sci fi

Face Off: Death Becomes Them

Face Off this week was maybe my favorite episode of the season, but definitely my favorite episode in a long time… so let’s jump on in!

McKenzie meets the artists at a backlot this week to a house ruined recently utilized by Desperate Housewives but made famous for being 1313 Mockingbird Lane, aka the home of the Munsters!  This week’s challenge was to create a quirky and macabre character inspired by the likes of the Munsters and the Addams family.

They each pick a gravestone representing the family member they are to create:

  • Nora selects the Blacksheep Cousin
  • Evan selects the Bully Older Brother
  • Ben selects the Inappropriate Uncle
  • Jordan selects the Spinster Aunt
  • Scott selects the Stern Father

Everyone did a pretty phenomenal job:

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Evan’s Bully Brother is the only one I really couldn’t get behind.  I like the bull aspect and the actor played it well, but the paint job is… pug-like.

I love Scott’s Stern Dad.  He looks like Zombie Frasier Crane.

Ben’s Inappropriate Uncle has his deceased spouse in tow and has Ve sufficiently creeped out.  This is the clear winner for me.  Hilarious and successful!

I’m a fan of Nora’s Black Sheep Cousin too.  She’s the Marilyn Munster of the group, expect she looks like her sheep-demon family, but she’s totally positive and not satanic.  Hilarious!

Scott’s cartoonish Spinster Aunt is definitely interesting, but so different than the rest of the characters.  Too much for the challenge?  The judges think maybe not enough, if that’s the direction he was going.

The surprise of the episode is that two people will be eliminated and the final three will be chosen right then and there.  The first in the finale is Ben!  So happy.  Loved his make-up.  The second will be Nora!  While she was not my favorite throughout the season, she’s definitely had some stand-out make-ups and I loved her concept so much here, I think she deserved it.  The remaining three have an hour to revise their make-ups based on the judges’ critiques to fight for that final spot.  In the end, it’s Evan who’s selected.

True life: I wanted Scott based on his awesome dad make-up.  Jordan would’ve been my second choice for that third place.  Evan… just didn’t have it for me.  But let’s see what these three do next week!

Clone Club Catch-Up: New BFFs

Today blog post title comes from Ferdinand, who single-handedly managed to make me not hate him with that line.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “History Yet To Be Written” is the best finale we’re seen yet.  The original, Kendall Malone, is secured and genetic samples are taken.  A deal is struck, then terminated last minute, but things actually work out for the group!  Sure, I’m still a little confused about the science… what was that mechanical bug that came out of Nealon’s mouth?  Neolution is back in the mix, and apparently the root of all evil (for now.)  The supposed (we never can tell, can we?) death of a main character definitely put a damper on things, but all and all, I think this was an amazing episode.

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Clone by clone, as always, one more time this season:

Rachel wakes up not with the perfect copy eye she was promised, but with this weird bionic eye.  She also has no idea where she is and nobody’s answering her stammered calls.  The answer to Rachel comes at the very end, a great cliffhanger for next season: Charlotte walks in followed by Susan Duncan.

Helena gets a nice surprise from her brother-in-law Donnie, Jesse of Jesse’s towing!  “You found my boyfriend,” she smiles.  Life’s finally coming together for her.  Her assassin skills are now being leveraged to the group’s advantage.  She fights Rudy to the death.  He’s already glitching out, but y’all know she could’ve taken him anyway!

Alison wins School Trustee!  She celebrates with Donnie, Art, Sarah, S, Cosima, Helena, Felix, and Scott.  Sarah notices some of them are missing, and they toast to Beth.

Krystal‘s identity is discovered basically just in time.  Delphine realizes that the Rachel they have in Dyad is not actually Rachel.  She’s assumed safe, and hopefully she’ll be joining the Clone Club next year.

Cosima attempts to reconcile with Shay, but backs off realizing she can’t possibly let her in on who she is.  Delphine visits Shay, after being told she won’t live to see morning, to try to put things back in order for Shay and Cosima.  I love Ksenia Solo, so I kind of want this to work out, but I really love Delphine.  Delphine gives Cosima one hell of a goodbye kiss before she’s shot.  Is she dead?  It seems that way but this is the kind of show that you never know.

Sarah is the one who brokered the deal with Ferdinand, the lesser of two evils when it came between Topside and Castor.  She had the upper hand, knowing they weren’t handing over Kendall Malone, just samples.  She and Fe also pay a visit to Gracie and Mark, recruiting Mark into their plan.  Mark lures Coady, and Coady’s shut down by Ferdinand’s people.  When Sarah receives the call from Delphine revealing Ferdinand to be a pawn in a Neolutionist agenda, Ferdinand flips sides and eliminates his Neolutionist companion who was prepared the take the samples.  We also learn how Sarah ended up with S– we’ve known it was purposeful for quite some time, but knowing this adoptive mother-and-daughter are actually blood related is just perfect.  Finally, the very end sees Sarah reunited with her flesh and blood, Kira.

A happy ending for most, with just enough of a cliffhanger to keep me dying for next season.  Though Delphine is a blow, I’m not Game of Thrones upset here.  What did you all think of the finale?!

Clone Club Catch-Up: In London Town

This is a Siobhan Sadler appreciation post.  No really; y’all know I love me some S and I was dying during this little musical performance which tied in nicely to “Insolvent Phantom Of Tomorrow.”

Get it, girl!

Get it, girl!

It was nice to see S, Fe, and Sarah function as a family unit.  The foster kids both really enjoyed S’s performance too!  But moving on– they were here on some important business: to locate and eliminate the original Castor.  A couple of S’s confidants get murdered by Ferdinand along the way, but the end sure does pay off.  So, clones?  Clones.

Alison is out of the picture most of the episode, but her storyline does advance thanks to Donnie, who awakens to his wife’s phone call after getting beaten up in Bubbles.  His nightmare is not over as– I can’t believe I don’t have a better way to say this– a drug rep comes to collect.  (That is, a representative of the drug overload; not a pharmaceutical salesmen.)  Donnie doesn’t have the pills, so he takes the tank of Helena’s eggs because “it looks important.”

Helena is living the life and is my personal character winner of this episode.  I am not really a big Helena fan, but she was just too hilarious in this episode to ignore!  From encouraging Gemma as a tiny warrior to her time making soap and jamming out, you’ve got to love Helena.  When she finds out the drug lords have her babies, she nears panic.  Donnie promises to get them back.  He returns the pills, gets the tank, and asks for a refund, which is not received well.  Helena comes in dresses as Alison.  “What’s wrong with your voice?” they ask her.  She says she has a cold.  Donnie adds that it’s a bad one that messes with her syntax.  I die.

Instead of a refund, the drug people threaten Oscar and Gemma, which seals their fate with Helena.

Straight out of Mortal Kombat, Helena "gets refund."

Straight out of Mortal Kombat, Helena “gets refund.”

Alison comes home surprised to learn that they’ve come into some money!

Cosima‘s suspicions of Shay have been aroused.  She returns to Delphine now that things aren’t adding up.  Delphine and some Dyad folks straight up threaten to torture Shay, who knows nothing.  Gracie calls Cosima to apologize– she turned the information over to Castor to be reunited with Mark.  Cosima makes a call to Delphine just in time.  We can see from the preview of next week’s episode that Shay does live to see another day.

Sarah, despite seeing Terry die, doesn’t want to give up on finding the Castor original.  She snags Terry’s phone and calls the mysterious provider of info pretending to be S.  This leads Felix and her to Kendall Malone.  Sarah goes into Malone’s house to eliminate him… but it’s a her.  And she has a knife.  Then S comes in.  Kendall Malone is actually her mother who reveals she absorbed a male twin in the womb– she is the original Castor DNA and Leda.

Just when you think things can’t get any weirder, eh guys?  What did you think about this episode?!

Doctor Who: Guard the Graveyards

I think "Guard the Graveyards" would have been a better name for this episode, but I guess "Death in Heaven" sounds more like a finale.

I think “Guard the Graveyards” would have been a better name for this episode, but I guess “Death in Heaven” sounds more like a finale.

I’m always a little scared of finales– it means that something of great magnitude will happen and that I’ll have to wait a LONG time for my show to come back.  While the stakes were definitely high in this, the Doctor Who series 8 finale, and I cried sufficient tears, it was a relatively painless episode for me.  I did feel sad for Danny & Clara, even though you all know I hated this relationship.  Danny was the only real sad part of this episode, so I didn’t really care about his departure.  Clara’s is another thing altogether, as companions’ departures are so hard, but I know we’ll at least see her in the Christmas special before we have to say goodbye.

Let’s talk about the things I liked:

  • Kate Stewart & UNIT: It was so nice to see Kate & her team intervene when Cybermen had the city surrounded.  I was none too happy when she fell out of the plane, but I somehow knew they couldn’t kill Kate off!  Too bad about Sandy, though.  The storyline with Kate’s father was perfect.
  • President of Earth, CEO of the Human Race: This title cracked me up, but like, can they please stop saying “President of America?”  No American would ever say that.
  • Clara’s Doctor Knowledge: First off, I love what she said about she and the Doctor’s friendship to Cyberman Danny.  That’s why I’m a little horrified that she’s thinking of stopping their adventures.  (Side note: why would she not have the Doctor bring the little bracelet boy to the past?  She’s too good of a liar.)  Secondly, her Doctor knowledge during her rouse pretending she was him was great– children and grandchildren missing, presumed to be dead?  At least we’ve established that.
  • Idiot with a Box: I loved the Doctor’s realization that he is neither a good man, nor a bad man, simply an idiot, learning.  I feel like this is a larger statement.  Are we all just idiots learning?  I’m adopting this.
  • I’m literally so psyched about Gallifrey, but I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of the Master.  What do you think?

 

Guys, are we going to have Christmas on Gallifrey?!

What did you think of Doctor Who’s finale?

Doctor Who: slightly awkward if the world was destroyed

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I liked “In the Forest of the Night” more than I expected to.  For an episode that takes place entire on (or, for a hot second, around) Earth, it felt Whovian enough.  Even though it involved so much Mr. Pink, (am I the only one who hates him?) he came in tolerable doses.

I really liked Maeve, who feels like an indigo child or a horror movie kid right away.  I knew the funny way she was running with her arms swatting in front of her face would come full circle, though that annoyed me every time she ran.  I liked how precocious she was.  I don’t understand how the disappearance of her sister left her strangely clairvoyant, and prophetic, but whatever.  She was cute and a bit creepy, and that made her interesting to me.

Maybe it’s because I watch too much SVU, but I was certain her sister was dead.  When the tree magic brought her back at the end, I was pleased to see she looked like a teenage runaway.

What I have a problem with is Mr. Pink yelling that Maeve was on medication and emotionally unstable in front of her other classmates.  While it seems that everyone knew full well of Maeve’s trauma, I found this disrespectful, especially for a teacher.  As a foil for Clara who was ready, willing, and able to run off with the Doctor and investigate, I think Danny failed on this account.  He removes the children from the Tardis and leads them through a forest of danger, when he could’ve stayed and protected them.  He’s not as perfect as everyone thinks her is.

I did like the philosophical question he brought up, and I even agree with him.  Spending time with certain people can be worth more than any adventure.  I was worried, though, that he talked Clara out of watching the solar flare.  I’m happy to see that she was still interested in that experience of a lifetime.

My other major problem comes in the form of Clara kissing Danny in front of the Coal Hill students.  That is not appropriate behavior!  Let alone the fact that they whole school already thinks they are in love.  This is an HR nightmare, you guys.

Oh, let’s not even start on how every year 8 student has been on the Tardis at this point.  It bothered me when the Doctor brought Courtney aboard, and it bothered me slightly less this time… but not so little that I wouldn’t mention it.

I do like the trees acting as a giant shield around the earth for an intense solar flare.  I like that Doctor said that humankind will simply forget, as that is our superpower.

Now, the finale, THAT looks interesting.  I’ve been thinking about the origin of Clara a lot lately.  Back int he Matt Smith days, Clara was so interesting to me– popping up in different times as slightly different people.  Clara’s life as a school teacher with her regular boyfriend is so painfully boring to me.  Looks like she’s going to get exciting again!

Any thoughts?

Doctor Who Recap: Mummy on the Orient Express

The space Orient Express reminded me of the Space Titanic in Futurama.

The Space Orient Express reminded me of the Space Titanic in Futurama.

I think this is perhaps the most important episode of the season thus far, based solely on the relationship between Clara and Twelve.  Of course, I still have my concerns about the Clara/Danny relationship.  I liked this episode overall, though.  I felt engaged and not stressed with high-stakes Doctor Who decision-making.  Let’s get on to the recap!

Mummy on the Orient Express starts with a timer: 66 seconds.  Mrs. Pitt and Miss Maisie Pitt sit having dinner in the dining car.  Mrs. Pitt sees a horrible mummy that no one else can see.  When the timer runs out, the mummy reaches Mrs. Pitt and she dies.

Clara and the Doctor disembark the Tardis onto said Orient Express.  I especially love the “Don’t Stop Me Now” jazz cover that’s happening at that moment.  There’s a lovely kind of sadness about their trip– both knowing that this would be their last adventure. Clara smiles in a bittersweet way that makes the Doctor uncomfortable, and they talk in a dreamy nostalgic way reminiscent of an amicable break-up.  When they hear of the mysterious death on the Orient Express, the reality of what Clara is giving up seems to hit her.

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The Caretaker: Favorite Moments

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I am not a Danny Pink fan.  Maybe, like the Doctor, I’m not so into soldiers.  Maybe, like the Doctor, I’m not so trusting of boyfriends.  My own silly hang-ups aside, The Caretaker was full of bits of dialogue that really made me laugh.  Let’s revisit those, shall we?

 

Why have you got two jackets, is one of them faulty?!

I loved watching the scenes of Clara’s double life, and I especially love that she runs in a like, athletic dress and in full-eyeliner.  As always I love the Doctor and Clara’s banter, like the above.  I would have loved to see some of the adventures that she was running from.  I particularly enjoyed the fish-people dialogue: what do they look like? Fish + people.

 

So you recognize me, then?

You’re wearing a different coat!

The Doctor in deep cover is indeed hilarious.  I appreciate the fact that the temporary caretaker announces his name is John Smith, but  they can call him the Doctor.  Because that’s normal.  Oh, I also love that the eyebrows are definitely a thing now.  We’ve talked about them 3 times; that’s the magic number.

 

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This is normal too.  The whole Jane Austen exchange between Clara and the Doctor was hilarious.  The Doctor calls to attention that the year Clara’s taught as when Pride and Prejudice was written is incorrect, she protests as to why he’d know.  Clara makes up a whole strange scenario about the Doctor and Jane Austen being BFFs, which is almost completely believable to Whovians.  The Doctor simply replies that he read the book and it was in the back.  Thanks for being a top-notch educator, Ms. Oswald; Coal Hill is lucky to have you.

 

No, sorry. No I can’t retain that. I tried; it’s just not going in.

I love that the Doctor is entirely positive that Danny is a PE teacher.  I love that calls him “PE” throughout the episode.

 

Why do I keep you around?
Because the alternative would be developing a conscience of your own.

Clara’s relationship with the Doctor is in particular focus in this episode, as there’s a new man in her life looking in on it.  I for one think she’s moved a bit quickly with Danny.  It’s TV, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s already her boyfriend, but she’s in love with him?!  Well, her life has already dropped hints that he may be her future, so that’s a good reason to get attached.  Again, Clara and the Doctor banter though!

 

What did you think of The Caretaker?

Doctor Who: Listen Recap

Question: why do we talk out loud when we know we’re alone?

Conjecture: because we know we’re not.

These are the Doctor’s opening thoughts, after a lovely spell of seemingly meditating on the Tardis in outer space. He poses that evolution has made the ultimate hunters, the best defenses, but has it produced a being that’s perfected hiding? Well, we’d have no way of knowing.

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“Listen” looked delightfully scary from the preview, and at the beginning I thought I shouldn’t be watching it so close to bed!  It’s more about the Doctor’s past than you would think, with some interesting implications about Clara’s future…

 

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Doctor Who: The Three Best Friends in Sherwood

Robot of Sherwood was a bit of an odd episode for me.  It was fun, but I had none of the Robin Hood vigor that Clara did.  Instead, I was reminded of countless other things… A Knight’s Tale, most significantly.  My feelings about the episode almost mirrored the Doctor’s about the situation.  He wanted to get to the bottom of the situation, and frankly so did I.  At the end of the episode, it came together for me.  Victory came thanks to teamwork shooting a golden arrow, so let’s talk about the three best friends in Sherwood.

 

Robin Hood

I found him quite silly at the beginning.  Visually, I thought his costume was over the top… kind of like the pumped up version of Robin from Batman Forever.  (I’m going to need to watch that immediately.)  Also, he looked a lot like Amy’s brother Peter from Everybody Loves Raymond.  I don’t know.  For some reason, I didn’t want to believe he was real either.  Perhaps my opinion of him was colored by the Doctor’s.  I do love how he beat the sheriff with the move the Doctor used to defeat him at the beginning of the episode.  And I do love his below quote.

“History is a burden.  Stories can make us fly.”

Clara

She’s perfection.  She’s smart as a whip, confident, and always outsmarting her enemies.  I loved Clara’s complete fangirl moments– she’s usually so composed, and she just couldn’t help but be so excited.  I love when she got to fight alongside Robin Hood: “This hero does not come alone,” he boasts, and she pops up with a “Hi-ya!”  The slide down a banner, and Robin asks if she’s okay to, “Oh hell yeah.”  Best of all, her response when the Doctor asked her, when did you start believing in impossible heroes?  

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“Don’t you know?”

Now that was a moment that any Whovian girl can relate to.  Clara’s costume change for me conjured plenty of images, none of which were Robin Hood.  She looked to me more like an elf from Lord of the Rings.  The more I looked at her color palette– the green trim highlighted by Robin Hood’s greens– the more I thought she looked like a Christmas elf.

The Doctor

Capaldi, you’re doing a wonderful job.  The Doctor is obviously such a complex character.  He is very serious and very burdened, but on the surface he is pure whimsy and adventure.  To meld both sides can’t be an easy task.  Every new face we see on the Doctor brings us something new, but should recapture what is already there.  At this, Capaldi is winning.  Let’s see, the spoon v. sword fight and the beginning was delightful, and I was happy to see the Doctor win… even if Robin Hood got the last laugh.  The outright refusal to believe the situation was real without being cynical was good to the very end– the observational skills it took to recognize the wrong climate for the area and season was the first clue; the last ditch effort assume Robin himself was a robot, then immediately abandoning it being the cherry on top.  My favorite gag is was the blood analysis confirming said merry man would be dead in six months.  When this merry man comments that the sheriff wants to oppress them forevermore, the Doctor chimes in, or six months in your case.

So, fun.  I usually like light-hearted episodes, but meh.  It’s monster-of-the-week-y, which I also usually dig.  Next week, though, looks much more my speed!  Creepy and cryptic and sign me up!

Into the Dalek Recap

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I love dalek episodes, and I love the premise of Into the Dalek— it reminds me of that episode of the Magic School Bus where the class goes inside Ralphie, or the Rugrats episode where Chuckie swallows a watermelon seed and the babies go in to retrieve it.  Alright, now for the Doctor Who recap!

We start in a scene that’s half Star Wars, half Star Fox 64. There’s shooting space ships and shouting from the girl soldier, Blue. Her brother, he co-pilot, sits dead next to her and she’s about to join him. Her ship explodes, but Blue wakes up on the Tardis.

The Doctor, without Clara, explains that he saved her. She just wants to get back to her ship, the Aristotle. She wants go pilot the Tardis alone, but the Doctor points out, “you’d starve to death trying to find the light switch.”

The Tardis lands on the Aristotle, and the two walk out. “It’s smaller on the outside,” Blue says. “It’s a bit more exciting when you go the other way,” says The Doctor. The crew of the Aristotle initially wants to kill the Doctor, but thinking that he is a doctor, they have a patient for him… a dalek.

In a rare moment, we see Clara at work, at the school. There’s a new teacher, Mr. Pink, a former soldier who teaches math. The two have a completely awkward interaction thanks to Mr. Pink. Let me tell you, though, if I could flirt like Clara can I’d be all set! Anyway, Clara steps into a supply closet, I think, and comes face to face with the Tardis, and the Doctor, two coffees in hand. He takes her to the Aristotle to see the dalek yelling about how all daleks must be exterminated. Well, that’s a switch!

The Aristotle crew plans to shrink themselves and enter the supposed good dalek to fix the medical ailment. Clara and the Doctor along with some soldiers are up for the mission. “This is a dangerous mission and you look like a school teacher,” a soldier observes, to which Clara responds: “I am a school teacher!

Inside the dalek is more mechanical than organic, but once one of the soldiers, Ross, sends a grappling hook-type thing into the dalek’s biology, dalek anti-bodies come to attack him like an infection. They completely disintegrate Ross. The rest of the crew jumps down a chute to escape the anti-bodies and land in something that looks very much like bodily fluid. “What is this stuff?” asks Clara. “People,” says the Doctor matter-of-factly, explaining that the dalek, who he’s taken to calling Rusty, need protein which the store from the people they kill.

Rusty the dalek says that saw a start being born and realized that life is resilient. He saw beauty in the universe and that’s why he’s not like other daleks. The crew powers on to help Rusty and crawl through to his heart.

Any remarks about my hips will not be appreciated,” says Clara as they crawl. “Oh your hips are fine; you’re built like a man!” replies the Doctor. To this back-handed compliment, she utters “…thanks.”

Once in the heart, radiation is off the charts. They find a leak in the power cell and the Doctor stitches it up with his sonic screwdriver to stop the radiation poisoning. With that, the malfunction is corrected, and he is as any other dalek is. He starts exterminating everyone on the Aristotle.

Miniaturized and trapped inside a dalek, the remainder of the crew must get out. There’s a bit of a moral debate between Clara and the Doctor if there ever was a good dalek. The Doctor decides they must get to the cortex, which seems to filter Dalek thoughts and let through only evil. There, they must relocate the suppressed memory that made Rusty good.

One soldier, Gretchen, shoots her grappling hook up for Clara and Blue to get up to the cortex, sacrificing her life to the anit-bodies. As Gretchen dies, she opens her eyes to suddenly find herself having tea with Missy, who welcomes her to heaven. Guys, why do I have such bad feelings about her?

Clara hops into the cortex and starts pressing things, trying to turn the lights on that signify suppressed memories. As she does that, memories come flowing back to the dalek. The last memory is the birth of the star, the memory that made the dalek see beauty and divinity in the universe. Rusty starts remembering, but resisting. The Doctor tries to persuade him, and finally, to show him beauty. He melds his memories with his and the dalek sees beauty in the universe, he sees divinity… then, he sees hatred, hatred for the daleks that the Doctor holds. With that, Rusty is back to being a dalek-hating-dalek, and he goes on a spree of destruction, exterminating all the invading daleks.

It’s confirmed: a dalek’s nature is simply to destroy. I thought you were a good dalek, the Doctor says to Rusty. “I am not a good dalek. You are a good dalek,” he replies.

Well! I’ve got to say, as far as daleks go, Rusty has been pretty damn interesting!

The last remaining soldier of the Inside the Dalek crew, Blue, wants to join the Doctor, but he has something against soldiers. I’m kind of glad; I didn’t really connect with Blue.

I’m still getting used to Twelve. I do like Peter Capaldi, but I don’t get Twelve yet. I do love his red jacket lining! How are you all feeling about the new Doctor and the new season?