Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Silk Suit, Black Tie (Person of Interest S1E16 Risk)

Our introduction to the number of the week comes with Reese coming out of a stairwell and down a hallway, holding a gun and shoving someone behind him. In an expensive suit, who doesn't look competent to be in a firefight. Which doesn't eliminate the possibility that he's the perp this week, but makes it less likely that he's directly responsible for killing anyone. Hiring a hitman, though, holds some potential. We'll have to see!

This week sees nighttime in the library of infinite knowledge and Reese complaining about having to hold still for a suit fitting. Wow, you guys are not stinting on the bones to the slashers, are you. 'cause Finch is playing the part of personal tailor. Though it does make sense, too; there's precious few people Reese would trust that close to him and with all the necessary modifications to hide the weapons he's going to be carrying. And believe you me, there are necessary modifications if you want to hide any kind of a holster. Shoulder in particular, but ankle and waist as well. What Finch is notably not saying is that Reese's regular suits scream I Am A Spyssassin/Man In Black like a neon sign. They're keeping the lights off in the library, too, presumably because they're both still paranoid as fuck after Root and don't want to let anyone know the building's occupied after dark. So, the new number! Is a proprietary trader on Wall Street, and Reese is about as thrilled about dealing with one of those as you might expect. He also knows about as much as I do about stock trading, which is to say not much. It highlights both his probably blue collar upbringing as well as his past occupations (both Ranger and CIA), in which he would have had little need for any knowledge relating to stocks. At any rate, what Adam Saunders does is trade using the bank's money rather than the individual's, which sounds like it's at least vaguely more fiscally responsible than a lot of other options? Also more prone to corruption between banks and traders, if they're in communication. Finch is being fairly distant about this too; he doesn't expect Reese to much like this assignment but he's currently demonstrating that he knows from money and bespoke suits, so there's got to be a careful barrier there. Which speaks to some increased awareness of what Reese does and doesn't like, and willingness to put up with his snapping and snarling. I'd also love to know where the fuck Finch learned to tailor like that. As they bicker, Finch relays the rest of the data: Saunders has had a run-in with the SEC already and might have made enemies with his risk-taking on the trading floor, so Reese gets to "get close to him." To which he puts up, finally, the full objection of not knowing anything about Wall Street. FINCH. Don't be a jackass about Reese's ability to look clever. He's supposed to blend. He's trained for it. Jerk. At least he's providing some background reading and some semi-reassuring snark.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bring Out Your Dead Grimm S2E22 Goodnight, Sweet Grimm

Buckle your seatbelts and ready your popcorn, folks, because this is likely to be a LONG ASS recapalypse. (Discovered post-recapalyzing: 18K. Eeesh.) At least we've built up a repertoire of shorthand by now! One thing before we get started: we recently discovered someone taking chunks of these posts and passing them off as their own on Tumblr. Now, there's not a damn thing we can do about it, plagiarism is endemic to the internet (and especially to Tumblr), but let's just put this out there: we don't care what you do with our work here, so long as you give us credit for doing it. We keep repeating that we're not doing this for money, but these are hours (and hours. and hours.) of our lives that we're not getting back, and the bare minimum courtesy we ask is that you respect those hours of work. Links back would be awesome. Name of the blog and/or author is your minimum standard. Remember, we come from highly academic backgrounds; the only thing we're getting out of this is credit, and credit is important to us.

(That is the most polite fuck-you plagiarists paragraph I have ever written in my life. Let me be very clear about our feelings: fuck you, plagiarists.)

MOVING ON. We open this week's previouslies with Hootie! And Juliette! And zombies. And the blowfish. This is the weirdest band name ever. It's a fairly long and relatively complete recap of last week's events, which I can understand given the sheer amount of Stuff in that ep, but couldn't they have cut it down to give us more Chirpy? Or Renard? Standard complaint is standard. We pick up right where we left off, too, at the Hotel Gregory in Portland. Which, by the way, does not exist in real-life Portland, unlike a number of other locations they've used. Unless there's a simple explanation that IMDb isn't giving us, like Gregory's a cast/crew/family member they wanted to immortalize, we're going for some kind of an in-joke/reference, and with our history geeking the first thing that came to mind was any of the myriad Pope Gregorys. (Gregory I would be interesting as the so-called Father of Christian Worship, but unlikely. Gregory IX held the Holy See from 1227 to 1241, which falls after the crucial Fourth Crusade and he began the Inquisition, so there's THAT fun possibility. Gregory XII lasted from 1406-1415, which is roughly the right timeframe for a lot of the history, and his forced resignation ended the schism - you know the popes and anti-popes? This guy was the end of that. And of course we have Gregory XIII, from 1572-1585, who commissioned the Gregorian calendar but is relatively unlikely as a target of the joke.) Anyway. That might be relevant, or it might be nothing, WHO KNOWS, but we spent a good hour or so wikisurfing and swearing at potential connections. Aren't you glad.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Person of Interest S1E15 Blue Code)

This clip in the opening credits gives us very little in the way of information, Reese is standing behind someone mean-looking, looking rather sinister himself. So presumably at some point he gets up close and personal with his assignment, whether or not this involves any form of the truth. Beyond that, we'll start off with a couple of traffic cameras, one of which likely belongs to the helicopter flying away as we get to the episode itself, and a man opening up the back of an ambulance.

Finch will give us the precis over headset: this week's number is Michael Cahill, early-mid thirties, apparently an EMT of some kind with no documented attachments. Unlike other assignments, we get the information on this one in layers, as though Finch is enjoying subverting expectations by contradicting himself every minute or so. Though probably not for that reason, since we're only hearing his voiceover, not seeing his face; this isn't about Finch's reasons or reactions for giving the briefing the way he is. Why, then? Because this episode is all about layers, and mostly, layers of appearance over the truth and how easy it is to get lost between them. The first layer, Michael Cahill upstanding citizen with an altruistic job and no documented attachments. The second layer, Michael Cahill who uses his altruistic job to smuggle what looks to be moderate amounts of wealth in the form of diamonds, as well as probably other stuff; previous offenses include breaking and entering as well as assault. There's a whole lot of "as you know Bob" in the Reese-Finch dialogue here to use this device of layering, and Reese will kindly pull the cord on this lampshade at the end with the comment of how the more dangerous they are, the closer he wants to be to them. Hey, look at that. He's the getaway driver. How kind of the show to provide this anvil-shaped footrest.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lord Knows I'm A Voodoo Child Grimm S2E21 The Waking Dead

Previously on Grimm! Families Families Families. Juliette remembers! Adalind Adalind Adalind. A brief summation of all the skeeviness, double-dealing, and backstabbing that's been going on, intercut for the sake of our sanity with the good parts of Juliette slowly being read in on the whole Masquerade. I wonder what this episode will be about.

Today on Grimm... Oh for goodness' sake. Let's have a Papa Ghede (another related figure to, and sometimes overlapping with, Baron Samedi, for those of you not up on your lore of that particular area) rhyme overlaying Eric's model castle. Gee, I wonder who the creepy zombie-controlling Wesen works for. Subtle, you guys. Real subtle. Almost didn't catch that one. We actually have no idea where that rhyme is from or if they made it up for the show, but here's a bit of light reading on Baron Samedi and Ghede/Guédés in general. As a point of interest, his name is pronounced as the French, Sah-meh-dee, or Sahm-dee. Not Sayme-dee as Hank seems to think.

Anyway. Moving on from that and into Eric's model castle, Adalind is back from her shenanigans and Eric is up to his usual shenanigans. Both of them seem to have come recently in from an evening at some upscale event probably involving dinner and almost certainly involving something from the category of concert/opera/theatre, and both of them are in black. Because we didn't already know they were the bad guys. Eric would like to think of himself as bringing the charm but what he actually brings is the smarm, tie all loose around his neck and everything, which he most likely undoes as soon as he's in the car and doesn't have to wear it anymore. Hard to say whether that's simply to give the impression of him as devil-may-care gives-no-fucks or whether that's because he doesn't like things on his neck, reminding him of other things that have been on other necks in his bloodline. Speaking of death, Eric is in a mood tonight, for that other thing that goes well with death. I have no idea why, I doubt even he knows why, but he's definitely in one of those moods and oh god hexenfetish? This is a fetish now? I need a shower. Another one, I just got out of the shower and now I want to go crawl back in and scrub myself off with steel wool, ew, Eric, could you be more slimy. Wait, no, I'm sure you could. Don't show me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Leave Them Kids Alone (Person of Interest S1E14 Wolf and Cub)

For a change, I watched the credits straight through to confirm they didn't do anything in the wake of Root last time. And they haven't! One of these days they'll change Carter's caseload numbers and I will be shocked. At any rate, our first look at this week's number is a kid. I do, by the way, appreciate at least some diversity in the guest stars, albeit not always in the numbers. (Running a quick analysis over the first 14 eps, we've got probably 75% white if not more. On the other hand, we've got a roughly equal gender ratio, which is unusual enough to be remarked upon.) Plus the assorted age ranges, everything from infant to 60s/70sish. Well, infant gets ahead of the game a bit, but if anyone who's seen that ep didn't have Reese with a baby imprinted on their retinas I don't want to know about it.

Our opening sequence is a fairly long Machine sequence, as these things go. A series of 911 calls, seemingly disconnected: someone with a flat tire, someone reporting a noise disturbance, and a boy pleading with the dispatcher to send someone for his brother who was shot. Oh honey. Then the automated "I'm sorry, all circuits are busy at this time," which I think wasn't given directly to the poor kid so much as intended to highlight how little the system cares about one black teenager. Which is very little. This show does not shy away from highlighting the race and class aspects of how badly the system fails the disprivileged.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Your Spirit And My Voice Grimm S2E20 Kiss of the Muse

Again we bring you an ep with none of the Royals metaplot, but a fair bit of Juliette metaplot! Yay! Sort of. Because that means they'll be dropping all the Royals plot they keep hinting at in promos and interviews in the last two eps. You have been warned that there may be a longer delay on our recaplyses for those, therefore.

We open this week at Juliette's house, and it's a Thematic Thing of Theme-ness that we start in the kitchen. For a lot of people, the kitchen is the heart of the home, Juliette and Monroe among them, and we get to see them working through things in that part of their respective homes a fair bit. (And yes, yes, that's a quote from the Odyssey, though I would compare the WotW to a Leanan Sidhe before a Muse. Our biases let us show you them.) So, she's in the kitchen washing up and there's a hesitation as she turns off the faucet that says a memory just hit. Well, that plus the staring at the cat scratches is a big clue; and the memory turns out to be the beginning of her last argument with Nick, over the cat scratches and how she's not going to the doctor for something she's had a million times before. And then, because Juliette is also now The Best, she shows us that she's learned to recognize and ride these memories over the last few weeks, as they come. Stopping and centering herself, and hey, it's the full scene! Being run with Juliette in her now-clothes instead of her then-clothes (which are, for the record, a near-identical blouse to her now-clothes only in green; in fact I think it's the same green blouse she was in when she first started remembering things recently, with the move-in sequence) and leaving her with more questions than answers. We know that feeling, honey. All too well. At least she has an idea of what the right questions are, which is a step up!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Every Move You Make (Person of Interest S1E13 Root Cause)

The teaser of the episode involves a guy waving to some people (his children?) as he leaves what looks like a very ordinary house. Reese, naturally, is doing his spy thing. Not much to go on there, really. Having watched at least up to mid second season we know a lot of what's to come out of this episode, but for the moment, nothing. We start off with the Machine sifting through the noise to find the signals, and this time its words of note are along a theme of betrayal. Traitor, liars, backstabbing SOB is my favorite. This may be our first look at what passes for the Machine's surface thought process, in a way we can see and understand: first it sifts through all the available data, then it seems to pull out the parts relevant to bodily harm, anger, imminent danger, etc. Then it sifts through that to determine if the pattern indicates an actual imminent threat, since we humans do love our hyperbole. This is apparently called a semantic analysis, which I ... sort of question for accurate terminology? But it's close enough for folk music. In this case it determines that, as it says, a threat is imminent, and gives us a countdown clock. 27 hours and change till the Machine believes the event will happen, which is actually less time than Finch and Reese tend to have in any given case in the episodes we see. That's. Interesting. Though that may only be because those cases are notable in some way, we do also see the ends of a number of other cases at various dramatically appropriate points.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blue Man Group Grimm S2E19 Endangered

Well, this is an interesting... bit... of previouslies... that goes on for over a goddamn minute. Just barely, but still, you guys, what were you thinking? Aside from maybe that they hadn't done one in awhile and there had been a lot of movement on assorted metaplot. Well, alright, but that was still a movie trailer of the last season's worth of plot, more or less, and means a minute less of actual weekly ep oh fine, whatever. We get a lot of morphs, a lot of Hank-in-the-know which we assume is because Russell Hornsby was still out injured for this ep (poor guy) and we were hoping that the "I think they can sense it" recap was going to lead us to a goddamn explanation for that. But alas, it was not to be. Instead we get someone who sounds like a cousin of the IN A WORLD guy (Don LaFontaine) as we get the Royals and Juliette recap. Also they've managed to make Portland look remarkably like the panover of Fairy Tale Land we get in Once Upon A Time. Guys. GUYS. What is this silly nonsense.

Alright, anyway, let's move onto the case of the week! Which will open with a quote from Brother and Sister, which we have not actually had yet. (We had Hansel and Gretel back in Organ Grinder.) Notably, it's not a quote that indicates familial relationship so much as fear of death/abandonment. Well, this should be fun! We open, after the shot of the field, with Nick muttering to himself on a DARK AND STORMY NIGHT in the trailer. I will accept this as a mechanism for reminding us/bringing new viewers up to speed about the key: Constantinople, 13th century, Crusades, key, map, important treasure, no time to talk about that let's go over to the field! The field of cattle mutilations. And I just got done with a Sneakers rewatch, too. (Cattle mutilations are up.) We've got a couple farmers checking on the cattle, smart, too, don't go out alone at night. Not with someone killing cattle in the area for damn sure, but also just because out there if you sprain an ankle, you do not want to be out there all night alone. So, good habits, which will not save at least one of them or we wouldn't have a case. Poor bastards. That is a lot of viscera and maybe we've been watching all the wrong sort of things for way too long but it rather looks like someone wanted something in particular. Mostly because that's Traditional with these sorts of cases. Two cows dead in immediate view and hi, blue glowy thing! Dear blue glowy thing: I know you look like humans' traditional idea of an alien, but STOP BREAKING THE FUCKING MASQUERADE. For the love of. Fight, struggle, spiky bit of wood-and-metal through the back which looks like an accident judging by the horrified look on GlowBoy's face. I'm sorry, honey, there's nothing you can do for your son, son-in-law, whoever he is. GlowBoy is still in full woge and making little growling pain-noises as he takes off across the field and I have to facepalm. You know, if he'd just let the fucking woge go this wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. Unless it's a trait of this species of Wesen that they have no in between function, and if they're woged out everyone can see them all the time. Which would go a long ways toward explaining why they got hunted to near-extinction. ANYway. I get ahead of the game. Growling pain noises, which I would make too, along with some loud swearing, if I lost skin to a barbed-wire fence. Ow. And skin still glowing on the fence as he heads out! Woo! Oh no wait, the other thing.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


For those of you who don't follow us on Twitter, here's what Kitty and I have been up to off-blog for the past month or two. In case you were wondering where all the essays have gone and what on earth we keep babbling about!

First off, I started a weekly recording project which you can find here, in the interests of shoving knowledge and repertoire through my brain. 'cause there's a damn lot of Irish tunes out there, and fussing at one for a month isn't going to get me a style or a repertoire as fast as I'd like to think. Then I found out about the Swannanoa Gathering, which turns out to be right by Kitty and has a bunch of truly amazing fiddle teachers for their Celtic Week.

Not being one for half-measures, I launched an Indiegogo yesterday to help fund that. You can get music from me that other people won't at a couple different levels, you can help choose which tunes I learn right before Swannanoa, you can get a bunch of photos and a write-up of the whole shebang after the fact. Oh, and while I'm down there I plan to record some Haven filk.

Kitty, meanwhile, has been finishing up edits on her Black Ice anthology in preparation for publishing it this fall. While writing the next volume of the anthology, scheduling her writing and releases for the next five years, and submitting a handful of short stories to a variety of places, including Fireside Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly.

Because writing ALL THE STORIES is not just a way of life, it's a calling, she's also launched a weekly email-only serial, Gods & Monsters. That's starting today, and if you sign up on her mailing list before noon eastern, you can be there when it starts. (If you can't, never fear: new subscribers will have access to the backlog.) I know this story, along with all her other ones: you want to read this. It's genre, it's family, it's politics, it's all kinds of things that we love dissecting on the blog, now in fiction format. She's also got a tip jar available for it, in a pay-if-you-want model, because writers cannot live by words alone, though they may try and get glared at for it.

If you don't do anything else with this information, we'd love it if you spread the word. Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Got Nine Lives (Person of Interest S1E12 Legacy)

Well, we knew they weren't going to keep Reese in a wheelchair for more than an ep, both because he's Reese and a stubborn bastard and because finding plausible reasons for it would become an exercise in creative frustration sooner rather than later. So we see with the opening credits that he's up and, well, as functional as he gets right now! No weapons on display, but the woman whose number is up has an expression on her face that looks rather like the fuck-off-busy look we've seen on Carter's any number of times. This should be interesting! And speaking of our friendly local detective, our Machine footage for the episode opens on her, looking wary and looking for more Company tails as she enters a diner. She takes a seat such that she can see the front entrance, both because she's a good cop and because she's clearly waiting for someone, and we can safely assume that someone to be Reese. We're reminded as she waits that she hasn't actually had a clear view of him yet, because she tenses up at a random far-too-slender man in a suit. And we're also given indication that the kitchen entrance is behind her, as the waiter comes past. So Reese will keep her waiting until she starts visibly having second thoughts, and then Batman in. REESE. Be better, you jackass.