Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Teaser Tuesday - Festive Fun!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

As it's Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a rather festive themed teaser. And because I'm feeling particularly giving, you're going to get TWO. My quotes for the week have been taken from my favourite series of books of all time - Harry Potter! These magical books are perfect to read over the Christmas holidays; just imagine curling up on the sofa, in front of the fireplace, a steaming mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a magical book in the other...

“One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” 

- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

“Mistletoe," said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry's head. He jumped out from under it. "Good thinking," said Luna seriously. "It's often infested with nargles.”

- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Monday, 23 December 2013

S1x10 - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Bridge

Oh, S.H.I.E.L.D., you were doing so well. You had a strong pilot and sure, you lagged for a few episodes, but you picked yourself back up and brushed off the proverbial dust to resemble a half decent show. You were shaping up to be one to watch. That was effectively ruined by this episode.

The word that comes up when thinking about ‘The Bridge’ is cheese. The dialogue was cheesy, the story was cheesy - everything was cheesy. The main problem was the return of Gunn (technically Mike Peterson but he will always be Gunn in relation to Whedon). We last saw him in the pilot where he went super soldier thanks to Centipede and went on a rampage before getting shot by FitzSimmons so he didn’t explode. Turns out that what they shot him with froze his state of body so that he could still use his extra ability without going boom.

This is exactly what Centipede are trying to do and they’ve halfway succeeded as they used a bunch of super soldiers to break out that guy that the lady in the flower dress went to visit in jail (it’s probably best you refresh your memory now as this episode ties in a lot of storylines from previous ones). The lady, Raina, showed him that they had managed to use the platelets they stole from fire bearer Scorch to stop the exploding part of the serum, but they were still having issues keeping up the energy of the soldiers. All of this is being headed by The Clairvoyant, the person they spoke about before, and the jail guy is an ex-marine who communicates with them. Finding them was the main focus of S.H.I.E.L.D.

For this they recruited Mike, who had spent his time between the pilot and now training in a government facility. Judging by his character in the pilot, it should have been a welcome return but 90% of his exchanges with other people in this episode were just pure cheese, especially with Coulson. The terrible dialogue kept pulling me out of the episode from the God awfulness of it, and they really didn’t do his character any justice. Maybe they realised this though as they went and killed him.

While he had been training he hadn’t seen his son for fear of him thinking he was a monster. Just as he had his breakthrough thanks to one of Coulson’s heartfelt speeches, he called his son only to find Raina had him. They proposed a deal to exchange his son for him, and so with no back up, the team went to the meeting point on a bridge. It was then revealed that the deal wasn’t in exchange for Mike, but it was actually Coulson they wanted. So they carted him off while the rest of the team slowly began to figure out what was happening, but Mike decided he needed to make things right and be a hero who fixes his mistakes. He handed his son off to Skye and ran back to try and save Coulson, when the petrol tanker next to him exploded and engulfed him in flames. A helicopter flew off with Coulson, shooting Ward a few times and Raina revealed that they only wanted Coulson to tell them about the day after he died. And that was the end of the mid-season finale.

I guess it was kind of an ok-ish ending, but Coulson’s state of being has been hinted at so many times with no information given that it feels like it’s been dragged out too long. Same with the Centipede storyline: it was nice that episodes were starting to be linked and form an over-arching plot, but again, we’ve had next to no information, only names we can’t put a face too and people that don’t seem to be massive players in the organisation. For it to be truly effective there needed to be more details given. As it stands, I’m only a little bit curious about Coulson’s answer and I couldn’t give two monkeys about Centipede.

Other little bits in the episode were the revelation that Centipede were behind the eye cameras as well, May basically told Skye to suck it up about the mystery of her parents and Ward kind of brushed off his relationship with May as no big deal. Not riveting stuff, but when paired alongside the cheesy Mike Peterson dialogue, they were welcome reliefs, and that sums up how much improvement this show needs to have when it comes back after winter break. We can only hope.


Friday, 20 December 2013


Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in an eternal winter.

Directed and Written by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana.

Approx Run Time: 1 Hour 40 mins

Frozen is Disney's latest Princess adventure, loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen, and follows the story of Elsa, who has the power to create ice and snow. This is a secret she keeps from her younger sister Anna in an effort to protect her from the potential dangers her magic could bring. 

A family-fun movie and a definite must-watch this Christmas, Frozen is filled with magic, music, love and laughs, beautifully emphasised in 3D. The characters are wonderfully likable and there's humour for both adults and children to enjoy - particularly from the living snowman Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, with his dry wit and knack for stating the obvious with a touch of sarcasm. 

It's a musical, so of course there are songs galore which I have now been humming continuously since I left the cinema a week ago. Idina Menzel's Let It Go is the highlight of the show and I can imagine it being performed on a west-end stage in a few years time (this song is also covered by Demi Lovato which you can hear during the end credits). The opening half hour perhaps has a song too many and they probably could have dropped at least one and used the time for some better exposition; my one complaint of the movie was the lack of explanation into Elsa's powers and how and why she had them in the first place. The opening of Tangled did an amazing job with explaining how Rapunzel came to be in her tower with her glowing, magic hair, but Frozen skimmed over the finer details which is why, if I had to choose between the two movies, I'd pick Tangled. 

That being said, Frozen is still a brilliantly moving film and where it lacks in exposition it makes up for in its themes and concluding climax. While romance is explored to a certain extent, a Princess falling in love is not at the centre of the plot. Don't expect any damsels in distress here; instead this is about women supporting women and the real relationship to root for isn't between a Princess and a Prince, but two sisters, a Princess and a Queen. The climax is a combination of shock, grief and beauty and wholly fitting for the sisters, symbolising the power of the sisterly bond. 

Charming, beautiful and fiercely strong, Anna and Elsa encapsulate the perfection that has become the modern Disney era. 

Rating: ****


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Veronica Roth - Insurgent

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I'm currently in the middle of re-reading the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth so that I can finally make a start on Allegiant! So this week I thought I'd share a snippet from book two. Enjoy!

"I love Tris the Divergent, who makes decisions apart from faction loyalty, who isn’t some faction archetype. But the Tris who’s trying as hard as she can to destroy herself … I can’t love her.”

I want to scream. But not because I’m angry, because I’m afraid he’s right. My hands shake and I grab the hem of my shirt to steady them.

He touches his forehead to mine and closes his eyes. “I believe you’re still in there,” he says against my mouth. “Come back."

Friday, 6 December 2013

S1x9 - The Originals: Reigning Pain in New Orleans

Aired 03/12/13 on The CW

So as mid-season finales go, this one wasn't particularly jaw-dropping, but the episode still did enough to keep me keen and interested to watch again in January. The plot wasn't overly eventful like it has been for the past few weeks. Instead it was very character-driven and set things up nicely for when the show resumes next year. 

The episode's opening was both amusing and grotesque - a combination the show's writers seem to pull off very well. Klaus was hosting a formal dinner to celebrate his new role as King of New Orleans, while Marcel and his cohorts grimaced through their smiles. The wait staff were amazing - it was like Downton Abbey with Vampires or something; they all slit their wrists and poured their blood onto the plates like it was nothing. It was possibly the smoothest dining operation I've ever seen. Klaus made a speech about how awesome he was and how things as a vampire on Bourbon Street would be so fun - unless of course you crossed him because then you'd be maimed, tortured and killed Klaus-style. Hayley was also there of course, and as she's protected by the fact that she's carrying Klaus' baby, she was able to get away with the scowls, smirks and sarcasm. 

Elijah wasn't happy with Hayley's living arrangements and wanted to whisk her away before anything bad happened to her (again), but instead she begged him and Rebekah to save her newly discovered werewolf family who were about to be slaughtered. As a peace offering, Klaus had gifted his new minions with the task of killing all of the wolves as proof that he wasn't planning to create a super army. Elijah and Rebekah playing heroes for a wolf pack was really entertaining to watch; she moaned about smelling like a bog and Elijah casually threatened any vamps who touched a wolf. They make a really good team and managed to get the job done with a great balance of menace and humour. 

Klaus and Marcel also teamed up; at first it was Marcel simply following Rebekah's advice and going through the motions, giving the illusion of loyalty, but then their friendship became more defined and real. Things really heated up when the human leaders of New Orleans (the mayor and so on) met with Klaus to discuss the arrangements between the vampire population and the human population. Klaus made it clear that he would not bow to the demands of poxy humans and ignored Marcel's suggestion to take them seriously. The faction retaliated by smashing in the windows of the vampire's hangout/lair/bar/gentleman's club/whatever it was, and set fire to the vamps who weren't wearing daylight rings. A whole bunch of them died and they were Marcel's boys so he was pretty pissed and made his feelings clear to King Klaus. Klaus, feeling rather disgruntled too, encouraged revenge and the pair then murdered the mayor and the rest of the faction with the exception of Cami's uncle. It was kind of like a vampire version of that scene where the Joker stabs a guy in the eye with a pencil when he meets up with the mob in The Dark Knight but bloodier. It's terrible but this show actually makes me enjoy mass murder!

The comic team was made up of Davina, Josh and Hayley who decided to do their planning from a garage. Josh was hiding from the sun, Hayley was obviously bored and Davina was feeling lonely. They made a great gang! Hayley informed Davina that Agnes, the witch who was supposed to be trying to kill her, was dead but Davina didn't believe her. Surely Marcel would have told her that she was actually safe and didn't have to hide anymore? Right?! Umm... no dear, sorry but he definitely conveniently forgot to tell you that the coast was clear. So of course, Davina was annoyed and ranted to her bestie, Josh. I love that these two randomly became friends! Hayley scored points because she was pretty straight with Davina when she said that she wanted her help to lift the reverse werewolf curse from her family. Honesty clearly is the best policy! Eventually Davina came to the conclusion that she needed to move out and the only place she could think of to go was Cami's, who is apparently her only other friend in the whole entire world - except that Cami couldn't even remember her because she's been compelled a lot lately. How tragic. The episode ended with Davina casually telling her friend not to worry cos she could sort it out and left Cami screaming as her brain got scrambled or something. Ouch. 

Other important moments included Elijah finally apologizing to Klaus for thinking that he only wanted his baby so that he could make more hybrids - though in Elijah's defense it is definitely a Klaus-esque plan. Klaus, after having many heartfelt moments with Marcel, decided to extend an olive branch to his estranged brother and sister and asked them if they'd like to move in with him. After all the betrayal and anger of the previous episode, it was a fairly quick resolution but I'm glad because I much prefer when the Original family are scheming together than apart. Klaus and Marcel became besties too and Marcel even broke things off with Rebekah, who is literally so unlucky in love its unreal - I wonder if Matt even thinks about her over of TVD? 

So new alliances were formed, old hatches were buried and now the show will be able to move forward swiftly after the mid-season break. Again, while not exactly a cliff-hanging thriller of an episode, it was enjoyable and successfully tied up lose ends while creating a few new ones at the same time. I can't wait until January! Here is a little something to keep you going until then...


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

S4x8 - The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone

Aired 01/12/13 on AMC

I don’t really know how to feel about this episode. There was a battle, people died and now we have to wait until February to find out the fates of the rest of the characters. Said like that, it seems like the perfect mid-season finale to make you go stir crazy while you wait to find out what happens next. But the actual episode was a bit… meh. I was looking forward to getting back to our regular scheduled viewing after two weeks of watching the Governor strive for humanity, but unfortunately it was still more speeches and less action for two thirds of the episode.

We stayed with the Governor at the beginning as he rallied the new group into trying to take the prison. His speech was very convincing but I was still a bit surprised that this group, who have been pretty passive until now, were okay with the fact that he had captured Hershel and Michonne and tied them up to use as hostages. They were willing to go and take the prison, even if it meant killing everyone inside to do it. It appears the Governor’s magical speeches still worked, even if they were about 80% bull.

Hershel asked him how he was okay with killing people’s daughters when he had one of his own and knew what it was like, and the Governor replied ‘because they’re not mine.’ Woah, okay - looks like you haven’t quite mastered the idea of compassion yet, Gov. I get it: it’s a dog eat dog world where you do what you can to survive, but there is still a line and it was further evidence that he had not changed as he was very willing to cross it to get the prison. It sort of made the last two episodes about him pointless. Yes, it was enlightening to see him as an actual human being with guilt, but we’re right back with a Governor who can charm a group into doing his bidding and killing people for his own needs. We didn’t really need two episodes to show how he went from A to B and then back to A again.

Back in the prison the sickness seems to have been contained and they were all breathing sighs of relief. We finally saw Daryl confronting Rick about banishing Carol and he actually took it pretty well. They went to tell Tyreese who was still on the manhunt for Karen’s murderer and found him looking at a dead animal that had been pinned open for Walkers to feast on. He was busy ranting about how a psycho was loose when they were rudely interrupted by a tank blowing up part of the building.

The Governor’s group were situated outside the fence with Hershel and Michonne tied up in front of them and a whole load of guns pointing towards the prison. He shouted for Rick to come and talk and it pretty much consisted of the Governor saying how he wanted things to go peacefully and gave Rick’s group until sundown to leave. Rick was like ‘umm, no’ and gave a desperate speech about how they can all live at the prison as there was plenty of room. It looked like it was working and as the Governor seemed to think about it, the music swelled with hopeful sounds and Hershel had a proud look on his face, until the Governor took Michonne’s sword and hacked Hershel’s head off. What a bastard.

This understandably pissed off the prison group, people who were already on edge due to the Governor’s last attempt to take them out, and they opened fire. The Governor’s group seemed to have no problem returning bullets except for Tara whose bravado went out the window at the prospect of killing. Despite the fact that the Governor wanted to live in the prison, tank guy drove his tank through the fence and started to blow up buildings like there was no tomorrow. Well, they weren’t going to have a tank just to sit there and look pretty, were they?

The fight was fairly standard but after two and a half episodes of speeches, it was a welcome relief. As a good mid-season finale must, a bunch of people died along with poor beheaded Hershel. I’m a bit gutted he’s gone; he was awesome this season and was on my list to be with in a zombie apocalypse. Another person who died was Megan and I honestly couldn’t care less. She and Lilly were left behind with the caravans and Megan was playing in the mud when a Walker rose up from the ground and bit her in the shoulder. Not gonna lie – I was cheering it on as Megan was so annoying.

The most notable death was definitely the Governor who was finally defeated. He was busy beating Rick into a bloody pulp when a sword suddenly stabbed him through the chest as Michonne got her revenge at last. Instead of finishing the job, she left him on the ground choking on his own blood. I’ve spoken to a few people who were mad about this as she spent the whole season searching for him to exact revenge but I liked it. He had caused Michonne so much pain and stabbing him in the head would have been too quick for her. This way, he was a tasty treat for the Walkers closing in, unable to move as he watched his fate come towards him. But then Lilly appeared, covered in Megan’s blood and looked him in the eye as she raised her gun and took the final shot. It was the ultimate symbol that he had failed in his supposed effort to change; even the woman he was supposedly in love with saw through him and shot him dead.

The outcome of the battle left us with the prison as a wreck and the group split up. The bus they had prepared for this occasion left with a few survivors and Glenn on board. Daryl was a badass and blew up the tank while Maggie had gone searching for Beth who in turn, had gone searching for Judith. Lizzy and Mika were also MIA as Lizzy decided that now was the best time to help out, and ended up saving a cornered Tyreese when she shot someone in the head. That was a quick turnaround for a girl who used to think of the Walkers as pets and wouldn’t shoot a dead man.

We saw them with baby Judith earlier on, but now who knows what happened to her. Rick and Carl found her baby carrier empty and covered in blood and assumed the worst, but I don’t think she’s dead. No body, no death. It was still kind of heart breaking to see Rick and Carl break down though. Props to Andrew Lincoln who once again killed it with his acting throughout the episode; that guy constantly makes my feels hurt.

So now we have a three month wait until we find out what happens to our separated group. I’m quite excited for this actually as this type of mix up usually produces some interesting storylines and gives us a chance to focus on different characters. The show has been lagging for the last few episodes since it’s strong opening this season, but this mid-season finale hasn’t got me anxiously biting my nails over the long wait, it’s more of an ‘I’m intrigued to see what happens’ kind of wait. Hopefully this change will get the show back on track – I will see you in February to find out.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. Under orders of evil President Snow, Katniss must convince the districts that her actions in the arena were intended only to save the boy that she loves. As the pair try to come to terms with the bloody events in the Hunger Games and their roles as victors, the Capitol has more to throw at them, what with the Quarter Quell coming up for the games' 75th year...

Directed by Francis Lawrence, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and Sam Claflin. 

Approx Run Time: 2 hours 25 mins 

The last time we saw Katniss Everdeen she'd defied the odds and saved herself and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark from death in the Hunger Games - a kill or be killed, kids killing kids reality TV contest. As victor of the games, you acquire wealth, fame and most importantly, exemption from all future games. Unfortunately, what with the Quarter Quell coming up and a dictator who's still feeling sour about the way the last games ended, Katniss and Peeta aren't quite so lucky. The second movie installment of the popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins is everything you'd expect; intense, heated, gut-wrenching and bosom-heaving. The Hunger Games was amazing and Catching Fire is even better.

Jennifer Lawrence carries the film with gutsy determination and there's no doubt that she is the star of this franchise. The Oscar-winner's portrayal of the hardened girl from District 12 is so intensely real, that you really do forget that it's a movie. Every shout, every scream of horror and every word is delivered so perfectly, that even the most cold-hearted person in the world is sure to be engulfed in a storm of emotional intensity. Lawrence's facial expressions and her emotional reactions are a perfect substitute to portray the first-person inner monologues of Katniss from the book - it would have been so easy for the writers to do Katniss voiceovers but instead they really allowed Lawrence to show off her terrific acting ability. Katniss' anger, her confusion about her feelings for Gale and Peeta, her grim determination to keep Peeta alive and her turmoil at having to choose where her loyalties lie are brought to life on screen; examples (without giving away too many spoilers) include Katniss' desperate attempts to protect Gale from torture, her grief when she thinks she's failed and her stunned reaction when she discovers what being a victor really means. Lawrence has some truly amazing scenes that, personally, made me a complete nervous wreck and rather teary-eyed. Her reaction to the big reveal as the movie draws to a close is so shockingly, tragically beautiful that I didn't know whether to burst into tears or clap - I'd give another Oscar to J.Law for the ending alone. 

Tears aside, the film manages a few laughs too. The subject matter is a serious one so it felt refreshing to have a few soft quips and gags. Finnick, played by Sam Claflin, brings a ray of sunshine to the dark and grittiness of the plot. He's warm and flirty, with just the right amount of playfulness so that it doesn't come across as tacky or cheesy. Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, who play Gale and Peeta respectively, have shared most of the limelight with Lawrence in the promotional work for this movie, but I have to say that I think Claflin outshone the both of them as the witty, lovable Finnick - Finnick isn't a fully central character but his presence is of some importance and its a real credit to the actor that he manages to outshine the two main male leads. FYI I'm never going to be able to look at sugar cubes without blushing ever again.

For fans of the book, you'll be happy to know that it's very loyal and there are only a few minor tweaks and changes that are required in order to successfully translate it to the screen. Katniss Everdeen is a really strong, female character though occasionally in the book her narrative annoyed me slightly because she'd sometimes take ages to work something out - especially when it came to Peeta and Gale where she was pretty clueless. What I especially love about the film is that they've managed to keep her strong, heroic traits and make her more likable; she doesn't seem as clueless but she still keeps that essence of naivety surrounding her confused feelings for the two men in her life. 

There's only one flaw with the movie in relation to the book that involves Peeta. Josh Hutcherson doesn't really seem to have much to do as Jennifer Lawrence pretty much does everything for him. His lines aren't mind-blowing and he just seems very average - this is not necessarily the actor's fault (I saw him in Bridge to Terebithia so I know that he has the talent) but the writers' fault. While they have done a marvelous job in translating Katniss' character to the screen, they seem to have forgotten about Peeta. In the book he seems a lot more charismatic and is a master with his words (a point often pointed out by Katniss), but in the movie he loses his charisma and his charm while his dialogue is nothing spectacular. Movie Peeta fell somewhat flat, though his role in the third book takes a huge twist so I'm hopeful that the writers will give the actor more to do in Mockingjay. 

Peeta aside, from the acting of Jennifer Lawrence to the special and visual effects, the movie is spectacular. It is hard for this kind of movie to live up to such high expectations; there's always a risk that it will be compared unfavourably with the book. However, in this case I think Catching Fire might just be even better thank its book. It was so good I went to watch it twice. And there's still time for me to go again... 

Rating: *****


Teaser Tuesday - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

As you probably all know, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie is now in cinemas everywhere. You've probably already seen it. I've seen it twice! I have been rereading the book over the past couple of days and I wanted to offer a teaser that emphasised the heroism of Peeta Mellark. I will be reviewing the film soon, so I'll go into more detail then, but at the moment I feel like Peeta needs some championing. Here's a snippet of why he's such a great character:  

"If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life." Peeta says. "I would never be happy again. It's different for you. I'm not saying it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living."

"No one really needs me," he says, and there's no selfpity in his voice. It's true his family doesn't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handfull of friends. But they will get on.... I realise only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.

"I do," I say. "I need you.”

Sunday, 1 December 2013

S1x9 - Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.: Repairs

Aired 26/11/13 on ABC

Creepy ghosts, a badass woman and some genuinely spooky scenes – this is definitely a Joss Whedon show. This week there was finally more focus on May and we ventured into the idea of other worlds. The main story focused on a safety inspector, who was being haunted by a guy who had died in an explosion she was blamed for, and was making everyone think she had telekinetic powers. While this was all right, I want to start off by talking about something that’s not all right and that’s Ward and May having sexy time.

Turns out that the suggestive scene at the end of last week led to exactly what it suggested and Ward and May had some dark and twisty sexy time in a hotel room. I understand that people want to relieve a bit of stress, get a load off (I’m sorry), but this pairing is just plain weird. Sure, Ward is easy on the eyes but he’s basically a robot and granted May is sometimes a bit of a robot as well, she still has this presence that makes her awesome and so much better than him. It clearly wasn’t the first time either as they have techniques to make sure no one finds out, so this may happen again and while I guess it’s okay for them to relieve some tension, it still makes me say urgh!

So now I’ve got that off my chest, the rest of the episode was pretty good. The group went and got the haunted woman, Hannah, before an angry mob pelted her with some eggs. May was very no nonsense by shooting her with a tranquiliser and Skye wasn’t very appreciative of this fact. She spent the whole episode needling May about her emotionless ways, which was pretty brave seeing as it’s May, but Skye was actually okay when she finally got to talk to Hannah. Hannah was convinced she was being punished by God for not doing her job properly and inadvertently killing four workers, but they eventually worked out that the explosion was caused by Tobias, one of the workers.

The workers were trying to create portals to other worlds and had so far failed, but Tobias loosened some parts of it in an effort to get safety inspector Hannah to come down and see them, and the resulting explosion caused a portal to open. Unfortunately, Tobias was then trapped between the two worlds and the explosion was blamed on Hannah. He tried to protect her from everyone but it resulted in them thinking she had telekinetic powers, while she thought she was haunted by demons.

There were some genuinely creepy scenes as he caused the plane to lose power and then ‘haunt’ the group on board, but the main focus was really on May. She took Hannah away from the plane to draw Tobias out and they fought until she realised that he was just trying to protect her. She told him that he wasn’t being dragged to hell, but that clinging on to the person he used to be is hell, the person who hadn’t killed his co-workers or hurt people who threatened Hannah. If he wanted to make it better than he needed to let that person go and accept who he had become. Turns out those are the same words that Coulson told her once before.

Throughout the episode we heard different versions of how she got the name Cavalry as FitzSimmons told Skye an elaborate tale involving a horse when they decided to keep up the tradition of pranking new agents, and Ward altered the story to something more believable, but it was Coulson who eventually told the truth. May had gone into a building to take down a group of people who followed a gifted individual with no gun and no help. She never said what she did in there but when she walked out she was a different person. She used to pull pranks and have a little fun, but that event changed her into who she is now.

Honestly, it didn’t really make that much difference to me; the impact the story was meant to have didn’t change or alter how awesome she is, it just gave us a bit of context. Plus, it was kind of an obvious scenario to guess, it’s just the specific details we don’t know. Of course, we’re still in the beginnings of the series and there are still a lot of unanswered questions about all of the characters, so maybe as details keep getting gradually revealed it might make more of an impression.

The episode ended with May convincing Tobias to let go and everything was hunky dory again. Skye had a bit more respect for May and it’s possible that May had a bit more respect for her too when she overheard her conversation with Hannah. Coulson also has some respect for Skye as she proved her empathy is helpful when solving cases, saying she will one day be the best at it. Hopefully that won’t be any time soon, as she is still annoyingly in the way the majority of the time, but she is improving slowly, as is the whole show. As long as it keeps moving in this direction, I may even forgive the terribleness that came before, but I think we still have a while before that happens.