Archive for category Series Issues

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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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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Series Issues: Samurai Jack and the end of innocence. Episode CI.

A bittersweet victory for Jack.

(Source: Adult Swim)

What I got from this episode at the end is that Genndy wanted to give his series a finale that would fulfill the other side of the premise that he envisioned a long time ago rather than change it. There’s several ways this could have ended. We could have the idillic finale, and we had it in a sense, or we could have gone heartfelt… Well, we kinda had that too. I guess this was a little of everything, but I could’ve thought of a few alternatives.

I think it couldn’t have gone done without the battle against Aku. We needed to have all of Jack’s allies there. Ashi was bound to break her chains from Aku’s mental grasp. In the actual finale, Ashi is the one that opens a time portal. That could have gone several ways. I think I would have liked Jack to have that moment in which he decides if going through the portal is even necessary if he could kill Aku then and now. Is Jack’s world his past or his future? And wouldn’t Ashi have doubted in following Jack? After all, she’s bound to join/lead this army against the armies of Aku.

I can’t help but sense an opportunity lost in making Jack stay in the future. A little morale tale of how you can’t really go back… The initial premise of the show doesn’t have to be fulfilled. Jack can decide to move on rather than go back. It would have shown how Jack has evolved. He could have stayed with Ashi for a lifetime and then go back to face the Guardian for the portal. Of course, for that to happen, the whole area of the portal would’ve been hidden under a spell from Aku, who would have lied about destroying all portals.

Alternatively you could’ve given him a non-ending by making him stay and keep fighting Aku. That would be far from ideal, kinda leaving it open ended like that.

There could’ve been a point in which it was considered for him to just choose between the past with family and the future with Ashi. That would’ve been interesting unto itself. Technically he didn’t get a chance to do so in the final version. He got transported via portal to the very first time they fought, to end it there before the future would ever know of Aku’s evil. In that sense, he’s restored innocence to the world who would never know of Aku’s evil. The demon will still be remembered as a local myth, but no more than that.

But that bittersweet wedding that almost took place, yeah… You almost hope the gods of his ancestors would have intervened then. Jack’s sacrifice had to be framed as something he almost could’ve had. But now, he still gets something that the entire world has because of him. He won a future for everyone.

Finale Thoughts:

  • So many friends, so many adventures. They all turned into memories. Even his beloved Ashi. Then again, Samurai Jack may have wavered but he never gave up.
  • There was a little too quick of a thought in how Ashi ends up being the one to makes the portal back to the past. More time would’ve been ideal for a goodbye. We missed that opportunity to have Jack decide between the past and the future. Then again, he’s been tested enough.
  • I didn’t want a non-ending in which Jack keeps having adventures forever, or an ambiguous ending in which the screen freezes as he battles Aku. The shapeshifting Aku has survived cuts of the sword before. We had to see him exterminated for good this time.
  • We did get to see the Scotsman again. Most important, Jack did get to meet him again, even in his ghost form.
  • That being said, we could’ve used that time he took to introduced his plethora of daughters by name. It’s crunch time, every minute counts.
  • Finally, it’s a bit sad to say goodbye to Jack, but good to know he returned to his own time and his family. As sad as losing Ashi was, he saved the future. I just wish that he would ended with some company.

That will do for now.

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