Category Archives: Fox

the change in lucious’ look has not gone unnoticed

Aside of the general nighttime soapiness of each scene, one thing that stood out with Empire‘s first episode was Lucious’ (Terrance Howard) look. Specifically, Lucious’ perfectly coifed hair and ability to pull off satin scarves effortlessly.

Maybe the change was accidental. Maybe it was supposed to go unnoticed. Maybe it’s symbolic and denotes a shift in character development that occurred after the first episode. The most likely reason for the change? The producers simply realized that what worked for the pilot just wasn’t a good fit moving forward.

Still, it’s hard to not look at the “new” Lucious and miss the man that came before:

luciousempireep3 luciousempireep1

 

Although the pompadour and linens seemed slightly out of place for a show that’s otherwise very modern, we’ll miss pilot-episode Lucious and hope for a glimpse of him next season.

 

 

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fringe recapping: the boy must live

Previously on Fringe:fringe recapping

huffposttv:“Fringe” Showrunner On The End Of The SeriesJoel Wyman looked back on his time with “Fringe” and how he made this season truly about the characters.As we reach the end, what are you hoping that fans will take away from the show — its legacy, if you will?  For me, it’s that people would leave thinking, “Well done.” Like, “You tried — those guys really tried,” because we did, we tried and that’s all you can ask for. I think that I would like for people to take away from it that they made the show what it is and that they can feel proprietary over it; they owned a little bit of the building. I think this was the first time that social media has had such a big play in keeping a show around, and our fans are unified. So, I want people to kind of take away and say that “this was a show that was aspiring to be something that you don’t get all the time; it was trying to say something that you don’t necessarily see all the time; I will always remember it.” It really is and has been a show about heart. So many people with heart have given their heart to the program. I have to believe in some way that because of that, that it connected with people. It was authentic. Like I said, we tried.

There are only two episodes left of my beloved show, and they both air tonight. I don’t know how I feel about that. Well, actually, I know exactly how I feel. I’m devastated, and wish that this day would never end. I do not at all want this series to be ending, and I think I will be a sad and mopey for the rest of the weekend—if not the rest of the month.

This season has had its ups and downs, but, overall, it’s been pretty decent. The Boy Must Live was a good episode. Sure, there were problems, and many people didn’t like it. At this point, I don’t really care about the plot holes and inaccuracies—to a certain extent. The plot moved along quite nicely, and it did a nice job setting up the finale, so I’m pretty happy.

Walter goes into the magical mind tank, which Olivia went into in Episode One. He discovers where September/Donald lived 20 years ago—and Donald just happens to still be living there.

Donald reveals that he is Michael’s father; that he was the one who put Michael into the underground cave in the original timeline to protect him. Michael is considered an anomaly because he can feel emotions—he is a hybrid of sorts. Donald appears to be human, because the Observers removed his device and tested on him, removing all “Observer” traits.

Then they’re off to find Observer tech September’s hidden away. September goes off to find more gear, and Team Etta—sans Astrid, of course—along with Michael are off. However, Observers have found Septembers house, and their car is compromised. They get on the train, and right as the train is about to depart, Michael steps off and is intentionally captured by the Observers.

While this was an excellent set up for the finale, there were also a lot of problems. It was quite clear that Michael’s intention was to step off the train. In my opinion, Team Etta has more important things to do than try and rescue a boy who wanted to be taken hostage.

As much as I love September, there were huge problems with just about everything he said this episode. Of course, some of it was just facts or history-to-come that didn’t make any sense. Actually, there were a lot of things—many unrelated to poor September—that I did not like or thought did not make sense. How did he know Michael was his son? Why did he leave him underground—was that really the best alternative he could come up with? I’m exceptionally horrible at math, but I think if there’s a 99.9999% chance something will happen, it’s highly unlikely this will be proven wrong twice. To the same person. I’m also still not happy with the idea that the only thing that separates humans and Observers are these needle-like devices, which we never learned about until Peter stuck one in his brain. Walter’s memory—or lack thereof—seems a little bit too convenient. And how is it that Windmark is suddenly feeling emotion? What is that supposed to prove? In addition, what is the Observers’ relation with the Alternate World? And if Bolivia recognizes Olivia, does that mean we have returned to the original timeline?! I hope so!

In addition, I think no one was happy with the very unexpected twist that “the boy must live” referred to Michael, not Peter. First of all, no. Second of all, that makes no sense! Why would September have said that right after pulling Peter from the frozen lake?

Of course, there were also things I loved about this episode:

Donald’s name—deriving from Donald O’Conner, one of the main stars of Singing in the Rain, the first film September and Walter had ever watched together.

The references to the “original 12” Observers, who include September, August, and December—the Observers from previous seasons.

I also loved the recurrence of the White Tulip, which is uncontested by all as one of the best stand-along episodes of the series.

And we cannot forget the best quote of the night. Delivered by Walter, of course. He talks privately to September and reveals that Michael has showed him he will have to sacrifice himself for the plan.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frightened. Do you think that the boy showed me all these other experiences, because he wanted me to know that I have loved, that I have had incredible moments and connections? Because… because it will make it easier for me to come to terms with what I have to do? You think that’s why he did it?”

It’s a line that you can easily imagine Walter saying; however, it’s also a line that seems to be talking to the Fringe fans. This quote is my favorite of this entire season, and it helps me believe that the ending, while maybe not “happily ever after,” will end in a way that satisfies fans.

Here’s an amazing article that talks more in-depth about the series as a whole.  My favorite quote of the article?

“Because I look at Fringe and all I see is a cult classic in the making. Even if the finale manages to disappoint us later this week, I still think Fringe will be one of those shows that will pick up steam only after it finishes its run, ala Arrested Development or Firefly. Fans like us know the show is great, and will be sharing it with non-fans as much as we can. And then when they finish it, they will share it with non-fans, and then those people will share it with non-fans and so on and so on. Right now, Fringe may not be considered one of the best sci-fi shows ever made by the general populace. But give it some time. Because one day…it will be.”

And here is the promo for tonight’s two-part finale. It’s interesting to note that they have their own titles, instead of naming it simply Part One and Part Two, as previously done. It’s also interesting to note that THE PARALLEL WORLD IS BACK!!! We’ve got our Broyles, Bolivia and Lincoln! So excited.

Emily enjoys all mediums of speculative fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi–especially reading, writing, and watching them. A Fringe fanatic, she is convinced that one day she will meet her parallel self, aptly nicknamed Femily (Fake Emily), and save both worlds from their inevitable destruction.

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fringe recapping

In following with last season’s formula, we went from a very boring, meandering first few episodes (Ignoring Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11 and Letters of Transit), and are slowly picking up speed. Things have finally begun to get interesting again. Astrid is still stuck in the lab doing menial “tape-recon” work, but everyone else is slowly developing. I have absolute faith in the last three episodes–mainly because of Joel Wyman, extraordinaire and genuis–but also because of all of the hype the last episode, which is number 100!, has gotten. There have been no spoilers or teasers leaked, but everyone is saying it is a beautiful ending; the best episode yet. Abrams, Wyman, Noble, Jackson; have all said it’s one not to miss. And I will not be missing this. For anything.

I’d like to say that this is a recap of three episodes because I was sparing readers from hundreds of words, complaining about the miniscule problems of each. But the truth of the matter was my indifference for these episodes led to an indifference in talking about, or thoroughly examining, these episodes. Here’s a three-episode recap/review/rant, along with the hopes that the next three will be amazing–and worthy of their own posts.

The Human Kind:
Peter, who has become more and more Observer-like in his actions and mannerisms every day, can now predict the future and possesses all the same qualities as the Observers. Walter warns that if Peter does not remove the device from his head soon, the effects will be irreversible. They find another tape to recover an electromagnet; Olivia goes to track it down and meets Simone, a woman who has been waiting for over 25 years for someone to show up. The electromagnet is huge and can be only moved on a large truck. On the way back to the lab, Olivia is accosted by petty thieves who manage to capture Olivia–after she shows off her fighting chops, something we haven’t seen this entire season. Olivia manages to escape, setting a trap using trash and Etta’s bullet to kill one of them. Peter is in the works of killing Windmark when Olivia shows up. She convinces him that this is not how Etta would have wanted her death avenged, and Peter removes the device from his head!

This episode, while interesting, was very contrived. The entire “Peter as an Observer” idea was one that I think should have never been used, or used all the way through, as him turning into an Observer. As sad as that would have been, his removing the device makes it seem like it was just a device to move the plot along. Overall, a very strong episode. Highlights included Olivia’s badassery returning, her touching speech to Peter, and the symbolism of that bullet, which has saved multiple lives and is the most obvious symbol and theme of the entire show. Not that I mind.

Black Blotter:
This season’s famed “Episode 19” did a lovely job of being, well, Episode 19ish while also moving along the plot. Walter’s depressed state leads him to take Black Blotter, acid he had stored in his lab. The LSD causes Walter to hallucinate; he begins to see his old assistant Carla, who tells him the he is–and will always be–the old Walter. A notebook with all of Walter’s (during his 100% brain capacity days) notes and project appears. Carla tells him to read it and save the world; Nina appears and tells him not to read it, that he doesn’t need it. The radio that the Observer-child had, from the episode “Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There” begins to pick up a frequency. Olivia and Peter are searching for the signal and they find bodies protecting the tower relaying the signal. One of the bodies is Sam Weiss. Team Etta triangulates the signal and they’re off–including Astrid, which is the first time she’s left the lab since she got there. They go to the source and find the Observer-boy, now called Michael, living with an elderly couple. Team Etta takes Michael; because he “doesn’t view time the way we do,” he recognizes Olivia from the original timeline.

Walter imagines himself in a Monty Python-esque land, where he rides Gene and sees a black umbrella used as a key. This suited the style of the episode, allowed Walter to partake in one of his favorite pastimes, and allowed him to solve the riddle needed in proving that they meant no harm to Michael. The parallels between Carla and Nina–and Walter’s cognitive brain functioning–are also ones that have begun to be hinted at, and I’m sure will begin to show up even more as the season progresses.

Anomaly XB-6783746:
Michael proves to be an Observer different than the others; the previously used device does not work. Unlike the original timeline, where he connected with Olivia through their feelings, he has no means of communication with them. Team Etta seeks Nina’s help; she tells them where to find the necessary goods. Nina waits with Michael in an underground Loyalist lab. They discover that Nina has been compromised; the Observers are on their way to her. Nina hides Michael in the lab, but not before he touches her face and she learns something. The Observers come; Nina commits suicide so they cannot read her thoughts. When Team Etta returns they discover Nina’s body–and that Michael was left behind. Once they find him, he touches Walter’s face. Walter sees flashes of his past, and learns who Donald is: September!

So far this has been my favorite episode this season. You see the slow progression of Walter’s brain regenerating–he continues to call Michael “the subject,” and is curt and pessimistic. But when he sees Nina’s lifeless body, he quickly transitions to the old Walter, mourning his good friend’s death. We also learn about Michael: that he is an anomaly who should have been killed–seemingly reminiscent of the Doctor Who episode with the broken daleks–and that he is not a child. He also sheds a tear when he sees Nina’s body; showing that, like August, Observers can learn to feel emotions. This is unlike September, who was a human and turned Observer.

Nina’s speech was also wonderful, and are the words that can accurately and beautifully sums up this season so far.

“Do you know why you tilt your head in that way? It’s an involuntary reflex in your physiology. It changes the angle at which sound waves hit the eardrum, allowing in more stimuli. Like a lizard. I’ve studied them too. Intriguing characters. Their brains have evolved over 320 million years, yet for all their evolution, they form no bonds. Love does not exist for them. They are incapable of dreaming, of contemplating beauty, of knowing something greater than themselves… not unlike your kind. The experiments we conducted right here in this lab, yielded a surprising result, because for all your years of evolution, you inadvertently redeveloped and honed primitive instincts that we moved beyond long ago. So in reality, you’re the animal.”


I think one of the things that has helped this season the most is when they began straying from the “videotape of the week” format. Or their formulaic: 10 mins recovering tape, 10 minutes watching/discussing the tape, then 20 minutes recovering one small piece of this huge puzzle. Tonight looks like they’re picking things up; hopefully interesting things will continue to evolve. Watch the teaser for “The Boy Must Live” here.

Emily enjoys all mediums of speculative fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi–especially reading, writing, and watching them. A Fringe fanatic, she is convinced that one day she will meet her parallel self, aptly nicknamed Femily (Fake Emily), and save both worlds from their inevitable destruction.

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fringe: a rant (and recap) part two

***Warning: While there are recaps for the last three episodes, there are also a lot of horrible analogies and metaphors, and crazy amounts of me freaking out and ranting. Also, this will be broken up into two parts, as it’s too long for one post.  Oh, Fringe. You crazy show, you.***

Are some of these problems I have things I have already talked about? Of course. But they’re not getting resolved in the show, making them seem even more apparent now.

I’m sad–devastated–that Fringe is ending. However, another, smaller part of me wishes it ended in season three. Or even season 4. There are only six episodes left, and will they really be that great? I’m not too sure. We’ve got the one Abrams is supposedly directing (which I don’t care about at all. We could say that he completely ditched the show, bringing about its downfall, but instead, because we’re bitter fans, let’s say that Abrams helped create something awesome, stuck it in the oven, then SABOTAGED his friends by changing the oven time. But if the cookies turn out good, we all know he’s going to be there bragging about how he helped with them.), the rumored “episode 19”–which breaks my heart because last season’s episode 19, Letters in Transit, have lost its “episode 19ness” because of this season.

I also do not like how the alternate timeline and future timelines have served as a completely different background and setting than the parallel universes in seasons two and three. Instead of being an intriguing place with subtle but distinct differences, the alternate timeline and future timeline is, in my mind, the lazy way of not explaining anything. Plot hole? Continuity errors? It’s okay–we’ll just blame it on the fact that this is an alternate timeline.

Can they really wrap up three seasons of awesomeness, one season of meandering, and half a season of not-very-good-storyline? Time will only tell.

If it seems like I am freaking out, it is because I AM.

I don’t know why cheesy metaphors seem to be the way I’m expressing myself, but I’m going to keep going with it. Fringe, you are like a cup of Mountain Dew Baja Blast with lots of ice (bear with me on this one). The first sip of that tangy, delicious bright-blue drink is nothing short of amazing. You continue sipping. It continues tasting delicious. Life continues, and you are happy–like is perfect. Then you suck on the straw and you come up empty. You freak out. “I’m done already? I’ve only been drinking it for a few minutes!” You open the lid; the straw was caught between ice. Don’t worry–you’ve still got about a third of the drink left. You replace the lip and shake the cup, relieved to hear lots of liquid and ice. But doubt begins to fill your mind. What if the ice dilutes the drink? Maybe to enjoy the last few sips, you must eat most of the ice first! (Here is season four–a delightful break, but not really what you’re in the mood for.)

You begin chomping away on that ice, shoveling it into your mouth. There are just a few pieces left. “That’s okay,” you think. Those few pieces won’t ruin the last of my drink. You take a first tentative sip. It’s slightly watery. “But that’s okay, too,” you try to comfort yourself. The next ones will be better. You swallow a half-melted ice cube that somehow went up your straw. “What the hell?” you think. You begin to get frustrated. Your mouth is half-frozen because you decided to eat all those ice cubes and the drink isn’t even tasting that good anymore. You angrily rip off the lid and throw the straw to the floor. Your eyes grow wide and you breathe in a gasp because–.

Well, we don’t know why because, because Fringe isn’t over yet! I’m hoping it’s something magical, like you discover that the last sip is a sip of the fountain of youth, and not something horrible like, you realizing that the cup’s been empty for a long time and you’ve been drinking half watery soda-water, half air. We will find out soon enough. And maybe I will revisit this analogy after the finale and give it a proper ending. But probably not.

Until next week’s episode, which, from commercials, looks to be slightly better than last week’s episode (although, really, that isn’t saying much), I will be rewatching seasons two and three. Because that feels like it aired a lifetime ago, and was a different show.

In news that’s a bit happier, John Noble just tweeted about the finale, and said that it was MINDBLOWING (all caps his words, not mine. Well, maybe mine. We will see on January 18. Please don’t let me down, Fringe. You will kill my soul and destroy my heart.)

 

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Fringe: A rant (and recap) part one

Life, the universe, and other less important things have put a delay on my posts. But I’m back–and will be posting again regularly (at least until January 18th). Which is the date of my DEATH (or, more accurately, the date of the two-part finale).

***Warning: While there are recaps for the last three episodes, there are also a lot of horrible analogies and metaphors, and crazy amounts of me freaking out and ranting. Also, this will be broken up into two parts, as it’s too long for one post.  Oh, Fringe. You crazy show, you.***

Fringe fans, we have been dealt an unbelievably strange hand of cards. I mean, sure, we’re still in the game. We’ve got maybe… a pair of Kings at best. Which, you know, isn’t a completely horrible hand. However, when you compare it to the freaking STRAIGHT FLUSH we had a few seasons–er, turns–ago, we’re dying. DYING. We’ve slowly been edged out, and instead leaving when we were freaking millionaires, we’re going to have to leave the table because we lost it all. Does that mean we didn’t have a few good hands? No. It just means we were broke and were kicked out and CANNOT PLAY POKER.

However, unlike poker, where things seem to be all about luck, for television shows you need things that will pull people in; things that will have them returning week after week. For me, those things are (if you are Fringe)–haha, no. But they are, mostly, consistency in a show, great plot, likeable actors (to a certain extent), and a few other things.

The biggest problem with this season is the fact that seasons 1-3 of Fringe were phenomenal. The right blend of creepy, satire, loveable characters and plot arcs to make this one hour the highlight of my week. There was nothing–I repeat, NOTHING–I would have rather done than watch Fringe, sans season four. Now I don’t really care that it’ll be three weeks until the next Fringe episode–even though FOX promised us to have the last seven episodes played consecutively! Don’t promise things you can’t keep, FOX. Jeez.

Sure, I could recap that last few episodes instead of just ranting for thousands of words. And I will. Right here, in a few paragraphs.

An Origin Story: 

Everyone is still sad that Etta is dead. Team Etta learns that they are intercepting goods from a wormhole–from future Observers. They catch an Observer and Peter tries to “break” him. Astrid decodes the Observers’ book, which details exactly when and where the next drop is coming from. They plan to throw a bomb into the wormhole, effectively destroying all the Observers (magically, and without destroying the earth!). However, they first need to learn how to open the device which triggers the Observers. Peter figures it out by seeing when the Observers’ eyes dilate. But–surprise, surprise–it doesn’t work. Peter gets very angry and says “I’d be ten times the man you were if I had your tech in my head.” Then he kills the Observer, takes a small piece of equipment (which looks like the devices the parallel universe stuck into Fauxlivia’s hands to teleport her home), and puts it in his own head. Meanwhile, Olivia is still sad, and Walter tells her she needs to watch a vhs of Etta as a child; the first step in trying to recover from Etta’s death.

Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There: 

This could have been the famed “episode 19.” Walter watches one of his several vhs videos and decides to go look for the clues by himself. He goes into a pockethole universe, where time has stopped and the laws of gravity do not exist; where you need to do a quirky little dance before entering in. Astrid, Peter, and Olivia later follow him in (but, of course, Astrid doesn’t go inside). They find a man who was blown in by a blast, and a bed where a young Observer-like boy from season one is supposed to be–but isn’t. Oh, no! And a man named Donald from Walter’s past is revealed. Windmark comes back (Whatttt–thought he was killed with Etta) and tells Peter that putting the Observer tech in his head was a grave mistake–that he didn’t know what he was doing.

Five-Twenty-Ten: 

Peter uses his new Observer-like qualities to successfully plant a bomb and kill several Observers (admittedly, the coolest, most visually intriguing part of the episode.) Team Etta is looking for Observer tech from previous seasons, which is stored in William Bell’s secret, secret storage (which is why they needed Bell’s hand). Blah, blah, blah, Nina is sad because Walter is mean to her, Walter feels bad an apologizes, and Peter reveals to Olivia that he’s becoming an Observer.

This is more painful than last season, where the first episode was interesting, but  then episodes about… oh, say, 2-15 blended together because it was without one of the main stars, Peter, and focused solely on seeing his return. Sure, it was an interesting concept. But, like Joel Wyman said, “deleting  Peter from existence” was a BAD IDEA.

Things only went downhill from there. Blah blah blah, Olivia’s still sad. Why? We don’t know. She doesn’t know. She just knows she’s an unemotional robot losing her memories, which she is completely okay with, because Peter (who has returned now) is AWESOME. But is he really that awesome? In a completely cynical and devil’s advocate role, I’d like to point out that sure, he’s great. But I mean, honestly, he left her after his daughter left. Sure, it was justified. But it completely consumed him. And let’s not even talk about what the hell he’s doing this season. Because that is one of my biggest problems so far.

And I’ve got a lot of them. Here we go.

  • What happened to my beloved characters? I know that this is an alternate reality (where technically no one is the same person, except Peter of course). But why are they so… lackluster now?
  • Why is Windmark back? Didn’t he die with Etta?
  • There is a suprising–and very annoying–lack of consistency and continuity right now. And it is making me mad and sad and hurt and betrayed and all these confusing emotions.
  • What’s up with Astrid not being used at all? She is playing at pointless character–who cares about stupid tapes stuck in amber? One of my hugest problems with this season is that it is becoming disturbingly similar to what happens when I try to write novels: sure, there are high points, but overall it’s mostly me rambling, having my characters do nothing, killing boring people off when I’m tired of them (or when they replace who I really want my protagonists to be. I know my novel-writing is abysmal at best. Which is why I primarily stick to short stories. But, really, Fringe? This is how low you have stooped?! That I compare you to an unfinished novel where I wrote more than two thousand words on the importance of making a fire correctly and how to skin a rabbit? You are breaking my heart, Fringe, and I don’t know what to do.
  • Does anyone really care about Walter’s brain? We all know he’s turning back into Walternate; but why is that? Do brain cells really take MONTHS to regenerate? Because originally it worked just fine and then something snapped in his brain (I don’t remember if this really happened or it was unexplained. Either way, I don’t care enough to look it up.) and now he’s slowly turning into Walternate again. Now I’m not saying I don’t think John Noble is doing an excellent job–to the contrary, he is doing a BRILLIANT JOB. However, why does he have to be going through this again? It’s repetitive and uninteresting.
  • What is up with the Observers’ magnetic thing in their brains? I refuse to believe the only thing that separates humans from their future selves is a little chip that takes over their brain. That is the most STUPID THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF. And it was never explained to us before. Unlike regular reveals, where it’s like “oh, all the actors knew except us,” this one is more like “You are an idiot, Peter. And if this really was possible, don’t you think someone else–in the twenty years–would have done this before? Or is it such a horrible idea that Peter is the only one that would do this?”

(Rant continued in next post.)

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