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Recap: Umbrella Academy S1E9 “Changes”

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In Umbrella Academy‘s ninth episode “Changes” we found out that Vanya was always a bit of a problem and the reason that Grace (Mom) was created was that Hargreeves needed a nanny to watch the kids that Vanya couldn’t kill because she had gotten rid of quite a few of them. In the present time, Harold is cleaning the blood off of Vanya and trying to convince her that the only way to protect herself is to take on her brothers because they will kill her for killing Allison. But, she doesn’t buy it and thinks that she can explain to them what happened and they will help her. The brothers bring Allison back to the manor for mom and Pogo to operate of her lacerated vocal cords, she’s hanging on by a thread and needs blood since Luther is part ape and Klaus’s blood is too polluted, Diego offers himself up but, he’s scared of needles and faints so, they take his blood while he’s passed out. Klaus upset that no one takes him seriously decides to relapse and discovers that sober, Ghost Ben can use his body and Ben punches the pills out of his mouth and we all love a good Level Up.

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Back at Harold/Leonard’s while Vanya is freaking out about hurting her sister, she discovers the journal and figures out what he’s been doing to her, he tries to explain but,  Vanya feels like he’s the reason she killed her sister and when she asks him who Harold Jenkins is she realizes what he really is. He explains that he killed the first chair to get her the audition and all she wants is to go home and back to her family because she loves them, he then resorts to being cruel and calling her names and she explodes, literally and kills him.

Cha-Cha finds Hazel’s hideaway and attacks the waitress. Number Five, Klaus, and Diego find Harold and realize that he is the owner of the eye but, they don’t know that Vanya isn’t in danger, she is the danger. They head back to the manor and we find out that all that happened to Allison was her vocal cords were damaged which means, Vanya didn’t want to kill her, just stop her from talking. Diego heads off to find Cha-Cha and Hazel to kill them before the world ends since he thinks that it’s not going to happen now that Harold is dead. Hazel heads to the manor to talk it out with Five but, Diego shows up and starts attacking him, Five incapacitates Diego and Hazel lets him know that he wants to help him stop the apocalypse so he can stay with the doughnut lady.  He gives up Cha-Cha to help them clear Diego’s name and when he returns to the waitress he finds the trap she set. Vanya returns to her apartment and hears the message that Allison left before heading to the cabin, where she apologizes and tells her that she loves her and after a huge cry session, decides to head home and confess. Allison wakes up and tells Luther that Vanya has powers, not to hurt her but, to help her but, Luther being Luther decides to “stop her” so, when she shows up Vanya learns that Allison is OK but, Luther in his anger decides to cage her, which is her worst fear.

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When the other brothers and Allison discover what Luther has done, they try to get him to let her go because, she’s afraid and they love her and know that it was a mistake but, when Vanya wakes up in the cage alone, she freaks out and thinks that they are all against her and doesn’t know that they all want to let her out and talk it out with her.  She believes that they are yelling at her and mad at her but, they are all mad a Luther even Allison comes down to try and make Luther let her go but, she is weak and watching Allison try and save her sister while Vanya screams that she is sorry and, seeing the pain in both of their eyes, especially when Vanya thinks that Allison has given up on her will break your whole heart.

After the emotional horror of the Vanya trapped scene, we get sent to a humorous fight scene with happy music between Hazel and Cha-Cha over the fate of his new love and right before Cha can kill his new love, time stops and the Commission shows up. Back at the manor, Allison turns her back on Luther, Diego is enjoying smiley face pancakes from his mom, Vanya is losing her mind, Five returns Dolores to her mannequin stand and, Klaus testing his new power plays corporeal patty cake with his brother Ben.  The episode ends with Vanya talking to baby Vanya in the soundproof cage and little Vanya wants to cause some damage and enact revenge and tries to turn her against her family by recalling her worst childhood trauma and helps her break out by becoming the White Violin.

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Side Note: How TF did Ellen Page not get nominated for all the awards for this episode alone?

Recap: Umbrella Academy S1E6 “The Day That Wasn’t”

Umbrella Academy‘s “The Day That Wasn’t starts off showing us what happened to close when he time jumped to the past. We see him fall in love with a fellow soldier and lose him to the war before getting snapped back to the present and the whole thing is still giving him nightmares and PTSD. With Five going missing the rest of the Academy, sans Vanya, share the news of the upcoming apocalypse and try and sort out a plan that hopefully won’t end in their deaths. Hazel and Cha-Cha return to the motel and receive a new mission from the commission that terminates their original kill order for Number Five. When Hazel leaves the room to grab some snacks Cha-Cha gets a second order telling her to kill Hazel “for immediate extraction” leaving us to wonder if he got a similar message when he read the first message and just didn’t tell her.

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Back at the Commission Where Time Travel Roams: Number Five is getting to work at his desk job in the Commission at the head office. Hazel and Cha-Cha both ignore their orders to kill each other but, when Cha-Cha realizes that Hazel is planning on running with the Doughnut waitress and quitting she realizes that the feelings that she has for him aren’t reciprocated and decides to go through with her order.

Is This Love?: Leonard and Vanya share a sweet moment when they head back to the manor while he amps her up to invite her family to her first concert as the first chair. While at the manor, he overhears what the family is up to and he steals a few things from the house under the guise of going back for his jacket. While walking away from the house Vanya’s powers start to manifest and Leonard decides to act as her Yoda but, in a dark way, while trying to convince her that she has powers.

We also get to see the young love blossoming between Luther and Allison when he gifts her a necklace and we get to see them sneaking away for stolen moments and dances before getting caught by their “dad” and getting yelled at because they are only allowed fun for a couple of hours on Saturday each week.

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Family Drama: Leonard and Vanya show up and interrupt the rest of the family in a meeting about the apocalypse and she tears into Allison for not including her in the family meeting. Luther stops Allison from going after Vanya to make things right because they can sort it out after they stop the apocalypse. Klaus wants no part of saving the world because he’s dealing with his own demons and he enlists Diego to help him get and stay sober. Klaus tells Diego all about Dave, his lost love, and they enjoy a tender moment as they get some quality bro time in.

But, What About The Apocalypse: Number Five is still not about the Commission life and is hatching a plot to destroy them from the inside so that he can get back to family and save them and the world. After he gets the lay of the land and figures out how the Commission works. He puts up his first terminate order to clear the way and stop the apocalypse.

On the Flip Side: Umbrella Academy is big on breaking your heart and messing with your head. This episode does this to the viewers in the cruelest of ways because, in Number Five’s attempt at saving the world and his siblings he manages to destroy the Commission as he wants but, in doing so he changes the “present” (if that word means anything anymore) because in the timeline of this episode Luther and Allison find their way back to each other and rediscover their love by traveling through memory lane ending with a beautiful date and dance. Vanya discovers that Leonard feels like her soul mate because he studied her by using the journal that Klaus inadvertently tossed when he was stealing the box, she realizes what a snake he was and kills him which would have stopped the apocalypse and allowed her to reconnect with her family. Luther realized the truth about his father and how he didn’t even open his moon research. Klaus has asked Diego to get him clean by locking him in his room and tying him up and he wants to get clean this time, for Dave and when he’s all quick detoxed, he gets to see Dave one last time.  Hazel kills Cha-Cha as per the orders when she decides to end him in the shower, where he’s not but, her kill order is,  when she gets sloppy because she’s lost in her feelings. Since Hazel wants out, this means that Hazel won’t be coming for them. Mom is back in effect and Diego gets to talk to her and with Pogo, looking at her from the distance, she keeps her mouth shut about the secret she holds and she gets to go to the park with Diego, something dad never would have allowed and just before Mom tells him the truth time rewinds. What sucks about all of these amazing things is that when Five ends the Commission, he resets the day and none of these things happen which means the apocalypse is still on and no one knows what could have been, except for the viewers and that’s a heavy cross to bear because that kiss between Allison and Luther and Klaus seeing Dave alone never happening will break your heart.

Review: Warrior Nun S1S5 “Matthew 7:13”

Warrior Nun

We are finally at the halfway point of Warrior Nun and I’m just as impressed as I was from the beginning. There’s so much I want to say but I’m going to try and be as spoiler-free as possible so I’ll just give you the highlights. We finally get a sneak peek into why Dr. Salvius is so hellbent (sometimes I’m super punny) on opening a portal and fighting the church. Ava comes face to face with what the OCS is up against and Lilith makes a hard choice.

Fantastic Voyage: Ava and JC head off to do a fake-out by taking a ferry to Morocco with the intention of staying on the ferry and faking out every one chasing them by returning to another port in Portugal and continuing onward from there. Their budding romance is one of the most realistic, summer-loving/meet cute, nontoxic things that I have seen on screen. I love that her inner monologue is usually a reversal of the male objectification that we normally see, it shows that women also have thoughts about people they are interested in, and (GASP) sometimes it’s purely physical and sexual. I also like that JC seems to be OK with Ava’s innocence and doesn’t try to take advantage of her and respects her physical space unless given permission and her autonomy and I loved he initiating their first kiss (and a little bit more), even if it was to get out of answering his questions because she’s been wanting that kiss since the first episode. 9and more)

Smash the (Church) Patriarchy: Sister Beatrice is not here for being told what to do, she’s here for doing the right thing. I love the way her and Sister Mary are all about questioning the male-centric hierarchy of the church and are willing to defy orders and rebel when it seems that the male (Cardinal) giving the orders is not making good calls. I love how the writers make Beatrice and Mary two sides of the same coin, while Mary takes a more “Screw you, I do what I want” approach, Sister Beatrice is all about smashing the hierarchy from the inside with quick quips and tea spilling, she gets a full picture and asks all the questions.

Science Facts/Religion Fiction: We finally get an explanation of what Divinium is and Dr. Salvius shows security footage of the OCS attacking her lab security staff to show that the Vatican has declared war on her because she found a way to make a bridge to heaven. The Cardinal is still on his patriarchal bullshizz and even after the Doc says she wants to go to heaven, he insists that she is wrong, he knows best and her bridge goes to hell. He also thinks that she is unjustified in attacking or declaring war on the Vatican, even though they attacked her first because his attack was justified. I also love Sister Beatrice and Father Vincent questioning the Cardinal’s motives and orders and leaning on their consciences and not the church hierarchy.

Best Lines:

“As the chain of command rises to God, I am sure He knows he has my full support.” followed by , ” You may always count on me to remain faithful. To God.” – Sister Beatrice to the Cardinal when he tries to get her to side with him. It was the clean, verbal “miss me with that bullsh**” that we all needed and the Cardinal wasn’t expecting , especially from a woman but, deserved.

“The church sells dreams, it’s time for someone to sell reality.” – Dr. Salvius to Father Vincent on why she is trying to open the portal no matter the cost.

Episode MVP: Sister Mary. Everything about her is bad ass and everything the patriarchy hates. She’s a free thinker, she does what she wants, she’s smart and she’s a fighter.  Watching her go to battle on multiple occasions with Sister Lilith in some of the most realistic fight scenes in a tv show was fun and her logic and quips made it easy to root for her and her logic and emotions make it easy to be team Mary all the way.

Overall: If this episode was the season finale of the show, I would be checking Twitter every day to find out when the show was coming back because GAWD DAMN! was that ending FIRE! Luckily ( I really hope it doesn’t go downhill from here) there are five more episodes and if they are even half as good as the ones leading up to them, there’s more fire on the horizon. This midway point episode tied up everything we’ve learned about the Halo, Ava, the OCS and Dr. Salvius as tight as a newborn baby whose parents have perfected their swaddling method. It answered all the lingering questions and paved the way for the next chapter of this amazing story. There are NO plot holes, which is rare in a supernatural, religion-based show and nary a question about mythology because everything makes sense and the story is pretty easy to follow. Storywise it is a perfect mash-up of Buffy and Supernatural but, it requires very little suspension of belief and logic in order to just go with the story and plot. I also like how this episode puts the nail in the coffin of any thoughts the viewer might have had about how “F*** the Patriarchy” this show was and I’m here for it. This episode was directed by a woman and it shows, especially in the brief almost sex scene, the way it doesn’t ogle Ava or seem salacious, everything from the facial framing to the action and body shots is done perfectly and if you’ve ever wanted to know what the female gaze looks like, it is here in every scene.

Rating: 9.6

Review: Locke & Key “Crown of Shadows” S1E10

Locke & Key "Crown of Shadows" S1E10

Nina and the detective are celebrating her return to sobriety and she’s completely unaware of all the hi-jinks that her kids have been up to and the evil that is headed their way. Kinsey, Bode, and Tyler are anxiously waiting for Ellie’s return unaware that Dodge got to her and is now in possession of the crown and the key needed to control it, so when she shows up at the house with a literal army of shadows it’s game on.

I WAS ALL ABOUT:

  • Bode using a multicolored lightsaber to keep the shadows at bay while they hunt for more flashlights, then using it to defiantly stab a closing in on shadow monster causing it to go up in all the flames, is everything good and pure in this whole cold, heartless world.
  • I loved Scot using his horror knowledge to be the king of captain obvious when it comes to questioning all the off choices the team makes and Eden wondering what the plan is if Lady Doge wakes up why they’re carrying her through the spooky cave.
  • Bode finding Rufus’ body at his house while everyone else is off on their mission to open the black door and dump the body.
  • Kinsey coming to her senses and realizing that opening the black door might not be the best idea, at least until she let Tyler talk her out of it it.
  • Bode again being the voice of reason and questioning if they really got rid of Dodge because something wasn’t adding up for him.
  • Watching them release Rendell’s ashes and calling the house HOME for the first time.

WHAT WORKED: Throughout the season finale we are reminded that these are just kids messing with some very grown up (and ancient) magic. They make some rookie mistakes but, they also come up with some out of the box solutions that most adults wouldn’t have come up with. Things aren’t tied up in a nice little bow and it’s messy, like life and childhood and adolescence making it reliable wherever you are in your life cycle.

I also like shoving a lot in on the front end of the episode so that you find yourself lulled into a very false of security with twenty or so minutes remaining but, at the same time there was an uneasy feeling that kept you on your toes until the last five minutes when Kinsey after receiving a call from Gabe. After the phone call, the viewer gets to have it’s idyllic happy ending shredded when a flashback gives us a bunch of aha moments and we find out that Gabe Kaiser Sose’d Kinsey to get close to the keys, made evident by the flashback reveal that shows Lady Dodge body changing from him and then using the Anywhere Key to get into the party where she seduces Tyler. Eden got shot by a glowy bullet so there’s another demon on the lose and, if that wasn’t enough, Ellie is who got thrown into the pit because Lady Dodge used the Identity Key on her to lull the kids (and us viewers) into a false sense of security so that she could continue her hunt for the keys.

KINDA SUCKED: That you spent a lot of the episode hella sure that, Ellie got thrown into the pit in the black door in a Lady Dodge suit, poor Rufus making the aha moment when you find out you’re right, that much worse.

BEST MOMENT:  

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  • Scot being honest about his feelings and telling Kinsey that what she wants (her dating both him and Gabe) isn’t going to work for him, so it’s best that they just stay friends.
  • Bode writing a letter to his friend Rufus as Nina puts up missing posters looking for Ellie.

BEST LINE:

“Is demon non-binary” – Scot

“You’re gonna have a knife fight with a demon?” – Eden

“If you’re undecided, then that’s your decision” – Scot

FINAL THOUGHTS:  This was a great final episode with amazing reveals a perfect ending for the show’s first season. I really hope that it gets renewed because I want to see more of Matheson, it might not be as dark and heartbreaking as the comics but, it’s still filled with great characters, a wonderful story, a well thought out and executed mythology and a rich world filled with people you can relate to, who happen to find themselves in magical situations. The series as a whole was cohesive and clever and this episode was the cherry on top of a great story sundae.

OVERALL: 9.4

Review: Locke & Key “Head Games ” S1E3

Locke & Key‘s third episode was all about the Head Key. The kids enter Tyler and Kinsey’s minds to dig up more memories of their father and deal with the trauma from their sudden loss of their dad. Bode finds the Ghost Key and uses it to talk to some of his ancestors since he can’t talk to his dad with it. Lady Dodge grabs the Fire Key from the ruins of Mark’s house and Kinsey literally buries her fears.

Locke & Key S1E3 Head Games

WHAT WORKED: In Head Games  Bode finally comes clean about the Lady, which is some info that the older siblings should have had from the beginning since they had no idea what they were actually up against. The title is a play on words and gives off a lot of hints about things that directly affect the episode’s progression. We learn more about the Head Key, how it can put things into your head and take things out just as easily as it allows you to just look around. The episode also deals with trauma and recovery from it, in some very real and honest ways, Tyler and Kinsey have been holding a lot of emotions, from guilt to anger, about their actions when their father was being murdered.

All those emotions are pushed front and center as the kids use the keys to open up memories but, to confront their inner demons (Kinsey does this literally and figuratively, although not in the healthiest of ways) and try to make sense of things. Up until this point, the keys were just fun and games, an easy fix to their real-world problems but, in this episode, the other shoe drops and the kids are forced to get somewhat on the same page with the Lady Dodge threat becoming real for all of them.

I liked that the writers took time to showcase all forms of dealing with stress and emotional trauma, they seem to have carefully written the story to make it clear that there is no right, or wrong way, to grieve or deal with trauma and there are no short cuts to dealing with it either. What was great about the way they handled their trauma depictions was that they didn’t say there was a wrong way or a right way, they just showed what was and it made their pain understandable, heartfelt and sincere which created a connection with the viewer on a human level.

BEST MOMENT: When Lady Dodge snatches a kids key from him and throws him on a subway platform through a new door it was shocking. But, it also provided us with first-hand visual knowledge of how ruthless she was and it set the tone for her future interactions with the Locke kids and anyone else who gets in her way. This seems summed up everything that you really needed to know about who Lady Dodge was and in a few simple frames took Locke & Key from a fantasy kid’s show to a dark fantasy show where anything could happen.

OVERALL: 8.4