SCANDAL “SNAKE IN THE GARDEN” SEASON 2, EPISODE 17 REVIEW

Cyrus has Charlie, his hitman, search Jake’s background. Meanwhile, Fitz wants to know who leaked the hostage information but Jake isn’t offering up any names.

David Rosen goes home and his apartment is trashed. He hides while the person in his apartment walks out. He starts sleeping at Liv’s office.

Quinn and Huck are trailing Osborne. He hasn’t made a drop in a whole week, and they’ve been made. Osborne goes to Liv’s apartment to confront her about being followed. Jake was watching but his feed cut off.

Client of the Week: Hollis Doyle and his ex-wife Debra. Their daughter Maybelle has been kidnapped. They watch a ransom video where Maybelle holds up a sign with banking routing information. Her captors want $20 million, but Hollis won’t pay because he thinks Maybelle is scheming to get millions of dollars from him.

Huck and Quinn are studying the ransom video and Quinn picks up some clues: sun coming in from the west, possibly a warehouse turned residential home, it’s near the Metro, etc.

Mellie is freaking out about Jake Ballard and Cyrus says he’s looking into it but he doesn’t know anything yet. He says, “Like a friend of mine likes to say, ‘It’s handled!'”

Jake watches the exchange between Osborne and Liv that he missed earlier. He sees her hide a notepad, and then she hides a USB drive in a vase.

At Pope Headquarters, Hollis’ assistant arrives with lunch and a package. Inside the package is a severed ear. Hollis keeps eating. He doesn’t believe it belongs to Maybelle until a picture shows up that confirms her ear is gone. He cries and agrees to send the ransom money.

Mellie goes to Fitz’s secretary and has her un-clear his weekend schedule.

Jake calls Olivia to see if she wants to grab lunch. She says no because she’s at work, and he knows it’s safe to break into her apartment. He takes some files from the USB drive that she hid, and then he fixes the signal to the surveillance cameras that he planted in her apartment.

Jake goes to Fitz with information about Osborne being the mole. He says he saw Osborne threaten his source and Fitz believes him.

Cyrus meets Charlie, who tells him how Jake and Fitz know each other. Then Cyrus confronts Fitz in his office. He finds out something happened in Iran when Fitz was still in the Navy. Cyrus makes the point that they both did things that were wrong, but they did it to protect the “republic”. This gets him back into the inner circle and Fitz talks to him about Osborne. Mellie is eavesdropping.

Quinn is listening to Hollis cry and talk about his love for his daughter. Maybelle calls with a location of where to meet, and Olivia, Quinn, and Huck go pick her up and take her to the hospital. Maybelle says her ex-boyfriend Justin kidnapped her and took the money.

Cyrus calls Olivia with plans to meet up for glasses of wine and she declines because she has a date with Jake. She starts thinking about Fitz and decides to cancel the date. When Jake arrives she tells him that she’s not over her ex and she needs time. He kisses her.

Huck starts analyzing the ear and he notices the incision is weird. He said it’s jagged, like she cut her own ear off. Harrison says Justin has been in a Thai jail and could not have kidnapped her.

Maybelle comes clean about faking her kidnapping and cutting off her ear to collect $20 million. Hollis says she can stay with the family and they’ll work out their issues or she can take the money and run. She’d rather have the money and Hollis says he’ll wire it to her.

Huck overhears Quinn leaving a voicemail on her father’s phone. She wants to re-unite with him.

Osborne is very upset because his office and home are being searched. He visits Cyrus and insists he’s not the mole.

Fitz yells at Mellie when he finds out she canceled their children’s visit to the White House. She says the kids didn’t want to come because Fitz has changed and he’s been mean to them. Also, he reeks of liquor. She says it’s not Defiance that he’s truly upset about. She says ‘You found your previous Olivia doesn’t have the secrets of the universe tucked between her magical thighs.’ She tells him that he’s turned into his father, Big Jerry.

Olivia and the team find out Osborne is dead from an apparent suicide (gunshot to the head). Jake and some guy are sitting down on a bench, and the guy compliments Jake for the following: framing Osborne as the mole and making Osborne’s death look like a homicide.
THE END

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BATES MOTEL “NICE TOWN YOU PICKED, NORMA” SEASON 1 EPISODE 2 REVIEW

Dylan tracks down Norma and stops by the house. He’s still bitter because Norma moved out of state without telling him. She doesn’t want him to stay at the house, even though he’s lost his job.

Norman goes to the bus stop and meets with Bradley. She sees her dad’s car driving erratically down the road and it crashes. Everyone runs to the car and her dad is severely burned. Officers suspect the dad was burned at the warehouse he owns.

Norma tells Dylan to start pulling his weight. She sends him to pick up linen for the hotel.

Keith’s car is found in a wooded area near Norma’s home. She lies to the officers and says she doesn’t know where he is or why his car is parked there.

Norman shows up at the hospital with flowers to see Bradley and her father. He’s cockblocked by a jealous guy who also likes Bradley.

Dylan is at a stripclub and he talks to a guy who is crying. Guy says his boss is in a coma after getting into an accident. This guy is carrying a ton of cash.

Dylan comes home late at night with the linen, and he argues with Norma. Dylan and Norman have different fathers, and Dylan thinks Norma cheated on his father with Sam, who fathered Norman. She says she is close with Norman because he likes her, and when Dylan asks her where she got the money to buy a hotel and a new car, she says that Sam’s insurance money covered it.

Norma and Norman are vigorously cleaning the kitchen where Keith was killed. Norman’s classmate Emma stops by to study. Norma grills her about her illness (cystic fibrosis) and her life expectancy. Emma finds the book that Norman has been hiding and she asks to borrow it.

Sheriff Romero and Deputy Shelby stop by Norma’s house again to ask about Keith. She tells them they’ll need a search warrant if they want to look inside her house, and she sends them on their way.

The next day Norma catches Deputy Shelby alone and she flirts with him over coffee. Shelby says Romero and Keith were childhood friends. They make plans to meet at a local community event. Later she tells Norman, and he doesn’t want her to go. She changes her shirt in front of him, revealing a sexy bustier and he seems uncomfortable. She says ‘Norman, I’m your mother. It’s not like it’s weird or anything.’

Dylan and Norman fight because Dylan has Norma listed as ‘The Whore’ in his cellphone. Norman says ‘She’s not a bad person, she’s just not perfect.’ Norman attacks him with a meat hammer but Dylan lays him out with a few punches.

Norma meets up with Shelby, and he makes a strange observation about the folks who live in White Pine Bay. The residents seem to have low paying, farm-type jobs but they all live in fancy homes. He says the residents live by an ‘eye for an eye’ code.

Norman receives an urgent message from Emma and he heads to the shop that her father owns. She’s cracked the story behind the book: four Chinese women were brought to White Pine Bay illegally to work as maids and earn citizenship. Once they arrive they are forced to work as prostitutes and one woman dies from an overdoes. She’s buried by the other three women outside of a shed in a forest. Emma wants to find the grave. She kisses Norman.

Dylan meets with the guy he met at the strip club, and this guy introduces him to someone else. The second guy says ‘Do you know how to use a gun?’ It appears Dylan has found out how the people in this town make so much money.

Norman and Emma head to the forest to look for the shed. They come across a huge field of pot, and two guys chase them with guns. Norman and Emma run past the shed they were looking for, but instead of stopping they jump into Emma’s car and drive away.

At home, Norma tells Dylan that he needs to leave in the morning. He said he spoke to some insurance people who helped him locate Norma. The people talked about what a great husband and father Sam was, and Dylan said ‘What if I told them what life with Sam was really like?’ Norma smiles, and she knows that Dylan is on to her.

Later Norma is driving through town and sees Shelby directing traffic away from a burning body that is hanging from a boat mast. Maybe this is the ‘eye for an eye’ justice for Bradley’s father who was burned earlier in the episode.

 

THE END


THE FOLLOWING “GUILT” SEASON 1 EPISODE 10 REVIEW

Paul…is that you?

Jacob hallucinates that Paul is alive and emerging from the shower. Jacob goes to the shower and finds Emma’s dead body. She was stabbed to death. Then Jacob wakes up.

Jacob wanders around the Crazy House and sees Joey, who is happy to reunite with him. Jacob ignores Emma when she tries to speak to him and explain why she abandoned him and Paul.

Carroll meets with Jacob and politely asks him to forgive Emma and talk to her. Jacob sees Paul again, who appears and says ‘Emma is a selfish bitch, always was.”

Jacob finds Emma and they talk. Emma says that she’s sorry about Paul and she loved him too. She says Roderick told her to leave with Joey, but Jacob isn’t buying it and he says she could’ve saved them.

Later, Emma tries again to connect with Jacob. She wants him to trust her again and she says that she loves him. They start making out. He is once again haunted by Paul, who says that he is dead because of her. Paul says that Emma needs to die. Jacob ‘kills’ Paul again, and then he tells Emma that he smothered Paul with a pillow. He says ‘I have a real taste for it now. I’d watch my back if I were you.’

– – – – – –

Carroll and Roderick clash

Carroll has two followers who are skilled at hacking the FBI. They are Vince and Brock. They hacked a satellite system and attempted to contact Claire. Roderick wants to leave and do his work as Sheriff, but Joe tells him that he failed twice to get Claire so he needs to skip work and get her.

– – – – – –

Claire, where are you?

Ryan wants to speak to Amanda Porter (from the Love Hurts episode) but the FBI team in D.C. are holding her. Ryan threatens to quit if he isn’t put in charge of Claire’s protection detail and Donovan reluctantly allows it.

Ryan meets at the hotel where Claire is hiding. He tells her about the Claire Matthews saga from the Love Hurts episode. He tells her that she needs to be moved somewhere safe.

Roderick, Vince, and Brock arrive at the hotel. They have found the floor she’s on, and they all put on masks and grab guns. Roderick has a master key that he’s using to open all of the hotel doors.

Roderick finds her room but they are too late. Ryan and Claire escape from the hotel and one of the followers tries to hold her at gunpoint. Ryan says ‘You’re not going to shoot her,” and he shoots the guy. Claire hops in Ryan’s car and they drive off.

– – – – – –

Ryan gets some help

Parker and Donovan don’t know where Ryan and Claire are headed to and apparently they are unable to track her.

Ryan drives to the home of Tyson, a former FBI agent who is now in witness protection. Also, he plays Batista on Dexter!

2005 flashback. Tyson tells Ryan that if he publishes ‘The Poetry of a Killer’ then he’ll always be that ‘Joe Carroll guy’. He thinks the book is a bad idea but he still supports Ryan.

While Ryan is freshening up, Claire decides to ask Tyson about Ryan’s love life. Tyson tells her about Molly, and there’s a 2009 flashback with Molly and Ryan flirting. Tyson tells Claire that Ryan always pushes women away but she is the only woman he’s ever really cared about.

Tyson and Ryan find a chip in Claire’s sweater, and conclude the followers are tracking Claire and they know her location. Meanwhile, the FBI still doesn’t know where Claire is, and they have the bright idea that Ryan has taken her to his home, which was wishful thinking on their part.

– – – – – –

And… they arrive!

Carroll meets Joey in the kitchen for lunch and tries again to talk to him. They make s’mores.

Ryan, Tyson, and Claire are still waiting for the followers to show up. She wants to know why Ryan never called her for 8 years, and she says “What if I said I love you?’ and he said ‘I’d say that’s a really bad idea, and I love you too.’ Then they make out.

Roderick, Vince, and Brock are closing in on Claire’s location. Tyson shoots and kills Brock.

Roderick goes to the front door and yells for Claire to come out. Tyson is shot when he goes outside to find the followers. Claire runs outside and approaches Roderick and Vince. She says ‘Take me to my son’ and she gets in the car with them. They drive off with her.

– – – – – –

Another guest stops by the Crazy House

FBI team find an online portal that looks like a possible recruiting tool or online get-together for Carroll’s followers.

Ryan is at the hospital with Tyson when he gets a phone call from Carroll, who taunts him about Claire. Ryan says that he quits, but we all know that isn’t true.

2005 flashback. Tyson tells Ryan to stop pushing Molly away because of a fictional death curse. Ryan believes anyone who comes around him eventually dies.

A guest stops by to see Carroll- it’s Molly!

 

THE END
WTF MOMENTS:

The FBI guy standing directly in front of the door and gets shot by Roderick.
Why the hell is Claire asking about Ryan’s love life when she has murderous psychos on her ass?


MOVIE REVIEW: THE LAST EXORCISM (2010)

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Cast: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum
Director: Daniel Stamm

Produced and presented by horror filmmaker Eli Roth, The Last Exorcism follows Reverend Cotton Marcus as he works with a camera crew to film his last exorcism. For years Cotton has performed fake exorcisms for a fee. He pulls off the elaborate hoax with smoke, wire (to shake and rattle pictures on the wall and dressers), pre-recorded sounds and lots of good acting.

The Last Exorcism

 

Cotton and his film crew (director Iris and cameraman Daniel) arrive at the farmhouse of Louis Sweetzer. He is a religious man who is convinced that his daughter, Nell, is possessed. Cotton starts going through the motions of his ‘exorcism’ while the film crew documents his process. However, Cotton starts to realize Nell is flat out crazy, and she actually might be possessed by a demon named Abalam.

I avoided watching this movie because I went on an Eli Roth-strike after I watched his horrendous Hostel. I must say that I enjoyed this movie for a few reasons:

1. Pacing

I never felt like this movie dragged along or moved too fast. This doesn’t happen alot with scary movies, and most times they tend to drag because of too much dialogue.

2. It was creepy

The creep factor kept building from the moment Cotton stepped into the farmhouse. The dad is intense, Nell’s brother is weird, and Nell keeps giving ‘innocent’ vibes but her increasingly violent behavior poses suggests three things: she’s crazy and needs to be committed, she’s possessed, and mostly likely, she’s both. Seriously something is wrong with her.

3. Cotton and his team are freaked

Sometimes I watch horror movies and the characters seem unusually calm sometimes. They’ll scream and cry when something is after them, but when danger is out of the way they are calm. Cotton, Iris, and Daniel actually give some realistic impressions.

4. Is that a cult?

I won’t elaborate here because this would spoil the later half of the movie that I really enjoyed. Let’s just say that some freaky stuff happened and in my sick, horror-loving mind it was pretty cool.

– – – – –

Overall I enjoyed this movie and it’s definitely something that I would watch again. It does use the ‘found footage’ and ‘shaky cam’ techniques, but the shaky cam wasn’t too shaky and it didn’t distract me from the film. Last I checked it was on Netflix, so go check it out!


BATES MOTEL “FIRST YOU DREAM, THEN YOU DIE” SEASON 1 EPISODE 1 REVIEW

Norman finds his father dead on the floor. He alerts his mother Norma, who is very nonchalant and consoles her son.

Mother and son flee the house and drive to an abandoned motel and a separate house that Norma bought from foreclosure. Norman seems uncomfortable but his mother assures him everything will be okay.

One morning Norman is waiting at the bus stop and a group of pretty girls ask him to ride with them to school. He speaks to his advisor, Ms. Watson, and she gets the impression that things are not well at home- his father is dead and his mother seems unstable. She wants him to get involved at school and possibly join the track team.

Meanwhile, at the motel Norma is cleaning and she gets a phone call from her son Dylan. He’s upset that she didn’t tell him that she moved, and he asks her for money. She hangs up.

At dinner Norma guilts Norman into staying at home and working on the motel, instead of joining the track team.

Keith Summers stops by the house and rants about the motel and the house belonging to his family until it was sold to the bank. Norma threatens to call the police or shoot him if he comes back to the property.

The group of girls stop by the house and ask if Norman would like to study with them. He wants to go but Norma says there’s too much house work to do and she sends the girls away. Later he sneaks out and heads to a party with the girls. He likes a girl named Bradley and they start talking to each other, but she innocently talks to another guy at the party. Norman is jealous.
Keith comes by and attacks Norma. He handcuffs her to a table and begins to rape her. Norman returns home just in time to hit Keith and knock him to the floor. Norma puts the handcuffs on Keith and then she stabs him to death. She tells Norman that they can’t report the death because it will damage the reputation of the hotel.

Norman confesses to sneaking out of the house, and then he helps his mother dump the body into one of the hotel bathrooms. They start ripping up the bloody carpets until two officers – Shelby and Romero – stop by. Romero innocently goes into the room where Keith’s body is stashed and he uses the toilet. He does not see the body, and the officers leave.

Norma and Norman are on a boat and they dump Keith’s body into the water. Norma is feeling down on herself because she killed Keith, and earlier in the day she found out a new bypass will be built on the other side of town. This will certainly keep traffic away from their motel. Norman comforts her and tells her how much he loves and needs her.
Throughout the episode Norman keeps looking at a small book that he found, and it’s full of sketches that show women being abused (chained, needle sticking out of an arm, cowering in fear, etc.). Norma has the new ‘Bates Motel’ sign set up. The last scene of the episode shows a young woman shackled in a room, and someone sticks a needle into her arm.

 

THE END


SCANDAL “TOP OF THE HOUR” SEASON 2 EPISODE 16 REVIEW

 

This week’s Scandal: Sara Stanner and Murray Randall

Paparazzi arrive at home of Sara Stanner, who is accused of having an affair 15 years ago with Murray Randall. He’s Fitz’s Supreme Court nominee. Sara’s attorney has brought in Olivia!

Olivia, Abby, and Harrison head to Sara’s house. Sara confesses that everything is true- during the time Randall was her law professor, both were married and they had an affair.

Olivia sets up a press conference for Sara, and she publicly comes clean about the affair. She does this to put the heat on Randall. Cyrus sees the conference and he is livid. Olivia says Sara is her client, not Randall, and if his career tanks that is not her problem.

Cyrus leads a witch hunt against Sara, and Randall confesses the affair to Fitz. Sara almost gets fired from her CEO job for breaching her morality contract, but Harrison fights back and saves it.

Cyrus is celebrating because Randall has enough votes to secure his nomination. Mellie confronts him because she finds out Fitz is having secret, late night meetings.

It’s revealed that Sara and Randall continued their affair two years after it ended. Her husband wonders if he’s the biological father of their daughter, and now her job is in danger again.

Sara is depressed because she has to do a paternity test, and she said the affair wasn’t the biggest mistake. The biggest mistake was letting her husband believe a lie. Olivia knows the feeling, because she let Fitz believe a lie about how he became president.

Abby and Harrison talk. She says people betray others and are betrayed themselves and then they get over it. She says she understands now that Harrison is a gladiator first and a person second. Then she gets an idea to go around Sara’s morality clause. Although she has no evidence against any one on the board of directors, she pretends she does, and threatens to expose them. The board falls for the trap because they have their own indiscretions to hide, and Sara’s job is saved.

Olivia hands the paternity test results to Sara and her husband, but they refuse to read them. The media has now moved onto the hostage situation…

– – – – –

Hostage situation solved…

Olivia’s at Jake’s office. She has to cancel their date, but she asks him about the Kashfari hostage situation. She hands him some information but says ‘Don’t tell anyone it came from me.’

Fitz is having a quiet meeting with Jake, but Jake exits through a side door when Cyrus and Mellie and the baby arrive. Cyrus goes in first and tells Fitz about the Randall scandal, and an annoyed Fitz tells him to fix it. Then Mellie tries to come in, but Fitz takes the baby and closes the door in her face.

Jake meets Olivia about the paperwork she gave him – dossiers on the people who were taken as hostages, which were prepared two weeks before they were taken. He wants to know where she got it, and is it legit. she tells him to trust her. A reporter snaps a picture of the two of them together.

Fitz finds out Olivia is representing Sara and tanking Randall’s career. Randall is losing support and will decline the nomination votes. Fitz calls Olivia and says she ruined him because she didn’t believe in him.

Jake goes to Fitz with intelligence of the hostages’ whereabouts. A team is waiting for his go signal. Mellie sees Jake leave Fitz’ office.

Fitz gives the go-ahead for the raid and the three hostages are found and rescued. Osborne (the mole) is stunned!

Jake sneaks into the home of the photographer who took pictures of him and Olivia earlier. He is masked, beats up the photographer, and deletes the images.

Jake goes to Olivia’s apartment and tells her the hostages are free.

Mellie goes up to Cyrus and says “Fitz isn’t cheating on me, he’s cheating on you.” And she hands him a photograph of Jake.

– – – – –

Huckleberry Quinn & Osborne…

Huck and Quinn are following Osbourne to see if they can determine when he makes his drops as a mole.

Huck teaches Quinn a lesson. She follows Osbourne to a dry cleaners, and someone assists her. She has to give up her shirt so she won’t get made. Huck tells her she always needs to have the right props.

Huck takes Quinn back to the dry cleaners and she picks up Osbourne’s clothing. She finds $20,000 hidden in one of the pockets of his suits. She returns the clothing by pretending that she picked up the wrong clothes by mistake.

The guy who works at the dry cleaners sends a photo of Quinn to Osbourne.

 
THE END


MOVIE REVIEW: DARK SKIES (2013)

Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Cast: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, J.K. Simmons, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett
Director: Scott Stewart

I delayed seeing this movie because I thought it would be a regretful experience. Surprisingly I really enjoyed this movie. It was spooky and thrilling at times, although it did have some faults. Dark Skies doesn’t bring anything original to the horror genre, and in fact it seems to pay homage to some films that came before it, like Poltergeist. I’m not saying you should run out and see it, but definitely give it a try.

Dark Skies 2013 poster

I love this poster and the image is very fitting.

This movie follows the typical stereotypes: Daniel (Hamilton), the father, is out of work and super stressed because his family is behind in bills and about to lose their home. Lacy (Russell), the mother, works as a real estate agent and she is starting to lose faith in her husband. Their marriage is crumpling.

Jesse, their oldest son, is a rebellious tween but also very protective of his younger brother, Sam. Sam plays the typical, semi-creepy child who seems to understand the disturbing events that start happening in the family home but he’s unable to properly communicate what he sees and hears.

For most of this movie Lacy scrambles around and tries to figure out what’s causing certain things; for example, one evening she finds Sam in his underwear, standing out in the front lawn in a strange daze. He has no memory of walking outside. Another time she goes into the kitchen and finds glasses, bottles, etc stacked on top of each other in a very artsy-fartsy, this-would-be-cool-if-it-were-in-a-museum way. Lacy herself, along with Daniel and Jesse experience their own terrifying moments.

Of course this family does what families always do in these types of movies, and they consult a ‘specialist’ (Simmons) – who may or may not be a quack – and they vow to fight back against the evil in their home.

Yes it’s cliche, but it does give a few good scares and Keri Russell works well with what she’s given. Hamilton is a bit too exaggerated for my liking and J.K. Simmons is unusually bland. I almost forgot he was in this movie.

I’d recommend this movie if you’re looking for something to watch on a lazy afternoon. It’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either.