Series Issues: Lucifer manages to feel Sympathy for the Goddess

Please allow spoilers to introduce themselves.

(Source: FOX Networks)

In a quick revision of the intended goal, we’re now talking about three components to make the sword whole. I also hope that we get an actual sword in the end rather than three trinkets glued together. Anyhow, Lucifer’s goal is actually not the essence of the show, but the small sparks that occur while the fate of the universe is being decided. Yeah, we’ve now backed away from the romantic angle and we’re just in sitcom mode, but I think that’s where the show can shine.

The show and titular Lucifer, has been postponing a confrontation between Lucifer and Maze for more than a few episodes now. Their inevitable clash takes place with almost gusto. It’s just a violent exchange of blows, the worst of it kept away from our eyes. We see it start, cut to commercials, and then we see it finish with broken mayhem all around as evidence. That’s actually a refreshing way to approach it.

Another refreshing take is Dr. Linda Martin coming to the end of her rope, as her ethics are called into question. She may lose her practice. Maze feels more like a friend here than Lucifer has been. He’s been careful of aligning events to his benefit, but careless with other people’s loyalties and feelings. He’s the Devil. It’s his schtick. But even once in a while, he’s gotta take stock and update his allies on what’s going on.

Charlotte is getting close to Daniel. She’s also featured prominently in this case as she’s employed by the main baddie. That also means that Chloe and Daniel has questions about her involvement until she finally confesses to a partial truth. She’s come out as the ex-wife of Lucifer’s father. Clever, so the ages don’t have to match. At least that allows Charlotte to be present in both Lucifer and Amenadiel’s life without raising suspicions.

Highs/Lows/SwordAccessories:

  • I’m glad the show finally addressed Dr. Linda Martin’s past indiscretions with Lucifer. That was a past action without consequence that now feels planned.
  • The last component is a book. Or not. It’s not a book? Then is the book real? And yes, I know Amenadiel ends up having the final part of the Sword. Good on him to get a compliment from his father. He so desperately needed one.
  • C.I. Ella Lopez muttering out of the side of her mouth, “hey perhaps Ella should go to the party!” That just cracked me up.
  • I’m glad that Charlotte doesn’t need a reason to hang out with the gang anymore, and that she might be developing some empathy for Chloe.
  • At the same time, I think that Lucifer and Maze were really growing apart, so this cathartic and over the top confrontation might mean they’ll be, if not in the same page, not in completely disconnected.
  • Dr. Linda Martin telling Lucifer that Maze is pissed because he used her.
  • Daniel Espinoza is not only still being sought by Charlotte, he’s actually connecting with Amenadiel. These extra connections are making a tighter cast of characters and allow for more storyline angles.
  • Maze’s protectiveness (misguided and all) of Linda might cause some damage but if there’s really nothing else to do, she’s still going to make something happen. Perhaps she’ll find something to blackmail the head of the committee with. Or take his head.
  • Is it wrong to say that among all the great shows I watch, this one is consistently entertaining? Yeah, it also the one that has the tackiest moments on heaven and hell, but still one I have to keep watching.

That will do for now.

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Viewer’s Cut: Twin Peaks – The Return

Spoilers might be missing.

(Source: Showtime)

It’s happening again. Or rather, we’re getting a more Lynch-ian epilogue to Twin Peaks. It doesn’t quite feel like its own story yet. It probably will become so a few months after the show ends, I’ve seen each episode and then it will all percolate into my brain like a fresh pot of coffee.

Twin Peaks: The Return is not receiving the weekly Series Issues treatment. I really thought it would be an obvious fit. The original Twin Peaks was my obsession back when it started back in the nineties. But this is sequel feels very raw and much like a different animal. The truth is a certain amount of David Lynch’s brand of crazy is better moderated. In it’s purest form, I can’t quite handle it. It’s not just above my head, it’s also mostly lacking in entertainment value. You have to deliver something while the main meal is cooking or you could be starving your guests.

The way it works with this return/sequel is an unbridled Lynch that takes his time, laying down too much space and silence. He wants everything to simmer. He’s rarely a fan of injecting musical backgrounds. He keeps most of his scenes long and quiet. That would be fine if I was enjoying the moment. Most of the time I’m just anticipating a payback that feels five episodes away from materializing.

The original Twin Peaks was a constant struggle between Lynch and the rest of the producers and showrunners that knew they need to keep people’s attentions. Back then we got the incredibly jazzy and weird music of Angelo Badalamenti. Popular characters even had theme music. We got shorter and more manageable scenes without so much blank space in between. We didn’t get the crazy until the groundwork had been laid for it.

But in this new version, the iconic score is only in the title. At the very end we do get a music performance at a roadside bar where a band plays until the credits roll. But music and dialogue rarely mix, leaving huge gaps of silence where contemplation is required. They also require huge deals of patience. Sometimes we’re just left to wait with very little to watch.

It’s a very slow burn. If you’re waiting on Special Agent Dale Cooper to finally get to that cafe and order a piece of pie and a cup of coffee, I feel you’re not going to enjoy the first four episodes where literally nothing like that happens. Yes, there could be a huge payback worth your while at the end, but it’s hardly something to enjoy by itself. It makes itself harder to love later on, when the series concludes and you just want to remember the fun parts. Was there something to enjoy looking at while you waited on character A to meet character B?

Kyle MacLachlan is undoubtedly David Lynch’s star this time. There’s a very large focus on him as he has roles as diverse as the show’s several running storylines. The problem is that the main character, the actual Dale Cooper, has started his existence very much like a cocoon. He’s not quite awake yet. It feels like a different role than the original character. Are we getting him back at all? Is Lynch making some sort of allegory for the lack of mental issue awareness and wants to make sure he drives the point across?

In the end, these are the first four episodes and like all of Lynch’s body of work, there might be more to say the second time around. For the time being, I hope there’s solid ground at the end of the rabbit hole. I’m still staying a viewer since like everyone, I want to know how it ends. Whether that is strong enough an allure to keep me interested throughout, only time will tell.

That will do for now.

 

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Series Issues: American Gods breathes some Git Gone

Spoilers might haunt you.

(Source: Starz)

This week we take a little stroll down memory lane and find out the story of Laura and Shadow. Laura was a dealer at a casino. Shadow was a small time crook who knew a couple of tricks with cards and chips. They met the day that Shadow tried a few sleight of hands at Laura’s table that would’ve gone missing to most people but not to Laura’s keen eye. This is not a fairy love story.

The fact they end up together is an unexpected story, but once they do it’s obvious to everyone that Shadow loves Laura more than she can love him. Before Shadow, Laura’s only thrill seems to be committing near suicide inside a jacuzzi with a can of insecticide (the Git Gone of the title). Now she wants more of life, basically she wants to rob the casino with what she thinks is a near perfect plan. Of course Shadow gets caught, but he’s not one to rat out the love of his life. He prefers to rot in jail for six years.

Laura is mostly idle, until the death of her cat and getting drunk one night makes her take the shitty impulsive decision of fucking Robbie. This keeps going until the very day that they drive to pick Shadow up, where fooling around causes them to have an accident. Enter Mr. Jacquel / Anubis again, as he tries to lead a very reluctant Laura through her death. Which requires her to enter a jacuzzi with a can of Git Gone all over again. Instead, she is literally beamed up and ends up digging herself out of the grave.

(Source: Starz)

She seems to have some sort of undead strength. She’s revealed as the force that ripped apart Technical Boy’s goons and saved Shadow from death by hanging. That somehow costs her arm to fall off, which I can only guess was due to the original car accident. Carrying back her own arm, she ends up breaking into Audrey’s trying to saw her arm back together. In a humorous twist, she encounters Audrey to have a bizarre conversation. It’s one of the few moments of lightness in this episode, albeit of a somewhat dark variety.

But as Laura convinces betrayed Audrey to drive her in pursuit of the light she sees in the horizon, they are met with Mr. Jacquel and Mr. Ibis (Anubis and Thoth). It seems they’re willing to help Laura by securely fastening her arm and giving her skin a retouch so she can meet Shadow. However Mr. Jacques is quick to point out that after this, she will finish the death ritual with him.

Highs/Lows/EyesOnTheRoadAsshole:

  • Mr. Jacquel and Mr. Ibis own a funeral home. Because of course they do.
  • Laura never let her heart/soul be weighted on the scales of Mr. Jacques. As much as Mr. Jacques insists that others have begged, promised, bluffed and threaten they all submitted to Death in the end. Perhaps the denial period is longer for some people.
  • Audrey and Laura should have a spinoff in which they keep hurling insults at each other. You can’t help but love Audrey’s comebacks to Laura’s half assed apologies at sleeping with her husband. “Fuck your feelings.” Instant classic.
  • Laura must have Mad Sweeney’s lucky coin. Perhaps she has swallowed it? Perhaps she can make it appear with sleight of hand.
  • Dane Cook plays Robbie, who turns out to be an asshole. I really want to put some reference over how that was not a stretch, but I will hold back. Whew. That was close.
  • Someone else has to be involved in Laura coming back to life, as in some other god.
  • When Laura is getting her arm reattached and her skin painted by Mr. Jacquel and Mr. Ibis, I had a flashback to Death Becomes Her.
  • However, the fact that she was not dragged back to the ethereal plane means she’s made a deal with death or being offered a reprieve. That usually comes with an exchange of some sort.

That will do for now.

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