This Week on TV, Nov. 21, 2015

Spoiler Alert!

Well, we had some thunderous turning points this week, didn’t we? Shocking revelations, close calls, heart-wrenching losses… into the abyss, our heroes go.

Once-upon-time-logoOnce Upon a Time

“Birth” & “The Bear King”

We got two new episode this week! Yay! 🙂

And both of them were gut-punchers.

“Birth” seemed to be about the birth of Emma as the Dark One, or perhaps the delivery of Zalina’s child (she is right, do not accept onion rings from the Dark One), but the most important “birth” of the episode was… Hook’s rebirth as… a second Dark One?!

Arthur’s attempt at trading Emma’s family for her dagger and the Promethean spark did not go in his favor. She took Zalina out of the fight simply by tying her up, she held off Merling long enough to help him resist the sword’s commands, which gave Hook enough time to slip free of his restraints and attack Arthur. Arthur only managed to flee with Zalina, and the good guys won the day! Yay! But Hook received a scratch from Excalibur, and even a scratch from such a blade is fatal.

Emma had just managed to overcome her fears and begin moving forward. She was intent on leaving the Darkness behind and beginning a new life, a future with Hook, living together. She wanted it so badly, she was… vulnerable to the pain of losing him. He told her, several times, not to go ahead with her desperate plan, but she did. She bound him to Excalibur, turning him into a Dark One like her. The act freed Merlin, but plunged Hook into the Darkness.

Everything Emma has done since… has been to atone, to make things right. That often happens with these Dark Ones, doesn’t it? They can’t bear the loss of someone they love, so they do something unspeakable to try and prevent it, and then they do worse to try and make it right. Rumple put it best, telling Hook how he, himself, did terrible things to get his son back, all the while telling himself he’d make up for it later. Life is not so kind as that.

Emma’s plan was to use Zalina, after her child was safely delivered, as a vessel for the Darkness, then use Excalibur to kill her and the Darkness with her. She’d forsake the Darkness and rescue Hook from it as well, safe and alive. That’s a worthy cause, right? A good cause? With a good reason behind it? But as Merlin told her as a child… she should have left the sword alone, not messed with it, not bound Hook to it, not reforged it. The price for her actions will be very high, as Regina’s actions to save Robin nearly were.

And here’s some sense to be found now! As there are two Dark Ones, Merlin’s message about Nimue being their only hope suddenly makes much more sense. I’m guessing that was Dark Hook, not Dark Swan, banging on his door when he left that message. To fight a Dark One, you need a Dark One. And who better to fight another “first” Dark One, the first in his line, at least, than the first of all Dark Ones?

So, Arthur is exposed, locked up, ignorant of Nimue, and the theft of everyone’s memories has left him without any allies. Dr. Whale delivers another baby and gets thrown into a wall again. Regina and the Charmings are coming to blows about how to deal with Emma when she freezes them. And Emma, due to Hook’s use of the squid ink and Zalina’s use of a dreamcatcher, is helpless and at their mercy. And Hook look particularly merciless now, in the light of Emma’s dark deeds, especially her betrayal.

As for “The Bear King,” the action in the flashbacks (and we are only three weeks into their six-week stay at Camelot) moves back to Dun Broch, where we catch up with Merida and, surprisingly, Mulan and Red as well! I’ve been wondering what happened to those latter two especially.

Arthur and Zalina go to Dun Broch to retrieve a magic helm which, if Arthur wears it, will compel all his knights to follow him. Once again, he is looking outside of himself for his worth. Every time he gets knocked down a bit, he doesn’t get back up, he goes crawling for some other crutch to lean on! (MERLIN! You chose poorly! Like, that guy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, poorly!) King Fergus had it made by the witch to help ensure the future of his kingdom, a bit of knowledge which shakes Merida’s faith in her father and herself… that is until she learns that Fergus threw it into a lake instead of using it, which Arthur learned when he killed Fergus, took the false helm, and tried to use it, losing the battle as a result. So, a good man who was making a mistake turned back and did what he had to, the right way.

Merida was searching for the helm because the witch crashed her coronation, threatening to turn her people into bears unless they either paid an impossible fee for the helm or returned it to her. On this search, Merida found Mulan, whose broken heart made her fall from honor to the level of selling her sword to the highest bidder, roughing up tavern thugs. Mulan, finding her way again, found Red, who had been trapped as a guard wolf by the witch. Red, it turns out, had a magic bean she got from Tiny, and wanted to find her own kind again in the Enchanted Forest. So, she said her goodbyes and left, the same day Zalina was supposedly vanquished.

Together, the three women are able to fight Zalina and Arthur head-on, but the real victory was when the clans, formerly so unwilling to follow Merida, came to her aid. They protected her and bowed to her. The most rebellious one, it turns out, was more convinced by her selflessness than by her archery skills. She and her father learned from each other, the only right way to lead men into battle is to be the first one willing to die, because if the king is willing to die for his cause, then that cause might be worth laying down their own lives, if necessary.

There is quite a good deal of truth to that. Love and loyalty are given when they are received. The clans saw Merida, willing to give up her crown and her life in their defense, and that is a monarch worth supporting.

Red and Mulan go their merry way, and Merida refuses to give the witch her helm back. It’s a power no one should wield, to compel a man to fight for a cause he doesn’t believe in himself. But, as it turns out, that was what the witch wanted all along, and this was Merida’s lesson in what it takes to lead and rule. Not very direct, as Merida’s mother points out, but it certainly got results! I like this version of the witch! If I were a powerful wizard or something like that, I’d probably do things in a similar fashion. 🙂

Merida gets to talk to her father’s spirit one last time, thanks to the witch’s coronation gift. But now that’s done, and now Merida knows Arthur killed Fergus, she is very angry. Yeah, no chance of anything going wrong there! 😉

castle titleCastle

“The Last Seduction”

Relationships can be very complex things.

This week’s case involves the murder of a man who seduced wealthy, married women. In fact, he was paid to do this by their husbands, so they could divorce their wives without paying through the nose for it. So not only does he sleep with a bunch of beautiful women who should be forbidden to him, and without any fear of their rich, powerful husbands, but he also gets paid for it. Some would call that a win-win situation, but it’s a despicable waste of a human’s life. He finally seemed to be waking up to this when he learned the truth behind his last job: the woman he seduced was a widow, and he was being paid by her own son so he could use her tryst to take over their family-owned company. He turned around and made to defend the woman, and for that, his former employers killed him.

He lived a lot of his life doing a lot of hurt to a lot of women, but he certainly went out on a high note. The real tragedy is that he only managed to turn around, and was killed before he could do something more productive with his life.

The backdrop of marriage and divorce is pretty good for this episode, dealing with the relationships of our favorite characters.

Ryan and Espo are still in therapy, trying to work out their issues with each other. Their pride has been hurt, and the trust between them is breaking. But all the issues they’re dealing with sink into perfect insignificance when Espo gets sloppy during an arrest, and Ryan takes a bullet for him. These two men, they sometimes argue, but they have each others’ backs, and just needed a reminder of that fact. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, they love each other. That’s what matters.

And, as it turns out, Espo may have passed the sergeant’s exam, but he’s waaaaay down on the list for future promotion. They nearly split up in the heat of the moment, but Ryan and Espo are going to be together for a long time! 🙂

Castle, meanwhile, makes to reconnect with Beckett on their anniversary. Pretty much nothing of it goes according to plan, but they still have a little time-out from their time-out. And, due to the serendipitous reception of a text from Vikram, Castle now begins to suspect that Beckett isn’t just separate from him, she’s keeping something secret. Which is what Vikram warned Beckett about when she was considering Castle’s offer, so the man has some pretty decent foresight.

It’s one of those foreboding moments to end an episode on.

In miscellaneous smaller news, Hayley stops by to pick up her painting and goes to a spa to help Beckett possibly identify a suspect, which gets interesting, while Alexis once again proves her mettle as an investigator alongside her father. They really are a pretty amazing team, ya know?

gotham-logo-screencapGotham

“A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

Ok, I have to admit, it was a little disconcerting seeing Missy from Doctor Who on Gotham. I mean, know it’s not the character Missy, but it was still a bit weird at first. She had only a bit part, being the lady Tabitha went to for a hitman to kill Gordon. Apparently, this lady can put her finger on quite a supply of eager killers who love their job, including at least one cannibal. Tabitha didn’t go after Gordon herself because she was injured recently and her aim’s been thrown off as a result. So, instead, she sent a parade of monsters to get the job done.

That said, it was only a parade because Gordon is very difficult to kill. At least half a dozen red shirt cops went down in this episode, not to mention those in the previous episode, from Barabara’s scheming, and the one before that, from Penguin’s parade, and the GCPD massacre, and all the rest throughout the series. Seriously, their ranks have been taking a severe beating. But Gordon comes through practically unscathed. Small wonder he’s been edging towards his own insanity as he keeps surviving slaughters like this.

I think we all had to laugh at the elevator scene. 🙂

The Monster Parade forced Gordon to really see his darkness, and it finally scared him, which brought him back towards his senses. His recklessness helped get a man from forensics killed and his captain wounded, and he very nearly crossed the line before pulling back. I suspect the near-immediate death of Parks at the teeth of the man he spared will not help him keep from crossing the line in the future. Only knowing his darkness, and choosing to shun it, will do that.

Speaking of the line, Barnes is starting to make a bit more sense now. He once did something terrible on the battlefield, and from that experience, he took a lesson: there is no line, there is only the law, and that is what separates the cops from the criminals. Mind you, I would argue, there is a line, and the law exists in service to that line. Batman is a character who almost never keeps to the law, but he does keep to the line, that is what separates him from the monsters he fights. Perfect adherence to the law actually ignores that line, because the law needs to be kept in check every bit as much as the criminals.

And I am still not convinced that Barnes has nothing to do with the Court of Owls. He just confessed a terrible mistake to Gordon, the sort that leaves one psychologically and spiritually traumatized. He could have easily found solace in the religious Order of Saint Dumas, and his adherence to legality reminds me a bit of a perfectly obedient warrior monk named Azrael, who rumor says will appear on the show this season. Even if Barnes isn’t part of the Order yet, he strikes me as the perfect candidate for them to seize and brainwash into being their great, obedient warrior. And who could possibly be a worse enemy for Gordon to face?

Ok, that’s my new pet theory: Barnes will be Azrael.

Let’s see if I’m right! 😀

Speaking of our incoming antagonists, Gordon found Galavan’s monk robe, just a small indicator of what’s coming. Or, rather, what’s entering Gotham that very night. At the expense of an unfortunate security guard.

Bruce is still wrapped around Silver’s little finger. Or, rather, he’s letting himself be wrapped around her finger to try and get the info Galavan had about his parents’ murder. Alfred, knowing the boy is not ready for this, takes on the role of Bruce’s jailer, winning every battle of wits thus far and keeping Bruce from hanging around her anymore. However, as Bruce is tenaciously stubborn even on the best of days, and is now desperate, even Alfred can’t keep him from just sneaking out while his back’s turned. Fortunately, Selina was there, ready and waiting for the attempt, and this time, she says she has proof of Silver’s duplicity. That should be interesting. It’s good to know that Bruce has people looking out for him. Perhaps one day he’ll learn to listen to them a bit more.

Finally, Nygma nurses Penguin back towards health. He’s hoping Penguin can teach him about killing, but Penguin is broken by recent events. His mother dead, his empire in ruins, and himself wanted by the police. Nygma tries a few different things, but he finally convinces Penguin that he now has no weakness because his mother, the one he loved, is gone. Penguin himself knows that controlling and destroying a person involves exploiting what they love, so this madness rings a familiar key within him. By the end of the episode, they’re eating, drinking, and singing together. Oh, and torturing/murdering one of Galavan’s lackeys together. That too.

Quite a nefarious duo, them.

agentsofshieldseason3bannerAgents of Shield

“Many Heads, One Tale”

…huh.

Everything begins to come together, and, once again, it all comes back to Hydra.

Freaking thorn in civilization’s side, that’s what Hydra is.

Gideon Malick, we find out, is, as Ward puts it, “The last Head of Hydra’s old guard.” And he knows a great deal more than most, especially about Hydra’s history. As it turns out, Hydra is thousands of years old. The Red Skull was a devout believer in its founding principle, that “the ultimate power” is not of our world. The story goes back to the Kree experiments and the birth of the Inhumans. There was one Inhuman born who was so powerful and dangerous that they threatened to rule and/or destroy the world. This “ultimate” Inhuman was banished through a portal to another world, and Hydra was formed to pursue the goal of bringing this individual back. In the meantime, each generation has sent human sacrifices through the portal to “save or at least serve” It.

Sound familiar?

That’s a number of questions answered. Hydra sent Will’s team through the portal, a portal the Inhumans know to fear because that creature on the other side is a very old, very powerful, very dangerous Inhuman. Small wonder they remember It. They probably see It much like we see the Devil himself. Which makes Hydra, which sees It as their true master, a Devil-worshiping cult of particular tenacity and longevity.

If that’s not enough, Malick is the power behind the ATCU, and Rosalind’s source of information. She and Coulson got into it while his team was infiltrating her facility and exposing hidden secrets, but both of them were misplacing the blame for those secrets. Malick has been using the ATCU to capture Inhumans, old and new, and use them in Hydra’s experiments. The goal is to mass-produce the Inhumans within Hydra’s ranks, so when they bring It back to Earth, It has an army to command. Of course, I seriously doubt things will go so smoothly if Hydra succeeds, as monsters of this nature tend to simply destroy everything and everyone, starting with the faithful acolytes who release It.

And now Shield has managed to accomplish something Hydra has failed to do for thousands of years: they brought someone back through the portal. When Malick learns that Daisy did that, he’s going to unleash Hell on her until she does it again. And as he has access to a number of Monolith fragments, I’m guessing he can reassemble them to make a portal sizable enough for It to pass through. He is a lifelong fanatic to a very old cult, and he suddenly has the means to achieve what Hydra has wanted for a very long time, and he has vast resources at his disposal, including the ATCU, likely even more infested by Hydra than was Shield. He is dangerous.

And now he has Ward working alongside him as a “second head,” and they both have Andrew Garner at their mercy. Ward takes specific satisfaction out of experimenting on him, most painfully, ending Garner so slowly, and advancing his transformation into Lash. Yeah, crap is hitting the fan, again. Rosalind may not be Hydra, and neither is her subordinate Banks, but they now have a Hydra-controlled ATCU to deal with, with Inhumans mixed into Hydra’s ranks. This prolonged shadow war just turned right around on Shield. But, on the upside, there are only two heads left: Malick and Ward. If they can take out the both of them, and clean up their followers one last time, and do it before they bring It back to Earth, they’ll be golden!

…yeah, not going to be that easy, is it?

On the bright side, Fitz and Simmons finally kiss (yes, it’s an emotionally-intense love triangle they got going with Will who isn’t even there), May and Lincoln make peace with each other (in fact, they weren’t really at odds, though he wasn’t accustomed to her usual silence), Coulson is able to show Mack that he’s not been beguiled by Rosalind, the secrets Rosalind was unaware of are out in the open now, and Morse and Hunter are as capable a team as ever.

Oh, and it was great seeing Daisy be a hacker again, talking Hunter through hacking the ATCU, and I think we were all laughing at Mack’s “customer service” impression. 🙂

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

“Gorilla Warfare”

So, last episode ended in a defeat of “we barely survived” proportions. After a beating like that, even the Flash needs some time to heal, both physically and otherwise. Fortunately, he is very resilient. One week after being crippled, he’s taking steps again, then jogging, then speeding, the he’s back up to 100%. Part of that, however, involves dealing with the emotional and psychological trauma Zoom inflicted on him.

At times like this, the man to call is his father, Henry. Henry knows what it means to be destroyed in the public eye, far better than any of their friends do. What got him through the worst time in his life was the hope his son carried for him, gave to him. So now he’s able to give that hope back to Barry, and I’m guessing this strength is something the likes of Zoom could never truly comprehend. It’s the strength of love, of not being alone in one’s darkest moments.

Speaking of Zoom, Wells is set on going home to face the monster alone, now that his attempt to work with the Flash failed. But Cait, dear Cait, is able to convince him to stay and keep working with them. She tells him how he has a better chance of rescuing his daughter if he’s working with them, as opposed to just dying in the attempt and leaving her forever at a monster’s mercy. Then she inspires a new plan in his brilliant mind, to close the Breaches, all except one, limiting Zoom’s options and laying another trap he’ll have to walk into. Finally, his help in saving Cait brought him fully into the team.

As for that bit about saving Cait, as the title suggests, Grodd finally made his comeback appearance. He’s been living in a bell tower, and he’s been feeling a bit lonely, very understandable as he is 1) somewhat artificial, 2) the only one of his kind, and 3) now deprived of the presence of he “father” the Reverse-Flash. As such, he wants Cait to make more like him. And he’s not a very patient gorilla! Fortunately, Wells and Cisco (before Barry is back up to full speed) manage to rescue Caitlin, and then Wells masterminds a plan to send Grodd through the breach to Gorilla City so he can fit in among his own kind.

How much you wanna bet he becomes the king and comes back for revenge?

On other fronts:

Cisco has his first date with Kendra Saunders, which, a) quoting The Princess Bride as he takes her to see it is awesome, b) he has a vibe and sees her as Hawkgirl, leaving him breathless at the sight, and c) I had to love it when Barry messed with him like that about “why breakfast?”

Iris and Joe had moments of bonding, and I really like what they’ve done with her character so far this season, being less tied to her romantic entanglements and the drama therein. Also, they are setting up the advent of Wally West, which promises to be most interesting on a number of levels. (among them, he should be or become a speedster, giving the team a much-needed edge against Zoom)

And Patty is very difficult to fool for very long. Barry’s able to pretend to be sick, but she sees through that, and then he tells her a bit of the truth about needing some time with his dad and why he might not just tell her about it. When in doubt, lie by telling the truth. The two of them are a cute couple, I must admit. 🙂

Arrow-logo-header-Season-4Arrow

“Brotherhood”

Well, this one was another gut twister.

Diggle just learned that his brother, Andy, was not the man he thought, and was target by Hive because he was a criminal. But even worse, he now learns, all at once, that Andy is alive and working for Damien within Hive as a Ghost. Which explains erasing his records, because he’s not actually dead.

That hits him hard, and they really did justice to his character. Most everyone gets shuffled into a more supporting role at some point, but Diggle’s been there awhile. Now he’s brought straight into the center of the spotlight, and he’s the one most resistant to going after Andy. Olly and Laurel are both the sort to do anything for family, often without limit and crossing lines better left uncrossed. Digs is a different sort of man. Family is more than flesh and blood, he knows, and with truths upon truths revealed, his priority is protecting his friends from doing something suicidally stupid in the name of helping him investigate and possibly get his brother back. Especially when he doesn’t even know who his brother was anymore, let alone who he is.

Well, scratch that, he thinks of Olly as a brother, so when Olly and the girls go off to get Andy, albeit with some unexpected backup from Ray, Diggle shows up to help them, not Andy.

I’m kinda with Digs on this one, but, then again, there are a few things to support the hope Olly is talking about. Andy has, at least twice, refrained from harming him, and he said, “Kill the green one,” not “Kill them both.” So even with drug-enhanced mind control going on, Andy is taking care not to hurt his brother. There could be some possibilities here.

I love how this episode revolved around the question of whether or not to pursue this angle with Andy. Most times, the question wouldn’t even be an issue, but it was like Arrow was debating with itself, “Hmmm, do I go this route or not?”

The episode ends with one brother interrogating the other, who is admitting to his crimes.

In other news, Thea is going out with Alex now, and she’s trying to control her reigniting blood lust. Malcolm drops in with a file in hand, a local pedophile no one will miss. A lot of people would go that route with little hesitation, but Thea knows she’s not a judge, jury, and executioner (not to mention, Malcolm could well be lying to her), and she’s not keen on feeding people to her blood lust. Most people would go, “I have to do it, or die so I won’t, and it’s not like the world won’t be better off without this filth.” But Thea is more selfless than that.

Also, there is no such thing as coincidence, so I highly doubt that the random drunk that came up to Thea the moment her date was occupied elsewhere was a coincidence at all. That little experience might have well convinced her to go ahead with Malcolm’s plan, or just killed an enemy in the field, but then she had an encounter with Damien. Which was interesting! His death-touch thing backfired on him!

The Pit! The Pit! Damien can’t kill Thea with his death-touch thing because she was revived in the Lazarus Pit! Oooooh, that was lucky!

Not only was Damien actually hurt for, like, the first time ever, that we have seen, but her blood lust was gone too! At least for a little while. This means that there is a way to treat the blood lust for both Thea and Sara, and there is a way to hurt Damien. Do I need to say how great this is? Were I Malcolm, I’d pounce on this opportunity faster than a cat on a mouse.

Ray, we know, will be leaving Arrow to join Legends of Tomorrow, but for the moment, he has some soul-searching to do. He devoted his life to helping others, built a successful company and helped the city quite a bit. But now he sees what that’s amounted to after his “death,” it’s a pretty tough to take. His work was a failure, so he feels he needs to do something differently now.

Speaking of, when Lance shares how Damien is becoming suspicious of him (after another of his fearsome speeches), Olly considers getting close to Damien himself. That is a terrible, terrible idea, of course, but when Damien comes to him with an offer of “help” (like he did with Lance), well, it is worth considering. Olly chooses to turn down that offer, to bring the fight with Damien into the light of day, instead of leaving it in the shadows. That’s a bold, dangerous move, and a pretty great one. We’ve seen Damien vs the Green Arrow, but now we see Damien vs Oliver Queen too! They are colliding in more than one arena now! Sweet! 🙂

Meanwhile in the past, Olly and Conklin both made their case before Ryter (I think that’s how his name was spelled) concerning the man Conklin had attack Olly last episode, and Ryter detected Conklin as the liar. Ryter then had Olly whip Conklin before the eyes of his men and the slaves both. Olly was able to steal a map of Lian Yu, but he needs a better one, for which he needs the help of his lady friend. Oh, and, small detail, he has to tell the woman her brother is dead. He tells her it was Conklin, which is true, but he leaves out the part where Conklin just had her brother attack Olly so Olly had to kill him. Yeah, that’s going to go very badly sometime soon. That’s sort of what happens in Arrow.

On a final note, the way they filmed some of these fight scenes was a bit different from the usual. Perhaps they’re experimenting a bit after watching Daredevil? It wasn’t nearly so smooth, and for a moment there I started to feel motion sick, so while it’s nifty and neat, I’d very much prefer if they didn’t do that again. Or, at least, if the camera was a bit steadier.

heroes-rebornHeroes Reborn

“1153 to Odessa”

Well, this is getting tense, isn’t it?

As expected, Erica had absolutely no honorable intentions whatsoever. She drugged Tommy and tried to plug him into her machine to use his time traveling powers, but, small wrinkle, that’s not his actual ability, is it? No, his ability is to take abilities from other Evos, not specifically to time travel. So she can’t just suck it out of him, which means she has to persuade him. Which involves copious amounts of lying, which is kind of what happens any time she’s using words anyway.

(must not insert political commentary…)

So she takes him to the future, along with Chloe and Quentin. The siblings are arguing about whether or not they should really be helping Erica, but Chloe is devoured by the fear that she has no other purpose to her existence. Meanwhile, Tommy is slowly beguiled by Erica’s flowery words and her “sincerity.” He has no idea that she only intends to save a few, and certainly no idea of what fate she has in mind for Evos.

Miko, also in the future, finds that out. She infiltrates Erica’s city, Gateway, and finds the Evos locked up down underground, stuck in comas and plugged into the machine. Her paradise of the future, in addition to being limited only to a very select few, will be built on top of their bodies even before they’ve become corpses. From birth to death, an Evo is a building block. A thing. Miko manages to get another mission, again to help the Master of Time and Space, from her father (oh, you could just see her heart breaking when he had to play like he was on Erica’s side and say, “INTRUDER!”), who was transported to the future with her real daughter’s comatose body, and she makes good on it.

Just as Erica has swayed Tommy to her side, sending a few people back (including the siblings) while staying behind herself (hmmm, a bit close to the HEALE for comfort, Erica?), Miko literally drops in and goes back in time with Tommy. With what she knows, Tommy won’t follow Erica’s orders.

Back in the present, Taylor, Rene, and Hero Truther infiltrate Sunstone, looking for Micah. The place is getting cleared out, all the Evos sent to be Gateway building blocks, but Micah is still there, as are Matt and a few others, including Carlos and Farrah. Just as Matt uses Carlos to break Farrah’s will, just as he is on the cusp of learning everything she knows about Malina, Taylor and the shape-shifting illusionist arrive, with the latter disguised as Erica. Matt is drawn away from the interrogation, and Taylor uses a taser on him when he realizes he’s being tricked.

Taylor leaves, and the shape-changer is unceremoniously killed by Harris upon his arrival. Matt is upset about this, as the enemy was wearing his face right then, and begins to suspect that he is less important to Erica’s plans that he has been told. He storms off to see Micah, to make sure he, his wife, and his son are being sent to the future, and is very satisfied with what he sees. He has no idea he’s been set up as a building block from the very beginning, and that is the end of his “importance.”

Carlos manages to get back up while Matt is unconscious and distracted, to rescue Farrah. The two of them meet Taylor and they come to a quick truce of mutual self-interest. They run outside and meet up with the rest of the surviving Hero Truther members, just in time to be surrounded by an army of Harris clones. Which… why is Harris there, and as an army, in the first place? Methinks it would be to tie up loose ends and leave no living witnesses. Either way, the heroes are in trouble.

Speaking of trouble, Noah runs into some. He’s taking Malina to Odessa, with Luke stubbornly following them. It only just occurred to me, but if Joanne finds out that Erica and Renautus killed her son, not the Evos, I wonder what her reaction will be? But that’s an issue for later. Noah keeps telling Luke to leave them alone, but it turns out to be fortunate he was following them. There’s a disastrous storm right in their path, and Malina steps up to calm it. And the crowd immediately blames her for the whole thing. People are so stupid sometimes! Yeah, she just stopped the storm, so clearly she must have caused it before she ever arrived on the scene! Sheesh! But Luke is there to protect her and get her out.

Why did Noah not do the same thing? Well, a car was coming down on him, and a time traveler suddenly whisked him away. I’m guessing Hiro’s back in action. (Yatta!)

Speaking of time travelers, Ren, looking for Miko, is guided on his path by another construct of Otomo’s, a shogun, who tells him to find a time traveler so he can save Miko. He’s wondering what to do when a bus, the 1153 to Odessa, pulls up in front of him. Sheesh, talk about being guided, eh?

So… Noah’s gone missing, Malina and Luke are fleeing crowds of people while trying to make it to Odessa, Tommy has been somewhat beguiled but is now in Miko’s company, Matt’s a pawn and doesn’t know it, and everyone at Sunstone is under imminent threat of an endless Harris army. Oh, and the HEALE is set to burn the world anytime now. We end on a “to be continued” note.

Suspense is the bread and butter of storytelling! 🙂

But hey! At least Erica’s stuck in the future! Perhaps she’s cut off from giving any orders now? That would be nice.

Though, last note, Erica managed to contradict herself pretty quickly when talking to Tommy. She says the devastation caused by the HEALE is unavoidable and always meant to be, yet she then immediately mentions how Tommy’s decisions, as a time traveler, can change the future. Which means anything can be changed.

Here’s an idea… perhaps they could transport the entire planet through time, to a time when the HEALE is over? Massive effort, I know, but possible with enough help.

grimm_title_cardGrimm

“Maiden Quest”

Hey! An episode without the OTL! Yay!

Downside: most of the cases on this show are tragedies, but there is some sense to be made and justice is delivered in the end… but not this one.

There are things I admire about Old World codes and values, like chivalry, treating women with courtesy, respect, and honor. However, these old codes also hail from a more barbaric, less enlightened time, when some of the truths we hold dear had not yet been discovered. Proving your worth in the eyes of a man who is considering you for his daughter, that is one thing. Making her the prize in a contest of life and death, that is quite another.

Though it does answer the question of what happens when she is of a mind to not be had or won. It does not end well.

An old wesen man has lost his son to violence with a local man of ill repute, or, rather, to one of his thugs. So he sends three men, potential suitors for his daughter, to take the man’s head. The man who succeeds wins his daughter’s hand in marriage and becomes his heir. But as each one goes in and stands on the brink of victory, they’re taken out by another of their kind.

Of course, having watched Grimm for a few years now, it’s pretty obvious that it’s the daughter who’s killing her suitors, men she played with as children. All she wanted was her own life, but I’d say she crossed a pretty spectacular line. And, as she technically saved a man’s life in doing so, she gets off scot-free.

Oh, and this is what her father had in mind the whole time. He sent two men to their deaths and nearly sent a third one as well, under false pretenses, just so his daughter could kill them and “prove her strength.”

Is there anything about this which is not messed up? The second suitor, in particular, he may have made a mistake in thinking he knew what she wanted, but she didn’t exactly correct him. He followed his code, didn’t kill anyone he didn’t need to, and he clearly thought he was making their dreams come true, to make her happy. And she killed him for it. Which is what her father wanted.

Sheesh, the whole thing just creeps me out, ya know?

Oh, and the actual target pretty much went insane after three encounters with wesen. Delightful. Hopefully, his influence will be off the streets now, but a loony criminal ain’t really good for everyone around him.

Back with the main cast…

Nick and Adalind are doing fairly well as parents in their little Grimm Fortress. Which is a hilarious contrasts with Munroe and Rosalee ending their day with some calm, classical music and some wine. Ah, parenthood. The complete forfeiture of that most precious thing called “relaxation.”

Nick and Adalind are probably the couple that goes down as having the strangest sort of courtship ever. First, they’re enemies, with an ever-deepening enmity. Now they’re parents, and making a pretty good go of it together. It’s like taking one of those relationships that went sour and playing it in reverse, which makes me wonder if/when they’ll start “dating,” so to speak. They’re working on finding a balance between themselves, and finding more similarities too. Nick’s parents are dead, his mother disappeared on him, Adalind’s mother is dead, and her father disappeared on her. (Hmm, I wonder if we’ll ever be meeting him…) Also, Adalind is toying with the idea of going back to work, even if not immediately, to contribute instead of relying solely on Nick for everything.

Renard meets with an old friend of his who is soon to be running for mayor and is asking for his support. Which makes perfect sense, as Renard is a respected figure of law and authority in the city. I’m guessing that they’re sowing a little seed to sprout in upcoming episodes.

Outside that, and how I love Munroe and Rosalee – he’s willing to slay a whole “flock” of dragons for Rosalee, but he doesn’t do armor because of a nickel allergy, LOL – the big news, right at the very end of the episode is when Nick finds someone, bloody, bruised, and falling unconscious, right outside his door: Trubel.

Yay! She’s back!

Now, it’s very disturbing that she suddenly shows up at Nick’s largely-secret fortress, and in such a bad condition, but hopefully she’s actually back, and still herself, and can give Nick some answers.

Doctor-Who-logoDoctor Who

“Face the Raven”

Wow.

So many questions right now.

I heard that we’d be seeing the last of Clara this season, but it didn’t occur to me that it would happen before the finale. It would appear I was wrong about that, which begs the first, most obvious question: is she really dead?

In the long history of Doctor Who, many of his companions have suffered ill fates, some taken from him, others left behind, and others simply chose to leave. In the most recent history: Rose was sucked through to an alternate universe, Martha chose to leave, Donna was left behind with her memories wiped, and Amy was lost through time but lived to an old age with the man she loved and died peacefully. As close as things have ever come, there has always been a way out, and it’s not the first time it’s looked like his companion has died… but unless there’s some sort of miracle, followed by some sort of reasoning for her to leave off her adventures with the Doctor… well, it looks like one of his modern companions has finally, actually died, taken from him in the single most permanent of ways.

Yeah, were I the Doctor, I’d be thundering mad, especially considering Ashilda’s part in the matter.

Ashilda, still calling herself Me, has taken on the project of cleaning up the Doctor’s messes by creating a refugee camp hidden in the middle of London. There are all sorts of alien creatures living there, including some who have a history of never living in peace, like a cyberman. She accomplishes this by punishing every least infraction of the community rules with a death sentence. An old man steals medicine to save his dying wife, and she kills him for it. Which is a punishment entirely out of proportion with the crime.

She has a contract with some sort of wraith that takes the form of a raven, offering up souls in exchange for its service. This is the sort of hunter which cannot be evaded, delayed, or killed. This is the sort of executioner that keeps even cybermen in line. It works as she marks someone with a shifting tattoo, counting down the minutes they have left to live. She can remove the tattoo, or the tattoo can be passed willingly from one person to another, but that action negates her ability to remove the tattoo later.

Guess how Clara was killed? Her friend was marked, so she took the mark from him, and neither Ashilda nor the Doctor had the power to save her after that stupid, selfless, reckless move. She made assumptions instead of asking questions. She’s faced death so many times and enjoyed it, and she cared so much, she never thought twice about it.

And right to the end, Clara was the noblest of souls, thinking of everyone around her. She ordered the Doctor not to give in to his anger, and then she walked towards the raven. She died screaming. She died brave.

And the Doctor is angry.

Especially knowing that Ashilda planned the whole thing, except for Clara’s recklessness, on behalf of a power that is threatening to destroy the refugee street if she doesn’t help them capture the Doctor and teleport him away from his Tardis. This mysterious party knows about his Confession Dial, so I’m guessing its Missy and the Daleks, not someone Ashilda could face with any chance of victory. But now that her scheming cowardice (as opposed to asking the Doctor for help) have gotten Clara killed, well, the Doctor may do something horrible to her, once he’s done with the people extorting her.

The figure who is the terror of all the terrors in the universe is not someone you want to be angry with you.

Speaking of, the last question: just what is the Doctor going to do now?

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