A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 11×20 (Funny, he doesn’t look like Alanis Morissette, but he does sing)

SN 11x20

 

SUMMARY

At the end of his rope, Metatron is summoned to a bar where he finds Chuck who reveals to him that he’s God. Elated at first, Metatron helps God proofread an autobiography which goes through a massive edit after several criticisms. During that time, Metatron confronts God on why he abandoned everyone and even calls him a coward for doing so. God lashes out but soon comes to a conclusion as he finishes his new draft. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean follow Amara’s destructive path to Idaho where the darkness fog inhabits the townsfolk there. As Sam becomes infected, Dean is immune but refuses to leave his brother’s side. As they are surrounded by the infected, the fog suddenly clears and everyone who was infected or died by Amara’s influence is returned to normal. Sam and Dean discover the amulet that activates in God’s presence is shining bright. They find Chuck outside as he announces they need to “talk.”

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

When creating a human version of the most powerful character in the existence of human-kind, a writer has to tone down one of two things, Omniscience, or Omnipotence. In the case of Chuck, it’s Omniscience with a hint of Omnipotence and that makes Supernatural’s God a fallible mess. That’s good though as it humanizes the concept and makes him undoubtedly relatable, but what’s important to the story is that after 11 years, Sam and Dean now will understand who they’ve been trying to find and what he’s all about. This episode is very much part meta and part mist with no direct connection between the two until the end when God finally decides to intervene against Amara’s destructive wave. It pokes fun at the show’s concept multiple times but finds itself cornered on every default cliché topic when someone confronts the Almighty. Luckily, they chose the right guy because Dean would have come out the gate by calling God a coward, but we’ll get to that down the line. As unpopular as it may sound, I’d want the show to end on this season considering there’s no more up to go, unless you tackle the paradox of where did these ungodly siblings come from?

 

THE GOOD

The interaction between Metatron and Chuck was spot on. The laid-back humorous Chuck prances back and forth between non-chalant, and “choose-your-words-carefully” that makes him rather unpredictable in his “not-quite-all-knowing” personality. Is it all rib though? Is he still method acting the part of how a human would if it “believed” it was god? Who knows. What stands out is Metatron’s focus on the “why’s” and Chuck’s avoidance through many topics including his sister and what he really wants to discuss. Finally past the desperation, Metatron serves of much more surgical purpose in helping God redraft his autobiography which he feels needs truth rather than fluff. While the ending is hidden from us, one can possibly extrapolate many scenarios that deal with God permanently leaving humanity by this season’s end, something I think is required in a show where humanity needs to evolve on its own.

 

THE BAD

Sam and Dean’s cookie-cutter run through the Idaho fog of zombie-ness was too distracting from the juicer bits between Chuck and Metatron. I would have fancied the entire plot take place in that bar with snippets of Sam and Dean played out through the broadcasts that Chuck summoned. I don’t think we would have lost a step on Earth and the plight that was taking place. But that would have removed us too far from the brothers and I can somewhat understand why they needed to stay front and center. Still, every cut back to the Winchesters what when I felt like tuning out. Luckily those scenes didn’t last long.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

From the moment Chuck started singing to the final line of the episode. It was very poetic and engaging how Metraton’s face understood what God was trying to write and how that interpreted into the lyrics of his “farewell” which transferred into his appearance in front of the brothers as he saved the city within a flash. Now we’re dealing with beyond creation and while Sam and Dean will probably grill Chuck with all the “what the hell’s” and “do something you dick” comments, it’s setting up a great start into the final episodes of the season.

 

CHARACTER MVP

You’d think Chuck, but honestly, though his part was very malleable and fun to see, Metatron kept the situation real to our expectations and spoke through us in the frustration of figuring this show’s “God” out. He never wavered in his inquisitive nature, and didn’t seek to gain anything more than just a simple understanding of the nature of why. I have to give him credit for being very stand-up with humanity and being that voice for them while God surmised his experiments were failures and was ready to let Amara clean the slate for him.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

One thing they either purposefully cheapened out on or wanted to tone down the omnipotence was Chuck’s reaction to being called a coward. Out of all the simple and crass things to do, he simply force-pushes Metatron through the bar doors to the outside. Oh, come on, put some more effort into that. Metatron should have been pushed through a billion realities with the cosmos crashing down on his brain, but maybe that’s too much for the guy to handle. The fact that God can be fazed by such words is interesting, though he is method acting for the most part, so the scenes say.

 

Easter Egg reference. Chuck mentions “Revolution” as another title alongside of “Supernatural” which was a show on NBC created by Eric Kripke that lasted only two seasons unfortunately. Bonus points for Metatron mentioning Supernatural needing a reboot. I believe it.

 

I’m actually surprised Sam didn’t mention anything about needing to be cleansed by fire when he was infected. Maybe he just didn’t have time to think on it, but I feel it’s a bit of a plot inconsistency. I know the goal was to sell the desperate moment that Dean was feeling, but he chose not to leave his brother regardless of the consequences, which is always endearing but I wasn’t feeling the impending loss because by this point in the show, these two characters are impervious to anything evil has to offer. Stop trying to make me feel like one of them is going to perish. Just do it if you’re going to do it already.

 

One aspect they’re not diving into just yet is Chuck’s ability to exist in all points of time as probably a complete overlord of the cosmos is capable of doing. His nature thus far has been to avoid dealing with Amara’s choice to end humankind because he just doesn’t want to deal with it. Words are thrown around like “responsibility” and “disappointment” to further instill in us how Chuck reacted and a little bit on how selfish he was acting like when he declared the story was about him. The second an almighty character starts talking, he can be proven wrong by the wit and perseverance of the human brain and since Metatron has had that going for him lately, he’s the voice of reason here and if anything, they’re really painting us a picture that no being is perfect by any stretch even when you have absolute creation at the palm of your hand.

 

Also, it’s good to know that the fan service continued as Chuck was always the odds on favorite to be labeled as this show’s primordial creator. To pull some weird twist on us with someone else likely wouldn’t have been received as well, and it made sense to give it to Chuck, he’s been fantastic in his few appearances so far and he’ll likely steal some scenes before we’re done with season 11.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. It’s always a sigh of relief when the show finally tackles burning questions and year-long debates on how certain plot elements will go down. Giving “God” a face and an attitude to match is risky because writing a character of that magnitude means making things around that character very simple whether its the pleasures of music which Chuck proclaims is the best trait of humanity while Metatron once said it was stories. I think the two go hand in hand, but what’s important to the show is a seemingly benevolent being is finally getting into the ring with the stars of the show, and the looks on their faces when they saw him were priceless. Now things are going to get interesting. This should be a fan-favorite across the seasons as it answers questions and reveals what we’ve always known. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 6×02 (Turns out he was only mostly dead)

GOT 6x02

 

SUMMARY

Through the power of the Three-Eyed-Raven, Bran wanders through a past Winterfell where his father is still a child training with his brother Benjen and sees Lyanna for the first time. One of the Raven’s followers tells Meera to help Bran as eventually they will leave. Meanwhile, the wildlings arrive and help Davos expel Alliser from the wall. Once situated, he calls to Melisandre and asks she attempt to resurrect Jon. Though reluctant at first she tries but appears unsuccessful. In Meereen, Tyrion shows Varys that the dragons shouldn’t be kept chained and unchains them. They show no signs of hostility toward Tyrion who is relieved. In Winterfell, Ramsey murders his father Roose upon hearing the birth of his brother and then has the mother and child killed by dogs. As Brienne tells Sansa that she saw Arya, Theon then informs her that he’s returning him to the Iron Islands. At the Islands, Victarion Greyjoy returns and throws his brother King Balon over a bridge during a storm and killing him. At King’s Landing Tommen reunites with his mother Cersei and hopes she’ll help him be a strong king again. At Myrcella’s funeral, Jaime confronts the High Sparrow who is protected by his followers. Across the sea, Arya is once more confronted by the woman but is then taken in by another assassin who looks like Jaqan. At the wall, when everyone leaves after Melisandre’s attempt at resurrection, Jon is seen waking up with Ghost at his side.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’m not going to parade around and pretend the internet wasn’t completely on top of their game about Jon’s return. I think it was more about how long it was going to take and whether Melisandre was going to be up to the task. Luckily, the fans got what they wanted and even though resurrection shouldn’t be messed with, Jon will make a speedy recovery and now he’s “technically” off his loyalty to the wall. Though I’m not certain that will be of any concern moving forward. I think the most surprising moment here was what Ramsey did to his father and subsequently the mother and son afterward. There’s cruel and despicable and then there’s Ramsey Snow. You can rest assured it will be Snow vs Snow just like Cleganebowl is still a thing. Let’s just hope Sansa makes it to the wall before anyone finds her, like that no-show Littlefinger, who is still mysteriously absent from this season.

 

THE GOOD

Jon’s return is too obvious of a good thing. After all the trials and inescapable deaths that this show has caused it was high time they gave one back to the fans and for once, the show acquiesced. Hopefully the cold kept his body in a state that he could afford to be dead for that long, and who knows, maybe he’ll have a connection the white-walkers he didn’t before. Now that would be an interesting addition to his being back.

 

The two other major deaths were of Balon and Roose, two characters trying to hold onto some lordship and wouldn’t you know, their direct kin caused their deaths. Balon was a bit late as his death in the books was more glossed over in telling but it was if I recall one of Stannis’s three kings that he had Melisandre curse with her spell, the other two being Renly and Joffrey. That death was shot well, but wasn’t very impactful unlike Roose who Ramsey decided was more a threat than ever and knifed him in the gut as personal thanks for always thinking of him as his first son. It propels Ramsey into full on villain with an actual army at his disposal.

 

Also, welcome back to Bran who is already well on his way to shifting through time to experience the days of old. We were teased short scene with young Ned and Lyanna which could spell more secrets in the future as Bran is essentially the only character who can piece together the truth of Jon’s lineage but right now he doesn’t know and isn’t searching for it. But this is a good start to giving us that Sean Bean cameo later in the season we’re all expecting in another flashback. Who knows.

 

THE BAD

With every scene constructed in its unique and short way it’s a shame that the rotation of these stories pick up and continue no discernible way to determine when which plots will co-exist into one final arc. Will anything happening in King’s Landing truly matter by the time the White-Walker War begins? One could speculate that Tyrion and Dany will return to Westeros and their first stop will have to be King’s Landing on their way North, but the thing about predicting stories like these is that it doesn’t exist except in the realm of Jon’s return. This is also speculative but with Sansa and Brienne making their path toward the Wall I am absolutely expecting something to happen where Sansa gets veered off course for one reason or another and is never reunited with Jon. However she is a Stark and since Ramsey is searching for her, who knows how this will play out. Hopefully she’ll be in a position to be of use as right now she still isn’t becoming part of the “game” as it is so plainly known.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

It’s more outside of Jon’s return and centered around Melisandre’s new found vulnerability in not knowing what to believe or what to trust in her visions. Originally, I would have thought she would just know how to conjure a return of the dead, but it makes more sense that her abilities weren’t rooted in that kind of power. Now that she knows she has them what’s to prevent her from rezzing up anyone and everyone who takes a bad stab to the gut by her side? She didn’t seem to be drained of any energy by the attempt, but who knows, she’s good at hiding things like that.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Once again, Davos pulls through and is the one person who puts all the right people where they need to be to make the Wall safe and secure and even convinces a woman he’s learn to hate to do what she’s meant to do and help Jon. This guy is seriously more than an MVP, he’s a staple of the north now and will unquestionably do the right thing which means he’ll probably die by this season’s end, but now Melisandre can probably bring him back if such a thing were to happen. I know, that’s probably thinking way too far ahead. But he really is burying his issues with her and that’s commendable.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Some new information came to us in Hodor’s origin in that he used talk and act normal which suggests he went through some traumatic event to make him the man we’ve known him to be all this time. Interesting little mystery thrown at us which begs the question, why Hodor? Is he or has he tried saying something else all this time, some clue into the past that Bran is meant to understand or any Stark for that matter?

 

Tyiron’s assumption that the dragons had great intelligence was put to the test, but he passed with flying colors though I half-expected Missandei to accompany him as he kept asking about her time spent with the dragons. I didn’t think he’d face the dragons alone, but that’s what happens when you’re plied and the first thought is “I want to hang out with some dragons. Points for Peter’s acting when he finally touches a dragon for the first time. You can tell Tyrion’s been wanting to do that all his life.

 

Not that it wasn’t a cool scene but when how did the Mountain (Robert Strong) hone in on the guy who told the raunchy story about Cersei? I can’t imagine anyone reporting to him or telling him, “Hey, go kill anyone who bas mouth’s the king’s mother. Seemed that was thrown in there just to keep us remembering who she has guarding her at all times. This will come into play later no doubt.

 

Jaime’s confrontation with the High Sparrow gave the interesting premise that at any point he could storm King’s Landing the take over if the seven gods willed it I imagine. There’s still the political versus religion vibe here and now that Jaime’s involved, he’s quickly learning that simply threatening to kill won’t earn him any brand of servitude from someone like the High Sparrow. All I’m expecting here is Jaime and Cersei planning to completely decimate the High Sparrow and all his followers, but probably going with more covert techniques. They might as well follow Tommen’s advice and bring down the entire sept.

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if this particular persona that’s leading Arya is in fact the real Jaqan. In fact, whenever I see one I’m just going to say that until I’m eventually right. Although it doesn’t really matter, such names mean nothing in that business and once Arya begins changing, she’ll look just like him too. Weird thought of the day.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. I’m a Jon and they brought him back which really wasn’t asking much considering this was the only telegraphed play they made since the show started and they’ve surprised us a lot in the past. A few deaths for some characters who essentially deserved it came to pass and all in all, this episode gave us a lot of positive momentum which is rarely seen. Granted Ramsey is still the prime evil concern, but he’s moving pieces in a desperate way because he’s impatient and insane. He won’t be prepared for the wildlings and the giants. Bran’s return marks some interesting scenes that will undoubtedly come in the form of crazy flashback sequences that could be anything at this point so the fan theories should skyrocket after this episode which I’m looking forward to reading. By next week, we’ll see Jon back in action and hopefully he’ll get some much needed payback against Allliser and Olly. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 3×19 (Sometimes inspiration is all we have)

TO 7x19

 

SUMMARY

Camille escapes Lucien and goes to Klaus revealing her bite. While Vincent collects blood left by Lucien when Camille escaped, Hayley and Elijah retrieve Hope in case Lucien’s blood is not a cure. Even after drinking it, Camille worsens as Davina finds Lucien and attempts to use magic to compel him to speak of a cure. Lucien continues to resist as he has the power of the ancestors helping him and tells Davina that Kol is hiding a secret before allowing her to leave. Klaus conjures a dream-like illusion of beautiful New Orleans for he and Camille to wander through. When Hope’s blood doesn’t help either, Camille is resigned to her fate but is very afraid to die. Davina discovers that the spell that brought back Kol is also making him want to kill her. He has Davina dagger him to keep him desecated until he can be saved. In Klaus’s illusion, Camille tells him to be the light for his child before succumbing to death. Everyone says their goodbyes as Davina returns to Kol’s body. A sudden earthquake somehow releases Kol from slumber and he viciously attacks Davina draining her blood. When he regains his senses he’s horrified to see Davina dead in his arms.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be two death’s on this episode mainly due to the amount of prep time they were giving Camille. As strong a character as she was, there simply wasn’t enough momentum leading to her death considering the last time they pulled that trick on us several episodes ago. In any case, they exemplified a common tactic used on this show and it’s sibling, TVD when creating elongated goodbyes to characters who have sustained mortal injuries. Lots of music, lots of heartfelt sentiments, and that one character who is silently swearing an insane amount of vengeance. For once, they stuck the character’s in a no-win situation selling even more the potency of Lucien’s bite and the possibility of even more character deaths by the time this season has run its course. Was Davina’s death necessary and is she really dead? We’ll get very much into that.

 

THE GOOD

The last time they did this kind of major death with the supposed intention of truly killing off the character was Jeremy from TVD. Even that was an emotional tear for everyone involved, and this scenario seemed very similar, the same could be said for Katherine, but let’s be realistic, almost everyone hated her. In this case, if they stick to their guns and keep Camille dead, then this absolutely needs to be the catalyst with what does bring out the light in Klaus. He has a very hard choice to make and while I’m certain he’ll be very vengeful and angry over the course of these next few episodes, there’s hope, literally, that he’ll change for and be the man Camille hopes he will be. Sometimes it’s a character’s death that starts that path for characters like Klaus who don’t get to suffer loss because they’re so busy playing king they don’t consider the pain involved in truly letting people in. This is a tragic first step, but a necessary one if Klaus is going to have any kind of serious change in his archetype.

 

THE BAD

Throwing in a Davina death is a bit overkill. I knew something more was going to happen but I’m not certain we need a Davina death right this very second. She’s been dead before, so this isn’t new, but the way Kol ravaged her neck suggests that she simply can’t be healed by his blood. Instead she’s stares lifelessly and he cries out in grief. Now, it’s not that I don’t mind a Davina death. She has had her moments, and terrific character growth over the course of three seasons, but considering how finite Kol’s existence is, he’s bound to expire sooner rather than later leaving Marcel as the only person who is truly going to mourn this loss, oh and Josh if you want to count him too. In fact, if anything, this will probably overshadow the afterward of Camille’s passing not to mention the tirade Klaus and Marcel will go through to see justice be done. Vincent will be of course devastated, but he’s still relatively new and even more of an expendable character than anyone else left on the show right now. I just think this was the wrong time and probably should have been saved for a finale death, unless they’re cooking up an even bigger cast member. Hopefully not Rebekah.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Those last moments with Klaus and Camille before she died. Seeing Camille show such a heightened sense of fear made her one of the most human-vampires ever on the show and though she was always scared to be used as a pawn for being so weak it’s a shame that that’s what ended up happening. But here, Klaus does his best to console her and promises she’ll be at peace. And it was fitting that he lost his senses for a moment as the people in his illusion started disappearing and then came back after she reassured him. Klaus is very shook up by all this and it’s safe to say he isn’t going to love anyone new like this for quite some time. Good scenes they shared at the end.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone tried to help Camille but Klaus is the one who made her the most comfortable. He could have spent all his time hunting down Lucien and demanding a cure be found or using Aurora to force Lucien to save Camille somehow, but he didn’t. He stayed his hand and did his best to relieve Camille of the pain that was crushing her and managed to hold up to the bitter end. While in the end, she made it about him, he understood what she meant to him and hopefully will use that to make changes in his life that include not being an evil prick every few episodes. Time will tell.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

As I went through the rolodex of possible cures/loopholes in my mind, it appears they did too right down to the two more obvious solutions of, put Camille’s soul in another pendant, or switch Camille’s body with an innocent. Surprisingly, if you really pay attention to how afraid Camille was, I’m starting to think she would have been okay with the soul swap. Hell, Klaus would have been okay with the soul swap.

 

So is Davina really dead? While I hope yes, I’m thinking no. They’ve established an afterlife and since Kol was in that realm, Davina will likely roam around in it to actually face the ancestors. Then I looked at the promo for next week and realized they are doing exactly that, who knew. So there you go, she’ll be back.

 

I’m a bit disappointed that they had this earthquake which I thought would reveal something crazy ancient and more evil than Lucien, then they head-faked us and showed Kol was released and back to being feral. Those two points did not intersect well and I wish they had done it differently.

 

Did Camille really know Josh well enough to give him her record collection through a will? That seems overtly nice and maybe a touch too centric around supernatural entities. Shouldn’t Camille have human friends she’s gained over the years that deserve her things more? Just a thought.

 

You know, if Camille had drank that vile concoction instead of the bourbon, they probably would have had an extra 30 minutes to roam beautiful New Orleans. Klaus is always distracted by drinks that are more suited to Damon Salvatore.

 

Whether it was intentional or not, Klaus and Camille didn’t kiss once while they were in his illusion of New Orleans. Interesting idea considering how meaningful that would have been for Klaus to have that last moment. Yet there it is, his dedication to her meant not making it about himself.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. The second time finally went through as the death of Camille will either shatter the resolve of the Mikaelson’s or make it even stronger than before. It was done with the kindness and carefulness that are always given to characters who have had a long lasting performance and are meaningful to the group as a whole. They did right by keeping Lucien mostly out of this episode so as to not distract from Camille’s passing and an wedge for Klaus to drive further with his family by hunting him. As the threat becomes more real, they’ll soon realize what they are really up against and then see what they are capable of. Davina’s passing is meant to show the antagonists from the other side of the veil and hopefully the crew down on Earth will find a way to save her or at the very least use her to fight the ancestors. Next week threatens the life of Rebekah so we can expect another cameo from her and the very horribly real possibility that she’ll be next on Lucien’s hit list. If that happens, all bets are off for Elijah, Klaus, and Elijah to wreck hell on their dimension against all those on Lucien’s side. The war is getting bigger but one element still remains, at some point, Klaus will leave town, but will he do so out of grief or out of transcendence. Right now, we simply don’t know. Goodbye Leah Pipes, you did great as Camille, someone who found a bright spot in the darkest soul and made it shimmer again. That deserves all the credit in the world. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 7×20 (Now that’s a twist I can get behind)

TVD 7x20

 

SUMMARY

While Enzo and Damon continue killing vampires, Matt discovers through Stefan’s compulsion that he had accidentally killed Penny in the forest near Mystic Falls at night believing her to be a vampire. Stefan had tried to save her but couldn’t and compelled Matt to believe she died in a car wreck. Damon, realizing he can’t kill all the vampires in time to save Bonnie decides to make a deal with Alex to open the vault in exchange for her people to kill the remaining vampires. When Bonnie refuses, Alex reveals she has Caroline and Alaric. Finally committing, Bonnie opens the vault which reveals an ancient force that controls those who enter and turns them into killers. Bonnie locks Alex in her mansion through a spell and accepts she will die. At the cabin, Damon takes Rayna to a secluded location and has a descendant of the tribe that made her perform the spell to transfer her life force. In a twist, Rayna reveals the spell will turn Bonnie into a vampire killer driven to destroy and then kills herself. Bonnie then wakes up, presumably changed.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Outside of the distracting no-nonsense kills in random cities, tonight’s episode had a pure and focused goal which was to find a way to save Bonnie from certain death at the hands of Rayna’s blood virus. The subplot of Penny’s mysterious death closes the book on every flashback we’re likely to see and gives Matt more tragedy to endure having lost so many people in his life. I’d agree with Damon’s assessment on the matter of saving Bonnie at the cost of her hating him forever but as always things don’t always end the way he wants them to and is usually responsible for making things worse. I couldn’t think of a better ending to Bonnie’s fate than to turn her into what Rayna was. After all, killing her would assuredly bring Elena out of her magical coma and we just can’t have that now, can we?

 

THE GOOD

Everything building around Bonnie Bennett had a relatively nice flow, from scene to scene. Granted, the random vampire killings were easily forgettable including the buzzsaw victim, but otherwise this episode stayed on point and told a very fluid story that had a realistic conclusion and brought in a whammy of a change to the dynamic of Bonnie’s life. If she truly is what Rayna was then I might have one or two nitpicks with it, but we’ll see how Bonnie being a witch plays that out. Damon’s desperation made sense although Enzo’s reaction seemed a tad off and was just looking for a reason to expel frustration even though Bonnie was going to be okay.

 

I’ve always rooted for Matt as a human underdog, someone who always tries his hardest to matter in a world where he has no power. Seeing his moment with proposal to Penny only made her death all the harder for him to experience all over again and though we really didn’t get to see the two blossom as most important relationships on this show it was important that we knew Matt was happy and at some semblance of peace in his life. I also liked that Stefan tried to help Matt cope with the loss although he should have accounted for Matt’s forensic sense to detail the missing pieces in the faked death. All in all it’ll be interesting to see if Matt will be forgotten now or if he still has a major plot to play in the future.

 

THE BAD

Finding out what was inside the vault was a bit of a disappoint, both in the origin aspect and with what Alex found. It’s clearly witch-like in origin but it sounds a lot like how vampires turn their emotions off and in this case it’s an entity that does it to humans. Whether it fully possesses Alex I’m not sure, but I’m certain something like that will occur. This conflicts a bit with Bonnie’s situation since the two aren’t linked there’s no way to know who or what the final main villain will be. This just felt like a cheap attempt at conjuring an untouchable villain that Damon can’t punch or rip a heart out of. And he certainly won’t do anything to Bonnie, or will he?

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Damon tells Enzo to be with Bonnie or face the consequences that he’s gone through. I don’t know if it was the air or the inflection but Damon’s voice had a bit of cracking in it that really sold his true feelings on the matter, something he doesn’t let out to most people let alone other vampires not named Stefan. Even though they don’t bring it up anymore these two used to be good friends and somewhere along the line they forgot or decided it didn’t matter. Here it felt like a smidge of that old friendship came back in the guise of dealing with grief should Enzo not be with her before she departs. Good scene and good acting from Damon.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It wasn’t much but Stefan really tried to be good-guy-Stefan by helping Damon deal with his grief through compulsion. It wasn’t a class act, but he tried to hold onto the truth until Matt forced his hand. Somehow I feel like Stefan contradicts himself by pretending not to know what Matt was so angry about even when he wasn’t around him, but again that’s to sell the lie and make sure no one else caught on to it. Stefan and Damon take a lot of emotional trauma to keep those they care about in a position to live freely without pain in their lives. Damon is a drama-queen about it, but Stefan has his subtle ways and really tried to do Matt a solid. Which leads us to our first ending thought.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Why didn’t Stefan compel Matt to deal with Penny’s grief? It might have been equally as painful in the long run but if Stefan simply compelled Matt to deal with the loss and move on that might have been ultimately more healthy than troubleshooting a fake death with too many clues that spell otherwise. It’s wrong either way, but at least Matt wouldn’t have made so many angry moves against Stefan during the last year while Rayna was chasing him.

 

An MMA fighter in Spartanburg? That is pretty funny when you think about it. I was rather expecting more of a tussle and they were in a great place to showcase some serious collateral damage. Aw well, it’s not like we watch for the super-martial-arts on this show, I just think it could have been more epic than simply shoving a face through a tablesaw.

 

As for Bonnie’s transformation. Not having a phoenix stone or anything of the like, what exactly is going to draw Bonnie into killing every vampire she sees? Rayna actively took out bad vampires but she also fell in love with one, right? She was drawn to all the vampires she captured and unless Bonnie is going to go through a similar process I don’t see her raging on Damon and the vampire gang unless there’s more to the spell than we know.

 

Also, what is going to prevent Bonnie from using her abilities to change or remove the spell casted on her. It’s probably a whole different set of magic rules, but we really don’t know all the different magic types or if there are any. Certain bloodlines and heretic-like abilities are tied to certain covens but the Bennett line as far as we know isn’t specific to any particular magic type. In any case, she should be strong enough to stop the change herself I think.

 

I think Alaric’s frustration with Caroline was a little uncalled for. She’s given no real indication that she wants to be with Stefan or even forgive what he’s done. He’s postulating and coming up with conclusions because of his fear of what might happen to them. Ironically, this is what some relationships will do and how some arguments can spawn from a fear of a significant other leaving because of leftover love. I think the scenario is real, it just looks silly because Caroline has no tells that she’s still in love with Stefan aside from the anger itself.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out 10. Very solid episode with a coherent plot centered around Bonnie and a nice cliffhanger that continues to put her front and center on the show. Matt’s subplot was tragic but it’s good they finally solved that little mystery. The ancient-dark-evil-wind in the vault was a letdown and I think they need to try a little harder to pull a major villain out of their hat and not make it about possessing Alex and turning her into a soulless killer. If the evil has a good origin story then that’ll save it, but for now I’d rather stick with what’s happening to Bonnie. At this point, Stefan and Caroline getting back together isn’t going to end well for anyone, and Stefan is the only person who doesn’t realize it. Maybe he needs to take a step back and ask himself, why does he need to be with anyone at all? He’s not Damon, he’s not dependant on that kind of fuel. In any case, good episode, and I think the next will be better. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 11×19 (Return of the living filler episode)

SN 11x19

 

SUMMARY

Sam and Dean travel to Colorado where they investigate a series of missing persons in a small town. In the forest, they encounter a pair of the missing people and are attacked and then saved by another pair of hunters, Cesar and Jessy who have returned to put an end to the creatures known as Bisaan, of Malaysian origin. Jessy lost his brother 27 years ago when the creatures last resurfaced. Dean and Cesar return to the woods to track the creatures while Sam and Jessy drive to the old Sheriff who eventually breaks down and tells them he knew about the creatures and killed his daughter who had become one. Meanwhile, Dean and Cesar track the creatures to a mine and dispatch the males who attack them. When Sam and Jessy arrive, they find Jessy’s brother and bury him after setting the mine on fire destroying the incubating eggs. Afterward, Jessy and Cesar, who are also a couple, decide to return to New Mexico and retire while Sam and Dean return home.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

When introducing new creatures to this show, it’s important to make them unique and different from other incarnations of supernatural entities otherwise the theme must outweigh the creatures in question, such as creating a similar and relatable event the brothers view from a different perspective while ignoring their reoccurring sibling rivalry. This episode did neither of those things and instead opted to give us a very watered down look at familial loss that had the makings of a decent plot, but gave no creative twist of climax to wrap up this one-off plot. With the exception of the charismatic and loyal Cesar, not much stood out tonight as the brothers basically ran through their checklist of one-liners and machete swinging tropes. We learn nothing more about Amara and Lucifer and the creatures themselves were hardly interesting and the blandest form of forest dwelling things that I’ve seen in many seasons.

 

THE GOOD

I’ll start by saying Cesar saved this episode from being a complete waste of an hour. Every now and then, the Winchesters get to see the lives of hunters from a different lens and though Jessy and Cesar didn’t seem to be interested in the grand scheme of creature-hunting, Jessy had his vengeance card to play and Cesar backed him up as someone who really understood what Jessy was going through even if he didn’t lose people like other hunters have. Dean recognized their connection and made the right call by not including them in the bigger fight. Hunters don’t get to have a happy ending, and even though Sam and Dean only just met them, they knew it was the sensible thing to do by letting them retire. In that light this episode did show us that not every hunter has to die.

 

THE BAD

This creature feature attempted to legitimize another “legend” in a small town scenario, but it just came off as creatively weak. We never got to see the Bisaan in its native form and instead had to deal with growling humans who bite you as any animal would to destroy you and copulate in random places as any animal would to survive its species. But fundamentally there was nothing being served that felt original. This is a classic case of scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas on how to incorporate monsters that the Winchesters haven’t dealt with before. Sure they ask questions and seem interested, but once they understand how to kill them, it’s business as usual with little to no payoff. The only thing mildly interesting was when (Libby?) was standing in the woods and made those “chitter” noises before reacting. That was an interesting little idea they had, but everything else surrounding their legend and actions barely held any interest.

 

This deserves its own paragraph, but the trip to Cochrane’s house was the biggest waste of time out of the entire episode. The only thing it served was Jessy being validated on what he went through. No new information was discovered that essentially helped them at all since Dean already found the mine when Sam and Jessy returned. Cochrane’s story was certainly tragic and the way it was told and acted was perfectly fine, it just didn’t serve to push any semblance of the plot forward except to separate the group for some reason. If anything it should have been Dean who went with Jessy and Sam who searched the forest with Cesar. Dean is more the warrior and I get that, but in this case I think he would have had a better conversation with Jessy about what happened and possibly how to cope with 27 years of vengeance and heartache.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Didn’t really have one. Every scene followed a predictable beat with a standard outcome and nothing really stood out with the exception of the MVP.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Again, Cesar had more character than anyone else on that line up including either Sheriff and the victims who weren’t interesting either. Sometimes accents help flesh out a personality but even more so, he had that reserved but stoic sense of loyalty that I think hunters are should be generally known for but are usually blocked by the bickering and squabbles of different view points. Some characters nail their performance in one shot and Cesar was one of them.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

If Dean told Cesar it was a hike to get to the mine then why did he say he was going to bring the car around to gas up the place? Why didn’t they just drive the car there to begin with?

 

Jessy got to see his brother’s body but he didn’t get to destroy any of the creatures which felt like missing closure. He had the signs of deep-rooted anger as he made a few comments about saving the Winchesters and being bothered with being in the town itself. He should have been the one in the mine slaying the creatures and yelling to find his brother.

 

Not to mention, Jessy seemed entirely too over it once his brother was burned. After 27 years of being in probably the worst emotional turmoil of his adult life, he just seemed fine at the end, like what he went through was no big deal. That just seemed off.

 

I wonder what the count is on how many times Sam and Dean decide to randomly research a case when they can’t do anything about the major plot at hand. How many lives have they saved when they’re stuck at HQ with no leads to turn to an article that briefly sounds like a case for them? Can’t save the world just now? That’s okay, just find a case and solve it then get back to it. At least they’re willing to see everything through, which is good.

 

OVERALL SCORE

5 out of 10. A very mediocre plot that removed the character who should have been interacting the most with the creatures at hand and gave him a side quest with hearing another victim’s similar tell that offered no insight into how to beat the creatures because they were easily killable. This kind of plot usually focuses more on the guest stars and though Cesar had the makings of a mainstay character, nothing else came into view that told a story that anyone will ever remember. Jessy and Cesar weren’t going through a scenario that mirrored the Winchester’s current plight and the Bisaan weren’t any real threat and existed simply as creatures do in order to propagate their species. But worst of all was the lack of momentum on the previous episode that ended with a crazy cliffhanger on Lucifer being tortured by God’s sister which isn’t something you can just write about all the time. Let’s get back on track, we’ve only a few more episodes to go before the end. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Game of Thrones – Season 6×01 (Melisandre, as you’ve never seen her before…)

GOT 6x01

 

SUMMARY
Davos discovers Jon’s body and protects it with Jon’s remaining loyal men. Alliser gives Davos until nightfall to surrender leaving his only option of trust toward Melisandre who is seen alone in her room. As she removes her clothes and decorative necklace, she is seen reverted into an old crone, tired who enters her bed to slumber. Meanwhile, Jaime returns to King’s landing where Cersei is distraught to learn of her daughter’s death. In Dorne, Ellaria and her daughters murder Doran Martell and his son. In Meereen, Tyrion and Varys survey the city and discuss identifying who is controlling the Sons of the Haarpi as they discover all the ships in the harbor are being burned. Jorah and Daario find Daenerys’s trail that leads them toward a Dothraki horde. Daenerys is brought before Khol Moro who, once informed of her status as the wife of deceased Khal Drogo, tells her she will be taken to the place where the wives of dead Khal’s go. Arya Stark, still blind is begging in the streets and confronted by the young maiden to a duel with staffs. Though Arya is defeated easily, the woman declares to return again in the morning. Near Winterfell, Sansa and Theon are caught by Bolton’s guards but are saved by Podrick and Brienne who swear their allegiance to Lady Stark.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

And here we are, one episode in to a world that all book readers now must sail blind as Lady Arya herself. It’s been extremely difficult to invest in every seen when the burning question still unanswered burrows through and through and that of course is whether Jon Snow will remain dead and how long until Melisandre inevitably brings him back? If the routine follows suit, then we’ll be guided through multiple viewpoints that bring us to the 9th episode where a great battle will lay the groundwork for the 7th season’s main story arc. It’s too early to guess on such a battle but there are early clues such as Dorne’s new leadership in Ellaria and the Bolton’s who wish to remain in charge of the north. With the white-walkers growing closer one can expect a massive clash with the undead, but without Jon Snow leading the charge against them, Alliser and the wall are simply put; screwed. Some interesting notes to dive into, but suffice it to say, it was a strong opening rightfully painting the picture of Jon’s supposed doom and then focusing briefly on each main character as each premiere is designed to do. Nothing too shocking or out of the ordinary save for Melisandre’s true visage of an old lady which could mean a lot of things, most notably a possible foretelling that she’s at the end of her lifecycle or that she may be putting an end to it herself.

 

THE GOOD

As always, the shots, locations, and visual colorizations are incredibly diverse and thick with different cultures, weather, and storylines that prioritize by which scenes involve violence and which are merely pauses in one’s plight. One of the more amazing directions this series has been able to contend with is how much information and subtle hints they can produce within just a few minutes each episode. Every segment treats it like they’re the principle plot of the show and then through those layers we begin to understand the unfolding arc that threatens to destroy all the lands. Unfortunately it still feels like we’re eons away from that threat, but I do believe the skies will be growing colder further south starting this season.

 

One thing that I think is taken very much into consideration is how the exposition plays out and in this premiere everything flowed nearly perfectly with catching us up since last season with the exception of Ellaria dutifully explaining to Doran why she’s killing him. At no point did I think the scene was borrowing too much having to explain what who and why things were happening and to move things along as the fans want to see, that’s capital.

 

THE BAD

What always gets stunted is the progression of certain arcs that maybe one finds more interesting than another. What I don’t want to see happen is Davos stuck in a room with dead Jon Snow over half the season just to finally bring us to the point he gets resurrected. If it takes that long, then there’s something wrong here. The beats are essentially fine for now, but everything has to move forward and unfortunately it has to move fast. Jorah and Darrior searching for Daenerys might be the least plot fulfilling unless this place she’s going to really blows us away on expectations. Right now, Tyrion and Varys have a chance to really turn things around in Meereen, but it also has the highest potential to the most boring if they don’t interact with characters of note. Paired up, they’re amazing, but with only each other to play off of, they’ll sink relatively fast.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Brienne and Podrick saved Sansa and Theon. The sense of urgency was almost palpable as Sansa was on the verge of being taken back to Bolton and I’ll say that my eyes were rolling in the back of my head with the cringe that we’d be subjected to more Ramsey awfulness toward his wife. Luckily that wasn’t the case and we have a quartet that could be one of the biggest highlights of this season. It was an impressive show of sword play as you can try for in the cold and laced in armor and for what it’s worth, it was a proud moment knowing how far Brienne as come and how Sansa is now holding her service in her hand. I think a lot of good can be done here and hopefully Theon doesn’t screw it up.

 

CHARACTER MVP

As loyal and able and pinnacle Brienne was with saving Sansa I think Davos gets the MVP tonight. You’d expect his nature to be drawn toward the “better” side of things as he has a great sense of decency and sensible morals. It’s when he realized that Melisandre was an available ally that really started shifting his desperation into untold avenues. With how he’s acted around her it’s amazing he even considered her an ally and neither of them even have a clue as to the resurrection power that’s needed to bring Jon back, which of course they’re toying us with for the time being. Davos isn’t giving Alliser the time of day but knows when he’s backed into the preverbal wall. Always count on him being one of the most resourceful people on this show.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Davos lingered on the spot where Jon died just long enough to warrant a clue that maybe there’s something for us to see or maybe for Melisandre to see. She needs to understand just who Jon is for her to really sink her power into him. And considering that state of mind she was in at the end of the episode I can imagine they were playing on the idea that she’s suicidal, having shown us that vial that could have been anything but it’s one thought of many.

 

For Jorah, I think he believes this will be his final act in rescuing Dany and returning her to Meereen as the greyscale is beginning to grow on his arm. It won’t kill him per-say but it will change him dramatically and considering his sullen view of things he probably thinks its a fitting end to his quest. Still, if Daario sees it I wouldn’t be surprised if he chops Jorah’s arm off just to keep it from spreading to him.

 

Surprisingly, we haven’t seen or heard one peep on a book character who so far has been trying to make an impact in Dance With Dragons and that’s Victarion Greyjoy who has been on a quest to find and kidnap Dany for the Iron Islands. Although I can see how that would get in the way of this plot where Dany is nowhere near Meereen. Still, it’s one of many supplimental characters they have decided not to incorporate into the series and that also includes people like Lady Stoneheart and of course Dany’s ‘cousin’ Aegon who survived. In any case, I can’t imagine many more new characters to show up and make a huge impact at this late in the series. But if they’re going to do it, they better do it now.

 

With Cersei’s attention drawn toward the death of her daughter and possible a revenge scheme in the works against Dorne, I can imagine the siblings driving their hate toward the sand sisters, but at the same time they have to contend with the Septa and all the “sinning” still waged against them, I do believe there will be yet another trial by combat soon and against the zombie-mountain. Should a certain hound return to battle him? This show never does what we expected it to.

 

One noticeably absent sibling on this season was Bran, who has yet to make an appearance since the end of season 4, and if book five gave us anything is that Bran is going to be a major player very soon. Hopefully we’ll see him rise by next week otherwise they’re saving him for a surreal rainy day.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Fantastic as always with the visuals and the setups which promise a deluge of compelling storylines with the most interesting being Sansa’s new team and Davos shielding Jon’s followers from certain punishment of death. While Dany’s new trek into the Dothraki culture, what surrounds her and ultimately that country are among the least that I want to know about if I had to write the plots on a list of greatest to worst. They’re all interesting in their own right, but every plot that doesn’t deal with the threat of the white-walkers is an attempt to make us forget that they exist and will destroy mankind if they don’t join up. Imagine if Jaime and Cersei woke up and finally pointed their anger and ability toward the threat that matters. But sadly, we’re not there yet. Jon is still dead and no amount of fan outcry will bring him back any faster than the writer’s want. We’ll get him back, as soon as Melisandre realizes what needs to be done. Season six finally joins us all on the same page. No more division between the book fans and the show fans, we’re all one happy family now never knowing who’s going to die next. And it’s anyone’s game now. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 7×19 (They answered my question. Yes, Beau escaped)

TVD 7x19

 

SUMMARY

Damon and Enzo broker a tentative deal with Rayna that involves them killing all the vampires that escaped the phoenix stone in exchange for Rayna giving her life to save Bonnie. They enlist the help of Stefan and Alaric who are at odds over Stefan’s actions with leaving Caroline. During several flashbacks, Enzo keeps Bonnie safe away from Alex and the armory and over the years grow to love each other. In the present, Damon and the others travel and kill several vampires including the heretic, Beau, who Damon kills personally against Bonnie’s wishes. As Bonnie’s condition worsens Caroline returns home but ignores Stefan as Damon discovers Rayna’s list of vampires grows even larger than anticipated as she becomes more catatonic.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Discovering how Bonnie and Enzo grew to love each other is likely the final piece of flashback we’re going to see unless there’s more to be learned from Caroline and Alaric or another character hiding in wait for the right moment to strike. Our knowledge of Alex’s need to open the vault has once more blurred the conditions of good and evil with everyone playing the part of the jilted and vexed friend or lover who has been twice scorned over by the Salvatore brothers. There’s a bit too much intensity that is mirrored between Caroline, Alaric, Enzo, and Bonnie, who are more concerned with ignoring and punishing Stefan and Damon than for understanding what they went through. It’s because of these plights that seeing everyone make good with each other hardly seems like a fitting end to this season and if anything, they should be permanently separated from here on out. Still, there’s a lot to be said about the road of vampire killing and what the team will go through to save the life of their friend. One way or another, that vault is going to open. Mostly an entertaining episode with a few moments that stood out and painfully awkward. Caroline’s dismissive stare by far the most chilling.

 

THE GOOD

Relationship drama angst are the heart of this show about vampires and sentimental soundtracks with impeccable timing on heartfelt moments. Regardless of the atrocity that is Enzo and his inconsistency with being moral, Bonnie’s strength and happiness have been a key note in the last few seasons. I expected less of an explanation, but was still given one even though the pieces don’t seem to naturally fit. I wasn’t appalled by the flashbacks mainly because for once Enzo “seems” genuine. Maybe in the present he’s not telling her the full story on Alex, but being self-absorbed isn’t something you just cure over night. They do all the right cute things together at the expense of Damon’s sanity, which is ironic since Damon isn’t in love with Bonnie, he just wants her friendship back, or anyone’s at this point. As unbelievable as their relationship is, at least Bonnie was in a state of happiness that no one else could afford to give. I’d say if Enzo pulls through without betraying her, then maybe they should stick together.

 

THE BAD

Alaric and Stefan may be dealing with one of the stranger problems on this show, a problem I wonder if anyone who watches can relate to. Stefan has every intention of winning Caroline back and through trying to prove Alaric is potentially living a lie with Caroline tries to exploit that, an act Alaric gets rightfully upset over. The horrific underlining factor here is that there’s no clear winner. Alaric stands more to lose if Caroline decides Stefan should be back in her life and though it’s corny to see him play the frustrated house-husband who subtly lashes out at the brothers, he’s technically in the right with everything he’s done. Stefan at this stage is just being a trumpet-blowing a$$h0le who only “deserves” Caroline because Valerie told him so. He lost his chance with Caroline and he should stay lost.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Enzo went out of his way to give Bonnie a New Years Eve dinner. It had the flair of altruism and when he refrained from kissing her really showed he had the intentions of a gentleman who, up until now rarely showed he had the charm for it beyond a superfluous accent. More importantly, Bonnie sells the infatuation better than almost anyone save for Elena.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Though Bonnie treated Damon like a teen-brat with her stubbornness on talking to him, there’s still real pain she has to work through and it shows all too well. It’s a shame Caroline has to follow up with her own rendition of being broken and hurt because Bonnie is sailing with her attitude and likely having fun with it at Damon’s expense. She’ll eventually read the letter, or burn it for posterity, either way, she’ll make sure Damon works for his right to befriend her again, which will probably come when he saves her life a few more dozen times. Then again, she did give him back the letter with a thrust of anger, maybe she won’t read it after all.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The vampire at the golf course…did he wear a daylight ring or is that rule just thrown out the window that sunlight kills vampires? Was he a mortal man who just enjoyed drinking blood with capped teeth?

 

Now that we know Alex has a sister who is trapped and alive inside the vault, there’s a few ideas on where this could go, one of which is the sister is a vampire or worse, a creature held alive by something worse that’s trapped inside. With one sister trying desperately to get in and one sister pleading to keep the vault locked, it’s a wonder whatever is in there will be the next big bad, but for how long?

 

I actually feel bad for Beau, he’s was the most benevolent of the heretic group and in a way he got the worst punishment of all, being forgotten and killed by Damon of all people who could care less what he went through. This could lead to other vampires who knew the Salvatore’s to be recognized and cause friction in this attempt to keep Bonnie alive, but I doubt it would hold any long term effect.

 

Now I want to see Rayna enjoying a cheeseburger at the beach watching the waves and in happy blissfulness. I don’t really buy the vampire duo with appealing to Rayna’s sense of anguish that she’ll accept death because the visions are too much. She’s not that broken, but alas it’s not for us to deem acceptable behavior when all you’ve done for several lifetimes is kill the undead and nothing else.

 

Oklahoma, Georgia, Montana, Alabama, North Carolina, and Kansas. That’s a lot of ground to cover and I have no idea how many days they’ve been doing this. Is it weeks? Months? Hours? You’d think these vampires getting back to the real world after experiencing eons of hell would be more traumatized and in hiding rather than eating everything in sight. Well, hunger is hunger and when you’re evil, there are no rules.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. It was entertaining discord as we seldom get to see montages of death on this show and since all these vampires escapees were relative pushovers, no one was in any real danger including Bonnie and Alaric who are essentially human. Both Bonnie and Caroline have immense grievances to deal with which begs the question on whether Damon and Stefan deserve such forgiveness and I think it’s arguable that they don’t considering everything they’ve done and with those around them. Mystic Falls is losing it’s point as the anchor holding everyone together and if the show is bent on splitting everyone up, then by this season’s end, it should be so with another significant death. Enzo and Bonnie’s coupling works because they’re trying to make it cute and annoying for Damon who can’t help but endure the irritation guided by Bonnie. With Rayna’s days numbered as the vault soon to be opened, it’s probably time we flash-forwarded to that final act. This one has run its course. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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