Game of Thrones sometimes gives us explosive conflict that takes our breath away. Other times it shows us the slow process of building influence and establishing a position, similar to a game of chess. “High Sparrow” has the feel a chess game, as many of our characters have charted new paths in the ever-changing landscape of Game of Thrones.
As December 25 rolls around, we look forward to waking up early, opening presents, enjoying a delicious meal, and then watching the Doctor Who Christmas special, “Last Christmas,” with family and friends. The Doctor Who Christmas special, now in its 10th year, has become an institution, but a new tradition has emerged – the Doctor Puppet Christmas Special. Doctor Puppet was created by Alisa Stern and now she and her team regularly entertain us with Doctor Puppet episodes. This year they have created a fantastic short called The Planet that Came for Christmas, in which the Twelfth Doctor and companion Clara travel to a planet that only appears once a year – on Christmas Day. What they find provides the viewer with that spooky holiday spirit that we love.
The character of Bobby Singer has had a big impact on the series Supernatural. Bobby is gone, but certainly not forgotten. In fact, he continues to return to the series in various ways. Bobby is the longest running character on Supernatural besides Sam and Dean. In the first part of this series, “Supernatural: Remembering Bobby Singer – Part 1 History” we explored Bobby relationship with the Winchester brothers, as well as the way he assisted the entire hunting community. For the second part of this series, we are revisiting our favorite quotes of Bobby Singer throughout the Supernatural series. His words and unique phrases are reminders of why we love this character so much.
“The Things We Left Behind” touches on serious themes as Supernatural reaches its mid-season finale. The undercurrent of this episode lies in how our families shape who we are. Though the importance of family in determining who we are and what we choose to do is one of the main themes of Supernatural generally, this episode takes it further by exploring how personal choices affect members of our family. We begin to see reflection on the consequences of actions taken by Castiel and Dean. Rowena’s impact on Crowley and the legacy it has borne starts to become more evident as well. There are things that our characters may have thought, or hoped, they had left behind, but this episode reveals what they still carry with them and what might not be so easily forgotten.
Sam and Dean Winchester have not always had good relations with the authorities. The Winchesters’ dealings with the law enforcement community have had mixed results. In thepilot episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean pose as Federal Marshals and while talking to the local deputy, Deans makes the comment, “Well, that is exactly the kind of crack police work I’d expect out of you guys.” Dean is later arrested by the same Deputy. In “Nightshifter” (S02E12) Dean complains about the interference of police:
Dean: “Friggin’ cops.”
Sam: “They’re just doing their job.”
Dean: “No, they’re doing OUR job, only they don’t know it so they suck at it.”
This has been an exciting season of Supernatural so far. We started out with a very funny, and slightly mysterious, episode with “Black.” Then we had a couple episodes of Dean being absolutely terrifying in “Reichenbach” and “Soul Survivor.” Then last week we enjoyed a refreshing change with “ the traditional Monster of the Week format of “Paper Moon.” There hasn’t been a moment when we were bored or an episode where we didn’t laugh out loud. Sure there been aspects we haven’t liked this season, and by aspects we mean Cole, but overall Supernatural has kept us engaged and expectant of what the next week will bring. In terms of being expectant, our hopes were high for this week’s “Fan Fiction” and we were not disappointed. Continue reading
The Walking Dead has a large cast that is ever-changing as characters die, new survivors come into the fold, and we learn about new bands of people that have managed to live on. Last week’s episode, “Slabtown,” introduced a new group of survivors at Grady Hospital where Beth is being held captive. The Walking Dead writers do a good job of getting us quickly invested and interested in the storylines involving new characters. This week’s episode, “Self-Help,” provides a chance to better know Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene, who television viewers were introduced to in Season Four. Readers of the comic book are more familiar with these three characters and their mission to get to DC. “Self-Help” gives television viewers a chance to catch up a bit. Though we weren’t looking forward to this storyline, seeing it as a distraction from the story of Rick and the other characters we are more familiar with, we found it quite compelling.
Since the start of Season Five we have been enjoying the reunion of our beloved, and not-so-beloved, cast of characters on the Walking Dead. Sure we have our favorites, but characters like Sasha and Tara still help round out the cast. Maybe we have some sort of childhood-driven complex, but we just like it when everyone’s all together. We feel safer with the group, despite Rick telling Carl in the episode “Strangers” (S05E02): “No matter how many people are around or how clear the area looks, no matter what anyone says, no matter what you think, you are not safe.” The departure of Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita, along with Glenn and Maggie—oh, and Tara, in “Four Walls and Roof” (S05E03) makes us feel a little less secure. Though the return of Daryl at the end of the episode made us feel a lot safer. Not safe like sleeping in the backseat of your parents’ car safe, but still pretty content. We were sure hoping that Daryl was going to have Beth with him, because who doesn’t love it when good things happen to boring people? Actually we came to appreciate Beth in Season Four, and we don’t want her to be left out by the group. It does seem like most of them, including her sister Maggie, seemed to have moved on without her. We thought it might be helpful for Beth to learn “How to Cope When You Feel Left Out.”
“Paper Moon” is a good old-fashioned Monster of the Week Supernatural episode. The boys’ development as hunters and brothers is shown during the opening montage. The reference reminds us why we love Supernatural so much: hunting provides excitement and suspense, while the characters’ relationships provide meaning and investment for the viewer. We get a chance to revisit Sam and Dean’s previous dealings with werewolves—mostly involving Sam or Dean killing them, but also showing how their relations with lycanthropes became increasingly complex over the course of their hunting career. Werewolves have been a staple of Supernatural’s terrestrial monster repertoire from the beginning.
There are several unresolved questions that Season Five of the Walking Dead has yet to answer: What happened to Beth? Will Bob survive, and does he even want to? How will the conflict between the cannibalistic Termites and Rick’s group be resolved? What is Gabriel’s terrible secret and will it affect the group? Will Rick take the group to Washington? If they get to Washington, what will they find, and can Eugene really end the virus?