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ARCHER Season 8 Episode 6 “WAXING GIBBOUS” Review

Holy shitsnacks. Just honestly… HOLY SHITSNACKS!!! I mean, I mean… wow. That just got pretty dark pretty quick. Barry just took his whole crazy shtick up to another level, or twelve, to end another fantastic episode and that just needs to be said to start this whole thing off.

Alas, as a whole, Adam Reed and his crew continue Waxing Gibbous by jumping straight into things with the same stream of consciousness cinematic setting that leads so successfully and so seamlessly from one episode to another, all the while Archer is strangled into an explanation to Mother and supplied with pills (and a few other sorts of pills, you know, to smooth out the edges!) from Charlotte to ensure our main character remain awake for another episode fraught with danger. Finally, Lana’s character is reintroduced in force during a pretty comedic exchange with a familiar figure from Archer’s past that reveals a bit of backstory as to why Lana’s been so very concealed in the background for the majority of this season. Eugene Mirman again steals almost every scene as the definitive second most sinister entity in all of Dreamland and I love how the creators constantly having a character somehow mention the title of the episode throughout the dialogue of the show but a pilled-out Archer questioning himself aloud over the types of ghost temperament may have been the most personally rewarding exchange of the entire episode.

Yet, most importantly, Waxing Gibbous feels like the exact pinpoint on the map as to when all of the rising action building paramount throughout the course of Archer Dreamland finally feels like the tension has reached the very moment where everything being held carefully together by a thread finally explodes in the worst and bloodiest way possible. The possibilities of where things can go from here remain endless, but it feels like a good bet that Krieger has to make a pretty dramatic appearance sometime in the course of the final two episodes. Next week’s episode surely has the hallmark for all hell to break loose even further in the Trexler’s mansion, as after six episodes, the majority of the main characters are finally gathered together in one room on a stormy night in the hills of LA after witnessing the leftovers of grotesque group homicide and meeting the murderer face to face, ending Waxing Gibbous with a cliffhanger that would rival the finest of any mystery novel.

Dragon Ball Super Episode 8 Review

Dragon Ball Super Episode 8 Review

After watching Gotenks, Piccolo, and every other Z-Fighter be put in their place (as well as Bulma get the living shit slapped out of her) last episode, “Goku Makes an Entrance! A Last Chance from Lord Beerus?!” finally showcases someone (Vegeta) tossing the big cat around a little bit.

In Dragon Ball Super, Episode 8, Vegeta lays into Beerus with a humongous close-range blast all the while managing to call him a repugnant bastard. This leads to everyone getting to see 10 percent of the Destroyer God’s strength, which, was scary enough for most.

With a thrilling opening scene, “Goku Makes an Entrance! A Last Chance from Lord Beerus?!” doesn’t ever let up. Episode 8 also provides a good amount of screen time for most of the main characters, and more surprisingly, it features one of the most unexpected and forgotten characters in an extremely entertaining,  laugh-out-loud scene on the boat of Bulma’s party.

If there are two things that I would pay money to watch decide the fate of the world, one would be the best game of all time, Rock Paper Scissors, and the other would be a perverted, shape-shifting pig.

This episode has it all, people.

Episode 8 even wraps up with our boy Goku facing his biggest fear and finally teleporting to Earth, first and foremost, to address the obvious elephant in the room of missing his oldest friend’s birthday party and not even having a present to make up for his blunder…Goku does at least sweet talk Beerus, and in doing so, comes up with a plan to buy us at least one more episode of Dragon Ball Super. Everyone wins.

DOCTOR WHO Season 10 Episode 6 “Extremis” Review

Now that the relationship with the new companion is established, it is time to get to what has been going on in the background all season. Nardole, who we first met as a companion to River Song, turns out to be looking after (i.e., monitoring) the Doctor at her behest. It is, not surprisingly, Missy who has been confined to the vault. The oath that the Doctor took is to look after her for a thousand years, the result of his unwillingness to kill her. He is also still blind, so the stakes are high at every level.

Nardole has his own agenda. Missy cannot be trusted. Bill finds the Doctor a bit of an inconvenience, but willingly teams with him when something interesting is happening. And yet, that is just what things appear to be.

The deeper mystery “Extremis” is with the new menace who have created a computer simulation to better allow them to conquer the Earth. The simulacra Doctor manages to figure out the deception and warn the real Doctor.

AMERICAN GODS Season 1 Episode 1 “The Bone Orchard” Review

Beginning with Vikings in the New World, we see violence and blood everywhere and see that mere mortal are only the tools of powerful creatures. If this first episode doesn’t exactly spell out what the world is really like, we get plenty of hints. First is the creepy and menacing Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who offers ex-con Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) a job. Then, there is Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), who insists on fighting him. All this on his first day out of prison thanks to an early release after being told his wife died.

The problems though are only just beginning with freedom. To have a name like “Shadow Moon” is to be drawn into the supernatural. Ricky Whittle plays this charming and intense ex-con with a great mix of apprehension and hopelessness. Plagued with foreshadowing dreams and visions, of course, things get worse. Not only is his wife dead, but his best friend who was supposed to have a job waiting for him, he’s dead too. Oh, and they died in the same car accident, in flagrante delicto, in fact.

The real peril is merely hinted at, the action is superb and the dialogue is sparkling. The humans in this story are not happy and the gods aren’t there to bail them out. Quite the contrary, it appears.

“The Bone Orchard” also ends with a brutal assault. Shadow is attacked at the behest of a digital avatar with no explanation. Clearly, he’s gotten himself into the middle of something bad, and even though there is still much to be revealed, everybody knows Shadow’s situation is completely beyond his understanding or control.

American Gods is shocking and disconcerting and so very intricate and compelling. It may even be one of those cases where it exceeds the source material in every way. This is a must see for anyone interested in the suspenseful and chilling whether you are familiar with the material or not.

AMERICAN GODS Season 1 Episode 1 “The Bone Orchard” easily earns a 9 out of 10 and a promise of so much more.

CLASS Season 1 Episode 4 “Co-owner of a Lonely Heart” Review

Too much happens in this fourth episode in the series of eight and the info-dump it contains is head spinning. The story begins with an attempt by the King of the Shadow-Kin to retrieve his half heart. The procedure doesn’t work, but rather increases his connection to April giving her heightened hostility, strength, and aggression all of which come in handy with the unwelcome return of her father. In turn, the King feels the need to cuddle as April and Ram consummate their relationship.

We then find out more about Charlie when he shows his privileged imperious nature and as a result both Matteusz and Tanya question his ethics. The message appears to be that perhaps Ms. Quill really was a freedom fighter after all.

Meanwhile, back at Coal Hill, there is a new Head Teacher (Pooky Quesnal) who knows way too much as well as an as yet unexplained plague of carnivorous flower petals.

All this makes me wish that they’d just slow down a bit and take a breath. It’s all good stuff to be sure, but it needs some space to sink in. Charlie is getting more interesting, and even Matteusz is starting to have depth. Ram is turning out to be a heroic nice guy which he deserves to be. Tanya didn’t complain about her mother for a whole episode and April is becoming a bit of a badass, all of which make me like this show more.

One thing I don’t like though are the episode titles that so obviously try to be clever but usually fall flat.

 

American Gods Season 1 Episode 4 “Git Gone” Review

You could say that Shadow saved Laura (Emily Browning)’s life. She was a Black Jack dealer who tried to kill herself with bug spray and failed. Then she met Shadow and started to live, but she was never happy. Her tendency for self-destruction manifests in other ways, though. She convinces Shadow to rob the casino. He fails and goes to jail and we are left wondering if someone set him up. Laura promises to wait for him and doesn’t, but we knew that already.

It’s what happens after she dies that is the most interesting. She believes in nothing and Anubis promises to send her to nothing, but somehow escapes death. She crawls from the grave to see Shadow’s light and in a beautiful slow motion blood ballet saves him from the hanging. The story of Laura and Shadow is a love that transcends death and it is only just beginning.

Grimm | Season 6 | Episode 5 | Review

Grimm is often the weirdest, silliest and most nonsensical show on TV, but that’s a good thing. It doesn’t matter that the life cycle of the cicada wesen, doesn’t match a real cicada or the legend of Dionysus doesn’t match up either. After all, instead of cheap CGI, this week we get a guy in a bug suit, which is so much better. When Grimm embraces the illogic it works best because after all, we come to the show with a willful suspension of disbelief. We abandoned logic years ago, so don’t sweat it.

There’s a whole lot of stuff going on this week and it is all fun and it all serves the ongoing arc, except the MOTW, but that’s awesome in ways that Grimm has never done before. Eve is connected to those mysterious symbols, she writes them on the walls of the tunnels and they appear on her skin. Diana is connected to them too, is suspicious of her father and wants to “see Meisner” implying maybe she is responsible for the hallucinations. Renard tries to rid himself of Meisner with a “Spirit Vacuum” which is as ridiculous and cool as it sounds, but is it real? We don’t know.

There is lots we don’t know. Top of my list is when is Trubel coming back? But also, will Diana end up saving the world or destroy it? Either way would be fine with me, but no doubt she is the center of everything.

Dragon Ball Super | Episode 5 | Review

The action really gets shaking in the fifth episode of Dragon Ball Super, as “The Ultimate Fight on King Kai’s Planet! Goku Vs the God of Destruction Beerus” kicks off addressing that huge cliff hanger and some highbrow comedy befitting of only a Kai. We’ve got a good amount of face time from some of the best character combinations, and we finally address one of the main plot points that have been simmering so slow, and oh yeah, GOKU, of all people, throws some punches! What a novel idea for a show called Dragon Ball Super…

The action that we have here isn’t some of the finest or most precise high-stakes game of intergalactic combat, but compared to what we’ve sat through thus far, this episode is like a crisp senzu bean after a long and tough battle.

Not only did “The Ultimate Fight on King Kai’s Planet! Goku Vs the God of Destruction Beerus” take a stroll down the first three aisles of the Super Saiyan Market; there were some very genuinely funny scenes scattered throughout the episode, peaking with the Vegeta joke about Yamcha that might just have been the funniest moment of the entire franchise so far.

The beginning of Dragon Ball Super has such a unique tone compared to its predecessor; it basks in a more ironic atmosphere and with a lighter overall feel compared to the start of Dragon Ball Z. This is one of those episodes where animation does indeed reach peak-poop-levels at points, but we knew this was coming. More importantly, Dragon Ball Super is finally taking off, and Episode 5 comes closest to the type of series that fans fell in love with many years ago.

There are important distinctions between Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Z, but those lines are blurring in the best possible way and it feels like “The Ultimate Fight on King Kai’s Planet! Goku Vs the God of Destruction Beerus” is a prelude to some positive things…

Grimm Season 6 Episode 12 “Zerstörer Shrugged” | Review

Grimm Season 6 Episode 12
GRIMM -- "Zerstorer Shrugged" Episode 612 -- Pictured: David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt -- (Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

It’s hard to get excited about grievous injuries to beloved heroes when the main character has an artifact in his pocket that brings people back from the dead. It is also difficult to be scared of a Big Bad that doesn’t have much of a back story. The important characters are not really at risk, and the threat is just perfunctory. That leaves the suspicion that the real danger lies in the behavior and decisions of the writers and show runners. Are they making a genuine effort to create an epic story or are they just wrapping things up? It looks like this penultimate episode leans towards wrap up.

The good news is that everybody is on board with Team Diana. She is in peril and regardless of motive or relationship to the girl, it is entirely believable and appropriate that all of the principles would band together to protect her. That Diana is suddenly helpless, is allowable, in that, despite her power, she is still a very young child.

I also want to highlight the two outstanding performances that must be mentioned before it is too late. Silas Weir Mitchell has cemented his position as the MVP of Team Grimm. Monroe, once again, proves to be the true hero. Without hesitation, he volunteers to go through the mirror to save Nick and Eve. He is smart, compassionate, funny, and loyal; a joy to watch on screen. He’s the best, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. And the kid is amazing. Where she had always been charged with being creepy and menacing, Hannah R. Loyd, as Diana has to be vulnerable and frightened for the first time and she pulls it off better than some of her grownup cast mates would be able to.

I hesitate to talk too much about this part one, (of two) of the season finale. The Big Bad is on scene, vague details have been added about what his staff is, and what the stick is all about. Suddenly, we are told that Baby Kelly is in danger too, Eve can’t woge anymore, and, you know, do our favorite characters survive?

Oh, and Trubel is back, proclaiming without any explanation that the Black Claw no longer exists. It seems to me that that would mean that HW has nothing to do, so shouldn’t they descend en-masse into Portland to help with the most important threat to civilization since the Crusades? Just sayin’.

I mostly liked this episode. It functioned well in terms of pacing, addressed some story problems, brought back one beloved secondary character and set up the final confrontation in a reasonable fashion…but where’s Bud?

Class Season 1 Episode 7 “The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did” Review

In the penultimate episode, Quill finally gets a chance to shine, and seriously, it is about time. I can’t get enough of her. Her badass-ery is fully formed and entirely earned. From the beginning, she has been the most interesting character, full of conflict and passion. She also gets the best lines. That we’ve been subject to teenage angst with no resolution has been a bit of a sludge to wade through, but now we seem to have some high stakes.

The Head Teacher has agreed to get the thing out of Quill’s head, but it involves transporters, alien body parts, a goddess (Spencer Wilding), and a shapeshifting surgeon (Chiké Okonkwo). It is pretty suspicious how this all came about, I must say. The Board of Governors of Coal Academy sure has access to some powerful alien tech, and the lack of attention given to them is disturbing. Not that anyone ever trusted the Head Teacher, but that fact that no know authority in the Whoniverse is keeping an eye on the B.O.G makes me certain that they are not working in the best interest of humanity.

Next week it all ends, maybe permanently as there is no indication that the BBC has picked up a second season.

General-DC Comics

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