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Albert Afanasyev
Albert Afanasyev

[S1E3] One Of A Kind EXCLUSIVE


You'll notice a couple of times when two different bloodlines branch off from one pair of sigils and then kinda ... go back and pair up themselves. Yep: this represents siblings marrying siblings, a grand, gross, Targaryen family tradition: For richer, for poorer, in sickness, and incest.




[S1E3] One of a Kind



Oh, sure, we see the aftermath: Daemon dragging the top one-third of the Crabfeeder's corpse out of the cave for all to see. But we didn't get to actually see Daemon slicing the Crabfeeder on the bias, giving him a fashionable, kicky, off-the-shoulder kind of death.


There is nothing that goes on that one of us hasn't experienced or will experience in the future, whether bad or good. It speaks to all different kinds of journeys and it encourages us to keep pushing forward if we want something.


Finally, Elizabeth breaks the news to Philip, who doesn't exactly love it. "What kind of marriage is this? What kind of family? You've taken my career from me, you've taken my home, you've taken my name."


"I didn't want Alexis to go away," Miller said. "I was a huge proponent of Alexis from the beginning. She was the first person I thought of for that role, and I loved her for it. It was once again because you want that role to go to someone who really has the America's sweetheart feeling about them, because then it's even more kind of gut-wrenching, not that I need to make it more gut-wrenching."


"The way that they talk about it to [Emily], even in the episode is, 'We're saving you. You have an uncontrollable urge, and we're going to take that away. We're going to make your life so much easier,'" Miller said. "Which is a lot of the underpinning of why it's done traditionally to young girls. It's to take away an unbridled sexual desire, to keep them from being lascivious. Here she's a gay woman, they don't want her to be attracted to women, so they just kind of think, 'Oh, we're going to do her this favor. We're not going execute her. We're going to be nice.'"


Queen Cersei talks to Joffrey about the incident on the river. She tells him that when he is king, the truth will be whatever he decides it will be. Joffrey thinks there will be trouble with the Starks, and promises that when he is king, he will double their taxes, force them to contribute to a standing army and, should they object, crush them and install someone loyal, such as his great-uncle Kevan, as Warden of the North. Cersei points out that the North is too vast and wild to be militarily conquered by outsiders, and a king needs to be more clever. She also advises him to be kind to his betrothed Sansa Stark to avoid stirring up trouble for later, and concludes that "Anyone who isn't us is an enemy."


Tulsa King continues with the worldbuilding and surprising character developments that take season 1 in the right direction. Episode 3 saw a new tangent being introduced to the plot and it remains to be seen how it affects the core storyline. Stallone is gradually establishing himself as a revered mobster in the television space and for sure, the show is shaping up to rub shoulders with the best of its kind like The Sopranos.


Madeleine Braksick: I think you spoke to not just the pre-existing conditions, but we talked about high risk age groups, can you speak a little more about what you were kind of revealing about high risk age groups in terms of the initial risk, and also even with vaccination?


With Marc Spector mostly in control of his own body this week, and the adventure whisking us from London to Cairo, Moon Knight's third episode was the most action-packed and illuminating entry so far. The learning curve for Marc and alternate personality Steven working together in one body -- while trying to save the world from Arthur Harrow's mad plot to cleanse the world -- is a steep one, and by the end, Khonshu winds up trapped in a tiny statue and Moon Knight is essentially gone from both of their lives. That's less than ideal because... well, they kind of need that cool Egyptian God armor to fight bad guys.


He added: "I just suggested to Neil that maybe we pull that thread and we take it in a different direction in terms of the way it was depicted in the game, and use it to show the passage of time and use it to explore some of these themes that are so important to the length of the show, themes about what it means to love somebody, the different kinds of love, including a love that can be very protective and violent and dangerous, and how we could give these two men a win."


The man I spoke to, who I will call "Reverend" during our conversation, a request made facetiously but still honored, was legally named Warren Chambers. He was Missing Male #127 in the Limetown Commission Report. We met at his revival tent outside of Rawlins, Wyoming, one of many stops along his tour. It was a Wednesday. The reason I can tell you all of these explicit details is because, tragically, before we were able to release this episode, Reverend Warren Chambers was struck and killed by a drunk driver while walking home from the drug store in town. He was 63 years old. There is no foul play suspected, and the driver is in police custody. It is irresponsible for me to speak any further on the nature of this event, but I do find the timing troubling, and consistent. With a looming threat hanging over this story. [gasps] Warren Chambers was warm and kind. And he has helped us learn more. Please, stay with us.


L: Is that a...a commercial refrigerator?W: Yeah. It's where I store the blood.L: Blood?W: Just a side business. Sorta hush-hush. It keeps the motor running. Uh, don't-don't worry. It's perfectly safe. I have standards. [lights cigarette, exhales] Some places are desperate for it. Some are not. Blood stays good for around 21 days, so I collect as I go. Sell it where I can. Now I personally have an AB blood type, so everybody loves me. You can usually find a desperate administrator somewhere looking to undercut the Red Cross if you ask the right people. Oh, um, I'm sorry. Do you smoke?L: No, but, I don't mind.W: I'll crack a window. [window scrapes] How are ya?L: I'm good. Thank you for asking. W: You've had a rather harrowing experience recently. L: Yes. Uh, but I'd rather not talk talk about myself. W: I bet you didn't know you had it in ya to back him down like that, huh? [exhales] Oh, my. Of course not. How could ya? Right? I'm glad it was you that talked to Winona too. I'm sorry to hear she's in so much pain. You Melville wrote about it. "What deadly voids and unbidden infidelities in the lines that seem to gnaw upon all faith and refuse resurrections to the beings who have placelessly perished without a grave." Lost at sea, Winona. All of them. I, uh, recognize the pain. I don't know it. I just hope she knows how important she is how her courage inspires. But none of this is why you're here. L: No. It's not.W: Well, go ahead.L: Okay. Who was the man you were all there for? What was the panic. Was Winona right about there being many people killed outside of Oscar Totem? And how and where did everyone go?W: Yeah. [exhales] I didn't know the man. I knew of the man, or at least what people said about him. Well, I might have known him, without knowing I known him. You know? So, I don't know if lived or died, but that doesn't matter very much to what's happening now.L: Why not?W: That night was a destruction of form. Not soul.L: Are you referring to The Panic?W: Yes? But I can't say much about it. It was quiet for me. That was the worst part of it, the silence. And the the sudden cacophony of violence. I just waited for the sun to come up.L: What caused it?W: Don't know. I was turned off by then.L: Turned off? What does that mean?W: [sighs] I don't know why I'm supposed to talk to you. Or what this all is or why now. But, I have a feeling this is all part of something bigger, you know what I mean? I'm not the first, I'm not the last. Limetown was purposefully constructed to keep everyone in the dark. Divisions of labor. Physical proximity. Gobbledygook project names, work shifts, NDAs.L: Okay.W: What I'm saying is, you'll get there when you get there. Wherever it is you're supposed to get. I know some things. I don't know other things.L: So what was your role?W: Ahhh! Roles. We have a role. And it is so important you ya-da ya-da.L: Right.W: Pigs.L: Pigs?W: Yeah. That was my role.L: You...you cared for them?W: Well, before Limetown, I was a large animal veterinarian in Pennsylvania.L: So you do have a medical background of sorts?W: Well, I know how to draw blood if that's what you're getting at.L: So, what did the town need with a large animal veterinarian? Or pigs for that matter?W: When you want to roll out a new piece of biomedical engineering, where do you start?L: Wait, h-hold on. A new piece of biomedical engineer--W: Animals. Exactly. You start your experiments on animals. And then, if and when they work, you go to human animals.L: Can we just step back for a second--W: Don't worry, I'll get there. So, I'm a large animal vet. I've done a lot of work for a man, a neuroscientist, obviously. Although I didn't know it until that conversation. He had a horse farm back in Pennsylvania, and he tells me they need someone with my skill set to oversee a medical testing program for animals. Just to make sure the animals are treated correctly. It lacked on specifics, but uh, the money didn't.L: And so you agreed to do it without knowing exactly what it was you were doing.W: I apologize if I've mentioned this before, I can't remember, but my wife had passed right that and I really didn't care what the hell I was doing as long as it was something else.L: Right. I'm very sorry to hear that.W: I was not a man of faith then.L: Oh, so, you weren't always religious?W: [laughs] No. No ma'am.L: So, you were brought into Limetown to oversee the animal testing program.W: Right, so, pigs. What are some characteristics of pigs that come to mind?L: They're-they're smart, they're sensitive, they're...W: -Delicious.L: [laughs] Yes.W: They're slaughter animals.L: Right.W: No one bats an eye if you kill them. And on top of that, they also carry a great anatomical similarity with our species. It's a good loophole to exploit if you're building a private town in the middle of nothing and nowhere.L: What-what you're saying is that the pigs were officially brought in for a purpose other than medical testing.W: Exactly. Everybody loves bacon.L: What were you testing?W: Yeah. [exhales] Winona talked about a man talking to her without talking to her, right?L: Right.W: The basic principle being the transfer of thoughts between others without verbal communication.L: Right.W: Right.L: You were trying to read the thoughts of pigs.W: Yeah.L: Through biomedical engineering.W: I can't speak to that in detail. I know basically it involved planting something directly into the brain, and then regulating it through medication. As to what or how that worked...L: So you were-you were testing a product o-or a combination of products to communicate non-verbally with animals.W: Right.L: Was that the purpose of Limetown?W: Well, that was my purpose in Limetown. Like I said before, we worked within our own little vacuum sealed universes. As far as we were concerned, our work was the beginning, the middle, and the end, amen.L: We all have a role.W: And it's so important you don't know what the hell the left hand is doing.L: So, so were you successful in communicating with the pigs?W: Not in the beginning. Not at all. The implant process was a difficult thing to perfect. We lost a lot of stock upfront. And once that was sorted out and the dosage was assumed to be correct, it was time to move on to a human host.L: To listen.W: Right. The tree falling in the woods corollary.L: So, who was the human host?W: Well, it only made sense to use someone the animals were comfortable with.L: The large veterinarian on staff.W: I volunteered, to be clear. Animal comfortability was a point I just so happened to have in my favor.L: You said it wasn't successful in the beginning. Was it ever?W: Yes.L: So, you were able to read--W: Yeah.L: That's-that's amazing.W: Yes, it was.L: How has the public never heard of this?W: [laughs] The public! Yeah.L: It just seems like something that would have leaked or otherw--W: I don't mean to be condescending here, but I feel like you should know better than that by now.L: Okay. You're right.W: [glass clinks] One of my members gave me some homemade muscadine moonshine. [unscrews jar] 160 proof. [pours moonshine]L: No, thank you.W: You sure?L: Yes.W: More for me. [swallows] WHOO! Praise God and all things good. Hallelujah.W: So, like I said [lights cigarette, exhales] We lost a lot of stock in the beginning, before figuring out the implanting procedure. And then from there, we had to tinker with the medication. The first iteration caused severe brain hemorrhaging in the subject, but we weren't sure if that that was due to the subject's chemical makeup or if it was the product. After another series of tests, it was determined to be the product. So, then it was refined until we got the fifth iteration. That's when I was implanted. From there, it was just a matter of determining the dosages for me and the subject until there was contact. It was a brutish process. [exhales] Pigs are finiky as hell. You can't work with them unless they trust you, and that just means talking to them, touching them, feeding them, letting them get comfortable on their own terms. You know, they fight like hell, but they don't like to be left by themselves. Also, and maybe most importantly, they don't speak. Or, not in any way we can hope to translate. Which is to say, there are a lot of factors working against us outside just the biotech bullshit.L: R-right. How did you think you were going to communicate?W: What was hypothesized was that what could be relayed between subjects was raw emotional data. It's not exactly hard to tell if a pig is scared or happy. But this is more just a baseline to see if anything could work.L: How could you translate emotion?W: Well, the hardware could interpret emotional changes in the brain, and translate them into simple, synthesized tones.L: Ah, a-and that worked?W: Not until Napoleon. Technically, he was LTS-54A, but I named him Napoleon after the pig villain in Animal Farm. I thought it was funny. You sure you don't want anything to drink?L: Yes, I'm sure.W: [pours drink] Napoleon had a really calm nature about him, so we used him to ease in any new stock brought in. He was very comfortable with me, so after a certain point along the way, it just made sense to involve him. First time I heard him, I heard calm. We knew the tones would work. Well, to be clear, that was what we had planned on working, if it did at all. What we didn't expect was the emotional transfer which is just exactly what it sounds like. I heard calm. And then I felt a wave of calm come over me. Animals are very nuanced in their emotions. Not like us. Whatever they feel, they feel purely, and uh, persuasively. That worked in the other direction too. When I heard calm, I got excited. And in turn, Napoleon got excited. [drinks] It's a good memory. [sniffs] You know, at first it only worked when I was in the facility. The hardware implant was still being worked on, so the distance was pretty limited. So, every day coming to work was exciting. On my walk, I could feel him being near. And then we would be together. It was like meditation. He was mostly calm, until he was hungry. [laughs] And that's about as cranky as he got, but then, you'd feed him, and all was well. I came to Limetown with a lot of baggage. But it was deep. It was...deep. Sitting there in that room with that damn pig was...therapy. Whatever I felt and brought into that room was like trying to stand against the ocean. Our brains are creative when it comes to building shadows and boogeymen and corners you can't see around. Napoleon had a simple, resolute clarity. There is food. There is shelter. There is companionship. And it can be okay if you just let it. Over a period of several weeks, inexplicably, I could hear him anywhere in town. At the diner, at my house, the school. He was there. The medication didn't change, the dosage didn't change. But I could. He slept a lot. Or was otherwise pretty thoughtless when we weren't together. Which sounded a lot like white noise. Sometimes it would fluctuate, sometimes I would fluctuate, but we always leveled the other off. That pig knew me better than anyone in my life ever could. It was the most powerful sensation I have ever experienced. [drinks] We shared a mind. But then there was the leak. We found out later it was all a big fuss over nothing, but I was reading a book, which Napoleon always seemed to enjoy. Mothernight. And one of the other various departments squirreled in the facility doing God know knows what, there was some kind of broken seal involving a gas they were...unsure of. It fed into the ducts, which filtered right into the room Napoleon and I were sitting in. And he was an important asset. [alarm sounds] Alarms sounded, lights started flashing, men in hazmat suits busted in, they ripped us out of there, taking us to separate rooms for medical examination. It happened fast. [alarm stops] Napoleon knew it was death. And the concentration of fear--[whinges] I was overwhelmed to the point of not being able to breathe. His fear became my fear and my fear became his fear and over and over and over. It was a fear that shook the foundation of my sanity. It was a glimpse at the fleeting nature of life. How meaningless, how pointless, how it could be taken from you so quickly and without your consent. [laughs] I kicked a hole through the wall and broke the doctor's leg before they sedated me. Napoleon was never the same after that. He could feel things other than fear, but, there was always this undercurrent. He didn't trust reality anymore. Sure, everything's fine right now, but. [laughs] As time went on, it-it got worse. I would try to calm him or explain what happened but, uh. Yeah. Got to the point where he couldn't sleep, which meant I didn't sleep. The fear was always there and I-I couldn't make it stop. We couldn't make it stop. They messed around with the medication, hoping to disrupt it, but that-that didn't work. Napoleon was broken. I was broken. And I knew how to fix it. [sniffs] He knew I was coming. He was afraid at first. But by the time I got into the facility, he was calm. Almost as calm as before. I walked into his pen with my sledgehammer and...it was serenity. I was angry and sad. Crying. But he was warm. He-he welcomed it. [inhales] He stared me right in the eyes and didn't move. I have become death. I killed him on the first blow. I had a glimpse of death. Void. Nothing forever and ever. And then it was quiet. I was alone in my mind for the first time in weeks. [inhales] It was exactly when I didn't need to be. But then, two, maybe three minutes later I heard. It was faint. But I heard the tone. I checked Napoleon but his body was surely dead. I, uh. Lost it. I don't remember much outside the rage, the confusion. The idea to destroy my brain. When I woke in the hospital, they had strapped me to the bed.


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