Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All The Sinners Saints (Person of Interest S2E13 Dead Reckoning)

Kara Stanton is watching you this episode. And I don't think we need to ask whether she's victim or perpetrator: as with most people from Reese's past, she's both. Interesting that we're given her as the number of the day when the ep picks up from about the last minute of Prisoner's Dilemma, where Donnelly was the number of the hour. Either that's a number that Finch has been holding in reserve, or the Machine has once again acted deliberately to try and bring its people the most useful data available. Also, we don't get given this as a previously-on, though we get about 45 seconds of the accident, Donnelly's murder, and Reese's drugging from almost exactly the same angles and timing as last ep. I actually kind of approve of that, because they've never done previouslies before and they do need to indicate somehow that they're picking up from exactly where they left off last episode; this is as good a way as any. And serialized! I maintain the Nolans have ridiculous influence over network execs to get them to let a show as serialized as this one sometimes gets on network TV. Hopefully they can pave the way for more of it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Love Takes Hostages Haven S4E07 Lay Me Down

Previously on Haven! We're deep enough into this season that none of the scenes come from prior seasons, which is also a pretty good indication that this ep will involve some repercussions for what's gone before. Audrey's hiding who she really is from everyone but Duke and Nathan, who know her too well to let her get away with that shit for long. Duke and Wade suck at being functional family members, no surprise there, Jordan has Plans which backfire most horribly both in terms of her personal realizations and in terms of ending up dead. Oh, and Wade is completely off the fucking rails. Seriously, the more we look at this the more this is a weirdly steep escalation for someone who appeared to be a bit sleazy but not serial killer levels of bad guy before.

Grimm on a Plane Grimm S3E01 The Ungrateful Dead

Previously on Grimm: Zombies! Comma, lots of. It's Eric's fault. Oh, and Adalind really wants her powers back, and is trading her baby to the Gypsies for it.

That's it. That's the entire previouslies.

So, at a guess either we're going to revisit, in-show, why exactly there are zombies (or rather zombis) running around Portland or I'm getting spoiled by Haven's previouslies. And honestly it's probably a little bit of both. The opening quote is from a story Google tells me is called Godfather Death. I don't remember the title but I do remember a story, involving a man with a friendship with death and a penchant for herbs. The man wanders the land healing the sick, knowing that if Death stands at the head of the bed, the person will live, but... well, you see the title card quote. Apparently in lieu of comprehensive previouslies we will revisit the last five minutes or so of the last season finale! In our time, in their time we start "fifteen minutes ago" which accounts for a fair bit of travel time. Eric coming out of the hotel and Renard tailing him with this "someday I am going to kill you" look on his face. Literally, when we saw this scene, that is what I said, and I had no idea how prescient a comment that was. It's not a gloating look, either, it's a bit grim (pardon the pun), resigned, and almost sad. And very, very determined.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Better The Devil You Know: Haven Profile (Wade Crocker)

Date: 10/22/2013, updated 10/31/13
Subject Name: Wade Crocker
DOB: Unknown
DOD: 05/??/2011
Gender: M
Age: Unknown
Place of Examination: Data compiled at Chandler/Hammett Investigations offices
Occupation: Day trader on Wall St., spent ~6 months additionally keeping open the Grey Gull while subject ST-BD-#### was temporarily detained within the Barn. Rarely seen performing any work-related activities, save drinking and tending bar at the Gull, however.
Marital Status: Married, separated.
Race: Troubled.
Classification: BD-####

Presents with: Subject presented initially with normal affect and minimal familiarity with the unique nature of Haven. Although he did not have occasion to refer to specific aspects of the phenomena routine to Haven he reacted with no great degree of surprise or alarm when he became entangled with one such phenomenon and remarked with casual acceptance upon the unusually high death rate of the town. Subject resisted attempts by TD-BD-#### and TL-BD-#### to facilitate his leaving of Haven; all indications are that he correctly suspected the involved parties of being less than forthright about their intentions. Subsequent to the return of his brother, subject ST-BD-####, and learning of the sexual infidelity of his wife he attempted to ingratiate himself into the company of his brother and make himself of use to the population of Haven in general and his brother in particular. Upon his exclusion from his brother's circle of trust and the lack of other intimate emotional or intellectual connections within Haven, as well as having displayed unwillingness to return to New York, the subject developed a connection with TR-BD-####, to both their detriment and her death committed by the subject. It is unclear how premeditated the act was, though whether or not he intended the murder he certainly intended to commit assault with a deadly weapon upon someone. Subject displays inconspicuous wealth and the potential for acuity of thought when not consumed by emotional issues, though his behavior and his consumption of alcohol indicate both an addictive personality and poor impulse control. Updated 10/31/13: Subject underwent extreme and rapid devolution over the course of several days, committing at minimum three additional murders with intent to commit a fourth, all of them Troubled members of the Guard. Using the Guard tattoo as an identifier, subject stalked and murdered said victims, proceeding to conceal their bodies off an apparently-uninhabited coastline within a short boat trip from Haven proper. Bodies were not concealed in adequately deep water to prevent easy discovery given access to subject's GPS data. Subject and his brother had two major altercations after subject ST-BD-####'s discovery of the dumping ground, which culminated in subject's death at the hands of Duke Crocker. It is a matter of speculation whether subject purposefully ran onto subject ST-BD-####'s knife or if he lacked all necessary control to protect himself during the fight.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Better The Devil You Know: Haven Profile (William)

Date: 10/22/2013
Subject Name: William
DOB: Unknown
Gender: M
Age: Unknown
Place of Examination: Data compiled at Chandler/Hammett Investigations offices
Marital Status: Unknown, presumed single.
Race: Troubled.
Classification: SR-####

Presents with: Obfuscation. Manipulation of emotions, his own and others', to specific but unstated goals. Multiple goals, those most core to who subject is are almost certainly hidden beneath layers of misdirection and goals which are concurrent but less personal. Despite subject's attempts to conceal it, he feels genuine positive emotion towards subject IN-####; as their sole interaction thus far has been in the now-deceased artifact known as the Barn, we strongly believe that this extends to all designations and that if a prior relationship exists, it may well date back to subject IN-####'s original incarnation. Subject has at least basic combat training, both hand-to-hand and familiarity with some forms of firearms, though considering his observed location we cannot provide any estimates of when or how he might have acquired this training. Given the wide range of subject's emotional responses, we do believe him to be more-or-less human, or at least more capable of falsifying affect in a manner that allows him to relate to humans. At this time we do not know if or in what form he is capable of surviving outside of the Barn; however, given his proclivity for deceit and contrivance, we cannot rule out his reappearance in Haven on this side of the inter- or extra-dimensional portal known as the Door. (See files SR-RF## and SR-JT## for in-depth analysis of methods both advisable and otherwise to cross these types of portals.) Regardless of subject's other powers both physical and paranatural, we consider his ability to manipulate genuine emotion in himself and others his greatest skillset.

Number 47 Said To Number 3 (Person of Interest S02E12 Prisoner's Dilemma)

No great mystery about what the overall plot is here. Apart from the fact that Reese is still a prisoner, the Prisoner's Dilemma is a well-known and very much analyzed example in game theory that shows up incredibly often both in crime drama and in larger fields in real life. The situation is presented as follows: two participants in one or multiple crimes are arrested and imprisoned. The detectives admit in a solitary investigation with each prisoner that they don't have enough evidence to try them on the main charge and they're intending to try them on a lesser charge, with a lesser sentence. The choice for the prisoner to make then, is this:

1. Confess, assuming that the cohort will also confess, and serve a medium sentence.
2. Confess, assuming the cohort will deny the crime, and serve no time under plea agreement immunity while the cohort serves the full wrath of the justice system. Keeping in mind, the same could happen to you if you don't confess.
3. Don't confess, assuming the cohort will also refuse to confess, and serve the minimum.

There are a number of interesting things that can be extrapolated about human nature by what is observed in this situation, and large numbers of papers have been written on the subject. Feel free to chase them down! The point of all this blather is, we know from the title alone that the situation will involve most likely Reese and the other prisoners being given a choice to finger somebody else for the crime and get one sentence, confess and get another sentence, or get hung out to dry when someone else fingers them for being the Man in the Suit. Which way everyone jumps depends, of course, on who knows what.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Internal Memo: Profiles

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: 10/20/13
Re: Profiles new and old

Attached please find several updated profiles; we're starting with the relatively simple and working our way through. Those of you on Teagues duty please take special note of the revised possibilities regarding type GL. The Cogan and Howard files may be dropped to archival purposes, along with, after this update, the McKee file. That said, we would not be surprised to find a need to update the first three files again, and besides they'll be extremely useful in comparing against current profiles of people who've dealt with them in the past, so don't completely deep-six them into your weird filing system, Peter.

We're currently constructing profiles for the three major new players. Alec, we're putting you on temporary field assignment to the new Crocker with Thomas. Set your little gadgets to work, focus on his car, and then get the hell out. We'd prefer no casualties on our side. Then you can tackle the brothers and their murder bunker. No, Dee, we still don't have time or funds to build our own. Kitty will take Mason in conjunction with her duties on subject ST-BD-####, with A as backup when she's not digging through the archives for supplemental material regarding subject SR-####. Expect paperwork to be filed by the end of next week at the latest.

(Kitty insists I'm not allowed to rip him apart with my teeth until we know he's had all his shots. She is no fun. And these archives are dusty, Sam, what have you been doing back here?)


Attachment: (jmckee-eval12312.docx) 24k
Attachment: (teaguesprofile.docx) 27k
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Attachment: (dhendrickson-eval92112.docx) 17k

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cut to the Core Haven S4E06 Countdown

Previously on Haven: a whole bucketful of Crocker and Jordan issues, along with some Nathan and Audrey issues for good measure. The previouslies continue to impress us with their ability to explain - no, there is too much, let them sum up - in a minute or less anywhere from one to three seasons (depending on the character) of character and plot arc. And to hit all the highlights that point the way to someone's obvious arc without quite drawing a neon sign over their heads. (Most of the time, that happens organically anyway.) (Someday someone should have the Trouble of reading mytharcs over people's heads in neon signs. No, we're not punchy at all why do you ask.) Also the big reveal at the end of last ep, which while spoilery if you skipped it for whatever reason (why would you do a silly thing like that?) is pretty crucial knowledge going into this one.

This week on Haven, we woke up and all of it was still true and we were still sad, so now it's time to go to work coping the way we cope best. Analysis to the nth degree! We'll say upfront, by the way, that it's the mark of a truly astounding cast, crew, and writers' room that we can see these arcs coming, hope like hell that they're not going where we expect them to, watch them go where we expect them to, and have them still be moving and fulfilling rather than hackneyed and trite. That's a goddamn hard balance to walk when you're working with the really old themes and myths, and Haven's only getting better at it. Still, we don't open with mytharc of the main characters, at least not on the face of it. We open with the Trouble of the week! Some poor guy walking out of a store, possibly the travel agency and possibly one down from it, scowling at his cell phone before staring at the digital display ad in the travel agency window in similar and growing horror. We get a couple angles that make us think we're seeing things from his POV, but clearly we're not, because I can't think of a thing that's that horrifying about a couple nights in Cabo. So we have sideways reference to the ep title, and the poor now-dead guy in the street indicating that whatever this Trouble is, it's going to be crucially integral to the weekly dose of metaplot, on account of its placement in the episode.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Faces Are So Cold (Person of Interest S2E11 2 Pi R)

Papa Finch is watching you. You, in this instance, being a teenage boy looking kind of shady, kind of sad, and flashing to Finch looking horrified. Well, this can't end badly! The Machine will give us some initial data on the case of the week, a kid who died on the subway tracks, the operator thinks he might've been pushed, cue ominous noises.

Oh, those ominous noises are also because we're visiting Rikers, where Reese and his bevy of patsies in suits are getting DNA cheek swabs done. The only reason I can think of for the prolonged nature of this opening is to demonstrate on camera that yes, all four had cheek swabs done and yes, all four were identically done, there's nobody random on the inside that we don't know about. Elias isn't getting in this game right now. Etc. Which I have to admit, would be a very valid concern. They go into lineup for mug shots, I question why they're all four being lined up side by side since Donnelly is saying right now that he wants them all held in isolation, but maybe that's Rikers protocol? Also I guess isolation is a nicer word than solitary. We know what you mean, Donnelly, and we know those tactics, and we know what happens to people held for prolonged periods in solitary, particularly those without the training to withstand it. (Nothing. Good. See also those experiments with the cloth mama monkey. People need people to survive and be sane, for relative definitions thereof. See also: Reese and Finch.) Anyway, Donnelly intends to make full use of his 72 hours grace period, the warden has snark about how they look like investment bankers (no, dude, you're bad at your job, Reese still looks like a fed), and Carter has a worried expression on. Which is probably less because of Donnelly's obsessive behavior and more because of Reese being in jail, but I will use my worried face over the obsessive behavior. Even before we saw this arc to the end, we were pretty sure Donnelly was gonna get dead, on account of monofocus benefits nobody. I also severely question the assessment of Reese as the most dangerous criminal he's ever chased; no matter if he thinks Reese is working for some Chinese organization, he should maybe be after whoever's pulling Reese's strings? Yes? No. The warden delivers another gripe about how this isn't Guantanamo, which probably has more to do by far with jurisdictional dick-measuring than with any concerns about the well-being of the prisoners. Without getting into long diatribes about this country's prison system, let's just say that the focus is pretty nearly never on rehabilitation or acceptance of ex-cons into society, and at worst it breeds smarter criminals. Anyway. Carter wants to know if they're going to interrogate the prisoners, but no! Donnelly has no intention of bothering with that because they have DNA from the burned out car (remember, with the NSA guy and the assassins, 1x22) and fingerprints from Carter's skills waaaay back in the pilot. Which is a very, very nice bit of continuity for them to have kept in mind.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

As You Are He As You Are Me Haven S4E05 The New Girl

Previously, on Haven: Nathan loves Audrey! Nathan's going to die by Audrey's hand! Lexie's stuck between worlds! If she makes it to the other side, who will she be? Whoever she most wants to be! And then someone shouts for Audrey and that should really be our first clue right there in the previouslies. Sadly, we didn't rate it high on the list of probabilities, though we did ponder it for a bit. Although that's the beauty of a great writing team, that after this long analyzing and predicting a show they can still surprise us like this. We should note that we'll be talking about the last five seconds' spoiler throughout this episode, so if you don't want to be spoiled we recommend even more than usual that you wait to read this until after watching. Boom! Audrey's on the other side, only now she's Lexie and she has no idea what's going on. Allegedly.

Today on Haven we pick up right where we left off and Nathan is pissed. Hard to say who he's pissed at, although he himself is probably at the top of that list. Lexie is a bit sheepish and also a bit wary of what's going on. Vince has that stricken look which means he's not looking forward to getting to know a fourth version and he's sad and misses Audrey. Jordan, as it turns out, is going to be gobsmacked by this for the least amount of time, likely due to her anger admitting only a limited amount of new information into her world view. The whole part where Audrey is now Lexie and this won't work is information her desperation won't allow. So, grab the shotgun, order Lexie to shoot Nathan. Or what? Or you'll shoot him instead? You can't shoot AudSarLuLex because she has to end the Troubles, and if you shoot Nathan you might kill him and then the Troubles still won't end, and this is all without her knowing that there is no barn anymore, so really this is grandstanding and venting rage and pain. (A: Can I just mention that Lexie's accent is in the process of disappearing already? Just saying.) Duke attempts to point this out to her, but she's even less prepared to listen to him than she is to listen to Vince's lameass attempt at barking commands. We've heard him bark commands with far more authority than he's assuming here; this isn't Master of the Guard, quick to grab a gun (yes we're going to keep doing that), this is tired and heartbroken old man. Dave has more force in his voice than Vince does, even though it's all desperation.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lawman's Put An End To My Running (Person of Interest S2E10 Shadow Box)

You are, as usual, being watched.

This week's number appears to be a young and frightened woman, but the initial photo gives us nothing more than that. The initial recording gives us a little more; the young woman is talking to her parents, so we know they're still alive and they're important to her. She talks about how she always tried to be good and keep to the rules, and the order of these tells us that while she conflates the two, she does make a distinction between lawful and good and puts good above lawful. As do most characters we're supposed to root for in shows like this. And now, she says, she's going to break them in a big way. The whole tenor of this recording indicates that she doesn't believe she's going to be coming back from this bout of rule-breaking, or at least that she's obviously not going to have an opportunity to explain herself to her parents, whose opinion she values. While we're listening to this, a man walks into a motorcycle shop, smashes the glass top of the case, takes the keys to the one he wants, and drives off. The whole thing takes less than thirty seconds, but it's still a brazen robbery. We don't know who this man is (though it's most likely a man going by the movement and shape of the body) or how this connects to the young woman who's in trouble. Or even if it does.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Other Worlds Than These Haven S4E04 Lost And Found

Previously on Haven: we are still in deep admiration of whoever's doing these previouslies. As much as we think they could use the extra minute or so of screen time to cram in more of the story, because of how serialized we've gone this season, we also have to admit that the summaries are necessary for people who are either not as fannish as we are or are coming to the show for the first time. This time, we have a fair chunk of the Nathan-and-Audrey love story, though with heavy emphasis on Nathan's side of things - he is, after all, the one who remembers right now. Maybe not forever, we've seen plenty of shots of AudSarLuLex in more Audrey-like clothes, but that could also be because those are the clothes left in Audrey's apartment which fit Lexie. Yes, we're here to bring you all of the worst possible interpretations. And yet you love us anyway for some reason. We also confirmed that the bar/n is, yes, That Darn Barn, and AudSarLuLex is somehow protecting herself by imagining the bar aspect. William? We don't know yet. Isn't it great? But she has to get out because it's still dying, so way-hey for the Dark Tower references this ep. You can expect a lot of swearing and a lot of DT in-universe slang to crop up. Hey, be grateful we don't write the whole recaplysis in Franglais, with A off to the De Temps Antan concert last night. Or turn all our swearing into Québécois patois.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Congratulations, It's A Novel

Kitty's not going to write this because she has issues about self-promotion on this blog. I, on the other hand, am fucking shameless when it comes to shilling out her work, and after the way we've both been working like dogs Hellhounds for the last several months, y'all deserve to know why we've been distracted and, among other things, really really glad for a show that allows us to build up any backlog whatsoever. (Which is gone now and we have to build it back up again, but that's a different story.)

The thing is, there's this novel. A braided anthology! Called Black Ice, or the mold, or fucking mold, or any number of other things you may have seen us call it on Twitter. I happen to think it's fucking awesome noir urban fantasy, with PIs, Hellhounds, Sidhe, wee fae, necromancers, and at least one kickass heroine who's none of the above.

But I'm biased, 'cause I edited the everloving crap out of this anthology. You can find Kitty's original fiction here, with the Black Ice universe stuff clearly marked, and try a couple flash fiction pieces before buying anything. Or you can go here and buy the dime novel (released as a teaser two weeks ago) and the anthology, out today!

Us? We're going to have a well-earned drink before we end up diving into this weekend's Haven.

Fight to be Free (Person of Interest S2E09 C.O.D)

Our number this week is a man working a blue-collar looking job of some kind, and we see him leaning on a car only through a telephoto lens, and then Reese looking over his shoulder. That is singularly uninformative. The tough-guy look could be for any number of reasons, and frankly it mostly resembles a "fuck off and don't bother me" attitude rather than an "I'm going to rip your throat out" attitude. So! The Machine has something to show us. When does the Machine not have something to show us. A stereotypical Russian accent asking his cabbie to pull over and wait for him at the park, no questions asked, he tears a short stack of $100s in half and this is his security against the cabbie taking off. Sure, okay, we'll go with that. Only we never see the Russian come back, we barely can tell from the glimpse we get of him that the cabbie is the number shown in the credits (though we can safely extrapolate that), and now it's the next morning.