CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: UGLY BETTY: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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CAST
America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Tony PLana (Vampire Bats)
Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids)
Ashley Jensen (Arthur Christmas)
Becki Newton (American Dad)
Mark Indelicato (White Bird In a Blizzard)
Vanessa Williams (Eraser)
Michael Urie (Uptown Girl)
Judith Light (Dallas)
Christopher Gorham (Odyssey 5)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)

FAKE PLASTIC SNOW

GUEST CAST
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Brett Cullen (Ghiost Rider)
Ava Gaudet (Evil Angel)
Betty is at her desk working on an expense report for Daniel when Henry comes by and asks her if she’s making her Christmas list. He spots mistletoe on her desk. She says it’s just holly, but he kisses her anyway and tells her she’s the girl he’s been looking for. But it looks like this was all a fantasy as Betty wakes up in a shock from this dream and glares at the photo of Walter by her bed before throwing the sheets over her face. Back at Daniel’s place, Sofia wakes up beside Daniel. Worried that she will miss her flight, she says that they need a breather so they can see if what they have is real. He insists that he loves her but Sofia says it’s just hormones and sex. If this is real, he should see other women while she’s gone. If he doesn’t get sweaty palms with them, maybe he does love her. He says that this is crazy but she tells him that this will convince her that he really feels this only for her. Back at the Suarezes, Betty tells Hilda her dream, but Hilda tells her that dreams don’t mean anything and tells her sister should just avoid Henry and everything will be fine. Meanwhile Ignacio, who was arrested by Immigration a few days ago but was let go, comes down and Betty gives him his pills. He has a caseworker coming to work with him next month. Hilda gets in a fight with their neighbor Gina after she runs over her Christmas tree while it’s sitting in the street.
Meanwhile, in Wilhelmina’s office, Marc, in the wake of him now knowing the truth of his boss’ intentions, is bringing Wilhelmina her breakfast and asking if Nico is coming home. He lithely snatches her whole wheat bagel causing her to almost bite his head off before he reminds her that they’re ‘sharing things’ now that he knows her little secret. Over at an office meeting in the conference room, Daniel announces that Betty has been offered a job and she will be accepting resumes for her position. The news brings a round of applause for Miss Suarez. Amanda and Marc wonder if they need to invite her to her own leaving party. Betty is surprised he’s announced this, but he says that her going to work with Sofia is what’s best for her. Amanda is already confident that she’s the best one to take the job. Daniel then takes Betty into his office to tell her that Sofia wants him to have an affair while she’s away. He’s through with being a bachelor and places half a dozen rings across his desk to try to pick out which will be perfect. After leaving Daniel’s office, Betty goes to her desk and opens a gift waiting for her, which turns out to be a notebook. She assumes this is from Daniel and gives him the thumbs up but he doesn’t know what she’s doing, since it didn’t come from him. She walks down the hall to Amanda who tells her flatly that she is the right person to replace her and she’ll prove it: She’ll help Betty plan the Christmas party. Betty reluctantly accepts the offer. A bundle of fake snow arrives and Betty walks it into Henry, spilling it all over both of them. He tries to pull some out of her hair but feel bashful. He then makes a series of unintentional double entendres while Betty tries to hide her excitement when he tells her that he will be ‘on top of her’ for the next few days overseeing the party budget.
Meanwhile, half a dozen lingerie models arrive to pose the new collection for Daniel. They include the first supermodel he was ever with, Aerin. Betty leaves to try to sort through resumes before she rushes in again to stop Daniel from easy temptation and announces that the photographer is ready for the models. Across town later that day, Betty and Walter are at the Christmas party for the store where he works. They have their photo taken with Walter’s boss and his wife. The wife of Walter’s boss tells her that she used to work in Manhattan too, but they’re Queens’ girls and this is where they belong. Betty stares at Walter and his boss with a less than enthusiastic feeling. Betty asks the woman when she knew that her husband was the one. She just knew; when did Betty know Walter was? She’s not sure yet. Upset that Marc wants in on her secret, Wilhelmina gets a call from her mysterious friend who’s concerned about having Marc silenced. Wilhelmina states that he will be permanently silenced very soon. She adjusts the Christmas tree ornaments and walks out revealing Marc hiding behind the tree. He’s terrified and takes a breath of his inhaler. In another part of the MODE building, it’s late in the office and Amanda is still there, rummaging through Daniel’s desk and trying on the rings he bought for Sofia. Her feelings for Daniel aren’t exactly as simple as she wishes they were. One ring gets stuck on her finger. Also later on in another location at the Meade Building, Bradford is being visited by Mr. Greene. He’s managed to find proof that Fey Sommers is really dead after visiting the coroner at the cemetery, which leads to new questions over who the mystery woman really is, now that a relative has claimed Fey’s remains.
The following morning, a worried Marc brings Wilhelmina her whole wheat. She asks him for his home address; she’s sending a special delivery his way. He panics and takes another hit off his inhaler. Amanda updates Betty on all the elaborate party preparations that she’s done. Betty says she appreciates the help, but it doesn’t erase her history with Daniel; she’s not right for the job. Betty goes to her desk when Henry appears with ornaments. She tries to ignore him, but he tells her that he never saw snow until he moved to New York and she’s so charmed that she can’t stop staring at him. They begin to chat and she starts to fantasize about him before freezing up and telling him she has to get back to work. Betty is pushing ornaments into Amanda’s arms when she sees one of Daniel’s rings on her fingers. Betty chases her around the office before they try to get it off together. Betty spits on an appalled Amanda’s finger and starts to pull while she tells her that she doesn’t feel anything for Daniel anymore. Betty falls over pulling and Amanda walks off. Marc arrives at the party. At first, he’s stuck in an elevator with a man who seems to be a hitman. He rushes past him and asks Amanda if she has a gun. Amanda says that no one would sell guns to anyone at the party. Marc rushes off to hide from the wrath of Wilhelmina and Amanda goes to stand by Betty to pester her about the job. Betty thinks that Daniel needs someone who can look after him. Amanda says that she’ll run interference between Daniel and the models just to prove that she can fill Betty’s shoes. After glancing at Betty’s clogs, she takes a swig and stomps off. Betty is left alone while Henry stands across the room flirting with her. Christina is drunk on Santa’s lap and slurs out a wish list of presents for her co-workers, “A heart for Wilhelmina, courage for Marc and brains for Amanda.” Marc runs by while Betty moves around the room and under desks while trying to hide from Henry. She bangs her head and her painful yelp brings her to Henry’s attention. He helps her up with a string of condoms in her hand but he was only there for a corkscrew. Christina walks by them dragging Santa into the bathroom as an appalled Marc runs out. Wilhelmina and the ‘hitman’ spot him and call him into her office. They take Marc to the parking garage and, just when he thinks they’re going to kill him, they flip on a light to reveal a Hummer, delivered to him by the ‘hitman’, who happens to be an auto dealer. He’s relieved to see that they’re just trying to buy his silence.
Daniel goes into his office followed by Erin, who starts making out with him. Amanda promptly interrupts and reminds him that he’s supposed to be engaged. Daniel agrees, telling Erin that he’s in love with someone else. When Erin thinks it’s Amanda, she suggests a threesome (and possibly a ménage à trois), but Daniel explains that’s not what he meant. Erin then leaves. Afterwards, Betty tells Daniel that the only person she’s seen that she could leave to look after him is Amanda. If he’s serious about her going, this is goodbye. He gives her a silver business card holder and tells her that he’s proud of her; she’s destined for bigger things. She hugs him and tries not to cry. Before she leaves, she asks him if the other gifts she’s been receiving were from him. They weren’t. Daniel calls Sofia to tell her that he loves her and his heart doesn’t race for anyone else. Betty walks out to her desk and looks at Henry. They exchange waves before someone walks by and kisses him but he pushes her away. Betty is crushed at the sight and rushes away to the elevator while he runs after her. The ring falls off Amanda’s finger. Back in Queens, Hilda is going through Justin’s gift list when they look out the window and see Gina obscenely defaming their Christmas lawn ornaments. By evening, she returns with a decapitated glowing reindeer and the lights go out. Hilda walks out to find Gina collapsed on the porch. They’ve been competing since they were teenagers and Gina always loses. After Gina admits that her parents are away and she is spending Christmas alone, Hilda takes pity and invites her in for eggnog and brandy. It looks like they buried the hatchet for now.  Later on at MODE, Amanda is trying to clear up after the party. Daniel tells her that Betty thinks she should be his new assistant, but can she do it? They promise to be professionals. Meanwhile, Ted the Texan walks in on Wilhelmina as she’s about to leave and her heart starts to race. Betty gets home and wonders if she’s doing what’s best with her life. She shows Hilda the photo of her with Walter. Hilda says that she should appreciate Walter more. Within moments, Walter arrives with her last present; it was him who was using Daniel to sneak her presents at work. Henry calls but Hilda tells him that Betty is busy and throws away the message that he leaves with her. Walter tells Betty that he’s trying to understand her life in Manhattan, but she feels cold and it becomes clear to her that she doesn’t love him.
Image result for ugly betty fake plastic snowA Great first Christmas for Betty and the gang, Daniel trying to prove that he is in love Sofia was a great story and Amanda looking out for him  was a nice touch. The Henry and Betty scenario was sweet too.

GIVING UP THE GHOST

GUEST CAST
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Ileana Douglas (Ghost World)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
The story begins at the Suarez home, where Betty is sitting down at 2AM eating empanadas. As she goes to get the milk from the refrigerator, she is spooked by seeing the head of Bradford Meade inside. After she closes the door, Bradford is standing behind her and tells her that he is her subconscious and that he asks her why she turned down Daniel’s offer to return to work. Betty tells him that she doesn’t think she’s ready to return. He then disappears after he tells her to think about what Bradford told her before he died. The following day at the burial of Bradford at the cemetery, Claire is allowed to attend but arrives wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and is in shackles. Amanda ponders about whether she would be next in line to take over at the company, but Sheila, who arrived late and hears this exchange, tells her that two years as a receptionist doesn’t qualify. As Betty is delivering a eulogy, Wilhehima and Marc show up, hoping to make her last remarks. After Wilhelmina comments about Claire’s uniform, Claire trips Wilhelmina, causing her to fall into Bradford’s empty grave. Wilhelmina is fired by unanimous decision of Claire, Daniel, and Alexis.
Fumed by her termination from the company, Wilhelmina returns to her office at MODE to remove her belongings but before she goes, she deploys a computer virus called “Medusa X”, featuring a motif similar to the Versace logo, but with Wilhelmina’s head replacing Medusa, that removes all files pertaining to the upcoming issue. When Henry notices the virus in his office, he calls Betty, who was helping the family plan their annual Christmas tree decorations at home, to inform her about what happened. As she leaves, she gives directions to Hilda, Justin and Ignacio on how it’s normally decorated, although Hilda and Justin think that they should make changes to the tradition. Daniel and Betty lead the effort to resurrect the issue with an all nighter work session. Betty says she is back just for the night. But before they can start on the emergency issue, Wilhelmina and Marc interrupt this work session to announce their new magazine: SLATER and recruit many MODE staff. Wilhelmina also made her feelings known about Daniel and Alexis, prompting Alexis and Betty to try to contain their desire to knock her out. As Wilhelmina leaves, Marc tempted Amanda to defect, but she turns him down, thus ending their partnership. Among the all-night chaos, Daniel placed Sheila in charge and in turn finds replacements to do new articles, with Henry being tasked with writing a food column and Amanda volunteering to write the “Hot or Not” section. Unfortunately Sheila is not happy about having Amanda on the team, even as she sees the receptionist eating at her desk and not giving her an article. When Amanda sees a pizza delivery guy’s uniform, she finally comes up with one, but as she shows off her design, Sheila walks up to her and tells her that she actually knew, worked and “made out” with Fey Sommers, and that Amanda is “No Fey Sommers,” and scraps Amanda’s article. At the love dungeon, a distressed Amanda tells Christina that she hopes that when she finds her father, maybe she’ll know what type of talent that she might actually have.
Meanwhile at the Suarez home, the family decoration plans start to go awry when Hilda trips on a string of Christmas tree lights knocking the tree over and starting a small fire. As Betty is scrambling to help Daniel at work, she calls her Hilda about its progress until she figured out what has happened after hearing Justin and Ignacio in the background. Alexis decided to take upon the task of getting the printers to extend the hours, but as she goes to the printer’s office in an effort to charm him, she discovers that he has left the business to a dwarf-like successor, Harvey Milfree. After the two bicker and bluff all night, they end up discussing how both are ‘different’ and how their fathers treated them. Once the conversation is over, Harvey agrees to keep the presses open, much to the delight of Alexis.
The deleted issue also erased the cover spread featuring Cameron Ashlock, a famous actress and singer who has been making a lot of headlines. When Daniel decides that he is going to break her out of rehab, Betty tags along. At the centre where Cameron is staying, the two find her among candles and chanting and after much persuasion, they succeed in convincing her to do a reshoot. Unfortunately, that doesn’t go well as planned as Cameron goes ballistic on the set after Daniel told Betty the only way to do it is by giving her alcohol, which Betty thought was a bad idea. As Cameron is escorted off the shoot, Betty learned that Daniel never gave Cameron a drink, which is how she lost control in the first place. Daniel told Betty he couldn’t do it. Unable to reshoot the cover, Daniel opts for a solid black cover in tribute of the late Bradford Meade with an “In Remembrance of Bradford Meade” theme. Betty and the staff are impressed with this cover as a way to honour the late publisher. Betty then tells Daniel that she will return to MODE permanently, and as Daniel walks away, she sees the spirit of Bradford for one last time by sending him to his final “resting place.” Later, at Wilhelmina’s apartment, she tells the defected MODE staff that she will have the new magazine up and running soon. After they leave, Wilhelmina meets with her father, Senator Slater, to ask for a loan to get her new magazine established. He refuses, saying that the daughter he once knew and loved as Wanda has changed into someone else. After he leaves, Wilhelmina and Marc ponder other options on how to get the financial backing. Finally, knowing that Christmas is a time for family, Betty buys a pink artificial tree to replace the burned up one. As they finally decorate the new tree Ignacio places the angel on top as a remembrance of his late wife.
A great episode and a great way to bring back Alan Dale’s character despite being killed off in the previous episode. It’s also good to see Betty trying to stay the person she has always been and worrying about the woman she may become if she stays at mode. Having Betty being able to help save the magazine shows how much she has grown. We also get to see Wilhelmina go all super villain which is just scary and brilliant at the same time.

BE-SHURE

GUEST CAST
Daniel Eric Gold (War of The Worlds)
Grant Bowler (Lost)
David Rasche (Burn After Reading)
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
The story begins with the family getting ready for breakfast with Ignacio making potato latkes. Ignacio announces that he has invited his new girlfriend, Jean, over for a multi-culti Christmas–Hanukkah dinner. As Betty leaves, Bobby stops by, which upsets Hilda, even though Bobby was there to pick up Justin, while Ignacio holds up a Cabbage Patch Doll to show Bobby, who believes took a display of the baby Jesus 14 years earlier, which Bobby denied. After she leaves, Betty starts to feel queasy as does Hilda later on while she and Archie were visiting Macy’s to drop a letter to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. On Fashion TV, Suzuki reports on Wilhelmina in jumpsuits and Connor in jail. Claire and Daniel discuss hiring a new creative director despite the disagreements over Calvin running the company and Daniel being blamed for hiring Connor, while Marc is suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”, due to Wilhelmina no longer with the company. Cal later stops by to introduce Daniel their new creative director, a clueless Hollywood mogul named Denise Ludwig, whom Daniel is not happy about and when he tries to reason with Cal as to why he was not consulted, Cal reminded him about who was running the company and it wasn’t Daniel.
919NuAZvl-L._SL1500_As Daniel prays that Connor rots in prison, it looks like Connor and Wilhelmina are getting hot and heavy behind bars, as Wilhelmina have been secretly been making surprise visits daily for the past two weeks, as they hope that as soon as they get the money back Wilhelmina will be back at Mode. When Wilhelmina returns to reclaim her job, Daniel tells her that it was filled. Wilhelmina then leaves, but prior to her visit, Marc suggests to Daniel, who wanted to get even with Cal by recovering the money, by enlisting Wilhelmina in an effort to get the money back. Hours later back at prison, Wilhelmina and Connor are interrupted by a phone call from Daniel. Connor goes to answer Daniel on the other end but Connor refuses to spill the beans and blames him for taking Molly and making Wilhelmina choose between him and the company, saying that he knows where the money is. However this was all planned, as Wilhelmina and Connor set up a scheme in an effort to get the Hartleys out of the company. This also sets up a scheme for Daniel to get the company back in family control, as Marc suggests to Daniel that Wilhelmina might be useful in retrieving the money from Connor. As they went to Wilhelmina’s place, the two agree to get the money back, on the condition that Wilhelmina gets a 50% stake in Meade Publications and non-veto power and that Daniel does not consult Claire. The two agree. In between the meelee, Marc begins to reminisce about Wilhelmina with Amanda, as they looked at Wilhelmina’s empty office and sees her empty chair, which he used to inject Botox into his former boss. Hours later, a deliveryman arrives to give Marc the Botox chair as a gift. Amanda later reaches Claire to tell her that a plane is ready for her flight to Rapid City, South Dakota to see her son Tyler. In Rapid City, Claire arrives at a bar and sees a bartender, who happens to be Tyler, after she asks him for a beer as a way to get to know more about him. As Tyler talks about his life, Claire listens to him, seeing that he has done well for himself and realizes that he has turned out pretty well. Claire then thanks Tyler for having a great conversation and leaves him a 2,000-dollar tip. As Claire leaves, she informs Amanda and tells her that she doesn’t want Tyler to know anything about her. However, as Tyler went to pick up his tip, he is stunned by the large cash that was left for him and sees an envelope that has Claire’s name and address on it.
As they avoid Amanda, who seem to have jumped on the jumpsuit trend thanks to Wili, Betty and Matt talk about the get-together at the Suarezes, then comment on Betty’s glow as she visualizes a future with Matt as Mrs. Suarez-Hartley. During the entire day, Betty still feels queasy and as she arrives to the bus stop, a waiting passenger notices Betty and gives her a seat because he thought that Betty looked like she was expecting and as the flashbacks come into the picture, her vision of her future changed completely as she sees a mirror image of herself as a pregnant woman. At the drug store, Betty asks for the Be-Shure pregnancy test kit from a pharmacist named Jean, without mentioning the name. Unfortunately, Hilda also shows up asking Jean for the same kit, but the siblings don’t see each other even though the two do see Ignacio shopping and try their best to avoid him like the plague. Back at home Betty and Hilda arrive to help Ignacio, while at the same time they separately head to the bathroom to pee so they can see if they are expecting. During the ensuing chaos, both try to keep each other and Ignacio from finding out as they fight for bathroom time. When Ignacio heads upstairs to ask for a band-aid, the sisters panicked as they were hiding something, and after he left the two separately discover a positive on their sticks thanks to a mix-up with their kits and both believed that they might be pregnant. But just as the two try to keep quiet about their double pregnancy, Ignacio welcomes a surprise guest – his Jewish girlfriend Jean, the pharmacist from the drugstore that gave the women the pregnancy test, but doesn’t recognize either of them. And to make matter worse, Archie and Matt also arrives, as does Bobby, who returns the baby Jesus and admits to Ignacio that he stole it.During the entire evening as Jean talked about her Jewish family members and being welcomed into a Christian family setting, the sisters try to keep their cool about the results and as they went back to the bathroom they saw the two sticks, but one turned up positive and the other negative. Betty believes that Hilda might be the one who is carrying but the two are not so sure and as Matt walks in on the two he sees Betty with the stick and is led to believe that Betty is the one with child. Betty tells Matt that she is not ready but Matt stuns Betty by saying he is ready. That’s when the two decide to retest to be sure, so Matt heads to the store. Later that evening, everyone gathers to see the lighting of the Nativity on the lawn. Ignacio invites everyone, including Bobby, back in the house, and when Jean prepares to light the menorah the chaos continued until a box of Be-Shure fell onto the floor, as does Jean’s menorah. Everyone sees this as Betty picks it up and Matt follows her to the bathroom.
In the bathroom, Betty and Matt wait for a few minutes, then a negative sign appears, as Betty breathes a sigh of relief that she is not the one who is pregnant, even though Matt was somewhat disappointed. Ignacio was also relieved as well regardless of the outcome and they returned downstairs to finish the celebration. Hours later after the celebration finished, a devastated Hilda tells Betty that she is afraid to tell Archie about the pregnancy and that he isn’t the father, now that she knows that Bobby is. Betty thinks its time for Hilda to come clean to Archie, when Archie comes by and see Hilda. However, its Archie who decided that it was better to end the relationship, but because he felt that there was someone out there who deserves Hilda and he wasn’t the one for her. After he leaves, Hilda sees Bobby, who wanted to tell her that he wouldn’t come by the place anymore, but Hilda tells him he can come over anytime. She didn’t tell Bobby about him becoming a father yet. As the evening finished, Ignacio was pleased that Jean liked the get-together and was looking forward to a having an Easter-Passover dinner down the road, while outside Betty and Matt talked about visualizing their future together if they ever decide to ever have a family, then they kiss.
Be-Shure sets up a lot of stories for the remainder of the series, as season 4 became the final season. This Christmas episode had many highlights especially the pregnancy story, keeping the audience guessing just which of the sisters is pregnant.
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CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: LOST – THE CONSTANT

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MAIN CAST

Matthew Fox (Alex Cross)
Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man)
Naveen Andrews (Planet Terror)
Jorge Garcia (Alcatraz)
Elizabeth Mitchell (V)
Henry Ian Cusick (24)
Jeremy Davies (Hannibal)
Rebecca Mader (Iron Man 3)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Anthony Azizi (Eagle Eye)
Alan Dale (Ugly Betty)
Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins)
Jeff Fahey (Planet Terror)
Fisher Stevens (HAckers)
Sonya Walger (Flashforward)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)

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Desmond, Sayid and Lapidus experience turbulence while flying the 130 kilometers (about 80 miles) distance from the island where they were stranded to Lapidus’ team’s freighter, the Kahana. Desmond’s consciousness travels back eight years to 1996, when he is serving with the British Army’s Royal Scots Regiment. Moments later, when his consciousness returns to the present day, he neither knows where he is nor recognizes his companions, and has no memory of his life since 1996. After the helicopter lands, Desmond continues to jump between 1996 and 2004. He is taken to the sick bay, where a man named Minkowski is strapped to a bed because he is experiencing similar problems. Minkowski explains that someone sabotaged the radio room two days earlier and that Desmond’s ex-girlfriend Penny Widmore (Sonya Walger) has been trying to contact the freighter. Sayid uses the satellite phone to contact Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) on the island and explains that Desmond appears to have amnesia. Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies), a physicist from the freighter, asks Jack whether Desmond has recently been exposed to a high level of radiation or electromagnetism. Jack is unsure, and so Daniel speaks to Desmond and asks him about his situation. Desmond responds that he believes that he is in 1996 and is serving with the Royal Scots. Faraday understands and tells Desmond that when he returns to 1996, he needs to go to the physics department of The Queen’s College, Oxford University in England to meet with Daniel’s past self, and gives Desmond some mechanical settings to relay, along with an extra phrase that Daniel assures him will convince Daniel’s past self that the story is legitimate.lost-constantDesmond’s flashbacks become more frequent and longer. In 1996, Desmond tracks down a younger Faraday at Oxford, who takes Desmond into his laboratory where he is experimenting with a time machine. Setting his electromagnetic device with the settings that Desmond has given him, Daniel places his laboratory rat, Eloise, in a maze and exposes her to electromagnetic energy. The rat appears to become comatose, then awakens and runs the maze. Daniel becomes excited because he had just built the maze and had not yet taught Eloise how to run it. Desmond realizes that, like the rat, he is caught in a time warp that is moving his consciousness between two different bodies at two different points in time and space. Eloise dies of a suspected brain aneurysm brought on by the exposure to the time lapse. Desmond becomes worried that he will die like Eloise, and Daniel instructs him to find something or someone—a constant—who is present in both times and can serve as an anchor for Desmond’s mental stability. Desmond decides that Penny can be the constant; however, he must make contact with her in 2004. To find out where she lives, Desmond gets her address from her father Charles (Alan Dale), who is at an auction buying a journal owned by Tovard Hanso written by a crew member of the 19th century ship called the Black Rock. hqdefaultIn 1996, Desmond finds Penny, who is still distraught over their break-up and is not willing to see him. However, he gets her telephone number and tells her not to change it because he will call her on Christmas Eve 2004. In 2004, Sayid, Desmond, and Minkowski escape the sick bay and begin to repair the broken communications equipment. Meanwhile, Minkowski enters into another flashback, and dies. Showing signs of suffering the same fate as Minkowski, Desmond telephones Penny, who tells Desmond that she has been searching for him for the past three years and they reconcile before the power is cut off. Having made contact with his “constant”, Desmond stops alternating between 1996 and 2004. Back on the island, Daniel flips through his journal and discovers a note that he had written, “If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.”676

No other episode since the beginning has touched on this many of the themes of Lost. Rather than the showing the present with the flash-forward/backward tying in symbolically, which is the shows usual template, this episode ties the present to the flash in a very real and deadly way, also revealing a big, nay, gigantic clue as to the island’s origins. Or at least lets us in on a part of the big secret.

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REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD – SEASON 1-3

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MAIN CAST

Peter McCauley (Herecules: TLJ)
Rachel Blakely (Neighbours)
Jennifer O’Dell (Nip/Tuck)
William Snow (Dead End)
David Orth (2012)
Michael Sinelnikoff (300)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lauara Vasquez (The Beast)
Lara Cox (The Marine 2)
Jerome Ehlers (Water Rats)
Robert Coleby (Chopper Squad)
Lani John Tupu (Farscape)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
William DeVry (Earth: Final Conflict)
Wayne Pygram (Farscape)
John Bach (Lord of The Rings)
Grant Bowler (Ugly Betty)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Nicholas Bell (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)
Gigi Edgley (The Circuit)
Jane Badler (V)
Michala Banas (Winners & Losers)
Jeremy Callaghan (Young Hercules)
Alan Dale (Ugly Betty)
Marton Csokas (The Equalizer)
Jessica Napier (McLeod’s Daughter)
Simone Kessell (Terra Nova)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)

A spin off of a 1998 TV-movie, the series follows the adventures of an early 20th century party of explorers, stranded on a mysterious plateau in South America where multi-dimensional ‘rifts’ have allowed animals and cultures from past and future to co-exist. Led by brilliant Professor George Challenger (the wonderful Peter McCauley), a bearded, wild-haired scientist who thrives on facing the unknown, the party consists of handsome big game hunter Lord John Roxton (Australian actor/model Will Snow), mysterious benefactress Marguerite Krux (beautiful Australian actress Rachel Blakely), American journalist Ned Malone (Canadian actor David Orth), and elderly scientist, Professor Arthur Summerlee (Michael Sinelnikoff, whose character would ‘die’ by season’s end). The TV-movie introduced a new character to the mix, blond ‘native girl’, Veronica, whose scientist parents had disappeared eleven years earlier. Portrayed by “Beverly Hills 90210” alumni Jennifer O’Dell, the voluptuous ‘savage’, scantily dressed, raised the level of sex appeal for the program immediately, and quickly became a fan favourite.Working out of Veronica’s huge tree house (, the characters would, each week, encounter everything from dinosaurs, to sophisticated cultures practicing human sacrifice, to demons and wizards, to nearly any kind of bizarre civilization one might imagine. Glimpses of each character’s past allowed the cast to ‘grow’, and become more interesting, each season, and provided enjoyable subplots; Lord Roxton falls in love with the greedy, but lovely Marguerite, but her past includes espionage and other unsavory activities, so she only gradually accepts his advances; Veronica, drawn to Ned, must deal with his moodiness  and his sense of wanderlust. It is a tribute to the writers and talented cast that the subplots never sank into mini-soap operas!Australian tax laws nearly sabotaged the series’ third season; Canadian Orth and American O’Dell were forced to limit their appearances because of their being non-Australians. So Ned Malone was often away on a ‘identity-crisis’-fueled quest, and Veronica, whisked away by a runaway balloon, returned later in the season with a pendant her mother had left for her with a distant tribe, and new responsibilities as ‘Protector’ of the plateau. A new character was introduced, a wise-cracking girl named Finn, from a hundred years in the future, who was transported back to the plateau by a Challenger invention. Portrayed by 24-year old Australian actress Lara Cox, she was a survivor of a radiation-poisoned Earth, and was quickly ‘adopted’ by the scientist, who made it his mission to prevent her future world from happening.

Despite very respectable ratings, “The Lost World” was canceled after the third season (with a cliffhanger ending to end ALL cliffhanger endings!), because of spiraling production costs. The Lost World may never please Doyle ‘purists’, but it was certainly a most enjoyable guilty pleasure.

REVIEW: PRIEST

CAST

Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Cam Gigandet (Easy A)
Maggie Q (Divergent)
Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Stephen Moyer (True Blood)
Christopher Plummer (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Mädchen Amick (Sleepwalkers)

A centuries long war between humans and vampires has devastated the planet’s surface and led to a theocracy under an organization called The Church. They constructed giant walled cities to protect mankind and developed a group of elite warriors, the Priests, to turn the tide against the vampires. The majority of the vampires were killed, while the remainder were placed in reservations. With the war over, the Clergy disbanded the Priests. Outside the walled cities, some humans seek out a living, free from the totalitarian control of the Church.
Priest (Paul Bettany) is approached by Hicks (Cam Gigandet), the sheriff of Augustine, a free town. Priest learns that his brother and his wife, Shannon – Priest’s girlfriend before he entered the priesthood – were mortally wounded in a vampire attack, and Priest’s niece, Lucy (Lily Collins), was kidnapped. Hicks asks for Priest’s help in rescuing Lucy. Priest asks the Clergy to reinstate his authority, but Church leader Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer) does not believe the vampire story and refuses. Priest defiantly leaves the city and Orelas sends three Priests and a Priestess to bring him back.
Priest and Hicks arrive at Nightshade Reservation where humans called Familiars, people infected with a pathogen that makes them subservient to the vampires, live alongside a number of the surviving vampires. After a fierce battle, the pair discovers that most of the vampires have taken shelter in Sola Mira, a vampire hive where Priest lost several of his comrades during a major battle. Priestess joins them at Sola Mira, revealing a bond with Priest. The trio destroys a Hive Guardian vampire, then discover that the vampires have bred a new army and dug a tunnel out of the mountain towards a town called Jericho. The other three Priests have arrived at Jericho just as night falls and an armored train arrives, unleashing hundreds of vampires upon the population. The vampires are led by a powerful and mysterious human wearing a black hat. When the three Priests reject Black Hat’s offer to join him, he kills them all.
The next morning, Priest, Priestess and Hicks arrive in Jericho and discover the town empty and the three dead Priests crucified. Priest and Priestess share an intimate moment where she makes her move, hoping that now that Shannon has died, he would no longer feel bound to her. Priest, who is clearly not over Shannon, gently refuses. Priest realizes that the vampires have been using the trains to travel by day and attack the free towns by night, with the walled cities at the end of the train line. Hicks believes an attack on the cities would be unwise because of the sun, but Priest reveals that factories, producing massive clouds of smoke and ash, have permanently deprived the city of sunlight, so the vampire attack would be a slaughter.
Hicks threatens Priest, claiming he will shoot him unless he promises to let Lucy live whether she’s been infected or not. (Priest had earlier revealed to Hicks, who is in love with Lucy, that if they discovered Lucy had been infected as a Familiar, he’d kill her.) Hicks doesn’t understand why Priest, who is basically a stranger to Lucy, cares so much about her. Priestess reveals that Lucy is actually Priest’s daughter, and that his brother, Owen stepped in as a husband and a father when Priest was taken by The Church.
While Priestess rushes ahead to plant a bomb on the railroad tracks, Priest and Hicks board the train to rescue Lucy. Battling vampires and Familiars, the two are finally overpowered by Black Hat just as they find Lucy. Black Hat is revealed as one of the Priests who was defeated in the final attack on Sola Mira and a close friend of Priest. After being captured, the vampire Queen gave him her blood, turning him into the first Vampire-Human hybrid who can survive the sun. As Priest fights Black Hat, Lucy discovers the truth about her parentage. Priestess battles several Familiars, finally placing the explosives on her motor bike and crashing it into the train engine. The explosion and subsequent derailment kills the vampires and engulfs Black Hat in fire, while Hicks, Priest, Priestess, and Lucy are able to escape.
Priest returns to the city and confronts Monsignor Orelas during Mass, telling him of the burnt train containing the vampires’ bodies, but not the queen’s. He proves this by throwing a vampire head onto the floor and shocking everyone in the room. Orelas still refuses to believe him, declaring that the war is over, while Priest says that is just beginning. Outside the city Priest meets Priestess and she reveals that the other Priests have been notified and will meet them at a rendezvous point. Priest sets off into the sunset.Scott Stewart has produced a brilliant picture with Priest. The CGI vampires are also suitably disgusting and resemble the eyeless denizens of hell seen previously in Constantine. The post-script epilogue suggests there is still a story to be told. Sadly with the film not doing sowell at the box office this is all we will get.

REVIEW: A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN

CAST

Kate Hudson (Gossip)
Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries)
Kathy Bates (The Boss)
Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Romany Malco (No Ordinary Family)
Rosemarie DeWitt (Las La Land)
Whoopi Goldberg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Treat Williams (127 Hours)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Jason Davis (The Accountant)

Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is a quickwitted, carefree ad executive living in New Orleans, who embraces her easy going attitude, shuns any major responsibilities, and gains support and strength from a close circle of friends. She also enjoys casual dating and refuses to fall in love. One day, after an appointment, she is told by Dr. Julian Goldstein (Gael García Bernal) that she has terminal cancer. He is deeply impressed by the way Marley accepts the news with humour and dignity. While under anesthetic, God (Whoopi Goldberg) appears to Marley in heaven and asks her to make three wishes. She chooses to fly, to win a million dollars (not tax free), and a third that is later revealed.

Marley tells her friends the news, including her parents who separated years earlier and don’t speak now. Her mother (Kathy Bates) is persistent and overbearing, and instantly begins to smother Marley by visiting too often and making her meals to keep her strength up. Marley’s father (Treat Williams) is the opposite; distant and reserved, and doesn’t seem bothered with reconnecting with Marley with the time she has left. While driving through town one morning, Marley and her friend Sarah (Lucy Punch) decide to take part in a radio call game where the 97th caller wins a prize. They get through and Marley is told she’s won flying lessons – her first wish granted. Her other friend Renee (Rosemarie DeWitt) is pregnant with her second child.

As the weeks go by, Marley’s health starts to deteriorate and she visits Julian more and more. One night, they see each other at a band night at their local bar and decide to spend the rest of the night by going on a date. They start to develop feelings for one another. Marley tells her boss about the cancer and he asks her about her life insurance plans, since their company has a policy that anybody who has a life-threatening illness can cash out, gaining a million dollars ($500,000 dollars after tax) instantly – her second wish.

After another date, Marley and Julian sleep together and begin a relationship. However, she soon starts to feel dismayed when she comes to the realisation that they won’t have a future together, and flees quickly one morning before he wakes. That afternoon, they argue in the park and Marley breaks it off. She becomes distant from and jealous of her friends who are all going through positive changes. After visiting heaven in her dreams for a second time, God makes her realise that she needs to cherish what she has while she’s still alive and, for the first time, Marley admits to being in love. Later that day, she visits Julian to rekindle their relationship, apologizes to the friends she has pushed away and even makes peace with her father.

At home over the following weeks, Marley is able to do nothing but lie in bed, and starts focusing on all of the things she is going to miss. She writes cards for special occasions she won’t be around for in the future and writes letters to her loved ones, giving them all to her mother for her to give out at the right times.

One morning, Marley and Sarah sit in the park. Marley confesses to Sarah that she is no longer afraid to die, even though Sarah is terrified at the prospect of having to live without her. Marley drifts off and Sarah is unable to wake her. Knowing it’s almost time, Marley is visited by everyone in the hospital who surround her bed and wait with her until the end. The exception is Renee, who is in labor with her son. Julian makes it in the nick of time to say goodbye and, in that final moment, Marley realizes her third wish was to fall in love. The film ends with Marley’s funeral, a colorful celebration of her life with all of her friends and family.A sad tale but a very moving well made and acted.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: NEMESIS

CAST

Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Jonathan Frakes (Roswell)
Brent Spiner (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
LeVar Burton (Roots: The GIft)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Gates McFadden (Crowned and Dangerous)
Marina Sirtis (The Grudge 3)
Tom Hardy (Mad Max:Fury Road)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Shannon Cochrane (The Ring)
Dina Meyer (Birds of Prey)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black)
Wil Wheaton (Powers)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Whoopi Goldberg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

On Romulus members of the Romulan Imperial Senate debate whether to accept the terms of peace and alliance with the Reman rebel leader Shinzon. The Remans are a slave race of the Romulan Empire, used as miners and as cannon fodder. A faction of the military is in support of Shinzon, but the Praetor and senate are set against it. After rejecting the motion, the Praetor and remaining senators are disintegrated by a device left in the room by a military-aligned senator.

Meanwhile, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E prepare to bid farewell to first officer Commander William Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi, who are being married on Betazed. En route, they discover a positronic energy reading on a planet in the Kolaran system near the Romulan Neutral Zone. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Lieutenant Commander Worf, and Lieutenant Commander Data land on Kolarus III and discover the remnants of an android resembling Data. When the android is reassembled it introduces itself as B-4. The crew deduce it to be a less-advanced, earlier version of Data.

Picard is contacted by Vice-Admiral Kathryn Janeway and orders the ship on a diplomatic mission to nearby Romulus. Janeway explains that the Romulan Empire has been taken over in a military coup by Shinzon, who says he wants peace with the Federation and to bring freedom to Remus. On arrival, they learn Shinzon is a clone of Picard, secretly created by Romulans to plant a high-ranking spy into the Federation, but the project was abandoned and Shinzon left on Remus as a child to die as a slave. After many years, Shinzon became a leader of the Remans, and constructed his heavily armed flagship, the Scimitar. Initially, diplomatic efforts go well, but the Enterprise crew discover that the Scimitar is producing low levels of thalaron radiation, which had been used to kill the Imperial Senate and is deadly to nearly all life forms. There are also unexpected attempts to communicate with the Enterprise computers, and Shinzon himself violates Troi’s mind through the telepathy of his Reman viceroy.

Dr. Crusher discovers that Shinzon is aging rapidly because of the process used to clone him, and the only possible means to stop the aging is a transfusion of Picard’s own blood. Shinzon kidnaps Picard from the Enterprise, as well as B-4, having planted the android on the nearby planet to lure Picard to Romulus. However, Data reveals he has swapped places with B-4, rescues Picard, and returns with Picard to the Enterprise. They have now seen enough of the Scimitar to know that Shinzon plans to use the warship to invade the Federation using its thalaron-radiation generator as a weapon, with the eradication of all life on Earth being his first priority.

The Enterprise races back to Federation space but is ambushed by the Scimitar in the Bassen Rift, a region that prevents any subspace communications. Two Romulan Warbirds come to the aid of the Enterprise, as they do not want to be complicit in Shinzon’s genocidal plans, but Shinzon destroys one and disables the other. Recognizing the need to stop the Scimitar at all costs, Picard orders the Enterprise to ram the other ship. The collision leaves both ships heavily damaged and destroys the Scimitar’s primary weapons. To assure their mutual destruction, Shinzon activates the thalaron weapon. Picard boards the Scimitar to face Shinzon alone, and eventually kills him by impaling him on a metal strut. Data jumps the distance between the two ships with a personal transporter to beam Picard back to the Enterprise, and then fires his phaser on the thalaron generator, which destroys the Scimitar, and Data, while saving the Enterprise. The crew mourn Data, and the surviving Romulan commander offers them her gratitude for saving the Empire.

The Enterprise returns to Earth for repairs. Picard bids farewell to newly promoted Captain Riker, who is off to command the USS Titan and begin a possible peace-negotiation mission with the Romulans. Picard meets with B-4, discovering that Data had copied the engrams of his neural net into B-4’s positronic matrix before he “died”. Though B-4 does not yet act as Data, Picard is assured that he will become like his friend in time.A great film seeing the end for one of the crew as the rest embark on their new positions. The action is great and riveting from beginning to end.

REVIEW: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011)

CAST

Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens)
Rooney Mara (The Scoial Network)
Christopher Plummer (Star Trek 6)
Stellan Skarsgård (Thor)
Steven Berkoff (A Clockwork Orange)
Robin Wright (Nine Lives)
Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck)
Goran Višnjić (Elektra)
Geraldine James (Arthur)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
Joel Kinnaman (Robocop 2014)
Élodie Yung (Daredevil)

In Stockholm, Sweden, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), co-owner of Millennium magazine, has lost a libel case brought against him by businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström (Ulf Friberg). Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a brilliant but troubled investigator and hacker, compiles an extensive background check on Blomkvist for business magnate Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), who has a special task for him. In exchange for the promise of damning information about Wennerström, Blomkvist agrees to investigate the disappearance and assumed murder of Henrik’s grandniece, Harriet, 40 years ago. After moving to the Vanger family’s compound, Blomkvist uncovers a notebook containing a list of names and numbers that no one has been able to decipher.

Salander, who is under state legal guardianship due to diagnosed mental incompetency, is appointed a new guardian, lawyer Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen), after her previous guardian Holger Palmgren suffers a stroke. Bjurman abuses his authority to extort sexual favors from Salander and violently rapes her, not realizing she has a hidden video camera on her bag. At their next meeting she stuns him with a stun gun, rapes him with a dildo, and marks him as a rapist with a tattoo on his chest and stomach. Threatening to disclose the video recording, she blackmails him into writing a glowing progress report and granting her full control of her money.

Blomkvist’s daughter Pernilla (Josefin Asplund) visits him and notes that the numbers from the notebook are Bible references. Blomkvist tells Vanger’s lawyer, Dirch Frode (Steven Berkoff), that he needs help with his research, and Frode recommends Salander based on the work she did researching Blomkvist himself. Blomkvist hires Salander to investigate the notebook’s content. She uncovers a connection to a series of murders of young women from 1947 through 1967, with the women either being Jewish or having Biblical names; many of the Vangers are known antisemites. During the investigation, Salander and Blomkvist become lovers. Henrik’s openly national socialist brother Harald identifies Martin (Stellan Skarsgård), Harriet’s brother and operational head of the Vanger empire, and Blomkvist marks Martin as a possible suspect. Salander’s research uncovers evidence that Martin and his deceased father, Gottfried, committed the murders.

Blomkvist breaks into Martin’s house to look for more clues, but Martin catches him and prepares to kill him. While torturing Blomkvist, Martin brags of having killed women for decades but denies killing Harriet. Salander arrives, subdues Martin and saves Blomkvist. While Salander tends to Blomkvist, Martin flees. Salander, on her motorcycle, pursues Martin in his SUV. He loses control of his vehicle on an icy road and dies when it catches fire. Salander nurses Blomkvist back to health and tells him that she tried to kill her father when she was 12. Blomkvist deduces that Harriet is still alive and her cousin Anita (Joely Richardson) likely knows where she is. He and Salander monitor Anita, waiting for her to contact Harriet. When nothing happens, Blomkvist confronts her, deducing that the woman posing as Anita is Harriet herself. She explains that her father and brother had sexually abused her for years, and that Martin saw her kill their father in self-defense. Her cousin Anita smuggled her out of the island and let her live under her identity. Finally free of her brother, she returns to Sweden and tearfully reunites with Henrik.

As promised, Henrik gives Blomkvist the information on Wennerström, but it proves worthless. Salander hacks into Wennerström’s computer and presents Blomkvist with evidence of Wennerström’s crimes. Blomkvist publishes an article that ruins Wennerström, who flees the country. Salander hacks into Wennerström’s bank accounts and, travelling to Switzerland in disguise, transfers two billion euros to various accounts. Wennerström is found murdered. Salander reveals to her former guardian Holger Palmgren that she is in love with Blomkvist. On her way to give Blomkvist a Christmas present, Salander sees him with his longtime lover and business partner Erika Berger (Robin Wright). Heartbroken, she discards the gift and rides away.I recommend it whether or not you have seen the original series. I also recommend you do check out the original series. If they do complete the rest of the trilogy, there will be opportunities in those movies to vastly outshine the originals, certainly if they include more detail from the books as they do here.