REVIEW: THE GOOD SHEPHERD

CAST

Matt Damon (Jason Bourne)
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent)
Robert De Niro (Joy)
Alec Baldwin (Mission: Impossible 5)
William Hurt (The Host)
Joe Pesci (Home Alone)
John Turturro (Transformers)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Tammy Blanchard (Into The Wood)
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter)
Timothy Hutton (Secret Window)
Keir Dullea (Black Christmas)
Gabriel Macht (Suits)
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)

A photograph and an audio recording on reel-to-reel tape are dropped off anonymously at the home of Edward Wilson (Matt Damon), a senior CIA officer, after the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba fails due to an undisclosed leak. In 1939 Edward is at Yale University and is invited to join Skull and Bones, a secret society. He is compelled to disclose a secret as part of his initiation: he reveals that as a young boy in 1925 he discovered the suicide note left by his father, Thomas (Timothy Hutton), although he says he never read it. After the ceremony, a fraternity brother tells him that Edward’s father, an admiral, was to be chosen as Secretary of the Navy, until his loyalties were questioned. Afterwards Edward is recruited by an FBI agent, Sam Murach (Alec Baldwin), who claims that Edward’s poetry professor, Dr. Fredericks (Michael Gambon), is a Nazi spy, asking Edward to expose his professor’s background. Edward’s actions result in Dr. Fredericks’ forced resignation from the university.

Edward begins a relationship with a deaf student named Laura (Tammy Blanchard), but while on Deer Island, Edward meets his friend John Russel’s (Gabriel Macht) family and is later aggressively seduced by his sister Margaret ‘Clover’ Russell (Angelina Jolie). General Bill Sullivan (Robert De Niro) asks Edward to join the OSS, offering him a post in London. Later while Edward and Laura are at the beach, Margaret’s brother privately reveals that she is pregnant, so Edward marries her. At the wedding reception Edward accepts the London OSS office position, while his new wife remains in the United States. In London he meets Dr. Fredericks again, who is actually with British intelligence. An intelligence officer in the British SOE, Arch Cummings (Billy Crudup), tells Edward that Fredericks’ indiscriminate homosexual relationships pose a security risk. Edward is asked to deal with his mentor, who refuses to protect himself by returning to teaching. Shortly afterwards, he is brutally killed and his body is dumped into the Thames, all while Edward watches.In post-war Berlin, where both Allies and Soviets are recruiting German scientists. Edward encounters his Soviet counterpart, code named “Ulysses”, for the first time. After learning from his son, Edward Jr., during a phone call home that his wife is having an affair, Edward has a one-night stand with interpreter Hanna Schiller (Martina Gedeck); the same night, he realizes she is a Soviet agent and she is killed. Edward returns home to his wife and son. His wife confesses her adultery, and Edward confesses his. General Sullivan approaches Edward again to help form a new foreign intelligence organization – the CIA – where he would work with his former colleague, Richard Hayes (Lee Pace), under Phillip Allen (William Hurt). Edward accepts, hiding the details of his position from everyone but his wife.Edward’s first assignment deals with coffee in Central America where the Russians are trying to gain influence. Edward spots Ulysses in the background of footage of the country’s leader, but doesn’t disclose this. Edward arranges for airplanes to fly over and release locusts during a public event where the Russians (including Ulysses) are present in order to intimidate the Central American leader. An American agent’s severed finger is sent to Edward in a coffee can. At a Christmas party, Edward’s son wets himself. At the same party, General Sullivan tells Edward that Phillip Allen was going to be on the Mayan Coffee Company’s board of directors, prompting Edward to ask Sam Murach to look into Phillip’s finances.A Russian man requests asylum and claims to be high-ranking KGB agent Valentin Mironov. While attending the theater with Mironov and Cummings, Edward encounters his former sweetheart, Laura. They begin seeing each other again. Sometime later, Margaret receives photos of Laura and Edward getting into a taxi together and kissing. After she confronts him, Edward ends the relationship with Laura. Another Russian defector appears, claiming that he is the real Valentin Mironov, the other man being an impostor called Yuri Modin, a KGB operative working for Ulysses. Thinking he is lying, agents torture him, and administer liquid LSD believing it to be a potential truth serum. The second defector does not break, instead telling them how the Soviets’ power is just a myth, before hurling himself through a window and down several stories. The first man claiming to be Valentin Mironov, who has watched the entire ordeal together with Edward, offers to take LSD to prove his innocence, but Edward does not take him up on his offer. Edward visits his son, who has, like his father, joined the Skull and Bones society at Yale, and been approached by the CIA, which he joins despite his mother’s misgivings, widening the rift between his parents. Edward Jr. overhears his father and Hayes discussing the imminent Bay of Pigs invasion. His father warns him to be silent. Margaret leaves Edward.

Returning to the recording at the beginning of the story, detailed analysis points to Leopoldville, in the Congo. Having tracked down the room where the recording was made, Edward realizes that the source of the leak was his son speaking to his lover, revealed to be a Soviet agent by Ulysses when he appears and plays Edward an unedited version of the recording in an attempt to turn him. Edward confronts his son, who plans to marry the woman. Growing suspicious, Edward discovers evidence that Cummings and Mironov (really Yuri Modin) are double agents. Meeting Ulysses in the National Air and Space Museum, Edward finally refuses his offer, but argues that, having won in Cuba, there is nothing to be gained for the Soviets in hurting his son. On their wedding day, Edward Jr.’s fiancée is killed by being thrown out of the plane she was taking to the ceremony. When Edward Jr. asks if his father was responsible, he denies it.

Edward meets with Hayes at the new CIA headquarters still under construction. Allen is resigning under a cloud of financial improprieties, and the President has asked Hayes to be the new director. Hayes makes Edward the first head of counter-intelligence, an entire wing of new building. At home, Edward retrieves and reads his father’s suicide note. In the letter, his father confesses to having betrayed his country. Edward burns the note. The final scene shows Edward leaving his old office for the new position.

Some might wonder how so many actors could be recruited for such small roles, like Alec Baldwin, Michael Gambon, and Joe Pesci, but one only has to see as far as the director to get their answer. Don’t let the big names and the anagram CIA get you. This movie is as edgy as it is intricate with twists and turns that take the viewer through the world of trust and the human element. A man like Edward Wilson is just the perfect vessel for the journey.

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31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – GIRTH

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MAIN CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Land of The Lost)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Jim Dale (Pete’s Dragon)
Ellen Greene (Heroes)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther)

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GUEST CAST

Barbara Barrie (Breaking Away)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)

Image result for pushing daisies girthAs a child at the Longborough School for Boys, Ned never received any mail from his father. Suddenly, at Halloween, he finally received something: a preprinted notice that his father was moving. Ned ran away and went to his father’s new home dressed for trick or treating, to find him with a new wife and two twin boys. A farrier, Lucas Shoemaker, is working in a stable. A ghostly horseman, riding a flame-spitting horse, tramples him to death. At the Pie Hole, Chuck is putting up Halloween decorations, despite Olive’s insistence that Ned hates this specific holiday. Chuck wants to know what Olive told her Aunt Lily and Aunt Vivian. Olive still assumes that Chuck simply faked her death, and Chuck is relieved that Olive doesn’t suspect what really happened. Ned comes in and is taken aback by the Hallowe’en decorations. Olive plays coy about exactly what she has told, then hears about the death of Lucas Shoemaker. Olive goes to her safe deposit box and takes out the money necessary to hire Emerson to investigate Shoemaker’s death, believing it was murder. It turns out Olive used to be a jockey and competed against Shoemaker.
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Emerson takes the case and goes to the morgue with Ned and Chuck. They interrogate the toothless Shoemaker (with translations by Chuck, who once wore orthodontic headgear) who says that John Joseph Jacobs killed him… although the records say Jacobs died seven years ago. Shoemaker warns that Jacobs will kill again. They let Olive know and she gives them a list of other jockeys that might be in danger. Olive is leery about identifying Jacobs and then faints. Emerson goes to check out a jockey’s bar while Ned goes alone to the stable to look for clues and prods Emerson into taking Chuck with him. Ned admits he won’t even go to the stable, and an upset Chuck goes to the stable and tells Ned to do what he has to. Olive wakes up and tells them that Jacobs was the golden boy of racing until he competed in the Jock-Off 2000 and fell off his horse. Olive, the winner, and the other jockeys inadvertently trampled him. Emerson figures that someone is trying to avenge Jacobs. Olive figures that someone is going after the people who placed, in the order they came in.
Image result for pushing daisies girthAt the jockey bar, Emerson talks to the bartender, Pinky McCoy, while another jockey, Gordon McSmalls, warns about Jacobs’ ghost. Gordon says that Jacobs’ tomb has been broken open so Olive and Emerson go there and open the coffin. All they find inside is the skeleton of a horse… with no legs. Chuck and Digby go to the stable and find cracker crumbs, and Emerson surprises them. Ned goes to visit his old house. Chuck, Emerson, and Olive go to see Jacobs’ mother, Mamma Jacobs. She invites them in and says that she made peace with her son’s death. She shows them his ashes, explaining that she had his horse All the Gold secretly buried in Jacobs’ tomb. They’re unaware that someone is watching them through the heating vent. At Pinky’s bar, the ghostly horseman appears and tramples him to death. Meanwhile, Ned goes to visit Chuck’s aunts next door and ask them to tell them what they can about his father. Ned realizes that the pie they served him is from the Pie Hole (the strawberries die when they touch his tongue) and goes to leave, and Vivian tries to console him.
Image result for pushing daisies girthNed goes to Pinky’s bar where everyone else is, checking out Pinky’s corpse and finding cracker crumbs on the floor. Chuck gets Olive out while Ned and Emerson interrogate Pinky’s corpse. Pinky reveals he fixed races and asks them to apologize to Olive: he figures Jacobs is seeking revenge on him and Olive benefited. Olive explains that Jacobs’ girth had been cut by one of the other jockeys, causing him to fall to his death. The jockeys agreed to keep the secret and burn the saddle, over Olive’s objections.  Ned and Emerson go to find Gordon, the last jockey, while Chuck guards Olive at her apartment. Olive goes to get some booze in her bedroom but sees a horseshoe outside her window. She climbs up to the roof and sees John Joseph Jacobs. Chuck knocks him out briefly and they notice he’s two feet taller then he should be. Jacobs explains that he survived the fall but his legs were badly broken, so they transplanted his horse’s legs onto him. Jacobs has been living in his mother’s basement while he relearned how to walk. Olive tells him to get out and live and Jacobs agrees.
Image resultThe three of them go to Mamma Jacobs’ house and the women realize that Jacobs, being hypoglycemic, often eats crackers. They examine Jacobs’ supposed ashes and realize they’re from the burned saddle. Suddenly the horseman rides into the house. Emerson and Ned find Gordon and he mentions that Shoemaker confessed everything to Mamma Jacobs and gave her the ashes to prove what he was saying was true. The horseman removes her mask to reveal that she’s Mamma Jacobs. She’s seeking revenge for the fact her son’s career was ended. They run out of the house as Mamma Jacobs gallops after them. Ned and Emerson get to the house and hear them in the nearby woods. Chuck twists her ankle and Olive gets her to safety before luring Mamma Jacobs away. Ned grabs her just in time while Emerson clubs Mamma Jacobs with a shovel. Olive embraces Ned, who drops her to go to Chuck. Mamma Jacobs ends up in jail, while Olive gives the trophy cup and winnings to Jacobs. Ned and Chuck go to her aunt’s house and Ned says he knows about the pies. Chuck then dresses up as a ghost and goes up to the aunts for trick-or-treat.

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A great episode from a great series, it has enough plot twists and scares to keep you engaged throughout, a fun Halloween episode for this time of year.

REVIEW: POSSESSION

CAST

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Cruel Intentions)
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Michael Landes (Lois & Clark)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell On Wheels)
Tuva Novotny (Nobel)
Dhirendra (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Veena Sood (50/50)

Jess (Gellar) is a sweet-natured but driven lawyer who puts her career ahead of her personal life and ahead of her marriage to her artist husband, Ryan (Landes). The couple is on the verge of their first wedding anniversary, and though they are happy, the thorn in the side of their relationship is Ryan’s younger brother Roman (Pace). Where Ryan comes across as an honest and sweet man, Roman is the direct opposite. Roman is moody and violent, particularly with his casual girlfriend Casey (Novotny), and Jess is terrified of him, particularly as she met Ryan through Roman when she represented him in court on an aggravated assault charge. When Roman overhears Jess and Ryan discussing their plans to send him to a halfway house, he packs his bags and leaves in his car.
Jess calls Ryan, worried about what the impulsive Roman will do, and Ryan quickly heads home in his car. As the brothers cross the Golden Gate Bridge, they crash into one another and are both seriously injured. Jess goes to the hospital and learns that both Roman and Ryan are in comas. Casey arrives and shares a few words with Jess, who promises to keep her updated. Later, Jess gets her mail and finds one of Ryan’s weekly handwritten love letters. After several weeks, Roman suddenly awakens—but he immediately claims to be Ryan, begging Jess to believe that he is her husband returned to her in his brother’s body. He implies that something supernatural happened when their bodies were revived side by side on the road, but cannot explain the phenomenon. Jess is initially doubtful and hostile towards Roman, believing that he is disoriented from his head injuries, and she employs Casey’s help in trying to get him to regain his memories.
However, he maintains that he is Ryan, continually offering romantic gestures and recounting specific memories private to them. Eventually, after a year passes, once he accurately recalls the story behind a certain photograph of the two of them, she believes that he is truly her husband and they resume their romantic life. Despite the disapproval of Jess’ co-workers and a harsh reaction from Casey, who still believes that he is actually Roman, Jess and Ryan fall back into their former happy marriage, although Jess is still hesitant to turn off the machines keeping Ryan’s body alive. They are both soon thrilled by the news that Jess is pregnant. Casey goes missing, but when the police question them, Ryan merely says that she was “troubled”. Jess notices a discrepancy in a necklace that Ryan gave her before his accident, but brushes it aside until she discovers the original necklace hidden in a picture frame.
She then discovers that the box in which she kept all of Ryan’s many love letters and photographs has been broken into, and she realizes that Roman has in fact lied to her, having previously studied the pictures and letters to learn the details of their marriage to impersonate his brother. When she confronts him, he quickly grows violent with her, saying that he did it because he loved her and knew they were meant to be together, saying that she must have sensed that it was him all along, and it is revealed that he murdered Casey because of her suspicions. As Roman and Jess fight, Ryan, in the hospital, experiences a seizure. Jess finally manages to stab Roman with a pottery knife, and he dies as the doctors work on Ryan. Later, at the hospital, Jess learns that her baby sustained no injuries from Roman’s attack and that Ryan managed to pull through his episode, and she sits by his bedside, promising to wait for him and start their life over once he returns to her.Possession has an intriguing premise but a poor screenplay and execution. The story of a man possessed by the spirit of his brother could be an excellent horror, thriller, drama or even story of repressed desire. Unfortunately despite of the lovely Sarah Michelle Gellar, the plot is not well developed and has many flaws, like for example the fate of Casey or what would happen with Jessica after killing Roman. Worth seeing for SMG fans.

REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – SEASON 1 & 2

CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human target)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Bewitched)
Jim Dale (Carry on Columbus)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Riki Lindhome (Million Dollar Baby)
Raul Esparza (Hannibal TV)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Christine Adams (Agents of Shield)
Mark Harelik (The Big Bang Theory)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Grant Shaud (Wall Street)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Missi Pyle (Two and a Half Men)
French Stewart (Mom)
Autumn Reeser (The OC)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Rachael Harris (The Hangover)
Lee Arenberg (Once Upon A Time)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
David Arquette (Scream)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Hayes MacArthur (Life As We Know It)
Colton Haynes (Arrow)
Stephen Root (Finding Nemo)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Ethan Phillips (Bad Santa)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
David Koechner (American Dad)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Ivana Milicevic (Vanilla Sky)
George Segal (The Cable Guy)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Constance Zimmer (Agents of Shield)
Rachel Cannon (Two and a Half Men)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)

 

 

This show is like nothing you have ever seen before. And that is a good thing. It is the story of the Pie Maker aka Ned (Lee Pace). To the world, he is best known as the owner of The Pie Hole, where he serves delicious pies with his assistant/waitress, Olive (Kristen Chenoweth). But Ned has a secret. With his touch, he can bring the dead back to life. Of course, there are some conditions. If he touches them again, they are dead for ever and ever. And if he doesn’t touch them again in one minute, someone else nearby dies instead.

Since The Pie Hole doesn’t pay all the bills, Ned works with private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride). He brings murder victims back to life to find out who killed them, then the two split the reward.


Everything is going along fine until the next murder victim is the girl he calls Chuck, aka Charlotte Charles (Anna Friel). Chuck was Ned’s childhood sweetheart, and he just can’t bear to let her die, so he keeps her alive. While the two build a non-touch romance, Chuck’s two aunts, Vivian and Lily (Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz) mourn her death.

But Chuck’s death is just the beginning of the weird cases. There are the human crash test dummies, the dog breeder with four wives, the bodies in the snowmen, and the exploding scratch and sniff book. And that doesn’t even mention my favorite case, the headless horseman who is after Olive. So by now I’m sure you’ve figured out just how weird this show really is. But it is so much fun, too. While it is a mystery, the mysteries are only a background to explore the relationships of the characters in the show. Each week, those relationships advance, grow, and change. You never know just where they will wind up.


Yes, this show is quirky and odd. But please don’t let that stop you. Get this set and give it a try. You’ll be hook on the quirky before you know what hit you.

Pushing Daisies is one of the best TV shows there has ever been. Pushing Daisies wasn’t given much advertisement by ABC thus no one tuned in apart from the hardcore fans because nobody even knew it was on! Hence, lack of high ratings which lead to ABC being able to have an excuse to stop the show .

No the end doesn’t give closure. Only a little, but not much. It rushes to tie up ends and tell us what the characters do next but there is no closure whatsoever, just a MASSIVE cliffhanger and some really tasty leads that weren’t followed up. What a crushing disappointment. Anna Friel and Lee Pace were extremely angry at PD being taken off the air and legions of fans are left weeping and have nothing left but to endlessly discuss what ‘might’ have happened.
Series 2 is just as much as a visual and aural delight as series one. Brilliant plots and character development, beautiful music usage and faultless scripting. Great introduction of sub-characters that don’t jarr the main casting too much. Just ..well, perfect.

There are rumours of a movie or a comic being made but this is all doubtful, the cast have already moved onto other projects and now Pushing Daisies is left drowning in a sea of shows that had the potential to be groundbreaking if given a bit more time but never got given the chance. Such a shame. Same thing happened with Wondefalls also made by chap Bryan Fuller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2

CAST
Kristin Stewart (Snow White & The Huntsman)
Robert Pattinson (Sword Xanten)
Taylor Lautner (Tracers)
Peter Facinelli (Supergirl)
Elizabeth Reaser (The Ex List)
Ashley Greene (Burying The Ex)
Jackson Rathbone (S.Darko)
Kellan Lutz (The Legend of Hercules)
Nikki Reed (Sleepy Hollow)
Billy Burke (Red Riding Hood)
Maggie Grace (Lost)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)
Dakota Fanning (Taken)
Cameron Bright (The Butterfly Effect)
Mia Maestro (Alias)
Judith Shekoni (Heroes Reborn)
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
 
Bella awakens from her transformation from human to vampire, aware of her new abilities, but unaware of changes within the coven, such as Jacob having imprinted on her child, Renesmee. It also appears that Bella’s father, Charlie, has been attempting to contact the Cullens for updates on Bella’s illness. They intend to tell him she didn’t survive, which requires that they move away from Forks, Washington to protect their identities. Jacob, desperate not to lose Renesmee, tells Charlie that Bella is in fact alive and well, and explains that Bella had to change in order to survive. He morphs into a wolf, revealing his tribe’s shape-shifting power, but does not tell Charlie about vampires.
 
Several months pass with Carlisle monitoring Renesmee’s rapid growth. On an outing in the woods, a bitter Irina sees Renesmee from a distance and believes her to be an immortal child. Immortal children were vampires who were changed in childhood, and because they could not be trained nor restrained, they destroyed entire villages. They were eventually executed, as were the parents who created them, and the creation of such children outlawed. Irina goes to the Volturi to report what she has seen. Alice sees the Volturi and Irina coming to kill the Cullens and instructs the others to gather as many witnesses as they can to testify that Renesmee is not an immortal. The Cullens begin to summon witnesses, such as the Denali family. One of the Denali, Eleazar, later discovers that Bella has a special ability: a powerful mental shield which had protected her from Edward’s mind reading even when she was human, and which she can now extend to protect others from mental attacks.
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As some of their potential witnesses are attacked and prevented from supporting the Cullens, Carlisle and Edward realize they may have to fight the Volturi. Their witnesses ultimately agree to stand with them in battle, having realized the Volturi increase the Guard by falsely accusing covens of crimes, destroy them and then recruit vampires with gifts. The Volturi arrive prepared for battle, led by Aro, who is eager to obtain the gifted members of the Cullen coven as part of his guard. Aro is allowed to touch Renesmee, and is convinced that she is not an immortal child. Irina is brought forth and takes full responsibility for her mistake, leading to her immediate death. Aro still insists that Renesmee may pose a risk in the future, validating his claim that battle is necessary. Before any violence, Alice shares with Aro her vision of the battle that is to come, during which both sides sustain heavy casualties, including Aro who would also die. Aro believes her, giving Alice and Jasper an opportunity to reveal their witness (a half mortal half vampire just like Renesmee). The witness proves that he is not a threat, supporting the notion that Renesmee is not a threat. The Volturi unhappily leave without a fight.
Back at the Cullen home, Alice glimpses the future, seeing Edward and Bella together with Jacob and a fully matured Renesmee also together. Edward reads Alice’s mind and feels relieved that Renesmee has Jacob to protect her. Alone in the meadow, Bella pushes her mental shield away and finally allows Edward a peek into her mind, showing him every precious moment she and Edward shared together and the two share a kiss after Bella telling Edward, “No one has ever loved anyone as much as I love you”, and both Edward and Bella saying they’ll love and be together forever. The end credits present the cast members from all five films.
I enjoyed seeing the characters develop, especially  Stewart who steals the show. She has grown into a respectable actress and she has turned a wooden and unlikable character (in the novel) into someone you root for in the film.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – CORPSICLE

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CORPSICLE
MAIN CAST
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Jim Dale (Pete’s Dragon)
Ellen Greene (Heroes)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Rio 2)
CORPSICLE
GUEST CAST
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Grant Shaud (Antz)
Julia Campbell (The Crasiglist Killer)
When Chuck’s father, Charles Charles, died Ned and his mother waited with her for Chuck’s aunts, Lily and Vivian, to arrive. Lily didn’t embrace Charlotte, but she later embraced Ned when he came over to report his mother had died. Ned was then taken away by his father as Chuck chased after him, calling his name. Ned looks for Chuck, who has fled into the wintry night after being told that Ned killed her father. He goes to the aunts’ house, who invite him in. The house is cold because Charlotte was the one who used to light the furnace. Once Ned gets it going, he asks them to report of any strange signs of Chuck’s presence. Lily mentions she imagined seeing Chuck once and dismisses Ned. He then goes to see Olive but she says she doesn’t know where Chuck is. After she sends him away, she goes inside to talk to Chuck, who is hiding in her apartment. Olive insists on an explanation for Chuck’s supposed death and Chuck gives her the truth, but Olive doesn’t believe her. Olive reveals the aunts are swimming again. Olive offers to make a pie for the aunts, and Chuck gives her the herbal mood-enhancer, which she says is vanilla.
Ned tells Emerson what he did and the detective wonders if Chuck will go to the news. Emerson tells Ned to drop the matter with Chuck and help with a new investigation: Victor Narramore, an insurance adjuster for Über-Life Life Insurance who was found frozen to death. Ned brings the man back and he reveals that someone hit him with a baseball bat with the word “kindness” scratched into it. In life he had to decide who gets organ transplants, but Ned is more concerned about Chuck. He’s unaware that she’s on the apartment roof with Oscar Vibenius. Oscar gives Chuck her mother’s sweater back but asks for a sample of her hair, having already taken some from Digby. Oscar notes that Chuck and Digby both have a unique odor and suggests she knows a lot about death. Ned begins to suspect Olive is lying about knowing Chuck’s whereabouts. Emerson arrives and reveals three of the people Narramore turned down for organs are still viable. One of them, Abner Newsome, needed a new heart but Ned doesn’t want to talk to the boy. Ned goes to Olive’s apartment and finds Chuck, who understands Ned didn’t kill her father deliberately but wants him to leave. Instead she leaves a message in the sewer, asking Oscar to meet her on the roof.
Emerson goes to talk to Abner Newsome and his mother Emma. Abner isn’t upset that Narramore died and doesn’t have anything useful to add. As Emerson leaves, he spots a corpse frozen in a snowman on the front yard. Emerson takes Ned to the morgue but notes that his partner is more worried about Chuck. Ned revives the corpse, which is Über-Life Life Insurance adjuster Bill Richter. Richter reveals he was also killed with a bat and they should talk to Kevin Vanden Eykel, his carpooler who yelled out a warning before he died. They go to Über-Life and end up talking to Steve Kaiser, who says that Kevin has disappeared and they assume he’s dead as well. Bill, Victor, and Kevin all rejected Abner for a heart transplant, and it’s clear that Kaiser is upset at the situation but can’t approve a transplant due to the high chance Abner won’t survive.Oscar meets Chuck on the roof and speculates that she may have been brought back to life based on her odor. He notes that it isn’t unusual for people to come back from death and tries to get her to tell her secret. She asks for a pair of scissors and gives him a piece of her hair to smell.
Ned and Emerson go back to see Abner and Emma, suspecting that Kevin’s body will show up frozen. Madeline McLean from the Wish-A-Wish Foundation arrives with a monkey friend, Bobo the bonobo, but Abner doesn’t have any wishes for her to fulfill. Emerson and Ned stake out the Newsome house that night but Ned is still concerned and thinks he should bring back Chuck’s father so she can say goodbye to him. Emerson doesn’t think that is a good idea. Emerson reveals he has a daughter and tells Ned to not ask about her. They are both unaware that someone has secretly sealed off their exhaust pipe with a potato.
The next morning, Ned barely wakes up with the car filled with carbon monoxide fumes. He gets Emerson out, who is relieved to be alive (and not just brought back to life by Ned), but they spot a new snowman in the Newsome yard. Olive goes to visit the aunts and bring the new pie, unaware that she overdosed it with the herbal mood-enhancer because she thought it was a weak-tasting vanilla. Olive reacts when Lily says she’s seen Charlotte’s “ghost”. Meanwhile, Chuck makes pies and wonders what Oscar might discover. He arrives and gives her back her hair as a gesture of trust, and to give her the chance to tell him her secret. She realizes there’s only one person she wants to talk to about her secret, and that’s Ned. Lily finishes off the entire pie and starts hallucinating the decorations coming to life. She points out there’s no vanilla in the pie, making Olive wonder exactly what was the secret ingredient. Meanwhile, Emerson and Ned watch the coroners remove Kevin’s body, while Emerson realizes that Emma was peeling potatoes like the one in their exhaust pipe. They prepare to touch Kevin’s body but the coroners drop it and it shatters, and Ned refuses to bring it back. They go inside to find that Abner has been rejected yet again for a heart. Emma mentions that McLean asked for the name of the adjuster who refuses Abner’s most recent transplant request, which was Steve Kaiser. Ned and Emerson realize McLean is the killer and head for Über-Life, while McLean pulls into the parking lot where Kaiser is getting into his car.
Ned and Emerson close in on McLean while Ned tries to find out more about Emerson’s daughter. McLean takes a swing at Kaiser and just misses, then pins him down to deliver the final blow. Ned and Emerson confront her but she pulls a gun and says her job is to grant wishes. It turns out that McLean was depressed that Abner had no wishes for her to grant, until he said he wanted the insurance adjusters who rejected him to drop dead.However, they’re unaware that Bobo the bonobo is playing with the gearshift in McLean’s van and runs her over. She’s killed, but her heart is intact and Abner receives it as a transplant. Ned goes to the cemetery to find Chuck at her father’s grave. She admits she feels better and asks Ned to bring her father back to life, but Ned refuses to be responsible for killing him again. Only one of Chuck’s wishes is granted that night: Lily hallucinates floating mermaids and talks about how she secretly made snow angels in the back yard for the young Charlotte. The mermaid is Olive, and Lily reveals that she is actually Charlotte’s mother.
Not only a great Christmas episode, but a great Season finale. This became the season finale because of the writers strike it fits well as a finale. Chuck finding out Ned was responsible for her fathers death was touching and led  to an great story, the cliffhanger was great ending and left viewers for a very long wait for season 2, but was worth the wait.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: WONDERFALLS – CAGED BIRD

Image result for WONDERFALLS LOGO

MAIN CAST

Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal)
Katie Finneran (Bewitched)
Tyron Leitso (Bloodrayne 2)
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Diana Scarwid (Pushing Daises)
Tracie Thomas (Cold Case)
Neil Grayston (Earthsea)

GUEST CAST

Jeffrey R. Smith (Warehouse 13)
Glenn Fitzgerald (The Sixth Sense)
Jewel Staite (Firefly)

Caged Bird’ brings the series to a close with a hostage crisis at Wonderfalls and with Jaye and Eric trying to cope with “goodbye” after Heidi arrives to take Eric home to New Jersey. While trying to escape police, an armed robber ends up trapped in the gift shop and takes Jaye, Sharon, Alec, and Wade (the mall security guard) hostage. Jaye is continually encouraged to bolster Wade’s confidence, which leads to him having a heart attack while attempting to bludgeon the robber with a souvenir paddle. As the robber grows increasingly desperate, the animals tip Jaye off to an escape route through the bathroom. The robber takes her along to protect himself, but ends up getting killed by an ambulance speeding to the scene. Ultimately, the deceased robber’s heart goes to the security guard, saving his life, and Eric and Heidi split up, leaving Jaye and Eric free to be together at last!

The frustrating, heartbreaking torture of the last run of episodes finally comes to an end as Jaye and Eric are united at long last! I’m thrilled we got to close on a “happily ever after” note for our favorite, star-crossed, not-yet-lovers. I like to imagine the two of them growing old together, keeping busy with hilarious and vague mission directives from Jaye’s animal voices. Setting the Universe to rights with trusty sidekicks Mahandra and Aaron, and with the hapless Sharon inadvertently helping out or getting screwed over, depending on the week. Oh, and the team always makes time for family breakfast and family game night at the Tylers. Dreamy sigh.

This episode was also a solid hour of entertainment, with good misdirection and multiple interpretations for Jaye’s missions, plus loads of great character interactions. Sharon comforting Jaye in the manager’s office. Aaron inviting Mahandra to his parents’ anniversary dinner as his date. Mahandra giving in to her feelings by kissing Aaron in public. Eric and Jaye in all their goodbye scenes and the wonderful “hello!” scene at the end. A great epsiode that sadly became the last episode of the show.