On Saturday and Sunday of New York Comic Con, the stakes get higher and the lines get longer as big studios, like Marvel, WB, and 20th Century Fox, bring out their movie and TV stars to sign autographs and appear on panels about their upcoming blockbusters and fall TV hits. You can catch the pilot of Fox’s Lucifer and CBS’ Supergirl based on the DC Comics properties, or decided to kick old school with several reunions of shows and movies, including Clueless, All That, and two masterpieces of nerdy TV that made my list.
How much does it take for a friendship forged in the savagery of war to fritter away into nothing? Or even worse, until it gets to a point of betrayal and double crossing that somebody gets shot for the safety of everyone else? What boundaries have to be crossed before self destruction and selfishness override a fraternal sense of commitment to war buddies who say death and destruction together on a daily basis? And even further, at what point is loyalty nothing more than a nice idea that people hold on to in order to maintain ties to fond memories? “The Message” tries to answer all of this and more when an old war compatriot of Zoë and Mal’s shows up in the mail with a request to ferry him home to his family and loved ones for burial. At times, it falls short of being able to fully explore how the toils of battle mentally affect those that survive the trenches and make it home, but the episode also smartly avoids PTSD as a main story drive and instead focuses on hopes, dreams, failure, and disappointment.
“Our Mrs. Reynolds” holds up just about as well as any of the episodes Firefly aired during its run no matter how many times it gets run through the rewatch wringer. Even you if you know the twist that occurs about two thirds of the way through the episode, the zingers and character interactions throughout maintain the entertainment factor at the same level as the first time you set your eyes on Mal getting accidentally married in a drunken stupor.
A recurring theme in Hannibal’s first three episodes has been an exploration of how getting into the mindset of serial killers affects Will, as he is unable to slip out as easily as he slips in, something that is beginning to take its toll on him. Each case that Will has taken on has chipped away at his psyche a bit more, and while Dr. Lecter is ostensibly helping Will retain his sanity, the psychologist clearly has another plan in mind. The toll that working with the FBI is having on Will’s sanity is further explored this week, in another atmospherically scary episode that gives the audience a look at the life of Jack Crawford.