Quarantine Post #72: Batman Beyond


So did I need more Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne? I did. Did I also want a future batman and a look at the future Gotham? Also yes. So I was thrilled to hear that the DCAU would explore more Batman content. I was not disappointed. Shoutout to HBO for having most of the DCAU collections. I have enjoyed my trip down memory lane. After 52 episodes spanning three seasons and one direct-to-video feature film, the series was brought to an end in favor of the Justice League animated series, and plans for a fourth season were canceled. Listen… as much as I enjoy the Justice League… I am sure that a 4th season would have been a great idea. (Also… I will get around to blogging about the Justice League too.) Depicting a teenaged Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne, Batman Beyond is chronologically the final series of the DC Animated Universe (despite being released before Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited), and serves as a continuation of both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.

I forced my sister to watch this with me as part of a watch party. Is it nostalgia? It can’t be because I have already rewatched both Batman and Superman TAS and they did not disappoint. The DCAU never disappoints. The show is said to explore the darker side of many Batman projects, playing on key elements such as emotions, personal relations, fear of the unknown, as well as sci-fi themes such as the issues and dilemmas of innovation and technological and scientific progress affecting society, and the psychology of the character of Bruce Wayne. In addition, due to the titular character being a high school student, it includes issues that plague teenagers (substance abuse, subcultures, child abuse and neglect, school violence, peer pressure, etc.). The Batman universe is pretty dark. (I think I said in my post, that it was way darker than I remember.) Batman TAS is dark for a kid’s show so I was expecting more of the same. I knew it was going to be dark when we saw the intro.

Something about the fact that this story takes place in 2019… made me want to rewatch it even more. What is the obsession with flying cars? (Some stuff we don’t need.) The prologue initially begins in 2019 (set about 20 years after The New Batman Adventures, 17 years after Justice League, and 15 years after Justice League Unlimited). An aging Bruce Wayne, despite suffering from health complications continues to fight crime as Batman in a new high-tech Batsuit. I mean what is he like 80? seriously? He looks way old. One of my favorite things was telling Leah about Terry McGinnis… and her responding… Who is Terry? Sometimes, I wonder how we have remained friends.

But let’s jump into the top episodes that had meaning for me. It is hard to choose from because all of the 52 episodes were fantastic. But let’s hop into it.

  • Rebirth Parts 1 and 2 (Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2 ) – Who is running Gotham after Bruce gets old? Don’t worry you can find out in this 2 part episode. This will be a bit long because it is 2 episodes. In an airplane hangar just outside of Gotham City, a group of kidnappers watch a news report about a failed attempt by Derek Powers to take over Wayne Enterprises. (Derek Powers is scum… more on that later.) The news also states that the kidnappers have failed to release their hostage Bunny Vreeland in spite of being paid five million dollars in ransom. As it turns out, they plan to execute Bunny and make a getaway with the money. Batman arrives, wearing a new suit that lacks a cape but features retractable wings and jet boots along with increased strength, flexibility, propulsion, agility and other abilities. Batman manages to subdue most of the kidnappers with limited effort, although he does get a brief crippling chest pain afterwards. (Things were looking too good for Bruce. However, just as he is about to untie Bunny, the thug leader ends up ambushing him with a wrench (with Bunny attempting to warn Batman of the oncoming attack by gasping). As the Caped Crusader is engaging the last thug, he is suddenly struck by crippling chest pain severe enough to bring him to the floor. The last kidnapper, wielding an oversized wrench, unleashes a savage attack. As he continues his vicious battering, he smugly comments how Batman had been getting in the way of people like him since he was a kid. Unable to defend himself and in serious danger, Batman snatches up a weapon dropped by one of the other kidnappers in desperation… a handgun. As surprised as Batman is to see what he has done, his attacker runs off fearfully, before being intercepted by the arriving police. njured, Batman limps outside the hangar. He removes his mask and reveals a gray-haired, older appearance. Upon realizing he was wielding a handgun, something he had sworn he would never do, Bruce is enveloped in absolute horror and revulsion. Back at the Batcave, he puts the Batsuit in the costume display gallery alongside his other crime fighter costumes and his original batsuit that he used to wear as Batman. Realizing that he has grown too old for crimefighting anymore, he takes one last look at the Batcave from the top of the stairs and solemnly vows never be Batman again. Twenty years pass and Gotham City has changed much in this time, according to a current newscast. Derek Powers has managed to take control of Wayne-Powers, and has been increasing his power and wealth by gobbling up smaller businesses. A teenager dressed as a clown climbs onto a public train and starts making trouble. Just then, Terry McGinnis deals with the clown and grumbles “Jokerz”. (They think they know… But they have no idea.) At school, he gets into a fight with Nelson Nash which gets him into trouble. His father is not all that happy. Back at Terry’s house, his father Warren McGinnis gets a desperate message from his co-worker Harry Tully. He meets with his co-worker who has several dark patches on his skin. Tully gives Warren a disk and is dragged off by Mr. Fixx, a large man who works for Powers. Upon returning home, Warren reviews the data on the disk and becomes distressed and shocked at the information on the disk. Terry tells him that he’s leaving but Warren forbids it as Terry’s grounded, despite the fact that he didn’t start the fight. (Terry is always in some mess so can you blame Dad.) After a brief argument Terry leaves in anger. As he leaves, Powers’s hit man Fixx watches and grins, seeing that Warren is now alone. Terry heads out to a nightclub and meets up with his girlfriend Dana Tan. (He is 16 right? Are there fake ID’s involved?) Things escalate when the Jokerz arrive and terrorize Dana. Terry starts fighting them but when reinforcements arrive, Terry is forced to flee on one of their motorcycles. The gang chases Terry down a seldom-used road and Terry swerves to avoid hitting an old man, which causes him to fall. The Jokerz catch up with him. Just then, the old man reveals himself as Bruce Wayne, and demands that the Jokerz leave, but they attack instead. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05QJOmnr-IA) Together, he and Terry manage to fight off the gang but Bruce suffers from his weak heart. While snooping Terry discovers the Batcave. Upon seeing the costumes, Terry learns Bruce’s secret but Bruce attacks him from behind and angrily throws him out. Upon returning home, Terry finds his house in shambles and the words “ha, ha, ha” written in graffiti all over the house. The police are there as is his mother. Terry asks what happened and where’s his father. They inform Terry that Warren has been killed, and the Jokerz are apparently responsible. (The Jokerz are dumb but Powers is diabolical.) But Terry has to move in with is mother and discovers the disk that his father was killed for. He returns to Wayne Manor to show him the evidence. Terry spends the second part of this episode dodging Powers and his henchmen. His solution… break into the batcave and steal the batsuit. Terry, in the suit, clumsily flies towards the Wayne-Powers tower and eavesdrops on a conversation between Powers and Egans. As evidence of the gas’s lethality, Powers shows Egans footage of the gas being tested on plants, then on a calf, and then photographs of Tully after his accident. Egans is impressed, and Powers assures him that the gas will be shipped out that very night; his assistant Mr. Fixx will personally see to it. After Egans leaves, however, Powers is concerned that Terry is still alive. Fixx tells him not to worry, revealing that he is the one who killed Warren. Security guards discover Terry and attack. Bruce deosn’t take kindly to his suit being stolen. Poor Terry doesn’t know that Bruce can see and control the suit from his computer in the batcave. When Bruce shuts the suit down… Terry gets the beating of his life. Terry makes his way to the hover docks and discovers Powers and Fixx supervising the loading of the gas. He is attacked by more security guards. On Powers’s orders, Fixx gets into the hovercraft and takes off, while Powers stays behind to deal with Terry. Terry throws a Batarang, which Powers shoots out of the air with ease. Terry then throws a gas canister, which Powers shoots without thinking, exposing himself to the gas. Terry flies after the hovercraft. Terry manages to fight off Fixx and the hovercraft is destroyed. That morning, Terry’s mother wakes him and tells him that Bruce is there to see him. Bruce tells Terry’s mother that Terry saved his life and defended him from the Jokerz and he tried to reward him, but Terry refused. Bruce offers Terry a job as a part-time assistant, which Terry accepts, knowing that the offer is really to become the new Batman. Back at Wayne-Powers, Powers is exposed to intense radiation to eliminate the gas. The radiation succeeded in saving his life. However, the radiation therapy, combined with the gas’s mutagenic properties, radically altered Powers’s body. He is now emitting radiation so powerful that his skin is now translucent, and he appears as a glowing green skeleton. So that is fun. Birth of a new villain… (Well the transformation of the same villian.)

  • Meltdown (Season 1, Episode 5) – It has been awhile since we have seen Mr. Freeze. It always entertains me when Terry had to battle baddies of the past. Powers is at it again. But Freeze thrives on revenge. He is not a person you want to double cross. Out at the Gotham Docks, Batman tests the water and discovers that it’s ripe with radiation. The reason soon arrives and a bunch of men in lead suits arrive to unload canisters of radioactive waste into a barge. Batman takes on his stealth mode and starts attacking the crew. Being able to move virtually undetected, he easily defeats the crew and stops the evidence from being removed. Batman then goes after the group’s leader, and using the man’s cell phone, he discovers Derek Powers’ involvement. I haved learned from comics that Billionaires are either Villains or hero vigilantes. Derek, at this time, is trying to buy out a company and using the underhanded tactic of using a late hour negotiation. Unfortunately for him, when he hears from Batman informing him that his men are going to be caught by the coast guard, much to his anger, his skin starts to crack and he has to give up the negotiation for the time being. Back in his laboratory, Powers complains about the fact that the skin hardly lasts any more but there is nothing his doctors can do. However, a new doctor, Dr. Stephanie Lake, approaches Powers and tells him that she can clone him a new body and transfer his mind into it. (The other Doctors try warning against her idea. I originally thought it was because they wanted to keep her beneath the rest of them. But honestly… It was a bad idea.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTc-5tILw6U) This body would be healthy, since she would screen out the mutation. Powers is intrigued, but Dr. Lake says that she wants to test the procedure on someone else: Mr. Freeze’s disembodied but immortal head which has been kept in a Wayne-Powers vault for nearly fifty years. The procedure is performed and Victor Freeze soon finds himself in a new, healthy body—one that, miraculously, is able to feel heat and cold like a normal person. Things seem okay, but Bruce is suspicious of both Freeze and Powers and tells Terry to tail Freeze. Bruce trusts no one.  A sniper tries to kill Freeze. Batman stops the attack, but the sniper cries that “the monster’s gotta die”. Mr. Freeze had previously killed this sniper’s family and he now seeks revenge. Freeze decides that he’s done enough damage to the sniper’s life, and sets him free, vowing to make amends. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GJUqteX5Lc) Later, Freeze announces that he’s starting an organization so that he can help the people he once hurt. He promises to fund this with his legitimate holdings, which now comes to significant sum in this time. Terry thinks that Freeze is trying to change. After the announcement, Freeze starts to notice that he’s feeling hot. He leaves the studio and feels even more uncomfortable from the heat. However, it soon starts snowing, and he immediately feels better, proving that he’s starting to revert to his previous condition. Freeze returns to Dr. Lake and she informs Powers of the incident. She guesses that there is a mnemonic agent within his DNA that caused him to revert. Powers wishes to biopsy Freeze’s organs and without warning, Dr. Lake seals Victor inside a cell and turns up the heat to try to knock him out, but he escapes the cell by throwing with gurney on glass at her, now convinced that Dr. Lake and Powers have betrayed and tried to murder him. He escapes the facility, hell bent on revenge once more. Freeze arrives in a suit more powerful than any he had built before with improved protection against bullets and freeze guns built into the gauntlets. Freeze corners Powers and Dr. Lake and freezes them both in icy coffins, then goes out and fights off some guards, making his way towards the main power generators. Unknown to him, back in the hallway, Powers unleashes the full heat of his body’s radioactivity, shedding both his icy prison and his artificial skin. The final battle sends Freeze up in flames. Powers doesn’t die… Because… I mean it is only the first season but… I doubt that Freeze died either.

  • Shriek (Season 1, Episode 7) -Walter Shreeve is looking for more funding from Derek Powers. The meeting doesn’t go as planned. Although, I found it pretty entertaining. Derek Powers sits alone in a dark room while listening to a lecture from acoustician Walter Shreeve, who explains that sound is the first warning of danger and is under-appreciated. Just after that, Powers hears the sound of a locomotive racing towards him and stares into its headlight. Just as he screams in panic, the illusion ends and Shreeve points out that it was only to prove his point. The invention of a profound acoustical amplification/manipulation suit capable of easily destroying solid objects through use of focused infrasonic frequencies. Shreeve expresses his desire to use this suit to revolutionise the construction industry, but Powers is still unimpressed. Seeking to make use of Shreeve Sound Laboratories’ research & development, Powers hires Shreeve to destroy Batman and Bruce Wayne. (Who knows what it must be like for Bruce to know that Powers wants to destroy him…) Bruce makes a speech to his board of directors expressing his disgust with Powers’ idea to tear up Crime Alley, now known as Gotham’s Historical District due to being left unchanged from the city’s development and build an industrial complex. He proposes that they hold a stockholders’ meeting for a vote. The proposal is quickly seconded and Powers has no choice, but to allow the meeting to take place. Nevertheless, he’s sure that his plan will succeed. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKhjEtr_0_E) Bruce meets up with Terry and takes him to Crime Alley, where he explains why he’s fighting so hard to keep the place preserved: it includes the theater where his parents were killed. Terry is confused as to why Bruce would want to keep that particular memory alive when he could easily allow the area to be torn down and forget it, but Bruce quietly compares it to Terry forgetting the memory of what happened to his father. Shreeve enters in his sonic-suit and starts attacking with sound blasts powerful enough to tear up the floor which severely damages the old building. Getting Bruce and himself out of the way of several attacks, Batman tries to engage Shreeve away from Bruce, but when Shreeve shows he’s only interested in harming Bruce, Batman damages Shreeve’s right hand sound generator with a Batarang. The sparking and arcing unit hurts Shreeve and forces him to eject it; the distraction allows Batman to retrieve it, grab Bruce and run out of the GPD before it completely collapses. Batman and Shreeve are okay, but Bruce faints from the exertion. Bruce gives the hospital workers a hard time over being there. Bruce starts to hear voices. The voice claimes that there’s something he must do. The voices order him to go to the window and open it. The voice indirectly encourages him to jump from the window, which would cause him to fall to his death. Even though he doesn’t jump, it doesn’t look good for Bruce. Terry does an analysis of the sound generator from Shreeve’s suit and discovers it to be comprised of acoustium, an alloy developed by Shreeve Sound Laboratories. With this lead, he disguises himself as a misdirected pizza delivery boy and cons his way into Shreeve’s lab with free pizza. Shreeve shows Terry some of his inventions such as a miniature radio receiver and transmitter and device to cancel out sound. However, when Terry asks about sound vibrations, Shreeve becomes suspicious and attacks him. Terry manages to escape and the police learn of Shreeve. Terry rushes back to the hospital to inform Bruce, but the nurse informs him that he has been transferred to the psych ward, apparently on Powers’ advice and under Powers’ care. (Yeah that is what you want. To be in the care of the person trying to kill you.) Batman pays a visit to Bruce in the psych ward and discovers the source of the voices: one of Shreeve’s miniature radios hidden in Bruce’s bandage. He apparently bribed a nurse to place it there. Together, the two leave the hospital and trace the signal back to Shriek. Batman finds him in a car factory and the two start to fight. Shriek has the advantage with his formidable sonic blasts and Batman attempts to hide. Batman turns on the factory’s machinery, causing a concert of noise. Shriek, however, reveals another of his sonic-suit’s acoustic abilities: the projection of a dampening field that cancels out all ambient sound waves. Batman is pursued out of the factory in an eerily complete silence, nearly getting killed not only by Shriek, but a series of dangers that he’s unable to detect without sound. However, as Ace is able to hear, Bruce unleashes him; the canine saves Terry from being hit by a truck. Just as Shriek finds them, Batman once again damages his right hand sound generator with a Batarang, causing the dampening field to suddenly cut-out and Shriek’s ears are overwhelmed by the various sounds of the city which are collectively amplified in exponential by his sonic-suit. Screaming in pain, Shreeve collapses and receives a shock when Batman removes his helmet: he has gone deaf. (Well I should have seen that coming.) Check out the final scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lKH2BpJ_JY)

  • The Winning Edge (Season 1, Episode 9) – Out on the streets of Gotham City, a group of Jokerz crowd around an illegal arms dealer who shows them some of his impressive merchandise. However, Batman shows up and breaks up the sale. The next day, Terry sleeps in class again and the teacher gets angry, giving him a note to take home. Dana tries to comfort Terry by asking him to the game that night, though Terry refuses the offer at first, but Dana further persuades him, saying “you need some excitement in your life”. During the game, the opposite team easily scores a goal and the Coach berates his players for under-performing. As the time out ends, one of the players, Mason, rolls up his sleeve and slaps a patch onto his arm, which instantly bulges with muscle. With his newfound strength, Mason checks one of his opponents so hard he pushes him through the wall of the court, almost hitting Terry and Dana in the process. The referee objects, but the Coach commends Mason. (The coach isn’t likable at all. He is someone that the kids are supposed to be getting help from but he is looking the other way.) Mason is having a hard time and his girlfriend Chelsea and his friends notice it. In order to keep up the addiction they have been robbing places. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TA56hw_VJQ) Later, Mason buys slappers from a supplier concealed in a black car. He uses one of the slappers and instantly feels better. Batman searches Mason’s locker, he discovers the packet of slappers and takes them. However, Coach Creagar finds and attacks him. After a brief fight, however, Batman manages to beat the coach and escapes. Mary walks in and confronts Terry about his tardiness. Terry claims that he was running errands for Mr. Wayne, but she doesn’t buy it. She already knows that he’s been caught sleeping in class, and wants to see the note from his teacher. Before Terry can reach for it, Matt runs to get it, and as Terry tries to stop him, he drops his backpack and the packet of slappers falls out. Mary believes that he’s been using them, and grounds him until further notice after Terry tries to explain what happened, much to Terry’s dismay. Restricted to work, Terry goes to Bruce and gives him a slapper that he managed to keep. Bruce analyzes it and finds that it contains Venom. The only person who has the formula is Bruce’s old enemy Bane, who now lives on a remote island estate. Batman sneaks onto Bane’s estate and ties up his attendant, Jackson Chappell. He finds Bane, whose physique has wasted away to nothing, and is now so weak that he can barely move and needs a respirator to breathe. Chappell says it is the result of too many years on Venom. Batman leaves, baffled as to who is supplying the Venom. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BLe5aXwBaY) Batman follows the car to the supplier’s hide out after breaking up a sale to Mason, and finds a secret slapper factory. The car opens and the “boss” of the operation steps out: Chappell. It turns out that Bane entrusted the formula to Chappell after he became too weak to make it himself; his years of Venom use left Bane dependent on it just to keep himself alive. (This has to be one of the most shockiing episodes for me. I always thought Bane was an addict. But seeing how he ends up is crazy. The kids not know Bane were more susceptible.) Chappell bares his torso and applies four slappers, becoming hugely strong. Batman fights back, but Chappell’s raw strength proves too great even for Batman’s enhanced capabilities. However, during the fight, Batman manages to throw him onto the slapper machine, covering his whole body with them. He screams as the drug takes effect, but is now freakishly large and strong, and nearly insane with rage. But Batman triggers a small explosion that sprays chemicals in his enemy’s eyes, blinding him. As Chappell swings wildly around, he causes a large explosion that incapacitates him. As the smoke clears, Batman looks closer and sees that, due to the overdose, there was nothing upstairs. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGQIghWQmUA)

  • Spellbound (Season 1, Episode 10) –  Gotham City is overcome by a rash of strange crimes by seemingly normal people, each of whom claims to have experienced hallucinations after meeting a man dressed in a strange suit and a magic eye. Chelsea returns home from a date with her boyfriend, Rick. When he asks if she’s all right walking alone the last few feet to her door, she says nothing ever happens around their block. Before reaching home, Chelsea notices a strange wind picking up and is approached by a man dressed in a strange costume. He tells her not to be afraid and shows her a large eye in his hand, inviting her to an “adventure”. Chelsea stares into the eye and suddenly finds herself wandering through a jungle. She enters an ancient temple and picks up a small idol in the center. She then follows the strange man to a pool of lava and drops the statue down. In reality, she has entered her home, picked up a statue from her father’s study, and dropped it off the riverbank outside her door. When her father confronts her, she snaps out of it and expresses confusion. Neither of them notice the man fly away with the statue in hand. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xEESMrsoiA) The next day, Terry talks to his friend Jared and notices Commissioner Barbara Gordon walk by. He follows her and eavesdrops on a conversation between her and Ira Billings, the school psychologist. Billings says that, in his expert opinion, Chelsea commits acts like this to get attention, and her “mystery man” story is likely made-up as an excuse. Barbara accepts this explanation and leaves. (I have always wondered why he was allowed to talk to the police. Don’t the cops need a warrant.) Terry is suspicious, but even Bruce doesn’t see anything wrong, believing that it’s just Chelsea’s personal problems. Night comes and the mysterious man picks off another victim, Mr. Deakins, an auction house manager. Mr. Deakins is hit by the power of the eye and soon after he knocks one of the security guards unconscious and locks himself inside. As the police arrive, and tend to the guard, Deakins drags a valuable dress (once belonging to Princess Audrey) up to the roof. In his mind, he’s in the middle of a jungle war, dragging a wounded comrade to safety while trying to evade the enemy. On the roof, the mystery man is waiting, where Deakins sees his vehicle as a rescue helicopter. He loads the dress onto the craft. Batman arrives but Mr. Deakins sees him as an enemy soldier and attacks him, telling the “helicopter” to run for it. After a brief fight, Batman manages to knock Mr. Deakins into the wall, thereby snapping him out of his delusion. Mr. Deakins also expresses confusion. Chelsea is now being taken seriously since another person spots the villain. Terry announces that he has a personal gathering to attend. Terry goes to the wedding of Jared’s mother, admiring the large jewels she’s wearing. However, as the bride walks down the stairs, a magic eye concealed in a video camera hits her and she suddenly sees herself in a nest of gigantic insects. She runs in terror. Catching a glimpse of Spellbinder hiding in the crowd, Terry runs down to his motorcycle and pulls out the Batsuit. In terror, Jared’s mother jumps off the hotel balcony. Batman grabs her, but she sees him as an insect too and tries to escape him. Eventually, she sees even her jewelry as insects and tears them off, before falling onto the train tracks in the path of an oncoming train. Batman manages to save her but cannot stop Spellbinder from stealing the jewels. The next day, Billings expresses concern for Terry’s mental health, given the recent loss of his father and the new stress caused by his job. He invites Terry to tell him about his experiences working for Bruce. Terry is a little reluctant but finally caves in. (Mr. Billings is a bit too helpful.) That night, Bruce hears an intruder alarm sounding. He goes upstairs and finds Terry stealing valuables from his home. Terry sees himself as being a contestant on a shopping spree game show and even attacks Bruce when he tries to stop him. Bruce, however, snaps Terry out of it. In the Batcave, Bruce reveals Spellbinder’s true identity: Billings. All of the victims either had therapy with him, or had children who did, which is how Billings “cased” their houses. He does not suspect Terry’s secret identity, but only used him to get access to Wayne Manor — which means that at that moment Spellbinder is waiting outside for him. (Just know that my mind is blown.) Terry confronts Spellbinder as Batman, but is hit by the magic eye. Things don’t seem to alter, and he claims that he’s okay but soon sees a pack of zombies crawl out of the ground and they attack. As the illusory zombies gang up on Batman, Spellbinder explains his motives for the crimes: Having gotten poor compensation for treating many of the students with connections to wealthy families, he decided to get what he believed he was entitled to and strike back at the rich, with Spellbinder also using the illusions to sneak attack Batman. The images eventually fade and Batman sees Spellbinder standing just in front of a cliff. He runs after him but Bruce warns Terry that it’s an illusion. Terry freezes, stopping just short of where the real cliff is. Spellbinder attacks from behind, but falls off the cliff himself after Batman evades the attack and captures him.

  • Disappearing Inque (Season 1, Episode 11) – We met Inque earlier in the series…. when she was employed by Derek Powers for corporate espionage against Foxtecha. In their first clash, Terry used Mr. Freeze’s gun to immobilize her. Inque broke down into pieces of ice, which were then delivered to Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon in a giant bag. So this episode takes us back to her. Out at Gotham Cryogenics, a disgruntled employee, Aaron Herbst, walks in on Inque who is still trapped in a block of ice. He starts talking to Inque about his problems, including that he’s been turned down for a raise, but then gets a call that his boss wants to see him. Just for luck, he kisses the ice holding Inque. (Odd. Can you fall in love with someone who doesn’t interact with you at all?) Well, his boss is not happy. His boss tells him that cameras have been monitoring his “conversations” with Inque, and he’s being fired. In revenge, Aaron cuts off the power to Inque’s cell, allowing the ice to melt and freeing her. (This is such an extreme reaction. I am not sure that I would have let a villain loose but…. also… if this job was that important. They should have paid him more money.) Being shown around the displays in the Batcave, Terry admires an exosuit on display next to the costumes, and asks about it. Bruce says he built it when he first started losing his strength and endurance to old age—the suit greatly increases both, but he soon realized that using it put too great a strain on his heart. Inque releases the hostages but Batman notices that one of the officers is wearing a black coat. Deducing that this coat is actually Inque he attacks. However, the police start to fire on both Inque and Batman. Worse, Inque manages to destroy Mr. Freeze’s gun and escapes. Inque finds her way to Aaron’s apartment looking for his help. She reveals that despite being immobilized, she retained consciousness, and as a result, she could see and hear her curator’s incessant nattering and moaning about his pitiful life and his love for her. Inque says she won’t tell anyone if he helps her. Aaron eagerly says he’ll do anything for her. Terry reinforces the Batcave’s stone superstructure with Plasti Steel. , Bruce analyzes a sample of Inque’s bio-residue and discovers that her human DNA has been damaged to the point of preventing her assuming of human form, probably from being frozen, and that this was the reason she posed as a black overcoat in her escape earlier. That night, Inque and Aaron break into a chemical lab and steal the chemicals she needs. Before they can leave, Aaron asks for his reward: to be mutated into a shapeshifter like her. Inque agrees, but before she can make good on her promise, Batman arrives. Inque attacks him and manages to dodge his special batarang, leaving him with nothing. Batman continues to fight Inque but she easily gains the upper hand. However, after a failed attempt to drown him in her body, Inque is forced to release Batman when he activates his thrusters, breaking free long enough to grab the electric Batarang. Inque is downed, but Aaron beats Batman and knocks him out with an industrial haptic feedback robotic arm and saves her. Inque wants Batman dead, but decides to wait until she can get “the old one too”. ( What about this was Aaron so attracted to?) Inque and Aaron go to an abandoned sporting arena and Inque drinks the mutagen, healing herself. Meanwhile, restrained to a post of the center ring with chain, Batman has contacted Bruce and reveals information of where he has been taken. They continue to talk until Batman stops. She wants him to tell Bruce where he is being held but Terry refuses.  Seeing that Batman refuses to talk, Inque instead reveals to Bruce they are at the Gotham Hills Arena and warns him to come alone or she threatens to kill Batman. Batman warns Bruce not to come, trying to reveal she would kill them, until he is prevented from revealing anymore information by Inque who forcibly kisses him.  Aaron follows her once again demands his reward, and Inque injects him with the mutagen. Bruce arrives at the Arena wearing a trench coat that seems unusually bulky on him, along with a hat, scarf, and sunglasses to conceal his face. As he walks through, he sees Aaron, who is now a shapeless, unstable blob: Aaron mumbles that Inque only gave him half the treatment—robbing him of his cohesion, but leaving him unable to shape-shift like her. There is nothing Bruce can do for him.  Terry is horrified to see that Bruce has donned the exosuit to fight Inque, despite the risk to his heart. In the armor, Bruce manages to send Inque flying into the far wall, but she attacks with a vengeance and throws him to the ground. As she advances, preparing to kill him, Aaron crawls between them, moaning, “You promised… you promised!” She sneers, “Loser!” and tries to swat him aside, but Aaron, enraged that he gave up everything for nothing, wraps his shapeless body around her. As she struggles to get free, she accidentally knocks down the center ring, allowing Batman to free himself. As she throws Aaron aside and advances on Bruce again, Terry throws a Batarang at the glass ceiling, smashing it and letting in the rain. Inque begins to melt away. She lurches desperately towards the flask containing the remaining mutagen, but falls short and dissolves away into the drains. Bruce recovers from the fight without ill effects. Aaron has been recovered and thanks to Inque’s deceit has been rendered an invalid. With no hard tissues, he has no substantial locomotion and is kept in a simplified glass enclosure with a blanket, and can only eat liquid foods fed to him through a funnel. Now he is the one trapped with an annoying and cheery attendant, who tells him about all her problems and is likewise unaware that she too is being monitored.

  • Lost Soul (Season 2, Episode 4) – A newscast reports the death of Robert Vance, owner and president of a powerful computer company. Knowing that he was dying from an incurable brain disorder, Vance took steps to safeguard his company’s future by digitizing his mind into a computer program, to act as a helpful “advisor” to future owners. This sounds like a bad idea. A very bad idea. Thirty-five years later, in the present, a young man enters Vance Enterprises and re-boots Vance’s program. The young man identifies himself as Bobby Vance, the elder Vance’s grandson. Bobby is now the owner of the company, the last member of the family after his father died of a heart attack. Bobby is still young and is not sure he can handle the responsibility. Robert reassures him and encourages Bobby to put his program online, and he complies. This seems like Skynet. SKYNET. Dana and Terry share a romantic night up on the roof of a skyscraper. After they decide to leave, they board an elevator that suddenly starts to erratically drop and rise at a dangerous rate just before they were about to kiss. Terry looks out and sees the entire city being affected in much the same manner. Terry manages to stop the elevator and heads off to see Bruce. (Dana deserves better. As in more time with Terry. But he tries lol.) Bruce tells Terry that a program has been hoarding information all over the city’s network, causing random device malfunctions. He is sure that the program has a hidden agenda and sends Terry to stop it. (Bruce doesn’t trust anything.) Cherck it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6u6bE_4SoQ) Batman makes it to the power plant where the program has taken over, and tries to shut off the power. Unfortunately, the program activates the automated defense systems, making it impossible for the power to be shut down except from the central control. Going into stealth mode, Batman manages to sneak in but a stray cat wanders in and alerts the defenses. Batman manages to shut off the power, but is too late to avoid being hit by a laser blast. Believing he is not seriously injured, Batman tells Bruce that the trouble is over, and Bruce orders him out on patrol.(I sense there is a something not right.) Out in the city, a gang of thieves are attempting to steal from a powerless ATM and Batman manages to stop them. However, before he can continue, his suit starts to malfunction. Soon it refuses altogether to respond to his movement, and communications with Bruce are cut off. Instead, Terry hears Vance’s voice downloaded into the suit by way of the laser blast. Under Vance’s control, the suit walks into the ocean, Vance telling Terry along the way that he intends to download himself into a new body. Realizing something is wrong, Bruce hits the Batsuit’s kill switch, preventing Terry from drowning, but leaving him immobilized in the water as the tide comes in. Back in the Batcave, Bruce talks about reprogramming the suit, but he and Terry decide to leave the task until later. As soon as they leave, however, the suit gets up by itself and leaves. Bruce talks about reprogramming the suit, but he and Terry decide to leave the task until later. As soon as they leave, however, the suit gets up by itself and leaves. Terry and Bruce realize the suit is missing. Terry decides to go after it even though Bruce tries to talk him out of it. Donning Nightwing’s old mask, Terry explains that he had always wondered to himself what makes Batman: is it him in the suit, or is it the only the suit and the abilities it gives him? watches as Robert wires Bobby to a machine, explaining that he plans to download his mind into a living body: Bobby’s; the process will erase Bobby’s mind, but that hardly matters. (Robots can’t be trusted… at all.) Terry notices when Robert accidentally catches his arm in an electromagnetic field and temporarily loses control of it. The transfer begins but Terry interrupts it. However, his melee attacks are ineffective against the suit and it activates its stealth mode, then attacks with an exploding batarang that triggers explosives in Terry’s belt. Terry hurls the belt at Robert and manages to disable its stealth mode. Terry and Robert fight for a while but the suit is much stronger and nearly invulnerable to damage. However, Terry manages to get hold of a sharp steel rod torn from the wall and wraps a power cable around it. He then jams it into the suit and plugs it into a power outlet, overloading the suit and erasing the program. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDiw7awiwDw)

  • Rats (Season 2, Episode 9) – An ominous newscast speaks of Gotham’s “secret shame”: giant man-eating rats. These rats are blamed for several disappearances. Max states they are nothing but an urban legend and a way for media to get more attention, but Chelsea seems to believe them. But Dana and Terry are having some issues. I wondered how long it would take before she got really fed up. Terry has stood her up again. Terry arrives and tries to patch things up but she refuses to listen. Terry apologizes claiming Mr. Wayne needed him again and doesn’t blame Dana for being mad. Dana reveals she is more than mad as she has tried to be patient with him and while Terry replies she has been great as she has always been there for him, Dana points out that she doesn’t feel that way in return as she has only received broken promises and dates, claiming that Terry cares more about his job than her. (I mean… she’s right but she doesn’t know his job is Batman.) Terry reminds her that he has responsibilities now since his father died as his mother and brother depend on him more and asks what does she want. Dana reveals she would like someone who will be there for her and leaves. Terry tries to go after her, but Chelsea advises him to give her some space and leaves. Max admits to Terry that it’s a shame he can’t tell Dana the truth. When Dana reaches her car, she finds a white rose and a note saying, “I’ll be there for you”. Assuming the rose came from Terry, Dana begins to change her mind. (But… how would it have been from Terry?) Later that night at his house, Terry and Matt are relaxing until the phone rings. Matt answers and reveals it’s Dana and soon Terry sends him out of the room. Terry and Dana talk, where reveals he didn’t expect to hear from her, Dana says the rose changed her mind which confuses Terry, revealing he didn’t send Dana the rose. However, Dana doesn’t notice and instead arranges a date for them at Rhino’s Chili, Terry assures he’ll be there and Dana promises to wear the white dress he likes, ending the call. At Dana’s house, she is dressed and ready for her date with Terry. She says goodbye to her father, who believes she is leaving for a study group. When Dana reveals she is meeting Terry, her father disapproves of their relationship as he knows of Terry’s past, believing that Dana could be with someone better. Dana assures her father that Terry’s trouble is in the past, while also mentioning his job. Terry heads out to meet Dana but he receives a call from Bruce alerting him to Mad Stan being on a rampage. Knowing his responsibility must come first, Batman confronts Mad Stan, who believes that Gotham is falling apart due to an information overload, in the library and the two start to fight. While Batman and Mad Stan fight, Dana waits in front of Rhino’s and eventually decides that she’s been blown off again. Angrily leaving the scene, she come across another rose with the “I’ll be there for you” message. As she reads the note, she is approached by two giant rats that slowly advance on her. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rax_72-R23s) Dana wakes up surrounded by white roses. Looking around, she finds herself in an underground room filled with shelves of junk items. A rat-like boy greets her and tells her that his name is Patrick and that this is his collection of things that people don’t want. Dana soon comes across the giant rats again, but Patrick shows that he can control them and that they are his friends.  Dana learns that Patrick ran away because people called him “ratboy” and he sought to quit being teased. Attempting to escape, Dana offers to take Patrick to Rhino’s for some chili, but he refuses to let her go and heads off for himself. Back at Terry’s house, Terry calls Dana and apologizes. Soon afterwards, there is an insistent knock at the door. Terry answers, and is soon assaulted by Dana’s father who demands to know her whereabouts. Terry is taken aback, but now learns that Dana is missing. Terry has told Bruce about Dana missing and is out investigating her disappearance. He comes across Rhino’s where patrons are escaping in droves. Inside, Patrick is busy ladling chili into take-out containers for him and Dana. Batman discovers Patrick’s giant rats and a fight ensues. Patrick escapes and Terry follows him into the sewer. Dana searches through his collection and finds a flashlight. With the light in hand, she searches for a way out, passing by several barrels of toxic waste which were presumably the source of the giant rats. The journey through the sewers proves to be an ordeal for Dana. Dana falls into sewer water and soon finds herself trapped in a pit, along with a huge colony of regular-sized rats. Despite their small size, the rats are aggressive and attack Dana. Fortunately, Patrick arrives and scares the rats off. Later, they return to Patrick’s dwelling. Patrick notices Dana isn’t eating and asks if something’s bothering her, Dana angrily snaps at him for his kidnapping and for having rats as friends. Patrick starts realizing that Dana doesn’t get him as much as he thought she did. Dana asks if he has kidnapped people before and Patrick reveals in the past, he’s kidnapped people similar to Dana’s problems and tried to give them a home in the sewers. When Dana asks what happened to them, he pulls out a whistle and says “They don’t make fun of me anymore”, implying that he murdered his previous victims. The rats, both giant and regular, advance on Dana. Patrick grabs her and reveals she shouldn’t have made fun of him, but, before he can attack her, Batman arrives. Dana tries to question Batman as to how he found her, but he brushes it off and warns her to stay behind him while he fights them off. The rats begin to advance in Batman and soon they quickly overwhelm. Dana rescues Batman as she takes a hockey stick and sets it ablaze. The two manage to ward off the rats long enough to escape. During the escape, Dana drops the lit hockey stick into the toxic waste, causing an explosion and Dana to fall unconscious. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM8iOKFY9CU) Later as fireman and news reporters arrive at the scene, Dana is sitting an ambulance. Terry arrives and begins apologizing to Dana for not being there for her, blaming himself for what happened to her. Dana cuts him off, simply saying shut up, causing Terry to slightly worry. However, Dana instead hugs Terry, needing comfort after her ordeal. Terry the begins to take her home.

  • The Last Resort (Season 2, Episode 16) – Does it seem like these parents are the worst? Well this episode shows it to the fullest. Batman hears sirens blare and sees a renegade truck giving the police a lot of trouble while on patrol. Batman intervenes but the truck is stronger than the Batmobile and the driver is flying like a madman. Batman manages to stop the driver: Sean Miller, a student in Terry’s history class. Later, the chase forms part of a commercial for a new rehabilitation clinic for troubled adolescents. The clinic’s founder, Dr. David Wheeler, reminds parents that new laws are imposing strict punishments on the parents of truants, and assures them that his methods can help troubled kids become normal and well-adjusted again. This sounds like the making more villains. The clinic proves to be so popular that soon Hamilton Hill High School is nearly empty of students. One of Terry’s classes has only eight students left. Chelsea is sure that the clinic is to blame, and sends a protesting e-mail to Principal Nakamura, calling this new solution “un-schway”. Nakamura calls Chelsea’s father about the email, and Mr. Cunningham seizes on the excuse to enroll Chelsea in the clinic. (So…. do parents no longer talk to their kids? Parenting has gone out the door in Gotham. One could argue they never had it.) Knowing that Chelsea is not necessarily troubled, Terry, Max and Dana are suspicious at how readily the clinic admitted her, and Max and Dana both agree that someone should look into the ranch, with Max casting a meaningful look Terry’s way. At the clinic,  Chelsea wanders around and is rudely greeted by Sean who accuses her of talking about him behind his back. She tries to leave him by going to a friend of hers, Adam Stepnik. However, Adam is totally unresponsive to her and she notices that he’s painting a blank canvas using a brush with no paint. Sean sneers that Adam is still under the effects of the “ISO”. Before Chelsea can get answers as to what “ISO” means, the students are herded into “class” by Vincent, the head guard of the facility. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VLiEJzWa9w) That night, Batman starts his investigation of the clinic, eavesdropping through the wall. The class consists of the students being forced to stand for hours on end, listening to Dr. Wheeler yelling at them that they are worthless and he is the only one who can help them. The students are not allowed to leave for any reason, not even to go to the bathroom. A boy tries to speak up, begging to go back to his room so he can sleep, and Wheeler orders Vincent to drag him away to the ISO as punishment. Bruce identifies Wheeler’s methods as a form of brainwashing, used by cults and sometimes on prisoners of war. Back in the Batcave, Terry says they have enough evidence to go to the police and have the clinic shut down, but Bruce reminds him that he would have to explain how he got the suit’s recordings which he cannot do without revealing their secret. So Terry decides to go undercover in the ranch as himself. Terry slips past security when another person tries to escape. Seeing Chelsea pass, he pulls her aside, and is horrified at the state she is in. She reveals that she hasn’t been sleeping much. They both learn they were told that the other canceled the appointment to see each other. He takes out the recorder and she describes the abusive conditions at the ranch, and explains what the ISO is: a sensory deprivation tank that blocks out all feeling and sound, making the subject feel totally isolated. Reaching the end of her control, Chelsea breaks down crying and begs Terry to get her out of there. Now that he has the evidence he needs, Terry promises to help her as soon as he can return with the police. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeDrKOr3scM) Terry tries to leave but he gets attacked by Sean… Sean is sentenced to the ISO, and Terry is searched, turning up the camera. Terry is taken prisoner as well, yelling at Wheeler that once the parents find out about him, they’re going to shut him and his ranch down. As Wheeler and Vincent talk, Wheeler says that if anyone comes for Terry, they’ll destroy the camera and it will be nothing but his word against Wheeler’s in court, but if no one comes, they will do away with him. When Vincent expresses how Terry will not be easy to kill because he is a fighter, Wheeler tells him that they’ll just have to “take the fight out of him” by putting him in ISO alongside Sean. Sean taunts Terry through the wall between their cells, describing the horrible experience he’s in for. However, Terry convinces Sean to cooperate with him so that they can escape from the ranch. Morning comes and the two are taken to the ISO chambers, but at Terry’s signal, they attack the guards and manage to escape with the help of Adam, who takes Vincent out with his easel just as it looks like he has Terry on the ropes. Sean gets hold of the master keycard from the downed Vincent and uses it to release all the students from their cells. While the security guards are trying to round up the students, Terry retrieves his backpack from storage and suits up. The guards continue to overwhelm the students and begin to throw tear gas bombs as they try to escape. The guards are about to set off another, but Batman appears and single-handedly defeats the guards with the students cheering him on. However, Vincent suddenly appears and zaps Batman with an electric staff, but Batman quickly recovers, disarms Vincent and takes him out easily. Batman then hears Dr. Wheeler pleading for mercy, and sees Sean dangling him off a high wall, intent on revenge against him for trying to put him in ISO. Batman pleads for Sean to stop, saying that he’s now redeemed himself by freeing the students and helping shut the ranch down, and that he’s a hero. Sean laughs this off and drops Wheeler, forcing Batman to save him. Sean is then apprehended by the guards. he students run outside, where the police and their parents have arrived. Most of the students reunite with their parents, but Chelsea gives her father the cold shoulder, showing that she still hasn’t forgiven him, much to his sadness. Wheeler and his guards are arrested. Terry and Bruce watch sadly as Sean is also taken into custody. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUnZVFL_AkA)

  • Where’s Terry? (Season 2, Episode 25) – Terry, Dana, Maxine and Howard walk out of the Majestic Theater after watching the classic movie Casablanca. Terry and Dana begin to talk, with Dana revealing it was nice to spend quality time together, but is upset of how his job interferes. However, Terry reassures her that despite his job, he reveals that she is more important to him. Terry and Dana then share a sweet kiss, before Terry heads off into the subway. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3JgYtXVzhQ) The next morning, his mother notices his bed is still made and believes Terry didn’t come home. At school Dana begins to worry for Terry, but believes that Terry must be sick, though Dana remains worried. Out at the Batcave, Bruce finds he can’t contact Terry. Worried, he leaves Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, Max and Dana talk over the phone and share information that Terry hasn’t been home all day. There’s a knock at Max’s door and she finds that it’s Bruce. Bruce asks where Terry is and where he was. After obtaining this information he heads out to look. Max goes after him and ignores Bruce’s orders to go home. Together, they make it to the subway station. Batman wakes up buried underneath rubble staring up at a young boy, who demands to know why Batman’s there. Batman explains that he was following someone, he was spotted, then nothing. He asks the boy what he’s doing down there. The boy simply says that he’s finding Batman the fastest way out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n9tSjdB_Sg) Shriek dons his suit and attempts to cause another collapse but the tunnels make aiming difficult for him. Still he fires away. Batman and the boy continue to walk on and Batman notes that the boy wants him out pretty bad. Batman deduces that the boy is a runaway, but before they can talk further, Shriek’s blast causes another cave in trapping the duo in a dead end. Bruce and Max continue to search and he unsuccessfully tries to deter her from going along with him. A group of T’s walks by and Max notices that one of them is wearing Terry’s backpack. Bruce and Max follow after the Ts and offers to purchase the backpack at any price. However, the Ts are suspicious and jump him. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAFGNVio-g8)  The boy goes on about how half the students in his school want to be Batman and he’s in the other half, preferring to idolize villains. (Gotta love the moody teenagers that are so interested in being different that they “hate” everything.” Batman continues to search for a way out and learns that the Gotham River flows around the tunnels and that opening any of the walls will cause a flood. However, the boy indirectly discovers a spot on the wall without condensation and gives out a hollow sound. Believing he may have found a way out, Batman sets up his explosives. Fortunately, a hole in the roof breaks open and while it’s too small for Batman to fit through, Dak can manage. Dak is surprised that Batman trusts him but Batman tells him it’s better that only Dak gets out rather than neither of them. Unfortunately Dak leaves and finds himself confronted by Shriek. Max helps out Bruce and thy manage to beat up the T’s and get information on Terry. Batman quietly sits and thinks about his next move. Shriek calls out to him and threatens to kill Dak if Batman doesn’t show up. Dak claims that Batman can’t show up because he’s trapped, accidently revealing that he knows where he is, and Shriek threatens him into showing him where to find him. Batman quietly sits and thinks about his next move. Shriek calls out to him and threatens to kill Dak if Batman doesn’t show up. Dak claims that Batman can’t show up because he’s trapped, accidently revealing that he knows where he is, and Shriek threatens him into showing him where to find him. Batman quietly sits and thinks about his next move. Shriek calls out to him and threatens to kill Dak if Batman doesn’t show up. Dak claims that Batman can’t show up because he’s trapped, accidently revealing that he knows where he is, and Shriek threatens him into showing him where to find him. Max continues to follow after Bruce in spite of the fact that he tells her he doesn’t want her there, not because of his pride but because of his conscience. Max still refuses to listen but the debate is cut off when they notice that a repair crew has cut off the tunnel. Bruce tells Max to sneak into the tunnel while he distracts the workers. However, when Max tries, Bruce points her out thereby getting the workers after her and giving himself ample time to sneak into the tunnel himself. (Where is this old man going?) Dak takes Shriek to a wall covered in condensation and says that’s where Batman is. Shriek destroys the wall, thereby allowing the river to flow inside and is swept away. Dak tries to escape but he too is swept away in the flood. Fortunately, the flood further opens the hole and grants Batman a chance to escape. He follows Dak’s cries for help and saves him from falling to his death. Unfortunately, Shriek catches up with him and prepares to kill his enemy. Bruce, however, shows up and defeats Shriek. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9MpkpB28kU) Bruce knows how to wield that cane don’t he?

It was a fun trip back down memory lane. I always enjoy the DCAU and for some reason, I am partial to Batman. It is fun to see Bruce in his old age unchanged and he continues collecting young people to do his crime-fighting. Terry was a good addition. Terry was different from Bruce in many ways. Unlike his mentor, he had a childhood (of sorts) and also faced the demands of a normal kid his age: a school career, his girlfriend, Dana Tan, and the responsibilities of the eldest son in a family. Although it was often a greater strain for him to maintain his secret life with Mary, Matt, and Dana, Terry was able to find a source of solace with Bruce, Barbara, Max, and Ace. I would have loved to see Terry meet Dick Grayson. But you can’t always get what you want. Let me know your favorite episodes in the comments. That is all for now.

Quarantine Post #71: TMNT 1987


So I found the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Amazon Prime a few years back… and while I thought it was funny I didn’t think I would have the time to sit and do a whole rewatch. But of course Covid levels everything out. So I am here with nothing but time on my hands. I decide to look in it again. To my surprise, there are 10 seasons. I do remember running home from school so I didn’t miss it on television… and it seemed like I had been watching it a few years… but if I had 1000 guesses… I wouldn’t have said 10. But it was created the same year I was born… so even when I was old enough to understand what was going on… it had been on a while… Quite possibly reruns. I figured it would be fun to watch one of my older show faves. And give a couple of thoughts on it as an adult.

So with Amazon prime… All ten seasons were available for purchase. So I said… Why not? *Kanye Shrug*. Funny story. I keep forgetting that I am older and that much more time has past than I think… because my nephew came to visit… who was 6 at the time. He wanted to watch TMNT. So I turned this on.. and kept it moving… and he was baffled. I asked him what the issue was… and he said… “This is not the turtles I watch.” I laughed aloud and cried a bit inside. Good news though. When I asked him if he wanted me to turn it off… he said… “No… I want to find out about this.” It had to be the theme song. 34 years later. The theme song is still lit.

See… It is still litty.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, retroactively also known as TMNT 1987 is an American animated television series. It was the first television adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. (I looked into buying some of those comics… Amazon has it all.) Set in New York City, the series follows the adventures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their allies as they battle the Shredder, Krang, and numerous other villains and criminals. The property was changed considerably from the darker-toned comics, to make it more suitable for children and the family. Makes sense since… the comics are pretty dark… The show helped launch the characters into mainstream popularity and became one of the most popular animated series in television history. Action figures, breakfast cereals, plush toys, and other merchandise featuring the characters appeared on the market during the late-1980s and early-1990s and became top-sellers worldwide. The ’90s was a fun time to be a kid… unless you hated the ninja turtles. Then even as a 6-year-old… I questioned your tastes.  By 1990, the series was being shown daily on more than 125 television stations, and the comic books sold 125,000 copies a month. There is a Netflix series that chronicles the rise of the TMNT action figures. Check out The Toys that Made Us. I am going to say… you were a nobody if you didn’t have a favorite turtle. But it was hard being a girl and loving TMNT. But to answer your unspoken question… LEONARDO… MIKEY was a close second. I am sure pizza sales went up during this time.

So unless you have been living under a rock… you would know all 4 turtles. But for those who do not… Let’s talk about them:

  • Leonardo: Turtle with the blue bandana who wields two katanas. He is the oldest of the group. Being the leader of the Turtles, he is the most serious member of team, and the most talented fighter. Voiced by Cam Clarke. Totally should have stood in line at comic con to see him. Leonardo’s bravery, determination, and willpower makes him a great leader. And due to his heroic and selfless nature, Leonardo is willing to put his own life on the line to keep his friends and family safe.

  • Donatello: Turtle with the purple bandana who wields a bō staff. He is interested in science and is constantly tinkering with various inventions. He is responsible for the creations of most of the Turtles’ high-tech equipment, including the Turtle Van, the Turtle comms, and the Turtle Blimp. Voiced by Barry Gordon, but is some Season 3 episodes and a Vacation In Europe Side season episode voiced by Greg Berg. A running gag was that most of his inventions exploded or otherwise malfunctioned, but it was still Donatello who came through to save the day most of the time.

  • Raphael: Turtle with the red bandana who wields two sais. He’s sarcastic, often jokes, and seems to get irritated easily. Voiced by Rob Paulsen, but in Vacation In Europe Side season, voiced by Hal Rayle, and voiced by Michael Gough in Season 10. Unlike later versions of Raphael, he is not a hothead, and is the main source of comic relief. He’s generally lazy and doesn’t want to fight at times all while remaining sarcastic. I maintain that I got my sarcasm from watching Raph work. Raphael gets along with the other turtles better than his later incarnations, but he sometimes can mock them or butt heads with them.

  • Michelangelo: Turtle with the orange bandana, who wields two nunchuks but later wields a grappling hook. He is the most relaxed of the group, mostly interested with pizza and having a good time. He used a lot of slang, and is the source for many of the catch phrases such as “Cowabunga!”. He was voiced by Townsend Coleman in every episode. He is often teased by his brother Raphael in many episodes. He loves to skateboard, surf and party. Michelangelo has a free-spirited character, with a hopelessly innocent and romantic heart. There is also a recurrent theme of him exceeding the low expectations that others have of him – and sometimes even his own expectations of himself. Now, let me tell you guys about this grappling hook… There was a lot of controversy at the time when getting permission to show the episodes in other countries about the violence. Here in the USA… there were a lot of parents that bought their kid nunchuks because they wanted to be like Mikey…. (Why would you bu these for kids and plus not watch them is beyong me.) So when kids started beating each other up… they changed the show. Michelangelo could still be seen with the nunchuks… but he rarely used them. Much to my kid disappointment. The grappling hook was odd. They called it… called the “Turtle Line” that served as Mikey’s signature weapon for the rest of the show’s run. I am going to say… doing the rewatch that he rarely used the nunchuks on someone… so it was weird. But I am sure that the live action movies had more to do with it.

  • Hamato Yoshi/Master Splinter: A strict and wise sensei, he is the mutant rat who trained the Turtles in ninjutsu. He was voiced by Peter Renaday. As opposed to later depictions, this version of Splinter treats the Turtles like students more than his sons, as well as being Hamato Yoshi and becoming a rat, whereas in most other versions, he is Yoshi’s pet rat that becomes humanoid. When he’s not calling the Turtles by their names he calls them his “students” or “my turtles”. 

  • April O’Neil: A red-headed Channel 6 TV reporter who discovers the Turtles’ home in the sewers. She befriended the Turtles in the very first episode. She is also known for wearing a yellow jumpsuit, except for the Red Sky episodes. April O’Neil was voiced by Renae Jacobs. This is the first version where April is a news reporter and it continued in other versions. She often puts her self in danger just to get her story and hardly had any love interests in the series. In the final two seasons, she became a freelance reporter.

  • Shredder/Oroku Saki: Arch-villain of the Turtles and Splinter. The Shredder wears a suit covered in metal blades, a cape, and a metal kabuto helmet and menpō mask which he rarely takes off. Voiced by James Avery, (Quick Question… is your favorite villain voiced by Uncle Phil?) but in some Season 3 episodes, voiced by Dorian Harewood. Unlike other incarnations, this Shredder is associated with a disembodied alien called Krang, and plans to take over Earth along side him with his armored fortress the Technodrome, which is also there headquarters. He was the leader of the foot clan.

So I was entertained by the show during my rewatch because I never remembered it being so far-fetched. The technodrome, the neutrinos, Dimension X. But as a kid… it works. Why not?

So as I normally do… I am going to pick a few episodes that I remember clearly and were fun to rewatch. Since there are 10 seasons… I am going to try and narrow down the list. But I may get a bit carried away. My dad had a red bandana that I used to play Raphael for the longest time. Good Times. Also, I had a few VHS tapes with some of these episodes on them. So it is fun to watch it without having to rewind. (Ah. Youth.) LOL… the show is very 80’s on down to the animation.

I only had one tape… because $14.95 each for the whole collection was a bit more than my mom was willing to let go of at the time lol.

Anyway, let’s jump into it. In no particular order:

  • The Case Of The Killer Pizzas (Season 2, Episode 6) – Nothing like Pizza Monsters to start off the list. Leave to Krang to bring something over from Dimension X. (Let me tell you how funny it is hearing that name again as a 30 plus year old.) A pizza bake off turns nefarious when Krang sends the eggs of Xenomorph-like creatures, which look like meatballs, in order to assassinate the Turtles. Baxter Stockman then rigs the pizza contest so that he and Shredder can deliver the deadly pizzas to the Turtles. However, due to heavy customer demands the Turtles end up getting ordinary pizzas, and the booby-trapped pizzas are out somewhere in New York! (I can feel the kid in me squealing. Like watching tv at my dad’s job back in the day.) This is significant in that it’s one of the few instances where the Turtles actually team up with Shredder, along with Baxter, to take out a common threat since the killer pizza monsters want everyone’s blood. I have difficulty explaining why I love this episode so much. Nostalgia… sure… Because it’s not one of the best, and it’s got a large number of animation/continuity errors that make it unintentionally funny in places. The whole premise of the episode is silly. Hence why my kid self enjoyed it. The whole ridiculous meatball-egg/pizza-monster thing is handled as a genuine peril, (my guess is it had to simple enough for kids to follow athough I doubt that 7 year old me was following the story that deeply.) but I will say Raphael commenting “It’s the creature that came with the pizza!” would make a good horror movie title made me laugh.

  • Enter The Rat King (Season 3, Episode 9) – NYC has a rat problem. Who knew? After Burne Thompson is attacked by rats on his way to work, he demands April do an editorial on the city’s rat problem. The Turtles are also experiencing rat issues, since one of the rats somehow managed to eat an entire pizza mix. And after April visits them, rats chew through her tires and chase her and Irma down the street. It was enough to gross a young me out. Splinter was the only rat that I could dig. But during the broadcast, the lights cut out and April vanishes without a trace. She has been kidnapped by a mysterious sewer-dwelling man known as the Rat King, who has taken exception to her unflattering descriptions of his rodents. He throws her in a cage and demonstrates his ability to control rats with a flute. He lives with rats… EWWWW…. Splinter joins the Turtles in searching for April in the sewers, but he starts hearing a strange melody that causes him to act oddly. The Rat King, upon hearing from April that Splinter is a rat, intercepts him in the sewer and brainwashes him into attacking the Turtles. All four are unable to stop Splinter, partly because they are reluctant to hurt him. It was a shock to my young mind. When Splinter is unable to fight off the Rat King’s influence, Leonardo declares he won’t defend himself against his master… but tricks Splinter into breaking a large water pipe, sweeping away the Rat King and temporarily breaking his hypnotic hold.

  • A Thing About Rats (Season 1, Episode 3) – In the New York City sewers, Splinter recovers from a confrontation with Shredder. The Turtles search for the Technodrome, hoping to force Shredder to transform Splinter from a mutant rat back into a human. In another part of the city, scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman tries to convince the Ajax Pest Control company to invest in his new invention: the Mousers, robots that can catch rats. The president of the Ajax Pest Control company sends Baxter away, saying that the Mousers would cause unemployment for the pest control companies. (Older me found that way too funny.) However, Shredder asks Baxter if they can work together. Back at the deserted mansion where Shredder has set up base, Shredder orders Baxter to create a master control device to control the mouser army he plans to build. (You see where this is going right?)Shredder returns to the Technodrome and begins to mass-produce Mousers. plinter is meditating in the sewers, until he is attacked by twelve Mousers sent by Shredder. With his martial artsskills, Splinter is able to fight off the Mousers one by one, but is outnumbered – until the Turtles, who had sensed Splinter was in danger, arrive and help him defeat the Mousers. Afterwards, they notice that each robot is inscribed with “Baxter Stockman, Inventor.” The Turtles and Splinter visit April O’Neil’s apartment, where she looks up Baxter Stockman on her computer, finding a photograph and his address. The Turtles head for Baxter’s house. Baxter, who has finished the master control device, is followed home by Shredder’s Foot robots because Shredder fears that Baxter “knows too much.” Luckily, the Turtles fight off the Foot robots before Baxter is hurt. The Turtles tie Baxter to a nearby lamp post and Raphael convinces Baxter to divulge that Shredder is at the deserted mansion. Suddenly realizing how easily the Mousers can find Splinter, the Turtles hurry back to April’s apartment. When they arrive, they find April and Splinter using kitchen utensils to fight for their lives against the 1,200 arriving mousers. The Turtles, April, and Splinter all escape the apartment just as the building collapses as a result of the Mousers’ destruction. Is it cheesy? Sure. I enjoyed every moment of it though. They manage to defeat the Shedder. (Michelangelo gets help from Krang.)

  • Pizza by the Shred (Season 3, Episode 26) – I had this on one of those VHS Tapes. Wore that tape out. To this day, my parents loathe that theme song. The Turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello) are seen working on the Starcruiser that was left to them by the Neutrinos. But this is a Michelango episode… He is the only one not helping. He shows up later  with a pair of Fuzzy Dice as an accessory piece for the Starcruiser, the other turtles scold him for not doing his part in taking care of it. When Michelangelo explains that he was admiring a Belly Board for sewer surfing and thus would like to purchase it, he is unable to get any money from his brothers and quickly becomes fearful that he will need to get a job. Michelangelo’s predicament worsens when the other turtles remind him that can’t get one due to him being a Mutant, leaving Michelangelo broken-hearted. While watching Television, Michelangelo sees a job listing for a Pizza Parlour known as “Weird Pizza To Go,” and becomes elated to get it in order to get his Belly Board. (Poor Mikey. We have all been there trying gather money for a new purchase… and asking parents.) Unknown to Michelangelo however, Weird Pizza To Go is actually a false Pizza Parlour being run by the Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady, as a trap to catch the Turtles in. While disgused as a human, Michelangelo applies and receives the job after informing Shredder (whom he does not recognize since Shredder is hiding behind a door and using a hatch to see through) that he has a car. Michelangelo takes the Starcruiser as his vehicle and proceeds to delivering pizzas to many customers, including Vernon (who tips his rudely). While trying to overpass a Traffic Jam, Michelangelo tries to use the flying capabilities of the Starcruiser to deliver Pizzas faster, but is shocked and horrified to learn that Donatello didn’t finish fixing the vehicle’s “Air Brakes”. Fortunately, the Starcruiser’s engine stalls while in mid-air before it can crash into the ground, and thus Michelangelo is saved. (I loved this episode as a kid… because honestly… who would mistake the turtles for humans? Apparently everyone in NYC.) While contemplating why Michelangelo would steal the Starcruiser, the other Turtles decide to order Pizza after their homemade blender fails. They notice an ad for Shredder’s Weird Pizza To Go, and decide to order from there. When Shredder recognizes it’s the Turtles ordering when Donatello mentions his name, he plants his trap’s bait on their pizza by using a homing device disguised as an Anchovy in order to find their lair. When Michelangelo returns (with the Starcruiser somehow repaired), he is given the order to deliver the Turtles’s pizza to them. Fearing how his brothers would react to him getting a job against their wishes, Michelangelo asks April O’Neil if she can deliver their Pizza to them instead. o the Turtles misfortune, their phone booth is picked up and taken away, therefore they decide to show up at Weird Pizza To Go in person. Believing it’d be better to pick it up there. Just as the Turtles leave though, April shows up too late and does not see the other turtles or a phone booth, and so believes Michelangelo mixed up the street address for an avenue address. Needless to say the turtles triumph… but this is a weird episode. No idea why I enjoyed it so much…

  • Turtle Tracks (Season1, Episode 1) – It is the first episode of the 1987 show. As dusk falls in New York City, news reporter April O’Neil is broadcasting for Channel 6 News about crime waves. She has an assignment to deliver a news report on mysterious thefts of high-tech scientific equipment from various laboratories across the city. During the investigation, she learns that the thieves are ninjas. She goes with her film crew to stake out a scientific laboratory that she believes to be the site of a potential destination … only to be seized by a street gang. April’s film crew panics and takes off. April makes a run for the canister and slips it into the sewers and is chased by the thug mob under the streets of New York City through an intricate maze of sewer tunnels. Down in the sewers, the street gang members prepare to attack April, when four big talking turtles arrive and help April by defeating the street gang members. It is our introduction to the human Rocksteady and Bebop. This introduced TV audiences to the turtles, their world, their iconic supporting characters, and their  the Shredder. With Splinter explaining his and the Turtles’ origins to the reporter, April O’Neil, the impact of this series can still be felt in contemporary TMNT content.

  • Get Shredder! (Season 8, Episode 1) – Krang informs Shredder that the site of the old 1964 World’s Fair would make a great hide-out. Krang believes that the pavilion housing the Hall of Science might still contain equipment that they can use to conquer the world. The Ninja Turtles pick up a report on the police scanner of a sudden break-in that is being perpetrated by characters whose descriptions match Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady. At the sight of the break-in, The Turtles find foot prints belonging to Krang’s Bubble Walker and a brochure for the 1964 World’s Fair. The TMNT hustle over to the site just as Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady are about to take possession of the Hall of Science Pavilion, only to be greeted by laser fire from Berserko, the current resident. Shredder takes off and Krang gets captured by the Turtles. When Berserko hears the name “Krang” he orders his Cyberdrones to remove him from the Turtles’ possession. Later, when Shredder realizes that Krang is missing, Bebop and Rocksteady tell him that they last saw Krang being grabbed by the Turtles. Berserko reveals himself to be Drakus, Krang’s former weapons engineer who helped him design the Technodrome, and whom Krang had betrayed, blasted out of Dimension X, and whose homeworld he had destroyed (apparently Krang didn’t want to risk any of Drakus’s relatives seeking vengeance on him for his treachery). As a result, Drakus wants revenge. (I mean… they are villains… lol) Shredder plants an explosive device in the basement of Channel 6 and threatens to blow it up unless the Turtles rescue Krang from Berserko. One minute after Shredder’s deadline the Turtles successfully rescue Krang. Relieved to see that the building is still standing, Raphael makes the mistake of suggesting that Shredder had been bluffing. With that, declaring “I NEVER bluff,” Shredder blows the building to rubble! The Turtles attack Shredder and company, defeat them and tie them up. Unfortunately, rather than deliver them to the police, they have no choice but to leave them so that they can stop Berserko’s Annihilator, which is now up and running, from destroying Manhattan. After successfully defeating Berserko, the Turtles escape with the new villain in tow as the Annihilator plunges into the Hudson River and explodes upon impact.

  • Casey Jones – Outlaw Hero (Season 3, Episode 23) – Crimes are committed – a mugging, a bakery robbery and a nighttime burglary at a sports store – and all are dealt with by a mysterious man named Casey Jones, who wears a hockey mask and vows that “all lawbreakers” will be punished. The Turtles are heading up to the surface to get pepperoni when Jones spots them and attacks. He eventually concludes that they aren’t criminals, but that they are Martians (which he finds terrifying, apparently). In the Technodrome, Krang is showing off his newest invention: a mechanical bug that can control any machinery. He’s planning to use them to create the Supersize Knucklehead, so Rocksteady and Bebop let the bugs loose in the street. The Turtles find Jones harassing a homeless man and stop him, but he gets away. Raphael doesn’t see why Jones is their business, but Donatello points out that since he knows kung-fu, comes out of the sewers and fights crime, people will blame his activities on them. (Because 3 seasons in, they still have to tell humans that they are heroes. Insert eyeroll.) While April is covering the vigilante, a bug causes her motorcycle to come to life and buzz around her. Fortunately the Turtles arrive to drive it off, only for all the cars on the street to start driving themselves around and appliances to chase people down the street. Unfortunately, this is also happening in high-tech labs, where the equipment starts building the supersize Knucklehead. I believe this is becoming a common thing at this point. We have seen attacking appliances before. But just as a fridge is about to crush Michelangelo and Donatello, Jones rushes in and smashes all the runaway appliances. Donatello spots the mechanical bug clinging to one of the machines, and the Turtles follow it in hopes of locating Shredder. They use the Porta-Tracker to locate the place where Shredder and Krang are, and arrive just in time to see the “giant economy-sized Knucklehead,” driven by Krang. Jones chases the Knucklehead down the street, climbs on board and begins attacking it with a hammer, while the Turtles are left to deal with the wild machines.

  • Shredder & Splintered (Season 1, Episode 5) – The people of New York City have reported sightings of the Ninja Turtles, mostly exhibiting panic and hostility. April O’Neil is not happy about it, because it is not her story. The Turtles reassure her that she will get the full story and agree with Splinter that it is time to put The Shredder away. (This is funny because the show runs for 9 more seasons.) Shredder contacts the Turtles at their sewer lair via their TV to show off his Retromutagen Ray Generator, a device that reverses mutations as he tests it on Scrag (a bat mutant). He claims it can transform Splinter back into Hamato Yoshi and invites them to “come and get it.” Splinter says that he must go alone, because Shredder can use the device to transform the Turtles back into ordinary turtles. The Turtles try to use the Starcruiser left by the Neutrinos to transport Splinter to the Technodrome. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Splinter try to break into the Technodrome. The intruder alarm sounds, and Shredder—saying it is too soon and Krang “hasn’t come to its senses” yet—sends the Foot robots to destroy the Turtles. While the Turtles fight the Foot robots, Splinter slips inside the Technodrome in search of the Retro Mutagen Ray Generator. The Turtles, watching from a remote control camera, see Krang heading for the Trans-Dimensional Portal, where he contacts General Traag, leader of the Stone Warriors from Dimension X. General Traag tells Krang that the troops are ready and waiting. Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael arrive to stop Krang from opening the Transdimensional Portal, but Krang uses the Molecular Amplification Device to expand to twenty times his size and chases them out of the Technodrome. He smashes a hole through the street and climbs out, pursued by the Turtles. Nothing like Gian robots in NYC. I mean yeah… I can see it keeping my attention as a kid. It is just funny to me now. Donatello arrives aboard his new creation: the Turtle Blimp, created from the Neutrino’s star mobile and Baxter Stockman’s spare parts. He is closely followed by April, Vernon Fenwick, and their film crew. April videotapes Donatello and Leonardo as they slip inside Krang’s robot to destroy his Molecular Amplification Unit, even as Krang catches the Turtle Blimp glider and prepares to crush Michelangelo and Raphael. Leonardo can’t cut out the growth mechanism with his katana, so Donatello smashes it with his Bō staff. As Krang begins to shrink, Donatello and Leonardo rush out before they are crushed, and hop on the glider. 

  • Michelangelo’s Birthday (Season 3, Episode 31) – The show starts in the Turtles’ Lair, with Michelangelo making a cake out of stacked pizzas and singing a birthday song to himself. But when he walks into the living room, where his brothers are, they eat the pizza-cake, and are acting like the day is any other day. He tries desperately to call attention to his birthday, but is brushed off. When an upset Michelangelo leaves the room, his brothers give each other high-fives about how they fooled Michelangelo, in anticipation of a surprise party they’re planning. (Poor Mikey. Everyone deserves a party.) In the Earth’s core, Krang has forced Shredder out of the Technodrome and Shredder is complaining about it. A Rock Soldier has knocked over some welding flux he was working with, that turns the lava into a puddle of goo. Krang sees it as an opportunity for a horrible plan. Back in the Lair, the turtles and Splinter are training. Michelangelo is kind of dropping a few hints about his birthday, but his family doesn’t seem to be getting any of them. Krang has created an anti-mutagen that he believes will return the turtles back into their previous form, as ordinary turtles. Krang sprays some on one of the Rock Soldiers, but it fails. But when he throws the whole bottle at three soldiers, they become the rocks they once were. Krang believes that the only way for the anti-mutagen is to spray is on at least three of the turtles together. Later, back in the Lair, Michelangelo is giving his family one last chance at guessing what day it is. But since they’re still pretending, they still pretend not to know, and Michelangelo runs out of the room. Raphael and Donatello are amused by Michelangelo’s reaction, but Leonardo begins to feel that they are stretching the joke too far. But Raphael insists that what they’re doing is ‘too much fun.’ In Michelangelo’s room, he writes a note to his family. When he’s done, he runs away. (Teenagers are hella dramatic.) Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady decide to trash one of the streets, which they believe will attract the authorities, which will attract a friend of the Turtles’. That friend will call the Turtles, and the Turtles will try to stop Shredder. The Shredder then tells Bebop and Rocksteady to starts destroying the area and causing mass panic. April alerts Donatello to the news that Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady are destroying everything near the Channel 6 building. But as Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael are leaving, they notice that Michelangelo isn’t with them. Splinter answers their queries, reading out loud the note that Michelangelo left behind. Leonardo talks about how he knew they should have ended the joke about them forgetting Michelangelo’s birthday sooner, and Donatello says that it looks like Michelangelo surprised THEM before THEY could surprise HIM. Splinter says that he will look for Michelangelo, while the others go stop Shredder. The Turtles go topside, and fight, but Shredder’s attempts to spray them are less than successful. The three villains eventually escape by scampering over a garbage truck, but stumble across a disconsolate Michelangelo wandering by himself. They strap Michelangelo into the Flushomatic machine that will slowly slowly pours an acidic mutagenic compound onto his body. Shredder orders Rocksteady to contact the turtles via Michelangelo’s Turtle Com, ordering them to meet Shredder within ten minutes, or Michelangelo will be “flushed.” But the plan is squandered when the Mikey gets out of the restraints and reunites with his brothers. Back at the lair, Michelangelo makes one last attempt to tip off his family about his birthday, when Splinter calls him over to where a curtain has been drawn over a room. Behind it is the surprise party they’ve been planning all day.

  • Back to the Egg (Season 4, Episode 13) – After Michelangelo finds a special flyer for a pizza sale, the Turtles head out to buy dinner. On the Technodrome, Krang is displaying his latest invention: an age-reversing serum, which has the capability to de-age a living being into a helpless baby. He demonstrates this on a chicken; when the chicken eats the serum, it turns back into an egg. However, he doesn’t want Shredder to administer the serum to the Turtles. He is instead giving the task to Captain Krulik, an intergalactic circus ringmaster, who wants the infantilized Turtles for his show. Can you see where this is going? I could. Even 8 year old me… enjoyed my turtles more when they were teenagers. The Turtles arrive at Posh Pizza just before Krulik, Shredder and Kroolix’s tracker Grillox do. Krulik squirts the serum on the pizzas, but only manages to do two of them before Shredder “accidentally” causes him to spill the rest into a lobster tank. Leonardo and Michelangelo suddenly shrink down into small children, and begin throwing food at each other. As ordered by the waiter, Raphael and Donatello take their de-aged brothers back outside, where Krulik and Shredder attack them. The two pint-sized Turtles wander away from the fight and straight into traffic, only narrowly being saved by Donatello and Raphael, who act as their “parents” for the time being. It was a stressful time for me. At the lair, the children are placated with pizza and coloring books while Donatello tries to figure out what to do. But when left on their own, they hop on a Cheapskate and begin zipping around the streets, ending up where “Auntie April” works. The rambunctious kids accidentally destroy her computer and trash her office. Meanwhile, Donatello and Raphael find the leftover, thrown-out pizza slices that their brothers had been eating, in hopes of creating an antidote. But when they return to the lair they discover the other two are gone. April tells Donatello that she has the two child-sized Turtles, and agrees to look after them until Donatello can make an antidote. She places them in the audience of a children’s TV show, only for Shredder and Krulik to show up and attempt to kidnap them. Fortunately even small mutant turtles are still dangerous, and successfully deal with of the “bad guys.” Donatello successfully develops the age-reversal antidote and puts it on twin pizzas. Donatello and Raphael rush into the set and toss the antidote-laced pizzas up to Leonardo and Michelangelo. After some cajoling and even the usual parental promise of dessert if they behave (in this case, ice cream), they finally eat them, and turn back to their teenage selves. With all four Turtles now back at their correct sizes, the defeated villains flee the scene. It was pretty still as an adult. But it takes very little to entertain me.

So it was a fun trip back into the 80’s and early 90″s. What was funny was that it managed to keep my nephews attention. But I think that was solely because they were the ninja turtles. There were a lot more continuity errors that I thought there would be but nothing that takes away from the show. And I mean… I have no idea how animation at the time was… so I won’t harp on that too much. I did enjoy it because it was a good show… but I am sure nostalgia plays a part in it. But not as big as you may think. The voice acting is still top tier all of these years later. 4.5/5 stars COWABUNGA DUDES.

Quarantine Post #70: Jurassic World


I remember back in 2015 when Jurassic World came out saying something like… “It doesn’t matter how many of these movies they make… I will go and see them.” That is not an understatement. There is something about the I thought I could control this “creation” that I enjoy when it goes awry. I could have cared less who was in itl By the time Jurassic World came to mind… I remember thinking… have we not learned anything? Apparently not. Jurassic World is a 2015 American science fiction action film. It is the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise and the first in the Jurassic World trilogy. Set 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the same fictional island of Isla Nublar, located off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. A successful theme park of cloned dinosaurs, dubbed Jurassic World, has operated on the island for years, bringing John Hammond’s dream to fruition. Ugh… they actually did it. There is no way none of these people haven’t heard about the disaster this was years ago… and even still… I am not all that interested in seeing Dinos in person… They could not have pitched this idea to me as a family fun weekend. The park plunges into chaos when a transgenic dinosaur escapes from its enclosure and goes on a rampage, while a conspiracy orchestrated by the park’s staff creates more dangers.

Jurassic World was released in the United States on June 2015. The film received generally positive reviews from critics (shocking to me… because critics never have anything nice to say.) and grossed $1.6 billion in box office revenue, reaching third among the highest-grossing films of all time. It was also the second-highest-grossing film of 2015 and the highest-grossing in the franchise. The sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was released in June 2018. Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, an animated series set concurrently with the events of Jurassic World, was released in September 2020 on Netflix. A third film, Jurassic World: Dominion, is planned for release in June 2022. I am always down to see a movie that has a rollercoaster.

These were some great action scenes. And there is a lot of homage to the original that goes into these movies. So I am going to go over some scenes that I enjoyed and some scenes that blew my mind. Genetically splicing dinosaurs was always a good idea right? So let’s hop into it.

  • Brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell are planning to visit Jurassic World, a dinosaur theme park on Isla Nublar, of which their aunt Claire Dearing is the operations manager. I wondered what their mom was thinking. I am not sure I would send my children to another country without me. And Aunt Claire is not great with children… so what is the point? Claire is too busy for this trip. RED FLAG. Claire is busy convincing visiting investors that the new attraction, a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur by the name of Indominus rex, will increase the park’s profits. (BAD IDEA. Like it has never been a good idea and will not suddenly be). Claire only sees the boys in the Innovation Center shortly before she has to return to her next meeting, promising to meet them for dinner and spending the next day with them. Zara is assigned to keep company with the boys.
  • Elsewhere on the island, former Navy veteran and ethologist Owen Grady has been training a quartet of Velociraptors composed of Blue, Echo, Delta, and Charlie, and researching their intelligence. (What is he training them to do? No idea.) Based on the raptors’ ability to follow commands, head of InGen security Vic Hoskins believes that the animals can be weaponized and show potential for military applications (Moron… I am still asking the question from 22 years ago… how can you think that you have control over something that is 65 million years old that you know nothing about? You barely no anything about lions, tigers and bears.), an idea Owen and his assistant Barry vehemently oppose. However, a near-fatal encounter by an amateur worker, who was catching a pig, shows the raptors are not tamed. Check out the training scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTCEdnu6nv8) This is a bad idea for everyone. Check out when training goes wrong. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3znhTOUqi8)

  • Claire meets with the owner of the park, Simon Masrani. (You can tell that he may not make it to the end of the movie.) Prior to its opening, Claire and Simon inspect the park’s newest attraction, the Indominus rex, a transgenic dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu. (Why… after all this time… would he still be creating dinosaurs?) Masrani is impressed by the new dinosaur even after Claire reveals that the I. rex cannibalized its own sibling. Masrani tasks Owen with evaluating the enclosure’s security. Owen warns Claire that the Indominus lacks social skills, making it dangerous and unpredictable. Does Jurassic have a history of listening to naysayers? No. When the Indominus has apparently escaped, Owen and two park workers (Nick L and Nick K.) enter the enclosure. Owen spots some claw marks on the wall that weren’t there before, concluding that the I. rex has escaped by climbing over the enclosure’s wall. Claire rides back to the control room to see where the I. rex’s tracking device says it is. In the control room, workers see that the I. rex is still in the paddock. After being notified of this, Owen and the I. rex paddock workers try to escape. Suddenly, the I. rex reappears, eating Kilgore and breaks through the gate. Owen barely escapes by hiding underneath a vehicle and spraying himself with gasoline to mask his scent. However, Letting is eaten. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o28ko1AdRig)

  • Owen advises Masrani to have the Indominus destroyed, but to protect his company’s investment, Masrani dispatches a specialized unit to subdue it with non-lethal weaponry, so it can safely be returned to its paddock. He still wants to protect the investment after they just watch people be killed. Claire sends the Asset Containment Unit (ACU) to take the I. Rex down. Owen tells Claire to bring the team back because they don’t know what the I.rex is capable of but she ignores him. (Why does everyone just ignore the many deaths that have already occurred? Like I wasn’t the biggest fan of Claire to begin with… mostly because she has a haughty no it all attitude. Yes you may know how to deal with investors… but that doesn’t mean you know anything about these creatures. You asked Owen in as an expert and then ignore everything he says? Make it make sense.) ACU Commander Katashi Hamada discovers that the I. rex has clawed out her tracking implant and spots the hybrid too late because she can camouflage herself. Hamada and a majority of the squad are either killed or eaten, with only a lucky few surviving without serious injuries. Claire chooses to close every attraction north of the resort while Owen advocates evacuating the island immediately. After most of the unit is slaughtered, while Masrani ponders Owen’s warning and confronts Wu. Something about Wu in the Jurassic World franchise seems slimey. Not like he was in the first movie. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJsXpwtMANw)

  • Zach and Gray have left Zara to watch the Mosasaurus Feeding Show. The boys arrive at the Gyrosphere ride and travel the valley, seeing many of the dinosaurs roaming free. Despite being ordered to return to the station, Zach sees that one of the fence’s gates has been left destroyed (done by the Indominus) and can’t help but leave the enclosed area and enter the forest. The younger brother had more damn sense because we all know rule number 1 in a scary movie is… never leave the main road. They see a group of Ankylosaurus, but then the I. Rex camouflages itself again, and sneaks up behind them and attacks them viciously. The Indominus battles and kills an Ankylosaur as the boys flee, barely escaping the hybrid’s jaws by jumping over a waterfall. If I was the younger brother, I would be pissed. I did not plan on swimming. This was your idea. This scene is shot really well. I was surprised both boys got out of there unscathed. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADccmD2oeJI)

  • Claire finds Owen, so he can help her find her nephews. (She doesn’t know how old her nephews are…? And why should he help her? She don’t listen to his input and swears she knows best.) They arrive at the Gyrosphere attraction and discover that the Indominus has gruesomely killed several Apatosauruses without eating them; Owen concludes from this that the hybrid is killing for sport. (I believe that is something like Muldoon says when he remarks that Raptors love the hunt.)They then find the destroyed Gyrosphere. Zach and Gray find the old Jurassic Park Visitor Center – now derelict and overgrown. They manage to repair an old Jurassic Park jeep and drive it back to the park. As they are leaving, Claire and Owen hear their departure and try to get one of the jeeps started themselves but before they can the Indominus arrives and attacks them, they barely escape with the Indominus close behind, but she is distracted by a helicopter overhead. (To say, they made it out by the skin of their teeth is an understatement.) Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKBlmBTCbJQ)

  •  Masrani has outfitted his helicopter with two officers and a GE M134 Minigun and attacks the Indominus, the guards in Masrani’s helicopter try to shoot the I. rex; to no avail. The I. Rex breaks through the wall of the aviary and the pterosaurs escape. At least John Hammond stayed out of the way. Masrani is not helping… he’s only making things worse. Owen and Claire watch the pterosaurs attack Masrani’s chopper, causing it to crash, killing Masrani and the two personnel. The only thing to try and do now is get people off the island… which should have been done earlier. However, more animals are out of containment. When the boys reach the northern security wall, they see that a swarm of Pterosaurs is following them. After arriving in Main Street, Zara finds the two children, only to be snatched up by a Pteranodon and dropped into the Jurassic World Lagoon where the Mosasaurus eats her and an attacking Pteranodon. It is so weird to see people in the park. There is a lot of running and screaming as the Pteranodons swoop in and take travelers prisoner. They really tried not to evacuate people. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JhsCC3Rpuo)

  • Now that Mansari is dead… Vic takes control. It is like he has been waiting to jump into the head seat from the beiginning. And death is that opportunity. InGen’s Private Security Division, takes control of the park. Vic plans to use the raptors to hunt the I. Rex; although Owen initially declines, claiming that they should handle the situation his way, he reluctantly agrees when threatened. Owen needs to lead with his fist more. These morons in charge are getting people killed. Vic has been moaning all movie that Raptors can be used as weapons. He wouldn’t have thought that in the first movie… but I mean… he really shouldn’t have thought it here either. Owen and I are on edge for this because… they really have no idea what the I rex is or what it is made up of. The action scene is epic though. Would I want to ride a motorcycle with Raptors? Maybe… if DEATH was off the table. It is something about the close ups and the frist person view point that lends to this scene. They release the raptors and follow them into the jungle, where they locate the hybrid. Unexpectedly, the hybrid communicates with the raptors, which causes Owen to realize that she was made with Velociraptor DNA. (Owen and I said this was a bad idea right?) I Rex takes away Owen’s command of the raptors, becoming the pack’s new alpha. The raptors turn on the soldiers while the Indominus escapes. Owen finds Charlie and she seems to recognize him, but she is killed by a rocket. Troops fire on the Indominus, but it escapes. The raptors kill most of the troops, The soldiers flee and Barry hides in a log while Blue attempts to eat him, but Owen distracts her and she chases after him as he leaves on his motorbike. Hoskins evacuates Wu and the dinosaur embryos from the island to protect Wu’s research. Owen, Claire, and the boys find Hoskins at the lab securing more embryos, but Delta breaks in and kills him. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0x7-oo9NAk) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZLauDWWGu8)

  • Claire, Zach, and Gray are waiting in a Veterinary vehicle when a soldier appears and is killed by Delta while trying to open the back doors. It is reminiscent of the Dr. Ian Malcom jeep chase. Claire puts her foot to the floor and starts driving the ambulance. But while evading a T-Rex was hard trying to get away from. This scene is a bit more intense. Zach and Gray try pushing oxygen tanks out of the back of the truck to no avail. Echo attacks Claire through the window of the truck but falls out, and Zach and Gray manage to electrocute Delta when she jumps into the truck. But that doesn’t stop them for long. They keeping trying to hunt them down.  Owen reappears and they head back to the resort while the raptors follow their new alpha. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqFEn5wQhBI)

  • The four humans find Hoskins in the genetics lab attempting to evacuate himself from the facility. (Now this is the chaos he wanted. Where is he going? When the tough get going you can see who really sticks around.) He explains how he secretly manipulated the Masrani company to create the Indominus so that, at a fraction of the size, it would be used as a military weapon instead of a stationary park attraction. I don’t care what it is used for. It is a bad idea. Delta suddenly appears and corners Hoskins. Hoskins tries to calm her but to no avail, and she bites his arm and eventually, devours him instead. One can only hope that stupid idea dies with him. The four escape the Innovation center, but end up cornered outside by Blue, Delta, and Echo. I mean did they really think they are going to get away. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cow-i1ypu10)

  • Owen manages to reestablish his connection with them and when the I. rex arrives. For a moment, you think this is all over though got them. There is a moment of communication between the I. Rex and Blue. It is almost like the command is given to kill the humans again… and Blue seems like she is not going to do it. It is what gets her knocked unconscious. Something happens to Delta and Echo when Blue is knocked unconscious because they seem for apt to attack. Owen, Delta and Echo attack the hybrid but she is no easy win. Delta and Echo are killed… but it is Gray that points out that they need more teeth. Claire formulated a plan and takes off. They resort to one final option: Claire calls Lowery and tells him to open paddock 9. (I had an idea about what was in Paddock 9 but when the camera pans back I was still as delighted as I was when I first watched Jurassic Park.)Claire lures the park’s old veteran Tyrannosaurus rex into a fight with the Indominus. She has the upper hand for a moment, but then she is overpowered, and thrown to the ground. However, before the Indominus can kill her, Blue, who’s still alive from being knocked into a wall, attacks the Indominus, giving the T. rex time to wake up. The Indominus rex, who has no chance to fight back, flails wildly. Then out of nowhere, the T. rex gets back up from the ground and chomps onto her neck. The T. rex and Blue battle the Indominus, cornering her in front of the Mosasaurus Lagoon.  Just as the Indominus recovers, the Mosasaurus bursts out of the water and drags the hybrid underwater where the marine reptile finishes her in a spectacular fashion. Blue and the T. rex exchange a respectable look, then head off into the night. The survivors are evacuated and the island is abandoned once again. Zach and Gray are reunited with their parents, while Owen and Claire decide to stay together. The scene was the amount of action I always want in an action sequence. I enjoy when two enemies come together to take down a greater more common enemy. I live for it. Check out the here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtCslvCjZEY)

Good times had by me. I enjoyed every moment of it. Especially when I get to yell at the screen and ask them why they are doing stupid things. The scenes were a bit more action-packed than the original but I will say the dinosaurs looked a bit better in the original. But that could just be because I was younger and was really taken with the original movie. But this was a home run. I knew right away that if they were going to come out with more movies I was going to be down. So that is all for now. If you have words about the flick drop them in the comments.

Also let me know if you have ridden the new ride at Universal. I am intrigued to hear about it.

Quarantine Post #69: Jurassic Park


So… In the spirit of rewatching all of the things that I enjoyed when I was a kid. The next group of movies would be the Jurassic movies. The first movie came out in 1993. I vividly remember having this movie on VHS. My siblings and I watched it a million times over one summer. We lived for some scenes in the franchise. And for my generation… it started our love of Jeff Goldblum. Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, and the first film in the Jurassic Park trilogy, and is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp. (I did not realize that Michael Crichton wrote so many books.) In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Makes sense to me.

The first film grossed $914 million in its initial release, making it the first film ever to gross $900 million, and was the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, until it was surpassed by Titanic in 1997, the first film ever to gross $1 billion. The film was followed by The Lost World: Jurassic Park on May 23, 1997, Jurassic Park III on July 18, 2001, Jurassic World on June 12, 2015, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on June 22, 2018, none of which were as critically acclaimed as the first.

So… I will be picking out several scenes that stand out in my mind to this day. Since the films (at least the first 3) have been added to Netflix, and HBOmax… I decided to talk about it. It really has to be one of my favorite movies as a kid… also probably why I still go and see the movies even though… they usually only go one way. For the first movie, Industrialist John Hammond has created a theme park of cloned dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, on Isla Nublar, an island off the Costa Rican coast. (This doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. *sarcasm*) After a dinosaur handler is killed by a Velociraptor, the park’s investors, represented by lawyer Donald Gennaro, demand that experts visit the park and certify its safety. Gennaro invites mathematician and chaos-theorist Ian Malcolm, while Hammond invites paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. Anyways… Let’s hope into all of the great scenes from this franchise:

  • 6 Foot Turkey – The movie opens up down on a fossil dig. Dr. Alan Grant is talking about velociraptors being more like birds than reptiles. But there is a kid there that wants attention… so he interrupts Dr. Grant to point out… “That doesn’t look very scary. More like a 6 foot turkey.” I remember being a kid and thinking two things: 1. That is so rude. 2. Who brought their kid here? Grant doesn’t fluster. He talks the kid through what an attack from the raptors would be like. The kicker is when he pulls out the 6 inch retractable claw… “He doesn’t bother to bite your jugular like a lion see… He slashes at you here… or here… or maybe across the belly… spilling your intestines. The point is… you are alive, when they start to eat you.” Creepy. It took me many years to figure out that the scene was put there on purpose… because the claw is revisited later. Gotta love the look on the face of the kid after he is told to try and show a little respect. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQe68kF_8M)

  • Entering the park and seeing the dinosaurs – After Grant and Sattler are recruited to come to Jurassic Park, they fly over to Isla Nublar in a helicopter… I am not sure I can do it. But I hear there is a helicopter tour in Hawaii that flies out to the locations that appear in the movie. They take the iconic jeeps into the park. It is inside the park, where they come across a Brachiosaurus and a whole herd of Parasaurolophus, to their utter amazement. While everyone is amazed… Dr. MalcolmIt is the first time that we see dinosaurs in the movie. And for a movie that came out over 20 years ago… the effects still look great. My brothers and I at one point in our childhood thought the dinosaurs were real. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJlmYh27MHg)

  • Watching the Raptor be hatched – John then takes his assembled team to the Visitor Center, and they learn that InGen was able to recreate dinosaurs using DNA taken from mosquitoes, who had feasted on dinosaur blood and had been preserved in tree sap . The DNA taken from the mosquitoes were spliced with DNA from frogs to fill in the gaps of the genetic code. InGen scientists only cloned female dinosaurs, thus eliminating the threat of uncontrolled breeding of the animals. Afterwards, the crew enter the laboratory, headed by Dr. Henry Wu, and witness the birth of an infant Velociraptor. John has this weird complex… pretending to be God. (Well… we know that never works out.) Both Grant and Malcolm are stunned by the sight but also a bit disturbed by it. Grant doesn’t seem happy to know they are breeding raptors… Younger me didn’t get the scope of this scene. But as an adult… the creepy way John was talking to the raptor… Like… he couldn’t care less about the lawyers… and the dangers that would come up. At Grant’s request, the crew are then taken to the Velociraptor enclosure, where they meet park warden Robert Muldoon. Robert tells the group about how vicious and intelligent the raptors are. (Hmmm… Had to be where Deep Blue Sea got that idea.) He explains that there are only three raptors altogether because the Big One, who has taken over as the alpha female, had “killed all but two of the others. She had them attacking the fences testing for weaknesses. And they need attack the same place twice. Meanwhile, the scientists lower a cow attached to a harness into a dinosaur’s enclosure and observe the Velociraptor slaying the cow, destroying the support cables and tearing the harness in the process. This is starting to get dark. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLz5Api676Y)
  • Tour Time – Let’s point out that before the tour begins… the group of experts tell John that they think this is an ethically and morally wrong. Ian questions the ethical morality in cloning species that had not lived for millions of years. Ellie expresses concerns that the scientists may not be thinking of the repercussions that might occur because of what they are cloning But grandkids show up and the car tour begins… The tour begins with Dilophosaurus enclosure first, but to their disappointment, none appear. In the background, you can hear the our recording talking about how it spits vemon causing blindness and paralysis. (Foreshadowing.) Boy is Tim annoying… like more than any 9 year old that I know. Maybe because he is a huge fan of Dr. Grant. Finally, the crew find a sick Triceratops, with veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding examining it. Ellie decides to stay behind with Gerry, while the rest of the crew head back to the Ford Explorers and go on their way back to the Visitor Center.

  • Tyrannosaurus Time – A tropical hurricane hits the island, and most InGen employees leave, except for John, Robert, and chief systems engineer Ray Arnold. During the cyclone, Dennis begins his plan and shuts down the entire park security (except for the raptor fences) so he can still embryos. As a result, the tour cars that were supposed to bring everyone back to the visitor center have cut off, leaving them stranded outside of the T-Rex paddock. The Tyrannosaurus breaks through the deactivated electric fence surrounding its pen, devours the stranded goat, and wrecks havoc upon the roadway, attacking Tim and Lex hiding in the car, who was left alone by Donald after he fled. Everything leading up to this scene is very well put together. I remember my brother and I yelling at the screen for Lex to turn the light off. It was one of those things that occurs in a movie and you’re left thinking… “Why would you do this?” I will say it took a hell go a long time for Dr. Malcolm and Dr. Grant to help the kids. Like they wait until the car is flipped over. The T-Rex comes crashing through the glass roof after them. Alan ignites a flare to lure the T.Rex away from the kids, but Ian inadvertently intervenes, only for himself to be chased to a restroom, where Donald is hiding. The T. Rex brings down the hut, breaking Ian’s leg, and devours Donald in the process.Grant manages to get Lex out of the car but Tim is stuck. And the T-Rex returns to get his pray. There is a great shot of Grant covering Lex’s mouth as the T-Rex searches for them… right in front of his face. Poor Tim. He gets thrown off the side. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc_i5TKdmhs)

  • Nedry get his – Nedry is a real clown. I have never felt bad about his comeuppance at any point. Due to his financial problems and low salary (could John have paid him more money? 1000% but why try to kill everyone? Just quit dude.), he accepted a bribe from Biosyn to smuggle dinosaur embryos off the island. You would think that someone as smart as him… would know… it would probably be difficult to make it out unscathed if you turn off the security features in a park filled with Dinosaurs… Dennis crashes his Jeep into an embankment, and while trying to winch it, he encounters a juvenile Dilophosaurus. Remember that blurb about what they do? The Dino spits out a tar-like venom at Dennis before the saboteur manages to get back in his Jeep. When Nedry thinks he’s safe, he turns his head and the Dilophosaurus managed to get into the car with him and continues to attack him, and eventually kills him. The modified canister, used to smuggle the embryos, is lost in the process. All you can do is shake your head. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNoWveBtrZc)

  • T-Rex chases Muldoon, Sattler and Malcolm – John sends Muldoon to retrieve the grandchildren. Sattler goes with him. When they arrive at the scene, they believe the only survivor of the chaos is Malcolm, but upon further investigation, they find two sets of footprints: one is Alan’s and one belongs to one of the kids. Just then, the Tyrannosaurus returns, and Ian, Robert, and Ellie barely manage to escape in their Jeep. Remember John saying at the beginning of the movie… We clocked the T-Rex at 32 miles an hour. And he gives them hell. Trying to turn over the jeep with them in it was fun and terrifying to watch. My brother and I loved it. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxqHVoZ0fzc) Apparently, Jeff Goldblum did an awesome commercial for Jeep in 2018… Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEpMqyOyLpQ)

  • Muldoon’s Death – Ray tries to hack Dennis’ computer to turn the power back on but fails, so he does a full system reset, which requires the circuit breakers to be manually reset from the utility shed. When he does not return, Sattler and Muldoon follow and discover that the raptors have escaped; the shutdown cut off the power to the remaining electricity fences around their pit. He says something to effect of “Even Nedry knew not to mess with Raptors.” Muldoon realizes that the raptors are near, and tells Sattler to go to the utility shed herself, so she can turn the power back on, while he tries to hunt the raptor. This is a bad idea. The Raptors set a trap for him in a way exactly as Grant had described at the beginning of the film; One raptor is rustling in the bushes directly in front of Robert Muldoon, and right before he can shoot the raptor, the Big One emerges from the brush right next to Muldoon. Muldoon utters the famous words “clever girl” before the Big One leapt onto Muldoon and devoured him. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhwlBVk4qUA)

  • Raptors in the Kitchen – I do not care what anyone says… This is by far my favorite scene of the franchise. It scared the shit out of my brother and me. Tim has had a hard time in the film… he was pushed into a tree by a T-Rex…. He was electrocuted… and now… he can’t have a piece of cake… Because RAPTORS. They scurry off to the kitchen… and close the door behind them… What is with these door handles that anyone can turn? The two raptors are on the hunt… and the kids are crawling silently trying to get away from certain death. There is one point where Lex is trying to distract the Raptors and then trying to get the cabinent down. It is the most stressful thing my childhood mind had watched up to that point. It is featured again in Jurassic World… well… a lot of shots from this kitchen scene are recreated in Jurassic World. Tim traps one in the freezer… and it is hard to watch him try and run on his bad leg. He was annoying but by the end… you just felt for him. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnWNyKqI3Bc&t=268s)

  • Raptors in the Computer Room/T-Rex in the Visitors Center – Grant, Sattler, Lex and Tim all head to the computer room to try and reboot the system. Grant and Sattler hold off the Big One trying to open the door to the computer room until the power is restored, and the electromagnetic locks begin working. Tim, throughout the movie, tries to make it seem that she’s just a nerd. Odd because Tim kept blurting out random facts about every species he sees. It is Lex that get the computer systems back online. It has always annoyed me that Tim… does nothing to help Grant or Sattler. After the phone systems are restored, they call John to request a helicopter rescue of the survivors. But they still have to make it to the helicopter. With the door secured, the raptor breaks into the room through a window as Grant shoots at it through the glass. The group climbs up into the ceiling crawlspace and arrive at the Visitor Center fossil display. Even in the ceiling, Lex is attacked by the Big One leaping up at her. The Raptor that Sattler thought she captured in the utility shed. The raptors pursue the group, and after a scuffle with the Big One on top of the fossil exhibits and the raptors block their escape route. It all looks pretty bleak. Until they are saved by the T-Rex shows up and kills both raptors, saving Grant, Sattler, Lex, and Tim in the process. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTPYKcrgwnM)

Some things never change. My love for this move has not diminished since I have seen it 2 decades ago. I was never a kid that was into dinosaurs… but this sparked my interest at a young age. Recently, it has been fun to watch with my niece and nephew and get their reaction to things. Share your thoughts with me below. Let me know your favorite parts of the movie.

Quarantine Posts #68: Kuroko’s Basketball: The Last Game


Now, if you guys read my last post… then you know that I loved the way Kuroko’s basketball ended. But I would have loved to see the Generation of Miracles plays as a team. My Twitter friends didn’t disappoint. They told me there was a movie, so all was not lost. So the movie came out in 2017… I found it on Crunchyroll. The U.S. street basketball team named Jabberwock comes to Japan and plays a friendly match with the Japanese team Strky, but after the Japanese team suffered a crushing defeat, Jabberwock team members began to mock the Japanese basketball. The Jabberwock’s leader tells all the players from Japan to either quit playing basketball or go die. Their comments infuriated Riko’s father, so he assembled a team of five Generation of Miracles members plus Tetsuya Kuroko and Taiga Kagami, called Vorpal Swords to perform a Revenge match against Jabberwock. I am all for a revenge match. I love it. I really wanted to see how the new Generation of Miracles operates. The old team was all about themselves. I wanted to see what they can do when they work together. Is this opponent going to give them a run for their money? Well, let’s see. Check out the trailer here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DadWQihpBeo)

The movie starts off with a bit of backstory on Kagami… We know from the show that he transferred from the U.S. Back in the present, Kagami is seen walking to Seirin but is surprised when Kuroko appears behind him with Nigou in hand. Kagami receives a phone call from his coach Alex. She is calling Kagami from the USA while accompanied by a coach. She tells the American coach how great of a player Kagami is and that he loves basketball more than anyone. The coach in return asks her if he can expect a “good answer” from Kagami. I wonder what this is about. Is he planning on leaving Seirin? What is the plan? No time to dwell on that because… Everyone you know is gathering to watch a street ball game. I have been to a streetball game before. It is supposed to be fun/funny and laid back.

After the phone call, Kuroko and Kagami arrive at Seirin late, just before the match between Team Strky and Team Jabberwock begins.  The rest of the Generation of Miracles teams prepare to watch as well, commenting on their ex-teammate’s appearance and skills. Hyūga remembers a phone call he had with Kiyoshi who told him of the bad reputation the Jabberwock has, making Hyūga worry. But what kind of trouble could there be at an exhibition game? The match of Team Jabberwock vs Team Strky begins with Jabberwock catching the ball during tip-off. The match continues but the atmosphere of the court changes with Jabberwock’s play turning into a provocative one. The Generation of Miracles notice that this style of play is not only provocative but shows just how openly the Jabberwock is looking down on their opponents. It is so degrading that even if they wanted to, the audience couldn’t enjoy the match at all. Like it was disgusting… The match comes to its end with a dunk from Silver, Jabberwock winning with a score of 86 – 6. Kasamatsu approached Gold to congratulate him and his team on their victory, however, Gold doesn’t return the handshake and instead labels the Japanese players as incompetent, calling them monkeys. Gold spits on Kasamatsu’s hand, laughing at how pathetically team Strky has performed. (First of all… Spitting on me is the best way for you to end up fighting EVERY TIME YOU SEE ME. On sight. All day… Every Day.) Kagetora steps in, challenging Jabberwock to another match in order for the Japanese players to prove them wrong, arranging a revenge match between Team Jabberwock and the Generation of Miracles. I mean who else? You had to know because all of the members of the Generation of Miracles showed disgust watching the game.

The Generation of Miracles all arrive at the gym along with Kuroko and Kagami. Three bench players; Takao, Hyūga, and Wakamatsu appear as well. Hyūga is troubled by the thought if he should really be here but Akashi notices this, assuring him that he is welcome. The newly founded Team Vorpal Swords begins to practice in order to work on their teamwork and cooperation. They need to work on cooperation since they were all out for themselves in the past and saw each other as rivals. Cooperation is the only way to win.  The 1-week practice begins and the players are syncing up well, though Riko thinks it’s not perfect yet. Then, they reviewed the players of Jabberwock with Silver standing out as the person who has a perfect body. Supposedly he is more agile than Aomine, has more jumping power than Kagami, and is more powerful than Murasakibara. While the other two were all hyped up, Murasakibara is bothered as he is mostly the one to defend Silver. On the other hand, Akashi admits that Gold has some abilities that restrains his, shocking them but he assures them that he will win. The practice continues.

The day before the match, Kagetora informs Riko and Momoi that he’s going to Roppongi in order to watch over Jabberwock. Kuroko overhears this conversation and disappears in the middle of practice. Kise challenges Kagami to a one-on-one match before Aomine interrupts them, asking if they had seen Kuroko anywhere. The two give him a blank look, realizing that Kuroko was gone. There is only one place that he would have gone. I mean really, these people should all be used to Kuroko by now. None of them noticed that he left? It is a race downtown to stop him from getting hurt. Gold gets annoyed by Kuroko’s words and kicks him in the stomach before the rest of the Vorpal Swords arrive. The two teams are close to getting into a fight but Akashi stops them, telling his team that they should sort this out with basketball, which is something that Kuroko would want. Vorpal Swords leave but are mocked by Jabberwock for running away. The end of the first quarter is nonsense because all of the Generation of Miracles is sweating way too much. The Jabberwocks haven’t even shown their true strength.

Notice Aomine and Kagami ready to throw down.

The day of the match has come and Izuki says the Jabberwock not only insulted Team Strky but the entire country as well. The players of each team are introduced before the actual match begins. Team Vorpal Swords starts off with a good start, Murasakibara catching the tip-off before passing the ball to Akashi. In return, Akashi passes the ball further to Aomine who scores the first points of the match with a dunk. Team Jabberwock is surprised, beginning to take the Vorpal Swords seriously now. But there is something uneasy about the start of the game. Like the Jabberwocks are waiting for something. Waiting to drop the big hammer. The match carries on with different combinations and team play from Vorpal Swords. Kise uses his Perfect Copy while Aomine enters the Zone to attempt to stop Silver who has been scoring baskets with his immense strength. Things look pretty good for Vorpal Swords. But something seems odd.

The 2nd quarter begins with Silver driving past Aomine and overpowering Murasakibara with a dunk. Then, he blocks Akashi’s fadeaway shot and does a two-handed windmill lane-up while outrunning Kise and Midorima in the fast-break. Silver has dominated the quarter, widening Jabberwock’s lead to 9. With 5 minutes left in the quarter, the Vorpal Swords decided to sub out Akashi and Midorima for Kagami and Kuroko. Although Murasaikibara wants to take on Silver by himself, he is convinced by Akashi that a different strategy is for the best. Holding down Silver in the post with his whole body, the latter spins past him and is met by Kagami inside and blocked with Aomine’s help. Kuroko starts the fastbreak and Kise gets the ball, passing to Kagami and dunks. I am here for Kagami dunks. Kise dunks on the fastbreak and the 2nd quarter ends with Jabberwock leading 40-36. I am also here for Kise dunks. (Since my anime husband’s post… I have added a few more.) I am still a bit uneasy because Gold hasn’t really shown what he can do.

The animation is top teir.

Gold makes an insane fast pass with no preliminary movement meaning he can’t be read. Kuroko made an alley-oop pass to Kagami but is blocked by Silver in the air. Gold continues to distribute those insane fast passes with no preliminary movements, always leaving the defenders stunned. (I would say this is the Kuroko effect.) On one play, Murasakibara bleeds after getting dunked on by Silver who is not even using his full strength yet. Jabberwock’s lead widens to 19 (61-42). I didn’t know that someone could Murasakibara bleed. My mind was blown. Kagetora explains that Akashi’s ability to drag everyone into the zone cannot be done for two reasons. First is, the players are already exhausted and won’t last for the rest the game and the second is that for some unknown reason, Gold is inhibiting his ability. (Akashi needs to figure out a way out of this. Because I really did not see a way t He has Murasakibara defend the no. 6 and 7 players of Jabberwock while Kise and Aomine team up to stop Silver while he will mark Gold. The match resumes and Silver seems surprised by the sudden change in the two. Kise activates his Perfect Copy while Aomine enters the Zone.

Aomine, Kise, and Kagami execute an extremely fast-paced offense, getting back the scores from Jabberwock. Soon after, Kise tells Aomine that double-teaming Silver is a little too much, and asks if he could leave Silver to Kise. Aomine agrees to it after a bit of thinking, but not without telling Kise that if he does a bad job at it, they will be back to double-teaming. Kise then provokes Silver, telling him that he alone is just enough. Having been provoked, Silver seems to have lost his composure, as Kise was able to catch up to him and block him with Aomine’s agility and Murasakibara’s block. As he faces Silver once more, Kise was able to outrun him, his agility now even faster than Aomine’s, while thinking to himself that while whatever he was going to do annoys him since it’s tiring, he won’t have any doubts if this is the only way to secure victory. Silver catches up with Kise just as the latter was about to dunk. Determined to win, Kise successfully dunks over Silver, revealing that he has finally entered the Zone. But it won’t last long.

When the fourth quarter begins, Kise attempts to shoot another High Projectile Three but fails as his exhaustion finally takes its toll on his body. Kise is then substituted by Midorima, and while he is being helped by Akashi to the bench, he criticizes himself for being weak, and for not being able to score one more basket. Akashi denies his comments, telling him that he has done well and leave the rest to him.

Akashi is still having a hard time with Gold. As Gold approaches Murasakibara in the paint, he uses his eyes’ wide field of vision to pass the ball to no. 8 who scores with a 3-pointer. Everyone was surprised the way Gold utilized his ‘eyes’. Gold stated that he has the “Demon Eyes”. (I don’t know. Maybe it is me. I do not want Demon Eyes.) Not wanting to lose, Akashi uses his own streetball style of dribbling and passes behind the back to Aomine. (Akashi seems too smart to be sucked in by other people’s play but he did this.) Aomine goes for a formless shot but is blocked from behind by Gold and proceeds to perform an ankle-break on Akashi in the fastbreak. (Poor Akashi. He is much better in the movie than he is in the show.) Kagami tries to stop him but still scored with a double-clutch layup and drew the foul. Feeling that he has to take over, Murasakibara helps Akashi who is in total shock, and tells him to give the ball in the post and ties his hair. Well, we all know that when the hair gets tied up… he is SERIOUS.

Remembering Okamura’s teaching in the post, Murasakibara finally gets it and smiles for the first time in a game. The flashback for this is so cute. It seems that because many of his opponents were weaker than his and not as big as him… he held back. He is finally able to go all out like he has never been able to do before. As Silver can’t back him down, he decided to shoot a fadeaway instead but was blocked by Murasakibara and dunks against him on the other end. Silver was shocked to see Murasakibara suddenly overflowing with strength. Murasakibara continues his dominance until Silver intentionally collides with him, causing Murasakibara to fall and (presumably) break his wrist. Murasakibara wants to continue to play but the coach and the rest of the team refuse to let him do so. I say Silver should have gotten kicked in the shin for that.

At the start of the final quarter, Kise finally runs out of energy and Akashi helps the Kaijō player reach the bench. Back to the match, Gold states that Kise’s effort was meaningless. Gold shoots his invisible pass, only for Akashi to intercept it, greatly shocking the Jabberwock player and making his teammates realize that the other Akashi is back. The shocked Gold notices his sudden change but at the same time, thinks that he has ‘it’ and decided to try one more time to prove that he is correct. Akashi jokingly says that he was a ‘little bit rusty’ but guarantees that it won’t happen again, provoking Gold. One more time, he performed a crossover behind the back with no preliminary movement and jump-stops into a fadeaway jumper but Akashi had already seen through it and steals the ball. 

Gold expresses his surprise at Jabberwock being pushed to that point and admits that they made some miscalculations and their biggest miscalculation was Akashi. He added that it’s the first time he met someone with the same “eye” as his, shocking the Vorpal Swords, especially Akashi. I mean I knew this clown had something up his damn sleeve. The jerk. Akashi is slightly rattled and things look hopeless for a moment. As the match progresses, Akashi knows that in order to win, he would have to discard his other self who keeps reminding him of this fact. For the last minutes of the match, Kuroko is substituted in, replacing Murasakibara to turn the match around in their favor. Akashi’s dual personalities merge during the last minutes of the match, managing to keep Vorpal Swords head to head with Jabberwock. In the last deciding seconds, Kuroko manages to steal the ball from Gold before passing it further to Kagami and Aomine who end the match with a dunk. I am here for all the dunks.

After the match, Kagetora organizes a party for the team, encouraging them to drink but in the end, they settle down for a juice since they’re underage. Everyone is enjoying the party until Kise asks the rest what news Kagami has to tell them all. In a different room, Kuroko and Kagami are looking out the window before informing the rest of their team that Kagami will be leaving for America, something Kuroko already knew since he heard Kagami’s phone call with Alex. Kagami tells the rest of Seirin that he will be transferring to a high school in the USA, working on becoming an NBA player in the future. (This is what that phone call was about. I am so annoyed… not happy etc. Means that the show is really over.) Everyone expresses their support for Kagami as well as the Generation of Miracles who have overheard the conversation as well, seeing Kagami as their best rival but also a good friend. Akashi suggests that since Kagami will be leaving that they should have a farewell match with the Generation of Miracles playing against Seirin. The Generation of Miracles play in their Vorpal Swords uniform while Seirin plays in their school one.

I enjoyed the movie. Great animation. It was good to see how much the characters have grown. They seem to all be getting along and doing well in their lives. Even though, the Jabberwock had shitty personalities… they gave the Generation of Miracles a run for their money, which we know they enjoy. So to that end, they served a purpose. They can still kick rocks though. I loved every minute of it. I watched it on Crunchyroll but I see that it will be on Netflix shortly. So definitely go watch the show… THEN… watch the movie. Tell your thoughts below if you have seen it. That is all for now.

Quarantine Post #67: Kuroko’s Basketball


So I usually have a hard time when choosing new anime. In my times of need, I turn to those who have seen more shows than me on anime twitter. I usually get all kinds of recommendations. I had a lot of people talk about sports anime… I often wondered if they could make a basketball/baseball story that could keep my attention. I was never into watching basketball in life so I doubted that I would care enough about this story to give it a try. And those feelings were bolstered by the fact that I tried watching it early on… and fizzled out after the first episode. I couldn’t have been more wrong. (I found out that really it was my lack of drive. Pandemic life is draining but I have that urge to get things off my anime watch list again.) With the help of some of my friends online, I jumped in with both feet.

Also, I was excited. Very rarely do people recommend me things that I do not enjoy. I am pretty easy to please and will try any show once. I am pretty sure I remember seeing this manga on the shelf at the used bookstore. And too bad for me… I assumed I knew what the story consisted of and I was totally wrong. Never judge a book by its cover. If you want to see it… Check out Crunchyroll or Netflix.

The narrator tells us early on that the basketball team of Teikō Middle School were some beasts. Somewhere in my mind, I thought that was an understatement… almost like I have never watched anime… Anyway, they demolished all competition. The starters of the team became known as the “Generation of Miracles”. 5 players that were beasts in their own right and definitely unbeatable together. But as all good things come to an end… so did middle school leaving all of the players to attend different high schools. While everyone knows the names of the Generation of Miracles, they forget about the sixth man. Kuroko Tetsuya ends up at Seirin High school along with Kagami Taiga… Kagami has spent time in the US playing basketball and is looking for the strongest opponents to go against. They want to be the best in Japan… (very shonen for you. I don’t have a problem with it.) They plan to go through Kuroko’s former teammates to do so.

Kagami and Kuroko’s friendship is the foundation for the show… and a large part of the team. When they are out of synch, Seirin is in trouble.

We meet Kuroko’s past teammates one by one… and initially, they don’t seem so bad. Cocky… sure… but anyone who can’t be beat can be accused of being cocky. First up… Kise Ryōta. was the Generation of Miracles’ small forward who now plays at Kaijō High. He introduces himself in the second episode… Kise is first seen when going to greet Kuroko in Seirin High School. Seirin’s training is underway and Kise stands in the shadows.. he is soon given away because of all the girls screaming for his attention. Riko and the others recognize Kise immediately. They ask him why he is here, to which he answers that he was curious when he heard that his opponent was going to be Seirin, as he knew that that was where Kuroko plays, and he decided to take a look. He claims that he is the weakest member of the Generation of Miracles… and that can be a bit misleading. He doesn’t even acknowledge Kagami at first who gets him to play a one on one battle. Kuroko comments that this will be bad, while Kise takes it immediately to the hoop. To everyone’s surprise, he passes Kagami with the same move Kagami was seen doing just a while ago. Kagami keeps his head cool and jumps for the block, but Kise is stronger than him and dunks it. As Kagami is falling, he realizes that Kise’s cut was better, faster, and stronger than his. Poor boy underestimated the competition… Kise tries to get Kuroko to change schools… Kise explains that he respects Kuroko very much and says that Kuroko is wasting his talent away, thus the reason why he’s offering him to play together again. Kuroko refuses his offer very formally and Kuroko tells him he can’t leave because he made a promise with Kagami to defeat the Generation of Miracles but it is to no avail and I was left wondering if the Generation of Miracles left each other on good terms. On the day of the match, Kaijō has underestimated Seirin… They bench Kise thinking the game will be over shortly… They don’t even want to use the full court. They are actually using half of it for practice as usual. This angers Seirin, as they realize very quickly how much Kaijō looks down on them. Kise tells Kagami and Kuroko that if they can’t even get him to play, then they don’t have the right to say they’ll take down the Generation of Miracles.The match begins and Kuroko and Kagami quickly surprise everyone by destroying the backboard during a dunk. Kaijō’s coach, shocked, finally decides to take them seriously and prepares the whole court for their match. To Kise, Kagami, and Kuroko’s delight, Kise is called over by his coach. The match restarts and Kise can finally play. Kise… has an annoying special power…he has the ability to copy someone’s movements in no time due to his visual comprehension skill. He only has to see a technique one time to completely copy it and make it his own. His copying ability doesn’t stop there as he copies the technique but plays it with more power and speed than the original. The match begins again and Kise quickly takes up to the goal. Hyūga is guarding him and tries to block Kise’s dunk, but Kise copies Kagami’s previous dunk and overpowers Hyūga. Kasamatsu scolds him again, saying that he should have broken the backboard like Kagami, but Kagami realizes that Kise’s dunk was way more powerful than his. And the battle is on. Kagami faces off against Kise and does a fade-away. Kise manages to block the ball partially. Now Kise is on the offense and does the same fade-away Kagami did a moment ago but with more speed and power. Kagami can’t block it and Kise scores. Kise acknowledges that Kuroko’s style of playing is the only one he can’t copy, but he doesn’t see what difference it makes because he feels they are going to crush Seirin. (Interesting tidbit.) Kuroko ends up having to leave the game… and Seirin learns that he can’t use his misdirection all game. The longer he uses it, the less effective it becomes. Something that Kise knows from playing with him in middle school. It becomes a battle for points. After yet another block by Kise, he tells Kagami to just give up and that the difference in strength is clear. Kagami is unphased, he even starts laughing and is glad that Kise puts up a challenge. Anytime a character starts laughing in the face of a loss… shit is about to go down. When Kuroko re-enters the game and Seirin ties the score, Kise decides to get real. The match goes back to a struggle for points, with Kise scoring most of the points for Kaijō. With three seconds left and the score tied, Kagami and Kuroko make a turnover. Kise awaits them at the goal and Kagami passes to Kuroko. Kise reasons Kuroko can’t possibly shoot and Kuroko does indeed pass to Kagami in the air for an ally-hoop. Kise anticipates this and jumps between Kagami and the basket but finds himself dropping first. Kise is amazed by Kagami’s jumping power and Kagami dunks, making the score 100 to 98 and thus taking the win. Kise is devastated but gets over it quickly, promising to train harder. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhXaPUWEjek)

Kise showing up with his legions of fans.
He only saw the move one time. That’s a monster…

Kise is easy to like because he is pretty easygoing off the court. And has intensity on the court especially when truly challenged. Before getting into playing basketball, Kise was constantly bored and apathetic due to him easily being able to master any sport in a short time. You will see a lot of apathy in the Generation of Miracles… it almost makes you sad. In his second year in Teikō Junior High, Kise used his copying ability in P.E. to get an A. Even though he was popular, good-looking, and talented, he was very bored because no matter what sport he tried, he had no competition. He was strolling around the school when a basketball hit his head. The ball belonged to Aomine, who apologized and ran back to training. Kise followed him and saw him play. He was perplexed and thought to himself that he had finally found his competition. He applied for the basketball club and got approved and, in no time, belonged to the regulars. I know a few overly talented people that have a hard time keeping interested with hobbies because they too lose interest. Kise’s first reaction to Kuroko is not great. (An understatement.) By the time we see it though, it is par for the course for reactions to him. He can’t understand why someone like Kuroko would be paired with him as a mentor. Until they play a game together. We saw this when Kuroko plays in practice with Seirin. Shortly after… Kuroko earns the respect of Kise. (I have been mildly surprised that Kuroko is able to play high-level ball with the Generation of Miracles and he can’t shoot to save his life.

Next of The Generation of Miracles is Midorima… Have you ever seen a person that can shoot from anywhere? He is that person. He can be a bit condescending but he is not as bad as he seems. He moved from the middle school team to play for one of the Three Kings of Tokyo, Shūtoku High. Kagami, Kuroroko and Seirin take on Midorima and Shutoku in the semi finals of the interhigh games. For the first two minutes of the game, neither of the teams is able to score a point, until Takao passes the ball to Midorima who scores a three-pointer. Kuroko then picks the ball back up using a Cyclone Pass, making the ball fly past Midorima and leading to Kagami scoring Seirin’s first points. But can you really defend a man that never misses a three? Seirin still attempts a comeback but fails. Midorima then displays his shooting range by shooting a perfect three-pointer from the centerline. Kagami counters his shot display by doing a self alley-oop. Feeling mocked by this, Midorima then shoots from the other side of the court with all of Seirin including the bench and Riko shocked and overwhelmed. How do you defend a man that can shoot from anywhere? The Seirin second years are relying on the three of them instead of Kagami and Kuroko. No matter how many times they score, Midorima is still unable to be stopped by Seirin, with Midorima’s shooting, Kagami begins to laugh and decides to stop working with his team. I wanted to throw something at him… He was doing so well. I still end up a bit annoyed. The fourth quarter begins with Seirin scoring the first points Midorima also observes that Kagami isn’t playing on his own anymore, but that his stamina has also run out. Kagami uses the first of his last two super jumps to block Midorima’s first shot in the game. Kagami is running himself into the ground and that blows. He won’t last in the tournament you can tell already. With Kuroko being able to use his Misdirection again, Shūtoku is called on a time out. With only two minutes remaining Midorima continues to shoot due to Kagami being unable to jump high anymore. Hyūga makes Seirin’s final shot, making the score 82-81. But Kagami puts his health at risk to block Midorima’s shot. The game is intense and fast-paced. More exciting than I thought it would be. I didn’t expect to be invested in the story like I was. I was pretty annoyed that Kagami hurt his legs. Somewhere, deep down I knew he wouldn’t rest like he was supposed to.

Takao often calls him a tsundere, ( and that is an understatement.) because he tends to help people but denies doing so. My favorite is when they kept catching him coming to watch people’s games in disguise. (By disguise, I mean, sunglasses… indoors. He doesn’t even live near the arena.) Midorima has good insight and is able to understand other people’s abilities easily, like Kagami or Kuroko’s. He sometimes gives them advice under the guise of scorn and criticism. He helped Kagami with his aerial understanding and pushed Kuroko to play by himself, leading to the development of the Vanishing Drive. Out of the Generation of Miracles, he is the only one that continues practicing. (More on that later.)

The next… and probably the most dynamic of the Generation of Miracles… is Daiki Aomine. Aomine is a beast in every sense of the word. He was the main antagonist until the first round of the Winter Cup. Kagami and Aomine are a lot alike. Both Kuroko and Momoi have commented that Kagami reminds them of Aomine before the Ennui… more on that later. After battling with Kise in the practice game… Kagami thinks he is ready for the others. They cross paths at the Interhigh Basketball Tournament. After beating Shutoku, Seirin moves on to the preliminaries finals. After the match, Momoi calls Midorima on her cell phone, which Aomine takes away from her. Midorima warns him to be wary of Seirin. Aomine responds that that’s ridiculous and concludes that the only one who can beat him is himself. He really makes you want to punch him…  Aomine finds Kagami practicing at an outside court. Aomine challenges Kagami and Kagami rudely asks him who he is. Aomine gives him his name and Kagami realizes that he’s one of the Generation of Miracles. Kagami is easy to goad… too easy. Should he be resting…? Sure. Will he rest? Not at all. Aomine belittles Kagami, and finally, Kagami takes him on, Aomine’s arrogance angering him. Aomine overpowers Kagami and tells him his partnership with Kuroko will fail because Kagami’s “light is too dim”, before dashing past him and finishing the one-on-one. The sad thing is… Kagami is unaware of the history that Aomine shares with Kuroko. Later, Kagami is shocked and exhausted; he couldn’t defeat Aomine. Aomine is severely disappointed. He can’t believe Kagami defeated Midorima. Kagami is sitting on the steps downcast. He feels like he can never win against Aomine. The only other time he’s felt this way is with Kise. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj-xcKQE6Co)

One compelling thing about the for lack of a better word, the rivalry between Kagami and Aomine… is that Kagami’s relationship with Kuroko mirrors Aomine’s past relationship with Kuroko. Aomine attended Junior High school in Teikō for three years. He joined the basketball club as a first-year and was put into the first-string team immediately. When he meets Kuroko, he is impressed with Kuroko’s love for basketball. Kuroko and Aomine start practicing together and become good friends. Aomine also persuaded Kuroko to keep playing basketball when he wanted to quit, saying that his determination to practice hard even though he isn’t the best has also motivated Aomine himself. When Kuroko eventually joined the regulars of Teikō, Aomine and Kuroko were perfectly adaptable. Kuroko’s misdirection and invisible passes connected with Aomine’s strength and the two brought out the best in each other. This was the start of the first “light and shadow” relationship. The relationship soured because Aomine skills were the first to blossom… and it was hard to find opponents to play with him any longer. There was no one that matched his skill, that kept determination throughout the whole game. For Aomine, it creates a sort of apathy towards the game that he loves. His derailment is the first to start the distance in the Generation of Miracles.  Aomine’s share in the points was overwhelming, and he stood out above the rest too much. He starts by not coming to practice. In his mind, there is no reason to keep getting better if it widens the gap between him and other people. He tells Kuroko that the game has become boring for him. Midorima clarified that Aomine needs a strong rival, but never found one. In games, Aomine began to do just the minimum to ensure his team’s victory. Kuroko tries to convince him otherwise and says that he would surely meet his rival one day, and Aomine believes that for a while, starting to try harder again. However, he grew even more powerful, and seeing his mentally crushed opponents, changed his mind. I personally have not experienced this type of apathy. Thank Goodness. But I do know the feeling of ennui. Nothing bringing you joy, or things that used to bring you joy no longer bring joy or fulfillment.

At the Interhigh preliminaries, the first match is Seirin vs Tōō, and both teams arrived at the gym, with only Aomine missing. Momoi calls him on his cell phone and Aomine is revealed to still be at school, having overslept but he is not worried because he tells his team that Seirin’s not that big a deal and that it’ll be fine. Aomine shows up to the game moments before the first half ends. He is forced by his coach and teammates to play. Aomine receives the ball immediately. He breaks past Kagami with ease but Hyuga is there. Aomine spins past him; however, in that moment Kagami catches up to him and blocks him. Aomine is surprised and stumbles, but he reacts quickly enough to block Kagami’s fast-break dunk. The half ends with him saying that Seirin is actually not that bad. Would this be an anime if there wasn’t happiness in the face of a worthy opponent? My problem is… Kagami is outmatched… however… add to that the fact that he is still hurt. His legs are mush. Because of that… he was given no practice time prior to the game.

Suddenly, Riko notices something and orders Koganei to substitute with Kagami. Irritated, Kagami sits down on the bench. Riko tells him she noticed that his legs haven’t completely healed yet. Kagami doesn’t respond; she then adds that she’ll tape them up so he can reenter the game. While Kagami is out of the game, Seirin struggles against Tōō. In the end… It is a deciding defeat at the hands of Aomine. He is nasty.  Kagami is unable to match Aomine’s speed and Seirin is unable to stop any of Aomine’s impossible shooting styles—the shots defy common sense. Everyone is shocked as they watch Aomine shoot with his body almost parallel to the ground. Kagami watches helplessly with a towel draped over his head as Seirin struggles valiantly, but still loses to Tōō. The final score is Tōō 112 – Seirin 55. And so Seirin is out. Even with his cocky attitude though, I enjoy Aomine the most. I can see what Kagami would turn into if he starts to rely on himself and not the team… I spent much of the show wondering if Aomine would ever get back to his old self… or if Kuroko would lose another friend to the dark side.


Coach Riko lets it be known that they have no time to mourn the Interhigh Tournament. Because there is another tournament that they have to get ready for in the winter. I knew that it was too early to defeat the Generation. The Generation could only get better than they were in middle school. Kagami and Kuroko wouldn’t be able to top them right away… so onward. So in preparation for the new tournament, Seirin has a summer training camp. Kagami hones his jumping skills but it is Midorima who points out, that’s not enough to beat Aomine, and that he’ll prove that to him. He tells Kagami to try to score against him even once out of ten. Kagami loses each time; unable to understand why. Later, Kagami is frustrated that Midorima made him realize two things 1. To strengthen his legs and hips 2. To improve his left ball handling skills so he’ll be able to move at will in the air. Seirin head into the Winter Cup preliminaries, this time, however, they are on guard about how teams they faced previously have grown and changed. They start the Winter Cup with Kyoshi Teppei back at center. So there is more heart to the team. Seirin starts the winter cup against Josei High who is leading with 8 points and Kagami is shown to be completely stuck with two players guarding him at all times. When Kagami gets the ball, he sees the demotivated defense and breaks through. He is immediately guarded but that is useless, as Kagami jumps from the free-throw line and dunks the ball. This extraordinary feat, the lane-up, brings Kagami closer to the Generation of Miracles and breaks an imaginary gate of the geniuses. The match eventually ends with Seirin’s win.

Now, it is time for round 1 of the Winter Cup. Nothing about the Winter Cup is going to be easy. Kagami practiced in America with his old basketball master, Alexandra Garcia. Kagami played against gangsters and thugs for money to regain his animal instinct. For round one, we waste no time… Seirin is back against Tōō and Aomine. Kuroko declares that Seirin will not lose a second time and Aomine agrees to settle it this time for sure. The match begins with the tip-off and Seirin gains the ball. Izuki dribbles the ball up fast and Seirin prepares for a fast and strong offensive, but a strong defensive Tōō awaits them. The ball gets stolen and Aomine eventually dunks the first point. (Ugh… I should have seen that coming. I still wanted Kagami to strike first blood.)  The ball goes to Kuroko and he uses his new Ignite Pass Kai and is able to pass to Kiyoshi, who goes for the dunk. However, Wakamatsu appears and almost blocks Kiyoshi. Kiyoshi is still able to pass behind him to Kagami, who suddenly dunks and repays Aomine’s favor. But this match is really about the aces Kagami and Aomine. I very much enjoyed watching Kagami work through how the one-on-one will go in his head using a high-level tactical battle. In this simulation, Kagami senses that he will lose if he goes up against Aomine now and passes the ball to Izuki. When the drive and later the Ignite Pass Kai both fail against Aomine, Kagami tries to block him, but Aomine shoots beside him and scores. Seirin takes a time-out and while Kuroko is subbed out and is feeling despair, (So was I.) Kagami tells him that his effort wasn’t futile, that he will handle Aomine until Kuroko comes back. Aomine carries the ball and when Kagami attempts to steal, he forces Aomine to go for the shot. Kagami takes the shot. Seeing an awakened Kagami, Aomine acknowledges him and starts to get serious. He speeds up, but Kagami can still keep up. The match goes on with face-off after face-off between Kagami and Aomine, with Aomine almost breaking through, but Kagami’s defense stays steady. The reason why Kagami is able to keep up with Aomine’s top speed is because he is only relying on his animal, raw instinct.

Seirin High has reached the point where it has exhausted all its options and is likely to lose. But then Kuroko activates his Misdirection Overflow and gives his teammates the possibility to use the Vanishing Drive. There are only 5 seconds left and the current score is 99 – 100, with Tōō still in the lead. Kiyoshi receives a free throw due to a foul made by Wakamatsu, he misses but Kagami appears under the hoop to save the ball. Kagami is blocked by Aomine surely resulting in Too’s victory.  Kagami receives Kuroko’s pass and dunks the ball scoring for Seirin. The buzzer-beater rang with Seirin as the victors. There was no one more hype than me. I wondered if Aomine being beat would restore his faith in the game. More importantly… we are onto the next round. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIp-h-a1ZH4)

The next few rounds were won with minimal effort from Kagami and Kuroko. I had forgotten that both Kagami and Kuroko were first years. They are having a huge impact on the team. Here is where we battle against Atsushi Murasakibara and Yōsen High. It isn’t the first time we met Murasakibara. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MXY2okLg9A) Now… Murasakibara is not a character I like or dislike… He just is… but as a ballplayer, he is a beast. Contrary to the impression his height gives, Murasakibara acts very lumpishly. He fools around at serious times, which is not always well received. He is mildly sadistic and childish. Ripping a person’s eyebrows off that you just met… CHILDISH… He claims that the only reason he plays basketball, is because he’s good at it, he doesn’t care for the sport at all. He has always told others that he dislikes, is bored by, and even hates players who play basketball with passion, even when they are losing. 

In the quarter-finals, Murasakibara easily outjumps Kiyoshi during the tip-off and gives Yōsen possession; however, this is overruled by the referee as he jumped before the ball had reached its maximum height. (It annoys his teammates and coach because apparently, he does it a lot.) Possession is then awarded to Seirin, Hyūga then attempts a jump shot, but Murasakibara shows off his fast reflexes by blocking Hyūga’s shot. With the way Murasakibara is playing… there isn’t a zone he can’t defend.  He is not only big and fast, but he also has a huge wingspan. His coach says that the entire area inside of the three-point arc is “his domain”. Yōsen scores their first points, but after the inbounds pass, Kuroko throws a full-court pass to Izuki who runs up the court but is confronted by Murasakibara, who is not participating in the offense. Masako says that although she doesn’t like players who don’t run up and down the court, the Yōsen defense is complete with Murasakibara himself. Many of the games Yōsen has played in the past have ended with the opposing not scoring any points. Kiyoshi attempts to lose Murasakibara using a spin move, but Murasakibara scorns Kiyoshi for believing that he could pass him with such skill and blocks him. Kiyoshi then reveals that he had a different plan all along and throws an alley-oop to Kagami who attempts to dunk but is blocked again by Murasakibara as his height and wingspan helped him block Kiyoshi’s first attempt without jumping. Cheeky Bastard. But it is Kuroko who scores the first basket. In a subsequent play, the last of the second quarter, Kuroko manages to score another basket past Murasakibara with the Phantom Shot, and the score stands at 29 – 17 with Yosen up. Shout out to Aomine for teaching Kuroko to shoot. I figured Kuroko would have to learn how to shoot at some point. Murasakibara is surprised because he thought Kuroko couldn’t shoot. At the start of the second half, Murasakibara is fired up… maybe too much so because he decides to go on the offensive.

After scoring a few more points, Murasakibara resolves to “wring the pride” out of Seirin, participating in the Yōsen offense for the first time.  On the bench, Kuroko mentions that Murasakibara once scored 100 points in a single game when he got serious. At one point, Kiyoshi attempts a layup but then converts it into a pass to avoid Murasakibara’s block. However, Murasakibara swats the pass away with his left hand and dunks on the Yōsen possession so powerfully that he brings down the hoop, leaving a shocked Seirin wondering how they can possibly “stop this beast.” Beast is the right word because what freshman is bringing down the house like this? The Battle under the basket is not looking good for Kyoshi. He is being outmatched. And even more so when you figure that he is injured. Kuroko says that he will not lose to someone who looks down upon the efforts of others, prompting Murasakibara to shout that Kuroko’s ideals made him sick. The match goes on and each team continues to dominate the other’s defense, with Seirin trailing by a small margin.  As Seirin is on the verge of taking the lead, Murasakibara suddenly manages to enter the Zone during the last 20 seconds. In this state, Murasakibara nearly overpowers Kagami on a dunk attempt, but the latter is assisted by Kiyoshi in stopping the dunk. Aomine, Kise, and Kagami were the ones who realized that Murasakibara had entered the zone. Aomine and Kise being spectators. Kagami performs a final Meteor Jam, out jumping Murasakibara for the basket and the lead. Refusing to give up, Murasakibara had already run to the other side of the court, preparing for one last dunk to win the game. However, he finds himself unable to jump because Kiyoshi playing point guard forced him to jump continuously and his knees have reached their limit. Murasakibara, knowing a dunk is unnecessary, as his height and nearness to the basket will allow him to easily score with a layup, goes for the final shot, but Kuroko blocks him before he can, securing the victory for Seirin. Did not see that coming. Well, that is not true. I knew Seirin would win because this story is about them but not in the way that they did.

I got a weird satisfaction from watching him cry after his loss though. He had been so condescending to people prior to that even Tatsuya his own teammate. He even said he would quit. Odd behavior because you’re not shutting people out like you do all the time. To be fair though, when he got going and in the zone, he was damn near unstoppable. But I believe that a lot of these kids had a lot to learn. The

Kagami doesn’t play Shūtoku or Midorima again since he is knocked out of the finals by Akashi and Rakuzen. Kagami does get a taste of Akashi and his abilities when they first meet outside the Winter Cup. Kagami was trying to be rude though… (Does that mean he should be STABBED? No.) With Kagami coming from America… he is running late. Kuroko gets summoned to meet his former teammates outside… Kagami crashes the party. LOL. Akashi arrives late. Midorima brings his lucky scissors… it all seems like a bad idea. When Kagami attempts to talk… he almost gets jabbed in the face. Akashi’s weird-ass then cuts his own hair… (as my friend said… WITHOUT A MIRROR LIKE A PSYCHO!!) Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80JGifOoOcA&t=17s) Their next encounter is not much better. Poor Kagami… The Seirin team goes to watch the first semi-finals, Rakuzan High vs Shūtoku High. At half-time, Seirin and Kaijō enter the court to warm up. Akashi comes face to face with Kagami and Kuroko and he greets Kuroko. Kagami towers before him and tells Akashi that he will definitely crush him and Kise too. Akashi replies that he certainly acknowledges his strength, but that only those who serve him are allowed to look him in the eye and gives him a warning that no one who opposes him is allowed to look down on him. He uses his Emperor Eye and presses on Kagami’s shoulder, causing him to fall to the ground. Akashi leaves and Kagami is shocked. I would say he is a gluten for punishment. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBkKb9OzZ-Y)

As Rakuzan High emerges victorious, it is now time for their own match against Kaijō High. Both teams are warming up quietly, though they are burning with fighting spirit. Kasamatsu breaks the uneasiness and tells Kise to give them a greeting. Kise happily agrees and dunks a Lane-up copying Kagami. He points to Seirin that it is a declaration of war. Kagami and Kuroko return the favor by doing Lane-up Alley-oop. This game is intense. More so because Kise has not underestimated his opponents. Ever since the practice game… Kise has been out for revenge. The match then commences. Both teams bow and Kise approaches him telling him that his previous loss is still on his mind and realizes he will do anything for basketball and for winning. Kagami bluntly calls him soft and says to get started already, grinning. That probably wasn’t smart. At the tip-off, Kise activates his Perfect Copy using Midorima’s signature shot. Kise turns to Kagami and says there is no way he has gone soft. Kise continues to use the Generation of Miracles’ techniques ankle-breaking Kuroko and overpowering Kiyoshi and Kagami using Thor’s Hammer, the signature dunk of Murasakibara. 3 minutes into the game, and Kaijō is up by 13. Kise comments that Perfect Copy is tiring and deactivates it to reserve its last 2 minutes for later. He says that he has completed his mission and the flow is now on his team. It is true. And at one point during the game, I was really worried that Seirin would not make it.

The focus of the match shift to a battle of point guards, Izuki vs Kasamatsu. When Kasamatsu fails to attack, he decides to pass it on Kise, once again facing Kagami. Kise copies his drive and fade away but because his leg is still hurting, he failed to reach the decent height of his jump and was blocked by Kagami. Seirin better be glad that he overworked his body because that perfect copy is ridiculous. I am not sure that they would have won otherwise. If Kise gets it perfected, a lot of teams are in trouble. Kise did try it out on Aomine… and that was interesting. Honestly, I thought Kise is the strongest of the Generation with Aomine being a close second. Kise reflects on his first meeting with Kagami; a feeling that turned into suspicion and now he’s sure. He calls Kagami a part of Generation of Miracles who chose a different path, who has this so-called “instinct”. His determination to defeat Kagami grows stronger. Gotta love the coaches in this show though. They really do care about the players. A gap seems to be opening between the two aces but Kise does not give up. However Kaijō’s coach, Takeuchi suddenly calls for Kise’s substitution to Nakamura. Kagami feeling bad for Kise says that they won’t hold back because it’s the same as looking down on them. The match resumes and as the game progresses, Seirin steadily increases their lead over Kaijō leading by 15 with 4 minutes left. Kise refusing to sit on the bench any longer demands to be put in until their coach finally gives in. When Kise receives the ball, he hardens his resolve and activates the Perfect Copy to drive past Kagami combining Aomine’s speed and Akashi’s ankle breaker. With only a few seconds left, Kuroko calls out to Kagami who looks like he will miss the shot because he has not perfected it outside the zone and is about to release the ball. Instead, he passes the ball off the backboard bouncing towards Kuroko who scores with the Phantom Shot and made the winning buzzer-beater. Kise could do nothing about it. On some level, I really felt bad for Kise. He has worked really hard. I didn’t feel bad for Aomine. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTOh6Lv6IXI)

The finals start. That puts Seirin up against Akashi and Rakuzen. While all the other games up to this point were intense… this is by far the most intense. Before the finals, Kagami finds Midorima standing on the court. Midorima warns Kagami to understand what he’s up against. Midorima tells him Akashi doesn’t need his teammates. Midorima tells Kagami he relies on one person while Akashi is not one, but two people. (What does that mean? I need answers.) Kuroko and Akashi have an interesting history. Not as dynamic as his history with Aomine. Is Akashi weird? Sure. Is there a reason that he is weird…? That is up to you.

Throughout the show, Akashi is a bit of an enigma. We know that he was the captain of the Generation of Miracles. But for some reason, he is the most fearsome of the group. We see a few flashbacks but not enough to get the full story. Akashi was born from a rich family that possesses their own business. Being the only heir in their family, he was obligated to succeed in all areas by his strict father. His only support at that time was his kind mother whom he spends his free time while playing basketball. She was the one that introduced him to the sport. However, in his 5th year in elementary school, his mother died because of an illness but never got a break as his father became even more strict to the point that the more skills he mastered, the more he will be given to master. Due to the way Akashi grew up during childhood, he developed a strong winners-mentality, believing that winners get everything in life while losers are denied all. Akashi views himself as absolute in power and skill and grows extremely violent when anyone disobeys his commands as shown when he tried to stab Kagami with the scissors he borrowed from Midorima when Kagami disobeyed him. Initially, Akashi’s personality was that of a person who respected his teammates, while still holding that winners-mentality. Akashi also cared and appreciated the fans that gave him daily support and focused solely on team play with his team. However, the second personality first manifested when  Akashi is confronted at the possibility of defeat against fellow teammate Atsushi Murasakibara. The second personality became the dominant and activates the Emperor Eye skill for the first time, allowing him to seize victory. This second personality would later sever core teamwork aspects and viewed that coordinated team plays were not the way to victory, which eventually led to Kuroko leaving the team. Now what we see Kise do against Kagami as part of the perfect copy… is only a tip of the iceberg when comes to what Aksashi can actually do. As my dad used to say “I taught you everything you know, not everything I know.”

In the beginning, Kuroko tells Kagami that they are nowhere near equipped to go at the Generation of Miracles. And when he sees how Kise has transformed, he says it again outright. In awe, I gather, because he didn’t see how much more they could have progressed. We see, game after game early on, that Kuroko hasn’t progressed like the others have. We also learn over the course of the show… that… Akashi is the one who taught him the misdirection passing and is the one that pulls for him to become the first string. So, it has to be difficult to constantly face players that know about you because they have played with you… but you don’t know much about them anymore. (Remember Kise is the one that tells his team that the misdirection of Kuroko’s will wear off soon.) Aomine tells Kuroko that he is disappointed… because he hasn’t grown any since they have seen each other. So there is a lot of anticipation to be had when the finals for the Winter Cup occur.

The game starts with Seirin getting the ball and attempting to score the first basket, but just when Hyūga was about to score, he is stopped by Mibuchi who gets the ball for Rakuzan. Akashi gets the ball and passes it to Nebuya who attempts to score but is stopped by Kagami. So right from the beginning, it is a back and forth. Kagami is overly cautious and so am I. Because Akashi hasn’t started up yet. Seirin gets the ball again and counter-attacks. Kagami dribbles the ball to Rakuzan’s basket when suddenly Akashi appears marking him. Kagami finds his resolve to win the match and suddenly jumps to dunk the Meteor Jam over Akashi, scoring the first basket of the match. Akashi notices that Kagami has entered the Zone. Maybe it was me… but it was too soon to zone. Like you still don’t even know anything about this man and what he can do. Kagami has entered the Zone, resulting in Seirin leading the match. With the score of 11 – 2 for Seirin, Akashi doesn’t seem too bothered. First red flag. On the court, Akashi decides to switch marks with Hayama to mark Kagami. As the match continues, the attention is on Kagami and Akashi. Kagami tries to pass Akashi, but Akashi uses his Emperor Eye to try and stop him. Shocking everyone, Kagami evades the Emperor Eye and advances further to the basket. Kagami uses his Meteor Jam to score but the shot doesn’t go in. Damn… well here it is.

It’s Rakuzan’s counterattack and Akashi has the ball. Kagami goes on to mark him but Akashi uses his Ankle Break to make Kagami fall and pass him. He tells Kagami not to underestimate yet again, as the Ankle Break Kise used against him was only a fake and that he should not compare the two. When the first quarter ends, Akashi remarks that he’s grasped the extent of Seirin’s abilities, and he plans to let the three Uncrowned Generals take care of the offense, and let Mayuzumi take care of the passes. Here is where shit really hits the fan. The second quarter begins. When Mayuzumi reveals his misdirection, Seirin is surprised and Akashi states that he is the new model of the Phantom Sixth Man. A new model because… he can shoot. Like Kuroko couldn’t. What is Seirin going to do against misdirection and what are they going to do without Kuroko. As the game continues, there is little Kagami and Seirin can do against Akashi’s Emperor’s Eye. Rakuzan continues their play by passing the ball to Mayuzumi who passes the ball using his misdirection. Akashi faces Kagami who has the ball and steals it with his Emperor Eye, scoring the basket. Kuroko faces Mayuzumi in a one-on-one battle and overwrites him, surprising both Akashi and the rest of the Rakuzan players. Kuroko slowly gains his misdirection back. That means this is shaping up to be a real game. Akashi is pressured by Kagami and relies on the three Uncrowned Kings for the offense. Once all three have lost on their own, Akashi discards his trust in them and decided to start playing by himself.

 Akashi stops Kagami’s Meteor Jam before he could take off. Akashi enters the Zone. Once in the Zone, Akashi’s speed and reaction time have increased. Akashi uses his Ankle Break on Izuki and Hyūga, leaving them kneeled while outrunning a trailing Kagami. and scores the basket against Kuroko and Kiyoshi who were the last line of defense. Seirin decides to leave everything to Kagami. He better figure out what to do. Because Akashi is unstoppable right now. There was one point where Akashi dunked on everyone and you guys should have seen the way my mouth dropped. The match resumes and Akashi blocks Kiyoshi’s dunk attempt. Akashi dribbles the ball but is faced by Kagami and Kuroko who double team him. Akashi notes that he will evade Kagami easily and that Kuroko wouldn’t keep up with the speed of the two of them. Akashi uses his Emperor Eye to evade Kagami but was surprised that Kuroko kept up with him to steal the ball for Seirin Akashi was stunned for a few seconds and became furious as a turnover happened to him. He quickly runs to stop Kagami and catches up after the latter drives past Hayama. He uses his Emperor Eye to steal the ball but before he could, Kuroko snatches the ball away from Kagami using his Quasi-Emperor Eye. Kuroko and Kagami do an alley-oop but Akashi goes to block Kagami once again. Kagami dunks and overwhelms Akashi due to his determination to win for his team. Everyone was shocked, especially Akashi as he faces loss for the first time in his life, something both Murasakibara and Aomine notice when Akashi misses his three-pointer. Kise notes as well that Akashi is now out of the Zone. Now this is exciting. The next plays eventually gives Seirin the momentum as a broken Akashi continues to make errors. There is something that tickles me about the fact that each of the Generation of Miracles have no clue how to deal with losing at all. After the game resumes, Akashi shows his perfect playmaking and Rakuzan widens the lead by 5 points. Kagami realizes Akashi has entered the Zone again. Akashi warns him about what he thinks while admitting that he just returned to his form and may not be able to make a difference on his own, but the other four will be a different matter. Everyone was shocked that the other four had entered a Zone-like state as well. Apparently, Akashi’s other talent is making his teammates better. That is a problem. Riko realises there is nothing else Seirin can do to attain victory as the team loses hope once again. Rakuzan is on the defense but Akashi notices that the Seirin players are perfectly synchronized with Kagami. On the sidelines Aomine laughs in realization of the true form of the Zone, something which Akashi realizes as well. The new Direct Drive Zone allows all the Seirin players to thrive off of each other.

 The audience cheers but it is a heavy loss for Seirin as they only have forty-one seconds left to catch up to a seven-point gap difference. During Seirin’s counterattack, Rakuzan moves to defense. And there is a lot of pressure on them. Akashi calls out to Mayuzumi as he notices that Kuroko has no mark. Kuroko receives the ball and performs a lateral long pass to pass the ball to Kagami who scores a three-pointer. The gap between the two teams shrank with the current score being, 101 – 105.  Izuki passes to Hyūga instead who copies Mibuchi’s “Earth” shooting form and scores the basket, making Mibuchi foul in the process due to the nature of the shot. Uh-oh… this could be the chance. We have seen this type of thing before. The players get into position for the free throw as Hyūga shoots and Kiyoshi gets the rebound. Kiyoshi then passes the ball to Kuroko who catches it and prepares to shoot. Akashi, however, jumps to block him and tells him that this is the end. Kuroko tells him otherwise, that it is not the end, and tells him that he is a shadow. Kuroko shoots but it turns out to be an alley-oop with Kagami as he dunks the ball into the hoop. The buzzer-beater rings as Seirin emerge as the victors of the match with a score of 106 – 105. Akashi and his team are in shock after their defeat. Akashi finally learns the meaning of defeat and describes it as immense pain in the chest. However, due to this pain, he can truly appreciate playing basketball and having met Kuroko.

This show was much better than I imagined. Like I said before, I am not riveted by basketball as I am with any other sport. But I think that some of where that comes from is the backstory on the Generation of Miracles. Aomine is the first to drift away. Although, in the beginning, Aomine was outgoing and even friendly. He often fooled around with Kuroko and Kise. Momoi stated that the old Aomine was very similar to Kagami; he loved playing basketball and was very good at it too. He often completely crushed his opponents’ will to play basketball. He was initially sad about this and searched for his equal on the court, but he never found one. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that he is simply the strongest and that “The only one who can beat me, is me”. This is the start of the falling apart for everyone else on the team. Aomine is the first to bloom and head off on his own. This probably would have been handled better if the coach of Teiko didn’t get sick… and the person who took over wasn’t strong-armed into just winning. The coaching staff didn’t aid in their mental development at all and just let them govern themselves until they imploded completely. Akashi was left to control and govern… he went off the deep end. The other personality manifests because Akshi felt that he wasn’t progressing as fast as the other players. Aomine stopped coming to practice… Murasakibara complains that if Aomine doesn’t have to practice why should he? There were no adults that cared about their wellbeing? (That changes a bit when they get to high school.) Although, this behavior is exactly what happens to college players… Winning is everything and not the players at all. It is also sad to know that the players kept hurting themselves. I came to understand… while they all have talents surpassing the capabilities of regular high school sportsmen, they still have a high school boy’s physique. This means that should they use their talents to the maximum limit for an extended period of time, their growing bodies can’t cope with the overexertion and their talents become more of a burden than a gift. In other words: their strengths can also be their weaknesses.

There are a few games that are honorable mentions… A lot of these have to do with Kise:

  • Kaijō High vs Tōō Academy – Kise has a lot to prove in this game. Apparently, Aomine dominates in the games they used to play as kids. Aomine does start to dominate in this game but then Kise makes the adjustment… Kise says that he has to take off the rose colored glasses. Kise struggles in the opening moments of the game. Kise copies Sakurai’s Quick-Release Shot only to be blocked by Aomine. fakes a drive going right and goes left pass Kise. Kise then blocks Aomine, which leads into Aomine using a Formless Shot, only to be blocked by Kise, which surprises everyone, including Aomine. The game is back and forth until the final moments. I think my favorite line in this game is when Kise gets in the Zone and Imayoshi comments that he would never want to play against Aomine and with Kise’s copy… It feels like he is doing just that. Kise is stopped by Aomine, who is trying to predict his next move. Kise then fakes a formless shot, passing the ball behind to Kasamatsu, but Aomine slaps the ball out of his hand. Aomine then comments that Kise did a good job of copying his style, but messed up due to the fact that he (Aomine) doesn’t pass the ball. Moriyama attempts to go for a lay up, but gets the ball stolen by Aomine, Kise then attempts to stop the dunk, but fails, falling on the ground and ending the game at 98-110. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoHFxUFtXyY) According to a poll in the CHARACTERS BIBLE, this match is voted as the best match in the entire series, earning 995 votes, beating the Seirin vs Tōō match (681 votes) and the rematch of Seirin vs Shūtoku at the Winter Cup (323 votes).

  •  Kaijō High vs Fukuda Sōgō Academy – Kise and the rest of the Kaijō team go up against Fukuda Sōgō Academy, where the former member of Teikō that Kise replaced, Shōgo Haizaki, plays. There is nothing to like about Haizaki. I mean he is assaulting a woman and her student when we meet him. Nothing about his backstory absolves him from this. However in the oast, he was part of the Generation of Miracles before being replaced by Kise. He was replaced because of his shitty attitude not because he can’t play ball. Sadly, even in entering high school his attitude is not any better. Akashi told Haizaki to quit because he knew that Kise would steal the starting position from Haizaki in the future, so Akashi didn’t want Haizaki’s pride to get hurt. During practice, Haizaki was once challenged by Kise in a one-on-one for a spot on the starting team. Akashi allowed it and Haizaki mercilessly defeated Kise to the point where Kise is seen laying on the floor. At one point in the past, Haizaki stole Kise girlfriend or so he thinks.  At practice, before the match, Haizaki sees Himuro outside of the building and recognizes him as a teammate of Murasakibara. He approaches him, but his eye falls on Alexandra, and he starts to flirt with her. Himuro stops him, but Haizaki lashes out and tries to punch Himuro. Himuro dodges, but can’t evade Haizaki’s kick. He then turns to Alexandra and grabs her by her throat because she was being rude to him. When Kise arrives and confronts Haizaki, Haizaki reveals that he doesn’t care about basketball, but he wants the title of the Generation of Miracles from any of the five. That’s why with the next match, against Kaijō High, he wants to steal the title from Kise because Kise was called the 5th man without beating Haizaki. After the tip-off, the ball is in possession of Kaijō, and Haizaki is seen marking Kise. When Moriyama shoots his unorthodox shot, Haizaki admires and records it. Later, Kise completes a successful scoop shot and taunts Haizaki for not defending him tight enough. Haizaki responds by saying that he really doesn’t like Kise, especially when their abilities resemble each other so much. I was on the edge of my seat like what the hell does that mean? This is clarified when in the next attack, Haizaki copies Moriyama’s shot and shocks everyone by executing it perfectly, but with a change in rhythm. The next shot Moriyama took misses because of Haizaki. Haizaki makes a sinister appearance by licking his thumb and saying that Moriyama’s move is his now. Goodness. This is gonna be a long game. The match goes on to the end of the 3rd quarter with Haizaki’s total domination over Kise and Kaijō High. Later, Haizaki dunks over Kise again, and Kise falls to the ground. Haizaki recalls Kise’s humiliation when he was defeated by Haizaki in Teikō and when Haizaki took Kise’s girlfriend. Kise’s fighting spirit is refired by Kuroko, who cheers for him. He tells Haizaki that he didn’t want that girl anyway. Kise activates Perfect Copy and shoots Midorima’s full-court shot. Haizaki is frightened. Haizaki continues to be overwhelmed by Kise’s techniques. In frustration, he egoistically steals his teammate’s technique, the Scoop Shot, but even then, he is blocked by Kise with a Murasakibara-style block. When Kise brings Kaijō back on top, Haizaki recalls how Akashi put him out of the team by telling him Kise is better than him. Haizaki finally admits Kise’s superiority but decides that if he can’t beat him, he’ll injure him instead. He drives and purposely stands on Kise’s foot, roughing up his already injured leg. Haizaki goes up for the dunk to take the win, but Kise comes from behind and blocks it. He sprints to the other side and dunks himself, officially ending the match with the defeat of Fukuda Sōgō Academy. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROHnxoSr4z8) After the match, Haizaki wanders outside the gym in search of Kise. Instead, he encounters Aomine. Aomine tries to convince Haizaki to give up, but Haizaki tells him he doesn’t care and that he can only be stopped with violence. Aomine agrees and responds by socking him square in the jaw. Aomine then leaves Haizaki on the ground and walks away. I loved every minute of it. Haizaki was only intorduced for a bit but I could not wait for someone to sock him a good time. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ge_GQqlGSc)

Funny Running Gags

I know that Kuroko was the main character… but I think he was funnier when he kept “sneaking” upon people. Listening to him say, “I was sitting here first.” or “I was here the whole time.” never wore off on me. Even in his backstories, Aomine thought the gym was haunted. It was just Kuroko. Good times. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aojhiV36mKY) The other person that I found hilarious… was Mitobe Rinnosuke. Mitobe is Seirin’s second-year center and a regular until Kiyoshi’s return. Mitobe has thick eyebrows and never talks. NEVER. The kicker is not that he doesn’t talk but that the team never seems perturbed by it. They all understand him… but not once is he shown saying words to someone. There is even a point where the team is being interviewed and Mitobe says nothing. And they almost forget about Kuroko.

So in the end, it is a great show. With great voice actors/actresses. I watched it in subbed but I believe I recognized several voices. I think I have added another show to the mix that I can suggest to people new to anime. I have my top 3 favorite characters… and there was fun running gags. But it delivered on the action. Very glad my Twitter friends made me watch it. If you have seen this show, let me know your thoughts. If you haven’t go watch…

Quarantine Post #66: Disturbia (2007)


In the spirit of all things spooky, I mean… it is October, I did say that I was going to watch some scary stuff… I am back to HBOmax… because they have Disturbia. I am just going to come out and say it. I had not been a fan of Shia LaBeouf not because I didn’t think he was a capable actor… just because I hated his character on Even Stevens… but I dug him in Holes… so hell… I figured I would give this a try and see what I thought. Best decision I had made in a while. But check out the trailer and tell me what you think: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZWjvseFptg)

The good thing is I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. I even took an elective class in college that was all about him. So I knew the premise of this movie was a lot like Rear Window (1954). (The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics, and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best and one of the greatest films ever made.) For those of you out there that don’t know about Rear Window, Shame on you. LOL. If you aren’t familiar with the premise of either movie, let’s give the rundown… In Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart plays L.B Jefferies, a photographer that is recovering from a broken leg. He is confined to a wheelchair in his apartment in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. His rear window looks out onto a courtyard and other apartments. During an intense heat wave, he watches his neighbors, who keep their windows open to stay cool. (Super Voyeuristic.) Eventually, he begins to suspect one of his neighbors of murdering his wife. Disturbia has kind of the same premise… but they roll it out a bit differently. Shia Labeouf plays Kale Brecht who punches out a teacher and is given 3 months on house arrest with a ankle monitor and a proximity sensor. He thinks he will be about to play video games and watch television for the 3 months… but when his mother puts her foot down… he resorts to watching the neighbors… one of whom he suspects of being a serial killer. (Fun times.)

You can see the similarities that they tried to use even in the movie posters… Hitchcock left his prints everywhere.

So let’s jump into it… I once owned this movie on DVD but it has been years since I have seen it. I knew I had to rewatch it once I saw it on HBOmax.

  • So the movie starts of with Kale and his dad fishing. It is a little too happy for what you know is coming. Kale and his father bond and get pretty close. All of that is shattered when there is a car accident that kills Kale’s dad. Kale was the driver… and I am sure that has serious effects on him… The scene takes such a drastic turn for the worst that I remember being in the movie theater and being just as shook up by that as Kale was. That would such… and you felt for Kale… At least I did. Take a look: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9qMqGTi1uc) I mean we have all been in the car and had a person cut us off. But hopefully it is never this drastic. GOODNESS GRACIOUS.

  • Fast forward a year later… High School Spanish.. I hated it…. and Kale does too. So much so that he is asleep while his friend gives a oral presentation. When the teacher tries to motivate Kale, I am not sure I agree with his approach… that, however, does not mean Kale should have punched him in the face. It seemed a bit drastic. But people deal with the death of a parent differently. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw0KCLcKHc) Although, the judge lets him off pretty easy. I mean, come on house arrest for punching a teacher in the face… among other offenses… DUDE. Kale and his mom get the walked through the house arrest rules. He is shown being fitted for the ankle monitor and the proximity sensor. He can only venture about out in an 100 foot radius from his house. And we are shown that the cop that is supposed to monitor Kale is the cousin of the teacher Kale punched out. (SMH.) Initially, Kale is having a great time on house arrest… (Quarantine in a pandemic is much the same. So I feel this in a way I never did when I was younger.) But his mom definitely puts a stop to that. She killed his subscription to iTunes and Xbox. Poor kid. But I mean this is a punishment. After getting cheeky with her… she even cuts the cord on his tv in dramatic fashion. He really did this on himself.

  • Kale’s boredom leads him to watch his neighborhood. (Gotta love the twinky tower.) He becomes familiar with his neighbors comings and goings… He started out spying on the new girl that moves in next door. (She gets sucked into the fold… There must not be a lot to do…) I got a weird feeling watching Kale watch the girl next door undress. And I also had the same feeling I did when I watched Rear window. “Doesn’t anyone have or use their shades/blinds?” (this comes up a lot in the conversations with friends about thriller/scary movies.) He stumbles onto his next-door neighbor Robert Turner. One night Kale becomes suspicious of Turner after he returns home in a 1960s Ford Mustang with a dented fender, which matches the description of a car given on a news report of a serial killer at large. (So… is it just me or is it weird that all he can find to do is people watch? Maybe it is a byproduct of being at home. Not saying that it is unrealistic… but I don’t think I am ever bored enough to watch my neighbors.) I mean, Kale only notices these things because he is forced to be at home…. would he have notice a serial killer otherwise. History says no.

  • Kale pitches the idea to his friend Ronnie, and the new girl Ashley that his neighbor is the serial killer. It is interspersed with news footage of a missing woman… You have to know that a teenager is bored out of their mind to watch the damn news.. Oddly, in the first half of the movie… (if you didn’t know what you were getting into beforehand) the news footage blends into the background pretty well. You wonder if Kale is going to impress this girl and then you remember this is about a KILLER. Anyway… Ashley gets involved with watching Turner’s comings and goings with the dudes. Ronnie and Kale have a hard time convincing her… because Turner has fixed his car… They are camera ready when Turner returns to his house with this woman (a redhead… as Ashley points out is the MO of the serial killer they can’t find in Texas. The Police found a house that was abandoned by the owner that was packed with dead bodies. No one knows who the previous owner was. Just like in the Stepfather… how can you buy a house without proper documentation?) Things start off simple enough… but things take a turn for the worst. She is seen running around his house in a panic, but later appears to leave in her car. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH5fod3mC7c) Gotta love the next morning when Turner shows up in Kale’s kitchen. Maybe if his personality weren’t so douchey people would listen when he talks. Because I mean, he is telling the truth. Tuner is there under the pretense of helping with groceries and Kale doesn’t say much to bring his mother over to his side. He is openly hostile and it just ends up looking like the troublemaker 17 year old kid is berating the nice older neighbor. For someone as smart as Kale, I would have figured he could maneuver better. But… the subtle threat that Turner throws out it awesome. Poor mom is looking to date him and even with his dad having passed away… I am sure Kale is more concerned about mom being the next victim.

  • The following day, Kale asks Ashley to follow Turner to the supermarket so that Ronnie can break into Turner’s car to get the code of the garage controller. Caught and intimidated by Turner at the parking, Ashley quits spying on Turner, to Kale’s disappointment. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCghHER3cOU) Apparently, teenagers don’t make good spies because…. he knew he was being followed. SMH. (It is slightly different when Jimmy Stewart sends Grace Kelly to the killers apartment.)There is also a scene where Kale is going over the blueprints of Turner’s house and notices a space that wasn’t there originally. “What would he need that for?”

  • All of this is not for nothing… Ronnie did manage to get the garage door code. But there is always a catch… Ronnie being the friend that always fucks up has left his phone in Turner’s car. So he has to go and get it. They made it out unscathed the first time… so why not do it again? That always works. Here is where the formula mirrors real life. No one believes Kale. They think he’s paranoid and has too much time on his hands. which could still be argued… However, after watching a lot of these true crime specials… We know… that many times someone does report seeing something strange or knowing a person that fits this description and they aren’t taken seriously. (See Ted Bundy’s first girlfriend.) While inside, Ronnie gets trapped when the garage door closes; Kale attempts to rescue him but alerts the police upon leaving his property with the ankle monitor. The police arrive and search the garage, and find nothing but a bag containing a roadkill deer. Turner… being a chameleon that he is… turns on the charm. He even has an excuse for why the dent on the car is fixed. The car matching the description of the one the missing woman got into before she disappeared. Car show obviously. The cops don’t believe him… Ashley has abandoned him… Ronnie isn’t taking it seriously (he just doesn’t want to get into trouble with the cops.) And his mom doesn’t want to hear a word of it.

  • Kale’s mom wants to make sure that Turner doesn’t press charges. So she takes it upon herself to go over to his house and talk to Turner on Kale’s behalf. Kale tries to talk her out of it… but she is determined that he doesn’t go to jail. Well people have to deal with the consequences for their actions and your son may actually be telling the truth. But know in true thriller fashion… She walks right into the lions den. UGH. Ronnie reveals that he has escaped from Turner’s house. (Just like Kale… I would have been furious for making me believe that he was dead.) Kale watches the video Ronnie made while running through Turner’s house, and he notices a corpse wrapped in plastic in a vent. Meanwhile, next door, Turner incapacitates Julie and holds her captive. I really wanted to believe that he wasn’t a killer and it was all in Kale’s mind. She was almost out the damn door. I would say poor lady but she was warned… some people are too trusting. Turner then enters Kale’s house, knocking out Ronnie and binding and gagging Kale. (There is a real struggle scene. I enjoyed that much more than I thought I was going to.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toAOUXtlXXc) He reveals his plan to frame Kale for the murders and make it appear that Kale then killed himself. Kale really made it too easy to be framed… because he sounds like a LUNATIC! Turner is not worried. He plans to do them all in and move on like in Texas… SMH.

  • Turner wants Kale to write a note. Kale is stalling…. I mean… what would you do in this situation? But Ashley arrives… Where did she come from anyway? Did she not see Ronnie crumpled up downstairs like a used napkin??? CALL THE POLICE GIRL!! But no… She walks right into a would be murder. But I have to give it up for your girl… She jumped right into action… ATTACKING TURNER. The two of them manage to incapacitate Turner for a brief moment… but I mean… we have all seen these movies before right? It’s quiet… too quiet. Kale at least gets the duct tape off. But Turner comes crashing in (Here’s Johnny style.) They manage to escape to the roof and jump in her pool next door. But what about his mom? WE HAVE TO SAVE HER!!!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGtMNsci-zk)

  • Kale’s plan is almost foolproof except for the fact that the cops just think he is a troublemaker. So Cousin Gutierrez is not interested in following up on the call. Plus it is the end of his shift. He wants to finish his damn burger. Kale enters Turner’s home to search for his mother. In a hidden room, Kale finds ample evidence of Turner’s previous murders, including a woman’s dress and wig, indicating Turner pretended to be the woman leaving the house the night Kale and Ashley were watching. (My mind is blown. For some reason… I can’t remember how this played out in Rear Window. I have to watch it again.) Also there is a whole maze underneath this man’s house. None of the builders asked questions about this at all? Did he kill them? I have questions. Gutierrez arrives but doesn’t call for back up… and gets his neck twisted… Poor Guy. He was off duty. Damn! Kale stumbles upon the decaying remains of murder victims, as well as their driver’s licenses and belongings, and finds his mother bound and gagged. Turner appears, slashes Kale in the back and pins him to a wall, but before Turner can kill Kale, Julie stabs him in the leg with a dagger, allowing Kale to grab a pair of gardening shears and impale Turner in the chest with them, finally killing him. The boy had to lookout for his mom… she was all he had left. EVEN THOUGH SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM.

Of course the movie ends with Kale getting the ankle lock taken off. He and Ashley take things to the next level. Thank Goodness Ronnie survived with only a nasty gash… Still a great movie. I don’t think I would change a thing. It starts off a bit slow and isolation drags on. But I would argue that lends to the feeling of paranoia. Is he seeing what he is seeing or is he going crazy. I ask myself that a lot in quarantine life. Shia shined in this movie which is hard to do in what one would think is a grade B movie going into it. But I would say this is probably one of the better remakes (or loosely based upons) I have seen in a while. So… it is on HBOmax. Go watch. Do a watch party with friends…. Do a double feature with Rear Window… and Disturbia. Let me know your thoughts and feelings on the movie.

Quarantine Post #65: The Stepfather (2009)


So it is October… so it is time for a scare. I figure that I need to jump back into all things scary. As a kid, I was into scaring the shit out of myself. (Read my post about Goosebumps.) I haven’t been into that as much as an adult. Unless you count true crime documentaries. Netflix has a bunch of those. So I decided to pick one at random. I landed on the Stepfather (2009). I remember watching the trailer when it came out. I had been out of high school for a few years but that had not dulled my love of B horror movies. But I could not get anyone to go see it with me. Either they were not into scary movies like my sister… or thought it was going to be super cheesy. Check out the trailer here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki5GyO0tRWc)

So I was able to find out a bit more about it… Apparently, it is a remake for a movie from 1987. Remakes are not usually good. But I mean… I knew what I was getting into. The films are loosely based on the crimes of mass murderer John List. Dylan Walsh plays the stepfather… And I loved him in Nip/Tuck. And a young Penn Badgley was in it. (YOU). So why not…? It would be nice to remember that he wasn’t always a crazed killer. So I will take you through my thoughts on the movie. I always have to say this… but it has been 12 years… SPOILERS ahead.

  • So the movie starts off in a weird eerie way… We see Grady Edwards transform himself in a bathroom. He shaves off his beard, dyes his hair, and removes his brown contact lenses. I was like… this man is on the run… He has to be but I was not prepared for when the camera zooms out and you see him step over a dead child… You see that he has actually killed a woman and her two children…and l gasped as he stepped over another body in the doorway… shut the door and walked out. SMH. Of course, we know from his routine… that he has done this before. As the police investigate, it is said that another family was murdered in a similar manner in New Jersey not long ago, which causes them to believe there is a serial killer on the loose. Duh people! Do something! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z8M-6WU8sw) and (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw1LrnnnjdM) The issue is our Grady pays for things in cash and circumvents having to show his identification.
  • The next scene shows us how he works his MO. It is sad that we know where this is headed… Susan Harding, a recently divorced Oregon housewife, is shopping in a grocery store with her youngest children where she meets Grady, who introduces himself as David Harris, and claims that his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. He charms her, and six months later, they are engaged to be married. Now there is nothing wrong with meeting someone new… and seeing where things go… but this is a bit too quick. There was a time when I would have said this is not realistic… But I have been watching a few shows on Discovery Plus (Who the Bleep did I Marry? Evil Lives Here etc etc) and I see that is not as out there as I once thought it was. I will circle back to this point a bit later.
  • I am not sure that Grady/David was prepared for the fact that Susan had an older son… (I mean he is filling out college applications.)You can see the chink in his armor… when Michael returns from military school. He is the first… and frustratingly the only person who is suspicious of Grady/David. The issue is that no one takes him seriously… being as though he is the problem child… (I have seen this before. I’ll make a post about that movie later.) Grady/David tries to befriend Michael over tequila… which sets off his spider senses. Not to mention these weird cabinets with locks in the basement. Did his mom not even ask questions? He just set up shop downstairs and didn’t ask him anything? (Again…. I have seen real stories where people just don’t question things.) But I just didn’t understand her wanting to hop into another marriage… after supposedly going through a bad divorce.

  • The suspicion starts when Grady/David is telling Michael about his wife and daughter… but forgets his daughter’s name. Michael, like any sane person, wonders how a person forgets their own daughter’s name. There is some tension in the household because Grady/David has some old fashion views… specifically for Michael and his girlfriend. Over dinner, Grady/David brings up the fact that Michael should have a talk with his girlfriend because he “doesn’t want the neighbors to talk.” This sets Michael on edge. (Now… I would never have been able to have my significant other at the house… all day while my parents are at work… But… Michael’s rebuttal makes me laugh EVERY TIME… “What do you think the neighbors are saying about you moving in here with my mom?” Touche. You have issue with the way she dresses but not being a serial killer.

  • There is an instance where Grady/David tries to choke the youngest son for not listening. (He is playing the video game too loud.) I figured that this would open the mom’s mind… but she just brushes it off. (I was outraged. But again… I have seen some of these instances in real life.) Susan’s ex-husband Jay confronts Grady/David angrily about laying hands on his son, Sean. He warns Susan that she knows nothing about David. She has the nerve to be offended… but it is true. I mean you know nothing about this man other than what he told you. And you are mad that someone pointed that out. She just wrote it off as her ex husband being a jerk. It annoyed the hell out of me.

  • More of Michael’s spider senses kicking in when the nosy next door neighbor comes over in the morning. She tells his mother that she was watching America’s Most Wanted… and saw who she thinks is David on the program. Michael overhears the conversation. David sneaks into Mrs. Cutters’ house and throws her down her basement stairs, then suffocates her. When news hits the family later about her death… Michael immediately thinks his stepfather killed her. The next red flag is when Grady/David is asked to provide proper documentation to stop working under the table at his real estate company. He is really good at selling houses… which didn’t surprise me. He had to be good at getting people to trust him. He is asked several times to bring in a photo ID and SS Card. He decides to quit instead. (Again when it was told to Susan… she doesn’t see it as a big deal.) I do wonder how Grady/David is able to get married over and over. Don’t you have to show identification for a marriage license? I’m not married. I don’t know.

  • Onto to the next victim, Michael’s father did some checking on Grady/David. Michael told his father, Jay, about Grady/David’s college history. Apparently, the stepfather was able to get Michael back on the swim team… and able to practice at school again. But something about him rubs both Jay and Michael the wrong way. Later, Jay comes back to say goodbye to his kids… Grady/David answers the door. Jay confronts him with the evidence that he found… He called up the school that Grady/David supposedly went to and they had no record of him. I am not sure that I would have confronted him by myself. But I guess the whole macho guy took over. Maybe Jay was attempting to get Grady/David to leave on his own. But when you find someone has been lying about who they are… I wouldn’t imagine that they would just leave quietly. Also the kids are upstairs when the murder occurs… BLEW MY MIND. David clubs him with a vase and suffocates him with a plastic bag. He sends Michael a text with Jay’s phone saying that David checked out okay. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryBtr6mY8Ho)

  • Next victim… Susan’s sister, who Grady/David worked with at the real estate agency. She sends an email to Susan about hiring an investigator. But David… intercepts the email. The sister now has a target on her back. She was supposed to be flying out out town for vacation. I was so annoyed because what was taking so long for her to get in the damn car. You send the email.. you get on the good foot. If you think this man is a killer… you make sure to not leave a trace…. UGH. Of course… David shows up at her house and drowns her in the pool. Why didn’t she leave when her girlfriend left? Make it make sense. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfR82HOjR2U)
  • I wanted to like Michael’s girlfriend. She was worried that he was going to get sent back to military school. She is trying to get him focused on other things. But we know that there has to be a skeptic in the bunch… Michael grows more obsessed with the contradictions in David’s stories. His girlfriend does join him in trying to dig up evidence. I guess she was hoping that he didn’t find anything things would go back to normal. It doesn’t work out that way. (After the neighbor dies… Michael pulls up America’s Most Wanted and sees the picture and is also convinced that Grady/David is a killer. Determined to discover what was in the locked cabinets, Michael breaks into the basement as Kelly keeps a lookout. In the basement, Michael eventually discovers his dad’s body in a freezer. David knocks out Kelly and traps Michael in the basement. 

  • It is the infamous scene… “Who am I here?” I think Susan could have protected herself before now… but IT IS TOO LATE NOW. It is a pretty good scene nonetheless. The commotion with Michael wakes Susan, and Grady/David berates her parenting skills and says that he thought she could be “Mrs. Grady Edwards”. With Susan’s stunned reaction, David grimaces and asks, “Who am I here?” Susan tries to snap him out of it by saying his name, causing him to say, “David! I’m David Harris!” He went on this rant about discipline… and how she doesn’t discipline the kids at all. I wanted to know how long she was going to stay and talk to this man. But you and I both know now the chase is on. usan, realizing the situation after noticing the unconscious Kelly, flees to the bathroom, locking herself in. David kicks the door in, shattering the mirror behind it. Susan picks up a shard of the mirror, holding it behind her. David grabs her, they struggle, and she manages to stab him in the neck with the shard. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg30XRt3zhU) Now we all know that is not the end of it. THIS MAN IS NOT DEAD! They didn’t hear me.

  • Michael escapes from the basement and finds Kelly, his girlfriend. They find Susan in the hallway across from the bathroom, thinking David is dead. Then David approaches from behind and blocks the stairs, chasing all of them into the attic, where he and Michael fight. It is really not a fair fight because Grady/David had been doing work in the attic early on in the movie. There were places that both can fall through. Both fall onto the roof and then off the edge of the roof to the ground, where they lie unconscious. I would have figured by now that someone would have tried to shoot him by now. When Michael wakes up, he finds out he had been in a coma for just over a month. He learns that David is still alive and fled the scene before the police arrived. The end scene shows David, who has again changed his appearance and his name to Chris Ames. He is working at a hardware store when he meets a woman who is shopping with her two sons. Ugh and the vicious cycle starts over and over again.

Some of these movies are just sowing distrust in people. I should have known that this movie was going to be open ended. The original spawned 2 sequels. Maybe they thought it was going to be a franchise. I don’t know. But movie checks all of the genre boxes. I enjoyed it… but I mean… Susan made me want to kick her. ALL OF THESE RED FLAGS MA’AM! Putting your kids in peril. Solid B movie. It is enough to get your friends together and have something to laugh at. Get your Netflix watch party on. If you have seen it… let me know in the comments.

Quarantine Post #64: Deep Blue Sea


Since I have been seeing a lot of talk about it on Twitter, I decided to rewatch Deep Blue Sea. I remember watching with with my family as a kid back when it came out in 1999. All of my siblings and I laugh about it to this day… So I figured… why not give it another go. Head over to Netflix to check it out. I thought I remembered much more of the movie than I did… I do remember not liking the main doctor chick… because she did not see anything wrong with how many lives were lost in the name of her research. But let’s get the rundown of the movie for those that don’t know…

Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 American science fiction horror film. It stars Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J. Set in an isolated underwater facility, the film follows a team of scientists and their research on mako sharks to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. The situation plunges into chaos when multiple genetically engineered sharks go on a rampage and flood the facility because what else could have happened here…. It was a classic B movie… Something to watch when it came on television on the weekend. But in this pandemic… it has had a resurgence thanks to streaming services. So let’s do my reactions to a rewatch of this film. If you haven’t seen this film.. I mean… it have been over 20 years…but nonetheless spoiler alert.

  • So we start the movie with a shark attacking teenagers on a boat… because why not? They all make it out alive because Carter manages to get back the escaped shark… In a remote underwater facility, doctors Susan McCallister and Jim Whitlock are conducting research on mako sharks to help in the re-activation of dormant human brain cells like those found in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Does that make any sense to you? No? Me either but hell I have heard stranger things. After the shark escapes the facility financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin to investigate the facility. Why not pull the plug? Because that would be too easy. Gotta love Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Susan wants 48 hours to prove that this research is viable. None of the researchers seem to like that Russell is there poking around. The underground facility is a maze and maybe it is just me…. what made them think they could keep the sharks from escaping in the first place? They put fences in the middle of the ocean…. *shrug* sure.
  • LL Cool J and this parrot are killing me… but not for the reason you think. This man is preparing meals with a bird in the kitchen? I have questions… actually nevermind… I don’t. I also don’t want any of that food. Pets/animals don’t go in the kitchen while you’re cooking. They have a birthday celebration for Susan… and of course there is a storm rolling in as if being trapped in the middle of the ocean with genetically enhanced sharks wasn’t bad enough.
  • Here is where shit really hits the fan. Let me tell you, you can usually gauge who is going to go first in movies like this… there is always a person with a God Complex… I knew when Samuel L. Jackson said something about “What in God’s creation…?” And the smug doctor responds with “Not his creation, mine.” Insert eyeroll. The doctor gets his arm bitten off for his trouble. Can’t say I felt bad about it.

  • Susan is not a likeable at all. (She was warned about her experiment by Carter… She pushes on because they will all be out of work otherwise. No matter that kids were almost killed by a problem you created.) The thing on her mind when Jim’s bleeding out is that the shark is not killed solidifying the idea that she is definitely okay with sacrificing people if it means that she gets what she wants in the end. They are trying to get Jim emergency assistance while a storm is rolling in…. and it is a disaster… it just left me wondering… was this the only plan they had in case of emergencies? Brenda Kerns, the tower’s operator, calls a helicopter that braves heavy rain and strong winds to evacuate Jim, but as he is being lifted, the cable jams, dropping Jim and his stretcher into the shark pen. The largest shark grabs the stretcher and pulls the helicopter into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots, as well as causing massive explosions that severely damage the facility. I did not have shark pulls helicopter out of the air on my bingo card. Maybe it was too long ago for me… but I did not remember that at all.

  • In the laboratory, Susan, Russell, wrangler Carter, marine biologist Janice Higgins, and engineer Tom Scoggins witness the shark smash the stretcher against the laboratory’s main window, which then shatters, drowning Jim and flooding the facility. Sharks out for revenge? I mean… what did Jim do to them anyway. Took the guy while still on the stretcher attached to the helicopter and then trying to give him back to the crew in dramatic fashion. But no one watches these movies because they make sense.

  • Russell asks Carter why the sharks are behaving like they have a vendetta. Short answer? Because they do. Long Answer… Carter tries to explain that the sharks are after them… and when Russell pushes Susan to reveal that she and Jim  genetically engineered the sharks to increase their brain size, as they were not large enough to harvest sufficient amounts of the protein complex; this had the side effect of making them smarter and more deadly. (No one else on the team was apparently knew anything about it… ) So this extremely dangerous situation they are in… is her fault… the other are too nice to her. I would have definitely punched her. Janice calling her a BITCH didn’t soothe me nearly enough. Susan was defiant in the face of questioning… as though all that matters is her research. Thank Goodness Carter told her about herself… I still think she deserved a punch or at least an open hand slap. I mean what kind of scientist doesn’t think… if we make something’s brain bigger… I may get smarter… I question her PH.D.
  • The group goes to the facility’s wet entry, where they plan to take a submersible to escape. When the group reaches the wet entry, they discover that the submersible has been damaged. These sharks are really playing with these people… Someone nutty suggests that they swim to the top… I think it was Carter… And I swear he was my favorite to that point. What would make you think that I could swim faster than a shark… especially one that you have altered. Scoggins proposes an alternative that Susan doesn’t like… but who cares what she likes… She didn’t care what anyone else thought either. There is a lot of in fighting as the group tries to figure out which escape route to take… Russell takes control of the room… only for him to be eaten the most hilarious and dramatic fashion. His speech is something that my siblings and I quote all the time.
  • LL Cool J on the other hand is having a tough time. That man just wanted to make breakfast but no… In the kitchen, it starts to flood… He was warned when the Parrot took the hell off. Why did he not go with? No clue. The sharks swim in the kitchen looking for food. And forced LL into to take refuge in an oven. But not before eating his shit talking parrot. Something about this is hilarious… reminds me of the show Frasier… when Nile’s bird was saying rude shit. You have to laugh at LL Cool J having to climb into the oven to keep from being eaten. The Shark ends up trying to bake him… but he manages to hack his way out of the oven… and exacts revenge on the shark that ate his bird. Large gratuitous explosion… It was the oddest thing to watch but let me tell you… I would have been a dead duck. There is no way that I would have been able to jump out over the damn shark that is trying to kill me. And I damn sure would not have been able to make it to the top.

  • The remaining group decides to go with Scoggins plan… to climb up the elevator shaft at the risk of destabilizing the pool. As they climb, explosive tremors cause the ladder to break, and Janice loses her grip and falls into the shark-infested water. Despite Carter’s attempt to save her, one of the two remaining sharks drags Janice under, killing and devouring her. Poor Janice… by this point I believe Susan has lasted too long. She caused all of this. LL Cool J then makes his way to the elevator shaft, where he encounters Carter, Tom, and Susan. Carter and Tom go to the flooded laboratory to activate a control panel that drains a stairway to the surface, while Susan heads to her room to collect her research material. (Because with all the people that died… the research is all that mattered to her.) Carter and Tom reach the control panel, but the largest shark storms in, killing and ripping Tom apart, and sabotaging the controls. In the other room, Susan encounters another shark, and electrocutes it with a power cable, destroying her research in the process.

  • Poor Scoggins died the way he didn’t want to with his leg still twitching. Now… I would like to point out that Susan seems more on board to kill the sharks… but she had the option to do so early on… After regrouping, Carter, Susan, and LL go to a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. LL gets caught by the shark… He had to help himself. (Apparently… he is called Preacher.) I should have known that… He had been talking to God all throughout the movie. Poetic Justice… is when he stabs the shark in the eye with his crucifix, though he escapes with injuries to his leg. (It was a pretty large crucifix.) Russell asked earlier in the movie what a Shark thinks about with no known predators. Carter puts it together towards the end. The Sharks want freedom. They purposely made the humans flood the facility so they try to escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. Carter comes up with a plan to kill the last shark but she is on the verge of escaping into open water. Susan actually steps up. I was surprised…. She essentially is jumping to her death… (Again… I want to point out she wouldn’t have had to do this… if she shot the sharks in the first place.) In an effort to distract the shark from escaping to the open sea, Susan deliberately cuts her hand and dives into the water. Although she manages to distract the shark with her blood, she is unable to get out of the water, and is devoured, despite Carter’s efforts to save her. (I am not sure I felt sad at her demise. It was nice that she tried to fix the issue she had a hand in creating… Would have been nice… before people started dropping like flies.)

  • That leaves Carter and LL… Carter is trying to dodge being eaten by the last shark… That leaves LL to try and harpoon the shark. While Carter is grabbing hold of the shark’s dorsal fin, Preacher shoots the shark with a harpoon, but also pierces Carter’s thigh. Poor Carter… He was harpooned… and was a bit too put together after that… As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter orders LL to connect the trailing wire to a battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to an explosive charge in the harpoon, killing the shark. This is a bit of a weird way to kill the shark. I know younger me that was impressed. In the end, Carter reveals that he had managed to free himself in time, and joins Preacher to see a workers’ boat en route on the horizon.

So all in all this was still good… a little more funny and goofy than I remember. Shoutout to LL for making to the end. He is still getting praised for that decades later… I mean that just does not happen for us. I love this movie like I love the Jurassic Park franchise. You know things are going to go wrong… you know people are going to be eaten… and you settle in with your popcorn anyway. Solid movie. Especially for a Saturday night on the couch.

If you have seen it… drop a comment. Let me know your thoughts. If you have not seen it… it is on Netflix… grab some popcorn and a drink and settle in.

Quarantine Post #63: Out of Market Fan


Did I think that I would still be at home in October of 2021? No. But I have been able to pass the time getting things off my watch and read list. However for my readers… you guys all know this. The other thing that has gotten me through is my new obsession with hockey and baseball. Hockey has been a new thing that I share with my friend Leah. Nothing like enjoying something and not knowing the closest person to you enjoyed the same thing… but you two never mention it to each other. (See my post about the black girl hockey club.) Before coming back to baseball, and getting into hockey, I hadn’t watched sports in years. Being stuck at home changes your outlook on things pretty quickly. Have to entertain yourself gets rough.

The only issue that I am facing… that is a big issue is the need to have cable to watch baseball or hockey. When I decided to cut the cord, it was probably the best decision that I made. There was a lot of money being paid for tv that we weren’t watching. For me, there was never anything to watch… and every year the bill got higher and higher. I have gotten rid of cable and could not have been happier. I can turn on what I want and watch what I want. (Shoutout to Verizon for paying for the Disney Bundle, Discovery Plus and Apple Music.) Not having to pay makes decisions easier. While I have attacked my watchlist… staying up on the New York Rangers and the New York Yankees was way harder than I thought.

Now when thinking about going back to sports, I assumed it would be as easy as finding a streaming service and paying a fee. But the world is always needlessly complicated. No such thing. Even with a streaming service… blackout days are annoying… but more than that. I was penalized for being an out of market fan. For those that do not know… that means because of my location… I can only watch teams local to me. So… watching the games for teams in my home state of New York was out of the question. It is odd to have a streaming service about sports and then tell people they can only watch said sports if they pay for cable. Why would I need this streaming service if I could watch sports on cable? Punishing fans for not having cable… not cool man. Leah is very opinionated on the matter… I told her I was going to get center ice. And she immediately told me that there were better ways to spend my money. I was determined to prove her wrong… but for $160… why would need to still have to deal with blackout dates? Leah was right. I even tried Fubotv… (which was great by the way… It was just a lot more money than I wanted to pay for using just a portion of the service. If you guys are looking for a service that is not cable… to watch tv… I support Fubotv.) Even with Fubotv… I wasn’t given access to MSG networks because I don’t live in New York or the surrounding areas.

You have to love social media where everyone thinks they know what they are talking about. And how they believe their solution is what is best for you. In a hockey Facebook group, when people were complaining about not being able to watch games… there was a guy that was explaining to everyone that if they just got fubotv… you could watch the Rangers play because you get MSG networks. He got annoyed when I told him that wasn’t the case. It works for him and he doesn’t live in New York. (He lives in Connecticut.) He didn’t offer any more advice when I showed the screenshot of the sports channels I would get here in the south… not one of them included MSG network. Living in a surrounding city versus… living another part of the country is not the same. But thanks for playing. Maybe if he read the Wikipedia excerpt about MSG networks… he wouldn’t have talked so much… but one can only hope. “The MSG Network (MSG) is an American regional cable and satellite television network, and radio service owned by MSG Entertainment, Inc.—a spin-off of the main Madison Square Garden Company. Primarily serving the Mid-Atlantic United States, its programming focuses on events featuring and other programs about New York City sports teams, including live game broadcasts of the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, and the New York Red Bulls of the Major League Soccer. The channel is named after the Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment venue in Midtown Manhattan, home of the Knicks and Rangers.” There was a time during the past two years where I was looking to see if I could just pay out of pocket for this network… no such luck… They have no clue how much money they could make if they just allowed people to pay for what they wanted.

October 1, 2014: New MSG Network television studio.

I do have ESPN plus… and as far as baseball goes… it is super lacking. No such thing as watching something live. Last night I missed the Yankees/Red Sox game of the postseason. If I wanted to watch something live… I would have to log into my provider… or sign in with MLB.tv. I missed the whole game and there is no point in going back to watch it now. (I could watch things on demand if I vowed to stay off social media… but that does take away a fun aspect of the game.) I could sign up for MLB tv… but again… the blackout dates are based on my location and I would be paying and still not able to watch all the games that I want to. It may be easier to see the Yankees play by moving back to New York.

On the hockey front, things seem to be moving in an interesting direction. Disney and the NHL agreed to a 7 year contract that will see ESPN and ESPN Plus become key places to watch and stream hockey games, starting with the upcoming 2021-2022 season. I will be able to gauge how thought out this is once the season gets underway. ESPN Plus is effectively replacing NHL.TV as the NHL’s out-of-market streaming service, with over 1,000 games each season available for fans to stream. ESPN and ABC will also get 25 exclusive national regular-season games each season, while 75 games a year will be exclusive to ESPN Plus and Hulu. Sounds promising… ABC and ESPN together will get to broadcast half of the NHL playoffs each season, too. (Specifically, Disney’s networks will get one of the Conference Final series and half of all the first round and second round games each year. I can’t complain… it is better than nothing. (You think the MLB would agree to a contract like this…? I won’t hold my breath.)

Leah and I were having a discussion as we always do. She is usually my sounding board to vent my frustrations about life. If you don’t have a friend like her, I recommend it. On this particular day, I was ranting about how fans in other regions are getting screwed out of being able to watch their favorite teams. It would be so much easier to just let people pay monthly for whatever game they want to see…. in any league. If I remember correctly, I was also on a rant about paying for MSG networks streaming service. I can’t imagine why TPTB would be leaving money on the table by not allowing out of market fans better options when trying to view the game. Leah in her way pointed out somethings are all about advertising… Companies pay big money in advertising. But I still wonder… (I have a lot of streaming services where I have not paid to be commercial free.) what does streaming a game have to do with not making money on advertising?

Anyways… that was one of my latest rants. Hopefully things will get better for us out of market fans. Maybe big business will stop trying to punish us for cutting the cord. If you want to vent your frustrations, let me know your thoughts in the comments. This EPSN deal does mean that some people are listening. Here’s to hoping it opens other doors and here’s to hoping we leave cable behind.

Quarantine Post #62: Back in the Burbs by Tracy Wolff and Avery Flynn


There is something to be said when I feel the need to get back into reading. Thank God for audible… And Thank God for the audible app on my firestick. I have to say the $14.95 is totally worth it. I can listen to books on my television… Makes things so much easier for me. No ear pain from the headphones… Good Times. Don’t shame me. I know that I have to get more reviews out there… I will… There is nothing better than logging into audible and seeing more books from an author you like are available. I did download this book month ago solely based on the name. But I figured now is as good a time as any to listen. This book is a collaboration between Tracy Wolff and Avery Flynn… and I need to know how such a thing would actually work.

There is always a main character that reminds me of myself… and that is always scary. Mallory is no different. To say that she has had a series of unfortunate events is an understatement. First, she finds her lawyer husband cheating on her in New York apartment with the new paralegal, (no one ended up with a black eye. It’s sad really.) then she loses her job at the very same firm that she helped her no-good cheating ex build from the ground up. She decides on divorce and absolutely no one is on her side. (I can’t imagine how I would react to parents that think me being cheated on is somehow my fault.) Then the final straw is when her Great-Aunt Maggie passes away. Well, all seems lost… Mallory finds out that her aunt left her a house back in New Jersey. It could be the answer to all the issues that Mallory has been having the past few months. Especially since she’s been forced to live at her parent’s house, in her childhood bedroom… while they try to force her back into her unhappy marriage.

But life is not as easy as that… not even in a fictional world. Mallory is all game to get to the house and fix it up. She was told beforehand that the house is in rough shape. That is an understatement. There is a tree limb cracking the driveway and a deathtrap front porch. The house list a mile long of HOA infractions. Let’s not even mention the taxes on inheritance. (I did not know that was a thing.) Mallory seems like a nice girl but she does seem to wither under the weight of those around her getting her to do what they want. She is attempting to get her life back and back in control of her own decisions without relying on other people. There are trying times. Fixer-Uppers always make me itch… especially since Mallory is struggling to try to bring in money. (Her ex is trying to cut her out of the law firm and fired her…) Poor Mallory is in over her head… with nothing resembling a plan other than Youtubing rehabbing houses.

Early on there is a list of people that I do not like. Besides her ex… it is definitely her parents. I don’t think I have ever come across parents who talk to their child the way they do to Mallory. It is rude, condescending… and I began to realize why Mallory was such a shrinking violet. Her father is domineering and thinks that she can’t handle anything in her life without a man telling her what to do. And I am not sure he even cares about her happiness. He makes everything about her situation about him. (There is one point where he asks her why she didn’t want him handling her divorce. Maybe because you keep telling her that she needs to call off her divorce to her cheating husband.) I waited through many chapters for him to get better and I felt that I would never get my wish. I was right.

Also what was up to people showing up to her house unannounced? Her Mom, Dad, her ex… just pushing there way in. Ugh. I really wanted Mallory to stand up for herself… But then I was annoyed when she finally decides to do so… because it is aimed at the wrong people. But I think I am more annoyed about the fact that this accurately depicts what people do. But I expect no less from Avery Flynn. On top of everything else, Mallory is struggling with the fact that she did not know what her great aunt was going through. Enter Nick. Her next-door neighbor is gorgeous and nothing like her ex Carl. He steps in to help Mallory with the house… and he may just be able to help her with her life… if she lets him. But she has been beaten down by life and has a lot of baggage. Can she look past that to something great? You’ll have to read to find out.

As is usually the case with these authors, the characters are greatly fleshed out. The characters are damaged in the most realistic way. I know several people that have gone through divorces… and sometimes it is hard for them to trust new people in their lives. So I knew that part was accurate. Mallory is that great balance between being saddened by life and being afraid to make any more decisions about life. Been there. Usually, I would think that there would be a support system for her… but she has none… At one point, she thought she had friends that she could turn to but they all sided with her ex. Sad to see. It is positioned like a romantic comedy and while there are several comedic moments… It really read like a series of unfortunate events. By the end, you are pulling for Mallory’s life to turn around.

In the end, it was well worth the read. Sassy, fun, and real to the end. I can’t end this post without talking about how great the narrator was. I usually do not pick books with solely a female narrator. I usually pick duets. Love those. But Sophie Amoss was fantastic. I felt all the emotions I was supposed to as I was listening to the story. If you see her name… definitely take a second look. Her performance is spectacular. All in all a great book. Check it out when you get the chance.

Quarantine Post #61: Call Me Kat


Usually I give myself a period of mourning when I finish a show… That did not happen after the Big Bang Theory. I had known for a while that TBBT was ending and I decided to avoid it as much as possible. I searched immediately for something else to watch. I saw an interview with Mayim Bialik about a show she was doing… that was being produced by Jim Parsons and his husband Todd’s production company. I am not sure that I even cared what the show was about. But hell Kyla Pratt, and Leslie Jordan were also in it. There is no downside here. Luckily… Hulu had it. (I haven’t used Hulu in a long while.) So no extra effort on my part.

Usually, when choosing a new show… I try to do a bit of research beforehand but I was a slacker… So I knew nothing about the show before diving in. Call Me Kat is a television series largely based on the British sitcom Miranda by Miranda Hart. The series premiered on Fox as a midseason entry in the 2020–21 television season on January 3, 2021. In May 2021, the series was renewed for a second season. Call Me Kat follows a 39-year-old single woman named Kat, “who struggles every day against society and her mother to prove that you can not have everything you want yet still be happy”. After leaving her job as a professor at the University of Louisville, she spends the money her parents set aside for her wedding to open a cat café in Louisville, Kentucky. I am not sure I saw anyone else playing this role. Mayim is a good fit here. (I am not sure I understand the cat cafe thing though… Mostly because I would not eat at a place where there are animals roaming about.)

I did not watch the British version that this show is based off of so I was flying in blind. I think this is a better thing though because I like to think I was more open minded… As a woman in her almost mid thirties, it is nice to get a show where the lead is woman is not obsessed with getting married or having children… no matter how they are pushed to do so. Right out the gate, her friend… is getting married… and for single woman, it is rough. “Who is your plus one?” “Oh is this a person you are dating? “Oh… you can’t bring a friend.” Kat remains optimistic throughout… Which is nice to watch. It is sad to watch the other people (her mom) rain on her parade… telling Kat she should not be happy with the life she has cultivated. Other people keep telling her that she is missing something. (I always wonder what other people’s obsession with trying to “fix” their single friends that have not asked for help.

The show is cute… I didn’t realize how much I have missed Kyla Pratt until seeing her here… Leslie Jordan brings his A game… but I am not sure how this character is supposed to be different from his previous characters. I am not sure it shows his range… but he is really funny to watch. I understood Kat’s need to start over and with something that actually brings her joy. Millennials know that feeling. I also know the feeling of coming back into contact with a person that you harbored a huge crush on in the past… People think that time helps with that sort of thing… but it usually makes things worse. I have only ever had that happen once. In the show, Kat doesn’t spend her time trying to push up on Max. She enjoys their friendship and keeps her daydreams to herself mostly. Max is intelligent and not off put by Kat’s clumsiness and penchant for getting into uncomfortable situations. Poor Kat has to sit back and listen to Max wax romantically about his ex. Been there girl. The good thing was that I actually believed their friendship. It wasn’t forced or too cheesy for me. Maybe because I can be a bit socially awkward myself… lots of people think that as you get older that just goes away. It doesn’t.

It did enjoy that the black man on the show is an active father and a business owner. He is active in trying to find ways to bring in more business. He also knows that his son needs a tutor and gets one for him. Etc etc. Great to see. There are He owns the bar next to Kat’s where she gets her take out lunch from. Kyla Pratt gets into a relationship with a lawyer… They are seen going on dates and I loved every moment of that. Black people do fall in love and go on dates. It was also interesting to see that she expected weird or toxic to occur in the relationship and thought it was weird when her new refused to display those traits. They had a great conversation about that and it really showed me that sometimes due to past experiences… we come to expect some not great things as part of life or relationships. And that is not the case at all.

For me, I am interested in seeing where the second season goes… It ended on a cliffhanger… and I am slightly annoyed. Not because of cliffhangers… (I do hate them… me waiting always sucks…) but it is something that is revealed that I was annoyed by. And I desperately want to see how that unfolds… Does it make Kat’s life better…? Is she going to make some sort of rash decision…? I would hope not. I usually do not care for first seasons…. There are some shows that I have enjoyed that had stellar first seasons… but for me that is few and far between. But I can say this was pretty entertaining… mostly because I see myself in Kat.

If you have seen it… Let me know your thoughts and feelings.

Quarantine Post #60: The Big Bang Theory


I wanted to wait before I did this post. It has been awhile since I seen the show… And I have not seen it in its entirety until now. Thanks HBOMax. I find myself falling in love with HBOmax because my shows are not edited for television. There is much to be seen when we don’t have to make room for commercials. Good Times. For some reason, when this show was first airing, I heard nothing but good things about it. But just like when anything is at the top… it gets hate for no reason. I never understood the hate. There are things that I would change or tweak if I had the power but overall I find the show pretty funny. So if this is a show you hate, this isn’t the post for you.

Leah, doing what she does best, showed me a show that her then boyfriend got for her on DVD many years ago. The first two episodes (that I watched sitting on her bedroom floor.)were funny as hell to me. (I also look back at that and laugh because I obviously hadn’t been watching tv for years… the season 1 dvd was already out.) She went on to say that the show was the Big Bang Theory. But like I normally do, I forgot all about it. As it happens, I was sitting on the couch one day flipping through the channels and there they were. Don’t be too impressed with Leah though… she will always put you onto a show and then never watch another episode of it. SMH. You can’t even talk to her about it. SHE IS THE WORST.

The Big Bang Theory premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007, and concluded on May 16, 2019, having broadcast 279 episodes over 12 seasons. The show originally centered on five characters living in Pasadena, California: Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, both physicists at Caltech, who share an apartment; Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon’s similarly socially awkward friends and co-workers, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali. Leonard and Sheldon’s geekiness and intellect are contrasted for comic effect with Penny’s social skills and common sense. They are the kind that understand how the universe works, but none of that helps them interact with people, especially women. In later seasons, Amy Farrah Fowler, a neuroscientist and Bernadette Rostenkowski, a marine biologist were added to the mix. (People complained about that too…. Insert Eyeroll.) I didn’t see a problem with adding more characters for Penny to interact with besides the guys. (“The women ruined everything.” – spoken like people that really believe characters shouldn’t grow and change at all. Those would be the same people that complained that the show went on and on without major things occurring.) You really can’t please everyone. (Bernadette ruined Howard by making him less creepy and unbearable to watch?) Are there some things that I didn’t like about the show…? Sure…. and I will get into that later. But I have to roll my eyes at the people that want to whine how it is really not funny… (just because you said you liked it.) Or that is not filmed in front of a studio audience…. (WRONG. And that is easy to find out.) Or that it makes fun of them and their friends. I enjoy the show because I can see me and my friends in it… never once did I feel made fun of… to me… that is totally a reach. (The funny thing was that it reminded me of Fraser… Which no one seemed to have a problem with.)

Anyways… Enough about that. You guys know how I do… I am going to go over a few episodes that I enjoy…. (Warning: most of it will have to do with Shamy… and or Sheldon and Penny.) I am going to try hard to narrow it down. Because I know my lists can get pretty lengthy. But it is 12 seasons But let’s do this:

  • Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1) – Nothing like meeting the two main cast members at a High IQ Sperm Bank. That was one hell of an introduction. I always laugh when Leonard asks the nurse if he is in the right place… And she responds with.. “If you have to ask.. probably not.” They (read: Sheldon) end up talking themselves out of donating sperm. Because there is no guarantee that they could produce a child with high IQ. When they get home… They spot their new neighbor, Penny, for the first time…. and we notice that the elevator is broken. (I remember thinking… I would not be moving crap up 4 flights of stairs.) Leonard and Sheldon agree that she is an improvement over their old neighbor, Louie/Louise, who, according to Sheldon, was a 200-pound transvestite with a skin condition. After Penny spots them, they exchange two rounds of “hi”. Penny learns that they are her neighbors from across the hall. The great thing about this scene is that we see Leonard has no clue what he is doing so he keeps saying “hi” and not moving the conversation forward. And Sheldon for his part… is just as confused. Mostly because, he doesn’t get why Leonard is acting so strange. He even points out to Leonard that he doesn’t think if you are going to invite someone over for lunch that you should mention bowel movements.(Astute Evaluation. But he says it for Penny to hear. Check out the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJDkKjjkPnE) The events of the episode devolve quickly when she uses their shower… and sends Leonard to get her TV from her ex. (In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Penny because she knew her boyfriend was a jerk.) But in this episode, Sheldon is asking the hard hitting questions… (Why are we driving across town to get a tv that belongs to our neighbor? He just wants things to make sense. Why do we get to have a scene with him?) They end up being pants by her ex boyfriend and leave without the tv. Sheldon blames Leonard… and he should. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFEqJERo7cw) Worst part of this episode: Howard trying to flirt with Penny. He is the guy that won’t take no for an answer and doesn’t get that his presence is making you uncomfortable. Was totally over him in the first few seasons.

  • The Big Bran Hypothesis (Season 1, Episode 2) – Ah yes…. The break in episode… I used to feel that every sitcom should have a break in episode. This show has 2… so good times. The episode starts off innocently enough… Penny asks Leonard to sign for a piece of furniture that she is having delivered. Leonard signs for the package in the lobby. His first mistake. The delivery driver leaves them to drag it up the stairs… which Sheldon immediately objects to. Again… Rightfully so… It turns out the furniture is bigger than they had expected, so Leonard and Sheldon are forced to carry it up the stairs the themselves since the elevator doesn’t work. Sheldon wants to know how they are going to get this thing up 4 flights of stairs since they have no upper body strength. Leonard cons Sheldon into helping him… Sheldon points out that Penny will not sleep with him no matter what he does for her. Finally, they eventually succeed in getting it up the stairs to her apartment after much tribulation. While there, Sheldon sees that Penny’s apartment is a complete mess and insists on tidying up. But Leonard says that he should not do that because it is not their apartment. (Check out the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg8otQYqs_M) Here… I enjoyed that we got to see Sheldon’s need for order and sense contrast with Penny’s lifestyle. Penny shows up later… and Leonard boasts that he and Sheldon had no trouble bringing it upstairs… (The confusion on Sheldon’s face is priceless.)Later that night Leonard is awakened by sounds coming from outside of his bedroom. He finds that Sheldon has used the spare key to get into Penny’s apartment so he can straighten up. Initially, Leonard tries to get Sheldon out of the apartment but he caves and helps Sheldon clean… (I wonder about Leonard…. Like Sheldon has issues… but why do this? Why cosign sir?) Leonard get up the next morning and Sheldon tells him that he slept well. Leonard remarks that a well known folk cure for insomnia is to break into your neighbor’s apartment and clean. (Sarcasm?) Poor Sheldon is not great with sarcasm…Penny storms over and yells at them for being in her apartment while she was sleeping. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5RVXYEX2L4) It is the sarcasm sign… that does it for me. Good times. Later, the guys help Penny put together her media center, but get so focused on the task that they don’t hear her when comments that she’s hot and is going to take off her clothes. Soon they get completely carried away and go to the garbage dump to find better materials, leaving Penny to do it by herself.

  • The Fuzzy Boots Corollary (Season 1, Episode 3) – Penny is seeing someone else… and it sends Leonard into a downward spiral. Has this happened to me? Sure. I have been there. Leonard goes over to Penny’s place to return her mail he “accidentally” stole and sees Penny kissing a guy named Doug at her door. He is devastated thinking she has ‘rejected’ him. (Can you reject someone who has never asked you out?) The guys convince him to ask someone out at work. He decides on Leslie Winkle. He asks her to a bio-social exploration with a neuro-chemical overlay as the modification of our colleague/friendship paradigm, with the addition of a date-like component. (what a way to word it.) Instead of the date, Leslie proposes that they go straight to kissing in which she finds Leonard’s technique good; however, she is not aroused. At Apartment 4A, Raj and Howard are discussing whether Sheldon is a robot which he is willing to embrace. (The Internet is down…. and they have nothing else to do.) Leonard is now even more depressed. Sheldon becomes concerned that Leonard will do what he always does… sing depressing emo songs and try to adopt a cat. Howard has them try Salsa dancing lessons, but all the women in the class are middle-aged and older. Leonard then turns to thinking about buying a cat and listening to Emo music. Sheldon (in an attempt to not have a cat) points out that he was not actually rejected, as he had not asked Penny out. Leonard agrees and promptly walks over to her door and asks Penny out to dinner. She mistakes it as an invitation to hang out with all the guys. (Poor Leonard has a hard time making things clear… been there… done that Leonard keeps the date and makes up excuses as to why the guys were absent. It’s Leonard in the sweaty shirt… and Sheldon trying to talk him down. (L: “We are going all the way… we are going to SEX…. OH GOD! OH MY GOD!” S: “Is the sex starting now?”) Good times. Sheldon, especially in the early seasons, wasn’t as bad a friend as he ends up being in the middle seasons. But here, he is especially great. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3ubfE97VJA)

  • The Bad Fish Paradigm (Season 2, Episode 1) – Leonard and Penny’s relationship… (Or whatever you want to call it at this point… and trust me.. I love them…but it took them a long time.) spills into Sheldon’s life and his reaction is the best. Does he annoy everyone in the process? Totally but he is cute for trying not to hurt his friend. After Leonard and Penny’s date, she wants to take things slow. Leonard feels that Penny’s comment about taking things slow is indicative of wanting to savor it, while Howard thinks it’s more along the lines of “this fish tastes bad, so spit it out”. She reveals to Sheldon in the laundry room that she has second thoughts about being with Leonard because she doesn’t have an advanced degree. Penny asks Sheldon if she thinks Leonard will get tired of her… Sheldon asks if she has a working knowledge of physics, speaks Klingon, or knows any card tricks. Penny has no skills in these areas, and worries that Leonard will look down on her for not even completing a community college program. She asks Sheldon to keep this a secret from Leonard. Sheldon is upset because now he knows the secret, but didn’t agree in advance to keep it secret. He tries to comfort Penny by educating her that it’s physiologically impossible to die of embarrassment. Later, as Sheldon and Leonard return home, Sheldon comments on how he couldn’t become a Green Lantern on his own (since it requires the Guardians of Oa to confer the status), but that he COULD become Batman with enough start-up capital. (LOL…. this was too funny to me. Mostly because Leah and I talk about Batman way more than we should… Especially since she is all Marvel and doesn’t appreciate the DCAU.) They run into Penny and Leonard asks her out again. Penny hems and haws and says she’ll have to check her work schedule. After she leaves, Leonard panics that he IS the bad fish. Sheldon begins to behave awkwardly, including a facial tick, trying to feign no knowledge of Penny’s feelings towards him, and ultimately storms out of the apartment. It is the ticks that give it away… in his defense he did tell Penny that this is what happens.) Sheldon arrives at The Cheesecake Factory and begs Penny to release him from the burden of keeping the secret. Penny tells him to just forget what she told him. Sheldon sulks that he is incapable of forgetting anything. Sheldon arrives at the apartment and announces that he’s moving out. (Sheldon is extreme here… but I think it’s cute that he doesn’t want to spill the beans…) Leonard wants to know why, and Sheldon compares it to Munchausen’s Trilema; (a circular argument, a regressive argument, and an axiomatic argument). Sheldon announces he’s going to pack. Raj asks what Leonard did to cause this, and they list Sheldon’s major pet peeves, to see which one Leonard may have violated. Sheldon returns almost immediately, carrying his pre-packed disaster evacuation bag (recommended by the Department of Homeland Security and Sarah Connor, from The Terminator movies). He announces that until he can get a place of his own, he’ll be staying with friends. He starts out with Raj and manages to annoy the hell out of him before being pushed off to Howard’s house. At Howard’s house, when he can’t fall asleep, Howard tries to drug him to no avail. (Putting a handful of his mother’s valium in milk.) He brings Sheldon back to Leonard. Leonard answers the door and Howard dumps Sheldon, who is obviously drugged.  Sheldon tells Leonard that he can’t tell him the secret that Penny didn’t graduate from community college. Leonard gets it that Penny thinks he’s too smart for her. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM26FppTWRQ&list=PLmt4JmzUINeCaGgEbaMSDOFiP_gciIX-s&index=3) and (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQdpZV1yRhw)

  • The Euclid Alternative (Season 2, Episode 5) – This episode makes sense to me because…. it also took me a long time to learn how to drive. My family hated driving me everywhere… much like the gang does here with Sheldon. Been there… Done that. Leonard starts working late nights and can no longer drive Sheldon to work in the morning. Sheldon seems to not care. Leonard comes through the door and collapses on the couch due to exhaustion. Sheldon comes in and demands Leonard to drive him around to run his various errands including returning some Star Wars bedsheets to Pottery Barn. Leonard suggests that Sheldon take the bus, but he refuses because they won’t let him bungee cord himself to the seat since they have no seat belts. (I didn’t bungee cord myself to bus seats…. but I get it.) Sheldon then tries his luck with Penny who was sleeping in because it is her day off. He annoys her and gets left on the side of the road. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehZ8pM4ICew) I don’t know why she agreed to drive him in the first place. At the end of his work day, he tries to get Leonard to drive him home… (except Leonard just got to work and is not going home.) Howards gets stuck driving Sheldon home, except Howard only has a scooter… (cue the laughter.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZHIgtevNDc) Sheldon screams at Howard while riding on the back of his scooter and driving over the speed bumps on Euclid Avenue. Unsurprisingly, Sheldon gets left in the middle of the road again. Later on, Raj picks Sheldon up and drives him home, but after pestering Raj with a lot of requests, he just drops him off at the stairs. Sheldon arrives at the apartment, makes one final desperate attempt to ask Penny to drive him and gets the door slammed in his face. The next morning, Sheldon wakes up to see the gang assembled in the living room waiting for him. The gang has a drug addiction-style intervention for him, wanting Sheldon to learn driving; because of a Rock-Paper-Scissors contest, Penny is forced to drive him to the DMV, along with Howard, who wants a free ride to the comic book shop. In an effort to help Sheldon learn to drive, Howard sets up a “state of the art” driving simulator in the apartment’s living room, using software from the United States Army. Sheldon attempts to drive, but fails horribly. Whenever he crashes the virtual car, Penny hits him in the face with a pillow because the simulator can’t replicate an airbag going off. He gives up on trying to learn to drive with the excuse that he is “clearly too evolved for driving”. Because Sheldon doesn’t have a way to get to the university, he decides to set up a temporary home there until Leonard finishes his experiment; however, it turns out that Leonard has already finished his experiment a week ago, but purposely did not tell Sheldon, as he wants some peace and quiet. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx4KoZV9fBw)

  • The Cooper–Nowitzki Theorem (Season 2, Episode 6) – Weird stalker… Anyone been there? I have had a stalker. And like Sheldon… It was a while before I recognized what was happening. Everyone is confused and fascinated when a physics graduate student develops a strong attraction for Sheldon and becomes his assistant/platonic girlfriend. Sheldon is oblivious until she won’t let him pursue his geeky interests. A grad student Ramona Nowitzki, comes up to Sheldon at the cafeteria and is extremely enthused with his theoretical work. She invites herself over to his place for dinner… stating that she already has his address. (Creepy!)  Though it appears to be a date, a naive Sheldon just likes the idea of getting free food. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZmwmjh4HUw) Ramona begins to help Sheldon with his work and other odd tasks such as doing his toenails. She soon becomes more controlling, pushing Sheldon to concentrate all his spare time on his scientific endeavors, telling him that he needs to keep it up if he wants that Nobel Prize. Ramona is even spending the night at his apartment sleeping on the couch, keeping him in line. The loss of his freedom and leisure time (Halo, sleeping, comic books, and paintball) upsets Sheldon, but he can’t stop her or her obsession. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRvrOL8DnO8&t=31s)Finally, Sheldon gets rid of her when he makes his breakthrough and she asks if she could share credit on the paper calling it the Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem. He finally has the courage to tell her to get out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb0t-347OlE)

  • The Panty Piñata Polarization (Season 2, Episode 7) – It is very hard when you have to side with Sheldon. Penny and Sheldon go to war with each other after Sheldon bans her from the apartment. The boys are playing Klingon Boggle when Penny barges in to watch America’s Next Top Model because she didn’t pay her cable bill and her TV has been cut off. (Moocher…. that is the only downside to her in the show. She is not malicious but it is still not good.) Penny, in a fit of hunger, attempts to eat one of Sheldon’s onion rings, but she conforms with the others’ desperate advice to put back the onion ring. Sheldon sees right through it and the guys rat Penny out. Sheldon then announces that she has two strikes. After she takes a stand metaphorically against Sheldon by sitting in his spot, Penny earns her third strike and is consequently “banished” from the apartment. I can’t say that I feel bad for her. Like do not touch other people’s food. The following day, the boys are at The Cheesecake Factory and Penny comes to take everyone’s order, excluding Sheldon. When inquired, Penny explained he has been barred from the Cheesecake Factory because he has three strikes; coming in, sitting down, and Penny disliking his attitude, calling it the new “no shirt, no shoes, no Sheldon” policy. But after complaining to Penny’s manager, Sheldon gets his order. Penny dares Sheldon to eat it, implying she has done something disagreeable to it. Penny, who can’t piggy-back on Leonard and Sheldon’s Wi-Fi due to her banishment, shows the boys a message of Sheldon that tells Penny “she can either set up her own wi-fi or apologize to him”. Howard tries to help her, but is intercepted by another message from Sheldon and the boys are awarded an additional strike. Then Sheldon gets to the Laundry room, every washing machine is being used and he feels frustrated. Soon, Penny comes knocking, aggressively imitating his knock and asks where is her laundry. Sheldon then asks if she has left her laundry unattended, despite the sign warning her against it. He then shows Penny out the window, that her laundry is on the telephone wires. If she wants her laundry back, she’ll have to play “Panty Pinata”. Leonard, who has witnessed the whole incident, decides to put an end to this war by giving Penny what he describes as Sheldon’s Kryptonite: his mom’s phone number. Sheldon’s mother suddenly calls him and reprimands him about his behavior with Penny; she also tells him to apologize to her. Sheldon apologizes to Penny, returns her laundry, rescinds her strikes, and removes his banishment of her from his apartment.

  • The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis (Season 2, Episode 11) – There is a lot going on in this episode. David Underhill makes an appearance at Caltech. Not only is he a winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant, but even according to Sheldon, his observation of high energy positrons has provided the first conclusive evidence of the existence of dark matter. Everyone but Leonard seems to respect him. Sheldon points out that Underhill’s discovery has essentially made Leonard’s line of research useless.  Underhill approaches Leonard and asks if he has time to work with him. Leonard is thrilled and gives him all his phone numbers. Leonard arrives at the apartment, missing Wii Bowling Night because he is hanging with Dave. Dave is a Black Diamond (advanced) skier, collects vintage motorcycles, and does a spot-on impression of Stephen Hawking having phone sex. Leonard and David are heading up the stairs helping Leonard after the motorcycle fell over on his leg. They run into Penny who is surprised that David is a physicist and they became quickly smitten with each other. Penny claims to be a geek who would love to see his lab. David proposes to take her out to dinner and up the coast his bike. Leonard is left on his own to figure out what just happened. On the other hand, Penny tries to celebrate Christmas with the guys which Sheldon rails against it.  Penny asks if the guys are putting up a Christmas tree to which Sheldon explains. “We do not celebrate the ancient pagan ritual of Saturnalia.” Penny says that she’ll put their presents under her tree. (Since Sheldon can be bat crap crazy… I would have done that from the beginning…) Sheldon is upset, stating that Penny is not giving him a present, rather an obligation. He must give her something of equal value based upon on her present and her perceived level of friendship. Raj and Howard end up going to the mall. Sheldon’s shopping does not go well in a bath & body shop which is a “cacophonous assault of eucalyptus, bayberry, cinnamon, and vanilla.” Leonard gets a little shock in the university’s cafeteria finding Penny with David and having taken up his offer of looking around the labs even though he had also offered to show Penny around. Leonard is upset and lying on the couch when Raj and Howard enter carrying several huge gift baskets. Sheldon’s plan is to open Penny’s gift first, then excuse himself with some “gastric trouble,” and get the appropriately-priced basket, returning the others later. Leonard goes over to Penny’s finding her drinking rum and eggnog minus the eggnog. He demands an answer to why Penny is suddenly dating someone smarter than himself when she thought he was too smart for her, the very thing that broke them up at the beginning of the season. Penny points out that Dave is a moron… and not smarter than Leonard. Penny also asks that if he is ‘perfectly happy’ with the way things are, then why is he jealous. (I hate when people ask real questions… I mean, of course she knows why.) Leonard apologizes and asks her to give him this one since it is Christmas. They end up cuddling. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyY8ZHv8Va0) Penny brings over her Christmas presents. Sheldon gets a napkin, which when turned over was signed by Leonard Nimoy. “To Sheldon, Live Long and Prosper.” First he is speechless and then Penny apologizes that it is dirty because he wiped his mouth on it. Completely overwhelmed and emotional, Sheldon then exclaims that he now has the DNA of Leonard Nimoy and can grow a clone of his own before quickly running off to his room. Leonard gives Penny a set of children’s science experiments because she told David she was so into science. Leonard gets some motorcycle lessons to prevent any future accidents. Sheldon returns to the room with all of the gift baskets he bought and gives them to Penny, much to her surprise; however, thinking that it still doesn’t equal the value of his gift, Sheldon gives Penny something he rarely gives anyone… a hug. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTyIGrcw4H4)

  • The Financial Permeability (Season 2, Episode 14) – Been broke before? Yep. Been there. Borrowed money? Yep. Been there. Penny is having financial problems and Sheldon is happy to loan her some money that he isn’t using. Penny then starts to succumb to the pressure of owing money to one of her friends. Sheldon has a lot of hang ups… money isn’t one of them as Leonard points out in the episode. I am not sure if that makes me love him or not. Sheldon is entering his apartment with Penny rushing in ahead of him. She is hiding from the building manager/landlord to whom she owes one month’s rent. She has lost hours at the restaurant and her car needs repairs. Sheldon observes, “You know, it occurs to me you could solve all your problems by obtaining more money.” Sheldon then offers to loan Penny some from his a trick peanut brittle can (complete with snakes). He tells Penny to pay him back when she can. He is not forceful about it… He doesn’t even think about the money again. Penny reaches for some cash, takes it, puts some back, does some mental math and then takes a lot more. She just doesn’t want things to be weird between them. Sheldon says that he would find it weirder to say hello to Penny every day on the way to work while she’s living in a refrigerator box and washing her hair with rainwater. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU7hdjIxAkU) Penny overreacts to people not asking her about money. Leonard at one point turns to Sheldon and asks if it is weird… and Sheldon remarks that he too thought it was weird and he is glad that Leonard feels the same. Leonard agrees to pay for Penny’s dinner who defensively demands to pay him back. Penny also snipes at Raj for his free meals comment and then jumps on Sheldon. Penny complains that she has eaten restaurant leftovers for four days and wanted something new. She pleads with Sheldon that she will pay him back to which Sheldon offers to loan her more money since she seems even more agitated than before. Penny yells at Sheldon and runs out. “Oh, you would just love that, wouldn’t you? Yeah, you would just love to open up your little snake can and throw some money at the girl who couldn’t pay her bills.” A bit much…. but I have been there. Leonard goes over to see what was troubling Penny. She is having dinner by candle light since she couldn’t pay the electric company. Leonard comments that Sheldon really doesn’t care when he gets paid back. It’s one of the few idiosyncrasies that doesn’t make you want to kill him. Besides her car breaking down, she also paid a fine for her old boyfriend Kurt for whizzing on a cop car. She’s reluctant to go to him and ask for the money. Leonard gets the guys together on a quest to get Penny’s money back and they are completely against it. Leonard for his trouble gets “I owe Penny $1800.” written on his forehead, but it pays off since she gets her money back from Kurt and pays Sheldon back.

  • The Adhesive Duck Deficiency (Season 3, Episode 8)- My personal favorite. I love it. Sheldon doesn’t ever adapt to other people… but here… he does so for Penny. Penny dislocates her shoulder in the bathtub and is forced to turn to Sheldon to get her to the hospital. Sheldon is writing in his log that he is completing his paper on Decays of Highly-Excited Massive String States. Sheldon hears Penny screaming for help from her apartment, and runs off to assist Penny. Sheldon as usual knocks on her apartment door and Penny yells at him to come in. He does so with her bedroom door, and then almost her bathroom door. Penny has slipped in the shower and dislocated her shoulder. I think it is great that Sheldon is the one the only one there. Sheldon commented that she did not have a shower mat or any adhesive duck stickers (like Sheldon has) on the floor of the tub to prevent slipping. Penny tells him that she has to go to the emergency room and that Sheldon will have to drive her since she can’t. Sheldon at first is against driving. He tries to call her an uber or an ambulance but Penny insists it will take to long. His final observation is: “It seems ironic that for a lack of 99-cent adhesive ducks, we might die in fiery car crash”. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Fpt9V1_dc) Penny has made it to her bedroom and tells Sheldon that she needs clothes.  Sheldon sees no organizational system in her underwear drawer. He asks her which panties she wears on Mondays. Penny tells her that she just needs shorts and a top. Sheldon has to show her four combinations before she finds something that looks cute together. She then tells Sheldon to close his eyes since she doesn’t want him to see her naked. Sheldon starts to help, he gets the top over her head and then Penny tells him that he has to get her hurt arm into the sleeve. Reaching around, Sheldon grabs Penny’s breast to which she asks him if that was her arm. Sheldon replies that it doesn’t feel like an arm. Penny says rather sarcastically that maybe he should let it go. He does so, somewhat embarrassed, replying “All righty.” Penny has trouble getting Sheldon to even start the car. He spends a very long time adjusting the driver’s seat and the side mirrors, one of which Penny had left behind in Hollywood parking lot. Sheldon is driving Penny to the hospital very slowly, diligently over-obeying all the traffic regulations. Penny is complaining about his slow speed, while Sheldon is complaining about the knocking engine and the lit check engine light. At the hospital emergency room, Sheldon fills out Penny’s medical form. And that is as painful as you think it is. Penny then tells Sheldon that she is scared and in a lot of pain. She wants Sheldon to be more comforting. Sheldon then apologizes, contorting quite a bit before patting her and saying, “There, there. Sheldon is here.” Sheldon gets Penny home, although she could have floated home from all of the pain medication she was on. Sheldon gets ready to leave; however, Penny wants him to take her to her bed. Then she wants him to sing “Soft Kitty” to her. He protests, saying the song is only for singing when one is sick. But Penny replies that injured and drugged are a kind of sick. After Sheldon starts singing, Penny interrupts him and gets him to sing it in a round. Sheldon resisted at first, but Penny informs him that she has all night. He then reluctantly started singing “Soft Kitty” in a round. Penny is very happy after they finish the song. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuKSZIeDe_Q)

  • The Einstein Approximation (Season 3, Episode 14) – Ball pit episode….. Bazinga. Another of my favorites. Sheldon’s search for the answer to a physics problem (Why electrons behave as if they have no mass when traveling through a graphene sheet) keeps him awake for several days and he becomes obsessed with trying to solve it acting crazier than normal. Penny walks out to find Sheldon awake and running back and forth. He is having trouble working out his problem. Sheldon tries other methods of trying to understand, but eventually takes Leonard’s advice of starting fresh by wastefully throwing the whiteboard out the window and consequently causing a car crash. (That is awful but it always makes me laugh.) That day, at the cafeteria during lunch, Sheldon tries to build a physical diagram of his problem by using Raj’s Lima-beans and Leonard’s peas, but to no avail. Raj invites Leonard, and Howard to a roller disco night. But they bring Penny and Bernadette instead. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D1IqrFAzqM) When Leonard, Howard, Penny and Bernadette return to the apartment after roller skating, they find Sheldon sitting on a stool with hundreds of marbles all over the floor, still stuck in the problem. Both Leonard and Penny slip on the marbles falling on their butts. Bernadette realizes that Sheldon is overtired, and makes him go to bed by verbally intimidating him, and reminding him that a lack of REM sleep leads to impaired cognitive function. In the middle of the night, Leonard and Penny are awakened to a phone call from a security guard at a local shopping mall. When Leonard arrives at the mall, he finds Sheldon in a ball pit building carbon atoms out of plastic balls. When Leonard tells Sheldon that they have to go home, Sheldon immediately hides under the balls, leading to Leonard chasing him through the ball pit with difficulty. Sheldon keeps popping up and shouting “Bazinga!”, which only further frustrates and angers Leonard. Poor Leonard. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln2OfGU594w)(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXRaLHXWmDg) Leonard and Penny are asleep again, but Sheldon wakes them up and tells them that his solution to his math problem is working in a menial job, much like how Albert Einstein did when he was working at the Patent Office in Switzerland and discovered special relativity. The next day, Sheldon goes to a job center and tries to apply for several menial jobs, but quickly angers the clerk he talks to. He starts working at the Cheesecake Factory…as a busboy without pay. He is better than Penny.  Although he is never hired, the restaurant appears happy to let him continue with his work (presumably as he is not asking for pay). Later on, after taking Leonard, Howard and Raj’s orders, Sheldon accidentally drops a pile of plates, but realizes that he’s been looking at his problem all wrong and that the electrons move through the graphene in waves, and rushes off to solve his problem, leaving Penny to take care of his mess. Good Times…

  • The Pants Alternative (Season 3, Episode 18) – You guys remember the Elements song right? Let me tell you… Jim Parsons does. Leonard comes in and tells everyone that he knows who won the Chancellor’s Award for Science. Sheldon wonders which self-important preening fraud are they honoring this year. Leonard replies that he was so glad you asked it like that. “You.” Sheldon gets excited and plans to tell his mother first, but then comes up with the idea of conducting an interview with himself and posting it online. Sheldon gets a call from Chancellor Morton, who expects him to make a speech at the banquet. Sheldon has spoken in front of small groups before, but any group large enough to trample Sheldon to death scares him. Leonard thinks Sheldon is being ridiculous, but Sheldon wants to tell them a story. Sheldon tells them that as the valedictorian of his college at 14, his heart started pounding in his chest, his vision became blurry, and he fainted. Later the gang decides to team up and help Sheldon. They’ll be his X-Men to Sheldon’s Professor Xavier. Penny will help him a nice new suit to give him confidence. Leonard will try and analyze his fears him thanks to his mother’s psychiatry training and his long time in therapy. Raj whispers to Howard that he will help with teaching meditation. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLFciOfADqY) Raj conducts a meditation exercises to help him overcome his fears. Sheldon has to find a place of peace. Sim City’s Sheldonopolis. Then Godzilla attacks Sheldonopolis and he starts helping his citizens escape as does as does Raj. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOZ6nKnJI6w) Penny is next helping Sheldon. She buys clothes whenever she is stressed out. Sheldon has several outlandish choices including prom and county singer outfits and he finally buys the first suit that Penny picked out for him. Sheldon wonders how a new suit will prevent him from passing out. He thinks he looks like a clown in that nice suit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS-ameyp9Ag) Something about him trying on suits always kills me. I never make it through the scene without cracking up. Next up is Leonard, who has the notepad out and is asking questions. He at least tries to interpret Sheldon’s dreams, discusses the standard inkblot test and the Adler Inferiority Complex. Leonard thinks Sheldon might subconsciously think he doesn’t deserve the award. The session dissolves into Sheldon discussing how Leonard is still angry at his mother reducing Leonard to tears. Sheldon feels cured because if someone like Leonard can crawl out of bed every morning, he ought to be able to face a room full of people. At the banquet, Leonard gets to introduce Sheldon, but first reads a letter that his mother sent him. Sheldon is getting nervous so Penny hands him her glass of wine. Sheldon claims that the alcohol Penny gave her is defective. She then proceeds to give her Howard’s glass of wine. Sheldon is now ready and feeling no pain. Sheldon starts with calling Leonard “Shorty” and starts telling jokes. Then he gets serious and asks why are they all there? To study the universe. And what is that made of? He breaks into “The Elements” by Tom Lehrer. In the morning, while suffering a hangover, Sheldon comes out with no pants as Penny and Leonard have their morning coffee. His answer to where his pants went is already on YouTube under “Physicist Melts Down.” He starts talking about higher dimensions where he could take off his pants over his head. And just when Sheldon thinks it can’t be any more humiliating he continues: “And now for the astronomers in the audience, get ready to see the dark side of the moon. And HERE’S URANUS!” Sheldon is in shock as Penny and Leonard laugh. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiSGsHT1vLo)

  • The Zazzy Substitution (Season 4, Episode 3) – Do I love Amy Farrah Fowler? I do. Do I love the ShAmy? Let me count the ways. So Amy was introduced at the end of season 3. Sheldon is still calling her a girl that is his friend but not his girlfriend. Well… she is definitely the female Sheldon. Sheldon and Amy have created a game called “Counter Factuals,” where they postulate a situation in the world that currently doesn’t exist and pose questions to each other. (Made absolutely no sense to me but it is how their relationship works.)The game can only be played by them because it requires that you know how the other person thinks thus proving that they are very compatible together. Leonard tries the game and fails miserably. When Amy comes to meet the rest of the group… It is a dumpster fire. At the Cheesecake Factory, Penny comes over and calls the couple “Shamy” which Amy does not like. Asking how everything is going, Amy replies it’s the same as everybody else’s: subject to entropy, decay, and eventual death. Leonard gets described as a “festival of humdrum chitchat.” Howard only has a master’s degree, so he’s beneath her, and Raj luckily can’t talk in front of women. Leonard wants Sheldon to spend time with his girlfriend (“She’s not my girlfriend!”) elsewhere since she is judgmental, sanctimonious, and obnoxious just like Sheldon. But Sheldon points out that he suffered in silence for eight months of Penny’s country music, rubbing her feet with a pumice stone, and poor documentaries about the Jersey Shore. And I can tell you… He did not suffer and silence. At the cafeteria the next day, Leonard, Howard, and a hung over Raj are joined by Sheldon and Amy. Amy is being shown around the campus. Amy thinks it’s very impressive for theoretical work as opposed to the real-world applications of neurobiology, she finds theoretical physics ‘cute’. She claims that neurobiology is a higher science than physics. Sheldon is appalled and says that they should end their relationship immediately. Amy agrees and then leaves. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_TQea0aOnE) Leonard returns home to find that Sheldon has gotten himself a cat which he takes everywhere, even to work. The cat is named Dr. Robert Oppenheimer after the Los Alamos atomic scientist. Later Leonard finds him with six more cats. They are named after other Manhattan project scientists and were needed because Dr. Robert Oppenheimer was lonely. Zazzles is his favorite because he is so “zazzy.” It’s time for intervention so Leonard sends for Sheldon’s mother. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njRL8VEtBBI) Mary Cooper arrives and she first verifies that Sheldon had a real girlfriend and not something the boys cooked up in the lab. Mary Cooper makes dinner for the gang, but doesn’t allow him to bring in any of his cats. Sheldon finds Amy as a guest who came because Sheldon was losing his mind over her and she wanted to see that. Mary Cooper found Amy a perfectly “unique” young lady and that it was good that they broke up because they were not suited for each other. Sheldon rails against the idea…. Mary Cooper really is smarter than Sheldon. He reinstates the relationship to spite his mother.

  • The Love Car Displacement (Season 4, Episode 13)- Here is another funny one. But this one has more to do with Howard and Bernadette. And thank goodness for Bernadette because Howard’s character was the worst. This was another episode with a lot going on. Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette are invited to participate on a science panel at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies symposium on “The Impact of Current Scientific Research on Societal Interactions” in San Francisco. When they get back to the apartment, Sheldon carries out an orientation for their trip. The orientation covers Q&A (Questions and Answers), Quiz, Safety Drills and a pose for a commemorative Group photo. Penny seems to be the only one flabbergasted by the need for an orientation. The gang, consisting of seven people, is divided into two cars, the lead car, driven by Leonard, will be Leonard, Sheldon, Amy and Penny, and the second car, driven by Bernadette, will be Bernadette, Howard and Raj. Sheldon will not be sharing a room as they believe knowing each other’s “toilet routine” may jeopardize their relationship. Amy reveals she will be sharing a room with Penny, and adds she is the ideal roommate as travel makes her constipated. Oversharing at its finest. Penny is banished to the second car. Howard states this car is the “Love Car”. Bernadette and Howard begin to sing “I Got You Babe” as a duet. It is fantastically bad. As they enter the hotel Amy says she missed Penny. Penny misses Amy too after her bad experience in the second car. Bernadette reunites with Glenn (Rick Fox), her professor in college whom she dated for a year. He addresses her as Bernie. Howard is a little troubled by his height (6 foot 7 inches) and wonders about the size of his penis. (Odd thing to wonder about.) Back in the room, Howard, still a little troubled, subtly tells Bernadette that his penis could not provide as much pleasure as Glenn’s. He also accidentally implies that Bernadette isn’t hot enough to date Glenn, but in a desperate attempt to mend the situation, he corrects himself by saying that Bernadette is too hot to date Glenn. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkf9OvJx9PQ)(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnti_gxTZoA) Bernadette leaves Howard and there is so much bed hopping going on that it is ridiculous. Raj just wants watch Bridget Jones’ diary. But it is the panel the next day that always does it for me. Sheldon is completely oblivious and the panel spirals out of control quickly thanks to Bernadette. Amy letting everyone in on the decoded message. And poor Leonard…. Penny leaves with Bernadette’s ex boyfriend. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJvqSbsPRj8)

  • The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition (Season 5, Episode 10) – When Amy becomes more than just a girl that is just Sheldon’s friend. At the comic book store… Amy doesn’t get why a brilliant mind like Sheldon’s enjoys comic books in the first place. (It is like the people that believe that at 30 you should stop enjoying things. As if adults don’t create content for all ages.) Amy points out that comic books are lame. Sheldon retorts with two points: how comic books tell stories through sequential arts, which goes back to 17,000 years ago with cave paintings, and that Amy plays the harp—like that is cool (sarcasm). (I laugh every time.)Stuart asks Amy if she needs help find something…  Stuart comes up to them and asks Leonard about Amy and whether she and Sheldon are a couple. Leonard answers that they are a “couple of weirdoes”. Howard asks Stuart if he is interested in Amy. Stuart says Amy did not look at him with soul-sucking, ball-shriveling hatred and contempt—and he likes that in a woman. He asked Leonard to check in with Sheldon to see if he would be okay with Stuart asking Amy out. Leonard agrees to do so. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBqAFhptPZY) At Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment after the comic book store trip, Leonard asks Sheldon whether he can talk to him about something awkward. Leonard tells him that Stuart is interested in Amy. Sheldon interrupts with “of course Amy is interesting”. Leonard says Stuart wants to know if Sheldon is fine with him asking Amy out. Sheldon replied that he is not sure how to respond, since he does not own Amy, and you cannot own a person. Leonard tells Sheldon he will just tell Stuart it is okay to ask Amy out. Sheldon tells Leonard that his question is moot since there is no way a noted neurobiologist such as Amy would find an “impoverished peddler of picture books” such as Stuart appealing. Meanwhile, at Penny’s apartment, the girls are hanging out. Amy looks at her phone and says something happened: she thinks a boy likes her. Bernadette comes over to the couch and reads the text Amy received from Stuart asking her out for a coffee sometime. Penny smiles and says that, underneath all the layers of wool and polyester, Amy is a vixen. Amy looks flattered, but Bernadette asks what Amy will do about it and whether Stuart knows that Amy has a boyfriend. Penny interrupts and says that Amy does not have a boyfriend, but she has a Sheldon. She asks whether Amy likes Stuart. Amy says she does not know, but notes that Stuart is nice and funny, and has an indication of an overactive thyroid gland which she thinks is “hot”. Penny suggests that they all love Sheldon, but Amy has been with him for over a year now and, if it is not going anywhere, it would not hurt for her to look around. Bernadette agrees with Penny since Sheldon and Amy are not engaged like she and Howard are. At Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment, the guys are playing the “Wild West and Witches” expansion pack. Leonard indicates that the guys should go easy on Sheldon since Amy was out with Stuart. Howard expresses his mock disbelief that Sheldon’s technique of “condescension and no sex” renders him unable to hold on to a woman.  Sheldon suddenly comments that the three of them are the ones obsessed with Amy and Stuart, so they should ask themselves who is really being ridiculous. The next day, at the university cafeteria, Leonard peeks at the screen and expresses his disbelief that Sheldon “friended” Stuart on Facebook. Howard says he thought Sheldon did not like Facebook anymore, but Sheldon says he is a fan of anything that replaces human interaction. Raj implies that Sheldon is just checking up on how Stuart’s date with Amy went. Sheldon, looking at Stuart’s status, says he does not care if someone shared a pumpkin latte with a “dynamite lady”. Sheldon visits Penny and asks if he could take her out on a date but she knows it is just a ploy to make Amy jealous. Sheldon denies it and wonders why everyone is so obsessed with Amy and Stuart and whether or not they are having more pumpkin lattes or having intercourse tonight. Penny tells him to strap on a pair (of testicles) and go talk to Amy. Meanwhile, Amy and Stuart are at the movies. Stuart tells Amy she can just go back if she is bored but she says she is having a nice time. Sheldon suddenly barges into the row they were sitting in, greets Stuart, and sits next to Amy. Puzzled, she asks him what he is doing there. Sheldon explains that the thought of her sitting in a darkened theater with someone like Stuart is repellent. He adds “no offense” to Stuart.  Amy apologizes to Sheldon if this time is making him uncomfortable, but says that, given the current status of their relationship, she can be in any repellent situation she wants. (I would not apologize to him. He is funny but is a nut job.) Stuart begins to interrupt, but Sheldon tells him he is being rude so he goes back to being quiet. Amy asks Sheldon if there is anything else so he tells her he wants to change the paradigm of their relationship. Amy says she is listening. Sheldon begins by reminding her that nothing will change in terms of physical or otherwise. He says that he will no longer object if they do not refer to Amy as “not his girlfriend”. Amy says it is interesting but tells him to try again without the quadruple negative. Sheldon tells her she is being impossible so she slides over to Stuart and says “Hi, Stuart”, prompting Sheldon to say “fine” and ask her directly if she will be his girlfriend. Amy says “yes” and Sheldon notes “that is enough” and immediately stands up. He tells them to enjoy their date and gives Stuart a one dollar bill for his trouble, telling him to get himself a pack of Sour-Patch Kids. Amy smiles at Stuart and nods. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydsYSN2mke4) Enter the relationship Agreement. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwuVwOhFu58)

  • The Shiny Trinket Maneuver (Season 5, Episode 12) – Tiaras are the way to go guys. If you are ever in hot water, remember that. Sheldon and Amy encounter their first problem in their boyfriend/girlfriend relationship when Amy is hurt because Sheldon is not impressed by her latest scientific accomplishment, and Penny must help him with it. At the Cheesecake Factory, Sheldon and Amy are on a date as, according to their Relationship Agreement, Date Night is every second Thursday of the month, and in the case of there being five Thursdays in a month, Date Night will be on the third Thursday instead. Amy reveals her very good news, that she has a paper that will be on the cover of Neuron, a prestigious science journal. Sheldon counters with his news that he has reached 100 followers on Twitter. Amy states she’s been waiting her whole life for her paper to be published like that. ANd Sheldon complete ignores her. (He can be the worst.) Amy excuses herself from the table, furious. Penny accuses (as she was listening to their conversation) Sheldon of ignoring Amy’s very good news, and that he should have been excited. Sheldon says he’s not excited at all, and Penny counters that he should act as if he is excited; just smile and think about koalas. Sheldon says Amy sees right through his koala smile. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmM0dvfPM0Y) Back at the guys’ apartment, Leonard asks whether Amy and he had a fight, and Sheldon remarks that Amy had a fight, while he was being reasonable. Leonard continues to give Sheldon tips on how to handle women. It is Leonard’s idea to buy her a gift. Sheldon and Penny enter a jewelry store, in search of something for Amy. Sheldon is immediately distracted by the pocket pocket watches, and Penny points out that Amy wouldn’t want a pocket watch. Sheldon counters, saying that perhaps she would want a boyfriend with a pocket watch. Sheldon tells the owner he is searching for an item for his girlfriend, as he got into a fight with her. The shop helper then shows them some items consisting of diamonds, and goes on to say they are having a sale. Sheldon’s attention is then diverted back to the pocket watches, which he ends up buying. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Tsir6hQio) In Penny’s apartment, Sheldon is waiting on Amy’s arrival (using his new pocket watch), as Penny tricked her to come over (under the pretense that the girls would hang out). Amy is still hostile towards Sheldon, and also a little disappointed in Penny, but says that that won’t last long. Sheldon says he is sorry and congratulates Amy on her accomplishment, showing his koala smile, which she recognizes as being fake. Penny brings over the package with the jewelry in it, and Amy rants on about how Sheldon is the shallowest person she knows, trying to buy her forgiveness with a gift. She stops mid-rant upon seeing the gift, exclaiming “Oh, it’s a tiara!” Overjoyed about owning a tiara, she instantly forgives Sheldon and hops over to Penny repeatedly exclaiming “Put it on me!”. Amy then declares herself a princess then kisses and hugs Sheldon where he stands. He awkwardly returns the hug, deciding a tiara was too much of a gift. Everything about this episode tickles me. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i_WpYc3YI4) The tiara was too much.

  • The Vacation Solution (Season 5, Episode 16) – When Sheldon has to take a vacation, he ends up testing his relationship with Amy when he goes to work in her lab.  President Siebert comes by in a bad mood looking for Sheldon. Sheldon has to take his required vacation even though Sheldon doesn’t see the need for them. Siebert tells him to take a trip and suggests Afghanistan. (I have encountered many people who did not want to take vacation at all. And were forced to take time off by their job. Seen it. But when I was forced to take off that wasn’t going to roll over…. I would not get another job.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev0vVnbM-l8) The next day, Leonard enjoys the Sheldon-free ride to work where he can listen to music until he finds him hiding in the back seat almost causing an automobile accident. Sheldon wants to be snuck into the university to do work, but Leonard drives him right back home. hey try to come up with a vacation idea for the finicky Sheldon. After shooting down Hawaii and Florida, Richard Feynman, a brilliant physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, once took his vacation in a biology lab. Bingo, Poor Amy… Sheldon is excited to be working in Amy’s lab, and Amy’s glad to have her boyfriend with her since it’s romantic. Amy thinks of it like Madame Curie and her husband working together under the glow of the radium that eventually killed her. Sheldon’s first assignment is to clean some beakers for her which Sheldon thinks is beneath him. Amy explains that he has no experience in biology. Sheldon cleans the beakers, only they have soap spots and has to do them over again. His next task of counting spores seemed much more up his alley though Amy makes him lose count. Finally he asks for a challenge and has to cut the hair-thin locus coeruleus from a brain sample, which he has no idea how to do. As his scalpel hand is trembling, he cuts his thumb instead and faints at seeing his blood. Amy remarks, “Sure, you’re a biologist.” Sheldon apologizes to Amy and still has to finish cleaning the beakers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AduM3q13mXs) Sheldon apologizes later on to Amy and still has to finish cleaning the beakers.

  • The Rothman Disintegration (Season 5, Episode 17) –Sheldon doing sports…. Sign me up. Sheldon and his rival Barry Kripke fight it out over the availability of a new office. Penny gets a gift from Amy that really tests their friendship and it doesn’t end well. The guys return from a retirement party for Professor Rothman, theoretical physicist, who had a breakdown and went insane. The others wonder about Sheldon. (Lol…. I can see that.) Walking by Dr. Rothman’s office, Sheldon calls dibs on it, though they find Barry Kripke inside already measuring it for curtains. Sheldon claims seniority over Kripke and both go to President Siebert to settle it while he was trying to go to the bathroom. He tells them to decide it for themselves, mainly because he doesn’t care.  Since there’s so many things both of them are good at, Raj asks them what one thing is that both of them are bad at. Both Sheldon and Kripke give the answer: sports. Sheldon and Kripke go to the gym and try to play basketball. The first one to hit a free throw wins. Forty-five minutes later no one has made one so they decide whoever bounces the ball highest gets the office. Sheldon wins and gets the office. But its fantastic to watch… and gotta love some Sheldon knees. At one point, Sheldon gets hit in the head by the basketball and complains that Kripke did it on purpose. Leonard points out that it wasn’t done on purpose. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sncajj-zcw) Poor Sheldon. The office is not all it cracked up to be. Sheldon is decorating his new office, though Rothman is still in it. He is naked and thinks that no one can see him because he is “invisible”. Sheldon sees many problems with the office, including the fact that it is directly under the geology lab: he can hear the sieve shakers. He gets his head stuck in the hole trying to figure out what was in there. He tells Leonard to get some help, but only after he takes a picture of Sheldon and posts it to Facebook.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym5UVKnRMbA) Amy shows up at Penny’s door with a huge present as a thank you for being her friend. Penny is clearly embarrassed, opens it and finds an ugly brownish painting of the two of them celebrating their friendship. She can’t come to tell Amy that she hates it. Thoughtful Amy brought tools to immediately hang it which also thrills Penny. ( Later, Penny looks at the painting with Bernadette, who agrees it is big and ugly, Bernadette thinks that it makes Penny look like a “man” in it. Penny suggests that she tell Amy that she had to take it down because Bernadette is jealous. She quickly tells her not to since Amy might get her one. Penny, Amy, and Bernadette are at the apartment and watching “Grease”. Amy’s mother never let her watch it because she thought it would encourage her to join a gang. Bernadette and Amy leave, but not before she says goodbye to the figures in the painting. Penny takes down the painting; however, Amy comes back to borrow the “Grease” DVD and catches her. Penny tries to play it off, but Amy is heartbroken and she takes it away. . Penny tries to apologize and she tells Amy that Bernadette was jealous. The next day, Penny runs over to Amy’s apartment to salvage their friendship. They both hang it on the wall with her entertainment center where the audience can’t see it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSHV9S43NPQ)

  • The 43 Peculiarity (Season 6, Episode 8) –Sheldon mentions one day in the cafeteria that he could, in theory, build a containment field to open a wormhole to another dimension the size of a Frisbee. When Sheldon leaves, he hands the napkin, on which he has been doodling some thought on a wormhole generator, to Howard. Howard wants to know if he wants to build it. After Sheldon leaves, Howard notices that Sheldon’s pristine schedule has a lapse of 20 minutes every afternoon where no one knows where he goes or what he does.  Raj and Howard corner him in the hallway by his office, and Sheldon denies that anything is unusual. They then ask his assistant Alex, and she reveals that even she doesn’t know where he goes. (Obsession much? Sometimes I wondered if they had actual work to do.) ( Unable to solve what 43 means, Howard installs a spare camera from the Mars rover project so they can spy on Sheldon in the storage room. The next day, Howard and Raj watch the video feed and are stunned when they see Sheldon use an unknown machine to create a small wormhole in the room. Sheldon mentions aloud into a recorder that he hasn’t found life in 43 parallel universes, and thrusts his head through the wormhole. Sheldon backs out, screaming as a reptilian creature eats his face. Raj and Howard scream as Sheldon’s prop for the creature is dropped on their laptop from behind them and they scream again. Sheldon had found the camera and created a phony video to cover up what he was really doing. Sheldon explains that what he did with his spare time was none of their business, but was centered around giving his mind a break from his struggles with understanding social behavior and the mental bombardment caused by his work. Later, Sheldon is seen in the storeroom playing with a Hacky Sack, telling himself that he’ll never reach 43 consecutive hits again. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqa48tqNOj8) Leonard is jealous of Penny and her partner for a school project. Penny is texting a fellow English student named Cole, who’s working with her on an oral class project. Jealous, Leonard asks if he and Penny are still dating and is convinced that Cole is flirting with Penny, but Penny denies it and says that he’s just being nice. Later, when Cole comes over to Penny’s to work on the project, Leonard spies on him from his apartment. Leonard follows him down the stairs and tells him to watch out for “Penny’s boyfriend”, saying that he was a gang member. When Cole says that Penny told him that her boyfriend was a scientist, Leonard makes the excuse that “The Scientists” was the name of his gang. Penny witnesses the lies. (He is jealous of Cole but doesn’t realize that Alex is hitting on him.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQDD1VVsBkk) Penny is very upset with Leonard, and the two later meet in the hallway and have an argument. Penny tells him that she cannot believe that he cannot trust her and that he embarrassed her in front of Cole. who knew who he was since his picture is on her refrigerator. Penny continues to tell him that he is the one she is with and accidentally mentions that he knows that she loves him. Leonard is stunned and tells her that that is the first she ever said that. Penny rushes off to work to avoid crying in front of him, also allowing Leonard to run off and cry, too. Leonard walks into his apartment sniffling and says to himself that she loves me. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld2nBwHeDxQ)