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Archive for April, 2013

Holy multiplying orphans, there was a lot going on in “Conditions of Existence.” Actually, I think the only thing we didn’t get in the fifth episode of “Orphan Black” was another new clone. Otherwise, it was chock full of new information providing us with some much needed answers to many of our prying questions.

As I mentioned in my last review, I knew that Paul (Dylan Bruce) was somehow involved and this episode tells us how; to a degree anyway. When Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) learns that Beth had borrowed surveillance equipment from Raj (Raymond Ablack) prior to her death, her suspicion of Paul is cemented. After a somewhat frantic search for the Beth’s monitoring devices, which are finally found in the trunk of her car – I think that would have been the first place I checked – Sarah decides to “bug” Paul’s office to find out what he knows. Through that eavesdropping we hear Paul talking with a man named Olivier (David Richmond-Peck) and discover that Paul had been Beth’s “monitor.” So, does that make Olivier the ringleader or simply Paul’s watchdog? I’m guessing the latter.

Just as Sarah becomes more suspicious of Paul, he begins to become suspicious of her. When she goes to his office to plant the surveillance equipment, Paul notices that a scar she had on her neck is no longer there. Sarah gives a pretty lame rationale that she’s using a new cream, and that seems to reinforce Paul’s suspicion that this woman is not Beth. Now all of the pieces of her unusual behavior are falling into place for him and so he follows Sarah when she goes to pick up Kira (Skyler Wexler) from school. When Paul later calls her telling her to come home, she blows him off and hangs up on him. That is when he sends a picture of her and Kira leaving school, making it obvious that he had been following her and is suspicious as to who she actually is.

With no other option, though Felix (Jordan Gavaris) does try to dissuade her, Sarah goes back to Beth’s home to confront Paul. It’s more Paul who does the confronting however, at least initially, as he is sitting in the dark, gun in hand, when Sarah arrives. During their clash, the truth comes out that Beth committed suicide and that Sarah took over her identity, playing the twin card. Their fight culminates in Sarah essentially asking Paul how he could serve as Beth’s “monitor,” seeming to not really care about her beyond the job, while she had loved him. His response of “You think I had a choice?” is a bit of a surprise. Sarah then follows up by asking him to tell her why and Paul’s response of “They don’t tell us why,” confirms Cosima’s theory, from earlier in the episode, that they are part of some sort of double blind study.

All of these revelations make me want to learn a lot more about Paul’s backstory, but they also lead to additional questions of import. How did Paul get involved with this group and what do they hold over him to get him to do their bidding? What does his military service have to do with it? It must be related somehow. How does the group choose the “monitors?” How the heck many clones are there, anyway? Will Sarah confide in Paul and tell him everything that she knows? Will Paul confide in Sarah why he’s been forced to be involved? I’m guessing the answers to the latter two questions are no, at least not anytime soon, but I hope they do find a safe place with each other. Must be my romantic streak showing, but I think they make a good pair.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum we have Sarah’s former boyfriend Vic (Michael Mando) and boy did he have a rough time of it this week. The first scene we see him in, he is trying to convince his dealer to give him more time to get the money he owes him for the coke that Sarah stole in the pilot episode. Their charming way of allowing Vic an additional limited amount of time is by cutting off one of his fingers with a paper cutter. Do people even have those anymore? Anyway, though the scene did make me cringe, I didn’t feel badly for Vic at all. Does that make me a horrible person? If so, I’ll have to be okay with that. Later on in the episode he comes across Alison in a store parking lot and assumes that she is Sarah. Alison being the tough soccer mom that she is proceeds to pepper spray and then taser him. Yep, Alison is definitely growing on me. And, just to add insult to injury, literally, Vic goes to Felix’s place where he finds the real Sarah and she proceeds to tell him that she never loved him and he just needs to get out of her life for good. She does however give him the money, and a little extra, to get his dealer off his back, so there is one good point in Vic’s favor. I get the reason for the character of Vic initially, but I think he has really worn out his use in the series. Hopefully we won’t be seeing much more of him, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

Getting back to the situation of the “monitors” and the assumption that each of the clones must have one, we discover that Alison’s husband, through his overtly suspicious behavior, is likely her keeper. I don’t think he is, though. It does make good sense for those closest to the clones to be their “monitors,” but this leads us to other questions. Do all of the clones have a “monitor?” If so, who is Cosima’s? Is it the new fellow student that was introduced in this episode or someone else? Even more importantly, does Sarah have a “monitor” and if so who is it? I have to say that if it turns out to be Felix I’m going to be really, really upset. So, going with the assumption that it isn’t Felix, who else? Mrs. S? Vic? Someone we haven’t yet met? Or does she not have one at all?

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In this episode we did get a lot of answers to questions we have been pondering all season but, as per usual, we now have a ton more questions that need answering. This series moves at a breakneck pace and if you blink you will likely miss something of great importance. Additionally, I just need to add that the character of Felix is more and more endearing every week. How can you not love him? And, based on that love I have decided that I need to start including a Fee Quote of the Week in my reviews, as he gets the best lines of all the characters. So, here’s this week’s quote: “Is every man in your life a complete wanker except me?” Yes, Felix, it seems so; however, I have my hopes set high that Paul will turn out to be a keeper.   What did you all think of “Conditions of Existence?”

“Orphan Black” airs Saturday nights on BBC America.

 

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Da-Vincis-Demons_Tom-Riley

In the third episode of “Da Vinci’s Demons,” entitled “The Prisoner,” we have a lot of parallel storylines going on throughout. The episode starts out with Riario (Blake Ritson) going to see a man in prison – hence the title of the episode. The two proceed to begin playing a board game and while the game progresses the prisoner imparts various words of wisdom to Riario, not all of which seem to be well received. So, who is this sage prisoner to Riario? His father or a brother maybe? We aren’t given any details about who he is or why he’s important, but they’ve made me curious about him.

The next plot is more along the lines of what we usually get in a procedural television series. At times I felt like I was watching a renaissance version of “Bones,” especially with all of the corpses Leonardo (Tom Riley) seems to have piling up in his workshop; but, I digress. The story here is in regards to a convent that seems to have become possessed and we are introduced to this scenario by an apparently “mad” woman wandering into town acting crazy and ultimately stabbing herself in the eye allowing for a gusher of blood to ensue. That would be the requisite gore for this episode, which I spoke about the apparent requirement for in last week’s review. At this point we are only told that the woman is a local nun. It is Niko (Eros Vlahos) that clarifies the situation regarding the believed possession occurring at the convent when he goes to Leonardo asking for his help. It seems that Vanessa (Hera Hilmar) is there and has been afflicted as well. Leo acts like a total jerk essentially telling Niko it’s not his problem, but ultimately his compassionate side wins out and he goes to check on Vanessa and investigate the situation.

In the meantime, Lorenzo (Elliot Cowan) has been informed about the problems at the convent and his brother Giulino (Tom Bateman) travels there to find out what’s happening. Leo and Giulino arrive at the nunnery close in time to one another and of course they fight. Clearly these two don’t like each other. Leonardo wins out and begins to investigate what, other than possession, could be causing the women’s affliction. He proceeds to check into possible mushroom, spider bite, and paint poisoning. Did they even know about metal poisoning from paint back then? Regardless, it seems that Leo knew. When all of those turn out to not be the culprits, however, we are essentially back to square one with the investigation.

That is when Rome arrives to save the day in the form of a Vatican priest who is sent to exorcise the demons. Seems that his way of vanquishing the evil, however, is by murdering those who are afflicted. They’re dead, so no more possession. The priest plans to subsequently exorcise Vanessa when Leo intervenes and asks for another day. When one of the Roman soldiers is next to be afflicted, it is determined that kissing the feet of a statue is the common denominator amongst those who have been stricken. We then find out, via flashback, that Pope Sixtus (James Faulker) is responsible for having the statues feet laced with poison and that it was Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) who carried it out with use of the powder Riario had given her previously.

Speaking of Lucrezia, she is center point in the additional parallel storyline carried out within the episode, that of determining who is the Medici’s mole. Early on we see her going into a little hiding place where she receives a message and leaves one, as well.  We also find out that Lorenzo’s wife Clarice (Lara Pulver) knows about his mistress. Seems she has known, or at least been suspicious, all along, but she finally confronts her. In doing so, she subtly suggests that Lucrezia is the spy and not so subtly tells her that she won’t allow her to be too much of a distraction to her husband. Now knowing that she is suspect, Lucrezia does what she must to draw suspicion away from herself. She does so via the major gratuitous nudity scene of the episode, also a weekly requirement, where she fully disrobes in Lorenzo’s barn enticing him to a quickie and then proceeds to plant the seed that he needs to search everywhere, including close to home, for the conspirator. By offering such a suggestion it somewhat removes her from suspicion, as she is essentially telling him to check her out, as well. Of course, she has already set up Lorenzo’s advisor to take the fall.

I thought this episode of “Da Vinci’s Demons” was a little different than what we have seen up until now, though granted this is only the third episode. This episode, though still hinting at some of the season long (series long) arcs of the search for the Book of Leaves, Rome vs. Florence, and Da Vinci’s external and internal strife, is more a mystery of the week type of episode. As I said earlier it felt in many ways like a renaissance version of “Bones” not only for the abundance of bodies, but for the science wins out over superstition demonic possession storyline. I’m really enjoying the series so far and look forward to more backstory as we traverse 15th century Italy in search of Leonardo’s both tangible and intangible desires.  What did you think of “The Prisoner?”

“Da Vinci’s Demons” airs Friday nights on Starz.

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Back on March 13th, Veronica Mars fans worldwide got the thrill they have been waiting for since the much beloved series was prematurely cancelled back in 2007; a real chance to get a movie. Thanks to the dedication of Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell investigating every possible avenue to get this project made, they came up with this unique plan to show that there is still an audience desiring more Veronica Mars. They asked and the fans responded, as would be expected by this very special group of people.

We needed a minimum of $2 million to get the green light for the film to be made and we had 30 days to get there. We got there all right, in a record time of only about 11 hours. You’ve gotta LoVe Marshmallows.  But, that was just one of the records that you all helped to break. Not only was it the fastest project to reach $2 million, it was also the fastest project to reach $1 million in about four hours. This campaign also gained the most backers for a single project and is the highest funded film project through Kickstarter. In the end, all of these records equate to: 91, 585 backers and $5,702,153 raised in 30 just days.  I am a proud backer of this project and everyone else should be, as well. The movie was dead in the water so many times in the past that the likelihood of it ever seeing fruition was beyond extremely low. But, with perseverance by Rob and Kristen, and the dedication of a still very strong fan base, it’s going to happen. We all made it happen!!

For a little added fun here are a couple of my own little milestone pics, as we reached important backer totals.

For the large bank account crew:

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And, for those of us in the not quite so high end zip code:

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That’s where we’ve been and what a roller coaster six weeks it has been for all of us since the campaign started. But, now what? In Rob’s e-mail message to backers following the end of the Kickstarter campaign, he shared some information regarding how things will be proceeding and how we will all be involved. “Now, the truth is that you’re more than just our fans: you’re our backers. The Veronica Mars movie is happening because you made it possible. And while we’re going to work our butts off to give you the best movie we can, I think we can do more than that. The most exciting part of being a backer shouldn’t be pledging money, but what comes after that. And if that’s true, then the experience of making this movie should be just as remarkable and historic as the fundraising was.” There were no specific details about how we’ll be kept involved in the process, but I’m excited to find out what they have planned. How about you?

Additionally, we now know that Rob has completed the script and that he brought in Diane Ruggiero, staff writer and co-executive producer for the series, to co-write the script with him. Diane wrote several of my favorite episodes – “An Echolls Family Christmas,” “A Trip to the Dentist,” “Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough,” “Charlie Don’t Surf,” and “The Bitch Is Back.” I believe she wrote a total of 17 episodes, but the previous list is my faves that are to her credit. Please correct me if I’m wrong with those details. Are you all excited to have Diane on board for the movie?

I LoVe Rob’s quote – “We’re going somewhere good. I’m glad you’re coming with us.”  I’m glad, too. I know we all are!!

I planned to write up a lot more here, but I think instead I will plan a variety of follow up articles regarding the movie as things progress. I also planned a couple of polls in the article, but I decided to go with just one for now.

The next most important thing for the film is getting all of our favorite actors signed so that our much beloved (and sometimes not so beloved) characters will once again grace our screens. As of now only Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring are officially signed on for the film. We know that they are working hard to get others signed as quickly as possible, so in light of that, which characters are you looking forward to seeing as we all return to Neptune?

You can vote for as many choices as you like.

If there are other characters that you must see in the movie, which I didn’t include in the choices, please add them to the comments. 

 

Gotta end with a little LoVe!

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BBC America

Orphan Black“Orphan Black” continues to bring the intrigue with its fourth episode of season one “Effects of External Conditions.” As we have come to expect, the plotlines move along fairly quickly, so you really need to pay attention. Drift off for a moment and you have likely missed an important clue. That’s one of the things I really love about the show, but it’s taking a bit of a mind shift. Most shows these days seem to cover the same ground over and over, practically beating the plot details into your head, so that you tend to get bored with it pretty quickly. You know that you can miss something,  maybe even a lot, and still know exactly what’s going on at all times. This is the main reason I have dropped so many shows in the past, they just don’t hold my interest. That is not the case with “Orphan Black,” so be prepared to put on your concentration cap before watching.

Early in the episode Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) shared with fellow clones Alison and Cosima what she was able to glean from her interaction with the crazy clone. In this episode we learn that her name is Helena and she is apparently part of a group of religious zealots who are out to kill off the clones. At this point we aren’t exactly sure why, but as the episode progresses we discover that the fish symbol knife that Sarah, as Beth, took from Helena, is a very important clue. We come to find that the symbol is the marker for the religious fanatics – so glad we now know how to pick them out of a crowd – and when Sarah discovers a brand of that same symbol on the neck of Maggie Chen (the women Beth had killed), a whole new layer of the mystery begins to unfold. The symbol again makes an appearance at the end of the episode when a man wearing a ring with the same fish on it recovers Helena from the alley. Who is the mystery man and is he the ringleader behind the entire thing?

We also get a little play nice time between the clones in this episode. Sarah has made arrangement with Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) to have a visit with her daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler) and she must show. Mrs. S makes it clear that if she disappoints Kira by not showing up, she won’t allow her to see her again. However, Sarah is tracking down crazy clone Helena and won’t be able to make the visitation. So, it’s Alison to the rescue. She agrees, after some coaxing by Felix (Jordan Gavaris), to pretend to be Sarah and make the visit with her daughter. This brings for the comic relief of the episode with Felix trying to train Alison in the proper dress, accent, and attitude of Sarah. I loved all of the interactions between the two in this episode and stuffy soccer mom Alison is really starting to grow on me. Never expected that to happen. Alison makes the visit and seems to fool Mrs. S, but Kira knows right away that she isn’t her mother. It seems odd that she would be so certain that she wasn’t her mother, after not having seen her for so long, but maybe clone kids have ESP. Anything is possible at this point.

Earlier in the episode Sarah told Alison about her daughter. Alison asked if she was adopted like her kids and when Sarah said that she was her biological child she seemed surprised. I’m guessing this means that the clones can’t reproduce, biologically speaking, and that leads to more questions. If Sarah has a biological child, whereas the other clones aren’t able to do so, then there is something unique about her. Is she the original person from whom the other clones were made? It seems likely that this is the case.

Adding to my belief that Sarah is the original is that in her interaction with Helena, she tells her that “You’re different from the others.” The other revelation we get from the conversation with Helena is that Maggie Chen was somehow involved with the creating of the clones, but that she “saw the light” and shifted to become a part of the religious fanatic group. This leads to the obvious conclusion by Sarah, and the audience, that Beth killed her intentionally to protect herself and her fellow sister clones from Maggie.

In the end, Sarah finally does quit her police detective job. Certainly not a cover she could have held indefinitely, but will she continue her portrayal of Beth? Her partner, well former partner now, Art is shown to finally become suspicious that something is very much not right with Beth. You’d think as her police detective partner he would have come to the realization sooner, but it would be reasonable for all of them to be cutting her some slack with her bizarre behavior due to the shooting of Maggie. Now that Sarah is off the force will Art let his suspicions go? Doubtful.

As usual with the series, we are given more questions each episode than we have answered; and I’m totally okay with that. The continuous captivating questions are one of the things that keep us coming back for more. Additionally, there is clearly a lot more to many of these characters than meets the eye. I think that Paul is a very important player in this mystery and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mrs. S is, as well.  I also need to add that Tatiana is doing an amazing job of bringing each of the clone characters to life.

“Orphan Black” is one of those special shows that you don’t want to see end each week, and one where you want to re-watch each of the episodes to see the little details and clues that you may have missed on the first viewing.  Are you watching? What are your thoughts about what we learned in this episode?

“Orphan Black” airs Saturday nights on BBC America.

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Da-Vincis-Demons_Tom-RileyThe second episode of the new series “Da Vinci’s Demons,” picks up essentially where the pilot ended. “The Serpent” opens with Leonardo’s crew of Nico (Eros Vlahos), Vanessa (Hera Hilmar) and Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin) digging up the body of the hanged man from the previous episode. I admit that my first thought was what the heck, but we quickly see that Leonardo (Tom Riley) dispatched his group to recover the body so he could perform an autopsy on it. Yes, he truly is the original Renaissance Man. From the somewhat gory autopsy scene, we gain clues in the form of a fingernail, a coin, and a key that were all ingested by the man just prior to his death. I think I missed the mind jump from the discovery of the key to the determination that it was related to a code in a book hidden somewhere, so I may have to go back and re-watch the episode. Yeah, I’m totally okay with doing that.

I think the producers have required that at least a little gore, cruelty, and nakedness must be a part of each episode; and we again get it all in this one. I spoke of the gore previously, now for the cruelty in the form of Girolamo Riario (Blake Ritson), our much despised papal envoy, torturing my dear, sweet Nico to determine Leonardo’s purpose in digging up the hanged man. After the requisite amount of cringing on the part of the audience and Nico, he tells Riario about the discovery of the key. When Riario and his men reach Leonardo’s workshop, Nico leads them to a trunk on the lure that it holds the key – literally. It doesn’t, of course, and as we all recall from the pilot episode this is the truck that explodes if anyone tries to open it without knowing the trick to unlock it. It subsequently works just as it’s supposed to when Riario’s men try to open it. That’s my boy, Nico!

The mid-episode storyline brings us back to Leonardo’s work of building weaponry for Lorenzo de Medici (Elliot Cowan). After almost blowing himself up in his initial attempt, Da Vinci manages to use his genius, and a little guidance from his mentor Verrocchio (Allan Corduner), to get the firing of it right; and just in time to fight off Riario’s men and in the process boldly show his loyalty to Florence and the Medici’s.

We also got a little more of the dynamic between Leonardo and his father, Piero (David Schofield), who works for the Medici’s and is fully against Leo being hired by Lorenzo. No, the dynamic isn’t good as father treats son as solely a useless bastard child. Clearly Leo’s compassion came from his servant girl mother, who we have gotten glimpses of in memory flashbacks.

Additionally, we see a little more of the mystery connection between Riario and Lucrezia Donati (Laura Haddock). Lucrezia serves as mistress to Lorenzo, as well as bedding Leonardo, and she is clearly working as a spy for Riario. Their interaction in this episode made it obvious that she isn’t playing the infiltrator as a willing participant. Clearly we have another storyline there and I look forward to finding out what Riario holds over her head to give the impression that she will always be under his thumb and doing his bidding.

The episode ends on an intriguing note with Leonardo and his crew working to decipher the code hidden in the hanged man’s book. Da Vinci tears out pages from the book and arranges them on the floor in a seemingly haphazard way. However, when he raises himself up for an aerial view, we see the map of South America that results. Is a road trip to parts unknown in their future? Only time will tell.

I thought this episode of “Da Vinci’s Demons” had a little of everything that makes the show great. We got a little more history and backstory, a little more insight into the personalities and complexities of our characters, a little more mystery and intrigue, and a little more of Leo’s quirky brilliance and charm. I am truly enjoying the series, so far. The characters are fresh and fun, and I look forward to seeing where they will lead us.

What did you think of “The Serpent?” Are you looking forward to seeing more of the series? Tell us why.

 

“Da Vinci’s Demons” airs Friday nights on Starz.

 

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Here is my second article on a couple of the new spring television shows that I have been enjoying.

 

Da Vinci’s Demons – Friday nights on Starz

DaVinci's DemonsMy favorite series of the new spring lineup chronicles the young adult life of Leonardo da Vinci, portrayed by Tom Riley, in 15th century Florence. I admit that I know very little about the true history of Leonardo, but it really doesn’t matter. I’m totally enthralled by the characters and visuals of the series and if very little of the story is grounded in actual fact, I’m kinda okay with that. The purpose of television is to entertain and this series delivers.

“Da Vinci’s Demons” centers on the young artist, inventor, and his mob of merry men – and ladies. Da Vinci is portrayed as an idealistic dreamer of sorts who has the genius to back it up, and you can’t help but adore him. Each of the secondary characters, and I hate to term them that as they are all fabulous, lend an additional charm to the series and allow for us to see an even greater complexity to Leonardo’s personality. I’ll talk more about all of the characters in my more in-depth article about the series, but for now I want to mention Nico (Eros Vlahos) as my favorite of Da Vinci’s entourage. Yes, he’s in essence the sweet, young geek of the group and I completely love him.

The series has done a fabulous job so far of giving us just enough backstory so we can understand what’s going on, but not so much that we’re bored with it, which often is the downfall of new shows. The writers have also managed to give each character a very definitive “voice,” which allows us an immediate understanding of who they are. Yes, there’s quite a bit of subversive stuff going on, as well, with many of the characters, but we still are able to understand who each of them is at a base level. And, the underlying mysteries and questions, I’ll touch more on those in my later articles, as well,  are what will keep us coming back each week for more of this tantalizing Italian world.

I was very happy to see that the series has already been renewed for a second season, so no worries about an early cancellation of what has become one of my great Friday night pleasures. Are you watching and do you love it as much as I do? I know many people don’t get this cable station, but if you do you really need to give this series a watch. I promise you won’t be sorry.

 

Orphan Black – Saturday nights on BBC America

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Orphan BlackSarah isn’t having a good day, heck she isn’t having a good life, when she comes across her “twin” in a subway station. She only has a moment to acknowledge the bizarreness seeing her double, when the woman commits suicide by jumping in front of a subway train. That is the beginning of what is going to be quite a bumpy ride for our orphan Sarah, played by Tatiana Maslany, as she ventures to find out who the woman was and why she looks exactly like her. Not sure what I’d do in such a situation, but since Sarah’s life isn’t that great anyway, she assumes the identity of her “twin” who we learn was a police detective named Beth. A very broke Sarah’s main goal is simply to temporarily take over Beth’s identity in order to clean out her bank account, allowing for her to leave town and start over somewhere else with her BFF and foster brother Felix (Jordan Gevaris), and her daughter Kira (Skyler Waxler), who is currently under the care of Sarah & Felix’s former foster mother, Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Things we want to be simple are often not so and that is of course the case here and Sarah is forced to maintain her pseudo-life as Beth far longer than she would have liked. When she finds another “twin,” or rather the double finds her, and is subsequently shot to death in her car; Sarah begins to realize the depth of trouble that she has gotten into.

In the episodes that follow, we are introduced to several more of Sarah’s “identicals,” who fill her in on their being clones. As more is discovered about what’s happening with the clones and that someone is out to kill them, more questions arise. Who created the clones in the first place and for what purpose? Who is now trying to kill them and why? And, will Sarah hang around to help her newfound “sisters,” or will she hit the road as she originally intended when she faked her death to take over Beth’s identity in the pilot? Only time will tell and I will gladly be along for the ride.

Are you watching “Orphan Black” and do you like it so far? Do you have a favorite clone? I do, it’s Cosima. Yes, I guess I’m truly a geek girl at heart.

 

I did watch the pilot episodes for several of the other new shows, but they didn’t catch my attention enough to watch beyond that. Which new series is your favorite?

 

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Arrow HI“Home Invasion” is the 20th episode of the CW’s new hit series “Arrow.” There was a lot of action, a multitude of storylines, and much emotion contained within last night’s episode. And, after three long weeks, though it felt like months, the new episode didn’t disappoint.

The episode opens with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) training to take out Deadshot (Michael Rowe), while the man himself is seen up to his usual assassin ways. Felicity (Emily Bett Richards) then informs Diggle and Ollie that through her tracking of A.R.G.U.S. communications, she has learned that Deadshot is on his way back to Starling City. This news prompts Diggle to visit his A.R.G.U.S. (do we know what this stands for) contact Lyla regarding the sting operation they have in the works to take Deadshot into custody. She proceeds tells him that she now knows that he killed Diggle’s brother and that he is to stay away from Deadshot and let the agency handle him.

Meanwhile, in a new storyline, Oliver goes to Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) office to meet her for lunch, but their plans are put off as she must prep a family for a deposition taking place the following day. It seems that a scummy investor named Edward Rasmus has pilfered their life savings and the Moore family wants to fight him to get it back. However, the man is more evil than his white collar money theft indicates, and he sends an assassin to the family home to take them out of the picture. The hired gun quickly shoots the father and mother to death, but their little boy Taylor manages to escape the home. Unfortunately, Taylor saw the killer before he fled and the killer knows it.

When it is discovered that Taylor will be taken by social services as has no one to stay with until his grandparents arrive in town the next day, Laurel insists on taking custody of him for the night, despite her father, Det. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) reservations. I admit that I run hot and cold where Tommy is concerned, but his sweet bonding interaction with Taylor over the loss of his parents gave him positive points from me this week. Of course, nothing can stay sweet for long, as only moments later there is a knock on Laurel’s door from someone claiming to be a police officer. Laurel notices that the badge is a fake, however, giving Tommy just enough time to grab Taylor and hide, while Laurel runs for her shotgun. I have to admit I like shotgun wielding Laurel. Though she does get one shot off, her gun jams before she can get off another round. Luckily, Arrow was already on his way to check on them and he arrives just in time to scare off the hired killer. When Laurel’s father arrives, he insists on placing Laurel, Tommy, and Taylor into protective custody, but Tommy suggests they stay at the Queen estate instead, where they have an abundance of security. And, as Tommy well knows, it also has the added security of the Arrow in house. As they are settling in however, Tommy is displeased to find out that Oliver needs to leave to attend to other business.

While Diggle arrives at the location of the sting operation to catch Deadshot, he is clearly displeased to not see Arrow where he is supposed to be staged. Instead of going there as planned, Oliver decided to go after Rasmus, when Felicity told him that he was scheduled on a flight out of the country. Once he scares Rasmus into confessing, he returns to the Arrow hideout to find Felicity nursing a beaten and bleeding Diggle, who proceeds to inform him that four undercover agents were killed because of his choice to not follow their plan. Neither of his cohorts is pleased with the decision he made and I don’t think most of the audience was happy with it either. Oliver is old enough, and experienced enough, to know that you can’t keep screwing over the one person who always has your back. If he hadn’t learned that lesson already, he should by the end of the episode.

Upon Oliver’s return to the mansion he lets Laurel know that Rasmus is in custody and has made a full confession, thanks to some coercing from the vigilante. Meanwhile Rasmus’ hired gun doesn’t want anyone who has seen his face alive, and that includes Rasmus himself. After using a disturbing little forearm hold on his employer, the assassin informs him that he will die within fifteen seconds from an air bubble in his bloodstream. Once taking care of that little matter, he comes calling on Casa de Queen. Clearly very experienced at his work, he manages to get onto the property and take out several of the armed guards before Oliver manages to take him down via a fireplace poker to the neck.

In the most emotional moments of the show, we see Taylor being picked up by his grandparents, shortly followed by Tommy packing up his things from Laurel’s place. When she questions him about it, he lies and says that he wasn’t ready for the commitment of the relationship. She clearly doesn’t believe him, but doesn’t really do much to convince him to stay. As Tommy walks away he has tears in his eyes, and we have to feel for him a little, as well as for Laurel, who has been blindsided by so much in her adult life. However, I see his walking away as a weakness in Tommy and that’s a shame. Yes, Oliver still loves Laurel, and yes, she still loves him, but neither of them is in a place where they would be comfortable being together as a couple and Tommy knows that. Geez man, fight for your girl. Actually, I can see his rationale that at some point that will change and he will be the one left out in the cold when that day arrives. I think more to the point, though, the breakup will be more about moving Tommy even closer to his father (John Barrowman) than anything else.

I haven’t mentioned Thea (Willa Holland) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) yet, though they do have several scenes in the episode and I wanted to cover them all at once. Earlier on Roy goes to the police department under the guise of wanting to discuss “the hood.” Det. Lance thinks he has something more to share about his interaction with the vigilante, but in actuality he wants to find him, and that makes the detective send him on his way. He does leave, but not before stealing a police radio. In a little sting of his own, Det. Lance puts out a call about the vigilante over the radio, prompting Roy to head to the location in hopes of connecting with his hero. Alas, all he gets is arrested. Later, Thea and Roy are talking, after she springs him from police custody, about “the hood.” He is clearly determined and maybe a little desperate to meet up with his hero, as he feels a connection to him after he saved his life. Thea seems a little taken aback initially, but eventually agrees to help him in his quest to locate the vigilante. If only she knew she need only look down the hallway at home.

Roy obviously wants to be the Robin to Arrow’s Batman, and I know we all see that coming in the probably not so distant future. Thea can be their Batgirl and we can have a happy little crime fighting family.

Meanwhile, back at Arrow headquarters, Oliver comes in to find a still angry Diggle. He tells him that they’re done and walks away, leaving Ollie to ponder the choices that he has made. As I said before, if you keep letting down the one person who is always there for you, eventually that person will give up on you. That is the place where Oliver now finds himself and I hope he will learn a valuable lesson; one that he should have learned long ago.

Overall, I thought the episode was very good with lots of emotional character interaction and a lot of groundwork laying for the three remaining episodes of the season. What did you all think of the return episode? Are you pleased or disappointed? Let us know.

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