Tag Archives: Season One Episode One

11.22.63: A Man Out Of Time

Photo Courtesy Of Hulu
Photo Courtesy Of Hulu

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Many pundits have stated over the years that America lost its innocence the day that President John F. Kennedy got assassinated. While that statement’s debatable, I can attest as a seven-year-old President Kennedy’s execution affected me greatly and is still the seminal world-event of my life. I’ve always perceived that moment as knocking the planet from its axis and over 50-years later we still have yet to recover. The thought of traveling through time and stopping Kennedy’s assassination has intrigued me since childhood, hence my excitement and enjoyment when author Stephen King released his novel “11.22.63,” earlier this decade.

Last year the streaming service Hulu announced that they’d present King’s novel as an eight-part miniseries and I have to admit to being less than enthusiastic after reading the announcement. The news that the production chose James Franco to bring protagonist Jake Epping failed to excite me, as I couldn’t imagine him using the distinctive Maine accent that the character spoke with.

Whether Franco could fool someone into thinking he’s from Bar Harbor isn’t at issue in the miniseries, as just one character in the first chapter entitled “The Rabbit Hole,” sounded like a New England native and he appeared briefly in one scene. However the act of stripping away any regional accents North of the Mason-Dixon line’s commonplace on the small screen and if that’s this series biggest sin, I can easily live with that. While condensing King’s original story significantly in the two-hour premiere, it still proved to be an entertaining story that remained faithful to the tone of the book.

Our story starts out in the present-day in Lisbon Falls, Maine as we watch a man in his late fifties read his report in front of his adult-education classmates. The man’s named Harry Dunning and he’s the custodian at Lisbon Falls High and is trying to get his high school diploma to gain a promotion. The assignment’s the most significant day in the writer’s life and Dunning stuns his classmates with his recounting of Halloween night in 1960. Dunning’s father killed his mother, sister and brother and hurt young Harry badly attacking them all with a hammer. The custodian suffered brain-damage as a result of his beating but he persevered and made a life for himself.

Teacher Jake Epping’s blown away by the story and how open Harry was in relating his tale and gives him an A+ as a grade and the class spontaneously applauds for their classmate. After the class lets out Dunning asks Epping to write a letter of recommendation for him which the teacher gladly agrees to do.

We head to Al’s Diner, a restaurant that most of the townspeople stay away from as the prices are far too low to be serving real beef. However Epping’s a regular and loves the food as well as having a good relationship with the proprietor Al Templeton. This will not go down however as a happy memory for Jake as his soon to be ex-wife Christy shows up for Epping to sign their divorce papers. When Christy pulls out the papers Templeton goes into his storage closet. Jake signs the papers and they both wish each other the best in the future.

Christy leaves the restaurant and Al emerges from the closet looking like he’s aged ten-years in the past two-minutes. His hair which was dark with gray-temples is now steel-gray and he looks gaunt and sickly, Epping asks what happened and Templeton tells him that he’s fine and for Jake to leave. However Al passes out and Epping helps him back to his home. He tells Jake to come back the following day and he’ll clue him in on what’s going on.

We watch Epping try to keep his class of high-school students occupied with a video, however they’ve all zoned-out and one teen laughs as he watches a video on his cellphone. Jake realizing he’s lost his students shuts off the monitor and asks why the video of people in the past suffering from disease should mean any thing to them and gets met with silence. He responds that all people’s lives matter, not just important people.

Jake heads over to Templeton’s after school and they head down to the diner. Al asks Jake to go into his storage closet and spend as much time in there as he wants. Epping looks at him as if Templeton had gone insane but reluctantly agrees to walk as far back into the closet as he can go. He suddenly finds himself outside in the street but in a far earlier era. Two-Toned American Muscle Cars dominate the streets a huge billboard for Moxie’s dominating the horizon and bobbysoxers and working men are bustling around the area. Epping’s trying to get his bearings when an elderly guy walks up to him and says he’s not supposed to be there. Jake gets spooked and runs out of the closet asking Al what the Hell he just went through.

Al refers to it as “The Rabbit Hole” but the closet’s a time portal to October 28, 1960. Each time someone from our era goes through the portal the era resets and it’s once again that day in late October of 1960. He also tells Epping that if someone spends three-minutes or three-years in the past they return to the present exactly two minutes after they departed. Templeton spent two-years in the past while Jake signed his divorce papers and during that time he contracted lung cancer.

He asks Epping to continue the mission he started, preventing Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, as he’s dying and won’t be able to do it himself. Al theorizes if Jake can prevent JFK’s assassination than Robert Kennedy would also live a full life and Vietnam would never have escalated as it did under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Jake asks how can Templeton prove that any changes in the past would remain in place once he returned to the present. Al gives him his switchblade and tells him to go back to 1960 and carve something in the tree outside the diner. Jake does as he’s instructed and when he returns he sees his carving of the initials JFK on the tree. However Jake says he needs time to think it over.

Jake attends Harry Dunning’s graduation ceremony and he’s told by his boss the school’s principal, that Dunning’s not qualified for the promotion. That decision results in sitting down and talking with Templeton in-depth about his plans to prevent Kennedy’s assassination. Al takes Epping into his study in his home and it looks like a detective’s office during a stakeout. Maps, photos and articles cover all the space on the walls along with a library of books on the assassination.

He asks Jake what he knows of the shooting that took place more than two-decades before Epping was born and the teacher mentions Lee Harvey Oswald and assorted crime organizations and intelligence agencies. Templeton informs him that he met Oswald the day he returned from the Soviet Union in 1962. The former US Marine had defected to the Soviet Union the year before, but returned back to the States a year later. When Jake asks why Al didn’t kill Oswald then, Templeton replies because Oswald might have been innocent. He has no proof that Oswald indeed killed the President.

After hours of information and Al showing Jake the false identification cards he acquired for Epping back in the past, the teacher says he doesn’t think he’s the right guy for the job. The pair argue and finally Templeton curses at Jake and throws him out of his house. Epping goes home but he can’t sleep, he realizes he needs to complete Al’s mission. He goes to Templeton’s the next morning but Al died during the night, deprived of seeing what the world looks like after Jake stopped Kennedy’s assassination. He then suddenly notices all the photos of Al during his tours-of-duty in Vietnam and realizes Al had a stake in different outcome as well. But he packs up the money and credit cards and the journal Al gave him and leaps back into the past determined to finish what Templeton began.

Wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a musician on it, along with his scruffy hair and moustache and goatee Jake sticks out like a sore-thumb and so he gets himself a haircut and shave, a new suit and a fedora as well as a 1955 yellow and white convertible. However that depletes his savings so he asks the car dealer where he can find a betting parlor. Jake or James Amberson as his identification cards list him has a book of sports results that can keep him solvent for years.

He goes to the outskirts of town to a little shack with a plate on the door that says Men Only. He tells an older guy he’s looking to place a wager on that night’s prize-fight. He asks what odds the house will give him on the underdog and he’s told he’d get 3-1 odds. Then he says what if he bet the underdog would knock out his opponent in the sixth round and the guy says he’d give him 35-1 odds. The teacher says he’d like to bet $100 and there’s a murmur in the room, than the man in charge says he’ll cover it. The boss tells James Amberson he’ll buy him a beer and they’ll listen to the fight together.

The group sit a table listening to the fight on a transistor radio and things don’t look bright for the challenger in the sixth as his opponent’s pummeling him. Suddenly the crowd starts to cheer and the announcer becomes animated as the challenger takes control and finally knocks out his opponent with seconds left in the sixth. Suddenly the air inside the shack grows heavy with tension as the boss goes to get the winnings. He insists that Amberson count it in front of him and then the head guy and his enforcer walk him outside and the big guy compliments his car. Jake can’t leave the parking lot fast enough and travels to a nearby motor-court to spend the night. However he’s concerned that the bookie might be after him. After trying to convince himself he’s just paranoid, the enforcer pulls into the parking lot and heads for Jake’s door.

The big guy finds the door’s ajar and though the room’s dark he hears some strange music and sees something lit-up on the bed. When the guy bends over to take a closer look at the I-Phone, Epping knocks him out from behind using a blunt object. He grabs his belongings and high-tales it out-of-town, when he feels he’s driven sufficiently far away he stops his car and throws his I-Phone into a river with a swift current. Then he jumps back into his convertible and drives to Dallas.

Jake drives up to right in front of Texas School Book Depository, the building that Oswald allegedly shot JFK from three-years later. He’s comparing his notes to the structure he seeds when he suddenly collides of Catholic school-girls accompanied by a nun and his papers scatter all over the sidewalk. A pretty blonde young woman kind of chuckles over his predicament and says he’d been outnumbered. She starts to walk away from the bench she’d sat on but leaves her purse behind. The woman thanks him for being so gallant and he introduces himself as James Amberson, she responds her names Sadie Dunhill. Suddenly she sees her husband waiting across the street from them by their car and Mrs. Dunhill thanks him again.

Jake gets himself a room at a boarding room outside of Dallas run by a mother and her 14-year-old son Henry who wants to join the army as soon he turns 18 as he wants to serve his country. Jake’s impressed with the teen’s attitude, although joining a branch of the Armed Forces likely never crossed teen Jake’s mind. Jake opens up Al’s journals as soon as he’s set-up, this is the homework Al told him he must keep current with in order to succeed.

Epping takes an evening walk when he’s suddenly to try to call his father on a payphone. He’s connected to his father but the lights begin to sizzle and crackle and the two parties can’t  hear each other’s voices. Jake gets freaked out by the experience and leaves the phone booth, but seconds later he turns around to go back inside, but he’s two late. A woman driving a cherry red car strikes the booth shattering it into pieces and her car to flip over in the street. Epping goes to the front of the car and sees the woman with her head sticking outside the window and appearing dead. However she opens her eyes and stares straight into Jake’s and says he’s not supposed to be there.

Jake freaks out over the experience and runs up the stairs and straight to his room in the boardinghouse and proceeds to vomit in the waste basket in his bedroom. The Landlady asks Amberson if she can get anything for him and he thanks her but says he’ll be fine.

We flash back to the hours the pair spent together going over the material and Al’s talking about a Russian expat that lives in Dallas named George de Mohrenschildt. He knows that the Russian got recruited by the CIA but he never found out if de Mohrenschildt recruited Oswald to kill Kennedy. Templeton tried to trail the Russian to an event where he may have been first approached by the CIA, but following George de Mohrenschildt down a flight of stairs his arm caught on fire and he received some massive burns. Al tells Epping that the past doesn’t like to be changed and will often fight back if you try to alter it too much.

Jake decides to trail the Russian on the same day and follows to a JFK campaign rally in Dallas. Jake waits to see where George sits then chooses a seat a few rows behind. He’s engrossed in Kennedy’s speech but suddenly sees the Russian leave the rally and out the door. Epping follows him and watches as de Mohrenschildt, goes through a velvet-rope in a high-rollers section that will engage with the President and Mrs. Kennedy. Jake scams his way though by saying he works for George and his boss doesn’t like his name on lists.

He bribes the maître-de with some greenbacks and gets a table for one next to the table George and his two companions are sitting at. However the past strikes back again making most of the conversation indecipherable, but Jake hears George say Lee Harvey Oswald. That ends the conversation and Epping tries to follow de Mohrenschildt, when the security guards realize he’s a phony and Epping starts running. He thinks he’s found a safe-haven but soon he sees cockroaches the size of tennis-balls starting to climb up his legs. He runs out of the room and immediately gets knocked unconscious.

When he comes to, the guards want questions and Epping plays it smart. He comes off as a half-crazed JFK zealot who drove all the way from Maine to shake the hand he thinks will be the greatest president ever. The guards let him go thinking he’s harmless but Epping realizes he saw the meeting between George and The Agency take place.

He’s elated as he starts to drive back to the boardinghouse but his mood changes radically when he gets a few blocks way. The boardinghouse went up in flames and the Landlady’s son Harry died in the blaze. The following morning when the fire’s out, Jake goes through his possessions and realized all the information Al gave him got destroyed. He decides he can’t do this any longer and starts driving back to Maine.

He makes it to Kentucky and starts looking at a map and suddenly he realizes he can’t be that far away from Harry Dunning’s home in Holden, Kentucky. He gets directions from a kid at a service station who asks the teacher why he wants to go to Holden and Jake responds because this one thing he can do.

Epping drives up to Dunning home just before the father Frank Dunning stops by his estranged-wife’s home to take his children out for ice-cream. Can Jake stop Dunning from killing three members of his family and badly damaging his son Harry. We’ll find out the answer to that next Monday.

Heroes Reborn: The World Still Needs Saving

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Cheerleader’s Gone But The World Still Needs Saving!

Tim Kring’s pulled off what many fans thought was impossible. Expectations heading into the premiere of the NBC Miniseries “Heroes Reborn,” were incredibly high for fans of the original series that got cancelled by the network five-years ago. At least in the eyes of this viewer the show succeeded in fulfilling those expectations, opening with a two-hour tale that helped to start to fill in the blanks of the events of the last five-years and introducing viewers to some new and charismatic characters.

Even though most of the cast we met in these first hours were new characters in the Heroes Universe, much of the story still revolves our old friend Noah Bennett, the man that became known as “HRG” in the original series. Bennett’s the first character we encounter and we watch the past play-out from his perspective, starting on a park bench in Odessa, Texas. Bennett’s eating an apple on the bench, when we hear the voicemail greeting of his daughter Claire Bennett, who informed the planet of the existence of “EVOS” in the final episode of the original series. We then hear the message Bennett left for his daughter.

“Hi, it’s your dad. It’s been several years since we talked, I don’t know if you’re still mad. I really don’t now anything, I just know I miss you. I’m sure there’s plenty of apologies to go around on both sides, but to be honest with you I don’t care who was right or wrong anymore.

So much has changed since I saw you last. I don’t know if these changes are good or bad, but I really think this has a chance to all work out. And knowing how important you’ve been in all this to so many people out there, it’s made me proud.

I’m just calling to tell you how excited I am that we might be seeing each other. When you look back at all the things you’ve done, the decisions you made, the last thing you want to feel is regret. I’ll see you soon Claire-Bear.”

While we hear Noah’s message we watch a festival being held at Primeatech Corporation. We see a flower arrangement and signs reading “EVOS and Humans United.” Odessa Unity Summit. The expo’s filled with an overflow crowd as we watch humans and  EVOS interacting, even though there’s a small group of protesters clutching Anti-EVOS signs. We watch shape-shifters, teleporters and a toddler who can fly, among the crowd along with humans Luke and Joanne Collins and their nine-year-old son Dennis. Bennett’s walking through the crowd looking for his daughter.

Suddenly the festive air turns deadly as the sky starts to darken because something’s blocking the sun, then an explosion occurs and fire engulfs the entire complex. Bennett somehow survives the explosion and wakes up to nothing but rubble surrounding him, his glasses near him but one of the lenses are cracked. He then screams out Claire’s name, which only he hears. We see a graphic reading Odessa, Texas June 13, one-year-ago. We hear snippets of commentators and world leaders talking about the tragedy, including the voice of President Obama. The dialogue becomes increasingly darker and ends with a man screaming kill them all.

We then witness a montage of vigilantes and some governments try to either kill or imprison EVOS over the next year. A man’s chased by two carloads of vigilantes in his underwear in Quebec. A man trying to escape from a detention camp in China’s dragging a large circular weight that’s chained to his right hand. We see three vehicles approach him and watch him cut off his hand and then he rockets into the air, fleeing his captors. A teenage boy and his mom attempt to go through a border-check at the U.S./Canadian border, when they see a young EVO woman get shot to death as she tries to run from the officers. The mother smashes the car behind them and turns their car in the other direction and speed-off, a collection of “9th Wonder Comics” slips on the backseat.

A graphic informs us that this is Chapter One: Awakening and that we’ve reached the present, which is June 13, one year later in Chicago. Luke Collins is in a car clutching a piece of paper which has the word Cockroach written on it. We watch about a dozen people approach a hall, an elderly man asks them each the password, Cockroach.

There’s a TV on broadcasting a memorial documentary entitled June 13, A Remembrance. The narrator blames EVO extremist leader Mohinder Suresh for the attack on Odessa, claiming Suresh took credit for the bombing. A middle-aged guy growls it’s a lie and shuts off the set. We realize the folks are all EVOS looking to band together and the turnouts far short of impressive. The teenager from the car’s in the room, but says he needs to leave when he receives a text from his mother. He drops a punch-card for an ice-cream shop in Carbondale, Illinois called Moe’s, Luke picks it up and pockets it. The group say they have to strike back and stop being victims, they have the powers. The old guy says Suresh’s right, we are the future and Luke Collins laughs derisively.

Collins tells the folks that he attended the unity summit in Odessa with his wife and son to watch history take place and they were strong supporters of the movement. That’s until his son Dennis died in his arms and he realized how dangerous and unnatural these abilities are for humanity. At that point Luke’s wife bursts in chasing another EVO and the two of them shoot them all dead, then set the bodies aflame and leave the hall. This is the state of the planet in the Heroes Universe in 2015, people terrified of those different from themselves.

Bennett’s not wearing glasses and going by a fake name, he’s selling cars in Austin, Texas. We soon learn that “Ted’s” got a pretty young fiancée named Anne whose obsessed with their upcoming wedding. She says that if they have more than 75-guests they’ll need to rent a tent and Ted suggests they elope.

Next stop’s Linderman Junior High where former student Carlos Gutierrez, awarded the Medal Of Honor for saving three fellow soldiers in the Middle-East, addresses the current students. His nephew Jose’s among the students and he smiles broadly when he tells the kids that anybody can be a hero.

Heading to the Midwest we land at Pinehearst High School in Carbondale, Illinois and we see the teenage boy who left the meeting just before the shooting occurred. There’s a couple a few lockers down a jock named Brad and his girlfriend Emily who the teenager has a crush on and he stares at her when she walks away. Brad roughs the kid Tommy up and he falls to the ground, he starts to look like he’s going to use his ability but defers. Brad calls him a wuss and walks away.

A graphic tells us we’re in Tokyo and we watch as a young man looks for an apartment he’s got the address of. He finds the apartment and knocks on the door and finds it open, he enters the apartment and calls out hello. He hears music and opens a door to find a young woman making origami swans and he startles her when he gets her attention. He tells the young woman Miko, that he’s Ren Shimosowa and he’s a gamer and quite well-known. He says he’s been playing a game called “Ever-Now” and he’s reached the next to last level and he received her address. Miko repeats the name as if it has some significance to her but tells him to leave. As he’s walking out of the apartment he stops in amazement as he sees a Japanese screen that looks like the game. She tells him to get out and don’t come back.

Bennett looks out his apartment window and sees a car that he’s noticed parked at the auto dealership he works at. He tells Anne he’ll be right back and leaves the apartment and starts walking down the street. The guy from the car starts to follow him, but Noah grabs the guy and asks him what he wants. The man’s Quentin Frady, a character from the six-part online series Dark Matters, which revealed a lot of the new storyline. Frady tells Bennett he knows his background at Primeatech and wants to know the truth about June 13. However Bennett’s memories are fragmented, he believes due to the blast he survived.

Frady tells Noah that he believes the attack came from Renautus, the company that bought Primeatech. Bennett calls him a Truther and a conspiracy theorist and suddenly a cruiser arrives, as Anne alerted the police. Quentin’s taken into custody as Bennett heads back inside. However he can’t sleep that night and he removes a painting from a wall, revealing a section cutout from the wallboard. He reaches in and pulls out a bag that contains cash, weapons and an address book. He finds a card for a Lumiere Ophthalmology, it strikes a chord but he doesn’t remember it. He looks it up online and finds it relocated from Odessa to Dallas.

Carlos Gutierrez watches the city from his rooftop, then goes to a liquor store and buys a bottle. He sees a news report on TV about a local hero who saved a man. The hero’s known as El Vengador and wears a Mexican wrestling mask when doing his good deeds guarding the Latino community. They show a police sketch and Carlos recognizes the eyes and realizes it’s his brother Oscar, Jose’s father.

We see El Vengador standing on a rooftop watching two men chase a woman down an alley, he jumps from the roof onto the roof of a car and proceeds to kick both guys’ tails. Gunshots ring out and we watch as El Vengador slumps to the ground, he got set up and the woman shot him twice and aimed to fire again when he threw a blade into her neck killing her. The police arrive and El Vengador bleeding gets away before they arrive at the alley.

Later that evening Carlos goes to the garage that his brother operates and finds Oscar on the floor bleeding. Oscar tells Carlos that he needs him to be a hero for Jose as he’s dying. Carlos says he doesn’t know how to be a hero. He doesn’t even know how he saved the three soldiers in Afghanistan. Oscar dies and we realize that Carlos is the Peter Petrelli character of the new series.

Luke and Joanne Collins sit in Moe’s ice-cream shop trying to find Tommy, who’s interviewing in the office for a job as a scooper at the shop. His crush Emily’s conducting the interview and gives him the job after asking if he can scoop ice-cream. They head out to the floor so Tommy can get a uniform when he sees Luke at a table and walks over to find out how he survived the fire in Chicago. Tommy catches on that Luke set the fire once Joanne comes out of the restroom holding a gun, they take him out back but Emily follows them.

Joanne aims to fire at Emily when Tommy touches her and she vanishes, he then touches Luke and he disappears as well. He suddenly realizes he’s revealed he’s an EVO to Emily and runs home. She follows him in her car and tells him he saved her life and his secret’s safe with her.

Bennett goes to Lumiere Ophthalmology and asks the receptionist if he looks familiar and she replies he doesn’t. He then asks her to look him up by name and she says no records exist. He says he really thinks he’s been there before and says he has a card that reads See More Clearly written on the back of it. She says they don’t have a doctor named Seymour, then she pulls a gun on him. The Haitian comes out of the backroom and says he’s a friend. Rene tells Noah to wait for him at a bench across the street.

Ren Shimosowa returns to Miko’s apartment saying he’s got proof she’s Katana Girl a character from the game. He says that Katana Girl’s father got kidnapped and he hid a sword under the floorboards of his study, which Katana Girl finds and uses to rescue her father. She tells him to leave immediately and he leaves the book he brought about Katana Girl for her to read. She realizes the story’s about her and goes into her father’s study and opens the board on the floor, finding the sword and a note from her father. It reads the sword is key, save me. She unsheathes the sword and turns into a digital character and she’s in the game. She slaughter’s the soldiers trying to attack her, the last one saying you’ll never find him before he dies.

Rene comes out to the bench and hands Noah an envelope, saying the last time he saw them Bennett left him these, it’s Noah’s glasses. He puts them on and says they make a world of difference and Rene stands behind him and starts strangling HRG with a wire cord. Bennett fights back and the two wrestle to the ground and Bennett grabs his pistol. They struggle over the gun and there’s a shot and blood spurts from The Haitian’s chest.

Noah asks Rene why he tried to kill him and he replies Bennett told him to, he had the perfect plan so he’d never remember. Noah realizes The Haitian removed his memories and asks what he can’t remember. Rene says it’s coming and dies, ending the first hour.

The second hour begins with a voiceover provided by Mohinder Suresh, asking why people fear the unknown and the strange. We then see Malina, the first character we glimpsed from the new series in an ad that aired on the Super Bowl. She controls the Northern Lights, as she’s dressed in a fur parka and says it’s happening too quickly and she doesn’t know long she can control it.

Back at Pinehearst High, Tommy tells Emily that EVOS are the modern equivalent to the witches in Salem, everybody hates them and wants them dead. She asks if he can make a flower she’s holding disappear and he does, unaware that Brad’s watching them through a window. When Tommy comes out Brad calls him a freak and says he’s turning him in.

Luke and Joanne Collins are trapped in a room filled with kids toys and covered in space themed wallpaper. There’s no doors windows or even a light switch for the lights that illuminate the room. Joanne tries to shoot through the walls but the bullets do no damage.

Ren shows up at Miko’s to apologize but she’s not in the apartment, he goes into her father’s study and sees Ever-Now on the computer screen. He logs in and realizes that Miko’s now part of the game and he starts playing to help her win. She almost saves her father when a force pulls him away and then she’s knocked out by a soldier, she rematerializes in the study.

Noah bails out Quentin Frady and tells him about his visit with Rene. He tells Frady to get in his car they’re going for a ride.

Carlos Gutierrez and his nephew Jose are sitting in Oscar’s garage after the funeral. Jose says he’s glad lots of people paid their respects. The priest comes in and tells Jose that his mother wants him home, after he leaves he talks to Carlos about how good a man Oscar was and that he loved Carlos very much. He then said that Oscar did his best to watch out for his own.

Tommy tells Brad he could make him vanish but he doesn’t want to hurt anybody. Brad says that if Tommy does something for him, he’ll keep his secret and Tommy agrees. He then attempts to back out when he realizes Brad wants him to make his stepfather disappear as he beats him. Brad goes out to get batteries for his stepfather’s remote control while Tommy stays in the house. Tommy tries to work up the nerve to touch the stepfather but when the man asks what he’s doing Tommy runs out of the house.

A short while later an older man who wears a fedora and has kept tabs on Tommy knocks at the stepfather’s door. The man’s an EVO and can erase memories by giving someone a penny for their thoughts. The man tells him he’s got a business proposition for the stepfather and gives him a penny.

We meet some new characters in a bar, an attractive redhead and brunette and a guy whose likely an EVO as he keeps winning at craps. The guy tells the redhead she’s his good-luck charm and has her blow on his dice and he keeps winning. The proprietors start giving him the stink-eye and he suggest to the redhead that they cash out and leave.

Noah and Quentin drive to Primeatech and are met buy signs warning of toxic material on the site. Bennett says it’s just a scarecrow and drives through the gates. They enter the rubble and Noah finds the trapdoor hiding level five, they go down through the door and Bennett tells Quentin to look for any documents with the name Molly Walker on them. Molly’s the little girl who Matt Parkman adopted after her parents got murdered, she’s an EVO that can find anybody on the planet just by thinking about them.

Ren nurses Miko back to health and she tells him she has to reenter the game to save her father. He says it’s too dangerous but she says with his help she can save her father. He’s in a tower in the game and asks Ren to direct her from the PC when she goes back into the game.

The redhead and the craps player are back in his hotel room and she says she wants another drink. He tries to kiss her and we find out her real intentions, she knows he’s an EVO and threatens to turn him in unless he gives her all the money. He tries to fake his way out of it, but she throws a knife at him and he stops it with his ability. She tries taking the money and running, but he uses his ability to pin her high up on a wall and starts choking her. A couple walk into the hallway and the guy knocks out the crap-shooter with a metal trophy. Just then the brunette from the bar walks in and hustles the redhead out of the hotel.

Luke realizes that maybe the reason they can’t find an exit in the room’s due to the light’s being on. He shoots out the lights and the couple see a plate-glass window in front of them. Luke breaks the window by repeatedly whacking it and the couple escape.

Carlos find the name of the cop that set Oscar up and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t tell him his boss’ name. The cop tells him the name of a superior officer on the force. Carlos goes to see the priest at the church and asks him if he was trying to allude to the fact that Oscar was El Vengador. The priest tells Carlos that Oscar ran the underground railroad to give EVOS safe passage to Canada, he also reveals that he’s an EVO, able to turn himself into smoke and asks Carlos to help him transport a mother and her son.

Luke and Joanne find an elevator and it takes them to the fifth floor of Primeatech, with employees working under the ground. They shoot all the employees and security guards and then take the elevator to floor one and escape. Bennett hears the gunfire and tells Quentin to head to the car as he investigates.

The brunette and redhead are back at the bar, the redhead says her name’s Zoe and the brunette introduces herself as Taylor. Zoe said she needs to disappear and was counting on that money to make it happen. Taylor says she’s a trust-fund baby and can write her a check.

Noah takes the elevator to the fifth floor and finds all the dead employees, but one man clings to life. Bennett asks him where Molly Walker’s at and the man says that Renautus plans to use her to power their new project which will get introduced the following day. The man dies before he can tell Noah anything else.

Miko’s back in the game and enters the tower but Ren tells her it’s a trap. She puts the sheath back on the sword and rematerializes in the tower in reality and she takes out all the security guards with the sword.

Carlos helps the priest get the mother and son safe passage to Canada. She picks up a small object and it turns to gold, she gives it to Carlos as a token of her appreciation and tells him it’s 24-karat. Carlos looks at Oscar’s costume and mask when he’s alone and it looks like he’s ready to take up Oscar’s fight.

Luke and Joanne shot Quentin in the shoulder and stole Noah’s car. It’s filled with files on EVOS across the planet, Luke’s not sure that’s a good thing. He seems to be questioning their mission. Noah tells Quentin that he’ll get him patched up, but they need to find Molly Walker.

Zoe’s been drugged and wakes up handcuffed in the crap-player’s room, it turns out that Taylor’s actually Dahlia and she’s the crap-player’s girlfriend. The guy says he thinks he suffered a concussion from the blow he took from the man in the hall. He then gets on a cellphone and tells the person on the other end they’re holding Molly Walker prisoner, it’s Zoe.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 8:00 pm on NBC.

Sons Of Liberty: Samuel Adams, America’s First Hero?

Photo Courtesy Of History Channel
Photo Courtesy Of History Channel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Over the last few years, The History Channel’s delved into original miniseries in the “Historical Fiction,” genre. What that basically means is you get a story based on actual events, sometimes based on actual people, other times the protagonist’s fictional but they interact with historical figures. The only problem with the genre’s figuring out where history ends and fiction takes over. That’s a pretty apt description of what I witnessed Sunday night as the network premiered their latest original event “Sons Of Liberty.”

The story begins in my hometown of Boston, Massachusetts in 1765, eleven years before the signing of the Declaration Of Independence and revolves around Samuel Adams, cousin of future President John Adams. Although I remember Samuel’s name coming up in history classes, nothing about him really stood out, until they used his name for a Boston micro-brewery. (Who coincidentally, are the main sponsor of the six-hour three-night event.)

When deciding to dedicate six-hours of your time to a television show, the first question you need to ask yourself, is whether it’s worth your attention. After watching the first two-hours on Sunday night, I’ve yet to reach a conclusion on that question. It was entertaining and moved briskly, but I’m not sure if the tale told, was just a good story or truly revolving around actual events.

Although, not familiar with Ben Barnes’ work, whom portrays the central character, the series is loaded with familiar faces. Henry Thomas, whom you may remember as Elliot from the movie “E.T.” plays John Adams, while Michael Raymond-James, who portrayed Neal on “Once Upon A Time,” takes the role of silversmith Paul Revere. The part of Doctor Joseph Warren, a good friend and ally of Adams, gets played by Ryan Eggold, who portrayed Tom Keen for the last two seasons on the NBC series “The Blacklist” and I have to admit to feeling uneasy each time he was on camera. Perhaps the most creative casting choice’s Dean Norris completely unrecognizable as Benjamin Franklin, whose first appearance was fully dressed lying in a tub of water, drinking whiskey in the afternoon.

The evening opens with the graphic, telling us the time and place we’ve arrived at, when we hear a voiceover as we watch men beating each other senseless in the pouring rain. Our narrator, turns out to be Sam Adams and these are his words.

History will regard our nation as inevitable, but it wasn’t. In 1765, we were still a group of colonies, living under British oppression. There was no talk of revolution or thoughts about the United States. Things got so bad, gangs took to beating each other in the streets. But everything changed, on August 13, as Doctor Warren came to see me.

Sorry, but this must be mentioned, it’s August 13, in Boston, Massachusetts and it’s poring like late November and everyone on the streets, wear coats! The “Dog-Days Of August” in Beantown and folks wearing coats??

Warren rides his horse through the harsh elements, then steps into a pub, where he’s promptly greeted by Adams, who asks about the cut on his friends face and tells the bartender to get Warren a pint, which the Doctor refuses. He’s there to warn Adams that the red-coats are searching for him possessing a warrant for his arrest, right then the British soldiers, enter the pub. Adams hides, crouching in the rear of the pub as his friends tell the soldiers they just missed him. Adams chooses right then to make his escape and eludes the grasp of the red-coats.

Adams leads the soldiers through a wild chase in the streets of Boston, jumping rooftop to rooftop as well as exploring some underground routes. Just as they’re close to capturing him, they run straight into the two street-gangs, who join forces and start chasing down the red-coats. The British soldiers take refuge behind the gates of the State House, but soon have to evacuate the Governor and his aide.

The gangs tear down the gates, then pour into the house totally trashing it, they also pull a picture of British King George off the wall and treat it badly. Adams’ is just an awestruck observer, overcome by the power and the fury of his fellow colonists. The Governor and other officials blame him for the riot, but it was actually caused by a bunch of stuff hitting the fan at once.

Governor Hutchison, a man with the warmth of a slab of granite, summons John Hancock to his office. Hancock’s a wealthy young man and executor of the company built by his uncle. Hutchinson got paid off for looking the other way in certain matters, with the senior Hancock and the deal’s in place with John as well. The Governor talks about his relationship with the Uncle and hopes to have the same relationship with Hancock.

He then tells Hancock he needs him to solve a problem for him and tells him about Adams, he says the family’s historically been painful for Hutchinson and now Samuel’s become the thorn in his side. He tells Hancock he wants the businessman to rid him of his problem, in a way that won’t lead back to him, then dismisses the colonist.

A stranger comes into the pub and says he’s looking for Adams and the man’s Samuel’s cousin John. He gets taken to his cousin’s hiding spot and proceeds to give Sam a lecture. Adams was hired by the Crown less than a year earlier, to collect taxes from the colonists and he’s eight thousand dollars in arrears. John tells him to surrender to the authorities and leaves.

That evening Hancock and a young women take a carriage ride to the pub and he goes in asking for Adams. Sam’s friend and protector Tim Kelly, gives Hancock the runaround, but Adams presents himself. Hancock starts to introduce himself and Samuel tells him he knows who he is. Hancock asks if they can talk in private and Kelly kicks all his customers out of the pub.

Hancock explains he’s there to see him on Hutchinson’s behalf and Adams asks if he’s the Governor’s messenger. He says he isn’t but the Governor’s his friend. He then offers Samuel a deal, he’ll pay off all the debt, the warrant will get taken care of and he’ll retain his freedom. His only obligation’s to go to court and asks for the colonists to stop their rioting. Although suspicious at first, Adams accepts the deal and when Hancock leaves he tells Tim Kelly he just got out of his jail sentence.

Hancock meets with Hutchinson and the Governor asks him the status of the situation, Hancock replies it’s resolved and Hutchinson’s quite happy. Then Hancock reveals the details and the Governor implodes, saying that’s not the solution he wanted. Hancock’s confused, saying the situations resolved, but Hutchinson dismisses him. He then writes a letter to the English Prime Minister and tells an aide to get the message on the next ship to London.

Three months later, the message gets delivered to the Prime Minister and summons Benjamin Franklin, living in London at the time. A well-lubricated Franklin meets with the Prime Minister and tells him to calm down, the colonists are just blowing off steam and if patience’s applied the situation will dissipate. After he stumbles out, the Prime Minister’s aide asks of the tales of Franklin’s boozing and womanizing were accurate and the official says they are. The aide says he can’t believe Franklin’s the best America has to offer.

A graphic tells us we’re now on the Estate of British General Thomas Gage, whom the Prime Minister attempts to talk into returning to the colonies and setting things in order. Gage asks what the King thinks about it and the Prime Minister says he couldn’t be bothered. Gage says he feels the same, refuses to go and tells the leader of the English Government to send three ships filled with soldiers and start enforcing the rules strictly. The Prime Minister meets with leaders of Parliament telling them he needs more statutes to keep the colonists in line and all agree.

The next graphic informs us we’re at Boston Harbor in 1766 and we watch the ships unloading scores of red-coats. Joseph Warren’s sent to inspect the troops to ensure they’re healthy and he hears two red-coats discussing that their mission in the colonies is long-term. He tells Adams about what he heard but Samuel displays no concern.

Then the trouble begins, the expanded military presence starts arresting colonists for back taxes, Adams walks by the house of a family knows and they’re taking away the father. Adams tries to intercede, but a soldier pushes him to the ground, he starts to go beat him, when one of the red-coats Warren heard talking, stops the soldier, telling him he’s a harmless drunk. This isn’t the last time we’ll see this soldier and he’ll play a prominent part in the series next two installments. As Adams stands up, the man’s son Christopher asks Samuel what’s going on, but before Samuel can utter a word, his mother tells him to come in the house.

Troubles aren’t just plaguing the poor, John Hancock has one of his ships seized by the British. He goes to see Hutchinson to intercede on his behalf, but Hutchinson refuses to help and denies that the two of them have a deal, then calls Hancock a smuggler. Hancock denies the accusation, then Hutchinson says if he’s a businessman pay his taxes like everyone else. Hancock sits in his study despondent, when we can see by his facial expressions he’s got a plan.

Hancock tells Adams about his problem with Hutchinson, then asks for his help trying to smuggle the rest of his ships’ cargo to Boston. He tells Adams that he’ll give jobs to all the colonists who can’t find work and says with his money and Samuel’s influence they’ll become the perfect team. Adams always looking out for his fellow colonists, agrees to work with Hancock.

The plans for the operation are held in Paul Revere’s workshop. Hancock introduces himself to Revere and thanks him for providing them a place to plan and Revere says Hancock’s given him so much money, he can have the place. The men then sit down and plan out their trial excursion.

A ship sails at night, with rather dark-colored sails, they turn off all their lights as they start approaching the shore, to avoid detection. Their strategy fails as the red-coats fire a warning shot, over the ship’s bow, then ride out on a row-boat and board the ship. The captain presents the soldiers with a bill of laden for twelve barrels of molasses and that’s all the red-coats can find, they remove a floor board and look in the hull but it’s empty. The soldiers leave empty-handed, but when they leave we see the ship’s cargo suspended by nets attached to the bottom of the vessel. Adams and another man unload the nets into a rowboat, then put the cargo in a wagon and head to Hancock’s warehouse.

Warren’s walking when he runs into the boy Christopher and asks what he’s doing, Chris tells him he’s the lookout and pushes the doctor close to the wall, so they’re hidden. Adams and two other men, come around the corner with the carriage and a red-coat stops them, wanting to inspect it. Warren tells Christopher to lie in the street and pretend he’s very sick. When the boy goes into his routine the Doctor, shouts to the red-coat for help then sends him to a shop down the road to get cardiac-salts for the boy. Sam and associates take off.

They reach the warehouse and Hancock’s ecstatic. He asks Adams how much he and his men can handle and Samuel responds how much you got? We head back to Revere’s workshop as the group starts planning to do their smuggling on a grand-scale. We even get some musical cues, first the sound of a tambourine, then some light percussion, except for the outfits, the scene could have been plucked from Ocean’s Eleven.

The operations a huge success as they outwit the British at every turn, they even minted some special coins for their members to be able to get wine and other goods from Hancock’s ships. Then Hancock gets a bit too cocky. He throws a huge party at his home and instead of a montage of women getting ready for the evening, we watch as the men of the era get primped, powdered and made up. He welcome his guests as a giant birthday cake lays below him on the main floor with rockets throwing flames into the air. Hancock then asks his guests to drink a toast to King George as this is his birthday.

As Hancock interacts with his guests, Governor Hutchinson comes to him clutching Hancock’s hand and telling him how admirable his comeback is. Hancock purposely keeps talking with other guests and Hutchinson says they’ll have to meet to talk about Hancock’s amazing success.

As we take a tour of Boston at night, we see the special coin’s infiltrated many of the city’s establishments. Suddenly a bald-headed man approaches a man sitting alone at a table and asking him for a coin, saying they’re both Irish. The man gives him one but tells him to take good care of it. We confirm that he’s Hutchinson’s spy and the Governor tells an aide to give Mr. Whittier his payment for doing his job.

The British raid all the establishments connected with Hancock and Adams, confiscating all the property and arresting the barkeeps and shop-owners. John and Samuel meet, Hancock suggests he just pay off the right people and they’ll return to Easy Street. Adams says that he wants them to organize a boycott of Tory shops and businesses. Hancock tells Sam that’s crazy and just going to make things worse and he leaves begging Sam not to do a thing. Adams and two other men spend the night painting white letter T’s on shops and pubs through the night.

Hancock heads to the pub the next day to ask Adams what he thinks he’s doing, this is business, he doesn’t need to get politics involved. Samuel laughs and says no matter how many parties he throws, he’ll never be British, John responds that his money keeps Adam’s out of a prison. Adams says at least he’d know what side he’s on, Hancock why does it have to be about sides? Adams looks him in the eye and says because the sides exist, then walks out.

Hancock looks behind him and sees Tim Kelly smirking and John asks Kelly as Sam’s friend if he could try to make him see reason. Kelly barely spoke throughout the two hours, but he became eloquent in this moment. He told Hancock that he’d most likely be shocked to find out that Kelly was a former property owner, with a wife and a little girl. Then times got tough for all the colonists and many lost almost all they had, then Samuel’s father opened up the first bank for colonists. They all owed land, so Adams senior gave them loans using their land as collateral, things got better, people went back to work.

Then the Brits decided they didn’t fancy the idea of the colonists having such independence and shut it all down, Adams went bankrupt and it drove him to an early death. Samuel’s just like his father, Kelly told Hancock, then told him of all the money they made with Hancock, Adams never kept a penny.

New graphic informing us we’re in Down-town Boston on February 22, 1770, it’s nighttime and the snows blowing and we hear a crowd chanting Tory, Tory. We see the crowd in front of a Tory supporter’s store and Kelly says the man’s hard of hearing so he sends a man in, to take him outside and face the crowd. An older aristocrat, who’s been in other scenes, berates the crowd and tells them to leave him alone. He then sees Christopher in the crowd and asks his mother what kind of parent she is taking her boy to this.

Now Kelly shows his anger and starts to approach the older man asking him who he thinks he is talking to Christopher’s mother like that. The man sees a red-coat and asks him if he’s going to do something and the young man just stands there. The old man punches the soldier and grabs his rifle and aims it at the crowd, somebody screams you can’t shoot us all and start chasing him, he makes it into his house and bolts the door. He runs upstairs to his terrified wife and the bedroom windows get shattered by rocks thrown from the crowd.

The old man’s in way over his head and he realizes it, shouts out to the mob to leave them alone but he’s struck by flying debris. He pulls up the rifle, points it out the window aims it at the crowd and we watch the bullet exit the weapon in slow motion. It goes into the crowd, we hear a giant mournful sigh and we see little Christopher’s oozing blood from his chest as the life ebbs from his body. The old man and his wife are mortified, Samuel arrives and picks up Christopher then gives his now lifeless body to Doctor  Warren.

The next day’s the funeral and the procession goes past the aristocrat’s home as he’s heavily guarded by red-coats, as the procession moves on Hutchinson tries to join it and Adams tells him he’s unwanted. The Governor says he wants to extend his condolences and Samuel tells him they’re worthless. He’s got the boy’s father jailed and the aristocrat will escape jail. Hutchinson says that London’s the only place the man can receive a fair trial and Revere says that’s garbage. As he heads back to the State House he tells Samuel he’s got more of the boy’s blood staining his hands than stains Hutchinson’s.

March 5, 1770 King Street Boston, reads the graphic and we see colonists and red-coats in a standoff in the street. In the pub, the men are all consumed with grief, Adams sits in front of the fireplace, when his cousin John comes in to see him. John tells Samuel, the trouble must end and Sam says he was only a boy John. The future President looks his cousin in the eye and says this is where it has to end. Samuel stands up and says this is only the beginning, he and two men leave the pub and angrily walks towards the mob. We see John Adams watching from a distance.

As we join the mob we see the leader of the red-coat brigade telling his men to hold their fire, then he orders the crowd to return to their homes. A Black man pushes a red-coat, who responds by shooting the man dead. That man was Crispus Attucks, the first American killed by British gunfire and welcome to the Boston Massacre. Five colonists were killed that day by the red-coats in their panic. Adams runs at the red-coats, all scatter but one and he beats that soldier to the ground. We see Joseph Warren weeping openly, as the camera pans back and we see the five dead bodies and their blood coloring the snow.

The Series Resumes Monday Night at 9:00 pm on The History Channel.

Gracepoint: Who Killed Danny Solano?

Photo Courtesy Of Fox
Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Fox Network introduced their new Limited-Run Series “Gracepoint,” with a rather foreboding image, a young dark-haired boy stands on a cliff high above the water at night with tears streaming down his face. Then the camera goes black.

Gracepoint, California’s a lovely seaside village, located halfway between San Francisco and the Oregon border, a town that attracts tourists, but the regulars are a small tight-knit community, who’ve known each other all their lives. Well aside from the new Gracepoint Police Department Lead Detective Emmett Carver, (David Tennant) who just joined the force the previous week, with a long resume and lots of experience. Carver expected quiet times in his new post, but funny how life works out sometimes.

Carver got the position promised to longtime Gracepoint Detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn) before going on vacation by the department’s Chief Morgan, (Tom Butler) but gets called into his office and told the disappointing news as she enters the station. Morgan, said the situation changed while she was away and Carver’s very experienced. Miller reminds the Chief, of their conversation in which he told her the department was looking to promote women.

We leave the station and enter the home of one of the village’s family’s, plumber Mark Solano, (Michael Pena) his wife Beth (Victoria Kull) and their daughter Chloe (Madalyn Horcher) are eating blueberry pancakes made by Beth’s mother, who came over from her home nearby to cook breakfast. Beth asks if anyone’s seen their son Danny (Nikolas Filipovic) because he forgot his lunch, but Mark says he’s probably on his regular morning nature watch, then kisses his wife and leaves for work.

The next scene illustrates just how small and close a community Gracepoint is, as we watch Solano walk through the village interacting with everyone in his path, a routine he’s clearly used to. He stops by the town’s newspaper and pays the editor Kathy Eaton (Alisen Down)  for the ad he runs in it for his company, then haves a brief conversation with the paper’s reporter Owen Burke (Kevin Zegers) whose heading to cover the local track meet at the village’s school. He asks Gemma Fisher (Sarah-Jane Potts) who runs the local inn and restaurant when he’s getting his free meal for fixing her boiler, then finally meets his assistant Vince Novik (Stephen Louis Grush) driving Mark’s van and showing up late for work.

Beth meanwhile heads to her son’s school and finds out he didn’t join the nature group and has yet to show up at school. She starts to panic, finds Danny’s best friend and Ellie Miller’s son Tom, (Jack Irvine) who tells her he hadn’t seen or heard from her son all day. She thanks the boy and asks him if he sees him to call her. She then calls her son’s and husband’s phones reaching voice mail on both.

Miller’s really steamed at getting passed over for the promotion, so she heads into the rest-room locks the door and presumably calls her husband Joe, (Josh Hamilton) to vent. In the midst of her conversation there’s pounding on the door and another female officer informs Ellie that a case just came in and she needs to head to the beach.

Carver’s just arriving at the beach when we join him and when he sees the body’s a young boy’s, he whispers please not again.  A uniformed officer’s already on the scene and then Miller pulls up in her car. She realizes the body’s Danny’s and starts screaming and running toward the corpse. Carver attempts to restrain her and she tells him that he’s got her job and she’s Detective Ellie Miller. He asks her if she knows the boy and tells him he’s her son’s best friend.

Beth’s driving around town trying to find her son when she runs into a traffic jam, an unusual occurrence in their town. The line of cars stretch near a quarter-mile and she gets out of her car and starts walking forward. A couple of minutes into her journey, she asks a woman in a car if she has any idea what’s going on and the woman replies, the police shut down the beach after finding a body. Beth’s positive the body’s Danny’s and starts running as fast as she can towards the beach. She gets to the area cordoned off by Police Tape, lifts it up, walks past an officer talking to someone else and heads to the crime scene. Another officer tries to stop her, but she gets close enough to recognize her son’s sneakers and breaks down, trying to reach her son while several officers restrain her.

Shortly later a forensics expert shows up and says Danny did not fall, jump or get pushed off the cliff, who ever murdered the boy planted the rocks to make it appear that was the cause of death. He believes the killer transported Danny to the beach and dumped his already dead body. They meet with the town’s medical examiner and he’s positive it’s a homicide caused by blunt trauma to the front of the boy’s head. When asked if he was the victim of a sexual assault, the medical examiner responds, no thank heavens. He then tells Carver that though the detective’s a veteran of these investigations, this doesn’t happen in Gracepoint and tells Carver to catch the killer and put him a way for a long time.

Carver and Miller head to the Solanos and Miller tells the other detective she wants to break the news to the family. He says no immediately, she replies that he doesn’t know them and he asks her how many murder investigations she’s worked. When she admits this is her first he tells her she can’t help them or make things any better.

They enter the home, and everyone sits down. Carver says they found a body on the beach and believe it’s their son’s, Beth asks Ellie if it’s Danny and she nods her head as Chloe and Beth dissolve into tears. Carver tries dispassionately asking questions and Mark finally says he wants to see the body, they might be mistaken.

Miller takes him to the morgue and now Mark dissolves into tears, he asks Ellie if he can touch  him and the detective says no. He apologizes to Danny for not being there to protect him and says he’ll blame himself for the rest of his life. Then he tells his son that he’ll find whose ever responsible and they’ll get punished.

When Mark and Ellie return from the morgue, Carver promises the family that he’ll find the killer. Right after he says that Chloe grabs her coat and handbag and leaves the house. A short while later she and her boyfriend arrive at the beach and put down one of Danny’s toys, a stuffed monkey on the beach, then falls into her boyfriend’s arms and starts to weep. They fail to notice reporter Owen Burke sitting nearby, there to investigate the case for his paper. He calls Miller and asks if it’s Danny Solano and she freezes up and gets tongue-tied, telling him his call’s inappropriate and she won’t confirm anything. He realizes that she did confirm by not denying it and hangs up, she calls him right back but gets his voice mail. He sends out a press release from his cell-phone, starting a huge storm in the village.

Carver and the rest of the department are unaware that Burke filed the story and tells all the officers, that until he gives the official press conference later that afternoon, they’re not to discuss the case with anybody. Chief Morgan nods to Carver to take a walk with him outside, then suggests he hand the case over to Ellie because of what happened in Rosemont. Carver gets agitated, says he got completely exonerated and because of Rosemont, he’s the perfect man to lead the investigation. Morgan says that Carver came to Gracepoint to “lay low,” but Carver counters that he came to do a job.

Chloe finds out first getting an alert on her cellphone and the Solanos go ballistic screaming at the forensics expert whose now at their home. He’s truly clueless about the leak and suggests they contact Carver or Miller, but Beth says that they’d rather speak to him. She then berates him and asks what gives the department the right to release her son’s name without informing them first.

Renee Clemons, (Jessica Lucas) a reporter for the San Francisco Globe, watches Carver’s press conference from Gracepoint announcing the slaying of Danny Solano. She knows Carver, she tells a colleague from her days working in Rosemont and says she’s surprised he got hired by another department. She pitches the story to her editor, but he declines her request, however she defies him and travels up the coast on her own.

Nearly forty-years-ago, one of the first Mini-Series to capture the public’s attention and become a hit, was “Rich Man, Poor Man” and one of the stars, Nick Nolte’s career got launched by his performance. I’m happy to announce that Nolte’s a character in Gracepoint, but he’s far from the handsome leading man of his salad days. Nolte plays Jack Reinhold, an old codger who resembles a cross between a mean Santa Claus and a sailor. He rents kayaks and canoes to tourists but his main passion’s keeping track of the local sea life which he reports to the observatory down the coast.

For years he’s taken local children out with him in the early mornings to help him record dolphin and whale sightings. Danny was there every morning the week he got killed except for the morning he died. Carver asked if Reinhold had called Danny’s house when he didn’t show up and Jack looked at the detective as if he were insane, asking if he thought Danny was the first kid not to show for a morning session?

Beth and Mark start talking and she asks why he didn’t check on Danny when he got home from a plumbing emergency at 3:00am and he asked her why didn’t she check on him after she saw him at 9:00pm? She asks her husband where he was and he says I told you I was working.

Ellie still has yet to let her son know that his best friend got killed the night before, so she stops home to tell him in person. Tom seems oddly calm about the information, asking very few questions other than if his parents knew and his mom tells him they do. She then tells her son that losing one’s best friend in such an awful way can make people react differently. He may get very sad, or angry or just want to cry, but what ever way he reacts is fine.  He then asks his mother if he could have some time alone and she says sure, gives him a kiss and leaves the room. Tom grabs his cellphone and deletes all the messages on it from Danny. He then goes to his laptop and erases the hard drive.

That night at the station, Miller calls Carver into her office to show him her latest find, surveillance footage from the village square from the night before and lo and behold Danny Solano’s riding his skate board down the white line in the middle of the street at midnight. That proves he wasn’t abducted from his home, but now gives them two more questions, where’s his skateboard as well as his cellphone, which he never left his house without?

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00pm on Fox.

Forever: Welcome To The World Of Henry Morgan

Photo Courtesy Of ABC.GO
Photo Courtesy Of ABC.GO

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Many times one walks away from watching a pilot episode of a series, one walks away intrigued. One likes the premise, the acting and writing and see possibilities for the series down the road. Very few times, has this viewer walked away from a pilot, enjoying every aspect of it, and counting the days to the next episode. ABC, has at least one confirmed fan of their new Tuesday night series “Forever,” as it maybe the most satisfying opening story that I’ve witnessed in quite a while. Although the series will not make its television debut, until September 23, the network is streaming the pilot, so you can get a sneak-peak.

Managing Editor Jason Jones and I, have seen lots of ads for shows over the last couple of years, that we’ve come to label as “Great Concept, Lousy Execution.” The major networks, as well as their cable competitors, come up with this tremendous premise, then they just drop the ball. Sometimes that initial concept, has created hits for their creators, even with falling short of the potential. I’m pleased to say, that “Forever,” may have surpassed my highest expectations.

The series stars Ioan Gruffudd, who played Reed Richards in the “Fantastic Four” movies, but without the gray temples, or stretching ability. Apparently Gruffudd, has a pretty huge fan-base, here in the States and they will get ecstatic about his performance in this series, as he comes off as gallant and a charmer in the role.

We meet Gruffudd’s character walking on a crowded Manhattan street as he heads for the subway. He introduces himself in a voice-over;  “My name is Henry Morgan. My story is a long one. It might sound a bit implausible. In fact you probably won’t believe me. But I’ll tell you anyway, because beyond all else, I have lots and lots of time.”

He climbs aboard the subway car and takes a seat next to an attractive, blonde, young woman and greets her in Russian. Looking puzzled, she responds in her native tongue and asks Morgan, how he realized she was Russian. He replies that she had a dab of a certain brand of Russian chocolate near her mouth, which she rubs off. He then wishes her good luck in her performance and now she’s truly shocked. Once again she questions his powers of deduction and he explains, that the indentations on her fingers suggest she play a stringed instrument. They’re two wide apart for a violin to have made them, so she plays the cello. He then says the moisture on her collar, told him that she recently showered, meaning she was going to work, or out on a date. He tells her she’s far too beautiful to take the subway for a date.

So exactly who is Henry Morgan? Is he a NYPD Detective, a private-eye, or possibly a member of the FBI or CIA? The woman’s impressed and possibly smitten, as she invites Morgan to the concert and for drinks after the show. He replies that’s perfect, which were the last words the woman heard as the subway crashed, killing all the passengers in their car, except for Morgan. He’s conscious and trying to reach his pocket-watch, on the floor nearby, when we go back in time via a flashback from Morgan.

We travel back 200-years and find ourselves on a slave-boat, traveling from Africa to the USA, Morgan’s the ship’s doctor and he’s examining one of the captives. He tells the crew members, that the man has a fever but’s without infectious disease and will soon be well. The leader of the group, possibly the vessel’s captain says the captive has Cholera and they will throw him from the ship to a watery grave. The doctor tells the man he can’t allow that to happen and the man responds with a bullet killing Morgan, or so it seems. As his body got thrown into the ocean, he came back to life and has died many times over the last 200 years, but always revives in a body of water and nude. Which occurs after this accident and Morgan tries being discreet as possible until arrested by two of New York’s Finest.

He’s released from jail the following morning and waiting for him in his car’s his longtime companion Abe, (Judd Hirsch) who Morgan tells us in a voiceover is the only one who knows his secret and that fate brought them together. The elderly man tells his companion, even considering he died the night before and spent the rest of the night behind bars, he looked terrible. Morgan responds he looks the same as always, whether it’s terrible or not.

Abe owns what looks like an antique store and both men live above the shop. He asks Henry to join him at the opera that evening, to commemorate his first death in a subway accident, but Morgan refuses. The old man tells him that he’s avoided death, but he really hasn’t lived for a long time. He motions to a 5×7 black and white picture of a beautiful blonde woman and says that his companion hasn’t allowed anyone to get close to him since Abigail, the name of the woman in the photograph.

NYPD officers investigate the crash and Detective Jo Martinez, (Alana De La Garza) gets told they’ve tried to contact her for hours, but she says she overslept. Her superior Lieutenant Marcia Roarke, (Barbara Eve Harris) tells the detective that the initial investigation suggests that the subway conductor suffered a heart-attack at the controls, but if the autopsy shows the conductor was drinking, it’s a homicide investigation. Martinez tells the Lieutenant, that she’ll head to the medical examiner’s office, who we soon find out is Henry Morgan. Which does make sense, who’d be better at determining cause of death, than a man that’s died numerous ways?

Martinez meets Morgan and his associate Lucas, (Joel David Moore) kind of dorky, bearded guy in his mid-thirties, who asks the detective if she wants a Latte or a fruit smoothie, which she politely declines. Henry tells the detective he’s sorry for her loss and she responds she didn’t lose anybody in the crash. The medical examiner explains he was referring to her husband, as her ring finger’s discolored and she wears her wedding band on a chain around her neck. Morgan’s just about to examine the conductor as Martinez arrived, and shortly after splitting open the corpse’s chest, he determines the man died from poison, due to the froth on his lungs. The detective asks if the medical examiner’s saying that poison definitively caused the conductor’s death , but Morgan tells her that he can’t say for sure until they get the results from the lab, which could take three-weeks. Lucas, however explains that Morgan’s rarely wrong, sometimes he can determine cause of death just looking at a body.

The phone rings and Lucas answers it, telling Morgan it’s for him from a man who identified himself as a friend. As Henry goes into his office to take the call, the other medical examiner says that Morgan doesn’t have friends, they’ve worked together for three-years and he barely knows him. As Henry takes the call, he soon realizes the caller knows his secret. He fakes his way through the conversation, but the other man realizes he’s lying. When he arrives home he tells Abe, that they have to pack up and leave, wait until the man dies and then they can return, however Abe replies he’d never make it back to New York. He convinces Morgan to calm down and that they’ll get through this crisis.

Abe arrives the next evening to pickup Henry, but the pair get surprised to find squad-cars and police officers swarming the shop. Morgan’s taken down to the station by Martinez, who tells him that they found all sorts of creepy stuff in his secret hideaway, including human organs and bondage equipment. She tells him they’ve investigated his past, he went to medical school in Guam and had been a gravedigger before entering school. Martinez then tells him she knows he was on that train, as she saw him on surveillance footage. She then says she thinks he poisoned the conductor and then traveled to the back of the train before the crash.

The Lieutenant and other detectives are viewing the interrogation on monitors and everybody gasps a bit when Henry says okay he did it, Martinez asks if that’s a confession and he replies it’s not. However, she came into his office expecting the conductor died of a heart-attack and he told her the victim died of poisoning. She replies, that would either make him a sociopath that wanted to get caught, or he’s innocent. He then says there’s no reason for his detention and she releases him, but tells him to stay local.

Morgan goes back to his office and finds an un-stamped manila folder on his desk with a note attached saying it came from his fan. He opens the envelope and pulls out an 8×10 black and white photo of him and the woman Abigail, with a restaurant’s logo and dated 1955. We then travel back to that night via a flashback and we find out Abigail (Mackenzie Mauzy) was Henry’s wife and she knows about his secret. He tells her that he loves her more than anything he ever encountered and all his years rebounding from death had been to make him worthy of her. She tells her husband that she’ll grow old and die, but he’ll remain forever youthful and his purpose for escaping death doesn’t involve her. As we come back to the present, Morgan pulls a tabloid with a front page article of the subway crash.

When Henry returns home that evening, he tells Abe that he’s got a way to immediately find out the poison that killed the victim, and produces a vial of the corpse’s blood. Abe injects him with the blood and picks him up at the river with a fresh set of clothes, after he returns from death once again. He tells his companion that aconite was what killed the conductor, a quick acting poison derived from the monkshood plant.

When Morgan arrives at his office the next day, he and Lucas search the corpse for a puncture wound, which Henry discovers behind one of the cadaver’s ears. He sprays the area with a chemical and tells Lucas to shine a black-light on it and they see a fingerprint left by the killer. He heads down to the police station just in time to hear Jo describe him as creepy, among other euphemisms, before realizing he was in front of her. She tries to get out of her faux pas, by explaining she meant he was creepy in the nicest possible way, he replies he’s been called much worst names. He then tells her his visit’s due to the fingerprint.

The police soon identify the fingerprint’s from a man named Hans Koehler, whose wife died in an accident a few years before on a subway operated by the conductor. Martinez and Morgan drive to Koehler’s home and Henry starts walking around the outside of the house looking for evidence. The detective screams at the medical examiner they don’t possess a warrant, but Henry discovers a greenhouse full of monkshood plants. They enter his garage and find a full-blown lab, with beakers of aconite. The garage door opens and the pair hide in the shadows as Koehler enters, Martinez waits until he reaches his bench then approaches him with her weapon drawn and tells him he’s under arrest. Koehler picks up the beaker and throw some of the aconite on Jo’s hand, then escapes. Morgan realizes time’s of the essence, pours alcohol on her hand and sets it aflame, before dousing it in the sink. Martinez would have died had the poison remained on her skin just a minute longer.

Other detectives arrive at the scene and they determine that Koehler had manufactured lots of aconite, but took it with him. They also find diagrams left by the killer, including drawings of an upside-down fish and crab. Henry’s flashback brings us back to the twenties, as he saw the symbols on the ceiling of Grand Central Station, they are Zodiac signs, Pisces and Cancer. He asks one of the detectives where Koehler’s wife died and gets informed that she passed at Grand Central. Morgan realizes, that Koehler’s produced enough of the poison to release it through the air in the station, killing all inside.

They race down to the subway station, but they can’t find their suspect, when Henry realizes the air conditioning unit’s running in the terminal, even though the weather’s cold. He tells Martinez that they’ve got to reach the roof, as that’s where the air conditioner unit is. They arrive on the roof just before Koehler does, but he’s drawn his gun and shoots Martinez, knocking her momentarily unconscious. He points the pistol at Morgan, telling him to help move the tanks of aconite. Henry begs him to reconsider, that his mass killing won’t bring him back his wife, but Koehler responds the Transit Authority will remember her. When Morgan tries to stop him, Koehler shoots him in the chest, then returns to set up his death-trap, but Henry summons his strength and pushes the two of them from the roof and get killed landing on the hood of a car below.

Jo wakes up in a hospital bed with Henry standing before her, greeting her with a smile. She asks what happened and the medical examiner tells her that Koehler shot her, then jumped to his death. She tells him she remembered both Morgan and Koehler falling from the roof, but Henry tells her it’s the morphine talking.

Morgan receives another call from his fan and the caller reveals that he’s just like Henry and he’s as clueless as the medical examiner, how he’s escaped death. Before hanging up, he sounds like he’ll introduce himself to Morgan, relatively soon, we can see that Henry’s shaken finding out he’s not as unique as he believed.

We get one final flashback; the year’s 1945 and Henry’s in Germany in a Red Cross jeep, as the war’s ending in Deutschland. A beautiful young blonde English woman asks Henry if he’s a doctor and we realize that this is the first time Morgan and Abigail met. He replies that he’s a doctor, and she presents him with an infant boy, imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, but except for the number tattooed on the baby’s arm, he’s in perfect health. We return to the present as Abe’s sitting in his shop and we see the same number tattooed on the old man’s arm, meaning Henry and Abigail raised him as their son. Henry kisses the old man on the top of his head, when there’s a knock at the door. Martinez released from the hospital stops by to return Henry’s pocket-watch and Abe yells at Morgan to invite the detective inside. She replies she’s on the job, investigating a homicide and requested that Henry be her medical examiner. The two leave for the crime scene, as Abe breaks out into a big grin.

Forever Premieres Tuesday Night, September 23, on ABC.

The Leftovers: Not LOST, Just Dazed And Confused

Photo Courtesy Of HBO
Photo Courtesy Of HBO

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Most likely you have read one of the omnipresent articles in the last few weeks about the début of the new HBO Original Series “The Leftovers” that debuted Sunday night. The new show had a fine pedigree, being televised on a Network that has set the standard for TV Drama, over the last couple of decades. The series was co-created by author Tom Perrotta, who wrote the novel the show’s based on and Damon Lindelof, one of the two men behind the highly acclaimed former ABC series “LOST.”  In most of his interviews promoting his new show, he opened up about how shaken he was by the fan reaction to the final episode of his earlier series.

The conclusion to the series that had captivated its fans for six years, did not tie up all the loose ends that had intrigued viewers during the life of the show and the ones they did explain, left many audience members unsatisfied. Although he professed that many fans failing to embrace the finale hurt him, it has not stopped him from introducing one of the most puzzling premieres ever on the small screen.

The title of the series fits perfectly, as we are dealing with the results of two percent of the planet’s population simply vanishing on October 14, three years earlier. We do watch the event unfold from the point of view of a young mother with her infant son Sam, in tow as she tries to rectify the results of a bad day at a Laundromat. Through a series of phone-calls, we realize that one of her family’s toilets backed up and flooded her entire first floor. Sam is just as unhappy about the situation as is his mother and he proceeds to let her know with a sustained wail.

She takes Sam and her laundry out to her car still talking on the phone with the infant crying even louder as she puts him into his car-seat in the back of her vehicle. She is talking about formula for Sam, when suddenly we realize the crying in the car has stopped, the mother does as well and looks to find her infant has disappeared. Not wanting to believe her eyes she frantically searches the backseat for her son, then exits the car and looks outside screaming his name. A little boy starts to frantically call for his father who seconds before was pushing a grocery-cart right next to his son. The mother screams for someone to contact 911 and we hear a series of calls to the service about people disappearing.

We jump to the present which is almost three-years exactly after the incident occurred. We meet main character Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), Chief of Police for the town of Mapleton, we aren’t informed what state, however it looks like a cold weather city. Garvey is out for his morning jog when he meets a stray dog; then the man and  the animal approach each other warily. The Chief and the dog start to bond when a pickup truck pulls up about 100 yards away and the driver gets out of his vehicle with a rifle and shoots the dog dead. After recovering from the shock, Garvey attempts to chase the vehicle on foot, but soon gives up the effort. He puts the dog’s body in the trunk of his car and proceeds to drive to the home listed on the hound’s tags.

When he gets there he encounters the woman that had owned the dog and told her it had died. The woman responded brusquely that the dog had run away from home the day of the incident and had never returned in the three ensuing years. She tells the Chief that it was her husband’s dog  who had vanished and Garvey offered her condolences for her loss. She sarcastically responds, is that what it is; and shuts the door.

The officer gets back in his car and calls his subordinate Dennis Luckey (Frank Harts), to find out if the other cop has any information on the man who shot the dog. Luckey asks his superior if he got a plate number for the vehicle and Garvey chastises him for asking the question. He then tells the junior officer that since he’s got time before his meeting with the mayor he will head to animal control. Luckey replies that the meeting is taking place momentarily and that the other participants are waiting for him.

Mapleton Mayor Lucy Warburton (Amanda Warren),  is reminiscent of former Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, in appearance, dress and manner, an intelligent, articulate woman who wants to maintain control. She welcomes Garvey when he arrives late to the meeting and the Chief responds that the fault lies with her office staff, who had scheduled the meeting for noon. She had gathered the Chief and other town officials to talk about the inaugural celebration of “Heroes Day,” the following morning, the third anniversary of the departure. One of the men at the meeting ask why folks refer to the departed  as Heroes, when his brother-in-law disappeared and he was a bum. The Mayor responds because Americans admire Heroes and not bums.

Warburton is doing her best to sell the concept of the next day’s celebration as a great idea, something that her constituents need, to turn the page and move on with their lives. She tells the officials that people are ready to have fun again, but Garvey totally disagrees with her position. He counters that people would rather explode than to have fun and warns the Mayor that a group he refers to as the “Remnants,” will attend and cause a fight to break out. Warburton asks her Police Chief if he wants her to cancel the events and he replies that he does, but the Mayor tells him that will not happen.

The next scene gives us our first look at the “Remnants,” and their lifestyle. These people have taken a vow of silence and their motto is “We Are Living Reminders.” Their entire existence seems to revolve around constantly reminding their fellow citizens of the departed. Our first view is a room filled with women sleeping on mattresses, all dressed in white and there is a clothing rack in the room that’s filled with nothing but white shirts and pants. The camera focuses on a woman in her early to mid-forties (Amy Brenneman),  as she wakes up, gets ready in the bathroom and then joins the others, both male and female who are undertaking tasks, while chain-smoking cigarettes. We see ashtrays overflowing with butts while people are puffing on cigarettes, with their next one tucked behind their ears. There is a purpose behind that as well as a sign proclaims “We Don’t Smoke For Enjoyment, We Smoke To Proclaim Our Faith.”

A man walks into the room and puts a clipboard upon the white dry-erase board that occupies a wall, it contains a list with the names of the “Remnants,” assigned to attend the “Heroes Day,” events in Mapleton the following morning. The woman that we’re focused on does not see her name on the list and goes to an office where another woman (Ann Dowd),  is working. She writes to the second woman that her name is not on the list and she wants to attend. The other woman writes okay and the matter’s settled. We see on a TV monitor in her office that a Senate hearing is taking place on C-Span, as they interview a scientist on possible causes for the incident three-years before. A Senator then tells the scientist that religious leaders have stated that God was not the force that took away 160 million people from the planet, so they are hoping that science can provide a reason. However the scientific community has not come close to coming up with the cause of the incident.

A man in his fifties drives into a parking lot, gets out of his car and into the pickup truck of a much younger man, who is the Police Chief’s son Tom Garvey (Chris Zylka.) He refers to his new companion as Congressman and tells him that he will need to wear a blindfold to make the last leg of the journey. After some huffing and puffing the older man complies and then asks his driver if the man he is taking him to see is the real deal? Young Garvey, responds that he is and that soon his companion will no longer feel burdened. The Congressman asks Tom if he says that to every person he drives to see Wayne and the young man replies that most times he says abandoned.

The pair get stopped at the check-post outside Wayne’s residence and then they get cleared to proceed. An elderly woman greets the Congressman and then takes him to meet Wayne (Paterson Joseph), a black man wearing an open caller dress shirt and a beatific smile. Tom then heads to another part of the house where a group of young attractive women are sitting poolside. He heads over to one young woman and gives her a bag of candy and they share some flirtatious banter.

We shift to Mapleton’s high-school as the school day begins in the classroom of Jill Garvey (Margaret Qualley), the Chief’s daughter. We hear announcements emanating from the intercom, then the principle asks for the students rise and recite the pledge of allegiance which nobody does. He then says that it is time for those students that would like to pray to do so and almost all the class stands and begins praying. Jill abstains and she catches the eye of a boy she likes in the front of the class who is also seated and pantomimes shooting himself in the head. She responds by pretending to tie a noose around her neck, but perhaps she is a bit too dramatic as the boy looks away.

The next scene is Jill and her BFF smoking weed outside of the school, when the boy she likes and another young man ask them if they are going to a party that evening and the girls respond that they may. Jill’s friend then teases her that this will be her big chance to hook up with the boy. They head to Jill’s house for dinner and the friend asks Kevin, if Jill and she can borrow his car to attend a party on the other side of town. After being reassured his daughter won’t drink, he gives the girls permission.

We head back to the “Remnants,” house where the woman and another heavier woman with glasses are given a picture of a woman that they have been chosen to stalk. The heavier woman writes a note saying that the woman in the picture is pretty. We meet the woman Meg Abbott (Liv Tyler) and her fiancée in the next scene and we can see she is distraught over their upcoming wedding. As they head out of their home and into the their car they see the two members of the “Remnants,” are standing outside their house like wraiths. The couple does their best to ignore them and drives to a restaurant for dinner. In the middle of the meal the women show up outside the restaurant and just stare at the woman, her fiancée tries to reason with them and they leave. However when they arrive back home they encounter the pair again. This time Meg can no longer control her emotions and hits the first “Remnant” that we met.

Back at Wayne’s house the Congressman is laughing and having a grand old-time, Tom notices the change in his mood and the older man proclaims that he’s been unburdened. Tom is ready to drive the Congressman back to his car, when the older woman tells him that Wayne would like to talk with him and that he will be staying the night, while another employee will chauffeur the guest. Tom asks if there’s a problem, but the woman ends the conversation saying Wayne will talk to him later.

We head to the party that Jill’s at and we watch as all in attendance are in the process of getting high, or engaged in playing a game in the center of the room. The game is an advanced version of “Spin The Bottle” using a cellphone that tells the couple what deed they will engage in. Jill’s evening comes to a crashing halt, when the guy she’s interested in gets her friend and they’re told to have sex. Jill’s friend says that if she minds that she will say no, but Jill plays the brave soldier and tells her friend it’s fine with her. Jill is then picked soon after to have some groping with another guy and she participates but is crying as she does.

The next scene is later that evening at Wayne’s as he walks into the room that Tom is in and finds him sleeping. He wakes up his employee and starts talking to him about the young woman Tom had given candy to. The young man tries to act as if he barely knows her, but Wayne busts him, telling him he is well aware of his bringing the girl candy and talking with her. He tells the Chief’s son that the woman is very important, that it is Tom’s job to protect her, but even more importantly to keep his hands off her. Wayne then tells Garvey about a dream he has had repeatedly. He sees his son in the dream who had vanished the day of the incident, with a message that things will get quite ugly on the third anniversary of the incident, the following day. He then closes his eyes and touches his forehead to Tom’s.

Kevin is driving back to his house when his car’s radio starts acting up and then suddenly his windshield cracks for no apparent reason. He gets out of his car and hears the squeals of an animal under the front of the vehicle, but then everything disappears and he is on his bedroom floor woken by the sound of the phone. Dennis Luckey is on the other end telling his boss that the celebration’s set to start in five minutes. As Garvey goes downstairs to leave his house he realizes their kitchen is in ruins as it looks as if a wild animal had gone amok in there.

When the Chief arrives downtown he sees the man that shot the dog early in the episode. He tries to stop the man from driving away by pulling out his service revolver, but it falls to the ground. He yells to the man that he can’t go around shooting “our dogs.”

He arrives at the ceremony as Mayor Warburton is addressing the crowd from a podium. Two grade-school girls read the names of the departed, then the Mayor introduces Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), a resident that lost her husband and two young children three-years earlier. She tells the audience that she had the best day of her life shortly before the incident. The family was at the beach and her son and daughter were building a sand-castle and she and her husband were in total bliss. She then recounts a story of about a year before that when the family was sick with the flu and huddled together in her bed. She told the audience that she really thought she was going to die from being sick and could feel the heat emanating from the bodies of her children. She then said that she was not greedy, she would settle for having her family reunited as sick as they were that day.

Whether she had finished talking or not, that would be the last thing she would say as the residents saw that the “Remnants,” had arrived and were holding up placards that spelled out “Stop Wasting Your Breath!” As Garvey had predicted, the residents had finally had their fill of the “Remnants,” and started attacking them. The Chief and his officers tried to form a restraining line between the two groups, but there was a lot of fighting before they got the scene under control.

The next scene Kevin pulls up in the cull de sac that the “Remnants,” reside in. He knocks on a door and tells the man that answers the door, that he realizes he won’t speak, but he wants to find Laurie and asks the man to point to the house she lives in, which he does When Garvey walks over to that house, he’s confronted by a stocky man that tries to keep the Chief away, but he subdues the man. He then starts calling for Laurie and we realize she is the first member of the “Remnants,” that we met. We soon realize that she also is Laurie Garvey, Kevin’s wife and mother of Tom and Jill. Garvey pleads for his wife to return home with him, but we see the conflict on her face. At that point, the man that tried to stop Kevin earlier gets behind him and slams his face repeatedly into the hood of his car. He then drives off without his wife. Seconds later a taxicab pulls up and out steps Meg Abbott. She asks the woman that has her own office if she can stay with them for a couple of nights. We hear the woman speak for the first time as she tells Meg she can stay as long as she wants and tells her, that her name is Patti. She then tells Meg that this will be the final conversation between the two of them.

Garvey is finally heading home when he stops his car when a buck’s standing in the middle of the road. He asks the animal if he had been in his house the night before when a pack of wild dogs appear out of nowhere and start attacking the buck. Shortly there after the man (Michael Gaston), who shot the first dog arrives with shotgun in hand. He then says to Garvey they’re not ours and Kevin asks the man what he means. The man says that the dogs are no longer theirs, that the incident had changed them forever and starts shooting the dogs. Garvey asks the man if he’s really awake and the man responds that now he is, as the Chief starts shooting the dogs as well.

I had great hopes about this series heading into the première, but the pilot left me rather bothered and bewildered. I have enough faith in the show’s creators that I am willing to give the show time to develop. However if it stays as confusing and disjointed as it was in the first episode, it may lose me as a viewer before this season has completed.

The story will pick up again next Sunday night on HBO

The Musketeers: Friends And Enemies, Swords And Pistols

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA
Photo Courtesy Of BBCA


Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” and Alexandre Dumas “The Three Musketeers,” maybe the two works of great literature adapted to the screen, more often than any other novel. BBC America has brought back the Dumas classic to the small screen, as the pilot of “The Musketeers” premiered Sunday night. The production is beautifully filmed and authentically portrays France in the year 1630, complete with all the opulence for the Royal Class and covered in grit and grime for the peasants under the rule of King Louis XIII (Ryan Gage.)

The story opens on a rainy late afternoon as an older man and his younger companion are riding horseback en route to Paris. We quickly realize that the man Alexander, is the father of the younger man D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino), as the son asks his father whether they should end their trip for the evening and find lodging. Alexander replies that he could ride straight through to Paris, but to make D’Artagnan happy he agrees to seek sleeping quarters. The pair soon come upon an inn, Alexander enters the house to register, while his son goes into the barn to set up their horses for the night.

Alexander walks in to see an elderly man sleeping in a chair and nobody else around, he bangs on a horseshoe suspended from the ceiling and a man soon responds. A large man who appears about 40-years old comes down the stairs and welcomes his guest. As the three men are getting acquainted inside the house, a band of men ride in wearing the uniforms of the King’s Musketeers, but wearing bandanas to cover the lower part of their faces. As they dismount, one men shouts to the others to check the barn.

The rest of the men walk inside the inn and the spokesman and apparent leader, introduces his group as the King’s Musketeers and identifies himself as Athos. He then asks the three men to empty their pockets of money and jewelry. Alexander responds to his captor that he was always under the impression the Musketeers were honorable men, but their actions prove otherwise. The leader replies that they have yet to taste his cruelty and pulls out a pistol to shoot Alexander, but the old man pulls out his sidearm and the bandit shoots him instead. He then shoots Alexander who is fatally wounded.

D’Artagnan encounters two of the men in the barn and proceeds to fight them both with his sword, when he hears the gunfire he shoots one of the men, while his accomplice flees on horseback with the rest of his squad. Alexander stumbles out from the house and his son tells him that the man he was chasing had gotten away. His father falls to the ground and D’Artagnan realizes his father is grievously wounded, Alexander’s dying word is the name of his assailant, Athos.

We head to Paris and find the real Athos (Tom Burke) is waking up and nursing a massive hangover. He revives himself by drinking a slug from the bottle from the night before and then fills a wooden bucket filled with cold water and submerges his head in it. He then does some warm-up exercising, gets dressed and heads to the local pub, where he encounters his fellow Musketeer Porthos (Howard Charles.) Porthos’ engaged in a game of cards playing against a member of the Cardinal’s red guard. The other soldier is certain that he holds the winning hand and starts to grab for the pot, when Porthos stops him and then produces the true winning hand.

The member of the red guard accuses his opponent of cheating and holding cards up his sleeve. Porthos laughs at the accusations, which gets the other soldier more angry, he produces his sword but Athos informs him, that if he kills Porthos who does not have a weapon, it would be murder. Porthos then picks up  fork that looks like a tiny trident and starts dueling his opponent using the eating utensil. After watching for a while Athos, bores of the fight and knocks out the other soldier with a blow to the back of the head. Walking out of the pub he asks Porthos where the third member of their team is, then becomes agitated when he realizes the answer.

The third Musketeer Aramis (Santiago Cabrera),  is enjoying the company of the woman he professes to love, but its a complicated relationship, as she is also the mistress of Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi,) who is on his way to her home and will arrive momentarily. The Musketeer, tells her that the Cardinal does not love her like he does, but she tells her lover that Richelieu pays the rent. The commotion in the street below informs the couple that the Cardinal has arrived and Aramis must leave immediately. She suggests he jump out her window, but the length of what would be his fall dissuades him from doing that. He throws his sword and coat out of the window then realizes his pistol is on her floor. She tries to toss it to him, but accidentally kicks it under her bed just as the Cardinal enters her chambers. Aramis is hanging onto the ledge beneath the window by his fingertips, when Athos and Porthos arrive on the scene.

The Musketeers head to their headquarters and get summoned by their commanding officer Captain Treville (Hugo Speer),  who informs them that a fellow Musketeer who was on an important assignment has vanished. Treville informs them that finding the missing soldier is their top priority.

D’Artagnan has arrived in Paris and finds accommodations for lodging in an establishment run by an elderly woman. She informs her guest that the fee he is paying her is only for a room and a bed, anything else he wants whether it be a meal or soap will cost extra. Later that evening, he is sitting drinking in the building’s main room when a heavyset man and a beautiful woman arrive and check in. The woman informs the old lady that she wants fresh water for her bath and  D’Artagnan jokingly tells the woman that it will cost extra. The rotund man asks D’Artagnan whether he was addressing him, to which the young man responds only if he answers to Madam. The man turns to the woman that he refers to as Milady (Maimie McCoy) and excuses himself, informing her he will teach the brash young man some manners and pulls out his sword. D’Artagnan produces a pistol and tells the other man to put his sword down and walk away, his female companion tells the man named Mendoza to ignore the “drunken lout.”

Later that evening D’Artagnan and the woman pass each other closely on the staircase, he soon realizes his sidearm is gone and that the woman has it. She tells the young man that he really does need to learn better manners than kisses him full on the mouth. When he asks about  Mendoza, she tells him not to worry. After they make love he becomes aware that she is still wearing a velvet collar around her neck, although she is otherwise totally nude. He pulls it aside to see that it hides a scar on her neck, she tells him that the scar came at the hands of a former lover. D’Artagnan offers to kill the man for her and she replies that she might take him up on his offer one day.

He wakes the next morning to find that he is alone in the bed and the pillow his companion had been lying on,  was now stabbed with a blood-covered letter opener. Seconds later he hears screams from the hallway and he runs out there with the letter opener still in his hand. He sees Mendoza’s dead body and the woman who runs the house accuses him of killing Mendoza. He jumps out of an upper story window to escape, but the woman sends the rest of the lodgers after him. As he is running he sees an attractive young woman selling from a cart, he embraces her and kisses her as the people looking for him run right past them. The young man is rather proud of his quick thinking until the young woman kicks him in the family jewels.

She immediately feels remorse for her actions and starts having sympathy for the young man. He asks her if she knows where she can find Athos and she responds that he is her friend and why is he searching for the Musketeer.  She then introduces herself as Madam Constance Bonacieux (Tamla Kari), and tells D’Artagnan that if he intends on a fight he is in no shape to have one. He then passes out at her feet seconds later.

When he regains consciousness, he finds himself in a house with Constance tending to his wounds. He asks where he is and she informs him that he is in her husband’s house. He tells her he needs to leave and once more asks her where he can find Athos. He tells her that Athos killed his father in cold blood and he must seek revenge.

The next scene opens at the Musketeers headquarters and all three of the soldiers are standing in the courtyard when D’Artagnan arrives. He then asks the trio who is Athos, and the soldier immediately identifies himself. D’Artagnan tells him to prepare to die and lunges at Athos with his sword. The confused Musketeer asks the young man why he wants to kill him and he responds because Athos killed his father. Athos tells D’Artagnan that he is mistaken and he does not want to take the young mans life over a mistake. He soon disarms his opponent and tells him the fight is over. The young man refuses to quit however and throws a knife in his opponent’s direction hitting a wall close to him. At that point Aramis tells the young man that his friend told him the fight is over and if he wants to keep dueling he will now face two adversaries. Seeing that  D’Artagnan still won’t give up, Porthos joins in and the trio soon have their opponent pinned to a wall.

Constance enters the fort right at that moment and chastises the Musketeers that they have the young man outnumbered three to one. Athos tells her they weren’t going to harm him and then pull their swords from his neck. D’Artagnan tells Constance that he is now totally confused, he was certain the Musketeer had murdered his father, but now he doesn’t know what to believe.

We get our first glimpse of the Royal Court as King Louis XIII was shooting at birds when released from their cage, an activity that his wife Queen Anne (Alexandra Dowling,) is noticeably bored with. Captain Treville and Cardinal Richelieu soon arrive, each with their own agenda for the King. The Cardinal starts denigrating the Musketeers, much to Treville’s consternation. Richelieu then tells all gathered that he has heard tales of a band of Musketeers who are nothing but murderers and thieves in uniforms. The Captain dismisses the stories as foolish rumors.

We head to a stretch of open road where a young man is driving a carriage containing his Master and Mistress, when he comes upon what looks like a dead soldier in the middle of the path. After kicking the body, the driver starts to turn him over when he realizes the soldier is not only alive but he is holding a pistol pointed at the driver’s head. The phony Musketeer tells the driver to let his friends know that the Musketeer named Athos has spared his life. As the driver runs away, the assailant shoots the man and the woman inside the carriage.

Richelieu’s mistress is looking at the pistol left by Aramis that she has hidden in her top dresser drawer when the Cardinal arrives. She hides the weapon then asks her lover if he is feeling well, or is suffering from a headache. The Cardinal then verbally tears apart everyone he works with, but tells his mistress that she is the only person he can trust. A momentary look of concern crosses the woman’s face but disappears quickly.

Captain Treville encounters the Three Musketeers, as he arrives with other members of his regiment along with two members of the red guard. Treville then sadly informs Athos that the two members of the red guard have arrived to arrest him, as witnesses have stepped forward with stories of a man identifying himself as Athos who has robbed and killed people over the last few weeks. The Captain then tells his soldier that he had assured the red guard that he would not give them any trouble. After the soldiers take Athos away, Treville tells Porthos and Aramis that if they hope to clear their friend’s name they have to track down the missing Musketeer. The pair then ask D’Artagnan if he could identify any of the phony Musketeers and he replies that he shot one of them back at the inn. The three men head back to the place that Alexander died.

The man’s body was still at the inn when the trio arrived and immediately Porthos and Aramis realize that the corpse was not a Musketeer despite the uniform he was wearing. D’Artagnan then notices the uniform jacket had two bullet holes in it, while he shot the man just once. As they examine the body they quickly discover the bullet hole that killed him, but there is not a wound that matches the other hole. They soon deduce that it was a stolen uniform and they track down a squad of dead Musketeers including the soldier they were looking for. As the men examine the scene Porthos sees a Spanish coin and laughs, as it is the second one that he has seen that week. When the other two men asks where he saw the first one, he tells them that he won it from the red guard soldier during their card game. The three men quickly deduce that the red guard soldier who accused Porthos of cheating played a role in the deaths of the Musketeers.

The next scene was rather surprising as we find out that the French King’s Brother-In-Law,  is the King of Spain (Queen Anne’s brother.) The Monarch has written a series of letters meant for the Spanish King and given to one of Treville’s men to deliver, however the letters and the messenger have vanished.  In the messages Louis XIII makes overtures to his Spanish counterpart for a treaty between the two countries. If the letters became public, Louis would be perceived as the weak ineffectual ruler he actually is.

Back in Paris, the three men hunt down the member of the red guard and inform they will get a confession out of him either the easy way or via torture. After first denying involvement, he then admits that he was part of the group that committed the heinous acts. He refuses to name who was in charge at first, but when he is staring down a bullet, he names a red guard Captain named Corte as the leader and the one who is impersonating Athos.

The King and the Cardinal are in the midst of  a discussion, when Richelieu criticizes the passive way that France is dealing with Spain, whom the Cardinal proclaims is the nation’s enemy. Louis XIII reminds Richelieu that Queen Anne is from Spain and the Spanish King is his brother-in-law. The monarch soon becomes a simpering wimp, as he confesses to the Cardinal about the letters he sent to the King of Spain and tells Richelieu that the missives have been lost. Richelieu does not reveal what he knows and puts on an act for the King, stating that he will have to retire from public life. The King is almost crying as he begs the Cardinal not to stop being his adviser. He apologizes for not informing Richelieu about the plan and promises he will always heed his advice and grant the Cardinal’s wishes, what ever they are. Richelieu tells the King that he will remain his loyal servant.

The three men track down Corte and his squad and Aramis tells his two companions to wait for his signal as surprise will be their greatest ally.  D’Artagnan completely ignores the Musketeer’s request as he immediately charges the squad screaming out Corte’s name. The three men vanquish their enemies quickly, leaving only Corte alive. Although D’Artagnan truly wants to kill him, the two soldiers tell him they need Corte alive, to prove Athos’ innocence and save him from a firing squad. Seconds later Corte tries to kill D’Artagnan only to die by the young man’s blade which he raised in self-defense. Porthos states that with them recovering the stolen uniforms and the member of the red guard’s confession, they should still be able to prove that Athos was not the killer.

We meet up with the Cardinal and his mistress who are in a carriage on a trip that Richelieu tells his companion is a surprise. Her anticipation soon ends as the carriage stops in the middle of nowhere. The Cardinal has found out about her clandestine relationship with Aramis and he is about to have one of his soldiers murder her for being a traitor. She goes to her death chanting that she loves Aramis, until a bullet silences her forever.

Athos is in front of a firing squad and finally screams out to the soldiers to shoot him already. However Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan arrive with a letter from the King revoking his sentence. The four men then head to the pub, thinking about the one woman he truly loved that he believes he killed. After showing him approach her in his memory throughout the episode, the woman finally turns around and we realize she is Milady.

The final scene of the pilot is in the cell of the red guard soldier who confessed about the plan and implicated Corte. Richelieu enters the cell and makes social niceties with the prisoner. The soldier responds that the only reason he would be happy to see the Cardinal, would be if he came with news of his release from the prison. Richelieu tells the prisoner that is the reason for his visit, as he has arranged for the soldier’s release. He then produces a bottle and two cups and pours them each a drink. The soldier quickly drains his cup, but then notices Richelieu has not taken a sip. Seconds later he realizes why, as the Cardinal has killed him with poison.

The story will pick up again next Sunday night on BBCA.

Halt And Catch Fire Makes Scorching Debut

Photo Credit: Tina Rowden/AMC
Photo Credit: Tina Rowden/AMC


Walter White has left the building and Don Draper is soon to follow leaving major holes to fill on the AMC Network’s programming schedule. The network laid an egg last year with their police drama “Low Winter Sun” and another new series “Turn,” which concludes its rookie season on Sunday June 8, has not fared well with critics or ratings. The network morphed a few years ago, from being the less talented sibling of Turner Movie Classics, into a venue for groundbreaking drama that has helped change the face of television.

AMC once again selected a show set in an earlier era, this time going back to the early 1980’s deep in the heart of Texas. Although most folks would associate that time and place with the oil industry, the network chose to present a story set in the Texas equivalent of Silicon Valley. The plot-line of the new series “Halt And Catch Fire,” is the genesis of today’s personal computers, a subject that when I first learned about this series seemed as dry as stale crackers. However any show that can put two guys in a garage testing circuits and writing down numbers, and make it as exciting as watching a football team march down the field for a touchdown, has a lot of potential.

The show centers around three characters, who will form an uneasy alliance in trying to build an IBM clone and in the process make each of their fondest wishes become reality. Lee Pace who has a cult following from appearing in “Wonderfalls” and “Pushing Daisies,” is the shark with a vision Joe MacMillan. MacMillan, a former IBM employee charms his way into a sales position with Cardiff Electric, showing his potential boss his W-2 form instead of a résumé to prove that he is a performer. Hired by John Bosworth, (Toby Huss) a good old boy from Texas, who believes he is far sharper than any slick-dressed fast-talking guy from New York, Joe comes on board to bring in the revenue he boasted he could generate.

MacMillan’s first morning at Cardiff starts out with him taking the assigned parking spot of one of the company’s software engineers, who protests to no avail. The parking spot (A-16) belongs to Gordon Clark, (Scoot McNairy) a man just going through the motions after watching his dream fall apart. Gordon and his wife Donna, had attempted to build a PC of their own design a couple of years earlier called Symphony, but the project failed and Clark has yet to recover from grieving over his lost dream. We first meet him as Donna bails him out of jail, after Gordon had a few too many.

MacMillan drafts Clark into going with him on a sales-pitch lunch with a potential customer. We join the group which includes the client company’s owner and two of his executives. Joe starts trying to sell the potential clients of the advantages of going with Cardiff over the established industry leader IBM but is able to maneuver his pitch and challenge the CEO to stop playing things safe and take risks. MacMillan basically calls out the company owner’s manhood, then goes silent and starts smiling. Joe has the customer on the hook and pulling him in, when Gordon breaks the magic and the silence by offering free installation. The client tells the pair he will think about it and they part company. When they return to Cardiff Joe praises Clark’s presentation of the software package but makes it clear that when MacMillan is trying to close a deal Gordon remains silent.

The relationship soon changes as MacMillan discovers an article Gordon wrote in a trade journal on the future of computers, both men are on the same page that the computer is not an end unto itself but a vehicle to get its user the information they need. Joe proposes that they reverse engineer an IBM PC to figure out how it operates. Clark refuses at first, but the more he thinks about it the closer he gets to giving in. Gordon tells Donna that he is sick so she takes their two daughters to her mother’s house for the long weekend. He then goes and buys an IBM PC and surprises Joe in Cardiff’s parking lot. The pair head to Gordon’s garage to take on the task of figuring out exactly how the machine operates.

Gordon explains to Joe that you can buy all the parts inside the machine at any local electronics outlet. The only thing in the computer that IBM actually owns is the code on the chip that has the programming information. If they can find the chip and crack the code they can get every bit of information that IBM spent years formulating. After brushing off some rust Gordon goes smoothly through the maze and captures the treasure chest the duo seek. They then print out the results and then test their theory by putting the machine back together. After the machine causes a power outage in the garage, the guys go into the house and realize they have accomplished their goal. As the pair are celebrating their success in the garage, Donna pulls into the driveway and sees the computer equipment everywhere.

After trying to charm Donna fails, MacMillan leaves and she starts to tell Gordon they can’t go through building a PC again. Clark tells his wife that their marriage, family and his job are not enough and he needs to climb aboard Joe’s bus. Donna brings the girls into the house ending the conversation.

Bosworth is almost out the door at Cardiff for a pork-chop dinner when his secretary tells him that IBM is calling for him.  John soon finds himself speaking with an IBM executive about Joe, who walked out of IBM one day a while back and kept on going. The executive tells Bosworth that MacMillan is “damaged goods” and then puts the company’s head of their legal dept. on the line. Somehow IBM found out that Clark and MacMillan had reverse-engineered their PC and since they are employees of Cardiff, IBM will sue the company.

Bosworth calls the owner of Cardiff and bring Joe and Gordon into his office and starts screaming at the pair. Gordon can’t understand how IBM could have found out that the two of them reverse-engineered a computer, until MacMillan admits to calling them. The next day Cardiff’s attorney explains this was a setup by Joe to get Cardiff to manufacture their own PC. The Cardiff executives are also informed that they can’t fire the pair, or it will be admitting guilt to IBM. However they need to bring in a software engineer who does not work for Cardiff and is bright enough to figure out the code on their own.

Joe happens to have the perfect candidate in mind, a college student he met early in the episode named Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis.)  MacMillan had given a lecture to a college class that Howe attended impressed that Cameron predicted the internet as the next big step in computer evolution. After the class ends the couple get together sexually, but MacMillan spoils the moment by telling her that their actions don’t guarantee her a job.

Cameron agrees to come on board for a salary of $40,000, pretty good money for a college dropout. She is then coached by Cardiff’s attorney through some tape recorded questions and is part of the team, with Gordon and Joe both telling her they’re her new boss. Donna also gives Gordon her blessing to “build it.” The episode ends with enough IBM attorneys to form a battalion invading the offices  who have come ready to eviscerate the team from Cardiff.

It is a pretty fair assumption that Cardiff will win this opening round, otherwise it would make for a very short series. The questions are how well Joe, Cameron and Gordon can work together and exactly how long a leash is Bosworth going to allow MacMillan to have?

The story will pick up again next Sunday night on “AMC