A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 9×19 (Emotions can be the bane of any vampire’s existence)

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Vamp stories have an interesting place in the world of Supernatural. They never quite reach the level of demon importance and are considered a bit of a nuisance to the Winchesters, but every now and then an episode can still revolve around a very common and tragic tale in the vampire mythos. Sam and Dean play the supporting role for once as Jody, an older but enduring character on the show, drives the focal point in tonight’s episode “Alex Annie Alexis Ann”

A young woman, Alexis, is placed in a holding room inside a Nebraskan police station. Left alone, she’s confronted by Cody, a vampire who threatens her, but is quickly dispatched by Jody. Sam and Dean arrive to assist and attempt to track down the vampire’s nest. When they interrogate Alexis, they realize she’s been willingly feeding herself to them for years and a “mother” figure is leading them. Sam and Dean have Jody take Alexis to a cabin outside of town to be safe while they search for the nest.

When they do, they find a lone vampire and capture him. During their questioning the vampire reveals that Alexis lured many humans to their nest to be fed on and likely enjoyed it. Meanwhile, Alexis is stubborn and mean toward Jody until she falls asleep, After being startled awake by Jody’s continued kindness, Jody discovers the vamps have found them. They kidnap Alexis and knock Jody out. Sam and Dean find her and tell her that they intent to raid the nest but that Alexis isn’t their priority because she was a willing member of the group. Jody doesn’t care and vows to save her.

At the nest, the mother vampire apologizes to Alexis for not turning her sooner and makes the offer, which Alexis accepts for fear of disappointment and shame. When they arrive, Sam and Dean and captured by two vampires as Jody enters the basement and finds that Alex is transitioning. The mother subdues and ties Jody up, wanting Alexis to feed on Jody, but Alexis refuses. Meanwhile, the vamps bleed Sam out and reach for Dean, but Dean wakes and stabs one vampire with dead man’s blood and decapitates the other in a manner Sam sees as enjoyment. Jody surmises that Alexis was named after the mother’s former daughter who she still yearns for. This upsets the mother who attempts to bite her but is stabbed by Alexis who had a syringe of blood. Jody then kills the mother. Later, Sam questions Dean about how he appeared when killing the vamp, but Dean dismisses it as “not a crime”. Jody appears and realizes how much she still hurts over the family she lost but plans to take care of Jody however she needs. Jody and Alexis are then seen talking about their pain and understanding what both have gone through.

A self-contained story of this caliber could have been told through any monster median. Choosing the vampire was the safer bet because over the course of many years, it has the most resonance when it comes to creatures and humans struggling with what it means to be human. In this specific circumstance, the details are in the woes of family loss and motherhood coping with that loss. Jody’s plight fit very well in this tale and even more so with an opposing force or, the “mother” vampire, who tried to deny her own emotional state yet named Ann after her own daughter.

There were a lot of cues, mostly the time spent at the cabin that solidified Jody’s role as the heroine of the episode. My only questionable character was Alexis herself. Dean is usually very accurate when he dulls down the basics of villainous characters. I suppose it was easier to believe that Alexis was doomed when she was shown with blood on her lips and I even half expected she would have a gruesome fate. If there’s one thing this show has trained us on, is that struggling moral characters can still die. Luckily, that wasn’t the case and Jody has a surrogate to watch over, at least for the immediate future.

I won’t pry too hard into Dean’s enjoyment with killing the vamp. It’s simply there to keep the focus that Dean is still undergoing severe mental changes and, when pushed to violence, will act on those new tendencies as he sees fit. There are times I forget how much strength a vampire has over a human, but also remember that with Dean’s mark of Cain can come ample determination. I think “bitch” was used one too many times once Dean said it. Felt like a lazy one liner, which Sam conveniently noticed and commented on. Dean’s reference to Sam not doing the same for him when he saved him was thoughtfully appropriate. Very subtle nuances there placed to remind the viewers that several episodes ago, they truthfully stopped being brothers a short time.

Another interesting theme was how the vamps reacted to living with Alexis over the years and agonized over her teen development. It was almost comical how one of the brothers sneered and complained over Alexis’s behaviors, much as a real brother would react with a sister, yet they looked out for her. It helped put Alexis in more of a gray world that Sam and Dean couldn’t just distinguish as good or evil. They painted the picture up in a bad light, but as we age and change, we may not want the life we’ve grown to know over the course of young adulthood. And one can argue that all of Alexis’s victims were deserving of their fate even through we were only witness to one. I wouldn’t be super surprised if we saw Alexis and Jody again, but I’m not counting on it this season.

Overall, I enjoyed this stand-alone episode. It helped draw some focus away from the Demon/Angel plot and got us reacquainted with an old type of enemy as we now draw into the next episode which will be the spinoff episode “Bloodlines”. Expect a lot of new character to intrigue, entice, and possibly annoy you as they drive their fangs and claws into their place in the Supernatural universe. Will any supporting characters enlist in this new series. Who knows. In nine years, you’d think someone would be alive and willing to make the trek. I’ll stay excited. We’ll see how much of a backseat Sam and Dean play out in this war in Chicago. Stay tuned, should be fun.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×19 (More like Oliver Twit)

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A significant strike causes the wolf pack to rally an offensive attitude against the vampires and witches of the city. From almost the start this episode brought an unexpected storm of gore I found oddly fascinating in the telling. If anything it added to a very positive episode that plays on almost every faction’s fear, save for the witches who are only represented by Genevieve in one scene.

Camille enlists Josh’s help and has him compel a doctor to acquire and assist in performing shock therapy to Kieran, who is hallucinating and no longer has lucid thoughts. Meanwhile, Elijah has hidden Esther’s spellbook from Klaus and goes to Hayley in the bayou to speak with her. At the camp, a human biker arrives and his bike explodes, harming several of the pack. Hayley leaves to find and accuse Marcel of the hit. After her departure, Elijah discovers a bomb at camp and several detonate, destroying the site and injuring Eve.

Hayley confronts Marcel, but he insists it wasn’t him and reveals he’s always known about Hayley’s real name and lineage. He suggests that her family line had enemies and offers to help but she leaves. Klaus meets with Camille at the church as she puts Kieran through shock therapy. It momentarily helps but eventually Kieran goes through cardiac arrest. Klaus attempts to keep his heart active by manually stimulating it as Camille relents to Klaus feeding him blood and putting Kieran in a vampiric transitional state. Afterward, Klaus leaves to confront Gen over the wolf attack.

Oliver reveals to an injured Eve that he set up the biker to put the pack back in the right direction. He then smothers Eve to death to keep his secret. Gen reveals to Klaus that Kieran’s transitional state will only momentarily remove the hex but it will return and his binding spell will be broken. Kieran suffers from the hex again and attacks Camille, tasting her blood. Klaus intervenes and is forced to stab Kieran with a stake, ending his life. Josh and Diego drink with Marcel as Josh hands him Kieran’s key, which Marcel feels a duty to keep hidden because Camille isn’t ready to have it. Elijah returns the spell book to Klaus and says he intends to choose his family as the winning side in the incoming war.

The death of Eve signifies the end of any lasting peace with the pack and the other factions. Oliver proved his desperation and sacrificial acts will have heavy repercussions in the coming episodes. He’s not afraid to put his own people in harm’s way, lending to a several possible outcomes I believe will involve Hayley’s safety at the crux. With Jackson’s flavor losing a bit, he should be the one to put Oliver down man to man. I can also see Elijah being the one to do it should Hayley be put in true jeopardy. I just know desperate people like Oliver will go at any length for faction power, slowly sifting into personal power. It also seemed odd that Oliver insisted that Eve activate her werewolf gene in order to heal her wound but then killed her anyway the second he told her his secret. For one, he could have dodged that bullet simply by leaving the cabin entirely, second, how exactly would that have even happened without another human nearby. I don’t think any werewolf would be able to offer themselves up to save Eve in that capacity. The whole segment was awkwardly forced to contend with Eve’s death one way or another and I think she could have survived while Oliver still rallied the pack over the other deaths.

Kieran’s death was inevitable and graciously accepted, but I’d like to give the writer points for keeping his fate in the air until Klaus finally did him in. The shock therapy was a nice change of pace and I’m glad it was Camille who thought of it. We shouldn’t forget that Camille is extremely smart and can think outside the box in supernatural situations. When I said “gore” earlier, one reference was in Kieran biting his own thumb off. I know the human bite is powerful in its own right, but he took his thumb off so fast, I can only think he must have gotten right under the cartilage to make it happen. Points for insane escapism. With Kieran’s death wrapped up, Camille will finally be able to move into her next arc. She’s maintained her role as one of the few humans (Like Matt in TVD) who will likely make it into season 2 as such. I don’t think she should be turned quite yet, though eventually it should happen. I’m also satisfied that Klaus played the bigger man and allowed Marcel to comfort her. He didn’t force himself to be that person and recognized what needed to be done. I still don’t think they will or should get together, but they have a whole other season to change my mind…assuming they don’t kill her in the finale.

One major aspect remains which is, what does Kieran’s key unlock? Marcel seems to know, which is why he had Josh steal it. His explanation was purposefully cryptic which suggests it will be a next episode plot or a finale piece that will set every faction in desperate states. The war is now inevitable. I can’t say the witches have much in their arsenal except if Genevieve relents and allows herself to die so the harvest power can give the witches what they need to survive intact. I swear, Genevieve and Camille have the same exact tone of voice.

Overall, “An Unblinking Death” was both intriguing and worthy of the top 5 episodes this season. Two more supporting characters ended their run and likely more will be put to the test in the final episodes airing the rest of April and May. Once more, Elijah has toasted an alliance with Klaus, even though history demands they continue to be at odds. Klaus will endure the alliance because Elijah will always be family, but nothing will change his nature to control things from his perspective. It will lead to more brotherly violence because that’s what drives this show. That and a lot of superfluous previous episode exposition.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×18 (You don’t hide the wedding ring in the junk drawer!)

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Every villain deserves a moment to blurt out the why’s and how’s of their motives and machinations. Usually it’s when they have the hero tied up and on the verge of victory. This was more passive as The Vampire Diaries instill more drama between the love triangle that’s carried the show for almost five full seasons.

While Elena and Stefan are having visions of a mortal life and a blissful relationship, Bonnie’s grandmother warns her that someone escaped the other side and the witches there are scared of what’s happening. Liv tells Matt, Jeremy, and Tyler that the witches have been tracking the Travelers’s for thousands of years and that sometimes they stop and take over towns by possessing the people in them, as seen as current residents of Mystic Falls are possessed including Caroline’s mother.

Matt investigates and finds the sheriff who stabs and kills him. On the other side, Matt finds Cole, who is worried about what’s been happening there. Matt searches for Vicki and finds her, but she’s pulled away by an unseen force. Cole urges Matt to stop what’s happening. When Matt reawakens, he remembers everything for the first time.

Luke arrives at the Salvatore mansion to explain about Marcos returning. During a vision, Elena discovers where Marcos is and Damon and Enzo leave to investigate. Upon finding Marcos, he leaves with Damon and tells him about the schism that created the witches who cursed them to never gather again. In a show of good faith, he ends Elena and Stefan’s visions also saying it was he who put a spell on the doppelgangers to begin with. Damon returns to Elena but declares they can’t be friends. Saddened, Elena accepts it and leaves him. Tyler is then revealed to be possessed by a Traveler who gives Marcos the last knife that can expel them and Marcos burns it in a fire and destroys it with a chant.

As a good humorous friend must do, Enzo teases Damon over and over with thoughts of Elena and Stefan shagging in the visions. I find it amusing because Damon is currently in “whine” mode while still trying to maintain a sense of justified rebelliousness. Throughout episode it became clear, no matter what, Damon rubs his own face in putrid defeat even in front of Elena. Secretly, it’s obvious he wants Elena to throw herself back on him and give in, yet even then, there’s no guarantee that Damon would feel it’s worth pursuing. Stefan’s haunting message with people being friends or in love but not both, summed up their situation to a T. With Damon representing more the “chaos” role between the brothers, I can see him disassembling that statement in the coming episodes, one way or another.

Bonnie jealousy toward Liv escalated as expected. For the moment, Bonnie and Jeremy have patched a minor wound regarding a lapse in trust, yet, I think things will digress if Liv continues to stick around him. While I don’t think Liv will do anything on purpose, I still think happenstance will be the key in ruining a rather bland coupling. Liv still has a role to play in that, my belief anyway.

My favorite moments were when Matt crossed over into the other side. This is his second time, and he’s been given a raw sense of importance as he tried to navigate through the rough conditions of the afterlife. It was good to see Vicki again. I always through she was taken out of the series too soon (Like Lexi) and now she’s wherever Katherine ended up when she was pulled away, although that’s not completely proven quite yet. Original vampire, Cole also made an appearance which seemed appropriate for a moment, but seeing his fear was a bit off for some reason. I get that the other side is in shambled, but Vicki alone was enough proof I needed. Cole was there just to solidify that fear because it’s rare when an Original gets that scared, except when you’re Rebekah fleeing from Klaus.

I haven’t kept count, but Matt should be somewhere close to “completely darkfiend insane” with as many deaths as he’s been taking in. I hope they at least reference it if the plan isn’t to have him go mad. I don’t think his character deserves it, but when all else fails, rehash old plots.

I’m uncertain how I feel about Marcos’s debut. He seems carefully driven and sly with his agenda all the same. He’s the proof that the universe doesn’t control love, or at least Elena’s anyway. He doesn’t seem like the kind of character that will drop to fisticuffs, which could be a shame, since Damon needs another supernatural figure to beat the tar out of. With Tyler out of the picture, Marcos has a hybrid on his team. That will prove to be disastrous for our heroes soonly. And is it me, or did the shadowy figure from the last episode not seem like the same guy that we know as Marcos? Just a thought.

We’ve now moved into a stage where Elena sees both Stefan and Damon as friends. This is a critically shaky spot to be at and won’t do the show much good if Elena doesn’t reignite passion with one of the brothers. It’s far too late to introduce her to someone else and it’s also less likely that Elena will truly end up alone. Now more than ever the fanbase will be torn on which brother should be with Elena. I tend to root for Stefan because good-natured Damon is boring-natured Damon. He needs to let loose but for better reasons than the whiney ones he’s been recently exhibiting. Enzo has digressed into the tag-a-long buddy who remains snarky no matter the scene. He had a single charming moment with Caroline when he explains that he only wants to “thank” Maggie when he finds her. It’s not enough to turn him around into a quintessential good guy, but it’s a start. If Maggie still lives, they should give him the scene he’s been quietly yearning for, then see how he acts with the crew afterward. Does he have longevity? Maybe, if he stops being a twit to Damon.

Overall, I liked the episode. The flashbacks were key scenes as well as Stefan’s attitude toward convincing Elena that what they went through was real regardless of the fantasies they experienced. He’ll always have the mature perspective, something that Elena respects and appreciates. What kills the friendzone effects is when she softly rests her head on his shoulder. Not to the friends! Never do that to the friends! Matt’s experience with the other side mixed with Vicki’s cameo were the best scenes in the episode. Though, too many people were stabbed and no actual deaths. We now know a bit more of the Traveler vs. Witch war. It’s only Liv’s coven that seems to have been tracking them. I highly doubt the witches of the French Quarter give to hayfeathers as to what the Trueloves are up to. Maybe they should show up in New Orleans sometime. Give them a real party. I want to see where this tale with Marcos goes. There’s not much left in the lore to explain or go over. Unless we ask ourselves, who made the Travelers?

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 9×18 (Casa Erotica 1-13 were all psychological thrillers…in bed)

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A bit of nostalgic fun returns as Supernatural plays with a few nonsensical red herrings complete with a welcomed cameo and a taste of finale’s to come.

Metatron seemingly invites the audience to partake in a story he’s writing detailing events with Sam, Dean, and Castiel. After Cas discovers dead angels surrounding a symbol, he and the Winchesters track Gadriel to Ogden. Sam and Dean trap Gadriel while Castiel is reunited with Gabriel who admits he faked his own death and hid away until the fall. He wants to resume his leadership role and convinces Cas to join him. They reach a gas station and are confronted by Metatron’s angels. Gabriel attempts to suade Cas in leading the renegade angels but Cas realizes through a continuity error that Gabriel isn’t real and that his trip was a set up. He then wakes tied up in a room with Metatron who informs him that Cas will play the villain in his story that he’s writing.

Sam leaves Dean alone with Gadriel to search for Cas and encounters Metatron who agrees to a trade, Cas for Gadriel. Meanwhile, Dean suffers more from Cain’s scar and nearly kills Gadriel but stops himself as Sam arrives to explain the trade. At Cas’s hotel, they attempt to trap Metatron who feigns capture and reveals he can’t be trapped. He still follows through with the trade and looks forward to seeing what Sam, Dean, and Cas will do. Cas discovers the mark of Cain on Dean and grows worried. Gadriel momentarily questions Metatron’s plan and Cas creates the symbol he saw earlier which calls many of the renegade angels to him as he succumbs to his role as their leader.

I’ll admit, I fell for Gabriel’s return up until he and Cas began driving. Something didn’t add up with the way Gabriel left his voicemail to the Winchesters. That felt a little too strange for a happenstance reunion of the trickster archangel. Luckily, it turned out to be a ruse. I did however appreciate Gabriel’s eyebrow nod with Castiel’s questions with whether Gabriel truly survived or not. Realistically, I’m hoping no. As much as I’d enjoy more trickster goodness and savvy puns, Gabriel needed to die by Lucifer’s hands and stay dead. That would be a 4 1/2 year let down otherwise and I’m certain some fans wouldn’t like the retcon regardless if it brought him back or not.

I’m also hoping I understood the reference correctly with Metatron burning one of Chuck’s books. I know for eons there’s still the theory that Chuck “could” be God, even though I’m fairly certain that’s been unofficially debunked. Metatron still referenced God being a “first draft” kind of character. There’s dramatic irony in there but the main thing I take away from this is that Metatron burns a story that happened and prepares to write his own. Even if Chuck was more than he seems, Metatron wants to own the story and write it to his advantage. Does this mean the angel tablet indeed has given him super dominion over the plot of the show? It’s interesting to think about. Metatron prefers to think of stories as what drives us, humans and supernatural alike. He understands rewrites and uses several writing terms to explain parts of the plot to Cas. He also infused Cas with all his movie and book knowledge, which I hope comes in handy in future episodes with Cas’s awkward reactions to pop culture of the past and present.

The mark of Cain was left a bit in the dust in this episode. Keeping it attached on Dean’s radar is fine, but removing the moment when Dean chooses to not kill Gadriel…again, but the wrong move. It would have made more sense if the whole scene centered around Dean feeling like he needed to kill Gadriel because of the mark and not after the fact. For beat purposes I get the pacing of the episode as Sam needed a chance to drive back and find Dean in his bloodied position, but leaving that scene out felt rushed and unnecessary. I hold no love for Gadriel and even though it seems Gadriel may be on some cusp with questioning Metatron’s plan, it still doesn’t matter. He crossed the brothers and won’t be trusted ever again. Even Cas’s discovery of the mark was barely handled with nothing more than a vague warning to Sam to “keep an eye on him” If Cas knows the destructive capability of the mark and got upset when he found out, he should be doing a lot more than just giving idle warnings. Maybe he doesn’t know truly what will happen to Dean but it felt very shoehorned in for this episode.

Still no demon/angel crossover plot yet. I’m beginning to feel like Supernatural is divided between two shows. The Winchesters are surrounded by many enemies but the real fight between Angel and Demon has yet to begin. I’m just hoping it still does at this point. I don’t want to see separate resolutions without some kind of epic battle between the two. Maybe it’s a season ten thing, I’m not sure. That sure feels like it would be dragging a bit. Abaddon and Metatron need to have a few serious scenes together, I’m sure they’d steal the entire episode if they did.

Overall, I enjoyed the direction “Meta Fiction” went. It wasn’t too over the top with pop-culture puns, or dense full of self title references. One can never tell where Metatron’s “meta” schtick starts and stops, but throwing in Gabriel for a few moments was a positive and proved to show that the show hasn’t forgotten one of the better angels of the series. Only one episode remains before “Bloodlines” begins. Who will appear? Who will steal the show? How connected will Sam and Dean be in the beginning, if at all? Lot’s of questions coming our way. Stay tuned for the next installments.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 1×18 (Klaus should have painted a selfie)

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Back from break and already there are whispers and plans to throw Elijah’s treaty directly into a storm, due in no small part by the elusive Klaus. Genevieve convinces Elijah to let the witches host a feast of blessings for the three harvest girls while Monique’s recent trance with the ancestors has her declaring that their coven will only survive if the last harvest girl is resurrected with Genevieve’s death. Klaus secretly secures Genevieve’s allegiance while she plans to steal Esther’s spell book from Klaus’s compound. Marcel fails to gain Diego’s help and falls to other plans. Hayley uncovers Jackson’s alliance with Klaus while Oliver procures Kerry, Klaus’s wolf relative, who is questioned about the stone that was once in his ring.

During the feast, Monique convinces Genevieve to punish Davina by diverting all gifts to her and the other harvest girl. Klaus arrives and tells Davina that to make amends to her, he pardons Josh and gives Davina a ring with the spell to create a daylight ring. Drummers arrive and are compelled by Marcel to slit their wrists which causes nearby vampires to attack and kill the humans. Enraged, Elijah finds Marcel and murders Tierre as punishment. After showing Genevieve the severed hands of her servant who tried to steal the spellbook, she tells Klaus she won’t help Camille and that Camille has been sleeping with Marcel.

Later, Elijah stands up to Klaus saying that he’ll take whatever he wants and no one will get in his way. Klaus then drinks at the bar and apologizes to Camille about not being able to save Kieran but also mentions that he’ll kill Marcel if he sees him again. Diego and the other vampires agree to join Marcel while Monique gets another message from the ancestors stating they want Hayley’s child to be sacrificed instead of Genevieve.

As far as redundant parties go, this one wasn’t so bad to endure. Given the unique and expansive history of New Orleans, the festivals, parties, and shindigs have merit and meaning, and I’d like to see more of that fleshed out and utilized. Marcel’s hand in the massacre was creative but altogether sloppy development. Elijah’s wrath over the incident was completely warranted and, while watching Tierre’s death was unfortunate, Marcel had to have known the consequences of his actions. Every move Marcel makes will likely be more calculated from here on out, and they’ll need to be since both Elijah and Klaus will kill him on sight if he arises too soon. Without Rebekah, I fear Marcel’s importance may begin to fade unless he can insert himself directly in the path of Klaus’s agenda. His love interest in Camille isn’t necessary to continue and hopefully Marcel won’t dwell on it as he moves forward.

Elijah stood up to Klaus in a way that should give some worry to the hybrid. Keeping Klaus balanced in life should be the true definition of insanity, but his passion to see Hayley happy keeps Elijah grounded, for the time being. Klaus did what he could to play to his truth about keeping his wolf family close to home. Even Elijah had little to say on the matter except to wound Klaus with forsaking his dominant bloodline. It was a fascinating argument, one of many bound for future episodes. Is Klaus speaking the truth about his wolf-kin? Either way, his plan will continue uninterrupted.

As for the witches, Genevieve’s charisma continues to thrive while Monique’s zesty but rigid personality takes another dive. Their road to solidifying the power of the coven isn’t mutually exclusive, but Monique’s drive is all over the map. She wants Genevieve dead for no other reason then to return the harvest power but constantly undermines Davina even after she’s shown to have real witch power within her. She seems to blame everyone for what’s happened but focuses her energy on Davina alone. Her character is too youthful to be that crazed and eccentric. It could be the influence of the ancestors causing her mental mess, but either way, she’s not an effective villain in my eyes at the moment.

Hayley assumes more control over the wolfpack, deservedly so, and with a month left to go in her term she’s beginning to understand what it will take to keep the pack on better ground than the other groups. It’s still hard to believe after all this time that she even slept with Klaus, feels like ancient history. Elijah watches her from a distance now, which means unless he makes his move during labor, their eventual coupling will be saved for after the pregnancy. My guess anyway.

Josh is turning into the socially awkward penguin of the group.

There doesn’t seem to be anything left to do with saving Kieran. End the sub plot, he’ll be better off for it and Camille can move on.

If Klaus has his way, will the wolfpack survive and take center stage in the French Quarter? I’m not completely sold on his earnest help to keep Jackson and Hayley at the helm, which suggests an obvious ploy, one better served if the moon ring becomes a reality and necessary bargaining chip to whoever wants it. His goal should include not completely turning Elijah against him. Both brothers are destined for at least one more rough fight before the finale sinks its teeth in.

Overall, “The Big Uneasy” kept a steady pace and skipped any monotonous plot with the treaty acting as a realistic device to keep the peace. Every group shared an equal role in this episode, with neither having any true advantage over the other. The vampires falling prey to feeding on Marcel’s drummers was a bit odd, considering they should have more willpower than that, but it served it’s purpose and now Tierre is dead. Sometimes vampire deaths are the only one that really get to stick. With Hayley’s child now an official target, I expect the witches will be in considerable danger of their plan is tracked by either original. The entire coven could be burned alive if they fail, or worse, if they succeed.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×17 (Doorknobs. That is all)

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Elena and Damon struggle with their feelings for each other as they attend Jeremy’s parent/teacher conference at the high school and learn of Jeremy’s misdeeds. Caroline and Enzo discover Stefan’s doppelganger, Tom, held and sedated in Atlanta by a witch, Hazel. After Enzo kills her during a trance, Caroline escapes with Tom and tries to help him leave town, but Enzo finds them and kills Tom. Meanwhile, Luke informs Liv of Hazel’s death and she finds Elena at the school and tries to kill her. Damon stops her and tries to torture her for answers but Jeremy, having spoken to Liv earlier, intervenes and offers to help Luke and Liv protect Elena from the Travelers. Caroline returns to Stefan and they are witness to the Traveler group drinking Elena and Stefan’s blood. Sloan then lights the, all on fire as they all burn and die. Their spirits pass through Bonnie as she collapses from the onslaught. Her shadow disconnects and becomes a human figure, presumably Marcos, the leader of the Travelers. Elena and Damon formally end their relationship as she plans to return to college.

For nostalgia kicks, Elena and Damon flirt, flounder and day dream with sexual moments giving it the old high school retro try out. Man pushes woman up against locker, locker crinkles while woman looks torn and worried but with a shade of want. Man hesitates and absorbs the moment. Ah, high school. Beyond that, their bickering and lustful stares led Elena to force the breakup to remain true. For once, Damon didn’t fight the end result showing he too can grow when absolutely necessary. I think he went along with it because he doesn’t really feel like it’s a break up like we know it’s not really a break up. Give it a short amount of time and they’ll be love stricken and forced to partake in more shenanigans.

The Tom doppelganger fiasco came and went with little more than the usual obvious format. I’ll say that watching Caroline day dream with letting him choke to death on a waffle was an interesting moment, though not very convincing. Her good nature is beginning to tie directly into Stefan in ways that continue to stack up on the “Are they getting together or what” camp of fans. More and more their casual jabs and teases during bits of conversation are better highlights than any expositional flub they keep hammering us with every first ten minutes of every episode. More scenes like the one in the car at night right before they were caught sleeping in cuddled position are what we need to see more of. Not just of those two, but of are principle characters in general. As for Stefan and Caroline, come sooner or later, they’ll need to have their moment, whether accidental or purposeful, it needs to happen.

What I also consider a positive is how Jeremy stood up to Elena in this episode as well as his involvement with helping Luke and Liv. If his past as a hunter can accentuate his character in the Traveler’s plot then I say let it. It keeps him close to Liv and will continue to bring to light Bonnie’s concern, assuming she recovers from her recent event. In a way, Matt and Tyler have become his new posse which can also help flesh out more of their scenes as well. These characters need motivation and protecting Elena, right now, is as good as any. Liv’s role is sharpening up quite nicely. I expect a sibling to fall in this season one way or another. My bet is currently on Luke.
The plot with the Travelers showed a clever moment as Sloan set fire to them after they drank the vampire blood. By being set aflame, they can’t resurrect as vampires themselves leaving their count pretty low. I thought it would have made sense for them to become immortal, but their grand scope scheme has yet to truly reveal itself. What will Marcos do that he’s been set free? Was he trapped to begin with? Is he the shadow that pulled Katherine into the veil? All will hopefully be revealed soon.

Overall, some good things occurred during this episode. Damon will now deal with the new break up with a developed attitude. Elena will be forced to straddle the decision with her ever popular perplexed state of mind. Her relationship with Jeremy is straining for the first time ever and Stefan and Caroline’s support for one another continues to grow in fascinating ways. Marcos looks to be the final villain of the season leaving us with one final pair of questions. What will happen in season six after this plot is wrapped up, and will there be a major character death at the finale? We break for a spell and return on April 17th as The Vampire Diaries crosses over with Resident Evil!

Okay, joking. It’s “not” a cross over, in fact the episode is just called “Resident Evil.”….damn it.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 9×17 (Harsh punishment for any who complain about repeat meatloaf night)

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Abaddon’s possession of Josie is explained as Sam investigates a series of murders and attacks by a random group of residents in Milton, Illinois. Meanwhile, Crowley manipulates Dean into giving into his quest with hunting Abaddon regardless of the consequences. Sam discovers through an older woman, Julia, that in 1958, Henry and Josie investigated a church filled with demons and encountered Abaddon who knocks Henry out and plans to take him over. Josie offers herself instead and Abaddon possesses her with plans to study the Men of Letters group. In the present, Sam searches the old church and finds a demon who was instructed by Abaddon to steal souls and transform them into demons that will be loyal to Abaddon when she decides to take over Hell. Sam stops the demon and returns the souls to their human bodies. Afterwards, he returns to Dean and admits that they need to find Abaddon as soon as possible.

To begin, this was a very well rounded episode. This time, it was Dean’s turn to shy away from explanation and fear, even giving into more drink than usual. It makes sense that he’s entirely too hesitant to tell Sam what he’s going through, which spells an obvious disaster segment soon to follow. Crowley plays to his strengths and subtlety sways Dean to a stronger cause to find and kill Abaddon. The structure hear is that Crowley wants Dean to embrace what the mark of Cain is doing to him. It will make it easier for Dean to do what he needs to do, and with consequences not an issue, it stands to reason that Sam will be very caught in the middle of this mental struggle soon enough.

It seems that Crowley is making sure he has a sure bet with Dean as his only true weapon against Abaddon and her quietly growing army. I didn’t think Crowley’s “embracing” his addiction line was very useful. Since we didn’t see Crowley reaction, we have no way of knowing if he’s really playing it cool or if he’s really still suffering inside. One would think if he keeps injecting human blood into his body he’ll eventually begin to change, but that doesn’t seem to be the long term goal here. Maybe Crowley is doing less evil things, but his mannerisms and attitude suggest he’s the same old Crowley. Perhaps a selfless act is in order to show us what’s really happening to him.

It was good to see Sam on his own battling the case. He’s still proving to be resourceful, inquisitive, and clever especially with the phone carrying a chant to expel the demon. Although, I swear the chant changes all the time, both in words and length. It brings up an interesting subject on how human vocals play a part in the expulsion of demons. If all it takes is a recording of the incantation, there could be smarter ways to combat demons without relying on their own vocals to perform it. How close does the demon need to be to be affected by the words? Can Sam and Dean simply play the incantation over a bunch of radio broadcasts or TV news channels and expel demons that way? Or was this simply a one off situation?

Josie and Henry’s moments leading up to Abaddon’s slaughter of the Men of Letters was insightful. It showed us Josie’s human side before being taken over and even a bit of sadness with finding out that Henry wasn’t “in love” with her. All of Henry’s hope for the future will be crushed and we all know it and can do nothing except accept the inevitable. Will there be a chance to return Josie to normal if Abaddon is stopped? I’m not counting on it, but it would be interesting to see another character out of time returned.

Also a nice throwback to Sam’s soulless state back in season six. After nine seasons, those brothers have experienced a few mountains of chaotic events including a run with soulless Sam. Random flashback, or strategically placed reminder?

As far as supporting characters go for singular episode arcs, Julia was a bit of a tragic person. Fear and shame can have a lasting effect on a person and in her case there was little she could do on the matter even after the situation was resolved. It goes to show that even if characters survive, they may continue to suffer from their choices that haunt them.

Overall, it was an enjoyable episode. Dean’s slippage and reminder of Magnus saying he’ll begin to like what using the blade did to him will only grow exponentially leaving Sam an unwilling target. Crowley’s addiction is left ambiguous, but I’m hoping there’s still room to showcase a positive change in his behavior. Maybe we’ve been seeing it all this time and don’t fully understand it. Sam is showing that he understands the need to destroy Abaddon which leaves their situation a bit more enlightened. Will they actively search the other factories to stop Abaddon’s minions from creating her army? There’s been little development with the angel-plot, which I imagine is time to reinsert into the big picture. In a way Castiel and Crowley are physical representation of Dean’s angel and devil on the shoulders. Both trying to convince him with what he should do. I realize Cas hasn’t made much of an impact in that regard, but I think there’s fragments of that concept floating about. Bit of a break coming up, so we’ll return on April 15th. Two more episodes until “Tribes”.

 

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