A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×05 (Jason Voorhees once crashed through a corn maze…brutal)

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It feels as though the middle point on the first arc of the season has reached its peak. A blanket attempt to refresh Stefan’s life is permanently put on hold as Ivy has become the ex-girlfriend vampire who is stuck in a nauseating time warp, living through the woes of new vampirism and making light of it all too much. I officially don’t like her character and Trip can drive through Mystic Falls all he wants with her captured in the back of the van. This marks the second time Caroline has lost a vampire under her supervision. I don’t really want to count Enzo, but a vampire is a vampire.

Through the course of the episode we’re treated to a few more fashionable developments between a trio of pairings. The first and quite literally “least” interesting is Elena and Liam. While he’s been showing heroic form and decent conversationalist the one thing keeping him from being an able being for Elena is that he’s still a human. Vampire females seeking male human counterparts can be a workable construct, except in this case. Liam still counts as the filler relationship until Damon returns which just so happens to be now.

Alaric and Jo were set up to be a complete disaster until Alaric tried to compel her to see him as a loser. Yet, it didn’t work and Jo played it off as though it was a cute attempt and still kissed him. This changes a few things and makes me wonder if A) She has vervane in her system at an Nth amount and/or B) She’s a part of a witch coven, like the Gemini. Either way, she became interesting quite fast.

Liv saved Tyler from becoming a werewolf again by killing a man that Tyler ran through. He’s also the same guy Ivy snacked on and failed to compel, but that’s not important. I almost want to believe there’s a chance for these two to genuinely get together, but the delivery on both parties continues to be wrong on a variety of levels. Tyler is whining too much about how becoming a werewolf will be the end of him. Considering all his training in the past with Hayley, I don’t understand why he’s so afraid of it. Liv has the right demeanor but she’s visually beating herself too much over liking him and the only reason Tyler doesn’t see it is because he’s too busy whining about his condition. It’s only going to get more depressing for Liv when Tyler fails to kill someone else in the future, mark my words.

All those relationship debacles aside, we’re witness to the event all the Damon fans have been waiting for. Bonnie sacrificed herself to see that Damon returned home while suffering an apparent fatal injury from Kai who has survived a number of suicide attempts and can’t stay forever dead in limbo. Does the same rule apply to Bonnie? I’d like to think so since that seems like a cheap way to end her character too soon on this season. There might be a little mini adventure in Damon gathering everyone to help save her including a hornball Jeremy who will probably start aching at the guilt for how he’s been treating her departure. I certainly don’t see Damon just getting on without at least trying to save Bonnie from Limbo. That would just be rude if he did.

The biggest surprise in this episode is Stefan’s relentless plan to ditch town and start over. His near apathetic approach has been costing all of his friendships left including a strained relationship with Caroline and hateful scorn from Alaric who blames Stefan for giving up on finding Damon. All of this I can mostly understand, yet I agree with Caroline that Stefan dumping Ivy off like a child at daycare is a complete douche approach to the situation. At least with Vicky there were trials and tribulations. With Ivy, as much as I despise her vampiric personality, didn’t deserve Stefan’s treatment. Now that Damon is back we’re likely going to see a resurgence in Stefan’s interest in the gang and probably a few apologies to match. It’s too forced. Stefan needs to make decisions not based on getting what he wants, but handling his situation as an old vampire needs to. In fact it would make more sense if he still decided to skip town even with Damon returned. Not sure that’s going to happen though.

The episode does conclude with the brothers reuniting in what I feel was a genuine heartfelt moment. Damon will have several of these in the next episode I’m sure if everyone runs into him. Elena is a different story and I expect Damon to laugh at Liam the moment he sees him, I’m mean we’re talking dueling eyebrows here. Still, Damon’s back and he’s got a lot of catch up on. Does he save Enzo? Does he save Bonnie first? Does he make Alaric give Elena her love of Damon back again? Does he go on a drinking bender for no reason at all?

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I was actually taken in by how Liv decided to kill the wounded man in order to save Tyler. As much as I liked the seen, I’d say the final scene of “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” was my favorite moment. Stefan talks to the dead and on the verge of smashing a bottle, Damon catches it in convincing arrogance and embraces his brother after months apart. Their relationship is almost if not more important than any relationship Elena has and it showed how much Stefan needed that hug.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Tonight, the award goes to Bonnie. She remained headstrong, deductive, and sacrificed herself to save Damon, which is something I never thought I’d write on this show. I don’t believe she’s gone, not with Kai’s storyline a bit unresolved. Magic is the answer to all impossible situations, which means It’s just a matter of figuring out how to locate and find Bonnie. I’m sure it’ll happen. Liv can help, while she rolls her eyes.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Will Alaric and Stefan patch things up now that Damon is back, or will there continue to be bad blood between them?

Will Trip continue to collect vampires including a few more we know before someone decides to stop him? Can’t we just consider Trip to be a good guy?

The interest in seeing Caroline and Stefan get together is dissolving fast. Either do it and get it over with or just do away with it completely. It’s getting Steril…line.

The obligatory party scene didn’t bug me as much as I thought it would. I liked the lore behind the party and the part where it was disrupted by a launching truck. Plus it was Halloween themed even though I doubt they’d let a college girl prance around a maze of corn with a lit torch like she’s starting the Olympics. Safety first, people!

Damon will have to somehow answer to Sara who just found out she’s a Salvatore by blood. Does this mean anything else other than a blood relation or will Damon simply pass her off as an accidental heir of the household?

 

OVERALL SCORE

This was a strong 6 out of 10. Many of the relationship quirks and moments had no payoffs and Stefan came off and more reluctant to take any ownership of the problems that were right in front of him. As justified as he feels, there’s still accountability he should be at least seeing through. Damon return was the highlight but it was only at the end. I anticipate next week’s episode to hold more merit now that we can reconnect him with everyone still on Earth. And he’ll be drinking like a fish too, I imagine.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Sons of Anarchy – Season 7×08 (Pale shoes stained with a Jury’s verdict)

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Breathe in and exhale for another episode of SOA ends with darker territory to follow. A rich display of personal feelings continues to chisel at Jax’s marbled resolve paving the way for unfocused decisions and the blood of crows to flow. Just when one would think there was a sensible solution to be had between Redwood Originals, Jax takes matters into his weapon and murders a man who point blank thought John Teller ran his bike into the semi on purpose. Nevermind the fact that Jury said he’d never rat out the club. This marks Jax’s next step down that slippery slope his crew may not walk away from alive. Plenty of portents to follow in tonight’s episode “The Separation of Crows.”

To begin, Bobby is counseled by his captor, Moses, an ex Special-Ops soldier who works for August. The dynamic is solid and almost plays in the favor of Bobby if it weren’t for his obvious predicament. Unwilling to give the location of the pastor’s body, Moses attempts to give him an honest version of what’s to come. Bobby, resilient as ever only promises that someday a reaper will claim Moses’s life. Though things aren’t looking good for Bobby, you can rest assured that his statements will probably be carried out in due time. I thought a bit of unadulterated humor would be thrown into this scene as normally two people without fear may find joking at the other’s expense a form of chit chat. Not to be had here. I’m not counting Bobby out yet, but at the conclusion of this episode, we know he’ll never ride again. It was a brutally cringing moment when you could hear the bones scraping against the knife. Jax’s decisions are costing Bobby more and more, quite possibly his life in the coming episodes.

As Jax spirals at an uncomfortable pace, his son, Abel, follow suit as Gemma learns he attacked another child at school. During a conversation at home, Abel says it was an accident and Gemma asks if he knows what it means. Cue a most chilling response with Abel replying “Do you?” As dry and emotionless as Abel has been seen, those two words even put Gemma in an awkward stare. Abel has been translating everything he’s seen since the season began and now he’s slowly exerting the actions and explanations into powerfully violent responses. Now he’s verbally beginning to transgress into Gemma’s worst fear. I don’t think his violent tirades are over, but I certainly don’t want to see Abel attack Gemma out of some unexplainable anger. It’s too vicious to say the least. My second fear regarding this scenario is Abel may hurt Brooke by “accident”.

Juice continues to maneuver himself into a position to take out Lin. Wayne observes Juice’s negotiating tactics and admits to Jarry that he thinks a piece of missing between Juice and Gemma but knows Juice knows who killed Tara. He’s sticking close with that nose of omniscience and likely won’t stop until the truth comes out. Where I think Wayne is wrong is his assumption that Juice killing Lin will buy him back with the club. I’d like to believe that fairy tale, but it doesn’t fit with Jax’s M.O as of late. Jax is willing to spread any lie he needs to to get the jobs he needs done. I think as far as Jax is concerned, Juice killing Lin or dying trying to kill Lin is a win/win. The sooner Juice realizes this the sooner he can begin leveraging his real information to Jarry or whomever he needs to. Juice can still make it out of this alive, but if he kills Lin, he may have a permanent target on his back for the rest of his life.

Going back to the situation with Jury and Jax, I thought there was some critical moments that seemed to throw in some old tunes. First we’re treated with Teller’s point of death in a previous episode. Now Jury explains that he was once an outside friend who believes Teller would have known if his own bike was mistreated or sabotaged, leaving Jax to conclude for himself that Teller must have sacrificed himself for the club. Jury spells it out in such a way that Jax doesn’t care if Jury told the truth or not about being a rat. The shot was cast and the VP was left with a barren lie and likely enough fuel to start a fire of his own. Later on, Chibs tells Jax this will ripple out of control quick if they don’t get their story straight. I was surprised that Jax flat out denied Jury’s statement about not ratting him out. Statements like “I wanted you dead but I wouldn’t rat the club” are usually followed with some intense stares and a nod that brothers understand what they can say to prove their point. Jax didn’t care which means the culprit is still at large. My money has always been on Barosky, but the culprit may also be too close to home. What a shock that would be if it turned out to be a Son.

The episode concludes similar to last weeks when Tig brings another box to Jax regarding August’s response. Jax doesn’t open it this time but everyone understand the message. August isn’t playing at negotiating and is completely separated from anything that matters to him which makes Jax’s situation all the more grim. He’s beginning to lose all of his allies. I don’t see Tyler siding with him much longer and the other Redwood Originals out there will probably start to question Jax’s leadership as soon as they get wind of Jury’s death. Jax will keep his crew as always, but if they begin to fall at August’s might, it won’t matter who’s standing by his side. Jax may need to stop manipulating and start hitting first before Charming goes up in smoke.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I rather liked Bobby and Moses’s initial conversation. One supporting character and one minor rival sold their scene as if they were to two principle characters running this show. Hearing about Bobby’s military background and seeing how he kept his cool shows how incredibly dedicated he is knowing more pain is on the way. He knows he’s done for but swears that a Son will end Moses at some point. It’s good to see Bobby shine on his own and I very much enjoyed that scene just a little more than Jax facing against Jury. That just felt slightly rushed and a bit bitter overall.

 

CHARACTER MVP

As with the scene above, tonight’s MVP goes to Bobby. Had he caved in and gave Moses the information he wanted, we all would have been disappointed, but at the same time we don’t want to see him get hurt or killed. With a stalwart attitude he accepts his fate with the kind of defiance that a Son can offer up. It’s excruciating to watch but Bobby makes it believable and that’s what gives him the spotlight tonight.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Gemma burying her dead crows is more than a simple metaphor showcasing her role in the continued demise of Samcro. I played a thought that showed Gemma surviving this entire ordeal and leaving with Nero and the kids while Wayne shuts down the autoshop for good. It’s a seriously depressing final scene in my head, but It’s possible Gemma and Wayne could outlive everyone.

Jury was shot in the same place and style as Jimmy Darmondy and Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire.

How does Jax keep his shoes so clean?

More and more I see August as the arc that ends right before the final showdown with all of Samcro dealing with Jury’s death, followed by Jax learning of Tara’s true fate.

If things keep going the way of dark tragedy, I can also see Jax murdering Nero as retribution for Gemma killing Tara. It would crush her if we’re meant to see an eye for an eye knowing Jax wouldn’t hurt his own mother.

 

OVERALL SCORE

Consistency is key. Sons gets a solid 7 out of 10 tonight. My palms weren’t sweaty like they’ve been in the past, but the wheels were spinning a bit faster than normal. Everything I thought was handled well with the exception of Jury’s death the fact that this episode ended the same way as last week’s episode. Interesting choice of cover too. I did think we we’re given a lengthy plot point just to feed us into the next episode which I think will dominate before the unforgiving finale to come. Keep them coming as always. We’re getting close.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 10×04 (Business as usua-wolf)

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With over nine seasons worth of content, Supernatural likes to reach back a little and dish out a call out character every now and then. In “Paper Moon” young Kate from season 8’s episode “Bitten” returns as a werewolf who is trying to protect her murderous sister from the judgment of the Winchesters.

It wasn’t hard to spot the parallels between the sisters and how their situation stacked up against Sam and Dean as they just ended a three episode tirade of Demon craziness. Kate tries desperately to control and save Tasha, who wants nothing more than to embrace the strength of being a werewolf, akin to Dean’s want to stay as a demon. Unlike Sam though, Kate swears by her word and ends Tasha’s life with a ritual stab in the gut and disappearing from sight soon after. A very cut and dry episode that listens more closely to the plights of siblings and the hard choices they must make to survive.

This late in the show it gets a little tougher to write old horror genres into fresher plots. We’ve seen near every variation on a ghost, wolf, and vampire plot there is, yet somehow they still find ways to add a little flavor by taking those old situations and applying a different filter. In this case, it was Kate saving Tasha’s life by turning her instead of letting her suffer from the wounds of her car accident. It’s the right way to go with this formula by taking the supernatural plot and sprinkling it over the family drama at hand. It makes it easier to connect to the characters by turning the supernatural into a realistic metaphor as best as possible. Young people can change their outlooks on life all the time, and siblings can try as hard as they must to preserve who they love, often with disastrous consequences. Have we seen the last of Kate? Probably for the time being.

Once again, Sam’s arm wound has been jokingly glossed over leading more and more to the burning question with, how exactly did Sam screw his arm up so bad? If they were going to treat the wound as a natural occurrence, they should have had him healed by now for the sake of moving on. But they didn’t which means there’s something else going on and apparently only Sam knows what really happened. He clearly wanted to open up to Dean but didn’t, as the brothers act most times. I’m still interested in knowing, but if it’s not going to be anything substantial, they need to just drop it now before it becomes a disappointing tangent.

Without a blip from the angels for demons, Sam and Dean were given an ample amount of time to discuss their experiences since the season started and Dean even course corrected himself by saying he wants to do the right things from now on, assuming Sam was right about everything he said throughout the episode. The brothers are aligning again which is generally cause for celebration, because now the monster of the week episodes can resume along with some comedy episodes soon to rise. And of course with that comes the 200th episode of Supernatural, which sadly won’t air until Nov. 11th, but there’s promises of singing involved. Not too excited for that, but it should be something to remember regardless.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I actually really liked how Sam and Dean handled their opening scene after the credits. Just a couple of guys drinking suds and hanging out by a lake with some shades and quiet time. They discuss some brief moments of reflection and decide to get back to business with the report of a murder. They’re both interested in moving on with Sam wanting to take it slow and Dean just pushing forward like he always does. Simple and neat and sets the tone for the rest of the audience to move on along with them.

 

CHARACTER MVP

A standalone episode like this usually goes to the star protagonist because they’re the ones who drive the plot while the Winchesters are backseat in varying degrees. Kate did an excellent job selling her character, but my rule was one of the main four had to win each episode for the total tally. This week, sans Crowley and Castiel, it goes to Dean. He effectively showed his regret with what happened and plays around with his return to more angsty roots. Sam, as always plays the worried face while the two share minor moments of brotherly jabbing. Dean is moving on the best way he knows how and that’s to get back to work. He’s earned his spotlight, again.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Kate’s two appearances are exactly two seasons apart. 8×04 and 10×04.

Sooner or later someone is going to notice that Sam isn’t “healing” like he should.

Will Castiel be reforming heaven now that he has more strength back or will be continue to search for rogue angels with Hannah?

Are we ever going to get a chance to see this new hell that Crowley wants to make, or is it all just a metaphor?

The lady introduced at the end of the last episode still hasn’t shown up yet. Is she a major player or just another pawn on someone else’s board?

 

OVERALL SCORE

While the episode was solid top to bottom, it wasn’t anything super new. It gets a 6 out of 10. The brothers needed serious bonding time and while they did get it, the plot of the episode mirrored their situation which is something this show has done a number of times and isn’t having the same impact as it used to. It was a standalone in the old style with a throwback to an older character who has been able to survive two episodes, which these days is a feat. Good job Kate, we’ll probably meet again!

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 2×04 (How long can a vampire run really really fast?)

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A few uncharacteristic moments aside, “Live and Let Die” paints a sympathetic picture between the outcast vampires and the ever growing werewolves, who have been forced to call on their younger pack to activate their curse. With the help of Elijah, Hayley, and even Oliver, they thwart Esther’s plan to turn the young wolves while Klaus tracks down Davina who attempts to learn how to fight from Michael.

With Camille returning to the stage, we’re given a reminder with how her relationships with Marcel and Klaus had developed in the past with Finn conducting the therapeutic encounter. It seemed more than obvious that the Camille and Klaus love angle had been cast aside, yet here came the foreshadowing session that invigorates Camille’s fascination with Klaus as she goes one step beyond and accompanies him in tracking down Davina. She tries to teach him a bit classic infatuation moments such as slow dancing with a friend and he storms off even more pressed to find Davina, who has been hiding up in a cabin around the bayou. If I wasn’t so mindfully made up on what a bad decision their pairing would be I’d actually consider the moment at the bar rather sentimental for the would be king. But, her focus was too strong and makes me think Finn had a stronger hand in influencing her for some unknown reason. She cares about Davina and has renewed interest in Klaus which for the moment doesn’t fit. I’ll give Klaus credit, if he went in for that kiss, she would have probably let him. A friendly kiss no doubt.

Still refraining from acting as the ego of old, Cole continues his wooing of Davina as he confidently heals her ankle injury after training with Michael. A few things I’m wondering at this point. Why shoehorn in a half-assed staff fighting scene between Davina and Michael. Ultimately the lesson was to endure pain and make it work for her, yet, she didn’t continue fighting after the fact and learning to block a few strikes from the get go was completely unrealistic. Michael has serious strength and unless he was withholding his power should have knocked her weapon away easy. Not to mention, how was he able to attack her at all? Shouldn’t the bracelet prevent him from doing anything like that? Back to Cole. He’s playing his role almost too well which makes me wonder if at some point he might actually begin to care for Davina. It’s a serious long shot, but stranger things have happened to ancient vampires who fall for the young ladies. Cole hasn’t revealed himself to Michael yet, which is also interesting. That ship has likely sailed now that Klaus has captured Michael, or so he thinks.

The rest of the main plot brings us the introduction to Aiden, another werewolf who does Esther’s bidding until his little brother is used in a plot to curse all young werewolf humans. After showing up a warning to Marcel, he seeks his aid with Elijah to take the young wolves out of town. Even Oliver helps in this and fights by Elijah’s side against a crew of wolves showing for the first time a sense of loyalty for the guy. I was impressed he lasted as long as he did. Keep this up and he may change my mind yet about his position on the show.

In another training segment, Elijah uses musical ranges and terms to teach Gia how to fight and control the fight. I suppose since it’s Elijah the musical metaphors are fine, but if anyone tried it, it wouldn’t work. I did laugh when Elijah seemed to be transfixed on Gia when her hand was in his chest. I raised an eyebrow wondering if this was some sort of sign of teacher/student romance or if Elijah was just feeling things out after Hayley’s cold shoulder conversations as of late. She really needs to stop taking out her frustrations on the guy, her anger toward him isn’t making much sense anymore. As for building up Gia to be the next unique supporting vampire on the show, I’m all for that, but I’ll refrain from getting attached for the usual fear of vampire deaths that tend to occur on this show.

Our episode ends with Klaus taking Michael away and promising not to hurt Davina which earns him a feisty hug from Camille. As a human, she trusts him entirely too much. Michael is seen removing the cursed blade from last season while Elijah is captured by Esther, who proclaims he will be purified soon. Typical cliffhanger setting, but with all the makings of a good next episode, which tonight’s suffered as the “build up”.

FAVORITE MOMENT

With Klaus and Michael the foretold warriors with enough hatred to power a sun, I enjoyed their nightly battle outside the cabin. For once, Klaus maintained his own and even got the better of Michael with an unexpected stab of the cursed dagger. When the choreography matters, the fights can appear wicked. They had a doozy of a chance to show up a straight up Elijah/Oliver massacre of wolves, but decided they couldn’t film it or show it, or both. Instead we’re treated to a one on one which worked just as well. Michael may be brute strength, but he doesn’t always have the sneaky moves in the back of his mind like Klaus does and that will earn Klaus the victory more times than not.

CHARACTER MVP

While I don’t agree with Camille’s approach to reach new boundaries with Klaus, I have to admit her execution was pretty flawless. When humans can stand up to their vampire antagonists it show the rare vulnerability in them and with Klaus he’s just as susceptible as anyone who can be made to reason. Camille made some valid points at the bar showed once more that psychologically, she has the advantage over most of the characters she comes in contact with. She gets the MVP tonight.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

How was Michael able to remove the cursed dagger from his body? Did Cole help in some witchy way?

Josh has a new love interest in the name of Aiden, the werewolf. This marks the first vampire/male werewolf/male romance I’ve ever seen. They’re allowing a minor character to have a love interest which is good for tangled plots, but I wonder if it’s just a short term rushed event. Aiden is a decent werewolf, more so than Oliver, which can only spell disaster in the coming episodes when someone always gets in the way of dark intents by evil characters. I don’t see Aiden switching sides outright, which may cost their relationship if it moves forward at all.

Why didn’t Cole and Klaus run into each other at the cabin? Is there any special reason why we need to keep them separated? Klaus already knows Cole is involved in Esther’s plot. Just seems off.

I was a little thrown off at how many wolves are in fact in town. I get that we need to be aware there’s more wolves than vampires in or around New Orleans, but when it’s just a group of people standing around be talked to or about by the main characters, there’s a real lack of feeling from the wolf group. In the past you always get the sense of that animal instinct always playing about, and even though it’s cheesy, it’s still a better reminder of their nature than when normal looking humans that we know are wolves stand around and act like normal humans that we know are vicious wolves. Maybe it’s over cliche, but I’d rather that than be bored by the background fodder.

What does being purified mean? If Esther cleanses the vampirism from Elijah, will that affect all vampires under his bloodline? Can Elijah truly be in danger with what Esther says she can do?

OVERALL SCORE

It’s a 6 out of 10 tonight. Tonight’s episode was the set up to next week’s heart of the matter. The wolf plot was just a red herring and even Finn admitted to it as he captured Elijah. We were treated to a taste of the Michael and Klaus violent fight, but it didn’t make up for the filler episode this ended up feeling like. Bringing Camille back into the fold is okay, because she has parts to fulfill when it comes to making Klaus understand his feelings. Just don’t overplay her in this plot. Looking forward to seeing how Elijah is saved, or possibly not. Tonight wasn’t as very well balanced from a nature versus demeanor aspect. Easily fixable in the future.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×04 (How many years in limbo before Damon fake proposes to Bonnie in a bar?)

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Just when you think Damon’s evil antics were all but revealed, we’re given one more dark chapter in his life that defined an era of Mystic Falls. “Black Hole Sun” is full of character revelations and tattered feelings that carefully resonate for everyone in the right direction. It’s a theme of self diagnosis for our major protagonists as Elena, Stefan and Damon assess their compass in life, two looking forward and one looking back. A lot of elements went right in this episode and I’ll be diving into those details in this review starting with Damon and his self professed “Worst thing I ever did.”

I’m actually surprised he used a line like that when many of his past evil deeds centered around Stefan and by proxy Elena and could be argued as worse. Damon is also known for being overdramatic and may have settled on that memory as his worst action because it was more recent than the others. In any case he slowly tells the story about returning to the Salvatore house when Zach was still alive and near the time he was to become a father. Damon, in a Sabretooth-esque moment promises to continue griefing Stefan for not joining him and slaughters all of the guests in the house on the date that Bonnie and Damon are stuck in, including the mother of Zach’s child. Little did Damon realize that the child would survive and grow to become Sara, our resident newcomer who returned to town looking for answers to her mother’s death and past.

My first impression was a bit disjointed because I’m no longer interested to seeing how Damon used to be evil. I’ve been seeing that every season for years. It’s like I’m being handfed a new reason to dislike Damon even though he’s “supposed” to be the most likeable character on the show. In fact, it was Bonnie who realized that Damon is silently punishing himself over the event and finds that as hope for him. I wish it was Damon who admitted to that, but I suppose realization from Bonnie is better than no realization at all.

I’m also satisfied at Kai’s storyline and I think it’s an interesting take on a witch plot. However, I still don’t think his personality fits the profile, but he’s not longer a dismally unfitting character. He’s just a terribly acted character.

Stefan attempts to convince Elena that starting over is a good thing for him and proves a point by pretending to propose to her in a bar where he explains how fresh starts are easy and necessary for him. Elena buys it until she witnesses a man beat Stefan up as Stefan let’s it happen. He too is punishing himself but insists he needs to do what he has to on his own. This is about as much character development as we’re going to see from Stefan this season, I’m calling it now. With a resurrected Ivy now back in his life, we might see him connect and fall in love again, but I’m not expecting him to break new ground over what’s happened. He’s a cautiously pessimistic character who dawdles over opportunities but settles on mentally self-inflicted pain. He’s once more dodging his vampire instincts by trying to live a human life and human rules and will quickly find, he just can’t.

Elena worked out a very important, yet overly cliché character trait. In most situations of fictional drama, a character suffering from amnesia or a lack of pertinent memories will more than likely refuse or denounce their past in order to move forward what their new personality. It’s extremely disassociate but proves that humanity can and will turn away from old paths when presented with the same choices again. Elena decided not to gain her memories of love for Damon back and that was the right move. The event itself was a cop out and I’ll always believe that, but now that’s she’s aware of it and still decided not to regain those memories shows she’s thinking for herself in a way that makes sense. Who knows, maybe her trained disgust for Damon now will always propel her from knowing the buried truth, but I’d like to think she wants to have her fresh start just like Stefan does.

Alaric and Jeremy trade complaints about their emotional states and I’m left wondering how Jeremy could recover so fast from an apparently massive hangover. They shouldn’t have made it seem so bad by taking him to the hospital. Truth be told, that entire seen was filler and unnecessary. Alaric having a love interest is great and all, but now just seemed an awkward time to start it, at least in this episode.

We’re also given a sympathetic background for Trip who revealed he was compelled to believe his wife’s death was his fault, but now knows a vampire was involved. Was it Damon? Yeah, probably. But in the meantime, he has Enzo locked in a room where Matt has seen him. Best part, Enzo didn’t say a word, and I’m thankful. I think Trip could have interrogated any number of vampires he’s previously killed but he’s taking his time with Enzo for his benefit of finding other vampires to capture. Nobody else will understand that Enzo isn’t bringing anyone else positive vibes. True, he turned Ivy into a vampire which was a smart move, but it isn’t enough to want me to have him saved.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I think the mock wedding proposal was done in good humor and just barely poked the top of this episode. I wasn’t expecting that kind of scene and it’s ironic because it calls back and makes light of the fact that Stefan and Elena were once fitted for that kind of future. Not by any audience standards but by a concept that those two were supposed to be soul mates. Now that we know they’re not, it’s easier to digest this kind of scene in its basic humor and for that I think it worked for the point Stefan was trying to make. Plus Elena adding she was pregnant was good too. Definitely threw Stefan off guard.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Elena gets this week’s MVP. She indulged Stefan’s explanations with why moving on is necessary and in the end let him go while at the same time taking the effort to continue choosing to leave Damon in the past as well. She made two important decisions that meant not being tied to either brother which is something she should be doing until the inevitable return of Damon. The show has trained us to believe and root for one of the two brothers keeping Elena until the end. I think there’s room for her to grow without pursuing either character and it could make her stronger for it.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Was Elena’s dad the one who delivered Sara as a baby?

Will Matt speak for Trip when the vampires eventually get their hands on him?

That’s twice now the Gemini coven have been referenced. How much power do they have and will they be a malicious group?

Kai’s hell doesn’t fit with the date and is too much of a coincidence that it’s the day Damon thinks he did the worst thing ever. If the murders done by Kai were already in the paper, why put Kai in an empty world a few days after the fact? This hell doesn’t really make any sense. And does this mean that Kai traveled from Portland to Mystic Falls even though the days reset every morning? Was he not bound by any borders?

Bringing Ivy back as a vampire does help Stefan’s case but it doesn’t excuse Enzo as any less of a chauvinistic and self righteous character.

 

OVERALL SCORE

Tonight’s episode gets a 7 out of 10. Most of the major characters were able to reach a pinnacle in their woes and a few are readily able to move onto their next arc. The reveals were decent but had one major flaw. With Kai and Sara, they may be interesting characters now that we know where they’ve come from, but they weren’t interesting characters before those facts were revealed and when new players come onto a show, we need to have investment in their current personalities and now how their past effects them or the characters we know. Beyond that it was a very decent episode and look forward to see how the developments turn out. Hopefully Damon and Bonnie aren’t stuck in limbo for too much longer or it still start to drag. My thought is Damon will convince Bonnie to let Kai back into reality with a promise he’ll somehow try and kill him once they return. Not that I think it’ll work as a plan, but it’s how Damon would act considering the situation.

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Sons of Anarchy – Season 7×07 (The times are a changin’)

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Some of the best laid plans are covered in tiny flaws, while those who pursue justice find vengeance the big brother of two evils holding sway. Tonight’s episode “Greensleeves” offers up the cold definition of miscommunication and the mistake of revealing dark secrets in empty rooms. Jax attempts to put all his pieces in play to remove the last piece on his chessboard, only, he found the dismal truth resting in a small box. That truth is that his crew is in every bit of danger as his enemies are.

Let’s begin with the moment where we all felt we missed the actual beginning of the episode. Juice is given his coat back by Jax and sent off be arrested by the cops by way of motorcycle chase. Later, we’re given the full run down and Juice was sent by the crew to be captured and placed in prison to personally take out Lin with the help of Tully. All we’re given as an explanation is that Juice will do anything for the club. Does this mean he was told there’d be a chance at redemption, or does Juice and the crew know it’s a one way ticket? Juice has had his survival instincts kicked into high gear since last season. There’s every chance he’ll succeed and every chance he’ll be flipped before that gets to happen just for the chance to stay alive. Who’s to say which way he’ll turn if the situation goes sour. Club loyalty has been on his brain and Jax knows this. But one thing’s for certain, he didn’t confess to Jax what he knows, and that information was utterly crucial for Gemma to know.

The mother of the crew prepared herself for the worst and was within an eyelash at pulling her gun on Happy and Rat at the cabin. Everything leading up to that moment knowing Nero was on route was fantastic and almost made me forget that I knew something was going to go down with Bobby. I’ll get to that in a second, but for now, Gemma lost her composure enough to tell Thomas the truth about Tara. But who understood it? Why little Abel in the hallway of course. His traumatic experience recently mixed with tonight’s revelation about the woman who he called mother will no doubt add to an already compounded issue in his mind. What will he do? Will his words come out during an most inconvenient time when Jax is at his lowest? Or will become violent again and try to take it out on Gemma herself. He may not be strong, but he can still swing a hammer. We all expect Jax to confront Gemma about the truth, but what if the poetry of this show makes so he never gets the chance to? Morbid thoughts all around.

Due to the season getting nearer toward the end I find I can’t avoid watching the promos for next week episode just to know if Bobby is alive or dead. Based on the promo, I know what I need to, but that doesn’t chance that the second he suggested driving alone, that something was going to happen. I was predicting something more close to the cabin, but that wasn’t meant to be. There’s a lot of pain and retribution Bobby is being forced to endure and somewhere in Jax’s mind, he knew August wasn’t going to be that easy to coerce. I have to give August credit in that he’s making a stronger point by keeping Bobby alive rather than kill him outright which Jax and crew have had no problem doing as of late. It’s meticulous and tactical and now August has all the leverage he needs to convince Jax to back off or worse, submit.

Our episodic subplot delivered it’s usual points of violence, extortion, murder, and comedic undertones. There isn’t much to comment on except that it served the agenda of the plot and gave Jax the same credibility he’s always had in that he does what he has to for the things he needs. He won’t make his crew do anything he wouldn’t do himself and even finds a bit of pride in it. He’s always dedicated and will help those in need even if the situation doesn’t appear altruistic.

As always, the episode ends with foreboding and a new breath of fear for Jax to live with. When you commit to praising your crew about love and family, you can always expect that to turn around and strike back like a curse of poison, and it did. Everything about this episode roared classic Sons. We can even take to heart that when Jax’s bike was trashed, it was a sign of things to come. His world is about to become unraveled in a way he’ll never expect.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Gemma reached the cabin. There was oodles of tension supplied and I wanted to believe things were about to go down, but Gemma plays her cool till the very end and breathed her biggest sigh of relief when what Happy told her was true about why she was there. She calms an arriving Nero and all is well. This shows why she’s so good at what she does. Gemma knows how to distract, deflect, and maneuver herself where the advantage becomes hers. Her one fleeting moment came when she told Thomas what she did to Tara. It’s interesting that she chose to tell the son who wouldn’t understand, the son whose mother was horribly murdered. Gemma has been talking to an emptiness and disguised it as Tara, yet she didn’t apologize to thin air, she apologized to Tara’s child. There’s a lot there to understand about how Gemma’s mind works but, ultimately it was the tension created by the cabin scene I thought was done really well. It played on my expectations and pushed them further down the road to wait a little longer.

 

CHARACTER MVP

With Jax being entirely too soft spoken tonight, I’m giving the MVP to Gemma. Watching her play every scene like it’s her slow walk to an execution really helped make her more sympathetic. But in the end, it’s the fear that’s causing her to confess and react the way she’s been. Once she’s back in control, it’s smiles and arrogance all over again. She did a wonderful job selling that fear and downplaying her knowledge with what’s happening around her. As frustrating as it is to know more than the main character does, I find how they pushed Gemma to be emotionally compelling.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Nice addition by having Juice and Jax part ways at JT’s site where he was killed. That could have happened anywhere, but it gave the short moment much more meaning and that’s good story telling.

Once again, Wayne is on the hunt and suspects too much. His intuitive nature makes him the most dangerous character on the show, most times. What would Wayne do if he knew first about Tara’s murder. Would he protect Gemma or tell Jax? Very tough questions.

With having two scenarios where someone could find out about Tara’s murder makes me think one will intentionally be a red herring while the other will be set up to happen at an unexpected and dismal time.

Brooke and Rat are still a thing and with Brooke still taking about him, it can only mean one of those two will eventually be suffered with a loss. I don’t want either character to expire, but there may be a law within all final seasons where not everyone makes it out alive.

By keeping August out of direct contact with Jax it sets a tone of hierarchy where a king would never deal with subjects, that’s what the court and guards are there for. It will be interesting to see if Jax can formulate an actual meeting with August. Then the real violence will unleashed.

 

OVERALL SCORE

Solid and tense as always, I’m giving it an 8 out of 10. Sons has had consistent high scores and doesn’t seek to slow down. Pacing is always high and on point. The subplot dragged a little bit as we’re forced to listen to the entire plan with getting Winsome(sp?) to flip on Greensleeves. Other than that, this episode brought all the correct emotions out and then some. Jax has been dealt his first seriously blow since Tara died and knowing him, it’ll have the exact opposite effect that August intends. Will Juice get the job done and how unpredictable is Abel at this point? Keep watching and thanks for reading!

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 10×03 (Well that was…anticlimactic)

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I’ll admit, I envisioned at least two more episodes for a big awesome showdown with Deanmon and Sam wrecking the gates of hell for the 200th episode and even beyond. Yet, we’re given an 8th season resolution coated and impaled in Dean, turning him back into a human that seems to understand the gravity of his choices as of late. I’m thrilled Dean is back to normal, I just think it happened too fast. This was a golden opportunity to turn demon Dean into a bloodthirsty chaotic arc that saw the brothers stepping into morbid disaster after another for the sake of bonds and hell. What we got instead was a The Shining 101.

That aside, “Soul Survivor” was a patented display of character development for our quartet. Crowley and Castiel stick to their vices as supporting characters do, you also see glimpses into their core as each one relents in familiar ways. Castiel tries to accept his death in battle but is saved by Crowley who treats it like a business transaction when we know a little better. The end result is Castiel saves Sam from killing Dean and the rest is history.

What we’re given is a new clean slate on the demon plot and a promise of new demonic threats to come. Just who is the lady in Oklahoma at the end of the episode and what is her role? Given the amount of episodes that have aired, if she’s someone who’s already made an appearance, please let me know. At the moment, she’s unrecognizable.

Dean’s demonic attitude, as predictable as it was, leaves a few unanswered questions with the demon aspect and what it truly represented. In cases like these, the human counterpart stresses that the force controlling the one they care about isn’t the real version of them. The person in question frantically dictates that it’s the “real” version of them and there’s a lot of back and forth and using words and actions against the protagonists while the power of love, friendship, and family overcomes all, most times. Now that we know that Dean’s demon aspect has been dissolved, all of Dean’s personality was in fact tied to the demon mold and wasn’t realy Dean. In a way it’s like saying he was re-ensouled which always tends to be the driving force of the human conscience. Take away the soul and it’s no holds barred. In Dean’s case you could argue his soul was corrupted, but with the demon aspect gone, he’s literally back to normal. Was Dean in real control, or was the demon aspect it’s own personality? Is it really gone? And how does the mark of Cain fit into the rest of the season?

Speaking of the mark, something is strangely odd and I know I’m not the only one who’s come up with this theory. But is it possible, Sam did something to his arm that is somehow similar to the mark of Cain? For three episodes we’ve been given barely a glimpse into Sam’s dealings with searching for Dean and Crowley except for one flashback which pinpoints how he captured the crossroads demon from the first episode. Now that Sam could have somehow stole the mark for himself, but is there something else going on that’s more supernatural in nature and just a broken arm?

And as great as a sidekick Hannah has become, I’m wondering if she’s overstayed her welcome at this point. Castiel is forming a small bond with her enough that neither will allow themselves to be cornered by Metatron’s offer. As far as angels go, she’s not as annoying as the rest of the bunch, but I wonder if this rogue hunting subplot has a real agenda or if it’s just a plot device to keep Castiel full of grace that isn’t his. The problem is subdued for now, but in the future, we know Castiel won’t kill any more angels to gain that grace back and Crowley no longer has a reason to help him in that capacity, unless he needs serious favors.

There’s a major demon arc coming and I’m excited for it. The ground has been set with some unhappy demons making their voices heard with how Crowley has been running things. He still wants to make the perfect hell. What will he do to attain that goal? What will Sam and Dean do to make sure that doesn’t happen?

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Around the second conversation between Sam and captured Dean when it revolves around Dean making Sam feel guilty over what he had done to find Crowley. Either brother is capable of being reminded with the horrible atrocities they’ve gone through. It was Sam’s turn and Dean knew how to drive it home. It didn’t stop Sam from driving more syringes in his brother, but we understood the pain involved. When the show continues to address and tackle over their strained relationship, it brings out the best in their characters, and who knows, maybe we’re in for a comedic treat now that the worst of it is behind them, for now.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Very hard to choose as everyone had an equal number of great scenes. But Crowley and Castiel didn’t have Dean and Sam to play off of and Dean was rather predictable in his capture and how he would react. Tonight’s MVP goes to Sam. He stuck with it, and found that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t kill his brother. It helps do away with Sam’s attitude in season 9 when he point blank admitted he wouldn’t save Dean if the same life threatening encounter had happened to him. I believe this episode helped wash that away and has once more brought Sam back into the right mindset when dealing with his brother. Whenever they get torn apart, there has to be a way to bring them back together again.

The tally road so far

Dean = 2

Sam = 1

Castiel = 0

Crowley = 0

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Is closing Hell still a priority for the Winchesters or is it back to the monster of the week again?

Could Dean have been turned into a Knight of Hell and not just a demon, and how does the Mark of Cain fit now that he’s no longer demonized? Will Dean still need to kill even though he has no access to the knife?

Will Charlie ever return from Oz?

Will someone else inevitably let Metatron out of his cage?

The 200th episode will be called “Fan Fiction” I’m hoping for a few alternate takes on how events could have gone down in the universe. Hopefully there’s plenty of room for cameos like Lucifer and Death!

No sign of Cole even though we last saw him looking into demon lore. Could this spark an unexpected play with returning the demon back into Dean later this season?

 

OVERALL SCORE

The episode itself didn’t disappoint me, I just though it should have been pushed further down the season. For what they did pull off and for the story they told, I give it a 7 out of 10. Evil Dean works on a lot of ways, but perhaps not long term. An overly cocky and careless Dean has the potential of being great or stale over time, but we’ll never know now. Castiel’s performance, while solid as always, needs more plot to keep his adventure interesting without the Winchesters involved. That or shoehorn him back into the brother’s main quest, whatever that may be now. Crowley remains the best out of the four that can operate solo and keep the scenes interesting and enticing. Let him work his magic how he wants. We’ll see you at 199 next week!

 

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