Monday, 25 December 2017

Doctor Who Christmas Special "Twice Upon A Time" Review

                                           Image result for doctor who twice upon a time the doctors final monologue
The First Doctor (David Bradley) is attempting not to regenerate as he's not accepting he is dying.  As he wanders to the South Pole and running into Doctor Twelve (Peter Capaldi) which is pretty much where we left off in the last episode.  A Doctor Falls which is basically where Doctor Twelve signed off and this ep was his momentous goodbye to us all.  Where the fat lady sang.  The Doctor not wanting to go on and just wanting to die means something else was required for the mix, not only for the series to continue with new Doctor Thirteen, but also for Peter Capaldi to say a farewell and introduce the new Doctor.  Thus the parallels between the First Doctor not wanting to 'die' and this one, Twelve, wanting to die, to find peace.  As he asks when will he find peace?

It isn't the dilemma that faces Doctor Twelve and his decision on whether to get a new face (and body!) but rather their refusal causes a paradox thus leading to time freezing, as shown by the snowflakes still in midair.  With numerous references to the TARDIS and how it's changed, with added windows.  (Headed for another change now methinks!)

As we also jump to Ypres 1914 and a soldier, two soldiers of opposing sides, facing off with each other, fingers poised on triggers, neither one wanting to fire, but it's war this is inevitable.  The soldier  (Mark Gattis) being transported to the South Pole by an 'alien' looking, transparent being.  Stopping the Doctors in  their tracks as he asks if one of them is a Doctor?  Doctor Twelve replying, 'you've go to be joking.'  Entering the TARDIS, with the ultimate, 'it's bigger on the inside' reference. They both proceed to tick each other off.  The Doctor Twelve with his First's incarnations and outbursts and outmoded attitude and less dealing with technology, advanced that is.  Including several references to the Sonic and his sunglasses to follow, such as they being sonic and having an interface.  Browser history 'n' all.  Doctor One asking for brandy for the soldier, who can't fathom what's happening but he's not dead and right now that's all that matters. Oh and the guitar reference with Doctor Twelve trying to hide it.

As they try to escape the 'alien' they find the TARDIS is being hoisted into the ship (akin to a balloon, chain and what no laser lights or technology to beam the TARDIS in. The alien tells them it will give them a life  in exchange for the soldier as it was his moment to die and he must face it.  (A little like the two Doctors.)  Out walks Bill (Pearl Mackie) and the Doctor must examine her with his Sonic as she can't be real.  She tells him she is and she's not a Cyberman as the girl from the puddle turned up and she found her.  The First Doctor adding she must be his companion and it's good she's back since the TARDIS could do with some cleaning.  However they speak of women being glass and she says she's not, she knows women, including being with other woman, which shocks them.

The Doctors examine the 'alien' being and Doctor One says her face is distorted and if it was a computer it would be perfect.  The alien reveals others like it, they are the memories of people.  They take them, get their memories and keep them for the future. Their testimony.  He is referred to as "the Doctor of War."  Doctor Twelve thinks that what they're doing is not right and he will find out who they are and he will return, as they make their escape by following his lead and jumping onto the chains holding the TARDIS.  However the TARDIS is reeled back, thus they must resort to using the First Doctor's one.  A much similar, cleaner line (and I'm not referring to his 'needs cleaning' line from earlier either.)

Doctor Twelve examines the alien again on the screen and places the sunglasses on Doctor One's head.  Doctor Twelve was pretty quick to grab the glasses once browser history was mentioned, what's he hiding then?  Ha.  He knows somewhere they can find out what the Testimony is and takes them to Villengard where someone will be happy to see him die close up.  Of course it could only be a Dalek.  The one lone Dalek, the enemy of its own 'people'.  Agree to Doctor Twelve's terms and allows him to use the interface.  As the Doctor adds it's the only one that's appeared to him naked.  Accessing the interface he finds they are people from the future, preserving memories and Bill is part of the Testimony institute.  As we see her hand change whens he pours another brandy for the soldier.  Nameless thus far for reasons that will become obvious.

The Doctor wants to take the soldier back as he must since he tells them about his family, his sons and how they must leave their father.  Thus he takes them back to the Christmas Armistice of 1914, where his life is saved.  Where he tells them to look in on his family: the LeftBridge-Stewarts, it could only be.  Doctor One saying he now understands why they called him the "Doctor of War" not cos of his war mongering or belligerency, but his humanity and saving lives.  The moment when the Doctor decides if he still wants to die, as the First Doctor accepts his fate, returns to his TARDIS for his regeneration.  Putting right what once went wrong.  Bill said this and it brought back the line from Quantum Leap of course, Sam's prime purpose with Project Quantum Leap.

Bill says she has her memories and that's all that's necessary for her to be Bill.  As Nardole (Matt Lucas) makes an appearance too, mentioning his invisible hair and now he's glass completely and not just his nipples.  Group hug for one last time this trio will be together.  Then what fans would have been waiting for and be surprised too in some ways at the appearance of Clara (Jenna Coleman in her pre Victoria appearance on ITV later) calling him "stupid old man" and the Doctor realizing his memories are back.  He will remember her and she tells him that forgetting her was "offensive."  The push that he needed to go on and not just wither and die.  Peace is not yet in his domain.

Finally stepping back into the TARDIS one last time and letting go to Doctor Thirteen.
Who stumbles into her own problems as the TARDIS burns up and she freefalls...

The climax of course was Peter's monologue as the Doctor delivered for the final time, with emotion, depth, understanding of his role and making us realize how much we will miss him, as he stepped into this role with much uncertainty and a lot of past Doctor's shoes to fill over the years from past Doctors.  But undoubtedly it was apparent he won us over overtime (no pun) and really did make Doctor Twelve one he could be proud of.  A shame that all good things must end and Peter will rank up there as my three fave modern takes on the Doctor, Doctor Eleven (Matt Smith) Twelve and Ten (David Tennent)! Goodbye Doctor Twelve you will be sorely missed!!

Doctor: "Oh, there it is. Silly old universe. The more I save it the more it needs saving. It’s a treadmill.  Yes, yes I know they’ll get it all wrong without me.  Well, I suppose….one more lifetime won’t kill anyone. Well, except me.  You wait a moment, Doctor. Let’s get it right. I’ve got a few things to say to you. Basic stuff first.  Never be cruel, never be cowardly. And never ever eat pears! Remember – hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise.
Always try, to be nice and never fail to be kind. Oh, and….and you mustn’t tell anyone your name. No-one would understand it anyway. Except…Except….children. Children can hear it. Sometimes – if their hearts are in the right place, and the stars are too. Children can hear your name.
But nobody else. Nobody else. Ever...Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.
Doctor – I let you go..."
Regenerates...More Shakespearean than speeches from past Doctors and yet even more poignant as more thought went into writing it!  But utterly moving and tear inducing!!

As for Rusty, Rusty Dalek was seen in 2014 Into the Dalek, where the Doctor and Clara explored Rusty and what had happened to him, whereby he was fixed by the Doctor since he had a chemical leak, effectively turning him back into an evil Dalek.  When the Doctor became a miniature and being able to explore inside him, he referred to that moment twice in this episode, telling Rusty how it's "been a long time" and "remember the good old days? When I got miniaturized and climbed around inside you?"  Rusty recalling how he taught him to hate the Daleks and as the Doctor's hatred of them was transferred to Rusty.  Rusty here saying "you are a good Dalek" to the Doctor reaffirms the earlier episode where the Doctor's desire to destroy the Daleks came into play.  With the Doctor now ending up in Villengard attempting to access the Dalek hive mind for information on the Testimony.  Rusty after all, was the first Dalek Doctor Twelve encountered and thus in this ep became the last he would also encounter, coming round full circle.

And read here to find where the references in the Doctor's final speech hail from:

Victoria Christmas Special 2017 "Comfort and Joy" Review

                                             Image result for victoria christmas special
Kingdom of Dahomey, West Africa
King Gezo (Derek Ezenagu) would not like to anger the "great white Queen" means the Captain can take the girl as a gift.  Not much changed there!

Victoria (Jenna Coleman) played piano all the time when little, as an only child she had to break the silence.  Albert (Tom Hughes) demands a Christmas carol as it's his fave time of year. 
Victoria is given an African Princes to look after and she wants to treat her as part of her own family.  She won't accept her as a gift but as a Princess of Royal blood and in the season of charity and good will, she will also be taking in an orphan.  Handed over by Captain Forbes (Ben Lamb) and his wife, Mrs Forbes (Catherine Steadman) who has enjoyed having a child under their roof.  However everyone such as her mother (Catherine Flemming) and Albert object to this as she is not a part of their family no matter how hard she tries.  Albert particularly stressing Sarah (Zaris-Angel Hator) won't be happy here and isn't.  But Victoria doesn't listen as she is determined to make her fit in, in a  way harking back to her own childhood and how she was neglected by her mother.  The only one who cared for her was Lehzen, as Victoria misses very much.

As part of the Christmas celebrations, Albert has invited the family to the palace, not so much since he wants to see any of them, especially not Leopold (Alex Jennings) but since he wants his children's Christmas to be just as happy as he remembers it, giving them happy memories to remember too.  As he tells Ernst (David Oakes) his fond memory is when their parents stood by the Christmas tree and it was all lit up, with their mother's face glistening in the light.  As he takes Ernst along to cut down trees.  Ernst having his own problems still with the arrival of Princess Gertrude of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Nina Pavlovic) whom he is meant to marry.  Leopold not caring about his condition even if his children may be born deformed.  It's all about wealth, power and position of course.  But he cannot be with someone he doesn't love and alas the dilemma being that he cannot be with the one he loves either.

The Duchess of Buccleuch (Diana Rigg) thinks it a good idea if Wilhelmina (Bebe Cave) throw herself at Lord Alfred (Jordan Waller) since she is not happy at seeing Harriet so unhappy.  The Duchess adding it is better to be a widow than an old maid and suggests Alfred would make a suitable match.  Of course Wilhelmina always wanted Alfred before Drummond got in the way.
To top it all off at the Cinderella opera, Victoria finds the Duke of Cumberland (Peter Firth) is here and he makes reference to the diamond necklace Victoria is wearing as it happens to belong to his late mother, her grandmother.  Wilhelmina having to give Alfred a hanky as he dries his tears at the opera.  Cumberland even shows Victoria the legal document where it states all his mother's worldly possessions were to be passed down to him.  Victoria adding she may not be versed in the law but she is aware that possession is nine tenths of it and refuses to give up the necklace.  She wants Albert to have a look at the will, but he thinks it is rightfully his and should be returned.

Albert caught up in the festivities and wanting trees hung from the ceiling, a tree for all the six tables and presents under it.  Making it a grand affair.  Bringing home the German traditions of Christmas with trees, lights, and oranges.  As well as mentioning cards with delightful pictures on them.  How quaint!  And how Martin Luther decided on a tree with lights in his house after he saw the stars lighting up the sky. Sarah is unhappy as he said and she has nightmares about home and missing her mother.  Victoria takes her out shopping and she buys a doll for her.  As when Victoria was little she only had dolls as her friends and no one else.  Harriet (Margaret Clunie) suggests Victoria pose for a portrait for Albert's present as the artist, Winterhalter, will bring out the goddess in her.  (Had to laugh at that considering we'd just had David in Venus in Fur: a veritable feast of goddesses being mentioned in that!!) whereas Albert has his own creation up his sleeve, he commissions a crown to be made for Victoria with emeralds being her birthstone (mine too ha!)  As her mother frowns upon the portrait, Victoria with her hair down to one side, perish the thought as if Albert isn't seen her all bare and naked!!

It snows and the Royal party heads for a spot of ice skating on the frozen lake, but Harriet refuses Ernst's help with her skates, ruing over the Princess being here and she ignores him after falling down and he tries to explain to her.  Albert is happy with his sleighing antics with the children and Victoria builds a snowman with Sarah.  With them both having their disagreements, as she refuses to believe that Sarah is unhappy here and should return home.  Victoria cries as Sarah wanders the palace in the dark and comes across the parrot which reminds her of her own home again and she tells Victoria how Mrs Forbes told her that crying solves nothing.  Instead she made a funny face which she tells Victoria to try.  Also Victoria doesn't miss her mother but she misses Lehzen.  As Albert and Victoria argue over why Sarah doesn't have a table of her own, she listens to them.  As well as writing a letter to Mrs Forbes wishing she could be making current buns in the kitchen with her.

The Royals attend the staff party downstairs as Victoria dances with Penge (Andrew Schiller).  Ernst wants to dance with Harriet but she refuses and he chooses Cleary (Tilly Steele) instead, as well as shutting out the Princess.  That'd would've made Cleary's Christmas!! ha. Wilhelmina notices Alfred isn't dancing with the maids so she dances with him herself as the Duchess of Buccleuch looks on very happy.  Leopold admonishes Ernst for rejecting the Princess who is leaving for home.  Since marrying for love won't make him happy.  Harriet sneaks in to his room in her undies and as they frolic about on the bed, Ernst can't bring himself to go through with it and wreck her life.  Instead he dismisses her by saying he's "only interested when the fruit is forbidden!"  Leopold finds her crying and knows she's been with Ernst and tells her about his affliction.  Which as we know, should have been Ernst's to tell not his. 

Wilhelmina gives Alfred a lock of Drummond's hair which his fiance had sent to her.  It is rightfully his and inside it reads 'surpassing the love of a woman.'  He later proposes to Wilhelmina saying there are other kinds of love.  Victoria finds Sarah is missing and looks for her outside at the lake.  Where she sees Albert skating as he suddenly falls through the cracking ice.  She tries to rescue him but can't break the ice, fearing losing him, he suddenly resurfaces crashing through the ice.  As Albert sings Christmas carols jovially, Ernst comes in and takes one of the especially hand-crafted baubles Albertd had made in Bohemia.  Fearing he might drop it, he does on purpose and breaks the news to Albert that the fun he remembers that Christmas wasn't a happy memory at all.  It was the Christmas their mother left them and the glistening were her tears.  Their Christmas wasn't so happy after all and he stomps away.  Ernst always being the level-headed, pragmatic brother, except when it came to his love life.

Victoria sends Sarah away to live with the Forbes again and gives her the parrot to look after.  Ernst apologizes to Alfred for his behaviour and tells him of his condition.  How he went to Paris after their father died and being just like him, he came away with this disease.  Alfred wants to know why he didn't tell him sooner and Ernst adds since he's older he should've known better.  Having a different reaction from him than he did with Leopold who spoke more of the proclivities of their father.  Harriet also tells Ernst she knows of the mercury and she wants to be by his side more than anything, which is all they can do, as he holds her. Leopold suggests Albert should speak with Cumberland regarding the necklace but Albert thinks it should be returned.  Victoria telling Albert of how Cumberland would want her to die so he could become king and how she slept in her mother's room for 18 years incase he tried to dispatch her.  Alfred not wanting Leopold here but only invited him since it is Christmas.

At the Christmas celebration, Cumberland comes around again with a change of mind and says he doesn't want the necklace.  Albert knowing Leopold was behind this but he says the Duchess had more to do with it knowing that he keeps an apartment at St James's Place as it belonged to the crown.  Albert still thanks him and Victoria asks Cumberland to stay.  Her mother saying she always tried to do her best for her.  Exchanging their gifts Victoria loves the emerald encrusted crown and Albert thinks the portrait exquisite.  He knows she misses Lehzen who would be her only support and enjoyment at Christmas when she was little, with her box of cherries, but he says they are grown up now, no matter how much she would like to have her back.  Oh Albert she was more than a mother figure to her, she was also her friend and confident.  Sometimes he came across as being so out of touch with Victoria's feelings, just as he was with Ernst's, not knowing there was something wrong with him, especially when eh smashed the bauble.  Being right as there's more to life than mere trinkets and happy memories which are not shared by everyone.

Meanwhile life downstairs takes a turn for the better for Mrs Skerrett (Nell Hudson) and for Penge, but their fortunes don't last long.  Penge invests in the Leeds Thirst Railway line which isn't to be and loses his life savings.  Whilst Skerrett inherits from a paternal uncle she never knew about.  However it's actually slaves in the US that have been left to her, but she can't keep them.  Even if Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley) says they could start their own hotel.  She wants them to be set free and the pompous Lincoln's Inn lawyer says she should get the advice of a man before she does that.  Penge and Skerrett drowning their sorrows in wine.  However Penge says that anyone should have the right to make their own decisions.  They are servants but they are not slaves.  She also tells Francatelli this who states he would have told her to do the same had she come to him.  He proposes to her asking if she'll accept a man with only a pastry brush to his name.  If they find out, they'll be dismissed, but she doesn't care as they want each other.

Thus ended the saga of a Victoria(n) Christmas with the usual fare of unrequited, unwanted and doomed love.  Two engagements, two rejections, and Victoria and Albert always doing what is right even if it takes them a while to see it.   The title of course referring to the carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen as is the season, it was all about what men wanted.  Thus Skerett being told to get advice from a man, not having a mind of her own.  Though Victoria gets her own way, would she have taken her in if she hadn't been of 'Royal' blood, highly unlikely, if at all.  As for Skerrett being given property, of course 'comfort and joy' was no reflection of humanity and what it was like to actually be comfortable and joyful.  An episode highlighting slavery and the wrongful machinations of men, if only just touching upon it since it was meant to be about Christmas after all.

Albert was the only one who have designed a tiara for his wife back in 1845 reflecting his creativity and more so his love.  Though where those jewels were pillaged from was anyone's guess.  Of course tis only TV and I jest at this point in time.  But Alfred is still not over his grief as he wears his black armband under his shirt, though he could have worn it under his jacket.  If only they hadn't intended to show him shirtless.  In a similar scene (almost) Ernst still has his rash and more despair to overcome.  Never fear though as Victoria Will Return...

Monday, 18 December 2017

Surf's Split - A Short Spirited Story

Returning to the crashing empty waves again on each midnight hour, he recalled the bitterness of the days that had gone before.  The spirit to achieve a victory in the surf comps every night proved daunting and physically impossible at times.  Through it all he persevered if only to prove to his lost love that he could do it.  For her, in her name.  But tonight as the moon grabbed the creamy surf of the water and ravaged the gravity to a crescendo, something proved to be lacking.  It didn't feel the same to him and he knew there must be something more than this surfing life.  Something more meaningful.  Yet he longed for her, for her memory; to hold her in his arms again.  Gripping her tightly and sensually as he gripped his surfboard.  The waxed smoothness under his hands and feet as it hit the cool crest of the waves.

Tonight was different.  He imagined her there, reaching out to him and as he stood on the beach, each grain of sand slithering under his feet.  There it was.  A sigh, silent, but it took hold of him like nothing he ever felt before.  A feeling, an emotion.  No it was more, much more than that.  It was a chill even though this was San Pedro and the air was never so cold or frigid.  He felt slimy fingers brush across his ankle.  He thought it was the surf, the ocean clinging to him as it always did when he was out there amongst the many other surfers.  As he looked down, he spotted a hand.  The tanned fingers, slender and smooth, but clammy and cool to the touch at the same time.  A figure rose from the curdling sandy grains.  Rubbing his eyes in wonder, he saw her  in all her magnificence as if she had never left him.  Her midnight blue sarong gently flapping in the breeze.

It couldn't be her.  She was a distant memory and she was no longer around.  He had said his goodbyes that fateful December evening and at the service.  Ghosts.  He didn't believe in those.  He believed her soul to have risen to a better place.  One where he could no longer hurt her.  No one could touch her.  The dreams he had of her all those days and nights after made him fuel his career further.  But it was for her he kept telling himself.  All for her.  He couldn't let the guilt go.  He tried to feel it ebb away everytime he stood on that precious surfboard, yet it lingered like an echo.  Calling out to come to terms with his guilty act.  The mens rea could not be reconciled with the actus reus.

Casually and fervently he was drawn out of his enchantment and she was edging closer to him still.  He could see through her.  The transparency was as clear as the foam that builds on each crest and in that desperate one last coffee before the thrill of the swim.  Slowly she whispered his name.  He dropped the bottle from his hand.  The one he had been cradling for comfort and the one that got him through the emptiness, the empty nights on the beach.  The beach bum that he'd become.

It wasn't his fault he told himself and yet each lamentable evening at dusk he would smell mimosa and jasmine.  All coming together in some evocative mix and scantily haunting him.  Then as soon    as it came, the moment desisted.  No one could have prepared him for that ungodly act.  He knew she was his only love and he would always love her no matter what.  But things turned round in a flash.  Passions spent and tragedy ensued.  Ill prepared he rued what he had become...

Her paintings were her life blood and she would paint for hours on the beach.  Capture all, a fleeting picture before the light faded.  Her love of the ocean was how they met.  She would see him in the water from early crimson dawn onwards.  Whenever the wanes were turbulent and he would catch the big one.  The wipe out.  The heavenly tumbling time after time and wave after wave made him forgot who he was.  For he was at one with nature, the fiercest sea and the world.  Peace out with his world.  She painted him.  Capturing the essence of his persona; his character and the only thing that was forever on his mind.

This time, the mimosa became real and as he reached to take away the soaked hand from his leg, he couldn't hold it.  His fingers slipped through and he could only hold his own ankle.  Yet she was still there...words failed him and her beauty mesmerized him still.  She opened her mouth, curled her delicate, ruby lips, but she said nothing.  Words failed him, but she couldn't speak.  As she gestured to him, he didn't get the meaning.  Suddenly he appeared to come to his senses and stumbled backwards almost falling onto his bottle, which by now had drained away and floated across the fluctuating sandy carpet.

What was he doing?  She wasn't real, only the cruel imaginings brought on by the furore of his drinking.  That was real.  The ebb and flow of his heartbeat and the massive pain he felt in his head all made him marvel at the phantom creature that emerged before his very eyes.  He wasn't afraid, not now.  He wanted to touch her still and hold her.  Why now?  What was her reason for being here?  The questions swirled his mind, but he could only wonder.  Slumping down again for he couldn't get away, she crossed his path once more and went through him.  He shivered as the chill passed through him.  Turning around, she gestured to him with her bony finger.  Paralysis struck him at this moment and he dared not move...He glanced once more behind him but something was amiss.  She was gone and he didn't know what to think.

The logical process was all too consuming and he was way past the thinking stage.  Once again he tried to make sense of the madness.  December loomed in his head again and the painting.  It depicted it all.  Lone surfer on a sea of scarlet.  Raising his arms, flailing frantically as he struck the one person who was trying to be his saving grace...Wiping the sweat from his furrowing brow, he managed to reach his bed and sink into the pillow face down.  He thought he passed out in some drunken stupor and awoke to find the bed being violently shaken.  He was rolled from side to side and swallowed by his linen sheets.  He grappled, fought for air.  Tossed every which way as felt the miasma when riding those surely waves.  This was incredibly consuming and frightening.  He couldn't breathe.  The pillow being stretched across his face once the sheets were moved.  He felt pulling and a sudden shock to his heart.  He thought he was being squashed and sat upon by an unforeseen force.  This wasn't her.  She couldn't be so strong.  A moment passed.  It was only a minute as he managed to stare at the luminous numbers of the clock.  It ended as soon as it began.  Calm once more struck a motionless sorry existence in that bleak room.

Sitting up he tumbled across the bed, falling to the floor.  He reached in front of him stamping his hands on the solid, cold hardwood.  This was the finality of the night.  Some damning entity had reached him.  Invaded his space and he still didn't believe in ghosts.  Spirits.  Wandering souls looking for revenge.  To find a semblance of peace.  Was this her?  Was this the same fate that awaited him when that destined end arrived for him.  In the waves, crashing under the seamless contours of each ripple, each riptide...Suddenly there came a crash.  The window was broken and glass shards fractured to smithereens were scattered and strewn across the entire room.  Yet it was silent.  No breeze, only silent yet protruding sounds from the surf.  Always the surf.

He got up once again.  No - he picked himself up.  Ran towards the glass and the window.  Being careful not to cut his feet.  Stepping over and onto the balcony.  Through the sway of the palm trees, he glimpsed a small solitary figure high above on the edge of the rocky cliff.  Then he saw it swiftly jump.  Soaring down into the sink and onto the slippery sleek rocks below.  Rubbing his eyes again not forgetting the image.  The haunting facade was much scarier than some spirit trying to possess his every being.  He took a deep breath and swallowed hard.

Once more he recalled that day.  She was on the cliff ledge and leaned over to catch a rare piece of history.  Painting a sunset smothering the ocean with its blend of intriguing hues, orange, yellow, deep russet.  She left him that day but he drove hr to it; at least in his limp mind.  Was it natural?  Expected?  He believed it was him that had pushed her and now he was having niggling doubts...spirits were violent...spirits were angry...spirits were peaceful...comforting...did something drive her to it?

Competition day arrived again and he thought long and hard about pulling out of it.  He was in no fit state to surf and win.  Only a coward would give up.  He was a coward.  This was his life...Angry thoughts wouldn't hold him back or stop him from living the last moments of his dream.  Soon he would be too old to surf and compete.  Beach bum that he was.  Surfing was paramount.  Surfing was - is life...

He was still tormented by the dreams, that vision he saw on the cliff, the fall.  His flailing, this time zooming in close-up fashion, he saw himself.  Going over the edge, but he was here and not there.  It was almost like a bilocation.  As if he were seeing a scary doppelganger.  The thoughts occurring to him of how this signified a darker foreboding.  Surely he had nothing to do with supernatural happenings.  Dreams, nightmares, that's all this ever was.  Something he could control and wake from in an instance.

Waves hit, streaming in unison with his lifeless, limp body.  He extricated, tried to escape the rift, the rip that was ebbing further and further towards him.  He was caught up in a tidal wave-like grasp which seemed to take hold of his body.  His arms, his legs, the evil grip tightening like a rope around his neck.  He felt cold, clammy fingers again, the same that had held him that night on the beach.  With each passing wave over his head, he could see the emptiness of his life.  Some strange apparition had caught him, entered his body and he had been too weak to stop it.  This was his reckoning and his tumultuous ending.

This was her revenge.  He did have a doppelganger, he ended up living in the same house, same interests someone born with another's memories and not once did he think his love of surfing would lead him to such a climactic crossroads.  That the ocean could be so cruel in exacting such a tempestuous tsunami on his life.  Only she, as a spirit suffering in turmoil, had found the wrong victim to exact her scathing scorn.  He had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, as cliched as it he too could scour the seas and always be a winner in his never ending surfy trip...

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Once Upon A Time 7.10 "The Eighth Witch" Review

                                              Image result for once upon a time the eighth witch
Some questions are answered in this episode as we get to see Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Regina (Lana Parilla) in the other realm and how she's come to Emerald Farm to see Robin (Tiera Skovbye) too who's all grown up now and is 25.  As she fires some arrows at Reggie thinking she's an intruder.  Zelena adding at least she's a lousy shot.  Reggie's come to warn her about the witches and how they're trouble.  Zelena shows her the coin with that same symbol Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) saw on the man in Hyperion Heights.  She tells Robin she should warn their loved ones.

At Hyperion Heights Lucy (Alison Fernando) still lies in a coma and nothing can be done to revive her, as Rumples (Robert Carlyle) tries to teach Anastasia (Yael Yurman) how to control her magic, or rather he tells her to pick the dagger that looks familiar or she thinks is magical.  All the daggers fly off into the cupboard which contains Rumples' actual dagger. 

Henry (Andrew J West) tries to call Jacinda (Dania Ramirez) from San Francisco but she doesn't reply and he suspects something isn't right.  They find Zelena as Reggie/Ronnie gives him a pair of jogging bottoms.  They ride exercise bikes at a place where she's working as a spin instructor and calls everyone flying monkeys, as she would.   Zelena hates Ronnie cos she sent Robin away convincing her it was more interesting to travel than to educate herself.  Ronnie says she needs to have one drink with her and then she'll leave.

At the locker she pours the remembering spell potion into the whiskey and convinces her to take a drink, she'd prefer cucumber, honey and lavender.  (Sounds like the drink Rapunzel whipped up in the previous ep!)  After a while she regains her memories and Ronnie tells her they need to head back to deal with Gothel (Emma Booth).  Also Zelena tells her she's getting married and she needs to do this cos even if she remembers now, she still loves him.  Zelena finding someone to love when Reggie can't.  Henry finds out about Lucy and heads back.  Zelena agrees to help cos that's what heroes do.

In the Other Realm, Drizella (Adelaide Kane) tells everyone what will happen on Lucy's eighth birthday with the curse and Henry is ecstatic he has a baby girl.  Victoria (Gabrielle Anwar) uses magic to turn her to stone, but that will wear off in eight years too, coincidentally! Eight years on, on the day of Lucy's birthday, Gothel shows up with some of her minions (fellow witches) and breaks the curse releasing Drizella.  With the impending curse Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) needs Rumples' (Robert Carlyle) help in finding a way to be with his daughter, Alice (Rose Reynolds).  He gives him a white elephant, remarking on how everyone knows what that meas by now.  Alice is willing to go through this as he is making such a sacrifice and she gives Hook a note for her love, which turns out to be Robin.

Lucy and Henry meet Tiger Lily (Sara Tomko) and she gives him Geppetto's axe which will cut down the tree, but it's too late as the witches find him.  He tells Lucy to go to the other world and take the book with her.  This is where we came in at the opening ep of season 7.  The witches gather to cast the curse but Victoria tries to stop them and isn't powerful enough.  Reggie and Zelena arrive with
the others but can't do anything since one of the hooded figures is actually Henry who's been poisoned by Gothel.  Either Reggie casts the spell as she needs the final ingredient, a witch's magic; one who has crushed the heart of a true love, or Henry will die here, as they need to get to a land without magic.  Reggie has no choice and it's what she has to do.  Jacinda is concerned Lucy won't remember her and she's just a child.  Sloppy writing there instead of referring to Lucy as a child, she calls her a 'kid', how twentieth century of her!  Hook gives her the white elephant instead, which explains why Jacinda recalls Lucy in Hyperion Heights and Hook had the misfortune on missing out with Alice.

Before the cursed curse strikes, Rumples gives Alice the little teacup as a key to his remembering and that she should give it to him.  As the curse continues, we get to see that it was actually Reggie who had to cast the curse again, Evil Queen past catching up to her again, but it's for the greater good this time round in saving Henry.  We also get to see that symbol on t he tat/coin is the markings that the witches stand upon, thus it has eight sides.

Lucy still lies in a coma and Jacinda thinks if Henry reads to her, then it might help her wake up.  He reads the part about how he was waken by Emma and true love's kiss and as he tries it with Lucy, saying he finally believes, it doesn't work.  Reggie tells Zelena Henry tried that already and they have no choice, they have to bring back magic even if it means Henry will die.  Alice shows Hook the symbol on the tat and drawing in the journal before it's washed off a wall.  Anastasia can't control her magic as Gothel makes her appearance and she sweeps everyone away.  But Ivy turns up and tells her she's Drizella all grown up and she puts on some vine bracelets to dampen her magic, as she takes her to Gothel.  When she arrives, she also puts on those bracelets.  But instead of Ivy getting the magic, Gothel gives it to Anastasia.  Ivy saying how she betrayed her.  She throws Ivy down into the well, where Victoria tells her not to look at her.

Gothel shows Anastasia the eight robes which need to be filled by the witches and they're in town.  Thus the symbol appearing everywhere.  Three months for the return but hopefully it will be a little less all the over the place and try and reach more of a conclusion to its various chapters.  Once again poor Hook misses out on knowing Alice and Rumples doesn't tell him either, though he did tell him about Belle.  As we ask ourselves who the other witches will be.  Henry once again loses his belief as Lucy doesn't respond and Reggie will have to find some way of saving them both..... along with Zelena's help.  Henry not believing is a complete reversal of  the younger Henry who was the one who always had an answer for everything with his operations.  Believing in fairytales and happy endings was all he ever wanted.  Which is now turned around cos of the curse.  Wonder why Reggie didn't give Henry any of the potion before they left for San Francisco, though that would interfere with the way the ep/season was written.  But who cares, it would've helped in the longrun.  Though no one knew that he was cursed to die if he came near magic!

Once Upon A Time 7.9 "One Little Tear" Review

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We see Rapunzel (Meegan Warner) in the Other Realm as she tries to forage food for her family and her daughters, as she mentions Anastasia, knew she was really Victoria, she had to be related to one of the characters in the Other Realm.  She's caught by the witch aka Mother Gothel (Emma Booth) and she makes a deal with her: that her family not want for anything and in return for this deal, she basically sacrifices herself as Rapunzel is transported to the tower.

In Hyperion Heights Victoria (Gabrielle Anwar) speaks with Ivy/Drizella (Adelaide Kane) and she's still determined for Anastasia (Yael Yurman) not to be resurrected.  Did she really expect Victoria to help her in telling her where she hid her.  Weaver/Rumples (Robert Carlyle) then comes in and Victoria makes a deal with him too.  They can stop playing this game cos she knows he knows who he really is.  Thus she says she will tell him who the Guardian is if he helps her get out.  Even calling him Rumpelstiltskin for that added extra touch.  She's released since Hook Rogers (Colin O'Donoghue) didn't have a warrant for that place when he arrested her.  Rumples also letting drop he knows she's Rapunzel.  So Hook proceeds to get into Rumples' storage locker and finds a number of files all to do with them and with their photos.  He sees Sabine/Tiana (Mekia Cox) and he questions her again (see he deffo has a soft spot for her).  She draws him the dagger that Rumples questioned her about.  Obviously he was seeing if she could be the Guardian and thus wielding magic.  Saying it was used to jimmy open the door.

Victoria gives Jacinda (Dania Ramirez) her files regarding Lucy (Alison Fernandez) and says she was the one who signed her away it wasn't Victoria, but now she wants Jacinda to have her back.  She's glad she got in touch with Nick (Nathan Parsons) as her lawyer.  Victoria saying it was a test to see if Jacinda would fight her custody application, but she didn't at first but she did later and clearly she's passed.  Victoria was trapped in the tower for six years without seeing her children so she does know a little about family and fighting tooth and nail for them. As she was trapped in the tower Rapunzel gets the idea to escape after seeing some lanterns floating by, she uses her hair as a rope and chops it off.  Shame those scissors were left lying around.

Reaching home she finds Marcus (Matty Finochio) is married to Cecilia (Cindy Luna) and has a step daughter, Ella/Jacinda.  Gothel shows up again and tells her she should get rid of the competition, thus giving her some poison in a toadstool.  She throws it onto the fire but then she becomes a slave to the family and isn't happy when Drizella ignores her at her birthday party.

Jacinda asks Nick if the papers are authentic and says she wants Nick in her life after she kisses him, but only so that he can get to know Lucy.  She then picks up the mix tape again.   Victoria heads to the mausoleum but it's only to pick up her bag and some other ingredients she needs.  Rumples expected to find Anastasia there.  He tells her about Baelfire and how he wanted to have a better relationship with him before he lost him.  After he finds Ivy and Gothel following them.  She disappears by the time they arrive after saying she has plans for them.  Gothel has words with Rumples as she tells him by letting Victoria go he's done something very bad for his great grand daughter, Lucy.

In the Other Realm Rapunzel used the mushy but it made Cecilia fall asleep and as she and Marcus grew closer together and were on the verge of sharing a kiss, Ella walks off as the snow man's hat blows away and ends up falling into the cracking ice.  Anastasia tries to save her, but Marcus can only bring out Ella.  She takes Anastasia to Gothel who manages to save one last breath in her lungs.  Gothel wants to return Anastasia to the tower but Rapunzel gets one over on her as she steals the bottle from her and sends her to the tower instead.  Which is where she will meet Hook and escape as we saw earlier.

Victoria shows Lucy the vid she took of Jacinda kissing Nick and shows her the Once Upon A Time book, telling her the stories are real.  As she then proceeds to break her innocence by telling her that she and Henry won't be together, thereby catching her tear on the book, which she uses to wake Anastasia.  Just barely, I mean how long was she going to mess around with that tear before she lost it, but also it didn't dry up already.  They search for Lucy and she returns home where she passes out.  Anastasia wakes and Ivy walks away despondent but not giving up.

Hook confronts Rumples about what's happening, he's either a corrupt cop, he can't decide.  Rumples tells him he won't believe him, but he is looking for his wife.  It's crazy but Hook believes him and helps him.  Now some of the pieces begin to join together as we near the mid-season finale.  As we get answers to who Victoria really is and how Gothel ended up in the tower, as well as how Ella lost her mother.  Even if Victoria says she believes in family, she still manages to put her own family first and in helping Anastasia, she lets Lucy suffer.  So her good deed of letting Jacinda have custody back was just for her own purposes and not out of the goodness of her cold heart.  Well Rapunzel should've stayed locked in the tower.  Explains Victoria's  taste for buildings and high rises.  Ha.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Once Upon A Time 7.8 "Pretty In Blue" Review

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As Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) meets up with Alice(Rose Reynolds) she says that they can now hug as father and daughter since she got the curse lifted and it will no longer poison their hearts.  But as they hug, Hook zooms away into the air and lands with the poison in his heart.  She runs away and Reggie (lana Parilla) tells Henry (Andrew J West) and Ella (Dania Ramiriz) to go after her.  She goes though the portal to Wonderland, where else, as Ella tells Henry and they follow.  Of course Ella wanted to go through here for her own motives.  As we find she's been here before since she knows about the maze of infinite possibilities and she shows Henry the half heart locket, which she said was her mother's and how she and her step father loved each other.  She accepted her step father and it glowed showing their eternal love.  But then her mother left and he went looking for her.  One day it ended and it stopped glowing thus her father thought her love for him ended too!  Of course she was wrong.  She drinks the shrinking potion and there's only enough for one as Henry gets left behind.

As she wanders through the maze, she follows the sign to the tea party and here she finds Alice.  She tells her about her mother and shows her the other half of the locket, which Ella says belongs to her.  Alice always has all the trinkets doesn't she, like she's some thrift store.  More importantly she conveniently brings them out in the hopes of jogging some memory and the curse being lifted.  Alice tells Ella about her mother and how she tried to save them from Drizella (Adelaide Kane) but she couldn't, her heart was poisoned and she wanted to search for a cure.  That's why the glow went out.  However Drizella sets her sights on Henry once more as she tries to poison his heart too with the mushroom.  Something she learned from Reggie of course.  But Ella and Alice arrive in time to stop this from happening.  Ella repeating what Henry said about his grandparents and their saying of always finding each other.  Which Ella dissed as being silly and then she says it herself to Henry now; that she would always find him.  Alice doesn't go back with them but they tell Hook what she said and she gave him a white horse chess piece.  Still the chess piece business continues.

Back in Hyperion Heights, Hook Rogers is hailed as a hero for rescuing Eloise but Weaver (Robert Carlyle) repeats again that he doesn't know what he's leashed onto the world, as did Victoria last ep.  Eloise (Emma Booth) thanks him in person and leaves him a cake, probably containing more poison to affect his heart and make him stop this search, but for him the search was over, he found Eloise, but she's not his daughter.  Here I must apologize for suggesting this a few eps back!  Don't know what I was thinking, she was more his baby mother!  She's back in the building with Ivy again and she tells her to work her magic and make the plant grow since she must wake Anastasia.  But she doesn't know where Victoria's keeping her.  As she has so many properties Ivy believes the search will be easy, but not so.  As she finds, Victoria was one step ahead of her and when she retrieves the coffin, it's empty.  Thought she would've checked before bringing it all the way here.

Reggie visits Hook and stops him from eating the cake when she finds out who it's from and tells him it'll only make him fat (what fat bellied Hook once more, perish the thought ha!) as she throws it into the bin.  She wants Weaver/Rumples to join forces with her to rid them of Eloise and he claims the fifth as not knowing what she's talking about.  Obviously as Ronni/Reggie says, "you're always awake."  Which is true and I said that too a while back.  He doesn't recall Rumpelstiltskin and when Reggie mentions Belle wouldn't have wanted this, he pauses for a second, but still he doesn't entertain her idea.  So she decides there's only one person who can help her, even if she hates her and she decides on San Francisco.  Well that would've been Zelena no doubt, perhaps, so now we know Robin will be in the show, it must be Zelena's daughter she's seeing maybe.

Reggie also tells Hook he should take Alice/Tilly under his wing cos she doesn't have anyone and that's why she did what Weaver told her to.  But Rumples was looking out for him and making sure Eloise didn't get out.  He sees Alice and takes a chess set with him as she selects the white horse from it.  Also she apologizes for what she did cos Weaver told her to.  Reggie of course ensuring Hook finally meets up with his daughter one day and what better way than to get him to spend time with her, so Ivy can't do much more damage with the curse.

Henry decides on a road trip too as he's had four beers already getting over a broken heart cos of Jacinda.  She is told to hire Nick (Nathan Parsons) her ex and Lucy's (Alison Fernandez) father, but Tiana (Mekia Cox) and she doesn't want to but she must.  Even dressing up for him.  Henry liked him when they met cos they had the same taste in music and Nick agrees to help her.  Only she admits to Henry that she was the one who gave up Lucy to begin with and signed over her parental rights.  She doesn't believe Lucy will understand or forgive her.  However Henry tells her to tell Nick so he can help her.

Henry brings the book to Lucy and she looks something up in it and says Nick isn't her father, but Henry is.  Henry fixes the truck for them and sees Jacinda with Nick.  Apparently in the Other Realm, Henry knows Nick as Jack (and the Beanstalk?) and he thought he was in Agrabah.  So is he an ally or someone more sinister.   Seems everyone's just been added to make the story go on longer and drawn out, especially since as one hurdle is overcome another one pope up, like Nick here, Anastasia being missing now and Reggie needing to go out of town to find allies. 

Once Upon A Time 7.7 "Eloise Gardener" Review

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Jacinda (Dania Ramiriz) goes on about the "foot" truck again (sorry but that's what it sounds like) and how she won't have enough money and won't be able to get Lucy (Alison Fernandez) back.  So Ronni (Lana Parilla) suggests she could work here as things have picked up and she agrees.  Yes but how will that go down with Social Services working in a bar as opposed to some lame chicken burger store which was burned down cos of her allowing Sabine (Mekia Cox) to bake there.  No matter cos by episode's end, Lucy is taken away anyway since the complaint against Jacinda still stands.  Ivy (Adelaide Kane) still getting, or trying to get her hands on Henry (Andrew J West) too as she suggests he should do a podcast.  (Next ep.)

Back in the Other Realm Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) chances upon Reggie looking for passage on his ship to escape the clutches of Snow and Charming who are hot on her heels.  Though we didn't get to see them, nor did we get any ending to their story and where they are now. Hook agrees to it but first he must take care of his own business and he looks for a way that will help him seek revenge on the Dark One once and for all.  This being a flower.  He comes to a tower and climbs up where he meets Rapunzel (Meegan Warner) and she tells him of being imprisoned here by the Witch and she can't get out unless he finds the flower from her garden and that way they can both have what they want.  Well Rapunzel as we know was freed a while back, but you can never tell which direction this show will take when coming up with stories that will confuse some viewers even more.

Hook ventures to the garden with Mr Smee (Chris Gauthier) and he must sing to find the flower only awakening a giant gnome (now Sheila in Aussie soap Neighbours would've loved one of those!)  Anyway Smee suggests he sing a different song and he ends up singing a lullaby which turns the gnome to dust.  He recalls his mother would sing that to him and his brother and when he no longer heard it anymore he guessed it was a lullaby.  So apparently this Hook is the one with the daughter (ie fat bellied Hook.)  This was his story.  As he returns with the flower, Rapunzel is so grateful at getting her freedom that she wants to get it on with Hook there and then and being the pirate that he is, he obliges.  Now Rapunzel wouldn't have done that.  Next morning it's actually the Witch (Emma Booth) that Victoria is holding prisoner and she has a baby.  "Bloody Fast work mate" he thinks to himself, as she tells him it's magic and she needed to leave her bloodline behind to escape the tower.  She wants Hook to come too leaving him a petal for his purposes but he can't leave the baby alone.  His baby.

Hook gives The Jolly Roger to Smee and tells him to take Reggie away.  He's got other business, as he sings to the baby again, he names her Alice.  Thus Alice (in Wonderland) is his daughter, wonders will never cease.  No wonder she was so vested in Hook Rogers back at Hyperion Heights and practically told him it was her last ep as she held that chess piece right under his nose, but he didn't get it.  Still thinking misguidedly this Eloise is his daughter, or some familial connection with her.  He sets out to find her once more and chances upon the man with the tat's DB and calls in Weaver Rumples (Robert Carlyle).  He promptly reports to Victoria (Gabrielle Anwar) about what he's doing and she wants it taken care of.  Sorry but didn't he tell Victoria he was no longer on her payroll.

Hook thinks Alice (Rose Reynolds) is the only one who can help him as she did last time and Henry tags along to help.  He won't turn her in for selling stolen watches and she tells him she'll help him if he meets her in two hours with a sandwich.  A marmalade sandwich Hook replies.  Heck man that should've given away what she was going to do.  When she does turn up she tells him Eloise was killed in a car accident and gives him the painted page from his journal.  However Hook rubs it and the paint runs off onto his hand.  He confronts Rumples about this who marvels at the Dark One's dagger which is kept in the evidence lock up, silly place to have it.  Rumples warns Hook against pursuing this and also tries to convince him he's not working for Victoria but he can't stop him from confronting her.

Victoria finds out that the Witch has had a visitor who's tracked dirt in and she tells her it was probably Victoria anyway.  Victoria finding Ivy's shoes as she's not at her desk and knows Drizella has her memories intact.  Hook manages to find Victoria and handcuffs her releasing Eloise and Victoria is arrested.  Which is a joyous day for Ivy but Victoria tells her she's making a big mistake unleashing her into the world.   As things backfire for Jacinda too since she can't have Lucy until her complaint is properly sorted out.

Hook telling Henry he feels a family connection towards Eloise and he doesn't know what that is.  Well that'll be the one night stand they shared together, but Alice standing by at the end knowing she's his daughter and she can't do anything about it cos he won't believe her, but also how Rumples wanted to tell Hook what was going on but he wouldn't believe him.  Just like sceptical Henry.  How frustrating is all this anyway.  As we know now how Hook came about his daughter, it wasn't even a night of passion in that sense, he was used, a mere object for her to gain her freedom!  What would the witch have done if she wasn't approached by this handsome guyliner dude, oh never mind, she'd have gone for anyone to gain her freedom, scruple-less as she is!!  Eloise has an apt name though considering she had that garden as a Witch in the Other Realm, but also how she's meant to be green-fingered here too in attemting to make that plant grow.  Rumples doesn't take the same approach with Reggie in the next ep when she tells him about joining forces!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Halcyon Series 1 Episode 8 Review

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The final episode of ITV's wartime drama series kicked off with some explosive actions and not just since it was the finale but also turned out to be the season finale too.  Seems everyone was getting their share of kicks and knockbacks, especially when D'Abberville (Charles Edwards) gets his comeuppance as Toby (Edward Bluemel) finally comes clean about being a traitor really and being blackmailed by by D'Abberville with him having the lowdown on his secret, which he tells Priscilla (Olivia Williams) is sordid.  Also adding that if anyone finds out about him then he'll go down as a traitor too.  Of course Toby would wait the entire season to come clean about his goings on and stealing secrets to Garland (Steven Mackintosh) now, when it's over.  Though he tells him that he came to him shows he is not a coward and is willing to act, well took his sweet time.

Of course Priscilla wouldn't believe Garland when he told her about D'Abberville since she doesn't like him at all with added sarcasm thrown in when Garland tells her he wouldn't lie to her, which is exactly what he did do when he covered for her husband's dalliances and indiscretions.  Not the same thing though and he was also his employer after all, considering good jobs are hard to find and so is the hired help.  So doing a mad, drastic dash through D'Abberville's belongings, she finds his passport and his ticket away from here; but of course he high tails it back to his room after Toby confronts him and tells him he's called Special Branch.   D'Abberville tells Priscilla about Garland too and not being who he seems, as he confronted him too earlier about the Sgt Green mystery and what he did in the woods.  Of course there were several new stories/plots being set up for a series 2, which didn't happen.  Ain't it always the way: they always end on a cliff hanger and can't be bothered to finish what they started, not even in a special, at least they could've got a Christmas special out of it to tie up loose ends, before everyone went their own way.

But you just knew that Priscilla Lady Hamilton (not Lady Emma Hamilton though there is an Emma in the characters!) was going to get the vest of D'Abberville, especially when he threatened Toby and conked him on the head with the paperweight.  It wasn't as though he was going to let things go, thought he was going to get her for a minute.  Then to top it off, she calls on Garland to help her. That was rich after how she treated him, then asking him why he's helping her, well cos she asked was his reply.  As he clears up, too late Special Branch arrives and he manages to get the DB into the bathroom.  Although for Special Branch they didn't really do a good job of searching the room, aside from finding out that Garland was hiding something.  Aah yes, Priscilla's romantic interlude with D'Abberville.

The love triangle also continues as Joe Vs (the volcano ha! - sorry) well Joe (Matt Ryan) vs Freddie (Jamie Blackley) continued with Joe punching him out and Emma (Hermione Corfield) just happened to be there to see.  That was some kinda macho bravado going on there.  D'ya think Joe realized he did the wrong thing since Freddie was in uniform after all and fighting for his country, as well as his girl.  Though later in the lift Freddie tells Emma that he loves her and that it's probably too late. Emma was stringing them along it seems especially as she glances at both of them longingly.  She can't decide and as Betsey (Kara Tointon) said to her, she should have both of them cos there is a war on.  Well many of us know who they'd go for!! (Ahem Joe perhaps?!!  Well he is more of the manly man and not a, erm, boy.  In the sense he's also a doer, a thinker, reporter...)

Betsey having her own feelings and declaring she loves Sonny (Soph Dirisu) which you knew was going to be too little too late for her.  Also the music band leader thang being already done in Downton Abbey.  Toby is given the note from Adil (Akshay Kumar) as he prepares to commit suicide and Toby manages to get to him in time, missing the bomb altogether.  As The Halcyon celebrates 50 years, it's hit by a bomb, seems they didn't have five minutes after all.  Just as Joe looked like he was going to declare his love for Emma too, with Freddie standing by and watching, everything goes awry.  Telling her to go to Freddie after he helps out a woman.  Betsey singing a song A Nightingale in Barkley Square, as she looks for Sonny and then sees him, but he vanishes as Emma calls out to her. She lies unconscious and Sonny is no longer around.  Well at least it was good news for Klein (Nico Rogner) as Garland managed to find his family and bring them back to London.

Of course it'd end on a cliffhanger, why can't they just once finish things on a final note instead of giving viewers the runaround.  They know if we like a show we'll come back to it, but it's always the viewers who get short changed.  Not the TV companies or the networks cos we invest so much more in the programme and the characters and cast than they do!

Matt did a great American accent, it's funny when I spoke to him I mentioned how he didn't have to do an American accent in Criminal Minds :Suspect Behaviour which was an American series, cancelled too on a cliffhanger I might add.  But how he did one in this, which happened to be a Brit show!  Strange!  But he pulled it off as he would do!

Well there you have it, Priscilla and Garland saved by the bomb as D'Abberville's DB was conveniently blown up in the proceedings, with Priscilla aimlessly wandering around like the walking wounded, which she was, as was Betsey too. Seems Garland and Priscilla would've forged some semblance of a fleeting friendship from this ordeal had there been a series 2.  Having this dark secret hanging over them, but he did come through in the end as a loyal employee, much to her chagrin earlier and throughout the series that he was more liable to help Lord Hamilton than her and quite frankly she hated him for it.  Yet Garland saved her 'soon to be' rationed bacon here!  As well as Garland also getting to have a tender moment with Peggy (Liz White) that was obvious throughout the series too.  Peggy was married but her husband's away, doesn't make it right, but after what she went through with Billy, she needed some tenderness.  Garland and Emma came across as practically a couple of potential heartbreakers, like father, like daughter in many ways.

Yet there was also the way that Garland understood what Priscilla was going through, he did the dirty too (guess all's fair in love and war - again) when he killed the diabolical military officer during the last war.  Now her hands are tainted with blood too, albeit to save herself and Toby.  Garland was also saving a life as he saw it.  Besides D'Abberville was a nasty Nazi after all, as Garland warned him, "if you think you can act this way in my hotel without consequence..."  Only to be met by his revealing Garland's real name of Sgt Green.  Well if Priscilla hadn't done him in, Garland surely would have.

Then Priscilla mentions to D'Abberville that perhaps, "why not ask the American to write it? Apparently he’s rather popular on the wireless."  When threatening to tell the world about Toby, well okay not the entire world, but their little corner of it.  Before she grabbed the paperweight.  Well Joe was extremely popular and yet D'Abberville would've been outed eventually as a Nazi.  Wow for once I didn't have to defend Joe against snide remarks from critics, must be they were too busy crying shed loads that this was the final ep!!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Longmire 5.10 "The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of" Review

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As Walt (Robert Taylor) and Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) sit in different rooms at the Res police station, Henry tells Mathias (Zahn McClarnon) about Walt's suspicions of him being Hector.  Mathias reminding him that Walt has samples of Henry's blood when he collected samples where Malachi (Graham Greene) was beaten.  Mathias can't remove the evidence without breaking the law.  Milgrom  (Patch Darragh) tells Walt that he can't let this feuding get out in public cos of the civil trial and Walt tells him Henry is his best friend, which kinda makes it worse.  Mathias tells Milgrom Henry will drop all charges if Walt doesn't pursue the Hector issue anymore and accuse him of being Hector, which Walt agrees to, as both men leave the station injured and dejected.

Walt arrives home to find Donna (Ally Walker) waiting for him, she's been subpoenaed to give a deposition and Walt tells her when she was missing, he and Vic (Katee Sackhoff) broke in and stole some of her patient files and if they hadn't done that, they wouldn't have found her.  She doesn't blame them but he tells her to go ahead with the deposition.  Knighthorse (A Martinez) has new bodyguards and Henry tells him about the Malachi situation and Walt too and he doesn't know if he and Walt are still friends.  He's grateful to Knighthorse for getting his bar back, but he wants to know if Knighthorse went back and killed Malachi.  He didn't, but Henry tells him he's confused since someone wrote "Hector Lives" there with stones.  Knighthorse thinks it could be Malachi himself to throw the scent off him being alive and if he is, then Henry adds that makes him more of a threat.  Should've heeded his own warning.

Cady (Cassidy Freeman) comes in to get Darius out and she thinks Mathias has spoken to him without her being there.  He says Darius is bad news and she shouldn't be doing this.  However she reminds him of how everyone's entitled to a defence and she won't go into that with him.  Mathias still thinks she's making a big mistake.  Which she was but as she said when called upon, lawyers have to defend no matter how abhorrent the defendant, otherwise they're not doing their job.  Cady returns to the office and finds Mandy (Tamara Duarte) already there and she tells her she can play her $25,000 a year and then see how it goes.  After getting Knighthorse to foot the bill for one more employee after she tells him she's hired all the people on his list.  She also warns him about Walt when she says the same thing she did to Walt about him being tunnel visioned when it comes to Knighthorse.  Who tells her how he and Walt have had that volatile relationship for years.  She loves her father but she wants to do what's right with her job.  She sees him laying down his stakes for when he meditates.  Obviously that's going to be relevant for the end.

Vic hears that Chance Gilbert (Peter Stormare) has been found guilty and will serve at least twenty years inside.  She's relieved and Ferg (Adam Bartley) breaks the news to Walt.  Chance later calls Walt and tells him he wants to get to death row cos he can't live cooped up without his freedom.  Well tell that to the people he killed.  He calls it a cruel and unusual punishment for himself.  However Walt refuses cos he deserves what he gets and cos he can suffer behind bars.  What is usually cruel and unusual is languishing on death row for years.  Walt tells Vic what he wanted which was a mistake cos she wants to see him die and he tells her he's not going to act on it since the judge gave him his sentence and that's how the law operates.  he's been accused of doing too much outside of the law.  Chance tells Vic where to find the gun when he murdered the courier.  When she goes to find it she's met by his brother's wife and she fights her.  With Vic getting kicked in the stomach.  The DA takes the gun and it has his DNA on it.

Travis (Derek Phillips) is moving into the trailer park to keep an eye on Vic and he takes her to the hospital the next day as they hear the baby's heartbeat during the ultrasound.  The mayor buys Walt a milkshake cos he's temporarily suspending him and has gone to the county commissioners to do this.  He wants to be treated with respect and he knows it' re-election year so he wants a smooth ride.  Walt isn't happy and as we later see the mayor wants Walt out co he has big plans for the county and a stickler for doing the right thing like Walt will only get in the way.  He recruits Knighthorse onto his campaign for this reason.  Also telling him that the FBI has info on Walt pertinent to the case.

Walt asks Ferg to find Monte (Stephen Louis Grush) and when he does, he breaks into his house and finds the FBI flashdrive, as Ferg distracts Monte with the threat of a ticket for running a stop sign.  The flashdrive reveals details of a phonecall Walt supposedly made to Barlow from his house.  A call lasting five seconds.  But Walt didn't make the call and it wouldn't have been enough time to invite him over.  Besides why would Barlow even entertain the idea of being summoned by Walt when Walt could've just gone to see him at his place as he always did.  He tells Tucker (Brett Rice) he's been withholding this vital information and Tucker reveals Barlow handed him over the reigns of his company making him CEO.  Walt telling him Barlow wanted it to be a case of 'suicide by cop.'  Tucker also saying when he finishes with Walt he won't have all this land cos he'll have to sell up in   the settlement the judge will order.  As he calls his phone and makes a call in four seconds.  Er, he didn't take into account how many seconds the call would actually take to connect and for Barlow to pick up, cos he wouldn't answer right away!!  Not so clever Tucker!!

Milgrom tells Walt to see his accountant and to give his money away.  So I said he should just give his property to Cady now and put it in her name, or sell it to her dirt cheap instead so greedy guts can't get his hands on it.  Wanting to build a golf course resort.  Oh man if that ain't bloody Drumpf I don't know what is!  That's all Absaroka needs after a casino!  Donna and Walt share a Rainier and she plays truth or dare, asking him who's the better kisser, her or Vic, as he sips his beer.  He does the same asking if it's him or her husband, as she also takes a sip of beer.  Their relationship isn't really going anywhere romantically.

Henry is duped into taking Tina (Tinsel Korey) to her home as she's lost her coat with her car keys where Henry sees Malachi.  He then ties Henry up after beating him to the same stakes that Knighthorse uses to call his dog soldiers.  Leaving him there to bake in the sun.  Cady undergoes a sweat ritual as Mandy's aunt wants to initiate her into the tribe.  Here she sees many images such as Henry hanging from a tree with his phone in his hand, as well as seeing the empty sheriff's station with Walt's hat on the rack, she sees the land and walking in blood.  Obviously a warning, foreboding of what's to come next season.  With Walt having another fight on his hands with the civil trial and the golf course plans now and this time on his own land.  They don't do things by half in this show!!  Roll on the sixth and final season!!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Venus In Fur (Play) Review

A magnificent feast for the senses, a tour de force, comedy of fun errors, what can I use to describe this delightful piece of writing, acting, directing.  A must see for anyone who loves comedy and more appropriately it's almost "ripped from several headlines" message.  It's meant to be based in around 1870 when women were mere objects to be ogled, lusted after and put on pedestals.  Treated as goddesses (hence the title in some ways) and yet it slowly turns all the stereotypes onto their heads and ends up with a winning formula and taking the gender roles, the archetypal gender roles and reversing them to achieve an immensely satisfying conclusion!!  The book of the same title written by Leopold Sacher-Masoch and as Thomas says in the play that's where the term "sado masochism" originated.  However at the time the book was written the man's 'quest' to be physically abused wasn't thought of as pornographic or perverse in any way.  But shows how society came to view it as such and it culminated in Vanda adding that's what it really is about.

Bravo and kudos to brilliantly great acting, 90 minutes of marvel.  Vanda Jordan comes to audition for the part of Vanda in Thomas Novachek's play.  Remarkably and not coincidentally, as I saw it, she  really did ingratiate herself into the audition and she shares the same name as the female protagonist in the play.  She thinks Thomas wrote the play but he's merely "adapting" it.  This repeated several times over as if trying to make us believe that's really the case, or convince us Thomas actually adapted Sacher-Masoch's book of the same name; as Thomas explains to ditzy Vanda, however, don't be fooled by her blonde tresses, she's not what she appears to be.  But a cunning vixen, who really plays him and does set his heart afire.  "The inexplicable becomes the inextricable" in many ways.  As she keeps getting "ambivalent" and "ambiguous" mixed up.

Thunder, lightning and Vanda arrives wet at Thomas's attic studio.  The train was late and everyone's gone but through her clever tactics and manoeuvrability, she manages to convince Thomas into giving her an audition.  As they read the play, she questions why Thomas doesn't play the part for himself.  As they read, their innermost thoughts and desires are revealed, as are their tremendous American accents, Vanda's New Yawk accent becomes posh English when reading the script, allowing Thomas to be more enamoured with her.  She also gets him to talk 'posh' and then we get a little German accent; ooh it was Earnest (Victoria) all over again.  As Natalie also finally slips in a German accent too.

Thomas says he's taken in by her and falls like the thunder and lightning.  Plenty of this followed, painting the picture that each time there was that roar, it was Thomas falling deeper and more deeply for Vanda.  The astute vixen has the script already and says her agent gave it to her.  But she's also secretly read the book as she produces it when remarking on the cover, if he used that as a poster it'd be reminiscent of "porn" and he'll sell lots of tickets.

That's what this revolved around: the abuses suffered and endured by women at the hands of men for centuries.  Seen by Vanda's heartfelt machinations that she longs for a woman to be an individual and to be seen as such.  Not admired for her beauty alone and to be 'used' for the needs of men, but to be given an equal footing.  Therein lies the modern aspect to this.  All the scandals appearing in the news now, the abuses (suffered by men and women alike).  It was akin to Thomas as he talks of the abuse suffered at the hands of his aunt, as his pants were pulled down and she beat him, over and over.  It was so poignant a moment that it felt as if it were true.  That he really suffered this and wasn't just spoken by the character he was playing within the play.  Hence also their talk of fur stemming from this and how the fur plays a pivotal role in that abuse and yet it's so appealing.

After much 'seduction' and many home truths being revealed, more thunder and more times that Thomas fell for this Venus in Fur, this Aphrodite.  "All hail Aphrodite"  Vanda finally gets Thomas where she wants him: succumbing and finally playing her role, as she ties him up and shows him how women are treated.  As said, roles reversed, she's now the dominant one, in the position of power.  And as the heavens rained red, Aphrodite is finally hailed; also as exacting her revenge.  The goddess wins!  The "idiot woman...idiot actress" reveals in the depths of her victory!

It felt to me as if Thomas was actually imagining this, writing, I mean, adapting his own play and his own version of events.  Especially with that "twisty" ending!  It was such a pleasure to watch Natalie Dormer and David Oakes live on stage; that it's no wonder many have flocked to see this many times over.  It does deserve more than one viewing.  That atmosphere, there's so much to take in.  The costumes without being too lavish suit the entire play and it's good there wasn't an interval which would've distracted from the main scenes, which were actually all the scenes in my opinion.  Every moment, every scene had an enormous impact on everything being said and acted.

Thomas mentions he was beaten by his aunt and it was watched by the servants and even the cat.  It was hilarious in a way, not the beating aspect, but that cats were mentioned in this and I gave David a silly cat painting I did!  Hey another uncanny moment of mine!

I would say this should be filmed and shown in theatres/cinemas in all its glory.  Loved it and as said, one visit wasn't enough, neither were two!  Third time's the charm.  Amazingly directed by Patrick Marber and a gorgeous set by Rob Howell.  Breathtaking, exuding sexiness and so very dark!

Venus In Fur Theatre Royal Haymarket until 9th December!! Hurry!!