Monthly Archives: December 2012

I Killed My Brother… I Killed Yours Too

The part of the episode that matters, really

The part of the episode that matters, really

“I Had a Dream” gives us some of the best and worst of Dexter.  The best in that the kill scene is absolutely awesome.  For me, this ranks alongside Brian and Trinity among the top three kills of the series.  It’s the worst in that much of the episode, the kill scene included, shows a thorough disrespect for the audience.  I’ve complained before about the series talking down to us, but the hand holding in this episode was only slightly less ridiculous that the omissions.  A little more bravery on the part of the writers could’ve made this a much better episode. Continue reading

Option One: Kill Him

Get to the point!

Get to the point!

I love the fact that Dexter’s first and last solution to his problem is murder.  In the absence of any moral imperative, the only thing that makes him hesitate to kill Miguel is the risk involved.  But we all know where this is ultimately going to lead, and so “Go Your Own Way” feels a bit like filler, but it’s about as entertaining as filler can be.  The fun of Dexter is always in watching him try to outmaneuver the cops and/or his victims and it’s a nice change of pace see him play the game with someone equally skilled and completely aware of what’s going on. Continue reading

Final Thoughts: Angel Season Two

Far stronger than season one, Angel’s sophomore outing suffered only from the fact that the good times didn’t last.  The 3/4 season arc ranged from very good to superb, pushing our hero to surprisingly dark places before bringing him… not “back” but to a new place.  Angel may have found itself at the end of season one, but this was the one that truly capitalized on that sense of purpose. Continue reading

Final Thoughts: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Five

Buffy’s fifth season represents a return to form, with a rebalanced Sooby Team, a tight season arc, a compelling (and amusing) villain, and some of the best one-off episodes the series has to offer.  For better or worse, the show would shift gears in season six but, for my money, this year was about as good as the old formula got; thoroughly confident about what worked while self-aware enough not to grow tiresome. Continue reading

Today I Feel Something Real

We're still buds, right?

We’re still buds, right?

“About Last Night” is probably the series’ best use of Miguel.  The episode is really good in itself but its the parallels between Dexter and his foil that make it great.  While Ellen Wolfe’s murder appears to underscore the fact that Miguel isn’t a serial killer up to Dexter’s standards, this episode is all about the similarities between these two men.  Miguel’s a manipulator on par with Dexter, a man who lies quickly, easily, and with enough skill to get people to do what he wants.  He’s also dogmatically wedded to his own moral outlook; there’s no reasoning with Miguel, things simply are the way they are.  It’s these similarities that make it impossible for these two to be friends. Continue reading

Every Family’s got it’s Problems

My thoughts exactly

My thoughts exactly

“There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb” only adds to the heap of issues that keep Pylea from being an enjoyable diversion for Angel.  It feels a bit like I’ve already written the same review three to four times so, instead, I’ll focus on what I believe to be the big flaw at the heart of Pylea: there’s nothing tying it together.  The host of little things that don’t add up about this setting can’t add up about it because there’s nothing to connect them.  A spine isn’t necessary for a fantasy setting to work but it certainly helps, particularly in cases where there isn’t a lot of time to flesh out the reasons things are the way they are. Continue reading

But… You’re Just a Girl

Spoiler!

Spoiler!

“The Gift” is the greatest Buffy finale.  There’s an inherent awesome to any final showdown with Hell God, and this one certainly lives up to the hype, but there’s more going on here than mere spectacle.  ME was able to inject some genuine tension into the proceedings by linking the world’s fate to Dawn’s.  We all knew the that the season wasn’t going to end with Glory destroying the world but, given the nature of Dawn’s introduction to the series, it seemed entirely possible that Buffy might be able to win the fight but still lose her sister.  It makes for some great storytelling but, in itself, it isn’t what makes this such an incredible finale.  That fact rests on how thoroughly this episode encapsulates what Buffy the Vampire Slayer was about. Continue reading

Nothing Good Can Come of This

Lol, you forgot to use Incognito

Lol, you forgot to use Incognito

Episodes like “The Damage a Man Can Do” should be cited anytime someone claims that Dexter’s third season isn’t very good.  It doesn’t stand up against the series’ higher benchmarks, but it’s one of those solidly entertaining and intelligent hours that characterized the show in it’s early years.  What’s great about this episode is that Dexter knows, on multiple levels, that fully involving Miguel in a murder isn’t a good idea.  Again, we need to remember that Harry isn’t an external character, but merely a representation of some element of Dexter’s personality.  He’s once more portrayed as limiting part, even if that’s the case, we need to ask which parts of Dexter he’s limiting. Continue reading

Numfar, Do the Dance of Joy

I guess it's not all bad

I guess it’s not all bad

I continue trying to find the good in the Pylea storyline but it’s growing progressively harder.  There are some solid laughs here, but they aren’t really enough to carry an episode that’s not meant to be a comedy.  The tension allegedly escalates as Angel finds that this world’s “simple rules” aren’t as great as he originally assumed.  It’d be a good turn for his character if it had come a year ago, but this season has been all about blurring the line between man and beast and the hard split just feels like a step backward. Continue reading

Six Billion Lunatics Looking for the Fastest Ride Out

Not to be confused with fanfic

Not to be confused with fanfic

“The Weight of the World” makes for a solid penultimate episode to the season as Willow attempts to help Buffy deal with her sense of failure.  In some sense, this the standard “remind Buffy that she’s Buffy” story that ends most seasons, but there’s more than enough fresh meat here to keep things interesting.  This isn’t a case of Buffy deferring the final battle because she’s afraid, or overmatched, or isolated; it’s her shutting down because she’s failed.  As Willow points out, the battle isn’t actually over but, for Buffy, failure doesn’t mean losing the fight, it means surrendering. Continue reading