Now we’re down to a few shows so I figured I’d throw in the second season of Metal Hurlant Chronicles since Syfy actually showed both seasons back-to-back. That brings us up to 6 shows for the week, a welcome change from the previous 13, especially since I don’t have that much time to watch on a holiday week. Believe is going to last us 2 more weeks, Continuum another month, hopefully that will get us through to late June when more shows start for the unfortunately sparse summer schedule. I’d better enjoy it while I’ve got it, once fall hits, the proverbial shit hits the fan once again. So sit back and enjoy this abbreviated week on TV Thursday – 5/29/14.
24 #9×05 – “Day 9: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.” – I saw someone make an interesting comparison to 24, it’s like “General Hospital” with machine guns and that may be an apt analogy. Granted, I wouldn’t watch General Hospital if my life depended on it and that’s kind of what I think of new-style 24, but it’s an interesting take. This week, Jack was arrested following the events of last episode and Kate has the flight key and Jack’s cell phone so she can talk to Chloe. Together, Kate finds a computer and sends the rest of the code to Chloe and almost immediately, Chloe and Adrian find the hidden code that allowed the terrorists to take control of the drone. Why the rest of the government is so blind, I don’t know, but as soon as they point it out to Kate and she passes the information on to her boss, it’s bloody obvious to everyone. Meanwhile, Margot comforts Simone after she chopped her finger off and she says that Simone shouldn’t blame herself for what’s happened, she should blame dear old mom. No kidding. Bitch sliced her daughter’s finger off! Naveed has agreed to take control of the drones but first he wants to see his wife. He assures her that he’s taken steps so the government can find them and he’ll make sure they know she’s been kept against her will. You know, the last time he told her his super-secret escape plan, she screwed him over and told her mother, then he goes and tells her his next super-secret plan! The idiot deserves to die. Section chief Navarro calls President Heller and gives him the news and Mark does a mea culpa and admits that he’s been keeping things from the President for a long time, yet Heller doesn’t fire him or anything, must be the Alzheimers. Heller immediately orders all drones grounded, but Margot manages to reprogram six of them, six of the heaviest armed, of course, and they all vanish from the grid. Now who thought it was a good idea to make super-secret drones that nobody, including the U.S. government, could detect? And what, no explosive charges in case of an event like this? Seriously? Nope, now Margot can do what she wants and all Heller can do is search the skies ineffectively. Margot puts out a YouTube video with her manifesto, she calls for Heller to surrender himself to her within three hours or she’ll use the drones to kill civilians in London. Heller notes that no matter what happens, half the planet will blame him for things. He calls in the Prime Minister and tells him the bad news and, of course, the PM isn’t pleased. He went to bat over the drone base and it cost him a lot of political capital, now his own people are going to get bombed? Well, it isn’t like you couldn’t scramble your own military to look for drones coming into England and blow them away, right? Nope, makes too much sense. Heller calls for Jack and he’s brought up. Jack says there is one chance, an arms dealer that has dealt with Margot and probably can find her but Jack refuses to tell Heller who this dealer is, saying he’s an expert and torture won’t work on him. Yeah, Jack, that’s pretty much your entire repertoire, that and screaming at people. Which one are you planning on using? Jack and Audrey meet up and in what we’re led to believe will be a major fight, turns into some cuddling, even though Audrey is married to dumbass Mark. Now that Jack’s back, Audrey wants to get it on. Navarro’s team finds an IP buried inside of Margot’s manifesto and track it back to an estate in the British countryside. That was Naveed’s doing, of course, but, surprise surprise, Simone told mom again and she redirected the IP so it leads somewhere else. Navarro is gung ho and leads the assault himself, just like Captain Kirk always did but Kate isn’t so sure. I don’t know why Kate keeps caring because Navarro threw her off the case again and she continues to defy orders and work it anyhow. She gives Chloe direct access to government computers, which has got to be a serious infraction, I’d think and Chloe finds that the redirect and warns that it’s a trap. Of course it is. But this is 24 and the government always falls for traps. The agents move in, just as the first drone fires two missiles. Half the team gets out, the other half, the half that doesn’t know what “RUN, YOU FOOLS!” means does not. Margot confronts Naveed over his latest treachery and this time, shoots him in the head. Simone doesn’t mind, she watches passively. I’m kind of surprised she didn’t pull the trigger herself. It can’t be long until Mark finds out that his wife is nuzzling Jack Bauer and that will give him yet another reason to try to screw Jack over before Jack screws… nah, too easy. I’m really wondering where they are going to skip time this season, they have to skip 12 hours and I’ve seen times up to episode 8 and they don’t skip a thing. That means that they have to skip 12 hours in the last 4 episodes. Maybe there will be 12 hours of sweet, sweet lovemaking in there somewhere, I have no idea. This thing isn’t getting much better, it’s still blatantly obvious traps, everyone breaking the rules and nobody paying the consequences. Oh, and now that they know that Tanner didn’t cause the drone to fire, is anyone going to let him out of that room?
Believe #1×10 – “Collapse” – With the series already cancelled, NBC is just burning through the last few episodes before it’s done. It seems to me, and maybe I’m remembering wrong, but I thought there were 13 episodes in the first season, but now that I look and there are only 12. Did they recut the final episode to take out all of the cliffhanger and maybe make the end of the series a little more palatable? Who knows, but after this, there are only two more episodes to go. This time around, Bo has yet another prophetic dream while they’re hiding at yet another safe house. Tate tries to convince her that it was just a dream, that it didn’t mean anything but you can see that it really bothers Bo and she wants to go save the young girl in her dream. The catch is, the girl happens to be the daughter of FBI Agent Ferrell, the agent who is currently chasing Tate, trying to put him back in prison so he can be executed. Now let’s be perfectly honest, the only reason for this episode is to get Ferrell on Bo’s side and I guess it does that well. How can it not? Anyhow, Bo take off from the safe house and seriously, the door is a roll-up door that’s always open and they have to roll under it? But Bo is off to the races, saying she has to get to the 30th Street subway where something undefined but bad is going to happen. Tate chases after her, on the phone with Winter, who encourages him to let Bo go on her little adventures, no matter how dangerous they are. In fact, that’s been the whole schtick of the show, Bo goes and does things that are dangerous, that open her and Tate to being found by the authorities and Skouras, where if they just stayed put, they’d be perfectly safe all the time. I guess you need danger and conflict but shouldn’t someone have realized by now that Bo is the cause of all of their troubles? Anyhow, they get down to the subway platform and Ferrell sees Tate and pulls her gun in him, just as Bo sees a man drop a duffel bag that she identifies as a bomb. Everyone runs away, just as the bomb goes off and Tate, Bo, Ferrell and Ferrell’s 16-year old daughter Sasha get buried in rubble. Sasha has been injured, she’s got a collapsed lung and Bo gives Ferrell a pen so she can stab it through Sasha’s back so she can breathe. They try to get out but they’re stuck. Tate says he has no bars on his cell phone, but almost immediately, Winter calls him. Wait a minute, he had no bars! Cell phones don’t work like that! Anyhow, Winter says he’s working on a way to get them out, never mind the fact that the NYPD and emergency services are already trying to dig them out. Back over at Project Orchestra, Skouras finds Zoe reading a file she’s not supposed to be reading and suspects she’s a traitor. Dani, whose file she was reading, confirms this for Skouras, after all, she was in Channing’s head and got all kinds of useful information that she’s doling out on a need-to-know basis. However, Skouras doesn’t want to believe it, he wants to see Zoe betray them in person. Down in the tunnels, some of the wreckage shifts and water starts pouring into the small space where our intrepid heroes are trapped. They start bitching about drowning but Tate notices that the water is going somewhere and discovers a storm drain underneath them. It’s not like it shouldn’t have been absurdly obvious all along, there was this big metal grate that was perfectly visible, but they pull it open and get into the storm drains. Winter contacts Channing, who is doing much better after having the bullet removed, having been shot in the last episode, and she maps out the storm drains. They get to a manhole, but it’s covered in a grate and Bo can’t budge it. Seriously, Bo is supposed to be the strongest telekinetic around and she can’t move a grate? The others can fly stone blocks around! Anyhow, Winter tells them to keep going, there’s another manhole a couple hundred feet away, but watch out, there are pits along the way that they don’t want to fall into. Just then, the cell phone dies and so does the flashlight. How absurdly convenient! Bo then decides to light up like a firefly. How? Don’t ask. Bo’s powers are to do whatever is most convenient at the time. They get out of the tunnels, back behind the police lines and Bo and Sasha see the guy who dropped off the bomb watching the commotion. Farrell and Tate run after him, even after Farrell tells Tate to go back to the girls. Sure, leave an injured girl bleeding on the sidewalk in the company of another girl who has a concerted manhunt looking for her. But no, Tate doesn’t listen and they chase the guy into a building where he gets the drop on Farrell and is about to shoot her when Tate comes by and saves the day. They fight for a while and Farrell returns the favor. They take the guy into custody, then Farrell turns her gun on Tate and says she’s got a job to do and sending him back to prison is what she’s going to do. He says that if he goes, Bo will have a much worse fate and she doesn’t want that. She lowers the gun because they’re just BFFs now. Skouras sets up a trap for Zoe, He pretends to be Winter and sends a message, forcing her to respond. Once she does, he comes in and captures her, then exposes her to Dani so she can wipe Zoe’s memory. Tate and Bo go to check on Channing, apparently Farrell has let him go. Farrell visits Sasha in the hospital and says she quit Tate’s case, although both she and Sasha had to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding Bo’s powers. Sasha says once the agreement is no longer binding, she’s going to tell everyone about Bo. Mom will too. Bo is getting tucked into bed by Tate, she admits she saw him in her dream too since he was there and they agree not to keep anything from each other ever again. Honestly, as this season has gone on, it’s become less and less of a surprise that this show got canned. It’s absurdly formulaic, the characters are wooden and predictable, Bo is her own worst enemy and apparently, none of the adults have ever heard of the word “no”. There is no parenting in this show, even from Winter. Skouras is a generic bad guy, for the sake of being a bad guy, he has no depth at all, he wants Bo so he can have Bo and now that Dani has come along, he’ll love her most of all instead. It’s just painfully bad but it didn’t have to be. It’s all predictable, Bo saves faceless people who mean nothing in the scheme of things, while exposing herself to danger that Winter has told them not to do. We’re not even sure what Winter and his ragtag group of rebels are doing, most of the time they’re off engaged in some undefined machinations, Bo has to learn how to use her powers but the only person who has any direct experience with super powered people is Winter and he’s never really around to help her train. It’s just a train wreck. I’m glad it got cancelled.
Continuum #3×09 – “Minute of Silence” – The horrors of the new 2077 continue as we see an honored doctor who runs a clinic that removes the chip in people’s arms, thus revoking their citizenship. Now maybe it’s just me but isn’t there a less painful way of doing it than sucking the chip out of their arm, through their skin, with no anesthesia? Seriously? It reminded me of that scene in The Matrix where Trinity sucked the tracking device out of Neo’s stomach in the back seat of the car. It wasn’t terribly well thought out there either. Also, there’s some woman sitting there repeating the same instructions to everyone in the same boring monotone. They need a person for that?They’re in the distant future and nobody heard of a recording? Anyhow, Kiera goes into the clinic as an undercover cop and shuts the whole place down, she’s just upset when the police arrest the people who hadn’t undergone the procedure. They were in an illegal clinic in the process of violating the law, of course they’re going to get arrested! Back to the present, Carlos and Dillon have just returned from Betty’s funeral and Carlos wants to find her killer, but Dillon had to make concessions to keep her involvement with Liber8 secret. That makes no sense at all. First off, assuming that the higher ups didn’t know that Betty was a traitor, even a reformed one, the fact that Dillon allowed her to keep working and even returned her to active duty ought to have Dillon up on charges as her direct supervisor. That’s like a cop today openly working with al-Quaeda on 9/11 being put back on the force because they said they were sorry. Doesn’t work that way. Kiera gets a call from the local hospital, there’s a John Doe who has been in a long-term coma. He woke up and asked for her by name but when she arrives, not only does she not know him, he doesn’t recognize her either. He has no memory whatsoever, he doesn’t know who he is or where he came from and the hospital forcibly releases him in her care. Wait a minute, that’s not how it works. If the guy is well enough to be released, they wouldn’t force a cop to take responsibility for him, he’d be released on his own recognizance. Besides, he only said he wanted to see Kiera Cameron, I’m sure there is more than one Kiera Cameron around, how did she get to be his guardian? But guardian she is and she runs him through all of the databases and he’s not on any of them. Carlos calls Alec and shows him the-other-Kiera’s dead body. Alec is shocked that Kiera lied to him. Why? She’s been lying to him for 3 years now! When Kiera calls Alec, asking about John Doe, he starts making snarky comments about “oh, someone lied to you?” I don’t think she understood it, even though it had the subtlety of a ball peen hammer to the eye. Alec has problems of his own though, he runs into Kellogg outside of Prion and is informed that Kellogg is suing Alec since he’s in breach of his Sadtech contract. Seriously, Kellogg cannot serve Alec with the papers himself, that’s grounds for having the whole lawsuit thrown out. Is he that dumb? Prion’s lawyers aren’t happy about this and I don’t blame them, but Alec has other things on his mind. He and Jason are still working on the miracle wrist-mounted medical device and Jason says that Alec doesn’t have to worry, all the basic components will be available within 10 years. We then see a skilled robbery in progress, a thief breaks into Hyper Stealth and, using parkour, escapes with an invisibility cloak. You’re a wizard, Harry! Kiera found a hotel key card among the belongings of John Doe and she takes him to the hotel room to see if it jogs his memory. He says it doesn’t but among his belongings is a science fiction book called 2077. Hmmm, this must mean something! Kiera sees a mark on his arm and her CMR tells her that they’re GPS coordinates. They go there and “John” says he remembers Vancouver, but not from this time. Kiera has to head off because there’s another robbery, this time Piron where the thief went after the Halo device. Alec is kind of a dick to Kiera when they arrive but he says that Piron has outsourced for a lot of the supplies behind Halo and one of the companies they contracted with was the same one that did work for the invisibility cloak. We have a clue, Sherman! However, Kiera suggests, based on Alec’s attitude, that maybe he set up the theft to throw off suspicion that he might be involved in the other tech thefts. They take him down to the station where Alec says the Vancouver cops might have been hacked, which is true. Dillon knows that Nealon is watching via closed circuit TV and covers the camera with a business card. Oh, and Alec did take care of Kellogg, he offered to buy out Sadtech and give Kellogg a seat on the board. Carlos is leaving the precinct for the night and he sees that the computers in Betty’s old office are on. He goes in and gets a call from Lucas, who says that he’ll give Carlos some free information because he wants to find out who killed Betty too. Kiera meets up with John back at his hotel room, they’ve realized he’s from the future and they talk about the good… old… whatever. Since he’s being thrown out of the room, she offers to let him sleep on her couch for a while. On the way out of the hotel, Curtis arrives and beats the crap out of Kiera, but John, with his cane, proves to be too much for Curtis. Kiera wakes up as Carlos arrives, John had called him. John’s knee is now healed and Kiera realizes it must be future military tech that did it. They get a call from Greypoint Security and on the way over, Kiera confronts Carlos, she knows he’s working with Lucas but the only way to get Dillon to listen to their ideas about Betty’s murder is to present hard evidence. They arrive at Greypoint and find screens showing the VPD and take Nealon into custody. As John settles into Kiera’s place, she finds a holographic projector that shows John and his family. He has no idea who they are. Alec goes back to the freezer where Carlos has been storing other-Kiera’s body and he starts to remove the tech in her body to make his Halo project work. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not all that impressed with what 2077 has turned into following Alec’s time jump. We’ve lost all pretense of Kiera wanting to go back home because that home just doesn’t exist anymore. Is her husband and son still alive? I don’t know that we know for sure, there are so many fragmentary timelines now, we can’t really be sure. Kiera wouldn’t be the same person who left 2077 regardless, she once supported the system and now she’s more on the side of Liber8. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing. clearly the Corporate Congress and Liber8 are both extremes, the best position is clearly somewhere in the middle but I’m really not seeing anyone advocate that middle ground. Everything has become needlessly complicated and for a show that was already very complicated beforehand, that’s saying something. Kiera started as a sympathetic character and now, she’s really not anymore. Alec started as an innocent kid with a destiny, now he’s screwed up the timeline. Carlos used to be a good cop, now he’s hiding bodies in freezers. These are getting to be characters who are difficult to identify with and even more difficult to sympathize with. I’m hoping something major happens to turn things around in the last 4 episodes of the season because as much as I loved the first two seasons, season three is turning out to be somewhat of a disappointment.
Metal Hurlant Chronicles #2×01 – “The Endomorphe” – Once again, Syfy has shown these out of order, at least according to Wikipedia, but at least this time around, they’ve taken to putting episode titles so I don’t have to guess. The story starts on an undefined human world where they have generated intelligent workers. At first, I thought they were robots but it seems they’re intelligent plants or something similar. They’re called meccamorphs. After about 30 years, again for reasons not explained, the workers turn on their human masters and mankind is at war. Humans are losing badly and their last hope is to get a child to the mechadome where it can transform into a golem, a giant monster that can fight and defeat the mechamorphs. No explanation is given for how this is done, it’s just magic and with only a half hour to get the plot out, there really isn’t much time to explain how things work anyhow. The team that is supposed to get the endomorphe to the meccadome started 10 strong, now they’re down to 5 and that number is dropping fast. To make matters worse, the mechamorphs are on their tail, including the mechamorph commander who has the ability to see recent events in his mind’s eye. The commander of the human forces, I don’t remember any names but he’s played by Michael Jai White, tries to comfort the boy, who has a pet rabbit, by giving him a letter he’s written to his dead wife and tells him to protect it. One of the humans has been infected by one of the mechamorphs, there’s a writhing tentacle inside of him that’s communicating with the mechamorphs, drawing them right to the human encampment. They leave the man with his gun and move out to avoid capture. When the mechamorphs arrive, the man tries to shoot at them but he’s only got three rounds and is pretty ineffectual. What, nobody gave him any ammo? What a crappy rear guard! The rest don’t fare any better. After finding a cache of ammo and grenades as they traverse the trenches to avoid enemy fire, they run straight into a large mechamorph contingent and the lone female in the group gets cornered and knife-fights her way out of the situation… almost. Now I’ll be honest, she was carrying grenades and all of her enemies were in a nice little group, why didn’t she use one rather than pulling out a couple of knives and going hand-to-hand? The same is true when Michael Jai White was fighting more mechamorphs. They have grenades, why not use them? And seriously, he reminded me of Blade, swinging around and whacking monsters with his knife. Anyhow, by the time they get to the mechadome, only White and the boy remain with the commander in hot pursuit. He stabs White in the back and threatens the boy, saying that he cannot jump into the mechadome and become a Golem, but it isn’t the boy he should be worried about, it’s his rabbit who jumps in and becomes a giant warrior bunny that stomps on the commander. Yes, it was obvious but it was kind of cute and at the end they have the boy, who is the rabbit’s trainer, riding on the rabbit’s back and I’m going “Atreyu!” I think it helps for some of these short sci-fi stories not to think about it too much. They have no time to explain anything peripheral, you just have to go with it and enjoy it for what it is. I’m sure there was more to it in the magazine but here, except for the giant killer bunny at the end, I think it was all done very well. The effect for the rabbit left a lot to be desired, I guess they didn’t have the budget for a quality CGI creature but it was on screen for about 10 seconds, I can live with that. I actually liked this one, with all of it’s confusing bits. There are some “WTF” moments, some places where I have no idea why a trained military fighter would do what they do, but otherwise, it was cute and entertaining.
Orphan Black #2×06 – “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings” – Road trip! Sarah and Helena go driving off to find out the mysteries of clone-hood and become bestest friends. Seriously, Helena cannot sing. At all. Do not let her sing ever again. I mean it. It’s a shame because Helena really does evoke a lot of sympathy this episode and Sarah continues to be a complete bitch. She’s abandoned her daughter to Cal, she is using Felix as a bargaining chip and she leaves Helena in the car like a puppy with the windows rolled up. Sorry, I know she’s supposed to be the heroine but she’s just not earning it this year. Anyhow, Art shows up at Felix’s apartment as he’s drunk off his ass. Felix tries to hit on Art while doing art but Art puts him to bed and uses his wall to put up all the evidence he pulled out of Helena’s storage. Sarah and Helena find the church that the picture of Rachel’s father was taken in front of and Sarah tells Helena to stay in the car while she goes in to check the place out. Apparently, Sarah completely forgets about Helena because after she gets inside, she finds out that there are archives there, archives that Rachel’s dad has been looking through and she pretends to be his student to get access. Picture Helena panting in a hot car with the windows rolled up. But no, Helena decides to go to a bar and get drunk. Exactly what bartender is going to line up a bunch of drinks in front of someone? But getting drunk apparently has advantages as she meets Jesse, small town guy who wants to get into her pants. After playing the arm-wrestling drinking game, they start dancing and kissing and grinding and frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t end up naked on the pool table, I’m sure that’s where it was headed, right up until some big jerk comes up and wants to cut in. Helena reminds us all that she’s not just sweet, sympathetic and innocent, she’s also a psychotic killer. Of course, the cops arrive and Helena is arrested and Sarah asks Art to use his cop-fu to get her released, but she’s really too busy to be bothered. There were some records missing from the archive and those records wind up in Helena’s stash. Felix tells her that there are birth records that might just be Papa Duncan’s and she has them search for a place that he might drive from and, of course, they pick right the first time. When she arrives at the cabin, 2.5 hours away, who answers the door but Mrs. S. She’s not very nice, which I suppose isn’t too surprising considering the last time they saw each other, Mrs. S. tried to kill Sarah, but she’s really just babysitting for Rachel’s father. It turns out that Rachel’s parents once worked at a mental institution back in the day and that spawned Project Leda. When the government decided that cloning an undetermined number of clones was a bad moral decision, the Dyad Institute stepped in and said what the hell, let’s bring all of the clones to full gestation! Duncan says that he and his wife loved Rachel until she was taken away from them. I’m not sure what happened to her to turn her into the self-involved bitch she’s become, but it can’t have been good. Sarah threatens to turn Duncan over to Leekie, but Duncan says that he’s been hiding from Leekie for years, thus revealing that Leekie is, once again, the big bad of the series, at least until the next time we think he’s not. While Duncan and Sarah are having a chat, Mrs. S. goes outside to sit in a car with Paul, who is following Sarah around, presumably at Rachel’s behest. He even refuses tea and biscuits, maybe he’s too bruised from all the rough sex. Over in rehab, Allison runs into Victor. You remember Victor, don’t you? Sarah’s old boyfriend from season one who was an abusive jerk and got his finger chopped off? It seems that Victor is attending the rehab sessions too, he’s now a Buddhist and very serene. Allison takes an instant liking to him and they become best buds. But Victor isn’t what he seems, who in this show is? He’s working with Art’s partner Angie, who promises to get the charges against Victor dropped if he gets the dirt on Allison. You can’t trust anyone, can you! Cosima and Delphine find that Scott, the guy that Cosima gave clone DNA to a while back, has been hired by Dyad and he knows all about the clones, or at least he thinks he does. He is very good at his job and he suggests that the gene therapy they’re using to cure Cosima may very well have come from Kira, Sarah’s daughter. And speaking of daughters, now that Helena is out of jail, she goes back to the Proletheans because she wants to see her babies. This came up early in the episode where Helena wondered that if Sarah can have children and they’re biological sisters, maybe Helena can too? See, Sarah? Abandoning people doesn’t have a good ending. Honestly, I’m getting sick of Felix doing the extreme gay stereotype bit. While I’m sure there are plenty of limp-wristed fairies out there, most gay people don’t act like that and it’s obnoxious as far as I’m concerned. He tries to hit on everything male that moves, including grabbing Art’s ass, he can’t stop talking about sex and frankly, I’m tired of it. I love the actor, Jordan Gavaris, he does an amazing job in the role, but please, tone it down a little? I’d feel the same about a character playing an over-the-top straight sex-obsessed character. It makes him a cartoon, not a fully realized, self-assured gay character and we need more of those on TV.
Penny Dreadful #1×03 – “Resurrection” – The first thing I said when this episode started was “how much gratuitous sex are they going to have this time?” That’s one thing I hate about shows like this and Game of Thrones, they throw in nudity and sex and graphic violence, not because they have to, not because it fits into the story, but because they can get away with it. For “adult” shows, these things are often some of the most juvenile and immature things on television. Also, for an 8-episode season, they’ve stuffed a ton of classic monsters into this show. They have vampires, Frankenstein’s monster, werewolves, references to the Phantom of the Opera and no sign of stopping. Oh, and the Bride of Frankenstein is on the way. Where are the zombies? Anyhow, let’s get started and get back to that gratuitous sex. Ethan and Brona are in bed again, a constant reminder of how much I loathe Billie Piper, but she’s off hacking up a lung and Ethan figures he ought to go get some work so he can buy her some medicine. Vanessa and Malcolm are talking about their plans when Ethan shows up and asks for a job. He’ll do whatever he has to do for some money. Vanessa sits down with Ethan and explains some things, which is desperately needed in this show. It seems that Malcolm’s daughter Mina, who I thought was about 8 years old, that’s how she’s been portrayed so far, is actually much older. She was engaged to Jonathan Harker, another Dracula reference, but she got involved with someone else who turned out to be evil. Evil, I say! He took Mina away and now Malcolm wants her back. Vanessa has a vision of Mina which leads them to the London Zoo where they encounter a pack of wolves (werewolves?) and Fenton, this series’ version of Renfield and just as creepy. After Ethan rids them of the wolves, they take Fenton back and torture him for information about the vampires but he’s not talking. That’s not the major part of this episode though, last week, we saw a monster rip it’s way through Victor’s creation, this week we find out that he’s done this kind of thing before. Victor created another creature in the past but abandoned it in his attic and ran away. The creature learned a lot from Victor’s books and became quite erudite, although he’s badly scarred and people react badly to him. The creature tracked Victor to a new city but was beaten by a mob and rescued by the director of a local theater who offers him both a place to stay and a job and gives him the name “Caliban”. The theater company is doing a rendition of “Sweeney Todd” and Caliban peers at the leading actress from beneath the stage, probably wondering where a half-mask might be found. However, Caliban seeks out Victor and, having found him, demands that he make him a woman because clearly, no living woman would want him. Hell, Brona would probably give him a go. I kind of understand that Victor was pushed to want to cheat death after his favorite dog, and then his mother, died. However, how long was the dog missing? It was covered with maggots and had it’s eyes eaten out by the time he found it. What, they hadn’t seen his favorite dog in weeks? And what about poor Proteus? I get why Caliban wanted to destroy him, he doesn’t want Victor to move on and give love to another creation when he denied it to Caliban, but how exactly did he do what we saw on screen? Sure, it was a cool effect but it made no sense. It looked like Caliban came right out of Proteus’ chest but clearly that’s not the case. Did Caliban dig straight through his body from behind? Why? That seems like an odd thing to do. And why didn’t anyone see Caliban come into the room? I hate things that make no sense no matter how cool it looks on screen. Also, I suspect that the actress that Caliban is drooling over is Sybil Vane from Dorian Gray fame but we’ll have to see. It’s also a cool nod that Caliban is working at the Grand Guignol, a London theater famous for doing horrific penny dreadfuls in the late 1890s. The theater is clearly going to be important later on as the final episode this season bears it’s name. I’m just wondering how all of this is going to collide into a single storyline, at least I hope that’s what happens. It’s interesting enough, even with the obnoxious fan service, to keep me watching.
Best of the Week: It’s actually very hard to pick a best this week, not because there are a lot of them that are great, but because most of them just don’t deserve it. They were decent episodes, but had a lot of problems along the way. Therefore, somewhat surprisingly, I’m giving the nod to Metal Hurlant Chronicles, just because the episode was cute and entertaining and at least I didn’t have to turn over all of the plot holes and bad writing in my head. This might be the only time Metal Hurlant Chronicles wins but this week, it had no real competition.
Worst of the Week: It’s hard to believe that 24 isn’t worst, but this week it goes to Believe, the show that deserved to be cancelled because it doesn’t actually go anywhere or mean anything. I won’t be sorry to see this one go off of my list.
Other Stuff I Watched: Science of Stupid #1×01-1×07, Weird or What #3×01-3×10, Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, Cosmos #1×11