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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Book Review: A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World- A Novel by CA Fletcher

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This review is dedicated to my dog Max, who passed in November, 2019 at the age of 17, and to his lifelong companion, our 20 year old cat, Brody, who followed him a month later. I love you til the end of the world, guys.

Griz, the first person narrator and titular boy of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, lives in an empty world. Unlike our crowded world full of 8 billion people, Griz’s world went through a population collapse a few generations ago, reducing the global population to less than 10,000 people. The Baby Bust, as it was ironically known, happened over the course of one generation. No one is quite sure why, but almost everyone became infertile, worldwide, all at once and without warning.

Those who remained fertile were locked up for a time, theoretically for their own protection, in a sort of reverse witch hunt, then eventually allowed to leave. Most went into hiding in remote areas until the infertile population grew old and died off.

Now, everywhere is a remote area. Griz has only seen a few people outside of his family in his entire life, mostly the members of the family who live on a neighboring island off the coast of what used to be Scotland.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 4: On the Principles of Horsehound Recap

Burt Watches Fire: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." -- Lieutenant Kilgore, Apocalypse Now
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” — Lieutenant Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

Episode 4 opens on darkness and the sound of automatic weapons fire. Gradually, Burt Harlow’s face is revealed, lit by flickering, orange flames. He sits on the back of a truck and watches a large fire in the distance, on the order of several buildings. There’s a man with a gun several feet away. Burt notices the flames are slowing down and goes to the man with the gun, who is wearing a 3 River Phoenixes jacket and surrounded by a dozen bodies.

The camera pulls out to reveal that they are at the old racetrack and this is the night Katherine Harlow was left for dead. The man with the gun is Joel Kelly. He was the third man on the scene that night, along with Burt and Bash, and the man who drove the truck, but he was a Phoenix, not yet a full Brawler.

Burt goes to Joel and jostles him out of the trance he seems to be in. Now Burt begins to create the legend we heard Matty and Johnson tell Ethan in episode 3.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 3: The Emboldened Conflict Recap

Doris Has Lunch with the Landscapers

In episode 3 we learn more about The Emboldened Conflict, Johnson’s name for the huge gang war that started after his massive argument with Katherine and the unforgivable betrayal that followed it. As far as the Brawlers know, Katherine simply took off one day, out of the blue, after betraying Burt, the brother who gave her everything. Katherine supposedly started the war as part of her betrayal, then Burt used it to unite the gangs.

Viewers also get a closer look at the day to day operations of the Brawlers and follow Doris on her search for the perfect crew. The perfect crew is a bit reluctant to sign on with her, so extended negotiations are in order.

Recap

Cousins Cordell and Earl, aka The Monster Ring, aka the guys who robbed the bowling alley in episode 2, sit in a truck outside of said bowling alley gossiping about sex and family and other universal subjects of gossip. Before long, an alarm sounds on Earl’s watch and they put on their masks. It’s time to rob Mr Bolo’s gaming room.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 2: Every Door Out… Recap

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“Every door out… is a door in.” In season 4, episode 2, Dr Mengele and his portal experiments return. The program has advanced significantly in the last year, with regular teams of Nazi spies making the trip to the Alt-World for both espionage and sabotage. Thanks to Hawthorne Abendsen and the Reich’s enhanced interrogation methods, Mengele has also made a map of the multiverse. John Smith understands the potential waiting for them in each world- if the Nazis can send someone to a new world, that world can send someone to the High Castle world as well. Everyplace is a potential threat.

Including schools and homes in the American Reich, since children have been taught to spy on and turn in their loved ones. Some, like Amy, are very enthusiastic about enforcing the rules. Jennifer isn’t happy about being back in the Reich, so John has to play referee between his two daughters to keep them both alive.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 1: Hexagram 64 Recap

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Welcome back to the Japanese Pacific States, the American Reich and the Neutral Zone. In its final season, The Man in the High Castle focuses mainly on the Smith family, Chief Inspector Kido and a new West Coast resistance group, the Black Communist Rebellion. Juliana Crain, Wyatt Price, Robert Childan and Hawthorne Abendsen also have storylines that the show checks in on periodically. It’s still the same show, with a sweeping story that spans continents, worlds and the astral plane. Events shift between the existential difficulties of everyday people and the rivalries shared by world political powers, in an exploration of what makes us who we are and the war of good vs evil.

While there’s a lot to like about season 4, and some storylines and characters have satisfying conclusions, others are dropped with little or no explanation. Both the TV division of Amazon Prime and this show have had a major amount of staff turn over behind the scenes since the series began, and that shows in the final season, as it has since mid-season 2.

It’s still one of my favorite shows of all time. I’d give both season 4 and the complete series somewhere in the B+ to A- range if I had to give them grades. But it has to to go in the brilliant but flawed category, with so many other shows of the recent era. I can’t help but imagine what it could have been with a single showrunning team in charge for its entire run, instead of the fractured visions we have now.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 6: Three Monkeys Recap

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Buckle up, Buttercups, it’s VA Day in the Reich and things are about to get crazy. Obergruppenführer John Smith has not just one, but two potential traitors over for dinner with the family, Joe Blake and Rudolph Wegener. He has ulterior motives with both, because when does he not? Juliana begins her job at the Nippon building and learns she’s working in the office of Trade Minister Tagomi.

Recap

It’s VA Day and every house in the neighborhood is proudly flying the swastika and stripes. Joe arrives at the Smith house with a bouquet of flowers for Helen and is introduced to the whole family, including the dog, Max. He mentions that he saw John in the parade earlier in the day. Thomas offers to show Joe around. It’s obvious that life couldn’t be better in the American Reich.

Over in the JPS, Juliana finishes dressing for her new job, just as Frank wakes up. She asks how the memorial service was and he says it was fake. She thinks they need to spend some time together, but he doesn’t want to make her late for the dojo, so she suggests they plan on dinner. Frank asks if he heard her on the phone earlier. As she’s walking out the door, Juliana says it was a wrong number.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 5: The New Normal Recap

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In episode 5, The New Normal, Juliana and Joe return to their home cities after their missions in the Neutral Zone. Each undergoes a debriefing and must try to navigate the tense atmosphere of their respective empires. Frank tries to put the pieces of his life back together after the deaths in his family and his aborted assassination attempt. Tagomi and Wegener try to complete their mission before getting Wegener out of San Francisco. Kido begins his investigation into the shooting of the crown prince, with the knowledge that, according to Japanese custom,  his life depends on bringing the shooter to justice.

Recap

The episode picks up with the ending of the previous episode, as shots ring out and the crown prince falls, desperately wounded. Tagomi and the princess rush to his side. Kido springs into action, shouting out orders to stop anyone from leaving, find the shooter and confiscate all cameras so that no one sees their beloved leader in his weakened state. Wegener is on the podium, watching the drama play out.

Frank has the gun in his hand, but hasn’t fired. The little Japanese boy standing next to him and the boy’s father both see the gun in Frank’s hand as all three scatter. Frank puts the gun in his coat pocket and at the same time the necklace he made for Juliana slips out of the pocket, onto the ground.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 4: Revelations Recap

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Things take a major turn in episode 4 of The Man on the High Castle, as Frank seeks out illegal bullets for his gun and Ed desperately tries to stop Frank from following the suicidal path he’s on. Juliana and Joe continue to battle the Marshal and also confront Lem. Tagomi and Wegener attempt to complete their plan during the crown prince’s speech. Obergruppenführer Smith and Captain Connolly continue their search for the traitor who leaked Smith’s location, but lose their best potential source of information.

Recap

The episode opens moments after the end of episode 3, with The Marshal following Juliana into her hiding place. They play hide and seek until Joe catches up with the Marshal and knocks him out using a blunt object. With the Marshal unconscious on the floor, Joe and Juliana run back outside.

Joe’s truck is gone, so they find another storefront to hide in. The Marshal follows them outside within another minute. The guy who helped him earlier tells him they drove out of town in Joe’s truck. After the Marshal leaves town to follow them, the guy tells Joe and Juliana where he moved Joe’s truck and where they can find Lem.

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Black Spot (Zone Blanche) Season 1 Episode 1: Stranger Comes to Town Recap

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Zone Blanche/Black Spot is a French/Belgian 2 season series, with 8 episodes per season, that’s available on Netflix. The show takes place in the mysterious, isolated village of Villefranche, which is set so deep in the primeval forest that the entire village and its surroundings have no cell phone reception- the black spot, or zone blanche, of the title. People tend to die in the forest, giving Villefranche a high murder rate, but the forest is a living presence which occasionally gives someone back. The villagers are closely connected to each other and to the forest.

Main character Major Laurène Weiss, the chief of police for the village, is one of the survivors who came back from the forest as a young woman. Many years later, she remains haunted by the experience. In present day Villefranche, another young woman, Marion Steiner, the daughter of mayor and business owner Bertrand Steiner, has been missing for months. Laurène spends her spare time in the forest searching for Marion, who was close friends with her own teenage daughter, Cora. Laurène bristles when an outsider, prosecutor Franck Siriani, is sent to investigate the high crime rate in the small village.

Recap

We are introduced to Villefranche using the the 1964 song Mr Lonely by Bobby Vinton. Visuals include the mountainous forest, ravens, fog, and an emergency phone at the village boundary line.

You’ve been warned, Mr Siriani. Enter at your own risk.

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