Mr. Robot S3E02


Elliot gets a job at E Corp on the recovery team and does everything he can to fix what he started. One of his biggest goals is to keep the physical files from being brought to the New York location to prevent the mass destruction of everything from being possible. When a wall comes up, he goes classic hacker to knock it down. He makes some good progress but when he’s away from work, he gets crushingly depressed from being lonely.

After avoiding his sister (he thinks she’s a trigger for Mr. Robot), he talks to her. She says she’s ready to skip town and Elliot asks her to keep him company for the night. Darlene is working for the feds and hasn’t been able to give them any useful information. She thinks he isn’t working with Tyrell and they give her proof that he is. When Elliot is asleep, she plants something on his computer. But Elliot is asleep and that means she has an abrupt meeting with Mr. Robot that sends her running. Her software drop was successful, giving Dom and her partner access to Elliot’s PC. Well, sort of successful.

Price tries swinging his weight at Whiterose and it doesn’t work. Chalk up another brilliant scene for BD Wong.

Elliot’s therapist, Krista Gordon, meets Mr. Robot for the first time. Chalk up another brilliant scene for Christian Slater.

A major character death! It took me by complete surprise, I never saw it coming. Just goes to show, when you get used to trampling people to get what you want, you can think you’re invincible. There can be consequences from being a pile of garbage.

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The Penguin game was won. Won! A terrible start followed by a second period opening rally to punish Sidney Crosby. A glorious 5-3 power play opportunity opens up to get a 2 goal lead and the Rangers completely blow it, letting Pen tie it up.

And then it all collapsed in a series of complete nonsense at the end of the third. First, a twist of physics to get stupid Crosby a game-tying goal. Then a bush league mistake in the first minute of overtime to lose.

Crushing. It’s mindboggling what’s going on. I can’t even imagine what the team’s headspace is like right now but they have to ignore it and go out and skate like there is no tomorrow to get out of this. There’s just the most bizarre decisions being made. High-risk low reward passing that goes nowhere or blows up in their face. Stop trying to make every goal a one-timer, you see a sliver of an opening, fire that puck on net. Quit waiting around for things to line up perfectly all the time. It’s like tar that’s weighing them down, it’s such a downer.  Not making the playoffs would be horrible.

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Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 <> Series Finale

Search / Ten of Swords

Halt and Catch Fire is a series of failures. A group of four brilliant people and those that get pulled into their orbit jumping to reach the sky and hitting the ground after each attempt. Sometimes their feet don’t make contact first.

Halt never found a big audience. It managed to reach and keep just enough fans to keep going. In fact, the production never knew if there would be another season when they finished filming each year. Thankfully we managed to keep this show on to get it to its conclusion.

I love where this show went. It transformed and expanded past just Gordon and Joe. Halt covered a lot of time, more than a decade, and that meant the tech nexus of each season got to change with it. Four people who met in the 80s and worked on the next big thing had to keep coming up with another next big thing. Their relationships changed just as much as the tech they worked on.

In just four seasons I got really attached to Joe, Gordon, Donna, Cameron and to an extent Bos. The acting so strong that I believed everything they went through together. Their emotions and rational were tangible through every moment. That all came together in a powerful final season.

Starting with IBM clone PCs, to Mutiny, to Comet, each project started with an idea. A thought that turned into a business that would start a wave or catch one that others were chasing. While there were great successes, failure was seemingly never far behind.

It’s the bounce from those failures, how they broke and managed to piece things together to keep going, is what Halt is ultimately about.

Joe and Gordon were the easy focal points of the show at the beginning. While they were a great base to build from, where Cameron and Donna went is what I think is the shows’ greatest strength.

Cameron and Donna are fantastic characters. Both brilliant from different angles, it was often their partnership what drove the show. Joe and Gordon would not have gone anywhere without them. So when they broke apart, there was a major shift in the show. The star-crossed lovers, Joe and Cam, split up as did Gordon and Donna’s marriage. No one could trust Joe. Cameron was stubborn and a flake, nearly impossible to work with. She hated the business side of tech while Donna embraced it. That was Donna’s anchor tied to her foot. She could be ruthless and would choose “the greater good” over an individual every time. Gordon was often caught in the current the others made, an engineer who was happiest when working with his hands.

Sacrifices were made by everyone and I always questioned if they felt it was worth it. Donna’s cocktail party at the end was especially poignant for me, sharing how she reflected on her career and what it did to her life.

I really liked the end. Bos gets his second chance, a celebration of life. Comet burns out in the only way it could: they were inches short again. Joe and Cameron fall back on their tried and true trait: run. But Joe goes in a different direction. Cameron reaches out to Donna, something I didn’t think she’d do. It’s not instant though, there’s an apprehension behind their potential future and they talk about it.

And this extends to Gordon and Donna’s kids. Haley travels abroad to find herself and in Thailand relays a beautiful experience to her mother (after only talking to Haley for weeks). Haley’s time working with her father at Comet was a pivotal time in her life. She also comes of age with her own questions about herself. She’ll continue her father’s legacy, using him as her inspiration and her guiding star.

No matter what there’s always talk of the future on Halt. The talk of the next big thing, what could be next, what can they do and how do they avoid what always happens to them? Cam says, “I don’t know, I don’t have any more ideas.” and then later the inspiration comes from Donna, “I have an idea.”

Nothing is perfect and few things work out the way we want. Gordon and Donna drifted apart. Joe and Cameron found that they wanted different things. A tragedy doesn’t signal the end. You just need to find the opportunities to follow and the guts to pursue them.

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About That Last Post


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You’re Killing Me, Rangers

1-4. That is the actual record of the New York Rangers right now. It’s a spiral of history staining proportions that needs to be pulled out of right now. The team is just not working together well, the defense is still a problem. Shattenkirk is doing everything he can but he’s only one guy. Weird breaks against them are happening (deflection off a teammate into a goal last night) that they aren’t rebounding from.

The lines are constantly changing seemingly at a whim. Filip was sent to Hartford a week ago. The hype flew out the window in maybe 20 minutes of ice time for him. Some stability needs to be found and it ain’t coming from coach Alain Vigneault. He’s been given a lot of chances and I think his doomsday clock just started moving.

If they don’t beat the Devils tonight, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.

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Mr. Robot S3E01

Power Saver Mode

Last season ended on a cliff hanger with Elliot shot and the season 3 premiere wastes no time in moving forward.

Some realizations come quick and a fundamental pivot has happened.

First, Tyrell is real. Elliot was wrong. In a power move to take control of his own mind, Elliot had challenged what he thought was a mental projection. That was a real gun and a real Tyrell. This leaves Elliot bleeding out of the floor and we’re introduced to a fixer for the Dark Army: Irving.

Now the Dark Army made some big moves last season. Darlene is scared to death as they put the pinch on f society with deadly actions. She couldn’t find Elliot for days and has basically crawled into a shell.

Irving comes to Tyrell’s SOS and saves Elliot’s life. They sweep the base of operations clean, Tyrell is who knows where now and Elliot comes to in Angela’s apartment. Elliot has a lot to process. He doesn’t feel Mr. Robot anymore. Maybe the shot killed him. But he was wrong about everything to do with f society. He knows what Stage 2 is (his own plan made without his knowledge) and Tyrell stopped him from shutting down the plan. Everything he wanted to do with f society was a mistake, it made everything worse and he can’t blame anything but himself. He has to do what he can to fix it. He has to shut down the backdoor to E Corps recovery effort so the Dark Army can’t destroy it all. He needs Angela’s help to get him a job at E Corp. Elliot has committed himself to being a white hat.

White Rose has other plans and her right-hand man (I guess that’s what he is) is annoyed. Tyrell and Elliot are unstable and he doesn’t understand why White Rose wants to keep working with them to finish Stage 2. He’s “more than capable” of doing it. White Rose is convinced she’s right, she just needs to keep Elliot’s rage focused on the task she wants him to do. And she has help.

In the gadzooks moment, Angela has turned. The Dark Army stopped her from going to the FBI. Angela has listened to what Whiterose has told her and is in her pocket. Mr. Robot isn’t gone and Angela can tell when it’s him and when it’s Elliot. Elliot has no idea Mr. Robot is autonomous again. Angela plays along with Elliot leading him where Whiterose wants and works with Mr. Robot when he shows up. Elliot may be a white hat but his other half is a committed black hat and he has no clue. It looks like Irving is her contact/handler/liaison to the Dark Army and Mr. Robot knows Irving. The scene with Angela is talking to Mr. Robot on the subway is nuts on so many levels. “How can you tell when it’s me or him?” “Your eyes are different. You don’t look away.”

This is straight up spy stuff and I love it. Irving first meets Elliot (conscious Elliot) and Darlene by getting them out of a bind and tries to get Elliot to go along with Stage 2. White hat Elliot says no and Elliot sneaks off with Darlene to close the backdoor in a hidden hacker party. He manages to do it but gets cut off by Whiterose’s men. So it’s a win for Elliot and a point of contention for Mr. Robot when he finds out. Mr. Robot is furious that Elliot will be pushing back on everything he tries to do with Stage 2.

Interesting realization: Elliot doesn’t know about Mr. Robot but the reverse isn’t true. But when one personality is in charge, the other one doesn’t know what they are doing. It’s a complete mind split with independent thoughts, memories, and actions. Now, how long until Elliot figures out what’s happening. I don’t think Elliot is blacking out when Mr. Robot takes control so it won’t be obvious to him. The first time we see Mr. Robot in the episode is when Elliot goes to sleep in Angela’s apartment.

Fascinating start, I can’t wait for more.

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Everything is OK, Hockey is Back

The 2017-2018 season has started! And the Rangers lost the home opener to Colorado 4-2. It was a game marked by bursts of greatness and it was Colorado’s goalie that saved their bacon about a dozen times. Going down 2 goals is never good but the Rangers rallied with Mika Zibanejad firing rockets almost every chance he got.

While a first loss is disappointing there’s a lot of promise. Kevin Shattenkirk is making a clear difference, just one game in. He hustles, he’s a legit defender that the Rangers desperately needed.

Rookie Filip Chytl has all the hype behind him right now and time will tell if he can make a mark. The early buzz from the coaching staff and teammates like Mats believe he can.

Lundquist giving up 3 goals in the first game is not a good starting point. He had no chance on 1 of them but he’s got to find his footing again. Last season he had deep hills and valleys which ended up being his worst season stats wise. Backup goalie Raanta was traded and the newcomer has a record that is considerably worse than Raanta’s. I’m concerned that when Hank needs the time off, the back up will struggle to keep the team afloat. The goalie staff is fantastic though so I’m sure he’s been putting in some serious work.

There’s a lot of potential, I think another playoff run is more than possible this season. It’s going to take the team to jell together though. There’s a lot of new blood (the guys on the farm teams could be a great asset when needed) so that means there’s a lot to figure out. Who fits where and best as the season goes. That’s up to Alain V, hopefully, he doesn’t lean on and crush the veterans like he has been doing. Get those hungry kids out there, it’s the only way to make deep, versatile lines.

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Halt and Catch Fire S4E07

Who Needs a Guy

I planned on waiting for the series finale to write about Halt again but episode 7 knocked me for a loop.

Something tragic happens and I’m going to try to dance around it to avoid spoilers. You can find it elsewhere in about 4 seconds but I think it’s always best to go into a story blind so you can experience the original intent of the show creators.

I’ve been a fan of Halt from the very beginning and I didn’t realize how attached to the characters until last night. The arc of the show spans a long time, it’s a large chunk of these people’s lives. Cam, Joe, Gordon, and Donna are deeply intertwined. Gordon and Donna are family so their history goes years longer than the rest but they all go through some life changing events together. They clash just as much as they get along.

Knowing that this is the final season, I’m in the headspace that there is an end in sight. I’m going to be left behind at a point where the show ends and the characters live on without me watching. This season is very dense with growth. Haley and Joanie are teenagers and are much more than window dressing around the adults. Gordon and Donna are divorced but with their kids, they’re tied together for life and while they do still fight, they keep coming back together. Cameron and Joe keep finding themselves on islands, from their own doing or otherwise. Wrapping them together in the tech industry is a fascinating backdrop, something that’s unique to the show. Watching Cam get disinterested in her passion was terrible but someone new is now engaging her and more than that, pushing her out of her comfort zone. Cam is an intense person and seeing her potentially on a new track is very exciting.

There are two more weeks left, the finale is going to be 2 hours. After Who Needs a Guy, I have no idea what’s going to happen. It feels like I’ve watched the end, a major, emotional, world-changing shock that’s left me dazed along with the characters in the fallout and there is more to come. It’s an achievement that I’m so invested in fictional people.


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The Strain <> Series Finale

Four seasons and we’re out! I think The Strain had a great arc in its time. It kept moving and didn’t wear out its welcome.

I have very few complaints with this series and the complaints I do have, came out in the wash. I might not have liked what every character did but it did feel grounded and everyone came full circle in the end. The main cast goes through a real ordeal and they changed as the story progressed. I liked the cast a lot and watching people be heroes is always great.  Each season had cool moments and escalations that kept the show new and interesting.

The only big question I have at the end is the most glaring: what was the rest of the country doing during this? I don’t think there’s much mention of what was going on outside basically the tri-state area. There’s no way the events in NYC could be ignored. The strigoi, after being in hiding for so long, basically strut around in the open for the last season. We watch everything occur in New York because that’s where the infestation started.  I can’t remember a time when it was mentioned that the strigoi made any moves in other states. That would have needed to be a massive operation to not have the military not at least considering to come in and level the insanity after what happens in season 3.

But, I digress. The show was about Eph and his immediate surroundings. Popping around DC in the beginning, Philly near the end and the hub of NYC. The show always looked good, the SFX were often impressive and the show was just fun to watch. They brought it in for a landing with the finale too, I’m happy with how it ends. Consequences, sacrifices, vindication, revenge, and a dash of redemption.

Now my problem is, where am I going to get my monster fix?

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BoJack Horseman <> Season 4

BoJack Horseman continues to one of the best TV shows, animated or not, on any network. Season 3 was intense with a gripping finale so the stakes were very high going into Season 4.

I like and need to be rather vague when discussing Bojack. It’s a complicated and mature (in the best adult way, not cursing, sex, nudity) story that you need to watch to grab onto what this show throws down. Bojack’s world can get very dark and skipping the nuances does a disservice to the writing and performances.

Season 3 got down in the dumps at the end. Some really awful stuff happens to BoJack that sends him into a spiral. He tries to flee his problems and the last scenes are intense. There’s a glimmer of hope at the very end that could have been a series finale or season finale. We got more, so here we are.

Season 4 starts without BoJack. Everyone in Hollywoo is grinding forward in his absence. Mr. Peanutbutter gets into politics, Diane is holding on for dear life as the political hysteria (it’s nuts) push into her personal space as she struggles to write for a website. Princess Carolyn is strutting her stuff trying to keep her agency and relationship with Ralph and Todd keeps plugging along trying to be himself while helping everyone around him in any way he can.

Bojack gets into some wacky spaces, dysfunction being a paramount theme. The main theme of this season is family. The relationships you have with those who do and do not share your blood. Mr. Peanutbutter and Diane go through some really trying stuff and end up somewhere new. A girl named Hollyhock shows up claiming to be Bojack’s daughter and that throws BoJack for a loop. A guy who can barely help himself has a new responsibility show up and he doesn’t know what to do. Then his ailing mother comes into the picture, they’ve had a strained relationship, to say the least, and he doesn’t know what to do. Todd isn’t sure what kind of relationship he wants and Princess Carolyn knows what relationship she wants but nature keeps getting in her way.

BoJack Horseman covers a lot of ground. Depression, anger, anxiety, sexuality, self-sabotage, self-medication, what does it mean to be happy, and it’s all wrapped up in the Los Angeles environment.

As you can tell, I adore this show. BoJack is the main character, but the show doesn’t necessarily hinge on him. He can be taken out of the spotlight and it’s fine. All the “B” plotlines are so rich that the world building outside (alongside, really) of BoJack makes the show completely enthralling. I love all the characters and that’s incredible. The fact that this show can get so funny pushes it over the edge for me.

If you don’t watch this show, start as soon as you can. And from the beginning! That’s very important. Season 4 shows a lot of growth for the entire cast and it ends on a much different note than Season 3.

Season 5 has been greenlit. I’ll be there the day it hits.

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Okay, I thought I’d be up to the “sending out query letters” portion of “Get THE DARKEST WINTER” published but book proposals are not something you can put together correctly in less than a week. There are many parts and it’s got to be done right. So I’m still working on that (and doing more edits to the manuscript as a result of going through my work).

Outside of my writing, the new season of TV has started. South Park and Broad City came back together and while the premieres were good, episode 2 for both were hysterical.

The other treat for me so far is the return of Gotham. I liked season 3 a lot and 4 is off to a start. Bruce is hitting the streets as a vigilante, Penguin has “cleaned” up the streets by making a crime license scheme, Selina is rolling with Tabitha and looking more and more like Catwoman. Tabitha is teaching her how to fight and it’s straight out of the comics. They’re skewing Victor Zzasz to be funny which is a big change from the books but I think it works. And the big bad as emerged! Scarecrow looks absolutely amazing (go,Charlie Tahan! He’s getting major screen time this year).

And that’s just the start, lots to look forward to.

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I Finished My Novel, “The Darkest Winter”

A major milestone. A solid 4 years in the making, I did it. I finished my first novel. I’ve put in a tremendous amount of time into it and in all honesty, part of myself. The seeds of the idea came from hurricane Sandy and it morphed into this 90,000-word story that’s full of characters I created.

I finished the story last Tuesday, September 5th. My writers’ group read the final two chapters after that and yesterday I completed the last edits. All of that and I still didn’t break 90,000 words which was one of my goals from the start.

I’m really happy with it now. It’s the story I wanted to tell and it reads complete. I can’t believe all the beats I thought of in these years all came together and turned out to be the perfect length. So now, the next phase.

Finding a literary agent. The manuscript is complete. I need to write a book proposal (I rather robust document) and then send out query letters to agents who are looking for action, adventure, thriller, manuscripts. With all of the feedback I’ve gotten so far, I really think this story is one that will sell and find a fan base. It’s modern, it’s driven by strong characters, and it relates to the world we live in today.

So my next step to becoming a published author starts this week. Time to get my work out there and noticed by the right people.

Onwards and upwards!

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