Book of the Stranger

[For Game of Thrones “Book of the Stranger” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Book of the Stranger. Jorah and Daario engage in a difficult task; Jaime and Cersei try to improve their situation.

“Book of the Stranger” opens on Longclaw. Jon Snow’s Valyrian steel sword, gifted to him by the previous Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Edd handles Longclaw and you wonder for a moment if Longclaw — despite having its pommel replaced with the Ghost-like direwolf — sigil of House Stark — follows the office of Lord Commander and not just Jon’s hip.

But no! Jon is still there and just chatting with Edd, making plans with the ostensible new Lord Commander. Jon will go “South” with the agenda of getting “warm”. As many have speculated, Jon considers his tenure with the Night’s Watch legitimately up, having pledged his life, and given that life while in office.

Jon — at this stage at least — doesn’t look like he is soon going to get over his own Brothers killing him.

Edd doesn’t have a long time to argue the point though, as by 9:05 Sansa, flanked by Brienne and Pod, enters Castle Black. In the blink of an eye Jon and Sansa are embracing one another and both lamenting ever having left Winterfell. “How could we know?”

Sansa makes many an apology for being awful to Jon as children — remember, Sansa was much more of a Tully (beautiful, lighter haired, and anything but Northern) while Jon was almost aggressively an “Arya”-type Stark (wild and of the North, with nothing [obviously] of Catelyn’s people in him)… Their appearances a constant reminder of their father’s betrayal. Both of them are just happy to see a friendly face after all these years, even if you get the feeling each would have preferred another brother or sister. Nevertheless Jon pledges to protect his sister, err… “sister”, err… half-“sister”(?). We’ll go with sister.

Sansa insists they go home, to retake Winterfell; Jon is tired of fighting despite his promise to protect Sansa.

An interesting sub-plot seems to be developing amongst the key lieutenants. Davos asks what happened to Stannis and Shireen; Melisandre openly shifts her allegiance to Jon (whom she now sees as the true Prince Who Was Promised, not Stannis); and Brienne lets them both know that she served Renly and has not forgotten the demon shadow who killed him. So basically, even though Davos quite likes Jon, it was always supposed to be Melisandre following around Prince Who Was Promised-Stannis; and Brienne was tragically in love with Renly, who was assassinated by a shadow that emerged from Melisandre’s nethers. Go Team Stark? Err… Snow?

Oh, and at 9:11 Brienne tells Davos and Melisandre both that it was her steel that executed their King.

Littlefinger returns to the Vale (and the screen) briefly… But long enough to convince Lord Robin — the weak-willed (not to mention weak-armed) Defender of the Vale — to go to his cousin’s aid. Remember, Robin’s mother was Catelyn Stark’s younger sister. Sansa rescue mission? How about bringing The. Entire. Vale. Army?

Across the Narrow Sea Tyrion shows Missandei and Grey Worm the meaning of diplomacy… By offering the Masters of the other Slaver’s Bay cities seven years to iron out their economies. There will never be slavery in Meereen again, but Dany (through Tyrion’s offer) will give them time to figure out their next moves. Way of life or no, there hasn’t been slavery in Westeros for hundreds of years and Tyrion reminds these Masters that he grew up richer than any of them! They don’t need slavery to be — or stay — the wealthy elite.

Grey Worm and Missandei are conflicted, to say the least, around these negotiations, but have Tyrion’s back when Meereen citizens — ex-slaves — confront him about meeting with their enemies. Missandei quotes “a wise man” (Tyrion himself, actually) that you don’t make peace with your friends but your enemies. In a private moment Tyrion calls both slavery and war awful things that should both end, but he can’t get rid of both today.

Daario and Jorah infiltrate Vaes Dothrak in search of Dany. They do some murdering; Daario breaks a rule or three, Jorah’s torn shirt sleeve reveals his greyscale affliction [to Daario]… But Dany ultimately refuses to go along with them. To be fair, they’d never get out of Vaes Dothrak alive. She has her own plan.

“Book of the Stranger” takes its name from an interaction between Margaery and the High Sparrow. It is strongly implied that Margaery — queen though she is — hasn’t seen sunlight in some time. We learn about the High Sparrow’s personal transformation from successful cobbler to guy who doesn’t wear shoes. He asks Margaery where she would go if he let her free, and she says her brother, her husband, her family.

The High Sparrow accommodates her, and lets her see Ser Loras.

Loras isn’t doing so well. We don’t actually know what the Faith Militant have been doing to him but it can’t be good. He seems wounded physically and on the verge of breaking mentally. He is filthy and cowering in his dungeon cell. He just wants to quit.

Margaery won’t let him.

Across town, Cersei and Jaime invite the Queen of Thorns to bring the Tyrell army into King’s Landing. Tommen has ordered his Hand to stand down against the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant, but the Tyrell family have no such restriction. The plan is for the Tyrells to come in, come in in force, and liberate their Queen and family heir. All anticipate quite a bit of bloodshed; but an echo to Jaime and Cersei some episodes ago, the Queen of Thorns expresses a “better them not us” attitude. This is not going to end well.

Up at Winterfell Osha is bathed and given the Ramsay. She throws herself at him, presumably with the intent of murdering him while distracted by passion… But Ramsay seems to have been planning to kill her all along. Osha dies unceremoniously with a stab to the throat, and Ramsay uses the same knife to slice an apple a few seconds later. Ew.

Like many of you I was holding out hope that the Umbers placing Osha and Rickon into Bolton power was some sort of infiltration move; that Shaggydog’s head was actually from some smaller wolf… But with Osha dying it really seems like the Umbers have betrayed what is left of the Starks and have actually put baby Rickon into the worst possible position under the worst possible human.

Three minutes later, at the Wall, Jon and company are breaking bread. It is heavily implied that big old Tormund fancies the mighty Brienne, but there isn’t much time to dwell on the size of their Stark (Snow?) bannermen-to-be progeny, as a letter comes from the Lord Commander; a letter marked with the flayed man of Bolton.

To the traitor and bastard Jon Snow:

You allowed thousands of Wildlings past the wall.
You have betrayed your own kind. you have betrayed the North.
Winterfell is mine, come and see.
Your brother Rickon is in my dungeon.
His direwolf’s skin is on my floor, come and see.
I want my bride back.
Send her to me bastard and I will not trouble you or your Wildling lovers.
Keep her from me and I will ride north and slaughter every Wildling man, woman, and babe living under your protection.
You will watch as I skin them living.
You will watch as my soldiers take turns raping your sister.
You will watch as my dogs devour your wild little brother.
Then I will spoon your eyes from your sockets and let my dogs to the rest, come and see.

Ramsay Bolton, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North

All this seems to sway Jon, finally. Sansa tells him that Ramsay has maybe five thousand troops, but that the other Northern Lords will rally to the son of the last true Warden of the North. Tormund has two thousand Free Folk fighters to commit, even without loyal Northerners. It really looks like Ramsay is going to have his hands full soon, with Jon Snow and his Wildlings coming from the North, and Littlefinger and his Knights coming from the Vale. I, for one, can’t wait.

In the final scene we get the most spectacular Dany moment in three seasons. The assembled Khals discuss what to do with her. Can she stay in Vaes Dothrak with the other Khal widows? Dany says none of them are worthy of ruling the Dothraki, but she is. Okay, instead they’ll pass her around, then give her to their lieutenants and even horses. Dany’s plan unfolds.

Daario and Jorah have killed the guards and bolted shut the door to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen. It is not Dany who is locked in with the violent Khals, but they who are trapped in the temple with her. Dany knocks over lamp after lamp, scattering oil throughout the exit-less temple, burning the assembled Khals alive.

Dany, of course, is fireproof.

The temple burns down, and the Mother of Dragons emerges, naked but unburnt as usual. Presumably every Khal on the Dothraki Sea is dead, leaving only the white-haired Khaleesi, last of the Targaryens, to command the entire nation. Each and every assembled Dothraki bends the knee, as do Jorah and Daario.

“Book of the Stranger” is the most decisive episode of Game of Thrones so far this season, for sure. Even if Jorah and Daario had been successful in liberating Dany, there would have been a long-term problem with the Dothraki Khals; not so, now. The Masters of Slavers Bay offered ten thousand horses to sell Dany into their power. What is going to happen next given Tyrion’s offer to them… And the fact that the Queen will be returning to Slaver’s Bay with the entirety of the finest cavalry in the world at her back?

“Book of the Stranger” is an episode full of foreshadowing and posturing. The camera made a big deal of a knife being nearby when Osha met with Ramsay; it was by a different knife that she died. The Khals made a huge speech about what kind of violence they would bring on the Mother of Dragons… Right before she killed them all! No knights, no mercenaries, no dragons needed; just Dany was enough! Ramsay’s letter is similar posturing, and full of just as much promised princess-rape; hopefully he finds himself flayed, castrated, or devoured by dogs soon.

What is interesting to me is that all these rulers with mines full of gold, giant temples, thousands of soldiers at their command, and even dragons are currently struggling with internal conflicts that are preventing them from wielding their full influence. Despite her Unsullied (and now Dothraki) Dany is bedeviled by Sons of the Harpy and Masters from her allegedly liberated cities; the Umbers went turncloak from Stark to Bolton in fear of the Wildlings; Jon is juggling Night’s Watch, duty, a witch, and the aforementioned Wildlings; while the Lannisters — who supposedly won the War of Five Kings — can’t even keep their Queens from being marched naked and humiliated in the street. Don’t get me started on either the Iron Islands (regicide) or Dorne (um, regicide). It seems that whoever gets his — or her — kingdom in order will be best positioned in the coming conflict; and right now, between Tyrion’s diplomacy and a brand spanking new army, that looks like Dany. #TeamTargaryen?


[For Penny Dreadful “Predators Far and Near” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Showtime Summary:
Predators Far and Near. Ethan gets help from Hecate; Evil forces track Vanessa’s every move.

Penny Dreadful brings unique storytelling to TV and surprises its audience every week. So, in that spirit, we’re bringing a new, non-traditional style to our recaps of Penny Dreadful and will surprise you with a different way of doing it each week. The second episode of the season “Predators Far and Near” brings a shocking revelation in the final frame and it’s done with mastery and thus inspired us to use masterpiece paintings for this week’s Penny Dreadful recap theme. Much of the art history analysis below draws from the insightful art historian, Sister Wendy, and her phenomenal book Sister Wendy’s 1000 Masterpieces. These Wendy-brand bits of acumen are italicized for your reference.

We begin with a brand new setting from this week’s Penny Dreadful. The workplace of our handsome and troubled new friend, Dr. Jekyll.

Penny-Dreadful-BedlamBedlam: Officially London’s Bethlem Hospital, it’s notoriety for inspiring “lunacy reform” in the psychiatric movement earned this institution the nickname Bedlam. What a perfect place for Dr. Jekyll to conduct his research – the corrupted bowels of a lunatic asylum. Although Bedlam was a real place, it certainly felt like hell to its many inhabitants and thus the painting by Hieronymous Bosch, “The Garden of Earthly Delights – Hell” portrays just the sort of pandemonium that the occupants of the infamous Bedlam experienced. A catastrophic scene of mayhem employed by the great master of macabre, “Hell” depicts every particular agony of the damned. From what we learn of Jekyll’s work in its basement, Bedlam too housed the damned. Bedlam inhabitants’ only hope lies in the twisted experiments of a mad scientist. Some of which cause them great agony indeed.

Penny-Dreadful-Jekyll-FrankensteinDr. Henry Jekyll  Henry obsesses over the duality in each person throughout “Predators Far and Near”. Jekyll is, of course, the main example of a predator lying “near” considering that his beastie lies within himself. Being both monster and man, he’s been the exemplary literary archetype of this precise duality for the past two centuries. Jekyll believes the pull between light and dark/angel and devil not only energizes us, it is the meaning of life itself. This is why “Gustave Courbet’s “The Wave” perfectly captures Dr. Jekyll. The painting conveys the mutual battle between the tossing emotion of the sea and the wild fury of the sky. Courbet also admires the dignity with which the water and air maintain their individuality. It’s perfectly parallel to Jekyll’s work. Especially in this episode where we see his use of the beast-taming antidote for the first time. The beastie and the man who remains after the injection are two separate entities locked in an eternal battle over their one body.

Penny-Dreadful-Kaetany-MalcolmKaetany & Sir Malcolm: Both of these men follow a higher calling as they engage with Ethan in what they believe is their duty to help him. They’re aware of his murderous rages but still, Kaetany also makes it clear in this episode that Ethan is just the Apache he needs. So, it’s an interdependent situation much like in Jean-Baptiste Oudrey’s painting “The Dead Wolf”. The two hounds represent Kaetany and Sir Malcolm, aware that they are in the presence of greatness next to the tremendous symbol of courage and violence beside them. While Ethan is, of course, the wolf. By all appearances this beast is down for the count – much like the perpetually handcuffed Ethan. So, why do the two hounds look so scared? Because you can never be too careful around the truly wild. Just when you begin to lament their death, the untamed rise again to fight the next battle with ferocious resilience. 


Ethan & Hecate In the previous episode, Hecate waited in the wings watching over Ethan with the stealth of a cat ready to strike. With “Predators Far and Near” her strategy finally pays off when she helps Ethan battle and overcome his father’s minions. He also knew this fight was coming, poised for it like a tiger hidden in the trees. In this episode we see the harnessed anger Ethan usually keeps hidden with vivid clarity. This is why the painting by Franz Marc, “The Tiger” works so well for Ethan. Marc presents this tiger with a pained admiration for animal beauty even while portraying it as a figure of menace. The main difference, Marc says in this painting, between man and beast is that man kills for sport while animals kill to survive. Ethan is only feeding his hunger for survival and thus he’s always primed for when he’ll need to defend himself, exactly like Marc’s gorgeous tiger – coiled and ready for action. .

Penny-Dreadful-VanessaVanessa & Dr. Seward In Vanessa’s second session with Dr. Seward she lets her freak flag fly at full mast. First Vanessa warns the doctor that if Seward believes what she says it’s likely she’s had her last restful night’s sleep. Then Vanessa plunges into the depths of her torturous past while Seward intently records the session. Edgar Degas’ “Melancholy” suits this part of the story with its classic repose of suffering and the feeling of inertia grief often brings. Vanessa has reached the depths of her despair in this scene. So, Dr. Seward recommends she go out and do something she believes will make her happy. This, of course, points Vanessa toward the charming Dr. Sweet.

Penny-Dreadful-DraculaDr.Sweet/Dracula  The title of this episode, “Predators Far and Near” forewarns that evil lurks all around, even in the most unexpected places. The most shocking and, admittedly kind of thrilling, part of this episode rolls out with a terrifying revelation at the end. After a delightful date with Vanessa, the modest and seemingly oblivious zoologist, Dr. Sweet, turns out to be Dracula himself. His whole dismissive-of-Vanessa-thing is an utter charade. Max Ernst’s “Celebes” portrays just this sort of alluring facade. Ernst presents a mechanical-pseudo elephant as a headless figure, eerily reminiscent of a mannequin, entices us to encounter the beast behind it. Nothing in this painting is at it seems. Dracula seduced Vanessa so easily with his apparent disinterest because up until now she’s been constantly harassed, stalked, and tormented. Thus Dr. Sweet seems like a refreshing change for the better. The man can’t even remember her name… little does Vanessa know he’s just more of that same old evil she can’t seem to shake off.

Penny-Dreadful-LilyLily The opening scene of this week’s episode holds us spellbound as Lily slits the throats around a circle of men with the finesse of a figure skater dancing on ice. She’s truly an out-of-this-world phenom, taking down the men who paid top dollar to watch a girl tortured to death. While Dorian does help Lily quite a bit, he shoots his gun from a distance in a matter of fact way. Lily’s grace and obvious delight in the more intimate process of cutting throats seems mystical in comparison, as if she’s found her calling. Paul Delvaux’s painting, “A Siren in Full Moonlight” portrays just this sort of vision Lilly now exemplifies – a woman, but no longer a woman. Delvaux depicts a siren in the secret world of her unknowable mysteries, woman as alien. She is distanced from us, seemingly with a mixture of fascination and fear.  Much like Lily, the siren’s also surrounded by symbols of luxury but looks only at her tail. Lily too, has no interest in opulence. Vengeance remains the only thing left that matters to her now.

Penny-Dreadful-JustineJustine: We’re introduced to a new character in “Predators Far and Near,” the incomparable Justine. Naked, bound, and facing imminent torture and death, she spits in the face of her executioner. No ordinary girl, she’s a perfect match to James Whistler’s portrait “Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cecily Alexander”.  Because Whistler made her stand for hours upon hours, Cecily has a rather disgruntled expression which reminds us of Justine’s testy reproach to her savior, Lily “You killed them!” she crankily accuses the morning after. But Lily’s resolute and bold reply shows us Justine’s vulnerability, her softer side. Whistler portrays this fragility of youth with the butterflies hovering above Cecily’s head. Justine is just a girl, after all, barely a woman. Although she’s no longer the chattel of men, Justine belongs to Lily now rather than to herself.

Thus the plot thickens for many characters in Penny Dreadful. How is Ethan related to the Apache and what is Kaetany’s mission for him? When will Vanessa find out the truth about Dr. Sweet and can Dr. Seward help her? What lies in store for Justine now that she’s fully committed to Lily and Dorian? Speaking of Lily, we know Dr. Jekyll plans to inject her with the beastie-busting antidote but he’s unaware of her immortality and mission to kill. In other words, we’ll soon get a first look at Dr. Henry Jekyll’s beastie too. Can’t wait.

–Katherine Recap

The Night Manager – Part Four

Posted by Katherine Recap | Hollywood, TV

[For The Night Manager – “Part Four” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Part Four. Pine becomes part of Roper’s inner circle; Burr questions the safety of her source.

This Night Manager – “Part Four” would be better titled “They Finally Do It” … but instead we have the gloriously descriptive, “Part Four”. Our title works for two reasons, Pine finally sticks it to Jed and, in the main plot line, Roper finally does his arms deal. Technically, though it’s actually Andrew Birch who does the deal, signs the papers, and provides the retinal scan. This is also the episode where they finally reveal to us just how despicable Roper really is. of course, we’ve heard how he’s the “worst man in the world” but thanks to Angela Burr’s storytelling in “Part Four” we truly get the picture.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FourSpeaking of “picture” this show integrates current cellphone technology into the story in a perfunctory manner. Why more spy stories don’t do this these days makes no sense. Of course spies would be using their phones all the time! It’s the most realistic thing about “The Night Manager” and gives it a sense of “now” that works. The episode opens with Roper explaining to Pine how he’s the straw man in the arms deal. He’ll play Andrew Birch and all the contract signing and dealing will be done in his name. Then Danny and Jed come in so Roper can say goodbye to his son as he goes back to be with his mother, location classified.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FourSpeaking of classified, Burr has a secret meeting with Harry, an MI6 agent from her old days working there. Harry says Halo is Dromgoole, the head of MI6, and Felix is Langley in London. They’re falsifying MOD certificates with Harry’s help. This is corruption and fraud. So, a contrite Harry gives her helpful documents that she and Steadman analyze with their team. Through these docs, Angela finds out Roper and Langbourne are on a plane to Instanbul with a man named Andrew Birch. Burr then realizes that Pine may now be Andrew Birch.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FourJed then confronts Pine, asking if he’s Andrew Birch, Thomas Quince, or Johnathan Pine. He says he can’t tell her. For some reason this mystery gets Jed really hot. So, they go up to his room and do it. Question now is whether Andrew Birch is a sentimental schmuck like Pine with his lady in Cairo or more like the douchebag he was as Thomas Quince in Devon – just lovin and leavin them. Or perhaps Birch is a new brand of blue-eyed babe. He certainly seems comfortable in Roper’s world now.

Meanwhile Roper talks with Langbourne about how Halo and Felix at MI6 are getting skittish. In fact, they’re extremely agitated because they now know Burr has Harry’s documents implicating them in the deal. Halo and Felix assume it was Apostel that snitched. So, guess who’s found dead at the end of the episode? Yes, Apostel’s a goner. This means we need to worry about Burr now. Our pregnant hero faces imminent danger from all sides.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FourThe next day during the contract signing part of the deal the sellers do a biometric iris scan of Andrew Birch and take a look at his bank account, which miraculously contains three hundred million dollars. Pine’s come a long way from being “The Night Manager” now.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FourPart two of the deal takes place late at night on a cargo ship. The sellers then do another retinal scan on Birch and the purchase gets authorized. They give Birch/Pine special vodka and convey the arms from their cargo ship onto Roper’s trucks. The next day Roper, Langbourne, and Birch will fly out to the buyer with enough weapons to start a war.

Monitoring from her office Burr tells a coworker about when she first learned about Richard Roper. Burr calls it “School Sports Day,” an event she attended in Baghdad while stationed there. At an outdoor park families were playing sports and celebrating with picnics when someone released Sarin gas at the event. This tortured and killed 112 children and 58 adults. Burr saw Richard Roper at “School Sports Day” taking it all in and then he started selling Sarin soon after. So, she knows Roper got the idea from seeing that horror. What she saw as a tragedy he saw as a great way to make lots of money. This was the origin for Burr’s obsession with nailing him.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FourLate that night Jed calls Pine “just to know he’s there” but instead of cooing back, he tells her to get off the line. Pine knows Burr’s team is listening. The next morning Angela says Pine’s in too deep. Pine retorts that Burr can’t nail Roper without him. She’s certain to get him, though, as long as the operation goes forward. Angela still insists Pine has to flee the operation but Instead he notifies Roper that being monitored by police. So, Roper calls for a full evacuation, everybody on the road in ten minutes. Pine leaves with Roper, off the grid now and officially pisses off Burr who’s mad pregnant at this point. Anyone familiar with pregnancy rage knows that the real action hasn’t even started yet on “The Night Manager” so stay tuned for the inevitable blitzkreig.

–Katherine Recap

[For Silicon Valley “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Meinertzhagen’s Haversack. Richard searches for a way around Jack; Gilfoyle opens himself up to recruiters.

Meinertzhagen's-Haversack“Meinertzhagen’s Haversack” takes a page from the playbook of military deception to tell the story of five software engineers in battle with the very company they created. In fact, this whole episode revolves around the theme of taking a page from another’s playbook. The first line of the show is a guy who tells Richard, Dinesh, and Gilfoyle, “This is your future,” while pointing into a space for a small box to fit. Needless to say, they’re not inspired by this vision of their future and are looking for a new play in the Pied Piper game. If Jack Barker goes through with the sales team’s “box” vision the three of them will end up living in this basement warehouse so they can provide the 24/7 service the sales team promised.

The RulesSo, Richard approaches Jack about turning Pied Piper into an appliance. But Jack’s unreachable and says he needs the box. What the engineers want doesn’t matter, a moot point with him. Gilfoyle, in response, changes his LinkedIn status to “looking for work” and immediately starts getting wooed by every engineering recruiter in town. The more Gilfoyle refuses to take meetings, the more goodies they send. It’s straight out of the “playing hard to get” playbook AKA The Rules. In Gilfoyle’s case, unlike the majority of women who actually bought that book, this play works and he uses it throughout the episode; even getting pizza for the house with the mere promise of a meeting.

Barney-StinsonMeanwhile Richard’s going off book when he decides to talk to Laurie (head of Raviga – their investor company) behind Jack’s back. Jared points out that this is a “serious breach of protocol” but Richard does it anyway. He’s always been a rule-follower before, so Richard’s gone rogue and uses a whole new playbook here. Considering this play involves a breach of ethics and two beautiful women, maybe he’s using Barney Stinson’s. As a result of Richard’s attempt at rebellion, Laurie calls Jack to root for the platform and nix the box idea. But Jack’s working out of the sandbox playbook and says either they do it his way or he’s taking all his toys and going home. Laurie just fired Richard, so she can’t oust Jack now without looking like she fires a CEO every time her phone needs charging. So, when Barker threatens to leave Pied Piper, Laurie has to concede and they’re back to “the box”.

Art-of-War-in-WorkplaceGilfoyle finally ends up taking a meeting but it’s an unwelcome revelation. The company EndFrame, who stole half of the Pied Piper Algorithm in a previous episode, now has the other half as well; thanks to the Nucleus team who cracked that code in the last episode and then joined EndFrame. It’s a dark day for Pied Piper. They underestimated their competition, a classic mistake for those not mindful of their Art of War in the workplace playbook.

Gilfoyle-PizzaThen the Pied Piper core team has a meeting and Erlich inspires them with a revolutionary speech saying they should just build the platform anyway. What can Jack do? Richard gets inspired by this idea. He realizes that if they could get away with doing it surreptitiously, Barker would have to act like it was his idea all along when they ended up delivering the platform rather than the box. So, they plan to create a secret company inside the company – a Skunk Works. They’ll pretend to build the box and the whole time secretly build the platform, all the while hiding it from the sales team. This is where we’re hit with a barrage of playbook references, Oceans Eleven, Shawshank Redemption, and The Great Escape, are all mentioned as they try to configure a playbook for their own version of Skunk Works.

Meinertzhagen's-Haversack"After they work it all out and have a playbook ready, Jared tells them about “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack,” a principle of military deception. Essentially, you keep acting “the part” to maintain the appearance of the status quo and thus protect your secret deeds from detection. But when they go into the office the next morning all prepped and ready to pull of their secret mission, it all falls apart. Richard trips, falls, and sends the Skunk Works secret documents right into the hand of a sales team guy. That guy brings their Skunk Works playbook to Jack right away and thus, they’re busted before they even began. This creates a conundrum for Jack. He can’t really fire them because without them he has no Pied Piper Algorithm. Jack can demand that they make the box but can’t watch them every minute to make sure they’re not really making the platform. That would require George Orwell’s “1984,” probably the most unpopular workplace playbook of all time.

–Katherine Recap


[For Game of Thrones “Oathbreaker” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Oathbreaker. Daenerys meets her future; Bran meets the past; Tommen confronts the High Sparrow.

In starting to do these recaps I’ve come to a new respect for the people who write and direct Game of Thrones every week. I know that might sound odd because it is widely considered the best show on television and everything, but it isn’t just compelling… It’s wicked tight. Game of Thrones can coordinate so many complicated storylines only because they can pack so much into just three minutes or so. There is no wasted movement; not a wasted line.

We start circa 9:06 after some house ads and “previously on” refreshers to find the glassy eyes of the Onion Knight looking over a recovering Jon Snow. Despite a few scars and scratches (he was murdered by his own men just a few episodes ago, remember), Jon is naked as the day he was born, providing some eye candy for the other half of the audience.

Melisandre asks Jon what he remembers… He remembers the mutiny, and Olly stabbing him in the heart; but presumably depresses her by saying there was nothing after… Just nothing. “Stannis was not the Prince Who Was Promised,” Melisandre concludes, “but somebody has to be.”

By 9:10 Jon is back in his giant black cloak and greeting the remaining Watch and the assembled wildlings. They think he is some kind of god, but Tormund knows better; he’s seen Jon’s pecker… And what kind of god would have a pecker that small? Jon embraces Edd, who notes his eyes are still brown (ergo presumably not the icy blue of a White Walker); Edd is just happy to see his friend.

After a short interlude with Sam sailing to Oldtown (and vomiting over and over, ew) we come to the money shot of “Oathbreaker” at 9:16. A man is sharpening a sword beneath a great tower. We see him put on his helmet as riders approach. He is Kingsguard, but no Kingsguard we have ever seen on the show so far.

This is real Kingsguard; a stronger breed than Robert Baratheon’s… From back when every man was on the order of Barristan the Bold in his prime. A young Eddard Stark with a handful of Northern Knights (including Howland Reed, Meera’s father) are the riders! We see this from the perspective of Bran, once again warging into the past.

They meet two Kingsguard, the man sharpening his sword, and Arthur Dayne, “the Sword of the Morning” the deadliest swordsman Eddard ever encountered. Eddard asks where his sister is, and instead of answering, a deadly fight breaks out.

To his credit, Eddard dispatches the other Kingsguard (presumably Gerold Hightower* if only because he is later mentioned in the episode by Pycelle). To their credit the Kingsguard are cutting down Eddard’s Knights, too; with Reed going down first. Soon it is a four-on-one including Eddard against Arthur Dayne.

Dayne is reimagined in “Oathbreaker” as a Drizzt Do’Urden-style fighter, wielding two swords with great dexterity. Four-on-one becomes three-on-one, then two-on-one, then just Eddard against Dayne.

Eddard, remember, is considered even by Jaime Lannister to be a master swordsman… But he is hopelessly overmatched by the skilled Dayne.

“He’s better than my father,” observes Brand.
“Far better,” agrees the Three-Eyed-Raven.
“My father beat him,” recalls Bran.
“Did he?”
“I know he did! I’ve heard the story a thousand times.”

Just as Bran is saying this, Eddard is disarmed by Dayne. Things are looking bad for the Warden of the North, when…

… The injured Howland Reed jumps Arthur from behind and stabs him in the back!

Bran is shocked! He calls out to his father, who seems to hear him.

“The past is already written; the ink is dry,” reminds the Three-Eyed Raven as he pulls Bran back into the present. “Stay too long and you won’t return.” For his part, though, Bran doesn’t much care about returning. He just loves to see his parents when they were young.

But Bran has a different task. The Three-Eyed Raven has been waiting for him for a thousand years. Unlike him, Bran will be allowed to leave (rather than growing into a tree), but first must learn everything.

Across the Narrow Sea Dany reaches Vaes Dotrhak and Varys finds out who is backing the Sons of the Harpy. It turns out that Masters from Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis are bankrolling the Sons of the Harpy and are the root cause for Meereen’s current predicament.

Varys is known for his little birds, children who do his spying… We see back in King’s Landing that Qyburn has taken over that position, including giving out candy in return for loyalty. Cersei and Jaime attempt to join a Small Council meeting; but, just as the Small Council can’t throw out Jaime and Cersei… They can’t force the Council to stay.

At 9:42 we pick up Arya’s training. She learns to fight blind and practice lying. At the end of a short montage, Arya can hold her own against the Waif. Jaqen gives her the poisonous water from the Many-Faced God’s temple, but assures her that if she is “truly no one” it won’t hurt her. It doesn’t and she gets her eyesight back at 9:45.

Speaking of Starks, we return to Winterfell at 9:47, where Lord Umber is addressing the newly promoted Lord Bolton and Lord Karstark. Umber never swore fealty to the Boltons, which is a sticking point from Ramsay’s position. Umber still doesn’t want to bend the knee, but he has nevertheless brought a gift… Rickon Stark!

Ramsay wants to know how it is really Rickon, and in one of the sadder moments of the last couple of seasons, Umber plops the head of a dead Shaggydog onto the table, with a hook through his skull. Satisfied, Ramsay greets the young Lord Stark.

“Oathbreaker” concludes with Jon executing the men of the Night’s Watch who betrayed him. All of them have a few words, or short requests, except Olly; who remains silent throughout the scene. After executing his former Brothers, Jon gives up his Lord Commander’s cloak to Edd, says his watch is done, and walks out the gate as credits close.

All episode it is probably logical to try to find the eponymous Oathbreaker. Is it Jon? He is in fact walking out on the Night’s Watch. Is it the Knights of the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy? They didn’t stand by Prince Rhaegar when Robert killed him on the Trident. Is Dany the Oathbreaker? She was supposed to go straight into retirement when Khal Drogo died.

In the end, I don’t think it matters. This episode is more about one thing than anything else, and that is the beginnings of Jon Snow. It opens with him returning to life [for the second time], and flips relatively quickly to the Tower of Joy, which is widely speculated to be the place of Jon’s actual birth. Perhaps, then, is the Oathbreaker Lord Eddard? He lied to his wife… Or maybe he didn’t which would really make him an oathbreaker.


* The version of the battle at the Tower of Joy in the novels features three Kingsguard, not two; so it is either Hightower or Oswell Whent.

[For Penny Dreadful “The Day Tennyson Died” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Showtime Summary:
The Day Tennyson Died. With her friends scattered around the world, a despondent Vanessa seeks help to battle a new evil.

Penny Dreadful brings unique storytelling to TV and surprises its audience every week. So, in that spirit, we’re bringing a new, non-traditional style to our recaps of Penny Dreadful and will surprise you with a different way of doing it each week. For the first episode of the season we’re kicking it way old school and bringing you Penny Dreadful season three, episode one as a pack of tarot cards. We’re still delivering spoilers galore. But for this week’s recap imagine yourself in a carnival tent with a snarky psychic know-it-all because we’re reading the cards… and see a fantastic cast of archetypal Penny Dreadful characters.

the hermitVanessa Ives: Hermit, introspection, searching, guidance, solitude. Tarot cards sometimes work on a literal level, like here with Vanessa opening the episode in classic Hermit fashion. Vanessa has pulled the drapes closed and left piles of dirty dishes on every surface of her house, waking only to eat and ignore visitors. She’s the Rip Van Winkle of Penny Dreadful in “The Day Tennyson Died,” and deeply depressed too. Vanessa rises from a sleep of the ages to a state of semi-consciousness thank to Lyle at her front door. The Hermit card signifies solitude but also searching, which Vanessa begins anew in this episode. She seeks the guidance of Dr. Seward and, by the end of the episode, takes her advice. All this seems to point to the beginning of a new phase for Vanessa. She’s ready to come out from Hermit hiding now and into the sunlight.

hanged manSir Malcolm Murray: Hanged Man, reversal, suspension, sacrifice. Malcolm just buried Sembene in his homeland of Africa and now contrite, just wants to disappear and never face a demon again. Who can blame him? But The Hanged Man card instructs to turn back and face that which we’d rather ignore. In Malcolm’s case this means facing his destiny as a demon-hunter. It’s clearly a sacrifice for him to resume his Allan Quatermain lifestyle now just when Malcolm most wants to Netflix and chill. But Murray is, above all else, a man with a mission no matter how much he wants to deny it. This is why The Hanged Man card is perfect for him at the this juncture because it’s about putting self interest aside and following one’s “calling” which Kaetenay, a new friend, reminds Malcolm.

the starEthan Talbot: The Star, hope, inspiration, serenity (The Moon) illusion, imagination, shadows. Normally, Ethan would clearly be The Moon card. In fact, the actual card has wolves on it and is all about secret hidden selves, in other words – Ethan’s jam. But “The Day Tennyson Died” remarks on many new beginnings for characters and this is where Ethan finals begins to seem at peace. He’s accepted his situation and is finally ready to shine a light on his own personal truth. He’s finally facing his father and in the meantime everybody else is looking at him. This is The Star tarot card in a nutshell. He’s inspiring a whole new territory now, New Mexico and all the wonders of the American West. Ethan’s The Star of this show, with a group of hired bandits taking over an entire locomotive just to steal him away from Scotland Yard and return him to his father. Meanwhile Hecate isn’t letting Ethan out of her sight. So, he’s being watched from all sides. We’re certain he’ll be back to his hidden moon phase soon enough. The last words from him were wishing his captors luck at getting him “home” because though Ethan doesn’t know exactly what the wolf inside him will do, he knows it’s gonna be dangerous.

devilDr. Victor Frankenstein: Devil, bondage, obsession, addiction, materialism. We knew Victor was becoming a drug addict because he ended season two with a needle in his arm. So, when “The Day Tennyson Died” reveals that he’s descended fully now into narcotic oblivion we’re unsurprised. Victor’s obsession remains the same, his creation, Lily, and the drugs that help him forget her. Frankenstein enlists his old pal from medical school, the notorious Dr. Jekyll, to help him tame Lily. Or, if that doesn’t work, help him destroy her. The Devil Card arises at just these times, when addictions compel one to act in complete disdain of reason. Victor can no longer be reasonable. He’s wrapped up in his addiction to Lily and the fact that she’s actually a monster drives him drugs and becoming a madman himself. Of course, because he’s Victor Frankenstein, he thinks he can “tamper with the formula” of his creation and perhaps fix her. Little does Victor realize that his only fixable problems are his own. Victor would be best off hitting a twelve step program at this point but instead he’s riding The Devil train to his own destruction. More fun for us to watch, at least.

temperanceDr. Henry Jekyll: Temperance, balance, health, combining.
This is our first introduction to the Penny Dreadful version of Dr. Jekyll and we love what we see. Because he’s a chemist, Temperance is the perfect card for Hyde. It’s all about synthesis and equilibrium along with healing and moderation. These are exactly the forces Dr. Frankenstein needs in his life and here’s hottie, Dr. Henry Jekyll, an amalgam of just this particular mission in life. He’s a scientist in a constant battle to balance his inner monster and man, thus perfectly suited for the job of helping Dr. Frankenstein. Dr. Jekyll even suggests that perhaps his latest chemical concoction can tame Lily for Victor. It’s the very same antidote he currently uses on his own demon.

foolThe Creature: The Fool, beginnings, faith, folly. The Creature ended last season in “The Bell Jar” so, we imagine it’s all uphill from here. Yes, he starts season three in a starvation snow storm situation… but soon leaves it behind to start a new adventure. He’s The Fool because finally, after a veritable lifetime of anguish, The Creature has a twinkling of hope. A vision of himself in his former life, before he became The Creature, gives him a glimpse of the man he once was. He had a son and a home life, apparently. It’s a brief vision but enough for The Creature to shift into gear and ready himself for a new beginning. He declares that he’s going “home” to the ravenous men left behind on an the abandoned ship in the middle of an arctic nowhere-land. The Creature starts on the journey of The Fool the “zero” card because it signifies the fresh start of the whole archetypal story. He has no idea what lies ahead but still, he can’t wait to get there and find out. That is The Fool in a nutshell.

the magicianDr. Seward: The Magician, action, concentration, conscious awareness. Patti Lupone brought one of the most powerful characters to season two with the Cut Wife/Joan Clayton and she’s set up to be no less a master in season three. Dr. Seward personifies the Magician in her conscious awareness of how to help Vanessa. She jumps in and gets Vanessa focused on a small achievable goal for the day, “do something new,” and it has magical results. This is how the Magician works. It’s a card about creating change through conscious intervention. Dr. Seward energizes the bereft Vanessa into action when she least wants to do anything. Therapists really can help people this way but it’s gonna take a true Magician to face down Vanessa’s demons.

sunDr. Sweet: The Sun, vitality, enlightenment, greatness, assurance. Vanessa meets Dr. Sweet for the first time right after her first therapy session. He quickly wins her (and us) over with his sunny disposition in only one tiny scene. Like The Sun, Dr. Sweet is all about vitality and joy. He’s intrigued by the world of animals and can’t help but share his enthusiasm as he bubbles over with amazing facts from the animal kingdom. Dr. Sweet is delightful and inspiring, just the burst of charming sunshine Vanessa needs in her life right now.

the loversDorian & Lily: The Lovers, sex, love, passion. Admittedly, we don’t see Dorian and Lily in “The Day Tennyson Died” but we all know what’s going on with them offscreen. They’re doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well.

devilRenfield: Death, ending, transition, inexorable forces. The first time we meet Renfield in Penny Dreadful he’s a cheerful secretary in Dr. Seward’s office. But this disposition doesn’t last long. A sense of dread surrounds this character, just as it does with the Death tarot card. Though not an indicator of actual, physical death, this card signifies the end of an old way of life. It’s about an enormous, inevitable change much like the one Renfield goes through in this episode. After a momentary encounter with a woman in an alley Renfield encounters Dracula, the demon himself. Of course, all Dracula wants to talk about is Vanessa. Typical demon. But still, Renfield’s life is forever altered by the encounter and he’ll never be the same. Not only did Dracula bite him, he enlisted Renfield as his Vanessa connection… and we know what happens to them.

justiceHecate: Justice, responsibility, cause and effect, consequences. Speaking of Satan’s minions, this brings us to Hecate AKA hottie-from-the-coven. She’s the only character on the same mission this season as in season two. The girl is out to get Ethan no matter what it takes. The Justice card speaks to facing consequences and taking responsibility which Hecate wants Ethan to do for her. She sees him as the “Wolf of God” calling him “Lupus Dei” and thus, the key to getting Vanessa for her master. Hecate believes she’s a servant of Justice and seeks only to fulfill her servitude. She’ll keep her eye on Ethan and watch him like a cop sitting in wait at a roadside speed trap. The moment he’s vulnerable, she’ll strike with her sexy, naked Hecate brand of Justice and wrath.

StrengthLyle: Strength, patience, compassion, resilience, persuasion. We’ve always seen Lyle as the sort of Oscar Wilde of Egyptogolists but now, with season three, we also get to see his softer side. The Strength card does this as well, it shows a lion to signify inner strength but there’s also an angel on the card because it’s really a card about compassion and composure. Much like Lyle, the Strength card cares deeply. He wants to help Vanessa out of her funk and so he tells her how Dr. Seward guided him out of his own similar depression years before. This persuades Vanessa to get help. Lyle’s inner fortitude, his resilience, enable him to be such an incredible friend that he’s like Vanessa’s guardian angel. The Strength card has the lion beside the angel to remind us that one has to be strong as a lion inside to behave like an angel in this world.

Our favorite part of the season three opening episode was a bit Dr. Sweet said, “If only we would stop and look, wonder and wonder…” as he spoke with effervescence about the natural world. He easily fits into the cast of Penny Dreadful characters; where it’s commonplace for people to serve an ultimate purpose on the scale of finally balancing out the laws of heaven and hell, for instance. It’s a place of destiny and callings. A place where, just when Vanessa is most in the dark, a glorious light appears. That light is The Sun shining through Dr. Sweet and his deep love and enthusiasm for the natural world. It’s just the refreshment Vanessa needs after losing herself in the darkness of the supernatural world. She’s grounding herself in the natural world now before the next, seemingly inevitable, supernatural battle.

–Katherine Recap

The Night Manager – Part Three

Posted by Katherine Recap | Hollywood, TV

[For The Night Manager “Part Three” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Part Three. Pine uncovers secrets about other members of Roper’s household; Burr and Steadman recruit someone.

The third part of The Night Manager opens at the Madrid home of Apostel, one of Roper’s arms dealer business buddies. He’s having a party for his teen daughter’s birthday and makes a spectacle of giving her, “The most expensive necklace” in front of all the party guests. Then Apostel talks business with Langbourne and dances with Jed until one of the maids calls him away because his daughter has just hung herself in the bathroom. Jed is then disappointed when Roper blows off the birthday girl’s death in a callous manner saying she inconvenienced his meeting schedule with her suicide.

Part-ThreeThen Frisky brings Pine’s to meet with Roper and Corcoran soon joins to interrogate Pine about his “sordid” past. “Makes a man wonder who you really are,” Roper says. Then he suggests maybe it’s time for Pine to become somebody new since there’s a worldwide warrant out for him. Pine acts like he’s gonna leave but he can’t. It turns out Roper has confiscated his passport. They want him to stay in the cottage down the beach until Roper figures out what to do with him. It’s a forced welcome into the fold. Corky, though, still doesn’t trust him and wishes he’d just walk into the sea with stones in his pockets, Virginia Woolf style.

Burr tries to watch Roper’s island retreat machinations through binoculars from across the water but can’t see much. Pine jogs and plays tennis with Roper, then he asks to take Danny into town for a change of scenery. As they’re leaving Corky tells Pine he noticed a gap in his history and he’s going to find out where Pine was and what he was doing during that time. So, on his outing with Danny, Pine lures Burr over to listen in on his conversation with the boy. In this scene we see that Burr’s pregnancy has advanced quite a bit so Pine must have been with Roper many months at this point. Through his conversation with Danny, Pine alerts Burr that Corcoran is investigating the gap in his resume, in other words – his time in Cairo. In a later scene Danny also reveals to Pine that Roper’s got a secret hidden room off his bedroom that he calls “The Citadel” with a special key and an alarm they check every day at eleven.

Part-ThreeMeanhwile Steadman tells Burr that since Apostel’s daughter killed herself he’s been attending church daily and even called the investigators in Madrid to say he has information about a big arms deal about to go down. The guy’s contrite as fuck. So, Burr approaches him at church and tells him she’s his guardian angel. She claims that if Roper wasn’t in Apostel’s life maybe his daughter wouldn’t have killed herself. Although this isn’t really logical or even a reasonable thing for a stranger to say, Apostel isn’t thinking clearly. Burr then tells him he can find redemption by assisting her and taking down Roper. The first step will be extricating Corky from Roper’s inner circle. Right away Burr puts Apostel to this task.

The-Night-Manager-Part-ThreeNext we finally see the big meeting between Apostel, Roper, and Langbourne. During it Pine listens in on Jed talking to her mother and crying. He interrupts to tell her the guests are arriving and sees her partially naked in the process – just a side boob, really. But much is made of it by Pine who apologizes later. During the party he and Jed go for a walk along the beach and she says she doesn’t care who sees her naked but makes him promise not to tell anyone she was crying. Then Jed strips down and skinny dips to prove her point about nudity and though Pine refuses to join her in the water, it’s obvious he wants to. We’re meant to understand that women are Pine’s speical weakness and yeah, we get it. He’s here in this mess to avenge a woman he literally slept with once. But guess what? Being into women isn’t really so unique. It’s what straight guys do. You’re not so freaking special, Pine!

The-Night-Manager-Part-ThreeWhile at the meeting Apostel tells Langbourne that “Mr. Bargatti,” the guy with the arms to sell, is concerned about Corky and thinks he’ll run off at the mouth because he’s a big drinker. So, when Langbourne passes along this info to Roper, he starts alienating Corky a bit from the inner circle. Corcoran is an instinctual fellow and immediately senses something is off. Speaking of Langbourne, it turns out that hot potato teen he was flirting with isn’t his daughter at all. She’s the family nanny. We were right about him screwing her, though. Langbourne’s wife tells Pine all about it on the sexy end of the pool where all the action seems to happen at Roper’s place. She also divulges a ton of insider info about the arms deal going on between Bargatti, Apostel and Roper. Her motivation for this seems rather implausible as all she gets out of it is a half-ass back rub from Pine while he puts sunscreen on her. Then Pine sends a surreptitious text to Burr and Steadman using Danny’s cellphone to give them all the dirt Ms. Langbourne told him about the arms deal.

Next there’s a big Roper meeting in Monaco but Corky and Pine aren’t invited. While Jed and Corky are out galavanting, Pine goes through Jed’s personal effects and finds a picture of her little boy and the secret Citadel key. Right at eleven am he uses the “testing the alarm” frame to enter The Citadel and take pictures of Roper’s secret documents. While there he finds a distinctive golden hair that clearly belongs to Jed. When she comes home and finds him there Pine tells Jed she has to be more careful about leaving evidence that she broke into his office and spied on his papers. So, now they share two secrets, well three if you count the nudity but Jed doesn’t count that.

The-Night-Manager-Part-ThreeSpeaking of secrets, one of the MI6 peeps meets with Roper and Langbourne to tell them about Burr and Steadman’s operation. So, he’s a double agent of sorts and then it turns out Halo itself – a division of MI6 is in on the whole deal. This is also in the documents Pine photographed. Then Roper and Jed have a huge fight over the phone where she accuses him of hiding stuff and he confronts her about having a secret kid. Meanwhile Pine’s texting the documents he photographed to Burr and Steadman. This is when they discover Halo’s involvement. In this rapid unfurling of two parallel secrets, the truth comes out on both sides of the story, personal and business.

The-Night-Manager-Part-ThreeWhen Roper’s back from Monaco he has a present for Pine, a new identity and passport but first Pine needs to witness a document for Roper. He’s going to be Andrew Stephen Birch now and sign on to a “new company” with this new name. Best line from “Part Three” of The Night Manager is when Pine asks about what he’s signing and Langbourne says, “Jesus, for a murderer on the run you’re pretty bloody picky”. While reading it over Pine sees that he’s officially replacing Corky as Roper’s right hand man. Then as “Part three” concludes Roper says, “Welcome to the family, Andrew,” and thus Pine’s in like Flynn. We can only presume/hope he’ll ruin this picture perfect postcard family situation by banging Jed in the near future. That beautiful face of his is just begging for another beating. At least we think so.

–Katherine Recap

[For Silicon Valley “Two in the Box” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Two in the Box. The new and improved Pied Piper impresses Dinesh and Gilfoyle but worries Richard.

Two-in-the-BoxEpisode two opens with Richard in the same doctor’s office he visited way back in the first episode of Silicon Valley. Difference is that this time he’s healthy, glowing even. But then, just like in the pilot, the cheerful doc somehow manages to dishearten Richard about his prospects, “You have a boss at your own company?” the doc asks. Speaking of Pied Piper, in the next scene Richard and his whole team enter their new super dope office space brought to them by new CEO Action Jack. Dinesh and Gilfoyle get sucked into how amazeballs “work” is now. But Richard immediately asks Jack if the company can really afford all this. In response Jack tells Richard a story about Google without really answering the question. He’s all about growth, baby.

TIB logoJared remains a beacon of positivity and he’s right about the new logo Jack gave Pied Piper. It’s better. Sometimes Jared’s sunny disposition can be his undoing, though. For instance, he can move back into his condo now that Pied Piper’s funded and he’s got the money for the mortgage. But it turns out the guy who was air-bnbing his place never left and has transitioned to squatter status. Given the California tenant protection laws, this doesn’t bode well for Jared having a home anytime soon unless he breaks some – a most un-Jared proposition.


Meanwhile Dinesh and Gilfoyle are thrilled to go to work where the chef cooks them surprise meals and they can easily order bigger computer monitors. But when they get in for a real day at work Jack has already filled the office with salespeople. He’s also changing the plan so that instead of delivering to consumers first and then charging businesses, as they planned, Pied Piper would roll out directly to businesses. Richard thinks this is putting the cart before the horse, since they still have to build the software platform. But instead Jack thinks sales should direct the engineers about “what to build” that the sales team can best sell.

Two-in-the-BoxAction Jack sets up a sales team meeting with Richard where he hears more news that upsets him about the path Action Jack’s choosing for Pied Piper. But where is he? The CEO rarely seems to be around the office. In fact, he’s preoccupied at a horse stable when Richard finally chases Jack down to confront him about all this. They watch a stallion mount a mare as Richard tries to do his own brand of drilling down to what exactly is going on with his company. Why does sales want to cut all the best parts of Pied Piper? And how can they when Jack promised he wouldn’t compromise the product?

Two-in-the-BoxRichard is caught up in all the possibilities of his compression capabilities, as he should be because they’re his and have potential to be world-changing for reals. But then Jack breaks the news to him that right now his job as CEO is simply to raise the price of Pied Piper stock. That this is actually the “product” everybody is talking about, the stock. We know from when Jack was introduced in the last episode that his value as CEO was measured by how much he raised the stock value at his last company, so this makes total sense. It’s what he does. Problem is, this goal creates a trajectory that twists Pied Piper into something other than what it actually is. Sure this thing can “sell easily to businesses” but it’s not even a compression service. It’s a black box for backing up and storing your company’s data to “safely protect it from spies, thieves, criminals, and foreigners”. These fear-mongering words end the video the sales team shows Pied Piper about their “product”. Everybody’s celebrating at the conference table while horrified Richard watches.

hooliMeanwhile at Hooli, Gavin demands the former Nucleus employees, hanging on for their last few days at work, “fix” Hooli searches. This means he wants any search on Hooli to only bring up results that speak of the company in a positive way. It could require changing the search algorithm or promoting other websites to outrank the bad Nucleus news – both highly arduous and troublesome methods that would violate public trust in Hooli search. In the process of figuring out how to fix this “problem” for Gavin the team just happens to crack Richard’s compression algorithm. This means now that they’re leaving Hooli, they can startup a competitive company that’ll have essentially the same capability Pied Piper has. Uh oh. The feces storm has officially flown into Richard’s fan. All while Dinesh and Gifoyle rave happily about how the chef serves watermelon jello in a real watermelon rind.


Two in the Box puts all sorts of duos in boxes. Look at those two horses! They’re literally and figuratively in a box. Jared and his new freeloading tenant are two men fighting over a box that clearly belongs to one of them. And then, of course, there’s Richard caught in the same scenario of fighting with another man over Pied Piper becoming a box. That one works on many levels now that the Pied Piper sales team has literally distilled the company concept down to a small grey box that could pass as an early model VCR. Everything’s perfectly wretched for Richard by the end of this episode and he only knows the half of it. We imagine that soon Richard will find out through the grapevine about the new company being formed specifically to compete against Pied Piper using the same algorithm. But we’re also looking forward to seeing what Big Head’s up to now that he’s left Hooli and twenty million dollars richer. Will he somehow help Richard get Pied Piper out of the box?

–Katherine Recap


[For Game of Thrones “Home” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Home. Bran trains with the Three-Eyed Raven; Jaime advises Tommen; Tyrion demands good news.


Brandon Stark?

The one-man catalyst of all the troubles between the Starks and the Lannisters hasn’t been on-screen for a veritable dragon’s age. But he opens up “Home” training with the immortal Max Von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven; warging into the past to see his father Lord Eddard as a boy, fencing with the currently-missing Uncle Benjen (First Ranger), and — get this — Hodor! All when they were little boys.

The Three-Eyed Raven ends the warging (which features Bran able to walk about the memories of Winterfell on his own two legs) stating that “it is beautiful beneath the sea but if you stay too long you’ll drown”.

So… Bran!

By 9:10 EST we are back at the Wall. Thorne’s men are bashing down Ser Davos’s door with an axe, when… There is a mirrored knocking at the gates of Castle Black.

Wun Wun bursts through the gates alongside Edd and dozens of Wildlings. The Watch are hopelessly outnumbered. One of them takes a pot shot at Wun Wun with a crossbow but the annoyed giant casually turns the offending archer into a bloody streak.

Thorne calls Edd a traitor, and Edd retorts that the only traitors here are the ones who murdered Jon Snow.

In the sickest “feel the burn” moment of the episode, Thorne begins a monologue about how the Night’s Watch have held the Wall against the Wildlings for thousands of years…

“Until you,” cuts in Tormund Giantsbane. It is in fact the case that, whether Jon asked or no, it was Thorne who let the Wildlings through the gate.

Then in a flash, by 9:14 EST we’re down in King’s Landing.

A disgusting drunkard recounts the tale of flashing his allegedly gigantic manhood at a naked Queen Cersei during her humiliating walk in “Mother’s Mercy”. A few moments later he is pissing against the side of a wall when [Ser Gregor Clegane in Kingsguard armor] turns him into a bloody streak, much as Wun Wun did the crossbow archer four minutes earlier.

[The Mountain] returns to Cersei’s side; we learn she is not allowed to leave the Red Keep, by order of her son. King Tommen has forbidden Cersei from attending Princess Myrcella’s funeral because the High Sparrow has threatened to throw her back in a cell should her presence violate the sanctity of the holy sept. The funeral is just Tommen and Jaime. The High Sparrow appears and has a bit of a stare-down contest with the Kingslayer.

Jaime threatens the High Sparrow but is suddenly surrounded by Faith Militant. They cannot reach the High Sparrow before Jaime can kill him, but Jaime would be hopeless against so many. Unhurt, the High Sparrow points out that they are a room full of nobodies but that together they can overthrow an empire.

At 9:24 we are in Meereen, with Tyrion holding court with Dany’s remaining inner circle. The topic: the two remaining dragons.

The dragons have not eaten anything since Dany left; Tyrion says it’s because they’re chained up. Dragons are meant to be free or they will grow no larger than common housecats. He declares himself the dragons’ friend and ventures into their dungeon with Varys.

Down there Tyrion shows remarkable bravery, un-hitching the neck collars on by hand.

“Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face!” -Tyrion, to Varys

Still across the Narrow Sea we re-encounter Arya, begging blind in the street.

The waif attacks Arya again, but blind, she is hopeless against a trained fighter. After being bloodied superficially the waif, Jaquen appears (it is strongly implied that Jaquen is in fact the waif, wearing a difference face). “Jaquen” offers Arya a roof over her head, a full belly, and her sight back if she just tells him her name. Arya is adamant, though, that she is “no one” and Jaquen declares her no longer a beggar. They leave together.

Tormund’s line on Thorne was a heck of a second, but it is nothing compared to the “aw shit” moment starting at 9:34.

Ramsay Bolton (Snow), Lord Roose Bolton, and the current Lord Karstark discuss the pursuit of Lady Sansa. The Karstarks, remember, left the Stark side when Robb beheaded Lord Karstark for murdering young Lannisters several seasons ago. Winterfell’s Maester interrupts, declaring that Lady Walda — Lord Bolton’s fat wife worth her weight in glittering dowry — has given birth to a son.

Roose says not to worry, that Ramsay will always be his first born.

Ramsay thanks his dad… And immediately kills him!

He stabs his dad to death mid-hug!

The Maester is instructed to report Lord Bolton’s death as being poison by his enemies. Ramsay then tosses Walda and his newborn brother to his ferocious dogs, declaring that he prefers to be an only child. Ramsay is now officially Lord Bolton.

Did I mention “aw shit”?

Sansa and Theon part ways in a brief scene that gives this episode its name. Theon would have given his life to get Sansa to Jon at the Wall, but with Brienne and Pod with her, his presence is no longer necessary. Sansa says she will tell Jon that Theon didn’t actually kill Bran and Rickon, but he points out that the two boys he did kill were plenty innocent; and that he beheaded Winterfell’s castellan and betrayed Robb. While all a man’s sins are forgiven when he takes the Black, Theon does not want forgiveness. He wants to go “Home”.

“Home” for Theon is of course the Iron Islands. We haven’t seen Yara or King Balon (Theon’s sister and father) on camera in a long while; but here they are amidst the salt and storm of their island kingdom. The two Greyjoy nobles disagree badly over Ironborn strategy. The Ironborn hold no main land castles; Yara points out that Balon can’t keep hassling the main land or the Lannisters et al will come and knock his little kingdom down as Ned Stark once did. Remember, Theon was made a ward to Eddard largely to keep Balon behaving! Sending Theon back home as an ambassador during the War of the Five Kings was a huge mistake on the part of Robb (one of many).

Balon wants to reave and rape no matter the cost in Ironborn lives it seems, and tells Yara she can wage all the peace she wants when he is gone… But if she doesn’t do what she’s told now he will make another heir who will.

That’s not going to be a problem, though. On the way out of his conversation with his daughter, Balon’s own brother, reappearing after many years at sea, throws him off a bridge; killing yet another king. Aw shit again!

The next day Yara swears by “the Salt Throne” she will hunt down her father’s assassin then throw him to the sharks but it is pointed out she doesn’t actually have the Salt Throne. Yara would have been the first female to lead the Ironborn… but now the law says Yara might not be the heir after all.

At 9:47 EST we’re back at the Wall. Ser Davos gives the speech of the show to Melisandre, beseeching her to use her infernal magics to raise Jon from the dead.

Melisandre’s confidence, remember, has been shattered by the destruction of Stannis and his army, and all the terrible kinslaying, kingslaying, and child-murdering required to get them to that awful end. But Davos does her one better:

“Seven gods, drowned gods, tree gods… It’s all the same. I’m not asking the Lord of Light for help; I’m asking the woman who showed me miracles exist.”

She will at least try (Melisandre is back to being beautiful BTW).

In the final scene Melisandre attempts a ritual in Valyrian language, surrounded by Davos, Edd, Tormud, and a sleeping Ghost — Jon’s key friends and allies — to no avail. All of them leave when Jon doesn’t suddenly wake up or whatever.

At 9:55 EST Ghost kind of gets up and yawns, and then Jon does in fact suddenly wake up!


Was it Melisandre’s magic? Was it Jon warging into Ghost and then just waiting until he could jump back into his own body safely?

No one knows (yet)!

Theon got the one-word line that made the episode title, but the theme of “Home” was really on Ser Davos’s lips. This was an episode about the various religions of the Game of Thrones universe. Tommen is King; Margaery and Cersei Queens… But they are all subject to the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant of the Seven just now; it’s really hard to see the Lannister-Tyrell families as the military powerhouses who beat the Starks. In the Iron Islands the Drowned God’s mantra is on the lips of everyone, at almost any opportunity. Bran is tangled in the branches of an actual tree god up north of the Wall… And though Davos didn’t mention it, Arya’s current blind struggles with Jaquen (or whoever) are her own initiation into a dangerous religious order.

But despite the presence of not just these gods but the Lord of Light as an actual and proven source of magic and miracles, “Home” is really about human industry, not faith that some higher power is going to solve all of our problems. Davos didn’t want the Lord of Light; he wanted the woman who could make miracles. Jaquen gives Arya an easy way out… She chooses not to take it; rather, to keep taking lumps and living as a beggar if she must. And in the face of the most palpable magic of them all — the dragons — Tyrion ventures into the darkness to do something that almost no one is brave enough to (or smart enough to)… Un-hitch Dany’s children.

Season Six has us down three important rulers in only two episodes. Prince Doran Martell was assassinated by his own brother’s paramour and daughters; Balon Greyjoy was thrown from a bridge by his brother; and Roose Bolton was of course stabbed by his own heir. So much for family. Rather than being on the battlefield (or a Red Wedding or thereabouts) each and every one was safely at “Home” at the time of his end.


[For Penny Dreadful or any other refreshers on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Imagine living in a city so romantic that when a poet dies everybody goes into mourning. That’s the world of Penny Dreadful – Victorian England, where the bell tolls all day and the city weeps because Lord Tennyson died. Victorian Gothic literature resonates throughout Penny Dreadful. But before you eschew the whole idea of a Victorian Gothic Horror show on your Sunday night, keep in mind that without this genre we would have no Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, or Edgar Allen Poe. Which brings up yet another reason to love Penny Dreadful; although it’s mostly twisted and gory, there’s sex and fun sprinkled in like mischievous little sugar bits.

Still, this most literary of horror shows is also the bleakest. The story of Penny Dreadful even as its most complex is fundamentally about a fallen angel. The Devil himself, in fact. Throughout season one and two we learn that the narrative action revolves around Lucifer’s longing to rise back into the heavens. For some reason Satan needs to take Vanessa Ive’s soul to accomplish this otherworldy return. In season one he used vampires as minions while season two brought Satan’s coven of witches. Now, with season three the vampires return again but this time with celebrity fangster, Dracula at the helm.

Speaking of exquisite and unforgettable characters, Penny Dreadful delivers an amazing assemblage. As complicated as they are fantastic looking, you’ll never tire of watching them fall in love, betray, murder, and avenge each other.

DorianReeve Carney as Dorian Gray, immortal thanks to his painting. Gorgeous, monstrous, and fearless, Dorian takes narcissism to a new level. He teams up with Lily Frankenstein at the end of season two – a terrifying duo of bloodlust who literally can’t be killed.

Dorian’s always been largely motivated by lust, given his multiple lovers, including Vanessa. But she remains the only one who ever rejected him. He murdered one such lover after showing them his painting.  But with Lily by his side, more murders definitely lie ahead.

MalcolmMurrayTimothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm Murray, a hardened explorer of the African continent, in previous seasons on a deeply personal quest to save and protect his family. Now they’re all dead so he’s enlisted to help Ethan overcome his troubles in America.

The one exception is Vanessa who may be his daughter. Malcolm had an affair with her mother and once referred to Vanessa as his daughter.


VanessaEva Green is Vanessa Ives, an enigmatic heroine. Her history’s fraught with fighting demons, mainly because Satan himself believes she’s the only way he can return to heaven.

Vanessa’s in The Bell Jar as season three opens because her beloved Ethan left for America. Also, the whole lifelong-battle-with-Lucifer thing really gets a girl down.


The CreatureRory Kinnear plays The Creature, a creation Frankenstein abandoned. Not given a name, he uses the alias John Clare. Mr. Clare spent seasons one and two seeking love only to experience cruelty and betrayal at every turn.

He fled London at the end of season two with Vanessa as his only friend and little hope for happiness.


LilyBillie Piper as Brona Croft/Lily Frankenstein, as Brona she was an Irish immigrant escaping a brutal past but after dying of consumption she becomes Lily Frankenstein, out for revenge.

Ethan fell in love with Brona before she died and Victor Frankenstein followed suit after bringing her back to life as Lily. But she’s only into power now, not love.


Doc FrankensteinHarry Treadaway as Dr. Victor Frankenstein, an arrogant young doctor obsessed with transcending death. Victor brings three corpses to life before realizing he’s actually the monster. He becomes an intravenous drug abuser after losing his beloved Lily Frankenstein; and hopes his friend Dr. Hyde can help him recover.


EthanJosh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler (real name Ethan Talbot), a charming, brash and daring American man with uncanny marksmanship, a pacifist ideal, and a secret wolf inside that comes out with the full moon.

Ethan spends all of seasons one and two on the run from his father’s minions and now it’s finally time  for them to meet face-to-face.


LyleSimon Russell Beale as Ferdinand Lyle, an eccentric Egyptologist. Often the source of information and amusement, he’s the most human character on Penny Dreadful. Because he helped the witches coven a bit in season two, Lyle feels tremendous guilt and thus always attempts to help out Vanessa as penance.

As season three begins Lyle refers Vanessa to Dr. Seward after she slips into an overwhelming depression from missing her beloved Ethan.


Dr. Seward


Patti LuPone plays Dr. Seward, an Alienist (therapist) treating Vanessa. LuPone previously guest-starred as Joan Clayton/The Cut Wife in the second season. Vanessa brings up the resemblance to Clayton in her first session and Dr Seward admits she’s a descendant.



Wes Studi as Kaetenay, a Native American with a deep connection to Ethan who becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm. He speaks of Sir Malcolm and himself as “fathers” to Ethan.

Because of Kaetenay, Malcolm leaves Africa for America with the promise of an incredible story that will explain why they must help Ethan.


KaetenayShazad Latif is Dr. Henry Jekyll, the notorious master chemist we’ve all heard about from the Robert Louis Stevenson.story. A friend of Dr. Victor Frankenstein from medical school, he plays confidante to Frankenstein’s “dreadful gorgeous secrets” and promises to “tame” Lily with the chemistry he’s developing as antidote to his own beast. But mostly he’s concerned about Victor’s drug problem.


HecateSarah Greene plays Hecate Poole, high profile member of the witches coven. She’s obsessed with Ethan, calling him “the wolf of God” and not just because he’s beautiful. Last season Hecate made several seductive attempts at landing Ethan’s soul for Satan, her master, and it appears she’s one of those types who never give up.

Last season Ethan knew she was after him but assumed she worked as minion for his father. Little does he know that the Devil’s after him too. She’s following him all the way to his father’s house and Hecate, a demon herself, has no fear of the wolf inside Ethan.


Dr. SweetChristian Camargo is Dr. Alexander Sweet, a zoologist who becomes friends with Vanessa. She meets him on her first therapeutic venture and he greatly lifts her sad sack spirits.

In fact, Season three seems to revolve quite a lot around an animal theme. The characters in Penny Dreadful have always been compared to animals but in this season they seem obsessed with them too.



Speaking of a mania for animals, another new character this season, Renfield, played by Samuel Barnett, famously obsesses about them, especially insects. But you’d never know this from his day job as Dr. Seward’s secretary. Yes, that’s right, Renfield from Bram Stoker’s novel and his master, Dracula are paying Penny Dreadful a visit in season three. Dracula’s after Vanessa, of course. Because everybody’s doing it, so why can’t he?


The most tormented soul on TV by far, Vanessa Ives, entering therapy works on many levels – including comedic. Mainly, though, we’re thrilled to see Patti Lupone, a master of her craft, return to the show. Can therapy save Ms. Ives from Satan’s wrath? Watch season three to find out. But there are so many more reasons to watch. Penny Dreadful has an inventive brilliance for taking familiar characters from fiction and making them real. Without this show we wouldn’t feel, as we do now, that we know Dorian Grey and Victor Frankenstein as people/monsters. So, the real question for the new season: will we come to know Dracula in a new way as well? It’s complicated because he’s not really a person. He’s 100% monster. Or is he?

–Katherine Recap