“Mondays, Am I Right?” starts and completes the human’s new afterlife plan. Michael and Shawn begin working together, Vicky and insecure Chidi return, and Janet reveals her dirtiest secret.
The return of insecure Chidi is a little surprising, since he seemed so fully transformed in the previous episode. I feel like this storyline maybe should have happened earlier in this season, but that wasn’t feasible due to Chidi’s erased memories. At worst, it felt like a regression of his character, but on the better side, it reminds us that the Chidi we’ve spent the last four seasons with is still in there and still has fears. Just because Chidi is his “best self” doesn’t mean he’s his “perfect” self, and he shouldn’t be. Nobody is perfect and we all have fears.
Jason, on the other hand, proves his worth by knocking some sense back into Chidi. Jason (for probably the first time in the series) slightly grated on my nerves last week, as he played no major part in creating the new afterlife system and his dimwittedness actively interrupted their planning. He seemed prepped to continue on this track at the start of “Mondays, Am I Right?” when he is helping Eleanor and Chidi sort out good people. He quickly names the Kool-Aid Man a top person (which isn’t necessarily a wrong choice), and then leaves Eleanor and Chidi to do all the work.
Instead of being superfluous, though, Jason gets to not just help Chidi with sound advice, but show genuine irritation at everyone’s assumption that he’s a total idiot. I really wish he would have been a more integral part of the creation of their new system because this moment would have landed even better, but as it stands, his reference to Romeo and Juliet and the offense he takes to Chidi being shocked he read it reminds us that Jason is a product of his environment and not necessarily just a dope.
Tahani hasn’t had much to do this season, but she gets a good showing this episode. Not only does she participate in the training of the demons, but her experience in swallowing her pride makes her a natural fit to encourage Michael to bring Vicky back. Her and Janet’s assumptions as to Michael’s motivations may have been wrong, but they display growth none the less. Janet’s growth comes from her admittance that asking for help is necessary sometimes, not because she ever had trouble asking for help, but because she’s grown human enough to realize that even she needs help sometimes. I can’t imagine what Alexa knows that Janet doesn’t, though.
Michael’s journey is the heart of this episode, and as it has in the past, parallels the show’s own journey. Michael, throughout the series, has been a demon with a purpose; whether that be torture, redeem, or save humans, he’s always had a task driving him forward.
With the completion of the new afterlife system, and having found someone who can run it better than he can (which is Vicky), he’s essentially out of tasks. He doesn’t know what his purpose moving forward will be, and the purposelessness scares him. What’s eternity mean if you’re doing nothing with it, anyway?
I don’t know. Not even Janet knows. But Michael does the right thing and places Vicky in charge, sacrificing his purpose for the betterment of all humans.
The rock has been pushed up the hill. By Michael, yes, but by The Good Place as well. “Mondays, Am I Right?” basically completes the show’s storyline, but we still have two episodes left.
So what’s next?
The team ends the episode sailing upwards towards the real Good Place, and having completed the overhaul of the afterlife, there seems to be no goal left for them to chase after. So some sort of conflict must arise once they get there.
“Mondays, Am I Right?” will be difficult to have a fully formed opinion on until that new conflict starts. The episode seems underwhelming, but its position in the narrative implies that this isn’t the endgame, and therefore it will be naturally underwhelming so close to an unknown finale. What sort of conflict will this system lead to? Will it end up not working? Will it continue to work perfectly and the final storyline only be tangentially related?
The other reason it feels underwhelming is it doesn’t lead anywhere. There is no implied next chapter within the episode. All there is is Janet telling Michael that he’ll just have to find out what is next. Once again, Michael’s journey reflects the show.
The fate of humanity may be solved, but what is next on The Good Place will determine the fate of this series. Until we can see where it goes, my understanding of this episode’s design is limited.
I’m optimistic, though.
- “It’s the way it’s always been done” is my least favorite reason for anything.
- Vicky’s use here pleased me. I don’t know why, since I don’t feel she ever did anything to deserve getting her dream of being in charge, but it seems as though she chilled out once she felt someone trusted her. Maybe that’s just me trying to find a reason I liked her here.
- 1.28 Jeremy Bearimy later, so we have zero idea of how much time passed.
- The golden balloon is back!
Debris Series Premiere Review – A Sci-Fi Mystery with Family Drama (1×01)
If you’re in the market for a new sci-fi series with a central mystery that will likely keep you theorizing about what’s happening for several seasons, don’t snooze on Debris.
NBC’s latest drama is drawing comparisons to Fringe and Almost Human, and that’s not a coincidence as creator J.H. Wyman worked on both of them.
After watching the pilot, the series also emanates X-Files vibes with the two leads, American CIA Bryan Beneventi (Jonathan Tucker) and British MI6 agent Finola Jones (Riann Steele), giving off Mulder and Scully vibes as they navigate a tricky partnership and a “will-they-or-won’t-they” tension that will likely only escalate with more episodes.
It helps to understand the premise of the series before diving into the episode: The duo team up to track down pieces from a mysterious spaceship wreckage that when pieced together will hopefully give them answers about what it is, where it came from, and what it’s capable of. And they’re doing this while trying to protect the pieces from falling into the wrong hands of the “bad guys.” Cue Billie Eilish’s song.
With that in mind, the pilot drops audiences in right in the middle of the action and we can barely catch our breath amidst the jargon and lingo of the situation.
A man is selling a mysterious item on the Black Market, but amid the transaction, the buyers – two English – are tipped off that the Feds have arrived and make a break for it.
A chase ensues with the Brits disappearing through some kind of portal, while the man selling the artifacts leaps from the balcony and falls to his death in what seems to be an apparent suicide.
Before he takes the plunge, however, he hides the item in the hotel hallway where a maid locates it. When she removes the artifact from the bag, she’s plunged 14 floors down where she smashes through a table to her death.
Her lifeless body is still clutching the mysterious item when the agents find her, and Finola explains the piece seems to have the same properties as other objects found in debris field 707 in Manchester.
Yeah, that’s enough to get your attention.
However, not much insight is provided about the case as the duo embarks to Kansas where another debris event has been reported.
This time, they find a woman floating around and defying gravity in a field. The awe with which Bryan observes this phenomenon is the same one we’re experiencing at home. How’d they get suspended like that?
Prior to this moment, audiences see the woman, Amy Morrison, driving her son who is playing with a toy monkey.
As the monkey begins to clap, she begins to bleed from her eyes and loses consciousness.
The agents discover that Amy isn’t the only person floating around in the field – there’s a group of people caught in the vortex.
But why? How? And more importantly, where is the debris that they’ve come in contact with?
Despite seeming dead, a doctor reports that they all still have brain connectivity, so somehow, they’re alive.
As Bryan and Finola begin to look for a connection between several of the victims, they learn that Amy never had a child despite being last seen with a young boy.
Soon, they realize that James Vanderberg’s family is the only one that hasn’t returned any calls about his disappearance.
Upon a trip to the property, they find his wife also floating in a field with the debris that caused the anomaly floating around near her body.
At this point, I can’t help but wonder how Bryan is able to get near the debris without being affected by its powers, especially since Finola later gets near it and sees it manifest her mother.
But that’s the point and hook of the series for now – not knowing how the debris works and what it’s truly capable of. All we know is that it has some powerful properties.
A quick glance inside the house reveals that the boy seen with Amy is the Vanderbergs’ son. They locate his sister, Isla, who is at boarding school just a few miles away, and she reveals something that makes the whole situation even more sinister: her brother, Kieran, died seven months ago.
Bryan and Finola put together a theory that the mother’s grief is responsible for what’s happening. The debris likely manifested as her late son and is using people as batteries by draining them of energy to stay alive.
Again, it’s unclear what the “it” actually is, but considering the premise, it’s safe to say it’s due to some kind of alien life form aboard the ship that crashed.
However, it’s also unclear why the supernatural entity is using people and re-enacting Kiernan’s death with each victim. What is the ultimate goal?
None of those explanations are given even as Bryan figures out that Isla needs to snap her mother out of it so that everyone can regain consciousness. The mind-control aspect of it all reminds me a bit of Extant.
But since Bryan doesn’t seem to know what they’re dealing with, how did he know what the solution was or that it would work?
The series is embracing a half-procedural, half-serialized tone so that it doesn’t lose viewers completely, but solving this case within the hour seemed rushed for the sake of wrapping things up. It doesn’t allow audiences to full wrap their brains around what is happening. Again, that might be the point?
DEBRIS — “Pilot” Episode: 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Jonathan Tucker as Vryan Benventi, Riann Steele as Finola Jones — (Photo by: James Dittiger/NBC)Per the synopsis, we know the wreckage from the spacecraft has a mysterious effect on humankind, but does it vary based on the pieces you come into contact with?
How long have they been working together? Has this happened before so that Bryan knew exactly what needed to be done? It didn’t seem like a situation Bryan and Finola were familiar with, so again, how were they so sure of the solution?
The pilot was engrossing enough that I want to know more, but it would’ve been more effective had it painted a fuller picture as a baseline for audiences. The “case of the week” stuff can come into play later once we get a sense of what to expect.
The only positive is that the series, unlike many other sci-fi dramas that tend to get lost in their own convoluted mysteries, seems to have a mythology that it can build upon and a sense of direction for where it wants to go and what story it wants to tell.
This was made clear in the final moments when Bryan was debriefing with his boss about the death of one of the British men.
The duo kept popping up throughout the episode at random sites where the debris was located. The agencies seem to be keeping this under wraps from the general population as not to cause alarm, but these guys were very well informed and knew what they were looking for.
Plus, they had an advantage by having a piece that allowed them to teleport.
However, the one man whose teleportation wasn’t successful was identified as former SAS, which I’m guessing refers to the British Army?
And in a rather promising twist that hooks fans and entices them to return for future episodes, Finola’s “late” father is spotted on surveillance arriving at JFK with the two men… very much alive. Talk about a “WTF” moment!
Bryan is told to keep this information from her as they don’t have that established trust yet, but that’s a huge secret to keep from your partner! Finola made it clear that her father’s death inspired her to follow in his footsteps and make him proud.
He’s regarded as a legend, but this might throw that all into question as he seems to be working with a nefarious organization – the same people Finola is working to stop. She’s clearly more of a by-the-book lad and explains early on that she believes this technology, in the right hands, can do a lot of good. But what if it ends up in the wrong hands?
Meanwhile, Bryan, a vet, who recently returned from Afghanistan, is more sly and will likely venture off the beaten path for answers. (Let’s be honest, half of us are only watching because of Tucker!) He believes this is his way of contributing to humanity and society. From his interactions with Isla about saying what she needs to say to her mother before it’s too late, he’s likely harboring a lot of hurt and regret that we’ll get to explore in future episodes.
The family drama, which is introduced early on, seems to be the “humanity” and anchor of the series that’s otherwise heavily focused on strange anomalies and supernatural entities.
In just one episode, we were exposed to defying gravity, portals, and alien mind control as a result of the wreckage. The series has promise, but it’s hard to get too invested considering we know how it typically ends for overly ambitious sci-fi dramas.
As it stands, I’ll be tuning in again… how about you?
What were your thoughts on the pilot? Let us know in the comments below!
Nancy Drew Review – Haunted Corpse (2×06)
We’ve dealt with plenty of ghosts and unsettled spirits in Horsehoe Bay, but Nancy has opened up a whole new can of… demonic spirits.
I thought that there couldn’t be anything scarier than Lucy Sable’s spirit, but I was dead wrong. The Lamia (don’t hold me accountable for the spelling on this one) was ten times more terrifying, and I think that has to do with the simple fact that he reminded me of the boy from The Grudge.
It’s safe to say, I’ll be having plenty of nightmares of him popping out of Nancy’s kitchen cupboard. We knew they were building up to the moment, and yet, it still made me jump several feet in the air.
The Lamia was a direct-result of Nancy’s ambush on the Historical Society, in which she opened up all the vaults to find a way to save George and inadvertently released the most dangerous of spirits into town.
The Lamia was the first, but absolutely not the last of the terrors coming their way. And if this is the first, I shudder to think what else is in store for our Drew Crew.
Thankfully, it looks they’re up for the challenge.
When the episode picks up, it’s been two weeks since their battle with the Aglaeca where they declared victory and beat the curse. Everyone is kind of thriving in their post-survival reality, but looks can be deceiving.
The moments of bliss and joy are short-lived, and the moment an opportunity presents itself to get involved in yet another supernatural mystery, everyone is game. Well, everyone except for Nick — he’s clearly the only sensible one.
They were like “are we really ready to invite all this back into our lives?” and everyone was like “let’s do it!” No hesitation.
It’s a much different tone than the one they had prior to facing the Aglaeca where they blamed Nancy for all their problems and for dragging them into the mess in the first place.
The demonic spirits inhabiting town may be Nancy’s fault, but they all willingly decided to perform an autopsy on a haunted corpse as it gave them a “sense of purpose.”
Personally, I’d run the opposite way and let Nancy deal with the mess. I don’t have the stomach for cutting open aged corpses filled with occult symbols that randomly start to bleed fresh blood, but that’s precisely why I’m not part of the Drew Crew.
Nancy’s lucky to have a group that will get down and dirty with her… literally.
Nancy was the only one who seemingly didn’t catch a break during the two spiritless weeks as she was arraigned for breaking into the morgue and punished with serving community hours in said morgue. That’s the true meaning of “ironic,” Alanis Morisette.
And yet, there doesn’t seem to be a more fitting place for Nancy than the morgue.
In case anyone was wondering why they were ever terrified of morgues, the clanking from one of the steel body fridges was a clear reminder.
Again, a normal person would bolt upon hearing a knocking while alone with several dead bodies, but not Nancy. She opened up the body bag and pulled out the insects from the corpses’ mouth like it was no big deal!
The corpse ended up being an evil entity masquerading as a human (though, who really looked at that corpse and thought it was a human?!) that sought out children.
It was a nice addition to include to coroner’s son, Leo, as the child who was being protected by the spirit of the Lamia’s victim.
We haven’t seen children get sucked into the supernatural world, but realistically, children are more in-tune with these kinds of things and we usually just shrug them and their “imaginary friends” off the way Connor and Nancy did at first.
But in this case, Leo was actually talking to his action figure (not a doll!) and was trying to inform them about the dangers looming large.
With Leo protected, the Lamia set its sights on George’s sisters, but Nancy followed through, as always, to save them from the monster’s grasp.
Honestly, all of the occurrences leading up to the Lamia’s attack were far more interesting than the attack itself, but that probably because we knew it would never actually do any harm to Ted and Charlie.
It was fitting that they relied on the souls of the dead children for help while Horeshoe Bay was celebrating All Hallow Tide, a holiday that honored the dead.
By defeating the Lamia, they were able to honor and help 13 young souls finally find peace.
Maybe Nancy’s “accidental” act of releasing malevolent spirits from the Historical Society will pay off if they manage to vanquish them and help all trapped spirits move on.
The episode struck a good tone between comedic and creepy/gruesome. The series has managed to figure out how to not take itself so seriously while scaring the crap out of us simultaneously. It’s admirable.
Everyone’s comedic timing was on-point, but per usual, Bess and Ace were the stars.
Between Ace’s game night jokes and asking if the corpse followed Nany home, to Bess saying they should do the autopsy in the living room cause it’s more spacious than the kitchen and channeling Boxy to communicate with the kid — it was all so great.
Also, Nick has a terrible English accent.
While it initially seemed like they put all of the Aglaeca drama behind them that wasn’t entirely the case.
The Lamia was connected to a group of women who first called upon the Aglaeca, while George also had an encounter with her body-snatcher.
Throughout the episode, George was also experiencing head rushes and lapses in memory, which audiences knew had to be related to the shroud that brought her back to life.
I was right when I said the ghost staring back at her in the mirror after she was revived looked just like Odette.
George came face-to-face with her in the bathroom, and it’s clear that she’s sharing a body with the ghostly spirit. But why?
Does Odette want to take over permanently? Does she want another chance at life? Why didn’t she just disappear peacefully into the night?
Will George remember this encounter?
At this point, supernatural cases seek Nancy out. She doesn’t even need to leave her house for a corpse to land at her feet!
And that’s going to be even more true when she starts her part-time gig with Carson Drew.
Finally, someone outside of the Drew Crew is acknowledging Nancy’s detective talents rather than shrugging them off as an annoyance. Carson is right to think that Nancy could be his secret weapon to winning cases as she’s the most clued-in person in town.
Just imagine how much Det. Tamora could have benefitted from working with Nancy instead of forming a hostile relationship.
Connor experienced the supernatural occurrence first-hand, which strengthened his relationship with Nancy (and you know it’ll be helpful to have a friend at the morgue that she can ask for favors). I imagine if Tamora also witnessed something unexplainable, he’d be forced to believe Nancy’s involvement is more crucial than he’d like to admit.
Are you ready to see the Drew dream team in action? Do you think Carson is ready to be exposed to the supernatural world?
What do you think their next threat is? And what’s going on with George?
Sound off in the comments below!
Riverdale Review – Mothman (5×06)
You never truly get over the first day of school jitters, even seven years after you’ve graduated.
Veronica, Betty, Archie, and Jughead returned to Riverdale High on Riverdale Season 5 Episode 6, but this time, they weren’t students, they were teachers.
Archie was spearheading the RROTC, Jughead was teaching English, Veronica tackled Economics, while Betty handled Shop Class, which personally, I found to be the most interesting. I would’ve never pegged our sweet FBI recruit for a car gal.
Everyone was there to restore Riverdale to the great town that it once was, well, aside from all the murder.
But in a weird way, it’s almost as though they’ve never really grown up.
This criticism is specific to Cheryl, who still seems way overly invested and possessive over the Vixens.
It’s a bit strange that she would get upset and jealous over Toni reviving the cheerleading squad when she had seven years to manage the team and hid out in Thornhill.
But it’s obvious that this is how the show aims to bring back Cheryl to some sense of reality, and it’s better that she’s at least involved in the school functions rather than hiding in her mansion afraid of some made-up Blossom curse.
If everyone is going to get a gig at the high school, it only makes sense that Cheryl and Toni return as co-HBIC’s.
Riverdale’s success went against Hiram’s plans to destroy the small-town, so he sent his goons from the Stonewall Prep football team to start a fire at the school and send a little message.
But since Archie is never one to back down without a fight, he decided to revive Riverdale’s football team, the Bulldogs.
I’ll admit that it was sad to see that the team, which has brought so much pride to town, was a “thing of the past.” However, with the right coach, it could be the town’s pride and joy once again.
Hope can go a long way. Hiram knows that, which is why he’ll do anything to see Riverdale fail.
Interestingly, we’ve yet again returned to the Hiram versus Archie Andrews dynamic. Archie will forever remain a thorn in his side.
It’s also upsetting to see Reggie side with Hiram; he’s lost sight of everything that’s important.
Archie runs into a bit of trouble securing funding for the football team. He tries to play to “dead brother” card to Cheryl, but it doesn’t go well.
Why do they think Cheryl has the money to singlehandedly fund the town? Even if she is selling fake art and passing it off as the original, it’s not her responsibility to dole out mounds of cash for the local high school.
He eventually resorts to asking Veronica for help, and if you thought it was weird asking your ex for $20K (even though she was more than happy to contribute to her beloved Bulldogs), just imagine how weird it is to get pushback from her overly jealous husband.
There were some cute moments between Ronnie and Chadwick, but ultimately, he’s a snake that’s controlling and doesn’t have Veronica’s best interests at heart.
He brought up doing nice things for her like singing karaoke and being nice to her friends as if they were some kind of chore or like he was doing her a favor to keep her happy. In a normal relationship, those are acts of love.
It was the final straw – well, that and finding out that he’s been secretly chatting with Hiram – that convinced Veronica that they needed to take a break.
Veronica was living a fake life in New York, but by returning to Riverdale, she once again remembered who she was and what mattered to her.
She and Chadwick simply aren’t on the same wavelength.
However, I don’t want her and Archie to get back together in the near future either.
Archie’s relationship with Betty is really growing on me; it’s refreshing and fun to watch. (More of my thoughts on that here!)
Of course, sneaking around when you’re in your mid-twenties should be a lot easier, but I’m not going to complain about that Titanic re-enactment in the car either.
Things between them are steamy.
And if we were just to revert to the previous couples, hitting reset on the show would all be for nothing.
Plus, there are definitely some sparks flying between Jughead and Tabitha Tate.
While the show never established how old Tabitha was, the fact that she made six-figures in Chicago and could have taken a CEO job at any point alludes to her being around the same age as Jughead.
Initially, Tabitha was a little weary of Jughead, but he seems to have grown on her as she’s even offering to help him work on his story!
Aside from his brief interactions with Archie, Jughead spent much of the episode secluded from his old friend group and getting more familiar with his new boss.
He interviewed Tabitha for his small-town story, but she did him a solid and set him up with Dreyfus, a local who told him his story of the Mothman, who kidnapped his friends working the mines and took them abroad some kind of ship.
Yes, it sounds like folklore, but may I remind you that the mines are near Greendale, and we know that supernatural entities are in abundance there. (It’s a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reference.)
Jughead’s investigation led him to the realization that all of Dreyfus’ friends that went on the ship passed away from cancer. Coincidence or is there something more awry at play?
He also mentioned that the ship was in the woods in a cave off the Lonely Highway… and you know what else was last seen on the Lonely Highway? Polly… three days ago.
Is there a chance the mothman is connected to Polly’s (and Freaky’s) disappearance? My gut instinct tells me there is.
Betty put her FBI training to use as she investigated what happened to Polly. She learned that Polly would frequent truck stops to sell Jingle Jangle and hook up with truckers (boy, did her life really take a turn!) using Nedlist (lol) to set up meetings.
Betty tracked down the last trucker Polly arranged a meeting with (Truckerboy69… really?!), but he informed her that Polly ran off that night in a panic.
Betty then turned to Alice for help and together, the sleuthing mom-and-daughter duo located a bunch of Polly’s things on the side of the road. She eventually decided to ping Polly’s phone, which likely should have been her first move. Betty, Kevin, and Alice then took look around the marsh area at night (because waiting till morning would have been too logical) and stumbled upon a corpse’s hand sticking out from the ground. Does it belong to Polly? We’ll have to wait to find out.
In addition to that cliffhanger, Hiram also sent Archie yet another message by setting a fire all around the perimeter of his home. I guess the message was “don’t play with fire,” and look, I get that Hiram goes to extremes to get what he wants, but almost killing someone is a bit much, don’t you think?
Overall, it was an interesting episode that set up plenty of new mysteries for audiences while also taking a sentimental trip down memory lane by focusing most of its events around Riverdale High.
Other Small Town Musings
- Hiram loves Doritos… who knew?
- It’s hard to do justice by “Shallow” but Veronica and Chadwick killed it!
- Nana has really upped her fashion game! Also, how is she still alive?
- There was a brief Chilling of Adventures crossover when Dorcas made an appearance as Cheryl’s art appraiser Minerva Marble.
- Doris Bell is one little snitch! Keeping Cheryl informed about what happens at Riverdale High is one thing, but giving intel to Hiram? Not cute.
What did you think of tonight’s episode of Riverdale? Are you enjoying the post-time jump reality?
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