The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is part of Runaway Goodness & Booktrope’s Prefunk the Holidays promotion! This means the Kindle version will be priced at $2.99 throughout November. If you’re a a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read it for free. The ebook version will be Kindle exclusive for at least this period, but you can still get the paperback version from whomever.
From November 9-14, the Kindle edition will be FREE to everyone! So if you’re low on funds but want to give my debut novel a shot, November is the perfect month to do so. If you’ve already bought an e-copy of it, don’t despair! There are over 200 other Booktrope books that will be free next week. You’re sure to find something new you’ll like.
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Agents of SHIELD critique & Jack-o’-lantern photos after the break!
So this is the part where I discuss the state of Jemmacide (I don’t think anyone involved in the show likes this name) in season three. Elizabeth Henstridge was right about the monolith teleporting her to another planet. Not only is the planet a dead ringer for one of the numerous quarry planets of Doctor Who, it’s also conveniently hospitable. Jemmacide found a sword so it’s possible the planet is actually Zeist. Sadly Jemmacide ditches the sword before she can rack up any Quickenings. She has to be an Immortal, right? After all, she waited seventy-nine hours (over three days!) on an empty stomach to bother looking for water. Unless she just has the
mutant Inhuman power to maintain homeostasis by talking to herself like Dale Cooper.
I’m glad that we got all (or most?) of the interplanetary flashback out of the way in a single episode instead of it strung throughout the season. The tight focus was refreshing & Henstridge acted the dickens out of it. So far it’s the best episode of the season, but I did not find it that compelling.
“4,722 Hours” was basically Swept Away … IN SPACE! At first Jemma & handsome astronaut, who may also be an Immortal since he looks really well preserved for a guy stranded on a desert world for fourteen years, get on each others nerves. (In addition to that being a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, that’s also coincidentally the year I got the monitor that died on me last week.) Handsome astronaut was sent there with three other astronauts & claims to not know about science (You don’t become a NASA pilot without being good at science! He’s no John Crichton.), so he’s an expy for Ben “The Thing” Grimm. Eventually they shag because the planet is so boring it makes them horny.
Handsome astronaut has a name but he’s not interesting enough for me to type it out. He’s not someone from the comics like John “Man-Wolf” Jameson, so he’s already got that against him. The episode doesn’t examine whether two castaways would actually fall in love if it weren’t for their shared trauma. What if the astronaut that scavenged enough wood to lock her in a giant cage wasn’t handsome? It would’ve been slightly more interesting if it was a woman pilot or better yet an alien pilot to test her xenophobia. Couldn’t Jemma just be obsessed with reopening the wormhole for science & not because she’s smitten by the dude trapped on the other side?
This bootycall just feels like way to keep Simmons from shacking up with Fitz. It seemed like Jemma wanted to keep things platonic last season, so she doesn’t need a long distance boyfriend as an excuse not to date him. Since the writers have played the alternate boyfriend card, however, it appears that this is merely a diversion to delay a Fitz & Simmons romance endgame (even though Fitz & Mack have better romantic chemistry). By having Fitz selflessly save her twice (sustaining brain damage the first), she’ll be seen as the bad guy if she rejects his advances while he’d stay on a saintly pedestal. Maybe she could save his life a few times to even things out first so their eventual coupling doesn’t feel like it’s out of obligation?
This episode was further disappointing because it didn’t meaningfully contribute to the MCU’s cosmic worldbuilding. Jemma didn’t land on Hala so we din’t learn anything about the Kree or Inhumans. It may have been Hel or Ego the Living Planet, but there wasn’t anything remarkable about it besides a sandstorm that drives you mad with hallucinations. Um, we can get the same effect by stranding folk in a barren wasteland on Earth. (Was this entire thing a gritty reboot of The Little Prince?) The planet’s personification of murder-suicide looks like it could be Death, Thanos’s crush (although it seems like it’d be more streamlined for him to woo Hela in the movieverse), or Phantom Spaceman. I expect that to turn out to be a huge misdirect so that the films can continue ignoring this. (Why do we even have a tie-in show if it’s not going to flesh out the stuff between the movies?) We still didn’t learn about the monolith’s origins. (If NASA had sent astronauts through it, why didn’t SHIELD know it was a teleporter?) It’s like they leeched all the entertaining bit’s out of Fred’s introductory arc on Angel. With all the creative leeway afforded by an offworld jaunt, this was the best it could come up with? Could it be any more generic?
My major problem with this season is that it’s been resolving plot points in the most perfunctory manner. On one hand I’m glad they’re not dragging things out, but maybe they should be picking different events if they’re not going to do anything interesting with these. Plots are blatantly set to easy mode. This episode’s end could’ve used a gut punch. It didn’t even foreshadow that handsome astronaut has been infected with madness that FitzSimmons will unknowingly unleash upon Earth. Or even better, show that he’d used his last bullet on himself & all of FitzSimmons’s efforts will be for naught. A downer ending could’ve partially redeemed how blandly straightforward things played out.
At this juncture, “4,722 Hours” just seemed like an elaborate way to remove Jemma from the season’s main plots that she ought to be involved in: managing Inhumans & killing Ward. As a new head of HYDRA, the uncharismatic Ward hasn’t done anything to make his cell a worthy opponent for the world’s top spy agency. (Instituting green & yellow uniforms would be a start.) Since SHIELD still apparently has surplus agents (but what happened to Anne Weaver, Akela Amador, Felix Blake, Tomas Calderon, Deathlok, & the Koenigs?), why can’t Coulson spare more than two agents to stamp out the traitor? The mass terregenesis should have urgent global rammifications, but it feels cozy & turgid. Since Jemma is anti-Ward & anti-Inhuman, sidelining her for the worst summer vacation was wasteful.
TL;DR: The Jemma flashback was a wash since she hasn’t bonded with a symbiote (although she is now extra sensitive to sound like Venom & Carnage), but the season is still young.
Now here’s the Wicket Jack-o’-lantern I made to keep the stormtroopers at bay:
Between this & Count Ewokula, I expect The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose to be the top selling book on Endor.