Recaps

Power Rangers Movie Trailer Review

“Trailer #2″ - They Stand For Nothing, They’re Lifeless And Cold. Anything They Say Will Never Break Our Hearts Of Gold (PHOTO RECAP)

Well, it’s finally here. After months of waiting, and eons of fan complaining the second and even more fantastic trailer for the Power Rangers Movie is here. Where the first trailer was character based and touching, this one is action based. They double down on the humor, heart, and sophistication this movie is going to go down in the books for. It’s beautiful. It’s everything the show hasn’t been since RPM. It’s Power Rangers, and yet something more, something new, something greater than anything in the past. Let’s take a closer look.

The trailer begins with various shots of the Rangers, before they acquired their Power Coins. One in particular I wanted to point out is of Billy, clearly after being tormented by someone in school. I know this look, because I’ve had this look a million times over throughout my life. This movie, in just brief shots in two trailers has established characters with souls, consciousnesses, and familiarities that resonate deeply with me. They laugh through their pain, they cry, and they scream. They are real people. Real teenagers. The show has never fully grasped that. RPM was the closest, but this feels like a step up even from that. This trailer came just a day after a Ninja Steel preview clip and it was night and day, quite literally. That clip featured four caricatures and their sentai footage explainers bumbling around, doing one note actions based on their one caricature trait. I don’t even classify them as characters, just like the Dino Charge Rangers were. They are caricatures. If the characters in this movie were a cartoon, it would be The Legend of Korra. The show in it’s current state is Go Diego Go, trying to recapture the magic of Dora the Explorer. It’s only saved each year by toys. This movie in these brief trailers has given us characters, with emotions, in real settings, surrounded by real threats. The show doesn’t feel like that anymore. This trailer tried, because toys won’t get us a sequel. Characters will. People in seats will. A new Fandom born from it will. It’s trying to reach everyone, and boy oh boy is it succeeding. 

Next we see some more shots of the Rangers after they find their coins, all leading to a new moment. Two I’d like to point out here are of Trini, obviously upset, as Kim calls the entire team “screw ups.” It really upsets her. Personally from my experiences, some words and people are triggering, and you can see the physical and emotional shift on her face in an instant. That’s something I have only seen from Olivia Tennet as Doctor K in the show, and I see little things like that from everyone. The other shot is a new one of the Rangers finding their coins, one of many, but in this one you can clearly see a female Ranger’s helmet carved into the mountainside by Billy’s face. There are so many little nods and glimpses at things to come, the setting up of a greater universe, the likes of which we haven’t ever reached the level of in Power Rangers history. To me, it looks like a new version of Jen’s helmet from Time Force, or Emma’s from Megaforce, or it could be Rita Repulsa’s former Green Ranger suit carved into the stone to ward off ancient Earthlings who could unleash her. We’ll get to that later.

Next we had a beautiful sequence, or one of the million in this trailer and will be in the movie where the Rangers jump into the water that’s the entrance to the Command Center, that’s straight out of Zeo premiere. In the show you need the  Zeo Crystal or a Power Coin to enter the Command Center or Power Chamber, which means Rita could show up there eventually. The Rangers jump into the water, and before they break through the bottom, as seen in the first trailer, see that their coins have made them glow, being in proximity to the Command Center’s entry field. They joke about how cool it looks, and that it sure did, and  Zack jokes about how “he’s black.” It killed me, and I immediately started to giggle when Billy replied, and took the joke where it needed to go. Growing up a lifelong fan I’ve heard “the black ranger was black, the yellow ranger was yellow” a MILLION times. This was a great way to show the diversity of the show and joke at how innocently they cast the original series. People always took that too seriously, and I gag every time I hear it, and this turned that right around. The fact that we have the ONLY Asian, Indian, and female Latinx American superheroes on the big screen right now, and this was a great way to really show the world how great, yet how scary that is. 

Next we see some new shots of the Rangers discovering their abilities.  Zack wiping out into the trash KILLED me. I couldn’t stop laughing. 

Next we see the Rangers enter the Command Center for the first time, and Billy was having NONE of it. He’s like a mini Diggle with his humor and reactions, and every single one makes me choke up from laughing. He is ready to bolt at every turn and I AM GONNA LAUGH TYPING THIS. He’s the best. The Rangers then confront Zordon, and he was so excited to see them. I thought he would be more cold, and I am so happy I was wrong. He and Alpha are both sweet and inviting, and perfectly cast. You can tell that they want the Rangers to be safe and succeed. It’s so nice. They are almost completely unchanged as characters in the best of ways. I can’t wait to see more of them. Everything Zordon says gives me giant chills. 

The next morning Trini is ready to tell her mom, Elizabeth Banks all about her night in a spaceship, and she is having NONE of it…

You can tell Trini has tried a drug or two in her day, and her mom who totally isn’t the future vessel of Rita Repulsa’s alien spirit trapped in the Green Power Coin has had about enough. It was probably something she’s given up, but parents are parents for a reason. You can see both sides. Trini was so upset, but IT WAS SO FUNNY. My parents watched with me, and this joke was as big of a hit with them as the train sequence in the second Ant-Man trailer. It sold them in an instant. 

Next it’s training day, and the Rangers are ready to take on whatever they have to, obviously being informed of their mission by this point. Zordon informs them next of the Putties, and prepares them to take them on. Zack thinks they are holograms, but they are physical battle simulations, straight out of In Space. He gets cocky, then gets knocked off his feet. Billy once again nails a perfect one liner, with “THAT’S A STRONG ASS HOLOGRAM” and I was on the floor. It killed me. Trini’s perfect innocent laugh made it even funnier. You can feel the pain inside her. Becky and RJ especially are killing it. 

Now the bedroom sequence makes so much sense. Rita is awakened and possesses Trini’s mom. After that we see her rob a bank with a Putty, awaken her army, and take the Rangers down, after forming her costume, Venom style, and it’s amazing. Bring on more and more of this version of Rita. SHE IS TERRIFYING. 

Next, as Kanye blares over everything, perfectly chosen by the way, we see so many fantastic shots of the Rangers together, apart, and doing everything Rangers do. Kicking stuff, walking badassily (yeah I made up a word), and saying those iconic words that have felt dead for six years, and gave them life again…

Next we have the sequence that hit me like a ton of bricks that have been turned into a sentient alien grunt, where Jason helps his father, Roy from The Office out of a car involved in a horrific accident, which mirrors the truck crash I’m sure killed Jason’s little sister in the first trailer. It has no words, and doesn’t need to, because Bryan Cranston’s sweet sweet vocal chords tell us that “this is your destiny.” I began to cry the first time I watched the trailer. It crushed my heart in the best of ways. These last six years have crushed it in the wrong way, and this moment is wholly representative of what Power Rangers had felt like up to that point. It felt safe. It felt like home. Power Rangers was a family member, and it still is, but feels like the redneck cousin who screams at you if you dare mention President Obama and his beautiful family around them, aka my whole extended family. They’re all the redneck cousin. The show used to get me through everything, with an open hand to lift me up. Hell, even during Samurai and Megaforce it had moments of that, be it a littler amount, but still there. Power Rangers has been there for me every day when I came home bullied, covered in blood and bruises, every time someone I thought was a friend ran away, and most importantly when I was assaulted by classmates on graduation night. I used to be able to turn off the world with it, like my shadow, my greatest ally, and the one person who has gone through everything with me, in some ways even greater than my parents and sister. I could always go to it and not feel ashamed or embarrassed. The show in its current form has no trace of that whatsoever, and it hurts me every day. I feel like my lifelong shadow, friend, and ally has turned away, and it crushes me. In this moment in the trailer, all that came rushing back. In five seconds there is more emotion, love, and a message that the show has forgotten. That message is of humanity. That anyone can lift the people around them up. We all have the power to embrace, accept, and fight through darkness and hard times. That is what Power Rangers is about to me.

As the trailer finishes, we see all the toys that look nothing like the toys, BECAUSE YOU DON’T SHOW TOYS FIRST. I had no words. I screamed like a kid. It was fantastic. This trailer was perfect and it was the perfect ending. That’s a lot of perfect. I cannot wait for March 24th. 

If you liked this recap, make sure to let me know. Follow me on Twitter too, if you’d like to stay updated on these recaps. See you Sunday for Ninja Steel’s premiere recap! 

Don’t drink yourself to death after you watch it.

4

Suzaku X LelouchCode Gease, R1 & Akito The Exiled OVA.

Lelouch & Suzaku jailed in Akito:Ova 4; Lelouch who had lost his memories suddenly remember the sunflowers and childhood times spent with the young Suzaku.

The Creator Diary:

Late 2015, while strolling along the beach of the ocean known as Code Geass: Akito The Exiled OVA 1-4, I caught a glimpse of a mirage of a ship quite similar to the ship I had once lost while sailing in the ocean of Code Gease R2. At a closer distance, I realized that the mirage of the ship was actually a real ship; it was the ship I had once lost called SuzaLulu. Excited beyond joy, I once more boarded my SuzaLulu ship before realizing that my SuzaLulu ship was actually a Ghost Ship. Yes, my SuzaLulu ship had returned to me in the form of a Ghost Ship but I cared not for I had lost this ship once and now that this ship became a Ghost Ship it will sail even after death and forevermore.

Sincerely,

The Ghost Shipper of SuzaLulu

‘Legion’ Recap: Shall We Begin?
Dan Stevens as David Haller (Credit: Michelle Faye/FX)

Warning: This recap for the “Chapter 3” episode of Legion contains spoilers.

The clearer it becomes that Melanie Bird wants to help, the clearer it is that she’s not capable of doing so. This week, they descend into David’s mind and almost don’t make it out. She wants to heal him, but is Division 3 right? Is he an out-of-control god that needs to be turned off like a spigot?

The Plot

While David’s sister, Amy, is being interrogated by Division 3, Melanie Bird delves into David’s memories to train him in the use of his powers. They get further into the kitchen memory and discover that he is telekinetic. They go further and see David and Lennie caught doing Vapor, but the Demon With Yellow Eyes blocks them from seeing any more. David and Syd spend some time on the dock getting to know each other. During another round of experiments with Cary, David has a memory of the Angriest Boy from his book coming into existence in the real world. It triggers another clairvoyant episode — but only Syd is dragged along this time. They see Amy being tortured and questioned, and The Eye sees their spectral form. David agrees to be sedated for the memory work so they can get around his mental blocks, but it backfires: The Demon and the Angriest Boy attack, and David is left trapped in his head.

Dan Stevens as David Haller (Credit: Michelle Faye/FX)

Related: Catch Up on ‘Legion’ With Our Recaps

I Think We Should Be Other People

The thing that makes David and Syd perfect for each other — and it comes out during their talk on the docks — is that they are both forced to deal with having other people in their heads. For David, it’s having what may be multiple personalities or simply voices talking to him; for Syd, it’s having other people literally take over her body. In many ways, Syd behaves like someone with a history of sexual assault, which may be how she feels when her power activates. On one hand, it’s beautiful that these two people should find each other and, hopefully, help each other. On the other, it may point to all of this being an elaborate delusion entirely contained in David’s head. In another context, that might be seen as a cop-out, but Legion has done it many times in the comics, so it would be true to form here.

When Are We?

The parallels between Melanie’s ranch and Professor X’s school are crystal-clear. Many of the windows are in the shape of the X-Men logo.

Jeremie Harris as Ptonomy Wallace and Jean Smart as Melanie Bird (Credit: FX)

So what is the connection? At first, the color palette and fashion of the first episode were suggestive of the late ’60s, early ’70s — but the show had a contemporary feel, so everything read like a “place out of time.” However, it’s possible that those could be genuine period choices. Maybe Doctor Poole isn’t using that reel-to-reel tape player to give his office a retro feel; maybe we are in the past. If so, could Melanie’s ranch be the progenitor of the X-mansion we already know? Is Oliver a spiritual forerunner of Cerebro or is he just a disembodied voice in the house (and coffeemaker)?

Related: ‘Legion’ Star Dan Stevens on Being ‘Confidently Weird,’ as the World’s Most Powerful Mutant

Blink and You’ll Miss It

  • After suggestions of a connection, we see it actually happen: Kerry Loudermilk the tracker gets absorbed into Cary Loudermilk the scientist. Same person? Brother and sister? Whatever their situation, it definitely mirrors the multiple-personas motif of David and Syd.
(Credit: FX)
  • Like their reflection kiss in the window from the first episode, Syd and David share a tender moment leaning toward each other around a corner. It’s a wonderful use of the medium’s lack of depth.
Dan Stevens as David Haller and Rachel Keller as Syd Barrett (Credit: Michelle Faye/FX)
  • “Just a pinprick.” Another echo of Pink Floyd, this time from The Wall. That album is about a person who builds an emotional wall around himself that leads to his becoming a tremendously destructive force. Probably a coincidence, right?
  • We hope someone makes a real edition of The World’s Angriest Boy in the Worldso you can give it to a child you hate. Heck, it’s terrifying enough to give to adults too.
  • Line of the Night: “Unhand the reptile, Space Captain!” Everything about this line, from the incorrect taxonomy (frogs are amphibians), to the astronaut conceit, to Aubrey Plaza’s unhinged delivery and the goofy visual of a junkie trying to wrestle a ceramic frog from a well-dressed woman is just magical.
Aubrey Plaza as Lenny Busker (Credit: Michelle Faye/FX)

Music Notes

That creepy goth rock tune underneath David’s terrifying Halloween memory is Robert Plant — of Led Zeppelin fame — doing a cover of Low’s “Monkey.” What possessed him to turn an indie rock/dream pop song into nightmare fuel, we may never know, but at least Noah Hawley put it to good use.

Legion airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Read more:
‘Legion’ Recap: Shall We Begin?
‘Saturday Night Live’ #TBT: Calling Out #OscarsSoWhite

Frenchie's Bachelor Recap - Week 8

Hometown week is upon us!! And somehow, probably because Raquel has a contract with ABC, Corinne has a hometown date.

But let’s start at the beginning. After dumping Kristina because she doesn’t have a nanny and a rich dad, Nick skips the official ceremony and goes straight to handing out roses. He pretends to be nervous about whether the women will accept them, which given what a loser he is is kind of a valid concern. Luckily for him these ladies are all literally salivating to introduce their families to a man child who can’t speak without mumbling, so they all accept their roses.

First up is Raven, who lives in a swamp in Arkansas. They enjoy some traditional backwoods pastimes like “mudding” and fornicating in a pool of swamp water filled with algae and reptile feces. They roll around in there just long enough for Nick to show off his abs and contract a few mysterious infections. Then it’s off to meet the family, although we already met the brother earlier in a run-in with the cops because Raven is related to everyone who lives in this town. When talking to Raven’s dad, Nick begins his tour of asking EVERYONE’S dads for permission to marry their daughters, which makes it all feel really magical and sincere: “just in case I decide to dump these 3 other chicks I’m banging, would it be chill if I propose to your daughter?” Romantic. Nick’s motto with proposals seems to be “If at first (or second) you don’t succeed, ask, ask again. Literally never stop asking. Ask every woman you meet.” #cantstopwontstop #neverthelesshepersisted The night ends with Raven not being able to tell Nick she loves him, probably because they’ve known each other for about 5 minutes. I’ve had longer relationships with some of the food in my refrigerator. 

Next it’s Rachel’s turn. She surprises Nick by taking him to her church, because in her infinite wisdom Rachel knows that this motherfucker needs Jesus. Nick pretends to be into it but is mostly disappointed because church isn’t a great place for him to further explore his “explosive chemistry” with Rachel. At church, the minister/pastor/reverend/priest (not a big church-goer if you couldn’t tell) asks Nick if he’s ever been to a mixed race church before, and Nick kicks off a day of artfully dodging serious questions by saying he has never been in THIS particular church before. Nice one, Nick! Then they go meet Rachel’s family, and I’m realizing now I think this is the first time there’s ever been a black family at a hometown date, which is sad. Luckily there is one other white guy there (Rachel’s sister’s husband), just in case the folks at home get a little too overwhelmed by the amount of diversity on their screens. Nick spends a lot of time waxing poetic about how he “doesn’t see color, he sees Rachel”, to which Rachel’s sister is basically like cool, but racism. All in all though the day goes well, which is depressing because we know Rachel doesn’t win. So thanks for that, ABC.

Corinne is next, and she gives Nick the “day in the life of Corinne” experience by taking him shopping with daddy’s credit card. I guess this is what she does when she’s not running her multi million dollar company (so basically all the time). This girl is nothing if not true to herself, I’ll give her that. She drops a casual $3k of what is most certainly not her own money, causing Nick to break out in hives when he remembers he’ll need to get a real job and source of income once this show is over. Corinne’s family is literally exactly what you would expect them to be, let’s just put it that way. Her dad refers to himself as Daddy, which is troubling on a number of levels, and Raquel is “part of the family” even though she is literally paid to be there. When Corinne tells her parents that she loves Nick, their reaction is basically the equivalent of patting a small child on the head - probably similar to how they react when she says she runs her father’s company. Daddy asks Corinne if she is comfortable with being the “breadwinner”, which she totally is as long as she gets to keep Raquel and continue paying for everything with her dad’s money. Later on, Nick also claims to want to be a breadwinner, which is intriguing since the only job Nick has had in the past 3 years has been making appearances on reality TV and promoting skin care products on Instagram. 

The last hometown date is with Vanessa, and it basically consists of Nick getting roasted by literally every relative Vanessa has. After a quick stop to visit her students, they move on to her mom’s house, where approximately 30 fame-hungry relatives are waiting to pounce. They take turns grimly warning Nick not to hurt Vanessa, who in their opinion is the second coming of Jesus Christ, or asking Vanessa basic questions like what is Nick’s job? (She doesn’t know, but to be fair neither does anyone else.) They all cry a lot about how perfect Vanessa is - literally everyone in this family lives so far up Vanessa’s ass I’m surprised they even noticed Nick was there. Then it’s on to Vanessa’s dad, who initially refuses to give Nick his blessing to propose, prob because he knows Nick throws out proposals almost as frequently as he says “I appreciate that.” Nick rambles some more and eventually the dad has a change of heart, most likely just to get Nick to shut up. Vanessa gets really excited when she finds out Nick asked for the blessing, only to be promptly crushed to hear that jk, he also asked everyone else’s parents too: “I just wasn’t expecting this when I went on a show where the premise is one guys dates multiple women.” When your boyfriend is also considering proposing to one of his other 3 girlfriends… At least he hasn’t told them all he loves them. 

The episode ends with everyone in New York for the next rose ceremony, and Nick receives a surprise visit from Andi, the first woman he proposed to on national TV. She is here to give Nick some important advice and also probably to make herself relevant again (sorry Andi, you’ll always be relevant to me). Nick dumps all the other women and then declares his undying love for Andi. Just kidding, that’s not going to happen until next week. 

Until next time… 

Power Rangers Movie Trailer Review

“All-Star Trailer” & “Let’s Go TV Spot” - I Don’t Care About What You Did, Only Care About What We Do (PHOTO RECAP)

Well, that was unexpected. I woke up this morning and expected to go for a run, work out a bit, eat some trash, and clean everything ever since the beginning of time, and this happened. Best Friday ever. After the fantastic, breathtaking second trailer I thought we were done, and today we got treated to something more. Marketing is now in full swing, and I couldn’t be happier. That means we get old footage reworked even more, and a glimpse at a few new things! Let’s take a look at them!

The first sequence of shots we see is a little more of a glimpse of the first morphing sequence. There isn’t really anything of note, just that it looks beautiful. Even more beautiful is a shot later in the trailer of the Rangers exiting the Command Center through the Zeo style plasma portal guarding it under the water we’ve seen in both full trailers. It’s so neat. I love these suits, and water, so both at the same time makes me scream like a kid.

Next we see things from various scenes of the Rangers training, the greatest of which has another hilarious Billy joke that lands yet again, asking if the Rangers are more like Iron Man or Spider-Man. I giggled.

Our next glimpse is the real highlight of this mini trailer, where we see more of Trini meeting with her family for a meal. We’ve seen this in the second trailer, where many including me, guessed Trini’s mother was in fact Rita. I’m so glad I was wrong. She’s actually something far more terrifying, Alie from The 100. Just seeing her scares me. She’s by far one of the deadliest villains in anything I’ve ever seen, and it sent chills up my spine to see her here. Erica Cerra is such a great actress, y’all. Trini’s dad, Captain Singh from The Flash, and her little brothers were there too. Trini gives no fucks about anything, and I love her so much. You go gurl.

Next we see a few more shots of the sandy area, which I assume will be a Zord training sequence near a side entrance to the Command Center, and one of two major battles in the film. This is clearly a separate fight from the final showdown with Rita and Goldar in Angel Grove. This is for sure outside the industrial and social side of the city. The Zords look so beautiful in this shot. The Rangers also do the iconic flips onto the screen while they fight, and Jason gives us our first look at the Power Sword in the film. It’s nice to see things outside of toys. Who ever could have guessed that…

Next we see Billy who sees Rita summoning Goldar in the distance, just after I assume most of the Putties are taken out. Then it’s time to hop into some Zord footage!

These Zord cockpits and the Zord themselves are just stunning. Everything about them is superior than anything the show could ever tackle. The Rangers seem to not be controlling them with their visors down, which could be a tad annoying, but hopefully they will fix that when the full Megazord is formed. It’s great nonetheless. We also see these shots of Alpha, and the team entering what I assume will be the entrance to the Zord bay. One is hilarious, and one is beautiful. 

This trailer and tv spot were both fun, but short. While we didn’t see much new stuff, this marks the first time we’ve seen some things, and the start of full marketing. Let’s do this. I cannot wait. March is going to feel like the longest month ever. Until then, at least we’ve got the alright, but not horrible or fantastic Ninja Steel to hold us off…

Until next week, let me know what you thought on Twitter, and like or reblog with your comments if you liked it.

Later, City of Light!

‘Girls’ Post-Mortem: The Cast on That Big Addiction Reveal
Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Allison Williams in ‘Girls’ (Credit: HBO)

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Hostage Situation” episode of Girls.

Some actors know absolutely everything there is to know about their character from Season 1, Episode 1. And then there are those who discover something unexpected about the person they’ve been playing for multiple seasons in the show’s final year. Ebon Moss-Bacharach belongs in the latter camp. For three seasons now, the 38-year-old actor has portrayed Marnie’s bandmate-turned-lover-turned-husband-turned-soon-to-be-ex-husband, Desi Harperin, a soulful guy wrestling with some serious emotional instability. And on tonight’s episode, “Hostage Situation,” the reason for that instability reveals itself: Desi is addicted to OxyContin. Like, 20 pills a day addicted.

Related: The ‘Girls’ Cast And Producers on Their Favorite Moments From the Series

Because she’s never able to see drug addiction until it’s staring her in the face — remember Charlie? — Marnie only discovers this fact when she stumbles upon Desi’s stash while they on their lovers’ weekend (plus Hannah) in Poughkeepsie. And while he initially tries to pass the pills off as candy, he eventually admits that he’s been high for much of their relationship, up to and including their wedding day. “You are so bad at knowing when people are high,” Hannah tells her shocked friend after this bombshell revelation, which is the understatement of the century.

In all fairness to Marnie, there’s no way she could have known that Desi’s an Oxy addict. After all, the show’s creative masterminds, Lena Dunham, only discovered that for herself while writing the script. “It was new information for all of us,” Dunham tells Yahoo TV, laughing. “I always assumed he was taking recreational drugs, because he’s always at one extreme or another in terms of behavior. I looked back [at the past seasons] and was like, ‘There’s nothing in here that implies he’s not on drugs.‘”

Even so, Moss-Bacharach admits he was caught off guard when he learned of Desi’s retroactive appetite for Oxy. “That was news to me! I was like, ‘So I’ve been high — that’s what I’m working with now.'” At the same time, it didn’t strike him as being wildly out of character with Desi’s already addictive personality when it comes to his off-again, on-again relationship with Marnie. “It would have been harder for me [to accept] if it had been Ray on Oxy,” Moss-Bacharach says. “And it’s interesting to have a new thing added to the equation; it breathes new energy into it. It’s like you’re in the middle of the long run of a play and you get a new cast member.”

To aid her star with working this new information into his performance, Dunham passed along addiction memoirs he could use for reference, although those proved to be too much of a good thing. “He read them all and said, ‘This research is really bumming me out!'” Dunham remembers. “I was like, ‘It’s a comedy, so you don’t have to do all of this research, just a smattering of things. Keep doing what you’re doing.’ He was super-cool about it and played it so well.” And, as Allison Williams points out, this revelation is just as revealing about her character as it is about Desi. “I love how Marnie has this giant blind spot where she can’t tell when anyone is on drugs — she undrugs them with her eyes.”

Lena Dunham, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Allison Williams in ‘Girls’ (Credit: HBO)

Another reason Dunham chose to reveal Desi’s OxyContin habit in this manner is to satisfy a desire to make a Girls episode in the vein of a horror movie. “I had just watched Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs and wanted to do something with that kind of energy,” she says. Released in 1971, that controversial film starred Dustin Hoffman as a wimpy mathematician who has to defend his home against a gang of hooligans. Dunham, who also directed “Hostage Situation,” channels Peckinpah’s film most strongly in her use of canted angles, as well as Desi’s window-breaking theatrics. “That was a really fun episode for me — the entire idea was to shoot it as if Girls had suddenly become a Sam Peckinpah movie. I even wanted to call the episode Straw Dogs, and [HBO] was like, ‘Nope!'”

Desi isn’t the only character to have a major freak-out in “Hostage Situation.” Shoshanna also loses her cool, although not due to any drug-related causes. Instead what sets her off is a trip to a meeting of young businesswomen hosted by the two girls she almost went into business with had she not chosen to help her cousin, Jessa, hunt down Vincent Gallo instead. That seemingly minor decision turned out to have major ramifications, as her former almost-colleagues now oversee a wildly successful jeans line, while Shoshanna is earning a junior associate paycheck. “Watching someone else succeed at something you could have been involved in is a very real, very deep human experience,” Zosia Mamet says of her character’s raw emotional state in this episode. “Actors feel that all the time when we miss out on something! For whatever reason, it’s about timing. Watching Soshanna figure that out felt very basic and very powerful. It’s exciting to have that be part of my storyline [this season].”

Zosia Mamet in ‘Girls’ (Credit: HBO)

On the heels of her humiliating evening, Soshanna needs to turn her hurt and fury somewhere, and Jessa turns out to be the nearest, and easiest, target. Bearing witness to this epic cousin vs. cousin squabble is Elijah, who accompanied Soshanna to the event — the longest amount of time they’ve ever spent in each other’s company. “I don’t think Zosia and I have ever spoken dialogue directly to each other,” says Andrew Rannells, who became a regular cast member in Season 4. “There’s usually one scene where all the characters are all together, but we didn’t really have that this year. So it was exciting that she and I had this opportunity [to act with each other]. And it ends with Soshanna having the realization that she’s maybe pissed away a huge chunk of her life, while Elijah realizes he’s not a grown-up either. They both have this moment where they’re like, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing at all.'”

Without giving away the arc of the final season, Rannells does say that Elijah, at least, will make some very real steps towards actual adulthood. “We’ve never seen him work,” he says, laughing. “He’s talked about jobs, but we’ve never seen him doing them. So he’s got to very quickly figure out, ‘What’s my thing. What am I going to do now?’ And I think I can say that he does find it — he figures out what he wants to do. I’m happy with the way we leave him; there’s a sense of hope for him, rather than a fear that he’s going to end up in a gutter!”

Girls airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.

Power Rangers Ninja Steel Review

“Presto Change-O” - Yeah You Built Up A World Of Maaaaagic (PHOTO RECAP)

Well, this is late you guys. I am so sorry. Life happens sometimes, and sometimes life and the fandom happens. Oh well. This Saturday there isn’t even a new episode. Rude. I was just starting to, week by week be excited for Power Rangers again. This one was yet again, pretty cool, but with one small flaw that bugs me, but pretty cool nonetheless. Let’s take a look!

Our episode begins with Preston, who totally doesn’t have a permit to perform in an open space, performing in an open space. He was going to do the classic rabbit in the hat trick, and the team was cheering him on. Things don’t go as planned when Victor stops the “fun” by revealing the gag as a hoax, aka a trick. Preston was so upset, and immediately walked off. I really felt for him. I know what it feels like to put your all into something, and have someone pick it apart. That should’ve been the lesson this week. We’ll get to that though…

Next we saw as Galvanax and his minions looked at potential candidates for Galaxy Warriors, seeing cards for Venjix yet again, Argus from Super Megaforce, and some ugly dude I don’t remember, which probably means they were from Lightspeed Rescue or SPD or something, where there were so few memorable monsters of the day. One of his henchmen run up and present him with his warrior belt, telling him there needs to be better contestants moving forward, and that he needs to change things up for the ratings. He decides to do just that, and come down to Earth to confront Brody.

Next Preston is approached by Brody, who is trying to cheer him up. Just as he tries to shoehorn in some nonsense, Preston pulls a rabbit that isn’t his out of his hat. It’s real magic, or so he thinks. When it happens again, Brody theorizes that it’s most likely the Ninja Steel to have done this. He takes the cute bunnies to the vet, and Preston goes to show the team, still believing it to be proper magic.

As Preston goes to meet the team in the auto shop garage, he’s stopped by Sarah, making sure Brody isn’t with him, as they are fixing up his dad’s old GMC four door for him as a gift. I hope he has a license. Preston gets his chance to shut everyone up and show them his newly aqcuired magic, when Hayley’s shake falls and spills on Calvin. He stops it, and starts it again, and they were all amazed. Next we learn from Mick that the Ninja Steel has to be the reason for this, having cosmic, aka SPACE MAGIC WHICH IS STILL MAGIC abilities, that enhance the desires and strengths of the people who come in contact with it. You could say it’s space radiation, but I mean, it’s space magic. Preston runs with it, knowing that it’s magic, and this is exactly when I knew we were going to get some vomit inducing nonsense moral that would kill me. But first, Brody sees Galvanax stuff going on, and is lead right to Galvanax…

After Brody calls the team, he goes to confront Galvanx, who goes full blown Roots on him. He says he gave him a home, food, stuff to do all day, and “took care of him.” It was so demented, and actually an awesome trait for a villain. As Mesogog once said, “well I guess that depends on who you believe the good guys to be.” The best villains believe they’re in the right, and the best heroes prove something against that, and do actual heroic things. When he is about to keep talking and attack Brody, Madame Odious stops him, and warns him OF RATINGS. IT WAS SO COOL. I love the Galaxy Warriors stuff so much. When the Rangers realize they’re on camera, the girls play into it. It was so funny. 

When Galvanax leaves, because ratings, he sends a monster to replace him, and they immediately sprayed three of the Rangers with his “slow down gas.” I was prepared for the worst, what I got was the funniest sequence Power Rangers has had since Scott flung a baby around in a park in RPM. It was inspired and truly hilarious. Preston also misused his space magic and it didn’t work, y’know because we can’t have too many good things at once. 

After they HILARIOUSLY left lunch early, Sarah, Calvin, and Hayley were on their way home, slowing down even further, and that is when things got FUNNY. I was on the floor. They took out their Ninja Stars as they were attacked by the monster, and when he took them they made the best faces ever. I loved it. Now that is how you do humor, writing room. They got them back right away, thanks to Brody, Preston, and some bullshit lesson about not using powers for personal gain. Sorry, y’all, no other superhero franchise does this. I hate that so much. It wasn’t as bad as the bipolar gems from Dino Charge, but it was iffy. That reasoning is so silly. If the reasoning was that it would give away their secret identities, as Ranger can do similar things, that would’ve been great. This was too shoehorned. You don’t need it. It took away from the episode a bit. The humor was GREAT though.

When the monster was destroyed and the spell was hilariously broken, it was toy time. The monster went big, they went big, and there was a cool new mode. It was neat, but not important to this review. Just cool.

Then we got back to the school, where Preston said some nonsense and Monty turned into a Minecraft character. It was silly, but not that bad. Mick sold it for me though, as he is from space, where anyone can love anyone, and do whatever and dress however they want. He just winks, smiles, and moves on. 

Then it was time for the gang to show Brody the truck, and he was so happy. This was a nice character moment for the whole team, something we haven’t gotten in a long while. There should be more of this, and ongoing threats than forced morals, and every single thing Dino Charge that was doing that wasn’t Phil and the bank scene with Ivan. Brody even said something I thought I would never hear in Power Rangers, I LOVE YOU GUYS. It touched me. Little things like that mean a lot. It was the perfect ending to the episode. Hopefully the DMV isn’t too far away.

Well, that sure was an episode. It could have been horrible, or fantastic, but it was somewhere in the middle. It was a good team episode, and a mishandled character episode because of the moral, and near perfect comedy and footage wise. I’ll give it seven Kardashians out of ten. 

Until next week, let me know what you thought on Twitter, and like or reblog with your comments if you liked it.

Later, Kardashians! 

‘Bates Motel’ Catch-Up Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Jump Into the Final Season

The end, sadly, is nigh, and while Norma Bates is already gone — well, literally gone, but then again, not gone, literally — she will continue to haunt sons Norman and Dylan as Bates Motel prepares to wrap its five-season run on A&E. The Psycho prequel series promises lots more twists, turns, murder, and humor in its final season, premiering Feb. 20, as we wait to find out just how close the Norman of Bates Motel becomes theNorman Bates of Psycho. There’s also that major guest spot by pop music superstar Rihanna to look forward to, so whatever your reason for checking in at Bates Motel for Season 5, here’s a deep dive on everything you need to know from Seasons 1-4, if you don’t have time to watch 40 episodes yourself.

Related:Review: The Final Season of ‘Bates Motel’ is a Radiant Achievement

Norman (Freddie Highmore) and Norma (Vera Farmiga) in the series premiere. (Photo: A&E)

Season 1
Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga) and her teenage son Norman (Freddie Highmore) move to the fictional White Pine Bay, Ore., after the death of Norman’s father. Norma buys the rundown Seafairer Motel in town, which she plans to fix up and run as the renamed Bates Motel, while she and Norman live in the Gothic mansion that’s up the hill. Norma’s older son, Dylan (Max Thieriot), from a previous relationship, also shows up shortly after she and Norman arrive in White Pine Bay, and despite his contentious relationship with his mother, he also moves into the mansion. And the family’s first months in town are eventful: The motel’s former owner, Keith Summers (W. Earl Brown), claims the property is still his, and he breaks into the mansion one night and rapes Norma. Norman returns home and knocks him out, and Norma stabs Keith to death. Norma is initially charged with Summers’s murder, but with the help of her sons and local sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and his deputy Zack Shelby (Mike Vogel), she faces no legal consequences for the killing.

Deputy Shelby, who Norma briefly dated, turns out to be a big baddie who’d been running a sex-slave business with Keith Summers. When the Bateses learn about it, he holds them hostage, and Dylan saves them when he kills Shelby in a shootout. Sheriff Romero covers for them, saying he shot Shelby.

Key Moments for Norman:

— He doesn’t remember killing his father after witnessing him beat his mother, which Norma continues to hide from Norman. It’s the first clue to his murder/blackout habit. When Norman passes out at school and is hospitalized, Norma claims it’s never happened before.

— Norman meets and befriends Emma (Olivia Cooke), a schoolmate who has cystic fibrosis. Norma hires Emma to work at the Bates Motel. Her father later teaches Norman taxidermy, which he uses to preserve his beloved dog, Juno, after it’s killed by a car.

— Mother is not happy, however, when Norman befriends Bradley Martin (Nicola Peltz), one of the most popular girls at his high school, and has sex with her. Norman has feelings for Bradley, but she rejects any further romance, telling him they’re not right for each other. Bradley’s father is killed in a fiery car crash, which Bradley and Norman witness.

— After being beaten up by Bradley’s boyfriend at the school dance, Norman is offered a ride by his teacher, Miss Watson. She takes him to her house, and as she changes clothes, Norman hallucinates Norma telling him that Miss Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) is actually stripping so she can seduce him. The next thing Norman can remember is running home, but Miss Watson is shown in her home, dead and with her throat cut.

Must-See Episode: “First You Dream, Then You Die,” the series premiere that introduces us to the pre-Psycho Bateses as they attempt to start over after Norman’s daddy dies. Norma has a childlike level of excitement — delusion? — about their chances for a do-over, but Norman is more skeptical. “Maybe some people don’t get to start over,” he tells his mom. “Maybe they just bring themselves to a new place.”

Dylan (Max Thieriot), Norma, and Norman attend Miss Watson’s funeral (Credit: A&E)

Season 2
Norman obsesses about Miss Watson’s death, making frequent visits to her gravesite, where he spots an older man he thinks may be her killer. He takes a photo of the man, and presents it to Sheriff Romero, along with his theory, but Romero instead asks where Norman was on the night of Miss Watson’s murder. Dylan discovers Bradley’s dad was having an affair with Miss Watson, whose boyfriend was Dylan’s boss, Gil (Vincent Gale). When Dylan tells Bradley, she kills Gil, and Norman and Dylan help her flee town after leaving a suicide note. Meanwhile, Norman’s brother Caleb (Kenny Johnson), the one who raped her when they were teens, shows up in town with expectations of being a family, and bonds with Dylan by claiming he protected Norma from their abusive father when they were growing up. This prompts Norma to reveal the rest of the story: Not only did Caleb repeatedly rape her, but she also became pregnant, and Dylan was the result. Dylan is traumatized by the news even further when Norma admits she used the pregnancy to get away from her family by pretending her high school boyfriend was Dylan’s father.

The Bates Motel has become a hot spot for those vacationing in nearby White Pine Bay, but a new bypass that will prevent travelers from even seeing the motel threatens Norma’s new success. Norma goes to a prominent local businessman, Nick Ford (Michael O’Neill), for help in stopping the bypass project. Romero warns her to tread carefully around Ford, who operates the town’s biggest marijuana business, but Ford helps her get a seat on the town council. Ford kidnaps Norman in an attempt to force Dylan, who works for his drug biz rival, Zane Morgan (Michael Eklund), to kill Morgan. He keeps Norman hostage in a hot box in the woods. Dylan ultimately ends up killing Ford instead.

Key Moments for Norman: 

— While thinking about his mother being raped by Caleb, Norman goes into a “state.” He thinks he’s Norma and attacks Caleb. Caleb hits Norman and flees, and when Norman later wakes up, he doesn’t remember anything that happened.

— Norman kills again: He pushes the abusive father of his rebellious teen girlfriend Cody (Paloma Kwiatkowski) down the stairs. The death is ruled an accident, but his DNA was taken to process as evidence. Cody leaves town to live with a relative in Indiana, but before she leaves, she warns Norman that Norma is keeping information from him about his blackouts.

— Before Romero and Dylan rescue Norman from the hot box, Norman remembers he killed Miss Watson while they were having sex. Norma tries to tell him it was a hallucination, but Norman knows otherwise, and plans to kill himself. After packing up his taxidermy supplies and letting Emma in on all the family secrets, he takes a gun and goes into the woods to shoot himself. Norma finds him and begs him not to leave her, planting a big kiss on him — on the lips — and telling him she’ll die without him. He agrees to return home with her.

— Romero finds out Norman’s DNA matches that of semen found in Miss Watson after her murder, and wants Norman to take a polygraph test — which he passes. When he’s asked if he killed Miss Watson, he answers — having slipped into Norma’s “persona” — with a truthful “No.”

Must-See Episode: “The Immutable Truth,” the Season 2 finale, for that kiss — one of the most talked-about moments in Bates history — and the wicked look on Norman’s usually sweet face after he beats the lie-detector test.

Norman and Emma (Olivia Cooke) study together. (Photo: A&E)

Season 3
Because Norman’s “spells” continue, Norma decides it’s best if he’s homeschooled for his senior year, and Emma decides she’ll join him. Determined to forge ahead with as much “normalcy” as possible, even as he continues to become more aware of his hallucinations and blackouts, Norman asks Emma on a date, but she clicks with Dylan instead. Caleb returns to try to connect with Dylan after the death of Norma and Caleb’s mom, which causes more drama initially, but then sparks an attempt for some bonding among the dysfunctional Bates clan.

A Bates Motel guest, sex worker Annika (Tracy Spiridakos), goes missing after Norma had caught Norman peeking into Annika’s room. She returns to the motel days later, with multiple gunshot wounds. Just before she dies, she gives Norma a USB drive and tells her to use it to save herself and Norman.

Bob Paris (Kevin Rahm), a powerful local businessman, threatens Romero’s job when Romero begins asking questions about a local strip club Bob owns. Bob wants the USB drive, which Dylan’s roommate and co-worker Gunner (Keenan Tracey) decode: It contains financial data that reveals Bob has made $15 million in illegal drug money. Norma uses it to blackmail Bob into erecting a billboard for the Bates Motel near the new highway bypass. He also agrees to pay for the construction of a swimming pool at the motel, which Norma thinks will help attract more clients.

Romero is shot, and visited at the hospital by Marcus Young (Tomiwa Edun), who tells him he isn’t going to be sheriff much longer. Romero later shoots and kills Young, a Bob Paris associate. Norma tells Romero where the USB drive is so he’ll have the upper hand with Bob. Romero is crushed and angry to learn from the drive’s contents that his incarcerated father — the former White Pine Bay sheriff and the one responsible for starting the town’s drug ring — continues to use Romero’s dead mother’s name so he can continue to receive drug money.

When Norma finds out that Caleb and Dylan are becoming close, she feels betrayed, and flees town with a suitcase full of clothes and a gun. After a brief stay in Portland, and a meeting with James (Joshua Leonard), a psychology professor who listened to her talk about some of her problems with her sons, she returns home and allows Caleb to apologize for everything he did to her.

Norma asks James to talk to Norman, who insults James and asks what it’s like to sleep with his mother. He then tries to choke James, who flees the Bates mansion and tells Norma she needs to get help for Norman right away. James is later kidnapped by Bob and tortured into revealing Norma’s family secrets. Bob then reveals that info to Romero, including Norma’s confession that Norman killed his own father. When Romero confronts Norma and she lies to him about the death of her husband, Romero says their friendship is done. They later make up when she admits the truth, and he tells her the DEA is investigating Bob. Romero later lures Bob to his getaway boat and kills him.

Dylan and Caleb nearly get themselves killed doing an ill-fated gun run to Canada for Chick (Ryan Hurst), their ex-con neighbor. Caleb beats Chick and makes sure he pays them for their effort. He gives the money to Dylan and leaves town again. Dylan gives the money to Emma’s dad to pay for the lung transplant they hope will save her life. Dylan and Emma later share their first kiss, and he tells her she is the strongest woman he’s ever met when she shares her fears about her body rejecting the transplant.

Key Moments for Norman:

— Norman finds out Bradley has returned to town. She’s angry her mother has moved on with her life and Norman’s had a fight with Norma about his possible institutionalization, so they decide to run away together. Norma knocks Norman out, however, and puts him in the basement of their home.

— Norman escapes and drives off with Bradley. He has another spell, which makes him think Norma is in the car with them. “Norma” wants to talk to Bradley, so “she” drags Bradley out of the car, and kills her by beating her head against a rock. “Mother, what have you done?” Norman-as-Norma yells, before he rolls Bradley and her car into the bay.

Must-See Episode: “Norma Louise.” The midseason episode finds Norman freaking out about Norma’s departure from town, which leads to our first peek at Norman-as-Norma in Norma’s clothes. Dylan finds Norman in the kitchen, wearing Norma’s robe and completely having adopted her personality while he cooks breakfast.

Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) weds Norma. (Photo: A&E)

Season 4
The drama’s penultimate season is its best so far. The biggest spoiler: Norma dies, or rather, is killed, by Norman, as part of his only semi-successful suicide/murder plot. Norma does find true love and brief happiness before her death. She and Romero get married, initially so she would have health insurance to admit Norman to a mental hospital, but their slow-burning feelings for each other turn the friendship into a real romance.

Chick, eager to get revenge against Caleb for beating him, befriends Norma and eventually figures out that Caleb is her brother and father of Dylan. He threatens to reveal that info to Romero unless Norma tells him where Caleb is. Norma considers it, knowing it would mean her brother’s death, but eventually tells Chick to do whatever he wants to her. She tells Romero about Caleb and Dylan herself, expecting him to leave her, but he doesn’t, and their connection deepens, leaving Romero heartbroken — and thirsty for revenge against his stepson — after Norma’s shocking death.

Key Moments for Norman:

— The season begins with a local farmer finding him in a field sometime after his murder of Bradley, and he’s taken to the county psychiatric hospital, which holds him for 48 hours and scolds Norma for neglecting to get Norman treatment for his blackouts.

— Norman, back home and in full Norma persona, strangles Audrey (Karina Logue), Emma’s estranged mother, as he berates her for leaving Emma and causing her so much pain. Dylan later finds a letter Audrey had brought for Norman to give Emma, as well as Audrey’s earring. When Dylan confronts Norma about it, she tells him he’s jealous of her closeness with Norman. He’s hurt, and worried for Norma’s safety, but it gives him the emotional freedom to break away from his mother and brother and move to Seattle with Emma. The next day, Norman can’t remember what happened, but he has brief moments of seeing Norma killing Audrey and hiding her body in the freezer. When he accuses Norma of it, she knows it means he killed and froze Audrey, and she becomes truly fearful of Norman.

— Romero goes to Pineview with enough cash to pay for Norman to be admitted, but Norman has to sign the consent forms himself because he is 18. The forms are faxed to Norma, but Norman finds them first and freaks out. He hallucinates his dead father telling him that Norma is really the one who killed him, not Norman, and that Norma is trying to set him up as being a murderer. Norman has Norma’s gun and insinuates the two of them should kill themselves as they’ll never be happy alive. Finally, Norman agrees to sign the papers and he goes to Pineview so he won’t be taken back to the county psych hospital.

— Norman and Julian (Marshall Allman), a fellow young Pineview patient, escape and go to a strip club. When they’re thrown out (just as Norman is about to go into “Norma” mode with a stripper), his psychiatrist, Dr. Edwards (Damon Gupton), comes to pick him up and persuades Norman to let him help him. Edwards figures out that Norman has dissociative identity disorder, and that he adopts his Norma persona during his blackouts. Norman also shares a shocking memory: When he was 7, he hid under his parents’ bed, holding his mother’s hand from the edge, while his father raped her after she tried to leave him.

— While at Pineview, Norman finds a newspaper that has the announcement of Norma and Romero’s wedding. When he calls the Bates house, Norma lies to him about their marriage. His anger leads him to leave Pineview and return home.

— During the latest awkward family dinner, Norman confronts Norma, asking her why it’s OK for her to have found love and entered into this marriage with Romero, when, for his whole life, she’s kept him so close to her that there was no room for him to have a real relationship with a girl.

— Romero pleads with Norma to have Norman committed back to Pineview, and he even secretly meets with Dylan to ask for his support in convincing her. When Dylan mentions this to Norma, she rejects Romero, telling him their relationship is over. She is distraught about the breakup, in front of Norman, and after she writes a breakup letter to return Romero’s mother’s wedding ring to him, she lies down in her bed. Norman lights the house furnace and closes all the vents, intending they’ll both die of carbon-monoxide poisoning. Instead, Romero comes to the house and drags them both out of her room. Norman starts to breathe again. Norma is dead.

— Romero vows vengeance against his stepson, and attacks him during Norma’s funeral. But before he can make any real moves against Norman, Romero is arrested by the DEA for lying to them when he claimed he’d never had a relationship with Rebecca (Jaime Ray Newman), the ex to whom he’d given the key to a safety box in which the late Bob Paris had stashed $3 million.

— Chick arrives at the Bates mansion to offer condolences and a casserole to Norman, and sees Norma’s body on the couch. He calmly tells Norman his mother is dead, and Norman plans to kill himself with Norma’s gun, until he hears music.

Norman carries Norma’s body from her grave (Credit: A&E)

Must-See Episode: “Norman,” the Season 4 finale. Norman, after digging up Norma’s body from her grave, glues her eyes open and imagines she’s still alive with him, celebrating the holidays with music and laughter, in the Bates mansion.

Bates Motel Season 5 premieres Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. on A&E.

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