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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.

Riverdale

Riverdale Review – Things That Go Bump in the Night (6×15)

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Riverdale review Things That Go Bump In The Night Season 6 Episode 15

Saving Riverdale goes hand-in-hand with saving Pop’s. The friendly neighborhood ghosts ensured that Tabitha Tate was well aware of that on Riverdale Season 6 Episode 15. 

As the small but mighty town prepares for a full-on good versus evil with Percival Pickens at the helm of the bad team, Tabitha attempted to salvage her family’s business first and foremost.

But every time they tore down Pop’s iconic facade, something went awry. When she saw a ghostly flashback, she tapped Cheryl and Heather, a self-proclaimed witch schooled by a coven in Greendale (hmm sound familiar) for help communicating with the spirit. It was then that she clued into the fact that the diner has been a refuge not only for the living but also for the dead, who were also very much aware of Percival’s plans.

Percival also knew that the spirits were standing in his way by bearing witness to the eldritch evil that they referred to as a ghost train.

It was complicated, even by Riverdale standards, but it confirms that Percival is some kind of evil entity that knows all too much. And the eldritch terrors, well, we’ve come across those in Greendale, so it’s a good thing that they have Heather on hand for intel and information.

The introduction of Heather also bridges the gap between Cheryl and the supernatural. She’s dabbled in it, but the fact that she’s a witch has never been established out loud until now. Heather’s confession about herself prompted Cheryl to be very open about her involvement in the supernatural. Cheryl has pretty much been guiding her powers of pyrokinesis all on her own — sans a few texts from her robust library — so it’ll be nice to have a guide who can help her lean into those powers. 

And, of course, Heather is a librarian, so she’ll be able to lend a hand with Cheryl’s idea of expanding Thornhill into a local library. After all, plenty of people already use the location as a source of information. 

Am I shipping Heather and Cheryl? I’m not convinced just yet, but maybe it’s because I’m still holding out hope — like many fans — that a Choni reunion is coming. However, I do think that Heather and Cheryl’s interests align better than Choni’s ever have, so that’s an exciting shakeup. 

Toni has her hands full in her fight for custody of baby Anthony. She and Fangs are going up against Kevin, and since they are open “gangbangers,” there isn’t much working in their favor. But when the lawyer informed Toni that a healthy family front could persuade the judge, Toni decided to propose to Fangs despite being more and more aware that they aren’t soulmates.

As a mother, I totally understand where Toni is coming from. A mom would do anything for her child, and if that means she has to see eye to eye with Fangs and make him believe that they are destined to be together, so be it. 

Fangs is trying his best. I can’t say I agree with his choice to go work for Percival knowing the danger that he poses to the town, but his actions are coming from a place of love, just like Toni’s. He wants to be there for baby Anthony and provide for his family, and Percival’s offer is allowing him to do it. The idea seems to be that he’s selling his soul to take care of his loved ones, but it’s possible having a personal tether can keep him safe from any mind control. 

We should all be blaming Kevin for starting this mess to begin with. 

We rarely see Jughead and Veronica team up, but boy was it incredibly fun. Veronica came up with a brilliant plan to bring in more revenue to the casino and stick it to the shareholders that were doubting her. 

Listen, when you have a friend that can read minds, why not exploit it for profit? And thus, Forsythe the Fantastic — The Seer of the South Side was born. Everyone loves a good magic trick, and this act surely delivered.

And naturally, the haters wanted a piece as well. Reggie immediately hit up Veronica and attempted to blackmail her if she didn’t give him a cut of the profit. 

Reggie dangled the fact that Veronica ordered the hit on her father against her, which isn’t entirely fair considering he was only privy to that information on a personal level. 

Veronica wasn’t here for any of it, so she called up Jughead to see if his abilities extended to memory wipes as well. Sure enough, Jughead was eager to strengthen his powers, and before Reggie could even say “blackmail,” he forget exactly what he had against Veronica.

Unfortunately, he was aware that he lost a crucial bit of information, so he told Percival, who is now aware that Jughead’s powers are intensifying. 

And based on what went down with Frank and Archie, he’s also aware that Archie figured out a way to become invincible. 

Having Frank try to undercut Archie clearly underscores just how dangerous Percival’s manipulations are. Frank was always Archie’s biggest cheerleader, so there’s no way he would willingly try to sabotage his nephew’s business. And despite Archie’s best efforts, Frank wasn’t strong enough to use Fred’s memory as a tether.

Archie wouldn’t even know Frank was pulling a fast one on him if it wasn’t for Betty’s ability to see people’s auras. When Betty saw Frank glowing in a red hue, she knew that he wasn’t being truthful about his decision to call a truce. 

Betty tried to hone in on her abilities so that she could determine why she was able to see some dangerous auras and not others.

She confided in an FBI agent — Drake — who was definitely helpful, but her help was also slightly concerning. Why didn’t she question anything Betty was saying? Why did she ask Betty if she’s happy living with her boyfriend? It was strange. Why didn’t Betty see any red flags there?

Betty initially thought that her blindspot was anyone with the serial killer gene, but when she tested Dagwood and Juniper, she realized that one of the twins had the gene, but it wasn’t the one glowing in red. I’m glad they are incorporating the twins into the mystery, but I truly don’t want them to be the inhabitants of evil. And I’m really glad Betty saved that cat before Butterscotch met the same fate as Caramel.

Alice dug into Betty when she realized she took the twins from her, and her tirade ended with her informing Betty that she was the villain and has always been bad. 

Betty definitely seemed shocked and hurt by the outburst, but it was also leaning into her own biggest fear as she saw a red aura around herself in the mirror. 

Who does Betty pose a threat to? Herself? Her loved ones? Juniper and Dagwood? The town? And does Drake know more than she’s letting onto?

Overall, it was an intense night of Riverdale that laid a lot of the groundwork for the final battle. 

It’s pretty clear that Percival is going to come for Veronica and Jughead for their little “act,” and will likely take a stab at Pop’s new setup at the El Royale, but if they keep being one step ahead of him and keeping him on his toes, maybe they have a shot at winning this after all?

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Dynasty

Dynasty Review – There’s No Need to Panic (5×12)

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Dynasty Review There's No Need to Panic Season 5 Episode 12

Only Alexis would design a panic room equipped with a tanning bed and a 25k wine fridge that didn’t actually have the capability to send an SOS during an emergency. 

On Dynasty Season 5 Episode 12, Alexis was targeted by robbers because of her social media posts, which allowed her to spend some quality time with Fallon. 

The two didn’t see eye-to-eye for much of the time spent inside the panic room, but they eventually poured their hearts out to each other before the housekeeper arrived to reset the power and let them out. 

Fallon was feeling extra prickly about the whole situation because she thought she was pregnant. She kept questioning why her mother didn’t just give up the jewelry the robbers were after in order to buy their freedom, but what she failed to realize was that the ring had significance as her mother was going to use it to propose to Dex. 

It was actually heartbreaking to hear Alexis say that she was going to pop the question simply because she didn’t want to be abandoned and alone. 

Alexis isn’t the easiest person to deal with, but she deserves happiness. I loved that Fallon suggested that she reconsider the real reason behind her desire to marry Dex. At that age, you should only get married because you’re absolutely sure that you’ve found “the one.” No one has time for sham marriages. 

Fallon rarely gives her mother solid advice, but it was key to helping Alexis determine her worth. 

When they were finally free, Alexis chose not to chase Dex to the airport, but, in a moment of fate, he waltzed through the door and plopped down on one knee. The timing was right — and for the right reasons. 

With The CW announcing Dynasty’s cancelation, the episode was pretty bittersweet. On one hand, it definitely seems like they are running out of storylines, but on the other hand, I’m hoping we get to see Alexis’s big day. 

Fallon confided in her mother about the potential pregnancy, but when she eventually made it to the doctor, she was told that it was a false positive. 

And that wasn’t the worst of it. The doctor informed Fallon that she wouldn’t be able to have children ever because of the scar tissue from where she got shot. 

Seeing how hard Fallon and Liam tried for a child, this isn’t the news they were hoping for. But all hope isn’t lost just yet — there are so many options nowadays, especially if you have the kind of money Fallon and Liam have. 

They could get a surrogate — Amanda or Kirby! — or they could adopt. If they are still dedicated to starting a family, there are plenty of options that would also make for a great storyline. 

Though, admittedly, it put a bit of a damper on a celebratory evening. 

At least Liam finally wrapped up his movie so he’ll be able to focus on expanding the family moving forward. 

We’ve seen Liam and Culhane work closely together ever since he took the job as a producer on the indie film, but I’ll be honest, the whole plot was pretty bland. 

I know men don’t talk, but I honestly don’t buy that either of them would still be triggered by something that happened years ago, even if they didn’t talk it out. 

Culhane has moved on from Fallon, and she’s happy with Liam, so there’s no point in bringing any of this up again. And as Culhane pointed out, Fallon wasn’t “stolen” from anyone, she’s always done exactly what she wanted and she ended up with the person she was meant to be with. 

The tension between Amanda and Adam was exciting at the beginning, but they are both going a little overboard. It’s clear that they don’t like each other, but they work at the same hospital, so they could at least tolerate each other instead of constantly wanting to pull one over the other. 

It’s so petty. I’d expect it from Adam, but I thought Amanda was above that kind of behavior. It sucks to see her get dragged down to that level. 

I am, however, enjoying the progression of her relationship with Kirby. Kirby hasn’t had the best luck in her dating life, but it seems that Amanda might be the real deal. 

Well, that is if she doesn’t keep pulling Kirby into her feud with Adam. It wasn’t fair of her to ask Kirby to spy on her ex-boyfriend. What an awkward position to put Kirby in! 

As for Cristal — she is finally owning her power and putting it to use. I love to see it. 

Cristal and Blake definitely exude power couple vibes, but it’s true that Blake is used to being the alpha; the superior one in the relationship. 

He likes to yield all the power when the truth is, Cristal is actually more powerful. She doesn’t need him to sign off on anything because she holds the. majority of the shares. Blake was definitely taken aback by her bold stance, but he didn’t seem to mind it. I think he’s very aware that Cristal has great instincts and he should trust them. Just imagine how great they could be if he treated her as his equal. 

What did you think of the episode? How are you holding up after finding out that Dynasty is coming to an end?


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Big Sky

Big Sky Season Finale Review – Catch a Few Fish (2×18)

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Big Sky Season Finale Review Catch a Few Fish Season 2 Episode 18

The Big Sky season 2 finale was — and I hate to say this — uneventful. 

There were some high moments, but overall, it was a bit of an anticlimactic outcome to a seriously twisted and dark season. 

Why is that?

Most of the major storylines were wrapped up, but it was too neat for the magnitude of the storylines delivered over the course of 18 episodes.

I’ll start with Scarlett as she’s been the overarching connection to Ronald Pergman for two seasons. 

She may have been a sociopath, but there’s no denying that Scarlett was a mother that cared deeply about her daughter. She would’ve done anything for Phoebe. 

So, when it became abundantly clear that Cassie was right — she’d never outrun the syndicate and be “safe” — she dropped Phoebe off at Cassie’s apartment, along with the drive detailing all the info on the sex trafficking ring. 

It’s the smoking gun as that drive is the exact reason that the syndicate is after her. 

Of course, the fact that Scarlett witnessed the dangers that this lifestyle poses to Phoebe firsthand likely impacted her decision to give up her daughter, along with Phoebe’s declaration that she no longer wants to live life on the run. 

After everything she’s been through and witnessed — including her mother killing a man with her bare hands — Phoebe was strangely okay when she was handed over to Cassie and Lindor. Scared and unsure? Yes. But she was already thriving in a home setting more than she ever was around her mother and Ronald. The poor girl just needs stability and a hot meal. Scarlett never could’ve provided her with that, so good on her for doing the right thing by her baby even if it completely broke her. Over the course of the season, she lost the only two people she ever cared about, so on some human level, I feel bad for the girl. 

We’ve seen the dangers the syndicate poses firsthand as they’ve come after Ronald, Scarlett, and Wolf, so it’s only a matter of time before they set their sights on Dewell and Hoyt. After all, they unlocked the drive, which means that they already know too much. 

I was genuinely expecting something to come of that drive — at least a warning to the detective agency from the syndicate member or something. They are clearly tying up loose ends, so why wouldn’t they be more careful about trying to open encrypted files?

Again, it felt anticlimactic, though, I know we’ll explore this more in season 3. 

The Bhullar storyline also came to a close, and with it, Travis’s quest for answers and revenge. Well, sort of. 

Veer Bhullar wasn’t just a problem for Travis. It turns out that a lot of people wanted him dead, including his own girlfriend and children. 

Alicia was right when she predicted that he would die at the hands of his son, but she failed to mention that Ren would be stoking the flames. After his father seemed all too comfortable with having his son killed, Jag returned the favor and mustered up the courage that his father never believed he possessed. 

Big Sky Season Finale Review Catch a Few Fish Season 2 Episode 18

BIG SKY – ÒCatch a Few FishÓ Ð In a struggle between head and heart, final resolutions are made as Jenny works to find Travis before he reaches a dangerous point of no return; meanwhile, Ren and Jag find a new familial bond and decide together how to handle their father now that heÕs crossed a serious line. After receiving a startling surprise from Scarlett, Cassie changes the course of her quest for justice forever. Later, with Tubb out of commission for the time being, a new sheriff comes to town; and after getting fully acquainted with Cassie and Jenny, it seems like he may just stick around for a while É on the season two finale of ÒBig Sky,Ó THURSDAY, MAY 19 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Anna Kooris)
OMAR METWALLY, KYLIE BUNBURY

Truthfully, Veer did this to himself. He pushed his own children away, and he pushed them towards hatred and wanting to steal the family business away from him. 

Once Ren realized that her father was pretty much a monster, she allowed Travis to get his hands on Veer. It’s the very reason why she kept him around because she knew he had what it took to eliminate him if it came to it. 

Travis seemed promising throughout the season. I mean, I know that he got in way over his head, but it always seemed like he had some kind of plan if the moment ever arrived. 

And then, when it finally did, Travis was a complete mess. He took Veer to where he previously kept T-Lock locked up and just laid in the punches until Veer got to talking. There was no strategy at play, which was disappointing. 

Like what if Veer didn’t talk? Would he just kill him and destroy the possibility of getting answers?

Veer ended up confessing that Kate Garza was still alive, but he’s a deceptive man who stares down danger and doesn’t flinch, so who knows if he’s telling the truth. 

Jenny and her new partner, Beau (Jensen Ackles), arrived on the scene just in time to stop Travis from actually killing Veer. 

Of course, that allowed Jag to deliver the final blows via a hospital pillow. 

Veer never saw it coming, but he almost asked for it with all the gaslighting and instigating that he did. I mean, how many times did he put Jag down and basically deny giving Mason the A-ok to shoot his son? It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to him. 

And it surely didn’t to Alicia. She was plotting and making moves for this very outcome from Day 1.  

The “insurance” paperwork that she had Veer sign actually gave her power of attorney over the business, so she was able to make off with a huge chunk of cash.

Alicia was always in it for the hustle, and it just goes to show you how much Veer’s ego blindsided him.

I genuinely enjoyed the moment between Alicia and Tonya. They are, in a way, kindred spirits, and the advice not to die on Montana is sound. 

Tonya has always been in over her head, but she’s now addicted to this lifestyle, so I don’t see her breaking away from Ren ever. 

It definitely seemed like a curtain call on the Bhullar siblings, but it’s unclear if we’ll see their operation become a problem in the future. 

Big Sky has a tendency to reinvent itself and the mysteries with each season, so my guess is that even if they are in the picture still, they’ll be in the background. 

It’s also unclear how Travis plans to find Kate with zero information and resources. Ren and Jag have no idea where she is, and the only person who had any intel is dead. 

What’s his plan?

Though, it was big of Jenny to take the empathetic approach and give Travis the chance to finish what he started. He was so passionate and dedicated, that if his whole life is about to wither away in prison, at the very least, it should all mean something. 

Do you think Kate’s actually alive?

I wasn’t exactly digging Beau’s energy when he first showed up — his Texas was showing, and it was a lot. 

But by the end of the episode, he definitely grew on me. It honestly feels like he’s Cordell Walker’s counterpart/brother, which is fitting considering the renovated Walker is Ackles’ Supernatural co-star Jared Padalecki. 

Beau is a nice addition to the two-woman show that is Jenny and Cassie. He seems to be a buffer between their personalities. Plus, he definitely knew exactly what to expect for Jenny, and he trusts her enough to believe that she knows what she’s doing when she makes her calls. 

Tubb was a bit of a hardass on her and was constantly pushing back, so Beau’s approach of letting her do her thing and having her back is refreshing. Admittedly, Jenny does need to be reigned in sometimes, so I hope that he’ll be the checks and balances that she needs from a partner. 

With Denise, Jerrie, Lindor, and Beau to complete the squad, D&J has a pretty solid lineup going into next season. 

And that’s not even including Reba McEntire, who is joining the cast! 

If there’s one thing Big Sky knows how to do, it’s build out the squad. 

To sum it all up: Phoebe is safe, Scarlett is on the run, the syndicate is after her and likely after J&D+ team for having access to the drive, Travis has gone rogue to find Kate, Veer is dead, the Bhullar siblings are closer than ever and running the cartel show, and Beau is Hoyt’s new partner. And he can throw a punch that can knock the wind out of Donno, so for that, he’s impressive. 

What did you think of the finale? It wasn’t terrible because everything that happened made sense, but it simply wasn’t the jaw-dropping, OMG-moment-inducing finale that I expected either. 

Do you have any hopes for season 3? Share them in the comments below! 


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