Tuesday, 30 September 2014

CSI 14.18 "Uninvited" Review

A supposedly normal family is shown in their house at dinner and then mysteriously disappear .
30 days Later.  The house is empty and inside they find an unconscious man.  He hit his head and fell.  So he would've bled to death if the little girl selling chocolate bars hadn't found him.  He's Doug (Nico Nicotero) and is an addict with a criminal record.  He tells them the family found him and brought him home to work for him.  The son, Ethan (Robby Rassmussen) picked him up at the minimart for odd jobs around the house and they even let him stay there.  They asked him to dig trenches for the sprinklers in the garden.  Greg (Eric Szmanda) processes him and Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) is convinced he knows the whereabouts of the Connor family, since he's their suspect. Well, not mine though.

Finn (Elisabeth Shue) finally gets to work her blood analysis expertise at the CS, so I was a little hasty in saying last ep she doesn't do that anymore.  But she still looked so smug and she's always laughing.  She finds the blood spatter is concentrated in one area on the floor, but then there's blood spatter and cast off veering in different directions.  Some of it is facing downwards on the cabinets, which means it didn't belong to Doug.  There's also some on the ceiling and Nick (George Eads) finds a curtain missing from the window, the remaining curtain also has a missing tieback.  Finn throws Nick out so she can use the luminol and doesn't want him trampling on evidence.

Outside Morgan (Elisabeth Harnois) finds the window pane has new caulking on it and Nick notices the pane of glass has been replaced.  He also notices some red stain on the mat outside, which could be blood.  Nick speaks with the neighbour, Madge (Edie McClurg) who tells him that she thought the family were moving as there was a large storage truck out there.  As well as seeing Doug there too, she thought he was a relative.  She gives him the name of the removal company.  Las Vegas Consignments.  Doug tells Brass he ran out of money for food and as he didn't get paid, he sold off some furniture and then gradually sold off more of it. He didn't tell the police about the family, cos he'd be accused.  They left in their blue SUV and didn't come back.

Nick manages to track down the furniture and it's brought back, DB (Ted Danson) told them about the blood spatter for the reluctant ones who wouldn't give it up.  Also noticing the poker in the fireplace is missing in the set.  Finn also finds a whole lot of blood concentrated in the middle of the room and then drag marks going towards the back door, so a DB was dragged out.  Morgan uses ground penetration radar and finds the family dog buried in the garden with its throat cut.

Morgan does a search of the dumpsters and finds a storage receipt.  Hodges (Wallace Langham) telling her he keeps a recycling diary, detailing how much he recycles.  He wished people would recycle more cos landfill is getting full up with too much waste that can be recycled.  Yeah, you hear! The storage is in Doug's name.  He tell them he didn't go there and it's not him in the photo. Obviously it's not him as he's got his head down and wears a hat.  He's not the only one who wears plaid either.  Brass tells him he knew Ethan as they were in the same hospital together, as Ethan was in hospital when his car brakes were cut, but Ethan doesn't even recall him.  The obvious giveaway being that Ethan knew him and so Ethan becomes a suspect now.

Brass interviews Dwight's (Adam Lieberman) boss, Marvin Braxton (Robert Davi) who imports from Columbia ad his company has been accused of money laundering.  He says Dwight stole money from him and it's in his personal account.  Dwight was CFO for him and the money is still there.  At the storage facility Finn and Morgan find the SUV and blood in the back, as well as Dwight's DB.  It's mummified and has been there a long time.  Morgan matches DNA from the blood to a female, so it could have been the wife, Claire (Kenda Benward) in the back, which still leaves open what happened to the children.  Morgan notices tar on the side of the car, so he possibly drove through a newly tarred road and was made to dump the DBs before being brought here.

Doc (Robert David Hall) finds he was beaten, blunt force trauma being the COD.  Hodges finds debris from the car which is red in colour indicating Red Rock canyon, after talking about the reptilian Mesozoic era.  Morgan calls the Department of Transport and they find which road has been tarred recently.  Using ground penetrating radar again, Morgan finds a possible DB.  It's a woman wrapped in their own curtain from the house and they assume it to be Claire.  Doc autopsies her and Finn notices the IAD she's wearing.  Which is unusual since she had a hysterectomy.  The woman was beaten and is identified as Jessica Fenton (Tina Casciani) She works in IT and on her computer, Nick finds a sex tape with Dwight.  It's apparent she was recording that as she looks straight at the camera.  Sh also put the money into Dwight's account.

They assume that Claire found out and invited her to the house, where she beat her up.  Thus it was her in the chair and not Dwight.  They decided to cover her death up.  But then if she hadn't gotten carried away with beating her, she could have claimed self defence since she was stalking her. There's also DNA found Dwight's his fingernails which belongs to Ethan.  Which is what I said, then I changed my mind and said both the children did it and boy was I right (as usual, ha!)  Then later changed my mind again.  It could have been all Heather (Leah Bateman).

Morgan finds Jessica's credit card was used in two places in Arizona, once to buy bus tickets for the family and to check into a motel.  Here the police find Heather and Brass interviews her.  She says she didn't report them since she didn't want to get them into trouble.  Her family isn't perfect but they ruined her life.  See, it's all about her, which makes me think she killed the father too.  She says it wouldn't have happened if he "kept it in."  Cos Ethan was also sleeping with the mistress.  So she could be referring to both of them. They left for a movie she says and she hasn't seen them since. Yeah cos after everything that happened, you'd really wanna go see a movie.  That look she gave and her entire demeanour changed when she said they ruined her life.  As the camera pans into the canyon and the DB's of both Ethan and the mother buried underground.

They did stringing in this ep, finally, I love the stringing aspect of it.  It's just so interesting.  DB resorting to using the old protractor to measure the angles of the blood.  Also finding that the husband was probably subdued with the curtain tieback and then beaten with the poker, as he'd be the first to be taken care of.  Lots of clues here telling you that this wasn't the perfect family, as DB thinks they were.  A beautiful wife and children doesn't automatically mean perfect family.  Nick also pointing out that they're all doing separate things in their photos, except for the one family photo together, which realistically looking at it, hides a lot of secrets.

Well this ep was a repeat in terms of storyline in some ways to the CSI ep 1.7 Blood Drops, where the entire family was killed and the daughter, Tina did it, which is what I said when watching. Turns out the daughter did it again here.  As well as the ep in CSI:Miami when the entire family was killed once again, but the daughter survived.  Though she wasn't the killer.  Gosh my brain/mind works so laterally doesn't it, thinking back so far! Ha.  Then again I like making those sorts of connections and allusions.

Henry (Jon Wellner) returned in this ep but Sara was missing again.  Liked the way in which Greggie was adept in accusing Doug as he's done in the past.  So very dedicated of him.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Downtown Abbey Series 5 Episode 2 Review

Following hot on the heels (ha) of the last ep Jimmy (Ed Speleers) says his goodbyes to Thomas (Rob James-Collier) after being fired for his night with Lady Anstruther.  He's sad to be leaving cos they made headway as friends and he can't believe that he could be friends with someone like Thomas.  Thomas tells him to write, but he's not much into that.  You can feel sorry for Thomas here, losing his one and only friend, but that won't last long since he'll be up to his antics in no time.  As he later shows with Baxter  (Raquel Cassidy) once again, when he says she'll get hers.  With Molesley (Kevin Doyle) coming to her rescue once more. Later Thomas even tells Mosley that she's a thief, which changes things for him about her. But he says what I did last ep review, that he believes there's more to her story than just outright theft. She also tells Moseley this and the same to Cora (Elizabeth McGovern).  But she's not having any of it.  Cora's keeping her on but she doesn't know why.

Lady Rose (Lily James) asks Robert (Hugh Bonneville) if he'll get a wireless for Downton, but he's reluctant.  Also there's talk of an art expert, Simon Bricker (Richard E Grant) coming to visit them here as he wants to see some painting they have.  He will be touring with Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden) and Cora thinks she should invite Charles too, as he'll know how to control him.  Mary (Michelle Dockery) says if she needs her then she'll be here but only until Tuesday.  As we know she has a week's rendezvous planned with Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen).  For which she enlists Anna's (Joanne Froggatt) help in buying her female contraceptives.  She's been reading up on it in Maria Stopes's book and Anna is reluctant to be her partner in crime.  Well that's okay if Anna gets recognized, she is after all married.  Once again, we get Anna being a part of her cover ups, so to speak, first it was Pemouk in series 1 and now it's her dalliances with Gillingham.  Makes you wonder what the wealthy got up to with some much time on their hands.  I digress, of course.

Anna does feel self conscious and ashamed when she's at the store and the woman shopkeeper judging her by saying, well if it's for health reasons, but that's fine then.  But the show trying to reinforce that a woman should have the right to choose what she wants to do, or needs to do, without being judged and most of all by men.  Though Anna changes her mind about this when she says the same, whether she has eight children or not, she shouldn't be treated like this.  There's Mary traipsing off for a week and leaving her son here without his mother.  Not that she takes an active interest in him as a mother either.  But those were the days, as they say.

Daisy (Sophie McShera) is frustrated at not getting anywhere with her study and Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nichol) gets the idea to get Cry Baby Bunting (Daisy Lewis) to help her out and teach her.  Much to our chagrin and Robert's too.  Especially when he finds out she's here and Rose thinks she should invite her to dinner.  Luckily Bunting refuses otherwise there'd be more hell to pay. However dinner with Bricker doesn't go as planned as Branson (Allen Leech) and Robert manage to bicker over the Russian royal family being assassinated and how Branson doesn't agree with his views when he brings up Charles I being killed.  Robert didn't kill Charles and Branson says he didn't kill the Russian royal family either.

Bricker manages to talk to Cora about his "escapades" only just (was that as the Pimpernel?  Cos this was a Scarlet Pimpernel reunion for Richard E Grant and Elizabeth McGovern.)  He looks at the painting and lo and behold they even talk about the French revolution! I rest my case, ha.  All the while he's flirting with Cora, which Robert doesn't notice.  Infact later in bed when they're arguing over Branson and how bunting is changing him and he's going back to his old ways, he mentions Simon Bricker was flirting with Isis, the dog, but didn't even notice anything with Cora!  Robert adding that if Branson moves away, Sibby will be staying here since he's not losing their eldest grandchild.

What about the one they don't even know about, Marigold.  Tim (Andrew Scarborough) attempted to get Edith (Laura Carmichael) to visit with her more and maybe she could become godmother to her. Which she agrees with, but there's stark dissension from his wife who wants Marigold to herself claiming she's part of the family now and not a foundling.  Edith discusses with Robert and Cora how she'd like to care for her and provide for her using the money from her articles and also from her trust.  Slowly finding some way to being her to Downton.  Even suggesting she can play with George and Sibby.  Of course it seems his wife thinks the baby might be his and Edith's. Even so, you know the truth will out eventually.

The Dowager (Maggie Smith) still trying to get Isabel (Penelope Wilton) and Merton (Douglas Reith) away from her altogether.  Well this is a silly storyline cos last ep she was adamant that she should stop seeing him and this ep she tells Isabel he's invited them to his house.  Dr Clarkson (David Robb) thinking a tour of the garden is a good thing, but in the Summer.  Oh and insulin has been discovered too, so there'll be less deaths from diabetes.  Merton it appears is lost without a woman and a woman's touch when they talk about the room at his house and how it was decorated by his mother.  He wants to pick Isabel's brains about medicine.  At one point Isabel even suggests that Merton is vying for the Dowager's affections and not hers.  Yet it appears the Dowager is an expert in knowing when a man is after her!

Anna tries to be friendly with Thomas cos she knows he's missing Jimmy which sours when Bates (Brendan Coyle) walks in.  Bates having told him earlier that he's not interested in anything he has to say.  The Committee would like to plant the War memorial in the cricket ground and Robert is against that.  Carson (Jim Carter) is all for it, but Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) tells him she'd prefer somewhere in the town where people can look at it and pay their respects everyday.  Carson disagrees but he doesn't like it when he and Mrs Hughes aren't on the same page.  During a visit to the village with Robert, Carson changes his mind when they meet a woman whose husband died in the War and she brings her son to his grave so that he doesn't forget him.  Well that got Carson and Mrs Hughes back in agreement then.

A policeman turns up and Thomas brings him in with Carson adding his scaremongering didn't work. He's here to find out about Green and a witness has come forward about the incident.  Of course, Mrs Hughes had to be there to listen in.  Mary and Gillingham meet for their rendezvous and she thinks they should use assumed names.  He doesn't agree as they won't have to lie about the truth.  Mary doesn't even want Gillingham, it's so plain to see.  Even if her reason for the rendezvous is so she can find a husband and marry without ever getting divorced.
Oh and Robert gets the wireless when Rose tells him the King will be making a speech when he opens the Empire exhibit.

I think they have gone as far as they can with the storylines in this show, no really, it's all about how the times they are a changing, but Robert and Carson are set in their ways and on't want that. Whereas the women are more open to it, such as Mrs Hughes, Cora, Rose and obviously Mary with her tryst. Yet it's apparent they will come down to earth and reality with a massive thump, especially whee news of Mary gets out and also of Edith and her baby.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Doctor Who 8.6 "The Caretaker" Review

As the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) continue their adventures, she has to juggle being with him and turning up for dates with Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson).  The Doctor's setting up to get to a secret location and he won't let her see where it is.  When she leaves, he pinpoints East London, specifically Clara's school, Coal Hill.  He arrives at their staff meeting and is introduced as John Smith, the replacement caretaker, the other one has been taken ill, hypnotized by the Doctor to think he's ill.  Clara is shocked to see him and later goes back to ask what he's doing here.  Well, saving the planet of course. from the Skovoz Blitzer.  Really that was just a plot point, as the real underlying crux of this ep was the Doctor meeting Clara's boyfriend and getting it hopelessly wrong. Cos he thinks she's going out with Adrian (Edward Harrison) er, Adrian who was the Eleventh Doctor's reincarnation if ever there was one.  So naturally he would approve of her seeing him.  You know bow tie 'n' all, and the Matt Smith hair - well - almost!

He dislikes Danny from the outset as he's just a soldier and calls him a PE teacher too, not a Maths teacher.  Cue lots of references to PE, such as swimming certificates and the offside rule (probably a reference to the episode The Lodger, where the Eleventh Doctor played footie and since the episode was co-written by Gareth Roberts, who also wrote The Lodger and well just to prove his point, Danny does a somersault at the end just to save Clara.  Of course before all that, we get the pupils knowing there's something going on between the two and the Doctor going round the school planting devices so he can reel in the Blitzer and send it into the future.  Even climbing the ladder to her classroom to tell her that she's got Jane Austen's year of when she wrote Pride and Prejudice wrong, He read the book and the bio and it's int he back.  As well as cleaning off, "Ozzie loves Squaddie" from the window, but being oblivious to what it means.  (Oswald loves Danny - which she comes out and admits here, though perhaps she wasn't meant to.)

The Skovoz Blitzer, however has blasted a policeman to smithereens and is on the move to the school.  That's why the doctor is ready for it.  Of course Danny messes it up for him cos the devices he plants in the drain (well he didn't find that one) the plants etc, he removes and ends up in the hall just as the Blitzer makes it appearance.  With Danny being there to ensure he sees it being drawn into the vortex created by the Doctor with some very quick thinking. With Clara having to be there too. Thus Danny knowing that Clara already knows the Doctor from before and that he's not a caretaker. She tells him he's an alien, but she isn't, she's still from Blackpool and so hasn't lied to him.

The Doctor shows him the TARDIS and that he's got three days now to prepare for the Blitzer and has to come up with another plan to destroy it.  It's for time travel and that's whats he also does. Giving Danny and Clara the chance to have a heart to heart in terms of her not being honest with him and how she loves him.  Thought here wasn't much said from Danny or the Doctor when Clara blurts out in the school, that she loves him!  No reaction at all!  Anyway she says she does love The Doctor but not like that.  Suppose the other comical moment was when Danny thinks he's her father and the Doctor replies he's not cos they're of similar ages!

Anyway as the Doctor builds a new contraption along the lines of the Ghostbusters backpack!  He's interrupted by the "disruptive influence," Courtney (Ellis George) and she spies the TARDIS and he shows her inside.  Will he be hypnotizing her to forget what she's seen.  He's like that too, that she's disruptive like him, so he shakes her hand, but wants her to get lost now.  So Blitzer returns early than calculated and on Parents Evening of all nights and the Doctor isn't ready but he uses Clara as a diversion giving her the Sonic to ensure it stays away from the hall.  Danny following to help her. Thus the Doctor tries to get the backpack onto his back and to send the Blitzer into space, but he's not ready.  Instead the Blitzer commands itself onto self destruct mode.  So Danny becomes a decoy, somersaults over it and the Doctor has a chance to abort it from self destructing and to follow his order and shutdown.

Clara giving Danny the invisible watch earlier, so he can come inside the TRADIS, did she really think the Doctor wouldn't be aware of his presence.  Causing Danny to reveal himself when he tells Clara they should take a quick trip somewhere, like the frozen Thames and will be back in time for the Blitzer.  That's when Danny reveals himself saying he already knew of Danny' presence, that's why he wanted Clara to leave with him.  But then there was that whole scene with Danny thinking that his being a Time Lord was some sort of reference to aristocracy and how he served under such men.  Calling the Doctor, "Sir" and following his orders, "Sir."  Such animosity in that scene, cos as Danny says, he realizes the Doctor doesn't think he's good enough for her.  But he will try to be.

Danny telling Clara she has to be honest with him since she's so eager to go with the Doctor everywhere.  She did what he wanted without even being afraid and she replies she trusts him.  "He's never let me down" ever.  But he needs her to tell him as he wants to be there to help her.
Oh and that policeman, well he ended up, you know where, heaven, the promised land, the afterlife. But Missy was a little busy so couldn't talk with him, so had Seb (Chris Addison) deal with him.  A little busy for what we wonder and also how long this teasing will drag out.

This was an average sort of an ep, I didn't find it that engrossing aside the funny moments and banter between the Doctor and Clara, like her coming up with the Blitzer being a play they're rehearsing for the Summer feat, this episode wasn't that exciting.  Just enough character driven moments, but even that bordered on the edge of repetition with Danny mentioning honesty and Clara having to be honest with him a few too many times.  Why does Clara need someone to protect her and be there for her all of a sudden, when she managed fine all this time.  It just doesn't seem right.  Also why do we have to have romance in the show. We had Amy and Rory I know, but they were made for each other.  It just seems Clara has been given this dating storyline cos she no longer feels for he Doctor in the same way she did for the Eleventh Doctor.  As long as we get some other reason behind it, other than the two of them just going off into the sunset and getting married, I'll put up with it.

Some funny lines here, like having to clean up spillages and puddles.  As well as having lived with a family of otters before.  "I lived among otters once for a month."  Now if that wasn't a direct reference to Benedict Cumberbatch, well in my mind it was! Ha.   Also that music was also bordering on Sherlock when the Doctor was sneaking round the school and planting the devices.  I said 'bordering' okay!  Clara also mentioning that his name is Pink and we met the future Orson Pink, even looking like him, which the Doctor replies he didn't look like him.  As well as his telling Clara she's washed and Clara sitting in front of her three mirrors, saying she can't continue doing this, then saying she can.

Looks like we're not going to be moving away from Matt Smith anytime soon with the number of references to the Eleventh Doctor!  Shall just weep in the corner then!!

But the Doctor does recall him and River and having a fight.  The Doctor mentioning the Fish People from The Underwater Menace.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Ghost Adventures Bringing The Paranormal and Supernatural Home

There are those of us who believe in many phenomena, such as past lives, unexplained events, the paranormal and even the existence of ghosts.  Subjected to years of ridicule and mockery from the sceptics (skeptics) and non believers.  Yet there are many events which happen to people which can't be explained.  They may be seen as coincidences, or as some would say, 'explained away easily by science.'  But science can't explain everything.  Not that I want to sit here and write out any 'detailed scienific' data or exposition.  Although it can be said, the starting point is that there are things, events which can't be disproved in the normal scientific way, but can be explained using scientific data or equipment to help in analysis.  Thus science and faith or belief can go hand in hand, as opposed to people, such as sceptics or scientists saying it's a separate matter and anything gathered cannot be explained or proven.  In some ways, it cannot be adequately disproved either.

Whereas science would have contradicted such findings, debunked them even, it is now at the forefront of proving what people could only talk about once upon a time and be treated with suspicion and as outcasts.

Believing in the paranormal or the unexplained was always thought of as an 'other worldly' concept, that only other cultures, those more primitive or backward would even consider existed.  As said, they would form the subjects of joking and ridicule by those who profess to be in the know and on top of everything.  If there's no proof, it doesn't exist. Even after documented evidence, people still wouldn't, don't believe. Preferring to find other reasons for what may have taken place or of what they've experienced.  Listening to their 'excuses' for not giving in and admitting they may have had a paranormal experience just makes them sound more ludicrous, non sensical and sometimes even grasping at straws.  Peoples' superstitions breed suspicion by those who have no faith from the outset and closed minds.  Feeling they are the voice of reason and sanity and that in today's so-called modern world, there is no room for such beliefs.  Which is nothing more than a step back to the Medieval times and beyond.  The world has moved on since then, or at least civilization has, and really there isn't that room for such doubts anymore.

The supernatural, paranormal has always been of interest to us, not cos we've actually had an experience ourselves, meaning my siblings. But our father did and that's why it's something that is close to us, but it's not the entire reason for believing.  You may recall my Supernatural book for the TV show Dudes and Demons: An Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Supernatural (well the less said about that the better, wasn't happy with the way it turned out for many reasons) but if you've read it then you'll remember where I wrote about my father who had an experience. Which I didn't mention in much detail.

With so many myths, legends, urban legends, explored in Supernatural itself, especially the early seasons, it was bound to catch on. Building on our curiosity and the need to find out more.  Separate the fact from the fiction and the myths and the legends from reality.

                                          Love the pose!

SO when Ghost Adventures (GA) came along, it was bound to catch on.  (On Travel Channel in the Us and Really TV in the UK). I blame my sis for getting me hooked.  For one thing it's done eps which have been mentioned in Supernatural, at least I've referred to the places in my book.  Like Myrtles Plantation, which was alluded to in Supernatural episode 2.11 Playthings, along with the hotel being haunted by the ghost of a dead child.  (The Hotel being similar to the one out of Stephen King's The Shining).  This episode also featured creepy dolls for those who have an intense aversion to them, hey Zak.  Don't watch this episode.

Dean: "Wow! This is a lotta dolls. Er, they're nice, they're not super-creepy at all..."  Loving the sarcasm!

But I always said the nanny did it! Anyway, also rating a mention in my book, Dudes and Demons, was Carolands and Magnolia Plantation. Also covered in GA.
Ok, it was meant to be 'hanged' but don't read too much into it, hanged, hung! ha.
Also when I did research on the hauntings, it came up with the name 'Woodruffe' and not 'Winter' as mentioned in GA. Hmm...?  [Goes back to books and Internet!] yes I was right it was Clark Woodruffe, he was the one who had the mistress, Chloe. Winter was the one whose daughter, Katie, died.

 I think it's good to actually get confirmation of ghosts, spirits; something you've read about or heard of, given credibility. Hearing it from others and seeing it, reaffirms the fact that you're not crazy or still living in the days where anything remotely strange would automatically mean 'death by drowning' and be labelled an outcast, a lunatic or witch.  Not that any justification is required for whatever people choose to believe in.  We all have the intelligence (or at least most of us do) to make up our minds and decide for ourselves what w e believe in or what we don't.  No one needs to make fun of it, or put others down.

Supernatural was ten years ago, GA was ten years ago too, or I should say, the documentary Nick and Zak and Aaron filmed was ten years ago; my father passing away will also be ten years this October, so even if some of us only just discovered the show like us, I guess there could be a little bit of fate involved in that too, or make of it what you will.

Funny though when watching some eps of GA how I always get a feeling of deja vu for some reason. I don't know, can't put my finger on why, but then I hear what some of their EVPs they capture are saying, the ones they can't quite decipher and it just comes to me,  Everyone's said that and I don't know if it's cos I've got  a good ear or something.  Anyway, The Excalibur Nightclub/Bachelor Grove Cemetery ep when Zak got that EVP where they couldn't make out the first word, I am so sure the voice said, "Zak's coming."  Well it didn't say, hack, ha.  No, seriously it was that cos others have agreed, unless I was hearing things and no I didn't have Zakky on the brain either! Ha.   Which in some ways could explain why they didn't catch anything in the nightclub itself.  All the spirits were warned off.  Even more likely since that's where Zak grew up and lived for a long time, going to high school in Chicago too.  You may not agree with me, but I don't believe in coincidences, not anymore at any rate.

Maybe it's my day job (yeah as opposed to my night job, which is writing, ha) but I always seem to make such inferences or allusions.  Just like the Remington Arms Factory when they inspected the factory during the day, but when they returned for their lockdown, that step on the stair was 'curiously' missing now, eg broken or whatever.  I didn't view that as a coincidence since no one else was in the building.  Anyway to me if you can't discuss, debate or tear to shreds what you've been watching, then there's not really any point in watching.  For me, it's not about watching and then a case of 'out of sight or out of mind', or in through one ear or out the other.  I have to question, draw inferences, that's just me.  Otherwise I don't see any point in watching.  That goes for anything I watch.

Did I tell you the funny dream I had about Zak (no I don't dream about him at all) maybe his voice. I think he has the most perfect, mesmerizing voice! It's so appropriate for his 'calling.'  Very powerful and commanding, but at the same time, extremely reassuring too. Probably wrong use of words, but never mind.  That's why I keep saying he should bring out an audio book of his NY Times best selling book Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of  The Ghost Adventures Crew by Zak Bagans and Kelly Crigger (2011) Or at least any audio book.

Anyway dream, yes that there were all these dolls around, miniatures in a swampy area like a jungle and he was surrounded by them, suddenly they weren't dolls but miniature people who somehow changed into multicolours!  Oh and hey this was way before I found out about Zak's foray to Island of the Dolls (Islas de las Munecas) in Mexico!
I don't know, would you call things like that uncanny.  Hand on heart that's exactly how it happened.

Strange, unexplained things do happen to people. The day my father passed away, it was like I almost felt that moment. Not almost, but actually did, even though I was miles away in Kansas.  I felt a sudden pain in my heart (and no it wasn't indigestion!!) and that was unusual.  Then got the feeling something was wrong.  SO I called home, but there was no answer and I couldn't get a hold of any of my family.  That was strange, cos it was a time when my mother would have been at home.   I still get told by some that I didn't feel that or it never happened.  But he died of cardiac arrest, so to me, that's something that did happen and is personal to me since it was most definitely at the same time. Which is coming up to ten years now.

Or the time I fell down the stairs at home, yes 6 steps, couldn't believe it. We've all fallen down the longer staircase, but not this one.  It seriously felt like someone pushed me from behind, or my imagination on overtime, then our house isn't haunted, cos my mother has a sixth sense about these things, so maybe it was just one of those clumsy moments, not that I'm clumsy.  Oh and no I wasn't wearing heels either!

"Trying to explain the unexplained can be a very hard thing to do.  But when you can explain it that's when it becomes deep."
Perhaps this is a quote, rather it was one of Zak's tweets, which aptly also sums up the Goldfield Hotel and the Old Washoe Club, where there was paranormal proof of those spirits and strange goings on, even before the guys got there.  It was ample justification for them for proving their theories and that the paranormal should and could be taken seriously.  Even if sceptics will still shake their heads.  Never say never right.  I love the way that Zak always asks the pertinent question of " has that made you believe in ghosts now, or the existence of ghosts?"  It's just giving so much credibility and confirmation to what they've been doing for years.   Though someone one day may come out and say, 'no!' Re Union Station ep.  Be they part of the stone tape theory, residual or intelligent spirits caught on film and EVPs, such findings can no longer be ignored or brushed to one side.

Yet even before their TV show, the best proof Zak, Nick and Aaron got was from their 2004 documentary they filmed at the Old Washoe Club ballroom and more specifically The Goldfield Hotel.  They had nothing to lose and lots to gain.  Nothing to prove to anyone that is, no money involved, no contracts.  (Not that it ever was or still is about the money or fame!) It was just off the bat 'simple' investigation to show what they believe in. That when you look hard enough, long enough and in the right places, you will always be rewarded.  Even if no one still believed at that time even after their clear capture of an apparition, there was still the credibility of their other investigations after that to build up on this one.

Someone asked if it looks like their show is staged, especially when you get Zak, Nick or Aaron being affected by what they're experiencing in their lockdowns.  How can it be staged?  Why would they stage it, it's ten years of credibility, and reputation that's been built up and to fake a show is to lose all of that.  They are not the type of guys who would even contemplate messing up something that is so dear to them, especially dear to Nick's and Zak's heart.  From his experiences in that Michigan apartment of his, which meted out his destiny and ours too, to a degree, in watching him fulfill and follow that destiny, to everything that came after was like everything was leading to all this phenomenal, definitive evidence!

A fave quote of mine: "I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
And answer'd 'I Myself am Heav'n and Hell'."   
Omar Khayyam

Diner: "Waiter there's something manifesting in my soup."
Waiter; "Well let me spirit it away." Groan, or rather moans! (My joke, circa: school years!)

All joking aside, the show has gone from strength to strength and after ten seasons, it's still gripping.  A huge thank you for making it what is is.   Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley, Jay Wasley and everyone else!  This piece is dedicated to all those involved!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

CSI 14.17 "Long Road Home" Review

After appearing at a concert, a woman's DB is found stabbed inside a stretch limo, yeah, an extra stretch limo.  Sara (Jorga Fox) investigates and finds she has so much blood on her but there's not enough in the limo, so she was killed somewhere else, as is always the case.  DB (Ted Danson) comments about The Who dumping a limo in the pool and there are lots of refs to songs and groups. Morgan (Elisabeth Harnois) and Greg (Eric Szmanda) collect evidence from the limo and she finds a rider being used as a cocaine tune.  This contains the demands of the group, such as bottles of beer, green organic gumdrops.  Greg also finds a necklace with the name 'Tangerine' on it.  Greg also comments on the statue of the Hindu God Shiva - God of fertility, so they have "sex, drugs and rock n roll."

Nick (George Eads) speaks with the limo driver, Mike (Nick Nalarza) who had alcohol poisoning and found his limo was gone and he mentions Tangerine, the prostitute and the groupie in the limo was Marcy.  The band was rehearsing for a gig.  The DB has a signature on her chest area and Finn (Elisabeth Shue) comments she must have known the rock star really well for the autograph to be placed there.  She can barely work out the initial is a 'G' and nothing else.  Hodges (Wallace Langham) has found out the signature for her, which was on a guitar pick and it's a 'GS' belonging to Gene Simmons from the group KISS.  Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) questions him and he says he wasn't even in the limo.  They were part of a 'Fame Experience', where people pay to behave like rock stars with him.

Nick and Sara arrive at the location where they speak with Marty Kirch (Michael Des Barres) who owns the Experience.  He says he found the place trashed like that when he came in the morning. Marcy was hired to be the groupie, but she's a good girl and he thinks of her like a daughter.  He wants to know where she is, but he doesn't know who Tangerine is.  They analyze the CS and Sara finds the blood spatter where Marcy was killed.  Nick also finds the round shaped blood spatter with gravatational blood spots leading to it.

Brass questions Arnold (Joshua Biton) one of the three who were playing in the band.  He was playing guitar and he got wild, smashing the guitar and the things around him.  The whole thing was Lex's (Paul Greene) idea, the drummer and he paid for it all.  He also IDs the knife that Nick found at the CS as belonging to Lex.  He's missing and didn't return to his hotel last night, along with Tangerine, so they suspect he's the killer.  Finn questions Ed (Jamie Kennedy) who was into the drugs, but didn't kill anyone.  Stating that Lex got both girls and they ended up with nothing, but there's plenty more fish in the sea.  So clearly he's not bitter about it, which rules him out as a suspect. Also adding that a record label was interested in signing Lex.

Lex's bank statements show he received money from the record label, but Greg says there was nothing but the charges from the Brimstone, where they were staying.   Hearing some noise from the garage, they find Nick playing drums and creating the odd blood spatter they find.  If there was blood on the drum, then the spatter would spray everywhere when played and there is a hole underneath the drum itself, making the round circle.  He mentions he was in a band at college. Adding that Lex must have played the drums with the blood.  Greg thinks they'll find the drums wherever they find Tangerine.  Heading out to the alley, he finds a drumstick and then the entire drum kit.  Inside is the blood stained drum and also Lex's DB.  So clearly their choice of suspect was wrong.  Of course, since it wouldn't be that easy.  I didn't have Lex as my suspect anyway.

David (David Berman) and Doc (Robert David Hall) carry out the autopsy on Lex and they find his phone with photos and torn pieces of paper.  David thinks they can get DNA from the paper and run it to find out who Tangerine is.  Finn runs her prints and finds her real name is Angela (Katherine McNamara) and she's a prostitute.  Finn realizes that the record deal was a scam and so she was behind it and also how she met Lex.  They now view her as a suspect.  The money went to an account in Belize and Morgan makes reference to the 'Nigerian e-mail' scam, of which I used to get plenty of e-mails! DB reads how the record company needed $50,000 to record and DB wonders why this would lead to murder.  Er, jealousy in terms of him getting the deal.

Morgan says the record label is traced to Vegas and to Kirch.  Kirch tells them Tangerine was hired by Lex and they should be looking for her as she and Lex had a huge fight.  He's guessing it was over money.  Gene returns ha with some panties for Brass, well that didn't come out right,.  They belong to Tangerine and she's in the limo.  The DNA reveals that she is related to Lex and is his daughter.  She already knows and they accuse her of losing it when she realizes she slept with his father, but she says she didn't sleep with him or kill him.  He gave her the letter and she tore it up and he later apologized and went to the studio to listen to his song.  Lex told her that someone would be there to help him and Marcy was also there.  Greg and Hodges listen to the recording of the song and hear another voice there, which Greg says could have been deleted, but whoever it was can still be heard since he bled into the microphone.

Nick analyzes the microphone and finds some trace from the gumdrop.  This is what was in Arnold's rider.  The particles in the xylitol dissipated at a particular time, so they showed he was at the CS at the time of the murder, Arnold was angry at Lex for making him stay in the background, so he killed them both.  Brass gives her the recording of Lex's song.

Wasn't this ep similar in plot to the ep 14.15 Love For Sale, where the reverend had a daughter who was working at the brothel and they thought that he was paying her to sleep with her, until they realized she was his daughter.  Well same thing here and the daughter was also hustling.

It appears that Gene Simmons had to make an appearance on the show sooner or later, seeing as how there have been so many references to rock stars and groups over the years, as well as the number mentioned in this ep.  Greg also mentioning the Hotel California "you can check out anytime, but you can never leave."

Obviously, it was apparent who the killer was since it's always the quiet ones, so to speak.  He was rather dismissive of his 'friendship' with Lex and also how he was just plain boring, so of course he had that whole jealous streak going.  As for Lex, well his chance to play a DB in this show.  You may recall Paul Greene from NCIS ep, 6.16 Bounce, when he was DiNozzo's (Michael Weatherly) lookalike, the one Tony put away for murder and got the wrong man.  He was meant to have been dead at one point in the episode, but turned up alive and well.  I'm sure Tony let him go at the end with the money that was stolen.  Anyhoo, digression! Ha. (A fave ep of mine as mentioned in my NCIS book: My NCIS...available at most online bookstores.)

Then there was the whole interaction and final scene with Brass that Angela had and you knew that was coming since his own experiences with Ellie and not being there for her.  Guess it works both ways, she didn't have to have that sort of a life as she still had her mother.  Brass wanting Angela to get out of hustling and giving her his card to call him anytime.  It's obvious he has a fatherly connection to her and doesn't want her getting into trouble like Ellie, as she's still young.

Oh and what about the big hooha about Finn being an expert in blood and blood analysis at CS, but it's left for Nick to find out what caused the odd blood spatter at the CS itself and at the lab.  Seems like she hasn't done a lot of blood spatter analysis for a while.  Nick eating that gumdrop at the end, yuk, germs!!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Renew Longmire Now

Since the news of Longmire being relegated to a non-entity and not being renewed for a fourth season, as of yet.  I have been trying to find a way to convey the feelings and emotions when such things occur.  So having thought it over and over and over, I find that gimmicks, don't work, nor does fancy writing or big words.  It's not something many executives will look at or read even, when all they want are high, eye popping ratings, viewing figures, demographics, whatever you want to call it, it's a rose by any other name and all adds up to the same thing.

Seeing people as numbers, figures or a set of stats isn't what TV should be about these days.  It's time those in the know, or the powers that be need to and should realize that.  Times have changed, we've had recessions, good times, an influx of money for people to spend, but it's not all down to advertizing.  At the end of the day, some people work longer than others, others retire early, so any 18-49 demographic is going to have unequal amounts of money (wealth) to spend at any given time. These days, it's not just about children moving out of home as soon as they want to or are able to. Some can't do that and find it difficult getting work, let alone a highly paid job which will enable them to met the demands of advertizers and their products.

Ageism is against the law but when it comes to TV advertizing and demographics, that rule flies out the window.  Any show that is good, old wholesome fashioned fun and entertainment is bound to raise some eyebrows in this modernist, no holes barred society, where sex and violence sells and and those benefits are reaped by TV networks.  That however paints too basic a picture.   There needs to be more variation in what is screened and produced, a difference in genre, instead of just a few types of shows of low calibre, just cos they are easy and cheap to film.  Reality shows being the number one culprits.  Which is all fine and good if people want to watch them and I'm not saying that my opinion is right, and that we are entitled to watch what we want is personal choice and in the same way, we should have the right to demand a favourite show back on air!

Longmire is a show that has everything fans and viewers want.  An excellent ensemble cast, a plethora of stories, penned by best selling author Craig Johnson and an endless stream of stories for many episodes to come.  So where did the show go wrong you may ask.  The brief answer being it didn't.  Call it the greed of TV executives or their blinkered eye views or living in the past, instead of moving with the times.

Over the past three seasons, Longmire has picked up steady ratings and increased its fanbase and viewership to almost six million, let's face it, isn't that what any TV show wants and needs to survive. Somewhere someone has gone wrong in their miscalculations of renewing or picking the show up for a fourth season.  With so many of us clamouring and campaigning for its pick up elsewhere, how can executives ignore what's right before their eyes.  An already established audience willing and able to take its ratings to a new level, without the need for full blown promotion or advertizing.  Saving money on this.

There is ample promotion on social media sites headed by the LongMire Posse and the tireless and effortless campaign of Pamela Nordick to get people to notice what fans really want.  Even people who didn't watch the show have started to watch and check it out on the strength of this alone.

We want our Longmire back, the cast and crew we all love and have gotten to know as family over the three years.  We want to be able to say, 'look, we fans changed the face of TV history' by wanting this back.   Just as in the past letter writing campaigns worked for shows like Cagney and Lacey, social media has to work for us.  It's not just about one generation or two, this show spans decades and transcends age groups.  How many shows can boast this and how many would want to?  We demand to continue seeing the rolling hills and skies, the characters, the good times and the bad...



Our cast: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, Cassidy Freeman, Louanne Stephens

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Downton Abbey Series 5 Episode 1

Series 5 of the drama returns and is off to a bit of a slow start as we are now in 1924.  Edith (Laura Carmichael) still laments not being able to raise Marigold as her own as she steals visits to farmer Tim's (Andrew Scarborough) house and spend time with her, even his wife doesn't know that she's Edith's daughter as she's come to be like one of the family. She also thinks that Edith has a bit of a crush on him that's why she comes so often.  So he tells her she needs to keep Marigold, by telling the truth and yet not telling the truth, as they're going to come up with some reason she is able to stay with Edith.  Which will prove difficult as the Dowager (Maggie Smith) is aware that Edith was pregnant.  Also it appears Mrs Huges (Phyliss Logan) may also suspect something is afoot as she catches Edith speaking with Tim at the end.

Edith is also given a  German book that her beau left behind with an inscription of his name inside. Which she wants to keep and well, sufficed to say that book will be the cause of much consternation later in the episode.  With so much time passing, it's only been six months, strange how Thomas (Rob James-Collier) is still on Baxter's (Raquel Cassidy) back about getting the dirty on Bates (Brendan Coyle) and the secret that she knows about him and she tries to avoid him at every instance.  Which is helped at times by Molesley (Kevin Doyle) turning up to rescue her.  Thomas even threatens with telling Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) her secret if she doesn't come clean to him.  Molesley meanwhile, dyes his hair jet black and all for the hopes of Baxter noticing him romantically.  He's smitten with her, as we know and he asks her how old she thinks he is.  She comments 52, but he's actually 51.  It would appear that Robert (Hugh Bonneville) has also noticed Molesley's "Latin look," as he remarks if he has Latin, Spanish or Irish in him.  Later telling Carson (Jim Carter) that he's not to come upstairs until his hair stops turning blue.

However the show begins with Robert lamenting the election of a Labour government which was bound to happen, but he regrets it cos they're settling down to making changes for people "like us."  The upper classes that is and their stately homes.  Though Tom (Allen Leech) sees it as a good thing, as does Edith.  Yet Carson has woes too about the changes in their work and lives.  It's Robert and Cora's 34th wedding anniversary, so there's bound to be some party held in their honour and what a party is was too.

Lady Rose (Lily James) has to present prizes at the local school, it's a tradition and we get the chance to see Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis) again, school marm! Better if we hadn't, don't like her at all, her crass attitude aside.  Sure she's outspoken and all that, but she's too snooty herself and hypocritical. Anyway Lady Rose invites her to the party as Robert wants a young crowd there, not meaning bunting of course, and gets Cora's approval to do so, so that Tom has a friend there.

Molesley tells Baxter to come clean about her past to Cora before Thomas can and she admits that she stole jewellery from her last employer.  She kept it, as she couldn't give it back, but she doesn't delve into why she didn't keep hold of it, that's why she couldn't return it.  No doubt that's to come later and probably needed it for some other 'good' cause.  Well it wouldn't have dome to have it revealed so early on in the series.  It was funny how Thomas thought he'd gotten one over on Baxter when he tries to tell Cora of her criminal record and Cora saying she already knows, but asks why it was strange he didn't tell her this before he made Cora employ her.  Thomas still insisting he'll get the secret from Baxter.

Lots of matchmaking going on at Downton, or in Isabel's (Penelope Wilton) case, it appears the Dowager was trying to outdo Lord Merton's (Douglas Reith) interest in Isabel once she realizes the position that Isabel would be in if they got together.  So she invites Lady Shackleton (Harriet Walter) also a widow to luncheon and the Lord takes an interest in her, well, you know, younger model and all that.  Younger used loosely, of course! It appears the Dowager's butler Spratt (Jeremy Swift) is a snob too as he refuses to serve Dr Clarkson (David Robb) on two occasions, first cake and then coffee.   Though Isabel did seem a little put out that Dickie Merton was paying so much attention to Lady Shackleton.  Even if he was interested in the Dr's clinic.

Jimmy (Ed Speleers) is being plagued by notes from his former employer Lady Anstruther (Anna Chancellor) and he was fool enough to send her Valentine's cards on two occasions and sign them cos he thought it'd be a bit of a prank.  Which backfired on him, cos she turns up at Downton and practically invites herself for the night on the basis of having car trouble.  Well she was trouble and it wasn't cs of the car either, which had nothing wrong with it since Tom and the chauffeur both checked.

Baxter puts her foot in it when she mentions it's ironic how Bates will be valet for Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) considering what happened to his last valet, Green, courtesy of Bates.  She knows that he went somewhere but hasn't told anyone of it and Thomas overhears her 'ironic' comment.  Of course she refuses to tell him.  However, Thomas did seem to be overly pally with Jimmy all of a sudden and his confiding in him over Lady Anstruther, maybe he was going to hold that over his head too in terms of blackmailing him.  It was difficult to believe that he'd have his best interests at heart.

Cue party and speech from Robert about marrying his beautiful and intelligent wife.  Before the fireworks really got started, not only was he shocked at Bunting being there, but how she was loud, outspoken and presumed to know everything.  Being in favour of the Labour government and implying that one of the guests wasn't too clever as she didn't have a head for numbers or for writing.  She was snooty for a school teacher though.  At dinner she brings up how having a stone memorial, 'edifice' as she put it, would be a memorial for the men who died in a pointless war. Which Robert takes exception to.  It wasn't pointless and Carson breaks the news about Robert being asked to be Patron of the Committee, who want some of his land to place the memorial on.  Carson being asked to be Chairman, which had Robert a little peeved.  But Carson only accepted the position if Robert was made patron.

Tom also agreeing with Bunting that the war was pointless since nothing came of it except for the Russian revolution and Robert didn't even approve of that.  Isabel was all for her having her own opinion and Tony didn't have much time for her views either.  Bunting putting everyone off their dessert, as the Dowager says they need to get down to discussing things in a more civilized manner. Then disappeared as two parties were too much for her.  Tom making sure to tell Robert that he was like Bunting once and her frame of thought, but he's come a long way and he hopes he will stay like that.  Also adding that he and Bunting didn't get up to any hanky panky in London.

Carson noticing that Lady Anstruther passed a note to Jimmy and Thomas sticking up for him, that it was hardly his fault.  Later Jimmy goes to see her in her room and Thomas keeps watch for him.  The two of them also see Tony sneak into Mary's (Michelle Dockery) room, thinking they're up to something.  Well, not yet they're not.  Infact Tony wants to seduce her and says they should be lovers since she's already admitted she loves him.  So he wants to marry her eventually.  She agrees, but only if no one finds out.  Too late then! Ha.  But is she really certain that it's Tony she wants, especially she tells Anna (Joanne Froggatt) earlier of how someone she knows has affairs just to make sure she's ready for when he gets married.  Anna telling her she's old fashioned, so wouldn't do that.  Mind you, Bates was in 'clucky' mood too, as he said he'd like children, with Anna replying it's in God's hands, but he knows how they can get a start on it.  In much the same way as Jimmy tells Thomas that if he gave in to Lady Anstruther, he'd be done for.  Then later saying he'll settle down one day, they all do.  Except Thomas won't, as we know why.

Edith is in tears over Marigold and her missing beau, Michael Grigson, so we take it he's done for and won't be turning up anytime soon.  Or will he?  Being so distraught, she throws his book which lands into the fire and falls out, staring a fire.  That wasn't very clever.  Though she managed to put Marigold's baby picture under her pillow, wonder if it survived the fire and who will find it if it did. Thomas passing by spots the smoke and rescues Edith as well as raising the alarm.  All hands on Downton as the fire brigade is called out, and Tom and Robert try to put out the fire, or as much as they could.

Edith thanks Tim for putting out the fire and Cora thanks Thomas for rescuing her.  She'll have to keep him on in thanks for saving her, part of her good will towards him.  However Robert finds Jimmy and Lady Anstruther in bed together and ensures Carson fire him with a reference of course. He can blame himself and Edith for getting caught out.  Bates and Anna arrive and she remarks how he gets worked up about things lately and so wanted to come and see if he could help.

Downstairs Daisy (Sophie McShera) has notions of learning Maths and accounting for when she takes over the farm cos she's "pig ignorant."  That she doesn't always want to be a cook and Mrs Hughes agrees she doesn't have to be, as Carson and Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nichol) cast yet another condescending eye over anyone who wants to better themselves. Like living in a wold of their own and wishing time would stand still those two, as is Robert too.  Carson: "that everything I stand for will be tested and held up for ridicule in the next few years."  Mind you, Bunting didn't help when she asked permission to thank the staff for their dinner.  Stirring up trouble that one, "cry baby Bunting!"  Ha, sorry.

Let's not forget the Dowager being called "Mrs Bennett" from Pride and Prejudice and Caroline Bingley turns up too. And Mrs Shackleford was from an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (1995).

Much political rantings in this series, not that there weren't before, but it appears that not much has changed over the years, let alone the six months, excepting maybe baby Marigold, who looked far older than six months! Oh look out, nanny's bringing the children down, giving cause for Robert to make a quick exit, as Sibbie calls him 'Donk' after their game of pin the tail on the donk-ey! Plenty set up for at least most of the episodes to come, including Mary and her suitors as Charles makes another appearance next episode.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Doctor Who 8.5 "Time Heist" Review

This time round the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is once again at Clara's (Jenna Coleman) as she once again prepares for a date, wait, deja vu. She's even got heels and again the Doctor remarks about her make-up, this time round with all that colour she's got on her face.  She's even wearing heels, so he has a dig at her height as she looks taller.  As the TARDIS phone rings, but Clara's got the number so who else could have it.  Though he manages to get the mysterious woman in the shop remark in too at this point.

Before I go any further, have to say this ep was predictable, already figured out who the Architect could be, cos, really, there's only one person who it could be.   As he answers the phone, what could possibly go wrong in answering a phone.  They end up around a table and surrounded by memory worms and two others.  One is a half computer/half person, Psi (Johnathan Bailey).  Another is a woman, Saibra (Pippa Bennett-Warner).  Their agreement is played back to them, all of them agreeing to having their memories wiped.  With the Doctor even telling Clara to change her shoes, just incase anyone wondered what happened to her heels.  Which obviously explains he knew where they'd be going, cos last ep she kept her heels on.  A message comes through the case, telling them what they must do, i.e rob the impregnable Bank of Karabraxos.  Of course it won't last that long with the Doctor on board.

The vault is breached and their presence is known to Miss Delphox (Keeley Hawes) and security threatens them with incineration when they are caught.  Escaping, they end up outside since Saibra can clone people, that's what she does and is here for this reason, as she shows Clara by cloning her. Outside, Delphox approaches with the Teller who can read minds and peoples' guilt.  As he hones in on a man and removes his memories after reading his guilt and part of his brain.  The Doctor can't help, as he tells Clara, he's already soup.  The Teller being a creature of course and is chained up, so there's a story initself, why is the Teller who helps her out in a straight jacket type contraption and not able to walk free.  Always remember foreshadowing.

Gaining entry into the vault by use of Saibra's cloning, she's able to clone herself into a customer. They find a bomb inside the vault but still have no clue what the Architect's design is (OK another bad joke).  Until the Doctor places it on the floor of the vault and manages to blow a hole in the floor, it's some sort of a dimensional bomb where the particles disperse into space. Thus they climb down before security finds them there.

Saibra tells the Doctor that he wouldn't want to be cloned by her, 'looking into your own eyes and wondering who you can trust.'  Big clue that line for later.  (Funny way of writing that line, never mind, you know what I mean.)  They find another briefcase containing some vial type thingys (yes I'm quoting the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) when in doubt for correct form of words.)  Clara also removes a piece of paper from the case.  Once gain being detected, they run into a vent, boy for a bank, that intruder alert detection system is pretty slow!  Here we find the Teller once again, in statis, but is awakened and locks onto Clara's memories.  She can't manage to control them and think of nothing, but you have to ask whether when we're shown her face if that's memory of hers she is really trying very hard to suppress, relevant to her past and what we have yet to learn about her.

It doesn't work and managing to get out, Saibra is left behind, knowing she can't survive and will be 'soup', the Doctor throws her one of those thingys they found in the briefcase.  She'll always be lonely since she cant touch anyone but this way she won't have to suffer and she vanishes, well evaporates, kind of.  Finding the vault, Psi has to crack the combination, whilst Teller is on the rampage, so the Doctor suggests they split up.  As Teller once again hones in on Clara, again why her and not the Doctor.  Psi tries to save her, which he manages to do by telling it to come after him instead since he's got all the memories of all the bank robbers ever going.  So once again he also takes one of the thingys and disappears.

Leaving the Doctor to find the vault isn't opened cos there's one more lock.  As a warning of a solar flare comes through and the bank's system's go off line.  The ample opportunity for a heist, thus it clicks to the Doctor why the TARDIS isn't here, it wouldn't have been able to land and also that the Architect would have to have been someone from the future who predicted this moment.  (No surprises for guessing right about now who that Architect would have to be, Time Traveller: Doctor) The vault opens and inside Clara manages to find the various boxes corresponding to what the other robbers wanted.  Saibra wanted genetic supression so she can no longer clone people by touching them.  Psi wanted his memories back but what the Doctor wants is in the private vault.  What did Clara want?  Besides her date with Danny.

However before they can get there, they are arrested and brought towards Delphox, who really hates working for her boss but can't be fired or she'll be fired, literally, in the incinerator.  So as she takes the Teller back, the guards are left to deal with Clara and the Doctor, cue the two guards turning out to be Psi and Saibra. The thingys were just transporters and took them back to their ship.  Psi telling the Doctor there's also a blue box out there.  Reaching the private vault which is occupied by Karabraxus,  and Delphox was her clone of course.  See that cloning line from Saibra came in handy here too, about who would who trust if you looked into their eyes.

Suddenly the Doctor's memory isn't coming back but he's beginning to realize what's happening, as he writes her a note saying to telephone him as he's a Time Traveller.  Also that he knows he hates the Architect and that is him of course.  Karabraxus called him to ask for his help now that she's old and wants his help.  The Teller is unleashed again but the Doctor tells him, "there are so many memories in here, feast on them, tuck in.  Big scarf, bow tie, bit embarrassing.  What do you think of the new look?  Was hoping for minimalism but I came out with magician."  There's something that the Teller wants and it's locked behind closed doors.  Opened to reveal its mate, another one of its species, explaining why the Teller was in chains, and why he was made to do what he did, turning everyone into soup.

Thus Karabraxus has a chance to do the right thing when older and get the Doctor to rescue a species this time, instead of saving a race of people.  Getting Clara back in time for her date.  Whilst having the chance to share a Chinese meal beforehand and even getting to joke about the TARDIS wiping out any calories. As if it could.  Leaving the Doctor alone again.  Seems the Doctor appears to be spending an awful lot of time in Clara's house and wanting her to go places with him, when clearly she's got Danny one her mind.  Especially since there were times in other episodes when she wanted to do just that but wouldn't see him for days (just like Amy.)

Lots of references from Psi about Clara spending too much time with the Doctor since she keeps making excuses for him and how he is professionally detached, "that's why you call yourself the Doctor."  The Doctor making several references to hating the Architect, emulating low self esteem of himself on his part.  Had to get the references in there to the scarf once more like the first ep, but the bow ties as being embarrassing was a bit below the er, neck!

Clara taking a back seat this ep as this one clearly was orchestrated by the Doctor and features the Doctor aplenty, for perhaps the first time since he took over the mantle of Doctor Twelve.  That everything was his plan doesn't really come as such a big shock or surprise and so having their memories wiped contributed to the Doctor finding out was the mastermind behind the Time Heist along the way, was a clever plot point, unless like me you figured that out already.

Oh and couldn't help but think of Deal or no Deal, what with the Banker and the TARDIS phone ringing!  Okay maybe it was just me!

Of course unless you had your memories wiped too, you will note that the memory worms were first seen in the 2012 Christmas Special The Snowmen.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

CSI 14.16 "Killer Moves" Review

David (David Berman) and Det Crawford (Alimi Ballard) make comments about the Elvis impersonator DB they are investigating, recalling their fave movies.  David found he has severe head trauma, but there's not that much blood around at all.  Greg (Eric Szmanda) and Sara (Jorga Fox) investigate and look for where the DB could have come from as Sara finds gravitational blood drops.

Further down the road Sara notices a dead bird.  Greg describes it as something out of Edgar Allen Poe, but Sara points out it's not a raven but a rook, as seen by the white skin around its beak. Someone's stabbed it and left it there.  Greg then makes a connection between the King and the rook, all chess pieces.  Greg notices the street name, the King was found at Avenue C and 1st Street, the rook at Avenue D and 1st Street.  C-1 and D-1 are chess moves; and he should know since he was captain of his chess club at school.  Also the rook is only native to Central Asia and Europe, so it must've been brought here.

As Greg hurries to Avenue E and 1st Street, he tells Sara about a move called castling.  The rook is moved from its position to D-1 and the King from E-1 to C-1.  So there should be something else there.  Hey I noticed the car behind them.  Sara points out Memphis on the car and inside there's plenty of blood, to suggest it was the likely CS. There's also a tyre iron inside,  Doc (Robert David Hall) conducts the autopsy and Finn (Elisabeth Shue) can't resist the jokes as David's already enlightened him with so many Elvis jokes, he's had enough.  He gives her some trace and she replies, "thank you very much" Elvis voice style.  That the DB died from wounds to his head and was drugged, as he has two holes on his neck.

Hodges (Wallace Langham) ran what he believed to be a hair from the DB, but was actually moss. He says the Mediterranean has new moss rugs in the bath which are supposed to be good for the environment, so he's thinking maybe the killer could have left it behind.  There's also a chess tournament at the hotel.  Greg and Nick (George Eads) arrive and Nick can't believe any of the men there could have been killers.  Greg saying 'what a nerd can't kill'.  Chess is very competitive and any one of them can turn killer.  Jenny (Sarah Lafleur) introduces herself as the director of the chess tournament and points out how it's exclusively a man's game.  Well you gave yourself away there, missy! Ha. No, really she did.

Greg notice someone he used to know and taught him all about chess, when he was younger, his mentor, we get flashbacks of Greg at any early age playing chess with Max.  He plays with a man who has no patience with Greg interrupting him and leaves the game agitated.   Nick asks for a list of players from Jenny and mentions Karl Schrute (Carlo Rota) the champion, he's playing others simultaneously.

Sara shows DB (Ted Danson) a list of the names they have and he shows her a chess move, this shows the move is not an opening one and so there must be other Vics out there too.  Morgan (Elisabeth Harnois) can't find anything relating to chess in any of their old cases, but Sara hands Morgan half of the list so they have to narrow down whether there's anything from the other cities where the tournament has been. She finds six other cities and believes that the game is only just beginning as all were chess moves.  Greg speaks with Max (Ron Glass) again asking if he can help them with a list of moves.  He notices that the moves were made in a game between Troy Parker (Gary Colon) and Karl 16 years ago.  Troy played the game and lost, then he disappeared.

Karl tells Greg that he gets all sorts of letters from people and one of them sent him a model chesspiece.   He still has it.  When analyzed, Hodges finds it's paper mache and made by someone who had time on his hands.  He's narrowed it down to Lee Crosby (David Dastmalchian). He was in prison and he was the same man who left Max at the chess table.  Nick and Crawford question him and his association with the murders.  He was in every city where the DBs were found and he has an obsession with Troy but wouldn't make that same losing move.

Sara attends another CS and Greg says it's not the move that was meant to happen next.  A man is found knifed to death in his car and inside the car, his clothes show he's a knight of the round table. The killer has changed the pattern.  Nick collects evidence from the car and finds insects in the backseat, which are bed bugs.  As well as blood and DNA which matches to Troy.  Jenny brings in a package which has another chess piece also adding that Karl is missing.  Yes, that was mistake number 2, being so helpful.  Greg asks Max why Troy changed the game and Max tells him that Troy was three moves away from the endgame, The Osterlitz move.  Greg watches a video of Troy after he quit and he gets angry at the person filming.  Sara asks why he gave up chess?

Morgan tracks the bed bugs down to a motel where Troy is staying.  Yuck, that was easy wasn't it. Here Nick and Crawford find chess boards and games being played on them,as well as the DB of Lee, killed in the bathtub.  He must have been an accomplice.  His killing is another move in the game and Greg thinks the final move will be made soon, leading to Karl being killed.  Hodges tells Morgan that the drugs found in the room are experimental, used in Mexico and Europe, so Troy couldn't have killed anyone.  Nick and Crawford question Max and think he's behind the killings. When they leave, Max tells Greg that he knows where to look to see the endgame.  Greg has another flashback and realizes the endgame revolves around the Queen.  See obvious giveaway again leading to Jenny.

She's angry cos she can't play chess and her father could only see her brothers and men as being true chess players.  She saw her father everywhere she went in those chessplayers.  She closed all the accounts with vendors, except the storage facility where they found Troy and Karl.  She sees the Queen as the most powerful piece on the chessboard.  Greg is happy Troy is found.  He tells Sara he stopped playing chess as it involves too much sacrifice and it wasn't fun anymore, and could be an obsession.  Sara says they should get dinner and play a fun game of chess.

Another episode which focuses on Greg again which was good to see and his knowledge of chess. Some great moments here like Sara knowing Greg needs to see the game as fun again and having dinner with him.  It's going back again over the years and how their relationship/friendship has grown over the years.  Once more it's Greg's knowledge of the game which leads to a case being solved, especially his association to the chess game from the outset.  Guess the Queen is more powerful as she can move anywhere on the chessboard, but only in one direction at a time.

Not being big on chess, ha, won't go into too much detail into it, but am told that the move mentioned at the start was wrong since a castling is a King move and not a rook move.  Thus since the rook was moved first on the board then castling can't take place.

Once again Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) wasn't featured in this ep, like the producers were making it obvious they no longer want him in the show, that's two eps in a row now he's not been on.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Doctor Who 8.4 "Listen" Review

                                                                                       This ep begins with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) talking to himself and making theorizations about what happens when we talk to ourselves and why do we do it.  Meaning there really must be someone or something else out there that is listening to us, using that chalkboard again.  Clara (Jenna Coleman) on a date with Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) messes up cos she makes a remark about him being a soldier and how he saved a village full of people, also asking if he knows a pupil at the school, who tells Clara she's got a "wide face."  Speaking of wide faces, that was mentioned enough times with reference to Clara and the Doctor did most of the mentioning too.  When he tells her to stop looking at Orson Pink with her eyes and to put them back.   Then mentioning she needs three mirrors to look at her wide face.

She leaves, gets home and the Doctor is waiting for her in her bedroom in his TARDIS.  Now if this had been Doctor Eleven (Matt Smith oh how we still miss thee!) there'd have been plenty made of that since obviously we all know Clara was in awe with him, as was Amy Pond, well not just cos of his face of course.  Okay, maybe exactly cos of his face being so young (looking) who was also in Amy's bedroom when she kissed him before her wedding day.  Although it didn't seem appropriate for the Doctor to be in Clara's bedroom, it was cos he thought if she brought her date home, then she wouldn't come up there.  Showing he's not big on dating in the modern world, since most people do and would exactly end up in the bedroom, first date or not!

He wants her to come with him cos he needs her, but she doesn't want to go.  He didn't ask her about her date cos she's upset and she's taken off her makeup he tells her, which she hasn't.  She goes reluctantly and he asks her about the dreams of being in bed, seeing something there, opening the light and no one's there.  Then you put your feet down and something grabs your leg.  That maybe everyone's had that dream at once in their lives, er, no! (Got nothing but shoes and shoes and shoes under my bed!! ha.  Plus it's too low for hiding under!)  He makes her place her hands into the squelchy stuff  which will see her memories/thoughts, so she mustn't think of anything dirty.  Also helping the TARDIS to fly.

It lands at a place, a home, where he says she must have been at once, but she had parents didn't she, didn't they bring her up?  Clearly the emphasis is on Clara and her story, who she really is.  He tells her not to go in cos she might see herself and that would be bad.  He goes in and talks with the caretaker, again asking him about anything strange that's happened. The Doctor's a school inspector, inspecting at 2am, "the best time."  Yes, you could say that, by investigating what exactly spooky goings on when children etc are half asleep already.  The caretaker's noticed the TV goes off by itself and also his coffee is missing sometimes.  This time it disappears, cos the Doctor takes it.

Clara sees a boy in the window who turns out to be Danny Pink, here known by Rupert (Remi Gooding) his first name.  He's afraid and he's not in bed cos he had a dream.  She lies under his bed and tells him there's nothing there.  The Doctor reads books, or looks through them, looking for Wally, who isn't in every book Rupert tells him.  They then see the bedspread over someone's head and body and he tells them to turn away, to not look at it, cos it wants that.  It eventually leaves the room.  Clara wondering if that was really a child trying to scare.

This time the TARDIS brigs them to the end of the world,  Or rather the end of time.  Where they find a soldier, Orson Pink who appears to have been stuck out there by himself for six months at least.  So gets lonely and needs companions, a blatant reference to the Doctor and his needing companions if ever there was one.  He wants to get back home, he's a time traveller and he asks the Doctor if he'll take him back straightaway cos he doesn't want to spend another night here.  But the TARDIS needs recharging so they can't leave.  He stays here and Clara and the Doctor stay outside the TARDIS.  The airlock is locked and soon there's knocking coming from outside.  Clara is sent into the TARDIS and the Doctor has to see what that is.  He unlocks the airlock with his sonic and the TARDIS screen malfunctions.  Eventually finding he's holding on, Orson brings him back.

The Doctor's passed out, so Clara must fly the TARDIS once again.  This time she ends up at a barn with a child crying and a man and woman saying he should come into the house.  That he doesn't want to be a soldier.  Giving us also a flashback to the Doctor, (John Hurt's War Doctor version) walking to the barn, which was shown in the Day of the Doctor episode.

Clara must hide under the bed and the Doctor awakes and is searching for her, as does the boy who sits up and puts his feet on the ground.  She grabs his leg and makes him go back to bed.  Reassuring him that there's nothing there and talking about his fear.  So the twist being that she was the one who started the dreams about there being things under the bed.  Well that was put to bed, so to speak, ha.

The Doctor asks her about Orson since she was connected to him as her timeline took her to him, he's someone from her future.  So we assume he's her grandson or great grandson, getting together with Danny Pink.  But she doesn't tell him about her date or his name.  Though she bangs her head on the table, just as Danny did.  She returns back to her date and watches herself leave, asking if that's how she looks from the back, she looks good.  Returning to the date, she tells him it's her mouth which runs away.  Then calls him Rupert, he's curious as to how she knows and thinks she's making fun of him.  He gives up and leaves, but Clara goes after him and they share a kiss.

Guess this shows how dreams, hypnotic suggestions, can manipulate peoples' lives.  The Doctor planting the suggestion of Dan the soldierman into Danny's head and he grows up to become exactly that, a soldier.  There was also a harkback to things/themes already done in the show, such as The Eleventh Hour, with the Eleventh Doctor and the things we see from the corner of our eyes!  As well as holding one's breath.

That appears to be some sort of a home for children as the couple are not his parents, which is kind of similar to Clara, who also appears to have been in a home.  Just thought, did she only arrive here via the TARDIS squelch cos she was meant to meet Rupert/Danny and this connection was already in her timeline and is why she was led here, rather than actually being here as the Doctor tells her.  Was the Doctor mistaken when he says she's here, since her timeline is bringing her to Rupert/Danny.  This wasn't about her at this point.  It seems this way.

But the Doctor doesn't want to be a soldier, yet all of his comments have been allusions to soldiers, going back to the very first ep in which he says he doesn't take orders.  The biggest clue to him being the Doctor is that he won't go to the academy and won't be a Time Lord.  But soldiers have been in the Doctor's timeline, recall the Tenth Doctor (David Tennent) and John Smith, who was a soldier during the First World War, for starters.  Whereas Clara's destiny seems to be leading her right slap bang towards a soldier.  A family of soldiers, as that's what Rupert says when Clara leaves the toy soldiers to guard his bed.  The colonel doesn't have a gun and as she explains, he's the boss so he doesn't need one.  Another allusion to the Doctor and how he doesn't need guns.

There's also that line from the Doctor where he says, "the silence at the end of the world" or something along those lines.  Again it seems to be going back to the Silence, all through most of the Eleventh Doctor's early time.   Silence also when you are asleep, or by yourself, so you begin to talk to yourself.  This ep really did have you thinking about the Doctor's questions at the beginning, and nicely showed you the fear that lurks within us all, but was toned down when it's Clara who was really under the bed and put all those notions into the Doctor's head as a boy.  It's as though the TARDIS led her there to show her she was a big influence in the Doctor's life as a boy and that she was destined to meet him again, but she's also forgotten that she did this, if you know what I'm getting at.  After also hinting that the Doctor is the one who doesn't remember everything.