Sci-Fridays #2

WandaVision: What an incredible way to kick off Phase 4 for Marvel. The show takes the viewer through multiple decades of sitcom history as Wanda and Vision (now apparently back from the dead) seem to have taken up residence in the idyllic town of Westview. The deeper the show gets into its run- with Quicksilver seemingly back from the dead and Wanda having babies that age well beyond normal parameters and Vision realizing that something's up-the more the show slowly unveils what's going on.

Eventually, of course, we learn what's up: Wanda finds out where Vision's body is and, in a fit of grief, takes it from the government agency (S.W.O.R.D) who is dismembering him to reconstruct him as a weapon. She finds out he brought them a plot of land in Westview where they could maybe live together and Wanda lashes out with her powers and sort of creates the life that Vision had in mind. 

People notice, of course- Jimmy Woo of the FBI (Randall Park), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Darcy Lewis (Kat Jennings) along with the acting director of S.W.O.R.D, Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg) all investigate the mysterious energy barrier that has appeared around Westview- Monica, Jimmy and Darcy want to find out what's up with Wanda. Director Hayward has his own agenda, however. 

As the show lifts the veil on what Wanda's doing, you get to grip the character's motivations. She was already an orphan. Her brother, Quicksilver is gone. Vision was all she had and now he's gone too- "mad with grief" seems to be the direction the show is going, but it's deeper than that. The takeaway quote is probably "What is grief, if not love persevering" and the final consequences of Wanda's actions are heartbreaking, but reveal a character that is far more complex and powerful than previous appearances in the MCU would have us believe. She's supposed to be an integral part of Dr. Strange 2- and the traditional post-credits scene at the end of the final episode only makes me wish the movie would get here sooner. The other result of this show: Wanda Maximoff is the most interesting character in the MCU and her fate could go in any number of very interesting directions. [Insert Change My Mind Meme Here, etc.]

Tribes of Europa: post-apocalyptic dystopian mid 21st Century Europe. where borders have fallen and microstates/tribes compete for power. The pastoral Origines tribe, anti-technology and hiding in the woods and keeping to themselves is destroyed by the militant Crows who come looking for a crashed Atlantean ship that has technology that might reveal what happened to make all the technology stop working. If this sounds slightly like that one show from J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau well, that's because it sort of is. But German and without showing us flashbacks about the actual collapse of civilization and stuff. It's six episodes long and I'm halfway through and decently entertaining. Worth a whirl if you're looking for something new to try- not quite sure it's going to really get a grip on me yet. 

The Expanse: The show has moved beyond the books that I've actually read in the series (note to self: finish that series at some point.) But that doesn't mean that this season was excellent-- and wow, did they put all the characters through the wringer in one way or the other as little by little, the mysterious enemy reveals himself, and the characters have to deal with the explosive consequences-- and I mean that on multiple levels. Shohreh Aghdashloo I wasn't initially sold on as Chrisjen Avasarala, but holy shit now I am. She's amazing! Dominique Tipper rules as Naomi Nagata- but really, I think full credit this season goes to Cara Gee who damn near steals the whole show as Camina Drummer. (For real: she needs to be at least nominated for something for her performance because the way she is holding back her grief and rage and trying to keep it bottled up over the course of the season is nothing short of absolutely stunning. Easily my favorite performance in a show stocked full of excellent performances. I think next season is supposed to be the last season, so hopefully, they go out on top- but I don't doubt that they will- and when they do, they'll have carved a place for this show in the pantheon of must-watch science fiction shows.

Stargate SG-1 Update: I took a little break and I've picked it back up about two-thirds of the way through the 3rd Season. It's chugging along nicely. Captain Carter becomes Major Carter early on. The Asgard buy some breathing room for the Terrans by bringing Earth into the Protected Planet Treaties. I'm only through the first fifteen episodes of Season 3, but "Forever In A Day" is probably the standout episode here- which sees Daniel's wife Sha're killed by Teal'c after the Goa'uld controlling her is trying to kill Daniel. Daniel obviously struggles with his grief and his friendship with Teal'c is strained- but the twist ending of this episode is just heartbreaking and bittersweet and while Daniel loses his wife, he finds another purpose to keep going with the team. 

I'll keep picking away at it!

Superman & Lois: I've always been a little skeptical about Superman. As a character, I've found him really hard to connect with for some reason. I've seen bits and bobs of the Christopher Reeves movies over the years and maybe I should sit down and watch the movies at some point- but I feel like Man of Steel, Superman Returns... Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice- outside of Smallville, there hasn't been an adaptation of Superman that I can really get behind.

Until now. 

I love this. I think Superman works better when leans away from the whole Space Jesus metaphor and explores what it means to try and fit in with regular people as a hard-working immigrant and when you throw in parenthood (they've got kids now) and job problems (they're both journalists, so that's going well) and economic problems back home (Smallville ain't doing too well) and the death of old Ma Kent brings the Kents back to Smallville to run the farm, where they discover that one twin seems to have inherited the old superpowers and one hasn't. In short, the pilot alone is one hell of a hook to the series. I'll be doing my best to try and keep up with it because has the potential to be the CW's best DC Series since The Flash


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