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Away Review – Negative Return (1×02)

AWAY (L to R) BRIAN MARKINSON as GEORGE LANE and GABRIELLE ROSE as DARLENE in episode 101 of AWAY Cr. DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX © 2020

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If you don’t do well in tense situations, Away’s second episode likely wasn’t your cup of tea. Palms were sweating as Emma and Misha attempted a spacewalk to fix a solar panel on the ship. 

And it seems to be an indication of the vibe and pacing of this show. It’s a show about the inaugural mission to Mars — every episode is bound to have your heart skipping a beat or two as they try to survive and achieve the unthinkable. 

Space is unknown even to the best of astronauts, but they have the experience and ability to safely navigate it with a calm and collected approach. It’s the reason they were chosen for this mission. 

The spacewalk might not have been anticipated, but it restored everyone’s faith in Emma’s ability to lead. 

Not only were the different nations that have come together for this mission hesitant about her capabilities, but some of her own team didn’t seem to have much faith in her. 

But as she said on Away Season 1 Episode 1, this mission calls for everyone to not only be on their A-game but to also have each other’s backs. 

When Emma and Misha embarked on the spacewalk, he didn’t trust her, and that made everyone a bit uneasy. Their survival was on the line because without that third solar panel, the ship wouldn’t produce enough power and they would all die. 

Emma went to the extremes and even put her life on the line to fix the panel because it was do-or-die. 

Much like with the incident in the pilot episode where some of the crew thought she froze, Emma dived right into the danger knowing that it was her responsibility as Commander. 

She was also confident that she would able to get it done, but there was absolutely no room for error. If she didn’t tether herself, she could have floated off into the abyss. How terrifying is that?

Space life comes at a price, and everyone that’s aboard that ship is fully aware of it. Misha believes he’s made more sacrifices than anyone else, but Ram is quick to put him in his place — and chastize Emma for her reckless decision during the spacewalk — as everyone has given up something that mattered to them to be on this mission. 

We already know that Emma straddles a thin line between her career and her family, and even more so now that her husband had a stroke and may be immobile from the waist down. 

Away Season 1 Episode 2 also gives insight into Misha’s plight. Though brief, we learn that he lost his wife when his daughter was just a young girl. It’s unclear what fractured his relationship with Natalya  since his wife’s passing but based on their rigid conversation prior to the spacewalk, we can infer that he threw himself into his career and became an absent father. 

Little is known about the other crew members for now. Ram clearly cares about his team’s survival and is a team player. They’re all in this together after all and everyone needs to stay alive if they stand any chance at surivving. Meanwhile, Kwesi continues to put his faith in his religion. 

As for Lu, there’s a brief scene with her husband and son, but something seems off when he tells her that he’s “proud to be her husband.” Lu doesn’t seem to share the sentiment as she hesitates to return the compliment. I picked up on more romantic tension between Lu and Mei Chen, which makes me think they’re have a secret romance that Lu has been keeping from her husband. 

One thing that I loved about this episode is that each crew member had time to shine in their native tongue. And flashbacks seem to be heavily focused on each member’s country of origin proving that space travel is a global initiative that requires the very best from all over. 

Other Moments

  • Scenes in “zero gravity” are so fun to watch. And the photos of the behind-the-scenes are equally as fun! 
  • Melissa was an old family friend that lost touch with the Green’s, but now she’s going to be Lex’s temporary parent while Emma is away and Matt recovers from his stroke. She’s an interesting character because she too was an astronaut that worked alongside Emma and Matt, but unlike him, her dream ended when she had Cassie, who has down syndrome. She’s the opposite of Emma — she sacrificed her dream for her daughter, while Emma sacrificed to have both a career and a family. 
  • Cassie seems like a great character, and I hope she redefines how people think about children with down syndrome.

What did you think of the second episode? Are you digging the show overall?


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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5 Biggest Moments from ‘Virgin River’ Season 2

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5 biggest moments from Virgin River Season 2

Netflix dropped Virgin River Season 2 as a Black Friday gift for fans, and there’s so much to unpack!

You can read all of our episodic reviews here

Or, check out the 5 biggest moments from the 10-episode season below: 

 

1. An Accidental Death

After her abusive ex comes to town, Paige is terrified for her and Christopher’s safety, especially since he punished her for running away. He tells Paige to pack up their things, but when she refuses, the two get into a tussle and she accidentally pushes him down the stairs. Since Wes, a decorated cop, made it so that Paige would never be able to win in court, she knows that “self-defense” won’t hold up. Preacher helps her skip town and takes care of the body. Connie puts two-and-two together when she learns that Wes is an official missing person. As someone who lost her mother to an abusive father, she vows to help Preacher come up with a solid alibi in case they find the body. Preacher refuses, and when he learns that Wes’ partner turned on him and there’s no a warrant for his arrest, he thinks his problems are over. That is until he sees Wes show up at his bar. Turns out, it’s his identical twin brother, Vince, who is hellbent on getting revenge. 

 

2. Twins! 

Charmaine’s high-risk pregnancy poses problems for Jack, who does not want to be with her romantically. This is only intensified when Mel confirms that Charmaine is pregnant with twins. Charmaine goes out of her way to get Jack to fall in love with her, but when she realizes that it’s never going to happen, she punishes him by telling him that she’s going to get married one day and that man is going to be the father of her babies and not Jack.

 

3. An Engagement

After a whole season of sneaking around and trying to get it right, Doc finally proposes to Hope, who initially turns him down because she thinks he was sneaking around with another woman, Muriel. When Doc reveals that Muriel helped put him in touch with a vintage jeweler to reset Hope’s ring, she says “yes,” and agrees to have a vow ceremony and reception. Doc then decides to tell Hope about his illness, but before he gets to tell her what’s troubling him, they’re surprised by an engagement party. 

 

4. Brady’s Mess with Calvin

After getting fired from Jack’s, Brady picks up a job working for Calvin. He immediately realizes that something shady is going on, but the idea of making a lot of money entices him. That is until Calvin tasks him with shooting Spencer, one of his men who was trying to rat him out to Jack. Brady pretends to shoot Spencer, but instead, helps him and his family get out of town so that Spencer can testify against Calvin to bring down the whole operation. 

 

5. Jack, can you hear me?

Calvin warned Jack not to get involved in his business. When he felt like Jack was overstepping, he sabotaged his bar and got dozens of customers sick. While it’s unclear who shot Jack, it’s believed that it was either one of Calvin’s men after Mel paid a visit to Emerald Lumber to talk to Brady. Mel had just opened up to the idea of pursuing a relationship with Jack after pushing back for months because of her fear of getting hurt again. She wanted to prove that Brady didn’t kill Spencer to ease Jack’s conscience, but she may have ended up making things worse. That is unless someone else is to blame for the shooting. 

 

All of this means that we need season 3 of Virgin River now more than ever! 


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Virgin River Review – Blown Away (2×10)

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Virgin River Blown Away Review Season 2 Episode 10

What will it take for Mel and Jack to get a moment of happiness around here?

The Virgin River Season 2 finale gave fans everything they wanted in terms of the Mel and Jack relationship before ripping it all away.

After Mel told Jack she loved him, the two decided that it was time that they pursued a relationship. 

And, of course, that meant a lot happy scenes between the couple, which, in TV land can only mean one thing — something terrible is about to happen.

We were all just as naive as Jack when we thought that messing with Calvin and his business would be without real consequences. 

In the final scene of the episode, Mel found Jack bleeding out behind the bar after being shot, likely by Calvin or one of his men. 

While he was losing a lot of blood, I can’t imagine that the show will willingly kill off Jack-freaking-Sheridan or force Mel to deal with the death of yet another man she allowed herself to love. 

But it hits too close to home, and the timing couldn’t have been worse either. Throughout most of the second season, Mel refused to pursue a relationship with Jack because she was scared of getting hurt again.And finally, when she mustered up enough courage to let those fears go and opened herself up again, pain and suffering followed! This woman will never be able to trust ever again. 

Of course, this would have happened regardless of whether or not Mel got involved with Jack. And it would’ve hurt just the same because she’s always cared about him deeply. 

The good things is that Mel likely found Jack in time and will be the reason he survives. She couldn’t save Mark, but maybe she’ll be able to save Jack. Jack truly is her second chance. 

This begs the question whether or not Mel’s decision to pay Brady a public visit at Emerald Lumber played a role in the attack on Jack. 

Obviously, we know Calvin has men everywhere, and if they suspected that Mel was there on behalf of Jack, they could have interpreted it as Jack continuing to mess with his business and come after him. 

However, Mel went rogue in an attempt to ease Jack’s guilt and confronted Brady about what really happened to Spencer. 

It was bit irrational of her to just waltz right in there and scream her demands, but at least she was able to confirm what I believed to be the case the whole time — Brady did not kill Spencer. 

Instead, Spencer and his family made it safely out of town and he was cooperating with Mike from the LAPD to bring Calvin down. Who knew that Brady’s shady involvement would eventually be the reason that Calvin’s operation may be shut down?

What do you think? Will Jack survive? What motivated the attack?

Doc and Hope are engaged! Things ended a bit rocky between the couple in the previous episode as Hope accused him of cheating, but turns out, when you don’t jump to conclusions immediately, there are logical explanations. 

Muriel helped Doc connect with a vintage jeweler in Seattle to get Hope’s engagement ring reset. As a thank you, he took her out to lunch. Easy peasy. 

Once Hope realized that she’d overreacted and Doc was willing to go above and beyond to make her a happy woman for the rest of their lives, she said yes to getting re-married and they even talked about a ceremony and reception. 

But again, the joy was short-lived as something is seriously wrong with Doc’s health. 

He tried to tell her what it was but was interrupted by a surprise engagement party by the town, which is cute, but also frustrating for fans because it means we have to wait until season 3 to find out what it is. 

Will a season 3 even happen? It has to now so that we can find out what’s ailing our good doctor and learn about Jack’s fate. And did Doc only propose cause he’s sick? Will Hope rethink the vow renewal once she learns she might have to care for Vernon? 

In B-level storylines, Preacher finally learned that the man who looks just like Wes is his twin, Vince, also a detective, who is hellbent on finding Paige and making her pay for hurting his brother. 

I’d say that I’m concerned with this storyline, however, the fact that Wes was revealed to be a monster makes me think that Paige now has a fighting chance of telling the truth and getting away without being unfairly punished. 

After Jack denied Preacher’s request of becoming a managing partner in the bar, he decided to take the gig in San Francisco. But what does that mean for Paige? Will Preacher actually go through with it? Did seeing Christopher change his mind?

Connie’s whole spiel about Ricky and Lizzie having sex was ridiculous. She knows how “free spirited” Lizzie is and still had the nerve to blame Ricky for “deflowering” her niece. Get a grip, Connie. The fact that these two are almost 18 is even crazier. 

Connie should’ve listened to Lydie, the voice of reason, who seemed to understand that times have changed and young adults are going to have sex. As long as they are being safe, that’s all that mattered.

Charmaine continued to get on everyone’s last nerve. After telling Mel that she was giving up on wanting to make a relationship with Jack work, she basically threw herself at him when he said that he was going to buy a house for the twins that was halfway between the salon and the bar. 

Her attitude changed from sour to completely ecstatic, but she obviously got the wrong idea. Jack simply told her he was getting a house, not that he was getting a house for them all to live in so they could be a family. 

Charmaine continues to live in a fantasy world when Jack has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to be with her romantically. She hears what she wants to hear and then blames him for leading her on. 

When he shot her down for the umpteenth time, she kicked the crazy into high gear and basically told him that he wouldn’t actually be the twins’ father. In short, she’s punishing him for being honest with her. 

This is obviously the worst case scenario because we know that Charmaine loves to spin a good story. If she commits to keeping Jack away from the kids, she’ll do and say anything to win custody.

I said all season long that I wasn’t a fan of Charmaine’s, but now, I’m really not a fan. 

With so many cliffhangers and open-ended storylines, Netflix has to renew Virgin River for a third season! They can’t leave us hanging in the balance like they did with Jack!

What did you think of the season? Let us know in the comments.  


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Virgin River Review – Hazards Ahead (2×09)

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Virgin River Hazards Ahead Review Season 2 Episode 9

The penultimate episode of Virgin River Season 2 found Jack in some hot water with Calvin. 

First off, why are there so many people in the woods running around willy nilly? This should not be a normal occurrence for Virgin River. 

Second off, will this Adrian guy play a bigger role or was he simply there so that Mel would find out that Jack’s been visiting Spencer? It’s unclear, and it’s one of the more infuriating things about Virgin River Season 2. 

Jack eventually made it to Spencer’s trailer and realized that something terrible has happened. I still don’t know how he thought he was going to protect Spencer’s family from Calvin or why he was so surprised Calvin figured it out. He clearly underestimates him and doesn’t understand the mess he’s involved in. 

And that’s even after he was knocked out and brought to Calvin’s pot farm for a little face-to-face. 

Jack thinks he’s doing the right thing, but he’s outnumbered here. And if he keeps meddling in Calvin’s business, he’s going to get himself killed. At this point, he has to start thinking about his children, Charmaine, and even Mel before making these reckless decisions. 

I’m still holding out hope that Brady is playing some long game to bring Calvin down. I don’t think he killed Spencer and instead, helped him get out of town. That may just be my wishful thinking, but I just don’t see him as the kind of person to kill another just because the gig guaranteed him money. 

Jack needs to be better at answering his phone. I swear, Mel could’ve put herself in real danger trying to find him! 

Thankfully, it didn’t come to that, and instead, she realized just how much she cares about him. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much we love someone until they’re almost taken from us. Of course, she’s already lost one man she loves, and she was letting fear get in the way of finding love again. But almost losing Jack showed her that her feelings are deep and true. 

Maybe this will finally be the push that Mel needs to appreciate what she has now. After all, it helped her finally come clean about her feelings and tell Jack that she loves him! 

Of course, it helped that Charmaine finally let go of the fairytale that she’s been spinning about her life with Jack. She finally realized that waiting for Jack to feel something for her would just mean that she’d be with a man who didn’t love her. No one deserves that. 

They can still respect each other and be good co-parents to the twins. And without unrealistic expectations, I think it’ll allow them to have a much better relationship. 

That is if Charmaine doesn’t take the kids to Portland. It’s one thing to think about your family and security, it’s another to contemplate a big move without even telling the baby daddy, who has be supportive through the whole process. It almost seemed like she was doing it out of a spite, which is not a good look. 

Charmaine has to put herself first, but she also has to consider that Jack is involved in this too and has a say in what happens to his children. 

And Mel made a great point — Charmaine would want to know if the roles were reversed. Keeping this from Jack isn’t fair. 

Hope and Doc… I’m just out of words here. 

I don’t necessarily understand why Doc met up with Muriel in Seattle. Did he really go for a medical conference? Did he simply want to have a nice lunch date while he was out there? Does he think they could be friends?

Did he not think Hope would jump to conclusions? His judgment was so very questionable here. 

As was the decision to re-propose to Hope. They’ve only just begun seeing each other, despite being married for years, and it was pretty dramatic to get Hope on board with being out in the open with their relationship. 

They had a massive fight about Hope’s gossip, so what made him think that plopping down on one knee — even if it was uber romantic — was a good idea?

And Hope, man, she simply cannot just have a conversation without throwing fits and accusing people. Instead of playing Doc the voicemail, why couldn’t she simply ask him why he met up with Muriel and see what he said first?

Preacher seems to have caught a lucky break in Wes’ disappearance. While they may have found the car, the Sheriff hasn’t connected Wes to Paige. And apparently, his partner flipped on him, so Wes is now being revealed for the monster that he was. Technically, this means that if they were to launch an investigation, Paige’s self-defense explanation would hold up in court. 

The Sheriff said they wouldn’t be pursuing it any further because they don’t have the manpower, so again, it seemed like great news for everyone involved except for the fact that Preacher saw Wes walk into his bar! Is Preacher losing it? Does Wes have a twin? If the latter is the case, that would prove to be very messy for Preacher. 

Maybe Preacher should just take the job offer in San Francisco and leave all of this behind him! Though, I still don’t trust Jamie. Why is she hanging around this small town for so long? Why is she so determined to get Preacher to leave?

And then there’s Ricky and Lizzie, who gave into temptation and enjoyed their first time together. They were being safe, which is good news, but the bad news is that they were terrible at sneaking around. 

Connie came home earlier and found Ricky walking around the house in boxers. Yikes.


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