story. The C story followed Diana as she sort of flirted with a wealthy Australian named Grant, who traveled around the world and wound up in Chance Harbor by 'fate.' The B story was about the Lee triangle. Eva, the once-comatose woman, got some powers from Faye when Lee drew power from her to help Eva. Eva, though, is a jealous woman; I think she murdered Lee, or turned him into stone (it wasn't clear because she transformed into a Mal-lite from Inception, even delivering the line "We were supposed to grow old together!" exactly as Marion Cotillard did). The secondary characters are written inconsistently. Their characterizations have been all over the place. One week, Melissa is a sad drug addict; the next she is planning Casino Nights and full of mirth. I'm sure the writers are biding time until the circle joins together to take out Eben in May, but man, the stories absolutely blow for the other characters.

I don't hate Cassie. The tiny corner of the internet that talks about this show does hate Cassie. The anti-Cassie folk make substantial points; specifically, Cassie's an inconsistent character, dominates the show, makes every other character worse. Of course, such writing is the fault of the writer. I'm disappointed by the inconsistency of the dark magic storyline. I thought we'd watch Cassie figure out the scope of her powers, and herself, and emerge a more mature, independent and responsible person. The writers lost sight of this aspect of the story. Adam became an active love-interest, Blackwell returned, and now she and Adam are mired in a curse for having sex. John explained to Ethan that 'written in the stars' is a curse, not a beautiful fate. A bunch of black crows died as a result of teenage copulation. Genre shows and horror films like to remind the viewer that pre-marital sex is bad and, well, it's still bad.

I'll hold out hope for the writers to return Cassie her more interesting dark magic journey. As a whole though, I don't think the show will whip something up to salvage the mess that this season is. Perhaps the show needs another episode or two for the audience to invest. Plot lines were dropped. Secondary characters disappeared. It seems like the writers desperately want to fix the show but never pinpointed its weaknesses. TSC is a mess.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Vampire Diaries "1912" Review

Stavrogin in Dostoevsky's novel, Demons, is given an appearance straight out of Gothic fiction in his first chapters. He's described as a beautiful pale man, like a vampire, and like a vampire, he hides an evilness under his arresting looks. Now, Demons in no way applies to "1912" or any aspect of The Vampire Diaries; however, the thematic of Stavrogin is worth considering in light of the themes present in the Salvatore dialectic. The history of Stavrogin is too long-winded to paraphrase in an opening paragraph. Simply, Stavrogin was a character who believed in no good or evil, but struggled to reconcile that part of himself with the more pure part of himself; when he tried to reform himself, he entered into a quasi-martyrdom. Julie Plec and Elisabeth Finch's script seemed rather interested in these penetrating themes of good and evil. "1912" was built on murders separated by 100 years. At the center of both murders were the Salvatore brothers. The murder of their 'Uncle' in 1912 brought the brothers together for the first time since Stefan forced vampirism onto his brother. Their reunion brought back deep issues which still haven't been entirely solved. The difference of 100 years, though, is Damon's willingness to try to reform his brother.

A vampire's nature differs from story to story, from author to author. Some authors create vampires that sparkle and others create vampires with a soul to atone for the sins of his past. Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson adapted a young adult series about two vampire brothers who live their lives differently whilst pining for the same girl. Julie Plec said that she and Kevin needed to figure out how to differentiate their triangle from the Twilight series because there were similarities. TVD's triangle is richer and more grounded in human emotion. Anyway, I'm not interested in writing about the triangle. TVD has shown different sides of a vampire. They are creatures who can control their impulses to devour people, who can love and feel and emote; but they've done some horrible things. Plec and Williamson, and the other writers, have been able to make these vampires who engage in brutal acts of murder, of emotional blackmail and manipulation, into sympathetic and lovable characters. Matt and Elena have a conversation about the reasons Elena is drawn to the vampires, and her answer is a cop-out. The answer is rooted in character, involves the loss of her parents, her immediate feelings post-loss, and the desire to be with someone who could not die. But she ignored the other side of the vampire coin which is that they bring death. Matt didn't challenge her. He just related with her about how a love for someone transcends the other stuff. I don't expect a CW show to delve into deeply moral issues about evil. It's disappointing that the show seemed interested in this issue but didn't have the guts to get their hands dirty.

"1912" was over hyped during the last month. Somerhalder and Plec spoke of the episode, and the introduction of Sage, as if it was the crowning achievement of their three seasons. Sage is an afterthought. The flashbacks are a retread of previous Salvatore flashbacks (sans Katherine). The flashbacks were designed to inform the present action, which involved the mystery of who's been killing folk in Mystic Falls. The totality of the episode deliberately brought back the past in various ways. Damon made Elena loathe him once more, Stefan struggled to control his blood lust and Alaric's past got a quasi-retcon (it's problematic to label it a retcon considering no one ever talked about Alaric's life beyond his relationship with Isobel). There were diaries in several scenes, and characters read directly from the diaries.

Damon and Stefan began the episode as a tag-team working to figure out who's been killing people because Alaric woke up in jail under arrest for the murders. The Alaric-as-suspect was jarring, but it's best to roll with it because the nonsense is explained away at the end. Damon was convinced the murders of 1912 were related to the present. The introduction of Sage suggests she might be the culprit; however, Sage is introduced as a teacher, or guide, for Damon in how to feel pleasure from being a vampire rather than guilt and remorse. Damon's brief time with Sage teaches him enough to coax Stefan into feeding again. Stefan, during their fifty years of separation, didn't drink human blood. In his diary, he writes that he feels sorry Damon lost his way and became a victim of blackness and bile. The self-righteous side of Stefan motivates Damon to convince Stefan to feed. Stefan, indeed, feeds on a young woman and then accidentally tears her head off. Stefan tries to re-attach the head to the body, full of guilt and remorse, and on that cold Virginia night the Ripper is born. It was borne not from malice but from a jealous brother's serpent-like 'just go ahead and take a bite of that forbidden apple.' The exact scene is replicated in 2012 (or is it 2011 in Mystic Falls? The timeline is not established enough). Damon worries about his brother going cold turkey from blood, urges him to drink in moderation, and begins his brother's recovery process by bringing Stefan a woman to feed on. Damon admits his culpability in creating the Ripper, acknowledging how he could've stopped it but 'didn't care enough to [stop it].' Guilt and remorse are the reasons why he wants to help Stefan overcome his blood lust without watching Stefan destroy himself by living 'cold turkey.' It was an effective story with pathos and thought, informed by character. This is their nature, the Salvatores, and they don't think about themselves as Matt does. They are who they are, and they control themselves as best they can so that they can exist in civilization. Whereas the sentiments of Elena were problematic, the Damon-Stefan dialectic was well-done,

The Alaric storyline was completely jarring because nothing added up. Sheriff Forbes behaved like a lunatic. The evidence tying Alaric to the murders didn't add up. I clearly remembered how Alaric found a bunch of files pointing the murders to Meredith, followed by her shooting him with a gun. Sheriff Forbes told Alaric that Meredith said she shot him for attacking her. Honestly, I think the entire storyline became a mess tonight. I was on board several weeks ago, as my reviews show, with the murder mystery. I longed to watch a good old fashion whodunit; now, it is a mess. Alaric is eventually tied to the murders through the magical ring he wears. The ring belonged to Samantha Gilbert; she went mad, killed two members of the council, then Damon killed her (I probably screwed the timeline up). Through the ring, she's killing again; unfortunately, Alaric is stabbing folk. I'm usually rolling with whatever TVD throws at me. The idea of a ring that magically restores someone to life who had died through supernatural means is silly but okay; but the magical ring that causes whoever wears it to kill because it's tied to an insane woman on the other side absolutely sucks. I already want to forget this story ever happened.

Other Thoughts:

-Bonnie, Abby and Caroline were off-screen tonight dealing with Abby's transformation into a vampire. Elena's lone friend and jogging partner was Matt. Matt helped her break and enter into Meredith's apartment. They had the heart-to-heart and solidified their friendship. Matt also gave Elena the Gilbert diary, which helped convince her about Alaric's ring thing.

-Klaus didn't appear. The writers didn't specify his whereabouts. I assume he remained in Mystic Falls with Rebekah as the last episode showed. Anyway, Rebekah is on a mission to find the white oak tree, even going so far as to read over old mill logs.

-Julie Plec & Elisabeth R. Finch wrote "1912." John Behring directed it.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The River "The Experiment" Review

The River has been telling stories about ghosts and demons week after week. "The Experiment" moved the show into different territory--more of a sci-fi direction than classic horror. There were elements of the first fifteen minutes which I couldn't help but compare to season two of LOST and the "Bushwhacked" episode of Firefly. I wondered if we were getting a glimpse of the show's true identity because of the confidence of those first fifteen minutes. It was without a doubt the best directed sequence in the show. The camera moved throughout the abandoned research center, stopping to look at the shattered glass, bloody footprints, the low buzz of the flies; a palpable sense of dread and doom dominated the atmosphere. The atmosphere created was sensational: the mournful tune playing in a distant room; Kurt suspiciously wandering alone down empty stairwells and dark hallways; the discovery of the bodies. The direction and set design entranced me. I felt a let-down when everything became about cannibals trying to eat the Magus crew. I'll always have those first fifteen minutes to cherish though.

"The Experiment" began where "Dr. Emmet Cole" concluded, with members of the crew wandering around the abandoned facility in search of Emmet. Confusion was collectively felt by everyone. Eventually they settled on the idea that they were in an abandoned research facility. Inside, it became evident that something horrific happened. Blood lined the floors and walls, objects were broken or shattered, and a bunch of dead bodies were locked in a storage room. Lincoln searched through the bodies and didn't find Emmet, which kept hope the group's alive. A light from the infirmary across the yard caused Tess and Lincoln to suspect it was Emmet signaling them. The group made their way to the infirmary without any complications because the ravenous cannibals were asleep, but only found that light from the sun reflected off of glass, meaning no Emmet Cole. Tess fell into despair. Lincoln, though, carefully watched a dragonfly and followed it. The dragonfly led them to an alive Emmet Cole.

One might think finding Emmet Cole would ve the show a happy ending and end all of the wild adventures the crew experienced in the Amazon. The episode interspersed scenes from before the search-and-rescue began. The scenes were unrelated as a whole but were important for personal arcs; and one in particular was important to the endgame of the season. Lincoln was involved with another woman before the trip, making a courtship between him and Lena more difficult to achieve. Clark motivated Tess to rise from the couch and find her husband so that he could produce a TV show. Kurt spent his last days before the journey in the arms of his beloved. Lena worked at a retail store, fainted, and awoke convinced of her father and Emmet's survival. The biggest mysteries from the 'before Amazon' footage regard Lena and her connection the magical tribe that scientists experimented on, and why Kurt's girlfriend shot everyone dead and, in doing so, accidentally released a contagion that causes cannibalism.

Kurt's always been an untrustworthy individual, making secret phones to an unknown agency about the fate of Emmet Cole. Kurt wanted extraction several episodes ago because he believed Cole to be dead. We learned that Cole is a targeted man by this European agency. Kurt, in fact, needs to kill Emmet Cole. Of course, we don't know why nor do we know why his assassin girlfriend refused to let the scientists continue their research to cure cancer. The tribesmen being studied had a unique gene pool--an old man had the physiology of a teenager or something (I don't know...I don't take notes during episodes, I rely on my memory, the facts of the experiment didn't seem important once bad-ass West European woman ruined everyone's day, but I'm sure it's important and, if so, I'll write it about next week). Perhaps everyone needs to die because they discovered an experiment gone wrong in which people became cannibals. The cannibals were a non-factor for a large part of the episode, so naturally I dismissed them and didn't think about what they meant to the show besides being temporary threats.

However, I'm more convinced each week that the ultimate endgame of the series will reveal that everyone died. Found footage stories usually stem from people in the future finding footage and showing it to the world, controversy or not, for everyone to see. I suppose such a conclusion isn't important. Emmet Cole had a most bad-ass re-entry into the lives of his family and crew. Two cannibals snuck onto the Magus. One found his way into the cabin and attacked test. As Lincoln rushed in, someone shot the cannibal. Emmet stood there, gun in hand, and asked, "So, how was my funeral?" With 1 episode to go, I'm unsure of the show's identity. Obviously, Oren Peli, Steven Spielberg and Michael Green wanted to make a horror series. I opined in the past about how The River could've succeeded as a modern Twilight Zone. The overarching mystery about why people want Emmet dead could take the show into an even more sillier and nonsensical place. I don't know what to expect in next week's finale. It's a good thing; but it's also a bad thing.

Other Thoughts:

-Kenneth Fink directed the episode. Fink directed a season three Dawson's Creek episode. He deserves accolades for the tremendous opening fifteen minutes. The editor also deserves a ton of credit because the editing has been excellent. Kenneth Fink may owe Tim Minear lunch because Fink pretty much copied the first fifteen minutes of Firefly's "Bushwhacked." Soo Hugh wrote "The Experiment."

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lost Girl "Fae Day" Review

"Fae Day" introduced the celebration of La Shoshane, a day in which Light and Dark fae come together for a day of harmony. The faes cannot use their powers on the sacred day of La Shoshane, as dictated by the blood lord ages ago, which is one of the many rules written down in a handy book. Bo eagerly reads through the pages of the fae rule book. The information she finds in the book eventually assists her in case, but it also informs the audience about Trick as well as the larger mythology of the series. Major info dumps, or downloads, can sometimes paralyze an episode. Writers struggle to find balance between telling an entertaining story and expositing crucial mythos for the overall world of their creation. No one would categorize "Fae Day" as major info dump; still, there were less entertaining ways to reveal some of the stuff that "Fae Day" revealed, and the episode was entertaining as a whole.

Bo and Kenzi weren't interested in hanging around the faes in the teaser. Bo went to Trick's bar after an invitation. Trick wanted Bo to experience Fae Day (as Kenzi coined). Bo agreed to have one drink and then she'd leave; however, a banshee playing a harp wailed, foretelling a fae's death. Every fae but members of the five noble families were left to leave. Banshees sense death for only members of the five noble families. A banshee, unfortunately, cannot say who will die because the wail comes from the unconscious. Bo and Dyson hit the road, feed the banshee a liver shake, which opens up her unconscious self, and learn the name of the fae fated to die. Just as Bo learns the identity of the soon-to-be-dead, Kenzi engaged in friendly conversation with the doomed--a young fae named Sean. Sean has one request before his death: reconcile with his brother.

The brothers have a tumultuous past because Sean turned Liam, his brother, in for stealing $30,000 from the family estate. The family's fae power involves money. Greed can turn any family member into a person with regrettable motives and questionable morality. Sean simply wants to go to his grave with peace between him and his brother. Liam, though, put a hit on Sean, which is why the banshee wailed. Bo learns the truth during an attempt to convince Liam to make peace with Sean. Meanwhile, Kenzi brought Sean to his father's mansion for one last goodbye. Sean's dad reacts indifferently to news of the banshee wail, showing instead more concern for the orderliness of the estate rather than his son's life. Kenzi is disgusted by the man's preoccupation with money when confronted with the grim truth of his son, even more so when she sees what the dad felt more interested in doing than spend some time with his son in his final hours--gamble.

Bo eventually finds her own life in the balance when she declares a fae rite of peaceful talks with a hard to spell name that I'd try to spell if I remember the phonetics of the word but I don't. I wanted to write a paragraph about Bo-the-heroine when this self-sacrifice angle emerged, but Bo simply didn't finish the book. It was another instance of the show's self-awareness. The brothers were bound to reconcile, but if they failed Bo forfeited her life. Throughout the talks, Dyson wonders if Trick will spare Bo's life, which seems random, until the ending in which we learn Trick is the blood lord (though he prefers to never hear that name). Honestly, there weren't any surprises in the brothers’ plot. I suspected the father as the true thief, which he was; and I expected the brothers to reconcile just in time to die, which he does when a pissed-off businessman who'd been ripped off by Liam tries to shoot him and hits Sean instead.

The brothers’ storyline seemed inspired by the biblical story of the Prodigal son. The mother of the boys never lost her love for Liam despite the disgrace he brought to the family. Liam became a resentful, greedy monster after he'd been forced from the family, and the Light, and then into the dark. The reconciliation scene resurrects Liam's former self. Sean sacrificed his control of the estate to atone for the sin he committed against his brother. Liam, in turn, sacrificed his wealth, vowed to repay the people he stole from, and asked his father to move his mother's grave to neutral ground so that he may visit and pay his respects. As a stand-alone story, it ranks just behind the sorority story in "Oh Kappa, My Kappa." It was well-done. Kenzi experienced the loss of Sean, who she bonded with during the episode and even kissed. Whether Kenzi feels the loss in later episodes, or if the show even acknowledges this again, is doubtful.

Trick and Dyson shared two conversations about Bo's birth mother. Trick possesses the answers to Bo's questions, but he's reluctant to share the information with her, even when Dyson insists she's ready. Their last conversation suggested that Trick is Bo's father. "Fae Day" also integrated each principal character into the story seamlessly, even if the sacrificial lamb component felt like a lazy attempt to make the audience care about peace between the brothers. Overall, though, I thought the episode succeeded because of the chemistry between the actors and the synthesis of exposition and plot. In other words, Lost Girl is becoming a show I'd watch even if the characters were raking leaves for 42 minutes.

Other Thoughts:

-The book taught Bo many interesting facts about the history of fae. The Blood Lord made every rule that currently governs the faes. Faes are powerless on Fae Day. A peaceful talk has sacrificial lamb consequences. I got a kick out of how nonchalant Dyson was--the dude just wanted to drink alcohol and relax on the only day of the year he's free from police and fae duty. We also learned violence is permissible on fae day when one is protecting another life.

-Jeremy Boxen wrote "Fae Day." Steve DiMarco directed it.

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.