Thursday, August 6, 2020

Altered Carbon - Nightmare Alley

With Takeshi Kovacs (Anthony Mackie) falling into the hands of his enemies, who still believe him to be the assassin they are after, "Nightmare Alley" provides the opportunity for the season's torture episode. After identifying as Kovacs, our hero is sentenced to death in the Circle where warriors in sleeves of his closest friends are sent to kill him in the middle of an arena. Helping to tilt the odds against Kovacs, Carrera (Torben Liebrecht) pumps our protagonist full of drugs prior to sending him into battle. The structure of the episode allows for supporting characters from the show's First Season to return as Ato Essandoh, Martha Higareda, and Dichen Lachman all return as the sleeves of killers out to win the big prize. Quellcrist Falconer (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is meant to be the fourth killer, but the real one shows up adding extra drama to the night's proceedings.

Cursed - Nimue / Cursed

Based on Frank Miller's re-imagining of the King Arthur legend through the eyes of the girl who would become the Lady in the Lake, the first two episodes of Cursed introduce us to the outcast witch Nimue (Katherine Langford) who is scorned by her village for believing she was cursed as a child (a sequence shown in flashbacks in the second episode of the series). The maurading of Christian zealots known as the Red Paladins, out to destroy the Fey (all magical and non-Christian souls), leads to the destruction of Nimue's village, the death of her mother (Catherine Walker), and a destiny entrusted to her to see a sword delivered to Merlin (Gustaf Skarsgård). I've seen both better and worse versions of the King Arthur legend, but, despite the slow moving first episode (and her inexplicable sudden control of a sword), I do like Langford in the role of the series' lead.

Batman: The Adventures Continue #9

The tale of Jason Todd begins here. Batman's second partner was skipped over in the Batman: The Animated Series run which featured Dick Grayson in the role at the series outset and Tim Drake in the relaunch of the show. Todd was a controversial character in comics, likely why the series chose to ignore him, but after teasing us with the character lurking in the shadows for several issues Batman: The Adventures Continue #9 finally gets things started when Todd's stakeout of the Joker ends poorly leaving evidence for Batman to discover that his fallen protege has returned (although no word yet on how the comic will explain those events).

Tara Strong - Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time

Tara Strong discusses voicing Ashi in the new video game Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Locke & Key - Trapper/Keeper

The second episode of the series centers mostly around the family settling in to their new surroundings. In one of the episode's best scenes, Kinsey (Emilia Jones) has another freak-out with Scot (Petrice Jones) and his friends when shooting a scene for their homemade movie triggers flashbacks to her father's death. Nina (Darby Stanchfield) meets a childhood friend of Randall's (Bill Heck) and learns about a tragedy which he never spoke about and Duncan (Aaron Ashmore) doesn't seem to remember (making it seem very key related, despite the official story of a drowning). Tyler (Connor Jessup) faces some temptation in trying to fit in with a new crowd and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) gets a return visit from his Echo (Laysla De Oliveira) who is enjoying the use of the Anywhere Key.