Thursday, 28 November 2013

S1x8 - The Originals: A River in Reverse

Aired 26/11/13 on The CW

'A River in Reverse' was pretty decent considering everyone spent most of the episode being upset about something. I didn't know who to feel most sorry for. Klaus for having his family betray him? Rebekah for feeling torn between loyalty and her big bro's evil-doing? Marcel for being an epic-fail? Or Elijah who was having nightmares while writhing in pain from his Klaus bite? Let's face it, life sucks for these people... and they're immortal so that's a lot of suckiness! 

Klaus basically spent the majority of his time accusing everyone of betraying him and performing monologues about his feelings. He had Cami write up his life story like Brad Pitt in Interview with a Vampire, but then she got fed up and psychoanalysed him instead. But if this episode proved anything, it was that we now know for certain that Klaus really does care. He was worried enough about Cami getting caught in the crossfire of a vampire war that he wanted her to leave town - and he also believed that she had the right to make the choice herself rather than be compelled as usual. How thoughtful

Of course he did get rather tied up when Rebekah, Marcel and his vampire posse decided to stage some sort of violent intervention. The plan was to dagger him and leave him in the garden for 52 years or something... Obviously Klaus is a lot more powerful than all of the other little vamps, but what they lacked in strength they made up for in numbers. Not that it mattered much though - didn't anyone ever teach them that it's QUALITY NOT QUANTITY?! For a while it looked like he was finally beaten. They chained him and beat him and stabbed him and anything else you can think of that involves pain, but then Klaus' eyes went like this:

When a guy's eyes light up like that, you know he means business. He broke free and started killing loads of vamps. Rebekah, realising that the plan was a complete bust, begged Marcel to retrieve the golden coin that Klaus had thrown earlier, during another of his monologues, for someone to pick up as a show of loyalty. The battle (or should I probably say slaughter?) ended quickly and Marcel conceded defeat. The Kingdom belongs to Klaus now - and he even kicked Marcel out of his house! But all of it came with a sting in the tail as Marcel pointed out that Klaus couldn't buy true loyalty; loyalty has to be earned and Klaus' bullying and threats will only go so far - Rebekah's attitude towards her brother is a perfect example.

Klaus then finished things up by, wait for it... CRYING. Seriously. Mr Big-Bad is officially a crier now. He made a very moving speech to Rebekah and Elijah about how he was jealous that Hayley liked Elijah more than him, and how they both chose to side with other people when he needed them most. In the back of my mind I know that, to an extent, Klaus deserves all of this treatment at the moment, but at the same time I did really feel sorry for him. As Rebekah aptly put it: "We don't abandon you Nik, you drive us away." I mean, how tragic is that?! Klaus didn't want to stay to resolve the issue with his siblings any longer so he kindly gave them back the dagger that could kill them for a bit (at least that was decent of him) and then he moved out - and took the mother of his baby with him!

Other notable things that happened throughout the episode included Elijah suffering in a little wooden shack out in the wilderness with Hayley as his carer. In his pained state, he started having flashbacks that he somehow magically shared with Hayley, showing how he was in love with a witch called Celeste, but thanks to Klaus' trickery she died. (That's another black stain on your record, Klausy-boy). Also, we learned that Elijah likes to spank his girlfriends - good luck with that one Hayley, m'dear!

Hayley also made some progress with her werewolf-family history when she finally spoke to this creepy blonde woman who'd been spying on them. In the woman's defence, she really made an impression because she basically saved Hayley's life. Elijah started hallucinating and strangled Hayley (it happens) and then the woman just came out of nowhere and poked him in the back with a bit of wood (no sexual innuendo there, I promise). When all was calm they eventually had a little chat and Hayley learned that her family all suffered from a curse that reversed the typical werewolf curse; basically they were full-time wolves EXCEPT during the full-moon. Personally, I thought that sounded quite cool and I would like to know more about these wolfy people. I'm loving how this show is slowly drawing its story away from the witches. Hooray!

Now I really can't finish this review without mentioning the one thing that made me truly happy this week:

Tyler deserved to get his neck snapped. Rebekah is my hero! First the dude disappears and neglects Caroline, then returns to have sex with her, then dumps her, then arrives in New Orleans where he kidnaps Hayley and tries to kill her baby. Even the fact that you're good-looking can't save you now wolf-boy. The list of mean things that he's done is getting ridiculously long now guys. It's about time he had his neck snapped! 

I think I've covered the basics. I can't wait to see how Elijah takes the news that Klaus has taken Hayley next week. My goodness that girl gets taken a lot! I expect things will be bloody - Klaus is King now!

Amber

S4x7 - The Walking Dead: Dead Weight

Aired 24/11/13

Week two in the life of Brian the Governor; the dramatic reunion with Martinez last week led to, well, some talking. It was tense, I’ll give them that, as Martinez made it clear he was in charge and eventually invited them back to his camp. Luckily Lily’s optimism hasn’t died along with everyone else as she stated that even though the camp’s not great, they’d make it better. Well okay then!

She set herself up as camp nurse while the Governor went on a scouting trip with Martinez and two brothers to a cabin to get some supplies and stuff. On the way there they found a body of a guy tied to a tree, his head cut off and a sign saying ‘liar’ nailed to his chest. When they reached a cabin there was one with ‘rapist’ nailed to his chest, casually tied to an armchair outside, and a guy with his head this time and ‘murderer’ on his chest, who looked like he had taken himself out holding a picture of his family. He definitely wasn't messing around at the end of the world.

They searched the house, sending the Governor in as the sacrificial lamb to search for Walkers and found the dead guy’s wife and kid, plus the two heads, all looking for some tasty human flesh. He bashed in their skulls with his torch and they sat around a nice warm fire exchanging war stories of way back when. One of the brothers, Mitch, drove a tank in the army which turned out to be very useful when the zombie apocalypse happened. I think I’m going to have to include that in my plan from now on - don’t lie, you know you’ve thought about it too! And when the time comes, you’ll be the one laughing as your well thought out plan keeps you alive. You and your tank.

The next day they’re sat around the picnic table back at camp, eating lunch and getting merry with the beer they found in the cabin, reminiscing about the old times. I like that we continue to see evidence of the Governor’s remorse as the presence of Martinez threatens the life of Brian, even though he has said he’s not going to say anything. The Governor’s reluctance to even mention Woodbury is obvious and he’s apparently very good at dodging the subject when Lily asks.



They all disperse and as he sets about fixing the leak in his ceiling, Martinez invites him for a spot of golf on top of one of the caravans. Martinez is pretty drunk, taking alternate swigs of booze after each swing, talking about how lackey number two died and his responsibilities as camp leader. He suggests sharing some with the Governor and just as he says he should have taken golf lessons, the Governor clubs him over the head, drags him to a Walker pit and drops him in for feeding time, all the while saying he didn’t want it. Jeez, Gov, you could have just said no and be done with it. This reaction was a tad extreme and evidence that maybe there’s a reason he has so much guilt.

Despite the guilt though, it seems that he can’t just wipe away who he was, but luckily no one suspected him and instead blamed Martinez’s death as a drunken accident while he blamed his shaking on a bad dream. Pete assumed leadership of the camp until a vote can be placed and took the Governor and Tank Guy on a hunt. They came across another camp with plenty of supplies that Tank Guy wanted to rob but Pete, the brother with a conscience, said no. They’d only caught a few squirrels though, and when they went back to the camp they found that it has been massacred by humans who had taken the supplies. It wasn’t too clear how much time had passed as they made it seem like not a lot, but I would think that they’d hear a massacre going on not too far away right? Either way they don’t have the supplies for themselves. Gutted.

Spooked, the Governor went back and demanded Lily and Megan pack up all their stuff to leave. Along with Tara and her new girlfriend Elisha, they attempted to flee but came to a roadblock of a bunch of Walkers stuck in the mud. That killed that idea. Forced back to camp, the next day the Governor went to see Pete who thought it was a chat about Tank Guy, but ended up being stabbed in the back, literally. Turns out that the Governor we knew and didn’t quite love has come back to play in his desperation to protect his new family.

He goes to see Tank Guy and confesses to the killing, saying that it was the right idea about robbing the other camp and that they should run this one. We got a little insight to his background as he told a story of his father beating him, but it seems like he has found a kindred spirit in Tank Guy, someone who doesn’t always do the right thing to survive. That was the Governor’s way before and it seems like he’s getting his groove back.



We now have a more familiar picture of the Governor running the camp, making decisions as people follow his every command. He even has the equivalent of his aquarium of Walker heads as he chained Walker Pete to a rock and stuck him in the lake. He has a little family, and more importantly, he has their trust. But all through the episode he’s talked of moving on, finding somewhere safer, and that leads us right back to the shot of him standing looking at the prison.

It seems like he just can’t let it go, especially when he sees Michonne smiling happily at Hershel. The episode ends with him aiming for her, and the promo for next week shows him convincing his new camp to try and take the prison, a storyline that seems oddly familiar. Look, I liked it last season: it gave Rick’s group a new challenge, it was fairly entertaining and stirred up some good dramatic TV moments. But I don’t know if I necessarily want to see it again. It seems like a lazy way of storytelling, to just repeat it over, but at the same time, it is already a proven formula so why change? They might go all ‘Walking Dead’ on us anyway and completely deny our expectations and switch it up. Either way, it’s the mid-season finale next week, so someone is bound to die, and the cliff hanger will annoy me for months. Bring it on.

Sarah


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

S1x5 - Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Heart of Stone

With the amount of deals these people make, it’s a wonder that they manage to keep track of who they’re working with each week. This episode saw new teams forming, if only for a little while. Cyrus has finally escaped, Knave's no longer a statue and we have a tad more insight on the Red Queen’s life.

The flashback’s focused on Knave and RQ when they were just Will and Anastasia and new to Wonderland. Just before they jumped into the portal to take them there, Anastasia’s mother turned up and gave her a bit of a tongue lashing and basically said she’s a disgrace for choosing love instead of the family, who have worked hard to make her a princess. She was kind of a b*tch and a great example of how children end up like their parents.

She was also kind of right as times were tough in Wonderland. Will and Anastasia were spending most of their time scrounging for food when they decided to gate crash a palace ball. They stole a couple of fancy outfits and tried to blend in with the crowd but it didn’t really work. Will was too interested in stealing food, while Anastasia learned the posh accent and had a conversation with the King. They were busted and Will wasn’t that bothered because he had food, but she had been given an insight into how the wealthy half lived, and she definitely wanted more.


Feeling slightly desperate she convinced Will that it would be a good idea to steal the crown jewels, and honestly, I reckon even I could accomplish that as the security at the palace was shocking. Will was literally standing outside the front door waiting for her while she used a measly knife to crack the case open and start pilfering. Of course, the King turned up half way through, but instead of busting her, he made her his Queen because her determination fascinated him. What!? If it’s that easy to be Queen, where’s my tiara?! So not fair! I did feel a little for Will though: he clearly loved her and she left him as soon as something sparkly was waved in her face. Harsh.

Back in present Wonderland, RQ decided to strike a deal with Alice: if Alice gets her some magic dust that helps fight dark magic, giving her an edge on Jafaar, she will tell her where Cyrus is. Pretty simple except that the magic dust was across an un-crossable ravine and RQ didn’t really fancy stepping off a cliff and dying. Alice was naturally wary, but took the deal. When they got to the ravine, there was a sign saying ‘Only the purest of hearts can take the leap’ and they spent a good portion of time debating what that meant before they finally realised that Alice was pure of heart and had to take a leap – it was pretty simple.

She took a couple steps off the cliff, the faith of her and Cyrus’s love helping her walk on air before that stopped being a thing and she fell and landed among the bones of some other dudes who had tried. The next sequence that followed was pretty stupid as young Alice manifested and tried to force her to kill RQ, who had fallen as well. It was exceptionally cheesy and extremely obvious what the outcome was, as Alice didn’t fall for it and passed the test, proving she’s pure of heart. Well duh. It actually also highlighted that Alice is kind of boring – yes, she’s the good guy, but she’s constantly going on about her love for Cyrus and finding Cyrus. I wish that would happen already so some actual adventures can happen or something.

In the meantime, she got the magic dust but wouldn’t you know it, RQ betrayed her and took it without telling her where Cyrus is. Luckily, while Alice may be a bit annoying, she isn’t a fool and she kept some of the dust for herself. She used it to reveal Jafaar’s castle and professed to the air that she was coming for Cyrus.

Cyrus was actually doing the same thing as he had finally escaped from his cage using the wishbone and was standing outside looking over to the Wonderland woods. The fact that I could write that entire storyline in one sentence when it took five episodes to happen shows how tedious this has been. There was also a side story of the old guy who was in another cage and threw away the keys so he couldn’t escape with Cyrus, saying he would only slow him down. Cyrus was worried Jafaar would kill him but the old guy was sure he wouldn’t. My money is on him being Jafaar’s Sultan father who didn’t acknowledge him and Jafaar’s exacting his revenge with a classic lock-him-in-a-cage plan.



Jafaar has also struck a deal with the White Rabbit, who quite honestly keeps getting the short straw. First RQ was blackmailing him to help her get the bottle and information from Alice, and then Jafaar spent this entire episode interrogating him for information, eventually cutting off his foot so he would tell him who Alice likes in Wonderland. It ended with Jafaar making him open a portal to someplace else, and I reckon he’s probably going to get the Mad Hatter, which is ok because I liked him in OUAT.

So now things have finally happened, hopefully there will be a bit more exciting action that’s less predictable. One thing I liked about the first season of OUAT (I don’t want to talk about the second one) was that it presented us with familiar fairy-tales, but always changed something so that they were surprising. That hasn’t really happened yet in Oncerland as it’s all been fairly predictable. Now Cyrus is free, RQ has turned Knave back into a human and Alice knows where Cyrus is, things might start happening. Or not. We shall see.

I do need to talk about RQ’s footman though. They’re only in it for about two minutes and one of them is actually working for Jafaar, but those are probably the best two minutes of the entire show.  The faces they make and the twirls when dismissing someone are brilliant and make me chuckle every time. Just have them and Knave on screen constantly and it will be a winner!

Sarah

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Elizabeth Wein: Rose Under Fire



While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp.Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners.

But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?



This book focuses on a bleak moment in history: life and death in Nazi concentration camps. The majority of the novel is written in diary format, with letters added in every now and then. The diary is written by Rose Justice, a pilot who recounts her terrible suffering at the hands of the Nazis at Ravensbrück concentration camp. As a whole, I'd say that the author manages to capture how disturbing life was for prisoners in these camps. The protagonist is made to suffer unspeakable horrors, but with the help of her 'rabbit' friends (prisoners used for medical experiments) she fights her hardest to survive.

While the events of the book ensure that the reader is taken on an emotional journey filled with ups and downs, I did not enjoy the narrative structure of the novel, and for that reason I can not give it a five star rating. The novel begins with Rose's diary entries before her capture and mainly describes her life as a pilot. I found it difficult to warm towards her character at first and I did not find her diary entries particularly exciting. While I admired her skill and courage as a pilot, particularly a female one (rare for the period),  I did not really appreciate her recklessness which I think is what really resulted in her being captured. The diary stops suddenly and is interrupted by several letters from Rose's friends and family, who are distraught with worry as she has gone MIA. While I understand that the sudden halt in a diary can be very harrowing, like The Diary of Anne Frank for example, I really don't think that it worked for this fictional novel. The diary entries start up again very quickly and we learn that time has passed by several months. The diary is then used to report the events of the things that happened to Rose during the gap in her diary. This is why I don't think the diary format is a good device to use; we learn early on that Rose survives her ordeal but don't actually learn about the ordeal until later. It's almost like there is an unavoidable spoiler within the story. I also think it would have been more harrowing and would have had more impact if we followed her first person narrative during the events rather than after them. At a lot of points throughout the diary some things are very general and because of this, I sometimes felt detached from what was happening to the character. The plot itself is a good one and enough happened to persuade me to read further. Unfortunately, it is the execution of the plot's presentation that weakens it. 

My other qualm is that it features a spoiler or two from Code Name Verity, which I have not yet finished reading. It is advisable that you read that book first before reading this one - not because this book won't be easy to understand, but because if you plan on reading Code Name Verity too then you will avoid the spoilers. I wish this information had been given to me before I started reading. 

The poetry for me, is the strongest point of this novel. Rose is not only a pilot but a poet and it is her poetry that keeps her sane and to a certain extent, alive. Now I'm not a big fan of poetry - as Sarah my fellower reviewer can confirm. I didn't struggle to grasp the meaning of the poetry and found it intriguing. It is the poetry that allowed me to connect more to the character than her actual diary entries. The poetry came from her heart and reflected both the horrors of what was happening around her, the stiff mechanics of the war and her human soul. 

Finally, Elizabeth Wein's general prose style is swift and not overly complex which makes it a fast read. If you enjoy quick, historical novels then this is the novel for you. If you are looking for something more like The Book Thief then this may disappoint. 

Rating: ***

Amber 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



Ever since I read The Book Thief a few weeks ago I've been trying to find something similar ever since. It didn't necessarily have to be set during the same era but I wanted a book that would inspire me in the same way. After much searching, I was recommended Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein which I am currently in the middle of reading. So far it's good... that's all I'm going to say. If you want to know more you'll have to wait for the review which will be posted sometime next week!



I could not tell what he was thinking. He rubbed my hair gently between his fingers. 

Then he said one word. It sounds the same in English and French and German. Kerosene. 

And he left me here with the door closed. 

page 131

Monday, 25 November 2013

S5x8 - The Vampire Diaries: Dead Man on Campus

Aired 21/11/13 on The CW

Hallelujah! No more doppelgangers! I repeat: no more doppelgangers! The Silas plot has officially ended - and yes I know I said that last week, but you never really know what the TVD writers might cook up from episode to episode. The only doppelgangers in this episode were Elena and Katherine. We have returned to the status quo. Finally!

The college plot got the chance to take over in this episode; new vampire Jesse was being tortured by Dr Maxfield, except he's super strong these days so he managed to break free, bite the crazy professor and quickly reveal all to Caroline. Oh and he also bit his room mate who happened to be Elena's depressing kindred spirit, Aaron, but don't worry he's okay because Caroline taught Jesse how to heal people. It was sweet - kinda. Caroline and Elena were also in the process of planning their first college dorm party and used it to help Jesse cope with his new vampy status - apparently Elena thinks that being a vampire is awesome! Who knew? While Elena, Jesse and Caroline raved it up and whatnot, Damon was called in to convince the professor to reveal more about his experiments and the secret society (when I say convince I mean torture obviously).

While this was going on there were a couple of sub-plots involving Katherine and Bonnie. Now, I can't believe I'm about to say this and I promise I will never say it again so read carefully... I like Bonnie right now. I know, I'm shocked too! I like her new hair style, I like her new storyline which basically involves her screaming in pain as dead spirits pass through her, and I like her boyfriend cos he has some very defined muscles (see below!). Bonnie is in my good books at the moment - oh and did I mention that she no longer has witch powers?! I think that this is a great idea, because for the past 5 seasons she's basically only been around to do magic spells for other people. She can't do that now so she actually has some breathing room for real character development. I'm excited for Bonnie! Seriously!





The Katherine plot had its good parts and its bad parts. She is amazing and will always be amazing, but she also did something weird and totally out of character that I WAS NOT OKAY WITH. Do you remember that weird mind control thing with the only human in Mystic Falls, Matt Donovan? Well, that appeared on Katherine's radar this week. She was drowning her sorrows at the Grill while Matt was watching the video of the traveller dude controlling his body. In exchange for more booze, Katherine helped Matt with his "spiritual passenger" issues. I also peed my pants with laughter when I remembered how Matt already knew Nadya cos he'd enjoyed some weird threesome thing back in his "Rebekah" days! Katherine... that dude hooked up with your daughter! LOL. Anyway, she then went and hung out with Stefan who was sat on his own and being all miserable (no change there then). She offered to help him through his post-traumatic stress from all that continuous drowning he did over the summer in exchange for a favour. Look at Katherine being all heroic and helping people out! She's giving Stefan something to do to take his mind off his Silas issues and she's helping out Matt. Now don't start thinking that she's turned over a new leaf... she was still totally bad-ass and she'll take any excuse for a little bit of scheming and some free booze. She also introduced Stefan to her daughter which was hilarious, because Stefan took the news very well - his facial expression was basically like it is all the time... broody and frowning.

Katherine, Nadya, Stefan and Matt (my new favourite team) hung out in the back of the Grill, where Nadya brought forth Matt's mind passenger. They talked in Czech for a bit and we learned that the traveller didn't know that Silas was already dead - you snooze you lose sucker! FYI Matt's eastern European accent is so funny, he should speak like it all the time. Traveller Matt then revealed that his mission was to kill Katherine - uhhh no way mate, not happening. So she stabbed him right in the gut. Pow! Then she fiddled with the bloody knife, as she revealed that Matt would be fine and the knife had expelled the traveller forever. Matt was saved, Katherine was awesome, Nadya was upset because apparently she had a thing with the passenger, and Stefan was like... WTF? It was amazing.


After all this stuff happened, Stefan had a PTSD episode and strangled Katherine - everyone wants to hurt her all the time it seems - and she helped him through his stress by reminding him of all the people he had killed in the exact order. Nadya then came running out all upset because her Mum killed her boyfriend and bla bla bla, nobody cares that much about Nadya. This whole scene was totally weird, but I did like the bonding between Stefan and Katherine (even if he did strangle her) and I also liked how Katherine was showing very human emotions and behaving like a protective mother.

So then this really awful thing happened: Stefan later found a note left by Katherine at the bar that was basically a suicide note. Again he was like... WTF? Katherine was standing at the top of the Mystic Falls clock tower ready to COMMIT SUICIDE. Seriously! What is it with this show and suicide at the moment?! Two of the doppelgangers did it last week. Another FYI: Suicide is NOT COOL. And anyway, suicide is not what MY Katherine would do - she is a survivor, though I suppose she did hang herself once but that was because she was going to come back as a vamp. BUT NO, she would not do this again. I WAS PISSED OFF AT THIS POINT IN CASE YOU DIDN'T REALISE. She jumped but luckily Stefan was on hand to catch her. She told him (and I'll admit this bit was quite sad) that she was dying of old age. Stefan said: "You're Katherine Pierce. Suck it up." BEST ADVICE EVER. So Katherine isn't dead and she had a moment with Stefan that somehow managed to be harsh and cute at the same time. At least that's something. BUT THEN... she made the infamous 'Katherine is scheming' face, smiled and looked up at the tower. Perhaps she was just helping Stefan? Or has she got something in the works involving Stefan? Did she pretend she was committing suicide? (NOT COOL, KIDS BTW)

Ok, so I suppose I have lingered on the Katherine plot for long enough (but she is the best so it's understandable). While Damon was torturing the professor, we learned that he was creating vampires that only fed on other vampires. At the college party this point was proven when Jesse decided to take a bite out of sweet Caroline. He then ran off to confront the professor, but ran into Damon and decided to try and eat him. During the whole mess, Elena came along and rammed Jesse through with a bit of wood and killed him. Caroline looked completely betrayed! I mean, her best friend just killed her new beau! Elena's defence: He was trying to eat my boyfriend, he couldn't be stopped! Well, she could of just wounded him or snapped his neck which usually happens to somebody every other episode. As is the way with Elena, the only person she could think about was Damon. Go figure. And they didn't even really know what Jesse was capable of; they could have helped him through his cravings etc and donated blood. But we'll never know because he's dead. Well done Elena, you're so thoughtful as always.



The story wasn't over though... we were given another big reveal. Dr Maxfield mentioned the Augustine vampires and it turns out that Damon had heard of them before because... wait for it... HE WAS ONE! 60 years before! He was soon suffocated with vaporised vervain and thrown into a cell - turns out it was the same one he was in before and his initials were carved into the wall. All of this was intermixed with quick flashbacks of Damon being experimented on before. The poop is about to hit the fan my friends. I'm actually quite intrigued... the only thing I'm not looking forward to in the next few episodes are the very likely and very typical TVD flashback scenes because we all know how silly they can be sometimes. Though, if they happen to show Damon being tortured for a change then I won't mind too much. (Don't worry I don't hate Damon and I hope he gets saved bla bla bla, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing someone else wearing the shoes for a change!)

So overall, Katherine was incredible as always (I'm going to forget about that suicide thing for now) and Elena was annoying again. Next week Damon is going to be tortured or whatever... Just wait til Elena finds out that he's missing... I'm dreading that reaction. Hopefully, Katherine will be around to lighten things up with her boozing.

Amber

S1x07 - The Tomorrow People: Limbo

Aired 19/11/13 on The CW

This show has been kicking ass at combining being horribly cliché and somehow being different to other shows. We kind of know what’s going to happen, yet the writers pull it off in a way we either don’t expect or by subtly changing one detail to make it different. This week was, as Astrid so elegantly put it, like a typical 80s movie as Stephen went from geek to popular, back to geek, loses the girl, and then made up with the best friend at the end who had been there all along. Yes, it’s been done, and yes, the show somehow made it refreshing. I don’t really understand it; all I know is that I liked it.

In true TP fashion, there was no prolonging of the Cara/Stephen storyline. After having sexy time in a hotel room, Cara shut him down when he suggested doing it again and left pretty sharpish. When she got back to the Lair, John was waiting with a present he had got on the way back from the funeral and while it was exceedingly lame, she pretended to like it. Things were still pretty tense between them as John thought she was still mad about him lying, while she was feeling guilty for sleeping with Stephen, when Tim announced that there was a Breakout prowling the streets and raping women. They understandably wanted to stop him (castration was mentioned) but they all agreed to let Ultra actually capture this guy to stop him. As they couldn’t get a read on him they needed Stephen as the undercover Ultra agent to help them.



Except Stephen was having a pretty tough time this week, bless him. Cara has rejected any ideas of future involvement and he’s finally figured out that he is basically a liability in everything involving his powers. A douchey Ultra agent took great joy in telling this to Stephen’s face as dead partner Darcie’s desk was packed up, and Jedikiah ended up allowing Stephen to take a break from Ultra to chill out a bit. I did feel for Stephen in this episode actually: although I agree with everyone’s assessment of his ability to get in the way, he is pretty new to his powers, and he’s suddenly been thrust into this world full of expectations from two opposing sides to be a saviour of an entire species for one, while pretending to stop and destroy them for the other. No wonder he needs a break.

His down time consisted of teleporting Astrid places, using his powers to cheat in Basketball and accidentally join the Varsity team, and then be tricked into holding a Pep party at his house. Granted, that did involve him getting it on with a girl in his room, but the trashing of his house, plus the accidental overhearing of Astrid being in love with him, meant the night didn’t turn out too great. It was made even worse when Jedikiah turned up to slap a power suppressing bracelet on his wrist as he wasn’t too impressed with his downtime activities.

So now he’s in a bit of a pickle as he still has to play on a Varsity Basketball team who think he’s super amazing at it and do it with no powers to help. Luckily John offered his services, but he took the opportunity to make a fool out of Stephen as he used his powers to make the ball fly in his face etc. Cara had confessed her night of sexy time with Stephen, so John was looking to prove himself the better man, which ended in a pretty funny fist fight as they rolled around on the floor trying to be macho. Cara put a stop to that quickly and Stephen was left as the loser because she left with John.


He did work out that the creepy rapist was taking his victims into the sewers when he saw an environmental badge that the guy wore on his uniform. Running water sometimes blocks the telepathy so it was the perfect place for him to violate women, but Stephen turned up in the nick of time to stop his latest efforts. He then tried to fight the creepy rapist, which didn’t turn out so well as he doesn’t have his powers. He took the beating fairly well but the rapist had the last laugh as he knocked Stephen out and sent him face down in the water.

Stephen managed to telepathically contact Cara before this though, proving that there is some form of connection between them as he’s not supposed to be able to do that with the power suppressor, and she, John and Russell turned up to save the day. John actually ended up giving Stephen CPR, or evening the score as he puts it because now both he and Cara have made out with Stephen, and while Stephen was under he had a vision of his Dad. I thought that this was his Dad in whatever the afterlife is, but Stephen said that he was alive so who knows. His dad basically said that Stephen had to lead them into victory or something. I don’t know, it was one of those ‘I have a lot to say in so little time, so I’m going to uselessly prolong it by never giving a straight answer’ things. I hate those. He did mention the word ‘Thanatos’ though, which is next week’s episode title, so maybe we won’t have to wait that long.

So now there’s slightly more hope in Stephen being the saviour and he got his powers back when he delivered the creepy rapist to Ultra. Jedikiah was still suspicious, especially when the rapist was raving about there being a girl with powers who had stopped him as well, but he let it go with his usual ‘I know you’re lying but I’m biding my time’ attitude. I imagine the tension between John, Cara and Stephen will be present for a while, and possibly the awkwardness between Stephen and Astrid now that he knows she loves him. But so far this show has managed to make every teen drama cliché work in a way that isn’t as cheesy as it should be, so I’m not too worried. It may even be fun!

Sarah

Friday, 22 November 2013

S1x8 - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Well

Aired 19/11/13 on ABC

This episode dealt with the aftermath of the second Thor movie and I should probably start by saying I haven’t seen it. I was worried that this would affect my understanding, but it was pretty easy to follow, and on the plus side, they didn’t give any major spoilers. Good job team.

The gang were in London cleaning up after what I can only assume was a big epic battle on the Thor movie. They were gathering anything that might be alien so that us pesky humans didn’t get our hands on it and cause havoc. That didn’t stop two people in Sweden who cut down a tree to get a shiny stick from inside. They were the leaders of a cult that believed they needed to defeat the Gods, or as Coulson explained, the Norse Gods who are actually aliens, but when they came to Earth thousands of years ago nobody knew that, so they were called Gods. This cult believed that the only way to defeat a God was to get the power of a God and luckily this shiny stick was an Asgardian prop that filled the person who touched it with darkness and gave them super strength and rage for a bit.


Coulson took the gang to Seville in Spain to talk with Professor Elliot Randolph who had helped him when he was first confronted by Asgardians. Randolph was an expert on everything Asgardian and told them that the stick was one third of a staff that belonged to an Asgardian Beserker warrior who decided that he didn’t like the rage that the staff caused and wanted to stay with the peaceful humans when the army left Earth. He split his staff into three and hid the pieces around the world so no one would find them, leaving riddles as the only clues to where they were.

And wouldn’t you know it, there was one piece hidden in Seville. How lucky! So Ward and Skye headed down into the underground of a Church that clearly hadn’t been dusted in a while to find the second piece. Except the good old Professor had beaten them to it and when Ward tried to grab the staff piece from him, he got a bit of the Asgardian whammy and the professor escaped. Randolph was then confronted by the scary cult people who took the second piece and left him for Coulson.

While Coulson interrogated Randolph, FitzSimmons and Skye ran some tests on Ward who was exhibiting some of the rage symptoms the staff pieces seem to cause. It was actually kind of cool to see Ward acting like a human, even if it was an angry one. I was pretty much convinced that he was a secretly a robot soldier, but I did cheer a little bit when he basically said all the things about Skye and Simmons that I’ve said in previous reviews. Although I didn’t like when he was mean to Fitz; he proved himself to Ward last week so I feel a little bond with him. Ward was just a big meanie.

I also liked the fact that we’re finally getting some insight on Ward’s background. We already knew that he had some difficulties in his childhood that led him to being the robot he is, but we saw a flashback of a kid trying not to drown in a well calling up to a younger Ward, except when younger Ward was going to lower the rope, his brother threatened him not too. Kind of harsh and definitely not something he wanted to think about ever again.

It did come in handy in the final confrontation though, as it was eventually revealed that Professor Randolph was actually the Asgardian soldier who stayed on Earth. He took them to a Church in Ireland where he had hidden the last piece, only to be stabbed by the cult leader in the chest. While Ward used two of the staff pieces to give him super rage/strength to take down the cult, Coulson stuck his hand in Professor Asgardian’s chest to keep his heart beating while he healed with his alien ways.


It was kind of funny to see Ward roaring away and killing everyone, like a robot who had just discovered feelings. Just when he finished the she-leader walked in, but May decided to give Ward, who was not handling the resurfacing of his memory well, a break and went completely badass by putting the staff back together and holding all three pieces to take her down. I say it every week, but May is so cool. They should just focus on her all of the time. Ward obviously thought the same thing as he asked her how the hell she managed to hold all three pieces and handle the dark memories. Her answer: she sees them every day. More hints at May’s mysteries. That should be a spin-off – I’d definitely watch it.

Everything worked out in the end as the staff was taken by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Professor decided to move away to restart again. Although the episode ended with a really weird scene of Ward going into May’s hotel room after she walked in with a bottle of booze and suggestively left the door open for him. On any other show that usually means they’re going to have sexy time but I wasn’t sure if that was the case or if they’re just going to drink themselves to a stupor. It probably was some dark and twisty sexy time to bond over their dark and twisty memories, but I guess that’s what love is made of.

Speaking of dark and twisty memories – Coulson had a dream of Tahiti that seemed like luxury but caused him to wake up in a panic. Yet another hint to his maybe-not death, and special mention to Amber who caught the Dollhouse reference. Maybe that’s a hint as to what really happened? Or maybe it was just a Whedon reference. Both make me happy!

Sarah

S4x6 - The Walking Dead: Live Bait

Aired 17/11/13 on AMC

This week’s episode – The Governor Show, featuring scraggly hair, oxygen tanks and a chess piece with an eye patch! After last week’s shot of a smug Governor watching the prison, we were confronted with a not-so-smug Governor in ‘Live Bait’. In fact, I would even venture to say it was a remorseful Governor. Who knew that existed!?

We started off by being whisked back to that one time the Governor went a bit gun happy on his Woodbury followers after the failed attempt to take the prison. He left the scene with the two lucky lackeys, one of whom was Martinez, and they stayed the night in tents now that Woodbury had finally clued into his crazy and he could no longer go back. However, when he clambered out of his yellow tent in the morning, all he found were empty spaces and tire tracks. Even his loyal lackeys wanted nothing to do with him.





So now we seem to have the Governor who’s a bit down in the dumps as we watch him burn down Woodbury and then cut to him stumbling down the road sporting a scraggly beard and some serious fly away hair. I couldn’t help but laugh because he looked absolutely ridiculous, although he was probably not in the best of moods when he eventually fell down, and when he looked up at a nearby apartment block he saw a little girl staring at him through the window. So he heaved himself up and went in to find a family of two sisters, their dad and the little girl hunkered down in the apartment to ride out the apocalypse.

What followed was basically us witnessing a man who had done some truly inhumane things realise this and attempt to punish himself of things he doesn’t think he deserves. When Lily, one of the sisters, brings him some dinner to the apartment he was crashing in, he scrapes it out of the window. When he looks at a picture of his wife and daughter, he folds over one corner so he can’t see himself. He tells the story of how he was the only survivor of a man who went crazy with power and destroyed everything he knew. It seems as if he truly is remorseful over what he’s done.

I guess it was a nice story of how a broken man fixes himself, even if we have seen the same premise before. Being with the family was key as he slowly grew closer to Lily and he formed a relationship with her daughter Megan. She doesn’t speak, presumably from the trauma of a zombie apocalypse which is understandable. The Governor, disguised as the scraggly hobo he has named Brian, fetches a Back Gammon board from an apartment upstairs after David, who has an oxygen tank, asks him to. He also goes to a local Retirement Home to get some more tanks for him when Lily asks him to, and when she patches him up after he gets back, Megan starts asking him questions in the way only children can, and some trust is born between them.

In the next scene he is teaching her chess while her Granddad finally succumbs to his lung cancer in the background. The Governor is now clean shaven with a decent haircut, and smiles at her when she draws an eye patch on the King and says it’s him. Adorable. Except then the Granddad dies, and they leave it a little too long to kill him again as he comes back to life while they’re all standing around his bed crying. The Governor uses an oxygen tank to bash his skull in and Megan instantly becomes scared of him.

Feeling a bit bummed he tried to leave them but Lily insisted that they were all going, despite his protests. So they pack their stuff into the van that once belonged to David and was full of food that they’ve been surviving off, and they head out to the unknown. Megan still isn’t talking to anyone, Tara continues to be the chatty person she had been all episode, and Lily and the Governor eventually get it on while the other two are sleeping next to them. How romantic.

Of course, they run into trouble when the van won’t start and they have to walk. They inevitably meet a horde of Walkers and have to run, although it takes a while before Megan moves and when she does she jumps right into the Governor’s arms in a sign of trust and forgiveness. They run through the woods but are hindered by the fact that Tara has a twisted ankle, and then the Governor and Megan fall into a dug out pit that captures Walkers ready for slaughter. He has to kill a bunch with his bare hands which leads to some quite creative (and gross) kills, and just when he thinks he’s safe, he finds Martinez pointing a gun and looking down at him in shock.

The episode ended there to be continued next week where we will find out how the revelation of who he was will go down, and while this episode was good and I liked it and all, I really wish it was only one episode. I understand that the character of the Governor is complex and to do a truly good job of portraying what he has been up to since we last saw him it will need more than one episode, but it’s not necessarily something I’m interested in. I liked the Governor last season because he was an interesting foe for the main characters, but not enough to want to watch two episodes about him with no interaction with them at all. Of course, this doesn’t mean that this character exploration was bad; it’s just my personal preference.

Next week does look like there is a lot more conflict of the violent nature so it won’t be a boring episode, and then after that we can go back to the prison and hopefully see some interaction between them and the Governor. Let’s see if he has truly gotten over his tendency towards killing them. I imagine that probably won’t be the case.

Sarah

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

S5x5 - Glee: The End of Twerk

Aired 14/11/13 on Fox

You know the situation is dire when a show does an episode about 'twerking'. The most recent episode of Glee was called 'The End of Twerk' and I seriously wished that it had actually brought about THE END OF THE TWERK. But alas no, instead the episode was another excuse for Mr Schu to be all creepy and inappropriate (see last week's Gaga issue).

The ep kicked off with Blaine being caught on camera having a little twerking session (yes, it was as bad as it sounds). At the moment Mr Schu is all about trying to shed the goody-goody Glee image that the New Directions has, so this week he decided that everyone needed to learn how to shake their booty. Seriously, if my teacher had encouraged me to shake my butt in the school corridors, he probably would have been suspended. Don't get me wrong, if people want to twerk in their own time then that's fine, but sexual moves at school is just a big no-no for me.

To top off the twerking, we then had a Glee-rendition of Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' - Mr Schu playing the park of Thicke while the kids did the Miley parts. It actually got to the point where Sue was the voice of reason - even she understood the song's misogynistic suggestions. Well done Glee writers, "let's do a controversial song that might just be about date rape!" For a show that prides itself on liberal messages and campaigns against social injustice, I generally have no idea what it was trying to say. All I know is, twerking at school with a teacher is NOT COOL. Honestly, I really hate this song and I feel that Glee has hit a new low in covering it.



The only good song of the episode was Unique's version of Beyonce's 'If I Were a Boy' - if only she could act half as well as she sings. Her plot about not being able to use the school toilets could have been a great story, except it wasn't handled very well. Schu had to make a sacrifice in order to let the kid have a key to the staff toilets - ok, the sacrifice was twerking so I wasn't that upset but still, nothing was really done to help her. She won't get bullied in the boys toilets anymore, but she didn't really win because the bullies are still out there and they didn't learn anything. And Unique just can't act - this makes it really hard for me to feel for her. I just find her annoying - and they never resolved that cat fishing plot she was involved with either.

Marley finished the episode with a cover of Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball'; the whole scene was just a crappier version of the music video. Marley sat on the ball (thankfully she wasn't naked) and cheater-boy Jake was brooding in the background. This whole plot is also a joke and came completely out of nowhere; I don't even like the characters so I don't give a crap about their heartache. I'm completely unsympathetic because they aren't strong enough for me to get emotional about them. And seriously... the ball? Last week it was a copy of Katy Perry's 'Roar' video and this week it's 'Wrecking Ball'. What happened to the days when they just used to stand on stage in red t-shirts and sing? No gimmicks just raw emotion. I MISS THE OLD DAYS!

Finally... Rachel and Kurt appear to have gotten their shows mixed up. I thought I was watching Glee not Smash. Though to be fair, the only thing about the episode I did enjoy were the tattoos: Kurt's reference to Bette Midler was cool and Rachel's tribute to Finn was really quite lovely - made even more heartfelt because she kept the tattoo a secret, like it was her own private tribute to him. I loved that. 

Okay, I will not linger on with this episode any more. I've had enough. Basically it sucked. Tuning in next week is going to be a chore... Which is a shame because I used to really love this show. 

Amber

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

S5x7 - The Vampire Diaries: Death and the Maiden

Aired 14/11/13


YES! Now this is an episode worth celebrating! Know why? Because it brought about the end of the Silas/Amara/Tessa story line - story maze is probably more like it! Can I get a woop woop?! Seriously, I am so glad that this plot is over because it was literally the most complicatedly boring plot the show has ever done. Although I have to say, Silas has been amazingly hilarious recently and I actually started to enjoy him. But I'm still glad his time is up. No more talking about a stupid 2000 year old love triangle feud (probably where Stefan, Elena and Damon will end up too) or the other-side, or cures and doppelgangers bla bla bla. Qetisyah, Silas and Amara are NO MORE. Again, WOOP WOOP!


The episode kicked off at a bus stop in Philly; Silas, a 2000 year old magician, was waiting for a Greyhound. Sounds funny? Well it was! This scene was possibly the best scene TVD has done in recent times. Silas was acting like the crazy, drunk guy that you go out of your way to avoid at bus stops; he wasn't drunk but he was crazy - bitter, heart-broken, defeated but still hilarious. He ranted about how much love sucks to a couple waiting for a bus too - of course he then went psycho and liquefied the guy's insides, while the girlfriend ran away screaming. And then he got on the bus. Psycho, crazy and hilarious makes a great combination, I've decided.



Meanwhile, Stefan had some nightmares about his life (cos it has been pretty nightmarish to be fair) and woke up in an anxious sweat. Then Elena turned up and decided that they needed a fresh start, because she didn't realise that he had his memories back. Unfortunately his flashbacks were torturing him a bit and he ended up smashing a glass in his hand. Poor guy. I'd suggest he take a road trip with his pal Lexie to chill out - but oh wait, Damon IS a DICK  and killed her a while back. Stefan ain't going on no road trip anytime soon. It's funny how Stefan has his humanity switch off when he's a ripper-douche whereas Damon's is on all the time and he still does annoying things like kill Lexie or use Caroline... I know, I know, they're old arguments but they're still valid. I hold grudges for a long time!

Moving on briefly from the Salvatore snooze-fest... KATHERINE! #hero! Unfortunately she's still ageing. But at least she's still awesome! She's also pushing her daughter away - I'm thinking this is actually because she doesn't want her daughter to see her age and die, which is such an awww moment. The moments between Katherine and her daughter were really strong - sometimes I genuinely forget that Nina Dobrev plays all these doppelgangers because they're portrayed so differently; this is definitely the sign of a damn good actress. Katherine was also roped into the episode's main plot - you know, that one that involves Silas et al. Silas and Amara still wanted to die (or something weird like that) but Damon, Elena and Jeremy wanted Bonnie brought back to life first. Stefan wasn't bothered because he was all sad and mopey from all of those annoying Silas nightmares, so he decided that he wanted to kill Silas asap.

Amara's part was pretty cool - as the mystical anchor to the 'other side' she had one foot in the living world and one in the dead world, so she could SEE Bonnie too and she recognised Jeremy. I kind of felt sorry for her, suffering for 2000 years - you'd think Tessa/Qetsiyah would have let bygones be bygones but she wanted even more revenge. She is literally the worst character the show has had - she's evil but it's not even an enjoyable evil, she's just a bitter, old woman and nobody likes one of those!

In order for Bonnie to be brought back, something extremely powerful was needed in order to aid the spell - enter the doppelgangers! Another really cool scene featured Amara, Katherine and Elena standing in a circle, donating some blood etc - it was fun to see the differences in their characters combined with their appearances. Again, Nina Dobrev did an awesome job - I mean the 3 doppelgangers even cut their hands differently! It was really quite amazing! *fangirling*



Of course, things didn't quite go according to plan because Silas rocked up to disturb things. But then Stefan snatched him and then killed him in the woods - but not before Amara and Silas had a touching little reunion. They declared their love for each other and had a little smooch, but then Silas died which was actually kind of sad. Things went a little dark, Romeo and Juliet-style and Amara stabbed herself - it was pretty hardcore I have to say! I got all confused because I thought the reason that Silas wanted to die was so that he could be with Amara in the afterlife, and he wanted to get rid of the supernatural 'other side' to join her. But then it turned out that she was still alive, so surely they didn't have to kill themselves? They could have just like, jumped on a Greyhound together or something. I really don't know what's going on, but seriously... the suicide was tough. And weird. And sad. And a lot of negative things. I know that Amara wanted to die so that she didn't have to suffer being a mystical anchor, but that was being switched to Bonnie. She only had to hold on for five minutes longer. She'd been doing it for 2000 years as stone so 5 more minutes should have been a piece of cake. Anyway...

Bonnie is now the anchor. Which is actually worse than being dead because now whenever somebody supernatural dies she will feel it - and it hurts. She screamed a lot and it was kind of hilarious. I know, that's mean, but I was used to Bonnie being dead. Why does nobody stay dead in this show?! Speaking of more death... Qetsiyah then killed herself too. Ding Dong the witch is dead! However, this kind of bummed me out a bit because she didn't bother to help Katherine. Something I've been wondering for a while was finally answered in this ep: Why doesn't she just turn back into a vampire? Well, she can't! Caroline offered her some blood to heal the wound on her hand, but the vampire blood made her sick. She can't drink vampire blood so no vampire transformation for her! PLEASE DON'T DIE KATHERINE BECAUSE YOU'RE THE BEST!!!!

And finally back to Stefan... Stefan and Elena then had a little conversation while he buried Silas' body. Elena basically thought it would be a great idea to tell him all about how she had the summer of her life bla bla bla. Good for you Elena! You're so good at cheering people up, it's unreal. Stefan then pointed out that he really wanted it to be Elena and Damon - the two people he cares most about - to find him in the safe and he was disappointed that it was some randomer instead. Oh, and his nightmares didn't go away when Silas' died so he still has those to deal with. Seriously, the guy needs a holiday!

Overall, it was an episode jam packed with stuff - I don't think I've even mentioned everything! Although some of it was frustrating, good things happened. Silas and co are gone (hopefully forever), Katherine's story line is intriguing, Stefan has his memory back and Bonnie isn't haunting people anymore - instead people are haunting her and I'll take that! This episode has drawn a line under the Silas saga and now its time to start with something else - it's likely that the Augustine vampire at the college will really take off now and this is something that I have been looking forward to for a while! Either way, it looks like things are finally starting to look good for this crazy show! 

Amber

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



I have, very recently, read Ian McEwan's latest novel Sweet Tooth and so I have chosen it for this week's teaser. If you're looking for something intelligent and well-crafted then look no further, because Ian McEwan is a prose-master (though I have to say, it's still not as good as Atonement - one of my all time favourites!).


"You were playing games , weren't you, Serena. That's what you really like."

It wasn't worth responding to. I just stared at him. There was a thread of saliva attached to the skin at the corner of his mouth. He caught the direction of my gaze and wiped it with the back of his hand. 

"You're going to wreck Sweet Tooth with this."

"Don't pretend that's your objection. You hate the whole thing anyway."

To my surprise he said, "Bloody right I do."

- page 253

Monday, 18 November 2013

S1x6 - The Tomorrow People: Sorry For Your Loss

Aired 13/11/13 on The CW

After last week’s episode full of progress, this week took a little break from any startling revelations but still kept up the standard we’ve been seeing. It opened with a flashback of easy-going Russell, dressed in a fancy suit during a piano audition. Turns out he can play quite well, although half way through his telekinesis took over, but still, it was pretty. Despite the fact he got into wherever he auditioned for, his father was not impressed and criticised his pinky finger for being weak. Through various flashbacks we learned that his father had always been strict on him, making him practice piano six hours a day and he still wasn’t good enough.

In the present, Tim informs Russell that his father had died, so he and John set off to Portland to attend the funeral. Russell was not too eager to go home, as he felt like he had shamed his mother. In a flashback we saw him using his telepathy to cheat in a poker game, and although he got caught, he managed to escape with thirty thousand dollars. He took it home and presented it to his father, saying he was buying his way out of his life. His father was a bit shocked as he thought that Russell liked playing the piano, when some of the poker players came round looking for their money back. Russell’s father told him to hide in the closet and told the thugs he didn’t know where he was. They responded by taking the money back, but not before slamming a hammer down on his hand a few times first while Russell watched in horror.



Although it was as cliché as it gets, I’m a sucker for these kinds of things, so I liked the cute moment Russell and his mother had when he finally made it home for the funeral after a few bar fights in an attempt to stall. However, I did snigger during the scene where he played the piano in his father’s memory, as the actor clearly doesn’t play so all the shots were strategically done.

While John and Russell were busy fighting in bars and attending funerals, the rest of the gang were dealing with a new Breakout who was linked to Stephen’s Ultra partner Darcie. At the beginning of the episode, Russell and Stephen were using their powers to hustle people at pool, only to then get a taste of their own medicine when a girl does the same to them. She gives them the slip when they try to talk to her, but Stephen and Cara go out the next night to look for her.

They find her in the same bar because she apparently knows nothing about hiding from people and she runs again, and they are almost caught by Ultra agents. So Stephen uses the opportunity to do the old make out trick with Cara, so that the agents think they’re just a young couple having some fun. Sneaky bastard. It worked though and caused them to go a bit goo goo eyes at each other for a while before getting back to business.

The next day they helped the girl escape some more Ultra agents and took her back to their underground lair (I swear they called it their lair, not me). Turns out she is Piper Nichols, sister of Ultra agent Darcie Nichols. She’d come to the city when her powers manifested, partly because she was drawn there like the rest of the TP, and partly because her sister did the exact same thing when she was seventeen and Piper hoped to find her. Only Darcie is a secret agent hunting down her own species, which now includes her sister.

Stephen convinces Cara to give Darcie the benefit of the doubt and sets up a meeting between her and Piper. It was happy reunion until it was revealed Darcie had told Ultra and some agents were coming to capture Piper. Stephen then convinced her not to turn her sister in and they escaped out the back, but Darcie was killed by Ultra agents when she tried to stop them from going after Piper.



It was an okay storyline, but it probably would have worked better had we seen more of Darcie’s character outside her interactions as a serious agent with Stephen. Her reasoning did stand up but seemed a bit out of the blue for the sudden shift, even with a family member in danger. Although it seems that Stephen is still the influencer of events or the reminder of what humanity is, as Cara put it.

Speaking of Cara, she and Stephen ended the episode with a little pick-me-up talk as he was feeling guilty for some of the events. Turns out she is a big supporter of him, as all the flirting and their strategic kiss culminated in them finally giving into temptation and went off to have some telepathic sexy time, something which is more intense than normal. We all knew this would happen as they’ve been playing off each other from the start, despite John and Cara’s kind-of relationship. But she’s still mad at John for lying about his killing abilities, so who knows if this is genuine attraction or just a way to make her feel better. Either way, she’s getting some, with telepathic benefits to boot. We’ll see how this pans out when John gets back next week.

We’ll probably find more about Jedikiah’s mysterious lady friend. He wasn’t in this episode much, only enough to know that he is having some sexy time with Morgan. For a guy who claims to hate their species, he certainly spends a lot of questionable time with them. Hopefully his reasoning will get explored soon, but at the rate this show reveals stuff, I don’t think we’ll have to wait long.


Sarah