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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fantasy and Sci-Fi (Once Upon a Time, last week's Fringe, and the return of Being Human)

Fringe - Back to Where You’ve Never Been
After Walter refuses Peter’s request for help returning home, Peter must go to the alternate universe to ask the next best thing…Walternate. We think Peter should have used the argument “if you help me get home, I will be out of your hair and not threatening your fragile sanity” on Walter, but apparently geniuses sometimes fail at basic persuasion skills? We find out that Walternate is not behind the shapeshifters being sent to “our world.” September the Observer appears to Olivia after having been shot and tells Olivia that he has been to every possible future, and in all of them, Olivia must die. Eerie. This episodes pacing was better than some Fringe episodes, but we’re not sure about this Peter arc. It still needs to pay off for us, and we wonder if this alternate timeline will be relevant if Peter makes it home. We like this show, but it has serious problems. For one thing, the first half of season one was almost completely unwatchable. For another, we are starting to wonder what the point is and where it's all going. We still want to know though. 
Episode grade: B-

Once Upon a Time - True North
Storybrooke: Nicholas and Ava are living on their own, stealing food from local stores, because their mother passed away and they don’t want to be separated in foster care. Emma will not stop until she finds their biological father and gets him to take custody. She succeeds! Emma was the least annoying she has ever been in this episode, and we think it has to do with the fact that she got a new outfit. It looks so good and so much less tacky. In the fairy world, Nicholas and Ava were Hansel and Gretel. The Evil Queen separated the twins from their father in order to get them to steal the poisoned apple from another witch…the one living in the candy house. Hansel is an idiot and never speaks, but he almost ruins the plan and gets himself eaten. Gretel saves everything and is both honest and capable.

Hansel and Gretel are not reunited with their father at the end of the episode and must search for him, with the help of a compass he gave them. At the end of the episode, Emma and Henry see a stranger ride his motorcycle into town. He is the first newcomer, other than Emma, to come into the enchanted area. Things are changing since Emma arrived…. We wonder who he is (Henry's dad? Sheriff Graham reincarnated?) and if he has any connection to the fairytale world. We usually aren’t fans of anything with multiple child actors, but this episode worked, in a family-friendly way. We felt for the twins and started to like Emma more, which is good, since she’s the main character.
Episode grade: B

Being Human - Turn this Mother Out
Aidan is taking care of Bishop’s followers by feeding them blood packets, much to Josh’s annoyance. Aidan is waiting for Mother, the vampire queen, to arrive in town and give orders. Nora, Josh’s girlfriend, moves into the house and secretly fears that she is going to turn into a werewolf soon, since she was scratched about a month ago. Nora questions Josh about what it’s like to turn furry while trying to keep her secret fears from him. Sally attends her high school reunion and gets stronger/more able to move things around the house. Sally also finds out that she is able to dream, even though she is dead. She has a freaky dream. We wonder if that will turn into anything.

When Mother arrives, she decides that Bishop’s “orphans” are to be killed. She names her own daughter, who sounds crazypants, as head of Boston, and she orders Aidan to be her second-in-command. Aidan now has to assist “Daughter” in return for freedom from the council, as promised by Mother. What are the chances she intends to keep her word? Aidan is forced to kill some of Bishop’s turn-ees in order to prove his loyalty to Mother. Mother orders Josh shot and killed by council members so that Aidan is not distracted from his duties. The night of the full moon, both Josh and Nora turn into werewolves. Josh is shot by the vampire Heggeman. Everything ends on that cliffhanger.

We are enthused to have this show back. Mother is a great new villain! We can't wait to meet her possibly unstable daughter. Our hearts lie with Josh, but our interests lie in Aidan’s doings. If they could make Sally’s ghost life scarier, as it has been a little creepy in the past and it was eerie in the dream, the show would be perfect on all three fronts. This show is by far more interesting than its premise would have you believe. The season two opener was action-packed and decently emotional. We love all three main characters. There wasn't a moment that was not entertaining. What more could you want? Maybe a love interest for Aidan that pulls the heartstrings? Can this show do romance? We'd like to see it try. 
Episode grade: A

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