Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 10

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the fantastic adult sundae bar, otherwise known as Penny Dreadful!

Well, we are now at the end of the line of the sundae, so we can’t make another visit for quite sometime…sniff…boohoo…

And what a trip it was this season.  So many flavors and toppings to chose from, and the final product was (almost) too good to eat!  But I partook anyway, and I have no regrets about doing so, nor do I even really have a sugar hangover…it really was that good!

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With that being said, here is my recap and review of the final episode of Penny Dreadful, season 2!

 


Synopsis

The episode begins where the prior episode left off.  Vanessa is trapped in Evelyn Poole’s room full of dolls, and Malcolm and Victor are trapped in a room and are tormented with apparitions.  Malcolm is tormented by apparitions of his dead children and wife, and Victor is tormented by apparitions of Proteus, Caliban and Lily.  The doll continues to speak to Vanessa.

The doll tells Vanessa it is the voice of Lucifer and tries to tempt her.  It sends her visions of her utmost desire, which happens to be of a future with Ethan.  Vanessa and Ethan are shown to have two children and to be wildly in love with each other.  The voice in the doll promises Vanessa a normal life, and safety for her friends, if she promises her soul to Lucifer.  Vanessa leans in to kiss the doll, but backs away at the last moment.  Vanessa then begins to speak to the doll in Latin, and a battle ensues.  Vanessa wins and vanquishes the dark spirit from the doll, destroying it.  A scorpion crawls from the doll and melds itself to Vanessa.  Evelyn then begins to age rapidly.

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The enchantment on Victor and Malcolm is then broken, and they are released from the room entrapping them.  Ethan is still in his werewolf form but is also released.  Ethan then kills Evelyn, beheading her.  The werewolf seems to recognize Vanessa when she calls to it, but Ethan runs away, presumably with guilt over killing Sembene.

Vanessa, Victor, Ferdinand and Malcolm escape from the mansion.  Vanessa informs the group that Ethan is safe, but does not elaborate.  Hecate is the only witch to survive the confrontation, and also leaves the mansion, but sets fire to it before she leaves.

Vanessa returns to the mansion with Malcolm, who is heartbroken over the death of Sembene.  Vanessa consoles him, and Malcolm tells Vanessa that he will return to Africa to bury and pay respects to his long-time friend.  Malcolm then boards a ship, presumably en-route to Africa.

Penny Dreadful 1

Victor returns to his mansion and finds Lily gone.  He deduces that Lily is with Dorian Gray, and pays a visit to Dorian.  Lily then torments Victor with the knowledge that she has always known how she was created, and has been waiting to strike all this time.  Dorian also torments Victor.  Victor shoots his gun at Lily and Victor, but this does nothing as the two are immortal.  Lilly states that they will let Victor live, so that that Victor will have to come to terms with what he has done, and how he has now created a race of super humans.  The two continue to dance, in a trail of blood.  Victor returns home, and shoots a massive dose of heroin into his body.

Ethan walks into the office of Inspector Rusk, and immediately confesses to the Mariner’s Inn Massacre.  Ethan requests a quick hanging, but Rusk tells him that he will be extradited back to America.  Ethan and Rusk then board a ship, and Rusk locks Ethan in a cage.

Ethan Chandler 2

Caliban is locked in a cage, and receives a visit from Mr. Putney and his wife.  Putney and his wife offer him money if he will agree to their terms and allow them to display him in their freak show, but Caliban breaks out of the cage and kills Mr. and Mrs. Putney.  Caliban then escapes, leaving Lavinia alone with the bodies of her parents.

Vanessa then pays a visit to the soup kitchen and encounters Caliban.  Caliban tells Vanessa that he is going away, as he has committed terrible deeds.  Caliban then tries to convince Vanessa to come with him, but Vanessa tells him that she cannot, as she is shrouded in darkness and not good for anyone.  Both begin to weep, and Vanessa kisses Caliban goodbye, telling him that he is the best man she knows.  Caliban then sets sail on a ship, for parts unknown.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives and Rory Kinnear as The Creature in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 5). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_205_1509

The episode ends with Vanessa extinguishing every light in Malcolm’s mansion.  Vanessa then finds the cross in her bedroom, and tosses it into the fire, watching it burn.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 7). - Photo:  Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  PennyDreadful_107_1048


 

My Thoughts

Ermahgerd, Perney Deardful!

Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but its not too far off from the truth.  So much to love about this episode.  And so much action.  And so many tear…I don’t know where to start, but here goes nothing!

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One of the things that struck me about this episode was that the “action” (the rescue of Malcolm and Victor and the defeat of this season’s “big bad”) was over relatively quickly.  And the defeat of the “big bad” and the rescue of our heroes had a rushed feel, almost as if it were an after-thought.  And I absolutely loved this, because it took the focus back to some pivotal character development, and also allowed for a ton of “feelsie” moments.

Oh, and the feelsie moments…too many of them to count this episode!

As always, my boy Caliban was directly involved in a couple of those feelsie moments.  Yeah, real shocker…our resident poetry quoting monster was responsible for some feelsies…you don’t say!

I will admit, I think I lost it when Vanessa kisses Caliban, and tells him that he is the best man she has ever met.  And both were weeping.  Caliban is actually one character (ironically, given how he has been responsible for so many feelsies this season) that does not show much emotion.  But he was allowed to let loose with the waterworks on this episode, and it was one of the most beautiful, cathartic moments moments of the entire season, and perhaps the entire series.  My heart was ripped wide open, so good job, guys!

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Caliban’s escape and destruction of his enemies (the wanna-be freak show owning folks aka the Putney’s) was also one of the high points of this episode.  This was another part where Caliban showed a little more emotion than he normally would:  righteous anger.  What kind of monster locks up another living being with the intent of making money from making that being unwilling be part of his/her sick freak show?

Proteus 1

And for the record, I do not believe for one moment that Caliban was showing mercy to Lavinia by letting her live.  In fact, I believe he was showing her the exact opposite:  cruelty.  And deservedly so, as she helped her parents in their deception of poor Caliban, and led him on like no one’s business.  Lavinia (who is blind) being left alone with the bodies of her parents is cruel and unusual punishment.  Sheer torture.  But not undeserved…bitch!

And the metaphors and symbols.  I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss those, since this episode was crammed full of them.  For instance, the sailing ships.  These were a clear symbol of the new journeys that our favorite characters will now undergo, and the changes that will (probably) take place in the show.  I think the Scooby gang has fractured, at least temporarily, and that everyone is one their own for now.  So what will happen?  Will Ethan have some more adventures and maybe run into some more of his own kind, aka other werewolves, in his native New Mexico?  Will Malcolm travel to Africa and run afoul of dark magic (again)?  And poor Vanessa…she defeated Lucifer himself, but is she due to encounter someone (or something) even darker that she cannot defeat, especially now that she no longer has the rest of the Scooby gang to back her up?  Only time (aka Season 3) will tell, but the speculation is fascinating!

Scooby Doo 1

Then there is the matter of Dorian and Lilly.  The white clothes they were wearing, along with the blood (such a beautifully done scene) lead me to believe that we have a new potential story line:  a race of “super-beings” has now come into existence, and could cause trouble for a few folks, especially Victor Frankenstein.  Victor, try as he might, cannot inject his troubles away, at least in this instance.  Even “Lily” means re-birth, and I think we have witnessed the full re-birth and transformation.  She is Brona no longer.  She has become the creature known as Lily, and has teamed with Dorian Gray.  In other words, there will be hell to pay!

Brona 1

Last but not least, there is also the matter of Vanessa.  While this show focused on all the main characters, Vanessa was still the focal point of the episode.  As I have stated before, this show is, and always will be, Vanessa’s show.  Last night was no exception.  We start off with Vanessa, and we end with Vanessa.  The scenes with Vanessa turning off all of the lights in the mansion were simply brilliant.  I believe that we witnessed a major turning point in Vanessa’s character.  She may have defeated the Devil himself, but at what cost?  And who owns her now?  After all, a scorpion made its new home underneath her skin, for goodness sakes!  And it looks like Vanessa has forsaken her religion, which meant everything to her in the beginning (well, the beginning of the series, at least).  But the season concluded with Vanessa throwing the cross, which she always held near and dear, into the fire and watching it burn.  Other than her scene with Caliban, this had to be the most heartbreaking scene in the episode.  Vanessa did everything she could to hold on to her faith, even when the going got rough.  It may have even helped her defeat Lucifer himself.  But obviously, something happened in that encounter, and Vanessa has now forsaken her God.  Does this mean that she is on a path of darkness?  Has she become known in other circles (and probably evil circles, at that)?  Was the vision of her and Ethan simply a trick (another beautifully done scene.  And probably not coincidentally, everyone in that scene was also wearing white)?  Or is this a possible future, if Vanessa continues on the right path (even though the conclusion implied that she is not on that path)?  Again, only time (aka Season 3) will tell, and now we only have speculation, and wild fan theories to boot.

Penny Dreadful 2


 

So ladies and germs…that is a wrap, my friends!  Our trip to the sundae bar is now complete, and we don’t get to back for a little while, so I hoped you enjoyed it as much as I did!  But never fear, there is always next season!  And in the meantime, who’s to say we can’t torture ourselves with expectation, and run up some wild theories about our favorite gang of literary Avengers, aka the show Penny Dreadful?  So see you later folks…I don’t say good-bye, because we will meet again!

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True Detective: Season 2, Episode 5 Recap and Review

I remember playing a lot of Nintendo games as a child (I was, and still am, partial to Super Mario Brothers in particular).

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One of the great things about the Nintendo was the reset button.  Yes, the reset button.  Having a bad game?  Things not quite going your (or Mario’s way)?  Missed the fireflower?  No problemo…just reset the game, and start over from the beginning!  Hit the reset button often enough, and soon things will go your way!

Mario 1

Well, apparently the reset button does not just apply to gaming systems of yore.  It also applies to TV shows about corruption, murder, creepy psychiatrists and sleazy sex parties.  In other words, True Detective, like my old NES, has a reset button.

And it appears that someone did not like the way things were going in episode 4, because the reset button was hit after that episode, and now we are back at the beginning of the game.  We can start over, and just erase the prior mistakes (well, not really but it feels that way)!  And let me tell you, watching this episode really does feel like an entirely new game!

With that being said, here is my recap and review of True Detective, season 2, episode 5!

And, as always:

Homer spoiler


Synopsis

Season 2, episode 5 jumps ahead three months after the previous episode, which concluded with a shootout on the streets of Vinci.  Ray has resigned from the police department, and is now an under the table security guard for Frank.  Frank has returned to his illegal activities, and has moved into a smaller house with his wife, Jordan.  Frank and Jordan still do not see eye to eye in regards to starting a family (and other things).  Ani has been demoted to working in the evidence locker, and is also forced to attend sexual harassment seminars.  Paul is no longer a highway patrol officer and is now working in the insurance fraud department.  Paul is also planning to marry Emily, and is looking for ways to secure a future for his unborn child.  No one believes that the murder of Ben Caspere was truly solved, even though the investigation has been officially closed.

Paul pays a visit to his mother and tells her that Emily is pregnant and he plans to marry her.  Paul’s mother becomes upset, telling him that he should not limit himself in life.  Paul also discovers that his mother has stolen $20,000 in cash that he had previously hid in her house.  Paul becomes angry and confronts his mother, and then leaves her house.

Paul 1

Ray meets with a judge, his attorney and his ex wife to discuss the custody issues regarding his son.  The judge orders supervised visitation and a paternity test, as Ray’s ex-wife believes her rapist to be the father of their son, Chad.  Ray’s attorney warns him that his retainer fee will now increase, and Ray asks Frank for extra shifts to help cover his attorney fees.

Frank puts Ray to work investigating one of his subordinates, whom Frank suspects to be double-crossing him.  Ray follows the man, who attends a “sex party” in the company of Dr. Pitlor and Tony Chessani, son of Mayor Chessani.  The men are also in the company of several women who may be prostitutes.

Even though Ani has been demoted to the evidence locker, she picks up a trail on the case of a missing young woman who had previously worked in her father’s commune.  The young woman’s sister sends Ani pictures of blue diamonds.  Ani and Paul realize that these diamonds were also seen in Caspere’s house.  Ani and Paul head to the young woman’s last known address, which is also an address that was found in Caspere’s GPS.  They spot carrion birds near a guest house, and find the inside of the house covered in blood, but find no body.

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Ray pays a visit to Dr. Pitlor and demands answers.  We learn that Dr. Pitlor also specializes in cosmetic surgery, and has used that skill to change the appearance of women.  Ray brutally beats Dr. Pitlor until he receives information on the “sex parties” that the doctor participates in.

Ani visits her sister Athena, and begs for information on the sex parties, as her sister has ties to these parties as a former participant.  Athena reluctantly tells Ani that she will speak to some of the women and find some more information.

Ani, Paul and Ray meet with prosecutor Kathryn Davis, who tells them that she is assembling another task force to re-investigate Caspere’s murder, as she also believes that it has not been truly solved.  Ani agrees, as she feels the case is linked to the missing young woman.  Paul agrees, as he is not enjoying working behind a desk.  Ray is reluctant, but persuaded when Davis assures him that she can help him obtain custody of his son if he participates in the investigation.  All three are then hired by Davis, but “off the books.”

Davis also informs Ray that his ex-wife’s rapist has now been caught.  Ray believed that he had avenged his ex-wife’s rapist by killing the man and is now left to wonder who he actually murdered, and if he was set up by Frank.

Frank and Jordan share a tender moment, and discuss adopting a child.  Frank then gets up to investigate a loud knock at the door.  He opens the door, and finds Ray waiting for him.

True Dective 2


My Thoughts

As stated before, this episode was a reset.  Did the producers decide that the game show was getting a little muddled for their tastes, and chose to hit that button so that they could start from square one, just like I did when things weren’t going my way in my NES game of choice?

Well, probably not, but it did have that feel.  It was getting kind of confusing after all, and then last week ended on that big shootout with a big pile of dead bodies.  So what do you (if you are a producer) do after you end the previous episode with a shootout?  That’s right, jump ahead three months and “break up” the Terrible Three!

In all seriousness, I do think that this was a good move.  Something about it strikes me as realistic, for one thing.  I don’t think that anyone involved in that type of shootout would just return the next day to work, with everything being hunky dory like always.  I also think this move allowed the plot line to advance just a little bit…

Well, actually, the plot line advanced more than a little this week.  The plot line advanced quite a bit.

For one, it seems that we are getting closer to who murdered Ben Caspere.  In the previous episodes, it seemed as if The Terrible Three were walking in circles (both literally and figuratively) in trying to solve the murder of a city official who was probably a rat bastard any way.  But in this episode, I can’t say that I became more invested in solving his murder, but I am intrigued now.  Whereas in the previous episodes (even the first one), I felt that solving his murder was a side note at best.

True Detective 3

I also liked how the show circled back to the missing woman mentioned in the first episode.  This (likely) murder is actually much more intriguing to me than Ben Caspere’s murder, and I do want to know exactly what happened to her and how she is connected with Ben Caspere.  She is also probably connected with Dr. Pitlor, the icky Mayor Chessani and probably even Ani’s icky dad Elliot.  So referring back to this woman added to the emotional gradient of the show, and gave me something to be invested in.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the symbolism in this episode.  True Detective has always been big on the symbolism, and this episode was no exception.  The birds of carrion seen by Ani and Paul are meant to symbolize something, I am sure.  The most obvious would be death.  But the death of who (or what)?  Perhaps the death of Paul’s old life, now that he has a kid on the way and has promised to marry that kid’s mother?  Or is it the death of Ani’s childhood?  Ani appears to have had a difficult upbringing, since she was raised in a cult by some dirty old men (there, I said it)?  Somehow, I think Ani’s innocence has been long dead, and I am hoping for more details on this, to provide insight into what I consider to be a fascinating character.

True Detective 4

And speaking of emotional gradient, Ray was responsible for much of that in this episode.  There are almost too many Ray moments to count:  Ray battling for his son, Ray finding out he shot the wrong guy when trying to avenge his ex-wife, Ray beating the stuffing out of one of the aforementioned creepy old men, etc.  Ray beating the stuffing out of Dr, Pitlor in particular was one of my favorite parts of this episode (and the season so far, honestly).  Rick Springfield is just really creepy in this role, and the interaction between him and Ray is great example of chemistry.  This kind of chemistry will keep the show alive and keep viewers invested, so I am hoping that we see more of it.

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Again, Vince Vaughn.  And Frank Semyone.  And maybe the show’s writers?  Really not sure who I can pin this on.  As I have previously stated, Vince Vaughn seems to be stumbling through this role.  This is not to say that this character has not had some good moments (his story about being trapped in the basement as a child and battling rats still makes me shiver), but overall, this character is flat.  He is flatter than a can of Pepsi left out of the fridge in an 80 degree room, with the tab pulled off.  Ok, I am kidding on that.  A can of Pepsi may actually bring more dimension to that role than Vaughn has so far this season.  And the lines.  “Blue balls through the heart.”  Am I supposed to laugh?  Really, I need a laugh track or something to give me a clue as to how to react when his character says stuff like that, because I am clueless right now…where is this character going?  How does he fit in?  Since we have advancements nearly everywhere else, I hope that Frank gets his due soon, so I at least have a clue as to how I am supposed to react to him.

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Well, that’s it for this week’s recap and review!  Join me next week, as we continue to delve into the murder, creepy old men and sex parties that make up the universe otherwise known as True Detective!

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The Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day: My Review of Song of Susannah

Bad days…

Yep, we have all had them.  I have had my share, despite my loving husband and the rest of my four-legged family  (although reading and writing about Stephen King always makes me feel better!)

Like I said, we all have them…even Batman!

joker and harley

And if Batman can have a bad day every now and then, our favorite ka-tet can also have a bad day too…like I said, no one is immune to bad days…no one!

Ka_tet_by_Cordania

And boy, did our ka-tet have a doozy of a day!  Roland and company were literally all over the place, and had to deal with quite a few pests, which included not only your run of the mill goons sent by the gangster who should already be dead because he was killed in the second book of the series, but also a crazy elemental who has a maternal instinct so strong that she is capable of murder or worse…

Nope, just does not sound like a good day for our heroes.  Not in the slightest.  But luckily, they are gunslingers!  And like Batman, gunslingers always know what to do, right?

Well, maybe.  Unlike Batman, our heroes don’t have cool toys to help them through a bad day.  But like Batman, they are smart and resourceful, so they may just pull through even the worst of days…

Well, let’s find out!  Here is my review of The Song of Susannah!

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Synopsis

The Song of Susannah picks of where The Wolves of the Calla left off:  Susannah has gone missing, and the rest of the tet remains in Calla Bryn Sturgis.  Eddie is frantic, and wants to try to rescue his wife before it is too late.  Father Callahan is in shock, as he has found out that he is actually a character in a book called ‘Salem’s Lot, and may actually be the creation of a writer named Stephen King.

salem's lot

Roland and his friends request the assistance of the Manni, Calla Bryn Sturgis’ equivalent of mystics or holy men, in order to travel out of Mid-World to save Susannah, and to also help Calvin Tower, who is being harassed by gangsters to sell the vacant lot in New York City which contains a rose that is “the real world” equivalent of The Dark Tower.  Eddie and Roland are transported to 1977 Maine.  Father Callahan and Jake are also transported to New York, but arrive in the year 1999.  Oy was originally supposed to remain behind in Calla Bryn Sturgis, but someone (or something) else has other ideas, and Oy is transported with Jake and Father Callahan.

Rose

The story then switches over to the perspective of Susannah, who is now at least partially controlled by the being known as Mia.  Susannah and Mia has traveled to New York City, and it is the year of 1999.  Both women are bewildered, but Susannah uses a small scrimshaw turtle in her possession that hypnotizes people to get money from a man, who also gets her a hotel room.  Susannah finds out that Mia may have given away the location of Eddie and Roland to agents of the Crimson King, and becomes angry with Mia.  Susannah also discovers that she still has some control of her mind and body, and receives a message from Eddie to stall Mia from giving birth.  Susannah is able to do this using some visualization techniques, but knows this is only a temporary solution.

Susannah 1

Susannah also demands answers from Mia in regards to the baby that they are carrying.  Mia and Susannah travel to a construct created by Mia’s mind, and Mia explains that she made a deal with a man known as Walter.  Mia surrendered her own demonic immortality in exchange for the ability to bear a child.  However, Mia was unable to naturally conceive a child, as demons are sterile.  When Susannah was raped in the speaking ring while Jake crossed over from his world in Mid-World, she was actually impregnated, as this particular demon had also had intercourse with Roland in its female form (demon elementals are actually hermaphrodites) and had preserved Roland’s semen.  Walter then employed advanced technology to take the fetus from Susannah’s womb and had also mixed the semen of the Crimson King with Roland’s, and was then able to transfer the baby to Mia’s body, in much the same way someone would fax a document to another person.  This explained why Susannah experienced some symptoms of pregnancy while still menstruating.  Susannah is angered, but promises Mia she will still help her have the baby, which will not be human and may try to kill its mother(s).

In the meantime, Roland and Eddie are transported to 1977 Maine and almost immediately are forced into a gun battle at a general store with Enrico Balazar’s gangsters, who are also working for the Crimson King.  Two of the customers are shot, but Roland and Eddie are able to escape with the help of a crafty man named John Cullum.  Roland and Eddie are able to locate Calvin Tower, and realize that Tower has not kept his whereabouts secret.

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Eddie becomes angered by the actions of Calvin Tower, and confronts the man in his home as Roland and Aaron Deepenau watch.  Roland and Eddie then convince Tower that he must sell them the lot that houses for the road for $1, so that the rose may be protected from the Sombra Corporation and North Central Positronics, both of which are companies created specifically for the purpose of aiding the Crimson King in his quest to destroy the Tower.  Roland and Eddie inform Calvin that he is selling his lot to the Tet Corporation, which consists of Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy.  Tower is resistant at first, but is eventually persuaded by Roland and Eddie to sell the lot.  It is revealed that one of Roland’s ancestors had a connection to Tower’s ancestors, and that Calvin’s family has been sworn to protect the Rose and the Tower.  Eddie also gives Tower some advice on future investments.  Eddie then inquires about a writer named Stephen King, and John Cullum confirms that he resides in the area.  Eddie convinces Roland that they must visit the writer, and Roland reluctantly agrees.

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Roland and Eddie then find the house of Stephen King with very little trouble.  Both men feel drawn to the place, and realize that they have encountered something special.  King faints upon meeting Roland, but does not recognize Eddie (as King has created Eddie yet).  Eddie and Roland learn that King is a conduit and his purpose is to tell their story.  Eddie and Roland also realize that King is in danger, and has been in the sights of the Crimson King for many years.  Eddie worries that King’s vices (mainly his drinking) may result in his demise.  King undergoes hypnosis under Roland, and Roland reminds him of his purpose in life:  to tell the story of the Tower. Roland and Eddie then leave King’s residence, hoping that King will live to tell their tale. King then awakens, and has forgotten about the visit.  King also becomes inspired to start the second book in the series:  The Drawing of the Three.

3 doors

Meanwhile, back in 1999 New York City, Susannah continues to attempt to delay Mia’s labor but this becomes increasingly difficult.  Susannah and Mia travel to a restaurant called The Dixie Pig, which is really a gathering spot for the Low Men, and also provides a portal back to Mid-World.  Susannah leaves behind a small, magical scrimshaw turtle figurine, in the hopes that the object will assist her friends in finding her later on.  Susannah and Mia are then transported to Fedic, a town located in Thunderclap, and Mia’s labor begins.

Dixie pig 1

Jake, Father Callahan and Oy have also been transported to 1999 New York City.  Jake discovers the scrimshaw turtle, which gives him that Susannah may still be alive. Jake and Father Callahan also track down Black 13, but nearly succumb to its sinister intentions.  However, Father Callahan is able to put the evil object “back to sleep.” Susannah has also left a telepathic message with a preacher, and Jake, Oy and Father Callahan are able to track Susannah and Mia to the Dixie Pig.  Jake and Father Callahan enter the restaurant with their weapons drawn and ready to kill.  Neither has any hope of surviving the encounter.

Jake and Oy 3

The book ends with the diary entries of Stephen King.  The diary spans from 1977 to 1999, and details King’s struggles with addiction, his writing and his many near-death experiences.  However, the diary is concluded with an article from a newspaper that states King was killed on June 19th, 1999, after he was struck by a mini van while taking an afternoon walk.

Black_13


 

 

My Thoughts

Whew, Song of Susannah

Not that “whew” is a bad thing, but it is the first thing that comes to mind when this book is mentioned.

Song of Susannah does have a different tone than any of the other books.  One of its biggest criticisms is that it feels “rushed”, as if the master himself needed to get this one out of the way to go on to bigger and better things…

And I get this criticism, I really do.  Song of Susannah is short, but it is almost like an over-packed suitcase that someone put too much in because he/she didn’t want to pay the airlines those pesky extra fees (really, I would know nothing about this).

But after I finished my read this go-around, I got to thinking (*insert danger right here, I know*).  And one of my thoughts was:  Is the rushed feeling something that King did on purpose?  Did he want us to feel rushed, when we read it, perhaps to set the mood for the last book in the series?  Did he want to create a sense of urgency, because things became urgent for our favorite ka-tet?  In other words, did he want to convey that “shit just got real?”

And the more time I spend thinking about it in this way, the more I think that I may be right.  The first three books could be almost meandering at times.  Sure, there was urgency in them (Eddie heroine addiction, saving Roland from Detta and Jake’s “birth” in Mid-World all come to mind), but the first three more have the feel of making love, where your lover takes his/her time, getting to know every inch of your body and is eager to find out what makes you tick, and just covers you with deep, slow kisses…

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And if the first three are the literary equivalent of making love, Song of Susannah is the literary equivalent of a quickie.  Song of Susannah is urgent, and does not take the time to get to know you.  It will still kiss you, but the kisses are greedy and even a little rough at times.  Song of Susannah shoves you against the wall, grasping you with its rough hands, and will do its business with you, not caring that your clothes are not fully removed, or even that you are in the kitchen instead of the bedroom.  And this is perfectly fine, as you are eager to move forward, and the sense of urgency has been growing…

And there is nothing wrong with a quickie, literary or otherwise.  In fact, a quickie can have its charms, and Song of Susannah has many of those.

Susannah 1

One of the charms of Song of Susannah is the title character herself, Susannah Dean.  Previously, Susannah’s character had not been emphasized as much, with Roland, Eddie and Jake receiving most of the attention.  However, this changes in Song of Susannah, and Susannah’s thoughts and feelings are now front and center.  In particular, we get to see Susannah’s interaction with Mia, who has possessed her body and will stop at nothing to deliver her offspring, although there is the risk that the offspring may kill both of its “mothers”, along with its father.  The origin story that Mia provides to Susannah is fascinating, along with the explanation of how her offspring ties to Roland.  Susannah is still loyal to her ka-tet and desperately wishes to be reunited with them, especially her husband, Eddie, but also feels a pull of sympathy towards Mia, who she knows has bought the lies, hook, line and sinker,told by the Crimson King and his henchmen.  Through the eyes of Susannah, Mia becomes a somewhat sympathetic character, even though she is still not on the side of the “white” (Roland and company) and is one of “the bad guys.”

Castle Discordia

Even though the emphasis on Song of Susannah is on Susannah herself, a few other characters shine through.  One of these characters is Eddie Dean.  Previously, Eddie was a heroine addict.  Eddie became “clean” after his forced entrance into Mid-World, despite the fact that he fought Roland tooth and nail, and even tried to kill Roland, in an attempt to get back into “the real world.”  But Eddie then falls in love with Susannah, and stays with Roland in Mid-World to help Roland further his quest.  In Song of Susannah, Eddie’s love, Susannah, is taken away from him.  And then Eddie is taken away from Mid-World, and thrust back into the “real world,” giving him a chance to pick up his old habits again.  However, even though Eddie has had his rock taken away from (Susannah), he does not succumb to the temptation, and even behaves admirably, fighting in another gun battle with Roland and then helping to persuade Calvin to sell the vacant lot so that the rose (and therefore the Tower itself) can be protected.  Eddie easily could have lapsed back into his old ways, but behaves admirably instead.  In other words, he (again) proves himself to be a true gunslinger.

Eddie 1

Of course, no discussion on Song of Susannah would be complete without addressing the elephant in the room…

elephant in the room 1

Yes, its time to get meta.  Meta-fiction, that is.

Stephen King included himself as a character in the Dark Tower series.  This decision is controversial, to say the least.  Often, the reaction to this decision is something like this:

lion licking

The reaction is also varied:  some love it, some hate it.  And there is also the persistent rumor that one day King will rewrite the series, and not include himself as a character in it.

Stephen King

However, King meeting his own characters in Song of Susannah was one of my favorite parts of the book.

There, I said it.  And let me repeat myself:  KING MEETING HIS OWN CHARACTERS IN SONG OF SUSANNAH WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PARTS OF THE BOOK.

See, I even used all caps, in case you didn’t hear me!

Oftentimes, as a artist, your creations can feel as if they are part of you.  And they can become real.  I dabble in painting, drawing and so forth, and when I am really working on a painting or drawing, I feel as if I am part of that piece of art.  In other words, part of me lives in my artwork, and continues to live in that artwork, even when it is “finished.”  A little piece of me goes into everything that I create.  In fact, you might even say that my artwork is “alive”, in some sense.

So imagine how Ser King must have felt.  King has been working on this series from the very beginning, and it has never been very far from him.  And like his characters in the book, he must have felt a sense of urgency to finish writing the series, due to some interesting letters from fans, and his own internal pressure.

Roland 12

And as the pressure mounted, the world of Roland and his friends likely became more vivid to King.  Maybe he began to dream about them.  Or perhaps he heard their voices, calling out to him to finally finish the tale.  Or maybe they paid him a visit…

Yes, maybe the characters paid him a visit.  Like I said, I feel that my artwork lives, in some way.  And I am sure that King feels the same way:  his artwork also lives.  And sometimes, art imitates life.  Or does life imitate art?  Either way, by including himself as a character, I believe that King was trying to drive home a point:  artists really do live in their own little world.  And that world can sometimes feel more “real” that the so-called “real world.”  And an artist’s creations are never far from him/her, and can cry out to the artist, begging to be “finished.”

Dark Tower 3


 

So that’s it for Song of Susannah.  Join me and our heroes on the last leg of this fantastic journey, as we review and dissect the final book:  The Dark Tower.  Tune in next week…same bat time, same bat channel!

batman and robin


 

Connections

Just for fun, here are some of the connections to King’s other work that I found in Song of Susannah.

-Eddie tells Roland that he sees a “death bag”, or black aura, surrounding Stephen King.  This brings to mind the black auras seen by Ralph Roberts in Insomnia, when he encountered people (or animals) who were near death.

atropos

 

-Roland thinks of Susannah’s proclivity to be able to “house” another personality, given the fact that Detta was another personality of Susannah’s for so long, and now Mia has also taken up residence in Susannah’s mind.  Another character in the King universe with this proclivity was Thad Beamount in The Dark Half.  Tad’s mind housed George Stark, who was eventually given life and was also able to cause trouble, in much the same manner as Mia.

Dark half 1

-When Roland speaks Calvin Tower in regards to his and Tower’s ancestors, the subject of dragons rears its head.  Roland states that one of his ancestors wanted to kill a certain dragon, but that dragon had already been killed.  This may be in reference to Niner, the dragon who was slain by King Roland in the book The Eyes of the Dragon.   Randall Flagg also made an appearance in this book, so this is another confirmation that Roland’s world and the world in The Eyes of the Dragon are likely the same world.

Eyes of the Dragon 1

-The Rose is said to have healing powers, and seems to be able to cure almost any ailment.  The Rose seems to be similar to the Talisman in the book of the same name.  In the book The Talisman, once Jack Sawyer found The Talisman, he was able to cure his mother and her Territories Twinner of the cancer that was killing both women.  It is possible that the Talisman may be another world’s manifestation of the Rose.  In other words, the two may be Twinners.

Talisman 2

 

-Again, Breakers are mentioned in Song of Susannah.  Breakers also play a role in a few other books and short stories, including Hearts in AtlantisEverything’s Eventual and Black House. Characters with PSI abilities are rampant in the King universe, and include Carrie White, Abra Stone, Dinky Earnshaw, Ted Brautigan and Danny Torrence, among others.

Dinky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 9

Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of the adult sundae bar, aka the show Penny Dreadful!

Now, we are getting towards the end of the line of the line on the sundae where we must go to the table and finish the ice cream, but that doesn’t mean the selection still isn’t good, and that there are not interesting concoctions to be had.  Which is actually what season 2, episode 9 was: an interesting concoction that was fun to sample!

sundae 1

With that being said, here is my review and analysis of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 9!

And, as always:

Homer spoiler

 


Synopsis

The episode begins with Roper paying a visit to Vanessa and Ethan at the cottage in the moores.  Roper shows the damage that Ethan has done to his face to Vanessa, and a scuffle ensues.  Roper is stabbed to death by Ethan.  Ethan and Vanessa then bury him the next morning, with Ethan stating that “it was either him or us.”  Victor Frankenstein, then appears at the cottage, and tells Ethan and Vanessa that they must return to London, as Malcolm is in trouble.

Evelyn and Malcolm 1

Malcolm remains in Evelyn Poole’s home, and is driven mad by visions of his late wife and children.

Ethan and Vanessa return to Malcolm’s mansion, where Inspector Rusk is waiting for Ethan.  Inspector Rusk tells Ethan that he knows his real name:  Ethan Lawrence Talbot.  Inspector Rusk also informs Ethan that he will soon have access to his military records, and that he is looking to arrest Ethan as soon as possible.  Inspector Rusk then leaves the mansion, promising that he will return soon.

Ethan Chandler 2

Ethan then meets with the others in the mansion.  Ferdinand Lyle is among them, and he has confessed his duplicity to Vanessa and Victor.  Ferdinand states that he will be willing to suffer the consequences of his duplicity, and that he is now willing to fight against Evelyn Poole and help rescue Malcolm.

Vanessa wants to go rescue Malcolm right way, but Sembene and Ethan advise her against taking any action.  Sembene suggests a raid the following day, as the witches are more powerful at night.

Victor confesses his drug addiction to Vanessa.  Vanessa offers him compassion, telling him that he will soon find true love.

Vanessa Ivers 3

Sembene encourages Ethan to tell Vanessa of his true nature, so that she may try to help him.  Ethan says that he thinks Vanessa knows almost everything anyway, but that he is hesitant to put her in danger.  Sembene tells Ethan that in his past life, he was slave trader, but he has found acceptance among Vanessa, Malcolm and now Ethan.  Sembene then thanks Ethan for his friendship, and reminds Ethan that the moon will be full that night.

Ethan returns to his room, where Hecate is waiting for him.  Hecate tries to draw Ethan to her side, stating that he is meant to use his wolf nature in collaboration with her own powers.  Ethan refuses her offer, and Hecate then kisses him, and disappears from the room via a mirror.

Vanessa decides to rescue Malcolm on her own, and leaves without her friends.  Ethan, Victor and Sembene then follow her to Mrs. Poole’s mansion.  Sembene again reminds Ethan of the full moon, but Ethan states that he will rescue Vanessa anyway, wolf or no wolf.  Ethan tells the group to shoot anyone who they don’t recognize.

Hecate and Evelyn torment Vanessa once she shows up at the mansion.  Evelyn tells Vanessa that Malcolm is going made.  Vanessa demands to be taken to Malcolm, but Evelyn tells her that she must meet her Master first.  Evelyn also reminds Vanessa that this being is Vanessa’s master as well.  Vanessa is brought into the room that contains the doll in her likeness.  The doll speaks, telling Vanessa that she is a murderer.

Caliban is working at the wax museum.  He speaks to Putney’s blind daughter, Lavinia.  Lavinia is curious about the new exhibit that her father is working on, and asks Caliban to take her to it.  Caliban sees only empty cages, and passes this information on to Lavinia.  Caliban then sees a book in one of the cages, and moves forward to pick it up.  Lavinia then traps Caliban in the cage, and begins to taunt him, saying that she was glad to trap him, as she felt that their discussions on poetry and so forth were “tedious.”  Mr. Putney then appears and tells Caliban that Caliban is part of a new display at the museum:  living “monsters”.  He also tells Caliban that he will charge people money that people will be willing to pay to see “monsters” such as Caliban, and that any escape attempts will be useless, as no one will be able to hear Caliban scream.

Proteus 1

Lilly returns with Dorian Gray to Dorian’s mansion.  The two begin to kiss, and Dorian addresses Lilly by her previous name:  Brona.  Lilly then demands to know Dorian’s secrets, and asks him how old he is and if he can die.  Dorian challenges her to find out, and Lilly then bites off a piece of his ear.  Dorian goes to the room that contains his picture, and returns fully healed.  The two then consummate their relationship.

Dorian Gray 1

Victor has become trapped in the same room as Malcolm at Evelyn’s mansion.  Malcolm is tormented by visions of his dead family members, while Victor is tormented by visions of Proteus, Lilly and Caliban.  Sembene becomes trapped by Hecate with Ethan.  Ethan changes into his werewolf form, and attacks and kills Sembene.


 

My Thoughts

Like I stated before, we are getting to the end of the line of the sundae bar.  And the closer we get to the end of the line, the greater the sugar rush becomes…

And this week’s episode was certainly a sugar rush, even if some of the offerings were bittersweet.

This episode contained plenty of shockers, but there were some “feelsies” as well.  You know, feelsies?  When you feel your eyes get that funny burning sensation?

ugly cry

Pesky, aren’t they?  Damn feelsies…

The scene before the attack on Sembene is great example of a “feelsie.”  Sembene knows that he will die after becoming trapped with the wolf version of Ethan.  Yet, he is willing and basically forgives Ethan before he gets mauled to death.  You don’t get much more “feelsie” than that.

werewolf 1

 

And speaking of “feelsies”, there is the matter of my favorite poetry quoting monster.  All along, I was thinking that poor Caliban’s biggest problem was Victor (aka douch incarnate).  But last night’s episode proved me wrong.  I wanted to scream at Caliban to not do it, its a trap.  But obviously, he didn’t hear my screams, and got locked in a cell by Putney and crew (and for the record, Putney is kind of close to PT Barnum.  So there, you heard it here first).  And the look on his face…that other noise you heard was probably my heart breaking wide open for that beautiful monster.

Caliban 1

And speaking of beautiful monsters, Penny Dreadful has been known to use a heavy hand when it comes to foreshadowing.  One example of this is an episode in season one, where Ethan is informed that Brona will change (due to her tuberculosis) and is asked how he will handle it.  He simply responds that he will love her for what she becomes.  And we all know what became of Brona.  And this week’s episode may have had another use of foreshadowing, when Vanessa calls Victor a beautiful monster.  Does this mean that Victor will be joining the ranks of Lilly and the poor unfortunate Caliban?  Will he be part of a “freak show”?  Something interesting is in store for douche incarnate  Victor, and I can’t wait to find out what that is.

Victor 1

And speaking of the un-creature formerly known as Brona (its Lilly now, lest we forget)…whoa.  Whoa.  WHOA.  WHOA!

Brona 1

Wow is an apt word too.  I actually can’t think of too many words to describe Lilly’s scene this week (although she did make me think of one of my favorite artists after I saw her stunt with Dorian).  This un-dead chic is pissed, and hell hath no fury like an un-dead chic scorned (well, maybe the original saying is a little different, but you get my drift)!  And Dorian is apparently the one who can figure out that this is Brona with blonde hair (shame on you, Vanessa!), so if we have team Dorilly (another one you heard here first.  Dig it), then there will be hell to pay.  And the payer will probably be Victor (although I think more than a few men have landed on Lilly’s shit list.  Don’t be mean to prostitutes, they may be resurrected from the dead with super human strength.  Remember that, gentlemen).  An un-dead monster with super human strength and a man who doesn’t age and who possesses the ability to heal almost instantaneously certainly do make a formidable team…actually, let’s just cut to the chase and say it:  here comes trouble!

Van Gogh 1

And trouble was a major theme in this episode, since it seemed everyone was in it, especially Malcolm, and now Vanessa.  And Vanessa was perfectly right to be afraid of dolls and dislike them, since they seem to be responsible for a lot of the trouble she and Malcolm find themselves in.  The show certainly ended on a cliffhanger, as nearly every single character was left in shit creek without a paddle.  The next episode promises to be explosive, to say the least, and my appetite has been whetted…I can’t wait!

Malcolm 1


 

So that’s it for this week’s recap and review of Penny Dreadful, season 2, episode 9!  Join me next week as we journey to the end of the sundae bar, to find out just what treats are store for us at the end of line!

Penny Dreadful 3

True Detective Review and Recap: Season 2, Episode 4

Good morning everyone, and welcome to this week’s recap and review of True Detective, season 2, episode 4!

You know, True Detective, the land of incredible coincidence and let’s use everything as a metaphor, even that random piece of dirt on the ground (ok, slight exaggeration, but still).

This week’s episode was interesting, to say the least.  So time to cut to the chase, and delve right in to this week’s review and recap!

And, as always:

Homer spoiler


 

Synopsis

The episode begins with Ani and Ray inspecting the vehicle that had caught on fire in the previous episode.  Ray and Ani both agree that the person who set fire to the vehicle is probably not Ben Caspere’s killer.  Ray also states that it appears that someone does not want this case solved.

Paul awakens in a hotel room, apparently having spent the night with a male friend.  It appears that the two have had a sexual encounter, but Paul has no memory of the events from the night before.  Paul is accosted by reporters outside of the hotel, who pepper him with questions about his military service and Operation Black Mountain.  Paul attempts to leave the hotel, but finds that his motorcycle has been stolen, and is forced to call Ray for a ride home.

Ani and Ray track down Mayor Chessani’s daughter Betty and question her.  Betty recognizes Ben Caspere, but cannot recall much about him.  Betty reveals that her mother died when she was only 12 years old.  Ani also reveals that she lost her mother at a young age as well.  Betty also tells Ray and Ani that her mother was treated by Dr. Pitlor, the same psychiatrist who treated Ben Caspere.

Ani pays a visit to her sister Athena, and the two reminisce about their mother.  Ani examines sculptures that were created by her mother, and states that the memories often sneak up on her.

Ray and Ani then visit Ani’s father Elliot in the commune where he works and lives.  Elliot confirms that he knew Dr. Pitlor, although in a more academic sense, as Pitlor was taking part in a study about communal living that was conducted with Ani was a child.  Elliot also confirms a connection to Ben Caspere, and even to Mayor Chessani, although the connection is to Chessani’s father and not to Chessani himself.

Paul meets his ex girlfriend, Emily, in a coffee shop.  Emily tells Paul that she is pregnant and keeping the baby.  Paul is shocked, but states that he thinks that they should get married and be a family.

Ani and Ray take a trip to Fresno to investigate some land that was of interest to Caspere.  They speak to a work from the EPA who reveals that the land was actually contaminated due to mining run-off, and that no farmer will attempt to grow anything on that plot of land, making it useless.

Frank spends the episode trying to re-establish relationships with his old contacts, with varying degrees of success.  He also argues with his wife, Jordan, about their fertility issues and some of Frank’s business decisions.

Ani’s boss calls her into his office, and informs her that she has been suspended from her job and has been charged with coercion by Internal Affairs.  Ani had a relationship with a co-worker that she had ended the previous episode, and also had a brief sexual affair with her current partner.  Ani states that she is the victim of a double standard.  Her boss warns her that these relationships will be thoroughly be investigated by Internal Affairs, along with her gambling debts.  However, Ani will be allowed to remain on the Caspere murder investigation.

Ray visits his son Chad, and passes on his father’s badge to Chad.  Ray warns Chad not to let his mother know of their visit before disappearing into the night.

True Detective 3

Paul has investigated some items sold to a pawn shop and identified them as being owned by Caspere.  The man who stole the items is Amarillo Ledo, and all three cops suspect that he is the killer.  Ani puts together a task force to apprehend the man.  Ray passes on this information to Frank, who puts together his own task force to apprehend Ledo.

Ray, Ani and Paul track Ledo to a warehouse that he is known to frequent.  At the same time, people are protesting Vinci’s new railroad system that has taken money away from other forms of public transportation.  A shoot out ensues, with several by-standers and cops being injured or killed.  A SUV crashes into a bus.  Ledo takes a by-stander hostage but then shoots the man in the head.  Paul and Ray and then fire their guns at Leto, killing him.  Ray, Ani and Paul are the only ones left standing at the end of the shoot-out.


 

My Thoughts

Well, I can say that this show is confusing at times.  However, what this show is not is dull.  This show is not dull, not by a long shot.

Previously, I have stated how much I love the character of Ray Velcoro.  And that still stands, Colin Farrell has done a great job with this character in making him somewhat sympathetic, even when Ray is being a scumbag.  However, the past couple of episodes have shifted more focus on Paul and Ani, who are also turning out to be fascinating characters in their right.  Paul is obviously a closed homosexual who is a textbook case of repression, as he is repressing his sexuality and some of his memories in regards to his time in the military.  And now his ex girlfriend is pregnant.  And Paul proposed.  Something tells me that Paul is headed for a major disaster of some kind (all the ingredients are now in place), and it will be interesting to see what happens to this character.

Paul 1

Ani has become another fascinating character, who has been supremely acted by Rachel McAdams.  The character of Ani herself is fascinating:  she is a female cop.  She takes charge of her sexuality.  She doesn’t care what others think, even her boss.  She also takes charge at her job, putting together task forces, giving her partners leads to chase down, even taking charge of the driving.  She is righteous and committed to solving a murder that her partner has repeatedly told her that they are not supposed to solve.  And she is an old soul:  even her childhood pictures prove that.

True Detective 4

Another fascinating thing about Ani is all of the coincidences that seem to tie her in to this case.  So far, she has visited her father twice in the name of work.  And there is that creepy doc:  Dr. Pitlor.  He seems to be tied in to both Ani and the mayor’s daughter, Betty.  And  Ani likely knew Mayor Chessani as a child, and she is suddenly under investigation for her relationship with her co-workers.  Oh, and she took part in a major shoot-out while trying to chase down a bad guy.  Coincidence?  Probably not.  The writers have been teasing us, and the tease is becoming almost unbearable.

Speaking of unbearable, what is up with Frank?  Really, what is this guy’s deal?  Right about now is when we get to the confusing part…what is going with this character?  Conflicted does not even begin to describe it…one minute, he is almost the of this season, with his quotes.  And the next minute he’s pulling teeth (literally, even if they were gold ones.  And good on Jordan for calling him out on that in this episode!)  And in this episode, he makes threats (and gets all tough guy about his dental health) in a bakery, of all places.  And argues about adoption and fertility in his avocado tree orchard (which, while we are talking about coincidence, just happens to be barren)?  And is now suddenly the owner of the brothel that was the subject of investigation in the last episode?  This character is just all over the place, and right now I am not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing.  Nor am I sure if the problem is with the writers, the actor or both.  So I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will see some more cohesion in the upcoming episodes.

Frank 1

 

This episode did feature the most action packed scene (so far) in the entire season:  the shoot-out.  Turns out taking down a (suspected) bad guy is never easy, and our heroes got first hand experience with that in this episode.  And were the only ones left standing, to boot.  Is this (like almost everything that seems to happen this season) some kind of foreshadowing?  And was the shootout and the trail to Ledo a setup?  It certainly has that feel.  And it will be interesting to see what the repercussions of this shootout will be, since Ani, Ray and Paul are the only survivors (I think), and so many others were either injured or kill.  This cannot be good, since Ani will now no longer be the only one under investigation from Internal Affairs, and it lends to veracity to the theory that someone (or a few someones) does not want this case solved, and does not care what he/she needs to do to prevent this case from being solved.


So that’s it for this week’s dissection of the ever confusing, sometimes infuriating but never dull TV show otherwise known as True Detective.  Join me next week for more analysis, dissection and possibly even some hair pulling!

True Dectective 1

 

Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 8

Holy.  Shit.

Now, I know that shit isn’t word we normally associate with sundae bars…now, that doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it?

But if we are talking about Penny Dreadful, I think we can make an exception…

So holy shit.  This week’s trip to the sundae bar was eventful, to say the least.  Many unexpected flavor combinations were available, and the sugar rush was overwhelming…I could barely contain myself!

sundae 1

So here is my recap and review of Penny Dreadful, season 2 episode 8!


 

Synopsis

The episode begins with Victor passed out in his home, after a heroin binge.  Victor is awakened by an angry Caliban, who demands that Victor surrender Lilly to him, so that Caliban may leave town with her.  Caliban also tells Victor that he will return one day, and implies that he intends to kill Victor.

Caliban 1

Ferdinand Lyle visits the home of Evelyn Poole.  Ferdinand feels conflicted, but he is reminded that he is under the control of Evelyn and must do her bidding.  Evelyn also torments Ferdinand, who tries to escape.  Ferdinand is then confronted by Hecate, who states that anything her mother promises him is a lie, and that he should serve Hecate instead.

Evelyn Poole 1

Malcolm speaks to Inspector Rusk, and Rusk questions him on the death of his daughter.  Rusk wants to know Malcolm suddenly closed the investigation, and Malcolm tells Rusk that the death was embarrassing for his family and a private matter.  Rusk also asks Malcolm if he knows Ethan, and shows Malcolm a picture.  Malcolm denies any knowledge of Ethan, but it is clear that Rusk does not believe him.

Lilly returns home to a furious Victor, who demands to know her whereabouts from the previous night.  Lilly states that she took a walk after her date with Dorian Gray, and feel asleep on a park bench.  She then sees the flowers sent to her by Dorian, and torments Victor with the sight.  Lilly then offers to cook Victor breakfast, but Victor hurriedly exits the house.

Victor 1

Victor pays a visit to the mansion and confesses his drug addiction to Malcolm, and the two discuss their various life woes.  Ferdinand finishes translating the artifacts, and it is revealed that Lucifer has a demon brother.  This demon brother is actually Dracula, who used Mina Harker to attempt to lure Vanessa so that he could possess Vanessa’s soul (which ultimately failed).

Demon 1

As Malcolm is discussing the implications with Ferdinand and Victor, Evelyn begins to utter a spell over a voodoo doll version of Malcolm.  Malcolm becomes possessed and starts speaking in a voice not his own.  Sembene throws Malcolm into an unused room in the house, and tells Malcolm that he must know his true self.  Malcolm then sees visions of his dead children and wife, and the spell is broken.

Dorian returns home to Angelique after his date with Lilly.  Angelique has discovered Dorian’s secret room, and the portrait housed in that room.  Dorian hands Angelique a glass wine, and asks her is he can accept who she is.  Angelique says that she can, but the wine contains poison, which kills Angelique almost immediately.  Dorian then looks at the portrait, which is actually the portrait of an old man.  The portrait hisses at Dorian, as if angered by his actions.

Dorian Gray 3

Malcolm deduces that Evelyn is responsible for the coven of witches that has been tormenting Vanessa.  He makes his way to Evelyn’s house with his gun in hand.  Malcolm asks Evelyn to stop the torment, but Evelyn states that her Master needs Vanessa for his purposes, and tries to convince Malcolm to join the coven and become immortal.  Malcolm refuses, and Evelyn unleashes a scorpion, stating that the scorpion is actually Vanessa.  Malcolm attempts to leave Evelyn’s house but is trapped.  Malcolm then sees what he believes to be the bodies of his dead children and wife, and begins to weep.  The corpses then come to life and appear to attack Malcolm.

Brona returns to Victor’s house, and is confronted by Caliban.  Caliban tells Brona that he knows that she lied about her whereabouts the previous night.  Lilly takes Caliban into her arms, and talks about her hatred of man, and her hatred of Victor in particular.  Lilly then tells Caliban that they will collaborate and destroy Victor, and that Caliban must do her bidding.  Lilly and Caliban then consummate their relationship.

Proteus 1


 

My Thoughts

So.  Many.  Thoughts. Can’t.  Possibly.  Keep.  Them.  To.  One.  Blog.  Post.

But I will try anyway…so here goes nothing!

First of all, the visuals.  Oh, the visuals.  This show has always been a visual one, with everything from the period costumes, to the haunting moores, to the blood.  Lots and lots of blood.  Tons of blood…

But this episode stands out.  The producers somehow managed to keep it from being over-saturated with visuals, while still almost overwhelming us with the beautiful visuals that the episode contained.

And I can’t pick a favorite, there were so many!  I think the scene (and there are many), that stands out in particular for me is the scene where Malcolm is being possessed, attempting to fight the possession and then seeing his dead wife and children and fully fighting the possession is one that stands out.  My favorite part of that scene is the white light that surrounded Mina, Peter and Malcolm.  This gave Malcolm’s family an ethereal effect, making them actually look like ghosts or apparitions that were indeed not of our world.  It also provided some great symbolism.  I took the symbolism to mean that Malcolm’s loved ones were actually part of another plane of existence (hence the white light), or it could also be taken to me that they were apparitions and not “real”, except perhaps in the mind of Malcolm.  Either way, this scene was done beautifully, and I loved it.

Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler, Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm and Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 1, episode 1). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  PennyDreadful_101_3501

I also loved the death scene of Angelique.  Now, I know that I have been singing praises because the show had a good transgender character, but her death was great!  I still love you, Angelique, but your death scene was done beautifully as well.  The look on Angelique’s face, and the shattering of the glass…this may sound a little trite, but somehow it was so well executed that it did not come off as trite at all.  The first showing of Dorian’s portrait (which I had been curious about since the beginning of the series) was also handled quite well, and I loved how the portrait hissed at him…is this some kind of foreshadowing?  I think that it is, although we may not see it until next season…but I still can’t wait!

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This episode is so far the strongest of the season (and perhaps of the entire series).  A major reason for this is the writing:  the writers are finally being to tie things together.  And the tie-ins were extensive:  Dracula, the main antagonist from the first season who appeared to be cast off this season, has finally re-appeared, and we have a little more clarification in regards to his true nature (hint:  I am pretty sure he does not sparkle).  And Dorian Gray has finally become a little more fleshed out, and the writers appear to be developing his story line as well.

sparkly vampire 1

Again, the writing for this show is brilliant, and especially for this episode,  I may be repeating myself, but I can’t over-emphasize this point.  And one of the reasons this episode was so well-written was the inclusion of Malcolm’s story line.  Previously, Malcolm was mainly seen through the eyes of Vanessa.  However, Vanessa and Ethan were on holiday at the moors for this episode, so Malcolm had to step up to the plate.  And he did so brilliantly.  I have stated before that this show is Vanessa’s, and I still stand by that statement.  But Malcolm was the MVP of this episode, and I stand by this statement as well.  We finally begin to see some chinks in his armor (the ending with the re-animated corpses of his family is a great example of this), and Malcolm has become more human and easier to sympathize with.  And this has been done with no Vanessa (or Ethan) in sight…in other words, the writers did not take the easy way out, and instead provide us with some smart, tight writing…bravo!

Evelyn and Malcolm 1

Speaking of the writing (imagine that!), it appears that the story line of Lilly, Caliban and perhaps even Ethan is slowly coming to a head.  Lilly is no longer sweet and innocent (if she ever was), and this episode proves it.  Both of Victor’s creations have literally come back to haunt him, and it appears that Lilly is now toying with him, just like a cat would play with a mouse before killing the mouse.  So I think this episode promises a showdown of some sort, and again, I can’t wait!

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So that concludes this week’s trip to the adult sundae bar, aka the show known as Penny Dreadful!  Join me next week, when we continue with more dissection and analysis of everyone’s favorite literary Avengers!

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True Detective Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 3

Well, T.S. Eliot may have had it slightly wrong…

After all, it is supposed to end with a whimper, and not a bang, right?

Well, maybe the world will go out with a whimper, so its still possible that Eliot could be right about that…

But if he was talking about True Detective, then Eliot certainly missed the mark.

Last week’s episode did not exactly go out with a whimper (well, except for Ray Velcoro…even tough guys with crazy ‘staches certainly have the right to whimper after getting shot).  And this week’s episode began with a bang, and ended with…well…a bang.  And it seems the season has now taken off, so to speak, so I think we will be seeing a lot more bangs in episodes to come.

So here you go…bang (see what I did there?)…here is my recap and review of True Detective, season 2, episode 3!

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Synopsis

The episode begins with a dream sequence from the mind of Ray Velcoro.  Ray dreams of the club where he normally meets Frank, but encounters his father in the dream.  There is also a man impersonating Conway Twitty and lip-synching to the song The Rose.  We learn that Ray has a troubled relationship with his father.  Ray then comes back to consciousness and realizes that he is not dead, but has been injured because he has been shot with buckshot.  Ani is called to the scene, and chides Ray for not calling her for back up.  Ani then tells Ray to seek treatment, and also to take some time off from the job.

True Detective 3

Frank and his wife are then seen at a fertility clinic, presumably to begin treatments for in vitro fertilization.  Frank complains that the process is unnatural, and argues with his wife before they leave the clinic.

Ani and Paul pay a visit to the home of the mayor of Vinci.  Paul and Ani question the mayor’s wife and son, but obtain no new information on the murder of Ben Caspere.  The mayor’s son hints that he may be involved in some unsavory business but then proceeds to kick Ani and Paul out of the house.

Ray visits his dad and tries to engage him conversation.  However, Ray’s father is not receptive, and only tells Ray that law enforcement is now corrupt.  Ray leaves his father’s house, taking his father’s police badge to pass on to his own son.

Ray also visits his doctor.  The doctor clears him for duty, but warns Ray that his excess drinking and other unhealthy habits may lead to an early death.

Frank renews his contacts in the underworld that he left behind, as he is desperate to find out what happened to Caspere, and to find out what Caspere did with the collateral given to him by Frank.  Frank also finds out that an associate of his named Stan has been murdered.

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Per the suggest from Ani, Paul begins to investigate various prostitutes and call girls in an attempt to gain a lead on the murder of Caspere.  Paul also meets with one of his friends from his days in the military, but the encounter ends in an argument after the other man begins to hint of an intimate encounter with Paul.  Paul also investigates a club that Caspere was known to frequent.

Ani and Ray also investigate a movie set that was tied to Caspere.  The vehicle used in the murder has been traced back to the movie set, but the staff claimed it was stolen.  One of the staff had quit recently.  Ani questions the man, but he claims that he quit due to medical issues.

Frank questions various people on the murder of Caspere and his associate Stan.  The questioning turns into torture, and Frank uses pliers to remove the gold teeth of one man.  Frank then returns home, where his wife is waiting for him.  Ray tells her that he does not feel like talking, and disposes of the gold teeth before going to bed.

Ani and Ray stop at Ray’s house while pursuing leads in their murder investigation.  Rays ex-wife pays him a visit at his home, and informs him that state police are questioning her about some of his activities.  Ray’s ex-wife hands him an envelope with $10,000 and tries to bride him to not contest custody of their son.  Ray refuses the money and dismisses his ex wife.

After Ray’s confrontation with his ex-wife, Ray and Ani head back to the vehicle.  However, they are stopped in their tracks as the vehicle has been set on fire.  Ani gives chase to the perpetrator, who leads her on to a highway.  Ani is nearly ran over by a semi-truck, but is shoved out of the way in the nick of time by Ray.  The perpetrator flees and evades capture.

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My Thoughts

Last week’s opening sequence was awesome.  I loved it.  I loved Frank’s description of his childhood, the rats, etc.  And this week’s opening sequence was also awesome.  But weird too…weirdly awesome?  Awesomely weird, perhaps?  Whatever the case, it was weird.  And awesome.  I can’t help but think that perhaps there was a little foreshadowing, in both the song choice and the setting to the dream sequence.  Is this foreshadowing for something that may happen to Ray?  We now know that Ray’s health is horrible (really, it can’t be good when the doc asks you point-blank if you want to live) and he had a near brush with death the last episode (it was just buckshot, but still).  Its a fascinating question, and I believe that this dream sequence will be referenced again in a later episode.

Ray 2

I have spent much time discussing Ray and Frank in my previous reviews, but I would like to take the time to discuss Paul’s character for a minute.  In the previous episodes, it was hinted that Paul may have some hang-ups (and is a serious mama’s boy to boot).  Well, this episode has confirmed those hang-ups.  All of the characters on this show are troubled, at least to a degree, but Paul may be edging out Ray for the “troubled bad boy” medal.  Paul is a closeted homosexual.  And he appears to have some anger issues, as evidenced by his argument with his friend (and possible former lover).  This is going to make for an explosive combination, and I am sure that we will be seeing the results of that combination in the near future.  I am also curious to see how Paul’s anger will affect his relationship with his partners, especially the one with Ray, as the two have not had very much interaction as of yet.  Paul’s issues may also have an interesting effect on the murder investigation, as the show has hinted that there are some tie-ins to the pornography and of course, the oldest industry in the books (prostitution).  So it seems that Paul may be confronting some of his demons soon, and that confrontation will be interesting, to say the least.

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True Detective deals in symbols, and this episode was no exception.  There was the scene at the beginning of the episode, with the dark bar and the Conway Twitty impersonator performing The Rose.  There are the ariel shots of the highways that criss-cross.  And in this episode, we also had gold teeth.  Frank was shown to be unmerciful when he tortured that man and played “dentist,” pulling out the man’s gold teeth with pliers.  Frank later disposes of those teeth when he gets home, and then dismisses his wife’s advances in the same breath.  Is Frank losing his humanity?  Are we seeing the man who is willing to kill a “rat” with his bare hands?  Frank wants to claim he is a legitimate business owner and entrepreneur, but his actions in his episode are anything but.  Frank and his wife also claim to want to be parents and bring a baby into their world, but again, Frank’s actions are anything but.  So perhaps, the gold teeth, and Frank’s disposal of them, symbolize a turning point in Frank’s story line.

Frank 1

I have watched three episodes of the season so far, so I am almost to the point where I can play “so who is the killer?”  Is it the person who attacked Ray at the end of the previous episode?  It is possible, the assailant was wearing the same mask worn by the killer.  Is it the person who set the car ablaze and led Ani and Frank on a wild goose chase that nearly got Ani killed?  Probably not.  Life is never that easy, after all.  And the car was set ablaze after Ray’s confrontation with his ex-wife, which also culminated in attempted bribery.  Surely, that is not coincidental.  I think that the killer was more likely to be the person that attacked Ray as opposed to the person who set the car on fire, even though it is also likely that Ray’s assailant may be yet another red herring, and that we have not “heard” from the killer yet.  But speculation is fun, and it looks like there will be plenty more speculation to come.


 

So that’s it for this week’s review and recap of True Detective.  Join me next week for more dissection, speculation and analysis of what is shaping up to be a fascinating second season!

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A Little Shameless Self Promotion…

So, I have hobbies (shock…a blog?  Who would have thought?)

breaking bad

But I also do various kinds of artwork.  Surprisingly (or not), much of this artwork is fan art…

And here’s the kicker:  much of this artwork is related to Stephen King and his Dark Tower series!

Roland and David

I know, something related to the Dark Tower on this blog? Such a shock, right?

Anyway, all kidding aside, I am trying to sell some of my work and make a little change on the side.  After all, life is ruff, and dog food is not getting any cheaper…

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So I have opened up an Etsy shop.  And I have sold one item, which has given me the guts to try to sell more items!  Who knows, it could work, right?

Here is the link to my humble little shop…stop by and check out when you have a minute.  I have a few woodburning pieces up for sale now, and there will be more listings to come!  A perfect gift for yourself, or the Dark Tower fanatic in your life!  After all, who doesn’t want one of these creations on display in his/her home?

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Artof19

The link is listed above, so check out it when you can!  Long days and pleasant nights, gunslingers!

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Penny Dreadful Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 7

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the adult sundae bar, aka Penny Dreadful, season 2 episode 7!

And this week’s offerings at the sundae bar were…bitter, perhaps?  Maybe a bit dark?  Not that those offerings are bad, but this week’s flavors were a little different that last week’s…

sundae 1

But enough of that, here is my review and recap for this week’s episode of Penny Dreadful!

And as always:

Spoiler alert

 


Synopsis

The episode begins in Malcolm’s mansion,  after Sembene has battled Ethan in his werewolf form.  Vanessa argues that London is no longer safe for her, and that she must leave.  Ferdinand Lyle (perhaps feeling guilty from his treachery) agrees with her, and tells her to leave town, but to not tell anyone where she is going.  Malcolm argues that leaving town will further endanger Vanessa, but is overruled by the group, with even Victor arguing that Vanessa should leave town. Ethan states that he accompany Vanessa and offer her protection.  Vanessa tells Ethan that they will flee to the cottage previously occupied by Joan the Cut-Wife.  Vanessa also tells Victor where she is going, as she feels Victor is one of the few she can trust.

Vanessa Ivers 3

Vanessa and Ethan arrive at the cottage, which has clearly not received any upkeep since Vanessa’s previous departure.  Vanessa sets to work making the cottage habitable, and also begins to gather herbs, and sets a snare to capture rabbits.  Ethan chops down the charred tree on which Joan the Cut-Wife burned, as the sight is disturbing for Vanessa.

Joan 3

Ethan and Vanessa begin to bond during their time at the cottage.  Ethan teaches Vanessa how to shoot, and the two tell each other tales of their childhood.  Vanessa also teaches Ethan how to dance.  Ethan brings up the subject of Brona Croft, and states that she was his true love.  However, Ethan leaves the cottage at night, and orders Vanessa to keep the door bolted.  Ethan transforms into his  werewolf form  and slaughters livestock while in werewolf form.

While out on a walk through the woods, Ethan and Vanessa encounter Geoffrey Hawkes, the man who was responsible for the death of Joan the Cut-Wife.  Vanessa becomes upset and talks about seeking revenge on the man.  Ethan is troubled, but tells Vanessa to avoid bloodshed if she can, since taking a life will ultimately change her personality for the worse.

Back at the mansion, Victor and Ferdinand continue to research the matter of Verbis Diablo, and how that may relate to Vanessa’s problems.  The information that they find is troubling, and both men resolve to help Vanessa however they can.

Lilly informs Victor that Dorian Gray has invited on her on a date.  Lilly is worried that Victor will be angry, but Victor tells her to go out with Dorian, as he has work that he needs to do.  Dorian takes Lilly to the wax museum.  Caliban sees the two but does not make a move on the couple.  Dorian and Lilly view the exhibits, and Lilly takes special interest in one depicting a resurrection.  Lilly then boards a carriage, presumably to go back home.

The cottage is struck by a lightening storm and catches on fire.  Ethan and Vanessa struggle to put out the fire and are successful.  They share a passionate kiss, but Vanessa breaks it off, claiming that their dual natures make any kind of relationship dangerous.  Vanessa again speaks of revenge against Geoffrey Hawkes, and Ethan attempts to dissuade her.  However, Vanessa will not hear it and begins to study the book of spells that Joan left for her.

Lilly does not head home, and instead heads to a bar where she meets an older gentleman.  Lilly ends up in bed with the gentleman, and the two begin to make love.

Ethan sneaks to the home of Hawkes without Vanessa, and contemplates shooting the man with his gun.  However, Hawkes is then mysteriously attacked and killed by his previously loyal dogs.  Ethan realizes Vanessa is responsible, and confronts her at the cottage.  The two argue, and Ethan again reminds Vanessa that she cannot take this act back and that she will never be the same now that she has taken a life.

The tryst between Lilly and the older gentleman suddenly turns violent.  Lilly becomes possessed of superhuman strength, and strangles the man, killing him with her bare hands.


 

My Thoughts

Obviously, this show is dark.  The setting alone (turn of the century London), is not cheerful.  And when Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and the rest of the crew are thrown in, Penny Dreadful can make even poor Eeyore seem kind of cheerful…

Eeyore 1

However, this episode has taken dark to another level.  In this episode, even the darkness became extra dark, if that makes any sense…

One of the reasons this episode was so dark was because of the on-screen deaths.  Now, this show has had its share of deaths, but in this episode, the deaths were violent, and nothing was held back…no censorship, in other words!

Crack_the_censors

First of all, there was the death of the livestock, which Ethan was responsible for.  This was probably the most primal death in the episode.  We all know that livestock die (often, that is their primary purpose in life: to die so that they may feed us), but there is something about seeing it, with all the blood and guts, that is quite disturbing.

Which leads me to my next point:  the writers of this show seem to want to emphasize that when Ethan undergoes his transformation, he becomes a true wolf.  In other words, his humanity is gone.  He is all animal.  The human part of him is gone.  Vampires do not sparkle, and neither do werewolves (at least in the Penny Dreadful universe).  This may seem to paint Ethan as an unsympathetic character, but I actually think it does just the opposite.  Ethan is truly not in control of himself when he transforms into the werewolf, so I actually find it easier to sympathize with him, as the human part of him has no say for the actions that the wolf takes.  And we all know what a wolf is:  a predator.  That is the nature of the wolf, and can we expect anything else from a wolf?

sparkly vampire 1

And let’s talk about Lilly.  What.  The.  Fuck.  That’s the only way I can describe it.  One minute, we have a sweet innocent lady who jumps because the exhibits at the wax museum scare her (and really, a wax museum?  You could not pay me to visit one of those creepy places!)  The next minute she appears to lead an “innocent” man to the sack, and proceeds to strangle him.  With her bare hands.  And it looks like she enjoyed it, to boot.  And was this man really innocent?  Lilly was a prostitute in her past life, so could this have been one of the Johns who wronged her?  So maybe she has not forgotten it all, like Victor would like her to believe?  And this cannot possibly be a good thing for Victor, as he was responsible for her death last season.  And what does this mean for Ethan?  Ethan did mention Brona to Vanessa at the cottage, and somehow I don’t think this was coincidental.  As they say, shit is about to get real, and I have a feeling that this was a major advance in the Brona/Victor/Ethan story line, and that we have not heard the last of that story line.

Brona 1

Speaking of not innocent:  Vanessa.  Well, she has been possessed by a demon, that is true.  But she had never laid a hand on anyone and did not have a mean bone in her body.  Until this episode.  For once, we see Vanessa overcome and unable to control her emotions.  And the demon(s) did not have thing one to do with it.  No, this was all Ms. Ives, who went from “good little wifey” (seriously, Ethan?!) to hellcat in a lot less than 60 seconds!  The death of Mr. Hawkes was also another genius moment in this episode…I can’t say I felt too bad for him, although the manner of death was disturbing.  And watching his dogs attack him and kill him…shudder is all I can say!

Ethan and Vanessa 1

Ethanessa.  Yes, Ethanessa has reared its head again (or is it his and her head?) and I don’t know what to make of it.  One minute, Ethan and Vanessa are adorable, as Ethan confesses that he did in fact, get bested by a horse aptly named Diablo, and Vanessa confesses her fear of dolls (don’t judge, I understand that completely).  But the next minute, they appear almost ready to kill each other (after Ethan finds out Vanessa is responsible for the death of Geoffrey Hawkes), but also appear to want to fuck each other silly and get that out of the way first.  The show is teasing us with Ethanessa, and I can’t wait to see what comes of this (pun not intentional).

Ethan and Vanessa 2


 

So that’s it for this week’s edition of the adult sundae bar, aka Penny Dreadful.  Join me next week, as we further review and dissect the adventures of our favorite literary Avengers!

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True Detective Recap and Review: Season 2, Episode 2

What.  The.  Fuck.

Or is it what the fucking fuck?  Or maybe what the actual fuck?

Yes, I am talking about True Detective.  More accurately, the second episode of the second season.  To say this episode ended on a cliffhanger would be the understatement of the century (or at least of this month).

CarOffCliff

This show is all about suspense but this episode took that concept to another level, and wow.  Just wow.  Not sure what to say other than wow, but let me try…

With that being said, here is my recap and review of True Detective, seasn 2, episode 2.

And as always:

Spoiler alert

 

 


 

Synopsis

The episode begins with Frank Semyone awakening from a nightmare.  Frank then tells his wife of an incident in his childhood, where his parents locked him in a basement for a few days with no food or water.  Frank recalls that he was attacked by rats and forced to kill the rats with his bare hands.  Frank also wonders if he maybe still actually in that basement, and everything thereafter is actually just a dream.

Ani, Paul and Ray come together to discuss the autopsy of Ben Caspere, the city official who was found murdered in the previous episode.  We learn that Caspere’s eyes were burned off with hydrochloric acid, and that his genitals were shot off.

Ani and Frank begin to chase leads in Caspere’s murder.  They review Caspere’s appointment book, and speak to his therapist.  The therapist recognizes Ani by her last name, and states that he knew her father.  Ani replies that she is the only person among the girls she grew up with in her father’s commune to have a normal life; two committed suicide and the other two are in jail.

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We also learn that Caspere owed Frank several million dollars before his death, as Frank had given Caspere all of his liquid assets to invest in a land deal that never came to fruition.  Frank begins to panic, and places pressure on Ray to solve the murder as quickly as possible, so that he can recover his money.  Frank also poses as a witness, and has his people beat a man who owes him money.

Ray also begins to come unhinged.  He meets his ex-wife at his son’s school, and is refused visitation of his son by his ex-wife.  Ray’s ex states that she no longer wants their son to spend time with his father, and threatens Ray with supervised visitation.  Ray nearly breaks down in tears, and tells his ex that he will burn the city down for his son, if that is what needs to be done.  Ray’s ex also threatens him with a paternity test, implying that her son may not actually be Ray’s son.

True Detective 3

Paul travels to see his troubled mother, who almost acts like Paul’s jealous lover.  Paul then breaks up with his girlfriend, as she feels she does not know the man inside.  Paul is upset, but pays a visit to what appears to be a club that caters to gay men, and appears to have interest in the patrons.

Ray speaks to the mayor of Vinci, who states he wants the case solved, although the mayor does not seem serious.  Ani and Ray again chase leads, with Ani driving the car.  The conversation between Ray and Ani is awkward, but Ray admits most of the rumors about him are probably true.  In particular, Ray admits that his ex-wife was a rape victim, and that he is probably responsible for the death of her rapist.  Ani reveals that she feels the constant need to fight (and to keep a knife on her at all times) because she is one of the few women on the police force.  Ray also tells Ani that he thinks that there are people out there who do not want them to solve this murder case, as solving the case may expose some truths in regards to the city of Vinci, which has always been mysteriously prosperous.

Frank and Ray meet in a club.  Frank tells Ray that Caspere actually owns another house, which should also be investigated.  Ray’s exhaustion is apparent to everyone, including the cocktail waitresses employed by the club.

Ray pays a visit to Caspere’s second home.  However, his investigation is cut short when he is shot by a masked man a few minutes after he enters the house.


 

My Thoughts

Before I get into anything else in regards to this episode (and believe me, there is plenty to get into in regards to this round), I would like to give a shout out to the theme song.

Yes, you heard that right.  The theme song.  Mostly, I fast forward through those, via the magic of DVR.  But this theme song is actually worth listening too, as it is a Leonard Cohen song!  And Leonard Cohen and this show are a match made in heaven (or is it hell, considering how dark both can be?)  Whatever the case is, the choice of a Leonard Cohen intro song is brilliant, and I commend whoever made that choice.

See the first paragraph of this post.  Yes, this episode was eventful, and not just the cliffhanger of the ending.  I saw a few turning points to the story, so let’s attempt to break some of them down.

First of all, I thought the opening scene was brilliant.  And it made me think back to my childhood art classes!

Seriously, covering a balloon with a sticky newspaper concoction, popping the balloon and painting what was left was really fun!

In all seriousness, the opening scene accomplished a lot.  For one, it was creepy.  There were no visuals, as we had to rely on the storytelling of Frank, but the story still managed to be creepy.  Actually, when aren’t rats creepy?  I immediately thought of a story by HP Lovecraft.  And we know this show has (in the previous season, at least) made a few references to HP Lovecraft.  Probably this is just coincidental, but maybe not…

I also loved the “papier mache” reference, and the musing that perhaps we are all just dreaming, and that like papier mache, life is fragile and can fall apart at any moment…quite beautiful, really.  That one would have made Rust Cohle proud.

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And then there is the matter of Paul.  At first, I thought he was a pretty boy.  And he still is a pretty boy (Taylor Kitsch is easy on the eyes!)  but his character seems to be a bit more complex than that.  Complex as in a guy who is questioning his sexual identity but is still a pretty boy.  And did I mention that he may have some major mommy issues?

norman bates

Somehow the singer of Jessie’s Girl is really creepy and unsettling.  I don’t know how Rick Springfield has accomplished this, but a)  he needs to keep it up and b)  we need to see more of this character!  And I have a funny feeling that we will see more of this character, as the connection to Ani feels a bit too coincidental.  Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that the good Dr. Pitlor is somehow involved in the murder?  Maybe not, but I am sure we will find out soon.

Pitlor 1

 

Ok, enough of the pleasantries.  We all know what really needs to be discussed today.  And that would be Ray Velcoro, although I may start calling him the Schrodinger’s Cat of the series…

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Well, I am sure the fate of Ray Velcoro will be solved with use of something slightly less complex than quantum mechanics.  Even after his apparent “murder” by one of these creatures:

Taheen 2

 

However, the show (in just two episodes, to boot) has spent a lot of time and energy developing the character of Ray Velcoro, especially with this episode.  The beat down of the bully and bully’s father was epic enough, but this episode added to the emotional landscape.  Ray is not a nice guy, but he is still somehow sympathetic.  I really did tear up a little during the scene with his ex wife, as that scene revealed the love that Ray has for his son, even though the boy may not be related to him in a biological sense.  Ray is also a sharp detective, and I could practically see him putting the pieces together, especially when he tells Ani that he believes that there are people who do not want this murder solved.  It would also be interesting to see just who set up that shooting:  was it Frank, Ray’s true boss, or someone else?  Could Ray’s earlier statement have been clairvoyant?  Fascinating questions, and I can’t wait to delve into the next episode and hopefully get some answers.

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Well, that is it for this week’s dissection of True Detective.  Tune in next week, where we open Schroedinger’s box, and find out the true state of the cat Ray Velcoro!

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