The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 2 “The Bridge” Review

 

Rick Grimes and his friends are working hard to build a new world. The remains of the old world, as established, are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. No gasoline, no canned goods, and a crumbling infrastructure that is making travel and trade between the sprawling collection of city-states difficult, if not impossible. Without tractors, modern farming is impossible. Without food, life is impossible. Sure, plows and wagons will help, but there’s only so much that can be done, and the zombie menace is omnipresent, especially considering that bullets must be hand-filled and recycled. The only way to accomplish any big project is via lots and lots of manpower, so that means when the bridge needs to be rebuilt, everyone has to pitch in, regardless of any hard feelings they might have in the past.

On the surface, as Rick talks about the camp in a framing device with Negan, things are looking good. There’s a big camp and everyone seems to be working together fairly well, getting back a piece of how things used to be, if Rick is to be believed. The goal isn’t to forgive, or to forget, but to move past, build trust, unite the divided communities by sharing resources. Alexandria has bullets. Sanctuary has ethanol and manpower. Hilltop has food and farming equipment. Oceanside has fish. And the roads, as Ezekiel says in the episode, are how these communities live and die. It might not be the sort of exciting story Henry will tell his grandchildren, but without the bridge, Henry might not live to have grandchildren in the first place.

Trust is key in Rick’s new world. Trust and second chances. That’s reiterated in David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick’s script repeatedly, yet that point isn’t pushed too far, if that makes sense. The establishment of trust, and of moving forward, is stated repeatedly, but it’s not really hammered on in an obvious way. It comes in little moments. Rosita rigging demolition charges with Arat, the woman who cut her cheek. Arat questions their proximity to the blast, and they exchange mutual admissions of distrust (never mind the fact that Rosita wouldn’t blow herself up to kill one Savior). Siddiq trusts Enid to take over medical needs at the bridge camp. Gabriel and Anne (formerly Jadis) bond over their lack of trustworthiness and the fact that they were given second chances by Rick and company. Maggie gives Earl (John Finn) a second chance at the best of Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) after his attempted murder of her.

The only one who doesn’t seem to be getting a second chance, because he hasn’t reformed a bit, is Negan, who gets regular status updates from Rick on the formation of the new world and who appears in presence in this week’s bookend segments. Essentially, his presence is only via shadows and a few tight close-ups, allowing Rick to give his speech to camera. Negan, as always, antagonizes. Rick isn’t building for the future, he’s building a monument to the dead. Rick’s family is gone, as is Negan’s. Rick’s in charge, for now, but how long will this tenuous peace he’s built last given that the Saviors are disappearing or walking off the job and resources are stretched thin to feed the mouths of all the Savior manpower? Maggie further moves away from Rick’s sphere of influence. The Saviors are either on board with the new world or fighting against it (literally in the case of Zach McGowan’s Savior character).

That unease is there, and it colors a lot of the interactions, but in previous years, it would have been addressed directly and repeatedly. It’s still mentioned, but it’s more subtle; it’s the implication more than anything. Tension is the order of the day, and even the relatively happy camp is troubled. They’re struggling to rebuild the bridge, working with primitive equipment, behind schedule, undermanned, and they have to worry both about the weather (the levee will break eventually) and the omnipresent threat of the zombie hordes that have been drawn to the area. Certainly, they have a plan to distract the horde, but that plan requires trusting in the people who have to man the air raid sirens and execute the distractions.

Of course, since this is The Walking Dead and those distractions depend on the assistance of the grudging Saviors, things go wrong. Daisy Mayer maintains a very dynamic camera in this week’s episode, with lots of tracking shots through Rick’s camp, lots of smooth transition between scenes based off following characters as they split off from groups and walk away, or stay behind. It helps the episode flow more smoothly, and the action sequences are exciting and clearly executed. The walker attack on the logging camp is especially fun, with lots of inventive special effects courtesy of Nicotero’s crew.

It would be understandable to think that after 117 episodes that they’d be running out of ways to smash zombies, and yet, there’s still creativity with the set pieces. There are a thousand ways to smash a head, apparently, and this week’s exhibition in special effects skill and the blending of the digital with the practical is especially impressive, and a much-needed dose of fun in what is an otherwise tense episode. If nothing else, it’s something that I haven’t seen before, outside of perhaps a Final Destination movie, and it’s that kind of novelty that is appreciated so deeply into a show’s run.

My favorite parts of the episode was seeing the portraits of Glenn, Hershel, Beth , Shawn, Annette, and Josephine on the wall as Maggie and Jesus were talking. I also liked to see that Aaron is starting to look like the current comic book appearance of Rick Grimes along with the conflict between Daryl and Justin. Speaking of Justin, I do not know who kidnapped him at the end of the episode, but I do not think that it is The Whisperers.

The direction remains solid, and the acting and writing seem to be more consistent thus far. With the major upheaval coming in the cast, it’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out and what new direction the show takes.

Big changes in front of the camera, and bigger changes behind the camera. If nothing else, for the moment, the show feels fresh again. Perhaps rather than being a soap opera with zombies, The Walking Dead can become a Game Of Thrones with zombies. Trade baby daddy drama for political intrigue, city-states working together to accomplish bigger goals while scheming against one another in the background? That seems like something that could refresh a popular show that’s been in a creative and ratings slump.

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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 1 Review

 

Fresh out of New York Comic Con, the latest episode of The Walking Dead just aired and this one was a massive episode. Not only because it’s the season premiere, but also because it’s the first episode for a new arc after the massive All Out War arc we had which was great in my opinion. I was so excited to see what Season 9 of The Walking Dead would bring us and how things with Negan no longer in charge would go for Rick and his group.

The name of this episode is called “A New Beginning” which also takes the name of volume 22 of the comic series, and the subtitle of Issue #127. The episode started off quite strongly with all of our core main characters working together to pull an old wagon out of an old museum. It was nice to see Rick, Daryl, Rosita, The King, Carol, Maggie and everyone else from the core character set share a single scene with one another. It does seem a long time since we’ve seen them all work together on something as they’re often separated and in different locations. They all went to a museum in Washington, D.C to retrieve supplies, such as plows, canoes, seed samples, and a covered wagon. I loved the dialogue that was exchanged between the characters. I also wondered if anyone noticed the bloody handprint on the “Civil War” part of the large artwork Michonne was looking at. The group almost lost Ezekiel as he fell through the glass floor while there were walkers under beneath but the group saved him just in time.

But as the episode progressed we could see that our once close group of friends who we know work together well, are actually having a lot of issues.

For the most part, the struggle for our group at the moment post Negan is with leadership and the limited resources available. There just isn’t enough to go around and people living under Rick’s leadership are getting annoyed.

Further tensions occur on Maggie’s side of the group which she now leads after winning an election. Gregory is still alive and is stirring dissent among the ranks and gets quite a bit done after ken dies on the wagon mission. This gives Gregory a chance to build up an assassination attempt on Maggie during a brief period of severe unpopularity. Gregory fails though and Maggie ends up having him hanged. It’s quite brutal really, but it represents a shift in Maggie’s character to a more ruthless side, which I think might develop further if her character doesn’t have anyone to counter balance what she’s doing. This moment on the show also happened on issue #141.

We see a conversation in this episode between Maggie and Rick where they talk about building a broken bridge and the resources involved. Between the two groups, it’s tough to organize and Maggie’s unpopularity at the moment makes it tough for her to commit strong resources to help Rick. I feel that going forward, we will probably see some tensions between the groups for resources and it might strain the Rick and Maggie friendship quite a bit, but it’s just a theory.

The thing I’m most sad about at the moment is that if you’ve been reading up on Andrew Lincoln news lately you’ll know it’s his last season. I really don’t want him to go and the actor, particularly in this episode had so much screen presence that it’s hard to imagine the show without him in it. It’s going to be a tough season to watch but I’m happy with this premiere episode. I’m looking forward to seeing how both Rick and Maggie develop as season 9 progresses and how they handle leading both their groups Also interesting is where some of the other characters are heading right now such as Daryl and Carol who both had a few interesting moments in today’s episode and I’m keen to see both those characters develop.

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Fear The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 13 “Blackjack” thoughts

 

This week on Fear the Walking Dead, we were all over the place. With only 3 episodes left we are winding down to the end. We got to see all our survivors separately. Then miraculously finding one another like always. The episode jumped all over, but I’ll break it down per group.

First we see John, and Strand. They are Stranded on a small island surrounded by water. The water has risen quiet high because of the storm. John is making a raft to get across and find the others, while Strand is, well Strand. After trying the raft out alone, because Strand was staying behind, John got a big surprise in the form of a huge gator. This thing was massive! Jumping back to shore John loses hope of getting across, and an I told you so from Strand. While cutting branches John sees a truck with a bed cover and enlists Strand to get it, pulling the your people shot me card. Once up there, Strand seen a bottle of liquor on the floor, but also a zombie in the driver’s seat. The truck was on a horrid angle. Hopping on the side of truck Strand leans in for the bottle and down goes the truck, flipping down the hill it was on top of. Luckily the zombie gets a branch to the head, Strand gets his drink, and John gets his Truck bed cover. Rigging the battery to the car horn, John hopes to bring the dead to them, keeping the Gator occupied whilst they slip by in the raft. Convincing Strand to join him, they start-up the horn and take off. Everything is working great until the horn dies, the dead turn around, and the gator starts attacking their makeshift raft, causing a leak. Panicking John shoots off his gun to call the dead back and they swim back to where they started, both defeated.

Lucy is looking for Charlie and spots a library. Knowing she loves books she checks there to no avail. Waking outside, she finds a gravely injured man in a car. While trying to help him, they realize the car crushing him is what is keeping him alive. He tells Lucy all he wants is one last beer, so she sets off to find one. Looking everywhere, she has no luck and eventually radios in to tell him she was sorry. He tells her she will help people on her journey, even though she couldn’t help him. That’s when she finds a box left by Morgan and co, with a single beer. She also grabs an ice pack out of a first aid kit and puts them both in her pack, heading back to the old man. He is so happy to have his last beer he gives her some journals. Turns out the man is the Truck driver that owned the truck Morgan is in. On the box was a radio channel to call for when of needing help. She calls and it’s Morgan.

Morgan and Co are still looking for the elusive Quinn, when they find the crazy ladies old walker. Then get a call from her on the radio. She tells them to stop leaving supplies, because it is making people weak, then she has to make them strong again by killing them. I don’t know either, she is insane, clearly. She tells them that Quinn is dead, so they pack up and head off to find the others, still leaving things in boxes. They are looking for John, Strand, Lucy, Alicia, And Charlie. Eventually while driving they get that call from Lucy, who they find and pick up, and Alicia and Charlie, who they don’t make it too. The reason being is miss psycho in Al’s van found them and shot up the truck, ending the episode.

So we only see Alicia and Charlie very briefly in this episode at the end, Strand and John are still not even close to being found, and the truck has been shot up by psychopath. Can’t wait for next week!

This episode was entertaining, but a little slow. I definitely enjoyed watching non the less.

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SDCC 2018-MARVEL TELEVISION AND MARVEL ANIMATION DESCEND UPON SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON WITH NEW AND RETURNING FAN-FAVORITE SERIES

 

MARVEL TELEVISION AND MARVEL ANIMATION

DESCEND UPON SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON

WITH NEW AND RETURNING FAN-FAVORITE SERIES

 

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger to Make San Diego Comic-Con Debut

Including Interactive Fan Activation

 

Marvel’s Iron Fist in First Ever San Diego Comic-Con Panel

 

Marvel Animation’s Next Generation of Marvel Super Heroes,

Marvel Rising, to also Headline the Weekend

 

Marvel Animation Presents is Back Again for Another News-Breaking Panel

 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Cast Return to Make Special Appearance at Marvel Booth

 

Visit Marvel Booth (#2329) for Autograph Signings, Exclusive San Diego Comic-Con

Giveaways, Livestream Broadcasts from Marvel.com and More

 

 

Los Angeles, CA (June 28, 2018) – Marvel Television and Marvel Animation are returning to San Diego Comic-Con with a jam-packed lineup of panels, signings, and fan-first experiences, including Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Marvel’s Iron Fist, Legion, The Gifted, Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest and the brand-new project Marvel Rising. Join us for not-to-be-missed panels with exclusive footage and surprise appearances, as well as star-studded autograph signing sessions – all starting Thursday, July 19 through Sunday, July 22.

 

For more exciting Marvel highlights and news during San Diego Comic Con 2018, tune in to the Marvel livestream at http://marvel.com/SDCC2018 starting Thursday, July 19. Join the conversation using #MarvelSDCC.

 

FULL SCHEDULE OF MARVEL TELEVISION PANELS & ACTIVATION:

 

THURSDAY, JULY 19TH

MARVEL ANIMATION PRESENTS: MARVEL RISING 

3:15 PM – 4:15 PM in Room 6DE

Marvel Rising brings together the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes for the next generation of Marvel fans. This is your chance to be among the first to see a sneak peek of this group of powered teens and their adventures that are full of heart, action, comedy, and powerful messages for every kind of Marvel fan. Join our Quake Chloe Bennet (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Nashville) our Squirrel Girl Milana Vayntrub (This Is UsSilicon Valley), our Ms. Marvel Kathreen Khavari (Big Little LiesMarvel’s Avengers), our Patriot Kamil McFadden (K.C. UndercoverGrown Ups 2), Mairghread Scott (Writer, Marvel Rising), Cort Lane (SVP, Animation and Family Entertainment), Marsha Griffin (VP, Animation Current Series and Development), and Sana Amanat (VP, Content and Character Development) as well as additional surprise guests for an action-packed panel that will showcase the first look of the animated shorts, special announcements, and so much more.

 

MARVEL’S IRON FIST

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM in Ballroom 20

Be among the first to get the exclusive inside scoop on what’s in-store for season two of Marvel’s Iron Fist as Danny Rand and Colleen Wing set off on a new adventure as the protectors of lower NYC. Join Executive Producer and Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, and surprise guests in what is sure to be a high-octane panel you don’t want to miss!

 

MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER – FAN ACTIVATION (on-site through Sunday)

10:00 AM Petco Park

Freeform is bringing Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger to “The Experience” at Petco Park. Starting July 19th at 10am, fans will have the opportunity to engage with two different interactive activations over the course of four days.

 

Tying into the “divine pairing” theme from Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Freeform will recreate the iconic moment between the two leads Tyrone and Tandy when their powers interact. To recreate this, Freeform is fabricating a physical experience where participants are harnessed to a bungee that will propel them backwards from the force of their powers. A slow-motion recording will capture the moment which will also include an overlay effect that shows both the light and dark energy emitting from the participants. Fans will have the opportunity to share their videos on social media.

 

Fans can also stop by the ROXXON Corp station to create their own customized ROXXON Corp badge and lanyard. Each badge will include a secret code that is connected to a wide range of prizes from Sony PlayStation Vue and Freeform. After receiving their customized badge, fans will be able to pose for a photo with the ROXXON Corp sign.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 20TH

 

MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER

5:45 PM – 6:45 PM in Ballroom 20

San Diego will be getting a little taste of New Orleans! Meet series stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Emma Lahana, Ally Maki and executive producer/showrunner Joe Pokaski of the new hit summer series that redefined the super hero genre, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger. Don’t miss this action-packed panel featuring a lively Q&A moderated by executive producer and head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb, along with a special look at exclusive, never-before-been-seen footage. And don’t forget to tune-in to watch all-new episodes, Thursdays, 8/7c, on Freeform.

 

SATURDAY, JULY 21ST

 

THE GIFTED

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM in Ballroom 20

(EXTENDED SEASON 2 SNEAK PEEK)- From 20th Century Fox Television in association with Marvel Television, season 2 of The Gifted picks up after the explosion of the Atlanta Station.  The Mutant Underground search for their friends and family who left with The Inner Circle. Having tracked them outside of Washington, D.C., they must contend with new groups with extreme ideologies, both human and mutant alike, to stave off a brewing conflict.  Join executive producers Matt Nix and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb along with stars Stephen Moyer, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, Natalie Alyn Lind and Skyler Samuels for an exclusive first-look at the upcoming second season; returning Tuesdays this Fall on FOX.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 22ND

 

MARVEL ANIMATION PRESENTS

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM in Room 6A

Marvel Animation returns for the always action-packed, news-breaking panel where you’ll get eyefuls of never-before-seen information and sneak peeks… plus…as always…some surprise guests that’ll reveal waaay too much! GET THERE! You’ll also have a chance to meet the stars of your favorite Marvel Animation series at signing events at the Marvel booth (#2329) throughout the weekend.

 

LEGION

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM in Hall H

Legion, is the story of David Haller, a man who believed himself to be schizophrenic only to discover that he may actually be the most powerful mutant the world has ever seen. Along with a team of other extraordinarily gifted people, David learned to accept his true self and set out to defeat The Shadow King, who was on a path to attaining infinite and world-ending power. In season two, a series of mind-bending twists and turns called into question who is the hero, and who is the villain. Legion is based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. Join Executive Producers John Cameron and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb, along with co-EP, Nathaniel Halpern, plus cast members for a conversation on what to look forward to from Season 3.

 

MARVEL TELEVISION AUTOGRAPH SIGNING SCHEDULE – Booth #2329:

 

JOIN CAST MEMBERS AND PRODUCERS OF YOUR FAVORITE MARVEL SERIES AS THEY MEET THE FANS AND SIGN AUTOGRAPHS! ***Please note that signings are ticketed events and passes will be available to win on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9:15 AM on Thursday, July 19, Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 at the Marvel Booth (#2329).

 

THURSDAY, JULY 19

 

Marvel’s Iron Fist – Signing Event

2:30 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

Marvel Rising– Signing Event 

5:00 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

SATURDAY, JULY 22

 

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger – Signing Event

10:00 AM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Signing Event

12:30 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

The Gifted – Signing Event

3:30 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

SUNDAY, JULY 23

 

Legion – Signing Event

11:45 AM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

Marvel Animation – Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s QuestSigning Event

3:00 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)

 

Stay tuned to www.marvel.com for all the breaking news from Marvel Television at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Follow @Marvel on Twitter and “like” Marvel on Facebook for minute-by-minute updates on all things in the MCU.

 

Join the conversation using #MarvelSDCC.

 

About Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Television

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.

Marvel Television develops and produces some of the world’s most creative and popular live-action and animated programming for broadcast and cable television networks plus digital platforms including a historic deal with NETFLIX. Its portfolio of self-produced series includes “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” for ABC, “Marvel’s Runaways” for Hulu”, Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” and “Marvel’s The Punisher for NETFLIX,  and “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” (Freeform)  Marvel is a co-producer on “Legion” (FX) and “The Gifted” (FOX).  For more information, visit marvel.com.  ©2018 MARVEL

 

Luke Cage Season 2 Review

Luke Cage season 2 is a treatise on power. Who has it, who wants it, what it does to the people who have it, and what it does to the people who are stripped of it.

Mike Colter is back as the bulletproof black man in a hoodie, Luke Cage. In season 2 he faces several powerful villains. Some of Luke’s struggles are against himself – his own rage and anger, his own ego in thinking he is the savior of all of Harlem.

Claire (Rosario Dawson) is around early in the season. In episode 1, directed by Lucy Liu, Claire and Luke share one of the loveliest sex scenes I’ve seen in a long time. (Now I want Lucy Liu to direct all the sex scenes, everywhere.)  Their joy was short lived, however. Claire became concerned that Luke couldn’t control his rage. He grew more and more violent. He stepped outside the law to stop criminals. Luke almost killed a thug named Cockroach (Dorian Missick) who was beating up his wife and son. Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) showed up briefly as the attorney who kept Luke out of jail over that incident. (Like Foggy, references to other Marvel series and to season 1 of this series were placed in strategic places.)

The violence on Luke’s part was too much for Claire. She sent Luke away from her apartment, and before long she was headed to Cuba to visit her grandmother. No more Claire for the rest of the season. Sigh.

Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick), minus an arm, was back. She couldn’t stay away from the police department even though she was supposed to be retired. She and Luke ran into each other everywhere. She rejoined the force, got a beautiful prosthetic arm in the mail from Danny Rand (Finn Jones), AKA The Iron Fist, and was soon back in action.

Misty is a strong supporter and ally for everything Luke does – although she calls him out when he crosses the line. He needs both those things from her. Everyone wanted to bring down the evil queen of Harlem, Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard). The cops wanted her in jail, Luke wanted her out of action somehow, and my favorite bad guy of the season John ‘Bushmaster’ McIver (Mustafa Shakir) wanted to burn her to the ground.

The Bushmaster wanted retribution against Mariah’s whole clan for sins committed by her grandmother against his grandfather. He had powers of his own, but they were limited and depended on a supply of nightshade. Nightshade is a poison, so using it both strengthened him and made him vulnerable.

There were fight scenes in every episode. Many, many fight scenes. Luke’s style is brute force. Pick someone up and throw them head first into a wall. Break their leg. Knock them out.

Bushmaster, on the other hand, was a beautiful fighter. His style was a combination of gymnastics and ballet. (Okay – he knew martial arts.) He could do flips, spin and kick, leap. Most of the fight scenes were just another well choreographed fight scene to me, but the fights between Luke and Bushmaster were works of art.Danny Rand showed up in one episode with his glowing fist and helped Luke out with some of the fighting. I liked Bushmaster for his love of family and his loyalty to his ancestors. Bushmaster was Jamaican. He and his relatives in Harlem spoke in a Jamaican dialect. Bushmaster’s uncle Anansi (Sahr Ngaujah) tried to discourage him from his evil plans to burn Mariah to the ground, and from using the deadly nightshade to enhance his strength.

Hernan ‘Shades’ Alvarez (Theo Rossi) was back as Mariah’s right hand man and boy toy. He carried out orders and offered sensible advice that Mariah mostly ignored. He and his lifelong pal ‘Comanche’ (Thomas Q. Jones) did much of Mariah’s dirty work. Shades often told Mariah he loved her, and maybe he did. But there is always access to power involved in every plot and subplot in this season of Luke Cage. He might have loved her power.

Mariah’s daughter Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis) wasn’t really a villain in season 2, but she might be heading that way in season 3. In season 2, she did provide help to Bushmaster. Tilda was a doctor. She studied western medicine and worked as a traditional western doctor. Then she changed her path and became a holistic healer using herbs and natural concoctions. She opened a shop in Harlem. She was Bushmaster’s source of nightshade. The reunion between Mariah and Tilda was purely for political gain for Mariah. It was all optics to Mariah. Tilda wanted to get to know her mother. Once she did learn more about her background and where she came from she wasn’t happy with what she learned. She joined the cops, Luke, and Bushmaster in wanting Mariah defeated. Two things could happen with Tilda in season 3. She could be written out of the story completely. Or she could dig into her dark history and become more like her mother – we saw hints of this toward the end of the season. I hope they keep Gabrielle Dennis for whatever reason they choose, because I don’t want Tilda to disappear.

The references to pop culture were everywhere! Music, movies, books, images on walls, television shows. Luke’s father (Reg E. Cathey) was fond of references to Titanic, which was pretty funny. Shades admitted to crying during This is Us. That reference was homage to Ron Cephas Jones who played Bobby Fish in Luke Cage, and was also in This is Us.

Season 2 of Luke Cage was dedicated to Ron Cephas Jones.

The mere idea of a black man in a hoodie being a hero is disruptive in terms of society and pop culture. But a bulletproof black man in a hoodie is someone to pin hopes and dreams on. With mostly black actors and with black culture and history in every frame of Luke Cage, this series takes viewers places no other series has done. It’s like Black Panther in that way. Our hero is human, though. At the end of season 2, I was wondering how correctly Claire had seen that Luke’s problem was Luke himself. Is he developing a God complex? I think a 3rd season will explore in more depth Luke’s vision of himself as the hero of Harlem.

This is an excellent season in an excellent series. Outstanding performances, meaningful dialog, relevant content, no-expense-spared production, and exciting action make it worth seeing.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @julianexcalibur

 

 

Fear The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8 Thoughts

I just finished the mid-season Finale of Fear The Walking Dead. It was a great episode. I have loved this season so far! Unfortunately we have lost a few main characters, my favorites at that, but they have gone in such an amazing way.

The episode starts with the war between The Vultures and the Clark crew coming to an end. John is shot, and Naomi, who we find out her real name is June, is trying to save him. Charlie is in danger of being killed, she killed Nick Clark so of course we would find her here, and there is gun fire everywhere!

After all is said and done Morgan, whom I am loving on this show, saves Charlie, John, and Naomi (sorry June seems odd). Al takes them to the one place there will still be supplies, the stadium. Unbeknownst to them, the Clark crew is following behind.

In the flash back we finally see how Mel tried to help the Clark crew basically to help himself because he was hurt, and the crew took him in, and Ennis released thousands of walkers to take over the stadium.

Flash forward to Al and her crew making it to the stadium to save John. The stadium was locked from the inside, and full of burned walkers, which was curious. Cleared a path and Naomi and Morgan go in for medical supplies. As they are in the infirmary Clark crew makes it there and start firing. Some talking and a rocket launcher later Alicia makes it into the swat van. Fight, fight, fight, and then Alicia finds out that Madison met Al, before the stadium. Madison tells Al this story of her kids saving a dying bird, fighting for it even though it didn’t have a chance to survive, and saving it, Alicia watches her interview. This leads Alicia inside where Morgan and Naomi are, to shoot Naomi, Morgan convinced her to put her gun down and they hug with tears.

After everything no one dies, thankfully, Naomi saves John (for now), and we get the ending to Madison’s tragic tale.

After Ennis realeased the walkers everyone in the stadium tried to leave, against Madison’s wishes. Madison was trying to save everyone and only seeing one way to do so. She led most of the walkers into the stadium, coming to the door she realizes there is no way out, she locks the door. Radios in to tell her kids, “You’re not gone, until you’re gone”, then lights the place up with a lit flare.

Now we don’t see her dead, but on The Talking Dead they seemed to confirm it. So RIP Madison, you were one of the best, and it’s sad to see you go, but she went out the hero we knew her to be.

Alicia remains the only character left from the show’s premiere. She becomes the lead after the death, or supposed death of Madison. We don’t actually see Madison get burnt to a crisp, so a small possibility exists that she lives. I had a feeling Kim Dickens would not survive the diamond. It was a clever hook to have Al and Madison meet in the beginning. Al was responsible for the creation of the diamond, a truly epic reveal. Fear the Walking Dead is officially rebooted. The second half of season four will surely establish a new dynamic among the survivors. I’ve had some major issues so far, but found the midseason finale satisfying. I will be tuning in when Fear the Walking Dead returns to AMC in the fall.

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The Flash Season 4, Episode 22 Thoughts

As the team peaks early with one of the best action/effects sequence in the show’s history. After DeVoe gains entry to an ARGUS black site by posing as John Diggle (I understood everything about this except how he knows the counter-password to “Elvis Banana” is “Hendrix Spaghetti”), director Viet Nguyen treats us to the CW-verse version of one of those Netflix/Marvel hallway fights. DeVoe calls upon his full array of powers to fight off the ARGUS forces, from shrinkage to elasticity to breaching to shooting rays from his hands. It’s a symphony of super-villainy, and easily the highlight of this Big Bad’s run on the show, as it serves as a thrilling demonstration of just what Barry and the gang are up against.
That the rest of the episode doesn’t live up to the opening isn’t surprising, but for the most part it’s a decent hour of The Flash. Almost all of the main characters have their moment to shine, which is increasingly a rarity. Starting with the least essential storyline, Joe and Cecile deal with a most unusual pregnancy complication as an increase in her body’s relaxin hormone transforms her mind-reading ability into a full-blown personality transfer, first with the pizza delivery guy and later with Caitlin and Joe. Danielle Nicolet has some fun taking on the different personas, and the payoff for Joe’s knowledge of Lamaze puts an amusing button on what is a largely inconsequential side trip.
David Ramsey’s appearance as Diggle ends up being little more than a cameo, although it’s nice that Team Flash is prepared to greet him with a bucket after his super-speed trip to Central City. Caitlin’s quest to reclaim Killer Frost takes an unexpected turn when she recovers a memory fragment of a childhood bike-riding accident. When Cisco vibes her into that lost moment, she catches a glimpse of her childhood self looking rather Frosty, meaning her meta power long predates the particle accelerator explosion. That actually makes her obsession with restoring Frost a bit more plausible, as she must have been aware on a subconscious level that her alter ego has been a part of her for much longer than everyone thought.
The main objective this week is to prevent DeVoe from harnessing Fallout’s nuclear power to launch his satellites and bring about the Enlightenment while also saving the half-dozen ARGUS guards suspended above the facility’s deadly electrical plates. The only way to accomplish this task is for Barry to pull Caitlin and Cisco into the Speed Force with him (Remember how there used to be a surplus of speedsters on this show? They’d all come in handy now, huh?), which leads to a lot of Barry angst about not wanting to put his friends in danger. That ship sailed seasons ago, buddy! The strangest part of all this is that Cisco and Caitlin are able to convince him they can pull it off with a little more training, after which point there is…no more training. They head directly to the A.R.G.U.S. site to do it for real. I guess it’s the thought that counts?
They’re able to pull it off, not that it matters. After Barry stands idly by listening to DeVoe’s Nietzsche quotes and other villainous philosophizing about the uselessness of emotions, the Thinker breaches away to STAR Labs and hijacks one of their satellites to replace the one Barry destroyed. Seriously, dude, you could have snatched him away in mid-sentence and let him finish his monologue in a pipeline cell. Next week could have been a full hour of baby-birthing drama.
Instead, the Enlightenment has begun and Team Flash now has 60 minutes left in the season to stop it. No one is sure how to do that except dumb ol’ Harry, who knows they can turn Marlize because she’ll want to try to save the man she loves inside the monster. I enjoyed the pairing of Harry and Iris (excuse me, West-Allen) this week; they’re an underused duo, and Candice Patton’s cheerful exasperation makes her a good foil for Tom Cavanagh’s slapstick take on IQ-diminished Harry. As much as the storytelling often makes me roll my eyes, the characters sometimes still come through to save the day.
The episode kicked off in a familiar setting: Dr. Sharon Finkel’s office. During her session, Caitlin attempted to explain her situation without outing herself as Killer Frost. As she spoke to Dr. Finkel, she referred simply to her “lost friend,” who recently disappeared from her life. However, Dr. Finkel changed the topic and brought up the idea of repressed memories, suggesting that Caitlin was repressing some traumatic childhood memory. Caitlin laughed her off and explained that this friend had only appeared recently, when she was an adult.
Nevertheless, Caitlin got a flash of a memory as she and Cisco trained with Barry to capitalize on his ability to bring other people into his Speed Force aura. When she got knocked out of super speed, she got a glimpse of a long-forgotten memory, where she fell off her bike and was almost run over by a truck as a man screamed her name. This continued to bother her for the remainder of the episode, up until one of the very last scenes.
As Caitlin and Cisco helped Clifford DeVoe’s hostages out of the ARGUS facility, she asked him to vibe this memory. After some initial hesitation, he acquiesced. In the full memory, Caitlin saw the near-accident again, but this time there was a twist: she caught a glimpse of herself in the truck’s side-view mirror and saw Killer Frost’s face peering back. At the sight of Killer Frost’s visage, young Caitlin screamed and the memory ended.
The fact that Killer Frost — or some version of her — has existed since Caitlin’s childhood has major implications. For one, Killer Frost came to be long before the particle accelerator explosion; this means metahumans may have existed in the Arrowverse before The Flash‘s game-changing premiere episode. Since the repressed memory seems to do with her father, this could indicate we will learn more about this mysterious figure, who has only been mentioned on the series so far. It wouldn’t be surprising, then, if he has something to do with the creation (or perhaps suppression) of Killer Frost. However, we’ll probably have to wait until Season 5 to learn more about Killer Frost’s true past.
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FOX’s Fall 2018 Television Lineup

Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs, Fox Television Group, today will unveil the FOX primetime slate for the 2018-2019 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre.

“This year, we launched four of the Top 10 new shows on broadcast, which led to a very strong roster of young series returning for their sophomore seasons. That gives us tremendous momentum heading into the fall,” said Newman and Walden. “With our increased investment in football, we’re going to use the powerful platform of the NFL to launch our new comedies. We’ll then take some big swings with dramas at midseason, which is a proven strategy for FOX.”

The new comedies joining the lineup this fall are REL and THE COOL KIDS. Inspired by the life of Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out,” “Insecure,” “The Carmichael Show”), REL is a multi-camera comedy starring Howery as a loving husband and father living in Chicago, who finds out his wife is having an affair, and must rebuild his life as a single father, following his divorce. The comedy also stars Sinbad (“A Different World,” “The Sinbad Show,” “Jingle All The Way”), Jess “Hilarious” Moore (“Wild ’N Out”) and Jordan L. Jones (“NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Wisdom of the Crowd”).

From executive producer Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), THE COOL KIDS is a multi-camera comedy about a rag-tag group of friends living in a retirement community who are willing to break every rule in order to have fun – because, at their age, what do they really have to lose? The series stars four comedy veterans: Tony Award nominee David Alan Grier (“The Carmichael Show,” “In Living Color”), Emmy Award nominee Martin Mull (“Veep,” “Roseanne”), Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “American Horror Story”) and Emmy Award winner Vicki Lawrence (“Mama’s Family,” “The Carol Burnett Show”).

Also this fall, hit comedy LAST MAN STANDING joins the FOX lineup. A fan-favorite for six seasons, the series stars Tim Allen as MIKE BAXTER, a married father of three girls, who tries to maintain his manliness, despite being surrounded by women. The series also stars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson. LAST MAN STANDING and THE COOL KIDS will anchor a brand-new Friday night comedy block.

In its 25th season of NFL coverage, the new THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREGAME SHOW will be FOX Sports’ first New York City-based live NFL studio show, complementing FOX NFL SUNDAY, the No. 1 NFL pregame show for the last 24 seasons and the network’s signature program, of which Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long have been an integral part since its inception in 1994. The new THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREGAME SHOW will be produced by Executive Vice President of Production, Bill Richards, who also oversees FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY.

Also this fall, 9-1-1, the network’s No. 1 scripted series, returns on a new night and time, Mondays at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT.

In 2019, additional new series and events joining the schedule include dramas THE PASSAGE and PROVEN INNOCENT; a live musical production of RENT; and a brand-new COSMOS installment, COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS.

Based on author Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, THE PASSAGE is an epic, character-driven thriller written by Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”). Executive-produced by Heldens, Emmy Award winner and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “Gladiator”) and writer/director Matt Reeves (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “Cloverfield”), THE PASSAGE focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl (Saniyya Sidney, “Fences,” “Hidden Figures”) is chosen to be a test subject, a federal agent (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, “Pitch”) is tasked with bringing her in, but ultimately, becomes her surrogate father, determined to protect her at any cost – even as Project Noah’s work threatens to unleash an unimaginable apocalypse.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner and EMPIRE co-creator Danny Strong partners with David Elliot (“Four Brothers”) to tell the emotional story of one woman’s fight for the innocence of others, as well as her own. PROVEN INNOCENT follows an underdog criminal defense firm led by a fierce and uncompromising lawyer, who was wrongfully convicted in a sensational murder case that made her an infamous media obsession, a household name and a national cause célèbre. The drama stars Rachelle Lefevre (“Under the Dome,” “A Gifted Man”), Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”), Russell Hornsby (“Seven Seconds,” “Grimm”), Brian d’Arcy James (“13 Reasons Why,” “Spotlight”) and Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (“BrainDead,” “The Good Wife,” “The Book of Mormon”).

Also at midseason, GOTHAM will air its fifth and final season, wrapping up this beloved series in a farewell event that will focus on Bruce Wayne’s (David Mazouz) transformation into the caped crusader. GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller and executive producers Danny Cannon and John Stephens, GOTHAM follows the rise of Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time. The series also stars Donal Logue, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Jessica Lucas, Chris Chalk, Drew Powell, Alexander Siddig and Crystal Reed.

The live musical production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT comes to FOX on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 (7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed). A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, RENT tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. Winner of four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship. Acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land,” “Wicked”), along with the estate of writer/composer Jonathan Larson, will executive-produce the live musical event.

Airing as a global event on FOX and National Geographic in 180 countries and 43 languages, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning COSMOS will return for its third season in Spring 2019. It will once again be executive-produced, written and directed by Ann Druyan (NASA’s Voyager Record, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” “Contact”); executive-produced by Seth MacFarlane, Brannon Braga and Jason Clark; and hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed pop-culture icon and astrophysicist. Continuing the legacy of its predecessors, COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS will translate the revelations of science into a lavishly transporting experience, taking audiences on a series of spiritual voyages of exploration. The new season will reveal previously uncharted realms, including lost worlds and worlds to come, and those that we may one day inhabit in a thrilling future we can still have.

During the 2018-2019 season, several FOX series will celebrate major milestones, including THE SIMPSONS’ landmark 30th anniversary, FAMILY GUY’s 20th anniversary and BOB’S BURGERS’ 150th episode.

FOX’s full 2018-2019 programming slate is – Dramas: 9-1-1, EMPIRE, THE GIFTED, GOTHAM, LETHAL WEAPON, THE ORVILLE, THE PASSAGE, PROVEN INNOCENT, THE RESIDENT, STAR; Comedies: BOB’S BURGERS, THE COOL KIDS, FAMILY GUY, LAST MAN STANDING, REL, THE SIMPSONS; Live Events: RENT; Event Series: COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS; Unscripted: BEAT SHAZAM, THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM, GORDON RAMSAY’S 24 HOURS TO HELL & BACK, HELL’S KITCHEN, LOVE CONNECTION, MASTERCHEF, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, SHOWTIME AT THE APOLLO, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.

Fear The Walking Dead S4E5 Live Thoughts

Last night we discovered on AMC episode 5 of this season of FTWD which has been looking at the relationship between John and Laura (aka Naomi).


At first we discover the life that leads John, alone in his cabin lost in the middle of nowhere in the zombie apocalypse. He leads a rather quiet and routine life isolated from the world. One day he discovers a boat aground in front of his house with a woman on board seriously injured. We recognize life Naomi who will eventually be renamed Laura by John because he ignores his real name.

He will take care of her and help her to recover. During his convalescence the two characters will get to know each other allowing us to know them too. We discover that John was a policeman, Laura nurse. She will first be ultra cautious towards her host before finally let herself go. Normal at the same time, who would not be in the middle of the apocalypse? We will learn at the turning of a non conversation that she lost her child. For his part John remains quite evasive about his past as a policeman and his refusal to use a gun, even against the dead. Only Laura will break the shell. During a small invasion of the dead who disembark from the river John takes up arms to save Laura’s life. We discover that he is an exceptional shooter.

The episode ends like a romantic comedy. John will hardly admit his feelings to Laura, who are visibly reciprocated. But the next day our cowboy wakes up alone. Laura left without leaving him a message also confessing her feelings.

The latest images take us back to the present, John has just told his story to Morgan who tries to convince him that there is still hope that she is alive. This is also what we say as viewers, if not what interest to tell their story in detail? We want to believe it.

It was a fairly long episode, almost irrelevant to the context of the series but it has at least the merit of having us discover a little more these two new characters that are John and Laura.

Next week back in the present, but not that.

 

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The Wrestling Court Episode 184-Backlash 2018 thoughts

Julian is here with a good solo show covering the disastrous backlash 2018 ppv along with the rumors about Carmella and John Cena, Jim Ross’ comments about the women not deserving pay from the greatest royal rumble, the WWF Cookbook and much more.

Sign up for Audible for a free 30 day trial. You can cancel any time you wish within those 30 days but once you sign up, you will get the chance to download a free audiobook. I recommend to check out the Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, Chris Jericho and Jake Roberts book if you want something wrestling related but if not, you can get something non wrestling related in the massive library of audiobooks. Sign up via this link:

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