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Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Review of Falling Skies 3.05- Search and Recovery

Pope and Tom fight to survive after the crash, the search for Anne is on, Maggie gets suspicious of EvilHal, Marina starts and investigation, and an interesting prism through which to view the series comes up on Twitter....

I want to start with the last remark first.  On Twitter, @ThreeIfBySpace noted that "If season 2 was a quantum leap in character and acting for @connorjessup [Ben], Season 3 is that for @RVRocket [Matt] #FallingSkies".  If you look at it this way, then you could argue that each season is about developing one of the Mason boys.  So, Season 1 would be the season of Hal where we got a lot of insight into who he is and how he operates, Season 2 was the season of Ben where we got to see how being harnessed has affected him, and now we get to really look at how everything has affected Matt.  This is not to say that any of them stopped developing, but the emphasis is solidly on one of them.  Anyone have any thoughts about this?

Watching Tom and Pope together was very interesting.  These two have, at best, tolerated each other as a type of necessary evil.  Neither of them likes the other very much and I don't think either of them trusts the other.  But, after the crash, they have to work together in order to survive.  In the first season, Pope held Tom, Hal, and Tom's men hostage the first time they met and then Pope was the 2nd Mass' prisoner.  In the second season, Pope was the loudest voice of suspicion where Tom was concerned and Tom get control of his group.  Now, Tom took Pope's plane and it was destroyed.  None of this is conducive to a good working relationship.  I have to say that I loved it when Pope told Tom that story about his son.  I honestly thought that maybe, just maybe, they were starting to sort of bond.  Then when Pope played that prank, Tom *COMPLETELY* overreacted.  And no matter how practical Tom was in insisting that Pope leave, he did go a bit far, so I was glad when Pope came back to save him.  I honestly think that no matter how much Pope complains, he is actually happy to have people around him.  I know he enjoys fighting and killing and what not, but I do think that on some level he wants some sort of peace and quiet.

Marina was stuck as the voice of practicality and reason after Anne disappeared.  Always sucks to have to be that person because you appear to be heartless.  But, she was right.  There was no way that Charleston could afford to lose that many people to search for Anne.  I am glad that she did concede the point and allowed Porter to go out with his daughter, the Masons, and Maggie to look for Anne.  Then there was her spying on the Volm.  Again, I get that she is suspicious of the Volm, but it does look a little suspicious that she chose to spy on them.  So what exactly are the Volm building?  Also, we discovered that no other babies born recently are hybrids, so this leads me to ask if Alexis is truly the only one or if there might be more elsewhere.  Targeting Tom's baby makes sense since he is a leader (even before he was president).  Besides, the Espheni were interested in Tom even before Anne got pregnant, so this may be a way to continue to explore that curiosity while simultaneously causing problems for him.

EvilHal was good enough to past muster last week, but as soon as empathy was required, he started to fail big time.  I suspect that this has something to do with how the Espheni consider emotions a weakness.  Since displaying emotions shows that you are weak, EvilHal (as an Espheni construct) would not show them.  The problem was that Hal would most definitely show empathy for what happened and would care about what was going on.  Instead, EvilHal sits off to the side and is pretty openly contemptuous of what is going on.  When Ben was comforting Matt, EvilHal was shooting them a look that was pretty nasty.  Maggie was noticing this and she is definitely worried that something is going on.  I really hope that she puts the pieces together and finds the right answer, but given the previews for next week, I sort of doubt it.

I loved watching Ben and Matt together.  As I have said repeatedly, Matt has been forced to grow up way too quickly.  No one that young should have to be worried about whether or not they'll die alone and be buried by strangers.  I was also glad that Ben didn't lie to Matt when he was asked about the chances of rescuing Anne and Alexis.  I was also glad that Porter emphasized that hope should never be lost.  That delicate balancing act between being hopeful and realistic needs to be preserved.  Hopefully Matt will figure that out.

Finally we have the question from last week: how did the Espheni find the plane and the location of the President?  I think Tom was right to ask the question, but Pope was also right that it needed to be put off so that they could focus on staying alive.  Was it a tracking device or did the mole somehow find out about the trip and tell the Espheni?  Or was there a mole with the President?  Hopefully answers will be forthcoming.

Until next week!

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Review of Under the Dome Episode 1- Pilot

Gripping story of a town cut off from the world and how the situation is dealt with....

I have been looking forward to this show for several months now.  I have seen a lot of the actors involved in other shows, so I was really interested to see them together.  From the first episode, I am impressed.

First, as always with new shows, here is a quick summary of the plot.  In New England (didn't say in which state), the town of Chester Mills is mysteriously cut off from the rest of the world when an energy barrier in the shape of a massive dome surrounds the town.  When it rose, the barrier cut through living flesh, wood, and metal with equal facility.  When first touched, it gives off an electric shock and anything that hits it at a high enough velocity crumples up like an accordion.  So far we have seen a plane crash into it and a truck smash into it.  The barrier is also soundproof, making so that people who are literally inches away from each other cannot speak.

We have four visitors to the town.  One is a former member of the military nicknamed "Barbie" who was burying a man before the barrier went up.  I assume that he killed the man, but that could very easily be wrong.  Right now, Barbie is staying with the editor of the local paper (Julia), who happens to be the wife of the man he was burying.  Not exactly comfortable.  The other three are two women and their teenage daughter.  The barrier seemed to have had an interesting effect on the daughter, causing her to fall to the ground convulsing and muttering about falling stars.

Of the townspeople, the two (presumed) antagonists are a councilman and his psychotic son.  The son, Junior, has kidnapped the woman he is supposedly in love with (Angie) and has locked her in a fallout shelter (oh yeah, that is true love there!).  The councilman, Big Jim, has been stockpiling propane for some reason and is using this to strongarm the Sheriff.  Not entirely sure why the stockpiling of propane is a bad thing, but I assume we'll find out.  Joe (Angie's brother) is alone on his parent's farm and was saved by Barbie after the plane crashed into the barrier and he was nearly hit by the parts.  Like the other teenager, he too fell and had convulsions while talking about falling stars.  Before he convulsed, Joe was looking for the source of the barrier.

I am fascinated by how this story will unfold.  Obviously, the story of the why and how of the dome are important, but I think that how the people handle it is equally important.  Will they be able to pull together and work together to survive?  Or will they allow paranoia and rumours to tear them apart?  I suspect that Big Jim will use the latter (if it happens) to gather more power unto himself.  I also have to wonder why Barbie killed the doctor (if he did) and (if he didn't) why he buried him.

Until next week!

My Review of Teen Wolf 3.04- Unleashed

Deucalion meets Scott and Derek (again?) and reveals some secrets, Scott and Isaac mix it up with the Twins, and Stiles and Lydia team up with the vet and get some info...

I have to admit that I was completely amused by how Scott and Isaac chose to get inside the Twins heads.  Taking that part off of the one motorcycle and then driving the other one down the school hallway was incredibly juvenile, but also very, very funny.  After the way the Twins got Isaac blamed for the attack, I so can't say I blame Scott and Isaac for what they did.  Also, I suspect that Scott was protecting *HIS* pack member (Lydia) from a potential threat in the form of the one twin (not sure which one is which just yet).  I don't know for sure if the Twins trapped Isaac and Alison in the janitor's closet, but I suspect that they did.  If so, then they more than deserved it, because of Isaac's past history with enclosed spaces.  As nasty as being trapped in the closet together was, I loved both Isaac's and Alison's reactions.  He is still somewhat scared of her (not that I exactly blame him!) and she is obviously not fond of him.  That being said, I do not think she will attack him again except under self-defense.  I am curious about what Scott did to Isaac.  Did his yelling Isaac's name simply snap Isaac back to reality or is Scott actually an Alpha in his own right?

So Decualion knew Derek's mom and it seems that he might have met Derek before.  I was amused by the way he disciplined the Twins after they attacked Isaac and Scott.  I don't know if he didn't want them attacked so publicly or if it was just that he didn't want them attacked.  As for that little storm, I so want to know how he caused that.  Don't tell me that it was a complete coincidence, because there is no way it was.  I was glad to get some of the little tidbits from him.  Turns out that to join the Alpha pack, you need to kill off your own pack.  If an Alpha kills off its own pack, then each member that is killed adds to the Alpha's strength.  So I wonder if that holds true for the Alpha pack as well.  If one member kills another, will their power increase proportionality?  If so, that could provide a key to defeating the Alpha pack.

I was actually glad that Derek sent Isaac away, even if the method was a little cruel.  Throwing that glass so that it shattered that close to Isaac on top of being trapped in the closet could not have been good for Isaac's mental well-being, seeing how the last thing his dad did to Isaac was to throw a glass at the wall behind him.  It was a good thing to do because Derek is obviously trying to protect Isaac from whatever is going on.  Will he be successful?  Probably not, but it is a good effort.

So glad that Stiles is investigating, even if his sense of the timing for questions sucks.  Dude, do not ask a girl if her boyfriend was a virgin right after she is done talking with the sheriff!  That being said, Stiles is putting the pieces together quickly and doing the right thing by running to the vet.  When weird things happen and you are not sure what to do, go to the vet.  Safer than going to Peter, all things considered.  So we now have two sets of triple homicides: virgins and soldiers.  I wonder if there will be a third.  These homicides are, as Stiles recognized last week, human sacrifices.  More specifically, they are Druidic in origin, albeit a twisted and dark path of Druidism (think it was called Daracha).  Not sure of its purpose yet, but I agree with Stiles that this is not the work of the werewolves, or if it is it is only a few of them.  And the last victim (the obnoxious science teacher) seemed to know the killer because he said that he had done everything that was asked of him.  That cannot be a good thing.

Until next week!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Review of Falling Skies 3.04- At All Costs

Hal's other self comes out to play, Anne comes to a decision, Ben has to make a decision, and Tom goes on a secret (or not) mission....

Ben and the other deharnessed kids have to make a big decision.  When their harnesses were removed prior to the Volm's arrival, the spikes and associated hardware (so to speak) were left in their bodies because they could not be removed.  With the Volm's machines, the remainder of the harnesses (including the spikes) can now be removed.  This is good news because they can go back to normal (both good and bad) and they will presumably be able to live longer.  The hardware in them prevents their bodies from making stem cells, which Lourdes thinks means that they will leave shortened lifespans.  She is not sure how much shorter, but she does think it will be shorter.  The trade off is that they will lose their enhanced physical abilities and their ability to talk with the rebel Skitters.  Personally, I think that last bit alone is enough of a reason to keep at least one of them with the hardware in them for tactical purposes.  Honestly, I have to say overall that the tradeoffs are worse than the cure.  As Ben noted, while the spikes and stuff sucks, it does allow them to be very useful in a wide variety of ways.  And as Matt said, if people don't like it, that's too bad.  I am really glad that both Ben and the girl (Kim?) decided to keep the spikes in place.  The humans need every advantage they can get their hands on and unless the spikes are hugely problematic, they really need to stay in place.  The most compelling reason to remove the hardware (shortened lifespans) is a guess on Lourdes' part.  She didn't seem to know about it for sure, so unless it turns out to drastically shorten their lives, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.

EvilHal came out to play tonight.  Not only did he talk to Hal in a seriously creepy scene, he actually took over Hal's body.  I am somewhat surprised that Maggie didn't question "Hal's" change of heart, particularly given how stubborn the Mason's can be and how adamant Hal was about talking with Tom.  And watching EvilHal help hand off Anne to the Skitter and harnessed girl was also creepy.  Drew gives really good creepy smiles, particularly after he and Maggie finished making love.  I can see Hal screaming at EvilHal for what was going on there.

I have to say that it seems less and less likely to me that Hal (either version) is the mole.  The mole was presumably the one who told the Aspheni about Tom's trip to see the President and Hal knew nothing about it (well, not that we know of anyway).  The only people who knew about it were with Tom or in the control room.  Anne knew that Tom was leaving, but didn't know details.  Hal knew that Tom was gone, but didn't know where.  It is possible that EvilHal told Karen and the Aspheni that Tom was gone and that they tracked Tom to where he was so that they could attack, but I think it is more likely that the mole is someone else who gave the information up.

Tom's mission was something of a bust.  He and Cochise did manage to persuade the President that Cochise was not wholly bad, but the attack that forced them to flee was not a good thing at all.  I have to wonder (see the paragraph above) how exactly the Aspheni knew what was going on.  As I said above, it is probable that the mole told the Aspheni about it, but it is also possible that the attack was already planned and that there is a mole with the President.  Unlikely, granted, but it does behoove us to at least consider the possibility.  Now Tom, Pope, and General Bressler are going to have to hope they survive the crash in good enough shape to get back to Charleston safely.

Anne has fled with Alexis.  She took Alexis' DNA along with the DNA from the deharnessed kids to Dr. Kadar to see if there was something abnormal about it.  Sure enough, Alexis alone had alien DNA mixed with the human DNA.  So, Anne hit Dr. Kadar with a wrench and drugged Lourdes so that she could leave.  Unfortunately (as noted above) she was met by EvilHal, a Skitter, and a harnessed girl who welcomed Alexis.  I wonder what exactly Alexis is.  Is she being groomed to be a new Overlord?  Or are the Aspheni fascinated enough with how well humanity has resisted them to want to see what will happen when their DNA is mixed with human DNA?  That is, of course, assuming that the alien DNA is Aspheni DNA.  if it is DNA from another alien species (which is *VERY* doubtful), that could be a potentially very bad thing.

Until next week!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Review of Teen Wolf 3.03- Fireflies

Stiles comes to a horrible realization; Scott, Derek, and Isaac team up with an unlikely ally; Allison takes matter into her own hands; and Lydia has a conclusion of her own....

The girl Stiles nearly lost his virginity to last week is in fact dead.  And she is not the only casualty.  An unnamed guy and a girl who was camping with her girlfriend are both dead too.  At first, everyone was thinking that Boyd and Cora killed them until Stiles went to examine the bodies with Mrs. McCall.  They realized that both bodies in the morgue were garroted, had their throats slashed, and had their heads bashed in.  Stiles also realized that all three were virgins and that this made them human sacrifices.  Not sure why they were sacrificed yet, but I assume that will be explained shortly.  My guess is that Deucalion is behind it given that the sacrifices coincided with the full moon and a time when Scott, Derek, and Isaac would all be occupied with Boyd and Cora.  I also wonder how (or if) the fireflies are related to this.  I could have dismissed it as a coincidence until Mr. Argent noted that California fireflies are not bioluminescent (i.e. they do not glow on their own).  Then there was the fact that they were pretty much omnipresent in the episode.  Both of these indicate that there is something seriously wrong going on.

I cannot say I was too terribly surprised that Scott thought to team up with Mr. Argent because that is something he would totally do.  Scott has always tried to work beyond just wolves to accomplish what needs to be done.  While it is not always a good idea, it is something that only Scott would do.  And this time, it ended up being invaluable.  The wolves needed Argent's help to corral Boyd and Cora.  Also, Argent uses different methods to track wolves, so that is valuable as well.  The final thing is that Argent will not kill unless it is necessary, which is something that Scott feels strongly about.  Add this all up and you get something that makes perfect sense.  I loved it when Argent activated the first sonic device and Scott, Isaac, and Derek all reacted strongly to it.  That was definitely amusing.

Allison is back in the hunting game, and this side she is firmly in Scott's camp.  She finally learned about what happened to her mom and while she was upset that Scott didn't tell her earlier, she decided to do what she could to help out.  And what timely help it was.  She managed to use her flare arrows to help stop Boyd and Cora from fleeing school grounds and get them to run into the school.  More importantly, she did not take advantage of the opportunity to attack Isaac, which is something she probably would have done in the past.  She is another great example of Scott's use of non-wolves that is paying off handsomely.

I wonder what exactly is up with Lydia.  She and Stile realized that what is happening to her is similar to what happened with Peter last year, but it is unclear if he is involved in what is happening to her now.  If he is, then my guess is that he is using her to dole out enough information to help Scott and the gang figure out what is going on.  The problem with this theory is that Peter seems to have a certain amount of contempt for Scott and his methods.  My other theory is that Deucalion is using Lydia for some unknown reason.  The problem here is how and why.  I assume that Peter could control Lydia because he attacked her at the end of the first season.  Thusfar Deucalion has not attacked Lydia, so that cannot be how he is controlling her.  It is possible that being used by Peter somehow opened her up to control by a strong enough Alpha, but there is no evidence to support that at this point.

I was impressed that Derek went into the boiler room alone to protect Ms. Blake from Cora and Boyd.  That is something that I would have expected from Scott.  However, I must admit that I suspect that he is feeling particularly guilty because he turned Boyd and Cora is his sister, therefore he may feel that it is his responsibility.  And Derek is serious about his responsibilities, so that makes lots of sense.

Until next week!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Review of Falling Skies 3.03- Badlands

A new groups of humans come to Charleston with quite a story, Anne continues to worry about Alexis, Hal worries that he is the mole, Matt comes face-to-face with death in a new way, Jeanne works on a memorial, and Tom picks a new vice-president.

So now we have a new group entering the picture.  Charleston comes under attack from a group of humans who claim to have been sent by the President of the United States, Charlie (?) Hathaway.  This is a new twist for sure.  If the President is still alive, then that means that Tom is no longer the actual president and that changes the dynamics of the show in a major way.  There are a few questions though.  First, did the President actually send the people, or was it someone posing as the President?  Or did she lie completely and was she sent by no one?  She could be someone like Pope was and decided to attack Charleston after she saw the Volm and the rebel Skitters there.  Second, if the President is still alive, where has he been?  I get that he would have gone into hiding for a while in order to keep some semblance of a government going, but why resurface after 2 years?  And why send soldiers to attack Charleston rather than scout and see what was going on first?

I am glad that Tom decided to pick a new vice-president in spite of what he was told by the woman who was supposedly sent by the President.  Until he gets definite word that the soldiers were sent by the President, he needs to keep trucking along in order to maintain as much normalcy and stability as possible.  I cannot say that I am fond of how Pope spoke to him, but there was an element of truth in Pope's words.  From what the soldier said, if the Volm and rebel Skitters weren't around Charleston, the soldiers would not have attacked.  I also get that Pope is frustrated that his people are dying without being told what is going on.  That being said, there are times when it is best that information be kept compartmentalized, particularly with the mole in Charleston.  The fewer people who know what is going on, the less likely it is that the mole will get the information that he/she needs.

I hate how much Matt is going through.  He has Crazy Lee shot very close to him and he sits by her on her deathbed.  That has to suck.  I know that every kid in this new world has to grow up very quickly, but that doesn't make it suck any less.  I have to admire how composed he was through everything.  He helped keep her calm and did exactly what he had to do to help.  The only thing that confuses me is that I thought that last week Tom told him that he had to go to school, but this week he said that he wasn't going.  Did Tom change his mind or is my memory just faulty?

I am definitely with Maggie where Hal is concerned.  I understand that he is freaked out about what is happening to him and I get that he is a potential danger to everyone if Karen continues to control him, but he does need to stop and think first.  Unless he knows for sure that he is the mole, he needs to just calm down and not talk too widely about what is going on.  I do think he should tell Tom or Weaver, just so that they know.  The only problem with telling them is if they decide that he needs to be locked up for the safety of Charleston or something.

For most of the episode, I was honestly wondering if Anne was imagining what Alexis was doing given the fact that no one but Anne was around when Alexis did things.  She was definitely stressed enough about what is going on that she could be imagining things.  Can't say I blame her for being mad at Tom and Lourdes, but she does have to understand that she does sound a little crazy without any proof.  Then they showed the preview for next week with Dr. Kadar talking about alien DNA and I start to wonder if maybe she isn't imagining things.  If she isn't, then all of this is most likely a side effect of something Karen did to her in the season 2 finale.  The question is, what exactly did Karen do?  Whatever it is, it cannot be good.

I think that idea of the Liberty Tree is a great idea.  It is a memorial where the dead can be honored and it also reminds everyone of what they are fighting for.  I wonder if every stone holding the tree up had a quote on it or if the one stone they showed was an exception.  And the attack was quite the note to end on.  Hopefully, they'll pick up there next week.

Until then!

Friday, June 14, 2013

An Examination of the SIdes in Continuum

While watching Continuum tonight, my brother asked a good question: which side in the future is better?   You have Liber8 who is undoubtedly a group of terrorists and not good at all.  While I may admire their goals, their methods leave much to be desired.  Liber8 has killed (or will kill to be more accurate) thousands of innocents to get to a few people which emphatically makes them black hats.  Then there are the corporations.  Now, based on what members of Liber8 have said, the corporations are evil, but I don't entirely trust Liber8 to tell the whole truth.  We have also seen one or two instances of corporations doing morally questionable (at best) things, so the corporations are obviously not white hats.  However, without further objective proof, I would hesitate to say that they are black hats too.  Right now, at best we have a morally questionable group versus a group of terrorists.

Another question relates to Keira.  She is serving the corporations as a Protector which seems to put her in not the best moral territory.  However, it is obvious that she herself is a good person who honestly believes that what she is doing the right thing and does not resort to morally objectionable actions to do so.  The problem is that if a good person is defending a morally questionable or bad group, they are not necessarily doing the right thing.  Upholding a corrupt government or group is bad.  So the question is whether she blindly followed orders or if she (at any time) resisted bad orders to uphold a greater good.

Finally, there is Alec.  Given what Kellogg said tonight, Alec is definitely one of the most powerful people in the future.  We also know that Alec has been playing both sides in the future.  So where does he fall?  Is he a mole in the corporations working with Liber8?  Or is he using Liber8 to ensure that the corporations do not become too powerful?  Like the present Kellogg, his motives and actions are extremely murky.   We do know that he sent the members of Liber8 and Keira back to the past on purpose, presumably to change the future for the better.

All in all, I think it is almost impossible to evaluate and come to a decision as to which side is ultimately good or bad here.  We only have partial information and need a lot more to make an informed decision.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Review of Teen Wolf 3.02- Chaos Rising

Yet another reason *NOT* to follow Derek is presented, Stiles is robbed of a golden opportunity, and Alison is drawn back into the world she left behind...

Seriously people, y'all really need to stop following Derek and his half-baked ideas.  While I admire his desire to save Erica and Boyd, he really needs to learn how to stop and completely think his way through a situation instead of going off half-cocked.  I really want someone to tell me one of Derek's ideas that has turned out well.  I honestly cannot think of one.  He is a decent teacher, but he doesn't know a lot of what is going on and he doesn't think thing through clearly.  While I may not be terribly fond of Peter and his purely survivalist pragmatism, he does make some valid points.  Going into a closed bank in order to save two wolves who ran away while there is a majorly dangerous Alpha pack on the loose is so not a good idea.  Even Scott tried to point out that there had to be a reason that Boyd was left alive for three months.  Derek, however, refused to listen or consider the consequences and so got bit on the ass big time.  While it is partially Alison's fault for breaking the barrier, the barrier would not have needed to be broken if Derek hadn't convinced Scott to go with him.  I will grant that Derek is a decent strategic thinker, as a tactical leader, he blows.

Scott, on the other hand, is shaping into a decent tactician when he isn't allowing himself to be swayed by Derek.  Look at what he did last season to Gerard.  He managed to work with Dr. Deaton to foil Gerard's plan without any input from Derek.  I wonder if this type of thinking is part of the reason the Alpha pack wants him dead.  He is a good leader and can inspire those around him.  He is also incredibly moral and almost always manages to do the right thing even if it is hard.  Should he have told Alison before now what her mom was doing?  I can see perfectly valid arguments for both sides.  He wants to preserve Alison's good memories of her mom which is probably why he hasn't said anything.  But, by not saying anything, he is tacitly maligning Derek's name.  Not that Derek is a particularly good person.  As Alison pointed out, Derek turned several teenagers in an attempt to gain more power, so he is not exactly a white hat.  Scott is caught in a no-win situation here, and I am very annoyed with Derek for putting him in a corner the way he did.

Poor Stiles.  He has a chance to lose his virginity, and is interrupted first because he is lacking a condom (practically busted a gut laughing at the search scene) and then he comes back to the basement and finds the girl is gone.  That just sucks.  I also laughed really hard when the condom came flying out of his pocket in economics, particularly when the Coach congratulated him.  Like Scott, Stiles is shaping out to be a decent tactical thinker.  He is smart, knows how to find information, and asks the right questions (if a little late).  As I have said before, I admire how well he is sticking this out.  He is using pure guts and nerves to get through some tough experiences because his best friend is caught up in the madness.

Alison, Alison, Alison.  I totally get why you broke the barrier, but I am so not sure it was a smart idea.  Scott was getting majorly mauled by the transformed Boyd, so she stepped in to save him.  Good idea, but not the best.  Freeing Boyd and Derek's sister (Cora?) was not the smartest idea in the world.  However, since she had no weapons on her, I do think it was the best of a few bad options, so there it is.  She could have let Scott continue to fight and possibly die or she could have gone in and fought with a high chance of dying herself.  Which would you choose?

So is Dr. Deaton's daughter working with the Alpha pack or is she infiltrating them to find out what they are doing?  She protected Alison, but she also completed the barrier to lock Scott and Derek into the vault.  It is also possible that the Doctor and his daughter are playing another game entirely which requires them to work both sides of the street.

That scene where Isaac was dunked into the water was sort of freaky.  Surely there had to be an easier way to help him to remember.  Does hypnosis not work on werewolves?  And when Peter stabbed his claws into Isaac's head, I cringed.  That did not look like fun at all.

Watching Danny and Lydia chase the twins ought to be interesting.  :-)  Wonder if they'll actually catch them.  And what was up with Lydia screaming at the end?  Is she channeling something again?  That poor girl ought to charge rent to supernatural creatures who take up residence in her head.

Until next week!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Review of Falling Skies 3.01 and 3.02- On Thin Ice and Collateral Damage

It's been seven months since the events of the second season and there's a whole lot going on.  The Espheni (aka the Overlords) have a new leader as does the New United States.  We see the fallout of Hal's worm thing and we are introduced to the aliens who landed at the end of last season....

So, let's start with the aliens.  We now have 3 alien races.  The Espheni are a race who go throughout the galaxy conquering planets for their resources.  In the process they have enslaved the Skitters (what is their real name?) and the Volm (aka the aliens from the season 2 finale).  The Volm managed to escape or drive off (missed which one) the Espheni and now go throughout the galaxy helping to free enslaved planets (or so they say).  The Volm have brought new weapons which fire some sort of energy pulse and medial technology to remove harnesses safely.  They are also building what they claim is a weapon which will help to defeat the Espheni.  Oh, and we also found out that the structures like the one destroyed in the season 1 finale supposedly form a network which keeps Volm ships off of planets the Espheni have enslaved.

Yes, there are a lot of supposes and so they says there.  That is because while we know what the Volm say, it is yet to be determined if they are in fact telling the truth or if they are driving off the Espheni in order to enslave the planet themselves.  And that is a fear shared by many humans, Weaver included.  Given everything that has happened, I can't blame people for being suspicious of the Volms motives.  Tom seems to be going along with what the Volm want, which is slightly surprising.  But, as he pointed out, sometimes you have to team up with people you don't want to team up with for a greater purpose.  It remains to be seen if he is merely being expedient or if he honestly believes what the Volm are saying.

Speaking of Tom, he is the new President of the New United States.  Not surprising, all things considered.  He is Manchester's protege and is familiar with history and government.  He is also a civilian who has military experience, so he can see both sides well.  He is also well positioned to be a leader because his son (Ben) is the best connection with the rebel Skitters that the humans have.  All in all, I do not think there was really a better choice to be the new president.  Unfortunately, his new job is not keeping him from fighting and is causing him to leave Matt more or less alone at a critical juncture and Matt is reacting in a fairly predictable way (more on that momentarily).  It was nice to see that he and Anne are still together and that Anne has in fact given birth now.  The baby is a little freaky and is developing *MUCH* quicker than she should be.  So want an explanation for that.

Matt is reacting to the absence of his father by rebelling in some interesting ways.  He is finally able to help on missions, but he is also skipping school and blowing up random buildings.  Oh, and he also severely mouthed off to Anne.  On a somewhat amusing point, Maxim (who plays Matt) revealed in a tweet that he was actually told to throw in a curse word when he was mouthing off in order to get Moon (who plays Anne) to react appropriately.  Fortunately, Matt does have a good head on his shoulders and admitted what he did to Tom and then apologized to Anne.  There is hope for him yet.  I was also amused to discover that Maxim has a similar facial structure to Connor (who plays Ben).  That was good (or fortuitous) casting there.

Ben is still operating as the human connection to the rebel Skitters.  He has also found a new deharnessed girl who works with him to communicate with the rebel Skitters during fights.  Other than that, not much has changed with him.  He has apparently worked things out with Hal and is doing a good job with what he has to do.

Hal, on the other hand, is not having an easy time.  At first, the probe Karen inserted into him paralyzed him from the neck down for some reason.  She claims that it was because he was fighting it.  Now, the probe has confined him to a wheelchair.  The issue is that there is nothing physically wrong with him.  He can walk around (and does to meet Karen when he is asleep), but when he is awake, he can't walk.  I am wondering if this is a psychosomatic thing or if the probe is actually doing something.  I was definitely annoyed when he accused Maggie of sleeping with Lars, but I wonder how much of that was because he is frustrated with being stuck in a wheelchair.  Hopefully he'll stop being an ass soon.

Weaver is definitely wary of the Volm.  He seems to hesitantly trust the rebel Skitters because of Ben, but he does not fully trust the Volm.  I wonder if he is going to be to Tom what Tom was to him: a voice to challenge and critically examine decisions.  That would be an interesting dynamic change.  I was definitely surprised when I saw that Tom created a plan to use Weaver's column as bait to trick the Esheni into leaving the gate to the power plant unguarded.  It was obviously with Weaver's complicity, but it was still surprising.  I saw a ruse of some sort coming, but I did not expect Tom to do what he did.  Was it necessary?  Yes, it was.  But it was still surprising.

And Karen is the new Overlord for the Esheni.  Given that she was the human representative of the previous Overlord, I am not surprised, but that is not good news.  She knows Tom, the 2nd Mass, and humans, so she will be able to use psychological warfare like the Esheni could not before.  I suspect that leaving the harnessed and changed kids to guard the inside of the power plant was her idea.  She knows that humans will hesitate before killing kids, and they did.  That was an impressive move on her part.

I have to wonder who the mole is.  It could be Hal, but there are some things which militate against him being the mole.  When Manchester was shot, he was (supposedly) at Anne's bedside waiting for his half-sister and when the mole went through the plans, Hal was (apparently) with Tom and his group.  There is no definite proof exonerating Hal, so we'll leave him as a suspect for the moment.  All we know for sure is that the mole knew Manchester (witness Manchester's reaction when the mole entered his office) and the mole has access to military weapons.  I would also suspect that it could be Tom's aide, Ben, or the new deharnessed girl.  Both Ben and the girl could possibly be controlled through the spikes on their backs, and in that case they may well be unwitting moles.  Tom's aide was known to Manchester too, so that would not be terribly surprising.  Given what I have heard, I expect to know the identity of the mole by episode 8 which has been described as a game changer (not in those words though).

Until next week!

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Review of Teen Wolf 3.01- Tattoo

We're back and 4 months have passed.  The Alpha pack have shown themselves, Jackson is gone, and the gang is in the thick of things.

Let's start with the light, fun stuff and then move to the heavy stuff a little later.

Scott managed to become a junior and has become quite studious.  Loved the different ways he managed to use the word "ephemeral" in the episode.  He has also apparently worked things out with his mom, which is cool.  She is obviously worried about him, but she knows that he will do what he must, so she is trusting him.  I do hope he is able to keep the promise he made to both her and his teacher to not let the werewolf stuff interfere with his schoolwork.  And that tattoo was interesting.  That seems to be a tattoo that Tyler really has and I liked the way that they managed to work it into the character of Scott.  His love for Allison is still an open wound and the tattoo is a reminder of what he has lost and hopes to regain.

Allison apparently spent most of the summer in Paris.  Glad to see that she was able to get away from everything and that Mr. Argent has agreed to keep them out of the supernatural world.  Unfortunately, being a friend of Scott's means that she will not be able to stay out of it for long.  I wonder how Mr. Argent is going to feel about her being dragged back into the supernatural world.  I also wonder whether she will be dragged back into it kicking and screaming or if she will go back willingly.  I suspect that it will be unwillingly but without too much of a fuss, particularly if it means keeping Scott safe.  They obviously still care about each other as evidenced by the way they were interacting.  I loved the first meeting on the road.  They were both so unready to meet again, but they hung in there.  And the look on both their faces when the only place for her to sit was in front of Scott was quite amusing.

Stiles is also bearing scars from last year.  He is still goofy (and I hope that never goes away), but he has also gained a certain amount of maturity and seriousness that won't go away anytime soon.  I definitely prefer his hair the way it is.  The buzz cut was nice, but this new hairstyle seems to fit him well.  He is still also carrying a torch for Lydia.  Don't know if anything will come of it, but it is still there.

Lydia is coping with the events of last year by hooking up with random guys (and man was the one in her bed hot!) and not getting into a serious relationship.  I like that she is hanging in there.  Not sure if she will be involved in the main events, but given what that motorcycle rider did to both her and Allison, I suspect that she will be more of an unwitting pawn, much like last year with Peter.

So, who was our mystery girl?  She knows a lot about the Alpha pack as is evidenced by the way they were coming after her.  So, what exactly does the Alpha pack want with Scott?  Why is he so dangerous to them?  It may be more accurate to say why *WILL* he be so dangerous to them?  I wonder if his leadership traits evidenced over the last couple of seasons will somehow make him a more powerful werewolf.  I suspect that he will be a direct threat to Deucalion, possibly as a new potential leader of the Alpha pack.

Speaking of the Alpha pack, that is a nasty group.  We have the twins who can combine themselves into an uber-werewolf, the female, the big guy, and Deucalion himself.  I was seriously surprised when the twins were able to run fast enough to keep up with the motorcycle.  I know that werewolves are fast, but that sort of speed is downright scary.  Is it an Alpha thing?  Or is it an Alpha pack thing?  Also, how incredibly scary are these Alphas that they have all the animals around them running away or so scared that they kill themselves trying to run.  That was just freaky.

While I appreciate that Derek is trying to protect Scott and keep him out of the fight, I don't know if it was the right thing to do.  While he may not be the sharpest tool in the box, Scott is incredibly resourceful and very good at managing tense situations.  Derek doesn't seem to learn well.  He has always underestimated Scott and how useful he can be.  Deucalion seems to be counting on this and seems to want to get Derek to kill Scott to eliminate him as a threat.  Also, is Gerard working with the Alpha pack?  I believe that he was the one who said that sometimes it is best to get others to do your work for you.  Or was that Peter?  Either way, if either is working with them, it is not a good thing.

Until next week!