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TV Thursday - 6/19/14 - Cephus' Corner

TV Thursday – 6/19/14

June 19th, 2014

TV Thursday Header

Here we go again, another week, another 6 shows to take a look at.  We close on the season finales of Continuum and Orphan Black and we see the last episode of Believe, just as the summer season is about to heat up, and by heat up,  I mean two shows return and two new shows start.  Theoretically, Perception started this week but it just didn’t go up in time to get it in this week’s review.  I don’t know if I’ll ever bother doing two episodes or just let it roll a week late, it depends on how fast things get out in the future. So how do things shake out?  Let’s take a look at TV Thursday – 6/19/14.

24 #9×08 – “Day 9: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.” – For those keeping track, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t, this marks the 200th episode of 24.  200 episodes of Jack being a crazed killer. Joy.  Anyhow, this week, President Heller calls on Jack to deliver him to Margot but Jack can’t do it alone, they enlist Mark to call a conference to clear the hallways so Jack and Heller can get to a helicopter and make their way to Wembley Stadium where he’s supposed to meet his doom at the hands of Margot.  Yeah, it won’t be that easy.  Of course, we’re all “worried” that Margot won’t keep her word but she promises her son Ian that if Heller turns himself over, she’ll destroy all of the drones and Ian isn’t that happy about it.  Something tells me that he’s going to off Margot so he can rain death and destruction over London anyhow.  Heller made Margot promise on the soul of her dead husband though, even though that’s a really stupid thing to swear on and Heller buys it.  Simone is back in the hospital after Jack’s little car-borne drone dance last week and she’s a lot worse for wear, in fact, the doctors don’t know that she’s going to survive. Jack needs to talk to her but the doctor says he has to stabilize her and drill holes in her head to relieve the pressure.  Any attempt to revive her will almost certainly sign her death warrant.  Almost certainly.  The doctor keeps changing his mind and even Kate recognizes he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Will it or won’t it?  Jack can’t be worried about it though, he tells Kate to “wake the bitch up” and she forces the doctors at gunpoint to wake her up.  Simone provides some new information, Naveed hid a hard drive under the floor that could let them access Margot’s computer network.  Of course, when the CIA arrives, Margot and Ian are long gone but they do find the drive and transfer it’s contents to Kate.  Jack wants all the data to get to Chloe so Kate goes looking for Jordan, the tech who Navarro sent on a suicide mission to keep him from uncovering the fact that he’s a mole.  Navarro says he doesn’t know where Jordan is, although he’s lying, Jordan is off bleeding all over the place, trying to avoid another bullet from the assassin that Navarro sent after him.  The assassin isn’t that great, he calls Navarro and says he doesn’t think he killed his target, but Jordan isn’t any better, he calls Navarro and tells him where he is.  Do we see what comes next?  Chloe has moved operations to a pub and when she gets the call from Kate, she starts working on decrypting the data, just as Adrian Cross calls.  Adrian, if you remember, is not only Chloe’s “boss”, but also the guy that Navarro is working for, selling CIA secrets to the Chinese.  Because, you know, you can’t trust anyone on 24.  But back to Heller.  Even though Jack thinks what he’s doing is wrong, he agrees to help Heller get to the stadium and Heller tells him that he’s given a Presidential pardon for every bit of wrong Jack has done in his career.  I guess with a clean slate, Jack can get back do causing more carnage.  Heller makes Mark promise to keep things quiet and Mark agrees, knowing that this is the straw that will break the camel’s back between him and Audrey.  Of course, Mark has to die before the end of the season so that Jack and Audrey can get back together, what’s some more angst on the pile?  Jack grabs a scalpel and slices open Heller’s arm to retrieve the tracking device, although you’d think he might use a little local anesthetic first, and off they go.  Jack can fly a helicopter.  Who knew?  Well, maybe we knew, I honestly don’t remember.  Audrey gets into Heller’s room, even though the guard outside isn’t supposed to let anyone in, and finds her father gone.  He left a note with Jack’s pardon and Audrey is pissed at Mark, as predicted.  Mark says he’d do it again if he had to and Audrey says that she’s his wife, he should have told her even if her father ordered him not to.  Sorry, I know nobody thinks rationally in this show but a Presidential order not to tell Audrey overrides wedding vows, like it or not.  Jordan, the guy who keeps telling his assassin where to find him, defeats his attacker and gloats that he knows Navarro sent him to kill him.  You don’t say?  However did you figure that one out?  The assassin isn’t out quite yet and stabs Jordan before catching a double-tap and dying.  Jordan is clearly in a lot of trouble but we know he won’t die, at least not before telling people what Navarro has done.  Jack and Heller land in the parking lot at Wembley, I wondered why they didn’t land in the stadium, but I guess helicopters are too expensive to waste. Heller goes walking out into the middle of the field, just as Ian pilots a drone overhead. They target Heller and Margot pulls the trigger, blowing Heller up.  That was a bit of a surprise, I expected Heller to be saved at the last moment, or at the very least, not have the explosion until next week.  You have to end on a cliffhanger, after all, but nope, President Heller go boom.  We think.  See, there are things to watch in 24 and one thing is the counting clock at the end.  There wasn’t one in this episode.  That usually means that there’s something going on we don’t know about.  Did Chloe manage to do some computer magic at the last moment?  I loved Heller’s line about this being the worst day of his life, mirroring the whole premise of 24, each season being the worst day of Jack Bauer’s life.  And what about the time jump?  We’re 2/3 of the way through the season and haven’t jumped a single one of the 12 hours they have to lose.  Maybe the last 12 hours will be Jack getting jiggy with Audrey off-screen, who knows.  It just seems really cheap. And of course, assuming that Heller actually is dead, where do we go from here? Ian pops Margot and puts Jack into action again?  Probably.  Predictably. Unfortunately. Still, I’ll give it credit for taking William Devane out of the picture.  

Thumbs DownBelieve #1×12 – “Second Chance” – Finally, we get to the well-deserved end to this series and, as I’ve said before, I was hoping they weren’t setting up a cliffhanger.  Originally, this season was set to run 13 episodes, but after it’s cancellation, it dropped to 12 and I really wanted them to rework the final two episodes into something that concluded the series since, by that time, they knew the show was dead in the water.  Anyhow, we start off with Skouras and Winter meeting, Skouras warns Winter that he thinks Dani is out to kill Bo because, well, she has a bad life and Bo needs killing.  Of course, Winter doesn’t know where Bo is and this complicates things.  Bo and Tate are heading south, intending to escape to Mexico where nobody is looking for them.  They stop at a gas station and while Tate fills up, he tells Bo to go inside and get some junk food.  Bo sees her dead mother, who tells her to ask the attendant about her bracelet.  The bracelet has a dove on it and when Bo looks at it, she sees Dani wearing it and using her powers to knock a bookshelf over on her brother.  Dani is sure her brother hates her, which is probably warranted because she did kill him after all.  Bo tells Tate about her vision and while Tate wants to get to Mexico, Bo thinks it’s important to find out what’s so special about this vision.  Meanwhile, Winter keeps trying to call Tate to warn him about Dani but he refuses to answer the call.  What, nobody ever heard of texting?  Calling Tate from a different number?  Or better yet, since they have an FBI agent on the payroll, having Ferrell just track the GPS on Tate’s phone?  Where the heck is Ferrell anyhow?  Yes, I know she excused herself from Tate’s case, but what about Bo? She was pretty buddy-buddy with Skouras, wasn’t she? I guess she got a better job.  Anyhow, Skouras and Winter go to see Channing in the hospital and tell her that since Dani was inside her head, Dani can now home in on Channing magically and they want to throw her to the wolves and use her as bait for Dani.  Dani, meanwhile, cries in front of her brother’s tombstone and then checks out some of the old places that Tate and Bo were hiding, ripping the place apart. Dani isn’t exactly stable. Winter, Skouras and Channing take a helicopter to West Virginia where Winter hypnotizes Channing to make it easier for Dani to find her.  He puts her in an empty warehouse and they set up a trap.  Tate and Bo stop into a hotel, just to take a shower, and Bo says that her mother told her to find a girl named Dani.  The blue butterfly we see in the credits shows up and they jump in the car and follow it out onto the highway.  Dani arrives at the warehouse and finds a mannequin made up to look like Channing.  Skouras’ team pumps knock-out gas into the room but somehow, Dani neutralizes it and then takes out the team.  Dani comes out and discovers that Winter has been tracking the GPS on Tate’s phone (didn’t I say that?) and steals his phone so she can find them.  Tate and Bo arrive at an abandoned school for wayward girls.  They find a picture of Dani on a bulletin board and when they find her room, she’s written “forgive me John” over and over and over on the walls.  All work and no play makes Dani a psychotic psychic.  Bo tells Tate that Dani needs to be saved but Dani arrives and says she doesn’t want to be saved.  Dani knocks Tate out and takes Bo with her and when he wakes up, he has no idea where they’ve gone.  He calls Winter and Channing and Winter thinks he knows where they went.  Tate grabs Bo’s stuffed animal, Stanley, and they race off in pursuit. Meanwhile, Dani is driving Bo and tells her that because nobody ever loved her, she’s going to destroy Orchestra and Bo.  Dani takes Bo to Orchestra but Skouras, fearing that news of his super-secret organization might be compromised, he shuts the whole thing down and sends everyone home.  After Winter and Tate arrive, Dani ties Bo and Tate up in a room and locks the door.  Bo has another vision of her mother, who tells her that she has to tell Dani that her brother John forgives her.  Bo uses her amazingly random powers to pop the door open and when they get outside, Dani is standing in a ring of really fake-looking fire.  I guess she’s going to burn the whole place down or something. It doesn’t matter because there’s nobody at Orchestra anymore.  Bo races into the fire and tells Dani that her mother told her that her brother forgave her.  Dani breaks down and as Bo touches the marks on Dani’s skin, they start to heal.  Winter tells them to make themselves scarce before the cops arrive and Bo wants Winter to come along but Winter says Bo no longer needs him and since Orchestra doesn’t exist anymore, they won’t be hunted.  Well, except for Tate, who is still a death-row escapee.  Bo and Tate run to the car while we hear sirens approaching in the background.  Honestly, I am glad they went back and finished it off without a cliffhanger, but it didn’t make the show any better.  In fact, they should have had 13 episodes because so much of what they stuffed into this episode was rushed.  Skouras just shuts down Orchestra in about 5 minutes. How?  What did he do with all the kids he was housing there?  You know, the psychic ones with no social skills?  And what about all the sick kids in the basement?  How can you clear a building that fast? So Bo and Tate are headed to Mexico, huh?  How do they expect to get past the border, with Tate a wanted fugitive and all?  And with what money?  Tate wanted Bo to rig the lottery, which is a pretty big expectation, but they somehow had the cash to check into a hotel just to get cleaned up?  And then they left to chase a butterfly? Seriously?  And what was the butterfly?  Was it some kind of psychic avatar for Bo’s dead mother?  We just don’t know.  That’s the biggest problem with Believe, we never really knew anything. It was Bo on her humanitarian missions every episode, with Skouras ineffectively chasing them week after week.  There never seemed to be anything more than that to the series, there was no larger plot, there was no overarching storyline, it was a feel-good case of the week and a little vague chase idea and that was all she wrote. It just wasn’t a well-planned series and it certainly wasn’t a well-executed series.  That’s why it got canned.

Thumbs UpContinuum #3×12 – “2 Minute Warning/The Dying Minutes” – I guess you can call this episode what you want, it was originally called “2 Minute Warning”, but later in the development cycle, it was apparently renamed “The Dying Minutes”.  We start off three months ago with a body being brought into the Freelancers.  Agent Warren throws a sheet over it and a man comes into the room, although we only see his coat and places his hand on the body’s head and it wakes up.  It’s Curtis, apparently brought back to life. He’s taken to meet Catherine where she introduces herself as the cell keeper, making me wonder if there aren’t more Freelancer cells out there.  It’s a bit difficult to follow but Curtis was merged with the guy who went back in time 1000 years and founded the Freelancers?  Something like that.  Sorry, whenever I hear that, I keep thinking about Babylon 5 and Jeffrey Sinclair going back in time to become Valen.  Curtis has to decide which side he’s on.  Oh, he will but Catherine isn’t going to like it.  Back to the present where we see Alec in his plastic cell choking, Agent Miller has either evacuated the air or pumped something into the cell, we don’t really know.  He’s taken before Catherine who demands the GPS coordinates of the time orange that he hid and he gives it to her, keeping the pen long enough to stab Miller in the chest, quite deeply in fact, but he doesn’t even flinch.  Kiera goes to see Catherine, telling her that she’s keeping the wrong Alec Sadler.  The one still running loose is ruining the timeline, introducing technologies that should not exist for decades, etc.  Kiera offers, if they release the Alec they have, to bring not only the other Alec, but sweeten the deal by turning over Brad Thompkin as well.  Catherine refuses.  Meanwhile Alec wants Dillon to steal the time orange that’s in police custody but Dillon says he can’t take something that’s part of an active investigation. Alec offers some super-tech that will make the VPD’s job easier and Dillon relents.  Julian is wandering around Vancouver when he comes across Sonya on a park bench, shooting herself up with something.  Julian assumes it’s drugs but it’s something else that will become important later.  Sonya asks Julian to get all the information he can on Halo, she says it’s a dangerous technology and they have to stop it.  Julian goes to talk to Alec and slips a USB drive into Alec’s computer.  Okay, sorry, is it just me but is the back of your monitor the most inconvenient place to put a USB connector ever? Apple sucks.  Alec gives the drive back to him, I wasn’t sure what to think of the whole thing, are we supposed to think that Julian had some advertising ideas or social media plans on the drive to show Alec, or does Julian think Alec is the most unobservant person ever? Anyhow, Julian gets all the specs for Halo, plus a working copy and takes it to Sonya, who is hanging out in a diner with Lucas.  He hands it over and she tells him to get lost. Lucas says he can design a virus that will make the Halos generate intense fear and tries it out on Sonya.  Alright, he’s had the device and the data for about 30 seconds and he can already hack it?  Seriously?  Dillon puts the time orange together, which automatically alerts the Feelancers, who Kiera knows will come to take it back.  She tells Carlos to get it away from Dillon, she’s got something more important to do.  Seriously, stopping a potential armed raid on the VPD by the Freelancers in search of a time machine just isn’t that important?  Sonya and Travis meet and he asks her to run away with him.  Clearly they’re a lot closer than they usually let on.  Carlos takes a ride to Piron with Dillon and while driving, reaches into Dillon’s bag and disassembles the time orange.  Dillon has to have been taking observation lessons from Alec because Carlos wasn’t being remotely discrete.  Dillon goes to meet with Alec and Carlos says he’ll get a ride back to the station, which should make no sense to Dillon because why would Carlos drive all the way to Piron with him and then go right back?  On the way out, Carlos sees Sonya exiting the building, she was there to insert the virus into Piron’s computers. Pulling his gun, Carlos orders Sonya to stop, just as Dillon comes out and almost grabs a gun to mow Sonya down.  Even though she’s clearly in custody, Carlos has to keep telling Dillon to back off.  Kiera and Brad decide to break Alec out of Freelancer custody and enter the building under the guise of turning Brad over to them.  Kiera and Brad separate to achieve different goals.  Kiera gets Alec, who is less than happy to see her, and they argue as they move through the building.  Almost free, they are cornered by Catherine and her goons, but Brad shows up with his high-tech future weapon and blows a hole through Agent Warren and they escape.  As Catherine watches them go, Curtis appears behind her and slits her throat, killing her.  In the car, Kiera, Alec and Brad are heading back to the precinct and Alec just wants to go away.   He says he’s headed north and Brad offers to help him get there.  Kiera lets them out, she’s got to get back to help interrogate Sonya.  Sonya refuses to give up the rest of the Liber8 crew, even after Dillon offers to make things slightly easier on her if she does.  Dillon orders Kiera out of the room and starts pressuring Sonya again.  Sonya lifts her sleeves, revealing lumps on her skin, what she was injecting earlier was an explosive agent.  She slams it together and blows up the interrogation room, killing herself and badly injuring Dillon.  Carlos retrieves the time orange from Dillon’s bag and gives it to Kiera.  She heads up to a distant cabin where Brad and Alec have met up with Emily.  They’re heading north, although they are in Canada, how much more north can they go?  Brad and Kiera hold hands outside while Emily and Alec… you know.  The next morning, Kiera wishes them luck and Alec, while still mad at her, at least accepts her well wishes.  At the very end, Kellogg comes to the other Alec with pictures of his other self in Kiera’s car and Alec is not at all pleased.  Next week is the season finale, what’s going to happen?  One thing that I’m not all that pleased with is the appearance of our wizard-friend in the opening, the guy they all the Traveller, who came back in time to see Catherine, but who does things that are closer to magic than science.  Yes, they can be explained and I hope that they are, but it’s dangerous to let pseudo-magic exist in science fiction stories and I really don’t like it.  We really are starting to see a significant die-off of major characters, this episode saw the death of Sonya and Catherine, as long as our wizard friend doesn’t bring her back from the dead.  For Sonya, I’m going to miss her, she started off as a doctor who disliked the Corporate Congress and was led astray by Kagome, to end up the leader of Liber8 and ultimately realizing that everything they’d done was meaningless and pointless.  She realized that Dillon was dangerous and sacrificed her life to kill him, even though it meant she had to give up happiness with Travis.  And what about Kiera and Brad?  She seems to have forgiven him for killing the other her, especially since he didn’t really intend to do it, but for someone who spent the first season desperately trying to get back to her family, this is the second guy, at least, that she’s hooked up with in the present.  Yeah, I don’t think she’s too worried about getting home.  Lots of action, lots of major game-changing moments and we have one more episode this season!

Metal Hurlant Chronicles #2×04 – “Loyal Khondor” – After suffering an overwhelming defeat against an unnamed enemy and being driven from their world, King Targot vows to find a new world for his people, but his daughter, the  beloved Princess Alaria, has come down with a fatal illness that befalls women of his people.  Targot fears that if Alaria succumbs to the disease, his people will lose heart and commit mass suicide.  Alaria’s protector, Khondor, the last of his race, vows to find the cure for the disease and sets off to find a famous alchemist who abandoned the fleet months earlier for places unknown.  Khondor seeks out the officer who had signed Holgarth, the alchemist, out and travels to the space-bound casino last seen in the episode Master of Destiny. There, he encounters Xero Trobe, the same gambler and con-man who Hondo from the previous episode had lost his ship and almost his eyes to, and after a little friendly persuading, Trobe tells him where Holgarth has gone.  Traveling to the desolate planet, Khondor meets up with Holgarth and demands the cure for the plague or he’ll destroy the planet.  Holgarth isn’t that worried about it, he’s developed an elixir that grants eternal life to those worthy of it and he offers it to Khondor, the proud last member of his race.  Khondor turns him down, he’s dedicated to saving the princess and he demands that Holgarth give him the cure, but Holgarth whispers something in his ear and Khondor races back to the princess’ side.  It seems that the only way to save her is for her to drink the blood of an old race, a very old race and he slits his own throat and dies, letting his blood flow for the princess to drink.  Um what?  Okay, this ends with Alaria slurping up blood, fade to black.  Was she cured?  Was Holgarth just messing with him?  What really happened?  And let’s be honest, there was a really simple way around all of this, Khondor could have just taken the eternal life elixir first.  Once he couldn’t die, he could donate all the blood the princess needed.  And who says he had to give it all at once?  After all, there’s no way she can drink pints of the stuff at one sitting anyhow.  Maybe he should have thought about this a bit more before he stabbed himself in the neck with a knife. It was a really dumb resolution.  This episode had John Rhys-Davies in it and from the way he was dressed, he reminded me of another really awful movie I saw him in on Syfy: Fire and Ice: The Dragon Chronicles.  Sorry, someone has to have some compromising pictures of Rhys-Davies, considering some of the stinkers he’s been in.  This episode really kind of sucks, truth be told.  It had a nice set up, the Khondor makeup was quite good, but it never went anywhere. How does the princess sucking down Khondor blood cure her?  None of it makes any sense at all.

Orphan Black #2×09 – “Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done” – As we near the end of season 2, all of the various and sundry plots have started to collide.  In fact, as they have started to collide, a couple of season-long meta-plots have emerged that are interesting to think about.  But first, let’s talk about the clones one by one.  Allison and Donnie still have no idea what to do with Leekie’s body.  They’ve had him stashed in the freezer in the garage.  Donnie figures that so long as the official story is that Leekie had a heart attack, nobody is looking for his body and so long as they can get rid of the body, nobody will ever know.  He wants to dump the body in a lake but Allison says they don’t have a boat.  Then he wants to bury it in the yard but finally, they settle on burying it under concrete in the garage.  Allison, for all she’s been through, has developed a serious internal strength, certainly a lot stronger than Donnie.  When Vic comes by, pushed by Art’s detective partner, I think that Donnie is spurred on by Allison’s strength to go a little over the top, knocking Victor down and holding him at gunpoint, with the safety on this time.  My wife kept saying to make the grave big enough for two, but since Angie is outside, they couldn’t very well do that.  Donnie does, however, go out to the van and get Angie to take a hike, which is a new side to him and after filling in the  grave with concrete, Allison and Donnie have sex on the now vacant freezer.  Really though, this whole burial thing is pretty problematic.  You never want to bury or hide a body on your own property, certainly not in an oddly human-sized hole in the middle of your garage. Since they didn’t redo the entire floor, there will always be a very clear rectangle in the middle of the floor that someone might say “hey, what’s under there?”  I don’t know if that will become an issue later but I’d certainly never bury a body in my garage.  Just saying.  Next, we can look at Helena, who went back to the crazy Prolethean religious cult a couple of weeks ago, wanting to be implanted with the fertilized eggs that they stole from her back after she had her “wedding”.  Of course, it turns out that they just implant her eggs in just about everyone. Yes, after a quick primer on Helena’s reproductive system, we find out that Gracie has also had Helena’s eggs implanted. Yeah, it is creepy that her eggs were fertilized by her father but we won’t go there. We find that Helena can be very protective for a cold-blooded killer, she threatens to gut someone working in the Prolethean day car center like a fish if she ever abuses a kid again.  Good job Helena!  Helena decides, once again, that the Proletheans are not for her and she makes her plans to escape.  Gracie says she wants to come with, but Henrik arrives with his shotgun and knocks Helena out.  Okay, I call foul.  She’s been shown to be a skilled fighter and she takes a cheap shot to the head that I saw coming a mile away?  Gracie gets locked in a cage and Henrik says how disappointed he is in Helena, but what does he expect, this isn’t the first time she’s run away.  Helena gets the upper hand and with Mark’s help, Gracie gets away while Helena exacts a little well deserved and extremely disturbing revenge on Henrik.  Now we get to Cosima and Sarah, where most of the episode was spent.  Last week, Cosima went into a fit in the floor, coughing up blood and we find out why.  Whatever this disease is, it’s spread throughout her body and Cosima is having trouble breathing.  Rachel calls Delphine into her office and offers her the position as interim director of the Dyad Institute.  After all, Leekie isn’t going to need his office anymore is he?  This puts Delphine in a better position to help Cosima but Rachel is up to something.  Rachel is always up to something.  Sarah asks Kira if she’d be willing to give some blood marrow and Kira agrees, but they only want to do it at an independent facility where Rachel has no control.  The procedure goes well and while Kira is recovering, Rachel sneaks into the hospital, wearing a wig that makes her look like Sarah, and steals Kira.  Apparently, Rachel’s mommy issues have her wanting a child of her own, even if she has to steal one from a clone.  We see Rachel telling Kira that she’ll end up liking life at the Dyad Institute because she’s never going to leave again.  I love all the little clone-specific things they do in this show, elements that really only fit with one clone but would seem out of place for any of the others.  Take Allison’s pink duct tape for instance.  She wraps plastic around Leekie’s body with it and it’s just so Allison.  Nobody else could get away with that!  Seeing Helena’s attitude change so rapidly, we have to remember that she’s really kind of crazy.  Last week, she went back to the Proletheans to get her “babies”, this week, she doesn’t care if her “babies” live or die.  Next week, she’ll probably be in mommy-mode again.  And as Helena was leaving again, she set the compound on fire.  What about all the other people living there?  All the children?  Are they dead or did she tell them to get out before it went up?  As for Cosima, I hate to say but I’m just the slightest bit tired of her medical condition. Sure, all of the clones might potentially suffer from the degenerative disease at some point so it’s important that Ethan find a cure… eventually.  Pumping her full of Kira’s bone marrow is a stopgap measure at best so I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the sickness by any means.  I’m sort of wondering if Kira’s bone marrow might change other things in Cosima, such as her infertility, although I guess since she’s with Delphine, nobody would ever know if it did.  Still, great episode, lots to think about as we head into the season finale next week.

Penny Dreadful #1×06 – “What Death Can Join Together” – I guess others are seeing things in this show that I’m not, but where others have raved about episodes like last week’s “Closer Than Sisters”, I acknowledge that it was well acted and well directed, it just had little to do with the overall storyline of the season and I think that’s a problem. We see lots of classic horror monsters in this series but all of them seem to be off having their own independent arcs, none of it has really coalesced into a single narrative.  It really doesn’t improve this week and with only two more episodes after this, I’m not holding out a lot of hope that they’ll bring all the disparate stories to a single boil by the end.  After an extended review, Malcolm and Vanessa are examining her room, which was ransacked by the Master (I wish they’d just call him Dracula, all I can picture when I say the Master is Doctor Who), but Vanessa can no longer remain there, it’s been defiled by evil.  As she runs down the stairs, Malcolm reminds her of Mina and she agrees, reluctantly, to try to summon the vampires (yes, they finally use that word!), if only to give Malcolm another chance to rescue his daughter.  Things are going pretty badly for Brona.  We saw her last week, after she broke up with Ethan, slumped in a doorway coughing blood.  This week, she’s back with Ethan, maybe he’s paying her now, and she apologizes for how she acted, but we never really saw any resolution to their fight, it was just over and they made up off screen.  We also never saw any repercussions to Ethan and Dorian’s under-cover shenanigans last week, it, like everything else in this show, was just an excuse to show skin.  We’ll see that again later as well.  Brona warns Ethan to stay away from her, he might catch consumption, but he kisses her anyhow.  And interestingly, if you look back into the vampire mythology, tuberculosis was closely associated with vampirism, it was thought that people with consumption passed it to their families so that they all died and became vampires.  I guess when you’re coughing up blood, it’s not much of a stretch to think that you might be drinking it as well.  Vanessa is doing the card thing, trying to find Mina.  She thinks that she might be at the docks but before she can learn more, Dorian shows up and takes Vanessa on a date.  Next comes Caliban, who while working at the theater, meets the pretty actress that we saw in his first episode.  Her blood tube is clogged and she wants him to fix it.  She isn’t at all disturbed by his horrific appearance, she explains that her own brother was injured in an accident and disfigured and she felt bad for never looking at him.  Her brother was named Lucifer, which let’s be honest, is a little more creepy than Caliban.  He, however, is thrilled that she’s taken some kind of an interest in him, although let’s be honest, I don’t see a romance between them, especially since good Victor is making a woman for him back at the lab, or at least he will be once Brona bites the bucket.  Speaking of Victor, he shows up at Malcolm’s place to report on the autopsy of Fenton.  There is nothing particularly of note, leaving Malcolm wondering how he could summon the Master (gah, keep thinking of Roger Delgado!).  After a nice lunch, Dorian invites Vanessa for dinner and what we know will happen after.  They go back to Dorian’s place and his walls are covered with portraits, Vanessa notes that there are no landscapes.  Yes, they end up in bed together, this wouldn’t be a Showtime series if  they didn’t, and while having sex, Vanessa is possessed by a spirit and they end up having rough and bloody sex.  When Vanessa recovers and runs off, Dorian goes to look at a particular painting that we don’t get to see, but it heals all of his wounds.  Wait, I thought if Dorian Gray looked at his own painting, he’d age and die.  There have been variations over the years, I suppose it’s possible they’re using one of those as the backdrop for the Dorian storyline.  Back at the theater, Caliban sends a gift to Maude, a copy of The Poetical Works of Milton.  While Caliban watches from the shadows, Maude assures her lover that he has nothing to worry about, she doesn’t take Caliban’s affections seriously. Caliban escapes back into the bowels of the theater sobbing.  Victor is watching dancers in the park and is met by Van Helsing, who tells him that he must not allow his work to control him.  Van Helsing doesn’t know that Victor’s work includes a psychotic reanimated corpse who is insisting that Victor make him a bride, maybe that might change things.  Ethan loads his gun, getting ready for a night with Malcolm and Sembene on the docks, looking for Mina.  They board an Egyptian plague ship that Malcolm just so happened to be drawn to and it’s clear that something nasty is going to happen.  Van Helsing and Victor talk and Van Helsing says that the love of his life fell prey to a vampire and he had to stake her.  He suspects that the same has happened to Mina.  He shows Victor a penny dreadful called Varney the Vampire, which is actually a classic vampire serial.  Van Helsing is explaining the facts behind the vampires because he suspected that, sooner or later, Victor would have stumbled into it by himself.  They are interrupted by Caliban though, who knocks Van Helsing down and breaks his neck, killing him.  Exit David Warner.  That’s really a shame because I love David Warner’s work.  It really was a shock to see Van Helsing die so quickly and cheaply and with no vampires involved.  Caliban says he’s tired of Victor wasting time and if he doesn’t get to work building a woman, he’s going to kill everyone that Victor knows.  Back on the plague ship, all the vampires are waking up.  There’s a nice fight sequence where Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene shoot, stab and otherwise off all of the vampires, until the Master shows up, carrying Mina, who screams for her father.  Sembene is barely able to hold Malcolm back when a flaming beam crashes across his path.  Regrouping back at Malcolm’s place, Ethan tells him that he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does, Malcolm is just like Ethan’s father, moving all the tiny soldiers around, thinking he controls the show.  After Ethan leaves, Vanessa arrives home, disheveled from her night with Dorian.  She’s possessed again and rises off the ground, spinning around in mid-air.  Fade to black.  Now this week’s episode was certainly faster paced than last week, things actually happened and did so across more than a single storyline.  Caliban, who isn’t exactly stable to begin with, lets a woman’s laughter trigger a psychotic break. Sure, I can see that, after all, he ripped through Proteus’ chest earlier on, but what’s Victor to do?  He has to wait for the Brona storyline to conclude before he can build the Bride of Caliban.  And seriously, what is it with everyone in this show being absurdly attracted to death?  Both Ethan and Dorian are turned on by Brona’s blood-coughing, skin-and-bones routine.  Oh look!  Someone with a terminal disease!  Let’s screw ’em!  It gets old. And this show reminds me, once again, why I would never subscribe to Showtime or HBO or any of those channels, they’re trying desperately to differentiate themselves from the other basic cable channels by throwing as much gratuitous sex as they can at the screen and it’s blatantly obvious it’s only for titillation, it has nothing to do with the actual story.  As much as I can foresee some of the places this series is going, it’s not going there all that fast.  Yes, we know Brona is going to die and get turned into Caliban’s bride, probably leaving Ethan to pursue her and have sex with her dead corpse.  Hey, why not, it might bring some ratings.  We know that, probably as early as next episode, Vanessa will give herself over to Amun-Ra and his bride.  Ethan, I’m betting, will transform into a werewolf in the final episode, titled “Grand Guignol”, where the current play being performed is “The Transformed Man”.  While we know they’ve already green lit a second season, I don’t think they’ve done enough this year to combine the five different plots into a single cohesive storyline.  The vampires, by and large, are separate from the reanimated corpses, which are separate from Dorian Gray, which is separate from the potential werewolf story.  All of them could easily be intertwined though, I just don’t know why they haven’t been much more than they have.  I guess we have two more episodes to see what they do this year.

Best of the Week:  As much as I’ve been critical of some of the things Continuum has done this year, they’ve brought it back on track in the last couple of episodes and this week, it gets the top spot.  It’s not just because they killed some major characters, but that they’ve shown they’re willing to make major changes and nobody is safe.  With just one more episode to go, I can’t wait to see where they end up.

Worst of the Week:  Believe gets it, this whole show was such a dog, which is a shame because it could have been good if they hadn’t picked such an awful model to work from. The only good point is that they didn’t leave it on a cliffhanger, but there were still a lot of dangling plot threads and really stupid things left open, especially since the whole bit with Bo learning to use her powers so she could save the world or whatever was never adequately explored.  At the beginning of the season, I thought that Believe could be a better series than Resurrection, but by the end, both of them sucked and Believe got canned.  I’m still shocked that Resurrection got picked up again.

Other Stuff I Watched:  After V #1-6, Ataru Special (2013), The Wil Wheaton Project #1×02-1×03, Fukuie Keibuho no Aisatsu #1-4

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.