A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 4×01 (Wouldn’t it be grand if this were Millennium season 4)

TO 4x01

 

SUMMARY

5 years after Klaus’s capture, Marcel continues to rule New Orleans with a truce from the witches led by Vincent. A Celtic vampire, Alistair arrives in search for Klaus for both vengeance and his blood to locate Klaus’s kindred. Out of state, Hayley discovers the last werewolf from a tribe whose venom is needed to help with Freya’s spell. After harnessing it, she wakes Freya and protects them from a pack of vampires who found them. Meanwhile, Klaus convinces Marcel to let him fight Alistair on his terms. After killing Alistair, Marcel convinces all vampires to abide by his rule and clarifies why he has kept Klaus alive. After Freya’s spell is successful, Elijah and the others are woken up and freed. Together they plan to rescue Klaus and reunite with his daughter, Hope. Within the city and in Hope’s nightmare, a symbol appears, an ouroboros which signifies the arrival of something dark and possibly witch related.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It’s ever the tale of the uneasy alliances brought forth by family, loyalty and a deep love for the city of New Orleans. Marcel finds he can’t quite escape Klaus and his pension for giving grade A villain speeches to get the point across. With TVD fresh off their finale, The Originals are now in the spotlight to carry the torch for as long as the CW will have them. The premiere was a spark of the familiar and a fresh reminder that these are the most powerful characters still beholden by human qualities and sentiments. The Mikaelsons may share what we view as good traits and a strong passion for family, but make no mistake, they’re still brutal killers and enforcers of vengeance when crossed. This was a relatively decent opening, nothing super out of the ordinary with exception of the ominous threat that neither Vincent nor Marcel was aware of. Maybe the Mikaelsons have intel on it, maybe they don’t. Until they arrive in New Orleans, we won’t get the scoop. And I suspect one or two characters from TVD will somehow someway show up in this season, Alaric and Caroline being the heavy odds.

 

THE GOOD

By not stretching out the cure Hayley needed to find, we wrapped up last season’s epic closure and can now concentrate on the next big threat, whatever powerhouse the ouroboros represents. It’s probably tied to a group of people, an old power unseen since the days of the Travelers no doubt. Magic has a lot of sway in this world and given the origin of vampires and the like, who knows what this group will do or can do. Klaus is still a prisoner but he’s by no means without a sense of looming irony, drifting in and out of Marcel’s weighing conscience. The dynamic is still strong and our characters haven’t lost any sense of who they are and what they must do. Whether or not they choose to remain in New Orleans or leave for a new life is the big question. I think we can all agree Klaus isn’t going anywhere.

 

THE BAD

It was a bit cheap not to include Kol and Rebekah in the premiere, giving some ham excuse that they went off in super-hungry mode when they woke up. Come on, writers, don’t tease us with these “guest” appearances by the siblings that still have a lot to work out on this show. And it was surprising that Marcel didn’t go red-eyes when Alistair came off with his threats if Klaus wasn’t delivered. We remember how powerful Marcel is, but from a strategic standpoint, I didn’t expect Marcel to give in to Klaus’s request so easily considering Alistair wasn’t shown to be remarkably strong, just conceited. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy routine does get a little redundant after 4 years of it. Still, Klaus showed he can handle himself as only an Original can.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

As much as I loved Hayley tearing into the vampires in her wolf form, I actually found Vincent’s talk with Klaus more impacting. The moment he mentioned Camille, you hear the score soften and Klaus’s eyes water up, knowing how much she still affects him. In some ways he may consider it a visual weakness, but his ability to care and reflect on those who believe him still good is the foundation for what makes his path so erratically complicated. If he could just get over being betrayed all the time, he might actually stand a chance at real redemption.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Gotta give it to Hayley for pulling through and finding a way to bring the family back. Not to mention, her astounding power as laying to waste a whole pack of vampires with her hybrid abilities, notwithstanding the awesome wolf form. She’s come a long way since her debut in TVD. I’d like to see that balance out more with her new role as a mother, but I’d say so far she’s doing great at the job.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Josh is still a dork, and needs new friends. Davina was always a good companion, but since he’s lasted this long, he might as well have an actual arc or a fitting end if he’s to matter more on this show. Think of Matt from TVD and how they can work out something on that.

 

At first glance, Hope seems more a conduit for predicting these big events that are incoming. One could argue, she could be a psychic, similar to Cade from TVD, but since she’s rooted in hybrid and werewolf origins, she’ll probably be more tied to those abilities assuming she’s straight up not a witch. It will also be interesting to see if she ages in real time or if her abilities make her older than intended.

 

One thing that this show does a bit poorly is introducing interesting vampires that get the one-shot approach and die within their debut. Alistair wasn’t the best new vampire on the scene, but considering some of the unique traits he possessed, I probably wouldn’t have minded if he had at least one more episode to be in. Last season we had the Mikaelson progeny and that was obviously done on purpose, but these one-off appearances make me realize too quickly what the result will be and it’s sadly a bit boring to witness. Make these bad-asses live a little longer or stop pretending to make them powerful at all.

 

In regards to relationships, the only two we’re given are re-establishing Elijah and Hayley and giving Vincent and Maxine a starting point. I’ll be keeping an eye on how many more come and go throughout this season since they probably won’t have much time to flourish given the short season they have. And if it’s the last season, who knows how they’re going to wrap things up. Will Klaus have any more chances to love outside of his grief for Camille? If she hit him hard enough, I doubt it. He’s a wounded king who loses everyone he loves. At some point you just live with that thought and concentrate on other matters, like family.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Much time has passed, but the vampire and witch citizens of New Orleans will once again trudge the storm that is the Mikaelson maelstrom. Wrapping up last season’s cliffhanger was the best way to go and we’ll get a bit more of Marcel and Vincent tearing house against Elijah and crew before everything is settled and they have to align against a bigger threat, whatever the ominous symbol represents. Hope will be a key to stopping or understanding this threat and Klaus will of course secretly plot the end of all his enemies close and far away, it’s what he does. It’s up to The Orignals to keep this world alive and on-going for at least one more season, as it stands I believe they are in good hands. Let’s make it a great one. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×16 (It was good to see you, one last time)

TVD 8x16

 

SUMMARY

While Vickie continues to ring the bell, Matt evacuates the town as Damon and Stefan confront Katherine who intends to watch the town finally burn. After recovering, Bonnie helps Alaric and the twins return to the armory and discovers Alaric’s “hail mary” plan to destroy hell with mystical energy. She intends to use the hellfire to do the job. After informing the brothers, each of them wants the other to leave town to survive, but it’s Damon who uses compulsion to make Stefan leave, finally atoning for all his past sins. With vervane in his system, Stefan leaves but returns with a syringe of his blood and injects Damon, turning him human. With the help of witches from the past, Bonnie funnels the hellfire back through the tunnels engulfing both Katherine and Stefan. In the aftermath, Stefan encounters Elena within the spell and gives her a message for Caroline before saying goodbye. Stefan finds Lexi in the afterlife as the two embrace. Some time later, Bonnie finally counteracts Kai’s spell and Elena finally wakes up. She reunites with Damon and Caroline as the group move on with their lives. Alaric and Caroline open the school with Jeremy assisting and Caroline receives a check and a letter from Klaus hoping one day they meet again. Bonnie begins a life of traveling and Damon and Elena continue their lives together. Further in the future after lives past, Elena reunites with her parents and family as Damon returns home to find Stefan welcoming him.

 

THE END

 

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Eight seasons later, all diaries have been written and the group from Mystic Falls have each fulfilled their lives to the fullest. They indeed saved the best for last, marking the way for the spin-off to conclude in ways we’ve yet to see. But for now, Elena finally returned to Damon, and Stefan made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of all. The series finale contained an insurmountable warmth that took its time to carefully examine the pieces that made these characters become the best they could in understanding and in compassion. Everyone said good-bye in their own way, continuing their lives as they should have, and well after. The concluding moments were given a very Lost-esque ending, but those are the ones that matter, when characters and find the ones they’ve lost and be with those they love. Once you make a family, you’ll find them even at the end. A crisp and heartfelt episode, that made every fan lament in happiness and thankful for the journey these vampires, witches, werewolves, doppelgangers, sirens, gypsies, and humans gave us. A damn fine job ending this series.

 

THE GOOD

I have to say, not an ounce of this episode was wasted. Everything leading up to the climactic finale with Bonnie pushing the hellfire into hell was crafted with a lot of care. Right down the witches that came to help Bonnie give her the strength she needed. It culminated in the destruction of Katherine, who maintain the final role of the villain and rightly so. Her plan went as far as it could, the rest was left to the group to turn the plan back on her and so they did. Now that hell is destroyed, all souls are free to roam and move on as intended.

 

Damon and Stefan’s war of brotherly sacrifice had come to a head with Damon seemingly winning that argument only to be undone by Stefan’s guile and ultimate sense of purpose. We knew Damon wouldn’t be the one to go, after all, he had to see Elena again and there was no way that wasn’t going to happen. The moments that led to and from were captivating and drew in the bonds that made them so memorable as characters. Each were willing to be the martyr, but Stefan won the unspoken duel. The rest was left to fate and a hope that one day they’d see each other again.

 

Nina’s dual run as Elena and Katherine scores as usual. She was the original sarcastic villain, always the jealous fit who tried to find every loophole and ability to exist in and around the afterlife. Elena’s return was as though she never left at all. Two seasons and the young actress didn’t skip a beat. Her natural charisma and heart came through complete with Katherine’s raw hatred of both brothers. One would think the two would have crossed paths one last time, but it wasn’t in the cards. Still, Elena returning capped off the show as it was meant to. Welcome back, for the final time.

 

Of course everyone (Almost everyone) returned to cameo in the finale making this a monumental good-bye including Lexi, Jeremy, Vickie, Tyler, Liz, Elena’s parents and aunt, and everyone else who affected their lives. Thank you for giving them a chance to do that, and do it in a way that really capitalized on those tears that likely came for the entire fanbase. It was one of the warmest sendoffs out there.

 

THE BAD

The only no-show was Elena’s biological mother, Isobel, played by Mia Kirshner. I thought she might walk through the door with John, but sadly, I guess she wasn’t available for the scene. That’s okay. Isobel didn’t really play that big of a role in Elena’s life and though she was compelled by Klaus to perform a lot of villain acts, I’d like to think she redeemed herself in some capacity. In any case, I felt there were no other flaws on this episode whatsoever.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I’ve been saying it for years and when Stefan walked out of the school and saw Lexi out there waiting for him, I had my moment, that necessary moment I wanted since Lexi’s last appearance. She was always my favorite vampire on this show and seeing her one last time was the perfect sendoff I needed personally. Thank you for that. And reuniting her with Stefan was also very appropriate. Excellent goodbye to those who thought she was awesome.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Ever the tough one, but this cast did a lot so let’s give it to all of them. Stefan made the ultimate sacrifice, Damon made the choice to try, Bonnie held off the hellfire, Matt and his father said goodbye to Vickie, Caroline chose to be with her daughters along with Alaric. Everyone played a part to make the best of an ending to this kind of drama and without the cast as they were, none of it would have happened. Thanks to the team of Mystic Falls for delivering that last momentous push to stop evil.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I would have thought Katherine might have gained some semblance of Cade’s power as the new ruler of hell, but being the new ruler doesn’t mean being powerful as Cade was, since he was a psychic and Katherine wasn’t. I get it, but still seemed strange that she couldn’t actually put up a fight against the Salvatore brothers.

 

Klaus’s letter reads “Dearest Caroline, I have often imagined the paths your life might take, but your chosen future is more noble than I ever fathomed. Please accept this contribution to your virtuous cause. I do look forward to thanking you in person someday…However long it takes, Yours, Klaus.

 

This was our one and only link to The Originals and it does bring some speculation that maybe we’ll see Caroline in an episode toward the end of its final run. I’d like to think someone from TVD will show up in TO, and Caroline is probably the person who it should be. After all, she’s the last vampire standing on this show, very strange considering if I was given a choice on who that would be from way back in season 1, I probably wouldn’t have picked her. Funny how that works out.

 

It’s interesting wondering what kind of occupation Damon would have undertaken now that he’s human. During a “flashfoward” Damon suffered the human fatigue of boredom and longed for the vampire life again, yet as we see him now, grown, mature, and saturated by those he cares for, I can imagine he became someone who Elena was proud of, whatever that thing ended up being.

 

OVERALL SCORE

10 out of 10. The team behind the show did their best to produce a finale that clutched at our hearts and brought finality to the group in nearly every way possible. Katherine’s last note of vengeance of denied to eternity and Stefan finally carried with him the burden of sacrifice he had been longing for. Damon’s return to humanity and reuniting with Elena was the moment everyone needed to see since everyone speculated their coupling and it was given to us along with a multitude of cameos and cherished moments to fill a whole soundtrack with. As this chapter closes, there’s one last story to tell in the world of vampires, but for now, the Salvatores and the citizens of Mystic Falls say their goodbyes to us in harmony and love. Their best episode because they helped make us care and in turn cared back. Thanks for the memories and all 8 years of neck-snapping craziness. Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next time on The Originals.

 

 

No more words

 

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×15 (Maybe Mick could invest in that algorithm program anyway)

SN 12x15

 

SUMMARY

The Winchesters track a murder to a hellhound known as Ramsey, the first of her kind and loyal to Lucifer. Two demons released her in hopes of gaining favor with Lucifer. The devil destroys them anyway after being set free and waits for Crowley to return. Meanwhile, Crowley helps Sam and Dean confront the hellhound as Castiel is persuaded by an angel to return to heaven and hear what their new leader, Joshua has to say about combining forces against Dagon and the nephilim she protects. After Sam kills the hellhound, Crowley returns to his fortress and reminds Lucifer who is in charge by explaining that his vessel has been warded to prevent him from ever escaping or harming the king of hell. Back at the bunker, Sam reveals that he’s been working with the men of letters and is surprised when Dean agrees to join them under the condition that they cut ties the second something doesn’t feel right.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

One of the more interesting themes this season is the emergence of firsts in the supernatural realm; the princes of hell and now the original hellhound to name a few.  After a series of attacks, she’s quite easily brought down much like her kind of the past. Some sparks of interest come and go including the angels rallying for a smarter offensive against hell and of course, Dean’s inclusion to the men of letters. It’s all leading to something I think will be grandiose and the pace continues to rise toward that eventual climax. The episode contained a few moments that are above average, but mostly a status quo story and a usual promise of things to come.

 

THE GOOD

Crowley is more than satisfying his role this season as a much more seasoned and strategic king of hell. Lucifer should always find his moments of darkness and scary entrances, but he’s more relegated to an animal with more bark than bite. Crowley needs to stay on top of the situation and so far he has. Whether he needs the thanks of Sam and Dean or forgiveness from his mother, one can’t truly say at the moment, but for now he’s plenty occupied in showing Lucifer who is the new boss. That’s the best version of Crowley we need right now.

 

THE BAD

I was hoping for either a stronger connection between the young woman and the hellhound or at least a more powerful hellhound capable of withstanding an angel blade. The original hellhounds were insanely savage and quite menacing in their invisible state. Outside of a short history lesson on Ramsey’s origin, there wasn’t much of a difference save for a vendetta after being hit with an axe. It was probably the most underwhelming aspect of the episode given all encompassing story surrounding it.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Crowley put Lucifer in his place at the end of the episode. Lucifer will never stop feeding his own ego and promise that he’ll make Crowley suffer, but this time, there was nothing he could do as Crowley once more made the devil his servant. And it was a smart move on Crowley’s part in making Lucifer’s vessel a personal cage. It has a sense of irony and twist that makes the king of a hell a real worthy adversary.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I think Crowley deserves it as he maintains some semblance of an alliance with the Winchesters and brought Lucifer to his knees once more. He’s learning how to be a big thinker and keeps friends and enemies closer together as the old adage goes. I hope its not the last of his plans and tricks but even so, he’s still in charge for a reason even if he tends to look bored doing it.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The angel so far has made a convincing argument for Castiel to return to the angel fold. For once I’m interested to see what will come of this meeting with Joshua. I’m not expecting a monumental shift in the angel plot thread, but at least there’s a spark of investment because Castiel really does need a home to go to, and Earth isn’t always the best one for him.

 

Lucifer’s snap kills on those two demons was good injected humor, brought by Mark’s ownership of the devil’s mind. He doesn’t need nor want minions that will betray anything and everyone for their own purpose. For now, he does everything all by himself. But shouldn’t Lucifer had known the restraint on his face wasn’t actually doing anything? I suppose headgames with the devil are just that.

 

I don’t think it will take long for Dean to suspect something off with the men of letters now that he’s open to the prospect of joining them. Sam makes good points that Dean really can’t argue right now, and until it compromises his beliefs or the family’s, he should go along for the ride. Dean doesn’t like to view the big picture, but for once, he’s considering it. We’ll see how long it lasts.

 

Still no word on the third prince of hell and his relation to the overall plot. He’ll need to make an appearance soon unless he doesn’t factor into the main villain of this season, who as it stands could still be the devil’s child, or Dagon. It can go a few ways at this point, but someone should take that mantle soon of the seasonal villain.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. A slightly above-average episode with some interesting elements both angelic and demon related. Sam and Dean take baby steps into trusting the men of letters, and Crowley reveals on of his cards involving the real control over Lucifer. The hunt for Kelly and her unborn child continues as Castiel return to heaven in hopes of solidifying a new alliance with the angel team. It may lead to something good, but odds are it won’t last long. Many things need to go wrong and I suspect the first will be Dean’s distrust of Mick and Ketch, leading to a brand civil war of some kind. If the hellhound plot had more relevance I think this episode would have been stronger for it, but as it stands, we’re one more checklist off of the origin of our more frequent minions. Until next time, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×15 (Waaaaaay too much fun handling that skull there, Damon)

tvd-8x15

 

SUMMARY

Stefan and Damon plan to bring Katherine out of hiding by initiating the wedding between Stefan and Caroline. Together, they gather Katherine’s bones and with the help of Matt’s father, fashion a dagger capable of killing her. Meanwhile, Alaric and Dorian research an alternate plan by destroying hell completely with psychic energy. Enzo convinces Bonnie to attend the wedding and share in Caroline’s happiness as Alaric brings the Gemini twins to attend the wedding as well. Matt’s mother, Kelly returns to Mystic Falls though it is revealed that she returned from hell in a limited fashion and is helping Katherine enact of plan of her own. Prior to the wedding, Kelly attacks Peter and after, sets off an explosion during the reception that encapsulates Bonnie and the twins in a house. With Enzo’s help, Bonnie discovers she still retains magic and allows the twins to siphon her allowing them to escape. Before Kelly succumbs to her expired time, she reveals to the group that not only did Katherine escape but so did Vicky, who is shown returning to the Maxwell bell and begins striking it. Stefan watches in shock as Bonnie collapses from the bell’s initial strikes.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Only a handful of moments remain as The Vampire Diaries revel in the machinations of one silent and observant Katherine, ruler of hell. The wedding theme came and went, more as a plan to lure out the enemy, but also as milestone marking the union of Caroline and Stefan. The moments were crisp and elegant in both the reflective moments and the somber background of looming events. Still absent is the lovely Nina who will only appear in the final episode, as the lone hero and villain colliding one last time. If there’s one thing this show has defined for its watchers, is that they won’t leave you without a colossal moment to shock and awe you. Does that end with Bonnie’s death? I think not. It’s only the beginning.

 

THE GOOD

Let’s start with the subterfuge of making us believe Katherine was observing the wedding and aftermath when in fact it was Vicky, complete with the curly locks familiar to young Katherine, hell’s new look. For reasons oddly considered, her involvement in the destruction of Mystic Falls makes perfect sense. After all, her death by the machinations of old-school evil Damon sparked some early controversy regarding the vampire with an obsession. Who better to convince her to wipe away the slate by annihilating the town that nearly forgot her? Revealing that instead of a watchful Katherine was a fantastic move, bottom line. The hits continue to rise and there’s no shortage or stoppage of great moments leading to the last. Will Vicky actually chime the last strike, or will she be stopped in time? How fast can Damon run?

 

The more Enzo delights in Bonnie’s presence, the more obvious it becomes that those two will exist in that dimension together forever. It’s poetic and tragic, but simultaneously necessary for Elena’s appearance. The spell placed in her only had one way of ending, and the sad truth is unless magic itself is removed completely, Bonnie won’t make it out of this series alive. And in the tale of love, she may not want it any other way. Enzo needs her, and she needs him. The world is there for them to be together, and like all love stories, when it’s powerful, it’s destined. There may be deep sadness by the group, but Elena’s return will be the silver lining.

 

THE BAD

Kelly had an odd place throughout the episode, both as a distraction from Vicky’s presence and as a general nuisance among the group. I’d forgotten about her and her role long ago and struggled to remember if she actually died on screen or behind it. After she explained the situation I understood which also led to her rant over Damon’s responsibility for killing Vicky. I suppose no one else would have made the same impact, but at the same time, the impact just wasn’t there until we all realized who the woman behind the curtain really was.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The Vicky reveal. I’ve stated my opinion in the past about supporting Vicky over Caroline as a the vampire who should have been long-lasting. This moments brings a lot of that first season full circle, something I’m glad is kept in house with Katherine as the final villain and not someone like Cade who made such a small impact on the season as a whole. Without a single line, she delivered the killing blow that may see Bonnie into the afterlife. I’m anxious to see if she’ll stop there or find some way to forgive the man who turned her to begin with.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It’s a bit of a Damon and Enzo split. Both characters supported their loved ones effectively and remarkably. Enzo was more spirited in love and confidence while Damon remained passive but authentic. His toast to the late Liz Forbes was a shining moment that illuminates Damon’s charisma and loyalty toward close friends. Enzo has somehow turned the tide with his love for Bonnie and for that I applaud his character making a difference in someone’s life that deserved happiness. They both earned it.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Based on the one brief moment shown in the final episode, we know Elena wakes and everyone isn’t on fire. Therefore it’s basically safe to say that Vicky won’t make that last strike and Bonnie’s heart will stop long enough for Elena to wake up. Whether that means Bonnie will or won’t recover remains to be seen. I guess it all depends on whether this shows wants Enzo and Bonnie to cling together now or if Enzo’s spirit will watch for years to come.

 

I can’t truly imagine any more characters succumbing to death unless Katherine herself kills Elena, which would endcap this series in a way that the Salvatores will never expect, and possibly the audience. While death scenes are a means to give us tragedy and heart-crushing moments, what’s important is whether those characters have learned the life-lesson they were meant to learn. Did they fulfill the act the show needed them to and at the end of the day, is their life complete as we understand it? If the answer is yes, then anyone can die in the final episode including the brothers themselves.

 

Okay, let’s get this theory out and about even though I haven’t purposefully looked for it online. Is Elena actually Elena, or will it be Katherine posing as her when the big wake-up scene happens? That’s the first trick Katherine played at the end of season 1 and it worked perfectly. It stands to reason that history may repeat itself and the real Elena is trapped somewhere, or worse. Katherine is reliably the smartest most devious character on this show, we all know it and she won’t just show up without making the kind of entrance that really sells the return. Having her pretend to be Elena one more time is perfect and I support that possibility. And it will really piss Damon off.

 

While The Originals has its own mythology to tell and not too long ago I thought bringing Hayley in would be cool to have, I also think having someone be in the last season of The Originals will be equal to or better. Some characters may have a story to tell outside of TVD and I wouldn’t mind watching them progress into the spin-off to satisfy that storyline. Who knows, it could really shake things in New Orleans.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. The Vampire Diaries is being careful but very smart in the last few episodes it had. Tonight, it shook up the status quo once more and brought one more old character into the fold, someone who is capable of destroying the town and that is the missing element the finale needed, widespread upheaval. It may be cut short, but the threat is there and the town is as much a part of the family as are the individuals. One last party wouldn’t be against the tradition of this show, but I hope before things are said and done, the group face real fears and dread before saving the day. Caroline got her wedding and Damon got to play with Katherine’s skull, the rest is semantics toward bringing Elena back. But will Katherine instead emerge from the coffin for one last scare? We shall certainly see. Thanks for reading. One more to go.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×14 (When Dean is the good cop, there’s something amiss)

sn-12x14

 

SUMMARY

After a falling out with her sons, Mary convinces Sam to visit a remote base housing the men of letters who are conducting a plan to eliminate the last of the vampires in the mid-western region of the country. Meanwhile, Ketch goes to Dean at the bunker and persuades him to join him on the same hunt, but just the two of them. The alpha vampire however finds the nest and takes his children to the base where Mary and Sam are. During the attack, Mick reveals the colt in his possession prompting Sam to help with a spell to turn some bullets lethal to kill the alpha. Mary is later betrayed by a fellow hunter allowing the Alpha entry into the base. With Mick’s help, Sam kills the alpha with the colt as Ketch and Dean arrive. After the remaining vampires flee, Sam agrees to join Mick’s team stating to give him time to convince Dean as well.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

There’s not much left to be said about the two-dimensional bloodsuckers within the Supernatural franchise. Benny had heart, but beyond his appearances in season’s past, the alpha was the last remnant of an interesting tale. This episodes wrapped up the major plans and gave us a very expanded view of vampiric genocide, one that impressed Sam enough to make him finally choose a side. The depths of Dean’s bruised ego was met with a stubborn Mary who offered to explain her situation only being able to do so after Dean realized who he might have lost. Most of the highlights centered on Ketch and Mick’s relationship and the powerful nature of the men of letters regarding their mission. With the colt back in play, I expect the remaining unkillable entities to make their appearance soon.

 

THE GOOD

The might and muster of the London chapter has flaws, and it was near time to expose some of them which included Ketch’s disdain over the inclusion of all the Winchesters. Mick is certainly the more diplomatic of the two, but for the first time, Ketch came down to a level that Dean understood and probably respected given their robust styles. There’s a dynamic here that I hope gets explored, because Ketch is so far very good at reading people.

 

Bringing the colt back will have significant value and destroying the alpha was the example needed to focus its raw potential. The alpha tried to come off as an immortal being with no weakness to the gun, and he was assuredly wrong on his level of importance. I do praise his willingness to get his hands dirty, but the menacing attitude really wasn’t being sold well. When Sam made a convincing argument to a being of that caliber, I was certain the alpha’s days were easily numbered.

 

THE BAD

The lackey hunter was the poorest element of the episode. I remember Aaron Douglas’s days on the fantastic retelling of BattleStar Galactica, but he didn’t shine a lot here. I can’t imagine one hunter could help the alpha stay hidden in such a way that the alpha couldn’t do it himself. Seemed like a poor excuse to give the alpha entry into the base. He should be strong enough to rip those doors off the hinges. And they didn’t connect the vampires to his bloodline like a lot of other versions do when a maker/sire/master dies, thus killing or absolving the bloodline under them. If they really wanted to end the vampire line in this series they might as well have done it here.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It was short, but Dean stepping in and showing some minor compassion for Kris, the vampire was fascinating because the style Ketch used wasn’t all that different than Dean’s when it comes to torturing information out of a creature/character. His offer to “make it quick” was a simple reminder that a creature under his view will still be put to death in favor or saving those he cares about. This should open Dean’s eyes up to the menacing will of the London chapter and that in a way, Ketch is his own doppelganger if not more properly trained.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Ketch showed some interesting development here. He went off on his own to follow on London’s request to recruit the brothers and he chose Dean, someone he thought he could convince through drink and violence. His disagreements with Mick are actually enlightening because up until recently, they seemed like a solid group. Now we know that Ketch has his own view of things but stays loyal as a practice. I do wonder how that will further change his outlook when things go from bad to worse.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The chain link fences on wheels seemed very low-security when paired up with hand-print scanners and cargo wall-style defenses. We saw two vampires make short work of the interior fences, why did they bother with scanning a dead guard’s hand? Seemed redundant.

 

When Dean practically chastised Sam for not picking a side between him and their mother, how else did Dean think Sam would react? Dean was over it, but he had to have guessed that Sam would be more sympathetic toward their mother than anything. Luckily all is well when the family comes together to fights monsters.

 

The fortified hotel was a humorous comment as the alpha strolled in unannounced. For a moment I thought there’d be a more rousing speech rather than a weak attempt at attacking the stronghold directly. The move was poorly executed in that they had no idea what to expect within the make-shift base. Claws and biting only get vampires so far. Well through chain link fences for sure.

 

I could see one aspect here follow up where all the great hunters of America rise up to face down against whatever Lucifer’s child is or represents toward this finale. It would be a tale that the London chapter could return back home with knowing the country was in good hands without them. I’d like to see something epic like that.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dean can now be upset with both his brother and mother when things don’t go his way. He has a hard time grasping decisions outside of his influence that appear as betrayal because of his nature to tackle the world’s problems with common sense and family values. Sam is ironically more objective if not equally emotional given his own challenges in life. Mary really fits into this dynamic as the person was understands the bigger picture in that destroying creatures one job at a time just isn’t as optimal as doing it with a stronger force. Supernatural is carrying more weight this season based on those driving values than ever before and I like the dynamic these three represent. The alpha was a statement that the colt is back in town, ready and capable of killing powerful entities, but with every topic brought up about the “5 things” it can’t kill, one has to wonder when the next one will show up. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×14 (That was a lot of 90’s references)

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SUMMARY

After Kai bargains his freedom from Cade using Elena, Cade sends Damon to retrieve the dagger from Kai. With Stefan’s help, they stop Kai but when Stefan reveals his plan to use the dagger on Cade, Damon intervenes to protect Elena. Meanwhile, Kai is held at the armory but his siphon power allows him to escape as he subdues Caroline and hunts for the Gemini twins. Stefan knocks out Damon and confronts Cade alone while Alaric uses the bell to incapacitate Cade. It almost works until Alaric is called back to the armory to stop Kai. Damon arrives and Cade forces him to choose between saving Stefan and Elena whose coffin is on fire. Damon chooses himself as Cade makes him stake himself. Afterward, Cade meets Damon in the afterlife but is found by Bonnie who attempts to stop Cade with her psychic powers. She struggles until Stefan successfully stabs Cade with the dagger, ending his immortal existence. Alaric and Kai fight in the caves until Caroline recovers and stops Kai. Damon later convinces Stefan to stay and atone with those he loves which causes Stefan to return to Caroline and propose to which she accepts. Kai is later seen in a new dimension created by Bonnie for his eternal torment. Before she leaves Kai informs her that he lost a bet in believing he’d be the next ruler of hell after Cade when in fact the new ruler is Katherine. Bonnie tells Damon and the two realize the vengeance they’re in for when she finds them.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I had been holding out hope that Katherine would make one final appearance ever since the scene when Georgie was pulled into hell occurred. The situation was too eerily similar and called for the theory outright. Now we know for sure that Nina will be once more both Katherine and Elena in the final episodes of TVD. As far as the climactic finale with Cade and Damon’s sacrifice, it was an awesome convergence of moments mostly there for Damon’s most prolific act as a sacrificial hero. Stefan got to deliver the killing blow to Cade and also swear featly to the great Caroline…er, I mean propose to the woman he loves. Our wedding episode is finally on the horizon and the promise of greater evil to arrive. All in all, it was not too shabby of an episode which included a few zingers from Kai and a new torturous hell for him and him alone.

 

THE GOOD

Damon’s reached the pinnacle of his character, he might have a few more drops of solace before he and Elena are reunited, but for now, I’d say he’s hit the peak of his development. When he’s the one passing the wisdom of atonement to Stefan, you know the world has gone crazy, but in the grand scheme of vampire experience, he’s right in every detail. If anyone believed for a second that Damon was going to be permanently killed this close to the finale, then they were tricked, because it wasn’t going to happen. I will say that his majestic reappearance was completely ridiculous, but this show can seriously do what it wants as there are only two episodes left. His body was staked, it shouldn’t have been healed regardless of Damon’s soul getting thrown back into it.

 

Kai embellished the nature of his evil and for that, he gives all his scenes more flavor than what we’re used to seeing and that really pompous villains with sarcastic quips. At least Kai is referential and amusing to a fault. His original death was sudden but adequate; however this new ending for him is much grander and returns him back to the mental anguish he had been condemned with since his first appearance. The scope of this punishment is much more deserving even though he thought he’d have the last laugh.

 

THE BAD

Cade should have thought forward enough to bring hell on earth. But that would have been too expensive and so the closest we got was the potential annihilation of Mystic Falls by way of 11 bell chimes. There should have been more with this wicked villain, but there wasn’t. He was nothing more than a very personalized bad guy who was more concerned about the solitary punishment he wanted to give rather than the global one. I promise had the situation called for a moment of Armageddon, Katherine could still make an impression through that fiery drama. Aw well. Cade served what little purpose he had in putting Stefan back on the right course. Now nobody is afraid of hell.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

There was a few that stood out, but you can’t deny the chilling atmosphere brought on by Damon’s calling of Katherine’s name as Bonnie peppered the act with her own warning on the subject. You couldn’t have asked for a more captivating segment, the kind fans need to really feed into that delicious moment when the most devious vampire makes her return to rattle the Salvatore’s one last time. Now we can theorize that Katherine will kill Caroline by the end. Unless this show wants all the happy endings.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Damon absolutely deserves it. In choosing himself, he relents on that happiness and confronts hell face forward, something he had been dreading the entire season. This culminated into act of staking himself, something we probably never thought we’d see. And he didn’t really think twice on the matter. Using a piece of Elena’s coffin has some poetry in it, but suffice it to say, he put his best vampire foot forward and stuck it where it counted instead of using some clever loophole or trick to stop Cade. Hat’s off to the man for staying true.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Those 90’s references include the following:

  • Kai sung the instrumental version of Guns N Roses “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” which was from the album “Use your Illusion II,” produced in 1991.
  • Kai said to Caroline “Hello Clarice” a reference to Hannibal’s line to Clarice Starling in the film “Silence of the Lambs” also in 1991.
  • Cade tells Stefan to “Go to hell” in which Stefan replies “You first”. Now this is a rather cliché line, but more importantly it’s the same lines used in the film “Lethal Weapon 3” when Riggs confronts and kills Travis in the finale. This film was released in 1992.
  • And finally…Kai’s song of choice in hell was “Two Princes” from “The Spin Doctors” off the album “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” which debuted in 1991.

If the bell had the ability to disrupt Cade, why didn’t he have someone dismantle it? Did he forget that it was still around after it brought him back? And come to think of it, why did it have any affect on him at all? Maybe this is why he never had it rung 12 times again by Matt or his father. Seems oddly convenient it could hurt him at all.

 

Alaric knows now that the armor needs to be emptied before of all that magical stuff before it becomes a school, right? Who technically owns that property now that everyone in that family was killed off?

 

I do hope they give enough of an explanation for Katherine’s return that she has both motivation and ability to wreck shop when she returns. Not that I would ever complain to have Katherine back I just think it could be a weak argument that she just happens to be “next in line” after Cade’s fall that would make it feasible for her to rule hell after his death.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Cade’s story is done and now we have a few more dimensions which includes one that Enzo is currently stuck in. If the romance fits, Bonnie will end there with him when she eventually passes which brings anyone’s guess as to how Elena will be brought back outside of that specific condition. Things could get very murky in the finale notwithstanding Katherine’s revenge which we’re all just happily waiting for. Tonight’s episode was a gift for Damon to face his fears and make choices that put him as one of the truer heroes on the show regardless of his historic and violent past. The Salvatore’s deserve peace in their own rights and soon they’ll either achieve it or die in the attempt. Now that Damon’s already done that, we’re ready to see if Stefan will follow, or live happily in matrimony with Caroline, who is absolutely ready to marry that guy. I expect a lot of subplot wrap-ups next week and plenty of good byes. Who knows, maybe we’ll get an extra cameo or two, and for the sheer will of it, I’m hoping Lexi is one of them. Thanks for reading. Two more to go.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×13 (What Gavin didn’t tell them was they didn’t have to get on the boat at all)

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SUMMARY

Sam and Dean track a series of teacher murders to an old ghost named Fiona who had stowed away on the ship that Crowley’s son, Gavin was supposed to be on before being sent to the future by Abaddon. Together with Gavin, the brothers surmise that in order to make things right, Gavin has to return to his time and allow events to transpire as they originally intended. Crowley intervenes but Rowena stops him. Meanwhile, Kelly is found and attacked by two angels but then saved by Dagon, who assures her protection under her care. Later, Sam and Dean return Gavin to his time reverting the murders which causes Crowley to once more hate his mother who wanted Gavin to leave so that Crowley could feel the loss of a child like she did when forced to kill Oscar. After testing new weapons from Mr. Ketch, Mary returns to the bunker and finally tells her sons that she’s been working with the british men of letters. Unsettled by this development, Sam and Dean decide to hear her explanation. It is also revealed that Crowley purposefully diverted Lucifer’s soul into his old vessel as a means to keep him prisoner. Lucifer is not only aware of his son’s continued existence but that Dagon has found him.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Most filler episodes have a tendency to silo themselves against the main plot and mostly focus on either an aspect of dissention among the brothers, or on the characters specifically designed to carry the story for that short time span. I really enjoyed the overlapping subplots that not only continued in a forward direction, but also stopped to remind you about certain facets such as Rowena’s well kept anger over losing her adopted child not too long ago. I’m also one of those fans who normally don’t like the ghost episodes that are produced over the last few seasons, but this was a good example of a ghost plot that not only had relevance but also held a certain romantic quest outside of the typical revenge plot. Great developments all around, notwithstanding the only strange development in Dagon’s interest in Kelly and her unborn child.

THE GOOD

The main element here was the concept of family and what it means to pull together as well as tear itself down. Mary couldn’t exclude her sons from her activities any longer and finally let them in on her situation. It isn’t pretty, but at least there’s dialogue about it now rather then later when things go really sour. And they will. And then there’s Crowley and Rowena. At times I’ll forget certain things that have happened but knowing Rowena harbored such raw feelings over losing Oscar to help Crowley meant there really was no way for them to come to terms. Maybe now they’re even, but I doubt Crowley will ever see it that way. That kind of continuity is great to pull out during the appropriate times and this was one of them.

Mr. Ketch is astute judge of character as he remarked about Mary’s state of being when she’s engaged as a hunter versus a caring mother. His organization is appealing to that aspect of her life and it’s no surprise she’s intentionally hiding herself from it. The struggle is real for her and taking the first step in telling her sons about her involvement is an interesting step toward fighting against that nature, but I doubt it’s the last time we’ll see her so driven to that hunting style. She wants to keep that passion away from Sam and Dean when it’s so clear they’d rather see it then pretend it’s not there.

THE BAD

Dagon’s arrival in Kelly’s moment of fear means there are more layers of evil going on here than perhaps we’re aware of. It’s entirely possible, Dagon is pretending to help Kelly for her own purposes and has a dark agenda to set forth that involves the nephilim, however a case can be made that she’s genuinely interested in keeping the child safe from harm and using it for some purpose other than a power struggle. What doesn’t translate well is Dagon’s personality to begin with. Azazel and Ramiel had very similar personality, and now Dagon is way on the opposite end, sounding and acting very human-like despite being a prince of hell. She isn’t devious, or has any traits that make her stand out. All in all, she seems normal and that’s not what I expect from that kind of powerful and ancient character. Again, if she’s deceiving Kelly then we know what we’re in for.

FAVORITE MOMENT

The scene where Rowena stops Crowley after Gavin decides to go back in time and save Fiona. By all accounts, the plan itself was ridiculous, because all Sam and Dean had to do to verify the tether was destroy the locket. If it didn’t work, then they’d know and maybe time travel would be a possibility later. To play on the romantic nature of the dilemma, Gavin decided to return and Crowley wouldn’t have it. You could really see the hurt in his eyes when Rowena stopped him, taking away his one good link to the human world. I can promise, no one owes anyone anything from here on out.

CHARACTER MVP

With as much of a spread as there was on characters, I’d give it to Mary this week strictly because of the decision to include her sons in on her involvement with Ketch and the MOL. I’d have changed my mind if she held off only because it would have led her down a possible darker road. This way, everything it out in the open and she remains honest about keeping family first. If the season continued to market her as an untrustworthy mother, it could lead to some stranger stories down the road where Dean gives that look more often with disastrous results. This way, Mary holds onto that value of family longer and hides that inner hunter that Ketch believes wants to be free.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Let’s get into the Lucifer side-plot. Mark as always is amazing at the devil. He’s embellishing at this point, but that’s fine. His omniscience over the state of his unborn child means he’s in the know on what’s happening and probably what’s going to happen. His chilling admission that Crowley won’t see his end coming means a number of things. To be speculative, if the devil’s son has anything to do with dethroning him, I imagine the child will be in a state of absolute power quite quickly, or Sam and Dean will have something to do with it, and in that case, maybe he would see it coming. In any case, Lucifer is just biding his time. He’s a patient little archangel.

Now that we’ve seen Dagon, it shouldn’t be long before we’re given a front row seat to Azmodeus’s intro. I’m not expecting a demi-god of immense power, in fact I’m actually predicting something far more sillier, something akin to Gabriel, because angelic and demonic beings are either on one extreme or the other in personalities. I’d prefer if Azmodeus was more like old-school Azazel, but then again, maybe they can do something different and unique here.

It’s still anyone game on how this season will culminate. Will Sam and Dean get captured and taken to England? Will the Men of Letters play any part in the fight against Lucifer and the nephilim? So far, these two sides haven’t measured up against each other with the exception of the presidential episode but that was more for showcasing what kind of tech Ketch had on him. Still, there needs to be a strong climax with all players interacting including the angels and demons if this is going to get seriously interesting.

Have we ever really covered if time gives ghosts more power to work with? Fiona proved to be a little more juiced than most ghosts, but also having much to do with anger and revenge, I wonder if being a ghost for centuries would give that entity more potency or if it’s all strictly revenge that powers the battery of the undead.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Supernatural compiled aspects of the main plot with a stand-alone ghost story that not only mixed well, but gave us an engaging storyline that brought in Crowley’s son and Rowena’s hidden anger. Lucifer is biding his time and Dagon is masterfully aligning with Kelly and her unborn son. A lot happened tonight and it almost seemed like there wouldn’t be that much development. Surprises all around. Our last prince of hell is still m.i.a, but the way things are going, he’ll make an appearance sooner rather than later. Mary gave her sons the trust they deserve and though they’re understandably defensive over her actions, they’re at least listening and that’s what the family does. Excellent episode and another great one for the season. Please keep them coming. Thanks for reading.

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