Monday, 25 January 2016

Occupied S01E02

Norway's ever pensive bodyguard for the Prime Minister, Hans Djupvik, continues to stare a lot with no emotion and plenty of concern.
Just as well, as this week, one of the Norway Military Officers attempts an assassination of the Russian Foreign Embassy Ambassador, which he spots and thwarts.
The Norwegian Prime Minster cuts short his game of twister with his bodyguards as the attacker is apprehended.
Hans Djupvik gets to interview the suspect, who is being held in the Russian Embassy, where they refuse to release him .. for some reason I got confused about.
The resident local reporter spends this week helping and hindering his female friend in their cafe, and taking what is known as an ice cream strike with his children.
Not liking the presence of the Russians on Norwegian soil, the Norwegian Military commander apprehends some Russian visitors to his compound, holding them ransom in exchange for his officer that the Russians have.
Even in the presence of a female Russian ambassador, our bodyguard continues his emotionless stare, but convinces her that the assassin acted alone and gets him released.
Look left and right. The very American sounding Russians, who are enjoying our reporter's lady-friend's cafe, fails to remember the highway code, getting knocked down upon leaving the cafe, which appears to be very deliberate,

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Occupied S01E01

Interesting to know that almost every Norwegian watches the BBC News Channel we it on TV in the Prime Minister's Office, one of the residents of Norway's home, and later in a cafe.
Thorium? Never heard of it. I don't know if it's real or fake, I could easily believe either. However, you have to hand it to the Norwegians. They know how to combine modern technology with nature.

The reporter's female friend works in a restaurant. She offered her staff a 10% bonus if they held off being paid for a month. I think we can all see what their decision is likely to be.

Stating the obvious as the Prime Minister gets kidnapped. yes, he has got a gun. So have the other two with them. Strictly speaking, it might have been better to say "They have guns".

It wasn't until the second or third time that I realised these graphics weren't really where they appeared to be, but instead representing what the characters saw on their mobile devices. Phew. That would have been dangerous. Not as dangerous as driving at high speeds without a seatbelt. Naughty police man!

Peter Schmeichel as the Norwegian Prime Minister? No, of course not, but despite his kidnapping taking up the main"drama" of the opening episode, you'd think it all could have been done via a secure video call than all these dramatics.

I know he's a bodyguard, but the level of paranoia and petrified looking about that this guy does, is a drinking game you don't want to play in this show.
Even at the end, with his wife reasonable unconcerned about any occupation, he still looks petrified and on full alert.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Flash: S02E09: "Running To Stand Still"

In A Nutshell

After the OTT comic book like feast from the crossover episode last time around, we're back to pure Flash story this week. Phew. Things kick off with Zoom chasing down Wells in Star Labs, capturing him and wishing him a Merry Christmas. Is this a flashback? Dream? Trick? Turns out it did actually happen, which is surprisingly that no alarm went off when all this happened. Zoom is giving Wells an ultimatum, and keeps turning up during the episode for an answer, which at the every end Wells gives.

Before all that, we have the sub-plot beneath a Christmas theme episode, with Joe's Ex's Son that he never knew about. Iris caves in under the pressures, confides in Barry and they both confront Joe to spill the beans. We're spared seeing his boring wife, but Joe does later say it all went tremendously well having a conversation with her about his son. that's surprising somewhat, but at least we don't have too much screen-time of this.

The main story this week is that Weather Wizard Martin breaks out Snart and Trickster from jail in order to get the three of them to take out Flash. Snart lets Barry know what's going on, before then playing no further part in the episode. Guess this is lining up the other spin-off show ... anyhow, Patty gets all worked up, as it's Martin that shot her dad many years ago. She's off on a crusade it seems of revenge, which no matter how many pet talks she has, and angry expressions she shows, we all know how this is going to go down, right? Sure enough, after the Trickster cleverly and a little amusingly plants bombs into presents that he gives out to kids as Santa, he and Martin think they have Flash at their mercy. After taking quite a pounding from Martin, it looks like it's mince pie time for Barry, but alas, Wells and cue use some techno-babble science to draw all the presents together into a vortex. At least I think that's what they did. Who knows. It worked anyway. Primed with this knowledge, Flash defeats Martin and Trickster in seconds. That's normally the end of it, but Patty shows up and snares Flash with some device to stop him moving whilst she goes to take revenge on Martin. Of course Barry talks her down. No one here believed she'd do it anyway. Quite how Barry couldn't have done something to blow her away from doing anything I don''t know. And where did that device come from anyway?

Things all end up with the Christmas theme of course, with everyone meeting at Joe's place for smiles and presents etc. Wally, Joe's unknown son, and is invited in rather awkwardly as you'd expect but lovingly.

The ending is between Zoom and Wells, with Wells reluctantly agreeing to help Zoom steal Flash's speed. He's already worked out what Zoom is up to, in that he wants Barry's speed. Is Zoom really Wells once again, trying to get back to the future?

What I liked

Snart; he's a likeable rouge isn't he?

Trickster; fiendishly fun villain.

Weather Wizard; actually carried some threat about this time around.

Zoom/Wells; an alliance is struck. This isn't the same Wells as in our Earth, but he's going to be acting much like his former version to help Zoom. Uncanny.

Jay/Caitlin; cute romance. Can't help but smile at those two.

What I didn't Like

Gideon; just saying.

Where's Wally; Joe's unknown son turns up at end. We don't get to see much of the dialogue between Joe and his Ex, thankfully. It's all emotional stuff that we see, which is good, but I'm wondering where this storyline is actually taking us.

There's little actual action once again between Barry and his foes.


I don't know where Patty got that device from, but there were still a 101 things Barry could have done to stop Patty other than talking.

"Give me all your presents" ... best line in episode.

The Trickster is crazy but played very well. Him wearing the Santa suit was classic plot telling.

And Finally

A Christmas episode where the season of goodwill actually took more of a back-seat than normal for these themed episodes. As much as I like the actor, Weather Wizard doesn't usually carried much weight in terms of presence, but this time around he was better. Trickster is just class, and Snart is just too likeable to dislike. The sub-plots were fillers for the main plot of course, but they didn't diminish our concentration away. They kept up their end of the storyline quite well. Perhaps not enough mystery and intrigue created as normal this season by events, but nevertheless a solid and enjoyable episode.

Rating: 6/10 (DECENT)