Sunday, 30 August 2015

Extant: S02E09 "The Other Side"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

Now this episode felt like filler, and no more so than Molly spending the whole episode on death's door, forcing us to watch her dream as she was at a circus with her dad. Naturally, this was supposed to be her mind recreating the scenery, and we had to witness lots of the main cast in various circus related roles. I'm not a big fan of circuses and I'm less so now after witnessing this heller of Extant's idea of one. I'll ignore the specifics as it's not worth the typing, but suffice to say she's getting over how her Dad cheated on her mom, and not wanting to return to the real world because it's a rubbish place. Hard to disagree. This whole show might be much better without Molly.

Meanwhile, the rest of the episode deals with JD being released and drinking scotch with Toby who claims that John's death must have come from a higher authority than him, leaving that scary government lady as the only person we've seen this season who could have done it? Still, we're all pretty sure he's alive, so maybe that'll get revealed next week because he'll probably be needed now that the humanichs are being unleashed once again thanks to those pesky hybrids. Julie has developed a backbone this week, sobs a lot, wants to do good and gives Ethan his Molly memories back, and then takes him to visiting the dying Molly, whose last request before entering her coma was to see Ethan. However, that goes awry when we're led to believe Molly has died near the end, as all hell breaks loose around the GSC. We've got hybrids on the loose. Seems that little girl of a hybrid, Hera, was in the morgue, but pretending to be dead. She then does a snake trick, shreds her skin and becomes a teen Hera who releases the other hybrids from a cell in the GSC. Well, that's all news to me too, as we had no indication that they were even in the GSC being held captive after the attack on their camp. Bit of a plot jump, but that's this show for you. They are now intent on doing bad things in the GSC and it all ends up with Hera about release another virus on humanity, and Charlie having to send in the humanichs, whom he and Julie wanted to shut down just moments before everything went to pot, in to save the day. What are the chances of Ethan actually saving the day instead? Let me think ...

What I liked

JD and Toby's drinking session was at least good at developing the mystery of John's death.

We all expected Julie to come "good" at the end, and she's back to her sobbing ways and trying to do the right thing, but unfortunately, the hybrids get in the way.

What I Didn't Like

The hybrids were in the GSC. I don't remember anyone saying they'd been round up and put in any cell.

The whole circus thing was certainly a circus and quite frankly something we all could have done without. Seeing other cast members as circus characters just about summed up the ludicrous nature of this show. Rather they used people we didn't know from elsewhere.

Molly's death bed. Not only did we have to witness a rather badly acted dying scene, but that whole circus crap. On the plus side, JD and Julie's last words were not too bad, for this show.


This show could have wiped out humanity itself if we'd been forced to watch it 24/7. Molly is feeling the strain of trying to act interesting. 
There's no charm at all in the circus which is such an obvious and typical way to tell a backstory and have us believe that Molly is giving up solely because of her Dad cheating on her mum.

Makeup budget this season is at an all time low as bits are literally falling off the hybrids.

Toby spent the entire time whilst drinking with JD with the monitor in view of him. Wonder if that'll come up in the story as being relevant? Duh!

With one episode left of the series, we're counting on Hera to blow the GSC to the ends of the solar system and spare us a third season.

And Finally

Far too long spent in the circus, when all this episode is really about is the hybrids escaping the GSC cell. Sadly, we have to deal with Molly's deathbed visits and dream for far too long when the action is happening under everyone's noses.

Windows 10: BUILD 10532

Windows 10: BUILD 10532

What's New


Doesn't sound like much, but the right-click menus now look like they are part of a new OS instead of from the days of Windows 95 (happy 20th btw). This includes the jump-lists from the taskbar, the right-click start menu and of course anything you'd normally right click in Explorer or on the desktop.

It's not revolutionary, it's evolutionary. Although quite why they didn't do this before they released Windows 10 ... well, that's the age-old question isn't it?

Feedback App

The only other main "improvement" this build is that the feedback app gets the facility to "Share" feedback items, something that you'd think the work experience person could have done for Microsoft in 10 minutes. Quite why it's taking so long to develop the feedback app I'm not sure, but this is at least progress ...

You'll note the share/copy link options at the bottom of every feedback item.

I can't get the copy link to copy/paste anything so not sure if that's just me :(

That means I have to resort to sharing an item, which gives the prompt above, and then ... ARGH ... opens up a charm menu from the right ...

Ruddy charms just won't die will they???

Anyhow, using the mail option I can email myself the link, which comes with a screenshot and then use that to "share".


Windows Store was initially buggered

Unusually in recent builds, I did have some problems after the actual upgrade had completed and I'd logged in. The first sign that all was not well was the delayed log wait after logon, so it came as little surprise to find the Windows Store not working:

One cannot really use Windows 10 without the Windows Store, as it contains updates for system apps as well as anything you might manage to find useful in the store as well.

Found this fixed the issue though:
  1. Open an Elevated Powershell prompt by pressing the Windows Key, typing Powershell, then pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter
  2. Paste the following command into Powershell and execute it:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Office 2016 Activation reset

I'm using the trial version of Office 2016 so my license ticks down and as with every build upgrade, I have to reactivate the trial license. No biggie.

AVG Buggered

I've been using AVG Free on my Windows Insider Build and sometimes it does need a repair after a build upgrade but this time it had one component not working and just refused to repair. Eventually I gave up and uninstalled it, and am using another AV for this build.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Falling Skies S05E08: "Stalag 14th Virginia"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

Things start off once again badly, with a lineup of people about to be shot, with black bags over their heads, the order to fire being giving, and then the awful "Seven hours earlier" then being shown on the screen. Sigh. Naturally we're left to figure out who was about to be shot, although we suspect Tom and sons, we can't be sure and plus did they get shot? Is the world round? Is this show fantastic? Yeah, I think we know what is not going to happen after the gunshots actually occur.

So, back in time we go and the sad reflective grim looking Weaver is following around his old flame like a puppy, Commander "Carter" (well, easier to say Carter as that was who she was in SG-1) and keeps trying to convince her she's wrong to do all these bad things to the 2nd Mass. In a rather pathetic manner, Weaver follows the Commander in her jeep out of the base. Quite what she said to the gate guard as to why she was going for a night time drive, I don't know. Anyhow, Weaver, despite being almost in her pants whilst following her, sees her meet with an overlord, whom he then strangles after she leaves. We never see the overlord at all, so I'm guessing they were saving money on CGI! 

Over the course of the episode, Weaver gets more and more of the guards on his side. Tom is also in the cell doing a great job as an ex-teacher of convincing the guard there to help them. Eventually he caves to Tom's relentless voice and they attempt an escape, but it goes wrong. Tom gets away (through a weak point in the perimeter) and the cell guard who helped them gets shot. Seems Pope's theory is right huh? Everyone is then naturally all destined to be shot by firing squad the next day. Joining them in the line of fire is Doctor Mason, who after spilling everything to the patient she fixed up, finds him go all "Traitor Traitor" on her, in a strange comedy turn of emotions. Seems the patient was working for the commander in some ridiculous subplot which wasn't necessary at all as the commander was likely to arrest doctor mason regardless. 

So, Doctor Mason and boys are lined up to be shot, but, wait, the guards refuse to shoot. They've been weaver'ed! At the same time, Tom comes storming through the gates like Mad Max in their lorry, and gives his usual bullshit all-american speech about living together and fighting the aliens. Everyone is starting to hug and kiss each other as world peace spreads across the base, when the Commander attempts to shoot Tom, but Weaver stabs her. Quite why he didn't just take the gun off her, I don't know.

So, we end with the commander dripping black blood. It's suggested she was or wasn't a complete duplicate or copy of the original Commander. No idea. It's hard to fathom and I'm beyond caring. If all that seems hard to fathom, well get this ... the patient in the hospital we then find stumbling along a road and into Pope's camp! WTF? Why? Why was he going anywhere or knew to go to Pope's camp, or even where it was? Is the camp really the close and no aliens between the army base and Pope? Just ridiculous, but we do get to see Pope pleased to find out that Tom is alive because we all know that he wants to attempt to kill him himself.

What I liked

It was sort of interesting to see how the 2nd Mass would get out of this predicament, but ultimately the result was absolutely ludicrous in how they yet again won the day.

What I Didn't Like

The patient in the hospital, who turned on Doctor Mason in pantomime fashion, then ended up stumbling into Pope's base? That was just highly contrived and ridiculous to believe.

Wasn't clear what had happened to the Commander in the end. Was she alien or half human?

Are we supposed to believe Weaver strangled an overlord?

The way the whole 2nd Mass talked around all the soldiers was half cheesy and half obvious manipulation. I get that the army might think things weren't right, but to believe anyone so easily was a little daft, especially how they all started to love Weaver.

Weak point in the perimeter? This is an army base! How on earth is there any weak point?

Tom's Mad Max entrance.


Weaver creeps up and strangles an overlord in a highly contrived money-saving exercise for the producers as we never see the overlord.

Tom convinces the guard to help them escape. Probably they just want rid of his whining.

Escape goes wrong. Someone other than a Mason gets killed. Sound familiar?

Will the Masons get shot? Don't be stupid.

So, what exactly was she? Hard to know for sure. Probably they didn't want to have to explain it to us.

And Finally

A relatively interesting scenario is played out with some ridiculous scenes and lame plotwork. On the plus side, Pope is back!

Windows 10: App Update: Snip

Windows 10 App Update


This could be the next most useful thing in Windows 10, or it could be yet another screenshot tool. Hard to tell thus far but I've ditched the Win32 Snipping Tool for "Snip" in order to try to figure out if this is better or not. So far it very much reminds me of SnagIt, another 3rd party snipping tool and it appears to be just as useful, although not as sophisticated as there is no video recording in Snip.

You can get the app from here but it is just a beta at the moment.

First thing I noticed is that when launched, it hangs around up the top of your screen, just peeking into view

Can you see it ^^^^^^
If you hover the cursor over it, it drops down to this:

This is where you can start a new snip, launch the editor (think basic paintbrush), take a photo or, in the bottom right, is the icon to take you to your snip library.

Here's the library. Nothing remarkable but there's all your snips in one easy place.

The Snip Editor lets you do basic stuff, like draw things, but is missing, for some annoying reason, the colour white, which is obviously very good for erasing writing on most webpages/documents if you were taking a snip of that. Hopefully, white will come in a future update. But in the meantime, you can, weirdly, record audio for your snip, share it, save it, or just copy it to another app.

It's pretty funky that when you take a snip, it tells you the dimensions of the snip:

Snip also takes over your PrntScr button, so it'll basically launch Snip ready to select the whole screen, appearing much like above, but obviously covering the width and height of your screen.

A very promising beta. Think it could replace the snipping tool very nicely. There's naff all app settings you can manipulative, which seems to be Microsoft's Windows 10 style, but hopefully there will be some tinkering possible in future updates.

Windows 10: Windows Store App Update

Windows 10 App Update
Windows Store

Version 2015-8-25-1 ~ 28th August 2015
(Previous Version 2015-8-12-1)

Another day, another app update. Well, there were 8 today but I'm only going to comment if I can find any discernible differences, because it looks like Microsoft aren't going to tell us anytime soon.

1. Menu Labels

Now says "Downloads and updates" instead of just downloads.

Here's a screenshot of before:

Can't see any more sophistication in the update mechanism, like being able to download individual's updates instead of the "Update All" choice.

2. Update Tiles via WI-FI

We've lost a setting here. Under "Live Tile", you used to be able to choose whether the tile updated under Wi-Fi or not. Not sure why they got rid of it, as it's a small, but useful way to conserve data if one is metered.

You can see how it looked before below:

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Last Ship: S02E04

Rating: 7

In A Nutshell

This week we're back to doing what The Last Ship does best; kicking some ass!

The crew of the Nathan James discover a big ship left some port nearby in the last few weeks and was all kitted out with doctors and labs for fast track processing of the cure. Well, that's the gist of what I picked up on! They track it down but find no one at home at first, until they start to find dead bodies and a group of doctors holding up in a makeshift operating theatre. Some gung ho action follows as two swat teams, each with new characters who joined the show this week (An Aussie SEAL called Wolf Taylor and Lt. Ravit Bivas).

Wolf really shows he's an all-action hero, single handedly taking down some of the bad guys who had boarded the ship recently in search of the cure. Seems there are some mercenaries about, and they aren't afraid to spill blood. Bivas is landed with Rex and another guy who has the hots for her. They come across a bomb, which is defused but then they find it's connected to another bomb. As the captain chases down the leader of the gang of mercenaries (A British guy!), they have to try to defuse the bigger bomb, which the mercenary leader threatens to blow up when he's cornered by the captain. Luckily, Rex goes all superhero on us too, by risking his neck to detach the explosives and throw them overboard ... which he of course does just in the nick of time as the bad guy presses that big red button.

Anyhow, the bad guy escapes, the Nathan James end up with a new doctor who wants to stay behind from the other ship, and the weird strange guy from last week hanging out with the crazy "we're special" group, is on a boat with the group leader, who informs him the boss wants to talk to him, whereupon we see a sub pop up from the water, presumably the same sub the mercenaries escaped to, as they didn't have a boat.

What I liked

Wolf is like Wolverine without the superpowers as he kicks ass physically and with a gun!

Nothing beats creeping through a ship and having shoot outs with bad guys.

Despite only meeting him this episode, the death of one of the doctors actually created an impression on me, as well as being a bloody end.

Tension and mystery of what was going on was clevering slowly fed to us.

What I Didn't Like

Some cheesy "crush" sub-plot and highly contrived plot dynamics but that's about par for this show :)


Always time for some bird watching at sea.

Plenty of extras sleeping on the job this week. Ok, they've all been shot ... in the head!

Wolf takes centre stage as a bad-ass kick-ass guy.

I'm the british bad guy, and I'm going to press the button unless you ... oh, never mind. You defused the bomb of course.

Nightswimming? Nope, our bearded weird guy is meeting "The Boss"

And Finally

Enjoyed this, as the mystery returns, tension is kept ticking along, the all-american stuff is put on a back seat, and we have some gun-ho action!

Falling Skies S05E07 "Everyone has their reasons"

Rating: 6

In A Nutshell

Well, it wasn't dull this week, but it was hardly full of quality either, with daftness actually highlighted quite openly throughout the episode.

Most of the 2nd Mass make their way to an old Navel Base which is under the command of Weaver's old flame, and ex-Stargate chief, Samantha Carter. Ok, it's not the character, but the actress. She performs admirably all episode, despite having to put up with multiple plot moments where she has to readily acknowledge the scar on her neck that keeps bleeding. It's so totally highlighted throughout the episode, and that it occurred after a recent ambush by skitters, that the only people not noticing the bleeding obvious is everyone. Ahh well. After being let into the camp, things go south quicker than two quick things, with the 2nd mass gradually being rounded up for questioning/detention. Commander "Carter" is doing so under very sensible reasons (hearing about 2nd Mass involvement with all sorts of aliens) that you'd be surprised that Pope wasn't behind it and not an overlord whom we see at the end. Poor Ben ends up being cornered by anti "alien freak" soldiers, who he promptly beats up rather impressively before being sucker punched from behind. He's then subjected to having spikes literally pulled out. Despite the obnoxious solider who pulled the spike out being attacked by the spike creature and sustaining a rather nasty facial injury, nothing is made of that for rest of the episode. Curious ...

Back at the previous camp, Cochise and the 2nd Mass gadget man have a few scenes where they are essentially retrieving the communications device. Young Matt Mason is on his way back there after Weaver (the only one not under lock and key by his sweetheart commander) sneaks him out to get help. Things go very wrong for the Masons as Commander "Carter" puts them under a court material investigation, ending with them all being sentenced to death. Shock horror. Wonder if that'll happen?

What I liked

Ben Mason finally kicks ass, thanks to the spikes, showing us the true power of what they can do. Why we haven't seen this super human stuff before like this I don't know. It's great!

Commander "Carter" actress brings great integrity, despite some of the daftness she has to perform.

It's quite contrived and unoriginal, but the second mass at the makeshift army base makes a very welcomed change of scenery and interaction with different people.

What I Didn't Like

The several scenes of Cochise and co removing the communications device was totally unnecessary. We could have saved ourselves from that.

The soldiers at the base all seem to be obnoxious idiots and bigots. I can't help but think they are overplaying all that to make them seem like this week's "bad guys".


A'Hoy there Captain, rubbish CGI ahead.

Proving that no alien devices or painkiller are really needed after all, this guy pulls out one of Ben's spikes with some pliers. Double ouch!
You'd hardly recognise Stargate's Sam Carter, but you would notice the bleeding scar on her neck that's given prominence all episode.

Blind Date this is not.

Look who is being controlling the Commander? Jeez, didn't see that coming. Sigh.

And Finally

Change of scenery and a faster pace helps nicely for a decent episode despite all the dialogue and plot daftness.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Extant: S02E08: "Arms and the Humanich"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

Just about keeping itself out of total boredom this week, thanks to some moments of action and a quicker pace to the storytelling.

This started off very well, as the scriptwriters tried to kill off the aliens and the show as quickly as possible by sending in the humanich army to absolutely cause merry hell. There's bodies flying everywhere under a hail mary of bullets, yet despite having the upper hand, they stop shooting and unleash the virus. Absolutely makes little sense really and just prolongs our agony of the season not being concluded early.

Lunatic Lucy spots Molly with Herra (the little girl) and accidently shoots Molly who tries to protect the girl. Not to worry, because that gunshot didn't really seem to hurt her much as seconds later, thanks to JD returning to blast Lucy, they are off back to JD's ranch with Ahdu (Molly's alien son) who has succumbed to the virus barely seconds after everyone wondered why the army left. He's in bad shape just as JD's ex-wife turns up at what seems to be the only other place besides the alien camp to previously be not on Google Maps. She freaks out when Ahdu's eyes glow, but not because of the bad CGI, but because she's scared of being bored by him. Not really, she's just scared.

Anyhow, JD gives her a talk similar to the birds and the bees and she takes it quite well, with a swig of whiskey. Minor freak-out aside, the premise of an alien invasion on earth seems to be quite realistic to her and she returns to just being slightly apprehensive about Ahdu. Wow, she's taking all talk of alien stuff much better than JD originally did! Speaking of which, he turns himself in so his daughter gets released.

Molly, who has recovered from a gunshot womb in record time, comes up with the most ridiculous plan to save Ahdu, which involves going back to the GSC to get help from the only other scientist character who actually spoke in the show previously. Sneakily she meets him in a diner, as you do, and forces him to get what turns out to be a blood transfusion kit. I'm not sure she couldn't have gone elsewhere for one of those, but hey ho. She uses it on the very ill Ahdu, who has aged to about 65 now, but it doesn't help. She allows him to pass away peacefully under the stars outside. Awww, bless. His dying words of course were the most useful he's ever spoken, when he tells her not to trust some of the other hybrids, particularly the scary little girl, Herra. Think we all could have figured that out. Upset, Molly heads inside the house, sniffles, and then sees she's also bleeding blood from areas you really shouldn't. The transfusion kit that failed to work on her son, she decides to try on herself(doesn't it need to be sterilised?) and of course that doesn't work so she turns herself in to GSC boss, Toby.

Meanwhile, crazy Lucy, is very much damaged goods both mentally and physically. Charlie and Julie want to "reboot" her like we all do with our mobiles and PCs, but Ethan informs her and she goes ape on Julie, throttling her, until a now better-informed Ethan (via Charlie) saves the day by literally pulling Lucy apart.

What I liked

Poor JD. Even in this episode he got some of the lousiest lines and scenes, but at least he and his ex add more presence to a scene than anyone else, even if they still say daft things.

Ethan, Charlie and Julie combine this week to create a half-decent sub-plot with the now-deemed-crazy, Lucy.

The super humanich army attacking was pretty great for an opener, but then they defied all drama by withdrawing and using the virus. Why?

What I Didn't Like

Molly; every scene was pretty dull. The "oh look, I've a bloody nose" led in to the virus discovery for her and Ahdu, and was just so cheese infested and lame.

The GSC scientist getting "forced" by Molly to get what's essentially a blood transfusion kit was pretty odd. She could almost have gone anywhere for that device. Plus, does it not need cleaning between transfusions?


In perhaps the most atmospheric scene since season 1, episode 1, the approaching human-robot army is quite an impressive one. Sadly, it's all major damp squid a minute later.

Take a deep breathe and some whiskey and listen, says JD. He's an alien.
Oh right, says his Ex very relaxed about the whole concept.

Just missing some hair and stormtroopers, chewbecca, I mean JD, is taken prisoner by the GSC.

Blood transfusion was worth the shot, but rather basic idea one would think against a deadly virus.

Lucy tries to do us all a big favour by taking out Julie, but Ethan saves the day. Damm boy!

And Finally

It's not good on any level, but even a crazy Lucy and human-robot army attack can't save this episode from being nothing more than passable stuff to watch.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Falling Skies: S05E06: "Respite"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

No Pope this episode, sadly, so you'd expect all tension and drama of the human kind to diminish like the number of episodes left in this series? You'd be mostly right, but thankfully this didn't quite cross the line into pure dullness.

So, seems that alien that grabbed Tom last week just when he and Pope were about to blow each other up, was random and not anything deliberate for "the greater good" or whatever. Well, not as far as the overall arc goes but probably was pretty convenient to prolong the Pope/Tom battle, which is ok by me. Tom wakes up in a cosy bed in a quaint house. His wombs have been treated and he hobbles about to mingle with a family untouched by the war, with the grandpa, young children, teenage boy and the single-cute-he's-going-to-share-a-kiss-with mother. In a high degree of predictability, this episode progresses like a textbook, lacking any of last episode's true grit and human emotions, merely reminding us of the good ol'days and classic family issues. The teenage boy is moody and probably broody, and smoking/drinking, claiming that he doesn't know what's going on but a few miles or so away. Quite how a teenage boy didn't hear anything via radio, TV, internet or big super doper aliens in the sky, I don't know. The little ones, maybe, but the boy? Very hard to believe. Such is the obvious route this episode takes, we have him stomping off from the house and bumping into a dead alien (seems for 3 years he's not walked at least a mile away from home!) and Tom spills all the beans about the aliens in one sentence. Instantly the boy wants to fight in the war that he's not heard about until a minute ago. Yeah, it's all that stupid. Even more stupid, is come the end of the episode, when Hal and new girlfriend turn up, Tom manages to convince the boy to stay with his family in some of the most unconvincing words a testosterone teenage boy would believe.

Meanwhile, back at the second mass, Maggie has her spikes removed. Cochise ends up doing it in secret against the doctor's wishes, but seems he doesn't know much about what he's doing cause the final spike refuses to come out, so he calls the doctor, who throws a towel over Maggie, and then pulls the spike out. Blimey, either she's a real dab hand, or Cochise is really rubbish!

Things all end with Tom, Hal and new GF meeting with the second mass once again and revealing that they've literally decided to very conveniently make a base on top of a secret alien communications device. Yup, back to the cheese stuff again.

What I liked

Not a lot to like this week, unless you liked the Hal/GF flirting stuff, or Cochise's rather blatant rubbish medical knowledge. It was all quite pleasant at the house that's amazingly avoided aliens for 3 years, but we don't watch this show for nice reasons, right?

What I Didn't Like

No Pope!

No drama of any genuine level.


Cheesy plot


Tom plays happy families briefly this week. Quite how he didn't suspect an alien mind game I don't know. He did manage a rather brief cry though, which was comical.

Hal and his new GF do some amazing tracking, given they've gone miles chasing after a flying alien that's long out of sight. Oh look what they happen to stumble upon!?? Yes, you guessed it.

You wouldn't trust this alien with a game of Operation!

Maggie, meet, ummm, my new "friend".

Doesnt look like much, but they say this could help them win the war.

And Finally

The whole spike removal held no drama at all, with the most tension at the family home for Tom being when the mother cut her hand on some glass. It was all very dry and procedural once again this week, which can mean only one thing; bring back Pope!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Falling Skies: S05E05: "Non-essential personnel"

Rating: 7
Good Stuff!

In A Nutshell

Now this is much more like it! There's a clear threat, and one with emotion, personality and predictiveness thrown in together in a damn fine mix; called Pope! He's the bad guy you just love, and one that most ardent Falling Skies fans would be hard not to have a high degree of sympathy with. Whether this all ends with Tom and Pope hugging and sharing a tender moment, I don't know, although I suspect that'll happen, but at the moment this is about as tense and gritty as this show has been in ages. Ironically, this is all because of the human aspect and not the aliens that really made this episode.

Pope and his gang save another group of people from critters, recruiting the strong and sending the weak on their way. He's hold up at a bowling centre whilst he leads Tom on a mystery tour across town to find him. Badass pope works very nicely, and he really does speak a lot of truth. I'm on his side, although not with all the violence though. But this is great unpredictable and meaningful stuff. You can understand his actions, which over the last 5 or so years, has been hard to fathom from most of the main characters. This actually all makes perfect sense for once! Sadly, Tom does catch up with Pope, sneaking through Pope's guards like butter melting on toast. Very easy, and convenient, especially when he chance meets Pope, and they both draw their guns at the same time! Although, Pope of course misses, but Tom lands a blow. Can't say for sure where he actually hit Pope, but I thought that was it for a mo, but as Tom goes in closer, Pope shoots Tom in leg (yup, didn't kill him) and Tom gets in another shot that creates a gash in Pope's head. It's all very messy and a case of bad aiming. However this is cut short when a flying alien comes in and carries Tom away! Yup, didn't see that coming but at least it prolongs the badass Pope storyline, as believe it or not, despite two bullets, he 'does a Tom' and is still living at the end of the episode and thirsty for more. During all this, Hal escapes with the help of one of Pope's lady recruits, and leads the search for where the stork, I mean flying alien, carried his dad.

The sub-plot this week is just as good, if not better, which really surprised me. Whilst the second mass are making their way through a town on route to where ever it is they said they were going last week, they get cornered by someone in a building with rocket launchers and machine guns. Weaver goes all righteous on us and does a "I come in peace" walk to the building to talk the person(s) down. Turns out, it is just the one person there, which one half suspects but the story does well to disguise that fact until the last moment. In the building, Weaver gets injured by the gunman, who demands half of all the 2nd masses ammunition in order to protect his family. Turns out, his family is already dead, and this guy has gone through emotional hell. Somehow, Weaver knew that all along (so he says) but how it's all scripted, and acted, along with the tension throughout was absolutely delicious, and quite emotional there at the end. Even better, they agree to take the guy into the 2nd mass and help him get over his loss. Actually quite touching for once.

What I liked

Pope is fantastic! Bad-ass, violent and also making a high degree of sense!

The newcomers, largely the lady and nutty man (as they're the only ones given any prominence) was much welcomed after far too much staleness with the same group of characters.

Weaver going "I come in peace" was actually not as straightforward and cheesy as I thought. Quite emotional.

What I Didn't Like

Tom; creeping past all the guards like a genius. That's far too easy, right?

Tom/Pope; brief. Very brief shoot-out

Tom and alien wife vision; all so very egomaniac for Tom. IT HAS TO BE HIM RIGHT? Pope has a very good point.

Pope saves some locals in order to gain some friends for manipulation. It's a classic idea and genius ... well, clever anyway.

Hal gets kinky as he tries to lure Pope into some S&M.
Nah, not really, but he is tied up and at the mercy of Pope.

The cryptic bitch is back! This week she at least makes sense more, but this "It has to be you Tom" is getting about as stale as a rotten critter.

In a very touching subplot, a nutty dad is talked down from madness by Weaver.

Pope's not dead despite being shot twice! Yippee! More bad-ass next week please!
And Finally

As the aliens take a backseat, it's a very pleasant surprise that the human characters actually rise to the challenge, with the newcomers being far more interesting for a change. More bad-ass Pope please next week, although I fear we'll have to get back to the long drawn out dull alien invasion soon!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Extant: S02E07: "The Other"

Rating: 4
Not OK

In A Nutshell

This week's episode can be brought to you by the words "Moody faces" and "Ho Hum"; this is a dire episode of boredom proportions.

Things start off ludicrous, as JD kidnaps Toby in the parking lot of the security building. To think he'd even get in there and pull off such a feat is hard to fathom, in what is most likely the most secure facility on the planet. Toby, JD and Molly have a rather predictable stalemate, as Toby has no intention of any peace with the hybrids. Instead, he goes all Super A.I. on us, using some rather bizarre levels of security "passwords" to gain access to what can only be described as "one very intelligent supercomputer". Why they haven't bothered with it before, I don't know, but now Toby asks it's help to find the hybrid's location, which it promptly does. See, that was easy. Why didn't they use this thing several episodes ago and we could have got to the finale a lot quicker!

A new human/robot is born, and called Lucas by Lucy. I was going to guess she'd go for "John" but alas no. It's a rather simplistic hello between everyone, that almost goes south when Lucy notices that Charlie's computer mentions an deactivation date. She's obviously upset about that, which Charlie reminds her makes her human. Given the way she goes around causing mischief, it's just as well there is a shutdown date. A tad later, after Charlie has a stiff drink because he found photos of Julie and John (seems he was stupid enough to never notice anything in the past between them; is he really this dumb?), Lucy gets frisky with him, but he pulls a stop on it before it's not only the tops that are getting naked on us. Shame, this scene was the highlight of the episode!

Molly and JD return to alien camp and basically spend a lot of time pulling long faces, moaning and having little tiffs with the other aliens. It's really quite dull stuff, and about as alien for emotional stuff as one could get. JD and Molly's tender goodbyes (he's off to get his daughter who's been arrested - not sure what he thinks he can do about that) was at least believable, compared to JD shaking hands with Molly's alien son. There's little conviction with anything the aliens have done thus far for us to believe anything that they say and do. Seems every episode they have a different mood swing. Heck, every scene in fact they seem to swing any way they like!

Things close (thankfully) with Lucy and Lucas in army costumes (not really sure that's necessary to convince us they are warriors) and doing reconnaissance on the alien camp. They come across one of the obnoxious aliens, take him down, and inform Toby that they are bringing the alien back as a prisoner.

What I liked

Charlie and Lucy get frisky. It was brief, but then so is anything good in this show.

JD continues to have the best lines and the best realism compared to everyone else on the entire show.

What I Didn't Like

Aliens are very dull. They just walk about with eyes glowing occasionally, bickering, changing their minds and looking about as emotional as the rear end of a donkey.

Toby's security department is a joke, especially as it's now revealed there's a super A.I. computer that can locate the aliens in five minutes. Why didn't they save us from all this long drawn out crap all series by just asking the flipping computer?!?!

Toby goes all "CHUCK" on us with a super computer room full of enough lights to floodlit a city.

She may be a robot human, but she's got the goods!

JD has enough of the aliens, much like we did in episode two.

A handshake between JD and an alien was as probable as the two jeeps making sweet love.

Lucy and Lucas take a hybrid hostage! Wow! Sigh. Admittedly, this was one of the better scenes of the show.

And Finally

Dull, pointless, and some darn right ridiculous logic and plot developments. When the pace slows, this show goes downhill quicker than Ethan on his skateboard.