The Walking Dead has been teasing fans with a helicopter since early in Season 8, when Rick looked up into the sky and saw a chopper flying overhead. Later in Season 8 we learned that head Heapster Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) had some sort of relationship with the helicopter people and was going to turn Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) over to them after she took him prisoner, but the hand-off was never made and the chopper flew away before we found out who was in it, where they were from and what the nature of their deal with Jadis was. We finally saw the chopper again in Episode 2 of Season 9, and now Episode 3, "Warning Signs," has put us right on the brink of finding out the full story of the helicopter. And the helicopter mystery may very well be setting up Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln) exit.
In the time-jumped ninth season, Jadis now goes by Anne and lives in Alexandria, but she doesn't feel like she belongs. People are still suspicious of her, and when Saviors start going missing, even Rick thinks it's possible she's exacting revenge on the people who massacred her Heapsters. The only person she's close to is Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), with whom she started a sexual relationship in Episode 2 (which is a little ironic, since Gabriel discovered the Heapsters when they kidnapped him). And she ruined that budding relationship in Episode 3, because she's going to finish what she started back when she abducted Gabe the first time and give him away to the chopper people.
In "Warning Signs," Jadis goes back to the Heap and finds the radio she used to communicate with the chopper people. "It's Jadis," she says. "I know you're in range, I saw the helicopter last night."
"What do you have, an A or a B?" the man on the other end responds.
"Is it you? Did you take them?" she asks, wondering if the chopper people are scooping up Saviors.
"No pickups, but the deal still stands," he says. He asks again if she has an A or a B, whatever that means. She says she's paid her share, and he says she's been compensated. She asks what it will take -- presumably to satisfy whatever terms of the deal are still outstanding -- and he answers "an A." She accepts this, and says she'll deliver tomorrow.
Just then, Gabriel steps out and reveals that he's followed her there, and asks who she was talking to and what she did. "Bad things," she answers. "But not this." He asks if she traded people, and she says yes. For supplies for her people. That's what she was going to do with him and Rick when she captured them in Seasons 7 and 8, respectively (and with Negan, which Gabriel doesn't know about. There's still some secret agreement between Negan and Jadis relating to why she let him go). She says it went further than she meant it to. She says that in Alexandria, people suspect her. She's still an outsider. But she and Gabriel can go to "another place" far away where they can start over. He just can't tell anyone and has to help her with "one small part of the deal," which sounds pretty ominous. He says he can't do it. Gabriel used to be an untrusted outsider just like her, but he's not anymore. He has to tell Rick what she's up to. But she's not going to let him.
"And all this time I thought you were a B," she says, and then clonks him on the head and knocks him out.
So, very soon -- probably within the next two episodes -- we're going to find out exactly what's been going on with Jadis and the helicopter. That means we'll also likely find out what makes a person an A or a B, but more importantly, we'll know where the chopper people are from and what they want. They're probably not from the Commonwealth, an important location from the comics, because the Commonwealth is located in Toledo, Ohio, and there's a sign in the bridge camp pointing toward Toledo, which means they already know about the Commonwealth. Instead, that seems to be where Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) is from, and where Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is probably headed to learn more about building a medieval society. The chopper people seem to be from somewhere we don't know about yet.
Perhaps most importantly, though, this could be how Rick Grimes exits. AMC has not confirmed it, but Andrew Lincoln's final episode is Episode 5, so the helicopter reveal is timed suspiciously close to that. There's circumstantial evidence, like Rick having already seen the helicopter and the chopper's placement by Rick's head in the key art. And though we may not know what "an A" is, Rick definitely is one, so working out some kind of deal to for him to go in place of Gabriel doesn't seem impossible. On the other hand, it would be unlike Rick to leave his family of Judith and Michonne (Danai Gurira) and a hinted potential future baby behind. So we'll see.
Also, do you think Jadis gave Heath (Corey Hawkins) to the chopper people? She says she's given them people already, and that would explain why he apparently disappeared into thin air back in Season 7.
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The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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What goes up must come down, and on Shameless, coming down is a rock bottom kind of affair. That's where Fiona (Emmy Rossum) ends up in the midseason finale of the Showtime drama. After two seasons of trying to evolve into a realty queen, Fiona gets in over her head with a new development deal, finds out her boyfriend is a scumbag and immediately spirals into desperate territory. She drunkenly crashes her car, breaks her wrist and ends up having to sell her apartment building. So yeah, she's right back at square one.
The final scene of the episode finds her drunk in the Gallagher backyard, toasting to her own failure. It's obvious she's in a dark place, and now the siblings she left on their own to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams will have to rally to get her back on her feet.
Fiona's return to the family homestead and the dismal bank account balance she's been trying to leave behind comes at an auspicious time, as Rossum will exit the show at the end of Season 9. TV Guide talked to Shameless showrunner John Wells about what Fiona's relapse means for the family and the future of the show once she rebounds and leaves.
Why did this feel like the right time for Fiona to have a huge relapse and lose everything?
John Wells: What we try and do on this show generally is show just how difficult [it is] for people in the lower socioeconomic classes to break out of the economic spaces that they're in. She was trying and she was making some progress, and then the hubris kicked in and the desire to make even more money. That's when you get into trouble. [It's] what happened during the recession, where people were buying a second condo to try and make an investment and then discovered that they couldn't really afford to make the payment. ... We didn't want it to feel as if we weren't realistic with portraying what can really happen and how difficult it is for folks to break out.
We saw the family push against her when she had a savior complex trying to help Ian. Are they going to let her sink by herself or are we going to see them rally around her in the second half of the season?
Wells: That's what we depend upon on in families, even when we are angry at somebody or upset with what they've done. You certainly want to try and have sympathy, empathy for them, for the situation they've gotten into. That's really being the hallmark of the show no matter how difficult times are they know they have each other. So I think its probably safe to assume that we'll be following the themes of family and survival together.
Part of Fiona's backslide is that we find out that Ford really sucks. Is Fiona capable of having a healthy romantic relationship or is she just pathologically attracted to pathological liars?
Wells: When you grow up without any examples of what a real relationship is supposed to look like, what ends up happening a lot is that people continue to repeat those patterns until they figure out how to disconnect themselves from everything they knew before that feels familiar. Sadly, that's sort of a psychological state for many of us, that we end up gravitating towards what we know and what she knows is significant relationship dysfunction. I think she's first got to figure out exactly who she's going to be and who she wants to be. Then after that happens, maybe she'll be able to get a handle on who she should be with. Her whole purpose in life has been raising her siblings. That's been her life and now that they're growing up or grown up, if they don't need her, what is her purpose in life? Who is she supposed to be?
Over the past couple of seasons, we've seen each of these kids grow into their own and move in their own direction. With Emmy leaving the show at the end of the season, are you making a more conscious effort to have the family come back together so you have them in a central space before she leaves?
Wells: Not a conscious effort. I just think that it's each one of their individual stories, the narratives going on for each one of them. It's kind of where are they and what do they need and where are they going to be? Who's going to fill in for Fiona and take some of that responsibility or are they all going splinter and go into different directions, which is what so often happens with families.
You've said you have a lot more Gallagher stories to tell. What do you think it is about the family that gives you so much leverage to keep going?
Wells: For one thing, there are very few shows on television that actually represent. Within all the satire that we do and the outrageous humor and everything we do, we do try and talk about the issues that are really animating people who are struggling in the American system, [the] class system and also just economically. You pick up a paper every day, there's three or four stories in there that you find, and you hear the stories from all the writing staff's family members, my family members, about the things that they're struggling with, so there's an endless amount of material. We have this image of ourselves and the American dream that we are really a meritocracy. But are we in a meritocracy if you're already born on second base? [It is] really tough to pull yourself up by your boot strings. That's really what the show is about and the stories that we try to tell are about. That's endless because things haven't changed in the country.
Is it possible for any member of this family to actually make it out of the South Side?
Wells: Well, I think part of that question is, what do we see as success? We have this notion of success in America as massive financial success in which someone comes out of a neighborhood, a difficult neighborhood, and makes a lot of money and does really well and gets away from the life that they're leading. The reality is that a lot people don't necessarily want to leave their family and their place and their home and who they are. That's part of the story we're playing with Lip, because even though he has intelligence, he's actually happiest in his neighborhood with his friends and his people. And that doesn't make him a failure.
I absolutely loved what you did with Ian in Cameron Monaghan's final episode, but it did bring up this question of, is it possible for anyone on the show to have a true happy ending or is there always a Shameless twist? Ian's happy ending had to be in prison.
Wells: I think we don't want to reward Mickey's (Noel Fisher) criminal behavior by letting him out on the street. I think we're trying to deal realistically with what happens in these communities. The reality is people end up in jail. Certainly people of color, but also white people or Caucasians who don't have much cash. It's very hard to escape the world that you come from, so it's part of what we're trying to present in the reality of the world that we portray.
This is looking a little bit further down the line, but with two major members of the Gallagher family leaving the show this season, do you suspect that you'll be having some new characters during next season?
Wells: Well, I don't think we'll be having any new adult children who show up and say, "Hi, I'm your sister or brother and I'm 30-years-old."
So, no more Sammys?
Wells: Right, I think we've done that story. The extending lives of everybody who's in the show brings other people into their world. I think that's a wonderful way to tell a story. We've had major characters leave lots of shows that I've been fortunate enough to involved with. You're always sorry to see people go and at the same time, it gives you an opportunity to write and do other things that you wouldn't have done otherwise.
It's tough because they tend to be personal friends and people that you really care about and when they choose to go on, as Cameron has -- he was 15-years-old when he started on the show and he's gone to high school and been in his own college, which is this family. He wants to go and see the rest of the world. Out of love for him, you're happy to see him do it and at the same time sorry to see that person go and hope they come back and do some more and still be part of the family. It's always a little bittersweet.
There will be characters who interact with all of our central characters, Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and Debbie (Emma Kenney), who were really children when we started ... they're growing up and they're young adults, so we have lots of stories you can tell now that we didn't or couldn't tell before because there was so much school they had to go to during the day. [There's] lots of opportunities to tell more stories.
Shameless Season 9 will return Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company)
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Those hoping for Steven Avery's case to get turned upside down in Making a Murderer's second season probably came away from Netflix's true crime documentary feeling a little let down. Avery's new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, promised a "tsunami" of new evidence when she took the case on in 2016, but did she actually deliver?
Well, yes and no. Zellner spent the majority of her time recruiting scientific experts she claimed should have been called for the defense during the trial but never were to help her prove Avery could not have killed Teresa Halbach. This so-called tsunami of evidence was mostly just testimony from experts about bullet fragments, DNA, and bones, plus a few experiments and reenactments to disprove the series of events prosecutors claimed took place on the day Halbach died.
There were, however, a few new nuggets of information we didn't have before, which also seem to hint at a cover-up or frame job of some kind. Here is all the new evidence from Making a Murderer Season 2.
1. The cadaver dogs. During the initial search for Teresa, investigators brought in scent and cadaver dogs to aid in the process. When the police first began the search of the Avery property, the canine units veered away from the junk yard and followed Teresa's scent into the quarry nearby. Cadaver dogs alerted on a suspected burial site west of Avery's property on Nov. 7 and then on Nov. 8, human bones were found in an Avery/Dassey burn barrel. This was the second search of the barrel, with the first turning up no findings of human bones.
2. The back road. There was an alternate entrance where Teresa's car could have been brought onto Avery's property. Prosecutors argued that there was no way in and out of the Avery junkyard except through the main road, but Zellner found evidence that a back road could have been used to get Teresa's RAV4 onto the property from the nearby quarry owned by Joshua Radiant. The road was normally blocked off by junk cars, but Zellner found evidence that those cars had been forcibly pushed aside to create enough space to drive through them.
3. The secondary burn location. Dr. Dahan, a forensic expert hired by Zellner, made an important discovery about the burn pit where Teresa Halbach's body was supposedly cremated. He said that not only was the burn pit not deep enough to be the primary burn site, but there was also no evidence of a fuel source required to keep a fire strong enough of disposing of a human body burning. Additionally, when burning human remains, no matter what kind of fuel you use, the combustion of the tissue (the fat in particular) creates a black/brown goo that will leave a stain behind on open ground. There was no such stain in Avery's burn pit, making him positive that the body was burned at a secondary location.
4. The hood latch DNA. When Avery was first arrested, he was taken to a hospital to give DNA samples to investigators. Swabs were taken of his groin area before the nurse on the case realized that the warrant did not call for groin swabs. Lead investigator Tom Fassbender noted that the swabs were disposed of, but the nurse did not. A high concentration of Avery's DNA was found on Teresa's RAV4 hood latch, but the amount found is inconsistent with the amount you'd normally find from touch DNA. Zellner theorized that investigators simply renamed the groin swab "hood latch swab," which is why there was such a high presence of DNA on it.
5. Bobby Dassey's hard drive. Bobby Dassey's hard drive was confiscated in 2006 in Fassbender's initial investigation, but the contents were never turned over to Avery's lawyers. Zellner's forensic analysts found disturbing content on the hard drive, including searches for underage porn, photos of dead bodies, and search terms like "drowned girl" and "gun to head." Zellner was also able to get multiple sources to admit that Bobby had told them he'd never seen Teresa approach Avery's trailer like he testified, and he'd actually seen her leave the property that day.
6. The new witness. An additional witness came forward to Zellner saying that two days before Teresa's car was discovered on Avery's property, he spotted a teal green RAV4 parked off Route 147. The next day, he saw Teresa missing poster (with the car info on it), and gave that tip to a Manitowoc police officer, whom he identified as Andy Colborn. This is the same officer who made the mysterious dispatch call inquiring about Teresa's vehicle before it was found on Avery's property. He showed proof he texted Scott Tadych, Brendan Dassey's stepfather, to let him know about this potential new evidence, but Tadych never followed up. Zellner later discovered that Tadych's trailer was just three-tenths of a mile down the road from the RAV4 sighting. Tadych and Bobby Dassey both provided alibis for each other, stating that they drove past one another on Route 147 during the time Teresa was at the Avery property.
7. The parking light. The front parking light on Teresa's RAV4 was broken off and shoved under the backseat when police found her vehicle. Teresa's ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegan claimed that she had made an insurance claim about the broken light and taken a cash payout but had not yet had it repaired. The broken light was not mentioned on the missing poster (which included details about the car) and the other client she visited on the day of her disappearance did not recall any damage to her vehicle, saying it looked "very new."
8. The day planner. Teresa spoke with two people on the day of her disappearance to set up appointments, which she wrote down in her planner while she was out driving. Zellner calculated that Teresa would not have had enough time between appointments to drop her planner off at her house, and yet Hillegas provided the page from her day planner as evidence. Zellner argues that since Teresa couldn't have dropped the planner off at home, it must have been in her car when she was killed, and the only way Ryan Hillegas would have had it was if he'd had access to the car before it was found on the Avery property.
Making a Murderer Parts 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Netflix.
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