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The Vampire Diaries – 3.02 – The Hybrid Review

The Hybrid gave us some interesting clues tonight as to where this season of The Vampire Diaries is headed. First of all, I was relieved to see that Elena hadn’t given up on Stefan. Yes, he’s turned into Klaus’ right hand, but there was never any real doubt (especially after last episode’s silent Happy Birthday call) that deep down he still cares very much for Elena and also for Damon, as was reaffirmed in The Hybrid.

Elena set out to track down Stefan with Alaric on the night of the full moon. While I can’t argue with Alaric and Damon trying to stop her from doing this on such a particularly dangerous day, I really don’t see why Damon pushed her into the lake when he caught up with her and Alaric. Did he think that getting her all wet was going to deter the headstrong Elena from looking for Stefan? I surely didn’t think it was going to. Anyways, their scene in the lake was a strong moment of this episode. Elena’s need to at least try her best to redeem Stefan was heartfelt and Damon couldn’t deny her her biggest wish, so he agreed to help.

With Klaus’ mission of creating a hybrid army Stefan had his hands full and although the hybrids all died Klaus didn’t turn on Stefan. I’m starting to wonder if Klaus isn’t getting suspicious. After all he knows the hybrids should have lived with the curse broken by the sacrifice of the doppelganger. The only logical conclusion therefore is that the doppelganger didn’t die or the curse wasn’t broken for some other reason… Klaus knows all the mythology. If he, being an Original, doesn’t, who would? He should figure out what prevents him from successfully creating hybrids pretty soon.

Meanwhile in Mystic Falls things were getting rough for Tyler, as he realised that his mother had tested him with vervain. It was interesting to learn that vervain actually has a distinctive taste… maybe it was mentioned before, but if it wasn’t I’m wondering if only werewolves can identify this particular flavor or if humans can also make it out.

Tyler’s confrontation with his mother and his deliberately revealing his werewolf nature to her were heartbreaking. For the first time I actually feel the character of Mrs Lockwood coming to life as a mother. Unfortunately she couldn’t get rid of the ghosts she had called before her son revealed himself to be a ‘monster’: the mysterious man she called in to help her with the “little vampire situation” refused to just let Caroline go. I was surprised that this man turned out to be Caroline’s father and there seems to be little hope that daddy will take pity on his little girl and let her go. Let’s hope Tyler is not too burned out from his transformation to come to Caroline’s rescue!

I really didn’t care much about Jeremy and Matt trying to make contact with dead Vicki, except it gave Matt an actual purpose and some good lines. I think Zach Roerig is one of the most underappreciated actors on this show and at least he got to show some of his skills when Matt was reminiscing about Vicki. Jeremy was cautioned about Vicki by his other ex-girlfriend Anna’s ghost, which was just creepy. I know Jeremy explained why he doesn’t want to talk about this to the strangely absent Bonnie, but I still don’t buy it. As a witch she might actually be able to help him with this problem and I don’t see why he should have any reservations about explaining the situation to her.

The Stefan tracking mission also turned into quite the situation with some hybrids on the loose. Damon once more demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice himself for Elena and Alaric overcame his apathy and took charge again after a pep talk with Elena who pointed out that they are sort of a family now. Damon and Stefan’s confrontation in the woods was intense, but as much of a ripper as Stefan may have become he saved Damon’s life by killing one of Klaus’ precious hybrids.

The fact that Elena more or less felt Stefan’s presence was particularly sweet as it shows just how connect these two are. Damon on the other hand very honestly let Elena know that he wants her to remember how she felt about him during Stefan’s absence. He is going to help her to redeem Stefan, but at the same time he fears that she will forget about him once Stefan is back. I like seeing some simmering anger and conflicting emotions in Damon, because that’s what makes his character so special!

I’m looking forward to seeing Damon, Alaric and Elena embark on their mission to save Stefan and I hope we will soon find out what Klaus’ ulterior motive is!

Edit: Percysowner was so nice to inform me that it was mentioned by Matt that vervain taste is only discernable to supernatural beings.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in The Vampire Diaries, Uncategorized

 

Unfogettable – An Unforgettable Pilot

Today yet another new series graced our TV screen. I must admit that I was hooked on this show before it even aired. I like the premise and have always wondered what it must be like for a person who cannot forget. My biggest fear going into this pilot was that it maybe wasn’t going to be as good as the promos.

A lot had already been spoiled by those promos, e.g. the fact that Carrie’s mother suffers from some form of Altzheimer’s disease and that Carrie used to work (and sleep) with Al Burns. So the excitement wasn’t necessarily as big as it could have been if the promos had given away a little less of what happens in this episode.

The NYPD team comes acroos as a nice and diverse lot and I hope all these detectives will get individual storylines in future episodes. Since Carrie will hardly be able to be witness to a crime every week I am curious about how her walking in her own memories will figure in in future episodes. I actually enjoyed these recall flashbacks except the music accompanying them struck me as odd.

I liked how Carrie was introduced, because it effectively highlighted the different facets of her personality. She volunteers as a nurse at day and earns her money gambling at night, which of course isn’t that hard when you got perfect memory. Then there is this other side to her, the obsessive cataloger with an unresolved mystery.

When it comes to this mystery I really wish they had been more creative. After all we’ve seen this before on Bones and Castle. Bones’s mother was murdered and so was Beckett’s and of course these characters spent a lot of time digging into their parent’s murder. I reckon the same is going to happen on Unforgettable and I feel there could have been a little bit more variation on this common story element. Her sister could simply have been kidnapped one day, making her look for her everywhere.Something out of the ordinary would have been nice.

The chemistry between Walsh and Montogomery is spot on though and I already see this turning into the good old “will they / won’t they” relationship. I have hopes though that the writers of this show may put them together sooner than Bones did and therefore spare us the excruciating drag in the romance department. There is no doubt after this episode that they are supposed to be with each other. He kept investigating her sister’s murder after she left him (or he left her, they seem to have different memeories about that) and therefore never gave up on what he knows is most important for her. Still, he never told her as much to spare her false hope.

I am looking forward to see how this show will evolve in the next episode!

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Uncategorized, Unforgettable

 

The Secret Circle – Series Premiere Review

Witches and witchcraft. A beautiful, young orphaned girl. Sounds familiar? Well, The Secret Circle isn’t exactly breaking new ground. However, it makes for a pleasant viewing experience.

We first see Cassie, a 16 year old girl, driving down a deserted road at night when a mysterious stranger overtakes her and he car suddenly gets a flat tire. The mysterious stranger doesn’t stop to help her with her flat, but drives on. It turns out he is heading straight for Cassie’s house where he causes a supernatural fire that kills her mother. Her mother isn’t completely clueless about what’s happening though. “Cassie!” she exclaims before she is chewn up by the flames, letting us know that she is worried for Cassie.

At this point the story skips a month ahead and Cassie is now on her way to live with her grandmother. I hate to say it, but the welcome between Cassie and her grandmother was rather odd. There seemed to be very little sadness in the grandmother’s behaviour and Grandma was also giving out information about her daughter’s past without batting an eye. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt there should have been some more serious bonding between Cassie and her Grandma and the show should have addressed the grief these two must be going through.

In the following scenes it becomes pretty obvious that not all is well in Cassie’s new home town. A group of teenagers shows interest in her and the group’s lose cannon, better known as Faye, puts Cassie to the test by setting her car on fire and locking all the doors so that Cassie will have to use the supernatural powers Faye assumes she has. Cue to Adam, who turns out to be a young wizard, too. He rescues Cassie from the burning car and steals her heart in an instant. Unfortunately it turns out that he is already in a relationship with Diana, the only girl in town that has actually been nice to Cassie so far. Still, there is a spark between Cassie and Adam that will probably have them set the whole town on fire at some point in the future.

Diana, Adam, Faye, Faye’s sidekick Melissa and Nick decide to let Cassie in on their “secret” and explain to her that they need her to complete the circle, since only a complete circle of six witches can make use of its full power. Cassie is shocked and tries to run from them, but Adam catches up with her and they do magic together. Although I admire the nice contrast between Faye’s arson magic and Cassie and Adam’s more calm water magic, I felt like the show was putting these two together way too fast. Adam leans in for a kiss, but Cassie refuses him. As he returns to the group he tells them what happened (leaving out the tidbit about trying to kiss Cassie) and Faye insists they bind Cassie to themselves in a ritual ASAP, because she doesn’t want for Cassie to give them away. Also, Faye is really enjoying the additional power she has now that the circle is complete. I see this girl bringing on major catastrophes in the future…

Faye may have inherited her difficult character from her mother, who is not only the prinicipal of the town’s high school, but also in cahoots with Diana’s father, whom we already know as the mysterious man who set this whole chain of events on motion by killing Cassie’s mom. The two are interested in having Cassie do something that they need, though little clue is given on what that could be. All the members of the old circle seem to have lost their powers with the exception of Diana’s father. What makes him so special?  While their ulterior motive remains unknown for the time being, Faye’s mother very gallantly brushes away the suspicions Cassie’s Grandma has about the teenagers possibly practicing witchcraft.

Cassie, meanwhile, takes her time to figure out what to do with her newfound knowledge about herself and her witchcraft ancestry. In the end she makes use of her abilities to prevent Faye from conjuring up a thunderstorm that might devastate the whole village, but declares she doesn’t want anything to do with witchcraft. She then finds her family’s book of witchcraft which includes a letter from her mother,  warning her that others will come for the power she carries inside her.

Although the episode ghoes through some rough patches and the story is a little too predictable at times, Britt Robertson manages to mesmerize as Cassie and I can definitely see potential in this series. Let’s see where the next episode takes this story!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in The Secret Circle, Uncategorized

 

The Vampire Diaries – A Bloody Good Season 3 Premiere

The Vampire Diaries returned tonight with a mind-blowing season premiere.

As we all know, Stafan gave himself over to Klaus to save Damon’s life at the end of last season. Of course we all knew that would mean for Stefan to turn into a more Damon-like version of himself, but what we saw of Stefan today is likely beyond what we have seen  Damon do so far. When Damon and Alaric follow a lead that may lead them to Stefan they discover the bodies of two women that Stefan has ripped. Quite literally. As Damon points out to a rather surprised Alaric Stafan feeds on his victims so hard that he just rips them in the process. Luckily he has enough compassion for his victims to “reassemble” their bodies after he is done. Okay, that was unexpected. When Damon gives one of the dead ladies a little nidge her head just falls off her body, visually illustrating his point about Stefan’s habits.

Naturally Damon has been working to keep this and the other unsavory details of Stefan’s new life from Elena, who is still hoping Stefan is alive and well. When she finds out about this she is shocked and angry at Damon for keeping her in the dark, although I think she understood his good intentions. However she still seems to have hope for Stefan who calls her at the end of the episode. He doesn’t say a word but she knows it’s him and tells him to hold on to her love. Stefan’s determination to stay Klaus’s loyal ripper crumbles as he hears Elena’s words of love.

On another love-related note, Damon manages to retrieve Elena’s anti-compulsion necklaceand gives it to her as a birthday present. This is truly one of the most magical moments in the entire episode as it shows Damon’s concern and love for Elena in a way that we rarely get to see. I just thought my TV was on fire, because these two have one hell of a tension between them right now! Speaking of tension, Caroline and Tyler decided to release their tension in the Lockwood mansion. Too bad that Mrs Lockwood obviously doesn’t approve of the union as she shot down Caroline with poison darts as the sexy vampire tried to steal out of the Lockwood mansion. My first thought was that she had better stayed in Tyler’s bed, but I find myself increasingly curious what Mrs Lockwood is up to.

Apart from that, Matt is getting into drugs, Jeremy is still seeing his dead girlfriends, Alaric decided to leave the Gilbert kids to themselves and Klaus has it in his mind to create more werwolf-vampire hybrids. So much potential for conflict that I cannot possibly wait another week to see where this is going!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in The Vampire Diaries, Uncategorized

 

Burn Notice: Army of One Review

We’re but two episodes away from the mid-season finale of Burn Notice and I am starting to worry about where things are going for my favourite spy on TV, Mr. Michael Westen. Seriously, I knew that his “unburning” would not be all champagne and celebration, but right now it just feels like he is more burned than ever.

As I watched Army of One I started getting a  really bad feeling about the future of  Michael Westen. CIA bloodhound agent Pierce asked him for his files on the investigation of CIA agent Max, for whose murder Michael has  been framed by the real killer. So far he has been able to keep this knowledge from Pierce, but she is a tough cookie and very determined to follow every lead she can get. Seeing as Michael has not been able to get to Max’s real killer yet all blame will fall on him once Pierce reviews his files. Instead of forging the files to get more time to actually find the real murderer Michael got sidetracked this week into helping out on one of Jesse’s security gigs (that goes horribly wrong, to say the least).

Michael’s sidekick Sam was curiously absent for most of the episode which made for a lack of the refreshing humor that usually provides for a nice counterbalance to Burn Notice’s harder, more edgy scenes. It might have been done purposely to emphasize in just how desperate a situation Michale finds himself right now.

Also Fiona was still upset this week about how her relationship with Michael is developing. Not that she actually told Michael about it, but it was evident in her long-face-pulling mannerism. I would think that living under one roof with her, Michael would notice Fiona’s unhappiness with their current situation, but some big conflict is building up here that will probably come to a head in the mid-season finale.

It is certain though that Michael will have bigger problems as  Pierce casually let Michael know that she has “three times the manpower working the case now”, meaning that his files will get reviewed much faster than he thought, significantly cutting down the time he has left to find Max’s real killer. Even for the savviest spy on TV this should prove to be a big challenge. I can only wish him one thing: Good luck and an army of more than one. He’s gonna need it!

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Burn Notice, Uncategorized