Category Archives: Small Screen Mischief (TV/Web)

**SPOILERS** Person of Interest 5.01 “B.S.O.D.” Recap and Review

After waiting for what feels like an eternity for Person of Interest‘s season five, it’s finally back and with style.

B.S.O.D.” opens with an ominous ringing of a phone (not dissimilar to the end of season two’s “God Mode“) and a beautifully eloquent monologue from Root which you will have heard in the first season five trailer. Things look very grim with the subway in tatters and honestly, it made my heart hurt a little. The episode is set on the same day as the season four finale, “YHWH” so if you haven’t seen that episode in a while, a refresher may be in order. Essentially, our beloved remaining three members of Team Machine are in a bit of trouble, to put it mildlyFinch, Reese, and Root are all split up and on the run from Samaritan operatives. Reese is carrying the decompressed Machine in its indestructible briefcase and thrilling antics ensure with him breaking into and stealing a car not even five minutes into the episode. In typical POI fashion, there’s also a glorious shootout thrown in, not that we were expecting anything less, of course. More drama unfolds with Root behind the wheel of a car, carrying a rather nice ‘piece’ with a bloodied wrist. Almost as soon as she has finished talking to The Machine in vain, Samaritan operatives crash into the car and there’s yet another epic shootout before she escapes and goes underground to the subway (not the subway).

Meanwhile, at the NYPD, Fusco sees a front page report about Elias and Dominic being killed and he is paid a visit by the FBI and IAB.  More on that later.

Back to Reese and he is in yet another fight at the ferry, still with The Machine in his possession. Finch saves the day and rather brilliantly hits the pesky operative with a pole before taking The Machine into his own hands. He then has a flashback to where he was injured, featuring Ingram and Grace. Finch insists he can’t continue, but after a quick pep talk from Reese, he goes on ahead.

There was no real intro for this episode and whether or not there will be one at all for season five is unknown. There’s a similar title card to last season with some slight graphical modifications towards the end. Naturally, the cameras are still from Samaritan’s point of view.

Finch and Reese engage in a most illuminating conversation about how it is now a Samaritan world and we learn that it is now able to activate anyone. The state of The Machine is then elaborated on, revealing that it is highly compressed and is running out of power. Reese briefly mentions finding Root and getting Shaw back and is very optimistic about the whole ordeal; a glimmer of light among the darkness. Finch confesses that had he known what they’d be up against now, he might’ve handled things differently.

In a flashback to 2006, we see Finch and The Machine conversing. It starts off innocently with the latter saying good morning and asking Finch if he had his green tea, but evolves into something more concerning with The Machine offering its condolences for Finch’s loss (identified as the 25th anniversary of his father’s death). Ingram enters and he and Finch have a somewhat heated discussion regarding the ever-blossoming sentient state of The Machine, and AI in general. After Finch comments that The Machine’s “burgeoning intelligence is a little unsettling”, Ingram jokes that he spoke like a true parent―a highly pertinent line when you consider Finch and his creation’s relationship. Finch essentially states that AI needs to have reigns on it and serve humans, not supersede them. Ingram, on the other hand, disagrees and views AI far more optimistically. Interestingly, this dynamic reminded me of some of Root and Finch’s conversations, with the former being strongly in favour of  uncontrolled AI. This flashback feeds into the overall theme of the episode: Finch realising his errors. There is then discussion between Finch and Ingram regarding Finch clearing The Machine’s RAM every day at midnight. Ingram calls it cruel and comments that memories make us who we are. Once again, this harks back to Root and Finch’s heated discussions regarding the memory wipe at the end of season two.

We’re now back to following Root on the subway. We see, for the first time, Samaritan activating people (which it calls “enlisting civilian assets”). Said asset is given a push notification on their phone showing Root with her large gun. Hearing the sounds of the notifications and observing the passenger’s stares at her, Root catches on and soon realises she’s in deep trouble. She, of course, is attacked, but fights back hand-to-hand (in quite a Shaw-esque fashion) and delivers a scathing “you can just call me Root, bitch” to Samaritan’s cameras once the ordeal is over. Stepping off, she is immediately confronted by a police officer.

Meanwhile in Chinatown, Reese and Finch head back to the Subway with Reese delivering some zingy quips on the way. We see Bear (a personal major highlight for me) and The Machine is in a critical state. While Finch works on cracking open the case, Reese and Fusco discuss the Elias and Dominic situation over the phone, with Reese telling him to check the incidents reports.

Root is now on the move with a gun stolen from the police officer, avoiding operatives and heading to a computer recycling place. She is followed and runs out of ammo, but fortunately has two other guys as back-up who shoot them for her. Inquired as to why she’s there, she informs them she is looking for a guy called Bella. As it transpires, Bella got tangled up with some Russians and hired an online hacker-assassin to take out the Russian who was after him, and escaped to Latvia only to never be heard from again. Bella asks Root how she found him and she cryptically tells him the same way she found the Russian, which is why he hired her. Inadvertently using one of her lines against her, he tells her it’s nice to “finally meet” her.

Now we’re with Fusco again and he is still being grilled by the FBI agent and IAB agent. In a twist, he is labeled a hero by the FBI agent and is told he will be recommended for a commendation.

Ever the faithful watchdog, Reese wants to look for Root but Finch tries to dissuade him by saying it’s too dangerous. Insisting that they don’t leave their comrades behind, Reese leaves anyway, leaving Finch alone to try and put The Machine back together. We see yet more of Finch’s guilt as he confesses to the RAM chips that though he has a habit of alienating people he employees, he isn’t prepared to lose either of them just yet. Clearly, he’s referring to The Machine and Reese.

Another 2006 flashback and Grace, accompanied with their dog (actually Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston’s dog, making his first television debut, Chumley) meets Finch with ice cream for him. In a touching encounter, Grace tells Finch that he has a good heart and should go with it and let it steer him. Finch tells her that his father said the same thing to him.

Root’s notoriety as a hacker-assassin is further explored when Bella refers to her as “the underworld’s most elite assassin” and that there was a rumour that she was taken out by the so-called “man in the suit” but he had always thought she was too clever to be done in like that. Nonchalantly, Root claims she just needed a change and that she got a new job and fell in love (with Shaw, of course). Bella suggests that the bug on the data encrypted on the drives in the recycling compound is from the NSA. Root’s old connections seem to come in handy when she tells him she needs a new identity and he agrees to create one for her.

At the subway, the rebuilding of The Machine seems to be coming along nicely, but it soon gets out of hand. It begins to decompress and the power goes completely haywire. It overloads and Finch desperately tries to unplug it all, but a wire sparks knocking him out and causing a small fire.

Reese finally joins Fusco at the NYPD and asks for an update on the incidents report. Fusco refers to a “nutjob assault on the subway” and Reese immediately identifies it as Root. Demanding to know what the hell is going on, Fusco is clearly sick of being left out of the loop. Reese tells him he’ll talk later and then leaves to find Root.

While the fire at the subway has grown, there is another flashback to The Machine apologising and saying maybe it should die. Back to 2006 and The Machine asks Finch what death is. Finch talks about a biological death for humans is when the heart stops beating. The Machine tells him it knows the purpose of the code; to erase its memories.It then further elaborates back to its original question and tells Finch that he told Nathan that his father’s death was when he lost all of his memories. Finch promptly tells it that the conversation is over and The Machine asks why. His answer is that The Machine is not a human and is a machine. The Machine apologises if it has violated boundaries because it watched him and Nathan. Heartbreakingly, it then asks how it will learn from its mistakes, how it will continue to grow, and most devastatingly of all, how it will remember him. Seriously, this episode is The Machine feels central.

In the present day, Finch extinguishes the fire, only to find the RAM chips are smoking. He apologises, saying that he is now the one that failed it.

Fusco has a flashback to the shooting of Dominic and pockets the bullet. He is then almost immediately identified by Samaritan as a “potential disruptor”.

Bella appears to give Root her identity, only to the renege and claim he got a phone call before he destroyed it and got a better offer. Unphased, Root keeps her cool, seeing Samaritan operatives invade. Bella gets shot and Root is confronted by the operatives who then tell her that the data was Samaritan and that it is even logging keystrokes now. Heroically, Reese once again saves the day and another shootout follows. He tells her she should get back to the subway, but Root insists that the fight’s here and so is she. Once the operatives have been taken care of, Root collects PlayStation 3’s and tells Reese to go steal a truck, having come up with an idea for rebuilding The Machine.

Finally, Reese and Root are reunited with a forlorn Finch who says he has failed and if he hasn’t crippled The Machine from the start, it might have stood a chance against Samaritan. The battery is revealed to be dead, but Root pipe up and says they’ll just have to build a supercomputer of their own, revealing one of the PlayStations. Finch asks her if she’s being serious and she confirms she is.

Breaking up the scene is a short snippet of the exterior of an ambulance with Samaritan’s feeds revealing marking him as dead.

Root discusses the tech, explaining how it all works, with Reese dryly telling her he doesn’t “speak nerd”. Interestingly, Finch refers to The Machine as “she” for the first time, eliciting an impressed facial expression from Root. Finch promises The Machine that if it survives, he won’t make the same mistakes againRoot agrees that things will definitely be different this time. She goes on to tell Harold that he has built something better than us [humans], that it is intellectually and morally superior and that he didn’t feel comfortable with it. He asks how anyone can be and she simply tells him that she is because it’s a reflection of him and our [mankind’s] last hope.

The Machine overclocks and there is now no way of going back. Root unsuccessfully tries to cool it down and without even telling anyone, Reese races out and returns with a canister of liquid nitrogen. He successfully cools The Machine down and it appears to be up and running.

Something tells me that it won’t be The Machine we have grown accustomed to and somewhere down the line fell in love with, especially judging by this.

B.S.O.D.” was a strong start to the season and offered interesting backstory for Finch, Ingram, The Machine, and Root, while also providing thrilling on screen action. My favourite part of the episode was Finch and Ingram’s exchange regarding sentient AI. What I have always loved about Person of Interest  is how it portrays technology in a deeply complex way with varying viewpoints. I am interested to see further conversations with Finch and Root and seeing him listen to her more.

Why Illyria Matters

In the interim of waiting for Person of Interest to return (May 3rd, people, bookmark that date!), I decided to re-watch Angel. It had been a year or so since I had last done so and whenever I re-watch a Whedon project, I know I have a lot to look forward to. Not just because I’m aware of the generally consistently brilliant storylines, but because I always seem to discover something new each timebe it some sneaky foreshadowing or something more personal like a newfound love or hatred for a character.

During this particular re-watch, what really struck me is just how much I love Illyria. Though I was certainly already a member of her fan club, my appreciation for her has grown even stronger, largely because of how confoundedly misunderstood her character is.

It’s easy to denounce Illyria, under the belief that she is accountable for the demise of Fred. I don’t hold Illyria responsible at all and I’ll tell you why: she didn’t choose Fred as her vesselKnox did. There is no doubt in my mind that if Illyria could have chosen her vessel, she would have selected someone far more imposing. If you were a pure-bred demonic God-King, would you honestly pick a willowy 20-something human to contain you and all of your might? Probably not.

A Hole in the World” is undoubtedly one of, if not the most harrowing episodes in the Buffyverse to watch. As fans know, it essentially consists of the audience getting to watch Fred slowly die for 40-odd minutes. By no means is it an easy watch and most fans will agree that it came as a shock. Yet, in a way that is perhaps grotesque, it remains my favourite episode in the series because of how terrifically it was executed. If you have the DVDs, I implore you to watch it with the commentary from Joss Whedon, Alexis Denisof, and Amy Acker. Throughout most of it, they’re uncharacteristically quiet and just hearing them share their on-set experiences makes the whole ordeal even sadder. Everyone involved who was working on it was distraught, which tells you just how important and meaningful Fred’s character was (and still is) to many.

Before I get deeply into discussing Illyria, it’s only fair I write about Fred firstyou can’t have Illyria as we know her without Fred, nor Fred without Illyria.

Even those who dislike Fred can surely objectively see why she’s such a popular character: she underwent an enormous amount of positive character development, and was a ray of sunshine in oft-gloomy times for Angel Investigations. Rather unfairly, her character is often compared to other Buffyverse fan favourite Willow Rosenberg. This is always one comparison that I struggle with. Only on a base level are they similar with their love of science, intellectualism, and intelligence. Other than that, they couldn’t be more different. From the moment that Fred was introduced, she was a fighter, due to environmental circumstances; as opposed to Willow who, while assisted Buffy, certainly couldn’t be considered much of a fighter in the early seasons. Even as the seasons progressed, Willow generally worked with magick rather than really getting her hands dirty. Fred never had the internal supernatural element and was simply a young physicist whom had been accidentally introduced to the supernatural world, whereas Willow had insisted on helping out Buffy and later on using magick. There’s also the matter of how, no matter how dark things got for Fred, she never went “dark”her actions in”Supersymmetry” were ultimately for the greater good. I think that she was completely justified in her quest for vengeance and even though she was vexed, she didn’t try and end the world because of her pain. Suffice to say, Fred is anything but a Willow clone, which is an insulting phrase (I have unfortunately heard) to both deeply compelling characters and actresses.

Back to Illyria. In my humble opinion, she is easily one of the more unique characters that the Buffyverse has to offer. The Old Ones were mentioned as far back as Buffy‘s “Welcome to the Hellmouth” yet it was Angel that really fleshed out the concept in the form of Illyria by giving the audience a chance to see one in action for eight terrific episodes; a consummation, as it were. For me, the saddest part of Angel‘s premature cancellation is that we didn’t get to see more Illyria. I have read several times that in season six, Joss Whedon was planning on having Fred return and wrestle for control over her body. While that obviously didn’t come to fruition on screen, it has happened in the Angel and Faith comics, which I must say, are well worth reading.

Illyria’s powers are just one of many brilliant aspects to her character. What we saw on screen doesn’t even begin to skim the surface of what she’s truly capable of and that was awesome enough. Who else could destroy Team Angel in around 16 seconds tops? None of the other Big Bads shown in either series came close to taking out the heroes in such a short amount of time. Lest we forget that was Illyria in a weakened state too! One of the most interesting things I learned about her while reading one of the issues of the Only Human comic mini-series is that absorbing her power kills even extremely powerful demons who are close to Old Ones in the demonic hierarchy. Her true, monstrous form even has the ability to warp time itself, as shown in the comics. In short: don’t screw with Illyria.

Perhaps the main attraction of her character to me is what she represents and how she develops in such a short span of time. When you think about it, Illyria is basically just an alien stuck in a world she doesn’t understand. It almost translates in a child-like manner (something I’m positive is down to Acker’s contributions as an actress) and I have often found myself feeling sorry for her. Yet she isn’t content with simply not understanding the world and giving up, instead, she enlists the help of Wesleyshe wants to learn about human life and how she can integrate better. The dynamic between Illyria and Wesley is easily one of my favourite things about the entire series. It’s extremely poetic in the respect that Wesley is willing to help a pure-bred demon just because it is inhabiting the body of the woman he loved. Illyria acknowledges that and wishes to explore the Fred and Wesley dynamic further, even offering to assume the form of Fred for him, but he declines. Later, in one of the most iconic Buffyverse scenes, Wesley agrees to let her lie to him and he dies in the arms of “Fred” with a smile on his face.

Another dynamic which I thoroughly enjoyed watching was that of Illyria and Spike. Spike’s bold quips to her and Illyria’s… unusual ways of showing affection towards him made for some serious comedic material amidst the darkness.

My personal top Illyria moment takes place in “The Girl in Question” where she assumes Fred’s form for the Burkles without any prompting. There’s obviously something not quite right about “Fred” but her parents can’t quite ascertain what. The tension created from this alone is chilling but pales in comparison to the scene where Illyria talks in her usual regally strict tone while in Fred’s form. It’s highly unnerving and something that I would deem unmissable in the series; subtle yet full of lasting impact. It might not be flashy to look at or laden with powerful music, but it’s the mannerisms that Amy conveys that make it so special. In fact, it’s this episode that cemented Amy as my favourite actress of all time and I still consider it one of the top moments in her acting career.

To conclude, Illyria is a character full of layers both small and large. She looks like Fred, but they’re different characters and are both worthy of being intellectually examined. Dismissing Illyria dismisses how much of a phenomenal actress Amy Acker really is because if not for Illyria, we would never have been treated to the glorious moments that Amy so wonderfully conveyed. Introducing Illyria also gave the other actors a chance to explore previously uncharted waters and the writers a chance to add in all of the brilliant dynamics I mentioned. That’s why I say that Illyria matters.

 

 

 

 

 

“This Could Take All Night…” – Root & Sameen Shaw, PERSON OF INTEREST [‘Ship Spotlight]

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“Root-in-a-bear-suit” welcomes you to this blog post dedicated to Root and Sameen Shaw – aka Shoot – from the CBS science fiction/techno-drama series Person of Interest. If you are a newer fan of this dynamic, chaotic duo of badassery, you will find lots of goodies related to Shoot in this super-long guide about them. If you’re a longtime fan, hello!

I keep this post (mostly) updated with the following: polls for fans to vote in, interviews featuring the actresses who portray Root & Shaw (Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi), and any new (spoilery) information regarding the ‘ship in the upcoming fifth season. You’ll notice some “F” bombs in this post because CBS has been screwing with fans of Person of Interest on when the fifth season will air; we’re still in the dark beyond an announcement of “Spring 2016” and that’s totally unacceptable. We want our show, and we want it NOW!

This post is constantly being updated, but if there anything that you’d like to see added to this post, hit the Comments below and add your suggestions/screenshots/Shoot-related articles, fan videos, and fan art. Feel free to share it across the world on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook – pass it on to your friends who are clueless about Shoot and get them hooked.


LATEST POST UPDATES – 03/19/16

We got some new info about Season 5 FINALLY, but it comes with a bit of sad news as well. Most of us have been prepared for it, but I have to share it. Read below to see the latest news update.

Shoot got stopped in the Elite Eight of the Zimbio TV Couples March Madness ChallengeI won’t add much else to this, but there were a few fandoms anti-voting against us. To each their own, and I won’t say more about it ’cause I prefer to remain positive and neutral in fandom stuff. On the plus side: we do have new episodes to look forward to and more Shoot and then there’s gonna be lots of feelings to process and explore and I’m not mentally prepared yet for Root’s reunion with Shaw, or the rest of Team Machine (especially Bear).


Need More Root to Help with the Hiatus?

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Ms Buffy Buff (Cassandra) has written an excellent article on Root and her importance & significance not only on Person of Interest, but as one of the most developed and well-written characters in recent years, if not one of the best characters on television since its inception. Root has added quite a bit of flavor to what had originally started as your average crime procedural, and Amy Acker has demonstrated her finest acting work yet to the character. Read her post: Rooting for Root.


 

FUCK YOU, CBS! We FINALLY Get An Airdate, But…

CBS – the broadcast network currently obsessed with spinoffs of spinoffs, reality drivel, uninspired TV reboots of film/TV properties, and terrible primetime scheduling – finally gave us an airdate for the final season of Person of Interest. Starting May 3rd, Season Five will air in its regular Tuesday timeslot, but then they threw in a plot twist: they’ll be airing it twice a week from May 9th through the show’s finale on Tuesday, June 21st. It’s about damn time they announced something!

Honestly? I’m glad we finally got an answer,as to when the show returns. We have this shortened schedule but get two episodes per week, and my parents are going to have to deal with me for seven weeks as I invade their home and watch the show on their TV ’cause mine gets too much interference and can’t pick up CBS or ABC (no cable for this gal! Go digital antenna!). They’re going to see me at my fangirling best: crying, yelling, swooning, cheering, bawling, and a range of various emotions that might/might not be shared by them. Mom will be happy that Shaw’s back and Dad will be grinning over Root, and they’re both Shoot supporters. I love my parents. ❤

If you didn’t see the sly “final season” that I slipped in there, it’s confirmed: CBS also officially canceled the show. Is there any hope the show could be picked up elsewhere? Sure? Do the cast & crew want it? Depends on them and any networks/streaming sites interesting in picking up the show. If this is the final curtain call, then I’m so very thankful  to everyone who worked on the show, for Mom stubbornly refusing to let me keep ignoring it, and the awesome friends that I’ve made in the fandom for the past year.

There was also some woman named Amy Acker that I met last year, and she was OK – I guess. HA! Sarcasm aside, she is one of the loveliest people ever and she’s making several convention appearances this year. I’ll be adding her convention appearances here shortly. If you have the opportunity to travel to one and meet her, DO IT! You won’t regret it!

Many entertainment sites have been reporting the news. I posted an article from TVLine, which you can visit by clicking on the screenshot below.

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poi-petition

Several months ago, a friend of mine created a Change.org petition that originally asked CBS to extend the episode order of POI’s fifth season from 13 episodes to more. At the time, the actors themselves had no clue if they were just shooting thirteen episodes or possibly more because CBS still hadn’t finalized a decision (back in May). Now we know that CBS has canceled the series and set the fifth season premiere for May 3rd, with the series finale airing on June 21st. Happy early birthday gift to me! 😦 I’m happy we’re finally getting to see the final thirteen episodes, but bummed out that it’s another series that I can add to my list of Shows That I Love That Have Ended Just As I Got Into Them.

The petition has changed to ask Netflix to save the show and air a future sixth season if that’s possible, in the cards, or if the universe so desires (and the fans demand it). Take a look at the petition and if you’re interested, give it your virtual John Hancock. Share it and spread it to fellow fans and help support a fellow fan who’s done a bit in the fandom to promote the show to those outside of our geek-o-sphere and welcomed me into the fold.


So, What’s the 411 on New Shoot Info? What’s Happening to Root & Shaw in Season Five?

[SPOILER ALERT! There are some spoilers for Person of Interest’s fifth season. You’ve been warned!]

It doesn’t help to be hearing about all of this badass stuff that’s gonna happen in Season Five without a premiere date to look forward to. I think this has been the longest wait for any show since forever. CBS claims that the show will be returning “this Spring 2016,” but what exactly does that mean? That means they’ll air it when they feel like it.  Can we just have the season start airing sooner rather than later? *heavy sigh*

Waiting for Season Five really, really sucks. On the plus side, at least WGN has been airing the episodes nightly on their network, and Netflix has the first three seasons to binge-watch. Still no word on when Season Four will be added to Netflix. Boo! It is available on Amazon Prime and iTunes, so that’s an alternative until Netflix adds it.

If you’re a spoiler-phobe and are trying to remain so, you should steer clear from here and keep scrolling. If you’re anxious for ANY news on the upcoming fifth season, watch the videos and view the photos below. Start with the NYCC 2015 Sizzle Reel, but be warned: you might find yourself in an endless loop of replaying the video several thousand times in a row (I swear I didn’t do that).

Three awesome Root & Shaw photos, courtesy of Chris Fisher. You’re welcome. To see more of his gorgeous ‘POI noir‘ photos, visit his Instagram. (Updated: March 1st)

root-poi-noir-newshaw-poi-noir-newroot-poi-noir-new-2Photos Credit: Chris Fisher via Instagram

NYCC 2015 POI Sizzle Reel

The funniest thing ever from the show. As my dad said at the end of the clip, “They’re giving her [Acker] more of a lead role? Nice. She’s really good.” He’s a Root/Shoot fan, making even even cooler than he already is.

NYCC 2015 POI Panel – Full Cast
(sound/video not in sync; hard to find the whole panel on YouTube)

A little more than half of this panel is related to Shoot and Root and Shaw’s characters. Sarah gives a great speech during it about how important LGBTQ+ representation is on TV, that cannot be missed We’ll call this panel the best Shoot-related comic con panel ever (unless we get one that tops it). Also, did they mention a love scene between the two? I want Shoot back on my screen soon and I’ll take every single scene with them. Fuck you, CBS, again.

NYCC 2015 IGN interview: Sarah Shahi/Amy Acker

Really good interview from IGN. Can these two work on projects together in the future?

NYCC 2015 AfterEllen Interview: Sarah Shahi/Amy Acker

Editor’s Note: The video doesn’t want to properly embed in this post – just click the link to check out the article and video.

Amy drops a massive bomb in this interview by saying that the writers have always been for Shoot, but could never agree on whether Root & Shaw have had sexual encounters or not; she and Sarah think that they have, on more than one occasion. Kind of changes the context of several scenes in some episodes, especially in episodes like “Honor Among Thieves” and “The Cold War” that more than imply that they’ve been having sex on a regular basis.

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Bonus Photo Time! Taken from Sarah’s Instagram, this is the first shot of Amy & Sarah back together as Root & Shaw. – you’re welcome. The Internet might’ve broken that day – I know I ‘squee’d‘ a few times. In public. It happens.


If You Couldn’t Tell From Above, Sarah’s Back And Kicking Ass As Shaw. She Was Sorely Missed.

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This was the most frequently-asked-question that Mom kept bringing up whenever I’d pay her a visit: “Is Shaw coming back? I know she’s not dead. Is she returning? I miss Shaw.” I give her credit and kudos for getting me into the show and introducing me to Root & Shaw. I love that she’s still interested in the show and thinks Shaw’s the shit. If Mom was any character on the show, she’d be Shaw.

If you want to read a few of the interviews that Sarah’s done since her return was first announced, here ya go: TVLine’s interview with Sarah – the site that first delivered the scoop. Read the AfterEllen interview where Shoot is mentioned as totally being on and so, so canon. Read this Give Me My Remote interview where Sarah fangirl’s over Amy (those two are the biggest fans of each other).


Do The Actresses ‘Ship Their Characters?

I’ll get to the answer in a minute. First off, I’d like to welcome all of the new fans who might be discovering Shoot for the first time. Welcome to the fandom! If you are new to Person Of Interest and are wondering why Amy and Sarah seem so familiar to you, let me introduce you to the actresses:

AMY ACKER – best known for Angel (Winifred “Fred” Burkle/Illyria), Alias (Kelly Peyton), and Dollhouse (Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey); also known as the “The Most Precious Ray Of Sunshine That Makes Morally Ambiguous Characters Both Sweet & Frightening.”

I was lucky to meet Amy twice in 2015 (in Denver and Toronto), and she’s the nicest person ever & the coolest person to talk to. If Amy’s attending a convention in your area, you should go see & meet her. For inquiring minds: she’s drop-dead gorgeous and has not aged since she appeared on Angel – she’s immortal, like Illyria. She takes the time to talk to you, she never stops smiling, and her positivity is infectious. As many fans will tell you: we’re lucky to be living at the same time as Amy.

http://quoteimg.com/amy-acker-angel-illyria/ Amy as ancient goddess Illyria on Angel

SARAH SHAHI – best known for The L Word (Carmen de la Pica Morales), Life (Dani Reese), Fairly Legal (Kate Reed); aka “They Couldn’t Have Picked A Better Actress to Play Shaw Than Sarah.” Perfect casting is perfect.

I’ve been a fan of Sarah’s since she first appeared on The L Word, and I totally forgot that she was in the first season of Alias in a small recurring role. She also famously appeared as the first “supernatural” character on the show Supernatural, and she’s also made appearances in films like Bullet to the Head and TV shows like Chicago Fire. My favorite role of hers has definitely been Sameen Shaw. I recommend checking out Fairly Legal because it’s a fun show and Sarah’s great in it as the lead, and she is amazing on Life.

http://www.tvequals.com/2012/04/20/fairly-legal-what-they-seem-season-2-episode-6/ Sarah as Kate Reed on Fairly Legal

What’s really awesome about this ‘ship is that Amy and Sarah are very supportive of it. They are the captains of the ‘ship and have been since the beginning. Hell, I think Amy ‘ships it more than anyone else on the face of this planet. Their on-screen chemistry – the super-flirty /morally ambiguous hacker Root & super-sarcastic /emotionless ex-assassin Shaw – is electrifying to watch, and the writers have definitely taken notice and have given us many memorable scenes between the two.

Besides the actresses and the writers, Shoot also has many other show supporters including: directors, producers, other cast members, and the hardworking crew members who work behind-the-scenes in making the show look amazing quite cinematic and epic in scope. There’s not too many couples (canon or not) that have not only the actors (actresses in this case) – and their coworkers – jumping onboard and supporting their ‘ship.


Why Do I ‘Ship Root & Shaw?

I’ll let the three excellent videos below tell you all about Shoot. You’ll see why I ‘ship them so hard:

Credit: YouTube user Shoot!!

The first one features a lot of Root & Shaw’s scenes from the show: from their introduction in Season Two’s “Relevance,” and ending with their last scene (for the time being) in Season Four’s “If-Then-Else.”

Credit: YouTube user doudoulty

The second video features a list of 30 reasons why people should ‘ship Shoot. There’s lots of good reasons listed, and it’s also another good introduction video to the ‘ship for newer fans.

Credit: YouTube user SHOOTPOI

The third video features the song “End of Me” by A Day To Remember and it’s an amazing fan video. The scenes and edits fit the music perfectly, and it hits me so freakin’ hard in the feels every time I watch it. I love the song as well.

To answer my own question: I ‘ship Shoot because there’s not too many interracial queer couples on TV. I ‘ship Shoot because none of the other characters (heroes and villains) ever bring up that it’s two women in love, no matter how stubborn the women are in admitting their feelings for the other. They can see how much Root and Shaw cares fr each other, and they never question that loyalty and devotion. Hell, even Samaritan’s top agent, Martine Rousseau, ‘shipped it (more on her and her ultimate ‘shipper status later). Martine once snarkily called Shaw Root’s “little girlfriend,” and no one blinked ’cause EVERYONE KNOWS IT. Finch even mentions something very important to Root about her relationship with Shaw, which you can read about in the next section. I ‘ship them because they are a perfect fit for the other, and they may not care about humanity as a whole sometimes, but they do care in their own way by trying to save the world from POI’s ultimate Big Bad: the evil A.I. Samaritan and its acolytes in Decima Technologies. I find that so beautiful to behold, and seeing these women go to extraordinary lengths to save one another (even self-sacrifice) is something you don’t see often on TV or in films.

They’re not an unconventional couple that will never exist in any cheesy displays of affection that you see so often repeated on TV like on The Bachelor. They are two women who love kink, push each others’ buttons, rescue each other against the odds, and ultimately help anchor Person of Interest by being the only established relationship in a series that doesn’t focus on many romantic storylines or elements, if rarely. And they’re not afraid to talk about any of their nights together, no matter how subtle they are (we’re on to you, writers). Ever since Root first met Shaw, there’s always been an attraction the other, a complex game that came to a temporary neutral end. When Root sees Shaw again for the first time since her capture by Samaritan, I will be bawling like a baby. I’m not prepared for Season Five, but at the same time I can’t wait to see Shoot’s return. It’s been too damn long…


Are They Officially Canon?

Yes they are! Before the Season Four episode “If-Then- Else,” Root & Shaw lived in the Land of Subtext, though there’s been subtle and not-so-subtle maintext between the two (I see those knowing looks, ladies!). The show has never shied away from bringing Root & Shaw closer through non-stop innuendos (Root) and half-hearted threats of violence against all the flirting (Shaw). Their first meeting was far from romantic (almost deadly), but it has grown into something more throughout the seasons.

There were various hints in Season Three about their relationship moving beyond the “platonic friendship” stage *cough* ten hours to kill in a CIA safe house *cough.* In Season Four, it became much clearer with several pivotal scenes that cemented not only the attraction, but caring and protectiveness the women had in each other.

In the episode “Prophets,” Root is about to go on a (potential) suicide mission and asks Harold Finch (the Machine’s “father”) to deliver a message to Shaw if she doesn’t make it out alive.

The entire quote as follows:

Root: “If the worst comes to pass… If you could give Shaw a message…”
Finch: “I think she already knows.”

Gone is the flirtatious Root, but one prepared for her own death in this somber and beautifully-delivered scene. She’s prepared to die so that Shaw may live, and it’s not the only time she’s made that decision. She will protect Shaw by any means necessary, but Shaw turns that on its head in “If-Then-Else.” You can watch the scene below:

Shoot scenes from Season Four, Episodes 1-7 Credit: YouTube user Step Ohah

Shoot officially became canon in the episode “If-Then-Else.” If there were any doubts about the nature of their relationship, those doubts were quickly swept away during the last five minutes of the ending scene. It’s a bittersweet reveal, but very important nonetheless.


How Did Shoot Start? What Are The Pivotal Episodes/Scenes To Watch?

[SPOILER ALERT! There are MAJOR SPOILERS for Person of Interest, starting with Season Two through Season Four. You’ve been warned!]

Quick Note:  “Number” = a POI that Team Machine has to help, and they could either be a victim or perpetrator. “TM” = Team Machine.

++ – denotes important Shoot episode.

I won’t go into the overall storyline of Person of Interest. I do cover what some of the episodes are about if they feature important Shoot scenes. The show is so vast and richly complex that it’s impossible to summarize it to newer viewers. Start with Season One and DO NOT SKIP ANY EPISODES! Missing even one episode will leave you lost – trust me. There are some really good Root & Shaw-centric episodes throughout the show, but these are the episodes & scenes that feature Shoot together. Let the arm-flailing and shrieking begin!

BONUS! Season One, Episode 23 – “Firewall” ++

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Before there was Shoot, there was Root. Originally appearing as a “Big Bad” on Person of Interest, Root has become an essential member of Team Machine and quite an important one, too.

Before she became their direct link to TM, Root was quite the worthy adversary. First appearing in glimpses in Season One’s “Root Cause,” we don’t officially meet her until “Firewall.” Finch & Reese get the number of a psychologist named Caroline Turing, who appears on their radars after a hit is put out on her by the corrupted cops behind the group HR. As the plot unfolds, we later learn that Turing set everything up and is later revealed to be…Root! The plot thickens as she kidnaps Finch to learn more about her god, the Machine, in the first two episodes of Season Two. Some of her backstory is discussed in the Season Two episode “Bad Code.”

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Season Two, Episode 16 – “Relevance” ++

Our first introduction to Sameen Shaw and one of my favorite episodes of the series. We get some background story on her and the shadowy government outfit that she works for as a highly-trained assassin, ISA. Shaw’s also a former Marine and has an extensive medical background. She has her first run-in with Root and it’s not pleasant – or we’re so led to believe. The mutual flirtiness was quickly picked up by the POI writers who discovered that there was some great chemistry between Shahi & Acker. Only they can make possible future torture sexy.

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Season Three, Episode 6 – “Mors Praematura” ++

The first episode where Shoot team up and sparks are ignited. In the previous episode, “Razgovor,” Root makes an uninvited appearance in Shaw’s lil’ studio apartment, stun-gunning the poor woman in a super-brief scene, as seen below:

POI2015-03-12-18h59m24s31

But Root’s not there to hurt her. She needs her help for a “number” that TM gave her. Introducing “Heavy Innuendo & Heart-Eyes” Root and “Captain Grumpy” Shaw! Also includes the infamous “stuck in a CIA safehouse for ten hours” scene, which is a fan-favorite ’cause we all want to know what they did in those ten hours. I doubt they were watching TV… I’ll go with the majority of fans and say that they had their first sexual encounter here (which has been alluded to since in another episode), ’cause ten hours is enough time for sexy, kinky things to happen. Several times. With a hood and zip-ties involved. Throw in a taser for a good time!

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Season Three, Episode 10 – “The Devil’s Share” ++

Root hasn’t been killed (yet) by Team Machine, but they are still reluctant to fully trust her, even though the Machine is now speaking directly to her (Root has become the Machine’s spokeswoman, or “Analog Interface”).  Root, Shaw, Lionel Fusco and Finch are out to save John Reese (Finch’s right-hand man) from a very dire situation while nursing a gunshot wound that almost kills him; he was shot in the previous episode. Reese went after HR, the corrupt organization of police officers and mobsters that were trying to control the city at the time, after their second-in-command Simmons murdered Team Machine ally Joss Carter. Of course, she and Reese expressed their feelings to each other and kissed, and that can never lead to good things. Kissing on this show can lead to death. The only person who’s escaped the “kiss of death?” Shaw.

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Season Three, Episode 12 – “Aletheia”

 

No matter how evil a character is – or was – at some point in their storyline, I find it hard to watch them get tortured by another morally-ambiguous character. Shoot share a scene at the beginning of this episode when Root comes in with her dual-wielding badass self as she rescues Shaw, Finch, and Arthur Claypool from the clutches of Shaw’s former employer, a humorless government official nicknamed Control (played by the amazing Camryn Manheim). In the ensuing gun battle, Root is shot while Shaw looks on, concerned for her safety. Root yells at her to escape with Finch and Claypool, though after escaping to safety Shaw wonders if Root’s OK. Unfortunately for Root, she’s kidnapped by Control and tortured for information on TM. The torture scenes are hard to watch, especially the scene where Control causes permanent hearing loss in Root’s right ear. Even through all that torture, Root doesn’t give in and she gets the one-up on Control in a chilling scene that has TM speaking through Root; Acker in one of her finest scenes.

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Season Three, Episode 17 – “Root Path” (aka “/”)

I LOVE Root-centric episodes ’cause they’re so unpredictable – just like the hacker herself. I also love the ones that feature a Shoot scene.  The Shoot scenes in this episode are brief but filled with Root’s patented innuendos and Shaw’s eye-rolling at it. The first one has some playful flirting from Root, with Shaw pretending to totally hate it (see the scene above).

The second scene has Shaw checking on Root’s wounds from several violent encounters. Root leans in with a sexy “I love it when you play doctor” before Shaw pulls away from her quickly. Oh, those crazy kids! I recommend watching the full episode because there’s a great scene between Root and Finch towards the end. You can always expect some superb acting whenever Amy Acker and Michael Emerson are in the same scene, with lots of emotional moments shared between their characters.

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Season Three, Episode 20 – “Death Benefit”

Two short Shoot scenes, but they’re two of my favorites. Root arrives on her sexy motorcycle to recruit Shaw for a trip up to Anchorage, Alaska to fight a militia and then down to Miami for a few cocktails and their version of “girl talk,” among the bruised & battered bodies of drug dealers. They know how to have a fun time. This episode is the last before a trilogy of episodes at the end of the season which show Samaritan’s activation. Decima Technologies, the sinister and shady tech company that built Samaritan, is run by a really dastardly bastard named John Greer – an ex-spy with a dark past who wants to create a New World Order using Samaritan as their leader. Things only get more intense from this episode on for Team Machine and Shoot.

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Season Three, Episode 21 – “Beta” ++

Consider this to be the Root/Shaw/Reese Power Hour. The episode is the first part of a trilogy leading up to Samaritan’s rise and Team Machine being forced “underground” to avoid detection from it and its operatives. Though there are no isolated Shoot scenes, there are lots of scenes with them and Reese, and I love it when this trio works together on “numbers.” It’s funny seeing Reese’s indifference to Root’s endless flirting with Shaw.

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Season Three, Episode 22 – “A House Divided” ++

Another Root/Shaw/Reese Power Hour episode. After Finch has been kidnapped by Greer and Decima, Team Machine has to reluctantly work together with Team Control, led by Shaw’s former mentor and attempted murderer Hersh. Both teams are looking for their respective employers, who have been kidnapped by a Decima off-shoot known as Vigilance: a violent anti-surveillance and privacy collective that uses various methods of torture and intimidation to try and force the government to stop spying on the American people. Root wanders off on her own for a bit and employs three hackers (all former POI’s) to modify seven Samaritan servers to help disguise Team Machine and the hackers from its gaze.

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Season Three, Episode 23 – “Deus Ex Machina” ++

Team Machine and Team Control are still desperately searching for Finch and Control and trying to stop their executions at the hands of Vigilance. There are a lot of Shoot scenes in this episode with Root & Shaw on a side mission to disable seven very important Samaritan servers by adding new identities for Team Machine (minus Fusco, who is not seen as a threat by Samaritan) and Root’s hacker employees: Daizo, Daniel Casey, and Jason Greenfield, who are all former POI’s. These seven people pose the biggest threat to destroying or disabling Samaritan in some way, and they have to be protected at all costs. Samaritan goes “live” at the end of Season Three, but our heroes are still around to kick its ass. The screenshots above are the last moments between Shaw & Root as their former selves before taking on their new identities, not knowing if they’ll ever see each other again. /FEELS

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Season Four, Episode 1 – “Panopticon”

Two fan-favorite Shoot scenes are in this episode, which sees Team Machine coping with their new identities and trying to save “numbers,” now that Samaritan is active and hunting down the Machine. Poor Shaw is stuck as a make-up saleswoman at a department store – her worst nightmare ever, though the five-finger discount on eyeliner is the only positive. Shaw’s manager asks her to promptly attend to a customer who has been waiting for a makeover for over 15 minutes. Shaw turns around and she sees…

…this crazy goddess in a tight blue dress, casually sipping on her iced coffee and giving her “I wanna sex you” eyes. I’d probably have the same reaction as Shaw, not gonna lie. ‘Cause HOT DAMN, ROOT! ❤

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Season Four, Episode 2 – “Nautilus”

A less-than-minute long Shoot scene with Root & Shaw in a van. Root keeps checking up on Shaw, who is a bit annoyed by that (but secretly likes it). It’s a cute scene that’s all too brief in this episode, which features a future Samaritan player named Claire Maloney (if Martine is Shaw, Claire is Root).

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Season Four, Episode 5 – “Prophets” ++

Not only are there a few Shoot scenes in this episode, but there’s also a really deep and heartfelt conversation between Root & Finch about her relationship with the Machine and their ongoing war with Samaritan and its acolytes. At one point Root looks sadly at Finch, a bit defeated and ready to go on a mission that could possible get her killed to save a “number,” and she asks him to pass on a message to Shaw if she doesn’t make it out alive. Finch quickly adds that Shaw already knows. We can guess what Root wanted to say to Shaw.

This scene in particular is the first indication that Root & Shaw are more than just friends. Shaw expresses her own worry about Root when she asks Finch if he’s heard from her after her run-in with Samaritan operative Martine Rousseau (i.e. the super-evil blonde version of Shaw). One of the best episodes of this season & the series overall; a Top Three for me.

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Season Four, Episode 7 – “Honor Among Thieves” ++

Sylent Mari Says: This was the first episode of POI that I watched after a phone call with my mom one evening. She randomly mentioned the show to me (I wasn’t a fan at the time), and she mentioned that I’d dig the character “Root” ’cause she was totally gay and had a bit of a crush on a character named “Shaw.” I had previously seen a POI episode with Mom (Season Three’s “Liberty”), and I was happy to see Sarah (an actress I’ve always liked) and Amy (a favorite actress) in it, but I never caught their characters’ names. Jump to this episode. I called Mom later and said, “Wait! So Fred from Angel is the gay hacker you mentioned? Why didn’t you tell me sooner that it was her?” “I wanted you to see for yourself.” Thank you, Mom, for getting me into POI and Shoot.

Lil’ bit jealous there, Root? A great Team Machine episode with two of my favorite Shoot exchanges. The first exchange occurs towards the beginning of the episode, when Shaw is helping out their current “number”: a handsome thief named Tomas. Root – hiding out in Team Machine’s subway HQ and recovering from her injuries at the hands of Martine – decides to tease and flirt with Shaw over their shared comm link while she’s out on her “date” with Tomas. The flirting obviously gets to Shaw a few times, but she tries her hardest to play it off in front of Tomas.

Later, at the end of the episode, Shaw catches Root by surprise as she’s walking down the street. Root’s a bit irritated over a mission she & Finch had that supposedly led to a Samaritan-based operation, but turned out to be false, but perks up when Shaw appears. Shaw gives a heartfelt speech about almost running away to Barcelona with Tomas “for a hot second,” but deciding to stay in NYC because there were some things that she cared about in the city. Root’s face perks up and she cheekily asks if that’s why Shaw came to see her, but her ego gets knocked down a few pegs when Shaw asks for her assistance instead. Root quickly recovers, then not-to-subtly adds that “this could take all night.” That final look probably killed half the fandom and re-affirms the theory that Root & Shaw have had at least one sexual encounter:

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Season Four, Episode 9 – “The Devil You Know ++

A good amount of Shoot scenes are found in this episode. It’s time for Shaw to have a her own run-in with Samaritan. Martine spots Shaw across the department store her “identity” works at, and it’s quite the epic showdown. Fleeing from the scene, Root arrives as her ‘lady-knight-in-leather-on-motorcycle‘ and they escape Samaritan’s gaze. Finch, extremely worried about Shaw’s run-in with Martine, orders the two to hurry back to their hideout. Root’s having a hell of a time convincing Shaw to return, and not even Shaw’s flirty “Please” – which throws Root off for a second – dissuades her. She ends up sedating Shaw after tricking her, gently holding onto her as Shaw falls into a deep sleep.

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Season Four, Episode 10 – “The Cold War” ++

The stakes are raised when Samaritan and the Machine decide to have a “peace summit.” Root meets Samaritan’s own “Analog Interface” and he’s a creepy-as-hell grade schooler named Gabriel. There are several Shoot scenes in this episode as well: some fun, some more serious. In one of the most emotional moments in the episode, Shaw (who feels helpless as she’s ordered to stand down) berates Finch for allowing Root to go by herself to meet up with Samaritan. Finch stares her down and pointedly tells her: “There is one thing of which I am most certain – Root is not alone.”

I just re-watched this episode with a friend recently and caught on to the double-meaning behind Finch’s statement. How did it slip by me before? My interpretation: Root was alone after all these years and had found the Machine, who saved her, but then Shaw came into the picture and changed her world forever. Root will never be alone again because she has the Machine as her God, but Shaw is her other-half (whether they admit it to each other or not). Later, Finch tells Root that Shaw has left their hideout and is looking for her, wanting to help out with saving numbers. Root’s face is almost a lead-in to the next episode, which is a defining one for Shoot.


And Then Season Four’s “If-Then-Else” Happened…

For many fans and critics alike, this is the best episode that has aired of the show to-date. There’s several episodes in this season that could contend as the best, including: “Prophets,” “Terra Incognita,” “Asylum,” and “YHWH.” For me, “If-Then-Else” is one of the finest hours of television ever seen. It’s structured like a 45-minute epic short film that features interesting twists, very creative and intense computer simulation segments, and one of the most heart-wrenching final sequences that absolutely floored me and left me a speechless, sobbing mess as the credits rolled. Sometimes a heroine has to sacrifice herself to save the world and the woman that she’s fallen in love with.

For Shoot fans, this is THE episode that definitively cemented the couple’s canon status. The wonderfully shot and well-written simulation scenes featured different scenarios that the Machine was calculating while Her Administrator (Finch), Analog Interface (Root), and Primary Assets (Reese/Shaw) and Secondary Asset (Fusco) were in vastly different situations: Shaw dealing with a potential suicide bomber on a subway train, and the rest of Team Machine trying to stabilize the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and surviving Samaritan’s trap for them. Even with all the craziness and nerve-wracking moments in the episode, we also saw the Machine having a bit of fun too with her favorite couple. The Machine is Shoot’s biggest ‘shipper; no one can compare. This conversation occurs in her second simulation of everyone’s current (dire) situation:

Root: “Hey sweetie. You busy?”
Shaw: “A little. Skip the verbal foreplay, Root. Why you calling?”
Root: “Can’t a couple of gals take a little break from work to catch up?”
Shaw: “I’ve been arrested and you’re fighting an A.I. apocalypse, so no – we don’t have time to catch up.”
Root: “Well, there’s no need to be rude.”
Shaw: “…I am not having this conversation right now.”
Root: “There’s no time like the present, Sameen. Why are you so afraid to talk about your feelings?”
Shaw: “Feelings? I’m a sociopath – I don’t have feelings.”
Root: “And I’m a reformed killer for hire. We’re perfect for each other. You’re going to figure that out someday.”
Shaw: “Root, if you and I were the last two people on the face of this planet-“
Root: “An increasingly plausible scenario, given Samaritan’s plans.”
Shaw: “Fine. Maybe someday…when Samaritan wipes everyone out…we can talk about it.”
Root: “You’re saying ‘maybe someday’?”
Shaw: “Yeah, sure Root – maybe someday. Is that good enough for you?”
Root: “Yes, Sameen – that’s good enough for me.”

The last five minutes of the episode are insane, emotional, and a beautiful (temporary) send-off to a beloved character. Each of the simulations bring death to various members of Team Machine, but a shot-in-the-dark scenario (2+% success rate) is the only one the She sees as possibly giving Her team even the slightest advantage. She relays Her game plan to Root, who directs the team to stay together while they stop the market fluctuations and secure their escape route – a service elevator. That stupid, evil elevator. Meanwhile, Shaw is able to talk down the suicide bomber, who disables his device, and she arrives in the middle of a gunfight between a trapped Team Machine and the approaching Team Samaritan. As the central figure of the episode (alluded to many times throughout), Shaw really shines as the biggest hero of the hour.

In the middle of the gunfight, as Finch and Fusco help an injured Reese to safety, Root asks Shaw why they aren’t together. Love this following exchange (no, it wasn’t a simulation):

Root: “We’re so good at this together. You’re going to realize that someday.”
Shaw: “Root, no offense. You’re hot, you’re good with a gun. Those are two qualities that I greatly admire. But you and me together would be like a four-alarm fire in an oil refinery.”
Root: “Sounds cozy.”

The group safely makes it to the elevator but there’s no power to it. There’s an override button across the hallway; Shaw’s gonna press that damn button. Root grabs her because she’s not about to lose the woman that she’s come to love & care about – she’s gonna protect them all and be the one to press that damn button. Shaw turns around, mutters “Oh, for God’s sakes,” and then grabs Root by her signature leather jacket and gives her the kiss that fans have been waiting for a long time:

Shaw abruptly ends the kiss by shoving Root towards Fusco, who grabs onto her while Shaw runs out to push that godforsaken button. Root screams for Shaw from behind the elevator’s locked gate as Shaw falls to several bullets courtesy of Martine, who smugly comes up and points her gun at Shaw’s head. Shaw stares at her in defiance while Root falls apart and screams her soul out (dare you not to tear up at least once), fearing the worst has befallen her love. I’ve seen this episode tons of times and still get heartbroken during this final scene, even though I know Shaw is coming back. ALL. THE. FUCKING. FEELS.


UGH!!! ALL THE FEELS!!! NOT SHAW!!!

Why Shaw? Sarah Shahi was pregnant at the time with her twins, so she has taken a temporary hiatus from the show. Originally the writers had planned on offing Reese, but that changed when Sarah told them of her pregnancy. But did Shaw survive? As my mom once said after “If-Then-Else” aired: “No – they can’t kill off my favorite character. First they killed Sara [Lance] off of Arrow, and then Shaw. F-U TV.” Fear not, Mom! There’s good news ahead!

A Positive Outcome!

The following episodes are all Root-centric, but there are many Shoot feelings in each of them; I recommend several boxes of tissues to get through them in one piece. It kills me every time to start Season Four from the beginning and marathon through it – well, just the one time so far. I see my favorite perky psychopath around her favorite grumpy sociopath, and the feelings are so strong and so very mutual between them.

FANGIRL WARNING: We are now entering sad!Root Mode. Please proceed with caution. ALL. THE. SHOOT. FEELS.

Amy Acker deserves so many kudos for her acting in the series. This scene from “Control-Alt-Delete” breaks my heart every time.

Season Four, Episode 12 – “Control-Alt-Delete”

In this episode there’s a continuation of the storyline that “If-Then-Else” started. This time Shaw’s former employer and Root’s former torturer, Control, is involved. In the middle of a mess regarding national security and Samaritan, she is kidnapped by Reese & Root after they launch a rocket at her SUV and hold her hostage in a warehouse, asking her for information about Shaw’s whereabouts. Control repeatedly tells them she has no clue what’s happened to Shaw because she’s completely in the dark. Later on she goes to the stock market, seeing it freshly painted, and she knows that Samaritan has been lying about a lot of things. It’s time for Control to go full BAMF and find out more about Samaritan’s true intentions.

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Season Four, Episode 13 – “M.I.A.”

M.I.A. “Kiss-Cam” courtesy of the Machine. You’re welcome.

There is a major twist at the end of this episode that made lots of POI fans happy. Reese & Root, at the end of “Control-Alt-Delete,” get a really strong clue from Finch and the Machine that Shaw was possibly being transported in a white moving truck and heading to a location outside of the city. After causing mayhem and destruction across five states looking for their Mayhem Twin (Reese) and girlfriend (Root), it figures she’d be close to home. After a very strange visit to a strange town called Maple in upstate New York, Team Rocket (Reese & Root) thinks they’ve found Shaw, but it turns out it’s not her, but a secretary at the New York Stock Exchange who was injured & kidnapped in their battle with Samaritan, and possibly implanted with a neural device that could be used to control people. Root’s heartbroken face says it all, and even Reese’s face falls as he realizes it’s not Sameen.

While the rest of Team Machine has quietly said their “Goodbye’s” to Shaw at this point, Root’s not ready to let go or give up. Even the Machine tells her to stop searching for her, but Root refuses to believe that she’s dead. She can’t. If she loses that slightest bit of hope that Shaw could possibly be alive… True love never dies, as they say. And Hell hath no fury like a hacker who’s lost her girl and will kill everyone on the planet just to see her again.

The episode’s twist? We see Samaritan’s “father,” John Greer, talking to someone off-screen. We hear a familiar raspy voice and – SHAW’S FREAKIN’ ALIVE!!! If you think about it, she’s more useful to Samaritan alive than dead. Could Shaw be forced to do Samaritan’s bidding at a later time? That’s up in the air, and the episode “Asylum” explains a little more.

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Season Four, Episode 16 – “Blunt

There’s a brief exchange between Root & Finch in this episode, but we still see the effect that Shaw’s disappearance and possible “death” has had on Root. She’s been doing her own missions for the Machine, taking some time away in private after TM told her to “Sierra. Tango. Oscar. Papa.” (S.T.O.P.) looking for Sameen. Root wants to recruit more people to help them and Finch is appalled by the idea, especially after “everything that has happened” – a reference to Shaw. Root calls him out on that, asking him if that’s what they’re calling Shaw now, and Finch responds in return and reminds Root that she’s the one that doesn’t want to talk about Shaw. Cue a slight stab to the heart during this scene.

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Season Four, Episode 18 – “Skip”

sad!Root needs a hug from everyone. Who’s first?

This episode has one of my favorite Root scenes from the series, though it’s hard to watch because it packs such an emotional punch. Without spilling too much, there’s a moment in the episode where Root breaks down and tells Finch that Shaw’s “death” was her fault. She contacted Shaw for help at the stock exchange, and that guilt has been living with her this whole time. Even if Root hadn’t called her that day, Shaw would have still appeared for her friends and helped them out in their battle against Team Samaritan. This episode is also a Season Four highlight. Some fans dislike it, but I happened to like it. My only complaint is that the two storylines didn’t really gel together, and the pacing felt off.

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Season Four, Episode 19 – “Search and Destroy”

shoot00028There was badass!Root sorely lacking in this section. You’re welcome.

There is an epic Root vs. Martine fight in this episode; that’s all you really need to know. Team Machine have some awesome moments in the episode, but when Root spies Martine from across a snowy wooded area – she’s out for blood. This blonde bitch took Shaw away from her and she’s going to make her suffer. Reese stops her before she can choke out Martine, leaving Root quite angry and bitter about it. Later on in their underground subway hideout, Root is bandaging her bloodied & bruised knuckles as Reese comes in and tells her that killing Martine wouldn’t bring Shaw back. Root gives him this death glare and he acknowledges that he should have let her kill Martine. Well…hello “Asylum!”

One thing that really jumps out is Martine’s appearance. Her hair is dark brown and it’s loose and wavy. When she and Root have their confrontation, she’s even dressed similarly to Root’s style. It’s not something that I noticed at first, but after “Asylum” aired it dawned on me why.


And Then Season Four’s “Asylum” Also Happened…

What I love the most about Person Of Interest is that is such an unpredictable show that you will never, ever be emotionally prepared to watch an episode as a fan or guess where the storyline is taking us next. There are some wild moments in “Asylum,” a surprising death, and the escalation of three major storylines:

  • The Brotherhood vs. Elias, Reese & Fusco
  • Control vs. Samaritan
  • Finch & Root vs. Samaritan

Finch and Root have the most important storyline, IMO, because it deals directly with Samaritan and the reveal of its very sinister plans involving the Machine, as well as the reveal of Shaw’s whereabouts. While there are no direct Shoot scenes, there are several Shoot-adjacent scenes. And Root… If there’s ever a situation where I need someone to have my back, I want Root by my side.

Finch & Root (Team Nerd) are in the subway hideout, monitoring a situation between the Brotherhood and Elias and his crew when a cell phone starts ringing, startling the two. Root looks for it and notices that it’s Sameen’s cell. Shocked, she picks up the phone and hears the very voice she’s been hoping to hear for so long. It’s not a pleasant conversation: Shaw is asking Root for her help.

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It’s on. Root is going to find Shaw and rescue her, and will even sacrifice herself as long as Shaw makes it out alive. Anyone who crosses her path will truly know the definition of pain and death – mostly death. When Root’s so intensely focused it’s best to let her be and do what she needs to do to accomplish her mission. Finch, as hard as he tries to dissuade her on many occasions, tags along because he cares for Root as deeply as a friend can and doesn’t want to see her hurt or killed. Such an extreme change in their relationship from the first time Finch encountered Root to now.

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Poor Finch is desperately trying to keep up with Root as she hurries up to the top of a skyscraper to play a very scary game of “Chicken” for the Machine for information on Shaw’s location. TM isn’t budging at first, but as the situation becomes more precarious as Root blindly walks across the ledge of the building, TM relents and tells Root where to find Shaw.

Did the Machine know there Shaw was this whole time? Apparently so. And I’m pretty sure Root is hella pissed at Her. Why did TM keep this info hidden for so long? I’ve got some thoughts here in a minute.

Shaw’s been hidden in a mental institution that has an amazing amount of power (electrical and networking) going to it. That’s a little suspicious. In order to get closer to where Shaw’s being hidden, Team Nerd goes undercover as a doctor (Root) and patient (Finch).shoot00050

There’s some really funny lines between them, but there’s a slight moment of panic when a real doc asks Finch about his mental state and he stalls for a second, and we get this look from Root:

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That *THUD!* was millions of Root fans fainting from a single raised eyebrow. Amy is the master of the raised eyebrow and manages to always make it look both intimidating and sexy. Finch finally relents and plays along.

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Finch causes a distraction that allows Root to search for Shaw as he looks up information on Shaw on one of the institution’s computers. We get this catchy new nickname describing a certain “patient”: Compact Persian Sociopath. Yup – that’s Shaw in a nutshell. Root makes her way up to the floor where Shaw’s being held and it turns out to be something neither she nor Finch were expecting: Samaritan’s central HQ. HOLY. CRAP. Root tells Finch to escape while he still can, but he’s gonna stick with her ’til the bitter end. Or until he’s captured.

shoot00057 “We meet again, for the 1000th time…”

Root finds Shaw’s room and rushes towards a familiar black coat. It’s the same coat that Shaw was wearing the day of the Stock Exchange crash. As she’s clutching onto it, she hears vehicles starting. Rushing to a window, she sees visual confirmation that Shaw is alive and being led to a black SUV by Samaritan agents. So damn close! Meanwhile, out comes Martine from the shadows, smirking as evilly as one can while she says that she was able to break Shaw after months of unsuccessful attempts.

How did Martine finally break Shaw (if she actually did)? As I mentioned briefly in “Search and Destroy,” Martine’s look was much different than the last couple of times that we’ve seen her. Several fans quickly pointed out online that Martine probably changed her appearance to look like Root, tricking Shaw – who’s been heavily medicated and possibly hallucinating under the drug cocktails they’ve been giving her. The only person that Shaw really, truly, deeply loves and cares about is Root, and she probably told Martine a few things while assuming she was speaking to Root this whole time. Definitely a great plan, but oh so dastardly.

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Root is drugged in the middle of her fight in Shaw’s room as Finch is brought up to the room too. Greer comes in, smiling that smile that villains do when they think they’ve won it all, as he talks about Root’s direct connection to the Machine through her implant. Wait – how did they find out about it?

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Team Samaritan knew that Root communicated with the Machine directly, but they never really knew how.  Shaw revealed to them at some point that it was actually a cochlear implant. As Martine tells Root: “Your little girlfriend told us all about it.” Root sneers and spits back, “She would never.” What’s really important about that exchange is that no one corrects that fact – Shaw is technically Root’s girlfriend. Greer, Finch, Martine, Samaritan, the Machine, Reese, Fusco… They all know. Even the bad guys know that Shoot is a thing.

But the threat of laying a hand on Finch takes Root into temporary God Mode, finally getting revenge on Martine by snapping her neck in a “Oh my god, that just happened!” scene. My dad high-fived me and cheered on Root after that scene; turns out he’s a big Root fan too. Greer just stands around as smug as ever, not even blinking as his top operative is killed in front of him. Finch is speechless the whole time and probably extremely thankful that Root is on hisside.

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Samaritan, in the midst of all the chaos, offers the Machine a compromise: reveal Her location to it, and it won’t kill Her human agents. Finch is still speechless as Root turns towards a camera and screams at it, begging the Machine to keep fighting and to look for others that will help Her out. Finch, back in “Prophets,” once told Root that they were all interchangeable and that TM doesn’t care about them; only about Her needs and wants. Root argued that the Machine does care or they all wouldn’t be alive, counting all of the near-death experiences they’ve all been.

As the clock is ticking down the Machine finally – for the first time – speaks up:

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Last sad!Root picture, I promise.

The Machine saves Her team by relenting to Samaritan’s request, and as Its acolytes and Greer run off to find Her location, Root and Finch are still in shock that She finally spoke up and told them how much they all mean to Her, and how She was unable to rescue Shaw. I mentioned earlier that the Machine didn’t give Shaw’s whereabouts before. I think, along with a few other fans, that She’s been secretly in contact with Shaw and has her working as a double-agent. Make it seem like Sameen’s working for Samaritan, but in reality sabotaging them from the inside with the Machine’s help.

There’s a brief scene at the end where we see Shaw riding shotgun as she looks out of the SUV’s window, her reflection on the passenger side mirror, while a voiceover from the Samaritan operative that Control’s been dealing plays in the background, talking about people being given second chances and a rebirth to really find their true purpose. Hmm…

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Anything in the Season Four finale “YHWH?”

Well… There’s no mention of Shaw, but there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene where Control’s right-hand woman is killed (or temporarily taken out) by someone holding a syringe, and the hand looks suspiciously like Shaw’s. That’s the only possible glimpse that we get of her until she comes back kicking ass and kissing Root in Season Five. “YHWH” is a highly-recommended episode that is filled with lots of action, suspense, and a heartbreaking moment between the Machine and Finch at the end. Collective *sign,* everyone.


AND HERE COME THE (FAN) ACCOLADES!

SpoilerTV Wins for 2015

SpoilerTV is a popular site for fans who want to catch the latest news, reviews, and so much more about their favorite shows. This year, Person of Interest showed up and swept several polls, making their first appearance on the site in major ways. Let us count the ways:

POI-spoilertv

POI-spoilertv-TV-awards

As you can see above, Amy Acker and her character Root turned out to be quite the popular players, and deservedly so (as well as Michael Emerson). I’ve dubbed this year as #YearOfTheAcker because Amy’s profile has certainly risen to new heights thanks to her involvement on POI as the fan-favorite Root. It’s her highest-profile role to-date, and one that brings so many unexpected scenes of badassery from the character.

The much-touted episode “If-Then-Else” won the Episode Cup, beating out another POI episode: the Season Four finale “YHWH.” Many fans (like me) regard “If-Then-Else” as a highlight of the series for several reasons. The biggest reason – which takes up a chunk of this post – is the escalation of Root & Shaw’s relationship from flirting to casual encounters (a tidbit that was dropped at NYCC) to full-on relationship, which will be further explored during Season Five. For the umpteenth time: seriously, CBS? When’s it gonna air?

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ZIMBIO POLL SHOUT-OUT FROM AMY ACKER!

When it comes to actors & actresses who love the fandom they’re representing, there are two groups: those who just do their job and that’s that, and those who are so beyond grateful for their fans. And then there are some who dig the fandom so much that they also support the ‘shippers as well. There is no better example of an actor or actress who really loves acting and absolutely loves their current character, who is so kind & gracious to their fanbase, and is also the most down-to-earth individual ever than Amy Acker. She is also the biggest ‘shipper ever of the ‘ship her character is one-half of: Shoot. She loves Shoot fans, she gets a kick out of seeing fans wearing their Shoot shirts (got first-hand experience in that, LOL), and she can’t wait to see her ‘ship reunited in the coming fifth season. She also doesn’t shy away from talking about Shoot and brings them up often. She’s a fan like the rest of us, and that is the coolest thing ever.

To see how big of a fan she is, you can check out this short article that Zimbio posted. The most important thing from the article is the video message below, which she recorded at San Diego Comic Con 2015.

Side note: She is always smiling or laughing. Like the awesomest positive energy too. Having a bad day? Just watch a video with her in it and try not to grin.

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More About That March Madness Zimbio Poll

How popular is Shoot? We’re the small-yet-growing fandom that could. Earlier in March of this year (2015), Zimbio (a pop culture/entertainment website) had their annual TV Couples March Madness Challenge. The poll featured both canon (official couples) and fanon (fan-favorite) couples and the competition was fierce. During that time I got heavily involved in the Shoot fandom, and this post was my contribution to rallying the fans to vote as often as they could, and giving my reasons why people should vote for them in the poll if they were new to the fandom. Research for this post involved watching lots of Shoot fanvids and watching the episodes that they appeared in – no matter how brief their appearance is. One can easily lose track of time watching anything Shoot-related. In the end, the Perky Psychopath and her Compact Persian Sociopath won – surprise winners as they were first-year nominees, and they absolutely dominated. #TeamShoot

zimbio-win Zimbio posted two really fun articles that all fans should check out that dive into the A-Z’s of Shoot and the creativeness of fans (including Clexa fans from The 100, runners-up and another fandom to check out) in promoting their favorite couples during the Final Two.

Mulder & Scully Stumble Upon Another Conspiracy… Happy X-FILES Revival Day! – #1

"The X-Files" View Party ListThe X-Files Premiere Party ChecklistCollect them all!

Wonderful fans and visitors of this blog: the X-Files are back! Before this X-Phile starts writing a new article about her favorite TV series, it’s mandatory to have that most recognizable of theme songs playing as you read through it. Stream the hell out of this song today on repeat and annoy your neighbors as you crank it up. Here ya go:

To say that I’m excited that this Very Important Day (V.I.D.) has finally arrived is the biggest understatement of 2016, though I’ll probably be saying the same when Person of Interest finally returns this Spring. I’m currently in a state of pleasant calmness, but I have a feeling that in the next couple of hours my inner-fangirl will finally start squee-ing from anticipation. I never imagined the series ever making its triumphant return to the small screen, but I’m so glad that I was proven wrong. It’s like an awesome dream that suddenly popped out of nowhere, but it’s actually reality – which is way better.

Tonight (January 24) is the first of a two-night series premiere that FOX set for the revival. The remaining four episodes – “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” “Home Again,” “Babylon,” and “My Struggle II” – will be airing the next several weeks. The first episode is titled “My Struggle” and sees Mulder & Scully reuniting after several years apart. That’s as much as I’m going to say without spoiling anything.

The promos below give you some hints of what’s to come, though, and are spoiler-licious. The episode premieres tonight and Monday (January 25) at the following times in the USA on local FOX affiliates:

  • 10:00 PM – East Coast 
  • 9:00 PM – Central
  • 8:00 PM – Mountain (mine)
  • 7:00 PM – West Coast

My fellow Americans – we can all tweet and Facebook at the same time as the episodes are premiering and not spoil the series for anyone! Except for those that can’t watch the episodes immediately (sorry international fans). If you’re not a fan of the series, you might want to avoid all social media, TV, and the Internet for the rest of the day. If you want to add my handle on the Twitter thing and follow my non-stop geeking out, here ya go: @SylentMari. There’s also a spoiler thread for “My Struggle” that will be posted on the Geeky Voyage Facebook page.

In preparation for the two-night series premiere, “My Struggle” and “Founder’s Mutation,” this is a collection of promos, behind-the-scenes, character spots, and other miscellaneous clips from the new limited-run that FOX has released over the past several months. The following are video clips you can check out:

  • Cool mini-documentary on why The X-Files returned (with a sneak peek at future episodes).
  • Five sneak peeks at “My Struggle” for fans who want a trial run of the episode.
  • Fun lil’ viral video from the faux TV show featuring new character “Tad O’Malley” (Joel McHale from Community, The Soup)

[SPOILER WARNING] This is the most SPOILER-FILLED article that I’ve posted on Geeky Voyage, and I’ve done some pretty good spoiler-rific articles for various other shows. All of the videos below contain scenes from the new limited-run edition of the series. If you want to venture away and watch your favorite episodes and both feature films, I wouldn’t blame you. For the rest of you X-Philes that are highly anticipating the return of the series and can’t wait to see what happens, proceed with the utmost caution. [/WARNING]


The X-Files | Drum Intro

A cool, quick version of the theme song using some unique drums. It’s really trippy to listen to.


A Global Phenomenon

Remember way back in the 1990’s when The X-Files premiered and grew from a series with a small fan showing to a cultural phenomenon? This video is a friendly reminder of that time when the series dominated the world. It was an awesome time to be a fan back then and still is now.


They’re Coming

The first promo that aired for the revival series on October 26, 2015.


The X-Files | First Look

The first real look at the series – only 1:20 minutes. A great little tease of what’s to come.


The X-Files: Re-Opened

Before you watching the series premiere “My Struggle,” get yourself re-acquainted with The X-Files by watching this video. There’s lots of behind-the-scenes information and spoilers for the new episodes. It’s a good introductory video for newer fans of the series, as well as a great nostalgic look-back for longtime fans. The video is about 22 minutes and is a great way to get psyched about the new episodes premiering soon. My dad’s already seen it and he was astonished (people don’t use that word enough) when I told him that I hadn’t seen it yet ’cause S-P-O-I-L-E-R-S.


The X-Files | Declassified

The fastest explanation of The X-Files ever.


The X-Files: 10×01 – “My Struggle Opening Scene”

Try not to get chills & tears while watching this badass opening scene from “My Struggle.” Chills, I tell ya.


Collection of Sneak Peeks from The X-Files: 10×01 – “My Struggle”

SNEAK PEEK #1: “Expecting”

SNEAK PEEK #2: “Impossible”

SNEAK PEEK #3: “Masquerade”

SNEAK PEEK#4: “Do You Remember?”

SNEAK PEEK #5: “Urgent”


The Truth Revealed: Mulder and Scully

If you want a more definitive answer about Sculder’s (Scully/Mulder) relationship status, this video also answers that question.


The Ex Files

The title says it all and doubles as a major spoiler. If you’re a ‘shipper, not a warm & fuzzy clip to watch before the premiere.


Show & Not Tell: Joel McHale

Show & Not Tell: Mitch Pileggi

Show & Not Tell: Gillian Anderson

Watch Joel McHale (“Tad O’Malley”), Mitch Pileggi (“Walter Skinner,” and Gillian Anderson (“Dana Scully”) give you a quick introduction to the new episodes, with super-fast glances at upcoming scenes. If you’re graphics-savvy, you can rip the screenshots and decipher each new scene in detail. Must look away…


 The Conspiracy Will Be Televised

Mulder has a conservative other half! Tad O’Malley, played by Joel McHale from Community, is a brand-new character introduced in the series. He’s a conservative talk show host who’s a conspiracy theorist, which obviously sings to Mulder’s paranoid heart. O’Malley tries to recruit Mulder for a strange case, and Mulder tries to bring in a reluctant Scully back into the fold.


William

If you’re a fan that quit the series after the film The X-Files: Fight the Future or right before the final two seasons, you’re gonna be completely lost watching this clip. If you remember William, this clip explores some of Sculder’s feelings about giving up their child. Will we his return in the series? All spoilers point to “YES” –  in one of the new promos Scully gets an incoming call from “William.

 

Rooting for Root

Over the summer, I discovered a television series that blew my mind and changed my perception on modern television. Said series is Person of Interest.

Until I had subscribed to Netflix back in June, I hadn’t heard much about the series. I knew of the two main female characters, Root and Shaw (their portmanteau pairing name being the apposite “Shoot”) and that was as far as my knowledge on POI stretched. Sadly, the series receives next to no promotion in the UK so it is largely unknown to the majority of British audiences.

I had been fresh off an Angel binge at the time and I was dying for some more Amy Acker in my life. So when I saw an advertisement for POI on Netflix—its title card blown up in all of its deceptively subtle glory— I bit the bullet and loaded it up.

The first thing that I vividly recall being enamoured with was the usage of immersive camera angles and the special effects used for The Machine’s sequences. But above all else, I was smitten by the portrayal of AI. Finally, I thought, a show that doesn’t depict artificial intelligence in an over-blown, cliché, apocalyptic manner. Already, we were off to a excellent start.

And then I met Root.

To cut to the chase, Root has easily become my favourite fictional character of all time,  a statement that I do not write lightly. There are many characters who I hold dearly in my heart, but Root absolutely overshadows every single one of them.

Initially introduced as a faceless, enigmatic hacker in the episode “Root Cause“, we saw her properly for the first time in the season one finale, “Firewall“; only after she posed as a meek psychologist and deceived Finch and Reese, though. Her reveal at the end of the episode still remains as one of my favourite moments from the entire series.

Over the next couple of episodes, Root near disassembled Finch’s mind. As Finch later put it, “she hacks human beings as easily as she hacks computers“, a statement which certainly sums up Root’s character to perfection. After rendering him traumatised, she vanished for a while before showing up for the last few seconds of “Booked Solid“, which was a pleasant surprise as Amy had been uncredited as a guest star. For the duration of the season, she beautifully deceived Special Counsel and caused trouble for yet another person, Shaw (more on her later). Though it seems for a moment in the finale, “God Mode” that her time might be up when she is confined to a psychiatric facility, the season ends on Root answering a phone call from The Machine, who asks if Root can hear it. With the biggest smirk on her face, Root answers with one word: “absolutely“. Ultimately, she had won, for she had acquired access to The Machine.

By this point, Root was already my favourite character, but now, I was obsessed. All I wanted to know was what Root was going to get up to next, now that The Machine had identified her as its “Analog Interface”, which essentially means that Root is the face of The Machine and that she has constant access to it. My hopes for season three were high, now that I knew that Root was being promoted to a main character. I was not disappointed, as Root had a terrific character arc in season three, where we were treated to a Root-centric episode, “Root Path” (also known as “/“).

Naturally, I cannot write about Root without writing about her relationship with Sameen Shaw, the other female on Team Machine. Their development, both as individual characters, and as a romantic couple has been entirely organic. Without Shaw’s character, Root’s character would not have developed the way she did in certain aspects, and vice versa. Whilst it was The Machine that initially planted a seed of humanity into Root, it was Shaw who watered the seed and helped it blossom. If anybody doubted their sincerity and deep feelings for each other beforehand, surely their doubts were promptly quashed when the two engaged in a passionate kiss before Shaw tragically put her life on the line to save everybody.

Their romance is intense and keeps the audience on their toes. What you won’t get from them is romantic strolls in Central Park with birds chirping a pretty song in the background; what you will get from them is allusions to sexual intercourse in a CIA safe-house with ten hours to kill, accompanied by a hood and zip-ties. My kind of women.

Once Shaw is out of the picture from the middle of season four onwards, her absence is sorely felt. Root is distraught and devotes all of her time to ascertaining where Shaw is and how she can rescue her. It is evident that Reese and Finch are certain that Shaw is dead, but Root is titanium strong in her perseverance. At one point, Root comments, “I’m not the monster I used to be. I’ve changed. Well, mostly changed“. Which is a fair statement because at this point in the series, she serves as more of an anti-hero. Her methods are what I like to think of as organised chaos. At her core, she is a schemer, but she is using her skills for benevolent purposes at this point. Even so, she is still happy to use violence and she still goes off on her own quests, away from the others. One of the most interesting things I found in season four was how Root was even willing to defy The Machine in order to pursue Shaw. That, to me, was the biggest testament as to how far her character has evolved. She picked the woman she loves over what essentially serves as her God.

Despite CBS’ shambolic incompetence, I am still ecstatic for season five and what I am most looking forward to is seeing Root and Shaw’s reunion and finding out exactly what has happened to Shaw over the months. I won’t hold my breath for it, but I would love to see flashbacks of the two in their younger years because there is still much to be expanded on in their pasts. In the episode “Bad Code“, Root’s mother had been described as “not well” which can have a few meanings. I personally suspect that she may have been mentally unwell, thus resulting in Root having a less than pleasant childhood, a contributing factor in who she grew up to be. I also noticed how her father wasn’t mentioned at all. Root is certainly more comfortable around females, to the point where she insists on using feminine pronouns for The Machine so I suspect that she has had unpleasant encounters with males in the past, possibly even with her father. Of course, this is just my personal speculation, and hopefully, we will get to learn a smidgen more about Root. As for Shaw, I would love to see a flashback of her in the Marines. Observant viewers may have noticed that in the season four intro on Shaw’s service record, there is some interesting information including: her rank in the Marines was Captain (it is listed as RANK – DOR: CPT 20080616) and I believe that the numbers are when she was promoted to that rank which would have been June 16th 2008. There is also MIL SPOUSE SSN/MPS listed as redacted, which I believe stands for military spouse. This could mean that Shaw was actually married at one point. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case, after all, Sameen Shaw isn’t renowned for discussing her past in-depth. In any case, I am eager for more Shoot; their histories, their present romance, whatever! I’ll take anything.

Root hasn’t identified as such, but I am sure that she is somewhat of a transhumanist. It is her line “humanity‘s come as far as we’re gonna go. I want to see what’s next” which makes me suspect that. Given how the show centres around technology, I don’t think that it’s a ridiculous suggestion. Assuming that I’m correct, it only makes me love POI even more. Seeing a superbly complex, queer, transhumanist—or at the very least, tech-obsessed—female hacker on television isn’t an every day occurrence. Of course, only Amy Acker could portray such a character. This is the woman who portrayed a primordial, blue-tinged God-King, lest we forget.

Once season five finally airs, I will be updating this article with relevant information regarding Root’s character development, how I feel about season five, and Shoot. I hope that will be sooner rather than later because as I wrote at the beginning of the article, Person of Interest has blown my mind, and Root is a huge part of that.

 

 

Animated Terrors, “SIMPSONS”-Style [‘30 Days of Halloween’ Belated Post]

Credit: Simpsons Wikia

Halloween is long gone (it’s been three weeks), and that makes me a sad Sylent Mari. I’m bummed out that my plans for posting a new article each day up until and the day of were foiled once again by…every random thing you can think of. On the plus side – I’ve got a new boss at work who’s a fellow geek that likes a lot of the same things that I do, and Firefly fans – he’s a Browncoat! And a fellow Whedonite and part of the Clone Club (Orphan Black fans). I lucked out on the New Boss Lottery for sure.

But y’all don’t mind if I still publish a few belated posts in honor of my favorite holiday/celebratory day, right? I’m posting some of the major articles starting this weekend, with The Simpsons making their first appearance in the belated countdown and getting a long-deserved shout-out on Geeky Voyage. When the show first aired back in 1989, I was eight. Sure, I’ve admitted my real age on here (not the first time), but to this day I can still watch and enjoy The Simpsons and feel like that little girl that fell in love with the show when I first saw it (thanks, Dad!).

One of my favorite things about Halloween and The Simpsons is seeing what television shows, films, novels, etc. the show will tackle & reference in the yearly tradition known as the annual Treehouse of Horror episode. Always a fan highlight no matter how “meh” the seasons have been in recent years, there’s always something funny and spooky (for the kiddos in the audience) in these episodes that pay tribute to the macabre. It’s also quite fun to watch what type of wacky scenarios for our favorite animated family encounters and hopefully survive the outcome. I missed this year’s episode because I was mentally preparing myself for the Lost Girl finale that aired on the same night (still not over that finale), but I’ve seen all of the episodes throughout the many years the show’s been on. Episodes that I really liked are marked below and even have my special brand of somewhat-witty commentary.

Credit: Simpsons Wikia

So why do I (and a decent amount of the world’s population) enjoy the Treehouse of Horror episodes? ‘Cause there’s TONS of pop culture references from all over popular media that can be seen in each episode. The fun in watching an episode is trying to see how many references you spot and recognize, and many will slip by you unnoticed. That’s why I’ve included the nifty Wikipedia link right below so that you can identify and go “ahh!” when you recognize the ones that surprised you, or the ones you’re experiencing for the first time.

If you’re in the mood to binge-watch these episodes, it’ll take you roughly thirteen hours to watch all twenty-five of them. It’s a great way to spend a day off or scare your little ones if you have them. Not that I’m encouraging parents to frighten their little ones with slightly-horrific cartoons, but get them ready for real-life horrors at a young age. Totally kidding…ish.

I do apologize for the quality of some of the videos that you’ll see below, all grabbed from YouTube and uploaded from some very kind uploaders. The videos give you a small glimpse of each episode, which you should watch. Make it a new Halloween tradition in your family or your eclectic group of friends. Take a gander at the guide below to check out the list of all the Treehouse of Horror episodes that have aired so far over the past twenty-five (!) years.

TREEHOUSE OF HORROR Episodes List on Wikipedia

Guide Note: Any episodes with “*” next to it denotes an episode that I love. 


HONORABLE MENTION (non-“Treehouse of Horror”)

Season Eight’s “The Springfield Files” *
Originally Aired:
January 12, 1997

If you’ve never seen this Simpsons episode, you have to watch it because it’s a series highlight and a favorite of my fellow X-Philes. This fan-favorite episode features Leonard Nimoy, Gillian Anderson, and David Duchovny in a story that combines the popular “unsolved cases” TV shows from the 1990’s and The X-Files.

Leonard Nimoy (R.I.P.) plays the host of a TV show that features a case involving Homer Simpson and his close encounter with a purported “alien” that he encounters after a drunken night out. Which is like every night for Homer. The FBI takes an interest in the mystery, with Fox Mulder & Dana Scully making an appearance in Springfield as they question Homer and his friends and family about what he saw that night. So – was it really an alien that Homer encountered? You’re going to have to watch to find out the truth, ‘cause it is out there, you know…

Easily a fan-favorite episode and one of the best episodes from the earlier seasons, “The Springfield Files” deserves a name drop in this list because it was too good of an episode to pass up. There’s lots of funny scenes between Mulder, Scully and Homer that can’t be missed, and there’s also a small subplot featuring Moe trying to smuggle out an orca that he has in a backroom at his bar that’s absurd and too good to pass up. The scene where he’s running across a field with his associates as they carry the orca and are spotted by Scully is one of my personal highlights.

Favorite scene:

With the Cigarette Smoking Man standing in the background, Scully is preparing to ask Homer some questions with the aid of a lie detector. He fails the first question in epic fashion, as only he can. Oh, Homer!


”TREEHOUSE OF HORROR” EPISODES

Treehouse of Horror I October 25, 1990 *
Episodes: “Bad Dream House” / “Hungry are the Damned” / “The Raven”

Pop Culture References: The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist (“Bad Dream House”), the introduction of recurring alien characters Kang & Kodos (“Hungry are the Damned”), Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” with narration by James Earl Jones (“The Raven”).

Favorite Segment: “The Raven”

Random Musing: “The Raven” is one of my favorite segments in the Treehouse of Horror series. One of my top five favorite segments from the entire run (so far), and an instant classic.


Treehouse of Horror IIOctober 31, 1991 *
Episodes: “Lisa’s Nightmare” (“The Monkey’s Paw”) / “Bart’s Nightmare” (“The Bart Zone”) / “Homer’s Nightmare” (“If I Only Had a Brain”)

Pop Culture References: Author W.W. Jacobs and The New Twilight Zone’s “A Small Talent for War” (“The Monkey’s Paw”), The Twilight Zone’s “It’s a Good Life” (“The Bart Zone”), Frankenstein, The Thing with Two Heads (“If I Only Had a Brain”).

Favorite Segment: “The Monkey’s Paw”


Treehouse of Horror IIIOctober 29, 1992 *
Episodes: “Clown Without Pity” / “King Homer” / “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie”

Pop Culture References: The Twilight Zone’s “Living Doll” (“Clown Without Pity”), King Kong (“King Homer”),  famous people including George Washington, Albert Einstein, and William Shakespeare, among a few others (“Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie”).

Favorite Segment: “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombie”


Treehouse of Horror IVOctober 28, 1993*
Episodes: Wraparounds / “The Devil and Homer Simpson” / “Terror at 5 1/2 Feet” / “Bart Simpson’s Dracula”

Pop Culture References: The Devil and Daniel Webster (“The Devil and Homer Simpson”), Richard Matheson and The Twilight Zone’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (“Terror at 5 1/2 Feet”), Lost Boys and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (“Bart Simpson’s Dracula”).

Favorite Segment: “Terror at 5 1/2 Feet”


Treehouse of Horror VOctober 30, 1994 *
Episodes: “The Shinning” / “Time and Punishment” / “Nightmare Cafeteria”

Pop Culture References: The Shining and various horror icons like Freddy Krueger, Dracula, and Pinhead (“The Shinning”), A Sound of Thunder (“Time and Punishment”), Soylent Green (“Nightmare Cafeteria”).

Favorite Segment: “The Shinning”

Random Musing: “The Shinning” is my favorite Treehouse of Horror segment. It’s classic Simpsons and while other segments have come close to matching it, none will ever surpass it, IMO.


Treehouse of Horror VIOctober 29, 1995 *
Episodes: “Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores” / “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” / “Homer3 (Homer Cubed)”

Pop Culture References: Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (“Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores”), A Nightmare on Elm Street (“Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”), Tron and The Twilight Zone’s “Little Girl Lost” (“Homer3 [Homer Cubed]”).

Favorite Segment: “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace”

Random Musing: “Homer3 (Homer Cubed)” was my favorite segment from this episode when I first caught it as a 14-year-old (!!!). 20 years later (egads! It’s been that long and wow do I feel old…), that’s been pushed aside for “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” because it pays homage to my favorite horror franchise. Groundskeeper Willie is quite creeptastic as the Freddy Krueger-esque dream killer in the segment, and it holds up quite well today.


Treehouse of Horror VIIOctober 27, 1996
Episodes: “The Thing and I” / “The Genesis Tub” / “Citizen Kang”

Pop Culture References: The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Basket Case (“The Thing and I”), The Twilight Zone’s “The Little People” (“The Genesis Tub”), Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (“Citizen Kang”).

Favorite Segment: “Citizen Kang”


Treehouse of Horror VIIIOctober 26, 1997
Episodes: “The HΩmega Man” / “Fly vs. Fly” / “Easy-Bake Coven”

Pop Culture References: The Ωmega Man (“The HΩmega Man”), The Fly (“Fly vs. Fly”), The Crucible (Easy-Bake Coven”).

Favorite Segment: “The HΩmega Man”


Treehouse of Horror IXOctober 25, 1998
Episodes: “Hell Toupée” / “The Terror of Tiny Toon” / “Starship Poopers”

Pop Culture References: Alien (“Hell Toupée”), Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (“The Terror of Tiny Toon”), The Jerry Springer Show (“Starship Poopers”).

Favorite Segment: “Starship Poopers”


Treehouse of Horror XOctober 31, 1999 *
Episodes: “I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did” / “Desperately Xeeking Xena” / “Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die”

Pop Culture References: I Know What You Did Last Summer (“I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did”), Lucy Lawless and her most famous alter-ego, Xena, and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (“Desperately Xeeking Xena”), Dick Clark and his New Year’s Rockin Eve, and many special guests including radio personality Dr. Laura, scandalous former skating champion Tonya Harding, former MTV VJ/actor/comedian Paulie Shore, Courtney Love, actor Tom Arnold, former presidential candidate Ross Perot, and Rosie O’Donnell.

Favorite Segment: “Desperately Xeeking Xena”

Random Musing: Lucy Lawless as herself and as Xena in the same segment = geekdom galore. Did you know that Lucy Lawless can fly? It says so in the episode, so it’s gotta be true. Lucy Lawless is the shit.


Treehouse of Horror XINovember 1, 2000
Episodes: “G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad” / “Scary Tales Can Come True” / “Night of the Dolphin”

Pop Culture References: The Munsters (opening sequence), Ghost Dad (“G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad”), Grimm’s Fairy Tales (“Scary Tales Can Come True”), The Day of the Dolphin (“Night of the Dolphin”).

Favorite Segment: “Scary Tales Can Come True”


Treehouse of Horror XIINovember 6, 2001
Episodes: “Hex and the City” / “House of Whacks” / “Wiz Kids”

Pop Culture References: Stephen King’s Thinner (“Hex and the City”), Demon Seed and 2001: A Space Odyssey (“House of Whacks”), the Harry Potter universe (“Wiz Kids”).

Favorite Segment: “House of Whacks”


Treehouse of Horror XIIINovember 3, 2002 *
Episodes: “Send in the Clones” / “The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms” / “The Island of Dr. Hibbert”

Pop Culture References: Multiplicity and Family Guy (“Send in the Clones”), The Terminator (“The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms”), The Island of Dr. Moreau (“The Island of Dr. Hibbert”).

Favorite Segment: “The Island of Dr. Hibbert”


Treehouse of Horror XIVNovember 2, 2003
Episodes: “Reaper Madness” / “Frinkenstein” / “Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off”

Pop Culture References: The Santa Clause (“Reaper Madness”), Frankenstein (“Frinkenstein”), The Twilight Zone’s “A Kind of a Stopwatch” and former boxer Oscar de la Hoya (“Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off”).

Favorite Segment: “Reaper Madness”


Treehouse of Horror XVNovember 7, 2004
Episodes: “The Ned Zone” / “Four Beheadings and a Funeral” / In the Belly of the Boss”

Pop Culture References: The Dead Zone (“The Ned Zone”), From Hell (“Four Beheadings and a Funeral”), Fantastic Voyage and the song “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (“In the Belly of the Boss”).

Favorite Segment: “The Ned Zone”


Treehouse of Horror XVINovember 6, 2005
Episodes: “B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence” / “Survival of the Fattest” / “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face”

Pop Culture References: A.I. Artificial Intelligence (“B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence”), The Most Dangerous Game (“Survival of the Fattest”), The Twilight Zone’s “The Masks” (“I’ve Grown a Costume to Your Face”).

Favorite Segment: “I’ve Grown a Costume on Your Face”


Treehouse of Horror XVIINovember 5, 2006
Episodes: “Married to the Blob” / “You Gotta Know When To Golem” / “The Day the Earth Looked Stupid”

Pop Culture References: Tales from the Crypt (opening sequence), The Blob and Sir Mix-A-Lot (“Married to the Blob”), The Golem (“You Gotta Known When To Golem”), Orson Welles and The War of the Worlds (“The Day the Earth Looked Stupid”).

Favorite Segment: “The Day the Earth Looked Stupid”


Treehouse of Horror XVIIINovember 4, 2007
Episodes: “E.T., Go Home” / “Mr. & Mrs. Simpson” / “Heck House”

Pop Culture References: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (“E.T., Go Home”), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (“Mr. & Mrs. Simpson”), those creepy & controversial church alternatives to traditional ‘haunted houses’ (“Heck House”).

Favorite Segment: “Mr. & Mrs. Simpson”


Treehouse of Horror XIXNovember 2, 2008 *
Episodes: “Untitled Robot Parody” / “How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising” / “It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse”

Pop Culture References: Transformers (“Untitled Robot Parody”), random famous people including George Clooney, Prince, and Neil Armstrong (“How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising”), It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (“It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse”).

Favorite Segment: “It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse”


Treehouse of Horror XXOctober 18, 2009
Episodes: “Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu” / “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” / “There’s No Business Like Moe Business”

Pop Culture References: Strangers on a Train (“Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu”), mad cow disease – not a pop culture reference, but relevant to the segment (“Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind”), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (“There’s No Business Like Moe Business”).

Favorite Segment: “There’s No Business Like Moe Business”


Treehouse of Horror XXINovember 7, 2010 *
Episodes: “War and Pieces” / “Master and Cadaver” / “Tweenlight”

Pop Culture References: Jumanji (“War and Pieces”), Dead Calm (“Master and Cadaver”), Twilight (“Tweenlight”).

Favorite Segment: “Tweenlight”

Random Musing: The only time I’ll ever admit to liking anything related to Twilight is if it’s a Twlight parody, which this episode offers. Also featuring the voices of Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Laurie as our son-and-father team-up in the segment.


Treehouse of Horror XXIIOctober 30, 2011 *
Episodes: “The Diving Bell and Butterball” / “Dial D for Diddly” / “In the Na’Vi”

Pop Culture References: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (“The Diving Bell and the Butterball”), Dexter (“Dial D for Diddily”),  Avatar (“In the Na’Vi”).

Favorite Segment: “Dial D for Diddily”


Treehouse of Horror XXIIIOctober 7, 2012
Episodes: “The Greatest Story Ever Holed” / “Un-normal Activity” / “Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure”

Pop Culture References: The Greatest Story Ever Told “The Greatest Story Ever Holed”), Paranormal Activity (“Un-Normal Activity”), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (“”Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure”).

Favorite Segment: “Bart & Homer’s Excellent Adventure”


Treehouse of Horror XXIVOctober 6, 2013 *
Episodes: “Oh the Places You’ll D’oh!” / “Dead and Shoulders” / “Freaks, No Geeks”

Pop Culture References: Gullermo del Toro’s brilliant opening sequence featuring tons of really awesome imagery, Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat (“Oh, the Places You’ll D’oh!”), The Thing with Two Heads (“Dead and Shoulders”), Freaks (“Freaks, No Geeks”).

Favorite Segment: “Freaks, No Geeks”

Random Musing: Easily my favorite opening sequence. Guillermo del Toro adds so many references to his inspirations and films that it’s fun to try and see how many you spot. Can you guess them all? I have to give him a billion geek points for adding Cthulu to the opening sequence, as an homage to his biggest passion project that I hope sees the light of day soon, in several years, or at least before I die: In the Mouth of Madness.


Treehouse of Horror XXVOctober 19, 2014 *
Episodes: “School is Hell” / “A Clockwork Yellow” / “The Others”

Pop Culture References: A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut (“A Clockwork Yellow”), The Others and The Tracey Ullman Show version of the Simpsons (“The Others”).

Favorite Segment: “A Clockwork Yellow”


Treehouse of Horror XXVIOctober 25, 2015
Episodes: “Wanted: Dead, Then Alive” / “Homerzilla” / “Telepaths of Glory”

Pop Culture References: Godzilla (“Homerzilla”), Chronicle (“Telepaths of Glory”)

Favorite Segment: Uhh… I have yet to watch this episode. *hangs head in shame*

Dollhouse — The Unsung Crown Jewel

As Halloween is nearly upon us, I thought that it would be the perfect time to write about a rather chilling Joss Whedon project that always seems to get unfairly snubbed when it comes to discussions of his works. The project I am referring to is the positively genius Dollhouse. This article will be absent of spoilers, so if you’ve yet to see the series, don’t fret.

Essentially, a very base synopsis of Dollhouse is that it centres around a young woman called Echo (portrayed by the always-engaging Eliza Dushku) who is a Doll under contractual obligations of the Los Angeles faction of the Dollhouse. In a nutshell, the Dollhouse has a group of human beings (interchangeably called “Dolls” and “Actives”) who are hired out to wealthy clients. Missions that they undertake are called “engagements” and they can range from simply being a date for a lonely client or even assassins. The possibilities, as you may imagine, are endless. At the end of each engagement, the Active has their memory wiped, thus resulting in them being in a tabula rasa state until they are called upon for their next engagement and programmed with a new identity. What makes Echo so special, however, is that she retains small pieces of memories leftover from her imprints.

Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will more than likely recall the season six episode “Tabula Rasa” which centres around memories (or lack thereof). However, if you are expecting that level of hilarity in Dollhouse, you will be disappointed. The series does have plenty of humourous moments, but most of the time, it is far less overt than what you will find in the Buffyverse.

What makes the series so compelling for me is how the writers were never afraid to leave the audience asking more than a few questions. The plotline itself is interesting to mull over from an ethical and moral standpoint alone. Not only that, but you also have the unceasingly gripping storyline to chew on, which is full of stunningly crafted details. Certainly, it isn’t a series that you can mindlessly veg out to.

Another thing that people might be interested in knowing is that in addition to Eliza Dushku (Faith in Buffy and its spin-off series Angel), there are several other Whedonverse alums sprinkled throughout its two seasons including Amy Acker (Fred in Angel), Alan Tudyk (Wash in Firefly), Alexis Denisof (Wesley in Angel) and Summer Glau (River in Firefly), just to name four. All of them are simply terrific in their roles. The non-Whedon regulars such as Fran Kranz, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman and Olivia Williams are just as good, too. As you would expect from a Whedon series, the chemistry between each and every actor is unmissable.

Plenty of scares can be found in Dollhouse but in order to keep this spoiler-free, I cannot divulge what they are. I will tell you this, though: it is all about atmosphere. Gaudy, cheap scares are nowhere to be found. Instead, all of the horror is provided to the audience thoughtfully and it leans more towards the psychological end of the spectrum than anything else.

Dollhouse is home to my favourite Whedon-directed episode of all time, “Epitaph One” and my favourite Whedon-created character of all time, Dr. Claire Saunders (portrayed by my personal favourite Whedonverse actress, Amy Acker). So it goes without saying that it is my favourite Whedon project. I’m trying hard not to sound like an incessant fangirl, but it truly is a series worthy of adoration.