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The Boys Review – A Literally Mind-Blowing Cliffhanger (2 x 07)

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In The Boys season 2 episode 7, “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker” ends with a cliffhanger that literally blows everyone’s brains out.

Also, Billy Butcher’s parents make their first appearance on the show, Hughie and Lamplighter rescue Starlight from Vought Tower, Homelander basically kidnaps his son, and a bunch of other crazy s**t happens.

From the start, things get a bit too real when an unnamed social media-radicalized gunman (played by Charley Koontz AKA “Fat Neil” from Community) shoots a store clerk he suspects is a Supe terrorist.

Typically, when shows try to tackle political subjects like this, it comes off clumsy and out of touch, but The Boys takes a nuanced approach that gets the message across without seeming preachy.

For example, the whole bit with Homelander and Stormfront reiterating sending their “thoughts and prayers” with less than sincere intent is a sublime critique on the whole practice in real life and is subtly done with sprinkles of satire.

With that said, this episode ends in a cliffhanger that sort of mirrors real-life political events as well when a Congressional hearing is held against Vought International and its Supes.

And, simply put, it doesn’t end well…

Minds Are Actually Blown Away

During said Congressional hearing, right as the star witness, Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman), is about to out Vought for all its criminal activities, his head mysteriously explodes after swearing himself in.

Soon after, a bunch of other people’s heads starts exploding as chaos ensues and Vought, once again dodges a bullet.

The shocking scene is dark and violently gratuitous (as per usual on this show) and watching it is stressfully nerve-racking.

No major character seems to have suffered from head explosions, conveniently enough, which suggests that the attack was made to look like a random act of violence.

So hopefully the assailant is revealed in next week’s season finale.

Lamplighter & Hughie Watch Parody Movies

Superhero parody adult films, to be more precise. Among these titles include “Translucent The Invisible C**k”, “Queen Maeve Pleasure Slave” and “Big Black Noir.” (Super classy titles, obviously.)

As if Lamplighter wasn’t already messed-up before, his odd collection of movies just shows how he couldn’t give any less of a fuss.

Unfortunately, this is also the last episode Lamplighter appears in as he commits suicide at Vought Tower by burning himself in front of Hughie after the two infiltrate the building to try and rescue Starlight, who was captured by Black Noir earlier in the episode.

Shawn Ashmore’s performance was magnificent and quite funny in his short stint on the show, and hopefully, we get to see more of him in flashbacks at some point in future seasons.

His character though was still able to help rescue Starlight in the end as his flaming body triggered the emergency system that enabled Starlight to escape, and his severed hand (chopped by Hughie) was useful in letting Hughie get around Vought Tower with relative ease.

So in the end, Lamplighter died heroically, albeit under the context of committing suicide but still, the point is, Hughie, Starlight, and her mom were saved because of him.

Stormfront Helps Homelander Brainwash His Son

Yup. That’s right. Homelander steals another win in this episode as he successfully brainwashed Ryan Butcher, his son with Becca, to leave his mother and fly away with him.

What began as a seemingly harmless scenario of daddy introducing his new girlfriend to his son, quickly turned into a manipulative abduction as the two twisted Supes turn Ryan against Becca by showing him the fake world he’s been living in.

Before that though, a few clever nods were thrown in that referenced The Blind Side movie with Sandra Bullock, which Ryan made a LEGO animated version of.

Then Stormfront mentions a bunch of movies that Homelander has starred in including “Homelander: Brightest Day” and “Homelander: Darkest Night,” which is a clear easter egg for the DC Comics superhero Green Lantern who says the phrase “In brightest day, in blackest night” when activating his powers.

The aftermath of this episode leaves a lot of questions about where Becca ends up though – Does she go to Billy now? Or will she do something else to get her son back?

Other Key Events:

Meet the Butchers

  • A bit of a Lord of The Rings reunion happens in this episode as John Noble plays Billy’s dad, while Downtown Abbey alum Lesley Nicol portrays his mum. Noble, of course, was Denethor and Karl Urban was Eomir in the Oscar award-winning high fantasy adventure film series.
  • Karl Urban probably says the C-word a record number time in this episode as he goes off on his character’s dad, who has a strained relationship with Billy.

Kimiko & Serge AKA Frenchie Bond Again

  • Kimiko finally opens up again to Serge during this episode when she begins to teach him the unique sign language she and her deceased brother used to communicate.

Black Noir’s Tree Nut Allergy

  • The Almond Joy jokes from a couple of episodes ago come back to pay off in this episode big time when Maeve uses one to subdue the brutally powerful Black Noir by stuffing an Almond Joy in his mouth when he was choking Starlight out. Black Noir hilariously tries to pull out his inhaler but Maeve just kicks it out of his hand and leaves him to struggle, giving Starlight a chance to escape.

A-Train and The Deep Still Doing Nothing

  • Nothing much going on with these two, they just go to a birthday party for the leader of the Church of the Collective. A-Train gives The Deep a goldfish, so there’s that.

Episode Rating: 10/10

It’s very rare for me to drop a perfect score for an episode, but the ending for this one is just too crazy to ignore, so this rating is well-deserved.

 

The Boys season 2 finale streams next Friday on Amazon Prime Video.

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Lorenz Bacani is a pop-culture enthusiast who's trying to watch as many good comic-book movies and TV shows as superhumanly possible. He received a bachelor's degree in Journalism and New Media at California Baptist University. Wrote for a news tabloid, worked for a couple of non-profits, and dabbled in some photography (mostly for Instagram purposes). He is probably currently binge-watching an old TV show for nostalgia.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review – Final Exam (208)

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Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review - Final Exam (208)

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School concluded its sophomore run with a gripping finale—tensions were at an all time high, regardless if you like the outcome—that unmasked Bloody Rose and Archie Waters… kind of. 

PLL: Summer School Season 2 Episode 8 had a handful of bombshell reveals—and as it turns out, we owe Christian, Johnny, and, especially, Jen, a huge apology for ever doubting their motivations. 

I say especially when it comes to Jen because up until the scene where Noa calls her to ask how to hotwire a car, I was convinced she was somehow involved with the Bloody Rose mess. There was even that scene where Jen suggested maybe Christian or Johnny can’t be trusted, which felt like she was trying to get the scent off of her and divert attention to someone else, but it turns out, she was simply trying to help Noa and the liars pinpoint the murderer. The writers wanted her to be a red herring, and we all fell for it. There’s obviously still qualities about her that are concerning, but maybe we all misjudged her just a wee bit?

It didn’t take long for Tabby and Imogen to turn against Christian and Johnny either—part of Bloody Rose’s plan—as Tabby found the mask of Davie in Christian’s drawer while Imogen saw a bunch of dead bodies and assumed Johnny was the culprit. She literally locked him in the freezer (where I was sure he’d perish), but I’m so glad they showed us how he got out of there… otherwise, it would have been another PLL mom’s basement mystery keeping me up at night. 

Bloody Rose ended up being—SPOILER ALERT—Mrs. Langsberry, Chip’s vengeful mother,  which doesn’t come as much of a surprise, honestly, considering she was unhinged for much of the season, casting blame at Imogen and Tabitha for soiling her son’s good name. When they confronted her earlier in the morning and assumed she could be crossed off the suspect’s list because she had fresh flowers—BR’s calling card—it was simply a way of getting them off her trail. 

It’s actually hilarious to think that Chip’s mother thought she was avenging her son’s death by brutally murdering, torturing and tormenting people all over town, but I guess it explains why Chip was so messed up in the first place. His home life couldn’t have been healthy if that’s how she’s rationalizing her grief. 

Bloody Rose didn’t act alone, however, as her accomplice was none other than Wes, who ended up being the whole mastermind behind everything. He bonded with Mrs. Langsberry following Chip’s death and saw this as his perfect opportunity to get revenge—because it’s so hard for a white guy nowadays—but also to make the ideal horror movie that actually involves murdering someone in real-time. His subject was none other than final girl Tabitha because, well, she’s always been the one to stand up to him and put him in his place. We always knew something was off about Wes, but Christians seemed to pick up on all the red flags this season immediately. 

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review - Final Exam (208)

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review – Final Exam (208)

Tabitha proved that she’s not only a lover of the horror genre, she’s also quite a fighter. When she was surrounded by Wes’ proxies in masks with no obvious exit out of Pastor Malachi’s church, she jumped through a window to escape, before singlehandedly taking on all the proxies and then Wes himself. Tabitha reimagined what it means to be a Final Girl in a truly empowering way; as did the rest of her friends who fought tooth and nail to get to her. 

When Tabitha came face-to-face with Wes, holding a pitchfork, nonetheless, he assured her that she didn’t have the guts to end it, but before he could even finish his sentence, she proved him wrong. 

Wes was an obvious villain choice, much like Mrs. Langsberry, but it was also a lame choice as they could’ve done so much more with his character. He was a main suspect in season one, and they figured we wouldn’t consider him again, so they planted him as the big bad, but it just felt like a cheap shot.

It was also pretty lame and unbelievable that Wes somehow survived being stabbed with the pitchfork (and then punched by Imogen during that very rude jump scare)—I was surprised when Dr. Sullivan said he was in prison alongside Mrs. Langsberry. I guess you really can never get rid of the devil. 

And, as we’ve seen, prisons don’t actually keep the monsters locked up for good. They always find a way of sneaking out… like Archie Waters did. 

While everyone was led to believe that Archie was killed in a prison riot, he quietly snuck out and waited in the shadows before claiming his next victim—someone he’s been keeping an eye on for quite some time. Dr. Sullivan, who was tormented by Archie, and who, in her last moments begged to find out if he was the one who killed her son Sebastian, was brutally murdered in the final moments, though it was kind of hard to feel bad considering we saw her real side—the one that sold her book on childhood trauma and called the liars “narcissists.” I guess some might say she had it coming this whole time for being a shady lady. 

But Tabitha’s desire to leave the Waters family in the past might be wishful thinking considering the actual bogeyman is still out there likely gearing up to strike again. 

Thankfully, at least for now, they all have a bit of a break, passing their Keystone exam (finally) and embracing their Final Girl Energy, knowing that they can survive anything that life throws their way.

And maybe come next season, Johnny will get over the fact that Imogen almost killed him and they’ll get another shot at love together. One could only hope as they made a cute couple and it was one of the more promising developments in her life. 

As for Kelly, she also survived Bloody Rose’s attempt at drowning her and made amends with the liars, while, hopefully, putting all the culty church stuff in the past. 

I was a bit surprised that neither Ash nor Greg appeared in the finale, which makes me wonder how much we can still trust them. Wouldn’t they be around in some capacity to check in on their girls after what they went through? 

What did you think of PLL: Summer School and the finale? Did you like how the ending was set up? Did you think the killers were too obvious? Do you think the masked liars from Tabitha’s movie tease might be season 3’s villains? Maybe it’s someone impersonating them to torment them?

Share your thoughts!

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Walker

Walker Review – Let’s Go, Let’s Go (411)

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Walker Review Let's Go Let's Go Season 4 Episode 11

Walker and his team suffered a major blow during their hunt for the Jackal on Walker Season 4 Episode 11. 

If I’m this frustrated with a case, I know that they are over with how this serial killer keeps outsmarting and evading them. It’s taken so much from them in terms of sanity, time, and even loved ones, as we saw James spiral back into old habits that once again put his home life with Kelly in the crossfire, and Walker’s hallucinatory dream showed that one of his biggest regrets in life was not being there for his family enough; for the big and small moments. 

As the Jackal pumped up Walker with drugs, the hallucination began like a dream as Cordell finally had his wife back. In reality, Cordell was living through a nightmarish situation before being buried alive. 

I’m typically not a fan of hallucination/dream episodes, but this one was interesting as it examined Cordell’s life and motivations through the lens of his funeral. It was his subconscious bubbling to the surface, but it was showing him how his absence made others feel. The message was loud and strong, though he wasn’t entirely open to receiving it, even when Emily urged him to let it go and get back to reality.

The drugs pumped into his system were so strong that if it wasn’t for Cordell’s team tracking him down, he would’ve suffered the same fate so many of Jackal’s victims have over the years. I guess it’s slightly reassuring to know that they have no idea of what’s going on in their final moments of life, but it still doesn’t make the situation any better, especially knowing that Jackal almost killed two rangers as they were on his tail. 

While they got to Cordell just in time, David Luna didn’t have the same amount of luck—and it was honestly the most heartbreaking development in this season-long case. 

When I say the Jackal took loved ones, I also mean physically, as it seems Luna succumbed to his injuries and died in Cassie’s arms, which we know is going to absolutely destroy her as she was just coming around to admitting that she loved him.

I’m hoping that maybe there’s a reality where Luna still has a pulse and is spared, but it’s not looking good for him. Their pursuit of the Jackal meant that he was getting sloppy and needed to tie up loose ends, which included Luna as he took his eye off the prize. 

I knew it wasn’t going to bode well for him when he made that overly long phone call to Cassie, which was super sappy, and she hesitated to say the “L” word, something we know she’ll come to regret if he doesn’t make it. 

They could’ve saved that conversation for another time so that neither of them lost focus and allowed themselves to be ambushed by the Jackal. And if I’m being realistic, I don’t think this is a one-man show. One man wouldn’t be able to take out David Luna all while moving Cordell and burying him in a shallow grave. I think there’s a team working here, which is how they’ve been able to stay ahead of the police. 

Either way, the desire to stop and capture the Jackal is only growing stronger now that he’s targeted two of the Rangers’ own men. And maybe it’s time to bring in backup because this isn’t something they can handle on their own. 

As for Cassie, I hope she hasn’t lost the love of her life in such a senseless way—she deserves a shred of happiness. 

And with only two episodes on the horizon, I hope this case helps Cordell reframe what’s really important in life, and that includes slowing down and appreciating all the love he’s surrounded by, including his new romance with Geri. Maybe it’s time he stop running by leaving the rangers behind? 

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Luna’s really dead?

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Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Review – The Bogeyman (207)

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Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Review - The Bogeyman (207)

Secrets, secrets are no fun—but they’re definitely fueling Bloody Rose’s wrath on Millwood and the final girls. 

Tabby is the last girl standing, waiting for Bloody Rose to pounce, which does make me think that maybe Christian isn’t as innocent as we’ve been led to (desperately wanted) to believe. He did swoop in with a superhero complex, loves to make masks (and could easily make a 3D rendering to make Bloody Rose appear as Imogen’s mother), and could be a chip off the old block as Chip’s buddy wanting to get revenge for his friend’s murder, so we have to look at all the possibilities now.

That being said, it’s only one of many options presenting itself, and with Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 2 Episode 7 serving as the penultimate episode, we’re still no closer to figuring out who could be tormenting these girls once again.

However, it’s clear the pressure is getting to them as they’ve been making reckless choice after reckless choice. By the end of the hour, they all found themselves at the scene of the crime in some way—and none of it looked good on them. 

Imogen was at the cemetery with Dr. Sullivan, who finally came clean about her connection to Archie and Bloody Rose. Turns out, she’s also been victimized by this family, after serving as Rose’s therapist at Radley, failing to help Archie at her request, and then being targeted by the psychotic killer, who also killed her son, Sebastian, years ago. It makes sense why she’s been trying to help the Millwood girls in a way she couldn’t help her own child. But getting too close to it also means you’re in the line of fire, as Imogen realized Sullivan was kidnapped by Bloody Rose at the cemetery, as she left behind her signature calling card of red roses scattered across the car seat. 

Faran, who has spent all season trying to prove herself, finally allowed herself to let her guard down, with Greg, no less (I don’t mind this pairing, but I don’t want her to forget how douchey he was for literally two full seasons), but while it may have been a welcome distraction, it was also the reason she missed all of Kelly’s calls and later found her dead in the pool where she was waiting to meet. If Faran had picked up, maybe Bloody Rose wouldn’t have gotten to another Beasley, though since we know how much BR is capable of, it’s unlikely anything could’ve helped Kelly. If it wasn’t this moment, it would’ve been somewhere else. I do feel sorry that she got killed off the moment she had an actual “come to Jesus” moment and realized that maybe her friends were right about the cult… and her mother, who claimed the Millwood girls have not yet atoned for what they did to Karen. It seems like everyone is just forgetting that Archie is the actual murderer while they are all victims of a very toxic situation. 

 

Also this fan theory that I’m still standing by:

Noa was being easily manipulated by Jen—because that’s what’s happening, right?—as she chose to take a baseball bat to Shawn’s car, Carrie Underwood style, but the ironic part was that she was the one cheating on him all summer. Does Shawn not have a right to be angry? Sure, he shouldn’t have punched a hole in the wall, but two wrongs don’t make a right. How did Noa know he was threatening Jen when he did it?  

It all seemed so out of character for Noa as she spiraled out of control in a relationship that’s had all too many red flags (like she bling-ringed Shawn’s house AFTER he helped her out…..). I actually don’t know where the writers planned to take Noa’s character this season, but it’s not something anyone is getting behind. Before she jumps into any relationship—healthy or otherwise—she needs to learn how to deal with her own emotions. 

All of this could’ve been so easily resolved had both of them just talked it out like adults—something Jen conveniently hinted shouldn’t happen because she thrives on chaos and destruction. 

Either way, despite his flaws, Shawn deserved better. He may not have been perfect, but he really went out of his way for Noa (even going against his mother because he loved his girlfriend), only to get stabbed in the back and kicked to the curb. 

 

 

And then there’s poor Mouse, who made the very terrible choice of posing as Angela Waters on Spooky Spaghetti in hopes of getting all these rabid followers to slow their roll, except it backfired right back—and Lola became a prime target, with Bloody Rose’s fandom suggesting that the grandmother become the first sacrifice in Archie’s blood atonement. It’s, well, unhinged, and I’m not surprised these ladies are sleeping with one eye open. They aren’t safe anywhere, as evidenced by actual Rose’s arrival at Mouse’s place. I’m intrigued to see what it is she wants from Mouse and Lola.

Also, WES IS ALIVE? Scream it from the rooftops because I truly thought it was over for him. He waltzed into the Orpheum like “Heck yah, I’m still here, but I’m also leaving Millwood because that’s the sane thing to do.” Before he peaced out of there, he said he suggested both of them for co-managers as if there’s literally anyone else working at that theater. And also, who owns the theater? Is it Veronica Lodge? Because that would be epic. 

One final note, this scene had me in tears… Bloody Rose knows she’s a menace. 

This was, hands down, one of the best episodes of PLL: Summer School, firing on all fronts. Bloody Rose claimed yet another victim—why didn’t Faran run to double check if Kelly was alive because you know, no body, no death rule of TV—all while the girls are all being played and no closer to figuring out who their tormentor could be.  I’d say we can cross Kelly’s mother off the list as she was locked up and drugged, which leaves us with all the love interests—Jen, Christian, Johnny (but I really want him to be good), and Ash (who is slightly sus now because he knows everything and could be using it to his advantage. How else did Mouse’s identity come out in that video unless BR has bugged them all), along with the scorned mother, Mrs. Lansberry. 

Who do you think it is? Share all of your theories with us! 

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