Orphan Black S. 5 EP. 10: To Right the Wrongs of Many

By Courtney

 

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Hi Clone Clubbers! This is it, the last episode and I didn’t want to watch it because I didn’t want this amazing journey to end. But I had to find out what happened, so here we go, down the rabbit hole.

This episode starts with a bang, right where we left off last week. Helena’s water has broken and she and Sarah are trapped trying to figure out what to do or how to escape. Sarah gets Helena to a side room and gives her a screwdriver to protect herself while she goes out to find water for her. Sarah is sneaking around and Art finds her so she sends him back to Helena. Dr. Coady is still not dead and comes looking for them, she finds some blood on the ground that leads her to Helena and Art. It seems the Dr. Coady has kind of learned her lesson about getting close to Helena and tells Art that he is delivering the babies. He starts to help Helena and they are both able to trick Dr. Coady into coming closer by saying that Helena is hemorrhaging. When Dr. Coady comes closer, Art is able to get her gun and he and Helena are finally able to kill her.

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While Helena and Art are occupied with Dr. Coady, Sarah has the final showdown with PT Westmoreland. They yell at eachother and she listens for him and correctly guesses where he is and shoots. He jumps her through the curtain and tries to smother her with plastic. She gets him off her and kills him in the middle of a speech. At this point, all the villains are dead and there’s still forty minutes left. Sarah goes back to Art and Helena and finds Dr. Coady dead and helps Helena give birth. During Sarah helping Helena, we get to see flashbacks of Sarah deciding what to do with Kira when she found out she was pregnant and the birth of Kira with Mrs. S helping her through it.  It was beautifully cut together.

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The show jumps to a couple months in the future, we see Helena living with the twins in Donnie and Alison’s garage, Sarah is getting math help from Cosima over Skype, the seestras are all moving on with their lives, this freedom is what they had been fighting for. We learn that Sarah was preparing to take her GED. Sarah shows up at the high school and can’t go take the test, she walks away from it. Sarah shows up to Alison’s for the baby shower and everyone asks her how it went and she lies and avoids telling them that she didn’t take it.  Helena can sense that something is off with Sarah, that she isn’t healing through this trauma the way the rest of the seestras are.

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The seestras sit by the fire in Alison’s backyard and Sarah breaks down with the truth, that she didn’t take her test and she doesn’t know how to be happy or how to be a good mom. All of the seestras tell her their own stories of losing their patience with their children and feeling like they were failing as parents. You can tell that by hearing those stories, Sarah realizes that she isn’t alone and that it’s okay to not be okay. Felix contacts Rachel on the sly and gets a full list of all the Leda clones and gives it to them. There are 274 Leda clones, Cosima and Delphine set about traveling and inoculating the rest of clones. Helena decides to name her twin boys Arthur and Donnie. Sarah decides not to sell the house and to focus on being a family mistakes and all.

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This was the happy ending that I wanted. I was really excited that the drama ended and got wrapped up early because the show was able to end on what it was really good at and what I love about it so much. Orphan Black is about family and finding yourself and figuring out where you fit. The fighting for their right to survive and not be science experiments anymore is exciting and necessary to the show, but it’s at its strongest when its the seestras hanging out by the fire confiding, struggling with life and being there for each other. As far as finales go, I’m very content with this one because I can see them all in my head getting together for barbeques and living their quiet lives. On a final note, I will say again the Tatiana Maslany is amazing and super nice and if you ever do get the chance to meet her, you should.

 

Thanks for coming with me on the journey Clone Clubbers, it’s been a great trip.

Orphan Black Airs Saturday nights on BBCA or you can stream it on Amazon Here.

(This page uses affiliate links to help support the cost of maintaining the blog. Purchasing a product through a provided link may provide us with a small fee to help us keep doing what we do. Thanks for your support)
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Star Wars Marathon Musings Part 2

By Hannah

 

Part two of our marathon.  Episodes 4-7 is about eight and a half hours.  We watched all four movies this time.  

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Episode 4: A New Hope

AKA: The mystery of R2D2 and stairs

AKA: Luke isn’t a dick, but he knows how they think

AKA: Leia is a bad ass

AKA: What’s with the chasms in a space station?

AKA: Why are they getting medals?

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Hannah: The first Star Wars is pretty amazing.  The acting is on point, visuals are great, and the chemistry is electric.  Too much CGI, but that’s easily ignored most of the time.  I love R2D2 by himself and like R2D2 and C3P0 together.  C3P0 on his own is way too annoying, but when they are together R2D2’s sassy beeping mellows out C3P0’s incessant whining.

 

Courtney: I like this movie because of how much Leia does not put up with Han and Luke, even when they’re trying to rescue her. It’s clear that this is a war she has been fighting for a long time. Luke acts like a teenager, but he’s supposed to, he walks into potentially dangerous situations with no plan and expects it to work out okay.

 

Hannah: Well they are all teenagers.  If this was a high school drama, not an epic space adventure, Luke would be the naive freshman, Han would be the captain of the football team, and Leia would be the student body president who is focused on getting into a good school while taking care of her younger siblings.  Somehow their energy meshes well, and they get the job done…

 

Courtney: I disagree with your assessment that Han would be the captain of the football team, I think he’s more of the older stoner who refuses to graduate. But the rest of your analogy I can get behind. Especially, because the attempted love triangle fails hard. Luke and Leia are the same age but the way they have been raised changes their mental age dramatically.

 

Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

AKA: Why do we need Han?

AKA: The only love triangle is in Han’s mind

AKA: Don’t trust the B in Cloud City!

AKA: Bait that Skywalker trap

AKA: Why doesn’t the force tell Darth about Leia?

AKA: NOOOOOOOOOOO

AKA: We probably could have skipped this

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Hannah: This movie does not end.  The beginning is solid, but after everyone escapes, there are seven scenes too many of training in the swamp and flirting in a broken down space ship.  We get it, Han thinks Leia is cute.  We get it, handstands are hard.  Great.  Can we move on?  

 

Courtney: I forgot how long this movie is.  I like the beginning in the snow and then the middle feels like it drags. As slow as it is though, it’s still better than the first three movies. Han acts remarkably petulant in the beginning of the film, I feel like that could have been done better.

 

Hannah:  I feel like this is the movie that Harrison Ford hated the most out of the four movies he did.  It’s not really a secret that he hated the Han Solo character, so maybe the petulance and the way the movie dragged on and on was because his hatred was bleeding through?

 

Courtney: I do like that this movie showed us actual different worlds within the galaxy. Sometimes in movies with other planets, they all look like earth, like mountains and stuff. I appreciate that we got to see some extremes, I think it helped make it look a lot more believable.

 

Episode 6: Return of the Jedi

AKA: Random unneeded musical number

AKA: Luke’s planning is better. He grows

AKA: What has everyone been doing for four years?

AKA: So that’s what a bothan is

AKA: Ewoks will eat anything

AKA: Are Ewoks supposed to be cute or terrifying

AKA: Why is the stormtrooper’s armor even there?  

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Hannah: Everyone has really matured well in the four years between the end of The Empire Strikes Back and the beginning of Return of the Jedi.  Except Han, but he was frozen in time.  Why would they give him the title of general?  He is mostly there to joke around and make googly eyes at Leia.

 

Courtney: Go Luke! He’s actually grown by this movie and I appreciate that. He creates plans when encountering dangerous situations and relies on other people to help him. Leia is still amazing, she’s a princess but she knows she can handle herself so she goes where the action is.

 

Hannah:  I also like that the boys trust her when she does this.  In the first and second movie, no one wants to listen to her battle plans when shit goes down.  Han pretty much argues with her the entire time and Luke keeps trying to protect her.  In the third movie, Luke trusts her to get the job done and Han doesn’t argue as much.  Although he still sulks about Leia’s relationship with Luke.

Courtney: Han’s insecurity in this movie was weird. He keeps second guessing Leia’s feelings, but he doesn’t ever ask her about it. Leia is clearly team Han in this movie and Han somehow doesn’t get it.

 

Episode 7: The Force Awakens

AKA: Should have stuck with clones

AKA: Liar liar pants on fire

AKA: How does BB8 get up stairs?

AKA: Tantrum much?

AKA: That’s not how the force works

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Hannah:  This is my first time seeing The Force Awakens.  It’s amazeballs.  Goofy at all the right times, serious when needed, and full of tension.  I like that, so far, you can’t tell if there is any romantic tension.  In the orig-trig they tried to make a love triangle with Leia in the middle.  If they do that with these next three, it would probably be with Finn in the middle…  I would not object to that.

 

Courtney: I love this movie. I love BB8 and Rey and Finn. I appreciate that the creators were able to bring in new cast while still doing the previous cast justice. They brought in all the elements that I loved from the original trilogy and added new changes to make it even better.

 

Hannah:  BB8 was super cute.  I loved that more than one person could understand it.  Another thing that I loved about this movie is that they went back to more practical effects.  BB8 is real.  You can make it yourself!  The insta bread was also pretty cool, as well as just about everything else.  This movie combined the visuals of the three-quills (which were better than the orig-trig), with the great chemistry and story telling of the orig-trig.  Two more movies and hopefully The Force will be balanced.

 

Courtney: I like your reminder about their being two more movies coming, this movie was odd in that it felt like both a beginning and a continuation. I feel like it’s what producers strive for when they try to do a reboot. I honestly don’t really know where the next movie is going to go, but I’m excited and I want to go there. I like it when authors do that in book series, give you a contained, well ended story that leaves you content but wanting more.

 

So, the bad news is that if you do a Star Wars marathon in chronological, it is a very difficult start.  The good news though is that the marathon will end fantastically.  Totally worth the time.

 

(This page uses affiliate links to help support the cost of maintaining the blog. Purchasing a product through a provided link may provide us with a small fee to help us keep doing what we do. Thanks for your support)

Fandomly Fashionable: Heroines

In August we are focusing on heroines. Women sometimes have a harder time finding role models in pop culture. Sure there are some great ones, but they are not as prevalent as male superheroes. Luckily we have people like Joss Whedon who know that girls need strong women to look up to and the with amazing films like Wonder Woman coming out on top, we are making great progress. So this month, we have been focusing on the strong women we admire. Since Courtney makes her clothes based on the heroes she admires much of the time, we discussed her motivations.

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What defines a hero to you?

A true hero comes in dark when no one is looking and does what needs to be done.

 

Who is your favorite heroine and why?

My favorite heroine is Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. She is my favorite because she has no superpowers and must rely on her strength and wit to help her do the right thing. She is also flawed and still strives to do the right thing in spite of those flaws.

 

What inspires you about heroines?

Heroines show me that I do have the power to change the world, they are the people that I root for, that I try to be when I can in my everyday life.

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How do you try and implement that in your designs?

I try and pull color schemes or general design shapes into the clothes I design. I like my clothes to be representative of the characters their designed after, but have it not be super obvious. My Batgirl dress is one of my favorite examples because the back was designed to be like a cape without being an obvious cape. That dress lends me the strength of Batgirl when I feel like I need it the most.

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What future heroines do you have plans to create clothing around?

I think about a lot of different heroines when I design and I keep coming back to the ladies of Star Wars; Padme’s clothes are gorgeous and Princess Leia is such an iconic figure. I would really like to have a couple different designs from the both of them at some point. Gwen Poole is another character I keep coming back to because I’d really like to reclaim the color pink and show that you can be a total bad ass and wear pink.

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If you want to be a heroine, or just dress like one, head over to the Etsy shop and check out the awesome deal on the fandom inspired tutus. Already marked down 25% for the month of August.

You can find Fandomly Fashionable on Facebook and Etsy.

 

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Bingeable: Rizzoli & Isles

By Hannah

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Adding to our theme of Heroines this month, Rizzoli and Isles can be seen streaming on Hulu and Amazon.  There will be spoilers in this review.

 

Meet homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and her best friend/co-worker Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles.  Together they, and the rest of their team solve murders in the city of Boston.  

 

Jane Rizzoli is the oldest of three, she has a great knack for interrogation, and loves baseball.  Maura is the adopted daughter of Harvard professors, she cannot lie, and has a pet tortoise.  Sergeant Korsak is Jane’s former partner. He has a soft spot for animals, is a gifted musician, and has been married three times.  Detective Barry Frost is Jane’s current partner.  He get nauseous at the sight of gore, is the team’s tech guru, and will break your heart.  Frankie Rizzoli Jr. is Jane’s baby brother and a beat cop trying to make detective.  Susie Chang is Dr. Isles assistant.  She is serious, honest, and makes dioramas to help her think.  Angela Rizzoli is Jane and Frankie’s mother.  She is a great cook, human lie detector, and recently divorced from Frankie Rizzoli Sr.  Tommy Rizzoli is the baby Rizzoli.  He’s an ex-con, chess genius, and single dad.  Nina Holiday is a former Chicago cop, tech guru, and owns a wedding hat(this is explained in the show, but it’s also exactly what it sounds like).  She is the eventual replacement of Det. Frost.  Kent Drake is Scottish, a former army doctor, and a Kiss fan.  He is the eventual replacement of Susie.

 

Clearly there are more characters I could list, but these are the main group.  They work together, play together, and sometimes (not often) consider dating. Jane and Maura are both single, so there are boyfriends and hook-ups that make appearances.  You get to meet all of Maura’s parents, both of Frost’s parents, 2 out of 3 of Korsak’s exes, and Jane’s informant, Rondo.  Plus all the murder victims, suspects, witnesses, etc.

 

This show started out as a cut and paste police procedural.  They threw in a serial killer who was obsessed with Jane, and a bio dad who turned out to be a mob boss with a signature kill.  It wasn’t until midway through the first season that it became something special.  Money for Nothing is the name of the episode.  It cemented in my mind that these two women were actually friends.  Often a show will say that characters are friends, and then they never show the character interact in any way other than colleagues/barely interact.

 

Money for Nothing showed that even though these two women come from different backgrounds, they will work on their issues together, support each other, and laugh.  I think the thing I like the most about this show is the laughter.  It feels genuine and welcoming.  When I watch, I feel included in the jokes, I get a ball of emotions clogged in my throat during the sad scenes, and a jaw ache during the tense situations.  This show engages you on multiple levels.

 

There are two major deaths in this show.  The first one is Det. Frost, who died in a car crash.  We never see his body.  That’s because the actor Lee Thompson Young, died in 2014.  It left a major hole in the team, and you can tell that the actors who worked with him were grieving through the remainder of the show.  The second death was that of Susie Chang.  She is murdered off screen, but you get to see a body.  She’s never really mentioned after her funeral, which makes me as a viewer a little sad.  I’m not sure what happened, but I missed her when she was gone.  I hope I’m not the only one.

 

The show isn’t perfect though.  It shows a technologically advanced police force, that I don’t think exists anywhere.  There’s apparently a program through all of Boston that records and reports any gunshot throughout the city, or the fact that every corner has video surveillance…  Also, anytime there’s a shooting, the officers involved disarmed the criminal by grabbing the gun and tossing it away.  I thought the police were supposed to kick the guns away, to avoid getting their fingerprints on the weapon.  I could be wrong.  Everything I know about police procedure I learned from TV…

 

4.5 out of 5 stars

Game of Thrones S. 7 Ep. 4 : The Spoils Of War

By Domoni

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We start with Jaime and Bron returning from Highgarden with the gold and goods. Jaime gives Bron a large bag of gold, but Bron wants the castle he was promised. He would love to take Highgarden but Jaime denies him, telling him they are at war and someone will just come and try and take it from him and that when the war is over he can take his pick of castles.

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Back at King’s Landing, Cersei is with the man from the Iron bank. She assures him the money will be there and he is all grovelling and useful, as long as the money actually comes through.  He assures her the Iron Bank will support her as long as the gold comes in.

 

In Winterfell, Littlefinger is doing what Littlefinger does. He is trying to sway someone. This time his focus is on the man formerly known as Bran Stark. He offers Bran the dagger that was used in his attempted murder. Bran delivers his current level of power on a silver platter to Baylish by telling him ” Chaos is a ladder.” Which is a phrase Lord Baylish uttered to Varys many moons ago while secretly scheming.

 

Meera comes to say goodbye to Bran. He has a fancy new wheelchair to get him around now and doesn’t need his lady powered sled. She wants to be with her remaining family when the frozen death comes south of the wall. Bran again shows  his new unemotional side as Meera lists all those who died to get him to his uncaring power.

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And now finally, Arya is home. She comes to the gates of Winterfell and is challenged by the guards. She finally convinces them to let her through the gate even though she cannot convince them she is a Stark.  While the guards argue over who will inform Sansa of the new arrival, she slips off to the family crypt. Sansa hears out the guards and realizes it is really her younger sibling and knows where to find her. We get a sisterly reunion in the cold hall of the dead with an unflattering statue of Ned looking over. Sansa tells Arya that she isn’t the only sibling to make it home.

 

Under the Weirdwood tree, Arya is reunited with Bran. She learns he has visions and seems to accept it without question. For a girl who can change her face, not much should be weird at this point I suppose. Bran shows off his fancy new dagger, but gives it to Arya who of course  is thrilled to now have her own Valyrian steel blade.

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Back on DragonStone, Daenerys and Missandei are walking along and discussing the unsullied. Missandei obviously wants her man back which Dany notices and has to pump her for some girl talk about what went down…. Before details can happen in a good girl talk chat, Jon Snow arrives to take the Mother of Dragons on a tour of the mine.

 

Jon shows Khaleesi the dragonglass glimmering in the cave, and then he shows her ancient drawings made by the children of the forest. The images depict them working with humans to battle the white walkers. Daenerys seems to finally be willing to aid in the battle against the army of the dead, if Jon will bend the knee. He again refuses to submit, explaining his people would never accept a ruler from the south again. She insists they will follow his lead, in a conversation that mirrors the plea Jon made to Mance.

 

When they exit the cave, Tyrion is there with bad news. Daenerys is angry and wants to fly off and burn the Red Keep and everyone in it. Tyrion insists this is not the way to go. She asks Jon his advice and he tells her if she wants to be a better ruler, melting cities and castles with a dragon will not convince the people.

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Back in Winterfell, Podrick is taking another beating/training session with Brienne. Arya observes before saying she wishes to train with the warrior who defeated the hound. Brienne and Arya spar while Sansa and Littlefinger look on from above. As Arya enjoys showing off her skill, Sansa seems to be less than thrilled at her younger siblings abilities. When an impressed Brienne asks who taught Arya to fight, she replies “noone.”

 

Back at Dragonstone Theon arrives on the beach with some of the Greyjoy men. Jon meets him there and informs him only the fact he saved Sansa is keeping him alive. He tells the envoy he has come to ask the Queen to help him save Yara, but he finds out the Queen is not on the island.

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Back in The Reach, Jaime, Jerkface Tarly and Bron are watching the last of the troops and supplies. Suddenly, Bron hears the thunder. As the men realize what is coming, they yell for their soldiers to line up shields and spears. They form a perimeter around the loot train and Jaime and Jerkface Tarly keep yelling at the men to hold the line and not let the Dothraki horde through, when Drogon and Daenerys appear to decimate the line with fire.

 

This battle is rather epic. It may not have had the build up that the other anticipated battles like the Battle of the Bastards, but it still blew me away. When Dany says dracarys I get a little giddy. The Dothraki could have taken the Lannisters on their own, but with Drogon flying overhead, there was no question. Bron puts up a hell of a fight and makes his way to the secret weapon. He gets off a shot that goes wide and misses but alerts the queen to the weapon. As she comes in to destroy it Bron gets another massive arrow off which strikes Drogon. He appears to fall from the sky but catches himself to land on his feet. He takes out the enormous bow and while Daenerys tends to him, Jaime sees her seemingly unprotected attempting to pull the giant arrow from her dragons shoulder.

 

As Tyrion watches from a hill vantage point, he pleads for his brother to flee. Jaime instead grabs a spear and charges at the queen. When he gets too close, Drogon moves his massive head and fire races towards Jaime. Luckily, Bron is near and he pushes Jaime from his horse and they both sink into the nearby strangely very deep water, safe from the fire but that doesn’t mean safe…..

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While this episode didn’t seem quite as packed as last weeks, many great things happened. I am still so full of anticipation waiting for what is to come. The tension between the King in the North and the Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men is heating up. So people seem to be clamoring for some more royal incest.  Will these two get busy before they find out that Jon is Dany’s nephew, will that matter to people from a family that wed siblings? Arya now has a pretty epic weapon that will kill white walkers, so the potential for her destiny is still just growing. Sansa is really still just an annoying envious girl in a lot of ways, I would like to see more actual growth from her. Can we just cook Cersei and move on to the real battle? Will Grey Worm make it home to Missandei? Hopefully, we will get some answers next week.

 

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO or you can stream it on Amazon with an HBO subscription, get 7 free days now and catch up.

 

 

(This page uses affiliate links to help support the cost of maintaining the blog. Purchasing a product through a provided link may provide us with a small fee to help us keep doing what we do. Thanks for your support)

Orphan Black S. 5 Ep. 9 : One Fettered Slave

 

By Courtney

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The closer we get to the series finale, the more reluctant I find myself when it comes to watching these episodes. I have loved this show from the beginning and am not eager to see it end. This episode gave us a backstory that I didn’t know I wanted to see until it was in front of me. Helena has always been a complicated character and we finally get to see why. I remember meeting the character of Helena in season one and wishing they would kill her off, I hated her. But then she was gone for a couple episodes and I found myself missing her. Over the course of the show, she has become one of my favorite characters.

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We see Helena as a little girl in the convent being cruelly punished for accidentally watching a nun pleasure herself. The nun bleaches her hair and locks her in a closet. Helena is then adopted by a man who teaches her that her life purpose is to rid the world of the “dirty copies”. Helena makes her first kill in a church and realizes that the girl looks like her and that she herself is a copy. The man who adopts her, tells her that she is the original and now we know why Helena was hell bent on killing all the clones when we first meet her.

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This episode also deals with the consequences of Mrs. S’s death and it’s a loss that is felt by everyone. Felix is driven to act because he feels like he can’t sit still and Sarah sits back and is there for Kira and herself. I was really proud of Sarah for making the decision to stay with Kira, I feel like the Sarah from season 1 would have made a different decision. Sarah is actively trying to be a better mom and be there for Kira when she wasn’t there in the past. Felix and Art go bug Rachel about where Helena is after a nun comes to them and tells Sarah that Helena has been taken.

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Helena is currently in the hands of Dr. Coady and PT. PT wants cord blood from Helena’s babies and orders Dr. Coady around to try and get the results he wants. Dr. Coady listens to him for the most part, even killing Mark, the last castor clone at his request. Killing Mark doesn’t sit well with Dr. Coady and is why she insists on preserving the life of Helena’s babies, she needs something new to experiment on. Helena waits until she’s alone and tries to cut her shackles off and when it fails, she tries to kill herself and her babies to prevent them from being a science experiment the way she was. Considering that Helena has been ferociously protective of her babies, her willingness to end all of their lives is a sign of her desperation, her final act of protecting them and it is heartbreaking to watch.

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Art, Felix, Rachel and Sarah realize that the only way to find Helena is to offer up Rachel to PT and track where they take her. When they are taking Rachel in to see PT, she was slightly off in her mannerisms. She goads PT and he figures out that it’s not Rachel, it’s Sarah when he lifts up her eye patch. Sarah is only saved by Dr. Coady bursting in telling her that they need her blood to give to Helena. Dr. Coady hooks Sarah up to Helena who is unconscious and Dr. Coady informs Sarah that she will be cutting the babies out unless Helena wakes up. In true Helena form, she comes to and tricks Dr. Coady into coming close to her and bashes her head into the bed rails. Helena hands Sarah a knife and prepares to flee. At this point we do not know if Dr. Coady is dead or alive. As Helena stands up, her water breaks and the episode ends.

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This episode was really good. We got see how much the clones have grown as people and it sets us up for the final episode. Ugh, I’m not happy about the final episode. Tatiana Maslany is amazing and this episode definitely showcased that. Sometimes when she’s Helena, I forget that it’s one person doing all of it. Her ability to act as a clone, acting like another clone in a way that is completely believable will always blow my mind. I do not know how they are going to wrap up everything in an hour. Neolution is falling, but PT is still currently alive, as is Art’s terrifying partner. I don’t think we’ll ever learn how connected Kira is to all of the seestras, or how it works. The show runners have been hinting at a wedding between Cosima and Delphine all season, I hope it happens. There’s a lot of action that needs to happen in the next episode and I hope it ends with all the members of clone club alive and going on to live quiet happy lives where they get together for sister barbeques every once in awhile. I want them all to have happy endings, I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

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Until next week, the final final week Clone Clubbers.

 

Orphan Black Airs Saturday nights on BBCA or you can stream it on Amazon Here.

 

 

(This page uses affiliate links to help support the cost of maintaining the blog. Purchasing a product through a provided link may provide us with a small fee to help us keep doing what we do. Thanks for your support)

Atomic Blonde Spoiler Free Review

By Domoni

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Since we decided to focus on heroines in August, I decided to go check out Atomic Blonde. I hadn’t seen a single trailer for this movie, which doesn’t surprise me because women led films often get the short straw in promotion. I had seen a couple of articles talking about Charlize Theron being James Bond Badass material. So, I went into the movie with no preconceived ideas. There are no big spoilers in this review.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

It is 1989 and the eve of German reunification. Lorraine Broughton is an MI6 agent, she is being called in to debrief her recent mission to Berlin. Told in flashbacks, this movie switches between the present and the past as Lorraine disdainfully recants the job to her superiors.  She was sent to Berlin to find a list of names which details every active field agent in Germany, including a double agent known as Satchel. A previous agent, James Gasciogne was shot and killed for the list by KGB agent Yurl Bahktin.

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From the moment Lorraine touches down, her cover is blown. After surviving her first attack by the KGB she meets up with the  other British agent in Berlin, Percival. He discusses what he knows with her as he drops her at her hotel.

Lorraine heads to Gasciogne’s apartment. It has obviously already been searched many times, but she does find a photo of Gasciogne with Percival, who never mentioned knowing him. We begin to get the first hints that Percival cannot be trusted.

The movie has an amazing soundtrack and is visually pleasing. Set against the fall of the Berlin wall, we see the chaos of 1989 Germany as a metaphor for the chaos of the life of a spy. The action scenes are thrilling and keep you on the edge of your seat, but the story and the pacing in between the action, do not keep the viewer motivated to stay awake. I was literally dozing off. The problems with this film outweigh the good.

Lorraine is an unsympathetic heroine. Her character has zero depth and nothing to motivate you to root for her. The fact that we know she didn’t die, takes all the stakes out of her danger. Though we get a small glimpse of a possible connection Lorraine had with Gasciogne before his death, she is so cold, it really doesn’t affect the viewer in any emotional way. I actually felt more for Percival and found myself rooting for him to be able to continue to be the feral cretin he is.

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While tracking the list, Lorraine meets french agent Delphine Lasalle and they begin a sexual relationship. Again, Lorraine seems emotionless and for me this seemed to only be a way to have sex in the film. Which was unnecessary and started to turn this potential badass female role model into a cheap thrill for men.

When I read an article comparing this film to Wonder Woman, it bothered me. The magic of Wonder Woman, was a woman directed it to be an amazing movie. You could watch this film and be immersed in it. I never had a moment where I felt like I was watching something made to get a guy off. Gal Gadot was just a badass who didn’t need to prove it. Sadly, Charlize Theron did not hit those notes. Yes the fight scenes were epic and kudos for her doing them. But often the camera would be at an angle to watch her skirt ride up above her garter or other such props that you don’t see women directors needing to include. And so this movie falls victim to the male gaze. If that does not bother you, then perhaps you too will just feel rather bored in between the action scenes.

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When looking back over this film, I felt mostly annoyed that my brain was picking all of this apart and when I write a list of what stood out to me the most, Bill Skarsgard seemed to steal every scene he was in and that was not what I wanted from this movie. I mean don’t get me wrong, he is impressive, but I wanted to leave this movie on the female power high I had walking out of Wonder Woman and I didn’t even get the female power lift I left Ghost Busters with.

Though the ending was surprising and enjoyable, I felt like I could have waited to rent this movie and watch at home.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

By Hannah

 

Our theme for August is Heroines. So we will celebrate some of our favorite strong women.  Hannah is starting us out with her review of Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

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Star VS the Forces of Evil is an original cartoon series produced by Disney Television Animation.  Season 1 and 2 are streaming on Hulu.  Season 3 started with a made for t.v. movie in June and will resume in November. You can also stream it on Amazon here.

 

It’s gonna get a little weird

Gonna get a little wild

I ain’t from round here

I’m from another dimension

 

These are the opening lyrics to the show.  It’s a promise of what is to come and I’m happy to say that the show keeps that promise.  Star Butterfly is the crowned princess on Mewni.  She likes war-ni-corns, fighting monsters, and having adventures.  On her 14th birthday, she receives her magic wand and chaos promptly ensues.  To help her learn control, and to keep her safe, Butterfly’s parents send her to Earth as an exchange student.  There she meets Marco Diaz, the straight A safe kid, with a green belt in karate, and a passion for nachos.  Together they fight monsters, do magic, and have great adventures.

 

Star is very literal minded, honest, enthusiastic, and crazy.  She comes to Earth and wins hearts with her over the top antics and friendly personality.  I like that she is caring, questioning, and kicks butt.  She may get a lot of things wrong, but her heart is in the right place, and she is unstoppable.  Marco is smart, shy, and not afraid to show his emotions.  Star quickly becomes his best friend.  

 

When I started watching this show, I thought it was just going to be a stupid cartoon with puns and dumb jokes.  It is, but it’s so much more.  This show depicts healthy relationships.  Both Marco’s and Star’s parents are married to their best friends.  It doesn’t romanticize problematic behavior, but it also doesn’t demonize it.  Star’s best friend off Earth is Ponyhead, a mildly narcissistic princess who does not like Marco at first.  Instead of dropping her or cutting her off, Star encourages Ponyhead to get to know Marco.  Ponyhead and Marco will never be besties, but they do develop a friendship.  Tom, Star’s ex, has a temper.  He is working on controlling it because he knows that it is a problem.  It also models ways for people to set boundaries with loved ones, which can be a very difficult thing to do.

 

I recommend this cartoon for anyone who likes adventure, emotional growth, and magic.  The chemistry between characters is amazing, and both the opening theme and ending theme songs keep the promise of the show.  They will get stuck in your head, and you won’t even care that much.

 

I think Earth is a pretty great place

That’s saying something, ‘cause I’ve been through outer space

 

4.5 out of 5 stars

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Game of Thrones S. 7 Ep. 3 : The Queen’s Justice

By Domoni

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Finally, Jon Snow has come to meet The Mother Of Dragons.  I find it interesting that the one thing everyone wanted, was actually not the most interesting thing about this week’s episode. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. There was just so much to love in this episode.

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We start with Missandei and Tyrion meeting Jon Snow and Davos on the shore of Dragonstone. As they make their way to the throne room, Tyrion asks about Sansa and makes it clear how he feels about being forced to marry her and that he never consummated or forced her. Jon acts as though he doesn’t care, we all know he cares. Suddenly Dragons. Jon and Davos hit the ground, everyone giggles.

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The  next scene shows Varys finding Mellisandre on a cliff watching Jon’s arrival. She doesn’t want to be a part of the action and claims to have played her part bringing fire and ice together. Varys encourages her to leave and never come back. Mellisandre confirms she is heading to Volantis, but she must come back. She is destined to die in Westeros and so is the Spider. Varys obviously does not enjoy this reminder of the prophecy.

In the Throne room, Missandei rattles off all the titles with specific emphasis on the word Rightful. A glance from Jon has Davos stammer out his name and then a oh yeah he’s the King in the North. Awkward! Daenerys tells Jon she expects him to fall in line, he is having none of that. We get a little lesson in the families lineage and some more stubborn demanding, then a Jon shoots back with why should I care if the Stark were loyal to your ancestors when your daddy burned up my ancestor and like half the world. We finally get a sober response to that from Khaleesi. She offers an apology to Jon and swears she is not like her father.

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Now Jon has to move on to why he doesn’t care about the war for the throne and tht he will protect his people. He asks her to be his ally against the army of the dead and she of course treats him like a nutter. Davos gets a bit riled up and defends Jon, mentions how he took a knife to the heart before Jon cuts him off quickly, no need to let them know he died. Suddenly, Varys burst in and whispers in the Queens ear. She dismisses Jon and Davos to their chambers, Jon asks if he is a prisoner, Dany says not yet.

Later, Tyrion finds a mopey Jon brooding. He asks Tyrion if he believes him about the white walkers. Tyrion  does believe Jon is an honest man but the claim sounds insane and he is asking for too much with no proof. So he recommends Jon asks for something he can actually help him with. Tyrion takes the request to his queen. WHy would they want the dragonglass? To make weapons that do.. something… to the army of the dead.

Jon finds Dany overlooking the sea, she grants his request to mine the dragonglass. Though undeclared, they are closer to becoming allies. Jon asks if she believes him now, she coolly replies ” You better get to work, Jon Snow.”

The streets of King’s Landing and Euron parades Yara, Ellaria and her daughter through the streets. Another showing of how disgusting and vicious people can be as they cheer the women being dragged on leashes. Euron drags the Dornish women into the throne room and deposits them at Cersei’s feet. He makes a verbal jab at Jaime by offering her the woman who killed her daughter. She agrees to grant him his previous request of marriage, after the war is over. He visibly bristles at not receiving instant gratification but covers it up by hopping over to the queen’s brother lover to make some crude remarks about how she likes sex.

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Off to the black cells for Ellaria and Tyene. They are chained to opposite sides of the cell as Cersei enters. She talks about she could understand why Ellaria had done what she did. How she remembers how beautiful Oberyn was on the day he died and how awful her scream was as the man she loved died. She speaks of Tyene’s beauty and how she is surely her mothers favorite. Then Cersei embraces the girl and kisses her on the mouth, much as Ellaria kisses Myrcella goodbye. We see the truth in the women’s eyes as Cersei wipes her lips then takes the antidote. She instructs the guards to change the torches often so Ellaria won’t miss a moment of her daughters death. This scene closes with mother and daughter straining at their bonds to reach each other.

Next Cersei launches herself at Jaime who rebuffs her for a moment, but she won’t allow that. She forcefully kisses him before making her way down his body. Laying in bed the next morning for an almost normal intimate scene, Jaime watches Cersei sleep. You could almost forget they are twins and she is seriously evil, but this is Game of Thrones. A knock on the door and she is bounding out of bed, Jaime tries to stop her from answering the door, as they shouldn’t be seen like that. Cersei is all I’m the queen, I do what I want and opens the door wide. The handmaiden announces a visitor and Cersei is all ok, oh and bring me clean sheets, these ones are covered in incest. All normal business in the capital.

Cersei meets with the Iron bank, they want their money. She promises they will have their money in a fortnight.

At Winterfell, Sansa is in charge and managing well. Taking stock and being the boss who will get her people through the long Winter.  Littlefinger is still trying to manipulate her, claiming he knows Cersei better than anyone. Not anyone, Sansa replies before he tells her to always be fighting at every angle. Someone tells Sansa to hurry to the gate. She comes around a wagon and sees Meera and then suddenly Bran Stark is back at Winterfell. The world tears up at this unexpected reunion, but Bran is now apparently a talking wooden toy.

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The Siblings talk alone under the Godswood Tree. Sansa offers to give her power to Bran, telling him he is now Lord of Winterfell. He replies he can never be lord of anything, he is the Three Eyed Raven now, which apparently means you are an unfeeling personality free ass. He goes on to explain how he has seen everything by describing her wedding night at Winterfell. How beautiful the snow was and how beautiful her dress was before Sansa flees from being forced to have her rape recounted to her.

At the Citadel, the Archmaester examines Jorah while Sam looks on. He asks how this happened. Jorahs replies he just suddenlly felt better. The Archmaester says it would almost appear someone cut off all the skin and treated you and Jorah and Sam say nothing, because shhhh secret. Jorah is declared healed and told to go away so a sick person can have his room. Sam is summoned to the principals office. He gets told off and congratulated for breaking the rules and saving Jorah’s life and rewarded with some tedious copy work.

at Casterly Rock, Grey Worm leads the attack and easily takes over. But wait, there should have been an army there. Suddenly Euron’s ships take out the boats Dany’s army needs to get back home.

Oh, there’s the Lannister army, heading to Highgarden. Jaime leads the way with Jerkface Tarly and Bron by his side. Olenna’s home is overrun and Jaime meets her in her chambers. He explains how Dany’s forces are being decimated. They let them have Casterly rock, because now they will starve as they march across land to try and get home. Olenna asks how she will die Jaime compassionately tells her he talked Cersei out of the torture and he pours poison into her wine. She asks if it is going to hurt and he promises that it will not. Olenna says good, chugs the wine and then drops the bombshell. SHe would hate to go out in the horrible way his son died, she didn’t realize it would be so ghastly as she had never seen that poison work before. Tell Cersei…..

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This episode was the most satisfying and thrilling episode the series has given us to date in my opinion. The game is finally really on and the players are all in the mix. No more kid gloves. The only things that could have improved this episode for me would have been to see Arya and Gendry meet on the road to Winterfell, or Brienne and Tormund sharing some furs.

I loved how Jon faced Daenerys. He would not back down because he sees the big picture. I cannot wait for the reveal of his parentage and to see where that puts those two in the larger picture. This episode has me yelling at the screen and so much of it was just YAASSSSSSS!!! I cannot wait to see what next week brings us.

What did you think of this weeks episode? Let us know in the comments.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO or you can stream it on Amazon with an HBO subscription, get 7 free days now and catch up.

 

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Orphan Black S. 5 Ep. 8 : Guillotines Decide

By Courtney

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Bahh, this episode. This episode starts with Sarah and Mrs. S waiting for something to happen now that they have Kira back at home. The nervousness palpitates the room. Nothing happens and then we switch scenes and are watching Rachel get her eye repaired and sewn closed thanks to Ferdinand.

 

Art shows up at Mrs. S’s house to take Kira and Charlotte somewhere safe to protect them from the oncoming storm. They leave and Felix returns home with his sister Adele because he has an art show that night and he is very excited about it. Mrs. S insists that they can take a day off from crazy and support Felix and his show.  Mrs. S takes off to do something and insists that everything really is good and that Sarah needs to show up to support Felix.

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Delphine and Mrs. S. arrive at Rachel’s hotel room where Ferdinand ushers them in and they talk business. Mrs. S is responsible for Ferdinand coming to Rachel’s rescue. Mrs. S gives Rachel all of their evidence and theories under the understanding that she share all the evidence of the dirty money bribes committed and tracked by Dyad. She gives Rachel the info and leaves Rachel to make up her mind about what to do with it. Ferdinand wants to blackmail all the big heads of the companies and make tons of money off of it. Rachel wants her freedom and to disappear. Ferdinand doesn’t seem to understand that so she lets him take a flashdrive to the meeting with the board members, she knows it’s blank, he does not. She does not expect him to return from the meeting.

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At Felix’s art show, he realizes that he may have oversold what he was selling and uses the seestras by introducing them one at a time and making it appear as if it’s one person. Back at home, Sarah can’t get off the topic that Mrs S is up to something and Adele chews her out, which I think is well deserved. Adele tells Sarah how much her brother cares about her and she needs to pull her head out of her ass and appreciate him and support him. Mrs. S seems cool at the art show, happy almost that their almost free. Felix is happy and that was the moment that scared me a lot. I was deeply concerned that Felix was going to die at that moment. Like Sarah, I was convinced that things were going too well. The moment remains happy and nothing nefarious happens. Freedom is close, they have all the information they need to be free. Mrs. S gets a call from Rachel that Ferdinand survived the meeting and is on the loose.  Mrs. S slips out of the art show and goes back home to face off against Ferdinand. They have a show down and Mrs. S has hidden several guns around her house. Ferdinand shoots her, but she lives long enough to take him down first. Mrs. S dies looking at a picture of Felix and Sarah. Mrs. S is the matriarch that’s been holding her family together for a long time, her loss is definitely going to be felt.

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Also in this episode, Gracie finds Helena at the convent, but changes her mind about telling Dr. Coady about her. Dr. Coady is able to use her resources to find her using the phone call she made anyways and Art’s partner kills Gracie and takes Helena.

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I can’t believe there are only two episodes left. Mrs. S sacrificed a lot to keep her children safe and happy, I really hope that it pays off. We didn’t see anymore of PT Westmoreland in this episode, but I really doubt that he’s gone for good. I am curious to see if Rachel disappears the way she wants too. Allison is different and trying to find herself and I want to see how Donnie takes that, right now he seems very confused by her. The episode ended with Helena being threatened and that’s never gone well in the past for the people threatening her. Helena has had to hide for most of the season, I’m hoping she gets to shine in the next episode. The seestras are going to need to come together to deal with the lose of Mrs. S, I’m hoping they do.

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Until next time clone club!

Orphan Black Airs Saturday nights on BBCA or you can stream it on Amazon Here.

 

 

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