Friday, August 22, 2014

Rectify Season 2 Finale: Talk about Cliff Hangers!

Whew - talk about cliff-hangers!   The season 2 finale of Rectify was about the steepest psychological cliff and the most sudden hang I've ever seen on a television series.

Here's what I think is about clear as day about what happened to Hanna, revealed before the cliff-hanger.

Daniel didn't kill her.   He tells the truth about happened before he says he killed her, just to get the plea deal on the way.  And the truth is that he watched as George and Trey and who knows who else actually killed Hanna.  But he didn't kill her.   Indeed, he put her legs back together in a more modest position and covered her private parts with wildflowers.   That was the aftermath of a depraved act, but the depravity was in what Daniel saw not what he did.

And he feels guilty because he was frozen.   He also feels guilty about what he did to Teddy, Jr last week (in narrative time, last season in terms of when we saw it).  His admission to Tawney is not enough to relieve him of all of this guilt, which is why he wants to leave.

His very admission to Tawney shows he didn't kill Hanna.  He tells Tawney that he learned how to be violent in prison - or well after Hanna was killed.   Amantha knows he's innocent, too - in her heart - which is why, in just a beautifully played scene, she tells Daniel that if he accepts the plea deal and leaves home she won't reach out to him any more.   She can't abide his denial of what she knows so deeply in her soul is true:  Daniel is a good person.

But here's where we are, and what we'll have to wait on until the next season.  George's body is found in the river. That's good.  But Teddy, Jr. - who, even if I try hard, I just can't feel sorry for - tells the sheriff about the coffee grounds, which information is duly passed on the Prosecutor.

So will this kill the plea deal?  I'd guess that it will.  Which will keep Daniel home and in the mix.   And he'll be liable not only for a retrial for Hanna's murder, but a new trial for his assault on Teddy, Jr.

A fine, excruciating set-up indeed for Season 3.  Bring it on!

See also Rectify 2.1: Indelible ... Rectify 2.2: True Real Time ... Rectify 2.3: Daniel's Motives ... Rectify 2.4: Jekyll and Hyde ... Rectify 2.6: Rare Education ... Rectify 2.7: The Plot Thickens ... Rectify 2.8: The Plea Bargain and the Smart Phone ... Rectify 2.9: Dancing in the Dark

And see also Rectify: Sheer and Shattering Poetry ... Rectify 1.5: Balloon Man ... Rectify Season 1 Finale: Searingly Anti-Climactic

 
another kind of capital punishment

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Bridge 2.7: Major Business

Major doings on the taut, powerful episode of The Bridge 2.7 last night -





  • Fausto has David killed.  This is a significant moment, because Fausto does this after he hears Marco's explanation for why Marco didn't do it.  Fausto clearly sees through Marco's rationalization.  And now Marco is even more indebted to Fausto, whether he wants this or not.
  • Hank admits to Sonya that he killed her sister's killer.  Although Hank genuinely apologizes to Sonya - who says she became a cop before she so admired Hank - the elephant in the room is that Hank doesn't need to apologize.  Yeah, he took matters into his own hand, but ridding the world of a sick psycho multi-killer requires no apology.
  • Adriana's lady lover is apparently brutally murdered, though she's able to kill her attacker.  I say "apparently," because you never know for sure on television, unless someone's head is blown cleanly off, and even then you can't be 100% sure.  But Adriana and Daniel are clearly being drawn into the deadly center of this season's narrative, which is good for the story.
  • Marco sleeps with a woman who looks familiar, if I got that right in the dark bar and after.  It was good to see Marco get some loving, but would have been even better  had the woman some connection to the major story lines in the series.  When I heard her tell Marco that her daughter disappeared, I thought for a second that maybe she was the mother of the younger woman Linder has been taking care of.   Linder is being drawn into the center of this season's story, too, rather than being in the distant outskirts as he was last season, and I'd like to see him drawn in even more.
All in all, this is a much tighter season than last year's, in which there was a strong central story and a lot of interesting, almost disparate threads around the edges.   This year, it's increasingly clear that most or all of characters are on the same page, which makes the remaining episodes especially important and intriguing.

See also The Bridge 2.1: What Motivates Sonya? ... The Bridge 2.2: First-Class Serial Killer ... The Bridge 2.3: Marco's Dilemma ... The Bridge 2.4: Marco Redeemed and Mr. Writ Large ... The Bridge 2.5: The Soul of the Not-Killer

And see also The Bridge Opens Brooding and Valent ... The Bridge 1.2: A Tale of Two Beds ... The Bridge 1.6: Revelations ... The Bridge 1.7: A Killer and a Reluctant Professor ... The Bridge 1.8: Some Dark Poetic Justice ... The Bridge 1.9: Trade-Off ... The Bridge 1.10: Charlotte's Evolution ... The Bridge 1.11: Put to the Test ... The Bridge Season 1 Finale: Marco Joins Mackey and Agnew

 
another kind of crime story

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tyrant 1.9: Tariq

In many ways the pivotal character of Tyrant 1.9 last night was Tariq.

First, it's clever indeed to mask Barry's gathering coup with the lie that Tariq is plotting a coup against Jamal.   This works for Barry because, as he tells us later, Tariq betrayed Barry's father Khaled, when Tariq attacked the Sheikh's people to undermine the peace Khaled was close to successfully negotiating with the Sheikh.

Barry plays this Tariq-coup card perfectly, not only with Jamal but with Leila, who is as ready to believe as is Jamal that Tariq is plotting to overthrow her husband.   What Barry has going for him at this critical juncture, of course, is  the trust that Jamal and Leila now have for him, since Barry in fact put the final nail in the Sheikh's coffin, at the crucial moment.

Which of the two - Jamal or Leila - will guess or see the truth first?  Likely Leila, not only because she's smarter than Jamal, but also because she a little more distance from the events.  The depth of Jamal's commitment to Barry is clearly seen when Jamal warns Tariq not to slander his good brother - a deliciously ironic moment, since the jailing of Tariq that led to his verbal slashing of Barry is part of the very plot by Barry to take Jamal's place.

But what will or would Leila do if and when she realizes what's actually going on?  As I mentioned last week, I think a part of Leila may not be completely sad to see Jamal gone, especially with Barry in his place and Molly gone back to the states.   She feels guilty now that her denial of Jamal's daydream of retiring to the Maldives put Jamal in such a vulnerable position, but just how far this guilt will go remains unclear.

All of this - including how Leila feels about this - hinges on what will happen to Jamal after the coup.  I can't see Barry killing him - he doesn't even want Tariq killed.  But if the coup succeeds, which I'd say is likely, can Barry afford to have Jamal hanging around?  Or will Jamal go, with or without Leila, to the Maldives - or, who knows, to the United States?

Should be a great season finale next week.

See also: Tyrant: Compelling Debut ... Tyrant 1.2: The Brother's Speech and His Wife ... Tyrant 1.3: A New Leaf? ... Tyrant 1.4: Close to the Bone ...Tyrant 1.6: Don't Mess with Jamal ... Tyrant 1.7-8: Coup

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Falling Skies 4.9: To the Moon, Anne, To the Moon!

The big story development in Falling Skies 2.9 - the second good episode in a row - is the discovery that the Espheni are controlling their operations from a base on the moon - on our moon, that is.  This leads to a good rendition by Tom of JFK's exhortation that we'll get to the moon by the end of the decade - the 1960s - except, of course, that Tom wants to start working on this right away.

Anne, sometimes the voice of reason, thinks it's a crazy, unworkable idea.  But Tom talk her into it, even before they're formally married, in a nice ceremony performed old reliable Weaver.   But it's good to see the moon brought into Falling Skies.

The moon, unsurprisingly, has been the focus of some of the best science fiction ever written, ranging from Robert Heinlein's Moon is Harsh Mistress to David S. Michaels and Daniel Brenton's Red Moon, the best science fiction novel that you probably never heard of.   And what's not to like about the moon as part of the story of Falling Skies?  It's a great locale because, after all, we indeed actually set foot on it in 1969, and a few times after, though nowhere nearly enough.

Indeed, the Espheni use of the moon can be seen as a good argument for us to get cracking as a species and get ourself on the moon in a more permanent way.   If we had actually done that by now in our reality, we might have seen the Espheni approaching before they wreaked havoc on us, and might have even be able to take out their base.

But, then, there would gave been no Falling Skies, and though I wouldn't have missed the show all that much earlier this season, it's finally come alive in the month of August.   Looks like some good episodes ahead this season and next.

See Red Moon: The Best Novel You Likely Never Heard Of

See also Falling Skies 4.1: Weak Start ... Falling Skies 4.2: Enemy of my Enemy ... Falling Skies 4.3: Still Falling ... Falling Skies 4.5: Cloudy ...Falling Skies 4.7: Massacre Indeed ... Falling Skies 4.8: Spike ... Falling Skies Espheni: How to Pronounce?

And see also Falling Skies 3.1-2: It's the Acting ... Falling Skies 3.3: The Smile ... Falling Skies 3.4: Hal vs. Ben ... Falling Skies 3.6: The Masons ...Falling Skies 3.7: The Mole and a Likely Answer ... Falling Skies 3.8: Back Cracked Home ... Falling Skies Season 3 Finale: Dust in Hand

And see also Falling Skies Returns  ... Falling Skies 2.6: Ben's Motives ... Falling Skies Second Season Finale

And see also Falling Skies 1.1-2 ... Falling Skies 1.3 meets Puppet Masters ... Falling Skies 1.4: Drizzle ... Falling Skies 1.5: Ben ... Falling Skies 1.6: Fifth Column ... Falling Skies 1.7: The Fate of Traitors ... Falling Skies 1.8: Weaver's Story ... Falling Skies Concludes First Season

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no moon, no aliens, but other strange stuff

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Falling Skies Espheni: How to Pronounce

As we wait for tonight's episode of Falling Skies, I thought it might be a good time to check in with a question: how do you pronounced Espheni?

Hal pronounces it exactly as written - as it it were spelled Esfeni - but his father Tom goes for the more Yiddish pronunciation, Eshpheni, almost Eshphveni.   Both have extensive experience with these alien overlords, so both would be in a good position to know how to pronounce their name.  Who is right, father or son?

It's tempting to think Tom is right, and Hal is doing the same thing to Eshphveni as Barry White did to "shtick" in his 1973 hit, "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up," where he sang out, "Quittin' just ain't my stick."  Not to beat the late, great Barry over the head with a stick about this, but that's a pretty bad (in a bad way) rendition of shtick, tantamount to saying someone is a "smuck" when you mean he's a "schmuck".

It's also reminiscent to me of the mispronunciation of a friend's name, Wachtel, in which the "ch" is supposed to be pronounced the same as the "ch" in Chanuka, itself often mispronounced Hanukah. Lots of people, who can't do that  "ch" sound, pronounce Wachtel's name as if it were spelled Watchtel - like a watch.  Others go for "Wacktel," as if it were spelled "Woktel," like a wok.  Some just give up completely and go for Wa'tel, which does have an adventurous Arabic flavor.

But back to Falling Skies, how can we find out the right way to pronounce Espheni?   The Volm pronounce it the way Tom does, but they're are not a reliable resource, because they have their own issues with the murderous aliens.   Neither are humans who have been taken over by them, since that happened to Tom and Hal, and the two have such distinctly different pronunciations.

We could look for an Espheni pronouncing his or her own name - that is, the name of their people - but, alas, the alien species is apparently not able to vocalize, except for a grunt or two when they're wounded.

I think I'm going to go with Tom's pronunciation.  He's after all the father.  And Weaver pronounces it like Tom, too. And Hal's pronunciation also reminds me of another friend, who years ago said he wanted to get a nosh in perfect pronunciation, but then blew it by saying he was in the mood for a "nish," that delicious potato concoction otherwise pronounced "knish" with the "k" and the "n" both prominent.

See also Falling Skies 4.1: Weak Start ... Falling Skies 4.2: Enemy of my Enemy ... Falling Skies 4.3: Still Falling ... Falling Skies 4.5: Cloudy ...Falling Skies 4.7: Massacre Indeed ... Falling Skies 4.8: Spike

And see also Falling Skies 3.1-2: It's the Acting ... Falling Skies 3.3: The Smile ... Falling Skies 3.4: Hal vs. Ben ... Falling Skies 3.6: The Masons ...Falling Skies 3.7: The Mole and a Likely Answer ... Falling Skies 3.8: Back Cracked Home ... Falling Skies Season 3 Finale: Dust in Hand

And see also Falling Skies Returns  ... Falling Skies 2.6: Ben's Motives ... Falling Skies Second Season Finale

And see also Falling Skies 1.1-2 ... Falling Skies 1.3 meets Puppet Masters ... Falling Skies 1.4: Drizzle ... Falling Skies 1.5: Ben ... Falling Skies 1.6: Fifth Column ... Falling Skies 1.7: The Fate of Traitors ... Falling Skies 1.8: Weaver's Story ... Falling Skies Concludes First Season

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no mispronunciations here


Friday, August 15, 2014

Rectify 2.9: Dancing in the Dark

Another beautiful, sad, powerful, altogether blue episode of Rectify tonight - 2.9 - which pretty much reverses most of the major threads we saw last week. That would be astonishing for most television series, but not for Rectify,  which never fails to surprise and shatter our expectations, in the best possible way.

Last week, in Rectify 2.8, it looked like the book was pretty much closing on the Daniel and Tawny chapter.  But tonight's episode ends with the two of them dancing alone and tenderly in a room late at night.  The way they got there is also significant - Tawny lost her baby, which was the all-but-irreversible obstacle to she and Daniel getting together.

They're not together yet - just dancing in the quiet of night isn't quite together - but this move also could be the basis for reversing another turn of events.  Last week, it looked as if Daniel, by insisting on no time served, was saying no to the plea deal.  This week, the state's offer has changed to just Daniel banished from the state of Georgia - an offer that is not without its appeal to Daniel, given his high load of guilt.

Amantha of course doesn't want Daniel to do this.   He can't even bring himself to tell his mother he's considering this.  Jon tells Amantha that he'll talk Daniel into rejecting the deal - but Daniel is not that easy to be talked out of anything.  Will the availability of Tawny - if she's now available - change his mind?  It's more likely than anything else to get him not to want to leave Georgia, unless she leaves with him.

Meanwhile, the sheriff is finally beginning to look into George's absence, and this may well provide the key to what happened on that fateful night.   The season finale is next week, and I've to say I've enjoyed every episode this season nothing less than immensely.

See also Rectify 2.1: Indelible ... Rectify 2.2: True Real Time ... Rectify 2.3: Daniel's Motives ... Rectify 2.4: Jekyll and Hyde ... Rectify 2.6: Rare Education ... Rectify 2.7: The Plot Thickens ... Rectify 2.8: The Plea Bargain and the Smart Phone

And see also Rectify: Sheer and Shattering Poetry ... Rectify 1.5: Balloon Man ... Rectify Season 1 Finale: Searingly Anti-Climactic

 
another kind of capital punishment

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Obama Weak in Protecting Citizens and Journalists in Ferguson

Obama's words an hour ago about what has been going on in Ferguson, Missouri were better than nothing, but a little late and, typically, a little weak.

The situation in Ferguson could not be more clearcut:  Under the First Amendment, people have the right to peaceably assemble to protest, which means not being teargassed, and not have police who look like an invading force in Iraq point all kinds of military weapons at you.   Under the First Amendment, reporters have the right - the obligation - to convey what is happening before them to the American people, and not be arrested as happened to two reporters (one of whom works for the Washington Post - African-American, perhaps not coincidentally).   When citizens and journalists are threatened and arrested by local police, it is the duty of the President to send in the National Guard to protect the people and physically restrain the police when necessary.

All of this, of course, in addition to the apparent murder of Michael Brown requiring justice.

It's unfortunately not surprising that Obama has done so little to protect the people in Ferguson.   He said little or nothing when the out of control cop pepper sprayed an innocent student in California during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.   He said nothing against Michael Bloomberg's consistent use of New York police to trample on the rights of citizens, journalists, and citizen journalists during Occupy Wall Street.   As I described at length in New New Media, it's a good thing that courageous people recorded some of this police misconduct on their phones.

MSNBC did a great job last night in providing live, ongoing coverage of the events in Ferguson.  Not so much the New York Times, which put the Ferguson story below the fold in today's edition, with Iraq on top (fair enough, maybe), accompanied by stories about the Bloomberg era at Rikers, poverty in America, and college sports (totally ridiculous!).   Perhaps if the arrested reporter had been working for the New York Times, the events in Ferguson would have received better coverage from the newspaper of record.

This is not the first time in American history that the Federal government has been required to step in when the local authorities have been violating the law to the peril of its citizens.   Eisenhower did it in the 1950s, and Kennedy in the 1960s, to protect citizens who were being blocked by local authorities from attending their schools.   In both cases, the National Guard was sent in to literally push the local authorities aside.

As Obama concludes his second term, he might want to think about this.   At this point, regarding the protection of the constitutional rights of American citizens, he not only has been no JFK, he's been no Eisenhower.   But there's still time for Obama to do the right thing.   I urge him to do so - as Representative John Lewis and others in the legislative branch have requested - before further damage is done to the American people.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tyrant 1.7-8: Coup

Well, I missed Tyrant 1.7 last week, so just saw it and Tyrant 1. tonight, and I'm glad I did, because they make a compelling and pivotal pair.

Jamal was at his most powerful at the end of 1.5, when he apparently killed the Sheikh. We find in 1.6 that he didn't quite do it.   And it takes Barry to step up and make the murder complete.   This epitomizes the relationship between Jamal and Barry that is at the heart of this series:  Jamal is an incomplete tyrant.  He needs Barry to lead fully and effectively, including killing a mortal enemy.

But Barry doesn't see things that way, and his killing of the Sheikh, to clean up his brother's mess, pushes him over an edge he was already hovering close to.   Jamal may need Barry, but what does Barry get from Jamal?   Not much, except deadly predicaments that Barry has to think his and the country's way out of.  And that being the case, wouldn't it be easier for Barry if Jamal wasn't there at all - leaving the country totally Barry's to rule?

The irony is that Jamal was the verge of going to the Maldives, if not with his wife than with the beautiful blonde American.   He was already all too ready to leave Abuddin anyway.  But with the Sheikh out of the way,  he can stay.  He kills the blonde, presumably to leave no trace - other than his wife Leila - of his desire to leave the country.   But what that murder most shows is the depravity of Jamal.  The attempted killing of the Sheikh at least had a political motive.  The smothering of the blonde has a much greater ratio of sociopathy.

Leila has a crucial role in the near future of all of this, as well.   She was proud of Jamal when he told her what he did to the Sheikh.  Her thoughts about Barry when Jamal tells her what Barry did to the Sheikh were not as clear, but there was presumably some admiration there, too.

So, with Molly out of the country, and Jamal pushed out of the Presidency by Barry, what will Leila do? Likely try to get together with Barry - if the story goes that far in that direction, which will be fun indeed to see.

See also: Tyrant: Compelling Debut ... Tyrant 1.2: The Brother's Speech and His Wife ... Tyrant 1.3: A New Leaf? ... Tyrant 1.4: Close to the Bone ... Tyrant 1.6: Don't Mess with Jamal

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Hell on Wheels 4.1-2: Rolling Again

Hell on Wheels came back for its 4th Season Saturday before last, and has chugged in with two fine episodes.

Most appealing is Cullen's devotion to his new wife and baby.   Cullen's even sleeping with Naomi in season 3 was a breakthrough for the character, who was much more circumspect - and boring, in this regard - in previous seasons.   We could only assume that Cullen felt some kind of deep attraction to the Mormon farmer's daughter, and, if that was the case, it was satisfying and not surprising to see Cullen not only standing by but enjoying his new family in episodes 4.1-2.   (There's a new actress playing Naomi, but that's fine.)

Cullin's confrontation with the Swede ("I'm Norwegian!"), masquerading as the bishop he killed, was also satisfying.   As cannily demented and dangerous as the Swede is, he has never been a match for Cullen and his intelligence face to face.

The other big news in season 4 is Ulysses S. Grant's appointment of Campbell as provisional governor of Wyoming, the current forward point of the railroad.   Campbell is well-played by Jake Weber (last seen to good effect as Joe on Medium, and to not such good effect as a lunatic cult-leader on The Following), and the character will provide a good opponent to Durant, and likely Cullen as well, before this season is over.  Indeed, Durant will need Cullen to stand up to Campbell and his well-dressed men, the cutting violent edge of civilization.

One looming question is what happened to Elam, last seen at the end of season 3 on the wrong end of a bear.  We learn that his horse came back but not Elam, and since Common's name is not in the credits, it's not unreasonable to conclude that the bear consumed him.  However, I think Elam is far too important and powerful a character leave the series this way, or in any way at this point.   I'm looking forward to seeing Cullen go out and find him.

And I'm looking forward to this season of Hell on Wheels in any case.  The series continues to get better, was good in the first place, and is a pleasure to see.

See also Hell on Wheels 3.1-2: Bohannan in Command ... Hell on Wheels 3.3: Talking and Walking ... Hell on Wheels 3.4: Extreme Lacrosse ... Hell on Wheels 3.5: The Glove ... Hell on Wheels 3.6: The Man in Charge ...Hell on Wheels 3.7: Water, Water ... Hell on Wheels 3.8: Canterbury Tales ...Hell on Wheels 3.9: Shoot-Out and Truths ... Hell on Wheels Season 3 finale: Train Calling in the Distance

And see also  Hell on Wheels: Blood, Sweat, and Tears on the Track, and the Telegraph ... Hell on Wheels 1.6: Horse vs. Rail ... Hell on Wheels 1.8: Multiple Tracks ... Hell on Wheels 1.9: Historical Inevitable and Unknown ... Hell on Wheels Season One Finale: Greek Tragedy, Western Style

 
deeper history

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Falling Skies 4.8: Spike

Finally, a decent episode of Falling Skies - 4.8 - on TNT last night.

The best part was the Maggie story.  As I suspected, she was not killed last week, only badly wounded and paralyzed.   The only way to save her is by grafting some alien spikes into her back, which Ben is more than willing to provide, at great risk to himself.  Maggie tells Hal she'd rather die than have anything alien be a part of her, but Hal correctly ignores this, and Maggie recovers.

Two significant things happen after that.  Maggie slaps Hal for ignoring her wishes, then passionately kisses him for saving her life.  That was the right response.  (Anne, in one of her better lines, comments "back to normal" as she watches this with Tom.)   Meanwhile, a beat or two before, when Hal thanks Ben, we get this significant line from Ben in response: I didn't do it for you.   So Hal is now aware of how Ben feels about Maggie, if he wasn't before.  That's a good thing for the narrative arc.

Meanwhile, the other person who struck me as really notable in this episode was Weaver.  He has evolved from the gruff military man into perhaps the most sympathetic and supportive characters on the show.   His support of Matt, digging for Tom, when Weaver himself didn't have much hope, was commendable, winning, and quietly moving.

So what's left for this series?   Speaking of Weaver, you can see just how far the human military response to the aliens has declined in the past few years.  Our heroes are little more than a rag-tag group of survivors, holding on for dear life.   What can we see, now in evidence, that will enable a human victory?

Maybe Lexi will revert her loyalty once again, this time back to her mother.  Maybe our people will discover some weakness in the bad aliens that they and we don't already know.   Or maybe there won't be a victory at the end at all.

But I think not, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out, this year and next.

See also Falling Skies 4.1: Weak Start ... Falling Skies 4.2: Enemy of my Enemy ... Falling Skies 4.3: Still Falling ... Falling Skies 4.5: Cloudy ... Falling Skies 4.7: Massacre Indeed

And see also Falling Skies 3.1-2: It's the Acting ... Falling Skies 3.3: The Smile ... Falling Skies 3.4: Hal vs. Ben ... Falling Skies 3.6: The Masons ...Falling Skies 3.7: The Mole and a Likely Answer ... Falling Skies 3.8: Back Cracked Home ... Falling Skies Season 3 Finale: Dust in Hand

And see also Falling Skies Returns  ... Falling Skies 2.6: Ben's Motives ... Falling Skies Second Season Finale

And see also Falling Skies 1.1-2 ... Falling Skies 1.3 meets Puppet Masters ... Falling Skies 1.4: Drizzle ... Falling Skies 1.5: Ben ... Falling Skies 1.6: Fifth Column ... Falling Skies 1.7: The Fate of Traitors ... Falling Skies 1.8: Weaver's Story ... Falling Skies Concludes First Season

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Ray Donovan 2.5: Wool over Eyes

A good Ray Donovan last night, in which the biggest event in the narrative is the way that Ray, Mickey, and Cochran get on the same page and manage to pull the wool over Kate's eyes.

She's a sharp cookie, so it's not clear how long this wool will be pulled, once she gets back to Boston, or even if she decides at the very last minute not to board the plane.   Cochran's presence, and the gravity of his office is what sold the phony story. There's no way that Kate otherwise would have believed what Ray and Mickey told her - she has Ray's number down pretty well.

That Ray and Cochran could unite for any common cause is itself almost amazing.   It shows that, when it comes to his pursuit of power, nothing will stand in Cochran's way, including playing ball with someone who Cochran is beginning to see is his most dangerous adversary, Ray.

At this point, Cochran doesn't know the half of it, and certainly not that Ray is moving towards decisive leverage over Cochran with the information about Cochran's affair.   That information, if it ever got out, would easily blow Cochran's ambitions sky high.  We've already seen that Cochran is more than willing to kill to protect his interests, which means that Ray, everyone in his family, in addition to Cochran's agents are at risk if he gets wind of what Ray is looking into.

Otherwise, this was a good Abby episode, not least because of the nude from the waist up selfie she sends along to the cop who's her new infatuation.  Ray, as always, is beset by dangers and provocations in every facet of his life.  With Mickey somewhat in tow now - and, again, I have to say this is Jon Voight's best performance since Midnight Cowboy, really exceptional (and all acting in this series is top notch) - Ray will sooner or later have to deal with his own marriage, now even more on the verge of spinning out of control.

See also Ray Donovan 2.1: Back in Business ... Ray Donovan 2.4: The Bad Guy

And see also Ray Donovan Debuts with Originality and Flair ... Ray Donovan 1.2: His Assistants and his Family ... Ray Donovan 1.3: Mickey ... Ray Donovan 1.7 and Whitey Bulger ... Ray Donovan 1.8: Poetry and Death ... Ray Donovan Season 1 Finale: The Beginning of Redemption


 also has some questionable FBI agents

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