GAME OF THRONES: Breathers Unite! (Recap S7: Ep 5)

(Cross posted at AgonyBooth.com)

Holy exposition episode, Batman! Let’s see, we got the legitimization of Jon’s Snow’s birth, Cersei’s pregnancy, the triumphant return of That Rowing Guy, and Littlefinger getting exposed for shadiness again (possibly on purpose?). We’ve also got characters moving all across the GOT map at implausible speeds . . . folks that haven’t seen one another in SIX SEASONS . . . magically reuniting to spread tidbits of intel like Fedex packages. But most importantly, we’ve got a small, but scrappy, army of randomly assorted fan favorites heading North of the Wall to go fishing for a zombie to give Cersei as an early Christmas gift.

Let’s do thing, shall we?

Bronn is still alive, and he wants his castle, dammit!

In a turn of events that is sure to surprise absolutely NO ONE, Bronn and Jaime survived their Dragon Evading Synchronized Swim Routine from last week. So, they will both live to be snarky with one other for at least another episode.

Bronn, for his part, is too macho to admit to Jaime that he saved his life, because he likes hanging out with him. So, the mercenary blames his heroics on good old-fashioned opportunism. “I’m not going to let you die until I get my f*&king Castle,” Bronn quips.

Aww, don’t be sad, Jaime. Bronn is just playing hard to get. But seriously, after saving your and your brother’s butts countless times over seven seasons, all the man wants is his own uncomfortable chair. Is that too much to ask?

RIP Rickon, Brickon, whatever your name is . . .

Literally across the lake from Bronn’s and Jaime’s Bromantic Rendezvous, a concerned Tyrion surveys the charred wreckage of the Lannister army left in Drogon and the Dothraki’s wake. Meanwhile Dany speaks with the few Lannister army survivors, offering them the ability to retain both their lives and their freedom, if they pledge fealty to her. “Join or die,” she tells the men, more or less.

Most of the men bend the knee without question, because they see Dany’s Dragon chilling out about five inches away from where they are standing, and they aren’t stupid. Papa Tarly though . . . he’s kind of stupid, so no kneeling for him. (Sidenote: I totally recall Papa Tarly getting burned to a crisp by Drogon in last week’s episode. Guess it was just some other old bald guy. Either that, or I’m psychic like BranBot3000, and “predicted” how this guy would ultimately bite it, a week in advance.)

Dickon wants to die with his dad because of honor, or something. Or maybe the poor sexy dumb-dumb is just tired of people always getting his name wrong. Tyrion warns Dany against the bad PR that may result from her effectively murdering the entire Tarly house. In doing so, he conveniently forgets that the Tubbiest Tarly remains alive, well, and shoveling poo over at the Hogwarts School for the Old and Unattractive.

But Dany will not be deterred, and so a single dragon burp literally evaporates yet another house on the GOT game board . . . most of it anyway.

I wonder if they pooped their pants before they died?

In which, Lady Olenna gets her dying wish . . .

Jaime eventually returns home to Kings Landing with his tail between his legs, to tell Cersei that they are SO EFFING SCREWED. By way of elaboration, Jaime explains to his sister / lover that the Lannister army has no chance in hell of winning this war against an army of insane Dothraki warriors fighting alongside not one, not two, but THREE GIANT FIRE BREATHING DRAGONS.

Cersei, of course, has never been one to listen to reason and surrender, particularly when we’ve still got a season left of the show. So, she changes the topic of conversation to Tyrion, their little brother turned “enemy combatant.” The siblings’ relationship with Tyrion has always been a touchy with these two, one that Jaime would prefer not to broach. But when Cersei casually brings up Tyrion’s “murder” of Joffrey, Jaime reluctantly grants Lady Olenna’s death wish, by admitting that it was the Queen of Thrones, and not Tyrion, who ultimately caused this beautiful scene to occur . . .

Initially, Cersei refuses to believe that Olenna could pull this off. However, when Jaime explains Olenna’s rationale for wanting Joffrey dead (namely that it would offer then-Queen Margaery a more docile and obedient husband to control in her quest for power), Cersei is forced to grudgingly admit that Tyrion was wrongfully accused.

Game, Set, Match, Lady Olenna, from the GRAVE, no less.

Tyrion still gets credit for the whole “killing his dad on the toilet” thing, though . . . which was also pretty cool.

Hi Drogon, I’m home!

After a long day at work burning people’s faces off, Dany and Drogon arrive back at Dragonstone where Jon is patiently waiting for them. Though the King of the North is still a bit creeped out by Dany’s “kid,” he doesn’t want to seem RUDE! So, Jon extends his hand and gently caresses Drogon’s face, because, let’s face it, having all five of your fingers is overrated. Just ask Jaime Lannister!

Interestingly enough, Drogon doesn’t bite off Jon’s fingers OR burn his face! Instead, the dragon gets surprisingly wide-eyed and puppy like, as he moves in closer to Jon for more neck rubs and kisses. (If you recall, Dany’s other dragons had a similarly docile reaction to Tyrion last season.) Is it possible that dragons are actually kind, cuddly, creatures that are just misunderstood by the world at large?

Or, perhaps dragons are just kind to folks with Targaryen blood . . .

Anywhoo, Dany gets a major Lady Boner over this Jon / Drogon exchange, and is all ready to whip out her phone so she can show Jon an entire album worth of dragon baby pictures for him to coo over. “Aren’t dragons beautiful?” The Mother of Dragons inquires breathily.

“Ummm . . . if by beautiful, you mean totally f*&king terrifying, than yes,” Jon replies, more or less.

Well damn, JON! Haven’t you learned by now that it’s never cool to call a mother’s kid ugly to her face? You have to learn to lie better, and fast, or cave sex is never going to happen for you again!

We interrupt this recap to bring you a message from BranBot3000 . . .

BranBot3000 sees the White Walkers in the promo for next week’s episode, so he sends out a group text to all the other characters in the show about his vision. No, seriously, it literally took about ten seconds for the entire rest of the cast all across the Westeros globe to get this information. The Three-Eyed Raven may not have downloaded emotions or a personality onto his server, but the dude definitely has an excellent cell phone data plan with unlimited text messaging capabilities.

In which, Gilly actually tries to say something important, but Sam Tarley only wants to talk about shit.

When the Maesters at the Hogwarts School for the Old and Unattractive get the text from BranBot3000 about the White Walkers invading Westeros, they naturally dismiss it as spam. This infuriates Sam, who came to Oldtown for the sole purpose of learning how to defeat White Walkers . . . also because he really likes books.


Sam is so mad about the Maesters’ nonchalant attitude toward the upcoming apocalypse, in fact, that he totally ignores Gilly when she casually lets slip what may very well be the most important piece of information ever to be revealed on this show.

In a book Gilly is reading, one that is undoubtedly titled “The Game of Thrones Reddit Page,” she inadvertently discovers that Rhaegar Targaryen (Jon Snow’s secret father) actually got an annulment from Elia Martell, in order to have a secret marriage outside of Dorne to Lyanna Stark (Jon Snow’s secret mom).

You know what that means don’t you, Thrones fans? Not only does Jon have Targaryen blood running through his veins, he might very well also be a legitimate Targaryen, one with a claim to the Iron Throne that rivals that of Dany, herself.

“I don’t care how many times a day the Maester takes a dump! I want to fight White Walkers, dammit!” Sam responds angrily.

Ummmm, Sam? Just because you spend most of your day shoveling feces, doesn’t mean every piece of intel on this show is about poop.

Anywhoo, Sam and Gilly ultimately decide to leave Old Town and return to the North to join the fight against the White Walkers. And if the new time logistics on this show are any indication, they should probably arrive there in about fifteen seconds.

Family Affairs

The Dragonstone crew also get their text message about the White Walkers from BranBot3000 this week. So, Jon comes up with this bizarre plan to get Cersei to put the battle for the Iron Throne on pause, and join the rest of the houses in fighting the Undead by . . . retrieving a zombie from North of the Wall, and offering it to her as a gift?

(Ummm . . . just because Dany made dragons into her pets, doesn’t mean you can make zombies into yours, Jon!)

Anyway, the plan involves Tyrion meeting with Jaime in an effort to grease the proverbial wheel. The problem is that Tyrion and Jaime have been a bit on the outs, ever since Tyrion murdered Jaime’s dad on the pooper. So, matchmaker Bronn arranges a surprise date for the pair underground, under the guise of engaging Jaime in a Dragon Killing Machine training session.

Jaime isn’t particularly thrilled to see his brother, naturally. And the two exchange some harsh words about their now-deceased daddy dearest. Nonetheless, Jaime brings Tyrion’s request regarding putting the war on hold in exchange for a zombie prize to his beloved Queen. Cersei is unexpectedly amenable to the idea, especially if it means potentially getting Dany alone in a room, where she could murder her. As it turns out, Cersei was aware of Jaime’s meeting with Tyrion before it happened, but allowed it to take place for this very reason.

As if those weren’t sufficient bombshells for one scene, Cersei also reveals that she’s currently pregnant with Jaime’s child. But this time, unlike with her other three kids, she’s going to publicly out this one as the incest baby that he or she happens to be.

Jaime is thrilled by this news! (Because they’ve done SUCH a great job at making children in the past.) He tearfully embraces Cersei, who returns the affectionate gesture, but not before threateningly whispering in her brother’s ear, “Don’t ever betray me again.”

Hey Fredo, I wouldn’t go on any fishing trips anytime soon, if I were you . . .

Littlefinger: Pot Stirrer Extraordinaire

In other sibling news, Littlefinger seems to have caught on to the tension between Arya and Sansa, and has decided to work toward alienating the sisters from one another. The first part of the plan involves having the men of the Vale publicly denounce Jon and pledge fealty to Sansa, while Arya is present. Though Sansa reminds the men that Jon is their King and not her, Arya doesn’t feel she defends her brother’s honor firmly enough.

Arya tells Sansa as much when the two meet in their parents bed chambers later that day. Arya then accuses Sansa of secretly wanting to rule the North. It’s an accusation that Sansa not so convincingly denies.

Later that day, Arya spies Littlefinger doing his Littlefinger thing of creeping around and whispering in people’s ears. So, naturally, she decides to follow him around like the good little stalker she is. Littlefinger seems blatantly aware of Arya’s presence, but that doesn’t stop him from paying off a servant right in front of her into giving him a “secret” scroll written by Sansa. “The Lady Stark thanks you for your service,” Littlefinger stage whispers, before hiding the scroll (rather poorly, if you ask me) under his bed.

Arya, of course, breaks into Littlefinger’s room and reads the scroll. In it, she finds Sansa’s letter from Season 1, in which she begged her brother Robb to pledge fealty to then King Joffrey as the true ruler of the Iron Throne. (And we all know how well that turned out for both parties to that letter!)

Now, as viewers, we know that Sansa only wrote this letter out of fear for her life, after witnessing her father’s beheading. But Arya will likely not see it that way, which, I suspect is precisely why Littlefinger arranged for Arya to find this information in the way that he did.

Did Sansa instruct Littlefinger to retrieve the letter out of fear that it’s discovery would harm her potential future claim to the throne as Queen of the North? Probably not. But Arya doesn’t know that . . . at least, not yet.

But when did he stop rowing?

Meanwhile, Davos is on a mission of his own. It’s a recovery mission. Specifically, Davos wants to recover Gendry, aka Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, aka the guy Melissandre once tried to murder, in order to prevent HIS possible claim to the iron thrown, aka THE GUY WHO HAS BEEN ROWING A BOAT FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES.

As it turns out, sometime in the past few years, Gendry stopped rowing and began forging weapons for the Lannisters, waiting out the war for the Iron Throne by hiding in plain sight. Gendry is thrilled by Davos’ offer to go on a suicide mission to retrieve a zombie, because it’s the only way he’s going to get any more screen time on the show, at this rate. So, The Rowing Guy heads with Davos back to Dragonstone, but not before murdering a couple Lannister guards with a hammer like he’s Thor.

(Naturally, the pair, with Tyrion in tow, make it across the globe in approximately two minutes.)

Once in Dragonstone, Gendry, against Davos’ advice, quickly outs his true identity to Jon, who seems to like the guy almost instantly.

In other reunion news, the newly cured of greyscale, Jorah Mormont has also arrived at Dragonstone. He and Dany embrace fondly and reunite for about five seconds, before Jorah also agrees to kill himself in a zombie hunt with Jon Snow! Because, why not?

The rag tag group of warriors then set off on a boat toward the Wall, right when Dany is finally getting the chance to question Jon about the offhand commend Davos made last week about Jon surviving a knife to the heart, and being just a little bit undead himself.

Hold that thought, Dany . . .

Like The Suicide Squad (only entertaining!)

Jon, Jorah, Davos and Gendry make it back to The Wall in about sixty seconds! There they meet with Tormund, who agrees to help them in their zombie retrieval mission, though he’s a bit disappointed that his lady crush, Brienne of Tarth won’t be joining them.

Also on the scene and ready to fight some dead guys, The Hound, who, if you recall, rented BranBot3000’s GOT DVD, and, as a result, knows all about the White Walkers, and his new pals Beric Dondarrion (another fellow un-deader) and Thoros.

There’s some initial squabbling amongst this rag tag crew of would-be zombie fighters, who have multiple grudges against one another for things that happened in prior seasons. But count on Super Diplomat Jon Snow (who is clearly the Captain America of this Avengers crew) to get everybody to play nice with one another.

“We are all on the same side,” Jon explains to his mini army. “We all breathe.”

The episode ends with the freshly-minted Team Breathing heading North of the Wall, Armed and ready to kick some zombie butt, or, possibly, fail miserably and become zombies themselves . . . whichever comes first.

 

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GAME OF THRONES: The Khaleesi Strikes Back (Recap: S7: Ep 4)

(Cross posted at AgonyBooth.com)

It is most definitely “No more Ms. Nice Mother of Dragons” this week, as Dany pours a heaping helping of hellfire mixed with Sweet Revenge on an unsuspecting Lannister army. (Meanwhile, somewhere in Heaven, Lady Olenna is performing the Best Endzone Dance ever to be completed by a 70-something year old Queen who has excellent taste in hats.)

Also this week, Davos calls out Jon for staring at Dany’s inflammable boobies. Arya returns to Winterfell to show off all the skills she learned at Burgerless White Castle that don’t involving wearing her castmates’ faces for funsies. While Bran (or, as I’ve decided to call him for the remainder of the series BranBot3000) continues on his quest to creep out every character on this show who hasn’t been brutally murdered yet. (And they say Arya is the only Stark with a List!)

Whether you saw this episode earlier this week as a result of The Big Bad Leak, and are watching again because you really wanted to see some Lannister soldiers get their faces burned off in HD. Or, you are “Unsullied,” like me, and are just watching for the first time, let’s review, shall we?

Well, that’s one way to clear a room . . .

Get Money

Somewhere between Highgarden and Kings Landing, Jaime and his army are amassing the Spoils of War, (Hey, that’s the title of this episode!) namely, some wheat plus a sh*tload of gold, and preparing to bring it back home to Cersei. Now, the Evil Queen can pay her debt to the Iron Bank, as Lannisters tend to do. (Apparently, Highgarden was super rich. How else could Lady Olenna afford all those cool hats?)

Bronn, being the wise and upwardly mobile employee that he is, sees this as the perfect opportunity to ask Jaime for a raise and a promotion! Bronn wants a Castle dammit, preferably Highgarden, because he’s been itching to start a hat collection of his own. Unfortunately for Bronn, Jamie is still a bit salty over the revelation that Lady Olenna killed Joffrey, and blamed Tyrion and Sansa for it.  Thus, he is not in a particularly generous mood.

Hey, that reminds me: I think this would be a great time to relive Joffrey’s death. Don’t you?

Never . . . ever . . . gets . . .old.

Jamie and Bronn make some small talk with Sam Tarley’s douchey daddy and kind of hot brother, Dickon, whose name Jamie can’t seem to remember, which is weird because how does one forget a name as unfortunate as Dick-on? (My apologies to all you Dickons out there. But hey, it could be worse. You could have a name that sounds suspiciously like a homophone for Urine.)

Wow, it just occurred to me that I’ve effectively pissed off everyone in the world who bears these two names in a single paragraph. Moving on . . . (but not dick-on).

The Creepiest Creeper That Ever Did Creep

Step aside, creepy kids from The Sixth Sense, The Ring and pretty much Every Japanese Horror Film Ever Made. You just got served.

Meanwhile, back at Winterfell, Littlefinger and Branbot3000 are having a battle to see who can creep out the other person more. Littlefinger makes a valiant first attempt by giving Branbot3000 the dagger that was used in his attempted murder, and telling him that he wishes he could give him the one that succeeded in killing his mother too. (Ummm, thanks?)

Branbot3000 sees Littlefinger’s creepy gift and raises him a, “Hey, remember that random monologue about Chaos being a Ladder you made back in Season 1, when I was halfway across the country with absolutely no logical way of hearing it? Well, I downloaded it into my mind and will repeat it back to you, just because I can.”

Game Set Match, Branbot3000! For the second week in a row, you are officially creepier than Littlefinger.

No more smirking, Littlefinger. Smirks are for closers!

You see, the thing about BranBot3000 is that he’s kind of become like a search engine. He has all this really helpful information stored inside him, but he’s not going to share it with you, unless you ask nicely. And when I say BranBot3000 is like a search engine, I don’t mean he’s a “cool,” sleek image-filled, user-friendly, search engine, like Google or even Bing. I’m talking about an annoying, stodgy, provides you with a lot of meaningless information, while still making you feel dumb, search engine. In short, BranBot3000 is basically Ask Jeeves.

Never heard of Ask Jeeves, you say? Well, congratulations on not being old.

In other BranBot3000 news, Meera has stopped by to congratulate him on his new wheelchair, and tell him that she’s heading home to be with her family. And how does BranBot3000 respond to the woman who literally dragged his ass across five seasons of storylines, while risking her life for him countless times? “Girl bye,” he says basically.

Apparently, when uploading the world’s knowledge into BranBot3000’s brain, someone forgot to install things like “emotions” and a “personality.” The good news is that after two years, you can upgrade to BranBot4000 for the super affordable price of $27.99 a month, and the newer model will maybe / possibly have one of those two things!

Arya Stark: Better Than You

In warmer / friendlier Stark news, Arya has finally reached the gates of Winterfell. There, for the second time in this series, the Girl Formerly Referred to as No One is having a wee bit of trouble getting some guards to respond to her claims of, “Do you know who I am? I am one of the stars of the Game of Mother F*&king Thrones! I literally own this place! LET ME IN!”

(In the guards’ defense, they same more like the kind of dudes who watch Candy Crush on Sunday nights at 9.)

Arya quickly gives these guards a slip, and reunites with her sister Sansa in the crypt beneath their home. Together the sisters reminisce about their father, and worry that no one alive remembers him anymore. This sort of talk bums the girls out, so they change to a lighter topic: JOFFREY’S DEATH!

The gift that keeps on giving . . .

It’s a quiet, and somewhat emotionally muted, but still authentic feeling, and genuinely sweet scene between two sisters, who didn’t always see eye to eye, and largely grew up apart from one another, but still obviously love each other dearly. Sansa then reluctantly brings Arya out to the Scary Face Tree to reunite with BranBot3000, because it’s her turn to be creeped out by him.

BranBot3000’s reunion with Arya goes a bit better than the one with Sansa, mainly because the former doesn’t tell Arya how hot she looked just moments before she was raped. Instead, BranBot3000 muses about Arya’s List of People to Kill, and about her decision to come to Winterfell instead of heading straight to Kings Landing to kill Cersei.

BranBot3000 then gives Arya the creepy dagger Littlefinger gave him earlier in the episode. And it’s a surprisingly thoughtful gift on BranBot3000’s part, because, really, who better to give a dagger than a pint-sized serial killer? In fact, I think I may have BranBot3000 help me with my holiday shopping this year.

Arya then reunites with Brienne, who is humbly grateful that she was indirectly able to keep her promise to Catelyn, by ensuring that both Stark sisters be returned to Winterfell safe and sound. They are clearly kindred spirits, these two warrior women. So, of course, they have to reconnect by beating the crap out of one another in a duel..

The pair are fairly evenly matched, in this sense, with Arya having a slight competitive edge, due to her time spent training with Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid in the Burgerless White Castle.

“Who taught you to fight like that?” Brienne asks Arya after the battle ends in a draw.

She is clearly impressed.

“No One,” Arya responds coolly.

No One, indeed . . .

What Happens in Caves Stays in Caves . . .

Speaking of dark places where unspeakable things happen, Jon has taken Dany into the cave in Dragonstone, where he is about to mine the dragon glass to use for weapons against the White Walkers. And we all know what kind of trouble Jon likes to get into in caves!

In the caves,Jon is super smooth, finding subtle ways to hold and gently touch Dany, as he leads her through the darkened corridors. (You can almost forget that these two are secretly related to one another . . . almost.)

Jon shows Dany cave paintings made by the Children of the Forest, which indicate that the Children fought side by side with Man back in the day, in order to defeat the White Walkers. Jon’s illustration is two fold: first, it’s more proof to Dany of the White Walkers’ existence; second, it shows how two opposing parties can join forces to support a common goal.

It’s a pretty persuasive tactic on Jon’s part. And, man, Davos must have stayed up all night etching those cave drawings in preparation for it. (I KID! I KID!)

Dany does seem a bit swayed by Jon’s presentation, and finally agrees to help Jon fight the White Walkers . . . if he bends the knee. Like Mance Rayder and the Wildings before him, Jon finds himself in a position of potentially letting down those who have put their trust in him, in exchange for ensuring their safety. Will he do it?

Davos certainly thinks so! The Onion Knight wastes no time calling out Jon for staring way to long at Dany’s “good heart,” you know, the one conveniently positioned behind one of her inflammable boobies. But Jon insists he doesn’t have time for such incestual romantic nonsense, not when the White Walkers are literally beating down his doorstep!

Oh Jon, you can lie to yourself all you want. But The Cave knows all your secrets!

Upon emerging from their cave tryst, Dany is met by Tyrion and Varys, who are there to break the bad news to Dany about what happened at Highgarden last week. Dany is furious. She chastens herself for playing it safe up to this point, and not attacking the Red Keep in the first place, like she initially wanted to do. She even lashes out at Tyrion, accusing him of manipulating her, in order to keep his family out of harms way.

Jon warns Dany not to act too hastily, out of fear she may end up being viewed as a despot by her people, like her father, the Mad King. But Dany can’t help but remember the parting words of her old friend Lady Olenna, “Be a Dragon.”

She knows what she has to do . . .

In Which Theon Tries To Ring Dany and is Sent Directly to Voicemail . . .

Toward the end of the episode, Wimpy Theon returns to Dragonstone, in the hope that he can get Dany to help him retrieve his sister from the clutches of Evil Queen Cersei. Jon meets him there, and almost kicks his ass, but refrains from doing so, due to Theon’s having saved Sansa not long ago.

“So, you’ll let me see Dany then?” Theon asks hopefully.

And maybe Jon would let Theon see Dany . . . if she was still there.

Drogon’s Revenge!

Back in that grassy knoll between High Garden and Kings Landing, a strange rumbling can be heard in the distance. Unfortunately, for Jamie’s army, it’s not Bronn’s stomach.

Seemingly out of nowhere appears a hoard of Dothraki Screamers. And these guys are no joke! They are as wild as Jamie’s army are regimented, as impulsive as the Lannisters are calculating. And they literally pierce through Jamie’s army like it’s their job (because it is). Somewhere up in Heaven Khal Drogo has just joined Lady Olenna in her end zone dance, because his men are definitely making him proud.

Unfortunately, the Dothraki Screamers are about to become the least of Jamie’s problems when, out of the sky flies Dany on Drogon’s back. “Dracarys,” the Mother of Dragon’s commands her largest and most loyal child.

Instantly, fire shoots from Drogon’s mouth, literally decimating about ¾’s of Jaime’s army to ash in a single burp. Faces melt. Flesh turns to bone, and then to ash. Samwell Tarley’s dad meets a particularly gruesome end. It’s disgusting and awesome at the same time.

Those men who manage to survive the flames continue to get systematically killed by the Dothraki Screamers, who, themselves, seem as oddly impervious to flame as Dany’s boobs. Jamie almost gets murdered by one of these wild naked men, only to be rescued by Dickon Tarly. Maybe now Jamie will finally remember the poor guy’s name!

After he is nearly gored, Jamie finally remembers that Dragon Killing Machine we saw Cersei playing with a couple of episodes back. He tells Bran to go fetch it. We then get to see the Dragon Killing Machine used for the first time on Drogon. And it seems to work! After a false start, Bronn finally manages to put a massive wound into Drogon’s belly.

This causes the dragon to flip over and nearly fall from the sky, but not before he burns the Dragon Killing Machine to smithereens with his hot breath. (Cersei probably should have made that weapon flame retardant, just saying.)

The end of the episode sees Drogon down, and Dany grounded, as she quickly tries to tend to her favorite child’s wound. Jamie sees this as an opportunity to play hero, and charges at the pair on his horses, sword aloft.

“Flee, you idiot,” Tyrion shouts from on a nearby hill, his loyalties now clearly torn (Where the heck did he come from? How did he get there?).

But Jamie doesn’t flee, and Drogon turns to “Dracarys” all over that beautiful Lannister face.

But then, just when it seems like Drogon will have Charred Jamie Steak for dinner, someone (Bronn? Dickon? Ed Sheeran?) shields Jamie’s body with his own, and the two tumble together into the nearby water. Safe and alive, for now . . . but for how long?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s Bronn . . . Good looking out, Bronn! You may get that promotion after all!

And that was “The Spoils of War,” in a nutshell folks. Pretty cool, huh?

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GAME OF THRONES: Lessons in Failure (S7: Ep 3 Recap)

 

Jaime Lannister: “There are always lessons in failure.”

Lady Olenna (Queen of Thornes and Shade): “Yes, you must be very wise by now.”

[This recap has been cross posted at Agony Booth.com]

So, it was not a particularly stellar week for Dany and Team Good Guys in the battle for the Iron Throne. For the second week in a row, The Mother of Dragons has found herself both outsmarted on the battlefield, and down a powerful ally. But as her nemesis Jaime himself would say, you could learn a lot from your mistakes. And this war is far from over.

Also this week: a cordial clash occurs between fire and ice, a long-awaited Stark reunion turns decidedly creepy, Sam Tarley gets a promotion, of sorts, and Lady Olenna wins the title of Episode MVP by about a mile, proving to all of us that just because you’ve been defeated, doesn’t mean you can’t win.

So, without further adieu, let’s dive in to “The Queen’s Justice!”

Lady Olenna, drinking down her last bit of liquid courage before beginning this recap . . .

When Dany Met Jonny . . .

All you folks out there who were thinking that the first meeting between The Queen of Lots of Last Names and The King of the North would be all hearts, flowers, and sexual innuendo have clearly never watched a RomCom. They have to fight first, guys! That’s what makes the makeup sex so satisfying later. (I mean that figuratively, of course, because Dany and Jon are actually kind of related, and we already have enough of THAT on this show.)

But before we delve into that meeting, let’s start with the one that did go swimmingly: the reunion between Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow. What a fabulous bromance! The scenes these two shared during this episode could basically have doubled as the film trailer for the buddy cop comedy I never knew I always wanted.

“The Bastard of Winterfell!” Tyrion exclaims fondly, as Jon sets foot on Dragonstone for the first time.

“The Dwarf of Casterly Rock,” Jon replies, gleefully swapping pet names with his new favorite pal. (By the way, Jon Snow is apparently funny? Did we know that? Does coming back from the dead somehow give you a sense of humor? Is that a Thing? Perhaps, we should ask This Guy?)

“I’ll be here all week!”

Jon and Tyrion quickly congratulate one another for each accomplishing the amazing feat of actually surviving seven seasons on this show. (Well, technically, Jon cheated a bit on the whole “surviving” thing. But we will let that slide for now.)

After dispensing with the awkward unpleasantness of having Jon, Davos, and their men dispose of their weapons, Tyrion leads the group of Northerners toward Dany’s castle. As they make the climb, Jon gets to make the acquaintance of not one, not two, but all three of Dany’s dragons. Now, that’s what I call rolling out the red carpet for your guests!

I think Dany secretly has an app on her phone that gets these guys to fly by whenever she needs them . . . like a Dragon Uber, or something.

Understandably, Jon seems a bit shaken when he sees Dany for the first time, lounging in her uber uncomfortable chair. (She must have buns of steel!) Then Missandei makes things worse, by spending about five minutes reading out all 562 of the titles Dany has earned since she got on this show.

Now, surely, Davos, in his position as Jon’s unofficial Hand of the King will work hard to make the King of the North seem equally important and scary right?

“Um . . . this is Jon Snow. He has really nice hair,” Davos mumbles, more or less. (Well, it’s a good thing you don’t have a career in PR, Davos.)

Things then get off to an even rockier start, with Dany refusing to refer to Jon as King (calling him, instead, the pejorative “Lord”) and Jon, likewise failing to refer to Dany as his Queen. This uncomfortable exchange is followed by the pair exchanging, “Your Daddy,” jokes about each other’s respective deceased parental units. (“Yo Daddy” jokes are absolutely the Westeros version of “Yo Mamma” jokes because sexism).

Part of the problem here, in addition to an obvious clash of egos (Dany has very nice hair too, after all!), is that both Dany and Jon agree to this meeting for very different reasons. Dany wants Jon to offer his loyalty and allegiance to her, so she can use his army to help her win the war against Cersei for the Iron Throne. Jon wants Dany’s dragons and her resources to defeat the Night’s King and his Army of Walking Dead extras . . . folks that Dany doesn’t believe even exist.

To prove her case, Dany launches into a rather impressive monologue about all the crap she’s been through in seven seasons, and how she somehow managed to rise above it all. “Oh, yeah?” Davos pipes in. “Well, Jon got stabbed in the stomach eight times, and not only survived, but still has perfect six pack abs!”

Jon shuts Davos up before he can complete the statement, which, for me, was a bit disappointing. After all, I think Dany may have respected Jon more if she knew that she wasn’t the only one on this show with weird magical powers.

Powers like, for example, inflammable boobs.

With Jon and Dany at a seeming impasse, the Mother of Dragons abruptly adjourns the meeting upon hearing news of Euron’s defeat of Yara’s fleet. This gives the bromantic buddies, Tyrion and Jon an opportunity to brood together outside, which makes the former a bit jealous. After all, Jon Snow may know nothing, but he’s the best brooder in all of Westeros.

Ever the pragmatist, Tyrion manages to glean from Jon a lesser request than Dany’s dragons and the use of her army: namely, the ability to mine dragon glass and forge it into weapons to defeat the undead. Dany reluctantly agrees to this request, as a gesture of good faith to a potential future ally, even if she secretly thinks Jon’s zombie claims are totally bonkers.

It’s not quite the makeup sex we were hoping for, but it’s foreplay, for sure!

Speaking of foreplay . . .

For When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best . . . Hallmark Euron Greyjoy’s “Gifts”

Back at Kings Landing, Cersei’s sassy Gay Best Friend Euron rides triumphantly into town to the cheers of the crowd. And he’s not arriving empty-handed either. Euron’s got gifts! Just like he promised! He strings Ellaria, that Sandsnake that Didn’t Die, and Yara along after him like dogs.

Cersei seems mildly pleased with these “gifts” (though it’s a bit hard to tell, seeing as I don’t think we’ve seen this character smile in about 6.5 seasons). She even promises to marry Euron, once they’ve won the battle for the Iron Throne in earnest.

You know, when Euron raises his arms like that, he kind of looks like the Night King . . . weird.

Thrilled with the news of impending nuptials that are obviously never going to happen, Euron takes this opportunity to ask Jaime for Cersei Sex Advice. “Does she like it when you put your finger in her bum?” Euron wonders out loud to Jaime’s chagrin. (I’m going to take that dubious response as a “yes.”)

While Euron is busy using Jaime as his personal Dr. Ruth, Cersei is busy playing with her gifts. (Well, two of them. Poor Yara kind of gets tossed aside, like the ugly sweater you got on the same birthday on which you received your first XBox.)

Meh!

In a rather cruel bit of poetic justice, Cersei decides to kill that Random Sandsnake Whose Name I Never Bothered Learning in the same manner Ellaria used to kill Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, namely a poison kiss. Then, rather than kill Ellaria, herself, Cersei decides to lock her up for life, where she will be forced to spend her days staring at her daughter’s corpse. Ouch!

We Interrupt This Very Special Torture Session for Some Twincest . . .

Damning one of her many enemies to a lifetime of torture is apparently a HUGE turn on for Cersei, because immediately after doing it, she proceeds to jump Jaime’s bones. (I turned my head away, during this scene, so I couldn’t tell whether Jaime actually put his finger in his sister’s bum or not . . .)

After they are done doing the deed, Cersei proudly flaunts her twincest in front of her servant (who weirdly has the same haircut she has? Is that like a castle uniform requirement). Cersei then heads downstairs to meet with her Banker to discuss some investment opportunities. Just another day in the life of the Evil Queen . . .

Oddly enough though, watching Cersei bone her brother wasn’t the ickiest family moment in this episode . . .

In Which Bran Stark Makes Us All Feel Intensely Uncomfortable . . .

Back at Winterfell, Sansa seems to be having a great time playing King of the North in Jon’s absence. She’s issuing commands with a cold efficiency that would even give the Mother of Dragons a run for her money. Littlefinger notices this, and, like the broken record he has become this season, reminds Sansa how cool it would be if she overthrew her brother Jon, and ruled the North, for realsies.

“See everyone as your enemy. Fight every battle in your mind,” Littlefinger counsels. (During this exchange, Sansa’s mind fights to keep her stomach from upchucking, as Littlefinger’s mind undresses her with his eyes.)

The conversation is thankfully cut short by the arrival of Sansa’s brother Bran, who she hasn’t seen in years. Sansa cries with joy as she hugs her brother, but Bran . . . sort of just sits there staring into space like a Game of Thrones bobble head of himself?

I’ve seen coma patients more emotionally expressive than this.

Later, the two reconnect by a tree. During their chat, Bran tells Sansa all about his new job as The One-Eyed Raven, a.k.a. The Guy Who Watched All Seven Seasons of GOT on DVD, and Also Got a Leak of Season 8. So, basically, Jon Snow knows nothing, and his little brother, knows literally everything.

As we all know, nobody likes a know-it-all, particularly one who lacks social skills, as Bran clearly does. (In Bran’s defense, it’s probably hard to learn how to properly communicate with people when you spend most of your life talking only to a guy who says the word “Hodor” over and over again.)

 

“Hey remember that time when you married that psychopath, and he brutally raped you, while the smelly guy watched? Wasn’t that funny?” Bran recounts conversationally, before eerily launching into a detailed description of how hot his sister looked in her dress, during the worst moment of her life?

(Sansa’s mind at this point is definitely fighting the Battle Not to Punch Her Invalid Brother in the face.)

“Um, I’ve gotta go. I’m suddenly feeling very much in need of a shower,” Sansa mutters awkwardly, before exiting stage left.

“But wait! Can somebody move me away from this creepy tree with the face on it first? I kind of have to pee!” Bran replies. “Did you forget that I don’t have use of my legs anymore? HELLO???!!!”

 

You see, that’s the thing about knowledge. Sometimes it’s best if you keep it to yourself . . .

Samwell Tarley: He’s Not Just For Scooping Poop Anymore

But knowledge is not always bad! Sometimes it saves lives! As is the case with Jorah Mormont, who Sam Tarley has cured of greyscale by literally chopping it off his body, and making us all vomit in the process. (Ten points for Gryffindor!)

Now, Jorah can go find Dany and be friend-zoned by her for the 896th time this season! Hooray!

Sam’s boss at the Hogwarts School for the Elderly and Unattractive is super impressed with Sam for his ability to read books and follow one-step simple instructions. He’s so impressed, in fact, that he offers Sam a promotion . . . from pooper scooper to paper boy!

Watch this Sam Tarley guy, kids. He’s going places . . . very, very slowly!

A Game of Bad News / Good News

Let’s start with the bad news first to get it out of the way. Like last week, this week’s installment of Game of Thrones ends with a battle. It’s time for the Unsullied and the Dothraki to conquer Casterly Rock, the Lannister’s birth home. They do so by entering the city through its sewers, which just so happened to be Tyrion’s fave hangout as a kid!

The takeover of Casterly Rock is easy . . . almost too easy. And a few moments later we find out why?

As we wait for Jaime and his men to meet the Unsullied Army at Casterly Rock, we come to find them crossing the border into another place entirely, Highgarden, home of Dany’s new allies the Tyrells, and their bad as bitch leader, Lady Olenna.

To her credit, Lady Olenna takes her demise in stride, as she calmly greets Jaime in her home. She’s lived a long life, and seen a lot of loved ones die. This, I imagine, makes you fear death less, perhaps, even welcome it somewhat.

 

The two converse almost cordially, as Olenna congratulates Jaime for outsmarting Dany, when, usually, he’s such a moron in battle . . . a good looking moron, but a moron, nonetheless. The Queen of Thorns gets her barbs in where she can, of course, calling Joffrey a cunt, for naming his sword the Widow’s Wail, and Cersei a monster, and a disease. While Lady Olenna did terrible things for the sake of protecting her family, Cersei does them just for the sake of being evil, the older woman explains.

Lady Olenna is oddly maternal with Jaime, especially given their history. She even seems to take pity on him for his love of Cersei, which she believes will only end in his demise. In term, Jaime seems almost fond of Olenna, fending off Cersei’s ideas for a more brutal death to the sole surviving Tyrell, in exchange for an ending that’s a bit more classy, a painless death by poison in her wine glass.

Lady Olenna is grateful for this, and drinks the poison willingly, but not before offering a final parting F*&k You to the Lannister family that destroyed everything she loved. (See, I told you there would be good news!)

Olenna takes this opportunity to compare her painless death by poison to Joffrey’s death, also by poison. . . WHICH WAS SO DISGUSTING, AND ALSO SO AWESOME! In fact, I think this is a great time to relive it, don’t you?!!

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

“Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me,” concludes Olenna with a smile.

Brilliant last words for a fabulous character, who will be sorely missed. But at least she went down fighting! In fact, if they had tombstones in Westeros, I’m sure Lady Olenna would want this sentence printed on hers.

For now, the Lannisters just better hope that Lady Olenna doesn’t come back as a member of the Undead. Because there will be some serious hell to pay if she does!

See ya next time, Westeros!

 

 

 

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GAME OF THRONES: A Foreign Invasion is Underway (Recap: S7, Ep 2)

“When I said I wanted things to heat up between Ellaria Sand and me, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.”

[Cross-posted on Agony Booth.com]

After a bit of a slow start, Season 7 picks up the pace considerably in “Stormborn,” its second of seven episodes.

The ultimate battle for the Iron Throne finally seems to be taking place in earnest, as allies are gathered, respective battle plans are revealed, and the writers finally do away with those annoying f*&king Sandsnakes! (Well, at least two of them. I think one of them might still be alive. I’d tell you which one, but I didn’t bother learning any of their names.)

Also this week, a deadly battle at sea deals a crushing blow to Dany’s plan of attack; a surprising bit of news put Arya’s murderous fantasies on hold; and the stage is set for a long-awaited encounter between Dany and Jon, one which is sure to be the Meet Cute of the Century.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

On Brewing Storms and Fairweather Friends

It’s raining in Dragonstone, which is making Dany super cranky. Varys notes that crappy weather like this preceded Dany’s birth, hence her nickname “Stormborn,” which I guess would make my nickname, “Cloudy with a Chance of C-Section.”

This assertion, not surprisingly, does little to brighten Dany’s mood, especially since, aside from the weather, Varys’ presence at her Monopoly table is part of the reason she’s so pissed off. Dany is understandably wary of The Spider, due to his part in planning her attempted assassination back in Season 1, and his seeming tendency to back new horses in the GOT race every season: first to Dany’s father, the Mad King, then to Robert Baratheon, then to the Lannisters, and now to Dany herself.

“What can I say? I have commitment issues.”

Varys takes Dany’s challenge to his loyalty somewhat in stride, assuring her that his true allegiance has always been to the people of Westeros, and that, right now, she is their greatest hope. Dany asks Varys to come to her first, if he ever feels like she is not acting in the best interest of the people. And Varys agrees to do so, or else Dany will personally feed him to her dragons.

“It’s lunchtime! We are serving bald guy with a side of rice.”

Speaking of shifting allegiances, the Red Woman herself has also decided to pay the Breaker of Chains a visit.

Is it just me, or is Meli going a bit “cakey” on her makeup this week? Is it because her OLD is showing?

Since her first choice for the “Prince that was Promised,” Stannis Baratheon, didn’t work out so well, Melissandre is now hedging her bets on it being either Dany or Jon. Apparently, the word “prince” in whatever language it is that Lord of the Light worshipers speak could refer to either a male or female. (Something tells me that dearly departed Stannis, the King of Grammar, would have some very strong opinions about this.)

Dany seems to be a bit more forgiving of the Red Woman’s past betrayals than she is of Varys’, probably because she never saw the former take off a necklace and subsequently turn into an old woman, or birth a murderous demon shadow baby out of her hoo-hah.

Though Dany is undoubtedly more interested in getting Jon’s allegiance than she is his alliance, after speaking with Melissandre, she does agree to let Tyrion send the King of the North an invitation to Dragonstone. “Come play with us,” the letter says, more or less. “We’ve got Dragons!”

In Which Cersei Tries Her Hand Playing Nice

Meanwhile in Kings Landing, it’s been an entire week, and Cersei apparently hasn’t yet lifted her lazy ass off that Iron Throne. (Maybe there’s a part of it that turns into a toilet?) She’s serving up some major fake news and alternative facts about her enemy Dany to gain the loyalty of Sam Tarly’s dad and his army, who, up to this point, have fought for the Tyrell family, which is now aligned with the Mother of Dragons against Cersei.

Cersei’s arguments don’t initially hold much water with Papa Tarly. But Jamie ultimately reigns him in, by appealing to the older man’s inherent sense of racism. (You may recall this being the same Papa Tarly, who basically disinherited his kid just for shacking up with a Wildling.) You see, Dany’s army includes Dothrakis and eunuchs, while Cersei’s is basically . . .well . . . a bunch of skinny white guys with most of their balls (but none of their dignity) in tact.

Eh, playing nice has never exactly been a Lannister strong suit anyway . . .

Later in the episode, Cersei finally gets up from her uncomfortable chair to check out a new dragon killing toy, which looks, more or less, like a really large slingshot with a massive sword attached to it . . .

Sam Tarley: The New Doctor McDreamy?

Cool tattoo, Bro!

In other Tarly news, the non-racist one has just got a promotion at the Hogwarts School for the Old and Unattractive. He’s a doctor now, apparently!

“You’ll never guess the great idea I read about in ‘Curing Greyscale for Dummies’ today?”

Doctor Sam has read one medical book, and, therefore, decided that he can cure Jorah of his extra bad case of psoriasis, i.e Greyscale. Sam’s “super scientific” idea for a cure? Basically, he’s just going to cut that shit off!

The good news is that this seemingly awful idea is probably going to work, because why bother taking the time to show this on the show if it doesn’t? The bad news is that we have to be subjected to watching Sam chop into Jorah’s scaly body, like he’s a piece of juicy stake, for at least three minutes.

And this makes me wonder: was the whole reason for our being forced to watch the Sam Shovels Poop Music Montage last week, just to establish how exactly he wound up developing such a strong gag reflex?

Hot Pies and Good News for Arya

 

We segway directly from Sam cutting into Jorah’s flesh to Arya eating meat, because the writers of GOT clearly don’t want me to snack during this show EVER!

While en route to Kings Landing to kill Cersei, Arya pays a visit to her old pal Hot Pie for (1) a quick bite to eat, and (2) a quick recap of everything that has been happening on the show, while she’s been off washing dead guys feet, trying on masks, and being temporarily blind over at the Burgerless White Castle for two seasons.

Hot Pie informs Arya in short order that (1) the Boltons are dead; (2) Jon killed Ramsey in the Battle of the Bastards;

and (3) Jon is now King of the North.

With all the blows that Arya (and really, all the Starks) have been dealt since Episode 1, it’s nice to see her get some good news for a change. And though she hesitates for a brief moment, Arya ultimately decides to put her plans for killing the Queen on hold, and heads North, rather than South, so that she can reunite with Jon, and, though she doesn’t know it yet, Sansa too . . .

Speaking of reunions, while en route to Winterfell, Arya encounters a pack of wolves, one of whom has been REALLY eating her Wheaties . . .

Arya determines that this wolf is her very own direwolf, Nymeria, now leader of her own pack. Arya prevents her own wolf-mauling by revealing her identity to the large she-wolf, and inviting the animal to join her on her trip back to Winterfell. The she-wolf, however, ultimately abandons Arya, leaving her crestfallen.

 

Arya brightens shortly thereafter, however, upon determining that the wolf who swiped left on her wasn’t Nymeria after all!

So, it was just another abnormally large she-wolf, who just so happens to understand the human language, and appears to know Arya, personally?

Dany’s Plan of Attack

Dany’s social calendar is very full today, as we rejoin her attending yet another meeting, this time, with her new allies Olenna Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand of Boring Dorne. All three women insist that Dany attack the Iron Throne immediately. Dany, however, offers up a more conservative approach, one that she hopes will help minimize casualties, and ensure that there is actually a population left living in Westeros for her to rule over, once the war is over.

Dany’s plan of attack is two-pronged. It involves the Greyjoy fleet and Tyrell armies attacking the outer areas of the capital, cutting the Lannister army off from food and supplies, while the Dothraki and Unsullied armies invade the Lannister home base in Casterly Rock. The three women seem impressed with Dany’s reasoned leadership, undoubtedly viewing it as a welcome change from all the other crazies and dumb-dumbs, who have ruled Westeros, since this show started. Olenna, however, warns Dany not to rely too heavily on the advice of men like Varys and Tyrion, and not to be too “soft.” “Be a Dragon,” Olenna tells Dany sagely.

A Very Steamy Bon Voyage Party of Two

Because we haven’t had a sex scene on GOT in a while, we get one here between Missandei and Greyworm, when the former confronts the Unsullied Leader for not saying goodbye to her, before leaving for battle.

Greyworm admits to Missandei that he never feared anything in battle until he met Missandei. For the first time in his life, he truly has something to lose if he dies while at war. Though Greyworm doesn’t come out and tell Missandei he loves her, it’s fairly heavily implied. Missandei responds to this admission by doing this . . .

And I know what you are thinking! But there are plenty of ways this could still end up being a good time! After all, last I checked the Unsullied still had full use of their tongues . . .

Don’t Touch My Sister, Mister!

Having a decidedly less good time than Missandei and Greyworm is Jon Snow, who is getting some serious push back from his fellow Northerners about his decision to visit Dany, which he decides to do, both to gain the dragon glass his army needs to defeat the White Walkers, and to obtain her vast army’s help in doing so. Even Lyanna Mormont appears a wee bit pissed at Jon for his decision.

Leading the charge against Jon’s decision is Sansa herself, who has developed a real knack for publicly flouting the authority of her bro. Sansa feels that Dany might be setting a trap for him, and that he should send an emissary to Dragonstone in his place. Jon nixes the idea of sending an emissary, but appeases Sansa, by leaving her in charge of babysitting the Northerners while he’s away.

Emboldened by Jon’s seemingly playing right into his devious plan for Sansa to end up Queen of the North, and ultimately rule the Iron Throne (with him as First Lady, naturally) Littlefinger takes it upon himself to follow Jon down to the crypts, and gush lustily and highly inappropriately over both Catelyn Stark, i.e. Jon’s adopted mother, and Sansa herself. Jon responds to this as he should, by throwing Littlefinger up against a wall and strangling him just a little bit.

 

It’s OK Jon. Sansa’s a tough cookie, who has gotten pretty good at coping with creepers.

In fact, I’m pretty sure this series is going to end with Sansa feeding Littlefinger to the same dogs who ate Ramsey Bolton. It’s been a few episodes since they last fed, and I imagine they are mighty hungry by now.

Give Your Uncle a Kiss!

“Is it Friday yet?”

On the boat home from their Dragonstone meeting, Yara and Ellaria Sand waste no time going to pound town on one another. And they could care less that Yara’s brother Theon is in the room while they are doing it. “A foreign invasion is underway,” puns Ellaria seductively.

Seriously, everyone has to stop making Theon watch their sex stuff. It’s not cool!

That cheesy porno line turns out to be prophetic, unfortunately, as Sassy Gay Best Friend to Cersei Euron Greyjoy and his fleet lay siege to Yara’s fleet of ships, setting them on fire, and murdering virtually all the men on them, in a fairly epic battle sequence.

Euron, for his part, Captain Jack Sparrow’s his way through the experience, taking the occasional break from his various stabbings and joustings to mug for the camera and taunt Yara and Theon. “Give your uncle a kiss,” he jokes to his niece at one point during the proceedings.

“This Euron guy should really tone it down. He’s sooo over the top.”

 

During the siege, two of three annoying Sandsnakes meet quick and uneventful deaths, and I still can’t, for the life of me, remember either of their names. (And now I never have to remember them! HOORAY!)

The other annoying Sandsnake goes to protect her mother, and the two of them end up being captured by Euron’s men, which, I think is supposed to be part of Euron’s “Gift” to Cersei. (Personally, I would have preferred a Visa Gift Card, but that’s just me.)

Another potential “Gift” to Cersei? Yara, who Euron ultimately disarms and holds at knifepoint, as he taunts Theon to come rescue her.

Theon responds to this by . . . blubbering and jumping into the sea, where he sits on piece of driftwood, and views the wreckage of his sister’s battle dreams from the water, Rose from Titanic style. A real Westerosi hero, that one!

“I’ll never let you go, Yara. I’ll never let you go!”

As for Yara, some might think she died off screen at her uncle’s hand, but I, for one, highly doubt it. After all, on this show, if there isn’t a ten-second close up of you bleeding profusely from your spinal column or face, you are probably still alive and kicking.

The guy on the left? Probably dead . . .

The girl on the left? Will likely live to inappropriately PDA another day . . .

And so, thanks to Sassy Euron and his flare for dramatic “gift giving,” Cersei has dealt her first fatal blow to Dany’s battle plan by eliminating a sizable portion of her ships.

But I wouldn’t count the Mother of Dragons out just yet. She still may well be the Prince-ss That Was Promised.

Until next time!

 

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(Cross posted at Agony Booth.com)

It may be 85 degrees and balmy where you live, but over in Westeros, Winter has returned with a vengeance . . .

That’s right, folks. Game of Thrones is back for its penultimate shortened season. And if this premiere is any indication, these seven hours are going to be pretty darn jam packed. In its just-under-an-hour run-time, “Dragonstone” killed a whole bunch of people (though no one we really cared about, so it’s cool), visited with virtually every single one of its main characters, and featured way more poop than you ever want to see on your favorite HBO drama. Heck, they even managed to throw in a completely random (kind of weird) impromptu Ed Sheeran concert?

Obviously, we’ve got quite a bit of ground to cover here. So, without further adieu, in the fitting final words of Dany Targaryen, from the end of this episode, “Shall we begin?”

Walder Frey Fake?

And she got away with it too, because she’s a meddling kid!

We begin the episode with a character, who, I think it’s safe to say, most of us never thought we’d see again. If you recall, the last time we hung out with Walder Frey. He . . . umm . . . kind of lost his head.

But hey, this is GOT. People come back from the dead as zombies and Jon Snow all the time right? So, why not this old dude, who nobody likes or cares about very much?

Anyway, “Walder Frey” has decided to throw another party for his house mates, even though he just threw one last season. Why, you ask? Because he’s just a wild and crazy fun-loving guy, that’s why!

“There ain’t no party like a Walder Frey Party!”

It’s important to note that something about Walder Frey seems . . . a little off. For one thing. He’s SMILING. I don’t recall ever seeing this character smile. In fact, I wasn’t entirely sure he had any teeth. (You know, because he’s old and stuff.)

Also, Walder Frey has decided to make a BIG SPEECH. He’s thanking all his men for being loyal to him. He’s serving them wine. (But his girls don’t get wine, because EWW girls.) He’s congratulating them on the great job they did murdering all the Starks at the Red Wedding . . . wait, what?

This is the point in the episode where Walder Frey rips off his Scooby Doo mask, and reveals himself to be . . . you guessed it, Arya Stark. In one fell swoop, she’s just murdered the entire Frey clan with a vat of poisoned wine (except for the girls because YAY girls). It’s all part of her extended reign of vengeance against ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO EVER DID CRAPPY THINGS TO THE STARKS, which, let’s face it, is pretty much everyone else on the show.

Arya tells a female Frey survivor to tell all who ask her what happened at this “party” that, “The North Remembers,” before walking out of the castle all cool and slo-mo, like a character out of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

It was a fun scene that left me with just one question. When did Arya, who is probably one of the least verbal Starks, save for Rickon (RIP Rickon) become such a great actress and eloquent speaker? Did they offer oratory lessons at the Burgerless White Castle where she hung out last season?

Then again, Arya did spend two episodes with an acting troupe, which, by Westeros standards, is the equivalent of a degree from Julliard.

Et tu Wun-Wun?

Meera and Bran have finally arrived at the Wall, and manage to gain admittance from Jon Snow’s pals there. But first Bran has to wake up from his nap.

This time, Bran dreams of the White Walkers and their massive army of zombies slowly (but not too slowly, because we don’t have many episodes left, remember?) advancing toward the North. Among this army of zombies is none other than Jon’s loyal giant dearly departed pal, Wun-Wun. It’s a small scene that managed to be both very sad, and very scary at the same time.

In the words of that guy from Jaws, it looks like the White Walkers are going to need a bigger boat . . .which leads me to another question: Do White Walkers even know how to sail?

Sisters, Doing it For Themselves . . . Brothers, Not Too Thrilled About It.

Speaking of the North, Jon Snow, as their newly crowned King ,is rallying the troops to mine dragon glass, and use it to make weapons to defeat the White Walkers. He wants everyone, ages 10 to 60 to be part of this effort . . . including the women. That’s right, boys and girls, Jon Snow is a FEMINIST ICON! We all knew he couldn’t have that great head of hair for no reason!

Some of the men in the crowd balk at this idea. But Lyanna Mormont, that fan favorite, and Tiny Juggernaut of Awesomeness, quickly puts all those dumb boys in their place.

And because she’s probably not going to make it to the Iron Throne, I’m just going to come right out and say it: Lyanna Mormont for President of the United States in 2020! Who is with me?

Speaking of strong women, Sansa is clearly no longer afraid to voice her opinion in a crowd of men. When Jon posits returning the Umber and Carstark castles to their surviving family members, even though the two families recently deserted the North, in favor of fighting for the Boltons during the Battle of the Bastards last season, Sansa aggressively dismisses the idea. She argues that those homes should be diverted to families who were loyal to the North instead. Jon quickly shuts Sansa down his relative’s more draconian ruling tactics, by publicly gaining the fealty of the youngest surviving Umber and Carstark, respectively.

Later Sansa praises Jon’s ability to inspire his men, but cautions him on not being dumb / too trusting like the rest of his family, thereby winding up dead like Ned and Rob. Jon, in turn, not so casually accuses Sansa of being just a wee bit like Cersei, in her new take-no-prisoners attitude.

Off stage left, Littlefinger is just eating up all this seeming discord between the two Starks, laughing maniacally, as he twirls his mustache with his left hand, while mutilating an adorable puppy with his right.

Because Every Queen Needs a Sassy Gay Best Friend . . .

Speaking of Cersei, she’s made a giant chalk map of Westeros on the ground of her castle, so that her and Jamie can play a live action game of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? whenever their hearts desire. Pretty neat, right?

Jamie, to his credit, seems just a wee bit frightened of his sister / lover after the whole “blow up the church and all it’s inhabitants / force your own kid to kill himself” thing. He warns Cersei that if she wants to win the Game of Thrones she needs to make some friends, who she won’t ultimately end up murdering, and STAT.

Enter Gay Best Friend, Euron Greyjoy! He’s the perfect supporting cast member to any Leading Rom Com Queen.

So much sass! So many quippy one-liners! So much shade and so many burns thrown in “straight man” Jamie’s general direction.

This would be the perfect character to provide Cersei with meaningful counsel on (1) how to ditch the recent castoff wardrobe from Hot Topic she’s taken to wearing, since her sole remaining child’s demise, and (2) use contouring makeup to accentuate her cheekbones, thereby maximizing the benefits of her new short haircut!

Those are Jazz Hands!

Unfortunately, when Euron asks Cersei to marry him, she says no. But Euron will not be deterred! He’ll be back . . . with gifts! And everyone knows GBF’s give the best gifts EVER!

Samwell Tarley Knows Some Shit . . .Literally

 

I know you’ve all been waiting on pins and needles this entire hiatus, just wondering how Sam is doing with his . . . books. Right?

Well, I’ll spare you the suspense, anyway. We reunite with Sam at the Hogwarts School for Old and Ugly Wizards to find him shoveling lots of poo. Like seriously, there was an actual five-minute long POO scene in this episode. It was as close as GOT has ever come to a musical montage, but with gagging and poo splashing sounds in the place of actual music. (The Poo Emoji from the Emoji Movie would just eat this shit up, I’m sure! Everyone else, not so much . . .)

“I’m finally getting the media representation I deserve!”

Apparently, when Sam isn’t cleaning bed pans for the elderly, he spends his time staring longingly at a locked cabinet of SECRET BOOKS, and digging into the Spaghetti and Meatballs-esque looking entrails of some dead lady for “science.”

While continuing to make me wish I didn’t just happen to have Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner tonight, Sam chats up a Maester about the White Walkers and how they will most inevitably bring about the apocalypse, yadda yadda yadda. To which the Maester responds that, even when it seems like all hope is lost, the world keeps on turning, and, of course, a franchise as successful as Game of Thrones MUST have some sort of sequel. I mean, no one is just going to throw all that financial away!

So apocalypse probably averted, I guess, maybe?

Oh, and I almost forgot, someone unseen off screen asks Sam about Dany Targaryen’s whereabouts. Then the camera pans toward the heretofore unseen gentleman and this happens . . .

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s Jorah Mormont. And either his greyscale has gotten way worse, or he should seriously consider switching to a better brand of moisturizer . . .

In Which Both Sansa and Brienne Swipe Left . . .

I mention this seemingly throwaway scene where (1) Tormund shamelessly hits on Brienne while she’s trying to train Pod to battle White Walkers, while (2) Sansa saltily spurns Littlefingers increasingly insistent entreaties to the dark side, only as an excuse to show you these great memes (thank you, The Nerdist) I stumbled upon, likening Tormund’s and Brienne’s not-so-romance (at least, not YET!) to some of greatest cinematic duos of all time . . .

Speaking of a throwaway scene . . .

It’s Time for a Completely Random Ed Sheeran Interlude . . .

For reasons I can’t even begin to explain, Arya stumbles upon Ed Sheeran (no, I’m not kidding), while he’s giving an impromptu concert in a forest. Ed offers Arya some wine and a dead animal to eat, and asks her what she’s up to later this evening. (Because Ed Sheeran has always had some serious game with the ladies, naturally.)

“I’m going to murder the Queen,” Arya replies honestly.

Everyone laughs. End of scene. I still can’t figure out whether this was actually part of the show, or something that came to me in a fever dream about Game of Thrones . . .

In Which Hound Temporarily Takes Over Bran’s Job For Reasons . . .

“Memories, like the corners of my mind. Misty water colored memories, of the way we werrrrreeee.”

While chilling with the Brotherhood Without Banners, Hound stumbles upon a cabin where some people he met back when he and Arya were “pals” are now dead. This gives Hound a surprising case of the sads, so he respectfully buries them. Then, he looks into a fire and, for some reason, sees the same vision of the White Walkers that Bran saw earlier in the episode.

“What can I say? I’m the man of everybody’s dreams . . . and hallucinations.”

I don’t know about you, but it just kind of looked like Fire to me. Then again, I never could manage to see the pictures in those Magic Eye drawings . . .

Just a bunch of dots . . .

Dragonstone: It’s Like King’s Landing, Only Dragonier . . .

The episode ends with Dany finally reaching her homeland of Dragonstone. The décor there seems a bit Fortress of Solitude Meets Ikea. It even comes equipped with its very own uncomfortable chair, not unlike the Iron Throne! (Because, apparently, everyone in Westeros absolutely abhors seat cushions!) In fact, the only relatively comfortable looking seat on this entire show was Tywin’s toilet bowl, and we all know how that turned out for him . . .

Worst seat in the house?

Also in Dragonstone, a miniaturized version of that Where in the World is Carmen San Diego map Cersei has in her house. But this one comes with Monopoly pieces, so it’s way more convenient, albeit less aerobic. Dany looks at Tyrion pointedly, and they decide to begin a game . . . the Game of Thrones, of course!

Until next time . . .

 

 

 

 

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BINGE OR NO: Netflix’s GLOW

(Soon to be cross-posted on Agony Booth.com)

When I was a kid, my mother was a huge fan of soap operas. In the days before DVR, and before Netflix made binge-watching a “thing,” she would record an entire week’s worth of her favorite soap, Days of Our Lives, while she worked, so that she could spend her Saturdays catching up with all her fictional best friends and lovers and their increasingly wacky lives.

As a result, my father would often chide my mother, a career woman with a Masters degree, for her deep-abiding love for this evil-twin having, devil possessing, amnesia abusing, secret love child coveting, art form. Whenever he did so, my mother would wryly reply that my father’s ability to watch countless hours of WWF wrestling was pretty much precisely the same thing as her Days of Our Lives addiction. Wrestling, she claimed, was, after all, a soap opera geared toward men. This argument undoubtedly horrified my father, who would inevitably respond by turning up the volume on his wrestling match full blast, as if to say that no series that LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS could possibly be equivalent to a “ladies’ television show.” But deep down, I think he knew that my mother had a point.

This exact same epiphany is experienced by GLOW’s co-female lead Debbie Eagen, a former soap star, who must now try her hand at a role where your ability to “pretty cry” is not nearly as important as the depth which you could realistically portray the pain of having someone twice your size sit on your face.

Based on an actual television series of the same name that took to the airwaves for four seasons, during the years of 1986 through 1990 (many of the wrestling personas portrayed here are based on characters from the original series), Netflix’s GLOW is a ten half-hour episode long comedy set piece about the maybe (?) origins of women’s wrestling.

The REAL cast of GLOW

Leading this large and diverse cast of mostly female actresses is Allison Brie, as Ruth Wilder, a grown-up theater geek, and out-of-work actress, who is desperate to find an on-screen role where her character does more than bring a powerful male lead coffee, or tell him that his wife is on line 2.

That is, perhaps, one of the most interesting things about GLOW the series, the way in which it argues that women’s wrestling, as an art form, was actually pretty progressive, particularly for its time period, in the way in which it championed strong females, both as the heroes and the villains of its stories. Not such a big accomplishment, you say? Think about what a HUGE deal everyone made over the Wonder Woman movie actually featuring a female superhero, and how long that film took to make it to the big screen. And this is 2017, over thirty years after women’s wrestling premiered on TV!

In GLOW, Ruth is able to take on the role of her dreams, that of a female lead villain, who is strong, tough, takes no prisoners, and would sooner pour scalding hot coffee on a man’s head, than serve it to him black with two sugars. I mean, sure, women’s wrestling had its down sides too. Most of the “characters” on the show were thinly drawn, and often aggressively offensive, racial, and socio-cultural stereotypes: The Terrorist, The Welfare Queen, The Evil Communist, and an Asian Character named Fortune Cookie. Not to mention how the female wrestlers were often hooted at, degraded, and objectified by men, as they rolled around with one another in scantily clad outfits. Yet, arguably all those same downsides applied to men’s wrestling as well. So, there’s an odd sense of equal opportunity here, when it comes to poor taste.

Speaking of objectification, those men out there looking to revel in hot bodacious babes engaging in Sapphic aggressive dances with one another might be a bit disappointed with Netflix’s GLOW. With one or two exceptions, this is not a particularly glammed up bunch of ladies. 80’s fashions (which are showcased in all their neon-tinted, big-hair having, glory here) do NOBODY any favors, appearance wise, at least by modern-day beauty standards. Even Allison Brie, who in real life is quite beautiful, has her looks noticeably, and purposefully, toned down here. Her character Ruth wears little to no makeup throughout most of the series, and often prefers shapeless, oversized, outfits to more form-fitting attire.

In terms of characters, Brie’s Ruth, Betty Gilpin’s Debbie, and Marc Maron’s schlocky, but occasionally paternal, showrunner Sam take center stage here during most of the episodes. The rest of the cast serves largely as comedic support, their roles limited mainly to the stereotypical characters they play on the wrestling mat. As a fan of Jenji Kohan’s other Netflix Series Orange is the New Black, I found myself wanting to see more of many of these characters, and to learn what brought them to this unique job opportunity, possibly through the use of OINTB inspired flashbacks. There are no such flashbacks in GLOW.

Just as OINTB’s Season 1 story was largely about Piper and her complicated love-hate relationship with Alex, so too was GLOW’s Season 1 story predominately about Ruth and her friendship turned antagonistic relationship with Debbie. (I’d tell you why it turns antagonistic, but I’m afraid that would be a bit of a spoiler.) Perhaps, if the show gets picked up for a second season, GLOW, like OINTB, will branch out and feature more of the backstories of its intriguing and diverse ensemble cast.

As for the series itself, though it takes a little while to find its footing and humorous tone, GLOW is sudsy good fun, with just the right amount of 80’s camp, and a pro-feminist message thrown in for good measure. At a mere five-hour run time, GLOW is easy and painless to breeze through. The live-taping of the wrestling show featured in the final episode serves for an exciting and entertaining, colorful capstone to the series. And you will undoubtedly find yourself missing GLOW a bit when its over.

So, in the end, my mom was right.  Wrestling, and shows inspired by wrestling, are a bit like soap operas. Both are guilty pleasures, for sure. But if you look closely, you might just find a little bit of substance underneath those suds.

FINAL VERDICT: BINGE IT!

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Once Upon a Time’s Recent Reconstructive Surgery Will Render It Nearly Unrecognizable In Season 7, But It’s Far From the First Show to Go Under the Knife

(soon to be cross-posted at Agony Booth.com)

After her memorable portrayal of the earnest and refreshingly relatable Baby Houseman in the original Dirty Dancing (not to be confused with the atrocious remake that will appear on ABC this week), actress Jennifer Grey seemed destined for a long and glorious Hollywood career. And then she went and got a nose job.

Though her talent agents undoubtedly praised her new appearance as being more in line with the American Beauty Standards of the day, Grey and her new nose no longer resembled the strong-willed teen that nobody was allowed to “put in a corner.” The surgery nearly ended her career. And though the actress does occasionally appear on TV and film (most recently as the real estate agent mother of the main character in the Amazon series Red Oaks), one can’t help but wonder what might have been had she refused Hollywood pressure to go under the knife.

Television series are a bit like Jennifer Grey’s face, I think. Over time, they are naturally going to age, and evolve as seasons pass. But if they change too much, or too quickly, from what made fans like them in the first place, those changes will undoubtedly result in the series’ demise.

This past week, in a two-hour season finale that I wasn’t able to timely recap because I was overseas, Once Upon a Time closed the storybook on its sixth season. It was an episode that could have functioned as a series finale, had the show not been picked up for a seventh season. Emma Swan, the series’ main protagonist, fulfilled the Prophecy of Saviors by sacrificing her own life to protect goodness against evil, only to have her life restored at the last minute by the ever-abused Plot Band-Aid that is “True Love’s Kiss.” Rumple, the series’ on again, off again (but mostly on again) peripheral baddie, took grand steps toward redemption by killing his own mother, the Black Fairy, who also so happened to be the Big Bad of the Season. In doing so, Rumple (1) broke the curse that his Mommy placed on the town, (2) reunited with the love of his life, the much put-upon and criminally underutilized character, Belle, and (3) got a second chance to raise his son Gideon, who was conveniently reverted from troubled 28-year old man with a perma-scowl to baby boy following the final battle.

The show even went as far as to add a series-ending-esque musical montage epilogue to the finale, which depicted each of the main characters experiencing their so-called happy ending, by returning to their respective loved ones and resuming “business as usual” in the much-abused town of Storybrooke.

Had Once Upon a Time ended with its sixth season, it would have been a respectable run for the series, by any stretch of the imagination. At 133 episodes (22 to 23 per season, which is almost unheard of in this current culture of “sexy” 9-to-10 episode truncated season runs), Once boasts 12 more episodes than the uber successful and generally beloved (except for maybe it’s series finale) Lost, another ABC series that coincidentally featured the same writing team as Once.

The series is also well over the “age limit” generally required for syndication (four seasons). This means that, after Once ends, it’s pretty much guaranteed a second life in reruns and re-airings, both in the U.S. and overseas.

Up until a few weeks ago, at least, a sixth season run seemed precisely where Once Upon a Time was headed. This seemed particularly true, in the wake of news that nearly three-quarters of the original cast (most notably, Jennifer Morrison who plays main protagonist Emma, and series stars Josh Dallas and Ginnifer Goodwin, who play Prince Charming and Snow White, respectively) would not be returning to the show for future seasons. In addition to a truncated cast, the show was also struggling HARD in the ratings department. Having garnered a respectable average of around 11 million viewers per episode in its first season, by its sixth, the show was averaging less than 3 million. To add insult to injury, ABC had recently announced plans to move the series from its six-year home on Sunday nights to the dreaded Friday night death slot.

That’s right, Emma. Drink away the pain!

And yet, despite all this, the Once Upon a Time was renewed, and its showrunners decided to continue the saga for an unlikely seventh season. With virtually none of its original cast returning, the showrunners decided to pitch the season as a reboot of sorts. The plot would now focus on Emma’s son, Henry Mills (now grown, and played, understandably, by an older, and much more attractive, actor) and his scrappy daughter.

Puberty has been REALLY kind to you, Henry!

Cast veterans Lana Parilla (who plays the Evil Queen), Collin O’Donohue (who plays Captain Hook), and Robert Carlyle (who plays Rumplestiltskin) would reportedly continue on with the series, though their role in this restructured show, at least, at this point, is uncertain.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a long running show was forced to shift gears in later seasons, as a result of cast member departures and/or flagging ratings. Medical drama ER (which lasted on air for a whopping 15 seasons), and its contemporary Hot Doc Show, Grey’s Anatomy (still going strong after an impressive 13 seasons) have both made a point of casually introducing new cast members each season by cycling through classes of medical interns. This is a clever way for a show to test out the likability of new cast members on a smaller scale, and, if they pass the ratings test, gradually increasing their roles on the series, so that they can eventually take the place of primary cast members, should they eventually decide to depart from the series. To date, only four of the original Grey’s Anatomy cast members still remain on the show.

Perhaps, no series has been more successful at cycling through cast members than the Canadian high school drama, Degrassi, which has been on air in some form since as early as 1982! Using a similar model to Greys and ER, Degrassi is known for introducing a new class of freshman students each year, and gradually shifting focus toward those students, as older characters graduate from high school, and the cast members who play them depart the show. In fact, Degrassi has been shuffling cast members for so long that some of its original cast members now play the middle-aged parents of characters who recently graduated from college, and subsequently were married to one another. And you know what that means . . . Degrassi Grandparents aren’t out of the realm of possibility in seasons to come.

Other series have been forced to make abrupt changes in their main cast lists, as a result of the sudden departures of series’ protagonists. Pitched as a family drama revolving around a father raising teenage daughters, and based on a book with the same name, 8 Simple Rules, had to switch some pretty serious gears after its first season, following the untimely death of John Ritter, who played the show’s patriarch. David Spade and James Garner were brought on for the show’s final two seasons as family members’ of the main characters.

Spin City a sitcom about the goings on in NYC local government lost its star Michael J. Fox after four seasons, as a result of the increased severity of his Parkinson’s disease. Fox was replaced by Charlie Sheen, who played a different character, naturally, for the series’ final two seasons.

Sheen went on to star alongside John Cryer on Two and a Half Men, which lasted for 12 seasons on air. Coincidentally, this time, it was Sheen’s turn to depart a successful series, as a result of his own misbehavior and issues with substance abuse, around season 8. Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher, as a series co-lead. The latter’s tenure on the show lasted for four seasons, and ended only when the series was cancelled in 2015.

The aforementioned series are all shining examples of moderately to majorly successful cast member replacements. And it was these examples the showrunners’ of Once Upon a Time undoubtedly cited in the writers’ room, when they were pitching the idea of continuing their series without most of the original cast.

However, unlike all of these shows, Once has not had the opportunity to gradually introduce or test out its new leading cast members, Andrew J. West of The Walking Dead and Alison Fernandez of Jane the Virgin. (Though both characters were featured in the series finale, they had a combined screen time of less than five minutes.) And while three of the original cast members still plan to continue on with the series, in order to provide some consistency and appease loyal fans, the veterans’ chemistry with the new additions to the cast still remains a question mark, as the two new additions to the cast appeared in scenes only with one another during the finale.

Regina: “Who is the new hot guy with the little girl?” Emma: “I think that’s supposed to be our son and his kid.” Regina: “So, basically, in the last five seconds, I just learned I’m a grandparent at 40. I also inadvertently expressed attraction to my own child. So much to talk about in my next therapy session with Jiminey Cricket.”

Nonetheless, the showrunners of Once remain cautiously optimistic about the new direction in which the show is headed in its seventh season. “It’s like a new book. So, we’re starting with new stories. Although it’s going to have some of the people that we’ve loved for six years at the center of it, we are going to meet new people and new worlds,” Executive producer Adam Horowitz explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

New people. New worlds. New time slot. New cast members. In fact, the series name will be just about the only thing Once Upon a Time will retain this fall from its first six seasons. But new and different doesn’t always mean better, as Jennifer Grey’s nose will most certainly confirm. And so Once Upon a Time has headed to hiatus, leaving fans with the greatest cliffhanger of all. Will this series will be able to survive its forced reconstructive surgery, and obtain it’s long awaited Happily Ever After in Syndication Land? Only time will tell . . .

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