book of the stranger (game of thrones s06e04)

now that the COMELEC’s official count is finishing up, i can go back to my regular programming. I bring you my recap of “Book of the Stranger,” this week’s episode of Game of Thrones.

dum dum da da dum dum da da dum ...

jon snow in brown stark boiled leather is preparing to leave castle black. no jon, don't go. sansa in on her way! ahhh, the gates are opening. it's sansa stark! finally, a stark reunion!!!! OMG sansa is taller than jon snow. sansa wants to take back the north, jon is tired of fighting. i would have cursed to the seven hells the showrunners had they prolonged the wait for the bittersweet stark reunion. (though i don't think i can forgive them for their bad reading and adaptation of the tower of joy events in last episode's bran plot)

brienne, davos, melisandre convo: i executed stannis (davos gives brienne the dirty look), because he killed renley by blood magic (brienne gives melisandre the dirty look). awkward to the extreme.

over at the vale -- sweetrobin's grown up and littlefinger's still a lying sack of crap. hah! the vale knights are going north to rescue sansa.

in mereen, the tyrion and varys show continues. saint tyrion is in his element, negotiating a political settlement with the masters of Slaver’s Bay. uh oh, missandei and grey work don’t look happy with the deal tyrion made with the slavers. neither do the reps of former slaves. but missandei and grey worm grudgingly rally behind tyrion. these two are learning politics quickly.

daario and jorah are still looking for their queen. they've finally reached dosh kaleen. they bond over bashing the head of some poor dothraki.

the ex-wives' club dothraki style. the widows of the dead khals bond over their common lot. daario and jorah finally meet up with their khaleesi who has a plan.

in king's landing, the head of the faith militant play head games with margaery baratheon nee tyrell. margaery is not buying the high sparrow's kool aid. but poor loras!

cersei is playing head games with king tommen. tommen appears to be buying cersei's kool aid.

the wonder twins confront the queen of thorns and their uncle kevan, the new hand of the king. Cersei says she hates the fanatics. ummm, cersei dear, wasn't it you who opened to proverbial door for the high sparrow and the faith militant to get their hooks into king's landing? anyhow, the tyrells and lannisters have agreed to work together to take down the high sparrow and his armed militants. I don’t know which side I want to win. in one corner you have an incestuous twin who practically help the civil war because they couldn’t keep their hands off each other and a family of back stabbing, child-poisoning social upstarts who will kill anyone who goes against them, and in the other corner you have a cabal of religious fanatics who will kill anyone who goes against them. Maybe they will kill each other to extinction.

yara (in the books she's called asha) and theon have the own reunion. very painful. theon wants yara/asha to take the salt throne (in the books it's called driftwood chair). it's an interesting parallel to the stark reunion earlier.

ramsay bolton and osha the wildling play head games. wth! ramsay killed osha. goodbye osha! but i'll see you in the books wherein you're still alive and kicking and probably hiding with rickon in cannibal-infested skagos.

tormund giantsbane is eyeballing brienne. it's a laugh riot, although i suspect that i'm supposed to be creeped out by this scene. enter a messenger with a letter with a flayed man's wax seal addressed to jon snow. the lettter is a one note threat: if you do not send sansa back to winterfell, i will use my sword to rape your sister, i will flay your brother rickon who is in my dungeon btw, i will scoop your eyes out, yada yada gore and guts and blood and flayed skin. ramsay's letters should come with its own warning tag (read, only if you have a cast iron stomach). on second thought, ramsay bolton is his own warning.

over at dosh khaleen, it's blood and fire time. daenerys slaughters the whole conclave of khals with fire, and gains a new army of dothrakis. okay that's cool, but when is daenerys going to cross the narrow sea?

/end of episode recap

home (game of thrones s06e02)

bran stark is back! yahoo! i love young bandon, ned, lyanna and benjen. no bloodraven! don't let's not go. i want to stay awhile and watch my young starks.

sorry, i'm still not buying your version of cersei and jaime lannister. tommen, your mom helped resurrect the faith militant for chrissakes.

no, fat walda! don't give your baby to ramsay! oh wow! they actually went there. poor walda. poor baby bolton. but not poor daddy bolton.

theon, i hated you. but not anymore. just make sure to die a good death. why is asha not in deepwood motte. i have to remind myself the GOT writers are writing their own of fan fiction. balon greyjoy, good riddance.

oh the dragons love tyrion. well of course, everyone loves saint tyrion.

hey melisandre, now's not the time to have a crisis of faith! get off your ass and bring jon snow back to life pronto.

he's aliveeeee!!!!!

(apparently, i'm like jon snow. not dead anymore. this is me, typing my gut reaction while watching GOT on cable)

red woman (game of thrones s06e01)

agggh! these lannister twins! for frak sake, stop acting like you're the aggrieved party!!!

also ellaria? your oberyn martell was butchered by the mountain because he was an arrogant fool. (and whoever says that ellaria and her sand snakes are the epitome of female empowerment is going to be fed to the ice zombies!)

overall reaction to season 6 premiere: what the heck GOT writers? when will the character assassinations stop?
what the huh?!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? meh!! the actors have practically nil charisma factor, like rejects from the audition lines of past Whedon shows. also what's with the character Phil Coulson? his death in the last Avengers movie made me tear up a bit, but this tv incarnation of Phil Coulson is triggering my cringe reflex. it was hinted at that moviePhil and tvPhil are different entities. is tvPhil a clone, with a Dollhousian memory download from the "original" Phil? or maybe tvPhil is a Phil hijacked from a parallel universe, or an alternate timestream via the tesseract? do i want to follow this latest Whedon series to find out the answer? i don't think so.

andrea and michonne, zombie slayers

andrea and michonne are my favorite characters in the TWD (The Walking Dead) comics. between the two of them, they have suffered through the decimation of their families, the 'zombification' of loved ones, hunger, torture, brutal rape. they've gone to hell and back many times, each time returning with a stronger will to life. ninety-four issues in, andrea and michonne persist, refusing to surrender to the zombie apocalypse their respective abilities to make the choice to act. they may have become harder, somewhat morally-bruised and a tad nuttier in the process. but they have never been broken in spirit. the two of them continue to find ways to connect with other survivors. with the many similarities between andrea and michonne, one would think that they'd become fast friends in the comics. but no. andrea and michonne have each been put on the limelight and they've figured heavily in other characters' story arcs. but they've never shared the limelight with just the two of them together. there's never been a plot or a story arc that primarily involves these two characters.

that the tv writers chose to introduce michonne via the viewpoint of andrea during the season-ender has ratcheted my anticipation for season 3. i don't know how far the tv writers will revise the comics dynamics of andrea and michonne. i hope they go all-out with the potentials of the nascent sisterhood of andrea and michonne, heretofore untapped in the comics 'verse. i want andrea and michonne to become BFFs in the tv 'verse. i want them to thump Rick upside the head whenever his savior complex starts up. i want them to have threesomes go on the hunt with Darryl. i want them to tag-team Lori whenever she bitches about them good-for-nothing women who should be cooking and making ice tea, instead of going out with the boys to work on security. i want them to teach Beth and Maggie the art of zombie slaying. i want them to save each other when the devil (aka as "the Governor" arc) comes knocking on their door. mostly, i want them in the same scenes doing stuff together and bitching about whatever.


the walking dead, 2.01

dear Walking Dead,

you are the still the goriest, scariest and most entertaining show this side of cable tv this season. don't change. but if you must, i have here a wish list of sorts, starting with making it possible for the fans to stop wishing for Lori to be chowed down by the zombies.

because walking dead writers, Lori is that annoying. it's bad enough that you hired an actress who has only one facial expression, but can you decouple tv-Lori from her comics version who was faithless and passive-aggressive. i mean you've managed to not kill off Shane, so you should be able to write Lori into a character which the viewers, specially its female segment can like. as it stands now, Lori is topping many a fandom survey on which characters the viewers want offed. also the love triangle thing? never my cup of tea even during normal times, so a love triangle during a zombie apocalypse is taxing my limit of stupid ideas.

i hope you allow Carol to grow a backbone and start looking after herself and her daughter, instead of relying too much on the men. for the first time i wanted to whack Carol on the head for not running to her daughter's rescue. come on carol, be a mother and protect your kid!

i don't care that Dale is a manipulative SOB because his agenda is to keep the group intact. but i don't like that he is smug about it. he deserves the smack-down from Andrea, who remains my favorite female character even though she wanted to off herself last season. i like comics-Andrea, but i love tv-Andrea. Laurie Holden is always kick-ass onscreen.

i have no complaints with Glenn and Darryl. keep them cool and useful. T-Bone though should stop being clumsy, getting his self cut and blooding all over the place just when a herd of zombie are bearing down on the survivors. he'll be zombie chow if he can't keep his wits about.

finally, i will be the happiest zombified fan this side of slackerdom, if you promise no more Rick monologues in the future. i'm almost certain that such an awkwardly written and staged scene would have been shot down by Frank Darabont who ran the show in season 1. opening episode writer Robert Kirkman may be the author of the original source material (and it is a fine graphic novel), but he could stand a good editing. this is a minor quibble. for now.
this is my stfu face

london riots

my brain can make some truly disturbing connections. this weekend i had a strong urge to watch zombie-pocalyse movies beginning with Danny Doyle's "28 Days Later," in which Londeners and Englanders get infected by a virus called Rage causing them to go on a literally bloody rampage, rioting till rule Britannia collapses. but life is way scarier than fiction.

the violence we are seeing in news, cable and the Internet is unpredictable and frighteningly volatile, because unlike the fictional apocalyptic rioters in the movies whose independent thought and decision-making ability have been wiped out by a virus, the origins of the raging London riots may be found in the messed-upness of our own species and the complicated structures, relations and history we build to insist on our humanity. there is no bio-hazard accident nor massive virus infection here. there is only people and the very messy conflagration of fear, anger, hatred and suffering. (my apologies to Yoda.)