Dallas: Let me in

Tonight’s 11th episode of the 2nd (16th) season of Dallas continues the attack against Ewing Energies by Harris Ryland and Cliff Barnes.

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Following the explosion on the Ewing Methane Rig, which was planned by Ryland and Barnes, Pamela has lost her pregnancy. She is deeply in shock, but is roused when John Ross revels that the explosion was no accident.

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Newcomer Ken Richards (Lee Majors- the Six Million Dollar Man), former flame of Sue Ellen and member of a state board investigating the explosion explained to Sue Ellen that the explosion was intentional, but when the board gives their official judgment, they find Ewing Energies responsible and issue a 1 billion dollar fine. Bobby does not take it well.

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It turns out that the board is being ordered by the Governor, played by Steve Weber of Wings…

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to cover up the sabotage and take down the Ewings on the orders of….

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Harris Ryland. Who also has his daughter’s boyfriend beaten within an inch of his life for dating her. Nice guy.

To make matters worse, He also manages to get the main Ewing Oil Drill seized by the government. As of right now, Ewing Energies owes 1 Billion to the state, has no source of income, and is on the verge of collapse. Luckily, they have one last hope.

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That’s right. The “Master Plan” of JR Ewing. It seems JR uncovered the fact that Ryland was involved in Drug Smuggling. He also discovered that Christopher is entitled to 1/3 of BARNES GOLBAL if they can find evidence of what happened to his mother Pam. With one stroke, Ryland and Barnes can be taken out. Can they get it done in time?

All in all, this season has improved dramatically with the death of JR. You really get the sense that following the death of this incredibly character the writers felt the need to step up and really deliver a knockout story. So far, they have succeeded. Next week brings 2 back to back new shows. I expect some more drama, backstabbing, and good storytelling.

Walking Dead: Welcome to the Tombs

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Last night we saw the finale to season 3 of The Walking Dead. Everything built up to the amazing final confrontation between the people of Woodbury and our cast at the prison. The battle WAS amazing…in that it did not happen.

This should have been the end all, be all, of battles. The Prison throws everything they can against the superior forces of the Governor, and come up short. In the comic, the group is thoroughly routed by the Governor and all but a handful survive. Even the little baby is supposed to get killed! Instead, the Woodbury army enters the prison, Rick’s people unleash a few Home Alone booby traps, fire some guns, and the army dissipates and runs away.

The Governor regroup the survivors and guns down all those who ran.

Rick goes off to pursue them back to Woodbury, discovers the carnage, and instead invites the people of Woodbury to come live with him at the prison.

Seriously?

Beth, Daryl, Carol, Glenn, Maggie- essentially unused in this story. To not use Daryl as an integral part of the story after the death of his brother was a crime.

 

Herschel offers some Moral Orel advice, as usual.

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The one character who seemed to move along nicely in this story was Carl. He crossed the line and shot a young Woodbury man who wanted to surrender. In the face, and had no regrets. This moves Carl closer to being the borderline psychopath we saw in the comics. Kill or be killed. It is more poignant when we realize that this is what the Governor was preaching about at the start of the episode. Carl is becoming the Governor, and Rick knows it. I think this had a lot to do with his decision to welcome the Woodbury survivors.

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Milton is tortured by the Governor at the start of the episode. He is given a chance to redeem himself- kill Andrea for him. He refuses and is stabbed in the gut. He is then locked in the room with her, so that when he dies and comes back she will be eaten. She eventually kills Zombie Milton, but not before he gets a couple of bites in.

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This gives Michonne something to be sad about, but for Andrea, there is no redeption. There is no saving this awesome character that was completely screwed this season. The writers ruined her, and this was the only way out.

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As a finale, this was weak. As a set up to ANOTHER season of Prison versus Governor nonsense- it worked well. The Prison now has a full complement of characters to kill off, and the Governor lives to fight another day. Let’s hope the new showrunner- writer of last week’s phenomenal Merle episode- can keep this ship sailing smoothly.

GI Joe: Retaliation

The 361st Film I have seen in theaters….

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I hesitantly ventured to the cinemas to see GI Joe: Retaliation. I say hesitantly for a couple of reasons. First, I must mention that this was supposed to be released LAST summer, and was delayed almost a year for “3D conversion”. Well, the 3D was pretty good for a post-job, so that worked out. There is also the matter of the original film- Rise of Cobra, which gave me paude. While not a bad movie, it was certainly lacking in several places. The biggest was the radical redesigns of the GI Joe universe, as well as some questionable character relationships- specifically Baroness, Duke, and Cobra Commander. This film largely does away with all of that. Quickly.

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Duke is now the leader of the GI Joes, Roadblock (The Rock) is his lieutenant. At the end of the first film, Cobra Commander was captured and Zartan, master of disguises, was in place AS the President of the United States. This film starts off with the master plan being put into action. The Joes are almost completely wiped out. Only Roadblock, Lady Jaye, Snake Eyes, and Flint survive. This is appropriate as Flint and Lady Jaye were two of my favorite Joes as a child. Note that Duke is not on the list. That’s right, hunk of the decade Channing Tatum is killed off. The surviving Joes must now unravel the mystery of why they were targeted, and what is going to happen next.

The casting was pretty good for this film. Dwayne “Rock” Johnson shines as Roadblock, DJ Cotrona does not have much to do as Flint, but he also does not get in the way of the movie as Wayans did in the first. Jonathan Pryce is a phenomenal in everything, Ray Stevenson was a credible threat as Firefly, and Bruce Willis was a welcome addition and General Joe Colton- the Original GI JOE. His interplay with Lady Jaye was particularly good. Speaking of…

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Smoking Hot. I kinda wish her “Wonder Woman” tv show made it further than Pilot now. lol.

The story was…interesting, but no more outlandish than anything the comics or cartoon did. The only real problem I had was the Ninja stuff. Its as if they filmed two movies and meshed them together. The ninja battle was phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, but it did not fit in with the rest of the film.

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What cannot be stressed enough is that the LOOK of Cobra Commander was right in this film. While Cobra Commander had several different looks, the classic version looked like this:

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The 2009 Film featured this:

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A Bizzare choice to be sure. The new film features THIS design:

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Very true to how fans remember the character. I mean come on! Look at him!

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They got it 100% correct.

Word has come down that there will be a third entry in the series most likely with this new cast in place. This was a definite step up from the first, and I hope they continue the trend.

YO JOE!

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Game of Thrones: Valar Dohaeris

The moment has FINALLY arrived.

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Game of Thrones has returned! The greatest show on television began it’s third season tonight. I have no doubt that the ratings are astounding, as everyone seemed to be foaming at the mouth for more of this phenomenal show.

This first episode serves as a quick set up of where most major characters are in the world.

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Robb Stark, King in the North, has taken over the Fortress of Harrenhal, with his mother held as prisoner for her betrayal in season 2. He arrives to find Harrenhal sakced and all his supporters murdered and left out to rot as a message to Robb.

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Davos survived the battle of Blackwater and finds his way back to King Stannis and the Red Lady Melissandre. whom Davos blames for leading Stannis astray. Hearing none of his ‘blasphemy’ against her, he is dragged off to the dungeons.

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Sansa and Littlefinger begin to plot her escape from King’s Landing, as she adjust to life without the protection of being Joffrey’s fiancee.

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Speaking of the little shit, he took it easy this week as he watches, and learns, a bit about how to be a loving leader from Margarey Tyrell- his new bethrothed. She makes her way to an orphanage and shows love to the children who lost fathers in the war. This does not seem to go over well with Queen Sersei, who prefers the people fear, rather than love the royals.

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The star of the show, Tyrion sits down with his father, Tywin, to discuss what he feels he deserves- the family home of Casterley Rock. He is flatly told that he will NEVER have the ancestral home, and is nothing more than a whore monger. It is a huge change of pace for the guy who essentially ran the city and saved it from attackers.

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At the top of the world, we find Jon Snow, Supposed bastard son of Ned Stark, has infiltrated the Wildling camp and is brought before their “King” Mance Rayder to see if he is truly there to join the cause.

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Mance is played by one of my favorite actors-Ciarán Hinds, who many will remember as Julius Caesar in “Rome”. Believing Jon’s story, he accepts him into their group.

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Across the sea, we catch up with Daenerys and Jorah as they lead the Dothraki over the sea to Slaver Bay to see if they can purchase an army. The Dragons are getting big, the size of large dogs now, and are more of a threat than before. In the final scene, we are also reacquainted with a character from Season One who steals the show. Ser Barristan Selmy, last seen after quitting Joffrey’s Kingsguard in epic fashion, returns and saves the life of Daenerys, pledging himself to her Queensguard.

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All in all, a terrific start! Hopefully next week with bring us updates on Arya, Bran, and Brienne and Jaime!

Doctor Who: The Bells of Saint John

Doctor Who returns after a terrific first half of season 7 to continue the story and build up to the 50th Anniversary this fall!

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The mystery of Clara Oswin Oswald continues as The Doctor, after a long period of contemplation in 1207AD, gets a phone call- from Clara! The girl who died twice is suddenly in modern London, and working, once again, as a governess. The Doctor arrives just as Walking WiFi Hotspot robots steal her soul! Seriously. This is Doctor Who, this shit happens all the time. He gets her soul back and uncovers a plot by some shadowy villain (the enemy of the season we presume) who has been devouring the minds/souls of humans for some years via the wifi network.

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This time, Clara survives, and the Doctor prepares to make her the new companion.

As always, Stephen Moffat has delivered a terrific script. Matt Smith continues to perform as a superb Doctor, and Jenna-Louise Coleman continues to captivate as Clara! This season has been something special so far. The season finale is this fall, for the 50th anniversary. This week, an announcement was made on who will be appearing in it…

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Hell….yeah.

The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 15: The Sorrowful Life

I think I am going to start reviewing the few Television shows I watch on this site. I will keep this one short and sweet. Spoilers abound.

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This is the next to last (Penultimate if you are fancy) episode of Season 3, which has been astoundingly good. This week’s episode was all about Merle Dixon, played by the always wonderful Michael Rooker.

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Rooker has taken this character to places I never expected. The Racist blowhard of Season 1 gave way to the warrior of season 3. Tonight took him to new heights. Merle finally chooses between good and evil.

In a previous episode, The Governor issued a “deal” to Rick and the Prison group- turn over Michonne (who took his eye and “killed” his daughter) and he would leave them alone. Now, there was no way that this deal was legit, and Rick knows it. However, there is a small chance that it might be their only way to avoid bloodshed. The choice- turn her over for torture and death, or fight. Rick decides to turn her over.

Merle, knowing that Rick would wuss out, takes Michonne and leads her out of the prison.

Merle guessed correctly, and Rick had a change of heart. Alas, it is too late, and he realizes that Merle has taken her. Daryl rushes after him. We are treated to some wonderful scenes of Merle and Michonne on the road to the meet with the Woodbury people. Along the way, we see hints that Merle is not a bad man. He had never taken a life before he hooked up with the Governor. In the end, Merle chooses good. He releases Michonne and heads out to fight the Governor’s troops alone.

Now, he does some damage, to be sure, to the Woodbury army, but in the end it is too much. The Governor bests Merle in a fight, and shoots him.

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By the time Daryl arrives to save his brother, it is too late. The Governor had shot him in the chest, not head. This insured that he would turn, leaving a horrific sight for Daryl.

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In the most heart wrenching scene of the season, worse than Laurie’s death, Daryl has to put down his now Zombified brother. Norman Reedus deserves an Emmy for this episode. Michael Rooker actually made us feel bad for Merle’s death- a hell of an achievement.

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The finale is on Sunday, and if it is anything like the comic, we are in for more heart wrenching and action packed stuff.

Entertainment Analysis by Superponte