29 April 2011


In which Fringe tries to win back the #1 spot in my heart that Justified stole from it.

Astrid lures Walter out of standing watch at Peter's bedside with the promise of tapioca pudding. Olivia takes Sam Weiss and his now-awesome haircut to see the Peter Bishop Doomsday Machine. He has some conveniently-unpublished pages that will help them bypass the Machine's force field and allow Peter to enter. They visit the Great Tomb of Sam Weisses Past to get a box for an "In case of emergency, break glass" kind of fix. Then they head to a museum to get the key. The key opens the box and inside is a drawing of Olivia, similar to the one of Peter and the Machine.

Meanwhile, we've got freak lightning storms hitting the Northeast. The events are occurring between the locations of the Machine in Our Universe and The Other. Walter wants to move the Machine to Liberty Island so that it's at the same location as it is on the Other Side; that will slow down the rip in the Universe.

Peter wakes up alone in the hospital, since everyone else is out investigating. He can't remember who he is, and walks out, hails a taxi and asks for 42nd & Lexington -- in NYC, and he's in Massachusetts. The cabbie is happy to oblige once Peter produces a credit card.

Walter figures out (somehow, because he's just brilliant, OK?) that Olivia needs to control the Machine from the Other Universe with her mind, and that she can do it through the Otherworldly Typewriter. Poor Olivia has a hard time working it, even with some fatherly coaching from Walter. Then they get the call that Peter is missing (he had also left a note at the hospital - "I'm going home").

Peter has made it to New York, where he is drawn into a pawn shop and some old coins. He thinks he's Other Peter (or at least living in the Other Universe), because he heads to Liberty Island to see his father, the Secretary of Defense. Olivia and Walter go to meet him, but he's clearly confused.

Back at the lab, Astrid hears the Otherworldly Typewriter typing on its own. The message? "Be a better man than your father," which was the phrase Olivia was concentrating on. So she's just on some kind of delay, that's all. It's like a time zone.

So now they've got the Machine at Liberty Island and Olivia feels more confident about her ability to telekinetically work it. She starts concentrating and the Machine powers down. Olivia tells Peter she loves him before he goes into the Machine. Aw, you crazy kids are cute but I still don't buy in on their relationship.

Peter latches himself into the machine and wakes up in what looks like a war-torn New York City. He's got a uniform on, and sees a 9/11 memorial has been built -- and it was dedicated in 2021. According to the preview for next week, he's 15 years in the future. Holy crap! That's pretty cool. You packed a lot of stuff into this episode, Fringe. But you're still #2.

This Week's Code: MULTI.

Good TV Exists and Stuff

I always feel like an asshole when I'm slow to catch on to shows. Then I feel like even more of an asshole when I'm blogging about crap like The Event when there's amazing TV out there. So I will now admit that I love Justified and Damages.

In the case of Damages, I've only seen through the first 2 episodes of Season 3, but it's great, in a crazy way. Damages really plays out like a 13-hour-long movie -- the plot flashes back and forth from future to present and lasts all season. It's over-the-top in the way that everyone is a liar or out to kill someone, and nothing is as it seems, but that's what makes it fun - its insanity.

In the case of Justified, it is the Greatest Show on Television. Period. Raylan Givens is an iconic character in the same way that Jack Bauer was. The first season was great, but this season has been criminally great. This week's penultimate episode just solidified that. I think it was the best one yet, and that's saying a lot, because I tend to say that every week. The show just continually one-ups itself. It was one of the quieter episodes, action-wise, and maybe that's what made it amazing. It was a master class is great television. Maybe the best episode of TV ever ever ever.

The dialogue in the show is amazing, it's like poetry. And there's always a wry sense of humor that I love. The good guys are amazing, the bad guys (Boyd!) are amazing. It's not unusual for me to rewind a scene simply to listen to it again, and I've seen every episode at least twice (the advantage of 13-episode seasons). Next week is the season finale and I don't know what I'll do without it. (Besides catch up on Damages and Breaking Bad.)

If Emmy season comes around and Justified doesn't get nods for writing, directing, best drama, and Timothy Olyphant, that will be me, jumping off a bridge.

And P.S.: I'm Team Winona.

P.P.S.: My brother-in-law has good taste.

28 April 2011

X-Men: First Class

I'm all in on this movie. This is the international trailer which for some reason is better than the U.S. trailer. I thought America was the greatest country in the world? I can't get enough of the music used in this - gotta hunt it down. This movie better be good! It has Michael Fassbender and Rose Byrne - how can it be bad? I'm geeking out over the classic X-Men suits too!

25 April 2011

The Event

From the depths of Siberia comes... a mummy. And from the depths of that mummy comes... guts. It's all well-preserved and makes me want to puke. Who wants ribs? Seriously - looks like a goddamned Chili's in here!

Now to the White House and the Case of the Poisoned Splenda! It's kind of fun watching the VP sweat it out while the President makes his coffee. One sip and he starts speaking like that reporter after the Grammys, and then hits the ground.

Doctors say President Underwood suffered a stroke. The President tells Sterling that he could see something in the VP's eyes before he passed out - he doesn't trust him, and doesn't want him taking the Oath. Sterling sets out to try to prove the VP is a dick. Turns out, the VP is a dick AND a wuss - puking his guts out in the bathroom, feeling guilty.

Back in the Land of Suck, Leila's Daddy kills her big black bodyguard to prevent him from turning her in to Sophia. Wraps him in a trash bag and everything. And on the French Train of Suck, Sean Googles the name Leila gave him and determines it's the name of a ship docked in Siberia.... the ship where a dude's conducting his autopsy of that mummy, and is so inept that he slices his suit open, and is exposed to whatever the mummy's got.

Meanwhile, the President was speaking 3 seconds ago, but I guess a dude goes unconscious and they start talking about pulling the plug and invoking the 25th Amendment. Jesus, they move quickly.

Damn, but that European transportation is really convenient - Sean and Vicky are now in Siberia, boarding the ship like Somali pirates. They look into a cabin to see the crew dead. Good thing there are a couple biohazard suits available nearby! They suit up and check out all the dead people, all lying in blood and vomit. Whatever that mummy has, it's no good.

A lone survivor on the ship tells them that the mummy's lungs - containing Spanish Flu - have been removed, and are being brought to the U.S. by a courier.

Sterling and the Chief of Staff watch surveillance tapes, figure out the coffee was poisoned, but the coffee stain's already being removed from the carpet. Too bad for them, they don't have any proof and the 25th Amendment proceedings begin. And too bad for Sterling he didn't see the coffee stain on his cuff until after they were over. We've got a new President!

22 April 2011


We start in the Other Universe, where the Peter Bishop Doomsday Machine is nearly ready. They're gonna run it off Peter's Baby's blood.

Our Universe: Sheep and locusts are acting strangely, and then there's a big rip in the sky. Sam Weiss is in his bowling alley (but why did Kevin Corrigan have to cut his crazy hair?) and knows something's wrong. Olivia wakes up in Peter's bed, only to be greeted by Walter wearing nothing but big, fuzzy slippers. (He always cooks breakfast naked on Tuesdays. Duh.)

The Team is summoned to the place where the sky ripped open - there's a big, black mark on the ground and the sheep and shepherds are gone. They determine that the Peter Bishop Doomsday Machine in Our Universe turned on at the same moment the vortex opened up. And more weird environmental/weather events are being reported as well - The Blight, like the Other Universe suffered.

Other Universe: Fringe Division picks up the energy coming off the Peter Bishop Doomsday Machine, and Fauxlivia asks Walternate if he has activated his weapon. She's worried about her Baby Daddy.

Our Universe: Peter thinks he'll be able to turn the machine off, just as he was able to power it up. Walter's worried he'll die - so worried that he drinks booze, nevermind the illegal drugs.

Olivia knows about the Other Universe's Early Warning system, so she works on a similar plan with Nina. Nina tells Olivia that Sam Weiss knows more about the machine, so Olivia sets off to find him. He's in a field, looking through to the Other Side and performing some ominous calculations.

Other Universe: Fauxlivia's baby is creepy as hell. He looks all waxy and fake. I don't like Other Universe Half Breeds!!! Fauxlivia leaves Lincoln with the kid and takes off to try to get Peter. I almost want her to die so we can have an Other Universe Sitcom where Lincoln and Charlie raise the kid together.

Our Universe: While Olivia tracks Sam, Walter and Peter work on their plan to have Peter essentially break the circuit in the Peter Bishop Doomsday Machine. Peter even gets a cool black Massive Dynamic jumpsuit to wear and everything! Walter, Broyles, and Astrid say their maybe-goodbyes and it's kind of breaking my heart a little. Go Brave Peter! He boards the machine like a goddamned astronaut, but as soon as he touches it, the electric current knocks him back, splitting open his face and throwing him to the ground.

They notify Olivia and she arrives to find Peter in a coma, though with no apparent brain trauma. Walter's in the chapel at the hospital, ready to break my heart some more. Sure enough, he's bargaining with god to forgive him and save Peter. Sam visits Olivia at the hospital, and now his haircut is growing on me. Yum. Sam Weiss is HOT.

Other Universe: Fauxlivia tries to force Brandon to cooperate at gunpoint, but she's unable to cross over when she tries. Now Walternate's got her locked in a cell. Can't have her interfering in his plans to destroy Our Universe.

This Week's Code: AGENT.

18 April 2011

The Event

Sophia and the Aliens are working on finding a weapon (have they mentioned this weapon before? Are they killing all of us with it?), and so they need a distraction. And the assassination of President Underwood would be a great distraction. Sophia calls the Vice President and offers him the chance to become President.

Shout-out to NBC for hiring a convicted felon - my man Lane Garrison from Prison Break. I actually do have to respect a guy who pleads guilty for killing someone while drunk. Keep up the good fight, kid - one line today, two tomorrow, then who knows....

Senator Madsen shares with the President her suspicions that the First Lady is an alien. She has a whole file on her to support it. The President's suspicious, and confronts his wife with the file. She comes clean - her parents were aliens -- Dominican aliens, that is. She looks like she's lying.

Leila is a cutter -- she slices her hand open on purpose so that she can leave the house. Not sure how you'd cut your palm like that when slicing an apple, but OK. She's brought to another house that serves as a makeshift hospital, where she sees Alien Asian Hottie tied to a bed. Ah, so it's a kinky hospital. AAH tells Leila that the aliens plan to find a weapon and exterminate mankind, and gives her a name and asks her to help. Oh, you beautiful idiot, she won't be of any help....

The VP meets with Sophia, who has for some reason changed into a slutty dress. What the hell? Think those big cougar cans are going to convince the old man? She offers him the chance to save the United States, to partner with the aliens once the human population is "substantially reduced". He just has to slip the President some poisoned Splenda for his coffee. Ugh.

Back at her house, Leila invites her big black bodyguard in for a drink. She takes his jacket, steals his phone, and goes to take a piss. She calls 9-1-1 but - shocker - isn't of much help, since she doesn't know where she's being held. "It's a housing development and there's woods." Thanks, bitch, that narrows it down. Her bodyguard finds her, fights her, and she somehow gets the upperhand on him and escapes.

That Annoying Prick Sean runs into the burning French building to save Vicky, but Hal Holbrook's waiting for them when they come out. He explains his whole "sentinel" deal to Sean - that he's here to protect humanity from the aliens. He also says that Sean's the key to saving us and stopping Sophia. Oh great. Hal Holbrook then does the one cool thing that's ever happened on this show - he shoots himself in the head!

Sean and Vicky run off into the hills of France with Hal Holbrook's scrolls and fake passports. Thank god there's a cell phone signal in those hills -- Leila gets through to Sean, tells him of the aliens' plans, and that they're looking for a weapon in Siberia.

Something big is pulled from the ground in Siberia, and the President's sweetener is switched - and there's your cliffhanger. Yawn.

16 April 2011

Scream 4

The original Scream movie, I recently realized, is one of the films key to my development as a human being. I swear it was the first real scary movie I had seen, and I still love it. Every Halloween I watch horror movies, and either this past year or the year before it was a Scream marathon. The original is great, the 2nd is pretty damn close, the 3rd is a little ridiculous but still enjoyable. Scream 4 is really good, definitely better than the 3rd.

But it's really surreal to watch a movie where Sidney Prescott is the old one. I'm sorry, what? If she's the old one, then what does that make me? The movie was a bit been-there-done-that (it was a Scream movie through and through), but it's also been so long since we've seen a Scream movie that it felt outdated. If this movie had come out 7 or 8 years ago it might have made more sense. Now it just makes me feel old to be a fan of the franchise.

I enjoyed Scream 4 because it was good to see a Scream movie again, but it's not like it really changed things up much. Pretty standard kills and survivors - nothing terribly shocking. But I guess that's what makes it a Scream movie.

It's good, though really you should just rewatch the first one. Oh god I just had a horrible thought - they're going to remake it some day, aren't they? Probably some day soon.

15 April 2011


Walter's working on getting Bell out of Olivia, trying to transfer him into the body of some brain-dead fat dude in a bathtub of ice. It doesn't work out.

Olivia starts seizing, and Bell explains that only one consciousness can survive. He gives Olivia about a day before she's gone forever, so Bell needs to find a new host. They're going to try for a computer. Bring out the LSD!

Peter gets to trip along with his dad and Bell, so that he can go inside Olivia's mind and find her. Yeah, I just said that. This show! It's almost like a Matrix kind of thing, where Peter and Walter are together in the city of Olivia's mind. Tragically, my FOX station botches the feed and I miss the first scene, but the city they're in is Alternate New York. Peter and Walter are chased by the projections in Olivia's mind, because ripping off Inception is so hot right now.

They head to Bell's office to find Olivia. Bell's inside - only he's a cartoon. I'm guessing because they couldn't get Leonard Nimoy in person. So now we're in an animated Fringe universe. It's weird, and Animated Peter is fat and cross-eyed. There's a reason this show isn't animated, goddammit, and I want it back.

They determine that Olivia must be hiding in a safe place, and Peter suggests Jacksonville. The animated gang is attacked by animated zombies as they get away. I can only imagine what people who are just now tuning into the show are thinking.

Back at the lab, Broyles is fascinated by licorice - because he accidentally touched the leftover LSD. So poor Astrid has to babysit him while he trips balls. Boyles is smiling and laughing - and that's possibly the strangest thing I've ever seen on this show.

While en route to Jacksonville in a zeppelin, someone else appears and kicks Walter out of it. Animated Walter falls to his death, waking up Real Walter in the lab.

Animated Peter and Bell go to Olivia's childhood home on the Jacksonville military base. Peter opens the door and turns back to normal (thank god) and Olivia's there. As a child. Which is kind of creepy when Peter takes her hand and leaves.

Broyles is blowing bubbles in the lab when everyone regains consciousness. The transfer to the computer apparently didn't work, and Bell is gone, for the second time. Bell knew that the computer transfer wouldn't work, but he did it anyway to save Olivia. 10 bucks says a computer randomly pops on some day and starts typing out messages from Bell.

So remember the random animated dude who appeared on the zeppelin and attacked Walter? Well, Olivia has drawn him on a piece of paper. Peter asks who he is, and she says she's never seen him before, but "he's the man who's going to kill me." Sure, why not?

Honestly, I could have done without the animation. The beauty of the freaking show is the actors and when you can't see their faces it just doesn't hold the same weight. But I'll allow it for the weirdness factor.

This Week's Code: FEARS.

09 April 2011

Source Code

OK, that's more like it - a movie that lives up to my expectations. Source Code is Groundhog Day meets Inception. You've got Jake Gyllenhaal as part of an experiment where he travels back to re-live the final 8 minutes of a guy's life to try to solve who planted a bomb on the train that killed him, in order to prevent a second attack.

I liked it because it was a truly original science fiction film that was still small. No aliens or big space fights, you know? Just mind-bendy. There's definitely one glaring plothole that bothers me, but the movie as a whole requires suspension of disbelief, so I'll get over it. It's an enjoyable movie, and I like how the plots (both the one on the train and the one where Jake is discovering what he's a part of) unfolded. Smart, emotional, real sci-fi rules.

08 April 2011


I wanted to like Hanna. I really did. But I was disappointed, and I hate when a movie disappoints.

Have you seen the trailer? Then you've seen the movie. Just pad it with another 120 minutes or so. There's no major plot, there's no major character development. There's some good chick-kicking-ass action, cool lighting, a kickass score by The Chemical Brothers -- and that's about it. Good enough for a minor escape, but it's largely just fluffy nonsense.

06 April 2011

The Event

When we last left Sophia, she and the remaining 1/3 of the aliens who weren't bombed into oblivion were traveling through their wormhole portal thing. They end up back in that Alien Cul de Sac, and the government blames the Washington Monument attack on Pakistani terrorists.

Sterling and President Underwood set Alien Asian Hottie up to be revealed as an alien. But AAH gets tipped off by an unknown caller that it's a setup. The mystery caller helps AAH escape the White House.

President Underwood enlists Senator Virginia Madsen to introduce a bill in Congress to get mandatory blood testing for every American so they can uncover other aliens. Damn, that's cold. She suggests having the CDC say there's an outbreak of drug-resistent TB and that every American needs to be tested for it. And they're going to start with a pilot program that tests people in the White House, so they can find any other possible moles. The First Lady refuses to comply, saying she has ethical issues with it. Time to suspect her! I'm sorry - why is the Senator leading this campaign? Is there no Health and Human Services Secretary?

Sophia talks to the remaining aliens and reveals her plans to bring the 2 billion (!) endangered aliens to Earth. Make some room, humans!

Just when I thought we were going to get a break from That Annoying Prick Sean, he's planning his big attack on Hal Holbrook in France. He releases That Chick from his Convenient Blackmail Computer Virus and says he's going to do this on his own -- but no, she's going to go with him. Wow, that's original. Whatever.

In the Land of 1000 Characters, Leila's bitching to her dad about something or other, and still no one seems to care about the little sister who's no longer with them. Screw her, even though Leila crossed the country 3 different times to find her. Alien Asian Hottie comes over and tells Leila's dad that he doesn't want any part of this human extinction plan, and wants Leila and her dad to go with him. Ugh - are you sure, sweetie? You want that dumb chick with you?

Time for a shootout at Hal Holbrook's French compound, where he is reading some ancient scroll from his French Archeological Dig. He explains to That Chick that he's a Sentinel who is here to protect "us" from "them" (points to sky). Sean, meanwhile, escapes the shootout and goes back to the hideout to deal with That Chick's pal, Frency McFrencherson, and make believe he's Jack Bauer, faux-torturing him because he set them up for an ambush and he wants to know where That Chick is being held. You, sir, are no Jack Bauer. Sean nearly pukes while whacking the dude with a hammer. PUSSY! His lame torture tactics work, however, and Frenchy gives up her location.

Leila's dad is as much of an asshole as his daughter is, and tells Sophia about Alien Asian Hottie's plan to run away. She's pissed and has him hauled off somewhere. Hey, wherever it is, it's got to be better than being on a roadtrip with Leila.