SUPERNATURAL Always Gets Their Goatman


Season 12, Episode 18 “The Memory Remains”
Written by John Bring
Directed by Philip Sgriccia

With episodes like this it’s good to remember that Supernatural’s main mission is not what I watch it for. I watch for the characters, the stories, the brotherly moments, and the vast mythology that’s been developed over the years. Its main mission is to scare the crap out of people. In that respect, it does a good job.

When the episode started, I found myself wishing that we would find that Mick (Adam Fergus) was alive and he and Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) had fooled Dr. Hess (Gillian Barber). It was a very small wish, because lying on a table with blood around your head and your eyes open looks pretty dead. They do use the excuse I thought they would. Mick was sent back to England in disgrace.

A group of young people are partying in the woods, with beer and a fire. One of the guys heads home, walking alone in the woods, which is never a good idea. He gets got by a human trap. His buddy hears him and arrives in time to see a goatman (Bill Mikolai) knock him out with a rubber mallet.

Goatman looks a lot like Krampus. He’s not, though, he’s a man in a costume. This is obvious to us, the viewers, because he hits the guy with a rubber mallet. A monster would have claws or teeth or super strength or an archaic weapon. Also, who can go to the store to buy mallets and backpacks when you look like that?

Sam and Dean get a note from “Mick” about the case. It’s Ketch, trying to get them to leave the bunker so he can search it.

Sam and Dean go to Wisconsin and talk to the sheriff, who is working on a stuffed stoat, I think. Immediately he’s the main suspect for me, because who else but a taxidermist would be good at making a goat costume? He tells them the missing guy, Jared Hayes (Daniel Doheny), had a hard life and probably just bailed. They talk to the best friend, Daryn (Antonio Marziale), who tells them it was Black Bill, the local goat man. They talk to the missing guy’s boss. He worked at a meat packing plant, which isn’t the least suspicious. The boss is a jerk, not being the least bit concerned with the missing guy and chewing out Daryn even though he saw his friend get grabbed.

Oh Man. My job sucks, my friend got kidnapped by Black Bill the Goatman, and now the Feds catch me with reefer. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

Dean is distracted by a pretty blonde waitress (Aliesha Pearson) and is overconfident because of the Colt. If he had been seriously working the case, he might not have ended up as the damsel in distress.

Daryn gets got by the goatman, and ends up in a meat locker watching Jared get eaten by something we can’t see.

Sam and Dean find out that Sheriff Bishop owns the meat packing plant and used to own the town before he started selling things off years ago. They check out the family’s abandoned mansion and hit pay dirt. There is a murder room in the basement, behind a door with many locks. There’s a table that tilts towards a grate in the floor.

The sheriff catches them and tells them the story of his family. They made a deal with Moloch (John DeSantis) after catching and imprisoning him. This is the same god that plagued Sleepy Hollow’s first season. The family invented Black Bill, the Goatman, to cover up the fact that they had been killing a person a year and feeding them to Moloch. Sheriff Bishop had been trying to make amends for the last twenty years and hoping Moloch would starve to death. Bishop is not the killer. Moloch’s cage is empty.

Do I look like a Goatman? No, don’t answer that. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

They hear a sound upstairs and Dean goes up, alone, to see what it is. How stupid is that? They are assuming it’s Moloch, and Dean has the Colt. He’s distracted by an empty goatman suit and knocked out from behind.

It’s Sheriff Bishop’s brother, the jerk manager, who luckily likes to talk and thus gives us all the exposition. Pete Garfinkle (Ryan MacDonald) resented being born on the wrong side of the blanket and was angry because of Sheriff Bishop’s disposal of the family property. Pete found Moloch and was fattening him up, hoping he would make him rich.

Dean goes a few rounds with Moloch and Sam and Sheriff Bishop go a few rounds with the brother, who has stolen the Colt. Dean is getting the worst of it, which I’m not sure he doesn’t deserve. Sam and Bishop defeat Pete. Sam bursts in and shoots Moloch with the Colt just in time. It kills the monster.

When Ketch was finished searching the bunker, he made two mistakes. One was that he took Dean’s picture of his mother and himself from before she died. Dean may not look at those often, but it will be missed. The other is that he planted a big honking microphone under the table. The same table that Dean keeps a holster under. Don’t the Men of Letters, London Chapter, have the newest technology? How long before that is found? When the boys check in, they find out that Mick is gone and Ketch is their contact. Making the old saying true, Ketch the eavesdropper hears nothing good about himself, leaving him staring at the picture he purloined.

This is a middle of the road filler episode. It makes it very frustrating because we don’t know where Cas is, we don’t know where Kelly and her devil spawn is, and we don’t know if Eileen is okay. I am assuming that Mary is actually hunting a chupacabra in Mexico.

I suppose it’s building tension that we took this little side trip but it also makes me a little crazed.

The bulk of the story was classic horror. Or, as Maia Ades said, they used every horror trope in the book. The basement, the murder room (and why do they need torture implements if all they are doing is feeding blood to Moloch?), the meat locker, and even walking in the woods. One of the things they did right is that we never see Moloch in his entirety. Just a clawed hand, or a silhouette through plastic. The imagination is much more frightening than a monster in daylight. Seeing it is the first step to accepting it. In contrast, we first see the goatman in the dark, and then increasingly in daylight until he is unmasked.

We have to use flashlights because the light bulb blew up. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

The goatman is taken from an urban legend of a goatman in Wisconsin. There’s one in Maryland, too. Supernatural started out with urban legends before it developed its own mythology and has never left its macabre modern mythology beginnings.

I’ve seen this episode described as if they faced Pan, or a Greek god, or a faun or satyr. That’s the false monster, the goatman made up by the Bishop family. The real monster, Moloch, is a Canaanite god from the old testament. He has a bull’s head and is associated with human sacrifice. So yes, they did kill a god but not a Greek one.

There’s a bit of humor but not as much as in say, the bunnyman episode, “Plush”. Surely there are as many comedic possibilities with a goatman.

There is one scene that’s a little deeper, and related to the ongoing story of the boys’ heroes journey. Sam and Dean are talking about what they will leave behind, and they carve their initials in the desk along with flashbacks of the two of them carving their initials in the Impala when they were small. Too small to be handling those knives! It’s almost too much but it’s so cute I forgive them.

Little vandals. (Photo by Teresa Wickersham. Taken of Mary the Impala.)

Next week it looks like we find out what happened to Cas.

Supernatural airs on the CW at 8pm/7c on Thursday.




SciFi4Chicks: Disney’s Live Action Plan – Should They Adapt Every Animated Story?

[Featured image courtesy Disney]

The Walt Disney Company is known for their ground-breaking classic animated films: Snow WhiteCinderellaSleeping Beauty, plus more recent classics like The Lion KingThe Little MermaidMulan, and Beauty and the Beast. In recent years, though, they’ve been dipping back into that same well to take those classic animated stories and rework them into live-action pieces such as Maleficent, 101 Dalmatians, and Cinderella. The latest release, Beauty and the Beast, gives us a chance to compare and contrast this version and the classic animated feature.

Along the way, we discuss the other projects in the pipeline: Mulan, a sequel to The Jungle BookDumbo, The Lion King, and more. Should Disney be re-making all of these classic films? Or should they work to deliver new classics?

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Jennifer Wise, Teresa Wickersham, Sonya Rodriguez, Ann Laabs, Lauren Garrison




SUPERNATURAL and the Deathly Men of Letters


Season 12, Episode 17 “The British Invasion”
Written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming
Directed by John F. Showalter

The British Men of Letters are bad. I told you they were. They are downright evil incarnate, and it’s worse the farther up the chain of command you get. Faced with a supernatural danger, I’d be on the side of the monsters rather than call them in. I was wrong about one thing, though. The boys didn’t miss a thing not getting to go to Kendricks, the BMoL’s version of Hogwarts.

Poor Mick (Adam Fergus). He barely had a chance to be a better person. He made the most of what he had, though. He really learned not to be a Nazi during his time with the Winchesters.

The show opens with a memory of Mick’s. He is at Kendricks and he and another child are called to the Headmistress’s office, which has plastic laid on the floor. She tells them that only one of them will come out of the room again and reveals a knife on a table. Only one comes out and of course it’s Michael (Mick), covered in blood.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) finally get a clue as to where Kelly (Courtney Ford), the mother of the devil’s spawn, is hiding. They get it from Eileen (Shoshannah Stern), the deaf hunter whose parents were killed by a banshee. It’s great that they brought back Eileen, unless of course she ends up getting killed. She’s one of my favorites of their fellow hunters and contacts.

I’m way too pretty to be allowed to live. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Mick picks that day to tell them that the BMoL are tracking Kelly down as well because they know that Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is having a child. Dean and Sam admit that they know and share what they know about it. Mick is appalled that they didn’t kill Kelly when they had the chance. For the first time I can tell that his being judgmental is motivated by fear.

He ends up drinking Scotch with the boys all night. During another bad dream about his killing his friend, he gets a call from Mrs. Umbridge…I mean, Dr. Hess (Gillian Barber), the headmistress. She has lost patience with the American hunters and tells Mick that they have to assimilate or be eliminated. She sounds like a Dalek.

Mary (Samantha Smith) sleeps with Ketch (David Haydn-Jones), which is not a big surprise, but sure to make the boys unhappy when they find out.

Kelly insists on visiting a real Ob-Gyn, which results in getting the cheerful doctor killed. He’s killed by a demon of Dagon’s, who then gets killed by Eileen. She gets some information first.

Hess sends a minder for Mick, a young man named Renny Rawlings (Darren Adams).

Mick brings the Colt to Sam. Rawlings is in tow. Dean grabs Kelly and brings her to where they’re waiting. They start talking to her about the baby. Renny Rawlings wants to shoot her, but Dean makes him back down. Dagon (Ali Ahn) shows up and they are no match for her. I didn’t realize until then that the Colt was not for Kelly or the baby but for Dagon. Sam drops the Colt and Eileen picks it up and shoots. Unfortunately, Dagon is phasing out right at that moment and the bullet hits Renny. This leaves Eileen devastated and Mick determined to kill Eileen. Evidently part of the code is that when someone kills one of the Men of Letters, they die, regardless of why they did it. Sam talks him down. He tells Mick he can make his own decisions and not blindly obey.

I brought you the Colt and the accidental shooting victim, as well. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Dagon tells Kelly she won’t survive the birth but she can quit worrying about the baby’s health. The baby is strong and will be just fine.

Headmistress Hess shows up at the Men of Letters bunker with Ketch. She criticizes Mick for failing to keep Kelly or to kill Dagon and for letting Eileen go. Mick tells her what he really thinks: the Winchesters’ way is better, and that their way leads to kids killing their best friends. It’s a fine speech and during the middle of it, Hess nods to Ketch, who shoots Mick in the back of the head. Hess pronounces the experiment dead and wants all the American hunters dead as well.

Cas is still missing (probably trapped in heaven) and Eileen is on her way to Ireland, where I presume she will be picked up at the airport and murdered. I don’t give much for her chances. Not only are the Men of Letters still after her, but she flirted with Sam and he comforted her after she shot Renny. If that’s not the kiss of death on Supernatural, I don’t know what is.

Let’s give Mick a moment here. He completed a profound character arc in less than a season. He started out a smarmy, useless but smart guy tasked with the impossible goal of recruiting American hunters, which is like herding feral cats. He ended up a guy who bucked the system even though he knew it would lead to his death and even though it meant that he had to face the evil he had done in the name of the system. That’s where most people fail. They protect the system so they can keep from facing their guilt. Now he will never turn into a real hunter or start wearing flannel or shave. Or let the beard grow out. Sadly, he will be buried in that stubble. Adam Fergus deserves a big round of applause for his performance.

They can’t possibly do that test on all of their students. They’d lose fifty percent of their school. That kid had parents and so a cover story would have to have been created. Perhaps Mick was slated for special things, or perhaps he had shown signs of rebellion they wanted to squash. Maybe the other kid was targeted and Mick was just expendable.

Now we have an idea of how evil the BMoL can be. But Hess is not the head bad guy, although I am sure her influence, starting in childhood, is immense. They referred to the head person as “he” and “the old man”.

If Ketch starts hunting Winchesters, will he have mercy? I don’t know if he can love anyone, but he admires Mary greatly. Once again, Ketch had a scene where I wasn’t sure he was human. He acted very strangely after he killed Mick, circling around the body and looking at it curiously.

Kelly’s high risk pregnancy doesn’t mesh with a previous episode, “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”. Why would they think Lily’s child was a nephilim if the mother doesn’t survive the birth? Maybe it’s just when you have an archangel’s baby. It can’t be something that is common knowledge or Castiel would have used it earlier to talk Kelly into ending the pregnancy.

Be a good baby. Don’t kill Mommy. ( Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)

Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Lucifer have some back and forth in this episode. Crowley is trying to use Lucifer’s humiliation to gain respect from his demons. Lucifer is trying to figure out how to game the system.

Supernatural has gone to the dogs. Hess compares hunters to dogs constantly. Crowley calls Lucifer a dog and a puppy during their brief interactions. I don’t know if there’s a higher meaning to that.

The worst part is that the Winchesters are completely unaware of what happened to Mick and that the British Men of Letters has decided that they need to be put down. Since there is a small level of trust there, any of them could be caught unaware.

Next week it looks like they are hunting for a goat-headed man in a small town. How can they do that with everything that’s going on?

 

Supernatural airs on Thursday nights on the CW at 8pm/7c.

 




On SUPERNATURAL, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter


Season 12, Episode 16 “Ladies Drink Free”
Written by Meredith Glynn
Directed by Amyn Kaderali

Werewolf stories always tear your heart out because someone is an innocent victim one minute and a monster the next. On Supernatural, they follow the idea that the curse is a tragedy, much like the original Wolfman movies. This episode has the same conflict concerning the morality of killing the innocent who has been bitten and is now dangerous.

Mick (Adam Fergus) might be worth something someday. In the episode “The Raid”, where it became obvious that no one in the Men of Letters, London chapter, actually qualified as a hunter except for Ketch, Mick was the only one who did anything effective. Essentially, he’s a salesman. His orders are to get new recruits for the job of clearing America of monsters. But in this episode, he asks Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) if he can go on the hunt with them. It’s a hunt he found for them, an obvious werewolf case.

Dean is not happy about taking Mick with them. At this point he is willing to go on hunts that they find but this is a step further. However, he agrees and instead of their usual dives they stay in a three star hotel, which is amusing.

Only three stars? (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Their surviving victim is a teenage girl, Hayden Foster (Abby Ross). The fact that there is a survivor is unusual, thankfully. Most werewolf attacks end in death. Her brother was killed by the werewolf. Sam and Dean do the FBI thing but are stonewalled by the mom, who won’t let them in to see her daughter. Mick grabs a lab coat and pretends to be a doctor, which is clever. It enables him to examine the girl and Sam and Dean talk to Mrs. Foster (Miranda Frigon) outside. Mick finds a bite mark but lies to Sam and Dean about it.

The boys find out from the mom that a young woman was there first. Blonde, with an attitude. It’s Claire (Kathryn Newton), and Jody doesn’t know she’s hunting.

Mick tells Sam and Dean he has to get a report in, but he goes back to the hospital, dressed as a doctor, to put silver nitrate in the girl’s IV. He hesitates. It’s obviously hard for him. Hayden wolfs out and attacks him and he ends up stabbing her with the needle in the chest. The good part about this is that he doesn’t kill her until she attacks first. The bad part is now it’s obvious that she was murdered.

Sam takes Claire and they go talk to the dead girl’s girlfriend. Sam has to stay in the car because he’s old. However, he gets a chance to talk to her about coming clean with Jodie. She stomps off and gets attacked by a werewolf in a mask. A strange thing, a werewolf trying to hide his identity. Sam gets there seconds too late to save Claire from being bitten.

Dean goes with Mick to talk to the guy in the bar with the ink. He takes the opportunity to tell Mick that he has put two and two together and knows he killed the girl in the hospital. They argue about it. Mick has his orders, and killing monsters is what they do. Dean says things are not that black and white, and tells him about the girl with the psychic powers that they let go. The one that Ketch killed and the boys still don’t know is dead.

But now they have Claire, and Sam wants to try a cure he read about in Mick’s books. Mick says it doesn’t work, and nine out of ten test subjects died. Then he admits that the test subjects were mice. They are actually discussing whether to do it or not. They know from what happened with Garth that some people can withstand the hunger and survive on animal hearts. Claire points out that she doesn’t have that much self-control as a human. It’s her life and she gets all the votes, and she wants to do it.

Both Winchesters are extremely angry with Mick for killing Hayden. This is a little hypocritical, since they have done the same. Sam had to kill poor Madison, whom he really liked. Of course, she’d already started eating people. They leave Mick with Claire anyway, while they hunt for the werewolf that bit her. They need his blood for the cure. This is actually a smart move, because Mick gets to see her suffer through the change and has to stop her from killing herself. It’s good for him.

I just want to give you my heart. Well, someone’s heart. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Unfortunately, the masked werewolf shows up and kidnaps Claire, although Mick tries to stop him. Mick put a tracker on her (because he is smart) and they find the lair. The wolf is a young person, Justin (Matt Visser), who wanted to turn Hayden. The brother was just in the way. Now he wants Claire. The Men of Letters disrupted their den, killing some and dispersing the rest. He’s lonely.

There’s a terrific fight. Dean fights Claire, apologizing all the way. Sam gets thrown around and Mick shoots the werewolf. They get his blood and inject the cure into Claire, who writhes around for a while and then is cured! Yay! Everyone is happy, even Mick, who says she’s a walking miracle.

Claire calls Jody and tells her she’s been hunting and is ready to do it on her own now. (Right, she almost became a werewolf.)

That call you make when you’re ready to hunt monsters after almost becoming a werewolf… (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Mick should know now that you can’t hunt without the angst. If it’s not making you miserable, you’re not doing it right. Seriously, there is a vast difference in philosophy between the way the Winchesters hunt and the way that the Men of Letters, London Chapter, have others do their hunting for them. The Winchesters hunt to save people. The Men of Letters are exterminators.

The bad thing about the way that Mick killed Hayden is that he did it secretly, so as not to upset the Winchesters, and he did it under orders and not because he thought it was the right thing to do. He also didn’t give her a chance to die under transformation or fight the urge to kill and learn to live as a werewolf.

At the end of the episode, he is not so buttoned down. I think he will be wearing flannel and jean jackets next. One thing that’s been bothering me for a while is that the stubble look does not look good on him. His skin is too light and the beard is too dark and it’s too perfectly maintained. He looks like Fred Flintstone.

A man in desperate need of a shave. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

Claire likes Batgirl. At least, I think that’s the comic book that was in her car.

I am bemused by the idea of lycanthropic mice. I can imagine them in cages in the dungeon of some old castle. You’d have to handle them carefully because a tiny nip would still get you infected. The head werewolf mouse would have to be kept alive to use his blood for the cure. What would they feed them? Other mice, no doubt. They’d have long claws and big teeth and pointy ears when they turned, but still be the size of a mouse. A large, strong mouse.

Oh, and there’s a Hogwarts for the Men of Letters! Sam and Dean really missed out.

In the next episode, it looks like they will be more tangled up and in even more conflict with the BMoL.

 

Supernatural airs on the CW on Thursday nights at 8pm/7c.

 




The Season Finale Leaves SLEEPY HOLLOW in a Good Place


Season 4, Episode 13 “Freedom”

Written by M.Raven Metzner
Directed by Russell Fine

After all the complaining I’ve been doing this season, I really enjoyed the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. What was really good about it is that it works if the show is renewed, but also leaves us in a good place if Sleepy Hollow gets cancelled, which seems more likely.

We open with Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) dueling his son Henry (John Noble). Going back to a mano a mano conflict between Henry and Crane is the last thing I wanted to see. Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) is Henry’s second and Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood), not Diana (Janina Gavankar) or Molly (Seychelle Gabriel), is Crane’s. Crane doesn’t fire, of course, but Henry doesn’t hesitate and mortally wounds Crane. Crane fires back in return. It’s mutually assured destruction. Luckily it’s only a vision. In the vision, Henry declares that he has back what was taken from him, so Crane is sure that he is the horseman of war again.

(Tina Rowden/FOX)

Molly/Lara is still there. She doesn’t disappear because she has changed her own past. In fact, she confesses to her mom that the trip is one way. We also find out that Jobe was given the task of protecting her and she got to know him well. The horseman are on the move and they know they need to figure out how to kill an immortal. Molly suggests asking Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes).

She uses her last magic crystal to summon Jobe and ask him. She taunts him by telling him that in the future Dreyfuss sidelines him and she is his only friend. He tells them to go to Hell. They take this as a direction and do just that. Molly/Lara and Crane create a spell to take them to Hell from Crane’s apartment and then get interrupted by the cable guy (Anthony S. Goolsby). I’m not sure that there’s any purpose to the interruption, but it was funny.

In the meantime the horsemen capture the POTUS. She is shocked to captured by a headless guy.

The histerns and Jenny find a secret panel with a secret book that leads them back to the painting of former agents which has a map on the back that with a little defacement of public property, leads to a stash of weapons. How National Treasure is that? Unfortunately, the weapons are old, primitive and rusty. They aren’t impressive at all.

Hell is streamlined and modern. The two Witnesses confront Satan, who agrees that Dreyfuss is trying to rip him off, but on the other hand, apocalypses are good things. Crane offers to bargain with him. He comes back with the philosopher’s stone, which this time is conveniently small enough to carry around. If it’s close enough to Dreyfuss, it will render him mortal in its presence.

A side note: the show is very fond of the special effect of having fire under the skin. Half of the Devil’s face is like that. They used it with the horseman, and with the djinn virus. Everything’s burning!

The histerns, Diana and Jenny take on the horsemen with the old weapons because they have faith in them. Before they get there, Alex (Rachel Melvin), who is the only character who has looked at the ratings and assessed the possibility of renewal, grabs Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) and kisses him. And all’s right with the world.

They look really outmatched when facing the horseman, especially Alex, who is only armed with a machete and probably has no combat training at all. But the weapons start glowing and glowing blue is always a help.

Crane faces Henry, who is the horseman of war. Because of his own time in the armor, he can see and talk to Henry. Henry says he will always hate him and he likes rage, anyway. Crane speaks to him of freedom and while you don’t think that would help because Henry voluntarily gave himself over to servitude, he must have some bit of independence or patriotism left because he steps aside and lets his father pass.

For this I am eternally grateful. I am so weary of their conflict and Crane’s guilt over circumstances that he had no control over. The fact that they finally agree over one small thing — or large thing — is enough. Even a Henry made of spider spit and horseman’s blood will not stand in the way of freedom.

They make short work of Dreyfuss. They talk him to distraction and Crane gets close enough that he is temporarily mortal. Dreyfuss is shot and bleeds. To his horror, he keeps bleeding. Then Jobe turns on him. I thought he was going to tear him limb from limb, but they disappear in flame. The horsemen disappear and this saves our brave warriors.

Because the president has witnessed so much, she doesn’t need to be convinced about the supernatural. When told about the secret agency, she decides that it must report directly to her. Diana asks to be transferred to the vault. Crane has an objection, but it’s only to confess that he isn’t a citizen. The president has him raise his right hand and welcomes him to the country.

Hell is a lot more tidy than I thought it would be. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Molly/Lara decides that she isn’t ready to meet child Molly (Oona Yaffe) and decides to go walkabout. A little worrisome since she was raised in a different world, but I suppose it makes sense.

Because there are two Mollys, the elder Molly is the Witness. The mantle of Witness has been taken from the younger Molly. This is a huge relief to me. I was very uneasy with a child having that responsibility and being in danger with no choice about it. I realize that alternate history Molly/Lara did go through a lot, but that’s not my Molly. Crane says she has a choice when she grows up about whether she wants to fight evil or not.

Diana also has a choice. She feels she has found her calling and wants to protect the country from the supernatural.

Jenny calls and says there is a siren in a lake. No problem. Crane and Diana get there and it’s something huge and massive and they argue over what it is. It’s funny. Crane admits that he made a deal with the Devil and sold his soul. He shows her a pentagram in his skin. He’s not too worried about it. Maybe he shouldn’t be. The Winchesters always got out of it on Supernatural.  I hope he made a good bargain with lots of time and got more than just the means to render Dreyfuss mortal.

Where did he go?  (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Here we are. Crane and company are now official, and he is a citizen! With a salary, I presume. Diana’s made her decision, Molly is off the hook, and thankfully, the other Witness is an adult. Not old enough for a romance with Crane, but an adult. Jenny can leave or stay as she wishes. Alex has declared her feelings for Jake, and they are both committed to the cause. Even in the past, Banneker and Washington have laid aside the differences between them over the sacrifice of Crane. Henry and Ichabod have agreed to disagree, and hopefully we will never see him again.

They have the little problem of Crane’s soul to work on, and a siren or kraken or remora or whatever to kill. If they are renewed, they are in a good spot to stay in D.C. in a show that is much the same. If not, the big bad is gone and issues have been resolved that we needed to see resolved. They have left it in a good place no matter what happens.

 




“The End” for GRIMMLY SPEAKING? It’s a GRIMM Life


Episode 6:13 “The End”
Written by David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf
Directed by David Greenwalt 

[recap by Maia Ades]

Here it is, my last Grimm episode post. We may do a series wrap up at a later date, but this is the last episode and last post covering one of the episodes. Overall I think the writers did a good job of wrapping this series up. I have some niggling issues with some of their choices, but it did bring the story to a conclusion.

Talk about cramming story in. This episode is still only 43 minutes long. I thought since it was the series finale that they might make it a longer episode. Instead they put it all in one regular length show. It manages, to not only give us some catch up scenes of what came before, flash backs of bits from the original pilot, it also manages to have the final battle and resolve it all in the end. And that is probably the highest compliment I can pay this episode. It manages to wrap up a series that has been playing out its storylines for the past five and half seasons. It does a fairly good job of resolving many loose ends. It doesn’t go back and resolve story ideas from some of the first seasons, but I’ll forgive them at this point.

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

Grimm has been building to a huge showdown, an ultimate battle for the world as we know it. Or actually the world Grimm has built, which, let’s be clear, is not the same world I live in.  So, they had to give us a pay off for the long build up to that. They also had to leave their audience with an ending that they would be happy with. This ending probably didn’t make everyone happy, but if they’d left all our favorite characters dead, there just might have been riots in the streets.

(Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

My biggest peeves with this episode were the breaking of their own rules and the final, “Twenty Years Later” part. By my count Nick (David Giuntoli) offered the stick to the Devil twice. I thought that the rule was, Nick had to give the stick to him. Well, he tried to, twice. I don’t know why that wasn’t the end of it. It would have been a very unsatisfying ending. True. But the way it played out, they weren’t following their own rules. That always bothers me. If you create a world, create rules for that world and then break them, what was the point of making the rules? Why did the Devil bring Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni) back to life? It did not serve him well. Why would he give Nick an ally to use against him?

Have you seen It’s a Wonderful Life? The end reminded me of that movie. Nick experienced the deaths of everyone that was important to him, and then they were all given back to him. Okay, everyone doesn’t die in the movie, but somehow it felt similar. I expect he will go on to live the end of his days not taking them or their friendship for granted. I do like that there are some key details that are different in the two times Nick comes flying through the mirror. The second time, Eve/Juliette (Elizabeth Tulloch) retained her Hexenbiest powers. Trubel goes to Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee’s (Bree Turner) house, instead of to the Spice Shop. Adalind was not wearing Bonaparte’s ring, because Nick took it off her after she was dead, and Diana (Hannah R. Loyd) remembered what happened. Oh, and of course, the Spear of Destiny made the trip through the mirror with Nick and Eve.

(Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

The whole thing at the very end with the kids now as adults seemed unnecessary. We see now grown up Kelly writing his dad’s story in the Grimm book. Not surprising that he embellished the story. While Nick is to be credited with saving the situation, he did have his weak moments. He did turn his back on his duty as a Grimm. He tried to give the stick to the Devil. In fact, if it weren’t for first Trubel taking him on and then the spirits of both his Mother and Aunt, he would have given up. He also could not have defeated the Devil without the aid of all three women.

I never did get my Baby Jack Jack moment with baby Kelly. I so wanted that. Seeing Kelly as a handsome young man did not make up for it. I still felt cheated out of that.

Can we be honest? Diana is creepy. That child could give anyone nightmares. Which makes it a bit odd when Renard (Sasha Roiz) and Adalind (Claire Coffee) agree that she is their shining achievement. That child has created a lot of chaos and death. That’s before the whole issue of the Devil coming to claim her for his bride. People were dying because of her before she was even born. Then more people died trying to either get her or protect her as a tiny infant. I wonder what her teenage years were like?

(Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

In the flash forward, we learn that Monroe and Rosalee’s triplets arrived safe and sound. But we don’t get to see them. They’re just mentioned in passing. I didn’t need to see them. But then, I didn’t need to see adult Kelly and Diana. It really could have ended with the group hug. I’d have been fine with that. Was that part necessary to other audience members? Did you feel the need to see how the kids grew up? Did you need to know that for some reason, Kelly is the one writing his Dad’s story twenty years after it happened? We’ve seen Nick adding to the Grimm books after various encounters. Why would this story have been different? Why would he not have written down his own story shortly after his re-entry through the mirror? Yes, it’s cool that his son is carrying on the tradition. I just don’t understand why he’s writing that story and not his own.

Well Grimmsters, it’s been quite a ride. Thanks for following along with me. It’s been an honor and privilege to share with you my thoughts and critiques of each episode. Maybe I’ll see you at a comic-con some day and we can chat about a Grimm world.

 




SLEEPY HOLLOW Visits the Future


Season 4, Episode 12 “Tomorrow”
Written by Albert Kim
Directed by Marc Roskin

We get to see a brief glimpse of the future that Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) is planning. The odd thing about it is that this is a show I would watch! Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) is part of the resistance, Molly (Oona Yaffe) is on the wrong side, and Crane (Tom Mison) is in irons. Dreyfuss uses his horsemen to control the populace. All it needs are a few zombies to be truly post-apocalyptic.

Molly (Seychelle Gabriel) sees her mother’s face under the horseman’s armor. She was told that her mother was dead and after her death, Molly was raised by Dreyfuss. Seeing her mom’s face and realizing that she’d been lied to was her motivation to rebel. After a visit to a chained Crane, she goes back in the past to save her mom. Unfortunately, the rescue results in Crane becoming the horseman of war, as we saw in the last episode.

Dreyfuss still needs to charge the horseman of war’s weapon so he raises an army of dead soldiers. (Yes! Here are the zombies!) It’s up to Jenny, Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) and Alex (Rachel Melvin) to face down the zombies while Molly/Lara and Diana (Janina Gavankar) try to free Crane from his bondage.

Because Dreyfuss has his coffins of horsemen ten miles away from Camp David, and the president is going there, the gang thinks that the president is being targeted. This goes along with Dreyfuss’s visions of the future with his tea parties in front of the white house.

Sometime during this the dagger that can penetrate the horseman’s armor is placed next to the spider goo that trapped Crane in a previous episode. The combination produces Henry! Henry (John Noble) comes back from the dead. Again. He says that he is the product of Ichabod Crane’s best memories of him. I consider this for half a second but then I realize that he is literally made of the horseman’s blood and spider spit! No way he’s going to be good!

Molly reaches Crane in his palace of the mind and he remembers that he is a Witness. This is actually a good scene, and his inner sanctum is also nicely designed.

Alex, Jake and Jenny take care of the first wave of zombie soldiers quite readily. Unfortunately, they seem to be endless. A lot of soldiers must have drowned there.

(Tina Rowden/FOX)

Crane feels that he can hold on to being a horseman and retain control of his power long enough to accomplish one last mission, so he rides out into the zombie soldiers and kills um, destroys them all.

Crane is back to himself so Dreyfuss is short two horseman, since Headless is not up to snuff yet. But there is a twist: Henry seeks out Dreyfuss and offers himself. Dreyfuss appears to be totally surprised by this and doesn’t know who he is, so it is unlikely that he has anything to do with his resurrection. I suppose it’s possible that Henry is trying to be a double agent, but given the way that being a horseman takes over your mind, I can’t see how that would work. However, since he is something that Dreyfuss didn’t see in his visions, he could still be the catalyst that saves them from the Dreyfuss apocalypse, regardless of which side he is on.

This was not a terrible ep. As I said, I would enjoy a show about the post-apocalyptic future. I liked seeing how and why Lara/Molly came back. But why did they have to resurrect Henry? I love John Noble as an actor, but haven’t they resolved that story line? What could possibly happen between father and son that we haven’t seen already?

The bad penny turns up again. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

I’m not at all sure about Crane being able to hold on to himself and be the horseman at the same time. One moment it’s all consuming and the next you’re on top of it? On the other hand, they might be trying to establish a precedence for next week’s ep.

Jenny needs to stock up on more inventory. More than once they’ve had the right weapon to kill the monster, but not enough bullets or fire or whatever. It’s silly for the problem to be lack of resources every time.

Whether or not Jenny wants to go treasure hunting doesn’t seem very important when faced with the four horsemen roaming the earth and Dreyfuss reshaping the country into the way he wants it. We do know that she is fighting against Dreyfuss in the future, so she will only get to leave D.C. if they win.

Next week is the season finale, and perhaps the series finale. Alex and Jake are going to have to step it up if they want any romance to happen. Our team will have to work hard to defeat the horsemen in one episode.

 

Sleepy Hollow airs on Friday nights at 9pm/8c.




SLEEPY HOLLOW Prepares for War


Season 4, Episode 11 “The Way of the Gun”

Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Directed by Russell Fine

Now we are approaching the end of the season and Dreyfuss’s (Jeremy Davies) evil plans move front and center. Some things about this work and some things don’t.

We open with Molly (Oona Yaffe) in an adorably cute kid’s play, which Crane (Tom Mison) is very enthusiastic about. He bemoans the fact that modern day audiences are quiet and reserved. Molly goes off with her friends for a sleepover, but it’s not the last we see of her in this ep. (That is a little foreshadowing.)

The gang sees someone in the tunnels stealing a tome. It’s a young woman we haven’t seen before. She has a tattoo like the symbol on Dreyfuss’s flag, so they assume she is one of his and acting on his behalf. Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) confronts her and they fight but she gets away.

How cute could it be? (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) remembers what’s in the book she stole: a story of two couriers who turn out to be Crane and Benjamin Banneker. Diana asks if there’s any part of the war he wasn’t in. “The Paris Treaty,” he replys.  There’s a flashback to Crane and Banneker (Edwin Hodge) that’s notable for two things; one is that Banneker’s things weren’t actually burned until his funeral, and the other is that he admired Crane’s impromptu speech that he gave while they were hiding in the barn. I did, too. In fact, if Crane weren’t so handsome and didn’t talk so pretty, I would have quit watching the show ages ago.

They conclude that Banneker could have had the talisman of the horseman of war, so they go to the barn, which has been completely rebuilt and is now a pretentious restaurant. They find the box, but it’s already been grabbed by the new young lady. Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes) shows up to take it away, but she’s uses a chronos crystal on him, which also knocks her out. Diana (Janina Gavankar) and Crane have the totem of war, which is a gun from Crane’s time period. Why isn’t it something more primitive? Hasn’t war been around longer than that?

Diana and Crane interrogate the girl, who gives her name as Lara (Seychelle Gabriel). The minute she says she’s manipulated time to get rid of Jobe for a while, I knew she was Molly. Wasn’t that obvious? She looks a lot like her mom.

Malcolm captures Jake and Alex (Rachel Melvin) and Jobe gives him a vision of Alex’s death. Jake folds like a house of cards. Jake and Alex start to have a heart to heart talk but are unfortunately interrupted by Jenny coming through the ceiling and taking out the guard.

“Lara” gives Crane and Diana the slip, but Diana has put a tracking device on the girl and they find her. She’s trying to destroy the weapon in an eternal flame. Unfortunately, Dreyfuss and Jobe find her, too. She admits to being from the future and Diana and Crane realize that she’s Molly. Dreyfuss knew all along. Molly is there to prevent her mother from becoming the horseman of war. Diana shoots Dreyfuss but it does nothing. He is immortal and now they know it. Dreyfuss shoots at Diana but Crane jumps in front of her and takes the bullet. He becomes the horseman instead.

Are you still watching me? (Tina Rowden/FOX)

It wasn’t that bad an episode. There’s a bit of humor surrounding the play and the “communal table”, as they called it. I liked seeing Alex and Jake stumble all over their feelings for each other. Molly coming back from the future is interesting, although I’m not sure she brought much in the way of knowledge with her or was necessary for the plot. Crane turning into a horseman is suitably horrifying.

But Dreyfuss is such a dweeb. It’s hard to see him as a villain or a threat. Jobe is more powerful and frightening, but is easily dismissed in this episode. Of course, they could be setting up Crane as the big villain of the piece.

Way too much time was spent in the flashback with Banneker this time. It was neither interesting or necessary. This should have been tense, filled with suspense and fear. The timing was off somehow. Still I suppose it’s an improvement from last season, where everyone died.

One does have to wonder how Dreyfuss knows it’s Molly. Did he see her coming back in one of his visions? What does it mean that he says she is early? He was surprised that Crane turned into the horseman, so he doesn’t know everything.

 

Sleepy Hollow airs on FOX on Friday nights, 9pm/8c.

 




SLEEPY HOLLOW Develops an Eating Disorder


Season 4, Episode 10 “Insatiable”
Written by Keely MacDonald
Directed by Steven A. Adelson

This is a little better than the episodes we’ve had lately. At least there are a few answers and some progress on the main plot. In other words, we know a little more about what Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) is up to. The monster is not exactly original but has some interesting twists to its abilities. And most importantly, Crane (Tom Mison) does not pretend that he was present when the Donner party was trapped and starving. Thankfully, we are given no flashbacks to that event.

We start off seeing a woman from Malcolm’s company, Helen (Kathleen Hogan), visiting him in his cabin in the woods. She is ambitious and Dreyfuss describes her as hungry, and famished, for power. Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes) ushers her through a door and the screaming begins.

Crane throws a party in his apartment. It is Jake’s (Jerry MacKinnon) idea, as a means for Crane to meet his neighbors. Crane and Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) talk about how well he is settling in. He tries to get her to take a room down the hall.

Jake brings Missy (Michele Plaia) to the party. She’s the bartender he met when Alex (Rachel Melvin) was on her ill-fated Tinder date. Alex is consumed with jealousy, at least if jealousy looks like you’ve been sucking on lemons, and I think maybe it does.

In the meantime, Diana (Janina Gavankar) visits an old mentor, Assistant Secretary Nancy Stryker (Catherine Dyer) and tries to convince her to investigate Dreyfuss. She doesn’t have enough evidence and the woman can see that it’s a personal vendetta. She’s wearing a lovely string of pearls.

I don’t know what we’re doing out here when we should be chasing Dreyfuss. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Jobe enters the Eisenhower building. He goes through the metal detector and there’s a funny moment when the security guard sees his demonic form on the screen with spikes everywhere. A moment later he has a perfectly normal silhouette. He’s carrying a girly little basket with a handle. He stops at a statue of justice, the scales even. When he gets to the basement he opens the basket. The little basket contains a puzzle box. The box contains a demon. He lets the demon loose and tells it to eat. The demon heads into the duct system. A moment later a lobbyist starts eating everything in sight and then dies of starvation.

This puts Diana and Crane at odds. She still wants to go after Dreyfuss. Ichabod wants to stop the immediate threat. Knowing that Dreyfuss wants Molly has increased the urgency in hunting him down, at least for Diana. She concedes the point to Crane but then hijacks the histerns for her own ends.

Jenny goes off to find a book that might help and gets a treasure hunting offer. Alex and Jake spy on an assistant of Malcolm’s.

And what is a Rubik’s cube? (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Diana and Crane go back to the Eisenhower building, where a little girl in a tour group comments that the lady justice statue has scales that are not equal. They were before, when Jobe went past them. Crane and Diana hear horrific screams, and follow the security guards to where Diana’s mentor is eating someone’s guts out like she was a zombie. She’s covered in blood and a guard shoots her when she stands up. I wouldn’t have recognized her except for the pearl necklace. Crane sees glowing red eyes behind the duct work.

Through video surveillance they see the puzzle box, which Crane has seen before. A fellow soldier had it. His whole company later died of starvation. The box was then passed down in the family, and the Donner party had it during their ill fated trip.

Their first attempt to capture the demon fails and the box is smashed. They figure out that the gold on the box is its kryptonite and create another box with 3D printing. They capture the demon with cars (full of trace amounts of gold) in a junk yard, which is actually pretty cool, and destroy the hunger demon with injections.

I think I am getting the hang of this “modern” art. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Dreyfuss and Jobe hunt down and find the headless horseman. Unfortunately, he is still alive. We find out that their purpose is to call forth the four horseman of the apocalypse. The social media kid, Logan MacDonald (Robbie Kay), will be the horseman of pestilence. The former employee is famine. Headless is the horseman of death. Since Henry is gone, it seems likely that they are planning for Crane to be the horseman of war.

Dreyfuss steals the scales of justice and throws them in with the horseman of famine. In the Bible, famine is pictured on a black horse with scales in hand, counting out grain.

Crane mentions several times that the team is working well together now. This is our hint that the team may split apart. There are cracks showing. It undermines trust between Diana and Crane when she takes away part of their team to investigate Dreyfuss. Jenny is tempted to return to her true love, treasure hunting. She is reluctant to make a commitment to stay in D.C. It would make sense if Jenny left. She’s the only one left of last season’s characters except for Crane. She was always restless and her main connection to Crane was through her sister.

The monster was very good this time, although he had no real contact with his victims. A starving body, great mouth and glowing red eyes, the monster is seen mostly in the dark or just as glowing red eyes. He’s both mysterious and appropriate.

Best of all, we have returned to the overall season arc and are given some reason for some of Malcolm’s actions, which makes some of the weaker episodes at least seem necessary. We know he pictures a very rosy future for himself after this apocalypse.

I’m enjoying the changes in Alex and Jake’s relationship so far. I hope that it doesn’t result in heartbreak for Alex.

 

Sleepy Hollow airs on Friday nights on Fox at 9pm/8c.

 




SLEEPY HOLLOW Imitates Itself


Season 4, Episode 9 “Child’s Play”
Written by Francisca X. Hu
Directed by Michael Goi

This episode is creepy, and not in a good way. Like the episode where Molly’s father is not Molly’s father, but a monster, this is nightmare fuel for kids. Molly (Oona Yaffe) would be spending a lot more time in therapy than the show seems to think.

It’s also similar to a first season episode in which they encounter a monster from the same source. Crane (Tom Mison) mentions it to forestall the audience saying it, because it’s always better if the show itself mentions any strange coincidences or obvious flaws before the people watching catch on to them.

The histerns are practicing on a kid’s obstacle course. Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) wants to be in shape in case he’s needed. Alex (Rachel Melvin) points out that he saved a lot of lives, including hers. I may be imagining it, but it looks like their dynamic has changed. She appears to have developed a little hero worship for Jake. She’s impressed, anyway.

I think I’m doing this trick wrong. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

Molly is having trouble in art. The teacher asks if she is having trouble at home, which is an understatement. She appears to be most distressed by the vision she had of Crane. Her mom decides to cheer her up by taking her to the vault. Jake is beautifully enthusiastic showing her things. This goes wrong, however, and the first part of the episode is taken up with Molly and Crane being trapped in the library.

Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) goes to extremes to prompt another vision, and he has one of himself and Molly having a delightful time in his post-apocalyptic Dreyfuss-ruled world.

The histerns and Diana (Janina Gavankar) find an employee ID number on the barrier trapping Crane and Molly and go look up the employee. Diana goes to her meeting with Molly’s teacher. Kid trapped in a magical vault? Still have to go to the parent-teacher conference. She finds the art teacher beaten up but not dead. Molly’s imaginary friend, Mr. Stitch, was brought to life by her talking about and drawing him in the vault. Diana recognizes it by a piece of baby blanket.

Alex and Jake find the former employee’s dead body and a video of her in full tinfoil hat mode. I’m not sure what the purpose is other than to make the episode more frightening.

Mr. Stitch attacks Diana and Jenny but they escape into the warded house. They talk about an amusement park Molly liked as a (younger) child and think Mr. Stitch may go to bed there.

Crane and Molly find an opening that’s too small for Crane but Molly can fit through. Molly gets out only to find herself in the alley and with Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss introduces himself and lays some propaganda on her. Jake and Alex find her quickly.

(Tina Rowden/FOX)

Somehow they end up at the amusement park. I wonder whose decision it was to rush Molly to the place where her mother and Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) are trying to dispel Mr. Stitch. It’s a good thing, because they failed and Mr. Stitch is knocking them around. Molly stops him and confesses some of her negative feelings towards her mother. Jenny finishes the spell and he goes up in cinders.

Alex is afraid that they will someday end up like Claudia, their predecessor. Jake is comforting her. It might get romantic but at that moment the vault opens and Crane is freed.

Alex finds a witch’s hex in an e-reader Molly was carrying, donated by Dreyfuss industries, which is why her imaginary friend came to life.

Dreyfuss shuts down his company and fires all of his workers. He tells Jobe (Kamar de los Reyes) about how much he, Dreyfuss, will mean to Molly and how Molly needs a father figure. It’s creepy.

Using blood is SO three seasons ago. (Tina Rowden/FOX)

When I say Sleepy Hollow imitates itself it’s because we already saw this episode. Crane’s son Jeremy had a doll given to him by his mother Katrina and it came to life because blood was spilled on it when he was being beaten at the orphanage. When Crane mentions this, he sounds like he was there, but in fact at the time that this happened to Jeremy he didn’t even know his son existed. In the present time, he didn’t know yet that Jeremy was Henry. As they have been doing lately, they fail to explain that Crane did not get his knowledge first hand.

The golem pursued the witch coven, the Four Who Speak as One, after Crane involuntarily brought him back from purgatory with him. Crane tries to talk him down, like Molly stops the golem, since Jeremy is no longer there to protect (he thinks). Crane uses his blood to render the golem powerless, since the same blood flows through his veins. The first time it happened, the golem was destroyed in a carnival. This time, the golem was destroyed in a defunct amusement park.

They changed the rules, though. The golem was raised by blood and destroyed by blood. In modern times, it was raised by an electronic witch’s hex and destroyed by burning a baby blanket. If you are going to reuse a monster, it should adhere to the same rules. It doesn’t have to adhere to the same plot or the same location.

But worse of all, the first time it was a better episode because it was actually tense and mysterious. It reminded me of the first season, when Sleepy Hollow was new and different. And that reminds me of how predictable and old it is now.

 

Sleepy Hollow airs on FOX on Fridays at 9pm/8c.

 




A GRIMM Look Into Schrödinger’s Mirror


Episode 6:11 “Where the Wild Things Were”
Written by Brenna Kouf
Directed by Terrence O’Hara 

[recap by Maia Ades]

I’m not sure there’s anything I can say that doesn’t fall under the spoilers category. So let’s just jump right in, shall we?

I got my prediction correct that Eve (Elizabeth Tulloch) would be in trouble when she stepped through the mirror. But, I thought that Diana would follow her and it doesn’t look like she will. In fact, most of the main characters are being uncharacteristically pragmatic. How odd that now, with the last couple of episodes to go, they are finally being sensible.

(Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

The title of this episode confused me. I didn’t understand why it’s called “Where the Wild Things Were”. Teresa Wickersham had a good theory about why it’s called were and not are. She thinks maybe when they stepped through the mirror they actually went back in time. It’s better than any ideas I had about it. Anyone have a good theory they’d like to share on why the Wesen are always woged in “the other place”? Perhaps they are primitive Wesen and woging at will was an evolutionary aspect of Wesen. The concern for Eve is that she will woge and be stuck in her Hexenbiest form.

(Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

I thought the parts of the episode that take place in “the other place” were barbaric and rather scary. On the other hand, it also gave us probably the best Eve scene she’s ever had. Her explanation to Nick (David Giuntoli) about who she is, her journey and their current relationship was spot on. I don’t think Elizabeth Tulloch has been given permission to express who Eve is before this. There have been tidbits of lines from her on who Eve is. But this was the biggest and most powerful speech from her.

Unfortunately Nick is still a bland character. It never ceases to dumbfound me how the lead character, the anchor of the show, can have so little character. If you’d asked me if this was possible, I would have argued that it’s not. The audience needs to be able to connect with the character. That we need to have reason to care about and for this main character. Obviously, I’m wrong. Grimm has been successful for five and half seasons. Audiences proved that they will follow a show that has interesting supporting characters even if they get very little from the lead.

My one beef with this episode is the amount of time given to bringing Renard (Sasha Roiz) up to speed. It’s a bunch of expository information that the audience doesn’t need. There just has to be a better way that could have been handled. Maybe someone could have said that they’d fill him in on what he needs to know, say as they head out to a car. We’d assume that they talked about all the stuff that Renard needed to know during the car ride. 43 minutes is precious time that we could have gotten more new information but some of it was spent on stuff we already know.

(Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

For the first time Renard wasn’t using his daughter in his own game for power. It was a breath of fresh air to see him actually acting like a concerned parent. Although, how he’s going to protect her from this Zertörer, Devil thing I can’t imagine.

Last season I was concerned about the mounting war the Black Claw was bringing on. I argued that war is too heavy, brutal and deadly to fit in this story well. I don’t think that is a concern any longer. We’ve not heard much about Black Claw. In fact the last I recall it being mentioned was when Renard declared he no longer supported their cause. Oh, and of course Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni) was sent on an undisclosed mission by Hadrian’s Wall. I think we’re to presume that she has been battling Black Claw.

With only two episodes left, this one ends in classic Grimm style, “to be continued”. Hang on, this is probably going to be a bumpy ride.

 

Grimm airs Friday nights at 8/7c on NBC.

 




12 MONKEYS Renewed, Cancelled and Binge-Aired

Get ready to set your DVRs for the weekend of May 19th, when all ten episodes of season three of 12 Monkeys will be aired on Syfy. It will be like Christmas in May for addicts of the show. On the other hand, it deprives the fans of watching the show over ten weeks and getting to talk about it and process it in the usual fashion. There’s a lot to be said for getting a weekly fix.

Syfy also announced that 12 Monkeys will be renewed for a fourth and final ten-episode season which will air in 2018. As much as we always want more of the show, it’s good to know when it will end so it can bring us a satisfactory conclusion. 12 Monkeys is a novelistic series. It rarely has an episode that can stand alone. After telling an excellent story for the first two seasons, it deserves to have a proper ending. And then maybe another beginning and another ending. After all, it is time travel.

In season three, our regulars will return. James Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) will pursue the Witness across time even though destroying the Witness now will be a great personal loss. Ramses (Kirk Acevedo), Katarina Jones (Barbara Sukowa), and Deacon (Todd Stashwick) are reported to be returning. We last left Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) lost in time, in the middle of World War I.

Several new guest and recurring stars will be in season three. James Callis from Battlestar Galactica, Faran Tahir from Iron Man, and Hannah Waddingham from Game of Thrones will join the cast. Christopher Lloyd will appear as the mysterious leader of the cult, and the Pallid Man’s father.

You can see a trailer for the third season here.

 

 




SUPERNATURAL Looks for a Lost Dog



Season 12, Episode 15 “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”
Written by Davy Perez
Directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado

Another good episode, but one where the plot is dependent on making some stupid mistakes. One of the stupid mistakes makes sense because the people making it are not the brightest, but the other is just an oversight.

But the first event I want to mention is the shout out to The Walking Dead. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) come in from a series of kills — ghouls and sirens and wraiths — and Dean throws a baseball bat covered with barbed wire on the table, saying “Dad would have loved this thing.” When the scene is over they focus on the bat so you can see that it looks just like Lucille. What we need now is for Negan to mention his long lost sons or his old Impala or something like that!

RELATED ~ Hear us talk about The Walking Dead on Zombpocalypse Now

There’s a young couple camping in the woods. They are sweet and adorable and he’s planning to ask her to marry him, and she finds the ring before he gets a chance, and by this we know they are going to die. He goes for firewood and is attacked. I think at first it’s a werewolf, but we can’t see it and by that we know it’s a hellhound. Only it doesn’t act like a hellhound. It doesn’t drag the young man to Hell, and it goes after the girl, who wounds it with an ax.

Are you sure you haven’t made any deals with the devil? He’s done it, and she’s done it. We’ve all done it. (Bettina Strauss/The CW )

Sam and Dean find out that neither the girl, Gwen (Angelique Rivera) nor the guy, Marcus (Connor Paton), appear to have made any deals with the devil. They call Crowley (Mark Sheppard) to find out if any of his hounds are missing. Crowley asks his flunkies and yes, one of his hounds is gone. He shows up immediately. He says it looks bad if one of his hounds are loose, but the truth is that he is much happier hunting something with the Winchesters than he is dealing with all the petty legal decisions in Hell, such as whether two demons had an even split of babies to eat. The hound is THE hound, the mother of all hounds, and quite intractable.

In the meantime, Cas (Misha Collins) tracks down the incident where Dagon kills the angels trying to kill Kelly. The owner of the cafe is a big UFO nut, which is amusing. He seems to think Cas is Mulder. So Cas now knows Dagon has Kelly under her protection. Castiel runs into someone he knows and is persuaded by the angel to talk to Joshua, who can get him back into Heaven. What do you want to bet it’s a trap?

Two of Crowley’s lieutenants find where Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) is hidden. They are the ones who let the hellhound loose to distract Crowley. Lucifer has something like a bridle on. At least there’s a bit between his teeth. He is chained to a chair. Crowley’s guys have the key. One of them wants something in return from Lucifer. The other one just wants to worship Lucifer. These two are the ones who are abysmally stupid, and they pay for it, because Lucifer destroys them both with a snap of his fingers.

Getting the reward they deserve. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Sam, Gwen, Crowley and Dean end up in the woods with the Impala. The boys have special glasses to see the hellhound. I assume Crowley doesn’t need any. They both look good in glasses. The plan is to leave Dean and Crowley in the woods. Sam is to take Gwen to safety in the car. Dean fusses about Sam driving her, and by that we know that something is going to happen to the Impala.

I don’t understand this plan. If the hellhound is angry with her because she hit it with an ax, she’s the bait. And they are driving the bait away. Hellhounds hunt down specific people anywhere on Earth and drag them to Hell. Whether they do it by magical means or just have the best dog noses ever, they don’t seem to be constrained by space or normal means of travel.

And that is exactly what happens. Dean and Crowley find an empty den, complete with meal to eat later. It gives them a chance to have a nice walk in the woods and hash out their differences.

Sam has to pull over to let his passenger throw up. She confesses to him that she was going to break up with her boyfriend but went camping instead. She feels guilty because he would be alive if she had been honest with him. Sam listens to her and is reassuring but the hellhound catches up with them before he gets the car started again. She lands on the roof, caving it in. She tries to get through the windshield. Sam confidently gets out of the Impala. He’s carrying an angel blade, which can kill hellhounds. He gets pinned to the ground immediately. It doesn’t look good for him but Gwen smacks the invisible hound with a cooler and he gets up and stabs her with the angel blade.

I like Gwen. She may be an emotional coward and unable to handle her romantic affairs, but she has guts when faced with danger.

Dean gives Sam grief about the state of the car, of course.

When they get back home, Sam gets a call from Mick, whose name is Frodo on his phone. Sam confesses to Dean that the jobs that they have been getting are from the British Men of Letters and not some computer program he said he invented. Dean takes it pretty well. He acknowledges that he might be hypocritical since they just called in the King of Hell on a case. I wish his family would quit lying to him because doesn’t deserve that.

Sam gives Mick and his guys credit for the alpha vampire’s death again, which is not true! The Winchesters did that!

You thought you’d gotten free, didn’t you? (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Crowley comes back to find Lucifer unchained. He doesn’t seem to be worried about it. In fact when Lucifer confronts him he bats him around a bit and sends him back to his room. He says the vessel, which was heavily modified, IS his real cage. Crowley gets the most points for being clever, careful and coordinated while doing a foolish thing. He is only keeping Lucifer to torture him because Lucifer humiliated him. He has no reason to take that kind of risk.

I’m relieved that Crowley and Dean have made up over their sending Gavin back in time to suffer the fate he had originally suffered, if only because Crowley makes a better friend than an enemy. With the blows he’s suffered lately he’s likely to go to the dark side. Well, darker side. A really bitter dark rather than the milk chocolate dark he’s been for the last few seasons. The way he’s treating Lucifer now shows how vengeful he can be.

To top it all off, Gwen gives Crowley a big hug and Sam says thank you! Yes please, let’s treat Crowley like a person.

 

Supernatural will be back on March 30th, 8 pm/7c, with an episode titled “Ladies Drink Free”.

 




On SUPERNATURAL, the Hunters Become the Hunted


Season 12, Episode 14 “The Raid”
Written by Robert Berens
Directed by John McCarthy

This is an excellent episode that shows why the Winchesters are the at the top of the hunter hierarchy. I would call them the most likely to survive, but we all know they’ve died several times.

The episode begins right where we left off, with Mary (Samantha Smith) and her boys talking about her working with the British Men of Letters. Dean (Jensen Ackles) is hurt. He’s very hurt. He even retorts at one point that he didn’t have a childhood, which is true, but is only going to push his mother in the direction that she’s going. He even calls her Mary. Sam (Jared Padalecki) is probably as hurt, but not as vocal.

My feelings are really hurt. Mary. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

We see Ketch (David Haydn-Jones) and Mary returning to the Men of Letters’ temporary compound after a successful raid on a vampire nest. We find out a few things in a short period of time. The Men of Letters use an Anti-Vampire Device. I don’t know how it works because it seems to be airborne, and do vampires even need to breathe?

We find out that the “old man”, someone over Mick (Adam Fergus) and Ketch, wants the Winchester brothers to join them. We also see Ketch treat a young woman (Sunita Prasad) with profound disrespect, which reminds us that Ketch is not nice. She responds that she has two PhDs. I think his snobbery is not due to the fact that she’s a woman, but the fact that she’s a noncombatant. The other thing we find out is that the boys have frozen their mom out for a couple of days, despite her attempts to call and text them.

The boys argue about their mom. Sam is in favor of listening to her. Dean is still feeling betrayed. He goes off to get a few drinks. Sam goes off to meet with Mary. She takes him into the Men of Letters compound to show him around. She also tells him what I knew, that she is doing this so he and Dean can have a life without hunting. Sam is impressed with their operation. He thinks the two researchers are smart, but he’s not impressed with the only other hunter they have working with them, Pierce Moncrieff (Aaron Douglas), someone Sam already knows.

Ketch goes to Sam and Dean’s lair and entices him with Scotch and a run at a vampire’s nest. He tells Dean that the Men of Letters helps him channel his impulses into something constructive. He assumes that he and Dean are the same. Dean goes with him. He was saying he wanted something to hit.

Dean and I are both killers, but he doesn’t have my English rose complexion. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

The nest is empty except for a small female vamp who had survived an attack on her group and has come to this one for safety. Ketch knocks her around. You can tell he enjoys it but it makes Dean uncomfortable. Dean offers the girl a quick death in exchange for information, and this is how they find out that the hunted have become the hunters.

The compound is quickly in trouble because it’s under attack by the very vampire nest that Ketch and Dean are trying to raid. Vamps take the guards out. Sam and Mary jump into the fray and then get back into the compound with one live undead guy (Andrew Tkach). They ask him some questions and he says that their father came back because of the raids on vampire nests. The young lady says that their intel said he’s been in Morocco for the last decade. Sam says that’s not true, he met him in North Dakota five years ago. That would be when they needed the blood of an alpha monster to defeat the leviathans.

The family that slays together survives together. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

They make an assessment of what weapons they have. It’s not pretty. They ask who in the room has ever killed anyone and only the lousy hunter, Moncrieff, raises his hand. Mary gives Mick a look. He does have the Colt. But it doesn’t have any bullets. Sam knows the recipe and spell to make bullets for it.

Mary is knocked out when she goes to the armory to get the AVD. We soon find out that Moncrieff knocked her out and destroyed it. He also let the alpha vampire in. The alpha vampire (Rick Worthy) quickly kills the two smart people, Serena Colman (Sunita Prasad) and Alton Morehead (Kett Turton). At least the girl tried to fight back. Sam threatens the alpha with the Colt. He claims to be one of the five things that the Colt can’t kill. Yeah, right. He’s full of himself.

Sam gives him a spiel about how they can return to the old ways. Cops and Robbers. Vamps and Hunters. Only vamps that stick their heads out get them cut off. Just let him and his mom walk away. He claims not to care what happens to Mick, and when he does, Mick makes a half-hearted attack on him. Sam literally shrugs him off.

The head vampire says that he thinks the Colt isn’t loaded and then realized that Mick gave Sam a bullet and Mary’s attack on him was a distraction. It turns out that he is not one of the five beings the Colt can’t kill.

Ketch and Dean arrive to find everything over and done with. Dean admits that he could think of nothing else but rescuing Mary after he found that the compound was under attack. He calls her Mom again.

Ketch and Mick have a confrontation. Mick didn’t know where Ketch was, and thought he should have been there to protect them. Ketch gives back some attitude. He says people get killed down in the muck. He drags Moncrieff off and says they have ways to handle rogue hunters and they aren’t pretty. Reactions range from “good” to who cares. I guess no one cares about Renfield.

Mick is embarrassed, to say the least, and apologizes to Sam. Sam says he’s in. They’re trying to change the world, and he wants to help. The head vampire did get killed. Sam will work on Dean about it.

Sam shouldn’t be impressed that the alpha vampire was vanquished. It was almost all due to the Winchesters. Mary stole the gun from Ramiel. Sam knew the incantation and ingredients to make a silver bullet into a bullet fit for the Colt. Sam held off the vampire, Mary distracted him, and Mick’s only part was to get the bullet to Sam.

This is why I say that this episode shows why they are head and shoulders above other hunters, and I don’t just mean Sam. They are tremendously learned and experienced. They are not above trickery, when necessary. They know their foes. The Men of Letters, London Chapter, need the Winchesters far more than the Winchesters need them.

Another big mistake they are making is having people work for them that are not able to protect themselves. Sam and Dean know that doesn’t work. That’s how they lost Charlie and Kevin. It doesn’t matter how good they are at their specialized skill if they aren’t also hunters.

Head and shoulders above everyone else. (Diyah Pera/The CW)

What about the quest that the British Men of Letters are on? Is it at all feasible? England is an island. You can eradicate rabies there. Ireland is an island. You can drive all the snakes out. But America is vast and has borders with two other countries. We also have a lot of unoccupied land.

Do they really think they can kill every monster? Lycanthropy and vampirism are contagious, although werewolves don’t make too many new werewolves because they like to tear their victim’s hearts out. Anyone who is killed unjustly or hangs around too long after death can become a ghost. You can learn to be a witch. It takes pretty much an act of God to close the Gates of Hell or keep the angels in Heaven. They would not only have to keep demons from inhabiting people and wipe out all vamps, werewolves and similar monsters, they’d have to cut down our high murder rate.

Mr. Ketch is getting interesting. It appears that he resents being the low man on the totem pole when he is doing all the dirty work. I think, despite his R.P. English accent and posh wardrobe that he came from humble beginnings. He also claims to have dated Lady Toni. I wonder if he is the father of her child? It certainly explains why she didn’t want them to call him for backup when she was first in the U.S.

It may be that Sam is not as on board with their ideas as it seems. He’s a smart cookie and may realize that as long as their mom is on this quest, they’d better be there to protect her.

 

Supernatural airs on the CW on Thursday nights, 8pm/7c.

 




SLEEPY HOLLOW Imitates THE RING


Season 4, Episode 8 “Sick Burn”
Written by Joey Falco
Directed by Darnell Martin

I think I will keep naming the reviews after the shows that Sleepy Hollow has ripped off until they start doing something more original. I’m not particularly fond of the plot device of media spreading a ghostly evil around. It seems to me a confusion between the term viral and viral. Viral is a description of how something spreads; it does not mean that the thing spreading is actually an illness or harmful in any way. I didn’t like it much in this episode either, but it did give me a chuckle when it spread by pamphlets nailed to trees in 1812. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem with this episode.

We get treated to a bizarre vision of grandiosity where Dreyfuss (Jeremy Davies) is lording it over a defeated Crane (Tom Mison). Crane is obviously the rebellion while Dreyfuss is the worst of demagogues. This is a vision that Dreyfuss has of the future. Whether it’s wish fulfillment, precognition, or a push towards a certain future from somewhere else is impossible to tell. Dreyfuss claims to have set something in motion that will change the U.S.

And then her date just caught on fire. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Molly (Oona Yaffe), her mom (Janina Gavankar), and Crane go to a public appearance of an internet sensation, Logan Mcdonald (Robbie Kay). Molly is lucky enough to get a selfie with him, but then he faints and falls to the ground. He has burning symbols in his arm.

Alex (Rachel Melvin) is on a very bad date. Jake (Jerry MacKinnon) is supposed to be her backup if things go wrong, but he’s having too much fun flirting with the bartender. He does pay attention when Alex’s date collapses. They rush him off to the hospital. Alex’s Tinder date bursts into flames.

Because Alex was talked into watching the viral video by her date, she is now infected. She has runes burning under her skin. The team decides that the monster is a djinn.

Alex runs off into the tunnels and they let her go. Crane postulates that keeping the others from the djinn is what caused them to catch on fire.

And this is where we have another problem with this episode. The British sacked and burned the White House in 1814, well after Crane’s time. In the story, they think that the fires in Washington D.C. were due to the djinn. Crane describes the scenes and the battle with the djinn as if he was there, including a perfectly ludicrous scene with Davy Crockett (Daniel Parvis), Paul Jennings (Zae Jordan) and Sacagawea (Dayana Rincon), lead by Sam Wilson (Rick Espaillat), facing the djinn together. For a minute I thought, did the writers forget that he didn’t actually live through all of that history? Then I realized that he read it in the files. But who has been sitting around reading all of the files? That’s Jake’s job. In this episode, all Jake gets to do is pace the floor and hand Crane books while Crane recites the twistory.

If I don’t get any exposition in this episode, I’ll just have to set myself on fire. CR: Tina Rowden/FOX

Also, when learning the history of the fire flu, the group appears more concerned with the possibility of Washington burning again than they are with the fact that people are spontaneously combusting.

The djinn is calling the victims to himself so that he can consume their life energy. Jake gives himself the virus so they can find Alex, and Diana injects her with an herbal antidote that lowers her body temperature. Crane electrocutes the genie and saves everyone.

In the meantime, Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) spends the day with Molly and Molly chooses the path of the oracle. Molly sees a vision of Crane, imprisoned, facing Dreyfuss’s flag, and as old and scarred as he was in the vision that Dreyfuss had. It scares her and makes her feel bad for Crane, but more importantly, it confirms the other vision.

The djinn was in Dreyfuss’ server farm. Crane and team are aware of this. Even though the virus was contained, Dreyfuss got the famous internet sensation, Logan McDonald, on his side.

I’m not at all sure how Logan McDonald became a follower of Dreyfuss. He said he felt better, and different, so I’m not sure what happened to him. Dreyfuss his putting together his own team to counter Crane’s team.

Was there anything good about this thoroughly bad episode? The djinn and zombies in the server building were sort of cool. Jake infecting himself and going after Alex was great, as was her saving him back. It makes you think that their bond may be more than it seems.

We need a lot more story in order to believe that such disparate historical figures as Davy Crockett, Paul Jennings, Sacagawea and Sam Wilson were the forerunners of Ichabod Crane and his band. That just sort of came out of left field. Even for Sleepy Hollow.

C’mon, people. You can (and have) done better than this.

 

Sleepy Hollow airs on FOX on Fridays 9pm/8c.