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Supernatural – S07E13 – “The Slice Girls”

CW's Supernatural

Supernatural – S07E13 – “The Slice Girls”

Men are being murdered, divested of their hands and feet while an ancient symbol is carved into their flesh. Sam and Dean are on the case but find themselves woefully inadequate without Bobby’s help. Then when Dean finds himself in the middle of an ancient ritual, dispatching the monster of the week isn’t as clear as he once thought it was. Solid episode with a wonderful glimmer of hope for later episodes but overall, predictable and on-the-nose.

Score: 3 of 5

>Spoilers<

There isn’t much to say about this episode except it was a bit gorier than the last few, not to mention the TV-14 sex scene which was intercut with a horrible murder. Points for creepy/gory esthetics, for sure.

Dean, needing to unwind during the case hooks up with a woman, turns out, she’s a monster, sorta. Bound to happen.

Supernatural – S07E13 – “The Slice Girls”

A standoff occurs and Dean is reluctant to pull the trigger.

The Amazonians were once real women but they made a pact with Harmonia and then things got freaky. Seems they mate with a man, give birth and the child takes about two days to get to 16-18 years old, then they age normally. But first they have to kill their father. Dean gets one of these women knocked up and she has a monster by him. That daughter then goes to him and tells him a sad story of wanting to escape her existence, all this a means to get close to him

In predictable fashion, a stalemate occurs where Dean is reluctant to shoot and Sam has to finish off his pseudo-niece. It’s a call back to Dean killing Amy and Sam makes no bones about it (could have done without the reminder of Amy at the beginning of the episode). While I feel this should have had more punch to it, it doesn’t really. Perhaps if they had actually let the child live, or, I dunno… the whole thing was way to obvious and bland.

However, in continuance of the empty beer bottle, we now have shifting papers which ends up showing the boys exactly what they need to solve what’s going on. Looks like we have a ghost on our hands. Of course, as Sam puts it, they want it to be a ghost of Bobby running around, so of course it can’t be him. Which means for the audience that of course it is Bobby! Yay! Let’s hope the old grouch has more tricks up his ethereal sleeves, the boys are gonna need them.

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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Television

 

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TGIF: Yes and No

There is a special place in ratings analysis for Fridays. Shows are allowed to survive at lower ratings because the consensus is no one is really watching tv on Fridays because, well, it’s Friday. Movies premier, functions occur, nightlight hops, etc. But lower ratings mean less advertising dollars, so a show needs to balance that budget between expense and profit just as closely as weekday shows.

But this isn’t a discussion about that, more like a commentary on my life as Friday is the biggest night for tv for me with four shows all airing at 8pm. What is a girl to do?

CBS CSI: NY
CW Supernatural
FOX Fringe
NBC Grimm

This is when I miss my dvr.

Well, I am not a nelson home nor do I have a dvr so what I watch has no impact whatsoever, otherwise I’d pick the one with the biggest chance at being canceled as to help it out.

CSI:NY is a pick up show, can watch any time and not lose context plus it’s got great syndication.

Grimm is new but so far good and NBC trends to have the episode online pretty quickly.

Supernatural has plenty of one-off episodes but seven seasons in the show has become complex enough that I have to make sure I don’t miss any episodes.

Fringe is very complex and you never know when something important is going to flash across screen in a seemingly innocuous moment.

As you can probably guess, Fringe wins. It’s not a show to get behind on and it’s always noteworthy to talk about. However, if there is a guest star of note on Supernatural then I might choose it over Fringe.

Of course this is just the 8pm CT slot. SyFy usually had something on at 9pm worth watching and there used to be Chuck at 7pm.

So either Friday is where great tv is dumped or according to studios I need to get my priorities straight. I vote the former.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Blog

 

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Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

FOX's Alcatraz

Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

There is a pecking order in prisons and at the bottom of the rung is the child molester and child killer. Kit Nelson (Michael Eklund) is a child killer and he’s back. If he follows pattern then Madsen and Soto have 48 hours to find him and save the life of the child he’s kidnapped. “Kit Nelson” is a much more concrete episode than the first two, a tad preachy in the middle, but definitely finding that sweet spot between cop drama and supernatural thriller. We may not be any closer to discovering the secret of Alcatraz but the ride has gotten way more interesting.

Score: 3 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

Soto tracks down Kit Nelson.

A touchy subject in film and television is the unfortunate reality of the child molester and child killer, the lowest of the low. Kit Nelson, the latest Alcatraz escapee, is one of these and he’s struck again… and apparently a cord in Dr. Soto. Garcia is given plenty to work with as his character figures out Kit is responsible and then sets out to find him, with or without Madsen’s help. Kit, for his part, is downright creepy, hitting all the right (or wrong?) notes.

What really makes this episode better than the last two is that the Alcatraz story takes a bit of a back seat. Sure, you have the flashbacks but that in itself is not unique. This could be any other procedural cop drama with a cop and civilian going after a bad guy. Hell, it could be an episode of Cold Case or Criminal Minds… but it’s not… it’s much more and it’s going to sit back and let that sink in a bit.

Among the chilling chase is a side story still trying to play Hauser as both sympathetic and a grade A a-hole. Still unsure what they are doing with his character and the episode dipped into the melodramatic towards the middle when he got into an argument with Madsen but quickly dug itself back out of that hole. I have a feeling a flashback of Hauser’s character post-disappearance is coming soon and hopefully this will clear things up for us.

Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

Kit Nelson (Eklund) holds his victim hostage.

I won’t go through the details of the plot but Soto does end up going it on his own and finding Kit and the missing kid but he’s not exactly the kind of person to take on a psychopathic killer. He is able to impart some hope into the kid to ‘stay strong’ and the boy does manage a pretty smart escape attempt. Of course the plot dictated that he get caught and a standoff occur in which Hauser pulls a Mal and shoots Kit in the head as he’s holding the kid hostage… omg… that was an almost perfectly replicated scene from Firefly “Serenity”.

I don’t know what to think of that…

Okay, mind blown, but let’s move on to the important facts we discovered from the episode. The blood is apparently not a red herring, the warden has kids (will these guys become plot points?), the doctor returned same as the psychologist, and apparently something happened to Soto in the past which made for a very non sequitur moment. What can I say, the clinical description of ‘arrested development’ was not the first thing that came to mind.

Overall a great improvement from the first two episodes so let’s hope this is a trend and not a one-off.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Television

 

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Once Upon a Time S01E09 – “True North”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time S01E09 – “True North”

The Evil Queen with Hansel and Gretel

The Evil Queen with Hansel and Gretel

The fable-twist series is starting to get to the second rung of fairytales, the ones that are recognizable but haven’t received major treatment from the film industry. In “True North” we get a spin on the Hansel and Gretel tale where the Evil Queen sends the children into the Blind Witch’s gingerbread house in order to fetch something for her. In the real world, Emma finds a pair of homeless kids (H&G) and tries to find their missing father before they get sent into the foster home. While there is a lot of nice little touches in the episode which will lead to bigger things later on, mostly the audience is treated to long speeches from Emma about how being a foster kid sucks and about what it means to find you have kids. Overall a bland episode but it does lay the ground work for some hopeful fireworks later on. Solid, but preachy episode.

Score: 3 of 5 Stars

>Spoilers<

Only a few things I really want to point out in this episode, for one, the costuming continues to be great! From the Evil Queen to the Blind Witch, this alone makes the show worth watching.

The Blind Witch

The Blind Witch

Pretty much the rest of the episode is the typical H&G story and Emma trying to find the dad of the real world kids. She is able to use the compass their father gave them to get a name from Mr Gold… who just happened to know it though pretended he had it on record as a purchase. We continue to wonder what his game is.

During her investigation, Henry asks about his own father. Emma tells Henry a lie about who he was/is because apparently he was not a very good man. She makes the dad out to be a hero so this little lie will definitely come back to haunt her… because of course it will.

The children’s father is played by X-Files alum Nicholas Lea, wonderful actor who was just on Supernatural on Friday so good to see him getting more work. He doesn’t know what to make of the news of having kids and decides he doesn’t know how to be a dad so they are on their own. This leads to many more speeches from Emma who is starting to turn into Sheridan from Babylon 5.  

In the fairy world, H&G kill the Blind Witch and retrieve a satchel for the Evil Queen who is, amazingly, grateful. She even offers H&G the equivalence of winning the lottery, but they aren’t stupid, she’s Evil, and turn down her offer. In typical Evil Manically Depressed Queen fashion she makes sure H&G and their dad are separated far apart and holds the grudge into the real world.

Oh, the satchel? Holds the infamous Red Apple that Snow White will be eating soon. Nice to see movement on that plot line.

The episode ends with a mysterious stranger showing up (at first I thought he was going to be Henry’s father so nice to see I was wrong). What does this mean for our Storybrooke dwellers? Odds are… nothing good.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Television

 

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Supernatural S07E12 – “Time After Time”

CW's Supernatural 
Supernatural S07E12 – “Time After Time”

Supernatural is one of those shows that can’t jump the shark because it made friends with the shark, served it a nice dinner, and occasionally takes it out for a night on the town. This is never more obvious than in episodes like “Time After Time”. Sam and Dean need a change of pace from their Leviathan hunting and Sheriff Jody Mills offers up a case for them. In the process of hunting a demon, Dean is thrown back in time and meets Elliot Ness played by X-Files alum Nicholas Lea. This is a time travel episode and Supernatural looks straight at the camera and says “yeah, we know” and proceeds to have fun. The required cliché jokes are underplayed, Dean makes sure to lamp shade Back to the Future and Untouchables, and the dialogue is suitably witty. This is how you do a time travel episode in this day and age.

As a bonus, there is a nice subplot dealing with the recent turn of events in the Winchester’s lives and it’s not overly emo!

Score: 4 Ratings Star

>Spoilers<

The episode starts mid-investigation, Dean disappearing into the ether after chasing a new monster. After the commercial break we discover that Dean is obsessing over Richard Roman, this season’s bad guy. Officer Mills, who is a great character, great to see her back again, gives the boys a case in Canton, Ohio. Bodies are being mummified and the witness sees a guy sucking the life out of the victims with a red light.

Supernatural S07E12 - "Time After Time"

Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and Elliot Ness (Nicholas Lea)

The red light turns out to be time travel juice and when Dean tackles the monster he’s sent back to Nov, 1944. Dean is arrested for waving his gun in public (which he does all the time in the future but only seems to get pinched in 1944?). He is then introduced to Elliot Ness played by the always wonderful Nicholas Lea. Lea underplays what could easily be an over the top character, especially as Dean starts to roll off stuff from the Untouchables movie.

That’s really the key to this episode, it’s underplayed. It’s all about a hunt, the time travel stuff is just window dressing. As Donald P. Bellisario pointed out in his audio commentary for NCIS episode “Yankee White”, if you are going to pay homage to a film so blatantly then you point it out, let the audience in on it. This way everyone can have a smile at the gag and it doesn’t feel like a rip-off. Dean references Back to the Future on more than one occasion and we realize that this character’s only frame of reference in dealing with the current situation is movies, but it’s working for him so far.

Like a dream, Dean gets to fight along side Elliot Ness. Ness, who such a strong figure in law enforcement history, is probably the only one who can call Dean on his emo-shtick and really put him in place, something that has been in dire need for at least the last two seasons.

Supernatural - "Time After Time"

Dean Winchester in 1940s era suit.

Dean also meets Ezra Moore, a tailor who reminds him a lot of Bobbie, so it’s possible groundwork was laid for future exploration. That or again they underplayed the time travel aspect by not specially pointing to the fact she is Bobbie’s ancestor. Either way, win, win.

Finally the monster is revealed to be Cronus (played by the highly charming Jason Dohring), a defunct god who has to suck the life out of ‘sacrifices’ in order to not be thrown through time. In a twist at the end they try to turn him in into a sympathetic character, he was only doing this to stay with the woman he loves and his life is pretty crappy anyway. However, it just fell flat and pointless, a last ditch effort which took a nose dive. Still, it wasn’t enough to detract from the rest of the episode.

The dialogue was amazingly crafted, the 40’s speech patterns and Dean’s wise cracks were spot on without being over done. The set design was passable (they kept the camera angles tight) but managed an awesome hunter’s kit for Ness’s car. And might I say that Dean looks mighty fine in a 40’s era suit, yum. 

Supernatural S07E12 - "Time After Time"

Cronus (Jason Dohring) is not happy.

As for Sam, he’s stuck in the present trying to figure out how to get his brother back and Mills offers her help. They find a spell to summon Cronus but they need him to be touching Dean so that he can catch a ride back. Through some dues ex machina and Back to the Future 3, Sam is able to discover a date and time the two will be together.

Cronus and Dean are pulled to the future along with a weapon provided by Ezra, and in a fight Sam plunges a stake into the god’s heart. Before he dies, Cronus tells the boys that he can see their future and it’s covered in black sludge, an ominous foretelling… but he could have been being a dick since he was dying.

Over all it’s not an arc-important episode but it sure is a fun one with plenty of laughs.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Television

 

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