“Sleepy Hollow” 10/20/2014 (spoilers): The Daughter in the Water is the Plotter of Slaughter

Bram and Katrina!

A not-quite-tender moment between Abraham van Brunt (Neil Jackson), a.k.a. the Headless Horseman, a.k.a. Death, and Katrina Crane, Spy Witch (Katia Winter).

(…because it would’ve been too easy to run with “The Rain of Pain Falls Mainly on Crane”.)

Anyway. Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Our Heroes killed a Pied Piper, our man Crane (Tom Mison) became an unlicensed stunt driver, Nick Hawley (Matt Barr) got paid for broken merchandise, Henry Parish (John Noble) added some crushed bone flute to his pantry, and the Sleepy Hollow Word of the Day was “gillygaupus”, which means “a stupid, awkward person”. Did you use it in a sentence this week? Good job! Was it directed at someone else online? If so, why am I not surprised?

In tonight’s new episode, “The Weeping Lady”, mean Captain Reyes and the entire Irving family remain offstage as Our Heroes must face the undead threat of…Ichabod Crane’s evil ex-girlfriend!

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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MCC 2014 Pilot Binge #19: “Star Wars Rebels”

Star Wars Rebels!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…the Keystone Kops were alive and well and still wearing useless helmets.

Star Wars Rebels is the first of two animated pilots on the project list, and one of the very few that my wife and I had planned to try anyway. She’s a longtime dedicated Star Wars fan with an Expanded Universe emphasis, as are some of my oldest internet cohorts. Together we watched nearly every episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars until its abrupt cancellation. We number among the many thousands of fans waiting impatiently and vainly for closure on the life of former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Regardless, we’d look and feel weirder if we didn’t give the new show a try.

Far as I can tell, nearly everyone who’ll love any media product with the words “Star Wars” on it has given the show an A for existing. So far to me, it’s Firefly for kids. There’s some good and some less-good in that.

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Pumpkin-Flavored MCC! Limited Time Only!


My wife and I are largely immune to the siren call of the fall pumpkin stampede. We don’t hate them, but we don’t wake up on October 1st and draw up a meal schedule of pumpkin omelets, thin-sliced pumpkin sandwiches, and pan-seared pumpkin steak with a pumpkin reduction served over a pumpkin salad tossed with pumpkin vinaigrette. Pumpkins are acceptable, but they don’t wow us.

Maybe it was odd, then, that we spent part of her birthday celebration last weekend traipsing through a pumpkin patch, surrounded by the very source of so much autumn shrugging. We couldn’t deny their iconic appearance, though.

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Before You Throw Away Those Cappuccino Potato Chips…

Lay's Cappuccino Potato Chips!

The mandatory “sinister side” pic from their upcoming episode of the Oxygen true-food-crime series Snacked.

A few weeks ago we culinary daredevils here at Midlife Crisis Crossover ignored societal customs and tried two of the new flavors of Lay’s Potato Chips that they designed at the suggestion of folks outside the food industry who may have come up with their ideas by pointing to random words in a cookbook.

One contender in particular, their Cappuccino Potato Chips, seems to be the most taboo-breaking of these next-wave snacks. In a recent Yahoo! article, New York Times coffee authority Oliver Strand was called in from whatever he was doing at the time that had to be more important than this, and was asked to test these chips for coffee authenticity. His conclusion is unsurprising yet apt (“The chips smell like the coffee candy your grandmother kept in a glass bowl in the living room”), but he also delves into the background of the company that provided Frito-Lay with the food-science technology necessary to pull off this modern anomaly. It’s a short, recommended reading that foreshadows other unprecedented, amalgamated endeavors in the future, except maybe those will be popular and people won’t scrunch up their noses at them.

I get the impression the Cappuccino Chips may not be flying off store shelves and will soon be relegated to Dollar General clearance bins within the next six to twelve months. My wife and I have been slowly working our way through the bag we bought, a chore prolonged by my reading comprehension failure that caused me to buy a party-sized bag. Why that size exists, I’ve no idea. Maybe they satisfy a fine-print contractual obligation. Good luck finding a crowd of twenty to one hundred friends and relatives who’d love you enough to unite and eat the entire bag for you in a single month, let alone in one party.

I don’t loathe them, but as Strand points out, they lack the enchanting loyalty that a classic potato chip commands. Anyone who’s ever tried to eat a single Pringle knows those sensations — the surprise hunger pang that wasn’t there a few minutes ago, and the sudden, insatiable craving that demands you eat at least another pound of them before you reseal the container. Unlike Pringles or actual caffeinated products, the cappuccino chips have an addiction factor near zero. They’re okay, but they’re becoming a chore for us to finish.

After a few other food-synthesis experiments that proved unappealing, this past Tuesday night I stumbled across one use for them that truly, sincerely clicked. I like to think every foodstuff exists for a reason, and I believe I’ve discovered the Cappuccino Chip’s true calling. And hopefully this doesn’t lead us into a darker future fraught with French-fry lattes or hazelnut casserole or mocha tots.

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MCC 2014 Pilot Binge #18: “The Flash”

The Flash!

Of all twenty-six pilots in this series, I had more mixed emotions about The Flash in advance than I did any of the rest. When I began collecting comics at age six, Barry Allen was one of the first heroes to teach me about truth, justice, and sequential numbering in long-running comics. I still have issues #270-350, along with the first 200+ issues of Wally West’s subsequent series (including the weirdly numbered Zero Hour and DC One Million crossovers). The first time he came to TV in 1990, I’d taped nearly every episode on VHS years before DVD was a thing, and when it became a thing and the show was eventually granted its release, finally getting to see the legendarily preempted Captain Cold episode was, pardon the expression, pretty cool. Until several years ago, I was a longtime fan of the Flash legacy.

I entered with trepidation into his new vehicle produced by The CW, purveyors of the frequently aggravating Smallville, which left me with so many negative emotions that to this day I still haven’t convinced myself to try a single episode of Arrow because I assumed the results would be similar or worse. (I haven’t forgotten Birds of Prey, either. Yikes.) Knowing that The Flash was a direct spinoff from a show I’m not watching didn’t encourage me, nor did the announcement that both shows are already planning their first crossover (ugh). Insert obligatory reference here to other problems with translating DC heroes to other media, especially movies.

But it’s on the list. So I gave it a try. And I was happy to be surprised. (Fair warning to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet: one paragraph in this entry covers the specific subject of Easter eggs. If you’re a fan of those and plan to savor them as a surprise someday, consider this your courtesy spoiler warning.)

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/13/2014: Pasty Piper Packed a Peck of Prickly Perils

Abbie Mills!

I’d normally add a silly caption to this pic of Abbie holding a bone flute, but I’m having trouble thinking of anything humerus.

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Lt. Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane chased after a coin that turned townspeople to the Dark Side; we met Nick Hawley (Matt Barr), greedy magic-item hunter; Irving was moved to Tarrytown Psychiatric but learned his defense attorney is the Horseman War; and, speaking of which, Henry is Sleepy Hollow’s newest, evillest, busiest shyster — none more qualified to teach young deviants How to Get Away With Murder.

In tonight’s new episode, “Go Where I Send Thee…” Jenny Mills, Katrina Crane, the Horseman, and meddling Captain Reyes are benched for the week while Our Heroes meet a new foe — a whirling dervish with a familiar name, an ancient vendetta, supernatural swordsmanship, and an edgy tune for the kids.

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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