Sunday, 29 December 2013

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor" Review Christmas Special 2013

Touche Matt!
SO here it was the final episode with Matt Smith playing the elusive Doctor Who and my final review with him in the title role.  Which brings a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.  What can you write about an actor who came and made the part entirely his own and put so much into the role that you really laughed, cried, and so many other mixed emotions into the fore.  The Doctor said all things must come to an end but not in this way.  Some things you wish would go one forever and Matt in the role was one of them!  My wishful thinking.

This episode Matt's final swansong had to be different to the one with the Tenth Doctor and it was with so many references and answers to questions that were raised over the almost four years Matt played the Doctor.  The Silence, the Church of the Silence and how they fought with him, the message coming through the crack in the wall, were the Time Lords waiting for him to answer the question, "Doctor Who?"  The question that can never be answered.  He ended up back at Trenzalore, the future that he and Clara saw. River Song was a psychopath and he married her, he wouldn't be here without her he replies, again that was true continuing on from the last episode of the last series.

Then there were the emotions with Clara (Jenna Coleman) summing everything up for us and going through the pain and heartache of losing him, that face, that chin, that wig! Ha.  Well I had to get a funny line in there somewhere.  Just like the 'knock knock' joke he wanted from the cracker but never got.  Then there was the bell, the Bell of St John, or rather the bell of the church of the silence, whatever it was, it didn't signal the end of the Doctor but the start of his regeneration, of the introduction of the Twelfth Doctor, yet for some of us time will stand still at the Eleventh Doctor's final moment, cos right now, couldn't really care about the next one!  The Time of the Doctor will always be Eleven O'clock!

The Doctor has a Cyberman head who he calls Handles and this helps him with information he needs.  A message is being transmitted throughout the universe and all of his foes have gathered, the Daleks, the Cybermen, Sontaren and he must find out what he means.  He must also patch the phone into the main console, which he tells Handles' to remind him 'when.'  Clara calls and invites him to Christmas dinner with her family and he's her 'pretend' boyfriend.  When she arrives and finds him in the TARDIS, he's naked since he's going to the Papal Mainframe, well church.  She takes him home and he hasn't programmed them into the console so they can see him as naked.  The turkey's not cooked but he can cook it in the TARDIS.

He takes Clara to the church and she must get naked too by swallowing a pill.  Here he meets Tasha Lem (Orla Brady) the Mother Superior who has been protecting Trenzalore. Handles tells him Gallifrey has been found but he knows Gallifrey is gone.  Handles deciphers the message as being from Gallifrey.  The cracks in the wall were the Time lords who were hidden on the other side and trying to break through,  But it didn't explain why they seemed so sinister when we first met the crack in Amy's house and throughout the fifth series.  Clara got her first encounter with the weeping angels who were also buried in the snow, is this where they were all this time that we saw them after the episode in New York, or did they come here through the crack, where the Doctor dispelled them in season 5.  Also why the Silence were in pursuit of the Doctor back in series 6, to protect him from River.  As well as the line "Silence will fall when the question is asked."  Which is why Tasha silenced everyone.


Thus the Doctor ended up on the planet where he was always destined to be, the planet where he meets his end.  The Time Lords must have the Doctor say his name so they can come through the crack, but it's a bit of a stalemate as Tasha warns him, if they do, a war will succeed and this world "will burn."   Kind of like damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Hence if the Time Lords break through when they find out his name the planet will die and if he doesn't tell them his name then he will die.  So it was left to Clara to come though with her own answer to this.  As we remember Clara saw the book and found out what his name was.

The Doctor sends Clara back to the TARDIS for a charge for one of his devices and the TARDIS takes her back home.  He's saving her and doesn't want her here.  He becomes "the sheriff" of Christmas and is here to protect it, fighting off Cybermen and Daleks.  Cue a wooden Cyberman which destroys itself cos the Soinc is useless on wood.  Three hundred years pass and he begins to grow old.  As he later tells Clara when she returns, he finally found a place where he could stay and never leave.  The Doctor will die here and he's resigned himself to that fact and that the Twelfth regeneration will be the last since the War Doctor was a regeneration even if he didn't call himself the Doctor.  But she tells him to fight it and change the future since he has his TARDIS now.

Some of the mid-point of the ep felt a little repetitive and tedious since the Doctor wasn't doing much.  Also have to mention the scene where he gets back to the Mainframe to find Tasha died several times over and is assimilating into a Dalek but he tells her to fight it.  The Doctor also has a penchant for pink marshmallows now and he has been getting them from his supplier, Tasha of course.  A nice moment, very touching when he sits and waits for the sunrise which only appears for a brief incidence.  A chance to reminisce and talk, grow even older for him and to showcase Handles's end, showing a similar fate awaiting the Doctor.  He reminds him to fix the phone and dies.

Clara makes him promise to let her look into his "sad eyes" that he will never leave her again.  A promise he can't really keep since he is leaving, okay not the character, but still...yet he lies to her as we all know in his own words, "I lie."  She ends up home again but the TARDIS finally gets back with Tasha at the helm and she wants her to be there for the Doctor, "you can't let him die alone."  They pull a cracker with some help from Clara for him and finds a poem which is apt for his transition and farewell.  "And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven's hour is over now, the clock is striking Twelve's."  
Which the Doctor claimed he didn't know the meaning of!

He must go and do battle one last time as the Daleks request the Doctor and Clara tells the crack the Doctor's name is the Doctor and if they love him, they will help him.  The Doctor now looking as if he's in a homage to William Hartnell, it seems, rings the bell as he's given a burst of energy from the Time Lords, allowing him to destroy the Dalek ship this time round (whereas last time the regeneration from the Tenth to the eleventh had the Tenth destroying his TARDIS) and so the regeneration begins.  The enemies are   defeated and he returns to the TARDIS.  Clara goes in and finds his clothes on the floor and a bowl of fish fingers and custard.  HE appears but only for the briefest of moments.  He sees Amelia as a little girl and then Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) the elder as she too vanishes after saying her goodbye to her "raggedy man." One second he's walking and the next minute he's zapped into the Twelfth Doctor, who says he has kidneys and doesn't know how to fly the TARDIS.

Nice touch with The Eleventh removing his bow tie, cos "bow ties are cool" but bow ties are no more!  I'm not going to get into the arguments I've read on other sites about the end of the episode and who (no pun) did whatever better, sufficed to say everyone will have their own thoughts and theories on the ending and how Matt was written out as the Doctor, or go into comparisons with the Tenth Doctor's departure.  Cos it's done now and there's no way it can be changed.

Some comedy in this episode also included the Doctor going onto the Dalek ship with his cloak and a "Dalek part in my hand."  But it appears there was too much going on here and we never got to say a real farewell to Matt and his Doctor.  It could have been extended for over an hour cos it seemed like he was here and he was gone.  At least David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor got to say goodbye in a more casual and slow paced way, seeing all his friends.  Here Matt was gone in a second, what he didn't have any friends aside from Amy! Yes he sees Amy and Clara is forgotten, they (Matt and Jenna) had so much chemistry and she even blurts his feelings for him when they arrive at the town and the Truth Line, but no more is made of it!  Why? Yet he kisses Tasha in front of her and comes up with the comment, "now that is a real woman." Again leaving Clara with nothing to say, er, wouldn't he have said that about River too.

We also get to see that what the Doctor saw in season 6 ep The God Complex behind door number 11 was the crack, but it seemed to be tacked on here like there was no idea of what to do with the crack and any explanation for it.  Very amateurish!  To be honest and don't all shout at me at once, the Tenth and Eleventh were my Doctors and I can't say I'm enthused or looking forward to number 12.

Perhaps the town called Christmas could have been given a reprieve this year and though it was meant to be a Christmas special it could have foregone the festivities cos we knew what it really was and given us the proper goodbye to Matt we deserved!  Clara's parents were rather boring and standoffish, I mean yes they were old but was her mother really like that.  The woman her father met with the maple leaf was stuck on the face. She deserved a much better family than that.  Aside from her gran who recalled her husband and how she met and remembers him, something much more closer to home for Clara, "my Impossible girl."  That's all her Doctor could call her.

Episodes alluded to here were: The Wedding of River Song, The Big Bang, The Day of the Doctor, The Name of the Doctor, A Good Man Goes to War, where River was engineered to kill him as Tasha explains when she calls her a psychopath;  The God Complex.  The seal the Doctor places on Handles's head to decipher the message he stole from the Master in the story with the Fifth Doctor, The Five Doctors.

As I tweeted, "Matt Smith may be the Eleventh Doctor, but to me he will always be my number one!" Enough said!

Doctor: "I will not forget one line of this.  Not one day, I swear.  I will always remember when the Doctor was me!  And so will we, well I will at least, ha!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Atlantis 1.13 "Touched By The Gods" Part 2 Review

Jason (Jack Donnelly) is determined to rescue Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) as the three of them watch preparations being made for her to burn inside the bull.  How the person is placed inside the belly of the bull is explained and Hercules (Mark Addy) keeps making foody references to cooking and roasting when he's describing what happens.  Pythagoras (Robert Emms) adding the horns make a sound when the person screams inside which sounds very ominous, he thinks it's a veritable piece of genius, of course not choosing the best place or time to make this known. Hercules won't let him do this alone since has become fond of him but only marginally better than he likes Pythagoras whom he likes only marginally better than wine. Jason will succeed or die trying.  Which pretty much becomes their motto.

Jason visits the Oracle (Juliet Stevenson) who tells him he should head for the tin mines where he will be safe amongst the dead.  Wonder why he needed counselling from the Oracle at this point in time.

Ariadne is visited by Melas (Ken Bones) in her cell and can't come to terms with her sentence.  He goes to see Jason and the others as they prepare the rescue and will help them get into the grounds.  Hercules turns up to the spectacle and pretends to be drunk, spilling wine near the fire which happens not to be wine. Ariadne is dressed in white and Jason lights an arrow which he releases into the wood and starts a fire.  They head into the sewers as Melas shows them a way out into the woods and he's been injured in the fighting. Hercules pulls apart the bars since he won't able to fit through them with Pythagoras adding he would have gone through.  He holds down the fort as the others leave and Heptarian (Oliver Walker) finishes Melas off.

They are followed into he woods with Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) in pursuit and Jason and Hercules can't help but turn around to see Ariadne changing, er, there were tress there you know!  Pythagoras not being able to look either! They arrive at the mine and find they are surrounded by lepers.  A man greets them and Pythagoras now understands they were to be helped by the "living dead."  The soldiers follow them, seeing as Pasiphae has brought a legion with her and Jason talks with Aeson (John Hannah).  Hercules feeds and tasting their food calls them all good people now but before he didn't want anything to do with them.  Aeson knows Jason has feelings for Ariadne and he can't really express them, also noticing his necklace.

Heptarian attacks and the others escape into the woods.  More fighting as Jason is knocked out.  Ariadne is taken back and Pasiphae is about to kill Jason in a reverse of the last episode where Jason stood over her with his sword and couldn't go through with it.  Pasiphae was his wife and he tells her Jason is their son, well that was obvious.  One reason why he couldn't kill her.  Jason doesn't know and he promises he won't know.  Wonder if Heptarian heard them talking since he turns up but is finally taken care of by Jason.

Aeson knows she can't kill her son.  The priest sees Ariadne's servant putting the poison into Minos's (Alexander Siddig) drink and administers an antidote.  Jason still wants to rescue Ariadne and they return to Atlantis but find that Minos is well.  He confronts Pasiphae and she's shocked to see him well. Seems like she's an outcast now, would have thought Minos would have been much more angry with her. She asks the Oracle what will happen in her future and that she knew about Jason all along.  She warns her to be careful of her own future.  Minos tells Jason he can't be with Ariadne since she's a princess and he's so beneath her status.  Jason refuses money from him and Hercules would have preferred he took it.  Jason and Pythagoras talk of being fond of him too aside from his annoying habits and Hercules mentions being a "legend amongst my people."  As Pasiphae watches them.

But fear not as Atlantis will return next year!  Well we knew that weeks ago of course.  So in the final episode we had to meet Jason's father since he was mentioned from the outset and is long lost to Jason, as was Merlin's father to him.  Some were amazed and surprised at Pasiphae being Jason's mother but it was quite apparent if you think about it.  It was easier to kill Circe than Pasiphae and as his father tells her he's her flesh and blood and she won't kill him.  He also hid Jason somewhere she wouldn't find him after she carried on with Minos.  The question being where did Aeson go with Jason and was this with help from the Oracle as when we met Jason he was living in modern times and with a man he referred to as his uncle Maguire and Jason found his father's submarine with the name "The Oracle" on its side.

As for Jason being warned off Ariadne will this happen, oh let's hope so we can do with a break from her, she wasn't the best of heroines and rather feeble, granted she did live a sheltered life for a princess.  Pasiphae had to be caught out otherwise the three couldn't return to Atlantis.

Death Comes to Pemberley Part 3 Review

The trial is set for Wickham (Matthew Goode) and Fitzwilliam (Tom Ward) can't see why Darcy (Matthew Rhys) had to hire Henry Alveston (James Norton) to defend him.  Lizzie (Anna Maxwell Martin) gets Louisa (Nichola Burley) to come clean about the baby and her meeting with Denny (Tom Canton) and the woman in the bonnet. She met with her to hand over little Georgie but had a change of mind thinking the woman was too overly excited to have the boy and Denny put his foot in it by handing over the thirty pounds.  William Bidwell (Lewis Rainer) tells Louisa to tell the truth and she confesses Fitzwilliam was also at the abbey. Lizzie tries to tell Darcy of this and he will not believe his cousin is such a man, capable of doing such things. Still thinking Georgiana (Eleanor Tomlinson) has found a good match in him.  Indeed Fitzwilliam proposes to Georgiana and she has to accept him.  Though he says his pride and brotherly feelings are turning to love for her.

Lady Catherine de Bourge (Penelope Keith) calls on Lizzie with the intention of staying here and sees that Darcy attending the trial is dangerous to his reputation and he shouldn't be there.  Lizzie has also called Lydia (Jenna Coleman) back to Pemberley so Jane can have some rest from her but also cos of the trial.  She arrives shouting and being loud as usual and how the women in the shop shunned her when they found out she was Lizzie's sister.

A good portrayal of trials back then and how justice had very little do with it.  Darcy tells Wickham he should place his desk by the window in his cell,  but Wickham is loathed of the view, the gallows being constructed outside.  He plans to leave for America when all this is over, trying to convince himself he won't be found guilty.  Hardcastle (Trevor Eve) talks with Mrs Piggott (Teresa Churcher) the inn keeper's wife who tells him she overheard the argument between Denny and Wickham and repeats what she said.  She's to testify at the trial in Derby and needs a new hat.  Alveston later asks why she didn't come forward at the inquest and she states that she was on the privy and people would have laughed at her, as they do now.  She doesn't think Denny would have been afraid of Wickham since he had his gun and they wouldn't have been violent in front of Lydia.

Alveston, trying to set a precedence here on how to cross examine witnesses and raise objections doesn't really succeed when he's shot down by the judge time and again.   Darcy testifies he heard Wickham say he was responsible for his friend's death but wasn't a confession.  Instead he was distraught and if he hadn't argued then his friend wouldn't have been here, but he still stands by Wickham's innocence.  Darcy spots the bonnet woman at the trail and knows her as Mrs Younge (Mariah Gale).  She was the one who informed him of where Lydia and Wickham were when he searched for them, for a high price.  She tells him she's Wickham's sister and they have strong feelings for one another.  That's whys he met with Fitzwilliam in the inn and was talking about her brother.  Darcy is angry that he could do such a thing and doesn't want him coming to Pemberley anymore and calls off the engagement.  He tells Georgiana she should marry for love and stand by her heart's desire and always trust the one she loves.  Finally taking a leaf out of his own book and admitting Lizzie was right.  Thus they spend a night of passion together.

Darcy feels Lizzie should tell Lydia the truth about Wickham as it will be easier to hear from her sister, but Lydia refuses to listen, leaving it to the gossips so she can treat them with contempt.  Hardcastle is called to testify but omits the part about Wickham's affair with Louisa and the baby.  Which comes as a shock to Darcy.  He later tells him he knew Wickham was to be hanged so he didn't want to ruin Darcy's reputation further.  No matter what people think Hardcastle's not his father.  SO the jury returns a verdict of guilty as to be expected and Mrs Younge couldn't take the news, running out and the sight of the gallows leading her to run in front of a horse and carriage.  It was death by carriage here.

Lydia is distraught but stands by him still knowing he didn't kill Denny.  Wickham telling her he's, "lead her a merry dance."  But they've had fun she tells him, cos that's what it's all about and no doubt Darcy will pay for their going to America.  He wants her to remember him by his brightest memory.  Wickham is to hang in two days.

Lizzie at church speaks with the Reverend who mentions William's illness and how it was serious after the murder and how he hasn't been to see him since, nobody has.  Giving Lizzie an idea of going about solving the killing.  Of course, William was the only one left who could have possibly done the deed whilst defending his sister's honour.  He saw Denny and confused him for Wickham.  He hit him with his stick and ran after him but he headed towards the gully and fell, hitting his head on great grandfather Darcy's headstone in the woods.  Showing he was still causing mischief from beyond.   Wickham arrived and shot at William so he ran away.  Lizzie gets him to sign a confession and his father wants forgiveness for not being here for him. William dies and Lizzie must rush the confession to the judge, with Bidwell taking her.

It was a sight seeing Wickham being lead to the gallows, he was to be hanged with the common riff-raff and it has to be said his reputation as a soldier that kept him in stead as he didn't falter at all, not until the last moment.  Lizzie gets to the judge and at the last moment the hanging is stopped, with Wickham falling to his knees.  He and Lydia head to America with Lydia showing off Wickham as they leave.

Alveston proposes to Georgiana and Lizzie tells Darcy she's expecting a baby but can't promise it will be a girl. He thinks Louisa should keep her baby and Pemberley should take care of its own.  So ends the saga and it's happy families for all.  Not much of a murder mystery since there weren't that many suspects left and William all but gave himself away when he said Louisa should tell Lizzie the truth about seeing Fitzwilliam at the abbey, trying to avert blame onto him.  He conveniently dies so doesn't have to face the hangman's noose.  Thought Matthew Goode would have made a good Sidney Carton in an adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, you know stiff upper lip and all that.

All 'n' all though this could have been much better and seemed everything was solved and resolved within the last five minutes of the three episodes and still no ball! We was robbed!  It was fine as murder mysteries went, but wasn't that big a mystery and would have been more interesting had it not contained characters from one of our fave serials.  Fitzwilliam's secret wasn't that huge either since he was paying off Wickham and Louisa to protect Darcy.  Which is why Darcy was angry since he doesn't need protecting.  Fitzwilliam still maintaining even if Wickham is hanged he will still take Georgiana since no one else will.

Tom Ward was in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as Captain Chamberlayne in one episode.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Death Comes to Pemberley Part 2 Review

The morning after the night before and we pick up with Lizzie (Anna Maxwell Martin) and Darcy (Matthew Rhys) still not quite on speaking terms, well okay, they are speaking but it's so very routine and dull, like they're just holding on for the sake of reputation.  Shown when Lizzie tries to hold his hand in church and he pushes it away. Oh he'd have died for that hand a few years ago!  The ball is cancelled and is announced to the staff by Bidwell since the Lord and Lady are not up to the task until later when they summon the staff and Darcy announces, "Death has come to Pemberley."  Like 'it' was some uninvited visitor and all cos Wickham (Matthew Goode) brought it upon them.  Yes Wickham you cad.  As Darcy puts it, he keeps changing his character as did this version, first he's a bounder, then Lydia's (Jenna Coleman) suitor before marring her for money and then war hero.  Oh and Lizzie thanks the staff for their hard work and guarantees them no one at Pemberley will go without and always have a place here, which Darcy doesn't really stand by.

As I said, trouble in paradise and Lizzie confides in Jane (Alexandra Moen) as she arrives, that she fears their marriage is over.  She has flashes to when he proposed to her and how he mentioned their family and how it was all "beneath him" and pained him to propose.  Also recalling the ball when the locals were talking about Lydia and Wickham and the shame of it all.  Jane tells her it's not the case and I have to say Jane's arrival was a breath of fresh air, but didn't last long, as she took Lydia and Mother Bennett (Rebecca Front) home with her. Since she's in the way and a constant reminder of Wickham.  Especially as she talks of Darcy and how Lizzie only really married him for his money which he overhears.  Well she was loud!

Hardcastle (Trevor Eve) interviews the witnesses and staff and the servant girls tell about Mrs Reilly's ghost and how she lost her bonnet, which Lizzie tells him she also saw and that the mysterious woman was quite alive.  Hardcastle thinking she was trying to appease his sensibilities on ghostly apparitions.  Fitzwilliam (Tom Ward) visits Wickham in prison and Wickham demands better food, it appears he doesn't really like him and has his own secrets still, as does everyone.  Lizzie confides in Darcy about Fitzwilliam burning the letter but Darcy can't think he'd step a foot wrong since he's known him since childhood as he later tells the same to Hardcastle.

Jane and Lizze along with Darcy at church where Darcy is disgusted he has to take Lydia inside who almost feigns a fainting spell.  They later pay a visit to the Bidwell's after church and Lizzie sees Louisa (Nichola Burley) nursing the baby which was meant to be her sister's.  Lizzie later asking Mrs Reynolds (Joanna Scanlan) if she's aware of anything troubling Louisa, as in man trouble.  Louisa cries in the wood and carves the initials 'FYD' onto a tree, which Hardcastle chances upon.  Of course red herrings since the initials could stand for Darcy, Denny or even Fitzwilliam.  Lizzie also finds Darcy at the grave of another Fitzwilliam Darcy and has to ask Georgiana (Eleanor Tomlinson) who it belongs to and why it's in the woods since Darcy only told her it's a "discredit."  He was their great grandfather, a gambler who almost set Pemberley to ruin and their father had to sell land to gain Pemberley back.  Something Darcy has kept from Lizzie so who knows what other secrets he has.

Fitzwilliam asks Darcy for permission to wed Georgiana and he agrees saying he also has Lizzie's blessing. She of course does not give it since Georgiana is in love With Henry Alverston (James Norton).  They then have an argument over love and how Fitzwilliam will provide security for her since they don't know the future of Pemberley.  She calls him a hypocrite which he has to utter for himself as he married for love.  Maybe he regrets that too.  Since it was going against every bone in his body and against all his sensibilities and pride and prejudices.

Louisa tells her of a Freddie D in the army and how he's disappeared.  He went into London to get money and he's vanished.  Of course that's cos Freddie doesn't exist which was obvious.  Fitzwilliam comes clean about his whereabouts on the night in question and did not want to ruin a lady's reputation, the lady being the 'loony' in the woods or so everyone perceived her but he doesn't reveal her name.  She was enquiring the whereabouts of her brother and needed his help.  Hardcastle has already checked this at the inn  and he also adds he gave Wickham the thirty pounds he asked for.  He couldn't refuse him since he helped bring him his godson after he was killed in the war and made sure his mother could bury him.  Darcy agrees he did a good thing.  So this money was it for Louisa?  Oops gave the game away here.  Since it wasn't difficult to work out Wickham is Freddie, who else would be such a womanizer and why Denny would be angry with him. Perhaps he was going to pay her off.  He clearly wasn't going to set up home with her, was he?

Darcy pays a visit to Wickham and he shows him his memoirs which Darcy thinks would serve him in good stead as an honest living.  He needs money when he gets out of here and so he can leave Pemberley, which Darcy promises him.  He once again pleads his innocence since he's guilty of many things but not murder.  Darcy believes this.  The murder weapon, a stone is found in the woods and the inquest is held.  Yeah inn full of bawdy and drunk men!  Hardcastle wants only the facts from the coachman and after various testimony.  The men retire to consider their verdict.  Alverston helps out even though he didn't do much and Georgiana rejected him.  She must do her duty as she tells Lizzie as the family have all done so in the past for the good of the estate.

Seems unbelievable, but even Fitwilliam has good things to say about Wickham at the inquest.  Lizzie arrives with lunch for Darcy and sees Louisa.  She runs out of there after seeing Freddie.  She points out Wickham as he is found guilty.  Still plenty of suspects since we know Fitzwilliam is still hiding something and the letter. Which must have more to do with the estate since it mentions Darcy in it.  Who is the woman in the woods looking for and how does she fit into all of this.  It would be a turn up for the books if Fitzwilliam turned out to be the killer but he was alibied.  Perhaps he knows who it really is.  Don't think Wickham is guilty since he just wouldn't kill Denny like that, as he states he was his only friend who accepted him for who he was until he found out about the baby.

Suppose we'll get a happy ending in the final part with Lizzie and Darcy playing happy families and all will be forgiven.  be good of it wasn't.  I mean he doesn't call her Lizzie and she calls him Darcy what happened to dear or some other pet name?  Funny moments were provided by Lydia of course and how she thinks Denny may have had a crush on her and wouldn't do anything about it which is why he avoided her.  More he like he knew what Wickham was really keeping from her.  His guilty secret.  Perhaps the killer will turn out to be some complete stranger.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Death Comes To Pemberley Part 1 Review

Not exactly what a lot of you may be expecting especially if you were hoping to see Lizzie and Darcy as we recall them from our fave 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation with the delightful Jennifer Ehle and gorge Colin Firth.  Seems like this adaptation, written by PD James in 2009 as a sequel, time and characterization has passed them by.  Lizzie (Anna Maxwell Martin) seems aloof from her sister, Lydia (Jenna Coleman) and appears to be distant from Darcy (Matthew Rhys) too, perhaps there was just not enough chemistry between the leads to do our indubitable characters justice.  Everytime I saw Matthew I was constantly reminded of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and his brooding sense of lurking with menace.

The scene begins with two servant girls and one of them claiming she's seen the ghost of the cook/servant/housekeeper explains it's an old wives's tale which is what Lizzie leaves it at.  She's busy arranging a ball to which she hasn't invited Lydia or Wickham (Matthew Goode) since he's not to set foot at Pemberley.  So Lydia seems to have cut ties with her sister but it more comfortable accepting Georgiana (Eleanor Tomlinson) as her own flesh and blood.  Georgiana has two suitors now, one in the form of Henry Alverson (James Norton), a man of law and Fitzwilliam (Tom Ward).  Who aims to propose to her after he speaks with Darcy and thinks love will follow.  Lizzie doesn't believe this is so and is a stern believer in love coming first. Georgiana however wants Henry.

Lizzie meets a woman in the woods whom is believed to be mad, just to add some more mystery to proceedings.  We see Lydia and Wickham who argues with Capt Denny (Tom Canton) telling him he doesn't know how women think.  In the carriage, Denny leaves and Wickham follows into the woods. What we see next is Lydia in hysterics and arriving at Pemeberley.  The Bennetts have already arrived and father Bennett (James Fleet) prefers to hide himself away in the library whilst Mrs Bennett (Rebecca Front) finds  a portrait of Wickham hidden in a closet.  Everyone preferring to change the subject.  But we're reminded of how Wickham was favoured by Darcy's father.

Lizzie has a flashback to meeting Wickham for the first time where he tells of how he was wronged by Darcy who drove him away from Pemberley.  As she mentions her line of his showing his prejudice wherever Darcy goes.  Lydia needs to be slapped by her father before she tells them what happened, how two shots were heard and Wickham must be dead.  The men arrange a search into the woods accompanied by the coach driver and find Wickham with Denny, dead, and exclaiming how he killed his friend, it's all his fault.

Darcy must go for the magistrate Hardcastle (Trevor Eve) since he is too close and under the law Wickham is seen as his brother, they must do the right thing.  Appears he is loathe to do this as Hardcastle is not really favoured much.  They ride back to Pemeberley and takes statements from the witnesses who all tell him the same thing.  Wickham is sedated by the doctor as is Lydia and Hardcastle finds Wickham has been cleaned and the blood washed.  Doctor Belcher (Kevin Eldon) tells him there is no way to ascertain whose blood belongs to which man.

The doctor examines Denny and finds he was hit on the head first by some object like a cosh and then struck at the back of the head.  Wickham gives his statement of what happened and claims he wouldn't kill his friend.  Doubt and suspicion is also placed on Fitzwilliam as he was out riding alone and Lizzie spies him burning a letter, fragments of which read how he needs support and needs to meet Darcy.  Hardcastle finds Wickham's hat with thirty pounds hidden inside.  The issue of poachers is raised and Darcy has a flashback to a boy who poached on Hardcastle's land and his father sentenced him to death without being lenient.  Darcy and Wickham, as boys, sneaked away to see him hanged.  Which is why Hardcastle isn't liked.  Later his mother hanged herself in the woods and Lizzie realizes that was the ghost they were talking about earlier.

Hardcastle arrests Wickham since he confessed in front of witnesses and Lydia is hysterical once more.  She has to be consoled by Georgiana, whereas her own sister just looks on, wasn't much of a sister then was she.  Seemed like there was trouble in paradise between the two since Darcy didn't come right out and tell her he loves Lizzie but had to write to down, though he appears to be a doting father to their son.  Though why did Lizzie mention "all good things must come to an end."

Seems this production was aimed at the darker sides of all concerned, I mean who would expect Col Fitzwilliam, Darcy's cousin of harbouring secrets and Lizzie snooping around as if she's some sort of eighteenth century detective.  Lydia was as close to the 'original' Lydia from the book and the first BBC adaptation as they could get, as she's brought her ballgown and wants it removed from the trunk, also eating when she has no appetite.  But the others were as far removed as possible.  Plenty of suspects abound though for the next installment.

There was plenty that could have been done with this drama but alas I found myself not really caring for the characters at all, except Lydia and Jenna gave a good performance and as for the plot, well it's apparent Wickham didn't do it, since we have to find out who the loony in the woods is and what she was doing there.  Also why Wickham fired the gun and at whom?  Let's hope Part 2 is more interesting or enough to keep me interested.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2013

It's Rose's (Lily James) coming out and the family and staff are packed off to London for this leaving plenty of turmoil in their wake.  The Levinsons also arrive, Cora's brother Harold (Paul Giamatti) and her mother, Martha (Shirley MacLaine)  Though she's without a lady's maid and so Baxter (has to help her out for now.  Also with them is Ethan Slade (Michael Benz) Harold's valet, though why an American would need one is quite surprising seeing as Martha isn't into all that.  Slade makes a play for Daisy (Sophie McShera) in the sense of showering her with compliments and wanting to be with her, which Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nichol) thinks is nice for her as she tells Carson (Jim Carter) it's nice for a woman to be showered in such a way even if it is a little risque to others.

Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) asks Anna (Joanne Froggatt) for some old clothes for the Russian refugees and she gives her Bates's (Brendan Coyle) overcoat which she wants him to throw out and get a new one whilst in London but Mrs Hughes tells her he's a man so not one for shopping.  Apparently Anna hasn't checked his pockets and neither has Bates, I mean why would he keep his ticket to London still, especially with news of Green being thrown in front of a car and all that!  Anyway Mrs Hughes finds the train ticket and wants Mary (Michelle Dockery) to handle it, a bit of a mistake since Mary isn't very good at that kind of thing.  Mrs Hughes thinks if he avenged Anna then she won't "condemn him for that."  So why not discard the ticket and not tell Mary. Mary's view seems to differ as she later tells her it was a man's life and she can't go along with it.  SO what was she going to do confront Bates.  She later not too subtly mentions London and how people can get up to all sorts of things here, which Bates doesn't reply to, but looked rather guilty about, she has to be rescued by Mrs Hughes.

Edith (Laura Carmichael) isn't to happy with her conversation with the Dowager (Maggie Smith) as she keeps calling her baby an 'it', she'd rather call her 'she.'  As Edith mentions having to be fitted with new clothes and she had to stay on to wean the baby too.  So it's 1923 now and we've moved forward a year as Edith has had her baby and given it up to a Swiss family.  The Dowager knows it isn't easy for her but she flippantly comments that at least Edith's French ill have improved.  Right about now, Edith must have been thinking of the expletives!

There's not enough room at the London house for everyone and Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) thinks they may have to share with the servants, the men that is and Mary may need to share with Edith.  Mary would rather be on the roof than share with her.  Mary is so suck up still isn't she, even if she doesn't like Edith she still isn't very sisterly towards her, not even after Sybil said they should be more like sisters a while back.  No she's still raving on about Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden) being beneath (no not int hat way!) her and wanting to do away with 'her kind.'  As she comments, 'her lot are going out and his lot are coming in'. She meets him at a gallery with Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) who has been invited to supper by Cora but Charles hasn't.  Rose meets Madeleine Alsop (Poppy Drayton) at the Embassy club and she introduces her father Lord Aysgarth (James Fox) as well as Edward, Prince of Wales (Oliver Dinsdale) and Freda Dudley Ward (Janet Montgomery).  Rose and Freda talk about  a letter the Prince has given to Freda.  probably a reference to Wallis Simpson but more like a letter to Freda.

Before Daisy leaves for London Thomas (Rob James-Collier) gives her  message for Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) that she should tell her he's waiting to hear all the stories she's got for him.  The house is turned upside down and Cora tells Carson she'd like the servants to have a trip and a day off before they leave for home after the ball, but Carson isn't too sure about where they'd like to go.  He thinks the science museum or the Crystal Palace at its new site, yeah cos these lot are all into science and architecture, ha!

Edith tells Rosamund (Samantha Bond) she's a kind of editor now since Michael Gregson left his power of attorney to her.  There's no word on him and she regrets giving up her baby.   Rosamund wants her to forget but if he did leave a will then she wants their baby to have half, it's what she deserves.  She's had news of Michael being in a fight with some Brown shirts and being Nazi's of course, which Downton does not know about yet, of course, it's highly unlikely Michael would have fared well.

At the Embassy club the next night, Sampson (Patrick Kennedy) is also there, the card sharp from series 4 and he overhears them speak of that letter.  Whilst the others are dancing he steals it from Freda's bag. Though it's a wonder why she's carrying it around.  Rose has to tell Robert about this and he thinks they should steal it back, it's not stealing if it's already been stolen.  He thinks if they have a distraction someone can sneak into Sampson's place and steal it back.  He suggests a card game and the ladies could go to the theatre.  He asks Bates if he knows a good forger as they can give the note to the porter and be let into his place.  Mary's brought in too since she'll have to help and they can't confide in the Dowager cos she won't be able to keep it to herself.  Robert knows Sampson can make a lot of money out of it and Robert is a monarchist, he knows the sort of trouble it can cause the Royal Family.  Bates forges the letter himself cos we know he learned all sorts of things in prison and is only too happy to help Robert.

Rose is now out as the family arrives at Buckingham Palace and is taken out by her sponsor Cora.  The Dowager will join them for supper afterwards as will Harold and Martha. King George V (Guy Williams) knows about Rose's father, Shrimpy and helped out the Prince in his tour of India.  Queen Mary just sat there looking as stern as ever.  Odd that the King should have spoken to Rose at all.  Harold tries to introduce himself to the Prince who wonders why he's calling him Harold.  Lord Aysgarth meanwhile tries to latch onto Martha as he's interested in looking for a rich woman who's after a title for herself.  He thinks she'll be hard pressed to resist him.  Harold has a liking for Madeline but tells her all the women he's met just wants him for his money and a good time, expecting a diamond bracelet by way of goodbye.  Little do they know they aren't that rich and mind you he doesn't want mention of that scandal Robert helped him out of. He and Martha are touring the Continent.

Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis) drops her books like a right proper commoner, ha and Branson (Allen Leech) just happens to be it the village to help her pick them up.  She tells him he hasn't been to see her and thinks he's avoiding her, well who'd blame him, she's not very appealing or exiting.  TO put it bluntly, you're no Sybil, love! Ha.  The Dowager drives past to wish him goodbye incase she missed him since the others are in London already and tells Bunting she's been invited to supper at the palace.  Bunting, as boring as her name, then invites herself to lunch with Branson at the pub, having a change of mind and also wants a tour of Downton.  She goes upstairs to the gallery to look at the view and Thomas finds them there, Branson leaves thinking he's been sprung and that they were in the bedroom!  Branson having to explain himself to Thomas the next day, why bother, it's Thomas and we all know he'll twist whatever he sees into whatever he wants. Just as he tells Robert when he arrives in London about Branson and Bunting being on the bedroom floor. Branson tells Robert she's just a friend.

Seems everyone still wants Branson to fit in and as the Dowager later tells him, this is his family and these are his people.  He's not sure about the people but it is his family.  As he asks her to dance at the ball.  Mary, sneaks into Sampson's place with Charles and Rose but they don't find the letter.  Sampson mentions Michael and how he doesn't think they were playing above board last time but since he's missing he'll say no more about him, of how charitable.  Edith thinks they should speak out more about things that matter and shout if they want to.  Mary saying in her monotonous tone, that she's not "quite sure how one would get it back in." Agh sometimes she's just so annoying.

So there's a picnic with the Dowager and Isobel (Penelope Wilton) also in attendance and Lord Merton (Douglas Reith) she feels is chasing her, so why does she encourage it.  Isobel and the Dowager still having their delightful conversations but this time round, the Dowager has Martha  to aim her venomous insults at, as she talks of how she needs to change out of her outfit when they're attending the theatre and then at the ball she tells her how she's barley able to look in the glass at herself.  Martha replies she can look at herself in the mirror cos the future it's all how she wants it to be and not like the good old days the Dowager wants to hang onto, all aristocracy and stiff upper lip.  Also telling her that she doesn't want Aysgarth nor a title but she tells him she'll introduce him to wealthy American women who do.  Harold has a good effect on Madeleine as he makes her see what her father's really like and she doesn't want to be like that.

Thomas complains of how Branson would be under him, a chauffeur and how he has to serve him now.  Er, Thomas lets a Freudian slip there, ha, since it feels like he's got a thing for Branson the way he's always complaining about him, not to mention how he said he'd have to sit in the back seat with him since there's no room for the baskets and Thomas at the front.  Thomas also badgering Baxter for news and knows she's holding back on him.  Molesley (Kevin Doyle) stops him but he tells her she needs to stick up for herself irrespective of what Thomas has over her, which is definitely not his leg, ha!  Which she does do at the end and tells Molesley he made her strong and she stands up for herself against Tomas, but he'll probably get round that, being Thomas.  Hey Thomas making a fist when Branson was speaking to him.

Charles makes it obvious he's jealous of Gillingham and he can't stop watching Mary as she dances with him and then leaves the room with him.  She says she thought she'd be alone a year ago and now knows she has a destiny not full of loneliness. But she has to fight and protect Downton for George against Charles and people like him.  Gillingham hates himself for telling her but Charles is titled at least he will inherit the title of Baron from his cousin, which is news to Mary but now she knows he's not against her but is one of them. That was snooty of her since hearing this she thinks Charles may have a chance and she dances all night with him,  Gillingham wanted it to be a fair fight and Charles didn't want to tell her of the title due to her prejudices.  He wanted to win her for himself by being himself.

Bates thinks Sampson has the letter in his coat and takes it back for Robert after the card game and tells him if it was so important he wouldn't keep it in his home.  Sampson finds the letter gone when he finds some paper on the floor in his room, knowing someone has been there.  So that's another one up on him.  Don't know why he even bothers.  

Edith decides to get her daughter back and asks the pig farmer if he will take her in with his wife.  Pretending it's a friend's baby and her parents won't let her in the house.  He knows it's really her baby and swears it'll be a secret between the two of them and no one will know.  Of course anyone can tell it's her baby.

Carson finally gets the hint from Mrs Hughes and agrees to an outing to the beach.  Daisy doesn't want to be Harold's cook in New York but is flattered Slade wanted her so and wanted to court her.  She thinks Ivy (Cara Theobold) should go in her place cos she wants to go to America.  Mrs Patmore thinks she did a good deed for her.  Carson dips his feet into the sea and Mrs Hughes tells him to take her hand to steady himself and he can feel free to "take my hand anytime to steady yourself."  Which he thinks is risque too.  Carson tread the boards but has never waded in the sea!

SO the mystery of why Bates was in London still stands but Mary burns the ticket cos he helped out with the letter, even though she calls herself a "realist monarchist."  Also we get the battle between Charles and Gillingham next series.  This Christmas special was just normal Christmas fare since nothing interesting or exciting really happened, it was just like watching a normal episode of the show.  It was funny having Rose and Mary rummage through Sampson's belongings, surprised Mary agreed to it with her morals, ha. As for the Prince carrying around that letter or rather Freda, what was the point of it all and who cares if the Royalty would be all aflutter, apparently the Crawley's did.

As for Mary's suitors, Evelyn Napier was a no show and there wasn't much an amusing scene between Charles or Gillingham, though he had to even the playing field by revealing Charles's secret as if it was his to do so.  Also Slade providing some laughs when he tells Carson Levinson is his employer not him and when commenting on the nibbles he was serving and how good they are, only to be shot down by Carson    again.  Jimmy (Ed Speleers) complaining about only being the footman for the umpteenth time.  And Daisy mentioning Alfred is hired by the Ritz as an under chef, well he had to be.

Bates telling Anna at the end, "you could always buy me a penny lick!  That'd get Carson's ears on risque alert if he heard it!  Only for Mrs Hughes to reply they're getting on a bit now's okay.
The Dowager speaking some French in an attempt to put one over on Harold: "I've fallen through the looking glass into Dejeuner sur l'Herbe."  The Dowager being big on looking glass comments this ep.  Seems Martha had the last laugh though.  Robert telling Cora he can't wait for Branson to arrive and her thinking it's nice of him to say that, no it's cos "I miss Isis."  The Dowager commenting it's like being in a whodunit and Robert adding no one has, that's the problem!  Referring to the letter of course.  Perhaps if they had a good old fashioned murder that'd liven things up and I don't mean the continuation of whether Bates did or didn't off Green!

Still plenty to keep fans happy for series 5!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Atlantis 1.12 "Touched by the Gods" Part 1 Review

In this ep we finally get Jason's (Jack Donnelly) promise to Circe (Lucy Cohu) catching up with him as sees a dead Hercules (Mark Addy) in his dream and has to kill Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) as he promised in order to save Hercules and Pythagoras (Robert Emms) from dying.  He reminds the others and they devise a plan to sneak into the palace, which Hercules manages to orchestrate with a little tipple or two of wine with the help of the wine merchant.  As they are smuggled into the palace in wine barrels, thought the one with Hercules was recognizable since it had lots of room for him to hide in, but not so as he gets stuck.  Shouldn't Jason and Pythagoras have helped him out instead of watching the barrel roll.

Before reaching the palace of course Pythagoras finds a way of knocking out the guards, with the use of seaweed which releases a substance capable of rendering the inhaler unconscious, but the right amount or it may not work or the person may die.  Hercules choosing Pythagoras to test it out on, well who better, ha.

Lots of laughs in this episode to counteract from the serious nature of murder even if it is of the evil queen. That's right whenever royalty is involved the written or unwritten rule is that there must always be an evil queen in the mix.  Pasiphae, or Pacify as I call her, though it really isn't in her nature, ha) continues to poison Minos (Alexander Siddig) as he is now on his last legs and still no one notices, shouldn't he have a royal physician at his side.  No, let's just have him take another sip! She tells Heptarian (Oliver Walker) how Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) will become ruler and since he was not able to gain her hand in marriage, she must find a way to neutralize her.  Heptarian offers to take care if her, but he wouldn't be able to handle that if he couldn't get her to marry him.

Jason and the others reach the palace and eventually Hercules lowers, or rather drops Jason onto the correct floor.  As he stands over her with sword in hand, he's unable to kill her.  Anyway question I want to ask is why Circe could not kill her own sister and she had magic too.  Easy solution would have been to get Medusa to turn her into stone!  No one thought of that!  Problem solved, but then they'd have no plots for season 2!  Ha.  SO he stands over her and can't do the dreaded deed cos he's not really  a cold blooded killer.  Pasiphae wakens to find an intruder and screams.

Jason is wounded by an arrow as he escapes and ends up, as we all guessed, in Ariadne's room.  She's happy to receive him and shelter him as she helps bandage his wound.  Which was just another shameless moment for him to remove his shirt for the countless time.  Ariadne says she would kill her but wouldn't be able to and if she was in their place Pasiphae would not spare a thought about having them killed.  Jason shares her bed, but not in that way! Aridane was up all night counting the hairs on his chest, ha.  She lets him leave by a secret doorway known only to a chosen few and particularly the royal family.

Alas Ariadne doesn't have her head screwed on straight cos she didn't think of getting rid of the evidence, Jason's bloody rags!  No, 'I'll let the maid take care of those' and then she trusts that maid/servant!  She's really naive and hopeless too.  I have to say Ariadne comes across as rather wooden and boring!  Hercules could have got a new table out of her, ha!  Oh Hercules and Pythagoras made their getaway through the rubbish chute when the alarm was sounded, with Hercules landing on Pythagoras.  As well as Pythagoras being the one who was given the task of taking care of the bigger and taller guard.

Jason arrives and tells them he couldn't do it and Hercules it reminded it's his fault they're in that position to begin with.  Ep 1.6 The Song of the Sirens when Hercules wanted to win Medusa's heart and turned to Circe for help.  Jason renders them unconscious with the seaweed chloroform, or chlorophyll (ha, bad joke) and leaves to confront Circe.  She is expecting him, well looked that way and tells him he is truly blessed by the gods.  He fights her and she becomes three but doesn't notice the reflection she casts in the water.  Thus he stabs her and ends it all.  It was easy killing her but not so Pasiphae, was it cos she was scarred?  She throws a few bags onto the ground which are buried before she dies and they think it's all over.  But out pop some skeletons in a homage to the movie Jason and the Argonauts (1963) as they fight the bones.  Only to find the bones get back together and fight again.

Ariadne's servant betrays her to Pasiphae and she is arrested for treason, tried before Poseidon's court which has Pasiphae presiding over it.  She admits she helped the 'nameless' assassin and would do so again. Thus being sentenced to death.  Reminding me of Gwen in Merlin all over again.  Only she had more oomph when she was pleading against Uther for her life.  Jason returns home with food and wine and Hercules's pies to be given the news.  SO last ep will be about rescuing Ariadne.  Think it could be much better spent with a different plotline! Ha.

Blooper where Ariadne sits with Minos and holds his hand, she puts his arm by his side but in the next shot with Pasiphae she puts his arm over his chest and his right arm is already there.  When Ariadne leaves and Minos wakes, his right arm is by his side again.

Well Jason and Ariadne steal a kiss and he tells her this is the best night he's spent with her, (yawn.) Suppose one saving grace for many would have been Hercules's latrine jokes interspersed throughout, when he said Jason "should have got her on the latrine."  It's easier to kill someone on the loo!

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Vampire Diaries 5.8 "Dead Man on Campus" Review

Now Bonnie's (Kat Graham) the anchor and all supernatural beings must pass through her to the other side it kind of interferes with her life, not to mention getting it on with Jeremy! (Steven R McQueen) SO imagine if someone walked in in the middle of it, like Jesse (Kendrick Sampson) almost did! As for her mentioning consequences suppose there's an even greater one for her, something along the lines of feeling all of their pain until probably it will get too much for her like Amara, which is why she wanted out.

Speaking of wanting out, seems Katherine resigns herself to that same fate too.  First she gets Matt (Zach Roerig) to give her drinks at the bar and then she offers to help him translate the Czech from Gregor that he taped.  Explaining he's been taken over by travellers.  She also drinks it up with Stefan (Paul Wesley) who was in no mood to attend Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Caroline's (Candace Accola) party as he's still suffering from nightmares about dying in the safe underwater (that sounds like an oxymoron).  To the point where he rips Damon's (Ian Somerhalder) favourite reading chair!  Yeah Damon and reading! Ha.  Elena and Caroline decide to throw a party for new roomie Bonnie and she makes a call to her mother saying she's back from Summer vacation.

Jesse escapes Dr Frankenstein, I mean Maxfield (hey didn't I mention Frankenstein as soon as he graced the scene in my reviews!)  Yeah get your own mad scientist!  Jesse calls Caroline for help and wants her to get here before his roomie does who happens to be Aaron (Shaun Sipos).  She arrives after he's already taken a bite out of him and stops him from killing and now he has to learn to be a vampire too, but not for very long. Elena brings blood supplies and Caroline wants Jesse to heal Aaron.

Katherine wants to help Stefan since she tells him he's destined to be with someone who looks like her and that could be anyone.  She calls Nadia (Olga Fonda) and Matt shows them the knife Gregor wanted kept hidden.  Katherine knows what to do with it  since they find out Gregor and the travellers need to kill Silas and then her, which she didn't know.  She stabs him with the knife as it's the only weapon capable of being used on the travellers and frees Matt from his spirit.  Nadia is angry she killed Gregor and Katherine tells her she deserves better.  Also revealing to Stefan that Nadia is her daughter.  Stefan making the biggest faux pas going when he asks which one of them is older, you don't ask a lady her age. What lady? Ha.

Katherine helps Stefan when he has a another nightmare moment and he chokes her, telling him to recall all the names of his kills beginning with the first one of Giuseppe Salvatore, then Thomas Veil and so on until he conquers the fear.  She tells him she could help and just did.  Nadia storms off apparently and Katherine leaves a suicide note for her which Stefan finds and saves her as she jumps from the clocktower.  She admits the cure had a side effect and she's ageing prematurely and he tells her, "you're Katherine Pierce, suck it up."

Damon intends on interrogating Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) and injects him with all sorts of diseases since the only thing that will save him is vampire blood, that was kind of an understatement.  He tells him about the experiments and that Jesse will feed on other vampires, that's what the experimenting was about, to stop them feeding on humans.  Jesse has the urge to feed on Caroline and then runs back to the lab where he encounters Damon, especially after he's cut his hand to heal Maxfield.  Damon would rather kill him but Elena calls him not to since he's Aaron's guardian and she tells Aaron about losing her parents too.

Damon and Jesse fight but Jesse's no match for him.  Elena turns up and stakes Jesse to the chagrin of Caroline, or more aptly dismay.  Caroline forever telling Elena that Damon's dangerous and that she shouldn't fear the outside world, but should fear the vampire she shares a bed with.  Damon finds a numbered blood bag and recalls his own number.  Damon was an Augustine vampire and he hasn't heard that name in a long time.  He turns his back and Maxfeild has the chance to escape and hits the atomized vervain panic button, knocking Damon out who ends up captive in the same cell again.  With his carved initials on the wall and 53.

Everyone's got their own angst this episode especially the Salvatore's, but just as Stefan seems to have conquered his fears for a while, Damon's nightmares are only just beginning.  Leaving us with questions of how he was an Augustine vampire, in which case he didn't really have the urge to feed on fellow vampires. Maybe he got out before then.  SO what's Katherine going to do make another play for Stefan.  Bonnie has to tell Jeremy what she really is, thinking that spending smoocho (my word) moments with him will make the pain go away.

Elena just relished being a vampire as she tells Jesse and with that she throws her humanity out the window, oh sorry am I not meant to refer to that word again?  As she so readily stakes Jesse as Caroline tells her the old old Elena would have helped him and given him a chance.  Oh dear is she implying that Damon's bad habits are rubbing off on her, since she just made a choice of killing instead of injuring.  It's true though, Elena just doesn't care anymore unless it's about Jeremy or Damon and though she may have had a caring moment with Aaron, it didn't really last long and that's probably cos he's in a similar predicament to her as far as having no one but Maxfield.  Though she wanted him spared, but not Jesse, her best friend's would be new guy.

Let's hope we get more of a Damon storyline without any interference from Elena, a long time since he's been the centre of the show!  But blast we won't get anymore eps until next year!  So Matt's storyline being forgotten for weeks is resolved so easily.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Mentalist 6.8 "Red John" Review

Patrick (Simon Baker) was in the church and finally ends up in his attic again.  Lisbon (Robin Tunney) arrives for work to see the last of all the fixtures of the CBI being removed and Abbott (Rockmond Dunbar) asks where Patrick is, she doesn't know but he doesn't believe her.  The others hide out in the parking garage and Lisbon tells them the CBI is gone and they're on their own, she's no longer their boss.

Bertram (Michael Gaston) enters a store to call Patrick but is made by a policeman and Cordero (Joe Nieves) shoots him.  As he's on the phone, wonder if Patrick heard the gunshots.  Bertram is not RJ and Patrick new that from last ep, he just wanted Bertram out of the way, or get him on the run cos he knew he'd lead him to Red John eventually, so really Bertram was bait and boy was he bait!  Patrick buys someone's phone in the park and uses it to call Bertram, so how did he know the payphone number.

Patty and his "beady eyes" comment was a reference to RJ of course and that being McAllister (Xander Berkeley).  It was no coincidence that Patrick was sitting by the pigeons feeding them since that's what McAllister's phobia was, well at least he hated them.  So if you hadn't got the clue by now and figured out who Red John is then well I have no idea what you were watching, ha!

Bertram wants to talk to Patrick and sort things out telling him "the game is over...we could both use a little closure."  Which is exactly what they got.  Bertram is right when he says he could have killed him many times but since he's not RJ, he was probably ordered not to do that.  Question is why now, I mean why kill Patrick now, now that the game's afoot and the Association is no longer secret, RJ could have just got away and none, other than Patrick would be any the wiser as to his identity.  They will meet and Patrick suggests Alexandria cemetery.  He doesn't tell Lisbon where he's meeting him.  Patrick doesn't want the FBI to get him, "you knew this day is coming" and he doesn't want her involved in this anymore.  That's an understatement.  He needs her gun as a prop.  He was right about that cos he had planted one there already. "Theresa, trust me, please just trust me."  Sure, always, ha.  As he runs away.  Obviously the FBI turn up cos they bugged Lisbon's car.  Lots of running from Patty in this ep and doesn't he do it so well!

He's cornered whilst making his getaway and pleads with Abbott to let him go and he'll give himself up in one hour.  Think Patty could have rammed his way through the cars? Ha.  Lisbon shows up and promises to bring him in as do the others.  Apparently Patrick's pleading falls on deaf ears.  Cho (Tim Kang) being so bold tells Abbott to let Patrick go and they all pull guns one each other, with Abbott telling them they're no longer CBI.  Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) asks how they know they're FBI and not part of the Blake Association, adds Rigsby (Owain Yeoman).  Abbott doesn't want anymore bloodshed so their guns are lowered and the CBI team are arrested.  Once again Lisbon tells hims he doesn't know where Patrick is headed but he doesn't care since he bugged her car.  Lisbon tells him it's their duty to Protect Patty cos they don't know he's not in danger.

Patrick heads to the cemetery and we're shown the graves of his wife and daughter but for the reason that they're finally going to get closure too, as well as Patrick and it was no coincidence that Patrick chose the cemetery to meet.  Patrick sees he's being followed and leaves the car outside a store to be stolen and runs. He stops a driver and hitches a lift.  Oh come on I know you don't give lifts to strangers but how could that woman resist picking up Patrick!!

Cordero searches Patrick and takes the gun from him. yep that was the prop angle.  Bertram talks and tells him he's not Red John.  He's higher up and he's just lower down in the Association.  Of course Patty knew that cos he looks around the church as if he's expecting someone else to be there, which of course he is.  The others sit in the SUV under arrest and the FBI agent tells Abbott that Patrick wasn't in the car as Lisbon and Van Pelt laugh.  Rigsby tells him, "Sir we really don't know," his whereabouts  As Cho berates him for calling him 'sir.'  Rigsby calls Cho 'Dillinger' and tells him they're under arrest so he should calm down.  Cho asks why, they'll get a better cell.

Cue Red John, it had to be McAllister so no drum rolls there!! As Patty says "I'm disappointed" well so am I!  For reasons below.  Bertram tells him that's the last lie he'll tell him, of course Patrick knew that, which is why he asks him to say it twice.   Bertram thinks Cordero will kill Patrick now but he turns his gun on Bertram which was obvious was coming.  Bertram's not happy but the Association doesn't like loose ends. Patrick pleading for his life was priceless cos once more he's in trouble and all alone!  Bertram's last words: "hey."

As always Patty's always on the ball.  As for the bombs, Patrick tells him they were two, one a concussion bomb to stun them in which case he removed Smith, Bertram and Patrick from the room and then exploded the second bomb, killing Haffner and Stiles.  He then got Partridge to plant his DNA on another DB and left it there to ensure they would think he died.  Not very clever RJ! Of course Partridge was a minion since he was such a weasel, it was apparent he was so contemptuous of Patrick for those reasons.  But I did mention that in my last review about Partridge or any other tech being able to manipulate evidence and DNA.  McAllister is the Blake Association and intended for Bertram and Patty to die together, with Bertram being taken for RJ.

Patrick is meant to die after all these years, McAllister disguises his voice again, and Patrick tells him it's not a game. he's an "evil sexually perverted sociopath with delusions of grandeur," he owns that as McAllister says, but not the delusions part.  He built a secret empire and controlled lives of thousands of people, that's grandeur.  Patrick: "The ravings of a squalid ego maniac."  His family is dead cos he's arrogant and disrespectful.  Patrick is nobody.  McAllister: "You can't imagine anyone smarter than you, which is why I've been ahead of you."  I want to know how he knew the names on the list.  Patrick doesn't know since it was a good trick.  SO was Patty's trick with the breadcrumbs and the pigeon and RJ actually loses his composure. How did Cordero not find that? Ha. Magic.

Patrick shoots him and somehow you'd think he'd get some satisfaction but it's not over yet.  As Red John pleads for his life, how can he be so small and insignificant since he is such a psychopathic killer.  Not so brave in the end for someone who was one step ahead.  Er, think he needed to rethink those words of his. A woman tries to distract Patrick so he can make his escape. Patrick: "It's theatre like the bomb...whatever the truth looked like, the opposite had to be true."  He's savouring the moment and not hesitating.  "You're Red John."  SO the chase ensues and ends by the lake.

Patrick gets hold of his neck as he straddles him and asks him if he regrets killing his family, mentioning them by name, he blinks twice for yes.  He's afraid to die.  Patrick squeezes the life out of him as we hear gurgling sounds from him and the evil life leaving his body and leaves the gun in his left hand.  Patrick kicking him over like the dog that he is.  He calls Lisbon leaving a message to say he's done it, it's over  - "I want you to know I'm okay, I'm gonna miss you" as he runs.  Yeah slow motion running, such a great scene! Ha.  I know so shallow after what happened in the ep I talk about Patty's running! Ha.  I will play that scene several times over!

Funny moments Van Pelt and Rigsby fighting, she can break the window with her head and they can all jump out.  Rigsby knowing that there's no use getting angry or fighting.  Abbott using a paper map to find where Patrick would have met Bertram and it's something Patrick would do.

So reasons to be disappointed like Patty: McAllister was far from charming or charismatic and yet he heads this entire organization and kept everyone under his thumb with fear and obedience.  Then McAllister with women, as Patrick calls him "sexually perverted" exactly, I mean Lorelei and him were together.  Rosalind Harker, the blind woman also fell for him and all that piano playing for him, his drinking tea in a cup like Patrick all went through the window with the final reveal!  McAllister was only in the second episode of season 1 Red Hair and Silver Tape, where they played paper, rock, scissors in their first meeting, so he was the sociopath.  Naturally I got he was RJ after the pigeon incident but yeah majorly disappointed.  It was anticlimactic.  Now Red John is gone people have been asking how long the show can continue without that big evil hanging on.  But I didn't watch the show for Red John that was just something which was a premise of the show.

Red John wasn't decided by Bruno Heller, creator, until a few years ago, so everything about him which featured in the show, was kind of playing up to and was written without a definite suspect in mind.  In Which case he should have just made it Kristina Frye and have done with it.  I have to say Bret Stiles and Haffner had more going for them than McAllister.  Who at the end of the day was a boring RJ! Or even Patrick himself as the dastardly killer would have contained more 'humph' to a dull story.  Or perhaps even ending it when Patrick killed the so-called RJ at the end of season 3.  Even Simon Baker said, "I was eventually satisfied with the way I killed Him" and nothing more about RJ's identity.

But Simon played choking RJ to the hilt and this was more important, that after ten years he finally had his revenge, using a much more hands on approach than a gun, which would have been too easy as he was afraid to die and he did what he set out to do with no one around and exactly what he told Lisbon.  That he would kill him.  But she can't arrest him cos she's under arrest herself, even though she did say that RJ eventually deserves everything he gets and deserves to die.  So that was one dilemma solved.

Patty running at the end was to gather his thoughts, to be free of this non-entity that haunted him for so long. It wasn't to escape the FBI, he said he'd turn himself in and he is a man of his word but eh didn't owe Abbott anything since he wasn't the one who let him leave.   He was running after not having to think about being hounded by Red John anymore, his wait was over and vengeance was his.

As for Red Tape and Silver Hair, I suppose playing rock, paper scissors looking back on it was effective since Patrick won him each time and he got frustrated.   If RJ's identity had been decided back then it would have made for an appropriate episode and title.  As well as McAllister acting suspiciously and being a suspect in the investigation. Not to mention the suspects actually being serial killer couple.  Well serial killer would have been appropriate under the circumstances.  Wonder if McAllister would have planned to meet with Patrick and had a part in those murders taking place here and that couple being his acolytes.

Some foreshadowing here as Patrick used Van pelt as bait in this episode he used Bertram as bait to lure red John out cos he just couldn't resist showing his hand.  I also draw your attention to the conversation between Patty, Lisbon and McAllister,
McAllister: "Who is this guy?"
Lisbon: "He's a consultant.  You want CBI assistance he comes as part of the package."  Patty's a package, ha.
McAllister: "Consultant, what are you clairvoyant or some gizmo?  You got psychic powers?"
Patrick: "No, no powers, I mean I had them once, I mean I pretended I had them obviously."
Again this was leading up to season 6, if only RJ was really RJ here and them thinking RJ was psychic and that's how he found out the list of suspects, but I have no idea why this question wasn't answered here and Patrick told him he doesn't care how he knew, er did the writers know.
Patrick later says, "no such thing as psychic powers."

Patrick also tells Frankie, he caused his daughter's death, "Out of arrogance... stupidity. I made an evil man very angry and he killed them to teach me a lesson. To make me sorry for what I've done... and I am sorry. Being sorry is far worse punishment than being dead, everybody dies... very few people ever feel truly sorry for the bad things they've done."
This speech was so relevant here when he finally gets RJ and kills him. He gets RJ to admit he regrets killing his family and yes everybody dies.  I wonder if this episode was alluded to when 6.8 Red John was written? There are so many relevant quotes in it.  Subtle little nuances which really kind of make you understand why McAllister was chosen as Red John.

Oh and a word about Patty's suit, he wore something similar in the second ep of season 1 when he met  McAllister and maybe I'm wrong but it looked like he wore similar clothes here, white shirt 'n'all.

So we have to wait to next year for the aftermath and what happens next, though it's been easy finding out beforehand, but I really wish Channel Five had shown this in sync with the US episodes so we would have got 10 at least or the usual 9 but this year we only got 8. Huh! Big sulk.