This episode is quite the doozy. We land with Sookie in fairy land where we ended at season three. Claudine identifies herself as Sookie’s fairy godmother. Sookie sees Barry and her grandfather here. As they catch up, fairies walk around and hand out light fruits – a glowing fruit that everyone digs into. Sookie is uncertain about eating the fruit, as everything doesn’t seem quite right.
Sookie tries to warn her grandfather telepathically that this is a trap. However, everyone here can communicate telepathically. The queen fairy, Mab, steps forward and declares that she wants to shut fairies off from humans and demands that Sookie eat the fruit. When Sookie uses her light powers to release herself from Mab’s grasp, it reveals a grey wasteland version of the fairy land she is in. The fairies appear as goblins, and Sookie has seen the true nature of this place.
Sookie and her grandfather run to get away, being followed and attacked by the fairy/goblins. Sookie is helped by Claudine’s brother who opposes her views and Sookie and her grandfather drop back down to Earth. We see Bill and Eric become aware of her presence. Sookie and her grandfather land in the cemetery and Sookie shows him her grandmother and parents’ graves. Sookie’s grandfather dies at their graves, but not before giving her a pocketwatch to give to Jason. Before he disintegrates, Sookie’s grandfather tells her he loves her.
Sookie returns to her home to find a crew working on renovations. The crew calls the police and Jason – as a cop – shows up. Jason is relieved to see her and reveals that she has been missing for twelve and a half months. We have jumped in time tremendously. Jason, in his grief over Sookie’s disappearance, sold the house. Sookie explains where she has been and when Jason doesn’t believe her, she produces the watch. She tells him that Grandaddy Earl gave it to her before he died and that he felt like he’d only been gone a few hours. Sookie herself felt as if she was only gone ten minutes while in fairy land. All of this gets Jason to believe that she is telling the truth, if somewhat reluctantly.
Bill arrives at the house and tells Sookie he has hasn’t felt her presence for a year. He suspected she was with Claudine. Eric shows up as well and asserts that he never gave up on Sookie. Just then, Andy shows up and is very upset when Sookie says she wasn’t kidnapped. Bill covers for her, saying she was on “secret vampire business.”
Back in the cruiser, we see Andy battling a V addiction and later on Jason scolds him for still using.
We see Eric and Bill trying to rebuild vampire-human relations post Russell Edgington and his outburst. Eric gives a television announcement as a local business owner and Bill presents a town ribbon cutting ceremony.
Jesus takes Lafayette reluctantly to a witch gathering. The head witch communicates as Eddie through herself. Lafayette is angry with Jesus, thinking he told her about his experiences with Eddie in order to convince him the witchy powers are real. Jesus insists he told no one, but Lafayette won’t hear it.
When he goes back again with Jesus, he is forced to participate in a ritual that brings a bird back to life for a minute. One woman from the coven is a plant and arrives back at Bill’s house. It seems Bill may now be the king of Louisiana.
Arlene comes home to find Terry in the bathroom and her new baby, Mikey, in the living room floor with headless Barbie dolls. Terry assures Arlene that Mikey is a good boy and will be fine.
Jason takes food to Hotshot to the kids that he is looking after for Crystal. They tell him that the freezer isn’t working and that it isn’t cold. Jason goes to investigate, but the kids lock him inside the freezer.
Mixed Martial Arts
In New Orleans, we see Tara as a successful mixed martial artist. Tara is in a romantic relationship with another female mixed martial artist named Naomi. Tara is also going by a different name.
Trouble in Paradise
We flash to Jessica and Hoyt living in the house he bought for them at the end of last season. They seem to be okay, but it is clear that the human dating a vampire dynamic is getting to them. The pair go to Fangtasia for date night where a human hits on Jessica. It seems she has a moment of enjoyment of this, but then decides she loves Hoyt and walks away from it.
Sookie catches up with everyone at Merlotte’s. When she asks Lafayette about Tara, he says he doesn’t know where she is because she’s moved a lot since Sookie went missing. However, we see Lafayette text Tara and tell her that Sookie is alive and back in Bon Temps. Tara ignores the text message and makes up a story about the text being her father saying her grandmother has died to Naomi.
We see Tommy come into Merlotte’s with Hoyt’s mother. He is in a leg brace and we learn that Sam has been paying for his physical therapy since shooting him. It seems Hoyt’s mother replaced Hoyt with Tommy when he left. Weird situation.
Sam gathers with other shapeshifters after work. He seems to have found a place to belong.
We end the episode with Sookie changing in her old bedroom. She doesn’t own this house, but alright. Eric shows up in her room and Sookie quickly covers herself up. He tells her that he can be inside the home because she doesn’t own it anymore: he does. He tells her that he bought the house because if he owned the home, he owned her. Eric tells Sookie, “you are mine.”
This episode was quite the journey. The beginning of the episode in fairy land felt like I was watching Lord of the Rings and the time jump was disorienting. This season isn’t off to the best start in my eyes and it was a lot of character changes that will take time to get used to. But hey, I’m rooting for Sookie and Eric.
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American Horror Story Delicate, Rockabye
There’s a lot to unpack from this episode of American Horror Story Delicate, Killer Queens, so I don’t want to waste any time. I just want to take a moment and issue a trigger warning. This episode, and therefore this review, talks about several topics that might be upsetting. These include abuse, pregnancy trauma and miscarriage. It’s heavy. If you’re not up for that, here’s a link to my review of Tucker and Dale, which is considerably lighter and funnier.
Our episode starts with Anna trying to get the police to take her seriously about the break-in. There’s just one problem. No one was seen coming in or out of the apartment except Dex. No one shows up on any of the security footage. The police are convinced it’s just Anna’s IFV medication making her see things.
But Anna doesn’t have time to think about the break-in. She’s just been nominated for a Gotham award, and she needs to get into full Awards Show mode. Siobhan gives her something she calls B12 and tells her that her life now revolves around awards prep.
But Anna’s whole life can’t revolve around that, because she’s pregnant now. Even though she seems to be losing time. Like, weeks at a time without even realizing it.
Things just get stranger when she’s at the Gotham Awards and accosted by an overzealous fan in the bathroom. After the woman puts her hands on Anna’s stomach, she knocks her over and the woman hits her head on the sink.
Rather than aiding the woman, Anna goes out to accept her award.
Or does she? After throwing up blood on stage, she finds herself back in the bathroom, being helped up by paramedics.
Everyone agrees that Anna needs some rest and space to heal. So she and Dex go to Talia’s house in the country. There, of course, everything gets much worse. Anna starts to bleed after a yoga session and is taken to the hospital. There, she gets an ultrasound by Nurse Ivy. A nurse that no one else knows at the hospital.
Sadly, the bleeding doesn’t stop. And as we end the episode, it appears that Anna has lost her baby.
Emma Roberts is doing a fantastic job playing Anna. Proving as always that American Horror Story actors are nothing if not flexible. I find myself wanting to compare Anna to Madison Montgomery from AHS Coven. They’re both actresses who experience abuse from men that one might, sadly, expect for women in their station and age range. Madison is gang-abused by frat boys, and Anna has her autonomy taken away from her as soon as a baby is in question.
That’s where the similarities stop. Can you ever imagine Madison saying, “You’re right, I’m sorry,” to literally anyone? She’d have snapped a man’s neck first. Anna’s body language, voice modulation, and the overall way she carries herself in the world is so different.
This is also part of what makes her relatable. I imagine many of the female-presenting people reading this can remember a time when we’ve said, you’re right, I’m sorry when they were wrong and we weren’t sorry at all.
I also really loved the amount of blood in this episode. There is so much blood involved in being a cisgender woman. It’s something we take for granted, but shy away from when in polite company. There was no shying away here. We’re made to see all of it. I don’t think the amount of blood in the miscarriage scene was overkill at all. If anything, it wasn’t enough.
Finally, it’s a small point but one that I appreciated. I bet you already know the one I’m talking about. When Anna is overjoyed to get to wear the same dress once worn by Madonna, Siobhan reminds her in a stern voice not to rip it.
If you didn’t get the joke, look up Kim K and an incident with the iconic Marilyn Monroe dress. I do appreciate anyone who can poke fun at themselves.
The reference to ‘don’t rip it’ with the dress was fun. I hate Kim K and her whole family, but that was funny.
What didn’t work
I’m honestly struggling to find anything in this episode that didn’t work. If I had to pick out something I didn’t like, it was probably that we got the barest cameo from Zachary Quinto. I really hope we get to see more of him as the season progresses.
Another thing I don’t like overall is the character Siobhan. I mentioned this last week, and I’ll try not to mention it again because I don’t see it changing. But the character in the show is a bare reflection of the one in the book.
Siobhan in the book was a loving, selfless friend. Which made the ending, well, let’s say impactful to avoid spoilers for both AHS and Delicate Condition. This version, if she continues as she is, is not going to have the same effect.
I’m also quite done hearing the internet swoon over what a great job Kim K is doing. She’s been acting her entire life, I’d be surprised if she wasn’t good at it. And she’s doing no better or worse than many other guest stars have done in the past seasons of American Horror Story. She’s not bad. But she wouldn’t be getting the credit she is if she wasn’t who she is.
Overall, this was a great episode. It was equal parts funny, gory and infuriating. At this point, my only real complaint is that there are only three episodes left until a season break. But now that the writing strike is over, hopefully the break won’t be too long.(4 / 5)
Cadaver (2020), a Film Review
Cadaver (2020) is a Norwegian post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Jarand Herdal and currently available on Netflix.
Cadaver (2020) is a Norwegian post-apocalyptic thriller directed by Jarand Herdal. This unrated film stars Thorbjørn Harr, Gitte Witt, and Thomas Gullestad. As of this review, the film is available on Netflix.
After an apocalyptic event, the survivors endure in a hopeless world. Among these survivors are Leonora (Gitte Witt), Jacob (Thomas Gullestad), and Alice (Tuva Olivia Remman), a family fighting the hopelessness of a lost world. Leonora desires to keep her daughter (Alice) hopeful, and when a theater opens in their decrepit city, she thinks she has found the solution to their despair. However, they will all soon learn how desperate people have become.
What I Like from Cadaver
Cadaver takes on a unique focus for a post-apocalyptic movie. While most in the genre tackle the question of where you find hope, the theatrical lens is not one I’ve seen before. It blends these two unique environments together for a pleasant concoction. As a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, I must admit I find my niche in the everyday lives of someone in such a world.
Leonora’s (usually called Leo in the film) dreamer nature in this horrendously hopeless environment creates a sympathetic contrast. This dreamer nature doesn’t excuse some of her choices, but she evokes sympathy. While most post-apocalyptic entries provide this balance of hope and survival, Leo’s creativity and passion for the arts give her hope and a more focused ideal.
The relationship between Leo and her husband also creates a nice contrast, as Jacob plays the rationalist and survivor. In this decision, both characters provide that post-apocalyptic dynamic of survival and hope. These interactions allow both actors opportunities to create friction as they pull the plot from their differing perspectives.
I had the chance to listen to the dubbed version, which sounds good. I’m not much for dubs, especially on Netflix, but they did Cadaver with respect and a focus on quality. At the very least, it’s competent and doesn’t distract from the viewing experience.
Tired Tropes and Trigger Warnings
As hinted at earlier, there are some dumb decisions in the plot. While many fall within character traits, the actions don’t escape criticism. This flaw becomes incredibly repetitive when characters make the same mistake.
Implied suicide occurs throughout the film with one shown incident, but there are circumstances that change the context slightly. A world this bleak invites this depressive and dangerous state as a normality. However, one should prepare if this is a trigger.
What I Dislike or Considerations for Cadaver
Again, some decisions had me roll my eyes and endure the plot. This reaction isn’t exactly the experience I seek out in my horror. It’s more haunting to make sensible, or even intelligent, decisions and still endure unavoidable or unforeseen consequences.
It’s likely that nothing in Cadaver surprises you, which underutilizes the interesting premise. There are unique elements, certainly, but never a twist I didn’t see coming. It’s in that execution that Cadaver falls flat and fails to engage a viewer.
The film doesn’t exactly haunt the viewer, but the bleak world effectively depicts the hopelessness of a post-apocalypse. Don’t expect much genuine horror, but you can expect an appropriately uncomfortable and unnerving experience. In short, viewers of Cadaver likely want a unique twist in their post-apocalypse, not a traumatic horror.
Cadaver remains a unique viewing experience by adding a slight twist to its post-apocalyptic story. While not a haunting masterpiece, this bleak film will have you feeling the characters’ struggle. While lacking sensible decision-making skills, they are certainly sympathetic survivors struggling in a hopeless world. If this is your niche, it’s certainly worth a view.
(3 / 5)
Wheel of Time, What Might Be
Episode three of Wheel of Time was easily my favorite so far. It’s dramatic, dark, and speaks to the growing concerns about evil invading the world.
Let’s begin with Nynaeve. After showing little to no progress, Liandrin thinks she’s ready to go through the Trial of The Arches. This is an initiation that all Aes Sedai have to go through to become a sister. It’s dangerous, not totally understood, and doesn’t have a great survival rate.
One would think some cooler heads would prevail and not let the very new person do this so early. Especially since Nynaeve seems to have some issues with impulse control.
But she goes into the trial, seeing first a scene from her childhood where her parents are attacked.
The point is to walk back through the arches, leaving her family behind. This she does, but doesn’t look very happy about it. Her second trial involves finding herself back in Two Rivers, where a horrible plague has ripped through the people. Again, she has to walk away from the people that she cares about and come back to reality.
The third test is a little more tricky. It appears that Nynaeve comes back covered in blood, with no memories of what happened.
Terrified, she runs from the castle only to find Lan waiting for her.
In the real world, where Liandrin and the others are waiting for her, she simply never returns.
This shakes Liandrin. She decides she’s done holding Mat against his will, and lets him leave. Excited, but also smelling a trap, he takes Min with him.
Still not sure why she had him to start with, but I guess it’s cool that she let him go.
Meanwhile, Rand is working with a familiar face at his hospital. It’s Logain, who we might remember as the false dragon from season one.
Rand would love some advice about channeling as a man. But it appears that Logain might really have lost his mind.
My favorite scene in the episode was the one involving Perrin and Lady Suroth. This scene was perfect.
First off, the character design for Lady Suroth was just perfect. Without moving more than a hand and the crook of her mouth, she manages to be terrifying.
The massively scary nails help, as does the headdress that is both beautiful and reminiscent of an insect. The sort of insect that seems likely to bite and lay eggs under the skin of a victim.
Her absolute authority was terrifying. Uno certainly learned that.
What was more scary, of course, was who was standing next to her. Does she think she’s the one in charge? Or is she perfectly clear on where stands?
What didn’t work
One thing that I don’t love about this season is, unfortunately, not likely to change. It’s true in the books, and it’s true in the show.
The ensemble cast structure doesn’t work for me.
It fractures the story in too many directions. It’s too busy, there’s too much going on. At the same time, there isn’t enough going on with individual characters for me to establish an interest in all of them.
I care what’s happening with Egwene and Nynaeve. I care what’s happening with Perrin.
I don’t care as much about Rand right now. And she wasn’t as involved in this episode, but I don’t care about what Moiraine is going through either.
That could be because the world is coming to an end and they’re refusing to be team players. But maybe that’s just me.
Overall, this was a fun episode. It feels like pieces are being put into place. The characters are getting ready for something big. Something that we can only see the beginnings of.
Something that they clearly don’t think they’re ready for.(3.5 / 5)