Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jim Butcher Article

Penguin Books has a short article up about Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files novels.

Check it out here.

TV Tie-Ins—Spike

This paperback compilation includes three Spike one-shot comics.

Old Times (Peter David and Fernando Goni--Impacto Studios). The story behind Cecily, the woman who inspired William the Poet's bloody awful poetry, and Halfreck, the vengeance demon, is explained. I nearly always enjoy Peter David's work, and this is no exception. It's a neat story that addresses a question fans have hammered on for years in a way that fits the show canon. And there's a darkly comic twist at the end to keep us all on our toes.

Old Wounds (Scot Tipton and Fernando Goni--Impacto Studios). A slightly darker story, as Spike must prove his innocence in a series of decades-old murders, while calling attention to Angel and the gang's hypocrisy. Set during Angel Season Five, this comic maintains the feel of the show and works on some deeper character points while maintaining canon.

Lost and Found (Scott Tipton and Fernando Goni--Impacto Studios). The Gem of Amarra resurfaces, in a not quite believable twist of plot, and Spike and Angel team up to again destroy it. The plot here felt pretty contrived, but the Spike/Angel interaction is almost worth it. Again, set during Angel Season Five.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lost—Stranger in a Strange Land

This episode seemed to serve as a sort of "bridge" between "Not in Portland" and whatever is in store for next week. Basically, in a lot of ways this felt like filler. And rather confusing filler, at that.

The Front Story largely had to do with Jack's position at the Others' camp. Because of his position as the only available surgeon (Ethan was the previous surgeon, so the Others are in a bad way on that front), he has a bit of bargaining power, and he uses it to prevent Juliet from being executed for shooting the man who pursued Kate and Sawyer when she helped them escape. In the end, though, the Others all go "home," wherever that is, and take Jack with them.

At this point, it looks like the Others work on their island, but live elsewhere. The glimpse we got of them hanging out having a book club meeting was, I assume, a glimpse at their "real" homes--but it's still all very paranoia-y and weird. Juliet said Ben calls it home, but I didn't get a sense that she felt that way about it at all. Then there's the question of the other crash survivors, some of whom showed up to "watch" Jack. Are they on the island on purpose, or by accident? The flight attendant who spoke to Jack seemed to be more in on what was going on than the rest of Jack's crew, or any of the Tailies, for that matter. In any case, I found it all fairly confusing, although I did get the sense that this particular piece of plot is leading to a larger reveal next week.

In the meantime, Kate and Sawyer have made it to the other island, though not back to the camp. Sawyer sees Karl as a danger because of his attachment to Alex, and basically cuts him loose by telling him to go after her. He's not getting along with Kate too well, either, convinced she feels guilty about their romantic interlude (aka cage-bound monkey sex).

In the Back Story we're with Jack again, during a jaunt to Phuket, Thailand. There he runs into Achara (guest star Bai Ling [Angel], flaunting her breasts as usual). They engage in an intermittent relationship, but she has a secret. Control freak that he is, Jack can't leave well enough alone and follows her, trying to find out what she's up to when she's not up to Jack nookie. He tracks her to a tattoo parlor and insists that she tattoo him, using her gift to see who people are and mark them with their true selves. In spite of her protests that she can't, because he's not of her people, he gets nasty about it, and she finally caves. The result--Jack is beaten up and ordered to leave the island. We're not told exactly what the consequences are for Achara, but they don't seem to be good. Tying the front and back stories together, Isabel translates the Chinese text on Jack's tattoos as, "He walks amongst us but he is not one of us." He says that's what they say but it's not what they mean.

I had zero sympathy for Jack in his flashback. He acted like a prick, and I'm not at all sure what we were supposed to take away from that little glimpse into his past. It might have helped if the timeframe had been clearer--exactly when was in in Thailand? Right after his wife left, maybe? That might explain his bitter edge, but still doesn't excuse the way he treated Achara. Overall, this flashback seemed like a rather strained attempt to incorporate Matthew Fox's actual tats into the context of Jack's character.

In any case, overall this episode didn't do a great deal for me, but I'm hoping it's leading into some bigger reveals next week.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lost—Delayed Review

I'm under the weather still, so I'm going to delay reviewing Lost until tomorrow night so I can get some extra sleep. Hope you all enjoy it! I'll check back in tomorrow with thoughts on the episode.

Jericho—The Day Before

Since Bones isn't on tonight, due to the omnipresence of the annoying juggernaut of American Idol, I decided to drop by CBS to catch Jericho.

For Jericho's return from hiatus, we go back to thirty-six hours before the nuclear blasts. While the backstory provided tonight was interesting, I found it a bit disappointing. I'd hoped we'd find out a bit more about Jake and Hawkins' pasts, given the comments made in the press about this episode. Basically, they didn't tell us much we didn't already know.

As promised, the major storylines had to do with Jake and Hawkins. Jake has a connection with Ravenwood, the mercenary group that gave him trouble a few episodes back when he was trying to scare up medicine for his father. We knew this, though, or strongly suspected it, from his reaction to Ravenwood's appearance in that episode. Hawkins had a connection with whoever placed the bombs--in fact he was supposed to place one himself, but didn't, instead going AWOL to kidnap his wife (ex-wife?) and kids and drag them to Jericho. This wasn't a huge surprise, either. I think it was fairly obvious he was part of some widespread government conspiracy, altough not so obvious that he was actually involved in the bombings.

Other brief glimpses include April going to get the divorce papers, and Mimi's arrival in town. Emily and Roger are shown squabbling because Roger wants to leave Jericho for a big job offer, while Emily does not. This was covered a few episodes ago in Emily's flashbacks, so again, nothing new here.

After the glimpse at thirty-six hours before, the show jumps forward to where we left off, eight weeks after the bombs. Roger's return along with other refugees from the plane crash puts a damper on the growing sparks between Jake and Emily. Roger is obviously suffering from PTSD. Hawkins is trying to deal with the threat from his top secret organization, but it seems to have arrived in the person of his old girlfriend/cohort in crime, whom we met in the backstory section. Now that was a bit of a surprise.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Summer Glau and Sarah Connor

If imdb can be trusted, which is an iffy proposition most of the time, I was right about my prediction regarding Summer Glau's role in Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Do I get a cookie?

Monday, February 19, 2007


We open somewhere in the Nevada desert. Ted, aka Radioactive Man, is hanging out here, and somehow he's getting IMs without being logged in. Yet another character is introduced, as Hana Gitelman arrives on the scene. She has the ability to manipulate computers with her mind. Okay, this is the first superpower I've seen on this show that I really envy. Sending people IMs with my brain? That would be so freaking cool. And you'd never be more than a thinky thought away from Google. Anyway, Hana proposes that she and Ted team up to get revenge for what's been done to them. We discover Ted's presence kills grass. If this were Supernatural, that would mean he was a zombie, but I guess in this case it's because he's radioactive.

Elsewhere, Matt still has the diamonds and the title of the episode in his sock drawer. Mohinder has tried to call him. Things get tense between him and his wife when he tells her the truth about what happened with Malsky. In mid-confrontation, Matt gets a call and goes out.

The call was from Ted. Ted and Hana explain that she and others have been injected with a radioactive isotope being used to track them. Hana has traced the needles to Bennet's paper company. Ted wants to team up with Matt to find out what is going on.

At the Bennet household, things aren't going well. Thrown by her mom's memory loss, Claire tries to find her dad, but he's away on a business trip. Actually he's at Isaac's. Bennet gives Isaac a gun and tells him to take Peter out if he shows up. So now it's, "Shoot the guy with the floppy hair, save the world." Not quite as catchy as the cheerleader thing.

Claire's mom goes back to normal for a few minutes, but then passes out in the kitchen. In the hospital, the doctor diagnosis a subdural hemorrhage--basically a brain bruise--affecting her memory. Claire confronts her father, and Bennet (who has just returned from shooting at Peter with darts--see below) tries to justify his actions, saying that he just wants to protect his family. Claire isn't buying it--she's upset about what he's done to her and her mother. I have to side with Claire on this one. Repeatedly mind-wiping your family so they won't know what you're up to is never a good idea.

The Bennets come home. Claire is still angry with her father, not sure she'll even remember anything tomorrow. He may feel he needs to protect the family, but she does, too, except she feels she needs to protect them from him. Before any of this can be resolved, Ted and Matt arrive and confront the family at gunpoint. Yeah, that'll end well.

In the meantime, Mohinder and Sylar are in Bozeman, Montana to meet up with Dale, a woman from the list. Sylar has the sweet, bumbling, I just want to help vibe going bigtime. Dale has super hearing and isn't too receptive to our boys. Mohinder says they'll come back later. Lots of dramatic irony as Mohinder tells Sylar about all his plans and about how his father was killed by this horrible guy Sylar. Sylar just nods and acts innocent, then sneaks out later and kills Dale. This might have been a bad plan, though, because now Sylar has super hearing and Mohinder is blasting the radio. Could a super-hearing-induced migraine be Sylar's undoing? Let's hope, because Sylar needs to be undone.

Back in Vegas, Hiro demands to accompany Gustafson so he can find Ando. Their little road trip ends in a confrontation at a gas station. Ando is shot, but Hiro pulls him out of the line of fire. As they're hiding, Hope shoots at Hiro point blank, but Hiro is able to use his powers and makes the bullet go back into the gun. Hiro and Ando don't realize what happened because they had their eyes closed, and think the gun just misfired. Hiro tells Ando to go home. He thinks he's endangering Ando and he needs to pursue his destiny alone. Hiro heads for the bus, leaving Ando behind. Stan Lee is driving the bus, but makes no comment about all the characters on this show copping their powers from the X-Men.

On the roof of the Deveaux building, Claude continues to train Peter to use his multiple powers. Peter pops up with telekinesis, which he apparently grabbed from Sylar. If he grabbed that, did he grab everything else Sylar has absorbed, too? If so, he's got a nice little repertoire going. Bennet and the Haitian appear and shoot at them with darts, but Peter deflects the darts and flies away with an unconscious Claude. Claude is peeved when he wakes up and abandons Peter, saying his life is screwed up now because Isaac has betrayed them to Bennet and crew. Claude relates the way things went in his time, when folks would disappear and return marked and changed.

Simone tells Nathan it's time people knew the truth about the heroes' powers. Nathan doesn't think this is a great idea and warns her not to take it public.

Later, Isaac is painting. He's painted Peter in his apartment and oh, look--Peter's in his apartment. Peter accuses Isaac of betraying him, then attacks him, demanding to know what the marks mean. He sees the painting of Simone and says Isaac betrayed him out of jealousy. Peter is becoming stronger and stronger, gaining even more control of his powers. Isaac pulls the gun Bennet gave him and, trying to kill an invisible Peter, kills Simone instead.

I have to say I'm kind of glad they didn't kill off a major character. To me it seems too early in the show to off characters involved in the main plotlines. It bugged me on Lost when they started killing folks right off the bat, and it would have bugged me here, too. Not to say all shows should be structured to please me, but I don't think that killing off characters right when viewers are starting to get invested in them is a good way to stay in your audience's good graces. No, wait--all shows should be structured to please me. Because that would make me happy.

Next week--much like in last week's Lost trailer, we're being promised some big answers. Hopefully we'll get them.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Dresden Files—Rules of Engagement

Another enjoyable episode tonight, with some good plotting, a chance for Harry to showcase some more magical abilities, and some nice snarking from Bob. I'm liking TV-Bob more as the show progresses--of course I'm also liking the show itself more as it progresses, so I suppose the two go hand-in-hand.

Tonight's hijinks get underway when Harry's new client, Nikki, walks in the door, wanting him to help her find her aunt Frida's boyfriend, a Mr. Primko, who apparently high-tailed it with Aunt Frida's money. Searching for Primko, Harry finds a body that's been scorched to death by a hellion. Morgan, from the White Council, sticks his nose in, as he has some interest in the case, then Murphy arrives. They both seem convinced Harry had something to do with Primko's death.

Then Harry discovers that Nikki isn't Nikki at all, but a Caryn Harris, and she's being pursued by Sarota, a menacing sort who destroys Harry's wand and otherwise causes problems. We don't like him. Things gradually become clear as we discover that Primko was himself a hellion, a recruit of Sarota. Sarota makes hellions, one of whom is Caryn's boyfriend Matthew Jacobs, who's gone free agent as an unrestricted hellion. Sarota wants to get him back under control by getting hold of Jacobs' Chain of Sin, and has entered into a bargain with Morgan and the White Council in order to do so.

Then Harry finds out Jacobs isn't trying to go Hellion Free Agent to wreak destruction, but is actually trying to make himself mortal again, because he's truly in love with Caryn. Harry can't let go of the case, in spite of several opportunities to do just that (including Caryn firing him at one point), and against Bob's advice he cooks up a plan to help the starcrossed lovers. In the end all is well, but Harry has double-crossed Sarota, who seems to be a pretty powerful figure in the world of Dark Magic. He's also double-crossed Morgan, ostensibly one of the good guys. And you know one or both of those things is going to come back and bite him in the ass sooner or later.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and it seems to me the show is largely going in the right direction. The plot had enough twists and turns that you actually had to pay a bit of attention (I probably had to pay more attention because I have a gross head cold, but the point still stands). I liked the banter this week between Harry and Bob, and between Harry and Murphy. I didn't quite buy Harry's sudden devotion to the case, which seemed to be rooted in an attraction to Caryn that didn't quite make sense the way it was set up, and the ending was a bit pat, but overall a good installment of a show that seems to be beginning to find its footing.