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Ultraviolet (1998) 1x01 - 1x04 + Arrow 2x07 + Reign 1x20 Reviewed

Habeas Corpus
The classic Channel 4 drama which only ran for 6 episodes. Michael (Jack Davenport) and Jack (Stephen Moyer of ‘True Blood’) are friends and colleagues in a homicide squad in London. Jack has 90s hair and Michael is an overwhelming arse plus he is hot for Jack’s useless fiancée Kirsty. A crying bloke in peril doom-mongers. People shout down payphones and out of date mobile phones. Michael is stogey and careful mannered. Kirsty has no charisma or intelligence and any reason why anyone would ever love her is sorely absent. Jack vanishes and the CIB (or so they allege) show up to look into things.

The CIB consists of Angie (Susannah Harker), Vaughn (Idris Elba), various muscle and their weird boss. They do indecipherably begrudging wilful staring. Michael has methodical pragmatism. Kirsty does badly acted consternation. This episode was badly directed and mediocre yet has hints of being a substantial metamodernism take on the genre. Michael makes perturbed faces. Info about what is really going on is drip fed. Michael isn’t gregariously social and can’t be non-aggressive. There is a prevalence of bad acting. The monsters turn out not to be metaphorical. Kirsty has no verve or finesse. Michael keeps stumbling over things in reactive fashion.

Michael walks around in his underpants and mom jeans. Clunky weapons are waved and CIB menace Michael who has gameness and no wariness. The ’CIB’ chase people who only come out at night, have no reflections and can’t be captured on film. Michael doesn’t belive, at first until Jack returns to makes kiss blow faces and chow down on his pal. This had great acclaim and it’s easy to see why - it is played deadly serious.

The Code V’s as they are called have an impenetrable plan. There are creepy reveals. The ‘CIB’ is smug with impunity. Michael is offered a new job and uses his ex Frances for info and it is easy to see why most of the fanfic for this show is Jack/Michael.

Best Lines:
“We’re not social workers.”

“How unconscious is he?”

“He’s paranoid. That’s what coke does to you.”

“They’re a death squad Mike!”

“He stopped being your friend two nights ago.”

“Code V neutralised.”

“I’ll just sit here and nod shall I?”

“Wooden ammo?”
“State of the art.”

“Suicide is not an informed choice Michael.”

“Did they tell you I was evil? It’s what the church always says Mike.”

“Do you like living in the Middle Ages?”

“We’re part of nature.”
“So’s smallpox.”

“It’s a question of faith. On both sides.”

“It’s a prison, not a cemetery.”

“You’re got full government backing for this?”
“Why not? It’s a public health issue.”

“Our free-range days are over.”

In Nomine Patris
All six episodes of this show were written and directed by Joe Ahearne. Creator burn out is sometimes given as a reason why they were never any more. The opening credits are freakish. A woman named Danni (Jane Slavin) visits her babbling mother. A car with heavily tinted windows causes a car accident and the driver (Christopher Villiers) catches fire when exposed to sunlight. Characters make a barrage of bad choices. Vaughn and Michael follow the money trail. Kirsty lingers like a stale fart and is ineffably annoying. CIB dehumanise the Code V’s and call them evil and leeches having nothing but contempt and calumny for them.

A girl was horribly injured in the car accident and the CIB doesn’t care. CIB doesn’t ingratiate themselves as they hunt the finical trail via outdated computer technology. The CIB boss uses excessive hair gel for a priest. CIB uncovers who is building the Code V safe houses and that the Code V’s have a plan covering a time scale of years. The CIB boss is scornful and Michael is pale and smokes a lot. The Code V’s have a plan for Michael, something never followed up on.

The Code V’s drive around in cars with so much tinting, they could be mistaken for drug dealers. Kirsty has personal objections and whines tirelessly about secrets and lies. There is a twist. CIB treat independent thought as inherently implausible. CIB uncover a Code V clinic for experimenting with blood. CIB are infuriating an extremely disrespectful. Michael feels disgust and dismay about his new colleagues. People flatly refuse to co-operate with CIB causing greater complexity and antagonism. The CIB for all their lofty talk are an extermination squad. The Code V’s aren’t just a sinister fringe. Both sides are evil. This was okay, though characters seem unacquainted with peripheral vision.

Best Lines:
“Is that our man?”
“Some of him, whatever’s left can’t be too pretty.”
“Are we sure it survived?”

“Driving around in broad daylight. You’ve got to admire their nerve.”

“You never got on?”
“Worst investment I ever made.”

“Do I? How very telling.”

“He’ll get no sanctuary here.”

“I thought you were going to tell me that he’d been washed up on a beach somewhere.”

“Has Angie got kids?”
“One. They left her with one.”

“Leeches don’t use phones.”

“We know about them.”

“Michael’s one of us. He just doesn’t know it yet.”

“Died 1943 aged 34. Only he didn’t die and he’s still 34.”

“All that eternal youth and no mirrors.”

“How long has he been running your life?”

“A cull.”
“They’ve done it before. The Fire Of London.”

“If that’s not a grudge. I don’t know what is.”

“I don’t fancy living in Iran, do you?”

Sub Judice
This show was originally titled ‘Vampyr Squad’ and ‘Crossing The Line’. CIB (complaints investigation bureau) have no moral architecture and a permanent cool emotional temperature. A woman is menaced by chavs and is saved by a Code V. Michael has moved and is oblivious to Frances’ love. Kirsty inexplicably never seems to work and asks a disincanto journalist for help. Michael taunts. CIB torment the woman without remorse as they want to know what supernatural creepiness is crawling out of the woods this week. People do a lot of posing on bridges in this show. The eerie looking dusted Code V storage unit is made from margarine tubs according to the commentary track.

The menaced woman, Marian, wanted a child and is now pregnant. The CIB are the meanest as they try to find out what she is pregnant with. Marian has a rising terminal, there is an exhumation and a Code V infiltrated IVF clinic. Marian is carrying a wholly incredible hybrid baby. Angie manipulates Marian who can’t act culminating in violence. CIB have an utter lack of concern about people who get injured or killed. Nowadays this episode would provoke vigorous Twitter commentary by the SJ mob who are hyper vigilant for ways to be offended.

The CIB are inappropriate and misrepsent themselves and promulgate lies. The long loathed Code V’s seem more human than the CIB. Angie meddles and kills a Code V. Becoming a Code V is termed crossing over. Frances gives Michael an angry looking cactus. Code V sperm explodes in sunlight. A pro-life woman causes Marian pain by wearing a crucifix. Angie wears nun like shoes and is a fearful character. This was okay and the absence of things in the scan was creepy.

Best Lines:
“This case predates me. I was still in school when it started.”

“Bog standard hit and run.”

“Her husband’s six foot under.”

Mea Culpa
A student, Gary, attacks and kills a priest. Angie imprisons herself and her daughter in a fortified house with a 1970s green bathroom. The CIB boss has cancer. A perv makes a find in a vile public urinal. Daft Kirsty is an ass. A perv has a porno mag called ‘Manscape’. Gary is the kid no one wants around and Angie suspects he is a Code V. Spinal fluid is sampled, there is evasiveness and creepiness. Michael finds a floppy disc and talks about stuff being “sent down the net”. CIB’s combating of the Code V’s moves at infinitesimal speed and unsubstantiated claims are made by Kirsty. She is the sort of person who should have been left on a hillside to die. Kirsty’s journalist friend looks up stuff in a library which is old person Google. There is overacting, Vaughn plays bad cop and there is a twist. Jacob the journalist is made into a Code V. This was bad.

Best Lines:
“Where’s the Witchfinder General?”

“You pumped two bullets into his chest and still managed to miss his heart.”

Draw Back Your Bow
Slade’s attack was six months ago, during which time the Arrow got a stalker. It takes time for Oliver to realise his stalker is firing heart shaped arrows at him. Ray does the salmon ladder in his office and Felicity likes his ego bath. This season is undermined by how unmeritorious Oliver is and the cruelly protracted flashbacks.

Ray renames Queen Consolidated as Palmer Technologies. Oliver responds with growling, violence and threats which are his normal way of communicating. The opening credits are different. Roy worries about his anti-commercial self representation. Oliver is scathing and exponentially repelling and grimaces like he is being subjected to rectal hydration. Diggle has no personality, Laurel is AWOL and Thea is insulted by a grunge holdover laptop DJ.

Oliver’s stalker is Cupid aka Carrie Cutter and she wears slutty attire and is crazy. Diggle impugns Felicity. The glossary imagery doesn’t hide the fact one feels detached from this show. Ray re-enacts ‘Pretty Woman’ as he dresses Felicity up as his very own party doll. A perv locates the Arrow’s HQ. This episode was frivolous. Carrie has exuberance. Felicity makes a highly embarrassing speech fêting Ray. Oliver makes a despotic speech and offers legitimate provocations. Where is Malcolm? Oliver defeats Carrie and conscripts her into the Suicide Squad. WTF? Oliver has no morals, he needs a walling. Ray wants dwarf star alloy and has plans for an A.T.O.M exosuit. But for what? Nobody cares. A guy kills another guy with a boomerang. Yawn. I have no compunction to care.

Best Lines:
“To kill for you.”

“I don’t audition.”

“I have to be alone.”

Higher Ground
Francis leads a dishevelled impractical charge on Calais. There are exposition dumps. There are no royal retainers. Henri II is absent from his own court, again. Mary uses a mercenary (Tahmoh Penikett). Mary’s bad judgment goes on. The Darkness is AWOL. There is a battle and bad acting. Mary is upset Catherine won’t relinquish her own money. Catherine rants about infamy, infamy - how they all have it in for her. Quality is elusive in this terrible episode. Lola wonders if her faith in her husband is wholly misplaced. More of Catherine’s Medici relatives lurk. Mary is insecure. This show has too much coy political correctness. Lola’s husband nearly takes her dowry and legs it.

Lola and Mary have paroxysms of unhappiness. Bedroom pop plays. Mary has flat ironed hair and the real Mary’s endless health issues and hysteria never occur. This show’s resurgence seems over. The mercenary has a weird accent. Stuff happens off screen. Mary is not conflicted just reiterating and reinforcing bad choices. There is death and there is more foreshadowing of Mary’s fate.

Best Lines:
“We’re advancing to a bloody castle.”

“You weren’t seen?”
“I’m never seen.”

“The vulnerability of Henri’s court.”

“I purchased the ear off a gravedigger.”

“The whorehouse massacre.”

“No hounds, no falcons.”

“Someone who suspected she had arranged her husband’s death.”
“And did she?”
Tags: arrow, reign, ultraviolet

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