Author Archives: popculturenexus
“Sacrifice” was an appropriate title for the Arrow season finale since it was definitely the central theme of the episode. That, and dramatic lighting cues. (More on that later.) Oliver’s father sacrificing his life so his son could live; Oliver sacrificing his love life to help save Starling City; Detective Lance sacrificing his safety to try to save the Glades; and of course, the incomparable Tommy Merlyn, whose sacrifice marked the single saddest moment of the show to date—including that time Yao Fei made Oliver kill a chicken. (RIP Clucky.) I have to say, I was pretty shocked by the ending, but it was a sufficiently climactic finale, due in large part to the aforementioned dramatic lighting.
Ever wanted to know what William Bell, Walter Bishop, and Nina Sharp were up to in the 1970s? Apparently, they were opening gates to the alternate universe and trying to capture a radioactive serial killer known as the Zodiac. Ah, to be young and experimenting with cortexiphan.
The Zodiac Paradox is the first tie-in novel written by Christa Faust set in 1974 when Bell and Walter were just starting to experiment with a newly invented chemical compound we know as “Cortexiphan.”
Read my full review on HuffingtonPost.com
*The Zodiac Paradox was published by Titan Books
Castle better hurry up and put a ring on Kate’s finger, otherwise, she may be packing her bags and moving to DC. It is disheartening to see the couple forced to weather another crisis, but this situation is a million times better than the stuff they’ve had to face in past. Remember that time Beckett got shot and almost died? Yeah, I think a long distance relationship is a road bump compared to that Mount Everest. The job in DC is a great opportunity for Beckett to advance her career and I don’t see any reason why Castle couldn’t move with her, however, this is TV. Season finales are NEVER supposed to be that logical. Whatever happens, I have faith that these two will work it out.
The word “intense” may be overused in the English language, at least in recent years. For instance, if you’re describing a round of Yahtzee or a Katy Perry music video, “intense” is probably overselling it a bit. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot in our culture, but if there was ever a book that adequately encapsulated the meaning of the word “intense,” it’s Rick Yancey’s new young adult novel, The 5th Wave. Much like the extraterrestrial invaders in this post-apocalyptic thriller, The 5th Wave will psychologically batter you until you inevitably succumb to it, letting go of everything you thought you knew, and relinquishing any hope of fully understanding the madness and horrors of Yancey’s alien Armageddon. The 5th Wave is an unflinching portrait of war, encompassing both the worst and the best of humanity. At times it feels like a Holocaust allegory, but then it punches you in the gut with its raw portrayal of child soldiers. The resonant themes make it a great book to consider teaching in high school English classes, but don’t be fooled by the rich literary themes: The 5th Wave is as addictive as it is thought provoking.
The post-apocalyptic setting of The 5th Wave might look familiar at first: vast wilderness, abandoned highways, the barren skeleton of a civilization. Although Yancey’s world and story are wholly their own, there are some recognizable elements and themes from pop culture staples like The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games. What distinguishes this world (or end thereof) from other post-apocalyptic tales is the root cause—extraterrestrial invasion. That being said, the real villains in The 5th Wave might not be the aliens that have taken over the planet, but the humans fighting (somewhat futilely) for survival. Sixteen-year-old Cassie is one of them, struggling to stay alive long enough to reunite with her younger brother. Part of the story is told from her perspective, with a voice that leans towards the cynical end of the spectrum (understandably). The other main character is a boy Cassie’s age who finds salvation in the child army led by a mysterious and morally ambiguous commander. His and Cassie’s paths inevitably cross, but the question is, when they do, will either of them have any humanity left to spare?
You know how you can tell this was a great episode? Because I didn’t even notice that Colton Haynes wasn’t in it. And you all know that even the slightest lull can trigger my brain to go into “Okay, but where is Colton Haynes?” mode. It’s pretty much my default setting. But I was so distracted by all the shenanigans going on in this episode—Murder plots! Declarations of love! Olicity innuendos! Flashback hair!—that I didn’t even have time to miss Roy “Cheekbones of an Angel” Harper. So yeah. Let’s talk about some things. Like the fact that Oliver has chemistry with literally everyone on this show. Seriously: Felicity, Laurel, Diggle… Oliver is basically just a walking volcano of sexual tension. I’m pretty sure that’s his real super power. But I’m getting off topic (shocker), so let’s delve into this somewhat monumental episode…
It’s montages galore! What if you collected all of the Castle gifs on Tumblr and and edited them together? You would produce this week’s episode. In “Still,” Beckett accidentally triggers a bomb and is forced to stand still until it can be deactivated. Castle remains by her side and lightens the dismal mood by conjuring a petty fight of who fell in love with the other person first. It provided some cute banter and set the stage for a retrospective episode. Here’s a clip from one of my favorite montages:
Castle in the car providing his own theme music
“It’s the guy from ‘Ringer’!!” His name is actually Ioan Gruffodd but I don’t know how to pronounce it so I call him “Ringer Guy” after the short lived show on the CW starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. His role in this week’s episode strangely felt like he was still playing Andrew Martin- a rich, handsome businessman. Same suits. Same hair. Just no SMG. That’s okay. Jealous Castle made up for it.
I think this is a good time to mention that I have signed up for an intro to archery class, which may prove to be a fatal exercise in misdirected fanaticism for all things Hunger Games, Hawkeye, and Green Arrow related. So wish me luck! (I’ll need it, given my track record with pointy objects.) I was hoping that watching Shado try to teach Oliver how to shoot would prepare me for my own lesson, but the two of them seemed to be practicing something other than archery…unless I’m doing it wrong. I didn’t think archery involved that much tongue. But I’m getting ahead of myself… This week’s episode of Arrow had a lot going on: breakups, man feelings, Whedon alumni, orphans, and two shirtless scenes. All in all, a fairly well rounded episode, though it could have used more Felicity Smoak, if you ask me. Let’s begin at the beginning…
Perhaps it is customary or we were just overzealous about being at our first con but we bought a lot of stuff. We bought shirts and several art prints. In fact, if you are interested in decorating your house/room with pop culture items then go to comic con. Forget Crate & Barrel, artists’ alley is the place to shop. Read more about our adventures at Awesome Con…
Well, my friends, it’s official: we survived our first fan convention! I know, I know—it’s shocking that we could have gone this long without ever having attended a real con, but it finally happened, and I have to say Awesome Con definitely lived up to its name. And I’m not just saying that because we got to meet Nicholas Brendon. (But that did account for about 80% of the awesomeness.) We saw a good number of Jedi, Whovians, superheroes, and even a couple Disney princesses. Being a huge pop culture nerd, I felt like I was finally able to let all my fanaticism loose without having to worry about being considered “weird” or “obsessed,” as I so often feel when I’m around “normal” people. I tried to cover as many fandoms as possible, so I wore my Admiral Ackbar “IT’S A TRAP!” shirt with my Harry Potter earrings on day one, and my Captain Hammer shirt on day two. (One cheeky exhibitor asked me, “So I’m just wondering, what is your hammer?”) All in all, it was a crazy, fun, exciting, generally awesome experience and I can’t wait to go back next year.
Here are a few tidbits of knowledge that we picked up during our time at Awesome Con…