Sunday, October 26, 2014

Constantine & Grimm














Hello to everyone, I thought I'd share some random musing over Friday night's premiers of Constantine and Grimm.

Let's start with Constantine.  Matt Ryan plays Constantine and with a heavy dose of snark.  To those who read the Hellblazer series they may be pumping their fists in the air at Ryan's portrayal.  To the neophytes such as myself the snark comes off as heavy handed.  I think it is because Ryan strikes me as a bit of a light weight.  He doesn't seem to have earned the right to snark and it's liberal use.  Hopefully this will come over time.


Speaking of lightweights, I think the producers of Constantine were correct to write Lucy Griffiths off the show.  I feel badly for her as Constantine represented a big break.  Alas, we can't all grasp the gold ring when it is within our reach.  She came off as way too thin (acting wise) and it didn't help that she looked marginally like Rachel Weisz from the 2005 Constantine movie adaptation.


Griffiths was so underwhelming that even the Helmet of Fate didn't react to her.  Believe me, when you touch the Helm of Nabu things should happen.  Just ask Chloe Sullivan from Smallville when she touched it.




  

That's what supposed to happen!


Perhaps the helmet didn't react because Nabu is dead.  In comic book lore Nabu was killed by the Spectre.  If only the Spectre would make an appearance on this show.


 
Stop the presses, Jim Corrigan, aka the Spectre will be on Constantine!  Corrigan will be played by Emmett J Scanlan and if there is anything to be excited about in this show it is the introduction of Dr. Fate and the Spectre as characters.

Will Constantine go that far?  Do they have the special effects budget to incorporate such other worldly characters such as these?  This is what worries me.  The ghostly fantasy world of John Constantine is one thing, one huge thing that is,  can you imagine adding the worlds of these two?

Well, they introduced them so they better use them now.  (I demand it!)  Besides, if Smallville can do it then Constantine can. 


Grimm Tidings



Here's one actress that has taken advantage of her opportunity.  Jacqueline Toboni plays "Trubel" on Grimm.  Trubel is the only Grimm in town now and it seems like Nick is a bit vexed by that.  Sorry Nick, Trubel is pretty kick ass so let her have her moment to shine before they inevitably give you your powers back.

Let's hope that doesn't spell a shorter stint for Toboni.  I can see them killing her character off so Nick can return to form but I rather hope she just leaves town much like Nick's mother does only to return here and there just to spice things up.



Speaking of spicing things up,  I don't think I'll ever have Calamari again.  Here's the freak of the week in the form of a "Gedachtnis Esser" or Memory Eater.  This guy was particularly revolting.  From the holes he left in the back of his victims heads to his generally nasty appearance.  Yuck.  Looks like we're not done with him either.  Suddenly I don't feel like seafood all together.



 Here's a switch, Juliette not kicking Hank out of bed for eating crackers.  Or as Grimm would have it, bringing blood and mayhem into the house.  Nick mistakenly slept with the transformed Adaline and Juliette was cool with it.  No couch time for Nick! 

Hmmm, but was it because Nick no longer has his powers and is just a regular guy? 

So, if Nick gets his Grimm on Juliette isn't jiggy with it?  Let's hope they don't go down that road again.


Seriously, if Monroe and Rosalee can skip their honeymoon, I think Juliette can get on board with it all.  If they make Juliette the Doubting Thomas again then we are back to season one with her.  No thanks.



So, how long till Nick gets his Grimm back on?  According to IMDB Giuntoli is contracted through 2015 but Toboni is only listed to 5 episodes for 2014.

Uh-oh.

Yes, yes, IMDB doesn't know everything but I am a worrier.  The only guy more stressed out than me is this guy.


Poor Wu.  Will somebody please tell this guy the truth!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sleepy Hollow - The Wicked Wet Lady!


If you recall, my last blog post about Sleepy Hollow began with a bit of a rant about the "freak of the week" monster.  I complained how we'd just get some funky monster that was relatively easy to deal with and the next thing you know we'd be getting the teaser for the next episode.  Ta da, freak conquered!

So what do we get this week?  Another freak!

Ah, but this one was different.  This one was actually organic to the greater mythology of the series.  And therefore I welcome this monster.

How was it organic?

Henry.



Yes, Henry, in his never ending pursuit to lash out against his parents.  This time we find out he went a little overboard.  More on that later.  But first, just look at the picture above.  John Noble delivers the line with such verve.  It reminded me of his Walter Bishop days and his childlike propensity towards getting high.

So fun!

This week's freak also had depth in that it had an attachment towards  Ichabod Crane.  Mary Wells was once a would be paramour to Ichabod and she was spurned much like poor Caroline was in the beginning of the episode.  This must have been especially painful for Crane in that he had to keep these women at arms length while he waited for Katrina to return to him.  Their would-be affections towards him caught him off balance and when he was forced to rebuff them, the consequences for each turned quite deadly.

A heavy weight to bear indeed.



 I have to say the nature of this freak (sorry Mary) was quite delightful also.  (I'm starting to sound like John Noble now, aren't I?)  The gauzy laced blackness of her watery shroud was chilling.  Mary accentuated her dreary appearance with languorous sobs and wretched weeping.  As she approached her victims she had the sad countenance of something that had been lying face down in the muck for about, oh, 200 plus years.

I loved it.

Her particular evil "superpower" was to draw her prey beneath the icy surface of the local river and this could happen anywhere as seen in the library picture above.  If you were lucky enough to break the surface you would find yourself miles away from where you were drawn away.  Very nice.


Further gravity was added to Mary's plight when it was found that Katrina had a hand in her demise.  It was accidental but Katrina compounded the torment to Mary's lost soul when the true memory of her sad ending was hidden from Ichabod and this led to Mary's eternal suffering.

(Earlier in the season I also ranted that Sleepy Hollow had divested itself with the issues of trust between partners.  Forget that now, mistrust abounds!)



Further poignancy was added when the issues of trust were applied to Henry Parrish.  In his zeal to act out against his parents he managed to disaffect the being he now refers to as "Father." 

Moloch was not pleased when he found out Henry had acted on his own.

The Road to Redemption

 So how does this fit in with my theory that Henry will be redeemed by the end of this  season?

As I cited earlier in this post, Henry was particularly gratified in his efforts to offend his parents.  It was like he was some spoiled child eager to snub his nose and get their attention.

Yes, get their attention.

As much as Henry professes his disdain for Ichabod and Katrina he can't help himself for being obsessed with them.  Like any spoiled child he is eager to please even to the extant that he acts like a little brat.  He was roundly scolded by Moloch and in the end his parents had sussed out his plan and defeated it.

If you look at the immediate above image we find Henry dejected and alone.  Legs splayed like a infant and sent to his room to sob in his isolation.

Henry doesn't take failure well.  Nor does he accept the indignation of a disappointed parent.  (In this case, Moloch.)

If Henry stays true to form he will unleash his puerile wrath against Moloch much as he did to Ichabod and Katrina. He will invent abandonment and turn his ire towards his new father.

This will represent a turning point of sorts.  He will continue to seek the approval of Moloch but, painfully chastened, I feel his attention towards his birth parents will soften somewhat as he will seek new allies if Moloch's disaffection becomes too harsh.

I for one am eager to see where this goes.

 
 




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sleepy Hollow - Freak of the Week


So, this is what Sleepy Hollow has come to, a freak of the week expose where our heroes eventually overcome the baddie and all is well by the end of the episode.

Boring!

Ha, no, I really don't think so but I do think we got our first stand alone.  Stand-alones are okay they help fill the season especially if you run 22 episodes long.  But Sleepy Hollow isn't 22 long.  I think it is 16 which is a boost from the 13 we got last year.  (If memory serves.)

Do I think we are done with the stand-alones for this season?  No, I think we'll get one or two more but hopefully it ends there.  I'm a serial guy and I prefer mythology episodes but apparently Sleepy Hollow feels it might weigh itself down by being too dependent on its mythology.

I trust they know what they are doing.


Here's something that bothered me from the episode.  With all the weird going ons in Sleepy Hollow you'd think the last person to blow a tune on a human bone flute would be Ichabod Crane.  Seriously man, what did you think was going to happen?  He does know he one of two witnesses chosen to battle Hell on Earth right?  (As they used to say in the Fringe podcast, "lazy writing?")

Fallen Angel?


Here's another thing I've been wondering about; with all the evil going on in Sleepy Hollow don't you think the other side would take an interest?  You know, God, Heaven, Angels and all the Saints and Martyrs?

Don't they care or are they content to sit on the sidelines and let two humans battle it out with help from their Scooby gang?  That's a bit of a tall order isn't it?    Is God too busy fighting Ebola?  How is that going?

It makes me think that the Saints and Angels are really there we just can't see them.  Well, until maybe now.

Nick Hawley.  What is his purpose on the show?  A romantic interest?  Forger of documents and fortune hunter?  A tough guy ne'er-do-well with a secret heart of gold?

A broken Angel?

Not a fallen Angel mind you, a broken one that needs to be re-habbed.   His penance?  Help Crane and Abbie until he proves himself worthy enough to return to Heaven.  He even may not be aware of his own status until he reaches that enlightened phase wherein he finally gets it and has to leave.

A long shot theory?  Sure.  It's my thing.  Your thoughts?

Fallen Soul

-

Hold on to your tricorn hats I'm not done with out-of-left-field theories yet.

My pursuit of Henry's redemption story was seriously derailed by this stand-alone but at least we got a glimpse of it as the episode wound down.

Henry once again met with Irving and when Irving stood up to Henry as the Rider of War, Henry pulled his hole card.

He has Irving's soul.

Henry still has his soul too and as we learned earlier from Moloch, he is to use it to empower his avatar of War and do his bidding.

But what if Henry really is on the path to redemption?  If he does manage to spurn Moloch and preserve his soul then whose soul would be used to embody the Rider of War?


Poor Irving.  Maybe it wasn't a good idea to leave him in the sanatorium after all.  Walter, I mean Henry, knows what that can do to a person.  Ripe for the picking!

What do you think?


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Superhero Thoughts


What's the most stunning thing about this future newspaper?  The fact that the Flash will go missing in about ten years?   (The above paper was seen in the closing moments of the Flash pilot.)

Nope, it's the story about the Wayne Tech/ Queen Inc. merger.  Okay, not so much the merger, it's the fact there is a Wayne Tech in the Flash/Green Arrow TV universe.  That's big news!

That's means if there is a Wayne Tech then there is a Bruce Wayne and if there is a Bruce Wayne then there is a Batman.

Right?

Not so fast.



There has been a lot of talk that the DC Comics heroes that exist on the small screen will have no relation to their silver screen brethren.  The DC heroes that appear on the big screen will be the Earth One heroes most of us are familiar with and the small screen heroes will be denizens of what is called Earth 2. 

It's a convenient way for the studios to proceed with their own unique story lines and avoid all the confusion on why the small and big screen heroes aren't interacting.  For the Comics, it is a clever and exciting way to showcase the heroes in a different universe with slightly altered characters and outcomes.

In the current Earth Two series of the comics and in the preceding Flashpoint run, Thomas Wayne is Batman as the young Bruce Wayne died in the alley along with his mother.  The surviving Thomas Wayne went on to avenge the loss of his wife and son.

If you are interested in following the comics tale, start with the Flashpoint series.  It is monumental and it includes one of the most shocking reveals in comic history.  The story continues in the new Earth Two series albeit with some minor changes.


Actually, the Barry Allen that we know in the comics and TV, crosses over to Earth Two with some unpleasant consequences as seen in the above frame.

 Hey, I wouldn't mind seeing the Thomas Wayne Batman in the Arrow and Flash TV series.  He is decidedly darker and, well, just a bit murderous.

Additionally, we learned today that there will be a Flash movie coming out in 2018 but will star Ezra Miller.  So, alas, we won't be seeing Grant Gustin in the movie and so that is further proof of no TV/Movie interaction.




What does this say about the current Bruce Wayne in Fox TV's Gotham appearing in either The Flash or Arrow?

I think he's out.

Gotham has been a little cagey as to when exactly their series appears in the larger DC TV universe.  There is a chance it runs concurrently with the Flash and Arrow but I rather doubt it.  Why compromise their own series and all it's nascent characters just to squeeze a little interaction in?  Gotham is all about beginnings from a childhood point of view while the other two series have their heroes already established as adults.


So Arrowheads, who is the mysterious archer that appeared in the teaser from last week's episode?  Is this the murderer of Sara Lance?  (Remember, she did recognize her killer.) Here's a list of the prime suspects.

  • Ra's al-Ghul.  We've heard Ra's will be appearing in season three of Arrow and he is known as the founder of the League of Assassins.  He is the father of Nyssa al-Ghul who has already appeared in several episodes of Arrow.  He's the odds on favorite for the killer.  What better way to introduce him to the series than to kill off the Canary.  His motivation?  Sara leaving the fold, compromising his daughter or perhaps foiling his plans for Starling City.
  • Malcom Merlyn.  Also known as the Dark Archer.  No friend of Oliver Queen and what better way to get back into the good graces of Ra's al-Ghul than to "off" the allies of the Arrow.  He could spend the the whole season chasing down Ollie's friends and it would be very dramatic.
  • Tommy Merlyn.  He's dead right?  Not so fast again!  Ever hear of the Lazaras Pit?   Known for it's restorative powers it can also bring people back from the dead albeit with some disturbing side effects.  Tommy should be dead and buried but you never know.  It would be a shocker.  Why kill Sara?  I did say disturbing side effects right?
Okay, ready for the real shocker as to the secret identity of the masked archer above?   Here's my crackpot theory.



Thea Queen.

I'd love it.  I don't know about anyone else, but I would.  Why not have her return in the thrall of the Dark Archer.  She may be Malcom's way of getting out of debt with Ra's al-Ghul and her first assignment as proof of her fealty is to kill the allies of the Arrow.  That would definitely be a dark twist.

Oops dept.

As I research this post I now see that speculation has risen that Thea will return as "Cheshire."  I don't know much about the Cheshire character at all but she is a member of the League of Assassins and this would be good way to bring her back to the series.   Dark and twisted, but a good way and I am all for that.

Let's see who is right, me or the internet!



Oh, and, more on this guy soon.  Talk about dark and twisted!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sleepy Hollow - The Path to Redemption


The path to redemption looks a little heated doesn't it?

Remember when John Noble's character from Fringe, Walter Bishop, sought redemption from all the wrongs he committed?  Playing god, abusing his son.  Now his character from Sleepy Hollow can't be any further from God and this time he is the abused son.

At least, in the depths of his heart that is how Henry Parrish feels.

As broken as Walter Bishop was, we the viewers always sensed he could make it better.  He sought to make it better and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to right the wrongs he committed.

Do we have the same sense for Henry Parrish?

Henry is a deeply bitter man.  He has made a pact with the demon Moloch and even calls him "father" such is the depths of his anguish.  His real father, Ichabod Crane, is at odds as to whether to treat him as an enemy and defeat him as a foe.  He wants to embrace his son yet he knows the danger he represents.

But there is one person that knows where Henry's true heart lies.


Yes, Jeremy, intones his mother.  She really knows how to cut to the core.  A deft reminder as to who Henry really is.  It is a sharp admonition in that she knows how deeply this wounds Henry.  She plays this card because she has insight into his motivations.


Henry has chosen to live in the  house he was born in.  Why we  ask?

His mother Katrina feels it is because deep down Henry ( I prefer to call him Henry versus Jeremy.  At least until he reaches his point of redemption) wants to be embraced by his family again.  Yes, he feels betrayed and has been swayed by the evil that walks between worlds.  But like all that have been tempted to follow the wrong path there is still  a kernel within that seeks the good.


Did Katrina overplay her hand?

In the above picture Henry reacts to Katrina's initiative. The shaft of light behind him seems to bisect his soul.

He didn't take it well.


Seeing the bed he was born in, Henry sets it to flame.  With this act he attempts to defile the bond between mother and son.  This may represent Henry's nadir in his relationship with his mother.  Can it really get any worse?

I suppose he could try to inflict bodily harm to her but somehow I don't see Sleepy Hollow going there.  Maybe the threat of it but not the actual act.  That may be the bottom for Henry.  From there he may follow the path to redemption and it may take half or the whole season to get there.


Impediments to Henry's path may be the distrust that Abbie feels.  Her pointed conversation with Crane where she tells him of the bond between mother and son may be too much to overcome. 

I'm glad they are revisiting the themes of trust versus distrust.  It was such a large part of last season.  We revisit the distrust Abbie has for Katrina and we are reintroduced to the mistrust Abbie has for Crane.  At least in as much as his relationship with Katrina is concerned.  Abbie is concerned that these relationships might  interfere with the larger picture and their battle with Moloch.

She is perfectly justified in doing so.


Abraham has a healthy dose of mistrust for Katrina now.  He is wary, yet he still keeps her unbound albeit confined.  He questions her motives but he still yearns for the relationship he once thought was his.  We'll see how long Katrina can play with his emotions.  I can definitely see Katrina manipulating his sympathies should she feel threatened by the Horseman of War.

Wouldn't that be a battle?  The two Horseman fighting over Katrina.  I want to see that!

 
I had to add this last picture.  Did everyone notice how the lights were out over Henry's head?    Nice touch..   When Sheriff Reyes entered the picture from the opposite end of the hallway the lights were just fine.

Only darkness follows Henry.

Another nice touch from the above frame was the inclusion of the "Surrender of General Burgoyne" by John Trumbull hanging on the wall.  It marked a turning point in the American Revolutionary war where the British and their Hessian allies were defeated at Saratoga.  This was also the battle where Benedict Arnold was stripped of his command by General Horatio Gates for disobeying orders.

Arnold went on to victory later by once again disobeying Gates and defeating the British despite serious wounds.  Arnold overcame the wounds to his leg but not to his heart.  I think from here the "Dark Eagle" began his descent.

When Sleepy Hollow returns we'll see if Henry can overcome the wounds to his heart and stop his own descent.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sleepy Hollow - Join Or Die




I have to admit I'm struggling with Sleepy Hollow this season.  Perhaps it's the all out war motif that is bothering me.  The focus has shifted and I've yet to catch up intellectually and emotionally.

I do love their take on the supernatural and maybe I should appreciate the series just for that.



Boy, can they do monsters.



The acting is great also and the jokes are clever and whip smart. 

So what is my problem? A lack of inspiration?

Well, when all else fails I have my love of history and so, apparently, does Sleepy Hollow.


I was struck by the image of Ben Franklin sewing together the pieces of the "succumbed souls" in order to build something larger, the Kindred.  These pieces, as one, would build a greater fighting force.  Something that could take on the Horseman.

I had heard this before.  And yes, it was from Ben Franklin.


During the time prior to the Revolutionary War, Ben Franklin sought to unite the disparate colonies in a united front against the scourge that was represented by the French and the Indians.  Franklin had fretted of the "disunited state" of the colonies and sought to rally them as a force greater than the parts that stood alone.


As time passed and the colonies drew closer to war against the Crown, Paul Revere revived Franklin's inspiration as he realized that united we stand and divided we fall.

E Pluribus Unum.

Out of many, one.

In this case the sum is greater than the individual parts and from this we get, The Kindred.


 At least I hope this is where the writers of Sleepy Hollow got their inspiration.  Please tell me someone on that writing staff knows of one of Franklin's greatest works.  The piecing together of Franklin's snake and the sewing together of Franklin's Kindred have to be analogous to one another.

By the way did you know the definition of "analogous" is "Corresponding, related, kindred and equivalent?" 

Spooky.


So there you have it my geek history, Sleepy Hollow moment of the week.  There's more to this episode and I'll be returning with further thoughts later on.  I'm up against the clock for now so I have to go.  But remember.

Join or die!