Season Three Episode Reviews

 

by fantomas, with additional comments from Kassidy (you figure out which is which;)

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3.01

Sex and Death: and Rock and Roll

 

 

A new season of Dante’s Cove begins, with new people, new troubles, and a new hotel.


(Spoiler Alert - if you haven’t seen it and don’t wish to be spoiled, stop here. If you want to be spoiled, continue. Because we are so spoiling, here.)


It’s becoming a tradition almost to recast actors in various parts between seasons. For instance, the part of Michelle has been recast, which was a surprise, as I thought the actress was coming in to replace Van. That’s the shocker that opens this episode - Van is no more. Recycling footage from the little seen original pilot (note from Kass: how’d you’d know that? Cool. Wondered where the footage came from), it’s implied that something happened to her, although most people think she was washed away in the tsunami that took out the original hotel, bar, and roughly half of the island. Toby isn’t so sure, though, since he keeps being tormented by dreams of Van calling out to him for help.

 

Let’s back up a sec. Uh .. hm. Tsunami?

Much time has passed, and relationships have fractured and developed. Kevin seems happy being Ambrosius’s love puppy, although there are small hints that he’s actually in hustler mode, trying to be what Ambrosius wants him to be for some ulterior motive. Heartbroken Toby, without his lover or his best friend, has apparently turned to the weight bench and the hair lightener in his grief - holy crap, Charlie David is massive this season! And not in a good way. I mean, Charlie is an extremely attractive man, he still is, but he seems too big and too muscular now - I never envisioned Toby as a muscle queen, especially not a muscle queen chef, but grief makes you do funny things I guess. He's lost some of his grace and his sort of feline quality in favor of bulk. The hair was so beautiful before and this, so not. Remember that beautiful longish, wavy hair with the gorgeous brown highlights?

 

Okay okay! I’ll stop now.

 

On the other hand, I’d like to throw out a heartfelt cheer to Naked Man, aka Kevin, who’s more often without clothing than with in the episode, making me a happy camper. Go Kev, keep it off! Perhaps we could have him chained to the bed next?

 

Ah-hem.

 

Meanwhile, Brit gets a beefier role, as she has a love interest, and a “hobby” never mentioned before, one that is sure to play a major part in this season. Marco is still in charge of the bar, but the damage in the aftermath of the tsunami led him to take out a loan from Ambrosius, a devil’s bargain he’s sure to regret. Adam still pines for Toby, although Toby has made it clear they are just friends. And Grace finally returns in a dramatic fashion, just in time to be horrified by her missing time and all that has gone on in her absence, and just in time to meet a representative from the Tresum Council named Griff, who has a warning for Diana. Diana doesn’t take him seriously, and pays for it. The new Michelle also returns, with a dark secret that Marco seems to pay for before he can warn Ambrosius.

I’m not going to spoil the whole episode, but here are a few observations, beyond Charlie being too buff and disappointingly lightening and shortening his hair. (I like my men dark.) First, why didn’t Toby do anything to go AFTER Kevin??? Van died, Kevin was taken away, and he did what? I’d love to know. The Kevin/Toby relationship is going to be something to work back to this season, as Kevin shows some of his true colors later in the episode and has a brief meeting with Toby, telling him to wait for him. Did you notice the chemistry between them, even in their brief moment together? But Kevin, bless his himbo heart, has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, and doesn’t tell Toby why he should, leaving him dazed, confused, and ultimately disbelieving (though to be fair, he didn’t have much time). Toby seems a little hard towards Kevin, but you can’t blame him - heart broken, best friend presumed dead, tortured by dreams. He’s probably not at his best, pecs, delts, and lats aside. Grace remains absolutely hilarious - kudos to Miss Tracy there - but a campy fight between her and Diana is just incredibly lame. What should have been funny is just pathetic. (Note from Kass: I liked it. It’s a scene steal from the old primetime soaps, right, and lame it is. Fun stuff, though. But my favorite part was Grace’s re-entry onto Planet Earth and the seaweed in her hair.)

 

 It’s good to see Brit get more of a role, she’s a good actress and seems to be presented as an interesting (if slightly improbable) character, but she has almost zero chemistry with her girlfriend. Maybe that will improve. And what about the chaotic tides? She kept a really straight face for that line, well done.

 

Speaking of zero chemistry, the new guy, Trevor? Waste of space. He’s just another version of Kai, but without the magnetism. What was wrong with the old Kai?

And Marco ..! Those closing scenes, where he seems to meet his fate like a big breasted bimbo in a horror film, was just sad. He should have fought back or something. The only guy on the island who didn’t wax his chest deserved better than that. (He may not be dead, but the teaser for the next episode implied pretty strongly that he took the last train to Deadsville.) Very disappointing, but I should have known from how much play Marco got this episode that he was out the door. Griff has potential, although he seemed almost unbearably Kai like (read: sleazy) in the beginning, and the new Michelle seems fine, although so did the old Michelle. Still, what she actually is now has me a little confused. Is she possessed - as Marco’s “flashback vision” showed a knife - or is she a werewolf or something? She had no knife on the beach, and a werewolf wouldn’t need a knife. But it seems one was used on her parents. So what the hell was that? A sacrifice? Also, what’s with all the tats everyone’s sporting this season? Mopey, love struck Adam, gigolo Kevin, doomed Marco, and muscleman Toby are almost the only ones not wearing some ink.

To sum up: not bad, not great - somewhere in the middle. Certainly the storylines were going to be shaken up with Nadine not coming back. I think the implication is that by going back and saving Michelle, Van (and Diana) upset the very power of Tresum itself, which has now taken revenge on Van and Michelle, and it’s why the “Council” decided to crack down on Diana. Is there more revenge to be had? I guess that’s why we’re tuning in next time. (Well, one of the reasons anyways.)

 

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3.02

Blood Sugar Sex Magik

 

Warning - as always, major spoilers below. Don’t read unless you can take it.

 

What an interesting strategy - screwing someone to death. As things go, you’d think waiting for them to be killed by the process of erosion would be more probable, but to be fair, Kevin seems to have drained most of the Tresum energy out of Ambrosius. Kevin the incubus! Ambrosius, at his most smug and thoroughly unlikable in this episode, is too oblivious to put it together, and instead spends his time being bitchy to Grace and Toby alike. But when Kevin seems to almost accidentally kill Ambrosius with his power extraction, he kind of freaks out - why? He still looks ashamed to be in public with him when Bro parades him around, so does he need to keep him around as an energy wellspring for whatever he’s planning to do? Is it Stockholm Syndrome and he likes the guy, just doesn’t love him? No idea. (Me, I think it’s because Kev is a big old puppy who, despite plotting against his forced-fuck buddy, gets shook up at the thought of actually harming anyone. Add into that a few induced feelings for him he can’t quash – K). But Bro was so self-absorbed and clueless this episode I honestly wanted him to die. Weirder still, Grace emerges as a hero this episode (in fact, Grace is much more sympathetic in general this season), as she knows there’s something wrong in the Cove and is determined to find it, and whoever - or whatever - killed Marco. Michelle is out to stop her, of course, and enlists Diana to help her, although Diana has no idea she’s being enlisted. She taints Diana’s tea with her blood (eww and double eww!), and somehow she doesn’t taste the difference. Through exposition, the audience learns that the “Shadow House” is the probable source of evil, but none of this explains what Michelle is exactly. Possessed by ancient evil? I’m leaning that way, although how would it taint her blood?

 

I think I’m over-thinking it.

 

In the last episode with her blood-smeared face and her one ear so curiously exposed, she looked like a mad leprechaun. Maybe that’s it. Also I wish she’d quit whining, a little. I know, I KNOW, her parents were killed. But the whining! I like her at the spring tearing down the mother lode of Saint better).

 

Meanwhile, secondhand Saint exposure sends Adam into a bad trip K-hole (or S-hole I suppose, for Saint) where he seems to get a glimpse of the future (never mind that many appear to be quick smash cuts of images from the first season). This still doesn’t keep Bro for hiring him to tend bar now that he’s running H2Eau, but at least he pretty much admits he only hired him for his Abs O Steel (did you see him running his hand all over Adam’s muscles?  I bet he’s going, “I wish I had these…”) and to get under Toby’s skin. In fact, Bro is so devoted to needling Toby I’m wondering if there isn’t a little sexual tension there. But why does Adam need or want a job? But we find out later.  Anyway, this leads to a conversation between Adam and Toby that ends with them finally hooking up in a scene best called “The Meeting of the Abs.” Did anyone think the kissing looked a little off-course or something? Four lips, all going their separate ways.

 

Also, Brit - being tormented with flashes of Michelle, much like Michelle was tormented with flashes of Van in season two - on a midnight dive (why midnight? Anybody?) finds an unusual box (cue spooky music), and Griff hits on anything that isn‘t a nailed down inanimate object. But it was funny when he put Bro in a chokehold. Also funny this episode was the way Trevor seemed to be Grace’s loyal companion - I expected her to say “Fetch, Trevor, fetch!” and have him obey. He’s Scooby to her Shaggy … although more correctly, he looks like Fred sans ascot, and she would be a hotter Velma.

 

Oh, one thing. Toby says a line to Adam, something like “It sucks to be poor on this island,” to which I had to reply - it sucks EVERYWHERE when you’re poor! I’ve never been in a place, thinking, “Man, it’d be awesome to be poor here.” It just stood out to me as a particularly weird line.

 

For fans of the Dante’s Cove patented plot unnecessary full frontal nudity, you’ll be in heaven this episode. I wanted to start a RNG count (RNG = Random Naked Guy), but thanks to a locker room scene this episode, I lost count after four. Save to say, it’s privates on parade for this season, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of our RNGs. In fact, it looks like they’re bringing the sex club (“The Lair”) back next episode. For the women, there’s another love scene between Brit and Elena that gives us a look at their breasts again, and Michelle and Diana get close, although not that close (yet).

 

This episode seems to cement the position of the leads this season. Namely, Grace is in the right this time, actually trying to do some good (! Probably for selfish reasons, and she won’t be good all the time, but still … ), and Ambrosius is firmly in the wrong, too smug and self-absorbed to be of much use to anyone (currently - maybe that will change once he realizes that Kevin‘s plotting against him). Adam will go back to Saint, destroying his new relationship with Toby, and  Diana is going to be used as a tool of the Shadow House, but since she’s currently depowered, that’s more of a burgeoning threat than a current one. It’s not much of a prediction to guess that Kevin will turn out to be a  powerful weapon against the Shadow House, but I’ll make it anyways.

 

I just hope that Toby stops getting marooned in these angst-y storylines (at which point Kass and I have a parting of the ways – she LIKES that stuff), and that Ambrosius dials down the petulant idiot thing (yes please), or these last few episodes are going to be long ones. But  it was kind of fun seeing Grace act like the “good witch” this time.

 

The crazo factor on the show keeps spiraling upwards. I intend to sit back and watch how high it goes, enjoying every minute of it. Okay, most minutes.

 

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3.03

Sexual Healing

 

The titles are all about sex and  magic, right? Makes them blend together. This time around at least the title has literal meaning.

 

Well, Kevin and Toby fans, you got what you wanted … for a second or ten. Hot stuff, but all too brief.  Best short kiss of the year. Something sexy, too, in seeing how quickly Toby still falls under the pretty boy’s spell, even after having been with Adam. But what the heck, he chalks it up to another dream., though he still feels guilty.

 

Finally! The big confrontation we’ve been waiting for happens, as Kevin lets his true feelings towards Bro show - and ouch, that looks like it stung. But before we get there, a couple of things. Was Grace tarted up this episode or what? That slinky celery green dress with the cleavage? Wow. She wears that while just doing errands? That’s a nightclub dress. It looks good  on her, though; she looks damn good. I just found it a little startling. I think maybe because all things lead to her breasts. The necklaces, the necklines … hell, if you wanted to avoid it, it’d be damn near impossible. And meanwhile, Diana is being tormented by mysterious voices. For the whole episode, in fact, Diana is pretty much cowering in her home. Get up, woman! Cough. Anyway. She goes to Griff and accuses the council of torturing her, but it’s not a discussion that ends well.

 

The odd trio of Kevin, Brit, and Elena get the mystery box open, but they’re disappointed by what they find inside - or don’t find, as the case may be. But I think this was the House of Shadows prison (somehow, some way), and I think the general idea here is somehow the tsunami … opened it? Unearthed it? Broke mystical bonds? Or maybe the tsunami was a symptom of the breakout? But now that Kevin’s so powerful, he may play a pivotal part in putting them back in their cage. (The way the box reacted to him later in the episode seemed to have been a hint.) Ambrosius, meanwhile, gets taken to the Lair by Griff, who tries to teaches him how to pull energy from other men during sex, but Bro abstains since Kevin is the only man for him. This is particularly funny considering what happens next. (For those who watched The Lair - and you are much more tolerant of totally senseless scripts than I - you might find the “host” a surprise.)

 

Bro goes home early to discover Kevin conducting a spell that will transfer his energy to him. Bro is shocked I tell you, shocked, that the guy he basically kidnapped doesn’t actually like him. Who knew you couldn’t force people to love you? Not Ambrosius. Too bad Bro can’t find his way back to us, his audience – he generated some sympathy in prior seasons, but he continues being extremely unsympathetic this season. Kevin then opens up a can of magical whoop ass on Bro (which, ya know, it was kinda hawt), who uses a trick I saw on Buffy once to escape (a mirror repels spells - so why don’t witches always carry a mirror with them just in case? And yes, I watched Buffy, so sue me) like the beaten dog he is. He seeks out Griff to teach  him how to pull energy from others, as well as get a mercy screw. Griff also suggests that Bro really power up before he faces Kevin again. We also learn that Griff is such an exhibitionist he has a floor length window in his shower.  And we wonder if Griff has got a bit of a thing for Bro. But then, who doesn’t Griff have a thing for, come to think of it.

 

I think I know why Kevin was so upset when he thought he killed Ambrosius now. Bro’s power is the only way he can break the tacky bracelet on his wrist, and presumably the spell that binds them together. So having him dead would have left him pretty well screwed and attached to a dead man. Yeah, that’s pretty upsetting. (But I’m thinking the death of Bro might just as well have set him free. This is where fantomas and I give you both of our opinions and you get to watch the two ends of the horse try to go opposite ways. JK)

 

Adam falls in a brief s-hole while looking at a candle flame, and Grace, who sees the whole thing, informs him that he’s now having prophetic visions due to his saint usage. (Does that mean all the hard core saint users on the island are psychic now? That’s going to be something.) He doesn’t know what to think of that, but when she suggests they use saint together so she can share his visions, he shoots it down immediately, but does tell her she can find saint at the Lair. This leads to the funniest scene in this series’ brief history - naked horticulture. Nude vampires gardening. There are no words to describe how absolutely insane this brief scene is; it’s totally deranged.  I couldn’t stop laughing. Who thought that up and what were they on? Did they bring enough to share with the rest of the class?

 

Grace proves she’s not totally good by dosing Adam with saint (which made me oddly happy – I like bitchy Grace, slinging power and venom around and being the perfect menace to all), and then doing the spell that allows her to see what he sees. Grace then realizes what the House of Shadows is up to, and their responsibility for Marco‘s death. But her attempt to convince Bro of the threat earlier failed, so she’s forced to turn to Griff, who won’t help her until she pledges allegiance to the council and him. She storms off in a huff. By the way, Toby is pissed off at Adam, because he doesn’t believe somebody dosed him with saint. That Toby, he’s a doubter.

 

Bro becomes a total slut, finding an endless supply of conveniently naked men and drawing power off of them. Funny scene is when he’s getting a blowjob and then rips the guy off him and throws him out the car door and onto the dirt. I should mention for the RNG (random naked guy) fans that once again it’s off the charts, as we visit both the Lair and the locker room set again. There‘s more sausage than at an Oktoberfest. Also, Brit doffs the top as she unwisely fools around with an aggressive Michelle, meaning it’s a virtual tie of what we see more of this season : Kevin’s ass or Brit’s boobs. Fans of both should be in heaven.

 

But the real shocker of the episode is when Grace returns to Griff and … accepts his terms. No! Woman, are you crazy?! Allegiance to the council, fine, but allegiance to him?! That is not going to add up to anything good.

 

Bro finally decides he’s strong enough to go home and teach  Kevin a lesson - and after all this, he still thinks he can force Kevin to love him; he should have drained a clue from someone - and I was amazed Kevin was still there. Until, of course, Kevin pulls out a secret weapon, a vial of some kind - boy, that Martha Stewart potion cookbook comes in handy - that makes Bro unconscious, and thanks to his massive power up, Kevin now has the energy he needs to escape the bracelet and the spell that’s bound them together. Kevin’s almost seamless switch from placating to defiant was impressive and almost a little creepy, and I’m sorry I underestimated both his intelligence and acting skills. Kevin is amazingly dangerous now, which makes me wonder which of Toby’s lovers is going to flip to the dark side before the season’s over. Overpowered Kevin, desperate to get Toby back and maybe just a little drunk on power, or Adam, who seemed bitterly jealous when he found Kevin and Toby talking to each other. I’m actually thinking that things look really bad for Adam here - is he hooked on saint again now that Grace dosed him? Either way, I think he’s going to be fighting some deep odds, and just may want to help Bro - or anyone -  get Kevin out of the picture. If that’s even possible. (He went from beach bum to master warlock in record time.)

 

With so much happening, and so many of them things that could take an instant bad turn (super powered Kevin, jealous - and stoned? - oracle Adam, spurned Bro, tormented Diana, scheming Michelle, Grace under Griff’s control), this is our favorite episode of the season so far. And that’s not even counting the naked gardening, which is just some insane icing on this plot rich cake. Bring on episode 4.

 

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3.04

Like a Virgin

 

Oh dear. After the last episode, I was so pumped for this one. Maybe, when you set your hopes so high, you can’t help but be let down.

 

This season has been a fantastic one for Grace. She gets to do interesting things, seems to be the strongest, smartest, and most bad ass person on the island, and gets loads of character development. The other characters? Not so much. In the case of Ambrosius, he has suffered the most. If he were any dumber this season, he’d be a paperweight. Seriously, ask a table lamp for an opinion before you ask him - it’s bound to be more helpful. It must be magic, because people that stupid have usually stopped breathing several years before.

 

But I digress. In this episode, Grace finally gets some, from slut of the universe Griff, in a scene that really needed ‘70’s porn music. Not to say it was super explicit - by Dante’s Cove standards, it was tame - but when the music swelled as they kissed, it occurred to me the scene would have been a thousand times better with some “wow-chicka-wow-wow” music in the background. Then again, walking down the street would be made infinitely better by that music. It just makes everything seem sleazier or funnier (or both).

 

Grace obviously had a stand-in for the nude-from-the-back scene and was actually covered quite demurely in bed, draped in Griff’s body, except for some prerequisite cleavage/partial boob exposure. Griff’s semi-moving body. When you’re having sex, aren’t you supposed to rut a little?

 

Which reminds me, now I want to go over something that’s been bugging me: why in the HELL won’t these people kiss? There’s sex here, there, everywhere, shlongs, balls, you name it, but the kisses? Please, I’m asking! Adam and Toby missed each other’s lips so much during their big scene (prior ep) and now, Grace has lockjaw with Griff – they grind their firmly closed lips together until I think Spam. Or canned ham, whatever. Some ground-up meat product that they’re making. Could we puleez have some realistic kissing action besides from the all-female couples? And by the way, Michelle and Elena and Brit: THANK YOU so much for showing us how it’s done. I didn’t think it could be so difficult!

 

Anyways, after Grace becomes Griff’s aspirant (or so he thinks … dun dun DUN!), they do the horizontal mambo, right, which somehow leads to Grace’s powers coming back. (I don’t know why - did he do an energy transfer and we just didn’t hear the sound effect?) And why didn’t Grace ever go shlepping all over the island attacking all the men to get HER power back? Can you imagine how great she’d be? Just asking. In the meantime, Brit turns Michelle down for further nookie, spurning her for Elena, which makes Michelle seethe and make a not so veiled threat. Kevin finds Toby (taking out the garbage shirtless … sometimes these jokes just write themselves) and tells him he’s back and he’s free. Toby doesn’t get it. Kevin explains that it was the bracelet that kept him with Bro, and he had visited him … twice. Twice. In six months (or however long), Kevin, you visit Toby twice?! No wonder he doesn’t believe him. Kevin has been learning magic, sure, but he’s apparently also been sipping the stupid Kool-Aid that Bro has on an IV drip. But Toby’s been drenched in the stupid jooice, too, though – how many times would Kev have to appear, how many orgasms would he have to give you in the old hot tub before you did believe, anyway?  That Toby, he’s a  doubter – he didn’t believe Adam wasn’t using again, either. But anyway.

 

Next Michelle sneaks up on Elena and claws her throat. (Question - why was there a fireplace poker sitting on a dresser? Is this something kinky fetish thing? Another question: why grab something to swing and smack someone with and then climb in a place where you have no room to swing and smack?) Michelle runs out of the house as Brit comes home and finds Elena on the floor. Luckily, Brit was wearing a bandana on her arm - that she has never worn before - and is able to cover the wound as she screams for help. Toby and Kevin hear and come running in, and we establish that the House of Shadows can block telephone signals. (Why not?) Kevin figures he can do a healing spell, but he needs the book of the sun, so he runs back to Bro’s to get it, while Toby does the smarter thing and runs to get Grace.

 

Bro is dumb. He’s so dumb I bet he doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together to keep warm. He has hidden the sun book, though, the one thing he has managed to do. Kevin tells him off and storms out, leaving Bro in a pouty teenage girl huff. Meanwhile, Griff disappears so he’s not caught with Grace, and a once again empowered Grace goes with Toby to tend to Elena. She figures out that Elena was attacked by the Human host of the Shadows, and there isn’t much a hospital can do for her. Thanks, Florence Nightingale. Toby has to be told that the moon book and the sun book aren’t the same thing (his turn with the stupid juice), and she couldn’t read it if Kevin returned with it, but she knew who could.

 

Oh, I think I forgot the silliest part of the episode. Griff is in the bar, making eyes with a guy in Lieutenant Dangle style Daisy Dukes to prove to Adam that he’s not “whipped”, and Dukes comes over and gives him a lap dance. This guy should be at the Lair - why was he at H2Eau? (In spite of his mating dance, Griff, who is smitten with Grace, turns him down. Perhaps the first time he has ever turned down sex ever. Make a note. Grace is gonna turn him into a big smooshy pretzel.)

 

Big shock - Bro discovers his powers don’t work. So he runs off to the Lair to power up. He should have just grabbed Dukes there.

 

Grace gets Griff, and they perform a spell that allows him to see her visions. Together they see the Shadow threat, and that Michelle is the human host. They figure her resurrection at the solstice made her the vessel. (Why? Maybe yeah, she wasn’t supposed to have been brought back and so the unnatural state of her being alive is, well, kind of like a zombie. You can’t ever REALLY bring ‘em back once they’re gone That’s Zombie 101. But how did that facilitate the Shadows escaping the box? No idea. Only the Shadow kn… never mind.) Griff figures they need all the help they can get, therefore they need Ambrosius. (Because everyone needs a stupid guy to run in the room and get killed first. That’s Horror 101.) Adam tells them Bro’s gone, but Griff figures out where he went, because where else is the blockhead going to go? It’s about this time that Grace reveals she outsmarted Griff and is not his aspirant. He still loves her anyways. She goes back to the house, and Griff and Adam head over to the Lair.

 

Bro is draining every guy in the Lair and having a grand old time. Why don’t they ban him? Is there some standing rule that they can’t? (Sorry Random Naked Guy fans - surprisingly few in this episode, and those that show up aren’t wildly impressive.) Trevor catches Bro draining someone, freaks out in an incredibly understated way (I winced at this point - was that really the best take on that line? Ouch), and Bro catches him and starts draining him. Adam and Griff show up then, and Griff yells at him while Adam waits for Bro to let up on Trevor before tackling Bro - that was brave?! - and Bro quickly starts draining him too. Griff yells at him some more, and eventually Bro stops, if only to tell Griff more or less that if he can’t have Kevin back, he doesn’t care if the world is destroyed. Has Griff finally figured out Bro is dead from the neck up?

 

I just realized I’m tired of reviewing this episode. It wasn’t horrible, just underwhelming. To wrap things up: Michelle returns, tries to worm her way into Brit’s defenses and get her to touch the book of the moon, which she has for some reason. (What this would have done to Brit I have no idea.) Grace interrupts the proceedings in the nick of time, and kicks Michelle’s butt, but just barely. She gets the book of the moon, though, and touching it, she realizes Michelle killed Van. Toby is just shocked. Toby is slow. What? Michelle? No way. They all figure out the chest Brit found is the vessel the Shadows broke out of. (Finally!) Kevin tries to show what happened when he touched the box, but can’t do it again. How embarrassing. Stellar Grace, though, sneering him down for the attempt (Is it related to him stealing power from Bro? Or his being Bro’s aspirant?) Toby learns Grace did drug Adam and he wasn’t lying. Trevor and Adam limp home, and Toby tells Adam he wants him, not Kevin, which pisses Kevin off and makes him use a spell to pull Toby to him. (Kev’s back at the stupid juice. Boy howdy. I get him saying stuff like, “I did it for us, for you,” if he’s talking about taking Bro’s power to get back to Toby, but whaaaat with the “I have the power, I can give you shit?”) Toby tells him he prefers his relationship with Adam because they take care of each other … which is total bull plop. All we’ve seen this season is Toby taking care of Adam! Which leads me to think Toby’s co-dependent and wouldn‘t know a healthy relationship if it bit him on the ass. Kevin storms off in an angry huff, seemingly abandoning the fight with the Shadows.

 

At the start of the episode, Diana had gone to Griff for help in restoring her powers, which he turned down. She didn’t mention the tormenting voices, though, which made me suspicious. Now Diana returns to beg Grace to let her help in the fight, and Grace decides to let her since she claims to know where Michelle is hiding. They go off together, which just smacks of a bad idea. Griff pays a visit to Diana’s house, hoping to recruit her in the fight since Bro is mentally about fifteen, and discovers the blood tainted teapot, and figures she’s been tainted by the Shadows. Running to find Grace, Brit tells him she went off with Diana, and he runs off again. (No wonder he’s in such good shape.)

 

Meanwhile, Diana brings Grace to Michelle’s place, and Michelle jumps out of the closet (?!) snarling … end of episode. I admit, she’s a good snarler, and she has those scary ice blue eyes (don’t know about the wardrobe on that girl, though). Well, it’s probably a trap and how they intend to overpower Grace I have no idea, but it’s probably a moot point since Griff will probably save the day. But if the next episode isn’t a super killer one, I think I’m going to have to declare this the worst season of Dante’s Cove ever. It has committed the greatest sin a series like this could ever commit: it got dull.

 

If Bro dies, it will be the best season ever. He’s just too stupid to live right now. Oy gevalt!

 

I’m hoping for a better ending to the show this year, though. The previews show Adam snarling like a rabid beaver and Kevin with his arms on Toby’s shoulders. Ah, for the good old days (I can dream, can’t I? I love my T/K)… but then we hear Kevin telling Toby in the most tender voice “they’ll get Adam back.”  Which, okay, Adam’s been a good guy this year (whatever happened to that spoiled trust fund brat? True love and hard drugs made him all grown up, huh? Talk about a personality change.) So yeah, we need to bring him back. (Unfortunately, although Adam dun gud this season, Toby’s been strangely stagnant and not really with it this year. Maybe it’s the shorn hair? Yeah, that’s it! Could someone please notify the actor? Grow it back PLEASE?)

 

Then apparently Adam’s gone and Toby’s struggling for possession of himself, with Grace suggesting they put him down like a dog (she’s got flair, does our Grace). But I’ve a feeling Kevin won’t go for that. Looking forward.

 

Kiss better,boys!!! Wear some decent clothes, Michelle Shadows Girl!!! And Bro, bring back some of your vulnerability! Bring back some brains! (Not zombie ones. Because we talked about those already.)

 

 

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3.05

Naked in the Dark

 

Fanto and I disagree substantially on this episode, so I’ll attribute who’s saying what, unlike most of our reviews. Do you know there's much more work on a review when we disagree? Inneresting. But onward.

 

F: Pretend I’m saying this in a Comic Book Guy voice: Worst. Season. Ender. Ever.

 

K: Most outrageous. Weirdest. Season. Ender. Ever.

 

F: Oy gevalt, where do I even start on this thing?  First of all, picking up where we left off last episode, a double cross is done, but Michelle is actually unaware of it.

 

K: She’s popping out of the evil clothes closet, right, and Diana says to sis Grace, “You have the power and I have the knowledge,” and they join their powerknowledge and yay, they win against that bloodthirsty Michelle. But oh noes! Diana pins Griff to the wall and shoves Grace aside.

 

F: The double cross is all Diana, who takes enough of her sister’s power to call the Shadows out of Michelle.

 

K: Diana has a big fat orgasm, apparently, courtesy of the shadows: “Take me, I’m yours, enter me, oooooooh, ooooh,” etc, while rubbing her own hair and body (good god – if I ever see anyone having an orgasm like that, I am so not talking to that orgasming person anymore. Because that’s fucking embarrassing!) Anyway.

 

F: Michelle is now back to herself, which isn’t necessarily a helpful thing.

I have to say that Diana possessed by the Shadows acts like Courtney Love searching for her methadone. It’s a combination of overacting (can I get some mustard with that ham?) and hysteria, with a few twitches thrown in. I’m sure she was supposed to be frightening, but I found it hysterical. I kept wanting to shout, “Give Courtney her fix already! She‘ll calm down!”

 

K: This whole fifth episode is a new low in high cheese, which is part of why I enjoyed it so much. I’m always amazed by the sheer audacity of this show.  Oh, and let’s take note that Diana walks (or stumbles) off in a red shirt and white skirt. Just because.

 

F: She goes off and causes people to kill themselves and others because she finds it funny, and she runs into Mr. Dumbass - a/k/a Ambrosius - at H2Eau—

 

K: I’m noting here that Bro’s shoulders are so broad in his striped shirt. Which adds nothing to this review other than that I think his broad shoulders are hot.

 

F: Diana’s made the heretofore unseen before cleaning staff kill themselves.

 

K: A lot like a zombie movie. And hey, Diana’s wearing a red dress with a black belt and creepy black netting now! Personality change=wardrobe morph, right? Not the first time that’s happened on this show. She’s got Bro with his wrists imprisoned, wahoo, a nice bondagy thing,  and she’s in his face, telling him how she’s going to kill him, and Bro’s got his Mr. Grinch face on, ever notice that Grinch face he makes? But Diana can’t kill Bro like she’d thought she could, so she howls out like a beserker wolf, “ARISE!” to the zombie cleaning crew. And then this bone-chilling howl: “I’m gonna make you buuuuuuurrrrrnnn!” Envision with me, would you, the knife going in her gut like I am right now.

 

F: Finally, Ambrosius gets a brain back and realizes Grace wasn’t lying about the Shadows.

 

K: Michelle goes to Griff and Grace and wails how she killed her parents. To which Grace says, “Yes, you did. and you also got us into this mess, and you killed Van too!” (I’m paraphrasing here.) What a mean old bitch. Grace’s back!!!

 

F: Meanwhile, Toby and “I Gave Up Shirts With Saint” Adam go to Michelle’s to see if she’s all right. A noise makes them open the closet door - you know, the one Michelle inexplicably jumped out of last episode –

 

K: Because closets are evil!

 

F:—and Adam complains about the smell before instantly being possessed by the Shadows. He attacks Toby—

 

K: I was right, he does look like an enraged beaver there.

 

F: — but gets sucked into the closet, which is now apparently a portal to the Shadow realm (no effects are used, so you just have to imagine that, behind the ugly dresses, there’s a hell portal). Toby almost gets sucked into the closet too, but manages to get away, fighting the Shadows in his head.

 

K: Then we see Kevin, watching the town burn. Fwee, bad effects. But we get to see Kevin’s woobly face!

 

F: Toby stumbles back to Grace’s, where Grace decides it’s better to kill Toby than risk him spreading the infection.

 

K: One of my favorite scenes. Grace, saying to Kevin, “You dipped your toes in the shallows, boy, don’t pretend you’re ready to swim with the sharks,” and then, good lord, “The shadows are trying to take him over, it’s safer just to kill him,” (!!!!)—

 

F:—which pisses Kevin off, and he uses his magic to save Toby before Grace can kill him. It seemed pretty easy for Kevin - why didn’t Grace do that? Probably because she really wanted to kill Toby, and eventually you discover that she probably should have. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

K: So pretty Kevin saves our boy Toby AGAIN, clutching his face in his hands, saying, “Toby baby!” But Toby’s caterwauling over Adam. It’s all quite sad, Kevin is crushed. Grace cocks her head and says, “Maybe he has some skill after all.” And don’t you love how Grace explains to everyone why she chose to try and end Toby’s life: “Cut off the gangrenous foot before it kills the leg.” How many times have you heard that as an excuse for murder? Lots. I just bet.

 

F: Elena remains “hanging on by a thread”, perhaps because she could use fluids and just maybe a blood transfusion, but no one mentions this.  Ambrosius shows up with the sun book, and agrees they all need to work together to combat Diana and the Shadows.

 

K: He’s finally the Bro I like and felt some compassion for, instead of stomping around and kidnapping Kevin and acting stupid. “Like it or not, we’re in this together, all of us.” Too bad I had to wait the whole season!

 

F: They decide to go to Griff’s house, which is a Tresum stronghold - who knew? - and prepare for battle. Toby complains to Kevin that he wishes the Shadows took him over so at least he could be with Adam. He says this to the guy who saved his life. It’s official: Toby is a total dick. If I was Kevin, I would have said, “Screw you, asshat!” and killed him. What an asshole! No wonder Grace wanted to kill him. Not that Kevin’s acting all that great either; he rather arrogantly thinks he’s stronger than everyone else, and wants to fight Diana directly. But Griff, Grace, and even Bro don’t explain anything to him; they just shoot him down as condescendingly as possible. You know this will come back and bite them all on the ass.

 

K: And still, Kevin tells Toby, “We’ll get him (Adam) back.” Which, you know, was awfully sweet. Not that I’m a Kevin fan or anything.

 

F: They hang up “watchman” berries around the house to keep the Shadows out (berries? I’m with Kevin - is that really all you’ve got?) while Bro tries to figure out how to repel the Shadows, but the sun books’ instructions are encoded. A hissy fit brings Trevor in to see him, Trevor who inexplicably has the moon book (why?) and together they accidentally discover if you smash them together, it becomes one uber spell book. It translates the spell to repel the Shadows.

 

K: I rather liked that smushing together of the books.

 

F: It’s a stupid prophecy and I won’t go into it—

 

K: Something about a mighty Tresum master will level the playing field, the book says. And a virgin. And Bro kisses Grace. The look on Grace’s face… ha. She confesses: I’m not a virgin.” Bro: “What? For two hundred years you kept yourself under lock and key and you couldn’t wait three more days to dust off your maidenhead?”

 

F: A single good joke comes out of it. A virgin is mentioned, and Bro makes the comment that instantly occurred to me.

 

K: “How are we supposed to find a virgin to fight the house of shadows—we are in Dante’s Cove for Christ’s sake.”

 

F: It seems like the last place on earth to look for a virgin. But luckily they don’t mean sexual virgin, although they don’t figure that out right away.

 

K: So Trevor was hanging decorative berries, excuse me, watchman berries, and announces the arrival of a now dazed and stumbling Diana who turns day into night, with constant lightning (a required staple for all good season-ending episodes).

 

F: But Trevor forgot to hang berries up over one of the doors (good one!), and while attempting to do it, he gets taken over by the Shadows. Now here’s another continuity blip: when Kevin goes to check, Trevor is outside (and naked—but hey, he often is).

 

K: And don’t forget, suitably oiled. Makes me nostalgic for season one with the actors and their amazing thickly oiled bodies (which was either incredibly good for their skin or caused many breakouts and thus, trauma).

 

F: There’s an implication as Diana talks through the possessed Trevor to Kevin that Kevin has to open the door to let him in - but he was inside when he was possessed! What am I missing here? Diana, as Trevor, attempts to seduce Kevin over to the dark side.

 

K: Looks like a blow job to me. It’s all good.

 

F: Kevin, having taking several deep draughts of stupid juice, goes out to confront Diana on the front lawn, and in no short order the crazy bitch kicks his ass.

 

K: What the fuck is that accent Diana’s acquired? “Oh you’re vonderful, Kevin! Such a little boy you are,” and insert crazed laugh laugh, and then more accent: “Ven I finish picking you off von by von— ”(???????????) Vat the hell??? I laughed so hard I almost died (or cried). And then another dead-on Grace line: “Ugh, not even Kevin deserves this.”

 

F: Inside the Three Stooges of Magic - Grace, Griff, Bro - watch, along with Toby. So, it looks like Kevin’s dying. Who cares? Well, Bro … and no one else. That’s right - Toby doesn’t give a crap. Remember, he’s a total dick now. He half-heartedly offers to go out there with Bro, but Bro immediately shoots that down. Because they’re worried about Diana getting all of Kevin’s raw power, the Stooges head out. Bro grabs Kevin and starts getting his power sucked too, so Griff and Grace are forced to fight Diana, and hit her with a one two punch spell that breaks the connection.

 

K: A couple of baaad lines, the delivery was so rushed it was funny: “I’m sorry, Bro.” – “I’m sorry, too, Kevin.” By which we know that they are allllll made up now.

 

F: Michelle then shows up. She wanted to help earlier, but Grace and Griff rebuffed her. Now she thinks she’s figured out she can help. Once they’re all inside again, Michelle insists that if she dies,  the Shadows will go away. (How does that work? I have no idea.) They dismiss her again, Griff locks her in a room, and the Stooges get on with the spell of trying to open the damn box. In the meantime, something is trying to come through a door in Griff’s bedroom, where Elena and Brit are, and Brit tries to hold it closed and calls out for Toby to help her. He does, but they can barely keep it closed.

 

Toby hears Adam calling to him for help, and even though Brit sensibly points out to Toby it’s a trap - which anyone with two brain cells should have been able to figure out, Toby -  he opens the door, and gets sucked into the closet like the stupid ass he apparently is now. (I assume it’s a closet; hell portals exist in closets on this island. That might explain their wardrobes or lack thereof.) Meanwhile, Diana waltzes in the front door, still acting like Courtney Love chasing the dragon, and Bro and Grace, working together on a spell to open the box, can’t do it. While they keep trying, Diana starts draining power out of Griff. Brit, who is key to the whole ritual (she’s the “magic virgin”) attempts to stab Diana, but Diana pins her to the wall. In this battle, the door is blown off Michelle’s room, and she goes to Brit, telling her to give her the knife. She refuses, but to be fair, it looks like she can’t move.

 

Diana casts a spell to break the box while Grace and Bro continue to try and open the box, but Michelle gets Brit’s hand down enough to impale herself on the knife. Grace and Bro finally get the damn box open—

 

K:—all the while, Diana’s rubbing her face manically screaming about the acid (see, fantomas was right, it was drugs).

 

F: —while Michelle walks to Diana and tells her they’re dead. Michelle then dies, the screaming Diana loses the Shadows, and the Shadows are imprisoned in the box. Grace and Bro kiss in a friendly way, ending their animosity.

 

K: Actually, Bro and Grace do quite a bit of that hug, kiss, kiss, hug. Oh my. And I must make note of the fact that Michelle’s body didn’t die when the shadows left her. Vut Diana, she does. Or so it seems.

 

F:  Then the “happy ending.” Kevin wakes up, and Bro tells him they won.

 

K: Kevin says, “I knew you would.” Good grief.

 

F: Toby was lost to the shadows.

 

K: We then see more of Kevin’s woobly face. “No.” Closes eyes briefly. “No.” Bro: “I’m sorry, I know how much you loved him.” Who is this Bro you ask?

 

F: Kevin then asks Bro to take him home. Nope, no mourning on Kevin’s part—

 

K: —well, there was the two second woobly—

 

F: —but since Toby treated him like such a dick, you can almost forgive that. Still … Bro’s forgiven, just like that? Apparently so. And in a plot development I saw coming down 5th Avenue, Grace asks Griff if he’d ever quit the Council, and he says he’d need good reason. Grace then tells him she’s pregnant with their spawn, giving him that reason.

 

K: And outside, Trevor’s stumbling around, confused and naked. “What the hell happened,” he mumbles, then covers his naked parts. Didn’t have to on my account, pal.

 

F: We end with Kevin, cuddling with Bro after sex, telling him he loves him.

 

K: Pretty pose, boys, lying in the bed so artfully draped.

 

F: Proving that yes, you can kidnap a guy, make him your sex slave, and have him fall in love with you. Stalkers, take hope! You too can be a totally abusive rapist and have a happy ending.

 

K: Well, yes. There’s that. Bro spreads his arms and tells Kevin, “You’re not trapped. You’re free, free to go if you choose.” And get this, our Kevin says: “I’m right where I wanna be. I love you, Ambrosius.” Lord amighty.

 

F: While they canoodle, we cut to the full length mirror at the end of Bro’s bed - a new edition - and behind the glass, Adam and Toby are pounding on it, screaming soundlessly for their attention, which they don’t get. (Am I wrong, or did Toby lose his shirt once more?)

 

K: You’re not wrong. The shadows sucked off Toby’s t-shirt!

 

F: You know what? Stay there. I’d use the term “jump the shark,” but I hate that term, so I won’t. I hated this episode, but save for one episode, I have disliked this entire season. Everyone seemed to be really dumb for no other reason than to move the plot along or inject drama. Is this the last season of Dante’s Cove? Frankly, I kind of hope so. I can’t stand any of the characters anymore, and this is as good a place to leave it as any. You know, I bought the first two seasons on DVD, but when this set comes out, I won’t buy it, because I can‘t say I want to sit through any of these episodes again. And I can’t tell you how disappointed I am about that. This show used to be kind of cheesy fun. What happened?  Well, at least I still have the first two seasons. That’ll have to do me from now on.

 

K: Aw, I liked it. I love how everything just kept moving non-stop and I LOVED the closets. Closets are evil. And Diana, she was like a big funky chicken with dementia roaming the island. Some of those shrieks and grimaces and ululations made me want to SHOOT her right through the tv screen. How on earth did they get her, who I thought was a serious actress, to act in such a manner? Or could they stop her (snerk). And I like how they called Kevin 'boy' a lot - he is the town boy whore and tired of being thought of that way, and I sympathize (and sneer at his 'I have the power' shit), even while admiring that little boy neck of his from behind (pervert, me?). I love the sight of those two boys at the end beating on the mirror, and I was so mad at Toby that I was GLAD he was stuck there.

 

I don’t love it in the old way I loved DC - then I actually saw something wonderful to go with your cheese, and actually don't see anything like that now. But the cheese! It was so fucking cheesy! I laughed out loud more times than I do watching a comedy.

 

As for Toby… I loved that he was again shirtless at the end. And I hate that I felt the need to call my beloved Toby an asshole, but there I’m in total agreement with you, and that’s damn sad. His character as written has really been assassinated this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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