Monday, April 30, 2012

Mad Men 5.7: People of High Degree

Well, Megan's father certainly has one, formally - as we find out in Mad Men 5.7, he has a PhD - but as for his humanity, and most of the rest of the characters, we get another stellar performance to the contrary, in this fine, feisty episode.

Back on the "beans, beans, the musical fruit" front, Megan comes up with a great idea for pain-in-the-ass Heinz: a commercial that will show families eating Heinz throughout the ages, from prehistoric times to the present and on to the Moon in the future.   It's a sad note, to my eyes - that the Moon was still a symbol of the future in the 1960s - and the client loves it.   Megan, actually, is a person of high degree, as Don is beginning to more fully realize.

So is Peggy, who truly congratulates Megan, even after Peggy failing with Heinz as we saw previously.  And so is Joan - which we already knew - who congratulates Peggy after Abe asks her to "shack up" with him, a little less of a proposal than Peggy was hoping for after Abe had invited her to a special dinner just the two of them.  But as Joan wisely says, this does show how much Abe cares about Peggy.

Not so Peggy's mother, one of the most horrible characters in the series, who walks out on dinner with Peggy and Abe after they tell her the news, and then lectures Peggy on Abe's using her.  Peggy has struggled with her mother most of her life.   And in one of the best scenes in a night of excellent scenes, Peggy asks her mother if she wants her to be lonely.   Peggy's mother answers: if you don't want to be lonely, get a cat.  (This, I guess, being the embittered in love equivalent of if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.)

Sally has a good night - Don lets her accompany Megan and her parents and Roger to the award ceremony (which Don is receiving for his anti-smoking screed) - until the end of the evening, which I'll get to in a moment.   At the ceremony, Megan's father expresses his disappointment in her - not a very nice father  - while her mother, aware of her husband's transgressions, winds up in a back room pleasuring suave Roger.   This is what Sally sees at the end of the evening.   It's been quite a year for her along these lines, having seen Megan somewhat naked in bed in the morning earlier this season.

But in many ways the worst blow is taken by Don, who finds out near the end of the evening that the people at the awards ceremony - people whom Don sees as potential clients - really hate him for his anti-smoking declaration, because it showed that Don could turn turncoat on a client.  It's an apt lesson in a show about selling, and resonates with Matthew Weiner's work on The Sopranos, where anyone who was applauding you could just as likely be enemy as friend .   Not likely to be the case, though, with fans of Mad Men, including me.

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove ... Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange

And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through



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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book




Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...
 



Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Third Returns with Exits

Emon Hassan's The Third returns with its second episode - "Exits" - this Tuesday, May 1.  If ever there was a medium is the message movie, ala Marshall McLuhan, "The Third" would be it (even though McLuhan liked tetrads better than triads).   This is because the story, quiveringly, quietly terrifying, is told with not much content.

But I'll tell you a bit about the content, anyway.  An old woman is stretched out, eyes closed, in bed.  I thought she was dead, until she smiled.   Her son kneels by her bed, and cries.  Maybe she was dead, after all.

There's not much of the emotive actor Philip Willingham in this episode, except that haunting face, at the beginning.  But there's a guy who looks like an elderly Buddy Holly, or maybe Elvis Costello, if he'd continued with his Buddy Holly look.  And the woman and son.


The music by Kevin Mahonchak is superbly eerie and unsettling, as is the cinematography by Hassan.  The second episode of The Third premiering on the first (you knew that was coming) is just five minutes or so, with four more episodes to follow.  In case it's not apparent, there's a kind of music of the spheres, mathematical synchronicity to The Third, not only in its name but its presentation.


Reviewing last week's episode of Mad Men, I said it felt like it had been directed by some David - Cronenberg or Lynch.  The same could be said of the shot of other-worldliness to the cortex that is The Third.  You can catch the start of Exits (a rearrangement of exist) only on the Web, on Tuesday, over here - where you can also see all six episodes of last year's pilot, right now.  Click on the label "The Third" below to read my reviews of three of those.





Friday, April 27, 2012

Fringe 4.20: The Bridge

Fringe 4.20 tonight matched the great news that Fringe will get another (albeit final) season - matched this news with a superb episode that shows why Fringe should continue forever.

Jones' plans become clear to Walter:  bring the two realities together, so they will destroy each other, and therein engender a new universe, of which Jones will be lord and master.  The only way to stop Jones from doing this, other than stopping Jones, is to close the bridge between the two realities.  Olivia has a plan, but it fails.  No one knows how to get to Jones.  Closing the bridge is the only option.

We get wonderful scenes between Walter and Walternate  like nothing before in the series.  The other side will suffer with the connection broken - likely defeating Faulivia's hope of seeing rainbows again, but an other side even without rainbows beats no existence at all.

Peter stays on our side - "home is where the heart is," he tells Lee, and Peter's heart is with Olivia.  But Lee's heart is with Fauxlivia - this was clear from the episode in which alt-Lee was killed - and Lee will stay over there.   Our side will be even more like it was in the first two seasons.

And so the bridge is closed.  Walter fears that Peter may not survive the closing, but he does. Walter says he'll miss them, and so will we, but there may be a way to reopen the connection, after Jones is taken care of (he may figure out a way to reopen the bridge anyway, for his own nefarious purposes).

And now we likely know at least part of why there was no other side in last week's future Fringe episode.  The future with the Eternal Bald Observers is a future that builds on tonight's closing of the bridge.

But what can be rent asunder can be brought back together.  Olivia tells Fauxlivia to keep looking up (for rainbows), and we can look forward to a two-hour finale and one more season for a science fiction series that has become one of the very best ever on television.

Hey, check out my essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology







See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves ... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia ... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17:  Second Chances ... Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides ... Future Fringe 4.19

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ... Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe 
 
See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing ... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6 ... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ...  New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best


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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book




Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...

Awake 1.9: A Reason to Stay

An excellent, really satisfying Awake 1.9 last night, which moves the plot nicely, powerfully along.

In yellow world, Britten is going along with wife Hannah's desire to move to Oregon, and get away from their painful past.   This move would have dramatically changed the basis of the series, and I knew that something had to happen to stop the move from happening.

Britten finds the reason in blue world, where Rex his son is broken up about his girlfriend Emma breaking up with him.  Britten provides good fatherly advice to Rex, who talks to Emma, and finds out that she was pregnant with his baby (but lost it).  When Rex tells this to Britten - in another fine father/son scene - and Britten discovers that the conception occurred right before the crash-up that took Hannah's life in blue world and Rex's in yellow world.  (Kudos to the script writer for the adept way this conversation was handled - giving us the precise information, without being likely to ruffle any FCC feathers.)

Back in yellow world, Britten realizes that the same conception must have occurred - before the car crash - and there's a chance that Emma didn't lose the baby.  We and Britten had already seen in this episode that given events can be reversed in the yellow and blue worlds - such as a single event in a sporting game that can change the outcome of the game.  And, sure enough, Britten discovers that Emma is still pregnant with his grandchild in yellow world.

So now Britten and his wife have a wonderful reason to stay.   And we also know that this will put Britten's life in danger, removing Captain Harper's best argument to the villains to leave Britten alone - that he's leaving town.  All of which gives us more than reason that ever to stay with fine, intellectually provocative series.

See also Awake ... Awake 1.2: "Whole" Family  ... Awake 1.3: Frequency of Yellow and Blue ... Awake 1.4: The Baker and the Hooker ... Awake 1.5: Stretching a Dream ... Awake 1.6: Popper's Penguin




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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book




Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bones 7.10: Mobile

Bones 7.10 ends with a mobile above Christine.  Bits and pieces of Bones and Booth and Parker's lives sparkling, dangling, slowing spinning in air.   Christine's smiling her great baby smile.  It's another happy ending.  The mobile was made by Parker.

It looked like a bad case of sibling rivalry.  Parker lying, Bones finding cut-up pictures in Parker's closet.   Sweets confirmed it (that makes it at least 50/50 not likely to be correct).  Bones tells Booth he must speak to Parker, and Booth says they both should.  That in itself is a happy development, on the way to the happy ending.

And so the family, once on the peripheries, is coming back together.  I was wondering when we'd see Christine introduced to Parker.   Bones' brother and father, and Booth's brother and grandfather have yet to make the introduction.  But the universe is starting to coalesce, in a greater, extended form.

Meanwhile, on the science side, in the tiny part of the world, a little worm holds an internal key to the case.  Hodgins does an autopsy on the worm.  The results help track down the killer's location, as well justify Hodgins' big expenditure on cool equipment.   Cam doesn't like the expense, and in a neat closing of a potential plot loophole, Hodgins reveals that the Jeffersonian doesn't allow personal expenditures on equipment (Hodgins is incredibly wealthy).   So he has no choice but to demo the equipment's mettle.

Bones started with a big bang some years ago, the center not holding, people and relationships flying out in all directions.  It was exciting.  But now it's all coming back together, in a nucleus of a new family.   With just about every other relationship in every other television show in some kind of disrupting crisis, the mobile revolving ever closer to the center on Bones is just the thing.

See also Bones 7.1: Almost Home Sweet Home ... Bones 7.2: The New Kid and the Fluke ... Bones 7.3: Lance Bond and Prince Charmington ... Bones 7.4: The Tush on the Xerox ... Bones 7.5: Sexy Vehicle ... Bones 7.6: The Reassembler ... Bones 7.7: Baby! ... Bones 7.8: Parents ... Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon

And see also Bones 6.1: The Linchpin ... Bones 6.2: Hannah and her Prospects ... Bones 6.3 at the Jersey Shore, Yo, and Plymouth Rock ... Bones 6.4 Sans Hannah ... Bones 6.5: Shot and Pretty ... Bones 6.6: Accidental Relations ... Bones 6.7:  Newman and "Death by Chocolate" ... Bones 6.8: Melted Bones ... Bones 6.9: Adelbert Ames, Jr. ... Bones 6.10: Reflections ... Bones 6.11: The End and the Beginning of a Mystery ... Bones 6.12 Meets Big Love ... Bones 6.13: The Marrying Kind ... Bones 6.14: Bones' Acting Ability ... Bones 6.15: "Lunch for the Palin Family" ... Bones 6.16: Stuck in an Elevator, Stuck in Times ... Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet ... Bones 6.18: The Wile E. Chupacabra ... Bones 6.19 Test Runs The Finder ... Bones 6.20: This Very Statement is a Lie ... Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones ... Bones 6.22: Phoenix Love ... Bones Season 6 Finale: Beautiful

And see also Bones: Hilarity and Crime and Bones is Back For Season 5: What Is Love? and 5.2: Anonymous Donors and Pipes and 5.3: Bones in Amish Country and 5.4: Bones Meets Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives and Ancient Bones 5.5 and Bones 5.6: A Chicken in Every Viewer's Pot and Psychological Bones 5.7 and Bones 5.8: Booth's "Pops" and Bones 5.9 Meets Avatar and Videogamers ... Bad Santa, Heart-Warming Bones 5.10 ... Bones 5.11: Of UFOs, Bloggers, and Triangles ... Bones 5.12: A Famous Skeleton and Angela's Baby ... Love with Teeth on Bones 5.13 ... Faith vs. Science vs. Psychology in Bones 5.14 ... Page 187 in Bones 5.15 ... Bones 100: Two Deep Kisses and One Wild Relationship ... Bones 5.17: The Deadly Stars ... Bones Under Water in 5.18 ... Bones 5.19: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.20: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.21: The Rarity of Happy Endings ... Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye and Evolution




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The Plot to Save Socrates



"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book



Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...


Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange

Mad Men 5.6 ... LSD, break-up shake-ups, diced-up sequences out of time, and anachronisms galore ...

Focus groups in 1966?  I don't think so.   Intimate encounters with total strangers in movie theaters?  Always possible, not very frequent. LSD parties?  I guess so, possibly, technically yeah, but not very likely.

Was that Timothy Leary at that little party with Roger and Jane?  I dunno, maybe, or maybe Roger was just addressing Leary in the abstract.

It was that kind of episode.  It was sad and good to see Roger and Jane break up, courtesy of their acid trip (and now the path is more open to Joan).  It was not so good and also sad to see Don and Megan at such odds, and Megan's statement that every time they fight like that, it takes a little of their love away, did ring true for them.

Peggy's been a wild card, since the very first episode of the series, when she slept with Pete.   She was that way tonight, drunk and stoned in the movie house, after she runs into more trouble with client Heinz.   "Beans, beans, the magic fruit  ..."

So, I don't know, it's like David Cronenberg or Lynch directed this episode, or maybe Tarantino.  Did it work for Mad Men?  Well, the orange Howard Johnson certainly did, and I don't blame Megan one bit for for not liking the orange sherbert, it had artificial written all over it, and that worked just right, too.

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove

And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through



                 Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, Garden.com, eMusic




The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book




Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...
 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Future Fringe 4.19

Just when all four Fringe realities finally are beginning to make some sense - original and original alternate Fringe realities (the first three seasons, with Peter surviving his passage from over there to over here), and the new there and over there, in which Peter did not survive, but to which Peter returns - just as we were beginning to make sense of this, we get a new kind of reality, a future, in which the Eternal Bald Observers have created a totalitarian world, at least over here.

A truly excellent, nearly standalone Fringe took place in that future tonight in episode 4.19, replete with new opening credits that speak of community and self, and show freedom behind barbed wire.   Etta looks a little like Olivia (and that's because, as we find out at the end, but was pretty guessable throughout the episode, she's Peter and Olivia's daughter), and she's part of renegade Fringe team who are fighting an underground battle against the Observers.   Her partner  is Simon, played Lost's Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick), always good in these roles.  They free Walter from amber, reunite his brain with his missing brain tissue (stored in Massive Dynamic), and we get a sharp as a whip Walter who is a little reminiscent of Walternate.   Walter in turn leads Simon and Etta to an amber reservoir - and free Astrid and then Peter, but not Bell, who is also frozen there (Walter, with all of his faculties, wisely doesn't trust Bell).  Simon takes Peter's place in the amber, and Peter and Etta have a moving father and daughter hug.


And there the episode ends - which is surprising in itself.  Where is Olivia?  Also frozen in some amber somewhere close at hand, or maybe she's at work on the other side?  Or maybe she was killed in the fight against the Observers, which would be in accord with what September said earlier in the season (but not in accord with Peter out of the amber - he seemed not that devastated).  For that matter, what happened to the other side when the Observers took over here?  Broyles, who has lived through this time unsuspended in amber, and still commands the Fringe Division (but now under the Oberservers' thumb), will no doubt play some heroic role in ridding this future of the Observers.


Or maybe not.  Here, with Fringe possibly ending its run, is a great new opening with all kind of options for surprise and soul for a fifth season.


Meanwhile, it will be fun to see in the next few episodes maybe a little bit more of how we got there.


Hey, check out my essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology








See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves ... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia ... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17:  Second Chances ... Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ... Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe 
 
See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing ... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6 ... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ...  New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best




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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book




Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon

Tabatha Coffey is well known to viewers of Bravo's Tabatha's Salon Takeover - she'd make a good murderess.   So would've Tabitha, also in a hair salon, on tonight's Bones 7.9.  But she turned out to be no murderess, either.

But the show turned out to be pretty excellent nonetheless, with blue birds - not really blue birds, but birds with an artificial blue hue - falling from the sky, like Hitchcock's The Birds meets the flying dead, plus some good shots at academic publishing courtesy of Arastoo almost getting a paper in a journal, and even a lawyer named Tess Levinson (no relation, as far as I know).

But the best part of the hour, as it's been the past few weeks, is Booth and Bones and their lives together with Christine.   Bones is a little uncomfortable with the clothes that don't quite fit after her pregnancy.   Sweets tells Booth to buy Bones some lingerie, and we get some fine lines in the lingerie shop as Booth decides what to buy (I resisted calling this review "Mangos").  Back home after the case is solved, Bones likes the lingerie, is about to take it upstairs with Booth and some ice cream, when Christine starts crying.  The joys of new parenting ... but the truth is, it's all good, and there'll be time after Christine goes back to sleep.

Bones is not only more relaxed at home, but she's more humane on the job.  She gives Arastoo a heartfelt talking to about his needing to touch the bones and not rely just on computers, and not needing to pursue scholarly fame, just do his job as best he can.

But I have a feeling, in this unique blend of so many good themes that Bones has become, that it will be famous for a long time.

See also Bones 7.1: Almost Home Sweet Home ... Bones 7.2: The New Kid and the Fluke ... Bones 7.3: Lance Bond and Prince Charmington ... Bones 7.4: The Tush on the Xerox ... Bones 7.5: Sexy Vehicle ... Bones 7.6: The Reassembler ... Bones 7.7: Baby! ... Bones 7.8: Parents

And see also Bones 6.1: The Linchpin ... Bones 6.2: Hannah and her Prospects ... Bones 6.3 at the Jersey Shore, Yo, and Plymouth Rock ... Bones 6.4 Sans Hannah ... Bones 6.5: Shot and Pretty ... Bones 6.6: Accidental Relations ... Bones 6.7:  Newman and "Death by Chocolate" ... Bones 6.8: Melted Bones ... Bones 6.9: Adelbert Ames, Jr. ... Bones 6.10: Reflections ... Bones 6.11: The End and the Beginning of a Mystery ... Bones 6.12 Meets Big Love ... Bones 6.13: The Marrying Kind ... Bones 6.14: Bones' Acting Ability ... Bones 6.15: "Lunch for the Palin Family" ... Bones 6.16: Stuck in an Elevator, Stuck in Times ... Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet ... Bones 6.18: The Wile E. Chupacabra ... Bones 6.19 Test Runs The Finder ... Bones 6.20: This Very Statement is a Lie ... Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones ... Bones 6.22: Phoenix Love ... Bones Season 6 Finale: Beautiful

And see also Bones: Hilarity and Crime and Bones is Back For Season 5: What Is Love? and 5.2: Anonymous Donors and Pipes and 5.3: Bones in Amish Country and 5.4: Bones Meets Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives and Ancient Bones 5.5 and Bones 5.6: A Chicken in Every Viewer's Pot and Psychological Bones 5.7 and Bones 5.8: Booth's "Pops" and Bones 5.9 Meets Avatar and Videogamers ... Bad Santa, Heart-Warming Bones 5.10 ... Bones 5.11: Of UFOs, Bloggers, and Triangles ... Bones 5.12: A Famous Skeleton and Angela's Baby ... Love with Teeth on Bones 5.13 ... Faith vs. Science vs. Psychology in Bones 5.14 ... Page 187 in Bones 5.15 ... Bones 100: Two Deep Kisses and One Wild Relationship ... Bones 5.17: The Deadly Stars ... Bones Under Water in 5.18 ... Bones 5.19: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.20: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.21: The Rarity of Happy Endings ... Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye and Evolution





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The Plot to Save Socrates



"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book



Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mad Men 5.5: "Ben Hargrove"

Who is Ben Hargrove?  He's the nom de plume - fictitious name - which Ken Cosgrove uses when his science fiction and fantasy stories are published.  We learn this in Mad Men 5.5, one of the best episodes ever in this series.

Hargrove is probably most based on Alfred Bester - who did not write under a pseudonym but whose stories,  like Hargove's, were often about murderous androids or other murdering entities, and like Hargrove's, were interplanetary.   And Bester did work for Holiday Magazine - senior editor, non-science fiction - though, as far as know, no one pressured Bester to give up his science fiction writing, as Roger (unsuccessfully) tries to do with Cosgrove/Hargrove.

Hargrove also bears some resemblance to Isaac Asimov, who occasionally did write under a pseudonym (Paul French),  and may or may not have been encouraged by colleagues at Boston University (where he was Associate Professor of Biochemistry) to write science not just science fiction.  Some of his science fiction did, however, deal with murderous robots and planets, and Asimov also looked a lot like Harry Crane in Crane's earlier years on Mad Men.   (I should mention that I also write about robots and planets, also am a professor - at Fordham - but would never write under a pseudonym.  I want everyone who knew me in third grade to recognize my name on Amazon.)

Back to Mad Men 5.5:  It had lots of other great scenes, including fisticuffs between Lane and Pete - Lane decks him - followed by Lane impulsively kissing Joan as she offers him ice for his hand.   Did she like it?   Well, she certainly didn't object, but opened the door to the office afterward, signaling that she didn't want anything more to happen.  But she did touch Lane's hair right before, and she did taunt him and us when Lane asks, after the kiss, if he did anything wrong, and Joan replies that he only did what everyone in the office wants to do ... punch out Pete (the men, at least, would much rather kiss Joan).

There was one anachronism amidst all of this great television.  The college co-ed that Pete covets in the driver ed class is upset about all the mass killings in the news (the nurses in Chicago, University of Texas at Austin) and says "things seem so random all of a sudden".  Right, except "random" wasn't used this way back in 1966 - to mean something bad - back then, random just meant random or arbitrary.

But a small quibble about a superb show, in what continues to shape up as the best season of Men Men so far.

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust

And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through









Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...
 



Friday, April 13, 2012

Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides

Broyles - alt-Broyles - is the key figure in Fringe 4.18 tonight, in a story we've seen before - on Fringe and in other series - but is nonetheless good.

We found out last week that alt-Broyles is working for Jones, and was thus responsible for alt-Lee's death (even though that's not what alt-Broyles wanted to happen).  Tonight we find out why:  Jones is providing essential recuperative medication for Broyles' son Chris.

By the way, there were more good alt-touches than usual tonight, ranging from a train-like board with a list of towns and areas in the New York area that have been damaged by the cross-reality contact (but are now recovering) to no black boxes on the other side (they rely on satellite telemetry) to no Sherlock Holmes there, either.

What the other side does have is alt-Nina, and this one is genuinely evil, working with Jones to destroy both worlds.   Fortunately, she's in prison, where alt-Broyles winds up, after he delivers the big twist in the story by not going along with Jones, and instead turns himself in to our Broyles on the bridge.

So Jones is foiled, at least in his worst plans tonight, but he's still at large and can pick right up where he and we left off.   First, however, it looks we'll be in for a good Eternal Bald Observer episode next week - one that takes place in 2036, with an EBO on a Times Square billboard and someone who looked like Olivia's niece (grown up) in the thick of the action.

What will this tell us about Jones and what he's up to now?  Hard to say, but his evil doings are having some good effects, like getting our Lee and Fauxlivia together.

Hey, check out my essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology









See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves ... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia ... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17:  Second Chances

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ... Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe 
 
See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing ... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6 ... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ...  New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best



                 Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, Garden.com, eMusic




The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book




Enjoy listening to audio books? Get a free audio book copy of The Plot to Save Socrates - or any one of 85,000 other titles - with a 14-day trial membership at Audible.com ...

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