TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 06

rest and ricklaxation.jpg“Rest and Ricklaxation”

Rick and Morty need a break.

Directors: Anthony Chun, Wesley Archer
Writers: Tom Kauffman
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Melique Berger

Review by Gilbert Seah

This week’s episode gave an answer to the question of whether or not Rick actually cares for Morty. We learn that the detoxifying machine only removes parts of your being that you yourself view as a negative attribute. The fact that Rick’s love for Morty was removed along with his alcoholism and nihilism really reveals the extent to which the Sanchez family is emotionally messed up.

Rick and Morty is a show that’s made in it’s funny little moments, like Detox Rick’s apology for burping and Beth taping a horse’s face over Jerry in her wedding picture. The series isn’t too big on running jokes in the way that some Adult Swim shows can be, but one of the weirder recurring motifs of this show seems to be about urination. This is a little offbeat, but hear me out: in “Rest and Ricklaxation,” one of Morty’s classmates makes a passing comment about being into golden showers.

Summer peeing her pants was referenced three times in Season 2 in “A Rickle in Time,” “Total Rickall,” and “Look Who’s Purging Now.” Not to mention, Summer’s invisible best friend is called Tinkles, another allusion to her childhood bed-wetting.

Rick and Morty is a show where the writer’s hangups and anxieties are on full display, so their obsessions and “interests” will obviously come through as well. I’m not directly saying Justin Roiland or Dan Hammond necessarily have a “yellow” fixation, but there’s been a suspiciously high number of references made to women peeing for this to be a mere coincidence.

Rick and Morty will be back in two weeks because of the Labor Day holiday break, but that will give you enough time to mull over the idea that this series is a window into it’s writers souls. What else can we learn about Roiland and Hammond if we take a closer look at this series

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 07 – EPISODE 07 (Season Finale)

the dragon and the wolfA meeting is held in King’s Landing. Problems arise in the North.

Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Writers: David Benioff
Stars: Alfie Allen, Jacob Anderson, Robert Aramayo

Review by Mary Cox

“The Dragon and the Wolf”

Anyone who didn’t see anything that happened last night coming from a mile away needs to get their eyes checked. Game of Thrones has always been a series that’s heavy-handed with its foreshadowing, but the bombs the series dropped tonight have been on our radars for a good while. That doesn’t mean that last night’s bombshell of a season finale was bad! It’s just that things are getting too predictable after seven years, and I miss the wild and unexpected turns we got in the first few seasons, like Jaime losing his hand, and Ned Stark losing his head.

Jon and Dany’s “Boat Ride and Chill” is made a lot weirder when you learn that he’s essentially boning his aunt, but this is par for the course for the Targaryens, who historically like to keep it in the family anyway. Seriously though, how creepy was Tyrion for lurking in the halls and listening in on their
hookup?

I predicted we’d have a big, heart-breaking death in this finale, and I was a little off-course considering how much Littlefinger’s been asking for it since the first season. It’s a little disappointing that Arya only slit his throat, as a full-on Ned Stark style decapitation would have been much more satisfying and tied together.

Now that the Army of the Dead have their Icy Hot dragon, how in the hell is the North going to stand against them? Even though the Night King is outnumbered two to one when it comes to fire lizards, how is Daenerys going to handle fighting and killing one of her own “children”?

Cersei is reaching Nixon-levels of paranoia and scheming, to the point where she’s finally threatened to turn her sword against her own brother. Again, what the series is implying to us through the language of cinema is that Jaime is going to rehash his Kingslayer role before the end of the final season.

This season finale has left us with a monumental cliffhanger (or should I say wall hanger, considering how Tormund barely made it out alive) and with the Night Kings marching in the direct path of Winterfell. My one hope for the final chapter of the series is that they don’t sacrifice story over time like they did with the last few episodes of this season. We’ll have to wait an entire year to find out

sophie turner game of thrones.jpg

TV REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 07 – EPISODE 06

beyond_the_wall_1.jpgEpisode Titled: Beyond the Wall

Jon and his team go beyond the wall to capture a wight. Daenerys has to make a tough decision.

Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: David Benioff
Stars: Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington

Review by Mary Cox

As predicted, Jon Snow’s northbound traipse has ended in absolute disaster. Not only is Daenerys down a dragon, but now, the Night King has added Viserion to the ranks of the White Walkers. Killing the Undead is hard enough as it is! Real talk: why did Dany take all three dragons up North in the first place? When her Dothraki Horde went up against the Lannister Army, she only brought along Drogon.

The only clear explanation is that Dany’s got a crush on a certain boring brooding bastard. Daenerys’ conversation with Tyrion regarding naming an heir for her kingdom is yet another sign that the plot of this season is clumsily stomping towards a hookup between Jon and Dany.

This was an episode that proves that nobody in this show ever learns anything. Sansa, who somehow can’t seem to remember how this situation ended up for her father, is sending Brienne of Tarth to her death by making her respond to a summons at King’s Landing. Sansa’s poor strategic and leadership skills are starting to get a little exhausting.

Once again: what the hell does Littlefinger want, other than to stir the pot? In past seasons, his motivations have been a little clearer, as it’s established that he carried a serious torch for the previous Lady of Winterfell, but ever since Catelyn’s downfall at the Red Wedding, Littlefinger has been slouching and scheming around the Seven Kingdoms with no Modus Operandi other than a vague
interest in boning Sansa.

Predictions for next week’s season finale: at least one of our important major characters is going to die.

Knowing how this series works, there’s no way all of these characters are going to live until next year’s premiere. My money is on Brienne when she goes to King’s Landing, or possibly Cersei at the hands of Jaime. The White Walkers, armed with their new dragon, are going to successfully attempt to storm the
Wall. Sansa is going to continue making irresponsible decisions, and Littlefinger is going to lurk menacingly around a corner.
 
beyond_the_wall_2.jpg

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 15

twin_peaks_13Episode Titled: There’s Some Fear In Letting Go””

Director: David Lynch
Writers: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Jay Aaseng, Joe Adler

Review by Mary Cox

After much theorizing about coffee and cherry pie, the key phrase that woke up Dougie Coop ended up being Gordon Cole’s name. Is Cooper trying to reenter the White Lodge through an electrical means? If so, is he finally going to get his shoes back? Who will protect him from the Mother now that Naido is on Earth?

Speaking of Naido, the collection of individuals in the Twin Peaks holding cells seems completely intentional. However, what possible situation could require an East London strong arm, an eyeless creature from another dimension, a corrupt cop, a drooly man who is heavily suggested to be Billy, and the number one falsetto songsmith in all of Twin Peaks? Fingers crossed we’re getting some kind of Josie and the Pussycats spinoff series. We also finally got confirmation that Audrey is the mother of Richard, but that’s hardly a surprise. What is weird is his acknowledgment that Audrey still has photographs of Agent Cooper in her home.

This series has a very unique way of replacing actors who couldn’t be in series or didn’t want to be.

We’ve already seen Sheriff Truman’s role rerouted, and The Man From Another Place/The Arm has been recast as a gigantic neuron, most likely due to his controversial comments and accusations towards Lynch. There have also been workarounds because of the deaths of characters, which we saw tonight with Phillip Jeffries being played by a gigantic tea kettle.

While a lot has been revealed directly in this episode, there’s still a ton of information right under the surface that you need to unpack in order to really understand. Remember the Jumping Man from Fire Walk With Me? That’s the guy with the long nose who appears inside the Convenience Store along with Bob and The Man From Another Place. In tonight’s episode, we got another glimpse of this character in a brief flash when Bad Coop is talking to Phillip Jeffries. If you revisit this footage and take some stills from it, you’ll discover that the blurred images of the Jumping Man are actually pictures of Sarah Palmer! Seriously, go check it out! This would perfectly explain Palmer’s odd behavior this season, along with her “unmasking” last week.

This theory also points to Sarah being the little girl who swallows the space bug in “Part 8” of the series. If we revisit the dates from the flashbacks of the show, everything matches up perfectly.

According to Mark Frost’s companion book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Palmer was born in 1945, which was the same year as the nuclear test in White Sands. The scene with the bug and the Woodsmen happens in 1954, when Palmer would have been nine years old, which matches up with the girl in the flashback. This makes more much more sense than the previous theory of Sarah being Bob
himself.

There were other cute moments in this episode, such as the conclusion of the drama between Big Ed, Norma, and Nadine. There were also more seemingly pointless banter between Audrey and Charlie.

Most importantly, Lynch gave us the heavy, tearful goodbye to the Log Lady that now deceased actor Catherine Coulson truly deserved.

The Body Electric

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 05

rickandmorty1Rick and Jerry go on an adventure.

Director: Juan Jose Meza-Leon (as Juan Meza-León)
Writers: Justin Roiland (created by), Dan Harmon (created by)
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer

Review by Mary Cox

“The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy”

As predicted, Beth is visibly struggling with both being single and single parenthood. Her morbid horse hoof statue is indicative that Beth is not thriving in her post-Jerry world. Much like Seinfeld’s Festivus holiday, this season’s seems to be centered around the notion of the Airing of Grievances. Rick finally
gets the chance to directly confront Jerry about “ruining” Beth’s shot at a good future by knocking her up in high school.

As much as I’m loving every episode being a (sometimes literal) therapy session for our characters, using a mid-battle heart-to-heart as the backbone of every episode is getting a little old.

Despite the episode being focused primarily on Jerry and Rick, the understated star of the episode was Morty. We learn that Morty is the mastermind behind the whole premise of the Rick and Jerry episode just because Morty wanted Rick to get off his back for a minute. Morty’s confrontation of Ethan was downright sinister. We’ve seen Morty transform this season from an unwilling and helpless sidekick to a powerful protagonist.

The real question is: what is Morty going to do in future episodes with his newfound power and prowess?

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 07 – EPISODE 05

eastwatch-1Daenerys demands loyalty from the surviving Lannister soldiers; Jon heeds Bran’s warning about White Walkers on the move; Cersei vows to vanquish anyone or anything that stands in her way.

Director: Matt Shakman
Writers: David Benioff (created by), Dave Hill (written for television by)
Stars: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey

Review by Mary Cox

“Eastwatch”

Tonight sees the reunion between the Dragon Queen and our favorite friend-zoned hanger-on, Jorah Mormont, who is summarily planning on throwing his second chance at life straight into the trash by setting out to capture a White Walker with Jon Snow. Once they somehow capture one, the Dragonstone crew intend on taking their frosty friend on a cross-country tour to help negotiate and armistice with Cersei.

The question of this season is: what is Littlefinger up to? After we see him plant a note with the intention to damage Sansa and Arya’s already splintered relationship, it makes me wonder what he’s really after. All signs point to Sansa and being the new Warden of the North, but what’s his end game?

Littlefinger is known for being allied to himself and himself only, so does he intend on backing the Lannister or Targaryen claim to the throne?

Jon’s positive interaction with Drogon once again is pointing to the all but directly established theory that he is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen. Another moment that happened so quickly and quietly that you could have easily missed it was when Gilly brings up the annulment and secret second marriage of Prince “Raggar” in Dorne. This seems to again allude to the notion that Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship was legitimate.

Down in King’s Landing, everything is pointing in the direction of Cersei losing her grip on her sanity and on her acceptance of reality. It’s being heavily implied that Jaime is going to potentially have to make a choice between his sister and his country. Calling it now: Jaime’s going to end up beheading Cersei before this whole affair is over. If we think back to the prophecy given to Cersei by a fortune teller, her death was predicted to happen at the hands of a “Valonqar,” which we know is High Valyrian for “little brother”. Cersei always assumed that this meant that Tyrion would be responsible for her death, but with all the signs pointing to Jon’s Targaryen heritage, we can’t be so sure.

eastwatch-2.jpg

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 04

rickandmorty1.jpgRick and Morty are summoned by the Vindicators to stop Worldender but end up in a deathtrap conceived by Drunk Rick.

Creators: Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer

Review by Mary Cox

“Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender”

 Rick’s functional-dysfunctional alcoholism sets the stage for a Saw-like series of challenges that are meant to reveal the true nature of the Vindicators to Morty. This episode was a clear criticism of contemporary super heroes, specifically, those involved with The Avengers franchise.

This plan ultimately works, but not without adding to some of the existing tension between Rick and Morty’s relationship. It seems like Hammond and Roiland are setting the stage for some kind of major schism between our two titular characters, but one thing you have to remember about this series is that nothing is ultimately taken too seriously. Rick and Morty is a powerhouse of a series with a huge fan following, but Adult Swim’s mastermind Mike Lazzo has pulled the plug on popular shows that pivoted too far to drama in the past, such as Metalocalypse and Moral Orel.

Rick and Morty’s recurring show of heart does give the series an element of greater purpose and emphasis, but after so much time this season has been dedicated to the Sanchez family’s drama, it’s nice to see the series return to a Rick-centric perspective. It’s difficult to determine where the series is heading this season, but it’s unlikely that it will venture too far down the path of melodrama 

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: TWIN PEAKS – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 14

twin_peaks_13.jpg“Part 14: We are Like the Dreamer”

Creators: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Michael Horse

Review by Mary Cox

After a few particularly draggy episodes, tonight’s installment of Twin Peaks was all about action. Even though Part 14 was technically leaked when Sky aired the wrong episode last week, people who successfully managed to avoid spoilers have been decently rewarded for their wait. Fans who criticized the slow pace of past episodes will rejoice at how much actually happened tonight. Janey-E is Diane’s sister! Chad finally got thrown in jail! The Giant has a real name! Most importantly, the Twin Peaks PD have finally made it to Jack Rabbit’s palace. A vortex that was similar to the Woodsmen-filled portal seen by Gordon Cole appeared and temporarily kidnapped Sheriff Andy. After the Fireman laid a montage of truth on Andy, he and the other officers reappear in the woods in a manner that is incredibly similar to how the Woodsmen move between our world and
the Black Lodge. Between this sequence, the introduction of Freddie and his power glove, and Naimo’s arrival on Earth, it seems like the Fireman trying to assemble a team to combat the forces of the Black Lodge.

Something serious is up with Sarah Palmer. Between the visual reference to the ceiling fan, which we know is an established link to Bob, and last week’s boxing loop, it’s no surprise at all that Sarah Palmer went straight up Mike Tyson on that guy. We’re also seeing a parallel between Laura in the Red Room and Sarah in our world. It’s been heavily implied that Laura was engineered in what is almost a Messiah narrative to be the anti-Bob, and Sarah’s literal unmasking reinforces that theory.

However, not everything has been sorted out. There are still a considerable amount of untied loose ends. In another chapter of the Billy/Tina drama (that seems to be connected to much more of the story than we originally thought) we learn that Tina’s daughter saw Billy bleeding from the nose and mouth before he disappeared. We’re only four episodes away from the grand finale of this series, and it’s only a matter of time before all of the paths in this series finally cross. Once again, all roads lead to the Roadhouse.
 

We are Like the Dreamer

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

TV REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – SEASON 07 – EPISODE 04

the spoils of war1.jpgDaenerys strikes back. Jaime faces an unexpected situation. Arya comes home.

Director: Matt Shakman
Writers: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Stars: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey

Review by Mary Cox

Tonight was an episode focused on both reunions and revenge. There haven’t been this manyStarks in the same room since the first season. We’re finally getting to see the plots we’ve been following for close to a decade now intertwine, and it is SO rewarding. Seeing Arya go one-on-one with Brienne of Tarth was incredible! Jon, who still believes that Theon murdered Bran and Rickon, barely manages to control himself when the last of the Greyjoys wash up on Dragonstone.

An obvious highlight of tonight’s episode is the battle between the Lannister army and Daenerys’ dragons. The tension between Bronn at the Scorpion and Daenerys on Drogon was incredible. After a close call with Drogon, some unknown person shoves Jaime out of the path of fire and into the bottom of a lake. Is this really how the Kingslayer dies? Probably not.

One question I keep having is: what is Littlefinger up to? His character seems almost undirected while he’s surrounded by a court of pragmatic Northerners who don’t give into manipulation as easily as the nobles at King’s Landing. Obviously, his long-term goal is Sansa, but how is he planning on getting there?

Something to watch out for in future episodes: Tyrion seems to be having his doubts about which side he wants to be on while watching his fellow Lannisters fall victim to the flames of Daenery’s dragons, but is he willing to throw away his alliance with the Targaryen queen for the sake of his blood? I doubt it.
the spoils of war2.jpg

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”

 

TV REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 03 – EPISODE 03

rickandmorty1Rick turns himself into a pickle.

Creators: Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland
Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer

Review by Mary Cox

“Pickle Rick”

It’s Pickle Rick! On this week’s Rick and Morty, we see Rick turn himself into a pickle (and gets himself into a pickle) in order to get out of going to family therapy with Beth, Morty, and Summer. Susan Sarandon guest stars in this episode as Dr. Wong, the family’s therapist.

This series does a great job of juxtaposing ridiculous and serious content, even as far back as the first season with episodes like Rixty Minutes. Tonight this was accomplished by flashing back and forth between Pickle Rick’s sewer adventures and Beth’s complete failure to embrace (and actively participate in) her family therapy session.

Beth seems to be taking center stage this season, where in past episodes, she’s been more of a supporting character. This season is spending a lot of time exploring the unhealthy dynamic between Beth and her father, and how she’s willing to put everything in her life, including her children, aside in order to make Rick happy.

I’m hopeful that this series’ exploration of this dynamic doesn’t delve into cliché “daddy issues” territories, but that it takes a broader look at how toxic relationships can function. Also, I seriously doubt this is the last time we’re going to see a reference made to Mr. Goldenfold’s literal shit-eating grin.
 
rickandmorty2

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t