Falling Skies – Season 2

So as the season starts 3 months have passed since Tom Mason agreed to go with the alien invaders. Weaver is still in command of the 2nd Mass, while Anne continues to serve as medic. They have seen many battles and are a much leaner unit now. Pope has taken command of the Berserkers, a renegade group within the 2nd Mass that Weaver doesn’t fully trust. When Tom suddenly returns, he is faced with doubt about his loyalties to the group. Meanwhile, Hal and Ben continue to drift apart as Ben challenges his older brother’s authority. Tom is still haunted by memories of his time with the aliens and begins to wonder if they did something to his mind. Pope, who is in charge of questioning Tom, plants seeds of doubt about him among the group. Meanwhile, Ben’s hatred for skitters grows, and the 2nd Mass scouts locate an old bridge that will help them cross the river to safety ahead of an impending attack.

The 2nd Mass moves into an airport hanger, but the drafty conditions cause Anne to grow concerned about the group’s health. Meanwhile, the Berserkers hatch a plan to get rid of Tom. While dealing with the loss of one of their own, the 2nd Mass receives a promise of hope from a visitor travelling by plane. While on patrol together, Ben and Hal try to help a young boy and wind up having their bikes stolen. The hunt to recover them leads them to the discovery of something much bigger. Also, Matt is put in danger, and Weaver is reunited with a family member. A familiar face returns to the 2nd Mass, but his intentions remain unknown. Meanwhile, a skitter is captured and brought back to the camp as a prisoner. Hal bonds with Maggie as she begins to open up about her past. Hal stumbles across corpses of de-harnessed kids, among them Karen, alive.

Tom and Anne grow closer. Weaver’s health deteriorates just as Tom discovers he may have been keeping important matters from the group in order to protect them. Karen leads Ben into a trap so the Overlord can find out about the Skitter Resistance movement. The trap fails and the 2nd Mass manages to capture the Overlord. In an attempt to free the Overlord Karen uses a new type of alien creature. The 2nd Mass pushes on to Charleston. Weaver learns more about Tector’s background from before the invasion. Hal learns about Maggie’s “dark” past. The 2nd Mass arrives in Charleston where Tom comes across his former mentor and professor Arthur Manchester. Their arrival brings existing tensions to show and the situation escalates fast. A group of renegade skitters approaches Charleston to present a unique option to hurt the enemy by assassinating the overlord. In the end it is up to the 2nd Mass to use it, after Charleston military betrays them. The overlord dies but Karen escapes after infecting Hal. Tom finds out Anne is pregnant with his child. The episode ends with the arrival of a mysterious new species of aliens who suddenly arrive on earth in their awesome spaceships but we have no clue as to whether they are friend or foe?

This season sees some loss, some more deaths and shows that not every creature can be judges by what they seem to be – the renegade skitters was a nice touch and the choice of Ben to initially stay with them was a great move. The situation at the base in Charleston shows that in toughest situations, some people get comfortable with what resources they have and will be reluctant to push forward and take risks. I though the episodes at the base were the best so far. Can’t wait for season 3 to start.

Which Fictional Character Would You Want To Be?

If you could be any fictional character in the world, who would you choose to be? Why?

Oohh that is a difficult to answer as there are lot of fictional characters that I would love to be. I mean just look at the literary, superhero comic, tv & movie world and the plethora of excellent characters to choose from. I’d be spoiled for choice. I just can’t narrow it down to just one choice from all the realms but let me try and categorize my choices.

Literature / books : Sherlock Holmes comes to mind immediately. Count Dracula. James Bond.

Comics : Wolverine, Phantom, Superman, Spider-man, Batman and Iron Man. Iron Man might win out since he has all that money, fame and he is a playboy! Anyone of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Television: Richard Castle, Constable Benton Fraser, Michael Knight, Remimgton Steele, the original Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), John Chrichton (Farscape) to name just some.

Movies : Wayne Campbell (Wayne’s World), Indiana Jones, Captain Jack Sparrow, The Mask, the kid Macaulay Culkin plays in Home Alone, Luke Skywalker

But the ultimate of them all would be Captain James T Kirk as played by William Shatner in the 3 seasons of Star Trek : The Original Series and 7 movies. No contest!

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Breaking Apart

A couple of days ago I went to have dinner with a couple of my friends – let’s just say that their names are Guy & Gal. Guy & Gal are married to each other for the past three years, I have known then for 8 years and for most of that time they have loved each other. Until recently it seems.

Along with us for the dinner were Gal’s brother – who I barely knew & their female cousin who was also a friend of mine. The hostility between Guy & Gal was so obvious that it ruined what was supposed to be a reunion of friends. I hadn’t seen any of them in a long time and I was really looking forward to a great evening. I was filled in on the details of the rift between the married couple by their cousin. She has called me from her cell just before I left the house to join them for the dinner and gave me the shock of my life when she told me that it looked like the marriage was heading for a divorce! She told me just so that I wouldn’t feel weird sitting there and seeing two old friends take snipes at each other during the entire meal. Gal’s brother is either not aware or blind to the whole sorry situation or he does not care….or perhaps he is masking his emotions behind a facade. It did seem funny to me that he was very quite throughout the whole evening and just sipped at his two beers. I could barely finish my beer & eat half of my dinner, which was actually quite well prepared.

The sad part is although divorce is nothing uncommon now, I can remember when these two couldn’t bear to be apart. I helped them a bit along the way to their marriage and was happy to bask in their love, which I thought was forever and atleast thought that in the likelyhood that I would never get married I could always depend on my friends being happy.


Directed by Andres Muschietti Mama is a 2013 horror-fantasy movie co-scripted by the Argentinian along with his sister Barbara Muschietti, who co-produced the movie with J. Miles Dale with Guillermo del Toro serving as executive producer. Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau star along with precocious child actresses who steal the show, along with your hearts. The film is based on Muschietti’s 2008 Spanish-language short film of the same name that captured del Toro’s attention and he helped fleshen it out to life.

Mama starts off with Jeffery, a man distraught by the 2008 financial crisis, who kills his partners and then his estranged wife before grabbing his two young daughters, 3 year old (cutie pie) Victoria and 1 year old Lily, and driving off with him in his car. Driving too fast in the snow he crashes the car in the woods but all 3 are unhurt. He takes them to an abandoned cabin in the woods, where he plans to kill them and commit suicide himself but on raising the gun to Victoria, a mysterious figure stops him, drags him outside and snaps his neck. The two young ones stay in the cabin and we see a cherry being tossed to the girls.

5 years pass as Jeffery’s twin brother Nick searches for them and finally a two man search party finds the two girls alive in the cabin but they act feral and are dirty. The girls are taken to a wellfare center and put under the psychiatric care of Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss. Dr. Dreyfuss helps Nick and his goth-punk girlfriend Annabel get custody of the  girls, after the older girl Victoria recognizes her uncle (as he looks just like her dead father), much to disagreement of the girls’ maternal aunt Jean. As the new “family” try to settle in, Annabel is disturbed by glimpses of the dark shadowy figure and is reluctant to be with the girls. However on investigating the figure, Nick is attacked by it, falling from the stairs and goes into a coma. With him hospitalized, Annabel is forced to take care of the kids on her own. Meanwhile Dr. Dreyfuss is intrigued by the drawings the girls have made of a mysterious character they call “Mama”, whom they talk to and play with. He hypnotizes Victoria (who can speak normally while Lily mostly giggles and prefers to sleep animal like on the floor under her older sister’s bed and eats while sitting off the floor) and she tells him Mama is an aggrieved mother separated from her child and brings to light the story of Edith Brennan, a mental asylum patient in the late 19th century.

At the end of the interview, Dreyfuss sees Mama, floating as a black substance on the walls and is initially scared off. Annabell herself has a nightmare about Mama’s past; Mama had committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after stealing her baby from the nuns who had separated them. While falling, Mama’s child was snagged on a branch and killed on impact, while Mama fell into the water. Mama never knew what happened to her baby and while searching for them has kept the girls as surrogates. Annabel bonds with Victoria slowly gaining her affection but Lily still prefers playing with Mama. Lucas regains consciousness after having a disturbing vision of his dead brother Jeffrey telling him to go to the cabin in the woods. Meanwhile, continuing his research, Dr. Dreyfuss visits the cabin to research Mama’s presence, and upon trying to photograph her, is attacked and killed. On visiting his office and finding him gone, Annabell steals his notes & laptop and a box holding the remains of Edith’s baby & learns that Edith and Mama are the same person, while Lucas leaves the hospital to search for the cabin. At the house, Annabel finds Lily missing from her room and lying on the ground outside and runs to get her back. She achieves a brief breakthrough with the little girl who initially fights her off but calms down when Annabel kisses her hand – and that’s when a jealous Mama attacks, subduing Annabel and possessing the body of Jean (who had broken into the house to grab the girls) and drives off with the girls into the woods.

Annabel recovers and heads out to the cabin in her car where she meets Lucas and they track Mama walking with the two girls towards the same cliff where her human self had died all those years ago. preparing to relive her suicide by taking Victoria and Lilly with her over the cliff. Annabel offers Mama the remains of her child, and the angry spirit undergoes a more peaceful transformation, appearing human again. But when Lilly calls out for her, Mama returns to her terrifying form and attacks, discarding the remains of her child. After a struggle, Annabel holds onto Victoria who implores Mama that she wants to stay back while Lily cries that she and her sister should be with Mama. Mama encases herself & Lily in a cocoon and jumps off the cliff, hitting the same branch she did in the 1800s. Upon impact, she and Lilly turn into a shower of moths. While hugging Annabel and Lucas, Victoria notices a blue and black butterfly land on her hand, which she believes to be Lilly.

Sad ending. Mama shown upclose is less scarier than when she is a mass of dark scary in the shadows. Well acted and reminiscent of Del Toro’s work. The subtle humour when Lily plays with Mama in a couple of the scenes is fun & scary. One movie I definitely will love over the years. 8.5 outta 10!

Beer Types – Extra Special Bitter

An English bitter is the British term for a Pale Ale. ESBs are essentially more aggressive and more balanced Bitters, both in alcohol and hop character, but nothing overpowering. Color range will be similar, though leaning towards the darker end of the scale; dark golds to copper. Low carbonation. Malts tend to be more pronounced, often toasty and fruity, with maybe some notes diacetyl. And despite “bitter” being in its name, ESBs are not really all that bitter. They key to an ESB is balance.

Bitters vary in colour from gold to dark amber and in strength from 3% to 7% alcohol by volume. In England, many breweries have a number of bitters in their range. The style that has come to be known as Premium or Special Bitter generally includes the stronger ( 4.6%-6.0%) examples. These are mostly served in the traditional way from the cask, but some are also found in bottle form where the extra malt allows them to stand up better than the more delicate ordinary Bitter. In the US, the designation ESB is common for this style, owing to the influence of Fuller’s ESB, the London brew that was among the first to be exported to the States. In the US, some ESBs are made with American hops and a clean yeast, but the alcohol range is the same, as is the range of bitterness, usually between 25 and 35 but occasionally creeping higher.

It is usually served in an English pint glass. Some of the best ESB out there are from Fuller’s, Propeller, Hobgoblin, Southern Tier & Shipyard. Goes well with steaks, fish n chips, spicy foods and cheese.