Archive for February, 2015

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Episode: 104
Airdate: February 23, 2015
Directed by: Colin Bucksey
Showrunners: Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould
Written by: Vince Gilligan (creator) & Peter Gould (creator); Gennifer Hutchison (written by)

Last week, before calling the Kettlemans with his anonymous warning, Jimmy struggled with his conscience, saying to himself, “I’m not a hero.” Based on the title of tonight’s episode, it would appear that maybe he actually is – but the kind of hero Jimmy is, is anything but conventional. Don’t mistake for a second that this sloppy, apparently out of control “little man” is, in fact, very much in control of his situation. And if he’s not really a hero, maybe the perception that he is can be more than enough.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss Better Call Saul Season 1, Episode 4 “Hero” at length, as well as discussing ongoing storylines.>>
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Episode: 511
Airdate: February 22, 2015
Directed by: Larysa Kondracki
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Seth Hoffman (episode); Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore (graphic novels); Frank Darabont (creator)

Last week saw the group at their absolute nadir, with the deaths of two mainstays happening in short order, and both water and food running out as they head north. Just as it looked like tension and desperation would break the group apart, we got a wonderful moment of bonding as they worked together to hold the barn doors against both nature and a horde of walkers. But the real stunner was the in the close – who is this Mr. All-American hiker dude? Is Aaron good, bad, or indifferent? And what – or who – has he been eating to look so healthy? Click through for my review of tonight’s episode, where we may get answers to all or none of these questions.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss at length plot points of The Walking Dead S05E11, “The Distance” – read more at your own risk.>>
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Episode: 510
Airdate: February 15, 2015
Directed by: Julius Ramsay
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Heather Bellson (episode); Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore (graphic novels); Frank Darabont (creator)

With events from the last two episodes fresh in their minds, the members of Rick’s group find themselves in more and more desperate times as they move north into new territory. To make things worse, a nasty dry spell has set in, making it hard to find water, and impossible to find food. As bad as things have been, they haven’t reached their nadir yet – how much lower can things go?

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss at length plot points of The Walking Dead S05E10, “Them” – read more at your own risk.>>
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better-call-saul-poster-slice

Episode: 103
Airdate: February 16, 2015
Directed by: Terry McDonough
Showrunners: Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould
Written by: Vince Gilligan (creator) & Peter Gould (creator); Thomas Schnauz (written by)

Last week, Nacho [Michael Mando] gave Jimmy [Bob Odenkirk] an offer Jimmy felt he could refuse – but that doesn’t mean Nacho is forgetting about his plans for the Kettleman family. Jimmy, who is desperately trying to stick to the straight-and-narrow, finds himself suffering a major case of conscience, and the decisions he begins to make could have some pretty major consequences…permanent consequences. Click through for my complete review.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss Better Call Saul Season 1, Episode 3 “Nacho” at length, as well as discussing ongoing storylines.>>
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Steve and Dan TWD 2

Steve and Dan return to discuss the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead season 5. It gets to be a bit too much for Tyreese.

<<Spoiler Warning: This podcast discusses events in The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 9 at length.>>

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better-call-saul-poster-slice

Episode: 102
Airdate: February 9, 2015
Directed by: Michelle MacLaren
Showrunners: Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould
Written by: Vince Gilligan (creator) & Peter Gould (creator); Peter Gould (written by)

In an attempt to quickly hook viewers, AMC has gone with the two-night premiere (much the same as ABC did with Marvel’s Agent Carter a few weeks ago). It appears to be working, as AMC released initial viewing numbers last night showing that Better Call Saul had the biggest ever cable series premiere, with 4.4 million viewers in the prime 18-49 demographic. It’ll be interesting to see how those numbers move in the next few weeks. But on to the show. Last night’s premiere opened with a glimpse of Saul Goodman post-Walter White, flashed back to Saul’s pre-Saul days (when he was still Jimmy McGill), and finished with a huge surprise for fans of Breaking Bad. Things were looking pretty dicey for Jimmy – so how’s he doing tonight?

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Better Call Saul Season 1, Episode 2 “Mijo” will discuss events and plot points revealed in the episode, and is written with the assumption that you have a basic knowledge of Breaking Bad (major plot points will not be revealed, but cross-over characters will be briefly discussed) – do not read through if you don’t want to be spoiled!>>
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better-call-saul-poster-slice

Episode: 101
Airdate: February 8, 2015
Directed by: Vince Gilligan
Showrunners: Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould
Written by: Vince Gilligan (creator) & Peter Gould (creator); Vince Gilligan (written by) & Peter Gould (written by)

There was a fair degree of anticipation going into last night’s pilot episode of Better Call Saul, the latest outing by showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, late of Breaking Bad success and adulation. Gilligan, who got his start with Chris Carter co-executive producing (and by 2000 executive producing) The X-Files, proved his chops beyond question with his masterful (and, according to many, best show of all time) turn creating and helming Walter White through his five years of transformation. One of the more interesting characters from Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman [Bob Odenkirk], White’s slick, slimy, and ethically challenged lawyer, is now getting his own prequel series. So, how well did the pilot do to capture our attention in a post- (or, in this case, pre-) Walter White world?

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Better Call Saul Season 1, Episode 1 “Uno” will discuss events and plot points revealed in the episode – do not read through if you don’t want to be spoiled!>>
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Episode: 509
Airdate: February 8, 2015
Directed by: Greg Nicotero
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Scott M. Gimple (episode); Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore (graphic novels)

With the events of the mid-season finale still fresh in our minds, I think that a lot of fans of The Walking Dead were expecting tonight’s episode to be a bit slower paced, a bit more reflective. And to be honest, what we did end up getting was supremely reflective, although the pace was not what I’d call slow – nor were the stakes lowered at all from the last episode. Greg Nicotero, special effects master on the show and the director of tonight’s episode, conjured up director Terrance Malick (naming him as an inspiration in the follow-up Talking Dead episode), and in so doing put together what may very well be one of the best – and certainly the most artistic – episodes of The Walking Dead so far. Click through for my full review.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss at length plot points of The Walking Dead mid-season premiere, S05E09, “What Happened and What’s Going On” – read more at your own risk.>>
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Publisher: Bongo Comics
Writer: Nathan Kane
Penciller: John Delaney
Inker: Andrew J. Pepoy
Letterer: Karen Bates
Editors: Karen Bates & Terry Delegeane
Cover Artists: Jason Ho, Nathan Kane, Mike Rote
Release Date: December 24, 2014

When you’re facing mercenaries who want to kill your daughter? An alien predator who hunts humans for sport? A television game show host who wants to play for blood? Who do you call? McBain!

McBain #1 is the latest of Bongo Comics’ Simpsons One-Shots, and it plays with the conventions of what makes a comic in appropriately larger-than-life ways. In order to review this comic, it is important to look at the two defining characteristics of this edition: the story, and the presentation. Click below to read the rest of the review.
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Season_5_cast_banner

Episode: 509
Airdate: February 8, 2015
Directed by: Greg Nicotero
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Frank Darabont (creator); Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard (series of graphic novels); Scott M. Gimple (written by)

With the shocking (if not terribly surprising) and heartbreaking end to the first half of Season 5 already over two months in the rear-view mirror, it’s just about time to pull out the zombie survival kit and get ready for the latter half of the season. Starting this coming Sunday, we’ll get to see what the group decides to do, following the climactic events at Grady Memorial Hospital. I suppose it’s only appropriate that the episode is, in fact, named “What Happened and What’s Going On.” While I’m not going to go too far with prognostications here (and frankly, a knowledge of the comics would seem to be largely irrelevant for the most part, what with all the changes already made by Gimple and co.), I will have a look at the preview videos already released, and analyze the first two minutes of Episode 509, released two days ago (February 3) by AMC. Click through for the videos, and my commentary.

<<Spoiler Warning: This Sneak Peek of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 9 “What Happened and What’s Going On” includes promotional material from AMC, discusses recent episodes, and will speculate on future events.>>
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