Extant- Episode 4

I was a couple minutes late so I don’t know the first scene. I saw Yasimoto killing a robot in a tank.

Molly and her fam are on the run and they crash with her pops. His dog isn’t a fan of her anymore. Probably because she’s carrying an alien fetus. But the robot child is not a target for Cujo, Ethan also appears to be enjoying time with his grampa and crashing in Molly’s old room.

Sam is being held by Molly’s bosses, she goes into the restroom and tries to fluch Molly’s blood sample. The men accurately surmise that she’s trying to determine the DNA of the fetus. On the beach Grampa is teaching Ethan how to skip rocks, which Ethan immediately excels at. 

“So when we do the test and it’s our’s what’s next?” “We have the baby.” …what’s this ‘ours’? the fetus is a damn alien. An alien that looked like her dead ex.

Sam gets blackmailed. Molly sees her creeper stalker alien ex in the garage where John is working. Ethan tells Grandpa that his mom and dad have secrets, then he gets Ethan embroiled in gambling on bar games. The game is Bimini Ringtoss, which was possibly invented by Hemingway.

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Pops falls off the wagon and then lashes out at Ethan (when he intentionally loses, after noticing that people were getting wild).Grandpa gets out to open the gate. mere moments, but Ethan is abducted.

The police refuse to search; saying the won’t risk men for a machine. John pleads with them to know avail and then punches one. Meanwhile, Molly takes matters into her own hands and finds Ethan, powered down. 

Then helicopters circle. Now, Molly is a capable woman. But she’s upset about the possibility of her son in danger, she’s having what anyone would consider to be an unsafe pregnancy and she’s been hallucinating. MAYBE you should have gone with her John.

John’s in a holding cell while Molly wakes up in a hospital gown and a sterile atmosphere, those circles appear on her abdomen. Then she uses some amatuer telekinesis and then beans a doctor to escape. Sadly, the disoriented Molly runs into another room full of medical staff. Including Yasimoto.

Molly’s boss runs the blood sample.

Molly wakes up in time for knockout gas and we see them using a laser to cut into her abdomen. 

I need answers!! Shit gets real with more human problems and less hallucinations.

Next episode looks truly freaky.

Tonight’s Tropes? Bad black father. Menacing Asian doctor. 

But all in all the characters are very multidimensional …except Marcus… probably because he’s a hallucination. A creepy one at that. For the record: If I had a creepy robot kid, I would definitely exploit his weirdness for free drinks.

The Strain- Episode 3

We open with opera and Eichorst’s freaky face. He applies silicone, makeup, hair, dentures and contact lenses to blend in as a human. He tells his reflection that he is almost done hiding. 

Eph and Nora are trying to find out what happened to the bodies. No jumping to conclusions. Did another agency take the bodies to hide the autopsy results? Was the military involved with the deaths? 

One of the survivors, Ansel, is fighting symptoms, his gums painful and bleeding, his throat sore. He has pain in his neck and ringing in his ears. His spouse is upset, she is worried for his health.

Captain Redform is in an incubator, Eph makes promises he can’t keep about how they will find out what is infecting him. And it’s Nora who recalls “the old man they had arrested at the airport.” Abraham warned them. Not sounding so crazy now.

Jim from the CDC, who was involved with allowing Augustin to leave with the coffin, meets with Eichorst who tries to pay him. Jim demands to know what was in the box. Eichorst, obviously, won’t reveal and Jim says he is going to the police. Eichorst brings up Jim’s dying wife. Ohhh, the dying wife motivation ZzzzzzzzzZzzz…. Anyway, Eichorst says that he can get Jim’s wife into a limited drug trial that could mean her salvation on top of the money. Now Jim is entirely under his thumb.

Abraham is at his hearing for the nuisance charge of tresspassing. The judge is perturbed by Abraham’s sword cane. He plays for feeble. Nora confronts him outside, Abraham says that the survivors must be destroyed. Nora is freaked out.

Ephraim’s family drama hits the fan. Zach says he wants to live with his mom, every other week with his dad. “Because his dad has a really important job.” Eph lashes out verbally (out of earshot from his son) but the ex blames it all on him, but sh says it’s not too late. That Zach and Eph can be closer, but that he has to show it, not just say it. Then it’s back to work.

Gabriel is not into rehearsal or video shoots. Apathy.

The board of health dude is visiting the home of a child who was bitten by a rat at the mouth. He catches the patriarch smoking Cuban cigars. He says that rats like cigars too. “this place has changed hands 5 times in seven years and now you know why.” Outside he hears hoards of rats.

Jim’s wife gives him the news that she’s gotten into the drug trial after all. Ansel’s dog grows suspicious of him. Then he drinks beef blood. His wife catches him. RUN FOR THE HILLS.

Gabriel’s balls are falling off. His personal doc encourages him to go to the hospital but he’s scared he’ll end up on TMZ.

Abraham employs an industrious young techie chick to find the passenger list from the plane in exchange for a video game console.

Eph and Nora are with Redform who ominously says “He’s here.”

Zach is at home watching his dad save the world on his iPad. Then he goes down stairs to see his mom. His mom is tearfully flipping through a photo album. 

Eichorst kills someone. There’s too many people on this show.

Gabriel’s hair is falling out. One of his eyes is bloodshot. Then his dick falls off.

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Jim delivers news to Nora and Eph that his wife is accepted into the drug trial. They are overjoyed, but Jim cannot take the same joy; knowing how this came to be. Redform has escaped. They go on the search. Jim finds him in the basement eating raw meat. Jim alerts the others that he’s found the Captain, they rush in while the pilot attacks them, that tentacle thing coming out of his mouth. Eph bashes the vampire’s head in. But, now those at the CDC can’t deny that something truly bizarre is happening here.

Let us take a brief moment to acknowledge the stereotypes involved that allowed Eichorst to employ people to spread the epidemic. Augustin, a gang member, was bribed/blackmailed over his brother’s criminal record and his mother’s immigration status. However, a large demographic of Hispanics in NY are Puerto Rican. PR, of course, being part of the US. Why so many people forget this is baffling to me. Now, Augustin could be Central American of Cuban, I don’t know, I didn’t see that it was noted, if it was when Eichorst showed the documents then feel free to correct. But portrayals that lead to the equation: poor + Hispanic = illegal is problematic as all fuck. Because chances are they’d be Nuyorican. (And yes, I am pointing this out even though del Toro is Mexican, it’s still a stereotype regardless)

And then of course we have Jim’s dying wife. A wife invented so that feeble Jim would have motivation for betraying his title and dooming the US to vampirism. A wife that will do nothing else to advance the plot in anyway, if I had to venture a guess.

But on the good? Kelly Goodweather (Natalie Brown, 2004’s Day of the Dead) gets a bit more sympathetic. And Nora and Eph don’t have untimely makeout sessions. Wooo! 

But there are too many people on this show. And not enough Abraham. 

(Nerd) Newsday Tuesday

Freddie Prinze Jr says Kiefer Sutherland is unprofessional… and nearly everyone replies “Who is Freddie Prinze Jr?” Kiefer’s people address the situation the most obvious way: by pointing out that he has a lucrative career, and that Fox wouldn’t have brought “24” back after 5 years if he were.

While those stars are squabbling, “Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun addresses racism in Hollywood. He discusses that he has trouble getting roles because there simply aren’t roles for Asian men -and worse, many roles meant for Asian men a whitewashed. You can read more on that here.

Geeks Of Doom gave fans the low down on blu-ray special features for “Agents of SHIELD” they link up a pretty rad blooper real, too.

Quentin Tarantino, now making his foray into comics with Dynamite’s Django Unchained/Zorro crossover series announces that he’ll be directing 2 flicks due out in 2015, one called “The Hateful Eight” and the other? A superlength version of Kill Bill with a 30 minute anime scene.

Also straight out of Comic-Con: Jensen Ackles talks about “Demon Dean” in the season 10 storyline. & Sam Raimi announces an Evil Dead TV series made for Groovy Bruce himself!

In the world of non-entertainment news from San Diego ComicCon: A man plowed into a “Zombie Walk” He started edging out trying to get through the crowd. People/zombies upset about his dangerous driving started banging on the car and sitting on the hood. The man freaked out and drove into the paraders and also injured an 84 year old woman who was not part of the walk.

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For the record, I like Wonder Woman’s get up, it’s serious + powerful. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and it’s just one Amazon emulating another after all. I’ll count it as a nod to Xena and hope that Gal Gadot can hurl and insult or deliver a battle cry half as fiercely as Lucy Lawless.

Under The Dome- Season 2 episode 5

Barbie meets up with Rachel, appartently Rachel is willing to talk. He tells her about Melanie. And that she died in the 80s. And that she found the mini-dome. And that Sam was there and knew Melanie.

Sam returns home to see his place wrecked up. By Junior, who is still there. Junior is looking for his mom’s journal. Lyle betrayed him Junior confesses that he got an email from his mom and that she’s alive.

The townsfolk are divide those against Jim, and Jim’s supporters (Julia’s new enemies). I’m noting that a vehement Julia opposer is an “angry black man” archetype. Speaking of UtD’s use of tokenism, Carolyn appears on screen for about 20 seconds ..and volunteers her services to represent Big Jim. 

Julia says that the trial will be fair and impartial… but her gpood intentions don’t mean much where the crowd quickly wants to play judge, jury, and executioner on their own. Phil shoots down a man running at Jim, Rebecca tries vainly to tend to the man. They pronounce him dead. To Julia, Rebecca confesses that Barbie wasn’t involved as Jim had implied. Julia tells Phil to fork over the badge, Barbie backs her up and he accuses them of being drunk on power.

Dome kids bring Melanie to touch the dome. But nothing happens.

Junior finds some pages of the journal and surmises that the theory was that the “4 hands” (he, Norrie, Joe and Angie) have to die. He freaks that he could be the next target and heads out to warn the others. So now, Sam knows that he knows. 

Rebecca and JIm, back in their neighboring cells and Rebecca asks if he’d ever seen a man die before. He has. And he says so. Rebecca confesses that she didn’t have it in her to inflict suffering like that. A drunken Phil shows up and is going to free Big Jim, but he says that he’d have no where to hide and public opinion would mean his head. They decide to “win the crowd over.”

Dome kids brouhaha: Norrie tells Melanie what an immature and vapid twat she thinks Melanie is. Joe chases after the fragile and crying Melanie… and they kiss. A pissed off Norrie catches them and starts a shoving match. Norrie falls in a bush and scrapes her arm… this somehow gives Joe an idea.

Back across town where Barbie and Julia are handing out supplies: Barbie opens a package when there is an explosion. More supplies KO’d, Big Jim’s plan? Definitely. Julia tries to calm the crowd, Phil shows up to antagonize the situation. He says the generator wires were frayed and that it was Julia’s negligence and incompetence. Barbie comforts her …and then they make out. Last ep she thought that Barbie was an up and coming mass murderer, after him being a love interest -he did murder her husband- then she tries to make him Sheriff…. waffler. 

At some point that I forgot to mention, Sam was getting Junior drunk so that he could kill him. But he has a change of heart when a drunken and sleepy Junior says “you’re the only family I’ve got”

Carolyn catches Phil looking in on the place where he moved the food so it wouldn’t explode. He takes her hostage and Barbie saves her after shooting Phil through the shoulder. He should recover quickly. Julia is fully healed -she was shot that same way only 5 or 6 days ago! 

Julia meets with a woman, Andrea, who was handing out food, turns out her husband was a survivalist. Basement filled, cabinets overflowing. Enough food to last everyone a while. Andrea hosts a big meal at the diner, Julia lets Jim out of jail. The power of FORGIVENESS. Julia is such a twit. Jim tells someone to “enjoy the food” like he had any damn thing to do with it.

Rebecca says to Jim that they should “give Julia a chance” which sounds ominous. Alien girl gives Rebecca blood samples from the Dome kids. Barbie decides he’ll be the Sheriff. Norrie tells Joe to get bent after he says that he loves her and Junior and Sam find a tunnel inside Angie’s locker (that makes no sense).

More woes for the WoC- Rebecca is still under Big Jim’s thumb, Carolyn is finally awake on screen for over a minute and she’s a damn hostage, This show also glorifies “purity” and “goodness” in ways I can’t fully articulate yet. Any woman employing logic or science is regarded as nuts while those who are trusting to the point of naivete and immaturity are glorified (Melanie and Julia in particular). 

These characters have no personalities. They make decisions seemingly at random. With the possible exception of Barbie (who is a straight white male action hero… and there’s no way that he’s not some wish fulfilment stand in).

Julia is probably the worst judge of character on earth. Aside from that, a couple episodes ago she was going to kill Big Jim only to immediately change her mind and save him, she decides to put him on trial then says “fuck the trial -let’s forgive!” She was briefly looking like a love triangle would be in her future… but that’s fallen by the wayside after she goes right back to trusting the man that she thought was capable of mass murder YESTERDAY. Junior and Sam: they’re going after Lyle, but Lyle can bring Sam’s transgressions to light. Sam definitely killed Angie. He probably killed Melanie, only to take care of her and be nice to her when she turns up again. Big Jim won back the favor of the town through dubious tactics after trying to repent and contemplating suicide a couple of episodes ago. He’s quick to throw Rebecca under the bus but then acts as if he needs her in the grander scheme of things. Rebecca has witnessed Jim’s deceit but still goes along with his plan, plotting against Julia who saved her life (after trying to fight her and lock her in jail) and then she gets up and leaves to help the Dome kids with their science project. And Joe doesn’t mention Angie ever and makes out with the alien. Norrie understandably pissed (and erratic behavior is very teenage) but then she let’s Joe take a blood sample to help Melanie?!? What?!?! Fuck all this.

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this is Mike Vogel playing guitar on set between takes while filming this episode.

Male Objectification Monday- Charlie Hunnam

Since we’re stuck with some lackluster nerd for the 50 Shades movie instead of the British (!!!) heartthrob, let’s take a moment to revel at the exquisite physical specimen that is Charlie Hunnam. 

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“Sons of Anarchy” will soon premiere it’s final season (September 9th)and I’m sad to see it go, and Charlie’s portrayal of the often shirtless Jax Teller is a big part of that.

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But no worries, Charlie will be on the big screen again in the Guillermo Del Toro flick Crimson Peak and in the as of now hypothetical sequel to Pacific Rim

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I do enjoy the biker aesthetic. And I still maintain that he wasn’t right for the role of Christian Grey because absolutely no one wants to see him in a suit and tie. But… incase I’m wrong:

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Or maybe both looks at once?

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For those of us who like to fantasize, we can keep Jax alive longer (and visualize the gorgeous Charlie Hunnam) while reading “Sons of Anarchy:Bratva” due out November 11, the novel is available for preorder here.

The Strain- episode 2

Augustin transports the “cargo”

Eph is at JFK, he finds his smashed up colleague. Did they say his name was Peter Bishop?! Nora sees that the same “white foam” that is separated blood proteins are all that remains. 

The attorney argues that they are not needed under quarantine. She works to try to get them sprung. Palmer is trying to get them sprung as well. Eichorst pays a visit to Abraham who is still being held at the airport. Eichorst refers to Abraham by the number he had tattooed on his arm at the concentration camp. Augustin returns home, tells off his lazy brother for bringing stolen goods into the house.

Eph and Nora try to find out why the quarantine is being broken. They say that a quarantine would “shut down trade” …there’s no way that’s accurate, but okay. They pay a visit to the pilot who tells them that the mysterious “box” was loaded on by “officials with badges”

Eph receives a text from his son while he and Nora are examining the parasites. He says that what they are working on Nora convinces him that he’s making his soon to be ex accurate, that his work is more important than his son. 

The rockstar and the lawyer are experiencing ringing in their ears, the lawyer is hiding that her gums are bleeding profusely. 

Eph’s wife says “I’m so glad you’re handling the emergency with the plane” while Matt is turning his office into a gameroom for Zach. Eph shakes the other man’s hand trying to keep peace just after her friend Diane tells Eph off for not remembering her name. She makes some biting comments implying that he’s self centered. Eph tries to talk to Zach about the custody hearing and that he wants joint custody. Then Eph is at an AA meeting. Trying to prove to himself and everyone else that he can be reliable… but he comes clean; that he is self centered, emotionally distant, that he’s upset about his situation, that he’s sarcastic and bitter. That he can’t lose Zach, because he’s all he has left.

Gabriel is having a foursome with three ladies but can’t get it up, he impulsively bites one, hard enough for her to drip blood as she exits, he screams at them to leave and laps the blood off the floor.

Pilot Redford is laid up, he says that his skin is crawling and he feels like he swallowed a razor. Eph sees the worms crawling under his skin.

The man who punched Eph calls him and says that his little girl came home to him. Alive. Eph thinks the man is seeing ghosts. He and Nora are heading to the morgue. Once they get there they find no signs of life… and that the body bags are empty, they find the ME’s smashed glasses.

Palmer goes to see “the box.” But it is empty except for the grave dirt. Then the master stands before him.

Gary goes to check on Emma. Emma’s becoming a creep. She says she’s hungry, then her hair starts to fall out. Gary, still in shock pretends this is par for the course and tries to get her to dry off. But she attacks him, a fleshy tentacle springs from her mouth and sucks him dry through his neck

Both Robin Atkin Downes and Robert Maillet (upcoming films Septic Man and Hercules) are credited as playing “the Master” I’, unclear as to who is under the hood. Eph leaving to have personal probs while vampires are getting loose really takes away from the suspense …but it is more realistic. This trope though, with the main protag as an addict/alcoholic… most people can’t do their jobs messed up. So Eph is the top of his field… how did he achieve this station while boozing? He doesn’t seem to make friends easily. 

Not enough Abraham. 

Fantastic Female Friday- Abigail Sciuto (NCIS)

There are many things that are supercool about Abby Sciuto. It’s easy to harp on about her aesthetic, her taste in music, her ability to use unconventional methods to make sure that justice is served! She might not have the action chick flair of Ziva David or Kate Todd…

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..but Abby fights crime. As a lab geek, it would be easy to have her sidelined, cast aside and there to drop cookies for the agents and portray her as nothing more than a quirky Caf-Pow addict.

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But Abby gets storylines all her own. Memorably, in the episode “Cover Story,” back when McGee was secretly an author and based a character after Abby which made her the target of a Thom E Gemcity superfan’s wrath. She and McGee had a brief fling around that time as well, but it didn’t ruin their friendship. In season 2, Abby goes undercover to catch a Black Widow and a serial rapist. Or when gets herself in a tight spot, abducted on her way to testify and defend her evidence, a task for which she vainly attempts to turn down her eye catching style, the men are about to run to her rescue but when they find reach her, she tasers the hell out of her would be attacker and saves her own self.

In the season 3 episode “Bloodbath,” she has a stalker ex-boyfriend, things turn deadly when she has fake evidence left in her lab that triggered a dangerous chemical reaction: She told McGee to drop to the floor and explained what had happened while they crawled across the lab, McGee flips her onto her back and risks his health to drag her out. She does some soul searching in Gibbs’s basement, wondering if it’s all her fault, if she brought this on herself. He lets her find her own answers and a drunken Abby says that it’s not her fault and that he’s a creep. The character is very vulnerable and this terrifying situation is shown without victim blaming and turned out to be a touching and remarkable episode. Abby is embarrassed to tell everyone what she has going on, she questions herself… but in the end, with support, she overcomes the situation. It was wonderfully written and acted, conveying perfectly that partner abuse can affect anyone and how those relationships can influence the victim’s mentality.

Back in season 1, Abby’s fear of autopsy alerts everyone to an emergency after a terrorist infiltrates Ducky’s lab and demands all evidence returned… but this also gets Kate into a dangerous situation when she pretends to be Abby and Gerald shot for playing along with the scheme. (In the end, Abby conquers her fear and sleeps in the morgue.)

In season 5, she saves a military dog who is accused of murder. The dog also took a bite out of McGee -who shot him. Abby defies McGee and Director Shepherd to clear the canine’s name.

And you could be thinking that these plots make Abby seem like a kid sister, and to an extent that isn’t inaccurate. Abby is a very relatable character, what makes that so is that she isn’t perfect, she has struggles. She has family issues (like when she finds out she has a brother she hadn’t known) and abusive exes, she takes loss (of both Kate and Jenny) hard. She hides out at Gibbs’s house on occasion and one time at McGee’s. She let’s personal problems (like when she had body image issues after a little person she was dating said he liked smaller girls) interfere with work persona.

Basically she’s an actual human being.

And if you take a look around at the people you know, you will probably find that some of your favorites are a little much. A little immature, quirky… but cool, compassionate and always waiting with a comforting hug… mine are anyway.

And besides, it’s not always Abby that needs saving.

In season 7 she’s called to Mexico to teach a seminar on forensics in cold cases. Day one she deals with catty co-eds, but soon she’s got more trouble as a cartel leader, Paloma Reynosa, gives her a bullet. The one that killed her father. The case that she’s set to work is that of Gibbs’s deceased wife and daughter. Their killer was Paloma;s father, Pedro. And the bullet that that killed Pedro? Abby finds out that the bullet striations matched Gibbs’s SIG Sauer.

And Abby’s faith is shattered and she’s mad. She’s mad that she’s in a situation where she has to compromise her ethics. Gibbs never confesses. He never says one way or another whether he planned and executed the execution of his family’s killer. But Abby, true to herself, true to her sense of right and wrong, good and evil, decides that Gibbs doesn’t get a pass. Not because he’s saved people. Not because he’s her friend. She submits the report, which Vance then “loses”. And it was there that Abby’s character was proven.

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She’s also a total babe. Not just when she’s playing dress up. Her *unconventional* style gets her plenty of attention as well, aside from the hookup with McGee, she uses her swagger to make connections that gain her access to NASA equipment.

And the babely actress, Pauley Perrette:

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Brings some of herself into the character as well. On the season 1 DVD, talking about her childhood, it’s said that she grew up near a junkyard and would see all the wrecked cars come in. She would analyze where the damage was and what might have happened to the cars. Young Abby appears in flashbacks in the season 10 episode “Hit and Run” where she is shown investigating “her first case.”

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Pauley Perrette also makes music as the front woman of “Stop Making Friends”and her vocals have appeared on NCIS soundtracks.

Perrette has also been well known for her involvement with the NO H8 campaign. NO H8 was started in response to the ban of same sex marriage in California in 2008, it’s a silent protest that uses social media, education and outreach to give a public voice to those struggling with bullying, discrimination and inequality.

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Pauley helped design this dress and wore it to the People’s Choice awards in 2011. She likened this to wearing her heart on her sleeve.

All of this leaves me to wonder if it’s life imitating art or art imitating life that Perrette is as caring and cool as Abby.

Recently the actress suffered a serious allergic reaction to hair dye which inspired me to go back to henna over chemical dyes. The future of Abby’s raven locks may be in jeopardy and the star is weighing her options.

Abby’s character development has taken her from “kid sister” to “best man”, from quirky goth lab tech to indispensible team member, she’s panicked and gotten it together to help her friends, she’s questioned the morality of those in her life and she is cautious about who to trust but once you are in her heart, that’s where you stay. Abby deals with things very humanly, she’s a very well written character. Remember how she famously disliked Ziva at first? This wasn’t because of the “women hate each other” trope, this was because she was still grieving and she could only think of Ziva as Kate’s replacement and she wasn’t ready. And everyone loves Gibbs (and the ass-kicking Ziva David) but it’s Abby who saves the team from mediocrity.