Hey DEADheads, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. We’re covering all your favorite horror TV shows (and some not-so-favorites). Shawn’s got The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story(Yeah, you read that right), Kevin‘s got Teen Wolf, Under the Dome, and The Strain, and I’ve got the rest. The Last Ship‘s season finale included!
The Last Ship: “No Place Like Home” – Sunday, August 24 at 9 PM
I’m really, really torn about last week’s development on The Last Ship; Dr. Rachel Scott found a cure for the virus – known as Red Flu in this episode, maybe some sort of jab at the Russians? – and created a vaccine that will protect any who come into contact with an infected person. In “No Place Like Home,” all of the crew members are vaccinated, effectively eliminating risk of infection.
Then they head to Baltimore after receiving a call on their radio; people know the USS Nathan James is out on the water, and they’re looking for them. There’s obviously a safe center set up there, and their decision to head there to vaccinate everyone is logical. But there’s also the feeling that what they’re walking into is a trap.
The new vaccine, however, is sort of a disappointment. It renders any tension of coming into contact with an ill person moot – we know that the vaccine will protect them, and the only way that The Last Ship is going to circumvent this is if the writers decide to allow the strain of virus to mutate. This is most likely going to happen, but it still feels like a lot of what is supposed to make this show suspenseful has already been solved.
But “No Place Like Home” introduces a new dilemma for the people of the Nathan James. Once Tom Chandler and company make it to shore, they realize that Baltimore has really gone to shit – there’s a center set up for sick people to receive treatment thanks to Lt. Alisha Granderson’s mother, and there’s a safehouse for all scientists and smart people so that they don’t die from infection. Against them, however, is a faction of men who want to take these people out of safety.
It becomes apparent that Baltimore’s sick center is not about helping people; it’s actually about killing them so that the elite can keep living and repopulating to create a sort of utopia. The “bad” men that The Last Ship introduces are actually good people trying to end this reign of terror. Now that the Nathan James is caught up in the war, it looks like a lot of season 2 will be spent in Baltimore attempting to fix the evils of people deluded into thinking that killing people with the virus is the best way to deal with it.
As I said before, though, even if the show has Tom Chandler working with sick people, it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of plot. He won’t get sick, so the only way the man’s going to die is to get shot by someone. The Last Ship has taken away the impact of being close to the virus, and I’m not sure that was the right direction.
In other developments, Chandler finds his father and his two kids, although it’s too late for his wife. Wow, The Last Ship, you continue to surprise me with your bleak outlook after initial happy endings. There’ll obviously be more to explore with Chandler’s kids now a part of the show, so it’ll be interesting to see where The Last Ship takes us.
Otherwise, that’s it! The first season of The Last Ship ends setting up for another season, and it seems like this could be the major arc throughout season 2. The show’s had an interesting run so far, and although much of this season did not step away from its political chicanery as much as I’d hoped, there’s a glimmer of prospect for The Last Ship yet.
The Lottery: “Sleep Deprived” – Sunday, August 24 at 9 PM
More and more I’m beginning to think that I’m hate-watching The Lottery. I don’t want to do that, because I want to give an unbiased review of the show without any misanthropy toward it. But when my wife sat down with me last night to ask what was happening (she was smart and tuned out after the second episode), I growled that “political shit was going down,” “whatever that guy’s name is fucking sucks,” and “yeah, the girls wear skimpy white uniforms because THE SHOW FUCKING WANTS THEM TO.” Then I had to add, “Sorry I snapped at you… it’s just what the show does to me, but The Liberal Dead forces me to watch,” because she was packing her suitcase.
Truthfully, though, The Lottery isn’t the worst TV show I’ve covered; like Bitten, however, it falls into the category of shows that should have a lot going on but often feel boring at the same time. “Sleep Deprived” continues this downward trend for The Lottery (and looking at the ratings for each episode, it appears people have been steadily tuning out as well) – the show has a lot of stuff happening all at once, none of it very interesting.
For example, one of the biggest things the show has now adopted is the rigors of the Lottery’s tests. Maria and Perry, the two girls the show has decided to follow, are forced to live in a Big Brother-style house, prancing around in all-white outfits and completing logic tasks aft all hours of the night. The atrocity of it all, the audience is supposed to think! Those poor women who all volunteered to do it!
We see a few different tasks in “Sleep Deprived,” and the President’s wife Gabrielle takes a liking to Perry because of her honesty and integrity. Except Perry kind of sucks, and there’s nothing that makes the audience want to like her more; there are the generic traits the show throws at us, like her hope to be a music artist and live her life, but other than that The Lottery gives us no solid development for her.
Spending so much time on the Lottery tests means that the show fractures the other pieces of its plot, like Kyle’s predicament after losing his son. In this episode, he basically wanders around drunk, then finds some sort of anarchist group of people playing bocce ball. It’s fucking weird, and there’s really no explanation for it.
“Sleep Deprived” also takes time out of uncovering government conspiracies to have Vanessa Keller and Darius Hayes confront a grieving father about his son’s death at the hands of the terrorists. He’s Vanessa’s only hope of uncovering the corruption in government, but Darius gets to him first, then sends a sneer Vanessa’s way. If no one suspects him of something yet, then they’re all super stupid.
And what of Dr. Alison Lennon, Ally with one L? Not much – she makes “discoveries” that the infertility crisis was actually caused by the American government, and that people knew it was going to happen. Is that surprising, though? Didn’t we expect this? The Lottery treats it like a revelation, but I expected it from the very beginning.
We’re over halfway through this season with no real direction in sight. The Lottery is slowly losing all of its steam, and it’s only just begun the lottery process. Whether the show can pull it together will be seen in this second half of the season, and I’ll try to stay interested.
The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story – Monday 9/1
What? You don’t think a Lifetime bio/drama about the behind-the-scenes happenings of Saved By The Bell sounds horrific? The truth of the matter is, due to circumstances beyond my control – most notably a psychotic 4 year old – I was unable to get through the entire new season of Falling Skies for my review to remain relevant. I was however to catch Lifetime’s Saved By The Bell movie, though, so I figured I would write it up. The people that even care about Saved By The Bell are in their thirties now, and a lot of them are within the horror community, so I was able to rationalize this as my pick for the week.
So what is this, anyway? Well, The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story, is a Lifetime Channel biopic, chronicling the supposed behind-the-scenes drama when filming the show. I say supposed, because it was produced by, and based on a book written by Dustin Diamond. Dustin has been called out by nearly all of his former costars, for stretching the truth, and often times flat-out lying. None of us will ever know the truth, though, because only those that were on that set would know. I have no trouble believing that Mario Lopez was a meathead, and treated Dustin poorly. However, this new story makes it seem like Dustin should have been the “star” of the show, if only it weren’t for those meddling costars and producers.
Even knowing that the things presented in this made-for-TV movie should be taken with a grain of salt, nothing really sordid was posited. Teenagers around each other every day were sometimes not-so-nice to one another, people dated, people drank and smoked weed, and that’s really the extent of it. If I’m making an unauthorized biopic, possibly created with lies in the first place, I’d want to amp up the tabloid nature of said project. Still, there was something very likable about this production. I know a lot of people really hated it, and I’m not really certain as to why. Yes, a lot of stuff is left out, including the entirety of the “College Years”, the season where they all worked at a beach house, and the “New Class”. Also, certain characters of the show were given no attention at all, such as Tori. Still, even as a long-time Saved by the Bell fan, I learned a few things about the history of the show that I didn’t know before. I would say, if you’re a fan of the show, then it wouldn’t hurt to check this out. It was announced for a DVD release the day after it aired, so you’ll get your opportunity soon enough. November 4th, to be exact. If nothing else, the soundtrack will give you a nice, swift kick in the nostalgia.
The Strain: “For Services Rendered” – Sunday, August 24 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘The Strain’ marks the seventh episode in the first season and the series as a whole and is titled ‘For Services Rendered’. The episode begins with a man arriving at a country club and pouring himself a drink and watching the news coverage. We soon discover he is the husband of “survivor’ Joan Luss, seemingly back from a long work trip. When a cab subsequently takes him home and informs him that the credit machine is down and that only cash will be accepted, he is about to go inside to get some cash when he and the cab driver are attacked by one of his neighbors who has now been changed. He miraculously makes his way inside only to be confronted by his similarly changed wife who then attacks him.
The episode focuses largely on Setrakian, Ephraim and Nora as Setrakian fills them in on a being called The Master and his intended plan to kill him which will also supposedly result in eradicating the virus completely, even from those already infected. While Eph may not agree completely with the plan, they begin to move forward anyway, trusting his knowledge of the creatures. With limited options they go to Jim and try to convince him to help them get close in order to partially redeem himself for his part in the whole ordeal as a result of his deception. We also get more insight in the form of flashbacks into Setrakian’s initial dealings with Eichhorst while imprisoned in the camp during the war. Additionally we follow Gus and his friend as they find themselves unjustly jailed for killing the coroner who was very obviously no longer human and trying to kill them along with a number of others during the eclipse.
While I was in love with the series from the start, it really just continues to get better and better with each new episode and I could not possibly be happier with how they have brought this fantastic story to life thus far. I hope the rest of you watching are enjoying it as much as I am and I really hope the fellow fans of the novels are satisfied as well; I know I certainly am. I can’t wait to see how the second half of the season unfolds now that things are really getting moving.
‘The Strain’ is currently airing its first season Sunday’s at 10:PM on FX.
The Leftovers: “The Garveys at Their Best” – Sunday, August 24 at 10 PM
“The Garveys at Their Best” jumps back in time to the events leading up to the great Disappearance, the first time that we’ve gotten to see what was happening with the Garveys before things really got wacky. All of those people clamoring for The Leftovers to get a little bit lighter on the spirit, here’s your episode – things are somewhat less depressing, because the huge event hasn’t happened yet.
It gives the audience a chance to see what the Garveys were like before the schism. They were actually… somewhat normal. Kevin was happier than he is at present, although still wanting more from his life; Tommy was still in trouble, but much less violent; and Jill was still a young girl in braces having fun at her school’s science fair. Likewise, Nora was still married, albeit not as happily as was first suggested, and she was kind of annoyed at her bratty children. “The Garveys at Their Best” makes room to show pretty much everybody we’ve seen in The Leftovers, and to depict them in their normal life.
But the reason why Damon Lindelof and company decide to stick this episode in right before the end of the season is a mystery. Throughout the episode, I kept trying to decipher the intent; was it to give “answers” before the finale? Or to further confuse those who thought they had a handle on the Disappearance? I’m still not sure.
Whatever the reason, it’s still a great episode that spreads a little love to the Garveys. Let’s face it: they’re not an easy family to like in the present time period of The Leftovers. Seeing them act happier is at least a good feeling, and though Kevin and Laurie have their problems even when married, there’s a pathos to their relationship that has been strengthened because of their separation.
The Garveys did well for themselves, even when Kevin wasn’t chief of police; he was still on the beat, and Laurie was a therapist. They have a fucking massive house, and they hold a huge party to celebrate Kevin’s dad as Man of the Year. At this point, Kevin Sr. hasn’t gone crazy yet, and Matt Jamison’s wife isn’t a vegetable. Things are both normal and sad; there’s a chilling feeling in the air, knowing what comes after these happy times.
“The Garveys at Their Best” builds towards that loss, with the final moments climaxing during the disappearance. We know what happened to the Garveys, but we don’t know how. The entire episode feels somewhat foggy, and occasionally characters that we know, like Patti, show up to say things feel “off,” or that the world will soon end. In between the normalcy of the characters’ everyday lives, “The Garveys at Their Best” feels like a dream; Lindelof adds eerie touches to otherwise happy days, like a manhole cover blowing up or a car of women stopping to ask Kevin if he’s ready.
A deer continues to ransack houses, getting trapped and then crashing its way out. It’s a metaphor, quite clearly, about being stuck in your life; The Leftovers doesn’t hide it, and Laurie even remarks to Kevin that the deer is “trapped; you better go save it” after discussing how bored he is with their life.
But there’s more to the deer than just a symbol for escape. Kevin gets this feeling that it shouldn’t be put down, that it should be tranquilized and then set free in the wild. But it gets hit by a car anyway, struck down by the woman Kevin cheats with, and at that moment everything changes. Soon, people disappear, and there’s this fantastic montage where people connected with others find themselves surprised that they’re no longer there. Kevin searches his bed for the woman who was just there. Kids holding hands to make an electrical current evaporate.
And what of Laurie’s baby, healthy and whole in her belly, an ultrasound showing her on the monitor? We don’t get to see; and what that means is for The Leftovers to tell us later. There aren’t too many answers in “The Garveys at Their Best.” Most of this we knew about, just not how. But the point still stands: it’s an emotionally poignant, eerie episode that shows a before and after picture of the people we’ve come to know in Mapleton. Sometimes, it’s heartwarming to see them happy. But when the Disappearance hits, it’s as devastating to the audience as it is to the characters.
Teen Wolf: “Monstrous” – Monday, August 25 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Teen Wolf’ marks the tenth episode in the fourth season of the series and is titled ‘Monstrous’. The episode begins with Brett and another werewolf being chased through the school grounds, all the way into the center of the stadium’s field in the pouring rain. Once in the center of the field all of the stadium spotlights kick into life and they realize they are completely surrounded by assassins that have them in their sights. At the last moment Kira saves them, but this brings to light the fact that it may not just be hunters with access to the DEADpool anymore and there just might be a lot more people out looking for them than they had ever expected.
The episode focuses largely on the group trying to figure out the rest of the answers, such as how to stop the DEADpool, while also trying to remain alive in the process. After the revelation that Meredith is still alive and is indeed herself The Benefactor, many more questions are presented. Lydia tries to question Meredith, but she refuses to talk to anyone other than Peter. Once Peter arrives and Meredith explains things, it turns out things become a lot more complicated and Peter’s motives are once again brought into question. Meanwhile Scott meets Satomi and her pack and offers them protection at one of Argent’s hideouts, but as they try to stay hidden and protected, things are still likely to end in an all out fight for survival, even if the fight has to find them first.
With only two episodes remaining in the fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ things are really starting to heat up, even more so than before. We have finally discovered the identity of The Benefactor after all this time, but we are left with even more questions as to the motives and plays of a number of these characters and things are certainly going to get even crazier with the final two episodes still looming. As per usual, I absolutely love the season so far and this series continues to impress me as well as being one hell of an entertaining show. I can’t wait to see what the final two episodes have in store for us and I’ll see 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: “The Red Door” – Monday, August 25 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Under the Dome’ is the ninth episode of the shows sophomore season and is titled ‘The Red Door’. The episode begins with Barbie being interrogated by a seemingly off the books military team in regards to the egg, as well as his presence in Chester’s Mill and just how he was able to get out of the dome. Refusing to charge with him with anything and wearing uniforms that are anything but approved, Barbie knows they surely aren’t who they claim to be, but he still has no idea who they actually are.
The episode focuses on efforts both inside and outside the dome. Outside the dome, Barbie is forced to join with Junior’s mom, Sam and Lyle in order to try to find a way back inside of the dome after he escapes from the men holding him in custody, men who unsurprisingly actually work for his father. After going over the drawings that have provided clues in the past, they start to come across information and drawings of a red door which just might be their way back home. At the same time, inside the dome Big Jim searches for answers and insight into the others’ motives, while he also begins forming his own plan to get himself out after Junior informs him that Barbie is indeed still alive and outside the dome, facts that Jim was of course already well aware of. Big Jim attempts to cut a deal with the military while Julia tries to stay one step ahead of him as they attempt to figure everything out.
While the second season of ‘Under The Dome’ isn’t as strong as the first season, it has definitely picked up significantly over the last few episodes. Recently it’s been delivering some very interesting and exciting concepts, not to mention twists that have really added a new dimension to the series and admittedly pulled me right back in. I will definitely be tuning in for the rest of the season which will be wrapping up at the end of September and I’ll see you all back here next week for our continuing DEADtime coverage of the series.
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
That’s it! We’re adding a host of new shows very soon, so stay tuned! The Lottery and The Leftovers take a break next week, and The Leftovers wraps its first season.