Welcome to another DEADtime! I’m Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World and I’m here to take you through another week of horror TV. This time, we add Extant to the list of things we’re foolishly covering. Kevin Lovell is still giving us all the Teen Wolf and Under the Dome goodness, and Shawn is still doing True Blood now that Penny Dreadful has left us along with Extant. I’ve got the rest.
The Last Ship: “Dead Reckoning” – Sunday, July 6 at 9 PM
I’m pretty sure that The Last Ship is banking on the fact that viewers don’t know much about naval operations or big ships or radar. I know I don’t. But I’m guessing that the events in “Dead Reckoning” aren’t depicted as accurately as they should be, stretching the truth for a very tense situation where a sheet of tin foil substitutes for a 500 foot naval destroyer and two people on a speedboat can blow up another large ship.
Last week, the asshole terrorists were Al-Qaeda; this week, they’re Russian. They swill vodka like they’re supposed to, kill their own like they’re supposed to, and talk with funny accents. It’s all stereotypical drivel, and unlike last week, I kind of ate it up because The Last Ship is just so unintentionally hilarious. Take, for instance, this golden line: “I hate mines.” Or one of the ending pieces of dialogue, after a stressful situation between a naval couple where the Man worries for the Woman’s life: “I love you, stay away from me.” It’s the epitome of amazingly awful screenwriting.
But then you throw in stuff like stereotypical Russians and seriously questionable actions and you’ve got yourself a Sunday night that will most likely leave you hungover and tired for Monday. This show screams “drinking game,” and there’s a lot of stuff to drink to.
This week has nothing to do with the virus, unless you count the fact that the crazy Russians are willing to do anything to get their hands on the Americans’ scientist, also with the only sample of primordial virus. It looks like the beginning of a terrible relationship between the two factions, but thankfully the Americans get out okay by blasting a torpedo into some coral to scrape by. All of it is drawn out to epic proportions, where the viewer is supposed to wait with bated breath. And it’s cool in that sense that, “wow there was a fucking explosion there,” “there’s some boating CGI here,” “that’s a good idea if radar can really be fooled like that.”
Otherwise, though, there’s no reason to tune in each week to The Last Ship if you’re planning on taking it seriously. You just can’t. But it’s got some good laughs, and that should keep you occupied enough.
True Blood: “Fire in the Hole” – Sunday, July 6 at 9 PM
True Blood returns for another episode of their final season, and they appear to be going full Reservoir Dogs with character deaths. They made it very clear in this episode – by killing a fan-favorite – that nobody is safe when the world is coming to an end. One character I’ve grown quite fond of – a major character – and one minor character that I have hated, and actively wished for their demise bit the dust in this episode. We’ll get into who and what later on, but just to warn you, I won’t be holding back on the spoilers, as this is a recap, so please be up-to-date before reading. This episode of True Blood, after a quick introduction to a yoga instructor to be dealt with later, begins with Pam confronting Eric, after finally tracking him down. Eric is dying from Hep V, and refusing to take blood to remain strong, so Pam is pleading with him to feed so that they can buy enough time to find a cure. Eric isn’t having it though, as he reveals he’s just tired of living, and has decided to let himself die without fighting. This gives them an opportunity to give us some tragic backstory from Eric’s past, to help us try and understand why it is he’s tired of living. Apparently he was in love with a human once, and because he loved her, she was killed in front of him. Meanwhile, Alcide awakens to find Sookie no longer in the house. As he desperately searches for her, it is revealed that she has convinced Bill to take her out into the woods to act as bait to draw the Hep V vamps out of hiding. Though Bill voices his concerns of the plan, he does nothing to stop her from executing it.
If you remember the last episode, you remember a group of people from the town were easily manipulated by a local redneck gun nut, and they executed a siege on the Sheriff’s station, convincing a deputy to join in on the cause, and hand out all of the weapons from the armory. They lock Andy’s last remaining fairy daughter and one of her friends up in the cell, and head off into the town, armed to-the-teeth, and ready to kill anything that disagrees with them. Soon, Jessica and Andy arrive at the cell to catch Adilyn and Wade moments from connecting a kiss, and the kids fill the two in on what has transpired in their absence. Meanwhile, Sam and his vampire escort, Matt are traveling back into the city limits, when they encounter the angry mob of townfolk, in an armed human-roadblock. Sam tries to reason with them, but Vince has convinced his untrained army of gun-toting rednecks that the time for revolution has come, and has decided that HE will be the town’s new mayor. They kill Matt, and tell Sam that he has to leave town, but Sam flat-out refuses, and transforms into a bird and flies away from the angry mob.
After Jason tries to convince Violet to adopt a child with him, she accusing him of basically being a pussy. Interrupting this awkward back and forth is Andy, who arrives to inform Jason about the angry mob, and the fact that they may or may not be after Sookie. Jason grabs his guns, and they head out the door in search of Sookie, leaving Adilyn and Wade behind with instructions to leave the house under no circumstances. One of the best scenes of the entire episode, is between Lafayette and James, his vampire guard. Last time they were together, they smoked some weed and hung out, so James, who is Jessica’s boyfriend, stops by to see if they can do the same. They begin talking about the drugs of Jame’s days as a human, and Lafayette turns himself into a human drug salad, mixing a bunch if different pills and ingesting them before James feeds from him. What follows is an extremely endearing scene between two people that clearly have a lot of chemistry, and it really seeps from the screen.
Bill and Sookie are still hanging out in the woods, Sookie bleeding, in an attempt to draw out the Hep V-infected Vamps. Soon, a glamoured Holly comes walking out of the darkness. Right after Holly makes her appearance, Sookie and Bill are ambushed by the Hep-V Vamps, and Bill is overpowered by having a silver chain wrapped around his neck. Just as it appears Sookie will be meeting her end, Sam and Alcide run out of the woods in dog-form, to destroy the Hep-V infected vamps. In the heat of the fight, Sookie ends up covered from head-to-toe in infected vampire blood, so she heads to a nearby stream to wash it off. As she’s cleaning herself, a gunshot from a hidden location, nails Alcide right between the eyes. Alcide, a True Blood fan-favorite, is dead and gone. Like I said, this show is going Reservoir Dogs on us. While it may see forced, and perhaps a little gratuitous to kill off every major character in the last season of your show, I’m finding True Blood to be far more entertaining than it has been for years, almost to the point that I’ll be sad to see it go away forever. Why the writers couldn’t have focused on making the show this entertaining during the last couple of seasons, which featured a few entertaining episodes, but for the most part, represent a complete decline in the overall quality of the show. I’m happy, at least, that they seem to be going out with a bang thus far. Until next week!
The Leftovers: “Penguin One, Us Zero” – Sunday, July 6 at 10 PM
The Leftovers‘ second episode continues its development of the requisite factions that developed after the sudden disappearance of part of the population; Damon Lindelof, executive producer and co-writer of this episode, still refuses to divulge answers to some of the bigger questions. There’s that group of people called the Guilty Remnant, who smoke and remain silent except for written notes. There’s Chief Garvey’s son’s group, led by a mysterious hug-healer named Wayne, that is raided by FBI in the episode. And there are those that refuse to be grouped into anything other than their individuality, attempting to figure out what happened and how to get through it.
Some viewers will probably find The Leftovers‘ mysteries annoying, especially the ones that really don’t require such bated breath. Why the Guilty Remnant smokes is probably not something important enough to keep hidden, but rather a method of attempting to kill themselves without taking violent action. But Lindelof and company continue to prolong that explanation anyway, and while this is one of the unlikable things about the show, it’s not a dealbreaker if one is patient enough.
The show is a slow burn anyway, rarely rushing headlong into any sort of action. “Penguin One, Us Zero” picks up a few weeks after the pilot episode (it’s already snowed now), and the actions of Chief Garvey have already been reprimanded and dealt with. Since killing those dogs with the Mysterious Stranger, he’s now been going to therapy to talk out his feelings, and he’s been put on a sort of watch because “losing his shit” runs in the family. In fact, Garvey visits his father in a mental institution, giving the audience a sense of the psychosis that could affect him later on – it seems as though his father suffers from some sort of schizophrenia, but the voices that he hears seem to speak truths.
Whatever the case, “Penguin One, Us Zero” furthers the idea that Garvey might be losing it. Is he the only one that sees the Mysterious Stranger? Is it in his head that bagels disappear into the ether after going into a toaster? The Leftovers answers this question right away, but in an unsatisfying way – other people can see the Stranger, and the bagel metaphor is completely ripped open when Garvey takes apart the toaster and finds the bagels, burnt but whole.
At times, this episode gets so bogged down in working with symbolism and metaphor that it forgets to simply let that imagery do the work. Instead, it’s explained to us in a way that answers too much. Unfortunately, the show hasn’t figured out what to leave questionable for the viewer and what to divulge. It’s still a strong episode that begins a number of new avenues for the show to work through, but there’s also reveals that seem too obvious.
It’s hard to fault the show, though, since all the stuff it has going on is pretty interesting. It all depends on how willing the viewer is to accept things at face value, trusting that The Leftovers will answer things at some point while leaving other questions left necessarily unanswered. The tone of the show is a strong suit; this episode finds the show adding a bit of humor to its usually grim approach. As the show nears its halfway point (10 episodes for the first season), a narrative arc should develop, which will make it easier to distinguish if The Leftovers is able to pursue a suitable direction.
Salem: “Ashes, Ashes” – Sunday, July 6 at 10 PM
In “Ashes, Ashes,” Salem turns into a courthouse drama. It’s the same kind of thing you might see on Law & Order, except none of the characters in this show are arguing about whether someone will be walking free or heading to jail. This about life or death, whether John Alden should be hanged or burned for leading a band of witches against the little town of Salem.
Increase Mather leads the charge against John, pulling in a few ingenious tactics to make him look as guilty as possible. Where did John disappear to when he went to war? Why was he overcome with lust for Anne Hale? Increase and, more importantly the writers, utilize the events of this first season of Salem to condemn John, and as the episode before the season finale, it works as a great recap.
It also manages to throw the town of Salem into a frenzy. Some probably believe that John Alden isn’t a witch, but many of them are swayed by Increase’s words and the unfortunate actions of John. It doesn’t help that he can’t lie about his actions with the Indians, as “Ashes, Ashes” divulges later – helped by these Native Americans, he sided with them and killed when he found Americans had ravaged their camp.
Only Cotton (and Mary Sibley) is the obvious person in favor of John’s innocence, and even he is doubtful after finding out all the things that John has done. “Ashes, Ashes” finally gives us John’s backstory, and that’s a moment that plays out like a giant mystery has been revealed. Even so, it shows a lot about John’s character; he’s stubborn, but loyal, and he will become a traitor if he doesn’t believe in those he’s sided with.
There’s more info given about the Malum, too, an artifact that brings about the Grand Rite because the apple opens. Cotton is figuring out more than his father, and this is a good episode for him; often Salem paints him as a drunk without any attention to giving more about his character, but there are moments in “Ashes, Ashes” where it feels as though he needs his father’s love even despite his disagreements.
It’s a great episode to lead up to the finale, and it puts everyone in a great bind. There’s chaos in Salem, and that’s the best way to enter the last episode of season one.
Teen Wolf: “Muted” – Monday, July 7 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Teen Wolf’ marks the third episode in the fourth season of the series and is titled ‘Muted’. The episode begins with a young boy searching for his cat and finally discovering it underneath the bed, but covered in blood. He discovers a man has come and murdered the rest of his family; a man who mysteriously has no mouth and now appears to have his sights set on killing him as well. In a desperate attempt to survive, the boy successfully escapes from the man. Upon the young man’s arrival for help, Scott’s mom and Styles’ dad make a conscious decision to not mention the matter to the boys as it appears to have no supernatural elements. Meanwhile, Derek and Peter hire outside help in order to track down Kate’s whereabouts in order to retrieve their stolen fortune in bail bonds, in addition to hopefully finding some explanation as to why Derek’s eyes are now mysteriously yellow.
The episode also focuses largely (and somewhat surprisingly for a change) on their school team and a new set of tryouts in which the Coach announces that this will be a rebuilding year for the team and that anything is open, even Scott’s position as team captain it would seem. Upon the new arrival of a freshman named Liam with an almost unnatural level of talent, Scott must decide whether to implore his abilities in order to gain an edge, otherwise risk possibly losing his position on the team.
The third episode in the fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ continues to deliver with everything that fans of the series have grown to love. It continually merges elements of horror, humor and adolescent issues in a clever way that always manages to keep the viewer entertained. I found myself quite enthralled even by the heavy sports element of this episode and that is not an area of which I usually have even a modicum of interest. Things continue to build and so far this looks like it will join the ranks of the previous seasons in being another solid story with some mystery, humor and a surprising amount of gore to boot.
The fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on MTV.
Under the Dome: “Infestation” – Monday, July 7 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Under the Dome’ is the second episode of the shows sophomore season and is titled ‘Infestation’. The episode begins with the mysterious girl who was at the school during Angie’s death as she runs through the woods in the dark. Soon a mass of butterflies surround her; she extends her hand and one immediately lands in her palm, giving us cause to think she might indeed have a significant part in this whole Dome business. Soon we discover that a caterpillar infestation is plaguing the town and if allowed to continue will prove dire for the already thinly stretched food supplies in which the town currently has in its possession.
The episode also focuses a great deal on the mystery surrounding the question of who killed Angie. Initially this mysterious young girl is a key person of interest because of the fact that her bloody shoe print was found on the scene, but soon other elements conflicting with that assumption come into play. Naturally tensions and suspicions build, to the point where even father and son both think the other is quite likely the culprit. More questions continue to build and while there are numerous worries the townsfolk must endure at the moment, the most substantial issue is that of the caterpillar infestation, but still the question remains of how to fight and kill this already incredibly wide spread problem before it completely overwhelms and destroys their few food sources.
While the second episode in the sophomore season of ‘Under The Dome’ was quite a bit tamer than the incredibly intense season premiere, it still delivers some interesting new concepts and pretty successfully builds tension and establishes a new barrage of problems that these people will be forced to endure while they remain trapped under this mysterious Dome. I will certainly be continuing to tune in each week, I hope the rest of you do as well and I’ll see you all back here next time!
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
Extant: “Re-Entry” – Wednesday, July 9 at 9 PM
In the interest of full disclosure, I must relay to you, that prior to watching Extant, I had absolutely no idea what it was. I’d never seen a trailer, red an announcement, or even knew of its existence before Ryne asked me if i wanted to cover it for Deadtime TV. Even after replying to him with an affirmative, I didn’t look the show up, nor did I seek out any promotional information about the show. I started it cold, with no knowledge of even the fact that Hale Berry was the star of the show. One of the first things I noticed about Extant, is that it does the viewer no favors in allowing them to know ahead of time that the story takes place in the future. There is nothing – like we’ve grown accustomed to – in the introduction to the episode, nor are there any graphics to indicate date/time/location. We’re thrust into this world, and the first time we even have an inkling that it doesn’t take place in the modern day, is when Halle Berry’s character watches some sort of out-of-thin-air touch screen TV system in the bathroom mirror, takes the weird, cylindrical trash out to the nuclear-looking receptacle, and her husband changes their son’s battery before putting him to bed. It is a tad jarring, putting it lightly.
It also doesn’t help that the entire first episode serves as a setup, and poses more questions than it answers. I have been told by those that were exposed to trailers prior to watching, that what you saw in the tease was basically what you got in the final product, but as I said, tons of questions were posed, which I’m sure will be answered in time. It takes quite a bit to get acclimated to the environment of the show if you don’t know what to expect before going in, so my recommendation would be to watch a trailer beforehand, to see if it is something that may be within your palate for enjoyment. The premise of the show is sort of a mixture between The Astronaut’s Wife, Artificial Intelligence and The Matrix(Simply because of the goo). Halle Berry plays an astronaut that has returned from a 13-month-long solo space mission, and is having trouble adjusting to being back in society. Something strange appears to have happened during her time away from earth, as even though she was alone for the entire 13 months, she has returned with what appears to be a child growing inside of her. So, expect ominous messages throughout, hinting as to the real goings on.
Also, her husband is a doctor that has created a form of artificial intelligence that appears completely human, both in appearance, and in behavior. He’s trying to get funding to take the project publicly, but as always with scientific progress, some of the more… deified members of the group of people that he is making his pitch to have strong moral objections to a life form without a “soul”. Soon, the owner of the company that employs his wife, offers to fund his project as a private citizen. And then, of course, the little androidlien boy starts behaving strangely, hinting to us that maybe the objections hold water. This episode ends in a flashback, when Halle Berry’s character(her name is Molly Woods, by the way) is alone on her spacecraft, when she sees what appears to be her dead ex-lover/boyfriend/husband/something, who she then begins to make out with. After she reviews the footage, she sees that she was actually making out with either thin-air, or some kind of space vampire that doesn’t register through video playback. I found out after the fact that the creator of this show, Mickey Fisher, is from a town that is around 10 minutes away from my house. Now I remember some of the people on my facebook feed making a big deal about somebody doing something, and it makes a lot more sense. I don’t know that I was exactly enthralled by the premiere episode, but at the very least, it poses some questions that I want some answers to, so I will continue watching, and sharing my thoughts.
Dominion: “The Flood” – Thursday, July 10 at 9 PM
As Dominion continues on its path this season, two things are happening: the lore of the show’s religious theme increases, while the depth and scope of the city of Vega decreases. “The Flood” manages to cover both of those bases at once; Alex brings Michael to the hospital after a near-fatal stabbing, prompting a visit from the angel Uriel, and so we get to see more of those angels and the outskirts of Vega but little of the actual setting.
It’s a problem, even though it doesn’t affect the show’s immediate plot that much, because the stakes don’t feel as high as they should. It’s difficult to feel how important Alex is as a Chosen One, because the show hasn’t given us much of a look at Vega besides politics and consuls. The real people of Vega haven’t been featured besides a couple of scenes; therefore, there’s nothing cementing the viewer into the situation, like in “The Flood,” where all of Vega’s crops are at stake.
It all comes about because of political turmoil, since Whele and Riesen are hiding the Chosen One from the rest of the council of Vega. It’s an event that could have been avoided, and rightfully Claire brings it up to Alex at the end of the episode as well – why shouldn’t everyone know that he’s the Chosen One? It’s bound to get out sometime.
So “The Flood” focuses on a story that doesn’t have to happen, one that doesn’t really make a lot of sense in the first place. It does introduce Uriel as a new object in the human-angel war, and Dominion knows that it can use her as a deciding vote because it keeps her alliances ambiguous. But it’s still difficult to see Dominion as anything more than a summer fling, a show that is much too centered around the political workings of its scope-less city.
Catch us next week when Salem ends. We’ll also be adding FX’s The Strain to coverage!