I’m not a zealous fan boy of the Marvel movies. I’ve watched many of them and liked most of them but was never overly rabid for each release like say I am with Game Of Thrones, Mad Men or Breaking Bad. But my favorites have been The Avenger films plus The Captain America Civil War installment. These films are incredibly entertaining and the conflicts and consequences are bigger than in the stand alone films.
Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of this chapter of Marvel films that started with Iron Man in 2008. It is filled with cameos from almost everyone that has been in the 22 films to date. How could this possibly be? Two things: It’s over three hours long and time travel. It’s very cleverly done and it’s a thrill to watch. Marvel films always have lots of humor in them but this one is very very funny especially Chris Hemsworth’s Thor who gets the biggest laughs. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner all get moments to shine. Brie Larsen, Scarlet Johansen have big hero moments and Mark Rufaflo is delightful as a whole new and funny version of The Hulk.
Much like the final season episodes of Game Of Thrones, Endgame is filled with great moments and interactions between characters that have never met each other before. The finale is amazing, exciting and everything a fan could hope for. And, I admit, I shed some tears.
This is a very well written (Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely) action film and all the actors deliver. I especially was impressed with the opening and closing sequences. The more opens with Hawkeye and his family having a picnic, a very personal, quiet moment. It closes with another quiet, personal sequence that was very unexpected and emotionally satisfying. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have done a wonderful job bringing this part of the series to a spectacular conclusion.
We’ve all heard of the term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. It’s a psychiatric theory that posits that hostages may bond with their kidnappers due to the point of taking their side and defending them under extreme circumstances. Well Stockholm, the film, is the story about the incident the that this theory derived from.
In 1973, parolee Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke), enters a bank, not to rob it but to force the release of his friend Gunner Sorensen (Mark Strong). He allows almost everyone to leave except two women and one man. What follows is unbelievable if it weren’t true. He obviously had no idea what he’s doing and he forms a strong bond with one of the women hostages, Bianca (Noomi Rapace). Tensions rise the longer they hold out and the authorities work their way in.
There is plenty of stupidity on both sides. The cops are truly befuddled by the actions not only of the kidnappers but the hostages. The siege lasts 5 days and would have been over sooner if the hostages did not sympathize with their captors and decided to help them make their escape.
It is really an entertaining film that is mostly comical and good natured. It ends rather abruptly though and not altogether satisfactory but the all out performances by Hawke and Rapace propel Stockholm into a nice surprise of a movie.
Jordan Peele has crafted a pure horror film that’s creepy and still has a sense of humor much like Get Out but without the clear political dimension. The end reminded me of an M Night Shymalan ending and that isn’t a knock. I’m a Shymalan fan. People may have questions about various things, the rabbits, why do they talk weird, etc., but while other films might need to explain things, a horror film does not. The unknown is part of the horror. People can theorize on their own, that’s part of the fun.
Us is a straight up horror film. The film opens with a young couple and their young daughter enjoying the Santa Cruz beach amusement park. The girl wanders off and ends up in the ‘Fun House’, the hall of crazy mirrors. What happens there is the linchpin for the film.
In the present day the little girl, all grown up into the lovely Lupita Nyong’o, and her family wind up vacationing in Santa Cruz and are visited by a very unwelcome group that look just like them only much scarier. And I’ll be honest, I did not see that ending coming!
It makes sense that Peele has resurrected The Twilight Zone series once more because Us plays like a longer version of a Zone episode (Think the hour long episodes that made up the fourth season). The photography is beautiful and there are good supporting performances from Winston Duke (Black panther), Elisabeth Moss and the two child actors Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex but it’s Nyong’o’s go for broke performance that ignites the film into another level.
“Everything you did brought you to where you are now. Where you belong. Home” Bran to Theon
Well, I guessed it right! Aya killed The Night King! It was a good guess but an educated one. It would have been too obvious for Jon and Dany to have done it and Arya has been training to be an assassin for many years now. But what really tipped me off was rewetting the show and seeing the episode in Season Three when Mellisandre took Gendry and Arya confronted her. She said, There is much darkness in you. I see eyes staring back at me, brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes. Eyes that you will shut forever. We’ll meet again” Sure enough they did and Mellisandre said the same line to her, Arya knew what she had to do. What she was destined to do.
This was a great episode! It had me on the edge of my seat and screaming at the screen! Sure it was dark. It was the dead of night! How could anyone have survived? Impossible but so what? If episode 3 was this good what how good will the next three episodes be?
The episode opens slowly, everyone doing their last minute prep. We see Theon and the iron born escorting Bran to the godswoods. Alice Carstark is with them so I am assuming she dies in the battle along with all these people including brave Theon. I was surprised Sam joined the battle. I thought he would be in the Crypt but good for him1 Jon and Dany fly up on the hill so they could overlook the battlefield like the generals they are. And then we see Mellisandre. Wow. That was a surprise. She has Jorah instruct the Dothraki to lift their swords and Mellisabdre does an incantation and sets them all on fire. Jonah and Ghost lead the charge and the Dothraki follow. They disappear in the horizon but when they come face to face with the horde of dead you could see the fear on their faces. The Dothraki are scared! The others watch as all those burning swords dance around like fireflies until one by one they are all extinguished. Wonderful scene. A few horses return along with some Dothraki on foot and Jorah. No Ghost. We don’t see him die but probably so.
“There’s no need to execute me Ser Davos. I’ll be dead before the dawn” Meliisandre tells Davos.
Then the whole dead army attack. It is so overwhelming. Aya tells Sansa to go to the Crpt and hands her a dragon glass dagger. Dany breaks with the plan and gets on Drogon to start helping and Jon gets on Rhaegal. They start carpet bombing the dead but there are so many it barely makes a dent. Jon has an idea and heads straight for the White Walkers on horseback but before he can take them out the storm comes and we know The Night King has arrived.
We see all out heroes fighting valiantly and we get our first death. Dolorous Edd. He saves Sam and gets it in the back. Sam watches in horror and then turns and runs! Sansa enters the Crupt and everyone looks at her as if saying “How’s it going up there?”. She looks at Tryion and by the look on her face he knows it’s bad and starts drinking.
The troops retreat to the castle. The Unsullied protect the retreat, Jon and Dany crash into each other up in the sky unable to see through the ice storm. Some of the Unsullied make it in but Grey Worm has to make a call and yells for the trench to be lit. He collapses the bridge condemning the rest of the Unsullied to sure death. The trench doesn’t light. Dany was supposed to do it but she’s still flying blind. Good thing Mellisandre is there! She starts praying but it the fire doesn’t start. It takes a long time! Wrong incantation? Finally, it works! The wood in the trenches are set ablaze. The dead, eerily just stop and wait for further orders.
“It’s the most heroic thing to do now, look the truth in the face.” Sansa
Then NK sends the command and the wights start falling into the trench making a pathway for the others to follow. “Man the walls!” Our heroes take positions on the wall and do the best they can but they get swamped. It’s great to see Jamie and Brienne saving each other and fighting side by side. We also get to see Arya kicking some serious ass while her theme music plays and Davos watches in wonder. Then the giant busted through the gate. Little Lyanna Mormont gets swatted away like toy. She is a warrior though. She picks up a weapon and gives her battle cry and attacks . The giant picks her and starts crushing her and with her last breath she stabs it in the eye! They both come crashing down in a heap. I’ll admit, this got to me. Tears were shed.
The Hound starts to give up. “We’re fighting death. You can’t beat death” But when he sees Arya in trouble he springs into action and Beric follows. Aya finds herself in a pickle in the library. The dead are just roaming around like they’re looking for a good read. She manages to get out of that room but soon finds herself being chased through the hallways. The Hound and Beric come to her rescue. Beric is mortally wounded but manages to stay with them to momentary safety. He dies as Arya looks on compassionately. Waiting for them, it seemed, was Mellisandre. She said they’d meet again and they have. She reminds Arya of what she saw in her eyes al those years ago. Arya knows what she has to do.
“What do we say to the god of Death? Not today”
The wights start attacking the godswoods and Theon and his men battle while up in the sky we have a dragon battle. NK falls of Visierion. Jon crash lands and rolls off Rhaegal. Rhaegal may not be dead but sure looks injured. Dany targets NK and lights him up but it turns out NK cannot be killed b y dragon fire. If he is a Targaryen that would make sense, with NK on the ground Jon sets his sights on him but before he can reach him. NK does what he did at the end of Hardhome. He lifts his hands and brings all the newly dead back. Jon is surrounded. NK heads for Bran and all the White Walkers enter the castle,
Dany comes to Jon’s rescue and allows him to try to get to Bran but Drogon gets attacked by wights and Dany falls off while Drogon takes flight to try and shake them all off. Good thing Jorah always knows where she is and he comes to protect her. Things start looking really bad for everyone and to top it all off, as we suspected, the dead Starks in the Crypt start bursting out of their coffins, All hell breaks loose down there.
Cue the sad music. We start to think they’ve lost. Jon cannot reach Bran. Viserion has blocked the way. Bran, who had warned into his crows at the start of the battle finally returns to his body to tell Theon that he’s a ‘good man’ and to thank him before Theon makes his suicide run at NK. Then, one of the white walkers feels a rush of air, his long stringy hair russles a little. NK approaches Bran in slo mo and just as he reaches back for his spear we see a figure appear in the top of the frame. It’s Arya, flying through the air, Valerian steel dagger in her hand. NK quickly turns and catches her by the throat but Arya drops the dagger and catches it with her right hand and stabs NK right in the spot where he was stabbed thousands of years ago when he was turned into NK. He immediately shatters into a millions pieces! The White Walkers dissolve in an explosion of ice! Viserion crumbles in a mess of dead flesh! All the wights immediately collapse in a heap of death. It’s over! The living have won! But perhaps the biggest loss of all was being mourned on the battlefield. Jonah dies in Dany’s arms. He died doing the only thing he wanted to do for the woman he loved. he protected her to his last breath. Dany wails over his body as Drogon flies in and wraps himself around them and also mourns with his momma.
The last scene was interesting. The Hound and Mellisandre exit the castle and into the quiet. She walks out of the castle and past piles and piles of bodies. Davos appears ready to strike her down but he doesn’t. He watches her walk out into the new dawn, removing her magical necklace, throwing off her coat. She starts to revert to her actual form, her long red hair changes to white and she crumbles to the ground. The final death of The Long Night.
I loved Sansa and Tyrion’s interactions in the Crypt. he always admired her and she him.
“Maybe we should have stayed married” Tyrion
“You were the best of them” Sansa
“What a terrifying thought!” Tyrion
The looks they gave each other when they thought they were goners were touching. Maybe they have a future.
Jon Snow has never been much of a tactician. Sansa saved his ass in the Battle of the Bastards and here Arya saves his ass by taking out NK. Maybe he can take out Cersei?
Look, I’m happy that our heroes didn’t suffer as many losses as we all feared but how in the world did Sam and Davos survive?
How many troops do Jon and Dany have left? Even with two surviving dragons they definitely do not have enough of an army to take King’s Landing. Dany may now want to burn it all down with the dragons and Jon is going to be against it.
Also, Sansa will be against sending any ’Northerners’ South to fight for Dany. why should she? The North is now safe, Cersei should be forced to march North if she wants.
I love that my friend Charlotte, once the war was won, immediately thought about the clean up job that was going to be needed. What are you going to do with all those dead bodies?? Winter fell will definitely need a paint job!
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Cersei will die in child birth.
2 Yara will kill Euron.
3 The Hound kills The Mountain.
4 Arya and Gentry are going to take things to the next level.
5 Theories going around that Arya could be Azor Ahia, I don’t think so. I think it’s still Jon.
“The things we do for love”
If this was your last night on Earth what would you do and who would you spend it with? Things are moving fast even though the army of the dead does not. There is no time to waste in these last six episodes and Episode 2 is the calm before the storm but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any fireworks.
Jamie stands before Dany, Jon and Sansa. Dany wants to punish him for killing her father. Jamie tells them that Cersei is not sending her army to help and has brought in the Golden Company to fight for her should any of them survive. Dany is not only furious with Jamie but also with Tyrion. It looks like Sansa agrees with Dany until Brienne steps up and vouches for Jamie. Sansa is persuaded to let him stay and Dany looks at her with such venom! When she turns to “the warden of the North” Jon simply says “We need every man we can get”. So Dany reluctantly agrees to allow him to stay but she dresses down Tyrion and alludes to changing Hands and looks at Jorah. In private, Jorah defends Tyrion and advises she forgive him his mistakes. He also advises her to reach out to Lady Sansa. They need to be on the same team.
SANSA AND DANY
“He never should have trusted Cersei.” Dany
“You shouldn’t have either.” Sansa
Dany does a good job of finding common ground with her and assuring her that she loves Jon and even though her main desire is to win the Iron Throne here she was, in the North fighting Jon’s war. Sansa seems to accept Dany’s sincerity but she doesn’t lose sight of what she desire. “What happens afterwards?” she asks. Her desire is that the North be free and independent. “What about the North”
Dany turns cold and doesn’t asnswer but we know the answer. She must have complete control of the Seven Kingdoms. Their little talk gets interrupted when Theon Greyjoy arrives. He bends the knee to Dany but asks Sansa’s permission to fight for Winterfell. Sansa starts crying and rushes to hug Theon. Dany watches and you can see that she is threatened. Sansa is the one that people love and will follow not her.
BRAN AND JAMIE
“How do you know there is an afterwards?” Bran
Jamie apologizes to Bran but Bran isn’t Bran anymore so he’s not angry. But what should we make of Bran’s quote? Is he saying that Jamie won’t survive the battle or that none of them do.
TYRION AND JAMIE
”So, I’m going to die at Winterfell” Tyrion
The brothers reunited! Jamie confirms that Cersei is pregnant. Tyron says something interesting. He says “Maybe once I’m dead I’ll return to King’s Landing and rip Her (Cersei) apart”. In the prophesy, Cersei is told that she will be killed by the Valonqar which means ‘little brother’. Nothing is said without a reason.
JAMIE AND BRIENNE
“I’m not the fighter I used to be” Jamie
Jamie goes to Brienne and asks if she would allow him to fight with her on the left flank. She agrees. So much is said between them with just their eyes. So much has passed between them and I think she loves him and if not love, he deeply admires and respects her.
THE LAST ARRIVALS
“Whoever is not here now is with them” Tormand
Tornado, Beric and Edd arrive at Winterfell but before Jon can hit Edd he’s tackled by Tormand. “My little crow”, Tormand calls him affectionately. Tornado tells Jon that the Night King is on the way and that they found House Umber destroyed and they all now fight for the dead, They have only until morning before the dead arrive.
Ser Davos is serving up soup and instructing as many able bodied people as possible to arms themselves and ready for the battle. A little girl comes up to him, half her face covered with scars and says that her brothers were fighters and that she wants to fight. Gill comes along and says she and her son will ne in the Crypt and they’d feel much safer if she were there to protect them. The little girl agrees to protect the Crypt. Davos clearly sees Shireen in this little girl.
Grey Worm tells Missendei that after Dany is on the Iron Throne he will take her where she wants to go which is back to her homeland. She wants to see the beach again.
THE WAR COUNCIL
“An endless night” what Bran says the Night King wants
Jon’s plan is to kill the Night King (Duh!) and the rest of the army of the dead should fall. But how to get close to him? Bran offers to be bait. The Night King has marked him and has tried to kill him and other Three Eyed Ravens before. He wants to destroy this world and by killing the Three Eyed raven he destroys all the knowledge of the past with him.
“That’s what death is, forgetting and being forgotten” Sam
Then offers to stay with Bran to protect him along with the iron born that came with him. Jon tells everyone to get some rest and as everyone shuffles off he simply addresses Dany with a short “Your grace” and leaves. Dany is confused but she won’t be for long.
When the room clears Tyrion pulls up a chair and asks Bran to tell him his story. I wonder if he told him anything that could be useful later?
Jon, Edd and Sam and Ghiost meet up on the Winterfell ramparts and think about those brothers they lost and how they are the only ones left. Jon tells Sam he should go to the Crypts with Gilly and littlle Sam, to protect them. Sam reminds them he was the first to kill a white walker.
“Samwell Tarly. Slayer of White Walkers. Lover of ladies. As if we needed any more reason to know the world is ending.” Edd
ARYA AND GENDRY
Who would have guessed that there would be so much heat generated between Arya and Gentry! She watches him at work as steam literally fills up the screen. She wants to know if he’s made her weapon but he hasn’t. She then proceeds to demonstrate her talent for tossing dragon glass knives like darts perfectly spaced which impresses Gentry.
“I’ll get right on it” Gendry hops to.
Arya finds the Hound and questions why he’s there. “When was the last time you fought for anyone but yourself?” she asks. “I fought for you, didn’t I?” he answers. Look they care for each other, no question. I hope they both make it through the battle. I’d like to see them both acknowledge it. Brice shows up and spoils the mood. Aya decides she has better things to do and somebody else she’d like to spend her final hours with.
Later in the episode, Gentry is seen lurking about while Arya practices her archery. He has brought her the weapon she wanted, a spear with dragon glass point.
“We’re going to die soon . I want to know what it’s like before that happens.” Ayra
Before Gendry can say a word Arya kisses him and before you know it they are frantically taking each other’s clothes off. Aya shoves him onto some sacks of rice or something and tells him to take his pants off. She takes off her shirt and Gendry sees the large scars she has across her back and stomach, thanks to The Waif, mainly. Then they get down to business. Totally surprised but happy for both of them. It’s about time Arya enjoyed something other than revenge and killing plus what else should you do on what may be your last night on Earh.
“I killed a giant when I was ten then I climbed right into bed with his wife. When she woke up do You know what she did? Suckled me at her teat for three month’s. She thought I was a baby. That’s how I so strong. Giant’s milk.” Tormand
Oh my God! I never laughed so hard, especially watching Game of Thrones!
This little gathering started with just Tyrion and Jamie drinking by the fire then are joined by Brienne and Pod. See Davos and Tormand quickly follow. Davos is just looking to warm up by the fire and Tormand brought his own horn of whatever it is he drinks, spoiled goat’s milk? He tried to impress Brienne with that story about the giant and then downs some of what was in his horn, the rest dribbles down his beard.
Tyrion says he thinks they’ll all survive which makes Davos laugh but Tyrion has a point. They’ve all survived great battles in the past, why not another? The fact that Brienne is not a knight is brought up which shocks Tormand. Women aren’t allowed to be knights because of tradition. “Fuck tradition” he says. Then Jamie says you don’t need a king to make you a knight, another knight can do it. He draws his sword and calls Brienne over. At first, she chuckles but Jamie persists. She then gets up, goes over to Jamie and kneels. Jamie says the words and touches her shoulder with his sword and makes the decree.
“Arise, Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” – Jaime
The others start applauding and Brienne staynds before them and flashes a huge smile. I can hardly remember her smiling before and if so, never this wide. It was a wonderful, touching moment. It makes me worry about her safety in the next episode
Outside Sam tentatively approaches as Jorah and Lyanna Mormont arguing. He wants her to go to safety in the Crypt but she refuses. She wants to fight. He has to acquiesce to her decision. “I wish you good fortune, cousin” she turns and says to him. Sam approaches Jorah and presents him with Heartsbane, the Tarley family sword.
“You still have a family” Jorah tells him.
But Sam knows it would do mote good in the hands of a warrior. It’s another touching moment in an episode overflowing with them.
JON AND DANY
“If that were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen. You’d have claim to the Iron Throne.” – Dany to Jon
After having avoided her all episode Dany finally had Jon cornered in the Crypt as Jon stood in front of the statue of his mother, Lyanna Stark. Dany recalls how she was always told that her brother Rhaegar was a kind man who loved to sing and give money to poor kids but yet still rsaped Lyanna. Jon corrects her. “He didn’t. He loved her.” Jon proceeds to tell her the story, his story. “My name, my real name is Agon Targaryen.” Dany, visibly shaken, moves away from him. She questions how this could be possible and that the information has been provided by his brother and best friend. But Jon is convinced that it’s true. Dany knows what this means. There is no talk about them, their relationship, their love, none of that. She’s thinking he is going to keep me from sitting on the Iron Throne. Before anything more can be said, the horns starting blaring. They meet Tyrion on the ramparts and know that the time has come. The dead are here. We see the white walkers lined up across the snowy landscape as they eye the only source of light in the distance. Winter fell
“We’re all going to die but I’ll least we’ll die together” Tormand says as he looks lovingly at Brienne. I’m worried about how this battle is going to go. This whole episode is so moving and tender and filled with melancholy. I fear they weill lose this battle. But I don’t know how they stop the dead if they lose at Winterfell. This would mean that the Night King will make his way to King’s Landing and another battle would occur there. The only way out would be to kill The Night King somehow.
“I’m not spending my final hours with you two miserable shits” Arya to The Hound and Beric.
“Is the big woman still here?” Tormand
Grey Worm and Missendei kiss goodbye. Gulp.
The song that Pod sings and is heard through the closing credits is Jenny Of Oldstones. It’s performed by Florence and The Machine in the closing credits.
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Grey Worm is going to die. Never make plans for the future before a big battle.
2 Daenerys is turning into the Mad Queen
3 Arya will kill The Night King
4 Ghost will sacrifice himself to save Jon
5 Many will die in the next episode. Grey Worm, Beric Donderrion, Tormand, Theon, Lyanna Mormont, Ser Vavos to name a few.
Why do a remake? Why not? Some people thought the original was cheesy. I thought it was fun , comic book, gothic horror like Creepshow. It also scared the shIt out of me! I was really traumatized after watching it. It haunted me. Especially the wife’s sister that had spinal meningitis. I’ll never get those images out of my mind.
The original came out in 1989 and at that time I worked for a multi screened movie theater in a mall in Montclair, California. My friend and I went to a late show and it was after midnight when we got out. The gigantic parking lot was mostly empty and he and were both a little freaked out. Then as we got to our car we heard a noise behind us. “It’s Gage.” I said to him as we both turned to see a midget standing before us. We both jumped and gave audible groans. The poor man was looking at us with disgust but it had nothing to do with him. We honestly thought for a second it was Gage!!!
As for the new version, directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmeyer, it changes things up a bit but stays true to the story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver the creepiness or the scares of the original. The story you probably already know. A doctor brings his family to a small town in Maine where he’s got a new job. The new house is near a bust highway where 16 wheelers buzz through at high speeds and the back of their property extends very far back to include a pet cemetery and a stretch of land beyond the cemetery they has dark magic. If you bury something there they come back. But not the same. Really different. Like scary, creepy different. A series of bad decisions follow.
Jason Clark and Amy Seimetz ate fine as the parents and John Lithgow is solid as their neighbor and doom predictor, Jud , but damn if Fred Gwynn in the original wasn’t just great! Lithgow decided against doing the Pepperidge Farm Maine accent and I missed it. “sometimes dead is better” just sounds better with the accent!
The production value is good but it lacked the supernatural aspect. The lead up was missing the tension required to really bring the scares. Maybe some of the changes they made also watered down the horror aspect. Whatever the reasons, the new Pet Sematery just didn’t land it’s punches.
“Winterfell is yours, your grace.” Sansa to Daenerys
After a long wait the first episode of the final season has finally come! It’s filled with delicious moments that fans have been waiting and hoping for. It also includes many call backs to the very first episode. As in the first episode, Winterfell is receiving guests. This time it’s a different King and Queen. Daenerys and Jon and their armies come marching down the street into Winterfell. We see a young boy scampering around trying to get a good view just as Arya did in that very first episode. We see Arya standing by the road with everyone else. She sees Jon! She also sees The Hound who she thought was dead. Is she happy to see him? We can’t tell. We definitely see she is happy to see Gendry. She can’t help but give a little smile when she gets her first glimpse of the dragons. Sansa sees only a threat..
Jon sees Bran for the first time since season one and is overjoyed. Bran is less so. There are several good reactions to Bran’s new oddness throughout. Jon asks where Arya is.
“Lurking somewhere”, Sansa tells him.
Sansa is not impressed with Daenerys. If looks could kill. The Northerners are also displeased with Jon bending the knee and telling everyone Daenerys is their queen.
“We don’t have time for all this. The Night King has your dragon. It;s one of them now. The Wall has fallen. The dead march on Winterfell.“ Bran interjects.
Jon faces dissent at the Winterfell town hall meeting. Even young Lady Lyanna Mormont voices her displeasure. Tyron tries to bolster him but to no avail. Sansa and Daenerys exchange icy glances.
“What do dragons eat anyway?” Sansa
“Whatever they want” Daenerys
Jon finally is reunited with Arya by the weirwood tree. It’s joyous! He’s pleased that she still has Needle and he lets her hold Longclaw. “Jealous?” he kids her. He wishes she was around earlier to help with Sansa.
“I’m defending my family, so is she (Sansa)” Area
“I’m her family, too” Jon
“Don’t forget that” Arya
Sansa is reunited with her first ex-husband, Tyrion.
“The last time we spoke was at Joffrey’s wedding. A miserable affair” Tyrion
“It had its moments” Sansa
He tells her that Cersei is bringing her army Notth to help fight the dead but Sansa doesn’t believe it for one moment. “I used to think you were the most clever man there was” she tells him and then walks off. Sansa is not suffering fools easily this season.
“I have bad news your grace. The dead have broken through the wall.” Qyburn
Back in King’s Landing, Euron still has Yara captive. She’s family after all and who else could he talk to all alone the high seas? Euron has returned with the mercenary group, The Golden Company, 20 thousand strong. The brought horses but no elephants which really disappoints her. Euron continues to try to get in Cerise’s bed and she keeps putting him off but this time she relents and gives Euron what he wants.
We get to see Bron about to bed three women who can only talk about the dragon and the men they knew who were killed or maimed. Bro just wants to get laid! The Qyburn walks in with a message from Cersei. She wants Bron to kill Jamie and Tyrion if by chance they survive to return to King’s Landing. She even provides a crossbow for him to use, the same as Tyrion used to kill his father.
Then makes his rescue of Yara who promptly head butts him, for not fighting harder when Euron took her. But she helps him up and off they sail back to The Iron Islands. If things go bad for Daenerys and Jon they will need a place to retreat to where the dead can’t reach them, so what better place then The Iron islands. He wants to go to Winterfell to fight for the Starks and she tells him to go.
Davos speaks with Tyrion and Varys about what to do to get the Northerners to trust Daenerys. he proposes she marry Jon who is much respected and trusted. Deanerys complains to Jon about Sansa who she can tell doesn’t like her, I mean, it’s pretty obvious.
“She doesn’t need to be my friend but I am her queen. If she can’t respect me…..” Deanerys tells Jon before they interrupted by a Dothraki who tells her that the dragons are not eating enough. What is she saying? That she would execute her? No, Jon won’t let that happen, right?
Deanerys and Jon go to visit the dragons and she gets him to agree to go for a ride. His first ride on a dragon1 We’ve been wanting to see this for a while now.
Gendry makes The Hound a huge axe out of dragon glass. He starts in on him when Arya appears and tells hi tho lay off.
“You’re a cold little bitch, aren’t you? Guess that’s why you’re still alive” The Hound says to Arya before he walks off. It’s obvious he respects her. She hands Gendry a drawing of a weapon she wants him to make for her, Whatever it is it could be pivotal in the battle to come. They also did some heavy flirting but there’s not time for that now!
Sansa receives bad news from Lord Glover. He will not be bringing his people to Winterfell. Sansa and Jon fight about Daenerys. The Northerners don’t trust her and neither does Sansa. Then she lowers the boom and asks him, “Did you bend the knee because she would make a good queen or because you love her?” Jon doesn’t answer which is telling. His reasons for abdicating his throne and bending the knee are sound. She has a big army, she has dragons but she offered to help before he bent the knee. he didn’t need to do it to get her help.
Deanerys and Ser Jorah seek out Sam to thank him for saving Jorah’s life. This gets awkward when she realizes she killed Sam’s father and brother. She tells him and incredibly this is the first he’s been told this. Poor Sam is reduced to tears, it’s heartbreaking. I’ve never seen Sam in so much pain.He runs out of there and out into the courtyard where he sees creepy Bran just sitting out there by himself. Bran says “he’s waiting for an old friend”. Bran also tells Sam he needs to tell Jon about who he really is.
Sam finds Jon down in the crypts lighting a candle at his father’s grave. Another reunion! They haven’t seen each other in a while. Sam, still upset about learning of the death of his father and brother, doesn’t mince words and starts telling Jon what he and Bran have discovered. His mother is Lyanna Stark and his real father is Rhagear Targaryen. His name is Agon Targaryen and he is the heir to the throne! Jon is both shocked and angry. His father was the most honorable man he knew and he was lying to him all along. Sam explains that he promised his sister that he would protect him and that Robert would have killed him if he knew he was a Targaryen. Jon bent the knew, Daenerys is Queen. Sam begs to differ. Sam tells Jon that she killed his father and brother and that Jon wouldn’t have. He makes the argument that he would be a better leader.
“That’s treason!” Jon says
“You gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?” Sam to Jon.
Well, looks like Beric and Tormand did not die at east watch. We see them and what’s left of their gang as they approach the Castle go House Umber. Their has been a battle, lots of blood but no bodies. They venture in cautiously and then hear a noise. They prepare for a battle but it turns out to be Edd and what’s left of the Castle Black gang. Eddy leads boric and Tormand into another room and they see poor little Lord Ned Umber splayed on the wall with a lot of severed legs and arms surrounding him to form that familiar spiral design we’ve seen several times before. Then they get an extra scare when little Ned opens his blue eyes and screams. Brice stabs it with his falling sword and sets the whole human body display on fire. This was a warning from the Night King.
The next morning we see a hooded rider arrive at Winterfell. he dismounts and reveals himself to be Jamie Lannister. He turns to see a familiar face. A young man sitting in a chair, staring at him. he suddenly recognizes him. It’s the boy he pushed out a window at the end of the very first episode! It’s creepy Bran! Holy crap!
There was a lot of humor in this episode but don’t expect much humor un the next few episodes.
“You should consider yourself lucky, at least your balls won’t freeze off” Tyrion to Varys
Grey Worm and Missenei get a lot of strange looks from the Northerners. Perhaps the first time they’ve seen brown people?
I love how Jon was bothered that Drogon was giving him the evil eye when he was kissing mom!
Tyron tells Sansa that everyone that has ever underestimated her is dead now. Unfortunately, now it’s Jon that is underestimating her. “Sansa thinks she’s smarter than everyone else” he says to Arya. He is going to be forced to make a decision about which family he is going to choose to defend; Stark or Targaryen. This is going to put him in direct conflict with his aunt/lover.
“Watch out! He’s got blue eyes! Eddy
“I’ve always had blue eyes!!!!” Tormand
I forgot that Jamie is not only facing Bran again but also Dany. He killed her father! What is she going to want to do to him? Jon may have to talk her out of taking vengeance because we’ve already seen that Jamie ends up fighting for them.
There wasn’t a big Brienne scene. I imagine we’ll get one when Tormand arrives at Winterfell in the next episode.
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Bran will warg into Viserion and bring down The Night’s King! But won’t kill him.
2 We will see Dario Naharis return with the Golden Army and fight Ser Jorah.
3 We will see Cleghane Bowl!
4 Cersei will be defeated but won’t die.
5 Sansa will rule the 7 kingdoms with Arya and Bran by her side.
“The Kingdom fell. I should have seen it coming… gotten us out sooner. My people wouldn’t be like this if it weren’t for me.” King Ezekiel
Winter finally came to The Walking Dead! I’m assuming they have experienced Winter and snow before but this storm is unlike anything they ever experienced. Alexandria had a contingy plan, gather in houses with fireplaces but The Kingdom, however, has fallen apart beyond repair and had to be abandoned.
THE JOURNEY TO HILLTOP
“We didn’t agree to those borders. Those borders are hers, not ours.” Carol
King Ezeqiel is in a world of pain. He’s lost Henry. He’s lost his Kingdom. He’s losing Carol. They were so happy for many years but the loss of a child can wreck a relationship and that is what’s happening. They lead their people out of Kingdom and try to make it to Hilltop before the storm gets too bad. Along the way you see how distant they’ve become. Ezekiel looks back and sees Carol with daryl and it drives him to have a private talk with Daryl asking him not to stay at Hilltop with them. Daryl doesn’t say anything and just walks away from him.
Meanwhile Lydia feels like an outcast and everyone, except Daryl, treats her like one. She blames herself for what happened and everyone else blames her. I know she isn’t to blame but she is the cause of the trouble, taking her in. Lydia finds a walker frozen in a pond. She walks out to him, he’s snapping his jaw like a a steel trap! She rolls up her jacket sleeve and is about to let the walker bite her when she turns to see Carol watching her. Carol hardly reacts and just says “Come on”. She was like “is this girl crazy?” and perhaps a part of her would be alright with Lydia doing herself in.
“Every time I look at her all I see is him.” Carol
As the storm worsens they find refuse in the remnants of The sanctuary but supplies are low and if they don’t make it to Hilltop they might die. There’s a way station on the other side of a frozen river but to get there they would have to cross into Alpha’s territory. Ezekiel is against it but in the end they have no choice, they have to try. The river is frozen enough to cross but they encounter walkers buried under the snow and they pop up to say hello! It’s the perfect time for Lydia to go off again and cause a problem. Carol goes after her and when she finds her Lydia begs her to kill her. It seems like Carol considers it but, of course, she doesn’t. She’s not very comforting, however, no hugs of comfort, just another “let’s go” and they rejoin the others.
“Father, not the father” Negan
Megan was giddy! They got him out of the cell and he was hanging with Father Gabriel, Saddiq, Rosita and Eugene, He can’t help but be Negan. He was having fun making fun of their ‘foursome’ love triangle. But no matter how annoying he was he eventually got some smiles out of Gabriel and Eugene.
When the fireplace blows up they have to move and head to Aaron’s house. The storm is so bad they have to travel while being attached to a rope. Then, Judith hears Dog! He promised to take care of Dog for Daryl and he’s been missing since the storm started. Judith takes off into the blizzard after Dog and Negan doesn’t miss a beat and goes off after her. He gets hit by debris and gets a gouge in his leg but he finds Judith and Dog and carries them to safety. Their relationship is really cute. They like each other. He’s like the crazy Uncle who listens and says funny things. Megan sees a lot of carl in Judith, too. She’s smart, feisty and as he calls her ‘special’. When Michonne gets back she goes to see Negan in the infirmary and thanks him.
“I know you have to do this, but I will never stop loving you.” Ezekiel
“And I’ll never regret the fairy tale.” Carol
The King, Carol, daryl et all arrive at Hilltop. They made it! But things just get worse for Ezekiel and Carol. She actually divorces him! She hands him back his ring and says she’s going to Alexandria with Daryl and Michonne. It’s terribly sad.
When Daryl, Michonne and Carol arrive at Alexandria everyone is so happy they proceed to have a big snowball fight! All is right in the world.
We see Alpha and Beta talking about coming back form somewhere. I think they migrated South for the Winter because there was no way they could have survived out in the open during that blizzard. Alpha says they have to get ready for ‘what comes next’ and then Alpha rolls up her sleeves and Beta proceeds to whip her arm. Toughening up!
The final scene we see Ezeiel talking with Judith on the radio that Eugene built so that the communities could communicate with each other. The two of them sign off but the camera lingers on the radio. We hear some static, then a voice, a woman’s voice. Maggie? Jadis? I guess we have to wait until next season!
Angela Kang described that last scene with the voice on the radio was like the extra scenes during the end credits of a Marvel film.
This was;t like other season finales, it was more like how Game of Thrones works where the big episode is the penultimate episode and the finale is set up for the next season. This was very much like that.
I loved how some of the walkers were so frozen you just had to whack their heads off as they stood there motionless.
I’m thinking whoever was on that radio is where Rick is. They have to tie it in to the show that Rick is still out there and that he will eventually reappear before the show ends.
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW ABOUT SEASON 10
1 Negan will slowly be integrated into the Alexandria community and he will be useful when all out war is waged on Alpha and Beta
2 Danai Gurira is leaving the show in the 10th season so I’m assuming they will treat her departure like they did with Lauren Cohan. Explain that she’s elsewhere for awhile. But where? Off to look for Rick?
3 Ezekiel will be the new leader of Hilltop
4 Carol will take Lydia under her wing – Henry loved her, so will she.
5 Carol will cut her hair and revert to the carol we all know and love; the cold warrior!
Season 9 has been a long and fascinating journey. We had two time jumps, met the scariest villain so far and lost our leader Rick Grimes. But the show has remained exciting and interesting and scary. I look forward to Season 10 and more thrills and surprises. Kudos to show runner Angela Kang and Greg Nicotero. I’m also hoping we get to see a Rick Grimes movie before the end of the year! Please! Until next season! Next up: Game of Thrones Final Season!!!
It was 1979, I was thirteen and my brother, Ray, and I wanted to see a taping of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. We drove into Los Angeles but couldn’t get into the show so we decided to go to a movie. We had seen previews for this new sci-fo film called Alien. They didn’t show you much, just an egg sitting on the surface of a planet and then there’s a crack in the egg and a golden light emanates from it. The tag line was “In space no one can hear you scream”.
It had just opened that week and was playing at the Egyptian in Hollywood. We were very early for the next screening so we sat in the lobby and looked at the large models on display that were used in the film. A model of the spaceship Nostromo and a huge model of the “space jockey” as it would become known, some kind of creature sitting in some kind of gun turret with a projectile pointed skyward. My brother and I tried to make sense of it but couldn’t. All we could hear coming from theater was a constant rumbling of sound. It was very unsettling.
We finally got in, got seats and the movie began. It was really slow at the start. The crew gets awakened by the computer, they awaken slowly and they sit down to eat and they were all talking at once, very disorienting. There was a lot of noise in the background and the sets were crowded and filled with pipes and corridors as if you were inside a machine. It took a while before they land on the planet, some kind of distress signal draws them there. At one point my brother and I looked at each other and wondered if we should leave but we decided to stick it out. Then they found the ship. The space jockey. Then Kane finds the eggs. This is when I started getting that quesy feeling in my gut. That egg opens and Kane stands right above it, looking straight down in it! It was filled with what looked like pulsating tripe and then something shoots out of it and right into Kane’s helmet!
It seemed like hours before the film came to that thrilling end. I wanted popcorn and a soda but no way was I going to walk through that dark theater. I had my legs up on my seat and I was absolutely horrified. The things is you never really see the Alien until the very end, just quick snippets, enough to scare you. It was much like Jaws a few years earlier, the fear of what you didn’t see but can only imagine is more horrifying. The film is filled with memorable moments; the look on the cat’s face as Brett is attacked, Dallas stuck in the air ducts, Ash malfunctioning and getting his head knocked off by Parker. Parker and Lambert being killed as their screams echoed through then ship and Ripley running frantically through the corridors, scrambling for her life. But the most memorable scene is of course, the chest bursting scene.
The face hugger mysteriously comes off of Kane’s face on it’s own and is seemingly lifeless, the crew have one last meal before they go back into the “freezerinos!”. Kane starts choking, then convulsing. The look on everyone’s face is total fear and that’s what everyone in the audience is feeling too. Then that baby penis burst through Kane’s chest, killing him and then screeching away. I had never ever seen anything like that before. My God! We just wanted to see Johnny Carson!
It all ends well of course, Ripley kills the beast by shooting it out of the space shuttle and into space and she and Jonesy survive and go into suspended animation to be found 50 years later. My brother and I were so shaken up we told ourselves we need to move on as if from some real life tragedy and try to forget the images we had just witnessed. Two weeks later we were going to see it again, this time with two young women and we were excited to see them get scared shitless while we giggled, immune from the fear. And so began my love of the film Alien and it’s sequels.
Ridley Scott had only directed one other film prior to Alien, the beautiful period film The Duelists (1977) with Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel. Alien was the assured work of a master. The editing is excellent, deciding to cut out scenes of the Alien as much as possible to create suspense and build to the finale. There’s very little blood and gore save for the chest burster scene. The cast give performances that are al excellent and felt real, authentic.
The set design is incredible as are the special effects and Alien design by H.R. Ginger. Everything looks like a penis or a vagina, everything is highly sexualized and the sets are slick and wet. It disturbs at a subconscious level as well as visual. The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is excellent and eerie. It is simply one of the best horror films ever made and has inspired many attempts to recreate it’s tension and suspense.
Alien made a star out of Sigourney Weaver (her first film), Ripley Scott’s next film was the classic, cult or otherwise, Blade Runner (1982) and led to one of the best sequels ever made Aliens (1986) for which Weaver would receive a Best Actress nomination (the film received 7 total nominations). Alien is 40 years old this year and it holds up as a beautiful and horrifying masterpiece.
Well, I was being told this was going to be a special episode and as I watched I was thinking well everyone is at the fair and being reunited and it’s all very sweet. I didn’t know the episode was going to be 25 minutes longer than usual because the last 30 minutes is blood curdling. Keeping Lydia was stupid! They all try to convince themselves and us that it was the right thing to do but I have to disagree. This was a pretty epic episode.
THE COLD OPEN
We see a young couple battling some walkers. It’s also their anniversary. “What did you get me?” he asks. She shows him that in the near distance is a safe place. It’s Hilltop. Years later on their 5th anniversary she has made him a wooden coin with an H on it, for Hilltop. The man says it also stands for Hope. Finally, on another anniversary, it’s present day. They’re headed for the fair and she’s prepared a box full of those wooden coins with the H on it. They head out, happy and smiling.
But they never make it to Kingdom. They meet their death at the hands of Alpha who proceeds to scalp the long blonde haired woman as she sings Lydia, The Tattooed Lady” quiet and creepily.
“Lydia didn’t choose where she came from but she chose where she wants to be just like everyone in this room” Michonne
King Ezekiel makes a rousing speech acknowledging Rick and Carl Grimes and with a small assist from Jerry The Fair began! It’s a pretty cool idea. All the communities get together and share their goods and wares and teach each other how to do things like blacksmithing and doctoring. Henry is reunited with Ezekiel and Carol and Carol sees Judith for the first time in 5 years. Everyone is happy to see Michonne there and there’s so much warmth!
Michonne gathers the leaders of the communities in the theater and says that Alexandria is giving Lydia safe haven. Tara is against it but is reminded that she was not trusted at first as well, being with the Governor when they attacked the prison. She relents and they all agree to protect Lydia. They also agree to form a NATO type alliance. If one community is attacked they all are and they respond as one. They seal the deal by signing the charter that Michoinne had created 6 years earlier.
Henry shows Lydia around. Addy flirts with Henry. Lydia gets jealous. Henry reassures her she’s the one for him and they kiss. They plan to have their first date that night at the movie. Carol and Ezekiel smile at the thought of their son going on a date! Rosita and Eugene have a heart to heart and she tells him they can still talk and be friends. Enid calls Alden her boyfriend and wants him to sing with Luke before the movie. Kelly is mad at Connie for leaving without saying goodbye and Connie apologizes but alludes to maybe having lost a baby in the past.
They figure that Alpha will seek revenge but on Hilltop so they plan to send a group of warriors in the to reinforce Hilltop including Daryl, Carol, Michonne and Yumiko. WHY????? They come across the area where Alpha killed the couple from Hilltop but no bodies. Daryl, Carol, Michonne and Rumiko decide to search for survivors while the others go on to Hilltop. Come on! They run into a small herd of walkers and they manage to overtake them but then The Whisperers show up headed by Beta. This is when things start getting really bad.
THE TWIST AND THE PIKES
“I’ve seen how you live. I’ve walked your streets. It’s a joke. Your communities are a
shrine to a long dead world.” Alpha
The last third of the episode is a slow, methodical walk to the inevitable. I kept thinking what the point of the cold open was. We find out when the story rewinds to The Fair and we see Alpha wearing the dead woman’s dress, hair and hat. She’s mingling with everyone and even meets King Ezeqiel. She’s just as creepy in normal clothes as in walker skin. She’s looking for Lydia, to take her back. When Henry tells Lydia to save him a seat at the movie while he checks something out I didn’t think anything yet. But once the movie starts and Henry doesn’t show up I started to get worried. Then Alpha sits down next to her.
We cut back to later that night, Beta and his group have Daryl, Carol, Michonne and Rumiko tied up. I felt that they wouldn’t kill any of them. Alpha appears, back in her natural garb. She takes Daryl with her, wants to show him something. As the sun comes up he walks him to the top of a valley and he sees thousands of walkers gathered. She tells him that her people are amongst them and warns him that his people cross into their land that she will unleash that herd upon them. She says that Lydia is no longer an issue, she doesn’t want her back. Daryl asks if she killed her. We see in another rewind scene that Lydia refuses to go with her and Alpha basically disowns her. She didn’t kill her. But……
She tells Daryl to head back and his friends will be waiting for him. She’s marked a barrier that they are warned not to cross and they’ll know it when they see it. Daryl meets up with the others and they head back. Then they see Saddiq tied up and bloodied. They rush to him. He points. They look and see 10 pikes sitting on the ridge. 10 pikes with 10 heads sitting on top of them. As they draw closer the look of horror appears on their faces. They recognize the faces. Then one by one we see the heads. With each one we see rewind scenes to The Fair and people asking where these people are. What makes it even more horrifying is that the heads are turned into walkers and so their mouths are moving. It’s the most horrific scene in Walking Dead history.
Ozzy and Alek, the leader and 2nd in command of The Highway Men. DJ, an ex Savior that became a trusted Hilltop resident. Frankie, one of Negan’s former wives. Tammy Rose Brett Butler). Addy and Rodney, two of the kids who befriended Henry at Hilltop. Tara (Alana Masterson), Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Henry (Macsen Lintz).
Daryl tries to stop Carol before she sees Henry but it’s too late. Carol loses another child and just as when Sophia came out of that barn Daryl is there to hold her. Heartbreaking.
Normally, the episode would have ended there but it doesn’t. We see Saddiq addressing everyone back at Kingdom. He’s telling them the story and how Alpha wanted to scare them and intimidate them but that isn’t the story he wants to tell. He’d rather tell a story about a group of people who fought back, who fought for each other even if they didn’t know one another. How Ozzy, Alek and DJ found them and tried to rescue them. They battled valiantly. They were heroes. We get to see this play out as he tells it and it’s very inspirational and injects some hope into the episode. Plus we get to see these characters fighting back as the last images of them on the show and not the images of them on the pikes which helps a lot.
The last scene has Daryl taking Lydia to the pikes that now form the border to Whisperer Country. Lydia places a necklace by the pike that was Henry’s and they walk off.
This was a brutal episode but it was wonderfully done. This is a horror show, people. This show can still terrify and scare and make you feel at the same time. Pretty amazing that after nine seasons they can still surprise and shock.
I am not familiar with the graphic comics so I didn’t know what was coming. The heads on a pike happened in Issue 144 and Rosita was one of the casualties.
Those candied apples did look good.
Daryl and Connie were looking pretty romantic when they said their farewells. Daryl asked her to look after Dog. that’s as good as a proposal.
The Kingdom sure looks like a paradise! Movie theater and all!
From the preview of the season finale it looks like Winter Is Coming!
5 THNIGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Defeating The Whisperers is going to be harder than The Saviors
2 Negan will be needed to do battle with Alpha and Beta
3 Who will now lead at Hilltop? Has to be Daryl.
4 Carol will now be hellbent on revenge.
5 I don’t think we lose any more people in the finale but after this episode I think all bets are off.