Midnight, Texas: Who Killed Creek? Could It Be Fiji?

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In the shocking ending of  Midnight, Texas, season 2, episode 6, No More Mr Nice Kai, Manfred discovered that his once and possibly future girlfriend, Creek Lovell, was dead. Creek left town at the end of season 2, episode 1, Head Games, in order to go to college and find the peace of mind and personal safety that eluded her in Midnight. She came back to Midnight in episode 6 because she thought Manfred needed her and she missed him. Instead of being allowed to return to her new life, she was murdered.

The last time we saw Creek alive, Kai discovered her in the hotel, searching for Manfred. The next time we saw her, she was a ghost. She was able to speak to Manfred, but she quickly burned up and was forced to move on to the next plane of existence. The fire started in her throat, probably to stop her from speaking.

The normal way that ghosts move on to the next plane is to disappear. They become gray smoke, which then vanishes. This is how Lyric moved on. We saw it frequently in season 1. The only other ghosts who’ve disappeared in fire, the way that Creek did, were Bruce and Carolyn, the married couple who’d owned the hotel in the 50’s, who we met in episode 2. Fiji used an ancient spell to send them on their way, which required the bones of the dead, sage, and a goat’s heart. The flames burned the ghosts in the same order that they burned their bones. In the case of Bruce and Carolyn, that was bottom to top. Carolyn was able to give Manfred a message, “There are secrets behind the woods,” because her head and neck were the last parts to go.

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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Finale: Did June Betray Rita and the Marthas by Staying in Gilead?

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In the season 2 finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, June chooses to stay in Gilead rather than escape with her baby daughter, despite several Marthas and others having risked their lives to help her and Nichole. This has become a controversial choice with the audience. I’ve seen many commenters who feel that June was selfish to stay behind, because the Marthas had taken serious risks to get her and the baby out. Some people think that the Marthas will feel angry and betrayed when they find out that June didn’t leave. Since even major outlets were shocked and disgusted by June’s choice and agree with the judgement that it makes her selfish, I’ve decided to address it in a separate post from my already extra long recap/analysis.

This is a complex issue. First, calling June selfish for sending one child to safety but giving up her own chance at freedom so that she can try to save her other child and work with the Resistance to save more people, is blatantly ridiculous and misogynistic. What would be selfish is saving herself without a thought for the other people it would affect, which is what the Marthas expected her to do.

Second, June didn’t ask the Marthas to get her out. She owes them now that her baby is hopefully free, but she wasn’t required to take them up on their offer, since she didn’t request it in the first place. Even if she requested it, she would have been allowed to change her mind. Her life and her children’s lives are the lives most at stake in an escape attempt. If she wasn’t comfortable with what was happening, she had the right to change her mind. After all of the uproar about the rapes in this show, are people now saying that June doesn’t have the right of consent to the escape plan that others devised for her and her children? That’s insane. Hannah and Nichole are the most innocent victims, and as their parent, June’s first responsibility is always to them. She has the right to consent to the plan or not, and to withdraw her consent if needed when conditions change. Which they did, when she saw that she could send Nichole to Canada with Emily.

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Travelers Season 2: Review, Analysis and Speculation

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Updated 7/18/18- What/Who Is the Director, Really?

We made it through another season! Season 2 of Travelers had its ups and downs. Whereas I would have given season 1 an A+, I’d only give this season a B+. There were improvements in some areas. The female characters weren’t treated with as much misogyny, and the show had some stellar cinematography. The cast continued to be amazing, and the new additions kept up the quality. The production values of the show look and sound great, especially considering the size of their budget. It’s the writing that needs to be given more attention next season.

We learned intriguing new aspects of the mythology, but we also went around in circles, repeating the same kernels of information over and over, rather than continuing to reveal more about life in the future and how time travel works. The showrunners say that they don’t intend to have the series physically go to the future because the travelers are trapped in the 21st, but that’s a cop out.

They can still give us a clear picture of the environment and culture that the characters are coming from, explain the Director clearly, and give sensible explanations for their theories of time travel and consciousness transfer, then stick to those rules. Otherwise, the show runs the risk of retconning and contradicting itself every time they think up a new storyline, which is death to serious science fiction.

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Metawitches Guidelines for Spotting Misogyny vs Female Equality in Entertainment and Media

This is the basic list of questions we ask ourselves while consuming media to help us determine if we’re seeing women being treated fairly or not. It’s not a yes or no checklist, or an easy, one sentence test, like the Bechdel test. But then, Alison Bechdel never meant for her test to become a widely used standardized instrument. This test requires some thinking about what you’re viewing. Misogyny is often subtle, and it’s pervasive. It’s easy to miss with one, casual viewing, but the message still gets into our heads and affects us.

That’s why these are guidelines, rather than a test. Some of these answers will be subjective, and reasonable people can disagree. We’re talking about art and the interpretation of art, after all. It also takes practice to start seeing things like camera angles and positioning, rather than letting it fly by. Hardly any of us can always spot gaslighting, especially when it’s being done by the writers and producers instead of the characters. These guidelines are just aspects of entertainment to keep in mind while viewing, to become more aware of what you’re seeing.

I (Metacrone) started working on this list in the late 80s, and it’s slowly grown. It’s still a work in progress, just like the entertainment industry. There are very few works that would pass every question with flying colors. Figure out how much you can live with watching, and the level that makes you take action. It’s okay to just watch and enjoy the show sometimes without feeling guilty, too. But, the more you can recognize the issues with entertainment and speak out, even if it’s only to one person, the more of an effect we all have on the entertainment industry.

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Riverdale Analysis: Betty Cooper- Hitchcock Blonde and Object of Obsession

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Who is the Black Hood and What Does He Want with Betty?

At the beginning of the season and the Black Hood storyline, Archie and Veronica each wondered if the Hood was targeting people close to them, because Archie was connected to the victims and Veronica tends to assume her father is connected to most crimes in Riverdale, unless she’s given proof that he’s not.

Those assumptions turned out to be red herrings, and we soon discovered that the Black Hood is obsessed with Betty Cooper, who is a Hitchcock blonde, as Jughead told us last season. Polly and Alice are also Hitchcock blondes, and the Hood has some interest in them as well, but Betty’s virgin status, overall goodness and sleuthing abilities specifically seem to make her the object of the Black Hood’s desire.

The shooting of the Sugarman (assuming he was actually shot) takes away most of the suspicion that Betty’s stalker is an imposter. There’s a “romantic” side to the Hood’s obsession. He’s giving her gifts, being extremely possessive, and is inspired by her sexual purity. That sounds like someone who wants to own her. He’s attempting to use his favors and crimes as rewards and punishments to train her into submission to him.

A Hitchcock blonde is the kind of tall, icy blonde that Alfred Hitchcock favored for his leading ladies. The characters were independent, mysterious, duplicitous, and unexpectedly passionate. They were often objects of obsession in his films, and of Hitchcock’s personal obsessions in real life.

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More on GYNX the Play

 

 

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A homeless teen lesbian, a prostituted girl, an underground
abortionist, and a child porn survivor are recruited into
a rapist castration plot by a mysterious woman named
Gynx. Men go into hiding, and their operation makes global
headlines. But when Gynx’s true motives are revealed,
the group is forced to question whether
they are truly on the side of justice.

We had notes that we didn’t have room for in our review of GYNX by Alicen Grey, so, in the spirit of an “outtakes” post, here are some more thoughts on the play:

In some ways, the play reminds me of Disgraced, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by Ayad Akhtar about the dehumanization of Muslim men in America. Disgraced showed us that stereotyping and racism can lead to the exact dangers that the dominant culture is afraid of. Its characters were realistic people, but they were also stereotypes and symbols. GYNX uses the same method with its characters and story.

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Dear Evan Hansen Rants: Why Does Evan Lie? (part 1)

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In the musical Dear Evan Hansen, the title character, a depressed, anxious, socially awkward teenage boy named Evan, spends much of the show living a lie. Evan convinces the family of a classmate who took his own life that Evan and the other boy, Connor, were friends, even though they barely knew each other when Connor was alive.

Many viewers seem to think that Evan is selfish and manipulative, and that he purposefully lies to Connor’s family, the Murphys, and others in order to take advantage of everyone else and use them for his own purposes. I completely disagree with that interpretation. I think that the show makes it clear to us that Evan is not the user in the show – the users are the people who push him into going with the falsehood that the Murphys assumed to be true. Evan’s fellow students Jared and Alana, and Conner’s parents Larry and Cynthia, whether intentionally or unintentionally, guilted, pressured, and scared Evan into continuing the lie.

At a certain point, Evan did fall into perpetuating the lie himself, and become a more confident participant, but he never initiated any of it. And – most importantly – when going along with the lie will help the Murphys find comfort, Evan does. When it will only harm them further, he tells them the truth. That’s how we really know what his true motivations were, even regardless of how active a participant he was in the lie: he lies to help the Murphys; then he tells the truth to help the Murphys.

Before we go any further, let’s establish some facts about the show, and some of my opinions that have bearing on the conclusions I’ll be drawing here.

  • Alana is a flat-out narcissist, while Jared is an everyday bully. Neither value the truth, only furthering their own interests. The difference between them is that Alana is ambitious about it and takes control of situations while Jared just takes whatever opportunity is in front of him in the moment.
  • Larry and Cynthia are grieving parents who don’t want to believe that the note that they think is all they have left of their son is really some stranger’s creation, and don’t let Evan tell them otherwise. They dismiss him as being in shock. Evan does tell the truth in the beginning. They don’t want to hear it.
  • Zoe, on the other hand, is very doubtful of the lies Evan tells and, rather than insisting to him that the truth is false, she points out all the flaws in his accounts, like she’s searching for falsehoods in it. Or has an analytical mind that sees straight to the truth, which is my belief.
  • Evan has a natural tendency to try to make people feel better. He does this both because he’s a genuinely good person and because he’s so uncomfortable with social situations that he tries to keep everyone around him from getting upset and putting more pressure on him than he already feels.

Continue reading “Dear Evan Hansen Rants: Why Does Evan Lie? (part 1)”

Dear Evan Hansen Rants: Evan and His Mom

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Ooohkay, I have a lot of thoughts on this show, which is funny because I have a lot of issues with it but I also have a lot of meta about it. Who knows how many parts to this there will be. Whichever part comes first will have a hint of some other parts of my analysis, because no piece is complete without the rest, but I’d have to publish a novel to do it all at once. To start, here’s my analysis of one of the most crucial relationships in the show – Evan and his mom, Heidi.

When the world sees Evan’s “Dear Evan Hansen” note*, thinking it was Connor’s suicide note, they’re horrified by how badly it implies Connor’s parents treated him. But those were Evan’s words. What does that say about Heidi? Heidi is the only one, besides the Murphys, who knows it was Evan. And it makes her realize how distant she’s been. She has the same reaction that the rest of the world had towards Connor’s family, but towards herself. As the “you are not alone” line from You Will Be Found plays after Alana shares the note, images of the letter and people’s reactions to it swirl around, and Heidi is briefly in the center of it, looking up at the images. We’re seeing her react to it, really seeing her son for the first time since his father left. She’s being confronted with how far she’s wandered from being the parent she’d intended to be, and how much that’s hurt Evan.

A person’s childhood and parenting shape who they are. Examining Evan’s mother and father, it’s clear how he ended up with the issues he has. Heidi is so exhausted and overextended from working hard just to keep herself and her son afloat and trying to get them a better life by going to school that she doesn’t have anything left for Evan emotionally. Understandably, she needs him to be okay so that she can focus on work and school. In many ways, he is her whole world. Everything she does, from spending so much time at work, to going to school, to looking for ways to get Evan into college, is for him. She is trying. When she hears about Connor’s suicide, she’s concerned about Evan’s reaction to it and tries to reach out to him. She asks him regularly if he still has enough pills and reminds him and encourages him to do the assignments his therapist gives him. She loves him dearly and is doing the best she can, and it’s not her fault that she’s only human and can’t be everything Evan needs.

That said, she also isn’t doing as well as she could. She hasn’t set aside a regular night, perhaps every Saturday or Sunday night, for them to have dinner together. Instead, as Evan points out, she randomly takes nights off without asking him or letting him know about it beforehand and expects him to drop everything and spend time with her.

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The Women of Riverdale: Character Analysis

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Penelope Blossom

Penelope is cunning, devious, calculating, and cruel, a true Blossom through and through. She also was a loving mother toward Jason and a loyal wife to Clifford, as far as we can tell, until he was revealed as the murderer. Even then, she seemed to have divided loyalties between Jason and Clifford.

Jason’s death broke her, but was she broken before that? Why is she so abusive toward Cheryl? Projected self-hatred? Why didn’t she suspect Clifford of Jason’s murder? Did she know about the drugs? It would seem that she did, because she knew that Cliff arranged for Hiram’s arrest.

Cheryl is the only family member she completely despises, which suggests that Cheryl may not actually be her child. The possibility remains that one or both twins were born using a surrogate’s eggs, with Mary Andrews being the most likely candidate. Alternatively, Cheryl may be Clifford’s child from an affair, born around the same time as Jason, and brought home by Cliff to be raised with Jason as his twin. That would explain Penelope’s hatred.

I’m still half convinced that everyone in town is a distant Blossom relation. It would explain a lot. Only the favored branches still own a piece of the syrup/drug business, and there are resentments about old and new slights all over the place. Given that the Blossom men do seem to be cursed to early deaths, the women have to be the ones in the family with the real power. That would leave Penelope at the center of that extended family web, as the new head of the syrup business. I suspect that she has some connection to every Blossom feud, curse, and scandal ever.

Continue reading “The Women of Riverdale: Character Analysis”

Riverdale Season 1 Analysis and Review and Season 2 Speculation

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Overall, this has been a great season on Riverdale, with a complex overarching plot and characters. I’ve enjoyed recapping it and keeping up with all of the literary references, which added a fun depth to the show. I now jump every time someone makes a reference on any show I watch, and assume it will have importance that spans the rest of the season. This doesn’t always pan out.

The cast are all amazing, especially Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Mädchen Amick, Skeet Ulrich, Madeleine Petsch, Marisol Nichols, and Luke Perry. They all dominate the scenes they are in. Even though Fred Andrews is one of my least favorite characters, Luke Perry is still a great actor. All of these actors, and many of the others, have given their characters mystery and nuance, even if they didn’t necessarily get much screen time, in the case of some that I didn’t list, like Ashleigh Murray, the actress who plays Josie McCoy.

The Gothic strand of the show’s story seems to be over, but I hope they keep the Noir aspect for the entirety of their run, and add in other genres to explore. This show would be so much less interesting if it was just about a group of small town high school kids. The creepy otherworldly atmosphere, the dark, seedy Noir lighting, Jughead’s voiceovers, read as if from a murder mystery novel that’s steeped in his existential alienation, and the costumes and sets that seem to be from someplace frozen in time, are all what make this show feel so unique.

Continue reading “Riverdale Season 1 Analysis and Review and Season 2 Speculation”