Back of the Fridge: Captain’s Log #1

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Captain’s Log,” our comic book aficionado, Sean, hops on board the Enterprise for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I have a confession. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of Star Trek, but I never really started watching any of it until I was in college. I had seen an episode here or there when I was a kid, and I’m pretty sure I remember getting excited whenever the whale Star Trek movie (what I now know as “The Voyage Home”) aired on TV. I have since seen almost every Trek movie (under advisement to avoid the first one and the fifth one) and have loved them!

But now, it is time for me to tackle the TV shows, and I want you out there in internet land to join me! I’m starting with The Next Generation and will be slowly working my way all the way through to Voyager. I’ll be checking in periodically to do little mini-reviews and impressions of the episodes as I watch them. A “Captain’s Log,” if you will (hey, that’s the title of this column!)

So without further ado, let us embark on a voyage to boldly go where this geek has never gone before! Engage!

Encounter at Farpoint

Dear Lord, it is amazing that this show made it past its pilot! I know seasons 1 and 2 are supposed to be a bit rough, but yeesh! A giant sentient space jellyfish? I’ve seen this concept work in Doctor Who (not the space jellyfish specifically, but the whole enslavement of a giant space creature aspect), but for some reason it was so damn silly here. I already knew about Q before starting this endeavour, and it was pretty cool to see him from the start. He is such a glorious asshole. And lastly, Riker doesn’t have his goatee. I find this unacceptable.

The Naked Now

I had actually seen the related episode of Classic Trek, so this episode worked better for me. The Enterprise encounters the same contagion that caused the original Enterprise crew to go all drunk and silly for an episode. This was absurdly goofy with some pretty terrible drunk acting, with the notable exceptions being Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart. They were awesome. I have always heard how people hate Wesley and now I see why. I don’t blame Wil Wheaton at all; it just really sucks when your character is written to be such a whiny jerk of a know-it-all. Still, this episode gets a pass thanks to Picard’s awkward wave. Thank god there is a gif of this!

E3 2013: Sony Media Briefing Recap

I had no intention of watching Sony’s presser. I’ve never been much of a PlayStation guy. I owned a PS1 in college to play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and my PS3 was eventually sold after I realized it had become a glorified blu-ray player. Still, I wanted to do my due diligence and see what Sony had to say. Thank God I did!

Sony kicked things off with a section on upcoming PS3 games. Watching the segment on The Last of Us made me regret selling my PS3; that game looks freaking amazing. “Ellen Page: The Game” (or, rather, Beyond: Two Souls) looks interesting, but I’m not sad I’ll miss it. Arkham Origins looked fantastic, but, now that the formula has been pretty much perfected, it’s hard to screw up.

We finally got see what the PS4 looks like! I’m not a huge fan of the design; I think it’s as ugly as the Xbox One. I guess that’s the theme this generation: uninspired console design. Even my wife thought it looked ugly, but at least isn’t a George Foreman grill! Sony then went on to talk about their media offerings and all the content PS Networks subscribers will have access too. It was pretty much the same thing we’ve heard from every major tech and entertainment company in the past few years.

Next up, the games. Oh, the glorious games. Sony did everything Microsoft didn’t. They showed some fantastic new stuff!

The game that got me hook, line, and sinker was The Order: 1886. We only saw a brief trailer, but it looks like a steampunk monster hunting shooter set in late 1800s London. A game with a holy order that hunts monsters with steampunk machine guns and lightning rifles? SOLD!

E3 2013: Microsoft Media Briefing Recap

Quiet! Do you smell that? I believe that’s the smell of the Xbox One after the multiple burns Sony gave it last night.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have made their E3 presentations, and the dust has started to settle. So let’s breakdown what we saw over the past few days and try to make sense of it all, shall we?

Microsoft kicked off E3 with their morning media briefing. After their surprisingly entertainment-focused, lackluster Xbox One debut a few weeks ago, Big M was in damage control mode. Fans have been raging over things like DRM, used games, and game ownership, and it was up to Microsoft to calm the vocal gamers down. Too bad they didn’t.

Microsoft kicked off their presentation with a short section on the 360, reassuring us that there are still great games coming, including World of Tanks (which I guess is supposed to be a big deal, but I’ve never heard of it.) The coolest thing from this section is the announcement of “Games for Gold,” where Xbox Live Gold members will be getting two free games each month. We aren’t talking Xbox Live Arcade games either; we get full fledged fan favorites. It looks like Fable 3 is the first offering, and is actually available to download now.

But now onto the juicy stuff: the Xbox One. Microsoft actually kicked off the whole shebang with an amazing-looking gameplay preview of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Someone had the brilliant idea to combine combine Red Dead Redemption and Metal Gear Solid, and they are going to make a whole ton of money. The game is a sight for the eyes, and the stealth play looked mighty cool. The story is all sorts of batshit crazy, but its a Metal Gear game – what do you expect? Oh, and no David Hayter. Boo on that.

Review: Star Wars #6

The Force is still with Brian Wood and Carlos D’Anda as they continue to fill the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in this month’s issue of Dark Horse’s ongoing Star Wars comic. Issue #6 maintains the momentum the series has been building, and becomes possibly the

Game of Thrones Recap: The Rains of Castamere

Well, GOT fans, here we are. Many knew this day would come – that of the Red Wedding. If you are strictly a show-watcher and not a book reader, then you were awfully surprised at what was in store for the Stark family in this week’s episode, “The Rains of Castamere.” I knew it was coming despite not having read the books (accidental Internet spoiler over a year ago), but it was still highly traumatizing. We at least got to spend more time with fewer groups of people this week, so the pace was not nearly as frenetic and hopping around as usual! I’d like to credit that to director David Nutter, who I am very proud of since I’ve known his work from his X-Files days, since he directed this episode and next week’s finale. Onward, into bloodshed!

Littlest Starks and Jon Snow

Finally, some of our disparate and wandering groups are crossing paths. The little Starks – Bran and Rickon, accompanied by Hodor, Osha (Tonks) and the brother/sister Wildling warg team, holed up in an abandoned mill tower to wait out the rain. Not too far away, Jon, Ygritte, and their band of Wildlings decide they need to steal some horses, and Jon knows an elderly farmer who breeds them for the Night’s Watch. The Wildlings want to kill the old man, but Jon heavily objects. He allows the man to escape, although they track him down on horseback right outside the abandoned mill tower that houses Bran & co.  The thunder and lightning gets really bad, and Hodor starts “hodorhodorhodor-ing” very loudly. The Wildling band will surely kill them if they are found, and out of desperation, Bran wargs into Hodor’s mind and quiets him. The young warg boy with them is shocked – while many can enter the minds of animals, he has never heard of anyone who can enter people’s minds. Bran is certainly special, and this show of strength and ability leads him to a bit of confidence. He decides that he and Hodor will go with the siblings to further discover his gifts, and that Rickon and Osha will split up and go to find a Stark-friendly family to stay with until they can get back to Rob and Catlin. Rickon finally has some lines, and does not want to be parted from his brother. He wants to protects the disabled Bran, which leads to a very sweet scene with the two boys. I am a bit sad we are splitting the party here, but Bran’s idea makes sense.

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose below the tower – Jon was being forced to kill the elderly horse breeder as a show of loyalty to his new Wildling fellows, but instead Ygritte does it for him. This prompts him to knock her to the ground so she won’t defend him, and he kills many of the Wildlings, telling the Jerk Warg among them that he was right – he was always a crow a in his heart. He then kills him, and we are not sad about it because that dude was an ass. Bran and Rickon’s dire wolves are hunting nearby, and Bran is afraid they will give them away, so he enters their minds and attacks the remaining Wildlings. Jon hops a horse and rides away – leaving a shocked and angry-looking Ygritte behind.

Dany and the Dragons

Jorah, Grey Worm and Fabio (his name is actually Daario and he’s the hot sell-sword that Dany likes – don’t blame her) decide to through a back door into Yunkai to take the city in the night. They slaughter a bunch of guards but are surrounded, and we all worry. The next day, Dany sits waiting for them and worrying, but Jorah and Grey Worm show up covered in blood and declaring they’ve won. She is pleased but immediately asks for Fabio, who makes a dramatic entrance a few minutes later, also covered in blood, and tells her they’ve taken the city. She looks at him adoringly while Jorah sulks in the background.

Arya and the Hound (come close to Camp Stark)

The Hound is taking Arya to Robb and Catlin for ransom. They find a merchant farmer on the road and the Hound knocks him out, intending to kill him and take his cart of wine and food. Arya doesn’t want him to die, but she isn’t so compassionate that she doesn’t knock him on the head again. They are just over the hill from her family when she and the Hound have a grouchy conversation about how she’s afraid she’s so close and yet won’t see them. FORESHADOWING! Ahem. I felt that was a bit heavy-handed, but what can you do. Arya informs the Hound that she will someday put a sword through his eye and out the back of his skull. I like this girl.

Hit the jump for the full recap of the most-talked-about episode in Game of Thrones history!