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Fat Elvis 007

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  1. I have to rant a bit. I'm rewatching the show with my girlfriend, who's watching it for the first time. We're at the end of Season 3. I'm dreading the twist at the end, and I've already told her if she doesn't want to watch past that point we don't have to. She has this thing where one bad move by a show makes her swear it off forever. Typically I try and persuade her to keep giving shows a chance, but I just don't feel like the show went in a worthwhile direction after this season. I'm even more bothered by certain other choices near the end of this season than I used to be--important character aspects being overlooked like Bell never seeing Nina when he's possessing Olivia, Peter and Olivia never discussing his killing the shapeshifters, the dropped idea of "I think he's the man that kills me," etc.--and it feels like there were so many missed opportunities given how well this season was set up. While Peter's disappearance did set up some interesting ideas and new avenues, like Olivia being raised by Nina, ultimately I think it closed off so many others that it wasn't worth it. We never truly got to see the fallout of everything that happened in Season 3. We finally got to see the two sides interact and join forces, but now the whole context was different--the two Walters and the two Olivias still had major beef with each other, but it wasn't *our* beef. It wasn't fully about the issues we'd spent three seasons building up, so it was hard to care. We never got to see Olivia deal with finding out that Peter and Faux had a child--even within the context of Peter's erasure from reality, this was unforgivable. Did Peter ever tell Olivia he had a child with Faux in the previous timeline? After being told by September this plotline is completely dropped. This was absurd for a show built on the foundation of the lengths fathers will go to to save their sons. I understand Peter never met the little guy, but still, finding out that he had a son who was wiped from existence should have had SOME effect on his character. You can headcanon that this is part of his motivation for not getting back with Olivia at the end of that episode, and even his hatred of Observers later on, but that's all between the lines. Why didn't he demand September find a way to return the child? They could have even had September say something like "The child will return, but not the way you think," then when our Olivia gets pregnant Peter can assume it's "Henry" returned to them via soul magnets or something. Then part of Olivia feeling like a bad mom in Season 5 could have been related to her feeling like she stole Henrietta from Faux. A transdimensional, somewhat transgender baby wouldn't have been the most outlandsih concept for this show. Another thing they could have done with Peter's erasure is tie it directly to the Observer-run future. Make that the first step of their plan. We saw how Peter's removal weakened the Fringe team--Olivia is back at square one with her powers, Walter's a mess, and they don't even know the Observers exist! Instead both Season 4 and 5 feel weirdly isolated and gimmicky in relation to each other and everything else. There's no explicit connection there. I think it would have been better to just eliminate the Peterless timeline storyline altogether and continue following up on the implications of the original timeline, but even sticking with that storyline there were severe problems with the execution that negatively impacted both characterization and theme. Season 5 may be even worse. Nothing about the Observer-run future makes any sense. The Observers are geniuses able to figure out rationally everyone's next move...but they can't figure out the Fringe team is based in Walter's lab. This pushed suspension of disbelief too far. And just like with the flaws I mentioned in Season 4, there was an easy fix: just have Walter phase them into a pocket dimension or something so that when the Observers come looking, they can't find them. There were also too many Observers; they should have just kept the original twelve so that when one died, it mattered, and it would be more easy to believe the Fringe team posed a real threat to them. For a show that had previously had detailed and coherent worldbuilding, this was a mess. "The Day We Died" creates a more lived-in future in one hour than Season 5 did in 13 episodes. And then of course there's the finale, which, while moving, makes the least sense of all. How would stopping the Observers from being created help Peter and Olivia get their daughter back? If the Observers never exist, then Peter and Olivia never meet, and Henrietta is never born. My main problem, though, was the Observers' motivation. The writers made them completely self-serving, which went against everything we knew about them. The Observers are supposed to represent perfect logic. Their reason for invading should have been perfectly logical. And again, there was an easy fix: humans had almost destroyed the universe and others multiple times at that point! So make the Observers take over to save humanity from themselves. They now control all science, and independent research is banned. Instead of setting in the far future, just have it be couple years from now, and the Fringe team now stops rogue scientists from advancing technology past the Observer-approved limit. This could be a new team or our guys working for the Observers at the beginning of the season because they have no choice, or because they've accepted that this is what they have to do to prevent a worse future from coming to pass. Make the Observers less murder-y and more willing to use mind control to get people to do what they want. Maybe their endgame is to convert all humans into Observers so that we don't make the same stupid mistakes again; the Fringe team finds out about this early in the season, and spends the next third secretly working against the Observers, then the final stretch of episodes could be an open rebellion. Not only would this have been more interesting, it would have fit the characterization of the Observers better. Ugh. Sorry for the rant! I just loved this show so much, and I feel that Season 3, while flawed, is the show at its peak. Had they ended with Peter vowing to help restore the balance between the universes and the teams pledging to work together, it would have been almost perfect. But the last two seasons really left a sour taste in my mouth and are not even close to the first three as far as quality, IMO.
  2. S01.E08: Invisible Self

    Am I the only one here who found the ending preposterous? It was one thing to watch the magical powers of interpretive dance solve equally ridiculous problems. "One of the psychic hostages has been murdered by our captor! DANCE AT IT" legit made me cry. It was a beautiful scene. "We need to heal this woman with ALS!! DANCE AT IT" less so, but still fairly compelling. "Columbine! DANCE AT IT" simply pushed my suspension of disbelief past its limit. You can't just bring up such a serious and realistic issue as a last minute plot device and then solve it through the most ridiculous magical element of your entire series. It was borderline offensive. Even worse that there was no foreshadowing for this and we literally don't even know who the shooter was. I feel like there were ways they could have justified this at least a bit more. The first episode had OA expressing empathy for violent people, talking about how our dimension was "breaking down" and people like Steve were feeling it and reacting with violence. If we had seen this happening with the shooter it may have at least felt more natural and organic, and may have tied in with the themes better. I still enjoyed the series, and the pilot is one of my favorite things ever. But just a terrible, terrible ending.
  3. I too would have liked to see Xander find Cordelia at the height of her heroism and concern for others. After rewatching the show recently, I think the First Evil could have worked if the show had actually taken advantage of its powers. Have it graduallyseduce the whole town by appearing as all the citizens' lost loved ones, and actually making them believe that they had returned. What's the point of an evil that can appear as any dead person if everyone already KNOWS it's not really them? The only time it's even mildly effective is in CwDP when Willow and Jonathan actually think they're talking to ghosts. Instead of acting through the Ubervamps and Bringers, have the First convince ordinary people to do things by gaining the town's trust and making them believe their departed loved ones had actually returned. This would create a much more interesting conflict for Buffy than "I can't punch the First but I can punch all of it's ridiculous stand-ins."
  4. Pearl Mackie: Stars In Her Eyes

    I agree the dialogue wasn't great. But I actually found the comedy in this clip a bit different--she seems less naturally quippy, and more like she is reacting to danger by intentionally making bad jokes, which strikes me as a character trait I haven't seen in the other companions. She seems more nervous, like she's applying conscious effort to coming up with something to say, whereas Clara and Amy always had a sassy confidence with their quips. I realize that's a lot to read into a two minute clip, but if they keep this as a consistent character trait it could help her differentiate herself from previous companions.
  5. Yeah, looking back Clara had several endings even in Season 8! And the same could be said of Amy and Rory--"The Power of Three" should have been their farewell. The drawn-out endings just take all the wind out of the story's sails. Commit, Moffat! Commit!
  6. For the record, if I had to choose between the two endings for Clara it would have been getting her own diner-shaped TARDIS and companion (maybe Ashildr, but only if she were written as having learned more from some of her mistakes; if not, then Rigsy), but I just prefer happy endings, and am sick of every companion having a tragic ending. But since "Face the Raven" was already done, and done about as well as a "tragic ending" could be, they shouldn't have gone back on it.
  7. So I've been working through my feelings over the finale. Initially, I loved the ending. The idea of giving a companion her own TARDIS and companion is a brilliant send-off, and worked so well for this particular companion, whose arc was all about becoming more and more like the Doctor. (I know not everyone was crazy about this storyline, but it was Clara's only interesting trait. I hated it in Season 8 when it meant "becoming a manipulative jerk, because this Doctor is a manipulative jerk," but it's worked better for me this season because the characters were much more likable). I also thought the memory wipe fakeout was well done and I was so relieved they didn't just redo Donna's ending like I had feared they would halfway through the episode. In fact, I initially avoided reading the opinions of others at first because I felt so giddy about being satisfied by a Doctor Who finale for the first time in years that I didn't want to ruin that feeling. But after reading some of the comments and thinking over it further, I've had to revise my opinion. The problem isn't anything inherent in the idea of sending Clara off with Ashildr in a TARDIS shaped like a diner--again, that's a perfect ending. The problem is that Moffat already gave us another perfect ending in "Face the Raven." Clara meeting her death because she tried and failed to be just like the Doctor was much darker and less positive than the ending we got here, but it was no worse--it was just different. The problem is that Moffat smushed both of these endings together instead of just picking one, and instead of making either ending stronger, it made each one weaker. You can tell me that Clara is going to "eventually" choose to meet her death in that alley, but that doesn't actually mean anything. Literally, it's meaningless. Forever is a long, long time--How many years will she be out there before she gets bored and chooses to die? A thousand? A billion? Who knows? Who cares? The amount of time doesn't matter. What if Clara keeps traveling forever? Nothing in this episode made me think that would matter, since how is the universe supposed to know if she ever goes back there or not? This storyline really could have benefitted from a time limit--we should have seen some consequences from Clara being alive again immediately, with the understanding that the universe would get worse and worse until she returned to her rightful place in time. But instead, she can just live out an entire lifetime--longer, even--with no repercussions, as long as she "eventually" goes back. That's way too abstract a concept for anyone to connect to, and it undercuts the idea that death comes when we don't want it to, and you have to face it. Allowing Clara to choose exactly when she dies completely demolished that message. If "Face the Raven" didn't exist, the ending we got would have been much better, because we wouldn't have to think about these details or compare this ending with her original. If this ending didn't exist, then we'd be left with the idea that death matters, and Clara's sacrifice would matter far more. But Moffat just couldn't bear to leave it alone, so we got both, and it ended up as a big mush. Moffat's got great ideas but he doesn't have that instinct that good writers have that says to pick a path and stick with it. He has never met a darling that he's been willing to kill. He's never been told, "No, you absolutely CAN'T do both, you have to pick one," or if he has, then he certainly hasn't listened. That editing instinct is necessary to tell a really great story. Instead we got two halves of two distinct great stories that didn't work together at all.
  8. S09.E10: Face The Raven

    I don't hate Clara, but I'm glad she's gone. I think she took a lot of hate for things that were really the fault of the Doctor--I'd talk back to him too if he were constantly criticizing my weight and appearance, and basically being a jerk to everyone. And her lying, manipulation and adrenaline-seeking last year--gee, where have we seen that before? I really didn't like Clara last year but it bothered me that the Doctor seemed to be escaping criticism for bringing out the worst in her. Both 12 and Clara were MUCH improved this season. Clara still had her desire to be the Doctor but honestly, that was the most interesting thing about her, and didn't irritate me this season. I still never really connected with her character the way I did previous companions and I'm looking forward to a new one.
  9. Unpopular Opinions

    Nobody30 and nosleepforme, if you're willing to give the comics another shot, I must say Season 10 is a HUGE improvement, not only on Seasons 8 and 9, but also compared to the last two seasons of the TV series. The focus is back on the characters, the tone is lighter and more fun, and the storylines for each character are all about them striving to become healthier people while being young in a big city. The Scooby relationships haven't felt this authentic since the early seasons of the show. There's still too much of an emphasis on magic, but for the most part it's used in service of the characters rather than the plot, and most issues are fairly self-contained. Solid stuff. amensisterfriend, I didn't love Amy, but I did like her, and really hated her character assassination after she was de-ratted. You're right that she felt like a normal person, and having characters like her in the early seasons helped the world feel more lived in. I always liked seeing the Scoobies talk to people not in their immediate group of friends. Cobalt Stargazer: I've never heard this theory before. Was this the original plan, or just speculation? I'm not sure I like the idea of a Willow/Faith pairing but it certainly would have been more interesting than Willow/Kennedy.
  10. President Fitzgerald Grant: Smirker in Chief

    I need both Fitz and Jake to die, possibly at each other's hands. Have Olivia realize that the Scottish dude from Lost is her soulmate. If she MUST be with a privileged white dude, at least have it be one who doesn't constantly complain about the burden of being a privileged white dude like Fitz and Jake do constantly.
  11. Past Seasons: The Clara Oswald Years

    I really don't think there was any thought given to that storyline at all. At first it seemed like Missy was deliberately collecting people who had some kind of association with the Doctor, perhaps specifically people who had died because of him. Instead it was all dead people! Everywhere! Which made no sense, was depressing as hell, and was completely pointless.
  12. Clara Oswin Oswald: The Only Mystery Worth Solving

    Taking the "Wendy" discussion to the Amy thread.
  13. Amy Pond: The Girl Who Waited

    In the Clara thread, people were comparing Clara to Wendy from Peter Pan. See, IMO the companion that most echoes Wendy is Amy. The Doctor meets her as a child, and their second episode has shots deliberately meant to echo Peter Pan and Amy. He even travels with her daughter later. The perfect ending would have been to have the Doctor return to Amy after a time apart and miss the landing by a few decades to find that she had grown old and was dying. They even had a version of this with Rory in their last episode but somehow missed that opportunity with Amy. It's part of why Amy's story seems so unfinished to me.
  14. S01.E06: Man on the Street

    We didn't know Mellie was an active prior to this--that's what made the reveal so awesome. I remember being certain that Mellie was about to be killed off, and being ready to quit watching if Joss leaned on that trope again, especially in such a violent manner. So that moment was hugely satisfying to me and made me finally realize this show was worth sticking with.
  15. S01.E05: True Believer

    Though the cult itself in this episode was quite generic, I think this was one of Dushku's most convincing and unique imprints. Even though the blind girl is clearly delusional the episode never makes fun of her or looks down on her because of her beliefs, and there's a subtle strength to the performance that's very different from Dushku's typical tough girl act.