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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why I love Glee and The Carrie Diaries

I don't write about these shows much, but they both rank among my favorite shows.  I arrived a little late to the Glee train (the first episode I saw was "Preggers", the 4th episode), but was drawn in almost instantly.  Since then, I have faithfully watched each and every episode through the ups and downs, the good and the bad, and even the more outrageous stunts that they have pulled.  I will say that I do dislike that the show has a tendency to mess with characterization for the sake of a plotline.  The Madonna episode is a big one.  Another one was last year when Kitty was openly mocking Marley and Tina, Sugar, Unique, and Britney sing along with her.

In spite of this weakness, I find that there is a lot to admire about the show.  The show confronts a lot of social issues head on, whether it be through song or a plot line.  One consistent theme of the show is to be proud of who you are even if others don't like you.  Whether you are popular or not, whether you have the looks of a model or not, you are accepted by the club and you should accept yourself.

The show does catch a lot of flack because there are many "gay" storylines.  While most of the storylines are not "gay", there are many that are.  The show has 2 gay male main characters (Kurt and Blaine),  one lesbian main character (Santana), one bisexual main character (Britney), and one transgender main character (Unique).  There have also been several prominent secondary characters who are also gay/lesbian (Dave Karofsky, Sebastian, and Hunter to name a few).  One of the things I love is that not all of these characters are "good guys", in fact some are antagonists to the group or individual members.  All of these characters are shown to be flawed humans just like everyone else, only with some of them having the added stress of being homosexual.

Every character in the show is shown to be flawed, just like a real person.  Santana is a bitch (self-proclaimed), Finn was often thoughtless with his words, Rachel can be a diva, etc.  Despite these flaws and the sometimes heavy storylines (school shooting or Finn's death anyone?), the show manages to maintain its sense of humor and levity without trivializing what is going on.  I think that sort of balancing act really shows how truly awesome the writers of the show can be.

I love The Carrie Diaries for a very different reason.  TCD is light and fluffy fun.  Not that there aren't on occasion serious issues handled on the show, but the show has a serious feeling of a more old-fashioned teen drama with most storylines wrapped up by the end of the episode and lessons learned.  One of my favorite characters on the show is Walt.  Yes, I know he is gay, and honestly, that is a large part of the reason I love him.  Brendan Dooling, who plays Walt, brings something very, very authentic to the character.  If you are gay, then his struggles with coming out are very real.  In fact, they really do remind me of what it was like for me early on.  While I was not kicked out of my house the way Walt was, everything else about his story is as authentic as it could be.  I continue to be impressed as the show continues to show the trials and travails of coming out for a young person.

On guilty pleasures....

If there is one phrase in the English language I despise, it is "guilty pleasure".  After all, a guilty pleasure is defined as

                      something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite
                      feeling guilt for enjoying it. The "guilt" involved is sometimes
                      simply fear of others discovering one's lowbrow or
                      otherwise embarrassing tastes, such as campy styles of
                      entertainment. Fashion, video games, music, films, and junk
                      food can be examples of guilty pleasures. (

My question is why anyone should feel guilty about enjoying anything.  If you like something, and it is nor hurting anyone, there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about it.  If you look at what I watch, it might very easily be defined as a list of guilty pleasures.  I watch several shows on the Disney Channel (Austin & Ally, Lab Rats, and Mighty Med), Hub (Spooksville), or Nickelodeon (The Thundermans) that many might consider to be for younger children.  I love the High School Musical series and many other Disney Channel movies.  Many shows I watch(or watched) on network (or cable) television are teen dramas such as Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood, Teen Wolf, or One Tree Hill.  I do watch other shows too because I like a variety of different things.  I am not ashamed that I watch any of these shows.  In fact, I love them all.

It seems that many people hear about shows like this and just dismiss them without watching them.  So, if you admit that you watch them, you have somehow committed some sort of serious sin and are guilty of having "bad taste".  Personally, this doesn't bother me in the slightest, but it does bug me that people have to stay in the closet (so to speak) about shows that they love because they might be perceived as being immature or some other such nonsense.

I know that one reason I love some of these shows is that they help take me away from the messiness of the adult world to a time when things were simpler and more innocent.  Some people may criticize that, but for me it is very important to sometimes just escape and get away.  So much television these days is gritty and dark that it is nice to have some lighter fare that is simply enjoyable and fun.

Now, I know that not everything I just listed is light, and those I enjoy for different reasons.  Some I enjoy because the stories are just fun and draw me in, others because there are stories that resonate with me, still other because I like the actors involved.  For the most part, I don't think about them too hard, rather I just let the story pull me along.  A couple (Teen Wolf and One Tree Hill) I do think about a lot as is evidenced by my reviews of them.

I know this was a little unfocused, but my point is to be proud of what you like.  If other people don't like the same things, so be it.  If they criticize you for liking what you like, screw 'em.  There is nothing wrong with liking what you like and enjoying it.  So let's excise the phrase "guilty pleasure" from the English language, because it just flat-out doesn't belong.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Review of Vampire Diaries 5.10- Fifty Shades of Grayson

We learn more about Dr. Gilbert's relationship with Dr. Maxfield and the Augustinians, Damon and Stefan take steps to get Elena back, Aaron learns something new, Katherine confronts her mortality, and Damon meets a familiar face from his past and makes a shocking decision...

Well, I did not expect Damon to break up with Elena.  Even after learning about more horrible things from his past, Elena was willing to stick by him and stay with him.  Damon, however, had his mind screwed with by Enzo this week and Qetsiyah in weeks past.  They have him fully convinced that he is a monster who can never change and that Elena is destined to be with Stefan.  I so want to smack them all upside their heads.  Damon should know that Elena is strong-willed and makes up her own mind.  This nobility crap he is coming up with is ridiculous.  Is he perfect?  Hell to the no.  But he is also not the worse person in the world.  He says that he doesn't want to change Elena, but the problem is that the mere fact of being around someone for any period of time (let alone dating/sleeping with them!) is going to change them, there is no way around that.  He has changed Elena and she has changed him.  Damon is not the person we knew at the beginning of Season 1.  While many of his thought processes and actions are the same, he is a different person.  He has given up hope of changing and being good for Elena at this point in time, which is very unfortunate.

Another thing the Damon neglected to consider were the sources of the information that he has.  Qetsiyah and Enzo are by no means stable or reliable people.  Qetsiyah was blinded by her centuries old hatred of Amara and Silas, so she could see nothing else.  Enzo has spent the past 60 years (or so) hating Damon and (presumably) figuring out how to best torture Damon.  Damon really needs to trust himself and Elena and realize that she is with him for good, solid reasons.  She had the chance to pick Stefan and she didn't (and that was pre-vampire Elena).  Will there always be something between Elena and Stefan?  Of course, and Elena may one day change her mind and want to be with Stefan.  Instead, Damon reverts back to his old self and acts purely on momentary feelings rather than any sort of careful consideration.

You have to feel for Elena.  She has her memories about her dad destroyed and she is coping by trying to turn them into something good.  Therein, I think, lies Elena's flaw.  She is so steadfast and loyal to people that she can rationalize almost anything.  Granted, most of the time I agree with what she thinks, but there are times when it is questionable.  I am not sure how torturing a bunch of people in order to save others is (in any sense) moral.  Granted, the result (saving lives) is good, but the ends *DO NOT* justify the means in all cases, and this is definitely one of them.  There is a large difference between torturing and studying people (or sentient beings if you insist) for scientific/medical purposes and killing one to save many, many others if there is no other viable alternative.

Unless some sort of miracle is pulled out of thin air, Katherine is pretty much a goner.  Her aging has accelerated to the point where her senses are being affected.  Add to that the fact that she suffered some sort of attack at the end of the episode and it is not good for her.  It may be possible for her to hitch a ride with someone before she dies, but I am sort of doubting it.  I am going to miss her.  Granted, she is a complete bitch, but she has always been very entertaining to watch and figure out.  I am trying to figure out how Nadia will react to this turn of events.

Aaron has had his eyes opened in the last two episodes and he has been shaken to his core.  He knows that vampires exist and that one of them has a massive grudge against his family.  He discovered that the man who raised him was willing to give him up in exchange for his scientific experiments.  This is going to take some time to process.  I think he might be helpful, if only because he might be able to grant the gang access to places they might otherwise not be able to get into.  And I wonder what he is going to do with that syringe that he picked up.

Matt now has the Traveler's knife.  We still don't know much about it, but if Katherine hopes to switch bodies, she'll need it.  Hope we get more on that later.  I think it would be interesting to see Katherine hop into either Matt's or Nadia's body.  That would be quite interesting.

Well, this is the last episode of the year.  The show will be back on January 23rd.  See y'all then!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.09- Death's Door

Truths are revealed and taken badly, Stephen continues his quest to find his dad, Stephen's two worlds meet, and Jedikiah turns to the Tomorrow People for help.

Well, the core groups now knows that it was John who killed Stephen's dad and they are not happy about it.  Stephen is being very pragmatic about the whole thing and insists on working with John to find his way into limbo.  Cara is flat-out pissed off and accuses John of being a major-league hypocrite (not without reason).  We didn't really get much reaction from Russell, but I suspect that he would fall more into the pragmatic than pissed off camp.  Of course, a part of Stephen's pragmatism comes from his conviction that his dad is in limbo and is not really dead.  If he didn't believe that, I suspect that he would have been much more violent with John.

I am not sure whether to applaud Stephen for his tenacity or smack him over the head with a 2x4.  I think that a large part of the reason he is being so tenacious is because he (obviously) wants to believe that his dad is alive and he realizes that if John really did kill his dad, then he would lose it.  Basically, it is (at least partially) a coping mechanism.  An effective one for sure, but still.  Allowing yourself to be killed in order to enter limbo and then hope that you can be revived?  Not the smartest move Stephen has ever made, but it is definitely born out of a certain amount of desperation.

All that being said, the plan did work.  Stephen managed to stop time as he was dying and saw his dad, so now he wants to find his dad's body.  Not sure how likely that will be, but that could be interesting.  The thing is that unless someone manged to preserve the body, there won't be much left for Stephen's dad to return to.  I am curious as to how this will play out.  Wouldn't it be somewhat ironic if, in returning Stephen's dad to his body, the Tomorrow People end up unleashing a dangerous enemy?  Talk about an interesting twist!

Jedikiah also revealed a truth to the Founder.  Once Stephen helped John to escape, the Founder was going to read Jedikiah's mind, so Jedikiah revealed that he was in a relationship with a Tomorrow Person.  I must say that going to the Tomorrow People for help was not something I quite expected, much less going to them twice in one episode.  Granted, it made perfect sense because only they could keep Morgan safe, but still.  Jedikiah is playing both sides of the fence here, albeit for very personal reasons, and that could be dangerous.  When Jedikiah "shot" Morgan, I wondered why the Founder didn't insist on seeing the body personally or anything, since by having the pillow on top of her, something could easily have been faked (as indeed it was).

We also learned the the Founder is grooming Stephen for his rightful place, presumably as the head of Ultra.  That should be truly interesting.  Jedikiah already knows that Stephen has some feelings for the members of the underground, so I wonder how he'll react to Stephen's continued climb up the ladder.  He does seem capable of destroying Stephen if he deems it to be for the greater good, but I don't know if he will.

Well, this is the second to last review of the year.  The Tomorrow People returns on January 15, so I'll be back then.  Tomorrow, The Vampire Diaries.  Until then!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Review of The Vampire Diaries 5.09- The Cell

We get some interesting information about Damon's past and Caroline and Katherine come up with a unique way to help Stefan with his PTSD from being locked in the safe by Silas.

That was a lot to learn about Damon.  In 1953, he was invited back to the boarding house and then kidnapped by a Dr. Whitmore (yes, as in the college Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie attend) who proceeds to experiment on him for 5 years in order to figure out how vampires tick, with an eye apparently set on helping humans.  Not good for Damon at all.  In fact, this is one of the reasons he had his emotions turned off for a while.  But more on that in a bit.

It was interesting to see Damon befriend Enzo, a vampire who had already been there for 10 years.  Their plan to escape was quite a good one, although I must admit that I have to wonder how Dr. Whitmore wouldn't notice that Enzo was weakening and Damon getting stronger over the course of a year.  Maybe the two of them hid it well, but given how important blood is to vampires, there had to be some signs.  Can't say I blame Damon for leaving Enzo given everything, but I don't get why he didn't try and find the keys to open the cage, particularly since it appears that they may very well have been on Dr. Whitmore's body.  I was even more surprised to see Enzo alive with Elena.  I am betting that there is probably a major league grudge of some sort going against Damon there.

Aaron is a Whitmore.  That was unexpected.  It also explains why Dr. Maxfield took him in, since Dr. Maxfield is carrying on the Whitmore work.  Also turns out that all of the deaths in Aaron's family are Damon's fault as a result of a vow Damon made to kill every member of the Whitmore family each generation except for one so that the one can carry on the family name and Damon can continue to wipe out most of the family.  Damon is not nice if you piss him off or cause him or someone he loves damage.  Interestingly, Aaron did not know about vampires and when he found out that Elena was a vamp, he assumed that she befriended him in order to get close to him.

It was also surprising to hear the Dr. Gilbert was a member of the Augustines.  That doesn't mean that he knew exactly what Dr. Whitmore was doing, but chances are the he knew something.  Given the fact that he was a member of the Founders' Council as well indicates that he was not the perfect man Elena remembers him as.  I do not think he was a bad guy, but he was also not perfect.

Caroline and Katherine's method of helping Stefan was brutal.  They decided to lock him in the safe with Katherine in order to force him to deal with everything or else risk hurting (or possibly killing) Katherine.  I would not have expected something that selfless from Katherine.  She obviously has feelings for Stefan (witness the kiss and the looks), but it was still surprising that she thought of doing it herself.  I am definitely impressed, but also surprised.

I am getting a little tired of Caroline's ragging on Damon all the time.  We all know that he is not the perfect boyfriend or the best person, but he is trying to be somewhat better.  We get that Caroline is the ultimate Stelena 'shipper, but this fact has completely blinded her to Damon's better qualities.  Between this blindness and her being pissed off at Elena for killing Jesse, she is becoming very annoying and self-righteous.  Caroline, sweetie, I do love you, but Elena really did not have another viable option where Jesse was concerned.  Get over it, ok?

Next week, the mid-season finale!  Until then!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.08- Thanatos

While gathering intel, Russell makes a miscalculation about Jedekiah which causes some major issues; Stephen continues the hunt for his dad; Cara also makes a miscalculation where Jedekiah is concerned; Jedekiah's secret is revealed; John runs into serious trouble; and we meet The Founder.

Man, of all the mistakes to make, accidentally kidnapping Jedekiah has to rank up there.  Granted, it made for a good opportunity to get information about Thanatos, but it also put Ultra on red alert, which is never a good thing.  The only good things to come out of it was the discovery of Jedekiah's illicit affair and the discovery of Professor Crick.  Not that Crick was particularly helpful, but he did reveal that Stephen's dad also had the ability to stop time which leads to the (logical) assumption that this ability is inheritable.  The only question is why this family has that gene.  Maybe Stephen's dad did some experiments on himself which had the effect of expanding his powers?  So cannot wait to find out.

I get why Cara teleported in front of Jedekiah, but it was not the best move.  Yes, Russell was stupid to underestimate Jedekiah and let his guard down, but I think that Cara may have been able to get to Jedekiah in time to save Russell if she had run.  Now Jedekiah knows (or seriously suspects) that Stephen didn't give her the shot, which runs the serious risk of outing Stephen's double agent status.  The one thing that may save Stephen is that if Jedekiah reveals what he knows about Stephen, Cara or John may reveal what they discovered about Jedekiah.

So, the deep, dark secret that John is hiding is that he was the one who killed Stephen's dad.  That is a big one, and I can't say that I blame him for hiding it.  If everyone knew that he killed Stephen's dad then they may very well turn on John.  Messy, messy situation.  I would be very surprised if Stephen's dad is actually dead though, so I wonder how he survived.  If he is dead, I have to wonder how Stephen is seeing him and getting the info that he has been getting.

And now John is in the hands of Ultra.  That is horribly bad.  If they break him, they could destroy the Tomorrow People or (even worse) use John to wipe them out.  Breaking John would also lead to the discovery of Stephen as a double agent, which would be even worse.  I am now officially and seriously worried.

The Founder was creepy.  We already knew that he is an incredibly powerful telepath, but seeing him action was even worse.  He managed to find Jedekiah in a matter of minutes, when the other telepaths hadn't managed after hours of searching.  He also killed the one telepath without batting an eye, which would indicate that he is a sociopath and is also modified to kill people like John is.  All in all, this spells serious trouble for the Tomorrow People.

Next week Stephen brings himself to the brink of death in order to contact his father.  I also suspect that he will (at least) try to get John out of Ultra.  Then we go on hiatus for a month or so.  Until next week!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Review of The Originals 1.09- Reigning Pain in New Orleans

There's a new leader in New Orleans, so we have the normal tumult that accompanies such a change.  Given that the new leader is Klaus,...yeah, it is that bad, especially since he feels a certain need to prove himself to the nervous vampires....

Klaus established his reign in New Orleans the same way he has apparently established his presence elsewhere, in blood, terror, and a general disregard for anyone else but himself.  Given the way he came to power and the fact that Elijah and Rebekah turned on him, he is obviously feeling the need to assert himself.  Despite the fact that Marcel pleaded with him to show diplomacy, when the human leaders demanded that everything remain the same, Klaus (in his very Klausian way) dismissed their concerns and demanded that they follow his whims.  This led to the humans attacking the vampires and Klaus retaliating by killing all of the human leaders except for Father Kieran, who was left out of the planning of the attack and was incensed at what the other humans had done.  Then there is the fact that Father Kieran is Cami's uncle, so that is the other reason he was spared.  I venture to say that Klaus isn't going to have any more trouble with the humans.  He is unkillable, so I don't think they stand a chance.  After all, he did take out dozens of vampires last week on his own.

Marcel is walking a very high, very thin rope here.  He is obviously biding his time to see what Klaus does, but he is also ready to help Klaus if that is what is best.  His paternal feelings towards the city of New Orleans are quite real and he is ready to do whatever is necessary in order to protect it and save himself.  Now that Klaus has offered him a partnership in ruling New Orleans (wonder how long that will last), Marcel has committed himself to helping Klaus out.  On his own, he was not powerful enough to completely rule New Orleans, but with Klaus there, I don't think ruling will be an issue.  The only potential problem now is Davina.

Davina has figured out that Marcel lied to her when he said that she still needed protection.  Once she found out from both Josh and Hayley that Agnes was dead, Davina was pissed because when Agnes died, so did the threat to Davina's life.  Having an incredibly powerful witch pissed at you is not a good idea if you are not one of the Originals.  Then again, I don't know what Davina's abilities are exactly.  She may be powerful enough to actually damage one of the Originals, we just don't know yet.  I think that Klaus is fairly safe from her, but Elijah and Rebekah could be in trouble if Davina turns on them.  Then again, neither of them has really given her a reason to turn on them yet, so we'll just have to see.  Poor Cami though.  Klaus goes through the trouble of erasing her memories so she can leave and live safely, then Davina comes along and undoes the compulsion.  That has to suck.

Cami has had a rough time recently.  First, she is something of a pawn in the secret war between Klaus and Marcel/  Then Klaus uses her to record his memoirs and wipes her memory after every session.  So when she figures everything out, he wipes her memory again and sends her off.  Then, she is visited by a massively powerful witch who restores all of her memories.  Given the trauma that Stefan went through recently on The Vampire Diaries after having his memories restored, I am guessing that Cami is going to be in for a rough few weeks.

You have to admire the fact that Rebekah and Elijah protected the werewolves.  I was seriously surprised to find out that at least some of the werewolves were from the clan that Klaus' biological father came from.  And they had a legend about him returning that was fairly accurate.  I get why Klaus wanted the wolves wiped out (to dispel the rumours that he would use them to create new hybrids), but protecting them is now pretty much the best thing.  I wonder how Father Kieran will protect them.  This should prove interesting.  Elijah's apology at the end of the episode was perfect.  As Klaus observed, it was not easy for Elijah to do, but it was necessary.  Elijah and Rebekah did (apparently) wrong Klaus this time, so apologizing to him was the honorable thing to do.  And as we know, Elijah is honorable in the extreme.  It also gets them at least somewhat back in Klaus' good graces, so that is even better.  I wonder if Rebekah will apologize herself or if she will refuse to.

Until January 14th!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Review of The Originals 1.08- The River in Reverse

We learn why to never piss off an Original vampire, Elijah feels the effects of Klaus’ bite, Rebekah makes a choice as does Marcel, and Klaus achieves a goal….

I know I have been talking about why one should never piss off an Original vampire, but I did not truly get it until we saw Klaus in action tonight.  His rampage through Marcel’s men was most impressive.  Ok, beyond impressive, it was freaking terrifying.  It is pretty rare to see an Original on a tear and that was exactly what was up with Klaus tonight.  He went to Marcel’s in order to take Marcel down and he succeeded in a spectacular manner.  Even though it looked, at first, like he would fail, he wolfed out and tore through Marcel’s people with an unmatched ferocity.  He had to have killed at least 20-30 vampires on his own before Marcel picked up that coin and surrendered.  Rebekah was truly terrified at Klaus’ ferocity.  I must admit that I was wondering if she was pretending to turn on Klaus, but it became fairly obvious that she was not pretending and that she was truly horrified at the violence Klaus was displaying and frightened for Marcel’s life.

In spite of all that, I have to side with Klaus in this particular argument with his siblings.  Although Elijah and Rebekah have ample reason to distrust Klaus and doubt his motives, he was honestly interested in bringing his family together to take the city and to raise his child.  Their choices and doubts merely served to reinforce his doubts about family and the trustworthiness of other people.  Had they chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt one more time, they (and he) would be in a much better place.  Given everything, I do get why they doubted him and why they made the choices that they did, but it is hard to blame Klaus for feeling betrayed and alone.  And a lonely, paranoid Klaus is not a good thing.

It was nice to get an explanation from Elijah about why he continues to give Klaus the benefit of the doubt despite his many betrayals.  Elijah believes that it is the goal of his life to help save Klaus from himself.  Wonderful sentiments and a worthy goal, but unless the Originals can break this destructive cycle of betrayal and deceit, this goal will never happen.  Which leaves Elijah in a bit of a quandary:  how long can a man of honor continue to help and support someone who is as violent and deceitful as Klaus is?  On the one hand, Elijah is trying to be there for Klaus and help moderate his impulses, but on the other hand there are times when Klaus goes too far and Elijah needs to take drastic steps to stop him.  There is also the matter of Klaus constantly daggering his siblings if they displease him, although that is moot now that Klaus has given the dagger to Elijah.  All in all, it is an incredibly messy situation that has no real satisfactory answer.

Then there is Hayley who is a major bone of contention between Klaus and Elijah.  She is bearing Klaus’ baby, but she and Elijah clearly have feelings for each other.  This is adding yet another log to the fire of Klaus’ paranoia.  He is honestly trying to be a good father for his son, but he is being doubted at every turn, hounded by witches, and his brother has the gall to fall for the mother of his child.  Yes, this makes an already messy situation even messier.  Klaus clearly looks at Hayley as his possession (mush as he viewed Elena as his) and Elijah’s feelings are threatening both his family and his hold over Hayley.

It was also nice to get some background on Hayley and her family.  As a result of a witch’s curse (at Marcel’s instigation), her family (or at least some of it) spends most of their time as wolves and turn into humans by the full moon.  So she really needs the protection offered by the Originals from Marcel.  If Marcel were to get his hands on her, he would have leverage against Klaus and he would have a werewolf from a clan he tried to wipe out.

We did get to see Klaus’ softer side where Camille was concerned.  He is using her as a (compelled) sympathetic ear and as someone to record his thoughts and feelings.  But she is seriously resisting him and he seems afraid that if she continues digging into what happened with her brother, she will be killed.  Methinks that he has honest feelings for her and wants to protect her if possible.   Unfortunately, she managed to slip herself a message about him and has proof that he and Marcel are not what they appear.  Oops….

I was also happy to see that Rebekah was having none of Tyler’s talk about killing the baby.  While she has no problem taking down Klaus, she definitely has a problem when it comes to harming the baby.  That is actually the crux of the problem between her, Elijah, and Klaus.  All of them want to protect the baby, but Rebekah and Elijah think that they must protect the baby from both Klaus and others.

So, we have next week and then the winter hiatus.  Until then!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some Awkward. Thoughts

Dunno if you watch the show Awkward., but I do and I love it.  Started in the second season (couldn't watch the first for various reasons), but it very quickly became a show that I love to watch.  I just wanted to share a few thoughts about the recent events in regards to Jenna and Collin.

First off, I want to say that I do not have a favorite relationship in this show where Jenna is concerned.  I think that Matty, Collin, and Jake are each great for her, albeit in different ways.  Matty is someone who draws her out of her shell and really cares about her.  He is also tremendously loyal to her.  She also makes him a better person.  The amount that he has changed since he has started dating her is truly astonishing.  Jake tends to be a little more boring and boy-next-door, but that lack of drama is really good for Jenna.  She can be so wacky that having someone around who calms her down is a wonderful thing.  Until recently, Collin has been someone who appreciated Jenna for who she was and really made her feel special.  With Matty (and a certain extent Jake), she felt that she wasn't good enough for the relationship.  With Collin, she had people affirming that she was good enough and worthy enough for the relationship.

That leads me to my reason for writing.  In the first part of the season, Collin was pretty much a good guy.  Granted, it is hard to call a guy who chases a girl with a boyfriend good, but Collin (aside from that) basically was.  He appreciated Jenna's writing and her talents.  He and Jenna are very much alike in that they have very similar interests and thoughts.  So, while I didn't like the fact that she cheated on Matty, I could totally see why she did so.  Collin is as gorgeous as Matty is (albeit in a different way), smart, a writer, has friends who appreciate her, and talks with her about what he is feeling.  Which is why when they suddenly decided to turn Collin into a pot-smoking, drug taking slacker I was very upset.  I am not upset by the characterization per se, but rather by the fact that is suddenly cropped up (seemingly) in order to demonstrate how big of a mistake Jenna made.

I resent this sort of blatant manipulation and character assassination which seems to have been done in order to make Collin look bad.  Had they said something in the first half of the season about Collin having issues like this, I would not be upset at all.  But, instead, the writers chose to completely change a character in order to make him look bad and that is so not cool.  Yes, characters do change and develop over time, but this is in no way, shape, or form a natural progression.  Rather, it is a sudden and dramatic change for no really good reason.  Other shows have done something similar (see One Tree Hill and various contrived Naley "affair" dramas for an example) and I have said similar things about those.  I get that shows need drama, but if you are going to do drama, I, for one, would appreciate it if shows could avoid such contrived drama and character twisting.  Be true to the characters that fans have come to love (or hate) and let what happens naturally happen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Review of Vampire Diaries 5.08- Dead Man on Campus

Elena and Caroline relax post-Silas, Bonnie settles into her life as the anchor, Stefan continues to recover from getting his memories back, Damon goes hunting for information, and Katherine searches for information....

So, your best friend comes back from the dead.  So, what is the first thing you do?  Throw a massive party, of course!  Well, that's what you do if you are Elena or Caroline.  And of course, it's not a party without a few complications.  The main one comes courtesy of a vampirized Jesse.  First, he attacks Dr. Maxfield and then his roommate (Aaron).  Fortunately for Aaron, Caroline arrived in time to save his life and teach Jesse how to be a vampire.  Those scenes were fun.  Elena and Caroline are committed to having fun and show Jesse how to do so.  Unfortunately for Jesse, he was injected with blood that made him desire vampiric blood rather than human blood.  More on the consequences of that in a bit.

Cannot say I am terribly fond of how Caroline is treating Damon at this point.  I get that she is a huge Stelena fan and all, but Damon has showed that he has changed since he first arrived in Mystic Falls.  While he is not the best guy in the world, he is a better man than he was.  From the way Caroline was talking about him, you'd think he was still out randomly killing people the way he used to.  I am sure that some part of Caroline's hostility comes from how Damon treated her in the first season.  But since then, he has proven himself to be remarkably loyal to Elena and her friends.

I do understand Caroline reaction to Elena killing Jesse, but given the fact that he desired vampire blood, he was a danger to Elena, Stefan, Damon, and Caroline.  Could he have been taught to not drink blood?  Possibly, but given his reaction to Caroline and Damon's blood, it is hard to say.  I know that Caroline was upset to have lost another guy she likes, but it was necessary and ultimately for the best.

I would so not want to be Bonnie right now.  Feeling the death of every supernatural being as they cross over has to suck.  Between that and her ability to cross between the worlds (which was pretty cool), her life is about to be a lot more interesting.  I do wonder why Jeremy was unable to see the people as they were crossing over.  Can he only see people he knew on the Other Side or can he see anyone?  And I was right, Bonnie cannot be both a witch and the anchor.  Since she is now the anchor, she is no longer a witch.  Although now that I think about it, another interesting question arises.  Will Bonnie live a normal length life or is being the anchor going to lengthen her life?  If she lives a normal length life, does that mean that the Other Side will disappear when she dies or will someone else become the anchor?

Stefan is not having an easy time adjusting to life with all of his memories.  Katherine is being very helpful in this regard.  Giving Stefan the idea to focus on the names of his victims gives him something to ground him and acts as an almost meditative device to help him through the rough patches.  It was nice to see Katherine work with him, Nadia, and Matt.  Speaking of Matt, he is now free of Gregor who was possessing him.  Unfortunately for Nadia, that means that Gregor is now dead at Katherine's hands.  Not exactly good for mother-daughter bonding.

So Damon was a vampire caught by the Augustinians.  Huh, that was an interesting piece of information.  I wonder what they did to him.  It was during the 1940s or 1950s, so Stefan (presumably) wasn't talking to him, which is why we have never heard about it before (ok, yes there are other reasons, but in-story, this is why).  Given the way Damon reacted to Dr. Westfield, he did not have any fun while the "guest" of the Augustinians.

We'll be back on December 5th!  Have fun until then!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.07- Limbo

Stephen has some fun and experiences backlash, Cara tells John about last week, and we see a criminal Tomorrow Person...

Stephen definitely deserved some of the flack he got this week, but some of it was entirely unearned.  He did abuse his powers in the basketball game and he did sleep with Cara, so the reactions of John and (to an extent) Jedekiah were completely understandable.  Can't say I felt for Astrid.  After all, she was the one who encouraged him to use his powers for fun.  Then, when she saw him kissing another girl, she went a crazy on him.  Maybe I missed something, but I saw no evidence of the massive personality change she was talking about.  She was acting like he had killed a bunch of puppies or something.  Given the fact that he thought that the party was for the basketball team, I get why he didn't invite her over.  And she only has herself to blame for him not kissing her.  So while I may feel bad that her feelings were hurt, that is more or less cancelled out by her complete overreaction to the situation.  I ain't saying she needs professional help, but she does need to figure out what she wants and talk with Stephen rather than going all psycho on him.

I do also think that Jedekiah overreacted somewhat.  Or, maybe it would be better to say that he overreacted to the party.  He said that Stephen used his powers to throw the party, to which I say "Huh???"  Did I completely miss something?  The only evidence I saw of powers regarding the party was when Stephen saved the vase from breaking and the stoner saw him.  Unless Jedekiah merely meant that the party would not have happened if Stephen hadn't used his powers in school and gotten on the basketball team.

I was amused by John's actions during the basketball game.  Sure, it was seriously petty, but it was also funny.  Since Stephen wasn't seriously hurt and no lasting damage was done, it was not that bad.  Now, the punching was a different matter.  The thing is that Stephen and John represent two very different ways to deal with what is going on.  Stephen is trying to integrate the Tomorrow People into society, whereas John has internalized Ultra's idea of keeping the two groups separate.  They are also both in love with Cara and she in love with them.  This is going to be seriously messy and I really hope it doesn't drag on too long, because love triangles can be seriously annoying.

I was impressed (but not surprised) that Stephen went after the rapist without his powers.  Stephen spent most of the episode being told that he was a useless screw-up and he wanted to change that, so he did.  He is not perfect, but he is a genuinely good guy who makes mistakes.  Unfortunately, he also needs a certain amount of protection at this point, although I hope that changes soon.  I can't say I was surprised that Cara could hear him because Stephen has already demonstrated that things that limit the abilities of others don't necessarily limit him.  Seeing his dad was really interesting.  I wonder what Thatnoss (probably spelled wrong) is/was and why it is important.

In two weeks, the next new episode, so see y'all then!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Review of The Vampire Diaries 5.07- Death and the Maiden

Someone returns, a few leave, there are dopplegangers galore, and we prepare for the next phase....

Amara, Silas, and Tessa are all dead.  Unfortunately for Silas, the other side still exists because Tessa used the blood of the three Petrova dopplegangers to transfer the anchor for the other side from Amara to Bonnie, thus bringing Bonnie back to life with some unintended consequences.  Bonnie will now feel the death of every supernatural creature before they go to the other side.  That is so not going to be fun.  I suspect that Silas and Tessa will be back at some point because they are both on the other side whereas Amara is not.  So now we have 2 people who can talk to people on the other side: Jeremy and Bonnie.  This should be interesting.

I did love watching Silas and Tessa face off against each other.  Neither could really hurt the other with magic, so Silas resorted to throwing a poker through Tessa's shoulder.  I was a little surprised that Silas was able to interfere with the transference spell.  I get that he is powerful, but I thought she was powerful enough to be able to stop him.  Although she was casting a major spell at the time, so it is possible that he was able to get in that way.  I have to say that I loved Silas' scene at the bus stop.  Warped, granted, but it was lots of fun.  His ruminations were giggleworthy and the look on the peoples' faces was just funny.  When the guy started puking up liquified organs, that was pretty gross but still sort of cool.

Caroline now knows that Nadia is Katherine's daughter.  I wonder if she'll do anything with the information or not.  I don't know if the gang even knew that Katherine had a daughter, although I guess she would have had to have one in order for Elena to exist.  Katherine is dying and only has a few months left to live, which totally sucks for her.  It seems as if this is the price for resuming humanity.  That and the fact that vampire blood is no longer efficacious when it comes to healing the remortalized person.  Unfortunately, there is apparently no cure for what Katherine is going through unless Bonnie can come up with some magical solution.  Which brings up a new point.  Is Bonnie still a witch?  Since she is the anchor to the other side, does she still have magical abilities or is this like being a vampire when you can only be one or the other?

Stefan is going to have to continue to live with the memories of what happened to him over the summer.  Elena is trying to help him move beyond it, but it is going to take some time.  I suspect that Damon will want to help, but it will not be easy on any of them.  Stefan was hoping that Damon and Elena would rescue him, but they did not.  Sucks to be him.

So, the next phase of the story is apparently going to be about the secret society back on the college campus.  I wonder if Bonnie, Elena, and Caroline will go back to campus or not.  If they do, Elena may have to do some fancy talking to get around the fact that Katherine pretended to be her and that she cannot go into certain buildings without permission.

Until next week!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.06- Sorry for Your Loss

Russell loses his father, Stephen loses a partner, a breakout emerges, we learn a little something about Jedekiah, and Stephen and Cara get a little closer...

Russell is a damn fine piano player.  That was not something I would have expected to learn about him.  I have to admit that I was a little amused to see that he used his telekinetic abilities to play the piano, even if it was unconsciously.  It was nice that he and his dad had a minor rapprochement before he left in the form of his dad actually smiling at him before he left (assuming that was real and not Russell's imagination).  It was also nice to finally get some backstory on Russell since he is the only one of the major Tomorrow People who we have not learned a lot about yet.  Using his abilities to cheat at poker was not smart.  Understandable, but still not smart.

Stephen seriously needs to have some faith in himself.  He is a great leader if he does what he thinks is right and doesn't doubt himself.  No, he doesn't have the training that John has, but he does have something else: a life outside of the conflict.  Between that and his compassion, he can be a great leader.  He does have to realize that not everything is his fault.  What happened to Darcy was a result of her actions.  If she had not told Ultra where to find her sister or if she had chosen to simply teleport away with Stephen and her sister earlier, things would have been different.  Granted, the second choice could have gotten her in trouble, but at least she would have been alive.  As it is, her sister is with the rest of the Tomorrow People and Stephen is riddled with guilt.

I was glad to see that Cara is able to see the wisdom in Stephen's approach.  Giving up all connections to your human life may be pragmatic, but it cannot be easy to deal with.  Yes, yes, I do get that it is better for all involved because it helps to protect the people you care about, but it is still obviously hard to deal with.  Stephen is reminding the group what it is like to be human again and reminds them that there is more to living than simply surviving.  He saved Irene and protected her while she was in the hospital, he is helping to keep the group informed about what Ultra is doing, and he is the son of their saviour.

Then there is the kiss.  Ok, kisses.  The first one was completely understandable.  Cara and Stephen were caught between two groups of Ultra agents, so Stephen decided to protect them and do something he has obviously wanted to do for some time by making out with her.  Completely understandable.  Not the best move, but understandable.  The second kiss was definitely less so.  The two of them definitely like each other, so there is no surprise there, but given that it happened while John was away?  Not good.  When he finds out about this, all hell is going to break loose.  He is not terribly fond of Stephen as it is, and this is just going to make matters worse.  Any guesses about where they were headed when they teleported out?

Stephen definitely needs to be careful with Astrid.  Between spying on Ultra, working for Ultra, working for the Tomorrow People, and now protecting Astrid, he is going to be a busy boy.  I don't know how she'll take the protection thing, but she will definitely need it, particularly if Ultra finds out about her.

If Ultra finds out that Jedekiah is schtupping a Tomorrow Person, it will be bad.  I cannot imagine that they will take that sort of fraternization well.  I do want to know who exactly she is.  At first, I thought she might be his daughter or something.  Then she loosened his tie and they were kissing, so I am assuming that she is someone else entirely.

I do want to say one thing about the previews for next weeks episode.  The whole "abuse his new powers" thing is an episode I would have expected much earlier, say in the second or third episodes *BEFORE* he knew how dangerous Ultra was.  I am really curious how they wil have him justify using his abilities that way.

Until next week!

My Review of Arrow 2.06- Keep Your Enemies Closer

Diggle goes to find Lyla, Oliver and Felicity tag along with an unintended guest, Moira's lawyer makes a demand of Thea, Roy runs into a little spot of trouble, and we learn a little more about Oliver on the boat....

After failing to help Diggle with Deadshot last season, Oliver is determined to help now.  And good thing he was there, because the plan would never have succeeded without Oliver's intervention.  I want to know what it was that Oliver said to that guy in the to get him to back off so quickly.  I would assume it had something to do with Oliver's place within the hierarchy of the Russian crime syndicate, but it could have been something else entirely.  Between that, Oliver's contacts in Russia, and Oliver coming to help Diggle fight his way out, he was absolutely vital to the escape.  It was nice to see Oliver makeup for what happened last time, even if his actions when Deadshot was in Starling City were understandable.

Isabelle definitely got under Oliver and Felicity's skin.  Ok, she got under more than Oliver's skin, but let's just leave it at that ok?  I do wonder if she and other people really think that Oliver is sleeping with Felicity or if that was her way of getting a dig in at Oliver.  I do get why people would think that something is going on, but I would not put it above Isabelle to say something in order to get into Oliver's head.  She is definitely starting to suspect that there is more going on than then is obvious on the surface, so Oliver needs to be ultra careful.

I was impressed with Diggle's restraint.  Granted, he did make a promise to Deadshot about getting out, so honor did prevent him from doing anything, but it still seemed to be a close call.  I was a little surprised to hear that he an Lyla were married.  That was definitely unexpected, although it does explain a lot about why he called her for help and why he will move heaven and earth in order to help her out if she needs it.

I was definitely annoyed that Thea listened to the lawyer and dumped Roy.  I think that, had she explained what was going on, he would have agreed to a break in order to help her out.  No, it wouldn't have been easy on either of them, but I still think he would have agreed to it in order to help Thea and Moira.  Her excuse for breaking up with Roy was pretty lame and totally transparent.  I was very happy that Moira cut that nonsense off at the knees and prevented Thea from making a huge mess out of everything.

Roy did the smart thing when he told Officer Lance about who he was working for.  Lance has come to respect the Arrow and knows that people working for him are not bad people.  Besides, Roy was helping to bring down bad guys, so it was not as if he did something horrible.  Thea's face when she saw Roy in the station was sort of funny.  She was so exasperated and then completely perplexed when she realized he was being released without being charged.

Slade and Shado survived the attack on the island, but now they are being threatened again.  The Japanese were apparently intent on creating super soldiers and had a serum of some sort on a submarine that was attacked and sunk by the island.  That is what the people on the boat are looking for.  Sarah was pretty convincing this episode.  I am surprised that Oliver is trusting her right now.  I suspect that she does something to redeem herself.  Either that or she was under duress when she betrayed him in this episode and he knows it.

Until next week!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Review of The Originals 1.07- Bloodletting

Klaus and Elijah confront Marcel, Rebekah returns, someone from Mystic Falls pays a visit and wreaks havoc, and Davinna makes a new friend....

In case you missed it from the multiple stories this week, Tyler came from Mystic Falls and paid Klaus a visit.  Or rather, he kidnapped Hayley in order to get revenge on Klaus and stop what he thought was Klaus' nefarious scheme.  I say the last part because I honestly do not think that Klaus was planning to do what Tyler thought he was planning to do.  Basically, Tyler thought that Klaus was going to use the blood of the baby in order to create new hybrids.  I will grant that it is possible that Klaus was lying when he said that he was planning on doing this, but I doubt it.  The problem is that Tyler is so blinded by his (understandable) hatred of Klaus that he does not even stop to consider that Klaus may be telling the truth.  Also, what Tyler does is awful.  Not quite Klaus-level yet, but Tyler is definitely headed there.

Elijah not believing Klaus is also understandable.  Look at everything Klaus has done and explain why he should be believed.  I was glad that Elijah realized (too late) that Klaus was being honest.  The problem is that now Klaus basically considers himself to be alone and somewhat cornered.  That is a bad thing because Klaus is liable to lash out in unpredictable and violent ways right now.  Hopefully Rebekah can keep him somewhat even-keeled, but that is doubtful.  Klaus is paranoid and feeling abandoned, not to mention that he has a massive inferiority complex where Elijah is concerned.  All in all, this is not a good situation.

And Marcel is looking to make the situation even worse.  By plotting with Rebekah to take Klaus down, Marcel is going to play right int Klaus' paranoia.  With Elijah sick and being cared for by Hayley, Marcel and Rebekah (possibly) teaming up against him, and his pet vampire (Josh) freed from his compulsion, Klaus is going to be alone and incredibly dangerous.  Throw Tyler and his accusations into the mix and watch this recipe for a disaster explode at the slightest provocation.

The question is going to be where Davinna falls in this whole mess.  She likes Elijah and Klaus injured him, so I doubt she'll end up siding with Klaus.  She may side with Marcel since he has promised to help her with the other witches, but that is not a sure thing.  If Elijah gets better and comes to her, she may end up siding with him.  Her power will most definitively tip the scales of this particular war.

Watching her with Josh was just fun.  Well, other than the parts where she was scrubbing his brain free from Klaus' compulsions anyways.  It was nice to see her bond with someone in a normal adolescent way, particularly when they were talking about the weirdness that is their lives.  Hopefully they'll be able to continue this interesting bond in future episodes because it was very, very cool.

We'll be back in two weeks with a new episode, so until then, have fun!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Review of The Vampire Diaries 5.06- Handle With Care

Silas is mortal and on a quest to die with help from Jeremy and Damon, Caroline and Katherine investigate Professor Maxfield, Tessa plots against Silas, and we find the anchor for the spell that created the other side (and is it a doozy!)...

Watching Caroline and Katherine work together was completely amusing.  Caroline hates Katherine but she realizes (as Katherine rightly pointed out) that she needs the help from the plotting doppleganger to get the information to protect herself and Elena.  Katherine did a good imitation of Elena and the look on the woman's face (was she a professor?) when "Elena" walked into the house uninvited was hilarious.  I think that gobsmacked covers it.  Maybe Katherine will be able to infiltrate the group (forgot the name) and find out about their "tame" vampire.

She also needs to work with Doctor Maxfield to figure out what is up with her.  Between the streak of white hair and the tooth falling out, Katherine is seriously worried about her mortality.  I think it is fairly obvious that whatever happened to her after Silas drank her blood is slowly killing her.  I suspect that she lost the magic that was in her blood when Silas drank from her which is probably why she is slowly decaying.  Not sure why, but that is my guess.

Now for the trippy part of the episode.  It turns out that the reason the Petrova dopplegangers exist is because Qetsiyah didn't kill Amara, but made her immortal and then used her as the anchor for the spell to create the other side.  That was a very interesting  and nasty surprise.  By anchoring the spell in Silas' love and making her immortal, Qetsiyah virtually guaranteed that Silas would find it almost impossible to break the spell and be reunited with Amara forever.  Now, however, we have 2 human dopplegangers and 1 vampire.  Amara drank from Silas (who had the cure in his blood now) and became mortal, Katherine is already mortal, and Elena is human.  Also, the gang has to protect Amara in order to be sure that she can be used to destroy the other side after Bonnie is brought back.  Like I said, trippy.

Tessa is a seriously vindictive bitch.  Not without reason, but she definitely is taking things too far.  Not content to simply take out her anger on Silas, she has widened her wrath to include Elena, Damon, and Stefan.  Granted, Stefan betrayed her in order to protect Elena so that is part of the reason, but Elena has never done anything to Tessa other than look like Amara.  Then again, Tessa is obviously not entirely rational given the depth of her hatred and her desire for revenge, so there is that.  Restoring all of Stefan's memories in one fell swoop was an interesting method of revenge.  I suspect that Stefan will be able to adapt, but it will be interesting to see how his time in the safe affects him.

Will the gang be able to bring Bonnie back?  In large part, that answer depends on whether or not Silas is dead.  If Silas is dead, then I don't see any way for Bonnie to be brought back unless Tessa can be persuaded to do the spell (extremely long shot at best).  If Silas is alive, there will be the challenge of persuading him to kill Amara in order to destroy the anchor for the other side.  Good luck with that one.

Until next week!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.05- All Tomorrow's Parties

Stephen and John actually agree on something and then have a disagreement, a party goes bad, and Stephen meets Jedekiah's boss/partner....

Well, Stephen is officially in a serious pickle.  He is completely disturbed by what Ultra did to the Tomorrow People, but he also seemed to be bothered by what John and Cara did.  Thank goodness he can talk with Astrid now.  The only problem is going to be making sure that she is safe from both sides.  I loved the look on her face when he teleported with her to that spot where they first met.  That was so cool.  Unless something changes pretty drastically, I don't see her letting him go any time in the near future.

While John and Cara's reaction to what Kurt did may have been somewhat understandable, it was also deeply disturbing.  They acted like he purposely betrayed them, when what actually happened was that he was caught and saved himself.  Did he do the right thing?  No, but it was understandable.  I was also disturbed by the fact that she was so willing to use that serum to strip Kurt of his powers when she and John have railed against Ultra using it.  I think the problem lies in the fact that Ultra views the Tomorrow People as dangerous and is trying to wipe them out and the Tomorrow People view humans as lower lifeforms wholly separate from them and are fighting desperately for survival.  That particular combination makes for bad events.

As I've said before, I think that Stephen has the right idea.  He is maintaining contact with humans to keep his humanity, while simultaneously working to stop Ultra and help the Tomorrow People.  I realize that it is not a viable alternative for all of the Tomorrow People, but it may be viable for some of them.  But then you get into the question of what happens if Ultra catches them.  Unfortunately, there are no good or satisfactory answers to the problem.  John and Cara are being very pragmatic and are (unfortunately) losing touch with their humanity.

I wonder how much information Jedekiah's partner/boss got out of Stephen's head.  If Stephen is as powerful at blocking as he is elsewhere, then not much could have been retrieved.  I do want to note that just because Kurt confessed to passing the information under duress, that does not mean that nothing was taken from Stephen's head.  Also, Stephen made a mistake when he took the geneticist to the hospital.  While it was a good thing, by leaving her there he left open the very real possibility that Ultra may be able to get their hands on her and then on the rest of the Tomorrow People.

When Cara realized just what had been done to John, the look on her face was interesting.  She is insisting that she is only disturbed because he wasn't honest with her, but I also think that the fact that he can kill is not pleasing to her.  I do wonder if that is part of the reason that she reacted to Kurt the way she did.  If she felt that she had something to prove to John, then her reaction is completely understandable.  Not good, but understandable.

Until next week!

My Review of Arrow 2.05- League of Assassins

We get backstory on Sarah, trouble for the Lances, bad news for Moira, and an incredibly brassed off Oliver....

So, after the Queen's Gambit sank, Sarah was rescued by the people on the freighter and at some point turned into the person she is today.  Hopefully they'll explore exactly what happened because I am really curious how she went from who she was to who she is now.  At some point, she joined the League of Assassins and later left after a bad experience on an assignment.  I wish they had gone into more detail tonight, but they didn't.

Oliver's shock when he saw the assassin dressed like Malcolm was truly something to behold.  It was like his worst nightmare came to life.  Malcolm Merlyn was the hardest enemy that Oliver had to face, so to see someone like him was a nasty shock.  What made it even worse is the fact that the person Oliver faced was the man who trained Malcolm.  I do want to know when exactly Malcolm found time to leave his company, get the training he needed, and join the League of Assassins.  Also, I am surprised that they didn't seem to give him any assignments.  Either he was more valuable to them doing what he was doing, or he never really joined and was merely trained by them.

Attacking Sarah was not the smartest move.  While the assassins were highly trained, Oliver is not only trained well, but also quite pissed off.  Doubt me?  Witness his conversation with Felicity.  He was a man who needed to find someone to attack.  I truly think that if he had not been handed the assassins, he would have gone out and picked a fight.  If that had happened, I pity the poor person at the other end of that beatdown.  Oliver did better against Malcolm's teacher than he ever did against Malcolm.  I suspect that his anger gave him an edge he didn't have before.  Also, he is now fighting for something rather than just flailing around blindly on a course of revenge.

I must say that I half thought that Oliver was going to reveal who he was to Moira.  His conversation with her was ambiguous enough that he may very well have meant that the time for his secrets was over.  I do get why he is keeping his secret, and think he is right to do so, but if telling Moira his secret would have persuaded her to give up hers, I think he would have done so.  Should she have accepted the plea?  Probably, yes.  She was right when she said that the city is out for blood and hers is the most likely to be spilled.  Accepting the plea would have helped there and she could have told Oliver and Thea her secrets later.  At this point, whether or not she is convicted is a serious tossup.

I was glad that Sarah revealed herself to Officer Lance.  He needed to know the truth, but now he has to hide it from Laurel and his ex-wife, which will seriously suck.  That being said, out of everyone who doesn't already know about her, I think he was in the best place to find out.  He has plumbed the depths of his grief and knowing that she is alive could be powerful incentive for him.  Watching Sarah break that assassin's neck couldn't have been easy for him though.  But at least he now knows who exactly she is, which is a good thing.  I was impressed with how quickly he put all of the pieces together to realize who she was.  That was truly impressive.

Until next week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Review of The Originals 1.06- Fruit of the Poisoned Tree

Elijah and Klaus take drastic actions in response to a threat, Rebekah decides to leave, Marcel does some digging, and the witches learn why it is a mistake to piss off the Originals....

Did anyone not see Elijah killing that elder witch on his own?  After all, he planted that mile high loophole in his promise to Sophie.  He told her that his brother (Klaus) wouldn't kill her and that was it.  And he kept his promise.  He stopped Klaus from killing her and then killed her himself.  It can be hard to remember that Elijah can be as violent as Klaus is because Elijah is so cultured.  But if his ire is raised, it is best to make yourself scarce because he is absolutely deadly, as we saw tonight when he ripped out three hearts in a matter of seconds and then snapped the witch's neck with scarcely a pause.  It was funny to see the look on Klaus' face.  He was definitely enjoying the show.

I can't say that I was fond of the way Elijah manipulated Davina but I am not surprised that he did so.  The Originals have been working hard to keep Hayley's existence a secret from Marcel and if Elijah had been honest with Davina, it is possible that Marcel could have found out about what was going on.  Not that it mattered given the fact that Marcel found out anyway, but Elijah had no way of knowing that at the time.  When Davina finds out that Elijah concealed information from her, I am betting she'll be a wee bit upset.

I was a little disappointed that Rebekah went to leave.  Can't say I am surprised given the antipathy that exists between her and Klaus, but I was still disappointed.  At least we know she'll come back to help get Hayley back from Marcel.  Marcel has either forgotten how powerful the Originals are or he is overconfident.  Kidnapping the mother of Klaus' baby is a bad idea on so many levels.  Not only will Klaus be out for blood, but Elijah will as well.  Seeing as how his violence tonight was provoked by a threat to Hayley's life, I shudder at the implications for Marcel and his crew.  If Davina fights for Marcel, they may be able to hold the Originals off, but that's it.  If Davina does not intervene (or worse intervenes on Elijah's behalf), then Marcel doesn't stand a chance.  Klaus may allow him to live if he gets his hands on him, but Marcel better make plans to run or something.

The witches are now in serious trouble.  With all of their elders gone, they have no way to reaccess their magics unless Davina can somehow access them.  The only thing is that Davina refuses to allow herself to die, so they would have to find another way.  Lying to an Original has consequences as the witches discovered tonight.  I feel sorry for them.  I get why they lied, but lying to Elijah (in particular) or any Original is a bad idea.  Klaus and Rebekah may or may not take it phlegmatically, but Elijah generally doesn't unless he sees the reason as particularly good.

Watching Cami attempt to break free of Klaus ought to be interesting.  I do get why she is upset, but I have to wonder if she is overreacting slightly.  I think she was right to be worried about the lack of feeling in relation to her brother.  Where I think she overreacted was in her reaction to the witch being killed.  Was it disturbing?  Yes.  But it didn't exactly make her an accessory.  All she did was share with him some concerns about what happened to her brother, nothing accessory-like there.

Until next week!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Review of Vampire Diaries 5.05- Monster's Ball

Katherine gets a surprise (ok, two), Damon has a plan, Caroline is shocked, Elena is warned, and Jeremy lies...

So, Nadia is Katherine's daughter.  That was a definite shock.  I suspected it might be the case when I realized how old Nadia was, but I wasn't sure until Nadia mentioned the date in 1492 that her mother was killed.  I wonder if Silas knows who Nadia really is.  I am trying to figure out if Nadia is here to protect Katherine or not.  This is going to prove very interesting for Katherine.  That also means that Nadia is a distant ancestor of Elena's.  Obviously, she had a child before she became a vampire or else Elena wouldn't be around.  I so hope we learn a little more about this because I am seriously intrigued.

I was definitely surprised that Damon decided to work with Silas.  I get why he did, but it was still surprising.  Damon wants to help Elena and Jeremy by bringing Bonnie back.  Since Silas wants to dies anyway (once the mystical purgatory is destroyed), using the energy released by his death to bring Bonnie back is useful.  I just wonder if Silas' death will do anything to Stefan.  Since Stefan's existence as Silas' doppleganger is a result of Silas' immortality, will Silas' death (or the fact that he is mortal now) have some sort of impact on Stefan?  I don't think Stefan will drop dead or anything, but I do suspect that (at the very least) the doppleganger line will end because the reason for it (Silas' immortality) is no longer around.

I can't say I was surprised that Jeremy lied to Damon about Bonnie's willingness to go along with the plan.  Jeremy is alive because Bonnie sacrificed herself and he is being tortured because he can see and talk with her, but they can't touch or anything.  If he wasn't willing to go along with the plan despite her protestations, I would have been completely shocked.

I am most definitely not happy with Tyler.  I have never liked that guy and his actions tonight merely reinforced my dislike in a major way.  He supposedly loves Caroline, but he is so intent on getting revenge on Klaus that he is willing to cause Caroline a lot of pain in order to get his revenge.  Sorry, but it really seems like he got his poor little ego bruised and his sense of masculinity damaged, so now he is having a temper tantrum.  Nice, real nice.

So what exactly is Dr. Maxfield up to?  He is obviously aware of the existence of vampires and seems to be experimenting on them, but he warned Elena (and presumably Caroline as well) to go away.  He is also (apparently) the guardian to one of their dead roommate's childhood friends.  I really hope we get an explanation soon because I am seriously intrigued about him.

Watching Damon sacrifice Katherine to bring back (and un-immortalize [is that even a word?]) Silas was satisfying and karmic in view of the fact that it was Katherine who sacrificed Jeremy last year to bring Silas back in the first place.  I was a little surprised that Elena didn't protest more, but I get why she let Damon do it.  I was also seriously shocked that Katherine is still alive.  I am not sure why she is, considering the fact that Nadia said that Silas would need all of her blood to become mortal again, but this should prove interesting.  My first thought was that she might have been revampirized, but then I remembered that she probably can't because of the cure.  Also, I don't think that a vampire's blood would have brought Silas back.  So how exactly did she survive?

Until next week!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.04- Kill or Be Killed

We get some back story on John and Jedekiah, Stephen has an unwelcome dinner guest, and a figure from John's past returns with vengeance in his heart...

Last week we learned about Cara and tonight we learned about John.  Turns out that John was a foster child in an abusive home where the foster dad used the money to buy booze, so John was forced to steal to make sure that he and his foster siblings remained fed.  That is, he did so until he was "rescued" by Jedekiah.  I have to admit that I hesitated before using the quotes around rescued because in a very real way, Jedekiah did rescue John.  He took John from an abusive situation into a more controlled situation.  Alas, it was akin to going from the frying pan into the fire.  The saddest part is that John genuinely loved Jedekiah until Jedekiah did something that destroyed that trust.  More on that in a bit.

Around the same time that Jedekiah rescued John, he also acquired a young man named Killian McCrane.  He then proceeded to use Killian (and other agents) in an experiment to see if he could get around the fact that the Tomorrow People cannot kill.  Listening to Jedekiah's reasoning was bizarre.  He said that this inability to kill was their one flaw and that by eliminating it, he was perfecting them.  He also said that by creating the best soldier, he could then keep that soldier in his pocket and make sure he was used appropriately.  It does make a certain amount of sense, but it is also seriously twisted.  The inability to kill is only a flaw because Jedekiah sees the existence of the Tomorrow People as warfare.  I think that John was right when he said that it was a good step.

Learning that John was experimented on and modified so that he could kill was a complete surprise.  I was so not expecting that he would have been modified that way.  It does make a certain amount of sense.  After all, Killian is out there with the ability to kill and a serious grudge against Ultra, so creating a new version of him who could fight him was necessary.  This was the incident that pushed John completely away from Ultra.  I find it interesting that being altered seemed to have made Killian a psychopath whereas it hasn't done that to John.  I would guess that it is a temperamental difference, but it could also be that the process was modified to prevent that sort of transformation.  If Killian really absorbed Jedekiah's ideas, then it would make sense that he sees humans as lower life forms who need to be wiped out in order for the Tomorrow People to flourish.

I am glad that Stephen has finally made some headway where John is concerned.  As I've said before, I get why John is so concerned about fighting Ultra openly, but there are times when it must be done.  Killian was a danger to everyone and he needed to be dealt with appropriately.  I can't say I was surprised that Jedekiah betrayed John even if I was disappointed in him.  I get that he sees John as a threat, but he is also driving Stephen further and further away from Ultra.  Stephen cares about normal humans and the Tomorrow People and will protect both.  He also has an honorable streak that is extremely uncomfortable with what Jedekiah does.  I suspect that what Jedekiah is doing is in part a test of Stephen and in part his SOP.

Watching that family dinner was sort of amusing.  Stephen's mom does not like Jedekiah, but she is smart enough to realize that Stephen needs him (at least temporarily)  and she isn't going to stand in their way.  Smart woman.  She also hinted at more secrets to come.  I almost wonder if she is (or was) a Tomorrow Person herself or at least aware of their existence.  That would be interesting.

Until next week!

My Review of Arrow 2.04- Crucible

The Black Canary is unmasked and Oliver deals with the fallout, a new (yet not) villain is seen, and Laurel is digging herself into a deeper hole with no bottom in sight....

As announced over the summer, the Black Canary has been unmasked and she is Sarah Lance.  I so wish they hadn't spoiled this because that would have been an awesome, jaw-dropping moment.  However, they did spoil it, so we have to go with it.  I still loved the moment however, if only for the pole-axed look on Oliver's face.  He had problems when he revealed her identity to Felicity and Diggle.  Remember, he said that she had died when the Queen's Gambit sunk.  Turns out that she was on the ship that took Oliver hostage.  Given the fact that we know (from last week) that she is in the League of Assassins, does this mean that the ship belongs to that group?  Or did she connect with them later?  My guess is that the ship is attacked (which is why Oliver assumed that Sarah was dead) and that this leads Oliver to the Russian mob (which you may remember he is/was affiliated with) and after that for some unknown reason, he returns to the island.

Having Sarah back is going to be uber-complicated for Oliver and the Lances.  He believes that they will refuse to associate with him again when/if they find out and frankly I wouldn't blame them.  I get that he didn't tell them that Sarah survived the sinking because he didn't want to spoil their memories of her anymore than he already did.  But now that she is back, I am struggling to see how he can keep the information from them.  The unfortunate thing is that the information may drive Laurel even further into the bottle and may also cause Officer Lance to relapse, both of which would be very bad.

I am interested to see how/if Sin is incorporated into Roy and Thea's lives.  There is something there between Sin and Roy.  Not sure if it is attraction or just friendship, but I so want to see.  I hope they don't go the route of a love triangle (which annoy the bejeezus out of me), but I am afraid that they'll go there.  I would like to see Roy and Sin continue to act as intermediaries between the Arrow and the Black Canary, but I sort of doubt that will continue since Oliver and Sarah know who the other is.  I suspect that they'll have the two of them work together to collect information for their respective vigilantes.  I am also a little worried about the possible strain that working for the Arrow will put on Roy and Thea's relationship.  It will only get worse when Roy figures out who the Arrow really is.

The Mayor was an interesting villain.  He was an ordinary man who used the opportunity presented by the quake to seize power.  He reminds me of Neville in Revolution.  Unfortunately for him, he attracted the attention of the Arrow and of Alderman Blood.  Watching the Arrow and Black Canary working together to take down his soldiers was a thing of beauty.  I loved the way that the two of them worked together really well and even used each other's weapons when needed.  And dude, don't piss off a masked vigilante when she has a staff to your neck.  Not a good idea.

Attracting the attention of Alderman Blood was an equally big blunder.  Blood is apparently the new Big Bad.  Not sure of his exact identity, but that mask was more than a little creepy.  And was that Vertigo that he injected into the Mayor's arm?  I knew that Blood was a bad person and now we are seeing how bad.  It can only get worse from here.

Watching Laurel sink deeper into the bottle was a little depressing and it was made worse by the fact that her father can only stand by helplessly and watch.  Lashing out at her father and Oliver was a classic reaction.  Even if she has a point about the hypocrisy, when will people learn to listen to those who have made the mistakes and not repeat them?  Sadly, Laurel is so wracked with guilt that she is blind to what she is doing.  Hitting bottom is going to destroy her and her career methinks.

Until next week!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Review of The Originals 1.05- Sinners and Saints

Lots of backstory about the vampire/witch situation, how Devinna came to be with Marcel, and the murdered seminarians.  Nice....

Rather than go character by character as I normally do, I am going to take this episode storyline by storyline.  All of the storylines are connected, so we'll start with Devinna, move onto the vampire/witch situation, and end with the seminarians.  After that, I have a few character comments, so we'll address those.

In an earlier episode, Sophie (I think) mentioned that the witches in New Orleans derive their magical power by creating links with their ancestors.  Turns out that once every 3 centuries, the witches need to go through a ceremony called the Reaping in which they channel their ancestors power into 4 girls and then kill the girls.  As each girl is killed, the power is passed from one to another, so each witch gets more and more powerful.  After they are all killed, there is a second ceremony called the Harvest where the power is redistributed and the girls come back to life.   This time, there was a complication.  Sophie didn't believe in the ceremony and her niece was one of the girls.  She told Marcel (who she was sleeping with!) about the ceremony and he interrupted it in time to save Devinna from being killed (she was the fourth girl).

That is why Devinna is so freaking powerful.  As the last girl, she is the receptacle of all of the power of the ancestors of the coven.  That is also why she is working with Marcel.  The girls were told that they would be bled a little and would be put into a limbolike state.  They were also told that after the Harvest was performed, they would come back stronger than they were before.  Naturally, when they were being killed via having their throats cut, the girls panicked.  Devinna now hates the witches and is biding her time so that all of the power will vanish since the ceremony will not be completed.

This means that the vampire/witch situation is much more recent that had been implied earlier.  From the pilot, it sounded like the situation with the witches being tracked was a long term thing, when in fact it has only been in place for a few months.  The witches found out about Hayley and then used her to manipulate Klaus into coming back to New Orleans in order to find Devinna and complete the Reaping and the Harvest.  This is the sort of thing guaranteed to make Klaus grumpy (to say the least!).  If there is one thing Klaus hates, it is being manipulated by other people.  Manipulating Klaus is like playing with fire.  In other words, it is so not the right thing to do if you care about your long term health.

I will say that I thought that Devinna had been in Marcel's care for much longer than she actually was.  I thought that he had raised her and that was why she hated witches.  Having this new information makes her little rebellion last week make more sense.  She is working with Marcel because she hates the witches and because Marcel saved her, but she does have her own agenda.  Makes a difference....

It turns out that Cami and her brother are the niece and nephew to the priest who runs that church that Devinna is being kept in.  When he sided with Sophie against the witches, one of the witches put a hex on Cami's brother in order to drive him insane and put the priest on the sidelines.  As a result of the hex, he slaughtered the seminarians.  Before he left town, the priest asked Marcel to save the girls.  He only saved Devinna though.  It also turns out that the priest occupies a very high place in the human hierarchy.  He seems to be the spokesman (and possibly) leader of the humans who made an agreement with the witches and vampires to protect New Orleans in exchange for keeping their existence a secret.

One last plot thing.  According to Sophie, the witches from last week are from an extreme group of the witches.  Whether or not Sophie can be trusted is up for debate at this point.  I do think that she did not sanction the attack because had Hayley died, Sophie would have died too (assuming she told the truth about the linking spell).  If the attack was not meant to kill Hayley, but had some other (as yet unrevealed) purpose, then that could change things dramatically.

I am happy that Elijah is back.  He's always been my favorite Original.  I really hope that he can keep his word and get the grimoire to Devinna.  I also think that, no matter how much he would like to punish Klaus, he is going to set what Klaus did aside in favor of working with him against the witches and Marcel.  And what was up with the look that he and Hayley exchanged?

How long has Marcel actually been in control of New Orleans?  Was he in charge before he saved Devinna or did he come to be in charge because he had Devinna and her power in his corner?  If the latter, then he managed to impose order *VERY* quickly and I am highly impressed.  My guess is that before he had Devinna, he was prima inter pares (first among equals) where the witches and humans were concerned.  After he saved Devinna, I think he managed to gather enough power together to impose his will on the witches and the city.  I could be wrong, but that is my guess.

Until next week!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Review of Vampire Diaries 5.04- For Whom the Bell Tolls

Stefan learns about his past, more than one truth comes to light, someone returns, and a major WTF moment ends the show....

Stefan spent most of the hour learning about the man he was from Elena, Caroline, and Damon.  And he was not terribly impressed.  There is obviously  still some sparkage with Elena and it looked like there might be some with Caroline, but that is all pretty much over.  Elena told Stefan about her and Damon which caused Stefan to decide that there was really no point in being the good guy.  Not only did he attack Jesse, but he has chosen to leave the Salvatore house.  I am not sure where he is planning on staying, but it does seem like Elena and Damon have lost whatever influence they may have on him.  So not a good thing.

Listening to the running commentary when Elena and Damon were filling him in on his past life was quite funny, particularly when Damon went through the list of people they had killed (or not) in the crypt.  When Stefan said that Damon was the boring one and he was the fun one, I practically fell over laughing.  Paul is definitely having fun playing a different side of Stefan.  This isn't the Ripper or St. Stefan.  Rather it is just plain Stefan with no baggage.  I must admit that I do like him.

Jeremy finally confessed to everyone that Bonnie is dead.  His reasons for keeping it quiet were laudable, however once everyone starting putting things on hold because they were waiting for Bonnie's return, he had to tell the truth.  I loved Damon's reaction when he figured out what Jeremy was hinting at.  He didn't want Jeremy to say it because of how it would affect Elena, but after Jeremy did, he went in fairly quickly to give Jeremy a reassuring hug.  Damon really is growing as a person and that is awesome to see.  Not too long ago, he wouldn't have done that.  Honestly, I thought (for a split second) that he was going to hit Jeremy or snap  his neck or something like that.  Instead Damon acted as a pillar of support for Elena and Jeremy.

Unlike the rest of the gang, Jeremy has had a while to come to grips with Bonnie's death.  Besides, she's not really dead to him because he can still talk with her if needed.  I loved the scene where he was doing push-ups and Bonnie appeared.  Of course, the being shirtless was (as always) wonderful to see, but Bonnie's line about her (and others') enjoying his working out was completely hilarious.  And I can tell her that there are many of us watching who enjoy it as well.  :-)

The reactions to Bonnie's death were about what would be expected.  Elena had a minor meltdown, Caroline is trying to hold it together and not talk about it, and Matt is heartbroken.  Having Bonnie speak to the gang through Jeremy was a really nice touch and it was something that the gang really needed.  While she may not be able to help out magically, she may still have knowledge that can be helpful.  The one good thing about her death is that Tyler came back for Caroline (at last!).  While he is not my favorite character, he can be a good support for Caroline when he is around.

When Stefan and Caroline were talking, was I the only one to sense some possible sparkage?  Nothing really serious, but there was definitely something there.  I don't know if he is actually attracted to her or what was going on, but there was something.  I am not sure if it is a good thing or not.  Because of my dislike for Tyler, I am not unfond of the possible pairing, but I am not overly fond of it either.  But if it happens, it happens.

Watching alternaMatt deliver that video message to Matt was a little freaky.  What is so important about that particular knife that alternaMatt would threaten to cut Matt's throat (thus killing them both) if Matt didn't deliver it to the friends who are coming?  And what exactly is alternaMatt doing when he takes over Matt's body?  A little freaked out, but glad they're finally giving Zach a decent storyline.

I have to admit that I was shocked when the doctor killed Jesse.  I assumed that the doctor was fighting vampires or acting like the Council and covering up their existence.  But instead, he appears to be creating vampires.  This cannot be a good thing at all.

Until next week!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Review of The Tomorrow People 1.03- Girl, Interrupted

We get some background on Cara, Stephen continues to play both sides, someone learns Stephens secret, and we learn about another rule of the Tomorrow People.

I was very surprised to learn that Cara was born deaf.  Presumably she is still deaf, but it is possible that when her powers manifested she somehow gained the ability to hear.  The more likely possibility is that she "hears" using her telepathy which would explain why she is so damned good at it.  She can also read lips (as would be expected) very well.  We also learned the circumstances surrounding the manifestation of her powers.  Turns out that she was with a boy who was ready to rape her when she used her telekinesis in self-defense and killed him.  Consequently, after she escaped custody (courtesy of teleportation) she had to run in order to stay free.  Is it any wonder that she doesn't entirely trust humans?

Stephen, on the other hand, can be entirely too trusting.  While I can appreciate the rule of not helping humans for fear of revealing the existence of the Tomorrow People on a purely pragmatic level, it is not the best rule.  As Stephen pointed out, using their powers to help people is a very human thing to do.  As long as they are careful about using their powers in public, they should be able to help people if needed.  Unfortunately, Stephen teleported directly in front of Astrid, who now knows that everything Stephen told her in the pilot is not entirely untrue.  He is going to have some serious explaining to do.

He also has some serious explaining to do to Jedekiah.  I admire his skill at breaking into the level in order to plant the device so that TIM could get info on potential break-outs.  Unfortunately, he was not nearly stealthy enough and Jedekiah used the device in order to set a trap for Cara, John and Russell.  His actions to save Cara, on the other hand, were inspired.  Using his unique ability to stop time so that he could inject her with a saline solution instead of the ability blocking drug was an awesome idea.  I do wonder if Jedekiah will see through it though.

I so cannot wait to see what Astrid does.  Investigating Stephen is a bad idea, because I doubt that Jedekiah will hesitate before killing her if he feels threatened or if he thinks she'll uncover the truth.  Unfortunately, I don't the the Tomorrow People will react much better.  I also doubt that she'll listen to Stephen for a while unless he saves her or something.  This could be very interesting.

Everyone else really played supporting roles tonight.  Russell and John helped out in the fight on the docks, but didn't  do much else.

Until next week!

My Review of Arrow 2.03- Broken Dolls

Oliver gets some help from one not entirely unexpected source and one surprising source, Laurel admits the truth, Roy gets his first job, and two names get dropped....

Oliver managed to get away from the police surrounding him thanks to some intervention from the Black Canary and her nifty sonic device.  That was pretty cool.  Honestly, I thought he might use an arrow with a rope to escape, but this was more fun.  It also got Oliver to give Roy his first assignment: find the Black Canary.  Roy managed to do so, but not entirely on his own or in the way he expected.  After bribing someone to get some info, he finds the Black Canary's contact and gets himself knocked out after a pretty cool chase.  She looked like she was going to kill him until Thea texted.  I think that, given the ending, she thought that Roy worked for R'as al Ghul and spared him when she realized that he did not.  And yes, that was the second name dropped.  We'll get to the first in a sec.

Seeing Officer Lance and Laurel trading places in regards to the Arrow (first name drop!) this year has been interesting.  He has had his eyes opened and realized that justice is not limited strictly to the law.  For those who are too powerful for the law to affect directly, sometimes justice must take a different form.  Is it ideal?  No, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it can be necessary.  Also, since Oliver is determined to not kill now, he is not as far away as he once was.  Not that Lance approves of everything the Arrow does (see his reaction to the Arrow shooting the lawyer!), but he seems to accept them as a necessary evil.

Laurel, on the other hand, is feeling so freaking guilty about what happened to Tommy (see my review from last week).  As she said tonight, she feels responsible for what happened to Tommy and to cope with the feelings of guilt, she set her sights on taking the Arrow down.  Now that he has saved her life (again!), she'll hopefully lay off a little bit.  Is he the perfect hero that people need?  No, but he is definitely what is needed right now.

It was nice to see Thea and Moira getting along.  When Thea brought the clothing, it was amusing.  Understandable, but still amusing.  I do get why the DA is going for the death penalty, but he is neglecting to consider that Moira did warn the city about what was going to happen and did save some lives.  Also, there is no way this trial would take place anywhere near Starling City.  Any lawyer worth their salt would get the venue changed due to the intense feelings that are present in Starling City.  There is no way that a jury from the area would be anything even approaching unbiased.

I found it very interesting that the messenger sent by R'as al Ghul was wearing the same outfit that Malcolm Merlyn wore.  Does that mean that Malcolm Merlyn was a member of whatever organization R'as al Ghul is the head of?  That would definitely explain his fighting skill and his singular focus on avenging wrongs and "justice".

On the island, we got to see the possible transformation of Slade Wilson into Deathstroke.  If you remember from last week, Shado, Oliver, and Slade found the bodies of some Japanese soldiers in a place which some people were looking for.  This week, the people used a ship to attack the area where the plane was (with Shado inside).  Oliver went back for Shado and Slade followed.  During the bombardment, Oliver was knocked down and in the background, you could see Slade and it looked like he was on fire.  In addition, Oliver has been captured.  He had mentioned that he spent some time off the island and we know that he has ties to the Russian mob, so I wonder if this is where those come into play.

In a bit, The Tomorrow People.