TV Update: Orphan Black, Warehouse 13, Agents of SHIELD

I’m behind on almost all of the other shows I’m watching, but these I’m current on.

Orphan Black

Season: 2 (10 eps/season)

Genre: Sci-fi thriller

Premise (S1): Grifter Sarah Manning happens to meet a woman who looks exactly like her in a train station, right before the woman commits suicide. Ever the compassionate soul, Sarah uses the opportunity to steal all her stuff. Unfortunately, while trying to access the woman’s bank account, Sarah finds herself in deeper than she imagined–there’s a reason the woman looked like her, and there are a lot of people interested in people like Sarah, for various nefarious purposes.

Premise (S2): Sarah knows who she and her look-alikes are, but now the players interested in what she is know about her, too. They want to get their hands on her and her daughter, big time. Sarah needs keep herself and her daughter out of their clutches while tracking down information on the project that created her. Meanwhile, her look-alikes struggle with maintaining their lives while under the supervision of the powerful Dyad Institute, which is interested in monitoring and researching them.

This show is back for its second season, and it’s graduated to a whole new stage of the plot–no return to the status quo here. The show has come a long way in only about a dozen episodes. I love so much that the plot actually moves forward. It makes the story way more interesting and makes me way more invested. Last season, Sarah was trying to figure out what her connection to these women who looked like her was. She was trying to figure out who the players were, and what they wanted.

This season, those questions are already known. Now, Sarah needs to keep ahead of the various players and figure out who can and can’t be trusted. Figure out what secrets are still being kept, in the long and torrid past that led up to where she is now. We’re learning more about the various players, and the kind of divisions that exist in-house. The story feels different, the scope is bigger, and Tatiana Maslany (Sarah and her look-alikes) is playing even more characters.

Sarah is not a particularly moral character, but even so, she’s quite likable and I can’t help but root for her to succeed. She’s an anti-hero. And it didn’t quite hit me how significant this is until I read a post by Foz Meadows on Sarah’s likability, Gender, Orphan Black & The Meta Of Meta.

Furthermore, Mrs. S is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. She has quite the mysterious past, and she’s revealing a strong streak of experience. Her plan to get Kira off the grid has got to be one of the smartest I’ve seen in recent TV history. Not that I know anything about being on the run or making people disappear, but it feels like the kind of thing someone with training and experience would pull.

Her emotional storyline is set up to be fantastic. She’s got some shady things in her past, but she loves Kira and feels responsible for Sarah. Now she finds herself caught in between her past actions and her current intentions. Maria Doyle Kennedy is portraying this amazingly–I mean, the look on her face at the end of the second episode, during her second to last scene. Her last scene in that episode is pretty badass too.

Warehouse 13

Borrowed from blogspot.com

Season: 5

Genre: Sci-fi/Science fantasy

Premise: The show follows a warehouse of magical(ish) artifacts, imbued with some kind of power based on their history–like Rembrandt’s Frame, which can trap people inside its paintings. The team for Warehouse 13 is tasked with finding dangerous artifacts in the world, neutralizing them, and safely storing them in the warehouse where they can’t hurt anyone (or are less likely to).

This show is (sadly) in its final season. 4 seasons of history make this the richest characterization I’m watching, and it’s great to just get these characters bantering with each other. I’m going to miss this. And I’m going to miss the focus on creativity in the problem solving for this show–when artifacts can do anything, plans for dealing with them can take all sorts of forms.

The special effects are not great, and we got a few overly cheesy episode this season–which is too bad, because it only has 6 episodes. Still, I’m perfectly happy to watch it for character interaction alone. Pete is a little bit more grating than I remember, which is unfortunate, because I do love his quirkiness. But gah, the man-child thing goes too far sometimes.

Sad to see the show go.

Agents of SHIELD

Season: 1

Genre: Superhero

Premise: It’s a world full of superheroes and aliens out there, and someone’s got to protect people from it. SHIELD attempts to take on this role, and while not everyone believes in the mission statement as it stands, Agent Coulson does.

The show’s season ended in a fun way, with a resolution to the current problem and new problems on the horizon. The season finale was very entertaining, with a good mix of the team being badass and repercussions for the events of the season. And I think we were all waiting for May to get her hands on Ward.

I imagine we’ll see Ward again, but not for a while. Give him some time to reflect during his imprisonment (Faith from Buffy was in prison for three seasons before she broke out to join the side of good). Who he’s going to be whenever it is we see him again, now that Garrett is gone? That’s quite a question. Given the people in charge of the show, he might be better or even worse.

Fitz might have quite a journey to go on next season as well, depending on what exactly happened to him.

So I’m happy. I knew things would pull together sooner or later. Still, although the show is a lot of fun now, this isn’t quite as good as I expect a Whedon show to get just yet. So I’m know there’s quite a bit to look forward to next season.

 

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