Archive | January, 2011

Fringe: Reciprocity

29 Jan

Basic plot: People from the FBI, Massive Dynamic, etc. are working to crack the code on Fauxlivia’s files to find any information on Walternate’s plans. Then shapeshifters start turning up dead so they really start trying to crack the code to find out the names of the shapeshifters so they can get to one before they’re killed and question them. They also start looking for the assumed mole that is going around killing the shapeshifters, with the help of Nina’s handy dandy unbeatable polygraph. Meanwhile, the team goes to see the machine, which is being housed at Massive Dynamic, and Peter just entering the room causes the machine to activate. MD wants to do tests to find out what it is about Peter that reacts with the machine, and Walter wants to find some brain DNA something or other that Bell stored away when he took out the pieces of Walter’s brain, in the hopes that he can use it to regrow the pieces, get his full mental faculties back, and be able to think like Walternate so he can figure out what his plan is and save Peter. Olivia makes overtures of forgiveness towards Peter, and it’s all hunky dory, but then Walter discovers that it’s actually Peter who’s killing the shapeshifters. I don’t think Olivia’s going to be too pleased when that secret comes out.

This episode was the first time that the show really addressed Peter’s emotional state post-Fauxlivia betrayal. And man, is he in a bad place. He’s kind of reverted back to his season one persona, when he was supposed to be this super tough con man/mercenary bad boy. He’d gone pretty much totally away from that as he re-connected with Walter and made a little family unit with him, Olivia, and Astrid, but now that that’s gotten all messed up, so has he. Walter’s hypothesis, that all relationships involve reciprocity (hello, episode title), including Peter’s with the machine, meaning that when Peter activated the weapon the weapon “activated” Peter, makes a certain kind of sense (in a Fringe way, anyway) and would explain his seemingly overnight shift to the dark side. But the boy has been through an awful lot—I mean, pre-show, he was kidnapped and taken to an alternate universe, his mother committed suicide, and his father was in a mental hospital, then during the show he found out about the kidnapping, he went back to his universe, found out his real father is pretty evil and wants to destroy the world he grew up in (and oh yeah, use him to do it), came back after Olivia basically declared her love, started dating Olivia, and then found out that he was actually dating the alternate universe’s Olivia while the real Olivia was trapped over there. Just a couple of those things would be enough to mess anyone up, so it’s really not surprising he’s gone all dark. And I’d rather it be because of what he’s been through then because of the machine—if the machine has somehow weaponized him, that’s going to be a lot harder to get back to normal from. Hopefully he will get back to normal because this version of Peter is pretty disturbing. And even though in retrospect he was at least partially manipulating Olivia when he explained why he didn’t want her to read Fauxlivia’s files (he’d clearly already read them at that point so he knew she didn’t write about how dumb he was—bad Peter!) the fact that he seemed the most normal in this episode when was around her is hopefully a good sign. After all, in the musical episode, which at the time seemed like a random one-off but has turned into an exercise in foreshadowing, she did end up saving him.

Other notes: The title card glyphs for this episode spelled out alter, the seahorse glyph showed up on Peter’s bag, and the Observer was in the background when Olivia and Broyles were at the crime scene where the first shapeshifter was discovered (for previous observer sightings/glyph codes/etc., go here: http://eastereggs.fringetelevision.com/. Lost just wishes it could be Fringe).

On another note, I know this episode wasn’t written by JJ Abrams and I don’t know how much involvement he even has in the show any more, but someone was totally cribbing from Alias in this episode. Compare:

Fringe: http://www.hulu.com/embed/YkReNKSlfAnkwgSejaWtnw/160/171

And Alias: http://www.splicd.com/Cs87aiZfzJY/140/154

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Graphics yay!

28 Jan

Technically this is related to TV, and I’m pretty proud of it, so I’m posting an assignment for my infographics class. We have to trace/color a person, a place, and a thing in illustrator, so I traced a picture of Zachary Levi (from Chuck) for my person (of course.) Here’s the original:

Zachary

And here’s my traced/colorized version:

Traced!Zachary

After I was done I was seeing the individual shapes in just about everything, so that was fun. Took me about five hours to do…hopefully once I get more practice with it I’ll get faster (before this I’d traced an apple and about ten zillion maps, and this was my first time colorizing something). I’m also still not totally happy with his hair so I might go in and try to change it, we’ll see.

XOXO, Gossip Girl

25 Jan

Gossip Girl is an incredibly ridiculous show. Every season, heck, every week, it gets more and more crazy. I spend most of each episode rolling my eyes. But I can’t stop watching. It’s too addictive. It’s bad in the most delightful way. So of course, when it came back last night, I watched. I even had a watch party! And it was just as ridiculous as ever. Basic plot run down: Serena and Dan decided not to date. Again. Chuck and Serena schemed to bring down Lily but their plan was foiled when Serena accidentally gave Dan’s resume to a reporter at a party instead of the document that Lily signed as Serena to put Ben in jail. But it turns out that Lily was actually trying to fix things and got Ben released from jail, so yay! She isn’t completely evil after all. But before Serena knew that Ben got released, she went to visit him and then ran into him on her way out, because all former convicts LOVE to hang around the place where they’ve been incarcerated for years. Then they decided to have a little dinner date, because another thing former convicts love is hanging out with the girl whose mother got them put in jail because of false claims that they slept with that girl. The other Van Der Woodsen drama was not resolved so “happily”: the Chuck/Serena/Lily argument at the party made the buyer of Bass Industries back out of the deal. Instead it sold to Chuck’s father’s former friend who now has a very large grudge (against a dead man..harsh), so, yeah..I’m sure that will end well. Nate, poor, dumb Nate, just sort of sat around being mad at his Dad for not being more proactive about finding a post-prison job. But it’s ok, because turns out the aforementioned Bass enemy is totally cool with hiring a guy convicted of embezzlement who also happens to be a (former) cocaine addict to run his finances. Because that’s always super smart.  Oh, and Blair decided that she’s going to be the next Anna Wintour. That I actually find believable.

Also in this episode, it became very clear that by the end of the season, Blair and Dan are going to be together. I should have seen it coming earlier: after all, Blair/Dan is one of the only relationship combinations that the main characters have not been in.

To illustrate the incestuous nature of the show (sometimes semi-literally! Ahem, DAN/SERENA), I made this little chart of all of the relationship circles in Gossip Girl. As an added bonus, they form one huge relationship circle as well! Click to see in all its glory.

These people really need to get out more.

This sort of thing is how we end up with lines like the horrible one in last night’s episode: “We’ll find out how we feel at family brunch.” I know Serena and Dan aren’t actually related, but EW. New York is a big city, guys. Explore!

I have a problem…

22 Jan

…And that problem is actor-character association. When I first started watching Gossip Girl, my brain had a heck of a time trying to reconcile Veronica Mars narrating the show. If I ever see Kyle Chandler in another show (and I hope I do since he’s awesome), and he’s married or has any sort of love interest, I know that all I’ll be able to think about is that Tami Taylor is going to kick his behind. And while I love Fringe, and it’s been on for three seasons, and I’m pretty invested in that universe, I still sometimes can’t help but think of Peter as Pacey, the actor’s role on Dawson’s Creek (and also the best part of Dawson’s Creek).

This issue makes it very hard for me when I try to do good deeds for actors. I have been watching ABC’s new show, Off the Map, which is pretty bad, solely because of Caroline Dhavernas, from Wonderfalls, and Zach Gilford, from Friday Night Lights. But every time I see them, I can’t help but think of Jaye and Matt. Which makes me not just find Zach’s character unpleasant, but also feel disappointed in him (at one point I actually thought, Matt, what have you done to yourself? The Taylors will not be pleased). In the case of Off the Map though, I’d like to hold onto that feeling. That show really is not very good, like at all. I don’t think I ever want to get to the point where I think of them as their Off the Map characters (whose names I can’t even remember, that’s how not good the show is) instead of as their characters from their far, far, far superior first shows. Sigh. I miss Wonderfalls. And I’m going to have to start missing Friday Night Lights very soon. Sometimes loving TV is very difficult.

Well hey there

22 Jan

Since this is a brand new blog, and we’re all still getting to know each other (for example, you possibly didn’t even know what I look like until RIGHT NOW),

OMG IT’S ME

I thought I’d talk to you a little before I jump in and start going on about any specific show. So, here’s the thing. I think you can tell a lot about a person based on what shows they watch. I admit that I judge people based on their viewing habits.

Everyone’s allowed their guilty tv pleasures (mine, for example, are 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and various wedding related shows), but if I meet someone and find out all they watch is, say, Two and a Half Men and Jersey Shore, I don’t care how nice they are–we are not going to be friends. If they say they don’t watch any TV at all, not only are we not going to be friends, but I will know to steer clear of them forever because they are clearly not to be trusted. And if ever I find out post-friendship-forming that someone has horrible tv taste or worse, no interest in tv at all, I will make it my personal mission to fix them by getting them to watch all the shows I do. And it works, too! Which really just goes to show that I have terrific taste in TV and people should always listen to me when I tell them to watch something. Like Fringe. And Chuck. And Friday Night Lights. And the late, great Veronica Mars. And my personal favorite, which was taken away from me eons before its time, Wonderfalls.

Just saying.