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Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Review of Vampire Diaries 4.20- The Originals


I definitely liked this new episode.  As the pilot for a new series, it was definitely intriguing.  Since it is a backdoor pilot with not a whole lot from our regular crew, this will be a somewhat different review.  Not entirely sure how yet, but it will be....

First off, I love the world of New Orleans here.  It is decadent, sensual, and no one hides.  I think that will make things very interesting because everyone will be able to move around freely.  New Orleans has rich cultural history that would lend itself well to the series.  I also love the idea that we (hopefully) will be able to see how Klaus and Marcel turned New Orleans into the city it has become.

Marcel is an interesting character.  He was sired and taught by Klaus which means that he is as devious and manipulative as Klaus is.  He is definitely something of a sociopath and a complete control freak.  I so want to know how he controls the witches.  Did he really find something that lets him know when they cast magic?  Or is he somehow bluffing them?  It is also possible that he had something at one point, but no longer has it.  I am sincerely curious about him.  He can't kill Klaus unless he somehow manages to get his hands on the stake, so he can't really stop Klaus from doing what he wants unless he can use Hayley and her unborn child as leverage somehow.

I am fascinated by the brotherly link between Klaus and Elijah.  Elijah so wants to help Klaus become a better person, but that ain't gonna happen unless Klaus wants it to happen.  Was Catherine right?  Is she really like Klaus?  If so, then having the child and heir may cause Klaus to calm down somewhat.  The problem is that he can be utterly unpredictable.  He can be completely cool one minute and then (literally) tearing your throat out the next.  Unfortunately, he has been somewhat neutered on the show, so by moving him to a new location, we may get a bit of the old Klaus back, which will be nice.  Can Klaus overcome his paranoia and work with Elijah?  And how on earth does Rebecca come to New Orleans?  The other question is who (or what) will be the new Big Bad on TVD with Klaus gone?

I am not sure how I feel about the pregnancy.  I like it because the whole idea of a hybrid-werewolf hybrid is intriguing.  Not sure how this child will be different or special, but I do want to find out.  On the other hand, there are a million different ways that a bay storyline can go wrong, so I am a little worried there.  I just want to be sure that the show will use the baby properly.

Overall, I think I will like this show.  While there is potential for it to go oh so very wrong, I am really hoping the Julie and the writers can pull this one off properly.  There is also nice crossover potential between the shows and should they ever want to, they can bring Caroline down to New Orleans as a love interest for Klaus.

Back in Mystic Falls, we got to see the Salvatore brothers with Elena.  Will she crack first?  Or will they?  And how long will Catherine stick around?

My Review of Arrow 1.20- Home Invasion


Oliver makes a choice so Diggle splits, Tommy makes a choice and splits himself, and Roy makes a choice and Thea doesn't split....

Sometimes it seriously sucks to be Oliver.  He promised Diggle that he would help capture Deadshot and he promised Tommy that he would help look after Laurel.  So what does he do when these two promise conflict?  Does he help Diggle who is generally there for him?  Or does he follow through on his personal mission and try to get Tommy's trust back?  That is what we call a major dilemma.  Ultimately, Oliver chooses to help Laurel and Tommy so as to follow through on his personal mission.  Was it the right choice?  That is a hard call.  Thinking about it dispassionately, helping out Laurel and Tommy makes a great deal of sense.  Diggle can take care of himself and would be in a location where there would be trained agents.  Laurel and Tommy, on the other hand, are not trained and would be going up against an assassin alone.  Also, there is the fact that defending the people of Starling City is Oliver's personal mission, so doing what he did followed that.

The problem is that Oliver was faced with 2 unpalatable options, so he chose the one with which he could most easily live.  There was also the personal angle to consider.  Oliver wants Tommy to trust him again, and to do so would require helping Laurel.  I do think Diggle had a point when he said that Oliver would always help Laurel, but I think he was wrong in this case in and so far as it was not *ALL* about Laurel.  Breaking a promise to Diggle was not good and opened a rift that will take a while to heal.  The only (possibly) good thing about this rift is that it may give Roy a chance to come in as the new sidekick.

I want to be annoyed at Diggle, but the fact that I get where he is coming from makes that extremely difficult.  He has a right to be upset and angry.  After all, Oliver did make a promise to him and then broke it to save Laurel (again!).  Part of the problem is that Oliver's quest to protect the whole city has taken precedence time and again over Diggle's more personal vendetta.  Is that right?  The answer to that question depends on how you view the good of the many versus the good of the one.

I so want to know how Roy is going to find out about Oliver and if he plans on telling Thea, because that would be more than just a little interesting.  I was highly amused at the lengths to which Roy would go in order to find the Vigilante.  And now that Thea is going to be working with him, I have to wonder how the search will go.  She was so shocked at the body in the morgue, when/if she finds out that Oliver is the Vigilante, will she be able to handle it?  I suspect that Roy will have an easier time handling the situation if only because he is accustomed to the grey moral choices whereas Thea is more of a black & white girl.

I am definitely annoyed at Tommy.  I was glad that he unbent enough to realize that Oliver's house would be the safest location to go given the fact that Oliver is the Vigilante.  I am also glad that he seemed to accept Oliver's word that Oliver was not going to chase after Laurel regardless of his personal feelings.  What I am annoyed about is the fact that Tommy broke up with Laurel because of a future possibility.  First, Laurel would have to find out about Oliver and Oliver is doing everything in his power to avoid that possibility.  And second, would Laurel really choose Oliver if she did find out?  It is possible, but Tommy's reaction was more than just a tad overdone.

Until next week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Review of Vampire Diaries 4.19- Pictures of You

Elena continues her reign of terror until the unstoppable force meets an immovable object, Elijah makes a decision that annoys Klaus, Rebekah struggles with a challenge, Bonnie sees dead people, Matt is surprised by someone, Caroline receives a surprise visit, and the brothers Salvatore meet Silas.

Unstoppable force (Elena Gilbert) meet immovable object (Bonnie Bennett).  Guess who wins?  Yup, if you guessed our resident witch, you are correct.  Elena tries to attack Bonnie twice and both times Bonnie smacks her down something fierce.  I am not sure why Elena tried the second time (actually I am surprised she tried the first time) given the fact that Bonnie is an incredibly powerful witch from and ancient and powerful witch line.  And now that she is using Expression, she is even more powerful.  She has been able to stop vamps more powerful than Elena before, so Elena never stood a chance.  Although the sneaking up from behind was not a bad option, even if it didn't work.  So hoping Bonnie never goes Dark Willow, because that would be very, *VERY* bad.

Unfortunately for all involved, Silas has appeared to Bonnie in the form of Jeremy (in a tux no less!) in order to get her to drop the veil so that he can be reunited with his love.  And we got to see Silas' real face after several fake faces.  Tonight we saw him as Jeremy, Rebekah, and Stefan, and he appeared to Stefan as Damon.  I thought that maybe Tyler was actually Silas, but apparently not.  And Bonnie appears to be ready to consider dropping the veil in order to get Jeremy back.  Side note: Why on earth did Bonnie's blood cause Elena to projectile vomit it right back up?

Watching Rebekah and Matt together was kind of cute.  These two are actually not bad for each other if she can remember to be a decent human being.  I get why she was reluctant to heal April given that it would be using a vampire ability, but (as Matt pointed out) using her blood to cure April was actually a good, human thing to do.  I think Matt was overly harsh to Rebekah even if he did have a point.  She has never really done anything for anyone's good other than her own, so I can see why he would not necessarily think of her as a good human.  I do wish he could have found a nicer way to say it though.

I am actually glad Elena stole Caroline's dress because that new dress she wore was gorgeous and I think she looked so much better in it (although she was stunning in the original dress!).  I was definitely giggling at her attempts to keep herself from kill Elena who sorely deserves it at this point.  I really hope that the brothers can keep Elena locked up long enough to avoid damage to other people because she is going to be one incredibly pissed off vampire when she wakes back up.

Next week is the backdoor pilot to the Originals.  Looks pretty cool.  Until then....

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Thoughts on Glee 4.18- Shooting Star

I don't normally do reviews on Glee, just a commentary on the music, but this special episode is really deserving of more attention, so that is what I am giving it.

First off, when I heard that Glee was doing a guns in school episode, I was worried because Glee can be uneven and their track record on serious subjects is a little iffy.  That being said, I think this episode was very well done and fit nicely within the framework of the Glee universe.

The best school shooting episode I have ever seen was One Tree Hill's (see my review of it at http://bab5guy-tvreviews.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-review-of-one-tree-hill-episode-316.html) and so a comparison between that episode and this one are pretty much inevitable.  They are obviously very different (if only because of the tones of the shows themselves), but there the comparison is valid and understandable.  My one complaint is that Glee did no buildup for this episode in prior episodes.  There was never really a hint that Becky was so scared to confront the real world that she would bring a gun to school, so that was very jarring.  One Tree Hill was much better at providing a build-up of sorts that made Jimmy's actions understandable.  That said, I do love how the episode resolved everything by the end.

I have to admire what Sue did and love that it was perfectly in character.  If Sue was going to give up her career for a student, it would be for Becky or another student with Downs.  Let's face it.  What Becky did was stupid, but it was a mistake and no one was ever in real danger.  She was feeling insecure about the future and thought the gun would protect her.  She never threatened anyone with it and never did anything that would have purposely brought harm to another student.  So when Sue lied to Figgins and said that it was her gun, I thought it was one of the most heroic things that Sue has ever done.  Sacrificing oneself to help another is one of the highest forms of love and Sue showed that she had that.

The quiet scenes where they showed everyone in lockdown were among the most intense scenes I have ever seen.  From Brittany in the bathroom to Sam freaking out to Artie getting the members of New Directions to tape messages to Tina freaking out because she was outside to Marley's mom alone in the cafeteria, it was perfectly done.  No melodramatic music, just complete silence except for the shuffling of feet and the noises from the hallway.  It felt so confining and so suffocating that you couldn't help but hold your breath to see what was going to happen next.  There was no escape from what was going on.  It seriously reminded me of the BtVS episode "The Body" in that you had no where to go to escape what was going on.

The storyline about Ryder and Katie was a little weird and felt a little out of place in this episode, as did the storyline about Brittany and the "meteorite".  I think that they were meant to provide some relief from the seriousness of the rest of the episode, but it was definitely jarring when we went from one to the next.  I was hoping that they would reveal who has been communicating with Ryder, but that hasn't happened yet.  I will say that I thought maybe Ryder was going to go off because of what was happening (and hence be the shooter), so I was pleasantly surprised when he didn't.

Overall, I was impressed with how well Glee pulled off this episode.  Despite the disconnect between the shooting storyline and the other storylines, I thought this was well and thoughtfully done.

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Review of Arrow 1.19- Unfinished Business


An old enemy returns, Tommy reaches a crossroad, Diggle learns something new about Oliver, and we see how Oliver learned to shoot....

Oliver so needs to learn how to control his temper or he is going to start losing people.  He snapped at Felicity and that is not a good thing.  I get that he is stressed about the Count, Vertigo, and his club, but still there was not a good reason to go off on Felicity.  To his credit, he did seem to realize what he had done because he promptly took a breath and finished calmly.  He also went of on Diggle, this time with a certain amount of justification.  Diggle is right when he said that Oliver should know about personal vengeance being consuming, but Oliver was also right to feel a wee bit betrayed by Diggle.  He did need Diggle's help and Diggle was not there for him.

Unfortunately, Oliver has also lost Tommy- at least as a business partner.  Whether or not he has lost Tommy as more than that, we'll have to see.  I hope not because given the fact that Mr. Merlyn is the Dark Archer, should Tommy happen to let slip Oliver's secret identity in a fit of pique, things could be *VERY* dangerous.  Tommy was right to feel a wee bit betrayed.  He has been trying so hard to change for Laurel and to be a better man and Oliver is not giving him credit for that effort at all.  Was Oliver right to be suspicious?  Maybe.  But Oliver, of all people, should know that a person can change as a result of their circumstances.  I do think Tommy is overreacting a bit when he quit, but it is hard to blame him.  I think it would have been better for him to have gone home and thought it out and see if he could work out something with Oliver.

A new and deadly version of Vertigo is seen and man, does it set Oliver off.  Not surprised that he suspected the Count of being in charge of everything still.  I know that I never expected the new ringleader to be the Count's doctor.  That was a wee bit surprising.  Reverse engineering a potent drug and then making it even more potent?  Man, that is not a good thing.  Was impressed with the way Oliver shot him despite being dosed with Vertigo.  And then we had the interesting question.  Where does the Arrow draw the line when it comes to killing?  He has no compunction if the person is failing the city, but interestingly, he did not kill the Count.  Given the Count's obvious insanity, sparing his life did make sense.  I just found it interesting.  While does not follow commonly accepted morality, the Arrow has his own very strict code of conduct and morality.

Detective lance again manages to mess his relationship with his daughter, albeit in a strictly temporary way.  I am glad that he felt bad enough about everything to be apologetic while serving the search warrant.  That is growth.  And Laurel knows it, so she is willing to be very lenient, which is a good thing.  Now if only she can get her dad to accept her choice of boyfriends.

Lao Fei's daughter trained Oliver how to use the bow.  Interesting.  That exercise of slapping the water was odd and I am not entirely sure how it accomplished what it accomplished.  My guess is that he built up the muscles slowly, but I could be wrong.  Anyhow, he can now draw the bow, so he just needs to learn how to aim.  Wonder how long that will take him.

Until the 24th!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Review of The Vampire Diaries 4.18- American Gothic

Elijah reappears, Elena becomes serious, Klaus is seriously messed with, and the brothers get a rude awakening....

Wow, Elena has certainly changed and is seriously channeling her inner Katherine.  At this point, pretty much used to the idea that she is fairly impulsive as emotionless Elena, but last night she stepped beyond impulsiveness and into sociopathy when she simply snapped that woman's neck because the brothers wouldn't promise to let her be and not give up on the idea of using the cure on her.  That was about as cold as it gets, ladies and gentlemen.  What I do find interesting about it though is the timing.  She just finished with Elijah, who has spent centuries trying to help Katherine change with no success, and I wonder if maybe (just maybe!), she has decided to spare the brothers that.  Now, it could be simply that she wants them to stop so that she doesn't have to keep fending them off, or it could be something else in her (a residual feeling or something) that is forcing her hand somehow.  I find it interesting and curious.  If compassion is so essential to her basic nature, is it possible that that compassion is, in fact, forcing her to act in a certain way in order to keep her humanity turned off so that she doesn't have to feel the pain of Jeremy's death?

The Salvatore brothers are now in a serious bind.  They don't want to give up on Elena, but at the same time, they don't want another Katherine on their hands.  And Elena is dangerously close to hitting that Katherine territory.  Also, Stefan is getting tired of repeating the same mistakes with Damon over and over.  Damon wants to cure Elena even if it means that he loses her.  Are we headed towards some sort of area where they both are willing to give her up?  If so, that could be even worse in its own way.  What they need to do is focus on an immediate goal and quit trying to plan for the future.  They keep trying to make future plans and deals and these plans never work out, so they just need to give it up and focus on some immediate goal.

Silas really got into Klaus' head.  Either he never stabbed Klaus last week, or he did but there was no residual wound (unlike what Klaus thought).  Imitating Caroline to twist the knife just that much further was a wee bit on the mean side, but understandable.  So far, Silas has only shown himself as someone who has died.  My question is if he can imitate anyone or if (like the First from Buffy) he is limited by the dead.  Technically, Caroline (as a vampire) is dead, so there would be no contradiction here.  If he is limited in this manner, than we can be assured that certain people (Matt and Bonnie for example) are safe from being copied (for now).  If not, then everyone is suspect and paranoia reigns.  It seems like Tyler is able to come back now if he wants to.  The question is will he or not?

Loved having Elijah back.  It was interesting watching him with Rebekah and Katherine.  He so wants to get his Katerina back that he is blind to who she is.  I wonder if she is serious about wanting to change or if she is just saying that in order to get him to help her with Klaus.  I sort of want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but she has so not earned it yet.  I want to believe that she can change if given the chance, but I have yet to see her do anything that was not in her own best interests, so I remain skeptical.

Until the 18th!