The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 5: “The Big Scary U”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 5: “The Big Scary U”
Directed by Michael E. Strazemis
Written by David Leslie Johnson & Angela Kang

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Some Guy” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The King, the Widow, and Rick” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.16.56 AMIn the dark of that trailer where we last left him, Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) is living out who knows what sort of terror. We skip back to a time before, when he prayed at his church for God to show him the way.
What I fear is a fruitless death. And what I ask for, after you have given me so much, is purpose.”
Back at the compound, Simon (Steven Ogg) treats Gregory (Xander Berkeley) to a decent breakfast. He’s always poking, though. He worries about the problems at Hilltop, Alexandria, the Kingdom. He presses the weaker man, the former leader at Hilltop, who’s so easily manipulated.
A little while later Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors sit at their table, listening to Gregory ramble on about “the big scary U,” as in “the unknown.” He does what he can to stay in the favour of the man holding Lucille. They talk about killing; Negan digs killing, long as it’s the right people. This is before Gregory went back to Hilltop, trying to “exile people” if they don’t agree to work with Negan and the Saviors. But the leader believes he’s a “thin dicked politician” offering nothing but lip service. And he doesn’t take too kindly to Simon trying to stick up for his cowardly buddy.
Therefore, he says they need to get the widow – Maggie (Lauren Cohan) – King “Assface” Ezekiel (Khary Payton), and Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Kill them in a horrible way for all to see. Make an example. Yikes.
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.20.02 AMAnd now we’re back to a different perspective of what occurred after Rick and the rest of them came crashing down.
Skip ahead to Negan and Gabriel in that trailer. The latter’s rushed by the former, though there isn’t a lot of fight. They’re stuck in there together, so I guess at least until they’re out of the predicament the horde of zombies is posing right outside, Negan might do well to keep an extra pair of hands around. Very compelling to see a sort of ‘big evil’ stuck in close quarters with a devout, righteous sort of character like Father Gabriel.
Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rick interrogate the Savior they’ve run down on the road, who tells them it was a massacre, everyone is dead. This leads them to believe their friends have been killed, as well. Meanwhile, Simon and the gang are inside the compound wondering whether their leader’s been killed. This leads us to wonder, as Negan suggests to Gabriel, if the leader is, in a sick sense, a safeguard against even worse atrocities? If he wasn’t around, would they devolve into utter chaotic violence? Well the Saviors are also starting to suspect a rat in their midst helped the assault from Rick and his friends. This puts Dwight (Austin Amelio) on the offensive, suggesting he’ll lead their people out of there; he’s not suspected, of course, it’s mostly Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Mr. Smarty Pants stops by later with a thank you for Dwight, for getting the heat off him. What an odd little situation.
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.34.13 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-20 at 1.41.50 AMIn that trailer, Negan rants about his strengths, his leadership qualities. This prompts Gabriel to reveal he was at the satellite station when Saviors were murdered. The priest pushes more, wanting the man to confess and beg forgiveness of God, of his fellow man. He pleads to whatever humanity’s left in him. “I havent killed anyone who didnt need it,” Negan says. He’s a microcosm of the leaders people let rule them out of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of something else, fear of the other; he saves people by using them, bending them to his will, by force yet pretending it isn’t by force at all. Soon we end up with Gabriel attacking Negan from behind, slipping away into the back of the trailer with a gun.
On the road Daryl and Rick search the truck run off the road, finding dynamite. Daryl wants to blow a whole in the compound, let walkers do the job. But Rick is afraid it’ll cause families to die, people stuck under the thumb of the Saviors and their leader. He doesn’t want to risk.
We see more of the divide between Daryl and Rick, the former not willing to let people die anymore, he wants to kill first. The two friends get into a fight of their own. Now THAT is a goddamn fist fight right there, two tough bastards. They nearly blow each other up after Rick tosses the dynamite and the truck explodes. All that for, essentially, nothing. Plus now they’re both pissed off.
Most intense is that trailer, where Negan tries coaxing the priest out of that room. Gabriel confesses about what he did at his church, locking people out during the beginning of the zombie epidemic. He knows redemption is possible, he’s living it every single day. I don’t think there’s any redemption for Negan. Although he talks about his first “real wife.” She got sick, before the fall of society. And when she died he couldn’t put her out of her misery. This gets Gabriel out of the room. Two men against a horde of zombies. They’re doing the old cover-yourself-in-guts-routine; when in doubt!
They get outside and the dead are everywhere. The place is covered, completely. Like a rock concert, bodies mashed together. Things get dicey, then they’re forced to start swinging and firing to make it out alive, each protecting the other as much as possible.


Inside, the Saviors are still arguing about what’s gone on. They’ve got bigger problems, all the workers are gathering and near rebellion. Without Negan around, who’s to stop them? Things are shit. Nobody has any answers, and it’s starting to make the class division amongst this little society more clear than ever.
It all changes once the leader himself arrives, his signature whistle putting everyone on their knees bowing. He’s arrived. Negan and Gabriel together. The whole situation with how things got like this is going to be a lot scarier, too. I know Eugene’s pissing his pants pretty right about now. What’s worse is Gabriel is looking very sick; is he bitten, or just ill? Shit, I didn’t expect that.
Well, heres a little refresher on who the hell I am: I wear a leather jacket, I have Lucille, and my nutsack is made of steel. I am not dyinuntil Im damn good and ready.”
Out in the woods, Rick thinks he sees a helicopter in the air. Does he? Or is it him hallucinating? Hard to tell. He’s heading to speak with Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her trash people in the nihilist garbage dump.
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 2.06.16 AMMAAAAN, this was a lowkey episode, yet it was incredible. Loved seeing a different side of Negan, even if only for a brief few moments. He showed a tiny bit of vulnerability, and somehow that makes him really unsettling, knowing there WAS a human down in there somewhere, at some point.
“The King, the Widow, and Rick” is next week. Bring it on.

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The Exorcist – Season 2, Episode 7: “Help Me”

Fox’s The Exorcist
Season 2, Episode 7: “Help Me”
Directed by Steven A. Adelson
Written by David Grimm

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Darling Nikki” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “A Heaven of Hell” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 12.35.53 AMOh, Andy (John Cho). I feel for the guy. Lost his wife, now she’s being used by a demon to taunt him. An existential torture far worse than merely losing his wife to suicide. We see the fateful day. A normal one, like any other. Andy wakes up and can’t find Nikki (Alicia Witt). He wanders down by the water and it’s there he sees her wading in off the shore. She disappears under the surface sending him running. He can’t find her anywhere.
Authorities start searching the water, police and paramedics crawling all over the beach. Peter (Christopher Cousins) is there to console him. And then they find her corpse, hauling her in. Drowned, gone. No wonder the guy’s had trouble. What a way to see his wife go.
And that stone, the one Andy’s kept in the room upstairs, is one of the stones she used to weigh herself down below the water. All of sudden, we are BACK! Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) and Marcus (Ben Daniels) are working their religion on the demon inside him, Andy’s strapped to a bed: “The power of Christ compels you,” they chant, that old familiar line.
Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 12.37.20 AMIn his head Andy is tortured by the memories of Nikki, the happy times with the foster kids. All the good stuff. Marcus and Tomas will not give up on him, even when he comes to through the demon’s influence, worrying about the kids and wanting to be let out of his restraints. He mentions his wife to the priests, and they’ve got to convince him it isn’t her, it is a “parasite” that feeds off him. They’ve got to get to know this Nikki demon. It’s the only way to beat it.
So when did it first turn up?
We cut back to the married couple. Nikki, a social worker, talks about a special girl she wants to bring to live with them. She worries he’ll be freaked out, instead he’s beyond supportive. That girl she spoke of was Verity (Brianna Hildebrand). Skip ahead to after Nikki’s suicide, Andy and the kids pouring out her ashes in the garden.
But when did the demon arrive, the first time? Marcus and Tomas press him to remember. It was upstairs in the room with all of the painting supplies, when Grace (Amélie Eve) came to offer her hand: “I could be your friend.” Thus began the demon’s domination over him.
Rose (Li Jun Li) is worried, naturally. There’s a dead body in the house, Andy’s strapped in the bed and gone mad. It’s all a bit much to take, even if she invited the exorcists into the house. She never expected any of this wild shit. The priests can only work as fast as they’re able, to try freeing Andy from the demon.
Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 12.53.34 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-18 at 12.57.06 AMIts not luck when you get what you deserve
The demon, through Nikki, has Andy living the ideal life. Just him and his wife. In sensual bliss. They have everything they ever wanted, everything they could need. Except it’s only a vision, a hallucination the demon provides to lull him into servitude. Marcus and Tomas fight hard, they try coaxing him back to reality, telling him it’s all an illusion. But oh, what an illusion. Demons know to prey on the weak, and they know where the weak are weakest, as well. Can Andy tear himself away from such a perfect world?
Well, it ain’t so perfect. There’s graves dug in the garden for each of the kids. Only Andy and Nikki now. No kids. No obligations. Just them, forever. Nikki tries turning him against the children, blaming them for her death. He’s being torn between religious demonology and the psychology he knows, an interesting juxtaposition. The demon continues tearing him apart with memories. He fights back, enough to keep himself still clutching at reality.
That demon’s got tricks up its sleeve, though. A lot. Andy is made to relive the morning of Nikki’s suicide again. He tries to go stop her, only the kids hold him up, being eerie. When he gets to the water he finds her going in, just like before. Smiling now. He goes in after her, pulling her out. The kids are on the shore taunting him, a hollow look in their eyes. One big scary vision.
Until he’s nearly drowning in bed, lake water pouring from his mouth. He nearly chokes before the priests turn him on his side. They’ve got to keep him grounded in reality. But that’s proving a hard task, of course. Suddenly the priests look terrifying, Andy feels attacked by them. He’s burned with the cross, holy water. His memories crush him. The demons tell him if he’d like it to stop, all he needs to do is ask. So he does. “Help me,” he croaks. Ahhh shit.


Nikki, the demon, has come to him, aiding his struggle. What’s going to happen from here? Things are about to get severe up in here! Andy will make a final choice. He’ll pick the kids, their deaths, or his wife. He wakes in the house to see his children hogtied, awaiting their fates. So he rushes off to look for Nikki. She’s already disappeared into the lake. He pulls her up, alive.
And now he’s awake, the full force of the demon throwing the priests around like rag dolls. The two of them, as well as the kids, are in a hell of a lot of trouble.
Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 1.15.51 AMWow. This series gets better every step of the way, it’s undeniable. Anyone who doesn’t dig it, fine. But it’s truly an amazing adaptation of Blatty’s work into a sequel to the original Friedkin film. Just downright spectacular writing. Plus, Season 2 has got a fucking jaw dropper performance out of John Cho.
“A Heaven of Hell” comes next week. I’m loving it already, as a Milton scholar, because that title is taken from a quote in the old poet’s epic Paradise Lost. So, extra nerd fun! Bring it on.

Frontier – Season 2, Episode 5: “Cannonball”

Discover’s Frontier
Season 2, Episode 5: “Cannonball”
Directed by Paul Fox
Written by Kerri MacDonald & Sherry White

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Mutiny” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Keetom Takooteeoo Maheekun (Return of the Wolf)” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 10.50.39 PMIn disputed territory, Harp (Jason Momoa), Taggart (Jamie Sives), and Charleston (Demetrius Grosse) run into Sokanon (Jessica Matten) with the young native girl. Harp refuses to take the girl, but Sokanon makes it clear: “I need to do this.” In the meantime, Michael (Landon Liboiron) is waiting for him to arrive.
Out on the ship, Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder) lets Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) know about changes on the ship, seeing as how they’re heading for land. Poor ole Darragh (Joel Thomas Hynes) is alive, just barely. There’s racket up top, men are fighting. Captain Grey (David Schaal) comes down to confront the Lord about the mutiny he’s obviously put into motion. But he’s done in by the old man, stabbed as the rest of the crew arrive to share in the glory. Benton is back in power, and with a ruthless crew of men behind him this time even more than before. Could get ugly, right quick.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 10.53.23 PMGovernor Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit) is getting awful serious. However, he doesn’t know that Michael and his gang are right underneath Fort James, as he conducts artillery drills on the cliffs, digging into the root cellar.
In Montreal, Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) receives a little visit from Malcolm Brown (Michael Patric). He’d like her to let his brother Douglas (Allan Hawco) out of his obligations with her company. They want to start over, just the Brown brothers doing their business. She refuses, and Douglas isn’t wholly excited about it, either. He feels caught in the middle of it all unfairly, also he doesn’t think starting over with their own company is smart. Malcolm gets far too personal, though. Yet Elizabeth knows how to keep her man occupied; just ask him into the bedroom, put on something sexy. Perhaps their bond might get too close for even the older brother to break.
So, are you not my dog?”
Im not your dog. Im your husband.”
My husband who will heel for me? My husband who will beg for me?”
At Fort James, Harp and the lads are sneaking around. They’re trying to do things without shedding blood. Well, any blood that’s not their own. Taggart cuts himself to make it look like he’s been stabbed. A distraction for a few of the redcoats nearby, so Charleston and Harp can get their hands on a bit of weaponry, some gunpowder. Not long later they meet up with Michael underground.
They get to business lighting the cannon, waiting for the perfect time. And then they punch a hole right through that wall.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.00.21 PMWhen Grace (Zoe Boyle) gets back to her ale house, she finds the place is deteriorating. Seeing as how the Governor turned it into shit after she left. Mary (Breanne Hill) sends her upstairs knowing the Gov is in bed with Imogen (Diana Bentley). So much for those marriage vows. Regardless, Grace brings the letter from her father she forged, to take back what’s rightfully hers. Chesterfield’s shown his adultery, so she could get an annulment of their marriage. We’ll see where this goes. Even though she’s right, she’s playing a dangerous dance with that madman. And it’s right after that Taggart sees the Governor is getting suspicious about something going on around the fort.
Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle) gets a surprise when Elizabeth shows up with papers and the authorities, dragging Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) off jail. Although the right hand man isn’t what you’d call worried, not like Grant. Elizabeth is really putting the screws to the rich American. She knows all about Samuel and Cobbs’ relationship.
What does she think of him? “Oh, youre an insignificant man,” she tells him. She sees through his facade: “Im more of a man than youll ever be.” He gets handsy, so she cracks him in the head pretty good. But he overpowers her, starting to strangle her. She’s able to give him another whack and crawl away. Doesn’t get far before he caves her head in with a final blow. Wow. Clenna (Lyla Porter-Follows) even offers to help dispose of the corpse.
Cobbs gets the shit kicked out of him in his prison cell. He tells a story about a boy with “pretty eyes” and a “cruel tongue” who hurt him once. So later on, Cobbs popped his eye out with a spoon for revenge. He takes his beating fairly well, too. A strong, twisted man. Of course his story is a pretence to distracting his attackers before striking back, viciously. He’s on his way to getting out of that cage.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.18.25 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.21.29 PMAt the fort, Chesterfield sees Michael, who’s providing his own distraction to keep the soldiers busy while Harp and the rest do their business. When the Governor gets really suspicious, he realises they’re after the furs and heads to the storehouse. Harp is going to stay behind, keeping the soldiers busy while everyone escapes.
Is Harp going to wind up in the gallows all over again? Right now, him and the new Governor are going to have a face off, that’s for damn sure! The soldiers are no match for our half Native, half Irish warrior. He gets away before the Governor shows up, a nice head start. And none of the soldiers heading after him through the tunnel know what’s waiting for them on the other side: a lit cannon.
While the Natives head out with the pelts alongside Michael, McTaggart and Charleston go back for Harp, winding up at the end of a bunch of soldiers rifles. Underground, Chesterfield’s survived the blast, but he’s absolutely feeling the effects of getting nearly blown to bits. It’s all about to boil over, especially with Harp stuck at the fort.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.30.58 PMAnother great episode in Season 2. Only one more left! Already there’s a Season 3 renewal, that’s great because I don’t want to be waiting, wondering if they’ll be continuing on or if we’re left partway through the overall story.
“Keetom Takooteeoo Maheekun (Return of the Wolf)” is next, finishing an intense and wild season.

Mr. Robot – Season 3, Episode 6: “eps3.5_kill-process.inc”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 6: “eps3.5_kill-process.inc”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kyle Bradstreet

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.6_fredrick&tanya.chk” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 1.26.56 AMWe open on a flashback, to when Angela (Portia Doubleday) was a little girl. She and Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) sit talking a while. They’re at a party, except it’s a party to sort of say goodbye to Angela’s mother Emily (Julia Crockett), to usher her off to whatever comes after life. For his part, Mr. Alderson drops a bit of Back to the Future knowledge to try helping the girl. He also asks her to look out for Elliot (Rami Malek), if ever dad shouldn’t be there to help him himself.
Back to present day, with Elliot questioning Angela, about her role in the Dark Army’s Stage 2 preparations. He isn’t happy that she’s willing to take her rage to such an extreme length. People are going to die. Nevertheless, Tyrell (Martin Wallström) has put everything into action, and Angela’s been manipulating the friend she was supposed to help. It’s an ugly use of Elliot’s mental illness against him. What’s worse is that this all has real world consequences, it’s not just a betrayal amongst friends. This is potentially going to tear the world apart. Our hacker still wants to stop what he can, however, it’s getting even harder to move forward with Angela standing in his way.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 1.32.00 AMThe FBI’s having their own trobules. Darlene (Carly Chaikin) is putting a wrench in the works, even if she’s still working with them. Dom (Grace Gummer) and Norm (Rizwan Manji) are trying to bend her to their will, but the young woman’s very smart, very sly. She tries to do as right by her brother as she can stuck in this predicament. Meanwhile, Dom doesn’t realise her boss Agent Santiago (Omar Metwally) is running with the Dark Army, and there she is, bringing him information unknowingly; he’s relaying it all right to Irving (Bobby Cannavale).
At the “utterly tasteless” Mar-a-Lago Club, conveniently timely, Whiterose aka Zhang (BD Wong) meets with Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) over drinks before a little get together with a bunch of other rich pricks. They talk in their usual way, a bit venomous, still civil. They also lament the idiot owner, who wears disgusting boating shorts that show off the ole “hanging brain.” Great jabs at the current dumbass POTUS, then just a regular jackass. Also an interesting choice of song in the background – “The Girl from Ipanema” – seeing as how Whiterose is there. Love this series!
Elliot is at E.Corp, wondering why people are headed back inside so soon. The bomb threat doesn’t go over as planned, they didn’t find a regular, expected bomb, so why worry, right? Our hacker must sneak his way into the building, to locate the device itself, by himself. Uh oh. That’s a bit sketchy; then again, sketchy may as well be Elliot’s middle name. When he gets to hacking, he finds Mr. Robot kicking back, worse than he has in a long time. All of a sudden, he’s in a cab somewhere else. That’ll set him back a little bit.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 1.38.45 AMIrving’s packing everything in the secret hacking lab to be taken away. And while Wellick thinks it’s part of the agreed upon plan, still believing his wife is alive, it’s not exactly going to be what he expected. At least he isn’t dead; yet. Simultaneously, Elliot pieces together what happened during his blackout, and he can’t find his laptop. He’s still having trouble, fizzling between reality and his lost time each time he tries to get back into the system, Mr. Robot fighting hard to keep him away.
On the subway, Angela sees someone wearing an fsociety mask. He pulls a gun out, robbing two old ladies. Angela doesn’t want to give over her purse, though. She refuses, and soon he leaves. She’s almost catatonic at this point.
After so much red tape Dom is going to cut through it herself. She goes down to the Red Wheelbarrow, where she heads inside and Norm watches the exterior. She believes that Wellick might be somewhere in the building. She’s done waiting, and goes through the back in the kitchen. She sees smoke coming from a backroom. In there she only finds the remnants of where Wellick was staying, where he burned whatever Irving gave him in the letter before he left. Dom’s instincts were right, she’s just too late; there’s even a tunnel leading away from the place underground.
A little later, Wellick is right out in public trying to run away. He doesn’t get far. And he’s screaming about an attack, wanting it to be stopped, suddenly worried about people dying. This rightfully freaks Dom out.
Elliot takes a fall over the stairs. Then he figures out it’s a good way to disrupt Mr. Robot, even if he’s kicking the shit out of himself. It’s his “kill command.” Both of them are fighting against one another. Elliot hopes that if he keeps moving he’ll manage to win. Hopefully so. Because right now dear dad is trying to keep his boy caged in, at all costs.
Can Elliot convince Mr. Robot to help? Can he change his own mind? Yes. Through it all that other personality listened, they worked together. The attack is thwarted. No explosion. No death. However, where does our hacker go from here? Will Mr. Robot stick around? What will the Dark Army do now? So many possibilities from here, and though there’s hope, I’m pretty damn worried.
Above all else: what’s Whiterose actually plotting? It was far bigger. Explosions at 71 other Evil Corp buildings run across all media. Hideous. Thousands dead. The brutal revolution continues.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 1.55.47 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-16 at 2.02.03 AMWhat a great fucking episode! The intensity is usually high, but this one was just wild. Even the previous episode was pretty damn riveting, the pace was flawless, the cuts hidden perfectly for the one-take feel. But this just had an even further feeling of tension, the suspense was outrageous.
Can’t wait for ” ” next week.

Peaky Blinders – Season 4, Episode 1: “The Noose”

BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders
Season 4, Episode 1: “The Noose”
Directed by David Caffrey
Written by Steven Knight

* For a recap & review of the Season 3 finale, click here.
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Heathens” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.00.17 PMLast we left the Shelby clan it was rough. Tommy (Cillian Murphy) tells his family they’re about to be arrested. And sure enough, Arthur (Paul Anderson), Michael (Finn Cole), John (Joe Cole), even Polly (Helen McCrory) are all hauled off to the clink.
The lads are not exactly easy to keep under control. Pol’s a bit more tame because she’s near gone mad. But each of them are now brought to be hung, a noose for each. Elsewhere, in the higher offices of the United Kingdom, is evidence that Tommy knows about Churchill’s involvement in all the earlier mess, reaching to the King himself. The assurance is that Tommy will burn everything he has relating to the Crown should the charges be dropped.
Right before the Shelbys and the Grays are hanged by the neck, the proceedings are stopped. On top of all that? Tommy Shelby wants an OBE. He’s always gotta get paid, one way or another, right?
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.01.34 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.02.55 PMCut to a year later in 1925, right before Christmas.
Lizzie (Natasha O’Keeffe) keeps Tommy up on the family goings on, though he already knows, anyway. He’s always busy, trying to raise young Charlie in the rare moments between doing business. He hasn’t seen his family in ages, not his brothers children. He’s isolated, just him and his boy, and he’s not even being a real father. In the meantime, he’s always drinking, always having sex with working women; probably not taking such great care of himself, either.
Although Tommy does see Michael, who continues working with the business, of course. They’ve got union troubles, a woman named Jessie Eden (Charlie Murphy) stirring things up as of late. Otherwise, Tom’s concerned with Michael and his drug use, lots of cocaine. He also wonders about Pol, she’s not great; she “saw spirits” before almost dying, her mental health is deteriorating. But Tommy says “the spirits she sees are real.” At least they have to be, to help her in the long run. She really is going off the deep end, though. Talking to herself, alone in that house and having conversations with dead people, drinking, downing pills.
The rift amongst the Shelbys is quite wide. Ada (Sophie Rundle) reaches out to John and Esme (Aimee-Ffion Edwards), the latter of whom is not entirely willing to reach back. Then there’s Arthur, he’s doing his best to pull himself together, wife Linda (Kate Phillips) remaining at his side after everything that’s gone on with the family.
Finally, Tommy meets with Ms. Eden about the “disparity in pay based on sex.” She’s no slouch. She knows all about the real Mr. Shelby, not the one with the OBE. Calling him out on his business practises. His idea is to raise the female pay, but he’ll cut the male pay, and tell everyone who decided that. Lots of family first nonsense from a man who doesn’t even talk to most of his own. Hypocrite much, Tom?
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.26.49 PMAn early Christmas gift arrives for Tommy, looking similar to letters with cards we’ve seen delivered to the other Shelby homes. It’s from a man named Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody), son of the man killed by the Shelby family. The card comes with a Black Hand. La Cosa Nostra? Old school Sicilian “mafia shit“? Oh, man. This is scary. Now John and Arthur are checking the post, as well. Finding their little holiday letters.
In Liverpool, Mr. Chagretta arrives from America. Getting closer all the time.
At the house, Tommy’s paranoid. He hears a vehicle on their way up the drive, preparing himself with a weapon. Only to see it’s Ada being dropped off to see him. Not much of a holiday reunion as it is preparation for a possible coming war, or at the very least a series of assassination attempts. Tom believes it’s necessary to go back to Birmingham, where they’re surrounded by soldiers for the Peaky Blinders. Christ, what a way to come back together. First, they’ve all got to have a family meeting. Sad to see a bunch of people who only ever had each other so divided, far apart yet near all the same. A real tragedy, even if they’re technically a ‘criminal’ family, as if they had much other choice.
Anyone who wants to live to see another Christmas needs to come where its safe. These bastards will kill kids, as well.”
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.34.50 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.39.22 PMAt home, Tommy’s curious about the new chef, a very specific man; an Italian, actually. He’s starting to wonder if this man, and his assistant, are actually there under false pretences. Such as, I don’t know, maybe, kill Tommy Shelby? Poison him? Who knows. At least Tom is aware, even if it turns out as just his paranoia running wild. He lets his suspicion grow, going down to the kitchen himself to introduce himself to the staff. He’s keeping a close eye on them, just in case. He goes to see the chef himself who’s busy butchering a bit of meat. AND BOY, THINGS ARE TENSE! He presses the chef, getting no real answers. Until bringing up Sabini. All the chef knows is that he was told to bring the sous-chef Antonio (Andreas Muñoz) with him.
Mr. Shelby puts a meathook into Antonio’s neck, and interrogates him about the Black Hand. He gets nothing else, so he shoots the sous-chef in the head. He instructs the chef to head back and tell those in America who sent them that things have changed. What a way to kick off Christmas.
Yet over at John’s place things are much worse, when he and Michael are gunned down by a bunch of Italians hiding in a cart full of hay on the road. Will they survive? Or will they die and add a huge fuel to the fire? Wow.
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.53.10 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-15 at 11.55.17 PMPerfect premiere for Season 4. Lord! Can never get enough of Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, or any of the rest of them. Gimme more.
“Heathens” is next week. They’ve started naming the episodes this season, at least that’s what it looks like on various other sites. Either way, I’m too excited for this season.

American Horror Story – Cult, Episode 11: “Great Again”

FX’s American Horror Story
Season 7, Episode 11: “Great Again”
Directed by Jennifer Lynch
Written by Tim Minear

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Charles (Manson) in Charge” – click here
* Season 8 recaps & reviews coming next year!
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 12.50.05 AMIn a maximum security prison, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) plays his pinky game with one of the correctional officers. He asks to see her “biker chick titties” and she complies, right before a couple of his buddies need to chat. But it’s clear his influence is still uncanny. Well, his friends are actually there to beat him down in the shower. They don’t like him throwing off the prison hierarchy. Thus begins a brutal fight, two on one. Until one guy stabs the other. He’s a pawn for the Divine Ruler, of course. And ole Kai, he’s still seeing Manson lurking around. So he also has to kill his accomplice, who deems it “an honour” to be killed by his leader.
Feels like there’s a full-on massacre about to go down. I only wonder how far Mr. Anderson will go.
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 12.54.10 AMOn the prison yard, Kai receives a new fish named Trevor (Ian Bamberg), he’s a young man serving 25 years. Divine Ruler’s an important lad in jail. He and Trevor play the pinky game, talking truth. Kai doesn’t like Trevor’s cowardly crime, killing a kid after running him over. He sees prison as a “fertile breeding ground” for men while women tear the world down outside, needing easily influenced bros like this kid.
Skip back eleven months. Kai can’t find Speedwagon (Cameron Cowperthwaite), though Ally (Sarah Paulson) keeps him on track. He talks to the cult about their latest plans. No dice on Night of a Thousand Tates; Night of One Hundred Tates is ready for the murder to commence. They’ve done research tracking down enough pregnant women to murder. Tough task, apparently. Divine Ruler gives a gruesome presentation on how to stab, impaling mother and baby at once. Like Manson before him with black people, Kai plans to begin the female uprising after this “electoral bloodbath.”
Meanwhile, Ally and Beverly (Adina Porter) chop food in the kitchen, as the cavemen believe women should in their specified roles. However it’s more than obvious Bev can’t handle it anymore. She’s cracking up, like any normal person would in her position. Although she’s suicidal, which isn’t good. She’s so suicidal, in fact, she urges Ally to kill her. That doesn’t work. Ally urges her to hang on a bit longer.
Fuck a Manwich
When Kai’s about to boil over, Ally tells him about Speedwagon. He was busted with ecstasy, and the cops set him on Dt. Samuels. Undercover. When Speedwagon admitted this to Ally, she killed him. So Winter (Billie Lourd) didn’t betray him. He’ll use this pain, this guilt, to commit the atrocities during the Night of One Hundred Tates. Yikes. Fuelled by anger and vitamin A.
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 1.00.30 AMAlly’s got her own plans with the FBI.
They descend on the Anderson home. Flashbangs are tossed in and an armed team come for Kai and the meathead bros. A gunfight ensues, shots fire in the dark and the smoke. People are killed, some commit suicide instead of being caught. Bev takes her chance to shoot one of the bros in the head. But in the end, Divine Ruler is taken into custody.
After everything, Ally’s trying to leave that life behind. Naturally people treat her like a famous person, though she tries evading all that shit. Bev shows up one day, talking about Kai, who’s not going to trial. She realises Ally didn’t turn her in with the rest of them. She worked with the FBI ever since right before joining the cult, pulling their strings as much as Bev, Ivy, Kai. She’s still living the lie, fairly well, too. Pretending she didn’t murder her wife; in all fairness, Ivy deserved it. All the same, Kai claims he didn’t do that one, that Ally killed her wife. Not many are suspicious, except for Bev, not that she’ll tell anybody.
Ally does her best to move on, helping Oz like a normal life. Things aren’t all fine, the infamy is hard to deal with, she’s become a “feminist icon” in the media. And Kai calls from prison one night. He’s found out that Oz is indeed not his son, enraging him further. He’s left with his “circle jerking fascists” and a prison cell for life. Only he says he’s building a true army, he’ll escape, he’ll come for her. Scary thing is he’s got the prison guards on his side, banging Gloria to keep himself with the right privileges. At the very same time he’s discovering Ally’s running for Senate. She’s running on bringing down cults, of the “twoparty system” and all the tyranny of patriarchy, for the benefit of everybody, men and women alike.
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 1.21.32 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-15 at 1.22.07 AMWhat Ally cannot escape is her victim status, as the victim of Kai. She wants to shed that image. While Kai is alive, it’s hard to separate herself from him. First, she’ll debate Senator Jackson currently serving. In jail, Kai is doing his own shedding of an image. He’s shedding himself, his skin. He’s created another him, his new fish recruit. They’ve got him tatted up like Divine Ruler.
You know exactly where this is going. Someplace vicious, violent. A way for Kai to fake his death and get out of prison. Gloria helps him out through the gates, then he’s back in the real world again, free to do his damage.
So the debate goes ahead, Senator Jackson against Senate hopeful Ally. She stands up against the misogyny, the mansplaining, all the rhetorical devices used to hold women down. In the midst of it all Kai stands up to ask a question, setting the place on edge. He rants against the one who brought him down, he belittles Ally and all women, threatening to kill her. He finds himself double crossed.
By whom? Gloria, baby. She’s been pulling the long con for Ally, putting him centre stage. Ally helped Gloria see the misogyny under his ruse. Because women might not always be stronger physically than a man, but she can always be smarter, by far. Bev gets the last laugh when she puts a bullet through Kai’s face. Leading to Ally’s successful run for Governor.
There is something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man: a nasty woman.”
And don’t you think Ally is gonna do things totally above board, either. She learned that sometimes you’ve gotta get dirty, especially if you’re going to be a politician. No matter how hopeful a leader.
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 1.35.05 AMPersonally, loved this season, deeply. Sure the end is a bit rosy, that’s fine. The rest of the season really took on both sides, not just a big anti-Trump run of episodes. You can’t expect Ryan Murphy & Co. not to be liberal leaning at some point. There’s a positivity, in ways, at the end of every American Horror Story season. So you shouldn’t expect any less here. There’s always darkness, but there’s always some light, too.

Frontier – Season 2, Episode 4: “Mutiny”

Discover’s Frontier
Season 2, Episode 4: “Mutiny”
Directed by David Frazee
Written by Adriana Maggs

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Wolf and the Bear” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Cannonball” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.40.18 PMIn Montreal, we find Malcolm Brown (Michael Patric) running into Declan Harp (Jason Momoa). The big man needs a buyer for pelts. He wants to get a meeting with Elizabeth Carruthers (Katie McGrath) via Malcolm’s brother, her new husband Douglas (Allan Hawco). Of course he wants a bit of money for the trouble. But he takes Harp, along with Charleston (Demetrius Grosse), to meet the widow. She’s pleasantly surprised. They chat briefly, and she invites him to her place for dinner that evening. While McTaggart (Jamie Sives), Charleston, and Harp plan, there’s always Cobbs Pond (Greg Bryk) lurking, plotting, keeping an eye out out for Mr. Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle).
What a devious business, the fur trade.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.41.18 PMWhat about Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) and Sokanon (Jessica Matten)? They’re watching the root cellar, the storehouse. It’s obvious they care for one another, yet the divide between their worlds is always evident, as well. In the meantime, they’re going to talk with Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle) for more help with their latest plans. Except that Grace isn’t around, she’s in Montreal. There’s nastier stuff about within the fort itself, as women like Imogen (Diana Bentley) have to sell themselves to the awful men there, and Mary (Breanne Hill) is only safe because she tends bar. It’s a hideous situation. One that Sokanon hates to witness.
Out on the ship, Chaulk (Kathryn Wilder) and Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) hear the vicious whipping of Mr. Darragh (Joel Thomas Hynes) before he’s tossed in a cell, as well. The Lord is getting his brutishness back. I suspect he’ll be staging quite the mutiny soon enough.
At the Carruthers house, Elizabeth and Douglas receive Harp for dinner. The others, including Malcolm, have to eat in another room, of course. Ah, the class divisions even amongst friends and family! What a time. Harp works on establishing a “business relationship” with the widow. The two end up talking alone together, about the fact Declan is known for “hunting men” not beaver. She wants to know about the death of his wife, he briefly speaks of Lord Benton, though without naming him. He’s mostly concerned with everyone who lives “in the shadow of the HBC.” He’s a revolutionary, and she’s impressed enough to want to give him a chance. They’ve struck a deal.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.48.20 PMSokanon is finding it difficult amongst the evil of white men. Young girls and women prostituted for petty coin. A young Native girl at the ale house is unknowingly sold to an officer, she’s attacked in the back room by him. Mary refuses to allow it. She stabs the officer in the neck. When he fights back a bit, she stabs him with another knife in the top of the head. They’ve got quite a crime to cover up. Governor Chesterfield (Evan Jonigkeit) is mostly drowning himself in alcohol, letting whatever happens happen.
On her journey, Grace is with Jean-Marc Rivard (Paul Fauteux). She tells him of her father’s death, a couple years ago. She never went to see him when he requested. Now she’s going to fake that her father is still alive with Rivard’s help, so that she won’t lose everything back home.
Charleston: “White folks are white folks. No offence.”
McTaggart: “None taken. Im Scottish.”
When Grace goes looking for her father’s things, speaking with an innkeeper (Codco alumni Greg Malone), she finds his seal, which ought to help trick people into believing him not dead. There’s also suggestions that Grace didn’t have such a wonderful relationship with dear ole dad.
On the streets, Charleston is taken hostage by Pond when he goes for the gunpowder, letting McTaggart and Harp get away. Uh oh. His “black loyalist” line doesn’t do him any good. On the ship, Chaulk and Benton put together a plan to have the ship turn around, spoiling the water to force a return to land.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.58.10 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-14 at 1.07.46 PMPond is using Charleston as a bargaining chip against Harp. So the big guy goes into the street willingly. He’s not afraid, even with a bounty out on his head. He heads off with Pond and his men, leaving Charleston in the street, McTaggart in an alley. Harp is brought to the town square, thrown in the stocks. Grant shows up gloating, wanting to offer the big man a way out if he gives up information concerning the widow. But you know Harp’s not having that shit: “Youre blocking my view,” he quips from his precarious position.
Can McTaggart get his buddy out? Maybe he and Charleston make a proper team. They acquire a few items necessary for the task of freeing Harp. Then, Vlad (James Preston Rogers), that unkillable Siberian offers to take the big guy to his trial. At the same time, Rivard stumbles onto the scene; he rushes back to tell Grace. McTaggart unlocks Harp, setting into motion quite a bout of chaos, as Charleston waits in the wings with a rifle. Grace gets there just in time with the sealed declaration from Chesterfield concerning the bounty being dropped. BAM! What a woman. Although Harp hates to hear what she’s had to sacrifice personally to get it done.
At Fort James, Sokanon and Michael run into Mary and the young Native girl disposing of the officer’s body. They help get rid of him. Sokanon fears for the girl, wanting to get her back to her people, to be safe. Mary knows this is best. Sad to see here the disconnect between the young girl and her rightful home, taken away to the cities, assigned a dehumanising job, forced to speak English versus Sokanon, a strong warrior for her tribe.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 1.10.40 PMWonderful episode! A favourite of mine so far. Glad they’ve already announced a Season 3. “Cannonball” comes next. Excited to see more action.

Mr. Robot – Season 3, Episode 5: “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00”

USA’s Mr. Robot
Season 3, Episode 5: “eps3.4_runtime-error.r00”
Directed by Sam Esmail
Written by Kor Adana & Randolph Leon

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “eps3.3_metadata.par2”  – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “eps3.5_kill-process.inc”  – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.30.27 AMThe UN is gathering to vote on the Congo. At the same time, Elliot (Rami Malek) is headed back to work at Evil Corp with Angela (Portia Doubleday) watching over him. He gets a call from Darlene (Carly Chaikin), asking to talk to him. We continually hear the crackling of a potential system failure, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) on the verge of breaking through, or maybe he’s the one in charge. Elliott wonders if his “daily program” crashed, if he’s merely going along the routine. Perhaps a “runtime error.” Either way he knows something’s wrong. He’s starting to not be able to distinguish between inner monologue and outer speech.
Meanwhile, the one-shot episode continues; I doubt it’s actual a real single take, rather a bunch of cleverly disguised cuts, which is just as perfect, and requires lots of artistry. So we watch Elliot try going about his day, however, he’s starting to realise his access is locked out. His paranoia starts working on him. Rightfully so, as the Dark Army is doing his thing while his account and employment at E.Corp is being shut down permanently.
Thus begins the intensity. Security comes looking for Elliot while motormouth Samar (Ramy Youssef) distracts them, and our hacker goes about his perpetual search for truth. He has to evade security, act natural. He winds up getting access to a computer again via some Bernie Bro douche, checking on the Dark Army Stage 2 execution. Takes a bit of finesse, though he manages to get himself out of there just barely and into an elevator. Except that’s when dad shows up, ranting and raving. And he still hasn’t finished what he needed to do before getting ejected from the building.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.48.48 AMOutside is a massive protest, and Elliot does the only thing he can do: he calls in to tell E.Corp there’s a bomb in their building ready to explode. Darlene’s there, too. She reveals to her brother she’s been working with the FBI. She tells him about everything, that they were onto fsociety, tracking them both for months, all of it. This is fairly shocking to him, obviously. Darlene acts like it was for their safety, that she’s been trying to help. The feeling of betrayal for him is deep, and it’s more unsettling than everything else that’s already going on. His paranoia is turned up past 10 at this point. This is when he finds out Angela’s been manipulating him, using Mr. Robot to her advantage. He remembers his brief waking moment with Angela and Tyrell.
Who can he trust anymore?
Soon from the crowd of protesters a bottle is tossed at the cops, tear gas is released, and a full fledged riot commences. Masked protesters invade Evil Corp, spray painting, destroying anything on which they can lay their hands. Employees are accosted and made to swipe the masked vigilantes upstairs through the elevator, where they’ll unleash further chaos. The whole play is tagged, smashed, turned upside down.
Angela gets a call from Irving (Bobby Cannavale); they’ve started the riot as a “distraction,” apparently. This also involves Elliot putting into place their contingency plan. Ah, how things have changed. Angela gets a package at the desk, which contains all the information the hacker will need to implement the plan necessary for the Dark Army. So while the hallways are utter chaos, she has to go looking for her friend, or her tool, as far as it looks from her perspective. Things get sticky once she runs into security, they see some of the things when she drops her package. She barely gets away after the guy’s beat down brutally by protesters.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.51.40 AMAngela makes it into a server room, attempting to hook up a hard drive. She winds up running into another woman, who’s suspicious of why she’s there. She claims to have been doing a physical security audit. They’re interrupted by more violence. Angela gets a bit of second hand mace, though not enough to blind her. She gets back to the hard drive, doing the work herself in lieu of finding Elliot amongst all the madness.
She finishes up, but now she has to get out of there in one piece. She finds one of the fsociety masks, so she uses it to her advantage, disguising herself for when she comes across more of the protesters. She gets to an elevator, a way out. But she lets Irving know a woman saw her, that she did the hacking herself. He’s not entirely thrilled. Although Stage 2 is going ahead as planned, all is right for the Dark Army right now. When Angela gets back to her office, she finds Elliot waiting, wanting answers.
Simultaneously, China’s been given the vote to annex the Congo via the UN.
Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 12.09.03 PMSam Esmail continually pushes the envelope, in many ways. This series is one of the greatest, it’ll go down with the best in the history of TV. No doubt.
“eps3.5_kill-process.inc” is next week.

The Walking Dead – Season 8, Episode 4: “Some Guy”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 4: “Some Guy”
Directed by Dan Liu
Written by David Leslie Johnson

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Monsters” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Big Scary U” – click here


We see Ezekiel (Khary Peyton) transform in front of the mirror, from a regular man to a King. He heads out ready to walk into battle as the Kingdom joins the Hilltop, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), to fight against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors. People may find the King a bit odd in this post-zombie apocalypse, however, he does bring hope to others in a dark time.
We will fight, and we will bleed, and yet I smile.”
Cut to the aftermath. Bodies, blood everywhere. Many from the Kingdom dead, including those who toppled on the King to keep him safe. He emerges from a pile of his dead friends, wounded, yet alive. He’s left in the wreckage. Some of them start reanimating. Will the wasteland finally break his spirit after such sacrifice? Will he survive with that fucked up leg? Our King is in a tough spot.
Luckily he makes it to a weapon, though that only lasts so long. Zombie friends everywhere. One of his men is still around and helps him out before anything worse happens. Meanwhile, in the towers nearby, the machine guns are packed up after a successful massacre. Sneaking in behind the men there is my lady Carol (Melissa McBride). She waits for the perfect time and pumps them all full of holes from the ceiling. Yeah, she bad! She escapes just in time before more men show up.
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.30.10 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.33.15 AMOne of the Saviors comes across the King taking him back. Oh, damn. They get back to the compound, as Carol starts a war inside the fences, firing on everybody, though she’s a bit in over her head. Ezekiel tries getting free of his captor, but it’s to no avail. And when it’s convenient, the guy leaves the King to the horde of walkers nearby. He’s about to kill him, before Ezekiel’s saved by his main man Jerry (Cooper Andrews). But the King is still shaken by his captor, who challenged the authority of his little ruse of royalty. He tries to regain his confidence fighting the horde side by side with Jerry as they laid siege upon by the dead.
Carol gives herself up to the Saviors, coming out from cover unarmed. When one man gets close enough she takes him by knifepoint at the throat. The other Saviors shoot him, and Carol manages to hit the gate’s button, letting zombies in at the Saviors.
Zombies, zombies, everywhere! Everyone is surrounded. Carol’s got the men outside in a predicament., She wants the weaponry, the ammo, and she’s pushing to see if they’ll walk away, if she can keep them scared. But then she also sees Ezekiel and Jerry, nearly swallowed whole by all those walkers. Will she leave them to die and go for the weapons? Nah. I don’t think so.
We quickly cut back to before the madness, with Ezekiel and Carol talking. She questions if he’s fought much before. He says that he’ll will himself into what is required. The catalyst of his becoming is borne of when he saw Shiva trapped, needing help: “I wanted to be the one who leapt.” There are big similarities between Carol and Ezekiel; she, most certainly, went through SO MUCH to become the person she is now at this point, and she is tougher than most of the men around her.
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.43.05 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.51.57 AMCarol chooses to save her friend rather than get the guns. Morals over necessity; good woman. Jerry, Ezekiel, and Carol get away, and she’s got a good feeling those guns aren’t getting away. Because Daryl (Norman Reedus) is on those guys, with Rick not far behind. They don’t anticipate a machine gun in the back, and Daryl nearly gets gunned down. Former sheriff Grimes doesn’t fuck around, he goes after them. Balls to the wall. He and Daryl are a great team, taking out machine guy dude and throwing the driver off his game. Rick pulls a sick action movie move, jumping into the vehicle as they drive, stabbing the driver and trying to take the wheel. This sends him flying off the road. Not as slick as possible; effective, nonetheless. They’ve got themselves some guns, baby!
On the road, Carol and her buddies are going strong. Except there’s a nasty spill of sewage from a drain pipe along a canal, a bunch of gross zombies. They get past, except Ezekiel believes he’s got to face a bunch of them alone. He’s having a crisis of identity, a breakdown. Well, that is before Shiva shows up tearing a bunch of walkers to bits, letting her friends get free. She dies underneath a pack of them; and I cried a bunch, honestly.
I aint no King. Im just some guy.”
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 2.55.30 AMWhat a whopper of an episode. So sad Shiva died, that truly broke me up hard. What a beast, a beautiful creature who died defending her friend. A heartbreaking moment, especially for Ezekiel, whose crisis of identity will only get worse. Wow. Emotionally heavy and a bunch of action.
“The Big Scary U” is next week, looks like a familiar face may return for a flashback? Maybe? We’ll see.

The Exorcist – Season 2, Episode 6: “Darling Nikki”

Fox’s The Exorcist
Season 2, Episode 6: “Darling Nikki”
Directed by Jason Ensler
Written by Franklin jin Rho & Adam Stein

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “There but For the Grace of God, Go I” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Help Me” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.02.04 AMWe’re seeing the aftermath following Andy (John Cho) coming face to face with the demon haunting him, in the form of his dead wife, Nikki (Alicia Witt). Little Grace is gone, so now they can be together. He’s trying his best to deny what’s happening, but it’s all too real. “Now you have me,” she tells him.
Young Truck (Cyrus Arnold) is gone, taken to another place after his seemingly violent incident recently. The others are left feeling awful, in their own ways. I worry for Harper (Beatrice Kitsos); wouldn’t it be the worst brand of fate for a girl who was made to seem possessed by her crazy mother to actually get possessed by a demon at some point? I feel like the demon’s going to have a lot of nasty fun around that foster home.
What about Marcus (Ben Daniels) and Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera)? Things aren’t well. The older of the two isn’t exactly thrilled his younger partner went back to the foster home. However, Tomas knows there’s a “presence in that house.” He reveals what he’s discovered. But it’s clear he’s not right in the head, letting the demons in has done him no good. He further mentions the mysterious rock he’d found in that room at the house. The priests begin seeing that the demon might’ve been here for hundreds, thousands of years, using the island as its “hunting grounds.”
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.05.31 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.07.03 AMAt the facility where Truck is being housed, Rose (Li Jun Li) and Andy visit with him. He’s scared, too. He talks of a person in his head, telling him he had to hurt Verity (Brianna Hildebrand). Interesting that he casually identified the voice as a woman. In the meantime, Andy’s wondering about the future of his foster parenthood, the home, worried they’ll shut the place down after all that’s been going on. He also wonders if his wife is the one who talked Truck into being violent. Worse, he’s caught between reality, hallucination, and it’s getting scary.
At home, Harper and Caleb (Hunter Dillon) talk more about the “island witch” before Andy interrupts. The kids clearly feel the tension, they just don’t know why things are SO tense. Outside, Rose receives a visit from the exorcists. She mentions the stress levels, things getting wildly emotional. While it’s a bit far fetched to her still, she’s coming around. At the very least, she’s seen their honesty – they figured out what was wrong at Harper’s home, with her mother. So she knows they’ll actually investigate before assuming an exorcism necessary.
Thus, the priests come around for supper. I wonder how Nikki is going to respond, those men of God so close to her territory. She’s already tightening her grip on her husband. No telling what sort of madness is about to occur.
Elsewhere, Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan) and Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson) are headed to see an old familiar face: Maria Walters (Kirsten Fitzgerald). God daaamn. Lady’s looking rough, too. Integrated as a motherfucker.
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.19.45 AMDuring dinner, Tomas says Grace, during which Andy uncharacteristically makes little silly comments. Already, the demon, via Nikki, is influencing him starting at a very basic level. Harper then brings up the fact the priests are exorcists, making things… pretty, pretty, pretttttty tense. This takes us into a conversation about religion v. psychology. A teleological sort of talk. Conversion therapy, re: Verity, also comes up from Andy; for his part, Tomas apologises on behalf of his faith, the Church, for what they did to her. But you can just FEEL THAT SUSPENSE! LORD ALMIGHTY! A little later, upstairs, Harper tells Marcus about hearing a voice in the woods, speaking to her, believing it was the island witch.
What’s Madam Walters been doing since Season 1, anyway? Right now she’s facing an IV full of holy water for her veins – super unique method of interrogation for a demonic presence – if she doesn’t give up any information to Mouse and Bennett. She says, as a “rotting socialite,” the other demons have abandoned her, she serves no purpose anymore.
Alone together, the adults at the foster home chat. Marcus is turning the screw, whereas Tomas is a bit more subtle. They talk of Andy’s fostering the children, his history. He tells them about why he and Nikki became parents. Slowly, the priests can see the demon playing with her toy. Ole Tomas is having visions, as well; yikes. And Nikki, she keeps on turning up, manipulating her husband. Tension ratchets up further when Marcus hauls out that mysterious rock from the room upstairs. Why did Andy keep it around? What does it mean? Ain’t just a rock. The renegade priest pushes more and more until Andy starts getting upset. Rose accidentally reveals she brought the priests in to help, and that’s gonna cost her, I bet.
In the house of the shoemaker there are no shoes
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.29.33 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.31.12 AMTomas excuses himself and Marcus reluctantly, leaving Rose, the kids under that roof with Andy and his demon. The priests aren’t actually going to leave, they just don’t want to get arrested. They figure things are going to get physical, it’s the only way. Problem is Tomas is also struggling with the curse of those visions he’s having. He’s got Marcus on his side, and that’s as good as the entire Roman Catholic Church, far as I’m concerned.
In her sick bed, Maria is about to die. Bennett presses for some info before she’s finished off. They find photos of the renegade priests nearby, hearing more about the “little cub,” Father Tomas; the demons are working to take him over. Moreover, the demon in Maria speaks as Marcus, speaking of something that happened at the abbey two decades prior involving Mouse. Sounds scandalous. Mouse puts an end to it with a bullet to Maria’s brain. In a hail of glass, Bennett gets a nasty wound.
Back at the foster home, Andy gets closer to Rose, they go to bed together. Uh oh. Is the demon seducing Rose? Will Nikki kill the woman? Starts getting freaky for Andy, seeing Rose and his wife together during a hallucination. Meanwhile, there’s other troubles: Harper’s mom came back to find her. She’s taking her daughter back, by violent force if necessary.
Andy’s fully hypnotised by the demon now, just as Marcus and Tomas arrive to try saving Harper from her mother. Things are reaching a boiling point. Everyone’s lifted from the floor throughout the house as Nikki tosses Rose around the bedroom. Andy chokes Rose. In the hallway, Tomas wrestles the mother. Until Andy comes out, picking up a knife, and exerting demonic force of his own. He stabs the woman, right in front of everybody, gutting her open from belly to neck. Andy convulses on the floor, the priests approach with prayer and their crucifixes.
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.37.35 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.45.35 AMScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 12.46.12 AMWill they save him? Will they save the others? No telling, not yet. ONE OF THE GREATEST EPISODES OF TELEVISION ALL YEAR!
“Help Me” comes to us next week. Bite your nails until then.