Our saddest Avod theme show ever.

You wouldn't think that watching three Christian Slater movies would wind up being an exercise in alternating fury, disgust, and pity, but there you have it. Some bad movies this week, folks - but it led to a fun show! Which you can listen to by right-clicking here to download!


The Ninety-Third-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Yes, before you ask, those are children. And they're lying in wait to brain another child with a club. The forties were an interesting time to be young in America.


Dear 'Playback'

If you have no original ideas, perhaps you should just not be a movie. Bringing heretofore unattempted levels of misogyny to your tired and cliched premise doesn't make it fresh or exciting, merely dispiriting.

A response no one wants to have watching a film.

You're the kind of movie that makes people hate movies.


Criminal Minds 613: The Thirteenth Step

The episode begins with a young couple heading into a gas station mini-mart, debating the value of conventional marriage. The guy certainly isn't Ziggy from The Wire, but he's that general type, and that's who I thought of when I first saw him. The old man who runs the place makes the mistake of badmouthing the institution of marriage, which immediately leads the couple to gun everyone in the place down. Which, you know, huh.

Over at the office, Penelope is giving Emily a message from mysterious Scottish man! I hope that comes up later! Also Rachel is going to be sitting this week out, which, along with Greg's absence a couple of weeks back leads me to suspect that they're trying to parcel out the cast carefully because of budgetary issues. Hey, let's see if we miss her presence the way we missed Greg's! I'm kidding, of course, I can't even guess what I would miss, since she hasn't made any kind of impression or demonstrated any particular facility for crime-solving.

Wait, was she even in last week's episode?

Oh, right, there's a new episode, let's move on, shall we? The team gets the news about the six people being murdered at the gas station, which has been 'all over the news'. Actually, this raises the question of why they aren't already in the air. It's not like this is a 'let's decide whether to take the case' kind of meeting. After all, as the characters flat-out state, there's a ticking clock before these crazy kids do it again - so why isn't the team hearing about it on the plane?

Speaking of those crazy kids, they get married and then shoot up another gas station, this one in Billings, Montana. Since it's night when this happens, we've got to assume that it's later that same day - no one in the office mentioned being called in late, after all - so what, exactly, was the team doing all day? Hopefully we'll find out after the opening credits!


TheAvod Calls out some rip-offs!

In another one of TheAvod's accidental theme shows, DM and myself take a look at three movies that are suspiciously familiar to two genre classics, and one genre film of ill-repute. Also, Ringer is the ultimate guilty pleasure! Sounds great, right? Well, if you'd like to hear all about it, just right-click to download it and get listening!


The Ninety-Second-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

I try to go as context-free with these panels as possible but there's something I must share with you about this panel. The name of that monstrosity? “Grandfather of all Walruses”.


Criminal Minds 612: Corazon

The episode opens with some intercutting between Reid, nervously waiting in a hallway, and the skyline of Miami, identified via a helicopter shot of that one street we always see:
Until this moment I didn't realize that there was a park across the street from those businesses.

So we'll take the murder in Miami as read - a dude being confronted with a white bird before being killed suggests that this is some kind of black magic ritual (Santeria? Is that the right word?) - and move on to the more important plotline: What's wrong with Reid? He's now suffering from persistent migraines, which may be the sign of a physical ailment, or possibly a clue that his hereditary schizophrenia is finally showing up. Is it weird that I spent ten seconds trying to figure out how to spell hereditary but schizophrenia just flowed across the keyboard?

Over at FBI headquarters they're running down the details of the case - three people have been brutally murdered in their homes, with shells placed over their eyes and mouths, and religious paraphernalia left about the scene. This leads Reid to offer the Prentiss Award-winning line of the night:

I don't want to tell you how to do your job, Reid, but isn't the fact that it's religiously significant a KEY PART of the signature, rather than a competing explanation? In that you can use the fact that the killer knows about this (presumably obscure) religious rite to help narrow the field?

Also, unsurprisingly, the killer's timetable is accelerating, because like all killers, he's a spree killer. They'll have just two days before the next victim turns up! Not that they'll be able to prevent it, of course.


The Ninety-First-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

I'm not sure that this logically tracks... was it absolutely necessary to wage war on spies? Couldn't they have just developed a stage magic act?


No, that's not a plot hole-

To celebrate Valentine's day, let's take a look at the romance-themed episode of the Simpsons!

In the Season 6 episode 'Another Simpsons Clip Show', Lisa flashes back to 'I Love Lisa', and her hilarious misadventures with Ralph. As she narrates the opening scene of the flashback:

Lisa cheekily comments that "it was an unusually warm February 14th, so the children walked home without jackets". It seems the writers noticed a plot hole in the episode, and decided to call it out.

One problem, though - it's not actually a plot hole. You see, 'I Love Lisa' took place six episodes after 'Mr. Plow'. And how did that episode end?

That's right, with God intervening to end winter in Springfield that year, specifically to foil Homer and Barney's plans to go into business together. So of course there wasn't any snow come Valentine's Day. If nothing else, The Simpsons' God knows how to hold a grudge.


Criminal Minds 611: 25 to Life

The episode opens with bad news, as we learn that Greg is taking the week off. We learn this is the oddest way, too, with Joe on the phone and no Thomas Gibson voiceover providing the other half of the call. Is Greg being edged out?

Also, Rachel Nichols is going to be joining the team, because why? Apparently they're going to be training her on the job. Which makes complete sense, since they already have one team member who's not comfortable putting on a vest and kicking down doors, why not get a second one in there?

And yes, since watching last episode, I discovered that the reason Clarice reminded me so much of Rachel Nichols on 'The Inside' is because the actress playing her was, in fact, Rachel Nichols, essentially reprising her role from 'The Inside'. Because why?

Seriously, though, this is the weirdest bit of rerun casting since Tyron Leitso on Being Erica/Wonderfalls.

Alright, on to the actual plot! They're sending Derek to a prison to interview a man who's been in jail for twenty-five years! His parole hearing is tomorrow, so they need an assessment of the likelihood that he'll kill again today! Which, you know, makes absolutely no sense. It's not like the board is forced to give their ruling on the same day as the hearing, is it? I don't know how things run in Virginia, but it seems like they'd hear all the evidence, take some time, and then send in a ruling. After all, it's not like the parole board decides to let you out and you get sprung the next day, right?

So Derek heads over to the prison to meet... Kyle Secor! Yay! A doctor who apparently murdered his wife and child some years earlier - that's right, he's playing the Gary Cole part from 'Fatal Vision', which was, of course, based on a real case we'll get to later.

Derek interviews Kyle and discusses his imprisonment. Apparently he's been a model prisoner, other than one incident where Heroin was found in his cell. They talk about his sad circumstances, and Kyle cries a little about never getting to see the son who survived his supposed murders. All throughout he maintains his innocence, which is something I've heard you're not supposed to do at parole hearings.

Nevertheless, Derek feels that Kyle is no longer a threat, and suggests that not only should he be sprung, but that he probably didn't do it in the first place! This proves convincing, and Kyle gets his parole! Man, is it going to be embarrassing when he kills somebody, isn't it?

After a few shots of Kyle wandering around town, getting used to his freedom, then we head back to the office, where Derek is given the news that Kyle's killed someone! Dahn Dahn Duhn!

Before moving onto the credits, let's consider something - in the scene before Derek met Kyle, Emily reported that Rachel was going to be continuing on with the unit, and Joe said it was cool, so long as Emily took responsibility for her. In this scene, Rachel has brought Emily coffee as a way of saying thanks for 'watching her back', suggesting that this literally the next day. Also suggesting this is the fact that Greg still isn't back at the office yet.

So Derek psychologically examined Kyle, gave his report, the board made its decision, Kyle was released from prison, and then he killed a guy all within less than 24 hours? Come on, show! Maybe that wasn't the intent, but the way the show is edited clearly makes a clear implication. If it wasn't their intent, this is another problem a quick dialogue change could fix. Just mention that 'it's been a week already, when is Greg getting back?' and you establish the time lapse that (I hope) you meant.

One last note: at ten minutes, this is probably the longest teaser the show's ever done.


TheAvod has a movie recommendation for you!

This week's episode is dominated by discussion of one of the best films of 2010 - what is it? You'll have to listen to find out! Although this week's title is a clue, so feel free to look into that. Also, we talk about some mediocre movies and bad television. This is theAvod, after all.

Excited yet? If so, right-click here to download it!


The Ninetieth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Be careful - if he starts talking about thetans get out of there!


Criminal Minds 610: What Happens at Home...

Outside a walled suburbia, a Scorpion lurks in the dirt, gradually climbing a wall and infiltrating the placid lawns of this planned community. This is the show's way of letting us know that we're dealing with an unusually artistic episode of Criminal Minds. Or that someone had a CGI scorpion model commissioned for fun, and figured out a way to write off the cost as a business expense.

A woman is working alone in her house on a product-placement brand laptop when she hears something outside. Stepping away from her novel-in-progress, she's distracted by a car passing outside just long enough for a hooded man to sneak up behind her and loop a garotte around her neck! But how did he get inside the house? Anyone paranoid enough to live in a gated community would obviously have a security system, wouldn't they?

So I'm calling it now: the guy in charge of security for the whole community will turn out to ironically be the one killing people. Unless the lack of a security system is just a writer's gaffe.

While the team runs down the case, we learn that this is the third identical murder in the gated community in the last two months. Which is just a ridiculously fast timeline. Also, after the second murder revealed that this was a trend, wouldn't this place have been torn apart until the killer was caught? These are people demanding safety, and it took three victims before the FBI was called?

More importantly, how is the husband of the latest victim not already under arrest? Here's my evidence - the first victim's family was away, leaving her alone in the house. The second victim's husband and children were camping in the backyard, leaving her alone in the house for long enough to be murdered. This third victim was apparently strangled to death while her husband and daughter were asleep just rooms away.

Um... huh? This isn't an instant death. She was strangled for a number of brutal, struggle-filled minutes. How did anyone sleep through that? Of course, this ridiculous theory doesn't account for why the daughter didn't speak up, of course, it's possible she's being threatened by the father, who knows? Also, it being the husband wouldn't explain getting past security systems, and I really want it to be the head security guy - for irony's sake.

There's a fun note when they mention that since all the people living in the gated community are white and upper-middle class, it's going to be difficult to use the profile to narrow down their suspect any. So they're saying all middle-class white men have histories of violence? Because you don't just start sneaking into women's homes and throttling them one day.

Greg explains that they going to defeat the homogeneity problem by examining a 'different set of parameters', which Joe is working on right now. Which is a nice way of saying Joe is off recruiting Clarice Starling to join the team. God, how I wish I was joking. The next scene actually opens with her jogging on the obstacle course. Oy.

It seems that Clarice is a low-grade agent that Joe knows because of something terrible from her childhood. He brings her in to consult on the case. Why? She's the child of a serial killer, and they hope by exploring her background, they'll know what to look for in the children of the killer! She doesn't just want to be interviewed, though - she wants to go along with them to work the case!

Okay, so they're not exactly doing the Clarice Starling thing, it's more Rachel Nichols' character from 'The Inside', a childhood victim of a serial murderer who feel compelled to chase down killers as a consequence. Not exactly original, Criminal Minds. Although, since this is Criminal Minds, what is?


Alcatraz: Episode 3

While watching the show Alcatraz, I take copious notes. These are them:

Two serial killers in a row! Original!

So it's cool if he draws biographical comic books about their adventures? Seems like the people in the secret government conspiracy would frown on that.

Why is it suspicious that he has a police scanner? They're trying to track down famous murderers who are probably killing people all over San Francisco. Also, he's a historian who studies crime. Why wouldn't he have one?

Also a three-day killing time limit two episodes in a row? What is this, Criminal minds?

And two cases in a row where the serial killer was inspired by a childhood grudge to kill someone exactly the age of a sibling? What?

"I pretended to be asleep because I was scared!" And then I didn't mention to my mother about the kidnapping in the morning when my brother was gone!


Alcatraz: Episode 2

While watching Alcatraz for TheAvod, I take notes. These are them:

Thanks for putting your fingerprints all over the shell casing, guys! There's no way there could be useful evidence on that!

"We've got two days to catch him!" No, you can just catch him whenever. It's not like he has the magical ability to disappear. Also, he doesn't know how to get around in the present-day world.

It seems like if you've got unlimited money to chase these criminals you could have more people in the field than Sam Neill and Dr. Neela from ER.

Unless he was programmed like Simon Phoenix, this doesn't make huge amounts of sense. Also, why aren't they asking him why he killed that guy? I mean, if he was going to go straight to his brother's house after stealing the key instead of dropping it off, why waste time stealing it and killing that guy?

Alcatraz is the worst possible place for a secret base. "We've figured out a new clue!" 'Great, let's take a half-hour ferry ride before we can check it out!' They're secret so they can't actually be taking helicopters and speedboats all the time. Frankly, I'd find it more believable if they said 'yeah, after all this disappearing mishegoss we built a secret tunnel to the mainland. Just hop in this sweet customized golf cart and drive to the mainland.'