This week, we’re very late with DEADtime. Sorry about that – the month of October is really busy and it’s hard enough to keep up with all of the other stuff going on! This week, Shawn got his Walking Dead review done but the other stuff will be added to next week’s recaps. Kevin is taking over his Gotham review for this week, along with Stalker. I’ve got the rest.
The Walking Dead: “No Sanctuary” – Sunday, October 12 at 9 PM
Hey guys, did you hear? The Walking Dead is back. We’ve speculated for months, what would happen. We saw the teasers, and all of the promotional footage, and all of us that have read the comics assumed that Glen’s number was up. In the comics(spoilers), Glen is killed by Negan, but the way in which it was done, his head bashed in with a baseball bat, was toyed around with, and became part of the imagery that they were throwing at us with the rest of the promotional stuff. It’s pretty clear that this was done on purpose, but we should have known that they wouldn’t tease a major character death like that. Whether or not Glen will die the way he does in the comics, or if he even dies at all, remains to be seen. One this is for sure, though, they’ve been throwing us comic-readers lots of bones lately. Even if a moment from the books isn’t fully-realized on the show, it is referenced, at the very least, and I’m liking that about the show lately. We were treated to Rick going cannibal, serial-killing kids, and finally the REAL prison confrontation between The Governor and Rick. Season 5 has started with a bang, now let’s see if they’re able to keep it up.
One of the most prevalent complaints about the show, is the pacing. How they hole up at a central location, and linger for far too long. Most of us were worried that the same thing would happen with Season 5 and Terminus.
Resurrection: “Multiple” – Sunday, October 12 at 9 PM
“Multiple” has multiple meanings, and none of them are very interesting. I’ve attempted to really put effort into finding positive things in what Resurrection is throwing down, but it’s difficult. Each episode is another foray into riffing on the same themes; this week, there are a few revelations, like the fact that a few sets of bones found in the local river are actually the same couple who died three times, but in general the show continues to throw out differing takes on the same story episode after episode.
The bones are the most interesting part of this episode, although they’re also the most problematic. If there were so many bones just sitting in the river, all of them from nearly 80 years ago, why are they just being found now? It seems Resurrection throws out logic for plot device, and that’s a huge problem for a show that often finds itself running around answers simply because, once they’re revealed, the mystery of the returned will disappear. Already the show has begun to find that the one idea for its plot is faltering; Resurrection continues to introduce new returned every episode, and instead of focusing on those that have been around for a little while, new ones become the focal point.
In “Multiple,” the show oddly decides to center around a police officer who has been a part of the show but not really important to the proceedings; we meet his abusive brother, meant to forge an emotional attachment for the viewer, but who ultimately adds quite a few laughable scenarios that feel incredibly detached from the reality of the show.
The only thing that “Multiple’ does add, however, is another twist to the show. There are still more questions than answers with the returned, and it’s getting more difficult to pretend like I’m going to actually care when those secrets are revealed. But there’s a government cover-up underway, and it’s changing Bellamy’s attitude. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing is tough to decide now, but I will say I don’t believe the change as much as Resurrection is attempting to sell it.
Gotham: “Arkham” – Monday, October 13 at 8 PM
This week yours truly, Kevin Lovell will be taking a trip over to ‘Gotham’ for the latest episode in the new DC pre-Batman spin-off series, but rest assured that Shawn Savage will be back covering the show and I’m merely making a guest appearance. This week’s new episode of ‘Gotham’ marks the fourth episode in the first season and the series as a whole. The episode is titled ‘Arkham’. The episode begins at the exact moment where last week’s episode left off, James in the middle of a discussion with Barbara when the doorbell rings and Barbara answers to find Oswald Cobblepot standing in their doorway. As Jim hurriedly comes up with a story of who he is and forces Cobblepot outside, Oswald insists that he can be a true asset to Jim and will help him acquire useful information as a thanks for saving his life, also insisting that the new war will be for Arkham. Although all Jim really wants is Oswald gone for good from the city or it could mean both of their lives, he takes this tidbit of information into account.
This week’s episode focuses on a mysterious man going around and killing important individuals with a unique blade, and who just may be involved with a number of professional hits regarding the fight over the fate of Arkham. After visiting Bruce Wayne and coming across some useful information thanks to the boy, Jim discovers that the fight is indeed over Arkham and appears to be a grudge match for control of the city itself between the current controller of the city mob boss Falcone, and the new up and comer Marone, looking to unseat the old guy who’s time he feels has more than run its course. Oswald meanwhile has perfectly positioned himself a spot in a restaurant conveniently owned by none other than Marone and starts playing both sides; appearing to go out of his way to help the family while also passing along information to Jim.
So far I’ve found myself liking ‘Gotham’ a fair amount, even considering my pickiness with altering storylines (something that caused me to give up on ‘Smallville’ a number of seasons in) it has a lot of very positive elements to it. The noir tone and focusing on Gordon as opposed to Bruce really helps deliver that gritty cop feel, while also maintaining that fantasy/comics vibe and providing us Bat-fans with a heavy helping of familiar names. The one aspect of the series I can’t but feel hurts it to a degree is the inclusion of Bruce Wayne as a child and I find myself disappointed each time he appears on screen. Fortunately even with the few minor issues I may personally have with the series, I’m quite enjoying it and it’s an extremely well done and well cast (Robin Lord Taylor’s portrayal of Penguin easily being the standout performance though in my opinion) show which I’m quite excited to see continue to unfold.
‘Gotham’ is currently airing its debut Season Monday’s at 8:PM on FOX.
Sleepy Hollow: “Go Where I Send Thee…” – Monday, October 13 at 9 PM
The war on the Horseman of War takes a backseat in “Go Where I Send Thee…” as Abbie and Ichabod tackle a more pressing matter, one that actually ties in to Abbie’s job. If you forgot that she was actually a cop at her regular 9-to-5, this episode makes a beeline back to that in the relative calm left now that Henry’s initial plans have faded.
They’re both (well, just Abbie, but Ichabod comes with) called in to investigate a kidnapping case involving the daughter of a Lancaster, a distant relative of Charles William Lancaster. It’s revealed by Ichabod that historically, Lancaster was kind of reviled despite his lasting legacy, and there were some issues with his lineage including a curse on every one of his ancestors’ daughters on their tenth birthdays.
Ichabod and Abbie pick up on this real quick, especially when they find a bone flute that reminds Ichabod of the story of the Pied Piper. Apparently Lancaster hired a man to slaughter some soldiers, and then he traitorously went back on his word. From there, all of the Lancaster women were cursed, and on their tenth birthdays, they would be lured away by the enchanting song of the Pied Piper’s flute.
It’s a compelling take on this story, and because it ties in the historical significance of Lancaster, there’s an added depth to “Go Where I Send Thee…” Like most Sleepy Hollow episodes, there’s tons of new twists thrown at the viewer at every turn, including one that changes the entire course of the episode: if the daughter doesn’t die on her tenth birthday, then the rest of the children will.
This addendum to the curse comes as a shock to Abbie and Ichabod, because they thought they did a good deed by saving the Lancaster girl. Instead, they open the door to the Pied Piper’s other curse, one that’s even more sinister. It also forces them to head back to the Pied Piper’s lair to deal with the weird demon guy with the loud pipe weapon, prolonging their danger.
“Go Where I Send Thee…” brings the new character Nick Hawley back to Ichabod and Abbie’s circle. While his presence is still not that necessary, it adds a few conflicts to this Scooby gang; for one, he doesn’t help them out of a goodness, but because he wants to get paid, and he’s super untrustworthy. This plays at odds with Ichabod and Abbie’s natural alliance, and Sleepy Hollow has been working on this issue of trust throughout the new season. Hawley doesn’t fit in yet, but I’m confident he’ll become a bigger player later. As it stands, it’s nice to see a new face to introduce some tension.
On the Horseman of War side, Henry is busy trying to convert Frank Irving, mostly by force. As his lawyer, he has complete power over Irving; more than that, though, Irving signed away his soul in blood. This portion of “Go Where I Send Thee…” is tacked on to the end of this episode, so it’s sort of an afterthought, meant more to seem like the show didn’t forget about this avenue. Still, I’m glad they found some time to throw this in.
Sleepy Hollow‘s creature cavalcade is growing, and even though this is much more of a procedural episode than we’ve seen so far this season, “Go Where I Send Thee…” does it just about the best it can. The pacing doesn’t falter, and the addition of Hawley to the repertoire continues on. Plus, Ichabod’s penchant for attitude toward present-day technology is at an all-time high.
Stalker: “Manhunt” – Wednesday, October 15 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Stalker’ marks both the third episode in the first season and the series as a whole. The episode is titled ‘Manhunt’. The episode begins with a man walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, outside in the beautiful sunny weather and surrounded by the city. As they arrive to meet his daughter’s bride to be at the altar, a shot rings out and his daughter drops to the ground covered in blood, shot by a mystery gunman.
This week’s episode focuses for the most part on the case the team is working, that of the shooting at the wedding. As they begin to put the pieces of the case together, they realize that this girl may just have been the first target of the killer and more victims may be on the way. Soon the situation unfolds and brings them to the realization that this woman may not have been the target at all, but instead her father, a decorated cop. This fact becomes even more convincing as new victims appear to have no ties to the woman, but do indeed have ties to her father. While focusing mainly on the case, it also looks a bit at the reasons for why Jack was brought on to the team, apparently getting the position over an incredibly large number of applicants, a number of whom may have been even more qualified for the job than he.
We are now three episodes into the latest Kevin Williamson created series ‘Stalker’ and my opinion remains the same, I could not be loving this series more and each episode only continues to build my love of it more solidly. Dylan McDermott is outstanding in his role of the smart, brave and a little creepy newcomer to the unit and Maggie Q delivers a pretty decent performance in the secondary lead role of the woman running the unit. I continue to look forward to each new episode more than the one prior and can easily see ‘Stalker’ finding itself on the list of my favorite shows, right there alongside another currently running Williamson created series ‘The Following’. I hope the rest of you are enjoying it as much as I am and I’ll see you all back here next week for our continuing DEADtime coverage of the show.
‘Stalker’ is currently airing its debut Season Wednesday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
American Horror Story: Freak Show: “Massacres and Matinees” – Wednesday, October 15 at 10 PM
As American Horror Story: Freak Show recruits new members for its troupe, there’s bound to be some struggles within the camp. Elsa’s show is staged around her, and though many of the performers haven’t realized it yet, they’re all supposed to be stage presence for the her main song. In “Massacres and Matinees,” the strongman Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis) and his wife, the three-breasted Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett), join in the fun, and even Dot and Bette get their own spotlight after a show tune for the freak show’s new matinee time slot.
It’s not all fun and games for them, though, because Dell’s kind of a madman; there’s a history between him and Jimmy’s mom Ethel back when they used to perform in Chicago, and Jimmy butts heads with Dell real quick once he begins to try to take over the show. While Dell’s change from needy, barely-employed strongman to overzealous security guard happens a little quickly, he’s a good foil for Jimmy, who had been the big man on campus before.
“Massacres and Matinees” sets up this interplay, not just with Dell and Jimmy but also with Bette/Dot and Elsa and Dandy and Gloria. There are in-built jealousies in these relationships, one that Elsa unknowingly fosters when she tries to find Bette and Dot’s skill. In this episode’s song, Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” (a song that’s pretty cringingly on-the-nose for Bette and Dot’s background), Dot shines and Bette is just there because she’s attached; and Elsa recognizes that with a voice like Dot’s, there’s no room for her own show tunes, so she attempts to break up their trust by offering Bette a way to get out of such an embarrassing situation.
And “Massacres and Matinees” thankfully spends more time with Gloria and Dandy, the weird rich mother-son duo who tried to buy Bette and Dot in last week’s episode. They’ve got a sort of incestual relationship hinted at, but more than that, they’re just plain odd. They don’t recognize their own eccentricities, acting far outside the norm of the other characters on this show – even the freaks. As Gloria picks up Twisty the Clown, it becomes clear that there’s something definitely off about both her and Dandy. Eventually, “Massacres and Matinees” expands upon that with a pretty frightening scene involving Dandy and Twisty.
There’s a lot of things happening very quickly, but unlike previous iterations of American Horror Story, Freak Show seems to have a better handle on the pacing. It’s still not clear how Twisty or Dandy factor into the main idea of the freak show, but at least we’re getting there: just a quick shot of Twisty’s mouth underneath the bloody lips he wears is enough to formulate a little more mystery for him.
If Freak Show continues like this, it’ll be one of the most coherent versions of the anthology series yet. It has yet to jump the shark, but it feels like all of these elements are piling on to create a dark tone that’s something larger than the obvious theme about freaks ostracized from the community.
Next week we’ll catch up with the stuff we left out this week. We’ll also have coverage of Constantine coming to you. Stay tuned!