Book Review: When I Was You by Minka Kent

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When I Was You, by Minka Kent, begins with the story of Brienne Dougray, a woman who is recovering from a brutal attack which has left her with severe migraines, memory loss and neurological issues. She is so disabled and traumatized that she almost never leaves the Queen Anne Victorian home she inherited from her wealthy grandparents. To compound her difficulties, she’s inexplicably lost all of her friends since her attack, leaving her with only her boarder, handsome and compassionate Dr Noah Emberlin, to depend on when she needs care.

Niall is a somewhat mysterious figure himself, an oncologist at the local hospital who also seems to have few friends and sends Brienne decidedly mixed signals about what he wants from her. Is he a friend who pities her and gets carried away sometimes, so his attentions are easily mistaken for romantic? Or does he have feelings for Brienne, but thinks he should hold back because of her health status?

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Book Review: The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall

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The Names of the Dead, by Kevin Wignall, is a road trip spy thriller in which everyone is hunting everyone else, everyone is a soldier or a spy, and the goals are revenge and silence. The point of view character, James Wesley, an ex-CIA agent known as Wes, begins the book in a French prison, where his government abandoned him after he took the fall for a deadly mission gone wrong several years earlier.

Wes has 2 years left on his sentence when he gets word that his ex-wife, Rachel, who was also a CIA agent, has died in a suicide bombing at a small cafe in Spain. This saddens him, but the shocking part of the message is that their son, Ethan, is missing. Rachel didn’t tell Wes that she was pregnant when he went to prison and has never contacted him since. Now he learns that he’ll be released early because of his bereavement, since he is his son’s next of kin.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 3: Rip City Dicks Recap

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In episode 3 of Stumptown, Dex decides to go legit as a PI, so she convinces a respected local investigator, Artie Banks, to take her on as an apprentice. Hijinks ensue. Miles investigates the murder of Grey’s former crime partner, Jack Feeley, which leads him straight to Grey. Grey decides to come clean with the crime bosses about the money he owes them, but it’s not as simple as he hopes it will be. In Stumptown, nothing ever is.

Recap

Episode 3 opens on Dex in the waiting room of iconic local PI Artie Banks, staring at the framed Detective Quarterly magazine cover that says he’s an icon. His bored secretary tells her that Mr Banks will be upstairs soon. Dex allows herself an un-Dex-like moment of hopeful fantasy and imagines herself and Artie as partners in a 1970s TV detective show, Rip City Dicks, complete with her in a sassy white jumpsuit, a funky soundtrack, and great fight choreography.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 3: 2 MG CU BID Recap

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In episode 3 of Emergence, Piper develops a mysterious illness which forces Jo to deepen her investigation into the mystery surrounding her foster daughter. She’s led to a tech corporation, Auger Industries, and its head, Richard Kindred, played by Lost’s Terry O’Quinn. Ed also has a follow up appointment with the oncologist, while Alex tries to sort out the airband radio frequency.

Recap

The episode begins in the early morning, with Jo listening to clicks and beeps on her computer that she tells Alex are sounds she recorded from the pirate airband radio frequency. He offers to use some pattern recognition software to help her figure out what the sounds mean.

They move on to discussing how long he’s going to stay at the house. He’s still worried that the family is in danger, but Jo is worried that Mia will get confused and start to think her parents are getting back together. When Mia comes downstairs and remarks on how nice it is that they’re all together, Alex sees Jo’s point and says he’ll leave today.

Jo goes upstairs to wake up Piper, who’s supposed to go to work with her, since Ed has an oncologist appointment. Just before she wakes up, Piper has a nightmare that the bedroom door knob disintegrates and she’s trapped in the room. Jo discovers that Piper has a fever and leaves to get the thermometer.

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Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 3: Fear Response Recap

 

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Episode 3 of Prodigal Son begins with a nightmare, as all of Malcolm Bright’s days do, but this one is particularly memorable. More on that later.

The episode improves for him, as he has an exciting murder case to solve that involves one of his psychology idols and a unique MO. His mother, Jessica, has also discovered that Malcolm is seeing his father again and she goes to great lengths to disrupt their relationship, as she has with both of her children since Martin’s arrest.

If he weren’t such a notorious psychopath, and she weren’t such a dedicated single mother, the steps she’s willing to take in order to keep her children and husband from speaking to each other might make you suspicious.

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 2: Missed Connections Recap

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Episode 2 of Stumptown, Missed Connections, explores how Grey and Dex became best friends instead of romantic partners. It also provides background on a part of Grey’s past that he’s ignored for years, which is now coming back to haunt him. After the pilot focused on Dex’s time in the military, PTSD and lost love, Benny, this is Grey’s chance to be seen as more than just an amiable sideman.

The story of Grey and Dex’s hook up 6 years ago, his past as a felon who did time for Grand Theft and the return of his partner in crime in the present day to draw him back into a life of crime runs parallel to Dex’s case of the week. She’s hired by a bar patron, Alan (played by Jay Duplass from Transparent) who wants her to help him find a woman he fell in love with at first sight, then lost. It turns out that the woman, Katrina (played by Zosia Mamet from Girls) is a con artist caught up in a life she can’t escape on her own. Katrina’s crime partner, Megan (Megan Le) is still very much in the picture and not okay with losing her business partner.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 2: Camera Wheelbarrow Tiger Pillow Recap

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This week on Emergence, the truth about Piper begins to be revealed to Jo and the people around her. As the title suggests, all she, and we, learn are little tidbits that are as confusing as they are intriguing, and right now the pieces don’t fit together. Jo is still figuring out what kinds of puzzles she’s trying to solve, though she knows that there’s more than one puzzle.

There’s the mystery of the strange technology, the mystery of the orphaned girl, the mystery of the electromagnetic/zero gravity anomalies and the mystery of who’s hunting all of the other mysteries down and trying to cover them up. There’s also the mystery of the strange pattern that appears on tech screens and Piper’s tracker, but Jo isn’t aware of that one yet.

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Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 2: Annihilator Recap

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In episode 2 of Prodigal Son we learn that the chemistry between Malcolm and Edrisa is real and he really needs this job to help keep him sane. We also learn that though sane might be a relative term where Malcolm and his family are concerned, that’s what makes him really good at what he does. He’s trying to solve a mystery within himself while he’s solving murders and the answers could save him or end him. Dear old Dad is no help whatsoever, but it’s fun to watch him torment his son, who can’t quite stay away.

Did I say fun? I meant creepy as H*ll. This was a freaky episode, with snakes and poison and Michael Sheen doing his best Chucky impression. Poor Malcom actually had to get tucked into bed at the end, it was so distressing. Thankfully, it wasn’t by either of his parents, at least not in the present day. They only tuck him into bed in his night terrors.

OMG, did they kill Kenny at the end of 9-1-1?

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Stumptown Season 1 Episode 1: ‘Forget it Dex, It’s Stumptown’ Recap

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Stumptown is ABC’s highly anticipated new show starring Cobie Smulders as Dex Parios, an unorthodox private investigator in Portland, Oregon. Dex has a chip on her shoulder and deep roots in the community. Unlike many TV and film private detectives, she’s not afraid to show a little vulnerability, though she’s also suffering from PTSD due to her 5 tours in Afghanistan. She’s new at the PI game, so she leans on her military experience, local contacts and well-honed instincts while she’s learning the tricks of the trade.

The show is created by Jason Richman, based on the the graphic novel series of the same name by Greg Rucka, with art by Matthew Southworth and Justin Greenwood. Stumptown also stars Jake Johnson as Dex’s best friend, Grey, who owns the bar Bad Alibi; Cole Sibus as the younger brother with Down Syndrome who lives with her, Ansel Parios; Tantoo Cardinal as Sue Lynn Blackbird, who runs the Native American casino where Dex frequently gambles and runs up a debt; Michael Ealy as police Detective Miles Hoffman, who encourages Dex to become a PI and is a potential love interest; Camryn Manheim as police Lieutenant Cosgrove, Hoffman’s boss; and Adrian Martinez as Tookie, a food truck operator and one of Dex’s sources of unofficial information.

Recap

The episode begins at the end, with a couple of thugs driving Dex’s car while taste testing coffee. This is Portland, after all. Dex is locked in the trunk. She gets the upper hand by spraying the thugs with a fire extinguisher, then climbing into the front to fight both of them while the car is still moving. Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline plays over it all.

I haven’t figured out yet whether Dex is a little bit psychic and she’s unconsciously controlling the car’s malfunctioning stereo, or if the car is a little bit sentient, so it’s consciously choosing the perfect song for each moment. Whichever one it is, they did great at matching 20th century pop songs to particular moments in the episode.

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Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap/Review

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Hey kids, how about we check out Fox’s new crime drama/psychological thriller, Prodigal Son? It stars Jesus and the angel Aziraphale as the titular prodigal son and his serial killer father, so how can we go wrong?

Tom Payne, who played the character nicknamed Jesus on The Walking Dead, stars as Malcolm Bright, an unstable but brilliant criminal profiler who changed his last name to distance himself from his father’s notoriety. Michael Sheen, who played the angel Aziraphale in Good Omens, plays his father, Dr Martin Whitly, AKA The Surgeon, a notorious serial killer.

The Surgeon was arrested and imprisoned when Malcolm was a child. For many years after, the two worked together during Malcolm’s regular visits in an attempt to understand the minds of serial killers, at first in order to answer Malcolm’s questions about his father and himself. Later, their work continued as part of Malcolm’s college education.

Five minutes in, it’s clear that Prodigal Son with be depending heavily on Michael Sheen’s ability to smile insanely and Tom Payne’s wild yet sympathetic blue eyes to sell their characters and the storylines. The show has put the TV series House, Mindhunter, Hannibal and American Horror Story all together in a blender and added a its own talented cast.

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