Hey guys, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. This week, both HBO’s The Leftovers and CBS’ Under the Dome join us. Kevin will be picked up UtD, and I’ll be covering the former show. Too much to cover – but we say goodbye to Penny Dreadful this week!
The Last Ship: “Welcome to Gitmo” – Sunday, June 29 at 9 PM
You know what’s a good hot-button topic for a show about a killer virus? Guantanamo Bay. Because that’s a necessary setting for The Last Ship, “Welcome to Gitmo” brings us there under the premise that their sick bay must have all of the shit that Dr. Rachel Scott needs to create a vaccine; it also has gas to fuel the ship. So CO Tom Chandler creates a mission for two teams to get in and get out of said incendiary US facility, all the while adding just a little bit about viral infection in the process.
But “Welcome to Gitmo” is a patriotic wankfest for conservatives, a foolish and offensive caricature about the navy’s battles with other countries that actually had me a little pissed off. While this show should be mostly about the virus itself and how this last naval ship is attempting to section off their members so the last known surviving scientist can figure out how to cure people, instead The Last Ship would rather talk about one of our nation’s biggest threats – Al-fucking-Qaeda.
That’s right – not only is there a killer cold going around that could infect any of the soldiers that venture onto Gitmo land, there’s also a rogue squadron of escaped Gitmo inmates, and they’re GD Al-Qaeda. Who else would be dumb enough to fight off Americans – who will obviously save the world by creating a cure – than those brown turban-wearing monkeys? Maybe the Russians, but we’ll get to that a little later.
Things might have been different for “Welcome to Gitmo” if it didn’t portray the Al-Qaeda guys as the exact stereotypes the media has been feeding us for years. They wear turbans, they’ve got huge bushy beard, and none of them have any intention of backing down because they’d rather blow shit up. I don’t know who at TNT or The Last Ship thought “Welcome to Gitmo” was a good idea for an episode, but they were clearly delusional; that is, except for the right-wingers who will eat this shit up like candy because fucking America.
Other than a brief standoff with the AQ where Eric Dane gets to growl, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists” (Rush Limbaugh popped a fucking boner here), that’s about it for this week’s episode. There’s some tension where soldiers might not get out without infection, and Dr. Rachel nearly gets herself killed by rushing headlong to Gitmo to help extract a bullet from a soldier’s artery in a medical crisis where no doctor was consulted for the show, and a lot of pro-American lobbying that draws in a bigger threat – Russkis.
In case one was wondering who The Last Ship would like to offend next, the show blames the Russians for just about everything. Their boat looks like a pirate ship, their leader a comical caricature of just about any “evil” Russian man you’ve ever seen. Yep, this is the stereotype we’ll see next episode.
I’ve got half a mind to just stop watching and reviewing this shit so it gets at least a few less ratings. But it’s just too funny to skip out and miss the latest way that The Last Ship heralds how fucking awesome Americans are. Everyone else can suck on that virus’ asshole; at least the USA reigns supreme.
True Blood: “I Found You” – Sunday, June 29 at 9 PM
Holy wow, True Blood. I had written you off, and here you go and smack me in the face with one of the best episodes, not only since the downfall in quality of the show, but for the entire series. I’ll admit, this episode started off a little strange. Apparently actors Ryan Kwanten and Alexander Skarsgard complained to the writers about how they never have any screen time together. So to play a joke on them, they gave them what they wanted, in the form of a very steamy, overly long gay sex dream sequence. I know some viewers that are a little less secure in their sexuality than myself, might find this a bit uncomfortable, but that’s a good thing. You have to be made to feel uncomfortable every now and then, so you can know where your limits are, and see if there is anything you can do to better yourself, and open your mind a little bit. I am about as straight as you can get, and even I found this scene to be hot. Unexpected, but hot. Those of you that have been paying attention have noticed the lack of Eric on the show so far this season. Some of you are convinced that the scene with him on a snowy mountain top, bursting into flames was his character being killed off, but we should know that that’s not the case. They’re going to bring both him and Tara back before the end of the final season. You can take that to the bank.
In this episode, the town struggles to figure out what is going on, and how to protect themselves, while being completely ignored by the federal government. Sookie, still disturbed by hearing the thoughts of all of the town’s citizens, blaming her for what has happened. She offers her help, in identifying a dead girl, that leads them to the next town, which is now in full-on post-apocalypse mode, having suffered from the same attacks as they have. Except this town was wiped out of existence. Meanwhile, the Hep V-infected vampires are holed, with their captives trapped in a basement, including Arlene and Holly, and being picked-off for food one-by-one. Arlene recognizes one of the vamps as a teacher that once taught her kid, and tries to reason with her to help let them go. Said vampire, however, has been chosen to “reap” the victims that will be eaten, so it adds an extra layer of difficulty to an area where she already has reasonable doubt. Eventually, though, she agrees to do whatever she can to help them escape, even though she knows it probably means her death.
Lafayette has an encounter with his aunt, Tara’s mother, and realizes that she has flown off of the deep end, insisting that she is in-contact with posthumous Tara. Also, the same redneck gun nut that was causing problems and creating vigilantism within the community is still at it, insisting that Sam and the sheriff’s office don’t care about them, and convincing everybody that the vampires will be back by sundown, in order to get them to posse up, and ignore instructions from their mayor and law enforcement. He is also using the fact that witnessed Sam transform into a dog to further stoke the flames. When Sookie, Jason, Andy and Alcide arrive at the town they were able to find by identifying the body of an unknown victim, they realize their fate. Not only have the Hep V vampires attacked this town, but they have exhausted all resources, which is to say, the literally bled the town dry, and left them in a smoldering pile of corpses. It’s also clear that the US government is allowing this to happen, either in an attempt to deny the problem, or to contain it so that they can level the area and retain plausible deniability.
Meanwhile, back to the redneck gun nut and his policy, they have decided that they are going to siege the sheriff station, and secure all of the guns that they can get their hands on. Considering the fact that they are under attack by vampires, and not humans, it seems to be a futile effort, but you know rednecks and guns. It gives them a sense of security that they don’t possess within themselves. It’s clear that the writer of this scene feels the same way about the current state of the gun culture in this company, as the montage scene that follows puts on display the “big dick” feeling guns give those that are obsessed with them. I’m not going to turn this into a gun debate or anything like that. I am a responsible gun owner myself, but I don’t use guns as an extension to my dick size. I keep mine in a locked box so that in case I do need it, I have it. I don’t stroke it around and get my rocks off to it, like a lot of rednecks in this country do. In one of the funnier scenes of the episode, Jason narrows down the timeline of the attack on the apocalyptic town they have discovered, by taking a bite of leftover pizza found on the table. “Pizza forensics” as Andy refers to it, tells them that it has only been about 2 days since the attack on this town, which means that they don’t have much time to stop what’s happening, if they even have a chance at all. Andy discovers that his daughter is not only missing, but she invited Jessica into the house. So, naturally he assumes that she has harmed her. She convinces him that she was there to protect her, and that she was going to find her and bring her home as soon as the sun went down. And, surprise surprise, Pam has found Eric, who is holed up in a whorehouse, refusing to ingest blood, and apparently infected with Hep V. As I stated above, this is not only one of the best episodes since the decline of the show, this was one of the best episodes of the entire series, and I am highly anticipating the next episode, a feeling that True Blood hasn’t created in me for quite some time.
The Leftovers: “Pilot” – Sunday, June 29 at 10 PM
The Leftovers is a new HBO show from Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Tom Perotta (author of the novel of the same name). Its premise sounds very similar to some other shows that have been premiering of late, although this one is sort of the opposite of shows like The Returned or Resurrection: a percentage of the population world-wide has disappeared, leaving the rest of the world to wonder what happened to their family and friends and contemplate why it didn’t happen to them.
But The Leftovers doesn’t take place directly after the event. Instead, the pilot jumps three years into the future, after all the immediate fuss about what happened has subsided. The people are left to piece together their lives, and “Pilot” centers on the town of Mapleton. Everyone has dealt with the losses in their own way, but The Leftovers makes one thing clear -though it has been three years since the disappearances, the pain still remains.
The show has multiple main characters, all from different perspectives, but the overall arc of the pilot focuses on the Garvey family. Kevin (Justin Theroux) is the sheriff of Mapleton, but he’s certainly not a happy-go-lucky man. He’s still finding it difficult to deal with the change in people, the loss of his wife, and his daughter’s increasingly hostile behavior. Likewise, the daughter Jill (Margaret Qualley) continues to suffer from the decisions and peer pressures of those around her. “Pilot” shows the potentially dangerous behavior of teen life now that the people around them have simply vanished from existence, and the show dwells on the unique ways that these kids have attempted to cope with that.
Obviously, The Leftovers is sometimes overwhelmingly bleak, choosing to spend most of its time moping through the storyline. People are really upset, and they haven’t gotten over what happened; while there are moments where religion and ascension are brought up, for now the show has thankfully chosen to stay away from that theme explicitly. Instead, the pilot is more interested in the ways that the people have practically dealt with the situation.
Except for the weird faction of smoking mutes that live on the outskirts of town in a commune. This is introduced in a very Lost-ian way, where the viewer is shown inside this commune but never given explanation for their actions. Why must these people smoke all day, and why can’t they talk? These are questions we’ll find out in time, but it can be somewhat annoying to be given all of this to mull over without any semblance of excuse.
The Leftovers is intensely grim, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an affecting piece of television. This pilot hits a gamut of emotions, and it’s creative enough to suck viewers in with the premise. What the show does with it in the future is the important aspect of the plot, not the actual vanishing event. But it’s all intriguing and emotional enough to keep watching.
Salem: “Cat and Mouse” – Sunday, June 29 at 10 PM
Last week the foundation of Salem was shaken up thanks to a surprise accusation from Tituba, saying that John Alden is a witch and yada-yada you know the drill. This sent Increase Mather into a tizzy, and pulled John from his happy place and put him on trial in front of the town. “Cat and Mouse” attempts to smooth things over a little bit by taking things down a notch again; John will be afforded a vote in front of the town council whether he should be put on trial, and if everyone agrees, he will get a fair shake at proving he’s not a witch.
But Mary Sibley isn’t happy with this turn of events. She still loves him, knows he’s not a witch, and wants to save him from a neck-snapping time at the center of the town. So she enlists the help of Hale and the rest of the council to vote him innocent. That sneaky bastard Increase has something else in mind though – since Mary is technically not able to vote if her husband, the invalid George Sibley, is able, he brings George back, who has the ability to spit if he wants to vote yes or no. How classy, George, how classy.
John is going to trial, which shouldn’t concern too many people because Mary and the rest of her crew are goddam witches and one would think that their powers should allow them to do something to Increase. There’s a quick snippet of dialogue from Mary saying more than one witch has tried to kill him in the past, but come on, Salem, are we really supposed to believe that this witchfinder general is so strong that he can block spells too?
Increase is on a roll, though. He wants to find Mercy, since he knows she’s also a witch, and Mary Sibley tries to set a trap. No such luck! It only makes things worse for just about everyone, and for all of her efforts in “Cat and Mouse,” the only things they seem to do are put more guilt over her head.
But “Cat and Mouse” covers quite a bit of necessary ground, including Hale’s story for why he’s a witch. It also pulls his daughter Anne into the mix; she finds out she is also a witch, and oh shit, maybe she shouldn’t speak to Increase about what she’s learned about her father. Things are getting pretty steamy up in Salem, and I have to admit that as the show has gone along its plot and character development have been working in its favor. Stay tuned for the last two episodes of the season!
Penny Dreadful: “Grand Guignol” – Sunday, June 29 at 10 PM
We have finally arrived at the season 1 finale of Penny Dreadful. Hopefully, all of the slow episodes of this season will have a big payoff at the end of the road. It’s possible that they’ll go in another direction, though, but we shall see. This episode picks up right where the last episode left off, with Vanessa coming to the realization that she knows where Sir Malcolm’s daughter is. While he ventures off to plan her rescue. Vanessa and Dorian have their first awkward encounter after their wildly violent sex scene. Dorian is unaware that their lovemaking was the trigger for Vanessa’s demonic possession, which was apparently always inside of her, waiting for something to cause Vanessa to let her guard down so that it could take control. Vanessa refuses Dorian’s invitation without explaining this to him, and has him escorted out of the house. Elsewhere, Ethan is sitting at the bedside of his sickly lover, Bona Croft. It appears that she doesn’t have much time left, as she is unconscious, with labored breathing, so Ethan sits at her side, reciting prayers. Soon, Brona will be dead. As Ethan leaves her side, and exits her quarters, it is made clear that a couple of people are tracking Ethan, with the intent of doing him harm. On the other side of town, Frankenstein’s original monster is still waiting on the doctor to deliver his life companion, and it appears to have an impact on his performance behind-the-scenes at the local theatrical production. Vanessa decides to accept Dorian’s invitation to the garden, and attempts to explain her aloofness. Okay, so she does a pretty piss-poor job of explaining the situation. But at least she tries to let him down easy, when she explains to him that she can no longer see him.
Frankenstein’s monster shows up at the doctor’s house, to explain to him the futility he is feeling, how he wishes he were made of steel, rather than resurrected with the ability to feel, and how the perceived ugliness of hits outsides, has infected his insides. He all but begs him to shoot him in the head, but the doctor, once he hears this confession, can’t bring himself to do it. Ethan arrives at the doctor’s house as well, and brings him to Brona’s apartment so that he can examine her, try to at least make her comfortable before she dies. She begs him to kill her, to ease her suffering, and he obliges. Brona is dead, but, is she dead for good? I think you can see where this is going. When Ethan retreats to the bar after seeing the lifeless body of his lover, the two men stalking him catch up to him, and instruct him that they have been hired to bring him back to his home town, where he is to face the consequences of a “mess of blood” that he has allegedly left behind. Ethan convinces them that he’ll go peacefully, and then beats their asses before giving them to slip. Soon, he meets up with Vanessa, Malcolm and the rest, for a night hunt, presumably for the purpose of locating Malcolm’s daughter again. This leads them into a nest of vampires on the hunt, and as they are under what appears to be an overwhelming onslaught of the undead, Malcolm kills what appears to be the head vampire, and all of the other ghouls drop dead almost instantly. Once the dust settles, Malcolm’s daughter, Mina emerges from the shadows. It appears to be a happy reunion at first, until the real plan is exposed, as she bears her fangs, takes Vanessa hostage, and explains that she is to be “The Master’s” bride. Shocking to all in the room, Malcolm saves Vanessa’s life by shooting and killing the daughter he has been searching for this whole time, exclaiming that he already has a daughter, referring of course to Vanessa. After this somewhat heartbreaking scene, as I expected, Frankenstein has brought the corpse of Brona back to his laboratory, and his original monster observes as he begins the process of bringing her back to life. It appears like we’ll get a little bit of the Bride of Frankenstein story-line, beginning with season 2. Shortly after that, Ethan is drinking at a bar, like usual, when the two men that have been sent to bring him back to his father catch up to him again. This time, instead of beating them up and escaping out the door, he grabs a hold of the table, grunts a little bit, and makes a full transformation into a werewolf, and tears them to shreds. So, that’s interesting, huh? Yeah, subtle things from the slower episodes are suddenly coming full circle. If you’ve been paying attention this whole time, the way all of the stories are intertwined will make complete sense to you. The episode closes with Vanessa visiting a priest, and asking his opinion of the practice of exorcisms. The priest responds, posing a question to Vanessa, and that is how we are left until the first episode of season 2. The question that is asked is, “Do you really want to be normal”, and then a fade to black. This was a great episode, and definitely a fitting finale for season 1. It has wrapped several portions of several different story lines, while posing enough questions to leave viewers in-want for the next season to begin. This will conclude our coverage of Penny Dreadful for the year. We will be continuing the coverage as soon as the next season begins.
Teen Wolf: “117” – Monday, June 30 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode marks the second episode in the fourth season and is titled ‘117’. The episode begins with a flashback to Derek’s childhood and Peter giving him advice as to how better control the change. After the following modern time opening sequence at a gas station in which Kate brutally murders the attendant in an uncontrollable moment of rage due to her new self, we arrive back to Scott and his friend who have just discovered Derek, although for reasons unknown he is a much younger version of himself, still in fact a kid.
After Lydia and Kira discover the grizzly remains left at the gas station courtesy of Kate, they decide along with Scott that their best course of action would be to seek out Peter’s help. Unfortunately this situation brings many more dilemmas to the table as Peter was previously unaware of what his vengeance on Kate had produced and then Malia insists on joining Scott to ask Peter for help, still unaware that Peter is in actuality her father. Now they must find out what has happened to Derek, why he is so much younger and healing at an unusually remarkable rate. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about in itself, they must additionally figure out how they can go about stopping Kate before the path of carnage and mayhem she’s leaving in her wake gets even worse, as well as making sure certain secrets stay hidden for the moment.
So far, as per usual with this show, Season Four is off to a very solid start, already getting pretty crazy and after only two episodes I am once again thoroughly hooked on this series and cannot wait to see what is to come over the course of this seasons remaining ten episodes. I hope the fellow fans of the series out there are enjoying the fourth season so far also and I’ll see you all back here again once again next week.
The fourth season of Teen Wolf is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on MTV. -Kevin
Under the Dome: “Heads Will Roll” – Monday, June 30 at 10 PM
Last summer’s surprise hit has finally returned and with one hell of an impressive season premiere too, a season premiere which was also penned by none other than Stephen King himself, author of the book in which the series is (very loosely) based upon. The season premiere is titled “Heads Will Roll” and I think it just might have been the best episode of the series yet.
The season premiere begins exactly where season one ended, with the town gathered around as Big Jim along with his son Junior among others prepare to publicly hang Barbie. At the last minute a loud noise begins emitting from the dome and taking it as a sign, Junior refuses to pull the lever. Soon Barbie is free, although the dome has now additionally begun pulling all metal objects to itself and causing panic and mayhem left and right. While Barbie’s life is spared, another big character (I won’t drop the name here until at least next week out of courtesy) is killed. Soon intermittent pulses from the dome begin to cause the inhabitants of Chester’s Mill to begin dropping unconscious instantaneously. When more and more begin dropping, Barbie and the few others still standing will have to figure out a solution before no one is left standing.
I would have to say that the second season of Under The Dome is off to an absolutely stellar start. As previously mentioned, the episode was written by Stephen King himself and also features the author in a brief cameo as a restaurant patron. If this episode is any indication of what is to come in the rest of the shows sophomore season, I think we are all in for a pretty wild time and I hope to see you all back here each week.
The second season of Under The Dome is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on CBS. -Kevin
Dominion: “Broken Places” – Thursday, July 3 at 9 PM
Dominion brings us back to a diner for “Broken Places”‘ first scene, in case you forgot the movie that inspired this show. Gabriel murders some people to make a point to his impressionable disciple William Whele, and then the audience is surprised to find that William’s devotion to the angels is stronger than his devotion to his father.
It’s not the best portrayal of Gabriel, but it’s a better one than has been done before. Dominion has been stepping up its characterization quite a bit, jumping back and forth between Alex figuring out his tattoos with Michael to David Whele and Arika battling back and forth between each other, testing the waters. While the show has been working hard to show the political strife within Vega, it’s still not intriguing enough to warrant all of this focus.
But like last week’s episode, Dominion adds another battle to “Broken Places,” ambushing Michael and Alex and driving a sword into Michael’s abdomen. Oh no, an angel is stabbed! says no one, because who really believes that Michael will die so easily? I still can’t take the evil angels seriously; I hate almost everything about them, but the Power Rangers suits they wear are the most egregious.
Though Dominion hasn’t been a terrible show throughout its first three episodes, I’m still having a difficult time getting into the show. It’s not very memorable, nor does it do much with its hour running time. I’m still not sure where things are going, but hopefully a clearer arc emerges in the next few episodes.
Next week, Penny Dreadful will be gone, but we’re still covering the rest of these guys! Halle Barry and Extant also join us. Stay tuned.