Penny Dreadful – Season 2 Premiere

Although it is not summer yet, it is time to write some short TV reviews.  Here is a recap of the themes and reveals (SPOILERS) from Season 2 episode 1 of Penny Dreadful, “Fresh Hell”.

Penny Dreadful S2:Episode 1,

Plot:

Vanessa is barraged by an onslaught of disturbing occult images brought on by the mysterious Madame Kali. Because of the massacre he committed in the Mariner’s Inn, Ethan believes he needs to leave London. Dr. Frankenstein works to bring Brona back to life while under the pressure from Caliban, who, in search of work after being let go at the Grand Guignol, applies at a wax museum. After Mina’s funeral, Sir Malcolm returns to London to discover that a whole new evil is hunting Vanessa.

Themes:

  • As it was in Season 1, there is a main theme that the characters on Penny D all seem to believe in:  Can and should they try to vanquish evil, while knowing that there is an evil inside of them.  The question is:   Will that “evil” or I would call it their “beastly strength” destroy them or their friends before they get a chance to finish off the evil forces around them?

  • The Victorian oppression of letting your true feelings and true self from showing was a big theme for the characters and was best exemplified in this episode by the Creature’s reluctance of accepting the beauty within himself, and instead taking a job at a wax museum where dead things are given life for the public to gawk at.  Is this the Creature’s fate (to be gawked at) or is there hope that he will be accepted for the kind heart within him even though his face is horrible.

  • The spiritual world is both intriguing and dangerous in Penny Dreadful.  This was exemplified by the pure and white snow being coated in red blood at the attack of the strange witches who seem to be able to appear and disappear from sight.

Vanessa and Mina - Showtime

Vanessa and Mina – Showtime

Big Surprises:

  • Ethan realizes for the first time possibly how dangerous he can be to anyone even old friends (or foes).  So much so, that he wants to leave Vanessa and those that offer him a chance at redemption.  It caught me a bit by surprise that Vanessa had no real clue of his supernatural abilities.  I guess her and Malcolm mainly wanted a gun for hire (last season).

  • Mrs. Malcolm has always resented his journeys to Africa and believes he went totally for selfish reasons.  It remains to be seen if this is really true, but perhaps Malcolm went there for reasons that weren’t selfish.  Obviously their partnership was strained when Peter died (and his body was left in Africa) but now it is totally ruined because of Mina’s death.

  • Poor Brona Croft.  First Dr. Frankenstein killed her, now he is in love with the idea of a new life for her (without her consent) and then he is going to give her to the Creature.  Will she remember Ethan in her new “undead” form?

  • The “witches”.  Kinda boring in a way.  It seems their only job is to provide the Master his desired “marriage” to Vanessa/ Ancient Deity.  It doesn’t make sense to me why they would want to put a barrier between themselves and the Master (of evil).  This reminded me of both Buffy the Vampire slayer and the Strain.  Not good.  I hope this is just one of the story lines this season and not the main one.

 

 

What’s Coming UP

It’s been an entirely cold cold winter and hopefully Spring is just around the corner.  So time to start posting again to the blog!

I am looking forward to discussing a bunch of Easter TV specials:

  • Killing Jesus – NatGeo
  • Finding Jesus – Faith, Fact, and Forgery – CNN
  • AD – NBC

And the premiere of season 2 of Penny Dreadful.

The Strain Season 1 Finale

The Strain – FX

The summer 2014 TV shows are ending so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The finale is somewhat SPOILED for The Strain.

The Strain

Pro’s:

  • The Set and Art Design were pretty good.  I would have liked more cool sets at the end of this season.

  • The plot was mostly interesting, but I really didn’t care too much for Eph’s family story.

Con’s

  • I guess I am not gonna see Cory Stoll lose his wig to a vampire.

  • Why isn’t the rest of New York in a panic?  Where is the National guard, shouldn’t they know enough to go after the zombies/vampires?

  • I guess overall I liked the premise, but I never really felt worried for our characters (except I did like the scenes in the gas station convenience store).  The Strain will be back next summer.

Extant Season 1 Finale

Extant – CBS

The summer 2014 TV shows are ending so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The finale is somewhat SPOILED for Extant.

Extant

Pro’s:

  • The Set and Art Design were cool and futuristic but also livable and comfortable.  Good job there.

  • Halle Berry’s acting was spot on throughout the series.  She was probably the only character I really cared about.  I did like Katie Sparks, but alas Katie was neither here or there (if you know what I mean).

  • The story wasn’t too bad but the execution was too slow especially during the middle episodes.

Con’s

  • Why was Halle trying to save the world again?  Wasn’t “the offspring” already here on Earth.  Won’t the spores be back to find him?

  • If people knew (or were told) they were seeing a mirage (albeit a pretty convincing mirage) wouldn’t that take the fun out of seeing your loved ones alive again?  I mean the characters still know the folks they used to love are really dead, right?

  • I guess overall I liked the premise, and some parts of the episodes, and Halle Berry, but I don’t need this show to come back next summer.

The Leftovers Season 1 Finale

 

The Leftovers – HBO

The summer 2014 TV shows are ending so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The finale is SPOILED for the Leftovers.

The Leftovers

Pro’s:

  • HBO played the finale on a free preview weekend.  Thanks HBO.  Otherwise I would not have seen this interesting finale.

  • Kevin got his wish.  He met “God” (aka Wayne) in a latrine of all places, and he granted Kevin his wish.  “To be with his family and to hold them”.   Note this came immediately after Kevin confesses his guilt (for wanting to leave his family).

  • The beautiful music and the long silences which gives us, the viewers, time to reflect on our own lives and our regrets.

  • The “rebirth” at the end of the episode when a baby literally shows up on Kevin’s doorstep.  There is hope in this place after all.  This is hell on earth but grace can still intercede.

Con’s

  • The Guilty Remnant served its purpose to remind every one of what they lost.  But why?

  • I only watched the beginning and end of the first season of the show so I am still not sure where things could end up.  Will every one of the departed suddenly return… after those they left behind (the leftovers) on earth realize what it means to be missing them?  I don’t know.

  • I was afraid to watch the show because of its dark unrelenting tone.  I am still not sure I would want to watch season 2.

The Killing – The Final Word from the Producer

Click below to link to the article.

The Killing Post Mortem: EP Veena Sud Talks That Last Scene, the

Lost Kiss, an Offscreen Wedding and… a Season 5?

The Killing – Last Season Episode 4.6

The Killing – NetFlix

This recap will SPOIL the series finale of the Killing.  Well guys and gals it’s been an up and down journey but here we are at the last episode.

The Killing Season 4 Episode 6 – Eden

Recap: In this final episode of the last season, Linden and Holder’s relationship is tested to a degree it has never been before and the homicide case is solved.

It opens with Linden jogging through the woods as did she did in the premiere episode.  She sees a kid’s pinwheel lying next to something on the beach.  (Linden as a girl loved parades and pinwheels.)  She takes a closer look and finds the object is a dead girl, rotting away alone.  She hears someone behind her.  It is a man with a gun to her head and he is ready to pull the trigger.  She wakes up.  It was a horrible dream.  Was Linden seeing herself as the dead girl?  Was it Holder who was ready to pull the trigger?

The cadets are looking for Kyle outside the academy.  They find a rifle shell and they see blood on a tree.  But Kyle is not to be found.  Linden is turning the house upside down to find the missing bullet casing.  She gets a call and rushes to get to her car.  She stops the car and Kyle rushes inside.  He says they are trying to kill him and he doesn’t want to remember what happened to his family.  Linden takes him to her house where he should be safe.  She needs to go out.  But while he is there, Kyle remembers what happened that night to his family.  The family that despised him (except for his sister, who knew there was a monster in the house, but believed that Kyle was her protector).

Lincoln and AJ somehow let Kyle escape their attempt to kill him.  Maybe they were worried what Col Rayne would think if they did.  So they go back to her office to talk to her.  She wants them to stick with the plan.  Their hope was that Kyle wouldn’t remember what happened.  But now he is remembering.  The cadets want to get rid of him before he talks.  Rayne won’t let them, but they leave to do it anyway.  Just then the police arrive with a warrant to arrest the boys.  They hear gun shots.  When they get to Raynes’ office both boys are dead, shot by Rayne.  Linden wants her to drop the gun.  Rayne says she killed the Stansberry’s.  But everyone knows she is lying.  She finally gives her story.  She thought her child had died (in childbirth) but he didn’t.  Her child was Kyle and she had been visiting him for years, but was too afraid to tell him the truth that she left him.  The Stansberry’s hated Kyle because he was not truly their son.  Kyle couldn’t find love at home or at school.  His rage had built up until one night he was goaded by the cadets to kill Kyle’s mom.  Probably because she had spurned Lincoln I guess.  So the three cadets go to Kyle’s house.  The two can’t believe it when Kyle actually goes through with it.  In the saddest part of the crime, Kyle kills his sister because she realizes that it’s Kyle who is the monster and he can’t stand to see it in her eyes.

Outside of the academy building Linden tells Holder she wants to pin the murders on Rayne in order to protect Kyle.  But Holder won’t let her do that.  Linden then has a melt down and accuses Holder of colluding with Reddick to bring her down for killing Skinner.  She even thinks Holder has stolen the bullet casing from her house to use as evidence against her.  Holder, in complete disbelief, knows that Linden no longer trusts him.  His only response is to silently walk away.

Back at his family’s house, Kyle admits all that he did to Linden when she promises him she will end his suffering.  I had no idea what she was going to do next (kill Kyle maybe?, let him escape?).  But she just quietly waits for the police to come and take him away.  The case is solved.  Linden seems to have a blind spot when it comes to murderers, but this time she lets justice take its course.

She then goes into police headquarters to admit to her murdering Skinner, but also to say that Holder had nothing to do with it.  She is willing to face her punishment without a lawyer.  But something surprising happens.  Congressman Richmond comes to tell her the ballistic report shows that Skinner shot himself in his car.  The authorities want to cover up the crime because having a high-ranking police office guilty of these heinous acts is very bad for public relations in the city.  Linden objects and threatens to go to the newspapers.  Richmond would love to throw her away into prison as she is responsible for him being in a wheelchair, but he says they will just tell the press that Linden is known to have mental issues, so they won’t believe her.  Linden relents, but leaves her badge behind.  She quits the police force.

Holder waits for Callie’s mom to show up at the cemetery to pay her respects to her dead daughter.  He apologizes to her for what he said about her wanting to see her girl after how the lake and time had disfigured her.  He says that he is going to be a dad of a little girl.  He then walks down and finds Bullets’ grave.  He had promised Bullet that he would keep her safe, but Skinner got to her.  He leaves behind a “bullet” bracelet (I think) as a remembrance.

As Linden is packing her car with the last items from her house, she notices in the air vent the bullet case that was missing.  Holder did not take it.  He was faithful to her.  He was faithful even when Reddick had threatened him to expose Sarah in return for leniency.  In what could have been the last scene of the show, Linden drives away from Seattle.  She could have just left town knowing her and Holder would never be friends again.  But there is still a little more story left.

Epilogue:
It is a few years later.  Holder is walking his little girl Calia to the school bus as they talk and joke about her upcoming birthday party and you can see some of Holder’s traits in her.  He says he will pick her up from her mom’s house on the weekend.  I guess Holder never married or separated somehow from Caroline.  We then see him working at a rehab facility like Alcoholics Anonymous.  When he goes outside Linden is there waiting for him.  He is surprised to see her after so long.  They talk about their lives.  Jack is grown tall and is in college.  But Linden has just been driving around searching for something real to hold on to.  She tells him that their friendship was real.  “Just them sitting in the car and talking”.  Holder asks her to stay but she can’t.  He wants to kiss her but she thinks it’s weird.  She never had a place to call home.  They say goodbye.  She tries to leave the “place of death” but returns to the lake and thinks a minute.  Holder is locking up his workplace for the night, but at the bottom of the steps he sees Linden and she is smiling.  She has finally found her home.  THE END.

 

Highlights of the Finale:

  • This was my favorite finale because we finally got some resolution and happiness for our characters.  I know I am a sucker for happy endings, but given the grimness and descent into hell they went through this story needed this kind of ending.

  • I really got choked up at the scene with Holder and Callie’s mom.  As that scene closed, I thought ‘wow’ he could name his kid after Callie… and I got what I wanted!

  • If Linden had just driven off without saying goodbye to Holder I would have been severely disappointed.  Or if they would have ended up happy right after all the terrible things had just happened, I would have been disappointed.  So doing the epilogue was perfect.

  • The case resolved in a logical way.  Yes the police don’t want bad publicity and yes they knew that Linden was in a relationship with Skinner, so what she did was understandable (but not justified).  But she had served the police force well solving two murder mysteries.  Letting her go made sense.

  • It was great how they kept folding the stories in on each other.  Rayne lost her son and was afraid to let him know she was a mom who could not provide a home for him.  Linden’s son knew his mom but had a lot of trouble relating to her desire to find a home.  Holder was an addict who hated himself and other addicts, but when he met Callie’s mom he could finally forgive her and himself.  Holder grew to want to help the addicts.  And Linden finally found her home with her good friend (who never left her), Holder.

Big question:  Will there be any more episodes of the Killing?  It’s doubtful, but I am going to miss Linden and Holder.  They started out as two very damaged cops trying to fix the problems of the world while finding out that they really couldn’t.  The best they could do was try.  And they did that together and found a true friendship in each other.