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‘3%’ Season 2: Wait, there’s three of them?

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So, let’s just take stock here of the basic plot before we go ahead. Long ago, we’re talking like 100 years or so, the Founding Couple created the Offshore, an island that is said to be the last green place left on Earth.

The mainland might as well be called the badlands, living in poverty and disease as they do, but to them is offered the Process, the test that every person may take as they turn 21, to try and become part of the measly 3% that actually make it to that near mythical island paradise. The shocker ending of the first season of 3% showed us the extremely steep and permanent price to be paid for such a privilege, even after passing the Process. And now, here’s what happened some months after that.

Spoilers lurk in the Process!

Right away we begin with the massive reveal that the revered Founding Couple was, in fact, a Trio, and this is going to have a reverberating effect on what’s happening to our people here in the present. What could it mean? What happened to the extra woman? That will have to wait, we’re being whisked off to Michele and Rafael’s current drama.

As always, it’s hard to determine which way Rafael (Rodolfo Valente) will jump when he gets caught, as he far too often does, but it seems this season he is actually determined to be with the Cause, the rebellion of folk against the Process and its cruelties. He manages to infiltrate himself in the Offshore Militia, has a romantic relationship with an Offshore Doctor, and oh yeah, blunders about trying to gather things to contact the Cause back on the mainland. He gets himself sent back to the mainland eventually too, ostensibly as security for the next Process testers as they register, which affords him all sorts of opportunities for mischief. In the end move though, when push really came to shove and our small gang had to knuckle down to stop a bomb, he came through pretty well.

Michele (Bianca Comparato), as we recall from the previous season, passed the Process and made it onto the Offshore, but fell into Ezekiel’s immediate and suspicious care, which sent her to what is basically forced rehabilitation. Even subjected to that, Michele is strong, far stronger than anyone gave her credit for, though Ezekiel (Joao Miguel) at least had a taste of it, and could see the value in harnessing such a thing.

Despite her roots in the Cause, Michele finds herself torn at every turn, be it aiding the Process or the Cause, and finally decides her loyalty is only for her brother, currently held prisoner by the Offshore. And when Michele finally makes it to freeing her brother, it turns out he harbors a bunch of secrets of his own, and exploring those secrets is what makes a direct connection with the stunning scenes from the far past that dropped on us in the first episode of season two. It is a finely crafted bit of storytelling, worthy of ‘3%’ and what made the first season such a surprising hit.

Ezekiel, that slick Process leader we recall from the first season, has troubles of his own now. Mostly from the Offshore Militia commander Marcela Alvares (Laila Garin), introduced in this new season as the overly fanatical soldier, the commander who wants to take the Offshore militia to the streets of the mainland, and forcibly keep the peace that way. Marcela also happens to be the mother of Marco, the doubtful riot-inducing son who failed the Process in season one, and yes, Marco himself shows up to cripple-step all over her good times.

The reintroduction of Marco (Rafael Lozano) as the midseason shocker was strange, even for ‘3%’, but they somehow managed to make him an actual, if blundering, force to be reckoned with. Much as he was in season one, and just as violent too, though a bit slower now he’s missing a few limbs. Marco still can’t hold a candle to everyone’s favorite mainstay, the guy in the wheelchair who nonetheless can handle himself quite well in matters of speed, stamina, and sheer brains, Fernando.

Fernando (Michel Gomes) made a hell of a choice in season one, and with his father being a kind of priest of the Process, it’s all kinds of uncomfortable back at home on the mainland now. His little girlfriend Gloria is about to take the Process this year, and Fernando can’t help but try and warn her off of it, by any means necessary. He left before he learned the dark secret price of passing the Process, so Fernando just doesn’t want her involved in that kind of hell of pressure at all; he’s just that good a fella.

Gloria (Cynthia Senek) brings along with her the introduction of an obviously LGBTQ character, we’ll just leave it at that rather than trying to guess specifics and maybe be wrong, also taking the Process this year and it turns out quite a bit more violent than one would expect. But then, no-one actually expected the Process to be shut down, and the testees to storm the Process testing center in savage protest; who does that?

Only animals, primitives, would do that, and Marcela is using that and a few other shadowy things to justify her crackdown on the mainland and go slam-dancing against the protesters at the Process facility with the full might of the Offshore militia. Meanwhile elsewhere, Joana (Vaneza Oliviera) and Fernando, having reluctantly but damnit fully embraced the Cause by now, are struggling to stop a bomb, and it comes from inside their own splintering organization.

Time is running down, everyone is in a standoff against everyone else as chaos reigns on the very Day of the Process, and Michele and her brother just made a discovery that quite literally changes everything. Didn’t I say, way back at the beginning, that Michele is far stronger, and yes obviously way smarter, than anyone gave her credit for? The very last shocker of season two of ‘3%’ is incredible, as we the audience get to literally watch history, the new history of these characters, being made right before our eyes, by Michele and Fernando of all people, atop a high rise with new hope literally hanging in midair.

If you loved ‘3%’ Season one, and who didn’t it was excellent, season two will blow you away. Make your voice be heard, we need to see what happens with the Shell, in season three of ‘3%’!

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Frogfathers lessons from the Normandy surf

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Frog Fathers: Lessons from the Normandy Surf” is a deeply moving documentary directed by Bob Whitney, narrated by John C McGinley, and presented by World of Warships and FORCE BLUE. It chronicles the journey of four Navy SEAL veterans revisiting the site of the D-Day landings to honor their forefathers and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made during World War II.

The film’s strength lies in its raw emotional impact and historical significance. It blends personal narratives with archival footage, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought on June 6, 1944. The veterans’ reflections and the cinematography effectively capture the solemnity and reverence of their pilgrimage.

While the documentary focuses primarily on the veterans’ experiences, it also serves as an educational tool, highlighting the strategic importance of the Normandy invasion and its pivotal role in shaping modern history. The film’s respectful approach and engaging storytelling make it a compelling watch for anyone interested in military history and the enduring legacy of the D-Day heroes.

Overall, “Frog Fathers” is a powerful and heartfelt documentary that honors the past while inspiring present and future generations to remember the sacrifices made for freedom 

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American Horror Story: Delicate

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As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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