Legion Season 2 Episode 1: Chapter 9 Recap

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The Monster still lurks. But who is the monster?

Our hero, David Haller, has returned to his Summerland friends and his lover, Syd Barrett, after his journey within the mysterious orb. He claims to have no memories of his time away, which he thinks was only a day, but was actually a year. His friends are now working with their bitter enemies, Division 3, to find Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King, their even bitterer enemy, who used to live in David’s head, and still might have some kind of hold on him.

Farouk is infecting people, normals and mutants alike, with a strange psychological illness that brings on paralytic catatonia and obsessive teeth chattering. Division 3 is being run by a basket-headed mutant cyborg with mustachioed female clones who speak for it. Welcome to Legion, season 2. You didn’t think things would settle down, did you?

The Division 3 headquarters has the best staff restaurant ever, so they can’t be as evil as they used to be. Everything will definitely be fine.  Continue reading

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Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 Episode 1: No Family Is Perfect Recap

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Welcome back to sunny Santa Clarita, CA! Though it’s been a long year for us, it’s only been a few hours for the residents of the cul de sac. Sheila is still chained in the basement, making do with a wooden post for a snack instead of the fresh body parts she craves. Abby and Eric are hard at work on their science project in the kitchen. Eric is putting the finishing touches on the cure formula using the method Dr Wolf taught him, while Abby searches for a live and cooperative Serbian to provide some vomit. And Joel is locked in a mental ward for a 72 hour observation period after the police arrested him at Principal Novak’s house. His hospital roommate lives with evil, sentient asparagus people who have it in for him. Given the state of my fridge, that might be the scariest concept this show’s ever come up with.

But this is the plucky, loving Hammond family, so we know it’ll all work out fine in the end!

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 15: Rise and Shine Recap

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Hale HYDRA! Hail the squid-bellied Destroyer of Worlds! Hail the Calamari Mata Hari, and the return of that silver-tongued devil himself, (former) General Talbot!

This week, we get a HYDRA history lesson and a nostalgic visit with some old friends. (RIP, Jasper Sitwell. I will always believe that someone saved you after the Winter Soldier crossed you off in the most spectacular of his on-camera assassinations.) We also discover just how deeply the misogyny ran in HYDRA.

After the Hydra background reveal, Hale takes Coulson on a tour of HYDRA and its goals as it stands today. The two leaders have a surprising amount in common, until Coulson slips and tries to give Hale orders based on his experiences in the future. Hale thinks that he’s just another male authority figure deciding that his gender makes him smarter than her, and shuts down in anger. Did they just bring us one step closer to the end of the world?

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 14: The Devil Complex Recap

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This week’s episode confronts levels and layers of fear and loathing, and the ongoing question of when the solution becomes worse than the problem. How far is too far? At what point would it be better to die with your integrity or identity intact, rather than make a deal with the devil that potentially wipes out everything you thought you were or the good you were trying to accomplish?

These questions have been a core part of the show from the beginning, both politically, with the revelation that HYDRA and SHIELD had been interwoven since the beginning, and scientifically, as the question of the appropriateness of the use of the TAHITI protocol to revive Coulson has been reflected on by many characters through all five seasons.

The question of Fitz’ and Simmons’ genius, and when they need to rein it in for the good of the world, rather than following the science to its logical extreme, has also been with the show since the beginning, and explored in a new way each season. Season 4 seemed like it should be the peak of that issue, with Fitz helping Radcliffe create murderous LMDs and perpetrating genocide and mass torture on inhumans inside the Framework as his alter ego The Doctor.

Instead, we come back around to it again this week, in an even more chilling scenario, as Fitz needs to follow the science in order to save the world, but comes close to losing his own humanity while doing so. Cooperation with HYDRA is also on the table again, this time with SHIELD as a willing participant, with the goal of saving the world from a ruthless invading enemy. And, with the appearance of a Kree in the tag, the ethics and science of saving Coulson’s life using TAHITI or another advanced method, with or without his consent, are an issue once again.

This time, Coulson’s made his feelings on the subject very clear to everyone close to him, but he and everyone around him seem to be operating based on fear as much as on logic and reason. Daisy’s powers are also an important piece of the puzzle, with the science vs fear conflict driving her story as well. Fear anomalies continue to arise, and Hale continues to send surprises the team’s way. The situation is building in emotion and suspense and the team has 1/3 of the season left, about the length of the final pod in season 4, to prevent multiple catastrophes.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 13: Principia Recap

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This week, SHIELD goes back to its roots as a spy organization, and does some legwork that the Black Widow would be proud of. It’s a quieter, more light-hearted episode after last week’s emotional roller coaster ride, but family and loss are still themes. Deke figures out who his grandparents are and remembers his beloved mom, while Mack reaffirms that he’s not going to think of Elena as a robot just because she has robot arms. In the run up to Infinity War and Thanos, the show also brings up familial abuse, both as physical abuse and as the abuse of power. Hale becomes a stand-in for Thanos, and her team, especially Ruby, become alternates for Thanos’ children.

And Werner von Strucker is back! He’s still institutionalized, but out of his Ward-induced vegetative state and being threatened with heavy doping via Thorazine. He’s also using his favored alias of Alex Braun, but his therapist seems to know his full history and identity anyway.

His therapist wants Werner to show motivation toward making progress in therapy by revealing as much information about his past as possible, so that Werner can avoid the thorazine. Werner, however, has developed powers after being trapped in a particular memory in the memory recall machine while in a persistent vegetative state, then being shocked out of the memory loop by Lincoln Campbell zapping Werner with inhuman electrokinetic powers.

Now Werner remembers everything that’s ever happened to him, and every detail of his surroundings, no matter how small. He also seems to have enhanced senses, though I’m not sure Werner realizes that yet (or the writers 😉). He read the small type on an envelope in the trash from across the room, and heard the other side of a phone conversation through a wall. That’s not normal hearing or vision, and may be part of why he’s so out of control. Both hypersensitivity and psychic powers have a long tradition of driving people mad until they get a handle on their powers.

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Hard Sun Season 1 Episode 3: Luke 21:25 Recap

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In this episode, society and individuals continue to unravel. People don’t need confirmation that the Hard Sun files were telling the truth, they instinctively know that something’s going on, and that this is the explanation. But Elaine didn’t release all of the science, so everyone is turning to other realms to explain what’s happening. Hard Sun graffiti is becoming ubiquitous, with “What is Hard Sun?” joining “Hard Sun is coming” all over London. Bargaining and questioning are joining anger and denial as the characters work their way through the stages of grief and dying.

Episode 2 touched on the Hard Sun Truthers, who believe that there’s a scientific explanation and want it released. This episode begins to explore the religious and philosophical ramifications. Hard Sun is beginning to take on the guise of biblical prophecy. Through a delusional serial killer, a stubborn priest, and the Old Testament story of Job, it explores the ways religion rationalizes catastrophic events that happen to the masses, and bad things that happen to good people. Religious motifs dominate the episode.

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Hard Sun Season 1 Episode 2: One Thousand, Eight Hundred Days Recap

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The overt theme of episode 2 is protection of loved ones and how that’s best accomplished. Do you tell all and keep them close? Do you keep secrets and keep them at a distance? Do you lose hope and give up on life? Do you become so overprotective that you’re willing to cross any line to protect your own?

Do you stick your head in the sand and pretend the crisis isn’t happening for as long as you possibly can?

That’s the choice of most of the British people, as Elaine has the Hard Sun story published, but MI5 quickly has it debunked as a hoax. Elaine and Charlie are now relatively safe, but left with the underlying theme of the night, paranoia. The paranoia theme is really the stronger theme, since Elaine and Charlie don’t trust each other, Charlie’s family life is strained, Daniel is spiraling again, Grace continues to stalk them, and there’s a new serial killer on the lose, inspired by the Hard Sun story.

The cinematography is very Hitchcockian, with odd camera angles and shadows that distort people and make locations look sinister. Elaine and Charlie spend a lot of time looking sideways at each other, instead of straight on, slyly trying to determine if the other can be trusted, or if they can get away with their next lie. There’s a strange glow to the light, reminding us at all times that the Hard Sun is coming, and the changes have already begun.

The villain of the week looks like Harry Potter’s friend Hagrid gone bad, grimacing insanely at everyone he encounters. He even goes to Hagrid’s isolated cottage in the country. We’re reminded that a friendly giant turned into a scared, violent ogre is only the beginning of the troubles ahead.

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Travelers Renewed for Season 3 by Netflix Exclusively- Showcase Is Out

 

Well, that’s new. The long awaited press announcements officially confirming Travelers’ season 3 renewal have finally come through, but with a twist. Travelers will now be produced exclusively by streaming service Netflix, instead of as a joint production between Netflix and the Canadian TV network Showcase, as it had been for its first two seasons. The delay in the official announcement might have been due to working out the details of the divorce. Travelers is one of the most binged shows on Netflix, but must not have had the ratings Showcase wanted to see. Presumably Canadian viewers will still be able to watch Travelers on Netflix.

More details on season 3, including Eric McCormack’s Twitter announcements, after the jump.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 12: The Real Deal Recap

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The 100th episode is here, and the showrunners went for an emotional episode that tugs on the heartstrings of longtime viewers, rather than loading this installment up with cameos from every past cast member they could get to show up. Mike Peterson, who played such a big part in the pilot and in season one, returns for the episode, and Hive gets a cameo, remembering longtime cast member Grant Ward/Brett Dalton. But most importantly, the focus is on SHIELD as a family, facing their fears together, and on upcoming major life transitions for the Agents of SHIELD, including birth, death, and marriage, making this a satisfying episode no matter what the show’s fate is at the end of the season.

The cold open begins with one of Fitz’s dwarfs scanning the technology storeroom after the explosion has died down. It looks like the bomb site that it is. The dwarf spots bloody three-toed footprints (from Vrellnexians), the remains of the beacon and a black robed figure. Also, this, which has been blown into the Marvel Universe from the Dr Who Dimension:

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Hard Sun Season 1 Episode 1: The Sun, The Moon, The Truth Recap

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My review of season 1 is HERE.

Hard Sun is the code name for a secret government file of documents that show the progress of a world-wide extinction level event occurring over the course of the next five years caused by changes in the sun. It’s also the code name for the event itself, which is already underway. Though there will be graffiti all over London that reads “Hard Sun Is Coming”, that’s not really true. Hard Sun is already here.

The government doesn’t want you to know that, though, and they’re willing to kill to keep the secret for as long as possible. Hard Sun, the TV show, begins with a government agent reading the Top Secret file in her office, her face turning ashen as she understands its implications. She is Grace Morrigan (Nikki Amuka-Bird), MI5 agent and one of our major characters.

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