A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×02 (No, Roman’s not in on it…*rolls eyes*)

TO 5x02

 

SUMMARY

Klaus returns to New Orleans in search of Haley and avoids Hope. While he searches, Marcel returns as well and convinces the wolves to let Henry endure a fitting punishment for murdering a vampire. When Klaus discovers Hope is responsible for Haley’s disappearance, he confronts her. They argue over his decision to disappear from her life but due to the hollow’s power growing when the two are together, Klaus leaves. Meanwhile, Vincent consults with a seer, Ivy who shows him a possible future of destruction caused by Hope herself. Vincent believes he can change that fate as Klaus and Freya discover Haley is missing from where Hope put her. After Henry is put inside Marcel’s garden, someone breaks him out and kills him for all of New Orleans to see.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

If father knows best, then the world may suffer an eternity of darkness after Klaus is through with it. Tonight’s Originals brings forth a partial reunion and a mystery to solve involving Haley’s second kidnapping. In a flashback, Hope witnesses her father’s blood-soaked murder spree he started years ago causing a rift that led to Hope using her own mother to lure her father back to town. Out of the gate, this season is painting Hope to be a very good-natured neutral, yet troublesome character who has yet to truly understand the consequences of using methods that her Mikaelson bloodline used to get what they want. And of course there are people on both sides that want to help her or stop her quick like Josh who knows too easily how storylines like these play out. So far, the intrigue is settled quite nicely in this final season though the direct root of evil hasn’t really been the issue, but rather, what could happen to Hope if all that evil power comes together once more.

 

THE GOOD

We got the Klaus and Hope confrontation out in the open now instead of pushing it to the final moments of the episode. Klaus doesn’t have too many characters to make him tearful, remorseful, and serenely agitated but Hope managed to accomplish all of it in one conversation. I like the dynamic and Klaus is doing a good job easily second-guessing himself into a frenzy, not knowing what to say or even where to look when Hope calls him out. All he sees right now is how awful is own father was and how he’s likely to follow that curse due to his unrelenting nature. It’ll be something hard to fight for, but that’s what this season is all about for him.

 

THE BAD

With the exception of her sort-of break-up moment with Keelin, Freya isn’t really managing a stayful storyline. I enjoy her moments with Vincent, but it’s really Vincent carrying those scenes anyway. She’s the Mikaelson that wants to get away, but her loyalty to stay doesn’t completely work this time. She’s creating her own conflict which can be good if she was a central character, but because she doesn’t have anything to directly be tied to, I’m not seeing how she can be effective in this season. They even gave Ivy those seer-like moments which could have easily been tied to Freya if the story demanded it, like a bad dream or prophetic nightmare. Let’s give her more to do and quickly.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

This goes back to Hope and Klaus talking for the first time in Declan’s kitchen. Declan, by the way earned a lot more points for his charming sentiments that nearly caused him a near beheading by Klaus. It was a good build up to see Klaus avoid her at the house and to have Hope hunt him down. She had good reason to and their interaction was what we wanted to see first and foremost. They’ll sure to have more scenes like this in the future.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Hope had the most interaction with everyone and it’s clear she’s bonded with Freya, Delcan, and Marcel. She’s also interested in Roman and of course has issues with Klaus. I’m certain they’ll be some guilt to deal with in the next episode over Haley’s second disappearance, but she’s making decisions that’s really driving all the plots on this show. Henry’s death was directly tied to her choices as is Klaus returning to New Orleans and it looks like Vincent has knowledge of a terrible evil that will consume the city if everyone isn’t careful. Hope is managing her central character status very well for the time being.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Is this one person or a group of people terrorizing the city now? Did the same person take Haley and kill Henry? Only witches could handle Hope’s cloaking spell and I’m prone to believing that most unseen evils are new characters and not old ones coming back for vengeance.

 

I have to suspect all new characters on the show as potential starter-villains before the real big-bad shows up. That includes Declan, Roman, and Ivy, who so far has been some genuine interest of Vincent’s and we all know he doesn’t get to have meaningful relationships on this show. Ivy could very well be a witch in hiding, pushing her agenda onto Vincent, and Declan could also be hiding a mysterious past as well. That’s how these seasons generally start, it’s just a question on whether it’s one or all three that are involved.

 

If someone is in league with the hollow or wants that power for itself, it stands to reason that whatever kidnapped Haley also did the same to Elijah and dragged him back to New Orleans in a fancy unplanned reunion that’ll have the whole Mikaelson family in chaos. This probably means Rebekah will have to be lured or kidnapped as well. Only Klaus would have gone back out of no regard of the consequences.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. The Originals holds steady as Klaus realizes just how much he cost his relationship with Hope from years ago. Hope’s trick to bring him back cost her as well as an unseen force has taken Haley and murdered Henry. The two incidents could be unrelated but with only 11 episodes remaining, it’s likely everything’s connected. Klaus and Marcel have no troubles as allies this time around, but Josh and a few others are questioning Hope’s standing among the city as tensions rise and foretellings promise terrible things will take shape soon. As far as relationships go, Freya and Keelin’s is the only one that felt a little flat on the delivery now that Freya has decided to stay behind. Vincent and Ivy will probably get closer until Ivy is either declared a villain or in the villain’s path, because Vincent isn’t allowed to be happy either. He and Klaus have a lot more in common then they let on. Enjoyable episode and a decent cliffhanger to spark next week’s search for Haley. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Originals – Season 5×01 (Round Five: Hollow Rain)

TO 5x01

 

SUMMARY

7 years have passed. At Mystic Falls, Hope helps a werewolf become a hybrid to gain the finances to visit Europe to find her father, Klaus who has disappeared from her life. In France, Klaus keeps a watchful eye on Elijah who is still compelled to forget. Klaus has been murdering those who may seek revenge on Elijah while in New Orleans, Freya, Haley, Vincent, and Josh maintain their brittle peace. In New York, Rebekah declines a marriage proposal from Marcel and leaves him to check on Elijah. Hope is declared unfit for school and returns to New Orleans where her new hybrid friend murders a local vampire out of impulse. Vampires demand vengeance but Haley sways them down for the time being. Later, she is attacked by an unseen force as Caroline finds Klaus in hopes of convincing him to return home. When Klaus attempts to call Haley, Hope answers and tells him she’s missing. Klaus vows to return to New Orleans as Marcel does the same.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It feels too long since I last watched this dramatic immortal family high tail it away from New Orleans in an effort to stave off the dreaded Hollow entity. This final season premiere is off to a solid start with everyone making choices that already hurt and help those closest to them. Family is always the core of this franchise and when they’re apart, it’s almost worse when they’re together, but together they must be. We’re given quite a checklist of relationships and the plights in-between, but so far immortal Mikaelsons haven’t skipped a beat given their time away from the CW. Is the Hollow still their worst sworn enemy, or is something else at play here. One way or another, Klaus and Marcel are bound to butt heads like the old days figuring it out.

 

THE GOOD

The balance act between all these main characters means getting to the point and selling their new dilemmas in a way that doesn’t seem tired or cliché. Klaus will always find acts of redemption difficult, but this time it’s layered in fatherhood long graduated since last season when all he had to do was protect his daughter. This time, it seems he’ll have to understand her which probably means lots of arguments between his idea of right and wrong and Haley’s. This relationship between Klaus and Hope should theoretically be the glue that holds this season together, although Elijah’s return to form probably won’t be too far behind. I imagine the four who must never return together will be a lightening rod for disaster and shouldn’t happen too soon, unless someone kidnaps Elijah, or worse, returns his memory.

 

Hope so far hasn’t disappointed as Danielle Rose Russell takes over and apparently has Henry, the hybrid sired to her. Her motives are genuine and it’s good she didn’t grow into someone who became corrupted by her own power. I think more tests of that nature are bound to arise, but so far, her heart is in a good place. It will be interesting to see if Klaus’s violent personality pushes them apart once she sees what he’s capable of to protect her.

 

THE BAD

In a lot of ways, it makes sense that Marcel wanted to marry Rebekah, and at least he tried. Clearly, this is a coupling that wasn’t meant to last even though they lived a rather fairy tale life up until this point. I wasn’t entirely supportive of her decision to leave him mainly because the sacrifice just doesn’t fit. Marcel is in no real danger and knowing she regrets her decision just makes it worse for Marcel who, at this point probably did give up on trying to be with her. Shame.

 

It also doesn’t feel right that Haley is kind of dating a human, who I’m guessing is either a nobody or something evil to tide away the plot until the Hollow returns. I’m not getting the vibe here that Hayley and Declan are going to be a lasting thing, even though he scores points for being a genuine nice guy. That almost makes it worse if it turns out he’s evil. Is Haley really getting on with her life or is she still very much in love with Elijah?

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Without a doubt when Caroline found Klaus. Them sharing a moment means the Vampire Diaries still has a pulse within The Originals. These two have always shared a rather cathartic chemistry and though they’ll never “be” together, it was a fun moment for the two to share. I don’t expect Caroline to be in any more episodes, but it wouldn’t hurt for the finale, however things may end up. She may be one of the few people left that can talk some sense into Klaus when he decides to truly lose it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Everyone shared equal screen time, and while this new Hope did a good job introducing herself to the show, I feel Klaus is the focal point on change here. He’s going to drive everything that happens and this premiere needed to settle that quickly. His proximity to Elijah may have sparked the radical signs of the Hollow’s power, and his return to New Orleans will no doubt cascade into a fury of blood and death once the city finds out he’s back. And with Marcel on his way as well, it will be a tale of two kings all over again. Still, it needs to be Klaus’s story for this show to work and maintain its core value of family and his need to keep his siblings and daughter together.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Can a vampire hybrid be sired to a witch? I feel there’s a rule being broken here, but I don’t want to re-watch 100 episodes to find out that detail. It’s not super important, though if someone out there can recall, I wouldn’t mind a recap.

 

Is Josh really the one in command of the vampire circle in New Orleans? I get that he’s one of the few still alive and he’s probably trained and gotten stronger in the last seven years, but the problem is we haven’t seen that strength my guess is he’ll revert to Marcel and Klaus the second they get back. I would have liked to have seen him grow in a way that wasn’t just character based but actually stronger.

 

Long distance relationships aren’t the best on TV, so either bring Keelin back or get Freya out of there to see her. If neither are possible, then a break-up of some kind is likely to occur because 90% of most tension in this show is couples having a falling out. Like Rebekah and Marcel, who probably won’t share another scene together for likely the next several episodes.

 

Sadly, no Davina cameo. Though we did get Kol and a short story about Davina being his wife, they’re probably too far away to get involved, though Kol gave his premonition of season five being that of calamity that always brings the family back together. Nice moment between Kol and Hope showing Hope has a decent relationship with nearly all the Mikaelsons. Let’s hope she and Rebekah share a scene together at some point.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. The Originals picks up in dramatic fashion and promises to undo the magic that helped set them apart for the last several years. No particular returning character is set to tragedy or a turn to evil ways though Klaus’s acts may set him onto darker paths yet familiar in this franchise. It was the right call to let the family tell their story in separate plights rather then create unnecessary time jumps or point of view plots. Every character had the chance to breathe and be introduced in an ensemble of bickering friends and couples who though supernatural just want to have normal lives. One last season to tell us whether the Mikaelsons will truly live happily as a family or are doomed for a tragic undertaking. Let’s hope Caroline isn’t the only cameo between now and the end. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×13 (Darkness looms as the tendrils of hell have been unleashed)

Dark Matter 3x13

 

SUMMARY

Two suspends Ishida’s execution when Teku communicates with the Raza demanding his return. Meanwhile, new information uncovered leads the group to the real Phoenix shipyard containing a massive fleet of Ferrous corp ships. With Truffault’s help, Two, Three, and Six blink drive near the shipyard and attempt to detonate a white-hole bomb. They are sabotaged and captured as Mikkei’s allies, Traugott, betrayed them and joined Ferrous corp. Three and Six are separated but later released by Wexler who became an agent for Mikkei. They recover Two but not before Three is taken down forcing the rest to retreat without him. On the Raza, Two learns that Ferrous corp is sending their cruisers to intercept leaving her to broker a deal with Ishida and Truffault, gaining their ships to fight against them. As the battle begins, Two is revealed to be taken over by the alien species as she manipulates Six into using the blink drive to open a dimensional rip, taking out the shipyard. Meanwhile, Three is taken off the shipyard by Portia with their destination unknown. Six sacrifices himself to open the rip as Ishida is released to subdue Two after the android warns Five. With the rip open, Five and Wexler watch as massive black ships emerge from the opening leaving all corporate ships and the Raza in their path.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Now that’s how you slam a cliffhanger into our faces! Dark Matter gives us one more look into the harsh reality of space-war and the unforgiving atmosphere of truth as their universe becomes the unwilling participant to a full scale invasion. Not without its layers of tragedy, one of the crew’s shining stars is seemingly incinerated but like all science fiction stories, there’s plenty of room for doubt. The last ten minutes alone were worth the wait and things can only get darker from here on out.

 

THE GOOD

Putting Four and Two in opposing sides at the end was a rousing moment to give the fans something different to look forward to. Up until now, Two has been a very capable leader, making hard calls and sometimes handling business herself. Now she’s overtaken by the monsters that plague her universe and it’s up to Five and Four to make it right. Changing the dynamic means we can expect a multitude of different outcomes next season, but for now, I’m just enjoying the merit that Four is providing now that he’s assuredly once more a part of the Raza crew, for now.

 

The overall plot was stylish and very plot driven, giving the crew plenty of chances to make split-second decisions and suffer multiple set backs leaving them very few choices including Six’s sacrifice at the end. The main thing to pull away from the finale is that the crew held onto their central theme that they needed to help save the galaxy from itself. Morality played big with Six questioning the use of the white-hole device on innocent people and Two trying to give Four a way to be with his people again. Wexler’s inclusion to the group was kind of a bonus since his journey as of late had been a relative wash. But collectively, everything built itself to a climactic reveal that means the corporate war will be nothing if not banished in the eyes of these aliens. Let’s hope for that to take root rather quickly.

 

THE BAD

My only real complaint is that the episode wasn’t longer. Some of the hooks that were put in didn’t necessarily have a pay off this time, such as Five’s sister reveal and where Three and Portia will end up, but it’s the show understandably working out its long-term plots for future seasons. We know Three is still thinking about Sarah, but she never appears but they made sure to let us know she’s still out there and he doesn’t remember the tragic tale Four had told him. In fact, when I saw Alicia Reynaud’s picture I genuinely forgot she had a stake in all this, but again, that’s the show thinking long term, so we better start thinking the same.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Let’s go ahead and showcase that last minute starting with Six’s sacrifice all the way up to the ships themselves breaking through. The CGI budget made its mark and gave us a blasting visual of twisted shapes ripping through the fabric of space and a daunting sensation that they were there to consume anything in its path. Five knows the darkness they contain and with the corporate war just reaching its apex, now the real threat begins. I must say I’m not convinced truly that Six is gone, but stranger deaths have occurred before. We are talking about the blink drive here and everytime it goes haywire, the crew doesn’t end up dead, just distorted and out of place, and one way or another, I think Six will be saved in some capacity, but we won’t know that for sure until next season. Still, this was a mega moment that definitely dropped the jaw in the closing seconds.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I’d like to give it to Six just in case this was his swansong. I would certainly say it was heartbreaking for Five to deal with Six leaving, and if though he went out on his terms, the fact that he meant so much to her should speak volumes about their nature to care about life and saving people no matter who they are. Six classically demonstrates that episode over episode and will make the decision in a heartbeat to save others over himself because it’s his duty. In the worlds of storytelling, when a character can no longer grow, they either leave, fade away, or die. Someone like Six would go out in a blaze and that’s just what he did. But at the end of the day, I believe he’ll return.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

I don’t truly think this will be the end of the corporate war. That kind of has to be the on-going epic between warring factions. Ferrous corp will retreat and rise again in their own time. I don’t see the corporations making a dramatic cease-fire over the long run, but maybe just enough to deal with the threat until it’s been reduced to vapor. Who knows, if this will turn into a triumph of humanity or just another age where the darkest aspects of humanity will try and harness the aliens and their power for their own sinister agendas. I’m looking at you, Rook.

 

This may not be in the workings, but if Five’s sister is a twin, I’ll probably laugh. I think in some regards, a twin with Alicia’s upbringing would be an interesting reversal of fortunes and then maybe we can see Jodelle with red hair.

 

This may be looking way too far into the looking glass, but if Portia is in any way an ally to the Raza next season then how will Two’s discovery of her daughter affect both characters? Will this be looked into at all and if so, how will Dr. Shaw be involved as well once the android uprising is in full affect? Even if Portia wasn’t an ally, she’s still important as the details of her survival shouldn’t be all that different than Two’s.

 

I’m hopeful that season 4 will be Dark Matter’s “darkest” chapter as the invasion should take absolute precedence for I’d say the entire season if not the first half at the very least. The Raza needs to be recollect itself with Ishida rejoining the ranks for the short term. He trusts Five and without Six to look after her, maybe Ishida can take over that role assuming he doesn’t reconnect with Teku immediately after this invasion is resolved. There are a lot of possibilities and it’s good to start theorizing right about now.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. The world of Dark Matter is about to get a whole lot bigger as the Raza deals with a massive loss and an invasion of evil. The crew is split once again as a crippling blow is delivered to Ferrous corp, but at a price they weren’t expecting. The aliens have engineered their dominance into the universe and if humanity doesn’t put aside their corporate difference, they may not survive long in their own galaxy. Stellar writing to the end, Dark Matter hand delivers a spectacle of battle and intrigue forcing us to agonize over waiting until next year to find resolution. Is Six truly dispersed in the cosmos? Will Two be subject to possession permanently? And will Three ever get a chance to punch Boone in the face? Hopefully we’ll find out soon. For now, I’ll wait and campaign to cameo as Ishida’s next sword-fighting opponent. As always, thanks for reading and we’ll see you next season.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×12 (Serve no master but your own ambition)

Dark Matter 3x12

 

SUMMARY

With Two captured and held on Zairon, Ishida maintains his need to gain the blink drive in exchange for her safety. The crew agree to meet on the planet but as clones while the android learns of Chase’s plot to overthrow humans within the upgrade of her emotional data card. On the planet, Ishida speaks to each member telling Three that he was responsible for Sarah’s sickness, showing Five a picture of her sister, and informing Six that he was betrayed as a GA officer by someone within GA. After two failed assassination attempts it is revealed that Misaki is responsible as she tries to implicate Teku as the conspirator. Teku helps Two and the other escape as Ishida battles Misaki himself. Five and Six return to the ship with their memories intact while Three allows his clone to be killed which erases the knowledge of his part in Sarah’s death. Two intervenes on Ishida’s behalf and kills Misaki leaving Ishida little choice but to join her on the Raza as the people of Zairon revolt against the throne. On the Raza the crew reach a stalemate on Ishida’s fate with Two deciding the casting vote. She goes to Ishida’s cell and prepares to kill him as he tells her that she has a daughter somewhere in the care of someone. Two raises her gun toward Ishida with his fate ultimately unknown.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The tense atmosphere surrounding Zairon explodes as Dark Matter reveals everything to its temperamental crew. While the audience may agree or disagree with the crew’s voting system, one thing is for certain, it was a hell of a ride this week from top to bottom. Ishida tried to hold all the cards but came up inexplicably short in the foretelling that we all knew was coming. Still, he wouldn’t quit and neither would the crew. Could Ishida truly save himself or was he resigned to let old friends cast eternal judgment on him? I can’t wait to find out next week as we reach the end of our penultimate episode in this favored third season.

 

THE GOOD

When you look at Ishida, there’s a real complicated struggle that has him jumping back and forth between sensible leader and wicked emperor. What made his actions speak so loudly was this gratifying sense of camaraderie that he wanted to feel again with the crew yet never being given the chance to truly make peace with anyone. In the end, a determined Misaki tried to ruin him forever which wasn’t really surprising but seeing him defend himself against her was really the scene we wanted to view and we got it. There was always a smug style to his delivery, the way a leader needs to be when trying to influence the decision of others and I liked how he maintained a moral code by never lying to his friends who had all but given up on him. You could say Ishida has come full circle with his beginning and if he has passed on, it’s understandably written well, but for the fan’s sake, he better not be gone for good.

 

To my own personal amusement, I enjoyed once more the clash of swords and the slice and dice of it all, the most personal way characters can duel given the rampant nature of gunplay used on this show. It will always be an art and when Dark Matter utilizes it, they do it elegantly.

 

THE BAD

Misaki’s eventual betrayal didn’t really have the impact I was hoping for. I don’t think we ever doubted Teku’s loyalty, but Misaki’s nature was always volatile and with it came a strong need to see her fall, which we did at Two’s hands. Knowing she was likely responsible for the recent assassination attempts or at the very least complacent in watching the populace rise up against the throne, I can’t imagine she really had a long term plan thought all the way through. Somehow she gained the support of multiple guards and was even able to implicate Teku to be working for an enemy outside the planet, yet she could have made so many different decisions at different times to win that throne for herself. She ended up waiting too long and didn’t capitalize much earlier in the season when she could have. Her poor strategy cost her her life and though she put up a valiant effort, it was time to see her expire as most one-track villains do.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

I’d normally say the fight between Misaki and Ishida but I was more impressed with Ishida handling his “execution” with grace and humility. In a big way, he proved to Five and Six’s side that while he may not be redeemable, he isn’t beyond sympathy and a moral compass. Four was an instrumental catalyst in the crew’s earlier adventures and for one small moment, he became that character again if only shortly. His gift to Two may not have saved his life, but he didn’t break down or attempt to escape which speaks volumes to his character overall, a proud and stalwart individual who may have lost everything, but didn’t lose his core at the end.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It’s easy to say Ishida is the star of tonight’s episode. He could have made the crew’s lives very difficult and chose instead to appeal to their greater interests rather than make harsh threats and diabolical schemes. It may have been hard truly grasping what Ishida was all about, but by this episode, it made sense that his goal was always to preserve his planet and people. He didn’t end up compromising his values to get that goal and probably buckled under his own pressure to convince the crew to aid him when he could have made them suffer just for the effect alone. At the end of the day, he should be judged by the company he keeps and the actions he elicits and my expectations on his decisions were settled by the episode’s end.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

There was another golden opportunity missed here I thought the show would spring up on us involving Misaki. Her fight with Ishida occurs roughly around the same time Chase mentioned to the android that the “revolution” of androids over humans had already begun. What a wicked swerve this would have been if Misaki had turned out to be an android and that her attempt to usurp Ishida’s throne was based on that and not her own machinations. Sadly, that doesn’t look to be the case here but would have merged both plots nicely if they had done it.

 

Three’s actions toward forgetting his involvement in Sarah’s demise was very interesting to see. I shouldn’t be surprised that he’d make a call like that considering the guilt he must have been feeling over learning the truth, but I also see this as a major step back for his character. Three, understandably is still having a hard time differentiating accountability between his former ego and his current self. Whatever he was responsible in the past, he won’t own up to it and face the present. There could be more than that going on in his mind, but for simplicity’s sake I see him avoiding looking Sarah in the eyes and having to tell her that her original life ended because Boone was returning to old roots. If Ishida dies, then that secret will never be unearthed again which is why I’m hoping that there will be a chance for Three to confront this revelation with Ishida once again telling him what happened, should he live.

 

Judging by Five’s reaction to seeing a picture of her sister that this may be a character we’ve already seen before, otherwise, why not show us what she saw? I’m not honestly too sure what to make of it because the issue isn’t brought up again later on. I’m not convinced we’ll know anything more next week either which means this is more a “season 4” plot point, but either way, at least Five knows enough to move forward in whatever direction she decides to take it.

 

I feel like we’ve already moved on from Six’s involvement with the GA and everything that happened on his cover and eventual outing. I realize Ishida needed to have something for all the crew members to entice and influence with, but I felt Six’s information was the weakest of the bunch. If there are any more practical theories that point to anyone other than Anders or someone we’ve met before, I’m open to those thoughts, otherwise, this will have to wait to next season to dive further into.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. The rise and fall of Ishida’s empire erupted into an epic showdown filled with deceit and rampant chaos. Enemies and allies clashed as secrets were revealed and Ishida’s fate left in the air while we FTL our way into one last episode of the season. Misaki joined many other villains into the quiet void of comeuppance while an android revolution looms in the background. Next week’s episode could spawn in several different directions as several threads have yet to be cut, but the crew will be up for every challenge no matter the pressure. Ishida showed his true colors and helped put the crew on a path of introspection which is the best thing a supporting member can do. All that’s left is find out whether his story is done or just begun. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you one more time next week.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×11 (Dark beholders, squids of neuro-genesis)

Dark Matter 3x11

 

SUMMARY

After Three encounters a strange nightmare, the Raza infiltrate a Dwarf Star facility on Nova 17 and use an override program given to Two by Dr. Shaw to bypass satellite security. In the facility, they discover hundreds of stasis pods with simulated humans with similar nanite technology to Two. When a Mikkei ship lands a security force on the surface, the crew attempt to negotiate for the lives of the simulated humans as Three begins suffering from seizers brought upon by a local anomaly. Two and Mikkei find the anomaly as Five hacks the database and finds that one of Mikkei’s officers is a simulated human working for a dimensional alien race. She destroys the security team and allows several simulated humans to be possessed by dark entities the same as the one that once inhabited Three. Before succumbing to suicide, a doctor on the team orders the Mikkei ship to launch a nuke on the facility leaving Two alone with no time to escape. Three recovers and leaves with Six but are unable to stop the explosion. Afterward, the android detects an FTL burst from the planet as it is revealed Two was taken by Boone, Three’s alternate counterpart.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It should be known there are two terrors when dealing with space-faring stories. The first are the evil representations of man and its lust for power and control. The second is the all consuming and all destroying alien menace that desires chaos and death. Dark Matter has finally introduced us officially to the latter. Tonight’s episode brings to light a wicked and evil force trying to enter the world governed by corporation wars. The threat is more real for the crew of the Raza and even though a nuke has bought them valuable to time against such entities, I wonder if this was just a sample of the true villains that will make their presence known on this show. This was an excellent peek into what the future really holds for the crew of the Raza and all human lives within the dimension they are trying to save.

 

THE GOOD

Too many villainous characters is never a bad thing. In fact, I applaud the story for its simplistic nature and way of telling it, most notably in the warnings they gave Three in his heightened dream sequence. The corporation war may be central struggle but there’s about to be a much bigger threat. I’m hoping that’s the case and that these creatures haven’t been completely sidelined by the nuke that took out the facility. I want aliens and now I have them on Dark Matter. There are other dimensions and they just finished consuming one which is massive to think about. Let’s hope they find another way to poke through and continue their conquest.

 

The design of the creatures is interesting considering they have no tether to gravity and their existence may be central to possessing humanoid lifeforms to sustain themselves in our world. They may or may not operate in a hive-mind mentality, but when most entities share the same look and appearance, chances are they’re connected and possibly led by a single being. They’ve certainly been taking their time to plan for their eventual invasion, something I wish Rook would have realized and fought against, but that’s the trouble with human evil is that it’s only capable of looking inward for power and dominance. These creatures, if anything should be the ones that wipe out the corporations to make room for a bigger threat.

 

THE BAD

I think Two should have been more the focus tonight rather than Three who originally suffered a possession a while back. It made sense for Three to feel the effects of it and lament his fear and confusion over the problem at hand, but looking back, maybe it should have been Two who was possessed only because she seems to be slightly more associated with the Dwarf Star conspiracy even though Rook never exposed her to these alien creatures before. Three has had enough to deal with on the account of Sarah, his distrust with the androids, and a minor reminder that Four knows what he did back in the day. Two would have had a different reaction if she met the aliens and I would have liked to have seen it.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When the android helps Two understand more about her newly developed outlook on life. It’s another moment of growth for the android, one that is a carry over from the last episode, but with more humor and sentiment. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much she’s adapting to her situation and find her to be the most humorous character on the show from this point forward. At the end of the day, she knows she’s being funny even if she doesn’t visually express it. Her expectations come from a simple method of knowing how her crewmates should react given her abundance to make quips and add levity to any tense moment. It’s a valuable trait to have when no one else is trying.

 

CHARACTER MVP

While I don’t think this was entirely a Three-centric episode I do feel he added the most to our understanding of the situation involving the dimensional alien race. Through him we discovered what they wanted, how they worked, and how they reacted toward human opposition including an arrogant position on humanity’s will to fight and live on. Standing up against the aliens may not have been the smartest move, but it’s one we can cheer for because Three is easily the most resilient of the bunch.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Twice this episode fooled me into thinking something horrid was going to happen. The first was the android. She had such a euphoric moment in expressing her newfound lease on life to Two that I honestly thought this was the episode she was going to die. It’s rare to have characters so unbelievably positive and happy that they live through their storyline at the end. Something could still happen but I was convinced it was going to be tonight. The second was Three. I thought enough signs pointed to the possibility that Three was himself a simulated human based on his experience and connection with the aliens, but so far that has proven to be false. That’s a good thing but I still went there.

 

Speaking of simulated humans, it seems odd that they’d have them constructed when simply using real humans would work as well. I don’t know if there’s some limitations behind their possessions but all that work to create simulated bodies to be taken over just seemed a tad bit redundant if normal humans work just fine. I’m sure given enough time, they could possess anyone they wanted to infiltrate several planets and stations if they wanted.

 

So one aspect that real probably not come into play but should still be talked about is whether these aliens exist in their own pocket dimension or if there are several versions of them scattered throughout the dimensional construct of the universe. Basically, I’m wondering if the alternate dimension where Portia and Boone came from have their own version of these aliens trying to break free or if these aliens exist only in one and jump from dimension to dimension as a means to sustain their existence. The latter seems more likely.

 

Knowing that Rook has been missing for a month, does that mean he has something sinister in the works or is he hiding from these creatures? It’s more likely he’s waiting for the right moment to reappear, probably when it suits his needs, but given what the Raza is up against, what more will Rook offer as a villain now that we know he’s colluded with an even greater enemy threat? Are there other facilities with simulated humans waiting to be possessed by more aliens, and if so, how are these gateways formed and where will they appear next?

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter will always surprise you with its many tales in a vast universe of malevolent forces. This week, they once again up the ante and give us a new threat, more diabolical and destructive than any human corporation can unleash. It may be too big for the crew of the Raza to face now, but if the balance of power shifts, it will be perfect for next season. Now that Two is on her way to Ishida, the stakes have never been higher for her friends and like always, it’s never easy to guess what’s going to happen next on this show. Dark Matter finally earns its namesake by giving us a glimpse into a universal force that may someday swallow the entire dimension whole. The consistency of fun and frights is ever present on Friday nights. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×10 (Here’s a twist; Shaw is just another android programmed by Rook, that dastardly villain)

Dark Matter 3x10

 

SUMMARY

After responding to a distress call from Victor, the Raza meet with him and two other androids on a station after an owner of one of them is killed. They take refuge on the ship, but are chased by the Galactic Authority forcing Anya, an android with a locator beacon within her, to self-terminate. The raza follow a course from a cipher that the android decrypts leading to a planet where they find a facility ran by a lone android named Chase who offers sanctuary. Within the facility also lies Dr. Shaw, the creator of the recent brand of androids who is identical to the Raza’s android model. Two discovers that Dr. Shaw was her original creator and built in her escape routine and after, helped her rehabilitate many androids while falling in love with one another. When a brain tumor is discovered on Dr. Shaw, she makes the android to copy her mind into but instead chooses not to and Two (Rebecca) places her in stasis. In the present, Two uses her 2nd generation nanite technology to slow down Dr. Shaw’s tumor and revives her. Unfortunately the Galactic Authority arrive just as Dr. Shaw is helping place Sarah’s digital consciousness in an android body of likeness. They escape but are forced to split between ships with Sarah having to stay with Dr. Shaw to complete the process. Later, the android comes to terms with her unique identity as Three discloses an apology to her over his distrust with androids. On Dr. Shaw’s ship, Sarah is woken and informed she is to be used for some dark purpose by Chase and the androids.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

There was a lot to balance in tonight’s episode, mostly with the android’s existential crisis and Two’s newly discovered romance with the android’s human counterpart. The reveals and backstory were among the strongest aspects of this episode while the android’s self-induced pressure should be commended as science fiction’s most frequent dilemma; can androids sustain a soul? It turns out, Three was still harboring issues with androids and the like, but eventually came around as the prospect with regaining Sarah permanently was coincidentally in reach. By and all this was one of the more emotionally charged episodes of the season, giving us a new look at Two’s past and the android’s quiet yet conflicted nature.

 

THE GOOD

To begin, Five and Six each gave the android more than enough credit for being their friend and often lifesaver since she’s been reactivated. The android was given a unique variation on the android model and thus was able to comprehend much more human traits than any other android could with the exception of having an emotional upgrade to match. The best part about seeing her transition is that she doesn’t need that upgrade to be humane and overall more human. Every time she wears it, it creates a disguise but doesn’t represent her true nature, which I think has been important since day one. She carries a stubborn sense of awkwardness built on attention and acceptance, but that’s what made her so quirky and likeable. It was hard getting used to in the beginning, now, I can’t imagine her acting any other way.

 

THE BAD

I’m not entirely sure I get Dr. Shaw as a character. We’re given a sentimental background full of remorse and empathy for Two leading her to construct avenue’s for androids to seek freedom and human choices. Yet the motivation behind it and her ultimate goal never seemed to fit within the confines of the plot. The cliffhanger suggests that she’s at least understanding of Victor’s “death to human owners” attitude that randomly surfaced at the end, but we don’t really know if she’s going along with it or not. Where I think everything went sideways was her choice to not transfer her mind into her android counterpart. If she was going to change her mind, why did she accept to build one to begin with? I just feel there’s a few inconsistencies with her nature and don’t quite know if she’s hiding more secrets or not that could damage her relationship with Two, not that there really is one at this point.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Three apologized to the android. I never really thought about their similarity of blunt comments, but having the android identify and applaud that trait of theirs was probably one of her biggest moments reflecting as a human being would. Instead of always trying to mimic human qualities and quirks, she’s seeing how a human reacts like she does. That deserves a lot of points for being subtle but carry a lot of flavor on the topic.

 

CHARACTER MVP

The android is vastly approaching a seasonal MVP status and certainly deserves the credit tonight as well. This was more genuinely acted than any real choices she made, because she was never really in any physical danger, nor did she save the crew in any heroic form. This was clearly an internal struggle brought to light by the idea she thought she wasn’t unique and it took a few friends to convince her otherwise, but in the end did. Ironically, Two was the only one who really didn’t take part in that conversation considering her own conflict with Dr. Shaw and how awkward this will be for Two and the android to be around each other from here on out. Since Two is operating on a different conscious level, her feelings toward Shaw are apparently nil, but we’ll see if that lasts.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

One thing I’ll add for Six, he could have easily used the “twin” argument to sell his point to the android by stating that twins may share all physical attributes but carry distinctly different thought processes and share vastly different experiences that help them grow in different ways. Alternately, I thought Five’s outburst toward Chase was a touch much over-protective but considering Chase’s “what does it matter what you think” comment was entirely forced and unnecessarily called for. Probably one of the more uncomfortable moments for both parties who want what’s best for the android.

 

I kind of have to disagree with how the Galactic Authority handled that bombardment, not because of that specific act, but that they completely ignored the Raza which, by now should have been easily on their radar to pursue and capture. One ship could have diverted to disable the Raza considering at least 4 showed up.

 

The android’s flashbacks were a nice touch to add some clarity to her existence prior to season 1’s start, but I keep thinking, what led “Rebecca” down such a dark and distinct road that her “Portia Lyn” personality became such a radically volatile character. Those nanites must have had an effect on her since the beginning, but not being around Shaw was maybe why she lost her emotional connection with anyone? Seems to fit, but odd at the same time.

 

Victor could be involved with future Five’s foretelling of the “double-deception” if their plot has any real significance moving forward, which I imagine it will considering Sarah’s involvement now. If not, it could still be tied to her other key moments that will no doubt bring the Raza down in several ways. We’ll see.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter takes significant time to give Two and the android ample backstory regarding their creation and ties to one another. Dr. Shaw’s inclusion to the series will give the android arc more significance and mystery surrounding her involvement with Victor who has darker plans for human-kind. At its core, the show understandably focuses on the android’s plight for self-acceptance and friendships with the crew to sustain a meaningful existence which I think plenty of humans can relate to over the course of any lifecycle. It’s often difficult to fit relatable traits when dealing with space-operas, but Dark Matter found a perfect key in doing so tonight. Until next week, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dark Matter – Season 3×09 (Reddit would have downvoted that picture citing it as a repost somehow)

Dark Matter 3x09

 

 

SUMMARY

The crew of the Raza discover they’ve traveled 600 years in the past and return to Earth to lay low and make sense of their situation. Taking refuge in Wisconsin, the crew blend in but are immediately suspected by neighboring kids. When they find out a scientist from the future has stowed away in the past, Two and Three find his house and a working blink drive that summoned the ship as a recall function within the broken blink drive on the Raza. The scientist captures Two and Three and explains he created the blink drive but felt it was too dangerous to be left in anyone’s hands and escaped to the past. After convincing the scientist of their dilemma, he helps Five return to an earlier time in the day to program the Marauder so that they can deal with the police threat that surrounded it. Afterward, they return to their present with the working blink drive while the scientist chooses to stay behind. In the present, the android is called upon by her android associates for help.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

In dealing with time travel one must come down on one side of the fence or the other. Time is either fixed or can be changed causing multiple dimensional outcomes. Dark Matter chooses the former as the crew unintentionally inspire the creation of FTL and a calling to explore space itself. This was mostly a humorous look at our characters facing a suburban culture without too much emphasis on current technology and pop-culture references. Surprisingly, it was more tame on the outcome of their paradoxical situation than I suspected but considering the android’s relative expertise on the planet’s subject matter, I was thoroughly entertained for most of it.

 

THE GOOD

Time travel to our present is a bit of a rite of passage in sci-fi storytelling. It generally beats the other premise where they go further back to an era that wouldn’t look as good without a wide-scale budget in hand. In the present, there’s lots of clever nuances and culture clashes one can make and tonight’s episode did so in abundance. In this instance, the cast can observe and comment on our society strengths and weaknesses without any real judgments save for a lack of current technology to fit their needs as Three so eloquently mentioned while walking down the street. They weren’t in any real horrific danger and served to tell a decent story that even gave us the origin of the blink drive and why its creator fled the present.

 

The android was chalk full of idiosyncrasies sometimes going a little out of her way to keep their disguises in check which was probably what made this episode work so well. In some aspects, she nurtures the crew and herds them together when they have absolutely no idea how to deal with the situation. Gathering funds, buying houses, and making house warming platters just shows how resourceful she is along with the smaller details that we as present exclusive patrons would catch and chuckle at.

 

THE BAD

Not a fan of those kids. At the end of the day, Jake was a device instrumental to the creation of the FTL drive built by her granddaughter which Five in no small way was an inspirational marker for that invention. It’s just hard to imagine how suburban lifestyles still leans toward families suspecting neighbors with being cannibals or aliens in this day and age. Seemed silly, but in retrospect I understand their place in the plot.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Watching Two reactions as she and Three walked through town. It’s not often we see Two in a state of merriment, but seeing her react to the dog and wanting hot chocolate shows how she can be laid back and positive if given the time to do so. Three comments on in and I like that he does because he’s also recognizing the stress she goes through and that simple things can help lighten the mood. If anything, she might have been the most prepared to stay in the time if it came down to it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

This could go either way for the android or Five, but the android has the situation organized and made the most impact in getting the crew to blend in without too much slip ups or suspicion on their parts. Five’s inspiration for Jake was more happenstance than anything. I’m just glad Jake wasn’t ancestor for Jace Corso or something to that affect.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Dungeon Siege III came out around June of 2011. If Jake got the collector’s edition at Christmas that would put their date in Wisconsin in 2012 at the earliest. Now, most console players wouldn’t waste their time trying to passively beat a game over the course of too many months so if Jake didn’t beat the prior game Five was playing within two weeks of getting it, he either hates playing video games or his parents bought him random cheap games that weren’t in his favorite genres to begin with. In either case, Five showed him up.

 

If the crew landed somewhere more populated like LA, Chicago, New York or anywhere really dense, I’m certain Three would have found enough things to keep his mind occupied rather than lament on the lack of technology not available to him. Though to be fair, to him it wasn’t about having it, it was about having access to it the same way we might think of things useful to use nowadays but we don’t really use but it’s nice to have. We have anti-grav boots, sort of.

 

The active blink drive in their possession does raise some interesting dilemmas for the future. Does this mean they can actively move into the past with it, or was that strictly only the scientist’s capability? Will Ishida once more become obsessed with getting it once he learns of its existence and stop at nothing once more to claim it? I feel this will somehow play its course on the finale this season.

 

And speaking of Ishida. Now that Nieman has reached out to him with the alternate Portia and Boone at his side I suspect they’ll work together for that common goal until it no longer suits one of them, but I very much want Ishida to be the one to kill Portia and Boone when the time comes. He should know he can’t trust either of them and it gives us another excuse to have a great fight scene.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Dark Matter has crossed dimensions and now the past as the crew tackle a jumble of what-if’s in regards to time-paradoxes. Most positive highlights are the small moments of comedic interaction between oblivious neighbors and the android who probably oversold their disguises, but the mark was hit in a fun and enjoyable segment of levity that this show is getting better at showcasing. With a new blink drive in their possession it’s only a matter of “time” before their hunted by all walks of corporate and bounty-hunter types. One thing is for certain, if there’s a retro song to be heard, you can bet the android will awkwardly pelvic thrust to it. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words