Hey Dead-heads, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. We’re taking you through another week of horror television; Shawn’s got True Blood, Kevin‘s got Teen Wolf, The Strain, and Under the Dome, and I’ve got the rest. Busy week! NOTE: EXTANT HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE LINEUP!
The Last Ship: “Lockdown” – Sunday, July 27 at 9 PM
“Lockdown” is a fairly mellow episode for The Last Ship, even when a potential outbreak of the deadly virus threatens to kill everyone on-board the ship. It’s certainly not like the rest of the episodes, which have featured explosions and gunfire and destruction of other cultures.
But at least we’re actually talking about the virus here and not terrible stereotypes. When one of the soldiers comes down with what might be the flu, the ship goes into the lockdown that the title suggests. But there’s more! Dr. Scott is unable to figure out why the vaccine isn’t working; she tests on monkeys from Nicaragua and kills them all, then must dispose of them without the rest of the crew finding out.
It doesn’t go well; people start to get suspicious, especially when the captain keeps telling them that they’re about to go home when they really might be heading to Nicaragua for more monkeys. It’s not the best way to keep morale high, and there are reactions to this bad news – mainly lots of panicking.
However, “Lockdown” is low-key and not very interesting to watch. Some stuff goes down – distrust of the commanding officer, potential sickness, inability to find a cure – but all of it is so centered on the ship itself that the episode really stagnates. At least some major plot themes come about; namely, the CO finds out about the illicit relationship on the ship, but other than that it’s all a lot of staggering to elongate the plot.
Hopefully the show will get back to what it does best – crazy plots that are sort of offensive. This is the second misstep of season one, but I’m confident that The Last Ship will get back to ridiculousness.
True Blood: “Karma” – Sunday, July 27 at 9 PM
This episode of True Blood picks up precisely where the last episode left off, with Eric battling a hallway full of Yakuza, carrying the torn-off face of one of his victims. He is confronted with some more baddies, when he realizes that they have captured Pam. Eric gives in, and soon he finds himself tied to a chair next to Pam as they await the sun to rise where they will meet the true death. Meanwhile, after the revelation that Bill is infected with Hep-V, he is trying to make an appointment with an attorney so that he can arrange his final wishes. While he’s on the phone, Jessica comes home, and overhearing him discussing his upcoming death is how she learns that he will soon be gone.
Lafayette is still dealing with Tara’s crazy ass mother, who has drugged the pastor/her boyfriend so that she can find some vampire blood and hopefully communicate with her daughter, that is supposedly dead(I’m still not convinced). James convinces him that she might not be crazy, and volunteers his blood so that they can both go on the trip, and see if there is any validity to her claims. In their trip, they see Tara at her childhood home, digging furiously in the front yard. Before they can learn anything else, they are awakened by the pastor/her boyfriend, which leads to a confrontation. Meanwhile, Jason is trying to find the nerve to tell Violet that the relationship isn’t working out, after his encounter with Jessica. When he enters the house, he sees no trace of violet, but finds a note from her stating that the relationship is over. He is not aware that she heard him getting it on with Jessica.
When Bill makes it to the attorney’s office, he is told that there will be a 5-7 hour wait. Once he finally makes it in for an appointment, he soon learns that this human attorney is taking advantage of dying vampires, and extorting them for millions. Apparently this offends him, because he decides to impale her with some sort of very large cutting apparatus. Cut to Pam and Eric, that are still tied to a chair awaiting the sun to rise and turn them into dust, and in walks Gus Jr., the American president of the Yakonomo Corporation, who explains to Eric and Pam that he will let them go if they lead him to Sarah Newland, who he holds responsible for destroying his company. At first, Eric refuses, as he wants to kill Sarah for himself, but eventually they come to an agreement so that they can find her together.
Sarah is hiding out in her Sister’s house, who just happens to be a Hep-V vampire. She tries to take a bite out of Sarah, but soon passes out. Sookie, is currently awaiting the results of her Hep-V test, since she just found out that Bill has contracted the virus, she suspects that she is the source, even though she just recently tested negative. After a bit of waiting, it turns out that in fact she is positive for Hep-V. Andy catches Holly’s son naked in bed with Adilyn, who he then chases out of the house. The two claim to be “in love” so they take off together. While Andy and Holly look for them, they are approached by Violet, that lures them away with her, claiming they can hide out with her if they don’t want to get caught, even convincing them to leave their phones behind so that they can’t be tracked. Sarah’s sister finally awakens, and Sarah tells her that there is a Hep-V antidote, and that she drank all of it, so she is technically the cure for Hep V. When Eric, Pam and Gus Jr, Pam and Eric immediately realize that Sarah’s sister is no longer sick, and so the episode ends with them demanding to know how.
This was actually a fairly slow episode of True Blood, but in all honesty, as strong as it has been since its return, it felt good to take a break from the action to deal with some of the more dialogue-heavy character stuff. It was still a really good episode, even if it wasn’t exactly exciting. Some crazy things are happening, and I have no doubts that the last of the final season is going to get wild. If you quit watching the show recently due to the decline in quality, I would almost urge you to catch up, just so you can see the show back in its true form. It’s going to be gone forever soon, and now that it has returned to its roots, that kind of makes me sad. Until next week.
The Lottery: “Rules of the Game” – Sunday, July 27 at 10 PM
After last week’s pilot episode, The Lottery takes things down a notch with a rather uninspired storyline. The initial episode set the dystopian world up for the viewer, introducing the one thing that makes it different from ours: the inability to have children. And a lottery was created, meant to raffle off 100 eggs for women to incubate and raise. It set Dr. Alison Lennon off on a quest to stop the government from interfering in public affairs, and she stole an embryo to find its rightful owner – the woman who donated it.
In “Rules of the Game,” Alison is captured and taken hostage by Darius Hayes, tortured and interrogated to return the embryo. The lottery has not been a great PR boost for the President, so the government wants to do anything they can to paint this thing in a positive light. With Alison on the loose, they can do no such thing. Vanessa Keller, Chief of Staff, gives her a proposition to work with the government as long as she gives back the embryo.
In other news, Kyle Walker steals his son away from a government hospital so that he can care for him himself without the government stepping in to say what’s right for Elvis. They become fugitives, since Elvis is one of only six children in the world, and they quickly head for one of the other six’s house. Unfortunately, all of Elvis’ insulin vials break, so Kyle must steal more before his son slips into a diabetic coma.
Unfortunately, that subplot of “Rules of the Game” plays out like the many, many other shows that have used diabetes as as plot device. Suspensefully Kyle tries to get back home, but he’s blocked! And Elvis is slowly dying! It’s very trite and unoriginal, and this is the sort of writing that won’t net The Lottery a lot of fans.
However, the show does do some characterization with Vanessa Keller, and the introduction of another child is a nice (but seriously unrealistic) aspect. But “Rules of the Game” is certainly not as intriguing as its initial pilot, and the show still has a lot of work to do with its concept before it sits well within the post-apocalyptic crowd of shows on TV right now.
The Strain: “Gone Smooth” – Sunday, July 27 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘The Strain’ marks the third episode in the first season and the series as a whole and is titled ‘Gone Smooth’. The episode begins Thomas Eichorst (the older business gentleman in the suit who hired Gus and is working along with Eldritch Palmer in bringing this plan to fruition) gathering himself together in front of a mirror, fully attaching nose and other body elements, followed by makeup to cover up his true appearance and by the end of this process he stands and emerges from the room as the gentleman we previously knew him as, revealing to us that he is not the mere ordinary human we initially thought him to be but an ancient vampire himself it would appear.
The episode focuses largely on Eph and his team’s efforts to find out what happened to all of the bodies. With all of them no longer at the morgue, Eph and his team naturally assume that the Feds have taken possession of the bodies in order to keep others away from them. Soon after finding nothing of any help to them, Eph reluctantly agrees to let Nora go and speak with the seemingly crazy old pawn shop owner, Abraham Setrakian who claimed to have knowledge of the situation, while he himself must deal with the custody hearing regarding his son in the hopes of gaining joint custody. At the same time their other teammate Jim Kent decides to try and confront Eldritch Palmer in order to terminate their arrangement, now beginning to seriously question his involvement with these people.
The episode also focuses a lot on some of the other survivors who have returned back and are trying to reinsert themselves into their ordinary, everyday lives. We also start to see some of the changes that are occurring with these survivors, this episode focusing a fair amount on Ansel Barbour, the so to speak nerdy individual from the flight and the progression of what is happening to him.
As a huge fan of the novel trilogy, I must say I continue to be quite impressed with the Television adaption so far and it’s really wonderful to see the author’s of the books having such an active involvement with the series. Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote the novels and are also the series creators for those not aware. Fans may have also noticed that Chuck Hogan himself penned this week’s episode which is always a nice treat to see. I do hope the fellow fans are enjoying it as much as I am and will continue to join me back here each week for our continuing DEADtimeTV coverage of the series.
‘The Strain’ is currently airing its first season Sunday’s at 10:PM on FX.
The Leftovers: “Gladys” – Sunday, July 27 at 10 PM
As I surmised last week, this episode of The Leftovers spends a little more time than most in the Guilty Remnant camp, although it does not specifically deal with Gladys and her exploits like “Two Boats and Helicopter” did for Matt. Instead, the plot revolves around her, events spiraling out from one specific occurrence that changes life in Mapleton.
The Guilty Remnant have always had opposition, especially because of the way they choose to carry out their goals. They have a strange belief, different from religion or common cult agendas. No one understands them, least of all the audience watching the show, and they don’t (or can’t) make it a point to explain. So in the opening scene of “Gladys,” when the titular character is kidnapped, tied to a tree, and brutally stoned, the act is not a surprise – it’s the emotional tug of how it happens.
Mimi Leder, director of the episode, does not shy away from the stoning. She films it nearly entirely, giving little view of the attackers. It’s sickening blow after blow to the head of Gladys, punished for many things – her unwillingness to speak, her stalking tendencies, the GR’s stealing of everyone’s photographs on Christmas. And I’ve seen many a comment on the Internet where people claim that they would beat up a GR if they saw them.
Well, here you go. “Gladys” shows us what happens when we take action against silent protest. And Leder chooses to give us all of it in gory glory, not to present more “action” (another thing people have stupidly been clamoring for) but to disgust us. Does Gladys really deserve such a terrible death, barely able to utter “No… don’t” before the final rock lands a blow? Of course not. But we see it all, and I hope it made everyone feel as shitty as it made me feel.
This instigates a number of things. It hits Kevin Garvey hard, especially because his wife (now ex-wife) Laurie is part of the GR and it could have happened to her. He tries to organize a curfew, blocked by the town and their council; he attempts to cope with her request for a divorce, and it nearly breaks him. “Gladys” does a number of good things for his characterization, because this time he feels like a person instead of an angry man going through the motions. There’s more to Justin Theroux than anger, and I’m glad The Leftovers got to it.
And the episode spends quite a bit of time with Laurie and the GR leader Patti. Since Laurie was the first to see Gladys, she experiences a panic attack; Patti, nervous that Laurie might want to run back to her family, takes her out for a breakfast and little retreat from GR life, even allowing her to talk if she would like. It almost feels like a test, and it’s still not clear what exactly Patti’s doing with the GR, but it does shed a little light on the society.
The one problem here is that The Leftovers yet again returns to the obvious theme of things that go missing. Kevin’s white shirts go missing at the dry cleaner’s, and he goes on a drunken bender to get them back. He’s feeling that loss, it ties in to the day all those people disappeared, but it’s also the third time the show has re-used this concept. It’s getting a little tired.
But “Gladys” is another strong episode, and it’s creating a host of other problems around Mapleton that should (although it won’t – people have a strange hatred of this show) quell the complainers that nothing gets explained and nothing happens. In my eyes, I’m just going with where The Leftovers wants to take me, and so far it hasn’t missed widely yet.
Teen Wolf: “Orphaned” – Monday, July 28 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Teen Wolf’ marks the sixth episode in the fourth season of the series and is titled ‘Orphaned’. The episode begins with a flashback to four weeks earlier, with Kate sitting in a car in the rain, when she comes across a cassette tape with the label play me. On this tape is a recording mentioning methods in which born werewolves use to handle the shift and teach their children control and additionally mentioning the use of the Triskelion. Immediately following this, we jump to Kate and the Berserkers interrogating the last standing man in a surrounding bloodbath of assassins about who The Benefactor is, a fact he swears up and down that he does not know.
The episode focuses largely on the revelation that Violet is part of a group of young serial killers dubbed ‘The Orphans’ and a lot of mystery as well as some revelations surrounding this fact. Scott is then forced to deal with Garrett who has kidnapped Liam and is using him in order to blackmail Scott into his assistance in retrieving Violet from police custody. Unfortunately nothing is quite what is seems and due to a number of unforeseen events, Scott is forced to do whatever is necessary to find Liam before it’s too late.
At the same time, the discovery that Brett (who was Garrett and Violet’s intended target last episode for those who may have forgotten) along with some others are all members of another pack, lead by none other than Satomi, the Japanese woman who helped Kira’s mother to defeat the Nogitsune during World War II. Upon this revelation, Derek, assisted my Malia, head off in search of Satomi’s pack, only to discover they appear to be intentionally masking their scents.
The episode also focuses a lot on Stiles and Lydia as they continue to try and decipher the final third of the Deadpool list. They decide they must inform Deputy Parrish that he is on the list, though they still aren’t certain whether he is a member of the supernatural community himself, nor if he has any knowledge of its existence. In their desperate attempt to uncover the last third of the list, they enlist Parrish’s help and head back to Eichen House in the hope that fellow Banshee Meredith might be of some help once again, which naturally leads to a whole new set of problems and questions.
We are now officially half way through the fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ and the show continues to impress me, once again delivering a solid, entertaining and often incredibly funny series with some true heart to boot. I love the mystery brought into the fold each season and I look forward to seeing what the second half of the season will deliver, in addition to the eventual revelation of just who The Benefactor might be.
The fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on MTV.
Under The Dome: Season Two, Episode Five – ‘Reconciliation’
This week’s new episode of ‘Under the Dome is the fifth episode of the shows sophomore season and is titled ‘Reconciliation’. The episode begins with Melanie (now at least aware of who she is to a degree) awakening from a dream (flashback?) of her supposed death so many years ago to find Joe and Norrie standing over her bed. She insists that she must find Sam so that she might hopefully be able to get some answers as to what may have really happened that night so many years ago and why she is back here at all, a task in which Joe and Norrie agree to assist her in.
The episode largely focuses on the splitting of the townspeople into opposing groups; those which believe Big Jim is the right man to lead the town and those who think he is a lunatic who thinks he is God and who tried to murder the entire town. As Barbie and Julia bring Jim and Rebecca in front of the town in order to stand trial, a citizen decides to take matters into his own hands and tries to murder Big Jim. Barbie disarms the man, yet Phil (currently acting Sheriff of the town, mind you) shoots the man dead which leads to questions of his justification with the man no longer presenting a credible threat. Having been relieved as Sherriff by Julia (now apparently in charge) after the incident, Phil begins to start acting a bit off. Soon odd occurrences including a large explosion and destruction of remaining food sources make Barbie and Julia start wondering whether something more is going on, yet Big Jim insists that Phil is surely behind it.
Meanwhile Junior joins forces with Sam in order to try and track down Lyle who has escaped his grasp. Junior shares with Sam that his mother is still alive, still unaware that Sam is the one who murdered Angie, believing still that Lyle is behind it with his stealing of the journal and vanishing just confirming his guilt in Junior’s mind. Unfortunately Junior’s unjustified trust in Sam just might put him in more danger and will also lead to revelations, some of which could prove disastrous not just for Junior himself, but for a few others who are honestly trying to help the town in this troubled time.
While the second season of ‘Under The Dome’ continues to keep me entertained and deliver some interesting and worthwhile entertainment, it just doesn’t feel as if it’s keeping the magic that it had in its first season in a lot of ways. While the show is in no way horrible or lost its footing completely, it just feel a bit tired and mildly stretched at this point, although I hope the remainder of the season will change my mind about this matter. We are after all currently only five episodes into the thirteen episode order for the second season.
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
Dominion: “Ouroboros” – Thursday, July 31 at 9 PM
Ah, Ouroboros, the thing shows that think they’re smart like to refer to. Ouroboros is the snake that eats itself, the circular cycle, and Dominion makes use of this by pitting Whele against Whele against lion. Also on tap is a battle of wits, with Gabriel making another appearance to duke it out with his brother Michael. All this, on Big Brother: Dominion edition!
Some big things do happen, though, don’t get me wrong. There’s a scene of fucking between Alex and his soldier girl-friend, with some tasteful nudity strewn in there. There’s a flashback sequence with Michael, who is hardly the good angel that he pretends to be. And then there’s a lot of talk between David Whele and his son William, about whether David should join William’s flock of Gabriel worshipers.
Most interesting is the progress Alex is making on his evictions and powers as Chosen One. He practices on all the lower eight-balls, trying to evict them from the bodies of those they’ve possessed, and then he manages to do it right with Gabriel, who inhabits the body of a higher angel trying to do right in Vega.
Gabriel infiltrates Vega; he kills all of the higher angels that won’t stand with him to show Vega that they’re not as safe as they think they are. And at least Gabriel gets something to do this episode – rarely does Dominion make much use of him. Likewise, Alex’s Chosen One powers get more focus here than usual, lest we forget he can actually do stuff.
Michael’s allegiances are brought into question as well, because Gabriel puts doubt in the minds of Alex and those who know him. What is he up to, and why does he want to help Vega so much? And why was he such a dick back in the day? The answers to these questions are left unsaid, but Dominion should be covering them soon.
Besides the raucous sex and the shooting of a majestic lion, it’s a quieter episode of Dominion. Yet it’s one of the stronger ones simply by putting more emphasis on Michael and Gabriel as brothers, something that the show should do more often. The whole point of this show, after all, is about a brotherly war, so it’s time Dominion got to that.
Next week, more of the same! More reviews of your favorite (and not-so-favorite) TV shows. And we’ll see if Shawn decides to drop Extant.