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Author Topic: SiB S3 Discussion  (Read 4215 times)

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Offline Tony Black

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SiB S3 Discussion
« on: Wed Mar 11 2009, 19:02 »
A place to discuss the third season of Somewhere InBetween!



Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #1 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 00:56 »
Noone's posted in here. Figured I'd kick in my 22 reviews of this season.

3x01

It's been months since Chris shot a double leg takedown on Manon and dropped into the portal of cliffhanger contrivance. Things have changed and as we learn through a videotaped journal entry from Twist, the team is managing to hold it together.

For my money, the teaser was brilliant. Okay, Twist playing 'Chris' was a bit on the cheesy side, but the anchor of this show was always the interaction between the two leads. I was afraid going into this season that some of the charm of the show would be lost in lieu of the lack of Twist/Chris exchanges. So having Twist basically have a conversation with the missing Mr. Berkeley keeps us in familiar territory while acclimating us to the new dynamics within the group without Chris around. Julie's taken on the mantle of leader, apparently more out of necessity since none of the rest of the group were willing (or capable, in Syren's case) of stepping up. Twist and Diego are apparently an item, Twook continues to be cruelly teased, and Syren's already making herself useful, immediately putting her ahead of Julie in terms of relevance on the show.

To be fair to Julie, the plot for this episode is a great vehicle for her. The team is tracking down what they believe to be some bad bad people who murdered some other people and orphaned some kids. I gloss over it because Chrimes brilliantly turns everything around when we learn these murdered parents were actually using their kids as avatars for demons, leaving Julie to consider the notion of having to kill these kids for the greater good. In the end, the kids live, but that's not the point. Two years ago before Chris came back into her life, one could argue that Julie would never have even let the thought of killing a child enter her head. That's the kind of character development I've wanted out of this character, not the contrived love interest I've seen her as for the last two seasons. Kudos to Lee for finally getting me interested in her as a person.

I'll admit I was a little worried about the Syren character. First off, her introduction didn't do much for me and I was still struggling to find a reason to care about Julie at the time. Our blind little...something or other gets some nice little tidbits to make her likable here. She's singing in lounges to get the gang some cash flow, a nice logical use of her talents and she figures pretty heavily into the plan to save the kids at the end. Good work done with her here without veering into Mary Sue territory or forgetting that she's actually blind and does need help with some everyday things from time to time. I know it seems petty, but I distinctly remember reading a script where a blind character was in a computer class at school (!!) and when the attractive teacher walked in the room, she checked him out (!!!!). A lot of neat little touches here and there really make the script sparkle. Lee is completely comfortable with most of his cast here (Diego being the lone exception) and it shows. Also liked the quick scene of Sanctus checking in, searching for leads on Chris's whereabouts.



A damn fine premiere. The only real niggle I had was the awkward reveal of the Diego/Twist hook up. With that said, I do like how it was just dropped in there. All the characters get something to do, Chris remains a strong presence without making an actual appearance. A good, meaty moral dilemma gives us some great insight into where their heads are at. And I actually liked Julie for a change. Who'd da thunk it?

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #2 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 00:57 »
3x02

Syren's introduction in the latter stages of season 2 wasn't met with a whole heck of a lot of enthusiasm. Most of that can be attributed to Chris spending 3 acts pretending he's a cast member on Lost before he finally found her. Since her introduction, we've learned precious little about her outside of her strange powers. So going into this one, I was really expecting some insight into the character. Instead we get a by the numbers episode that really didn't do much for her and put Twist back on my list of characters that need a good pimp slap.

Maybe I had the wrong idea coming into this episode, but for featuring Syren, it doesn't really focus on her. Apparently she created the island she lived on. In last season's finale, she singlevoicedly (yes, it's a word...shut up) stopped Manon's portal. Apparently she can hum Row Row Row Your Boat and block out the sun, but we still don't know anything about what she is. I'm all about a slow burn process for a character, but without Chris in the game, both she and Diego needed to get interesting in a hurry.

With that said, it's a good episode for showcasing every other character. Julie gets to open up about her not so great romantic past. All the facts she puts out were revealed in previous episodes, but it's interesting to see her just plainly lay it out there. Part of me has always wondered why Julie stuck with the gang after she was introduced. I refused to believe it was because of the Chris googily eyes. I'm starting to get the impression that she's pretty much repressing her past and refusing to face it. Second episode in a row to get me to care about her. These journeys into her psyche are proving to be fascinating and long long overdue. Good stuff there. Danyael was Danyael and no surprises came of that. The meat of the story is Twist trying to toughen Syren up. I realize that part of Twist's appeal are personality quirks and her gung ho attitude, which is fully on display here. However, I call shenanigans on her purposely putting Syren in harm's way when last season she went out of her way to get her away from Manon (I think...memory's rusty) because she felt responsible for her. It doesn't play right. Diego's speech at the end felt like something I've heard on Full House (errr...while channel flipping of course) and in the end, Syren's a stronger person for the experience, but we still know nothing about her and that's wholly disappointing. She spent majority of the episode just listening to other people.

As for the vampire plot, there wasn't much to it. Just a means for Syren and Twist to get into a scrap. Again, not sure how I feel about Twist trying to push Syren into doing something against her nature. I'm not going to say it's out of character for Twist because it isn't, it just comes out of left field.



Not a bad episode per se, just less than what I was expecting. Syren's already proved her effectiveness, so forcing her into a fight just seemed like filler. The Julie scenes worked for me. Just didn't feel like enough material to flesh out a full script.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #3 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 00:58 »
3x03

If I'm not mistaken, this was resident VS ninja reviewer Dino Leone's official MZP debut as a writer. It's a shame it had to come on an episode like this. I generally don't enjoy dream sequence episodes. Having been a fan of this sort of genre show forever now, I've seen enough episodes where one off gimmicks are used to give us insight into characters. Personally, I think it's a bit of a cheap means of giving the audience insight in the characters. I'm all about getting into a character's psyche, but more so in a real world setting. I firmly believe you learn more about a character from their actions in different situations than something like this, where the staff can do pretty much whatever they want. I think I've watched too much Whedon because he tended to do this sort of thing at least once a season on all his shows. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Can't say it really did here.

The first problem are the inherent weaknesses in Leone's writing. I hold no major fault here since he's just learning, but there's a LOT of prose-esque style in the descriptions. I always say "show, don't tell" and Leone repeatedly tells the audience what a character is thinking instead of writing in body mannerisms (like blinks, expressions, how they move) to effectively convey that. It's better to do that instead of flat out saying "Julie is confused and wanting to talk to Chris." This happens over and over again. It does a real disservice to a premise such as this, where mannerisms and character reactions are crucial to effectively selling the proceedings.

Second is the actual premise. To expand on my point earlier, episodes like this feel especially cheap for character development. This didn't really add anything fresh to the idea, going for the often tried "conquer your fears" approach. It didn't add anything to the characters. All the real world stuff was much more interesting. It all feels very been there, done that though, right down to the demons feeding off the bad psychic energy created by dreams. Again, this is all stuff I've seen before, done much much better too. The return to Twist's guilt over her family is well played, but unfortunately none of this was set up beforehand. We haven't visited this part of Twist's past, I think, since season one. So it's a welcome walk down memory lane, but it sort of comes out of left field. I think Twist's insecurities now would lie more in trying to live up to Chris's standards. Point of fact, I expected every dream to relate to Chris. I thought the premiere did a good job of showing how the team is coping and forging on without their leader. This was the perfect opportunity to follow up on that and it feels wasted.

I did, however, really like the ending. I like that we've seen Danyael (who bit and let a Kentucky Fried Twist drink some blood last year) and now Twist be willing to tap into their darker natural instincts to get out of sticky situations. It's a nice correllation to Julie from episode 1 and her willingness to kill those kids. However, my growing interest in Julie was quickly torpedoed when she snaps on Twist for her actions. Hi there. You were about to kill a kid in cold blood to stop demons from getting into our dimension. So what's the difference here? Julie came off so self righteous I wanted to slap her. This isn't a niggle or anything, just more of why I don't enjoy the character. She tends to forget what the people around her are capable of, which isn't that much worse than what she's been willing to do. I distinctly remember her gunning down Parker, a human, last season and not blinking twice about it. Yet she gets pissy when Twist drains someone to get rid of some demons. Having said all that, the tension here is great, especially knowing that if Chris had been around for this argument, he'd have shut them both up in two seconds flat and likely put Julie in her place. I like the idea of this group slowly unraveling without Chris to keep it all together. It's an interesting concept that I hope continues. Julie sort of fell into being de facto leader. I want to see that challenged more and more as the personalities clash.



So, just like 3×02, I went into this expecting a lot more than I got. The ending is great, but it can't save a rather pedestrian plot without the strong writing to make it all work. There wasn't an innovative twist (no pun intended) on the premise, the nocens aren't made to feel threatening at all, thus there's no sense of danger for our good guys (and gals).

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #4 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 00:59 »
3x04

An interesting outing. Between this and the prior episode, I'm getting a strange season one vibe right now. Which immediately got me worried for our weekly guest star, Naomi. Back in season one, Chrimes had a bad habit of killing his weekly guest stars every episode. That and the frequent Malkuth appearances were sort of a fun running joke.

Thankfully, not only does Naomi live, but by virtue of her past with Dan, we're getting some nice Twook tension again. This is one of only two relationships in the VS world that I actively ship. I think Chrimes is sort of taking this angle from experience. Most "nice guys" who read this will understand the mentality: the girl of your dreams doesn't look at you the same way until she sees someone else doing it. This isn't to say Twist absolutely craves an injection of vitamin Dan, but her blatant jealousy without any solid reason for it is a nice bit of character work. It also hopefully gives Diego something to talk about that isn't faux samurai related.

There wasn't much to this episode outside of letting us get to know Naomi. This isn't necessarily bad or anything. In a 22 episode season, stuff like this is a necessity. There just wasn't anything in particular, good or bad, that stands about it. Julie continues to have her self righteous stick up her ass, quite the disappointment given how much I enjoyed her in the first two episodes of the season. I'm suddenly remembering why I've been calling for her death since early last season. It ends a bit suddenly. Part of me wanted Twist there at that last exchange with Danyael, but that's the *shudder* shipper in me bubbling to the surface. Either way, a good rebound from last week.



Well paced, workmanlike episode this time. As I've repeatedly stated, it's a throwback to the season one one-off style of storytelling, sans our Mr. Berkeley. My inner Twook loves the introduction of the Naomi character. Even the bad guy, Chains, felt old school in his portrayal. Chrimes like to start his seasons slow before fit hits shan, so this is pretty typical early season fare. Not bad, but not something I'm clamoring to read again.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #5 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:00 »
3x05

I've stated in earlier reviews that Diego and Syren needed some development in a hurry if they were going to fill Chris's void. This was a step in the right direction. Leave it to Chrimes to build a whole episode around Syren and only reveal her real name. While a large part of me was hoping for more than that, Syren's still the newest character to this cast, so I supposed a little patience is required as far as learning more about her. I guess on some level, I want more now because her introduction was so flat that I felt she needed a lot of work to keep her interesting. She was also venturing dangerously close to Mary Sue territory. Here, we get, if nothing else, a look into just how damaged this girl is. It's welcome insight and it'll suffice, for now.

The other characters don't get much to do, but there is a significantly important scene (at least for this Twook [copyright Matthew Latham] fan). Twist eavesdropping on Danyael's conversation with Naomi and the fallout from it was a nice piece of business. Diego's 'I'm in love' revelation threw me a bit, given the presumably short amount of time he's been with Twist, but it adds a dimension to him outside of two dimensional fighter. While you'll never see me support a love triangle storyline, it's nice that Diego acknowledges he's completely out of his scope here, dealing with these feelings for likely the first time. He's a fish out of water here, not really knowing how to express himself, which makes his willingness to step aside and let Danyael and Twist sort out their issues make sense. It's almost cowardly, considering he says he loves Twist two seconds later, but it worked for the character. Diego's the odd character that develops more when he's talking than when he's in action, simply because he does so little of the former. So again, good little scene there.

Having said all that, the real money is in his background. It's hardly been mentioned that he's the brother of one of Chris's old rivals from season one and his more than human status has been all but ignored thus far. There's also special care taken to point out Syren's blindness. Little bits like the pause in the intercom exchange because she couldn't find it and Sueno remembering that he has to grab her hand to help her up. Attention to detail that's always nice to see.

One big big problem in the episode though. Sueno's said by Julie to have internal bleeding and several broken bones. Yet moments later when the other three return with Syren, he's able to move around with no problem. Internal bleeding equals hospital. I understand it was necessary to have him there to say Syren's back to normal, but if that were the case, Julie's line should've been cut.



Not bad. It's a Syren solo effort, but the one Danyael/Twist/Diego scene moves that plot along nicely. We learn nothing new about Syren other than her real name. Given the entire episode was predicated around her, a little more would've been nice, but again, this is a Lee Chrimes show.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #6 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:01 »
3x06

For, I believe, the second time in this show's history, we have a crossover. The first time was with character from Nick Bridwell's long done and dusted series Legacy and this time around, it's (apparent) cult hit Ravenshill. This is an interesting outing for me, given I've never read the series, so unlike Chrimes and series co-creator (I think) Matt Latham, I don't have the fanboyish connection whatsoever to the character.

So, having no attachment what-so-ever to the character, I can definitely say she came off well. Most of this is because Chrimes takes special care to NOT make Michelle's appearance a huge deal. This show's seen guest stars virtually every week since its inception, so it would've been bordering on fanfic levels to make Michelle that much more important than those who came before her. As far as guest stars for this series, she's not bad. She's probably the first in...ever to appear in an episode and not get physically attacked. Chrimes must be slipping. Back to my original point, when we learn who she is, it's a very blase introduction. Given how much Chrimes apparently loved the 'verse she comes from, he could've easily structured the story so she came in via some grandoise fashion to save the day and Mary Sue'd her right out of the gate. He doesn't and she's much better for it. Nice touch having Julie be the one to kill the demon. Though she still annoyed the hell out of me in this episode, still being her self righteous "if it's risky and it's not my idea, it's wrong" self. She needs a pimp slap from the five fingers of death PDQ.

The story itself is interesting, though the Jane twist was telegraphed (at least to this astute reader) a mile away. One thing SiB's always done is have some master behind the scenes of pretty much everything. I can't remember the last time a monster or demon or vampire just randomly attacked. Jane's motivation at the end was well played (and God bless Michelle for cutting off the "why I'm bad" speech). However, are there any demon beasts in this world that kill just for the hell of it anymore? The show's quickly getting to the point where I'm expecting twists like this, sort of like watching M. Night Shamaylan films.

That's not a point of contention though. As stated, Jane's motive works once it's properly explained. If I had to flag anything up, it's that the episode ends flat. Jane is almost an afterthought mere moments after her reveal as the Medium Bad of the week, almost like the effort was being put in to keep the attention on Michelle. There's a brief moment of shared grief between Michelle and Julie before it's seemingly all forgotten with the toast. This was a great opportunity to soften Julie and it almost feels wasted.



Good episode. Creepy villain (the demon, not Jane) with a meaty storyline. Introduction of a guest character that will assuredly be back, primarily because Chrimes tends to kill the characters he doesn't plan on using again (something I've always loved him for), and once again Twist gets jealous when Danyael so much as looks at another woman. TWOOK!!

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #7 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:03 »
3x07

Back for more Dino Leone penned SiB. A marginally better effort than his first time out. Some of the same problem remain, but I'll get to those in a second.

One thing Leone does a great job of here that he didn't in 3×02 was atmosphere. Every scene with the hillbilly cannibals was spot on creepy. Of course it does feel more a ripoff of Texas Chainsaw Massacre than a homage, but little touches like the bit with Julie and the little girl in the meat locker are great for squicking me while I was reading. I admittedly had to pause for a moment when Julie had her finger bitten off. It's rare when a show is willing to dismember its cast. A great bit of business to make these people out to be serious threats.

I loved the idea of a cannibal episode, but things did felt a tad on the empty side for me. There's a few plot contrivances that didn't really work for me. It was intriguing that the police, as well as the whole town, seemed to be in on it, but then that bears the question of why the cops didn't just go in and blow them all to hell. There's a concerted effort to have Julie's rescue be during the day so Twist and Danyael can't be in on it. Diego even tells them to stay in the van when they're driving to pick them up. So why do our two vamps just hop out of the van after all that set up. This is more an editing niggle than anything else. The episode as a whole had a few editing problems, which I obviously can't entirely blame Leone for, but that little plot hole stuck out like a severed pinky finger. Especially since their presence at the end there didn't add anything to the emotions of the scene. The standoff between Julie and the little girl would've worked no matter who else was standing there. In moments like this, I just ask the writer to "throw me a line" and say the area they were in was shaded.

Back to those same writing problems I mentioned earlier, I'll quote some script here. Stuff like...
Quote
The family laugh at her pleas. Julie is shaking her head.She's hoping this is another one of those bad dreams she's having. She's even hoping that Chris himself will run in and start killing, but even she knows she is all alone.

...and...
Quote
She starts to laugh uncontrollably, and Diego looks momentarily lost - Julie is clearly in shock and could very well be a loose cannon, but his instincts tell him to save Syren, who especially with her blindness, is particularly vulnerable.

...is way way too prosey for scriptwriting. We're being directly told what the characters are thinking when it should (and for the most part is) readily apparent. It really hurts things when I'm not allowed to interpret the character for myself, instead being told what to think. I'm guilty of it myself in my writing, but this is just overkill. I recently had to read a pilot of Leone's for a possible series and saw the same problems that were present here. I think it's something he'll grow out of in time and he'll be a much better writer for it.

The characters themselves were alright, though I'm getting that old season one feeling of wanting Twist to shut the !$#@% up. Twist's voice is a balance between irritating and amusing that very few people other than Chrimes can nail. Here, she was on the wrong side of the tracks. Diego was a tad more wooden than usual. Syren came off well, though there were bits here and there of her seemingly being able to "see." I might be nitpicking, but I don't see how she led Diego through the woods when she'd trip on a branch or something. For that matter, how the hell did those two miss every single one of those traps on the way in, but get cornered by them on the way out. Another plot contrivance I didn't like.

So on the whole, once again, this could've been a lot better with some meticulous editing and more attention to detail. Having a blind character and other such particulars demands a special care for the little things, something that was lacking here.

One last thing. I got the impression that the store keeper actually got Will's groceries for him. Here in America, we have to get our own stuff. Even in hick towns like this one. I live in Georgia. I've been to my fair share.



I almost went down, but the strength of that final scene with the video journal gives the episode some points back. A better effort for Leone than last time, but he does have deficiencies in his writing that can be ironed out.



Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #8 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:05 »
3x08

Didn't we just have a dream episode a little while ago? I'll pull a few lines from that review...
Quote
I generally don't enjoy dream sequence episodes. Having been a fan of this sort of genre show forever now, I've seen enough episodes where one off gimmicks are used to give us insight into characters. Personally, I think it's a bit of a cheap means of giving the audience insight in the characters. I'm all about getting into a character's psyche, but more so in a real world setting. I firmly believe you learn more about a character from their actions in different situations than something like this, where the staff can do pretty much whatever they want.

Same thing here. The difference between this and 3x03 is that the writing and the take on things is much much stronger, so it's an easier and more enjoyable read. That's not to say I particularly liked this, especially so close to a similar episode, but kudos for attempting to put a different spin on things. Syren's attraction to Danyael is somewhat surprising, though in retrospect, Syren's the type that would attach herself to a strong companion and Danyael's been that for her since Chris was gone. I don't even particularly believe she actually likes him in that way, a case of mistaken emotions here methinks. Either way, it's better than being simply "I miss Chris."

The Twook fan in me died a little when Twist and Diego were revealed as a couple. Now, it makes perfect sense. The way I interpret it, she's too afraid because of her past with Boyce. The second time said character has been brought up this year. This time it works because it was set up beforehand in 3×03. Anyway, because she got burned (literally) the last time she fell for someone, she's not willing to give herself completely to a man, which is great for Twook fans. My shipper (and thus biased) opinion is that she picked Diego over Danyael because there isn't a real attachment there other than the obvious physical one. See, this is what I like to see. Logical character development. Danyael's jealousy of Diego has been readily apparent from day one, so nothing new there. Same for Naomi's dream. Diego's was quite interesting. This is a man with a dark, troubled past. Not surprised given the genetics (re: Ciegue). It just needs to come quicker. Diego's been "the muscle" as Danyael puts it for far too long. I want more for me to actually care about the character.

I won't comment on Julie. She can die anyday now...

In the end though, I felt let down when it was revealed that Michelle was behind it all. I was really calling for Twist to beat her ass. I did like that this was subtly set up in her first appearance with the wine she handed out, but I can't help but feel like, given the placement and premise of this episode, it was an excuse to get her back. Again, Lee's about the biggest Ravenshill fan around aside from the people who actually wrote it. So, though I'm not sure by any means, this did feel like "ooh, let's do a trippy episode with Michelle." It's a good episode despite using a premise I can't stand seeing, I just didn't feel it was necessary. We only learned two new things: Syren's got it for Danyael and Diego's killed people, both being something we could've picked up in a standard episode. In the end, it felt like filler.



Alright for killing some time before kicking the season into a higher gear, which is promised by Sanctus's appearance at the end. It's typical Chrimes pacing for a 22 episode season, but eps like this remind me why I like shorter seasons for a series.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #9 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:08 »
3x09

Towards the end of the second season of SiB, there was a blurb on the MZP TV website promising that the gang would have to contend with not one, but three new villains. At the time, the obvious choices were Vivian, Parker, and Manon, the chief antagonists on the show at the time. Some were even hoping for the return of the vastly overrated Malkuth.

It's great to see Chrimes go in a fresh direction and introduce the Trinity. Something tells me he's had nightmares of getting his ass kicked by three evil redheads *inside joke* and this is born from that. Whatever the origin, I'm loving it. We're instantly allowed to perceive them as a big deal because Diego knows of them and for the first time, seems actually shaken by their looming presence.

In addition to the new baddies, Sanctus makes a heralded return with news on retrieving one Mr. Chris Berkeley. And with his return, the season finally kicks into gear. It's a wise wise move to give an actual purpose for these two sides to be clashing. For one, it keeps the plot for this tight. I'm not a big fan of grand sweeping storylines spanning like five seasons. A story works best for me when it's simple. "This is what we need to do and this is how we're going to go about doing it." We finally get going after eight episodes of treading water.

The Trinity themselves were more impressive when they weren't talking. Show, don't tell is on full display here. These girls can fight, they know magic, they're apparently not happy Diego is still alive (a great, sly way of working in a new question for him), and in one episode I get more interested in them than I did in Manon all last season. Part of that is because when dealing with Manon, the bulk of last season was focused on Chris's search for pieces of The Cure and his refusal to get sidetracked by fighting Manon. It weakened Manon as a villain because the lead couldn't be bothered. That same mistake isn't repeated here at all and overall it works as a damn fine introduction to a new set of villains.

Sadly, we say goodbye to Sanctus. I guess it was necessary in some way. If he kept popping up throughout the series, it could get a tad redundant. I still applaud Chrimes for his philosophy of "if I don't need a character, kill em." Something I wish he'd employ on another particular series he runs, but I digress. Sanctus dies, but being the badass that he is, he completes the spell and the episode ends on a shocker. A prone Chris, very much alive. Yes!!



To me, the season officially began with this episode. I'll pretend the prior eight were teasers. New villains. Our lead returns. Promise of kick ass backstory for Diego. Great stuff. About time.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #10 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:09 »
3x10

Let me get the bad out of the way so I can gush. Though the pacing of the episode necessitated it, I really didn't like how Chris just snapped back into action. It almost doesn't feel earned. There's a distint impression that Chrimes wanted to get his awakening out of the way to get to the quasi-cliffhanger that ends this episode. Given what the first eight episodes of this season were, I would've like to see Chris come back earlier and play a little more with his reintegration into the group. As it is, he's up and about, sword swinging and magic throwing as he used to, within two acts. Given how slow this season started, it feels rushed here. It was also never stated whether or not Julie got her finger reattached.

It's a moot point though because by the time he's back in action, I didn't care. The sequence in the parking garage was excellent. Great action interspersed with quick little revelations (like the fact that Diego used to be with the Trinity). The second half of this episode moved at a frenzied pace. I think Chris is a little too on, given he just came out of...whatever it was a few moments ago.

I also have to pause and take a moment of silence for another major character death. The gang's van was like the fifth (or sixth, or seventh...) cast member. Sad to see it go.

I'm suddenly more intrigued about Diego. The little tidbits in the last three episodes about his past are a breath of fresh air for a character that was rapidly descending into Tara McClay territory. Naomi sort of sticks out as "which one of these does not belong" unfortunately. This story with her, Danyael, Twist, and Diego suddenly takes a (rightful) backseat in light of Chris's return, so it felt...weird I guess having her in the middle of that sequence. Even her greeting to Chris felt awkward. Again, a minor problem though. She's the latest addition and it tends to take characters awhile to settle into their niche on this show. Danyael took the better part of a whole season before he felt like one of the gang. None of the other characters get any significant movement. This episode is centered around Chris's return and it works for the most part. Yet more fodder for my "simple story = great episode" theory.

And I didn't catch it until the very end, but this must be the same Charlotte that Vivian mentioned last year. I'd completely forgotten about that little plot bunny. More intrigue coming out of this one. Now if Charlotte were recast, I'd be a happy camper.



The best compliment I can give this one is this is the first episode all season that I would like to see filmed for television. Good times.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #11 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:10 »
3x11

Flashbacks are the order of the day here. Generally, flashbacks climax at a critical turning point in a character's life. It's no different in this outing, but the weakness is that we already know Charlotte's bad, so I spent the whole time waiting for the turn. As such, when it comes (in the form of a hackneyed 'dying gasp' revelation), it underwhelmed. It was interesting to see a softer side of Chris, but I for one hope that side of him never surfaces again. Apparently Chris-in-Love coincides with Chris-is-Stupid. The epitome of the term (forgive me, Latham) pussy whipped.

Apparently one of Charlotte's many talents is the ability to make the men around her less intelligent (or more gullible, depending on how you look at it). No less than three men are duped within a single episode by her. The sad thing is I expected it everytime. The Trinity have just been introduced, so it's a bit early in the game to try to sell the idea of one of them coming over to the good guys. This story likely would've worked later in the season, with a bit more build to it. Here, it's just flat.

There are some fun elements to this episode. Syren's talk with Charlotte was a good scene. Syren's almost childlike wonder about the world around her makes that scene work. I like this aspect of her character. She's the type that can sense auras and magic and all that hooey, but the simplest emotions, she can't pick up on and comprehend.

Twist and Naomi's 'fight' was a fun bit. Naomi needs to snap back at Twist and call her on her jealousy, but that little simmering feud is a nice source of unrelated tension, given Diego and Danyael seem to have gotten over their issues. Charlotte's turn at the end is so easy to spot it's almost insulting, especially given Chris didn't have too much of an issue fighting Vivian last season, who figures to have been just as important to him as Charlotte was. As such, the episode ends flat. Jacqueline and Isabelle show up, claim to have an army in hiding, and the gang just leaves, instantly weakening them as villains.

I can't stand when anyone, good guys or bad guys, just let their enemies walk away. I understand needing these things to happen for the sake of the story, but part of me was screaming at the redheads to butcher the team and be done with it. Weak weak ending to a halfway decent episode.



A good, if predictable outing until the end, which sucks all of the energy out of the piece. Felt like Chrimes and Black didn't know how to end it, so it just...ended.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #12 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:11 »
3x12

First, another writing tip for Mr. Leone. Clearly, there are little things a writer tends to not notice when penning a new script. I myself have clearly repeated quips multiple times within a scant few pages and things of that nature. I'd clearly like a formal count on the number of times 'clearly' was used in this script. The average clearly had to be around twice a page. I know I may clearly sound like I'm nitpicking, but around act III, it was clearly irritating. Good. Gawd. Quick list of synonyms from Thesaurus.com: acutely, apparently, audibly, beyond doubt, certainly, conspicuously, decidedly, definitely, discernibly, distinctly, evidently, incontestably, incontrovertibly, indubitably, lucidly, manifestly, markedly, noticeably, obviously, openly, overtly, patently, perceptibly, plainly, positively, precisely, prominently, purely, recognizably, seemingly, sharply, sonorously, surely, translucently, transparently, undeniably, undoubtedly, unmistakably. Use 'em.

Leone's same Colin sense-esque prose like problems appear here. I have to reiterate, just to drive my point home, that I HATE being told what to think in a script. There are subtle ways of getting your audience to pick up on certain things that Leone obviously hasn't learned yet. The most frustrating part is virtually everything he was blatant about in his descriptions were already readily apparent from the dialogue and what took place in the actual scene. Like at the end, I knew Twist was disturbed by Naomi killing Kate because her lines put that across perfectly. I didn't need to be told so. It almost feels like Leone isn't confident enough that he got his point across, so he has to literally tell the audience. That's not even the case. Naomi snapping Kate's neck was a wonderful moment of shock and Twist's reaction was plain as day. Flat out telling us that she's thinking what we all know she's thinking isn't necessary. Don't dumb your writing down. Let the characters put everything across for you.

The plot was interesting, though I really could've done without the 'sore thumb' of a Trinity scene. That whole exchange seemed really out of place within the context of this episode. It also stretches believability a bit that Charlotte just happened to be flipping through a book and happened upon the gauntlets, assuming Chris would go after that. Then Jacqueline just happens to know that the cave with this mysterious gauntlets she didn't know anything about was boobytrapped. Really reaching there. At least have them show up to follow up on said scene, but that raiding party never comes. Really hurt the flow of the episode.

Once again, Chrimes continues the fine tradition of killing characters he doesn't need anymore. Kate's death at Naomi's hands also opens up a fantastic new dimension to her character, which is great since the jealousy angle with Twist was beginning to play out. It seems more like Twist isn't trusting anyone these days. Her incessant whining throughout was somewhat vindicated when Kate actually did betray them, but on the whole, she's on the wrong side of irritating again. Back to Naomi, it's so easy to forget every now and then that she (and three of the series leads) are vampires. I love this new vicious edge to her. Plus her motive behind the kill makes perfect sense, the calling card of a great character. It's wonderful when a brutal death occurs and you totally side with the character's reasoning behind the murder.

Plot niggle. Chris "clearly" heard Twist say the tattoo was transferred to her. So why'd he ask Twist if that happened two seconds later? On the whole, this needed an edit more than anything. An okay script that could've been much better with some tidying up.



Once again, I almost go thumbs down on a Leone script, but the final scene saves it. I hate feeling like I'm being hard on Leone, given he's a good guy. He's just up against tough standards for this series, given the other two writers thus far are Chrimes and Black, two great writers. Given his experience level, he's getting there. I think he'd benefit from a co write or two and some coaching.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #13 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:13 »
3x13

Oh, this was just bad.

Two parters are often times a tricky beast. Most of the time, writers fall into the familiar trap of using the first episode to set up the second and I'm afraid that's the case here. I get the always irritating feeling that I've only read half an episode. The first half of this drags on longer than Chris's trek through Syren's island last season. The mood is effectively set in the teaser and the guy that gets grabbed in act one, so I was all set to get to the point...then it continues to drag for another act and a half. There's a sense that this was one episode split in half, thus leaving part one to drag on for thirty pages just to get to a climax.

Then there are the plot holes. First off, Syren sees Diego after he saves her. Sees him. Says it right there in the script. Stop it. While I'm on Syren, she's blind, right? How is it that in her vision, she could positively identify both Parker and Lizzie by face? For that matter, when did she meet these two? Lizzie died in Twist's head while Chris was making his way back to them with Syren en tow. Julie shot Parker during the Twist rescue (still an awesome sequence, btw) and Parker hasn't been heard from since, so Syren's never met him. I reiterate as well, she doesn't know what they look like.

Lastly, there's Michelle. When did Chris meet her? He's the one that asks her (by name, before anyone else says it) to get them out. Not to mention the whole setup for her last second save was contrived and made all of the regulars look like morons. Why would you lock yourself in a cage with no other escape? That's like the stupid people in horror flicks who run to higher ground to avoid the killer. Moreover, the sequence with the red shirt woman in act two? She's got broken glass in her foot. Special attention is taken to remind me of that. Then she's able to sprint half a page later. Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. Someone needed to reign in the banter too. Especially the last scene in the cell. I'm assuming that was part of the filler to get the script to a decent length.



A plodding, horribly paced half of a script stretched to 50 pages to allow for a part two. Full of logic gaps and plot holes that are really sloppy given this is a Lee Chrimes series and it's two and a half seasons in at this point. Really disappointing.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #14 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:17 »
3x14

Ummm...

Quote
Naomi takes Frances gently by the upper arms but takes a look back to Twist - but she isn't there. As Naomi and Sophie prepare to rejoin the group

Err...who's Sophie? She was Frances at the beginning and Sophie in that line and at the end.

Quote
Twist and Danyael enter the frame, sending vombies FLYING and SLAMMING into the wreckages of cars and buses.

Where they driving a car?

As expected, part two is almost all action. There's a distinct lack of sense of danger in this and the last episode because the cast continually crack jokes (way more than usual) during the big moments. Even the cannon fodder (whose names I can't remember) were throwing puns and liners left and right. What the hell does 24 have to do with zombies? Even Syren gets a few in. I didn't expect this to bother me when I was reading, but I kept finding myself wanting them to shut up and get on with it.

There were a bunch of little things that nagged at me in this one. When Twist, Michelle, Diego, and Syren went back to the lab, they can't shut down the biokinetic machine. Why didn't Syren just sing to it and blow it up? She did so to another machine last episode. She also does it in the clone room a couple pages later.

And then, there's the spell. The same spell that throws trucks, cars, buildings, mailboxes, and fire hydrants around can't get through a cement mixer Naomi is hiding behind or a metal sheet that shields Danyael. What?!? I also like how the energy slows down just enough for Twist to sprint two miles. She gets hit with an explosion and knocked into the air, but keeps running. Huh? She answers her phone!! Are you serious? That whole sequence gave me a headache. This whole episode gave me a headache. This easily, easily could've been condensed down into a much tighter, single episode that I likely would've thoroughly enjoyed. It required several plot holes and leaps of logic to stretch to two episodes and quite frankly, suffered for it. I'm also wondering who beta'd this. Sloppy typos, not to mention the aforementioned goof with the names. A huge disappointment.



Part two delivers on the action that part one set up, but just like 3×13, all sorts of logic problems bog the script down and ultimately leave this humble reviewer asking someone to throw me a line. This was 'Them Bones' all over again. Great premise ruined by horrible execution.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #15 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:20 »
3x15

Interesting little episode. Thankfully, the Trinity are back in the fold after a two episode skid without them. The story is largely self contained, which is almost a disappointment at this point in the season. Chrimes has a bad habit of kicking his season arcs off, then pulling back briefly to hold up the big bangs for the final episodes.

It's a good little story that I think had more legs than it was given. The story of corporate America trying to drive out the lower class for their own financial benefits is something that could be played with a bit more than it was. It's a fairly common plot, but using actual people as the bombs was a great spin on things. SiB has a knack for that sort of creativity. I still love the kids being avatars in the season premiere.

In terms of the writing, Latham's stamp is all over this. Chrimes's descriptions are good, but Latham has this prosey flair about him that helps with the visualization. Not to mention we're back to Americans slinging British terms (like 'reckon' which is either British or redneck American, of which Danyael is neither). There's quite a few supporting characters in this one and thankfully they don't grate like the ones in the RIP two parter. These people are actually taking the threat seriously. As a result, the sequence in the end is much more enjoyable. There's a great sense of suspense, despite the fact that Michelle could've teleported Ian to the top of the building and gotten back down a lot faster than Twist would. Syren's save was another nice bit. Matt's a lot like me in that he's very detail oriented. Little things like Syren tripping over Twist's unseen body and having to feel around to find her face just bring a touch of realism to the story. I love little bits like that.

Julie's mysterious illness would be interesting if I gave a flip about the character. Thankfully, it's acknowledged and made a plot point that noone tells her what happened in Elysium. You'd expect her to be a bit more worried, but Julie focuses on her work and worries about it internally, which is perfectly in character.



Coming off the last two, SiB puts forth a good effort to get back on track. It's not the greatest episode in the world, but it's a serviceable plot that doesn't allow many mistakes and it brings the Trinity back for the final stretch.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #16 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:22 »
3x16

Wow. This is more like it. Daddy Chrimes delivers an episode that grabs you by the throat and demands you pay attention to it.

See, contrast this with some of the earlier 'big budget' episodes and you see what a difference a stronger writer has on a story. This story was airtight, start to finish, offering up an action sequence that I dare say holds up against anything I've read on this series. Yes, it rivals the great truck stop sequence from last year.

The greatness of this script is all the characters get something to do. None of them particularly progressed or anything, but Chrimes makes sure that everyone gets their little bits in, especially during the big sequence. Not to mention Julie's out of commission, so any semblance of bland annoyance is tossed out the window. I'm a happy camper. There's a great little Twist/Diego tension early, but other than that, all the characters shine more through their actions than any line of dialogue (although Twist's about Satan blowing his nose was classic). I especially like Diego's defiance in the face of a torturous beating.

The use of fire elemental creature is a nice touch, though I have to start to worry if Lee has a masochistic attachment to fire and burns. He's now torched both of his leads in successive seasons. Chris borders on stupid, refusing to allow Twist into the battle. You get the sense he only wants to protect her, but part of me thinks Chris would've learned to accept his team's help by now. Chrimes makes it a point to draw attention to the black energy Chris dug into during the fight, of course meaning it'll have repercussions down the line.

We finally get the reason Julie's messed up and no surprise, it's because she's depressed. I personally think this story's dragged on long enough and I'm ready for it to end. Julie's been moping around since she realized she had eyes for Chris and that was well over a season ago now. Between that and the never ending stick up her self righteous ass, it's hard for me to worry about her outcome.

The Trinity make an appearance, but don't do much of anything. I have to say they've been significantly weakened as villains in their last few appearances. 'Rejection' still left a bad taste in my mouth and they've yet to recover from that debacle of a final scene. Feels like they sort of stalled out as bad guys after a great introduction. Having said that, they're still far more interesting than every bad guy last year (Manon especially just irritated the hell out of me) and they've been tied into the story effectively enough to avoid Malkuth syndrome. Still the strongest villains yet, but I'd like have seen them more heavily involved, especially given the weakness of the three episodes they weren't in since 'Rejection'.

Lastly, I can't ignore the wonderful Chris/Twist interaction sprinkled throughout this episode. This is really the first time since Chris's return that these two have spent a significant amount of time just around each other. Chrimes has their relationship down pact by this point and they just bounce off one another so wonderfully. I'm currently writing a series with a male/female double lead and I can only hope to get them to this level.



Thumbs WAY up. A good time had by all as Chrimes shows how SiB should be written at all times. I only wish this stuff was happening early in the season.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #17 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:23 »
3x17

Chrimes has to stop putting the people he's going to kill on his episode icons.

A very good episode to come down from the carnage of 3×16, but I have to question the placement of it. A large part of me felt the final scene is the only thing that really fit at this juncture.

When Chris first returned to the show, I remarked on how quickly he goes from comatose to kicking ass. It's a rather sudden leap, taking place in the span of a single act. An episode like this would've been wonderful to document his journey back to the gang and I almost feel cheated that it comes after he's back, fought, and gotten critically injured a second time.

It's odd because the first half of the episode felt like an early season story, but everything that happened in the second half explains why it comes so late.

Danyael and Naomi announcing their departure has been building for a few episodes, accented by the Twist/Naomi tension. Twist finally concedes to let Diego into her heart instead of just letting him in her...yeah, moving on. In doing so, she finally lets go of Danyael, which is an odd thing to say given she never admitted hanging onto him. I have to admit my inner Twook died a little when he listened to Twist tell the Kate story and still sided with Naomi. I almost wanted to label that a break up scene because I think it's truly when their nonexistent relationship dies.

In other news, Chris and Syren are officially an item. Big big props to Chrimes for explaining why Chris has been so steadfast in not letting himself get romantically involved with anyone. Given he's had Twist around him for 3 years (and who wouldn't want to hit that) as well as Julie openly pining after him, it's good for him to state that he purposefully held himself back. It's also good continuity, given he was awe struck by Syren the instant they met and he's continually been captivated by her and her powers ever since. It's also disgustingly sweet how affectionate Syren has been to him and I think seeing that unadulterated compassion won him over.

On top of that, Syren's come along quite nicely in the middle parts of this season. Her dialogue has subtly changed as she's gotten more accustomed to the world and more comfortable around the group. That child like wonder is still there, as evidenced by her scene in the garden with the monk. However, she seems much more an adult now, carrying a confidence in her abilities (like knowing she can control Julie) and a bit more personality. It's a welcome change. I feel like, finally, she's found her place in the group. Now, we just need to work on Diego.

Michelle seemed quite out of place, I must say. She just stood around babbling about thinking someone's going to die because she's being allowed to remain there. I have to call shenanigans here because in Flashpoint, she outright knew people were going to die. It's almost a betrayal of her powers that she didn't sense Julie's death coming and I feel like she would've been best served not being in the episode at all, given she played no part in Julie and Chris's actual recoveries.

As for the final scene, it's a great twist if you didn't know it was coming. Unfortunately, I knew Julie was dying going into reading this one (damn 25 most recent posts option), but I was convinced she wouldn't be able to fight off the demon and would pass that way. The way people were speaking to Michelle, it seemed as if they were admitting defeat and wanting her there to play clean up. So, trying to look at this objectively, it's very well played to let Julie get better and die another way. I would have guessed that Julie/Syren/Chris would replace the love octagon that just died in this episode, so the death comes as a good shock moment. Then Naomi kills Jacqueline and I can't say I care too much. The Trinity hasn't felt like a strong threatening presence for awhile, so sticking Naomi with them does give them a bit of identity as we go into the final five.



Though oddly placed in the season, a good, quiet character based episode (a rarity for this series) that lets the audience come down after Meltdown, then quickly ramps the tension back up in the closing moments. Well thought out and paced.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #18 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:27 »
3x18

Another quiet episode as we're given the answers to where Chris was when he disappeared. I have to admit it's a very cool twist. I think everyone and their mother were expecting an alternate dimension. Throwing Chris to the future is a welcome surprise. It opens up a vision quest of sorts as Chris reveals why he knew Naomi was Julie's killer (I swear I had Julie pegged as the voice he kept hearing).

Before all that, there's a wonderfully, perfectly written segment of grieving for the lost Julie. Everyone plays their roles perfectly. Chris runs just about every emotional stage of loss possible and all of it is believable and well played. I especially liked the business like approach Michelle took to the whole thing, especially when she does admit to liking the gang and actively tries to avoid hurting Chris and forcibly removing him from the equation.

On a sidenote, great bit of "throw me a line" gratification with the Azamantika conversation that comes later. Last episode, the fact that Michelle didn't know Julie's death was coming felt like a huge plot hole and it's nice to see it explained here. Not only that, but there's a great bit of foreboding when Michelle's told she'll be seeing them again under similar circumstances.

Back to the grieving, Chris's reaction is perfectly in character and synchs with how he reacted last season when he thought the others were killed. I have to admit that Danyael took the news that his lady's a killer a bit too lightly, but it's expected that he'll have a much stronger reaction when he actually confronts her.

Two small tidbits I have to point out: Chris not even registering that Jacqueline was in the room with him and the reveal on Syren/Chris. Both excellent moments summed up in less than half a page. Chrimes is great at sneaking those little bits in. He does stumble a bit in the end with Ciegue's surprise return, since it completely undermines Naomi's first official scene as Big Bad.

If I have to flag anything as bad, it's that the episode didn't really hold together. There's two distinct halves, the mourning and Chris's vision quest. As a whole, the episode seemed disjointed because the gang seemingly got over Julie's death overnight and were throwing one liners (at least Chris and Twist were) on their way to meet Yoda and get in tune with the Force. That much was jarring, but it didn't detract from the reading because what comes later is a whole slew of welcome revelations.
 


Another good episode, showing excellent writing in one felt like two separate plots. Thoroughly enjoyable episode and it really felt like Chris returned to the leading role of what's been basically been an ensemble season with this outing.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #19 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:29 »
3x19

Finally, anxiously awaited (though not by me) answers about Diego.

In what seems to be the vogue thing to do these days, Diego's story is told in flashbacks. So his family are warriors for the Trinity and he's part demon. Interesting. There's a lingering question of how exactly he or Ciegue can die. Both characters have recovered from fatal wounds a couple times by now. A fair assumption would be that their childhood pact prevents them from dying by natural causes, though that's never made clear. As typical with stories about siblings, one is an honorable soul and the other a bit on the materialistic side. As stories like this go, it's pretty straightforward, though there's a great sense of respect and love between the two.

I loved that Ciegue, both times, was pretty certain about not particularly wanting to kill Diego. I may be off base, but it felt like he was only doing his duty to the Trinity and his family. It's nice to see that under the cold demeanor, there's a man of honor there. In that sense, they're very much alike. They just have different perspectives on where their honor and loyalties lie. So, through this single episode, Ciegue gets more development and growth as an antagonist than he did in his entire season one run. Bravo.

And then there's the fighting. Wonderfully done. Black's influence on this episode is clear because there's a wonderful build to the clash of swords. Black knows how to pace his stuff to a thrilling payoff as any DSR reader can attest. However, I do admit a bit of a letdown on the actual conclusion. I understand letting Ciegue live since he just made his return. In retrospect, I would have enjoyed seeing him return much earlier and build to this being the final showdown. This episode is fourth to last of the season and the fact that this whole thing is just now getting set up (especially when the season started so slow) when Diego toiled in a fish out of water love story for so long is disappointing. I've been saying it the last few reviews that I question the placement of certain episodes. This episode actually works where it is, but the revelations about Diego's connection to the Trinity a story that seemed to fade into the background when Chris returned, could've come much earlier.

I should flag that Syren's voice has changed a bit too quickly for my liking. To my horror, with her stepping between fights and being all defiant, she almost sounded like...Julie. Ugh. On top of that, given how the second Ciegue/Diego fight went, it seemed a bit redundant to have Syren there simply as a damsel for Diego to protect when the exact same thing happened in the church flashback and the final fight when Twist was there.

Another point was Naomi, who again was undermined when Ciegue so easily defeated her. Don't get me wrong, there's no way she should've won that fight, but having Isabelle step in to save her (and so easily beat Ciegue) just further weakens the impact of her turn two episodes ago. The Trinity story is advanced, but Naomi herself continues to falter in the Big Bad role. Especially given Chris saw in his vision that her plan ultimately fails, despite the apocalyptic aftermath.



With the season in the home stretch now, Chrimes finally cuts loose with the good stuff. Great action, answers on Diego, all around an enjoyable read. Naomi needs some spine and an air of menace to her, pronto.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #20 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:30 »
3x20

Was this Amy's debut? Either way, it's pretty damn good. Extended SiB this time, five acts of extreme violence. Amy shows an amazing talent in managing to balance all of the main cast engaged in separate battles for basically all of the second half of the episode. Though, I question the use of more zombies, if only because RIP left a lingering, sour after taste. Personally, I would've cut the extended bit about the Trinity soldiers turning. By that point, it'd been pretty heavy with action and given the extended act, iI don't think it was entirely necessary.

In terms of story, it's not exactly deep. Didn't really need to be as everything essentially remains in a holding pattern. Naomi captures Danyael and tries to sell him on being evil. I swear this happens to one of these guys every season. He wisely KOs her and gets away, only to get snatched up again. Ciegue and Diego go to another draw. I have to say it's terribly amusing to picture Lindsey Lohan going at it with Fiona Apple. Someone really needs to teach Syren how to fight hand to hand. The singing attacks are nice and all, but put a muzzle on that girl and she's completely helpless.

Diego announces his departure and man, the extended cast are just dropping like flies, aren't they? He finally admits that Twist loves Danyael (TWOOK FOREVER!!) and he's ready to step aside at last. The good thing is both he and Danyael said they want to leave for the same reasons. The internal conflicts within the group are making them less effective. It's a fair point, since they've been treading water all season, never managing to get a leg up on the competition.

Naomi plays exposition queen this time, explaining what happened when she touched the Quaero. I always enjoy little throwaway lines and scenes being important down the line, so that was a welcome revelation.

One more thing. Tyres. With a 'y' even. That is so cute!.



Despite the action sequence being a tad too long, another good episode. Speaking as an action guy myself, I can appreciate the headache induced from cutting back and forth between that many sequences and Rees should be commended for making it seamless and flow perfectly.

Offline Michael Jay

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #21 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:31 »
3x21

One episode from the end and oddly enough it doesn't feel like it. Chrimes tends to lay it out all hang out in the final episodes of his season, but to be honest, this felt like a mid season plot.

We get Naomi's evil motivations and a lot of insight into her tragic past, but by this point, we really should have been past all this. I felt like this episode, like quite a few of the later eps this season, should've happened a whole lot earlier. Which isn't to say this isn't good. Quite the opposite, I was firmly engrossed in Naomi's background. Just that with the finale up next, this really wasn't the right episode to lead in with. Chris and the gang are out to rescue Danyael, but get sidetracked by the third plague (or is it the fifth). While a very good side plot with excellent suspense, this isn't penultimate episode stuff. I would have liked to see the sleeping virus for a few episodes and take on a more global epidemic scale. I didn't really get that and as a result, felt like the whole thing was wasted.

Naomi's story ultimately casts her as a tragic figure, which is a very wise move since she's had her power and authority undermined on several occasions. However, this is the sort of stuff that would've strengthened the character before the turn. Dan continues to earn cool points by refusing to feel sorry for her (aside from a self admitted moment of weakness). There's the BIG revelation that Naomi is the one who turned Danyael in the first place and he used to have a drug problem when he was human. This makes me wonder why they split in the first place. I remember Danyael giving a brush off reason, but more insight would've been nice. Finally, it's nice to see Naomi actually be a bad guy and blow Danyael up. I was starting to think she'd drop the whole plan and give up everything for him, which would've made me charter a flight to England and mapquest Chrimes's house. Thankfully, Naomi retains her edge, realizing that Danyael isn't going to come over to her line of thinking and thus is a liability. That's a cold woman. I like it!

Ultimately, it's a great episode, just ill placed. Last season, for all my loathing of Manon as the Big Bad, snowballed, nay, avalanched into the finale. Aside from the ending, this episode fails to do the same.



As a standalone outing, it's great. Within the context of the season, I don't think it measures up and sets readers up for a rollercoaster of a finale. So I do have to dock some points for interrupting the flow of things to fill in a much delayed backstory.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #22 on: Mon Jun 1 2009, 01:32 »
3x22

In the review for 3×21, I spoke of the season not taking a tail spin into the finale. Well, it really didn't matter. This is easily SiB's strongest finale to date. Chrimes tended to go with the J.J. Abrams school of thought with finales. That is, he ends the finale on an evil evil cliffhanger, but more notably, he doesn't completely finish the story the season has been telling. I personally have always felt cheated by finales like that. I also enjoy a finale that has a simple, straightforward plot. This is what we need to do and how we're going to do it. No swerves or plot twists. By this episode, all of those are out of the way and we can just make with the action. It works wonderfully.

A good finale, to me, pays off all the stories that were budding throughout the season and lets all the characters shine. This is the perfect example of that. Chrimes immediately resolves the previous episode's cliffhanger by showing Danyael very much alive, then jumps right into the action in yet another huge melee of a sequence. This show does these over and over again. They never stop being compelling, no matter who's writing.

Diego and Ciegue have their final battle. It fittingly ends with both of them impaling one another. Diego manages to tear himself away and use his remaining strength to save the day. Great way for a character I wasn't too keen on to go out.

One bit I especially enjoyed was Chris getting through to Isabelle. For the last few episodes, the Trinity have been referenced as something of watch dogs over the world. I got a very Batman Begins League of Shadows vibe from them and this is paid off when Chris manages to convince Isabelle that their plan will ultimately do more harm than good. I like to see characters with shades of grey. It's almost too bad she bites it.

Speaking of biting it, what a death count! Diego dies. Syren kills Charlotte in a bit of a shocker (though I didn't like the Sanctus line). Danyael kills Naomi, though I'm curious how a neck wound killed a vampire when this series has shown vampires take MUCH more devastating, fatal damage and still live. And finally, Twist gets the stake. I almost felt cheated that Chris wasn't there for Twist's death, but in retrospect the emphasis has been on Twook all year, so I'm not too bothered.

It wouldn't be a Chrimes show without a cliffhanger and Twist going back to hell neatly sets up the beginning for next season. It works though because it's the beginning of a new story, a new quest. Season 4 doesn't have to waste time wrapping up season 3, which the last two seasons have had to do (and hurting the pace as a result). I can live with that sort of cliffhanger, the aftermath style that only exists to tease next season.



I have no complaints. SiB's third finale wraps up what I felt was its strongest season yet and sets up an opening plot for season four. Kudos to Chrimes on another year completed.

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Re: SiB S3 Discussion
« Reply #23 on: Fri Apr 2 2010, 09:25 »
Currently reading/reviewing this season. Can't wait!