Wow, I went from having hardly anything to watch to almost too much to review. I had forgotten that Defiance had a double episode this week, then Extant did the same thing and Doctor Who, although I am still reluctant to watch it, came back as well. That, plus extra episodes of Almighty Johnsons and my dance card was full! So let’s not waste time and get right to TV Thursday – 8/28/14.
Almighty Johnsons #1×05 – “This Is Not Washing Powder, My Friend” – I didn’t realize how much there would be this week so I started off watching a bunch of Almighty Johnsons. Luckily, I stopped after three episodes because any more and I’d probably be in trouble. Therefore, I’m going to continue the trend from last week and give somewhat abbreviated recaps for these episodes. Things go from bad to worse when Gaia’s father comes to visit. Gaia doesn’t have a “typical” father. For one, he’s gay. He’s also an adamant vegetarian, a complete pacifist and a nudist. He also expects Gaia to move back to the island with him, he only agreed that she could come to the mainland to study medicine if she promised to move back home when she was done. However, pretty much everyone is opposed to this, especially Axl, who really wants Gaia to stick around, even though he’s entirely too chicken to tell her why. However, Axl gets a letter telling him he has to report to the hospital for a checkup. After all, getting shot in the chest with an arrow tends to be a bad thing. He doesn’t want to go, but the doctor tells him that if he doesn’t show up, he’ll be on the hook for the cancellation fee, whereas if he goes, it’s all covered. Reluctantly, he goes, but after finding the room and sitting around for a while, the doctor never arrives and finally, a nurse tells him he can’t be there and throws him out. Mad, he throws the letter away and goes to meet Zeb. They go through a drive through and while searching for change, Zeb finds a big bag of cocaine under the seat. Axl denies that it’s his and Zeb says if they sell it, that will solve all of their money problems. Axl is dubious, after all, he has no idea how to sell drugs, but Zeb grabs the bag and takes off, saying he’ll be back with a wad of cash. Axl doesn’t think anything of it until he gets home and papa Bryn is already there. He develops an immediate dislike of Axl, who seems like he can’t say the right thing no matter how hard he tries. At least Bryn has his clothes on. Gaia drags Axl into another room to get mad at him and drown her sorrows in beer, after all, she can’t stand up to her father and he’s insisting she go back home. Just then, the police bust in, looking for drugs and while Axl says there aren’t any, they find a stash of weed in Bryn’s bag and arrest him. The cops say they “know” that Axl stole the medical grade cocaine from the hospital, after all, he was in the room where it was kept, but he denies it. As Bryn is dragged off and Gaia is mad at Axl, he visits his brothers to figure out what’s going on. Nobody believes him, but it’s Anders who comes to the correct conclusion, someone is trying to set him up. If he gets convicted, he’ll spend years in prison, years that keep him from looking for Frigg and that plays right into the plans of the goddesses. Anders figures that one of the goddesses works at the hospital and he drags Ty along because Ty is the only one who got a look at the one that shot Axl in the chest. They go looking around until they stumble across Michelle. Of course, they can’t do anything about it because Zeb has lost the drugs. It takes some doing but Axl and Zeb recover the cocaine and are about to break into the hospital and return the drugs when they run into Ty and Anders who have a better plan. They repackage the drugs and hide them in Michelle’s car and then Anders calls her and tells her that if she does anything to Axl again, he’ll make sure that the police find out she stole the drugs. Axl gets home and Bryn’s au naturale. He orders Gaia to leave but she refuses, she says she’s happy here and isn’t the same person she was when she made the promise. Reluctantly, he leaves, telling Axl if he ever hurts Gaia, he’ll do some really horrible things to him. I’ve been told that, starting in episode 6, the show really gets good, which, even if true, doesn’t mean the show hasn’t been fantastic so far. The characters are great, albeit flawed and Axl, for all of his shortcomings, really does try hard to please everyone. I don’t think he even cares that he’s Odin, he just wants to make his brothers happy, even though most of them are trying hard to self-destruct. Even though they fight constantly, I think at the core, all of the brothers really do care about each other in their own way. The goddesses, they are very interesting characters, yet again they entirely fail to communicate with the brothers and if any of them had half a clue, they could solve all of their disagreements in one fell swoop. Of course, that would remove all of the conflict in the show, but I still wish they’d at least try.
Almighty Johnsons #1×06 – “Goddesses, Axl, Come In All Forms” – There are gods all over New Zealand. When a rogue meteorite kills an old woman, both the gods and the goddesses realize it’s a sign of Frigg and both go on separate road trips to find out what it all means. When they arrive at the funeral, they see a beautiful blonde who fulfills all of Olaf’s criteria and she invites them all to the wake for the old woman. While there, they run into Thor, who is a crazy guy with a hammer named Derrick, a goat farmer with a serious hate-on for rabbits. He tells them that the woman isn’t Frigg, his daughter is, but his daughter is less than good looking and Axl isn’t so enthused to do the deed to make them all gods. Of course, since the goddesses also showed up at the party, the rest of the brothers keep them busy while Axl and Delphine get to know each other and honestly, they all get along great. Anders and Michelle go out to a bar and even though things are frosty to start, they’re actually pretty compatible. Olaf pairs off with the goddess oracle Ingrid and they get close fast. In fact, they get drunk in a hot tub, get naked and start dancing around, getting them all bounced from the motel. However, Thor is really, really adamant that his daughter must be Frigg and that Axl has no choice but to sleep with her. Delphine isn’t interested in Axl, any more than Axl is interested in her, in fact, she’s already pregnant by Ross, a guy down the road but she’s terrified to tell her father because he’s told her that she’s this Frigg goddess. Derrick chases Axl around the yard with his hammer until Axl lays some of his Odin vibe on him, Delphine gets to be with Ross and Thor gets a dressing down by Odin. It all works out in the end. Ty, who couldn’t go on the road trip and Mike, who couldn’t get off work, are left behind, but that’s not bad for Ty, after Dawn calls him when Anders’ fridge fails and he comes to her rescue. She’s supposed to be feeding Anders’ fish, but Ty’s cold powers kills them and he’s not at all bothered. Dawn offers to take Ty to a stupid play because Anders told her that he was gay and she just wants to be friends, but over time, he finally explodes and tells her that he’s not only not gay but that Anders only told her that because she’s the kind of girl that he could really fall for and Anders wants to keep her all for himself. This causes her to run out of the apartment, only to return, ask if he was serious and they fall into bed together. Ty, upset with Anders, leaves him a mini-fridge and a box of fish sticks instead of his beloved fish, a message to keep his lies to himself. Now I like Dawn and the idea that Ty, the god of all things dark and cold, falls for her is something that I find appealing. I was worried that they were going to play games and give the runaround for the whole season but luckily, after an episode or so, things went the right way. Ty can counteract Anders, who I find to be the biggest asshat in the series, even though most of them are asshats to one degree or another. Luckily, he gets a dose of his own medicine in the next episode.
Almighty Johnsons #1×07 – “Bad Things Happen” – If there’s been an episode of Almighty Johnsons that I haven’t liked so far, this came the closest, even though this was complete poetic justice for Anders, it hit just about every bad button you could hit for me. Mike, as we’ve seen in past episodes, has been battling to keep his business afloat after Fat Dennis screwed up a roof on Zimbabwean Pete’s house. Valerie finds out about this when Pete’s wife calls and tells her that Mike hasn’t paid the bill at the hotel where he’s putting them up. They fight and he ends up storming out of the house. He goes to a bar where a guy who has been hustling darts asks him to play and even though he’s reluctant, he does and, being the god of games, wins easily. After Valerie calls and tells him not to spend much money, they can’t afford it, he goes to the bank and takes out $800 and goes to a casino. There, he plays blackjack and wins every single hand, racking up a ton of money. The casino finally pulls him away from the table, asking how he’s cheating, but since they can’t prove anything, he isn’t dealing the cards and there’s no possible natural way he could be doing anything wrong, they throw him out with his winnings, close to $100,000. Of course, the dealer at the table lost her job and tells him what a jerk he is out in the parking lot. He volunteers to give her some money but she refuses. Instead, she wants to know how he does what he does and he shows her, going to a carnival where he wins every game he tries, then she takes him to an arcade where he does the same. They start to bond and we wonder if he might cheat on Valerie, but he doesn’t and it turns out that the bad things that are supposed to happen when he uses his powers really don’t. Jackie was unhappy at the casino and now she can go back to school. He won enough money to save his business. And when he gets home, Valerie takes him to the hospital where Rob has come out of his coma after all those years. Meanwhile, Gaia has a new boyfriend and this upsets Axl. He really likes her but he doesn’t have the guts to say anything and now it’s too late. Therefore, he and Zeb decide to get drunk, but when they run out of alcohol, they go to Anders’ place to raid his stash. For some reason, no matter how much he drinks, Axl can’t get drunk. Just then, three women show up and say they’re looking for Anders, but since he isn’t there, Axl and Zeb invite them to drink with them. Zeb is hoping to get lucky but this really isn’t his night. The girls, Kylie, Sascha and Leah, all have been screwed over by Anders’ philandering ways and are there to get even. Just because Anders isn’t there, they will take it out on his brother, but then Anders arrives and they drug all of them, then drag Anders into the bedroom to perform a little ad hoc surgery, leaving Zeb zonked out on the couch and Axl handcuffed to a chair. However, Axl’s god-powers are starting to come out and he breaks the handcuffs and talks the girls into changing their plans, promising that he’ll make sure Anders gets his. Axl tells Anders that he’s done having sex, period, until he finds Frigg. Axl and Zeb get home and even though he never got drunk, Axl has one hell of a hangover. Zeb says that the drugs that they took, while they paralyzed him, he could still see everything that happened, including Axl breaking the handcuffs. Now Zeb knows that Axl can do superhuman things and wants to know why. Like I said, this was not a good episode for me for a lot of reasons. I wasn’t overly against the Mike storyline, it was nice to see him let go a little and use his powers for what turned out to be good. Where I didn’t have so much fun was with Axl. Okay, I know that these are New Zealanders and Axl is a kid and they drink like fish, but in the last couple of episodes where they throw in drugs, count me out. There was a purpose here, of course, that is to show that Axl is growing up and becoming more responsible, more of the “king of the gods” type and it also showed Anders that actions have consequences and that’s good, but come on, they went a bit overboard. It would be nice if Axl realizes that alcohol and drugs don’t affect him at all so he just gives them up. Ultimately, this was an episode about responsibility, Mike taking responsibility for Fat Dennis and for what happened to Jackie. Axl forcing Anders to take responsibility for his lifestyle. I’m willing to give a few points for the object lesson, but the way they did it really didn’t impress me.
Defiance #3×10-3×11 – “Bottom of the World”/”Doll Parts” – Defiance did a double episode this week so here’s a single review for both. Irisa hides outside of the E-Rep office. She gets inside and is almost caught by soldiers talking about their sports bets. Finally, she gets inside and steals a terrasphere, which sets off the alarms, sending everyone out looking for the intruder. Irisa is about to get away with it when Nolan shows up, grabs her and distracts the guards. He gives them back the terrasphere and says the criminal dropped it. He grabs Irisa and drags her back to the office where he strips her of her badge and knives and handcuffs her until he gets answers. Meanwhile, Alak is on the radio explaining that Ambassador Tennety is coming, all the while Deirdre is trying to come on to him. He tells her that it’s over, he can’t keep sleeping with her, it’s interfering with his marriage. She says if he’s going to treat her like a prostitute, she’s going to charge him. He gives her all the money he has and promises to make good on the rest and leaves. Tennety arrives and treats Amanda like crap. She tells Amanda to pick up her bags, but Amanda doesn’t work for her, I don’t know why she didn’t tell her where to shove the bags. That’s pretty much what Pottinger does though. They go off to the mines for a tour. Christie, Quentin and Rafe sit around as a family, although clearly there is bad blood between Quentin and Rafe over his wife. Alak shows up and is met with the cold shoulder by everyone. Everyone tours the mines but the ground starts shaking and Nolan orders everyone to evacuate. The mine collapses, trapping Pottinger, Amanda and Tennety inside. Tennety is killed, no loss at all. Christie is going out with Deirdre and she whispers to Alak that she just might tell his wife what they’ve been doing. Alak complains to his mother, who goes to Datak and they all realize that something has to be done about Deirdre. Not long after, we see her up in the arch, playing a record, when she’s attacked and the record starts skipping from her blood being all over it. Suddenly, Deirdre falls from the arch to her death. Yes! I hated that stupid bitch! It couldn’t have happened to a sleazier person and that’s saying a lot on Defiance. Nolan and Berlin have to repel down a long shaft to get to where Pottinger and Amanda are trapped but they have to hurry because they’re quickly running out of air. However, because they know they don’t have long to live, Pottinger and Amanda admit their feelings for each other in a very roundabout way and are just about to die from oxygen deprivation when Nolan and Berlin blast through the wall and save them. Meanwhile, Tommy finds Irisa and she uses her metal tendrils to “convert” him, then uses him to go back to the E-Rep outpost and re-steal the terrasphere. Irisa takes the terrasphere back to her camp and activates it and most of the pilgrims are sucked down into the machinery underground, I’m guessing to power the ship buried under old Saint Louis. Arkrise has come. Nolan is now busy trying to figure out what’s going on with Irisa so he deputizes Amanda to work on the Deirdre murder. We know lots of people who have motive but we’re not sure who actually did it. Was it Datak? Was it Stahma? Was it Alak? There are plenty of flash-backs to time Amanda spent with Deirdre and we’re supposed to feel sympathy for her but I never did. I hated the character, she was self-centered and obnoxious, everything revolved around her and none of those scenes did anything to dispel that. As far as I was concerned, whoever did her in was doing a good thing. So we had Stahma confronting Datak, asking if he did the deed, right up until they found a bloody microphone hidden under Alak’s bed. That seems to solve the case and, even without that evidence, Amanda arrests Alak for the murder because they found a secret video camera in the arch that showed Alak making the threat that he’d throw Deirdre from the arch. While he’s in jail, everyone comes in and is supportive of him except Christie who says he’s betrayed her and her child. Well, yes, he has actually. It’s a whole screwed up relationship. Stahma goes on a walk for the poor, taking food and supplies and visits a man who is dying. He doesn’t know what will happen to his daughter when he’s gone and Stahma promises to take her into the family as a handmaiden if he’ll just go to Amanda and claim to have killed Deidre. He does, presenting the bloody microphone as evidence and Alak is released. Back at home, he finds Christie in the bath and she’s seriously creepy. She says if she ever finds out that he’s cheated on her again, she’ll kill him and then demands that he get into the bath with her. Nolan encounters Tommy and Tommy is about to kill him when his body rejects the Irzu threads, which is actually a kind of cool scene. Now that Tommy is among the non-zombie, Nolan tells him that this isn’t the work of a god, but an artificial intelligence, the navigation system of the ship buried underground. He has some grenades that will disrupt that artificial intelligence but they have to get it into Irisa’s camp. Tommy pretends that he’s still on Irisa’s side and takes Nolan into the camp, where he goes to talk to Irisa, leaving Tommy time to plant the grenades. Nolan and Irisa get into a fight, we’re not sure if she’s being controlled by Irzu or not and finally Sukar comes in and starts beating Nolan while Tommy fiddles with the controls to set off the grenades. Finally he does and everyone falls unconscious. They take Irisa and drive away but along the way, she wakes up, knocks out Nolan and shoots Tommy before making good her escape. When Nolan comes to, Tommy is bleeding out on the ground. The engine of their roller is shot so he puts Tommy on the roof rack and goes dragging him back to town. Back to the Deirdre storyline. It turns out that the real murderer wasn’t anyone we thought, it was Christie. Deirdre had her to lunch in the arch and while there, admitted her love for Alak and said she’d fight for him. She even tried to poison Christie with a potion that would kill the baby. Christie hit her with the microphone and threw her out of the arch. Good going! As for the other mystery, who caused the mine collapse, while they were digging out the rubble, they found a Votan device that causes earthquakes. It was Rafe’s son Quentin who did it in order to get the Votans to release his mother, whom Rafe had allowed to be taken in order to save his children. Quentin and Rafe fight over what to do, Rafe has tons of Votan weapons he’s gotten from Datak in order to fight back against the Earth Republic and Quentin knocks Rafe out, then calls Nolan and reports his father. Rafe, knowing that Quentin did it, takes responsibility instead and is taken away. The Votans release his mother, played by Linda Hamilton (and she looks so old now!) and she tells him he’s an idiot, of course his father took responsibility, he’s trying to protect the family. All in all, we’re down to a two-part season finale next week and things are moving quickly on all of the assorted storylines. Once again, I’m really glad Deirdre is dead, she was horribly obnoxious in every way, I would have thrown her out of the arch myself.
Doctor Who #8×01 – “Deep Breath” – I’ll be honest, I never planned on watching this new season of Doctor Who, I’ve hated virtually everything that egomaniac idiot Moffat has done recently and I was just through. However, and I explained this in more detail here, when I found out Peter Capaldi was just as mad as most of the fans, but in a position to oppose pretty much all of the stupid crap Moffat had been doing, I had to give him a chance. Therefore, here’s my look at the 80-minute first episode of this season of Doctor Who. A dinosaur rampages through Victorian London and Vastra, Jenny and Strax are there. Vastra suggests that maybe the dinosaur travelled through time, maybe it was something that it ate, just as it coughs up the Tardis. They go to investigate, but Strax is met with an old gray-haired gentleman that he doesn’t recognize as Peter Capaldi steps out of the Tardis for the first time as the Doctor. Of course, as has become quite common, the Doctor is suffering from memory problems following his regeneration and promptly falls over unconscious. They take him back to their estate but the Doctor doesn’t want to stay in bed and rest, he is confused about the bedroom and it takes Vastra to put him back to sleep. Clara isn’t happy either, she wants the other guy back. Vastra says that the Doctor isn’t her boyfriend and is old enough to see stars fall to dust, which honestly, it wasn’t that many seasons ago that the Doctor was 900 years old and now he’s over 2000? Anyhow, the Doctor, who speaks dinosaur, looks out the window just as the dinosaur erupts into flame. He climbs out the window to investigate and is joined on the scene by the Paternoster Gang and Clara. The Doctor asks if there have been any similar murders and when Vastra says there has been, he leaps into the Thames. Strax takes the Tardis back to the mansion, saying it’s a guarantee that the Doctor will find them. Meanwhile, the Doctor is digging through the trash, he says he’s cold and needs to find some new clothes. He asks another bum, suggests maybe he needs a big, long scarf, then quickly changes his mind. He says he’s sure that he’s seen his own face before, a probable reference to Peter Capaldi’s earlier appearance in Doctor Who in “The Fires of Pompei”, then he rushes off to solve the mysteries. Madame Vastra realizes that the mysterious burning deaths were done to hide what was taken from the bodies. Clara finds a newspaper advertisement for “the Impossible Girl” and realize that it must have been sent by the Doctor. She meets him in a restaurant, he’s wearing the other bum’s dirty old coat and says he didn’t place the ad, he thought Clara did. They realize that all the other patrons in the restaurant are robots and that the whole place is a front for stealing human organs. They are captured and taken down into an underground spaceship. They find a mysterious half-faced robotic man recharging and while the Doctor says it’s all familiar, he can’t quite work it all out. They run but the Doctor abandons her. She remembers that he said they can’t tell she’s human if she doesn’t breathe, she tries to hold her breath but can’t do it for long enough and is captured. The half-faced robotic man starts to torture her but she won’t tell him where the Doctor went. He says he’s searching for paradise and Clara says that if the new guy is really the Doctor, he’ll always have her back. She reaches back to see if he’ll grab her hand and he does. The Doctor says he’ll destroy everything if he sees anything he doesn’t like and that includes karaoke and mimes. Vastra, Jenny and Strax break in to start fighting the robots. The Doctor chases the half-faced man up into an escape ship repaired with human parts. It is the U.S.S. Marie Antionette, sister to the U.S.S. Madame de Pompadour, last seen in the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”. They fight and it’s suggested, although not shown, that the Doctor threw the half-faced man out of the ship and he lands, impaled on Big Ben’s spire. Clara goes back to Vastra’s place and the Tardis is gone, she’s been abandoned by the Doctor. She gets back into her modern clothes and Vastra says that’s because she knows that the Doctor is coming back for her. Just then, the Tardis appears outside. The inside has been totally redone and Clara doesn’t like it. The Doctor says he’s been alive for more than 2000 years and has done some really bad things and wants to start making up for it. Clara says she can’t go along, which considering she’s leaving the show after the Christmas Special, is very true. The Tardis stops and Clara gets out but stops to answer her cell phone. It’s the Matt Smith Doctor, calling from Trenzalore before his “death”. He tells her that the new Doctor needs her to show him the way. The Capaldi Doctor comes out and knows everything that’s going on, after all, he was the one that made the call, and Clara agrees to go with him, she hugs him, even though this new Doctor isn’t the hugging kind. They go off to get coffee, even though the Doctor has no money. The half-faced robot wakes up in a garden where a mysterious woman named Missy tells him that she’s sorry that her boyfriend did all of this to him, clearly referring to the Doctor. Then she tells him that he’s reached paradise, he’s in heaven. Now there was both good and bad in this episode. I hate the Doctor acting like a loon, I hated it when Matt Smith did it, I don’t like it when Capaldi does it. Sure, I know regenerating is confusing but the Doctor is supposed to be a genius, many hundreds of years old and part of a super-advanced alien species. He is not crazy. He should never be treated as crazy. That really brings us to Clara, who I really have never liked. She’s been a McGuffin, she’s just an object, not a character and I hate that. She didn’t take long to adapt to travelling through time and space, why did this bother her so much? It makes no sense. We do get to revisit an old mystery, the woman who brought her and the Doctor together back in “The Bells of Saint John” is supposedly the same one that got them into the same restaurant in this episode. Who is this woman? Some have suggested Rose, some have said Missy, the one at the end, some have said River Song. Personally, I’ll throw something through the TV if I ever see Rose again and I have almost the same feelings about River Song, a character that Moffat ruined completely, so I’m going to vote for Missy but honestly, I don’t much care who it is. It isn’t a mystery that I’m at all invested in. This was a very run-of-the-mill episode IMO, it didn’t introduce anything earth-shattering, it had really awful Moffat writing and frankly, I’m looking forward to Clara leaving. There’s just too much wrong in this show right now and even though I want to give Capaldi a chance to reign in Moffat, he’d better work quick because I don’t know how much of this I’ll be able to stomach.
Extant #1×07/1×08 – “More in Heaven and Earth”/”Incursion” – Not only did Defiance throw me a double-episode curve but Extant did too. They’re also doing it again next week. I don’t know why, from what little I’ve seen online, they had to move up the season finale, presumably so it didn’t interfere with whatever comes on after it, therefore we get two this week. Ah well, it’s a good show, I’ll take more if I can get it. I just hate that so many of these cable shows only go 10-13 episodes anymore. Since I did it all back to back and I honestly don’t remember where one episode ended and the other began so I’ll do a single review. I’m just hoping this isn’t their way of saying it’s getting axed after this season and they’re just burning episodes. This is one that I’m really digging. Anyhow, on with the review. Now that Molly knows Sam is really on her side, even if she has to play for both teams, they put together a plan for Molly to get her baby back. She tells Sam to look through the medical records of the Aruna crew and try to find any anomalies that might show that Sparks knew about the dangers on the mission, thus proving he knew what was going on when he sent Molly up into space. Sam says that if she starts poking around in the Aruna mission files, Sparks is going to know something is up. That’s great, Molly wants him to sweat. Sparks is really starting to screw up, his team doesn’t trust him and he’s really keeping the alien baby around because it lets him see his dead daughter whenever he wants. Gordon has Kryger tied up in his basement and wants to know what’s going on. Unfortunately, mom comes to call and she’s worried about Gordon, she fears he’s losing his mind, just like dear old dad did. Gordon starts to think that his father didn’t really go crazy, maybe they really were out to get him. Meanwhile, Kryger gets loose and tries to escape but Gordon corners him and Kryger tells him what’s really going on, which makes Gordon change sides. Meanwhile, John takes Ethan to school and when Ethan hears two girls speaking Japanese about him, he responds in kind. Unfortunately, Ethan doesn’t know Japanese and nobody knows how he learned it. In fact, Ethan is learning a lot of things, much faster than anyone had ever imagined possible. John fears that if he doesn’t put an artificial limitation on Ethan’s learning abilities, soon he will be smarter than his teachers and that ruins the whole point of him being in school, so he can learn at the same rate as regular kids. Sam comes over to Molly’s place and tells her that there was something odd in the Aruna medical logs, all of the crew’s brain scans were exactly the same, someone had replaced them for some reason. She also found that a specific kind of chemical ended up in their system that is only found during mining missions. Since the Aruna mission wasn’t associated with mining, someone had to change the data. That must have been Derek Pearce, presumably a low level technician at ISEA but he had a multi-million dollar luxury apartment that was bought for him by a mining organization. Molly sends some very pointed questions to his e-mail and he agrees to meet. However, by the time she arrives, he’s committed suicide, leaping from his penthouse. Sparks goes to see Sam to ask why she’s looking into the Aruna medical records, she says that he told her to earn Molly’s trust back and he tells her not to do it again, at least not without running it by him first. John buys Ethan a bike and shows him how to ride it but Ethan is a natural. John wants Molly to give up, it’s too dangerous but she refuses. She has to get her baby back, or failing that, at least see the baby. She tells Sparks that she has the Aruna video and he offers to trade, the video for seeing the baby but she refuses. John decides to install that limiting software into Ethan but finds that he’s been locked out. He rushes to Julie’s apartment and accuses her of changing the password but she denies responsibility. Ethan is doing it all himself, even though he’s not supposed to be able to. Julie has been getting close to Odin but it turns out that he’s the leader of an anti-robotics terrorist group who want to kill Ethan as an example to society. It looks like Yasumoto’s girlfriend is one of them too. Molly finds out that the company that bought Pearce’s apartment is a front. She tries to visit the place but the space is empty and the guard calls Sparks. Molly is almost caught but is rescued at the last moment by Gordon and Kryger. Gordon tells them that they’re closing up shop and moving the baby to another facility where they’ll never have access again. Their only chance is to catch the convoy during the transfer, but after the baby starts doing some odd things, Sparks calls off the transfer and they have to change plans. Instead, Gordon says he can get Molly down to see the baby but it’s a one-way trip. Kryger says what the hell, he’s already as good as dead, he’ll come too. Molly sends John a message saying goodbye and Gordon blows the main power. Molly and Kryger sneak in, almost getting caught a couple of times and Gordon is supposed to send them a secure elevator to the bottom floor but he’s unable to. No problem, Kryger has Gordon’s fingerprints! However, Sparks finds it strange that Gordon is supposedly in the elevator and standing in front of him at the same time so he holds Gordon at gunpoint as his guards fill the elevator door with bullets. The baby doesn’t like that, it possesses the guards and has them kill each other. Molly goes to see the baby but Kryger shoots the tank, saying he’s sorry but he can’t let it live. Luckily, the tank is occupied by a dead guard. Gordon is running away from Sparks but then Molly goes the other way and he chases her instead. He apologizes and then shoots her but it wasn’t really Molly, it was his daughter Katie, or really the alien baby. She tells him that the baby needs them to protect it. Ethan decides he’s going to go ride his new bike and heads for a distant park where he finds some older kids abusing a maintenance bot. When they try to steal his bike, they knock him down and his face is ripped and the boys run away. John takes Ethan back to the lab for repairs and he insists on taking the bot too. Julie fixes his face but he’s more concerned about the bot. That night, while Julie and Odin are on a date, John gets the message and rushes off to save Molly, he calls Julie and leaves Ethan with them. This is probably not a good thing. Now we knew that Odin was bad news, pretty much from the start. I just find it’s odd that someone leading an anti-robotics group has a robotic arm, no matter how he justifies it. And what of Julie? Is he going to kill her too? After all, she’s a designer, she’s one of the people most responsible for Ethan, what’s in store for her? And what of Ethan? Following his traumatic experience in the woods, he’s changing constantly, evolving faster than anyone knew possible. Is there a reason for this? He hasn’t been touched by the alien or anything that we know of. Where did this ability come from? And what is the alien baby anyhow? What does it want? Why does it continue to recognize Molly as its mother? There’s a lot of questions and not that many episodes to get the answers. And if this series is going to end at the end of the season, I hope they at least try to answer some of the questions and tie up plot threads instead of ending on a cliffhanger. Either way, I’ll enjoy it while I can and I am enjoying it.
The Last Ship #1×10 – “No Place Like Home” – It’s season finale time. Chandler’s father Jeb is transmitting, everyone is sick and they’re looking for help but not having any luck. Back on the ship, the entire crew gets their shots to protect them and Chandler goes looking for a place to manufacture the cure. At first, they want to go to Fort Dietrick, it seems like the most logical place to start mass producing the vaccine but after they hack into a military satellite, it appears that someone burned down the medical facilities and they have to look elsewhere. They get a radio message from Mrs. Granderson, the mother of a crewmember and vice chair of the Defense Policy Board. She’s been running Baltimore and invites the crew to come into her safe zone. After Alisha talks to her mother, Chandler agrees. They move in cautiously and there are warlords in the area who want to run the city, if not for Granderson’s influence. They try to assassinate her at the waterfront but can never get a clean shot. Back at her facility, Chandler and Rachel tell her that they have the cure and vaccinate her entire staff. They’ve been trying to come up with a cure independently and they applaud Rachel’s efforts. Meanwhile, Chandler tries to contact his father and wife and finally gets ahold of them, they’re in Baltimore headed toward Olympia Stadium. Chandler tries to get there but Granderson’s people refuse to take them there, it’s a restricted zone. They all pull guns on Chandler and his crew and they’re forced to open fire, killing all of the guards. Chandler orders everyone back to the ship but some of Granderson’s men are already onboard and moving to take over the ship. Clearly, all is not as it seems, as becomes obvious when Rachel finds out that Granderson’s scientists weren’t trying to cure the virus, they were trying to kill the victims. Rachel confronts Granderson and she says that the warlords are trying to undermine the American way of life, they even tried to steal the original Constitution. She can’t allow them to do that so she’s created her own little enclave of people on her side and she plans on letting the virus ravage everyone outside. Alisha is shocked that her mother is acting like this. Chandler reaches Olympia and finds out it’s a holding area for the sick and dying. Since he’s immune, he goes inside and finds what’s left of his family, his wife has died but everyone else is still alive. He gives them the vaccine to cure them and then they try to escape. On the way out, they stumble on doctors in masks giving the poison to the sick and outside, the bodies are being loaded into trucks to be burned in the local power plant. On the Nathan James, one of Granderson’s men pulls a gun and shoots a crew member. He orders all crew to assemble on the flight deck and when Quincy tries to stop him, he’s shot in the gut. So what next? We wait until next season! Honestly, this was a pretty good show, even though I wondered where it would go once they came up with the cure. It’s only been a couple of weeks since the series started, the idea that all of civilization would turn into something out of Max Max is a little ridiculous and I hope they finish up this Granderson storyline pretty quick. The bad guy not being the bad guy is pretty standard fare though, I really don’t want to work through nobody actually wanting the cure or anything like that. I’m interested enough to start watching season 2 once it shows up next summer.
Perception #3×10 – “Dirty” – After Donnie wakes up in Shelby’s bed, with a dead Shelby beside him, it’s clear something is wrong. As soon as I heard about this, my first reaction was “yay, Shelby is dead!” I hated her the first time I saw her, I’ve hated every time she was on screen and I’m happy to see her go. She was awful. Anyhow, Donnie calls Daniel and when Daniel arrives, the police come and arrest them both for the murder. Daniel manages to get out of prison, with the help of Kate. Donnie, however, isn’t so lucky, he’s “accidentally” transferred to a maximum security prison in place of another man with a similar name. There, he’s recognized by some of the criminals he’s put away and ends up getting beaten up until the judge can reverse the order and get him back into court. The judge is not at all happy with this and he finds that a police officer intimidated another officer into falsifying the transfer documents. This officer turns out to be Shelby’s ex-boyfriend, a cop with a bad temper that Shelby broke up with long before. However, hearing that Shelby was dead, he wanted to hurt the guy who supposedly killed her as much as possible. The cop tells Kate that he heard Donnie was sleeping with Shelby for quite some time, but after Daniel gets in to talk to him, it’s clear that he wasn’t talking about Donnie but another guy with political aspirations. Since the judge, because of the screw up, had released Donnie on his own recognizance, Kate was back at the apartment yelling at him for being unfaithful when Daniel shows up and corrects her. It wasn’t Donnie that had an affair with Shelby. They find out that it was another prominent local politician who admits that he made some bad decisions with Shelby but he certainly didn’t kill her. So who did? They talk to Shelby’s neighbor who really speaks well of her and says he saw her bring Donnie home. He also reports that he heard someone, he assumes Donnie, leaving her apartment later. That can’t be because Donnie was found in the apartment. After a little finagling, Daniel and Kate return to the neighbor’s apartment with a bit of hair and he admits that he killed Shelby, he loved her from afar, but after he approached her that night, he realized that she didn’t feel the same way about him and he hit her. Then he knew that she’d never love him and he strangled her and put her into the bed next to Donnie to cover his tracks. After he’s arrested, Daniel and Kate go back into Shelby’s apartment and find that the bed had been moved and someone was in the closet taking pictures, clearly this was a set up between Shelby and the photographer so they could blackmail Daniel. They found the photographer who confessed all, including the fact that they were being paid by the local politician to discredit his competition. Donnie actually fell asleep, being heavily drugged, and Shelby had to pose him to get incriminating pictures. With Donnie completely cleared, he and Kate reconcile. Okay, early in the episode, the toxicology comes back and says that Donnie had no drugs in his system, how then did Shelby drug him? That makes no sense at all. We also had a sub-plot where Daniel’s father calls him and invites him to meet his new girlfriend at the old folks home. His girlfriend seems insane and tells them a story about a gangster living in her old house. Daniel doesn’t believe it and this upsets his father, who says if he wants to make it up to them, he and Kate can go out to visit the house and see if there’s evidence that the gangster, missing for years, is really there. Daniel checks the house and Kate goes outside to look and sees nothing suspicious on the outside, but just then, the house explodes. So is Daniel dead? Of course not but we won’t find that out until next season, already announced to start in February. At least they didn’t use any oddball rare ailments in this episode, it was a straight mystery, which I think the show needs more often. We also ditched Shelby, which was great and Donnie wasn’t the sleazebag that they made him out to be for a lot of the season. His political aspirations are over, which is a good thing, and now he and Kate can get married and it will be about damn time.
The Strain #1×07 – “For Services Rendered” – There were a lot of surprises this week, things that don’t appear in either the book or the comic and maybe they’re realizing that telling the same story over again isn’t going to attract many existing fans. Therefore they have to mix things up, which they do quite well this week. There are two big stories this week, the first, a flash-back to Setrakian’s time in the Treblinka Nazi concentration camp, where Eichorst becomes impressed with his woodworking skills and commissions him to build a big, intricately carved box. This is back before Eichorst is a vampire, but after he’s already under the thrall of the Master. Eichorst wonders what Setrakian thinks of a new reich, a better reich rising after the end of the Nazis. Although it took more than 60 years to come to fruition, that’s exactly what’s been happening in New York City in the series. Setrakian really has no choice but to build the box, even when a drunk Eichorst presents him with a choice, either continue to work or try to grab the gun and kill Eichorst. Setrakian chooses to do nothing. However, he doesn’t exactly do nothing, he’s been working in a room next to a treasure stash and he breaks in there one day and steals a silver dagger, which he hides under his workbench. I’m sure we’ll revisit that again soon. As for the other story, this is where things are a little weaker. Now that Nora and Eph are on board, they go to Jim’s house where they all tell the truth to Jim’s wife Sylvia. She’s not at all happy about the situation, Jim has been lying to her, ostensibly for her own good, and she leaves Jim. I found that a little quick for my tastes to be honest, but as I said, I found this whole thing a bit weak. Setrakian lays out his plan for everyone, he has Jim call Eldrich Palmer with a voice mail that says he didn’t really dispose of Redfern’s body and if he wants to know where the body is, he’s to send Eichorst with $100,000 to the train station for a trade. Of course, it’s a blatantly obvious trap, but Setrakian says that Eichorst is so egotistical, he’ll have to go for it and, of course, he does. He meets Jim and demands the information but Jim refuses and since there are police all around them, Eichorst has no chance of attacking and/or draining Jim. Therefore, Eichorst leaves, with Nora and Eph hot on his trail but he gives them the slip. He’s not good enough to avoid Setrakian though and through some games on a train, they come face-to-face on an empty platform. Eichorst overpowers Setrakian, but before he can attack, Eph shoots him in the leg with a silver bullet and forces Eichorst to retreat. We also see the fallout from last week when the Luss’ maid Neeva takes the children home with her. This week, the husband gets home from a business trip and is surprised that there seems to be nobody around at his hotel. He calls Neeva and demands she return the children, he says that he’s going home and he’s going to see what’s going on and she’d better have them back in the morning. He goes home, gets surrounded by vampires, his cab driver is a complete idiot and he gets killed by his vamped-out wife. The next morning, Neeva’s daughter insists that she take the kids back and when they do, the carnage is everywhere. They get attacked and Neeva’s daughter gets injured, but the Vampire Lords show up and take out the vamps, and Neeva’s daughter, who is “unclean”. Of course, the vampire lords never leave their victims alive, they don’t want anyone coming back from the dead, that’s something that we saw the Master doing in the concentration camp, it’s only now that he’s trying to take over the world that he’s infecting as many people as he can to build his army. We also got to see Gus and his friend in a jail cell after they were picked up last episode and his friend isn’t doing well. Hopefully, Gus will meet up with Setrakian and crew soon, although I know a lot of that doesn’t really happen until next season, which, The Strain has no officially gotten. Yay! So other than people doing some stupid things, which is an unfortunately common horror trope, this was a fun episode that kept me interested because most of the action was actually new.
Best of the Week: After being in the bottom spot a lot, Perception rises to the top by showing how the episodes ought to be done. No super-rare mental disorders, no weird diseases, just a good mystery that kept you thinking. Plus, we got to see Shelby get offed and that’s always a good thing.
Worst of the Week: I’m going to avoid the obvious Doctor Who choice and go with something else. It wasn’t really bad but Almighty Johnsons #1×07 really didn’t work for me and maybe that’s a personal thing but still, it wasn’t one of my favorites. Oh well, no harm no foul, they can’t all be winners and the rest of the series has been very enjoyable.
Other Stuff I Watched: Keizoku 2 SPEC #1-4, ToQGer #14-20