Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I FINALLY saw it!

A good month late, I finally got myself to see Iron Man 2.

And it was pretty awesome. I particularly liked the Black Widow. And even Vanko, who I thought looked utterly ridiculous in the preview images. But in the actual movie, I liked him a lot. I'm not really familiar with the ins and outs of Iron Man comics, so I never actually encountered the character. I liked the whole looks-like-thug-but-is-really-a-genius thing.

I did spend most of it trying to figure out why the guy playing Justin Hammer was so familiar.

My dad missed the obligatory Stan Lee sighting, which my mom teased him about endlessly.

Pepper was less interesting to me this time around. Possibly because I didn't think the movie really gave her a cool CEO moment. I mean, she got to be competent, which was good, but I was expecting a bit more.

My only complaint was that the movie seemed awfully busy. There was so much going on. It worked fine here, but if they introduce MORE elements in Iron Man 3, it could end up being the mess that Spider-Man 3 was.

But yeah. I liked it. It was pretty awesome. :-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Still Don't Get the Spider-Man reboot

You know, I'm actually really confused as to why there's going to be a Spider-Man reboot at all.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I like origins and comic movies and there are some times when a reboot's preferable. For example, Superman Returns would have, I think, been better as a reboot, so I don't have to imagine Kate Bosworth as a child bride of Superman and so Brandon Routh would have been able to play Superman a bit more his way than as the second coming of Christopher Reeve.

But the Maguire movies weren't that long ago. And except for Spider-Man 3, they were pretty good. It's not like Batman Begins which had a very long gap between movies to justify it. And well, rubber nipples DO merit a reboot. It's also not like Captain America, best left forgotten. Spider-Man 3 was crap, but salvageable, if they MUST make a new Spider-Man movie.

This just seems repetitive. What will this reboot bring that Spider-Man didn't?

I'd have rather they jumped into the future and did a Spider-Girl one. It might suck, but it'd be new.

Of course, much as I gripe, I'll still go see it. It just seems weird.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As for me...

I never realized how much bar review class makes it feel like school isn't quite over. Though there is some novelty in the fact that I actually have to walk uphill to get to class. (Michigan, in contrast, is nearly as flat as a pancake.)

On the downside, my class now is like four hours a day of watching a DVD in a classroom. It's not too bad in that the lecturers are pretty interesting and I'm finding the review useful. But holy hell, it feels like a LONG time.

I was spoiled by my week off after finals.

I'll get used to it, but right now I'm channeling my nervousness into complaining. It's fun!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Okay, I have a stupid question which totally betrays my ignorance of certain segments of the Marvel Universe.

Why does Jessica Drew have pheromone powers?

I mean, she's identified with a SPIDER. I have to say, when I think of spiders, "pheromones" are hardly the first thing that comes to mind.

Gotta say, the nifty art of the Menzoberranzan computer game aside, I've never thought of spiders as particularly sexually appealing.

I'm not going to bitch about the pheromone thing in and of itself, since hell, there are quite a few male heroes that also seem to use attraction based powers. I'm just curious about the logic and neither Wikipedia or seem particularly enlightening.

So can anyone fill me in?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Earth Final Conflict Review: 1x04 Avatar

I'm guessing I might have a few new readers for my reviews on account of being linked so I figured I'd say hi. Just so you guys know, I'm a fan of the show (stupid bits and all) and I only mock out of love. (Except for one exception.)

So you know my biases ahead of time: I prefer Liam to Boone and seasons 2-4's almost comic book style energy and craziness to season 1's deep but slow ponderousness. That said, I do LIKE season 1, but just not as much. Personal preference thing.

Season 5 did not happen and will probably not be reviewed on this blog. (I reserve the right to rant vehemently about how terrible it is though.)

Okay, so with that out of the way, I'm starting the review for episode 4 of season 1: Avatar.

"Have you broken Umrathma's hold? Are you as human as I?"

This episode starts with a very stereotypical prison. Bars. Grey walls. A very picturesque rat running across the floor. A very twitchy looking guy watches a guy who looks like a more demented Pee Wee Human draw on the wall with his own blood. While twitchy wants him to wipe it away, Pee Wee Herman goes to sleep. The camera zooms in on an awesomely creepy Taelon poster.

A guard who I recognize from the episodes of Glee that my friend made me watch (the football coach) comes in to check on the guy who's not responding. After calling a lot of guards who carefully train their guns through the bars (Coach Tanaka has clearly watched a lot of escape movies), they discover that the guy, who's name is James Pike (heh), is dead.

However not so much, because he wakes up on the autopsy table.

In their shuttle, Lili and Boone provide us with more exposition. Pike was a lawyer (hah) and other serial killers felt he gave them a bad name. (I love lawyer jokes, no lie.) They've been assigned to find Pike, which confuses them because it ought to be a cop job. Sandoval wants secrecy though, and we find out why when Boone watches an interview with Pike that reveals he volunteers for experimental drug therapy.

At the mortuary, the doctor who's name is Kaplan is understandably freaked out and vetos Boone's suggestion about how some Yogic masters can fake death by asking if they can fake rigormortus too. No one can understand why Pike didn't kill the doc, especially since his M.O. used to be about targetting fear and inadequacy.

They head into the prison, to the usual cliched prison catcalling and grabbing arms. Boone recognizes what looks like very simplified Taelon script in Pike's mural and we find out that non-Taelons can barely pronounce Taelon and no one can read/interpret it (spoiler: yet). Boone points out that no one can rise from the dead either.

Elsewhere, Pike doesn't look good. He's bleeding out the ear, freaking out, sobbing and hallucinating Taelons in the mirror. As he makes his way to some other place with entertainingly awful 90s music in the background, he says something like "Shaqarava is come."

In the lab, Doctor Kaplan gives more info about Pike. He was intelligent and a brilliant criminal lawyer, with extreme methods that apparently degenerated to cutting the heads off his clients. They look in a microscope and discover something nifty: Pike has a CVI.

Boone goes to see Da'an. Sandoval tries to stop him, to Boone's annoyed "Don't you ever go home?" Da'an is resting in an energy shower. It looks pretty awesome. But he wakes up to confirm: Pike has a CVI and had one for 2 years. Da'an gives a speech about how human prisons only incarcerate and not rehabilitate. Boone wasn't informed because Sandoval convinced Da'an to secrecy, claiming it's impossible to explain to the human public.

I can't imagine why, what with the non-consentual (or at least uninformed consent) alteration.

Pike was given an imperative to love human kind and behaved like a model inmate. Aside from the weird art tendencies I'd imagine.

Meanwhile, Pike continues to act non-modelly and researches Boone. The images flash across in the usual CVI reading mode before settling on an article about Kate Boone's death.

In Boone's awesome office (spoiler: his successor does not get an awesome office. How unfair), Boone watches some interaction between Pike and Kaplan, while Doctor Belman is in another monitor. The interaction doesn't go well, Pike yells a lot in Taelon and lunges at Kaplan. They note he grabs a prod longer than he should, and Belman theorizes that he's learned to use his CVI in new ways: increase pain tolerance and switching vital signs off and on. She's fascinated, but also clearly feels guilty.

She justifies the experiment but doesn't convince herself or Boone. She does theorize that it might be a side effect. The CVI has a time limit and is dying, taking Pike with it. Boone is understandably aghast and asks if ALL of their CVIs have time limits. Belman doesn't know.

Meanwhile, Pike's left them a present. Two people ducktaped together, it looks like. Each has an image on their heads. One is dead. One is alive. Boone notes that the images match the sketch from the prison: the symbols are an eye and a mouth, and one twin killed the other. Boone thinks he's re-enacting something, and while not rational is predictable.

Lili wants to inform Doors, since Pike clearly has access to a LOT of Taelon info in his mind. Boone distracts her with the reveal about the implant's shelf life, and she immediately asks about his. Boone says he doesn't think about it, and is rescued by Sandoval calling on the awesome video phone. He tells them someone hacked into a government system, just as his image flickers out and Pike's appears on both their global and Da'an's data feed. He keeps saying the name of Shaqarava and Umrathma. Boone figures out it's coming from a satellite.

Boone chases, but Pike ambushes him good and hallucinates him as a Taelon. Pike reveals he knows he's dying but "every avatar dies to be reincarnated." He says that "Umrathma and his lies will be silenced by death." Then he kisses Boone on the forehead. Creepy.

Da'an and Boone go to the prison, and the Warden warns that it's like a zoo. Da'an points out it's a zoo of humans and talks about how he understands the effects of a cage on captive and captor. We'll find out what he means by that in later episodes.

The prisoners are silent and gaping this time. Da'an goes to the no-longer-so-twitchy fellow and asks why he's there. The guy killed four people and tells Da'an he could love him to death. Da'an is horrified and asks Boone (who by the way, is someone he thinks he brainwashed) if "this debasement" represents "the cost of your human freedom." Boone confirms. We also find out Da'an recognizes the story on the wall. Da'an can do better than that, he can recite the story.

Later we see Belman speak to Sandoval, who's also concerned about the time limit. She says, rather coolly, that if he's curious he should come to see her, after checking with Da'an of course. Sandoval mildly insists that he just wants to maximize what time he has left. Belman's expression gets a hint of pity and she tells him to come at any time. Then she gets in the car...where Pike is waiting.

While Pike has Belman drive off, we get to hear the story of the twins from Da'an. Basically Umrathma and Shaqarava were brothers. They quarrel over some omen. Umrathma wins, Shaqarava dies and is "cast into the void." Eventually, he's supposed to come back with "the fury of truth."

Boone and Lili converse at the embassy until Pike appears (as a very detailed hologram) behind them. Lili goes to trace it while they talk. Pike reveals a level of guilt about the twin's death (he's programmed to love humanity after all) and then manages to provoke Boone into as much of an angry response as Kevin Kilner seems to be able to manage by bringing up Kate's death. Since Boone is not supposed to be able to GET angry (contrast with Sandoval's utterly unconcerned description of DeeDee's fate in the Truth) Pike asks, surprisingly desperately, if Boone has broken free of Umrathma's lies and if he's as human as he is. Then he grabs his head, screams and the image flakes out.

Lili comes in, having traced the image. Boone sends her with instructions quickly entered into a global. She has to tell Da'an, and then take Sandoval's soldiers to the location, she does and finds a shaved Doctor Belman tied to a chair. She has a bow and arrow drawn on her head. It's fucking disturbing. She tells Lili that he made her alter his CVI, so now he can use Sandoval's skrill.

Speaking of Sandoval, Boone finds him almost unconscious on a lab table with a bloody and bare arm. He mutters something about how Pike said "the Servant's arrow will slay the master."

Pike gets his chance at Da'an's university appearance. It looks kind of awesome actually, with Da'an seated and various figures sitting with him. Pike tries to shoot him, and Da'an seems to be destroyed. Pike then collapses into Boone's arms as the latter runs up to catch him.

As this happens, Da'an enters to everyone's amazement. The other had been the same kind of hologram Pike had used. Pike, now bleeding from the ear and nose, begs Boone again to tell him if he's broken Umrathma's Hold. "Are you as human as I?" This time Boone nods, and Pike is comforted. He tells Boone that Boone is Shaqarava now and will reveal the truth and judge Umrathma. He reveals that the Taelons are afraid of something called the Sleeper and dies.

Da'an comes up looking regretful, saying there's much he would have asked. Boone looks angry, but keeps his eyes locked on Pike. He says that Pike just babbled at the end.

Later, the Taelons ask Da'an what dissection of Pike's remains revealed. Apparently not much, but Da'an theorizes that the implant had allowed Pike's mind to evolve into a state similar to the Taelon collective minds.

Meanwhile, in jail, Boone gazes at the image.


New characters/developments:

James Pike: Crazy ex-lawyer, murderer, avatar of Taelon myth. He's oddly sympathetic at the end.

Dr. Kaplan: The prison doctor. He has a vaguely germanic accent and a kind of enjoyable pragmatism and liking of being alive.

The Shaqarava/Umrathma myth: This story kind of embodies many conflicts that take place later in the series. The Taelons are pretty much always Umrathma, though the Shaqarava embody various forms over the years (Jaridians, Kimera, Boone, Liam, and even the Atavus all kind of fit in their own ways).

The Sleeper: Something that the Taelons are deathly afraid of.

CVIs: apparently have a time limit. Eek.


Review: This episode introduces the Shaqarava/Umrathma myth that, as mentioned above, tends to echo throughout the series. It's one of the cores of the Taelon metaplot, I think, and even though it's not really addressed directly after Season 1, the underlying dynamics continue well into season 4. Maybe later even, but I still deny season 5 happened.

It's kind of awesome how in this episode, even, there are layers of meaning. Such as the bow and arrow on Belman's head. On one level, Sandoval's skrill is "the Servant's arrow" but on another Pike and his CVI are Belman's arrow. I dig that sort of thing.

The Taelons are indeed proving themselves to be pretty sinister here. What with the experimentation on prisoners (albeit somewhat consentual, though Pike clearly had no idea what he was getting into), rewriting human minds, and dissection of Pike's corpse.

I appreciate how Da'an can give such wise, kind speeches when he's talking to a human that, at least as far as he knows, he has safely brainwashed. This is an element that I think works better in later seasons, when he knows his conversation partner has the ability (and inclination) to respond with his true thoughts.

The bit where Boone is glaring at Pike's corpse was a great moment to illustrate this, as for once, Boone genuinely looks furious. But he has absolutely no ability to reveal this fury to Da'an, he has to swallow it. It's a good moment for him and one that emphasizes that as much as Da'an's a great, complex character even this early in the show, we can't mistake him for a "good guy". He's softening toward humanity, but he's not there yet.

This was a good and bad Boone episode, I think. It highlighted Kevin Kilner's strengths and weaknesses both as an actor. I don't think Kilner really does explosive, visceral anger well. His moment with Pike, when the latter was provoking him with Kate's death, came out very flat and awkward. He came across wooden to me. And really, Boone seems more like the kind of guy who gets softer with rage, not louder.

However, the quiet moments: the realization of what Pike's CVI's time limit means, the brittle cheer when he says he's not thinking about it, the almost teary anger as he glares at Pike's corpse...those are all really great moments. Kilner's a good actor, but he's a very minimalist actor. This works well in those quiet moments because it's clear he's holding things back. Fortunately, the writers get that most of the time and generally avoid the loud "show it all" type of angry scenes.

This episode also had some very good Sandoval moments. He continues to be a tragic figure, really. He's still a manipulative, curt jackass and has those moments. But he's also a victim, and the moment where he's genuinely concerned about the time limit because he needs to maximize his service to the Taelons. That was kind of heartbreaking really, because you could tell he meant it. He doesn't even care, otherwise, that he might be doomed. It was a good parallel to later when we see him physically injured and helpless. It's hard not to feel for Sandoval.

And of course, James Pike is really well done. He's a scary, deluded, crazy murderer (and lawyer!), but at the same, his death is actually sad. Poor guy presumably went into the drug program to rehabilitate himself, and instead started channeling a Taelon boogeyman. Naturally, it's good that he didn't succeed in killing Da'an, but he was so pathetically happy when he found out Boone had free will. And then he ended up dissected for his trouble.

I think this episode's theme seems to be freedom, and the ways it's taken from us. 1) the prison, obviously. 2) the drug therapy and its means to change a person's self in order to truly rehabilitate them (though they remain in prison), 3) the motivational imperative that keeps Sandoval from mourning his own mortality, 4) the binds of duty that keep Boone from ever revealing his true thoughts, 5) the physical bindings of all of Pike's victims, 6) the love that distracts Lili's intention to inform Doors in favor of horror at Boone's possible fate, and so on, and 7) the geas Pike puts on Boone at the end when he names HIM Shaqarava. The judge.

This episode really doesn't have a happy ending either. Pike is dead. Boone, Sandoval, humanity really, is still in bondage. And the Taelons themselves are in fear of something potentially worse.

It's kind of awesome that the serial killer has the name of two original Star Trek captains. James Pike. Hee.

So what did we learn this episode: Myths suck. CVIs suck. And even serial killers make lawyer jokes. Hah.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Earth Final Conflict Review Index Page

Decided since I've pretty much committed myself to doing these Earth Final Conflict episode reviews (if very slowly), I should probably make an index page. So here's the reviews I have so far.

Season One

1x01: Decision
1x02: Truth
1x03: Miracle
1x04: Avatar
1x05: Old Flame
1x06: Float Like a Butterfly

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Sentry's stupid anyway.

I haven't really blogged anything about the whole Sentry thing. Mostly because Ragnell said it better.

I've always been mixed about the Sentry personally, because I actually tend to like when people look back at previous eras of comics and even slot new folk in to fill gaps. But it always seemed a bit much the way they did the Sentry. He couldn't just have quietly fulfilled some role in the past, maybe had a team up with Spider-Man, maybe went drinking a few times with the Silver Surfer, he had to be all these BIG things and be so very important.

Isn't it a more interesting story to have had a hero be consistently and quietly heroic in the background all that time with no one really noticing? Or maybe it's just me and my fondness for the little guys.

I really like Erich's fix it theory though. It's a really cool thought and works with the little I actually understand of his powers. Moreover, it means the annoying stuff like Rogue losing her virginity's all in his head.

He probably cried during, anyway.

Though, it is kind of fun to think of more ways he could be important to the Marvel Universe. You know, ways that actually fit the fuck-up he seems to be:

He taught Magneto to be a good father.
He taught Scott Summers to not bottle up his emotions.
He taught Steve Rogers that he shouldn't feel guilty for Bucky's death.
He taught Ororo Munroe how to deal with her claustrophobia.
He taught Janet Van Dyne tasteful fashion design.
He taught Reed Richards to take time to stop and smell the roses.

And so on and so forth. I'm sure you can think of some yourself. :-)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Can someone look up 'New' in the dictionary? Or, you know, 'Apartheid'?

Okay, I'm going to admit, in full disclosure, that I haven't been reading a lot of DC comics lately. My interest in Blackest Night faded. I follow JSA: All Stars religiously, GLC, and will follow Guy's new comic. And that's about it right now.

I kind of think I miss Dan Didio at the helm. Stephanie Brown might have gotten killed off, but I think there was a certain joie de vivre that the current DC seems to be missing. Countdown was dreadful, but it still had something that so far, I'm not seeing in Brightest Day.

And there are definitely some unintentional but seriously problematic elements to current comic events. Chris Sims has a great post about it here.

That said, this article pisses me the fuck off.

Okay, let's get to the title. "New Apartheid"? Really? Because that's exactly the comparison I think is appropriate. Unpleasant racist undertones in comics is EXACTLY like the systematic, governmental and social oppression of an entire race of people resulting in atrocities and death. There's a way to criticize without being stupidly offensive. This is not that way.

Now the actual article is just a list, introduced as a "striking overall theme." And as far as I know, the fates are accurate. The introduction is general enough, he's tracking the fates of non-white heroes. Okay, cool.

But the implication of the title is that it's a trend, right? "New Apartheid." And it might well be a trend, but something I noticed while scanning the list? He included Beth Chapel. Yolanda Montez. Fucking VIBE.

And while I'm not familiar with every character on the list, I was pretty sure that those characters all died about 20 years ago. So I went to Wikipedia, and decided to look at the dates.

William Everett III WAS killed by the Mist in his first ill-fated adventure. In 1998. Twelve years ago.

Beth Chapel was killed by Eclipse. In Eclipso #13. In 1993.

Joshua Clay was murdered in 1992.

Hector Ramirez was killed in 1997. Yolanda Martinez in 1993.

Celsius died in Invasion. You know 1988.

Dr. Mist in 1995.

Gan and Tavis Williams...1995.

Bushmaster, Impala and Thunderlord were all killed by Fain Y'onia circa 1994.

And Vibe, Vibe died in 1987.

And that's not even counting the fact that he's got listed characters who AREN'T EVEN DEAD, like Hero, Jet, John Standing Bear (Morrison's quoted as saying he'll show up again at least), Jai West (no Iris? His twin doesn't count?), Osiris and KYLE FUCKING RAYNER.

Maybe I'm conservative in my estimation, but if you're going to be claiming a fucking "New Apartheid" shouldn't most of the bad fates take place more recently than fifteen or twenty years?

I mean, some of these deaths happened during the same time as the ACTUAL APARTHEID. I'm pretty sure a "new" version of something has to come AFTER the original.

It's annoying particularly because all of these old deaths are drowning out the parts that are actually legitimate. There IS a move toward nostalgia heroes right now. Replacement characters ARE being killed off, shunted aside, neglected. John Stewart hasn't had a good plot since before OYL. Jason Rusch is now secondary to Ronnie Raymond. Cass Cain, Connor Hawke limboed. Lian, Ryan? Dead. And the oath to a White Power Ring is pretty comedic in its "You guys really didn't think this out, did you?" implications.

There's no need to pad the list, guys. They've provided us with plenty of ammunition. So if we're going to critique a current trend, let's stick with the CURRENT activities.

(This is not to say that a list like that isn't useful for historical analysis purposes, but let's take out the people who aren't dead and the people who are currently pretty fucking prominent in storylines, okay? Oh and add dates. That's kind of important.)

Also, let's stop comparing it to real world atrocities? It just makes us all look bad. If it's bad enough that we're critiquing it, it's bad enough that we don't have to Godwin ourselves in order TO critique it.

Perspective guys. It makes our critiques stronger and gives our arguments more weight. Let's use it.

(Edited to add: I've spoken a bit about my personal opinion re: nostalgia in the comments below. They're tangential to this post, but if you're curious, feel free to read.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Meme! Mostly Red-Haired Edition!

1. Guy Gardner - DC
2. Jean Grey - Marvel
3. Ronald Sandoval - Earth Final Conflict
4. Barbara Gordon - DC
5. Fox Xanatos - Gargoyles
6. Dum Dum Dugan - Marvel
7. Horatio Caine - CSI Miami
8. Scott Summers - Marvel
9. Jem - Jem and the Holograms
10. Teela - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

It's a heavily redhead, eighties, and bad sci-fi edition?

Anonymous asks:

1,5, and 10 have to run a day care center. Who gets what job, does the center burn down, and what do the kids think of this?

Hmm. Guy, Fox and Teela. Well, Guy's actually decent with kids, and Fox seems to be a fairly devoted mother. So I think they'll be the ones actually taking care of the kids. Teela never really seemed that into kids, even for a kid's SHOW, so she'll provide security. They've very secure kids.

2,4, and 9 are on American Idol. How does this play out?

Jean Grey, Barbara Gordon and Jem. Well, THAT's pretty obvious! Jem's truly outrageous! Also I've always thought Jean was possibly tone deaf. I have no reason for that, but it'd be funny to me since she's so good at everything else.

3,6,7, and 8 are going to Hogwarts! Who sorts what House?

Hmm. Sandoval, Dugan, Caine and Scott. Sandoval and Dugan are easy enough. Slytherin and Gryffindor respectively. The other two are a bit harder. Scott's a hero, but he's also prone to scheming. Since he's currently in a lawful neutral phase, I might go with Slytherin. Caine would be Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. But an awesome Hufflepuff.

Anonymous asks:

1 and 10 want to pick a movie to give the MST3K treatment. Can they agree on one?

Guy and Teela. Dude. Masters of the Universe. Between Dolph Lundgren and...Dolph Lundgren. They'll have fun.

2 and 8 are entering a three-legged-race, with 3 and 7 entering as well. Who wins?

Jean and Scott versus Sandoval and Horatio. Hah. Well. No one stops Jean and Scott. Also, I really can't see Sandoval and Caine getting along. The ego clashing alone would be beautiful and yet incredibly counter productive.

Also, Sandoval might shoot him.

4 and 6 are ordering pizza. Can they agree on toppings? Would they be likely to eat pizza together anyway?

Dugan and Babs? I think they can agree. Dugan would probably give her first choice, he's old fashioned that way. They're from different universes, but they'd probably get along. They can complain about Fury and Batman, see which is crazier.

Everyone else is chasing after 5. What did they do?

Well, she IS an ex-villain with a scary mastermind husband and vaguely fae powers. My guess is she'll kick their ass. If she can't, she'll get Xanatos to scheme something. Or her son to zap them. Either way.

Ununnilium asks

The Black Lanterns are attacking! But, due to crossover commitments, the rings of the emotional spectrum can't be used! 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 10 are chosen to wield the power of the Secondary Spectrum:

Teal (Enthusiasm)
Beige (Monotony)
Brown (Conservatism)
Dusky Rose (Covert Hostility)
Seafoam (Pity)
Actually Purple, Because The "Violet" In Blackest Night Is Seriously Pink (Curiosity)
Octarine (Confusion)

Which ring goes with which character? What are 3, 6, and 8 doing during the superzombie apocalypse? And whose dead parents, dead partner, and dead love interest are resurrected as Black Lanterns?

Hmm: we have Guy, Jean, Barbara, Fox, Horatio, Jem, and Teela. Well, Guy, Jean and Teela all have pretty bad tempers, but I'm not sure I'd call any of them "covert".

I think I'd go with:
Teal: Guy because he's very gung ho.
Beige: Horatio Caine. Between the voice and the vaguely predictable plots. It works.
Brown: Teela. As captain of the guards, she tended to be pretty set in her ways.
Rose: Fox. She's sneaky about her villainy and even managed to get parole early by pretending to be redeemed.
Seafoam: Jean because she's the most likely of this group to sympathize with you. Also, she dies a lot. :-P
Purple: Barbara gets to be curiosity, because she's the Oracle and she likes knowing stuff.
Octarine: Jem. Because honestly, between the identity issues and the fact that I was never really sure why it was necessary to be Jem to begin with. Or why a wig didn't just suffice.

Dugan is being a badass normal sidekick to the group. Scott and Sandoval are scheming. Probably against one another. Also, Scott gets to be a damsel in distress at least once.

Hmm, I'm not sure how many of these guys actually HAVE dead partners. I think I'll go Jean for dead parents, because then they can eat the Shi'ar and I HATE the Shi'ar. Not sure who on this list really has a dead partner...maybe Fox, since it's possible some of the pack might be dead and carrying a grudge. Sandoval gets the resurrected love interest, mostly because I miss Beckett and it would totally traumatize their son and thus be fitting with the rest of the show. (He'll die and come back too. Just for lulz.)

D asks:

The Lantern Corps is doing a memberdrive. Who joins which?

Well, Guy's already Green. As for the others, I think I'd go: Jean (Blue. Pun unintended.) Sandoval (Hmm. Red or Yellow. Vengeance is his driving motive after all, though he might be too scheme-y for mindless rage), Barbara (Green), Fox (Violet. Between the relationship with Xanatos and the whole Mother's love thing...), Dugan (Green), Horatio (Yellow. He's scary!), Scott (Green), Jem ("Violet". Matches her hair. :-)) and Teela (Green).

Who would be better in a bio pic:
1 playing number 2 or 2 playing number 1?

While I think Jean's probably the better actor, it would be more awesome to see Guy playing her than the reverse.

Number 3 has just dicovered an adult parody has been produced of him/her. The response?

Sandoval will be pissed at first (Especially since his likely partners are either his son or aliens), possibly plot their elimination, then figure out a way to use them in his schemes.

Old but good: Sally Floyd is in an elevator with #4. "Real Americas use YouTube". The reaction?

It's Barbara. There will be many an embarrassing Floyd-starred video there by morning.

Does 5 like coffee? if so, how does he/she take it?

Yes. Very strong. Between Gargoyles at night and business stuff during the day, Xanatoses never sleep;.

6 is tossed back to an era of loincloths, barbarians, and sorcery. 6's response?

He'll be embarassed at first, but soon embrace his inner bare-chested warrior. Nick will accuse him of mocking his (lack of) war wardrobe.

Someone pitches the idea of doing 7's life as a pulp novel. The response?

Horatio's life would be the best pulp novel ever. But the response would be a one liner and then the Who screaming YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH.

8 has found a vampire sitting at the foot of his/her bed. "I watched you sleep all night." How does 8 handle this?

Didn't this kind of happen in Whedon's run? Oh wait, that was Wolverine being kind of gay. Anyway, Eyebeams.

9 has gone off the beaten track and ended up a small town filled with flesh eating ghouls. What does 9 do?

Sing at them. Die. If she's clever she might use the hologram technology in an actually useful way and lure them off. But it's Jem, so probably die.

10 is picked to direct a film version of "The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers." of numbers 1 through 9, who gets picked to play the leads, and how does 10 being in charge?

Teela would be good at being in charge! And she's used to eighties cartoons. Okay.

Sandoval gets to be an evil version of Zach. I almost went for Scott, but Scott's wife dies rather than getting mindsucked. There's more comparison to how DeeDee got institutionalized. Though this Zach did it himself.

Jean is Niko. Badass psychic chicks are easy.

Barbara is Doc the tech genius. She'd enjoy having sprites.

Probably Guy. He's rebellious, blows shit up, and Vuldarian powers are kind of similar to bio-defenses.

Dugan is Walsh. Badass mustache for badass mustache.

Sally P. asks:

Snapper Carr has showed up, and is showing his vacation slides. what kinds of excuses do 3 and 5 use to get out of watching?

Fox uses the "the baby's crying" excuse. Sandoval's a dick, so he just says that it's boring and he doesn't want to do it. (Also, he might try to scheme Liam into doing it instead.)

During a break from the slides, number 8 goes into the kitchen and makes popcorn,which promptly gets dropped on the floor. 10 scoops it back in the bowl and brings it in anyway. How does 1 and 4 react when there are odd "clumps" mixed in with the popcorn?

We're assuming Guy would notice? He's got a sturdy Vuldarian stomach. He can swallow it. Barbara will notice and complain.

The slide projector eventually catches on fire. What does 2 and 6 do to put it out?

Well, Jean can telekinetically douse flames, but Dugan's probably got an extinguisher at hand. It's something you pick up when you hang out with Nick Fury.

7 and 9 nap through the whole thing. What is their reaction afterwards?

Caine investigates, and Jem sings about it.

D asks:

9 overhears 4's fanclub that they are going to set him/her up with a Viking sex robot. 9's response?

Are they setting 4 up or 9? If the first. Well, Barbara IS a technophile. So she might enjoy it. If it's the latter, Jem will angst about cheating on Rio. Who will then flirt with the sex robot.

2 has stolen 40 cakes. What does 1 do?

Guy would be bemused. But maybe blackmail. She IS hot.

3 encounters a zombie version of 5 How does 3 handle it?

Sandoval has a skrill weapon. Zombie-Fox will have a new hole. But then Sandoval will get his ass kicked and need his kid to come save his ass again. Whereupon, he'll still be a dick.

8 thinks 7's ward is a junkie. What does 8 do?

Scott? Probably exploit it. He's a dick that way.

Anonymous asks:

2,4 and 8 have to plan a surprise party for 9. How does it go, does 9 like it? And what does everyone else do during the party?

Well, Jean, Barbara and Scott are fairly clever/competent, so it probably goes well. I'd imagine an 80s karaoke party with lots of techno. Jem likes it and the others all get to sing. Except Sandoval, who blames the evils of karaoke on his alien overlords. Guy is surprisingly good.

notintheface asks:

Klarion -bum bum BUM!- the Witchboy casts a spell which transfers each character's signature power/skill/weapon to another character. Which character gets whose trait and how does each of them handle it?

Hmm. Some of my folk are non-powered sadly. We'll give Guy telepathy, because it'd be mean and funny.
Jean will get Sandoval's skrill, because she's used to merging with alien beings. She'll enjoy it after a bit.
Sandoval gets Scott's eye beams because it'll make his life suck more.
Barbara gets the holograms, and she enjoys it. Heck, Synergy IS a computer.
Fox gets Teela's blaster and speeder, because flying cars are useful and she can always claim it's Xanatos's design.
Dugan gets Barbara's tech expertise, which will be useful to Nick and make Dugan happy.
Horatio gets Dugan's mustache of awesomeness.
Scott gets Fox's faerie powers, because they come from surprise relatives, so it suits him.
Jem gets Horatio's ego. It'll do her good.
Teela gets the Green Lantern ring. She'll find it very useful but the Guardians are even more annoying than the Sorceress.

1,3,5,8, and 10 are in charge of running a theme park. What is it called and who handles what rides? Which of the remaining five (as customers) enjoy the experience, and which don't?

Let's see. Guy, Sandoval, Fox, Scott, and Teela. Well, Guy's kind of adrenaline junkie-esque, so he gets to do the rollar coaster. (It's manly.)
Sandoval gets to do the carousel because the universe hates him.
Fox is a cheating game operator.
Scott runs the fun house, because it's less likely to involve losing glasses.
Teela runs the archery range.

Jean, Barbara, Dugan, Jem and Horatio will probably enjoy it.

K. D. Bryan asks:

6 and 8 have both fallen madly in love with 3. They decide to compete for 3's affections by singing their favorite love song to 3 at a karaoke bar. What songs do 6 and 8 sing to 3? How does 3 react?

Hmm. Dugan and Scott singing to Sandoval. Scott sings "Endless Love" and Dugan sings Bette Midler's the Rose. It's very sweet. And terrifying. Sandoval is unimpressed.

1, 2, 5 and 9 are playing tournament poker. Who goes out first? Who bluffs the most often and most successfully? And who wins the game in the end?

Guy, Jean, Fox, and Jem. Well, despite her double life, Jem's not very GOOD at it. She's almost caught all the time, and can't make do with a damn wig when the holograms don't work. So she's out first. I love Guy and think he's a fairly good bluffer, but he probably won't match Jean and Fox. I think Fox bluffs most often/successfully, but Jean probably wins, mostly because, psychic aside, when you're married to Scott Summers you learn to find tells or you go crazy.

4 and 7 must pose as a married couple on their honeymoon to gain precious intel about a double agent living in a fancy hotel. How successful are they at selling their cover story? Which of them abuses room service? Which of them tries to be all business and complete things as quickly as possible?

Babs and Horatio? I think he'd annoy the hell out of her, but they'd sell it. Barbara abuses room service (mostly to drink to annoy him) but also is all business. He keeps taking time away with posing.

1 and 10 are given a choice by The Gamemaster and Mr. Mxyzptlk to either engage in mixed martial arts combat or The Dozens for the fate of their respective worlds/universes/cities. Who chooses the boxing match? Who chooses The Dozens? And which of them would win in either contest?

Hmm. Guy and Teela. Both would probably prefer boxing as Guy likes punching shit and Teela's a guard captain. I think she'd win as long as he's ringless. Her training's better, and he's got the "one punch" thing. :-P He'd definitely win the Dozens though.

Top Chef Masters-style Challenge! 4 & 5 versus 1 & 8 versus 9 & 10! Each team must create and cook a single delicious dish that will please both gourmet restaurant critics and a big class of unruly 2nd graders . . . making sure to both cook enough to feed everyone and finish doing all of this in under 1 HOUR. Which team cracks under the pressure? Which team finishes cooking first? Which team cooks the most delicious dish? And which team wins the challenge (and who comes in 2nd and 3rd)?

Barbara and Fox versus Guy and Scott versus Jem and Teela.

I can't see any of the team cracking to be fair. Barbara and Fox are probably the most efficient as a team (the others will clash more) and finish first. I'm not sure that either are really the homemaking type. Certainly Teela isn't. Jem would resort to a hologram.

By default, I think Guy and Scott would have the best dish and win the challenge (especially since Guy's the best with kids. Jem has the orphanage, but she's also incompetent.) Then Barbara and Fox. Finally, since Jem's incompetent and Teela's from another planet, they're probably last.

2 wakes up to find out that every other person on the list has been brainwashed into believing that they are soldiers and that 2 is their Commanding Officer. How does 2 respond to and handle this strange situation?

Jean will try unbrainwashing first of course. If that doesn't work, she can adapt. She's clever, and while she isn't the best military leader she does have experience with team leading and can probably trick her military genius husband into giving advice. batch of X-Men!

7 and 10 must switch lives/roles/duties with one another for a month ala Wife Swap. How do 7's friends/allies react to 10's new attitude and ways of doing things and vice versa? Whose friends & associates will miss the new person more when their month is up and they go home - 7 or 10's? What lessons will 7 and 10 eventually learn from having to walk in one another's shoes for a month?

Hmm, I think Horatio's group will be confused by his new tendancy to yell and be less full of hot air. While the Eternians will be confused as to why Teela's suddenly able to see that He-Man is Adam with a tan. The Crime Lab will probably miss Teela more.

Teela learns to actually observe shit, while Horatio gets the humbling experience of not being the center of the universe anymore.

D asks:

2 joins a club that forces him/her to grow a beard, while at teh same time planning to poison the city's water supply to give everyone rocking facial hair. Does 2 suceed in growing a beard and/or stoping the plot?

Well, Jean's not the type to grow one naturally, though I'm sure she could manage. More likely she'll get Hank McCoy to make her a potion.

7 waks to find him/herself in CRY FOR JUSTICE. What do they do?

Well, it's Horatio. So he'd probably have a deep meaningful talk with many characters (with lots of pausing and sunglass removing), solve any lingering murders (with explosions!) and join in the revenge spree while somehow not losing his cop license.

5 is scouted by the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Losers, and combat happy joes of Easy Co. Which team do they join?

Well, Fox's a bit old for the Legion, but I'm thinking that she'll appreciate the future glimpses and the chance to swipe some neat technology.

8 is scouted by HAMMER, the New Warriors, and the Howling Commandos. Which team do they join?

Well. Hammer's out for Scott, obviously. I think I'll go with the Howling Commandos. He'd be good in the military, has the potential for badassery, and will be a different kind of crazy than the rest of the group.

Devin McCullen asks:

All 10 are forming a baseball team. Who plays which position, and who is the manager? (It's the National League, no DH.)

I know NOTHING about Baseball. But, I guess Scott's the pitcher for his aim. Guy's the catcher, mostly for dirty joke potential. Barbara's the short stop (I imagine her playing awesomely like Joe Swanson in family guy), Jem, Teela, and Horatio are basemen. And Dugan and Jean are in the out field. If I forgot a position, sorry.

Sandoval's the manager, because he's sinister.

4 wants to get set up on a blind date. Who do 2, 7 and 9 know that they think would be a good match?

Hmm. Barbara... Jean, Horatio and Jem. Well, Horatio's got Delko and Ryan on his team, I'd probably go with Delko, because he takes his shirt off more. Jem...does she even know any men who aren't Rio or Eric Raymond? On the other hand, there's always girls. But I'm not sure I'd inflict any of them on Barbara. Ooh, Synergy. Barbara would enjoy tinkering and Synergy would enjoy the tune-up.

Jean could totally hook her up with Hank. That'd work well!

1,3,6 and 8 are going to New York on vacation. Where does everybody want to go first? And what Broadway show do they want to see?

Guy, Sandoval, Dugan, and Scott. I'm going with Les Miserables. And they probably want to go to Central Park and beat up muggers! Except Sandoval, who wants to go to the UN building as part of his most current scheme.

5 and 10 are going to take part in a Ren Fair. What parts are they going to try to get?

Fox and Teela. Teela will probably try for jouster, Fox can go for Queen Elizabeth. She aims high.

D asks:

Time to form Voltron
1 through 5
-who forms the feet and legs?
-Who forms the arms and torso?
-And who forms the head?

Hmm, I'll go with Barbara for the head (smartest!), Guy and Sandoval for arms (they don't really mesh with Hunk and Lance, but well, Guy likes punching things, and both have arm-related powers), Jean and Fox get the legs.

The head of a major comic book company has gone nuts, and 9 has to step in. What major summer crossover idea will 9 come up with?

Battle of the Bands! 80s style!

Anonymous asks:

Let's see... all of the ten are going to beat the bejeezus out of DC Editorial for having yet another beloved non-caucasian legacy hero killed. Who gets there first, and who can inflict them the most amount of pain?

Sandoval. Because no one does revenge scheming like he does.

D asks:

Number 6 is asked to speak at the Sentry's funeral. What does he/she say?

Sentry was totally his first time too.

4 has to cook a meal for 8. What is the dish and what wine does 4 pick?

Shish-kabob. For obvious reasons. And something appropriate (I know not my wines.) Barbara does have taste.

9 runs into a blue police box and an odd fellow. "What to go exploring?" is asked. Does 9 follow?

Yes! If Billie Piper can do it, so can Jem!

10 finds out William Shatner has been cast as the lead in the biography of 10's life. How does 10react?

I think Teela will be very confused. But I imagine she WOULD like Captain Kirk.

2 falls into a wormhole. Which low budget Candian sci-fi tv does 2 end up on?

Hmm. A psychic redhead who merges with cosmic space aliens? Let's go EFC. Maybe she and Ha'gel can give Liam a baby brother or sister.

Bigger challenge for 5:
-Making small talk at the Summers family reunion

Fox is pretty clever. They can talk schemes and how to thwart sinister corporate billionaires. Always good to know what the adversary is doing. Also long lost relatives.

-talking politics with Green Arrow and Hawkman while tied up to a death trap?

I'm sure Fox would fake neutrality and then help Xanatos use everything they say against them later. :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Earth Final Conflict Review: 1x03 Miracle

Okay, so I want to give the meme a bit longer to percolate (so you have a bit longer to give me questions) and thus I'm going to do another episode review for my own enjoyment. :-)

This episode is called "Miracle" and it's a pretty interesting premise. We get to see a lot more of the effects of the Taelons on society.

"You'll miss every good thing in the next seventy years"


This episode starts zoomed in on a wheelchair with the best bumper sticker ever: "I break for aliens." The owner is a guy named Reggie. He's a veteran and possibly homeless, as someone offers him a bed at the Church for Holy Companions as long as he's sober. (He's not.) Reggie is friends with William Boone, and they exchange some friendly words just before Boone notices a girl about to jump off a roof.

Boone can apparently teleport as the camera zooms in on the girl, then suddenly Boone's right there talking to her. He's playing up a fear of heights. (For the record, William Boone is a terrible actor. :-)) We find out, via conversation and Boone's nifty CVI, that the girl's name is Julie Payton. She survived a car accident which killed her parents ten years before, and lost her hands as well. Boone coaxes her down and we get a good look at her hands. They're artificial, clearly, but seem to have very good mobility.

Later Da'an watches the news broadcast on his datastream. He's disturbed by the attempt and says that "No Taelon can become so alone." He also mentions that if she were a Companion, they would have replaced her hands. Boone and Sandoval are intrigued.

Da'an talks to another Taelon (identified as Quo'on), both are in nifty energy form. They're ready for open tests, though there's some doubt about success. They point out that Julie is completely healthy except her hands and mind.

Julie, who always keeps her hands in her pocket, comes to visit Boone. They bond over loss (Kate and her parents). Then Sandoval and Lili come in. Sandoval is smug and says Julie will go through limb regeneration and it's Boone's job to convince her. Boone thinks it should be Julie's decision, but Sandoval merely points out that it's Da'an's wish.

There's an interesting repeated mantra about how the Taelons can "grow buildings".

While Boone and Julie talk, Lili and Doors are having their own conference. Doors is of course suspicious of the Taelon agenda and the propaganda effects. Lili is concerend about how devastating this could be for Julie. She also points out their lack of success so far against the Taelons. Doors counsels patience and Lili tells him she'll bring back a "souvenir" for their geneticists.

We see the procedure, as admnistered by a very feminine Taelon named Na'eg. Da'an offers a technobabble explanation as the Taelon seems to play a keyboard. A funny exchange happens when Boone notes that she'll have healthy hands after this, and Da'an warns that her fingernails might be prone to breaking. Boone and Sandoval exchange slight smirks.

When Julie lifts her hands out, Boone is crying. Aw.

At the press conference for the first human limb regeneration, Julie looks happy and bright, and when Da'an appears, she gasps. She sees an aura or light around Da'an and thinks he must be a Messenger from God. As opposed to an energy being, I guess. I'm not sure why a glow is surprising, but okay.

Back at the Embassy, Boone, Da'an and Sandoval discuss the feeling of being worshipped. Boone is perturbed and thinks the worshipfulness ought to be discouraged. Da'an considers how some religions don't put much distinction between creator and created. Sandoval points out how some Eastern religions share that belief. Boone asks if Da'an influenced her, but Da'an denies it and then goes on a tangent about how humans slaughter each other about "questions of spirit." Apparently that's different on other planets. (A mild spoiler: not so much.) Da'an tells Boone to tell Julie to enjoy her new hands.

Lili and Julie have their own meeting, and Lili shakes her hand instinctively before awkwardly apologizing. I find Lili's awkwardness about the whole thing endearing. I'd be kind of stupid about this sort of thing too. Julie doesn't mind and gives her permission to touch, she gets a little too close/personal for mine and her own taste, but Julie understands the need to experience the miracle.

Lili asks Julie how she's doing, and Julie reveals that she didn't sleep that night, instead just went around touching things. Lili asks what her favorite things are to touch, and she says brick and olive oil. Lili brought her a present, a fancy pen. Julie confesses that she doesn't know how to use it anymore, but Lili encourages her by comparing it to riding a bicycle. (Which...she probably also couldn't do. I love Lili's clumsiness.) After Julie practices writing a while, Lili slips the paper away.

Da'an and Qu'on discuss the worship. Da'an appears to agree with Boone really about the inappropriateness, but the other Taelons think it's a great stride. He does bring up the concern that humans might turn on the thing that they worship, which, as Da'an points out, they've done before.

Speaking of religion, now we see the incredibly creepy Church of the Companions. It's very much a megachurch, with screens, choir and massive amounts of money. The leader is Travis Murray, and he's got a lot of smarmy charisma. He quotes a lot of bible references to "Companions" and other worldly beings. When Julie sneaks in, he notices her and she gets lifted up before the crowd.

Boone has his own moment of interest, as he starts blending images of Buddha, Egyptian pharoahs, Moses and Jesus, and ends up with a composite Taelon. Boone is freaked by this, and asks Da'an if they'd been to Earth before. Da'an babbles something about the long history of the souls. Then Boone notices Murray shilling for donations.

While Murray talks with Julie, Boone suddenly appears! Teleporter! Murray and Boone have a disagreement about Julie's "responsibilities" as a "chosen". Boone is of the opinion that her only responsibilities are rest and recovery. Murray disagrees. Later, Boone apologizes to Julie for being rude. She's mad.

The next day, a talk show host calls Boone. Julie didn't show. (We do see some huge crowd shots with candles and the like. Kinda creepy!) We also find out Partner-Bob's last name (Morovsky), when Boone calls to find out if they know anything. Yay, partner-Bob!

At the Flat Planet, Lili and Doors are watching the show which is now an interview with Murray, and Doors has a great line: "Dear God, save me from your followers." Lili's follow-up "Answer a question with a soundbite. Never fails." is an awesome knock on both him and Murray. Doors glares, but they discuss the results of the tests on Julie's paper. Her cells are decaying. Lili wants to call Boone so he can be the one to tell Julie. Doors is worried that the Taelons will try to hide this failure like they've done others.

Outside, Julie (hands in her pockets) meets up with Reggie the veteran. He acts a bit spacy but thanks her for giving people hope back and congratulates her for having the courage to go for it. As soon as she leaves, a much cagier looking Reggie calls Boone. I love Reggie. It's now a race to find Julie.

Murray wins, when Julie comes in. She shows him her hands. They're dissolving. It's pretty gross. Meanwhile, Sandoval and Da'an discuss the disintegration, and the exchange is pretty ominous. Da'an mentions the Synod's concern that if the news is made public that it will have negative consequences. He gives Sandoval a pointed look, and he says he'll get on it. He asks if they should do the "customary isolation procedures" and Da'an nods. EEVIL!

Lili and Boone then break into the Church and it's awesome. Ski-masks and grapplers and all. There's ass kickery while the church meeting goes on inside. Sandoval is at the front door. Lili tries to bluff her way through at one point (as Boone's too recognizeable) but it fails. She then kicks the guy's ass to my amusement and Boone's exasperation. They find Julie.

Boone warns Julie of the danger. The Companions do a lot of good things, but are also willing to sacrifice an individual or two along the way. Boone and Lili are not. But they have a solution.

Julie goes on the talk show and gives a nice speech denying the Taelon's role as biblical messengers (she was caught in the moment) but that she still considers the experience a miracle and publicly commits herself to the limb regeneration program. Clever, she turned herself into an asset.

Finally, at the end, Da'an and Murray discuss the results. As it turns out Julie's experience strengthened the Church's message. Da'an tells Murray he honors his work. Hah.


New Characters/Developments.

Na'eg: A Taelon scientist/doctor. Amusingly, they do not do a very good job of hiding the fact that Na'eg has breasts.

Quo'on: another Taelon. I'm not providing a picture because he was only shown as the glowy light thing.

Julie Payton: an accident survivor who becomes the face of the human limb regeneration program. She's pretty awesome.

Travis Murray: very sleazy/creepy head of the Church of the Companions. I think he was cast for his ability to roll the "r" of the traditional Taelon greeting. He's very good at that.

Reggie the Veteran: One of Boone's contacts. He has awesome taste in bumper stickers.

Church of the Companions: A mega-church that worships the Taelons. And apparently works for them too.

Da'an: We learn a bit more about Da'an as a character, both his discomfort with religious-type veneration and his willingness to use it. He shows a ruthless side a bit more openly here and it's very intriguing.



This episode is pretty neat for an overall look at the way Taelons influence human society, both good and bad. The Church of the Companions is a nice little slice of that since we see that they apparently house the needy (from their offer to Reggie) while at the same time they're REAL big on preaching and spreading the word and don't seem to mind strong-arm tactics.

Julie and Travis are both very interesting new characters. Julie's strong and bright and capable, and the show acknowledges that the issue isn't really about her hands but about her spirit. Even though she ends the experience without her hands, she's come out with a strength that she didn't know she had and people who care about her. Even when she bought into the Holy Companion rhetoric, it was perfectly understandable and she never lapsed into cartoonish fanaticism.

Travis Murray is also pretty interesting. He's another side to the Taelons, a measure of unofficial influence and gives us a hint of Da'an's true capability as a manipulator. He'll be interesting in the future.

This was a good episode for Da'an, as I mentioned above. We see a lot more of both his benevolent side and the ruthlessness underlying it. He isn't comfortable with being venerated, and he is growing a bit more respect for humans, but he's still manipulating them. And his interaction with Sandoval gives us a very good demonstration as to how he could honestly say to William Boone that he didn't order Kate Boone's death. Da'an has other ways of making his wishes known.

This was a good episode for Lili and Boone too. I really liked Lili's discomfort with Julie's injury. It's very human. She wasn't revolted or anything, but she didn't really know how to act. But she definitely cared about Julie as a person in a way that neither Doors (who was more concerned for the propaganda influence. Though to his credit, even he expressed concern for the girl too) or Da'an did. I especially liked her thinking to ask what Julie liked touching most, now that she could. It was something Julie seemed to really enjoy sharing, and was probably too personal a question for someone closed off like Boone.

Also, it's always fun to see Lili kick ass.

I ragged on Kevin Kilner quite a bit in my first two reviews, but I think he did a really good job here. This was the first episode where Boone's humanity really came through the brick wall. He and Julie vibed off each other well and brought out qualities in each other. It was nice to see Boone coming to terms some with Kate's death through his interaction with someone who shares some of the same grief but doesn't have the barriers keeping him from really expressing it. I still hate his voice though.

I'm never really good at dissecting themes, but I liked this episode's take on faith and the question of faith vs. religion. The Church is corrupt. The Taelons are clearly not messengers, but the strength that comes from faith in self and faith in others is pretty powerful.

There's an interesting key between passive and active role here. From the beginning, Julie's characterized as an inspiration. Boone tells her how many people are inspired by her story, by what happened to her. It's not a role that gives her strength. Likewise, the Church of Companions venerates her because she was "chosen" and because the Taelons regrew her hands only to turn on her when they stopped working. The Taelons see her as useful, but then a threat. All of this defined by what happened.

Reggie, though, is inspired by her strength. By the fact that she made her choice and she reached for it. And that's the key. That's the strength she found when she appears on the talk show. She reclaims the inspirational role, but on her own terms. She rephrases the miracle as not being about her hands but about the spirit.

Boone still doesn't get it. When he talks about how he's inspired by her for being able to go on after the loss of her hands, he's still thinking about it in terms of what happened to her. It's the same as on the roof at the beginning. But that's okay, because he's still grieving his own loss and it's the third episode. He has time to learn.

So what did we learn this episode? Taelons are creepy. Taelon-worshipping mega-churches are even creepier. And this series might have a weird thing about hands.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meme Laziness!

God damnit. As usual, Finals have fried my brain. Tests are done. Papers turned in. And I have NO IDEA what to blog.

So I'm resorting to a cheap favorite! The Meme!

This'll get my creative juices flowing, or at least buy me some time to review another episode of bad sci-fi or silly cartoons. Either way, win-win for me!

Okay. So the rules are simple. I make a list of ten characters, you ask me things like "#1 and #2 play strip poker with Hal Jordan. Who wins, who loses, and who hits Hal first?"

So take part?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Belated Reaction

I know I'm late to the party, but yay! Hugo Weaving was confirmed as the Red Skull! That was such a perfect rumor that I really didn't expect it to turn out true!


Thursday, May 06, 2010


Hah, I am done with finals. The only thing left is the final draft of my paper for Domestic Violence due on Wednesday!

Now I'm going...

to sleep!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Progress Report!

One final down, two to go! This means I haven't been able to do much else, but I'm surviving. (Equity was surprisingly stress free. Accounting continues to make me reach for my wonderful bottle of cheap generic advil-equivalent.)

Probably won't get to see Iron Man 2 until my folks come up, but I have faith that you guys will tell me how good it is.

So yeah. :-) See you soon.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Still Studying

Three finals this coming week! The aforementioned Accounting for Lawyers, Equity, and International Civil Litigation.

I might lose my mind come Thursday. But these plus a final paper due the following week are it, for GOOD. Unless I utterly bomb them.

But yeah, have fun for me!