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: The Originals – Season 3×11 (These convenient witches shall aid you in your quest to figure everything out)

TO 3x11

 

SUMMARY

Klaus attempts to quell Camille’s darker side as a vampire while Elijah enlists the help of the Stricts to gain knowledge on the prophetic weapon that will destroy the Originals. Davina joins the Stricts to gain access to the other side where Kol is found avoiding Kara and the ancestors. Hayley continues to deal with her grief over Jackson’s death and Camille not only discovers the weapon Klaus is searching for, she steals it to bargain for the dark objects he took from her.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

A flash of brilliance came in the guise of an innocent carved figure made from the familiar substance capable of ending an original vampire. It brought back to focus a very real threat and not a fantastical new kind of weapon that no one’s heard of before. The threads pulling everyone closer together makes for a captivating episode that may have over done it with Camille’s alluring dark personality, but capitalized on a few other points namely Davina’s inclusion to the next arc. Mostly satisfied moments to be had with the exception of one or two oddly handled situations. I may not get the war I want, but instead we’re getting fear in Elijah and Klaus and that says a lot considering their indestructible personalities.

 

THE GOOD

Maybe it was a spur of the moment idea, but I honestly didn’t think they’d pull out more white oak substances, yet here we are, a small piece of it now in the hands of Camille who is quickly developing an agenda of her own. This kind of turn was better than Klaus nurturing her dark side, something that would have been overtly cliché. It doesn’t help that Camille played every “old trick all new vampires play” when they think they already have it all figured out, but in her case, the therapy aspect was played rather well since all of her realizations of being bad were all an act. She’s quickly becoming an adversary and after studying Klaus for so long, it makes perfect sense that she’s the best character to go rogue given the stacked side of “heroes” we have.

 

For Kol’s sake, I’d like him to reunite with Davina even though her return seems a little too perfect time-wise. It’s not easy to change a character’s demeanor even though love is usually the catalyst for all vampires who start off as evil. If there’s a ghost/witch plot to be had here, it’s interesting how it’s forming. I’m not sure if this other side is a one-shot, but its a good place to start now that most of our resident witches have been reduced to cannon fodder for the vampires.

 

THE BAD

I stated it earlier, but if every vampire group has their own witches working for them, then what’s the point of having these allied covens? It’s arbitrary to be honest and furthermore, why give us this keen back-story on Ariane who seemed like a character who should have at least been in a few more episodes and just kill her off like that? We’ll never know what she got out of this bargain with the Stricts or all the details on Elijah beyond what we already know. We need more likable witch characters and they already ruined it by killing an untrained seer who was at least interesting enough to get to know. Way to go, team!

 

Marcel’s tiny moment at the beginning may have been staged or not depending on how you look at Ariane’s character. If she knew how Marcel’s role would play out, then it makes sense that she would purposefully trick Aya into thinking he was a loyal character by giving him a non-threatening tarot card. However, maybe it’s us that are fooled and Marcel really is playing at staying loyal to the Stricts. The truth is, Marcel shouldn’t be actively betraying the originals and in believing so I felt the dinner scene had no barring in the episode at hand except to give Marcel confidence that his ruse was still in effect.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Klaus realized the horse he carved for Rebekah was made out of the white oak stake. You’d think it would have been more pale on the eyes, but nevertheless, it was a cool revelation because that carving has been around since near the beginning of the series. I don’t know if that was always the plan, but I liked how cleverly it was put in the background without us every suspecting its origin.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I didn’t really like where Camille’s scenes were going, but the more she fooled the cast the more I realized her skills to misdirect and cut to the core of their problems is something a vampire without cares really would do if they felt the need to react. Camille gets it tonight for her smooth delivery and dangerous game she’s begun. I still would have liked it if she kept the curls though.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

If Josh is going to continue sharing scenes with everyone, it’s high time he started becoming a credible character and not the on-going sidekick he’s made out to be. He’s survived as a minor character for three seasons now and it shouldn’t be just to bounced conversations with Davina every time she needs a partner in crime to utilize.

 

I thought the ending was an interesting highlight of Elijah’s style to be near his loved ones but not quite embracing. He understands Hayley’s pain and won’t seek to comfort her beyond just being close by and listening. Even though he killed a witch in the previous scene, he maintains a very casual and caring form especially when it comes to Hayley who will always be under his protection.

 

The prophetic visions originally showed a vampire character who seemed more brutal and monstrous (Still think its Marcel) yet it wasn’t mentioned tonight at all. The weapon itself was the focal point and now that its in the hands of Camille, there’s no telling what it will become. It’s too small to become a stake, but maybe it could be added to a hollow dagger of some sort and transformed with magic of course.

 

No Freya, Aurora, or Lucien tonight. Is Lucien just being written out for the time being? With Tristan gone, I’d expect he and Aurora to bond and ally since he was always in love with her, but that’s an easy one to figure out. Maybe Camille is on her way to him as we speak with ideas on how to manipulate all parties involved in this crazy plot.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Very enjoyable episode. Camille’s attitude was very run-of-the-mill based on how new vampires act when they turn and can’t control themselves. But she took it up another level by outsmarting Hayley, Klaus and everyone she could compel. Davina’s allegiance with the Stricts is purely based on her need to get Kol back and now that we know he’s in some afterlife danger, she’ll stop at nothing to see he lives again. Her role has meaning again, and it’s worth reuniting them together at least for Kol’s sake. The beats were good and the weapon being under Klaus’s nose the entire time was a nice reveal at the end. The originals have something to be afraid of and fear can lead to some desperate moments especially when the threat is real. I look forward to next week. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Hannibal – Season 3×11 (Stop hitting yourself. No, really stop, it’s painful to watch!)

Hanni 3x11

The effects of absorbing true art take their toll on the man who would become a mythical creature within modern society. In lieu of Hannibal’s dubious words and helpful hints, Francis wages a critical strike against Will and his family for interfering with his ascension. The FBI continue to plot the dragon’s capture while Hannibal toys with assisting in that endeavor all the while Will suffers more at the hands of both Hannibal and the dragon.

As the tale of one of literature’s most prolific and charismatic serial cannibals draws near its end, I find this episode played it very safe within the confines of its book counterpart. Francis continues to use his voice for allure, an act I feel he is doing better than others portraying the dragon in the past. The dichotomy of his evil is very simple and easy to understand though at times I wonder if even Francis thought ahead with how he’ll continue to exist once he’s fully “transformed”. I doubt he’ll perch on-top of a building and sniff out his meals for the rest of his days. As always, Will and Hannibal make the most out of their time together with Will holding onto intense frustration over Hannibal’s transparent explanations on what Will is truly facing.

After Hannibal gives Francis the address of Will’s family, he goes to murder them, but the family escapes. Francis continues to wrestle with his change and imagines being attacked by the dragon entity for continuing to resist. Dr. Bloom discovers Hannibal has been speaking to the dragon and with the FBI they coerce Hannibal into setting up the dragon with another call. Hannibal agrees but at the last second informs the dragon that they’re listening. Dr. Bloom then removes all of Hannibal’s prison belongings including his toilet. After Will sees his wife and son he goes to Hannibal to lament his anger while Hannibal continues to react in psychological rhetoric regarding both the dragon’s ascension and Will being similar to him.

I like how a lot of the focus is still on Francis and his struggles although at this point in the storyline, I wouldn’t think he’ll do much to stand in the way of his own change. Leaving Reba after beating himself up was the right move because it’s his last bit of sympathy over caring about anything on the mortal plane. His attack on Will’s family was very cut and dry yet it showed he can still be outsmarted. I’d expect he’ll take his time to manage his next moves from here on out because he’ll consider what he did sloppy work.

A lot of Hannibal’s fine acting comes with his reactions within reactions, particularly around the snide remarks and retorts Dr. Bloom gives him as well as Will’s unstable moments letting Hannibal know how affected he is. Hannibal is amused and remains amused even at the cost of his own dignity, something Dr. Bloom thinks will actually affect Hannibal, but the truth is, it doesn’t. Nowhere do we see Hannibal suffering any indignities because his mind is too powerful to let physical issues trump his razor focus. The best things anyone can do are having the last words while walking through the door to freedom. Even then, Hannibal knows they’ll be back, they always come back.

FAVORITE MOMENT

The final scene with Will and Hannibal. Will has a way with enunciating certain words to inflect his immense displeasure because he can’t just hit Hannibal in the face or even strike the glass in anger. Even at this point, Hannibal continues to play the neutral villain, instructing and criticizing Will over recent events instead of actually helping. But to Hannibal, he needs to see his pawns perform whether he believes on one side or the other. He’ll adapt and survive as he always does.

CHARACTER MVP

Hannibal gets the prize in this episode. He doesn’t falter and is shown to be extremely cunning and resourceful even while locked up with nothing to call his own. As hard as Dr. Bloom tried, she couldn’t get him to crack or even raise a methodical eyebrow. There’s no antagonizing the alpha mind and there’s certainly no good to be had when you give the devil a phone.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

If Francis imagines the dragon as a separate entity that can attack him, is he really dealing with a split personality where one destroys the other, or does he genuinely believe he’ll retain his own sense of self when he becomes the dragon personified?

Francis’s half mask reminds me of early Daredevil. Nothing there, just an observation.

I almost want to believe that when Hannibal mentions to Bloom and Jack that the Toothfairy should go by the Great Red Dragon, that he was in fact mocking Francis. It had a layer of both respect yet laced with very subtle sarcasm. Or maybe I’m reading too far into it and Hannibal really does hold him in high esteem.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. It was decent follow up to the previous episode which had a pretty great ending. The attack on Will’s family was very telegraphed, but only in the mindset of knowing how things would play out. Hannibal remains stalwart and resolute with his performance and Will’s descent is nearly equal with the dragon’s ascent. With two episodes left, I expect a few major moments to play out in typical artistic fashion with the gore to balance out intense dialogue sessions that are central to the core of our characters. Will is good with showing he’s having trouble stabilizing his emotions, but I doubt whether he is truly falling into chaos or whether he’ll become something that Hannibal always intended, an insane partner. We’ll see.

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