Tuesday, January 27, 2015

12 Monkeys - Jennifer


12 Monkeys took a huge step forward for the SyFy network with the introduction of Jennifer Goines.  Not only did she provide the spark the series needed, she propelled the narrative into dark and fascinating places.

Emily Hampshire plays Jennifer and she has credits that include Rookie Blue and Schitts Creek.  I'm not sure if she's had to play "full on crazy" for either of those series, and I'm guessing not, but she certainly found her niche here.  (She is going to appear in ep. 4 of "Man Seeking Woman."  I've seen the first episode of that series and it starts out with "full on crazy" so, you go girl!)

Playing someone that is totally off the wall means more than bugging your eyes out.


Hampshire's take on Jennifer's insanity seems to include a certain sexuality to it.  As she clambered over the the restrained Cole she took on a aggressive position that exuded a bit of the Dominatrix to it. 


As Cole turned the tables she reacted with glee at being the submissive partner. 

Hampshire also imbues her insanity with a bit of joy.  It's the joy or overwrought happiness that comes from a very sad place.


Jennifer Goines was there when the "Army of the 12 Monkeys" attacked Markridge and murdered her workmates right in front of her.  Obviously, this was very traumatic for Jennifer and has led her to present confines.  She retains a semblance of her former life and can clearly recall the event instead having it blacked out from her psyche.


The flashback to the Markridge incident ties in the "Pallid Man" (played by Tom Noonan) and his leadership role of the Army of the 12 Monkeys.  He seeks what is called the "Night Room" and whatever deadly secrets it holds.  (Jennifer related it as a place of stars?)

This one sequence ties together many threads.  The Army itself, it's inside knowledge to the Night Room, Jennifer's bete noir and his leadership role and also the starting point to what has led our story to spin completely out of control and set the future on its apocalyptic path.

That's a lot.


The Pallid Man continues to haunt Jennifer so not only did he see value in sparing her at Markridge but also sees value in keeping in contact with her despite her obvious insanity.  Her lucidity to the incident is unfortunate.

Despite all the answers and questions from the Markridge incident, I still take everything with a grain of salt.  Did Jennifer unknowingly provide the "Army" with their name?  Did she accidentally provide imputes to their cause?  How much of this was accidental?


There is one thing we can be certain of, Jennifer's knowledge of the "Night Room" will prove to be invaluable and in this we are drawing perilously close to crackpot theory time.

So here we go!

Jennifer was spared at Markridge for her knowledge of the "Night Room."  She is also, of course, the daughter of Leland Goines.  By the time 2015 rolls around, Leland Goines is dead and Jennifer stands to inherit his fortune and takeover a leadership role at Markridge.  With this leadership will come intimate knowledge of the "Night Room."  Cole's desperation to head off the 12 Monkeys will lead Jennifer to look further into the "Night Room" and quite possibly afford Cole its location.  Since the Pallid Man is watching Jennifer and probably Cole, he will learn its location thereby giving him the keys to the apocalyptic kingdom.


"Time is cruel, Mr. Cole."  So cruel that the time traveling Cole may be complicit in starting the apocalypse he was sent to prevent.

Ouch.

I could also posit that Cole may have inadvertently brought some of this knowledge back to 1987 where he tips his hand to the still living Leland Goines.  Goines did tell Cole of the 12 Monkeys back in the pilot episode even before Cole learned of it in 2015.

What Jones failed to tell Cole was that time was a "cruel bitch."

Odds and ends


 You had to love the "Dutch Angle" director David Grossman employed as the Pallid Man and his army exited the sub-basement of the sanatorium.  It lent itself to an eerie disjointedness that seem to set the world off balance.


 Grossman's shot of the Pallid Man with Jennifer in the sanatorium was expertly framed also.

Jonesing for clues.


Interesting to hear from Jones they are still in the nascent stages of time travel.  One could imagine that with more experience traveling to the past the technology will creep into the future therefore eliminating the need for more power.



I sense a red herring here.  With so much time travel the cause and effect applecart will be turned on it's ear.  Labeling the 12 Monkeys as religious fanatics or terrorists may be a self fulfilling prophecy.  Their origination may have come from something wholly different and only took on it's current definition thanks to the interference from he future.


Such as the transmission from Cassandra Railly.  Information like this takes on a life of its own and gives import to things that were once held insignificant.

Schull things



Felicity Smoak, what are you doing here???  Arrow fans will get the incredible resemblance between Schull's Railly in disguise and Smoak from Arrow.  Hey, they both come to the rescue!


A nice moment between Cole and Railly.  Jones tried to keep them apart but Cole values their partnership.  I wonder if Jones' reticence times in with Railly's fate.  Cole visits her in the future and takes the watch off her skeletal frame.  Could he have borrowed it from her living personage if not for their relationship?


Still too pretty though.  It's holding her character back.  (I'm stupendously kidding.)


Speaking of pretty, doesn't Noah Bean's Aaron look like a cross between David Bowie and Brandon Routh?





Yes?

Humor Alert!



 Good to see some pet names don't change in the future.


Including the gallows humor Cole employs to prove his point to Ramse.


You had to laugh at the inclusion of the "Great Leader" especially on the heels of the ruckus caused by Seth Rogan's "The Interview."

Creep factor.


Nothing says impending doom like the "canaries in the coalmine" inclusion.  I guess all is not safe in the future still!


I'm not familiar with this claymation series that was playing on the sanatorium TV.  What a spooky visage.  It claimed to be an angel named Satan.  It was right after that we were introduced to Jennifer and then the Pallid Man.  Not a coincidence.


Gulp!  Who's this scary dude that approaches Jennifer in her vision flashback?

Her father coming out of the Night Room?  The Pallid Man coming out of the Night Room?  No Night Room but one of both men visiting the Sanatorium?  The gas mask seems old school.  How far back does Jennifer's nightmare extend?


More answers (and questions) next week!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Helix - Reunion


Helix returned for it's second episode of season two with "Reunion."  It's clear from the picture above the one reunion that Alan is pining for is the one that includes Julia.

We got a few answers about Alan and what he has been doing post Paris meeting with Peter and the much referred to Ilaria bombing.  We get to see him interrogate at least two Immortals.  Okay, not interrogate, torture.  As he tortured the two he kept asking for the whereabouts of Julia.  They professed their ignorance but at least the woman gave him a thumb drive which gave him information about the island of St. Germain.

Both of Alan's prisoners paid with their lives which means Alan is a murderer now.  That's a bit extreme.  (Unless killing Immortals isn't murder, maybe it's more like war.) What has driven him to this?  Is he that concerned with Julia's safety?  At least we can pretty sure Alan didn't bomb the Ilaria building with the knowledge Julia was in there.

We've learned also that Ilaria was indeed interested in St. Germain.  It doesn't necessarily mean it is an Ilaria facility but at least it is on their radar.  We also now know why Alan is there but why would he interrupt his murderous pursuit of Julia to go there?


We switch to Sarah in bed with a bad nose bleed.  (More on that later!)  Sarah is about to have a fruitful day (pun semi-intended.)  Her spotting of Alan from her window opens up a can of worms and her first encounter with one of the Veggie Vectors, Isaac.  Good ol' Fungus Face leads her to the Hall of Weeds


Hmm, ivy covered walls?  Do you suppose Brother Michael went to an Ivy League school?  We saw a dead Harvard man on the yacht, does that make Michael is a Yale man?

Our story switches to Julia and a much calmer Caleb.  (Caleb is still a cipher to me.) He doesn't offer Julia much information but Julia presses him to join her in a "dig."


Thankfully, (no offense Julia) we get right back to the Hall of Weeds and we get a nice sermon from Brother Michael.  We see children amongst the faithful and at least one (enamored) young woman pregnant with child.   After episode one I had wondered if this was an adults only island.  Apparently not and as we later learn generations have lived there.  (Some are a little horny too, right Kyle?)

Michael's sermon deals with the "Loss of self" and "Free to be" not top mention the all important, "I am."  It's a little mysterious why a cult following would be into self-actualization.  Why would Michael instill in his flock a sense of individuality?  Seems counter intuitive.

I'm sure there is a catch somewhere so this bears watching.

A boy named Soren shows up to the gathering (Sarah has been watching all this including confirming Alan's presence) and the boy rains on Michael's parade.   Soren anxiously seeks out his mother and then proceeds to brutally beat her.  Is anger and violence a byproduct of the island virus?

The boy is subdued and Sarah takes the opportunity to reveal herself.  This forces Alan to face off with her but the both realize it is better to keep their mutual recognition a secret.


Julia gets a Shakespearean moment ("Alas, poor Yorick") and she quickly divines that the skull belongs to a woman and therefore Alan is not in that grave.   (I had wondered in my previous blog post if Alan was truly dead thirty years in the future.)  So there is hope he is still alive but I guess he and Julia haven't had much contact in that 30 year expanse.  


As Sarah begins her study of Soren's sample (with Michael's mysterious blessing) Peter and Kyle follow their due diligence which leads them to a wild encounter with Isaac.  (In the Bible, Isaac was very nearly sacrificed but for the intervention of an Angel.  Make of that what you will.)

Peter has a moment of sheer panic when Isaac rushes him.  It looks as though post traumatic stress disorder has a hold on Peter and it is likely we haven't seen the last of it.  Thankfully, Kyle intercedes to Peters rescue.  Oh, and we get more Veggie Vector anger.


I had alluded to Michael's mysterious blessing to the CDC help.  Anne is not for it at all.  She protests to Michael and refers to having to "protect" something on the island.  Michael overrules her but I sure do want to know what deserves protecting on that island.  The maternal based history is a Rubik's Cube also.  Why are women so important and yet a male is in the lead?


Isaac won't be any help with that mystery as he promptly kills himself upon discovery of his second hiding place.  Note the pollen like expulsion as Isaac cuts his throat.  There is yellow goo also but the pollen suggests the virus could well be airborne as well as contagious via contact with the liquid.

Not good.

In the meantime Sarah confides in Peter she has seen Alan.  He is incredulous not to mention irate.  Peter claims Alan has been discredited by the CDC (we later learn Alan left the CDC instead of being ousted.  An important distinction.) and there are arrest warrants out for Alan. 

Time out!

Alan has really gone off the reservation.  If a may offer a crackpot theory, I'm thinking Sergio and Tulok are working with Alan as Ilaria hunters and are part of Alan's rogue outfit.  (We haven't seen them yet but Mark Ghanime continues to get credits.)


It's almost a relief to get back to Julia and her bone findings.  The hip bone of which contains a map.  Caleb is reluctant to reveal anything about it but eventually agrees to take Julia to what I can only guess is the secret lair to the island's "Smoke Monster."


 Julia also discerns the remains she found belong to several different people.  Is there really something feeding on people out there and they don't care what they do with the remains?  Then why mark them with Alan's headstone?  I'm starting to think part of this is Alan's doing.


News flash.  Soren is okay!  What the hell?  Are children immune to the veggie virus?

As Sarah suffers another nosebleed (we're getting there) the CDC group continues to investigate the paths of Soren and Isaac.  Sarah goes out to the orchard with Sister Agnes (?)  She spies Alan and takes the opportunity to confront him.

We should back track a little to Alan's meeting with Michael.  Alan is a lot more forthcoming than I would have thought and for his part Michael doesn't seem too disturbed by Alan's admission that he has killed people.  Alan confronts Michael with his geneticist background.  We get into a Darwinian lecture and Michael makes the distinction between what is random and created.  (Alarm bells go off.)

Back at the orchard we learn from Agnes that the "children are never alone" and a quick reference to hybrid apples.

Alarm bells!

Crackpot theory!

The children are hybrid apples.  That's what Michael was alluding to when he mentioned "random versus created" to Alan.  The children have been genetically spliced together.  Sure they may be incubated in the womb, such as the young woman in the council meeting,  but for whatever reason, Michael is genetically experimenting with children.  This isn't a fully formed theory yet.  I still don't why we have Veggie Vectors or why people are being forced to swallow the goo in the basement.  Perhaps Michael wants to see what the children are resistant to and Soren was not meant to survive?


Things really begin to pop in this episode.

Alan gives the high sign to Sarah to run.  She relates this to Peter but he boldly imparts the "CDC doesn't run" (guess he hasn't seen the previews.)



Julia reveals to Caleb she doesn't have much time, perhaps only days.  She wants to see where that Smoke Monster lives!  (I'm only half kidding.) 


Sarah tops that by telling Alan she is pregnant. 15 MONTHS PREGNANT!!!  There is your nosebleed tie in.  It's not cancer or whatever.  15 MONTHS PREGNANT!  She looks great.  Boy, immortal children develop slowly.  Sarah might begin to show in two, maybe three years.  It makes you wonder how old "The Scythe" really is.  200?


If your mind wasn't blown enough we get this fella as that bald goon Landry leads Soren out of the compound alone.  I knew Landry couldn't be trusted.  He had "Igor" written all over him.  As the episode closes we hear Soren's panicked screams.  Is he being sacrificed?  Also, the Veggie Vector tells Soren, "Hello."  What a polite monster.  The hello means he is in possession of his faculties.  But is he just a polite cannibal?  Is that why we see so many bones on the island and the bones of a child that Julia finds later?  Why sacrifice Soren?  Was he a mistake as I spoke of before?  Should he not have gotten the virus?

Questions, questions brother Michael!  Splicing versus yellow goo injection?  Kill or cure?

Is the smoke monster lair filled with veggie vector survivors?  We want answers Julia, get up that mountain!






Saturday, January 24, 2015

Arrow - Not So Left Behind


Is Oliver Queen dead?  Will we ever see him again?  Is this the end of the Arrow?

Nope, there he is, never mind

He's fine and there is no Lazarus Pit silliness.  Hence no "Crazy Ollie."

Thank goodness.

In this past entry of "Arrow" we learn the episode title applies not to Oliver Queen, but instead, to those he "left behind" in Starling City.


Diggle seems to be handling it well.  At least at first.  He's donned the gear of the Arrow and is bent on setting things right in Starling City.  He's perfectly capable, despite the ill fitting suit, and shows he's nearly a match for the Arrow in skill.  It's only after Malcolm Merlyn confirms Ollie's death that he confesses his job was to protect Oliver Queen.  And in this he has failed.  A bitter pill to swallow indeed.





Roy seems to have adjusted well enough and he's usually the emotional one.  (With apologies to Thea.)  When we saw him take that drink alone in the club however it may have marked a downward slide.  We'll have to keep an eye on that.   If Roy can keep himself busy he'll be okay but if the work dries up and the mission becomes rudderless then he is in trouble.

Which leads us to...


 Felicity.

She really is the linchpin to the group.  She pretty much runs the Arrow Cave and she is the eyes and ears for the group in the field.  The cracks were beginning to show early on when word about Ollie grew scarce.  When Merlyn came back and decided to twist the knife a little deep she full on lost it.  Shutting the gate on the boys as the Brick's hoods got away was one thing but storming out and shutting off the lights was another.

I'm not going to accuse Felicity of being a quitter, she's always been emotional, but let's hope she doesn't derail the nascent career of the Atom while she's at it.


 Maybe a strong kick ass female character is what Felicity needs to focus her energy on.  What did everyone think of Laurel Lance as the Black Canary?  She sure knows how to make an entrance. (That close up of her rear end was a bit much.  Not that I'm complaining, it's just, oh, never mind.) 

Donning some leather and latex does make one a superhero.  From what we understand, Laurel will be taking her lumps.  She'll have to prove herself to the Green Gang and to the evil doers alike if she wants to earn her stripes in the field.

Will Laurel's faith be shaken when she finds out Thea killed her sister?  Will she want to hunt down Malcolm?  How will that battle turn out?  (I'd bring Roy and Digg with you Laurel, just sayin')


As for the Dark Archer?

Crackpot theory time!

Remember when he intercepted the letter opener thrown by Thea?  (As seen above in the rough screen cap.)

Thea exclaimed, "I could have killed you!"

"It's cute that you think so." he replied.

That's what you call foreshadowing my friends.  At least I think so.  Thea will kill Merlyn for making her kill Sara.


So what about Ollie?




I'm happy my theory about Tatsu and Maseo working together came true.  I read an EW.com recap the day after the episode aired and the writer claimed that what everyone thought that.

They did?

I suppose knowing Rila Fukushima was signed to play Tatsu aka Katana made it a little easier.  But putting together the rescue on the mountaintop between the two from the trailer was inspired.

Right?

Sigh.  Maseo and Tatsu make a bad ass team but now I am officially worried for Maseo.  He's crossed Ra's al-Ghul and that has to mean a death sentence.   Maybe Maseo's death will motivate Tasu to become Katana on Arrow.  I wouldn't call that a crackpot theory but it makes sense. 

The flashback to Hong Kong when Ollie put the tracker on the Triad hood and let him get away was a nice touch.  Maseo pledged to Ollie that he owed him for that so it tied up his rescue on the mountain and the fact that Tatsu is now safe.  Okay, it was a little rushed but it ticked off Waller and that is always good.

Malcom Merlyn has a death sentence on his head also.  Or so he claimed when he barged into the Arrow Cave.  I wasn't clear on what he meant by that.  The one that Ra's has on him or the one he perceives the Green Team will put on him now that they know he set up Ollie.  Maybe he is thinking ahead to the future once Thea finds out what he did.


 I was going to make a Sinestro joke when we learned it was Merlyn with the yellow lantern atop the mountain.  Get it?  Yellow Lantern. That's one DC character that never dies.  Maybe once Merlyn meets his doom he'll get the Lazarus pit treatment.  That I would like to see.

Crackpot theory!