Perfect Agent

Perfect Agent
Action/Adventure webcomic every Thursday; contains strong language and violence.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A birthday book buying dilemma

 This upcoming Friday is my birthday and I have a few celebratory plans for it,including a girl's night out at the movies( I'm going to attend the local Alamo Drafthouse theater in my area for the very first time and yes, I will be reviewing my experience early next week) and a visit to the bookstore.

While it is safe to say that I need a new book as much as Lady Gaga needs another wild n' crazy outfit,most of what I read these days is either review copies or second hand purchases,plus paperbacks on loan from Booksfree(the literary version of Netflix). It has some time since I walked into a bookshop and bought a shiny new copy of anything; not complaining,folks,just stating the facts there.

 Anyhow, I do have a few page turning desires but a few doubts about them as well. For example, the paperback edition of Gone,Girl, the highly acclaimed mystery thriller by Gillian Flynn goes on sale tomorrow and I think it's safe to say that I will be able to pick up a copy on Friday.

With the movie adaptation due out later this year, the impetus to read this book is quite high and believe it or not, I have managed to stay spoiler free on this one so far. The set-up for the plot,where a prominent business man is suspected of causing his wife's disappearance, has a nice ripped from the headlines vibe going for it and plenty of accolades from critics and regular readers alike speak volumes for the quality of the writing.

However, I can be one of those people who appreciates a literary phenom much better long after the hype has died down. Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible was a book I had around for years until one day, I just snatched it and couldn't put it down. Perhaps things will be different with Gone,Girl and no, I have no problem with reading the book first as director David Fincher is already saying that the ending of the film will deviate from the book(whether that's for better or worse is yet to be seen there):


Another big paperback novel that I'm considering is The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, which chronicles the life and times of a group of teenagers who met in a summer camp for the arts in 1974. As they go out into the world to pursue their creative dreams, reality offers each of them a far different set of choices than they ever imagine having to deal with.

I've read a number of reviews and most were either overflowing with praise or a tad hesitant about it's virtues. The concept does interest me(no pun intended,honest!) and as I've just started reading Mary McCarthy's The Group, this might be a nice compare and contrast for me there. Plus, word of mouth on The Interesting has been pretty positive for the most part:


However, I am tempted to take the plunge into hardcover territory with Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction last week. I have never read Tartt before(or either of the other writers whose books I'm dithering between here) but her reputation for excellence makes her the Meryl Streep of literary fiction.

The story follows a young man named Theo,who witnessed the death of his mother during a bombing at an art museum and still holds on to the painting that he claimed during that moment of chaos. Before it even won the Pulitzer, this book was on just about every Best of the Year list and folks are practically singing it's praises from coast to coast.

Another plus for me is that it's a novel of considerable length and that is pure catnip to me. I love a good long novel the way some people enjoy a three hour movie,too much is never enough. Since Tartt is known to take a good long while with her books, the chances are that if I like The Goldfinch, I'll have more than enough time to catch up on the rest of her works before she releases a new one:


I know this isn't a vastly important decision to make and no doubt, some might say "Oh, just get all three and be done with it!" Well, I do have a budget there,not to mention that owning a book comes with some responsibility.

Let's compare it to a movie; would you really want to buy every DVD of a highly touted film out there or just keep the ones you know that you'll watch more than once? The beauty of rentals is that you can sample the goods without full purchase and yet still pay a fair price for the service.

Of course, this isn't all about dollars and sense. Book buying on a special day like this can mark the occasion well and while I'm not hitting any big numbers age wise, I would like to try something new that offers me a bit of challenge along with entertainment to further my growing maturity. If anyone out there has a suggestion for me, I'll be happy to hear it(and take note) and unlike a certainly spoiled boy king, I won't be reluctant to accept such generosity:


Thursday, April 17, 2014

GOT's Purple Wedding party surprise,Mad Men at the beginning of the end and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. giving out bad days

The most talked about(as well as long awaited) moment of the TV week belongs to Game of Thrones for delivering the Purple Wedding, where horrid King Joffrey chokes out his last command.

His death may seem too soon,given that this is only the second episode of the season, but it sets off a whole chain of events that spells the downfall of the Lannisters. I won't say anything too spoilery but trust me when I tell you that you haven't seen anything yet, folks.

 The reaction videos have been fun to watch and for those who are wondering why the demise of a fictional character(especially a young one) is bringing such joy to the masses, allow me to explain.

GOT fans have gone through a lot of misery with the series as they have had to see many of their heroes fall upon the sword,starting with the death of Ned Stark(at the unexpected command of Joffrey) in season one and last year's Red Wedding,which slaughtered a good deal of Stark supporters along with Robb and his mother.

Such suffering is reflective of the "anyone can die at any time" element of the source material and it does make for suspenseful story telling but for viewers who haven't read the books, this can be wearying on the resolve to keep on with the show. Also, trust me; the little bastard had it coming. So let us have our vicious victory dance for now yet keep an eye on poor Tyrion,who will be most sorely tested(and most unfairly, I might add) due to the gruesome aftermath of this family affair:


Also airing that night was the season seven premiere of Mad Men, which picked up only a few months where they left off as Don is trying to make a bi-coastal marriage work and Peggy is struggling to be heard in more than one area of her life.

Joan is also having a rough time in being taken seriously but her arsenal is a bit more extensive there. A strong feeling of transition pervades over the episode  and even though we're only getting part of the series finale(the first seven episodes are airing now,with the remainder to be shown in 2015), this set-up holds a lot of promise for a well thought out conclusion and I for one look forward to more:


 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to rock n' roll with last week's amazing new developments as Coulson takes his crew out to a hidden base(manned by special guest star Patton Oswalt) in hopes of discovering some hope for the future while Ward and Garrett go on the road with their evil plans.

Have to say that Ward being a bad guy is a nice change-up for the character and he is a formidable threat,since he has plenty of inside knowledge from his time with Coulson and the gang that is aiding the cause of Hydra all too well.

Plus, Garrett is quite the entertaining mastermind there and seeing him and Ward work their wicked mojo on their unsuspecting allies is awesome to watch(in a bad way,of course):




 However, Ward's loyalty is going to be tested,as he joins up with Coulson and company next week to get that secret password from Skye by any means necessary. It's pretty obvious that his feelings for her are causing some doubts to arise regarding following Hydra's lead(and particular Garrett,to whom he owes a major debt to) but how that will play out is anyone's guess.

 Skye would not be the first gal in the Whedonverse to have an evil boyfriend and if this goes along those lines, things will not go well for the course of true love there(not to mention Melinda May putting her two cents of kickass into that discussion!):


RANDOM NOTES:

THE AMAZING RACE: ALL STARS: So far, the competition has been friendly but that appears to not be lasting as a couple of teams get down and dirty with their tactics and why am I not surprised at Brendon and Rachel being all involved in this?:




Monday, April 14, 2014

Some page turning and pulse pounding pop culture anniversaries to savor this season

Part of my writing focus this year is connected to two anniversaries,with A Nightmare on Elm Street being 30 years of age and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen reaching it's 200th year of engagement.

It got me to wondering about other books and films that are celebrating their pop culture milestones in 2014 and while they're a good number of them in both categories, I chose a simple quartet made up of two from each category that are good enough to start with.

This week marks the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's masterpiece,The Grapes of Wrath, which describes the struggles of suddenly down on their luck folks in Oklahoma during the Great Depression,particularly the Joad family that travels to California to seek work after their homestead is lost due to drought and foreclosure.

The book details the frustration,fear and stubborn determination of the Joads, as well as other families they encounter along the way, to make sense out of the financial shake-ups that have turned their world upside down. It also chronicles the greed and opportunistic tactics of those still somewhat in charge of things who have no qualms about exploiting the desperate "Okies" for profit via unfair labor practices and consider the very idea of these people asking for basic human rights a rude presumption on their part. Amazing how current this all sounds, doesn't it?:



While Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell was known for her novels of social commentary such as North and South or Ruth, she did also write family dramas like Wives and Daughters, which started out in serial form in 1864 and celebrates it's 150 years in publication. The book was not finished when Gaskell passed on so her editor added an explanation of what she had intended.

The novel is a multi-character piece,with most of the focal points placed at the door of young Molly Gibson, the only child of the local doctor who does her best to please her father and his flighty new wife( and even more flighty new stepsister). She is constantly being protected by just about every male in her life from the harshness of reality but Molly is much smart and stronger than she is given credit for by both the men and women in her life.

A number of secrets and lies swirl about her from the new  family arrangement as well from her well to do neighbors,the family of Squire Hamley whose son Roger she finds a kinship with and possibly much more. I plan to read the book later this year but have already watched the 1999 miniseries version(adapted by the brilliant Andrew Davies) and for anyone who is still craving a little extra Downton Abbey time would do well to enjoy the best of a great writer's last work:


1994 was a pretty good year for films and a real game changer that hit mainstream movie goers hard was Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction which is now 20 years old, believe it or not.

While Tarantino had made an impact with his earlier crime film Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction took things to the next level as it's blend of gritty noir,pop culture riffs and poetic use of profane language painted a mural of underworld characters that were just as relatable as your everyday usual set of co-workers and friends(only with guns, drugs and reliable places to clean up after an accidental shooting).

What Tarantino and his creative cohorts did was truly flip the script by setting high drama in what many considered to be the realm of lowlifes to discover nobility and sense of purpose amongst the most unlikely of criminal minds. The critical acclaim(which lead to several Oscar nominations and a Best Original Screenplay win for Tarantino and his then writing partner Roger Avery) and box office success of the movie lead to plenty of other similarly styled movies, some of which were good but topping the epic power of Samuel L. Jackson as hit man extraordinaire Jules Winfield was not to be:


Also released that year was The Professional, French director Luc Besson's follow-up to his cult hit La Femme Nikita. This tale of a reclusive hit man who finds himself the guardian of a young girl whose entire family is wiped out by a pack of drug dealers lead by a corrupt DEA agent(Gary Oldman, in one of his best bad guy roles) earned positive feedback from critics but not as much audience acclaim.

It did do well financially but may have been lost in the shuffle of other films of that nature at the time and eventually gained a cult following. There's also an extended version of the film that was released overseas(it was trimmed for the US) that is available on home video and is considered by some to be the better version.

Either way, The Professional offers an engaging look at the cost of a life of violence that neither condones nor condemns the choices that it's leads make, instead it makes them real flesh and blood figures in an action adventure story. The movie is oddly touching at times, with Natalie Portman making one hell of a debut as Mathilda,the vulnerable yet hardened by life school girl determined to learn the tricks of her reluctant protector's trade. Her steady footsteps in this film made a path for the likes of Chloe Grace Moretz to follow with Hit Girl, which is more than enough reason to honor it's 20th anniversary:


Granted, it does make you feel your age when you look back at some of these pop culture place holders but on the other hand, it also makes you take into consideration the impact made in their respective genres that have added some much needed flavor to our multimedia menu. The influences of these and many other artistic entertainments can be pointed out way too much at times but honoring what came before makes one a better artist and/or appreciator of the arts.

Let's close this out with a ear out for a classic tune celebrating forty years on the dance floor, ABBA's "Waterloo" and see it's glory in a classic scene from Muriel's Wedding,another great film from 1994-talk about full circle, folks! Nostalgia may be deemed as nerd country but even us nerds can have our moment in the spotlight as the mean girls look on and despair:




Friday, April 11, 2014

Why I approve of Emma Approved

Following up a pop culture success,whether it be film,book or TV, can be a rather sticky wicket to begin with but when you have at least two out of those three platforms to tackle(along with social media), that challenge becomes as daunting as any midair rescue attempted by a superhero.

For many Jane Austen fans, Emma Woodhouse is more of an antihero,as her likability factor can be troublesome as even her creator once mentioned. Yet, plenty of people were thrilled to hear that the folks behind the highly popular as well as Emmy award winning Lizzie Bennet Diaries were going to bring to online life Austen's Emma,considered to be one of the key books of her literary career.

 Emma Approved turns this classic heroine into a modern day matchmaker/life coach,who runs her own agency with the help of brother-in-law/business partner Alex Knightley. Emma films her workaday world in a pseudo-documentary style(ala The Office), with a Twitter account and regular blog that details her fashion choices and other dilemmas.

 The plot lines have followed the book in a more modernized tone,with certain characters only being mentioned yet present off screen and others such as eager protege Harriet Smith(who is Emma's executive assistant) having their own video channels. Now, some have expressed doubts about the quality of this series as opposed to the LBD but such comparisons,in my opinion, do not take into account the differences between the source materials.

 For one thing, Emma Woodhouse is more of an independent heroine in some respects than Lizzie Bennet; as the adored younger daughter of a wealthy yet indulgent father,Emma in her own words "neither lacks fortune or consequence" in regards to her future and not being weighed down by having to pursue a husband for the sake of her family's future, she is more free to plan her own destiny.

 Of course, in Austen's time even Emma had certain restrictions on her decorum and opportunities but if she did find herself in the present, starting up her own company that would allow her free reign to do what she loves best(meddling in the lives of others) would be an instant go-to as well as a mega sized stadium for her ego :


Now, I won't deny that EA has had a few story telling bumps along the way(that section with her sister Izzy did stretch out a bit longer than necessary) but on the whole, this series has it's own unique blend of charm and wit that is just as appealing as the LBD was.

For one, having Alex Knightley as a constant presence is wonderful as this version has given him much more of a playful side than most of the past Knightleys and his chemistry with Emma is spot on. Both actors play off each other well and their odd couple energy is reminiscent of classic screwball comedies:


Also, EA has shown that it can handle the serious dramatic turns of the story such as the confused love triangle section where Emma sincerely believes that she is making love happen for Harriet and new client Senator Elton(nice upgrade for that character!) but all along, Elton has his eyes on Emma as his romantic prize.

This confrontation between Emma and Elton is one of the high points in the plot as it not only exposes the phoniness of his character but forces the heroine to face the fact that not all of her plans are perfect,especially when other people are involved. It does take time for Emma to learn this during the course of the novel but this first step is crucial and it was taken well:



 I know that many fans out there have been champing at the bit to see more of the supporting players of Highbury in this production and the wait has definitely been worth it as Miss Maddy Bates, the lovable chatterbox that looks after her mother, is now part of the scene.

The engaging quirks of the character(who make jams with flavors that would daunt the judges on Chopped) are nicely done,plus making her a financial adviser brings her right into Emma's little corporate corner.

 And yes, her niece Jane Fairfax has been much talked about but still a no-show( she'll be here, I'm sure since Frank Churchill has already made his presence known), however Maddy Bates is a welcome sight for diehard Emma fans to see and hear:


We've also had a LBD boost recently by introducing Caroline Lee as the newly engaged and soon to be Mrs. Elton( crossovers have been done here before,as Gigi Darcy was a major player in the summer series Sanditon). Caroline's catty ways make her an ideal Mrs. Elton,not to mention a budding bridezilla.

Finally, for the tender heart of this tale, we turn to Harriet. Her sweet nature and naivety are blended with believability without making the character appear weak minded. In fact, she's proven to be quite capable in more than one arena and her music club( a suitable switch from the riddles that the original character collected) adds a fun musical touch to the proceedings.

Now, I must confess something-Emma is my least favorite Austen novel(in fact, Emma Woodhouse would be fourth on my list of favorite JA leading ladies) for I have found her to be difficult to like or relate to, being more of a mild mannered Anne Eliot/Elinor Dashwood nature.

 However, by reading the book several times as well as watching a good number of the film adaptations(my personal picks are the Kate Beckinsale BBC version and Clueless), Miss Woodhouse has grown on me and I can appreciate her emotional growth and development as the story reaches it's conclusion.

I think that a new generation of readers and viewers will be able to do the same upon watching Emma Approved and while it may not be picture perfect, maybe it can be just as engaging as LBD was for everyone if they just give it a chance to shine on it's own terms:





Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Kill Bill moment on Game of Thrones,Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reset the game and a truly scary Kitchen Nightmares

The fourth season of Game of Thrones set up a number of new plot points,particularly in King's Landing where the wedding of Joffery and Margery is set to take place very soon and Jamie is being made to feel like an unwanted guest by just about every member of his family.

Other developing details include Jon Snow facing up to his commanders in the Night's Watch for his time as a wildling and Dany preparing to conquer yet another city in order to free their slaves. However, the stand out moment of the night belongs to Arya as she got a juicy taste of revenge.

During her travels with the Hound(who hopes to get money from her wacky aunt in the Vale upon delivery), Arya ran into one of the men from Harranhal who captured her group of intended initiates heading for the Wall,the very man that took her sword Needle and killed one of her friends.

Well,during that rest stop, The Hound got into with that fella and his merry band of cutthroats and during the fight that ensued, Arya seized her chance for payback and got it in full,not to mention Needle back. As one of the few remaining Starks out there, Arya certainly has the true ice of her warrior clan's bloodline flowing through her veins and woe to those willing to underestimate this deadly daddy's girl( rather gory stuff ahead, you have been warned!):


So,while there is plenty to anticipate this season, King's Landing is going to become awfully important this time around and while I won't give anything away, do keep an eye on those wedding preparations,folks.

Some might think it's good to be a Lannister but trust me when I say that a whole flock of angry chickens are coming home to roost,along with ravens bearing some ill tidings indeed:



Some serious flipping of the script happened on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week and while it may not have been a big surprise who the Clairvoyant was(what are special guest stars for, after all?), discovering who was truly on his side most certainly was!

Most of these new plot points are due to the new Captain America movie(nice way to keep the continuity going,people!) and I do hope at some point, some of these characters make their way onto the silver screen because they definitely deserve it. Melinda May having to confess to Coulson about her orders to watch him for any possible signs of deterioration due to his time in "Tahiti" was a solid bit of acting there and the whole "Hydra is attacking from inside S.H.I.E.L.D" deal should play out rather strongly for the remainder of the season:


I hate to say "I told you so" but it's hard not to gloat a little as those who have been disgruntled with the show are now starting to see the bigger picture and climbing happily on board(so season six Buffy there!).

When it comes to a Whedon series, you must trust Joss or his designated appointees because it will be worth the wait! Next week, the new MAOS episode will be playing after an encore of this one and basking in the glory of the Marvel goodness should make for a lively Tuesday(not something you'd ever think would happen and yet there it is):


Last week, I watched the previous season's finale of Kitchen Nightmares, where Gordon Ramsey did something that he rarely does on this show; give up before he even starts a makeover for a troubled restaurant.

It's hard to blame him,since the husband and wife owners of Amy's Baking Company are so over the top wacky in their behavior that even Dr. Phil(whose show they appeared on this week) had a hard time talking sense to them.

The internet outrage that followed this episode has been just as gonzo as these two owners,who scream,argue and deny any wrongdoing for their food failures and bad employee/customer relations, and has prompted the show to start their second season with a two hour special about this chaotic couple:


While I don't think that harassing these people is the way to go here(simply staying away from their restaurant would be more effective), part of the problem is that they themselves are courting the bad publicity by constantly reacting to the internet and making public appearances to complain about how all the "haters" are out to get them. Maybe if you spent that energy on improving your business instead of chasing the back end of the PR train,everyone would be better served.

 I've watched both the US and the UK Kitchen Nightmares and there have been some outrageous folks on either side of the pond but Amy's Baking Company really takes the cake. Why people who do agree to be on a show like this act up is beyond me-hello, YOU asked him to come and help you out, not the other way around! If things are so great, why did you contact KN in the first place?

Will I watch the KN opener tomorrow? *sigh* yes*hangs head in shame*-I'm a sucker for such shenanigans, folks but hey,give me credit for admitting it:


RANDOM NOTES:

HELL'S KITCHEN: Ramsey does a double shift as the latest season of HK is under way with a wedding challenge set for tonight. The man's blood pressure must be skyrocketing, I swear!:


Monday, April 07, 2014

Putting together an Easter basket of books

Part of the fun of the spring season is in celebrating the holidays that go with it and Easter,along with Passover, is only a hop or two away on the calendar.

Like most gift giving holidays, a lot of the focus for presents is on the kids and rightly so,but it would be nice for adults to join in the unwrapping festivities as well. Also, depending on your dietary issues, maybe picking out a treat that's inedible might be a welcome relief.

Naturally for me, my mind turns to books as the ultimate best gift to get and picking out a pair of current lit that are as suitable as a new pair of spring shoes sounds all so right. So, here are a few of my Easter literary basket suggestions(or Passover presents) to get the eggs rolling there:

A BOUNTY OF BINCHY:

Despite the passing of beloved author Maeve Binchy, we still have a few new books from her to share and enjoy such as A Week in Winter,her final novel and the soon to be released Chestnut Street, her last short story collection.


Some of the stories in Chestnut Street are connected to St. Jarlath's Crescent,a section of Dublin previously used for Minding Frankie, with folks such as Dolly, whose seemingly perfect mother loved by all has a few hidden faults to unearth and Madame Magic, a fortune teller of dubious distinction that does have the power to brighten up the lonely life of local gossip Melly.

Binchy's heartwarming style of story telling goes well with all seasons but I find that spring time reading of her work really hits the spot like a warm cup of tea for the soul:


GOOD UNDER GLASS:

For a touch of serious with your sentiment, award winning writer Julia Glass has a number of great books,beginning with her stylish debut novel Three Junes that earned her the National Book Award in 2002 and her latest work, And The Dark Sacred Night.

There is a connection between these two books,as the leading man of ATDSN,Kit Noonan feels discontented with how his life has gone thus far and decides to seek purpose by learning the true identity of his father who was a character in that previous book.

Kit's emotional journey opens up a few wounds for some of the people he encounters like Lucinda Burns,who still mourns the loss of her son Malachy and wonders about the choices she made regarding him, doubts that she shares with Fenno(another pivotal character from Three Junes),who knew Malachy well.

The title of the book comes from the classic lyrics of  "What a Wonderful World" and judging by her prior performance, Julia Glass' newest tale promises to be just as inspiring as that song is to many generations:


WORLD OF WORDCRAFT:

Even if you're more into science fiction or mystery, there are plenty of good reads around fit for holiday gift giving such as Max Barry's Lexicon, where words are literally weapons as Emily Ruff discovers when she is being recruited as a "poet" for a secret society that uses language as a means of attacking their enemies in most lethal ways.

Just as mysteriously engaging is Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore,last year's cult hit by Robin Sloan. 

Displaced web designed Clay Jannon finds himself fitting in all too well at the strange book shop he finally manages to find employment in and almost against his will, starts to decipher the strange codes found in the oddly titled volumes "borrowed" by an eccentric group of clients who frequent the store at very late hours.

Clay is encouraged by his friends(including the possibly new love interest in his life) to figure out what is behind the bizarre contents of the high shelved tomes and with the help of a digital map of the store and some very creative connections, this casual inquiry turns into something more amazing than he ever expected it to be. I happen to be reading this book at the moment(ironically enough,in ebook form) and it does make me want to visit a book store to peer at the hidden wonders inside,a very good sign of quality indeed:


 You can create all sort of book combinations,depending on the interests of your intended recipient, and place them in a nice basket with lovely substitutions for the standard Easter candy fare; bookmarks, book plates and literary quote magnets will  charmingly replace jelly beans, chocolate eggs and Peeps as sweet treats for your home library.

That doesn't mean you can't have some actual candy as well but it is good to have options,particularly if you're a grown-up who likes to embrace that childhood joy when the situation calls for it. The main benefit of books is that it captures that magic for you over and over again,without any chance of disappointment and it is better to be happy when the opportunity arises either in life or on the shelf:








Thursday, April 03, 2014

The cowboys are getting serious competition on TAR:All Stars,Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. upping the stakes and giddy for Game of Thrones!

It's been a pretty tight race so far for the repeat contenders on The Amazing Race: All Stars, with the Country Singers being extremely lucky in arriving last at the Pit Stop for a non-elimination round.

However, the ones who really had a run for their money this time were the Cowboys,Jet and Cord. Just like their earlier run on TAR,they've become the team to beat and for this leg, Leo and Jamal were determined to beat them to first place-it was literally a fast and furious foot race to make to the mat. Jet and Cord weren't thrilled to be second but took it in stride,yet they are on notice that they have one team in particular that's hot on their heels:


The game is on for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the pursuit of Deathlok(how I love that J. August Richards has become a major part of this show!) leads the team closer to the mysterious Clairvoyant.

 While that enemy's true motives are still unknown, some of Coulson's crew tumble onto the fact that Melinda May is reporting to someone on the sly,which makes them suspect her of being a double agent.

 However, it does seem that if she has a secret boss, that person might be on their side as it turns out that the Clairvoyant is actually working from within S.H.I.E.L.D. and I wouldn't be surprised if this story line is somehow connected to the new Captain America movie being released this week. At least we're getting episodes on a regular basis at the moment,instead of waiting a couple of weeks,and I do like where this is going:


As many of us are chomping at the bit for season 4 of Game of Thrones to begin(which it will this Sunday), I am sure that the big question amongst those who haven't read the books is "who survives the season?"

 Well, I can't say even though I have read A Storm of Swords(the second half of that book comprises this whole season) and hate to spoil the fun. I will tell you that all of the dark karma reaped by The Red Wedding and other horrible things done to the Stark family will soon be catching up to the Lannisters and unfortunately affecting my favorite of that bunch,Tyrion.

Not going to get into it further but I am not making a pun when I say that this season will be very big for that small of stature man. If it plays out as well as it did on the page, folks will be insistent that Peter Dinklage gets an Emmy award for this season,mark my words. In the mean while, who else will live or die shall be yet to be discovered and discussed, which is the true pleasure of watching this show if you ask me:


RANDOM NOTES:

SHAMELESS: The fourth season finale is this Sunday and I have to say,despite my only getting into this series recently, that the loving chaos of the Gallagher clan is as addicting as any of their bad habits are. Looking forward to the next go-round and hoping that at least Fiona finds some light at the end of her tunnel: