Riverdale – The Devil Comes to RiverVale (11/30/21)

Tonight, Riverdale seems to be revisiting classical literature with their take on Doctor Faustus.  I think though we should honor all the previous “missing persons” with a review.  We lost Archie Andrews in a ritual sacrifice (like ancient times) by having his heart and blood used to bring back the maple trees.  Last week, we lost Toni Topaz as she gave her life for her son.  By the way production, what gives?  The original Lady Llornora suffered due to drowning her child.  Toni gave her life for her son.  Does this mean the spirit will save children??

But I digress, let’s get to the heart of what may happen tonight.  We’ve been promised more death but I’m not sure how the devil will play into this.  Like in the song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” this devil comes to RiverVale with deals and contract for the souls of those left. Are these soulless death.  Will we go comic book classic and have Betty and Veronica get the same promise (no — Archie is dead)?  Will Reggie sign for his dearest wish (money)?  Will Jughead sign for a bestselling book?  Will Betty sign for her child?  And did I see a trash bag person on the limited preview.  Somehow, I think this will be a bumpy night.

Our Rod Sterling “want to be” is back in the form of Jughead Jones.  Jughead is telling us a story about a small town which the devil visits that is filled with despair and destruction.  Now honest, I didn’t get the title he gave but I’ll go back to Doctor Faustus.  Jughead tells us that the Devil that visits RiverVale will take many disguises.  So let’s get to the breakdown.

Tabitha, Pop, Jughead and Pop’s Diner

At Pop’s restaurant, he’s good-heartedly given a free meal away.  Just as he looks up, the diner lights flicker and Mr. Cypher (let’s just say Devil) is there and causes Pop to have a heart attack.  Tabitha finds him on the floor and rushes him to the hospital.  While sitting beside her grandfather, the devil appears with the story.  Pop’s father traded his soul to save the diner.  Pop traded his soul so his father wouldn’t be in hell alone.  The devil promises that he’ll give Pop his life in exchange for the dinner.  Tabitha is to think it over and give the answer soon (but will she).

Later, after talking to Jughead who has a handle on what is happening, she goes back to the hospital.  Pop is awake and tells her that the diner can’t go to the devil.  The reason the devil wants the diner is because it is the soul of RiverVale.  It’s where the lost come.  Wait, if the diner is the soul of RiverVale that the lost search for, why did Cheryl kill Archie? 

Jughead calls the devil for an interview but will not sign away his soul.  Mr. Cypher agrees but makes a counteroffer.  Jughead can have the story and never print it.  For this he lives out his life as an unknown writer.  If he likes Jughead can print the story and have fame and fortune (and no soul).   Out comes the recorder and Jughead starts the interview which he writes and publishes.  All of a sudden, the Associated Press and others call.  His agent wants to know what he’s writing next and Pultizer Prize is mentioned.  Meanwhile Rod “Jughead” appears but says nothing.  How comes I think there will be a multitude of people heading to “hell” tonight.

At the diner, one of the regulars comes in and asks for a meal.  He’ll pay by washing dishes but Tabitha tells him that won’t be necessary.  She tells him that that isn’t how Pop’s operates.  A strange listens and calls Tabitha over.  He respects what Pop’s stands for and has his own mission – to repay the good.  Seems his boss is “good” (let’s say God) and his name is Rapheal (like the angel).  Pop’s is going to play an important role in the battle coming.  He hands her a vial.

Jughead wants the fame and accepts the agreement for his soul.  Jughead starts typing and gets a novel started that he loves.  Tabitha meanwhile saves herself, Pop Tate and the diner by first signing the contract and then taking it back by giving the devil and milk shake containing the vial from Raphael.  It has the tears of the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion so she, Pop, and the diner are protected from the evil (that’s Mr. Cypher brings and that is coming).  Pop throws the devil down the steps and tells him to leave town.  (Much better than Doctor Faustus and the other novels like this from my English classes).  Jughead’s wish comes true though he still owes his soul.  He didn’t drink one of the milkshakes.  No deaths yet but they’re coming.

Reggie, Veronica, Kevin and the Casino

Veronica and Reggie watch as Alice does a newscast about the evil that the casino brings.  Veronica meets with Alice and tells her that the club will be run legit and nothing unfair will happens.  She invites Alice to the soft opening.  Little does she know that Reggie plans to run a “crime” casino, skimming money and destroying lives.  He tells the crew what to do and not tell Ronnie.

At the soft opening, Mr. Cypher (let’s just say the devil from now on) shows up and Ronnie doesn’t recognize him.  She can’t find Reggie and ends up talking to him herself.  Little does Ronnie know that Kevin has met the devil who promises him fame, money and stardom. Kevin accepts after an amazing performance.  (another soul gone).  Kevin finds himself with Fangs as a manager and going places.  THe devil marks Kevin’s name off the list (which includes Veronica, Betty, Jughead, the diner, and evidently Reggie’s).   (Ronnie puts two and two together and realizes that Louis Cypher is really Lucifer.)

When Ronnie sees Reggie he tells her everything.  Needing money, the devil has approached Reggie with an investment deal.  Reggie knows that Ronnie will save him (little does he know what is coming).  Ronnie realizes that she has a soul to offer Lucifer and we get Nick back (really, do we need him).  Ronnie gets Nick to admit to all his sins and say he will give his soul for Ronnie.  The devil appears and agree that that is a valid agreement.  Bye, bye Nick.  Death number one!  Nick’s soul (and body) goes.  Yet, that’s not enough.  To protect herself and get out of the deal, Ronnie must get Alice to sign a contract with the Devil’s pen.  Alice is offered one-third of the profit and asked to sign a contract stating that.  Before Alice can put pen to paper (with the Devil gets her soul), Ronnie pulls the paper back.  Alice declares war.  Well, Ronnie still owes her soul and set to disappear at midnight.

Ronnie takes her swan song (literally) at midnight on Saturday.  She goes upstairs to talk to Reggie and spills that she made a counteroffer to the Devil.  He will get a soul a week plus profits and guess who the first soul is?  Reggie is now gone (dead) in this episode.  I’ll have the end of this at the end of the article.

Betty and the Trash Can Killer

Just as we hoped the Trash Can Killer didn’t come to RiverVale, we find out we are wrong.  Betty gets a call (supposedly) from Brent.  The Killer will only talk to Betty.  In the meeting the Killer is asked if absolute evil exists.  The Killer says that he will admit all if she makes a deal with him but she refuses.  No one cares about the Killer but he counters that she is 100% evil herself.  They are drawn to each other.  Betty immediately goes to take a shower and calls Brent to say that the Killer is toying with her.  Brent tells her that the Killer hasn’t been caught and isn’t in custody.

In questioning, Betty asks who he is and he admits to being the devil.  She asks to see his face and wants proof.  The Killer produces Betty’s dad voice asking for her to release him from Hades.  He also tells her that Polly’s in Hades also.  The Devil has a vision of a woman on a horse (think Revelations and the Whore of Babylon) and that the woman is Betty.  Betty recognizes the reference and still refuses.  She walks away, sees scissors and picks them up.  She stabs the Killer then removes the trash can makes only to find Brent.  Later at home, she gets a call asking if she knows where Brent is.  His wife has reported him missing.  The body is behind the couch so Betty evidently hasn’t signed a contract with the devil yet.

.And the Ending

Rod “Jughead” appears with at Ronnie’s and tells us that Ronnie is now chasing the next big deal and willing to do anything for it.  For Ronnie, a soul isn’t a great loss.  And he questions that if RiverVale is the final battlefield between good and evil, are any souls safe.  Well Jughead, it looks like Tabitha and Pop are safe.  My question is:  why RiverVale and is this all going to be used to explain the loss of Archie and Toni?  With the death of Reggie (I really don’t want to put Nick and Brent but will) and the loss of Jughead and Ronnie’s soul, will Betty turn evil and be the devil’s partner.  The casino appears to be a site of the battle as does Pop’s.  I’ll be at Pop’s myself!

Next week:

Sabrina shows up at Cheryl’s.  Now why is the contracts of the Devil out and in view but my question is why are so many wearing period costumes. 

Riverdale – There Be Ghosts Here (11/23/21)

Riverdale—er Rivervale—last week you did the unthinkable.  You killed off the title character of their franchise, Archie Andrews.  Yes, I know this is billed as a special event.  Yes, I know that all can change when Riverdale returns in March but I also know from the many time travel shows that you do not mess with time and space continuums.  That can cause everything changes.  Wait!  That’s not quite true!  What if – wasn’t Jughead writing again?  Could this be the story that he was creating?  Remember I called this first.

So, let’s review.  Cheryl has become either an avenging angel or a witch.  I vote for witch since she has a coven behind her.  She has been doing favors for the women of Rivervale and so far has helped Toni, Betty, Veronica, and Tabitha.  Betty lost Archie but is supposedly pregnant.  Veronica proved to Reggie that he is the only one that matters.  Tabitha got rid of her apartment bugs (except Jug) and Toni’s baby got cured of colic.  All they had to do was bring the maple trees back to life in Cheryl’s grove.  But there are more spooky things to come and apparently more death.

Let’s get tonight’s “Ghost Stories” going, shall we?  Oh, and everything goes Rivervale not Riverdale now (title card, sponsor announcement…).

As tonight’s episode opens Rod “Jughead Jones” Sterling opens again telling the story of Ghoulies and Serpents at war?  Now that is a surprise.  Knives are pulled and we have our first death with someone I don’t even know.  Three months later, Toni is talking about the fight.  She’s still upset over the battle and the young man’s death

Tabitha and Jughead  — Story One (but not the main one)

Tabitha and Jughead are still living together and he is getting story ideas.   Tabitha comes in from work to find her pictures not hung (which he promised to do).  She doesn’t realize that Jughead forgets chores easily.  She starts to hang the picture on the wall and knocks a hole in the sheetrock.  On inspection, they find a room that is filled with “ships in bottles.”  Jughead decides to use it for his writing. 

Later at Pop’s (which is miraculous restored to normal), the real estate agent tells Tabitha the truth about the apartment.  It belonged to Sam and Diane (a song here) who died in the apartment of murder/suicide.  Looks like it is haunted folks!  When Tabitha returns home, she confronts Jug with withholding that information.  He’s found a picture and asks if she is worried about the ghosts.  It seems Diane killed Sam with a hammer and Tabitha has a dream that one night while Jughead is writing, she repeats the story.  The next morning, she yells at him for leaving the toothpaste uncapped and he mentions knocking on the walls that kept him awake.  (Hey production, we needed to hear that knocking!)

Tabitha gets clumsy at work and drops dishes.  She asks Pop if he believes in ghosts and he admits that the Chocolate Shop use to be haunted by a waitress who died there.  Her ghost disappeared after all the windows were broken in the 1960s.  Meanwhile Jughead spent the day trying to figure out the ships got in the bottle.  Tabitha reminds him that he’s supposed to be writing and he says he was refueling his creative side (I do that writing recaps, reading and dreaming).  The next morning, Tabitha takes a carton of milk (with Archie’s “missing” picture on it) and finds the hammer.  She goes to talk to Jughead who is surprised by the hammer in her hand.  He’s almost finished the book but won’t let her see it.  Seems when she talks to Betty, she finds out that was not how he wrote when Betty was his muse.

Jughead has been out buying bottles.  Tabitha has read the novel and is upset about the story of the wife who kills her husband because he left the top off the toothpaste.  She smashes his ship building bottles and almost smashes Jug’s head.  Before she can make that blow, she sees herself as Diane and stops.  She tells him they can’t repeat the story and tells Jughead that she loves him.  Jughead tells Tabitha that he loves her.  They scare the ghosts away and close up the room

Reggie and Veronica – (story two but not the main story)

Veronica calls Reggie at the car lot.  Reggie’s dad is seriously ill and not expected to make it.  As Reggie gets ready to leave, an older model car (of course, just like the one he had in high school) comes in and he buys it for cash from its owner.  Reggie sits in the car and a woman (of course that he knows) appears beside him in the seat.  Oh, great – apparently another ghost.  She disappears as Reggie gets another call from Ronnie asking why he isn’t home.  He arrives home, needing a shower (the ghost did that to him!  Amazing!). 

The next day, Reggie is at the high school in the shop with the car.  He gets a call and lies saying he’s at the hospital but gets busted.  Ronnie shows up and Reggie explains that the car reminds him of Bella.  He also tells her the story about high school life and the car.  Ronnie seems to understand, and they decide to make love in the car at Pop’s.  Only problem is that the Rivervale football team sees them,and Chuck Clayton gets told about it.  He plans to ruin Ronnie’s good name with that.  Wait, Ronnie’s good name?  She clobbered Archie so they could sacrifice him and threatened her dear old dad.  Reggie accuses Ronnie of being jealous of a car.

Ronnie sits down in the driver’s seat and lowers the visor.  A picture of the real “Bella” drops out.  Ronnie goes to Rivervale High to have it out with Reggie but accidentally bumps into Mr. Weatherbee.  She drops the picture and he picks it up and tells her who the woman is.  Bella was fired from Rivervale High due to inappropriate behavior.  Ronnie confronts Reggie with this only to learn that Mr. Mantle has died.  Bella did not have inappropriate behavior with Reggie (he says) and was his confidant (in more ways than one I bet).  Ronnie gives him the keys to another 1964 Camaro (but not Bella).  Reggie later gets in it and sees Bella in that car also.  (He goes from talking to Ronnie about his father’s funeral, getting the car, to seeing a ghost.)  Too much detail.

Toni (and Betty) versus La Llorona – The Main (and good, sad) Story

As the show opened, remember the battle I talked about.  The boy killed was the son of Darla Dickinson (more on this later—just remember the name).  During the opening 15 minutes, we see a character arise from the lake.  It is La Llorona who lost children and now searches for them.  To make amends, she apparently takes away children now from their uncaring mothers.  All this happens as Nana Blossom and Cheryl celebrate the return of those (blasted) maple trees already growing tall and thanking Archie.  As they celebrate, Dagwood comes and tells them that Juniper is in trouble.  Cheryl breaks into the bathroom where Juniper is drowning in the bathtub.  She saves her niece, but this is just the start of babies (almost) dying.

We then get a chatty scene of Betty and Kevin talking about her baby that will be named either Archie or Polly.  Betty gets a call about a drowned child in a bathtub and Cheryl is there also seeking help with Juniper.  Betty goes to the FBI and takes the case.  Toni has been approached by Betty about the mother, Sandra, who doesn’t really know why her daughter drowned.  She’s is being held because of bruising on her daughter’s shoulders from being held under water.  Mom saw a figure in the bathroom as she entered and Toni finds out about La Llorna.  A folklore character isn’t enough to keep the mother out of jail. 

Just a quick note.  I thought I had seen the word before.  Checking Google, I found out that it’s from Latin America mythology and roams water looking for her children that she drowned.  (This importance comes into focus as the episode plays out).

Toni does her research also and finds the story of La Llorna in a folklore book.  She calls Betty who tells her that but it won’t be enough to get the mother out of jail.  Toni tells her that the figure always searches for mothers who doesn’t love their children or done something to a child.

That night, Betty gets a visit from La Llorna who decides that Betty doesn’t deserve the child she is carrying.  Betty wakes up to find her stomach flat and apparently no baby.  She visits the doctor who tells her that she is no longer pregnant.  The doctor thinks it was a hysterical pregnancy.  (Hey doc!  Maybe it was because she helped sacrifice the child’s dad to make the maple trees grow.)

Toni has noticed water (or maybe blood) dripping from her classroom’s ceiling.  She goes into the hall and sees La Llorna standing there and knows that La Llorna seeks baby Tony.  Toni grabs an axe to kill the spirit (that’s not how you get rid of ghosts, Toni) and, pulls the alarm so the students leave.  La Llorna disappears as she swings the axe but not before scaring Toni who later gets a visit from child protection services.  Toni has been turned in as a “bad” mother and the social worker knows that isn’t true.  During the visit, La Llorna appears and tries to steal baby Tony who screams.  Toni and the social worker find him on the floor.

Betty talks to Toni and Fangs about the places that La Llorna has been seen.  Toni gives Fang’s the baby to be take to the Whyte Wurm to be cared for and protected by the Serpents while she visits Cheryl. At Cheryl’s, a seance occurs with Nana, Betty and Toni. La Llorna appears and takes over Nana (although we can see her). La Llorna plans to take baby Tony and almost makes Nana drown.

From the clues that Toni and Betty learn, they head back to the Whyte Wurm and find the Serpents lying on the floor and the baby gone.  Fangs tell her that it was La Llorna and something about a grave.  Toni realizes that all this is coming the from Darla’s son.  They find Darla at the grave and she is the one who called the curse down on Toni.  She had lost all of her sons and is doing this to punish Toni.

At the lake, Toni and Betty try to stop La Llorna from going into the lake with baby Tony.  Toni pleas with her not to kill her child.  Toni will give up anything for her child.  She admits sending Darla’s son into battle and admits she should die for it.  La Llorna gives Toni the baby who gives him a kiss.  Toni hands the baby to Betty asking her to protect her son and tell him she loved him.  She turns back to La Llorna who becomes a part of Toni.  As the ghost heads to the water, Betty sees the face of Toni for the ghostly figure.  Let me just say, Vanessa Morgan (Toni Topez) deserves an Emmy for this performance.

Jughead makes one more “Twilight Zone” appearance to tell us that what better word of motherhood is there than sacrifice (like he really knows from his own experiences).  His philosophical turn reminds me of the old episodes I’ve seen of Rod Sterling at the end of the original series.

So thus, the death of another well loved character that owed Cheryl a favor.  Add to that Betty’s loss of Archie’s child.  As each episode comes, I wonder what mayhem will be next.

Next week:  Reggie seems to be tempted by the devil who shows up in Rivervale (where else).  And we have someone in an alien mask show up.

The Wheel of Time

“The Wheel of Time” began this week on Amazon Prime.  I wasn’t sure whether to watch it or not but I am familiar with the story.  I read the first five books in the 1990s and had friends who completed them all.  Let me just say, it’s a complicated story with a wide array of characters and often, you lose track of who these people are.  I have friends who still have their character encyclopedia they composed so they could keep the characters straight.  So, buckle up.  If you think “Lord of the Rings” was complicated, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Let’s get this straight for the readers.  “The Wheel of Time” isn’t the name of the first book.  The title of book one is “The Eye of the World.”  It introduces us to Moiraine and Lan who have a quest ahead of them.  They must find the Dragon and keep him/her in the light (or destroy if he/she is evil).  That’s right.  No one has a clue of who this person is.  Moiraine only knows that he/she has been born. 

Amazon’s first episode is called “Leave Taking” and in actuality is based on the first book of the series.  In many ways, you don’t understand this until the last 20 minutes of the episode.  The story tells of Moiraine and Lan, her bodyguard, leaving the Aesi Sedai on the search for the Dragon.  The Dragon’s return has been seen by one of the Aesi Sedai that was born with white eyes and blind.  They finally arrive at the town of Two Rivers which is located in the mountains and steeped in the Old Ways.  They have a  town is led by the women with a Wisdom lady (who can never marry) serving as the head of the town.  As the viewer arrives in Two Rivers, they find that a new recruit is being inducted into the Women’s Circle, Egwene.  She gets her braid and must survive a fall from the cliff into the river.

That night, a party is held.  When Egwene arrives, the party kicks up a notch and the celebration really begins.  During the party, we are introduced to four key people who will play the main roles during the story  (in addition to Moiraine and Lan).  After the party, Egwene and Rand, her lover, clean up.  Unfortunately, they as a married couple are not to be as Egwene has been asked  to apprentice under the present Wisdom, Nynaeve.  This means a life of loneliness.  We do not learn until later that Nynaeve does not like the Aesi Sedai to which Moiraine belongs.  Nynaeve was adopted by the former Wisdom who had hoped to become an Aesi Sedai but was refused membership because she was poor and of small build.  Let’s just say that this will probably color Egwene’s opinion of Moiraine as the story moves forward.

Moiraine and Lan continue their search the next day:  Moiraine for the Dragon and Lan for problems (Trollocs).  All seems peaceful but a stranger arrived unknown to all during a storm the night before.  Nynaeve and Egwene sense a change in the tone of the wind but no time to figure it out then as the town has a memorial service to attend that night.

At the memorial service, people light lanterns and put them in the river and they float downstream (think Chinese Lantern celebration).  As the party moves back to the town (after the sad service), people start to dance and sing.  Suddenly, the Trollocs attack.  The Trollocs work for the Dark One as his army.  Their one goal is to destroy goodness and stop the Aesi Sedai.  The Dark One knows that the Dragon is somewhere.  As the fight starts (on a set only used for this episode) the town is destroyed.  So are the Trollocs with Moiraine’s white magic and calling the stone from the buildings to destroy the Trollocs.   Moiraine has figured out that the Dragon is one of four people from Two Rivers.  She may have stoped the Trollocs but for how long and at what cost?

As the town regroups, Rand, Egwene, Perrin and Mat are told they must leave with Moraine and Lan to draw the Dark One’s army away.  Rand blames Moraine (for his father’s injury and the attack) but his father (who was saved by Moiraine) signals he must go.  Already the army can be seen on a mountain nearby.  Horses are brought and six ride out.  All do not want to leave as Rand blames Moiraine for the attack.  Knowing that their staying, they must leave even though Mat wants to stay with his sisters and Perrin has lost his wife, Laila.  The Trollocs and Dark One will only go where they think the Dragon is.  Egwene doesn’t know what to make of all that has happened. 

As the ride begins, Moiraine reminds us of the quest as they travel to the White Tower:

“The Wheel of Time and come and pass leaving memories that become legends. Legends become myth and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth comes again.”

The next episode will be dropped November 19th

I’ve watched fantasy before.  I was a huge fan of “Once Upon a Time” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  I’m not sure how I feel about this one.  I will say that the cast, especially the relative unknowns, seem to be able to handle what is thrown at them.  Rosamund Pike is going to be a strong lead as Moiraine and will do wonders in the role.  I wasn’t a fan of “Game of Thrones” as I found the books and the series too bloody (remember the Red Marriage).  I will definite watch the second episode. 

And remember, this wasn’t my usual type of recap.  I just wanted you to have background on a new series that has promise.  Oh, and by the way.  Bezos tells us that it won’t last 15  years (one book per  year) and the second year has already been filmed.

Riverdale (Rivervale):  Who Did It Better?

As I watched the ending of “Riverdale” Tuesday night (November 16, 2021), I thought I was seeing a revisit of  an old favorite program of mine, “Once Upon a Time.”  The setup with Archie, rang so true to the character of Henry that it was eerie.  After all, “Once Upon a Time” ended with seven seasons and just celebrated the tenth anniversary of its premiere.  But I digress there.

Now this wasn’t the first time that the creators of “Riverdale” has borrowed from old movies or television shows.  Popular culture plays a big role in all television as seen in the prevalence of law and order shows on the tube now.  I even liked this series salute to Rod Sterling. Cole Sprouse did a fabulous  imitation.  Let’s face it.  While this has been done many times, Cole played the role in the same style as the original actor portrayed the role. Kudos to Cole. 

The thing that worried me was Archie’s ending.  Yes, I know that Cheryl prophesied his death.  He was supposed to apologize to her for what his ancestor did to her ancestors for Riverdale to survive.  To be honest, I’ve seen that theme before.  The part that got me going was the use of Archie as the sacrifice because he was the “soul of Riverdale.”

Let’s jump back in time, shall we.  The show shoots in Vancouver.  Well, another popular show (and still is with it’s fans) was “Once Upon a Time” which also filmed in Vancouver.  Why, they even shared a common actress in that the girl who played Polly also played the daughter of Zelena and Robin Hood (Tiera Shovbye).  So, why didn’t they realize that they were borrowing a theme from “Once Upon a Time.”

Just like Archie, “Once Upon a Time” had a character who had the purest heart or as “Once” called it:  the heart of the true believer.  Instead of bring life back, Henry’s death prevented change.  Henry’s job was to break the curses that surrounded the creation of Storybrooke (and later Hyperion Heights).  The show’s first season centered around the “true believer,” Henry, convincing his biological mom, Emma, that she was the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.  Granted Henry was the only one who believed/knew this (except for Regina, his adopted mom and curse caster), but in the season one finale, Henry ate the poison apple and it took Emma kiss to awaken him making Emma believe.

Want more proof?  In Season 3, Episode One, entitled “The Heart of the True Believer,” the tone was set for the first half of the season.  Peter Pan had kidnapped his great grandson, Henry, because he wanted to drain his heart so he can live forever.  Mr. Gold (or Rumpelstiltskin) has gone to Neverland to help the rest of the family save his grandson but for another reason, a prophecy that  Rumple felt detailed his death.  (It didn’t.  What the prophecy meant that Rumple had to kill his father (Peter Pan) and that’s too complicated to explain here.)  So Rumple was torn about his grandson.  While Pan is defeated while he tries to drain Henry’s heart, he only manages to be absorbed into Henry’s body.  The new plan is for Pan (Henry) to cast the dark curse.  The family, realizing what is happening, must make the ultimate decision of whether to kill Henry or not.  As the fight continues, Pan leaves Henry’s body, appears as Pan, and Rumple God must destory him while dying in the process.  Rumple, though, is the Dark One so his death didn’t take but Pan is gone and appears later in season’s five visit to Hades. 

Okay – while that wasn’t enough, it got me to season seven of “Once” which involves curses and nature.  In this season of “Once,” Goethel, much like, Cheryl, wants to recreate the forest (maple trees).  To do this, there had to be a resurrection amulet and a curse which involved a sacrifice (seeing the angle here).  Gothel’s intention is to destroy mankind/humankind and replace it with trees (nature) and her coven.  Let’s just say that Gothel causes Regina to cast a curse spell that sends everyone to Hyperion Heights in Seattle and lose their memory.  Here’s the trick.  To cast the curse, Goethel used Henry (and his heart).  Once he remembered, the curse would begin.  He remembers after kissing his wife, runs and sees his mother Regina fighting to prevent the curse, and apparently dying at Goethel’s hand.  In the end, the season one plays out again with Henry kissing Regina and saving her and this curse breaking.  While it doesn’t destroy Goethel, it wakes the rest and Goethel’s daughter, Alice (yes, in Wonderland) stops the curse by fighting/destroying her mother.  (And while it didn’t end the season, it did get rid of one of season seven’s annoying villain).

Oh, and one more similarity — the holding/yanking of the heart to “start” rebirth.  Cheryl cuts Archie’s heart out as a sacrifice (apparently).  On “Once Upon a Time,” Regina (and other witches) would simply yank the heart out to either turn it to dust (kill) or use the person as a servant.  Cheryl wanted the heart and blood to nurture the ground so the saplings would grow, and the barren women would have children.  This also is different as Regina couldn’t have children on “Once” and had to adopt Henry.

Thus, the two shows have similarities in the plot but it’s just the beginning.  We have the curse of Jughead and Betty still around.  Add to that the fact that Toni, Betty, Veronica, and Tabitha owe Cheryl “favors” for solving their problems.  What will those favors entailed?  Better yet, how will the curse work against Betty and Jughead.  Roberto in an interview with “Entertainment Weekly,” said the deaths just began with Archie.  What other destruction will he do?  Will it be memorable as this one.

Riverdale – Rivervale Welcomes You  — Season 6, Episode 1

Riverdale or Rivervale … tonight is an episode out of the “Twilight Zone.”  I’m not sure where the executive producers and Archie Comics are headed but it does look interesting and scary.  Spoilers have shown that RIvervale will have a surprise visitor in this short series of five episodes before the mid-season January break — Sabrina Spellman (“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”).  Which leads to the question: Who does witchcraft?  I think it’s obvious from the finale of season five but there could there be others than Cheryl (Betty and Veronica come to mind).

When I first heard that Riverdale was visiting horror, I had hoped that it would be a send up of the “Blossom 666” series.  It would have been fun to see Cheryl try to win the title of Satan.  But, alas, we lost the real Jason during season one and she would need to fight him for the position (along with a third sibling which has never been mentioned on the show).  (Oh, and Roberto.  While I’m talking shows, please put Josie and the Pussycats into development.  I want to see what Josie finds in New Orleans!)  But I digress!  Let’s get back to the once town of Riverdale and find out why we are in Rivervale (yeah, right – not tonight).

Tonight, no subtitles just as the story develops.  It’s confusing enough as it is.  Jughead opens the show playing a role similar to Rod Sterling’s narrator on the Twilight Zone and introduces the set up.  Rivervale is not the Riverdale we know.  Fangs and Toni are raising a baby who doesn’t stop crying.  Tabitha is at a restored Pop’s Chocolate Shop arranging for an apartment for herself and Jughead.  Reggie and Veronica, the “power couple,” are planning on opening their casino.  Alice is having kitchen problems but always calls Frank for help.  Meanwhile Betty and Archie have survived the Riverdale “bomb” but it is a recurring dream with Archie  in the town of Riverdale.  (And Jug does mention Betty as his former girl friend).  So we get the set up for the show.  My question:  How will this translate to the second half of the season?

Kevin hasn’t left for New York and jogs through the forest/grove.  He finds a sacrificed deer and calls Betty who brings Archie along.  As the investigation starts, Cheryl shows up with her archery students (I knew that would play into the show) and tells Betty to leave.  The grove isn’t part of Rivervale and she has no jurisdiction. Isn’t it nice Cheryl teaches her students archery and not martial arts? Later as Archie makes plans to plant a tree in all yards so Cheryl won’t control the maple syrup (what gives with the syrupe anyway), Cheryl tries to scare them away with staked dolls (think New Orleans voodoo here).  When Archie, in front of the council later accuses her of this, she denies, denies, denies (of course she did but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt).

The Doctor’s office is busy on this first episode of Rivervale (yes, they changed the card before commercials).  First is Toni trying to stop the baby Tony from crying.  The cure isn’t great and Toni doesn’t want it.  Fangs’ grandmother cure of leaving the baby alone in the forest is tried only to be interrupted by Cheryl who solves the colic problem but gains a promise from Toni.  (Just feed the baby some soft drink and make it burp.  That what my granddad did.)  Betty finds out she (and five other women) have been diagnosed as barren but there is a cure which Betty doesn’t want to try.  Instead, she suggests later to Archie to adopt so their lives will move forward.  By the way, Mary Andrews really wants a grandchild.  (Hey that breaks the curse on the Coopers and Andrews family.)

Veronica calls for backing for the casino and Cameron, from New York, thinks it is a strategy to get back to New York.  Reggie calls her on returning to New York but she says she wants to stay in Rivervale and all happens for a reasons (a worn out cliche).  She and Reggie make love on a bed of money but later Reggie gets mad because Veronica hasn’t planned for an office for him in the Casino.  Reggie has accepted that Veronica doesn’t want to return to New York but is worried that she still loves Archie.  (Just wait for the conclusion.)

Jughead kills a spider and Tabitha is afraid that he’s cursed them in their new apartment.  The next morning, he gets a bowl of bugs for breakfast and later both get bug bites from the night in bed.  Cheryl goes to Pop’s to get dinner and sees the bites.  She has a cure but Tabitha must provide Jughead for something special.  (Wait for it.)

Cheryl teacher her students the trees have withered away because they have lost the old ways.  They must return and follow the traditions of their ancestors (per Granny Blossom).  Talk about a witch!  (Well she did give Cheryl the curse so she cursed the town.).  And what is the obsession of maple sap/syrup.  It seems that the dolls have shown up in the grove before associated with another murder.  Betty found a cold case about it.  As Jughead (as the narrator tells us) Rivervale residents are more interested in maple syrup than anything else in town. 

So far, Toni and Tabitha have made promises to Cheryl to solve their problem.  Cheryl makes a special concoction to be used at the Maple Syrup Festival.  Only one left who doesn’t owe Cheryl is Veronica.  Veronica is upset with Reggie’s lack of trust but Cheryl promises to solve the problem.  All will be revealed later at/after the Festival.

Cheryl starts her Maple Syrup Festival and has contests.  While Archie competes, Betty plans to explore.  Somehow I don’t think she does (I’m betting the devil, Cheryl, talked to her about the child issue).  Archie wins the pancake eating (over Jughead), the wood sawing (over Reggie), but loses the axe throw to Betty who is crowned queen on the festival.  Later at home, Archie and Betty show why the show was moved to 9:00 (what a love scene) after eating the pie that Archie wins.  After they fall asleep, Archie gets a call from Kevin that they have taken Betty which sets up the final scene in tonight’s “Twilight Zone” episode — Archie’s sacrifice (and a return to the cult angle).

Archie arrives at the grove only for Betty to tell him she knows she has conceived that night.  Cheryl had planned all along for Archie to win the first two competitions.  Betty is shown as Mother Earth, wearaing a crown (Gargoyle Queen lives).  When Archie points out he’s not a virgin, Cheryl tells him he has always protected the town and has a pure heart.  (Did they borrow that line from “Once Upon a Time?”)  Archie’s blood will make the trees grow and the town flourish.  As Archie stands there in stunned silence, Veronica hits him in the head.  (Surprised that worked as we all think he doesn’t have a brain.)  When he wakes, he is tied to a stake and Cheryl makes the sacrifice by stabbing him and showing his heart to all those assembled who start to celebrate.  Wait!  Am I watching season six of “Riverdale” or “Once Upon a Time” because a similar thing happened over there to the true believer, Henry.

Jughead appears again as the Rod Sterling narrator and tells us that this is Archie’s story.  Archie died in Rivervale (so did it also happen in Riverdale also).  Jughead tells us to stick around.  It’s just getting started. 

Next week:  No sign of Archie and it looks like Jug is the target.   Who knows as this is a really crazy story (and I don’t think it is due to my Novocain from the dentist’s visit today.

Now some notes:  I know Archie’s portrayer, K. J. Apa, just had a son and got married.  He may have needed time off but let’s remember this show is based on the Archie comics.  While they’re capable of killing off the franchise (Archie) and have, I don’t think they would do it like this.  Somehow the visit from the surprise guest later in the season will play a role.  And if we get zombies for the second half, they’ll revisit the Afterlife series of Archie comics.

Big Brother #23 – And the End of a Good Season

Big Brother 23, let me start by saying thank you!  You finally, after more years than I want to discuss, gave us an interesting season.  Not only did we have a cast that enjoyed themselves, but we only had one showmance, game play that no one saw, and an alliance of six that made it to the final six.  Of course, there was controversy.  Many on Twitter wasn’t happy with the Cookout alliance but if you look back through history, this one has finally given us many firsts.  We did have an exit with Kyland that got messy, but I believe everyone who watched Big Brother was expecting it.  I don’t know who was in charge of the casting, but please let them do it again.  We got an intelligent lot with most knowing the game.  That made it so much better.  And if there are typos tonight, remember!  This is a two hour episode I’m trying to get up in an hour.

Round One to Xavier, Round Two Goes to …

Julie reminds us that one of Xavier, Azah or Derek F. will win the $750,000.  After the recap of the entire history of the Cookout (and a reminder that Xavier promised to take Derek to the end), Derek evicts Kyland and Xavier wins part one. 

Julie tells us that 85 days have passed.  The second round of the HoH competition is called “Four of a Kind Slots” and looks like a huge slot machine.  They have to use their feet to line up the answers to the questions with four people who answers the questions.  Once a questions is correct, they get their next question.  It’s tough and both Azah and Derek (BIg D) have problems.  While Azah doesn’t get the answers right, Big D has problems with his knees and gets hurt.   In the end, Azah beats Big D with a better time (Azah 13:19, Big D. 20:22).  Big D did try to use his father’s fights with Mohammad Ali as inspiration.  He tells us in Diary Room that he did the best that he could. Azah celebrates in the Diary Room and is ready to take on Xavier for the money.

After the competition, Big D is upset because he didn’t do well.  He’s also worried that Azah is infatuated with Xavier (but not in a showmance way due to Xavier’s choice).  He’s getting very paranoid.  It doesn’t help when Azah asks him who he wants to set next to in the finale.  And they fight and disagree.  This seems to have been the tone during the last few days.  Xavier is happy even though he’s often caught in the middle.  One thing Azah seems to forget is that she hasn’t won!  My thoughts is that neither Big D or Azah did much during the early weeks.  They both seemed to fall in love with the bedroom and their separate beds.  Xavier does tell us that the more they argue, the better chance it will be for Xavier to be in the finale versus Azah.  But what will Xavier do if he wins?  (Oh, and Big D’s biggest regret is taking Kyland out.)  They do (as always make up.)  Azah tells us that she is confused and doesn’t want to lose Big D. (Derek) as a friend.

The Jury House Greets Kyland

The group is waiting for the next juror to arrive.  They debate who will be next and Tiffany hopes it is not Kyland.  People want it to be Xavier but really don’t see surprised to see Kyland.  After Tiffany asks him “what happened,” Kyland lets it fly and tells them that Big D was the one to evict him.  Then, they get down to how to determine the winner.  Tiffany says they must look at strategy, social lgame, etc.  Xavier had the relationships but he was always guarded and playing the game (per Claire).  Kyland lets it be known that Xavier threw competitions.  Tiffany adds that Xavier never had “heavy conversations” or game talk.  Big D and Azah flew under the radar.  Azah had relationships outside of the Cookout and was good at making relationships with people she liked.  It’s going to be hard for Azah if she sits next to Big D.  Big D. had a social game.  Derek X. jokes that they share the same name.  Big D talked a lot and disguised the Cookout from Sarah Beth (and others).  He hasn’t win competitions.  It was not because of strategy because he couldn’t.  TIffany sees that he gave the game his best and his will power cannot be overlooked.  Kyland is talking about winning competitions and Claire rolls his eyes.  Kyland has now apparently made the jury mad and Tiffany says he’s insulted Hannah.  Kyland sees Big D and Hannah as interchangable.  Britini makes the point it’s going to be determined on how they answer the juror’s question.  Wait!  No Dr. Will Kirby this year.  Well, it’s probably due to Covid.

The Final HoH

This will be a question/answer game called “Houseguest Headliners.”  They have to look at headlines and three statements.  One statement is a lie.  After viewing the video about the juror, they must choose which is the lie.  I don’t think studying this would have necessarily helped.  Azah is nervous and she misses the first question.  At the end, Xavier beats her by one question.  (And a question to readers:  How do you like how “buff” they made Derek X. look.)

Xavier gives each a chance to make a plea.  Big D reminds him that they bonded day one and he’s had his back since the start of the game.  Azah tells Xavier that she appreciates his game and thanks him for starting the Cookout (that’s three that takes credit for that!).  Xavier is told that he’s guaranteed at least $75,000 and must decide who to evict.  It’s the different between big money and second place.  He chooses to evict Azah and she joins Julie on stage.

Azah and Julie

As they watch, Big D. cries and thanks Xavier while Xavier grins and tells him Xavier has had Derek. Big D. can’t believe his luck and says this proves anything can happen.  Julie asks Azah how she feels and she is upset.  She knew the first question but overthought it.  She doesn’t regret anything.  When asked who she would have taken to the final two, she says Xavier because he did visible things in the game.  Against Big D., she didn’t have a chance.  With Xavier, she would have gotten votes but it would be close.  Julie congratulates her on making history (Cookout).  Azah’s final thoughts are that she’s still trying to process everything.  She knows she messed up and wonders what the purpose for her being in the house was.  She knows there is a reason and she can’t wait to find out what it was.  Julie tells her that “God has a plan.”

Jury Questions Begin

Jury is now on the stage and Julie calls them rowdy and asks who they think is the final juror.  Sarah Beth hopes it is Derek but it’s Azah which seems to surprise them all.  They welcome her.  They’re told that Xavier as the last HoH and chose Derek F. But now it’s time for juror questions to the two. 

The first question is Kyland who asks Xavier what is the most important factor to crowing the first African-American Big Brother.  Xavier says he never got personal.  He did lie and hopes he didn’t disrespect anyone.  To him, he played the best game.

Britini asks Big D. what decisions he made on his own.  Big D. tells them that he started the Cookout.  He went to HoH to protect the Cookout every week. 

Alyssa asks Xavier what his biggest mistake was.  Xavier feels that it was watching her leave.  He doesn’t really regret anything.

Hannah asks Big D whether he was only in it for fame.  Big D. tells her that he wanted to be on television and help his mom and had made that clear throughout the game. 

Derek X. asks Xavier what move he made that the jury didn’t know.  Xavier admitted to throwing two competitions because of the Cookout.  He talked around that answer though. 

Sarah Beth goes to Big D and asks what he contributed to get to the final six.  He tells her any time there was an HoH won, he was in their ear to benefit the Cookout.  If something had to be executed, he made it happened (even if the Cookout didn’t like it).

Azah asks Big D what he did to deserve the $750,000 more than Xavier.  Big D tells her he gave it his all.  He didn’t think of himself but the rest of the Cookout.  He made himself a pawn (to protect the Cookout).  Big D. showed everyone his heart (and I’ll give him that).

The final pleas are made.  The winner will be the first African- American champion of Big Brother.  Big D says he deserve the prize and he came in wanting to be the first African-American winner.  He tried to win comps but couldn’t.  He knew he wanted to start the alliance of six.  Xavier tells all that he played a team game because he had to do that to get everyone to jury.  He won when he needed and gives his credentials. If length of speech counts, Xavier wins.

Jurors cast their votes.  They will vote one at a time and insert the key with the name that should win Big Brother.  Of course, they congratulate the two as they cast their votes.  (Of all the jurors, I think Sarah Beth is still bitter.)  Kyland, of course, has to give a long-winded speech.  Azah makes a joke about not evicting and scares Julie. 

The rest of the evicted house guests join remotely.  They’re as rowdy as the jurors.  Julie says that they saw what America saw and talks about the Cookout.  Christian found out as soon as he got home.  He says that the Cookout is the greatest alliance in BB history.  When you put a bigger purpose in the game, history can be made.  Julie says “unity,”and Christan says yes!  Xavier said Christian said it perfectly but Big D and Kyland nodded.  Brent was most surprised by Tiffany and thought all she did was hair and braids.  He was surprised by her undercover game.  He gave her credit and didn’t see it coming.    Julie asks TIffany if she ever thought the plan wasn’t going to work.  Tiffany admits that she did and it really hurt when she had to evict Claire.  She admitted that the other strong people in the Cookout told her that she had to do it.  Julie then asks Derek X. if he knew about this when he was in the house and was only a pawn in the master plan.  Derek X. says he didn’t know he was played.  He had only seen two seasons. 

The house guests’ secrets are revealed.  Julie shows the clips of Hannah saying she’s a protegee, Sarah Beth revealing her job, Claire and math, and Britini’s black belt.  Claire is asked about which surprises her the most and she tells all that it is Hannah.  Of course, the Cookout is the biggest. 

Big D is then asked to share his secret and Xavier does “the Thinking Man” pose while Big D stands.  Derek F. tells them that his lifestyle and other things he said was true.  What he hid was that he was the youngest son of “Smoking” Joe Frazier.  Xavier gets up, smiling, and jumps in his face laughing.  Derek F. was afraid that the house guests would think he came from money, but he doesn’t.  Xavier says you think you know a man.  Derek tried to cover up the Frazier tattoo. Xavier says he still would have taken him to the final two. 

Now it turns to Xavier about his occupation and Derek props his chin and says, “oh yes.”  Xavier tells all that most of what he said is true.  He has done bartending at wedding.  He omitted that he’s a college basketball player and a fully licensed attorney and Derek F. gets back at him with the fact that Derek F. guessed it.  Julie admits they have that on tape from an early episode. 

Britini has asked to share something on stage.  She stands and announces that she did have a black belt but now she wanted to reveal a secret she kept from the house guests.  At 22, Britini was diagnosed with autism. She didn’t want any of them to think that she was anything but Britini.  She’s much more than her disability and is so proud of her Big Brother journey.  Derek X. hugs her while Derek F. wipes tears and Tiffany and others around her take her hand or hug her.

Kyland is asked about the exit confrontation which he still doesn’t regret what he said.  Xavier tells him that he shouldn’t have made it personal by bringing up his nephew.  Xavier says that it is a game after all. 

Hannah is asked about her feelings when she left the house on day 65.  Hannah said while it was a shock.  When she opened the door, she knew it was one of the happiest moments of her life because the Cookout (and she) had made history.  She was so proud of being a part of the alliance.

And the winner of this year’s Big Brother is Xavier by a unanimous vote.  Xavier and Big D. hug and Julie tells them to come out.  Big D does hang back and let Xavier have his moment in the confetti.  Xavier’s parents/family/friends are watching live.  Hugs and celebration ensue.  Kyland and Xavier have a word (but I think there will be more).  Tiffany consoles Azah.  

American Favorite came down to Derek X. and Tiffany as the two top vote getters.  Tiffany wins.  Tiffany thanks America and tells her son that the money is all hers.  Xavier is asked how he feels.  He’s thrilled.  He loves all.  Xavier gets $750,000.  BIg D. gets $75,000 (plus what he won at comps).  Derek F. wants

the money to change his mom’s life and will do so.  He thanks the Cookout. 

As the show ends, Julie thanks all the house guests for a wonderful season (and I agree whole heartedly).  She announces that you can apply for Big Brother next summer (please use the same casting director).  Then she announces Celebrity Big Brother will return in February.  She will see us then! 

 Brother #23 – The Final Three (9/26/21)

Big Brother 23 has been one of the most enjoyable seasons on record.  It’s the only time an alliance of People of Color has made it to the final six.  Now three of them are sitting ready to take on each other to see who can win it all.  What is more important is the fact that this season’s cast became friends.  They kept the house live feeds most interesting, had very few fights, and showed what true strategy is.  In my mind, they could teach the Survivor cast how it’s done.  But enough of this, let’s get on with the show.

After the Eviction

Okay!  Have we ever had an exit like that from the Big Brother show? Have we ever seen that much discussion as someone exited.  Sure, we have had someone walk out over the table and barefoot, but Id do not recall someone who stood there and argued like he thought lodging a protest would allow him to stay.  Let’s give Julie Chen Moonves a big Big Brother appreciation clap of our hands for getting Kyland out of the house before blows were thrown.

Julie is on stage and welcomes us to Big Brother.  After the recap that reminds us that Kyland left (and we didn’t get a repeat of the drama), we get down to the HoH competition.  Xavier, Azah and Big D makes it to the finale.  But first, we get a retrospective of how Xavier, Azah and Derek got to this stage of final three.

Xavier’s Road to the Final Three

Xavier is first.  Just remember, he claimed to be a bartender but was a lawyer.  Xavier didn’t want to be seen as a threat and he didn’t want distractions (showmance).  He built alliances with Derek on day one then Frenchie with Slaughterhouse and Royal Flush.  His loyalty though was to the Cookout because the goal was important.  He felt that Big Brother needed to crown an African American winner.  He tried to be strategic and take “one” for the team (or several losses for the team).  For Xavier, trustworthiness was important.


Let’s not forget that Xavier made power moves.  He nominated and got Brent out.  He was four times on the block.  While he regretted losing Alyssa, he had to do it to keep the Cookout together to the final six.  He used Kyland to get Tiffany out and got Hannah out because she was Tiffany’s right-hand person.  During the final four, Xavier won both the HoH and the Veto which ensured that Kyland left.  Kyland was a threat, so he had to go.  Xavier shares that he lost his brother shortly before coming in the house.  He promised his brother that he would take care of his brother’s son.  He playing to have the money to do this.

Azah’s Road to the Final Three

Azah’s path wasn’t an easy one to the final three.  She came in and wanted to be strong but soon realized that it wasn’t going to be easy.  She realized the comps were hard and there were many big personalities in the house.  Azah realized that she needed social game and became part of alliances, the Jokers and Cookout.  Now, she is glad she didn’t win early comps because her “hands are clean.”  Keeping a low profile allowed Azah to build genuine relationships that will continue outside the house. 

Azah always wanted to be honest with people.  This honesty made her call-out fellow Cookout members when she didn’t agree with their game play (Tiffany and Derek X. stacking Britini’s cards so she lost).  Once the group had made the final six, Azah felt that she could serve as a role model for other PoC children and show them that they can be/do anything they set their minds to do.

Derek’s Road to the Final Three

Derek Frazier is the son of Smoking Joe Frazier, a famous boxer.  Derek came into the house to be dominant and “tear the house apart.”  He wanted to represent the PoC and the “big people” out in the world.  Derek knew he had to play a social game and make people laugh but he needed allies so he built those with Frenchie (who he loves) and Xavier (final two) and Kyland (final two).  His real best friend, though, was Azah, who he felt close to as a fellow Joker at first and a real friend as the game progressed. 

While Derek didn’t win competitions, he felt he didn’t need them because he could align with whoever was HoH.  He wanted to be the first “black winner of BB” (I typed that as he said it folks) and made the claim to forming the Cookout.  He saw his role as the one to keep them together and to hide the group from the other house guests outside of the alliance.  While he had arguments (with Tiffany), he did serve as the one to keep them together and running smoothly.  He evicted Kyland because Kyland became a target.  This and his personality should help Derek make it to the final two and win the show.  By the way he wants to win for him mom.

HoH Part One.

Each of the house guests are sitting on a “boat” (I see it as a float).  It works like a bouncing bull seen in bar movies. The game is called “Bounce Back Boat” with the final person on their boat winning part one.  While the boat rocks up and down/back and forth, the sea creatures rain down and water falls.  Derek gets hit by a plastic shark during the game.  Each find it hard to hold on.  Each is wondering how their play will influence final two.  Derek feels either of the other two would take him to the finals.  In Diary Room Derek refuses to leave anyone in charge of his game.  Xavier tells us he wants to win because it guarantees he will be in part three and he wants to win.  It won’t be easy and he has his work cut out for him.  Azah tells us she doesn’t want to “blow” this competition.  Derek has trouble, makes noise while playing, and is the first off.  While Azah is hanging on and wants to win, she’s the second one off.  Xavier wins part one. 

Azah and Big D will face off for part two and the winner will go against Xavier.  Azah feels she can go against Derek and beat him.  As the group get ready to go in, Derek starts playing with a toy shark.  Before you know it, Xavier is also.  In the house, Derek and Xavier shake and discuss the next stage.  Derek hopes to win the next comp and go against Xavier in part three.  Meanwhile Xavier thinks of the people who have left.  Azah and Derek discuss the game on the couch counting juror votes and apparently having a fight.  Even though they get mad, they get over it.  They give each other pep talks.  Azah tells us that she is nervous, and no one has her back.  She must win so she has a better chance of winning it all. 

On Wednesday, we will get a two-hour show.  It will be live and include the last comp live, jury with Kyland, and all coming back for the finale.  (Of course, comp two and jury will have to be taped).  Remember to vote for America’s Favorite House Guest and the $50,000 prize.  To vote, text the name of the house guest you want to win $50,000 by texting their name to 97979.    One vote per day (so no robo voting).

Big Brother #23 – And Soon There Are Three (9/23/21)

Sorry I missed last night. I’ve actually taped it but haven’t had the time to watch.  We were in and out of weather alerts all day and night.  I figure it is more of the Kyland’s woe story and I honestly lose his thoughts after his first line. 

So how did we get here?  Let’s review.  The on-air premiere had the group divided into four teams of four members.  Frenchie won the HoH and made the promise that he wouldn’t nominate a PoC or a woman.  Unfortunately, it came down to one of his final two alliance (of which there were many), Travis, who left.  Unknown to Frenchie, the PoC (minus Derek X.) had formed a secret (silent) alliance called the Cookout which would eventually lead them to the final 12.  The six Cookout members took a “pawn” from their team to hide behind. Unfortunately (for the Jokers), Azah and Derek F. had to share Britini while Xavier had Christian and Alyssa.  And as the game continued, we came down to the Cookout final six.  With Tiffany ahd Hannah leaving, we have the final four of Xavier, Derek F., Azah and Kyland.  Xavier won both the HoH and PoV so nominated Kyland and Azah.  So who would go?  Well, Twitter and Facebook think Ky is leaving tonight.

Pre-Eviction Ceremony

Julie reminds us that Xavier is the Head of Household and has the Power of Veto but cannot be the sole vote to evict.  We get the recap with reminders of who promised who to take them to final two.  To me it is funny!  No one really trusts Kyland (or they’re tired of his overthinking and over-talking everything).  Xavier definitely wants Kyland to leave but Derek F. is having problems forgetting the deals with Kyland and Xavier.  Xavier, of course, is playing this best for himself.  And yes!  We have Jury House.

On Day 79, Julie welcomes us to Kyland’s Blindside.  Then the program gives us Big D and his dilemma.  As Derek goes back and forth, Kyland puts on the pressure to keep him.  Kyland uses the words, words, words and in Diary Room, the gist of his speech is ‘keep him and get Azah out.’  Derek asks: “is it worth having his best friend, Azah, leave against his showmance/friend, Kyland.  Hey Big D.!  You may think of Kyland as a showmance but I don’t think he does.  Azah tells it true.  Kyland is a gamer.  And Xavier, Derek and Azah talk and talk and talk about the Kyland eviction.  In Diary Room, Azah makes her wish to send Kyland out.  Oh Azah and Derek have had some — er – verbal skirmishes.  And Azah tells us no one carried her to final four.  Actually, Azah, the group of six carried each other to the final six. You and Derek did the floating while others did the scheming.

Jury House

I’ve always said that at this point in the game, the 24/7 coverage should move to the Jury House.  Why, you may ask?  Because the final four/three are usually boring as the game play is very limited.  I also advocate for the show to cut the period between the final four and the finale in time.  They take the feeds down and nothing is going on (also in the past few years, people could care less who wins) so a reduction in days makes sense.

As the jury gather outside to greet the new person, they speculate on who is coming in next.  Alyssa wants answers since they know about the alliance.  Derek X. hopes it is Kyland but Tiffany arrives.  Tiffany admits that the men saw her as a threat.  Scared, Tiffany is happy to be able to reveal the Cookout’s mission to jury.  As they watch the video, Alyssa is shocked about the three HoHs in a week. Tiffany admits that she had a final three with Kyland and he had to have the votes to get her out to make the move.  Tiffany thinks that the three guys had something going.  Ky wouldn’t send her out because they had a deal.  And Claire says “Kyland’s got a lot of blood on his hands” and worried about whether to vote for him because of his game or the blood on his hands. 

Tiffany explains the surprise of what happened when she walked in the house.  She saw so many like her and realized never that there had never been an African-American winner.  It began as an understanding and then the Cookout emerged.  The six agreed to do their part to get the six to the end with Tiffany doing the master plan.  This surprises all that she was the mastermind.  She explains the pawn plan and Claire calls it iconic which will make Tiffany a master of the game.  They all admit they were out-played.  Tiffany tells that each of the six gave up what they wanted and best for their game for the overall purpose of the mission.  She tells us that they respected the other jurors.  Then Tiffany drops the double eviction bombshell.

Next up is the arrival of Hannah.  She is still in shock because it happened so fast.  Tiffany gives her a hug and wonders what happened.  Tiffany confirms to us that she and Hannah were interchangable.  They get down to the show with Azah winning, putting up Xavier and Hannah, and Kyland getting the PoV. 

Hannah said that she and Azah made a deal but Ky ruined it.  She had to win the veto or be gone.  When Ky took Xavier down, she knew she was gone.  Sarah says it is a  waste of Azah’s game.  Hannah said Ky couldn’t look at her.  Tiffany is now sure the guys are working together and thinks Azah will be the next juror.  Derek X. says if it comes down to Kyland or Xavier in the final two, he’s not voting for Xavier.  Sarah still shows she is bitter but likes Kyland.  Hannah is rooting for Azah to win the game.

Live Veto Meeting and Eviction

Julie asks what will happen and will Ky see it coming?  Xavier is asked whether he is going to use the veto or leave the nominations in place.  He stands and announces he will not use the veto.  Both can plead their case.  Azah makes her plea thanking God for letting her play the game.  She asks Derek to look at them, two Jokers who cried, cook and laughed and made it to final four.  She’s glad she found a true best friend and being on the East Coast know they will see each other (Julie thanks her for giving God the glory.)  Ky is thankful for being in the game with them and wants to stay.  Now Derek must cast the sole vote to evict.  Derek tells them that he loves both.  From the game level, he played the game for himself.  He cast his vote to evict (not evote) Kyland. 

Kyland isn’t happy and not going out quietly.  He and Xavier have words.  Derek tells him from the game point of view, he can’t beat Kyland.  By now, I’m yelling:  “Kyland, please leave.”  He’s trying to argue his way into staying.  The other houseguests have gracefully exited but it takes Julie ordering Kyland out to the stage multiple times for him to leave. 

Interview with Julie

As Kyland leaves, Azah thanks the guys for keeping her.  Julie asked if he was surprised that Derek evicted him.  I think Kyland said that he was surprised but not surprised (double talk again).  Julie asks Ky about the pre-Veto event with Derek.  Kyland says he wouldn’t give Derek the assurance because he would lying (Julie gives him the words). Kyland doesn’t see it as lying and off he goes on another tangent.  Julie asks if the final two agreement with Xavier was the one he would honor.  He talks about the “gentlemen” but Kyland goes off on representation and I didn’t get his true feelings.  Julie asks about Xavier not using veto on him.  Kyland says he understands it but I didn’t get anything out of the rest of the speech.  Julie asks about Derek’s vote.  Kyland said Derek wouldn’t have done it without all agreeing. 

Azah in her message says that she hopes they can be friends outside of house.  Derek said that the veto meeting was what sent him home.  Xavier said Kyland was too competitive and Xavier made an early agreement to take Derek F. to the finale.  Kyland looks a little surprised.  Now Kyland is asking to return next year.  Please producers no.  We can’t take another year of him talking all the time. 

America Favorite Player

America’s Favorite Houseguest will win $50,000.  To vote for your favorite, text the houseguests’s name to 97979.

Friday will be a special episode with family’s video and the recap show.  Tuesday’s show will be competitions and Wednesday at 9:00 will be a two hour finale.  Julie’s last words to us:  “Love one another.”  In the Big Brother house, champagne is poured and the final three toast. 

Big Brother #23 – The Final Four HoH (9/17/21)

Big Brother delivered an interesting season 23.  The house guests were smart, savvy and came to play.  Let me say to the Big Brother production team, kudos to the casting director.  You did an excellent job of finding people who wanted to play and not get a career from the show.  To the Big Brother executives who thought up teams, I have one question:  Why?  While the concept has been used before, this time it hid the tree amid the forest.  The Cookout succeeded because the house guests had their head so buried in team alliances that they kept playing teams after they ended.  If there is one thing that caused the Cookout to be successful, it was the team concept was lodged to much in Claire’s, Sarah Beth’s and Alyssa’s thoughts.  While good for the Cookout, it was bad for the others.  With Xavier, Kyland, Derek and Azah to fight it out, it comes down to which one wants it the most. 

HoH Game Begins

With the exit of Hannah and Tiffany, Azah is left on her own.  She must beat three men to make it to the final.  While Azah has been in a big alliance, she’s been playing an invisible game.  Will that help her or hurt her.  Derek, on the other hand, just can’t win a competition while Xavier and Kyland have consistent wins.  Of those two, Kyland has a disadvantaged because he over-thinks and over-speaks every question asked and statement made. 

After the recap and the sad reminder of Tiff’s and Hannah’s eviction, we get what happened afterward.  Diary Rooms are interested.  While Derek is happy that he got to stay, he knows that Xavier and Kyland are only loyal to each other.  Xavier tells us that he hated to see Hannah go but it was the best for his position in the house.  Kyland is Kyland and only thing I get from him is that doubles are notorious and whatever.  Azah wanted Hannah to stay and Kyland should have told her he planned to use the veto.  She feels like she’s been played.

Hannah before her exit could see the writing on the wall.  When Derek was put up beside her and the commercial happened, she talked to Kyland and Xavier and asked for their vote.  She reminds them they had said they wanted to go with a strong player, and she meets that bill.  Xavier told Kyland that Azah didn’t want it used but Kyland, as always, goes his own way and ticks off people (Azah and Derek).  Xavier does tell us in Diary Room that from now on, his every step must be calculated and perfect.  Even after the eviction, when Xavier and Kyland talk, Kyland wants only them to control everything.  Later Derek tells Xavier that he’s upset about the nominations and that neither Xavier or Kyland talked to him.  Xavier says Kyland’s using the Power of Veto raised a flag with Derek which isn’t good.

HoH Competition

The HoH will be based on CSI: Vegas (which I haven’t watched in years). Don’t ask me which actress was on the screen because I missed her name.  They will have five clues they must find which are hidden on the wall in a “museum”.  They must use a special light to find the clues.  Once they find a clue, they must match it to the correct graphic cards on the clue wall.  They must be careful because there are multiple suspect cards to choose from.  After they find all clues, they must ring in and see if they are correct.  If not, they must go back and check the clues again.  Derek is first, followed by Xavier and Kyland.  Kyland has problems finding the last clue.  With a time of 10:18, Xavier is the new Head of Household. 

In Diary Room, Xavier doesn’t look happy.  Derek feels like he has lost.  He likes to be a leader but hasn’t been one this season.  Xavier walks through an empty bedroom saying “we needed to beat Kyland.”  Kyland, meanwhile, really wanted this one.  It’s surprising that Derek goes to comfort Kyland.  Meanwhile, Derek realizes it all comes down to the Power of Veto.

Xavier visits Azah and tells her she is going up.  Azah asks Xavier about a final two and he lies but does say maybe to Derek.  Of course, he’s lying.  Azah doesn’t know how she feels about Kyland and Xavier.  She knows that she and Derek will be separated by the end of the week.  Xavier’s noms will determine if she feels played.  With the talk with Derek, Xavier asks for trust.  From now, I’ll only put things of interest up in the one-on-ones because they are usually edged with lies.  Xavier knows that Derek could hurt him in jury.  Derek tells us that it hurts to think of sending home Kyland.  Derek puts it simply:  someone has to go. 

Nominations

It’s time for nominations. Xavier’s choices are Azah and Kyland which surprises all.  Azah is up because she’s never been nominated.  Kyland was nominated for his wins.  The real power though lies in the POV  Azah is shocked that hitting the block could put her against Derek.  Derek realizes that his game is still in danger.  The veto is life and death.  Xavier knows this is what determines who makes it the final three.  Xavier says that Kyland needs to go this week and it’s the chance to do it.  Kyland tells us that game relies on winning PoV.  And I zoned out during his long winded speech. 

How will win?  I will be unable to cover the PoV which is Wednesday at ten.  Special time so be sure and watch.

Big Brother #23:  Which Queen Will leave Durimg the Double Eviction

And so it begins on Big Brother!  For all the weeks the game has been played, the Cookout remained hidden and kept itself together.  I have my ideas on why this happened and the biggest belongs to CBS and the team concept.  The teams just couldn’t let it go!  But I digress.  Tonight, we will see the first Cookout member leave the house to jury.  Will it be Tiffany or Hannah?  Does CBS have a secret up it’s sleeve?  Twitter has been hoping for a battle back between the two evictees tonight but I don’t really see it.  It would have to include the other five who went before and are in jury now.   We’ll have to wait until the two hours play out to see what they have in mind for tonight’s episode(s).  By the way, remember feeds have been down since early Wednesday so no one knows what has gone on in the house.

Post Power of Veto

Julie reminds us that the Cookout alliance made it to the final six.  After a recap that reminds us of the men’s alliance (with the sub-alliance of The Gentlemen), we are reminded that Kyland/Lyland had a final three with Tiffany and Hannah.  He’s true to the men though and not the ladies.  By leaving them on the block, Lyland went against his word to the ladies.  Can he be trusted?  Of course not!  This is Big Brother. 

Julie states it frankly: “It’s every man or woman for themselves.”  Julie then moves into what happened after PoV Ceremony.  Kyland didn’t change noms because by taking Tiffany off, she would stay and he didn’t want to have a hand in that dangerous situation.  Tiffany tells us that she’s going to work hard to stay.  See how loyal she is?  Later as the two play chess, they discuss the summer and the success the Cookout has had.  Later.  Tiffany tells us that the group has accomplished so much this season by getting all to the end. 

Tiffany starts the campaign by talking to a sleepy Azah.  She explains that Hannah is cut-throat and that’s why she needs to stay.  To Derek, she uses the argument that Hannah wants him gone then turns around and does the same spill to Xavier.  Little does she know that Derek and Xavier compare notes and realizes she just substitutes names to satisfy whoever she is speaking with.  The discussion of going to Vegas comes up and I don’t think that Derek wants to go if Brent is there.

Elimination Ceremony

Julie congratulates the Cookout for making it to final six and having a PoC this year as a winner.  Julie asks Tiffany why this alliance was so important to which Tiffany said that she wanted to insure that one of them made it to the final six.  They all the same goal and it was an amazing feat.  Xavier gets asked how he felt when he realized they done it.  He tells Julie that it was groundbreaking.  Their hard work paid off.  Derek tells Julie that it was hard and a challenged but well worth it.  Hannah admits to Julie that it was hard to see Derek X. leave the house but the mission they were doing was more important.  Kyland talked and talked and said that personal game on one side and mission on the other and he hated betraying Sarah Beth.  Azah barely could answer the question because of Kyland but she tells Julie they made history as the first six person to make it in tack.

Jury House

Julie sends us to the Jury House and they are discussing who is coming in the door.  They think if it is Sarah Beth, a man won HoH.  Well is it Sarah Beth and Derek X. admits he didn’t want her to win but to go a little further.  Watching the video, we see a more confident Britini as she has a good read on the game.  They figure it will be Claire or Alyssa as the next house guest to come and are surprised to see Sarah Beth.  Sarah Beth realizes that there is a large alliance working together that is making it to the end (the Cookout). It will be the first PoC person winning and the first alliance that makes it in its entirety.  The next week, they welcome first Claire and then Alyssa.  Claire is hurt because it is Tiffany who sent her out. She had hoped that Lyland would leave.  Her good-bye messages talked about an alliance and something bigger.  Alyssa’s video is watched and she had hoped that she could win and Kyland would be the replacement.  She knew something was different because of Xavier’s PoV speech and the good-bye messages about alliance and mission.  Britini thinks Lyland is the biggest problem and whoever takes him out gets props from her.  Derek X. is surprised that Tiffany sent Claire out.  Claire was hoping Xavier would go.  Her messages of bigger purpose, alliance and respect.  While Alyssa didn’t see it coming, she respects what they did.  Britini declares that the game has officially begun since it’s just the alliance left.

The First Vote

The house guests make their pleas.  Tiffany tells the house guests that their names will always be paired together.   Hannah wishes her dad happy birthday and is so proud of the Cookout for playing together. The voting starts with Derek first.  By a vote of three to zero, Tiffany is evicted from the game.  After Julie reveals the votes, Tiffany doesn’t look surprised and hugs all.  She tells all of them to have fun and does their Cookout cheer as she walks out to meet Julie. 

Julie asks TIffany why is she sitting on stage with her.  Tiffany feels that she had a final two with Lyland week two but it looked like she kept changing her mind.  Tiffany admits that the Swing HoH win didn’t help.  She also tells Julie that she’s a risk taker and would rather ask for forgiveness afterwards. Julie calls her a master strategist and Tiffany agrees.  While she wanted to win, the mission was important.  They had to control the game.  Tiffany had to come up with a way to win and one morning, she got the chess board and figured it out in five minutes.  It was hard to play for herself and for the PoC goal.  She could have gone against the group by not putting Claire up, but it was a bigger mission.  Tiffany is surprised by the double elimination.

Second Eviction Begins

Julie calls everyone back to the living room and congratulates them on making it to final five.  Then she says second eviction and they go into shock.  Everything happens soon in the back yard.

THe HoH competition is “BB Ballers.”  Two rounds will be played.  Round one has each house guests with 12 balls.  They must retrieve a ball and roll it up the ramp to knock 12 silver balls off the game field.  The first two who accomplishes this will be in a playoff.  Xavier and Azah advances and now must roll 10 balls up the ramp and get them to stop on the grass.  If it is a tie, they will have to answer a question.  They must roll at the same time.  While they both have problems at first, Azah wins her first HoH of the season by beating Xavier five to two (or was it three).  Derek hugs her and all head into the house.  Looks like Azah will put up Hannah because she can’t touch Derek unless as a back door.  Hannah isn’t the target.  Lyland is going up also, it appears.  No wait!  It’s Xavier.

Nominations

Azah is asked to nominate the two house guests who will be up for eviction.  Azah tries to keep her promises.  She puts up Xavier and Hannah and one of them may be the next one eliminated.  Next up the Power of Veto game

Power of Veto

The Power of Veto game is a Big Brother classic game, “What the Bleep.”  They will watch videos with a bleeped-out word or phrase and Julie will supply an answer.  They must decide if it is true of false.  It comes down to Kyland and Xavier as the same correct answers.  When the tie breaker is asked, Kyland wins and Azah may have to replace him as a nominee.  The tie breaker question is:  In seconds how long was the “cluckster competition” from start until BB declared Kyland the winner. 

Power of Veto Ceremony

Of course, Kyland uses the Power of Veto on Xavier leaving Derek as the only option.  He assures Julie that he’s okay with it.  Azah seems upset.

Eviction Two

Each make a plea and Hannah says please keep me.  Kyland is first.  By a vote of two to zero, Hannah is going to jury.  Kyland was torn by his decision, but he felt he needed to give his vote to Derek.  Hannah is upset but hugs Derek first and then the rest.  She tells Kyland:  “It’s okay.”  Asked about hurt feelings, Hannah tells them, “not at all.”

On stage with Julie, she tells Julie she can’t believe she’s out.  They watch Azar and Derek cry.  Kyland takes it worse than Xavier.  Julie asks when Azah nominated her, she looked shocked.  Hannah felt that Azah would target Kyland because she had said she would.  Hannah believes the men are working together and Azah doesn’t realize it.  Hannah didn’t think she was the target but thinks Azah wasn’t aware of Kyland and Xavier’s deal.  Julie asked why she felt that her only path to the end was with Tiffany and Hannah admits that she just didn’t have the same relationship.  She felt Azah just didn’t know how close the guys were.  Julie asked Hannah if it was difficult keeping the six together.  Hannah felt it was hard because she did have two other alliances.  In the end, Hannah’s purpose was to get the six to the end and a PoC as the winner.  There was no “ifs, and or buts.”  Hannah feels like a winner.  When she entered the house, she wanted to play ruthless but when she saw the other five, she knew that they should play for a final six.   As the show ends, each of the remaining BB Cookout members are contemplating the game (in separate rooms?).

Tomorrow night (Friday, September 17) will be the HoH competition.  No episode on Sunday due to the Emmy Awards. Finale night is September 29th.