Helstrom Season 1 Review

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Marvel’s Helstrom is about a dysfunctional family with certain issues that run in the family. These issues are serious and sometimes spread to those around them, so various authorities and agencies have been involved with the family for decades. Thanks to these interventions, the younger members of the family are doing better than their elders. The kids struggle with a weaker version of the same issues, though, which can become harmful to those around them if everyone involved doesn’t keep their guard up.

What are the Helstrom family issues, you ask? HIV? Or perhaps alcoholism/drug addiction leading to violent abuse?

Not exactly.

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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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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 9: “dammit” Recap

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In episode 9 the characters brush off their failures and recreate themselves, weaving new legends that fit the past and future as they prefer to see it. Meredith wakes up in Katherine’s motel room, but her loyalty is still to Burt, so first she tries his latest version of events on for size, in trade for Katherine’s location. Katherine has other plans for the evening, since it’s her and Bash’s anniversary. They remember the past and take care of unfinished business.

Burt chooses to believe Avron’s version of the duffel bag story, which implicates Matty. This is probably because he perceives Matty as a Joel loyalist, having been gone for the last 2 years of Matty’s Burt worship. This is not a wise decision on Burt’s part, especially combined with the easily dismissed lies he tells to Meredith.

The old man is slipping. Or self-destructing. Either way, the romances are over in this episode.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 6: For Love of the Archipelago Recap

Reprisal S1Ep6 Joel and Matty Argue

In this episode, the owls go to war and Meredith becomes a mouse. Queenie brings Burt back into the fold, where he does exactly what Joel has always known he’d do. Joel sends Lyla to safety with Rita, but not before she meets Katherine at Bash’s house. Katherine also stages a meeting with the Phoenixes. Mixed messages and miscommunications abound.

We learn once and for all that Reprisal takes place in an alternate universe, in which many of the male characters fought in the Archipelago War and are still suffering from PTSD. Molly was a field nurse in the war and also saw things that left her traumatized. She’s probably not the only woman on the show who was affected by the War. Virtually every character has been affected by some war, whether it’s the Archipelago War or Burt’s gang wars or the unnamed, continuous wars that constitute domestic violence. Growing up surrounded by the Brawlers or the Ghouls equals growing up on the edge of a battlefield.

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Four Weddings and a Funeral: Season 1 Review

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Four Weddings and a Funeral was a 1994 romantic comedy film directed by Mike Newell, written by Richard Curtis and starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell. This is a review of the 2019 Hulu miniseries created by Mindy Kaling and Matt Warburton which reimagined that film. Richard Curtis was one of the executive producers on the miniseries and Andie MacDowell appeared in the show, so the Hulu version has the blessings of the original creators. While the miniseries is an homage to the original film and Richard Curtis’ other romantic comedies, it’s not a direct retelling.

Four Weddings and a Funeral: The Miniseries is its own original creative entity which uses the framework established in the movie of a group of college friends who meet up again in London over a period of years at, yes, four weddings and one funeral, to tell its story. But the story it tells is more of an updated Jane Austen mash up than a new Richard Curtis film. It’s sort of Bridget Jones Diary and Clueless meet Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 5: The Tiniest Battle Recap

Reprisal S1Ep5 Katherine, Earl & Percy

Episode 5 of Reprisal is both a character study and a turning point. We learn who all of the main characters are, at their core, and where their true loyalties lie, before Katherine Harlow makes her return to Brawlers territory and sets her revenge in motion by sowing a little chaos. Her tiny battle has the effect she expects and by the end of the episode, Bash has sowed much more chaos and likely incited a war.

Recap

We begin with a flashback to a young, wild-haired Joel as a Phoenix. Johnson is also a laughing, chatty Phoenix. The biggest surprise is that the third Phoenix, who already has her embroidered jacket, is Lyla’s mother, Rita. The 3 River Phoenixes pull up in front of an establishment which belongs to a rival gang, strut in and start a fight for no apparent reason, then come out less than 5 minutes later, with Joel and Johnson injured. Rita tries to stop the bleeding in Joel’s abdomen. He takes the opportunity to tell her he’s in love with her.

As Matty says, fighting breeds loyalty amongst the gang members. But why has Johnson been a Phoenix for so long, while Joel rose to the top of the heap? Johnson never complains, but he never says much of anything, period. The Brawlers give him a purpose and a life, if not exactly a home. It’s a life that largely keeps him and Joel separated, but lends consistency to the Phoenixes. Were they both in love with Rita, or was there some other major falling out between them? Or is Joel doing him a favor by leaving him a Phoenix rather than promoting him?

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 2: A Flintlock & A Hound

Doris Finds Her Guys & Witt Wrings His Hands

The title of episode 2, A Flintlock & A Hound, refers to an old-style gun fired by striking a spark from a flint and a traditional type of hunting dog. In other words, the hunt is on, and the hunters are armed and ready. Doris is searching for the best crew to act as her backup when she confronts her enemies in the Banished Brawlers. Big Graham is framed by Molly and Doris and thus on the hunt for revenge. Individually and as groups, the Happiness Ghouls and the Banished Brawlers are hunting for a lot of things, most of them conflicting. Joel is definitely trying to maintain the status quo, but he’s not getting any help. The hunt for peace is never an easy one.

Recap

The episode begins with a major piece of Ethan’s origin story. Late one night in Detroit, several weeks ago, Ethan prepares to leave work at Doris’ restaurant. As he says good night to her at the bar on the way out, they’re both mocked by the last customer, an obnoxious redneck. The bartender informs the redneck that it’s closing time. The customer continues to argue and insult the staff before he stumbles outside, shoving Ethan as he leaves.

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Hulu’s Reprisal Season 1 Review

Reprisal

This is a review of the entire season. Recaps of individual episodes are posted HERE as I complete them.

Hulu’s new retro noir series Reprisal is a unique show filled with unique characters. As such, it deserves a spot in their pantheon of shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Runaways which highlight complicated characters in fictional worlds that just keep improving the more involved the viewer gets. Altered Carbon is on Netflix, not Hulu, but it’s another show with a similar viewing experience, where it takes several episodes for the characters and the world to click into place and the plot to really take off. Then the viewing experience just gets better and better, as we’re plunged into an immersive world, where everyone has an agenda and anything can happen.

Reprisal takes place in an alternate universe that’s not set in a particular time period, but isn’t the future. It’s set in a neon swingers’ punk gangster scene that combines the look of the late 1940s- early 60s Rat Pack with a few more modern conveniences like 2000s flip phones and 70s muscle cars. It’s gorgeous and lives by its own rules, as this show does in every way.

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 1: Night Recap

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We’re back for season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale in Gilead with June and the gang, since June selfishly nobly didn’t escape in the season 2 finale. She stayed to rescue her first born daughter, Hannah, who had ordered June to try harder to be her mother just a few weeks before the escape attempt. June sent baby Holly/Nichole safely to Canada with fierce mama bear and dragon slayer Emily, knowing that she could trust Emily with the life of her child.

June also stayed in Gilead to help the Resistance, so that all women and girls could be safe from rape, torture and murder. Even if she can’t get Hannah out, she can try to make a better place for her to grow up in. Most of the people in June’s life take a while to understand the sacrifice she’s made. Serena is inspired to make a big change in her own life, as well.

Recap

The season opens with the standard reminder of what’s come before. Season 2 ended with June handing Baby Holly Nichole to her fellow handmaid Emily, and telling her to call the baby Nichole. Then she sent her younger child to safety in Canada, where she knew her loved ones would take care of her. Having fulfilled the promise she made to Holly before she was even born, that she wouldn’t grow up in Gilead, now June turns away from saving herself and toward her older daughter, Hannah. She made Hannah a promise, too, a promise to try harder.

In season 3, June will try harder.

June prays for safe passage for Nichole and Emily as she runs away. She worries that Nichole won’t know her or forgive her if they ever meet again. But, she’s at peace with her decision. “I’m sorry, baby girl. Mom’s got work.”

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New Trailers: Marvel’s Runaways, Syfy’s Deadly Class, Captain Marvel & More

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12/7/18: Added Avengers: Endgame trailer.  12/8/18: Added Umbrella Academy trailer. Also, added Emergency Awesome’s breakdowns of  the Marvel film trailers, including his ideas on the Spiderman: Far from Home trailer (no footage from trailer, but it was shown at Comic Con in Brazil).

Christmas has come early this week for trailers, with Marvel rumored to be on a spree and Syfy putting out 2 more trailers for their new show Deadly Class, which starts January 16th.

Before we get to the trailers, let’s start with the new poster for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. It is so exciting to see her flying around, all powerful and lit up like Thor! You never realize how much you need to see something until you get it.

Glorious.

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