The Spoiler's Review - Chapter 24 - The Best Showman Becomes the Champ
by, Aug 6th, 2011 at 08:02 PM (1691 Views)
During the break, Iíll be writing reviews/recap for one chapter per week starting with #1 until Season 3 begins. Iíll begin writing shortly after my Season 2 Review is posted.Iím so happy I got my wish! I got my attempted wife swap! I got my daring rooftop rescue! I predicted Pegs would be the pilot hero to pull it off! My research about Pippin was right! Iím sure thereís more in there but itís (2AM) too late to go back for more material to gloat about.
!! SPOILERS AHEAD - LISTEN TO THE PODCAST BEFORE YOU COME HERE !!
[insert fanart here]Chapter 24 - The Best Showman Becomes the Champ
Oh but enough backpatting, can we get an Oscar shipped to Jenna STAT?! Iím a big sucker for an antagonist that steals the show no matter how evil and cruel their methods are. Strong, likeable villains are the kind you want to stick around for long periods of time; the kind you hope survived the explosion to hear just one more witty comment. A great villain can make you sit through what otherwise would be a very bland film (not that WA has that problem).
Take the movie "Hostage" for example. The beginning sequence was a satisfactory but predictable at best but after that the action fell pretty flat. The story boiled down to rich people having too much money and that No-Good boys are always up to no good. Very blah. But then we have Ben Foster's character, who we learn through a series of conversations is extremely psycho, yet heís acting eerily calm and gentle towards the daughter who in turn is rightfully freaked out. When everything goes wrong I no longer care if the hero survives, I want to see what kind of wacky crazy killer shit is this guy is going to do next! (psst, he burned the house down too!)
I would say Jenna McCombieís performance stole the entire WA finale but in such a way that it didn't take away from the other conflicts present. She actually enchanced them and I loved it.
Saulís good character remains intact which I already knew would not waiver. (Iím getting wiser to your trickery KC!) Despite his critical impression of Pegs character, they have solid history behind them that I believe most fans have forgotten over time. Many listeners used the bad ďAĒ word and assumed he was careless enough to willingly sacrifice a friend. Of course, we critics know better.
Writing inserted a time lapse in the beginning sequence to throw the audience off the scent. Saul confirms my thoughts from the last blog and informs the other Tower that he has a plan to lure the Mallers out in the open. The producers have gotten very bold with these fancy editing techniques. Iím seeing a pattern here.
Through various discussions we learn that Tanyaís okay, the choppers are okay, the pilots are okay, the Tower is okay--
MICHAEL: Iím not okay! RAWR RAWR!! Saul, you acted on your own! RAWR BISCUITS!! RAWR!!
Down boy! Heel!
Even though the group isnít thrilled about the plan they go along with it anyway. The chips are in place and the scene is set. What could possibly go wrong??? Right away its apparent Saulís underestimating the Mallers intelligence level which we know is not wise. Since he witnessed Scratch in action way back in Chapter 5 (was it?) itís a little odd to me that he wouldnít expect them to spend 4 hours preparing for a trap. Youíre dealing with career criminals Sweetie.
In the last chapter there was confusion amongst the listeners over the voices of Steven and Angel because they sound a lot alike, so Iím not surprised we
sawheard these two alone in a scene together. I did notice Erik Wargo deepening his voice so we could hear a clear difference. It works, and Iím grateful the production team listens to their fans.
Although for now it doesnít serve any purpose, I thought the call signs for the choppers were cute. Notice how Riley isnít too concerned about changing clothes in front of a bunch of men, but those instant girl reflexes kick in when Burt accidently gets grabby. I thought the jokes (episode wide) were a little lame/cheesy. Victorís funny was the only one that made me laugh hysterically.
The team arrives early at the designated meeting place, a golf course, and *gasp* the Mallers are already set up for the exchange! Upon hearing that their hostage has a bag over her head, I could already sense this wasnít Lizzy (not to mention Scratch wasnít there to pull the trigger so that was double red flag). So when the gun went off I didnít buy into it, however I was thrilled to pieces at Nate Geez and Claire Dodinís reaction. Even the remorse in Jim Gleasonís apology was spot on. He went from BIG ANGRY MICHAEL to little sad Michael in a flash.
Of course Victor is the only one not emotionally affected since heís totally unaware of the bond among the Tower residents. He came from a place where no one cares about anyone else and hasnít had time to assimilate himself into a family mentality. Running and survival is all he knows and I feel like his lack of attachment (and vice versa) to the Tower may serve a purpose in a future episode.
Oh Jenna, I think youíre turning me into a masochist. Just that one opening line over the radio made me quiver inside and damn did I want more. Itís not easy to create a well-rounded villainess out of thin air but not impossible. Yes weíve seen many a heroine in one action film or another, but how many female evil-doers can we say were different from the last? Most are so over-sexualized that you canít take their dastardly deeds seriously. For the ones that arenít, they tend to be lifeless and one-dimensional.
But then we have those few that jump out at us as being more than just good body and a pretty face.Theyíre the ladies we can look at and explain her entire past to a newbie. We can observe a dangerous situation and form an idea of how she will and wonít react based on her personality traits. She sets herself apart from the rest forming an iconic image for herself and thatís the type of character Scratch has become.
Iím thrilled to see her true colors floating to the surface. I admit I was concerned after hearing the few bits she had in Season 1 because they werenít enough to paint a clear picture of just how powerful a villain she really is. I can sense the actress has finally embraced the essence of her character and sheís working her part to the max. Jenna doesn't have the luxury of facial expressions and body language to sell her character with this kind of media. Her acting relies on pure skill and it pours off of her in waves. Through her weíve learned that not only is Scratch a master tactician, sheís also a great manipulator. And our Lizzy used her psychiatrist skills to expose her lies to get revenge.
Steven and Blonde Boy try to figure out what to do. Without their most skilled fighters around, thereís little to do but last long enough for the others to arrive.
Angel: Itís Angel, NOT BLONDE BOY!
Okay, okay. Geez. Temper. Anyway, just as I started to get hopeful that Angel would come up with a great plan and lead Scratch cuts in to get under his skin in her own little calm way (love it). Audio creates a great filtered, echo version of the loud speaker as this devilish vixen gives the Tower folk an ultimatum. Writing exposes an exploitable weakness by showing us how much Scratch underestimates the Tower. She expects the whole team to rally up in fear and toss Pegs out the front door. Itís something youíd expect with the Mallers but not in this house.
As it turns out, Pippin truly was a plant but for another purpose we never saw coming. Although I was suckered into believing he was not a plant, I still correctly identified his name as a premonition through a WA-style double meaning. To reiterate, I discovered the word Pippin (which means ďforeignerĒ and ĒAppleĒ) was connected to Sin=Serpent=Lucifer(Scratch) in some way which turned out to be true. (Also note that the Apple is a symbol of wisdom,or in this case, Pegs whereabouts). Cool, eh?
David Pevsner seems to have gotten more comfortable with Tardust. The acting doesnít feel quite as forced as in earlier episodes. As a whole character I prefer Smart Weasel Tar to Rapist Tar. (Yeah, that Scarlet Letter is NEVER gonna go away.)
Scratch: NO FUCKING WAY!
Angel takes initiative to disable the Tanker bomb and the others join in him to help. Finally Writing drops the boom on usÖ literally. Kalani makes the ultimate sacrifice and things become a little clearer. All the tension and build up around Burt and Saul blinded me from seeing that Kalani had been getting the ďLosers EditĒ for several chapters now.
Anyone who watches BravoTV reality shows knows what Iím talking about.Losers Edit = when an episode in a series suddenly adds attention to a person whose usually in the background or known for performing poorly, this often includes a back story and exposing personality strengths/weaknesses to make the person likable just before they are eliminated.
ZH: Shut up.
Writing seizes the opportunity to plant seeds of mystery and doubt into our brains. Before he dies, Kalani says ďThat girl was my HannahĒ but of course fails to mention what girl he was talking about. Then thereís an awkward moment between the army guys as ideas run out. Burt becomes suspicious of Angel and Michael is considering Scratchís offer knowing backup is coming.
(My little Peggy continues to prove her worth and is already on her way back home on a hunch to save the day. WUV U PEGS!)
Saul and Victor arrive in time to ambush the Mallers and put a dent in their assault before a rogue RPG disables the hummer. Writing could have left their fate open ended and have all of us S&V fans paranoid during the break but they didnít for a good reason. Saulís fate has been a mystery this entire season so to have it happen a second time would be repetitious and overdoing it.
The Mallers assault weakens the building supports and they start to buckle. Angel redeems himself from Season one by playing hero at the last minute. With his whole heart he rescues Riley, Hope, and Lady and ensures their survival before thinking of himself. Thereís a little spark of that fire in him I wish to see more of. In my opinion itís the first sign of actual change for his character. HOORAY!
Everyone makes it over to Pegís helicopter except Burt and Angel and their fate is left open ended. Rather than speculate Iím just going to trust KC to come up with the miracle for at least one man.
At the hands of one of the meanest woman alive in WA, the Tower falls and the remaining cast begin their journey to Fort Irwin. Before this chapter aired I was looking forward to some emotional send off with everyone bidding the apartment building farewell and ended up getting more than I bargained for. At the same time I wasnít missing any of the extras. I realize now that Stevenís been the voice representing the unnamed survivors. His existance has served little more than a branded Popsicle stick to mark where the pumpkin seeds are buried. Up to this point he appears to be around just to remind us that there are others living in the building too. Since Iím not a fan of his whining anyway, I felt nothing for those that perished in the collapse (although he could still be alive). Maybe Iím just cold-hearted.
"The fight game today is like show business. There's no real fighters anymore, they're all actors. The best showman becomes the champ!" ~Nick Benko, THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956)
Iím more interested in seeing what our great antagonist Scratch will do now that her preyís slipped through her claws. Writing threw in a 1 minute overhang at the end to tell us a few things and nothing. The Maller Trio survived the aftermath and theyíve found at least one person alive in the rubble. Listeners can theorize all we want about it but thereís no way to know until next season.
With most of the Tower residents dead, Writing can shift focus back to the mysterious apocalyptic world they live in. As KC has hinted before, he can take them anywhere and our crew has been set up with the tools to do it. Although itíll be clichť, thereís still time to bring in another faction or stronghold in the SoCal area. History could very much repeat itself in the same way Hope found the Colony, only this could be surviving military personnelÖ or cannibals. *crosses fingers*
Since there wasn't much creature awesomeness in this chapter, you can watch this to get your fix. Season 2 Review/Analysis coming soon!
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