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    Tuesday
    May052015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "Demons" 

    This was probably one of the more sub-par episodes for the show this year.

    We catch up with Ryan pretty quickly in what happened last week after he fell off the wagon.  Turns out he got really drunk, and cheated on Gwen with some random blonde.  Yup, Ryan you dog.

    Once arriving home to a scared to death Gwen, Ryan reveals what happened and Gwen finally decides no more.  She leaves the apartment and tells Ryan she's done.

    We catch up with our boy Theo who is still on the hunt to find one of the Straus' students who can assure him a clean slate.  This whole storyline is getting a bit ridiculous and hard to follow as we end up with Theo and his sister in almost a Eye Wide Shut-type setting where we finally meet Eliza.  She's the one who can help Theo and he assures her he can and will kill Ryan Hardy before he catch either of them.  That's his gift to her in order to get his clean slate.

    Meanwhile, Ryan is way off the wagon and starting to lose it but needs to focus on the job.  We learn a lot about Theo's past in this episode including the fact that his whole family was killed by request from HIM to a serial killer.  Ryan goes on the hunt for this Oleg character who is nothing more than a complete nutjob that's afraid of mirrors (Tooth Fairy anyone?).  Once in custody, are said nutjob reveals that he killed Theo's family because he could tell the boy had the same darkness and thirst as he did.  He made sure to leave his foster sister alone though (Penny) so that the two could survive together.

    We also catch up with Mark and Daisy who look to be getting pretty close.  They're still on the hunt for that laptop - you know the one Tom, Max's boyfriend, stole - and track down the fact that it's located in the FBI headquarters.  Daisy knows they need help and reaches out to Theo for assistance.  Looks like everyone is going to become one big happy family next week.

    Finally, in a rather cliche and sudden turn of events, that female FBI agent (other than Max) who's been hanging around all season?  Well, she gets shot and killed in Tom's apartment because she's investigating the raid he did on Mark's house the day that laptop was stolen.  She realizes Tom's the one who's been lying and...well, stuff happens.

    Overall, I'd say this was a pretty so-so episode as Ryan is now having visions of Joe which whenever a show takes that route with a prominent character it doesn't end up well.  Also, Theo's motivations are starting to feel a bit thin and I hope the writing team starts to tighten things up next week as I can threads of this thing starting to fall apart.

    Grade: C+

    Notes/Questions:

    • Theo's sister, Penny, is really annoying.  She seems like nothing but a mooch that lives off her brother's genius.
    • Mike and Max once again growing closer.  I wonder how long Tom's going to stick around now that he just killed a fellow co-worker by mistake.
    • Why did that said female FBI agent pull her gun on Tom anyway?  Did she really think he was going to hurt her?
    • So Gwen is out of the picture...but she's still pregnant with Ryan's baby.  Uh oh.
    Thursday
    Apr302015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "Evermore"

    In the series history of The Following, this was probably one of the most tension-filled, game-changing episodes for the show. We finally witnessed the death of Joe, Ryan finally admitted the true 'satisfaction' he gets from killing (while also showing it) and we also learned Theo must kill Ryan in order to save himself.

    Our episode begins with the set up being done for Joe's execution.  We find Joe in his cell, still sharpening that set of sunglasses he stole to use as a weapon.  Once taken to an examination room to ensure his 'procedure' goes accordingly, Joe quickly overtakes the prison guards and takes hostage a few innocent bystanders.  As he states, "You didn't think it would be easy to kill me, did you?"

    Meanwhile, we find Ryan watching coverage of the planned execution on TV.  Of course he hasn't been able to sleep and looks visibly shaken by the events going on.  Gwen tries to talk him into going out for the day (and tell him about the baby) but Ryan wants to stay busy with work until the execution is over.  Once again, showing the disconnect that exists now between the two now.

    Our good buddy Theo by the way is searching through a meth house looking for a girl who is still unknown to us.  He finds her, past out with another man in bed (who he quickly disposes of when threatened) and brings this girl back home.  We later learn that this girl is indeed his sister and his well aware of who and what Theo really is.  Turns out Theo took captive an expert symbol reader in order to break Straus' code to which no avail.  Theo states the key is to break the code so he can find a student of Straus who can fix the mess he's now in.  They key though is Ryan Hardy.  With Ryan dead, Theo has leverage to give to this individual that the mess can be cleaned up (we'll probably find out more on this next week).

    By now, Joe's prison takeover has made the news and Ryan is requested to come see him or else all the hostages will die.  Ryan begrudingly accepts Joe's request and soon enough is in the custody of Joe (not before getting one hostage to be released).

    After being tazed and knocked out, Ryan is tied up and laced at the neck like the hostages with Joe demanding a confession about Ryan's true feelings.  Joe wants Ryan to admit he 'likes' killing people and that he himself is his real soul mate.  Ryan of course denies all this at first, but once Joe begins to operationally take one of the hostage's eyes out, Ryan confesses to the truth.  That killing brings him satisfaction, and that Ryan has dreams of Joe where they are the best of friends.  Joe relents his takeover, telling Ryan how proud he is of him and gives himself up.

    Everything is looking all great and peachy until Theo's sister (who conveniently is just as good with a computer as he is) opens the doors to the cells holding other prisoners as Ryan, Joe and the other hostages are trying to leave.  She also locks out help from coming (Mike and Max are on standby), leaving Ryan and a tied up Joe to take on the fired up prisoners.

    While Joe is humorously taken by a pissed off inmate, Ryan is left to handle the others on his own.  He quickly takes down a few, but after getting knocked down as one hostage is hurt and the other (a girl) is led away to seemingly be raped, something snaps inside of Ryan and he goes on a full-fledged killing spree.  He brutally takes down the other inmates as being splattered by blood.

    Joe is also about to be choked to death by his pissed off prisoner but not long before Ryan actually SAVES Joe and takes down the final bad guy.  Mike, Max and Co. conventinly (finally) show up to restore order and put Joe back on-track to be executed.

    In the closing five minutes, Ryan tells Gwen he needs closure on Joe and needs her to understand that (still no mention she's pregnant even though she's tried to tell).  Joe is laid out to be executed by lethal execution but not before happily seeing Ryan there to witness him go, quoting the Raven in his last words "Evermore".  Ryan looks disturbed as Joe's execution goes through and were left with our final look at a lifeless Joe Carroll.

    Ryan wraps up his day at a bar, ordering two scotches, with one for him and the other for Joe.  He sees an illusion of Joe as his falls of the wagon to take a drink, and then proceeds to order another, setting up what is sure to be his demise.

    Grade: A-

    Notes/Questions:

    • That poor attorney girl just couldn't catch a break, huh?  I bet she quits her job soon enough.
    • Liked how Ryan told Mike and Max to take care of each other if something happens to him.
    • No mention or showing of Max's boyfriend this week.  Is she even with him anymore?
    • Even though Joe's now dead, he looks to be prominent the rest of this year in visions.  I hope this show knows what it's doing in that aspect.
    Thursday
    Apr232015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "Kill the Messenger"

    I would say of all the episodes I've watched for The Following over its nearly three year run, this one was certainly one of the most well laid out, well constructed episodes.

    We start off with Ryan being terrorized by Theo via cyber attacks.  He's screwed with his credit cards, listed his car as stolen and even put Gwen's medical career in jeopardy.  Ryan knows Theo is coming for him and must find him and stop him before it's too late.

    We also learn Mike is still onto finding Mark and has a search going on for a missing laptop that wasn't found at his safe house.  You know, the laptop that Max's S.W.A.T. boyfriend has been holding onto and using to spy on her?  Well both Mike and Max track it down in the FBI building, only to lose the signal right as Mr. S.W.A.T. boyfriend destroys it.  This is going to end well...

    Theo meanwhile is up to something as he breaks into Straus' former (now deceased) attorney aide's office to find a code book his teacher left behind with the location of all his students.  While this is certainly a head scratcher, Theo then makes it a point to befriend a former military member who he takes on a trip to both hurt (and kill) the man responsible for ending his career in the service.  We're not really sure where any of this is going until we learn what this former military guy does for a living...he's a security guard at Joe's prison.

    Poor Joe's been feeling shunned and broken hearted about Ryan not coming to see him.  His attention peaks up though when this military member/security guard reveals himself to be working with Theo who begins to communicate with Joe through the guard.  Theo wants to know what the code is to locate all of Straus' students and believes Joe is the one who has it.  Joe's not falling for the mind games, and gets amusingly protective of Ryan Hardy when Theo says he'll kill him for Joe.  Joe also wants to know details about Ryan's new love, Gwen, which he does in-fact get.  Long story short, Joe refuses to help Theo, seamlessly kills the guard and sets up Ryan to pay him a visit.

    Ryan has no interest in speaking to Joe other than to find Theo but proceeds to freak out when Joe mentions Gwen's name.  Ryan leaves in terror but is comforted to know Joe is to be executed the next night.

    He gets back home (and almost takes a drink) but stops when he hears Gwen in the bathroom.  He tells her he had to go talk to Joe, but that everything will be alright.  Little does he know though, Gwen just found out she's pregnant.

    Finally, back at the prison, we find Joe seemingly sleeping before his last night alive.  But turns out, that guard he killed?  He had a pair of sunglasses in his pocket...and Joe got a hold of them.  A perfect object to turn into a weapon.

    Grade: A-

    Notes/Questions:

    • I forgot to point out that we catch up with Daisy in this episode now working in Atlantic City.  Mark tracks her down though, and is about to kill her, but she tells him she knows how to get to Mike Weston.  And yeah, Mark is still crazy.
    • So Max is no longer mad at Mike?  Does she even interact with her real boyfriend anymore?
    • You have to love how Joe treats Ryan like he's his soul mate.  It's amusingly funny.
    • Next week, everything hits the fan as Joe is to be executed, but he's not going quietly.
    Thursday
    Apr162015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "Flesh & Blood"

    This week's episode of The Following centered mainly on the hunt for Theo while also giving us some lengthy time with our still favorite serial killer, Joe Carroll.

    Starting off with Joe, we find him day-dreaming about easily escaping prison before coming back to reality and realizing he really does have no way out of this one.  We learn with his execution fast approaching, Ryan has declined to attend the proceeding which both angers and frustrates Joe.  Why isn't his other half going to be there to watch him say goodbye to the world?

    Meanwhile, we find Theo still cleaning up the close call from last week.  He's been able to stay just ahead of the FBI, but not for long.  After a nosy (now dead) neighbor aids in the FBI's search along with Max tracking down his false identity, Theo realizes he's been found and the family he's built is now just...in the way.  In a pretty sick and twisted scene, our new serial killer decides in order for him to escape and not be caught, he needs to kill his own family to keep himself secret.

    Ryan, Mike and the rest are once again just a little too late in getting to Theo's residence.  While the kids are still alive after being given a posionous injection, his wife is not so lucky as she's found murdered (though Theo was nice enough to not let her feel any pain).  Soon after, Ryan gets a threatening phone call from him and told that he better watch himself or he'll come after everyone he cares about.

    I also did want to mention the cracks that are starting to form in not only Ryan's personality but his relationship with Gwen.  We saw in this episode how Ryan is struggling with losing his attachment to Joe ontop of how his commitment to the job is affecting things at home.  In a rather humorous scene, Gwen's boss is having dinner over and begins arguing AGAINST the execution of Joe Carroll, leading Ryan to lose it and kick him out of the apartment.  This also puts Ryan further in the doghouse with Gwen, making things not look anymore optimistic anytime soon.

    Grade: B

    Notes/Questions:

    • Did anyone else think that daydream sequence with Joe escaping was real?  I kept thinking, "There's no way he break free again."
    • Not much interaction between Mike and Max this week.  I wonder if by next episode they'll have patched things up.
    • As freaky as Theo may be, man that guy is crafty.
    Tuesday
    Apr072015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "The Hunt"

    *Note* - I just want to apologize for not recapping the past two week's episodes.  I've been dealing with a personal matter.  Thanks guys.

    In this week's episode, we get a good look at how our new killer - Straus' "best student" - orchestrates himself in keeping his identity hidden.

    The episode begins with our psycho killer from last week, Duncan (you know, the uncle who killed his own niece's parents and laughed about it), being transported to a facility, only to escape when our 'best student' ambushes and kills the two officers in-charge of the transport.

    Turns out our new killer needs to tie up some loose ends to protect himself from the mess Straus put him in.  He makes it clear to Duncan that if he helps him accomplish what he needs to do, he'll let him live.  If not, bye bye Duncan.

    Meanwhile, Ryan is still trying to track down who this 'best student' is by going to Joe to get more information.  Joe is little to at all helpful, but news comes that Mr. Carroll is set to be executed in 7 days.  Not much time for Ryan to use his new asset to track down the killer.

    Back at the FBI office, we find Max still recovering from her beating a couple weeks back and not doing a very good job at 'limited duty'.  She's sent on a profile to look into an IT company where it's believed the hacker (our 'best student') got into the FBI database and helped Straus go free for his court hearing.  Mike on the other hand is starting to get some attitude from Max's SWAT boyfriend as he not only knows her and Mike slept together, but also that he's behind some rogue-style executions.

    We catch up with our 'best student' and Duncan in tracking down the person responsible (Luis) for creating Straus and others' fake passports.  They need to find this person and kill him while also destroying all evidence of his activity as this can all be traced back if discovered.  They just miss him at a poker game with his buddies, which leaves one left dead with no hand and the rest brutally murdered.

    Once Ryan and Mike get to the scene (which once again they are too late), they're able to track down Luis to his girlfriend's house.  They find the girlfriend dead with Luis missing (taken by Duncan to a warehouse where the passports and other evidence is produced).  They need to reach Luis before Duncan executes him in hopes of finding out who this 'best student' is.

    Oh, and you know that IT company Max is visiting?  Well it turns out that's where our 'best student' hides his gainful employment.  He's onto Max and the rest of the FBI in hunting him down, and does an admirable job of framing another man in the office as the one who hacked the FBI servers.  This is all working, until another employee at the company informs Max that they got the wrong guy and he knows how to find out who.  Our best student quickly takes care of him and is about to kill Max too before the police show up after Max called in the murder.  Another close one for a Hardy.

    Finally, back at that warehouse, Luis is close to being executed but not before Ryan, Mike and Co. show up to save him and kill Duncan in the process.  I actually thought Ryan was seriously injured when he took that rifle shot to the chest, but of course, bulletproof vest.

    What we're left with is Ryan still having no clue who this 'best student' is but knowing he's far beyond better than Joe in covering his tracks and remaining hidden.  Ryan better find something soon though as this guy looks well on his way to vanishing.

    Grade:  B

    Notes/Questions:

    • I have a feeling Mike and Max's FBI boyfriend are going to have it out.  Just a hunch.
    • Where did Ryan's new girlfriend dissapear to?  She wasn't seen this entire episode.
    • So Joe's got 7 days to live, huh?  I wonder if a prison escape his on the way courtesy of our 'best student'.
    • It's still laughable at how the FBI is always missing these brutal killings by just a couple hours.  How much bad luck can you have?  But this is a TV show.
    Tuesday
    Mar172015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "Exposed"

    Continuing last week's events of the murder of FBI Director Clark, Ryan Hardy and Co. are on a hunt to find the killer responsible.

    As Ryan is questioned by both his own bureau and the media in regards to Clark's video - where it was revealed to the world that Ryan carried out a black ops team to capture Joe Carroll - he vehemently denies all accusations and declares to Mark and his followers that he's coming after him.

    We learn are new friend Neil - you know, the guy who likes to twist and turn people for fun and put them in boxes - is actually a wood-shop owner who comes off to people who see him as a very 'nice' guy.  We also learn that he doesn't like it when an assisted living aide for his father neglects to keep an eye out, leaving Neil to rescue his dad from almost getting hit by a car.  This isn't taken too well and Neil decides he wants a new home health aide because the regular one 'didn't show up for work.'

    While this episode was fast-paced, I found myself at times sort of bored by it.  Maybe it was because the hunt for Neil was rather boring and the character himself was pretty 'black & white' to begin with, didn't make the chase for him any more exciting.

    A few other things going on in this episode: Mark is still definitely losing it, as he decides to kidnap two reporters in hopes of getting the real story out of what Ryan did in killing his mother, which no one seems to care about anymore.  This obviously doesn't end well and both reporters are killed.  Our newest psycho couple also aren't who they seem to be as we learn they're secretly working for...'someone', who has a master plan at work.  Finally, Max decides she's done covering up for Ryan and Mike and wants no part in their 'unconventional' tactics in doing their job.

    This episode concludes with Neil being caught and killed of course (and his poor father witnessing his son kill) as well as Mark realizing his psycho couple is on to something and needs to keep a watchful eye on them.

    Overall, I'd say this was another solid episode though the writing team better start to reveal what's really going on here fast as the train seems to be moving rather slowly in who's really pulling all the string here.

    Grade: B+

    Notes/Questions:

    • So sparks are flying again between Mike and Max?  Good for them, though Max's new boyfriend doesn't seem to like that too much.
    • What is this new psycho couple doing in Max's apartment, and why are they setting up cameras?  What are they planning to do?
    • Mark has gone absolutely nuts at this point and is sort of becoming a one note character.  I have a feeling he'll be biting the dust rather shortly.
    • Ryan is feeling like he has blood on his hands for the death of his friend...doesn't he always feel this guilty though when someone dies?
    Tuesday
    Mar102015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "Boxed In"

    Wow.

    Sometimes I wonder who writes the scripts for The Following because this show certainly goes the distance in undertaking some pretty sick stuff.

    After last week's premiere episode, we find Mark (Sam Underwood) planning to kill an FBI agent unless Ryan, Mike and Max confess to their crime of executing his mom and using rogue tactics to hunt down Joe Carroll.

    At first it looks as if Mark is going to be successful in nabbing that said 'FBI agent' and have them be tortured at a local auto body shop/torture chamber, but the FBI cracks down on that one real quick, leaving Mark's two followers (this new season's twisted couple played by Ruth Kearney and Hunter Parrish) to resort to Plan B.

    Plan B is calling a rather burly fellow named 'Neil' and that said 'FBI agent' is actually FBI Director Clarke - whose been around since last season - while also getting a little backstory on him and his role in covering up Ryan's tactics for catching Joe.

    We see in this episode how close knit Ryan has become with not only Mike and Max, but also his new love, Gwen, played by Zuleikha Robinson.  Ryan does seem to have truly moved on from Joe - especially when he's referred to rather humorously as 'the ex we don't talk about' - but still has to keep being reminded of the vital role he still plays in everything.

    After FBI Director Clarke is taken at his home - not before his wife is nearly suffocated to death - Ryan, Mike, and Max are faced with the dilemma of confessing to their crimes before their friend is killed.  While Clarke is able to escape from his captors for a short time and tip off Ryan on his location, this episode ends rather tragically with Mr. Clarke literally being tortured and folded like a rag doll to fit into a 'box' our new fellow Neil created.  Not before Director Clarke confesses though to his role on-camera for the world to see in his role in covering up Ryan and Co.'s secret.

    Ryan is too late in saving both his counterpart and friend - who we actually find out his the reason Ryan met Gwen - when Clarke had to be taken to the ER about a year earlier for panic attacks about Ryan's cover-up.  Gwen is the Doctor that treats Clarke, and the rest they say, is history.

    Pretty sad episode.

    Overall, I'd give this week's entry another B+.  Not the greatest, but certainly the show has returned with no shortage of suspense and tension in what Ryan must face this coming season.

    Notes/Questions:

    • Mark certainly got left out in the cold this week on the action.  I think this guy is going to snap soon enough.
    • Nice little exchange between Mike and Max's new boyfriend.  "I'm not here to make friends."
    • I suspect we are going to see more of our new friend Neil as it doesn't seem to be set-up as a one off character.
    • How much longer until we see Joe?  You know it's eventually going to happen.
    Tuesday
    Mar032015

    The Following - Season 3 Recap "New Blood"

    Picking up a year after the events of last season, we find Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) having finally moved on with his life.  He's put his obsession with Joe Carroll behind him - along with a criminal investigation of his 'methods' to capture Joe - and found new love in the form of Gwen (played by Zuleikha Robinson).

    Meanwhile, we find Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) having done the exact opposite.  He's obsessed with finding Mark (the twin who wasn't killed, played by a really talented Sam Underwood) which has cost him everything in his life including his relationship with Max (Jessica Stroup) who has now moved on with someone else.

    The season kicks off with everyone at FBI lead Gina Mendez' wedding (who knew she was a lesbian?) with Ryan giving a touching toast about finding true love, but not before he's interrupted by what's seemingly a grieving father splashing blood on Ryan and accusing him of murder for killing his daughter (who was one of Joe's followers).

    This of course leads Ryan on a search to find out who this man's daughter was and apologize properly to her family.  This is all well and good until he realizes the real girl's father isn't the man from the wedding; someone's an imposter.

    We come to find out this 'imposter' is actually working for Mark (along with a new psychotic, young couple) to terrorize Ryan and Co. to get revenge on their actions for killing his mom and brother.  Mark has precisely been setting up crime scenes with dead bodies to portray the killings that Ryan, Mike and Max lied about to hunt down Joe.

    This all leads to that 'imposter' being captured, with him telling Ryan that he has no idea what's coming (haven't we heard this before?), which Ryan sort of comically points out that this isn't the first time someone's threatened him with those exact words.

    Overall, I'd say this was a pretty good start to season 3.  We obviously know Joe is still alive somewhere, locked down in a 24/7 facility awaiting death row (though we can assume not for long), which we can imagine will play a part in this new threat facing Ryan this year.

    I'd give this episode a solid B+ and hope the best is yet to come for this coming season.

    Notes/Questions: 

    • So after all Mike and Max went through together, they were only dating for 1 month?
    • It's nice to see Ryan has moved on, but did anyone else get a 'creepy' vibe that Gwen isn't as innocent as she seems?
    • I'm not sure who writes the scenes for Sam Underwood, but that guy is an extremely talented actor.  To go from playing two people to now playing one with a seemingly split personality...wow.
    • How many episodes will you bet until we see Joe again? 
    Saturday
    Feb282015

    Mid-Season Premiere Poster For "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D."

    After discovering an alien city with ties to his resurrection, Coulson and his team destroyed it before the forces of Hydra could claim its secrets, eliminating the villainous Whitehall in the process. But new threats to the world have arisen, including Skye’s father, Cal, who now seeks retribution against Coulson for stealing his revenge against Whitehall; a disturbing alliance between former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Ward and Agent 33; the enigmatic Raina, who struggles with her transformation into something inhuman by the alien Obelisk and seeks vengeance; and Skye, who developed mysterious new powers from the Obelisk but whose lack of experience with her new abilities may threaten the safety of those she loves. Meanwhile, Bobbi and Mack begin the next phase of a plan which seems to have grave repercussions for Coulson and his team, who are unaware that there’s another mysterious force moving against them. And as Hunter is forced to make the biggest choice of his life, Coulson will find his mission threatened by this shocking endgame.

    ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

    Saturday
    Feb282015

    CW Releases Two "iZombie" Posters

    Rose McIver stars as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a rosy-cheeked, disciplined, over-achieving medical resident who had her life path completely mapped out… until the night she attended a party that unexpectedly turned into a zombie feeding frenzy. As one of the newly undead, Liv has devised a way to resist her baser urges to devour fresh human brains – she’s taken a job in the Seattle coroner’s office. In this appropriately dead-end job, she can secretly snack on the brains of the many Jane and John Doe corpses that make a final stop in the morgue. Liv remains resigned to an eternity without hope or purpose, until she realizes that with every brain she consumes, she retains a portion of that person’s memories, and she begins to experience visions from the point of view of the murder victims. It’s not the same as being alive again, but at least she can find purpose in her undead existence by helping to solve the murders of those who are indeed fully dead