by Billie Doux
Lisa: "You want to know the truth?"
Dean: "Probably not."
Just a bit intense, huh? This is why I love sci-fi/fantasy. The truth was a huge issue, so what did we get? An evil goddess of Truth, where you find out what your loved ones really think about you and you kill yourself because it's unbearable.
by Jess Lynde
Moya’s crew is lured to a planet by a sect of renegade Delvian priests, so that their leader can learn Zhaan’s secret for staving off the madness caused by their darker impulses.
There are certainly worse episodes of Farscape, but I didn’t really enjoy ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ It was very strange. I felt confused through most of it, particularly regarding what was up with the Delvians. I really had to focus on the various exposition scenes to get the gist of Zhaan’s backstory and the reason these priests lured her there. Throughout most of those scenes, I kept getting distracted by the differences in the Delvian makeup. These new Delvians looked a lot more “made up” than Zhaan. It seems strange to say, but there’s something about the makeup they use on Virginia Hey that looks very striking, but also very natural. She just seems like she is a beautiful blue priestess. Tahleen and her ilk, however, looked like humans wearing pounds of makeup. (The same actress playing both a Delvian and Crichton’s ex didn’t help matters.) I think it was the higher contrast between their skin and their lips, as well as the hair and the additional sparkly details. And the fact that I gave this issue so much thought during the episode really underlines the weaknesses in the main story.
It was nice to get a more detailed backstory for Zhaan. For those who, like me, had some trouble following along: Bitaal, Zhaan’s teacher and lover, was the spiritual leader of the Delvians, but when his time to lead was over, he decided he wasn’t ready to give up the position and brought in the Peacekeepers to enforce his rule. When this resulted in the false imprisonment and murder of “liberal thinkers and voices of protest,” including Zhaan’s father, Zhaan gave in to her dark impulses and used them to kill Bitaal while they were sharing unity. “You killed the guy you were having sex with, Zhaan!” So now we know why she was considered her people’s chief anarchist.
The primary question I’m left with is: did Crichton showing Zhaan her true nature also help to address her lingering rage issues from ‘That Old Black Magic’? Aside from the attack on Pilot, we haven’t really seen her struggling with any darker impulses. (I guess half a day of photogasms will ease the savage within.) I was starting to wonder if that was a dropped plot thread, but perhaps this little experience was meant to address that issue and more definitively put her on the road to recovery. Here’s hoping.
So last episode, Crichton and D’Argo worked on their relationship. This week, Zhaan and Crichton got a lot closer. What’s next week? More bonding for Crichton and Aeryn?
Zhaan leveled! And she got a nifty new protective power. I wonder if she also got some additional life and mana points.
It was fun to get a glimpse of everyone in their sleepwear. Aeryn in Crichton’s underwear was particularly amusing.
Zhaan turning to Crichton as someone she trusts to provide counsel was an interesting little role reversal. Clearly, he was the correct person to help her, but given the generally low opinion everyone on Moya seems to have of Crichton’s usefulness --- even Zhaan at times --- it was a bit surprising.
I wish that the writers had used the “attack them with their own hopes and fears” approach to provide some new insight into our characters. Instead, we saw that Aeryn fears being unable to use or remember her training, D’Argo fears the Peacekeepers will capture his son, and Rygel fears being seen as even smaller and more inconsequential. All of which perfectly aligns with their characterization thus far. Yea for consistency, but new perspective is always appreciated and this could have been a good opportunity to explore some new depths.
I guess we did learn a bit more about Crichton’s past. (He had an almost fiancée that left him for a scholarship to Stanford Med! Who knew?) And we apparently learned that he wishes he could share this great space adventure with someone he loves. Should we assume that his lost love, Alex, is the one he longs to be with, or did Lorana just go to that well because she conveniently happens to look like Alex?
Cool world-building detail: the Delvians have a “missionary habitat” ship, which arrives on a planet, heats the rock to molten, then settles underground. Plus, trigapods! The latest in gourmet fare. It’s a sea cucumber and a squid. Yum!
We saw several episodes ago that Zhaan desperately wants to return home. Given that the overall power structure doesn’t seem to have changed since her incarceration, what exactly is she hoping to do when she gets back? Live a covert existence and free her people? It previously seemed like she just wanted to go home, not lead the revolution.
Crichton implying Zhaan was afraid by clucking like a chicken was pretty funny. “Your translator microbes handle that?”
Crichton: “Little long for a Starburst, don’t ya think?”
Rygel: “Hail, Prince of the Obvious.”
Crichton: “What about you girls? Sex dreams?”
Aeryn: “I sleep soundly.”
Zhaan (curtly): “I am unimpressed by your masculine reveries.”
Aeryn: “Amazes me how people mistake theosophy for superiority.”
D’Argo: “Something Crichton said is disturbing me.”
Rygel: “Finally! I’ve been saying that since he arrived.”
Zhaan: “Will she use the ability I give her to hurt people?”
Tuzak: “Certainly. But, she may also free a planet from tyranny.”
Crichton: “The part of Tahleen in tonight’s unity will be played by John Crichton.”
Crichton: “Look at yourself as I see you. Gentle, giving. That’s you, Zhaan.”
Zhaan: “[Sets down some folded clothing.] The vestments of a Pa’u. Feels like a shroud I am no longer worthy of.”
Final Analysis: It was good to fill in some of the blanks in Zhaan’s past, and to see her and Crichton further develop their friendship, but overall not a terribly engaging episode.
by Josie Kafka
“I won’t hesitate.”
The first two-thirds of this episode were brilliant. The last third left me so discomfited that I had to bring the question up the corporate ladder and ask Billie what she thought. I’m still uncertain.
by Billie Doux
Spock: "Under these conditions, fog is highly unlikely, Captain."
There aren't a lot of Halloween episodes on science fiction shows, possibly because witches, haunted castles and black cats don't blend that well with starships and aliens. I wrote a review of the Rocky Horror Picture Show last weekend and I couldn't stop thinking about it while writing this review. It was a dark and stormy night, and our starship broke down. Didn't we pass a castle back down the road a few miles?
by Harry Earle
“How did a production of Rocky Horror turn into... my horror?”
Glee got its freak on this week with the perfect episode for Halloween, the Rocky Horror Glee Show. We got some interesting and original themes such as the use and abuse of shock value in the arts and the guys’ body issues, and some tired plots such as Will’s desperation to impress Emma, leading to an inappropriately sexual performance for which he then apologises – sound familiar?
I hate to start off with a moan, but I found it hard to get past Glee’s overly self-aware method of dealing with Fox’s censorship – turn it into one of the central plot points of the episode. Whilst it was understandable that Mr Shue might have to edit the Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) in order to make it palatable to parents and conservative minds, some of the censorship very obviously came from Fox itself. For example John Stamos was originally planned to play Frank’N’Furter. The Glee writers certainly did the best they could, working in discussions about the whether the arts should be allowed to show risqué material as part of the freedom of creative expression, or whether pushing boundaries is only ok when there is a genuine message behind it. Strangely enough, Sue was the voice of reason, her undercover exposé coming off as strangely level-headed and moderate especially when juxtaposed against Will’s crazy macho desire to ‘win’ Emma to make her better himself. I hadn’t noticed the writers assassinating his character until now, but this just isn’t the same guy we saw in Season 1. Please make Will normal again writers! Leave the crazy schemes to Rachel, who does it better.
I thought most of the characters were well cast in their RHPS roles. It was a no-brainer that Rachel and Finn would be Janet and Brad, and it looked like Rachel at least was having a lot of fun! Santana and Brittany were also a great couple as Magenta and Columbia, and for me their gleeful cavorting in the hall during Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me was a highlight of the episode. I thought it was believable that Kurt might refuse to play Frank’N’Furter (though really, he didn’t have a leg to stand on considering his Gaga outfit) but his bald leering as Riff Raff was royally creepy. Mercedes was a bit lacking in edge as Frank’N’Furter, but I think that wasn’t the writers’ first choice. Poor Artie, he was completely pre-cast by his chair. Sam looked quite similar to the original Rocky, I’m glad they got him down to the ridiculous gold hotpants at least briefly! It’s a shame Puck wasn’t in this episode, it’s pretty funny to imagine him and Sam clashing over who would get to be the male eye-candy in their production. If you’re wondering when Puck will return, don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long.
It was fascinating watching our Glee men deal with their body issues. I had always wondered why Finn wore such shapeless t-shirts and it makes perfect sense that he’d have mild body dysmorphia. It’s original to have a quarterback on an American show who doesn’t have rippling muscles and isn’t confident with his body. Even though his sudden desire to strut down the hall in his boxers was ridiculous and came out of nowhere, he made an interesting contrast to Sam I Am, whose confidence is dependent on his body, even though he does look amazing, it’s likely that Finn has a healthier outlook, despite his issues. Artie’s take on why male bodies get more scrutiny these days was hilarious but I think he’s wrong that women are starting to think more like men. I think it’s only natural that in today’s image obsessed society, women should be able to demand that men take just as much care of themselves as they do.
Bits and Pieces:
- Nice cameo from Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf who were in the RHPS film.
- Hurrah cheerleader Becky is involved in the main plot this episode.
- I want to dress as Sue for Halloween too!
- ‘Pain is Temporary’ sign, awesome. Nice one Coach Bieste!
- Sue would have made a great Criminologist dancing on the table in The Time Warp. Oh well.
- The question of funding for travel to Nationals came up. I’m sure that’ll be pursued again in the near future.
- Sue has mad pumpkin carving skillz.
- I loved the shout-outs to fans that go to the stage show (although I’ve never been), like Sue getting confused about the toast throwing and Will and Emma heckling with “....Pation!” during Sweet Transvestite.
Glee Against the Music:
Science Fiction/Double Feature: What a wonderful song. This was my favourite song from the film and I was worried they wouldn’t include it in Glee, but instead we got Santana’s luscious lips over the opening credits in a straight homage which started the episode perfectly and made me wonder whether the whole episode would be scenes from the film.
Over at the Frankenstein Place: Decent song to set the scene and continue the illusion that the whole episode was going to be done as a Glee version of the film.
Dammit Janet: Well done Glee for having a leading man and lady who fit Brad and Janet so well that they crushed the song without looking like they were even trying. I loved the klutzy choreography.
Hot Patootie: A lot of fun! I didn’t like the film version that much, I was stuck wondering why Meatloaf was interrupting a perfectly charming evening – but John Stamos nailed the song and I was won over along with the Glee kids. Still, i’d rather have seen him in lipstick and fishnets.
Sweet Transvestite: I can’t fault Amber Riley’s performance, but no one can compare to Tim Curry in the film. Anyone who enjoyed this song but hasn’t seen The RHPS film NEEDS to go and watch it, now. It is a strange and sad day when “Transsexual Transylvania” must be changed to “sensational Transylvania” on a show that is all about celebrating who you are.
Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me: Wow Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays really set fire to the screen with this one. The inception of a Glee RHPS episode came when Jayma performed this in her audition, so it is unsurprising that she did it brilliantly. Grrrg, argh, again with the unnecessary changing of lyrics! What on earth do “heavy sweating” and “bad fretting” mean? Aren’t “heavy petting” and “seat-wetting” fairly tame lyrics?
The Time Warp: Mucho fun! How very Glee that the kids performed the last number just for themselves.
Quotes for Gleeks:
Kurt: “So what are you going to be for Halloween this year?”
Brittany: “I’m going as a peanut allergy.”
Will: Internal monologue. “The sandwich. The theatre. He’s actually making her better. He’s winning!”
Will: “This week’s musical lesson isn’t really a lesson. It’s a musical.”
Finn: “I have no idea what’s going on in this script and it’s not in a cool Inception kind of way.”
Andrea: “....making it the zoo’s first Unitarian chimp wedding in over six years!”
Sue: “Halloween is fast approaching. The day when parents encourage little boys to dress like little girls, and little girls to dress like whores.”
Sue: “We’ve lost the true meaning of Halloween. Fear! Halloween is that magical day of the year when a child is told their grandmother’s a demon who’s been feeding them rat casserole with a crunchy garnish of their own scabs.”
Tim (Barry Bostwick): “Mexican terrorist ants!”
Santana: “Earlier today Artie asked if he could make a giant omelette when I’m done with the ostrich eggs I’m smuggling in my bra.”
Sam: “Ain’t no carpool lane to sexy.”
Emma: “Yes it’s a dream come true! I mean the costume designing is a dream come true not the spending a lot of time – not that spending a lot of time wouldn’t - because of Carl, I’ve got the Carl!”
Mike: “I really wanna do it but they’re just not cool with me dressing up like a tranny.”
Sue: “People who dress like librarians – all sex addicts.”
Finn: “I don’t have to hide behind my muscles like you do.”
Sam: “Awesome! I think. Are you insulting me?”
But the quote of the night surprisingly goes to Becky: "Give me some chocolate or I will cut you."
All in all they did a pretty decent job integrating the bizarre and wonderfully awful RHPS into a cohesive Glee episode with great songs, a decent plot and some interesting issues explored.
Three out of four peanut allergy costumes.
by Josie Kafka
Casey: “Chuck, how’d you get here?”
Chuck: “My mom dropped me off.”
Chuck has officially left the will-they-or-won’t-they problem behind. Now we’ve got a bigger problem: is she or isn’t she? (Before your mind goes to a dirty place, I’m talking about whether or not Chuck’s mom is a good spy or a bad spy.) All of that pales in comparison, though, to the real point of tonight’s episode: How To Get Along With Prospective And Actual In-Laws.
Morgan and His Girlfriend’s Dad (aka Casey)
These two are hilarious together, and that’s why they get first billing in tonight’s in-law lineup. Now that Casey has decided to permit Morgan to be with 100 yards of his daughter, he’s taken him under his wing, too. Sure, you could argue that using Morgan as bait (or “the magnet”) isn’t really helping him learn anything at all. But I like to think that Casey believes in the tough-love school of spydom. Besides, Morgan has started conversing in grunts just like Casey!
Morgan and His Mother’s Lover (aka Big Mike)
Okay, so this is a bit of a stretch: we only got one Morgan/Big Mike scene. But I don’t want to neglect El Segundo’s School of Finance’s most prestigious alumnus.
Ellie and Awesome’s Mom (aka Honey)
So this is how you make an Awesome cardiac surgeon: no to bears, yes to dictionaries. You also work in snarky comments about the cleanliness of kitchen cabinets. Despite Honey’s flaws, though, Ellie has a great attitude: one part amusement, one part rage, and one part gratitude. No matter what happens with Mama B, Ellie does have a great resource to help her learn the ins-and-outs of motherhood—you just know that Honey would love a frantic 4am phone call about ear infections and colic. There’s something to be said for that, all things considered.
Sarah, Mama B, and Chuck
One of my favorite things about Chuck is that there are very few surprises. Chuck gets shot? Yeah, he’ll be fine. His mom shot him? Oh, she didn’t mean it. This show is incredibly averse to messing up the status quo (it did take them three years to get Chuck and Sarah together), and I really doubted they’d sideline the eponymous hero. I expected this episode to have a few double- and triple-twists, but wind up with everyone coming together, even if it was just for a moment.
But I didn’t count on Casey’s and Sarah’s tenacity. They’re not just good at their jobs—they’re looking out for their friend. The revelation that Mama B really might be evil shocked me, especially since it meant that Chuck had to reveal more of the story to poor Ellie, who must be horrified by the world she keeps getting glimpses of. Sarah said she was looking out for Chuck’s blind spot, and that’s exactly what she’s doing. That won’t make it hurt any less if she’s right, though. And it might throw a real wrench into the works if she’s wrong and Chuck is forced to choose between his mother and his girlfriend.
Nothing To Do With In-Laws…
A constant tension on Chuck is how our hero can reconcile his inherently good, trusting nature with the deviousness and deception required of his lifestyle. Last week, we got hints that Chuck might be getting a bit more pragmatic. Tonight, Chuck explained his mother’s betrayal by telling Ellie that mom is a spy—on the face of it, that’s an obvious explanation. But is Chuck commenting on the nature of spy life? Does he see all spies as doomed to deception and double-crosses? Will his childhood abandonment issues cause him to deceive his “family” at Castle and the BuyMore, and Ellie?
…Although In-Laws Are Scary
I can’t believe that I’ve gotten this far without mentioning this episode’s main conceit: Robert Englund and the neurotoxin of terror. I’m not much of a horror fan, and I thought the nightmare sequences were a bit cheesy, especially since I assumed an antidote would emerge in due time. But I was amused by the aisle of terror. I also really liked that Wheelwright was just as horrified as Jeffster wanted everyone to be.
• Morgan: “Not bad scary, like war, and bears.”
• Morgan: “Morgan Grimes, not just for the ladies any more.”
• Big Mike: “There’s even a catchy phrase: ‘Get it off your plate; give it to other people.’”
Morgan: “Don’t you mean, ‘Get it off your plate. Delegate’?”
Big Mike: “No, I do not. You are not a rhyming monkey.”
• Casey: “Two fugitives and a dangerous weapon on the loose. Go team.” This was sort of a weird line, coming from Casey.
• Honey: “Devin was amazing, right from the start. Amazing genes, I guess. Don’t you worry, this little wonder is half-way there.” What a great sneaky insult.
• Honey: “Babies love dictionaries.”
• Jeff: “Is it a baby, or a snail?”
• In case you didn’t know, Robert Englund played Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
• I loved Sarah’s glasses when she was playing the maitre d’ at the restaurant.
• Did anyone else want Mama B to say “Come with me if you want to live” when she pulled up to Chuck behind the BuyMore?
This was a solid episode. After last week’s awesomeness, Chuck had a lot to live up to. This episode’s main conceit wasn’t the best ever (at least for me), but did a great job with character development and setting up tensions that will be, I assume, gradually resolved over the course of the season. There wasn't too much BuyMore, but just enough. And all the plot threads did tie together, which was a neat trick. Or maybe a neat treat?
Three out of four rhyming monkeys.
by Billie Doux
Lumen: "If you had something horrible happen to you, could you just forget about it and move on?"
Dexter has spent his life reacting to something horrible that happened to him. Which is why I found this episode frustrating. Geez, Dexter. You obviously want to hunt them down. Lumen desperately needs help hunting them down. Will you just give up the fight and hunt them down, already?
by Jess Lynde
After his module gets damaged while creating a wormhole, Crichton and Aeryn are forced to put down on a nearby planet for repairs. While waiting, they discover Crais has been placing “wanted” beacons for D’Argo, Zhaan, and Rygel throughout the Uncharted Territories, and soon find themselves pretending to be bounty hunters to protect their shipmates from Blood Trackers.
A much better effort than last week’s. Actually, from a story perspective, the episode really wasn’t all that, but the character dynamics and interactions felt so much more natural and in-character that I left this one feeling pretty happy overall.
The basic premise was decent enough. Having Crichton modify his module to attempt to create another wormhole was a good idea. Now that his initial “fish-out-of-water” flailing about is lessening, I’m glad the writers are letting him become more proactive in his search for home. And introducing a new character with an interest in using wormholes for profit could be interesting. I’m not sure when or if we’ll see Furlow again --- she was fairly entertaining, so I wouldn’t be disappointed if we did --- but just the concept that wormholes could be more than a freak phenomena in this ‘verse, and that Crichton may hold the key to controlling them, opens the door to stretch the story beyond “running from an insane military commander and looking for a way home” territory.
Speaking of that insane military commander, I really like the addition of bounty hunters to the mix. After searching fruitlessly on his own, it makes perfect sense that Crais would put a bounty on the escapees’ heads and make them the “Unchartered Territories Most Wanted.” The situation for Moya’s crew has now become that much more untenable, and this turn of events could lead to some interesting encounters in the future. That said, I did not really enjoy Crichton’s alpha dog posturing with the Blood Trackers. It was kind of funny at first (Butch and Sundance from the Hole in the Sky Gang --- ha!), but it got tiresome very quickly.
At least the run-in with the Blood Trackers led to a cathartic confrontation between Crichton and D’Argo. At this point in their misadventures, it seems to me that Crichton has more than proven his mettle and his worth, and it made little sense that D’Argo was still giving him a constant rash of grief. It was a relief to finally see those two hash out their differences; to “stimulate the blood flow,” as it were, lest it become toxic. Now that they’ve had it out and agreed to be allies, I’m hoping we’ll see a lasting change in their relationship. (We all know how seriously D’Argo takes his responsibilities to allies.) I’d really like to see an end to D’Argo’s completely irrational and self-righteous attitude towards Crichton. He had some nerve giving Crichton a hard time for wanting to pursue a chance to get home after what he did to Pilot, and I was really glad to see John call him on it.
Crichton: “I just wanted to go home.”
D’Argo: “With no matter to the cost to the rest of us.”
Crichton: “What?! Oh, right. Remind me, who chopped off Pilot’s arm so he could get a return ticket? Huh? No, wasn’t me. I was too busy saving your ass. Keeping your deepest family secrets.”
Aeryn, on the other hand, had very good reason to be upset with Crichton. He lured her out in the module without bothering to tell her he was trying to open a wormhole. Did he even consider that she might not want to dive into the first available wormhole to see where it would take them? “You’re with me on this, right?” “Oh, now it occurs to you to ask.” Very selfish, indeed.
So, solar flare + atmospheric slingshot maneuver = wormhole. Got it.
Aeryn had some nice character moments this week, first pondering Crais’s offer, then having to cope with blindness, and, finally, once again using her mind to solve a problem. It was great to see her so proud of herself for devising the holo-recording plan. “Good idea.” “Best I’ve had yet!” The gigantic smile on her face while the recording was playing was awesome.
Zhaan’s photogasms were a riot. I especially enjoyed Rygel’s reaction to it all.
Rygel: “Zhaan. Are you fully clothed?” [Cover his eyes.]
Zhaan: [Laughs.] “I’m not wearing a scrap. I’m as nude [whispering in his ear] as a newborn baby.”
Rygel: “Then go away. And don’t insult my eyes with your naked blue extremities.”
Zhaan: “Which ones in particular don’t you like? (Seductively) Show them to me.”
Rygel: “No, thank you.”
[She uncovers his eyes.]
Rygel (with eyes still closed): “Aaah! Help, help! A mad Delvian exhibitionist is forcing herself on me!”
Before we watched, I kept telling my husband the upcoming episode was the one with the “dog-faced people,” having completely forgotten that Crichton had to interact with the Blood Trackers as though they were dogs. I was more right than I realized!
During the “outstanding expanse of sand” scenes, I kept wondering if they had filmed this episode in some of the same locations as The Road Warrior.
The badass desert walking music for D’Argo’s and Zhaan’s struts towards the town made me laugh.
We got a few beats referencing Moya’s pregnancy. Note how it is already becoming a problem for the crew. “Moya doesn’t want to put her baby at risk.”
Aeryn seemed to believe the guy trying to steal the module data was a bounty hunter. Hmmm. Seemed to me that he was operating at Furlow’s behest. We know she had a strong interest in the data, and she rather conveniently killed him when the theft went awry.
Zhaan: “Be careful, John. This star is unusually erratic.”
Aeryn: “Sounds just like Crichton.”
D’Argo: “What is a pain in the ass?”
Zhaan: “Human speak, I believe. For someone irritating, stubborn, obnoxious.”
Rygel: “A simpleton. A dolt. Idiot.”
D’Argo: “I get the idea.”
Rorf (to Crichton): “Is this your fe-male?”
Aeryn: “I am no one’s female!”
Holo-Crais: “Abandon the human criminal. Return the Leviathan. Surrender Ka D’Argo, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan, and Dominar Rygel XVI. Comply, and you will retire … honorably. With your commission fully restored. You have my oath, as a Peacekeeper.”
Crichton: “Yeah, well we know what that’s worth.”
My thoughts exactly.
Aeryn (re: Crais): “I always take him seriously.”
Furlow: “Why don’t you go for a nice little walk outside. Take in some of the sights.”
Aeryn: “What sights?”
Furlow: “Well, if you go straight out that way, there’s a truly outstanding expanse of sand.”
Crichton: “I’m tired of sticking my hand out, only to have you snap at it.”
D’Argo: “Every time I let down my guard, you disappoint me.”
Crichton (sarcastically): “Sorry. I’m only human.”
D’Argo (somewhat chastened): “You look so much like a Peacekeeper, I often forget.”
Crichton: “This isn’t gonna work, is it? We’re never gonna be friends.”
D’Argo: “Friendship is a lot to ask.”
Crichton: “Then how about respect? We can be allies.”
Aeryn: “What he means by ‘honorable retirement’ is a radiation-induced brain fever to bring on the living death.”
Crichton: “Well, if you knew the offer was bogus, why did you even listen to it?”
Aeryn: “Because it was nice, just for a moment, to believe it was genuine. That I could go back.”
Furlow: “You know, the ability to create a stable wormhole, travel through space and time, would be … incredibly …”
Furlow (parting shot): “You sure you don’t want that thing detailed?”
Final Analysis: Not the strongest story overall, but a return to form in the character interactions department makes ‘Till the Blood Runs Clear’ feel like a much better episode than the last outing. Hopefully, this marks a step forward in the relationship between D’Argo and Crichton.
by Billie Doux
Tess: "Lois finds a necklace, gets possessed by an Egyptian goddess, and now is flying around like Amelia Earhart minus the plane."
Oliver: "Just another Friday night in Metropolis."
So one of the cast is possessed by an ancient being and wreaks havoc with newly acquired superpowers. Why does this sound so familiar? I can't even count the times they've done an episode like this, and even though Erica Durance rocked that goddess outfit, a recycled plot is a recycled plot.
by Billie Doux
Robert: "You must be starving. Here you go."
Dean: "I'm okay. I killed so many people on the way over here."
This episode bummed me out. And it started so well. The Twilight parody opener with "Kristen" and "Robert" was perfect, right down to the creepy teen obsession, longing looks and stilted romantic dialogue. They even got the name "Lautner" in there.
by Billie Doux
"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey."
[Next week, Glee is doing a Halloween salute to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that pushed me into finally doing a review of it. If you've never seen RHPS, take my advice -- rent it and watch it at home the first time! It's sort of impossible to see it as a movie if you go to a midnight showing.]
Many moons ago, the Rocky Horror Picture Show had been around forever but I had never seen it. I was sort of semi-aware of it without knowing what it was. Of course, I'd noticed the sign on the local theater for a midnight showing, and heard references to it that I pretty much ignored. And then one day I rented it. I got about ten minutes into it, stopped, and went to fetch Dan from a neighbor's. "You've got to see this," I told him.
RHPS is one of those extreme movie experiences that you either love or you don't. I loved it. Fortunately, Dan loved it, too; he says RHPS is the very definition of something that's so bad that it's good. I loaned it to a close friend the next day, and she hated it. Why? I have absolutely no idea.
But we're talking about me. Why do I enjoy RHPS? Why does anyone love anything? There's something about this stupid movie that speaks to me, and it has nothing to do with cross-dressing or throwing toast. RHPS has become a camp classic because it has a strong theme that resonated with its original audience. It's about sexual freedom and personal expression. It's about breaking out of your societal straitjacket and fulfilling your dreams. In a way, even though it's not really science fiction, it does what science fiction does: its very unreality can make you see things from a different perspective.
RHPS makes me laugh. I sing along. I quote the dialogue. Yes, I'll readily admit that there are some weak bits (Columbia's lyrics are incomprehensible, and Rocky himself is awful) and I like first half of the movie better than the second. But I enjoy it every time I watch it, and how many movies can you say that about? The music is extremely catchy and memorable; I saw the movie once and was singing bits from it for days. The acting is surprisingly good; they lucked into the young Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. Composer/writer Richard O'Brien is memorable as Riff Raff, and I've always liked Patricia Quinn as Magenta, too; her expressions in particular are very droll. And of course, Tim Curry's vibrant, scene-stealing performance as Frank-N-Furter is the heart of the movie.
Do I go to midnight showings? No. I went once. For me, once was enough; it's not my thing. But I have danced to the Time Warp at sci-fi conventions. I have no excuse, other than being on a dance floor with a huge group of science fiction fans, many of whom are in costume, is strangely liberating.
Any listing of favorite moments, lyrics, or quotes would be incomplete. So I'm going to just give my favorites.
-- "Science Fiction Double Feature": What a terrific and memorable song. They got caught in a celluloid jam. Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet. I had a friend once who attempted to review every movie they mention in this song.
-- "Dammit, Janet": There's three ways that love can go. That's good, bad or mediocre.
-- "There's a light (over at the Frankenstein place)": Really a very sweet song about hope, and the moment when I knew I was going to love this movie.
-- "The Time Warp": It's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane. The criminologist diagramming the steps and dancing on his desk always makes me laugh out loud.
-- "Sweet Transvestite": I'll get you a satanic mechanic. I'm just a sweet transvestite... from Transsexual... Transylvania. Come up to the lab and see what's on the slab. I see you shiver with antici...pation.
-- "Saturday Night": Hot patootie, bless my soul. I really love that rock n' roll.
-- "Toucha toucha toucha touch me": Although I liked Columbia, the Mickey Mouse ears, Magenta and the hair dryer more than the song.
-- "Eddie's Teddy". When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy, I knew he was a no good kid.
-- "Don't Dream It, Be It". Gotta love a swimming pool coming out of freaking nowhere.
Favorite moments, bits and pieces:
-- There are tons of small visual jokes and interesting bits throughout the movie. Nixon's resignation speech on the car radio; the Zen room; the Charles Atlas stained glass window; the life preserver from the Titanic.
-- The scenes where Frank seduced Janet and then seduced Brad featured the exact same dialogue.
-- The negative "conventional" wedding was echoed by the raucous "unconventional" wedding.
-- I particularly liked Frank wearing a pink triangle, which I've always assumed was an acknowledgment of Nazi persecution of gays.
-- The long mix of songs in the floor show never did much for me, but I loved Barry Bostwick wearing what must have been the world's largest high heels. The heels and fishnet stockings creeping out from under Dr. Scott's blanket have always made me laugh, too.
Criminologist: "It's true there were dark storm clouds, heavy, black, and pendulous, towards which they were traveling." I don't know why this line always makes me laugh, but it does.
Brad: "Didn't we pass a castle back down the road a few miles?"
This line always makes me laugh, too.
Riff Raff: "You're wet."
Janet: (totally soaked, standing in the rain) "Yes. It's raining."
Susan Sarandon's expression is what makes this one funny.
Brad: "Just a moment, Janet. We don't want to interfere with their celebration."
Janet: "This isn't the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Brad."
Frank: "How nice. And what charming underclothes you both have."
Janet: "I don't like men with too many muscles."
Frank: "I didn't make him for you!"
Frank: "Do you think I made a mistake splitting his brain between the two of them?"
Janet: "If only we were amongst friends, or sane persons!"
Frank: "A mental mind fuck can be nice."
I could rate this movie one star, two, three, or four, and easily justify each rating. So please feel free to click on your rating. If you feel inspired to do so, I'd love it if you posted a comment on how you first encountered RHPS, what it means to you (even if you hate it), your favorite lyrics, quotes, scenes, and so on.
(This is one of Billie's favorite movies.)
by Josie Kafka
“She won. Katherine won.”
Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain have worked on some great shows, but I never loved their episodes on Angel or Dollhouse. (I don’t remember which Shield episodes they wrote.) So I was both nervous and excited when I saw that this was their first VD episode. And then I forgot all about both nerves and excitement, as I was too busy hooting with merriment and then, at the end, gasping a “No they didn’t!” at the unanswering TV screen. And then doing it again, five minutes later.
by Josie Kafka
“Big, gun-loving, commie-hating, forgiveness.”
I can’t say enough great things about Adam Baldwin. He manages to load more emotion into a grunt or a hairy eyeball than any other actor I can think of, but this episode gave us another glimpse of another side of his actorly repertoire: physical comedy. Watching him lurch around like Frankenstein’s monster, switching from near-catatonia to dangling Morgan like a…dangly thing, just doesn’t stop being funny. And his history of being betrayed, and the way those betrayals have made him into the curmudgeon he is today, is nothing but touching.
Back in 1999 Iran, Casey’s team betrayed him, and the mission, and the country—but by the end of this episode, Casey has found a new team that he knows won’t betray him. Watching him gradually trust even someone like Morgan, and start to connect with people who might actually show up at his funeral, was a really nice miniature character arc. Using Morgan’s tiny antics to highlight Casey’s foibles was just icing on the cake.
As Casey learned (or re-learned) to trust his friends, Chuck nearly went dark. Last season, the show hammered home the threat of Chuck losing his humanity, so I was really impressed by the subtlety of Chuck’s emotional arc in this episode. General Beckman told Chuck: “You’ve put duty above emotion. Using Colonel Casey as bait? Usually it takes an agent years to put his teammates in harms way.” Chuck made that leap without even realizing it—perhaps it was a momentary glimpse of his pragmatism, but I think it was also evidence that he trusts the team so much, he assumed no harm would come to anyone. After all, with friends all things are possible.
By the end of the episode, Chuck realized (again) the risks of his job, not just to himself but to his extended family. For that reason, he decided to ignore Ellie’s desire to see their mom, and put everyone’s safety above her maternal urges. I definitely see where Chuck is coming from, but I felt bad for Ellie, too: Chuck always seems to do exactly what she doesn’t want him to do. Luckily, Mama B’s phone call has brought Chuck back to the quest. I wonder if she’s evil, or undercover, or something else. I wonder if her arc parallels Chuck’s: is she working for Volkoff to protect her family?
The BuyMore plot…well, there wasn’t really a BuyMore-specific plot, and I think that’s for the best. Jeff and Lester’s dumpster-sleeping habits are funny, but they didn’t drag down the pacing. And it was a nice bit of character-continuity. Jeff’s willingness to rescue Casey, and not over-think the fact that he was dressed in military garb in a downtown dumpster, unconscious (and that he called work instead of someone else), fit perfectly in with his world view.
One last great thing: Chuck and Sarah getting along without talking about their relationship.
• Casey on President Clinton: “Not that I like him or his mouthy wife.”
• Jeff: “If you have the mana to battle the others plainswalkers.” Indeed.
• Morgan’s entire eulogy, which he delivered fabulously.
• Chuck: “They put a tracker on a what? No, god no, don’t shoot it!”
• Jeff: “Don’t worry Casey. I know that dumpster.”
• Awesome: “Ah, couch-lock. He over-medicated…Just get his heart rate up.” This is terrible, terrible medical advice.
• Morgan: “Ow! It’s like slapping a car!”
• There were so many hilarious lines, but they’re less funny written down.
• Awesome and Ellie are having a girl.
• Casey trying to wake up was very Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.
• The gold-heist plot was very Three Kings. That’s a great movie, by the way, that you should rent immediately.
• Alex seems to have inherited her father’s sass. “Have fun playing Halo for the rest of your life.” Zing!
• I’m very impressed that Chuck has managed to get so many guest stars this season. I’m not quite sure I understand why they made that a priority, though.
Four out of four downtown dumpsters.
by Jess Lynde
Another week, another episode that was not at all what I expected. I should really stop watching the previews, because this week they had me believing we’d get a story focused on what’s up with Chloe. Instead, her issues were just a small part of what initially felt like a very overstuffed, slice-of-life tale. Fortunately, what at first seemed like a scattered mess, gave way to a series of smaller stories exploring the theme of coping with loss or finding the strength to endure when something you love or need is slipping away.
by Billie Doux
The 'who should play Superman' controversy has just reignited.
For quite awhile, we've been told that there would be a completely new cast. No Brandon Routh. Possibly Tom Welling. True Blood fans have been rooting for werewolf Joe Manganiello, who may have the most amazing chest on television.
Now that Zack Snyder is in charge, Brandon Routh is in the running again. Snyder says that he is aware of the significant fan support Routh has behind him. I'm one of those supporting fans. I want Brandon Routh.
Yes, Superman Returns was a flawed movie; I was wowed in the theater despite its problems, but the weaknesses get more and more obvious after a couple of viewings. Kevin Spacey wasn't quite right as Lex, although that might have been a writing or directing issue, not an acting issue. Kate Bosworth just wasn't Lois Lane. But I liked Brandon Routh in that movie; I liked him a lot. I thought he was big screen gorgeous, he projected tremendous strength as well as vulnerability, and I believed him in the part.
There seems to be a significant groundswell for Tom Welling, though. After all, he's been auditioning for ten years; Smallville wouldn't have lasted this long if he wasn't a believable Clark Kent. I like Tom Welling and I'd be okay with him in the role -- but only if they also give us Erica Durance as Lois Lane. Of all the Loises, she is my favorite; she's one of the main reasons I'm still watching Smallville. And if they have to bring back Lex Luthor, what about Michael Rosenbaum? Of all of the Lexes that ever Lexed, he was by far my favorite Lex.
What do you think? Routh? Welling? Either? Possibly Joe Manganiello (see photo on the right)? Someone else? Vote in the poll, and feel free to post a comment. I am really curious about whether or not I'm alone in my Brandon Routh love.
This poll is now closed! Results are as follows:
Brandon Routh 44%
Tom Welling 31%
Joe Manganiello 8%
Someone else 13%
by Billie Doux
Dexter: "The babysitter doesn't trust me because of the lies. Lumen doesn't trust me because of the truth."
This is why Dexter isn't like other shows. Where else can you find such a deeply weird dramatic situation?
by Josie Kafka
“You’re not his Olivia.”
Last week, Fringe gave us parallels between our Olivia and a man whose mind had been altered beyond all expectation by scientists. This week, Fauxlivia’s double is the man—that is, the shapeshifter—who becomes so enmeshed in his cover story that he starts to believe it. But will Fauxlivia ever feel the connection with Peter and Walter that Olivia has? Or will her resistance to developing those connections make her subterfuge easier to discover?
by Billie Doux
Decker: "The commander is responsible for the lives of his crew, and for their deaths. Well, I should have died with mine."
I've always loved this episode. It does what good science fiction is supposed to do. Not only is it a marvelous indictment of the horror and folly of the nuclear arms race taken to galactic extremes, it features tight, exciting military drama and an outstanding guest performance by William Windom as a surprisingly sympathetic and heroic Captain Queeg.
by Billie Doux
Bobby: "I'm damned if I'm going to sit around and be damned."
It can get awkward when a supporting character, even a strong one, has to carry an entire episode. Not this time, I'm happy to say.
by Harry Earle
[Please give a warm welcome to Harry, who has just joined the Doux writing staff and will be reviewing Glee for us! -- Billie]
“I know you’re lonely, but you’re not alone.”
Glee does duets. And it was “so frickin’ charming.” In fact, for the most part, they managed to avoid being too trite, and instead created an episode of Glee that wove together more plot threads than usual, and paid each of them off fairly well.
They picked up last week’s main plot line with Kurt’s dad Burt and showed us how Kurt is being a fairly stereotypical mother hen. But they also went beyond that to explore the difficulties many high school gays face with unrequited crushes on straight guys, and the constant battle to not seem predatory or lecherous. It was also more realistic that they didn’t just paint Kurt as a poor beleaguered angel – I mean come on, couldn’t he have waited until Sam was Not naked to talk to him? The writers also cut quickly to the point – that being a gay guy at high school is often a fairly lonely experience, which made a good contrast to the week’s coupled-up theme.
This episode was light on staff and focused more on the pupils, with Will just showing up in the context of the Breadsticks competition, which all the Glee kids seemed unreasonably excited about. We saw the formation of new couples, learnt more about existing couples (but thankfully Rachel and Finn didn’t get too much screen time) and focused on couples that have been a bit ignored so far. It was great to see Mike and Tina interacting at last! Also, Santana and Brittany get their mack on? I didn’t realise that was a regular thing. It’s strange and perturbing that Glee makes a big deal about about gay males but bi females are just by the by (see what I did there?). Brittany also had a mini-fling with Artie, who got fairly badly hurt – poor Artie.
Sam I Am
This was a pretty good second first impression episode to properly introduce us to Sam. Complete with not one but two topless scenes, and lines drawing attention away from his giant mouth and towards his pretty hair. I like that they made him a geek, coming out with Na’vi lingo and references to Dr Seuss. He seems to fit quite well as a new love interest for Quinn since he retains that same ‘loveable fool’ quality that Finn has. They also made a great partnership on ‘Lucky’, I think it deserved to win the competition. I wonder if Quinn will use their breadsticks voucher for their second date too? As a side note – say ‘aww’ for poor Brittany nudging her meatball across her plate behind them.
Glee Against the Music
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
This was a strong starting number and worked well for Rachel and Finn. However, I don’t think it would have won the trip to Breadsticks!
River Deep Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner
Mercedes and Santana were awesome on The Boy Is Mine last season, and this number worked even better, simply great. I was left cold by the bum wiggling though. Guess I ain’t ready for their jelly.
Le Jazz Hot – from "Victor/Victoria"
What an outfit! Kurt took me back to Theatricality with this one. It didn’t exactly go with the rest of the songs from the episode, but it fit Kurt like a silk glove. Maybe that was the point? Kurt may at times be too in-your-face for high school, but he knows what he likes and he does it well.
Sing! – from “A Chorus Line”
Other Asian has a solo! Well he singtalks anyway. It was great that Harry Shum (Mike) finally got the limelight, and it was a good way to explain his previous silence while showing off his dance and comedy talents. Well chosen Tina/Glee writers.
With You I’m Born Again – Syreeta Wright and Billy Preston
Well, they succeeded in being bizarre at least. I wasn’t offended though. But maybe it makes sense that everyone else was when you consider their religious views in last week’s Grilled Cheesus?
Lucky – Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
Simply lovely. It suited Diana Aggron’s voice very well and Chord Overstreet (what a name!) sure can sing.
Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy – Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand
I wasn’t grabbed by the song but it was done beautifully. Trust Rachel to choose more Streisand! I think it perfectly fit the story, with Rachel finally doing something altruistic and making Kurt feel less alone by singing with him. Those two just might become friends. I wonder how Mercedes will react to that.
Quotes for Gleeks:
Wow Brittany and Santana were in good form this week!
Sam: “Sam I am... and I don’t like Green Eggs and Ham.”
Will: “What’s a duet?”
Brittany: “A blanket.”
Santana: “How can you do a duet by yourself? That's like vocal masturbation.”
Sam: “I don’t see the big deal, he emailed me like 60 mp3s of him singing and I thought it was Faith Hill.”
Finn: “I'm with Rachel now. She's a lot shorter than Quinn and she talks a lot, but I love her.”
Brittany: “I’m mad at you... you’re still so hot.”
Artie: “I thought I was over someone, but I still think I have feelings for them.”
Brittany: “The Clintons?”
Santana: “The only thing you can give Brittany that she can’t get somewhere else is super choice parking.”
Rachel: “Hey, I have something I want to talk to you about.”
Kurt: “Please, not another pregnancy.”
Rachel: “I think you and I are a little bit more similar than you think.”
Kurt: “That’s a terrible thing to say.”
Sorry if I left out your favourite quote – if so post it below!
Three out of four planets that aren’t Venus. Maybe if we’d had some Sue scenes it could have reached four. Next week, please! Also, can Sunshine come back too please?
by Jess Lynde
This episode kept me very off balance. I went into it with certain expectations regarding “the object” Destiny was steadily approaching, and what it turned out to be was a bit different than what I was anticipating. Add to that the dread of potential danger literally lurking around every corner, and a whole lot of suspicion regarding character motivations and actions, and you get a very uneasy episode that left me tense and on edge.
by Jess Lynde
During a search for hidden Peacekeeper devices on Moya, D’Argo destroys a mysterious shield and is subsequently ejected into space. Aeryn recovers his body and Zhaan is able to revive him, but the deep-space hypothermia leaves him unsteady and suffering from a form of dementia in which he believes the crew are people from his past. Meanwhile, when the DRDs begin sabotaging the life support systems and Pilot loses consciousness, the crew suspects that Moya is trying to kill them and must figure out why and how to stop her.
‘They’ve Got a Secret’ gives us some massively shocking backstory on D’Argo (including his “true crime”) and stuns us with the revelation that Moya is pregnant. Yet, for all that, it isn’t actually a very good episode. I’m finding it a bit hard to reconcile the notion that an episode with several major developments could somehow be bad, but the whole thing just felt “off” to me from the get go.
Why the sudden need to sweep for Peacekeeper devices? Pilot indicates that he conducts the sweeps routinely, but D’Argo acts like this is the first time he’s been involved. What happened to make Pilot think he needs to get the crew involved? The sweeps would have made perfect sense immediately following the events of ‘I, E.T.’ but all this time later? It felt oddly jarring. When combined with some dialogue that made it seem like Crichton just popped out of the wormhole, I started to wonder if the episode was out of sequence. It wasn’t until Crichton made a reference to Aeryn being injected with Pilot’s DNA that I realized it wasn’t.
Even without my confusion over the basic premise and timing of the episode, the character rhythms and interactions felt odd somehow. Of course, both D’Argo and Pilot were struggling with illness or mental instability and were intentionally out-of-character, but even the interactions between Crichton, Aeryn, and Zhaan felt a bit forced and awkward at times. Crichton and Aeryn sitting down during a crisis to have a drink and a casual discussion on disease, pestilence, and the wonders of Peacekeeper science seemed very strange. And the weird directing/editing choice to use swirling dissolves during the Crichton, Aeryn, and Zhaan discussion about the DRD revolt didn’t help matters. The scene didn’t quite mesh with the show’s usual visual style and ended up contributing to the overall “off” feeling.
Plus, Rygel was missing for nearly half the episode! I kept wondering where the heck he was. I mean, the ship was heaving to and fro and the air was getting stale, and he couldn’t even put in a comm call to find out what the “yotz” was going on? And once he did show up, he didn’t seem all that interested in Moya’s issues or their situation. It was weird.
I was also very let down by the big reveals about D’Argo’s past. Not by the information itself, mind you; I was astonished by the increasingly shocking revelations from his backstory. Learning he had a wife and child was fairly jaw-dropping, but then to learn his wife was killed by her brother because he didn’t approve of her union with D’Argo and that D’Argo was falsely charged with her murder was simply astounding. And then came the real stunner: D’Argo’s wife was Sebacean. Capped by the “wrenching” moment in which he unveils his hidden holo-image of his lost family, which, unfortunately, looked rather cheesy.
And that’s the crux of my problem --- while the revelations were staggering, the delivery lacked emotional punch. D’Argo’s story should have hit us with the same raw emotional power as his quietly poignant scene with Zhaan at the end of ‘Thank God It’s Friday … Again.’ But the way it all unfolded felt forced or stilted. I guess there’s only so much Anthony Simcoe can do under all that makeup. He has to try to convey a wide range of emotions with just his eyes, his line delivery, and some growling, and unfortunately, the makeup probably makes quietly mournful a lot easier to pull off than agonizing grief. The scene in which he first realizes that Zhaan is not Lo’Laan and the scene in which he recoils from ‘Machden’ in gut-wrenching grief following the reveal that Lo’Laan is dead felt very forced and a bit hammy. And the big revelation scene with Crichton, Zhaan, and Rygel largely fell flat. On the other hand, in his final scene with Aeryn, D’Argo’s quiet devastation was quite raw and real, and I actually got a little lump in my throat.
Aeryn: “D’Argo it’s ingrained in Peacekeepers from birth that we must keep the bloodlines pure. Such unions are evil.”
D’Argo: “Do you therefore think that my son is evil?”
Aeryn: “No. [Moves to look up at him.] Because in his eyes, I see you. D’Argo, no matter what happens to us, I will never tell anyone about your son.”
In addition to its emotional power, this scene emphasized exactly why D’Argo hates Peacekeepers so much and highlighted how much the relationship between D’Argo and Aeryn has changed. A great note on which to end a somewhat subpar episode.
Learning about Jothee certainly gave me new perspective on D’Argo’s actions in the last episode. I can now understand exactly why he was willing to attack Pilot, and would do so again, just to get a shot at returning home. “I can’t be sure that you have remained safe until I see you again. I can’t.” Truth be told, I would likely be willing to do the same to find my child.
So, by breaking the Peacekeeper shield, D’Argo basically inseminated Moya, right? I’m intrigued by the idea of a baby Leviathan, but also a bit worried. Isn’t it a bit early in the series to introduce the dreaded baby plot? Sure, a baby living ship is a good bit different than a baby humanoid, but given that Moya just tried to kill everyone to protect and nourish her baby, are we really that far afield from the not-so-melodious song stylings of Lost’s Claire (“They’re trying to hurt/take my baby!”) and Michael (“WAAAAAALT!”)? Sigh.
Aeryn indicates that Moya was likely called into service as a prisoner transport unexpectedly. I wonder what other plans the Peacekeepers had for her. Something to do with her pregnancy perhaps? Kind of a disturbing thought.
Even though I've seen it before, I was getting seriously stressed by Aeryn’s progress severing Moya’s higher functions. I knew she wouldn’t go through with the lobotomy, but I still found myself yelling at the TV, “Stop, Aeryn! For God’s sake, stop cutting! Somebody stop her!!!”
Luxans can survive in the vacuum of space, unprotected, for a short time. Interesting.
Zhaan was very kind to sweetly play along with D’Argo’s hallucinations, and Rygel was surprisingly cooperative as well. Maybe he didn’t have a choice given their size difference. “My size is never a matter for discussion.”
Aeryn: “You know I’m gonna track down this little droid and rip off both his antennae!”
Crichton: “Happy place, Aeryn. Go to your happy place.”
Aeryn: “Creatures still die out here. And we find new ways to suffer, and to make others suffer.”
Crichton: “Well, I never said Earth had a monopoly on that.”
Aeryn: “But you say that you want to go back to this place, Earth. A place that you tell me has so much disease and suffering.”
Aeryn: “Well, you guys don’t have chocolate.”
D’Argo: “My son, no matter what happens, I will always love you.”
Crichton: “Our beloved ship may be trying to kill us.”
Crichton: “Do you know what a few bacteria are doing inside of you? No, you don’t know unless you get a symptom.”
Zhaan: “My body carries no bacteria.”
Crichton (as Machden): “You think yourself worthy of her when you cower from her memory?”
D’Argo: “Her memory burns in my very soul.”
D’Argo: “When Machden arrested me, he still had her dried blood on his hands.”
Crichton: “Machden? I thought you were arrested by a Peacekeeper.”
D’Argo: “It was quite a coup for him.”
Crichton: “Is there some kind of ‘what to expect when you’re expecting a baby leviathan’ book? Dr. Spock? Mr. Spock?”
Final Analysis: Despite some stunning revelations and discoveries, not a very strong episode.
by Josie Kafka
“You both are, without a doubt, crap communicators. Precious looks and whimsical little make-ups after big misunderstandings, you guys are fantastic. But actual real, live day-to-day communication about your feelings?”
The first few episodes of this season have been rather divisive. Some of us love some, some of us love others, and some of us just love Chuck all the time. Last week’s episode felt wrong to me: not funny enough, a bit too cliché, and too reliant on Nicole Richie. After reading the comments on another site, though, which pretty roundly agreed that I was dead wrong, I started to think that I was being too harsh. Was I expecting too much? Or, more precisely: Was I expecting the wrong thing?
I don’t think I was, because this episode had everything that I love about Chuck, in spades: a compelling spy story that interlaced with Chuck and Sarah’s personal and relationship dilemma, which was, in turn, paralleled the BuyMore b-plot. It was funny, touching, and had a healthy dose of Ellie and Awesome. Plus, Sarah in a bikini for those who enjoy such things. (Although our only man-meat was rather statuesque for my taste.)
Chuck and Sarah are terrible communicators, perhaps because they don’t really get to spend much time alone together. But when they are honest, they say exactly what the other person wants to hear, which is how we know they’re going to work out. They’re not quite certain, though, and they’re still afraid. When Chuck asked Sarah to list five things about him, we cut to the Generalissimo singing “Que tengo miedo”—that I’m scared. That could apply to Sarah and Chuck equally. They’re not scared of commitment, though. They’re scared of screwing things up, and Sarah’s sacred of opening herself up and vulnerably admitting how much she feels for our hero.
The Generalissimo and his wife are an example of just where that fear of communication can lead: if only they’d been more open and honest about their feelings, the world would be a safer place. (Ellie and Awesome, obviously, are examples of how communication can lead to bliss.) Morgan, on the other hand, risks bamboo shoots under the nails if he’s open and honest about his feelings for Casey’s daughter. And that’s a risk he took. Way to go, Morgan!
Way to go, writers, too! This episode was extremely fast-paced, with a small nation’s future being written and re-written in every act. I love that they went from LA to Costa Gravas to LA and back to Costa Gravas. I love that they had the Generalissimo briefly room with Casey, and that Casey predicted a betrayal 19 years in the future back in his military days.
In conclusion: this was a great episode, and it reminded me of how delightful this show can be.
• Beckman: “I want everyone who wasn’t shot recently to stake out the embassy to see if he turns up. Everyone else should be in bed.”
• Torini: “Actually, Costa Gravas is very stable. We have peace now. And Subway sandwich franchises.” Sort of like Chuck.
• Chuck: “Yes, that, both, all of the above.” I almost expected him to say “I want to go to there.”
• Generalissimo: “That is an unmistakable fragrance…There is nothing more attractive than a ripe fruit.”
• Awesome: “Babe, is the nine-foot statue of me making you a little caliente? Way to go, marble me.”
• Casey: “Just follow the stink of commie.”
• Generalissimo: “A coup d’etat? We used to finish each other’s sentences.”
• Generalissimo: “I have a nuclear weapons control panel in my basement.”
• Casey: “That’s the stench of tyranny.”
• Big Mike: “If you hear sweet, smooth jams rising up from your soul, that’s your answer.”
• In the spirit of not expecting the wrong thing, I will not talk about socialism, communism, capitalism, imperialism, how the Generalissimo’s marriage might be an allegory of American policy in Latin America, or what subaltern studies can tell us about that allegory.
• Did you notice the odd way Sarah’s face was framed when she and Chuck were having their conversation about conversations in the van? We saw her from Chuck’s perspective, but Chuck from the perspective of a third party. There was lots of screen symbolism, too, which might be a metaphor for not communicating.
• I wish Beckman was still in Burbank.
3.80 out of 4 cuddling needs.
by Billie Doux
Despite some missteps and several early episodes that registered too high on the gross-out meter for me (I almost stopped watching after the one with the exploding animals), I hung in there until the first season finale, and really enjoyed it. Haven definitely has potential, and I hope they'll fulfill that potential in season two.
And by potential, I mean arc. Throughout the season, I kept wishing they'd get back to the main characters. Emily Rose (Audrey) and Lucas Bryant (Nathan) are strong leads and I like them both; I'm a lot more interested in Audrey's mysterious past and Nathan's bizarre affliction than I am in the latest "troubled person" wreaking unintentional havoc. I'm particularly intrigued by the discovery that Nathan can feel Audrey's touch; it's so romantic, but in an utterly creepy sort of way. I also liked the storyline about Nathan and his father, and its conclusion.
The supporting characters are good, too; the newspaper guys are occasionally fun, and I was sorry to lose the crusty coroner. Not quite sure what I think of her replacement slash daughter slash possible villain. The show could also make better use of the talented Eric Balfour (Duke), although his role did get bigger as the season progressed.
I have no idea if they're following the original Stephen King story or not, but I also like the little touches of King that they insert into the storyline (like Max being released from Shawshank prison). The Dead Zone did stuff like that, too, and yes, these are the same producers.
So -- next season, I'll be there.
Did you watch the first season of Haven? What did you think?
by Billie Doux
Serena Yang has been reviewing Glee for us since it debuted last year. Here's a message from Serena:
Even though I've loved writing reviews for Glee this past season, sadly, I will no longer be able to do so moving forward due to the demands of my job.
As you know, all of the reviewers here graciously volunteer their time outside of their full time job to write for this site. Unfortunately, my job is based on chaos - I run a Program Mgmt group for a software company, and we pretty much have a career because releases never go as planned :-) Because of that, I often cannot meet my commitment to post a review in a timely manner, which is neither fair to you readers, or the other wonderful writers at Billie Doux, who end up filling in for me.
So moving forward, Billie, Dimitri and Sandy will be rotating reviews on Glee until they find someone to take Glee permanently. I'll chime in with my crazy points systems in the comments whenever I have time, as I love all of you guys and always enjoy hearing your opinions.
I wanted to thank all of you for reading this past year, and hope that you'll continue to enjoy this crazy show!
Thank you so much for doing such a great job for us, Serena.
(And if you guys know someone who could take on Glee for us, write to me at billiedoux at gmail dot com.)
by Josie Kafka
“Well, that wasn’t supposed to happen.”
I was not initially impressed by this episode. Don’t get me wrong—it was quite strong, and I still enjoy learning about Over There, about the Fringe Division, about the relationships between Faux/Olivia, Alterna-Francis, and Lincoln Lee. But at first blush this felt like a stand-alone, and Fringe can be so much better than that when it wants to be. So I let it simmer for a while, and then I realized that this isn’t a stand-alone at all: it is a compelling thematic and psychological step in the progression towards…whatever it is we’re progressing towards.
by Billie Doux
Lois: "I think it's time to blow this bondage ball."
Lois is back (yay), and she still knows about Clark, with no convenient amnesia (yay)! It was like when Chloe first knew, but didn't tell Clark that she knew. And of course, Lois knows that Clark and Kara are two of a kind, not meteor freaks at all. Did Carter tell Lois that Clark was an alien? I don't think he did, did he?
by Josie Kafka
“You’re just being a good friend.”
Our Theme of the Week is friendship: Damon’s friendship with the Sheriff, Caroline’s friendship with Elena, Jeremy’s burgeoning relationship with Tyler Lockwood. Even Mason Lockwood’s friendship-with-benefits with Katherine, Stefan’s brotherhood with Damon, and Elena’s friendly soulmate-ship with Stefan are examples of the different ways people can express their devotion and loyalty to one another.
by Billie Doux
Emma: "God works in all kinds of mysterious ways. But I'm pretty sure he doesn't spend a lot of time trying to speak to us through sandwiches."
I have to give this show major credit for taking on God, the nature of faith, and the face of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich. They made it work, too. In fact, I cried through most of the episode. And I mean in a good way.
Surprisingly, nothing offended me. It's difficult to talk about why without discussing my personal belief system, but I was relieved that Kurt didn't suddenly have a conversion or epiphany of sorts. Burt started to show signs of consciousness not because of all of the prayers, but after Kurt talked about what was sacred to him -- their relationship. It was beautiful. Kurt's father Burt is a dear, and I was upset when I thought he was going to die. It isn't just that he's so accepting of Kurt; it's that he tromps all over his own stereotype. Sometimes people aren't what you think they're going to be.
The issue of religion in schools is a touchy one, and they explored it well. Will was as earnestly sincere and sincerely earnest about it as he is about almost everything. Sue taking an opportunity to champion Kurt at the expense of the Glee Club was what you'd expect her to do, but her reason for doing it was moving, like the rest of the episode. Sue as a character wouldn't be so delightful if she didn't have exceptionally strong positives to go with her hilarious negatives.
Finn is one of the weaker characters in the series, but his rather sweet innocence and gullibility made him the perfect character to believe in Christ on a sandwich. One of my favorite things was that Finn actually ate half of the grilled cheese before he started praying to it -- it was so wonderfully absurd. How selfish was it, though, that Finn didn't use the last of his three wishes to Grilled Cheesus for Burt Hummel? Even Puck admitted that he had gone to temple with his nana and prayed for Burt.
-- Only the Good Die Young / Billy Joel: I've always loved this song and I'm always surprised by how much I enjoy Puck's performances. Some of the best lyrics were cut, though.
-- I Look to You / Whitney Houston: Acknowledged. No comment.
-- Papa, Can You Hear Me / Yentl: Absolutely gorgeous, made me cry. Lea Michele channels Streisand a lot, but I'm okay with it because she does it with such passion and respect.
-- I Want to Hold Your Hand / The Beatles: Beautifully and movingly performed by Chris Colfer, and in my opinion, the strongest song of the episode. The flashbacks to playing tea party and to his mother's funeral were touching. (There was also a slower, more serious version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in Across the Universe.)
-- Losing My Religion / REM: I knew they'd do this one. Good match for Cory Monteith's singing voice.
-- Bridge Over Troubled Water / Simon and Garfunkel: Well-performed by Mercedes and the church choir, but it felt off. I actually couldn't tell what it was at first, and I know the song really well.
-- One of Us / Joan Osbourne: Again, I could feel this one coming. But again, it was appropriate and the lyrics worked beautifully with the story.
Bits and pieces:
-- This was definitely Kurt's episode, but it was also a good one for Emma. I particularly liked the way she talked Finn down from his Jesus high.
-- Puck is only doing songs by Jewish artists? I hadn't noticed. Is Kiss a Jewish group?
-- Loved Kurt's church chapeau so, so much. There was a woman across the aisle wearing the same hat. Wonderful.
-- Finn eating the sandwich at the end felt like Glee communion. Bread and wine. And cheese.
I feel inadequate when it comes to quoting Glee. I sort of wanted to do all of Finn's prayers to his cheesy lord, but I restrained myself. And I probably left out your favorite. Feel free to post it in a comment.
Kurt: "Suzanne Somers says that skipping breakfast is suicide."
Kurt: "Sing-along Sound of Music is sacred to me."
Burt: "You think I don't know that? Wasn't I the one who bought you that Maria bonnet when you were six?"
Brittany: "Whenever I pray, I fall asleep."
Brittany: "I did a book report on heart attacks, if you want to give it to the doctor. It got knocked down an entire letter grade because it was written in crayon."
Kurt: "I think God is kind of like Santa Claus for adults. Otherwise, God's kind of a jerk, isn't he? I mean, he makes me gay and then has his followers going around telling me that it's something that I chose. As if someone would choose to be mocked every single day of their life."
Mercedes: "You can't prove that there's no God."
Kurt: "You can't prove there isn't a magic teapot floating around on the dark side of the moon with a dwarf inside of it that reads romance novels and shoots lightning out of its boobs, but it seems pretty unlikely, doesn't it?"
Brittany: "Is God an evil dwarf?"
Rachel: "I need to know that when I'm twenty-five, and have won a bunch of Tonys and I'm ready to have intercourse and babies, that those babies will be raised in a certain way."
Finn: "You're not going to have sex until you're twenty-five?"
(I think that's called 'selective hearing'.)
Rachel: "I need to know that my children will be free to worship in the way that I decide is right."
Finn: "Sure. of course. Yeah, they should totally go to Jew church, and wear those hats, and eat that salty orange stuff with their bagels."
Sue: "I'm sorry for what you're going through, lady. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. And I guess I don't have to. I think Mary Lou Retton's, like, an orphan or something."
Emma: "You won the football game because you actually have a coach who spends the game watching the plays rather than biting his toenails." And ew.
Kurt: "I'm very impressed with everyone's Sunday best. It's so Christ chic. I hope our genuflections to the great spaghetti monster in the sky don't take too long.
This is the first episode of Glee in a long time that I wanted to watch twice. Just outstanding. Four out of four (what else?) grilled cheese sandwiches,
(P.S. Serena wasn't able to review Glee this week, so I'm filling in.)