REVIEW: BRICK

 

CAST

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Nora Zehtner (Heroes)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Matt O’Leary (Sorority Row)
Noah Fleiss (No Letting Go)
Lukas Haas (Mars Attacks)
Brian White (The Cabin In The Woods)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Noah Segan (Cabin Fever 2)
Richard Roundtree (Shaft)

High school student Brendan Frye lives a lonely existence following his break up with ex-girlfriend Emily Kostich and the betrayal of his friend Jerr to the authorities. Brendan discovers a note leading him to a pay phone, where he receives a phone call from a terrified Emily begging him for help. She mentions a “brick”, “poor Frisco”, “Tug”, and the “Pin”, before abruptly hanging up. Her fear appears to have been caused by a passing black Ford Mustang, from which a distinctive-looking cigarette was thrown. Upon asking for information from his acquaintance named Brain, Brendan’s search for Emily leads him to Kara, another ex-girlfriend – which further leads him to a Halloween party attended by a flirtatious Laura and her boyfriend, Brad Bramish.Laura points Brendan in the direction of a local diner, where he arranges a meeting through Dode, leader of a stoner clique that Emily belongs to. Upon meeting, Emily recants what she had said on the phone and tells Brendan to let her go. Brendan steals her notepad during the encounter and finds a note that leads him directly to her dead body. Emotionally distraught by her death, Brendan takes it upon himself to solve her murder, enlisting the aid of Brain. Brendan hides the body to avoid police intrusion. Brendan discovers that “The Pin” is a local drug baron. After finding out that Brad is a regular customer of Pin’s, Brendan sets about getting his attention by beating up Brad Bramish. Afterwards, Brendan is beaten up by an unknown young man while speaking on the phone with Brain.Brendan visits Vice Principal Trueman to ask the vice principal if he could investigate the events, without mentioning Emily’s death, as a favour for turning in Jerr. While Trueman allows Brendan to continue his investigation, he warns that if Brendan gets caught, Trueman will “throw him under the bus”. Brendan visits Kara, to request more information about the Pin, although she fobs him off. Later while walking, Brendan sees the same black Ford Mustang in a parking lot. Before attempting to break into the car, he is noticed and beaten up by the car’s owner, who is the man who beat him previously. Brendan asks the man several times to meet The Pin. Reluctant at first, going so far as to drive away and then come back again, the young man takes Brendan to The Pin.Brendan meets with The Pin and persuades him to consider Brendan for a spot in his operation. It is also revealed that the unknown man is Tug, The Pin’s main grunt and muscle. The Pin tells Brendan he will either hire him or rub him out by the next day. On the walk back home Laura tells Brendan that The Pin had previously rejected Emily’s attempt to join, so she stole The Pin’s brick. Laura then offers to help Brendan, but he distrusts her. While Brendan awaits a response from The Pin at school, he is slashed by a knife wielding man. After a chase, Brendan incapacitates the assailant and The Pin accepts him. Brendan gets a call from Dode, who says he saw Brendan hide Emily’s body and, believing Brendan is the murderer, vows to ruin him. Brendan meets with The Pin, who suspects an uprising from Tug.Brain reports that “poor Frisco” is Frisco Farr, a student who fell into a coma after injecting poorly-cut heroin. At The Pin’s house, Tug tells Brendan that The Pin received a shipment of ten bricks and sold eight; one was stolen and replaced with another that had been doctored with detergent, causing Frisco’s coma, and the 10th brick remains to be sold. The Pin arrives and tells Tug about hearing from someone who knows what happened to Emily. Brendan, weakened from several recent fistfights, intercepts Dode before the meeting and discovers Emily was pregnant when she died. Dode hints to Tug and The Pin that he has information about who killed Emily, saying it is someone very close, but Tug goes berserk and beats Dode before shooting him in the head. Tug then threatens The Pin, who walks away as Brendan faints from a coughing fit. Brendan awakens in Tug’s bedroom, where Tug says he’s at war with The Pin.Brendan confronts Kara, accusing her of manipulating Dode by telling him Emily was carrying his baby and pushing him to sell his information to The Pin. Brendan arranges a meeting between Tug and The Pin, and waits in Tug’s bed; Laura enters to comfort him as he sobs over Emily, and they have sex. Brendan recognizes her post-sex cigarette as the same distinctive brand that was dropped from Tug’s black Mustang after Emily was frightened during the first phone call. At the meeting, chaos erupts when it is discovered that the tenth brick is now missing. Tug beats The Pin to death while Brendan flees, escaping just as police arrive. As he goes he passes the trunk of Tug’s car, where he has hidden Emily’s body to ensure that police pin her murder on Tug.

The next day, Brendan meets with Laura in the school’s football field. Brendan explains to Laura that he knows she set Emily up to take the fall for Laura’s theft of the ninth brick. She further manipulated Emily into meeting Tug who ultimately killed her, after letting him believe he was responsible for Emily’s pregnancy. It is revealed that Laura later stole the tenth brick as well. Brendan tells Laura he has put this truth in a note to Vice Principal Trueman of the school, who will find the brick in Laura’s locker if, in fact, what he says is true. Laura vindictively tells Brendan that Emily expressed regret that she couldn’t keep her pregnancy because she did not love the prospective father, and that Emily was three months pregnant when she died, implying that the baby was his. Brendan watches Laura walk away.

Brick takes all the elements of a 1940s gumshoe detective tale and fuses them with a modern day California high school drama. Instead of using witless Clueless style chit chat, the kids use bizarre detective slang which comes across a little precocious in my opinion but it’s a bold move that adds a distinct flavor to the film. All the performances are strong, especially Gordon-Levitt and Lukas Haas who plays a 26 year old drugs baron with an orthopaedic shoe and runs his crime empire from his mums house. There are many eccentricities that make Brick an entertaining watch.

 

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REVIEW: REMEMBER ME

CAST

Robert Pattinson (Twilight)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Chris Cooper (The Muppets)
Lena Olin (Alias)
Pierce Brosnan (Mars Attacks)

In 1991 in New York City, Alyssa “Ally” Craig is waiting with her mother for the subway when they are mugged by two young men who shoot her mother after boarding the train.

Ten years later, Ally is a student at New York University and lives with her father, Neil, a New York Police Department detective. Tyler Hawkins audits classes at NYU and works at the university bookstore. He has a strained relationship with his businessman father, Charles, because his older brother, Michael, committed suicide years before. Charles ignores his youngest child, Caroline, of whom Tyler is protective.

One night with his roommate, Aidan, Tyler gets involved in somebody else’s fight and is arrested by Neil. Aiden calls Charles to bail Tyler out, but he does not stick around to have a conversation with his father. Aidan sees Neil dropping Ally off, realizing that she is his daughter. He approaches Tyler with the idea to get back at the detective by persuading him to sleep with and dump Ally. Tyler and Ally go to dinner, kiss at the end of the night, and continue seeing one another. While at Tyler’s apartment, Aidan convinces the pair to go to a party, after which Ally is very drunk and ends up crashing there. The following day she and her father argue. Neil slaps her and Ally flees to Tyler’s apartment.

Caroline, a budding artist, is featured in an art show and Tyler asks his father to attend the show. Tyler confronts him in a board room filled with people, which causes his father to explode. Neil’s partner recognizes Tyler with Ally on a train, so Neil breaks into Tyler’s apartment and confronts him. Tyler provokes Neil by confessing to Aidan’s plan and his initial reason for meeting Ally, which forces Tyler to confess to Ally. She leaves and returns home. Aidan visits Ally at her father’s home to explain that he is to blame and Tyler is in love with her.

Caroline is bullied by a classmates at a birthday party where they cut her hair off. Ally and Aidan visit Tyler’s mother’s apartment where Caroline is sobbing. Tyler accompanies his sister back to school and when her classmates tease her for her new haircut, Tyler turns violent and ends up in jail. Charles is impressed that Tyler stood up for his sister, and they connect. Charles asks Tyler to meet with the lawyers at his office.

Tyler spends the night with Ally and they reveal they love each other after making love. Charles takes Caroline to school. He calls Tyler to let him know this and tell him he’ll be late. Tyler is happy his father is spending time with Caroline. He tells Charles he will wait in his office, He sees on Charles’s computer, a slideshow of pictures of Tyler, Michael and Caroline when they were younger. After Charles drops Caroline off at school, she sits in her classroom, where the teacher writes the date on the blackboard as September 11, 2001. Tyler looks out the window of his father’s office—which is revealed to be located on the uppermost floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Once the 9/11 terrorist attacks begin, the rest of the family, Aidan and Ally look at the towers before the camera pans over the rubble, showing Tyler’s diary. In a voice-over of his diary, Tyler reveals to Michael that he loves him, and he forgives him for killing himself. Tyler is buried next to Michael.

Some time later, Caroline and Charles seem to have a healthy father-daughter relationship. Aidan, who has since gotten a tattoo of Tyler’s name on his arm, is working hard in school and Ally gets on the subway at the same spot where her mother was killed .

The ending is a highly controversial one that will split audiences but which I loved, finding it harrowing, devastating, and extremely haunting. It is an ending that will stay with you long after the film is over and which will make you re-evaluate everything you’ve seen in light of it. Again it is handled in a very touching, human way. A real little gem of a film.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: CARRIE (2002)

CAST

Angela Bettis (May)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and the Real Girl)
Rena Sofer (Traffic)
Kandyse McClure (Sanctuary)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Tobias Mehler (Disturbing Behavior)
Meghan Black (Elf)
Jesse Cadotte (Elektra)
Chelan Simmons (Final Destination 3)
Katherine Isabelle (Hannibal)
David Keith (Daredevil)
Jodelle Ferland (The Cabin In The Woods)
Erin Karpluk (Dark Angel)

Several people are being interviewed in a police station, including a high school student, Sue Snell (Kandyse McClure) and gym teacher Miss Desjarden (Rena Sofer). Detective John Mulcahey (David Keith) is investigating the disappearance of high school student Carrie White (Angela Bettis). These interviews are interspersed with flashbacks to previous events. The film then features a flashback to two weeks before the prom at Ewen High School. Carrie is a shy and withdrawn girl tormented by the popular girls; Christine “Chris” Hargensen (Emilie De Ravin) and Tina Blake (Katharine Isabelle) are especially vicious. After gym class, Carrie has her first period in the shower, and she panics. The other girls swarm the shower and taunt her. Hearing the commotion, Ms. Desjarden comes into the shower, and comforts Carrie as a light bulb shatters above them. Later, Principal Morton (Laurie Murdoch) decides to send Carrie home, but calls Carrie the wrong name. Carrie corrects him repeatedly, finally yelling as his desk suddenly moves several inches. As Carrie gathers her belongings to leave, she is the victim of a practical joke at her locker. On her way home, Carrie is accosted by a boy on a bicycle, whose joke goes wrong when he seemingly flies off his bike and crashes into a tree. When she reaches home, Carrie has a flashback to her own childhood before entering the house. Carrie’s fanatically religious mother, Margaret White (Patricia Clarkson), who considers menstruation a sign of sexual sin, locks Carrie in her “prayer closet” as punishment. The next day, Ms. Desjarden gives the girls a week’s detention for their bullying. If they skip the detention, they face suspension and refusal of their prom tickets. Chris storms out in protest. After Chris’ father John Hargensen, a lawyer, unsuccessfully attempts to get her prom ban rescinded, Chris enlists her boyfriend Billy Nolan to get revenge on Carrie. Meanwhile, Carrie discovers she has telekinesis, the ability to move or control objects with her mind. Carrie has a telekinetic episode in class and, when she goes home, practices her rediscovered talent. Sue, trying to atone for tormenting Carrie, asks her boyfriend, Tommy Ross (Tobias Mehler), to take Carrie to the prom. After some hesitation, Carrie agrees. When Carrie tells her mother about the prom invitation, Margaret forbids her to go; Carrie uses her powers to finally confront her mother, and Margaret seemingly gives in.

As prom night approaches, Chris and Billy prepare their revenge on Carrie when they find out that Carrie is on the Prom Queen ballot. On the day of the prom, Tina switches the ballots, and Carrie and Tommy are declared the Prom King and Queen winners. As Tommy and Carrie take their place onstage, Chris, who has been hiding with Billy in the rafters, pulls a rope to tip a bucket, sending a wave of blood onto Carrie. Chris and Billy run; when Chris releases the rope, the bucket falls on Tommy’s head, killing him. Carrie goes into a shock-induced trance and telekinetic mayhem ensues. She locks everyone inside the gym and sets fire to it. She kills Tina by crushing her, and then electrocutes most of the remaining students, including Roy and Helen, killing everyone except for a few students, including Norma, who escape through a vent with Ms. Desjarden. Carrie then leaves the burning gym, unleashing a wave of destruction in town. Chris and Billy see her walking in the road. Billy tries to run her down but Carrie tosses their truck into a pole, thus killing them.

When Carrie arrives home, she gets into a bathtub, where she finally snaps back to herself but cannot remember what happened. Margaret comes into the bathroom and drowns Carrie in the tub. With her last ounce of strength Carrie stops her mother’s heart. Sue finds Carrie near death and manages to revive Carrie with artificial respiration. At Sue’s suggestion, Carrie fakes her death and Sue sneaks Carrie out of town to Florida. As the two drive off, Carrie has a nightmarish vision of her mother. When Carrie wakes, she looks at Sue and hallucinates Chris lunging at her. Noticing this, Sue asks her if she wants to stop for a moment. Carrie sighs and Sue keeps driving.

Its a little too long in places, and it could have easily been trimmed to the 100 minute mark, but its watchable, and Bettis is wonderful.

REVIEW: ROSWELL – SEASON 1-3

MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon Wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (Traffic)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Nick Wechsler (Revenge)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
John Doe (Torque)
Michael Horse (Skinwalkers)
Wendle Josepher (Twister)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Richard Schiff (The Cape)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Michael O’Neill (Bates Motel)
Robert F. Lyons (The Burning Dead)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Ebonie Smith (Xena)
Steve Hytner (The Prophecy)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Tod Thawley (Buffy)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Eric Jungmann (Sabrina)
Diane Farr (Two and A Half Men)
Ned Romero (Walker, Texas Ranger)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
John Cullum (The Middle)
James O’Shea (Life on Top)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Kevin Cooney (Bring it On Again)
David Conrad (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jim Ortlieb (Contagion)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
Liz Parker, Maria DeLuca, and Alex Whitman are high school students and best friends residing in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famed Roswell incident. Liz Parker’s parents own the Crashdown Café, which serves alien-themed dishes, and while Liz is waitressing there, a disagreement between two customers results in Liz being fatally shot, setting the scene for the entire series. Fellow student Max Evans rushes to her side and heals the wound by placing his hand over it, bringing her back to life. He left a silver hand print on her stomach. This act arouses suspicions which follow the protagonists throughout the series. Max attempts to cover the mysterious act by breaking a ketchup bottle and pouring the ketchup on Liz before fleeing the scene with Michael.
During a biology class experiment the next day, Liz obtains a sample of Max’s saliva without his knowledge and examines it under a microscope. She discovers Max’s cells look nothing like human cells. She confronts Max, who then admits he, his sister Isabel and their friend Michael are aliens whose spaceship crashed at Roswell in 1947. Max, Isabel, and Michael were known to keep to themselves before the incident. Max admits to Liz he saved her life because he has strong feelings for her and the struggling romance between Liz and Max begins in earnest. However, Liz was dating the sheriff’s son Kyle, causing many torn feelings and creative excuses, as well as tension between Max and Kyle. In the first episode Max Evans swears Liz to secrecy, but she tells Maria about Max’s origins anyway. Tension around the secrecy issue becomes a major theme both in the development of the relationships of the protagonists, and also for the action elements of the plot. Eventually Alex is let into the secret, resolving the tension between best friends Liz, Maria, and Alex. This group of six teenagers are involved in a struggle to protect the alien trio from Sheriff Valenti, suspicious of them from the first episode and who alerts the FBI, and from FBI agents investigating the paranormal who secretly attempt to discover evidence of their real identities by fair means or foul.
In contrast to the romance tenderly portrayed between Liz and Max, Michael and Maria engage in a passionate and often explosive relationship – Maria terms Michael “the worst boyfriend ever”. Later in the first season a tentative romance develops between Isabel and Alex.
Toward the end of the season another alien named Nasedo is introduced, who is a shape shifter. Nasedo has a violent, murderous past and nearly causes Max’s demise at the hands of a vengeful alien hunter who lost his wife and unborn child to Nasedo. The gang initially believes Tess Harding, the new kid in town, is Nasedo as she seems to have a strange effect on Max, but it is revealed she is a fourth alien hybrid just like them. However, unlike them, she possesses knowledge of their past lives and the concept of their supposed destiny. At the end of the season, it is revealed that Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess are clones of the Royal Four of Antar, the planet they come from. Max is the king, Isabel his sister, Michael his second in command and Tess is Max’s wife. The four learn they are alien-human hybrids: their alien DNA was mixed with human DNA in order for them to assume human form and survive on earth. Their mission is to one day return to Antar and reclaim the throne from Kivar, Max’s enemy. As a result of this revelation, Liz distances herself from Max, as she believes she can’t get in the way of Max’s destiny.
One of the best TV shows I ever watched. Bought it to relive my childhood memories, and it did not disappoint.
MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (R.S.V.P.)
Brendan Fehr (The Forsaken)
Colin Hanks (Untraceable)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
David Conrad (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jim Ortlieb (Contagion)
Gretchen Egolf (Journeyman)
Jeremy Davidson (Salt)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Sara Downing (Toolbox Murder)
Desmond Askew (Tru Calling)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
John Doe (Torque)
Miko Hughes (Newe Nightmare)
Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko)
Jenny O’Hara (Mystic Pizza)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Diane Farr (Two and a Half Men)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Allison Lange (Single White Female 2)
Erica Gimpel (Freaky Friday)
Heidi Swedberg (Hot Shots)
Dennis Christopher (Fade To Black)
Taran Killam (How I Met Your Mother)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
 
The second part of Max and Liz’s love story involves Liz’s insecurities about getting in the way of the destined love between Max and Tess, even though Max assures her his heart only beats for her. This causes a rift between Tess and the rest of the gang, as she always feels unwanted. Right when Liz finally starts to believe Max will deny his destiny of being with Tess, the “Future Max” appears to Liz claiming they must find a way to get Max to fall out of love with Liz in order to save the future and the lives of everyone they know. This leads to a relationship between Max and Tess. Despite this, Liz maintains hope she and Max will one day be together.
The second season introduces the Skins, another alien race from Antar who have been searching for the alien hybrids since they hatched. Their mission is to locate and turn them over to Kivar, who is now king of Antar. It is revealed Liz’s new boss, Congresswoman Whitaker, is a Skin, and her brother Nicholas is the leader of the Skins. Along with renegade Skin Courtney, a Crashdown Café waitress, who believes Michael, not Max, should have been in charge of Antar, the group travels to the town where Congresswoman Whitaker is from and discovers the entire town is inhabited by Skins and that the Skins are ready for the “Harvest”. Skins unlike “The Royal Four” do not contain a mix of alien and human DNA. In order to survive Earth’s climate they create husks (fake bodies) which last around 50 years. Skins are so called because once their husks start to reach the end of their shelf lives, they shed their skin.
Nasedo, the shape shifter who was protecting the teen aliens as well as acting as a father to Tess, is killed by Congresswoman Whitaker at the beginning of the season. As Tess has nowhere to go, she moves in with Sheriff Valenti and his son Kyle. Shortly after, the “pod squad” destroys the Harvest. It is revealed during the “Harvest” that Isabel was named Vilandra on Antar. Vilandra was in love with Kivar, Max’s enemy and rival, and betrayed her family in favor of Kivar. This haunts Isabel so much it creates a rift between her and Max when they find out another set of clones of the Royal Four were created. The clones, known as the “dupes”, are exact copies of Michael, Max, Isabel and Tess, only they grew up in the sewers of New York City. Their names are Rath (Michael’s clone), Zan (Max’s clone), Lonnie (Isabel’s clone), and Ava (Tess’s clone).
Rath, Lonnie, and Ava come to Roswell after killing Zan to convince Max to return with them and represent the family at a summit meeting of the families of the five warring planets. Max and Tess go with Rath and Lonnie to New York, while Ava stays in Roswell because she is haunted by the death of her beloved Zan. Nicholas returns as a voice for Kivar, and it is revealed the owner of the UFO museum, Brody Davis, was used by an alien many times to communicate on Earth, acting as a puppet, explaining why he believes he was abducted by aliens although he has no memories of the incident. Rath and Lonnie tell Tess and Max if they give Kivar the Granilith (the rock which came with the “pod squad” when they landed on Earth), they can go home to Antar. Max remembers what Liz told him before he left — “the Granilith could be dangerous if in the wrong hands” and turns down Kivar’s deal. Lonnie betrays the others when she meets with Nicholas in secret to discuss her desire to return to Antar, as she remembers more about her past life and wants it back, regardless of whether Kivar gets the Granilith. Nicholas tells her that can be arranged as long as Max is dead. The assassination attempt fails, and Rath and Lonnie “disappear”. Ava, still in Roswell, goes to live a “normal” life and is also not mentioned again; however, she does reveal to Liz that since Max healed her and brought her back she has “changed” and will be different from now on.
For part of the second season, Alex is on a trip to Sweden. However, shortly after coming back and getting Isabel to see him as something more than a friend and start to love him, he dies tragically in a car accident. Liz is devastated when she discovers the police have evidence to rule Alex’s death a suicide. Investigating the wreck, she finds a torn photo of Alex, causing her to suspect that he was murdered. When Liz voices the possibility that an alien killed Alex, she causes tension between the aliens and the humans in the group. Through her investigation, she discovers Alex was never in Sweden, but had actually been living at a Las Cruces college. Liz, Maria, and Michael find out Alex had been working on the translation of the Destiny book. Even though they find the translation, they are unable to discover the identity of Alex’s killer.
As Max is angry towards Liz and her investigations, he grows closer to Tess and they end up sleeping together. Tess discovers that she is pregnant and informs Max that alien pregnancies last about a month. The baby can’t survive on Earth, so the aliens make a collective decision to leave the planet, with the knowledge gleaned from the Destiny translation. Everyone has 24 hours to say their goodbyes. Max and Liz make a last-ditch effort to find Alex’s killer. Isabel dances with Alex’s spirit at his grave. Michael and Maria make love for the first time. Just before the aliens are to leave, Maria and Liz realize that Tess mindwarped Kyle, and Kyle is able to recall Alex’s death. Michael decides at the last minute that he’d rather stay on Earth with Maria and exits the Granilith. Liz rushes in to tell Max that Tess was the one who killed Alex. Tess reveals that she mindwarped Alex to translate the book. Nasedo made a deal with Kivar: Tess can return home safely as long as she’s carrying Max’s child, but she must turn over Max, Isabel, and Michael to Kivar. Max lets Tess go and the gang watches as Tess leaves Earth via the Granilith. Maria realizes Michael stayed for her. Max tells Liz he loves her, and now he must save his son.
This second series of Roswell is the best by far. The characters are more familiar, and the storyline develops nicely, tugging at the heartstrings on many occassions.  There seems to be more of a general storyline in this series, though there are still many smaller subliners. The end episode (“Departure”) is one of my favourites – along with “The End Of The World” and “Cry Your Name”, and I think that all three deserve praise for their sensitivity towards the storylines and just for the great standard of acting not seen so much in the previous series.
MAIN CAST
Shiri Appleby (Swimfan)
Jason Behr (Dragon wars)
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Majandra Delfino (R.S.V.P.)
Brendan Fehr (The Forsaken)
Colin Hanks (Untraceable)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Adam Rodriguez (Ugly Betty)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Jo Anderson (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Michael Chieffo (Wild Things 2)
Yorgo Constantine (Phone Booth)
John Doe (Torque)
Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
Michael Peña (American Hustle)
Earl Poitier (Drumline)
Steven Roy (Shattered)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Stanley Anderson (Spider-Man)
John Billingsley (Enterprise)
Joe Pantoliano (Daredevil)
Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Spence Decker (Looking for Sunday)
Clayne Crawford (A Walk To Remember)
Gavin Fink (Lost at Home)
Colleen Flynn (Nip/Tuck)
Sean O’Bryan (Agent Carter)
Navi Rawat (Thoughtcrimes)
Yvonne Farrow (Alias)
Kristoffer Polaha (Dollhouse)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Morgan Fairchild (Chuck)
Ashley Johnson (Teen Titans)
Jason Peck (In Her Shoes)
Harry Groener (Buffy)
Woody Brown (The Accussed)
Samantha Shelton (Shopgirl)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Emilie de Ravin (Lost)
The third and final season opens with Max’s quest to save his son. He and Liz are arrested in Utah after holding up a convenience store. They both end up getting out of jail, but their actions have serious consequences for the rest of the season. Liz’s father, who disapproves of the relationship throughout the series, threatens to send Liz to a boarding school, in attempt to split the couple up. Max, during the holdup, found an alien ship being stored in the basement, but when he goes back, the ship is gone. While they are in a Utah jail, Michael searches for evidence of a diamond (the key to the space ship) that Max tossed in a field while being chased. A man approaches Michael and warns him and the others to stop their search. This man is mysteriously murdered in L.A. by a fifth alien. Knowing the alien is a shape shifter and in the film industry, Max tries out acting and auditions for a role in Star Trek: Enterprise. The fifth alien is, in fact, a very successful film producer who is also Max’s protector. Max, against the fifth alien’s wishes, forces him to help find the ship, which is at a military base. They attempt to fly it, but the ship is too damaged from the crash in 1947. Max leaves L.A. disappointed, and he feels as though he has let down his son.
Isabel is revealed to be haunted by Alex’s ghost, but it is actually a figure of her subconscious. She begins a relationship with Jesse Ramirez, an attorney several years older than her and who works with Isabel’s father. As the season unfolds, Max and Isabel’s father is diving deeper into the past of his children, due to Max not giving him a satisfactory reason as to what happened in Utah, or why Max was even there in the first place. Midway through the season, Isabel gets married, much to the disappointment of her parents, Max, and Michael. While on her honeymoon with Jesse, Isabel comes in contact with Kivar. He awakens Isabel’s past self, Vilandra, who betrayed Max and Michael in their previous life for her love with Kivar, which is the reason the four of them died in their first life. Kivar tries to compel Isabel (now reawakened as Vilandra) to travel through a portal back to their home world, while Max and Michael attempt to stop them. In the end, Isabel pushes Kivar into the portal.
Michael and Maria are having trouble with their relationship, especially when Maria feels the whole “alien thing” is ruining her life and decides to take a break from the gang so she can try to live out a “normal” life. Michael takes a job as a security guard during the night at a local pharmaceutical factory. But little does Michael know, the owner of the company has been going through the trash to obtain Michael’s DNA. When the owners find out he is an alien, they kill one of Michael’s co-workers “Munk” to see if Michael is “the healer”. But of course Max is the healer, not Michael, so he is powerless to save his dying colleague. Michael and Former Sheriff Valenti find a room with all of Michael’s things and realize what the company has discovered; Valenti, however, is captured. Michael enlists the help of Max and Isabel in order to rescue Valenti. During the escape attempt Valenti is shot near the heart from behind. As Max is saving Valenti’s life he is taken by the millionaire’s desperate wife and goons and coerced into healing the dying millionaire. Max is wary of doing so, as the millionaire has lived out his life and will die of natural causes, but he tries anyway. Max ends up transferring his youth, and the millionaire’s body transforms into Max’s body, killing Max. While Michael and Isabel try to come to grips with Max’s death, a patrol of guards come. Michael and Isabel use their powers to destroy their vehicles, but Isabel is shot.Jesse sees the shooting and panics, insisting that they call an ambulance. Michael is forced to admit to Jesse that he and Isabel are aliens to keep Jesse from calling the authorities. Michael unknowingly inherited Max’s powers after his death, and then he heals Isabel during an emotional moment. The millionaire is at his house in Max’s body when he receives a memory of Liz. He can’t stop thinking about her, due to having Max’s soul inside him, so he decides he must kill Liz in order to get rid of Max. He travels to Vermont with his reluctant wife to find Liz. He murders his wife then sets his sights on Liz. As he is about to kill Liz, they both fall from the ‘Rat’ (Rathskeller) attic window of Liz’s boarding school. Seeing Liz is about to die, Max takes control over the body and uses his powers to save her life while he hits the ground. The millionaire’s soul dies and Max miraculously survives after Liz kisses him. The group heads back to Roswell.
Meanwhile, the FBI has been studying the group for many months and is closing in on them. Liz begins to exhibit alien powers, including premonitions, towards the end of the season, which later causes her to become a target. When Tess returns with Max’s son, Zan, the gang must group together and plan to escape Roswell. Tess’ unexpected arrival causes the FBI to find more evidence of the aliens, including a video revealing Isabel’s powers. Everyone is angry with Tess and at first tries to kill her, but instead end up helping her. Because of Liz’s forgiveness, Tess decides to sacrifice herself by turning herself in and blowing up the military base. The baby is revealed to be fully human, as only Max’s and Tess’ human DNA produced the baby. Max, realizing his son can have a normal life, gives him up for adoption; showing the Evans’ parents driving the child away to New York.
The series closes with Liz getting a premonition of her, Max, Michael and Isabel dying in an FBI setup, so they decide to leave Roswell after their high school graduation. With the realization he will be leaving Roswell, possibly forever, Michael professes his love for Maria and she makes the decision to be with him no matter what. After Liz, Max, Michael, Isabel, Maria and Kyle escape from their high school graduation, where the FBI setup is, they hit the road in a van, where there are several emotional goodbyes, especially between Kyle and his father, Jim Valenti. Isabel decides to leave her husband behind in order to save his life. The final scenes of the show feature Max and Liz getting married and Liz’s father reading her journal, chronicling the last three years. The final scene has Liz peering out of the van in her wedding dress and narrating, “I’m Liz Parker and I’m happy”.
As most of the Roswell die-hard fans will know it’s a great shame that the series was axed after only 3 short years.The acting is flawless, the writing and directing is a work of art.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ROSWELL – A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL

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MAIN CAST

Jason Behr (Dragon Wars)
Shriri Appleby (Swimfan)
Katherine Heigl (Killers)
Majandra Delfino (Traffic)
Brendan Fehr (Bones)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Nick Wechsler (Tru Calling)
Emilie De Ravin (Lost)
William Sadler (Wonderfalls)

 

A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROL

GUEST CAST

Desmond Askew (GO)
Garrett M. Brown (Kick-Ass)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Ghostbusters 2)
Diane Farr (Two and a Half Men)

It is nighttime in a downtown Roswell Christmas tree lot. Max is measuring a tree because he has orders from Isabel (AKA the Christmas Nazi) to pick out the perfect tree. She has supplied him with a diagram and specific parameters of height, circumference, color and density of foliage. Michael is trying to get him to hurry up because he is cold and he wants to get to the hardware store before it closes, to get Maria’s present. Max suggests that, since she expects something significant this year, perhaps he should rethink the hardware store. Their attention is drawn to t! he sound of screeching tires. They look in time to see a father throw his daughter to safety, out of the path of an oncoming car, only to be hit himself. There is a sickening crunch as he hits the windshield, rolls to the ground, and lies very still. A crowd gathers around him; a man calls out for an ambulance; a woman says “He’s still breathing.”; the little girl keeps calling for her father. Max and Michael look on, distressed. Max is torn with indecision, but chooses to walk away when Michael tells him “Let’s go.” Cut to the next morning in the Evans kitchen. Diane’s news paper headline reads “Father of Two Dies Heroically in Tragic Accident”. Diane and Phillip commiserate over the family’s loss.Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLPhillip asks Max ‘Where’s the Christmas Nazi?” and Max replies that she is checking the lights on the house. Isabel comes in from the back door, dragging a small Christmas tree behind her, berating Max with “This is, by far, the most pathetic Christmas tree, I have ever seen. Did you even refer to my diagram?” Max apologizes, saying something came up so he had to run out that morning to get it and the choices were limited. Isabel is disgusted with him and says, had she known he couldn’t handle it, she would have squeezed it in herself, between the Hunger Drive and Christmas dinner at the nursing home. Diane brings up the family of the deceased father and, as Isabel mentions that she and others are considering organizing a vigil, Max notices the father sitting on top of the washing machine in the laundry room. Shocked, he walks over to him. Isabel starts telling Phillip about burned out lights and, turning to Max for his input, notices that he is standing in front of the washing machine. She does not see the father and sarcastically comments “Great, he’s doing laundry now.” Max stares at the father with uncertainty, then whispers “I’m sorry.” The father looks disdainfully at Max and says “How could you let me die?”

At the Crashdown, Michael is trying to convince Maria to give him more time to get her gift, asking what difference it makes if he doesn’t have it until, say the 27th, instead of the 25th. Maria feels it makes a big difference and tells him “You give me that damn present on De! cember 25th or I’ll never speak to you again.” She then takes off to deliver Brody his lunch. Cut to the UFO Center. Brody tells her that he will be away for the next few days so she shouldn’t bother bringing his lunch. He is obviously down spirited but tells her everything’s fine when she asks. She reluctantly leaves, wishing him a Merry Christmas. At the Valenti home, Jim and Kyle are watching a football game on TV. After a disappointing play, Kyle says “His mind and body are in deep conflict. When one’s heart and one’s mind are not in balance, one’s body is the first to fail.” Disconcerted, Jim replies “I’m very concerned that you’re starting to make sense to me.” Tess comes in from outside, complaining about the day she had, amongst crazy Christmas shoppers. She sits on the ottoman, directly in front of the TV. They sway back and forth, trying to watch the game around her, as she tells her tale. Therefore, they are at an angle when a touchdown occurs and t! hey both execute a sideways cheer. They are only half paying attention to Tess as she tries to find out how they celebrate Christmas, without revealing her own interest. She learns that they have a plastic Christmas tree in the garage but they haven’t bothered to bring it in these past few years. Kyle adds “We like it in the garage. I use it to dry my socks.” She brings up Christmas dinner, and they say they have Christmas dinner at the Crashdown; all you can eat for $7.95. Clearly disappointed, Tess bravely smiles and says “Great! You know, I don’t celebrate Christmas anyway.” Jim replies “Great.” then he and Kyle cheer another play, not noticing Tess’ disappointment.
Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLAt a store, Isabel discourages Michael from getting Maria an electric toothbrush for Christmas. She tells him “Think about all that you and Maria have shared, all that she means to you. Then start coming up with some ideas. OK? A Christmas gift should be personal, thoughtful, and something someo! ne would never get herself.” She tells him she has to go, rattling off a list of all the things she still has to do (rehearsal for the holiday pageant, dinner at the nursing home, wrapping presents) and complaining that she now has to add getting a Christmas tree to it. Michael hails the Christmas Nazi, as she leaves and she stops, turns and says “What did you say.” He pretends he said nothing but she knows otherwise. That evening, Maria and her friends are going to the homes of those experiencing misfortune, to sing Christmas carols. Max is watching, as they sing in front of the home of the father that was killed. His widow and two children are somber but appreciate the thought. The father, John, appears before Max and says “What are YOU doing out here?” Max replies “I just wanted to make sure they’re all right.” John responds “They’re not all right.” Max explains “If I had exposed myself last night, there are people I would have put at risk.”Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLJohn counters with “But it was OK for you to heal Liz Parker?” Max asks how he knows about that and he replies that he knows everything in Max’ mind, heart and soul. Max promises to watch out for his children. John asks for how long and Max replies “Until they’re OK.” Angry, John spits out “They’ll never be OK, Max! Don’t you understand that? They lost their father last night!” Max is visibly distressed and has no reply. Cut to the Crashdown, where Max reminds Liz that they had agreed to be friends and tells her “I think I need a friend.” Cut back to Maria and her friends going to the last house on the list – a 5 year old girl with cancer. The little girl comes out when she hears the singing and calls to her daddy to come out too. Maria is shocked when she sees Brody appear behind the little girl. He too is surprised to see her. Cut back to Max and Liz on her balcony. Max is telling her about seeing John get hit by the car, and that he could have healed him but didn’t. She tells! him he can’t hold himself responsible for that man’s life, that if he had healed him he would have risked exposing Michael, Isabel and Tess. John appears on the balcony and says “Well that was the sugar coated version, Max. Now tell her what you were really thinking.” Max cringes then, with a strained voice, says “I wasn’t thinking about Michael, Isabel and Tess. I was thinking about myself, in the White Room, and being tortured. I didn’t heal that man, because I was protecting myself. Why couldn’t I trade my life for his?” Liz tries to console him, but he is distracted by John, who is singing “Amazing Grace”, while he walks along the top of the balcony railing. Liz does not see John and is confused by his behavior. Scared, he tells her that John is haunting him – that he actually sees him. As he says “I have to do something.”, John falls backward off the railing. Max runs to him, reaching out to catch him, but nothing is there. John appears back on the balcony, s! aying “You need to restore the balance, Max.” Max says to Liz “I need to restore the balance.”
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The next day, Maria meets Brody outside his home. She learns that Brody’s daughter, Sydney, has inoperable bone marrow cancer. He tells her she’s with him for a few days, for Christmas. He apologizes for not mentioning her before but explains it’s hard to talk about. She tells him “If there’s anything I can do, anything at all…” He tells her she did enough just coming by the night before and compliments her singing voice. Sydney comes out, dressed as a princess, to tell Brody she’s having trouble with her crown. He explains that she is participating in the holiday pageant that day. Maria introduces herself to Sydney. She is quite taken with her and watches admiringly, as Brody helps Sydney with her crown. At his apartment, Michael explains to Isabel how a dirty, old, car bumper, he got for Maria’s Jetta, meets all her criteria: He personally knows how upset she is about how much they screwed up her car, it was Thoughtful of him to go to the junkyard to get it, and, it’s something she’d never get herself. Isabel sighs, then says she’s going to adjust her schedule to take him shopping and rectify this situation. Perturbed, Michael replies that he is not going to obsess over this present and make everyone else around him miserable.

Miffed, Isabel replies “What are you saying? That I get obsessed and make everyone around me miserable?” Michael replies “I didn’t say that.” Ranting, and pacing the room, Isabel says “You know, is it too much to ask, that ONE day a year, I can be like a NORMAL human being, with a normal life, and have a Merry Christmas ?” Michael replies under his breath “No, Mein Fuhrer.” Isabel whirls around saying “WHAT?” Michael pretends he said nothing but cringes waiting for the ax to fall. Isabel smiles knowingly, then as she prepares to leave, asks if she can leave some of her presents there, while she continues shopping. He says sure and breathes a sigh of relief when she leaves.At the grocery store, Jim tells Kyle to “go long” and tosses frozen dinner boxes to him, backing up into Amy’s cart in the process. They are VERY pleased to see each other. She not ices Tess and says “Oh my God, this must be the famous Tess; my daughter Maria has told me so much about you!” Smiling, Tess replies “I deny everything!” Amy praises Jim for living the Christmas spirit, by opening up his home to Tess. She tells him “This must be a very special year for all of you. You have a new member of your family!” It’s obvious that Jim hadn’t thought of it that way before, but he readily agrees with Amy. As Amy collects her turkey, she says “Remember Jim, if you ever want to stop by, there’ll always be a DeLuca Christmas pie waiting.” Jim replies “Thanks, Amy.” Tess has been observing their flirting with interest. At the park, Maria is telling Liz about Brody and Sydney. She’s been crying all day and tells Liz that she wants to BE with them, because Brody is such a good man, and Sydney needs a mother: Liz realizes that Maria is talking about marriage and reins her in by reminding her that she’s only 17 and that she can’t just step in and be! come someone’s mother. Maria realizes she’s acting crazy and Liz tells her she just cares too much but she should leave them alone and let Brody and Sydney have this time together. Maria replies “It’s so wrong. It’s Christmas. Christmas is supposed to have happy endings and miracles. Liz notices Max and gets an idea. Then hugs Maria to comfort her. Cut to Isabel, who is addressing an audience, welcoming them to Roswell’s 23rd Annual Holiday Pageant. She points out that they may know her as the Director of the Pageant, or as the President of the Hunger Drive or even as the Christmas Nazi. She looks pointedly at her parents, Max and Michael as she says the last. She then introduces the children, who all come out in various holiday costumes. Brody applauds enthusiastically as Sydney comes out. Liz runs up to Max and whispers in his ear. He looks up at Sydney on stage, then glances at Brody, then back at Sydney. John comes up behind Max and Liz and says “Looks like we have a plan.”

At Michael’s apartment, Max is telling Michael, Isabel and Tess about Sydney. Michael, repairing the bumper for Maria’s Jetta, angrily bangs on it as he reminds Max that healing Sydney will leave a silver hand print, which will act as a calling card to the FBI. Max disagrees, saying Nasedo destroyed all records so no one will make a connection. He realizes that he’s asking a big favor, that there are a million reasons not to do this, and only one reason to do it – he needs to. Isabel and Tess say they are behind him. Michael accepts that he is the “odd man out” and adds “We are here for a reason, Max. So, call me a selfish jerk, but I don’t think we should risk everything just so you can feel a little bit better about yourself for Christmas. It’s three against one, I’m voted down anyways.” Max tries to placate him but Michael interrupts with “You made your decision before you walked through that door. I know you did, I could hear it in your voice.  So, why don’t you just go do what you’re gonna do, and make sure you don’t screw up. That evening, at the Valenti home, Kyle and Jim are watching TV as Tess makes final preparations for their dinner. The home is very festive with all the Christmas decorations she has put up. She asks Kyle to get two more chairs for the dining room and is shocked to learn that there are no others. Jim tells her they usually eat in front of the TV so they had no need for more chairs. Upset, Tess responds “I have been cooking for 20 hours, while you two have been sitting back on the couch like two beached whales, not even noticing or caring that I am living here. Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLOK, I am here! HELLO! Hello? So, since I’m LIVING here, I should have a DAMN chair to SIT in!” Jim and Kyle are shocked and chagrined by her outburst. Jim quietly says to Kyle “We could bring my desk chair over.” Kyle quietly responds “Good idea.” Tess asks where Amy will sit. This is the first Jim and Kyle are hearing ! that Tess invited Amy to dinner. Looking frightened, Jim asks when she’s coming. The doorbell rings and he goes into panic mode as he tries to sweep away the mess he and Kyle have made in the living room, and straighten up his own appearance, all the while yelling at Tess for inviting someone over without telling him first. He takes a deep breath, opens the door and greets Amy with a big smile. She’s all smiles too, thanks him for the note, inviting her over, says “I miss you too.” and steps into the house. Meanwhile, Max enters Brody’s home and sees John sitting in a living room chair. He tells Max he’s too late, Sydney was rushed to the hospital, and adds “Boy, do you have a dilemma.” Cut to Max knocking on Michael’s door. He tells Michael he’s going to the Phoenix hospital. He realizes it’s a little more dangerous and thought he should know. Related imageMichael responds “I’m going with you. I just want to keep you from getting us all killed.” Cut back to the Valenti hom! e. The four of them are all laughing and enjoying the evening immensely. Amy and Jim start reminiscing about their past, as Tess is bringing in the food from the kitchen. Kyle is especially pleased that Tess has prepared his favorite dish – 3 cheese potato gratin, with bacon on the bottom. He follows her into the kitchen and asks if she needs help carving the turkey. She smiles, says “I got it.”, and waves her hand over the turkey, creating perfect slices. He thanks her for putting the whole thing together, saying “This is the best Christmas dinner we’ve had in a long time. I mean two guys living alone, we just never really had the Christmas spirit.” They both notice how much Jim is enjoying Amy’s company and Tess says “Well, it looks like he’s got the spirit now!” Kyle smiles and says “That’s a really great gift that you gave him. To both of us, I mean.” Tess replies “This is a great gift to me too.” and proceeds to carry the turkey into the dining room, where it is! well received. Kyle watches her and smiles appreciatively.
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At the hospital, as they are approaching the door to the children’s ward, Michael arranges a signal with Max – “three knocks means we’re screwed.” Max goes into the room and kneels by Sydney’s bed. She awakens and asks “Who are you?” He gently tells her it’s OK, he’s just a dream and she should go back to sleep. She closes her eyes and he passes his hands over her body. Then he places his hand on her stomach. He breathes in sharply from the strain of the healing. We see flashes of her past – Brody holding her as a baby, running happily about her home as a toddler, etc. Weakened, Max stands up, then pauses when he sees the little boy in the next bed. John appears beside him and smiles, knowingly. Cut to the other side of the door, where Michael is standing guard and a nurse is becoming suspicious. Michael knocks three times. Max hears, but goes to the little boy anyway. The nurse approaches Michael a! nd says “Excuse me, I’m supposed to check this ward.” Michael responds “I’ll save you the trouble. Someone just checked it.” Cut back to the ward. Max is healing each child in the ward. One child awakens and asks “Are you an angel?” Max is getting weaker and weaker, his vision is impaired and he is stumbling from one bed to another. Cut to outside the door. The nurse has notified security and they are approaching. Michael goes into the room and locks the door behind him. He discovers that Max has collapsed and runs to him. Security is trying to break down the door. Michael looks to the heavens and says “If there’s a God, please help us now.” Cut to security and the nurse bursting through the door to discover the children all awake and playing on their beds. The window is open. Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLThe next day, in the Evans kitchen, they are all watching a news broadcast as one of the mother’s of the healed children is interviewed. She tells everyone that her son was cured of his cancer. Max is very pensive. Diane calls it a “miracle” and Phillip reminds her that all the children were undergoing experimental treatment. Diane thinks the imprint of the hand on the children should be enough to convince anyone that God was involved, eve n Max, who she hopes will join them for the midnight service. At Michael’s apartment, he is polishing the bumper (which now looks new), when Maria comes in. He quickly covers it. She tells him she heard about what he did for Sydney and the other children. He tells her it was Max, not him. She says “This whole thing with Sydney has made me realize how stupid I’ve been about this gift thing. I don’t need a gift.” He tells her he already got her one and she gets as excited as a child. She notices the smell from the polishing solvent and pulls off the cover. He tells her it’s not dry yet. She asks if it’s a Jetta bumper and he says “Not yet, but it’s gonna be.” She looks at him sweetly and says “Michael, that is so thoughtful!” He is pleased that she appreciates his effort, kisses her on the cheek and says “Merry Christmas.” She says “Thank you, Michael. Thank you.” Then she playfully swats him on the arm and says “So, do you want to exchange gifts now?” She po! ints to the wrapped presents Isabel left behind and asks if one is for her. Michael now realizes she expects more than the bumper as a gift, so he lies and says “Yes. I’ll go and get it.” He walks over to the gifts, not knowing how he is going to get out of this. He tells her not to look, as he picks through the boxes. He notices a note from Isabel attached to one that reads “Michael, just in case, Love, The Christmas Nazi.” Michael smiles, removes the note and sees a tag that says “To Maria Merry Christmas Love From Michael”. He hands her the gift and all excited she says “What is it? What is it?” Sitting in a chair, under his breath he replies “That’s a good question.” Not sure what’s inside will please her, he reminds her that he was in Phoenix saving lives, so he was strapped for time and then silently prays to God. She is astonished to find real pearl earrings. He is too. Sitting in his lap, she says “Oh my God, this must have cost you a fortune!” He replies! “I’m sure they will.” She tells him “These are the most beautiful earrings I’ve ever seen. But I don’t need this gift. This year, my gift is you.” and kisses him. Hopeful, he replies “So you don’t want the earrings then?” Dashing his hopes she replies “Oh no, I’ll keep the earrings.” and hugs him. He breathes a sigh of relief and shakes his head.

 

That evening, Max taps on Liz’ bedroom window. He thanks her for telling him about Sydney. She asks if he’s still haunted and he replies “I don’t think so.” She asks why he healed all the children. He replies “How could I not? How could I not use my gift?” She gently responds “As beautiful as that is Max, you can’t keep doing it. I know it seems like there’s no reason for those kids to have cancer, or for a father to get killed saving his child, or for any of it, but maybe there is. Maybe there is someone, or something out there that’s planning all of this. And maybe you have to respect it. You’re not God, Max. ! You’re the one who told me that. Will you come to midnight service?” He replies “I’d like to, but I don’t believe in God.” Her disappointment shows. He wishes her a Merry Christmas as he leaves. She shuts the window and resignedly says “Merry Christmas, Max.” Cut to Max and John walking outside John’s home. John assures Max that his family will be OK, because his wife is pretty remarkable. Max vows to be there for them if they ever need him. He tells Max he should go be with his loved ones now. He walks through the closed door of his home, then disappears. Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLCut to Max at home alone, using his powers to fix a burned out Christmas light. Michael comes in. Max is surprised he is going to the midnight service saying “You don’t believe in anything.” Michael says he’s hedging his bets, since his prayers were answered twice in the past two days. He asks Max about his powers. Max replies that they are starting to return. Michael tells him he’s pissed that he didn’t hav! e the ability to help the kids in the hospital that Max couldn’t get to. He brings him to Brody’s house so Max can see Sydney and Brody snuggled together by the Christmas tree in their living room. Cut to the midnight service, being held outside; the choir is singing Christmas carols. Jim, Tess and Kyle are sitting together holding candles. Amy, Maria and Michael are in the row behind them. Jim and Amy smile at one another. Maria is wearing her new earrings and Isabel, a couple of rows ahead, notices and motions to Michael that he “owes” her. Diane and Phillip smile when they see Max approach. He kisses Diane then moves further down the row to sit next to Liz. She smiles at him and teasingly says “I thought you didn’t believe in God?” He takes her hand in his and replies “I believe in you.” It gently begins to snow.Image result for roswell A ROSWELL CHRISTMAS CAROLOne of the most memorable episodes of the entire series and such a heart warming story for the holidays.

REVIEW: PUBLIC ENEMIES

CAST
Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Johnny Depp (Dark Shadows)
Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Christian Solte (Road To Perdition)
Stephen Dorff (Blade)
Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe)
Carey Mulligan (Wall Street 2)
Emilie De Ravin (Roswell)Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog)
Lili Taylor (The Conjuring)
Leelee Sobieski (Roadkill)
After killing Charles Floyd (Channing Tatum), FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) is promoted by J. Edgar Hoover (Crudup) to lead the hunt for bank robber John Dillinger (Depp). Purvis shares Hoover’s belief in using scientific methods to battle crime, ranging from cataloging fingerprints to tapping telephone lines.
In between a series of bank robberies, Dillinger meets Billie Frechette (Cotillard) at a restaurant and woos her by buying her a fur coat. Frechette falls for Dillinger even after he reveals his identity, and the two become inseparable.
Purvis leads a failed ambush at a hotel where he believes Dillinger is staying, and an agent is killed by Baby Face Nelson (Graham), who escapes with Tommy Caroll (Garrett). Purvis requests that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive, including Texan Charles Winstead (Lang).
Police arrest Dillinger and his gang in Tucson, Arizona, after a fire breaks out at the Hotel Congress, where they are staying. Dillinger is extradited to Indiana, where Sheriff Lillian Holley (Taylor) has him locked up in the Lake County Jail in Crown Point. Dillinger and other inmates use a fake gun to escape. Dillinger is unable to see Frechette, who is under tight surveillance. Dillinger learns that Frank Nitti’s (Camp) associates are unwilling to help because his crimes are motivating the FBI to prosecute interstate crime, which imperils Nitti’s bookmaking racket, thus severing his connections with the Mafia.
Carroll goads Dillinger into robbing a bank in Sioux Falls with Baby Face Nelson. During their escape, both Dillinger and Carroll are shot, and they have to leave Carroll behind. The group retreats to the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin and realize their haul is significantly less than Nelson said it would be. Dillinger hopes he can free the rest of his gang from prison, including Pierpont (Wenham) and Makley (Stolte), but Red Hamilton (Clarke) convinces him this is unlikely.
Purvis and his men apprehend Carroll and torture him to learn the gang’s location. Purvis organizes an ambush at Little Bohemia. Dillinger and Hamilton escape separately from the rest of the gang. Agents Winstead and Hurt (Frye) pursue Dillinger and Hamilton through the woods, engaging in a gunfight in which Hamilton is fatally wounded. Trying to escape, Nelson, Shouse, and Van Meter hijack a Bureau car, killing Purvis’ partner Carter Baum (Cochrane) in the process. After a car chase, Purvis and his men kill Nelson and the rest of the gang. Hamilton dies that night. Dillinger meets Frechette, telling her he plans to commit one more robbery that will pay enough for them to escape together. When Dillinger drops her off at a tavern he thinks is safe, she is arrested. Frechette is beaten during interrogation to learn Dillinger’s whereabouts, which she does not reveal; Purvis and Winstead eventually arrive and intervene. Dillinger agrees to participate in a train robbery with Alvin Karpis (Ribisi) and the Barker Gang, intending to flee the country the next day. He receives a note from Billie through her lawyer, Louis Piquett (Gerety), telling him not to try to break her out of jail.
Through Zarkovich, Purvis enlists the help of madam and Dillinger acquaintance Anna Sage (Katić), threatening her with deportation if she does not cooperate. She agrees to set up Dillinger, who she believes will come to hide out with her. Dillinger and Sage see Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theater. After the film, Purvis signals other agents upon seeing them leave. Dillinger spots the police but is shot before he can draw his gun. Winstead listens to Dillinger’s last words. Purvis goes to inform Hoover of Dillinger’s death. Winstead tells Frechette, still incarcerated, that he thinks Dillinger’s dying words were, “Tell Billie for me, ‘Bye bye Blackbird'”. Billie sheds a tear – ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ was the song the houseband was playing when Billie and Dillinger first met each other and danced together in a dinner-club. The closing text reveals that Melvin Purvis quit the FBI in 1935 and died by his own hand in 1960, and that Billie lived out the rest of her life in Wisconsin following her release in 1936.
 Depp at his best. Not too be underrated,  A really enjoyable film.

REVIEW: LOST – SEASON 1-6

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MAIN CAST

Matthew Fox (Alex Cross)
Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man)
Naveen Andrews (Planet Terror)
Jorge Garcia (Alcatraz)
Emilie de Ravin (Roswell)
Maggie Grace (The Fog)
Josh Holloway (Colony)
Yunjin Kim (Shiri)
Daniel Dae Kim (Insurgent)
Dominic Monaghan (Flashforward)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Malcolm David Kelley (Saving Grace)
Ian Sommerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Terry O’Quinn (Alias)
Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and The Furious)
Cynthia Watros (Finding Carter)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad)
Elizabeth Mitchell (V)
Henry Ian Cusick (24)
Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld)
Kiele Sanchez (30 Days of Night: Dark Days)
Jeremy Davies (Hannibal)
Michael Emerson (Saw)
Rebecca Mader (Iron Man 3)
Ken Leung (X-Men: The Last Stand)
Jeff Fahey (The Lawnmower Man)
Nestor Carbonell (Bates Motel)
Zuleikha Robinson (Homeland)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Fredric Lehne (Zero Dark Thirty)
L. Scott Caldwell (The Net)
Kimberley Joseph (Xena)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
Billy Ray Gallion (Castle)
John Terry (Zodiac)
Veronica Hamel (The Last Leprchaun)
Neil Hopkins (The Net 2.0)
Michael Deluise (Wayne’s World)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
William Mapother (Powers)
Mira Furlan (Babylon 5)
Andrea Gabriel (2 Broke Girls)
Nick Jameson (24)
Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers)
Charles Mesure (V)
Tamara Taylor (Bones)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kevin Tighe (K-9)
Zack Ward  (Postal)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Anson Mount (CDollhouse)
Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13)
Katey Sagal (8 Simple Rules)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
Marguerite Moreau (Easy)
DJ Qualls (Road Trip)
Brett Cullen (Injustice)
Rachel Ticotin (Total Recall)
Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead)
Lindsey Ginter (Hercules: TLJ)
Francois Chau (Stargate SG.1)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Blood Diamond)
M.C. Gainey (Django Unchained)
Kim Dickens (Hallow Man)
Kevin Dunn (Samantha Who?)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Evan Handler (Californication)
Gabrielle Fitzpatrick (MMPR: The Movie)
Michael Bowen (KIller x)
April Grace (A.I)
Alan Dale (Ugly Betty)
Paula Malcolmson (Caprica)
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Fionnula Flanagan (The Others)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Sung Hi Lee (Nurse Betty)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Patrick J. Adams (Legends of Tomorrow)
Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars)
Sonya Walger (Flashforward)
Marsha Thomason (White Collar)
Carrie Preston (True Blood)
Tracy Middendorf(Scream: The Series)
Lance Reddick (Fringe)
Fisher Stevens (Hackers)
Thekla Reuten (Highlander 5)
Anthony Azizi (Eagle Eye)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
Andrea Roth (Ringer)
Grant Bowler (Ugly Betty)
George Cheung (Dark Angel)
Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins)
Faran Tahir (Supergirl)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)
Raymond J. Barry (Cold Case)
Said Taghmaoui (American Hustle)
Reiko Aylesworth (24)
Eric Lange (Cult)
Alice Evans (The Originals)
Mark Pellegrino (Chuck)
Titus Welliver (Agents of SHIELD)
Brad William Henke (Fury)
Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
David H. Lawrence XVII (Heroes)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
William Atherton (Ghostbusters)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Halloween: H20)

Lost Season 1 succeeds first and foremost in character development. Lost is about relationships and before we can understand the dynamic behind the various relationships that develop over the course of a season, we need to understand what motivates these characters. This shows approach of having an individual episode focus on a single character through flashback, while formulaic, is a brilliant decision.

Episodes like “The Moth” (Charlie), “Confidence Man” (Sawyer) and “Walkabout” give us a wealth of information about the people we are being introduced to. These episodes and others are entertaining, exciting and contain pivotal character moments that are still important to the story even in season four and undoubtedly beyond. As I’ve said, this is the foundation for the whole universe that we are being presented and the team behind Lost nailed it right from the “Pilot”.

With character being such an important focus of the first season, the major story and mysteries surrounding the island are deliberately underdeveloped. After the survivors’ first night and their encounter with the monster we know this island is anything but normal, but we are only given glimpses from that point on. Over the course of the season we discover that there are other people on the island but beyond that we really don’t learn anything. The truth is that if the writers had tried to develop the story at the same pace as the characters it would have all been too much, too soon and the whole world they are trying to build would have come tumbling down like a deck of cards. Saying that the story is underdeveloped may sound like a complaint but I feel that it was the best decision. We are given a thin vertical slice of what is to come in later seasons and that is all we really need.

Of course, there are a plethora of individual character stories that thrive over the course of the season. Jin and Sun’s tumultuous relationship and betrayal, Charlie’s battle with drug addiction, Claire copping with being a parent and the love triangle between Kate, Jack and Sawyer are just a small few of the intriguing storylines that take place. All of these work to strengthen our understanding of the survivors and

Definitely of note is the story of John Locke and his relationship with the island. It’s a fascinating story to watch unfold over the course of the season and Locke’s journey is very different from the rest of the survivors. He starts perceiving the island as a living entity and develops an understanding of it that everyone else fails to understand and they fear him for it. I wouldn’t call him the villain of the show — for the first season I would say “the unknown” is the nemesis — but Locke definitely has his own agenda. Terry O’Quinn does an exceptional job of portraying Locke’s development over the course of the season. He brilliantly presents a troubled and destroyed man who has experienced a profound miracle and is now trying to make sense of what has happened to him.

As long time fans have come to expect, Michael Giacchino’s score adds an extra amount of depth to the season. He stands out as one of the premiere composers on television and Lost would simply not be the same without him. Most of Lost’s twists and turns may not have the same impact the second time around but that doesn’t mean that their importance isn’t appreciated. This show’s opening season set the foundation for things to come over the course of the series.

Attempting to build on the strength of Season One, Lost Season Two introduces several new characters and a new mysterious group to keep viewers enthralled. The introduction of the tail section characters does serve a purpose early in the season as it reinforces the Others as formidable villains. While the survivors on the beach have had it relatively easy, the tailies experience 48 days of hell in which their numbers shrink to a handful. Beyond that, Libby slides into a cute love story with Hurley while Ana Lucia stands around and takes up space until she is shot to death by Michael. Neither contributes a substantial amount to the season or the series besides being canon fodder for Michael.

As for Mr. Eko, he does have a couple of good flashback episodes but it also feels like the writers are never quite sure what to do with him. At some points he’s a passive observer to events unfolding and the later he actively gets involved in the pressing of the button. Those last few episodes in which he finds himself destined to push the button almost seem as if the were a scramble to give the character something substantial to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Eko but I feel as if his character was completely mismanaged from the outside.

Only Bernard, who really doesn’t do much himself, feels like a relevant addition from the tail section as he ties up the loose end regarding Rose’s husband. Their reunion alone makes his introduction worth the effort. The best new addition to the Lost cast is the person we see the least throughout the season – Desmond David Hume. His appearance in the first couple of episodes of the season were used solely to introduce the concept of the button but his flashback and story in the two hour finale presented an intriguing new character. He’s a hopeless romantic on a quest to regain his honor and reunite with his true love. Desmond’s story is leaps and bounds more exciting than the rest of the new cast.

Locke’s journey this season doesn’t really start to get interesting until the introduction of Henry Gale. For the first half of the season we get to see Locke at his most confident. He’s finally opened his hatch and discovered a bevy of new treasures inside to support his claims that the island and his connection to it are part of some much larger destiny. However, Gale’s arrival brings with it seeds of doubt as John’s world begins to fall apart. This culminates in the discovery of the Pearl Station and Locke’s complete loss of faith in the button and the island. It’s a good journey that has a great conclusion in the finale.

I really enjoyed Sawyer’s return to form midway through this season. Sure it didn’t make much sense for Sawyer to turn the entire camp against him in “The Long Con” but it was one of my favorite story lines of the season. His return to a nastier, less fan-friendly Sawyer was short lived however as he fairly quickly crept back into the good graces of the rest of the group.

Michael’s battle to get Walt back from the Others had him depart midway through the season but his return in the final few episodes of the season were thoroughly entertaining. His murder of Ana Lucia and Libby gave way to an interesting game of deception as Michael is forced to convince the survivors that Henry was behind their deaths. His absolutely disgust in himself for taking a life mixed with the continued desperation he has to reunite with his son makes for some of the best character moments of the entire season. Harold Parrineau does a fantastic job of portraying Michael’s spastic range of emotions in those final few episodes.

The real gem of this season and my favorite story arc is the introduction of Michael Emerson as Henry Gale. He spends most of his time confined in the Swan Station but that doesn’t stop him from being a formidable foe for the survivors of Flight 815. With the survivors fractured and keeping secrets from one another, Henry frequently manages to turn one survivor against the other. He’s favorite prey is John Locke who we already know is quite susceptible to snide comments and underhanded suggestions. Henry turns Locke inside out and uses him against Jack causing the group of survivors to lose focus. Its brilliant to watch unfold and Emerson brings a lot of weight to the role.

This season is easily broken down into two separate parts; the first six episodes that aired before an eight week hiatus and then the rest of the season. Even though the first six are considered part of the third season, they feel much more like a prologue. Very little time is spent with the survivors on the beach and the main focus of the story is Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer’s (Josh Holloway) imprisonment by the Others. T

The second half of the season also featured some of the show’s best episodes to date. Including the brilliantly told “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, which is an interesting twist on Lost’s  flashback scenario. Other episodes like “The Man from Tallahassee” and “The Brig” answered long asked questions while “The Man Behind the Curtain” and “One of Us” gave us a much needed back-story on both Ben (Michael Emerson) and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell).

Really, the only weak point of the final sixteen-episode run would be “Stranger in a Strange Land”, an episode that primarily focused on the origins and meaning of Jack’s tattoo. We still don’t really understand the significance and we’re not too sure if the writers do either as they never bring up the subject again for the rest of the season. Even “Expos¿”, an episode that featured fan-hated Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro), told an interesting “Twilight Zone” style story and we couldn’t be happier with the conclusion.

If you were to suggest that the theme for season one was man vs. the unknown and that season two’s was man vs. machine  it would be fair to suggest that the theme for season three is man vs. man, as the main crux of the season deals with the survivors of Flight 815 dealing with the Others. There is a constant power struggle between the two groups and the narrative frequently shifts back and forth from the Others camp to the survivor’s beach. Intertwined throughout, are personal struggles for several of the characters in both camps and we realize as the story pushes forward that even though they are enemies, their survival appears to be dependant on each other.

At the core of this struggle is Benjamin Linus, and it would be a sin not to mention Michael Emerson’s fantastic performance as the enigmatic leader of the Others. He never once falters in portraying a creepy and unnerving nemesis for the survivors of Flight 815 and in particular, John Locke. Terry O’Quinn puts in an equally inspired performance and every time these two appeared on screen together, you knew something special was about to happen. Everything culminates in what can be described as one of the best season finales in recent memory. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof deliver a brilliantly told story that is full of emotion, suspense and action.

After a stunning conclusion to the show’s third season, the bar was raised and much was expected of the fourth season of Lost. With the final three seasons reduced to sixteen episodes each and a clear finish line. The creative team could now focus on telling their story without having to worry about how many episodes they had left to work with. Season four is the first to benefit and delivers a faster paced and leaner story that expands the Lost universe in some unexpected ways and delves into the mystery that was introduced at the end of last season.The “flash-forward” at the end of last season introduced an exciting new way in which Lost stories could be told. The use of these flash-forwards continues through the fourth season, revealing that even more Oceanic survivors made it off the island and also introduces an intriguing conspiracy of silence regarding those who weren’t so lucky. This storyline is the backbone of the fourth season as we discovered who was fortunate enough to escape the island and who was left behind. This is arguably the series’ best story arc since the mystery surrounding the hatch and is a well-developed, tightly paced narrative that actually has a satisfying conclusion at the end of the season.

The benefit of a shortened schedule is apparent and this season has far less “filler” than previous outings. Less episodes means that every minute of screen time becomes that much more precious and the outcome is a season that doesn’t have what we’d consider a bad episode in the bunch. Even this season’s Kate-centric episode is decent when compared to previous years’ outings. There are plenty of episodes that you will want to revisit here, including the pivotal “The Constant” that is a game-changer when it comes to the series’ mythology. It also features Henry Ian Cusick’s best performance as Desmond to date and one of the more memorable Michael Giacchino scores. The rest of the season is filled to the brim with moments that will have any Lost fan riveted.


Acting wise, all the great performances that you have come to expect from the series’ regulars are present. Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn continue to put in stellar performances as Ben Linus and John Locke respectively. As has been stated many times throughout the last couple of seasons, these two have some phenomenal chemistry on screen and they spend a great deal of time verbally sparring with each other this season. The newcomers to the show are no slouches either. Veteran actor Jeff Fahey is memorable as helicopter pilot Frank Lapidus. Ken Leung has already become a series favorite as the sharp-tongued Miles Straume and while some fans have had a negative reaction towards Rebecca Mader’s Charlotte Lewis, it is hard to deny that she puts in a respectable performance here.

Jeremy Davies deserves special recognition for his portrayal of physicist – Daniel Faraday. Simply put, Davies’ is awesome as the polite and awkward scientist whose unique viewpoint of the island’s core mysteries is a benefit to the series. If given more screen time he would have probably stolen the show and he stands alongside Ben Linus and Desmond Hume as yet another exceptional new addition to the series.

With the introduction of new characters and the already expanded Lost cast, some regulars take a step back and are not featured as prominently as you would expect. Most notable are series heavyweights Jack and Kate, who are present and accounted for, but see their roles slightly reduced as other characters are brought to the forefront. As the cast and story expand, it has obviously become a necessity to focus on a wider range of characters. The series’ writers are equal to the task and do a good job of handling a large cast without forgetting anyone in the mix.

Last season, Lost successfully made the transition into the realm of science fiction with classic episodes like “The Constant” and of course, making the island literally disappear in “There’s no Place Like Home.” Season 5 dives head first into weighty science fiction concepts with time travel playing a major role in the narrative for the entire year. There are inherent risks with introducing time travel into a story that is already as complex as the one Lost has become over the past few years. For the most part, the writers do a good job of keeping the time travel aspect of the story from becoming too complicated, but there is no dispute that it is the driving force of the season’s narrative.

The first half of the season is comprised of two very distinct storylines. One of those being Jack Shephard’s desperate attempt to reunite the Oceanic Six in order to return to the island and the other being the journey of those left behind as they find themselves inexplicably traveling through time. The Oceanic Six storyline is definitely the weaker of the two. The story of the Six, hours before they return to the island was weakened by a slow start with the somewhat Hurley-centric “The Lie.” This is an episode that featured a little too much of Hugo Reyes’ wacky exploits as he transports an unconscious Sayid around Los Angeles. The rest of the Oceanic Six story is essentially a waiting game as we watch the pieces fall into place so that these characters can return to where we really want them to be – on the island. In fact, their return to the island in “316” feels rushed, almost as if the writers realized that the best place for these characters is back on the island.

The aptly named “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” is the best episode that takes place almost entirely off the island. The story chronicles John Locke’s attempt to convince the Oceanic Six that they need to return to the island in order to save those left behind. It’s a tragic story for John Locke who has spent the last four seasons in the belief that the survivors of Flight 815 are tied by a single destiny but only in death does he finally make people believe. It’s a well-scripted story and wonderfully acted by Terry O’Quinn who does a great job of portraying an interesting transition for Locke on screen.

Locke isn’t the only one who goes through a transition this season as Benjamin Linus is forced into a situation that is quite surprising for the character. Without delving into too much detail, the dynamic between Locke and Ben changes quite a bit but the great chemistry between O’Quinn and Michael Emerson is still as exceptional as it has always been. Linus fans should not be disappointed by some of the great developments for the character this season.

On the island, Sawyer and the rest of the survivors left behind are forced to cope with the fact that they are constantly flashing through time, either to the past or the future. The approach taken here is straightforward and clearly laid out in the first episode of the season; you cannot change events in the past – whatever happened, happened and couldn’t of happened any other way. Faraday acts as the mouth piece for much of the technobabble in the early part of the season with Sawyer playing the part of the ‘everyman’ who constantly questions why things are happening the way they are. This allows the writers an opportunity to ease the audience into this shift of events without making things too complex to follow. There is plenty of exposition, but with Sawyer’s classic charm to offset Faraday’s jargon, it makes it a lot easier to swallow.

Time travel is utilized to its fullest here to reveal some of the island’s back-story over the last 50 years. Sawyer and co. pay a visit to the Others of the 1950s and are introduced to past leaders of the mysterious group. We also see some much-needed loose ends tied up as we finally learn more about Rousseau and her research team and we also discover why Richard Alpert visited a young Locke just one season ago. As secrets are revealed and key puzzle pieces are slid into place it’s surprising to see just how well everything fits together. Some of this is certainly due to the asset of knowing how many episodes you have left to tell your story in, but I’m hard pressed to find many plot holes in any of the explanations given. Cuse and Lindelof deserve credit for maintaining a watertight narrative throughout most of the season.

Season 6 of Lost is quite possibly the most scrutinized season of television in history. With both longtime fans of the series and curious outsiders wondering if this season would deliver both on answers and a satisfying conclusion, series show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse had an incredible task on their hands. With an edge-of-your-seat conclusion to Season 5, the small band of survivors we’ve grown to love set out on their final journey against a villainous shape shifter on an island of mystery.

In Season 4, “The Constant” established Lost as a science fiction series when it introduced time travel into the equation. From that point forward, until the conclusion of Season 5, the series maintained and expanded on that concept by sending the survivors hurtling through time until they eventually landed in 1974 (or 1977, for those on Ajira 316). Season 6 drops the time travel story completely and introduces a different sci-fi concept: alternate realities. It appears that the detonation of Jughead in “The Incident” created a parallel universe in which events played out slightly different and Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed.Much like flash-backs and flash-forwards, we experience this parallel universe through a series of “centric” flash-sideways featuring the lives of these characters as if the crash had never happened. This gives Lindelof and Cuse a unique opportunity to reexamine the lives of these characters from a completely different perspective. The flash-sideways giving us incredibly important character moments and an intriguing new story that’s both surprising and engaging. With each “centric” flash-sideways story, parallels are drawn to the character’s plight while they are on the island. This relationship between timelines establishes a key connection between both storylines that give the flash-sideways an importance outside of simply being a different perspective on how things could have ultimately played out.

Connections between the two universes are explored more thoroughly as the series progresses and we do ultimately get a resolution to the flash-sideways storyline. How satisfying that resolution is will ultimately be based on a number of factors that stem from your own expectations. In other words, it’s a polarizing conclusion to a very unique story and you’re probably either going to love it or hate it. I loved the way the flash-sideways story ended because it satisfied the need for closure.

“Happily Ever After” stands out as the episode that had the most impact on both universes. Living, breathing Desmond David Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) has his consciousness transported into what we now know to be the afterlife and acts as the genesis for everything that happens in the “flash-sideways” realm after his departure. Desmond is also the catalyst for most events that occur leading up to and including the finale. He’s seen as nothing more than a tool by those around him; a means to an end. However, Desmond is infused with his own sense of purpose. With the events he experienced in the other universe infecting his mind, Desmond sets out to free those remaining on the island from their pain and suffering and take them to a better place. It’s funny how both Desmonds are essentially driven by the same goal, with only one succeeding. But Desmond’s error on the island gives Jack and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) the window they need to stop the Man in Black.untitledTerry O’Quinn, who spent most of the past five seasons playing John Locke, slips into his new role as the embodiment of dark temptation with ease. We actually saw him as the Man in Black last season, but even O’Quinn didn’t realize that he was technically playing a different character until close to the finale. Here he’s allowed to truly enjoy portraying a villain and it’s obvious he’s having a hell of a lot of fun in the role.The Man in Black tests the survivors like never before. Offering them freedom, survival and even  answers to some of the island’s more pressing mysteries. The way that the survivors respond to this temptation ultimately defines who they truly are, even if it takes them some time to make the right decision. Again, just like the flash-sideways, this gives us yet another fascinating new perspective on these characters. We see them at both their weakest and their strongest this season.Season 6 does a good job of explaining some mysteries while others are left up to the viewer to dissect for years to come. Lost: Season 6 is a strong conclusion to what has been an extraordinary series. All the elements that made the past five seasons so great are here, with the added bonus of this being the final season and the stakes being raised for all the characters. Whether or not the answers provided are satisfying or cover enough ground will vary drastically for different viewers, but ultimately, Lost: Season 6 delivers closure on a story that has captivated us for so long.