My Top 5 Toughest to Watch TV Episodes

When you watch as many dramas as I do, it’s only natural to become emotionally invested in some of the characters. However, some episodes might make you wish you weren’t so invested. Some episodes are especially difficult to watch for a number of reasons. The episodes on this list aren’t tough to watch because they’re bad, on the contrary, they’re some of my favourite episodes of these respective shows. They’re tough to watch for me, because they take a particularly large emotional toll, or are very unsettling. Here are my picks (Oh also, spoiler alert) –

 

5)  “Last Dance” (The L Word)- Season 3, Episode 11

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Dana became my favourite character on The L Word, so it was incredibly sad to see her diagnosed and suffering from cancer during the show’s third year. However, despite how much Dana’s health worsened, I honestly didn’t think she’d die. But in episode 10, girlfriend Alice arrives with presents only to find that her love has already gone. It’s heart wrenching. I picked the following episode however, because we’re slap bang in the middle of the group’s grief for the duration of the episode. Things are made worse when Dana’s conservative parents refuse to acknowledge their significance, leading Alice to organise her own private memorial. It’s a very touching episode, but it’s emotionally draining.

 

4) “I Am Anne Frank, part 1” (American Horror Story)- Season 2, Episode 4

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This is one of the picks that is tough to watch because it’s disturbing. The “Asylum” season of American Horror Story is filled with very unsettling assaults, murders and so called “treatments”, but one that was really etched in my mind was when Lana Winters, the main protagonist locked in the Asylum due to her homosexuality, underwent “aversion therapy”. This was the scariest season for me, simply because you can remove all the supernatural elements and this story would still be plenty horrifying. Actor Sarah Paulson points to this episode as the hardest thing she’s had to film and I can totally understand why. It’s deeply upsetting and disturbing in a way that’s stuck with me more than any other scene in the series.

 

3) “The Body” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)- Season 5, Episode 16

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This episode is just horrendous. It’s beautifully acted and incredibly well done… but it’s horrendous. Buffy’s mother, Joyce, had a brain tumour removed earlier on in the season and as far as we knew, she was in the clear. However, out of nowhere, at the end of episode 15, Buffy arrives home to find her mother on the sofa… and every viewer’s heart stopped for a moment as they realised what was happening. “The Body” is agonisingly quiet. There isn’t any music in this episode, nothing is done to make things glamorous, it’s harsh and deafening in its silence. The cast put on amazing performances. But all that being said, this episode is very hard to watch. I need to be in a very particular frame of mind not to skip this one. It taps into a fear that I think most of us probably have and that doesn’t sit easy at all.

 

2) “Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?” (Private Practice)- Season 4, Ep 7

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When you make a spin off from something as huge as Grey’s Anatomy, it’s pretty much bound to get dwarfed and unfortunately Private Practice isn’t an exception. In my opinion, this show didn’t get half the praise and attention it deserved, but that certainly didn’t stop them putting their all into the storylines. This is another thing that came out of nowhere, but then I guess that’s life. My personal favourite character, Charlotte King, is savagely beaten up and raped in her office at the hospital and this episode opens on a horrifying but simple image of a bloody finger nail on the floor of the trashed, dark office room. This episode, in fact this storyline was brutal and honest. Actress KaDee Strickland and Shona Rhimes received a RAINN Hope Award and RAINN reported a 500% increase in service requests after the storyline aired. Check out the video link below to see more about the impact this episode had-

 

1) “A Hole in the World” (Angel)- Season 5, Episode 15

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If ever you’ve seen someone you love die in bed, of an illness that takes away their faculties one after the other, you’ll know why this episode is my top pick. There are very few people I know who didn’t love Winfred “Fred” Burkle and find actress Amy Acker both talented and charming. So when this sweet, loving character was infected with a demonic virus and slowly (and I quote) “hollowed out” for a hell God to rise on Earth, it was incredibly painful to watch. And of course because Joss Whedon is such a masochist, Fred and Wesley had just gotten together and finally settled into a loving relationship. The scene that always stays with me is when Fred is crying for her toy rabbit and then is devastated to realise that she can no longer remember its name. Joss and Amy Acker are basically trying to kill us with this episode; that has to be it, because this is just way beyond sad.

Once Upon a Time: 5B and Thoughts on Season 6

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Well, we’re done with another season of ‘Once Upon a Time’. Actually we’ve been done for a few weeks now, but I felt like I needed to take some time to process this season… more so than the others. Personally, I think season 5 has probably been the biggest mixed bag of the series so far. Through both halves, I kind of yo-yoed between hyper excitement and big disappointment. I will do a review of season 5A (a.k.a The Dark Swan arc), but I intend to refresh my memory of that; so for now, I’m going to take a quick look at 5B (The Underworld arc) as well as how I feel about the setup for season 6.

When the heroes first arrived in the Underworld, I can’t deny that I was pretty excited. I know many fans thought that it was lazy of them to make it look like Storybrooke with a red filter and some property damage, but being a fan of creepy, atmospheric, post-apocalypse ghost town kind of stuff, I actually found it quite effective. Plus, it was arguably even further under where the action really was. I really liked how under Underbrooke was designed. Hades’ lair, the river of lost souls, the weird hanging torture chamber place… it was a nice mix of dark creepiness and striking visuals that I thought really made the most of some of show’s often iffy CGI. Similarly, to The Land Without Colour in season 2; I think it works better when they artistically play up the pretty fantasy of the worlds rather than worry too much about making it look very realistic (because frankly the latter just isn’t in their budget).

Now let’s discuss the main villain of the arc; Hades. Honestly, he had his moments, but overall, I wasn’t overly impressed with him. First off, I just mentioned the show’s sometimes iffy CGI and the blue fiery head effect they used the Hades is a prime example of that. Good grief, it was bad! I actually felt for the actor, because a lot of the time he’d get really menacing and have me taking him seriously as a threat, but then his hair would light up and that was it; done. Despite this, I was looking forward to Hades… I mean, it’s Hades! Greg Gerrman went a bit too far in my opinion with the odd, breathy, whispering and the strangely timed pauses. But the character did seem pretty intimidating. Just ask poor Aunty Em! Aww, poor Aunty Em.
Unfortunately, Hades suffered from a pretty blatant lack of direction. Early on, he wants Zelena’s time travel spell in order to go back and stop Zeus from trapping him, suggesting a possible time travelling god-battle on Mount Olympus. Sounds good to me. However, we then got side-tracked with a “love story”. Hades no longer wants to stop Zeus, he just wants to be with Zelena and rule Storybrooke. A bit of a step down for your master plan there. Things just go from bad to worse from there. Hades gets to Storybrooke and he brought with him a mighty McGuffin. The Olympian Crystal, which obliterates anyone, even a god. So… this is the one thing that can kill a god and he brought it with him. Why? Hades has had no problem killing people up to this point, hell he snapped Arthur’s neck with a flick of his wrist in this same episode! He ends up using this to kill Robin (more on that later) and then, surprise, it’s used to kill him. Tip for future bad guys, if you’re realm-hopping and there’s one object that can kill you, maybe leave it behind… or at least hide the damn thing!

So as I said, Hades uses this to totally overkill Robin. This was a bizarre one for me. I’m not really a Robin fan, but even so, I thought his death would have more oomph. It just felt a little hollow to me, especially considering how much of Robin we’d seen recently, i.e: not much. This didn’t alter for me afterwards. Robin is a character that could be killed while maintaining the status quo and changing next to nothing. Hell, they even sent all the Merry Men and Roland away through a portal the very next episode! It’s a shame, because considering what happened with Marion (and Zelena posing as Marion later on) I think the Underworld could have been the perfect place to give Robin some real development and progression. Sadly, that didn’t happen… he had some stuff involving his baby, but even that was mostly focused on Regina and Zelena. It felt like how the River of Lost Souls was used later on; when It essentially became a place to dump any characters they didn’t want to bother with anymore. I feel like Robin was more dumped than killed off.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about The River and The Light. In Once’s Underworld, there are pretty much two final destinations. The first is the light, where you go if you’re good and/or supposedly redeemed. The second is the The River, where souls are thrown in and lost forever. There is, in theory, a hell, but The River more or less replaced this idea. I guess the writers thought sending people to burn in a family show was a bit harsh, so we have the wispy ghost river instead. This arc gets very Ghost Whisperer and we start helping people to move on. I personally think the best example of this was the first episode, in which Regina watches her father walk into the light. This was a really touching scene and a good character moment for our former Evil Queen.
One of the most controversial moments was when Regina and Zelena’s mother Cora was allowed into the light and I can absolutely understand why people took issue with this. When I think about the fates of Aunty Em, Gaston and Milah; I can see why Cora getting to go to the happy place might rub people the wrong way. However, I do love Cora as a character… I just wish they could’ve committed to this a bit more. I’d been waiting to see the Cora/Zelena confrontation for years and although it was well acted, they threw in a pretty huge shortcut; having Cora restore memories that I would argue should make Zelena hate her even more… but they’re cool before she moves on. I was disappointed the more I thought about it, but I am at least interested to see where they take Zelena’s character in season 6. Plus, I can’t deny that even though it was an awfully quick development, the sisterly moments between Regina and Zelena were pretty touching; no doubt due to Rebecca Mader and Lana Parrilla acting their hearts out, as usual.

Okay, this has ended up longer than I expected. I could go on for so long about this season, they packed so much in. I’ll hold off on that for now and talk about what has been set up for season 6.
I’m really looking forward to the sixth season and it’s not just because The Evil Queen is back (seriously, that dress though!). The finale introduced us to the Land of Untold Stories as well as Jekyll and Hyde (a deliciously gothic villain). I’m really excited about this new world and the stories it could offer. This could link the show to even more realms and I’m always excited about new realms. I’ll be interested to see what they come up with, but I’ll just say that Sleepy Hollow and Halloween Town would be cool places to go… oooh and if they could bring in Doctor Facilier or Yzma at some point, I’d be okay with that too.
There has also been talk suggesting that unlike the last three seasons, season 6 won’t be spilt down the middle. That sounds sensible since you’d think The Land of Untold Stories would have enough to fill a whole season. This is also why I’m so excited for season 6. As much as I’ve enjoyed some of the previous arc “themes”, I think Once works best when it’s blending the worlds together and letting the characters drive the show through. We had this in the first two seasons, where you’d have single episodes dedicated to Cinderella or Jack and the Beanstalk etc. They weren’t the focus of the season, like say Frozen or Neverland, but they were fun interactions relevant to the adventures of the heroes. It worked and it gave the show a really fun variety. That’s what I’m hoping season 6 will lean more towards and since they’re talking about not splitting it, that might be the case.

Either way, I’m liking how season 5 left us (Henry’s New York speech notwithstanding… seriously, urgh!). I can say for sure that season 5 was not my favourite season; it had huge pros and cons for me… but The Land of Untold Stories is waiting to be explored and the queen is back! So of course I’m hooked for season 6.

 

A few bonus thoughts on season 5 (though some of this will be touched on when I do 5A)-

  • Mulan and Red forever (Dorothy who?)
  • Captain Dark One (that is all)
  • Cruella is my spirit animal.
  • Arthur wasn’t killed slowly enough for me.
  • Zelena: “Regina dear, I’m trying to meditate, it’s good for the baby. Please go, you’re RUINING my chi!”
  • Still waiting for follow through on Snow’s “I want to be Snow White again” revelation beyond that one episode.
  • Evil Queen, Evil Queen, Evil Queen. Dress, look at that dress!!! Evil Queen, Evil Queen.
  • That’s Zeus? Seriously?
  • Red/Ruby better not leave again.
  • Can we send Henry to boarding school please?

American Horror Story – Top Hats Everywhere!

So I did a post a while a go just giving some ideas of what AHS season 5 could be about. That post wasn’t based on any clues, as I hadn’t seen much of Freak Show at the time, it was just a few ideas of things that AHS hasn’t yet covered.

Now, if you’ve been following AHS speculation online, you will have probably heard about the top hats. Ryan Murphy has said that the top hat is a big clue to next seasons premise. We’ve seen the top hat symbol appear a few times now in Freak Show, on cups and on Edward Mordrake. If you haven’t spotted the clues, just do an image search for “American Horror Story Freak Show Top Hat” and you’ll see where they appeared.

Now that we know this is a vital clue, here’s what I have thought of and what has been going round the internet.

1) Operation Top Hat

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Operation Top Hat was a local field exercise performed by the U.S army chemical corps in the 1950’s. This involved people being exposed to dangerous chemicals and radiation; the idea was to test decontamination. This is the main theory going around at the moment. This has led many fans to think of “The Hills Have Eyes” and other such films, in which people have mutated. In my last AHS post, one of my ideas was “American Horror Story: Wasteland”. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so far off. In a town where everyone who hasn’t died out has mutated. This could lead to elements such as post-war apocalypse, cannibalism, incest… sounds like a season of AHS to me!

2) Jack the Ripper

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Depictions of Jack the Ripper often involve a top hat…in fact they often involve an outfit very similar to that which Edward Mordrake wears. The mystery of who the Ripper is could be quite intriguing. It would also tie in nicely to Murphy’s new series American Crime Story; looking at a real crime with perhaps a supernatural twist. This would of course raise things such as prostitution, poverty at the time and the class system. Yes I know, I know, Jack the Ripper is English… but maybe we could have an American copy cat. Or maybe he could be one of many ghostly serial killers resurrected for the season. Or maybe nobody caught him because he escaped to America.

3) Magician

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This may seem a little too much like a combination of Coven and Freak Show, but here me out. I started off thinking about magic acts and that somehow led me to think about Doctor Faustus, a man who sells his soul to the devil so that he can perform great magic and gain great knowledge. Perhaps a magician could do just this in order to put on the show of a life time and make it big, but at what cost?

4) The Rich and Famous

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Like wise, I got to this by thinking of Doctor Faustus. Other than magic acts and London serial killers, I see a top hat, I think high class, wealthy etc. Perhaps season 5 could look at the rich and famous who have gotten to where they are by sacrificing something to evil. This could get into secret societies, again the class system and of course the devil. Perhaps since all the seasons are supposedly connected, this could have something to do with the anti-christ from Murder House.

So those are just a few theories. Of course it’ll be a while before we know for sure, but I know we AHS fans have fun guessing.

Why Cordelia Chase Ended Up Being My Favourite Buffy-Verse Character

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When Buffy the Vampire Slayer started, or rather when I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was very strict about where my loyalties lied. My favourite character was Willow Rosenberg and that was that. Now don’t get me wrong, I still like Willow, I think she’s an interesting character, though I prefer her in some seasons to others… but my favourite character has changed. These days, my favourite character is Cordelia Chase.

Now, there are probably a lot of people thinking: “What? She was such a bitch to Buffy, Willow and Xander! How could you love her?” When I say “Buffy-verse” I am referring to the whole universe of the show; thus including the spin off series, Angel, in which Cordelia is a far more prominent character. Cordelia’s development is one of the reasons I like her so much. Yes, she could be pretty horrible in high school, but even then I’d argue that I was okay with that, because Joss explored what was going on with her; she had layers, she wasn’t mean just because, she was never two-dimensional.

Let me make some points:

1) She wasn’t the typical high school bitch character.

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People watching Buffy occasionally may think that Cordelia is just the stereotypical high school bitch character… but she’s not. As I said, she has layers.Plenty of high school settings have a Queen B, nasty girl character and a lot of the time, they’re nasty, just because they are. Cordelia on the other hand, isn’t unsympathetic. Starting with the episode “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” in which Cordelia becomes the target of an invisible killer, we learn more about Cordy. Throughout her high school life we learn more and more about her loneliness, her family problems, men treating her like an object and we understand her more. When she allows herself to open up and falls for Xander, she abandons her clique, only to be betrayed and I was heartbroken for her. She didn’t just lose Xander, she lost the Scoobies and went back to what she knew. Her motivations weren’t so straight forward, she was an interesting character.

2) She felt the pain of the world and it made her more determined to save it.

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I said before that my favourite character was Willow. Let me compare the characters. Willow felt the pain of the world in the season 6 finale and she couldn’t handle it, her conclusion was to destroy the Earth. Cordelia felt the pain of the world and it brought out more compassion and empathy in her than ever before. She was in hospital, her mind being torn apart; every suffering person on the planet screaming in her head… and when it ended, all Cordelia said was “We have to help them” Enough said!

3) She’s kind of a bad ass.

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The last point takes me nicely to this one. The Buffy-verse isn’t short of strong women and Cordelia is no exception. As I said, the pain of her visions drives Cordelia to help those in need. No human was meant to harbor the visions and because of this, they were actually killing Cordy and she was well aware of this; but she refused to give them up, despite being given several opportunities, because it would mean giving up her power to help others. When the visions actually did almost kill her; Cordelia actually volunteered to become part demon in order to keep the visions from killing her, despite having no idea what the consequences to her could be. Well, it turned out being part demon gave her a lot more power. When the hotel was infested with other-worldly creatures; Cordelia destroyed ever single one of them and when Angel’s deranged son Conner tried to kill her, she turned his blade to dust and purified his soul. On top of this, Cordelia trained with Angel and became pretty good with hand to hand combat…not to mention very handy with a sword.

4) Here’s a controversial one…

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The Bangel fans (that’s Buffy and Angel shippers) will have my head for this one… but I seriously believe Cordelia was the best, healthiest relationship Angel ever had. Always a beacon of support, Cordelia was happy to be a shoulder to cry on; or to provide a much needed kick up the ass, as needed. She acted as a surrogate mother to Conner after Darla’s death and took charge of Angel Investigations when Conner was lost and Angel catatonic with grief. This woman wouldn’t even let a mystical coma stop her from helping to guide Angel and putting the gang on track. She astral projected so that she could remind Angel why he fights the good fight and to give him her final vision with one last kiss; a vital act in directing Angel towards the figure heads of his final battle.

5) In death, she became a higher being.

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Even after her demise, Cordelia hasn’t stopped fighting the good fight. After years of working for The Powers That Be, Cordelia’s soul ascended and she became part of The Powers That Be. For those who don’t know, The Powers That Be are essentially the gods of the Buffy-verse; so Cordelia has actually been elevated to Goddess status…sort of. Either way, this makes Cordelia the one and only higher being in the Buffy-verse that we know by name (not including Jasmine, a fallen power).

I could go on all night, but that’s just a taste of why I love Cordelia Chase. I really do believe the character should get more recognition than she does. I honestly think she’s one of the best developed characters in the Buffy-verse. I find her incredibly likable and would even say she’s a pretty great role model (as an adult anyway). Long live Cordelia Chase…even though she’s dead… long live Goddess Queen C.

What “American Horror Story” Season Five Could Be (My Theories)

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Okay, so I know American Horror Story: Freak Show has only just started and I haven’t actually seen much of it yet because I’m saving it for Halloween… but I’m still (like many fans) thinking of what the already renewed fifth season of AHS could be. Ryan Murphy has said that season 5 will be something very different from season 1-4 and also said that there were some clues early on in Freak Show, but as I said, I haven’t seen much yet. There were also some fan theories about it being in space, due to Jessica Lange singing “Life On Mars” in a recent episode, but Murphy said no to that… and frankly; I’m glad he did. So anyway, here are some ideas I have as to what season 5 could be about. I tried to think of things that would be very different from seasons 1-4, but that could still fit AHS’ style to a tee.

1) American Horror Story: Utopia

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The perfect world, where everyone smiles and gets along. A world without anger, or hate, or violence. A world where everything and everyone is just perfectly perfect in that perfect kinda way. Yeah right! Really though, imagine the season starting in a world just like that; all very Stepford. How did the world get like that? What is being done to keep it that way? Is it really so perfect, or are their skeletons in the closet? Does a perfect world mean a loss of individuality? Surely conforming must be necessary on some level to keep the peace… what if you don’t conform. What happens if one day, you refuse to smile? Put on a happy face… or else!

2) American Horror Story: Wasteland

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Sort of the opposite end of the spectrum. A story set in the middle of, or after, a nuclear holocaust. Only the main cast have survived (as far as we know), but God knows how they did! Is there a reason they were left behind? Is the nuclear wasteland as empty as it seems or are there things lurking in plain sight? Have they been changed by the attack without them even knowing it? In a world where everything has been destroyed, is there something still worth fighting for?

3) American Horror Story: Limbo

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If one thing has been constant in AHS, it’s that characters die and the subject of death has been a running theme. So perhaps a season about life after death could be interesting. But rather than commit to what the afterlife is, perhaps they could focus on the transitional period: limbo. What waits for us when we pass on; is it good or terrifying? This season could bring a whole new side to death anxiety. Perhaps limbo is where the spirits who have never had physical form (demons) hang out and play…with any soul that passes through!

4) American Horror Story: Night Terrors

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I imagine this season set in some kind of sleep study. Dreams reveal our deepest inner desires and our greatest fears; therefore I think they’d be the perfect way to do a very character centered season that delves into each characters psyche in disturbing and horrifying ways. You might be tempted to insert some sort of demonic Freddy Kreuger element… but I’m not sure that would be necessary. Dreams can be terrifying and interesting enough all by themselves. What horror lie in each character’s mind and can they cope in their waking lives knowing that those things are within their subconscious?

5) American Horror Storybook

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This idea is the most different and probably the biggest stretch. I have been inspired just by the trailer for the new movie “The Babadook”. The idea of children’s bed time stories and boogieman type characters being very scary. I’m thinking of this like a horror anthology within the horror anthology series. A collection of spooky tales that involve children. Monsters in the closet and under the bed. Old wise tales told to keep children in line turning out to be horrifyingly true. Fairy tales with disturbingly dark twists. Imaginary friends who aren’t so imaginary… or friendly.

So there you have it, those were just a few things I thought would be interesting. But hey, who knows what season 5 of American Horror Story will hold… well, Ryan Murphy does. But until he’s ready to share, let’s enjoy Freak Show.

Charmed: 10×01- No Country For Old Ones (Review)

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It’s here! It’s here! Okay, so the empaths reading this may have picked up on the fact that I’m just a bit excited. You know why? Charmed is back for season 10! It’s been so long since Paul Ruditis kicked all kinds of ass writing season 9; a season that expanded the “Charmed” story in epic, exciting and controversial ways (yes, I mean Prue). But the wait is over and Pat Shand is now at the writer’s desk as we take Charmed into the first season that has double digits. So without further ado, this is my review for issue 1. However, I should first warn all readers that this review will contain some spoilers that are as big and juicy as Gaxageal. You have been warned!

The first instalment of the season; “No Country For Old Ones” takes place over a few months and focuses on the Halliwell sisters (Piper, Phoebe and Paige…in case you forgot their names) thwarting several attempts on their lives by a demon named Gaxageal. But Gaxageal is not just any demon, no siree bob! He is in fact an Old One; a demon that existed long before the creation of words. So he’s a big deal. Green, hulky and waving his giant tentacles in the air like he just don’t care…which, by the way, is something I’ve always loved about the comics. Budget restraints led to most demons on the show looking human, whereas in the comics, there are obviously no such restraints; so we get to see some cool monsters far more regularly.

We are quickly reintroduced to all the main characters and this is done in a way that doesn’t waste any time jumping into the story and getting into the action. During this issue, we also have an unknown voice informing us that he has been watching the Halliwell sisters and gathering info on them. This is a pretty good way of recapping what each character has going on, without it actually feeling like a recap. I think if someone wanted to start with season 10 having never watched or read Charmed before, it wouldn’t be too hard to do with this issue.

Now let’s talk magic. That witchy, kick-ass, magic. You won’t be disappointed with this issue. The only reason you’d be disappointed is if you hate when the sisters use that witchcraft stuff and you were hoping for an issue where Piper shows us how to make cakes without the bottom going soggy. We have magic powers galore; Piper setting demons ablaze, Phoebe taking to the air and putting those martial arts to good use and Paige… well, Paige is just bad ass. Something I’ve always loved about Paige is that she often seems kind of freaked out by her own strength. In season 8 she tosses two demons into the air and slams them against a trash can. Look at her expression when she does it, she cringes all: “Holy crap, did I do that?” There’s a moment like that at the end of this issue and I just have to love her for it.

That takes me nicely onto dialogue. The dialogue is so spot on in this. Paige is particularly fun to read, but all the characters sound as they should. Piper’s dry sarcasm, Phoebe’s charm and Paige’s quirkiness are all there and the witty banter between the sisters is very enjoyable. I could quote so many lines from this issue that made me laugh. It’s Charmed style wit at it’s best.

We catch up with Prue and Cole who are also being watched. It’s fun to see how The Nexus of the All has changed as well as get a little glimpse at Prue’s new powers.

The issue ends with the Halliwell’s voyeurs being revealed as a demonic duo called Fritz and Valen. The scheming pair speak of how the Warren line never seems to truly die and talk about finding an Ancient Athame capable of destroying souls. Worst of all, they know where to find it!

We have a new artist. Elisa Feliz. So far, I am loving her art work.  The likenesses are great, the settings are drawn very well with lovely details added, that I can assure her do not go unnoticed or unappreciated by us fans. The magical effects are illustrated very well; from pretty sparkly orbs, to fiery vanquishes. Teamed with colours by Valentina Cuomo, this issue is rather stunning. The artwork is vibrant, colourful and very appealing to the eye.  David Seidman remains the cover artist and his art is as beautiful as ever. I particularly like the cover for this issue; it has been said that this season will have a dark edge similar to season 3 and 4… I can see that in the intense tone of the cover.

I am so excited to see where this season goes. The writing is so strong and I can just feel that this season is going to be so much fun. I have a feeling we’re going to have some really dramatic moments and I am more than confident after reading this issue that my faith in Pat Shand is well placed. I already felt pretty secure in that, in no small part due to the very open dialogue he’s had with the fan base and the passion he’s shown for the project. But now, you can take that surety and times it by P3, because I truly believe that the series is in great hands.

Thank you to Pat Shand, Paul Ruditis, Zenescope and everyone else who works on the comics, for keeping Charmed alive, for treating the series and the characters with such love and respect… and for giving us new and exciting stories that have that wonderful “jump into their world and block out that pesky reality for a while” vibe that Charmed always had in spades.

I look forward to issue 2- “Magically Malicious”

I Stand Still

I’ve lived here for two lifetimes. You may think my existence rather dull; I don’t move passed the park in which I stand. You may find my life hard to appreciate, but I wouldn’t ask for anything different. I am surrounded by those like me; but we share our space with many of the world’s underappreciated wonders. The rejuvenating rain showering me with its sparkling sapphire droplets; the warm sun shining down on me, bringing out every colour of me in glimmering clarity; bird song above me as a mother witnesses her child’s first moment of life. This and so much more make my simple life so special. Maybe you quietly value the beauty of us as you walk by and perhaps you understand how we are necessary to those who live with us; more closely than perhaps you do. If so, then thank you.

As I stand here, where I always am; as I am one of the lucky ones… I think how wonderful a thing it is to be able to stand still. To look out at this land, this world we call our home and to feel safe and secure that my roots are grounded in the earth; that the breeze cools when the sun’s rays turn water to steam; that children will be laughing and playing, bringing innocent joy to every day. I think these things, looking into the distance, until a strange sound changes everything.

A loud bang…then haunting quiet. The birds happily tweeting now screech a warning; fluttering away as fast as their wings will carry them. I stand still. The laughing and playing of children becomes crying and screaming; parents run to their aid in a frantic panic. I stand still. The breeze that once cooled in the hot sun is now harsh and hot; scratching like barbed wire with each shallow breath. I stand still. The sky darkens and the beautiful distance is clouded by thick, black smog. I stand still.  Those like me wither, those unlike me wither; nothing to see anymore, nothing to take in anymore; just ash and the dark. I stand still. So many years; so many life times; so much beauty crafted over centuries… gone in a matter of seconds. I stand still.

My existence is a humble one; or should I say was? I don’t feel death, though it does claim me nevertheless. I don’t understand politics, war or hate. I don’t feel fear, but that I understand. Fear of loss. What is this, if not the greatest loss? I don’t even get to be a memory; because you left nobody here to remember. Our beautiful land is now an unmarked grave; my roots can’t even cling to the wasteland that remains. No person lives on ashes and dust; so how could this be your end goal?

All I did was stand still; that was enough for me. But now there’s nothing to stand on, nothing to stand for. Don’t you see? It was enough for me.

So… is this it? Is this enough for you? Is nothing what you wanted all along? What you wanted for us all?

All I did was stand still. Maybe, just maybe, more should have taken a moment to do the same. Then would I matter? Would you?