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. This is Dominion‘s season finale.
The Last Ship: “SOS” – Sunday, August 3 at 9 PM
Those pesky ruskies are back, and this time, they’re not messing around. It all begins because the Nathan James decides to break radio silence to respond to an SOS call from a woman who has been trying to get help for weeks. Her name is Bertrise, and she’s been on a boat filled with people who have succumbed to the virus. Dr. Scott thinks she may be immune, which would be a big help for the vaccine, so Tom Chandler calls out to her and takes a team on a rescue mission.
Once silence is broken, the Russians can pinpoint exactly where the Nathan James is located. They want Dr. Scott – bad – so their aim is to capture at all costs. They begin to move toward Bertrise’s boat so they can intercept the Americans. Luckily, Bertrise is taken off the ship before the Russians can attack, but Chandler and Tex are stranded at sea when their rescue boat sinks.
From there, “SOS” mostly deals with Tex and Chandler as they attempt to swim to a reef about 15 miles out. Chandler doesn’t want to call for help because if the ship was to send a helicopter, the Russians would follow that chopper back to the ship. However, Slattery can’t take the chance of losing Chandler, so he does just that, affecting the safety of nearly everyone on the Nathan James.
“SOS” is a fairly standard rescue-operation episode, but it does give the viewer some time with Tex and Chandler that we generally don’t have. There’s a little exposition given, but The Last Ship surprisingly doesn’t dwell on that too much. Instead, it opts to go after the other important aspect of “SOS” – figuring out why Bertrise is immune.
Turns out she has a genetic defect, and Dr. Scott is going to test her blood in a monkey to see if it helps. She’s making steps toward getting a vaccine, which is exciting, but at the same time The Last Ship really spends little time with the virus itself. Making a vaccine to cure it is great, but without having seen the effects of the virus, the stakes just aren’t there.
The episode ends on a high note, however; different from its normal happily-ever-after outcomes, Chandler is pulled up in a helicopter to find that it’s not the Americans but the Russians who have rescued him. “SOS” leaves us with this event, and we’re left to wonder whether the Nathan James will pursue Chandler (of course).
True Blood: “May Be the Last Time” – Sunday, August 3 at 9 PM
True Blood continues to work towards a close this week, as Eric, Pam and Gus Jr. continue to search for Sarah, and Bill becomes sicker and sicker as he succumbs to advance stage Hep-V. When Amber, Sarah’s sister, refuses to give them the location of her sister, Eric loses his cool and turns her into a giant red stain on the carpet. Amber accidentally lets slip that Sarah ingested the cure for Hep-V, and Gus Jr., being a business man, quickly turns the idea of a cure for Hep-V into something marketable, and suggests that they bring his corporation in to track Sarah, once he clues them into the fact that what she has flowing through her veins would be highly profitable to the corporation.
Andy and Holly arrive at Fort Bellefleur, and discover that Adilyn and Wade have been there, but are not there anymore. Andy contacts Jessica to ask if she has sensed Adilyn, and breaths a sigh of release when she informs him that she has not. Jessica and Sookie are watching over Bill, and wondering why the virus is accelerating so quickly. Violet has taken Adilyn and Wade to some sort of mansion, and have provided them with a trunk full of sex toys to help them in their lustful adventures. So focused on the feelings for one another that they are experiencing, the two have yet to catch on to the fact that Violet does not have good intentions.
The infected blood veins have now made it up to Bill’s neck, which indicates that he has advanced to stage 3 of the virus in only two days. Sookie refuses to accept that Bill is going to die, while Bill calmly exclaims to her that there is no cure for the disease, thus, no way to stop it. You know how Sookie is, though, so she sets off, determined to prove him wrong, and find a cure for his disease. Meanwhile, Arlene is having naughty visions of Keith, as she imagines him taking her on the pool table after she locks up the bar. I could be wrong, but this is the first time I can remember Arlene getting naked on-screen. I mean, granted, you don’t really see her nipples, nor do you see anything other than a few flashes of flesh, but I have to say, I’m impressed. She has always appeared a little frumpy to me, but some of that could be because of her attitude. I am automatically disgusted by a woman if she has a redneck sensibility about her, but I’m coming around to Arlene.
Eric, Pam, Gus Jr. and a whole tribe of Yakuza are still holed up at Amber’s house, when they find a location on Sarah. Eric and Pam awaken, finding the house empty, and fear that they have been double crossed by Gus Jr., who did a great job at convincing them that his word is bond, only to find him and the other Yakuza outside smoking, waiting for them to wake up so they can go get Sarah. Sookie convinces Jessica to sleep next to Bill, while she tracks down her fairy godfather, Niall, in hopes of some sort of magic that can save Bill. Niall does make an appearance, you know, since this is the last season and they have to work in every character appearance they can while they have time to do so, but ultimately, he tells Sookie that magic can’t heal her vampire friend.
Speaking of returning characters, Hoyt is back in town, with a new girlfriend in-tow. Hoyt is back, because if you remember, his cunt of a mother died recently, so he is back to make funeral arrangements, that sort of thing. Hoyt is still glamoured, so he still has no memory of what has really happened to him, nor does he remember his life-long friend Jason, and talks to him as if he’s just the local law enforcement when he shows up at the bar to meet him. I’m sure Hoyt is going to get his memory back, sometime before the series finale, but for now, we have to play along. Adilyn and Wade are still naked under the covers, when Violet wakes up, and makes her true intentions known. Jessica senses that Adilyn is in trouble while she lies asleep next to Bill, and jumps up and takes off running when she realizes what is going on. Arlene, still having fantasies about Keith, is actually put in his presence as he shows up to the bar. She makes it known that they can’t have sex, since she is Hep-V positive, but he tells her that it’s okay, and asks her if she’ll just dance with him, which she happily obliges.
Sarah is hiding out at the old Soldiers of the Sun barracks, haunted by visions of those that she feels she has wronged. There is a common theme about her ghostly visions, in that they are all telling her that she is going to die tonight, and die alone. And finally, the episode ends with some Sookie nekkidness, as Bill and Sookie have some Hep-V fueled Sex, for what might be the last time. Get it? The name of the episode? Cute. Anyway, this is a pretty hot scene. It’s rare in “r rated” sex scenes for them to use a wide angle, where it really looks like the two actors crotches are grinding into one another as they swap bodily fluids, and that makes the scene much hotter in my opinion. What a perfect way to end the episode, anyway, am I right? Anyway, things are heating up and winding down in the world of True Blood. Until next week, when we hopefully have the next volume of DEADtime TV up on-schedule.
The Lottery: “Greater Good” – Sunday, August 3 at 10 PM
It’s becoming increasingly clear that The Lottery is not out to show us a scientific dystopia about the public’s inability to create life; it’s about tackling how the government handles these types of situations, and whether they have our best interests in mind. The Lottery‘s political representatives tend to see humans as baby-making machines; maybe they can use them to churn out baby after baby with the right genetic make-up. While that’s a bit of a scary premise, the actual enactment of this theme doesn’t really interest me.
That’s because The Lottery is so serious about its scientific idea that it has a hard time seeing the flaws in its plot. For one, Dr. Alison Lennon is one of the top fertility scientists in the world, and she’s still not a very good doctor. Nor is she good with people – in “Greater Good,” we get to see her interact with the six-year-old Elvis to startlingly bad results. For a woman who has devoted all of her life to figuring out how to create children, she has a terrible understanding of them.
But that problem lies more in The Lottery‘s approach to the character of Alison. She’s not particularly interesting, and the show doesn’t really want to spend much time characterizing her at all. The most unique thing we know about her is that she spells Alison with one “l” and not two. Elvis, Kyle, and Chief of Staff Vanessa Keller are similar sketchy, but at least feature one or two areas of their personality that have been used to the show’s advantage.
Take “Greater Good”‘s main plot, for instance. It involves getting five American diplomats back from China alive without sacrificing five embryos to them. Vanessa has stakes in this agreement as well, since her pseudo-boyfriend Nathan is one of the hostages. At least the slight love interest we saw last episode makes an appearance here; it’s not a strong narrative in the least, but The Lottery makes a surprising choice to kill those people in cold blood.
For the most part, however, The Lottery is playing out like another boring political drama, much more concerned with the interworkings of government than how not being able to produce children affects the world at large. That’s the more interesting scenario, not how the government is figuring out how to use their knowledge to repopulate; the real people, and the reason why finding a cure is so important, is largely left to the audience to envision. Sure, it’s easy to think up why a cure for infertility is good for the world, but the individual stories are not being told, and it’s affecting the reason why Alison is so important.
Three episodes in, The Lottery is not effectively using the most important part of its namesake: the lottery itself. We’ve yet to see what it does, and the show has focused too much on setting up a bunch of political drama that doesn’t work very well. Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll begin to see a shift toward why this lottery is so important and what it does for the people of this new world.
The Strain: “It’s Not For Everyone” – Sunday, August 3 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘The Strain’ marks the fourth episode in the first season and the series as a whole and is titled ‘It’s Not for Everyone’. The episode begins with Eph having just smashed in the creature’s face with a fire extinguisher at the hospital. He and his crew now have the first real bit of evidence convincing them that there is something far from the norm going on here. In a rush judgment, and also wondering just what exactly happened, Eph decides that they must cut open the creature so that they might have a better understanding of just what is occurring here and what exactly it might be.
The episode focuses largely on Eph and his team as they dissect the creature Eph killed and try desperately to find some information and facts on just what might be happening here. When Jim starts to realize his deception may contributed to a much larger danger than he ever imagined, he confesses his wrongdoing to Eph and Nora, but Eph immediately writes off his reasons and decides that Jim is officially dead to him, leaving him behind as he and Nora take off to continue their investigation. The episode also focuses again on survivor Ansel as his wife takes the children away to be safe and returns to find their family dog dead and Ansel having changed even more and has also chained himself up in the shed. We are also provided a lot of insight into Gus’ home life and of course spend some time with our favorite wealthy and powerful villains as they hire a hacker in an attempt to move their plot forward further.
‘The Strain’ continues to impress me and after the first four episodes I must say that I am pretty thoroughly pleased and in love with this series, based upon a trilogy of novels that I’m a huge fan of, just in case you missed it when I said that the first four times. While I won’t go into deep spoilers for this episode until next week as usual out of courtesy for those a bit behind, the end of the episode really started sending things off in a certain direction and I know fellow fans of the books were probably also quite pleased by, that final sequence which perfectly notes the title of the episode as well. It is a real joy watching this creep and fantastic story coming to life on the screen and I hope to see you all again back here again next week for our DEADtime coverage of episode five.
‘The Strain’ is currently airing its first season Sunday’s at 10:PM on FX.
The Leftovers: “Guest” – Sunday, August 3 at 10 PM
“Guest” is a Nora-centric episode of The Leftovers, and much like it did with her brother Matt, it takes a very melancholy look at another resident of Mapleton trying to deal with the disappearance of not one but three people she knew – her entire family. She’s always been a very sympathetic, depressing character, and when “Guest” starts out with her paying a hooker to shoot her in the chest with a bulletproof vest as protection, you know things are only going to get bleaker.
That’s true in a sense, but there’s also some hope to this episode. It follows Nora as she heads outside of Mapleton for the first time this season, to a job conference about the departed. Her specialization is in the disbursement of finances to people who had family members disappear, and she’s leading a panel on that sort of thing. As it turns out, these departments are fairly common in the post-disappearance world.
Once she gets there, she finds that her name tag has been taken; she’s forced to wear “Guest” for the rest of the proceedings, an unfortunate turn of events for Nora. There’s a sense of that returning motif of things going missing, but The Leftovers navigates around that: it’s not the missing name tag that is important, but what it means to be Nora Durst. That the Nora Durst name has been stolen gives her some kind of elevation, that she is significant; she wants to know who took it, and why.
She also gets to have something of a good time with a few colleagues at the event. She meets Marcus (Billy Magnussen), who helps her forget some of the unpleasantness for a while and shows her the real-fake bodies he creates to allow people to bury their missing. It’s a special moment in the show, a time where The Leftovers gets to introduce some people and topics that don’t normally get discussed because the show is normally focused on Mapleton.
But “Guest” is so much more than these small interactions between Nora and others. It’s about Nora herself, sure, but for those who have been complaining that The Leftovers never goes anywhere, I entreat you to take a look at this episode. Nora meets Wayne, who offers her an ultimatum: “Do you want to feel like this?” Nora holds onto her grief and pain – she buys the same groceries that go uneaten each week, she continues the same routines, and if she feels her pain slipping away, she reaches out for it again. But Wayne can take it away with just one hug.
There’s an intense choice to be made here, and “Guest” lingers on it throughout. Does Nora want her pain? Would she choose to get rid of it given the chance? And Damon Lindelof and Kath Lingenfelter, writers of this episode, ask the audience the same thing. There’s a question thrown around on the disbursement of funds form that reoccurs as well: “Do you believe ______ is in a better place?” It’s a philosophical and moral question, both for the answerer and the notator. It’s revealed that Nora’s surveys always come back “Yes,” which is an aberration from the norm.
Once Nora decides to give her pain to Wayne, she changes. It’s evident in her interactions with Kevin Garvey, her responses to questions and the way she reacts. Moreso, it changes the responses to that one question. At the end of the episode, a woman answers “No,” and Nora marks it. It leaves us to wonder whether Nora had some sort of aura about her that made others answer in the affirmative, or if she was marking “Yes” herself. Whatever the case, The Leftovers leaves it ambiguous whether the release of pain is a good thing or not.
“Guest” is the strongest episode of The Leftovers yet, and it just reaffirms the intention of Lindelof’s direction. It’s slow for a reason; this is about the characters dealing with their own grief, after all, not about the action of disappearance. If you’re watching it for anything but the piecemeal development of those people in Mapleton, then you’re missing out on some really emotional television.
Teen Wolf: “Weaponized” – Monday, August 4 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Teen Wolf’ marks the seventh episode in the fourth season of the series and is titled ‘Weaponized’. The episode begins with an unknown man whom we can assume is an assassin and/or hunter as he drinks something out of a test tube while listening to the same tape from the benefactor as Kate had previously listened to with instructions on how to collect his bounty for targets. He does this calmly in what appears to be some sort of storage room or lab and with a werewolf howling and suffering in front of the man, although that appears to be of no concern to him, again providing the impression of him being an assassin.
The episode focuses largely on a number of Scott’s pack at the school on a Saturday to take the PSAT’s. The teacher for the test (shockingly) just happens to be the man we saw earlier. Soon students start acting weird and it appears that there just might have been a contagion unleashed in the school. As more start dropping and becoming affected, the school is put on quarantine with the police and numerous other government agencies surrounding the school. We soon discover that the virus causes werewolves and other supernatural beings to be far more affected than humans, and when members of the pack start shifting uncontrollably, they must fight to find a way to counteract the virus, that is assuming of course, that an antidote or cure even exists. The episode additionally focuses on Derek who is not at the school, as he brings a surviving member of Satomi’s pack to the hospital for help and hopefully to get a few answers, especially after Satomi herself arrives.
We are now just over half way through the fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ and I think things are really getting pretty interesting. We are still left to contemplate the mystery of just who the benefactor may be and while I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I really love the mystery element present in each season, it really adds a whole additional level of intrigue and excitement to each situation and season. On top of that, more secrets and old faces are revealed, as well as the hint in last week’s episode that Derek may be set to die, considering the believed circumstances surrounding his name as the password for the final part of the list. We certainly know that this series is not all afraid to kill off key characters, but it would be a true shame to see Derek go. Things continue to build and get more intense and I am absolutely loving the season so far and I hope to see the rest of the shows fans back here again next week and enjoying each episode as much as myself.
The fourth season of ‘Teen Wolf’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on MTV.
Under the Dome: “In the Dark” – Monday, August 4 at 10 PM
This week’s new episode of ‘Under the Dome’ is the sixth episode of the shows sophomore season and is titled ‘In the Dark’. The episode begins with Junior looking down into the mysterious tunnel leading down from the locker, but to where is anyone’s guess. As he jumps down, intent to find out if Lyle is hiding down there, Sam reluctantly decides to follow him, Junior still unaware that it was actually he who murdered Angie and not Lyle as he believes.
The episode largely focuses on the investigation of the tunnel they discover when journeying down into the secret passage under the locker. While Barbie, Sam and Junior go down to explore things, they find a much bigger area than they initially imagined. Soon, they accidently activate a booby trap which causes a cave-in, separating Barbie and Sam from Junior and trapping Barbie and Sam inside the interior of the tunnel with no apparent way out. When Julia is called for help to try and save Barbie, she is forced to make a call between him and her current issues at the diner, and she decides to try and help Barbie. Unfortunately, this provides Big Jim the ample opportunity to try and win back the favor of the townsfolk by attempting to convince them to build Rebecca’s proposed windmill idea in order to combat a dust storm that has built as a result of the acidic rain.
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ has proven a bit underwhelming so far when compared with the first season if you ask me. While it continues to stay entertaining and provide some solid fun, it just feels like it has started to sort of spread all over the place and while it might just be my imagination, it feels like the concrete path and structure that was quite prominent in the first season has kind of chipped away into numerous pieces making things a bit more jumbled to an extent. While we are just short of being half way through the season, we can certainly hope that things start getting a bit more situated and organized in the weeks to come. I hope all of the fellow fans of the series will keep checking back here each week for our continuing DEADtime coverage of the show.
The second season of ‘Under The Dome’ is currently airing Monday’s at 10:PM on CBS.
Dominion: “Beware Those Closest to You” – Thursday, August 7 at 9 PM
A lot goes down in Dominion‘s season finale “Beware Those Closest to You,” but you wouldn’t know it if you tuned out after part 1 of the two-part closer. The first half of this episode really squanders a lot of time, elongating and pushing the length much further than it rightfully should go. It saves the best moments of the episode for the last twenty minutes, focusing on a battle between good, evil, and in-between to decide the fate of Vega – at least, for now.
Claire marries William despite whatever intentions she has against it, and Alex fakes a fight with Michael so that they have the freedom to figure out how to combat Gabriel. They’ve decided to let everyone in on Michael’s secret band of higher angels in Vega, effectively exiling him from the city. But they have more plans involved; now that Alex knows that Noma is also an angel, they can use her to go after Gabriel, which she does.
Gabriel’s ready for them, though; let’s face it, he’s not stupid. Likewise, Uriel is making her own alliances with Arika (who is revealed to be, apparently, Evelyn, and also a lesbian?). If you’re wondering what the heck is going on with Arika-Evelyn, you’re not the only one – besides an allegiance to Gabriel, I still don’t see the need for her in this show, especially since we’ve yet to see Helena at all.
Gabriel gives himself up to Vega’s guards, and they keep him locked up until he pulls out an ace – his acolytes are among the guards, and they let him go free. This should surprise no one. What the hell did they think would happen, he would just submit? So it’s a plot twist that reveals the depth of Gabriel’s influence, and what’s more, Clementine is also part of the problem! Michael kills her after realizing they’ve been experimenting on angels, then flies away before Alex can kill him.
Eventually things work themselves out; Alex must leave to go after Gabriel, and Claire has William exiled because of his allegiance to Gabriel. David manages to kill a ton of acolytes by setting them on fire, and for now, Vega is safe once again. It leaves a lot up-in-the-air for next season, which is nice, but I can’t help but feel that season one of Dominion is quite messy, and this finale doesn’t do much to tie things up any better.
My advice for this finale is to fast-forward through the slower first half to get to the real meat, which is sort of how one could sum up this first season in general. It hasn’t been a terrible show, but I can’t say I’m sad that I won’t have to cover it for another year.
That’s it for Dominion – that’s dropping from the line-up after this week’s season finale. Next week we’ll continue with the rest of the shows, so stay tuned!