Hey Deadheads, it’s Ryne from The Moon is a Dead World. This week we add Resurrection‘s second season to our list of things to cover, as well as the usual stuff: Kevin with Under the Dome and The Strain, Shawn has Gotham and Z Nation, and I’ve got the rest.
The Lottery: “In Extremis” – Sunday, September 28 at 9 PM
So I made it to The Lottery‘s season finale. For a little while I thought I was going to pull a Shawn and drop out, but I managed to stick with it to the end. I don’t want to say I hate The Lottery like I do Bitten, because that’s not really the case; but I do think that the show has a lot of really stupid subplots and obvious “twists,” and enjoyment of the show’s plot has dropped significantly from the first episode.
With that said, “In Extremis” concludes the first season of The Lottery with an explosive, if predictable, final episode. The show has been leading to the announcement of the lottery winners, along with the assassination of the president at the hands of Darius, for some time now; “In Extremis” is that moment. But first, there are a few dramatic dialogues to be had.
Vanessa understands what Darius plans to do, but she feels helpless to stop it without being taken out herself. She actually allows him to have the president assassinated, a weak ploy for the show since Vanessa has been one of the most dominant people this season. Still, Darius strikes an intimidating pose, making it hard for her to speak against him.
Even so, it doesn’t really matter – since the fallout between the president and his wife Gabrielle after she attempts to buy an embryo from Perry has occurred, she’s all for having him taken out in exchange for Darius’ word that she’ll get an embryo after all. The thing is, The Lottery is so bent on making Gabrielle into a character who will do anything for a baby that it forgets to make her a real person. She doesn’t feel authentic; she feels like a necessary cog in the plot wheelworks, and her arc this season has been foreseeable and a tad unnecessary.
The same for James, who returns this episode after some time in a coma. The show kind of forgot about him for a couple episodes, then brings him back long enough to give Alison a flash drive with important information. Even so, it doesn’t help them in any way. Darius is still in power, and the president is still dead.
But it feels like The Lottery is leading up to something with Darius. The reveal that the president was behind the spread of the infertility disease indicates that maybe Darius has some other scheme in his head besides being a little shit, that he really does have the public’s best interests at heart. Maybe that will come about next season; but someone’s got to take a shot at Darius.
As I’ve been saying all along, “In Extremis” doesn’t tie together the disparate parts of this season so much as it sort of wraps up their plotlines. Sure, Kyle gets his kid back and Darius assassinates the president and Alison learns more about the infertility virus, but the way they all connect together is ambivalent at best; these parts are all tied into the infertility crisis and the lottery, yet they don’t feel important in relation to each other.
“In Extremis” is less exciting because it doesn’t do much to dispel any of the expectations the viewer has going in – the things that are hinted at happening do happen, and there’s no twist to keep things interesting. The final reveal is that Kyle’s sperm has now fertilized another egg, so the notion is that they’ll be working toward a cure with his DNA. But I’m pretty sure that happened in episode 2 as well… We’ll see next year.
Resurrection: “Revelation” – Sunday, September 28 at 9 PM
Resurrection is back for a second season. Anybody who remembers my coverage last year should know that I wasn’t a huge fan of it; over eight episodes, it really seemed to go nowhere until the season finale, when the government finally decided to check out what was happening in the small town and why the dead were coming back to life.
“Revelation” picks up a week after last season, and Bellamy wakes up alone at night, in the middle of nowhere much the same way that Jacob did in the series premiere. But as far as we can tell, he didn’t die; instead, he was taken in by the government, tested, and then dropped off without much memory of what happened.
Bellamy returns, and he’s confused about why the government has left. Apparently they deemed everything a hoax, attempted to call the whole town stupid because of a case of mistaken identity, and then left everything hunky-dory. It’s a really dumb explanation to hide what the government’s really doing, and while it’s difficult for the characters to buy, it’s an awful way to get around the plot for the show.
Not only that, but “Revelation” only sees fit to introduce even more dead people who come back to life in their prime. Jacob’s grandmother, and Fred and Henry’s mother, comes back as a young woman, and in some way that’s supposed to be an important part of the episode. It’s not, besides giving Fred another reason to drink and try to kiss his daughter’s friend.
“Revelation” continues to fall into the same annoying sequencing the previous Resurrection episodes follow. There’s introductions of new living dead people; then the episode follows their progress with people who used to live with them, attempting to throw emotional turmoil into the show. But all of that has been sapped in other episodes; now it’s not so much a shock as it is common occurrence.
The revelations of the title are pretty skimpy as well. Bellamy learns about the shady government, and that he died in custody; it’s not a shocking reveal because it’s pretty obvious from the opening sequence. Those that enjoyed Resurrection‘s supernatural drama last season will find things largely unchanged, but those that couldn’t get into the poor writing and glacial plotting will not find anything new to like.
The Strain: “The Disappeared”, “Loved Ones”, “The Third Rail”, “Last Rites” – Sunday, September 28 at 10 PM
Now, just as is the case with ‘Under The Dome’ this week, having just returned fresh and rejuvenated from vacation in Jamaica, I’m back on my game and this week I’ll be covering the last four episodes of ‘The Strain’ here. The last four episodes of Season One consist of Episodes Nine (The Disappeared), Ten (Loved Ones), Eleven (The Third Rail) and Twelve (Last Rites) leaving only the season finale left to air for Season One.
When we last left off with ‘The Strain’ in Episode Eight, our heroes had just barely escaped being trapped inside of the gas station (or convenience store if you will) with their lives. In fact, only most of them did; after being infected, Jim Kent was on the verge of turning and with Nora not able to do it herself even at Jim’s bequest, Vasiliy does so himself, killing Jim and therefore bringing to bear a mild rift between him and Nora.
As we pick up again, starting with Episode Nine, we join Eph and the rest of our heroes as they arrive at his ex-wife’s house so that he can make sure that his ex-wife and son are safe, as well as to move them somewhere else to make sure they remain that way. At the same time, Eph’s son Zach arrives home to find his mother’s boyfriend Matt infected and as he begins attacking Zach, Eph arrives just in the nick of time in time to save his son and decapitate the vampire version of Matt. With no idea where his ex-wife may be, Eph brings his son along with the group to their hideout at the Pawn Shop just to be safe as they continue their search, as well as their fight. Once Eph tracks down her abandoned car and cell phone we jump back 36 hours to see her journey throughout the time period as she tries to get out, becomes infected by her boyfriend Matt, turns, kills her friend and even comes face to face with The Master himself.
Vasiliy and Dutch take on their own two person mission attempting to infiltrate the offices of Eldritch Palmer in the hopes that Dutch might be able to reverse what she did to the internet. They are recognized and captured, but instead of being executed as ordered by Palmer, his right hand man and security chief Fitzwilliam lets the two ago, apparently not agreeing with his employers actions. Upon returning back and having decided to keep Dutch around after her home is unsafe, Eph immediately refuses the idea and forces her out. She nonetheless returns soon enough with something that might make a significant difference in their fight should it work.
Unable to find his ex-wife and starting to feel the toll of his actions after finding his infected ex-wife’s friend and her child and being forced to kill them both, Eph, Nora, Setrakian and Vasiliy make a desperate attempt to try and stop the master for good, leaving Zach in charge of watching over the hideout while they’re gone, as well as taking care of Nora’s mother. As they search in the tunnels, Eph is tricked by voices of his ex-wife and comes face to face with The Master; Setrakian arrives at the last minute, just in time to save Eph’s life, but when Vasiliy and Nora attack, The Master flees, leaving Setrakian furious at his lost attempt after so many decades of waiting. Unwilling to make their way through a nest of hundreds or even thousands of vampires, they are forced to retreat against Setrakian’s wishes.
Meanwhile, Gus begins to worry as his friend starts getting sick; pleading for a doctor as they are still in prison. After his friend ends up changing into Strigoi mid-prison transport and attacking the guards, Gus is forced to execute his friend and after the van crashes is able to escape from the mess. After getting away, he makes his way back home only to discover his brother and mother have both been infected as well. Killing his brother, but unable to do the same to his mother, Gus grabs his stuff and heads out on his own once again. Desperate for any help he can find, he takes a gang banger at gunpoint and forces his help in providing what he needs.
The last four episodes have really picked up the pace and intensity of ‘The Strain’ even more than had been the case lately and I do hope at least some of those individuals initially unhappy with the series are starting to enjoy it, if not fall in love with it. Things have really started to get crazy and things look dire for our so called group of heroes as they struggle and fail to take down this plague for good, but even as all hope begins to look lost and friends and family are lost, a small glimmer of hope will continue to shine through. Nonetheless, times are getting tougher and things are certainly picking up speed. We’ve even been given our first full look at The Master and while he (it?) is not quite what I expected, I can’t decide for sure just how I feel about the representation of the character, but the size and overall general appearance is certainly menacing and impressive. Regardless, I continue to be impressed with the series and I can’t wait to see what the season finale delivers; I look forward to seeing you all back here next week for our coverage of that as well as the second season which is currently set to premiere Summer 2015.
‘The Strain’ will wrap its first season with the season finale airing this Sunday, October 5th at 10:PM on FX.
Gotham: “Selina Kyle” – Monday, September 22 at 8 PM
Based on the reaction, it seems like most people enjoyed the first episode of Gotham. I know I did. I have talked to some that had some minor issues, such as the fact that Catwoman apparently witnessed the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents, but overall, the reception has been good. This episode continues a little further down the wormhole that is Gotham City, and its corrupt government. Gordon must pretend to be a dirty cop in order to operate within a precinct filled with dirty cops, so it’s interesting to see him playing both roles. I’m worried that the show won’t be around long enough to achieve what it is trying to do, what with FOX being notorious for introducing a solid show, and then seemingly going out of their way to sabotage it, but my hope is we can get a great first season, at the very least. I know some hardcore DC fanatics have some issues with the show, and the direction it’s taking, but we haven’t really had a superhero origin story like this, yet. We haven’t really had a show/movie that focused on the environment that created the character, as much as the character itself, coming to fruition. Yeah, we’ve seen Batman’s parents murdered several times, but we never really say the extent of which the city had deteriorated that caused him to take up the cape in the first place. We see things from his perspective, mostly, whereas with Gotham, we’re seeing things from the perspective of Gotham as a whole. It’s a really exciting time to be a DC fan, and Gotham adds to that.
I really like the chemistry between McKenzie and Logue. They represent different sides of the spectrum, but they work well together so far. It’s cool to see them working off of one another. I’m a huge fan of Donal Logue, so to see him getting a chance like this makes me happy. I’m not really a fan of Selina Kyle’s portrayal, but she has barely been introduced at this point, so I’ll give her a chance. I understand that the show has to check-in on Bruce from time to time, since he will one day become the City’s savior, but so far I don’t think it has really added anything to the show. I’d much rather them focus on fighting the various villains/crime in the city of Gotham, than have to come to a complete halt, and have a heart-to-heart with young Bruce Wayne, but that’s a really minor gripe, and hopefully the visits with Bruce and Alfred will start to, at the very least, add something to the plot when it happens. Overall though, I’m really enjoying Gotham so far. I’m a huge Batman fan, but not to the extent that some people are, apparently. I’ve read a lot of the books, I’ve watched almost all of the TV shows, especially the animated series, and of course, I’ve seen every Batman movie multiple times. I think Gotham is going to give us something that we haven’t really gotten from those other Batman-related pieces of entertainment. The comics create a much richer universe, I’ll admit, and you should totally read through as much of them as possible. I’m just glad to see somebody taking a different approach to the universe of Superheroes, and I’m glad to see DC doing so much better on TV than Marvel.
Sleepy Hollow: “The Kindred” – Monday, September 29 at 9 PM
Sleepy Hollow raises the undead in “The Kindred,” an episode that unbelievably continues the fast-paced speed started in last season’s past few episodes. In standard Sleepy Hollow fashion, there’s another problem with Ichabod Crane’s son Henry, also the Horseman of War – he and the Headless Horseman are holding Katrina captive, trying to bring Moloch into the world, and Ichabod is hellbent on getting Katrina back.
In order to do that, they must first battle with the fierce Headless Horseman, who still loves Katrina even after she dropped him for Ichabod. Abbie and Crane stumble upon a book in Benjamin Franklin’s secret stash that talks of the Kindred, a monstrous being Franklin began creating to combat the Headless Horseman back in the day. It’s a combination of parts from strong fallen warriors, but the only way to get it to work is to use a piece of the Headless Horseman as a body part.
Luckily for Abbie and Ichabod, they still have the Horseman’s head. They’ve got to get it from where Captain Irving stashed it – yes, Orlando Jones is back and judging from the opening sequence, he’s here to stay for a while – and worse than that, they’ve got to deal with Abbie’s new and aggressive captain, Leena Reyes. Not only that, but Jenny gets thrown back in prison!
It’s hard to believe, but Sleepy Hollow is still keeping the breakneck pace of the first episode. In theory, everything that happens in “The Kindred” is tied into the season premiere, happening all in sequence without much time spent on anything else. It feels like a rush, but an entertaining one: the show is just blowing through ideas, like the Franklinsteinian Kindred monster that’s used for protection in this episode.
Still, the show takes time to set up some interesting dilemmas. Abbie brings up a good point to Ichabod; her trust in Ichabod is her own weakness, and Ichabod’s obsession with getting Katrina back is his. They’re both dealing with these things, putting other people in danger, and it’s a good thing the show brings this up, because both Irving and Jenny are suffering the consequences of their actions. That they recognize the weakness is a step in the right direction for the show, ensuring the viewer the showrunners are aware of the protagonists’ continual abuses of their helpers.
There’s a lot of action in this episode, though, so fans of Sleepy Hollow needn’t worry. Katrina decides to stay with the Headless Horseman as a mole, negating Ichabod and Abbie’s plan – but the show has now introduced the Kindred as a weapon for the group, so I’ll be looking to see how they use the monster later. Likewise, it seems the show might take a slower pace next week to introduce a new recurring character. But if these first two episodes are any indication, Sleepy Hollow is galloping along for season two.
Under the Dome: “Black Ice”, “Turn”, “Go Now” – Monday, September 22 at 10 PM
I’ve now officially returned from vacation and while I apologize for the few weeks without coverage for the show’s I’m handling, I’ve now returned and will be back at it uninterrupted. Here I’ll be covering/discussing the final three episodes in the sophomore season of ‘Under The Dome.’ The final three episodes of the Second Season consist of episodes Eleven (Black Ice) Twelve (Turn) and Thirteen (Go Now).
When we last left off in Season Two, Episode Ten; Big Jim had forced Joe and Norrie at gunpoint to provide him the egg so that he could keep his end of a deal to get his family out by providing the government the egg. Jim ended up throwing the egg down and as a result the way through sealed up. A fact we realize when Phil plunges to his death, being impaled on a spike instead of arriving outside the dome as he had hoped when leaping.
The final three episodes of the second season focus on the aftermath of Big Jim’s choice as the dome starts acting even more aggressive and deadly than it had been before; something that is obviously occurring as a result of being separated from the egg, it’s supposed power source. As if they didn’t have enough to worry about with deadly black ice causing perilously low temperatures and conditions, as well as the dome starting to contract and destroy everything in its path; Meredith seems to be getting continually worse too, her fate appearing to be linked with the egg and hope for her is starting to become scarce as our heroes are left with no idea what to do in order to save her. Even Barbie goes so far as to make a last minute desperate plea/deal to his father in order to get the egg back, but as we should have come to expect by now, things don’t quite work out as planned and the townsfolk must desperately search for any possible way out before they are all crushed to death.
The sophomore season of ‘Under The Dome’ overall provided more questions than answers unfortunately. It brought at least a couple significant character deaths, a number of answers, but not enough to counteract the increasing number of newly introduced questions. The deaths were minimal compared to what I would have expected and so many of those deaths felt as if they were trying to be important and emotional, yet failed for the most part and instead felt more trivial. It was great to see Big Jim start to head into some truly dark territory, a vibe much more reminiscent of his character in King’s novel which is refreshing and I do look forward to seeing where that might go.
While the show still manages to stay entertaining and effective for the most part, I just can’t help but feel the choice to continually drag it on further than initially intended is starting to hurt the series in a number of ways. Many folks may remember that the series was initially ordered as a 13 episode limited series, but after the popularity of it picked up, the creators (or show runners) announced that they could easily split it into two seasons considering they had more than enough story to do so. Now, unfortunately their last statement says that five seasons would apparently be best but they claim to know exactly how it will end. The only real question at this point I guess is will CBS keep the series around long enough to deliver that ending if ratings continue to dwindle? While the series has maintained fairly solid ratings for a summer series, it certainly took a hit from last summer’s numbers and one can only wonder if that will continue down the road, if of course it gets renewed for a third season, a fact which is still unknown at this point but I myself would think quite likely. There hasn’t been any official word yet on whether ‘Under The Dome’ will be returning for a third season as CBS has yet to announce renewal/cancellation info on the series as of yet, but we’ll keep you posted on its fate and if it does return you can be assured I’ll be back next Season with DEADtime TV’s continuing coverage of the series.
Stalker: “Pilot” – Wednesday, October 1 at 10 PM
This week I’m extremely pleased to announce the addition of the new series ‘Stalker’ to our weekly DEADtime TV coverage. This Wednesday marked the premiere of the series and the first episode of both the first season and the series as a whole; titled simply ‘Pilot.’ For those who might be unaware of the series, ‘Stalker’ is created by Kevin Williamson (creator of ‘The Following’ and writer of ‘Scream 1, 2 and 4’ etc.) who also penned the pilot. The show stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie G and for fans of both McDermott and/or of Williamson’s work such as me, it’s definitely worth checking out.
‘Stalker’ tells the story of a special LAPD unit designated to stalkers, run by Lieutenant Detective Beth Davis who obviously has some personal demons of her own still haunting her from her past, but has nonetheless put them to good use trying to help others in need. Now a new transfer to the unit has arrived, Detective Jack Larsen who while he’s perfectly qualified for the position, just may have other reasons for transferring suggested by his own stalker behavior as he spies on and photographs a woman and her child during his free time. The pilot mostly covers the basics of the show and provides a look at both how this division works as well as the case solving process while they simultaneously work on their latest case, plus of course providing us some introduction to the characters.
I must admit that I’m already in love with ‘Stalker’ and was pretty much sold by the opening sequence alone which shows a victim of a stalker being chased by a masked man and subsequently burned alive in her car as the man eerily watches attentively. This sequence alone perfectly showcases Kevin Williamson’s unique talent for terrifying horror type situations that are even more frightening due to their realistic nature. I can’t wait to see what this show has to offer as it continues with its debut season and I hope the lot of you will check it out for yourselves as well as keep checking back here each week for our continued DEADtime coverage of the series.
‘Stalker’ is currently airing its debut Season Wednesday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
Z Nation: “Full Metal Zombie” – Friday, October 3 at 10 PM
Four episodes into Z Nation, and surprisingly, I’m still enjoying it quite a bit. It’s not The Walking Dead, but that’s not what it’s trying to be, thankfully. I love The Walking Dead, but as I’ve said before, I love that we can have more than one kind of zombie show. Z nation is the fast food version of an episodic zombie series, whereas The Walking Dead is more of a full-course meal. Where Walking Dead focuses on deep character development, Z Nation focuses more on the fun that can be had with a weekly look inside the zombie apocalypse. It has entertaining, even interesting characters, and loads of zombie carnage and gore. This episode is no exception. We pick up right where the last episode left off, on the road, headed to California to get Murphy, AKA Patient Zero to a laboratory so that they can synthesize his blood and hopefully distribute a cure to the zombie outbreak. Along the way, a car begins to trail the gang, and they come to a road block, seemingly built with zombies. As they begin to dispatch said zombies, however, it is revealed that at least half of them are humans, disguised as zombies, waiting for someone to come along so that they can relieve them of their belongings. For some reason it is decided that it would be easier to just give their ride up, than to lay waste to these robbers, which is odd, because with a sniper in the tree, they could have easily put them down.
What I like about Z Nation, is that even shitty situations like being robbed at gunpoint are used for the purpose of comedy. A ways down the road, they run into the guys that stole their truck, and it appears that they are robbing a family. The group intervenes, but it turned out that the guys that stole there truck were being robbed by a bigger group of assholes, and as that group mows the original robbers town and tears off down the road in their truck, it’s made apparent that nothing good will happen on this road. A lot of the same shitty things in that other zombie apocalypse happen in Z Nation, but they’re played for comedy, rather than drama, and it works in the show’s favor. Everybody, including myself, thought that this would be another Asylum “mockbuster” exploiting the success of The Walking Dead. And, while in some ways that is true, it does so in a really entertaining way. I couldn’t be more surprised, and pleased with how things are turning out, and I actually hope the show gets renewed for a second season.
This week, we’re treated to a cameo from genre veteran Bill Mosely, as a crazy ass general, holed up in a zombie-infested hospital. He refuses to let the group in at first, but when he finds out that one of them is a “doctor”, he allows only him to come up, with the claim that there are hurt men that need assistance. When he gets to the top floor of the building, it becomes apparent that there are no “men”, just him. Doc looks at his wound, and it’s clear that there’s nothing that can be done, so when he tells him this, he throws him down the air vent, leaving him to die. He doesn’t die, though they do a good job at convincing us that he does. This creates some great stoner comedy, as when he get stuck on some wires in the shaft, the last doctor that told the general that he was going to die was tangled in the same wires, only he had turned into a zombie. He breaks out a joint in his pocket, and not only tries to carry on a conversation with the zombie, he tries to get him stoned. And just to prove that nothing can ever go right, when the group finally makes it to the roof, the helicopter that they were told is there, is in complete shambles. I can’t wait for the next episode. I hope you are enjoying the show as much as I am. Am I off-the-mark? Do you have a different opinion about Z Nation than I do? Drop a comment underneath the post, or send an email to Shawn@liberaldead.com. I want to know how this show is working with others out there in TV Land.
That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll add American Horror Story: Freak Show and The Originals to the lineup, and soon after Grimm and Constantine. Stay tuned!