Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 10: 994 Cars Long

Snowpiercer S1Ep10 Layton Till & Ruth

In episode 10, we reach the end of Snowpiercer’s season 1 revolution. The train hasn’t completed a full revolution across the Earth’s surface this season, but maybe we’ll make it the rest of the way in S2. S1 began with Snowpiercer somewhere between Alaska and Vancouver, BC, CA, then followed the train down through South America. It ends as the train approaches its own Mile Zero in Chicago. The train slows down and marks this moment on every revolution, because it’s where the passengers lives were saved but at the same time many, many other lives were lost.

It’s also where Melanie pirated the train from Mr Wilford more than 7 years ago. This is their first time passing through Chicago when everyone on the train knows it. As First and Second are mired in post revolution chaos, Third and the Tail enjoy the freedom to slow down and explore the entire train, rather than just struggle to survive. But a few Wilford diehards haven’t given up hope that their demi-god is alive and out there somewhere.

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Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 9: The Train Demanded Blood Recap

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In Snowpiercer’s penultimate episode of the season, the train’s class war ends and power is transferred to a new regime, but not before more intrigue and tragedy occur, turning the tables around and then around again. Layton and the engineers pull off a daring feat to win the day. It’s a tightly constructed episode that’s one of the best of the season.

Recap

Melanie gets the opening voiceover:

“I thought I could let him go. Over time, with miles traveled, I thought I could strip Wilford away. Shed his rules one by one, and finally, his mask, until he was just a logo on the wall… I thought I could create a kinder, gentler world, but the train demanded otherwise. The train demanded blood… I fed her. And now they will. Until we reach our final destination, everyone the same in pain and doubt. Holding our losses close, on Snowpiercer, 1,001 cars long.”

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Hanna Season 2 Episode 2: The Trial Recap

Amazon Studios, Prime Video, Christopher Raphael

Episode 2 finds Marissa working at an office in Paris while keeping Hanna stowed away in an apartment and making plans to move her permanently to Canada. Shockingly, Hanna makes other plans.

Carmichael brings Clara to The Meadows. She reconnects with Sandy and Jules and figures out exactly who pointed Carmichael toward her mother. With her name changed to Clemency, 249/Clara observes her new environment and takes action, then observes some more. Terri and Leo both step in to help her adjust to her new life.

Jules and Sandy sink deeper into their new personas while also soaking up their political and tactical training. Sandy learns that she enjoys acting as a big sister to the other girls, while Jules delves into literature and philosophy that asks questions about society and identity.

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Hanna Season 2 Episode 1: Safe Recap

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Hanna, the series based on the 2011 film of the same name, returns for its second 8 episode season on Prime Video. Season 2 picks up not long after the end of season 1 and follows Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) and her new sister, Clara (Yasmin Monet Prince), as they try to survive on their own in the Romanian forest without Hanna’s adopted father, Erik (Joel Kinnaman).

S1 Big Bad Marissa (Mireille Enos) is still involved with Utrax and is soon brought back into Hanna’s orbit. She’s also asked to consult in the new school that the rest of the Utrax trainees have been taken to, where they undergo socialization training so they can blend in when deployed as assassins. The trainees are given new identities and carefully managed by John Carmichael (Dermot Mulroney), the director of The Meadows, and his team of operatives.

While S2 still has plenty of action and movement across Europe, it’s focus is on the characters’ struggles with their identities and finding (or holding onto) their places in the world. S1 introduced us to Hanna when she was new to the outside world, as she struggled to make sense of herself  and the urban forest environment she was plunged into, while wars were fought around her and over her.

In S2, Hanna understands her own abilities and history, at least according to Erik’s perspective. Now she’s discovering for her herself how she might fit into the world outside the forest. Marissa goes through a similar struggle as she continues to dig deeper into the truth about Utrax. She faces more decisions about what she’s willing to live with and what she needs to fight for. 

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 10: The Horpus Horrendous Recap

Reprisal S1E10 Queenie & Katherine

In episode 10, the final episode of the season and series, the characters come to terms with who they are and the choices they’ve made, then meet their fates head on. Katherine and Burt have a face to face meeting. Joel and Bru have a violent confrontation with Jukes and the Ghouls over a high stakes hostage. Matty learns the truth about Ethan. As suspected, Johnson figured it out a while ago.

Recap

The finale opens with a flashback to Katherine Harlow’s memories of Burt returning to the family home after a long absence. 12 year old Katherine stands in front of the house as it burns down. Burt set fire to the homestead and murdered their abusive, alcoholic father. With their father’s blood still on his hands, Burt convinces Katherine to come join him and the Banished Brawlers at the Bang-A-Rang, where she’ll be loved and find her true home. 

Cut to many years later, when Burt, Bash and Joel dragged Katherine behind a truck for miles and left her for dead, while framing her for betrayals and murders she didn’t commit. Katherine lies in the grass, unconscious, bloody and bruised. This is the act that began the series.

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Movie Review and Analysis: I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things * 2020 * Rated R * 2 Hours 14 Minutes

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things focuses on a young woman whose name changes throughout the film, so she’s billed as “Young Woman”. We’re introduced to her as Lucy, so I’m going to refer to her as that, because I hate it when major characters are treated like objects. Lucy is played by Jessie Buckley, who was amazing in the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries Chernobyl last year (2019) as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, the pregnant wife of a firefighter with severe radiation exposure.

Lucy has a newish boyfriend, Jake, played with understated creepiness by Jesse Plemens of Black Mirror: USS Callistor and Breaking Bad. Plemens is good at what he does, making it hard to separate the actor from the character. Plus, for attentive viewers, the first glimpse of his character shows him watching Lucy in the street from a 2nd floor window, with some strange, mumbled dialogue playing in the background. The sinister stalker vibe is established immediately.

An elderly man (Guy Boyd) is seen from the window first, who then turns into Jake. Before long, brief scenes of the elderly man working as a janitor in a high school where the musical Oklahoma! is rehearsing are intermittently inserted into the main storyline.

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Time Travel TV Comparison: Dark vs 12 Monkeys vs Travelers

A reader requested that we write up a compare and contrast review between 12 Monkeys and Dark. Now that all of the Dark recaps are done, we thought we’d do that, and add in Travelers, the other fan favorite time travel show around here.

All 3 shows premiered and completed their runs between 2015 and 2020. They are all anchored in the present day, but also take place in the future and the past. They all deal with dystopian futures which the main characters want to prevent using time travel and the knowledge of events they’ve gained through time travel and advanced technology. All 3 also have ensemble casts that include time travelers, their handlers and mad scientists, though the groups tend to be fluid- almost everyone will time travel or have a good idea eventually.

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Dark: What Did It All Mean? Thoughts on Season 3 and the Ending

Dark S3Ep8 Jonas & Martha Disintegrate from Bridge

Because of the odd structure of season 3 of Dark, there were several ideas that I wanted to write about that didn’t fit into any of the recaps. I’m going to discuss some of the ongoing metaphors and and plot points here that I couldn’t easily explain in my regular posts without spoiling future episodes or making the final recap overlong.

Reader beware- spoilers for all 3 seasons and 26 episodes of Dark ahead!

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Lovecraft Country Season 1: Review

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Now that I’ve finished recapping the German time travel nightmare that is Dark, let’s move on to the quintessentially American nightmare that is HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The series is adapted from Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, which takes place in 1950’s Jim Crow America, emphasizing the competing horrors of racism, trauma and monsters of pure fantasy.

The “Lovecraft Country” of the title is a pun, referring both to scifi-fantasy author HP Lovecraft’s non-human creations, which are referenced sporadically, and to his racist, xenophobic and misogynist beliefs, which permeated both his writing and mainstream America at the time. Lovecraft Country is an intricate dance competition between metaphorical, cinematic and human monsters. It’s not always clear who wins, but the people of color definitely fight for their lives, on every level.

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