Criminal Minds 516: Moseley Lane

This week's episode opens with a flat-out hilarious title card:

It seems the producers of Criminal Minds and I have very different definitions of the word 'Winter'. Couldn't you have set this in Texas or something, guys?

Anyhow, opening at a carnival means one thing, and one thing only: children are in danger! The episode doesn't disappoint, as a woman goes running through the crowd, demanding to know where her daughter 'Lindsay' is. It's a misdirect, though - the hysterical woman was just one of the abductors, distracting this woman:

While her daughter is grabbed from right next to her! Twist, right? Well, except for the fact that the woman and her daughter had spoken parts in a Criminal Minds episode. That almost never goes well for anyone.

You know, while this whole 'make a sound to distract the woman' thing seems clever for a moment, it only actually works on television, where there's just 2-3 real, actual people being simulated. If you scream your head off yes, the woman you want to distract is going to turn to face you, but so is everyone else. So while the people between you and her are going to be facing the wrong way to notice the abduction, you've ensured that everyone on the other side of her are going to be looking directly at your partner as (I assume) he grabs a little girl, covers her mouth so she can't scream, and hauls her violently away through the crowd. And since they've already been made aware of the prospect of a missing child, your little grab is going to come under more scrutiny, rather than less.

Really, the only way this could possibly work is if nothing at all existed behind the camera, and the size of the whole world was defined by its lens. Luckily for the kidnappers, because this is a poorly-conceived and executed television program, this is the case.

The team shows up and begins working the case - oh, so that's why this is set (preposterously) in Virginia, it had to be easy driving distance for the team. They scramble to get on top of related kidnappings and other crimes that fit the MO, because, as Derek says in the Prentiss Award-Winning line of the night:

Um.. wow. You know that kidnappers don't have a stopwatch, right? And they don't throttle children the moment a beeper goes off. The whole 'most abducted children are killed in the first 24 hours' isn't a time limit, it's acknowledging the fact that the kind of people who abduct children are largely doing it because they want to molest them, and then they kill the victim to keep them from talking. The only time consideration is how long it takes the killer to get the child to their secluded location of choice. Sometimes that's a shack deep in the woods, sometimes it's a van in the parking lot. Depressing as it may be, they should really be saying 'let's hope it's a long-term molester who's taken her, rather than a murderer', because that's the only hope you've got of finding an abducted kid alive.

Naturally, because this isn't a show where children get dragged into vans and murdered, we next see the little girl being taken into some kind of an underground containment warren. So she'll be find, as will, presumably, be the child of the woman who shows up at the office, telling Emily that the same kidnappers are responsible for her son's abduction. JJ announces that this woman is a nut who comes in every time there's an abduction, but I'm pretty sure she's right. After all, she's in the episode. Besides which, that was a really big containment warren.

My theories are confirmed before the credits roll, when the latest victim sees a group of kids in the next room. One of them tries to communicate with the newest victim, but then the evil kidnapping woman turns up, and murders him, which seems like an overreaction over saying 'hello' to someone in the next room. Although maybe he was just the most disobedient one and this was going to happen anyway.

Then it's off to the crematorium, where the witch pops her victim into an oven!

Okay, so they're going to be playing up the fairy tale thing this week. Good for them. Too bad it's just us in the audience who know that the villains own a funeral home - I wonder how long it will take the team to figure it out? Let's find out after the opening credits!


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Alec Baldwin Addition

Saturday Night Live was off to a decent start this year, largely avoiding unpleasantness while providing a perfect platform for Alec Baldwin's suburb comic timing and decent impressions.

Other than a nod to Michele Bachmann's extremely closeted husband - which I gave a pass to - the show largely avoided both homophovia and rape-themed humour, despite the fact that during their hiatus gay marriage became legal in New York and Don't Ask Dont' Tell was repealed. Maybe they'll get to all of that next week?

The only questionable sketches were one of their 'audition reels', this time for Top Gun, featuring Harvey Fierstien making a series of inaccurate observations about the script, and a game show about determining who would be the dominant one in a sexual relationship between two random men. This later sketch, which also delved into a rape reference, is interesting, since it's a perfect example of comedy writers trying to get out of actually working by not creating plots, stories, or characters, and instead simply transcribing the conversations they have among themselves while procrastinating. Other examples of this include the Cavemen vs. Astronauts conversation from Angel, and literally everything that Seth Macfarlane has ever produced.

Now, the numbers!

Rape references - 1
Homophobia references - 2

See you back here next week for Melissa McCarthy!


TheAvod Goes Drac!

Will it go back? Well, not Dracula, per se, but at least a lawsuit-causing ripoff of it!

That's right, in this week's Avod Special Feature, the DM and myself watch Nosferatu, a movie I can't believe she's never seen! To join in the fun, just download the episode by right-clicking here, then boot up a copy of the film - it's public domain, so you won't have trouble finding it - and start up the podcast.

The best part? It's a silent film, so this time we're not talking over any dialogue!


The Seventy-First-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

That's right, when attempting to obtain a confession from a villain, Midnight employs techniques pioneered by Medieval Witchfinders. Also, he has children do his dirty work.


Tales From the Darkside 301: The Circus

It's a spooky circus this week, one run by beloved character actor William Hickey! And being visited by less beloved character actor Kevin O'Connor. That's right, I said it, O'Connor - what are you going to do about it? You want to be beloved? Then you should have been the drunk in The Producers!

Kevin plays a skeptical reporter who arrives at the circus ready to write a scathing review of the spectacle. He's somewhat famous for hating things, you see, and doesn't believe that anything exists which can shock him. He's actually sought out the circus of the bizarre over the years - and who could blame him? The flyers advertise a real-life werewolf, vampire, and mummy!

The reporter describes it as little more than a pathetic cash grab, and William responds that he asks for only enough money to pay for the feeding of his acts. I wonder... do they enjoy... reporter?

Wait, I may have the twist wrong - Kevin announces that he had trouble finding the circus, as it's hidden away at the end of a country road - he even hit a run and ran his car into a tree! Could it be that the reporter is a ghost, and little does he know it, but he's about to become the circus's latest attraction: The Living Ghost!


Terrible Moments in Taglining: Sucker Punch

“You will be unprepared”

Am I not unprepared now? Will the film somehow strip me of my current level of preparedness, leaving me unprepared at some indistinct date in the future?


How to Ruin Your Own Movie: Dead Space: Downfall Edition

It's already a prequel. More than half of the audience going to the movie are going to know full well that it's about monsters making zombies on a space ship. Despite this, the filmmakers felt it was a good idea to open the movie with this:

A character announcing that the slaughter has already taken place, and that she's the only survivor. The very next scene involves a rip-off of Alien, as mining surveyors walk through a warren of chasms-

Until discovering a bizarre monolith.

Which, naturally, turns everyone who comes near to it into a monster.

There are two types of people watching this movie - 1: People who have played the game, and 2: People who haven't.

The first group know what the Marker is and the effects it will have on people, so they don't need its spoiled. The second don't, and are therefore capable of being surprised by the twists and turns of the story. Except the filmmakers make it absolutely clear right off that they have no interest in any of that, and would rather we go into the proceedings knowing as much as possible, completely certain of the redhead's safety and everyone else's expendability, so that there will be no chance of us getting attached to any of them, nor any chance of us fearing for her fate, at least until after she's left that message.

This is like opening The Thing with Macready and Childs sitting around a fire in a destroyed camp, reminiscing about how crazy it was when that alien killed everyone.

It's a sad day when the videogame featured better storytelling than the movie prequel.


Criminal Minds 515: Public Enemy

I was supposed to be a quiet family morning at church for one happy family, but little did they know that the topic of today's sermon... was murder! Actually, that's not right. That intro makes it sound like there's a killer priest on the loose, when that's just not the case. Unless, in addition to the guy actually running things at the altar, there's a second priest who sneaks into the back of the church and slashes a random husband and father's neck. Two surprising things here - 1: I'm a little shocked that he's killed by the injury - yes, a slashed throat is bad, but it's not like it was a deep cut, and there's almost certainly a doctor somewhere in the room. 2: No one rushes out of the church to chase after and identify the killer. I mean, people confronted Scott Roeder(sp?), and he had a gun. Sure he got away, but plenty of people saw him, yet we're meant to believe this guy slipped out like a ninja.

Back at the FBI the team analyzes the case - it's been two weeks and this is the third slashed throat! The killer doesn't have a type at all, he's literally slashing the throats of anyone convenient! This leads to a little conversation about the 'cooling-off' period getting shorter and shorter. Okay, first off, there have been three murders, so it's too early to make a judgment like that. Secondly, that term 'cooling-off period' - I don't think it means what you think it means. Also, this leads to one of the earliest-ever Prentiss Awards:

'Could be'? Come on, Greg - he's just brutally slashed the throats of three people in two weeks. How is this not already a spree? Hopefully he'll have some justification to offer after the opening credits.


Torchwood: Miracle Day - A Retrospective

Now, in case anyone wants the events of the past two and a half months dredged up from the memory hole they're bound to be tossed into, here are all of the things about Torchwood: Miracle Day that the show presented as important, but wound up meaning nothing.

1 - Oswald Danes, rapist and murderer

So much of the program was devoted to the travails of this freed murderer that one would be forgiven for thinking that he had some role to play in the proceedings. None of it mattered, though. Not his becoming a media darling, not him telling people that they were 'Angels' - no, despite the fact that each of his words were supposedly being crafted to create a specific effect, we never did find out what it was, or see any evidence that he was being successful.

2 - Remember when they murdered Sarah Palin?


TheAvod By The Numbers!

In perhaps the platonic ideal of a TheAvod episode, DM and myself take a look at a wide variety of films that cover the spectrum of the kinds of things we review. There's a film whose appearance in theaters is a crime against people who enjoy going to the movies; a sadly inept feature from a writer/director with his heart in the right place, but not his talent; finally, a not-quite-a-classic that I forced DM to watch because I can't believe she hadn't seen it yet.

Hear all about it by right-clicking this link and downloading it!


The Seventieth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

Another visit from Abdul the Arab this week, and his patented 'diagrams for things not complicated enough to warrant them'!


Tales From the Darkside 224: Casavin Curse

Okay, never let it be said that Tales from the Dark Side doesn't know how to open an episode with a creepy image.

Lying on the rumpled, bloodstained sheets was a bottle of champagne, so we know that whatever this this traumatized woman went through started as a celebration, and quickly turned horrible. But just how horrible? Check this out:

Yep, it's a dead boyfriend leaning on a table next to a number of open pillbottles. Is the woman heavily medicated, or did they like to party a little too much? I'm like thirty seconds in, there's been no dialogue, and we've already learned a lot. Can a simple crazy person really do that kind of damage? Just primo filmmaking, guys.

Gina, that's the bloody woman's name, is woken by her maid knocking on the locked door to her bedroom. It seems that Mister Casavin will be home soon and Tyler, the dead guy, should be out of there by then. Is Gina cheating on her husband? I'm going to assume yes. Hearing Gina's screams, the maid unlocks the door and lets herself in. Gina announces that this is happened before, and that she's cursed - she needs to be locked away!


Terrible Moments in Taglining: Mortuary

Before Your Funeral... Before You Are Buried... Before You Are Covered With the Last Shovelful of Dirt... Be Sure You Are Really Dead!”

How will I be in a position to ensure that I'm dead? In the situation you've outlined, either I'm dead, or I've been buried alive. In each case, there's not a lot I can do about it, is there?


I Think Doll Man Went A Little Far This Time


I know that, as a rule, Golden Age superheroes were incredibly hardcore compared to the pantywaists who claim the title today - Batman casually shot people or tossed them off roofs, Superman drowned people in the ocean or forced them off the road - but even considering that, Doll Man's actions in this story may cross a line of decency. So, without too much further ago, I'll present, from Doll Man Quarterly - Issue 6 (Summer, 1943).

No, it isn't a story about an artist with a terrible grasp of perspective, but you'll be forgiven for thinking so.

Our tale begins when Darrel Dane and his fiancee, Martha, are driving through the woods. They come across an exhausted man telling bizarre tales of 'Little Green Men'. Naturally they dismiss it as the ramblings of a shock victim - little do they know that off in the woods the madman responsible for said 'little green men' is crafting a scheme to kill all possible witnesses!

A fairly run-of-the-mill mad scientist, this unnamed bald man has a stereotypically unfeasible plan. He seals people inside of a glass cylinder, then exposes them to a mysterious gas which transforms them into green pygmies. His endgame?

You know, until you come up with a way where this doesn't have to be done one person at a time, that's just not going to work out. Hell, in the five minutes it takes you to create one pygmy something like a thousand new people are born.

To his credit, the doctor has a failsafe planned:

That's right, he's working on a way to reverse the process. I only bring that up because it's going to be important a little later on.

The Doctor sends his green men to lure Martha (how he discovers who she is and where she lives goes unexplained) into the woods where she can be abducted. They do this by dropping off a letter:

Even though this can only be a trap, she drives off into the woods, where she's grabbed by the mad doctor. Darrel finds the note and tracks her down, then follows her tracks through the woods, where he's grabbed by the lilliputians!

Of course, the green men didn't realize they were dealing with a man capable of shrinking, so the moment they've abandoned him to his captivity, Darrel slips out of his bonds and covers himself in green dust, hoping to blend in among the other green men. This works surprisingly well, despite the fact that he's the only one of them wearing a unitard and cape:

Also, he has hair.
Doll Man viciously beats up the doctor, and then, in his first questionable choice of this issue, pulls Martha out of the conversion chamber and tosses the semi-conscious doctor in, so that he'll be transformed into a mute pygmy! Then it's simply a matter of rescuing Martha from an upsetting scene of pygmy bondage:

Then he beats up his fellow tiny people, and makes a frankly shocking announcement.

Really? What are you basing this on, Darrel? You found out about this shrinkification process literally two minutes ago - you didn't question the doctor about it, or search for his notes - for all you know, there's a simple method of reversing the disorder.

While it's true that there's no known cure for this condition (Doc was still working on it himself, not that you'd know that), as a scientist who invented a serum that allows you to shrink and grow at will (not to mention retain your full-size strength and fly), wouldn't you be the best possible person to work on that cure?

Well, it seems that Darrel isn't especially interested in 'helping' people he's not engaged to, so after moving Martha to safety, Darrel uses his scientific acumen to whip up some TNT!

With the doctor and his still-living victims all trapped in the lab and the dynamite set to detonate, there's just one more step to Darrel's plan-

Making sure escape is impossible!

With the case wrapped up and the day saved, Darrel takes a little time to gloat over his unique perspective on the events that have captivated the press.

Darrel Dane: Murdering helpless criminals, putting innocent victims out of their misery, and then never telling anyone about it. Not actions that we've been taught to associate with heroism - but hey, it was the 40s - maybe we're in the wrong this time?

Although the sinister framing in the final panel would tend to suggest that no, Doll Man's the bad guy around here.


Criminal Minds 514: Parasite

There's a dark side to Miami, it seems... Hey, is it weird that I'm able to identify a show as being set in Miami entirely based on this one shot of a street?

I'm pretty sure this means I watch far too many movies.

Anyhoo, a man beats a woman to death with his bare hands, then goes out to dinner at a fancy club. All eyes are on him due to his improbable handsomness, and he quickly reveals himself to be a con man, as he flirts with his dining companion before turning over an investment 'prospectus', which is apparently a word the propmaster didn't know.

Or at least assumed meant the same thing as 'brochure'.

The most notable thing about this killer? He's haunted by the murder he committed, suggesting that it may have been the first one! Also, he's being hunted by Steve, from Sex in the City! It seems he's been chasing this guy for five years, but only two nights ago did it become a serious case - a woman caught on to the killer's scam and called the FBI, but then also wanted to confront him herself. Alone. In her own home, which was presumably set far enough back from the curb that no one could hear her screams.

Okay, one last time, writers - if you're afraid of the person you're meeting with, you meet in public. If you're afraid of a third party, you meet in private. Also, you never tell a criminal that you're going to call the cops on them if you live through the night. Who does that?

Not that I'm blaming this woman for her own death, but come on.


Stupid Things About Torchwood: Week 10

Well thank god it's finally over. Not that the show could go out without insulting its audience for one last hour. So, let's take a look at Torchwood's last gleaming.

- This is Torchwood's idea of a mystery: The world becomes immortal, Jack becomes mortal - all logic would suggest that Jack must somehow be the cause of this, and the entire audience therefore predicts this result. So, how do Davies and his writing staff attempt to misdirect us from this? They have Jack state over and over again that 'he's not responsible' for the miracle, and that there's 'nothing special about his blood'. He has no reason to believe this, an no one investigates it (as they should), the writers just hoped the audience would believe Jack (though they had no reason to), so that they could be surprised when it turns out that Jack was responsible, and that there was something special about his blood, after all. No one was surprised.


TheAvod Goes Hollywood!

Well, not exactly Hollywood - it's just that this week we actually covered a couple of movies featuring big, recognizable North American actors, made with low/mid-range North American horror movie budgets! Also, a Canadian movie starring Canadian actors who've been in American things!

Really, this week can be subtitled "Why isn't this being widely released". Or it could be, if subtitles were a thing we did.

Anyhoo, in order to download this bad boy, just right click here to set things in motion!


The Sixty-Ninth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

Obviously I wish I lived in a time and place when headlines like this could actually occur, although I'm going to question the ability (or honesty) of the reporters in this particular case - as will you, when you get a look at just what happened to the plane in question.

Yup, it fell out of the sky and then slammed into a group of trees with such force that the letters which make up the word 'crash' appeared in the air above it. That's a pretty questionable definition of the term 'perfect working order'.


Tales From the Darkside 223: Fear of Floating

Open on: an Army recruitment office. One located in a small dusty midwestern town, where absolutely no one wants to join the Army. It's so boring and sweltering hot that the two recruiters on duty, a male-female team, have taken to playing board games to pass the time. Even that can't occupy in their minds enough, however – it's been three weeks since anyone knocked on their door and they're close to the breaking point.

The knock on the door finally comes, and a young punk comes in asking if he can hide out in the recruitment office. He has no interest in joining the Army, he just wants protection from the people hunting him like "a runaway slave". Arnold, that's his name, spins a tale about fleeing from the circus, where he'd been held captive as their main attraction: the human balloon.

What does that mean exactly? He takes off his leaded boots and demonstrates:

Yes, he can fly. Or, more accurately, float, since he drifts lazily towards the ceiling without any clear means of self propulsion. The recruiters are blown away – believing that getting a floaty man into the Army will be a coup that could very well make their careers. His life requires saving first, however – not just from the people chasing him, but from the ceiling fan he almost drifts into. All he suffers is a grazed hand, but it was a close call. Although I'm not sure how fatal a ceiling fan could actually be especially one spinning as slowly as the one in this episode is.


Terrible Moments in Taglining: Garden of the Dead

Death Was the Only Living Thing...”



Somewhere in the production ladder of Quarantine 2, there was a coward.

I can't say if it was writer/director John G. Pogue, or one of the myriad producers or investors, but a mistake was made during the film's climax that compromises the effect they're going for. While not a found-footage film like the first one, Quarantine 2 elects to go first person for a theoretically tense sequence in the last act.

Obtaining a set of heat-vision goggles, the main character uses them to find her way through the theoretically pitch-black tunnel system.

I say theoretically because although, from a narrative standpoint, the tunnels are supposed to be completely black for a good reason - they're ten feet underground and have no power or lighting - this is how things actually look when the film cuts back from the goggles to a third-person perspective.

That right there is more visible than the daylight scenes of AVP2R.

Why the fear, filmmakers? Did you really believe that the audience for your movie wouldn't accept five minutes shot from a first-person perspective? That the action would get confusing for them?

If that's the case, I feel like they're forgetting something - that the (theoretically successful, explaining the existence of this movie) first film was told entirely from a first-person perspective, and that all 80 minutes of its action were confusing.

Also, it looks ridiculous to have a person that we can clearly see-

Flailing around like she's in absolute darkness.


Criminal Minds 513: Risky Business

In Evanston, Wyoming, something terrible is afoot. That something? A suicide club! Just like the movie! Except this time it presumably won't be the fault of (SPOILER ALERT) a pop band feeding people subliminal messages. Or who knows? There's certainly a sad song on the soundtrack as two teens on opposite sides of town prepare to slot themselves through a regimen of hanging. Perhaps the music is meant to be diagenic, and driving them to this fate?

I'm kidding of course, although this is certainly weird. Especially since the key detail focused on in each scene is that just after they die a monitor in their room goes dark.

Is someone taping their deaths?

The team is on top of things! JJ finds out about the case, then meaningfully puts on a necklace. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully one of the victims wasn't another one of her acquaintances. They know it's a situation worthy of their attention because this two deaths are just the latest in a series - the week previous two kids in the next town over had also killed themselves! And none of these kids fit their 'profile' for suicide - depression, drugs, trouble in school or with the police - it's got to be murder... but how?

Also, thanks for waiting until the Wednesday before the next deaths to bring in the team, local cops. They only have 48 hours to stop the next murders/suicides! Although, given the weird setup this week, we may not get any new victims - we definitely have a killer, though-

That's him - clearly an adult male based on the hands - burning a DVD of his latest killings - I assume we'll find out what his game is after the credits!


Stupid Things About Torchwood: Week 9

Really? It's almost over? Oh, thank god.

Okay, so, stupid things this week...

What's that? Two months have passed? Isn't it a little late in the show for this kind of narrative device? You know, it's only here, nine weeks in, that it becomes clear that this show has been lacking a ticking clock for its entire running time. Given the nature of the threat, it always seemed like the team had all the time in the world to deal with it. Jumping forward sixty days just drives that point home.


TheAvod Is Now Working!

Yes, folks, although being distracted by Dead Island kept me from remembering to post a link to this week's Avod, but now that problem has been rectified!

Simply right-click here to download the latest episode and discover what DM and myself had to say about a variety of wilderness-themed films!


The Sixty-Eighth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

It's always nice to see someone making a reference to the rules of war, even if they don't really apply to the criminals and saboteurs that Hugh Hazzard normally concerns himself with.


Tales From the Darkside 222: The Unhappy Medium

The episode opens with a family gathered around a giant old time-y television. You know the kind I mean, where images were actually projected onto a plastic screen? Ugly as sin, weren't they?

On the television is a televangelist, a popular figure for fictional commentary in the 80s. No one really cares about them now though, since all religion in America has gotten so political they're basically interchangeable with every other right wing commentator. But hey, we're not here to talk about the erosion of American discourse, we're here to watch an episode of Tales from the Dark Side!

This one is about those closest to that televangelist: his sister, niece, and assistant, who are all gathered to watch the man's video will. The niece is none too happy about the prospect – she wasn't fond of her uncle's brand of for-profit Christianity, which ensured that they lived in a mansion while most people starved. The sister is more accepting of their lifestyle, after all, she's the Tammy Faye Baker of the piece, acting as the sidekick in his broadcasts.

They put in the video will, in which the televangelist uses the freedom of knowing that he'll be dead by the time people watch this to do all the telling off he didn't have the guts to life. He was sickened by his sister's greed, his assistant's opportunism, and his niece's liberal purity. Rather than waste time with the legal niceties of who actually gets control of his assets, the televangelist simply uses his video will to announce that he plans to contact them… From beyond the grave! This would seem like a hollow threat, except that all of the electricity in the room goes nuts right after he says it.

Desperate to find a copy of the will – I guess the lawyer doesn't have one – sister starts tearing the office apart. Meanwhile the niece and assistant debate their failed relationship as well as which of their organizations does a better job of helping people – his church or her charity. The show sketches out their history clearly enough: she grew up rich, he grew up poor, so while she tossed money aside he was determined to earn it so he could deserve her. All pretty standard stuff, but at least they're putting in an effort.


Terrible Moments in Taglining: The Funhouse!

Something is Alive in the Funhouse!”

I should hope so! I mean, if everyone was dead that would not be a very fun house.


Is there nothing that's not stupid about The Walking Dead?

Here is the actual cover art for the first season DVD set of 'The Walking Dead', which, if I recall correctly, was also used as a promotional image.

Seems like an attempt to create an iconic image, but it's one that crumbles into idiocy if you think about it for a second. Let's say there's a zombpocalypse going on, and everyone needs to escape from Atlanta as quickly as possible-

Does it really seem likely that staying on the correct side of the road is going to be a huge priority? Why not use the other side of the road? After all, it's not like there's anyone headed into Atlanta to get in their way.

Also, not for nothing, but how did that train get derailed?

Zombies? Cars swerving off the road, sure, I can get behind that. Zombies are scary, people crash cars over gophers. Not a stretch. But a train? It's on rails. And is heavy. And Zombies, as far as I can tell, are neither of those things.


Criminal Minds 512: The Uncanny Valley

When a body dressed as some kind of a fashion doll shows up on a merry-go-round, it's up to the team to travel to Atlantic City and sort things out! Not before Reid heads down to the local part to show off his intellect in the only way that TV writers know how - they show him playing chess in a park! The show tries for the old comparison between chess and other mental exercises, such as profiling, but it doesn't really go anywhere.

So, let's ask the big question - since the term 'fashion doll' doesn't come up in the initial conversation, how long will it take the team to come to that conclusion - especially when we learn that the killer kept his victims alive and immobile for months so that he could dress them up and pose them as living dolls. Or more likely 'her' victims, since men generally don't play with dolls, and the victims weren't molested in any way.

I give them five minutes, so that's a total of 10.5 minutes into the episode to point out the most obvious reason for the victims' appearances. That should be plenty of time, right?

Gosh, that's some pretty bad "she can't move anything but her eyes" acting right there. How many times do you think they told the actress "Remember: You can't move your head!" before just giving up and using a take? Ah, who am I kidding, no cast members, no consequence to the story - this is a one-take kind of shot.


Stupid Things About Torchwood: Week 8

You know what? Screw this show. Seriously.

1 - We didn't have to watch last week's episode.

Literally every salient plot point from episode 7 is both described and flashed-back-to. The boyfriend, the torture, the cabal of evil businessmen, everything that happened last week is recapped this week. Is this a show designed for people with head injuries?

2 - Also, you could have skipped the six episodes before that one.

I'm sure if you're reading this site you've heard of 'show, don't tell', so I don't have to go into the rule, let's just address the obscene violation of the principle on display this week.

After seven weeks of literally nothing of import happening, Lieutenant Kira shows up and explains the entire plot to the main cast. Why aren't they just distributing scripts to the audience at this point?

3 - Remember how nothing makes sense on this show? Yup, that's still happening.

- If Rex was planning on luring the CIA into a trap, why didn't he mention it to anyone?
- Did Jack seriously just carelessly murder his 105-year-old boyfriend?
- Could you not cry for just one episode, Esther?
- Nice to see that CIA prisoners aren't searched at all when put into custody.
- Is Gwen leaving the show? Thank god.
- If you weren't bad guys, why did you kidnap a family when you could have just phoned Jack at any moment and got a better result?
- Why go to the trouble of arresting your names from history if only one person knows them? Why not just kill that one person?
- What was Rex's plan again? Hope that nonsense just kind of worked out for him?
- Well-paid prostitutes apparently make a habit out of taunting and insulting their 'johns', and are offended by the offer of a free dinner and some pleasant conversation.
- It seems that CIA field agents are really easy to surprise, and don't find it at all suspicious when mysterious, threatening-looking men in suits appear to talk
- Conversely, those self-same mysterious men think it's a good idea to murder CIA field agents, rather than simply leaving, even though killing the agent will just bring MORE attention to them.
- Seriously, Esther, stop crying.
- Not only is there a 'list' you can be put on to ask the government to murder you, but women who've been put in asylums because they've become a danger to themselves and their children are completely able to put both themselves and their children (the ones who've been taken into state custody to protect them from their mothers) on that 'list'. While in a mental institution and without free access to the outside world.
- Christ, there's not a single thing about this show that isn't terrible. It isn't even worth collecting art for.