Sep 11 2015

A Review of Wednesdays with Mr. Better by Khandi Leeker

Wednesdays with Mr. Better by Khandi Leeker

Wednesdays with Mr. Better by Khandi Leeker

A review today of a new series in which the main characters are a succubus and the incubus mate that she accidentally has brought into being. That concept by itself is interesting and along with that should come some heat, some questions, some conflict and, if it is possible, some history to be explained.

While that all comes out in this, the first work in the Khandi Tales series, there’s something missing. While there is some heat and some answers and, yes, some conflict as well, the issue is a lack of connection. That comes in both the main characters themselves, but also in keeping my interest in the work and I don’t quite understand why that happened here.

  • Title: Wednesdays with Mr. Better
  • Author: Khandi Leeker
  • Length: 41 Pages
  • ASIN: B014OF2AWM
  • Publishing Date: August 29, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

It is the story of:

Dirkland Better’s life has changed for the weirder. After one ill-fated sleepover with a succubus, he finds himself gifted with some insatiable abilities. Dirkland must learn how to deal with his Wednesday transitions and his devilish mate as he maneuvers through his new found gifts.

Dirkland has a one-night stand with Khandi and discovers that he isn’t the same person he was. Now an incubus, learning that Khandi is a succubus, is the beginning of his new life. A series of missteps, errors in judgement, and a lack of information draws them both together and reveals that the one night stand isn’t. It is, seemingly, for always.

The work mainly focuses on Dirkland as he discovers what has changed about him, who is responsible for that, and how it effects him. There’s a good deal of story wrapped around this plot and in being so, quite a lot is told about Dirkland himself. As a result, by the time the final page of the story appears, it’s difficult to like him as a character for several reasons.

One of the main ones, at least for me, is that he seems very cold, almost calculating at times, and I just could not find my way into caring about him very much. There’s an emptiness within him, something missing, that hovers over him throughout the story and being so, just made it a difficult story to read at times.

This isn’t just from when he becomes an incubus, but rather it is part of his character for the first page to the last. While his personality shown to the world has its moments, hearing his thoughts, listening to him berate and mull over how he sees others becomes thin over time and I felt took away much of the story’s impact and, to an extent,the erotica when it appears. Being that he is the main character, at least in this work, I wanted to like him, to care about him. If his entire reason for being seems to be what I think it is, that’s disappointing.

Eventually he transforms into an incubus, through the actions, or rather, errors of Khandi, and there isn’t much of a change. As an incubus his personality is ramped up to an extent, he is a bit brutish, wild, and uncontrolled. I pause at calling him a stereotypical incubus, but it is a very close thing. His physical form is, for the most part that, but there is the barest little piece of who he is that manages not to fall over the edge into being stereotypically evil, or otherwise.

Khandi, the succubus of the work, is in a lot of ways a mirror to who Dirkland is. She’s brash, single-minded, thinks she knows everything, or as much as she needs to and that’s the problem. Khandi is a wild creature who seems to take a lot of risks for no real gain and, in the cases of Dirkland, that comes to bite her badly. This sets up a series of events that tie the two main characters together very tightly which one expects might lead to some character development for them both.

While we never see Khandi’s succubus form, it is made clear she is a succubus, but is a bit different. This is more in how she seems to put up walls around herself, as much as she can, and then, when she stumbles, cannot find the answers she needs, going off to try as she can to keep things together.

It’s a shame because the questions about her past, how she became a succubus, where she came from, who her father is, all of the minutia that makes for a more well told character is kept just out of reach for the sake of keeping the story moving forwards as quickly as possible. She pops in and out of the work, driving Dirkland’s story onwards, but there isn’t a lot of time spent thinking, more acting and there needed to be more of the former. To be clear, she doesn’t seem to be stereotypical in nature, just dislikable at times and she didn’t need to be.

There are a series of short hot flashes with regards to the erotica which simmer, but don’t really come to the boll that I had hoped for. Much of that comes from the disconnect I felt with both Dirkland and Khandi. It’s difficult to enjoy the heat when the personalities keep dumping cold water on things.

Overall, the work is written well, the characters do have some promise in them, but there is just something about their dialogue, their internal monologue, and how they express themselves that didn’t work for me. There is a hook however, a strong one, and I want to see how that unfolds. I’m hoping that future works in the series flesh out both Dirkland and Khandi as much as possible, giving them more than the dark clouds that hover around them. It need not be the happiest of stories, but making me care about them both would be a good place to start.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

As good as the concept is, as well fleshed out as both Khandi and Dirkland are, there’s just something missing in both of their characters that makes it very difficult to connect with either of them, or to like them. That isn’t exactly a requirement to be clear, but it makes for a better read and, in the case of the erotica, a hotter one as well.

There are at least two further works in the series to come, one in November 2015, the other is scheduled for January 2016. I will be following this series as there is something about it that holds my attention in spite of the blandness I felt towards both main characters.

I hope that telling more of the background, of the history, of the universe in which they live in, will overcome that.

 

Tera

Sep 11 2015

Lost Girl Returns: or Why the Dent in My Desk Is Getting Bigger

It’s been a long, long hiatus for Lost Girl hasn’t it? I think that having to wait so long for the final part of the fifth season to be released did a lot more harm than it did some good. Much of that I think came out in how almost silently the series came back. There really wasn’t much in the way of promotion, of getting attention. I felt like, sadly, a lot of the fan base seemed to have forgotten about the series. The bigger shame is that there was so little notice really of the first episode coming out, for one. The other I think was releasing the episode on the Showcase website and iTunes in advance took away quite a number of viewers as well. Then, stack on top of that the “not quite legal” methods of seeing the episode and I think there wasn’t a lot of people watching. Certainly on the evening I didn’t see a lot of tweets, comments, or anything else.

That all said, I was looking forward to the season starting again. The promos for the series seem to say that Kenzi is coming back, at least for an episode, I hope more. It’s been far too long that she’s been away, the heart of the series is missing, at least for me, and that will be good to see, even if it wasn’t in this episode. I wanted the first episode to be something special, to tell the story of Bo’s father Hades, to explain why things happened as they did. I thought there would be a focus on telling that story, of setting up the last part of the series going forwards and making it interesting.

What I didn’t expect was how odd I felt watching Hades smirking most of the time. How wrong some of the characters acted during the episode in their roles. I didn’t expect to have to watch a lot of yelling and threatening between two minor characters that didn’t do a lot to move the episodes onward. Most of all, I didn’t expect to see what had to be possibly the most contrived traffic accident as part of a drama that I think I have ever seen. But I’ll get back to that a little later on. Trust me. I will.

It is said at several points in this episode that family is important. Why is it then that the family around Bo, the family she cares most about, seems to be coming apart at the seams? If there is a point to what transpired in this episode, I really hope that it doesn’t turn out to be that you can’t trust anyone… even family.

Because that’s just a sad thing to believe in.

The frustrating part of this episode is that Hades, a major plot point for so long, is there, is present in many moments that matter, but really doesn’t come across as actually saying much, revealing much, or most of all, giving some sort of reason to believe anything he says. There’s a lot of confusion seeded, a lot of crossed purposes for so many and it doesn’t serve to start tying up the loose ends in the series. That not to say I expected everything to be explained, of course it couldn’t be, but the episode felt… flat for the most part. Oh there were some highlights, some promising moments. The ending, however, just made me sigh and dump a bowl of popcorn over the television. I expected more from the series than what seems to be the easy way out with regards to Lauren’s humanity and the problems caused for Lauren and Bo. As an aside, if anyone is going to become one of the succubi in Lost Girl, that needs to be Kenzi, but that brings its own problems.

And that seems to be the focus in this episode. All of the problems in the universe and no where to go but down. There’s something to be said for a bit of light among all of the darkness and considering how much of this episode referred to, or was that, or took a bit of light and happiness and turned that into a tragic moment, it needed to be more.

The ninth episode of the fifth season, also episode seventy of the Lost Girl TV series, and the beginning of the final eight episodes of the series, was this week. Bo gives her father a Get Out Of Hell Card and then finds out that Daddy likes playing Truth or Consequences. Trick bleeds for the sake of the world, but then runs out of ink. Dyson finds himself in a family affair while Tamsin’s personality makes even the Gods get drunk to forget about their worries and Lauren makes her brown eyes… blue.

 

Lost Girl Logo

This is the ninth review of the fifth season of of Lost Girl. A summary of this episode has been added to the SuccuWiki, but won’t be adding my commentary to the articles there as that is what the Tale is for….

Bo discovers that in her world, like on most television dramas, you only have…

 

44 Minutes to Save the World

 

The episode opens with a flashback to the previous episode including: Bo confronting Zee and then being given a vision of the world being plunged into darkness, Zee warning Bo that her father intends to use her to end the world. Iris looking at her human host’s father laying dead at her feet and trying to justify her actions to Mark before Mark is stabbed. Zee striking Tamsin with lightning, she seemingly being either killed or badly injured as a result. Trick explaining to Bo what the Nix is as Bo’s hand turns black as a result of touching Iris, then Trick explaining to Bo that the jack-in-the-box her father gave her could be used to stop the Nix. Bo is then seen opening the box, Zee warning Bo that doing so will release her father upon the Earth. Hades telling Bo that their combined powers will decide the fate of the Earth, adding the answers are within Bo herself as the box opens with a flash of light.

The episode begins with the final scene of the previous episode in which Bo (Anna Silk) comments: “The answer is in a gift” and looking at the box her Father gave her while Zee (Amanda Walsh) continues to admonish Bo not to open it. Bo then turns the crank on the box, causing Zee to depart shortly before the box pops open and a flash of light escapes from it.

Bo seems to be stunned for a moment, then calls out: “Dad?” After a moment there is a knock on the door and when Bo opens it, she finds a man calling himself John (Robert Clarke) standing outside, holding a bible and telling Bo that “The End is Neigh. Do you want to be saved?” When Bo asks why John is there, he explains that he would like to invite Bo to prayer circle on Sunday as the end of the world is coming. Bo closes the door and then comments to herself: “No kidding.”

The scene moves to the park where Dyson (Kristen Holden-Ried) and Lauren (Zoie Palmer) are seen trying to give aid to Mark (Luke Bilyk) who is bleeding profusely. As Lauren and Dyson attempt to render aid, a crowd of people has surrounded them and Dyson warns them all to move away in a harsh tone. Lauren tells Dyson that Mark is losing a lot of blood, Dyson, on the verge of panic begging Lauren to tell him that Mark will be alright. Lauren explains that they need to get Mark to her clinic or he will bleed to death, but before the conversation can continue Hades (Eric Roberts) appears, declares himself to be a doctor and asks if they need help. When Lauren explains that Mark has been stabbed, Hades replies: “My kit’s in the car, I’ll be right back.” Dyson asks Lauren if she really needs Hade’s help and she explains that she has nothing to help Mark, and Hades does. The crowd moves in closer again, Dyson pushing one member of the crowd back before Hades returns and hands Lauren a medical bag. Hades points out: “His abdominal aorta has been lacerated. He needs surgery fast.” When Dyson insists that Mark can make it to Lauren’s clinic, Hades replies that Mark will never make it there in the condition he is in. Lauren explains to Dyson that Hades is correct, the surgery cannot wait and she needs Hades assistance to save Mark. Dyson then reluctantly moves away as Hades assists Lauren in attempting to save Mark’s life, Hades commenting: “Okay Doll, stick him” as Lauren injects something into Mark.

The scene then shifts to the Dal Riata where Trick (Richard Howland) is seen discussing the current situation with another Fae. Trick explains that: “With the Nix unleashed, it could mean the end of all existence. Legend states that the Nix’s darkness will sink to the Earth’s core by midnight.” The Fae (Alan C. Peterson), who appears to be an Elder, tells Trick to use his powers to write the Nix out of existence. Trick explains that using his blood means that something worse would replace the Nix, but the Elder points out: “What could be worse than the end? Open your veins.” Trick refuses noting: “My blood will only write the future. I’m afraid the Nix is the end of time itself.” Trick then suggests that the Fae Council be assembled and all of their resources brought to bear against the threat of the Nix. The Fae Elder then offers the Staff of Pestilence to help in the battle, noting that he had used it to fight the Black Death and proclaiming that it will “stave off this new plague.” Trick then reveals that he possesses a shield, the same one that was displayed at Zee’s party which the Fae Elder identifies as the Aegis Shield. Trick explains that the shield is made of Adamantine and notes it is the only metal that can “hold off the Ancients.” Trick is warned that what his believes is “only legend” just as Iris (Shanice Banton) arrives. Trick warns the Elder that Iris is the Nix, but the Elder does not believe him. Iris asks if Mark is at the Dal Riata while Trick warns the Elder not to allow Iris to touch him. The Elder then attempts to use the Staff to stop Iris, but it has no effect on her. Iris then touches the Staff and it crumbles into dust before she touches the Elder, killing him while Trick protects himself with the Shield. When Trick looks out from behind the Shield a moment later, Iris is gone.

After the opening credits we return to find Lauren, Dyson and Mark at Lauren’s Clinic, Mark recovering from his surgery. Lauren notes that Mark is stable and he seems to be healing much faster than she expected him to be. Dyson thanks Lauren for saving Mark’s life, Lauren brushing it off saying that Dyson has “done your share of rescuing.” Dyson then berates himself for Mark being harmed, believing that he pushed Mark into a situation he was not prepared for. Lauren tells Dyson that he could not have known and they need to focus on what they need to do in order to deal with the threat of the Ancients. This pushes Dyson into action, commenting that they need to find Bo and Tamsin, Dyson then making a phone call in an attempt to contact one of them.

The scene moves to Zee’s condominium, where Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) is seen tied to a chair as her cellphone rings as Dyson attempts to contact her. Tamsin awakes, struggles to free herself from her bonds, but then pauses as Hera (Noam Jenkins) comments: “You’re actually pretty when you sleep.” Tamsin replies: “You’re actually creepy when you stare.” Hera retorts: “You also talk in your sleep. I considered a ball gag but to be honest I found your mutterings sort of charming.” Tamsin’s reply is: “What? This isn’t S&M enough for you?” as she pulls at her bonds again. Hera then explains that Tamsin is being held “as an insurance policy” adding that Tamsin should be familiar with that concept as Hera had been used in the same way before. Zee then enters, ranting that Bo has released Hades. When Hera asks what Hades wants, Zee replies: “What do you think he wants?” Zee then comments to Tamsin: “I thought you were dead? Guess you have a little more fight in you after all.” Tamsin then attempts to use her Valkyrie powers against Zee, but Zee brushes them off, telling Tamsin that she is immune to them. Zee then comments to Hera that they have: “Front row seats to the end of the world.” Zee adds that they will be safe in their condominium, but then is shocked to see that the Aegis Shield is no longer present in their home. Zee then berates Hera for being useless and having lost the Shield. Zee places all of the blame upon Hera, ranting and raving before she departs in search of her shield and regaining its protection. Before Zee leaves, Hera asks what they should do with Tamsin and Zee replies: “Get rid of her” but then pauses, approaches Tamsin and then tears out a lock of her hair before storming off again, changing her mind and telling Hera to “hold onto her. Maybe she’s worthy of a trade.”

Back at Lauren’s Clinic, Hades is seen waiting by a nursing station as Lauren approaches him. Hades asks how Mark is doing and Lauren replies that “He’s healing rather quickly actually.” After Lauren thanks Hades for his help, Hades asks if he might have his medical bag back, and Lauren leaves to retrieve it for him. After Lauren enters Mark’s room, Hades enters a moment afterwards, asking to see Mark. Lauren comments that Hades is not supposed to be where he is, but before this can continue, Hades comments: “I see you do R&D. Lauren explains that it is “something I do in my spare time” as a whiteboard is shown with some molecular structures and notes about them shown. Hades considers it a moment before commenting: “My organic chemistry is a bit rusty but this looks like stem cell research. Ambitious for a hobby.” Lauren explains that she is trying to isolate a specific group of cells and Hades comments: “If you can crack that code, that’s the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth. Everlasting life.” Lauren replies with a laugh: “A girl can dream.” Hades continues to examine the diagrams and then points out where Lauren seems to be stuck in her research. Lauren comments that she doesn’t want to bore him, but Hades replies: “I’m retired. This is the most fascinating stuff I have read in years. Humour me.” Lauren explains her problem is that the cells she is interested in “lack markers which makes them difficult to isolate.” When Hades asks if she has tried injecting a virus, Lauren replies that the cells “just destroy the virus.” Hades then comments: “A pathogenic virus yes, but what about a TTV?” Lauren is surprised, replying: “You mean a benign virus?” Hades explains that the stem cells will not attack, and also adds: “Sometimes the catalyst that appears the most innocuous can do the most damage. Think of it as a Trojan Horse.” Lauren thanks Hades for the idea as Dyson enters the room. Dyson approaches Hades and thanks him for his help. When asked for his name, Hades gives it as: “Jack.” Bo then enters the room, carrying the box her father had given her, and comments: “Actually. It’s Hades. My father.” Hades smiles as he replies: “Hi Bo.”

After a commercial break, Lauren is confused that Hades is Bo’s father, while Dyson demands to know what Hades wants. Hades replies they they should ask Bo as “she’s the one that summoned me here.” Lauren then notices Bo’s hand is black in colour and moves to examine it, but Bo warns her away. Bo then explains that Iris is Nix and that Bo has seen it, explaining that “everything she touches dies and turns into nothing.” Lauren is confused and asks how Bo survived, but Bo’s answer is that she has no idea, but regardless they have to stop Nix. Hades comments that they will all be “burnt toast” if Nix succeeds and Bo tells Hades that she released him in order to stop Nix. Hades asks if Bo means by using the box he gave her and Bo replies: “If it contained you, it can contain her too.” Hades smiles and comments: “Smart girl. That’s my daughter.” Bo is not amused and tells Hades: “Let’s hold off on the father/daughter bonding for the moment shall we?” Hades then explains that the box can “contain a force and sent it to Tartarus. But only one. So, if you use it to contain her, then…” Bo completes the sentence with: “Then you have to stay here.” Hades also explains that to get rid of Nix, Iris will have to be killed in order to do so. Dyson’s phone then rings and he leaves the room to answer the call which is from Alycia Welles (Lisa Marcos) who tells Dyson that she bought some groceries and also notes that Dyson “has no milk, but you have five different kinds of mustard.” Dyson explains that he cannot talk to Alycia as Mark has been injured. Alycia then asked if she can help, offering to come to the clinic, but Dyson refuses, asking her to remain at Dyson’s gym, adding that he “might send someone over to get some clothes for him.” In the middle of the phone call, Mark begins to wake up, gasping in pain. Dyson ends the phone call and rushes over to Mark with Lauren and Bo. Mark asks about Iris and attempts to get up, but his injuries force him to lay down again. Bo asks Mark if he has any idea of where Iris could be and Mark explains that they had been at Iris’ human host’s home, explaining that Iris and her host where “talking to each other.” Hades explains that “they keep them alive to get information.” Lauren muses: “All of the humans could be alive inside the Ancients.” Mark continues to explain Iris killed her human host’s father and that he had sex with Iris. This confuses Lauren as Mark should have been killed like Bo had explained, but Mark tries to express that Iris had changed afterwards. Mark then asks for his pants and then hands over the bracelet that Iris had been wearing before which Hades explains “is made of Adamantine” but also adds: “Contain? No. Control? Yes. If it is on her wrist. If it is not on her wrist we’re all in trouble.” Bo replies they need to put the bracelet back on Iris again which then leads Dyson to ask Mark where Iris might be. Mark lists off a number of locations including a cafe, a park, and that they went clubbing as well, naming a specific club called The Garrett.” Dyson tells Bo he will check the park and the cafe. As Dyson leaves, Mark begs him not to hurt Iris, explaining that “it’s not her fault.” Bo promises Mark “We’ll do everything to keep her safe. I know what it’s like to be used by your parents.” Bo then turns away to leave, but Lauren stops her, explaining that they need to “make sure you are safe too.” Lauren then asks Bo to come with her and they leave Hades and Mark alone.

Meanwhile, Tamsin is still being held as a hostage by Hera. Hera has been continuing to drink and seems to be almost drunk as they begin a conversation. Hera comments that he would offer Tamsin a drink but she is “indisposed” and when Tamsin suggests they Hera could release her, Hera refuses, and Tamsin comments: “You’re just following orders. Right?” Hera tells Tamsin: “They are not orders.” But Tamsin laughs at this, commenting that: “From here it looks like you are Zee’s little bitch.” Hera tells Tamsin: “We’re partners. There’s a difference.” Tamsin then begins to seed discord in Hera, commenting about Hera giving Zee’s shield to Athena, which Hera tells Tamsin she knows nothing about. Tamsin continues to press on, taunting Hera about sacrificing his daughter as well, asking if it was his idea. Hera replies that he loves Iris and “We’re a family and we all have a part to play to make this world a better place.” Tamsin then exclaims: “You don’t love Iris! You used her!” Hera can only reply: “We did what had to be done.” Tamsin then asks if Iris knew what her part would be in the plan, asking if Iris knew that Hera would be the one to doom her. Hera gravely warns Tamsin, but she replies: “You can’t touch me. Zee’s orders remember?” Hera then approaches Tamsin and growls: “I don’t know if it is the drink, but Zee’s orders are feeling a bit foggy right now.” Tamsin then asks Hera: “If Zee had plans for you, would you even know? What happens when she no longer needs you?” This strikes a cord in Hera and he walks away, thinking about what they had been discussing while Tamsin chuckles to herself.

The scene then returns to Bo and Lauren, as Lauren suggests to Bo that she might feel better if she fed on her. Bo refuses, telling Lauren that she doesn’t want to take that risk with her. Lauren tells Bo that what Iris did is killing her, but Bo replies: “It’s not all that bad, it turns out it’s the perfect shield.” Lauren asks: “Are you being serious?” and Bo replies: “I guess that means no ‘talk to the hand jokes.'” Lauren tells Bo: “It’s a good thing we got back together just in time for the end of the world.” Bo smiles as she replies: “At least we got back together.” Lauren then moves to apply a cream to Bo to slow down the effects of the darkness on her hand, but Bo refuses to allow Lauren to touch her. Hades then approaches and comments: “I can.” Lauren then gives the cream to Hades, who thanks her, and then tells Bo: “Your smart friend is right. This will slow the spread, but you don’t have much time.” As Hades works, Lauren asks Bo how she intends to get Iris to put the bracelet back on, but Bo’s answer is: “If anyone can do it, it’s me. She’s scared and alone and doesn’t know how to control her powers. I was that girl.” Lauren asks Bo to be careful and Bo promises to be. Bo then picks up the box and turns to Hades who she tells: “Plan B. I won’t be needing this box. So it’s time for you to be heading back to Tartarus.” Hades then reveals that he has been using his powers to protect Bo through the mark he placed on her chest, from Iris and as well, he is keeping Mark alive. Hades warns Bo that if he goes back to Tartarus, then his mark will fade and Mark will die. Bo refutes this, telling Hades her mark never fades so why should Mark’s and Hades replies: “He isn’t my child, and my mark on you will never fade.” Bo replies: “We’ll see about that.” Bo then tells Hade he is coming with her “until I can figure out what to do with you.” Bo then tells Lauren she will call if she needs her and then leaves with Hades in tow, who pauses and tells Lauren: “I’m just here to help” before he leaves.

Elsewhere, Iris approaches a club and tries to enter, bypassing the line and trying to get by the security guard there. When she is refused, she tells the guard: “I don’t want to wait anymore. It’s all going to happen now.” She then touches the guard, killing them and turning them to dust before turning to the club goers in line as the episode goes to commercial.

Back from commercial, Trick is seen in his lair gathers his instruments in order to write with his blood in an attempt to end the coming of the Nix and the threat of the end of the world. Opening one of his veins Trick states: “To vanquish the Nixm it’s the only way. Come what may.” However, before Trick can begin to write in his blood, Zee appears. Trick tells Zee she is not welcome in his home, but Zee seems not to care and begins to taunt Trick about his home and also notes that she welcomed Trick into her home and, as such, he should welcome her into his. When Trick tells Zee she has “no idea of the darkness you have unleashed”, Zee replies: “I know exactly what I have done. It’s the end, but it’s also the beginning. I’m going to destroy this world and start a new one. The way it used to be, The days of sacrifice and human worship. It’s time now for us to be seen as the Gods we are.” Trick angrily replies: “Not if I can help it. It’s the only way.” and then begins to write in his book using his blood to do so as Zee watches. However, as Trick writes, his words vanish immediately afterward, meaning that his powers cannot overcome the Nix. Zee then taunts: “A for effort. You know what they say, optimism is a form of courage. Now give me my shield back.” Trick takes hold of the Aegis Shield to protect himself from Zee. Zee reminds Trick that the shield may protect him, but it will not protect any of his “people.” Zee warns Trick that if he wants to see them again, he must give up the shield, but when he refuses and demands that Zee leave his lair, Zee replies: “How about a trade then. Hand over the shield or I’ll hunt your people down and kill them.” Zee then shows Trick a lock of Tamsin’s hair, warning that she will be the first to die.

The scene then moves to Bo and Hades who approach the club where Iris had been earlier in the episode. After a moment, Bo asks why Hades keeps looking at her and he replies: “I haven’t seen you for a long time and I’m proud to see the woman you’ve become.” Bo replies: “Well, don’t get too excited. Soon as I contain Nix and save Iris, I’m going to figure out a way to send you back where you came from.” Hades then tells Bo: “You are the only one who can” then continues to explain that: “That box was made for you. And only you. Specifically you could bring me back.” A long moment passes, then Hades continues: “I’m glad you’re confident that you’ll rescue Iris.” Bo replies: “I promised a friend a long time ago that I would always look out for the little guy.” Hades answers: “You mean Kenzi?” Bo then turns on Hades and warns him: “You don’t get to say her name.” Hades claims to be sorry, adding that Bo never should have made that promise, but Bo presses on: “Well, you’re not me. And I’m not you. I will never be you. I’m in the business of helping people, not killing them.” Hades tries to explain to Bo that she “misunderstands” him, explaining that he would do anything to rescue Iris as she is his niece and Bo’s cousin, adding “and there is nothing more important than family.” Bo turns cold at this, telling Hades: “You know what? Don’t.” Turning away, Bo then approaches the club where she finds the remains of the club goers that Iris has killed. Bo then calls Dyson, who is with Mark, and tells him of what she has found. Dyson only tells Mark that Iris was at the club, but she isn’t there now, and that she has killed others. Bo asks Dyson if he has any idea of where Iris might be and after Dyson asks Mark if he has an idea, he mentions the Dal Riata and then Dyson’s gym. Dyson tells Bo that Iris might be going there, adding that Alycia is there at the moment and soon after Bo and Hades make their way towards Dyson’s gym as Dyson leaves Mark to do the same. The scene then moves to Dyson’s gym where Alycia is putting things away as Iris enters, calling out to gain Alycia’s attention.

After still another commercial break, Alycia asks Iris who she is, and Iris explains that she is Mark’s friend. Alycia assumes that Iris the the person that Dyson had mentioned earlier in the episode that might be coming to get some things for Mark. After giving Iris a bag, Alycia asks how Mark is, Iris replying that she has no idea. Alycia is confused, asking if Dyson had sent Iris, the answer from Iris being a simple no. Iris then asks if Alycia is Kevin’s wife, who is the host body for Hera, adding as well that Alycia is “very pretty.” Alycia attempts to get information about her husband from Iris, which results in a series of back and forth questions between the two, the tension between them rising sharply as this unfolds. Dyson, Bo and Hades burst into the room with Dyson warning Alycia to move away from Iris as she is “sick.” This angers Iris who becomes upset and begins to lose control of herself. Bo then talks to Iris in the place of Dyson, attempting to calm Iris down and in doing so have Iris put the bracelet back on again. As this unfolds, Dyson rushes over to Alycia and takes her to safety in another room.

After Dyson secures the door they entered through, Alycia demands to know what is happening, screaming at Dyson that Iris knows Kevin, her husband, and she wants to know why and why Dyson will not tell her what is happening. Alycia thrusts a finger into Dyson’s chest, telling him: “I am not crazy!” and after a moment, Dyson embraces Alycia, telling her: “You are not.”

Elsewhere, Zee gleefully returns to her condominium with the Aegis Shield in her possession. When Hera asks if Zee had found Iris, Zee brushes the question off with the comment: “No, but if she comes back, we’ll be ready. It’s time to hunker down and wait for the show.” Zee then asks Hera if he is drunk, to which Hera replies: “This was a mistake. We shouldn’t have done this.” Zee tells Hera it is too late for second thoughts and when Hera tells Zee that Iris is their daughter, Zee replies: “She’s the harbinger of darkness.” Hera then screams: “Because you put Nix in her!” Hera expresses his love for Iris, Zee does as well, but in an unconvincing way which causes Hera to reply: “You love nobody but yourself.” Zee then realizes that Tamsin has something to do with Hera’s attitude and asks what she has done. Tamsin replies with only a smile, saying nothing. This only pushes Zee over the edge and she tells Hera: “You are an idiot. She played you and you let her.” Hera answers: “You used Iris and then you threw her away.” Zee then returns to her usual ranting and belittling of Hera which only serves to increase the tension between them until Hera attempts to strike Zee. When Hera tells Zee that she is “worse than Nix. You are nothing.” Zee loses control and strikes Hera down with lighting from her body, causing Hera to fall to the floor, ranting as she does so: “How dare you defy Zeus?” Zee then turns her wrath onto Tamsin, demanding to know what Tamsin said to him. Zee then continues to rant, telling Tamsin: “You think you stopped something? You think he matters? I’m the one you should be afraid of.” Tamsin tells Zee: “If you are going to kill me, then do it already. Stop dragging it out, it’s super tacky.” Zee then frees Tamsin from her bindings and taunts Tamsin that it is almost midnight and there’s no way for Nix to be stopped. Before Tamsin can leave, Zee orders Tamsin to drag Hera’s body to the elevator and leave with it, which Tamsin does, but as she does so, Tamsin asks: “This is what you want? To destroy everything?” Zee answers: “Everybody likes a fresh start.” Tamsin asks: “So you can sit in this monolith by yourself? What’s the point? I hope you enjoy your own company.” Zee stares at Tamsin, who comments: “At least I won’t die alone.” Zee then presses the elevator button and says: “Going down.”

Returning to Bo, Hades and Iris in Dyson’s gym, Hades tries talking to Iris, which seems to calm Iris down as she is confused that Hades is on Earth. When Hades claims to be there to see her, Iris replies: “I thought you forgot about me.” Hades tells Iris she is his “favourite niece” as Bo explains that they are there to take her home. This angers Iris, who tells Bo that she does not want to go home, saying that that she left to get away from her parents. Bo tries to explain that she understands how Iris feels, but this only serves to make Iris angrier even as Hades tries to calm Iris down. Iris becomes more confused and angry as both Hades and Bo continue to speak to her, each with their own idea of the best way to make Iris cooperate. When Bo gives Iris the bracelet that had been used to control her in the past, Iris tells Bo: “It’s far too late for that. Nix is who I was meant to be. It’s who I am.” and throws the bracelet away. Iris then tells Bo that her powers have almost reached the core of the Earth and: “Any minute now the clock strikes Nix. It’s going to be beautiful.” while the darkness that Bo had on her hand begins to spread slowly up her arm.

Following a commercial break, Hades tells Bo that she must use the box to save the world, but Bo refuses, saying that she will not kill Iris to do so. Bo begins to suffer from the effects of Nix’s infection, but no matter how much Hades asks her to use the box, Bo continues to refuse to do so. At one point Iris comments to Hades: “The darkness inside of you? It’s inside of me too. We’re the same.” Hades continues to talk to Bo, telling her to use the box, but Bo tells him: “It’s evil!” Hades replies: “Sometimes the greatest evil is the greatest mercy. Use the box.” Hades then turns to Iris and asks her to come close. iris replies: “I carry darkness.” Hades touches Iris’ hair and comments: “Maybe so. But I am darkness” then he clutches Iris by the throat and lifts her into the air. Bo screams at Hades to let Iris go, but he refuses, telling Bo: “Turn the crank Bo. Do it! You’re the only one that can.” Bon finally relents and starts turning the crank, which makes the box play its music. As this happens, the darkness inside of Iris, the Nix, is drawn out of her and passes from her mouth, through the air, and into the box. When the last of the darkness is within the box, it snaps closed, sealing Nix within it. Once this happens, the darkness on Bo’s body vanishes and she seems to return to normal. Hades tells Bo: “You are my child. My blood. I would never do anything to hurt you.” Bo says nothing, only looking to where Iris lays dead. The scene moves to Zee who is counting down the seconds to the end of the world, but when midnight sounds, and passes with nothing happening, she has an insane look in her eyes as she looks out over the city.

Lauren, Dyson and Bo are seen at the Clinic with Mark still recovering in the room. Bo explains that Nix is gone and that Iris and her human host are both dead. Bo tells Dyson that she tried to save them, but she couldn’t. Dyson tells Bo: “You did what you had to do.” When Bo asks to tell Mark what happened, Dyson refuses, telling Bo that he will do so. Dyson then walks away from Bo and Lauren, approaches Mark, and after a short word, Mark cries out in pain and Dyson tries to comfort him. Lauren sees that Bo is suffering for her choice and asks if Bo is alright. Bo replies: “No matter what I do. Someone always gets hurt.” Lauren tells Bo that she has saved so many people so many times, naming herself, Dyson, Kenzi and Tamsin. Bo tells Lauren: “One day I’m going to lose you too.” Lauren replies cryptically: “Well, maybe you don’t have to.”

Bo is then seen talking to her father, who seems to be in some kind of isolation ward elsewhere in Lauren’s clinic. She asks: “Are you comfy dad?” to which Hades replies with a chuckle: “You know, when I suggested we talk privately, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.” Bo replies: “You seem to have a thing for boxes. I figured you could use a new one.” When Hades suggests that they “catch up” at the Dal Riata over a drink, Bo warns Hades: “I don’t want you at my bar. And I don’t want you near my friends.” When Hades asks: “If this is about Kenzi…” Bo strikes the glass panel between them with her hand and warns him: “I said, you don’t get to say her name.” Bo then continues: “You made her close the portal. You killed my best friend. Just to get to me. You know, growing up I imagined all of the things I wanted to say to you. You know what I realized? You don’t deserve it. You weren’t in my life then and I don’t want you in my life now.” Hades replies: “I think it’s good that I stayed out of your life. You turned out better than if I had raised you.” Bo stammers: “You’re glad that I was abducted?” Hades tells Bo that he didn’t say that, and when Bo asks how he could keep Aife, Bo’s mother, imprisoned, and that Aife had the courage to get Bo out, Hades asks: “She had the courage to get you out? Is that what she told you?” Bo claims this to be the truth, but Hades explains: “I thought you’d know by now that the truth is open to interpretation. Your mother was sick.” Bo tells Hades that if Aife was crazy it was his fault, but Hades insists: “The Dark Dungeons drove her crazy. I saved her. I brought her to Tartarus, but she was too sick. They tortured her you understand.” Bo answers: “No. That’s what you did. For years.” Hades tells Bo: “You want to blame somebody? Blame your dear grandfather. He’s the one that sent her to the Dark Dungeons in the first place.” Bo presses on with: “You kept her in a cage!” Hades answers: “To protect you from her! She wanted to take you away from me, I couldn’t let that happen. Sending you away was the only way to keep you safe.” Bo does not believe a word that Hades has spoken, and Hades tells Bo that she’s never heard his side of what happened, adding: “And now you don’t want to.” Bo exclaims: “Why would I? You choked me in an elevator!” Hades claims: “I didn’t mean to Bo, I just wanted to talk.” Bo tells him: “Well it’s hard to talk with a hand around your neck.” Hades can only answer: “I invited you in, I didn’t want you to go.” Bo pauses for a moment, then tells Hades: “I’m going to find a way to get rid of you. Until then, you’re not going anywhere.” Hades replies: “If this is where you want me, this is where I will stay.” Bo pauses, then answers: “We both know this cell can’t hold you.” Hades asks: “Has it occurred to you, that I might want to stay here. With you?”

After the final commercial break, we return to find Tamsin arriving at Lauren’s clinic and encountering Lauren and Dyson. When asked where she was, Tamsin replies: “You actually noticed I was gone?” Lauren comments: “Sorry, it’s been a bit of a day” to which Tamsin replies: “Tell me about it.” Dyson tells Tamsin that Nix is gone and Iris is dead. He also notes they still have Zee and Hera to deal with, while Lauren adds that Bo’s father is there as well. Tamsin seems not to be surprised about this and also adds that Hera won’t be a problem anymore before ushering Dyson and Lauren into another room where they find Hera’s unconscious body, seemingly in a coma. Tamsin asks: “Can we kill him?” but Lauren reminds Tamsin that if they kill Hera they also kill the human host as well. Tamsin then declares she needs a drink, but Dyson refuses, saying he needs to be with Mark and Lauren declines, saying that she is meeting Bo. Tamsin then asks Dyson if they should tell Alycia they have found her husband, but Dyson replies: “I think I’ll wait until after he wakes up.” Lauren adds: “Question is if he wakes up, who will he wake up as?”

The final scene of the episode begins with Bo and Lauren walking along a sidewalk, at night, holding hands and talking. Lauren asks Bo what her father said and Bo replies: “More lies. He’s trying to brainwash me but I won’t let him.” Lauren asks: “I know that him being here changes everything, but you can try to look on the bright side a little bit.” Bo comments: “Mark got stabbed, Iris and CC are dead and my dad is at your clinic. Please tell me the bright side because I’m all tapped out for my gratitude journal.” Lauren then runs away from Bo, standing a short distance away in the middle of the street as she calls out: “I can think of three reasons! One! We’re alive! Two! We just saved the entire world! And Three? I love you Bo Dennis.” Bo smiles: “I love you too, now get off the street, you’re making me nervous.” Lauren asks what they are going to have for dinner, her hands waving about wildly before, in the next moment, a car approaches from behind Bo and strikes Lauren head on where she stood in the road a moment before.

Bo rushes over to Lauren, who is laying in a pool of her blood, barely breathing as the car that struck Lauren races away into the night. Bo cannot speak, has no idea what to do, and for a long moment she and Lauren look into each other’s eyes. Lauren then raises one hand to touch Bo’s neck before puling herself up slightly. In the next moment, Lauren’s eyes turn blue and she begins to feed from Bo in a way that is eerily similar to that of how Bo feeds.

The final image of the episode is Bo’s Chi being drawn from her, Bo in shock as Lauren does so, before the camera switches to Lauren’s bloodied face, a pool of blood on the ground around her, her eyes glowing and the Chi entering her mouth as she continues to feed.

 

Fade to black…

 

For the premiere episode of the final part of the series, I found that, for a lot of reasons, there was too many moments when nothing happened. By that I mean there are many points in the episode where two characters just look at each other for what seems like a long time before anything happens. I don’t mean that I wanted to see the dialogue rushed, or the story moved on faster, what I mean is that spending literally ten seconds on the screen with Bo staring at her father seemed to just drag out things.

Past that, the moments with Zee and Hera, and to a point, Iris as well, bordered on the edge of being caricatures. For beings of such power in this world, they really don’t seem to have all of their mental faculties. It’s difficult to take them seriously when all we see, for the most part, is snide remarks, yelling, taunting… or worse. Zee especially, at least for me, isn’t at all the sort of threat, or opponent for Bo that she could have been. I’ve said before in other reviews that Evony is, by far, a better foil to Bo and she really is missed amongst all of this borderline stereotypical villain wannabes. The Ancients as of this episode have become less of a threat and more of a joke. That’s disappointing considering that the balance of the series seems to be focused on them and Bo’s relationship, and actions, with them.

The resolution of the Mark cliffhanger was quite cut and dried, which was fine, I could accept Hades appearing to move that plot along. What I couldn’t quite accept was Hades running off for some medical gear and be back in under thirty seconds. More so, how Lauren, and Dyson for that matter, could not notice that. It can be filed under hand-waving and suspension of disbelief I suppose, but it bothered me.

Speaking of Hades, there’s a certain air about him that rubs me wrong and I wish it didn’t because I happen to like the actor. Perhaps there’s a bit of the “prince of lies” within the character that is just coming out really strongly and that’s my problem with him. Or it is the smirk that seems to be always there. Or it is the hovering just on the edge of a conversation and then popping into it. Or the talent to raise conflicts in others. Whatever it is, I expected a bit more than just a character that seems to be somewhere between Evony and Vex in his “evil” attitude.

 

The one part of the episode that bothered me the most was the ending. To start with, the end result was pretty much telegraphed when Lauren stepped into the street, not to mention when Bo spoke of being worried about Lauren being there. Then the actual event of Lauren getting run over by a car just didn’t sit right with me. For at least one minute, possibly two, Lauren was standing in the middle of the street, looking at Bo… and facing oncoming traffic.

Then the car appears, literally out of nowhere, strikes her and leaves. But Lauren would have seen that car coming for at least long enough to get out of the way. In fact, in the last ten seconds she is looking directly towards where the car was coming from. This just bothers me to no end. I could have accepted Lauren stepping off the curb and being struck, or walking out from between two parked cars and getting struck. But she as in the middle of an empty street, with nothing around her. The car couldn’t see her? Doubtful. But, of course, this is television and some things just happen as they do. But the set up for the ending was just really poor and it shouldn’t have been.

It leads to Lauren seeming to have the powers of a succubus, possibly like Bo, and it just felt very contrived and slipshod in how things brought the story to that point. Which is the other part of this episode that makes me cringe. How is it that Lauren is a succubus now? Are we to believe that Lauren took the hint from Hades about genetics, used it and found the answer she needed, then took some of Bo’s DNA, mixed it in a beaker, injected herself with it, and all of a sudden she is a succubus? In one night?

Suspension of disbelief in this case isn’t going to work for me. I’ll accept that Lauren figured things out some time ago, but has been keeping that secret. I’ll accept that she might have been trying to find a means for controlling some aspect of her change from what she showed Hades. But I just cannot accept that in less than the time of an evening that could be done, no matter how talented a scientist, doctor and surgeon Lauren might be. How this is going to be explained I can hardly wait to see.

But the thing about Lauren being a succubus is that she isn’t human. That means the one connection the series had left to humanity seems to be gone. The series tells about the relationship between the human characters and the Fae and over time there’s been less said about the human aspect of things are more towards the Fae. That all started with Kenzi leaving the series, which I still feel hurt a lot, and over time it’s become the major point in the storylines. Humanity doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore. It’s all about the Fae on the grand scale and, to a lesser extent as well, Bo dealing with that.

So the beginning of the end is here and with it comes a stack of questions to be answered, or not. I do not expect that the answers will come easily, for in all of the answers the truth seems to be missing, or is hiding lies. The truth needs to be what it is, for in being so we might see the series end in a place where we can see that sometimes, as the song says, you have to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight…

On to the characters in the episode…

Bo… Really nothing of Succubus Bo in the episode to speak of. The moments with Hades were telling and I liked the emotional connections. But it felt like Bo was being led around by her nose again in this episode, the end result being that she had to, once again, not keep a promise, watch another die, and then have to deal with her guilt. There’s only so much guilt that one can take, and when she gets to that point… what happens then? As well, I thought that Bo’s emotions were odd at points, and how she reacted to Lauren getting run over was a little wrong as well.

Dyson…It’s been a while since “lost little boy” Dyson has been around. But he’s back in full force this episode and that didn’t work for me. I do understand Dyson losing his cool as Mark was bleeding, but the entire scene was too much over the top for him. I expected more than Dyson almost losing himself to grief, losing himself to guilt. He’s better than that.

Lauren. Some of the most interesting moments were Lauren speaking with Hades by far. There was a kind of tension there, a game being played, and that I thought worked well. Some cute and funny moments here and there as well were nice to see too. But that ending…

Tamsin: One of the most fascinating things about Tamsin is how she can use the hidden flaws in others to her advantage. The scenes with Hera were telling in just how good she is at manipulating others and it was amazing to see. But outside of that, her sarcastic attitude wore very thin, very quickly. Putting up a wall between herself and everyone else doesn’t work for her character. Perhaps she’ll work that out before the series is over.

Trick. To see Trick struggling with the use of his powers was good to see, it’s been a while since he has done so, and a reminder of who he is and what he could do is good. But seeing him realize that he has no power to stop the events unfolding I think was a massive blow. It’s a shame that wasn’t shown more of.

Mark. In bed. Alone. Okay, that’s a bit severe, but really the majority of his scenes were being in pain, moaning, and trying to hand out some plot points. The only moment where I thought there was something more than that was when Dyson told Mark that iris was dead. There was more emotion in that moment than really has been seen in this character. I still don’t like him, I don’t see the point of him in the series, but we’ll see.

Hera. Drunk, disorderly, and in a coma. Possibly the best thing that’s happened to this character so far.

Zee. A drunk being of power is never a good thing. An insane, drunk being with power even more so. I still think she’s a Morrigan wannabe with thoughts of grandeur and I won’t mind when she’s no longer around.

Iris. Six feet under. This was expected and there was no other way her story was going to come to a close. I can’t say that I liked how her story ended. Having her seemingly go insane didn’t feel right, and as well, the character wasn’t allowed to grow very much. Perhaps that was the problem in that there wasn’t any growth to make the character more than a curiosity overall.

Hades. Mr. Smiley. There’s too much of “I know something you don’t” to his attitude and that, by the end of the episode, really was grating. He danced around every question put to him and only said something when it was to hide an info dump. There’s more to him, and there was the barest hint of that happening during Iris being killed and Nix trapped. The story told is shrouded in untruths, lies, and truths. I wonder if he can ever tell the truth? Somehow the image of him pulling the strings of the other characters around him is very strong.

Alycia. Grocery shopping and nervous breakdowns. This seems to be a theme for her, and I don’t care much for it. She was strong enough to stab Hera when she knew something wasn’t right. Going off the deep end didn’t work for me.

 

I would have liked more focus on Hades and Bo. That story tells more about Bo, her past. That’s the point of the series and it should have been more than a series of scattered conversations that are punctuated with Bo threatening Hades. There are answers out there, by now, at least some of them should be on the edge of being made clear instead of confused further still.

 

My Review of 44 Minutes to Save the World

Keeping my interest – 3 Pitchforks

Portrayal of a Succubus – 1 Pitchforks

Overall look and feel – 3 Pitchforks

Storyline – 5 Pitchforks

Main Characters – 4 Pitchforks

Mythos – 5 Pitchforks

Overall Rating – 3.5 Pitchforks out of 5

 

When the episode had moments of Hades being around, that of course kept my attention. How could it not? But the argument between Zee and Hera didn’t. Watching Iris travel around didn’t. The repeat the ending of the previous episode at the beginning didn’t. Overall, there are a lot of moments that didn’t hold my attention. That’s not to say that there weren’t some, just not enough considering this was the mid-season premiere. But the ending, how that was set up and what happened? That just made the episode fall apart as far as I was concerned. Oh, I think the surprise ending was good, just getting there wasn’t.

 

It’s bad when the only sign of a succubus… wasn’t Bo. Bo was in action hero mode, or was trying to be. It seemed like, once again, Bo being a succubus was pushed further and further into the background. Now that Lauren seems to be a succubus as well, I’m expecting that to come back to the fore. But in this episode, one Chi sucking does not a succubus make.

 

Overall, the setting, how things were filmed, served to add a bit of tension here and there in the episode. There were moments where the dialogue just wouldn’t allow for any tension, as it was so over the top, but in the moments were some darkness needed to be seen, that comes through strongly. The series still has the problem of being shot in the dark a lot, but that wasn’t as prevalent as it usual is this time.

 

Overall the storyline seemed very forced and compressed, but then it had to be considering that the time frame was what seemed to be a single evening. While it did end the threat of the Nix, the Ancients still are a threat, so not all the loose ends are tied up. The more telling storyline was that of Hades and how he fits into things overall. That was more important and more gripping than the threat of the “end of the world” and that’s saying something about the episode when the main plot and the secondary one are inverted or at odds with each other.

 

For the main characters, there wasn’t growth so much as discovering thing about each other they didn’t know. Moreover, watching the characters having to come to terms with some tragic, or nearly so, moments, told something about them as well. But to say that Bo has changed can’t be. However, with Lauren’s seemingly becoming Fae, that will change. As well, is Dyson going to have a family and be settled with himself while Bo and Lauren become a couple for, seemingly, ever? Then toss Hades into the mix and watch the fireworks.

 

I liked that Hades’ mythos was fleshed out some, though it needs to be more still of course. The continued story of being. or not being, Fae through Lauren adds a lot as well. Bo’s learning more about her past did a lot as well. I’ll even be relatively satisfied that the Ancients aren’t all they seem to be. This is all good world building and it’s good to see. It’s a shame that there’s not much more time for that to be.

If nothing else, this episode was slightly better than the preceding one. This does give me a slight hope that there is better to come, we just need to get past the side trips and focus on what matters the most. Telling the story of how Bo came to where she is, what she will do about her father and what her future is. Telling that story is what the last few episodes should be.

 

Next Week: Like Father, Like Daughter

Bo risks life and limb to retrieve an elusive Fae painting for a friend. Lauren makes a stunning revelation.

 

Lauren has a revelation. I expect that to be something along the lines of, “Oh, I used some of that DNA that I have been taking from you over the past five years and made myself like you! Isn’t that the best?”

I have a lot of problems with this, but the main one I have is, just how long has Lauren been, it seems, a succubus? As I recall, Bo could tell the difference between humans and Fae, at the least. So why it is that Bo never noticed Lauren was different? It feels very much like a bit of a cop out, a means to place Lauren’s life span into the same as Dyson and Bo. While that serves to make the love triangle get a bit odder, I think there’s some point to it.

However, if Lauren explains that she “just turned into a succubus today!” I will be unhappy. I don’t like the idea that the push by Hades was all that Lauren needed and more so, I don’t like the idea of Lauren having “the answer” at the most convenient moment possible. It smacks of poor writing, of taking the easy way out and that shouldn’t be happening.

What’s more a problem, assuming that Lauren has managed her goal, is the question of Evony. What happens with her in all of this? Are we going to have Lauren give Evony what she wants or are we going to have a scene where Lauren confronts Evony, feeds on her, and kills her? That’s entirely possibly considering their relationship in the series. It would be a sad moment if that did happen as it doesn’t fit with Lauren’s personality I think.

But here’s the bigger question. If Lauren is Fae, and it seems that Kenzi will be coming back at some point soon… Does Kenzi become Fae as well? This brings up a huge problem as we’ve seen how torn Kenzi is over the Fae and her role in it. If Kenzi is no longer human, then where is the connection to humanity in the series? Lauren is playing that role at the moment, or was, as the only recurring human character for some time now. Is the series just moving away from having a connection to humanity and just remaining with the Fae?

I think that’s going to cause one of the strongest themes in the series to vanish. There needs to be some humanity, the point that life is fleeting and worthwhile. The Fae as a whole, and I think Bo has been shifting towards this view of late, see life as not mattering a lot. That’s hard to accept with the past that has been.

But with all of that, here’s another thought. What if Lauren, at least the Lauren that we see at the end of the episode isn’t Lauren. What if, possibly, it is Aife, Bo’s mother? It’s an interesting thought, considering that Hades is on the Earth, how unstable Aife is as well. But perhaps that plot thread won’t unfold in the series for all else that is going on. Still, the thought comes of Aife and Hades killing each other as Bo looks on, Bo then taking her place as the Dark Queen, and then what happens from that point on might be the series finale. It’s a thought, it would be something to see, if for no other reason than for Kenzi to appear, tell Bo that she’s disappointed in her and, maybe, snap Bo back into being who she really is.

I’m also disappointed that, with seven episodes left, there seems to be a need to continue the “mystery of the week” theme as the primary hook to an episode. There are so many loose ends, plots, and characters to deal with that the series should be focused on that. Time is slipping away and it does no good it the story goes off on a tangent when there’s so much else to do.

What is Hades up to? What’s Zee planning now? Kenzi’s story needs to be completed. There are so many other more central stories to tell and that isn’t happening… at least yet. I just do not want the last two episodes to be a bunch of hand waving or pushing plots under the rug to make them disappear. Moreover, I really don’t want to see character after character being killed off until Bo is the only one left standing.

Going back to the beginning isn’t where this series should end. I know the series is completed and there’s nothing to do but watch and see. My hopes might be too high, but I don’t think so.

I hope so.

 

 

Tera

Sep 10 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 399

This week’s Succubi is one that I think would be quite at home in the Realm of the Succubi. She’s cute, adorable really, and there’s a certain flair about her that just works. She isn’t over the top sexy, she’s simply a fun member of the Succubi and that, for me, is the most important thing of all…

Crusaders Quest - Succubus Rachel by Arcelle

Crusaders Quest – Succubus Rachel by Arcelle

This work is called Crusaders Quest – Succubus Rachel and is by the artist Arcelle on DeviantArt. You can find the original page on DeviantArt with this work here and this artist’s page can be found here as well…

In a lot of ways she reminds me of my LilSis Rachel, though she isn’t quite her. Still the smile, the style, the smile… They all really do remind me a lot of her and for that alone I just adore this work of art so much…

I wish she had a tail, really that’s the one thing she needs by far, but otherwise she’s just adorably cute and fun which for one of the Succubi is so very important after all. Wonderful hair, love her eyes and smile, and the style she has in clothing I think just works exactly right with her body shape and pose.

The best Succubi are the ones that you can’t help but love and I love her dearly…

 

Tera

Sep 09 2015

I’m not sure it’s Red Carpet material with that pitchfork

Red Carpet Devil CostumeThere are, as most who have read my rants about costumes, very few of them that I like enough to actually consider. The biggest problem is, of course, just how tacky the costume looks more than anything else.

Sometimes there is a costume that just reaches the possibility of being considered and them of course, there has to be one thing that makes me cringe. More times than not it is that lousy pitchfork that the websites keep trying to push… over and over again.

This is called the Red Carpet Devil Costume and it comes with the dress and the horns the model is wearing here. The pitchfork and shoes are not included and the costume sells for $55 US.

Just to get it out of the way and into the trash bin, the pitchfork is lousy, shouldn’t be considered and I wouldn’t touch it with my tail… or any other part of my body.

The horns are kind of cheap and not that classy really, but they aren’t completely a mess. I do sort of like the heels the model is wearing, but really with all that red black just doesn’t work well…

I do like the dress, quite a lot really and I think that’s because it has a classic look to it. The material on top I’m not too sure about, I’ve never been thrilled by ruffles and the like, but… It’s not that bad as a whole.

I will admit, to be clear, that I have a smashing side-slit long red dress that puts this to shame and this costume doesn’t come even close to that. As an option however compared to a lot of the other trashy junk that is sold, I think this is a lot better…

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

And now I need to find my dress and heels…

 

Tera

Sep 08 2015

A Review of Broken Halo: Erotic Bible Verse 1 by Matthew Rune

Broken Halo: Erotic Bible Verse 1 by Matthew Rune

Broken Halo: Erotic Bible Verse 1 by Matthew Rune

A review of the first work in what I think will be an interesting series, based on what I read. The question of the succubus character, if she reappears, or not, is open and in being so I have a hope that she will return at some point, but we will see as the work doesn’t focus on her.

The question of what you would do for someone is a difficult one. What could you do, why would you do so? Would it be worth doing anything, risking all you are for the sake of being in the arms of the one that loves you? Even if that love is impossible for who you and they are?

Would it even matter?

  • Title: Broken Halo: Erotic Bible Verse 1
  • Author: Matthew Rune
  • Length: 21 Pages
  • ASIN: B013CFFWRK
  • Publishing Date: August 2, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells the story of:

Vincent is a man torn between two worlds. Past and present; love and family; dream and reality. He thought walking away from his dark and sordid past was for the best. Wracked by regret and forbidden temptation, he longs for her scent – honey and jasmine – with every breath he takes.

Jessie is a slave to her father and the family business. She lives only to serve. Her personal Hell is an existence without Vincent by her side – or beneath her. She knows, though, that their romance will one day destroy them both, should it ever be allowed to blossom. Maybe it would be worth it, even if for just one night.

The most forbidden fruits always taste the sweetest.

Vincent returns to a place that has been calling for him, or more correctly, she has been. Jessie is a succubus, but she is Vincent’s lover and reason for all that he has done. Truths are bared, the path is set, and what comes next is unknown and unseen by both of them.

The most telling thing about this opening work in the series is how riveting Vincent is, how torn his thoughts are, and all that he has been through that is never really explained. It is hinted at, suggested, even enough to say that none of it was good. But in spite of this, who he is, what he is, really, doesn’t come out clearly. As such, he is a mystery, but in all of the characters he encounters, it’s clear that he’s well known and more.

There’s a certain satisfying change in him which Jesse appears and in that moment the facade that surrounds him gets taken away and who he is, what and who he needs and wishes for comes out quite well. There’s a connection between himself and Jesse that is both sexual, but also almost soul soothing in a way.

Jesse herself is a succubus, Vincent calls her that, but not in a poor way, simply a fact of life, a agreement to be made, and then the story continues with the two lovers entwining themselves in their passions. There are some really fascinating comments by Jessie, things, like Vincent, suggested and hinted at, but not fully told. It’s a shame really because there’s something there, something meaning to be said, but the story doesn’t allow for it and so the story moves away from story into the erotica.

There is wonderful heat between Jesse and Vincent, one being in control, then the other, and then there comes the moment, for a singular moment, when they have what they desire for but an instant before their reality comes crashing into them once more. The erotica isn’t so much being that of a succubus with another, but rather two lovers together and I think that set an excellent tone against the rest of the work in which both characters are alone in their own worlds.

Written well, lovely heat, two very strong characters and a story that offers a lot for the future in the series. A bit mysterious, a little lost on occasion, but that are the characters as well. I would have liked to know more about Jesse, some of her background, more than what was told at least. The same can be said about Vincent in that there wasn’t quite a lot said about him and I hope going forwards those secrets will come out.

I’ll give this three and a half out of five pitchforks.

A deep, well written, passionate story with two characters that are so wonderful together in their needs and fears. There are still manky secrets about Vincent and Jesse and I hope, sometime, they will be told fully.

At the time of this review, the second work in the series had been released and I did read it as well. Jessie does not appear in this second work, and as such I won’t be reviewing that work save to say that I didn’t feel it stood up as well as the first work did. If felt somewhat lost, uneven, and unfocused. Still, there is a chance that Jessie will turn up again, and I will be following the series to see if she does so. I hope so.

 

Tera

Sep 08 2015

A Review of Jackalope Season and Other Bizarre Little Tales by M.B. Manteufel

Jackalope Season and Other Bizarre Little Tales by M.B. Manteufel

Jackalope Season and Other Bizarre Little Tales by M.B. Manteufel

The thing about horror stories is that there is a fine line between story, which a work must have, and horror, which cannot take everything away from the story itself. It is a fine line to walk and for myself there are very few authors that I have read that can manage that balancing act well.

Sometimes what’s needed is a bit of light-hearted fun in the midst of all of the darkness. A moment where the horror isn’t found in the beating heart on the floor, but in the hands of hairdressers that wreck the day of a Succubus and send her to see the Devil.

The collection is described as:

Jackalopes are vicious, wily creatures. At least that’s what Kate was led to believe one hot, humiliating day as a child. Now, of course, she knows better, and on a good day can even laugh at the memory of that family vacation. But Kate doesn’t always have good days. And some memories demand much more than a chuckle.

So begins this collection of nine twisted and disturbing tales penned by thriller writer M.B. Manteufel. Monsters of both supernatural and human varieties play out their odd, often terrifying, scenarios in stories that take the reader beyond belief. A few lighter moments are provided to bring the reader back from the edge . . . but only long enough to catch a breath or two before descending deeper into the darkness.

As always with anthology works, I will be reviewing the Succubus story on its own and then my thoughts on the anthology as a whole.

Bad Hair Day is the Succubus story of this collection and it tells of what happens when a Succubus named Serena has a major hair problem and goes to the Devil to complain about it.

As a whole, this particular story is the most fun in the collection in that it isn’t about anything really evil or horrific but rather tells the story of a particularly vain Succubus who decides that her hair has been ruined by the hairdressers of Hell and takes her complaints to the Devil. There is some wonderful silliness in the story, Serena herself made me smile and occasionally laugh which when compared with the rest of the collection really needed to be. It’s a bit of light hearted farce in the middle of what otherwise are a lot of deeply dark stories and helped change my mood over the collection as a whole, but I’ll get back to that.

Serena herself is a Succubus, there’s no doubt at all about that, but as well she’s not quite the stereotypically evil sort of Succubus. She is a bit more self absorbed, she thinks she has everything under control and that causes her to make a few mistakes in front of the Devil and he, of course, takes full advantage of that.

The ending I thought was very apt, very cute, and it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. In the case of this story, that’s alright as there really isn’t a lot of need for background about Serena or the world she lives in. It’s the interaction between herself and the Devil that drives this story and it makes Serena one of the most unique Succubi that I have read in some time.

Four out of five pitchforks.

Just a really wonderful story that I enjoyed very much. I would have liked to see more about Serena, possibly the events that lead to her Hellish Hairdressers doing what they did to her, but regardless, it was a lot of fun.

The collection as a whole otherwise tends towards some very dark themes, events, and characters. Some of the stories are just vague enough on details that imagination fills in the gaps and some of those gaps do lead you towards some very troubling mental images.

There is a good deal of thought in the collection towards the darker emotions, drives and insanities which hover around the edges of humanity. The author tells a very good ghost story filled with many characters, plots, and events that combine into a series of strongly told horror stories. For those the like their horror a bit more bloody, violent, and destructive, the stories do have that in them.

Personally I don’t enjoy horror stories that go to the limits of horror, and in my case, there are but three stories that pushed the boundaries of what I like. Overall the true horror is kept just on the edges of the story where it sneaks up on you and as a whole that does tend to be the better way to write such works I think.

I’ll give the collection as a whole three pitchforks out of five.

A bit too much horror for my liking, but the writing is solid, the characters are interesting and that makes up for a lot of my personal squeamishness.

 

 

Tera

Sep 07 2015

And Now The News… – Part I

A thought dropped by over the weekend … Well, actually, it walked up to the front door, used a fire axe to break in, then told me what it wanted. Fortunately, with a bit of succubish persuasion, it will wait its turn. The actual thought will eventually appear, but getting there will take a little getting to …

 

And Now the News…
Part I
By TeraS

 

“Be careful what you wish for you might just get it.” said by Tera usually when she is about to teach someone a lesson.

 

Every world has them. They may be called a multitude of different things in the multitude of different languages that exist in the universe, but they serve an important function within the societies they exist in. On one particular blue and green world that orbited a bright yellow star, the phenomenon was known as the press.

Some manifestations of the press are known to do good, revealing those that do harm, do wrong, and bringing them to the light in order to save the innocent from their darkness. Others couldn’t care less about the meaning of right or wrong, but instead focus on innuendo, making headlines, and, for the most part, caring only about sensationalizing what they learn … or making it up as they go along.

In one of the major cities on this world there stands a grey building—not the tallest, but one of the most imposing of them all; a blocky structure, with squared corners and rectangular windows. In this cold and foreboding place, one the largest, if not the most wise or most considerate or even most charitable organizations, sent out their words to the world and influenced many.

High up, far above the streets below, in a corner of the building, a woman stood looking out across the city. She was the Queen of her domain, that being the host of the highest-rated news program on this world.

She had worked hard to get where she was, stepping on, over, and sometimes through her challengers and opposition to get all that she wanted. While the world only saw the blonde ex-model who was the face of her network, smiling and looking pretty for the camera as needed, being the bearer of bad news, or good, as needed to be.

But all those with ambition continually look for their next conquest, the next step on their path to greatness. She was no different in this. She needed to find something more, something that would cause a tremor in society which, in time, she could use to move into a place of real power.

She looked across the gulf of the downtown core, her eyes focused upon a building that looked nothing like the one she ruled over. It was, she had to admit, almost sensual in its form: a silver spire of curves, echoes of something that tugged at her memories. But she couldn’t quite place why it seemed so familiar. Even the windows were curved, mirrored glass, that reflected the light falling upon the building and returned that light to those that lived around the place. It was said, though she never put much stock in it, that no shadow ever fell onto the streets below from what she saw as her silver nemesis.

Stealing a glance below, she noticed the shadow of her own building darkening the streets below her and thought nothing of it. Pressing her hands against the window, she tried to will the silver spire to give up its secrets to her. After a time she heard him walk into her office and, without turning to look at him, made her first mistake. “She’s hiding something. Has to be.”

He was silent, taking a chair on the other side of the desk from which she ruled before answering: “Are you kidding? You actually want to go and stir something up with her? Are you nuts?”

Tearing her eyes away from the target of her ire, the blonde turned that spite upon him: “She’s only a woman, trapped in her little world, doing whatever she wants to Rich.”

He pushed his horn-rimmed glasses back into place: “And what she wants to do is run a charity, help the needy, provide for …”

She cut him off: “She goes to dinners, to political events. She surrounds herself with the rich and famous. She’s using them for her own purposes.”

“How do you know, Paige?”

Stalking away from the window, she dropped into her leather chair, rolling it closer to her desk: “Because that’s what I would do in her place.”

He shook his head: “Not everyone is like you.”

Paige had an irritating habit of picking up a letter opener and rolling it between her fingers, which she did now, knowing full well that Rich hated her doing so: “Anyone with power gets corrupted. She’s hiding something, and we’re going to find out what it is.”

He shrugged: “It’s your funeral. I’m sure the staff will send flowers.”

She replied with a snort of derision, but then noticed that he was holding an envelope in his hands: “What’s that?”

Holding it with two fingers, he looked at it: “This? This is a letter addressed to you … from her.”

Paige was surprised enough that she dropped the letter opener and it clattered onto her glass top desk loudly, making Rich twitch slightly. “What?”

“I said, she sent you a letter—actually, a letter and someone that delivered it for her. The someone is waiting outside.”

“Why?”

“I suppose waiting for your answer.” He stood up, tossing the letter onto her desk and started to walk out. Pausing at the door he warned: “You are dealing with power here. I wish you’d reconsider.”

She had already grabbed the letter and was ripping it open: “She’s scared … only reason why she would send a letter. Give me five, then send the messenger in.”

“Sure.”

Once Rich left, she pulled the letter out of the envelope.

Ms. Baker:

It has come to my attention that you wish to insert yourself into my affairs, that you would like to find out all about me.

I know everything I need to know about you. I know your preferred course of action, what you have done in the past. Still, I am sure that, if you do not get your way, you will make up some kind of story to put my charities in a bad light and harm untold souls. I myself care not, but harming others? This is something that I cannot accept.

Therefore, of your own free will, if you accompany the bearer of this letter, she will bring you to me. You have this one opportunity to do so. If you refuse, there will not be another.

The choice is yours.

The signature at the bottom of the letter was a single letter written in a feminine hand, but there seemed to be a power in the two strokes that formed it.

Paige laughed as she spun around in her chair gleefully, believing that her notoriety had cowed her opponent into giving into her. Stopping her spin, she looked across to that silver building and waved the letter at it: “Oh, I accept, absolutely.”

A soft voice purred from across the room: “She expected you would.”

The words caught her off balance, and Paige turned around to see who had been tasked with bringing her the message. She expected some ordinary, unimpressive worker or paper pusher with no class wearing a three piece suit.

What she found, however, took her breath away.

Paige thought of herself as stunning. After all, all of the cosmetic surgery, makeup, and everything else she did to attract attention to herself was designed for one purpose: she needed to be the centre of attention wherever she was. At that moment, she realized that she was never going to see herself as that again.

Standing there, framed by the doorway, was a petite woman, her long blonde hair in a ponytail—which, Paige noticed, was swaying slowly behind her. Soft pink lips, sparkling blue eyes, the perfect skin tone combined to set off her features and bring them to the fore. She cut a figure in her emerald lace dress and heels, one that Paige could never hope to match. Her curves, while not so extreme as Paige’s, made her so much more beautiful than Paige could ever hope for. This woman, whoever she was, didn’t force her beauty out; it simply was there, as easy as breathing was to her.

Paige swallowed: “Who … are you?”

The woman smiled as she walked closer: “I am her Song. She asked that I come here and deliver her letter.”

Paige found her thoughts scrambled by the self-assuredness that Song had. It wasn’t forced, faked, or manufactured. There was something in her words, her poise, her walk, that stated, clearly, that she was one with herself and who and what she was. Paige found herself jealous of this, and found the edge in her voice again: “Well you did. I accept.”

Song walked around the side of her hostess’ desk, pausing a few short steps away. Paige noticed a red ribbon tied in a bow on Song’s right wrist and wondered why it was there.

Song’s voice drew Paige’s attention to those sparkling blue eyes: “Tell me, again, that you accept … with all your soul.”

Paige felt chastised—as if her acceptance wasn’t enough—but held her tongue when she saw how calmly Song waited, as if the next words she spoke were the most important in her life. She thought about how Song spoke of “Her,” the slight catch in her voice when she mentioned … “Her.” Something clicked in her mind and she whispered: “Who is she?”

Song smiled, shaking her head slightly: “She. You do not understand, but you will, in time.”

Paige could hear the capitalization, the reverence in the word, and for the first time felt frightened. She drew a breath, to call out for Rich, for help, but bit her lip. She had to go through with this. She needed this. Nothing would happen to her—she was too well known, everyone would see her leave with Song. It would be fine, wouldn’t it?

For the first time in ages, she prayed so as she answered: “I accept with all my soul.”

Song smiled: “Of course you do.”

Rich was filing some paperwork—there always was paperwork—when the two women walked out of the office. Miss Ponytail was walking with Paige, and holding her hand. He started to ask where they were going when Paige spoke, the pair not stopping as she did so: “I’m going to set up an interview. Back later.”

He nodded and watched the two walk towards the elevators, unconcerned about what was happening. It wasn’t the first time that Paige had gone off to see some big shot and get a time and place worked out. While he was mulling over why Paige’s voice sounded off, when the elevator sounded and the doors opened, he calmly watched them enter the elevator, turning back towards him. The doors closed and he returned to his work.

It wasn’t until later that he realized that something was odd with Paige’s eyes.

As the elevator descended, Paige stood silently, looking towards the mirrored doors. She saw, but thought nothing of it, that her eyes were completely white. She saw Song beside her, her lips close to her ear, whispering a song to her. Of course, Paige would listen. Song had explained that “She” wanted her to.

The thought made her wet and feeling Song’s fingertips brushing along her thigh just made her sink further and further into the Song …

… “Her” Song … Being “Her’s” … Needing “Her.”

A fleeting thought came to her and the shiver that passed through her as a result pushed her further into the bliss of “Her” Song …

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