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

HBO Summary:
Bachmanity Insanity. Richard’s new relationship is threatened by neuroses; Dinesh falls for a foreign coworker.

After a first half of a season with zero smooch factor, “Bachmanity Insanity” revolves around romantic relationships. This makes sense given that Bachman’s name dominates the episode title and he’s the alleged “king of romance” from way back. Also, our heroes have been completely focused on saving Pied Piper for the first five episodes and now they’ve finally got it nailed down. So, it’s the perfect time for some hot action. Ironically, everybody’s getting in on it for this episode although some of the relationships are painfully platonic. Ok, let’s admit it, nearly all of them fit that category even by episode’s end. The only exception turns out to be Jared, who they all find out easily gets laid on the regular, even while living in the incubator’s unfinished garage. The relationships in “Bachmanity Insanity” are potentially romantic for Richard, Jared, and Dinesh respectively. But even the mess between Bachman and Big Head looks like a marriage according to their contract, the main reason Big head’s business manager advised him not to sign it.


Spaces – Tabs – Spaces – Tabs – Spaces – Tabs

The episode opens as Richard gets a girl’s number. He starts to date her (Winnie) and it turns out she’s a fellow coder who works at Facebook. Winnie sleeps over after their first date and Richard’s thrilled about it even if he did spend the entire night sleeping in his jeans. After having breakfast with Richard she hangs out in the living room with Dinesh and Gilfoyle. She shows them some of her work and they find out that when Winnie codes she uses spaces rather than tabs. They know this nixes anything that could happen between Winnie and Richard going forward because he’s insistent that tabs users are superior to spaces users. Dinesh and Gilfoyle call Richard a “formatting nazi” about tabs. So Winnie confronts Richard about it at dinner that night. Nervous, he immediately freaks out and can’t make a sensible sentence for the remainder of their meal together. Later, coding side by side on the couch, he’s visibly flustered by Winnie’s use of the space bar. Richard breathes heavy and tries to restrain himself but finally can’t help it and pushes Winnie’s tab. Then they hash it out in the epic final battle between spaces and tabs. Turns out Richard really just can’t be with her because he simply can’t abide anyone who uses spaces. We all have our limitations and, although exceptionally gifted at coding, Richard’s also exceptionally limited when it comes to the ladies.

Meanwhile Dinesh flirts with Pied Piper’s Estonian employee, Elisabet and he’s about to find out his limitations are also lady-centric. Elisabet is one of the foreign coders they hired at the end of the last episode to save money. So, Dinesh sees her over the video chat they use with these employees. The two of them tease and trifle every day so that Dinesh falls hard for Elisabet. Thanks to Gilfoyle’s snark Dinesh then realizes he can’t really see Elisabet that well over the crappy Estonian video stream that connects them. Thus he upgrades their streaming service so he can get a better picture. Trouble is, this ends up biting him back when Elisabet gets a crystalline view of Dinesh and is so disappointed she suddenly starts talking about how she has a husband. It’s sort of on him, though because Dinesh set her expectations high saying his friends call him the “Pakistani Denzel”. Alas, there’s no more flirting in the forecast for our dear, exaggerator Dinesh. Sigh.

Bachman spends the episode planning the “Bachmanity Insanity” launch party and rents out Alcatraz to do so. Funny thing about Erlich, he rents a famous place only to then pay a fortune to have it transformed to look like anything other than what it is, finally settling on Hawaii. While Bachman’s making the plan to transform Alcatraz into a luau space that was never a prison, Big Head approaches him. Big Head’s worried that the blogger he told about Gavin’s “scrubbing the Internet” will rat him out and then Gavin can take Big Head for all the settlement money. When he got the twenty million dollars he’d signed a tight NDA; and telling the blogger that story was definitely a violation of the NDA. Because the deal they have is classified as a “General Partnership” that basically means Big head and Bachman are married, a dangerous proposition. It’s particularly dangerous in the final moments of the episode when we find out that thanks to their outrageous spending, Big Head and Bachman are now completely broke. Bachmanity is over just as it begins. This is perfect because it’s a Hawaiian luau party and thus they say “Aloha” which means both hello and goodbye.



A funny subplot of the episode reveals that Jared turns out to be the actual Pied Piper “Player”, even though Erlich holds that title officially and likely won’t ever let it go. But this honestly makes sense, character-wise. Jared’s the kind and considerate one… and he’s also the tallest by a large margin. We here at Fetchland know a little bit about what women want and these are three biggies on most lists out there. The party Bachman throws turns out to be a great allegory for the relationships explored in the episode. It’s a flash in the pan that seems impressive initially but can’t hold up for very long because the foundation is a joke. Luckily, in this case it all really is jokes and funny ones too. We can’t wait to see what happens next and if Big Head will end up moving into the incubator now that he’s broke and basically Bachman’s wife. Lucky for Pied Piper that they weren’t part of the “Bachmanity Insanity” deal and thus remain unscathed. We predict a launch for their platform soon… maybe even in the next episode. After all, remaining girlfriend-free, what else have they got to do?

–Katherine Recap

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

HBO Summary:
Blood of My Blood. Gilly meets Sam’s family; Arya mulls a difficult decision; Jaime confronts the High Sparrow.

After the greatest episode of Game of Thrones ever in “The Door” almost anything would have been a come down, and “Blood of My Blood” was… But it was also the vehicle to some key reveals, and gave us many important looks — past and present — and glimpses into future violence from everywhere from King’s Landing to the Riverlands to Braavos and the Dothraki Sea. Here are my Top 8 R’s for “Blood of My Blood”:

I. Retract

“Is it too late now to say sorry?”
-Justin Bieber

In last week’s recap of “The Door” I claimed in the Secret Origin of the White Walkers I claimed “Bran wargs into the past multiple times in ‘The Door’ … An early interlude reveals how the Children of the Forest (!!!) created the first White Walkers using magic. A human is shown bound to one of their sacred trees as a wild-eyed Child of the Forest plunges a wooden stake into his chest as his eyes turn blue.”


Multiple friends / readers / even co-contributors pointed out that it was not wood but obsidian that the Children of the Forest used to create the aforementioned Others. This was confirmed in “Blood of My Blood” with one of the most anticipated revelations in show history.

II. Reveal

Uncle Benjen Stark, kid brother to Ned, and onetime First Ranger of the Night’s Watch has been missing since Season One! He basically brought his bastard nephew up to the Wall and then left him there to fend for himself among all the thieves / murderers / rapers / disgraced nobles (you know, to eventually become the big boss, and then more eventually to get killed by his own men)… And went out for cigarettes.

At the end of “The Door” Meera and Bran abandon the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave, leaving him, the Children of the Forest, Summer, and poor Hodor to sacrifice themselves to ensure their escape. But Meera is just one girl — even if she is a badass White Walker-killing girl — and they are being chased by innumerable undead.

Dead themselves, right?




A rider appears wielding a sickle and a flaming morningstar. He beats up many a wight, facilitating the escape of our two remaining young Northern nobles. It is, of course, Uncle Benjen.

There are three key reveals here:

  1. Benjen Stark is alive, and was saved by the Children of the Forest. Benjen was stabbed by a White Walker’s sword of ice and left to turn; the Children saved him before becoming undead could take entirely.
  2. A similar process used to create the White Walkers was used to save Benjen: a shard of obsidian to the heart (that’s how I know to retract my comment about wood, in the previous bullet). Benjen doesn’t seem at 100%; at least 100% human (though maybe he’s better in some way); his face is covered when Meera and Bran first encounter him (which is why Bran doesn’t immediately recognize him) and when he pulls down his mask, his face looks rotten. Benjen is half-turned, but seems to retain his personality and heroism.
  3. Burn them all! Bran wargs all the way back to the last Targaryen King, mingling images of the pyromaniac madness that precipitated Robert’s Rebellion with Bran’s own [present-day] flight from the wights. Burn them all? We know Bran’s voice can affect the past; at both the Tower of Joy and “Hold the door.” Does Bran’s current conflict with highly flammable undead have anything to do with the inexplicable turn of the Mad King decades ago?

III. Ransack

Sam brings Gilly and her / their son to Horn Hill. The Citadel doesn’t admit women, and Sam’s plan is to leave Gilly and (supposedly) his father’s grandson to the Tarly castle to live. Sam’s mother and sister seem lovely. His brother is a bit brusque but doesn’t seem that bad a guy. His father though… Jeepers! Jerk. You’d almost think this were a man who could force his firstborn son to renounce his title and inheritance, and pledge himself to a lifetime of celibate service at the edge of civilization; you know, for being a bookish fatty.

Lady Tarly tries to point out that being the Master of the Night’s Watch is a position of great honor, but dad won’t have it. He only cares for a son who can swing a sword; you know, like Heartsbane.

Gilly can’t take Lord Tarly’s verbal abuse of Sam, and reveals that — far from being a soft nerd — Sam killed not only a Thenn but a White Walker. He is the greatest hero at the dinner table, at least.

It’s hard to tell who prejudiced papa hates more: his son (heavy set disappointment) or Gilly (wildling). Sam has the last laugh, though. He won’t leave his family at Horn Hill, and won’t leave his inheritance, either. Sam takes Heartsbane! When Gilly says that Lord Tarly will come for it, we see a glimpse of the badass hero that sometimes comes out of Sam:

“He can bloody well try.”

IV. Reunite

Margaery and Tommen reunite in an almost surreal scene orchestrated by the High Sparrow. Margaery’s defiance seems erased. It is a difficult scene to parse; Tommen sees Margaery as the best person he knows. Margaery thinks herself a fraud and liar. The King and Queen agree that the High Sparrow is not what either of them thought.

This is one of those scenes that asks us to think hard about the perspectives that come with so many different points of view on Game of Thrones. Who is right? Is Margaery’s turn from proud princess to penitent good or bad? Is the High Sparrow sinister or genuine? Will this ever be ironed out? Can it?

V. Reverse

The Rose army, under the command of Lord Tyrell himself, marches on the Sept. Jaime and Lord Tyrell declare that they will slaughter every last Sparrow before Queen Margaery is forced to do a Cersei-esque walk of shame.

The High Sparrow says that each and every one of his people would gladly die in service to the gods… But they don’t have to. Margaery has already atoned, by bringing someone else into the faith… Tommen!

Tommen has gone full faithful. The Queen of Thorns herself says that the nobles are beaten. As an official “holy alliance between the Crown and the Faith” is announced, Jaime is kicked out of the Kingsguard by his own son, stripped of being Lord Commander for speaking out against his beloved High Sparrow.

Reversal after reversal after reversal…

VI. Reject

Across the Narrow Sea in Braavos, Arya attends what should be the last performance of Lady Crane. The performance is very deliberately staged by director Jack Bender. We can see the foppish over-the-top performances by all the other players; cheesy rhyming couplets, comically stylized props, and fart jokes… But Lady Crane is good. Unbelievably good despite weak material. Her jealous understudy is seen mouthing her lines in the background. And Lady Crane is kind to Arya herself.

Arya has a change of heart, dashes the poisoned cup from her hand, and warns her of the treachery of the younger actress.

Waiting in the wings is the waif. She obtains permission from Jaquen to kill the traitorous Arya!

The waif might get more than she bargained for, though; as Arya recovers Needle from its hiding place.

VII. Relinquish

Lord Frey and his family spent 300 years licking Tully boots, but now they are the lords of the Riverlands. Except they’re not. As we learned last week the Blackfish has raised an army and retaken Riverrun. “But Dad, Riverrun can hold out against us for a year!” Except it can’t (at least according to Lord Frey); he has kept Lord Edmure — heir to House Tully — in his dungeon for the past several seasons, and hopes to trade the Tully for the Tully castle.


Drogon is back, and seems bigger than ever. Dany delivers an impassioned speech (in Dothraki of course) astride her largest dragon. She will raise a thousand ships, loaded with Dothraki, their horses, Unsullied, and Second Sons to retake the Seven Kingdoms. All the Dothraki think this is a great idea; or at least I think they do (not sure, as I don’t speak Dothraki).

Of course no one has a fleet of one thousand ships; no one “yet” quips Dany… And we know from up in the Iron Islands that there is someone with exactly the agenda of delivering the greatest fleet in history to exactly this Queen.


Preacher "Pilot"

[For Preacher “Pilot” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Pilot. Jesse’s past slowly catches up to him and he struggles to escape it; a mysterious entity arrives on Earth, causing a wave of destruction.

“What kind of Preacher are you?”

AMC needed some help. After losing both Breaking Bad and Mad Men the last few years, they really didn’t have much in the prestige drama pipeline. So instead, they doubled down on their graphic novel fetish with both Fear the Walking Dead and Preacher. Fear the Walking Dead is basically an excuse for them to start off from scratch with their most successful brand and try and squeeze some more juice out of the zombies they’ve been living off of for the past 6 years.

Preacher on the other hand is something different.

Preacher was the brain child of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and it initially launched in the 90’s. It’s a comic all about a hard drinking preacher with a tragic past who’s imbued with powers from some cosmic source and uses them to fight for redemption. He’s also friends with a vampire. So clearly this is the type of fanboy source material Hollywood thought they could work with, but it took them a while to figure out how to make it work (which is usually code for Kevin Smith was involved at some point). Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg stepped in as executive producers (they also directed the first episode) and being their first foray into television, they enlisted the help of Sam Catlin as their show runner, who was a producer and writer on Breaking Bad. The three of them have managed to create one of the best pilots for a show I have ever seen (maybe right behind Lost). In a pilot you usually want to be able to introduce the core characters as well as imprint your visual style on the audience, and they managed to do both very well.

The show opens in space, as we have a POV shot of some force travelling towards Earth and eventually busting through the doors of a church in Africa and colliding with a priest mid-sermon. At first it appears as though the force might provide the priest with some sort of power, but instead he explodes in a bloody mess among his congregation. This trend continues throughout the episode, as we see this force travel to different churches throughout the world and causing similar havoc. We also see two unidentified men appear at each site investigating the incidents.

The rest of the episode is spent introducing us to the three main characters. The preacher himself, Jesse Custer (played by Domenic Cooper, aka young Tony Stark’s father), is introduced to us giving a piss poor sermon in a church in Texas. We come to learn that this is his father’s church and he’s returned (after presumably doing some very sketchy things) to take it over after his father’s passing. Rogen and Goldberg do a good job of showing how Jesse is conflicted about being a preacher, in that he clearly wants to help people, but he just doesn’t know how to go about doing it. He goes through the motions, he listens, and tries and give advice, but he also realizes that it’s somewhat hypocritical to preach forgiveness and understanding given his past. Now, we’re not given much information about what he did prior to landing back home in Annville, Texas, but there are some scenes in particular that give you a hint. One scene involves him confronting a father of one of his parishioners he knows is beating both his wife and son. He takes a beating from him, and tries his best to avoid violence, but he eventually succumbs and does what he clearly does better than preaching, and that’s kicking ass. So now we’re made aware of what an actual bad ass Jesse Custer really is, because for most of the episode he was just a sad sack who drank a lot.

The second (and best) character introduction was of Tulip, played by Ruth Negga. We first see Tulip fighting with a man in the back seat of a car that’s plowing through a corn field. This is really the first scene where we see Rogen and Goldberg’s visual style really stand up and grab our attention. The fight sequence was fantastic, and they managed to use the space really well, similar to how the fight choreography is done in any great Korean movie you see (which we all know has the best fight scenes). She manages to kill the guy and then stop the car in front of a farmhouse where she’s greeted by two kids. She enlists them to help her build a homemade bazooka, then sends them down into the storm cellar as she finishes off whoever else is chasing her. They used a great technique where you don’t actually see the action, but rather the kid’s reaction to the sounds that are happening outside. It’s a great way to save money, but it also builds suspense and just a cool way to convey the action in a concise way. This introduction was great because we learn two very important things 1) Tulip is a bad ass and 2) she stole something very important/valuable from some very bad people. This sets her off on her trajectory right away, which eventually leads her back to her home town of Annanville to meet up with her old friend Jesse.

The third main character introduction was of Cassidy (played by Joseph Gilgun). Now some may say his introduction was actually the best, and I won’t fault you for that as it was pretty great. We meet Cassidy on a private jet drinking and telling a story to some men. Now, Cassidy is wearing a flight attendant’s vest and everyone is laughing, so you can’t tell right off the bat who he is or what’s going on. However after a few seconds Cassidy notices the plan is flying in a different direction than expected and that’s when all hell breaks loose. The men he was chatting up start pulling weapons from every section of the plane and a brutal brawls takes place. Similar to Jesse and Tulip, Cassidy can clearly fight and makes short work of his attackers. He also pops a bottle off in one of their chest cavities and starts drinking their blood. That and his concern for the sunrise clearly indicate that he was a vampire, but if you weren’t positive, he proceeds to jump off the plane without a parachute as the plane just so happened to be flying over Texas.

Both Tulip and Cassidy happen to meet up with Jesse and key moments when we learn a little about his past. Tulip tries and enlist him into whatever job she’s working, which lets you know that she was part of his (likely) criminal past and probably what he’s trying to seek redemption for. She clearly knows Jesse really well, and indicates that he’s wearing a mask of a preacher and not his true self. These words ring true later in his scuffle in the bar where he’s also introduced to Cassidy, who helps him out during the fight. The two end up in the same jail cell after the fight to which Cassidy asks, “What kind of Preacher are you?” That will be the question that Jesse will struggle with the whole series, and one that I don’t think he really understands yet.

The show then comes full circle, as the cosmic force we saw at the beginning of the episode comes plowing through Jesse’s church at night and slams into him, throwing him against the wall in the process. He awakes three days later, right before his Sunday morning sermon. He was planning on leaving town after succumbing to violence and being thrown in jail, but suddenly he feels differently. He gives an impassioned sermon about being “the preacher his congregation deserves” and vows to be better. Then the episode ends with the same two men who were investigating the other church incidents landing outside Jesse’s church.

The pilot really did a great job of both creating a rich and vibrant world, as well as outlining all of the journeys and challenges these characters are going to have to face in the episodes ahead. I’m not sure if the show will be able to keep up with the quality of the pilot, but I’m certainly going to watch and see.

Osyp Lebedowicz

[For Penny Dreadful “A Blade of Grass” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Showtime Summary:
A Blade of Grass. Vanessa convinces Dr. Seward to use hypnosis to take her back in time.

Penny Dreadful brings unique storytelling to TV and surprises the audience every week. So, in that spirit, we’re bringing a new, non-traditional style to our Penny Dreadful recaps and will surprise you with a different way of doing it each week. The fourth week’s episode brought a surprisingly simple ensemble of only five Penny Dreadful characters. Although simple in terms of players, the episode “A Blade of Grass” was particularly deep and beautiful with some remarkable revelations. So, we here at fetchland chose the most superficial, gaudy, and shallow parallel we can think of… in fact, why not sexualize this party to the max while we’re at it? We say why ask why if it works? And it does. Dr. Seward brings Vanessa back in time through hypnosis and we too are taking you back. But in our case, to the time of Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Charlotte York, and Samantha Jones. It’s Sex and the City, baby.


Vanessa Ives – Charlotte York: traditional, true believer, idealist, naive, angelic, rule follower

Vanessa Ives – Charlotte York.
Charlotte, much like Vanessa, seems to be from a different time and place, perhaps even Victorian England. She clings tightly to her beliefs and just when you start to think she’s just typically prissy and uptight Charlotte throws you for a loop and does something unexpected or brilliant. Vanessa holds her faith in God as her top priority just as Charlotte holds her blueblood rulebook sacred. But when the chips are down and they’re tested these characters surprise us. There are two instances of this in the “A Blade of Grass”. First when The Orderly takes away the shivering cold Vanessa’s blanket and she attacks in retaliation. Vanessa comes out of her demure shell here just like when innocent, naive Charlotte fights like hell in her divorce proceedings with Trey. Later in the Penny Dreadful episode Vanessa speaks in her demon tongue with such ferocity she manages to scare away the predatory pair, Lucifer AND Dracula. She’s fierce and shocking, as well as completely obsessed with this idea of herself as a saint; specifically Joan of Arc singing on her funeral pyre. Charlotte has the same sort of obsessions and channels them into maintaining a perfect appearance and composure – always wearing and doing the right thing while following the rules perfectly. But these women aren’t saints no matter how much they yearn to be like them. Both want only to be the most sanctified versions of themselves but ultimately they’re human and stuck in a world that doesn’t understand or accept them as they are. Both Vanessa and Charlotte spend all their time listening to “Why can’t you just be like the rest of us?” and “Nobody else believes in all these ideas that you hold so dear,” so it must be very lonely up in their ivory towers. Indeed, Vanessa Ives may be the loneliest character on television today.

Penny-Dreadful-Dr. Seward

Dr. Seward – Carrie Bradshaw: curious, questioning, searching for meaning, solving mysteries of human interaction

Dr. Seward – Carrie Bradshaw. All Carrie really does on the show is ask penetrating questions and then observe as the answers play out before her. Even in her own story, Carrie works merely a vessel for the narrative rather than an active participant. Yes, she does things but the story is driven forward by Carrie’s stories and friends more than her actions. Like most writers/therapists, the key to her role and impact lies in her observations of others and the way she tells us about them. In this episode Dr. Seward is so detached from herself she even refers to herself as Joan Clayton in order to help Vanessa, asking what Joan would say to help her. Vanessa says Joan would say, “Be true,” and thus, this is what Dr. Seward says. It’s the most humble way of helping possible and shows that Dr. Seward truly does this work for the help it gives. Much like Carrie is all about her friends, Dr. Seward is all about her patients and will do anything to help them.


Dracula – Samantha Jones: flesh-obsessed, sexy, corrupt and utterly tempting

Dracula – Samantha Jones. Dracula appeals to Vanessa’s lusty appetites and says he doesn’t need her soul. This is just like Samantha with all of her no-strings, unemotional sex. Dracula’s motivation in bedding Vanessa is to turn day into eternal darkness – a world made for vampires. “The very air will become pestilence to mankind and then our brethren, the night creatures will emerge and feed. Such is our power,” that’s SO Samantha! When Dracula first appears in “A Blade of Grass” it’s striking how different his voice sounds, coming out of that same Orderly and Lucifer body. It’s depth and sensuality completely change the body that stands before Vanessa. He suddenly becomes enticing simply through confidence and timbre. Samantha also maintains a legendary confidence and timbre. She’s all about projecting an aura of boldness and animal magnetism. When Dracula first appears Lucifer introduces him to Vanessa as the “Father of Beasts” and speaks of his animalistic urges. There’s no better iconic example of a “Queen of animalistic urges” in TV history than Samantha Jones.


Lucifer – Miranda Hobbes: Jaded, sarcastic, critical, righteous, judgmental

Lucifer – Miranda Hobbes. Lucifer moans like a bitterly scorned lover who seeks Vanessa’s love in reunion of their relationship from before time. The spurned and fallen angel who yearns for Vanessa’s love, desperate and lonely. He lives in the dark netherworld of Hell and believes being with Vanessa will release him back to Heaven. The twin brother of earth-bound Dracula, he scorns and judges the lusty appetites of his sibling just as Miranda judges Samantha, though they are truly two sides of the same bitter crone coin. He’s all about her spirit and soul while Dracula wants Vanessa’s body and blood. Lucifer’s role in “A Blade of Grass” reveals many important elements of the story in the same way Miranda’s character illuminated the plight of the modern woman as a theme in Sex and the City.  All Lucifer wants is entry back into those heavenly gates and he believes Vanessa is his ticket to ride. If only she would love him. If only she knew how much he loved her. He whines and moan and complains but doesn’t he know that’s not how you land a lady? No. Not even in Victorian times was neediness and desperation attractive. This is definitely something Miranda would say.


The Orderly – Stanford Blatch: kind and simple, outsider point of view, helpful demeanor

The Orderly – Standford Blatch. Stanford is the iconic “gay friend” and often referred to as “the fifth lady” on Sex and the City. The Orderly (formerly and henceforth, The Creature) in this episode finds himself changed by Vanessa Ives. Just knowing her leads him to quit a job he desperately needs even with no other job lined up. A humble man, he thinks little of himself, just like Stanford. Both of them speak of themselves in dismissive terms and frequently it’s when they’re being most helpful and kind to others. The orderly says, “I’m a stupid man. But I’m here now and I’ll listen,” this is totally something Stanford would say to Carrie, but instead of stupid he would say “ghastly” or some other reference to his looks. These men are both incredibly kind and good to the women in their lives. The Orderly speaks highly of his wife and develops a kind demeanor toward Vanessa once he realizes that “just doing his job” is cruel in her case.

The ladies of Sex and the City taught us many things even if every story seemed merely a superficial dalliance or literal prance through the park. Under the guise of shoe-shopping their struggle was real as they looked for happiness, love, and peace in a world gone mad. This too is the story of Vanessa Ives. Deep down she’s a women who just wants to find happiness, love, and peace in a world gone mad. No, she’s not lucky enough to do it while nibbling cupcakes and dating movie stars… but she comes close. Josh Hartnett certainly fits the bill as a hot ticket, even as a werewolf with demon baggage. The thing that separates Vanessa Ives from the SATC ladies and really from all other TV characters is the scale of her struggle and it took this glorious hour in a white room with the Devil and Dracula to show us precisely how vast her challenges really are. She’s locked in the war to end all wars – a saint with demonic powers, trapped inside a gorgeous woman’s body battling against two powerful demons who will do anything for her. It’s a fantasy much like Carrie Bradshaw’s life, except Carrie’s is less probable. There’s no way a freelance writer of a sex column could afford that apartment in the West Village or a single pair of those shoes she wore in every episode. Lucifer actually trying to get back to Heaven by marrying a saint is substantially more plausible.

–Katherine Recap

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

AMC Summary:
Part Six. Roper and his team return to Cairo while Pine mobilizes his plan, and Burr makes a last stand.

The-Night-Manager-Part-SixWe open as Dromgoole shuts down Angela Burr’s whole deal. He’s punishing her for using the mole at MI6 and having troops raid Roper’s trucks at the Syrian border; trucks that carried merely agricultural equipment and supplies. Thus Burr’s office and operation close down. But then just as she says farewell to the office, Angela gets a call from Pine. Now she knows Roper and his crew are in Cairo for the final deal and thus her mission continues. Having never really been well-supported anyway, Burr doesn’t let lack of resources restrain her now that she’s finally in a position to succeed.

Meanwhile Freddy Hamid, the villain from “Part One” shake hands with Pine after Roper’s introduction. At last we’ve reached the final stage of the arms deal. They’re finalizing it when the buyers ask about the recent incident when Roper’s trucks were searched at the Syrian border. Roper assures them it won’t happen to them here. So, the buyer transfers $300m into Roper’s Tradepass account and they all shake hands. Afterward at the hotel bar Jed and Pine pretend to smile, laugh and finger flirt under the bar while whispering, about stealing Roper’s documents out of the hotel room safe. Jed mutters how she can’t take being with Roper anymore and wants to run away but Pine insists they have to nail Roper first.

The-Night-Manager-Part-SixNext we see Pine reunited with Burr and meeting Steadman for the first time at the Cairo hotel. They tell him they have no resources beyond the two of them, a cowboy and pregnant lady, and this suggest that maybe Pine wants to pull out of the operation now. But of course our hero says no way. He’s come this far, etc. Then Pine approaches his old friend in the hotel kitchen (remember from the Part One?) and finds out he’s head chef now. Thanks to his old buddy, Pine’s got the local hookup again.

In their hotel room Jed asks Roper to put her earrings in the safe, then watches him and memorizes the combination. Along with Hamid and Pine, the “Ropers” gamble a bit at the hotel casino and in the process Jed relays the vault combination to Pine using a bet at the roulette table. He then texts it to Burr, who’s ready and waiting like a pregnant woman on her due date. In fact, it’s a look she’s got down pretty solid at this point. Angela sneaks into Roper’s room with the help of Pine’s kitchen connection, opens the safe, and takes out a certificate of sale. Right then Burr’s almost discovered by one of the security guys but she’s saved by Steadman’s call (allegedly from the front desk) distracting the security guy and enabling her narrow escape. She gives the front desk and envelope with the certificate in it for Pine who brings it to the kitchen guy’s brother – trading for a BIG favor. We like it that Angela was the one doing the hard stuff in this part of the story. Kudos to The Night Manager for evolving hollywood portrayals of pregnant ladies. This one’s fearless, brilliant, and she gets the job done. Bravo.

The-Night-Manager-Part-SixMeanwhile shit-faced, drunk Hamid has Pine for a driver and caretaker. Uh oh. Pine takes him home and promptly slips a mickey into Hamid’s drink. After Pine hands him the drugged whiskey, he asks Hamid if he remembers having a girlfriend named Sophie and did he kill her? Hamid then recognizes Pine as The Night Manager and thus they tussle by the side of the pool with Pine strangling Hamid before gently placing him in the center of the pool for a round of dead man’s float. Did he really have to drug the guy first? Clearly he doesn’t have the best upper body strength but c’mon, Pine, you’re not that much of a weakling.

Next we see a team of locals affiliated with Pine’s kitchen friend assembling in vans, ready for action. Pine shows them Roper’s certificate of sale and they say all he has to do do implement their big plan is memorize a number for keying into his phone later. The next morning Jed receives a breakfast tray compliments of Mr. Birch and there’s the certificate of sale tucked inside for her to return to the safe. But when Jed tries to put it back, the digital safe just keeps reading ERROR on the keycode. Turns out smug Roper is watching Jed from the doorway. He tells her the jig is up, he knows she “let someone steal from the safe” and this time there’s no Corky left to blame.

Pine then transfers the $300m out of the Tradepass account but we don’t know to where exactly. In fact, we never find out this significant information. Meanwhile in Roper’s room, Frisky slowly drowns Jed in bathtub spurts of torture to find out whom it was she allowed into the safe. Roper tells Jed he thinks it’s Pine because he saw how close they were at the casino. Apparently their whispering was detectible after all. Those silly, stupid lovebirds couldn’t resist touching hands. Then Roper and Pine leave the hotel to finalize the deal out in the desert but, of course, Hamid is nowhere to be found. Pine says he left him “sleeping like a baby at his house,” but it’s not even a little believable. Roper takes him to a shed and ties him to a chair for a Frisky beating. He shows Pine a picture of Jed, who’s way ahead of him on that count and already all beaten to a beautiful bloody mess. Roper says he knows Pine killed Corky and Hamid, “…and you would have killed me, I suppose,” then he insists Pine has to fulfill the transaction with the buyer or his beloved Jed will die. Frisky then knocks on Burr and Steadman’s hotel room door with quivering Jed guarding him like a shield. But Burr manages to shoot Frisky down. Applause again for the awesomeness of our pregnant hero.

The-Night-Manager-Part-SixAt the last arms deal transaction out in the desert, Pine finally keys those numbers he memorized earlier into the phone. This sets all the trucks of arms afire with explosions. The munitions are gone so, the buyer immediately says he wants his money back. But Pine has transferred it out of the Tradepass account so Roper can’t return the buyer’s money. The buyer then threatens him and Roper screams back furious, calling him a “little brown rat” and saying he’ll give him the money back when he’s good and ready. Roper then pulls a gun on Pine and says he’ll have to return the money to the Tradepass account or Jed dies. “You’re paying $300m for the girl,” he says. But we never find out if this transaction actually occurs.

In the next scene Pine goes back to Roper’s hotel room with him and Burr is waiting; ready to confront him. Roper calls Dromgoole to retaliate but gets rebuffed. Angela then talks to him about sports day but Roper replies that he’s never killed anyone, stolen, or even fiddled on his taxes. That’s the thing about the kind of evil-doing Roper engages… it’s so easily whitewashed into nothingness because he remains at a safe distance from those he harms. Just then Steadman appears at the door with Cairo police to arrest Roper for contravention of Egyptian import laws and conspiracy to commit murder. They handcuff Roper, who sneers and says he’ll be out by morning anyway. The police then lock him in the back of an armored van with the disgruntled munitions buyers. It seems likely those guys believe in torture and dismemberment given their “shopping” interests. Roper’s probably not going to make it anywhere by morning after all.

In the end Jed and Pine happily walk hand-in-hand then smooch just outside the hotel. She’s headed back to see her son in the States with a promise from Pine to visit soon. So, we’re left with some unanswered questions in the end. Is the $300m in Pine’s bank account? What’s up with Angela’s baby, bludgeoned hubby, relationship with Steadman, and standing at work? Now that we love Burr we know virtually nothing about what’s next for her. Another interesting irony at the end lies with Pine as a character; now a cold-hearted killer and high stakes thief. Angela takes out Roper only to leave behind what appears to be simply a new brand of Roper – Jonathan Pine. In just the last day, Pine stole $300m and strangled a man with his bare hands. We know fetchland said early on that Pine would be more interesting if he was edgier or at least had a dark side but this shift’s a tad ridiculous and abrupt. Pine goes from white knight to Roper twin in a virtual snap of the finger. When Angela tried to convince him to give up on the mission and Pine insisted on continuing his argument was that his life had no meaning before this mission. Roper literally gave his life meaning… So, Pine took Roper’s girlfriend, his freedom, and his three hundred million dollars. Maybe for Pine this mission was really about becoming Roper more than taking him down. Of course, now we know this whole mini series was simply a setup for Tom Hiddleston to segue-way into being the next James Bond – good for him and his dashing blue eyes. But what does it mean for the 007 franchise? Compared to the prospect of Idris Elba’s intriguing hotness and charisma, this Bond scenario feels a bit too wafer thin and pasty for our taste.

–Katherine Recap

[For Silicon Valley “The Empty Chair” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
The Empty Chair. Richard lets his ego get in the way at an interview; Dinesh, Gilfoyle, and Jared misplace hardware.

The theme of “The Empty Chair” revolves around Jack’s CEO chair, a symbol of taking charge, and nowadays in Silicon Valley everybody’s taking charge, qualified or not. The episode picks up as Richard stands next to the empty CEO chair complaining. He’s upset because tech internet gossip blogs are obsessed with Laurie interviewing every possible candidate for his old job as Pied Piper CEO. Because Richard is stillCTO and that makes him the sole executive officer, he has the right to make company decisions. So, when they look at Pied Piper’s bottom line and find out Jack’s spendthrift ways have the company sinking fast, Richard takes action. More thematically, he takes charge. As his first order of business with Jack gone, Richard fires all the salespeople. Then he packs up and sells all the office contents and leaves their pricey digs, thus returning Pied Piper to Erlich’s incubator. These moves are essential because Pied Piper must save every penny in order to get the engineers they need to build the platform.


Meanwhile Erlich and Big Head finalize their agreement to share assets and become one venture – a single incubator. It’s inspiring how Erlich takes charge in Big Head’s home and incubator. He’s truly a master of “owning the room” and literally wins the day and gets his way with bravado and zero resources. The contract Erlich composes for Bachmanity, their new joint venture means Big Head will contribute all of his assets (we’re talking $20m) but meanwhile Erlich (who has o cash) gets to keep his interest in Pied Piper, virtually the only thing he has of any value. Big Head then talks to his business manager who highlights concerns about this contract. Erlich, of course, takes any inquiries as an “insult to his honor,” though the questions are valid.

Back at Pied Piper, Richard feels insulted by a tech blogger who maligns his coding abilities so he wants to meet with the writer of the article. He calls Laurie about it and she insists he meet with the head of Raviga’s PR department for interview pointers first. Because Richard gets a little loony and tongue-tied under pressure, this seems wise. Speaking of which, right before he’s about to meet with the Raviga PR Director, Richard finds out Laurie called Big Head about the Pied Piper CEO position. This sets him off kilter. Thus, Richard doesn’t handle the interview with the PR person at Raviga well. He rants and raves, saying all the wrong things. Then Richard’s raging soliloquy gets interrupted by the ACTUAL PR person at Raviga. Turns out he was talking to the tech blogger that whole time. She tells him unless he comes to her with a juicier story before noon the next day, his rant’s getting published verbatim.


Meanwhile on the other side of Silicon Valley Laurie takes Monica out for a glass of wine and to apologize. She admits to making a mistake with Richard and says she should have left him as the CEO. Laurie then explains that she’s been interviewing all these people for the CEO position publicly in order to illustrate that Richard wasn’t just the most expedient candidate but really the carefully chosen perfect one. Her plan puts Richard in charge of Pied Piper as CEO once again.

Monica, Richard’s biggest fan, loves this news until the next morning when he tells her out about his blogger rant. This Pied Piper news item will certainly change Laurie’s mind about reinstating him as CEO once published. So, Monica suggests Richard apologize to Laurie. But then, thanks to Big Head, Richard finds a less humiliating solution. Big Head comes over to Erlich’s to make peace and join companies after all despite his business manager’s hesitancy. Even with all the unfairness in that contract, Erlich’s “take charge” attitude is apparently irresistible. While signing the contracts to create Bachmanity with the Pied Piper team watching, Big head mentions how Gavin “scrubbed the Internet” to remove all the bad tidings written about himself and Hooli. This crazy unethical behavior actually makes a better story for the tech blogger and thus now Richard found his solution. He brings the tech blogger Big Head’s shocking Hooli story and she subsequently squashes Richard’s.

So, Richard ends up in the “The Empty Chair” as CEO of Pied Piper again. In his absence, Dinesh, Gilfoyle and Jared “took charge” and decided to outsource the platform engineering to foreign workers rather than paying the inordinate price required for local Silicon Valley coders. This penny pinching move makes Richard happy but he’s about to get even more so. Jared brings out “The Empty Chair” which was the one thing they didn’t sell from Action Jack’s fancy offices. He gives it to Richard, granting him a place of honor to sit and introduce himself to the new team through computer monitors in Erlich’s living room. Of course, Richard falls out of the CEO chair at first but once in “take charge” mode, he rights himself and can finally begin his mission to build the Pied Piper platform as CEO.

We loved the shift into victory at the end of this episode and can’t wait to see the birth of Bachmanity in the next one. It’s certain to be a spectacle of hilarity. The incredible thing about Silicon Valley is how it keeps us riveted and laughing even while only delivering one of the three required elements of entertainment – Power. There’s no sex or violence to speak of in this show, especially this season. Yet, we love it more than ever. Bravo, nerds, for only you could pull off this semi-esteemable but certainly noteworthy accomplishment.

–Katherine Recap

The Door

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

HBO Summary:
The Door. Tyrion seeks a strange ally; Bran learns a great deal; Brienne goes on a mission.

Lots of stuff happened in “The Door”. I have serious doubts that some of these events were how George R.R. Martin originally envisioned them; and my guess is that if and when the novels are actually completed some of these characters’ ends — and beginnings — will be resolved differently.

That said, Game of Thrones the television show has long ago outstripped A Song of Ice and Fire (its source material); and in the case of the wildly excellent “The Door” I’m just happy to be along for the ride.

My Top 8 Most Epic Moments from “The Door”:

8. Lord Commander Dolorous Edd

In one of the closing scenes of “The Door”, Jon Snow moves to leave Castle Black, presumably to rally Northern lords to the Stark name against the treacherous Boltons. He claps Edd on the shoulder and tells him not to knock [the Wall] down while he’s gone. At this point it’s quite uncertain who the Lord Commander is; Jon certainly seems to be telling Edd what to do, and voicing an intent to return.

As Jon and company ride off, a Brother addresses Edd as Lord Commander, asking him if he should close the gate behind the departing Jon. Edd first begins that he isn’t the Lord Comma– but then looks around as the camera pulls back on a long shot of the Castle Black courtyard, and starts issuing orders.

Can Jon really just declare someone Lord Commander? Because it looks like Edd is officially in charge.

7. Tyrion Takes a Reluctant Bow

Tyrion and Varys recruit Kinvara, “High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flametruth, the Light of Wisdom, and First Servant of the Lord of Light” — the ranking priestess of Red R’hllor — as an ally in spreading the good word of Queen Daenerys Targaryen. The priestess proclaims Dany as the [one*] who was promised; her dragons the Lord of Light’s fire made flesh.

Varys rightly points out that another priestess of R’hllor — Melisandre — previously declared Stannis Baratheon as the chosen one; and the man at his side — Tyrion Lannister — defeated that chosen one soundly. “The Door” was not much about Tyrion, and the scene itself was not much about Tyrion (much more about the origins and destiny of Lord Varys) but hell if that wasn’t a good reason to beam at the accomplishments of one of our favorite characters.

6. The Cruel Justice of the Many-Faced God

“Does death only come for the wicked, and leave the decent behind?”
-Jaqen H’ghar

Arya continues her training as a Faceless Man in “The Door”, with a pretty good quarterstaff training session with the Waif; and an infiltration assignment in advance of an assassination job.

Arya’s interlude in Braavos is short but quite dense. We get to see how good the Waif — so presumably any trained Faceless Man — is in a fair fight (amazing). We learn the secret origin of the Free City of Braavos (founded by the original Faceless Men). And we get a rare glimpse at some male genitals on Game of Thrones. Breasts there are aplenty, but uncircumcized penis? I think this episode was a first.

Arya seems conflicted about her career / religious choices. It doesn’t seem like she wants to murder a “decent” woman; but like Jaqen says, death comes for both the wicked and the decent, and if the price has been paid, the servants of the Many-Faced God are meant to do as they’re told.

So… Priestess or princess?

5. The Secret Origin of the White Walkers

Bran wargs into the past multiple times in “The Door” … An early interlude reveals how the Children of the Forest (!!!) created the first White Walkers using magic. A human is shown bound to one of their sacred trees as a wild-eyed Child of the Forest plunges a wooden stake into his chest as his eyes turn blue.

The White Walkers were a weapon of war that the Children of the Forest created to fight — you guessed it — encroaching humans who were cutting down their trees.

4. Khaleesi’s Hope

Dany isn’t sure what to do. She banished Jorah the Andal twice; and twice he returned, saving her life time and again. She can’t take him back, and she can’t send him away.

Jorah sends himself away, showing Dany the greyscale infection.

In one of the truly rare moments of hope on Game of Thrones, Dany orders Jorah to find a cure, then return to her; for when she conquers the Seven Kingdoms, she needs him at her side.

A lot of terrible things happen on this show; and both heroes and villains meet violent ends. Jorah, for his treachery but ultimate devotion and bravery, is already in a terrible spot (you know, fatal disease and all). But with Dany commanding him to find a cure you kind of get the idea that he is going to; he is going to be back; and maybe — just maybe — he will get what he ultimately wants (which is Dany). Remember, Dany has every Dothraki bloodrider there is at her back now, a mercenary company, command of the Unsullied, et cetera ad infinitum… But precious few Westerosi nobles to potentially marry.

Jorah? Really? Maybe!

3. The Brutal Logic of the Kingsmoot

Yara opens on a pretty good speech, and when her gender is called into question (the Ironborn have never had a ruling Queen), Theon makes an impassioned speech that has the Ironborn rooting Yara’s name.

… Until another Greyjoy — the murderous uncle Euron — appears to challenge for the Salt Throne.

Euron has an amazing pitch; like Yara he wants to build a thousand deadly ships to reave the Seven Kingdoms; but he has a long-term political agenda she didn’t quite think about. There is someone on the other side of the Narrow Sea who also hates the Lords of Westeros; someone with “a large army, three large dragons, and no husband.”

Euron wants to build the navy not just for the Ironborn, but to offer to Dany, as he aspires to rule not just the Iron Islands, but alongside the Mother of Dragons.

So Euron is the new King of the Iron Islands, Yara and Theon flee stealing all the best Ironborn boats, and the kinslaying and murderous new King orders every man to start cutting down trees and every woman to start sewing up sails. Focus, Ironborn. The only thing left unclear is the priority order of 1) killing his niece and nephew, 2) actually building the greatest fleet the world has ever known, and 3) offering the aforementioned fleet to Dany for like wars and stuff.

2. The Beginning and End of Hodor

It looks increasingly like Bran’s time travel warging is the glue that holds Game of Thrones together. When he returns to the site of the birth of the White Walkers [in the past] the Night’s King sees him, touches him, and “marks” him… Allowing the White Walkers and their wights to breach the protections of the Children of the Forest in the present.

Bran returns to a long-ago Winterfell — the day Ned left for the Vale — and wargs into Hodor in past and present at the same time.

After a disastrous battle that costs our heroes Summer, Leaf (and other Children of the Forest), and the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran wargs into Hodor to “hold the door**” against a legion of persuing wights and White Walkers. “Hold the door” in the present is etched into Hodor’s mind in the past, such that it is the only thing on his mind for the next couple of decades. Thus we learn as an extension of Ned hearing Bran at the Tower of Joy that Bran’s warging can affect the past, rather than just observe it.

It might not be fair to say that Hodor died a hero’s sacrifice because Bran was controlling his mind at the time; but it is certainly a fulfillment of his destiny, the beginning and end of his particular Circle of Life all at once. My guess is that this episode ranks behind only “The Rains of Castamere” in its overlap of “aw shit” and uncontrollable tears from HBO fans.

1. Sansa faces off with Littlefinger

If you’ve already seen “The Door” you can probably alrady imagine yourself glued to the water cooler at the office tomorrow, ooh-ing and ah-ing over the final eleven minutes. Night’s King and wights against Children of the Forest. Noble sacrifice by Summer. Badass White Walker walloping by Meera. All big, all moving, all ultra violent.

But for my money, the best scene in possibly the best episode of Game of Thrones — ever — was the opening one.

Littlefinger journeys North to meet Sansa, Knights of the Vale at his back. He tells her the Blackfish has reunited Tully and retaken Riverrun. Her mother’s family will join her father’s name in rescuing Rickon and the North if only she asks.

She doesn’t care.

Did you know about Ramsay?

Either he didn’t know (and he is an idiot) or he did know (and he is her enemy).

Not only can Littlefinger not protect Sansa, but he can’t even protect himself; not if she tells Brienne to unsheath Oathkeeper.

“The Door” is uncharted territory from a George R.R. Martin perspective, but delivers the best line I can remember… “You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family… And gave me to other monsters who murdered my family.”

Sansa had a terrible time of it last season surely, but we never had a sense of how bad until this heartwrenching scene with Littlefinger. “Did he cut you?” (looks like you did know). There are things Ladies don’t talk about but brothel keepers must, and often. Sansa is always in these loose, flowing gowns, and actress Sophie Turner’s face is always resplendent. Ramsay would never hurt the face of Ned Stark’s daughter (which he needed whole and healthy to hold the North), but all the other parts that no one else sees were fair game as long as they were still able to bear an heir. Sansa implies she is feeling physical — not just mental — wounds, right then and there, still; weeks or months since escaping Ramsay.

I have had a longstanding venom for Sansa, since Season One and in truth years before Game of Thrones ever hit the air. In a very real sense, Sansa’s desire to be a Baratheon Lannister Queen caused the death of her father and the downfall of her family. BDM argued that falling under the shadow of Littlefinger’s wing was Sansa’s step towards self-actualization and self-preservation. I never knew what to make of her marriage to Ramsay. Yes he’s awful, but to what degree did she know what she was getting into? Was this a calculated move towards accumulating power that tragically went sideways? This scene clarifies a lot around Sansa, and gives her, finally, her big moment against one of the Big Bads of the show.

It’s awesome, and after all these seasons, I was finally happy to be rooting for her.

“The Door” is, I think, the best episode of Game of Thrones ever. Just the origin of Hodor, or the White Walkers, or Braavos would have been a satisfying mystery solved in most episodes. This one gave us all three. Just those eleven minutes of battle and chase and heroism and sacrifice; of the Three-Eyed Raven, of Leaf, of Summer dying to save Bran would have been unbelievable in most episodes… But nothing compared to Sansa v. Littlefinger to me. I’ve watched “The Door” twice already. I doubt they will be my two only viewings.


* Not “Prince”, clearly.

** Presumably the titular “Door”

[For Penny Dreadful “Good and Evil Braided Be” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

Showtime Summary:
Good and Evil Braided Be. Vanessa is confronted by a familiar, who reveals a clue to her past.

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 episode three, “Good and Evil Braided Be” we’re matching Penny Dreadful characters with amazing break up songs. They’ll run the gamut but we’ve got our musical predilections and limitations here at Fetchland. So, if you’ve got your own Penny Dreadful break up song pairings, please tweet them at us. Use #Pennybreakups and share your fantastic alternates. We’d love that!

We’re linking up breakup songs with the relationships in Penny Dreadful’s “Good and Evil Braided Be” and although some of them are platonic there’s always tension and emotion to spare with these characters. Penny Dreadful feels like a Gothic romance with its tone and time. So, if we had to pick a rock band to represent the show, we’d choose The Cure for their moody, Gothic sound and the otherworldly sadness of their look. That’s where we begin thus, with the dreamy timbre of Robert Smith.

vanessa&dracVanessa and Dracula: “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
He’s finally ready to pursue a romance but now Vanessa’s afraid of endangering him. “This is too dangerous,” she says thinking it’s protecting him. Isn’t it ironic? Vanessa’s romantic inclinations are the stuff of heavenly dreams and she’s like an angel to have such faith in love even after living a nightmare for so long. Meanwhile Dracula pulls off one devious trick after another with her. So, The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” works as an ideal accompaniment for their particular brand of breakup with the opening line “show me show me show me how you do that trick”. It’s essentially a song about falling in delirious love, like falling asleep, only to then wake up and find it’s gone (“I opened up my eyes and found myself alone alone alone”). Vanessa thinks she’s saving a sweet zoologist from her dark influence and demons. Meanwhile he’s actually a demon himself, plotting her body and soul’s demise just down the street, where he keeps his fleshbots. Sounds like how most love affairs end. Difference is this one’s over before it even really became romantic. Vanessa tells him to think of her rejection as “something like love,” though. She’s a believer. This song is about a world where true blue lovers like Vanessa are “Strange as angels” same as she is in the world of Penny Dreadful.

Dr SewardDr. Seward and Vanessa: “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse
Vanessa rants angrily because Seward doesn’t believe her dark stories. She wants the doc to hypnotize her so she can return to the asylum and face “The Master” at last. But Seward worries about causing Vanessa further trauma with hypnosis. So, in retaliation, Vanessa clutches her wrist to read through Seward’s skin and bones and tell Seward about some of her own demons. Vanessa does and then says “Shall we walk together?” inviting her to face demons side by side with her. Vanessa is utterly unafraid of trauma – it’s her normal. She’s like Amy Winehouse in “Back to Black,” completely aware that, “So far removed from all that we went through/And I tread a troubled track/My odds are stacked/I’ll go back to black”. Dr. Seward speaks of Vanessa’s delusions but really she’s the one who’s kidding herself that Vanessa’s merely an ill patient. The song says, “I died a hundred times,” and what better describes Vanessa’s experiences? Vanessa’s life represents a chain of ruination and dark demise. Only Amy Winehouse could play the soundtrack to this particular therapeutic process.

yeahyeahyeahsRenfield and his fly: “Maps” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
While working in Dr. Seward’s waiting room, creepy Renfield chomps down his first fly. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ song “Maps” perfectly captures this man-transitioning-to-monster who desires a tasty bug morsel for an afternoon snack. Renfield’s also writing “Vanessa” over and over with a manic scrawl just like how the song croons “They don’t love you like I love you” in a smooth and creepy repetition that soothes even as it never seems to stop. This song looms in the mind with love lost and obsessive thoughts drowning within its wake. Also, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist could easily play Renfield.

malcolm&KaeMalcolm & Kaetenay: “Someone Like You” by Adele
Bromance blooms after Malcolm threatens the life of a bigot on their train who tries to make Kaetenay ride with the livestock. Also Malcolm and Kaetenay are “bound by the surprise of their glory days,” those days being their separate experiences with Ethan. We know Malcolm defeated many demons with Ethan fighting at his side, for instance. Thus, Adele’s “Someone Like You” is the best breakup song for this dynamic duo. It’s all about the one that got away and wanting the best for them. In fact, even while dying inside for their losses involving Ethan, these two both want what’s best for him. And here they are on Ethan’s territory “turning up out of the blue uninvited” because “they just couldn’t fight it,” and for them it isn’t over. Even the line “I’ll find someone like you,” fits this story because, indeed Kaetany represents one part of Ethan and Malcolm another. They are each someone like Ethan in their own way and, look at that, they found each other.

Hecate and Ethan: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
He’s clearly not over Vanessa and Hecate is mad for him, seemingly even in love, though Ethan hates her and declares it to her face. Being an irrepressible demon, though, Hecate won’t let that stop her mission. In fact, she kills a few innocent people just to make him hate her even more. When she sees his disgust Hecate says that she’s no more a monster than he just because she kills with free will and he does it as a thoughtless animal. So, it turns out Hecate sees things quite clearly. She knows who she is and where she stands, just like in Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” a true torch song from the days of yore. Even as Ethan declares his hatred for her, Hecate has declarations of her own. She’ll be there for him regardless and fight by his side, all the way to hell. Her eyes are wide open about this relationship. She can’t make him love her and she will, “lay down her heart because she feels the power… but he won’t,” and thus they continue forth side by side, an impeccable portrait of unrequited love.

thecreatureThe Creature: “Portions for Foxes” by Rilo Kiley
He glimpses his past life for the first time since becoming the Creature as it appears in fragments that include a sick son and sad wife. He cries for that human life he left behind when he died. The Creature had connections with people, family even. Still, he’s dead now, those people are gone, and it turns out there’s more to the story of his life than he’s aware. Rilo Kiley’s “Portions for Foxes” suits The Creature for these reasons. It’s a song about death – a time when we all become “Portions for Foxes,” and also about regret. The repeat of “I’m bad news, bad news, bad news”  works for The Creature especially given the end of the episode, when we find out he was “The Master” posing as an orderly delivering Vanessa’s food tray in the institution. Baby I’m bad news, indeed.

Jekyll&FrankensteinJekyll and Frankenstein: “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes
The doctors philosophize and look hot in the Bedlam basement discussing the good and evil braided inside and between themselves. When Jekyll came back into Frankenstein’s life we noticed a tension between them that felt like ex-lovers. Jekyll spoke of how Frankenstein’s lack of contact over the years caused him “no small amount of pain,” and seems more than a tad contemptuous of Frank’s intense love for Lily. But more than anything homoerotic, these two are bound by the fact that they’re both broken men. This is why the break up tune “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes fits the doctoral duo. Not only are they both attempting to stitch each other back together with medical expertise, they’re also working on a way to “keep it together” inside. Both are in the process of “reaping what they sowed and then seeing red on their own,” just like in the song. There are also individual lines that fit Frankenstein such as,  “Bring me back to life,” and “You watch me bleed until I can’t breathe,” describing exactly what he did to Lily. While “shaking body onto my knees,” along with “tripping over myself,” seem to aptly describe Jekyll’s struggles with his inner demon. Thus the doctors represent each side of this song, the destroyer and the destroyed.

Lily and Justine: “Alive” by Sia
Sia’s “Alive” begins with the lyrics “I was born in a thunderstorm/I grew up overnight/I played alone/I played on my own/I survived,” and it then continues to tell their shared story. These two women are the ultimate survivors, each lucky to be alive in their own particular ways. There’s an irony to it as well because Justine is truly alive, while Lily merely plays at life and uses Lily’s actual life as a pawn so she can play at living. It wasn’t love that destroyed Lily and Justine and thus it won’t be love that gets them revenge. Just like the little ninja in Sia’s video, they’re fighters and, as Lily declares in the episode, “This is war,” and like the refrain of the chorus repeats, “I’m still breathing,” as long as these two femme fatales are still breathing, the war wages.

dorianDorian, Lily and Justine: “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Conner
In this third episode of the third season we find  the most unique of relationships in a trio and not just because of the whole immortality thing. Nothing can compare to the bloodthirsty threesome they engage after Justine kills her tormentor. Thus, Sinead O’Conner’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,”  applies best to this relationship. Certainly nothing could ever compare to their sexy bloodbath. The song revels in the freedom of singledom while at the same time it mourns lost love. This parallels the way Dorian and Lily revel in their immortality while at the same time long for the humanity that Justine represents. Her life has so much more meaning simply because it has an ending and this is something they’ll never have again. It’s all dead to them now, that meaning. This is symbolized by the flowers planted by the lover in the song, “they all died when you went away,” just as the meaning of Lily and Dorian’s lives died along with them. They’re working to create meaning with their revolution, a war on male tormentors using disenfranchised women like Justine as their warriors. The song pleads to “give it another try” and this is their way of doing so. No matter what the outcome of their second chance at life, though, we’re willing to bet it too will be incomparable

–Katherine Recap

The Night Manager – Part Five

Posted by Katherine Recap | Hollywood, TV

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

AMC Summary:
Part Five. Roper attempts to find the traitor by gathering his entourage; Burr and Steadman face opposition.

The -Night-Manager-HavenPart Five turns out to be an extended version of the trixter game cups. As the game begins Pine and Roper are headed to the Haven, a refugee camp in Kasimli (Southeast Turkey) and “a safe haven for the wretched of the Earth” as Roper calls those he helps philanthropically. Roper greets the refugees for photo op purposes then exits quickly to conclude his Tradepass arms deal. Turns out the Haven really serves as more of a military haven; packed with Roper’s troops, ie. ex military mercenaries. Roper tells Pine he’s aware that Angela Burr somehow has his classified documents about Tradepass. So, when Pine says uh oh, maybe you should delay this final transaction then, Roper replies that he’ll “plug the leak” whomever it is. But when Roper says plug the leak he really means, “kill the bastard”. He only said it the more polite way because he’s British.

Jonathan-PineRoper has Pine familiarize himself with the weapons manuals right away so that night he can lead the arms demonstration for the buyer, Mr. Barghati. It’s an impressive display that creates a spectacle of orange on the pitch of the desert sky and Pine’s quite knowledgable and confident considering he only spent one day learning the stuff. His sad sunburnt face in the glowing light of napalm is our only hint that Pine’s still on Burr’s side at this point. The next morning the buyer leaves after completing the transaction and Pine writes down the license plate numbers on his trucks – another clue that he’s still true blue.

DromgooleIn the next scene Burr gets home after a long day at the office only to get a call from Dromgoole who’s in a car just outside her apartment. So, then he comes to the front door and they chat in the doorway. Dromgoole asks where she got the Tradepass papers and accuses her of having someone on the inside. She simply must tell him who it is. Then he recites his philosophy treatise on Ayn Rand, the greater good, the whole wide world, “your own safety” etc. to try to convince her. But Angela Burr cannot be enticed and shuts the door in his smug face. Whether you like The Night Manager or not, the villainous character name Dromgoole simply demands acknowledgment for its glorious and apt repugnance.

Jed-CriesJed then arrives at Haven with Corky and we soon see the Roper relationships of yore unravel to unrecognizable. Roper confronts Jed about being the leak and in the process smacks her hard across the face. Then he gets called away before doing further damage and Pine slips in to help Jed. He even tells her why he’s really doing all this – British intelligence etc. Pine then promises to get her out of there and they smooch longingly just before he exits. Roper comes back into the tent then and Jed tells him she took a photo of his list with her phone. She implies that Corky was the leak saying that he told her not to leave her phone lying around. Roper appears to believe Jed and they exchange creepy ice cold “I love yous” to seal their alleged newfound trust.

The-Night-Manager-Part-FiveNext Pine wire-cuts and slips outside a fence surrounding the Haven; just barely passing the armed guards on duty. Once free, he slips into a waiting cab and gives the guy 200euros to hand a note to the woman from Istanbul Hotel room 314. When Pine gets back to the fence Corky awaits him there with fists of fury clenched and ready. But Pine ends up taking the power position in their fight so that when Roper comes out to investigate the ruckus Pine has the upper hand and says he caught Corky trying to sneak back inside the fence. The cab driver then arrives at the Istanbul Hotel and asks for the woman from room 314. He gives her the license plate notes from Pine and she immediately sends them to Burr. Angela sends the numbers to Steadman and tells him to bring the info straight to the military with no Langley involvement. Steadman does exactly as she says, so the US military stops the buyer’s trucks at the border to investigate.

Three-Cups-TrickMeanwhile we see Roper and Pine watching those same trucks via satellite video tracking their progress to the border. Roper even brings Jed in to watch too. They then see the trucks are actually filled with agricultural equipment and supplies – the very stuff Roper claims to be dealing on the face of this whole deal. He quips to Pine “They didn’t watch the cups did they?” referring to the three cups magic trick. Then Steadman asks a baffled Angela if she’s ever thought that Pine may be a double agent, or is at least working both sides. When Angela gets home that night her place has been ransacked and her husband bludgeoned. It’s not her finest hour… and she’s still got childbirth on her imminent horizon.

Pine-CairoThe next morning Roper tells Pine he knows now that Corky was his Judas and now that he’s gotten rid of him he can finally finish and fulfill the Tradepass deal for real. The Brits and Yanks investigators are officially off his tail now – it’s all clear for takeoff. So, Roper gets on the phone with Mr. Hamid from Cairo and the whole story’s coming full circle now. In fact, they’re staying at the same hotel where Pine was The Night Manager not so long ago in “Part One”. Of course the memories flood back as soon as he walks through the archway entrance. His lady love/one night stand lies dead like a ghost before him in the very same suite where Jed and Roper now stay. Bereft and romantically inclined Pine is back with a vengeance.

Angela-BurrThis was the best part of The Night Manager thus far and just in time too. It’s all coming to a crashing climax in the next episode as every single character (other than that schmuck, Langbourne) seeks personal revenge; Angela Burr most of all. She ends the episode bursting with baby, foiled in the Roper mission yet again, and with a bludgeoned husband to boot. This woman seethes with righteous anger and the only thing that can quell her rage is taking down Richard Roper. She’s got Steadman, Pine, and Jed on her side. Unfortunately, Burr’s not really aware of the Pine/Jed support. She currently has no military backup and her baby’s coming any minute. If anybody’s sipping a cool drink on the white sands of an island paradise at the conclusion of this thing, we hope it’s her.

–Katherine Recap

[For Silicon Valley “Maleant Data Systems Solutions” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Maleant Data Systems Solutions. The Pied Piper guys struggle at work; Erlich faces competition; Monica takes a stand.

Maleant-Data-Systems-SolutionsThis episode revolves around the idea of the remake. Contracts, algorithms, deals, and even incubators and attitudes are rewritten and remade in this episode. The engineers do a reboot on their attitude toward the box, almost against their own will. The four of them wanted to hate it and slack off but can’t help themselves. Working on it gets them so excited that they invest their best efforts and improve the box by a ton, despite strong intentions to phone-it-in. Each remake story in “Maleant Data Systems Solutions” has a winner and loser. It’s no surprise when this reboot of the Pied Piper team’s attitude propels them, finally, into the winners circle.

Jack confronts the Pied Piper team about their SkunkWorks plan and asks them for one reason why he shouldn’t fire and blackball all four of them them right now. Richard then points out that Jack needs their engineering if he wants to meet his contractual deadlines. He suggests compromise – they will build the box to the minimum level that fulfills their contract but then construct the platform right after. To conclude his compromise proposal, Richard slips and falls on Jack’s desk; smashing himself into a bloody nose but he’s got a deal and that’s all that counts.

Erlich-Big-Head-IncubatorMeanwhile at Erlich’s place he’s trying to sell a new incubator tenant on the concept of hallway-as-bedroom when Jared comes in to discuss their rat problem. Because of this pathetic salesmanship Erlich’s potential tenant joins a different incubator. Out of pure envy, Erlich checks out this new incubator, and who answers the door but our dear old friend Big Head. It’s his house and unwillingly, out of loneliness, he’s started his own incubator as a way to have people around. Cut to upset Erlich standing on Big Head’s welcome mat. He huffs and puffs, indignant, to his car but when it won’t start in Big head’s driveway Erlich changes his tune, remaking yet another attitude in the episode and decides to team up with Big Head, who merely shrugs and says OK. Thus, when faced with a better, faster, sexier remake of his incubator funded by Big Head’s clueless $20m Erlich did what any loser-with-a-clue does – he switches sides and joins the team that beat him.

Gavin's-EndFrameThis is exactly what Gavin does in this episode – but on an even grander scale. When Hooli guru, Denpok pokes Gavin’s insecurities about “rumors circulating at Hooli,” Gavin holds a Hooli board meeting and his intense disdain for bulldogs flares up so that he asks questions like, “Kindly pet? …or humanity’s cruelest mistake?” and then uses the “grotesque creature” as an analogy for the Nucleus project. His claim: both are a result of too much inbreeding and naval gazing. Gavin then purchases EndFrame for $250m “to branch out of the Hooli network” and as a result changes the entire course of Pied Piper’s story, just not the way he’d hoped. He thinks he’s screwing the engineers but Gavin’s actually saving them. His remake of Nucleus using Endframe really is just a redo with the exact same engineers, although Gavin acts like they’re a completely new team; welcoming them to Hooli as if they’ve never met before. “You represent fresh blood,” he declares and just like that, Gavin’s rewritten Hooli history.

Silicon-Valley-MonicaJack then tells them Pied Piper lost their deal with Maleant because they went with another company but Richard points out there’s is much faster now so they can beat out this competition easily with their now-upgraded box. He’s right and they get a new Maleant deal. But then Monica points out that Maleant wants five years of rights to the underlying algorithm. That would mean Pied Piper couldn’t build the platform in the next five years. Richard is screwed; his plans and whole compromise down the toilet. The board then votes on this contract with Maleant and Monica ends up the deciding vote. She votes to not make the deal with Maleant unless they change this language. Thus Monica fulfills her promise to use her board seat to help Richard. Maybe they will smooch soon.

Laurie-Silicon-ValleyRichard gets a call from Gavin Belson telling him Hooli just acquired EndFrame for 250m. This sets a standard for a compression platform market value and thus Pied Piper is technically now valued at least that much and can win their fight for the platform after all. The team goes into work at Pied Piper the next day to find Jack gone. In his place is an empty office with prim Laurie sitting behind his desk looking like a librarian, as always. Laurie tells them she “exited” Jack and they’re going to build the platform now with no CEO. He said either they did it his way and make the box or it would be the end of his tenure as CEO. So, Jack’s chair will remain empty “henceforth” and Gavin’s move with EndFrame really did save their platform.

Silicon-ValleySo, even our five heroes get a remake in this episode. At the onset they’re utterly dismal and depressed. All is lost. But by the end of the episode things are completely flipped and they’ve got a whole new set of challenges. This great writing is what keeps Silicon Valley fresh and invigorating each and every week. It’s like the Breaking Bad of sitcoms. The characters start out unbelievably screwed with no possibility of overcoming their challenges. Then by the end of the episode that issue’s resolved but there’s a whole new and much bigger challenge. It’s high level stakes-raising done well. At the onset the Pied Pipers were nearly fired in Jack’s office and feeling disheartened. But then in the final scene of “Maleant Data Systems Solutions,” they find themselves in the exact opposite position. Jack’s a mere memory and they’re free to work on the platform. No more Jack means no more box. Shouldn’t this be bliss? But it never is… their challenged now is racing Gavin and EndFrame because the very thing that saved them now faces them with a hardcore battle. With Pied Piper valued at a minimum of $250m, our five heroes suddenly have a whole lot more to lose in this war between compression algorithms.

–Katherine Recap