Archive for October, 2008

reid and morgan

reid and morgan

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Confession time:

A) I bought all three episodes of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog– Neil Patrick Harris, how I wish you were straight, but I’ll settle with you being my GBFF- but… I haven’t found time to watch them yet. I am a horrible, horrible person. Whedon fans, throw me out of the club. I deserve it.

B) Criminal Minds and House are airing opposite each other tonight. I’ll be watching CM. I am aware it’s on tomorrow, too, but damn, I love my show. But no recap review till after tomorrow. There are spoilers and there is giving away entire episodes.

C) I bought two Miley Cyrus songs on I Tunes, under the guise of buying them for my daughter ( Happy Birthday, Sweetie!) but they’re really for both of us. I’ll get my music geek card pulled for that.

D) Speaking of which, the most played song on my I Pod last week was the Jonas Brothers’ ” SOS”.

E) I have officially given up on Fringe. It breaks my heart, because I love Joshua Jackson and JJ Abrams, but I am not getting into it the way I got into Buffy or X-Files. I’m sad. Where is my slice of network sci-fi heaven?

F) Currently reading my screenplay, which I finished in first draft and am now editing. Stuff not mine?  Richard Brautigan. I bought a collection that includes In Watermelon Sugar and I’m going to tackle the Joycean labyrinth.

G) But I’m also reading a book called I Hate Myself And I Want to Die, which is about the most depressing songs of all time. And is hi-fucking-larious.

H) Yes, I am watching Dancing With the Stars, as I have no life.

I) I will be watching So You Think you Can Dance Canada on Wednesday because MARY’S ON!!!! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J) FAvorite song this week is – duh duhn DUUUUUUHHHHHN!!!!- tHe Isley Brother’s ” Shout Parts 1&2″. Awesomeness.

K) I am starting to prep various year end lists. I will also take suggestions for any type of list you’d like to see. I do the typical Song, Album, Movie, TV Show lists. I’d like to know if there is anything else you want me to talk about. Drop a line in comments or whatever.

L) Some eye candy:

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Do not forget that David Cook will appear on SNL this upcoming Saturday ( the 1st of November). Just a gentle reminder to all the gurls from BBAC land. Because I’m OCD that way.

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First, before I launch into my weekly love fest of the CM world, let me just say that the most devastating news this week is Johnny Marr denying a Smiths reunion. Damn it! I want to see Moz and Marr live, together, singing ” There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”, which my friends will note is my choice of the greatest love song in history. True love is saying that if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine. Bonus will be seeing ” How Soon Is Now” live.

Back to what I really do here.

( Okay, I am digressing, again, but I’m also quite devastated by the fact that Zeppelin is threatening to tour without Robert Plant.  I want my Zeppelin, and Plant has to be part of the deal. I’m sorry, but no one, NO ONE, should be able to sing ” Rock and Roll” and ” stairway To Heaven” except Robert Plant.)

” Paradise” is quite typical of the CM world.  We start on a lonely highway on a rainy night, with some AC/DC playing, and a trucker doing whatever the hell truckers do on lonely, rainy highways. Distracted, and on a blind curve, he smashes into a vehicle that was stranded on the highway. The people inside are dead. But something strikes our sheriff as odd. No blood inside the vehicle… that is not right. Turns out our couple were dead before the crash, and were tortured and the woman raped.

In a shocker moment, Reid is attempting to get the team to join him for dinner at an all night Indian restaurant. JJ informs them they ain’t goin’ nowhere, and presents the case. Turns out Garcia turned up two more  cases in Nevada. ( Is it Ne-VAH-da or Ne-VA-da??? I’ve always said Ne-VAH-da. Sidetracked… damn it!). Momentary hope surge that it’s the beginning of the upcoming Reid arc ( Reid is a Las Vegas native, after all), but realizing that this episode actually focuses on our victims.

And our victims are surprising. William Mapother is a great actor who gained notice in the 2001 film In The Bedroom, playing Marisa Tomei’s abusive asshole husband who kills Nick Stahl’s character and gets away with murder, setting in motion the events that followed ( great film- go watch it). He also played some villains on TV. I remember him on CSI as a man who killed an HIV positive woman and contracted the disease as the blood spattered in his eyes… I think it was probably unlikely, but plausible. He rarely plays good guys ( he’s handsome in a beaten up boxer kinda way, but quite menacing). Here he’s our husband, a man who is struggling to connect with his wife ( Robin Lively- Neil Patrick Harris link- she played a nurse on five episodes of Doogie Howser!). They are returning home late at night and nearly crash into a truck as he is desperately trying not to go to sleep. They check into a small rustic motel. And then the fun begins.

The team hit the sheriffs office and start plotting- geographical profiling, trying to keep a lid on the real reason for the deaths, and trying to track the dead couples trails before their deaths. Turns out the latest victims were at a diner in Sherwood, NV.  That gives them a starting point.

Our couple wake up after a night of married passion, and we discover that a) her underwear is missing; b) there is no cell phone service; c) neither one of them ordered breakfast, but what they wanted somehow showed up. The husband decides it’s time to leave.

Our couple, Abby and Ian Corbin, are now officially missing, and the team now believe they might be the current victims. They give our profile- a malignant misogynist, an anger excitation rapist, a sadist with mommy issues. He has perfected his skill, he is isolated, and most likely works in a remote motel. Seeing as it’s western Nevada, there are a zillion of them. Good luck and go off on a door knocking journey.

Our couple is currently locked in the suite, Ian nearly gets his eye removed by a knife after peeking out the security peep hole, and the fighting has begun. Anger, frustration, blame- he had a hangover that made them leave later, she’s a bit uptight, nit picking at each other. He keeps fighting for a way out. She’s second guessing his strategy. Not a happy couple. Our unsub keeps observing constantly. Until the bell rings. Our heroes ( Hotch in particular) are here to see if our gentleman at the desk knows anything. The unsub is Wesley Crusher- er, Wil Wheaton ( truly creepy by the way).  He manages to seem normal enough to convince Hotch that he has no clue who the couple in the photos are, and our fearless leader leaves to hit the next spot. Even the best can be fooled at times.

The team keeps searching for other crimes that may fit. Garcia looked at open cases found nothing, looked a pandas, went back at closed cases and found something. A convicted rapist suddenly changed MO, and the team links it to our current unsub.

Our couple is now joined by our unsub, who knocks Ian unconscious, and menaces Abby. Back at the office, the team discovers that the man that Hotch had talked to was in fact Floyd Hansen, convicted of attempted rape, had some undies on him, prison, manages to pin his first murder on another guy, inherits the motel, and is able to continue his sick fantasies.

Ian, tied to a chair, tries to get the bolted chair loose. Abby, tied to the bed, has given up. Floyd keeps beating and torturing our couple, mocking Ian’s manliness, Abby’s poor choice in husband, the very nature of marriage, while building up his own masculinity. Meanwhile our team shows up, and begin searching for our couple, and Reid and Rossi search the offices. He’s fits the profile perfectly- down to following the case. The team manages to rescue the couple, but Floyd escapes out the back. Hotch and Morgan give chase, but in a nice bit of poetic justice, Floyd gets smashed by a mack truck. End of unsub. End of episode.

Weekly Reid funny- Prentiss notes that roadside motels are now on her never list. Reid: ” You have a list?” Rossi: ” You don’t?” Reid kinda shrugs.

Overall, a truly creepy episode from the gruesome twosome, Debra Fisher and Erica Messer. Dark and foreboding. Less team dynamics than I like, a lot of focus on the couple. Wes- I mean, Wil Wheaton was a fascinating choice to play the unsub, and I think it worked out well for both We- Wil and the CM team. He was memorable. I’m still looking forward to ” The Insticnts” and ” Memoriam”, which are to be two ( TWO!!!) Reid centric episodes and Willaim Reid is supposed to make an appearance ( also showing up- the luminously deranged Diana Reid, as played by Jane Lynch. God, I love her.) Back to Nevada we go folks. I love Reid episodes ( logical- I love Reid). This episode is probably my least favorite this season, though.

Grade- B

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Roger Ebert is my hero.

If my massive collection of Italian neo realism wasn’t the first clue, or the fact that The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg is my favorite film the second clue, I am kind of almost a big a movie geek as my Dylan and Waits obsessed music collection will let me be. I watch way too many movies, a massive achievement when  you realize how much TV I watch in a week ( less surprising when you realize I sleep for four hours a night because I’m re-watching some Hitchcock film on TCM for the trillionth time- usually Strangers On A Train).  Ebert brought me to many films I never would have considered watching based on my first instinct, simply because as good as my instinct is, his is better. I have hated the movies he’s hated 99% of the time, and loved the ones he loves about 75% of the time ( the rest are mutually respectful WTF moments).

Ebert has won a Pulitzer for film criticism. I don’t know if film critics regularly win Pulitzers. I will never win a Pulitzer, and my writing doesn’t suck. Even if I were as great as Ebert with the turn of a phrase, I’d still be writing five line reviews for some cheap ass weekly somewhere. Why? Because I have an inability to keep my mouth shut about extraneous matters, and therefore, I ramble. Ebert doesn’t ramble. He’s precise. I love him because I envy that very thing.

Last week, Ebert deigned to post a review of a film called Tru Loved. The film automatically gets a point knocked off from my scale simply because I hate cutesy titles like that. So it currently sits at a A review, because I haven’t seen it.

Ebert saw it. Sorta.

He saw about eight minutes. Then he walked out.

He posted his review, which was pretty scathing. Then he dropped the news of his departure and apparently created a bit of a firestorm. The pro and anti Ebert factions came out in droves, but there were valid points mixed in between the arguments, Namely- if you are paid to review something, isn’t walking out poor taste and actually fraud?

Fraud may be taking it too far, but I see the point. If I’m paid to review a movie, I should sit through it or not write the review if I don’t make it, for whatever reason.

On the other hand, I’m against wasting my time. I’m against wasting other peoples time. If I think an album is so bad it should never be heard by the ears of humans, I’d say so, and I’d tell them exactly why, and where I stopped listening before I shoved the pencils in my ears. And I listen to the Butthole Surfers religiously, so you know it’d have to be heinous for me to refuse to even finish listening.

In the end, reading his review, I came to the conclusion that in fact, he was actually brave to do what he did. His trepidations and other thoughts can be found on his blog,

but I encourage to read the comments as well. He responds on ocassion, and they are so worth the read.

I’ve only once in my life refused to finish listening to an album. It was an album by The Clash, shockingly enough, and it was called Cut The Crap. I cried for an hour after the first track because I wanted to know what the hell happened to my favorite band.

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Checking my blog traffic today, I notice spikes every time I mention Criminal Minds, Matthew Gray Gubler, and David Cook. So, in order to keep you coming back, here are my gratuitous mentions of Criminal Minds, Matthew Gray Gubler, and David Cook. And for good measure, I’ll throw in Jason Segel, even though you really can’t have him, he’s mine.

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Ah, New York, the sixth character in HIMYM world. You have changed so much the last few years… and it doesn’t help that Marshall cannot remember the restaurant he ate the greatest burger. It doesn’t matter that MacLarens has an awesome burger. It’s not that burger. And Marshall’s sudden obsession with it is pretty weird, even for Marshall. Apparently, when the boys moved in to the apartment, Marshall refused to leave for fear of getting mugged. And when he realized NYC is awesome, he found- the burger. And so the love affair began- and ended. He couldn’t find the place again. And ever since, Marshall has been obsessed. Even a helpful stranger gets Marshall’s wrath ( ” I didn’t think about trying the highest rated burger in the Zagatel guide!”). And somehow, Regis gets involved. The place had a signed Regis picture ( but so does every other burger joint in Manhattan). Regis, too, doesn’t remember where this place is, and it’s driving him nuts as well.  As Marshall reminisces, he gives a clue- green door, red neon sign saying burger. Robin says she knows the place, and they go off in search of the place. And there is also a text to Regis- who leaves his new game show to meet them.

Turns out the burger, though, is not the burger. Which allows for a genius Marshall soliloquy about this burger ( which leads to Lily to complain that Marshall got their wedding vows online). Turns out Marshall is struggling. He’s no longer wearing pants. It was fine, until he actually left the apartment… and met Lily to find the burger at some bistro…

The gang takes off to a new place, only to discover it’s been replaced by an ATM for Goliath National Bank ( now owned by Barney’s labyrinth corporation). Turns out Barney got our unemployed Marshall a job at Goliath. It isn’t Marshall’s dream, but it’s a paycheck.  After another ” helpful” ( for a c-note) stranger tells them the place has, in fact, moved.

So they trudge off to the burger place, and this time, success. It is the burger, and it really is that good ( good enough for Barney to think about getting the burger pregnant).

I love Neil Patrick Harris on HIMYM, but the secret weapon of the show has always been Jason Segel. His Marshall is a big, goofy kid with a law degree but a wide eyed idealistic streak which is a rarity on TV now a days. The burger is more than a burger, it’s the last thread Marshall has to his 22 year old self, and all he wants is to be that kid for a minute. Segel, who specialized in geeks with hearts of gold, delivers a great performance. The episode is not as laugh out loud funny, though, as others, and the Regis bit is a clear gimmick. The B story of Goliath National Bank also falls flat. But a solid, guys.

Grade- B

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I’m trying not to die of joy due to recently released spoilers about episode seven. Reid- William Reid… you have some explaining to do…

I guess it’s safe to say that any episode that features Dr. Spencer Reid gets an automatic love note from me, seeing as I adore Matthew Gray Gubler. But the truth is that the Reid focus episodes are among the strongest written of the series. From ” Somebody’s Watching” through to ” Sex Birth And Death”, ” Revelations”, ” Jones”, and ” Elephant’s Memory”, they remain among my favorites.  This one is also high up on my list. Of course, Reid episodes also have some of the strongest unsubs- and some surprisingly great performances. James Vanderbeek gave his single best performance in his life as Tobias in ” Revelations”. Luke Perry proves to be a revelation of a kind in ” Minimal Loss”. As someone who spent way too much time watching the original 90210 as a teen, I never thought much of Perry as an actor. This ( and his creepy turn on L&O SVU earlier this season) proved me wrong. Perry is quite compelling as Benjamin Cyrus. It’s easy to see him as a charismatic wing nut. He is charismatic. And quite scary in his quiet way.

Reid and Prentiss show up in Colorado to interview children with Children’s Services after a call is placed about child molestation and underage marriages. At first, Cyrus is cautiously welcoming, but when he is tipped off about a raid, the heavily armed cult he leads enter a shoot out with state police. This gets the actual child services killed, and Reid and Prentiss are de facto hostages of a cult with heavy duty weaponry and a leader with a deep messianic complex. The team freaks out when the news hits national networks, and they all head to Colorado.

Hotch decides to let Rossi lead the hostage negotiations ( and then a swoon worthy Hotch pissed off moment with the Colorado AG- awesomeness and sexy). Rossi and Hotch present the minimal loss scenario- try to save as many as possible, but they cannot save them all. The team know they not only have to profile the cult, but Prentiss and Reid as well. Rossi begins slowly as to build trust- being told that Prentiss and Reid are alright ease some anxiety momentarily. The one thing I noticed about Perry’s performance at this moment is the eerie calm he exhibits. Some actors miight be inclined to play it rougher and crazier. The thing about Cyrus is that he doesn’t ever appear crazy even when he clearly is a bushel short of a load. He is pleasant, obliging, even while being unco-operative. A tricky balance.

Trust needs to be earned, and Rossi tries his best to get the children out. But Cyrus instead decides to keep the kids as protection, and Reid and Prentiss observe the wine ceremony, the calm of Cyrus, the body language of Jessica, the girl that they were called to interview, and Jessica’s mother, and then the bomb drops. Cyrus announces that they have drank poison, but Rossi, seeing Cyrus’ calm, and Reid, seeing Cyrus’ reaction to the followers fear or anticipation, both call it as a bluff.

One small quibble- Jeff Fahey in a single scene? Indelible in that scene. Wish there had been more. As the former leader of the group, he was astonishing.

Our cult leader was born Charles McGrew, and has a record of child molestation. He was a ” model prisoner” after discovering God. Bad news- child molesters who survive general pop in prisons will never give up. And then the news breaks- there is an undercover FBI agent on the compound. Cyrus points a gun at Reid, who never breaks character, and Prentiss gives herself up. She gets beaten severely, nearly sending Rossi and Hotch over the edge, but Rossi’s rationality and Prentiss’ coded answers prevent the team from going in. Separated, Prentiss and Reid begin their specialties- Prentiss, being tended by the mother, begins to hint that she knows that the mother placed the call, and Reid uses his intellect to get into Cyrus’ good graces. Reid influences Cyrus’ decision making by playing the hostage negotiation handbook against Cyrus, and the bugs planted by the team allow them in on the plan. Rossi holds up his end of the bargain by playing along, and one child is set free. Trust is earned, after all.

Cyrus rounds up those who are not the true believers and frees them. Reid realizes that he needs to get a message out to the team to warn them of when they will go in, and tells Prentiss to wait for that signal. The team uses the food delivery to tell Reid when it happens. Prentiss uses the knowledge of bugs to get a message out to tell her when it will happen. Morgan uses a laser scope to tell her, and Reid gets Hotch’s written message on the food. Prentiss than confronts the mother and tells her that there will be a violent end and the only hope to save her daughter from Cyrus is to listen to her. The mother agrees to help after seeing the men prepping explosives, and gets the women and children out. Reid uses his eidetic memory of the bible to try and stop the insanity, but fails, and gets a couple of slams to the gut as payment for his actions. Fortunately, the team gets in and takes the men out before they can set off the explosives. But Jessica, a true believer, runs back in, and seeing Cyrus dead, she picks up the detonator. Reid and Morgan barely escape as the building explodes in a huge fireball.  After, on the plane, Prentiss makes a point of telling Reid that her beating was not his fault, that it was her choice and she did not regret it.

Overall, one of the best episodes of Criminal Minds in the history of the series. Strong performances by Gubler and Paget Brewster, and stunning ones by Perry and Fahey, make it a keeper.

Grade- A+

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To all Cougars, and you all know who you are.

Please, chill out about the news about DC and the Grammys. I agree with his people not submitting LO and TOML for consideration. TOML is not a song I want him associated with for longer than necessary, and LO would be lost in the eligibility shuffle ( cut off was September 30). Trust me when I say he is doing the right thing, please?

Thank you for not stroking out before I told you all this.

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Sorry- I’ve been exhausted and busy all week. But I will have at least one review up tonight, I swear. Swear swear…

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This weekend, I’ll be posting some reviews and recaps I have yet to do due to time. I’m looking at House, HIMYM, last night’s CM, and a review of Jenny Lewis’ new album. I’ll try my best to get them all done.


I guess that was a wash…

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As I stated in my previous CM review and recap, last season was great but uneven at times. Season four started off with a bang last week, but this episode brings me back to the undisputed highlights for me of previous seasons- the last two episodes of season one, episodes 14 to 18 of season two, episodes 8 and 9 of season three, and almost matched the single best written episode in CM history, season three’s ” Elephant’s Memory”, which should have been enough to garner Matthew Gray Gubler some Emmy love, if not writer Andrew Wilder, who has written some of my favorite episodes ( including another season 1 highlight,  “L.D.S.K.”, which is the episode the show really began to gain it’s footing).

It seems that Lower Canaan, Ohio, was once home to a serial killer nicknamed the Angle Maker. The man was caught and sentenced to death, a sentence that was delivered on a year ago. A pretty blonde woman is alone at home, and is creeped out by a noise. After the ominous horror movie music, we discover it was her cat, eating from a pot on the kitchen counter. Silly girl ( and a little cliched, writer Dan Dworkin. Tsk, tsk. I think it knocked you down a bit from ” Elephant’s Memory” level).  Our lovely lady sees a shooting star and decides to make a wish. That’s when we see the intruder stealthily move behind her, vanishing into the house. Our fair maiden goes to bed… and our intruder decides to smash her over the head with a hammer.

Hotch is still having ear trouble, and bullies the ENT doctor into allowing him back into the field. JJ has a new case- the DNA of our dead serial killer has turned up in our victim. The police is feeling the stress, and our team heads off. Hotch decides to fly ( against doctors orders, for sure), and Reid tosses out the idea of an evil twin which gets the reaction you would expect from a group of profilers. The town hasn’t been the same, the chief says, as Hotch and Reid view our new crime scene. When a note arrives, Reid deems it to be authentic, and the chief exhumes the body of our serial killer- only to find the body missing. Then our team learns that the execution didn’t go off as planned- our killer died a long, slow, painful death. Justice for sure, I guess.

The team is going through the correpondence of our killer, and Morgan and Emily go off in search of a prison guard Morgan had met while at the prison gathering the letters. They find him dead- and then discover that he popped a Viagra before he died. It changes the profile from a male fan to a female fan, and the team now goes off to interview ladies. One, who clearly has to be insane to be  in love with this monster, finally tells them something useful- he once sent her a letter that was clearly meant for someone else, a woman he called his Dove.  And we get another victim, a daycare worker.

While examining the scene, Emily makes the connection of why the notebook paper appeared in the previous victim’s puncture wounds. Our unsub is using a template. Reid is still looking at letters, trying to figure out why the difference between the letters he sent to Dove and the ones to others. Reid deduces that there could be a code.

Emily finally comes up with a reason for the patterns- they are constellations in the Heavenly Waters, and our unsub is finishing our killer’s work. Reid breaks the code- it’s a binary code used by the Aryan Nation. The killer and our unsub seem to really be in love with each other ( creeptastic, no?) She got semen from our killer, and JJ suggests it might have been to conceive a baby. The team searches birth records, and finds one that clicks, but the baby died in the hospital, which set our unsub off, allowing her to leap into killer herself.

Off to the killer’s house we go, where it’s clear that she can’t let go of the loss- and the team finds the corpse of our killer in a trunk in the nursery.  The discovery of the day planner leads them to the name of the next victim.

Our killer is prepping to kill our next victim, and the team arrives at the house. Hotch sends Morgan to find a way  in to rescue the woman inside, and Emily tries to distract our killer through a megaphone. It works, and our killer wanders off from the victim, and Morgan helps her escape. But the profile states that our killer cannot be talked down, so as the team tries to figure out how to bring her in without hurting her, our killer takes the last pattern, inflicts it on herself, takes her gun, wanders outside, and dies by suicide by cop.

The episode was strongly written, with genuine moments of humor in the darkness ( my favorites- both Reid moments- are an exchange between Rossi and Reid where Reid goes on about the code being in plain sight, and Rossi asks what Reid will need to crack it. ” The ability to clone myself and a year’s supply of Adderall”. Then the second, Reid goes on about how he discovered the code and how they would usually use a computer to decipher but it was faster for him to do it long hand. Emily pokes his cheek and says ” He’s so lifelike.”) Strong performances by our team aid us, but the hidden unsub actually does allow for a genuine twist midway. I did expect a fan copycat, but not a woman ( again, statistics dictate most violent. serial criminals are men). Great editing and directing as well this week. Overall, a superior episode.

Grade- A

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My new recaps and reviews will be online Sunday ( maybe Saturday if I have six minutes to spare). It’s inventory week at work and I’m lucky I can eat ( and in fact, have not had a lunch break all week and I’ll be in Friday morning, even though I asked for it off.) HIMYM and Criminal Minds will both be done, as will House. Hopefully it’ll be all finished by Sunday night. Thanks for  your patience.

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