Category Archives: SciFi, Fantasy, & Horror

The Walking Dead — Home (S3E10)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, The Suicide King)

Merle is quick to insult Rick, the group, and their methods, but Daryl only weakly protests. However, the pain in his eyes is evident when Merle jokes about how soon the crew will die at the hands of the Governor. When they encounter another group of survivors being attacked by zombies, Daryl runs to their aid–against the protests of Merle. Daryl and the few men with guns take out the walkers (and Daryl gets the zombie kill of the season when he smashes the trunk of a car onto one of the walkers in a gory explosion). Since the survivors only speak Spanish, they can’t thank them properly, so Merle takes it upon himself to take his own reward. When he tries to loot their car, Daryl pulls his crossbow on his own brother. He helped the survivors because it was the right thing to do, and he wanted to save the baby. Daryl wasn’t surprised that he didn’t come to the survivors’ aid because he never came to his. The Dixons’ father abused them when they were young, and we see Daryl’s scars to prove it. Daryl realizes that Merle has never been there for him, but his new group took him in and appreciated him from the start. As he storms off, Daryl tells him passionately, “I may be the one walking away, but you’re the one leaving. Again.” And his eyes nearly well up with tears as he yells, “He’s Korean!” when he defends Glenn.

Rick spends the episode outside of the safety of the prison gates following his hallucination of Lori. When pushed, he admits to Hershel that he is following Lori, though he knows she isn’t real. He thinks that her presence means something and he won’t rest until he finds out what that is. Glenn finally confronts Maggie about the Governor’s attempted rape: she only let it go that far because she heard the beating he was receiving and was terrified they would kill him. She pushes him away, maybe because she doesn’t trust men in general or maybe because his first instinct was to seek revenge rather than ensure she was safe. Hershel warns him that the rage that is building up inside him will get him or his friends killed, but Glenn won’t hear any of it–he won’t be satisfied until the Governor lies dead. While the other couples struggle, Axel and Carol finally make some headway. He admits that he was in prison for robbing a gas station with a toy gun, they flirt as she shows him to load and use a real one.

With Rick’s lack of sanity and Daryl off gallivanting with Merle, Glenn decides that he has to take charge and lead. When the group shoots down his idea to take Michonne and attack Woodbury immediately, he sets off to check how the walkers got into the tombs where Tyreese and Co. were attacked.

The Governor is unsure of where Andrea’s allegiances lie. Though she took charge in Woodbury’s time of need, she has a much longer history with Rick’s group. He tries to push her choose Woodbury by asking her to take on the role of leader because he is clearly no longer capable. After the Governor calls Milton a friend, he is forced to lie to Andrea about where he disappeared to. His short, shaky response of “he’s on a run,” clearly won’t cut it, though. Andrea is not going to let this slide, and she is not going to be pleased when she hears the truth. But let’s be honest, she still won’t leave The Governor, she’s nuts.

The Governor led a surprise attack on the prison, beginning the battle by shooting Axel in the head. The survivors are quick to duck for cover and those with guns retaliate, but only succeed in taking out a few unimportant Woodbury guards. Rick is pinned outside the gates, where the real threat is the mass of walkers that surround him. Luckily Daryl and Merle arrive just in time to save him, which will probably lead to Merle being saved. A truck filled with zombies breaks through the prison gates, unleashing a walker bomb that nearly kills Hershel. Though the Governor only succeeds in taking out one survivor, he is beyond ecstatic, overjoyed by the attack and what he knows will be a fierce war.

I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed with the Governor. He had a dozen or so armed men attack the prison, but he started the battle with a single bullet. If he had used any sort of strategy he could have taken out a couple of the prisoners with the snipers they were equipped with. Or, at the very least, he could have shot someone important. Why would he choose to shoot someone he has never seen before when he could have easily killed Rick? This is gonna cost you, Governor, because it’s Rick’s move now.

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The Walking Dead — The Suicide King (S3E09 Mid-Season Premiere)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Made to Suffer)

The crowd at Woodbury is excited to watch Daryl and Merle fight to the death, Andrea is the only one who tries to resist it. Rather than a joyous reunion, Merle beats his brother, but promises he has a plan to get them out. Before he has a chance to prove this, Rick and Maggie shoot them free. Daryl retrieves his crossbow in the most badass–a very Daryl–fashion, and he and Merle escape. Rick, Glenn, and Maggie easily agree that Merle can’t be brought back to the prison, but Daryl refuses to return to the group without his brother in tow, so he storms off. Rick and Glenn disagree about whether they should bring back Michonne, but Rick, as the leader, prevails in and tells her that they will only patch her up and send her on her way; he’s terrified of new people, and finds any reason not to trust her, even though they definitely need her strength.

I don’t think it will take much abuse-–be it the verbal or physical-–for Daryl to realize that Merle might be his blood, but Rick’s group is his true family. He has finally found a group of people that accept and want him, he has finally taking on leadership and he has Carol back at the prison. I expect a joyous reunion between Daryl and the group, particularly between him and Carol very soon (Hopefully before the Governor launches his attack).

Glenn is no longer the sweet, innocent boy that we met in season one, he has seen the horrors of the world and realized how terrible people can really be. And he isn’t just fighting for his own life now, he believes it is his job to protect Maggie, and he failed. He’s infuriated that Rick didn’t take the time to kill the Governor and he wasn’t even given the chance to avenge Maggie himself. Until he takes out the Governor, Glenn can never forgive himself, and probably can’t have a healthy relationship with Maggie.

When the group rolls back into the prison, Carl seems genuinely surprised that they survived. Rick has the chance to hold baby Judy, and Beth mentions how she has Lori’s eyes. As all else fades away, Rick must wonder if her other features are his or Shane’s. After all this talk of the group’s amazing leader Rick, Tyreese and his group must be quite disappointed. Tyreese promises that they would do anything possible to stay in the prison, even help them in their battle with the Governor, the Rick doesn’t want to be responsible for them, since everyone he tries to protect dies. For the first time, Hershel stands up to Rick, telling him that this is the wrong thing to do, they need to reinforcements to protect themselves. But before Rick has the chance to change his mind, he sees ghost Lori. He is conscious enough to know that he wants nothing to do with her, but he doesn’t realize that she’s just a ghost; he waves his gun around and threatens her. Tyreese takes this a threat to his own life, and he and his group are quick to leave. Rick’s mind continues to deteriorate, and this time it wasn’t just Glenn who saw it. With Daryl gone, there aren’t many people left to take the lead.

Forgetting how dangerous it is outside of the walls, the citizens of Woodbury try to escape. A group of walkers manage to break in and bite one of the citizens before Andrea can kill them. The Governor walks out of his apartment, shoots the man in the head, and walks back into his house in complete silence. Andrea rushes into his place and demands that he give her answers and speak to his people, but he no longer cares about his people. He tells Andrea the whole truth now, thinking that she didn’t deserve to know before, because she was “just passing through.” Rather than become pissed, Andrea tells him not to push her away. For some reason, even after seeing tanks full of heads and his zombie daughter, she still wants to be with him. In my opinion, she’s even crazier than Rick. Because the Governor won’t take charge, Andrea makes a speech to the people about how they have suffered, but they must pull themselves back up; when society returns, the history books will write about Woodbury because they persevered. Though this inspires the people, I find it hard to believe that anyone expects the world to return to the way it was before. Now that Andrea seems to have found her place, it’s hard to know which side she will choose in the battle between Rick and the Governor, they did leave her for dead after all. And they barely reacted to the news that she was still alive, probably because they didn’t have the time to worry about it.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Home)

The Walking Dead — Made to Suffer (S3E08 Mid-Season Finale)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, When the Dead Come Knocking)

Though Rick and co. believe that Michonne might be leading them into a trap, they still think it’s their best bet. The group quickly advances through Woodbury in their search for Glenn and Maggie, they easily take out a guard without lethal force. After Glenn and Maggie struggle with their captors, the group manages to find and save them. After mild protest, Daryl agrees to wait to speak to Merle, because right now they need to get out of enemy territory. While Rick’s group is trying to make their escape with smoke grenades and bullets, Andrea is intrigued by the gunfire and ignores the Governor’s order to stay off the street. Andrea manages to take out Oscar (Conveniently the only member of the group that she sees) and Daryl offers to stay behind to provide cover fire, but every other member of the group makes it out unscathed.

Michonne slips away during the firefight to confront the Governor and possibly to retrieve Andrea. While she waits for him, she finds the aquariums full of walker heads and Penny. Michonne finds the Governor’s only soft spot, h=e trembles with fear and begs for his daughter’s life, but Michonne ends it anyway. During the vicious struggle, she manages to stab him in the eye with a shard of glass, a token to remember her by. Andrea arrives in time to stop Michonne from killing the governor, but she lets her old friend escape. Andrea, completely blinded by her affection for the Governor, believes that he only keeps the tanks there to “prepare [him] for the horrors outside.” And now, with nothing left to lose, the Governor announces that he failed his community, he allowed Merle into their safe haven and he led the terrorists into Woodbury. The Governor brings out Daryl and ask the community what to do with these two monsters, they are intent on killing them.

During the battle, Rick believes that he sees Shane and hesitates before shooting him, almost ending in his own death. Though Rick’s realization that it was only his imagination on the phone made it seem as though he was improving, he has clearly gone insane. The question that remains: does Rick know that he’s gone crazy and will he ask for help?

To replace those lives lost in this episode and those most likely to be lost in the mid-season premiere, a new group of survivors is introduced. The leader of this group is Tyreese, a beloved character from the comics. One of the women gets bitten before they arrive at the prison, but Ben (most likely her son) refuses to leave her behind. Carl arrives in time to save them from her a group of walkers. Due to his reasonable lack of trust of strangers, Carl locks them in a cell block and promises them food and water. Though Sasha begs to be let free, Tyreese calms her down and promises they’re not looking for trouble.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, The Suicide King)

The Walking Dead — When the Dead Come Knocking (S3E07)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Hounded)

Merle is eager to see his brother, appease the Governor, and get revenge for being left handcuffed to a roof. So when Glenn won’t reveal the location of his group and blatantly lies about who is with him (He names Andrea, who Merle knows for a fact is no longer with them), Merle is happy to coerce the information out of him. Glenn battles through a nasty beating and nearly being eaten alive by a zombie Merle sicced on him without spilling anything. Since Glenn won’t talk, the Governor tries his hand at making Maggie spill. His method of good cop doesn’t work, so he forces Maggie to strip down and threatens (rather convincingly, I might add) to rape her. Even this won’t break Maggie, though. Their last attempt proved fruitful, threatening Glenn in Maggie’s presence made her sing like a bird, she gave up their location and their numbers. The Governor doesn’t show it, but he feels threatened by them, a group of only 10 managed to clear out the entire prison, and they’re probably coming to fight for their people. And the biggest worry: is Merle going to side with him or with his long-lost brother?

With each episode the Governor seems to become more of a monster, but this time he showed that he knows no bounds. Rape is the one thing that everyone in the show has steered clear of, it’s the most vile act and they have to be true savages to resort to it. And he clearly isn’t lacking in that department, since he and Andrea have gotten close; it was strictly a power play. Luckily for Maggie (and Glenn), he only doesn’t make do on his threats. As for Merle, he’s excited to hear that his brother is alive and well, especially knowing that he came back to try to save him. When faced with choosing between Daryl and the Governor, I think he might struggle at first, but side with his brother. Daryl, on the other hand, will pick his friends. I don’t think that Daryl feels much for big bro anymore, he hasn’t mentioned him since the hallucinations last season. He has also formed a close bond with the group and even taken up the role as one of the leaders. Since they won’t accept Merle, Daryl will have to deny his brother’s entry.

While Rick stares dumbfoundedly at Michonne at the gate, Carl takes action and shoots the zombies near her. Right after promising not to hurt her, Rick grabs her bullet wound to force her to talk. She admits that she saw Glenn and Maggie’s kidnapping and reveals enough information about Woodbury to get the group headed in that direction. Michonne must have realized that these are Andrea’s people, but she doesn’t mention that she knows her or where she is. She’s saving this bit of information to leverage the best deal for herself. Rick apologizes to Carl for having to take care of his mother. Carl suggests naming the baby after his third grade teacher Judith, because Ass-Kicker just won’t do, and I think Rick would have agreed to just about anything. And the group is thrilled at Daryl’s discovery that Carol is alive and fairly well, it takes a bit of the sting off of their losses.

As soon as Hershel sows up Michonne’s wound (which she genuinely thanks him for, shocking!), she, Rick, Daryl, and Oscar set out for Woodbury. They duck into a cabin when they get ambushed by a hoard of walkers and find a paranoid hermit living there with no knowledge of the zombie apocalypse. When he is about to open the door and let the walkers in, Michonne stabs him and they toss him out as zombie bait. Michonne doesn’t let on whether this was a mercy killing or out of cold-blood. They all make it out in one piece and approach Woodbury unseen. The showdown is being saved for the mid-season finale next week.

The Governor enlists Andrea’s help in Milton’s experiments. He wants to prove that biters have a recollection of their past lives by training Mr. Coleman, a man about to die from prostate cancer, to respond to questions about his life. And when he reanimates he asks these same questions. When the response is inconclusive, he unshackles Mr. Coleman, who goes directly for the kill. Andrea kills the zombie and saves Milton’s life. From his reaction, it doesn’t appear that Milton has ever been near enough to an active zombie to feel the fear and threat that they bring about. When she goes to the Governor for comfort he promises her that “it’s over now.” But it’s never over Andrea.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Made to Suffer)

Once Upon A Time — Child of the Moon (S2E07)

(My review of the last episode of Once Upon A Time, Tallahassee)

While on the run from the Queen’s men, Red’s hood rips. Since tonight is the night of the full moon, or wolfstime, Red panics, she has to get away from Snow White to protect her. When she awakes, a stranger named Quinn steals her cloak and threatens to burn it. He knows that she is “a child of the moon,” because he is one himself, and he knows how to tame the wolf. He brings her to a creepy underground castle hall that is filled with other werewolves. And the leader of the pack, Anita, was expecting Red, waiting for her daughter. Granny had taken her away from her parents when she was young to protect her from the horrid wolves, but she couldn’t be protected forever. Red is quick to learn the ways of the wolf, she just has to give in to the wolf and realize that she and the wolf are one. As this is explained there is a beautiful scene of the wolf pack running with Red staring at her reflection in a pool of water.

Snow followed the paw prints and made it into the wolf den. The wolves know better than to trust any humans, so Quinn attacks her on site, but Red calls him off. Red promised to run away with Snow, but she found her family, she’s part of a pack now. Snow is thrilled for her friend and is ready to leave her with her new family, but not everyone feels the same. The Queen’s men followed Snow into the den, before the wolves took out all of the men, Quinn was fatally injured. Anita blames Snow for bringing the men there and intends to kill and feast upon her as the wolves. When Red protects Snow she accidentally kills her mother, but insists that she didn’t choose Snow over her family, “I chose me! I’m not a killer!” But Red didn’t kill her family, she protected them. Snow is her only family, she is the only person who accepts her as both a human and as a wolf.

In the present, the dwarves strike riches: they uncover diamonds which can be refined into fairy dust. But before they have a chance to celebrate, Ruby builds a cage to keep the wolf locked up that night. She might have learned how to tame the wolf, but it’s been 28 years since she last turned and doesn’t know if she can contain herself. In the morning she had broken free from her cage and awoke in the forest. She assumes the worst and her suspicions seem to be confirmed when they find two halves of Billy (one of Cinderella’s mice from the tales). David decides that he has to believe in Ruby because he failed to believe in Mary Margaret when she was framed (those are two completely different scenarios though, David isn’t the brightest). David locks her up in the prison cell to appease her, though.

King George, known as Spencer in Storybrooke, rallies the citizens to kill the monster who roams the streets. If David won’t take action, then he will! But Ruby had already been moved to the library for her protection. If David has faith that Ruby is a good woman, then Belle does too. Which I find a bit strange since she knows Ruby better than she knows David at this point… Anyway, Belle insists that they can prove that she is innocent in the matter. Ruby is sure that she killed Billy and that she deserves to be executed for it, so she breaks out. When Ruby is about to surrender herself, David and Granny come to the rescue! David has evidence that Spencer set her up, and he can prove that Ruby is a tame wolf. He gets her to back down and reverts her back to her human self with the hood. When Ruby thanks him for saving her, he responds “No. You saved yourself. I just reminded you of what you already knew.”

Spencer doesn’t care that he managed to keep the wolf alive, because he knows David’s one true weakness, his family. Spencer tosses Jefferson’s hat into a fire, meaning that David can never get his family back. And he reminds him for the third time that David should have killed him when he had the chance. David pulls his gun on him, but Red eases him down. And in a reversal of roles, Ruby comforts David, she promises that they will find a way to get his family back. And until then, he isn’t alone.

Henry has been suffering terrible nightmares for awhile, but when he awoke this time, his hand was burnt. Gold lets him and Regina know that these aren’t just dreams, these are the side affects of the sleeping curse Regina accidentally put on him. He gives him a medallion to help him control these journeys. The next time he falls asleep, he has the same dream: a burning room and a mysterious woman. But this time he quells the flames and introduces himself to the woman, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). The same Aurora that is in the other land with Emma and Snow.

Revolution — Sex and Drugs (S1E06)

(My review of the last episode of Revolution, Soul Train)

Before the blackout Aaron was a happily married man and rich beyond belief, but once the apocalypse hit, his money was worth nothing. During the second month, Priscilla grew ill, but was saved by a stranger named Sean who recognized dysentery. Six months after, when Aaron, Priscilla, and Sean’s group is attacked, they narrowly make it out alive. Aaron realizes how useless he is, he has no survival skills and he’s just dragging the group down. Priscilla wakes up soon after and notices that her husband is gone. Aaron left his ring behind. He knew that he would harm her chances at living and didn’t want to risk her death, so he left her in the stronger arms of Sean and watched as she walked away.

Miles brings the group to an acquaintance of his in the hopes that he can patch Nora up. As soon as they arrive, Drexel pulls guns on the crew, he clearly isn’t a real friend of Miles’. He fires a blank at Miles to scare him nearly to death, laughs, and announces out his motto, “It’s all fun and games!” None of the group feel comfortable near him, but they relinquish their weapons so his medic will check on Nora. When Nora is patched up, Miles is ready to hit the road, but Drexel demands a favor first. He is a big-time heroine dealer and wants to make sure that he stays that way, so he sends Charlie to kill the head of the O’Halloran clan, who torched his poppies.

Though Miles and Aaron try to convince her that this is cold-blooded murder and she shouldn’t resort to it, Charlie doesn’t care. She just gave up on the notion of fairness and respect in this new world, she tore up her most prized possessions, the postcards that she kept from a happier time. And with these postcards, she shredded all of her memories of her childhood and her mother. Once Charlie arrives, she discovers that Bill O’Halloran was a cop and a good man. Though she hesitates with the idea of killing him, she realizes that the only way for her friends to get out alive is if Bill doesn’t. She knocks him out with a pan and is about to stab him when Miles arrives to stop her.

With Aaron’s blessing, Miles fought his way out of Drexel’s mansion to save Charlie from making the biggest mistake of her life. As soon as Drexel notices his missing “friend,” he brings out Aaron and Nora and demands that they kill each other, the last man standing gets out alive. Though Aaron begs Nora to shoot him (Miles and Charlie can use her, but he’s just extra weight), she refuses. He resorts to shooting himself in the chest, exactly where he keeps his flask. He lifts his head and shoots the unsuspecting Drexel. His men, surprised and confused, let them go free. Miles has a hard time grasping the fact that Aaron the wimp actually killed somebody, but Aaron is quick to believe that Charlie wasn’t going to kill O’Halloran, because he wants to believe it.

General Monroe welcomes Danny with open arms, he promises him anything he wants, food, women, and a bed. Though he scolds Captain Neville in front of their newest prisoner, Monroe promotes Neville to Major in charge of information and interrogations, a position that will allow him to stay at home with his wife. Jason is eager to please Monroe, when shown the image of the pendant, he admits that Aaron has one. And he regrets sharing this information as soon as the name Strausser is mentioned, he is a frightening man who rarely leaves survivors. Which means that Charlie might not make it out alive.

Monroe didn’t lie to Rachel when he promised she would get to see her son. When Danny is brought to her he watches her for a minute before realizing who she is, but they embrace lovingly. Will he question why she left them or will he be naive enough to assume that she did it solely for their benefit?

The Walking Dead — Hounded (S3E06)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Say The Word)

When a zombie killing spree didn’t solve Rick’s problems, he invented a phone conversation with his wife. The woman on the phone insisted that she and her group were in a safe place that she couldn’t name. When Rick begs for refuge, she disconnects and allows him to talk to another member of her group later. He gets bounced around to different members of the group until he speaks with a very familiar voice, that of Lori’s. When he realizes that this is his last chance to talk to his wife, he begs for her forgiveness for letting her die, he thought that this would be a safe haven for them, Carl, and the baby. She reminds him that she may be gone, but the children aren’t, and someone needs to look out for them. All Rick needed to return him to his sanity and his leadership was a reminder that he is the only one who can look out for his kids. Rick approaches his (or Shane’s) daughter for the first time since she was born and finally accepts her as his own.

Daryl, Carl, and Axel run through the prison cell a couple times to ensure that they cleared out all of the walkers, not willing to take any chances again. Daryl tries to comfort Carl by sharing the story of his mother’s death, she burnt the house down while smoking in bed. Because he didn’t have to see it or her, it didn’t feel so real to him. But Carl shot his mother in the head, it was very real for him. Carl didn’t even hesitate to mention it, he seems to be building up a wall around himself. If he acts like nothing can hurt him, maybe nothing will. They happen across a zombie with a knife sticking from its neck, and Daryl is quick to realize that the knife belonged to Carol. After some pacing, he throws open a closet that had been shaking, and inside is a badly injured Carol. We don’t know what wounds she has, she might have been bitten. Daryl doesn’t care though, he picks her up and brings her to safety.

While Merle and three of the Governor’s men are searching for Michonne they find a “bitergram” that she left for them, zombie parts positioned to say “go back.” When Merle decides to press on, Michonne leaps out of hiding and slays two of his men, but gets winged by a bullet in the process. She didn’t hesitate to kill these live people, though she has no idea who they are or if they are as corrupt as the Gov. Merle doesn’t want to go toe-to-toe with Michonne, he knows that she can take him out, so he decides to head back to Woodbury with the news that he already killed her. When he gets resistance from the last man standing from his group, Merle takes out this threat. Michonne manages to slip out of a horde of zombies by pouring the guts of one onto her. She had no idea that this would mask her human scent (as Rick and Glenn figured out when they were trapped in the department store in the Guts, episode 2 of season 1), but it was a welcome surprise.

Maggie and Glenn discover a storage facility where they find their fill of baby formula and extra food. Merle, also happens upon the location and pulls his gun on the two. But when Merle realizes that this is his old pal Glenn, he drops his gun and asks about his brother. When Glenn refuses to bring Merle back to their camp to see Daryl, Merle grabs his gun and Maggie. If they won’t take him to their camp, he’ll take them back to Woodbury where they can get the information out of them. Michonne watched this entire scene play out from her hiding place, either she was too injured to take out Merle or too weary of these strangers to intervene. But because she didn’t, Merle got away with Glenn and Maggie and she made it off safely. As Rick watches a hoard of zombies near the prison walls, he notices that one of them is alive and is holding a basket of goods. Michonne made it to safety among the walkers and with a gift for (what will probably be) her new group.

While the rest of the group struggle with their humanity or staying alive, Andrea and the Governor (Or should I say Phillip?) get some time to themselves. After quite a bit of flirting and losing Michonne, their major distraction, Andrea and the Governor hit the sheets. His interaction with her changes naught after discovering that his three men and Michonne were killed. But Merle will pay the price when Michonne returns to seek revenge and retrieve her friend, clearly alive and well.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, When the Dead Come Knocking)

The Walking Dead — Say the Word (S3E05)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Killer Within)

Unsurprisingly, Rick can’t pull himself together after Lori’s death. He grabs an axe and heads back into the prison on a zombie killing spree. He takes out all of his aggression, rage, and depression out on the zombies. When Glenn trails in to help Rick, he finds him covered in blood with crazy eyes. When he tries to calm Rick down by putting his hand on his shoulder, Rick loses it (even more) and throws Glenn against the wall. Rick has never threatened the group with real harm, but he didn’t hesitate to attack Glenn. He finds a shell casing followed by a bloated zombie. This bloating was from devouring his wife. After a close-up of the zombie’s decaying flesh, Rick shoves his gun into its mouth and pulls the trigger. This isn’t enough for him, he repeatedly stabs it in the stomach. His losing Lori and the guilt he feels for the way he treated her is manifesting itself in the worst possible way. Rather than trying to make amends by caring for the child that may or may not be his, he tries to shut himself off from his friends. And to close off the episode he hears a phone inside the prison ring. As he answers the phone, he speaks his first word in the entire episode, “Hello.” His first word as a new, hardened, unloving man.

Daryl steps up to take Rick’s place, both as a leader and as a father. He immediately offers to search for formula for the baby with Maggie, but first asks Beth to watch Carl. Maggie and Daryl find a nursery and quickly search the place for anything they could use, they find bottles and formula. They are on their guard when they hear scratching, but it’s just a possum (or, ya know, dinner). When they return to the prison, Daryl is the first to feed the baby, and he looks so nurturing. But to even out this loving and caring interaction, he suggests calling the baby “Little Ass-Kicker.” Carl suggests honestly naming the baby Sophia, which would be really sweet. If not Sophia, then they could name her after one of the other women they lost. Or after her mother, Lori. When he has some time to himself, Daryl leaves a flower at Carol’s grave. Daryl has grown so much from the first season. He’s not just the tough redneck, but he’s really a sweet, caring guy. And he’s clearly the greatest guy ever. Who wouldn’t want him in their crew during the zombie apocalypse.

The Governor gently brushed the hair of his zombie daughter, Penny. But when he accidentally ripped off a piece of her decaying scalp, she rebelled and he had to bag her head and put her in a straightjacket. Because Michonne saw the entire thing from the window, she decided to explore Woodbury further. The Governor keeps a journal with a long list of women’s names, the last one being Penny’s. She then finds a pen full of zombies, and just like Rick, takes out all of her aggression on them with her katana. When the Governor detains her, she questions him about the names of the girls in the book, practically accusing him of keeping whores. The Gov understands Michonne, he knows that she’s pushing him so that he kicks her out of Woodbury. If she is forced out, she won’t feel the guilt for leaving Andrea behind; either Andrea will go with her willingly, or she will see where her allegiances really lie.

Andrea tries to talk some “sense” into Michonne: they are safe in Woodbury and there are other people around. But sadly Michonne isn’t quite as good at explaining herself. Andrea believes that Woodbury is a great place because she needs it to be, she can’t handle the outside world anymore and protects herself from anything bad about the place. When Merle opens the gate to let them out, Andrea refuses to leave with Michonne. Michonne tries to protect herself by telling her that “You just slowed me down anyway.” She has no idea how hard it will be when she’s fending for herself without any friends and without her walkers.

The Governor comforts Andrea and invites her to enjoy the celebration that is conveniently going on. She takes him by the arm, and it’s obvious that their affair is imminent. Everybody is enjoying the party except for Milton, who can’t conduct his research, because the generator is in use. And when the zombie fight club begins, the crowd goes wild. Merle and Caesar are fighting hand-to-hand and surrounded by zombies trying to claw at them. Andrea is appalled at the barbaric display, but the Governor convinces her that it’s not terrible. It’s completely staged and the biter’s teeth have been pulled (Merle and his crew had a lot of fun with that). Because Andrea needs the safe haven of Woodbury, she lets it slide. But how much can she let go before she regrets not leaving with Michonne?

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Hounded)

Once Upon A Time — The Doctor (S2E05)

(My review of the last episode of Once Upon A Time, The Crocodile)

In the fairy tale world in the past, Rumpelstiltskin tried unsuccessfully at first to push Regina into dark magic. She refuses to remove a unicorn’s heart due to its innocence, which causes Rumple to do the deed himself. While he holds the heart he controls the unicorn, but when he crushes it, he kills it. When Regina announces her real motivation for learning magic: to bring back her fiance Daniel from the dead. Rumple snickers at this, unless she can forget about her past, there is no way for her to harness the true power of magic. Not to mention that there is no way to bring people back from the dead. Jefferson tells her otherwise, The Doctor, who uses something much more powerful than magic might be able to accomplish this (And sadly it’s not the Doctor from Doctor Who). Regina brings the preserved body to the Doctor, who is none other than Dr. Whale. All he needs to make this experimental procedure a success is a powerful heart. She won’t remove someone’s heart for an evil purpose, but luckily her mother left her a vault full of magically-powered hearts. Though the Doctor didn’t actually operate, he announced that the procedure was a failure. Rumplestiltskin, Dr. Whale, and Jefferson set up the fake operaton to each further their own needs. Dr. Whale received a magical heart, Jefferson received a royal passport, and Rumple got his ward back. And with her shorter, evil haircut, Regina returns to work with Rumple after swiftly killing his newest apprentice.

When Emma, Snow, Mulan, and Aurora return to their camp, every single one of their people were slain besides Killian Jones, the newly added blacksmith. Emma learned her lesson from trusting Cora the first time, and is quick to realize that this is probably a trap. After strapping him to a tree and calling upon the ogres, Killian realizes that they might be just as cunning as Cora, so he spills the truth: he was working with Cora, but will gladly switch allegiances (what a pirate!). He will help them get the enchanted compass that Cora is looking for if they allow him to return with them to Storybrooke, he still seeks revenge upon The Crocodile. Emma and Snow are still wary of him, but they think that they can stay one step ahead of Cora if they keep him with them. Hook leads them to a beanstalk that leads all the way to the clouds, if they make it up and defeat the giant at the top, they will gain control of the compass. Why hello there, Jack and the Beanstalk!

Regina genuinely wants Henry to love her for her, so she pays Archie the psychiatrist a visit to try to control herself. But Dr. Whale makes it hard for her to keep her promise to Henry when he barges in and demands to be sent back home to his dead brother. When she is driving through the rain, she notices her lover Daniel walking around town. After discovering that his body is no longer in her mausoleum, she realizes that it wasn’t a hallucination and the Doctor must have brought him back. If he did Regina a favor, he hoped that Regina would send him back home, but she doesn’t have the poer to do so. Dr. Whale admits to bringing Daniel back from the dead, but he isn’t himself anymore, he is a monster. Regina seems to be going soft, because she let David in on her entire history with Daniel and of his reincarnation. Since he was a stableboy in his past life, Daniel heads straight there to meet Regina. But Henry, taking care of the horse that David bought him, gets caught in the crossfire. When he tries to help the stranger out, he gets injured, but is quickly saved by his grandfather. Daniel instantly chokes Regina when he sees her, but when she whispers that she loves him, he remembers who he is and who she is. He needs her to let him go so the pain will be gone. She cries as she says her goodbyes and uses magic to vanquish him.

Dr. Whale steps into Mr. Gold’s shop, holding a cooler with one of his arms. Daniel ripped it off in his monstrous rage and he needs Gold to return it to its place. All he has to do to get his limb reattached is to whisper the magic words: he needs magic. This is no easy feat for Dr. Frankenstein. He was the only one who used science in the fairy tale universe, and continuously insisted that it was more powerful than magic. And equipped with the heart that he received from Regina, he managed to raise his brother from the dead (or create him). Though he used science to do so, he required the magical-infused heart. So what really won, magic or science?

(My review of the next episode of Once Upon A Time, Child of the Moon)

Once Upon A Time — The Crocodile (S2E04)

(My review of the last episode of Once Upon A Time, Lady of the Lake)

In the first level of the story, in the past, Rumpelstiltskin is ashamed to find that his wife has left him. She left him for a life at sea with a group of pirates, because she couldn’t take Rumple’s cowardice any longer. Killian Jones, the captain of the pirates, agrees to return Milah to her husband if he is willing to duel for her. Killian astutely tells him that “A man unwilling to fight for what he wants, deserves what he gets.” The next time the two meet, Rumple has the powers of the Dark One. Killian only shows a little fear once he realizes who he is dealing with, and is quick to lie about Milah’s whereabouts, insisting that she is already dead. Rumple forces Killian to duel, but before he can kill the pirate, Milah returns to protect him. When pressed, Milah admits that she was the coward when she left Bae. An apology is not enough for the Dark One, so he plunges his hand into her chest and crushes her heart. Her last words are directed at Killian, expressing her love. Rumple refuses to kill Killian, he wants him to suffer the loss of his loved one, just as he did. Instead he chops off his hand and turns him into the Captain Hook we know from the tales.

William Smee approached Rumpelstiltskin with a proposal, for eternal life (he agrees to returning his youth), he can retrieve a bean that will work as a portal to another world. And since Rumple is looking for Bae, this is the perfect item for him. But before Smee can retrieve the bean, Killian gets a hold of it. Rumple believed that the bean was in the Captain’s hand when he chopped it off, but was not pleased at being duped. Instead, Killian tossed the bean into the water, creating a whirlpool. Captain Hook is off to Neverland to find a way to avenge Milah’s death. And to get there, he finds Cora, who has the purple potion she created from the remnants of the magic wardrobe. Together they can take over Storybrooke.

In the real world, Belle can’t stand that Gold is still practicing magic and confronts him. He insists that he needs the magic to fuel his power. Really all he needs is courage to let her in and he will find happiness, but since he won’t, Belle walks out on him. She confides in Ruby, who offers her a place to stay and a possible job at the library. When she visits the library, Mr. Smee kidnaps her. Gold is genuinely concerned for her, so he visits her brother, with whom he has bad blood. He is furious at her second disappearance. Gold knows that the only way to get any help is to push at David’s weak points: he has lost people too, he knows what it’s like. With Ruby’s wolf-y senses, they track Belle down to the local flower shop, the one Belle’s brother owns.

Smee had kidnapped Belle upon her brother’s request. When she refused to give up on Rumpelstiltskin, he sent her into the tunnels. He will do anything to make her forget that monster, even if she will forget him. When Gold saves his one true love, she still won’t take him back. His one true ailment is his cowardice, and if he can’t conquer that, then he can’t be with her. When he gives her the key to the library, she is sure that he did it just to win her back. But he took David’s relationship advice and was truly honest with her. He is a coward and he collects magic and power to make up for it, and it made him lose his son. He brought magic to Storybrooke so he could try to find his son, but if he leaves the city limits, he will completely forget who Bae is. And now he is trapped by himself in this town, and all he can do to keep himself upright is use magic and try to maintain his power.

(My review of the next episode of Once Upon A Time, The Doctor)

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