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Boardwalk Empire – Under The Boardwalk

16 Sep

The third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire opens on New Year’s Eve 1923, the roaring 20’s are in full swing and prohibition is a gangster’s best friend. It’s hard to believe that the stock market crash is a mere 6 years away.  Nucky’s new adversary is Gyp Rosetti played by the wonderful Bobby Cannavale, if the premiere is a promise of things to come we are in for one heck of a season. Just like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, don’t tell Gyp he makes you laugh, or offer to help him change a tire.

It is also clear, if it wasn’t when Nicky killed Jimmy at the end of last season in the first ten minutes of this season when he confronts Nate the thief, that Nucky is in full on gangster mode, no ambiguity, no questions.  

Margaret continues to assert her independence, even as she plays dutiful wife to the man she continues to grow apart from and despises.  At the end of last season she signed over his highway windfall to the catholic church. This season she is using his money to fund a project at St. Theresa’s Hospital, that will educate women about pre-natal care. Margaret started down an interesting road last year, I hope her character continues to grow and develop in this direction.

There are several references made to Carrie Duncan, who is attempting to fly solo across the country.  Obviously the men think she should stay home and serve her husband. Given that women are currently under attack in this in country by narrow minded men its no coincidence we have this bit of  business. Women only got the right to vote in 1920, that’s less than a 100 years ago ladies.

Al Capone and the Chicago crew have their hands full with territory issues and solve their problems the good old fashion way.

Nucky and Margaret throw an elaborate Egyptian themed New Year’s Eve Party, where we are introduced to Nucky’s new girlfriend Billie.  I want to be invited to Nucky’s next party he gives the best gifts, diamond jewelery for all his guests.  The big news, Nucky is only selling to Rothstein, if anyone wants to buy they need to go to Rothstein. Gyp is not happy with this change, he calls Nucky a bread stick in a suit. Which is actually pretty funny, if he wasn’t so scary.

The greatest changes come in the form of Eli and Van Alden, both men shells of their former selves. Much credit is due to the actors who portray these characters, Shea Whigham and Michael Shannon. Both have fallen so far over the last two seasons, and their despair is made more real by their portrayer.  In a scene out of the Godfather, when Michael makes an innocent pretend to be a made guy, Van Alden walks into a flower shop where Capone is about to whack O’Banyon. O’Banyon makes Capone think Van Alden’s sample case is a weapon. It works and Capone is scared off, O’Banyon offers Van Alden a job. Van Alden loses the sales contest, so we all know he is going to the gangster for work. Way to bring him back in the action and the character full circle.

Gillian, Jimmy’s mother portrayed by Gretchen Mol, gives me the creeps, even before we found out she molested her son, she made my skin crawl.  Having her raise Jimmy and Angela’s son fills me with fear for that child, I can only hope that with Richard around he becomes the childs protector and perhaps he has to kill Gillian before the season is out to protect the child. Gillian has started a business, a brothel, what else would we expect.

Richard, sure he has killed 60 men, but somehow that doesn’t seem to bother me, he has become my favorite character on the show. Certainly the most sympathetic and likeable, I just want to hug him and make him feel better.  Richard is looking out for Jimmy’s son, keeping the memories of his parents alive, much to Gillian’s chagrin. Richard kills Manny Horvitz and his driver as revenge for killing Angela last season.

And of course my favorite gangster of them all Arnold Rothstein, played by the brilliant Michael Stuhlbarg. If you don’t belive me all you need to to is compare his work in Boardwalk with his work in Men In Black 3, unless you knew his name you would have no idea this was the same man.

This show has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the talent, there isn’t a weak link in this chain.

This promises to be a great season, even darker than the last two, and I couldn’t be more excited that Nucky and the crew are back.

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The Newsroom – Won’t Get Fooled Again

27 Aug

The Newsroom aired it’s season finale last night on HBO, entitled, “The Greater Fool”, which also happens to be the title of the cover story Brian (Mac’s Ex) did on Will and News Night 2.0. The article was a scathing attack, it has been out for weeks and Will is taking it very hard. So hard in fact that he is mixing Effexor, Bourbon and naproxen, causing him to vomit blood and lands him the hospital.

The finale was a mixed bag, between mad cap silly MacKenzie freak outs, Maggie’s sidewalk rant at the Sex and The City Tour bus, and how neatly the hacking scandal was wrapped up, and Leona’s about face. I think the show was done shooting before it even aired and before they knew it was going to be renewed. That could explain why nothing was really left hanging, it even looked like Will and Mac were getting back together.

I still love the show, but I had a lot of issues with the finale. It was too staged, too obvious, the montage set to The Who‘s “Baba O’Reilly” was supposed to be one of those moments when the hero and the troops rally and we rally with them, the music pumping, the in your face we will rise again, came across as insincere and didn’t get me going at all. Because I never felt our Newsroom folk were really that down and out.  Haven’t thy been rallying like this all season, didn’t we just see a scene like this last week when Will decided to drop Casey Anthony and go back to the old format proving Brian wrong.

Let’s discuss what didn’t work, the way MacKenzie and Sloan are written and portrayed. MacKenzie has become more and more shrill as the weeks have progressed.  She is completely unprofessional, and her emotional outbursts are an insult to women, who manage to get through their workdays without screaming at the top of their lungs and pouting or making moon eyes at their ex while they beg to know what the voicemail they never got said. Sloan is supposed to be this highly intelligent woman, but Sorkin manages to diminish her by making her socially inept and overly concerned with the size of her ass.  Cliche

 Its been a while since I watched the West Wing, but I don’t recall CJ, or Donna being written this one dimensional or insulting. I know Sorkin has it in him to write better female characters, so let’s hope he pulls it together for next season or just like the Republican party woman will be turning off Newsroom in droves. 

I knew that Jim and Maggie couldn’t end up together,(well not this season anyway) but to have her move in with Don! Really!  Maggie would be far more interesting, if she had said no to both and worked on some character development before she took on her next relationship. Lisa had just pointed out to Maggie that she and Don are no any further along in their relationship than they were a year ago. And all Don has to do it light some candles, spread some rose petals and all of sudden this grand gesture makes up for what a jerk he is. Oh Maggie, and Aaron Sorkin, this isn’t a 1990’s rom-com, is Katherine Heigl joining the case next season.

What did work, the 3 big moments that needed to, thereby redeeming the finale.

The confrontation scene with Leona and Reese, the fake out with the envelope, Sam Waterston really makes every scene he is in, I hope he is nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for his work on this show, he elevates all those around him. The opening banter between Will and Leona was tight, great barbs.  The fake out with the beef stew recipe, while not new, was effective and the perfect middle finger to Reese.

Will finally finds out it wasn’t a hallucination, it was Mac at Northwestern holding up those signs, the signs that prompted his speech. A speech I happen to agree with, and an America I long to have back.

The Greater Fool, is an economic term, they rely on him to buy long and sell short, self delusion and ego propel him, his belief that he can  succeed where others have failed. We need The Greater Fool.  Anytime someone is called a “fool” on TV I am always reminded of Shakespeare’s use of the Fool character, he always turned out to be the smartest character in the play. King Lear anyone.

The final moment, the pay off if you will.  The girl who asked Will the question at Northwestern that started it all is applying for an internship. It takes Will several hours to realize who she is and when he confronts her, she says she has been watching the show and she wants to be The Greater Fool. Congratulations Don Quixote, your mission was not in vain.

We all have the potential to change, to hear the message and change.

What will next season bring, who knows, I hope they keep the good and tone down the personal lives hysterics.

Stop Making me cry Aaron Sorkin or Why The Hell Aren’t You Watching The Newsroom

6 Aug

I spent the weekend watching Aaron Sorkin’s new show on HBO, The Newsroom. I have been watching every week, but something made me sit and watch all 6 episodes back to back twice, once on Saturday and again on Sunday. I capped off my weekend with last night’s new episode, the superb “5/1”.

I am going to admit right up front I am a huge Sorkin fan, from West Wing to Moneyball, he is an immensely talented writer, and I don’t care if he preaches to me, or educates me.  The beauty of The West Wing all those years ago was it taught us, it made us think about the world we lived in, the society in which we all take part.

Just like West Wing, The Newsroom is both educational and entertaining, it is made up of characters that are fleshed out, characters that are deeply flawed and endearing. Sorkin has assembled an outstanding cast lead by Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterston.

Three of the seven episodes that have aired so far have left me in a puddle of tears at the end. The first, “I’ll Fix You” dealt with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, next “Amen” and finally last night’s “5/1”. 

“5/1” was the best Newsroom so far, set against the backdrop of the night we killed Osama Bin Laden, the episode furthered the Jim/Maggie relationship, introduced a really interesting plot point about TMI and provided a cautionary tale about mixing Vicodin and weed. 

The episode opens at a party in Will’s apartment, the Newsroom gang has gathered to celebrate Newsnight’s 1 year and 1 week anniversary.  Charlie (Sam Waterston) gets a call from an anonymous source telling him he will get a call from the White House Press Secretary later in the evening.  The purpose of this call is to establish the anonymous source’s credibility, the source has a much bigger story to tell Charlie and he needs to make sure Charlie will believe him.   As the audience we all know that the party will be over soon, everyone will hae to head into the office to get ready for the President’s address. Until then we get enjoy some interesting scenes of the team interacting in a social setting.

We are treated to Jeff Daniels and Jim Gallagher showing off their musical talents (both accomplished singer/musicians) on a duet of “Sunshine (Go Away Today)”.   Next up, Maggie over hears Lisa telling Jim she loves him, which prompts Maggie to tell Jim if he doesn’t love her he should break it off.  I wonder how long it will take for Jim and Maggie to get together? Will there be the big kiss in the finale, we all know the big Don/Maggie break up is coming, or is Don going to propose in a last ditch effort to keep her.  Is a Don/Sloane pairing on the horizon?

Speaking of Don and Sloane, they spend the entire episode, along with Elliot trapped on the tarmac at La Guardia airport. As usual Don is freaking and pisses off the flight attendant, even though it is a bit contrived and his “bad passenger” behavior is actually a set up for the big reveal at the end it works.  Because it’s Don and being bugged eyed and freaking is what he does best.

Another bit of business that I found rather humorous was Will being high. It raised an interesting question, I wonder how many times that has happened in real life. I can’t imagine every anchor is sober 24 hrs a day, isn’t it possible one of more had a few too many an then went on the air because there was no way they were going to miss out on a huge story. 

What I liked most about the episode was Sorkin found a way to weave in representatives from the groups hit the hardest on 9/11. The airlines, NYPD and Fire, and the workers from the twin towers. When each found out that Bin Laden was killed it brought home the reason why we should have never given up the hunt for Bin Laden under Bush.  The people who died, the thousands who were affected, those people deserved the justice his death brought. Sorry, but I just couldn’t turn the other cheek on this one.

The moment when Don told the pilot on his flight, a United flight, was when I started crying and didn’t stop until the credits. That moment took me back to 9/11 and the week of endless news, culminating in the service at the National Cathedral in Washington on Friday. I remember a country united, and now a decade later we are country as divided as we were during the civil war. What happened to us?

That is what Newsroom asks, in its pilot Will says “we aren’t the greatest country, but we can be again”.

How do we get back there?

Smash “BOMB shell”

15 May

The aptly titled “Bombshell” was Smash‘s season finale.  My big question last night, as it has been all season is, why does everyone think Karen (Katherine McPhee) is soooo talented, when they clearly have a talented Broadway vet waiting right there to take over the role she was born to play. I didn’t think it was possible for a show to jump the shark in 15 episodes or less, but Smash has done it. Kudos it will be your greatest achievement.

Broadway is a business like any other business with millions of dollars at stake, as Eileen reminded us every week this season. There is no way a real producer would risk their money on a hack.  I do not understand why the creators/writers think there is drama in the whole “cinderella story”, there isn’t, its boring and watching Derek be led around my his little director is a clche.  Although I have seen many an actor or actress get and keep roles because the director wanted to bed them, it would have been nice if the show rose above the fray, Jack Davenport is another actor I hope gets a better gig, he is wasted here.

As the episode opens Derek decides Karen will take over the role of Marilyn for Rebecca Duval, basically they have a day to teach her all the blocking, shorten the costumes etc etc. Ok, wasn’t Karen Rebecca’s understudy, shouldn’t she know all this stuff already and shouldn’t wardrobe have her costumes ready to go for exactly this type of scenario.  Really Show, Really?

Anyhow, in one of the rare moments I actually liked Ellis this season, he tells Eileen that Karen sucks and what a bad idea this is, he also lets her know he slipped Becky the nuts. Eileen fires him. I was routing for this all season, and now that he is fired I am not sure I want him gone. But I guess this sets us up for the lawsuit storyline for next season, remember Marilyn was his idea.

Tom and Julia are frantically working on the new closing number, because the original ending, Marilyn’s suicide was such a crowd pleaser. Halfway thru rehearsal Karen loses it and runs off stage, Derek follows her and gives her a pep talk and offers his magic penis to help make her feel better.   Let’s see, after he slept with Ivy she crashed and burned on pills and Becky nearly died from peanuts, stay away Karen that penis is cursed.

Michael Swift hits on Julia, his wife has left him and moved to Seattle, she rebuffs and then goes to throw up. Literally she throws up which means she is preggers. Smash has now officially become a soap opera, the whole whose the daddy storyline is so played out and will be again next season.

The show continues destroying the Ivy character, god I hope Megan Hilty gets off this show she is too good for this crapfest. In retaliation for Karen getting Marilyn, she tells Karen she slept with Dev. 

finally the show goes on, Karen is awesome ( shows perspective not mine) earning applause mid-song during the new closing number.  Meanwhile Ivy is about to swallow a handful of pills.

Pathetic finale. I will tune in next year, I want to see if they have learned their lessons and if a new show runner EP will make that big of difference. But we will have to wait, Smash isn’t back until winter 2013.

What about you, are you coming back? What did you think of the finale? Are you done having the show tell you how awesome Karen is and crapping all over Ivy?

Fringe “Brave New World” Part 1

5 May

Well, what a way to kick off the 2 part finale, Belly is back, Jones is dead (he was the Bishop) and they shot Astrid. I am going to assume she doesn’t die because she was in the 2036 flash forward episode.  I wasn’t surprised Bell was behind everything, I was surprised that they killed Jones off, it seemed pretty blah for a character that was built up as the big bad.  If this was supposed to serve as the series finale was this a rush job, kill off Jones and bring back Bell.

I have to hand it to Fringe they keep coming up with new and inventive ways to make me afraid of something I come in contact with  everyday. Last night escalators were the delivery system for Jones’ latest attack. He planted a device that emits nanites onto the handrails of an escalators at a busy mall. The nanites reproduce at a rapid rate based on the victim’s movement, eventually the victim spontaneously combusts, the people around them figure this out as they watch the others burn and die around them. They all freeze in place and stay frozen as the investigation goes on around them. Like a creepy game of Red Light, Green Light.

As Walter is examining the victims one of the survivors, Jessica (Rebecca Mader, Charlotte from Lost)  starts talking to him, eventually she becomes the test subject they use to create the anecdote. I am a little suspicious of this character and her willingness to participate, I think we will find out in part 2 that she is involved with Bell. As the story progresses we find out that Jones has been working with/for Bell all this time. Walter also figures this out when he studies the nanites, he realizes the tech is far too sophisticated for Jones, it is Belly’s work.

His suspicions are confirmed when in the very next scene we see Jones meeting with WIlliam Bell, and it is really Leonard Nimoy, not a cartoon, not a voiceover, not a stand in. Awesome!  They have an intriguing conversation about a chess game Bell has in his office (located on a boat BTW), the pieces are bell shaped, he tells Jones he hasn’t made a move on the board in 40 years. He explains to Jones that he shouldn’t confuse, “a winning move with a winning game”, and the art of chess is sacrificing the right piece at the right time.  In this particular game “the bishop” is the most important piece.  Jones immediately heads out to sacrifice a “Bishop”. Unfortunately for Jones, he is the bishop Bell is going to sacrifice and meets his fate after a rooftop fight with Peter.

Walter heads over to Massive Dynamic to confront Nina about the nanites, and he wants access to his research. Nina confesses that Bell’s car accident was really a suicide because he was dying of cancer.  She says he died on Christmas, but Walter says he came to see him at St. Claire’s on New Years Eve. Which makes everyone think, maybe Bell isn’t as dead as we thought. Walter and Peter head off to St. Claire’s to get the visitor logs, of course there is no record of the visit, Walter knows there has to be come evidence. As with all the visits to St Claire’s, Walter is so tormented, he is so afraid he will put back there, you see him doubt his own sanity.

To prove to himself and everyone else he is not crazy, he uses the page from the log book, an easy bake oven and pig brains to make Belly’s fingerprints appear on the log. He wraps the page from the log around the pig brains and bakes it in a lemon cake. The chemical reaction from the heat, the pig brains and the cortexiphan in Bell’s system make his finger prints appear.  The page also reveals a brown smudge that turns out to be oil from Chilean Almonds, an obseesion of Bell’s, Walter says Bell had an arrangement with the distributor to by direct.

Walter and Astrid head off to the warehouse where the Almond importer was located. The importer is no longer there, they are about to leave when Walter hears a noise. So by all means lets investigate, with no back up. They are confronted by bad guys with lots of guns, they are chased and Astrid is shot. Bell comes out of the shadows and says, “Hello old friend”.

Peter and Olivia have a lovely moment at the beginning of the episode, they are going over the real estate section looking for houses. Peter reads the details of one of the listings, he mentions 3 bed rooms, Olivia says nursery?  Awww, that can only mean she is going to die next week. The moment of bliss is interrupted by the call about the burning people at the mall. This episode is filled with several examples of Olivia’s special abilities, something that I am sure will play itself out into next week’s finale. She is able to stop the spread of nanites in the Jessica’s body while they are waiting for the anecdote. When Peter is fighting with Jones on the rooftop she is able to help Peter fight back, by controlling his body, thereby giving Peter the upper hand over Jones. 

How will it all end next week? Will Olivia, who the Observer said dies in every timeline, die next week? Well we know she can’t die until she gives birth to Etta.

The Vampire Diaries “Before Sunset”

4 May

-3 liters of blood + head injury x paint fumes = set up for next week’s flashback episode

Really, no one thought to take Elena to the hospital, maybe an MRI or a transfusion was in order. When I make comments like this my boyfriend says, “baby, you are watching a show about vampires, you honestly expect it to be realistic”. Good point, maybe not realistic, but at the very least be true to the characters. Damon and Stefan have professed their undying (ha, get it un-dying) love for Elena, they have saved her life on numerous occasions and neither of them thought she needed medical attention.

I guess the men where too busy planning their road trip, which I have to admit, was a pretty great scene. Damon and Stefan are right up their with some of the all time great TV brothers, right after the Winchesters and Larry, Darryl and Darryl.  

In a nutshell, Evilaric wants to kill Klaus, so he takes Caroline hostage to lure Elena to the high school. Elena is Klaus bait after all.  In the meantime Klaus shows up the Gilbert house to collect Elena, he is leaving town and he needs his doppelganger, the boys say no way.

The whole sequence at the house was pretty inspired, Klaus tossing things thru the windows, I guess if he couldn’t get in then the pointy end of a picket fence flying thru the air at high-speed is just as good. Of course his aim totally sucks, he missed every time.  Stefan gets a call from EvilAlaric, they tell Klaus Elena is gone and Alaric has her, which gives us a great scene between Klaus, Damon and Stefan working together to plot Alaric’s demise.  Quick quippy dialogue, lots of snarky bitch biting. Oh boys.

Bonnie has idea, it involves a spell, (big surprise) she says lets use the desiccation spell Abby used on Mikael. The boys head over to the high school,  big fight scene, Damon and Stefan knocked out, Alaric is about to stake Klaus which may or may not kill everyone Elena loves, so she stops him. Somehow Elena has figured out that if she dies then Alaric dies, Esther made him a super Vamp that is not immortal, because he is tied to a mortal.  Perfect excuse for Alaric to turn Elena in the season finale.  This was anvil #1.

Alaric lets Klaus go; Klaus takes Elena to the mansion, instead of taking her with him on the road, he is going to take her blood. In the meantime, Alaric wakes up Damon and Stefan and tells them Klaus took Elena. The head over to the mansion, unfortunately, Klaus has already drained 3 liters of her blood, in the confrontation she hits her head.  

Team TVD uses the desiccation spell on Klaus; the spell disables him, but doesn’t kill him. Very convenient that spell, Alaric is satisfied (for the moment) and no one dies (for the moment). I must Joseph Morgan’s acting, coupled with the slowing heartbeat and the CGI really made this scene work for me, it was so engaging. Not to mention Paul Wesley’s eyes, he looked so conflicted, yet so determined to rid them of this monster.

The boys need to get Elena home before dark, Alaric doesn’t have a day walker ring (yet), and he hasn’t been invited into Elena’s home (yet) so if she is in her house he can’t get her.  Before they leave Elena tells them she knows she needs to make a decision and choose one of them, she knows it isn’t fair.  Wow, it’s only taken her two seasons to realize what a selfish bitch she has been. I guess that is some sort of growth. But as my boyfriend reminds me she is super hot so who cares.

Thinking Elena is safe and sound the boys take off with Klaus’ body, they are going to dump him in the Atlantic so he can’t be revived. Because that worked so well for Connor at the end of season 3 on Angel.

The boy’s road trip, as mentioned above was terrific, short but great. The brother’s decide, that whomever Elena doesn’t choose will leave town. Stefan suggested it first, and it took a few minutes for Damon to agree, but he did.  And here comes another anvil. Damon says something like, it will only last 60 years and then we will be reunited. In other words Elena will only live for 60 more years, and once she is dead we can get back together. (anvil #2) Elena is so getting turned in the finale.

If they turn Elena it will solve a lot of problems, Alaric can never die, and Elena’s choice will be delayed since she will be busy adjusting to her new “life”. Who will turn Elena, Alaric? Katherine?  Remember Katherine can come back now that Klaus is dead. 

When last we saw Alaric he had called a council meeting and outed Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood for having a vampire daughter and a hybrid son, he revealed himself as a vampire. Will the town pick up their pitchforks and torches and go after Caroline and Tyler?

Last scene, Elena passed out on the floor bleeding from the nose. Head injury leads to coma, leads to flashbacks of her parents and Aunt Jenna.

Next week is the season finale, who lives, who dies, who gets turned into a vampire, and of course is Alaric the big bad for S4, or is some new threat coming. How cool would it be if they brought Jenna back and she and Alaric paired up?  Yummy.

And you say?

The Vampire Diaries “Do Not Go Gentle”

27 Apr

I guess if we were going to lose Alaric, (Matthew Davis) at least they are giving him a good send off.  I remember when they got rid of Cordelia on Angel it was so lame, you could tell how mad the producers were at her for getting pregnant and screwing up their season 4 plans to make her the big bad.

But I digress, back to TVD. Last night’s episode was made of win, coming on the heels of that awesome Damon/Elena kiss this was completely satisfying sex after fantastic foreplay. 

I am completely in camp Delena, they are so hot and for the adults, while Stelena are all mushy romantic and boring, I watched all those scenes rolling my eyes with disgust.

Last night’s episode centered around Mystic High’s annual decade dance, dances to TVD are like birthday’s to Buffy, they never end well. Let’s talk about the good first, the costumes, Matt and Jeremy’s budding bromance, Damon and Ric while Ric was dying and Bonnie possessed.  The best scene, when everyone came to say good-bye to Ric, I will admit it, I cried, it was so sad.

That lasted all of 5 minutes, and then BAM. Alaric is a super powerful, Vampire who also happens to be a Vampire Hunter, with a white oak stake coated in the melted metal of his resurrection ring.  This sequence of events almost makes up for all the Klaus crap this season, I say almost because I don’t know how this going to end up. The actor who plays Alaric has already booked another show on The CW, dead or not he is off the show.

There is a lot of spec on the net that Elena will be turned in the finale, and Damon or Stefan will be made human, it sounds cheesy but I think this show could make it work. As long as it makes Klaus goes away I am all for it.

What didn’t work, the salt line, I have seen enough episodes of Supernatural to know that all you need is a human to scrape their foot through it to break the spell.  Anything Klaus, his last scene screaming at this mother in the coffin was so over the top, yeah yeah you are going to raise an evil army, blah blah.

While Ester has all the vamp folk holed up in the gym, she is busy making Alaric into super vamp killer, of course this requires Elena’s blood.  Ester gets halfway thru the spell before she is interrupted by Matt and Jeremy. Alaric stakes her, which breaks the boundary spell, but they are too late. Alaric has two choices, drink blood and become a vampire or die. He decides not to complete the transformation and chooses to dies, everyone comes to say good bye, lots of crying ensures,Damon and Ric bond one more time.

But wait, Bonnie, possessed by her witchy friends shows up, she disables Damon and makes Alaric feed on her. He completes the transformation and he is now SuperVamp. Evilaric.

Next Week: Is the second to last episode of the season, usually this is the episode when all the shit goes down. Klaus is going to try to leave town with Elena (like that will ever happen), but meets with resistance from an unlikely source. Stefan and Damon talk about the future.

Revenge “Justice”

26 Apr

Nolan to Amanda, “you do realize if you expose the Grayson’s for jury tampering, you risk your fiancé spending the rest of hs life in prison”?, Amanda says “I came here for one reason, nothings going to get in my way”.  Amanda is committed to her to plan, I guess we now know she is not in love with Daniel.  I am not sure who is more cold, her or Victoria.

“Justice” opens, several months, and 15 days into Daniel’s trial. Which make sense since this show is about Revenge and we need to wrap up the trial to get back to business.

 However, I have to hand it to Mike Kelley, the murder and the trial are interesting ways to expose more of the characters layers.  We always knew Victoria was calculating, but who knew to what extent, getting her own son beat up in prison just to spring him.  Jury tampering, threatening inocent children. The trial has also upped the cat and mouse game between Amanda and Victoria, it’s great to see two solid female leads heading up a show.  The men definitely take a backseat to these ladies.

In a nutshell, Declan recants his story, he says he didn’t see anyone on the beach that night. Jack comes back to town, Amanda gets the bloody hoodie and plants it on Victoria’s goon, or “mini-Frank” as Nolan has named him, Nolan really does get the best lines. Victoria has hired the goon to go after one of the jurors, instead he gets arrested and put in jail. He threatens to expose the Grayson’s,  Conrad has him killed, makes it look like a suicide and in the fake note mini-Frank confesses to killing Tyler. Case closed. 

In between, Daniel breaks house arrest to confront Amanda about having an affair with Jack, he lands back in Jail. Conrad gets rid of Victoria’s artist boyfriend. And we get a lot of cool Amanda/Nolan scenes, how I love these two together.

In the end, Amanda figures out that her dad was killed just like mini-Frank, the Grayson’s murdered her father. Game so Fu&#ing On!!

Next Week

Smash “Publicity”

24 Apr

Wow, Karen has enemies everywhere, Ivy, Rebecca and Ellis.  Normally I would feel bad, for the underdog, but not this time. the sooner Kat McPhee is off this show the happier I will be.

What’s that old saying keep your fiends close, keep your understudy closer. Faster than you can say Eve Harrington, as soon as Rebecca finds out that Karen is singing one of her shadow songs, and Derek thinks she is “brilliant” complements of Ellis eavesdropping.  Rebecca makes Karen her new BFF. Taking her out to the hottest spot, giving her the opportunity to sing with one of the hottest bands, giving her fabulous designer duds and causing problems between her and Dev.

Unbeknownst to Rebecca Ivy is playing a little prank on Karen. Do you think those two will team up, not likely since Rebecca now sees Ivy is not only more talented than Karen but is also sleeping with Derek.  In the previews it looks like Rebecca is making moves on Derek, she is going to stop at nothing to crush her competition.  I wasn’t sure about this whole movie star plot, but now that I see how nasty she is I am really liking it.

What else happened last night, oh yes, Leo went missing, he was just hiding out at his friend’s house to get away from this parents and this lame storyline. I really hope they are going to overall Julia’s storyline and character in season 2. I feel so bad for Debra Messing, she so better than this crap.  Eileen and Nick go to fancy thing at BAM where they run into Jerry and his arm candy. Eileen and Nick do it.  Karen hallucinate some Bollywood musical number crap, if you missed it it’s on YouTube, but remember it’s 5 minutes of your life that you will never get back.

Aside from Rebecca’s scheming, the other highlight of the show was Megan Hilty singing a beautiful ballad called “Secondhand White Baby Grand”, if you can find it on the net watch it. Trust me those are 5 minutes you will not mind giving up.

Three episodes left, and it looks like we will be left with quite a cliffhanger

 

Fringe “Letters of Transit”

21 Apr

Oh Fringe, how I love thee, let me count the ways

  • John Noble, proved again last night why his Emmy nomination and win is way past due, his two interpretations of Walter in last night’s episode were breathtaking
  • Licorice as a calling card
  • Belly encased in Amber
  • the hand
  • I think Josh Jackson has a secret bet with himself to see how many times he can make the audience cry this season, last night’s final scene on the train was so amazing

“Letter’s of Transit” takes place in the year 2036, the Observers have taken over our planet, humans fought back but lost. The Fringe division has been reduced to a babysitting organization, and our Fringe team was encased in amber to prevent them from over throwing the new regime.   Two new Fringe agents, Etta and Simon have made it their mission to find the original Fringe team, one of Etta’s sources has found them and brings her Walter, still entombed in amber.

She brings amberWalter to Simon, they break him out, but his brain has been compromised and he is childlike, he is amazed at the wonders of red licorice and confuses Simon with Peter. They find out that parts of his brain are stored at Massive Dynamic, they go see a silver haired wheelchair bound Nina Sharpe for help.  Walter fixes her robotic hand, they share a lovely moment, you can feel the depth of the friendship that these two characters have shared and how weary the battle has made them.

Simon and Etta restore Walter’s brain, he wakes up a completely different person, all take charge and kind of an asshole. But I like it, this Walter is going to save us. Walter has a flash of recognition when he looks at Etta, something familiar but he can’t put his finger on it. Well I did in the first five minutes of the episode, this is Peter and Olivia’s daughter, and a big reason she is looking for the rest of the Fringe team is she wants her family back.  We suspect Olivia is dead, but this is not confirmed until the final minutes of the episode.

Simon, Etta and Walter get to the rest of the team encased in amber, it’s very cloudy so you can’t tell how many people are in there, I saw at least two. This is a nice piece of misdirection by the show, you expect to only see two, Astrid and Peter, since we can assume Olivia is dead.  They extract Astrid, who upon seeing her Walter calls Astro, perfect Fringe moment.  Next we see William Bell encased in the amber, which brings up a whole bunch of questions, is this the reality where Bell never died, was he resurrected somehow. Since we only saw, two and they show us Belly where is Peter? Then we hit a couple of snags, the extraction machine breaks and the new Fringe division is onto them, they are tracking them thru Simon’s locator chip. We are now in a race against time.

With minutes to spare Simon fixes the machine, but it will only work if someone pushes the person out of the amber, risking being entombed themselves. Simon sacrifices himself to get one last person out of the amber, then Broyles and the new Fringers break down the door, revealing everyone is gone and Simon amberfied.

We assume Simon has sacrificed himself for Belly. We cut to Walter and Astrid talking on a train, she asks how could you just leave him there, we need him. Walter says don’t worry we have what we need, and opens Simon’s backpack to show Belly’s hand still encased in amber. They cut if off.  Oh show, how I love you.

Final scene, Etta looking out of the rear window of  the train, playing with a bullet she is wearing in a chain around her neck. Presumably the bullet that killed her mother, Olivia. Peter comes up behind her. Simon sacrificed himself for Peter, wahhhh. They start talking and slowly Peter realizes Etta is his and Olivia’s daughter.  Again Josh Jackson, stop making me cry.

I loved this episode so much, I hope the show is renewed and we get to return to 2036. I would love to see the continuation of this storyline, the evolution of these characters.  Of course they would have to rescue Simon, he and Etta definitely have chemistry.

Next week:

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