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The X Files: Release
Episode 17, Season 9

Jared Poe is Brilliant
I've seen the kid on an episode of Firefly as well. Here, he was born to play this part. I haven't seen him much after 2014, I always wonder what became of actors like this, who basically got their breakthrough parts accidentally.

We were introduced to John Doggett's son in season eight's "Invocation" with the equally brilliant Rodney Eastman ("Sammael" from the Millennium episode "Powers, principalities, thrones and dominions"). All we knew from that episode, was that Doggett had a son who had passed away, sparking Doggett's special interest in children's cases, which was part of his work when he was a cop in New York.

Poe is apparently an FBI cadet "Rudolph Hayes" who has special insight into violent crime, he can piece together a profile from microscopic pieces of evidence garnered from things like bodies and photographs of murder scenes. Even the dirt underneath a corpses fingernails, with this person every detail paints a larger picture, The smaller the detail, the larger the picture.

As we go along we realize that this person is highly obsessive, there is a reason for this.

The lid is also blown off of A. D. Follmer's relationship to a New York City mafia thug who apparently never gets charged with any crime worse than jaywalking even though he is constantly involved in heinous crimes. There is a reason for this as well, and as Monica Reyes was dating Follmer during that time, she starts piecing together things that she has seen, and it paints another ugly picture.

But all things being equal, nothing is as it seems. Not Hayes, not Follmer, and not this case, where a tip sent to Doggett is the very small beginning of a huge avalanche.

This episode is the culmination of a slow burn introduction that over the course of several episodes in season eight and nine, we get told the entire story about Doggett's son and the grisly circumstances and people surrounding his death. This was cleverly seeded in episodes like "Invocation", "Empedocles" and "John Doe". And because the story was told over a length of time and in small pieces, it gives this episode revelatory power, which would have failed if the wrong actor had been selected to play Hayes. Everything about the portrayal was perfect, Poe added a permanent scowl to the character of Hayes which gives an impression of seriousness. And when the doors are blow off of this case, we find out exactly how serious.

Robert Patrick's real life wife Barbara appears as John Doggetts ex-wife, and this little bit of reality adds more believability.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: One World, One People
Episode 6, Season 1

US Agent
It's about time US Agent materialized into the MCU. Actually I should have seen it coming earlier in this series.

Zimo said there was only one way to deal with the flag smashers, I guess that happened too.

Last episode, a woman "Val" popped out of nowhere and befriends Walker after he was disgraced. We still don't know who she is. Apparently she wasn't one of the bad guys. We had been trying to figure out the identity of the power broker most of this time, they saved that for the post trailer scene.

The biggest question I had was whether or not Walker was going to show up as a bad guy or an ally. Last episode, I would have said "bad guy". Now? People change. Just like Bucky did.

This was a solid resolution for the first season of this series and a good set up for a possible second season. I look forward to seeing it.

Wonder Woman 1984

Difficult movie to make
Everything in this film, is mostly standard Wonder Woman. We have Steve Trevor, who existed during World War II in the comics and the modern age which back then was of course 1984. We have Maxwell Lord and "Cheetah".

Which is all standard fare for any wonder woman story pre-Crisis. After Crisis, The stories were changed a little bit. But the way that they are told here is pretty much the way that I read them when I was a child reading DC comics.

The time shifting with Steve Trevor, along with the standard wonder woman criminals, make the story almost too comical to tell in a modern format. And as far as I'm concerned this worked against the film, because when you transfer the stories to 2021, they lose whatever made them appealing back in the mid-80s when they were written.

And therefore the movie has a slapstick element which is almost inappropriate, and in over the top climax and denouement.

The return of Steve Trevor story simply had to be told, and this was the center of the entire film, they struggled with this when they moved him from the World War II era to the modern era and they struggle with it here.

But you simply can't tell the story of wonder woman without telling the story of Steve Trevor and Steve Trevor's return. Because these were all major elements in wonder woman.

As a film I thought it was done as well as it could be done, where are the first film almost has an "agent Carter" kind of thing during World War One, this film loses all of that novelty for the new novelty of bringing the story back up closer to where we are at.

So I understand the complaints about this film. Nevertheless, I liked it.

Some people had issues with some of the things that wonder woman was shown doing in this film, well you have to remember, according to the first film she is a God. Also according to the comics as well. In the graphic novel kingdom come, she stands with superman as one of the two immortals on earth, while all of the rest of the superheroes and super villains, are basically meta-humans. That's pretty much what I have to say about the character doing things that do not appear to be things that wonder woman should be able to do, she has done those things and she did do those things in the comic books.

But this whole film centers around bringing Steve Trevor back and defining his relationship with Diana once and for all. And also if we ask ourselves what would we do to bring back somebody that we have lost? We would probably do the same thing but ultimately we would probably come to the same conclusion about "trick bags" and "monkey paws".

So despite whether a person would like this film or not it still has some important things to say even to this generation. It is worth sitting through, even parts that are uncomfortable.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Whole World Is Watching
Episode 4, Season 1

Cap blows a gasket
A bunch of worlds collide in this episode.

Wakanda, Zimo, Sam, Bucky, "Walker".

Against the flag smashers, but there is a question if flag smashers are legitimately bad.

Sam is simply trying to find out some things and Walker interferes with that process right at that moment when positive results are at hand.

Would Steve Rogers show the same amount of impatience? I am pretty sure he would not. Rogers would get irritated especially when dealing with Tony Stark, but he never got impatient.

Walker may have been a superior soldier but if we remember anything from the first Captain America film, "superior" soldiers were disqualified from the super serum program.

The super soldier program required humble subjects.

There is a discussion about "supremacists" in this episode. What makes a supremacist? That question is answered, except that I don't think we are going to like the answer. Because it is not at all what any of us were expecting.

One person who we would assume is a supremacist is not really a supremacist, but somebody else...

The question is answered if you consider what would people do if they were given a certain amount of power? How would they use it?

And there are definitely right and wrong answers, which we will see here.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

One of the best Tarantino's ever.
This film gets into the end of 60s Hollywood and the beginning of what many believe as the beginning of the downfall of television. The business did suffer greatly after the incidents depicted here.

Tarantino is very good at showing what 60s Hollywood was like. Unfortunately, he is also very good at creating depictions of Manson family members. These are people that initially look OK, a few moments later you realize they are not.

So on one hand this film is highly entertaining and very revelatory about how things are with the television and movie business, and even the relationships between actors and the people that are their stunt doubles.

On the other hand it is extremely disturbing and creepy.

But rather than being a bunch of short vignettes that may or may not have something to do with each other, this is actually a film showing the collusion of several people.

Margot Robbie looks and sounds and moves exactly like Sharon Tate. The people that they have playing people like Steve McQueen and Roman Polanski, look and sound like them. Especially the actor playing Steve McQueen, Damian Lewis. And Luke Perry in his last ever movie role before he passed plays the actor that played "Scott Lancer".

This film is a lot more seamless than Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction, it slides from one scene to the next and everything is interconnected.

Of course if you keep your eyes peeled you will notice several favorite Tarantino actors like Michael Madsen, Zoe Bell, Kurt Russell.

This is a wonderful monument to a very interesting time.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

It took me two episodes to get into this
I had trouble with the first episode mostly because I don't understand where this new captain America guy actually came from, they kind of just drop him in there.

But the second episode immediately answered those questions. And it gets into something happening that various people in the Marvel Universe have tried to make happen through the years in the Marvel franchise. But I don't want to get into that too much at the moment.

This is a show that is making social commentary about things that are happening in the world right at this moment. But it is dropping this into the framework of "the blip".

If people don't like it, then they have the ability to change how they are acting in their own neighborhoods, towns, cities, and states even. Right now the entire world is watching a certain trial, our eyes are glued to it. Shouldn't we be allowed to make commentary on it and to the things that led up to it?

Would it not be dishonest to not mention these things that are happening within our line of sight? Because this is how the world is right now, you can't not see it, and it doesn't just exist in episodes of this show. It exists in our lives right now.

But there is more going on here than that, lots more. Maybe we should get interested in what that possibly could be?

A certain Genie has been let out of its bottle, we don't know how or why yet.

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Beats the Whedon travesty six ways from Sunday
I am so glad that this was done. Also, keep your eye out for a cameo of "John Jonzz"... if you are familiar with who that is, that is all I need to say.

There were so many things I liked about Man of Steel, and I never was very happy that they rehashed all of that General Zod cack from Superman II.

And even that movie has similarities to what happened here, when Richard Donner did not return to direct Superman II. It took us approximately 20 years to get the Donner cut of that, so...

Zack Snyder took that story and he wove it into the death of Superman, by turning General Zod into Doomsday.

I grew up on Superman comics, I remember when they were $.10. I remember some of the great stories, the Parasite, Brainiac, "The Composite Superman" which was one of the most deadly superman/Batman stories.

I had the original comic with the death of Jonathan and Martha Kent... and I even had the issue of Superboy, where the Kents were made young, for an alien TV show. The aliens threw rejuvenation-juice into the well on the Kent's property, remember when we had to drill wells into our property to get water? That was life in America, and we forget about one of these basic aspects of survival... we also forget that people had wells on their property.

Zack Snyder knew how to homage those great stories of the past by blending a lot of them together here.

I must have watched "Batman v Superman" A dozen times, the ultimate directors cut, before I started understanding the nature of these "dreams".

Zack Snyder was weaving the elements of "zero hour", which mostly involves the flash, into the story. It is why he has the Flash show up in one of Bruce Wayne's "dreams", except that it is not the goofy kid flash that we meet in this film... it is an older, bearded Flash who warns Bruce Wayne that the key to Superman is Lois Lane- but he was "too soon". - this was the first time that we were shown that there are alternate timelines that are part of these stories.

And even in the ruined Whedon cut of justice league, there is a short vision of Cyborg's that relates to this.

I have a lot of the original comics where the death of Superman is told, and I even have some of the comics that talk about Darkseid. Like the infinity wars of Marvel, this is a long complicated story that is told through years of comic books and numerous titles of the DC Multiverse.

For many years I have "made mine Marvel"- the Marvel cinematic universe has been done in my opinion a lot better than the DCCU, so that now they have elements of the story running through several avengers films, Iron Man, and now WandaVision and falcon and the Winter soldier. But Superman, Batman, wonder woman, Green lantern, HawkMan, and now John Jonzz, these were my original superheroes, and are being referred to in this great cut of this film. And it is about time that the DC cinematic universe has been put back on track by the man who single-handedly created it, Zack Snyder.

I appreciate Joss Whedon's work with the Avengers, he did a good job kick starting that franchise. But just as he is a marvel director, Zack Snyder is the DC director, and he never should have been replaced.

When I saw the ending of Batman V superman, there is a representation of Steppenwolf that looks very menacing... at the time we did not know who or what that was.

But the person that we were shown in the WhedonTravesty was not that same figure. It did not scare me at all. THIS Version of Steppenwolf, scared the bejesus outta me.

I could not even watch this entire film in one sitting with its four hour length, I had to break it up over the course of two evenings.

It's not just the story that is improved, even though the film itself is longer, the parts that we have already seen, were edited for brevity and removal of some WhedoNonsense, where he tries to add humor into the story and it just does not work. Snyder gets directly to the point, but it is just his style that he likes to let the tale tell itself, regardless of how long it takes.

Well I suspect there will be a lot of polarization over this film just like there was over Batman V Superman, but as far as myself, this is exactly how I suspected the film would be, so I was not surprised.

I highly enjoyed the ending of this film totally redesigned, it makes a lot more sense like this. Even the scenes depicting Luthers escape, The focus is not on Luther creating his own league of evil, it is merely a business transaction, which is more like what Luther was in the comic books- he was a businessman. sometimes, he was even an ally of Superman's.

Do yourself a favor and give this film a chance, watch Batman V Superman, and then throw this in. But do not try to watch it all at once, this is a tale best absorbed in small sections.

Star Trek: Hidden Frontier

What the...!?!?
I didn't know what this was, other than it was some kind of fan thing. Beyond that, be prepared to enter in to a universe of absurdities. Do not take this seriously.

There was an episode called "Yesterdays Excelsior"...

I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time! They were using music from Battlestar Galactica and Galaxy Quest!

The production value was practically nonexistent, the computer graphics were done using lightwave, and one of the characters, a "Tellarite", was actually wearing one of those pig-noses that you can buy at Disneyland at the Magic shop on main street! I used to have one of those...

This show apparently is a parody of not just deep space nine, characters from every Star Trek show ever made appear in this. Including Admiral Nechayev, Who figures prominently in a lot of the storylines.

What I like about this is that a lot of the dialogue is actually on the verge of offensive... and whoever made this, certainly was extremely prolific for the years that they were in production.

I consider this 100% parody, bordering on the ridiculous, if these people had just a little bit more money they could have done this very well. But they did pretty good with what they had, which was practically nothing. And the fact that they produced 50 episodes over seven years, many regular TV shows don't put out that many episodes in 10 years

One of the funniest things is that in one scene where they get attacked by the "Borg", The Borg are wearing plastic masks. That pretty much had me rolling on the floor. And just wait until you see what the Cardassians look like...

"This is not without its element of humor"

WandaVision: The Series Finale
Episode 9, Season 1

"I am Vision"
This "White Vision" vs "Colour Vision" thing comes from the 1994-1995 Vision mini series from Marvel comics. But other than a fight, that is just about where any similarity ends.

The things that are different are the origins of this "White Vision", and also the nature of their fight. Here, "White Vision" was created by Hayward, and he had a pretty nefarious reason for doing it.

The thing that is common here, it is all about identity. Who is the real Vision? Which is why they bring in the "ship of Theseus" allusion. It has to do with memory. Which one of these "Visions" is the real one? You have to remember that one of them is not created out of original material. But the other one, is. However, neither of them have access to the memories that identify who Vision really is. That is where the real struggle is and that is also where WandaVision is a little bit superior to the original Scarlet Witch and Vision miniseries. This show takes elements from those books and puts it all together here, under one roof.

In that aspect of "Memory" is the resolution of this Vision v Vision fight different than in the comic book miniseries, but only how the resolution was brought about. The end result was the same.

The comic book version of the Vision is different than the Marvel cinematic universe Vision, in the comic books it wasn't only Ultron's identity and Jarvis' programming (and the Mindstone) that went into the mixture that created the Vision, they also had access to "Simon Williams" memories, who was also known as "Wonder Man". And Ultron's fate in The comic books was not merely destruction as it was in "age of Ultron," eventually he becomes an ally of sorts to the Vision...

Just like this series sets up Agatha Harkness as an eventual ally to "The Scarlet Witch". Which I suspected would happen but you don't really need to know how it actually happens. And, it hasn't happened yet.

This show wraps up a lot of the conflict but it also starts up new questions, that will possibly be answered in the other new shows that are going to be shown this year. I was kind of disappointed that Darcy's involvement was truncated.

This was a great start. I understand now, it would be difficult to continue this show in the same way because basically, "WandaVision" has run through its course, the series within the series has ended.

It took me weeks to rummage through my comic books and locate my Scarlet Witch and Vision comics.

Now, when it comes to the inevitable confrontation between Agatha and Wanda, in the comic books it is not Agatha that Wanda fights with, it is a nexus being named Lore. And all I can say about that is that, that particular fight pretty much follows the comic book but as far as what actually happens, well you are just going to have to watch this mind blowing season finale. But they definitely absconded with a lot of the imagery from the actual comic books, and used it here.

WandaVision: Previously On
Episode 8, Season 1

Put the fun 1n Disfunction

So we get a little recap of where Agatha came from, and then we get a brief history of Wanda...

It seems there is a little bit about Agatha, not really enough time to give us a full history.

In the comics, these two are kind of like Allies... except, which comics? Even right now I'm not really getting a sense that Agatha is really some kind of antagonist, she just wants answers, her character in some ways represents us, the viewers on the other side of that fourth wall, and that coincides with the way she was introduced.

Everything that I remember from the comics where I have seen these characters interact, they are both equally powerful, so their arsenal consists of which of them knows more spells than the other. There is is a struggle based upon knowledge. And we know that Wanda is slightly disadvantaged in this area.

Now... The story that Director Hayward has been spewing, it's not quite on the level. Including the story that he tells Wanda here, which is your general fish story.

Actually we find that what he has been telling Darcy and Lieutenant Trouble and Agent Woo has also been a complete lie, he has been jerking Darcy and Lieutenant Trouble as well as Wanda and everybody else involved with this conundrum. He refers to Vision as a "thing", and he assigns a monetary value to his body.

This is a slimebag of the highest order. This whole "sword" storyline, I am not familiar with it. Because at some point, you can't keep on collecting comics, you basically run out of room. One whole corner of my house is dedicated to storage... and it is hard to get into the boxes where I have my "Wanda Based" mini series stored. Or my Vision comics.

Wanda is finally identified for exactly what she is, for the first time in this franchise.

We had no side trips out into the real world this time, not during the main bulk of this episode. This is all Agatha and Wanda. So we know some of what Agatha wanted, but we don't know what she wants now, even though she is taking up an antagonistic and even a possibly threatening stance.

We still have to worry about what is going on with Darcy, Vision, Lieutenant Trouble and Agent Woo. And whatever fresh hell Director Hayward is involved with.

It seems to me that all of the sides of the hexagram are going to collide, but we are going to have to wait one more episode.

This show tells a story that is right in the middle of the Marvel multi-verse, it has tendrils into every crossover. So it would be unfortunate if this is all we get. Yet this is the first of many shows that are planned for this year.

So the ending of this show better blow my mind.

There is simply not enough, nine episodes, not enough. Agents of Shield had enough... Agent Carter had enough. But this is simply following the structure of TV shows recently, 10 episodes, then eight, then six. in other words, not enough.

What impresses me about this show is the sheer volume of work that has gone into it, equivalent to almost 2 full Avengers infinity war films. More than that, even.

I look forward to the final chapter.

Pay special attention when Westfield, er, Westview is converted, there are some pretty interesting Theatre Marquees.

WandaVision: Breaking the Fourth Wall
Episode 7, Season 1

3rd Player revealed
Also, there actually is a person being spoken to in the "fourth wall". Wouldn't it be nice to know who this person is? Don't worry, you will. You will find out who it has been, "all along".

Some of the things said by people that Vision has temporarily "cured" make sense now.

So it's not "all Wanda" as people thought.

Director Haywards' target is revealed here as well, and it ain't Wanda.

In fact, "nothing is as it seems".

Remember how "Lieutenant Trouble" couldn't get tested by the Med Tech? Now we find out that there was a reason for that.

And Vision forms a new alliance. But it isn't who we think it would have been.

In fact there is a brand new circus at the edge of town, and they want to employ Vision as a clown, paired with the new "escape artist".

So somebody new is brought into the story, but it is not somebody unknown. In fact, this person had been an ally and teacher to Wanda, according to canon. So the question is, why are they doing what they are doing?

And where we were thinking that some kind of connection was being made to the X-Men, that's probably not exactly what was happening.

Just another unexpected turn, why is this version of Pietro even there?

Mind the post credits scene, it's important.

What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Deep Space Nine

Best DS Nine documentary/Season 8 episode ever!
First of all, Rom (Max Grodenchik) actually has a very good voice, almost as good as Vic (James Darren)! Of course in real life Max looks a lot like ROM, but that never bothered me. The first time I ever saw this gifted actor was in the next generation episode "captains holiday" where he plays "Solvek", a different Ferengi, which Picard punches in the nose. In fact he has played many Ferengi that didn't look like ROM, and I didn't realize was him.

This ingenious documentary is also a bully-pit session for a season eight that never happened- and I gotta tell ya, it would have been great! What do you mean would have been, was, is. In fact they should consider doing it, most of the DS nine crew are still with us, save for Nog and Odo. Which really makes me sad, they were still with us when this was made. But it could be done, 26 episodes could be done right now, today. we just have to convince the people that could also release deep space nine in high definition, another thing which never was done which was also sad because the level of special effects in deep space nine was several notches higher than next generation, and we really need to see it in at least 1080p, and the best that we have these days is DVD resolution.

In fact this documentary begins, before Andy Robinson stops them, with a full HD re-creation of that space battle in the series finale where the defiant flies around in a circle and we see a couple of galaxy class ships floating underneath, belly up. The perfect rendition of what a three dimensional space battle would look like. Then Andy Robinson stops us right in the middle, and we had to see that later.

Deep space nine was never afforded the place it deserved, the way next generation was. there should have been deep space nine movies after the seventh season.

In fact, this documentary starts with various cast members reading letters, hatemail, written to Paramount at the time deep space nine was in production. And I have to admit I wrote one of those letters to Majel Barret Roddenberry. Her response was? "I'm sorry, I have nothing to do with that, I can't do anything about it". At the time I was upset about the whole dominion war thing... but it only took less than a year for me to start looking underneath the World War II aspects, yes deep space nine had become a war movie, but some of the best war movies have great messages of hope for the future. Eventually I wrote her another email where I apologized for my earlier tack, and she was happy that I had done that.

Yes, I was one of those people who wrote one of those horrible letters. What a mistake that was. But despite that, I watched every episode as it was broadcast, er, I mean SYNDICATED.

This documentary reveals a lot of things that actually never had been talked about, including why Terry Farrell actually quit the show, but even in this documentary they don't go into it with a lot of detail, as it appears to have been a private gripe.

But the centerpiece of this whole thing is the bully pit that they re-created with all of the important writers for the show, and in less than one day, they provided not just the outline for the first episode of an eighth season, but an entire outline for 26 episodes of such a season.

This has been my complaint about the modern Star Trek shows, Discovery started out with possibly 16 episodes, now it's down to about 12 episodes per season. Picard got 10 episodes. Lower Dacks got 10 episodes.

I think the thing that really makes me sad is that deep space nine was the final Star Trek show to be syndicated, which gave them the ability to do practically whatever they wanted to without network interference, the same network interference which was visible in Voyager even though they were given seven whole seasons. Enterprise? They were canceled after four seasons, which basically was the entire UPN catalog and UPN fell apart after that, this gave CBS the ability to purchase the franchise.

I will always watch any Star Trek show that is on television regardless of what network it is on. And I have loved every single Star Trek show including Discovery, Picard and lower decks. But deep space nine has been the Star Trek show to end all other Star Trek shows.

And I am glad that the producers of this documentary were able to take those pieces of hate mail and turn them into a discussion, it turns out that I am not the only one who has sent hate mail and then I changed my mind shortly after.

Because the concept of episodic television was not a thing back when deep space nine was on air, they were the first to do it. And at first they did not do it a lot, they just had many episodes that strung together like in the second season they strung together three episodes about "the circle". And then they added the Maquis, and then the Jem Hadar, The Vorta, and then the founders. Until in season seven we had about 10 episodes strung together in one long story.

Paramount was furious but the producers of deep space nine did it anyway, and it was not a mistake.

But as much as I love episodic shows, I do like some standalone episodes that tell a story all in themselves without being attached to the larger story being told. There has to be room for both, but neither should be neglected in favor of the other style of storytelling. We should have both "monster of the week" as well as "mythos" Episodes, and this was some thing that The X-Files brought into the mix. But the thing that is not largely spoken of here is that when The X-Files moves production to Los Angeles, there was a strong X-Files/Star Trek connection, many of the people who worked on Star Trek worked on several seasons of the X-Files- and so we started seeing characters named after these people, one of them being Marvin V Rush, One of the original DOP's of DS9. And then Star Trek writers wrote X-Files episodes. It is as if there was some camaraderie there. But it all started within deep space nine.

WandaVision: On a Very Special Episode...
Episode 5, Season 1

The very first Marvel "Crossover" episode
Over the years, we have had stories that crossed over several different marvel titles: X-Men, X-Force, Avengers, X-Calibur. With stories like "Inferno", "The X-Cutioner's Song", "The Phalanx Covenant", even "The Phoenix Saga" and "The Dark Phoenix Saga". And this is the first evidence of a crossover within Marvel movie properties. And that is all I am gonna say about it, for now at least.. You'll figure it out, once you see it.

This was something that I was hoping would happen for years and I am glad that I was able to see it.

We had previously connected all other Marvel properties into Avengers, all except for X-Men. Why?

Was it some kind of mysterious "Maximov Anomaly"? Was it the Kree or the Scrull?

Maybe Thors' hammer short circuited and Darcy resurrected that big Destroyer thing from the first Thor movie? And then the frost giants came with that big giant monster that runs upside down..

Or maybe it is just Loki playin "low-key" games? Or Drax stole too many "Harbulary Batteries", oh wait I forgot you could see me wink...

Naw, it was none of that. It was actually a mysterious terrestrial event called "One movie studio (Fox) owned the rights for the X-Men and Disney owned the rights for the Avengers and all of the other Marvel properties..."- honestly I wish it was more than that, but that it what was behind this little conun-drum.

Who knows, at this rate maybe we will see the onset of "Amalgam comics", I would love to see my favorite character "Dark Claw..."

I tell ya, it is a galactic hiccup. It is "the age of Apocalypse", "Crisis on infinite earths", "Zero hour", maybe even "The X-Cutioner's song". The Mkraan Crystal Cracked, Wolverine popped the third claw into Sabertooth, and 'Legion' traveled back into the past and accidentally killed his father, Professor X. Oops!

So that Professor X was no longer there to deal with Apocalypse, it changed the timeline so Romulans from the future they came back and they blew up Vulcan.

This is a blown mind of exponential proportions, and I love it.

Even as Darcy and "Lieutenant Trouble" are figuring this out, we start remembering things that we saw the last time that we binged out all of the Avengers films and all of the Thor films, Guardians of the Galaxy, agents of shield, and even agent Carter.

It's a big stewpot, and it's bein mixed.

There is a huge hint as to why Wanda can do these things and it's planted right in the middle of the episode. It explains just about everything, and it's right there, out in the open. All ya have to do is find this little Easter egg.

All ya have to do is remember where Vision came from in the first place... and I don't mean Tony Stark's butler.

I have been waiting for this review to be posted for well over a week, forgive me because I wanted to edit it somewhat which I would have done had it been posted in a timely manner. Thank you.

WandaVision: All-New Halloween Spooktacular!
Episode 6, Season 1

The Scarlet Witch Appears
In more ways than one as she takes on the literal persona of her classic character- and in her original costume.

The thing that I love about this show is that you think you've got the "pattern" figured out, Wanda tosses out a universe altering hex spell and changes everything, including the plotline of the thread that you are watching.

This is what I loved about the comic books she was in, you never knew what was going to happen.

Also it occurs to me that they are showing a literal representation of her "hex magic", because of the hexagonal patterns in her "television show", and in her force field surrounding her town.

My mind has been traversing a different idea about how The Vision could be alive, and the question was always, is he really alive in a literal sense? Well... that question is answered somewhat in this caper.

There may also be a reason why the X-Men version of Quicksilver showed up at her doorstep, but I don't see that reason yet. In fact, the last I saw, Quicksilver was still mucking about in Charles Xavier's mansion.

But, once again, "chaos magic". Wanda's powers have always been exactly as we see here.

A big clue was given in the previous weeks' episode regarding how Wanda was abused with the Mindstone that later gave Jarvis/Vision life.

But I haven't seen anybody tugging on that thread yet other than to possibly unravel it.

On the human side, we have a Director of "Sword" that is not being very forthright. And he is using excuses about how the universe was during "the blink" or whatever they are calling the Thanos Snap these days. Excuses which are rationalizations to perform blatant atrocities, and it appears that he can't wait to do those.

And I am very eager to see how Wanda stops him. But now she is going to have Darcy's help... whether she wanted it or not.

One other thing I wanted to add, is that it was utterly delicious to have a Halloween episode, just in time for Valentine's Day!

WandaVision: We Interrupt This Program
Episode 4, Season 1

Mind gone, mind all gone!
Just wrap me up in a straight jacket and cart me away to the funny farm, do not pass shield headquarters, do not collect 200 harbulary batteries.

What we have here is an array of minor marvel characters, being used to solve the relevant conundrum.

And the moment I heard the words "Lieutenant Trouble", I knew who that was.

So... the Thanos Snap is being called something else now?

The marvel universe has been completely excavated, and something new is being built in its place. And this show within a show appears to be the centerpiece for this change, I can't wait to see what else comes of this.

Star Trek: Discovery: That Hope Is You, Part 2
Episode 13, Season 3

Excellent bookend to an excellent season
Really don't know what other people are watching, but it certainly isn't the same show that I have been watching for the last few weeks. The negative reviews that I am presented with when I come in here to leave my input, simply don't agree with what I just saw. Nobody wants to let the show be what it actually is: It is Star Trek, just like it was in 1965 when the first pilot "The Cage" was made. And if you remember, they despised that as well. But yet Discovery is the only show where we have revisited Talos IV, where we have revisited Trill, and we even have new aliens and new planets that we didn't know about previously.

So we finally have a season ending without some new conundrum. This is actually a relief for the time being, But that does not mean that there were not a lot of interesting things happening, and at least there were enough episodes to explain in detail some of the things that we saw during the first S03 episode.

We explored the fracture of the federation and we got to visit cultures that were examined closely in Deep Space Nine and Voyager. And we even have a brand new culture, Kaminar and Kelpians.

The Vulcans and the Romulans now have their own shared culture, the Nivar, and we even got to see part of what life on Barzan might have been like, even though Commander Nhan left discovery.

And the solution to the burn wasn't as simplistic as people were saying, it was a lot more complicated than we expected.

We have seen with "Book" and with "Su'kal" how races evolve and become connected to their environment. This is even something that happens with people on earth in 2021. And so rather than dumping what exactly "Book" was in the first episode we see him, they take their time explaining what he was. And I like the explanation given here.

So we got a nice 60 minute episode to go out on, still not enough episodes per season. We simply need more time for more stories because there are so many ways the stories can be told... but when everything has to be compressed into 13 episodes, that's just not enough time for people to get connected to the story.

So now we have to wait another year or so. An amount of time that I have no problem with because I have no problem with this show. This is exactly what a 21st-century Star Trek story should be and it deals with social issues relevant to our time, not just 1966. Even though apparently there are social problems in this year that existed in 1965 and as a race humans have been too unwilling to deal with, so tue same tired rhetoric keeps on coming back again and again and it has to be knocked down again and again and again. But after the events of this year and especially on January 6th, we know this: that these archaic attitudes WILL need to be knocked down again and again and again and again and again, until they stop creeping back up and people start treating each other the way that they themselves want to be treated, with respect, kind of like the way the Federation has respected its member races, and how those races respect each other especially after resolving conflicts. even got to see that in season two with the Kelpians and the Baku

I look forward to more and I really don't care how many people downvote my review simply because it is positive. And they even looked up my Perry Mason reviews and downvoted those, how sad is that? I very rarely give a show or an episode of a show a bad rating, it's just not worth my time.

There are many more shows that I love, many that I have loved from when I was a child, and many that I have grown to love that are new because sometimes they are a reboot, sometimes they are a continuation of something I loved, and sometimes I just agree with the story that they are telling. As I do with Discovery.

Just look at how they treated Altered Carbon season two, and that show was designed for the main character to be played by just about any actor. So that show got penalized for what it actually is and that they "replaced" Joel Kinnaman. Well, we already knew at the end of that show in the first season that Joel Kinnaman's involvement was done.

Just like it looks like Saru might be stepping back for a while in this show, and he was been one of the main driving characters. I hope his character continues.

Star Trek: Discovery: There Is a Tide...
Episode 12, Season 3

Discovery gets it's first airlock joke
The jokes about tossing people out of airlocks actually began in the Deep Space Nine S1 episode "The Nagus". Quark threatens ROM with being tossed out of the airlock and then ROM almost actually does it, or tries to do it, to Quark. From that point on there was always some airlock joke up until the end of that series, and there may have been airlock jokes in the Next Gen movies and there was also a pretty good array of airlock jokes in "Enterprise". So it is good to see Discovery finally joining this Time-honored tradition.

We also get to hear exactly how food replicators work, but this is not really new information, they explain this in detail in the Star Trek Next Generation Technical Manual, section 13.5, Page 153. Where they even have a fairly "graphic" graphic.

Osyyra's Organization is revealed here, and the size of the Emerald chain is discussed as well. Is it a government or is it a conglomeration of merchants? maybe both or maybe neither, but in this part of the story she wants to have some kind of legitimacy assigned to her. And she is able to fool the Starfleet "Lie Detector Hologram", but only to the point where it is outed that she wants ultimate control over everything. This is a person that doesn't have any redeeming characteristics, but she is still looked upon by her followers and sycophants as if she is the second coming. But here, she wants to approach Starfleet by taking over Discovery. Regardless of anything else she said to Admiral Vance- that may have even sounded reasonable, all you really need to do is see what she has done previously- to family, even.

"There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads onto fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea we are now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures".

That is what Captain Kirks' favorite author has said.

Jon Frakes helms this episode that has a lot of action, it is difficult to continue the story without checking in with Saru, Culber and Adira. We know that there is a time limit on their situation. As usual, the only complaint I have about the show is the dwindling number of episodes per season. As far as resolving previous conundrums, we now have an inkling of what the Burn was, Georgiou was packed off by Jim Brass/Guardian of Forever, Adira finally got to meet her previous hosts in a variation of a Zhian'tara Ritual, and Commander Nhan was re-joined with her Barzan heritage. I was hoping that she would have shown up again, hopefully she will later.

It is refreshing to have a good conflict to go out on, but with only one episode left it might look like the complete resolution might have to be in the next season. And this is a pretty tall order considering the massive ending of the Red Angel story.

The UFO Incident

The interrupted Journey
I saw this on TV when it came out- It was one of those stories that really affected me because somehow, I could feel the truth of it. This was probably the very first abduction story that I felt had any validity. Compared to other UFO stories I have read or seen movies of. I highly enjoyed "fire in the sky", but that movie was more Hollywood than actual. And, it has been partially remade in the recent movie "The Recall", which has a scene inside of the UFO craft which mirrors what was done for fire in the sky. there were other movies, "communion", but that story did not affect me as much as this one.

20 years after I watched that TV movie in 1975, I was in a halfway house. With nothing much to do, I rummaged through a library of old books and I came across something that was called "the interrupted journey". And when I touched that book- before I even opened it, I knew that this must be the book that told that original story. I had never heard of it before even though I had seen a film based upon it.

I think "the interrupted journey" is a much better name than "the UFO incident"

The film is your basic made-for-television fare, kind of the same quality as those NBC (was it NBC?) "movies of the week", or anything else that fits into the approximate One hour and 32 minutes allotted for a "two hour" television movie.

And even though it had been 20 years since I had seen this movie, I had remembered all of the details of the movie and I was very surprised that the book had been honored and that they kept to the basic story.

The book had documents and images so I was able to get a real face for the Hills. And there were things that Betty Hill had drawn and I was able to look at those.

I have not seen this movie since 1975, I hope that I am able to find it somewhere.

Star Trek: Discovery: Su'Kal
Episode 11, Season 3

Osyyra just bypassed Khan
Osyyra (Janet Kidder, from the season four Fringe episode "making angels") has a mean face. Which is why I recognized her at least initially but wondered exactly where I had seen that sourpuss previously?

It was only last week when I was watching season four of Fringe, even without the blue make up I could see that dour expression.

In that show she plays a doctor that needles Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham. Ironically I have been waiting for them (Peter and Olivia) to show up in discovery because a lot of the actors from that show, I have seen in Disco. Alas, it has not happened (yet).

Well this is one of those situations where we have some conundrum being explored while at the same time a problem develops somewhere else.

We have our first discovery holideck episode. Where is Reginald Barclay? They really should have brought Dwight Schultz into this.

I was mildly surprised by the resolution of one conundrum, while at the same time a new threat has developed. What I like about this is that, compared to the utopian ideals of the Federation in the original Star Trek shows, we don't have that security blanket in Discovery. Anything bad can and will happen, and it is not simply the usual Romulans/Klingons/dominion/founders.

But, we do have elements from every Star Trek show and movie even, referred to in this show. And I especially have enjoyed the explorations of our human host carrying a trill symbiont. The challenge of this show is to build the ensemble cast that works together not just highlighting one character or actor above all others. Because although the show focuses on Michael Burnham, she is by no means the center of the show. For me it is more like a premise: "What if Mr. Spock had a sister"- and then we find out that Picard knew about this, he knew about discovery, somehow. Well. We know how he knew it was because Spock knew and they shared a mind meld like Picard had done with Sarek. But then again that knowledge stops with the "red angel" leaving. So that relationship with Spock is merely a starting point, not an ending point.

The Mandalorian: Chapter 16: The Rescue
Episode 8, Season 2

Boba the Fett?
I would have been miffed too if somebody had left me for dead in a Sarlacc pit.

This is Star Wars with its dignity back, returning for a piece of the story before the force awakened and Skywalker rose. This is perhaps how Star Wars should have been told after the end of the first (2nd) trilogy. Instead of creating gigantic new Deth-Planets and fleets of imp cruisers that are slung low with huge disgusting phallic symbols, and instead of making "everything bigger", why not just tell the story from a single characters' point of view? And this is exactly what has been done with the Mandalorian. And with this season two finale, we can see how it tapped in to the larger story of Star Wars, and pulled out a more relevant story that is still part of the whole.

As far as Mando versus the evil Iron Men, he gets lucky with one of them. His spear of pure Beskar comes in handy. But I didn't see any combat strategy where he could have beaten 20 evil Iron Man droids. Which makes the ending that they tacked on make more sense, especially after Grogu basically set it up in "The Tragedy"

But now, Mando is in possession of something that he really doesn't want, setting up a potential new knock down, drag out between him and Bo-Kataan. And we know that this is the last thing he wants.

There was an unfortunate tone of finality with the ending of this chapter. For two years, we have followed Djin Darin and Grogu from planet to planet, from one frying pan into whatever fire or giant spider breeding (er, make that "Eating") ground. There was a special bond between Mandalorian and Mini-Yoda. And 1000 questions still left unanswered. And I am hoping that they get answered.

But this whole post credits scene, what does it actually mean? And this shortly after I had said that Boba Fett had acquitted himself. But I think he was just honoring some code by pledging himself to help Mando, and he is going to do whatever he had planned from before.

Also something that Bo-Kataan said, regarding hearing Boba's voice thousands of times. Wasn't Boba Fett the "Real" one? So his actions aren't really programmed like the clones actions, and now we must wait to see what kind of agenda he has. But I can hardly blame the guy after being gobbled up by the Almighty Sarlacc, and then having his Mandalorian armor stolen by Jawas. One thing this show has done, was to reveal the connection between the Mandalorian and this one bounty hunter. And I am hoping that they don't have to face off against each other.

I want to edit this to give my input on this Gina thing. I thought she was well cast in this show, and I liked the character that she plays. In fact, I have been a fan of this actress for years ever since she played an evil robot in "almost human".

And even though I don't like the things that she has publicly said, or tweeted, I just believe Disney could have dealt with this in a much better way. But, she could have, as well.

Star Trek: Discovery: Terra Firma, Part 2
Episode 10, Season 3

The Red Sphere comes through for Georgiou
I don't think these people are watching the same episodes. What is this complaint about "whispering"? I didn't hear much "whispering" here. But this seems to be the most common complaint for the last four episodes, "Whispering", what does that even mean? I really don't know what they are watching. But I have seen a lot more than "whispering" or whatever here, a lot more. Time to manufacture a new complaint maybe?

Last week we were wondering who Jim Brass really was, I figured it was something like the kick in the pants that we got here, but I wasn't expecting it. I was halfway expecting Q or something, but John DeLancey is getting on in years, I was hoping maybe they would resurrect Q2 from Voyager, who was played by John's actual son. Also, I was wondering if Paul Guilfoyle might have played a dual part here, the guy that they beamed off the shuttle? At this point in time the cast credits are not completely filled in, I don't know who that was but it kind of looked like Paul Guilfoyle again, only with different alien make up.

I am seeing one other similarity that jumps across universes: There was a Babylon 5 episode where a guy named "Sebastian" shows up to torture Delenn and Sheridan. He also wore a bowler hat like our "Carl", but where in that episode the person was actually Jack the Ripper, Jim Brass is actually representing a familiar Star Trek entity from the original series 1st season. And it was the way that this character was revealed, a complete surprise. Even though I was partially expecting it... I had read a spoiler earlier this week. When you have had the episode spoiled before you get to see it, and yet you can still be surprised by the episode, I'd say they did a good job here.

This was an interesting visit back to the mirror universe, except that the Giorgiou that returned was definitely not the same Georgiou that Burnham kidnapped, er, saved from being blown up into tiny chunks with the Citadel-Ship. Because Mirror Georgiou had been worked on, first by Burnham, then Stametz, then everybody else, one by one. So by the time Georgiou got back to mirror Discovery, she is no longer the same person that left... but can she contribute positive change to the universe?

Well first Kirk did it, then Mirror Spock, and then various characters from Deep Space Nine including The Sisko, and even Quark and Rom have their turn disheveling that "Emperor". Because the mirror universe will always have some numbskull "Intendant" or "Emperor". So here, it is as if Burnham is tearing the place apart, even though it is actually Georgiou. And by the time Georgiou is finished, the place is a shambles, but with the possibility of some good things happening for once. Which is usually what happens when Terrans from the Prime Universe visit the mirror universe. As Rom says, "It's so... Alternate".

Meanwhile on Discovery they still have to figure out how to scan this Kelpian ship that they found in a nebula. How to do it? Leave that to "Book", who actually becomes helpful by following the rules for once. Well, kind of.

So now we get to find out what the burn was and what it has to do with Kelpians: read that as, "What it has to do with Saru". All while waiting for Osyyra to attack.

The Mandalorian: Chapter 15: The Believer
Episode 7, Season 2

Mayfield redeems himself
Or, "Trench Run 3"

This time, we are dodging thermal detonators...

Mando needs to know where he can find Moff Gideon. Only Mayfeld can do it. When asked, Boba would only say "let's just say they would recognize my face". leaving only Mando to accompany Mayfeld.

But why would Mayfeld help Mando? Maybe Mayfeld has some personal motivation, which becomes clear later on. Interesting that this character would have the only normal name in the entire Star Wars franchise...

But in order to get to the information, they have to dodge thermal detonators, Pirates, also imperial officers who might recognize them.

The Imps are processing some gunk called Rhydonium, which apparently makes a big noise.

This chapter also references the 1953 Noir flick "The Wages of Fear" which was remade as "Sorcerer" in 1977.

They have actually crammed a lot of classic film references into this one very short chapter.

The story propels itself rapidly until Mando and Mayfeld Bluff their way into an imperial cafeteria... and this is where Mayfeld has to decide exactly how he is going to confront his own personal demons.

Boba Fett has redeemed himself about 100 times over by this point, and I have to admit his ship is even cooler than Mandos ship was. Mando's ship was the Ford Fairlane 500 model, A good work horse for any bounty hunter. Boba's ship is more like the 1967 Camaro rally sport. It was extra added machine guns under the hood... I never thought I would ever cheer watching Boba's ship. But there you go. And wait... what? Mando appears to be wearing an important piece of his armor that was mysteriously AWOL in "the tragedy"... ok, at this point I will just roll with it.

Star Trek: Discovery: Terra Firma, Part 1
Episode 9, Season 3

Let's make it count, shall we?
The unwritten future, that is.

I was wondering why "Jim Brass" was guarding a door into the past and across universes? Maybe we will get an explanation of who this guy is later. A mini-guardian of forever? A Lost member of the time ship relativity? In discovery, the Temporal agents are not quite like the ones that we met in Enterprise and Voyager, some of who could only create an image of themselves and transmit it back to various Sulliban (and in another nod to CSI, Lady Heather played one of the first Suliban Archer met). Apparently this trip was meant only for Georgiou, Burnham must sit on her hands and twiddle her thumbs, (and then maybe William Pederson will show up).

So now they are stirring elements of "Enterprise" into the pot, including the temporal Cold Wars.

This deals with why Giorgiou is going cuckoo. And no, David Cronenberg didn't really have much to do with it, as he was the only one who noticed it at the time.

The second clue which Adira-Tal found, this appears to be meant for Saru. Unfortunately the whole thing was not available.

Both stories have to do with going back and making a different choice, One choice affecting mirror universe past events, perhaps another one dealing directly with "the burn". And now another clue is added to the burn conundrum.

Meanwhile, Osyyra is preparing an attack and we don't know what form that is going to take. So "it will be hitting the fan" from several different directions. And maybe Book (and his cat, if it is actually a cat and not some Tentacled Tesseract gobbling thing) is most equipped to deal with her.

Star Trek: Discovery: The Sanctuary
Episode 8, Season 3

There are several things happening here
Pick something else, Instead of focusing on your fear of the characters of this series.

Presenting people in a modern way is what makes this show contemporary. This was what Star Trek did in the 1960s, this is what the films did in the 80s, and this is what Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise also did.

Where Star Trek TNG had basically an A and B story for every episode, sometimes we are presented with four or five things that are happening all at the same time in Discovery.

For instance:

Emperor Giorgiou's disintegration, The discovery process of our new trill crew person Adira-Tal, "Book" and his ship, and his cat, "Killy/Tully's" growth as the first officer, Oh yeah and isn't there something about "the burn"?

So now we see that there is music involved in "The Burn", but we knew this from previous episodes.

But there is something else Involved, and we get to see some references to that.

Not to mention the alliance between the Orions and the Andorians, and this new "Osyyra" crook, who makes Khan look like a nice guy.

But what are people focusing on? Fear of Adira-Tal. For cryin out LOUD- she, "They", have a TRILL SYMBIONT inside of them, so they are going through the exact issues that Jadzia and Ezri DAX went through. This new "label" if you will, perfectly applies to people who have Trill symbionts.

And this from the same people who promised to stop watching this show after the very first episode. When is that going to happen?

Now, I don't think this episode was as good as a couple of previous episodes, but it was certainly Rife with interesting plot points, many of which had nothing to do with the alternative lifestyles of various crewmembers. Which is actually a very small thing when it comes to all of the different things that are happening with this show right now. But instead this one "issue" is being bloated into something huge with these people, not because it actually is a huge issue. It's not.

The Mandalorian: Chapter 14: The Tragedy
Episode 6, Season 2

A surprising alliance
Well, we knew something bad was going to happen just because of the name of this chapter.

And if Mando was not such a meathead sometimes, he could avoid extra trouble. But he was raised from a foundling to follow certain rules, he is only now accepting the fact that other Mandalorians don't necessarily wear their helmets all the time.

That doesn't mean that he will start taking his off, though.

Something is lost in this chapter, several somethings as a matter of fact. But there is also something gained.

We have seen the ingredients of what is to come, and now all that needs to happen are for those ingredients to be stirred into a big cesspot.

I have said that there are no irrelevant filler episodes, every scene of every chapter of this show has significance. So we can see several key plot points coming to a head starting with this chapter.

And we also have the continuation of a story which we thought had ended in "The return of the Jedi", and I am glad for this. It is a chance for a borderline character to account for past acts.

Actually "the Mandalorian" as a story explains that classic Star Wars character's whole existence, we understand that person now, because we have lived with the Mandalorian for 13 chapters. so as we understand the Mandalorian, we can now understand that character. And people are much more than simply bad or good, they are many things.

There is a mild discrepancy with this episode that several other people have pointed out, I really didn't want to get into it because they had already mentioned this. I will try to ask it without mentioning the circumstances around this conundrum: Where oh where is Mando's jetpack? It is as if a scene were cut that may have explained something. And, this was an uncharacteristically short episode, much shorter than most.

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