What Do You Want Metawitches to Recap Next? Take the Poll

Now that I’m done with the summer TV offerings, I’m looking ahead to my recap list for the rest of the year. The first thing I’m going to do is finish Kiss Me First, and work on Hard Sun. I’ll definitely write about Manifest, The Gifted S2, The Man in the High Castle S3, and Marvel’s Runaways S2, as they’re released.

That should leave me time to do a few other seasons of TV. There are so many options out there, that I’m having trouble choosing, so I’ve decided to find out what you all, the readers, would prefer.

The shows currently at the top of my list are Dark S1, Man in the High Castle S1, Iron Fist S2, and In the Flesh S1&2. I could also consider Midnight, Texas S2 or finishing Santa Clarita Diet S2.
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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 10: Romans Recap and Season 1 Analysis

 

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(My quick review of Castle Rock episode 10: Romans and Season 1 is HERE.)

That was an enlightening exciting disappointing season finale.

Later in this post I’ll give my favorite explanation of events, which tries to incorporate everything that happened and didn’t happen, because I can never resist a little pseudo-fan fiction writing of my own. I could tell you at least half a dozen others that I’ve made up since the episode was released. Every viewer has their own versions, just like we all had theories through out the season. It’s part of the fun of a mystery.

But I didn’t watch this show as a choose your own adventure/write your own ending show. I resent writers who try to pass off lazy writing and an unfinished story as an artistic choice. And make no mistake, that’s what creators Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason have done. They thought it would be cool to leave the ending up to the viewer, and didn’t even decide on an ending between themselves.

This show was set up as a mystery, and the payoff at the end of a mystery is discovering answers to the bulk of the questions the series has posed. That way, viewers who are matching wits with the characters and writers have closure and satisfaction. This would have been an acceptable, but still disappointing, season finale for the first season of a 3-5 season mystery series that was going to explore a complex science fiction/supernatural mystery, like Orphan Black or 12 Monkeys.

Since season 1 was advertised as a self-contained story, I call BS. They can leave questions about the nature of their universe open, but this season’s mysteries needed to be solved. They could have left us with an amazingly ambiguous but thought-provoking ending, like the best anthology series often do. But this wasn’t thought provoking. It was just flat. We’re left going in the same circles we’ve been running in all season, not contemplating some deeper philosophical truth.

For the showrunners, this isn’t a show that’s about something. This is a show that wants to stump the viewer with unsolvable, unpredictable mysteries and dazzle them with cool ideas.  I think of it as the Legion syndrome. You could just as easily call it the Lost syndrome. The creators were so busy showing off how talented they are and what huge Stephen King fans they are, that they forgot to tell a coherent, compelling season long story with a consistent through line, an earned conclusion for each character and a satisfying ending. You can’t solve the mystery because the clues purposely don’t add up.

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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 10 Review

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(This is a review. My full recap and analysis are HERE.)

After three fantastic but very different Castle Rock episodes in a row, and a season which left plot threads and secondary mysteries dangling right and left, I was looking for the season finale, Romans, to tie most of them up, and hopefully bring some of the subplots together to explain what it all means. Like a well-written show would do. Which this show has often seemed to be. But apparently that was a red herring.

Instead, what we got this week was a jumble of repeated moments from previous episodes, a sudden return to long forgotten concepts from the first half of the season, and a weak cop-out of an ending. What we didn’t get was satisfying answers to our questions or a mind-blowingly ambiguous ending.

The creators of Castle Rock have gone on record now, after the season has ended, as saying that the season was structured like a trial for the two Henry’s. The questions of who Kid is and whether each Henry is good or evil are left for the audience to decide as members of the jury. This is why episodes 1 and 10 begin with our Henry making a speech to the jury during Leanne’s final court appeal about how to determine reasonable doubt, especially in a case that will end with someone sentenced to death.

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 4: Other Women Recap

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This week, it’s Aunt Lydia’s turn. June is back under her control at the Red Center, and it’s Lydia’s job to turn willful June into submissive handmaid Offred. Her goal is for Offred and the baby to go back home to the Waterfords, so they can finish the pregnancy in the best environment for the baby. Lydia uses every punitive and manipulative tool at her disposal to break June, and continues once June is back in the Waterford home. Serena Joy and Rita aren’t spared from Lydia’s training either. Lydia is relentless, actively encouraging June toward a mental breakdown and dissociative disorder.

The main themes of this season are motherhood, isolation and loneliness, but other women is another one. Each of the women that we’ve come to know is facing a challenge this season, and they each need to decide who they are as a woman, and how they relate to other women.

Does a woman see herself as an island, only responsible for herself and her own needs? As a sister, mother and daughter, responsible for the well-being of her family? Or as a member of her community, however she defines it- the handmaids, Gilead, the human family?

Janine is doing her best to spread her love for her lost child out to her community, making her world a better place. Emily has tried to live as an emotional island, but Janine is challenging her to rethink that. Serena’s inability to have children has forced her to focus outward, but June’s pregnancy is giving Serena hope that she’ll be able to have a more intimate relationship with a child.

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Reverie Season 1 Episode 10: Point of Origin Recap and Season 1 Analysis/Review

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This episode is a nightmare. Oliver finds ways to threaten Reverie in the real world and the virtual world, and threatens Mara and Alexis besides. He’s the worst ex-boyfriend and ex-coworker ever. Both Alexis and Mara spend a significant amount of time dealing with tragic deaths they thought they’d already dealt with. And almost all of my theories and predictions are proven wrong, which is a sad, sad turn of events. The double agents and spies on this show always turn out to be low-level security guards and the like, which is no fun at all.

If Reverie gets a season 2, I hope they fill out their cast of regular and recurring characters more, and bring some complexity to all of the characters. I love the Onira Tech gang, but as it stands, Oliver is the only one who feels like a real human being with the full range of contradictory emotions and reactions. The rest of the regulars are always under control, even when they aren’t or shouldn’t be.

Mara has emotions, but she tries hard to be good. That’s why it feels so wrong to me that Mara talked Ray into shooting himself. Even when she was a down and out alcoholic, she was still a sweet, supportive teacher. Where has her mean streak been all season?

Let’s move on and find out how the writers decided to end the season, since they didn’t use any of my ideas. 😜😜

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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 9: Henry Deaver Recap

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So…The Kid’s name isn’t Matthew Deaver Jr, but he is Ruth and Matthew’s son, the alternate timeline counterpart of the baby who died in this timeline. Instead, he’s named Henry, and has lived a life that mirrors the Henry Deaver from this timeline in many ways. We were given both Kid’s memories and the other Henry’s missing experiences this episode, though not because Andre Holland’s Henry remembered them. Our Henry is exceedingly stubborn. I’m beginning to think he might never accept what he remembered in the anechoic chamber as his real memories.

And I’m beginning to think we might never find out for sure who the girl on the rooftop in the series main graphic is, though we were given some good clues in this episode. Is it Ruth? Is it the 200 year old ghost of a French settler turned cannibal? Is it Ruth possessed by a cannibal ghost? Is it some version of Molly? Or the girl who was slicing her own wrists inside the portal? Stay tuned for the season finale.

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The Innocents Season 1 Episode 8: Everything. Anything. Recap and Season 1 Speculation/Analysis

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Everything. Anything., the season 1 finale, begins much the same way as the season premiere did, with the camera floating across the fjord to give the audience a panoramic view of the beauty and isolation of Sanctum’s setting. As with the premiere, Bendik’s Halvorson’s plans are spiraling out of control and he’s trying desperately to stop the chaos. Sanctum is his kingdom, and he rules it with an iron fist covered by a velvet glove. But even on an isolated island, the past has a way of coming back to haunt you.

Live by the sword, die by the sword, as they say.

The shots of the fjord gradually transition to a montage which recaps the season, reminding the viewer where we are now and how we got here. Sohn’s The Wheel plays over the montage. It has a pretty melody and vocals interrupted by staccato silences that sound to me a lot like a record skipping. The contrasts in the song fit the contrasts in the show’s physical and emotional environment well. Every character’s life has been interrupted and rendered out of sync by the events of the season.

On a side note, John is still naked in the morning. I find it hilarious that everyone else at Sanctum is wrapped in multiple sweaters and layers from head to toe, 24/7, but they got John naked as soon as he stepped onto the island. The harem’s been deprived of a broad-shouldered specimen like him for ages and they’re going to take advantage of it. While they launder his clothes, of course. Slowly.

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