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  1. I'm happy the show is back and curious to see how it ends, but I'm not really interested in either the evil commander OR the anomaly. I kind of wanted to see what happened if they all tried to live in a society and work out their conflicts, but fine. I LOL'd at the part where Hope gives Echo a note and says, "This was in my arm." Indra seemed weirdly quarrelsome to me, and then I was like, "After everything she's been through with these people, let her be cranky." I don't totally disagree, but this episode they also all agreed not to do anything to Russell, and then they left Clarke alone for five seconds and she decided to execute Russell and burn down the holy palace. It kind of goes to Raven's point that Clarke keeps making rash decisions that the rest of the group has to live with -- and, in this case, it's not like she had no other choice.
  2. It didn't even occur to me that that was supposed to be Mr. Honey. If it was, I guess it retroactively makes more sense why the show would suddenly tell us he was a great, great man -- that's what they like to do when a character dies. Speaking of Jughead's story -- are we meant to infer that whoever's making the videos read Jughead's story? Like... maybe Dark Betty is the videographer? Or the Stonewall people put spy software on Jughead's computer? We know he changed it before he actually mailed it to the university, so...
  3. This was really funny in the LOL-at-Riverdale way that I enjoy, but I also kind of liked the twist where Jughead realized the principal wasn't evil, and the story-within-a-story format. KJ Apa continues to impress me, since he was clearly playing Archie as imagined by Jughead rather than normal Archie, and the difference wasn't huge but it was noticeable and fun. The yearbook thing hit close to home for me, because I've worked in print production before, and I feel both the pain of having a slow approval process when you're running out of time AND the pain of having people blow their deadlines like it's NBD. No one is the monster in that scenario -- it's an evil inherent in the process! Same. I laughed at the sequence where all of the parents stormed the school to demand that he un-cancel prom, because all I could think was, "This is the moment Mr. Honey understands why his students are this way." On a better show, you could tell an interesting story about the Principal who was sometimes wrong about some things, but also right about some things -- on Riverdale, he has to be all right or all wrong.
  4. First of all, credit where credit's due: if you want to find out where the messed-up porn is, you ask the LARPer at your school. A+ 100% that is the first factually accurate plot point on Riverdale since someone explained Bumble. I'm confused about the video store. Reggie made a website this episode to host his awful videos, so we know that internet porn exists -- and it is the internet porn the principal objected to, since that's the stuff where they were wearing their jackets. But the show leads us to think the reason the principal knew about the website was because he hangs out in the secret psychopath porn section of the video store. So... I guess those movies start by showing you a murder and end with a PSA explaining that the internet exists? I'm going to reserve judgement about where this tickle porn story is going but, in real life, something is sexual if one of the people involved thinks it's sexual, even if that person is "just" paying to watch you do it. Reasonable people can decide that they still want to take the money, but Kevin is totally wrong that doing something legal with your clothes on means it's not porn, and I really hope someone explains that to him before the end of this. I had the same thought, but I'll let it go because I remembered that previous seasons have established Hiram only had one guy: his teenage daughter's boyfriend, whom he kept getting in fights with. I think maybe there used to be another guy before that, but he got shot? But, yeah. The show seems to forget that, in order for Hiram to be boss of something, he needs other people involved.
  5. I agree. I think it was a way to make sure we knew he was being transphobic as fast as possible, but, from a storytelling POV, the obvious counter-argument would have been "What's wrong with the specific song I chose?" and it's annoying that no one even tried that. Also, I just personally dislike this Glee thing where one of the characters claims that a certain album perfectly speaks to their entire generation as a way to intro the episode. Maybe put more effort into making the songs serve as an interesting compliment or juxtaposition to the story, and let us judge that for ourselves. Though, they did miss the comedy gold that comes from having dark Betty sing a song about how putting on a wig can cheer you up.
  6. There's something that just feels right to me about the idea that these four characters start a band and only rehearse once, and half of them don't show up to the rehearsal. I also thought that was funny -- like, if your plan is to protest by having everyone sing Hedwig songs at the talent show, maybe don't keep warning him ahead of time? Also, not to sound too sympathetic to a character I'm pretty sure we're supposed to hate, but... imagine if you were a principal and this was your school. Word. That was a very disturbing video, and it made me curious about where this story line's headed. Although I think it's headed toward Charles.
  7. Sometimes we talk about a show being plot-driven or character-driven, but this episode was an example of a different thing where the events don't really make sense for the plot or the characters, but they make sense for setting up a melodramatic moment for the audience... which then rings hollow because it doesn't make sense for the plot or characters. I laughed when Picard insisted that he had to talk to Soji on an open channel so that everyone could hear him movingly talk her into cancelling the kraken attack, and then when Soji beamed Picard down to the planet not because she had a way to help him, but because it was more dramatic if he died surrounded by all of the other characters. I didn't laugh when Data showed up, but I was kind of confused by it because, if you're going to write a scenario where Data's consciousness still exists somewhere in the midst of all this, why wouldn't you find a way for him to participate in the story instead of just showing up at the end to bum everyone out? (Honestly, I didn't think Picard would die, but I thought there was a chance Patrick Stewart would bounce after the first season and Picard's consciousness would be in a different body, played by a new actor, so it felt like an extra, EXTRA cop-out that he made it though the whole thing unscathed, but whatever).
  8. LMAO that was so dumb. I can't even pick my favourite part. When the mysterious hellish synth intelligence turned out to be a space kraken that got sucked back into its portal? When Picard was saved from death and went, "Amaze. Let's unplug Data"? When Elnor, the neediest Romulan, just walked up to Raffi and cried? I think it actually has to be the scene where Rios and Seven were bonding because they'd both done something they regretted, and Seven was like, "I killed someone just because I hated them again," and Rios was like, "Okay, cool. Mine is that I got attached to an authority figure." On the one hand, I'm happy for the fifteen-year-old version of me would would have really liked to have a gay or bi character on my favorite TV show. On the other hand, it's been 20 years and the best they can give me is awkwardly holding someone's hand for five seconds. I agree with this. I had literally just thought, "Wow, I think I like Seven with Rios, now," when we randomly got that panning shot letting us know who all the couples were. This is a fair point, on both counts. This is a nitpick in a sea of much more glaring problems with their plan, but was it really awesome to bring the most garbage person Soji's ever met and let him plead with her to spare organic life? I know there's an excuse where they used him to get past the guards, but... I do think it would have been a much more interesting choice, dramatically, if she had been faced with a decision that revolved around saving the most garbage person she'd ever met rather than people who were trying to help her.
  9. Wow. I feel affection for Picard as a character, but Raffi needs a better friend. He seriously just told her he was dying at the exact same time as he told a bunch of strangers he just met. That's cold. I laughed a little bit when Gold Soji explained that the admonition isn't "Synthetic life will destroy the organics (scary)" but rather, if you know how to listen to it, "Synthetic life will destroy the organics (happy)." At the same time, I did like that moment (heavy-handed as it was) where Picard was like, "I will save u, androids, run into my arms and give me control of the situation!" and they were all like, "HOW ABOUT NO." The story was kind of convoluted, but it was exciting and it had a point of view that I still enjoyed.
  10. I just listened to the audiobook and I'm not sure what to think. I enjoyed it (and I particularly enjoyed listening to Ann Dowd read for Lydia), but I feel like it's almost a fanfic about how the breakout character from the TV show was secretly a really good person who we can root for, and also wouldn't it be funny if a normal teen sassed back everyone in Gilead. One of my complaints from the TV show is that I don't get what Lydia's deal is, and, in this book -- partly because I'm not sure how much I'm supposed to consider the TV show canon -- I still don't get what Lydia's deal is. I can draw a line that connects pre-Gilead Lydia to Lydia at the end of this book, but the line doesn't naturally pass through the stuff she's done on TV. I also thought it was interesting that the epilogue mirrored the first book, and had some dude give a lecture about the story we just read that totally missed the point.
  11. I didn't dislike this, but I felt like it was cramming a lot of interesting ideas into a single episode without stopping to explore any of them fully. Like Seven's extremely weighty choice to make a new borg collective and her worry that she wouldn't want to let them disconnect after. Or Agnes deciding she doesn't want to destroy the synths anymore because Soji's such a miracle. I did enjoy that Raffi being a weird, outcast conspiracy nut was finally useful for everyone, because she put together the whole improbable story of how the Romulans were behind everything, but I wish that even that had had more room to breathe. I have the opposite reaction. I kind of like that they're not explaining it in detail, because it lets my imagination fill in something super scary -- probably worse than whatever they'd actually depict. When they were talking cryptically about how "someone really bad shows up" if you allow AI to evolve too much, I got a little creeped out. I also just kind of like the idea of being able to take it as written that whatever this sacred, terrifying memory is, it's really as bad as it sounds, and it makes sense that the villains are freaked out about it (even if I'm pretty sure their vision has the same stock footage of a fox decomposing as 20 other shows). I think, if they tell us super specifically what it is, it opens the door for us to decide everyone's being weird and it's not that bad.
  12. LMAO at Jughead sitting in the bunker for weeks (months?) coming up with literary allusions he can use when he traps all of his hateful writing school chums and makes them listen to him explain his own murder. Also LMAO at how bored and annoyed Donna looked listening to him. The actor playing her was giving a really big performance, but I loved it. I was expecting/hoping that maybe at the end of their big explanation they would suddenly realize they made a terrible mistake and Charles was working against them all along, and then that twist would take us into the end of the season, but oh well. Charles is very patient about his revenge. Something I did not like: Riverdale's bizarro sense of justice where, if someone's a really bad person, that means you can assault them and it's NBD. I felt like I was supposed to laugh at Brett getting beat up by gang members thanks to a corrupt FBI agent, but that's horrible. Also, Riverdale's bizarro sense of justice where the only thing that matters is whether your actions hurt one of the main characters. I love how matter-of-fact she was about it. Like, "That's what secret girlfriends do." I think I would enjoy a version of this show where everyone just owned being completely evil and there was no pretense that they were ever going to do the right thing. I was uncomfortable with these two things in relation to each other. Because, the show's kind of like, "What did Donna really do? She attempted to murder Jughead, and that's not cool, but she can live in peace as long as she gives up the book contract... Oh, also I guess she killed Jonathan but who cares?" This fits into a larger pattern where Riverdale has a bad track record with black characters -- it treats them like they're aliens or something and there's no possible way to let them participate in the story except by standing in the back of a group shot while a white character does something, and then it just gets rid of them. It's creepy.
  13. I looked it up to be sure, and Troi's dead sister was named Kestra, too, which is a nice detail. I liked this one, and don't have much to say about it. But the sequence I particularly enjoyed was the conversation between Soji and Troi, and then Picard and Troi, where Soji said that Troi being super nice to her made her seem less trustworthy rather than more, and then Troi told Picard that other people have had different experiences than he has, and their feelings can be just as valid. I thought it captured what the show's trying to do (or what I think it's trying to do), and I got unexpectedly emotional about it, remembering times in my own life when someone dismissed what I was saying and I didn't have someone like Troi to back me up. I'm so on the fence about this show.
  14. Glad to see Alice is still the worst journalist. Alternative title for her documentary: You know who's still alive? Kevin! ft. Reggie, Pop Tate, and not Jonathan, I guess. I think my favourite part of the documentary was actually when she started interviewing Veronica about whether she thought Archie was going to cheat on her with Betty. Like, imagine if your best friend's mom was holding a camcorder and saying this to you. If they jump forward in time, like some people are speculating, then I could see them mixing up all the pairings to give themselves a fresh start -- even if the ships ultimately come back to this arrangement in the end. I loved how, after FP went from 0 to "Screw you I quit!" Hiram just stood there and straightened his jacket like, "That went way, way better than I thought." Now he can just get a new Sheriff and he doesn't have to be responsible for ousting the old one. I loved how Pop looked so happy talking about Riverdale and Alice was just like, "That must make it extra hard to live with all the murders." You don't know that, Alice. Maybe he loves Riverdale because he loves living on the Hellmouth. Don't make assumptions. New theory: Riverdale takes place in a hellish pocket universe created by the demon Pop to torture people for self-absorbed.
  15. So, Narek's plan was to get the information from Soji without freaking her out, so that she wouldn't activate. Then, after talking to his sister, he tells her the thing that will most freak her out, and the whole thing ends with her activating. I think maybe he cares about her after all, and made her activate on purpose so she could protect herself from his sister, but he could still get the intel he wanted and have plausible deniability. For the rest... I realized part way through that whatever this show tells me about Romulans isn't cannon to me. Also, Picard has been on Borg ships lots of times since he was assimilated and he dealt with it. If anything, he should be freaking out because it reminds him of Data getting killed, but that's not the plot line they want to explore right now. I also still wish I got to hear what Seven of Nine thinks of this cube.
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