Thursday, September 28, 2017

Reign Review: 4x15 "Blood in the Water"

Of course Mary would start being much kinder to Darnley after discovering he's sick despite everything he's done to her. It felt like a very Mary thing to do. When Lady Lennox claims that she is really trying to get him out of the way, though, it doesn't seem like that far-fetched of a fear for someone like her to have. It's what most people would probably try to do.

Lady Lennox's continued push to get Darnley more power started to feel unbelievable around this episode though. I get that she wants power, but she knows that Darnley is hallucinating. After this episode, it seemed obvious that she saw his hallucinations as an asset because she could tell him to do what she wanted, but that's clearly not the case. In reality, it just made Darnley more unpredictable, and he was probably harder for her to control than he was before. Imagine if she'd let him get treatment and, once he was better, work on getting more power. Imagine how much better that might have worked out for the both of them.

Baby James is finally born, which I had been waiting for. It was exciting largely because of his place in history. The show had been so focused on Elizabeth and Mary both vying for England (though that was remarkably a smaller focus throughout season four), which made James' birth towards the end of the show felt fitting, though I'm still not sure how I feel about all of the timeline twisting to make it happen. (This season really cemented for me that Reign was meant to end at Francis' death and just be the story of their marriage, not Mary's life afterward.)

The possibility that Jane was working for Narcisse never occurred to me, and it felt as if it were almost out of nowhere. Working for Narcisse is honestly the worst idea.

I'm not as confident as some of the characters on the show that Henry would be a better king than Charles. For all the rash decisions that Charles makes, Henry never proved himself to be any better. Any advantages he had seemed to be entirely based on the idea that he looked "healthier", which leaves me frustrated that anyone would make him king for that reason alone. Honestly, I'd forgotten why Spain wanted him as king over Charles by this episode. Was there even a reason beyond the looks thing?

For a little bit, I was hoping Leith would come back, but nope, we learned that he was getting married after a courtship that happened entirely off screen. I know I said that I wanted to know that Leith was happy, but I don't think this did that for me. We never saw the girl or heard how Leith feels. For all we know, she could be purely a rebound. If anything, I would have preferred to never hear about Leith again than get the small mention that we did. I'm incredibly frustrated with how the end of his story was handled. Actually, I think it would have been best if he had actually died and hadn't come back in season four.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Reign Review: 4x14 "A Bride. A Box. A Body."

I have to admit that every episode of Reign I watched during this season made me happier that that the show was coming to an end. While I feel a sense of allegiance to the show that comes from watching it from the very beginning, watching each new episode felt like a chore that I had to convince myself to do. The closer we got to the end, the more I felt that way.

Of course, when we see the first semblance of hope for Darnley being halfway decent, it quickly disappears. Now, though, when something is clearly wrong with him, I don't feel angry with him as I did in the past. I just feel exhausted. At this point, it's like everything with Darnley keeps going in circles, with the same thing happening again and again.

Bothwell is supposed to be a character that people like, I think, but I find him annoying. There's something in his overall demeanor and relationship with Mary that irks me. I think it's the fact that he's convinced they're soulmates despite there not being anything in the show that's convinced me that they're even compatible. If the show wants me to believe what Bothwell does, I feel like we should have seen something that shows they actually know each other. As it stands, most of the scenes with them together are centered around some huge potential scandal that they're trying to control. How much did we get of them getting to know each other? They're always focused on something else. It makes Bothwell come off as naive to me (and a little conceited).

Narcisse in this episode... Wow. I don't have much else to say about that part. Thing is, I loathed Narcisse when he first came onto the show, but more recently, I my feelings towards him were far more muted, with me not caring one way or the other. This was around the point where I started to feel much more negatively about him again, which I guess could be seen as a good or a bad thing since it echoes the Narcisse from earlier in the show.

This episode was also the point where it started to feel like all of the sympathetic characters were going to get the worst endings of the show. Leith disappeared early on in really upsetting circumstances, and Gideon dies in this episode. If nothing else, that would make me question why I'm still watching this show. The only answer I have for why I didn't is that it was almost over anyway.

Oh, I almost forgot to talk about Henry even though that was what I most wanted to mention immediately after watching the episode.

Reign's decision to have Henry be a crossdresser is an interesting one. As far as I can tell, there is no talk about the historical Henry possibly having crossdressed. There were rumors that he was gay in his own lifetime, but I've never read anything about crossdressing. Because of the rumors about his sexuality, I wondered if this was going to be Reign introducing Henry as gay in the show (despite the two things not being the same thing), but after seeing how that scene played out, I really had no idea what they were going to do. (And after seeing the entire season, I'm confused as to why this was dropped into the show so abruptly at all.)

When Henry went to see Nicole in that scene I do believe that he meant to call of their relationship, and whether he did or not, it seems obvious that he didn't feel anything real for her before that moment.

After seeing that scene, I couldn't tell if he felt anything for her or not. He did seem genuinely grateful when she accepted him, but I couldn't tell if that was out of relief (because he never thought he'd find someone who would be with him and keep the secret, which means he wants to keep her around as he might never find someone else) or because he was so touched that it created actual feelings in him for her.

Honestly, this was the only story line on the show that had me actively curious at the end of this episode, and it didn't really pan out much in the following episodes.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Television Review: Shadowhunters 2x11 "Mea Maxima Culpa"

Note: Cheers to posting this months after writing it. I'll get the others I have stored away up as soon as I can.

The Shadowhunters season two mid-season break went by faster than season breaks typically seem to. I guess I can attribute that to having plenty of other things occupying my mind since we last got a new Shadowhunters episode. That doesn't mean I wasn't excited for the show to finally start again.

I'll start off talking about Sebastian, since I was anxious to see how he'd be portrayed on the show. Even before he was cast, I was a bit nervous about what they'd do with him. There's definitely a right way and a wrong way to go with him, and there's really no way to tell what he'll be like after this one episode.

As I don't want to reveal any spoilers from the book series in this post, I find it difficult to talk about Sebastian because I can't help but compare him to the Sebastian from the books. There's one scene in the episode that makes it blatantly obvious that there's something more going on with Sebastian than what he tells Izzy, which seems quicker than he became suspicious in the books.

After what he tells Izzy in this episode, I do have some questions. Sebastian tells her that he left the London Institute. Now, he either had to leave without telling anyone where he was going or they would know where he is. If it were the first, I would wonder if there were people looking for him. If it were the latter, you'd think the London Institute would have let the New York Institute know that Sebastian was coming to the city (even if he didn't plan to go directly to the Institute), and as Izzy is pretty well connected, I'd imagine she'd have known about his presence in New York. It's interesting to me that she doesn't question any of that, but I can also see how that could easily be attributed to what she's going through (and the fact that she really wants someone who understands her).

I'm surprised at how blatant Jace was about still having feelings for Clary when he talked to her about not being her brother. He didn't even try to pretend that he didn't, which is what I would have expected him to do considering the circumstances. I'm curious as to how the love triangle is going to play out because from here on out I think we're far away from how it played out in the books. I think we'll get the same endgame couples, but it seems like we'll get there in an different way.

I loved the scene where Alec finds Jace crying on the rooftop. It was emotional but such a nice moment at the same time.

Another smaller aspect of the episode that I enjoyed was the Simon and Maia reaction. I love their friendship and can't wait to see it develop more over the second half of the season. I have my fingers crossed for a lot more interaction between the two of them.

If I'm remembering correctly, Azazel is the first demon we've seen in human form since the pilot episode, which isn't important so much as something that I find interesting. This episode did a good job of showing why he's more terrifying than any of the demons we've seen so far too.

Before watching the episode, I'd already heard something about a body swap with Magnus, so I figured out what was happening with Azazel and Valentine rather quickly. I have to admit that body swap stories aren't usually my cup to tea, so I'm not super ecstatic about watching this play out.

I just hope that nothing horrible happens to Magnus and that Valentine doesn't wreak too much havoc before anyone knows what's going on.