The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Angel of Death



I love Debra Morgan, only she would move into a house where there was recently a murder/suicide. I've really been enjoying her character arc this season, and while she is still going through an adjustment period, I think she's performing her new duties rather admirably.

I have never liked Quinn. Ever. And this season is doing a good job at jusitfying that dislike. Yeah, I feel for the guy. Being rejected sucks, I can only imagine how painful a rejected marriage proposal is. But to sleep with a potential witness? How could he be so stupid to do that? More importantly, how could Batista not drag him out of that bar? Yeah, I know that led them to Gellar's old journal in her apartment. But Quinn has been drinking the idiot juice.

At this point in the season, the big twist won't be "Professor Gellar is a figment of Travis' imagination," it would be "wow, Professor Gellar is actually real." Which is why I am not taking a stance on this either way. I think the writer's are too clever to use such an obvious trick, or maybe they want us to think that while they pull something else out of the deck.

I did enjoy seeing Dexter catch up to Travis, as well as that entire confrontation. Even though he released Travis in the hopes of being led to Gellar. Yeah, Dexter is convinced there are two killers, but I'm still not. Actually, considering how incompetent Travis was when he tried to kidnap that girl, I wonder just how many people he does have in his head.

Looking forward to next week.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Horse of a Different Color



It's been a long time since we've seen an episode where Dexter doesn't kill anyone. After the ending here, Dexter committing a murder on one of Miami's several thousand psychos would be most welcome. In any event, you know it's bad when even Dexter is repulsed by the murders rather than fascinated.

Let's talk about Deb, talking about Deb makes me happy. And, as unprofessional as it might be, I wish more high ranking police officials would refer to murderers as "fuckers" during press conferences. She's nervous, and fumbling, but I think she's doing okay so far. Would Batista do better? Probably. But I want her to prove LaGuerta wrong.

Gellar and Travis Marshall's (Greg, if you're reading, I hope you smiled at that one) reign of terror continues as their kills become even more elaborate. Travis flirts with a waitress, takes her out on a date only for Gellar to rear his ugly head. Next thing you know, the girl is bound up like an angel and a trap is laid when the cops find her, trip a wire, and she is dropped and hung like an angel, as you can see in that delightful picture at the top of this entry. I hardly ever do this, but I looked away for a moment once the trap was set. And then, to top it all off, a swarm of locusts are released.

We learn more about Professor Gellar. He runs a doomsday website, and he's been missing for years, after stealing a sword that belonged to John the Revelator. After this episode, I am more convinced than ever that Gellar is dead, and Travis sees him in his head. No one else ever reacts to him. At the restaurant, the waitress didn't even glance at him when she poured Travis more coffee. Sure he was standing over her when Travis came in to the kitchen after getting out of bed to find her bound and gagged, but she still didn't react to him, and Travis could have easily done this himself and is likely suffering from a split personality of some kind.

As for Dexter himself, is he going to embrace religion? Brother Sam is certainly trying to make that happen, and while Dexter may flirt with it, I don't see it happening. He asked God, briefly, to help Harrison pull through an operation after his appendix burst. But I doubt Dexter will do it, because if he does then one of two things will happen. Either he will stop being a killer, or he will start killing for God instead of for the Code. Brother Sam represents one side, while Gellar and Travis represent the other. Dexter will likely continue to go his own way.

On a lighter side, I enjoyed Masuka a lot in this episode. We saw just how dedicated he is to his job when he correctly fired Ryan from stealing an Ice Truck Killer memento from the evidence locker. It's little things like this that make a three dimensional character.

One more episode before I am caught up, but for now I'm going to watch something lighter. Too much darkness in one day is not good for you.

Smokey and the Bandit



No, not the Burt Reynolds movie. Although, I think Burt is certainly crazy enough to end up on Dexter's table.

I liked this episode a lot, certainly more than last week's episode. What was the basic plot? Dexter searches for his boyhood idol to kill him. A killer known only as the tooth fairy who terrorized Oregon for years and was never caught. Now, he is a seventy-two year old man, retired in Miami.

I will say that this episode paints Dexter himself in a harsher light. Harry saw what Dexter was at a young age and raised him to do good... albeit a very twisted version of good, by taking out the trash. Like a laser beam, Dexter seeks out the most evil among us and prevents them from doing more evil. But to find out that he looked up to and idolized a serial killer before he himself became a killer. It really illuminates the razor thin wire Dexter has walked since the series started.

Deb's first day as lieutenant goes about as well as one would expect. Already she seems to be a weapon being used by Mr. and Mrs. LaGuerta against each other. Angel wants Deb to succeed because every day she does, LaGuerta looks worse. And for the record, I personally do think Deb made the right decision by hiring the transfer from Chicago. Now, the next question is how soon does she sleep with him?

I said in my last review that I was confident that Professor Gellar was a real person. Well, I am now doubting this again. The one time he appears in front of the victim, we don't see a reaction of any kind. Granted the victim had other things to think about. But, I was jumping the gun by assuming the reality of Gellar.

How chilling was the last shot of the episode? It takes a lot to sicken me, but that set up of the Four Horsemen was nauseating. I'm not going to describe it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I think this is up there with the hotel room full of blood in the first season.

Speaking of the first season, Masuka's intern is obsessed with the Ice Truck Killer case from way back in the first season. We don't know much else, but it looks like Dexter's past will be coming back to haunt him.

Great episode, especially the end where Dexter made sure that Walter Kenny died as Walter Kenny and not as the Tooth Fairy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'Once Upon a Time...'



Weeks behind, but getting caught up on "Dexter." Finally.

I don't have too much to say about this one, we're still in the beginning of the season and everything is still set up.

I know longer believe that Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos) is a figment of Travis' imagination, like Harry is now for Dexter. I thought that scene where he burned himself to insure Travis' obedience was chilling.

Brother Sam has the potential to be an interesting recurring character, juxtaposed with Geller and Travis. Turning to God reformed Sam from a life of crime, while Gellar and Travis murder in the name of God. We'll see what happens here, but I somehow doubt Dexter is going to find God and purge his own dark passenger.

But the real meat of this episode was Deb's promotion to lieutenant and how everyone around her reacted. Batista is outwardly supportive, but inside he's angry. Her relationship with Quinn was all but dead when she turned down his proposal, and this might be the killing blow. Dexter congratulated her, lamented that she might one day be leading the chase against him, but is happy Quinn is no longer with her.

I haven't seen the episodes that follow this one yet. Time to do just that. I feel like I half assed this review, but bear with me, and I'll be up to date soon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Can It Be?

So, Disney sent me this:

Greg,

Thank you for your e-mail. We appreciate your interest and are happy to answer your questions.

There are tentative plans to release the rest of this series in 2012. No further details are available at this time.

To view our release calendar and see what great titles are currently available and coming soon, please visit http://disneydvd.disney.go.com/release-calendar.htm.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Sincerely,

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Consumer Relations
US and Canada


I'm buying the champagne, but I'm not popping the cork... yet. But this is a great sign. In the mean time, it would not hurt to keep showing interest: disneyinfo@disneyhelp.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Update & Some Thoughts

1. Yes, I intend to keep reviewing "Dexter." I hope to get caught up this week. The second episode aired as a terrible head cold hit me, which left me mostly incapacitated for a week, and threw off my schedule. I haven't seen the third or fourth episode yet... but I plan to re-watch the second one, review that, and then hit the next two before continuing.

2. Yesterday was the seventeenth anniversary of the premiere of "Gargoyles." I considered doing a special review of "Awakening" but I figured I covered it well in my Top 11 list. Not to say I won't eventually do it, but I had nothing new to say. Maybe in 2014... or sooner. Who knows. But I did watch part one today, and plan to watch the rest over the course of the week. October 24th on a Monday, when was the last time that happened?

3. I am dying to see David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." Normally I shy away from American remakes of foreign films, but this is David Fincher.



If the movie is as good as the trailer, this might be the film of the year. We shall see.

4. My dear friend, the ever charming and beautiful, Jennifer L. Anderson, recently raved about "The Dresden Files" series of novels to me. And, I think she sold me on it. It certainly deals with elements and ideas that interest me, and I like the sense of humor she gave me a sample of. I'm not sure when I'll get around to reading it, but it's on my list.

5. I've been re-reading "The Clone Saga." Some parts of it are terrific, a lot of it is crap. I think it's obvious which aspects are which... I might be reviewing it soon. We'll see, but I'm thinking about it.

6. I am now the official "Young Justice" reviewer for World's Finest over at ToonZone. James Harvey liked my approach, as someone who knows jack about the DC universe and mythos. And it's true, I google characters constantly when episodes end.

7. There are rumors that Disney is planning to release the rest of "Gargoyles" on DVD in 2012. They originated from a very unlikely source, but other people are reportedly receiving word from Disney that this is in the works. I'm still waiting to hear back from a source myself. I wrote to and e-mailed one department, but considering the way these things work, it might not be on the official list yet. It certainly hasn't been announced yet. Personally, after all this time... I'll believe it when I see it. However, I've supported the property this long, I am eagerly hoping to be wrong.

8. I love Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It's the perfect fast food lunch.

9. New York Comic Con was a blast. I had short but pleasant discussions with Peter David, Lauren Sankovitch, Steve Wacker, got beat up by SHIELD agents, worshiped Lady Loki, got into the Avengers movie panel, and hung out with the Nostalgia Chick and Todd In the Shadows for a bit.

10. I posted it in an earlier entry, but I am encouraging people to commission Karine Charlebois for any nerdy or geeky artwork you want. She is a professional comic book artist and storyboard artist, and is as pleasant as she is talented. She drew #5 of "Gargoyles" and most of "Gargoyles: Bad Guys" for SLG. And again, take a look at what she did for me. I've been showing this piece off a lot, but I am very happy with it. I hope to commission her again some time.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Humanity



Let me start by saying that I know nothing about Red Tornado. I know nothing about Red Torpedo. I know nothing about Red Inferno. I know nothing about Red Volcano. I know nothing about T.O. Morrow. As ignorant as I am of the DC mythos, I am even more ignorant in the mythology of Red Tornado. Up until now, he was that robot that got blown up in an episode of "Justice League Unlimited."

This was an awesome episode. It was a crash course in all of this without ever feeling like an info-dump. From a writing stand point, it felt less like exposition and more like an organic part of the story. That sort of thing is hard to do, but it really worked. Two episodes built up to this, and the pay off was stunning. It takes great writing to make me care about a glorified toaster oven, but this episode did it.

I also liked Zatanna. I liked her a lot. I'm assuming that was Lacey Chabert doing her voice. The cast list attached to the end of the episode was obviously for an episode set down the line, so I don't know. But if it was, it was nice to hear her again. Both her and Vanessa Marshall as Black Canary. I'm hoping we hear more "Spectacular Spider-Man" alumni later on.

Zatanna was a lot of fun, and I liked her chemistry with Robin. I was actually a little disappointed when the episode ended with her seemingly not joining the team. I would like to see more of her and I think she fits right in. I can think of one character I wouldn't mind swapping out in exchange, but that's neither here not there.

I thought Red Volcano made a pretty menacing villain. That scene where he was tearing T.O. Morrow apart was pretty brutal, although I had guessed that Morrow was a robot based on how young he appeared as opposed to how long ago those flashbacks took place. I got an Ultron-vibe from Volcano, and if he is anything like Ultron... or the Coyote robots, I doubt he's gone for good.

I thought the flashbacks to the Justice Society were fun, and added a lot of history to make this world feel more real. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Watchmen" while watching that. And was that the Alan Scott Green Lantern? Cool.

If there is one nit I had about this episode, I don't think Wally's plan to talk to Ivo in the hopes of finding Morrow was a dumb idea at all. In fact, the idea made so much sense, logically, I'm rather surprised Batman didn't think of it. Someone tell Wally to think of dumb ideas to solve more problems, we'll have world peace and an end to hunger and crime in no time.

The script for this episode was personally penned by Greg Weisman. Now, a few years ago, he was writing a "Red Tornado" mini-series for DC, which got shelved. I wonder how much of that found its way into this episode. Because if the two were anything alike, that makes the comic's cancellation even more of a shame.

Overall, I'm not sure which episode of the season is my favorite so far. But it's a tie between "Humanity" and "Targets." Great episode. Like I said last week, the extra credit is being turned in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Handful of Thorns



What follows is most likely the nerdiest thing I've ever been involved with, and one of the most awesome. A Radio Play crossover between "Gargoyles" and "The Spectacular Spider-Man" written by Greg Weisman and starring many of the original voice actors, including Marina Sirtis, Keith David, Josh Keaton, Steve Blum, and Vanessa Marshall. Most of you reading this blog have probably seen this already, but I felt like reminiscing. It's been about two years since we did this Radio Play at the final Gathering of the Gargoyles, but it is still awesome. And it was definitely a highlight of that weekend.

I'm just going to embed the playlist here, so you should be able to watch it all here.



It brings back so many warm memories. The art piece at the top of the entry was just a little something I commissioned from Karine Charlebois. I think it came out beautifully.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Revelation



I've been up since early in the morning, I'm still recovering from the flu, I spent all day running around New York Comic Con, and I will be doing the same tomorrow. I need a lot of sleep. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to miss out on watching and reviewing "Young Justice."

This was, to use a term coined by J. Michael Straczynski, a wham episode. So much happened, and fast. A lot of action, a lot of suspense and, yes, a big revelation. Although one that, I think, was guessed by many people before the episode aired. I will elaborate on that momentarily.

Giant plant creatures are terrorizing the world, and are being organized, seemingly, by the Injustice League. Count Vertigo, Wotan, Poison Ivy, Black Adam, Ultra Humanite, and the Joker. The Justice League faces the plant creatures while The Team are sent in to take down the villains' means to control the plants, ergo facing the villains.

The biggest surprise of this episode was Aqualad using the helmet of Dr. Fate to defeat the Injustice League, particularly Wotan. The battle was very suspenseful, and I was actually glad that in addition to Dr. Fate, The Team was bailed out by the Justice League. I think it would have strained credibility if The Team was able to defeat the Injustice League on their own.

The episode ends with both the League and The Team thinking they've defeated the secret society of villains that have been conspiring against them before we finally cut to Vandal Savage, and the revelation of the identities of The Light. The only real surprise in this line-up was Klarion, as action figure photos from ToyFair and those playing cards that were given away at San Diego Comic Con pretty much gave away everybody else, except for Ra's al Ghul and Lex Luthor who were revealed as members back in "Targets."

I like this line-up. A lot. I am especially excited that Vandal Savage is clearly the head honcho in this organization instead of Lex Luthor. I remember being rather disappointed when "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited" were airing and after introducing Vandal Savage, who had all the makings of a great Big Bad that would have helped the series better achieve their own identity, they defaulted (constantly) to Lex Luthor which helped make these series look more like direct sequels to "Superman the Animated Series."

I'm also very interested to learn more about what drives him. The way he uses the word "light" makes me think that, to him, this is more than just a cool name for his little secret society. This is a word that sums up something he deeply believes in. I also like his design, he looks like a savage and a neanderthal. I am curious to learn where those three scars across his face came from. Hmm... did he have a run in with a certain demon in Scotland back in the Dark Ages?

The voice cast in this episode was quite interesting. First, I rather enjoyed Brent Spiner as the Joker. His performance has been getting some mixed reviews across the internet. I personally thought it was terrific, but there were times when it felt wrong to me too. And I know exactly why it did, because we've imbibed Mark Hamill as the Joker for nineteen years now. Hamill owns that role, at least as far as voice work goes. That's a lot to live up to, but I think Spiner will rise to the challenge and while he will never own the Joker the way Hamill does, he is already a worthy one.

Alyssa Milano sounded great as Poison Ivy, but I can tell she's new at voice acting. This is not a knock, with more time to play this character, and especially with a genius like Jamie Thomason directing her, I'm sure she will grow into it. I am reminded of Emma Samms in "City of Stone Part One," and how she grew as a voice actor by the time part four aired.

And I loved hearing Steve Blum again. He's been a favorite of mine for a long time.

The only things that felt a little bit odd to me was Wotan being a part of a group that was trying to ransom $10 billion. I'll admit, before tonight, I had never heard of Wotan. After the episode aired, I looked him up on wikipedia, and based on what I read, a ransom scheme doesn't seem like his style. He seems like someone who plays at higher stakes. Likewise, Klarion, seems too petty and impatient to be a part of an organization like The Light. But time, and more episodes will tell. This production team chose these characters for these positions for a reason, and Greg Weisman has not erred on his previous shows.

The other thing, I felt Aqualad was able to remove the helmet a little too easily. Yeah, he mentioned that Kent Nelson helped, but I hope the next time someone puts that helmet on, taking it off does not come so easily.

This episode was a real game changer, and it leaves me pumped to see what comes next. So far, this show has taken time to grow on me. I liked it, a lot. It's an A+ show, easily. But "Gargoyles" and "Spectacular Spider-Man" were A+ shows with a lot of extra credit. But now, for the first time, I am pumped on this show. I think the extra credit is about to be turned in.

Oh, and if you didn't love Artemis's line about feeling naked and not in the fun way, you have no soul.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Alpha Male



If I didn't know for a fact that Greg Weisman wasn't on drugs, I'd ask him to share whatever he's smoking. It should be impossible. How do you take something as corny and frankly stupid as a French brain in a jar whose' best friend is a gorilla in a French beret and make that intimidating. "Young Justice" managed to succeed at that.

The teaser is great, and the inciting incident is brilliant. Mayor Hill of Gotham City is in the jungle when a gorilla steps out of the trees with a mini-gun and shoots them all up. I'll admit to being amazed Mayor Hill is even still alive after that. But I did enjoy his cameo. I have no idea if he was in the comics, but I know he was in "Batman the Animated Series."

This episode is about the fallout between The Team and Aqualad after the latter keeps to himself that there is a mole on the team. I thought Superboy's reaction was well handled, and while I have seen a lot of complaints about how The Team reacted to this, I think they all ring true. What many people seem to forget is that these are teenagers. They are not the professionals that Batman and the Justice League are. Not yet anyway. This entire team was founded upon these teenagers being pissed off that the League was keeping secrets and not trusting them. Of course they'd be pissed off at Aqualad. But, by the end of the episode, after speaking to Captain Marvel, Aqualad takes charge and the team seems to get over it. But I am sure this will continue to have long term consequences.

This brings me to something else. A while back, I saw someone say and I'm paraphrasing from memory "Teen Titans reminded me of what was fun about being a teenager, Young Justice reminds me of what sucked about being a teenager." What? Why should the less fun parts about being a teenager not get depicted in a show about teenagers. My memories of being a teenager are not exactly happy ones. God forbid fictional teenagers get written like real ones, instead of a fantasy version of teenagers. Yes, I know this is a fantasy world, but that doesn't mean everything should be run through and sanitized to a point where the less fun stuff is glossed over and ignored. These aren't adults waiting for a growth spurt, and yet a lot of the complaints I see are from people who think they should be written that way. I think the problem here is that many fans are looking to their favorite shows or books for wish fulfillment rather then drama. People want to escape to a fictional world where they can vicariously live out there fantasies via their favourite hero. But there is no drama, and that's not real. This actually ties back to what I said two weeks ago about Superboy and Miss Martian's romance... of course it's not real. These are two hormonal teenagers who have a lot of growing up to do.

Finally, Captain Marvel was easily the highlight of the episode. I loved his child-like enthusiasm, and even though I knew about his secret identity, I still thought the epilogue of the episode was played perfectly. Fun stuff. I hope to see more of him as The Team's new den mother.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homefront



On this week's installment of "Young Justice," Robin and Artemis return after an extended absence. And it is a welcome return. At first glance, the plot of this episode seems like your standard "powerless heroes triumph over the odds story, but we get a lot more than that.

This episode excelled at two things: character moments and suspense.

For the first time since she appeared, we really got to know who Artemis is. We got to see passed her cocky attitude and saw some very reasonable and very human fears. Without backup, and when things got too hot for a normal human being to handle, she fell apart. I've seen the character getting some grief for this online, but be honest, I think in the face of such things, most of us would crack at least a little. And as the end shows, courage isn't a lack of fear; courage is doing what you have to do despite that fear. And act, she does.

We also saw more of her background and received confirmation that Cheshire is, indeed, Artemis' sister. I've suspected as much since "Infiltrator." And, not that I thought for one second she was, but there is no way at this point that Artemis is the traitor.

Now, not being a DC reader, all I know about Red Tornado is that he exists and he is a robot. I have never heard of these other two robots, but as has happened in previous episodes, we have seen another Xanatos Gambit take place. Red Tornado was obviously the true target, as The Light tried to reprogram him through Mr. Twister way back in "Welcome to Happy Harbor."

The action sequences were intense, and I loved the use of flames and water as effective weapons. Especially the flame thrower. While I did not care for the robots as villains much, their powers were effective and intimidating.

I also enjoyed that, despite being held captive, Kid Flash and Superboy were far from helpless, and participated in the victory. Too often in plots like this, the powerless heroes would do all the work and single-handedly save the day. As such, this was a nice change of pace.

And really cool to see a cameo by Barbara Gordon. I wonder if she's already Batgirl. Hopefully time will tell.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Those Kinds of Things



Note: The premiere episode of season six of "Dexter" has yet to air on Showtime, or any other network for that matter. However, the episode has been leaked onto the internet, and I couldn't wait. So be warned, there are SPOILERS! Thank you.

Season six of "Dexter" begins with a bang. As per previous seasons, we have our self-contained story within the episode, while a larger season arc begins to take shape.

Dexter attends his twentieth anniversary High School reunion to take down a jock who married a girl who was nice to Dexter, and murdered her three years ago. We get a lot of fun moments and scenes where Dexter finds that he's popular for the first time. He's better looking than he was twenty years ago, he has a cool job, and there is a lot of sympathy and pity thrown his way over Rita's murder. He even gets an unexpected blowjob from Tricia the prom queen. Maybe there's hope for me when I attend my twentieth reunion. ;)

While this is going on, our arc is set up when two men, one older and one younger kill a fruit vendor and replace his intestines with baby water snakes. When the body is discovered, powerful writing and great directing keeps this scene effective, as the CGI snakes did look pretty cheesy. The murder had a religious element to it, as the Greek signs for "Alpha" and "Omega" were stitched into the victim.

The overall theme of the season appears to be religion and faith. Dexter is trying to get Harrison enrolled into a Catholic school that Batista sent his daughter to, while asking questions about faith himself. He and Deb have a conversation, where Dexter reveals that he doesn't believe in God (Deb's response to that is causing some controversy on the internet, and I'll address that momentarily). Meanwhile our two villains are clearly religiously motivated.

While all this is happening, LaGuerta got promoted to Captain, and she and Batista divorced between seasons. Why? Apparently because that marriage wasn't getting LaGuerta ahead, so they decided to divorce while they're still friends. Batista is promoted to lieutenant. On the one hand, while I do think it's a little cheap to do this between seasons, I don't think it's uncharacteristic of LaGuerta, who has always been so career oriented that she is willing to step over and spit on anyone to get ahead. And she only got the promotion by blackmailing the Deputy-Chief to get it.

As for our two villains. One is an older man, and one appears to be about Dexter's age. Maybe a little younger. The older man is giving the orders, and the younger one is committing the murders, pulling snakes out of the swamp, etc. I suspect we're getting an evil version of Harry and Dexter here. The older man looks like he could be the guy's father. In fact, since we've so far seen the older man do nothing but issue orders, I'm even suspecting he's not alive and the younger man is having visions of him just like Dexter has visions of Harry giving him advice.

And now, Debra's quote:

"I'm no the most religious person in the world-- mom practically had to drag me to church-- but, seriously!? A set of rules to follow so you don't get in trouble? Sounds like something I might teach a puppy.... it just sounds kind of cold and empty. You can believe whatever you want to believe, or not believe whatever you want to believe, but it's not just about you anymore. You're a father. What about Harrison? You have to think about what you want him to believe".


A lot of people seem to think this is a big gigantic swipe against Atheism. Well, speaking as someone who borders between Atheism and Agnosticism that doesn't like religion 90% of the time, but I sort of agree with Deb's point. I really think it's the fact that he said he follows a set of rules so he doesn't get into trouble that Deb had a problem with, not that he's an Atheist. It does sound sort of cold, to do things just to protect yourself, compared to the whole "love thy neighbor" and so on that religion preaches. "Act this way so you don't get into trouble" isn't something I'd want to teach a kid. Kids need to learn to be genuinely decent people and so on, not to just act it so they "don't get into trouble."

She could've been a lot less obnoxious about it, but... she's Deb. I'm sure she just wants the best for Harrison and for him to be able to grow up as normally as possible.