Tag Archives: J.J. Abrams

revolution recapping: soul train

Previously on Revolution: Plague Dogs

I’m not sure if there has ever been a dystopian, pseudo-post-apocalyptic television program that was as laugh-out-loud funny as Revolution is. The laughs probably aren’t always (or ever) intentional, but if you’re a fan of Acting Facial Expressions 101 and sudden and inexplicable plot twists, you’ll have a good time.

And if you’re a sappy, science-fiction dreamer who doesn’t know how to let a corny show go, then stay away.

Plot

Well, in this episode Charlie and company finally catch up to her captured brother Danny – only to lose him again. This all goes down in a little town energized by the presence of a big train. There are some confrontations: Charlie and Neville meet face-to-face for the first time, Miles and Neville fight, and not-Nate heroically defies Neville’s orders to help Charlie escape.

Got all that? Don’t worry; even if you skipped this entire episode, nothing much actually progressed. The biggest progression probably falls in the arena of “character development.” Nora realizes the fun of exploding things isn’t worth it if it costs human lives. Pre-blackout Neville realizes it’s okay to hit humans (not just punching bags) when your family’s life is at stake. Charlie realizes frowning, whining, and complaining 24/7 have been getting her nowhere, so she decides to toughen up and (presumably) get more interesting.

And in the end, two actual story developments popped up. Remember not-Nate? His name is Jason, and he’s actually Neville’s son! Also, Monroe gets Rachel to confess that there are 12 secret necklaces that will help turn the power back on. A hunt for an unwieldy number of objects that will probably take the whole season, if not longer? Sounds like J. J. Abrams! (Or Harry Potter – hello, horcruxes.)

Talking Points

Griping

Just call me, Charlie, right? So, yes, I’m having trouble keeping the negativity out of my analysis of this show – I can admit that. You know what I think it is? This show is so close to approaching greatness (and by close I mean . . . in the neighborhood. Or at least in the same state).  In my not-very-humble opinion, I think television needs more programs that push the boundaries of what we think is drama, what we crave as human interaction, and what we consider as a philosophical approach to the moral dilemmas we face every day. Is Revolution doing any of those things? No, not really, but it has the premise and the back story to achieve something close – burdened down, of course, by the character development and the plot progression of a slow-moving train to hell. I don’t know. After five episodes, I guess it’s still a draw.

Can You Handle It?

There’s an amazingly brilliant article from Market Watch writer David. B Wilkerson about problems Revolution and NBC may be forced to face in the coming weeks. Wilkerson writes, “Revolution is the kind of series that demands that its audience pay a lot of attention and think hard about each episode, as the ABC program Lost did so well . . . That sort of program may be too much for viewers who lead stressful daily lives.”

Oh, man. This world we live in. On this quote alone, I have reason to keep watching.

Revolution takes a break next week, but it’ll return Monday, October 29.

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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revolution recapping: chained heat

This may have been inevitable, but I find myself – slightly against my will – liking Revolution more and more. Sword fights, faked deaths, ethical justifications, and a wrist gun? My poor brain can’t resist.

Plot

  • The gang (Miles, Charlie, Aaron, and Maggie) are off to find Nora, an explosives expert who Miles insists they need to rescue Danny.
  • Charlie learns an important lesson: sometimes you should let Uncle Miles kill ruthless bounty hunters in cold blood.
  • Miles takes off on his own to rescue Nora from a militia prison camp, leaving Charlie, Matt, and Maggie.
  • Maggie gets a back story: she keeps her defunct iPhone since the photos trapped inside are the last reminders of her children from across the pond.
  • Charlie catches up to Miles – after sneakily handcuffing her stalker, not-Nate.
  • Apparently, Nora didn’t need to be rescued. She was at the slave camp to steal a sniper gun from the warden.
  • Charlie volunteers to use Nora’s nifty wrist gun to shoot the warden. But wait? Isn’t she a sweet, innocent girl? Nope! Flashbacks reveal that Charlie’s mother, Rachel, was sort of a bad ass – and apparently the apple doesn’t fall very far from the presumed dead tree.
  • Charlie ends up killing the warden and another militia man as she, Miles, and Nora liberate the prison camp.
  • Nora’s resistance tattoo (an American flag that’s missing a few stars) is revealed, and Miles doesn’t like it.
  • Maggie and Aaron, embarking on a side story, don’t make it to Grace’s house in time to hand the mysterious woman Ben’s necklace. Randall got their first! Who’s Randall? I don’t know, but Grace does – or at least she did.
  • And twist! Rachel, Charlie and Danny’s mother, is alive and a prisoner of evil Monroe!

Talking Points

Danny

So let’s get something out of the way: Danny is an idiot. Last week, I compared Danny to a llama, but that’s unfair to llamas. Llamas at least know how to stay silent. Why does this guy keep talking? He practically got his father killed because of his big mouth (and quivering crossbow), and now he taunts his captor as a morally misaligned murderer? You know something funny about morally misaligned murderers? They’re not that forgiving to mop-topped young brats with an apparent death wish. This isn’t the actor’s fault, I should add – and maybe it’s actually no one’s fault. I just think that since a lot of this show currently hinges on rescuing this silly guy it would be nice to make him slightly more appealing . . . or intelligent.

The Abram Effect

Oh, J.J. Abrams, I’ll follow you wherever you lead – even though all that usually gets me is a closet full of Rambaldi junk and a forgotten smoke monster. I’m genuinely hopeful for the direction of this show, and I’m especially looking forward to further intrigue surrounding Monroe, Rachel, and the resistance. I think Rachel, in particular, adds a lot to the show’s ensemble. She’s already been given more depth than characters with triple her screen time and it doesn’t hurt that she has some proven acting chops. Monroe seems suitably intriguing and complex, as does his obedient henchmen and the mysterious members of the resistance. If Abrams can resist his trademark slant toward the supernatural, I think we’ll be all set for a fantastical and character-driven adventure.

Complaining (Or a surprising lack thereof)

I have nothing to really complain about this episode (though I did watch it at 6 a.m. this morning in a groggy, pre-coffee haze). Sure, I find Charlie’s perpetual frown and dopey repetitiveness a bit grating (“So you’re militia”?) and I already complained about her unlikeable brother, but that’s nitpicking and I know it. I generally just enjoyed watching the characters prance around and slash each other with swords. It’s fast-paced, somewhat intelligent, and overall intriguing story-telling. It’s not perfect, okay – I get that. But in a sea of nauseating network sitcoms and been-there-done-that drama programs, Revolution offers something refreshingly different and I heartily appreciate that.

Looking Forward

No cancellation rumors! And the preview for next week features a former BSG cylon. It’s like this show is consciously trying to to lure me in – and it might be working.

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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fringe recapping: brave new world, part two

Previously on Fringe: Brave New World, part one

Fringe, my love! What a great closing season finale. We find out almost immediately that Astrid is fine. (Of course my Astrid is fine. She had to be okay. After all, she was in Letters of Transit!) Belly has taken Walter captive, where he proudly shows a horrified Walter the new world he’s created. (Oddly enough, Bell’s perfect world has room for only one human: himself. He is perfectly content with the human race dying out, and letting his hybrid animals live peacefully by themselves.) Bell claims to have gotten the idea from Walter. Walter did indeed being thinking of working on an entirely new universe, but the idea so scared him–that is, his own brilliance–that he begged Bell to take out parts of his brain.

Olivia gets a call from Jessica, from part one, who is terrified that someone is following her. Upon her and Peter’s arrival, they find that Jessica works for Bell! She’s managed to capture September with the help of Bell’s magical weapons, which can best the Observers. Poor September is immobilized, and Jessica shoots him with a high-speed gun, directly in the chest (so that’s when September was shot!). Olivia uses her magical powers to stop the second and third bullets, using her hand as a ricochet, instantly killing Jessica. Jessica is then taken back to Walter’s lab, where Peter and Nina work on temporarily bringing her back to life to find out where Walter’s been taken. (This scene is the one of the creepiest things I think I’ve ever seen. Second only to the Marionette episode last season. Those who dare can watch it here.)

Nina comes to the realization that Bell’s power source is Olivia; with all the cortexiphan in her body, she is the one triggering the collapse of both universes. With this information, they manage to triangulate Bell’s location: on a boat (no swim trunks and flippy floppies on this one, unfortunately). As the two universes are collapsing, the ship Bell and Walter are on can has already disappeared into the other universe, meaning only Peter can see it. Luckily for them, Olivia has the power to cross between universes. They jump from their helicopter into the parallel universe–and onto the boat–where they storm the cabin where Bell and Walter are. Bell has been reciting Yeats, and Walter manages to stealthily load Bell’s gun.

Peter points his gun, stolen from the helicopter at Bell, who happily announces that it’s too late–even shooting Bell will not stop it. Then Walter turns, says, “Forgive me,” and shoots Olivia point-blank, effectively cutting off Bell’s power supply–and the collapse of both universes. Craziness! Bell rings his bell and vanishes to who-knows-where. Peter is distraught, but Walter brusquely tells him to help lift Olivia to the table. Apparently there’s so much cortexiphan in her system that if they get the bullet out, her brain will be able to heal itself. They perform the “operation” successfully, and our Olivia’s okay again!

The final moments include: Broyles being promoted to General; Fringe getting extra funding from the government; Walter telling Peter that all the cortexiphan needed to heal Olivia’s brain could have exhausted all the cortexiphan from her body… maybe; and Olivia telling Peter that she’s pregnant! The last scene has Walter making food when September comes to see him and says, “We have to warn the others. They are coming.”

(Ignoring everything I know thanks to Letters of Transit), my mind is officially blown. Again.

Thoughts: 

  • This episode has been on my mind for a few days, and I’ve come to the realization that it was a good episode–especially part two–and I have to accept it the way it is. I still wish the episode 19, Letters of Transit, didn’t give so much away, but it was still a pleasure to watch. Although some of the answers seemed too tidy, I’m guessing that it’s either because it will be addressed next season, or they were having a hard time transitioning to a maybe-season-five when originally writing this episode.
  • I don’t really understand Olivia’s powers; they seem to come and go at will. Why couldn’t she have prevented September from being shot? And the fact that she now might not have cortexiphan in her system seemed too… intentional. My way of thinking usually goes: if I could have thought of the scenario (for example, of a spike of cortexiphan to have Olivia “die,” then save her, and then her “death” use up all the extra cortexiphan), then I’m not impressed.
  • I was also unimpressed with Peter’s ability to get September out of his magical rune with a little rubbing of a 2 by 4. Also, why didn’t they call back-up? Or were they just ahead of the other FBI agents…by like 30 minutes?
  • I find it interesting that Observers cannot see their own futures. Or September can’t, anyway. How would one go through their future memories?
  • I loved how they were on a boat–like Noah’s ark, only Belly’s crazy, demented “ark.”
  • If Walter was so unemotional when shooting Olivia, why couldn’t he do the same to Bell? Was he out of bullets? Surely he didn’t want to let Bell get away–after all, Bell was going to destroy two universes.
  • I didn’t like the “cliche-ness” of Olivia being pregnant. Plus, it’s like 4 years too early if the child is Henrietta. But maybe these questions/quibbles will all be answered next season.
  • Now we know where Etta’s bullet-necklace came from!
  • I’m ready for season five now–bring on some more awesomeness 🙂
Quotes: 
Bell:  The Bible tells us God created his universe in seven days. It’s taken me considerably longer. Beautiful. Isn’t it?
***

Olivia: Well, what are we gonna do about finding Walter? Our only lead is dead.

Peter: That doesn’t mean we can’t still question her.

***

Bell: Yes, Walter. We cut those ideas out of your head to literally put ‘the Genie’ back into the bottle. Then I grew older. I grew cynical. I grew cancer. Then I realized that dosing myself with Cortexiphan would slow it down. But slowing is not stopping. For me, it’s just a matter of time. The clock is ticking. Tick, tick, tick, tick. And that’s when it occurred to me. You were right, Walter. Walter, you were right, right, right. Every rant you ever went on made perfect sense. Suddenly, I understood not just you – but everything. God made us in his image. If that is so, if we are capable of being Gods, then it is our destiny to do so.

Walter: No. No, William.

Bell: My dear friend, even if you deny it now, you have always been playing God. I am.

***

PETER: It’s gonna be okay.

OLIVIA: You know, for the first time, I don’t think that it is. I remember being in that lab in Jacksonville when Walter and William were doing the Cortexiphan Trials. I remember how it smelled, how I felt, how scared I was, how all alone I was. And now, you know, years later, nothing’s changed. I’m still that little girl, and William Bell is still doing experiments on me. I’m just still being used.

PETER: No. Something has changed. This time, you’re not alone.

***

Walter: Forgive me.

Peter: You killed her!

Walter: I’m so sorry, Olive.

Peter: Don’t touch her.

***

Walter: Excuse me, Miss. Is that Lemon Jell-o?

Orderly: These are urine samples.

Walter: Oh, well, in that case, no, thank you. I’m more peckish than thirsty.

***

Walter: I don’t suppose you’re here for a sandwich.

September: We have to warn the others. They are coming.

Walter: Who’s coming?

“The Two B’s,” as they affectionately call themselves!

See more behind-the-scenes with Leonard Nimoy and John Noble here and 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 recapping: brave new world, part one

Previously on Fringe: Everything in Its Right Place

We left off last week with a twist so huge I’m surprised it wasn’t the season finale. Part one of the season finale started off with a bang–semi-literally. Multiple people died spontaneously combusting upon movement. This means all the survivors had to stand still for hours while Fringe figures out what happened, and how to save them. Guest star Rebecca Madder (who starred on Abrams’ hit show Lost)  plays one of the temporary survivors, Jessica Holt . She bravely volunteers to let Walter move her to his lab and run tests on her. While synthesizing a cure, Jessica’s body begins combusting. As the cure is not finished, Olivia tries to calm Jessica down, but instead manages to cure her with her cortexiphan powers. (Think that’s strange? Just wait.)

Onto the subplot: Walter is convinced that the device was created by William Bell–yes, that William Bell, who we thought had died in a car crash (in this timeline). Nina tries to dissuade him from this idea, begrudgingly telling him that Bell had Lymphoma, which is why he killed himself Christmas day, 2005. However, Walter is adamant that not only is Bell alive, but that Bell visited him at St. Clair’s on New Year’s Day, 2006–a week after everyone believes he has died. A visit to St. Clair’s proves inconclusive, other than Walter taking a guest logbook. He bakes a page of the logbook in a miniature easy-bake oven lemon cake which has been drugged with cortexiphan, and it shows fingerprints with almond oil on it. Walter declares that Bell’s favorite food used to be Chilean almonds–and he and Astrid are off again to the warehouse which Bell used to buy his almonds from.

While this is happening, Bell meets with Jones, who we learn is merely a pawn in this new, evil Bell’s masterplan. They turn on two satellites, which has narrowed a beam of the sun onto an underground landmine, continuing with their plans to blow up the earth. Olivia and Peter arrive just in time to turn off the satellites, but Peter is attacked by Jones. Watching from atop a nearby building, Olivia is horrified to see that Jones is gaining the upper-hand, so she does what any sane, cortexiphan-laden girlfriend would do: she channels her powers and telekinetically controls Peter’s body, which includes relocating his shoulder for him. (I told you it only got stranger. If it sounds strange, just imagine how it looked on screen.) Jones dies, and comes to the sad realization that he was Bell’s bait–that Bell had planned for his death all along.

The end of the episode shows Walter and Astrid in the warehouse. They hear some suspicious noises and go to investigate and are shot at. Astrid shows some pretty kick-ass moves, but in the end they are trapped, Astrid has been shot in the chest, and Bell comes out of the shadows to talk to Walter.

Welcome back, evil Bell!

Thoughts: 

  • Although it makes me a bit sad an embarrassed to admit this,  I didn’t really like this episode. But I’m going to say that’s simply because we’re in an awkward spot right now. As no one was sure if Fringe would get renewed, they had to film two endings to the show. I really think that if Fringe had been renewed a little bit sooner, Episode 19 would have been much different. As it is, it was pretty easy to guess that Bell was back–evil enough for Walter to ruthlessly cut off his hand–and that Astrid will be fine. Maybe Olivia will find some new powers and manage to remove the bullet and heal the wound.
  • On that note, either this timeline’s got some crazy stuff floating around in the air, or my favorite writers are going slightly over-the-top with Olivia’s powers. Even if Olivia did have the power to control Peter’s actions, why didn’t she simply control Jones? Plus, what will this mean in the future? It sounds like she’s pretty unbeatable in a fight.
  • And what about the other people who had been about to spontaneously combust? Did I miss something, or was did Olivia manage to cure them all–despite not knowing how she cured Jessica?
  • All these questions and what I feel might be plot holes make me sad, because usually Fringe episodes are never like this. I’m really, really hoping it’s just a “wow, now that we’re renewed, the first half of this episode won’t really fit” kind of moment. We’ll see.
  • I never would have said I’d be sad that Jones dies, but I do have to admit that it was much more heartbreaking than I would have thought; especially when he realizes that he is Bell’s “bishop piece.” Poor Jones. But not really.
  • Yay for Leonard Nimoy’s temporary return back to acting! I knew you’d be unable to resist the lure of sci-fi, despite the less-than-stellar episode.
  • Fun fact: Doctor Benlow was played by John Noble’s daughter, Samantha Noble! If nothing else, I loved Nimoy’s return and the amazing guest stars this episode.

Quotes: 

Walter: Maybe the deaths are associated with this mobile transaction.

 Astrid: No, Walter, this is just how people pay for things now.

Walter: Huh. What will they think of next?

***

Jessica Holt: What are you?

Walter: What am — I’m human. What are you? Is this some sort of alien invasion?

***

Walter: No. No. My hallucinations were rarely biped and never men.

***

Walter: You brilliant bastard, Belly.

***

Jones: I got it wrong. I was the sacrifice. I was the bishop.

***

Walter:I know this is a ‘wild goose chase’, a fool’s errand, and I’m a fool,but no one is asking you to join me, Alex. It’s my hunch, and I’m quite capable of pursuing it on my own, so peace out.

Walter: I don’t–

Astrid: drive. Alex?

Walter: I was on a roll.

***

Walter: I’m not sure I ever thought I would see you again.

Bell: Hello, old friend.

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: the consultant

Previously on Fringe: Letters of Transit 

This episode was incredibly crucial to Fringe’s overarching plot. Although not my favorite episode it set up what I think’s going to happen in the season finale and next season. The camaraderie between characters had never been more apparent–which made the last few minutes even more sad.

The episode starts out with earthquakes happening simultaneously across the globe–and in both universes. Both Fringe divisions–and Walternate–are meeting, as Walter has had a dream about Jones. He believes that Jones is planning on crushing the two universes together, then waiting in the epicenter–or the eye of the storm–so only he and his survivors will survive and live on the new earth. While talking it over, they find out about the earthquakes, which are being caused by adults from the same cortexiphan trials as Olivia. Jones is pulling the two universes together through the cortexiphan subjects, who are connecting with their dopplegangers in the other universe.

They manage to capture Nick Lane–who still remembers her as “Olive”–and whose devotion to Jones is uncontested. However, his capture does not stop the second wave of earthquakes from occurring. After the second ones Walter admits that he’s surprised the universes are still in place. In order for both universes to survive, they must stop the earthquakes. There is one other way they know to stop the earthquakes from happening–but that is to shut off the machine, which connects the two universes. And once off, it is unsure if we’ll ever be able to connect again. Both Walter and Walternate also worry that because the doomsday device brought Peter here, it will also remove Peter from existence.

Nick tells Olivia where Jones is hiding out, but it’s just a trick for his eventual escape. With no other option, both universes decide that the best thing to do is to turn off the machine. A sad farewell between everyone takes place; Walter and Walternate connect through their fears about Peter’s disappearance and their pride in the man he’s become. After some wise words from Peter, Lincoln decides to follow his heart and stay with Fauxlivia in the other universe. Peter, of course, will be staying with our Olivia. Walter turns the machine off, and long seconds pass as we’re unsure if the universes will separate, and whether Peter will still exist.

Suddenly, the machine turns off. The room is filled with eerie silence. The red-verse is gone–but Peter is still here. Walter sums it up perfectly, saying, “I think I shall miss them… more than I imagined.”

Thoughts: 

  • I don’t know why Fringe keeps erasing and killing off all my favorite characters! And now an entire universe is gone. Only, I’m hoping that they’re only temporarily gone.
  • My prediction is that Bell is working with Jones and that he somehow causes Olivia’s disappearance. I’d say death, but I just can’t imagine Fringe without Olivia. Or Peter. Or Walter.
  • I also can’t imagine my life without Fringe. I’m bracing myself for the season finale–as well as the soon-coming series finale.
  • On a slightly happier note, I’m renaming Fridays Fringeday. Don’t forget to watch the part one season finale this Fringeday–in just three short days!

Quotes: 

Walter: It’s horrible and deranged, but you have to agree, it’s really quite ingenious

***

Fauxlivia: Look, I appreciate what you guys have been doing to prevent closing the bridge, even if it’s a long shot. The truth is I like coming over here. Especially after it rains. Wh — when my world started to break down, the conditions in the atmosphere changed. And the light doesn’t reflect through moisture the way it used to. We haven’t seen a rainbow in over twenty years.

Olivia: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Fauxlivia: As our world started to repair itself, I began to imagine that the people from my side would start to see them again. You know, something so beautiful. So perfect. I still find myself looking up after it rains.

***

Walternate: He’s really quite a remarkable boy, Peter. Man, actually.

Walter: Yes, he is.

Walternate: Smart… Noble… Kind… all the things I would’ve wished for him.

***

Walternate: I know what you’re afraid of. It occurs to me, so I’m sure it occurs to you too, that if The Machine stops working, Peter may disappear.

Walter: I believe it may have brought him here. There’s no reason it can’t take him away.

***

Lincoln: Remember how you said, “Home is where the heart is”? This might be crazy, but… I think I found mine.

Peter: It’s been a pleasure working with you, Lincoln. And getting to be your friend.

***

Fauxlivia: You know, there’s a lot of things about you that I wish I had. There’s a lot of things about you that I admire.

Olivia: That’s funny. I was about to say the same thing about you. Keep looking up. After it rains. Keep looking up.

Fauxlivia: I will.

***

Walter: I think I shall miss them… more than I imagined.

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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