16 OCTOBER - 22 OCTOBER

22 Oct 2017 10:47 pm
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Posted by kidmarathon

{Babylon 5}
{fic}
- Hear No LiesAlona Susan/Talia **Off LJ Links**
{video}
- Ice by [personal profile] aurumcalendula - .

{Bold Type, The}
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- I need You (In A Serious Way) by fresh_brainss -Jacqueline Carlyle/Jane Sloan .

{Carol (2015) The Price of Salt}
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- Carol Vid by [personal profile] aurumcalendula-Carol Aird/Therese Belivet .**Off LJ Links**

{Criminal Minds}
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{Devil Wears Prada}
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- Andy's DesiresBellatrix's Weightless Tears Miranda/Andy **Off LJ Links**
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{Updates}
- Chapter 25 of Letters To The Editorteenybirdy Miranda/Andy **Off LJ Links**
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{Doctor Who}
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- The Paternoster Gang Investigates: The Affair of the Eyes of Hades by merryghoul -Jenny Flint/Madame Vastra .
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- Never Look Away by [personal profile] aurumcalendula- Hideko/Sook-hee . **Off LJ Links**

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{Last Man on Earth}
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Posted by waddiwasiwitch

SPIKE (amazed): I can feel it, Buffy.
BUFFY: What?
SPIKE (looks at her): My soul. It's really there. Kind of stings.



~~Chosen~~



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Posted by rbfvid



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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the thirteenth episode of the fourth season of Enterprise, Archer must navigate a tense situation while Reed and Tucker attempt to disarm the drone ship. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

I feel like this episode is great if you’re a Star Trek because of the references and some real cool visual imagery. Look, I can’t deny it was pretty awesome to see that ragtag collection of ships show up to go after the marauder drone. This is it! This must be how the Federation gets its start, and that certainly makes “United” entertaining. Archer faces a near impossible task in trying to unite multiple species and cultures, and he’s doing it while two of his crew men are facing down the Romulans, despite not KNOWING they’re up against the Romulans.

Couple this with a fight sequence that’s rather brutal and comes off as a giant visual reference to that one big fight scene in The Original Series, and you’ve got a lot of things I should have enjoyed a great deal. I did not dislike this episode, mind you, but my patience for Enterprise’s bizarre scripts is starting to wear thin.

Look, it’s smart that the writers forced these characters to deal with the ramifications of Lt. Talas’s death. I don’t think it made sense to ignore it, especially given how emotional Shran was for this woman. But as vicious as that fight scene was, LORD did it ever feel extraneous. The plot in “United” grinds to a halt once the script veers off into this ritual. And like… I get it? Sort of? Archer demonstrates that he “respects” the Andorians, and it is why he ultimately gets their acceptance. That’s an important developmental point, but it feels so CLUMSY. As soon as Archer said he was standing in for the Tellarite, I felt like the show was desperate to put Archer in the middle of everything. He already saved the whole world! And all of Vulcan! Damn, dude, please give ANYONE ELSE a chance to be the center of attention!

At the very least, I appreciated the tense and imaginative plot involving the drone Marauder. See, THIS IS WHY I LOVE SCIENCE FICTION. Shit like this is my JAM. I loved watching Reed and Tucker trying to outsmart their unknown opponents. It’s brilliant that this script only reveals their identity to the audience; the Enterprise crew never actually finds out who they’re up against. All they know is that this ship is involved in complicating matters between the Tellarites and the Andorians. And like all good science fiction, there’s a deeper matter at work. Reed directly disobeys Tucker’s order to save himself, and he ends up taking control of the drone after setting his phaser to explode. It’s a tense sequence, but it’s also an emotional one! I think it could have benefitted from a further exploration of the dynamic at hand, especially since this is like… the second time? Third time? That this has happened? There was that episode in season one where they both nearly froze to death? And that other episode where Reed got stuck outside Enterprise? And that other when… jesus, these two are like the perpetual punching bags for this show. LEAVE THEM ALONE.

Anyway, I can’t deny how cool it was to see the Federation sort of start, and maybe this isn’t the actual beginning, but it sure feels like it. Which is why I was shocked that this ended on ANOTHER cliffhanger with the revelation that the pilot of the drone (and the entire holographic system) for the Romulans IS AN ANDORIAN. And an albino one, it looks like????? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.

The video for “United” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the fifth episode of the third season of Person of Interest, I was truly not ready for this episode. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest

I just… I just love so many things in this episode, y’all. The performances, the writing, the tension. HOW IS THIS SHOW SO CONSISTENTLY GOOD.

Flashbacks

I actually want to start with this because I hope to open a discussion on Sameen Shaw and representation. Even more so than when she was first introduced, I’m realizing that I’ve never seen a character like Shaw on television. Men are usually given roles like this! But now, we’ve got a flashback that expands Shaw’s characterization beyond what we saw in “Relevance.” Here’s what I want to talk about: does this count as representation? See, one of the things that matters when you’re talking about representation for marginalized communities, specificity plays a huge part in that. We find out here that Shaw might be neuroatypical, or she might have something else going on. She experiences emotions differently than other people, and she’s known since she was young that this made her weird, that people reacted to her negatively because of it. Now, I was initially worried that that paramedic just didn’t understand grief? Because grief doesn’t always manifest immediately, and many people who have experienced it can speak to the fact that it can pop up out of nowhere much, much later on.

Thankfully, the show was more explicit than that: Shaw says she’s not wired to experience emotions like everyone else. And even when Gen “figures out” Shaw, it’s not a negation of this! Shaw really is different. But without a name to it, I could see people either identifying strongly with Shaw’s character or feeling like it’s a cop-out. I don’t experience difficulty with emotions or empathy like Shaw does, so I feel like it’s not my place to comment on this beyond the superficial. I do enjoy that Shaw is so different from all the other characters on the show, but I’d love to know what others think of her.

Gen

So, I kinda have a soft spot for characters like Gen, who was cast into a terrible situation but found creative ways to deal with it. She’s plucky, funny, and resourceful, but the show always lets her be a kid. Of course, she’s almost like a foil to Shaw, and she’s definitely here to remind Shaw of who she was when she was Gen’s age. Y’all, there’s just so much DEPTH here!!! FOR A TEN-YEAR-OLD CHARACTER.

But I tend to love fiction that deals with people who have fallen into the margins. Gen’s story is an extreme example of that, given that I doubt there are many kids who have picked up surveillance techniques that they used to spy on their entire building, but STILL. Gen was forgotten by immigration services. She was more or less supporting herself as a child because her guardian, Vadim, was addicted to bath salts and saw her as nothing more than a nuisance. Even though Shaw didn’t want to admit it, she felt protective of Gen after seeing her living state and her little listening station. There’s a bit of idol worship going on here, too, since Gen basically wants to be Shaw when she grows up.

Yet on top of this all, the writers found a way to tie Gen’s story into the existing HR plot, and IT WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. Y’all, I can’t get over this: a ten-year-old girl was able to push this case forward. It was with those tapes that the team finally got information on Yogorov, Simmons, Terney, and others, that implicated HR in a despicable scheme to push an addiction on the streets of New York in order to make a profit. Which: EVIL. Clearly. However, this episode deals with Shaw’s own moral dilemma. Does she do what she can to save Gen or save the tapes Gen made? She quickly comes down on the side of saving Gen, which was amazing to me because at the start of this episode, Finch kept having to remind Shaw to protect Gen. AND HE DIDN’T HAVE TO ANYMORE AT THE END.

I doubt we’ll see Gen again, but it would be a treat if we did.

Carter

I JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH AND OH MY GOD, I AM SO PLEASED THAT SHE WASN’T BEING IGNORANT AND FOOLISH THIS SEASON. Look, I distrusted Laskey from the start, especially since he appeared in the same episode as the one where Terney said Carter might still be a problem. Yet my main concern was that Carter was being written as missing all the obvious signs that Laskey was a plant. I AM GLAD THIS IS NOT THE CASE. This re-contextualizes literally ALL of their interactions because she always knew what he was doing! She purposely acted shady in front of Laskey so she could see his reactions.

AND HOW ABOUT THAT SCENE IN THE BAR IN THE END? IT’S A WORK OF ART, PLEASE PUT IT IN A MUSEUM. OH MY GOD, SHE IS GOING TO HAVE LASKEY WORKING FOR HER? I LIVE FOR THIS. IT IS EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED.

The video for “Разговор” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Enterprise, WOW, THAT CLIFFHANGER IS TOO MUCH. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

Trigger Warning: For discussion of racism, specifically anti-Asian stereotypes.

I gotta start with the negative here because I’m still SO pissed that that line made it into this episode and this fucking show asked Grace Park to utter it. Welcome to the nightmare of… well, this is either one of two things:

  1. Ironic racism
  2. Unintentional racism

Y’all, we don’t get to regurgitate racist tropes and hope that by hanging a lampshade on them that the audience is smart enough and non-bigoted enough to know that they shouldn’t make said jokes either. There is a longstanding stereotype that Asian people eat dogs that’s used to dehumanize them, attack them, and most certainly make them an Other. It doesn’t matter that seconds after Hoshi says that Porthos is probably tastier than the food in the mess hall, she then reveals she is pretending to be a Tellarite to help Archer learn how they talk. It felt like the writers were winking at us, as if they were saying, “See? She’s not actually saying it, but we still wanted someone who is Asian to make this joke, so tee hee!”

No. Stop. Do not pass go. Go directly to jail.

And let’s say it is an accident! No one thought this through. Easy solution here: stop filling your writers’ rooms with white people. I am pretty sure that someone non-white would have caught that line and said, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t do this.” (Maybe not, though, given that I’ve heard so many horror stories about writers trying to counter shit like this and being retaliated against.)

Regardless: what an unacceptable moment that immediately took me out of the story. I managed to at least overcome it enough once things got interesting. This was otherwise a solid episode that turned into a much better one once you factored in that ending. BECAUSE NOW I KNOW THAT THEY WERE CHASING AFTER GHOSTS THE ENTIRE TIME. Oh my god, it’s so evil??? And that threat leveled at the end of “Kir’Shara” feels way more real???

What the fuck is this show about to do with me?

“Babel One” is an assemblage of a ton of classic ideas and tropes, especially since it’s about Starfleet trying to navigate the difficult relationship between two other cultures/nations. Somehow, the Andorians hate Tellarites even more than the Vulcans! So there’s a lot of bitterness and aggression on display here, made only worse by the Tellarite attack on Shran’s ship, where over sixty of his people were murdered for no apparent reason. It all happens in the lead up to a very important negotiation session ran between these two groups.

So my initial thought? There was some rogue element in the Tellarite government that didn’t want these peace talks to take place, so they fired upon Shran’s ship and destroyed it in order to derail the talks. Just because Ambassador Gral didn’t know of any attack didn’t mean that Tellarites weren’t responsible. However, it’s not like ANY of this helped Archer keep the peace, and half the tension here is wondering when one of these parties was going to kill the other on Enterprise.

It’s hard to talk about his in light of that plot twist, though! Because I had this whole thing written in my head as I was watching “Babel One” about the reason these two cultures mistrusted one another! I wanted to talk about the notion of good faith and how, sometimes, it actually is a luxury to offer that to someone. Ideally, we could believe other people; we could trust them for a moment; we could try to empathize. But if any of y’all have been burned by someone before, you know how hard it is to offer even the most basic sense of trust. After the horrific experience Shran went through in the cold open of this episode, could anyone really blame him for feeling distraught and vengeful over what had happened to him? A Tellarite ship had been responsible for all that destruction!

But then an Andorian ship fired on Enterprise, and this stopped making any fucking sense, and then, BAM! ROMULANS. That threat leveled at the end of “Kir’Shara” came to fruition: the Romulans (and the Vulcans still following V’Las) were trying to pit these two groups against one another by using a ship that could mask itself as anything through holograms. It’s… my gods, it’s so evil. Because why would these people question anything they saw? It was definitely a Tellarite ship that destroyed Shran’s! And that was an Andorian vessel that fired upon the Enterprise.

EXCEPT IT WASN’T. The Romulans are exploiting existing hatreds and prejudices to set two groups against one another, and it worked.

Well, sort of. I’m guessing the second half of this will deal with Archer’s attempt to convince Gral and Shran that they’re being played. They’ll all have to unite to fight the Romulans EXCEPT THEY CAN’T. BECAUSE FUCK THAT ENDING, I FELL FOR IT SO HARD, OH MY GOD, THE SHIP IS NOT MANNED. IT’S ALL DONE REMOTELY. I WAS WONDERING WHY THOSE ROMULANS WEREN’T PANICKING ABOUT REED AND TUCKER REACHING THE BRIDGE.

How??? How are they able to do that at such a great distance????

The video for “Babel One” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the fourth episode of the third season of Person of Interest, the team deals with doubt and uncertainty when they can’t determine if a target is a victim, a perpetrator, or both. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest

This show keeps finding new ways to mess with the audience and it’s own stories and IT IS SO FUN. And messed up. Let us not forget that because this is like the more evil version of “‘Til Death.” RIGHT? Because oh my god, this couple are almost made for each other.

Well, let me establish that Jeremy Watkins is WAY worse than Vanessa is, so if there’s any outcome that I hoped for, it was that he definitely didn’t escape unscathed. At the same time, Vanessa is complicit in a lot of terrible things, and streaming $20 million from a charity devoted to helping the innocent find justice is pretty damn evil.

Of course, it is a long journey to that point, and the show switches up their normal operating procedure by creating a new conflict for the team to deal with: what exactly is Vanessa’s role in all of this? Throughout “Reasonable Doubt,” Vanessa appears to straddle the line between victim and perpetrator. It seemed obvious that she killed her husband, but then it looked like a racist cop was retaliating against her. So, she was set up and was trying to prove her innocence while avoiding capture.

By the time John finally apprehended her (after she plants cocaine on the main who was paid to frame her, mind you!), this case was a MESS. I genuinely didn’t know if she was telling the truth about her husband or not! In hindsight, I can see the clever way in which the writers designed this mystery so that people like me would fall for it. She passed Carter’s test! Vanessa looked sincere when she was surprised that her best friend had had sex with her husband, and she seemed sincere when she said she loved him. Well, that’s because she wasn’t lying. It’s true! It’s just that hidden within all of this was her true motive: she had helped her husband fake his death so he could pay off a mob debt. But that motherfucker DOUBLE CROSSED HER and framed her for his fake death! Like, how evil and self-centered do you have to be to DO something like that? Especially after Vanessa was willing to throw away her whole career for Jeremy????

In the end, I understood why John left them to their own devices. Neither of them were a threat to anyone but each other, and whatever the outcome of that shootout, the police could handle it from there. It’s not often that John does something like this, but this case was HOPELESS, and both of the people in it were terrible.

Speaking of terrible: I KNEW CARTER’S NEW PARTNER WAS A PLANT. FUCK HIM, I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL HE IS GONE. She’s observant, though, and I won’t be surprised if she hasn’t already considered this to be a possibility. HR was willing to get her demoted, so this is way less intense than that.

I’m also very pleased with the dynamic between the group and Shaw, who has been seamlessly folded into Person of Interest without making this feel weird. Plus: SHE IS SO FUNNY AND SHE LOVES BEAR. What else could I ask for?

The video for “Reasonable Doubt” can be download here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by feliciacraft

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the eleventh episode of the fourth season of Enterprise, FUCKED UP. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For extended talk of consent.

There are elements here that can be found in countless Trek episodes. I’m not gonna sit here and say “Observer Effect” is the first episode about an alien species that uses people for an experiment; it’s not the first script with non-corporeal beings, with first contact, with mysterious illnesses. And it’s certainly not even close to the first story about the Prime Directive or the ethical conundrums involved with space travel and progress.

And yet, it’s a disturbing and illuminating look at a lot of these things, and I’m still fucked up by this episode. It is the Prime Directive in reverse! What happens to Enterprise when a more “advanced” civilization makes some sort of contact with humanity? Are they morally obligated to remain neutral or is neutral observation even possible? Is there something inherently evil about observing other beings dying, even if you weren’t the cause?

This is a very, very Trek episode, which might be one of the reasons I enjoyed it as much as I did. But I respect that the writers of “Observer Effect” also committed to this premise so fully, first by giving us a scenario that is enraging and frustrating, and then following it to its logical conclusion. Because let’s be real: the “test” that the Organians use is bullshit. But I think it needed to be. It had to be detached from any sense of fairness and justice. It had to be vicious and terrible and the Organians had to view it as a normal thing. For thousands upon thousands of years, they have used a brutal and arbitrary test to determine whether or not another species is worth making first contact with. And the one thing that allows them to so wholly ignore the implications of their observations?

They are not responsible for the silicon virus that has killed so very many people.

It’s with that in mind that the two unnamed beings – who are able to instantly use any body as a host and then erase all memory of having been in said body – traipse around Enterprise, observing how the humans onboard react to this infection. They try to get a sense for how Tucker and Hoshi feel about it. They observe Phlox and Archer, vaguely interested in the responses both men give the situation. They discuss the entire thing as if none of the folks involved are anything other than an experiment or a possible bridge to a new understanding of a species. There is no compassion; understanding; sympathy. In fact, there’s a moment where the beings jump into the bodies of Hoshi and Tucker, and I think it’s the first time they actually experienced what the disease did to a body.

It’s horrifying to watch, and that’s clearly the point. But I adored that through this, the writers still were able to explore these characters. Watching Hoshi and Tucker bond and tell stories about themselves was THE LITERAL BEST PART OF THIS. (And the closest we’ve gotten to a Hoshi-centric story in a long while, which… ugh, come on, Enterprise.) Seeing the emotional toll this took on T’Pol, Archer, and Phlox was also satisfying because it revealed so much about how far they’d be willing to go to save the people they cared about. Then there’s T’Pol’s continued complicated feelings for Tucker, which I know I didn’t really address in the last review. (I WAS YELLING A LOT, SORRY.) I mentioned this on video, but I think the show is trying to show that just because she doesn’t have Pa’Nar syndrome, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect and great for her. If she really is learning how to be Vulcan differently, it’s possible that she has no real need for her emotions anymore. She’s certainly much less emotional lately than we’ve seen from her, so maybe that’s why she wants to keep her distance from Tucker.

EXCEPT THEN WHEN HE’S DYING, EVERYTHING HURTS, WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME.

And look, I think this is a fine example of how a trope I normally dislike can work for me if executed well. I was completely shocked when Hoshi died and then the cure on Tucker didn’t work either. That’s what I meant earlier: the writers take this disease to its natural conclusion. People die. And normally, I would be pissed that Hoshi and Tucker were magically healed because it’s a cop out, but this episode is largely from the point of view of the aliens. It’s about their growth. It’s about one of them realizing that this system is corrupt and horrible and actually A REALLY INEFFICIENT WAY OF GETTING TO KNOW A SPECIES. (Bless this episode for having Archer, upon being asked how these aliens were supposed to get to know humans, tell them, “Ask us???” BECAUSE RIGHT.)

The character growth here is for creatures we never really see, and that’s a bold, ambitious thing. It’s a tough episode to watch, and I’m glad those two characters are alive. Poor Tucker, how many times is this show going to kill him off or almost kill him off? GIVE HIM A NAP, PLEASE.

The video for “Observer Effect” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the third episode of the third season of Person of Interest, the team tracks a stalker, and Root makes her move. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest

Trigger Warning: For discussion of stalking, nonconsensual drugging.

THIS WAS TOO MUCH.

Ian Murphy

This… this did not go as I expected. I cannot believe I had so much fun watching an episode of a show that dealt with a stalker, and it speaks volumes to the way this was handled, as well as the sheer overwhelming power of the Trio: Zoe, Shaw, and Carter. This was creepy, make no mistake, and it was unbearable watching Ian stalk around that club, looking for his next victim. What I loved about this, though, is that Ian’s bizarre behavior isn’t validated by the text, despite that he wasn’t doing what the team thought he was.

And that distinction is important because I did get worried that the writers were just going to hand-wave away what Ian had been doing to impress women. He saw it as intense, but romantic. He thought he had a better chance with women if he got to know them better, but the means by which he went about this were just REALLY FUCKING INTENSE. And not one member of the team says otherwise, even when they confront him face-to-face and tell him that his methodology got him pegged as a serial killer! Dude, if you don’t want to be interpreted as a creepy asshole, don’t do creepy things. Don’t hide folders full of personal information in your house! Look, you can be attentive and kind and anticipate the needs of others, but you need not collect information like you’re some awful repository, as if the key to unlocking a woman is merely memorizing stats. THIS ISN’T AN RPG, OKAY.

I am also very used to this show dropping some horrible twist on me, so I kept expecting the show to do something awful. I admit that Ian’s story fizzled out a bit towards the end, especially since we never saw anything of Mr. Wellington, nor did we see an actual reunion between Ian and his son, Alex. I assume the kid found out? Was there a custody change? This show usually provides a tiny bit of closure, but not here. I get it, though, because there’s so much else going on. LIKE THE TRIO BEING THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED. They all hung out! They got to know one another! THEY HAD ACTUAL FUN AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND THEY WERE ALL SO SUPPORTIVE OF ONE ANOTHER AND I LOVED IT DEEPLY.

Plus, this episode was very Carter-heavy, which was much-needed from this show. She’s the woman that Ian focuses on, and despite that she’s on a job, the writers still let her be real and vulnerable. Even if it’s part of the way she gets Ian to open up to her, I loved that Carter was able to talk about her demotion and what it meant to her. MORE CARTER ALL THE TIME.

Escape

Yet it was actually Root’s plot that frightened me the most. I knew that Acker was talented as Illyria, but this specific performance as Root has shown me just how chilling she can be. Root’s obsession with the Machine is so unnerving, especially as she spends the majority of her time in this episode being absolutely truthful with her therapist, Dr. Carmichael. And because he is so unwilling to just listen to her, he never realizes just how truthful she’s being.

At the same time, I believe there is some delusion on Acker’s part, given that she still views herself as the sole person with a connection to the Machine, and that connection is holy to her. Root treats the Machine like a divine voice, one that guides her actions and her morality. Which is really, really creepy, obviously, and Acker plays Root with an obsessive dedication that is A LOT to watch. But where does Root go from her? Her escape from the psychiatric facility is violent, horrifying, and resulted in Hersh getting shot. WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH HERSH? I’m more interested in Root’s next step. Is the Machine aware of what she’s doing, or does it simply view her as an Admin, and thus, it protects her?

I NEED MORE.

The video for “Lady Killer” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by chasingdemons

WILLOW: I, I'm sorry, okay?
TARA: It's not that easy.
WILLOW: Well, what do you want me to do? Reverse time and take it back? 'Cause I could probably- Joke. I don't think I could really-
TARA: You know what, can, can we not do this now? I'm tired.
WILLOW: Okay. Let's just forget it ever happened.
WILLOW: (crushing a herb, doing a spell) Forget.
TARA: (smiles) Ooh, your feet are cold.
WILLOW: Better warm me up.
TARA: Mmm. This is how every day should always end ... and start. And all the stuff in the middle.
WILLOW: So, uh ... you're not mad?
TARA: 'Bout what?

~~All the Way (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 6)~~




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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the tenth episode of the fourth season of Enterprise, a childhood friend arrives on Enterprise to conduct an important experiment. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

Trigger Warning: For grief/death 

In the abstract, or perhaps from a distance, I like this episode and its bold attempt to talk about the intersection of technology and grief. Y’all know I love a good story about grief! But somewhere along the way – and I’m having trouble pinpointing it – “Daedalus” stumbles and never really recovers. It’s an interesting premise, but the closer we get to the tragic ending, the stranger it feels.

Which is a shame, since the idea behind this is so cool. We actually get to meet the man responsible for transporter technology, who once paid a very physical price to help advance his theories. (I think? I was a little uncertain on that point.) So much of Enterprise is about bridging the gap between the series, and so I was excited to see how the show would introduce subquantum transportation, despite that we knew it wasn’t a reality in future timelines. What happened? Why wasn’t it a viable form of transportion?

So, yes, I assumed something negative was going to happen here that would prevent it from being a viable alternative. Even so, and even though the episode revealed very early on that Danica and her father, Emory, were lying about their reason for being on Enterprise, I didn’t expect the downward spiral to come. This is an increasingly sad and bleak episode about how Emory has refused to accept his son’s death for FIFTEEN YEARS. He spent that time devising a method to save his son, who was the victim of a transporter accident, and still exists in a weird spatial node where time doesn’t pass??? All of this is fucked up, undeniably so! And it’s not that I experienced this story and thought, “Everything will end up fine, there will be no consequences!” Y’all, a crewmember died when Quinn, Emory’s son and Danica’s brother, touched someone. It was clear there’d be consequences!

Except not really, and it’s one of the major problems I see with this. Emory does end this struggle accepting that his son is gone and that he’ll have to be held accountable for what he did on board Enterprise. It’s left ambiguous as to what that actually looks like, and the same goes for Danica. She speaks of being free to live a life that isn’t centered on her father’s inability to accept that Quinn was gone. But do we know what that is? No. Instead, the first half of this episode establishes that the Ericksons were close with Archer and his father, which undermines the story. Why? Because a very obvious solution was left unaddressed: Why didn’t Emory just ask Archer to use his newfound fame as the savior of Earth and help him with his experiment? It didn’t necessarily have to be an official Starfleet mission, but at least the crew could have known what they were getting into!

Perhaps the attempt here was to say that Emory was so full of his irrational refusal to accept Quinn’s death that he just made bad decisions. I could maybe buy that if it was explored more. But there’s still another problem: ARCHER IS A TOTAL JERK IN THIS EPISODE. And he doesn’t apologize, despite that this is a bad idea, despite that there’s little science to back up Emory’s assertions that he can save Quinn, despite that this whole experiment puts everyone at risk of death, even though they don’t want to AND it’s not a Starfleet mission. Does he ever apologize? Nope. Was he 100% wrong when he told Tucker this wasn’t personal? YES. Ugh, it’s just… it’s not that Archer can’t be stubborn and make mistakes. WELCOME TO SEASON 3. But you can’t have that happen and then just ignore the ramifications of it.

And look, I don’t know how else to explain why I greatly disliked that ending. Please, don’t give me perfectly-wrapped presents as resolutions; fuck me up; ruin my day. I live for dark shit sometimes. But what the fuck was the point of having Quinn pop into this world just to die in his father’s arm seconds later? It was already tragic enough, and that just felt like salt in the wound.

The video for “Daedalus” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the second episode of the third season of Person of Interest, the team must protect a despicable man from a murder that he set in motion years earlier. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of stalking and doxxing. 

I’m glad that this show is asking difficult, uncomfortable questions, and I’m glad that Harold Finch is not exempt from it, either. At the end of “Nothing to Hide,” it felt like Harold was realizing that even though he’s tried to do the best with what he built, he still might not have done enough.

The events in this episode, then, are a matter of perspective. As the team delves into the life of Wayne Kruger, the head of Lifetrace, they learn that he has everything he need and that, surprisingly, he actually believes in what he’s doing. That might be the most stunning element of this whole script: he never admits to understanding why people might not like Lifetrace and what it does with personal information. Which means he ACTUALLY believes all the defenses of Lifetrace that he utters! It makes him a much more interesting character because, from the perspective of Collier and all the other people who Kruger hurt, he’s a villain who thinks that he is right. Those are often the most terrifying antagonists, both in fiction and in real life.

This also makes “Nothing to Hide” a bizarre experience because there is virtually nothing to like about Wayne Kruger. And the episode doesn’t retrace what we saw in “One Percent” with Logan Pierce, either. There is no charm here. Kruger cheated on his wife; got a DUI in college; speaks of his assistant in wildly misogynist terms; and his company contributed to the misery and LITERAL DEATH of other people, all of which he swept under the rug with a lawsuit. He escaped accountability, which is bad enough, but what’s even worse to me is that he doesn’t think there’s anything he did wrong. It’s what everyone else is doing! It’s the wave of the future! He is helping you, y’all. Why don’t you appreciate how he is making your life easier? How he is meeting your needs? How he has turned the intimate and private details of your life into a commodity?

This episode never, ever shies away from the horrifying reality of how our information is bought, sold, and used against us. Or how that information is more accessible than ever before. Or how this new wave of information technology has now made it easier than ever for people to exploit human vulnerabilities. And I speak on that last point as someone who has been on the receiving end of some monstrous shit. Look, it’s not that bullying never existed before the Internet, or that stalking wasn’t around until sites like Lifetrace (or Spokeo, in real life) made personal information a credit card payment away. These things still happened to me! But the threshold feels lower. When I first got doxed back in 2012 (while reviewing Buffy), I discovered just how unprepared anyone was to deal with it. There were no real recourses in law enforcement, and they just threw up their hands and waved it all away. Livejournal wasn’t helpful, and even when it finally got removed, the damage was already done. The hateful mail and disgusting packages had already started arriving, and I had to move away out of the fear that eventually, someone would show up in person. Hell, I don’t know if they ever did! I was vigilant in my last few months in that apartment, and I saw strange people walking by multiple times. Were they locals? People in the neighborhood? Was I just being paranoid?

I’ll never know, and it’s why this stuff is so insidious and creepy. Because you don’t know. The uncertainty of it all is what terrorized me, and the helplessness I felt made it worse. So I couldn’t find a sympathetic cell in my body as I watched Wayne Kruger suffer. I saw those headlines when Harold did that search: stalkers had found their exes. Lifetrace had been used by awful people to do awful things, and Kruger just viewed it as collateral damage, an unfortunate scenario but impossible to stop. It’s in that moment that Person of Interest contrasted Harold and Kruger, and Harold was disgusted by what this man had done. He didn’t care where this information went and how it was used.

Yet the final third of this episode doesn’t exonerate Harold, even if he did care about how the information the Machine gleaned was used. It might make him more moral than Kruger, more willing to hold himself accountable, but it doesn’t excuse him from the conversation. See, I, too, bought the theory that it was Summers who had set up this intricate revenge plan, doling out individual tasks to victims of Kruger’s which would dismantle his life, piece by piece. Did I feel bad for Kruger? Not for a bit. He became a victim of the very thing he claimed to have enriched lives when it actually destroyed him. And as tense as that scene in the elevator is, as horrifying as that hacked car crash was, I still felt like this man wasn’t even remotely trying to be a good person. So how the hell does the team deal with someone like that? Shaw even asks at one point if its worth it to follow Kruger around.

They have to be as objective as possible about these numbers as they can and try to save everyone. I get that. Which is why the ending still haunts me so much. This is going to come back around to Harold. It has to! I did not suspect that Collier was behind a single second of this, and THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS WAS THE LAST WE SAW OF HIM. What group is he working for? If they’re targeting people who have been flippant and immoral with the privacy rights of other people, SURELY THEY ARE ALSO GOING TO GO AFTER THE MACHINE???? But that’s what is so brilliant about this. To them, Harold is most likely a villain. He isn’t a good person because he built something that is the greatest violation of privacy in all of human history. Are his good deeds enough to cancel that out? In Kruger’s case, they weren’t, and this is another rare case where the team couldn’t protect their target. I AM SO FUCKED UP BY THIS EPISODE.

This show has made me a bit more paranoid than I already am. That also includes literally anyone who is within ten feet of Carter. I like the idea that someone unconnected to anything related to her current predicament can be in her life. However, after that scene with Quinn at Cal’s grave, I don’t trust Carter’s new partner. HE’S A PLANT. HE’S KEEPING AN EYE ON HER, I KNOW IT. With the Beecher file on lockdown and Carter kept at arm’s length from pretty much anything that will help her keep an eye on HR, I’m interested to see how she’s going to adapt to this situation. She’s clearly not giving up on taking down HR, but what about this new guy? Where is this going?

The video for “Nothing to Hide” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

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Posted by rahirah

GILES: If the two of you could remain civil long enough to-
(He stops short when he sees: Buffy sitting in the chair, Spike on his knees in front of her, holding her hand)
BUFFY: It's just so sudden. I don't know what to say.
SPIKE: Just say yes, and make me the happiest man on earth.
BUFFY: Oh, Spike! Of course it's yes! Giles! You'll never believe what's happened!



~~Something Blue~~



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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the ninth episode of the fourth season of Enterprise, Shran makes a terrible decision, Archer is way too good, and war is averted… for now. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For talk of torture

Oh, I tried to like this one. There are a few bright spots in this, but it’s frankly a mess of a script. It’s trying to do so much, so the story felt rushed and shallow in some respects. LET’S TALK.

Thwarting a War

Of all the plots here, Tucker’s decision to take Ambassador Soval to Andorian space was probably my favorite. It had a lot of potential! Shran was friendly-ish with humanity, but there was still a huge challenge set before Enterprise and Soval. How could they get Shran to believe that the Vulcans were going to invade if that tip came from Soval?

Initially, I was interested in this, and given the storied history of Shran and Soval, stretching back to the first season, I wanted to see how they would interact if they were forced to work for the same team. I expected pushback, sure, but I did not expect Shran to spend hours torturing Soval. It is, once again, practically impossible to see this show outside the lens of a post-9/11 world. I think I’ve said this before, but if not: there was a lot of torture on television after 9/11. It felt like those five years after the attacks, our nation worked out our response to it through fiction. Which is obviously a very understandable thing. LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE WITH ALL MY PERSONAL ISSUES. But time and time again, fictional narratives wrestled with torture and instead of examining its insidious nature, the evidence that it is not effective, or the cruelty present in such an act, the worst thing we seemed to get was how sad it made the torturer. And for the most part, we are shown how horrible and wrong this act of torture was in the moment. Both Jeffrey Combs and Gary Graham give fine performances, so my issue is more with the script. Shran did something monstrous here, and once the torture is over and he chooses to believe Soval, the show forgets to say, “HEY, TORTURE IS BAD, WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO, SOVAL WAS ALWAYS TELLING THE TRUTH.” Soval isn’t upset at ALL that he was tortured so badly that he nearly suffered permanent neural damage. The characters barely criticize Shran, and he’s still viewed as a “positive” character by the time “Kir’Shara” is over.

Yeah, I call bullshit. This whole plot felt like a gross use of the end justifying the means, when IT LITERALLY DID NOT. SOVAL WAS TELLING THE TRUTH. SHRAN DIDN’T EVEN APOLOGIZE!!!

Saving a Culture

If the whole white savior thing I commented on in the previous Enterprise review wasn’t clear enough, then let this episode stand as a stunning example of how terrible this trope is. Archer has virtually no real personality in this episode because he’s written to be the perfect savior of all of Vulcan. So he always knows what to do, and that includes him LECTURING VULCANS AND SPECIFICALLY T’POL ABOUT VULCAN HISTORY. Like????? No one thought that was a bad look??? It’s downright aggravating and insulting, and I’m surprised that T’Pol didn’t haul off and knock Archer into the Vulcan atmosphere. He literally told her to give the Syrannite religion a chance, like he has any fucking knowledge or experience with this subculture. The katra subplot was just a lazy way to get Archer to be the Chosen One and to be the person to save all of Vulcan from corruption.

And don’t get me started on the Kir’Shara. It 100% disappears in some scenes. There’s that fight sequence where Archer just flat out does not have it. Other times, it is not a solid, heavy artifact but something light and fluffy that definitely fits within a backpack with ease. It’s a clumsy Macguffin that doesn’t actually do anything in the end. Yes, there was that holographic display of words but WHAT DOES IT MEAN. WHY DOES IT MATTER. Like, I get that this is meant to usher in the age of Vulcan that we’ll see later in the show, but it’s so messy. Archer is responsible for that? One human white dude helped to save Vulcan??? I’m supposed to believe that? And then he just gives up the katra to some random Vulcan WHICH HE COULD HAVE DONE EARLIER, RIGHT??? Also, was T’Pol magically healed? WHO FUCKING KNOWS, THIS SCRIPT BARELY TELLS ME ANYTHING I ACTUALLY NEED TO KNOW?

At least I got to yell at a lot of it.

The video for “Kir’Shara” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

My YA contemporary debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now available for pre-order! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.

March 2014

S M T W T F S
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Functions


 
Little About a Girl
 
The Latest Nonsense
 
My Chorus
 

 

Indexs


 

 
Fiction Master List
 
Monthly Fiction Recap
 
Archive History
 
Tags
 

 

Fragments


 

 
FRTCharlatan’s Web
 
FRTFleeting Moments
 
FRCFootprints
 
FRCHow Not to Say No
 
FRMPossession
 
FRCSomething Glue
 
FRTA Study in Chartreuse
 

 

Short Stories


 

 
FRAOAnd Wouldn’t You Be Bored?
 
FRMAnother Side of Faith
 
FRTAnswer Me These Questions Three
 
FRMCounterpoint
 
FRAOIn the Mourning
 
FRAOOne Kiss, Two Kiss…
 
FRTOne of Five
 
FRTOne Teensy Little Problem
 
FRMThese and Other Differences
 
FRMWalk About
 
FRTWiddershins
 

 

Side Stories


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRAO-GVBloodlust
 
FRTNew Blood
 
FRTNow and Then
 
FRAO-GVVicarious
 

 

Novellas & Novels


 

 
FRAO-GVBloodletting
 
FRAO-GVBloodletting (the Final Cut)
 
FRMFlood
 
FRAOVanishing
 

 

Series

ACROSS SEASONS


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTCrossed Wires
 
FRTCross Words
 
FRTCross Purposes
 
FRTWhere Dreams Cross
 
FRTCross Section
 
FRTPaths Crossed
 
FRTLines Crossed
 
FRTCrossing the Rubicon
 
FRTIn the Crosshairs
 
FRTCross Examine
 

 

A.T.S. (2009 – present)


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTThe Outsider
 
FRMThe Noose
 
FRMBlue
 
FRMGravity
 
FRAO-GVCrimes
 
FRMEpitaph
 

 

A.T.S. Fragments


 

 
FRAO-GVCrimes: Dream Sequence
 
FRAOCrimes: The Second Time
 
FRAOCrimes: It’s Just Sex
 
FRMCrimes: Fresh Linens
 

 


 

 

Empty Spaces


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTA Single Step
 
FRCThe Paragon of Monsters
 
FRTCrossed Wires
 
FRTIt’s a Glamorous Job…
 
FRTOwen Who?
 
FRTAbsolute Zero
 
FRCKinda Pretty
 
FRTFishwife Blues
 
FRCGlass Heart
 
FRTPeanuts
 
FRTAnother One Closes
 
FRTIn the Time of Wolves
 
FRTStone
 

 

The River’s Daughter


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTIn Blue Moon’s Light
 
FRTJupiter
 
FRMCapture Theory
 
FRAOAn Effigy to Aphelion
 
FRAOA Keyhole in the Sun
 
FRAOHesperus in Retrograde
 
FRTThe Two-Body Problem
 

 

S.O.R. Fragments


 

 
FRMA Prelude to Schism
 
FRTBalance (an Interlude)
 
FRTTherapy and Waffles
 
FRCSoft Spot
 
FRMUse of Force
 

 

Thirteen Steps (2007)


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRMThe Outsider
 
FRMThe Noose
 
FRAOGravity
 
FRAOBlue
 
FRMWeak and Powerless
 
FRAOPet
 
FRTLullaby
 
FRAOThe Package
 
FRAOFor Marie
 
FRAO-GVCrimes
 
FRAO-GVA Stranger
 
FRAOVanishing
 

 


 

 

Essays


 

 
FRTOn Writing Series
 
FRMA Selective Meme
 
FRTFanFiction Writing Meme