Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Vampire Diaries 8.4 "An Eternity of Misery" Review

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Arcadia 750 BC
Another one of those flashback eps which you either hate or love and I actually don't like them no matter what the context or the premise they entail.  Especially having to endure last season's jumping and forth with three years later, earlier, present day etc.  This one is a story told from one sister to the other as she speaks of Cade (Wole Parks) a man who could read minds being psychic and how he was not only treated badly and eventually was burned on the pyre.  One of the sisters also developed this psychic ability and was driven out of her village, ending up with the other on an island. She was meant to be Sybil (Nathalie Kelley).  She taught the other how to forage for food or at least was supposed to by calling the ships to sink and then she'd bring back the provisions.  She didn't want that when she found out that's what Sybil had done and that God would provide for them from the land. Nothing came of that and so Sybil went out hunting on the basis that she would bring back food but in actual fact she was eating human flesh as there weren't any provisions on the ships and the sailors came from her village.

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) ends up at Peter Maxwell's (Joel Gretsch) [who was agent afloat in NCIS eps] garage and how prophetic was that or coincidental where he sets alight the mechanic cos he could and he wasn't much help, but as we know no humanity means no remorse.  When Peter returns Damon compels him to tell him about the Maxwell family heirloom.  He says his gran died and left a storage box which his son was looking for.  Damon thinks his watch could be an heirloom and when he touches it is laced with vervain.  He then stabs him and is saved by Matt (Zach Roerig) who shoots Damon.  With the reveal that Matt is his son.  Getting him to drink Damon's blood Matt saves him. He knows Matt is desperate and he's not really in the mood for small talk telling him if he doesn't help him then he won't get Tyler (Michael Trevino) back.  He's not in New York and he's finished with Elena.  How many times have we heard that one.  Ah silly Matty Blue Eyes leaving Damon tied to a chair with wheels!

Alaric (Matt Davis) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) question Sybil with the help of the tuning fork and she tells them the story of having another sister, as the name suggests they're sirens.  Georgie (Allison Scagliotti) is curious as to what's happening and goes to Alaric's house to retrieve the book but triggers the alarm.  She comes across Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) and she calls Alaric to tell him about Georgie.  Obviously giving everyone the impression that she's the siren.  But no, Sybil already threw that one out there by saying that Seline is a good name for a siren.  Seline obviously gets Georgie to help imprison Alaric and also knocks out Stefan.  But Sybil doesn't leave her cell.  Alaric leaves a message for the others and says he can get out cos Georgie showed the way out of the caves, adding she's the other siren.  Begging the question why would she do this if she was the siren.  So he knocks out his hearing so he can't be manipulated.

Sybil tells Stefan the story of how she discovered the bones of the men hidden in a cave at low tide and how she was turned into a cannibal.  She tried to kill herself but she was saved by Cade, who created an all powerful pit of fire to save himself from his fate.  She also tells him Seline is the siren but he won't remember that.  Asking him the question of "which girl are you?"  That sounded funny. The one who killed and turned his brother cos he couldn't bear to be alone or the one who was the victim.  She'll tell him everything if he answers her, "which girl is your spirit animal?"  Stefan replies he's both cos he is, and she tells him his destiny is that hell and the devil.  He doesn't believe her and doesn't believe there is a devil, but she talks of how Damon does and that's why he made a deal with Cade and he's switched off his humanity.  He doesn't want to end up in that place and he's seen it.

Georgie tells Seline how Sybil told her to "piss off" and she kills her, foraging on her. As she floats off into another place.  Has Georgia gone to hell then and will be their ally?  She said she died and came back so there must be something she can do to help them and to defeat the devil.

Matt gets to Tyler after he and his father talk of how his great grandmother spoke of vervain to ward off the vampires and he was sorry he left Mystic Falls.  Matt saying they'd all have been better off leaving.  He opens the trunk and can't believe his best friend has actually gone!  Poor Matt's been through the wringer and has lost anyone he ever cared about!  Probably one of the best emotional scenes we've had in this show for a long time, as he breaks down and has his dad for support, at least. Showing Tyler wasn't strong enough to handle Damon.  Who finds what he was looking for in the form of an orb (cannon ball more like! ha) but doesn't know why he's looking for it.

Caroline's (Candace King) left Bonnie with Enzo but she hasn't been able to help him yet.  She tells Stefan he could've slept in his bed even if she was with Bonnie.  The part in the beginning with Cade reminds me of the episode of Once Upon A Time where Merlin was featured and how his magic led to his being ostracised.  Sybil kind of told a bleeding heart story didn't she about being the younger sister and the victim.  That she had no choice and Seline lied to her.  Making her story similar to Damon becoming a vampire but that doesn't absolve her for the killing she's done and made others do, in the same way it doesn't really absolve or give them redemption either, even if Stefan said whatever they did they've forgiven each other cos they're brothers and their bond is greater.

How are Alaric's daughters involved with this and their reaction to the pitch fork.  They can't be sirens considering they're meant to be witches.  Also seems they will have an impact on the story since Seline has a hold of them as nanny.

As always a word about the title which comes from season 1 where Damon said to Stefan: "I promised you an eternity of misery so I'm just keeping my word."
Also in 1.22 Blood Brothers, Damon says the line again as they flash to 1863: "you got what you wanted you and me for all eternity.  But hear this brother I will make it an eternity of misery for you." It wasn't just an eternity of misery quite yet over the years, but he got a good headstart on it, especially considering he didn't really act like the loving brother on numerous occasions, as well as deserting Stefan last season, just to wake up when Elena does. Which he now says doesn't mean anything to him.  It's what Sybil said too of how it was Stefan who wanted Damon with him and didn't want to live without him.  Good continuity for this episode.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Vampire Diaries 8.3 "You Decided That I Was Worth Saving" Review

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Bonnie (Kat Graham) surprises Caroline (Candace King) with champagne in bed for breakfast and to congratulate her on the engagement to Stefan (Paul Wesley).  Caroline being all shy in her top as if Bonnie hasn't seen her dressed like that before.  It's what she mostly always wears.  She snuck into her house and got her wedding scrapbook so they can plan together with Caroline saying she wants the same for Bonnie and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and she'll help her get that for them.  Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) watches the car crash with Elena and her parents holding Damon's (Ian Somerhalder) hand and she sees the sheriff (Marguerite McIntyre) call it in the Vics, the Grayson's and Elena.  Damon saying he doesn't know them.  Of course he wouldn't, since she's turned his brain to mush literally and metaphorically.  And boy is she irritating for a siren.  Think they could've come up with someone better to play a seductive siren cos Sybil has no charm whatsoever and is as exciting to watch as a wet sponge and that's saying something.  However the plus side: Damon sitting calmly reading a book!  But what was he reading?  Ha.

Of course she's got Damon right where shew ants him, so easily and completely at her side and wants the same loyalty from Enzo.  Begging the question if she's already got one lapdog why does she need another one.  Or maybe all the fun is in getting him to submit to her will and mind games.  As Caroline and Bonnie go wedding dress shopping, Damon turns up as Sybil wants him to kill Bonnie, testing Enzo and seeing if he will submit to her.  He refuses to switch off his humanity (vampires must be easier to manipulate than other creatures it appears.)  Thus sending Damon after Bonnie. Bonnie wants to be Caroline's maid of honour, she'd be "honoured" and jumps at the chance since her competition won't be awake until she dies.  Yeah about that dying business, so if Damon was able to kill Bonnie, that would've meant Elena would've woken up and then where would Damon find himself.  But of course that's neither here nor there since he can't remember a damn thing.

Damon fails miserably in killing Bonnie as would be apparent and Sybil's disappointed since he got beaten by a girl, two girls he tells her.  But she wonders if his heart was really in it.  So once again we get more mind melding manipulation and she finds out that Bonnie and Damon have been through a lot together.  Then turning up at the house when Caroline is in search of weapons.  She looks through Caroline's wedding scrapbook too, and Caroline jokes how she liked a design she wanted when she was in the eleventh grade.  She wants a heart to heart with them or it occult be very painful for them both and wonders why Bonnie and Damon never went there together, you know, did the dirty cos he's hot and his name can spell 'Damn'.  Oh come on, to paraphrase Caroline, what was she five?  She wants Bonnie to choose between Enzo and Damon cos they're going to fight to the death and one of them will end up in that place below.  Not heaven but in real pain.  Bonnie doesn't choose so she takes them in the car to where they'll be fighting.

Strangely Damon calls Stefan, he doesn't know what she wants him to do saying his mind won't focus on that, calling it "apple sauce and penguins."  He wants Stefan to help him and obviously he's not given up on him though it's hopeless.  As said, Damon's given up on Damon so it was rather all pointless.  He shows him Enzo in the boot and wants his help in killing him.  To be his second.  Of course he knew Enzo wouldn't have anyone else there and that's it.  Everyone knows Stefan will do anything for Damon including taking sides.  Stefan wants to know why he can't fight her like Enzo has and why he's given up.  Again knew the answer would be that it's pointless.  With Damon the entire question and answer vocabulary just revolves around giving up for him.  Last time he gave up cos he didn't want his loved ones to fight for him anymore and get hurt, seems he's doing the same thing now.  Though he's the one behind the killing!  Guess I should day nothing's changed there then.

Anyway little Ms Siren doesn't wear her seatbelt and still insists on getting the last word in and as Bonnie hasn't chosen the clock strikes 3 and they begin the fight, with Stefan trying to stop them. Bonnie slams the breaks and Sybil goes flying through the windscreen!  Pity there wasn't any lasting damage.  As they arrive, they find Stefan's out of action, and Sybil also arrives, knew she'd get a ride so much for Bonnie's walking theory, telling Bonnie to choose again as Damon has his hand in Enzo's chest.  She chooses Enzo as she would and Damon wants to be saved.  Sybil tells Bonnie no one's going to help her so Damon still needs to kill her, going back on her pinky swear to Enzo.  LIke he cared. Only Enzo can stop it by coming over to the dark side and he gives up and switches off his humanity.  Of course Sybil would still want Bonnie dead and Enzo tells her he doesn't care.  Bonnie standing there and not running until she told her to, what's up with that.

Beforehand Stefan had told Alaric (Matt Davis) about their engagement and he says he's fine with it and can give him a deal on two flowergirl dresses.  He gets Georgie (Allison Scagliotti) to carry out more research and she finds that the pitchfork is a pitchfork, which is what I said, last ep and in medieval times, that's the only fork they could use so it didn't have three prongs to it.  As the twins squabble over the fork it falls to the ground and makes a sound, he says it's a tuning fork and obviously would be used on Sybil.  Funny how Alaric knew where to find everyone and as Damon tries to kill Bonnie, he turns up and puts Sybil out of action with the fork.  Not for long though.  As they have her at the Armoury, didn't they even think of how she'll use her 'singing' to control Damon still.  Come on she's a siren, clearly all that myth stuff went out the window here!

Bonnie has words with Stefan about how he was on Damon's side and always will be, well that's apparent, they're brothers and blood is stronger and all that.  Alaric tells Stefan that he can get Damon back again cos he did before and not to give up to him.  Alaric considered Damon a brother, or as close to and again Damon doesn't know what she wants him to do.  So we get her humming and he needs to remove all the attachments to him and this one just happens to be Tyler (Michael Trevino) So that's how they aim to weed out the characters and that's their endings.  Not even Tyler was strong enough and he tells Damon to kill him cos either it'll help him overcome this hold on him, or his face will be the last one he remembers forever when he recalls what he did.  He turns away but her moany humming is too much of an allure and he kills Tyler!  Fans won't be happy.  Well one down and a few others to go.  Stefan didn't even finish writing in Elena's diary.

Caroline knows Stefan took Damon's side but she has to take Bonnie's.  We're not going to get that coming in between them are we.  Especially after they've found each other.  Will they get their happy ending.  Didn't think this was the show it used to be.  The storyline isn't very gripping and I still say this siren nonsense is a little out of place for this show.  

Once again the title can allude to any one of the characters here, either Bonnie, Enzo or Damon.  Or all of them.  Each one of them needs saving in their own way, not just from Sybil, but also in the form of their own personal redemption.  Perhaps one reason why they're taking sides.  They've all been there for one another and saved lives and yet it seems they're going to have a showdown here and it looks very ugly!  Time and again Bonnie has saved Damon even if she doesn't like him, but thought all that changed last season when she was angry at him for leaving her and going to rest for eternity, leaving everyone to fend for themselves.  Seems there's still fallout from all this cos Damon did the same to Stefan, again leaving him and not caring about family.  Little wonder he's so easily manipulated and can just switch off his humanity so easily.  So if he really cared for Elena how come Sybil got to him so easily.  He knew he would see her again and that he would be around for eternity.

Caroline had to take sides cos she's Bonnie's best friend and she can't see her go through all this over and over again.  She's always the one making the sacrifices for her friends, getting hurt and getting nothing in return.  Guess the funny scene was at then end when Sybil now takes Bonnie's place and eats the pancakes.  But that look on Damon's face kinda said 'I know who you really are and I'm bored of it.'  Get outta my head!!  Yeah can't wait for that!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Vampire Diaries 8.2 "Today Will Be Different" Review

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As the title suggest today wasn't any different to all the other days they've experienced in the past, especially considering as we all know from past lessons not learnt, in this show, there's no point in having a plan cos they always, always go awry and this was no exception.  The siren Sybel (Nathalie Kelley) still playing mind games, okay she wasn't playing, she was for real, but anyway she broke Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and he just seemed to let it all go anyway.  Resigned to the fact he's heading straight to hell.  But that'd mean no Elena if that happens and again why the self destructive streak Damon?  We know he's not the more decent brother of the two, but he made inroads and changes to his life and his character, not least of which was wanting to end the misery for everyone last season by giving up on everyone.  You could say again not much has changed there then, hence the title once again, today was not different.

So he gets easy manipulated and Stefan (Paul Wesley) says he's switched off his humanity, was it so easy for him to switch it off anyway considering he's been manipulated by her.  (Have to say the show does have almost a knack for casting similar looking brunettes to play the bad girls in this!) But I'm miffed and by that mean we went down the road of vampires, and all that and now we end up with Sybil, all roads leading to hell.  Even Alaric (Matt Davis) is pursuing that route with his intern, Gerogie (Allison Scagliotti) and her markings, as well as her finding that pitchfork of the two pronged variety.  Nothing makes sense yet it is early days, but I thought the show would probably end as it started with at least a reference, more episodes relating to vampires as opposed to sirens and even hell.  Hell is other people to take a title from another season and here Damon has done exactly that again, created his own hell for himself and he's determined to take all with him.  Sybil's seen to that.  Stefan of course not giving up on him and since he spared Sarah s(Tristin Mays) hows he had some part of Damon and his humanity left in him to overcome her mind control.

Bonnie (Kat Graham) seemed selfish, anymore than usual here then?  As she wanted Enzo (Michael Malarkey) back and was determined to drive him away with her.  As opposed to him driving her away which is what he wanted so badly.  She doesn't take a hint does she, again putting everyone in danger thinking she can save Enzo when she doesn't really know what she's up against, when she can see he's trying so hard to ensure his mind isn't taken over like Damon.  Didn't work in the end though, he gives up Sarah Nelson as a name and says he had to give Sybil something tangible, which Caroline (Candace King) and Bonnie found on the Internet, as Stefan said Enzo has to give them a clue.  With Stefan putting it together that it's a reference to Sarah Salvatore, their last surviving blood relative. When he said that you knew that was the end for her.  Oh and yeah packing was important wasn't it, I mean she couldn't get new things or have then sent on, no she had to pack!

They were indecisive though about how to handle her and leaving Damon wiped out on the floor without restraining him wasn't a good idea.  We always know he gets his way.  Also Sybil finding out that Damon visits a secret place in his subconscious which of course had to be his last refuge with Elena.  His 'happy' place and that didn't last too long either.  She had to find that out and substitute herself cos Elena couldn't really appear every episode.  Don't like where this is headed at all.  As Caroline said at the end it was all for nothing, as usual, since Sarah is finally killed and she doesn't let Stefan save her, mind controlling him too cos again Damon was too weak, only he tells her he's strong.  Strong enough to get used again but weak enough to not save himself or even try, which I know would've been too simple.  As for Caroline, come on she couldn't have crawled to her ring, instead of having to walk towards it.  Why was Stefan so easily mind controlled, she knows nothing about him or his thoughts and he let it happen too.

Another heart to heart with Caroline and Bonnie as she thinks Bonnie is jealous of her and Stefan's happiness, well sure seemed that way.  She does want what they have cos poor Bonnie's always being left out and always has to think of and help everyone else.  But Caroline realizes she has to be there for her like they used to be, as she also continues writing in the journal for Elena, who isn't really missing much of anything.  Think the time was right to call it quits on the show, regrettably I have to say, they weren't really going anywhere with it.

Stefan's building a room for the girls and finally proposes to Caroline in a snogging, roundabout way and yes she would accept. At least it was a nice proposal, and different, without having to beg on his knees! ha.
Georgie appears to be setting him up with the "hot nanny" and how she came back from the dead after causing an accident and is convinced she's also heading to hell.  After almost flashing to Alaric, at least that's what he thought.  So he's back on the research gig again and raves his findings to the nanny, how trustworthy is she anyway?  Sybil finds out about Bonnie cos she just couldn't leave it alone and will be after info on her too now.

The only thing different today was Stefan actually proposing to Caroline, losing their last surviving blood relative and not at Damon's hands for once.  She could've gone out the other door couldn't she.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Salvatore Vs Winchester

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Several similarities come to mind between these four characters, Stefan and Damon Salvatore and Sam and Dean Winchester.  Notice how the 'S' names always come first.   Not least which they're brothers.   All are involved in the supernatural and the mysticism surrounding this.   Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) all have the same initials for their respective names, at least there's two 'D's and two 'S's.   Although two, Stefan and Damon are characters from books, and thus form figments of writer, LJ Smith's imagination.   Hang on - Sam and Dean are also figments of Eric Kripke's imagination.

They do have plenty in common too.   Stefan, like Sam, is meant to be the caring brother, looking out for others, with Stefan clearly keeping his humanity in check.   Sam throughout the early seasons was the same; he wouldn't kill anyone if they could be saved; or there was some other possible solution in sight.   Sam's the thinker, the voice of reason.   Both are younger brothers.   Sam had his 'destiny' of turning evil one day overshadowing him and embracing his 'dark' side, which he did.   Yet things decidedly changed when he had to battle Lucifer in season 5.   Sam went to hell, endured 'the cage' and was brought back somehow altered.   This sacrifice he made to save the world from the impending Apocalypse was for everyone.

No such Apocalypse for Stefan but he underwent a transformation in season 2 finale when he had to 'embrace' his "ripper" side.  Klaus (Joseph Morgan) forced him to drink human blood to save his brother Damon, otherwise he wouldn't cure him of the werewolf bite Damon suffered, leaving Damon's life hanging in the balance.   Each have gone to great lengths to sacrifice themselves for each other.   At least Stefan did whatever he had to for Damon.

With Supernatural, both Sam and Dean made the ultimate sacrifices for one another by dying and returning, first by bringing each other back and then being brought back by Castiel (Misha Collins).   Dean sold his soul for Sam in season 2; then the search was on to a way of getting back his soul back and ending the deal throughout season 3 -   though Stefan was finally given a cure for Damon in the season 2 finale, As I Lay Dying, culminating in Stefan being lost to Damon.   Especially when Klaus compelled Stefan in season 3 to "turn it off."  I.e his humanity and was well and truly under Klaus's compulsion.   Stefan did things: killed, had fun feeding off humans and culling them, something he thought he would never have to do again and he reverted to nothing but a cold blooded killer.

Sam was brought back in the season 5 finale, but he wasn't the same Sam, as he stood by and watched Dean get on with his life, move on without him from outside Lisa's window.   Sam had no soul.  So he didn't care about anyone; nor did he have the same Sam emotions and traits everyone admired about him and made him Sam Winchester.   He was nothing but a ruthless killing machine, and a hunter without a soul is as cold and as cruel as they come.   Even more so Sam, since he was always the emotional, feeling Sam.   He showed his indifference and callous streak when he let Dean be attacked and turned by the vampire in 6.5 Live Free or Twihard.   He felt nothing and did nothing.   This is where Stefan differed. He was made to forget his humanity.  Stefan still recalled it and tried to break though and gain it back.   Yet through it all his actions were still motivated to protect Damon and the girl he loved, Elena (Nina Dobrev).

Dean and Damon share similar qualities too.   Both joke around, never take important issues seriously (at least Dean never used to), engage in witty banter.   Dean was forever on the side of good and helping people; to the point of feeling guilt and irresolvable shame at having to torture in hell.   Damon has helped out but he shows his cold, vampire side on many occasions too and loses his temper a lot.   A sign of hot blooded-ness, ha.   When he gets angry he takes it out on whoever is around him, be it furniture or be they human, friend or foe as he did with Alaric (Matt Davis) in 3.4 Disturbing Behavior.   Sometimes you really don't want to get on his bad side!

Both are a bit of  ladies men and seem to shy away from commitment, even if Dean tried settling down with Lisa for a year.   But Dean didn't covet his brother's girl, he did however go as far as killing one, a monster in season 7 and was willing to kill Madison for him in season 2 episode Heart.

Sam did kill Madison (Emmanuelle Vaugier)  - the werewolf he loved.   In contrast, Stefan killed Damon's "fake" girlfriend, Andie in a bid to prevent Damon from constantly coming after him, hoping to get him back to 'normal'.   He did it for himself in part and mostly for Elena,  well kind of.   As a result, Damon gave up on Stefan in season 3 - he couldn't be bothered wasting his time on trying to bring back the old Stefan.   As he told Elena, the old Stefan is gone and he's "not coming back in your lifetime."  He was wrong.   Something Dean has never done, nor would he ever give up on Sam, even if he made him endure an unmentionable and unimaginable hell when he became a vampire.   Everything he's done and does, has been for Sam, for his family and their unfaltering brotherly love.   Though viewed as extreme by some, such as Lisa, it is the ultimate force that holds them both together as Winchesters.

Dean, after being turned into a vampire, may share this experience with Damon and Stefan, although Dean didn't feed. He came close and felt the heightened feelings and strengths of being one of the 'undead.'  Sam too hasn't been spared the bloodletting. He's partaken in drinking demon blood: same principle, different outcomes and reasons and knows of its strengths.   He was superhuman and he was bad, whooping demons left, right and centre, encouraged by evil Ruby (Genevieve Padalecki) in season 4.   Setting him apart from Dean and also in conflict with him for what he was doing, it was unnatural and not something Dean would have wanted for him or expected from Sam.

Winchesters are hunters.   Salvatore's are vampires, centuries old.   One family would inevitably hunt the other - but that works both ways.   Vampires can also be termed Hunters and can turn so when survival is on the agenda.

Brothers, can't live with them, can't live without them!  These four have lots in common and lots going for them and yet plenty to set them apart and make them unique.   Which brother is your fave: which family would you choose and who would win in a battle of wits and survival?

Jensen and Ian were both born in the same year, 1978, Jensen in March and Ian in December; both being older than their counterparts, both in the shows and in Real Life.   Jared and Paul were not only born in the same month of July but also in the same year, 1982.   Also Paul's last name is Wasilewski, his parents are Polish and Jared is of Polish ancestry from his father's side; how uncanny is that?  Both shows also airing on the CW, we've even had almost similar sounding episode titles, Supernatural 2.1 In My Time of Dying, and Vampire Diaries 2.22 As I Lay Dying...

Written 2011.

You know you write for some pesky websites who preach 'copyright' at ya so when you leave they don't give you back all your articles etc cos you wrote for them, well then they vanish and don't have the decency to tell you they'll be getting lost so you can download your work!! Well there was plenty of stuff I had I wanted and couldn't get back! Thanx for nothing !

Moral: Don't write for crap sites!!
Glad I got this one and a few more and including the Jon-Erik Hexum biography I just posted previously, cos I spent a while on that and it was sentimental!!  Didn't get the great Mentalist ones I wrote though!!

Jon-Erik Hexum Biography

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"I'd hate to die young and never have made Grapes of Wrath.  Life goes by so fast...I just don't want to miss out on anything."   Jon-Erik Hexum

Jon-Erik Hexum (he was advised to drop the 'C' in favour of a 'K' as it looked much more stronger) and used to go by the name of Jack; was born November 5 1957 in Englewood, New Jersey.  He was 6' 1", of Norweigan/Icelandic descent.  His parents Gretha and Thorleif Hexum separated when he was 5.  He had an older brother, Gunnar. The two were raised by their mother, who held down two jobs. Though they couldn't afford to, his mother also bought him a piano.
As a child, Jon-Erik took violin, singing and dancing lessons, also playing the baritone horn and was very eager to play Flight of the Bumble Bee after only one lesson on the piano.

Jon-Erik inherited his confidence from his mother.  Confidence was described as one of his "strongest traits," saying, "at times I'm amazed at my confidence, even when it doesn't make sense that I should be." He also cited his mother as being his influence, "I kind of did whatever I wanted when I was growing up and my mother always kind of helped me do what I wanted when I was growing up."

Jon-Erik attended Tenafly High School, New Jersey, where he was the first male cheerleader.  Here he also played soccer, wrestled, was on the diving, swimming and gymnastics team.  Also having band practice, played baseball and if that wasn't industrious enough, he also became Class President. The first college he attended was Case Western Reserve, Cleveland and graduated with a BA Social Science from James Madison College, Michigan State University.  Majoring in Philosophy and Economics.  He liked Philosophy and was "going to unlock  the questions of the world...after 4 years, I didn't really care much was interesting."  He only studied these subjects but didn't really want  a career in that field.  He studied, "what I was interested in, not for what I could use it for."

At Michigan State he was on the football team and wanted to play after seeing his first football game there.  Later saying, "5 months of running and lifting weights  got me on the team.  Then I spent 3 years keeping the bench warm." On his appearance he commented, "I grew about 4 inches, gained about 50 pounds for football, my face range of experience broadened almost immediately."  Jon-Erik gave up sports after his "sixth concussion and second broken nose."  He once considered being an Olympic athlete, a champion figure skater, a football player or an artificial heart pioneer, but the acting bug was too great to pass by.  He was  a late-night DJ on Lansing Radio where he went by the name of "Yukon Jack."

Upon graduating school (university) he began theatre classes and looked for agents; as well as getting in to see casting directors, producers, anyone he could.  In New York he studied with Willard Young; Uta Hagen and Mervyn Nelson.  As well as attending some of Sandy Meisner's seminars.  During this time he held down many varied jobs ranging from a bartender at NYC discos, a bouncer, a singing waiter. After spending 8 months in New York, where he became known as one of the "most industrious and determined young actors in all of New York."  Then moving to California and was only in LA for 4 months before landing the role of Phineas Bogg in Voyagers!  A show where he played a sixteenth century time traveller, travelling back and forth in time, changing history wherever it went wrong, along with a 12 year old, Jeffrey Jones (Meeno Peluce) who was effectively his history book.  Considered to be the prequel to Quantum Leap and an inspiration for this.  Jon-Erik became "one of the most sought-after properties in Hollywood."  He said his most notable feature was his voice.

Before this Jon-Erik had acted in some plays: playing Johnny Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown; Billy Bigelow in Carousel as well as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance.  He enjoyed watching many plays when he was younger and, saying, "I just think you should do what you want in life that you enjoy the most."
He believed that the "best thing is to go to work, to do lots of plays and to learn while you're's so much more incumbent upon you to really pay attention."  The best advice Jon-Erik would have given to potential actors, or anyone thinking about going into acting as a career.

Jon-Erik was discovered by agent Bob Lemond whilst he was cleaning apartments.  Sadly he missed out on a role as a dancer in the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  Appearing as an extra in Deathtrap, A Little Sex and in soaps.  In 1981 he auditioned for the movie Summer Lovers, which ultimately led to the part in Voyagers!

Other roles were in an episode of Arthur Hailey's Hotel, (1984) in the episode The Tomorrows, playing Prince Erik, alongside Emma Samms.  He filmed the movie, The Bear about the life of football coach Bear Bryant, where Jon-Erik played Pat Trammell.  The film was made in three months but he was on set for only over a month .  He commented, "there's this one scene where I die and we did that scene for 9 hours."  Pat Trammell died aged  28.  Most of Jon-Erik's scenes were cut from the movie.  Some other shows included, Fantasy (1983) where he hosted the show for a week as a guest.  Just Men (1983) a game show, hosted by Betty White.   He turned down roles in TV Series where he had to play replacement actors, such as in CHiPs, Dukes of Hazzard, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Jeff Daniel's part in Fifth of July. 1983 saw Jon-Erik selected as one of the Ten Most Watchable Men in the World by Man Watchers Inc.  Others on the list included Richard Gere and David Hasselhoff.

                                               Image result for jon erik hexum

The movie, The Making of a Male Model (1983) in which he played Tyler Burnett and starred with Joan Collins, was a big break for him, saying "it helped a lot but it hurt a lot was exploitative." He had modelled in the past, but that was just for 8 months.  Jon-Erik was smart, talented and gorgeous and once said, "if I couldn't follow the sex-symbol image with good quality work, then the image might be uncomfortable for me.  But I think I can offer good, quality work." Joan Collins also wanted him to star in Dynasty, but he turned the part down.

1984 saw him earn the bitter sweet role which would have propelled him to stardom.  The role of Mac Harper in TV series Cover Up. In this, he played an undercover CIA agent, whilst undercover as a male model.  He described this as a little "Indiana Jones, James Bond, Mr Magoo and Superman." This show Jon -Erik called, "wildly commercial...I think it will be very successful."  He thought TV was about "being commercial - but try and make a good show at the same time."

On October 12 1984, whilst on the set of Cover Up, which involved an extremely heavy workload, Jon-Erik was exhausted and awoke from sleeping, only to be told filming was to be delayed.  He picked up a gun, unaware it was loaded with blanks and discharged it to his temple.  After being in a coma for a week, Jon-Erik was pronounced brain dead on 18 October 1984.  His organs were harvested for organ donation and as a result of this tragedy, he saved the lives of 6 other people, one of them a little boy; through them, he still lives on.

The creator of Voyagers! James Parriot was so moved by the generous donation of his organs so he wrote this story for the film, Heart Condition, which was loosely based on this.

Season 1.7 Writer's Block of Cover Up included a brief tribute to him written by Glen A Larson, with Richard Anderson reading the following:
"when a star dies, it's light 
continues to shine across
the universe for millenniums... 

John Eric Hexum died in October of this year [1984]
but the lives he touched 
will continue to be brightened 
by his light...forever...
and ever..."

John-Eric Hexum

(Apparently his name was spelled as John-Eric on screen, but is credited as Jon-Erik on websites where this quote also appears. )

His mother, Gretha and Gunnar filed a lawsuit against Fox Studios for wrongful death and this was settled.  It was a tragedy that never should have happened and due to this more stringent prop gun laws were introduced on film/TV sets to ensure this would never happen again.  Clearly someone on the set messed up, since such weapons should never have been left lying around.

A year later in response to all the wonderful letters of support from all around the world, Gretha received from fans and admirers of Jon-Erik, his mother responded to this selfless outpouring of love by writing a letter, part of it read: "To you who shared with me the loss of Jon-Erik.  There is a quiet place along the shore with distant mountains, brisk breezes and here for a time shattered pieces slowly come together.  I've gone to this quiet place before sunrise and everyday since my son's death." Jon-Erik's ashes were flown over Malibu along the shore he lived."

Jon-Erik was likened to James Dean, both so young when they passed: James Dean - 24, Jon-Erik - 26.  But he will live on in his work, as well as in the hearts and minds of those who loved and admired him.  Jon-Erik's film, The Bear was re-released with many of his deleted scenes restored. On James Dean, Jon-Erik himself said, "Jimmy was the best actor on the screen for these few brief years. I would like to be half as good as he was some day."

His wanted to star in Gone With The Wind, but he also wanted to get married and have children and "live happily ever after."
His ultimate fantasy was to play a tragic hero.  "It's a bit self-indulgent and sympathetic but interesting.  In my private life, my fantasy is to get married and have kids."  He wanted to star in films about "real people...I'd like to be a tragic hero - a Rocky - he's a hero but he's realistic and approachable and you can empathize with him."  Jon-Erik was our tragic hero.

Jon-Erik was mentioned in a brief article in People Magazine Tribute Book December 2007, together with other people who tragically died young, including Princess Diana.

More than just a pretty face, with beautiful ice blue eyes.  Jon-Erik was kind, generous, funny and always had time for everyone.  At least a new generation can get to see him in his few films, and show Voyagers! To get to know and see just how talented an actor Jon-Erik was.  He was going places and his star will always shine brightly.

To dreams to many
to distance be
You graced our screens - a presence 
so quietly crept
into our lives, into our hearts
you gave your all, your talent, your love
Your heroic pleasure
And when you left this world
so lonely, snatched by cruel fate
To know you're watching from Heaven
Your gentle touch (presence) here on earth will always echoed be.
Dear heart, dear soul
To us you will always remembered be.

(Written 2011 In Loving Memory...)

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Paranormal Lockdown "The Black Monk House" Hallowe'en Special

                                           Image result for paranormal lockdown halloween special
Before even watching this Paranormal Lockdown special you knew it was going to be extremely, moving, powerful and disturbing from the nature of the location.  As most of you will be synonymous with The Black Monk House, 30 East Drive, especially in you live in the UK, it's a part of our haunted history; or moreover are an investigator.  The widely reported and discussed haunting of the Pritchard family, who experienced poltergeist activity and much more.  It was ominous and as Katrina Weidman said from the outset, there's much more going on here than just poltergeist activity.  There was demonic activity and both Nick Groff and Katrina talked of how such entities manipulate and control and use people for their own purposes, ultimately to break them down and gain power.  Something we're all too familiar with.

The episode began with a look back to the 1.5 investigation of season 1 of Paranormal Lockdown which concentrated on Hinsdale House and the fallout from the investigation.  I call it fallout which is too simple a word.  It is much more than that as Nick was plagued by dreams and nightmares, not only before he went there, but afterwards too.  The shocking activity in his house which sadly his family have also been subjected to and the effect it has had on Nick especially was and still is harrowing to watch.

I was glad they did concentrate on Hinsdale House in particularly explaining what happened then and now, how a year later when the special was filmed, this activity was still continuing.  Not only giving it a context but to show how once Nick appeared to be marked by the goings on at Hinsdale and how now this location, all the way in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England, was not only heard by him on the Geobox but it chillingly was a foreboding, willing him to come here.  As they also spoke of how once these demonic entities know you, they follow you from location to location.

Using Steve Huff's portable Wonder Box, to find what was there.  As Nick said and has said several times over in his book and his interview it's never a good idea to investigate your own house, but he needed to see what was happening here.  A lot of voices on that.   I'm sure I heard "Nick...ambush" before he gets the "demon" response on there. At 4.27 it sounds like a voice saying "my house..." The main gist of it:
"do you miss... Nick...ambush..."
The 'yes' comes before Nick asks if, "there's someone here with me?"  Then you get "...demon..."
Do you faintly hear 'Hinsdale' whispered at 5.12 when Nick asks, "where did you come from?"

I sad the same as Nick when he was looking at that window when they arrived at 30 East Drive, it was the first place my eyes were drawn to, eerily.  Not to mention that pink bathroom. With all the activity, the scratches, the black mass, the figure and the door closing, as well as Katrina seeing Nick as Joe himself, the door of the coal store opening and closing behind Nick.  The scratches.  It was as though they were also being marked here by this house, but was it, or could it have been an extension of the Hinsdale entity even.  As well as noticing the crooked pictures on the wall, which remained straight throughout the 100 hour investigation.  I have to also say that there was a sickly feeling in my stomach and at the back of my throat.  Like being in the moment with Nick and Katrina.  Or perhaps it was just Katrina talking about demonic hauntings and her case, first demonic case ten years ago. Though I have had those "synchronicity" moments with Nick before.

Rob Saffi mentioning Nick wants to find what's haunting his family which made him angry. The door opening when Nick was asleep, said to sis it was a door, didn't realize there was one there and she said the curtain on the side moved onto camera shot.  The marble being thrown at Rob, the knife on the stairs, reinforcing Phil saying earlier on how things are just thrown.  At 50.44 did that growl sound like evil laughter to anyone, when they were sitting on the stairs speaking of warnings and Nick said this isn't a warning.  They've come too far for that.  I'd say the warning phase was when Nick had his dreams and before they went to Hinsdale.

Instrumental Trans Communication box (ITC) designed by Keith Weldon. Which Katrina called the "videobox to the dead."  That figure, caught on the stairs, looks like it could be the monk?? Creepy either way.  Uncanny how Nick said he's hoping they can see the shadow figure of the man who's been seen here. Cue response!

Does anyone see a face here?  And what's weird is that everytime I look at this, I've seen like three different types of faces so far??
At 52.45 when they review the footage of the ITC, can anyone hear some sort of breathing/sighing, like a 'haah' then Nick says he doesn't feel right? It doesn't appear to be Nick or Rob.

Katrina also saying to Rob how Nick opens himself up a lot when the activity was concentrated on him after 72 hours of being so deeply involved in their lockdown.  Then that figure through the glass door, the black mass, after they invited the entity in.  Which I pointed out to my sister.  Actually when Rob leaves the room with his camera and he's shown through the static camera, he appears in a white shirt, though he's wearing black and that figure also seems to be wearing the same through the door. However I was glad and relieved in a way that Nick decided to review their footage there and then instead of later.  Especially when he saw the door was closed.

As Rob tweeted, "We spent hours trying to figure out what we captured there. No explanation. "

The end was also mind numbingly eerie, that after what they went through here, still marred Nick back home and haunted him and the others.  That he needed to return to Hinsdale House and called Katrina to do this.  She was equally moved and had no idea what was happening.  They discover him already inside the house and wanting the entity to take him and leave his family alone.  He would sacrifice himself and his body and he was giving himself up to this entity which as Katrina said and tried to stop him, he shouldn't do.  Which is exactly what it wanted.  Not only his body but his soul and that is something Nick can never do.  They called it out at the Black Monk House, but  it was "trying to break us down."  As Katrina said it's gotten a piece of them and they can't let it get the rest of them, which Nick at Hinsdale was doing.

John Zaffis told them in the beginning, "Some of us this is our journey, this is our lives...that's why you must always keep your guard up 24/7!"  Something which Nick didn't do when he returned to Hinsdale at the end of the episode.  Wanting the entity to control him and take him over and it was a relief to see Katrina arrive in time and to make him stop.  No matter what, you can never give yourself over to the evil that lurks and awaits, as that's exactly what it wants.  As Nick stated this is their destiny and what they set out to do.  There's no going back and I think even if they leave it now and stopped their investigations, I think it would still affect them in some way.  As they are known by this evil presence and others.  Perhaps the best way is to continue, investigate and find some sort of a conclusion.  Not in what they do but what it is that haunts them.  If that makes sense.

It was emotional to watch and was so relieved Nick, Katrina and Rob came through this all and continue on the road mapped out for them, especially Nick and Katrina in their investigations they've been doing for so long now.  You can see why Nick says this has been a long journey for him and Katrina this one year past.

Some words from Nick, as tweeted: "sometimes you have to face the things you fear, or challenge you in order to overcome them in this Life's journey."

Whatever path they have chosen and continue to travel on, we are behind them completely...