Saturday, April 28, 2007

Robin Hood—A Thing or Two About Loyalty

Guy and the sheriff attend a demonstration of black powder explosives. Lambert, its inventor, insists on certain conditions, including that the powder should never be used as a weapon. The sheriff makes a move to kill him, but Lambert escapes into the forest. It must be a dinky forest, because he runs full-tilt into Robin and his gang. The castle guard apprehends him and take him back to the castle while Robin and the others watch. The Merry Men plan to get arrested so they can get into the castle. Maybe they should rob an anthropology museum. Hey, it worked for the Winchesters on Thursday. Much volunteers and kicks a guard to get thrown into the pokey, but isn't very effective as far as doing any rescuing. The sheriff decides to make an example of him. He feeds him and makes him Earl of Bonchurch, as was promised for him when he returned from the Holy Land.

The rest of the episode plays out as a complex game, with Lambert's ledger, and the formula for Greek fire (or Saracen fire, as Djaq points out) as the prizes. Lambert is adamant that his powder never be used as a weapon, and he pays for his convictions with his life. Marian convinces Guy to take a different approach than the sheriff's, but this proves unsuccessful and leads to a rift between them just as Marian was coming to trust Guy--much to Robin's chagrin. Much seems content in his new role as Earl, but that, too, is a setup by the sheriff, as Eve, Much's serving woman, is a mole. But she finds herself drawn to Much, and also defies the sheriff. In the end, Robin and friends triumph by exploding the sheriff's supply of Greek fire, but Guy and the sheriff find themselves somewhat at odds, as do Guy and Marian. And Djaq, holding a different opinion of the black powder, defies Robin, snatching the ledger out of the fire instead of letting it burn as Robin commanded. That had better come back to bite somebody in the ass, or the last shot of this episode will prove pointless.

I found this episode somewhat less than compelling, though I suspect that's more a fault of my mood than of the show. Robin's constant breaking into and back out of the castle without effort or repercussion has strained my suspension of disbelief heartily, as well as adding an unwelcome bit of predictability to the show. In any case, the main plot was fairly interesting, developing as a layered sort of chess game amongst the main characters, and the different thematic plays on the concept of loyalty well-executed for the most part. So I won't trash this one too much, and just assume I'm cranky.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Jericho—One if By Land

Gray's attempts to protect the salt mine go sour when shots are fired, injuring several of the New Bern men and killing at least one. Gail and the others work to save whoever they can, while Johnston heads to New Bern with Dawson to fetch his sons.

Hawkins meets up with Ted at his hunting cabin. They form a plan to rescue Jake and Eric. If those boys don't get rescued at some point, it won't be from lack of trying.

Eric's in bad shape, emotionally. Jake is reunited with non-Marine Maggie in the prison. Eric's also in bad shape physically, largely because the New Bern folks keep torturing him for detailed information about Jericho's defenses. Maggie teams up with Hawkins and Ted after leading the cops to their hideout. Hawkins steals mortars from the factory while Maggie runs interference. And Hawkins blows the crap out of the factory.

Gray shows a vague trace of common sense by saying the New Bern wounded should be treated rather than imprisoned or punished. Johnston has a head-to-head confrontation with Constantino, who has a very different view of what's happened between Jericho and New Bern since the bombs went off. Constantino refuses to allow Johnston to see his boys.

Guns blazing, Hawkins moves in to rescue the Green brothers as they're being transferred to another location. He's shot, as is Maggie. But they all make it out of town. After the truck runs out of gas, they head for Jericho on foot. Maggie's in bad shape, and Hawkins doesn't think she'll make it.

Back in Jericho, Emily encourages Gail to be easier on Mary, who's brewing some effective antiseptic at her bar, while Dale and Skylar deal with fallout from their deal regarding the salt mine.

I think I've said before that I much prefer the more adventure-y episodes of this show to the more soap-opera-ey episodes, so I'm glad they've gone in the post-apocalyptic adventure direction for the last arc. It's still a little frustrating to have people talk about how "bad" it is in New Bern and elsewhere, without any really concrete examples. Actually, I have mixed feelings there, because really concrete examples would probably be too much. I do think they might be erring slightly on the side of caution, though.

Jericho on iTunes:

Jericho - Jericho, Season 1

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Supernatural—Folsom Prison Blues

This week, John Shiban pens another stellar episode, this one named after a Johnny Cash song. We go back to Led Zeppelin titles next week.

At Green River County Detention Center, a cell block is re-opened after a long period of closure. Weird goings-on freak out Randall (guest star Jeff Kober, who had two memorable guest turns on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), one of the inmates. The guard who comes to settle things down is trailed by an apparition. How come ghosts never comb their hair? It traps him in one of the cells. There's a lot of screaming.

Three months later, Sam and Dean break into a museum. Dean has a plan that Sam isn't crazy about. They're arrested for breaking into the museum. Dean does his Zoolander thing for the mug shots (Blue Steel!). Agent Henrickson shows up to tell Dean he isn't adorable. None of us believe him. The public defender turns out to be hot and blonde, and she kicks Henrickson out on his ass.

The Hotties Winchester are going to be held in the Green River County Detention Center until arraignment. Coincidence? I think not. Dean promises not to trade Sam for smokes. He's such a good brother. Holy crap how did they find a guy taller than Padalecki to play Sam's cell mate? In another inside joke, Dean accuses Sam of being from Texas. Of course Ackles and Padalecki are both from Texas. Pot, meet Kettle.

As suspected, the Winchester boys have gotten themselves thrown into the prison on purpose to chase down the ghost. They're hunting the ghost as a favor to Deacon, an ex-Marine who served with their dad. Dean has a hundred percent sure escape plan. Yeah, that'll go well. Dean suspects the ghost is a previous inmate named Moody, who died of a heart attack in the recently re-opened cell block.

After starting a dust-up in the cafeteria, Dean gets put into solitary. While he's there, the ghost makes an appearance and kills Lucas, the inmate Dean dusted up with. Daniels, the public defender, has a chat with Henrickson. She's found witnesses who say Sam and Dean saved their lives. Henrickson is condescending, and dismisses the witnesses as crazy.

Dean plays poker and wins a ton of cigarettes. In talking to Randall, Sam has discovered Moody was actually beaten to death, so there might have been enough blood left behind for a haunting. They'll have to burn it out. It's Sam's turn to have a fun plan (with a reversed dialogue exchange--sometimes not funny, but in this case very funny), as he convinces Dean to goad Tiny, another inmate who's not tiny at all, into a fight, thus distracting the guards so Sam can sneak into an air vent. He makes his way to the old cell block, where he salts and burns the bloody bedclothes from Moody's cell.

In the infirmary, Tiny decides it's time to share his feelings when Dean apologizes for goading him into a fight. The ghost appears again, but it's a woman--not Moody at all. Oops. That can't be good. She attacks Dean, who flings the salt from his lunch on her and scares her off. She goes for Tiny. Poor Tiny doesn't have any lunch salt.

Sam has contacted Deacon to get them out. But they're not done, because they salted and burned the wrong remains. Randall identifies the actual ghost as a Nurse Glockner, who may or may not have killed people in the prison--again deaths by induced heart attack. Dean wants to solve the case before they leave the prison, and asks Daniels to research Glockner for him. Sam insists they're leaving the prison tonight no matter what. Dean says he's going to stay regardless. They get into a tussle in the prison yard. This turns out to be a ruse, as the guard who drags them off--the guard who's seemed to have it in for Dean throughout the show--turns out to be Deacon. He gives Dean a letter from Daniels with the research info he needs. Glockner was beaten to death by inmates in the old cell block and buried in a nearbye cemetery. With Deacon's help, the Winchesters escape.

Henrickson interrogates Deacon, then Daniels, trying to track the boys down. Daniels finally cracks and tells Henrickson about Glockner. The boys are, of course, at the gravesite so they can do the salt and burn. Henrickson heads for the cemetery. The boys dig up the grave, but back at the prison, Glockner pays a visit to Deacon. Sam and Dean burn the body just in time to save him.

In the meantime, Henrickson's pursuit proves fruitless--Daniels sent him to the wrong cemetery.

Henrickson's return provides more continuity, stretching all the way back to "Skin," from season one. He seems dead set on ignoring the evidence Daniels presents, even though he's talked to those folks himself. In some ways he's degenerating into an extreme version of the standard skeptic character. He seemed more layered last time we saw him, so this is a bit disappointing.

That's the only thing I found disappointing about this episode, though. The case felt a bit too familiar, but the backdrop and the interplay between the brothers was extremely well-done. Dean's ease in falling into his role as convict--and his lack of concern about this ability--was both amusing and revealing. Sam managed to act like annoying little brother as well as competent fighter at the same time, while Dean balanced his competent fighter persona with horndog smartass with equal aplomb.

The worst thing about this episode? It's number 19, which means there are only 3 episodes left to this season. It's going to be a long summer.

Of Note:
During the last commercial break, there was an ad for Supernatural: Origins, the comic book tie-in coming out next month. Yep, mine's on pre-order. Check out the preview here. But be careful out there, folks--the Flash presentation gave me motion sickness.

Supernatural on iTunes:
Supernatural - Supernatural, Season 2

Booker T. & The MGs--Green Onions

Booker T. & The MG's - Green Onions - Green Onions

Johnny Cash--Folsom Prison Blues

Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison (Live) [Remastered] - Folsom Prison Blues

Alice in Chains--Rooster

Alice In Chains - Alice In Chains: Greatest Hits - Rooster

The Hard Easy Available for Pre-Order

The Hard Easy, a direct-to-DVD movie starring David Boreanaz, Nick Lachey, Peter Weller and Henry Thomas, is available for pre-order at

From imdb:
Two separate teams of jewel thieves, one low-rent and one upscale, both desperate, converge on the same score at the exact same time, and a simple job turns out very complicated and very bloody.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blood Ties—Heart of Ice/Heart of Fire

Vicky's latest case involves homeless people, who are being stalked by some sort of infrared-seeing growly monster. At the same time, Mike investigates a case where several women have had their throats ripped out. He suspects Henry.

The growly monster proves to be a Wendigo (or Windigo, as it says on Coreen's research book). Anyway, this should be easy--Coreen's already helped Sam and Dean off one of those last season on Supernatural when she was Haley. (Honestly, this coincidence cracks me up. Unless they did it on purpose. In which case it cracks me up more.)

Mike's investigations lead him to one Javier Mendoza, who presents Mike with evidence linking Henry to several deaths, including one in 1944, when he supposedly killed a woman named Delphine. As it turns out, he actually Turned her, and she's gone state's evidence, as it were, and given Henry up to Mendoza. Mendoza is with the church, and he's been hunting Henry.

Vicky and Henry try to take out the Wendigo with a flamethrower, but this doesn't work. In the ensuing Superhuman Being Smackdown, Henry loses. Mike arrives and, thanks to Coreen's research (see? told you), kills the Wendigo with silver bullets. And then turns Henry over to Mendoza, after "neutralizing" him with a sun-shaped artifact that adheres to Henry's chest and drains his vampire powers.

Heart of Fire

Vicky's not a bit happy about Mike's betraying Henry to Mendoza. They form an uncomfortable partnership to find the vampire.

In the meantime, Mendoza tortures Henry in gleefully sadistic fashion while Henry bleeds, bruises and burns quite prettily. We are treated to flashbacks to Henry's past and his first encounter with Mendoza while Vicky and the others try to track Henry down. Apparently Mendoza was a Grand Inquisitor in the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Why isn't he subjecting Henry to the Comfy Chair? And, more relevant to the actual plot, how is he still alive after three hundred years? It seems SeƱor Mendoza has been using a concoction made of vampire blood to make himself immortal so he can hunt vampires indefinitely.

In the meantime, Vicky and Mike find their way to first Delphine, who's incinerated by the sunrise before she can give them much information, then finally to Mendoza and Henry. Unfortunately, Vicky gets herself conked on the head and offered up to Henry as food. Henry tries to resist, but he's really hungry, darn it. He breaks his chains and goes after her, but Mike intervenes. Henry uses Mike like snack food. We all understand that to vampires biting is like sex, right? Okay, just checking. Henry puts an end to Mendoza's immortality offscreen. Vicky retrieves the vampire-taming sun device and keeps it. I wonder if she has plans for it in the future. Or maybe for that bondage rack. Hmm.

In "Heart of Ice," Henry is fairly forthright with Vicky about his true nature as a vampire. He's a bit more feral in some ways than other "good" TV vampires, and I like that. I also like that Vicky does finally seem to realize he's a danger, and that when Henry is hungry, even Vicky is just a Big Mac to him. He apparently has to be extra hungry, though, since it appears our Mr. Fitzroy has made some progress in controlling his baser bloodsucky urges. I wonder if he and Mike will get along a bit better now? They seemed to have reached some kind of uneasy truce by the end, but it's hard to say. That abrupt intimate encounter might just result in another messy break-up.

Blood Ties on iTunes:

Blood Ties - Blood Ties, Season 1

Drive Cancelled

Via drivefans.

According to Variety, Fox has pulled the plug on Drive after only 3 episodes.

This sucks. Poor Tim.

First Four Drive Shooting Scripts Available for Download

via Whedonesque.

For those interested in such things (me! me! me!) has made the first four full shooting scripts (these are original shooting scripts, not transcripts) of Drive available for download in .pdf format.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Drive—No Turning Back

At the drive-in, the race participants watch a movie involving car chases. Following the movie is info on the next leg of the race. The next clue is "Surrender, America." And to mix things up, they're awarding a "jump start challenge" to the most improved driver.

Team Tully + Team Salazar: Tully wins the jumpstart challenge. Corinna is leery of it, but Tully is willing to take any advantage he can. Winston tails Tully and offers him a deal--they tail Tully now, he can follow them later. Tully's not keen on the deal and loses them, and they continue to the jumpstart address. It's a bank. To win the jumpstart advantage, they have to steal a safe deposit box from the bank. Tully's supposed to rob it. They go into the bank and check out the super secure vault, where they're supposed to steal the contents of a safe deposit box. Corinna thinks a team-up with Team Salazar might not be a bad idea under the circumstances, since Winston has experience in armed robbery. They chase down the Salazars and make a new proposition. (Okay, not to nitpick, but how the heck did they know where Sean and Winston had gotten off to?)

Winston and Tully have a difference of opinion on how to go about the bank robbery--Tully wants to be more sneaky-like, while Winston wants to do the full-on ski mask gun-pointing approach. Sean, on the other hand, has not only figured out the clue (the Civil War surrender at Appomattox), but also suggests they crack the manager's computer to get the code to break into the vault. This seems like a good plan to all involved. While Tully waits outside in the car and is again haunted by visions of his wife, Winston and Corinna are apprehended by a security guard. Tully intervenes and in the resulting fracas the security guard and Sean are both shot. By the time they get back to the car, Sean is bleeding profusely, possibly dying. They stop at a motel. Tully leaves Corinna and Winston at the motel and runs off with Sean for his "last chance." We won't find out what that means until next week.

Team Wendy: Someone is stalking Wendy's son, leading Sam's caretaker to call and request that Wendy come get Sam. Freaked out, Wendy pulls a U-turn in the middle of the highway and heads for Ohio. Ivy doesn't like this plan and pulls a gun on Wendy. Wendy's attempts to deal with Ivy get nowhere, because Ivy can't continue the race on her own. She doesn't know how to drive. Ivy, sweetie, did you not look at the name of this show before you signed on?

Team AWOL: Rob finally makes contact with his unit, only to discover he's officially AWOL. Ellie took it upon herself to destroy all the letters and erase all the phone messages telling Rob his unit was shipping back to Iraq. Now facing a court martial and possible execution through no fault of his own, Rob tosses the race phone out the window.

Team Susan: Arriving at the checkpoint a day late, Susan and Ivy are told they have been eliminated and must turn in their phone. Apparently Susan has been hearing God speak to her since Hurricane Katrina, and God told her she was going to win. Taking God at her word, Susan keeps driving until she finds Rob and Ellie's car to tail. When Rob tosses his phone, Susan retrieves it. Lee works out that they're supposed to head for Appomattox. Then a big truck drives them off the road (in a really nifty close inside-the-car POV crash sequence). And rams them. Dying, Susan reinterprets the messages from God as meaning Lee is going to win the race. Lee hitches a ride to Appomattox. This Lee is NOT going to surrender, dammit! (Yes, that line was cheesy enough to mock.)

A lot about this show is turning out to be a bit blander and cheesier than I expected, at least so far. But Nathan Fillion still hasn't really shaved, so I'll stick around for a while yet.

Drive on iTunes:

Interview with Tim Minear

Creative Screenwriting has a good interview with Tim Minear in their CS Weekly newsletter (published last week for subscribers [it's free!! go subscribe!!], in the archive this week). He talks about Drive and its journey to the screen.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heroes—.07 Percent

Linderman and Nathan have a chat about Linderman's collection of Isaac's paintings. Linderman has some sort of healing capabilities--he can restore dead plants to life. That'd be mega useful around my house. He tells Nathan a bit about the previous generation of Heroes. He feels the destruction of New York would be a catalyst for change that will unite humanity in fear and hope blah blah, and that Nathan will serve as a rallying point. He also has a painting of Nathan in the White House.

Bennet is being held capitive at the paper company. Matt, also imprisoned, hears Bennet communicating with him telepathically from the next cell. Bennet tells Matt how to escape. When Matt gets out, he sends Matt to get Nuclear Ned. Ned is to make an electromagnetic pulse to blow out the power grid in the building. Right after the EMP, the US is put completely out of commission and becomes a third world country. Oh, wait, that's Dark Angel. Never mind. The EMP works as planned, and they meet up with Bennet in his cell. They all escape to a diner and discuss how to take out the tracking system in New York.

Back at Suresh's apartment, Suresh is still pinned to the ceiling and bleeding. Not on fire, though. I still think that's just wrong, cause there's a rule about being pinned to the ceiling and bleeding that says you also have to wear a white nightgown and be on fire. (I'll keep making that joke until I'm tired of it.) Sylar slices Peter's head open again--dude, it was gross enough the first time--but Peter heals almost immediately, thanks to his Claire-powers. A super mutant smackdown ensues. Sylar stabs Peter with telepathically flying shards of glass. Mohinder knocks Sylar out with a map frame. Sylar regains consciousness to find himself alone and his computer trashed--the list is no longer his to take. He finds Isaac's address on a piece of paper left behind. Mohinder contacts the paper company, thinking he'll get Bennet, but instead Thompson (aka Eric Roberts guy) comes to meet him. Thompson suggests he and Mohinder work together.

Claire chats with Grandma Petrelli. She's known about Claire since she was born. She's planning to send Claire to Paris to protect her from the "madness." Sounds like Grandma might be a mutie, too. Mohinder shows up with news of Peter's death. Claire finds Grandma weeping over Peter's body. Shouldn't Peter be miraculously healing right about now? Nathan returns to find Peter dead. Grandma says they need to hide it until after the election. Claire comes in and pulls the hunk of glass out of the back of Peter's head so he can heal up. Took them long enough. Now that Peter's un-dead--not undead like a vampire, but un-dead like, you know, alive--Nathan and Peter discuss whether he might be able to survive his own personal nuclear meltdown when New York bites the big one. Nathan chats with Claire. He wants to be there for her, but he can't because he needs to win the election. So Claire is off to Paris with Grandma for a week. Gee, thanks, Newly Discovered Dad.

Isaac packs up comic book pages to give to a messenger. He says they're the last ones, but doesn't elaborate. He gives the messenger his sketchbook. He has, of course, painted his own death. Sylar shows up at Isaac's studio. Isaac tells Sylar he's going to be stopped and killed. Sylar crucifies Isaac on his floor painting of New York, then kills him, much as he did earlier in the season. Sylar paints the future, with someone very different in the White House.

Jessica and DL have a spat. DL is getting ready to run with Micah to protect him. Linderman's suits show up to take Jessica for a meeting with Mr. Linderman. Linderman wants to "borrow" Micah to make use of his talent. Jessica refuses in no uncertain terms. That doesn't last long--next time we see Jessica, she's taking Micah out to meet Linderman, and sends him off. Except it's really Candace, who's stolen Micah right out from under Jessica's nose. That Candace is just a big pita.

Five yeras in the future, Hiro and Ando survey the ruins of New York City. Ando suggests they teleport back with the sword and fix things. Hiro wants to know what exactly went wrong, first, so they go searching for Issac to help them. In Isaac's studio, they find a timeline made up of hundreds of drawings and newspaper clippings, telling the history of the recent past/future. Past Hiro comes face to face with future Hiro.

This episode moved the story forward pretty substantially, comparatively, while also tying big chunks of storyline back to things we've seen in previous episodes--Isaac's death, future Hiro, etc. Sylar's monstrous White House painting makes me wonder if it's a picture of a different person as president, or a metaphorical picture of what Nathan will become in that office. And for some reason I really expected Hiro and Ando to meet up with Isaac in the studio, even though he was clearly dead in the previous scenes.

Heroes on iTunes:
Heroes - Heroes, Season 1