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Couch Potato: FTWD 2.4 and Victor Frankenstein
Some non-FTWD stuff first. We rented Victor Frankenstein this weekend, which stars James MacAvoy (aka young Dr Xavier) as Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliff (aka Harry Potter) as Igor. This is a retelling of the Frankenstein story from Igor's point of view. A little bit steam-punk in sensibility, a little bit like the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies in style. Over all the movie was fun for a rental. McAvoy did a great job chewing the scenery. The movie tells the story from Igor's point of view, from when he first met Frankenstein. It also throws in an obsessed Scotland Yard inspector Andrew Scott (aka Moriarty) for good measure.
As you can probably tell, the movie departs wildly from the book, but it is faithful in some ways to the spirit of it, as it dwells on Frankenstein's obsession and hubris.
By the way, talking about Igor reminds me of this fun animated movie from 2009. We watched it when the kids were younger and it had us all highly amused.
Now on to Fear The Walking Dead. SPOILERS AHOY!
(Note: this episode is not yet on Amazon but I asked them about it and they expect to have it up either later today or tomorrow at the latest.)
LAST WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE EPISODE YET!
A Hostile Takeover Ends with a Stock Split
Episode 4 of the second season of FTWD is titled Blood In The Streets. Which would mean that we should expect to see some blood in some streets, right? Not so much.
That's not to say we don't see blood - we get a large body count in this episode, which somewhat cheered my cold an blood-thirsty heart.
Another good opening to an episode - someone is swimming in the ocean towards shore, and we see that it's shirtless Nick, struggling to get on shore. Then he goes into the ghost tent city and lures a walker to a tent, kills it, guts it and smears its blood and guts all over himself. Then the opening credits appear - a dramatic, quiet and spooky version, as if it were the opening of a scary horror show. I'd like to watch that show, actually.
As usual, not a recap, so let's go straight to our reactions. This is obviously a pivotal episode in the season. The Abigail gets a hostile takeover, the family gets split up, and we get Strand's backstory and a new crew member, Luis. So on paper it sound like an exciting episode.
The problem is that it didn't feel that exciting to me when I watched it. It wasn't a bad episode - just not as good as it could have been and I'm trying to figure out why. The part with Nick on shore was exciting. The part where they get boarded is exciting. The flashbacks to Strand's backstory, although revealing, are a drag however. Alicia showing up with her "Jack?" was also a drag.
My diagnosis is that the problem is a mix of pacing and acting. The pacing was off somehow. And the actress who plays Alicia can't act. This should have been a showcase episode for her talents - she's the reason they got boarded, now her whole family might get killed - that should be great fodder for an actor. All that guilt, fear, tension, and anger should be there. But we pretty much get everyday Alicia.
In contrast, the actress who plays Ofelia squeezed in a lot more acting into her little throw-away scene where she chats with Chris at the start of the episode.
So here's my advice to the show-runners. A cast member always dies at the season finale, right? I know I've been predicting that Ofelia will die this season since she's basically been invisible anyway. But what's the impact of that? No one will care. So they should kill off Alicia instead. She's got her storyline now so people will care, plus she's not a good actress so the show's quality will improve with her gone. And in case the show-runners read this - if Alicia kills Jack that will redeem her character for me.
Speaking of characters being redeemed, I didn't like Nick at all in Season 1, but I'm starting to like him now. It's because he seems to be having fun in the zombie apocalypse.
I asked kidlet what her reaction was and she liked getting Strand's backstory. It makes her understand his motives better. I think she liked the episode over all.
Questions raised by the episode: Was Strand shot or is he just sick from hypothermia? Will he ever be reunited with his lover Tom Abigail? Will Luis survive the show? How will Madison get Travis and Alicia back? Did the unborn baby turn into a zombie once the mom died?
Reading over my post, I realize that I seem to be in a overly blood-thirsty mood today. Did you watch the episode? What did you think?