Game of Thrones S6E2 – Home (spoilers!)

GoTBar640Alright.. GoT is back!  This season has been killer so far.  They are mostly past the books,    (the Iron Islands stream is still within the book events), so apparently they have decided to get the stories moving a little faster than in previous seasons. D&D have done a really good job thus far into the season and I’m totally on board for now.

Dorne

First, there has been a hella bit of whining on the Interwebs about the Dorne storyline and what they did in the season 6 premiere.  I don’t get it.  What was the expectation there?  Doran Martell to engage in some long distance game of intrigue with Cersei? Hogwash.  Something needed to happen and something did.  Elia  and her Sand Snakes are going to be a problem and I hope she makes a right mess of things.

Kings Landing

I really love the character arcs in this show. Take for instance Jamie Lannister.  How can you not love the guy now?  A humbled Jamie is an awesome Jamie (sexual tastes and murderous history aside).  He gives Brienne a sword of Valyrian steel and a mission,  attempts to save his daughter, and in this episode has one of my favorite scenes with the Sparrow. Jamie is with Tommen at the wake of his daughter and Tommen’s sister and he patiently tells Tommen to go see his mother. The High Sparrow makes an appearance.  I love the barely restrained arrogance and feigned humbleness that Jonathan Pryce pours into the character. Its perfect.  Anyway,  Jamie and The High Sparrow have some words and it was fantastic. Jamie threatens to kill him and the HS suggests he could bring down the throne.  Sadly – Jamie makes the mistake of not bringing any help when the HS’s little birds surround the chamber holding clubs etc and generally looking menacing. To be continued I’m sure..

Speaking of the “King”. Tommen is just brutal. He is pathetic and weak and annoyingly so. What a tragic waste of a crown.  The worst part of all is that when he finally asks Cersei for  help, you actually felt good because you know something is going to get done.

Braavos

Arya is blind and quickly gets forgiveness after a couple beatings. That was fast. I think Jagen H’ghar might be sweet on her. I’m hoping they do her justice because I think she is gonna be awesome later one.  I mean even more awesome.  I miss the Hound.

Iron Isles

Finally they killed that crotchety old bastard Balon Greyjoy and now Yara (the best Greyjoy) can attempt to become the first woman leader of the Iron Isles.  She just needs to navigate the Kingsmoot.

The North

Roose Bolton…Or should I say a poor Joffrey knockoff.  Clearly the guy they want you to hate.  The only problem is that he is a pretty cookie cutter psychopath. He doesn’t have the same spoiled brat throwing a tantrum vibe that really made you hate every fiber of Joffrey’s being.  He is vicious, cold, ruthless and obviously damaged. But actually kind of boring, even with the patricide and fratricide in this episode.

Bran makes an appearance and we see where he has gotten off to up North with the 3 eyed crow.  We also get a glimpse of Ned Stark as a child in Winterfell and his sister Lyanna. Which I think is leading up to a big reveal later.  Look up R+L=J if you’re interested.  Anyway,  hopefully Bran starts doing…something soon.  Anything.  Also – Willis!!

Was there anything else of note this episode… Umm,  the Wildings come back to save the Onion Knight and company in Castle Black from that total creep Allier Thorne.  A giant smashed a crossbowman into pulp on the wall in some comic relief.

Yada..

Yada..

Yada..

Oh yeah.. Boom.

Kit_Harrington_SDCC_2013_(cropped)
Hi, I’m awesome, and I’m back bitches.

 

Walking Dead Finale… sigh..(spoilers also)

Walking-Dead S6
WTF

Well..I’m torn.  I watched the season 6 finale and I thought it was really good and fine way to finish off what I thought was the best season in a while.  Until the last 10 seconds.  I’ll explain later.

The episode did an excellent job of  building the tension.  The interactions with the Saviors at each route they tried was a nice mechanism to turn the crank as they vainly tried to get Maggie to the doctor at Hilltop.  And the dialog really set up season 7 based on what I believe happened at the end.  A couple lines involving Rick really highlighted the almost arrogance that he has seemed to develop.  The first was when that dummy Spencer asked if they should try and negotiate if the Saviors show up and Rick gave that smarmy smirk and said to tell them to wait for him. The second really telling moment was when Maggie told Rick that she believed in him.  This was a critical line. (I’ll get back to this)

There was also a really nice moment with Abraham and Eugene when he sacrificed himself to let the others get to Hilltop on foot.  It really felt like a good bye and it was bittersweet.

Now to the really issue I had with the episode.  First, I thought JDM was fantastic.  He really pulled it off. And he certainly has the charisma (and I’m told the looks) to pull of the Negan character.  A great introduction…  And then the last 10 seconds happened.  What the F was that?  Awful is what it was. I truly think the writers took it a step too far. I think they would have been much better served and had a much more positive response if they actually showed who was killed and ended on say…Maggie’s horror stricken face?

Glenn
Dead Man Walking

It had to be Glenn who met Lucille at the end.  I think that’s the case because they gave us a couple clues.  Namely the faith shown by Maggie in Rick and the group earlier in the episode and the promises Rick made to her. It kind of highlighted just how tight they are as a group to show how impactful Glenn’s hopefully smashed face is to them.  With Glenn being the chosen one, it will break Maggie from the group and that leads to other events down the road.

I’m still looking forward to the next season but that last ten seconds really dampened my enthusiasm.  Even after hearing the rationalizations that Kirkman and Gimple both gave on The Talking Dead (an amazing show btw), I still feel like it was the wrong choice.  A lot of real fans of the comic and the show were disappointed.

 

The worst part of the whole thing? This waste is still alive!!

NoTalentCarl
The Worst Actor Alive

 

Walking Dead Finale Predictions

So Sunday will finally deliver us the 90 minute finale everyone wants to see.  There are a a bazillion predictions as to what will happen..  So here is another:

  1. Negan arrives. And it will be awesome.
  2. Someone we love will die.  (I’m guessing it will be Glen, or Daryl) – Either will make lots of people unhappy..
  3. Maggie loses/lost the baby.
  4. Lots of other people will die.
  5. Rick might lose something.
  6. Things are gonna be bad for our beloved group
  7. And of course,  that damned cockroach,  no-talent, awful Carl will survive.

 

negan

House of Cards Season 4 thoughts..(mild spoilers)

house-of-cards-season-4

 

We’ve finally finished season 4 of House of Cards and I think it’s likely been the best since Season 1.  Spacey and Wright are just fantastic.  The chemistry they have is perfect.  The first half of the season was the conflict between Frank and Claire and ended with the wolves circling, but the Underwoods going on the offensive.

They both give Patrick Bateman a run for his money in the sociopath department.  They can, and do ruthlessly damage the other until they realize that the success they enjoy is primarily because of their combined strength.  And they do indeed make a formidable opponent.

The odd thing about this show is that you see how  awful the Underwoods are,  but you still end up hoping, just a glimmer in the darker parts of your soul, that they come out on top. Or at the very least you want to see *how* they do it.

So at the end of the season it ends up with the Underwoods  vs an intrepid reporter from the Herald ( Tom Hammerschmidt) who has a powerful set of allies, Will Conway the charismatic Captain America-ish Republican nominee,  the SecState Kathy Durant who I believe is going to screw the Underwoods over or at least make an attempt and I think maybe the actions of Doug Stamper the Underwoods CoS,  who is playing a very dangerous game.

Season 5 is lining up to be pretty epic.  I just hope the writers don’t go too far off the rails.

Another thing to note is that Netflix is on a pretty good role with their original programming.  House of Cards,  Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Orange is the New Black have all been very good to excellent.  HBO better watch out..

House of Card is back!

 

House-of-Cards
F.U.

 

We just started the latest season of House of Cards on Netflix.  I enjoyed last season but I did find it to be maybe the weakest of them,  but so far this season,the show is back to top form.

So far we are through the first 3 episodes and it has so far revolved mostly around the battle between Frank and Claire as they bite and stab each other while maintaining the facade of a happily married power couple.  All I can say is that I am firmly Team Claire.

Also worth noting is that Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are just fantastic.  The level of “f**k you” Spacey can communicate in a smile is just…well,  awesome.  These two completely deliver and handily do most of the heavy lifting for the show.

I’ll return later as we burn through the season..

 

Red Wedding doesn’t disappoint! *Spoilers*

Wow.

Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones on HBO was titled, appropriately,  The Rains of Castamere.  This was the episode in which the Red Wedding occurs and it was just sensational.  That gut wrenching feeling that hit you when you read that Rob died in the books was just as powerful on screen.  They added in some spice but holy shit. Just an epic episode.  And I also think Michelle Fairley,  who plays Catelyn Stark was just superb.  The rest of the episode was almost filler around the RW and that was just alright with me.  In it we saw Dany send Jorah and Daario to take Yunkai..and they do..and John makes his break from the wildings..  Bring on the finale!

 

RIP Cat

Cat

 

Poor Bastard..

Rob

 

 

What is going on here with G.O.T? **Spoilers below**

So I get that translating the immense detail and depth of the Game of Thrones series to television will result in some changes to story lines, and characters…  But man did the tonights episode of GOT throw a monkey wrench into the series for anyone who has read the books.  What are they doing with Melisandre visiting Thor of Myr and taking Gendry?  What? And Sansa set to marry Loras instead of Wilas? What are they thinking?  I really hope they can catch this before it goes way off the rails..

That said, I am absolutely psyched for two for two of the three weddings I think we’ll see..  Joffrey’s and the Red Wedding.  I’m thinking one or both will be the season finale…

All About the Game..

game-of-thrones-season-3-teaser

GOT is Back!

So one of my favorite fantasy series is George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire a.k.a Game of Thrones.  When I first saw the trailer that HBO put out for Season 1 I was giddy with anticipation.  I couldn’t believe someone was going to try and adapt the material to the screen,  but I’m glad it was HBO and not some terrible network like Fox or CBS.  Anyway,  the adaptation was so good that it quickly became the most pirated show on the net and it was good enough to hook in my wife who hasn’t read a fantasy novel in her lifetime.  I’m a huge fan and thought season 1 and 2 were great…

Hmm..Did I make a mistake?

In anticipation of Season 3 which will cover the first half of A Storm of Swords, I reread the book.  I’m still on the fence whether that was a mistake.  As I watch the first two episodes of S3,  I’m torn.  I enjoy the vision the producers have put together to bring Martin’s world to life, but I am also finding myself having to ignore vast swaths of the book that are missing from the show.  I understand that changes need to be made for such an adaptation but man, it’s really difficult to ignore some of the changes.  I suppose the same types of changes were made in the previous seasons but I hadn’t read those installments in years so much of the detail was not fresh in my memory to jump out at me when missing.  But at least they got the major plot points right though(Ned’s big exit and Blackwater Bay).  I think I know where this season will end already, but I’m really hoping that I can just  enjoy the ride!

 

Game-Of-Thrones

 

Episode 3 of Season 3 airs tomorrow night Sunday 4/14 on HBO. Bring it!

The Walking Done…er, Dead.. Well someone is dead (*Spoilers*)

So the season finale of The Walking Dead has arrived and I was really looking forward to it after the build up of the previous installments.  We’ve seen the season leading up to the “final” confrontation between Rick et. al. and the Governor and his Woodbury crew.  Here’s how it went down..

The Stupidity Resolution..

In the previous episode we saw Andrea locked up in a dentists chair in one of the governor’s torture chambers.  We find her still there of course but we also find the Gov beating up Milton the friendly nerd for setting the corralled zombies on fire before they could be let loose on the prison.  Andrea had developed into my second most disliked character after Carl for her inexplicable idiocy.  They attempt to make her a sympathetic figure in this episode with her bleating about “not wanting anyone to die” in explanation of her actions, or lack of action, this season.  She is handcuffed to the chair and the Gov decides that Milton will need to kill her if he wishes for absolution for his aforementioned zombie burning.  The Gov hands Milty a Bowie knife and as expected,  he attempts to stab the Governor with it instead of Andrea.  The Governor pulls another Merle like “execution” and stabs Milton in the mid section so he will turn and end up killing Andrea anyway.  This sets up the Andrea drama for the episode.  Milton had conveniently dropped a pair of pliers behind the chair before the whole stabby thing so its a race between Andrea and pliers vs Milton bleeding out and turning.  We’ll return to these two kids later..

Wargames..

The big showdown was also expected to take place between Rick and the Gov. They show Rick and Co. clearing out their quarters at the prison,  meanwhile  the Governor gathers his troops from Woodbury, including just about every able bodied man available for the assault.    Tyrese and Sasha offer to stay and watch the women and children and the Governor agrees.  The rest of the crew mount up and convoy down to the prison and as they enter the courtyard they light shit up.  I meant 50 cal rounds clearing zombies like a broom and Martinez blowing up the prison towers with a grenade launcher lighting shit up.  They then make way into the prison and find Rick and co. gone…  The Woodbury crew begin to search the prison and then we find out the clearing out was a ruse.  The “Good” guys ambush the Governor and his group with flash bangs and lots of shooting, which has them hightailing it out of there.  The Woodbury convoy jets out of there in a panic.  The Governor is now officially of his rocker,  he is pissed that everyone ran.  The convoy stops on the road and the Governor demands they return to finish them off..  The people resist.  They aren’t soldiers and they just got ambushed.  Well, needless to say,  the Governor goes apeshit. He slaughters everyone but Martinez and the Shupert guy

.  Brutal.  Also- there is one survivor who managed to fall under another body and survived the Governor’s clean up to  his shooting spree. Her name is Karen.  More on her later. The Governor gets in his truck afterwards and for some reason Martinez and the Shupert guy join him. What?

Revenge?

After the initial Woodbury assault had been repelled, the group decides,  correctly,  that they should go back and finish the job, IE kill the Governor.  In a Spartan like move,  Rick Daryl and Michonne set off to take on the small army at Woodbury.  They find the massacre and along with the bodies, they find Karen.  They get the story on the massacre and also hear that Andrea attempted to reach the prison, but never got there.  They arrive at Woodbury to get Andrea and the Governor.  They find only Tyrese and Sasha there guarding the town,  they see/hear Karen and she confirms the doubts Tyrese and Sasha were having already about the governor.  They let Rick, Daryl and Michonne into town.  They search for Andrea..  Flash to previous segment – Andrea struggles to get the pliers to her hands while Milton fights his demise and subsequent turning.  She wastes a bunch of time of course, because she sucks. and just barely manages to get her hands free as Milton turns!!… Back to Rick et. al. looking for Andrea..  They find her cell and open the door expecting the worse..

What they find is Milton dead, again on the floor in front of the chair and Andrea leaning up against a wall by the door.  Michonne realizes she is fevered.  Andrea shows them her bite.  She is a dead woman.  Michonne cries,  and Rick feeds into the sympathy ploy for Andrea.  She wants to take her own life and asks to do it before she turns.  Rick gives her his pistol and Daryl, Rick and Tyrese wait outside while Andrea offs herself.  I sort of liked Andrea in the beginning of the show but damn did she grind on my sensibilities over time.  She had to go.  And there she goes.

My second most disliked character
My second most disliked character

 

And Done…

So to wrap up the episode there was a group of Woodbury folks that came back to the prison in the end with Rick.  That’s whatever.  I didn’t mention the other arc in this episode.  It involves Carl,  by far my least favorite character on the show.  He is unlikeable, not a good actor and a shitty character.  Every second of him on screen is like a jarring splash of cold reality in the middle of the show’s usually warm embrace.  Anyway, Carl is with the girls and Herschel and is of course pissed about it.  Well a kid running from the ambush stumbles upon them but Carl and Herschel have the drop on him.  He offers to hand over his weapon, and I think the subtle threat of fakery was overdone by the Woodbury kid but in any case Carl shoots him in the face. Herschel tells Rick about it and Rick confronts Carl about it.  Carl has some diatribe about Rick not killing people have ended up costing lives.  While not totally untrue,  still awful coming from that little shit with his wooden delivery and all.   So at the end when the Woodbury folks are getting off the bus at their new home,  the prison,  you see Carl is all pissed about it.  Fuck him.  I really hope they can keep him out of the spotlight next season. Or at least pay for some acting lessons.

Overall I’d give the episode a 7.5.  A bit more Carl than I’d like,  but Andrea did bite the dust. And while there wasn’t the Governor vs Rick climax,  we did see the Governor’s brutality and the promise of more conflict down the road and  we also got to see Rick clearing his head and hopefully drift back into where he needs to be.  The finale wasn’t on the same level as some of the previous but still pretty good.

 

* Also Bear McCreary is the fucking man.  His soundtrack was and is awesome.

 

 

 

 

A Sorrowful Life Indeed.. The Tale of Merle (*Spoiler Alert*)

In tonight’s penultimate episode of The Walking Dead we find Rick making one of the more idiotic decisions his character has made thus far… then reverse it… but too late… Ahhh!  Frustration.  That’s the short version.

The long version has Rick decide to hand over Michonne to the Governor, which is beyond ridiculous, simply for the trust factor.  I won’t get into that piece because everyone will just have a bad time.  Rick tells Daryl and Herschel his decision,  and while neither like it nor really agree with it,  they go along with it.  Rick then recruits Merle to be part of it,  I assume because he knows Merle has some expertise in this area.  Of course,  since Rick is a good guy,  he does the requisite soul searching and comes to the better decision later on in the episode.  This is the perfect opportunity for Merle to do what Merle would of course do.  He knocks Michonne out and we catch up to them making their way to the exchange with the Governor – which is a trap as we all knew.  Oh and along the way Michonne is about as cool and collected as anyone I’ve ever seen,  under any circumstances. Seriously.  My cat sleeping has more of a sense of urgency.

Moving on.. Rick tells Daryl he has changed his mind,  but of course he cannot find them in the prison.  On queue,  Daryl jets after them.  During their journey, deadpan Michonne does a bit of a Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting and gets through to Merle,  who has been just an unlikable douche from minute 1.  Merle finds his grinch heart and lets her go. He proceeds to find some liquor to enjoy and grabs a small horde of zombies to bring with him to the supposed exchange with the Gov and company.  At this point you sort of like Merle because he actually had a decent plan.  Send the horde at the Woobdury folk and pick them off from out of the way.  Things go pretty well until a walker tries to gnaw on Merle.  In the ensuing fight, the Gov finds Merle and proceeds to BITE HIS FINGERS OFF, then shoot him.  The slow spiral down of the Governor has been really excellent this season and David Morrissey has been phenomenal.  The Gov is clearly off his rocker at this point.

All this is basically a set up for the episode’s “Boom” moment.  The Gov,  being the Gov,  shoots Merle in the chest, which ends his human life and creates the Merle zombie.  And as expected Daryl comes through and finds zombie Merle eating one of the Woodbury folks he shot.  Needless to say,  Daryl does not take this very well and this is a moment that really does pull you in as Daryl is one of the most likable characters in the series. Kudos to Norman Reedus for pulling it off really well.

That was the major arc in this installment.  A couple other things happened as well.  That maniac Glen proposed to Maggie, which almost felt like filler.  Glen went a bit off the rails this season, so maybe this will right his ship.  The other item was Rick telling the group that it’s not a dictatorship anymore.  But we all saw that coming miles off.

Overall I’d give this episode a 7 out of 10.  They stuck to the main storyline for the most part and Merle and Daryl really hit the right note at the end.  With the Governor now in full psycho state, and the group now bonded and reaffirmed,  it has the makings for a sensational finale.  And speaking of next weekend,  thank some deity for DVR!  With The Walking Dead finale and the season Premiere of Game of Thrones going head to head I would be pissed!  Add in the return of the Doctor and next weekend is gonna be pretty sweet!