Hey guys, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. We’re still trying to get caught up on all the horror shows right now, so this week we’re adding The Strain to the setlist, which Kevin will be covering along with Teen Wolf and Under the Dome. Shawn’s got True Blood and Extant. I’ve got the rest. Salem ends this week!
The Last Ship: “We’ll Get There” – Sunday, July 13 at 9 PM
I’m a little disappointed in the lack of offensive right-wing material in “We’ll Get There.” After last week’s awful Russian dictator, I thought we might branch out to some sort of Chinese communist attack. Alas, we get feelings about sons and daughters, about family left behind; there’s a water shortage after the ship’s engine fails. In general, it’s a pretty serious episode without much to laugh about.
It’s funny that I’m giving The Last Ship grief for not being terrible, but it’s noticeable in “We’ll Get There” – it’s not as much fun to watch. Sure, there are a few moments of tension, where the crew wonders if the primordial sample and the new vaccine Dr. Scott has created will overheat; but the main conceit is basically about watching a large ship move very slowly towards land.
There are some major steps taken towards characterization, though, and that’s a small victory for The Last Ship. Dr. Scott has always been really, really dedicated to her work, but there are glimmers of humanity within her. And a flashback sequence to Tom Chandler’s life before he left on this 6 month expedition shows that he wasn’t always the gruff commander that he is now.
It’s good to dwell on this emotional turmoil, because sometimes The Last Ship‘s isolated setting allows the viewer to forget that on the mainland, nearly everyone is dead. There are lighthearted moments on the naval ship, because these people can’t be grim all the time, but everything about the world has been devastated. It adds stakes to Dr. Scott’s work.
Still, “We’ll Get There” is a particularly tedious episode, unlike the fast-paced flashbangs of previous entries. Obviously the show needs to slow down sometimes; it can’t always be about terrorists trying to hijack the vaccine. But the pace of this one is glacial.
True Blood: “Death Is Not the End” – Sunday, July 13 at 9 PM
This episode of True Blood begins with Jason, Sookie and Sam, alerting various people that one of their loved ones has been killed. Sookie, after witnessing the death of her boyfriend, Alcide, has to contact Alcide’s father to let him know that his son had been killed. Jason has phoned Hoyt, who remains glamoured to let him know that his mother has been killed. Eric and Pam are on a flight to the States when Eric has the plane diverted to Shreveport so that he can see Willa. To spread the happenings of this episode out, we are treated to a lot of flashbacks explaining the origins of Fangtasia, and how it began as a local video store. We also get a visit from the Magister, as he informs Eric that he will now be the Sheriff of the area. We also find out how Ginger came to be with Eric and Pam, as she applies for a job at their video store. After she gets to know Pam and Eric while working with them, she suggests to Pam that they turn the video store into a vampire night club, and Pam glamours her so that she can receive credit for the idea from Eric. Sookie tries to console Arlene’s kids, as she promises them that she’s going to bring her back alive. She convinces Andy to let her assist Holly in remembering what happened while she was glamoured, so that she can figure the where the H-vamps are holding their human hostages.
While Jason and Sam are out informing Rosie that Kevin has been killed, James continues to try and convince Jessica to feed. When she refuses, he brings Bill in, in hopes that she’ll listen to him. Sookie arrives with the information she learned from Holly, and wants Bill to contact every healthy vampire he can, so that they can help get their friends back from the H-vamps at Fangtasia. Sookie offers to feed Jessica, but ultimately ends up calling Lafayette to assist. While Lafayette convinces Jessica to feed, Bill and Sookie are about to learn that of all of the uninfected vampires they’ve reached out to for help, only two have shown up. Just when things look as grim as they possibly could, Eric makes his dramatic return, and offers his help to Sookie. Soon after, Willa bursts through the door, pissed off because she has been summoned by Eric who abandoned her, and is reluctantly enlisted to help as well. Eric, being the former owner of Fangtasia, alerts the group of an alternate way to get inside of the club, which may help minimize the odds that are stacked against them. Sam sneaks through a pipe to locate the hostages, and escapes the same way to tell the vampires where to bust through the wall. While they are evacuating the survivors through a freshly-made hole in the wall, Bill remains inside to help get the last couple of people out. He hears Eric out front of the building, screaming that he has his own human, and that he is bringing her in to share. Bill immediately knows that he is taking Sookie into that nest of vampires to distract them so the rest of the group can attack from the rear of the building.
At this point, Sookie realizes that Arlene is laying on the table, bleeding to death. After they kill off all of the H-vamps, they are in desperate search for a healthy vampire to heal Arlene’s wounds before she dies, but they are surrounded by a burning fire, set by the group of rednecks from the town who were alerted to the happening because Rosie has betrayed Sam and Jason by giving up their location. Vampires arrive just in time, and Arlene is saved, after “seeing” Terry as the life drained out of her body. Overall, this wasn’t AS strong of an episode as the last couple have been, but it was still really good. They’re going to great lengths to wrap the entire series, instead of leaving fans with a cliffhanger. It’s nice to see some old faces coming back into play. I’m fairly convinced at this point that True Blood will leave this world as strong as it entered. As an early fan of the show, I couldn’t be any happier than I am now. This is most certainly making up for the lackluster past couple of seasons of True Blood.
The Strain: “Night Zero” – Sunday, July 13 at 10 PM
This week we welcome ‘The Strain’ to our weekly DEADtime TV roundup. For those not previously aware, ‘The Strain’ is a new series just beginning on FX, based on the trilogy of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan; a book trilogy of which I myself am a particularly huge fan of and I have been very eagerly anticipating the arrival of the series on FX. There is also a comic adaption of the novels, although I haven’t yet had a chance to check those out.
The first episode of the series is properly titled ‘Night Zero’ and the teleplay for the episode was penned by none other than the book’s authors, Del Toro and Hogan themselves. The episode begins with your everyday average flight and the various array of passengers on board. As they begin to prepare their descent, all appears well, then suddenly all contact with the plane is lost. Remarkably the plane lands safely, but afterwards everything is eerily calm and out of place. All of the shades on the plane’s windows (aside from one) are down and everything is all too quiet. A specialist team consisting of Ephraim Goodweather and his associates arrives to check out the plane. What they discover inside is the apparent death of every person on board, with no explanation, signs of struggle or anything of the sort that can begin to clue them in on what has happened here.
Miraculously a small number of the people on board suddenly come to, which leads to a new jumble of questions. While this unexplainable event is in mid-insanity and Ephraim and his team is trying desperately to understand what is occurring, a mysterious old man who runs a pawn shop makes desperate attempts to reach Ephraim, claiming he knows what is happening.
From the perfect opening to the absolutely chilling final scene, I absolutely loved the first episode of ‘The Strain’ and as a huge fan of the books; I could not be more pleased. I have heard a number of negative opinions regarding the series which is disappointing. I personally think it is off to an absolutely stellar start and can’t wait for this unique and original take on the vampire mythology to continue and I do hope others will give it a chance; I think you just might be very happy that you decided to do so.
‘The Strain’ is currently airing its first season Sunday’s at 10:PM on FX.
The Leftovers: “Two Boats and a Helicopter” – Sunday, July 13 at 10 PM
The Leftovers takes a break from its regular protagonist, Kevin Garvey, to follow one of Mapleton’s residence throughout his no-good, very bad day. That man is the town’s church-keeper, Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston), a seriously devoted individual who has come to see that the day people went missing could not have been the Rapture because many of those people were not good at all. In fact, he’s made it his life’s work now to put up papers proclaiming the misdeeds of certain individuals, to the chagrin of the family members.
Matt is not a well-liked man, and The Leftovers realizes that it has some work to do before the audience will side with this devoutly religious guy. So Damon Lindelof and Jacqueline Hoyt set to work making “Two Boats and a Helicopter” the saddest, darkest episode of the show yet. Matt has had quite a few bad experiences in his life, the most recent one being his wife’s near-vegetable state after a car accident caused by the vanishing. Now he takes care of her when he’s not tending to the church, and he pays a nurse to stay by her side whenever he can’t be there.
But he’s also losing his church to a prospective buyer. He’s hated in the community and gets beaten up regularly. Whenever he thinks he’s doing the right thing, it’s wrong. The Leftovers has never been so grim, and “Two Boats and a Helicopter” is super fucking depressing for its first half hour. But when Matt sets out to win the money to buy the church, his luck changes.
God, or something, gives him signs on how to bet his money at the roulette wheel. He’s raking in the dough, and he even manages to hold on to the money after being robbed, then being whacked in the head by a rock trying to help the Guilty Remnant. It’s all for naught, though, when he finds he’s been in the hospital past the church sale deadline.
The audience, who has now come to Matt’s side however little thanks to the dreary writing, is left in a stupor. What shit luck. How can he still believe in a god? And then he’s left to find that the Guilty Remnant, those people who have been stalking him to join, have bought the church out from under him. The Leftovers leaves it at that conclusion, right now not willing to explain itself. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is the reference in the title of this episode – to a joke about God sending signs and people clearly misreading them – noting that Matt has been missing God’s signs to join the GR, or is it about him missing the fact that he can no longer continue telling people how shitty those who vanished were?
“Two Boats and a Helicopter” ends right here, with no details. And yet it’s still a deeply satisfying episode, an excursion watching one man attempt to live his life after a mysterious event left him forever scarred. These are the moments, like Lindelof’s Lost before, where the show shines; the individual stories are even greater than knowing what really happened.
Salem: “All Fall Down” – Sunday, July 13 at 10 PM
Salem heads into its season finale with the entire town a mess; Increase Mather’s dedication to hanging John Alden has sent everyone into an uproar, while the witches are coming to the final stage of their Grand Rite. If “All Fall Down” has any indication of what’s to come for season two, it’s that things are going to be pretty shitty in Salem, and unlike this first season.
But first we’ve got to cover everything that happens before. John and Mary make a getaway into the woods, where he learns of Mary’s real talent – she is a witch, and he accepts her, and they want to run away and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, it’s all for naught because Mary still needs to perform the last sacrifice to bring about the Grand Rite. Tituba drops a bombshell, one that will change Mary’s life forever, and it makes her rethink leaving Salem unpoxed.
The baby she sacrificed to the dark lord to become a witch is still alive, and the witches will kill it if Mary doesn’t finish the Rite. Easy enough, she says: Increase is trying to kill my guy, so I’ll kill him and that’ll take care of both problems at once. A plan is devised, a pretty smart one at that, and steps are taken to ensure the Grand Rite arrives.
In the meantime, some major shit goes down with the Hales. Anne’s inability to accept her witchhood make her powers go haywire, and she kills both of her parents in the process. How this will work out in the future is anyone’s guess, but I’m thinking Anne becomes an evil witch bent on Salem domination.
And the pox begins after the Grand Rite is finished. “All Fall Down” leaves almost everyone who has been a large part of season one dead; that, or they’ve left the town in some way. This leaves a question of how Salem will proceed in season two – will they choose to focus on everyone outside of the town, or will they follow the plague? Start with a new cast of characters? Who knows, but it leaves an exciting cliffhanger that also makes the viewer question John Alden’s fate.
Overall, Salem turned out to be a rather intriguing excursion, if a bit slow in spots. While some of “All Fall Down”‘s wire-work and special effects don’t look as good as they should, Salem has proven to be a contender in the recent spate of horror television series.
Teen Wolf: “The Benefactor” – Monday, July 14 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Teen Wolf’ marks the fourth episode in the fourth season of the series and is titled ‘The Benefactor’. The episode begins with Sherriff Stilinski examining the corpse of the Wendigo following the mute’s attack, along with some assistance from Derek. Meanwhile, Scott and Stiles bring Liam back to Scott’s house in order to try and explain what he saw. Considering the fact that Scott ended up having to bite Liam in order to protect him, they now have no choice but to fill him in on everything since he will likely be experiencing some huge changes of his own as a result. Naturally, Liam escapes before they can explain everything.
The episode focuses largely on events surrounding the full moon. The group makes their way to Lydia’s lake house in order to have a safe place to contain themselves (or at least a few of them) and in a last desperate attempt to both inform and protect Liam regarding his situation, they trick him into coming to the lake house with a lie about a huge party. As things always do, problems occur, unexpected guests arrive and things get significantly out of hand.
The four season of ‘Teen Wolf’ continues to deliver, even with the loss of numerous cast members, in addition to a number of recent additions to the regular cast list. As we are now a third of the way through the season, we can see things are definitely starting to build to something big, in addition to a the new mystery of just who The Benefactor might be. I will without question be continuing to watch each week and I hope the fellow fans are enjoying the new season as much as me and I look forward to seeing you all back here next week.
The fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on MTV.
Under the Dome: “Force Majeure” – Monday, July 14 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Under the Dome’ is the third episode of the shows sophomore season and is titled ‘Force Majeure’. The episode begins with the unknown girl (now staying with Barbie and Julia) digging through Barbie’s belongings; in the middle of doing so Barbie walks into the room and when he begins to question her and her motives Julia reprimands him, immediately defending the girl. Shortly after, the entire town begins to gather as Big Jim and Rebecca decide to conduct a census on the town, apparently solely for the purpose of evenly distributing and providing food, yet their real intent is to decide who is worthy to live and who should die so that they might better supply those who have some purpose to the bigger picture.
The episode largely focuses on a weird rain that suddenly begins plaguing the town; a rain that looks bright red like blood, but apparently features some sort of toxic properties, as they soon discover it also burns and harms those it touches. This episode we also discover that Lyle (the barber) has some secrets hidden that cause him to start doing questionable things. Believe it or not, even more peculiar events start occurring, such as the sudden return of the internet, apparently out of nowhere; although this sudden access, followed by its nearly immediate subsequent loss is certainly not a mere chance of fate, as it might just lead Junior to some even larger and more complex questions than he could have ever imagined.
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ is certainly enjoyable and it delivers a lot of entertaining and intriguing questions, as well as already providing a few answers, yet I can’t help but feel it’s really being stretched thin to a degree. I do hope the recent comments from those behind the show apparently now aiming for five seasons won’t dilute and harm the show too badly. The fact does remain that we are only three episodes into the season at this point and things are certainly still consistently exciting, so my initial thoughts on this matter may be unjustified, especially this early into the season. Regardless, I’ll keep tuning in each week as long as all of you do too, and I’ll see you back here yet again next week for episode four.
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
Extant: “Extinct” – Wednesday, July 16 at 9 PM
Last week, I reviewed the first episode of Extant, after going into it cold. I had heard nothing about the show, other than the fact that it now exists, and needs someone to review it, So, review it I did. I don’t know that I could say that I was particularly taken by the pilot, but it posed enough interesting questions to have me back for round two. In this week’s episode, Molly is still dealing with the shock of both being back on Earth for the first time in 13 months, as well as the strange pregnancy that was apparently the result of sex with an automaton, alien version of her dead EX. She passes out at home, and Dr. Barton gives her an off-the-books ultrasound to try and learn a little more about the mysterious pregnancy. Now we get back to Kryger, a character we know almost nothing about, other than being suspicious that he has had an experience similar to Molly’s.
Now we’ll get to see a series of flashbacks so that we can learn more about who he is, and hopefully get some clues as to what exactly is going on. The scene is eerily familiar, Kryger is doing some work aboard his ship, when the electricity begins to flash, and suddenly he loses communication with the ship’s artificial intelligence. I highly doubt that Kryger can get pregnant, but thus far his experience has been identical. Well, except for the fact that instead of running into a dead ex-lover, he sees some representation of his mother, further diminishing the possibilities of any space-nookie from occurring. Meanwhile, Ethan and John meet with Yasumoto so that he can see exactly what he is investing in. When Molly is locked out of the computer system while trying to figure out what is going on, she meets up with Kryger, who tells her exactly what happened to him in space. After their conversation, Molly heads out to confront Alan, to find out exactly what it is that he has exposed her too. She also clues him in on the fact that she is 14 weeks pregnant, which is impossible. After a tense confrontation, Alan meets up with Yasumoto, and it becomes clear to the audience that they are intentionally withholding the truth, and have a pretty good idea as to what exactly is going on. I’m glad somebody does. There’s nothing much left to this episode, some drama about Molly coming home late, and Ethan assuring her that he’d kept the secret about her collapsing at the house at the beginning of the episode. I don’t know what I think so far. It’s interesting enough that I want to know what happens next, and where exactly this show is going, but I don’t think this is a show I would be following if I weren’t covering it for DEADtime TV. Until next week.
Dominion: “Something Borrowed” – Thursday, July 17 at 9 PM
Dominion has a few different characters to scatter focus around, and yet for the most part the show still feels sorely lacking in plot. There’s been a lot of political strife, mainly around the senators who continually bicker about what’s best for Vega, and most of this season’s episodes have been about defining the leaders in the city.
Unfortunately, I still believe the most important aspect of Dominion‘s story lies in the people the populate Vega, not those that lead it. But “Something Borrowed” continues to explore all of intense action of people fighting about who will be in power should Claire Riesen’s father die. It’s not that I’m hoping this show will turn into something it’s not – it’s that the plot that the show has been choosing to follow is stolid.
With that said, “Something Borrowed” does deliver some cool scenes. Gabriel is decidedly missing from this episode, but Michael spends some time with Alex training him to be an angel-fighting mission. Likewise, Alex has a difficult time dealing with Bixby’s death, since he equates it to his inability to stop the rising angel force.
Claire wants to blackmail Whele because that’s, in effect, what he’s doing to pretty much everyone else. And there’s an angel on the loose in Vega that has killed a man – come to find out that that’s Claire’s mother, who has sort of lost her sense of humanity. Yikes, family drama!
Unfortunately, all of this kind of gets in the way of Dominion‘s supposed Chosen One story, as well as the mounting war between humans and angels. It’s not that what the show is doing is awful, or unwatchable; but there’s nothing memorable about it. There’s also a lack of direction, because I’m still really not sure what we’re supposed to be taking from this season of the show besides some turmoil in Vega. Halfway through the first season, “directionless” isn’t a label you want on your show.
Next week we add The Lottery to the list. Stay tuned!