Quick Review of The CW’s Containment: Entire Series

 

Containment- Sabine, Jake, Lex, Katie, Jana*With this post, we’re beginning a new series of posts, called “Quick Reviews”, where we do short reviews on older series and films that we wouldn’t normally review. There are so many great older shows out there, that we’ll never get around to fully recapping, but we still want to recommend.*

Containment was a limited series which ran for 13 episodes on The CW in the spring and summer of 2016. Like all CW shows, it now lives on Netflix. Because it aired during that odd time of the year that isn’t a traditional TV “season”, Containment didn’t get much attention at the time, and had mixed critical reviews. (Metawitches wasn’t around yet.) Metamaiden and I both thought it was a fun show, for the subject matter, and brought some things to the table that we rarely see when a plague is the main subject.

Containment, based on the Belgian series Cordon, was developed for The CW by prolific showrunner Julie Plec, of The Vampire Diaries fame. She and David Nutter both served as executive producers. It starred David Gyasi as Major Alex “Lex” Carnahan, Christina Moses as Jana Mayfield, Chris Wood as Officer Jake Riley, Kristen Gutoskie as Katie Frank, Claudia Black as Dr. Sabine Lommers, George Young as Dr. Victor Cannerts,
Hanna Mangan-Lawrence as Teresa Keaton, and Trevor St. John as Leonard “Leo” Greene.

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Why Does Metawitches Keep Writing About Diversity and Violence Against Women When I Just Want to Read a Recap?

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Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

Because life is political, so is entertainment, and so is our blog. Because we know that the creators of the shows that we love can do better. If no one points out where the issues lie, how will they know where they need to improve?

We live in the real world, where mass media has an effect on people’s attitudes. It’s important to examine closely exactly what we’re being shown and what messages are actually being delivered. It’s the only way that change happens.

Whenever we start analyzing how a show is doing in regard to its male/female ratio and other forms of diversity, and compare how characters from different demographics are being treated, we are always met with the response:

But aren’t the male (and white) characters being treated the same way as the women?

This is where attention to detail becomes important, plus the ability to count, and the ability to distinguish between a named character and a background character. When we’re discussing violent acts, this argument is frequently made, because there will be so many more men running around on screen than women that, of course, in raw numbers, more violent acts are happening to men than women.

Let’s break this situation down.

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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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Travelers Season 2 Episode 12: 001 Recap

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This episode ends another season of Travelers, and mirrors season 1 episode 5, Room 101, with the team’s friends and loved ones being held hostage and abused this time. The companions receive more humane physical treatment from Vincent/001 than the travelers did, but he’s out to destroy their relationships and peace of mind. That way he can make a quick escape while the travelers are distracted with the crisis he’s created. We’ll have to wait for season 3 to find out if 001/Vincent’s plan allows him to get away with hiding in plain sight, and if the companions can forgive the travelers for lying to them.

The cold open consists of a videotape recorded by MacLaren at ops in which he confesses to being a traveler:

“Seven months ago my consciousness was sent from the distant future into the body of Special Agent Grant MacLaren, moments before he would historically have died in the line of duty. Since then I have assumed his life, his work, his marriage, pretending to be a man very different than myself. In truth, I am traveler 3468, one of thousands of travelers around the world who have come from a time when life is all but wiped out, to save humanity. To change the path. I know how that must sound, especially to you, Kat, but it’s true.”

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Travelers Season 2 Episode 11: Simon Recap

 

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This episode we delve further into Simon’s back story and his research with Vincent. We also find out a little more about what Vincent is up to in the present. The travelers search for Vincent with Simon’s help, and things come to a head in their personal lives. MacLaren brings Dr Perrow in on a plan to capture Vincent.

We start the episode at the 2012 gala where original MacLaren and Kat met Vincent, which Vincent mentioned to traveler MacLaren when Mac questioned Vincent. It’s a silent auction, and Kat tells Grant that there’s no way football tickets are worth that much. But it’s for the children!! He runs into Vincent as he steps away to get them another drink.

Vincent stops to chat with Kat, assuming she means that she endowed a research chair when she says that she donated a chair to the auction. Still socially awkward after 11 years in the 21st. Kat explains that she means a literal chair, which doesn’t have any bids yet, so they take a walk over to look at it.

As they approach, Vincent is mesmerized by the series of Simon’s drawings displayed next to Kat’s lovely chair. She informs him that the drawings were done by a patient at the hospital. Visibly moved by the sight of his lost home and people, Vincent buys all of them.

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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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Travelers Season 2 Episode 8: Traveler 0027 Recap

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This episode is a big one for the season and the series, with the trial and vindication of Grace/0027, the rushed discovery of the real traitor programmer, the dismantling of the quantum frame (for real this time, it appears), and our first peek at the face of God the Director, through the almost forgotten super secret two-way communication that Ellis made possible.

It’s a lot to pack into one episode, so let’s get started.

The episode begins with the Faction on vacation in the country, taking full advantage of the opportunities now available to them in the 21st century. The team is observing the rebels and their lakeside cabin hideout, while Phillip uses some fancy new software to establish TELLs for the two guards who are easily visible. As they’re overwritten to become travelers, a third rebel comes around the corner, ready to shoot, so that one has to be killed instead of overwritten. MacLaren sends the two new travelers into the cabin, where they force the three rebels who are eating lunch to surrender. Why fight when it would make you spill your delicious 21st century soup?

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