Previously on Teen Wolf: Everything happens all at once, nothing is satisfactorily explained, and all hell breaks loose.
Previously on Teen Wolf: Everything happens all at once, nothing is satisfactorily explained, and all hell breaks loose.
Once upon a time, a girl was chosen for a singular destiny, a life of solitary combat, ending, inevitably, in a premature but possibly noble death. She wasn’t the first, and nobody expected her to be the last. She was a dutiful soul, and went to war with the forces of evil, just as fate seemed to require. Then she expanded the fight, redefining her destiny by putting together a group of committed and powerful allies. In the end, she and these followers remade the world.
Vast oversimplification, right?
Carl Kolchak: Anybody important here today?
Receptionist: No, just a bunch of reporters.
—from “The Energy Eater” episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker
A lot of things contributed to me ultimately being a writer, but one of the most crucial was a guy in a bad suit and straw hat, with a camera and tape recorder slung over his shoulder. Yep, I mean the night stalker himself, Carl Kolchak, played by Darren McGavin.
Author Lev Grossman best sums up the latest exciting news about his book series The Magicians in a tweet yesterday:
And here’s what it is. A tweet five years in the making: Magicians pilot is greenlit
We had previously reported that The Magicians would be coming to Syfy, but now it’s official!
Deadline’s latest report doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know: After an earlier version of the pilot didn’t get picked up by Fox in 2012, producers Michael London and Janice Williams brought on new writers. With a retooled script by Sera Gamble (Supernatural) and John McNamara (Lois & Clark), they shopped it around to other networks. (Interestingly, Deadline mentions that this second pilot might start earlier in the series than the Fox project did.)
Syfy further developed the pilot; as Grossman wrote on his blog in April, the project was still technically in development. Now that it’s greenlit, we’re excited to see it join Syfy’s roster of scripted shows, including Ascension (premiering in November) and the 2015 projects 12 Monkeys, The Killjoys, and The Expanse.
The saga of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods TV series has been an epic in and of itself, as over the past few years we’ve watched ownership of the project shift from HBO to FremantleMedia. That’s not surprising, seeing as producer Stephanie Berk has moved over to FremantleMedia North America as Executive VP of Scripted Development, so it makes sense that the project moved with her.
Now, the latest news is that Starz will develop the TV series, with Bryan Fuller joining Gaiman as one of the producers.
While NBC’s gory, artsy hit series Hannibal wrapped up its second season just a month ago, creator Bryan Fuller is already looking ahead to season 3—and the rocker he’s dying to have cameo. Because he has the biggest artistic crush on David Bowie, and he is going to get him on his show one way or another, y’hear?
So, you’re a huge fan of Game of Thrones’ shocking, gory deaths and sexposition scenes. You stumble across Jacqueline Carey’s equally intriguing series Kushiel’s Legacy, with its throne-stealing, bedhopping, and god-marked heroine. And you think, This sounds like it would be my new favorite high fantasy TV series! Why has no one adapted it?
Carey agrees! And you if you’ve ever tweeted her a question about it, she wants you to know that she’s already been thinking a lot about it.
“Chosen,” by Joss Whedon
Kissing! As an appetizer for the very last televised episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer we jump right in with a taste of BuffAngel. It’s all nostalgia, you know, a bone thrown to those who long for the good old days when Buffy’s biggest problems centered around whether getting sweaty and intimate with her certain special someone would make that person evil, and/or ruin her birthday.
In time, she comes up for air—he doesn’t breathe, remember—and thinks to ask why he’s come back to Sunnydale. But before they can properly discuss the First and what it’s been up to lately, we find out that Caleb’s not as dead as previously supposed.
“End of Days,” by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson
We ended last week with Faith and the Slayettes, going toe to toe with a big honking bomb. There’s just enough time for Faith to shout a warning as it counts down single digits. And then it all blows up in face: kaboom!
As the dust settles on that fiasco, we check in on the mad bomber himself, down in his favorite ancient wine cellar. Buffy, having shed the need to watch out for anyone else’s survival as she tries once again to clean Caleb’s clock, is seeing a bit of success. She has found herself a shiny scythe-shaped object. It’s a gift, clearly, so perhaps its name is Death. Maybe she’ll call it Katie. Either way, Caleb boasts that he’s going to seriously murder her long before she can pry it out of all that rock.
Except—pop!—it wants to come. Later, Buffy will refer to this as King Arthuring it out of the stone. I do love the way Team Joss tends to verb.
Once and future king references aside, this completely foreseeable development unsettles Caleb. He remains game to take her on. The First turns up, though, and says to desist. Firstie also mentions Faith and the bomb. Caleb obediently backs down and Buffy sprints off.
[Neither of them told her where the Slayettes were...]
“Touched” by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
The wind-up of the last TV season of BtVS has truly begun by the time we get to “Touched,” which opens with an immense meeting that is all Scoob and no Slay. Everyone’s gathered except Buffy, Spike, and Andrew. Buffy, of course, got the boot last week, and Spike would have made the Scooby uprising far more difficult, what with his enormous powers of guilt-tripping. Andrew’s absence is simply a bonus.
The topic of this meeting, mostly, isn’t who do they fight or how do they win so much as it is who’s in charge, and how do they decide things? I hate this kind of thing in real life, and am practically getting hives just watching it now. Mercifully, Faith points out that they’re all exhausted and scared and should maybe adjourn to bed. Great idea! Except then the power goes out, creating a new bubble of panic.
The good news is the sudden onset darkness isn’t a prelude to an attack. The bad news is that the power company has given up on electrifying Sunnydale.
Elsewhere, Buffy is telling a gun-toting homeowner to get the heck out of Dodge while she takes over his house.
“Empty Places,” by Drew Z. Greenberg
Sunnydale is emptying out as fast as humanly—and demonly—possible. Buffy’s strolling through the traffic-jammed streets, watching the exodus. The extent of the fear is underlined when she runs into, of all unpeople, Clem. He’s fleeing, too. He tries to express confidence in the Slayer’s ability to save the town, if not the world from the First. Sadly, he’s less than convincing.
It’s different this time, he says. But, you know. Good luck and all!
Then he zooms away.
“Dirty Girls,” by Drew Goddard
A young woman is fleeing the Bringers and she flags down a knight in shining pick-up truck, as portrayed by Nathan Fillion. You’d think this would be a good thing, even if he is dressed as a preacher with unfortunate hair. He gives her a gentle talking-to about being out at night, and for a time everything seems obnoxiously wholesome.
They establish that he’s named Caleb and she’s named Shannon, and everything seems to be going supergreat until he asks if the Bringers were after her because she’s a whore.
“Lies My Parents Told Me,” by David Fury and Drew Goddard
New York, 1977: Nikki Wood whales on Spike, and vice versa, while wee tiny Robin watches from behind a park bench. It’s hard to say which of the three is the most adorable. Nikki is looking as though she might get bit when Robin distracts Spike. Who decides that since he’s gone to all the trouble of stalking another Slayer—he knows her name, and has come looking for her just for the joy of it—he should drag out the hunt. Also, he loves her coat.
Having covered his otherwise sketchy motives for giving up on a fight he’s essentially won, Spike bails and Nikki gives Robin a big dose of tender loving care. She explains that she loves him but she also was born to Slay, and thus he must go be babysat by a Watcher who surely adores being put on childcare duty. Giles doesn’t know how good he has it. Oh, wait—Giles is now running a school for wayward young ladies.
“Storyteller,” by Jane Espenson
Previously on BtVS, we have tended to start our episodes in one of Sunnydale’s abundant graveyards, at the Bronze, or, until they blew it the heck up, Sunnydale High Mark One. But today we get one of the most unconventional opens, possibly the most unconventional in a tie with “Once More with Feeling,” when the start of “Storyteller” unfolds more like an episode of Masterpiece.
We find ourselves watching Andrew, of all people, as he reads an (imaginary) book by an (imaginary) fire whilst rhapsodizing about how awesome it is to get lost in a good narrative. He invites us, his gentle (imaginary... wait! are we real?) viewers, to come hear a Buffy story.
Okay, now we get a shot of Buffy on the Slay... in a local cemetary. All’s right with our world again. She shoots a vamp with a crossbow as Andrew narrates—referring to them as VampEERs—and then gets into a round of martial arts with a second. The action’s getting intense when a rapping at the door reveals Andrew in his true surroundings. He’s in the bathroom at the Summers house, weaseling into a camcorder. When he tells Anya he’s “entertaining and informing,” she demands: “Why can’t you just masturbate like the rest of us?
Which is why, dear Anyanka, we heart you!
“Get It Done,” by Douglas Petrie
Buffy wanders through her own darkened house, dressed casually and taking in the camping Slayettes all over her floor. Her general vibe is den mothery. There are a lot of girls now. One, Chloe, is crying in a corner. Before Buffy can ask what’s wrong, the First Slayer knocks her down the stairs and tells her: “It’s not enough.”
At this point I’d be wishing I could have prophecy dreams set in Tahiti. I mean, she can roam through the Potential-infested house when she’s awake.
“First Date,” by Jane Espenson
Flashback to Giles getting an ax swung at his head, by a Bringer, while he talks to a half-slain Watcher named Robson. It turns out the Bringer had squeaky shoes, and thank goodness for that. Giles, though, plays up his own excellence and razor-sharp instincts in sharing this little vignette with the Potential Slayers. He and they and Buffy are in a graveyard, training in a pack, and as he continues to expound about his honed state of combat alertness, Spike tackles him from out of nowhere.
Spike hadn’t heard that Giles wasn’t the First, see, and as they climb to their feet there’s a bit of Brit on Brit head-butting. Giles calls Spike a berk (a term I have only ever heard Giles use) and demands to know why the Initiative chip didn’t jolt everyone’s favorite leashed vampire straight into Painesville for attacking him.
“The Killer in Me,” by Drew Z. Greenberg
This episode begins with Giles preparing to head out somewhere, all the while expressing concerns about whether the group will be okay in his absence. It turns out he’s taking the Potentials off to spirit quest with the First Slayer.
The point of it all, mostly, is that Giles is conspicuously not touching things—he has Dawn run a notebook out to Vi, while the Slayettes fight over who gets to drive the car. (Apparently Rupert’s California driver’s license is defunct.) He’s been not touching anything for awhile now, and when you’ve already seen this season once, it’s pretty obvious. If you haven’t, it’s been pretty elegantly done. As story elements go, it’s been noticeable, but not screaming in your face. (The style of this misdirection brings The Sixth Sense to mind, in my opinion).
“Potential,” by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Rona and Vi are out in a graveyard, looking scared and for good reason: something in here is hunting them.
Oh, wait, it’s Spike. He knocks Rona aside and takes a juicy bite out of Felicia Day...
...then it turns out, naturally enough, to be a training exercise. Buffy and the other Slayettes are on hand to debrief on why the two got killed. Rona whines about how it’s not a fair fight, since she and the others don’t have Buffy powers. (She could be whining about why she’s been ruled “dead” when all Spike did was give her a push, but that doesn’t occur to her.)
Buffy tells them all that that they have potential that ordinary girls lack—vampire-fighting instincts, basically— and talks a bit about learning to make the fight their own, even if what their finely tuned instincts are saying is “Run for the hills, wimp!” She and Spike get into a little demonstrative sparring, which turns into a tender gravestone-side moment where she’s worried she’s hurt him. And all but petting his manly bruises.
“Showtime,” by David Fury
Night in oh-so-safe Sunnydale, California. A cute young Potential named Rona gets off the bus. A bunch of Bringers are waiting to meet her, but fortunately Buffy is there too. Soon enough she’s stepping past the bodies to pick her latest recruit/dependant/apprentice off the tarmac, and from there leading her homeward.
Back at the Summers house, Kennedy is trying to lure Willow—who is on the floor in a sleeping bag—into easy cuddling range. Willow isn’t having any, and so instead they talk about the ever-growing number of Slayettes and the looming shortage of bathrooms. This in turn leads to some chatter about Kennedy’s wealthy upbringing, her many childhood homes and their many wings. It doesn’t lead to any kind of suggestion that maybe she should have her parents send a truckload of food and toilet paper, or the deeds to the house across the street. It’s sad, in its way, that Anya isn’t in the room. She’d get them to ante up.
“Never Leave Me” by Drew Goddard and “Bring on the Night” by Marti Noxon and Douglas Petrie
This phase of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s seventh season is moving at breakneck speed: once again, with this episode, we pick up directly after what passed the week before. XandAnya, Willow and Dawn are trying to repair the damage from the First’s recent spooktacular visit to the Summers home. Instead of whistling while they work, Anya and Dawn are being vocal about their misgivings about Buffy’s “Let’s bring Spike home and not kill him immediately,” plan.
Elsewhere, the First is using Andrew as a reluctant agent, egging him on by appearing to be Warren and urging him to... well, at this point we aren’t sure precisely what the goal may be.
One of the things we do learn about the First, in case we all hadn’t processed it earlier, is that it can’t can’t take solid form. Andrew and Fake Warren compare this situation to its media antecedents, bringing up Obi-Wan Kenobi and Patrick Swayze in Ghost. They entirely leave out Al from Quantum Leap, so I am officially miffed.