Friday, December 28, 2012

Meta Concepts: Storytelling Technique vs Visual Tropes

A show like Grimm covers a lot of genres, arguably related but each genre having their own separate signature body of work. The procedural drama elements are the most obvious, followed by the new trend of pastiche fairy tales as a manifestation of urban fantasy. Beneath that we have the horror genre, and finally there are occasional scenes of situational comedy or romance, depending on the writer and what is going on in the plot. Each of these genres has their own signature elements, the most common of which so far seem to be the visual signatures of the horror genre. You've already heard us refer to Dutch angles, and they also use color in the faded/saturated balance typical of more recent horror movies, as well as some lately egregious use of the unSteadiCam or the Shaky Cam or as we fondly call it, the Evil Dead cam.

These elements are familiar ones we all know from directors such as Tim Burton and Sam Raimi (or Timur Bekmambetov and Eli Roth), but they are only as recent as film. Grimm, somewhat like its counterpart Once Upon A Time and like tv shows such as 10th Kingdom and The Storyteller, takes its foundation from a media older than television which used a whole different set of tropes and devices. We've already discussed the Rule of Three in extensive detail; this was a popular device for emphasis and memory in oral traditions. Color is also used in folk stories and fairy tales, most commonly for its associations in the culture of the time. Youngest siblings traditionally have the greatest virtue or innocence, certain animals are associated with certain traits, etc. Because these are oral traditions, these also change depending on the values of the time, or most often the values of who's in charge at the time, but some core elements of each fairy tale remain. The Grimm writers and staff are now therefore tasked with conveying these memorable elements, but since we have a new medium that's sprung up so quickly they have an additional set of tools to work with, as well as balancing the expectations that those bring. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Women of Haven

Let's be clear about one thing at the outset: I love Haven. I do, really. I have to, or I wouldn't be blogging this. But some things about the show just make me shake my head and 'oy' at everyone. I don't know if it's a necessity of the characters they've set up or if it's supposed to reflect some initial imbalance or social dynamic (and if the latter, I do have to say kudos, because in context that could make this an impressive feat of pre-planned structure arc) or if it's just a subconscious trend. It's possible that it's just been made necessary by isolating Duke so that he has to come to grips with his destiny on his own, emphasizing the way Nathan holds himself to himself, emphasizing Audrey's isolation in a similar fashion to Duke. Lately we've been wondering if the dynamics around the core three are meant to reflect some sort of initial isolation as I mentioned a moment ago, especially given that Audrey's far older than she looks. Her lack of female friends or even other female presences in her life could be some sort of supernaturally imposed Scarlet Letter, it could be a way of forcing her to But Haven comes across, in terms of women and female presence, as being written by Henry VIII's great great many-times-great grandson. There's a saying, sort of a joke, that you can remember the history of Henry VIII's wives in this order: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, died. Well, in Haven, it's not quite so ordered, it's more like deported, died, deported, died, mindwiped and deported, died. And yes, we're leaving Jordan out there because her fate is yet to be determined. Except that we're pretty certain that on the axis of protagonist to antagonist, she's slipping pretty far down the antagonist line.

But I do love Haven. And so with that in mind and that intent, let's examine the women of Haven and the manner in which they are portrayed. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grimm Legends: Tristan & Iseult

Well, I'm not going to manage a full reread of Malory and Knowles and the Belloc translation of Bedier's Romance of Tristan and Iseult, because nobody can be concise. You think we're wordy? Try reading medieval manuscripts for purposes of essaying. Or don't. I highly recommend don't, unless you're as much of a glutton for punishment as I am. If you want, though, you can see the links to the sections I pulled from Gutenberg up above, and feel free to play picky detail-oriented word games with the source material! THAT said, we can hit some of the highlights of the myth as it bears a passing resemblance to the Renard-Juliette-Nick arc they've so neatly set up for us. There are some very interesting aspects to this, not least in the versions that include Arthur - though the original Romance predates cramming all the legendary figures of the Isles together into one overarching story.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Schedule Update

Okay, folks, we have an airdate for the end of Haven s3, which means now we can plan our lives around the blog instead of vice versa. We are MUCH happier about this, let me tell you.

First off, don't forget that you only have 2 days to vote on our next show(s)! At the moment y'all apparently want us to skewer OUAT and watch Person of Interest, so we'll work that into our plans for the next couple months.

Second, here's what we know. Haven airs back-to-back eps on January 17th. This means that we will work both eps together, as we have been with only one currently-airing show to recaplysize, and ideally we will have Reunion up on Saturday the 18th and Thanks For The Memories up on Sunday the 19th. Grimm doesn't come back, according to all the sources we've seen, until Friday, March 8th.

Kitty just moved into her new house, and also participates in Yuletide every year. (I'm her first editor, so technically I participate too.) So between that and holidays, content's going to be pretty slim for the rest of the year. We'd like to get you the Women of Grimm and Haven posts, along with a couple other Grimm posts we've been working on for awhile now (namely, horror/fairy tale tropes and the Tristan and Iseult parallels), but we may or may not get them out before year's end. I plan to finish off the When You're At Home series before the 17th, thereby clearing my backlog of Grimm posts in time for the second half of the season. With the exception of the AudSarLu profile, we should also be able to get you the last of the Haven profiles as well - we're going to hold off on posting that until we get whatever data the finale gives us. Likewise, we should have an update to Howard's profile after the finale airs.

(By the way, if you have particular scenes you think I should focus on for the last two in that series, toss them at me in comments. I refuse to try and do ALL the scenes that take place at Monroe's or Nick and Juliette's, because I'd never finish the posts.)

Once Upon A Time skewering will happen in the weeks between now and Haven's s3 finale, at least in theory. It is, however, lowest on the priority queue, and may be preempted by actually having lives. (K: What's a lives?) (A: For you that's pronounced home renovations, precious.)

In the seven-ish weeks between Haven and Grimm, we'll work on dropping as many of the posts yet to be written as possible, though we may hold a couple in reserve for immediately before s4 of Haven premieres. We'll also watch our way through Person of Interest back-eps, unless something drastic changes with that poll between now and Friday. Assuming it doesn't, though, at this point we are not going to try and play merry buggers with catching up to where Person of Interest is as far as what's currently airing, so you'll have all the fun of watching us tear the show to shreds while you know what's coming next. Now is a good time to reiterate that we are totally okay with being spoilered, though given our workloads we're probably not going to seek them out, either. So the comments section on those posts will be completely open. In theory, we'll hammer out one PoI post a week until we finish s2... just in time for s3 to air, if our math serves us right. Hey, I never said we weren't gluttons for punishment. I'm also working on an actual calendar to help us be more organized, which should result in more regular content for you guys! Yay!

Questions, comments, concerns? Drop 'em off here.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Out of respect for the families in Newtown and SyFy's wishes we will not be posting any new content until Monday. We'll let you know if our recap schedule will be altered from next-day once Syfy releases further information.

Edit 12/15: If you need something to do this weekend that's not digging through our back archives, if you want to know how you can help, the HuffPo has collected a short list of places that could use your support.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Love Potions And You: Grimm Grail Legends

Or, How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love Whoever The Potion Told Me To.

We are far from done picking apart Grimm for its Arthurian and Grail parallels, but we've been waiting to get more of a mytharc for this season before combing through it again. I think, at this point, you can safely expect a flurry of Arthuriana at mid-season hiatus and/or at season finale times, followed by long stretches of accumulating data. However! We have at this point two instances of love potions used in the show, and I judge it only a matter of time before we get a third for Rule of Three reasons - though I wouldn't put it past the writers to include that in backstory rather than dropping it into a season arc. At this point I'd rather prefer it, because love potions get very old, very fast. Unless you want to count Juliette's coma and Renard's pure of heart potion as two instances, which I don't, really. We saw in SotH that Adalind's was fairly surprised that Renard took the pure of heart potion, which implies a whole lot of things, up to and including that she thought he knew more about how the potion(s) worked than he did. At any rate! Two for-sure instances of love potions, which means it's time for a brief refresher on love potions in Arthurian legends.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Qu'est_ce Que C'est Haven S3E11 Last Goodbyes

Previously on Haven: Haven had its first Troubled serial killer! *sniff* Our little town is growing up. Said serial killer took a lesson from Buffalo Bill, though I must say, he wears a better girl suit than that guy ever did. We found out from Jordan about the barn while the Bolt Gun killer found out bupkiss from the creepy brothers Teagues, like you do, and Audrey found the Bolt Gun killer's lair. Also, Claire's wardrobe took a turn for the decidedly dark and cleavagey. This Will Be Important Later, unless you've already seen the episode, in which case you probably know why.

So! Having all been refreshed on why Haven should really call in the BAU right about now, we begin. Once again, this is a joint effort, with both of us trading places in between other household chores (like cleaning my new house, I just have to throw that in there because it's awesome). So this thing is likely to be forever long, and we're still not going to play try and spot the join points.

This week on Haven: We begin with what I consider to be one of the more boneheaded maneuvers of the season, having a conference in the Bolt Gun Killer's lair! With a bunch of people you think might contain the Bolt Gun Killer. Because that won't make him wary or inclined to hurt you or piss him off in any way, of course. Brilliant job there, you two. Audrey brings in Claire and the creepy Teagues, apologizing in a very not very sincere way for them having to see this. I'm sure everyone involved has seen much worse, Audrey. The Teagues because they're up to their not-yet-bitten-out necks in all of this, and Claire because, well, a) she's [redacted] and b) she saw the former-dog-human-thing with all its limbs broken in the cage. And if that's not bad, I don't know what is. Duke seems to have an unusual capability to handle any kind of sight as long as he's not actively being threatened, so we'll go with that. And Duke is about the only person here I agree should be here, but we'll try and reign in the ranting about the difference between our concept of 'need to know' and Nathan's.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Behind the Scenes at Murderboarding: Reader Poll

Dear readers, we're rapidly approaching that time of the year when neither of the shows we're currently analyzing is on. While we have no doubt that we're capable of coming up with odds and ends of Grimm and Haven posts to fill that time, we thought now would be as good a time as any to ask you what you'd like to see us do next. We have, through careful selection and weeding out (read: watching a bunch of pilots recommended by friends and family and snarking about the ones we didn't like on Twitter), selected a number of shows that we feel capable of doing for you!

Over to your right
you will see two polls, which close at midnight PST on December 21!

 The first poll is for shows that we would analyze all of, regardless of hiatus or cancellation status. For shows that are currently airing, we might watch to catch up and begin analysis with the most recent episode, or we might start at the beginning and work through; it depends on our workload both on the blog and off of it, how many eps we have to catch up on, and what you guys have to say about it.

The second poll is a bit trickier and requires some preface. We both used to watch Once Upon a Time. We really liked it, even! And then, by a series of plot twists that weren't, wooden acting, and atrocious scripts, we fell out of love and into loathing with the show. Kitty's a few eps more up to date than A is, but neither of us finished out season 1, nor did we pick up with season 2. If we do this show, we will skewer it. We'll also, of course, call attention to the things we do like - because there were at least things in some of the eps we liked, or we wouldn't have kept watching. There's a certain kind of fun to be had from picking apart TV shows you don't enjoy and explaining in minute detail why they don't work, but if that's not something our readers would enjoy as well, we're not going to put the time into working up the posts. So, do you want to see us skewer no more than three eps of OUaT? And if you have suggestions on which eps, either in specific or in general type, please leave them in comments.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When You're At Home: Sean Renard

At long last, it's time for the post that was the genesis of this little series. Renard started out as enough of a mystery (and still is, in so many ways) that we spent an age picking apart the set details in his condo when we first saw it. Then we started drawing diagrams of the layout. Now we bring all that information and stick it in one place, and see what we might be missing! (If anything.) Plus, going over the newly cleaned up condo scenes to see if there are any (in)significant and telling changes.

Internal Memo: Updates

To: Danielle Matheson <dmathes@[redacted]>
CC: Peter Torkarov <ptorkar@[redacted]>, Sam Connor <sconnor@[redacted]>, Eve Marlowe <emarlow@[redacted]>, Ash Dunlevy <adunlev@[redacted]>, Jared Engel <jengel@[redacted]>, Daifyn Ifans <difans@[redacted]>, Alec Cray <acray@[redacted]>, Thomas Marlowe <tmarlow@[redacted]>\
Date: 12/5/12
Re: profiles updated

Attachment: (unsub919-11312.docx) 20k
Attachment: (tbowen-eval-11312.docx) 11k
Attachment: (jmckee-eval-12312.docx) 17k
Attachment: (theguard-eval12312.docx) 18k

Quite a few new developments. We've shifted some things around from Bowen's case file to the BGK's, resent the old BGK for ease of comparison, and did a new profile working with all available data. Prelim profile only on the Guard; we expect to learn a good deal more pretty soon, but wanted to lay in the groundwork now.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Better the Devils You Know: Haven Profile (The Guard)

Date: 12/3/2012 (updated 1/30/13) (updated 10/22/13)
Name: The Guard
Founded: Unknown 1/30/13: est. 1970s 10/22/13: est. 1980s
Age: Unknown 1/30/13: est. minimum 30 years, maximum 50 years 10/22/13: est. 25-30 years
Place of Examination: Data compiled at Chandler/Hammett Investigations offices
Classification: Troubled cult

Observations: Though we have no direct observational evidence as to the structure and hierarchy of the group which calls itself the Guard, the indirect data available at this time merits a closer look at the attitudes and stated goals of the group. All members of the group wear the maze tattoo or a variant thereof, usually but not always on the inside upper left forearm. It is believed that while all members of the Guard have the tattoo, not all who wear the tattoo are members of the Guard, as we lack clear evidence to support the latter. (Subject PT-TR-#### may be considered an exception rather than a mark against, as he was deliberately attempting to gain membership in order to further his knowledge about the group, a member of whom was believed to have abducted Audrey Parker and killed multiple victims.) As far as known members, we have Jordan McKee (see file TR-BD-####), along with several unnamed members, all male. Max Hansen, the biological father of subject PT-TR-####, is known to have worn the Guard's tattoo, though his position within the group after over two decades in prison will never be known due to his death. Additionally, many members of the Glendower family wear the tattoo, though their Trouble prevents them from easily taking part in any meetings or discussions regarding the order of the Guard.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Putting Out Fire With Gasoline Haven S3E10 Burned

Previously on Haven: nobody quoted Pirates of Penzance, leaving us to do it for them. That goddamn gold doubloon is giving us fits of time loop confusion two weeks on. Oh, and Duke met his grandfather on the day Roy died. Also, Sarah. Also, Nathan. Look, there was a LOT in that ep. That's last week's previouslies, anyway; the ones they actually put into this go back to the beginning of this season. Just in case we missed all the implications from Twitter and the promo trailer that this ep, shit gets real.

This week on Haven: WELL THAT WAS A LOT OF METAPLOT. Excuse us while we do the oh-snap-vindicated dance for awhile and then settle down to unravel the threads, because everything we've been working on for this show ties in this week. My god. Also, just for the record, though my name may be on this as author, we swapped writer versus filler-in-of-details with abandon, so this is the first truly co-written recapalypse we've done. I suggest not trying to spot the author changeovers, because we'll probably have lost track by the time we finish. Also, for the record, this thing is huge. I mean it, this is nearing twice as long as most of our usual recaplyses, and you know how long those are. This is a veritable recapalypse. You have been warned.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blood Ties: Meet the Crockers

Ah, the Crockers. Curst stepchild family of Haven, or that's the way it's starting to shape up, anyway. For a family whose bloodline is looking more and more important to the underlying structure of Haven, we actually know very little about the Crocker family and how they and their Trouble work (pithy answer: dysfunctionally). But let's give it a try, shall we?

We start with the Crocker Box, which I have to keep reminding myself is not a Crocker Jack Box with a nifty toy surprise inside, and we start with that because the box was commissioned in the colonial era and because it says Crocker on it. We know that the box was originally made most likely by the silversmith Regis Glendower for Fitzwilliam Crocker in post-colonial Haven (1786, which was between the Troubles), and we learn this from amateur historian and genealogist Beverly Keegan (Roots 2x05) with the lead- and followup from Dave Teagues. Apart from that we have no notion of its provenance until Simon Crocker gave it to his son Duke, so that's all we know of its history. As to the nature of the box, we know a little more. The box is actually two boxes, one smaller than the other. The small box says Omnia Vincit Amor on the inside of the lid, which means Love Conquers All, and under a terrarium light the lid says Crocker. In the hinge is a key, which goes to a larger matching box which currently contains weapons, though there's no way of knowing what it contained previous to that. The name on the smaller box, too, is both evidence that the Crocker family was significant in colonial Haven and evidence against it. While certain minerals do have fluorescent properties under ultraviolet light (fluorite being one of those, and very common) it's hard to say what mechanism might have been used to create that name within the box such that it would be invisible to the naked eye. It's also vanishingly unlikely that it would have been visible until artificial ultraviolet light was developed in the last century.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blood Is Compulsory

One of the major themes we haven't touched on yet in an essay, or even to speak of in any detailed manner in the ep analyses, is blood. I mean, aside from the part where Grimm's sometimes a gory show and we grumble at length about having to translate things written in blood in French and could his handwriting please suck less? (No, we don't squick easily.) Specifically blood magic, both the more obvious kind and the kind related to bloodlines.

You'd think we would have, but we've been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for a resolution to the Juliette-and-Renard potion subplot. Making puppy eyes at the writers to come explicate the way both those potions worked, too, because there's so much tasty analysis we could do with it! Unfortunately for us, they're going to leave us on tenterhooks for the holiday hiatus. Fortunately for you, that means we're going to leap ahead and do the damn thing anyway, including some discussion of blood magic as used in Western mythology/legend as well as some speculation about where they might be headed in Grimm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Murderboards, Grimm mid S2, Haven late S3

Once again, the murderboards (actually more like murder dotplots) of Grimm and Haven, current as of all the episodes to date. We would like to register a complaint with Stark Industries, which refuses to loan us the use of JARVIS for these purposes. This would be so much easier if we had a 3D holographic display to manipulate.

Also, now that everything has gotten fairly complicated on both shows, the murderboards from here on out will include a color/font key so that everyone knows which sides each aspect of each dot refers to. If the various factions start splintering even more we might consider making sub-dots or logos that require even more keys to decipher, but thankfully that hasn't happened yet. 

As always, spoilers abound, and click each picture to embiggen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bride of Behind The Scenes at Murderboarding

As Kitty mentioned in her Haven recaplysis this week, we're Humperdinck levels of busy in the upcoming week. Which does not mean we won't be working on some posts for you guys, just that they're the kind of posts that require heavy lifting! Therefore, Murderboarding will be on hiatus from Monday, November 19 to Sunday, November 25. For those of you in the US, have a good Thanksgiving and we'll see you later. We'll see our international readers later too, but you'll have to come up with your own excuses for feast days. I have faith in you!

Just a reminder for the new folks: we try and keep the show pages in the top menubar updated as often as we get new data. Or as soon as we can parse out what the hell the new data means, yes, I'm still bitter about the Royals and Renard's little cell of conspirators this past episode.

Edit 11/20: We've got a recent influx of people from Facebook, and I thought I'd stop and let you guys know that Kitty and I do not, in fact, have Facebook. (And if we did we wouldn't want to attach it to this.) That said, you can follow us on Twitter under @mightybattlecat and @adsartha or add us to your RSS feeds if you want to know the second we post new content! We try, when not on hiatus, to post 3-5 times during the week in addition to the weekend post(s).

Even though Grimm's on hiatus, we'll still be churning out a sackful of posts between now and its return. Look for updates to the murdermap and our own personal murderboard, along with the Arthurian angle revisited (love potions and you, or how to make everything explode at once and not in the fun way), that stupid blood magic post that we were hoping to have a resolution to the potion on before posting, family ties (possibly followed by a study of Renard's ties, depending on how punchy we're feeling), and the women of Grimm. Plus the assorted homes we have yet to analyze in excruciating detail. Haven, of course, continues as scheduled and I'll see you all back here for the analysis of Burned first thing in December. We have a few other things up our sleeve for Haven, but we'll have to wait and see how long all this heavy lifting takes.

Without further ado, I give you more of us saying 'fuck' a lot, since I know that's what you're all here for.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Come To Mess Me Up Grimm S2E12 Season of the Hexenbiest

Previously on Grimm: procedure, what's that? That wendigo must have a fascinating digestive system and Kitty and I are still not writing a treatise on theoretical Wesen biology. (K: At least not until halfway into the hiatus maybe.) Everybody was stressed and bad at communication, for understandable reasons except for the part where I still want to smack Nick with a cluebat. Studded, maybe, like the one from this ep? Renard tries to find an actual cure for him and Juliette, and I question why he hasn't had his people in Portland stalking following Nick to find out who his Wesen contacts are what with the surprise!discovery by Monroe.

This week on Grimm: Adalind's back! Nobody seems to remember what they knew at the beginning of this season. I consider smacking people with cluebats, preferably Nick's nail-studded one, rather than the usual dead fish, which should tell you something about my tone for this ep right there. Infinite cliffhangers are infinite!

Before we begin, let's review the things that each character knows at the beginning of this episode, because that's going to come in handy when I reach my notes that are nothing but capslocking and illustrating the diversity of the word 'fuck.' Nick: knows that Juliette is still suffering the effects of the spell designed to make her forget him. Knows that there's a Royal in Portland who was the only one who could wake her, QED the Royal must have woken her or Catherine lied. (He seems to have picked the latter with no consideration for the former.) Everyone wants that key from him, and he knows it's a map that leads to super-awesome conquer the world treasure, but not where the treasure might be or what it is. He does not know that Juliette's increasingly erratic behavior is also tied into the potion, but it would be a logical leap for him to make. Monroe: knows that Renard is a police captain who's under a compulsion spell to be in love with someone he doesn't want. Now knows that that person is Juliette. Given this and Juliette's reaction to him in the spice shop, should be able to make the assumption that Juliette doesn't want it either. (Has still not called Rosalee. What the fuck is WRONG with you, Monroe.) Poor Rosalee, speaking of, is out of the loop. Hank, who regains his title of 'the best' this ep, knows about Grimming and either Nick's told him about Adalind off-camera or he's managed to put most of it together on his own, because he's not stupid. Is, much to our dismay, sidelined from the love potion action, because I bet he'd have some fascinating things to say about it. Adalind: knows pretty much everything except where the damn key is. Renard: ditto, except apparently he doesn't know that Nick's been working with Monroe for the past almost-year. Juliette: is goddamn sick of being left in the dark. A-fucking-men, honey.

A Most Ingenious Paradox Haven S3E09 Sarah

Previously on Haven: Audrey thought she was an FBI agent. Then she found out she was actually several women in rapid succession. Vince was fucking creepy and only mildly helpful with the indicating there was a common underlying personality between all the false memories, and Claire ran behind Audrey jamming lampshades onto her actions. Duke thinks someone with a Significant Tattoo of Omeny Goodness wants to kill him because of his family Trouble that means killing a cursed person kills the Trouble, and, oh yeah, his father wants him to kill Audrey. Awkward.

Also, as a matter of bookkeeping, although many of you probably guessed, the content on Murderboarding is going to get a bit thin soon. Not just because of the hiatus (details to come soon), although Haven is about to close for the season and Grimm has already taken its intermission bows. But between us we've got the holidays to prepare for, a house to move into, an increased day job workload to deal with, family to visit, new projects to work on, our wives to murder and Guildor to frame for it. We're swamped.

So, we started at Duke's bedside, which to my way of thinking is an excellent place to start out, I mean, I could start in Duke's very large very comfortable looking bed with no problem. Or maybe that's because I just woke up. We get a decent look at Duke's bedside table for the first time in a while, looks like it has a couple of books, a candle, a box of a pair of those tai chi hand exercise balls, and a bottle of possibly red wine and a glass. There's a couple of implications here, that Duke has at least semi-refined tastes or that Duke is now needing wine to get to sleep, and I'm not sure which inferences we're supposed to make. There's only one glass, though, so it wasn't a romantic bottle of wine. He also has the pirate coin, which he flips idly in the air with a quiet "Happy Birthday, Dad," so, probably at least the second inference for last night, then. And his father's journal, which he now opens and looks through. The picture of Sarah and Dave Teagues is clipped in there, reminding us that Audrey trusts Duke with a whole hell of a lot. I don't think she'd let that picture out of her possession otherwise. There's also the possibility, though, that it's a scanned copy.

Anyway, there's the obituary. "Died August 16, 1955. Roy Crocker, known around Haven for his genial nature and ever-present grin, passed away suddenly on August 16. He was 35. The long-time barkeep at The Shore Club, Crocker often lent a sympathetic ear or a stiff drink to the townsfolk of Haven, and [Duke's finger] their woes with [Duke's finger] of each." And then the rest of it is either folded or blurry. On the back Simon's handwriting says Roy was Killed by Sarah Vernon, which Duke reminds us is also Audrey. Notably, he only looks perturbed/disturbed by it for a moment before visibly shaking it off, most likely trying to reconcile the Audrey he knows with a person who killed his grandfather. There might also be some awareness of his own murder record in there, given that he's killed at least one man before that we know of. Then again, so has Audrey, killed one person that he knows of, but it was in defense of another. Turning the page we and Duke find that the last entry on the day Roy Crocker died was Stuart Mosley. Who it just so happens lives in Haven! And yet we already know this isn't going to end well. Let the time travel headaches begin!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Haven Herald Cover-ups

Though the Haven Twitter accounts for @VinceHaven and @DaveHaven have been around for most of a season, the dispersal of Haven Heralds online only began this season. For those of you lacking Twitter or otherwise disinclined to comb through all the data about these cover-ups, here we have links to each with a short description and commentary. This page is linked on our Haven show page, and will be updated with each new Herald on Twitter.

301 - Notably, only on Dave's account. Blamed on gas pipes exploding, quotes from Dwight. Bog standard cleaner stuff. Secondary story about the crop circles, blamed on local teenagers. Altair Bay Inn mentioned, since putting the location in contributes to an aura of disbelief for the other incidents, quotes from one random teen who they somehow convinced to accept the blame (not sure how; maybe he comes from a Troubled family?), implied additional quotes below the fold from Nathan.

Stay - Blamed on contaminated meat from a single cow, served at a local softball league. Quotes from Doc Lucassi. Secondary story regarding #EscapetoHaven tags throughout town and a coalition of concerned citizens who want it stopped. Yes, thank you, we're all looking forward to the payout from that one. I wonder if this is as much as they could fit in about people taking the Rev's side this season so far; that storyline's been largely disregarded probably because they can't fit it into 42 minutes along with everything else.

The Farmer - Blamed on nasty strain of swine flu that particularly attacked teenagers and pre-pubescent children, medical babble about how their bodies are trying to adjust to changing hormone levels. Lucassi quoted again. Poor guy, as much as he prefers his solitude he's getting one hell of a workout providing cover quotes to the Herald. Secondary story with tips on avoiding flu this winter, but the money shot is in the last line, "this year's flu can be a real monster." Really. Seriously. I'm going to be over here with my machetes now.

Over My Head - Flood blamed on major sewer line clog. Haven still has the worst infrastructure of anywhere in the Northeast; I'm sure Dwight's thrilled. Notably, no source directly cited for the quote, just "the statement" and it's left implied that it comes from DPW. Secondary story on the crabs Bob Harmon suffered, with out of context quotes presumably lifted from when he was at the hospital. Ew, you guys.

Double Jeopardy - Damage at the Gull is easy to blame on a bar fight, and Duke probably doesn't mind too much. Quotes from Duke which, if you can picture the gestures that he'd put with the words, are just a leeeetle over the top. Specifically blamed on an argument over beer pong rules which of course Duke has a list posted. (If he didn't before, he does now.) Secondary story about the football game that supposedly led to this, with a money quote at the end about "several curiously stating that they had no recollection of the night's events." Uh-HUH. Because retrograde amnesia isn't a problem in THIS town at ALL.

Real Estate - High schoolers' Halloween prank gone bad. I find this especially creepy in that they blame it on high schoolers and yet there's no mention of the two who died because of Holloway. Also, the poor local teens in this town get scapegoated for a whole lot of things that aren't their fault. Quotes from Nathan, with some snark about "if anyone had been unlucky enough to be in the Holloway house." We feel you there, Nathan. Secondary story about the annual costume contest, which Claire won; quotes from her acceptance speech with suitable snark. Further snark about the Teagues' costumes and their ineligibility to win, very well suited to a small town newspaper. Heh.

Magic Hour Part 1 - Sleeping sickness uh-huh right. Though it's about the best I could do if I had to explain a resurrection Trouble that was so publicly enacted. Dear Moira, you're not making their jobs easier, no love, us. Quotes from Lucassi and from Dan Hamilton, the husband who paid the ransom money. Secondary story on Haven Happenings, a shout-out to the Twitter account of the same name and also a list of various social events as the holiday season ramps up in Haven. This would feel more benevolent if I didn't have a mental image of the Teagues giggling over their desks while figuring out what to put in. Especially that LARP, for which I have all the facepalm ever. Because what Haven needs is people pretending to be superpowered in some way! Somehow I suspect someone in the Losers' Club is Troubled, too, with that story of what happened the last time they played. Maybe several someones.

Magic Hour Part 2 - Also notably only on Dave's account. Leaving aside the question of how the hell a weekly newspaper got out two publications when the events of these episodes cover maybe three days total (yeah, we know, take a drink), not to mention the extended torture the Teagues underwent, the boat explosion needs only minimal coverup. With no body recovered and nobody around who isn't in on what was really going on, they just need to explain away the cause of the explosion as something non-violent. Which is what Nathan's for! Secondary story on the Parade of Ships, for which we will cheerfully smack someone with a trout because a) Kick 'em Jenny Neck b) Twin Peaks c) gathering at the Colorado Kid Beach. Different route because of the explosion and ongoing investigation, yadda yadda, that would have to be done even if they were being honest about what was going on.

Sarah - A much shorter cover-up this time, which is to be expected with half the episode taking place in the past. Apparently, though, people remember parts of the alternate realities Stuart Mosley's Trouble caused to take place, which is an interesting manifestation of that Trouble. Methane gas causes hallucinations now! We had no idea. (Technically it causes amnesia, but most people are unlikely to double-check that.) Interesting to note that the DPW in Haven is contributing to the cover-up again; who works there? (Kitty bets Dwight. I would haul out the jar with the surprised face if so.) Also interesting that they pulled a random high school teacher for the rest of the quotes. Either they're trying to keep the usual suspects out of the spotlight, or Patterson is Troubled/aware of the Troubles, or both. He doesn't appear on our index list or in the list of the Troubled from Sins of the Fathers, so inconclusive on that front. Secondary story that the Haven Shore Club will be throwing a 1950s-themed party, complete with snark about post-1960 currency and I cannot facepalm enough for this one.

Burned - Excuse us while we facepalm at the primary cover story. Oh Duke. Oh Teagues. Oh everyone. Dress Like A Pirate Day is still a good excuse, it builds on Duke's reputation as the impetuous ex-criminal (really he swears) scoundrel who never really means to hurt anyone, etc. It encourages people to view him as harmless when he's anything but, though he is generally well-meaning. (Unless you're trying to hurt one of the people he cares about.) Contains some predictable self-deprecating talk where again, you can about see the expansive hand gestures to match his words. Secondary story on the Looking Glass Florist. Is now a good time to mutter about all of Haven being through the looking glass? We thought so. Julienne Pate goes in the notes as a member of the Guard or a family member of someone in it. A great deal of talk about blending into the background and looking pretty and focus on appearances that mesh well with your surroundings, from her. There Is No Coded Message Here, What Are You Talking About.

Last Goodbyes - Hey, it's that old chestnut the gas leak again! And this time there's some talk about getting people to look into the infrastructure, yadda yadda concerned citizens, oh HELLO Dwight. The city's growing and there will have to be some changes "starting with the roots," is THAT so. That doesn't sound ominous. Or like he's still working for the Guard. Really, nothing good is coming out of this story at-fucking-all. We are less than pleased. Secondary story on the local rec leagues, specifically the basketball one, which is presumably more Doylist than anything since frankly at this point I'd be surprised if Audrey or Nathan were giving the Teagues anything more than they had to for cover stories. We've got the North Haven Rams (ha ha North ha ha very funny) and the East Haven Demons, and I'm not sure if that's intended to be anything meaningful but we'll keep an eye on it all the same.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meta Concepts: Rule of Three

By now you've heard us reference the Rule of Three so often it's become a drinking game (which we'll suspend for the duration of this essay because we love you and your livers), but for those of you who don't hail from our particular sub-sector of geekdom you might not be familiar with it. Or you might, but not in that phrasing. What we mean by "Rule of Three" is simply this: a design flaw/feature of human brains is to see patterns in things, and many of those patterns are numerical. Significant numbers feature heavily in fiction, whether written or oral tradition or visual; indeed, they can feature heavily in real life when people seek out meaning in the numbers or numbers of things in their lives. For the purposes of storytelling, though, the significant numbers are generally limited to seven, five, four, and three. And for the purposes of today's essay, we'll be dealing with the number three.

The Rule of Three is one of the simplest storytelling devices: repetition in threes to emphasize the importance of a thing, group, or concept. It appears in many cultures (most of them western European, but not all), religions, and bodies of work. For religious forms you have the Holy Trinity, the Maiden Mother and Crone, three Wise Men/Kings, three Marys at the crucifixion, three pilgrimage holidays (Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot), Abraham Isaac and Jacob. For popular fiction you have the Three Musketeers, Han Luke and Leia, Larry Moe and Curly, the Billy Goats Gruff, the three witches in Macbeth. On and on you can find this in works both serious and less so, such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail ("Three shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three!"). Terry Gilliam was an accomplished Arthurian scholar, he knew what he was talking about! Well, most of the time. Even in psychology and philosophy you have the Freudian concepts of the Id, Ego, and Superego, as well as the Kant or Hegelian or whoever first devised it (there's some argument about that) dialectic: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. I'll go into more on that later. We have the saying that once is chance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action or conspiracy or whatever you want to call it. Even that, there, you see what I did in that last sentence? Three things make a pattern.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When You're At Home: Catherine Schade

All right then! Last week we covered Adalind's house; this week we'll do her mother's. Not because I expect Catherine Schade to come back from the dead anytime soon, but her influence was obviously formative to Adalind and almost certainly to Renard as well. So we'll go over this in some detail, in the interests of teasing out what this tells us about the woman who made Adalind who she is today. Spoiler alert: nothing nice.

Because I'm lazy at heart, and because Kitty's already gone through the opening scenes of Love Sick for house profiling, I'm just going to start by copying these paragraphs in. Then we'll do some extra detail work, and then we'll start hammering on the s2 eps.

K: Renard's battlewagon pulls up to a Victorian? style townhouse, three stories and likely a basement behind the shrubbery. Two of the stories are lit with the curtains drawn, so someone's home but not inclined to visitors, so either he's expected or he's gate-crashing. Now, later in the beginning of season two we learn she paid cash for this place, so she, too, has some wealth available to her; I'd put this townhouse at up nearing half a mil easy. Two moss-covered trees frame the front of the house in this shot, giving it an in-the-woods appearance. Like the witches in the old stories. And like the witches in the old stories, we cut to an interior shot where a woman whose name we don't yet know is grinding some dried herbs and other things into a mortar, with a kettle on one side and a small cauldron on the other. She has a couple of spices and an herb jar in front of her, but given what we saw earlier in organ grinder I'm hesitant to say that's cumin and parsley or anything of the sort. She looks up and smiles at something we don't hear (A: probably the car door closing), either because of the background music or because her senses are greater than normal.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Silence Like A Cancer Grows Haven S3E08 Magic Hour Part 2

Previously on Haven: Moira went around resurrecting people she'd killed so she could get some money! Not that we ever really understand why she chose now to be desperate for money and to get out of Haven, but sure. Duke and Audrey were confused about how they feel about each other! Well, mostly Audrey. Duke was a gentleman. Nathan was somewhat of a jackass though less so with Duke most of a continent away, and then he found the bolt gun in Tommy's car, and then he was Jesus. Hi Jesus Wuornos!

We pick up right where we left off, with Audrey over the body and Duke hovering protectively over both of them. Have I mentioned in the last thirty seconds how much I adore this wacky triad and their screwed up but incredibly tightly-knit relationship? Because my god everyone. And a repeat of the last lines from last ep, so we can be reminded how shady Tommy's acting. I mean, yes, he should be upset if he's just a cop and he's seen his boss get shot, but he should also be acting. Cops are trained to react in situations like this, call for backup, get first aid, chase after the one hope they have of getting Nathan back alive, and he's quite obviously frozen. Not, as I'm sure he wants them to think, because he's having a bad reaction/bad flashback to one of the things that drove him out of Boston (though if he IS a chameleon and took on the real Tommy's memories that's entirely possible too), but because he would vastly prefer it if no rescue was forthcoming. Hi Duke's "you're a lying liar full of bullshit" look!

And A Nice Chianti Grimm S2E11 To Protect and Serve Man

Previously, on Grimm.... well, nothing much happened relevant to the overall plot of today, so there are no previouslies! Instead we get sirens and speed lines, and today's quote, "The beast was simply the Call of the Wild personified, which some natures hear to their own destruction..." which is apparently from a horror story about Wendigo from a turn of last century author named Algernon Blackwood. The More You Know! [star]. 

As we fade out on the quote we get exactly one pause, which I wonder if it's a glitch in my episode or if that's meant to signify something; whatever it is, it isn't repeated. I mean, possibly it's meant to signify the herky-jerky impression of being under fire, when for a lot of people things seem to slow down and occasionally even pause. But since it isn't repeated, I'm not sure. Rather than sirens over the lights we get a traditional police dispatch person talking about a 4-15 on 57th? avenue, a disturbance in progress. We hear a familiar voice say Unit 18 copies and is en route, and by the time we turn a corner things are sort of normal again!