Movable Type 3.2
September 09, 2010
The Gates 1.8: "Dog Eat Dog"
I'm finally giving up on this show, so this my last recap for it.
Nick finally finds out about the werewolves, and more, after the jump.
Vampires vs. werewolves: I love how on this show their big conflicts are sparked by things like sprinkler timers. Hee. And I love the vampire disdain for how uncivilized the wolves are. It turned out that instead of some big vampire vs. werewolf feud, or even internal werewolf political issues, the attack Nick was investigating was a teenage boy defending himself against his abusive father. Interesting. I liked how Nick took the werewolf thing in stride, and really listening to representatives of the vampire and werewolf communities before deciding how to deal with things.
Dylan and Nick: At the beginning of the episode, we saw the bromance was continuing, but they weren't together enough in this one for my taste.
Claire and Christian: We got some interesting background here - apparently Christian hesitated to turn Claire, so Dylan did it. Interesting. I'm a little unclear on how the bonding works. Christian drinking from Claire broke her bond with Dylan, somehow. And hey, Christian better not actually be dead. I like him.
Sarah: SERIOUSLY, why does she seem convinced that cliques are unique to The Gates? That said, it should be interesting to see how much can happen - and how involved her husband can get - before she finds out about the supernatural stuff all around her.
Devon: What is she UP to? Hmm.
Andie: Brett seems better now than he did in the first few episodes, but I feel bad for Charlie. Are there any other succubi in the Gates? With the whole communities of wolves and vamps, it seems weird that it's just her.
August 31, 2010
The Gates 1.7: "Digging the Dirt"
"If something seems too good to be true, that's probably because it is." Someone actually uttered that line in this episode, apparently without any sort of irony or self-awareness. And the real secret of the Gates is "love"? Really, Robert H. Wolfe? I'm disappointed in you. More after the jump . . .
This episode was okay, actually, if not great. I feel like this show keeps doing the minimum it needs to do to keep me watching, without actually making me get into it.
Nick: Poor thing, having vampire nightmares. I suppose it makes sense that he'd react to Frank's threats by trying to dig up something on Frank, but I was hoping he'd try to be less immediately corruptible or something. Immediately jumping to digging up graves seems like a little much. But he caught the murderer! Too bad both the victim and murderer were people we didn't really care about. (Yes, procedurals work that way all the time, but this isn't a procedural.)
Dylan: He made a Castle reference! Aww. I'm liking him more and more. I want to learn more about his background. And I love that he's talking about the problem of needing different identities every decade or so!
Claire: She's really much more interesting when Christian's around. Sigh.
Sarah: Get over it! Everywhere has cliques! I can't figure out why she's so determined to make everyone like each other, especially since they've all known each other longer than she's known any of them.
Devon: I couldn't figure out why she immediately started talking about Harrison when asked about Frank, even though Nick didn't ask that. And . . . she's dating online. Um, okay! Oh, she's looking for some specific type of supernatural guy, it seems. Ew, to find ingredients for her products? Gross! I wonder what the secret ingredient in her tea is? Whatever it is seems to help her compel people to tell her things. And she's obviously up to some sort of evil, but I can't tell if it's just general mayhem or a specific Evil Plan.
Andie: The poor thing is really having trouble coping. Too bad her mom isn't around to help.
Charlie: So sweet coming to Andie's defense. Too bad he's up against werewolves. But Brett was pretty cute with Andie at the end, too.
August 30, 2010
The Gates 1.6: "Jurisdiction"
Oh, yeah, this show. Anyone still watching? I'm going to try to catch up on reviews this week . . .
Barbara's murder: Vampire! Dylan has to confess to Nick that there are other vampires around. Claire suspects Christian. The police are officially calling the cause of death "ritualistic fetishism," which I love. And the investigation taught us how vampires are created in this world: They feed from a victim to the point of death and then give the victim some of their own vamp blood. The victim's ex-husband, by the way, is Mayor Lockwood of The Vampire Diaries, and her ex-girlfriend/business partner is a vampire who is mysteriously taken before Nick can finish questioning her. But it turns out it was the ex-husband, after all, and sort of an accident. Hm. Rather a letdown.
Dylan and Nick: The bromance continues apace. I love it. We'll see if the threats from Frank bring them closer together or not.
Christian/Claire/Dylan: Ooh, Christian and Dylan are old friends! That makes this triangle much more interesting.
PTA: It really isn't all that odd that there are cliques, Sarah. The fact that one of the cliques is full of vampires is odd, sure, but the cliques themselves aren't as noteworthy or mysterious as Sarah seems to think.
Vanessa/Frank/Devon: We got some more of the back story here, although I can't say I see why Frank is such a great catch. Devon is saying she's fine, but clearly she's doing something creepy with those masks . . .
Andie: Take your medicine, young lady! She and Charlie are so freaking CUTE. You know, when she's not draining the life force out of him.
July 28, 2010
The Gates 1.5: "Repercussions"
This episode started to pull me in a bit more, perhaps because people are finally starting to figure out what's going on. Click the link to keep reading . . .
Vamps: Nick seemed to accept the whole "vampire" concept a little too easily, but I'm not sure whether that was clumsy writing or actually some sort of clue about him. I always enjoy the vamp rules conversations on various shows: Looks like he has to be invited in. Holy water is fine, he doesn't sleep in a coffin, and I think he said garlic was okay. Notably, he didn't tell Nick any of the methods that do actually kill these vamps! They do seem to have vamp speed, and they're not allowed to kill people. I wonder who enforces this? It sounds like some kind of pact.
Nick and Dylan: I continue to be in favor of this reluctant bromance. And it seems Nick is too, as he demonstrates his trust for Dylan when be burns the paper with the location of Teresa's body. Dylan, however, does not seem so into it.
Marcus/Teresa: We know that Teresa is actually missing, but it seemed way too early for Marcus to be quite as concerned as he was. And Marcus isn't even being a very good cop when he decides to investigate on his own, because he's giving the Radcliffs time to coordinate their stories if necessary.
Andie: Oh, the poor thing. Googling "succubus." (One thing I love about this show - they actually use Google instead of Bing!) I like her relationship with her dad, and I hope it doesn't get too messed up as she figures all this stuff out, and when she inevitably eventually figures out that her dad had to kill her mom in self-defense. Scary. She and Charlie continue to be adorable together, so I hope they can make it work somehow. Take your medicine, Andie!
Devon/Vanessa/Frank: At one point, one of the women says "This thing between us has become rather boring, don't you think?" and, um, YES. I barely remember what this plotline even is. Oh, okay, Devon is Vanessa's husband's ex-wife. Whatever. The more interesting part is that Frank has a safe full of incriminating video of everyone in town, and Devon knows about it.
Overall themes: What stood out to me from this episode was that no one actually seems to feel like they fit in in the Gates, even though they all feel pretty strongly about living there. The idea of medicating away the supernatural aspects of themselves is interesting as well. Is it some sort of comment about using science to erase differences between people? Or am I thinking too much about a silly soap opera? Also notable this week: The absence of
July 27, 2010
The Gates 1.4: "The Monster Within"
The plot of The Gates is now picking up, but the show still hasn't really made me care about the characters, and that's problematic. I try to care, after the jump.
I do really like Andie and Charlie, though, and I hope Andie's condition doesn't make things too impossible for her. The show is being pretty opaque about the way the supernatural stuff works, and I can't decide whether I like that or not. On the one hand, it can be frustrating, but on the other, it's nice that they're giving the audience some credit and allowing us to figure stuff out.
Nick's big revelation - that he actually killed the guy in Chicago on purpose - was more surprising than it should have been, in retrospect. His wife is somewhat boring so far, and I'm more interested in his interactions with Dylan. I'm hoping for a grudging awkward bromance there. We'll see. I like Dylan a lot more than I like Claire so far, at least.
The two big reveals at the end came quickly, especially for the somewhat slow usual pacing of this show. And see? I told you something was off about Teresa. I can't decide whether the show wanted her to be sympathetic. I didn't really like her from the start so it made it difficult.
And then Dylan reveals himself to Nick, while he's in the process of saving Nick's life. Innnnteresting. Why did he decide that was worth it? He could have just stayed out of it and let Teresa kill Nick, but he didn't. Does he think Nick is better than other cops who might come in to replace him? Is he trying to make sure Nick owes him something, as insurance? He couldn't just care about him, could he? Intriguing. I suppose we'll find out next week!
July 26, 2010
The Gates 1.3: "Breach"
Overall, this episode was . . . enh. The show continues to be not quite bad enough for me to stop watching it. And I've said this before, but the fact that I can never seem to remember any of the characters' names can't be a good thing. Some observations, after the jump!
The cop (Marcus?) and the girl (Teresa?) moved in awfully quickly, so of course I continue to suspect Teresa's motivations. A week? Really? Who DOES that? And you'd think such an exclusive community would have some sort of long background-checking procedure and not let just anyone move in, even if they're moving in with a current resident. Leigh seems to be the more interesting of the young cops - she's clearly something supernatural, and given her reaction to Teresa it's looking like she might have a thing for Marcus.
Why does Claire leave The Gates to go grocery shopping? Would a community with a school and a salon and an ice cream place and all those other shops we kind of saw really not have a grocery store? Hmmm. In other circumstances, I would say that they had one of those fancy downtowns that's really all expensive specialty stuff for tourists and nothing actually useful for residents, but it's a gated community! So obviously that's not it.
Memo to Brett: Don't said "I love you" to a girl and then tell her to forget about it the next day. Sigh. On the other hand, Charlie's really pretty perfect. This triangle would be more believable if Charlie were more obviously flawed, or Brett had more redeeming qualities. Obviously, Andie has history with him, and there's stuff we haven't seen, but still! Make me believe that the characters like each other, show!
Speaking of the triangle: I really liked what Andie's friend (who has a name, I'm sure . . . Mia? Maybe?) said about the situation being not a triangle but instead an equation, with Andie's current boyfriend as a constant and the new guy as a variable, and that Andie had to figure out how she felt about the constant before she could solve for the variable, basically. I think that metaphor may be useful when discussing situations on other shows, so I will hereby name it the Gates Equation and start invoking it whenever possible. And I bet that will be the one element of this show that lasts past the summer.
At some point, someone says "There's obviously a glitch in the matrix." Really? Really? I honestly couldn't tell whether the character was making a Matrix joke to other other characters, or the show was making a winking Matrix joke to the audience, or if someone just wrote it without really thinking about it and no one caught it. Opinions?
Finally, I was delighted to see Paul Blackthorne (Dresden from The Dresden Files), and I hope he'll be sticking around. His very presence makes the show feel smarter and more charming. And God knows it needs it.
July 19, 2010
The Gates 1.2: "What Lies Beneath"
Even though I was less than impressed with the first episode of The Gates, I found myself tuning in to the second. And it held my attention surprisingly well! I like how the different scenes are filmed in very different ways - any scene including the vampire couple is filmed almost like a parody of a soap opera, whereas the scenes at school look more or less like any other teen show. Overall, the teens are more interesting than the parents, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Andy's story plays out. (The awkward scene with her father while she was changing was kind of cute, but why the heck was she changing with the door open, anyway?) In the high school storylines, the supernatural elements provide a heightened intensity for the viewer that mirrors the way teens actually feel their own lives, and that's a nice device when it's used well. I'm suspicious of the girl going after the young cop, but is that just because this type of show has trained us to be suspicious of everyone? Or because she seems too good to be true? I guess we'll find out.