Spoiler-Free Review of “NOS4A2” on AMC: A Faint Spark Glimmering in the midst of all the Backstory

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“There are people in this world with abilities.”  Based on the book of the same name by Joe Hill, NOS4A2 follows Vic McQueen, who discovers an old bridge that will take her and her motorcycle anywhere in the world to find lost things.  We are also introduced to the villain, Charlie Manx, who kidnaps young lonely children, promising to drive them off to Christmasland, but visions of sugarplums have been replaced with nightmares of darkness, as he attempts to essentially drain the life force of the children to maintain his own youthful appearance.  While it appears that he is a vampire, there is definitely some mystery surrounding him and we have a lot left to discover.

NOS4A2 is available to watch on AMC and season one features 10 episodes.  The pilot premiered on June 2nd 2019.  The show stars Ashleigh Cummings, Zachary Quinto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Virginia Kull, and Jahkara Smith.  We are immediately introduced to the villain, Charlie Manx, who appears to be a creepy old man waiting in a car, but we quickly learn that he is extremely dangerous and is in the business of stealing children, luring them with promises of candy canes and Christmas forever.

The Pros:

Nos4a2 6

The acting is convincing and the characters draw you in.

I’m already a huge fan of Zachary Quinto’s work and he does not disappoint in this series, fully embracing the role of the villain.  Even with all the makeup, Quinto makes this creepy old man seem beyond twisted.  I was also pleasantly surprised and entertained by Ashleigh Cummings, who plays our main protagonist, Vic.  The performances are real and compelling and both of these characters appear to have a lot of layers for us to peel back and discover.  In addition, I was intrigued by the character of Maggie, played by Jahkara Smith, who appears to be some kind of psychic librarian, using scrabble pieces to discover clues.  Sounds like a pretty cool ability to me.

The first ten minutes and the last ten minutes give us a glimmer of potential.

I thought that the opening and closing of the season premiere was mysterious and creepy.  I wanted this vibe to continue for the rest of the premiere, but I’m hoping that this glimmer of hope can somehow translate into the remaining episodes, as this show has the potential to be something truly dark and unique.

The Cons:

Nos4a2 5

Too much backstory all at once.

While I have not yet read Joe Hill’s novel, the show gave us way too much backstory for a season premiere, which made the pilot seem heavy and boring.  I understand the need to introduce us to these characters, but perhaps Vic’s backstory could have been sprinkled over all of the episodes instead, while introducing us to her interesting abilities.  Also, we barely get to see the villain in the episode and I feel like the time could have been divided up a little bit better to fully capture our attention.

Slow paced premiere.

In addition to the excessive backstory, there was just a really slow paced feel after the opening minutes of the premiere, which initially drew me in.  There are a lot of elements to be discovered here, but I just felt like there was way too much fluff for the majority of the episode and I found myself tuning out quite a bit, which is not a great sign for a season premiere.

So am I in or out? 

Nos4a2 4

As of right now, I am on my way out, but I give all shows three episodes to change my mind.  There are some redeeming qualities here and the world of Joe Hill seems intriguing, introducing us to some Stephen King like elements that could be genuinely terrifying and different.  However, the pace of the show needs to pick up and we need to scratch the excessive backstory and focus on the journey ahead across the mysterious bridge.  I’m ready to lose myself, but I need much more in order to do so.  Fingers crossed that the next episodes can capture my full attention!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on NOS4A2 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “What We Do In The Shadows” FX Series Premiere: Fangtastically Funny

Happy Friday TV Fans!  The wait is over and What We Do In The Shadows is finally here!  The show is based on the film of the same name from 2014 and it is brought to us by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.  If you are not familiar with the movie, it is a mockumentary following a group of vampires living together in New Zealand.  FX was awesome enough to actually play the movie the day before the series premiered, which gave me time to re-watch it and enjoy the campy horror fun.  I mean, seriously there were so many bloody dishes to clean…

If you are a fan of the film, you will absolutely fall in love with the series as well, which now takes place in Staten Island, New York.  Love that!  Even if you have never seen the film before, you will enjoy the series, which is kind of like The Office if it followed vampires.  In the series, we follow a different group of vampires, but it is set in the same universe as the movie, which means a crossover is not out of the question.  Fingers crossed!  The series introduces us to Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and their human familiar, Guillermo.  However, my personal favorite was an energy sucking vampire named Colin, who can bore everyone to death with dull conversation starters, which is probably the funniest part of the show so far.

Overall, I thought that the series premiere had a lot of potential and provided us with some really funny moments, especially the grocery store scene, which was laugh out loud hilarious.  Not all of the jokes landed for me, but I had the same issue with the film, so I think it comes down to comedy preference, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, there is a void right now in horror comedies, as shows like Ash vs Evil Dead, Stan Against Evil, and Scream Queens have all been canceled.  I still don’t get why, but that means that there is definitely room for What We Do In The Shadows to provide us with some much needed horror comedy.  We will get 10 episodes of the first season and I’m looking forward to some bloody brilliant comedy for sure!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts on What We Do In The Shadows in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Passage” season 1 episodes 9 and 10: “You Taught Me Everything”

Happy Tuesday TV fans!  After watching Fox’s The Passage two-part season 1 finale, we learned that “one world died and another was born.”  But in this new world, everyone has to live with their choices and consequences.  Will they rise up and continue to fight or will they give in to the darkness?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episodes, “Stay in the Light” and “Last Lesson,” we learn what happens next when the virals wake up, as the twelve are now complete.  Meanwhile, Amy is faced with some impossible decisions, sacrifices are made, and a new future is upon us.  My top 5 moments from The Passage season 1 episodes 9 and 10 are:

5

“It has to be me.”

During the episode, Dr. Sykes is still trapped and Clark and the others try to get her out and retrieve the antiviral, especially after Lila is infected.  While Dr. Sykes is trying to stay calm, Shauna breaks in and these two come face to face with one another.  Only Shauna doesn’t initially attack Dr. Sykes and taps into her mind to ask her why she had been nice to her.  Dr. Sykes tells Shauna that “in another world we could have been friends.”  But is Shauna stalling or is there something more here?  Before we can find out anything further, Brad shoots Shauna, causing her to flee and tries to help Dr. Sykes.  Amy is faced with an impossible decision, as she decides to push the button that will destroy that section of Project Noah with Brad and Dr. Sykes still inside.  Amy is prepared to make this sacrifice, proving to really be the bravest person in the world.  They have less than two minutes to get out, but the virals show up to make things interesting.  Dr. Sykes knows what she must do and tells Brad to get the antiviral to Lila and the CDC, sacrificing herself to save as many lives as she can.  Dr. Sykes has always put the needs of the many above her own and she stays true to her integrity in this heartbreaking moment.

4

“I have work to do.”

After the virals escape, Dr. Lear blames himself and contemplates taking his own life.  However, Lacey shows up and changes his mind, reminding him that he still has work to do.  Dr. Lear may have been the “author of this horror show,” but with Dr. Sykes gone, he could be the only one to stop it and potentially save the world.  It’s a long shot, but Dr. Lear refuses to give up even when Fanning continues to appear to him in his mind.  Even though the future looks bleak, it’s good to see Dr. Lear trying to make a difference and fix things with Lacey’s support.

3

“Maybe I could be that girl in the diner again.”

After the explosion, we learn that the virals are still alive, as they are finally free in the world.  Clark and the others try to stop as many as possible, but Clark is severely injured and about to die.  Shauna approaches him and he says, “I was wondering when you were going to show up.”  Rather than rip him to shreds, Shauna taps into his mind and the two of them are lying on the hood of a car together, away from all of the chaos and noise.  Shauna explains, “I thought this might be a nicer place to die.”  Clark seems ready to accept his fate, but Shauna offers him a choice.  Clark accepts and Shauna saves his life, but there is a price.

The two of them are now blood linked and 30 days later, Clark is bringing Shauna live bodies to consume.  However, Shauna wants out of their deal, as Clark has been keeping Vegas as safe as possible, but she feels like he is starving her.  All of the virals returned home when they escaped and their homes quickly became “hot spots.”  Clark feels trapped in his circumstances, but he still shares a strong connection with Shauna, as he gives in and kisses her passionately, suggesting that this link is nowhere near severed.  It’s interesting to see that Shauna took a different approach, as Carter was unable to tame the beast within him.  What made Shauna different and what will she do next?  We’ll have to wait and see, but this dark seduction between her and Clark seems like it will continue.

2

“For me, this was the best time…we were a family.”

During the 30 days later portion, we learn that Amy is with Brad and Lila at a cabin.  It seems like everything here is serene and untouched, as we witness Amy and Brad fishing together.  Amy finally has a family, but everything is temporary.  For those of us shipping Brad and Lila, they finally get the opportunity to reconcile and be together, but Lila recognizes that she has a duty to the world.  Lila decides to leave and try and help others with Lacey, leaving Amy alone with Brad.

Brad teaches Amy how to use a bow and arrow and how to take care of herself.  Brad recognizes that the threat is nowhere near over and he wants her to be prepared.  In a heartwarming moment, we see Brad braiding Amy’s hair.  Amy asks him how she looks and he says, “Like a bad-ass.”  Brad reminds Amy that she is not like Fanning.  He tells her that she has a good heart and that she is the bravest person he has ever met, which is truly touching.  I wish I could freeze this moment in time for them, as Amy and Brad have a bond that is so real and beautiful.  Only, we know that things are about to change and they change so quickly.

1

“Sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing in the world to do.”

Fanning continues to try and tap into Amy’s mind to manipulate her when she is at the cabin.  After a neighbor is infected, Brad gets bitten and Amy is left with another impossible choice.  Seriously, this poor girl has so much to deal with.  The new friends they met tell Amy that they need to shoot Brad before he turns, but Amy refuses to let this happen.  Amy unleashes the monster buried deep within her and kills them.  She gives Brad the cure and leaves, which is beyond heartbreaking.  Amy says, “I don’t regret what I did.  I only regret running away.”  She recognizes that Brad taught her everything.  She found a family because of him and she learned how to be ready.  At the end of the season finale, we flash forward to 97 years later in the Palm Desert.  Amy still has her bow and arrow and takes out a viral, explaining that the world has been taken over by them.  However, humanity still exists in some places and Amy holds on to the hope that Brad is somehow still alive, which keeps her going and reminds her “not to panic.”

Overall, there was so much jam-packed into this two-part season finale, that I almost don’t know where to start.  We know that Amy initially saw the future and saved Fanning from dying, but why did she do this?  There are so many unanswered questions, but I appreciate how much the show tried to stay true to the book while also creating some unique differences and I really hope that the series gets picked up for another season because I am not ready to say goodbye to Amy just yet.  The performances were all incredible and I just wish we had more episodes right now.  This show genuinely surprised me and it has the potential to continue to carve its way into one of my favorite series of all time.  Let’s just hope we get to see what happens next!  

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Passage in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for The Search for Alice (100 copies available) from 2/21/19-3/14/19. Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

The Search for Alice is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Passage” season 1 episode 8: “You Can Do Anything You Want With Your Life”

Happy Tuesday TV fans!  After watching Fox’s The Passage season 1 episode 8, Shauna reminded us that “you always have a choice,” but will you make the right one?  After all, “things are gonna start to get scary.”  So which path do you choose?  Do you dive into the darkness or do you fight your way back toward the light?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “You Are Not That Girl Anymore,” we learn more about Clark’s connected past with Shauna and start to understand their relationship more.  Meanwhile, Amy’s condition takes a turn for the worse, as Dr. Sykes and Lila work together to try and save her, and Lacey is on her way.  My top 5 moments from The Passage season 1 episode 8 are:

5

“I don’t do riddles, dude.  Just say what you mean.”

During the episode, Amy’s condition worsens, as she deals with Fanning in her mind.  Fanning says, “The end is near, my dear,” but Amy is not buying it.  Fanning tries to approach Amy as her friend, but Amy recognizes that this is a trap.  However, temptation is still present, as Amy must make a very important decision that will determine her fate.  Will she choose a path of darkness or light?

4

“She’s not your twelfth.”

In last week’s episode, Carter tried to warn Amy and I was unsure of his intentions.  However, in this episode, Carter stands up to Fanning and tries to protect Amy, which proves that there is still some humanity left inside him.  Carter recognizes that the monster is there, but is his humanity strong enough to conquer it?  Fanning keeps explaining that they need twelve, but why?  Will this make him invincible?  There are still so many unanswered questions surrounding this, but it looks like we are about to find out more.

3

“You want to change the locks.”

Guilder makes the announcement that he is rebooting Project Noah and everyone is relieved of their duties.  Dr. Sykes is still determined to find a way to save Amy.  However, this becomes difficult when they are locked out, as Guilder turns over the security protocol to Martinez, who is actually Subject Two.  Good job, Guilder.  Clark does not give up, as they use Grey’s clearance to get inside.  Dr. Sykes teams up with Lila and they try to stop the virus so Amy doesn’t turn.  After several tests, it seems like they get a lucky break, as they determine that Amy’s cells will block Fanning’s virus with this antiviral.  However, Grey continues to be Fanning’s lap dog, as he locks Sykes inside and attacks Lila before they can get the antiviral to Amy.  Hopefully Lila will be OK, but Grey continues to be a pest, as Fanning uses him like a puppet.

2

“You are not that girl anymore.”

During the episode, we get an important glimpse into Clark and Shauna’s past together.  Shauna tries to escape and Clark tracks her down and takes her to a diner.  Shauna asks him to tell her something real and Clark opens up about previously wanting to be a writer.  Shauna tells him that she would read his poems and it’s clear that there is an undeniable connection between these two.  However, Clark’s men arrive and take Shauna back to Project Noah, as she feels hurt and betrayed, reminding Clark that “you always have a choice.”

In present day, Shauna continues to tap into Clark’s mind and tells him, “The only way you make it out alive is with me.”  Clark initially seems to be really considering this, but ultimately decides to kiss Shauna, revealing that he did feel something for the lost girl from Vegas, but that she is no longer that girl and he will kill her.  But will Shauna kill him first for his betrayal?  We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

1

“You can do anything you want with your life.”

Toward the end of the episode, Fanning presents Amy with a choice.  She will ride her bike through a dark tunnel and all she needs to do is make it to the other side to accept her fate or she can stay in the tunnel and die.  Amy is very conflicted about what to do, but Brad stays by her side in the cell, as her fever gets worse.  Brad tells Amy, “You can break your promise to me.  If you have to, you can let go.  I love you no matter what.”  These words are so real and inspiring; reminding us just how strong the bond is between these two.  Amy is at a crossroads and ultimately makes the courageous decision to turn her bike around and ride past Fanning into the light.  Amy wakes up, just as all of the cages around them open and Brad realizes that they have to get out of there quickly.  So, here we go.  The cages are open and the vampires are free, as Brad grabs Guilder and they barely make it into the elevator without a scrape.  The last scene leaves us with Amy and her glowing eyes.  I mean, talk about a cliffhanger!

We know that Amy did not get the antiviral in time, but she also didn’t accept Fanning’s offer.  Amy didn’t die like Elizabeth; however, as it seems like her choice to accept the light has transformed her into something else.  Is she now more powerful than Fanning?  Will anyone be able to stop the vampires now that they are free?  I can’t wait to find out, as we approach the season finale next week.  Are you ready?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Passage in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for The Search for Alice (100 copies available) from 2/21/19-3/14/19. Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

The Search for Alice is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Mia Morris’ Diary” Series: A Vampire Mystery Sprinkled with some Campy Horror Fun on Top

“I want you to believe…to believe in things you cannot.”  A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mia Morris’ Diary is a web series released by Black Cat Film Productions currently streaming on YouTube.  It is inspired by The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Notes by Christine, and The Cate Morland Chronicles.  The series follows Mia Morris, who has been leaving video diary messages for her boyfriend, who is currently studying abroad.  However, a lot of spooky things begin to happen, as a vampire becomes drawn to Mia and her close friends, luring them into danger and darkness.  Mia reacts to everything that is happening and tries to make sense of it as best she can, but there are some things that simply cannot be explained.  As she continues to uncover the mystery surrounding her, Mia’s world is turned upside down, as she starts to question everything and everyone around her.  Do vampires really exist and what do they want with her?

I was very excited to watch this show, which is now available to stream all 22 episodes on YouTube.  If you love binge-watching like me, then this series is the perfect option for you.  Each episode is only a few minutes in length, which is actually really great.  You can pick up right where you left off without missing anything, which is sometimes difficult to do during most television series.  I love being drawn into a series immediately and the pilot episode allowed me to do so, providing us with some setup, but also introducing us to the mystery right away so that we crave instant answers.  While some episodes contain welcomed fluff, others are eerie and hypnotizing, inviting us into the story.  I found myself playing Nancy Drew along with Mia to uncover the mystery and unmask the villain.

Mia Morris' Diary YouTube

The lead actress provided us with a believable performance and I thoroughly enjoyed when all of her friends came together to make sense of the madness.  Think the Scoobies from Buffy the Vampire Slayer There was just the right amount of campy horror fun mixed in to balance out the drama behind the vampire seduction.  When I started the web series, I felt that it had a lot of potential.  However, the series can be somewhat slow moving at times in the middle.  I would have liked to have seen more scenes involving the group coming together to solve the mystery, but that’s just because I really enjoyed that dynamic.  Overall, I think that the show is worth a stream if you find yourself craving some vampire mystery fun.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good vampire story?

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I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Mia Morris’ Diary in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

 

 

 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Passage” season 1 episode 7: “You Are More Powerful Than You Realize”

Happy Tuesday TV fans!  After watching Fox’s The Passage season 1 episode 7, we learned that “there’s some scary stuff coming,” but when will it arrive?  Will Amy bring it forth or will her humanity help her see the light?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “You Are Like the Sun,” we learn more about Brad and Lila’s past and find out how they lost their daughter, Eva.  Meanwhile, Carter attempts to connect with Amy, Jonas refuses to give up on Elizabeth, and Shauna confronts Fanning.  My top 5 moments from The Passage season 1 episode 7 are:

5

“I’m gonna find them.”

During the episode, Clark makes the decision to go after Brad and Lila to help them.  Brad and Lila are separated from Amy, which is definitely not a good sign, as the government is looking to eliminate any possible threats to Project Noah.  Clark has previously been an obedient soldier, but he now realizes that Project Noah is a horror show and he is looking to finally do the right thing.  We learn that this is not the first time that Clark has saved Brad after learning more about Brad’s past, but it looks like Clark is ready to join the good fight.  Welcome to the team!

4

“We’re waiting on you.”

Fanning has been promising for quite some time that bad things are coming, but it seems like a lot of talking so far.  Even Shauna confronts Fanning within his mind, realizing that Fanning has become too preoccupied with Elizabeth joining them.  Shauna reminds him that Elizabeth may not choose him and also talks about having a “humanity hangover,” admitting that she does care about Clark, which is important.  Previously, I got the impression that Shauna was merely manipulating Clark, but now it seems like her humanity is still present, as her feelings for him are real.  We know that there is a connection between Shauna and Clark, but what will happen when the glass wall between them shatters?  Will Shauna choose darkness or humanity?  We’ll have to wait and see.

3

“I choose you.”

Elizabeth’s condition continues to get worse, but Jonas does not want to give up on his wife, which is heartbreaking to see.  Dr. Sykes does all she can to help, but tries to remind Jonas that Elizabeth has the same symptoms as the other subjects, which is not a good sign.  Fanning continues to try and lure Elizabeth over to the darkness, tempting her with life over death, but ultimately Elizabeth chooses Jonas.  Elizabeth tells Jonas to shut off the machines, accepting her fate.  Jonas doesn’t want to say goodbye, but he respects his wife’s wishes and tells her he loves her over and over again, which brought tears to my eyes.  While I didn’t think that Elizabeth would make it, I’m happy that she made the decision to stay away from Fanning’s offer, but this will only fuel Jonas that much more.  Jonas is ready to eliminate Fanning, but what will happen when these two finally face off?  I personally can’t wait to see it.

2

“You are more powerful than you realize.”

While Amy worries about Brad’s fate, she receives a mental visit from her buddy, Carter.  She recognizes that Carter has changed; reminding us that Amy is very capable of seeing things as they are, even though she is just a child.  Rather than tempting Amy with darkness, Carter appears to be warning her and tells her that he is trying to be better, but “hunger makes you do weird things.”  Can Carter be trusted here?  Initially, I thought so, but it looks like this may have been a different strategy, as Carter tells Amy that she can go anywhere.  Amy confides in Carter about her guilt over her mother’s death and she desperately wants to see her again.  Amy’s mind projects herself into her old apartment with her mother, as she embraces her and tells her how much she loves her, which is a touching moment.  However, the happiness is interrupted when Amy hears a knock at the door and immediately recognizes Fanning on the other side.  Amy used her abilities to do something she truly desired, but does that mean that she has now invited the darkness in as well?

1

“Start over.  It is possible.”

We get an important glimpse into Brad and Lila’s past, which is beyond tragic.  We see Brad and Lila’s daughter, Eva, who is full of love and life.  After her soccer game, Eva explains that she needs markers and Brad makes the decision to go over to the convenience store across the street.  The store is held up by a robber and Brad tries to keep him calm, but Eva walks in the door and startles the robber, causing him to turn around and shoot her.  We witness one of Brad and Lila’s therapy sessions and Lila tries to talk about getting back to work so that she can help people, but Brad seems distant and unable to even comprehend this as an option.  Brad does not identify the suspect in a lineup and ends up taking his life with his own hands.  Clark has been Brad’s best friend for a while and he intervenes and covers it up to protect him.  Brad’s guilt begins to overwhelm him and Clark is the one to suggest that he joins him at Project Noah so they can make a difference, which is how this all started.

Brad and Lila’s past is so horrific and it’s understandable that they drifted apart, but they are now being thrown together repeatedly, but it is under extremely dangerous circumstances.  We have seen several signs of a renewed spark between these two, but I’m not sure if they will get the chance to pursue it.  Either way, their connected past is revealing and it’s understandable why Brad feels such a close bond with Amy, as he will do anything to protect her.  Lila gently reminds him that Amy is not Eva, but Brad wants to keep her safe no matter what, as he is still holding on to his grief.

Overall, I thought this episode was more of a setup for what’s to come, but there were some truly heartbreaking moments within it.  We only have one more episode left before the two hour season finale.  There has been so much talk about Fanning’s plan, but I would like to see the vampires escape at this point so that we can witness what they are truly capable of.  The vampires have been in a bubble for a while now, so I think it’s about time that they are unleashed onto the world, but will anyone be able to stop them?  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Passage in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for The Search for Alice (100 copies available) from 2/21/19-3/14/19. Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

The Search for Alice is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  I just finished my Angel re-watch and I’m left wanting more!  I mean, we were left with a cliffhanger in the end, but there is something to be said about this series, which truly resonates with me.  For today, I am going to be ranking my top 5 episodes from Angel Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes still stand out and captivate my undivided attention.  The series has so many great episodes and I have plenty of honorable mentions as well because it was truly difficult to just pick five episodes.  Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this show has a lot of funny moments, but it is also very dark and extremely heartbreaking.  I relate to the characters on this show so much and I think that’s why some of these episodes truly stand out for me.

It’s not just about advancing the plot or introducing a new big bad.  These episodes mark epic moments, but they also remind us how much we truly connect to these characters, even after all this time.  While some episodes are shocking, other ones are beyond heartbreaking, but they are absolutely brilliant and worthy of a discussion for sure.  During my re-watch, I chatted with so many Buffy and Angel fans and it was interesting to see which episodes stood out for them compared to my own.  While I may have my own personal preferences, it just furthers my opinion that Angel is an underrated spin-off and deserves some recognition as a standalone series as well.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Angel are:

5

“Rm w/a Vu” (Season 1, episode 5)

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Cordy:  I’m not a sniveling whiny little Cry-Buffy.  I’m the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history. I take crap from no one…Back off!  Polygrip.  You think *you’re* bad?  Being all mean and haunty?   Picking on poor pathetic Cordy?  Well, get ready to haul your wrinkly translucent ass out of this place, because lady, the bitch is back.

Maude:  Do you think that I’m going to take that from trash like you?

Cordy:  I tell you what I think.  I think that you’re going to pack your little ghost bags and get the HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!

So for me, this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Angel for good.  When I first began watching Angel, it coincided with season 4 of Buffy and I was mostly looking for crossover events.  However, this episode changed all of that for me.  I always loved Cordelia Chase on Buffy, played by the amazing and beautiful, Charisma Carpenter.  However, she didn’t always get enough screen time on Buffy and she started to really grow as a character toward the end of season 3.  She even staked her very first vampire at graduation!  I was excited to see her on Angel and this episode allowed her to step out of her supporting role and into a leading one with flair.  This episode is absolutely hilarious and kind of creepy at the same time.  I have to admit that I always hesitate before looking in the mirror in the bathroom just because of this very episode.  I mean, you never know if Maude is still hanging around.  I love this episode because Angel and Doyle are trying to fight off other demons, but it’s Cordelia who needs to find the strength within herself to cast out the ghost of Maude, proving that you should never underestimate a girl with confidence and attitude.

4

“Reunion” (Season 2, episode 10)

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Lilah:  For god’s sake, help us.

Holland:  Angel – please. – People are going to die.

Angel:  And yet, somehow, I just can’t seem to care.

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Reunion.”  I absolutely adore both Drusilla and Darla and often felt like they didn’t get enough time on Buffy either.  Fear not, these bad-ass ladies make their triumphant return on Angel and wreak havoc on the entire city.  After being brought back from the dead, Darla realizes that she is dying as a mortal and the lawyers of Wolfram & Hart enlist Drusilla to turn Darla back into a vampire.  In this episode, these two ladies go shopping, which is enough to make this episode truly stand out, especially when Drusilla starts “ringing all over.”  I mean, you gotta love modern technology.  However, they do not stop here, as they decide to go to the Wolfram & Hart party and truly make a splash.  Darla reminds Holland and the other lawyers that they ordered a massacre and these two ladies show up to bring the massacre to them.  While this moment is shocking on its own, Angel shows up and closes the doors on the lawyers, turning his back on them and refusing to help.  Drusilla recognizes that this man is not Angelus, but Angel’s humanity is tainted here, as he gives up and even fires his team at the end of the episode, causing our fearless leader to question everything.

3

“Birthday” (Season 3, episode 11)

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Skip:  You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming – part demon. The process isn’t easy. It’ll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again.

Cordy:  So – demonize me already.

I love this episode because it is a Cordy-centric one; however, it also allows Cordelia to really transform and grow as a selfless hero, which is extremely important.  In this episode, Cordelia’s painful visions catch up with her, as she ends up in some kind of deep sleep or coma, as Angel and her friends try to help her.  Cordelia ends up in a limbo of sorts and meets her guide, Skip, who is a hilarious demon that really almost deserves his own spin-off series.  Cordelia is brought to a mall so she feels comfortable and is given the chance to re-write her life.  Skip makes it so she never bumped into Angel at the party in LA and she ends up becoming famous with her own show, Cordy!  It seems like she has the perfect life, but Cordelia’s path intertwines with helping the helpless and she later makes the decision to accept her visions and become part demon.  Skip warns her that there will be consequences, but Cordelia is ready to accept her fate, understanding that it is her true purpose to help others.  This episode is so important because we have really seen Cordelia’s goodness shine through, as she will do anything to help.  In previous seasons of Buffy and maybe even earlier on Angel, Cordelia would have taken her shiny new life and ran with it, but she’s not that girl anymore.  She has become a hero one can truly be proud of and she’s ready to embrace her new destiny. 

2

“Not Fade Away” (Season 5, episode 22)

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Illyria:  You’re fading. You’ll last 10 minutes at best.

Gunn:  Then let’s make ’em memorable.

Spike:  In terms of a plan?

Angel:  We fight.

Spike:  Bit more specific.

Angel:  Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon…Let’s go to work.

I was a little torn between my number 1 and 2 picks, but I am going to give the series finale of Angel my number 2 spot.  However, please note that this was a very difficult decision because this episode is fantastic.  Season 5 really got things back on track for the show, but it also provided us with some heartbreaking moments that still make me cry today.  In the series finale, the apocalypse we have been hearing about for 5 seasons is finally unleashed by Wolfram & Hart.  Angel and his team are ready to fight, even though the odds are definitely not in their favor.  The episode does a great job of summing certain things up and providing us with some closure.  For example, we get to see Harmony being Harmony and Connor returns to stand by his father’s side, which is important.  We also get to see some heartbreaking closure for Wesley as well, which I am going to devote another blog entry to, so stay tuned on that.  At the end of the episode, it is raining and our remaining heroes debate over the plan.  Angel wants to fight the dragon of course and simply tells them to “go to work,” leaving fans with a major cliffhanger at the end of the series.  So, we don’t know if the prophecy will be fulfilled and if Angel will eventually become human and we don’t know the fate of some of our remaining characters as well.  However, I think this series finale is one of the best I have seen on any show because it reminds us what the show is about.  While Buffy had more closure and the opportunity to do whatever she wanted at the end of the series, Angel and his team are left fighting the good fight, which is why he came to LA in the first place.  It’s not about achieving the happily ever after.  It’s about the fight until the very end to “help the helpless” and that’s exactly what Angel and the others do.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Angel are:

  • “I Will Remember You”
  • “Hero”
  • “Eternity”
  • “Five by Five”
  • “To Shanshu in L.A.”
  • “Guise Will Be Guise”
  • “Darla”
  • “Disharmony”
  • “Lullaby”
  • “Forgiving”
  • “Awakening”
  • “Soulless”
  • “Salvage”
  • “Life of the Party”
  • “Destiny”
  • “Harm’s Way”
  • “A Hole in the World”
  • “Shells”

1

“You’re Welcome” (Season 5, episode 12)

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Angel:  I need you here.

Cordy:  Don’t make it hard, Angel. I’m just on a different road… and this is my off-ramp. The Powers That Be owed me one, and I didn’t waste it. I got my guy back on track…We take what we can get, champ, and we do our best with it. I’ll be seeing you.

Oh, what the hell. One for the road?

There really has to be something said for the 100th episode of this series.  I remember being so disappointed when I saw that Cordelia was no longer in the main credits at the start of season 5 and I was wondering if she would ever wake up from her coma.  In this episode, fans get their wish and Cordelia returns.  Her bright smile is back and she is excited for some “shopping” with Angel and Wesley, giving fans a real sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the start of the series.  The episode is absolutely brilliant from start to finish, but nothing could prepare me for the very end.  Joss Whedon is fantastic at creating twists that we never see coming and that’s what he did here.  Cordelia reveals that it’s no longer her time and that the “Powers That Be” owed her one, allowing her to get Angel back on track with his destiny.

Throughout the series, Angel and Cordelia had a will-they-won’t-they vibe going on and I really loved the chemistry between these two.  That being said, I am a Buffy & Angel fan for life, but I’m not going to knock the connection between Angel and Cordelia.  After missing literally every opportunity to be together previously, it seems like they are now going to get a chance at a “happily ever after.”  Only this is a Joss Whedon show and happily ever after is not possible, as we learn that Cordelia never wakes up from her coma and Angel is informed at the end of the episode that she died.  Angel is initially confused, as he tells the person on the phone that she is standing right there, but realizes that she is gone.  However, Cordelia does her job by reminding Angel what he stands for and they even get the chance to share an epic kiss that had me swooning for sure.  In classic Cordy-style, she says, “You’re welcome” at the end of the episode and we are left with Angel simply saying, “Thank you,” which broke my heart all over again, as he is now standing there alone.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your thoughts on your own favorite episodes from Angel below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Angel and cordy gif 1

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for The Search for Alice (100 copies available) from 2/21/19-3/14/19. Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!